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From birth certificates to death proofs, 1-page form soon for all govt services

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“There should be relevant and minimum information asked for in an application form for government services and not repetitive ones,” he said.Singh.

Applications for majority of services like birth or death certificates will soon be simplified and converted into one-page form format, the government announced on Friday. Union Minister Jitendra Singh also unveiled a single-page application form for pensioners on a day being observed as ‘good governance day’ which coincides with the birthday of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. “For different schemes you have voluminous forms. Today, we are releasing one-page application form for pensioners. We plan to convert all multi-page or voluminous forms to single-page within a year,” he told reporters during a press conference here. Singh said the aim behind this initiative is to make the forms as simple and small as possible for the beneficiary.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”There should be relevant and minimum information asked for in an application form for government services and not repetitive ones,” he said.Singh, Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, said he is coordinating with state governments and Union territories to replicate the same process. “Every month we will be holding meetings with at least two central government departments and reviewing forms available for different services under them. Efforts will be to simplify the whole procedure and we hope to achieve the target of single-page form for all government services within a year’s time,” the minister said.At present, one has to fill lengthy forms for getting birth, death and other certificates. Secretary in Personnel Ministry Sanjay Kothari said the government plans to integrated Aadhaar number with government services so that people do not have to fill out whole details. “We will be integrating Aadhaar data base for the services. But this will be possible only when all the people have Aadhaar numbers. It will further benefit people as they will not be required to fill out basic details like their residential address, among other things,” he said.

IBPS Clerk Prelims Result Out: Check out IBPS CWE V Preliminary Score Card

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Good news for all candidates eagerly waiting for their CWE V clerk preliminary examination result

Good news for all candidates eagerly waiting for their CWE V clerk preliminary examination result. Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) has declared the result of CWE V clerk preliminary examination conducted in the month of December. Lucky candidates who have successfully qualified are eligible for appearing in the main exam slatred to be held on 2nd and 3rd January. For downloading the score card, candidates need to keep their registration number, roll number and password handy. Candidates who qualify in the main exam have to then go through interview round. Here is the link to download the score card. Take a printout of it for future reference. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Parliamentary panel slams judicial activism, Supreme Court monitoring of probes

The remarks assume significance as probes in most of multi-crore corruption cases like 2G spectrum allocation, coal blocks allocation and Vyapam scams are being monitored by the Supreme Court.

Supreme Court

A parliamentary committee has criticised judicial activism of Supreme and higher courts by overseeing investigation and passing interim directions to CBI saying it may appear to be a colourable exercise of power by them.The committee also noted that various high courts and Supreme Court are frequently issuing directions to CBI to handle cases relating to Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 as also of “Public Order”.The superior courts are even directing CBI in a number of cases to report day-to-day progress in a sealed cover bypassing Sections 172 and 173 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 and performing functions envisaged under the criminal justice system of the country for the lowest rung of criminal court, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice said in its report.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Judicial activism of higher judiciary by taking pains of overseeing an investigation and passing interim directions to CBI and even pre-empting the rights and remedies available to affected persons under criminal justice system.”It may, therefore, appear to affected persons as a pre- emptive and colourable exercise of power by the superior courts,” it said.The remarks assume significance as probes in most of multi-crore corruption cases like 2G spectrum allocation, coal blocks allocation and Vyapam scams are being monitored by the Supreme Court.

Modi govt wants babus to participate in adventure sports to improve their performance

The Centre’s move for promoting adventure sports among the employees is also aimed at tackling “the alarming situation of stress and impact of sedentary life” on them.

Representational image of paragliding
File Photo

To foster spirit of risk-taking and team work, the Centre has asked all its employees to participate in adventure sports like rock climbing and paragliding expenses for which will be borne by it. The Centre’s move for promoting adventure sports among the employees is also aimed at tackling “the alarming situation of stress and impact of sedentary life” on them.”It would create and foster spirit of risk taking, cooperative team work, capacity of readiness and vital response to challenging situations and endurance,” an order issued by Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) said. As per the scheme, the DoPT will sponsor programmes for five to seven days by six institutes–including Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports, Manali, Himachal Pradesh, Indian Institute of Skiing and Mountaineering, Gulmarg, Jammu and Kashmir, National Institute of Water Sports, Vasco da Gama, Goa and Nehru Institute of Mountaineering, Uttarkashi–for this purpose.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The activities under the programme will include trekking, mountaineering, rock-climbing, cycling in a difficult terrain, skiing, surfing, boat sailing, snorkeling, rafting, parasailing, ballooning, paragliding, jungle safari, desert safari, beach trekking and environmental awareness camps. An expense of upto Rs 20,000 will be reimbursed by the government, besides grant of special casual leave to the employees to help them participate in these activities.Financial assistance of 100% of programme fee would be provided in a calendar year to two officials of each ministry or department who have been awarded for excellence in service and nominated for the programme, the DoPT order issued on Friday said.There are about 50 lakh central government employees.

No extra chance for 2012-14 civil services candidates: Govt

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducts the prestigious examination annually to select IAS, IFS and IPS officers.

Jitendra Singh

The UPSC aspirants who took the civil services examination in the last three years (2012-14) need not be given an additional chance this year, the Centre has decided. The move comes following a directive by Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) to the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) to examine whether candidates who were eligible to take civil services examination 2011, or had taken 2012, 2013 or 2014 examination should be given another chance to take this year’s test with changed pattern. “After analysing all facts, it has been decided that these candidates do not deserve to be given additional chance to appear in civil services examination”, an order issued by DoPT said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducts the prestigious examination annually to select IAS, IFS and IPS officers, among others, in three stages–preliminary (having two papers), main and interview. It had in 2011 modified the structure of preliminary examination and substituted the paper on optional subject (Paper II) by introducing a new paper viz General Studies Paper II on aptitude test. Since there was a change in the format, many candidates appearing for civil services exam 2011 alleged that they did not have adequate time to prepare and opposed the new pattern. The government had in August last year given an assurance in Parliament regarding an additional attempt to the 2011 candidates, this year. Following which an order was issued by the DoPT.Aggrieved over the decision, an application was filed in the CAT seeking its direction for the government to allow an additional attempt this year to those candidates who did not appear in 2011 exam but appeared in tests of subsequent years or for those who had applied for the test in 2011. The CAT had disposed off the petition with the direction to the DoPT to take a decision on it within four weeks of receiving copy of the order. After considering the matter, it has been decided that the candidates who had taken attempts in civil services examinations in 2012, 2013 and 2014 had got sufficient time to prepare and acclimatise themselves with the new pattern of General Studies Paper II (aptitude test) introduced in 2011.Moreover, such candidates got the benefit of relaxation in terms of age and attempts in 2014, the DoPT said and decided against giving additional chance this year for those candidates. The government had last year made amendments in the eligibility conditions which resulted in relaxed age criteria and increased number of attempts.

India’s Ambassadors to Afghanistan, Vietnam appointed as secretaries in MEA

Senior diplomats Amar Sinha and Preeti Saran, India’s Ambassadors to Afghanistan and Vietnam respectively, were appointed as secretaries in Ministry of External Affairs on Monday.

Senior diplomats Amar Sinha and Preeti Saran, India’s Ambassadors to Afghanistan and Vietnam respectively, were appointed as secretaries in Ministry of External Affairs on Monday.Besides them, Sujata Mehta, currently Secretary (Economic Relations) in MEA, has been appointed as Secretary (West), in place of Navtej Sarna who takes up the new assignment as India’s High Commissioner to the UK. Secretary (West) looks after affairs related to Europe and Africa regions.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Sinha, a 1982 batch Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer, has been appointed as Secretary (ER), in place of Mehta, an order issued by Department of Personnel and Training said. Manpreet Vohra has been appointed in Sinha’s place in Kabul, Afghanistan.Sinha’s batchmate Saran will be Secretary (East), and will be responsible for matters related to Arab region, North Africa, South East Asia including Pacific island nations.

Government keen on passing 3 anti-graft bills in Winter session

Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh on Thursday said while the Lokpal Bill is pending with the Select Committee the government had consecutively listed the bill for amendment in Prevention of Corruption Act for seven days in Rajya Sabha during last session, but it could not be taken u

The government is keen on getting three crucial anti-corruption bills – Whistleblowers’ Protection, amendment in Prevention of Corruption Act and Lokpal – passed in the upcoming session of Parliament starting November 26.Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh on Thursday said while the Lokpal Bill is pending with the Select Committee the government had consecutively listed the bill for amendment in Prevention of Corruption Act for seven days in Rajya Sabha during last session, but it could not be taken up. “I will not go into the reasons of it but what I am trying to say is that we have not lagged behind. We have nothing to hide…and we will pursue these bills in the coming session on November 26,” Singh said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Minister said while fighting corruption, government intends that it does not cause “unwarranted intimidation” of officials. He said through amendment in Prevention of Corruption Act, government wants to introduce safeguards for officials at all levels. “We will act but act judiciously,” he said. Speaking at the valedictory function of 21st annual conference of CBI and Anti-Corruption Bureaux here today, Singh said government aims to complete the CCTNS by March 2017 which was initiated in 2009 but not much headway was made during the last six years for whatever reasons. “What had not happened in last six years, government had resolved to do it in one and a half years,” he said.The Minister said government is committed to maintain independence and autonomy of CBI to ensure that an environment can be provided to the agency where it can work with its full potential. “We are here as facilitators of the professionals not intimidators of the professionals,” he said. Later, speaking to mediapersons on the sidelines of the functions, he said, “We expect the Select Committee to furnish its reports as soon as possible so that we can move ahead with the Lokpal Bill.”On the recent comment of Congress leader Shakeel Ahmed on the religion of Chhota Rajan and Anup Chetia, Singh said terrorism has no religion. “A terrorist is a terrorist is a terrorist. Chhota Rajan case has been handed over to the CBI. The CBI under the present government enjoys absolute independence and liberty to function in the most professional manner. We should not attach motives,” he said. On ISIS, the Minister said the right authority to answer will be Home Ministry but added that the government is in cognisance of the entire sequence of events. We are prepared to face any kind of eventuality.

