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No interviews for Class-III, IV govt jobs from Friday: PM Modi

The ministries have been asked to send a consolidated report to the DoPT by January 7 in this regard. “Report so to be furnished with the approval of the minister or minister in-charge shall include the details of the name and number of posts where the interview is discontinued and posts for which the exemption has been sought within the purview of the administrative ministries or departments,” the order said.


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National Herald Case: We will continue the fight and not bow down, say the Gandhis


Sonia, Rahul and three other accused in the case –Motilal Vora, Oscar Fernandes and Suman Dubey–sought bail which was granted after they furnished personal bond of Rs.50,000 and one surety each.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi with party Vice President Rahul Gandhi arrives at party office after attending a hearing in National Herald Case, in New Delhi on Saturday.

After a 10-minute hearing, Congress President Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul were on Saturday granted unconditional bail in the high-voltage National Herald case by a local court where they appeared along with a phalanx of top party leaders.Facing a private criminal complaint lodged by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy in the transfer of shares of the defunct party newspaper Herald to a newly-created company, the two Gandhis, accompanied by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh besides Priyanka Gandhi appeared before Metropolitan Magistrate Lovleen at 2.50 PM.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The party’s legal eagles Kapil Sibal, Ashwini Kumar, both former Union Law Ministers, and Abhishek Manu Singhvi, as also top Congress leaders such as Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mallikarjun Kharge, A K Antony, Shiela Dikshit, Ambika Soni and Meira Kumar were at hand.Sonia, Rahul and three other accused in the case –Motilal Vora, Oscar Fernandes and Suman Dubey–sought bail which was granted after they furnished personal bond of Rs.50,000 and one surety each. One of the accused Sam Pitroda was not present as he was stated to be unwell. Swamy pressed the court to impose conditions on the foreign travel of the accused, which was not accepted by the court. He said later that he had not opposed the bail but had told the court that conditions should be imposed on the Gandhis’ travel abroad since they “were in the habit of running away from the country”.The magistrate fixed February 20 as the next date of hearing and the proceedings were over within minutes after which the Gandhis came out smiling. They had to navigate through jostling lawyers, journalists, security men and party workers to reach their cars.Later addressing the media at the party office, Sonia, Rahul and Manmohan Singh hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi accusing him of levelling “false allegations” against them and making “full use” of government agencies to “deliberately target” the Opposition.”We will continue the fight and not bow down,” they said.”The accused are reputed persons having deep political grassroots and there is no apprehension that they will flee,” the Magistrate noted while granting them bail on furnishing personal bond of Rs.50,000 each and one surety.While Antony gave surety to Sonia, Priyanka stood surety for her brother. Congress leader B K Hariprasad gave surety for Vora, Ghulam Nabi Azad for Fernandes and Ajay Maken for Dubey. In his reaction, Swamy said all their claims that they would not seek bail proved false. “They said they will not take bail. What happened now,” he told reporters after the short hearing.Sibal and Singhvi told the court that these are people who have deep roots in society and they hold high office and do not have any previous charge against them. The summons were issued by the court on Dec 8 after the Delhi High Court the previous day had refused to quash the summons issued to them earlier to appear as accused. Both Sibal and Singhvi told reporters after the proceedings that the court rejected Swamy’s plea and gave bail to the leaders.”It is most unfortunate that Swamy sought imposition of conditions including restrictions on travel abroad but the court granted unconditional bail,” Singhvi said.”I don’t see the slightest reason for dissatisfaction with the court order,” he added.Rejecting Congress criticism that he was doing vendetta politics at the behest of Congress, Swamy said look at the evidence in the case and not vendetta.”I have so many friends (in the BJP). I am a Jan Sanghi. I know them (BJP leaders) personally. I have not taken an appointment with the prime minister and spoken to him at all about the case,” he told reporters.The Magistrate made it clear that no exemption from personal appearance will be granted to any accused for the next date of hearing. The judge, who held the proceedings in a closed room, asked Swamy to bring all relied upon documents in support of his complaint on the next date of hearing.Sonia, Rahul, Vora (AICC Treasurer), Fernandes (AICC General Secretary), Dubey and Pitroda were summoned under sections 403 (dishonest misappropriation of property), 406 (criminal breach of trust) and 420 (cheating) read with section 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC.The trial court had on June 26 last year asked them to appear before it on August 7, 2014 but the order was stayed on August 6, 2014 by the Delhi High Court which on December 7 this year vacated the stay by rejecting the plea to quash the complaint and the summons. On December 15, 2014, the court had further stayed the summons till final disposal of the petitions.Swamy has accused them of cheating and misappropriation of funds in acquiring ownership of Herald. All of them were directors of Young Indian Ltd (YI), a company that was incorporated in 2010 and which took over the “debt” of Associated Journals Ltd (AJL), the publisher of National Herald.Swamy had accused Sonia and Rahul Gandhi and others of conspiring to cheat and misappropriate funds by just paying Rs 50 lakh by which YI obtained the right to recover Rs 90.25 crore which the AJL had owed to the Congress party.Along with the Gandhis, five other accused — Suman Dubey, Moti Lal Vora, Oscar Fernandez, Sam Pitroda and Young India Ltd–had challenged the summons issued to them by trial court on Swamy’s complaint.