Punjab: CBI likely to visit Faridkot to probe holy book sacrilege incident

Punjab Police will provide the required logistical support and offer its co-operation to the CBI in conducting the investigations, the spokesman added.

The incidents saw massive protest by Sikh activists in Faridkot which even led to the death of two persons allegedly in police firing.

A CBI team is likely to visit Faridkot for investigating the alleged sacrilege incidents in the area, that led to massive protests in the state and killing of two youth. Punjab government had on November 1 handed over the probe into the sacrilege incidents in Bargari village at Faridkot, to the CBI. “In pursuance of Punjab Government notification dated 9-11-2015, the Department of Personnel and Training, Government of India issued a notification dated 5-11-2015 transferring to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) investigation of cases dated 2-6-2015, 25-9-2015 and 12-10-2015 of Police Station Baza Khana, district Faridkot,” a Punjab police spokesman said here this evening.”The CBI has re-registered these FIRs as Regular Cases (RC) and a team of CBI officers will be visiting Faridkot shortly in connection with the investigation of the above-mentioned cases,” he further said in a release.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Punjab Police will provide the required logistical support and offer its co-operation to the CBI in conducting the investigations, the spokesman added. The three sacrilege cases were registered at the Bajakhana police station in Faridkot district. These related to the theft of Guru Granth Sahib at Burj Jawahar Singh Wala village in June and the putting up of posters in Bargari and Burj Jawahar Singh Wala villages in September. The third incident involved inciting Sikhs to protest against the theft of the holy book and the sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib with torn pages of the holy book being found at Bargari in October.The incidents saw massive protest by Sikh activists in Faridkot which even led to the death of two persons allegedly in police firing. The government had earlier set up a Special Investigation Team (SIT) under ADGP I P S Sahota to probe the matter. The SIT had arrested two brothers, identified as Rupinder Singh and Jaswinder Singh, of Panjgrain village of Faridkot, in connection with the Bargari village incident.Sikhs owing allegiance to various groups, including hardliners, had been seeking the arrest of “real culprits” as they alleged that the two brothers were “falsely implicated”.Under intense attack over handling of the situation, the SAD government had also shunted out Punjab police chief Sumedh Singh Saini, who was replaced with Suresh Arora.

No ‘martyr’ status to paramilitary personnel: govt tells HC

The response was sought after the government informed the court that it had no such scheme, as sought in the PIL.

The status of ‘martyr’ is not accorded to armed forces personnel who sacrifice their lives on the line of duty and hence cannot be given to the paramilitary forces, government has told the Delhi High Court, terming a plea on the matter as “misconceived”. “The prayer… to grant ‘martyr’ or ‘shaheed’ to Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) at par with army, navy and air force is misconceived as the very same status is not actually being granted to the personnel of Army, Navy and Air Force,” a bench of justices S Ravindra Bhat and Deepa Sharma was informed.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In an affidavit, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and other ministries said the word ‘martyr’ was not used in the three services and “no such order/notification has been issued by the MoD to call martyr, (those) who are killed during duty. Similarly, no such notification has been issued by Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) for the CAPF and Assam Rifle (AR) personnel.” The government’s response came on a PIL by advocates Abhishek Choudhary and Harsh Ahuja to grant equal status to paramilitary and police forces like the armed forces in granting ‘martyr’ status to the deceased personnel.The response was sought after the government informed the court that it had no such scheme, as sought in the PIL. The government said that “in army/navy/air force, the nomenclature for the word ‘martyr’ is battle casuality and physical casuality. The word ‘martyr’ is not used in the three services.” “Therefore, the prayer of the petitioner that the status of ‘martyr’ or ‘shaheed’ be given to the deceased Paramilitary Armed Forces personnel at par with army, navy and air force is misconceived and unfounded. It is denied CAPF personnel are being deprived of the honour they deserve,” the MHA, MoD and Department of Personnel and Training and Ministry have said in the affidavit filed jointly by them.

Black Diwali? Reject govt’s OROP notification, wish to return medals, say section of veterans

This is “One Rank Five Pension” and not “One Rank One Pension,” Colonel Satbir Singh said.
Bir Bahadur
File Photo
After the government issued notification for implementation of the One Rank One Pension scheme a section of protesting veterans said that they have rejected it. “This is injustice to the soldiers, we’ll fight with the government in court. This notification is not accepted. This is “One Rank Five Pension” and not “One Rank One Pension,” Major Gen(Retd) Satbir Singh said. Some even said that the government may go ahead with the threat of returning their medals. “The desire to return medals will continue because this is more or less unacceptable,” Major Gen.(Retd) PK Sehgel.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>However, others were glad to know about the implementation notification but said that they would wait for the details. “We’re happy but till we receive entire details, we can’t say anything,” Colonel Kapoor on government issues OROP notification.Bharatiya Janata Party National General Secretary Ram Madhav on Saturday confirmed that notification regarding One Rank, One Pension have been issued after addressing most of the contentious issue. “OROP notification issued. I am told that the most contentious issue of VRS has been removed thus addressing the major concerns of d veterans,” tweeted Ram Madhav on Saturday evening.”The wait is over. OROP notification issued,” confirmed Sitanshu Kar, Ministry of Defence (MoD) Principal Spokesperson. In a series of tweets, Kar stated: “Pension of past pensioners would be re-fixed on the basis of pension of retirees of 2013 and the benefit will be from 1 July 2014. Pension will be re-fixed as per average of min and max pension of personnel retired in 2013 in same rank & same length of service. Pension for those drawing above the average shall be protected. Arrears will be paid in four equal half yearly instalments. All family pensioners including those getting Special/Liberalized family pension & Gallantry award winners to get arrears in one instalment. In future, the pension would be re-fixed every 5 years.””Personnel who opted to get discharged, now on, on their request will not get benefits of OROP. It will be effective prospectively. Govt. will appoint a Judicial Committee to look into anomalies and submit its report in six months. The ex-servicemen on Friday had announced that they would intensify their demand for early implementation of the OROP scheme as per the ‘approved and accepted’ definition. They had also threatened to return their medals, and would observe a ‘black Diwali’ on November 11.Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, however, had assured that the OROP scheme would be implemented before Diwali. “As you know it will happen before Diwali,” Parrikar told reporters on Friday. With agency inputs

Interview call letter for IBPS RRB 2015 released! Check – www.ibps.in

To download the letter in Hindi or English language, candidates will have to fill registration number or roll number, date of birth and password.

The Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) has released the Interview call letter for recruitment of officers and office assistants in Regional Rural Banks (RRB).The IBPS RRB Interview call letter for officer & office Assistant posts is now available at the official website of IBPS.Candidates can download the letters from the following links provided on www.ibps.in/cwe-rrb-ivTo download the letter in Hindi or English language, candidates will have to fill registration number or roll number, date of birth and password.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Following are the links for different postsInterview Call letter for CWC-IV for recruitment of Officer Scale 1: ibps.sifyitest.com/rrbos1jun15/clint_oct15/login.php?appid=2e85027c832ef2045483eb611f5fee5fInterview Call letter for CWC-IV for recruitment of Officer Scale II: ibps.sifyitest.com/rrbros2jun15/clinta_oct15/login.php?appid=9d35a2084070b64d2f5a949360e47938Interview Call letter for CWC-IV for recruitment of Officer Scale III: ibps.sifyitest.com/rrbros2jun15/clintb_oct15/login.php?appid=a59255558eee7c73c500108393808f56Interview Call letter for CWC-IV for recruitment of Office Assistant (multipurpose): ibps.sifyitest.com/rrboajun15/clint_oct15/login.php?appid=fbcce0bc5e50103c459820eb7a4bc5caIBPS RRB exam is recognised as an important examination for the candidates wanting to make their career in the banking sector. Nearly 56 regional rural banks will be using the CWE for the recruitment of Group A officers and Group B Office Assistants.

PMO postpones meeting to decide no interviews for non-gazetted posts

The PMO was scheduled to have meeting of chief secretaries of all states on Friday to bring state governments in sync with PM’s decision to not to take interviews of candidates appearing for non-gazetted posts.

Facing flak from the opposition parties for inducing people in the midst of Bihar elections, the Modi government has postponed the process to abolish interviews for lower posts till Bihar polls are over.The PMO was scheduled to have meeting of chief secretaries of all states on Friday to bring state governments in sync with PM’s decision to not to take interviews of candidates appearing for non-gazetted posts.According to sources the government has cited ‘Unavoidable Administrative Reasons’ to postpone the meeting which will now be held on November 16, by when both Bihar polls and Diwali holidays will be over.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Chief Secretaries of all the states were conveyed on October 27 that scheduled workshop has been postponed. Centre wants to rope in states for the Modi government move to make the initiative a huge success,” sources said.Announcing the decision not to take any interviews for group B and C posts that fall in non-gazetted category, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his radio broadcast Mann Ki Baat on October 25 had said that his government will implement the decision from January 1, 2016 and the process for the same has been initiated.Asserting that he wants to end the practice of interviews as it bred corruption and the poor people were being looted by dalals, Modi in his radio broadcast said, “The government has completed the entire process to do away with interviews for lower rank jobs. There will be no requirement of interview for Group D,C and B non-gazatted posts in central government. It will come into effect from January 1, 2016.”Though PM steered clear from mentioning anything related to Bihar elections as directed by the Election Commission, taking an exception to the announcement, the opposition parties – JD (U), RJD and Congress – approached the election commission claiming that it falls within the definition of inducement and thus violated the model code of conduct.While the election commission has not commented on the issue so far, according to sources, it has spoken to the government about the opposition parties’ view, prompting the PMO to halt the process of calling the chief secretaries of states to discuss the issue.The process of calling state chief secretaries as stakeholders will now begin after Diwali by which time the election would also be over, a senior government official said.Recently, Minister for Personnel Jitendra Singh had written a letter to all Chief Ministers asking them to identify such posts which could be exempted from interviews.

No need for interview for Group D,C,B posts in government from January: PM Modi

“The government has completed the entire process to do away with interviews for lower rank jobs. There will be no requirement of interview for Group D,C and B non-gazatted posts in central government. It will come into effect from January 1, 2016,” Modi said.

From January 1 next year, there will be no requirement of interview for Group D,C and B non-gazatted posts in central government, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced today as part of efforts to put an end to the menace of corruption in jobs.In his monthly radio programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’, he recalled that he had suggested in his Independence Day address that the practice of holding interviews for recruitment at lower levels in governments could be done away with.”The government has completed the entire process to do away with interviews for lower rank jobs. There will be no requirement of interview for Group D,C and B non-gazatted posts in central government. It will come into effect from January 1, 2016,” Modi said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He said the practice was being abolished since it bred corruption and the poor people were being looted by ‘dalals’.”People were getting robbed for getting employment and even when they could not get a job. It often crossed my mind as to why there was the need for an interview for small jobs.I have never heard of a physcologist who can evaluate a person during an interview of one to two minutes,” Modi said.He said abolition of the practice will particularly help the poor who would have to resort to “recommendations” or fall prey to brokers who made way with their money.In his Independence Day speech, Modi had said he had seen youth often looking for ‘sifarish’ (recommendation) after getting an interview call. “Even poor widows are compelled to look for recommendations for interview of their children,” he had said then.Recently, Minister for Personnel Jitendra Singh had written a letter to all Chief Ministers asking them to identify such posts which could be exempted from interviews.”The governments view is that the interviews should be discontinued for recruitment to junior level posts where personality or skill assessment is not absolutely required.”The objective behind abolition of interviews for such posts is that it will curb corruption, ensure more objective selection in a transparent manner and substantially ease the problems of the poor and resourceless aspirants,” he had said in his communication to the CMs.

IBPS CWE RRB IV Score Card 2015 Available for Download; check www.ibps.in

Score cards for the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection​ (IBPS) CWE RRB IV are now available for download.

Score cards for the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection​ (IBPS) CWE RRB IV are now available for download.IBPS had on October 13, declared the results for Regional Rural Banks​ (RRB) CWE –IV on its website.Candidates who had been waiting can check the score card on the official website http://www.ibps.in Applicants who will score marks over and above the cut off will be only called for further rounds of selection by the bank.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>IBPS RRB exam is recognised as an important examination for the candidates wanting to make their career in the banking sector. Nearly 56 regional rural banks will be using the CWE for the recruitment of Group A officers and Group B Office Assistants.IBPS conducts a CWE to recruit Officers / Office Assistants for RRBs in the month of September/October in every year. Steps to download IBPS RRB CWE-IV Officers Scale- 1,2,3 and Office Assistants (Multipurpose) Score Card 2015:Visit the official website www.ibps.in Click on CWE RRBs and Click on link ‘Common Written Examination-Regional Rural Banks Phase IV’Find relevant link of IBPS RRB CWE-IV score card downloadEnter the registration number and date of birth. Click on submit The results will be displayed. Save it for further reference.

Vijay Kumar Malhotra set to be AICS chief, archery body to benefit

According to sources, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has approved Malhotra’s name as AICS chief on the condition that he would resign as president of the suspended Archery Association of India (AAI).

Former Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president and veteran BJP leader Vijay Kumar Malhotra is likely to be appointed as chairman of the defunct All India Council of Sports (AICS), which is set to be revived.According to sources, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has approved Malhotra’s name as AICS chief on the condition that he would resign as president of the suspended Archery Association of India (AAI).Malhotra’s appointment will pave the way for AAI’s return as the sports ministry had, in December 2012, suspended the Malhotra-led body after it violated the age and tenure restrictions prescribed in the Sports Code. Malhotra has served more than three consecutive terms as AAI president and is above 70 years.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It is learnt that Malhotra has already forwarded his resignation to AAI’s executive committee. The committee has not yet accepted it as it is waiting for the formal announcement of Malhotra’s name for AICS by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT).Malhotra neither confirmed nor denied the development.”The government has already issued a gazette notification to constitute the AICS. The body would soon become functional. I can’t say much on this topic as I am yet to hear from the PMO,” Malhotra said.Malhotra was AICS chairman during NDA’s regime in 2003 with a Cabinet rank. The AICS became dysfunctional after the fall of the BJP-led government at the centre.This time, Malhotra has to make do with the state minister’s rank since sports minister Sarbananda Sonowal is of the same portfolio with independent charge.The AICS will include four Members of Parliament, sports personalities, coaches, experts, administrators, director generals of Sports Authority of India and National Anti-Doping Agency. It will also comprise the vice chancellor of Lakshmibai National University of Physical Education, officials of sports ministry, representatives from National Sports Federations, IOA, corporate bodies and NGOs.”There AICS will be an advisory body to the ministry and it will work for the promotion and development of sports in the country,” an official said.

dna Must Read: Updates on Hajj stampede, Indonesia plane missing and more

Here are 5 top stories on dnaindia.com at 6pm.

The following quick read will take you through stories that are making news right now. ​1) Iran declares 465 dead in Hajj stampede The death toll in the Saudi hajj disaster rose sharply as Iran announced 465 of its pilgrims died in last week’s stampede and crush, nearly doubling its earlier count and likely further straining relations between the two Mideast rivals. Read our full report here: Death toll rises sharply with Iran declaring 465 deceased<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>2) Indonesia’s Aviastar airline loses contact with small passenger aircraftIndonesia’s Aviastar airline said on Friday contact had been lost with a Twin Otter small passenger aircraft travelling between Masamba and Makassar on the island of Sulawesi.​ Read it here. 3) Lal Bahadur Shastri’s family furious after PM Modi misses floral tribute The grandson of former prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri, on Friday asked why Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not offer floral tribute at Vijay Ghat on the occasion of his grandfather’s 111th birth anniversary. To read the full story here. 4) British teenager gets life sentence for inciting Anzac Day attack in AustraliaA 15-year-old boy, thought to be the youngest Briton to be convicted of a terrorism offence, was given a life sentence on Friday for inciting an attack on a World War One commemorative event in Australia from his bedroom in northern England. Read it here. 5) Indian, Chinese troops hold meet on Arunachal borderA ceremonial Border Personnel Meeting (BPM) between India and China was held near Bumla in Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh on the occasion of Chinese National Day, weeks after a face-off between the two along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh.​ Read the full report here.

Indian, Chinese troops hold meet on Arunachal border

The proceedings reflected a mutual desire of maintaining and improving relations at the border

A ceremonial Border Personnel Meeting (BPM) between India and China was held near Bumla in Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh on the occasion of Chinese National Day, weeks after a face-off between the two along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh.The Indian delegation was led by Brigadier D S Kushwah, Commander of Tawang Brigade while Colonel Tang Fu Cheng, Commander of Tsona Dzong Garrison represented the Chinese delegation, a defence communique informed in Itanagar on Saturday. The meeting was marked by unfurling the national flags of India and China, followed by ceremonial address by both the delegation leaders. Thereafter a function showcasing vibrant cultures took place, the statement said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The proceedings reflected a mutual desire of maintaining and improving relations at the border. Both delegations interacted with each other in a congenial and cordial environment. The delegations parted amidst feelings of bonhomie and commitment towards enhancing the existing cordial relations and maintaining peace along the LAC.Both sides also sought to build on the mutual feeling for upholding the treaties and agreements signed between the governments of the two sides to maintain peace and tranquility along the LAC, the communique added.A similar exchange of pleasantries between the two countries was yesterday held at the Chinese Border Personnel Meeting huts at Chushul and Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO) in eastern Ladakh to mark the 67 Anniversary of Chinese National Day.The BPM, on the occasion of Chinese National Day on October 1, is conducted every year by Chinese troops with great enthusiasm, the communique said.