What’s in a name? A look at Bombay 20 years after it was renamed Mumbai

The far-right Shiv Sena party made international headlines in 1995 when it forced the change, but many residents continue to use the old colonial name out of politics or habit.

With the Bombay High Court and Indian Institute of Technology Bombay just two of several institutions still using its English appellation, foreign tourists could be forgiven for feeling confused.

Bombay High Court. ReutersBombay High Court. Reuters

Bombay High Court. Reuters

“When Bombay became Mumbai everything else should have followed and I don’t know why it’s taking so long,” Arvind Sawant, a Shiv Sena lawmaker for south Mumbai, told AFP.

Shiv Sena is strongly pro-Marathi, the dominant language and ethnic group in the state of Maharashtra, of which Mumbai is the capital.

The party renamed the western Indian city after the goddess Mumbadevi, the protector of fisherman who were the area’s original inhabitants, shortly after being elected to run the state government.

Marathi speakers had always called the city “Mumbai“, and the move was popular among that community, whereas “Bombay” was an anglicised take on the Portuguese colonial name “Bom Bahia”, or “good bay”.

Mumbai‘s switch was one of a number of Indian city name changes in recent years, notably Chennai, which used to be Madras, and Calcutta, now known asKolkata.

After India‘s central government officially approved Mumbai‘s renaming, the city’s civic body, called the Bombay Municipal Corporation, became the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation in early 1996.

But some other state institutions remained unchanged and Shiv Sena, now a junior partner in the state government, has unfinished business as far as the renaming programme goes.

Mumbai High Court? 

“All of the government institutions have to be changed,” said Sawant, who wants the Bharatiya Janata Party-led central Indian government to start by agreeing to Shiv Sena‘s demand to rename Mumbai‘s top court.

Shiv Sena lost power in 1999 and the renaming of the historic courthouse, which was established in 1862 under British rule, dropped off the agenda.

“The Bombay High Court should be the Mumbai High Court. I’ve raised the issue in parliament and the government has to follow through with it. We are demanding that they change it now,” the MP told AFP.

India‘s Justice Minister D. V. Sadananda Gowda has reportedly agreed to put the proposal to the cabinet before tabling it in parliament, where it is likely to be passed.

Sawant also has public university IIT Bombay in his sights but admits that persuading private establishments, such as the Royal Bombay Yacht Club and Bombay Gymkhana, to dispense with part of their heritage will be more difficult.

“We cannot force them to change their name but we expect them to and they should do it now,” he said.

The director of IIT Bombay and the CEO of the Bombay Gymkhana both declined to comment when contacted by AFP.

“If they want they can change, but nobody can compel them to,” Indian National Congress MP Husain Dalwai said, adding that Shiv Sena liked to trumpet “these emotional types of issues”.

‘Mumbaikar’ or ‘Bombayite’ 

“Bombay” and “Mumbai” are used interchangeably, for example The Times Group publishes the “Mumbai Mirror” newspaper and also the “Bombay Times”.

“Many people change what they call the city depending on what language they are talking in,” said Naresh Fernandes, author of “City Adrift: A Short Biography of Bombay”.

The names “reflect the multi-lingual character of the city”, he added.

While the two names tend to live happily side by side, earlier this year musician Mihir Joshi fell foul of India‘s Central Board of Film Certification when it objected to his use of Bombay and bleeped the offending lyric out of his video.

“Mumbaikars” point out that Mumbai was the city’s original name while some “Bombayites” feel the name change was too closely associated with the Bombay riots of December 1992 and January 1993.