Bureaucrats and experts hope PM Narendra Modi’s US visit brings ‘acche din’ for e-governance

A senior official in the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) involved in the programme believes that conventional colonial administrative structure, not geared up to maintain, store and retrieve information electronically was the main reason for the project failing to take-off.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s one-week trip to the United States which was focused to seek a digital seat for India, has soared hopes within the government as well as in the IT industry. They now foresee a holistic focus and ‘ache din” for e-governance, which has so far failed to take-off, despite spending hefty sums on training of babus. Modi during his interactions at the Silicon Valley reiterated the need for electronic governance to accentuate prospects of developments. Despite the concept of e-governance being launched in mid-90s, the paperless governance in India is still a mirage. Government sources here said after spending a sum of Rs 313 crore on imparting training on e-governance skills to officers over past eight years, the results have been scanty and even an internal survey had suggested that 75% of these trained babus were still not atoned to electronic governance skills.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A senior official in the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) involved in the programme believes that conventional colonial administrative structure, not geared up to maintain, store and retrieve information electronically was the main reason for the project failing to take-off. To make an average district paperless, 2,300 subjects running into some 25,000 files with few lakh pages need to be classified and converted into electronic documents. But, more than than, officials as well as IT experts say, the mindset of middle level babus, who are designed to keep information and public at an arms’length, was the main enemy of electronic governance.Lack of personnel with appropriate skills is also key challenge while implementing e-governance projects. At present computers in government offices are largely used as word processors, undermining their purpose for data mining and supporting management decession. Vikas Kanungo, an e-governance consultant had found that in government offices time gap between the procurement of the hardware and development of the custom application was so large that by the time application is ready, the hardware becomes obsolete.A few years ago, the government has approved a Rs.450 core programme for training 20,000 officials on technology and management skills by 2017, required for e-governance rollout.The framework has defined 19 roles to take into account competencies related to professional skill set, knowledge, behaviour and training and certification. Though, it was approved in 2008, but after several extensions, the first phase ended only in January 2015 with limited success. The first phase had two major components. The recruitment of IT and management professionals from the market and their deputation to different states and the training programme for senior (joint secretary level and above), mid (director level) and junior (section officer, deputy secretary rank) officials.Though workshops for officers were conducted in 2010, many of them told dna , that the training didn’t cater to the actual expertise required for their work. Also they complained that they never had a platform where they could find answer to their queries. Whileas 60 per cent of joint secretary-level trained officials were working on e-governance projects, the percentage comes down to 50 per cent in case of mid-level or director level officials and goes further down to 30 per cent in case of junior officials. Officials at the DopT, however, take a solace that a paper-less office was possible, pointing out towards Sindhudurg district headquarters in Maharashtra, which has become India’s first e-Office But, they add that it was possible because 86.54 per cent of Sindhudurg’s total 8.5 lakh population was literate and helped in rolling out the project faster.The arm of e-governance National Informatics Centre (NIC) currently manages over 7,000 websites of various department and agencies of central and state governments, and some 20 lakh email accounts. Government sources say, while the agency provides IT solutions and support to ministries and departments, it has failed to catch up with mobile based technologies. Officials at the NIC said that in 2011 they had asked for recruitment of atleast 355 experts for the cyber security team. They also now pin hopes that Modi’s digital India programme will bring some cheers to their organisation. Such is deficienty in the staff, that they don’t have a single person to look after the certifying authority work, leave alone creating an anti-hacking crack force.

Vyapam case: Supreme Court rejects intervention of state investigating agencies

The Vyapam scam is an admission and recruitment scam involving politicians, senior officials and businessmen in Madhya Pradesh.

The Supreme Court on Friday rejected intervention of the state investigating agencies in the Vyapam scam case. ‘Ranjeet Kumar was representing the CBI and Mukul Rohtagi was present on behalf of Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) and the state of Madhya Pradesh,’said advocate Sumeer Sodhi.He also detailed about the three types of cases discussed in the court today. “The first type of cases is the ones in which acquittal and conviction had been done. Second being the ones in a pre-charge state. The third were the ones in which chargesheet had been filed,”he said. Sodhi said Rohtagi appealed to the apex court to deal with all cases differently and that the investigating agencies and prosecutors of Madhya Pradesh must be allowed to help the CBI in the case.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”However, the Supreme Court rejected the plea and said that all 72 cases which were without acquittal and charge sheet had to be investigated by the CBI only,”said Sodhi. “The CBI has been permitted to investigate under Section 173 (8) of the Criminal Procedure Code and can seek further permission for the same,” he added. The senior advocate further said Rohtagi has been asked to file report within a week detailing all the steps taken by him with respect to arranging the staff required by the CBI. This case will be next heard on October 9. The Vyapam scam is an admission and recruitment scam involving politicians, senior officials and businessmen in Madhya Pradesh.

Babri case: Decision to drop criminal conspiracy charge against BJP leaders ot due to influence, says SC

CBI has also challenged the dropping of conspiracy charges against the accused persons for demolition of the disputed medieval structure in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992.

CBI has also challenged the dropping of conspiracy charges against the accused persons for demolition of the disputed medieval structure in Ayodhya (File Photo)

CBI has told the Supreme Court that its decision-making was not influenced by anyone and the dropping of criminal conspiracy charge against senior BJP leaders LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and 16 others in the Babri Masjid demolition case was not at its instance. “The decision-making process of the CBI is completely independent. All decisions are taken based on correct facts in the light of the extant law. There is no question of any person, body or institution influencing the decision-making process of CBI or the manner in which it pursues its cases in courts,” the agency said in an affidavit.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Its submissions before the apex court came in response to a petition of Haji Mahboob Ahmad against a 2010 order of the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court dropping criminal conspiracy charge against the BJP-VHP leaders in the demolition case. Ahmad, in his plea, has also sought setting aside of the High Court’s order of May 20, 2010, dropping section 120B (criminal conspiracy) under the IPC. CBI has also challenged the dropping of conspiracy charges against the accused persons for demolition of the disputed medieval structure in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992.The investigating agency said its decision-making process was carried out strictly in accordance with the provisions of CBI Crime Manual and there was a “hierarchic” mechanism that allowed officers at each level to take decisions and make reasoned recommendations in an independent manner. “That a perusal of the relevant provisions of the Crime Manual … would show that nowhere are ministers involved in any decision-making process in respect of specific cases. That the governing Ministry of the CBI is the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, headed by its secretary. The Ministry deals with the broad administerial/ budgetary aspects of the CBI.”Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions is headed by a Minister of State (with independent charge) who reports to the Cabinet Minister for the Ministry, the Prime Minister. That the Ministry of Home Affairs does not play any role in the administrative or decision making aspects in any manner. That the allegations made by the petitioner are denied as they are wrong and incorrect,” the CBI affidavit said.
PTI

Private Secretary to PM Modi promoted to the rank of Joint Secretary

Singla was appointed as PS to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in July last year.
File Photo
AFP photo
Senior Indian Foreign Service officer Sanjeev Kumar Singla, who is Private Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office, was promoted to the rank of Joint Secretary on Monday.The Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC) has approved empanelment of Singla, a 1997 batch Indian Foreign Service (IFS), to hold the Joint Secretary level post at the Centre, an order issued by the Department of Personnel and Training said. The ACC also approved his appointment as PS in the PMO at the level of JS, it said.Singla was appointed as PS to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in July last year.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In another order, K VijayRaghavan has been given additional charge of Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences, in place of Shailesh Nayak who relinquished the charge today. VijayRaghavan is at present Secretary in the Department of Biotechnology.Also read: LC Goyal abruptly ends his tenure; Rajiv Mehrishi takes over as Union Home Secretary

Face action if you write your grievances to PM Modi: Govt employees warned

Writing to higher authorities, can rightly be treated as an unbecoming conduct, it said in a directive.
File Photo
Reuters
All central government employees, including officials of Army and para military forces, were warned of “action” on Monday if they raise service matters related grievances to the Prime Minister, directly. Warning employees, the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) said such submission of representations directly to other authorities by-passing the prescribed channel of communication, has to be viewed seriously and appropriate disciplinary action should be taken against those who violate these.As per these instructions, wherever a government servant wishes to press a claim or to seek redressal of a grievance, the proper course for him is to address his immediate official superior, or head of his office, or such other authority at the appropriate level who is competent to deal with the matter in the organisation. Writing to higher authorities, can rightly be treated as an unbecoming conduct, it said in a directive.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”In spite of these instructions, it has been observed that government servants including officers and officials of para military forces and Army personnel continue to represent directly to the Prime Minister, Minister, Secretary (Personnel) and other higher authorities, directly,” the DoPT said.It is reiterated that the existing instructions may be brought to the notice of all government servants including officials of para military forces and members of armed forces and “action taken against those who violate these instructions”, it said. The forms of communication also include e-mails or raising it through public grievances portal etc, the DoPT said.The DoPT has also reminded the employees of the government’s directive prohibiting them from bringing outside influence in respect of matter pertaining to his service matter. “Representation by relatives of government servant is also treated as outside influence,” it said. There are about 48 lakh central government employees.