Shiv Sena leaders were accused of inciting anti-Muslim violence that left more than 1,000 people dead. It swept to power in state elections shortly afterwards on the back of its pro-Marathi stance.

“It’s Bombay for me and always will be,” Fernandes told AFP.

“I think because it followed so closely after the riots that to many of us it was really a name change soaked in blood,” added the writer, who covered the renaming as a journalist.

But two decades on and with the city’s youngsters having grown up knowing their home only as Mumbai, Bombay’s time could soon be up.

“When my generation passes on, maybe Mumbai won’t stick in the craw in the same way,” Fernandes said.


Bihar elections 2015: Nitish Kumar – A great political survivor

After being trounced twice, he finally defeated his arch-rival Lalu Yadav in his own turf –– that is in the field of politics.

With a degree in civil engineering from prestigious Bihar College of Engineering, Nitish Kumar (64) is a great political survivor. He has emerged as man of method and unlike Lalu Prasad Yadav’s rusticity, he represents an urbane face and is known for meticulous planning and preparation. Despite beginning race at the same turf and at the same time, Nitish lagged far behind Lalu. This engineer has proved himself to be the master in social engineering.After being trounced twice, he finally defeated his arch-rival Lalu Yadav in his own turf –– that is in the field of politics. Bureaucrats, who have worked with both Lalu and Nitish, say there was a marked difference in their working. The former never had patience to listen or read a file, while the latter would take hours and hours to discuss and take notes during presentations, even check full stop and commas before signing a letter or any document. Due to his development image and enforcing law and order in a difficult state like Bihar, Nitish Kumar is the only chief minister whose image can be compared with that of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Author of ‘Ruled or Misruled—The Story and Destiny of Bihar’, Santosh Singh believes that Nitish has become the challenge for Modi more than the Congress or its vice-president Rahul Gandhi.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Unlike Lalu and Ram Vilas Paswan, who won by a thumping majority in the Janata Party wave in 1977, Nitish had to wait till 1985 to enter into assembly. He sided with socialist icon George Fernandes, who left Lalu and formed the Samata Party in 1994. A year later, he was projected as chief ministerial candidate. Along with George Fernandes, he joined hands with the BJP. The then Samata Party –– later rechristened as the Janata Dal (United) –– contested Lok Sabha election of May 1996 in alliance with the BJP. That was the time which changed the fortune of Nitish Kumar and he never looked back. He got an all-important railway portfolio, which was earlier held by Ram Vilas Paswan during Deve Gowda and Gujral governments.Though Nitish Kumar failed in his first attempt to become the chief minister, he never gave up. When the Vajpayee government was voted out of power in May 2004, Nitish once again concentrated on Bihar politics. He undertook Nyaya Yatra and visited nooks and corners of Bihar to highlight the failures of the then Rabri Devi government. His efforts nearly yielded result in February 2005 Assembly election. But the hung Assembly once again led to the nine months of Governor’s Rule. Nitish finally managed to lead the National Democratic Alliance to victory and became the chief minister for the second time on November 24, 2005.He increased the reservation of women from 33 to 50 per cent in urban and rural local bodies and introduced 20 per cent reservation for the Extremely Backward Castes. The EBCs were not benefited much by the implementation of Mandal Commission report because of their smaller number and absence of powerful leader after the death of Karpoori Thakur. There are well over 100 castes in the EBCs list and they are too fragmented in comparison to the Other Backward Castes (OBCs) such as Yadav, Koeri, Kurmi and Bania.Though, his tenure is also seen as corruption free, but former deputy chief minister and BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi pointed out that there had been Rs 100 crore medicine scam between June 2013 and May 2014 when health portfolio was with the chief minister. He also mentions multi-crore excise scam. Excise minister Jamshed Ashraf was sacked for thisRs 500 crore scam involving people in the chief minister’s secretariat.

Bihar election 2015: Lalu Prasad Yadav – The real winner

But his focus on caste consolidation rather governance ultimately led to his downfall. His supporters say, the bureaucracy was not supporting him, because upper caste elite were not ready to accept him as chief minister.