Mention Aadhaar numbers on pensioners’ identity cards: Central govt instructs departments

Aadhaar is a 12 digit individual identification number issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India.

All pensioners would get a laminated identity card with their Aadhaar numbers mentioned on it, the Centre has said. The move comes after it was observed that various departments are either not issuing pensioners’ identity card to the retired employees or they are not in a prescribed format.The matter was reviewed by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions. “It has been decided that apart from the details already prescribed, the pensioner’s identity card should include the Aadhaar number of the pensioner (if available),” the Ministry said in a directive to all ministries and departments under it.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Aadhaar is a 12 digit individual identification number issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India.A revised format has also been issued for the pensioners identity card. “The pensioner’s identity card should be printed (and not hand written) on good quality paper. The identity card would be got laminated by the department or office (from where the employee has retired) before handing it over to pensioner,” it said.The pensioners’ identity card is issued by the department in which the employee last worked. There are about 50 lakh central government pensioners.The Ministry had earlier clarified that identity cards need not to have national emblem on them.”The identity card only establishes the identity of the person and it does not confer any right on the pensioner to enter into a security zone. Therefore, it would not be necessary to have the national emblem on their identity cards,” it had said.

IAS probationers to start their career from the national capital

The Minister said this latest decision by the Personnel Ministry will provide an opportunity to the new incoming Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers to be groomed at the Centre before they move over to their respective state of posting.

In a first, IAS probationers will start their career from Delhi instead of cadre states they have been allocated, Union Minister Jitendra Singh has said.”From this year onwards, the new IAS probationers will start their career with a three-month stint at the Centre before going to their respective state of posting as per the cadre allocation,” he said.The Minister said this latest decision by the Personnel Ministry will provide an opportunity to the new incoming Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers to be groomed at the Centre before they move over to their respective state of posting.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”This will not only help in enriching their perspective, but would also acquaint them with the functioning of the Union government and enable them to get themselves introduced to various functionaries and officials in the central government hierarchy which may also, later on, make it easier for them to discharge their responsibilities more effectively when they take up bureaucratic, administrative or field assignments in the state,” he said.Referring to another recent decision to revisit and revise the pattern and syllabus of the civil services Examination, Singh said a committee of experts is being constituted for the purpose under the auspices of Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), which conducts the test.”The objective is to provide a level-playing field to civil services aspirants from diverse backgrounds so that the selected candidates are most appropriately suited to the requirements of governance in contemporary India,”, he was quoted as saying in a press statement issued today by his office.Singh, Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, reiterated Prime Minister Narendra Modi s emphasis to provide maximum and easy governance in an atmosphere which enables the bureaucrats to perform their best.”The bureaucrats of 21st century will be the torch bearers of India’s ascent as a global power and also the executors of PM s Independence Day call for ‘start up India, stand up India’,” the Minister said. Singh was speaking at a felicitation function held here yesterday attended by Ira Singhal, Nidhi Gupta and Vandana Rao, Delhi girls who topped civil services examination, 2014.

Vyapam cases to rise, shortfall of CBI sleuths is looked: AG

“The problem that really arises is that the burden on the CBI is tremendous. The number of FIRs will rise and will not be limited to the present 185,” the Attorney General submitted before a bench headed by Chief Justice H L Dattu which asked him to tell on August 24 that “by what time CBI will take over the maximum cases for probe”.

Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi on Friday told the Supreme Court that the cases arising from Madhya Pradesh’s Vyapam scam will go up from present 185 and all efforts were being made by the Government to overcome the shortfall of CBI sleuths to take over the investigation.”The problem that really arises is that the burden on the CBI is tremendous. The number of FIRs will rise and will not be limited to the present 185,” the Attorney General submitted before a bench headed by Chief Justice H L Dattu which asked him to tell on August 24 that “by what time CBI will take over the maximum cases for probe”. “You tell the earliest date,” the bench, also comprising Justices Arun Mishra and Amitava Roy, asked him when he was explaining the difficulty faced by the CBI due to shortage of officials in taking over the cases.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rohatgi wanted 10 weeks to answer the queries of the bench but he was asked to respond by next date of hearing. He said though CBI has its own cadre, 50 per cent of the personnel with the agency are deputationists and now there has been a decrease in deputationists also. “To solve this problem we will increase the strength of the CBI through the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT),” he said while explaining that there are certain grade of officials in the agency who are only entrusted with the job of investigation.The Attorney General said a request would be made to West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh where CBI sleuths are involved in investigating Saradha and Vyapam scams respectively to send 200 state cadre officials on deputation with the agency to be engaged in probing other cases. “CBI cadre is very limited,” he said and assured the bench that steps are being taken to overcome the vacancies.The apex court had on July 31 told CBI to inform it in three weeks about taking over of investigation of maximum number of cases out of 185 arising from the Vyapam scam. The apex court also asked DoPT to inform it about filling of necessary vacancies in the CBI as the agency has complained that shortage of man power was coming in the way of probe. It had sought AG’s assistance of on the issue of filling of vacancies in the CBI. PTI SJK RKS

Amitabh Thakur’s plea for CBI probe into rape charges against him sent to DoPT

The Inspector-General rank officer had met Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs Anant Kumar Singh in New Delhi on July 13 and had sought a CBI probe into the rape case slapped against him.
File Photo
Image Courtesy: ANI Twitter
Suspended IPS officer Amitabh Thakur’s plea for a CBI probe into the rape allegations against him has been referred to DoPT by the Union Home Ministry.According to his wife Nutan Thakur, an RTI activist, the MHA in a letter dated July 16 sent to Thakur stated that his “request was a subject matter pertaining to Department of Personnel and Training, which was CBI’s administrative authority, hence, DoPT is requested to take action as deemed appropriate.” The contents of the letter were released to the media here by Nutan.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Inspector-General rank officer had met Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs Anant Kumar Singh in New Delhi on July 13 and had sought a CBI probe into the rape case slapped against him.The IPS officer has alleged that ever since his wife’s Lokayukta complaint against state Mines Minister Gayatri Prasad Prajapati, they were facing all kinds of charges including “false” rape case and threat by Mulayam Singh Yadav on July 10.Thakur was suspended on July 13 by the Uttar Pradesh government, hours after he had approached the Union Home Ministry in New Delhi. The official was served a 200-page charge sheet and a vigilance inquiry has also been initiated against him.Thakur stirred a political row by releasing the text and audio of the conversation purportedly carrying Mulayam’s voice.

Top official quits after massive hack of US government database

Outrage has been growing in Washington and among federal workers over the breach, an incident which puts officials in a quandary over dealing with China, the main suspect in the attack. Beijing insists it had nothing to do with the hack.

File Photo

The director of the US Office of Personnel Management resigned today after a devastating hack of government databases that saw the personal information of millions of federal workers and contractors stolen.Katherine Archuleta had come under criticism after revelations that the hack, which many suspect originated in China, affected a staggering 21.5 million people, far more than initially believed.The data breach swept up Social Security numbers and other information about current and former government workers, applicants, contractors and spouses of those who underwent background checks for security clearances.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”I conveyed to the president that I believe it is best for me to step aside and allow new leadership to step in, enabling the agency to move beyond the current challenges,” said Archuleta, who had been in the post since November 2013. A White House official said President Barack Obama had “accepted her resignation and thanked her for her years of dedicated service.” Beth Cobert will from Saturday assume the role of acting OPM director, the official said.Outrage has been growing in Washington and among federal workers over the breach, an incident which puts officials in a quandary over dealing with China, the main suspect in the attack. Beijing insists it had nothing to do with the hack.Democratic US Senator Barbara Mikulski called the hack “as outrageous and unacceptable as it is devastating.” “This erodes confidence going forward that the federal government will be able to protect federal employees,” she said.The results of an investigation released Thursday show hackers accessed personal, financial and health data, in addition to fingerprints of some and information about spouses and cohabitants of employees.The National Treasury Employees Union, which has sued over the breach, said the government’s offer of three years of fraud monitoring was woefully inadequate.The union “continues to be outraged that so many of our members have had their personal information compromised due to these breaches,” union president Colleen Kelley said. “We will continue to pursue our lawsuit to provide lifetime credit monitoring and identity theft protection.”

Meet 2014 UPSC topper Ira Singhal, who was denied a posting due to her disability

The 2014 UPSC results have been just declared and women candidates have bagged all the three top slots in the prestigious examination to select IAS and IPS officers among others.

What comes as a even bigger surprise is that the examination was topped by Delhi’s Ira Singhal, the first differently abled to achieve that feat in the general category.

Delhi's Ira Singhal is the first differently-abled to top the UPSC examination

Delhi’s Ira Singhal is the first differently-abled to top the UPSC examination. Courtesy: Facebook

“I want to be an IAS officer. I want to do something for the benefit of physically-handicapped people,” said an elated Singhal.

Suffering from a spine-related disorder, Scoliosis, which disrupts her arm movement, Singhal refuses to let her disability bog her down.

While, the whole world is taking about this young woman’s courage and perseverance, here’s an all you need to know about Singhal-

1)This is 31-year old Ira Singhal’s fourth attempt at the examination. She is currently posted as an Assistant Commissioner in the Customs & Excise department of the Indian Revenue Services.

2) In 2010 too, she had cleared the examination but was refused a posting because of her disability, with authorities citing her ” inability to push, pull and lift’ as a reason. Not one to let things take their own course, she not only moved the the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) with her case but also won it and was inducted in 2014.

“It was a big disappointment, a major setback then. But I decided to fight back. It was tough initially as I had to undergo tests, submit medical certificates and prove that I am capable of doing jobs entrusted to me in the IRS. For two years, it was tough but then everyone realised that I am capable of working in spite of the disabilities. They realised I am no pushover,” Ira told Indian Express recalling the 2010 episode.

3) Explaining her condition, her father Rajendra Singhal told HuffPost India that as she cannot fully twist her arms due to some trouble with her spinal cord and because of her short height (she is just four feet five inches), the authorities refused to give her a posting. Meanwhile, she also gave the examination twice after that to ‘improve her rank’. Her proud father, however is not confident that things will be any different. “I hope she is given a proper posting, this time” he said.

4)Ira Singhal has also taught Spanish for a year, has been a manager in Cadbury India and holds an MBA from Delhi University’s Faculty of Management Studies (FMS) and a B.E. in computer engineering from Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology (NSIT), reports The Hindu. An avid football aficionado, Singhal is an FC Barcelona fan.

5) The biggest irony is that on physical and medical grounds, Ira is ineligible to be an Indian Revenue Services Officer, a clerk or a sweeper.

But, she didn’t give up. she battled discrimination, was wronged and conquered disability to eventually top the country’s most prestigious examination.

And, while the phone started ringing continuously after the news of her result broke, the most special call was undoubtedly from that of a top official of the Department of Personnel and Training, who in 2010 had denied her posting, reported Hindustan Times.

Parties welcome proposal to hold Lok Sabha, Assembly polls together in future

Chairman of the Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice E M Sudarsana Natchiappan said that India as a democracy has become mature enough to hold simultaneous Lok Sabha and assembly elections.

A majority of political parties have welcomed a proposed electoral reform to hold simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and state assemblies, a top official said in Mumbai on Thursday. Chairman of the Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice E M Sudarsana Natchiappan said that India as a democracy has become mature enough to hold simultaneous Lok Sabha and assembly elections. “However, this is possible only after after 15 to 20 years,” Natchiappan said here.He said that the Election Commission of India (ECI) has mooted the proposal as part of electoral reforms so that people have the right to elect a government within a stipulated period. “Until 1967, the first four Lok Sabha and assembly elections were held simultaneously. After 1967, assembly elections were postponed due to imposition of president’s rule and the era of coalition governments began,” he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He said that during the last 15 years all three Lok Sabhas lasted their full five-year terms. Natchiappan stated that currently assembly elections to Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Odisha are held simultaneously along with Lok Sabha elections.Replying to a query, he said that elections to state assemblies whose terms would expire six months before Lok Sabha elections could be held along with Lok Sabha polls. “With the Bommai case, the Supreme Court of India has settled the question of imposition of President’s Rule in a state. Besides, the Anti-Defection Law prevents elected representatives from crossing the floor and it has brought stability to elected bodies,” Natchiappan said.

Can’t frame rules for transgenders: UPSC tells Delhi High Court

UPSC on Wednesday told the Delhi High Court that it cannot include transgenders as a third gender for applying for civil services exam as the category was not yet clearly defined by the Supreme Court.The central government’s Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) told a bench of Justices Mukta Gupta and P S Teji that once the apex court clarifies the issue, then it can frame rules for the benefit of transgenders, which includes providing reservation for them.The Centre submitted that it has moved the apex court seeking clarification on various issues, including the definition of transgenders as well as who would certify them as a third gender.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The submissions were made by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) and DoPT in their affidavits filed before the bench which said it would hear the matter after the apex court takes up the Centre’s application for clarification.The PIL, which has sought quashing of UPSC’s notice for CSP examination to the extent of the gender or sex eligibility criteria it has laid down for the test, has now been listed for hearing on July 27.The petition has contended that lack of the third gender option has resulted in transgenders not being able to apply for examination which is scheduled to be held on August 23.During the hearing, the court told the petitioner lawyer, Jamshed Ansari, that there is no definition of transgenders in the medical dictionary, nor are there any identifying features and the apex court had not said who would be the certifying authority, which is why there is “difficulty” in implementing the Supreme Court’s judgement.UPSC, represented by senior advocate A S Chandhiok, said that as per apex court verdict of April 15, 2014, transgenders also include bisexuals, gays and lesbians.DoPT, represented by advocate Navin Chawla and assisted by advocate Kritika Mehra, said it has filed the application for clarification which is expected to be heard after the court vacation.Meanwhile, Ansari argued that transgender community only comprises hijras, eunuchs, Kothis, Aravanis, Jogappas, Shiv- Shakthis etc. and “they, as a group, have a strong historical presence in our country in the Hindu mythology and other religious texts”.The PIL has also sought addition or inclusion of transgenders as an eligibility criteria or gender option in the online application forms for the exam.The petition has said that if the plea was allowed, “it would benefit the transgender community who are socially excluded from public employment and are suffering from social backwardness in the society”.It has also said that the apex court had directed the Centre and state governments to “take steps to treat transgender community as socially and educationally backward classes of citizens and extend all kinds of reservation in cases of admission in educational institutions and for public appointments”.

Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force (ITBP) undergoes yoga training ahead of International Yoga Day

Instructor Major Subedar Shivswarup Sahu said, “Yoga is part of our routine. We practice yoga once in a week. The day allotted for it is Friday. Though we do activities like jogging every day, officially only one day is allotted for yoga.”

Personnel of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force (ITBP) are undergoing training in yoga ahead of the International Yoga Day, which will be observed on June 21.Its unit in Kanpur has come up with a yoga training programme in tandem with the Centre’s drive to promote yoga ahead of the International Yoga Day.Instructor Major Subedar Shivswarup Sahu said, “Yoga is part of our routine. We practice yoga once in a week. The day allotted for it is Friday. Though we do activities like jogging every day, officially only one day is allotted for yoga.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”It improves physical fitness and improves the health. The most important aspect is that we do not have to depend on medicines,” he added.On December 11 last year, the United Nations declared that June 21 will be International Day of Yoga, adopting a measure proposed by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi who said yoga lets people “discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature.”The AYUSH (Department of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy) ministry, which promotes yoga, has planned to set a world record for the largest yoga class and most nationalities participating in yoga lessons on June 21.

Centre plans to rope in staff to make International Yoga Day a grand success

The central government employees may be asked to join the Rajpath event or other such programmes in their respective offices here and elsewhere in the country. However, their participation will not be mandatory, officials said.

The Centre is considering involving its employees in the International Yoga Day celebrations on June 21, a Sunday, to make the event a grand success.The employees may be asked to be part of the celebrations on the Rajpath in the national capital, senior government officials said, adding the exact nature of their involvement will soon be worked out.Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to lead the Yoga Day celebrations here which will be attended by about 40,000 people, they said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The central government employees may be asked to join the Rajpath event or other such programmes in their respective offices here and elsewhere in the country. However, their participation will not be mandatory, officials said.There are about 48 lakh central government employees in the country.The Personnel Ministry has been conducting Yoga classes for central government employees and their dependents here over the last two months.The sessions are being held on all days except Sundays and gazetted holidays at Grih Kalyan Kendra, Samaj Sadan in association with Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga.Modi had in his address to the UN General Assembly last year appealed to the international community to choose a day that could be observed as International Yoga Day. Following Modi’s strong pitch, the UN declared June 21 as International Yoga Day.The government is contemplating to organise the Rajpath event on such a scale that it makes it to the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest number of people performing asanas at a time. The 35 minute event will get underway at 7 AM, sources said.The International Yoga Day will be observed in over 250 cities in 190 countries and Indian missions have been asked to make arrangements for that.External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy) Minister Shripad Yesso Naik are scheduled to address the media on Tuesday when they will talk about the plans and preparations for the day. They are also likely to launch a special portal on the event.

Babus can be assessed on past performances; Centre tweaks rule

“Sometimes, it is the assessees who do not submit their self appraisals in time and sometimes the delay is due to reporting, reviewing or accepting authorities not adhering to the time-lines. Often cases of undated appraisal or comments are noticed and possibility of back dating can also not be ruled out,” the Department of Personnel and Training said in an order.