Emergence of Lalu Prasad Yadav (67) in 1989 with the decimation of Congress heralded a new era in Bihar politics. His antics, wit, humour and obdurate style seduced and thrilled public beyond Bihar borders. A student leader who grew under the wings of socialist leaders Karpoori Thakur and George Fernandes, he became MLA in 1980. Nine years later, he took away control from the upper caste-centric Congress and orchestrated an anti-Brahmin coalition in the name of social justice. His detractor Sushil Modi says, Laloo enjoys power and knows well, how to hog the limelight.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Author of ‘Ruled or Misruled —The Story and Destiny of Bihar’ Santoosh Singh writes that three things make Lalu a phenomenon — Vernacularisation, Mandalisation and Secularisation. Perhaps no Indian leader till now has ‘vernaculrised” politics, the manner and with the impunity Lalu has done. Though, he regaled public, bureaucrats who have worked with him say, he hardly had patience to go through files or the summary of the subject.But his focus on caste consolidation rather governance ultimately led to his downfall. His supporters say, the bureaucracy was not supporting him, because upper caste elite were not ready to accept him as chief minister. He may not have delivered on governance or law and order, but his tenure between 1990 and 2015 did not witness any major communal riot, even though his tenure along with Rabri Devl war marked by some 59 caste massacres. His colleagues say, Lalu has been wary of communal clashes, knowing fully well what the 1989 riots had done to the Congress.Besides his lack of interest in governance, it was also the fodder scam, exposed in 1996, involving the excess withdrawal of money from state treasuries that led his downfall. His unassailable social combination in the caste-ridden Bihar also started slipping, with the emergence of Nitish Kumar, who made inroads in extremely backward castes and pitted them against Laloo’s Yadavs. Lalu’s downfall has proved a point that relying too much on social justice in absence of development has its limits and life span. More than unabashed casteism, slogans of development have found takers in young voters, even in small towns and villages. Whether, it means an end to Lalu era, or will he change his antics, by bringing to fore his tenure as rail minister, when he had supervised a surprised turnaround of ailing but critical ministry. He is still to use this turnaround of railways his political weapon to bring around that Lalu and development also co-exist.

Good samaritan loses only child to dengue mosquito, inhuman attitude of neighbours

Dengue cases in Juhu Koliwada have been on the rise for some time now. Recently, pest control officers from Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) visited the area to find out the reason.

Brenden Fernandes

Remember Larson Fernandes? On September 22, 2015, dna had introduced the good samaritan from Juhu Koliwada, who took it upon himself to fight dengue mosquitoes in his locality by buying a hand-held fogging machine and fogging the area every evening.On Friday, Larson lost his only child – Brenden Fernandes – to the very mosquito he was fighting.While Larson’s fight was to make his locality safe, it was the careless, inhuman attitude of the residents in the very locality that nipped young Brenden’s life. Larson was running his own NGO JuhuAngels.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Dengue cases in Juhu Koliwada have been on the rise for some time now. Recently, pest control officers from Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) visited the area to find out the reason.Officials had to face stiff resistance from a few aggressive residents, claiming to be Congress workers. What they later found out was shocking.”Most houses had money plants and bamboo plants in water. Roofs of most houses had plastics for protection from rain water – just want the dengue mosquitoes would love,” said Sandeep Tandel, pest control officer, K- west ward.Tandel said that people were aggressive and did not like breeding spots being spotted by his team. “We identified five breeding spots and served notices on the owners of those houses. The notices, if not heeded, will invite stricter action, including heavy penalty, as they are risking other people’s lives,” said a civic official.”We had a tough time explaining to them that the exercise was not to enter their homes and disturb their privacy but to check and explain the hazards of breeding spots they would unknowingly have in their house,” officials said. Brenden, a Class X student of St Joseph High School, Juhu, contracted fever on Monday. On Tuesday, blood tests revealed that his platelet counts were going down – a significant symptom of dengue.Within three days, the count went below 24,000. The depleted platelet counts led to multiple organ failure and young Brenden succumbed in the ICU of the Asha Parekh hospital in Santa Cruz (West).Those families who have dengue patients at homes are upset with their neighbours’ attitude. “We have lost a precious life. What did they achieve by having those fancy Feng Shui plants and not cleaning puddles under plastic drums? All are educated here, still they don’t co-operate with BMC,” a resident said.K – West ward has resolved to visit Koliwada gaothan again and intensify their action. “Those found guilty will be prosecuted,” said an official.The BMC might live up to its words. For the Fernandes’ though, that’s too little, too late.

5/20 rule for Indian carriers must go: Civil Aviation Minister

The ‘5/20 rule’, which mandates a domestic carrier to be five—year—old and have a fleet of 20 aircraft to fly on international routes, should be “done away with” as it is adversely affecting the sector.