Delayed submission of employees confidential report will not be a hindrance for promotion and they will be assessed on the basis of overall record and self-assessment of the year, the Centre has said.The Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC) while considering a proposal for appointment of Chairman-cum- Managing Director (CMD) in a public sector undertaking has observed that non-adherence to stipulated time lines in finalising Annual Performance Appraisal Reports (APARs) is a recurrent problem in all sectors of the government.”Sometimes, it is the assessees who do not submit their self appraisals in time and sometimes the delay is due to reporting, reviewing or accepting authorities not adhering to the time-lines. Often cases of undated appraisal or comments are noticed and possibility of back dating can also not be ruled out,” the Department of Personnel and Training said in an order.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The ACC has directed the Department of Public Enterprise (for Central Public Sector Enterprises), Department of Financial Services (for public sector banks, financial institutions and insurance companies) and all cadre controlling authorities (for Central Civil Services in respect of cadres controlled by them) to change rules in this regard and add a new provision.”If an APAR for a financial year is not recorded by December 31, of the year in which the financial year ended, no remarks may be recorded thereafter and the officer may be assessed on the basis of the overall record and self assessment for the year, if he has submitted his self assessment in time,” as per the new rule.It is suggested that the DPE, DFS and other cadre controlling authorities may also introduce online filing of APAR, the DoPT said, citing ACC’s direction.The DoPT has asked all cadre controlling authorities to comply with the new provisions and send an action taken report to it in this regard.

Parliament panel slams Modi govt for not implementing Lokpal

New Delhi: A Parliamentary panel has slammed the government over non-implementation of Lokpal and Whistleblowers Protection Act and asked it to take necessary action for their quick operationalisation.

“The Committee expresses its strong displeasure over non-implementation of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 and the Whistleblowers’ Protection Act,” Parliamentary Standing Committee on personnel, public grievances, law and justice said in its report tabled in Parliament on Tuesday.

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

It is “unfortunate” that the Ministry of Personnel has not taken any steps to amend the Whistleblowers Protection Act. “The Committee recommends that the Ministry should take necessary action for quick operationalisation of both the Acts,” said the panel, headed by Congress MP E M Sudarsana Natchiappan, report.

The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, which provides for establishment of a Lokpal for the Union and Lokayuktas for the states to inquire into corruption charges against public functionaries, came into force from 1 January, last year.

The Centre had recommended certain changes in its through an amendment Bill which was introduced in Lok Sabha on 8 December. The Bill is presently under examination of the same committee (Natchiappan).

The Whistleblowers Protection Act, 2011, which provides a mechanism for protecting the identity of whistleblowers– a term given to people who expose corruption–became a law in May last year.

The Whistleblowers’ Act has not been implemented yet as the government is working on some of its provisions with a view to strengthening the safeguards against disclosures which may prejudicially affect the sovereignty, integrity of the country and security of the state.

The panel has also asked government to check acute staff crunch in the CBI fearing the vacancy may “adversely impact” the quality of investigation done by the agency.

The Parliamentary panel, in its report on Demands for Grants (2015-16) of the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, said, “On the one hand, the number of investigations being entrusted to CBI is rising but on the other hand, there is an acute staff crunch.

“The Committee fears that if this situation persists for a long time, this may adversely impact the quality of investigation of CBI,” it said asking the government to take “all possible steps to ensure prompt filling of vacancies in CBI”.

There was a vacancy of 1,000 personnel in CBI, as against its sanctioned strength of 6,676, as on January 1, 2015.

The Committee also noted with concern that funds have not been provided to CBI to liquidate its committed liabilities.

“It is not proper for a government organisation not to discharge its committed liabilities and therefore the Committee recommends that Rs 50 crore be allocated to CBI,” the report said.

The CBI during its deposition before the Committee had said that in spite of growing number of investigation being entrusted to it, the non-plan expenditure has not increased accordingly. The CBI has been allocated Rs 480.32 crore for 2015-16.

It was brought to the notice of the Committee that as of February 28, 2015, the agency has accumulated committee liabilities of Rs 52.81 crore. It cited liabilities on account of increase in domestic and foreign travel expenditure and pending liabilities to railways, among others.

The panel also took note of the agency’s modernisation plans that included proposals to set up a centralised technology vertical to provide real time support to investigators, and an international centre for excellence in investigation.

“The Committee takes note of the initiative taken by the CBI and in view of the diverse nature of cases being handled by the organisation is of the view that there should be no compromise on their plans for modernisation,” it said.

PTI

Judicial supervision of corruption cases affecting decision making: Jaitley

New Delhi: The decision-making process in the government is getting hindered because of judicial supervision of corruption cases which puts pressure on investigators to make a case, creating fear among officials that a genuine error in decisions may come under scrutiny, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Monday.

Delivering the 16th DP Kohli annual lecture, organised by CBI in memory of its founder Director, Jaitley said judiciary and CBI are two institutions which cannot afford to be imperfect.

Arun Jaitley. PTIArun Jaitley. PTI

Arun Jaitley. PTI

The Finance Minister, also an eminent lawyer, said earlier the concept was investigation is a police function and courts don’t interfere in investigation.

“Today courts supervise investigation. The question of courts supervising investigation puts the investigator on the defensive. He then follows the golden rule that if I give a report that the accused is prima facie not guilty, questions are going to be raised on me and therefore I must somehow make a case and if the accused has good luck then he gets a fair trial,” he said.

Jaitley said the “overkill” started with imperfections in the system as the judiciary felt that may be in some instances cases are not being investigated properly.

The Minister said once the judiciary became the supervisor of the probe, the investigators were left with little options, his discretions got squeezed. And then what was to be a rare exception became a pattern.

“This process has actually hindered the whole process of economic decision-making,” the Minister said, adding that his experience is bureaucrats are now “passing the parcel” rather than taking the decisions themselves.

“…Concerned departments are reluctant to even enter in honest compromises because five years and ten years later they may be hauled up because of these vague phrases in the 1988 PC Act, the golden rule that your investigators follow and this new institution raking the privy council dicta that investigations must also be supervised by the courts,” he said.

Jaitley said judicial superivisors also have an interest in ensuring that cases that they are handling eventually get established.

The Minister said in this pattern investigating agencies’ lost out the fine distinction, which they must know, among investigating, prosecuting and persecuting”.

Emphasising that an investigating agency’s responsibility is huge and its discretion is also very large, Jaitley said the agency has to prevent itself from the temptation to persecute.

“It has to have that sixth sense of balance…the art of extracting the truth. Nobody is expected to be perfect but there are two institutions which, we cannot afford, to be imperfect–one is judiciary and other is Central Bureau of Investigation,” he said.

The Minister said when should an investigation be stopped is a fine balance he (investigator) has to maintain.

“That was the core strength of the agencies. And I think that balance was lost out in these extra mechanisms that were created,” the Minister said.

The Minister said Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, which was conceived before liberalisation has failed the test of differentiating between genuine error in the decision-making process and an act of corruption.

“When economic activity is being enlarged in the country then in any economic activity and decision-making there will always be new areas to chart out and quick decisions to be made. Can that decision-making be there when every decision maker is always on the defensive, cautious of what will eventually happen if a decision taken is wrong,” he said.

The Minister said,”Does the 1988 Act therefore adequately distinguish between an act of corruption and an act where a decision maker makes an honest error”.

Jaitley said there are vague terms in the PC Act capable of more than one construction which give to an investigator an opportunity to interpret it either way.

Jaitley said only “decisions actuated by corrupt motives” really deserves to be criminally dealt with and not the other categories of “honest error” by bureaucrats.

“If the other categories are criminally dealt with, it will be a deterrent for expeditious and honest economic decision…the environment of suspicion with regard to decision-making has to end,” he said.

Jaitley said the global best practices and kind of bribery laws that are internationally followed must be taken into consideration while bringing changes in the law. A bill to amend the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 is pending before the Parliament.

The Finance Minister also gave medals to meritorious officers of CBI.

Earlier speaking on the occasion, Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh said corruption is an issue which always evokes considerable amount of not only sensitivity but also scepticism.

“I have come across number of friends and colleagues who superannuated after putting in 20-25 years of service and went home glorified with misplaced reputation that they have been honest, they have never been bribed, and they were non-corrupt.

“But those of us whom we know in course of time secretly realised they were non-corrupt because they did not have opportunity to accept a bribe. They never enjoyed that kind of a placement or posting and if they had they did not have the skill to accept the bribe,” he said.

Singh said this is something like Mahatma Gandhi’s ideal of non-violence where he said that it is tested when person is in a position of power.

PTI

CBI begins enquiry into death of IAS officer DK Ravi

CBI on Thursday registered a preliminary inquiry for investigation into the case relating to the recent unnatural death of an upright IAS officer, which triggered a public outcry.

CBI on Thursday registered a preliminary inquiry for investigation into the case relating to the recent unnatural death of an upright IAS officer, which triggered a public outcry.”Pursuant to a request by Karnataka and central governments’ notification, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered a preliminary inquiry for investigation…,” the agency said in a release.DK Ravi, who was working as Additional Commissioner of Commercial Tax Enforcement, Bengaluru, was found hanging from a ceiling fan in his apartment here on March 16.Police had said it was prima facie a case of suicide but the officer’s family did not accept the theory, suspecting foul play in the death of Ravi who had taken on the sand and land mafia.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bowing to public outcry, Karnataka government had ordered a CBI probe, asking the central agency to complete the probe in three months. The agency had rejected the timeline, forcing the state government to come out with a fresh notification without a deadline.On April 13, the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) had issued a notification paving the way for a CBI inquiry into the case.

Centre to review working of sexual harassment committees

The working of committees to check sexual harassment at workplace will be reviewed by the Centre in order to speed up the disposal of cases received by them.

Representational Image

dna Research & Archives
The working of committees to check sexual harassment at workplace will be reviewed by the Centre in order to speed up the disposal of cases received by them.The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) has been issuing guidelines from time to time in the aftermath of a Supreme Court judgement in the Vishakha case to ensure that all departments take prescribed steps for functioning of the complaint committees in their establishments.It has been decided to convene a meeting with the chairpersons of the sexual harassment complaint committees set up in the ministries or departments on April 16, a DoPT official said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The DoPT has earlier asked all the ministries to include information on the various cases filed and disposed in their annual reports.According to the rules, a complaints committee has to be in existence at all times within government departments and changes in its composition, whenever necessary, should be made promptly and adequately publicised.The composition of the complaints committee should also be posted on the websites of the ministries or departments concerned.As per recently modified guidelines,humiliating treatment which is likely to affect women government employees’ health or safety may also amount to sexual harassment.Sexual harassment includes physical contact and advances, a demand or request for sexual favours, making sexually-coloured remarks, showing pornography and any other unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of a sexual nature, according to the new definition under the Central Civil Services (Conduct) Rules, 1964.

Centre likely to move SC seeking review of order on Jat reservation

New Delhi: The government is likely to move the Supreme Court seeking review of the order quashing Jat quota, which has prompted Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) to put on hold the announcement of Civil Services (Mains) Examination results.

Top officials of the Ministries of Home, Personnel, Law, and Social Justice and Empowerment are deliberating to frame the government’s next course of action in the wake of the apex court’s order.

Representational image.Representational image.

Representational image.

The move came a day after a delegation of Jat leaders met Prime Minister Narendra Modi over quashing of OBC reservation for the community.

“A decision on filing the review petition will be taken next week,” a government official said

The Jat leaders are seeking a review of the Supreme Court decision of 17 March quashing a notification of the UPA government extending reservations to the community in nine states.

The BJP government in Haryana has openly come out in support of job quotas for Jats.

The civil services examination results, sources said, should have been out had it not been for the 17 March order.

It will now be declared only after the government answers UPSC’s queries on its implications for Jat candidates taking the mains exam.

Though the UPSC was ready with results, the apex court ruling scrapping reservation for Jats under the OBC category has forced it to seek a clarification from the government.

Setting aside the notification extending OBC status to Jats, the Supreme Court slammed the Centre’s decision to overlook the finding of an OBC panel that Jat was not a backward class.

“Caste, though a prominent factor, cannot be the sole factor of determining the backwardness of a class,” the court had said, while referring to the historic judgement rendered by a larger bench on the implementation of the Mandal Commission recommendations on OBC reservations.

PTI

Centre busy in delivering pre-poll promises: Union minister Jitendra Singh

Singh, who is a Minister of State for Personnel, said that the central government has also decided to enhance the retirement age of the scientists from 60 to 62.

In a veiled attack on the opposition, Union minister Jitendra Singh on Sunday said that centre was busy in delivering to the promises it had made prior to the general election last year rather than “wasting energy on criticizing others”.”We are busy working and delivering to the promises made, we don’t want to waste our energy criticizing others,” said Singh, who is a minister of state in the Prime Minister’s Office.While addressing a Kissan Mela organized by the Indian Institute of Integrated Medicines (IIIM) Jammu, he said that government had the scientific data available and basis on that people can compare the work done by the parliamentarians of any constituency of any part of the country and even the legislature in the state.Singh, who is a Minister of State for Personnel, said that the central government has also decided to enhance the retirement age of the scientists from 60 to 62.
“Now the scientists won’t have to seek favors for extension, they would get service tenure of upto 62 years of age,” he said.Singh, who is a senior member of parliament from Udhampur constituency, said he was committed for the development of the area and have already launched many new initiative and schemes .”I am committed to spend three times more the money that a MP gets from the MPLAD fund; I will generate that money from other resources. Several schemes have already been started in the area,” he said.He also spoke at length of the work he has done for the Jammu and Kashmir and his constituency after taking over as the Minister of State in the Union cabinet.”An example is this is the village Saddal that was completely damaged because of the flash floods of September last year and now this village would be developed as first smart village of Jammu and Kashmir. It would happen for the first time that any smart village in the country would come upon the ruins of a village that was completely destroyed by the flash floods,” he said.
Singh appealed the people to support and encourage the scientists at the IIIM.”People spend thousands of Rupees to buy perfumes, they are making perfumes which are sold below 500 rupees, they are making special juices and other products, the people need to encourage them by buying these products,” he said.

Tharoor did not influence Sunanda Pushkar’s autopsy, says CAT

New Delhi: Former Union minister and Congress leader Shashi Tharoor has been absolved by the Central Administrative Tribunal of the charge of putting pressure on AIIMS doctor to submit a “tailor-made autopsy report” in the Sunanda Pushkar murder case.

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor. ReutersCongress leader Shashi Tharoor. Reuters

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor. Reuters

A CAT bench comprising members Raj Vir Sharma and Ashok Kumar dismissed the plea of Sudhir Kumar Gupta, Head of Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, alleging that AIIMS had illegally purged his seniority with “malafide intention” to punish him for refusing to act unprofessionally in the Sunanda Pushkar autopsy matter.

“The email sent by Shashi Tharoor, the then Union Minister, to Dr Rajiv Bhasin, on January 26, 2014, and the notice dated June 2, 2014 issued by Dr Adarsh Kumar, Member Secretary, Medical Board, AIIMS do not reveal anything to show that any pressure was put on the applicant to submit a tailor-made autopsy report in Sunanda Pushkar’s case,” the panel said.

The CAT, in its order, rejected Gupta’s claim that one OP Murty, also a doctor, was promoted after purging his seniority with the purpose to obtain a tailor-made report in the case.

“The decision having already been taken by the Governing Body on January 16, 2012 and April 14, 2012 to promote respondent no 3 (Murty) to the grade of Professor w.e.f. July 1, 2009, it cannot be said that the postmortem/autopsy of the dead body of late Sunanda Pushkar, who died on January 17, 2014, has any nexus with the process of consideration of respondent no 3’s case for promotion…

“Therefore, the malice attributed by the applicant to the then President and Director of AIIMS is baseless,” the tribunal said.

In his complaint before the tribunal, Gupta had claimed that he was asked to prepare tailor-made autopsy report giving clean chit, irrespective of his professional conclusions, after conducting autopsy of late Sunanda Pushkar.

The Centre, however, had denied the allegations on 27 August 2014, stating that the matter regarding promotion of Murty was referred to the Department of Personnel & Training and he was promoted only after its clarification.

PTI

Centre plans to amend Whistleblowers Protection Act to keep issues of national security out of ambit

The government plans to amend the Whistleblowers’ Protection Act to keep the issues of national security and sovereignty out of its ambit.As the original legislation passed by Parliament earlier this year does not have the provision to safeguard against disclosures affecting sovereignty of the country, the Act has not been brought into force so far. After coming to power, the Narendra Modi government had decided against implementing the Whistleblowers’ Act till the necessary amendments on national security and sovereignty are brought in. The Union Cabinet is likely to consider the planned amendments in the coming days, sources said.The issue of safeguarding information on national security was first raised by BJP when the then Minister of State for Personnel V Narayanasamy had tabled the Bill in Rajya Sabha. After back-channel talks, the UPA government had agreed to the amendments. But UPA floor managers had requested BJP not to press for it during the bill’s debate in the Upper House as an amended bill will have to be reverted to Lok Sabha for its nod, which was not feasible as Parliament’s session was concluding soon.The then UPA government had planned to bring an ordinance to carry out the amendments but the plan had not materialised. While the bill was passed by Lok Sabha in 2011, it could be cleared by Rajya Sabha only on February 21 this year. “As the Bill was taken up on the last day of the last session of the 15th Lok Sabha, the official amendments to the bill (aimed at safeguarding against disclosures affecting sovereignty and integrity of India, security of state) were not moved. The proposed amendments are of crucial nature…,” Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha last month.The Whistleblowers’ Protection Act, which provides a mechanism for protecting the identity of those who expose corruption, got assent of the President in May 2014. But the Act has not been brought into force pending amendments. Another Bill is pending before a Parliamentary Standing Committee to correct a ‘patent error’ in the Whistleblowers Act. Through the Repealing Bill aimed at weeding out obsolete laws, the government also seeks to amend the error committed by the Law Ministry during the passage of the Whistleblowers Bill. While the Bill became an Act in May this year, it is called the ‘Whistleblowers Protection Act, 2011’ instead of ‘2014’. Repealing Bills are often used to carry out corrections in Acts.

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