Representational Image
File Photo

The ‘5/20 rule’, which mandates a domestic carrier to be five—year—old and have a fleet of 20 aircraft to fly on international routes, should be “done away with” as it is adversely affecting the sector, Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju said on Wednesday. Raju, who was here to attend ‘Gujarat Aero Conclave-2015, told reporters such rules are pushing back the aviation sector in the country. “I have not seen such rules anywhere in the world. Such rules are pushing back this sector as well as the economy. Centre government’s job is to promote Indian carriers. Thus, this rule has to go,” the minister said. To a query on the controversy over Centre’s plan to develop some airports in the partnership with private firms, Raju said he is neither against privatisation nor public sector. “Personally, I am not against privatisation. Similarly, I am also not against public sector. Both of them are having their own duties to perform. I suggest that we should let them compete with each other for better results,” he said. The current rule, which allows only those Indian carriers to fly on international routes who have completed five years of domestic operations and have a fleet of 20 aircraft, has been slammed by experts and top executives. AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes had recently said the ‘5/20 rule’ in India would mean less economic activity as aviation has been a key growth generator for other countries like Singapore and Dubai. Also Read: New civil aviation policy to be finalised shortly: Minister

Bizarre: Goan village bans kissing, other ‘obscene behaviour’ in public

Panaji: A village panchayat in Goa has “banned” kissing in public holding that “such obscene behaviour” by some couples and holidayers creates nuisance to the local people.



Salvador do Mundo village panchayat, located near state capital Panaji, passed a resolution recently banning kissing in public along with consumption of liquor and playing loud music openly.

“We adopted the resolution since we have been getting several complaints from the local people about the obscene behaviour (of some couples and holidayers). We had to control it,” said Reena Fernandes, deputy sarpanch of Salvador do Mundo.

According to civic authorities, villagers were also concerned over the obscene behaviour of those on picnic to the sylvan settings of the coastal hamlet.

After adopting the resolution, the civic body has put up banners urging the public as well as visitors to cooperate with the order.

Goa has, of late, witnessed a debate on moral policing with state Directorate of Art and Culture banning jeans, sleeveless top and other informal dresses in office.


Air Asia skips Mumbai, Delhi still on radar

Air Asia will not take off from Mumbai for now. The top management said the carrier is changing course for want of suitable slots. Even four months back, the low-cost carrier was bullish about its impending Mumbai operations.

Air Asia will not take off from Mumbai for now. The top management said the carrier is changing course for want of suitable slots. Even four months back, the low-cost carrier was bullish about its impending Mumbai operations.The airline’s Mumbai plans became public last September. “We are coming,” group chief executive Tony Fernandes had tweeted with pomp. “In Incredible India….Bombay (Mumbai) is changing by the day ….AIRASIA India will be starting in this metro soon,” his tweet read.Tuesday, however, was different. CEO Mittu Chandilya, while speaking on the sidelines of a seminar, said: “We did have plans to fly from the commercial capital of the country. But we did not get the required slots.”But he did say Delhi was very much on the radar. Initially, the company had ruled out both Delhi and Mumbai, citing high airport costs.Though Chandilya did give the reason for opting out of Mumbai, he didn’t cite any for the change in plan over Delhi.”Mumbai airport is saturated, with most flights getting delayed during peak hours. By flying during congestion, we don’t want to bring down aircraft utilisation” he said.In aviation parlance, aircraft utilisation means the number of hours an aircraft remains air-borne, indicating quick get-around timing. According to industry insiders, AirAsia has a good average aircraft utilisation of about 13-14 hours per day.AirAsia India is a joint venture between AirAsia Bhd of Malaysia, which holds a 49% stake and Tata Sons with 30%. Arun Bhatia of Telestra Tradeplace holds the remaining stake.AirAsia, which, at present, has three planes in India, plans to induct one more next month. The airline had earlier even talked about making a break-even by November last year, but is now talking May-June.The airline plans to take about 10 more planes in the current year. It needs a capitalisation of $30 million by 2016, airline insiders said.”Though Mumbai is no more on our radar at the moment, we are very keen on Delhi,” Chandilya added. Air India seeks infra statusNational carrier Air India wants the central government to give aviation sector infrastructure industry status as it will help the airline to raise capital easily. S Venkat, director (finance) and board member, said: “Investment in aircraft is as costly as a power plant. There are also other expenditure. If aviation is given infrastructure status, it will become easier to raise funds,”