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Worrying signals from Delhi’s underbelly: Juveniles being used to settle gang scores

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Kerala photographer’s studio burnt down days after he questions Islamic traditions

The Taliparamba police is investigating into the case and closely monitoring the members of the Whatsapp group where Rafeeque expressed his views.

dna Web Team

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Hamid Ansari pulls up Rajya Sabha members, tells them to behave

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According to parliamentary affairs minister Venkaiah Naidu, the real problem was the main opposition party, which was not reconciled with reality that they had been defeated.

Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad speaks in the Rajya Sabha in New Delhi on Wednesday

PTI
Rajya Sabha chairman Hamid Ansari declared the winter session sine die on Wednesday but not before pulling up members for their behaviour that caused vital loss of productive time.Making scathing observations, Ansari said, “Vehemence in language or behaviour resulting in obstruction of proceedings, apart from interruption and neglect of listed agenda, also results in violation of the privileges of individual members themselves. It reflects adversely on the parliamentary process and our commitment to it.”Showing mirror to the members, the chairman said, “Three weeks ago, on December 1, the Rajya Sabha solemnly committed itself to the principles and ideals of the Constitution…A functioning legislature is an essential concomitant of these principles; disruptions amount to their negation. The record of this session belies this commitment in good measure.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Exhorting members that there is an “imperative need to dispel this impression” Ansari appealed to them “to introspect on this state of affairs, desist from approaches and practices that demean the stature of the Rajya Sabha, and urged them to make the fullest possible use of the instrumentalities of accountability and discussion available to them under the Rules of Procedure.”Providing a sort of solace, Ansari, however, added that though the last week seemed singularly unproductive in terms of legislative work, the 237th session comes to an end this afternoon after having redeemed itself somewhat in the past three days.”Compared to Rajya Sabha whose productive quotient was just 46%, Lok Sabha did rather a commendable job by registering 100.46% productivity. Not only di it pass 14 bills after thorough debates, it also saw introduction of nine bills. Though Rajya Sabha passed nine bills, almost all barring one were without discussion.According to parliamentary affairs minister Venkaiah Naidu, the real problem was the main opposition party, which was not reconciled with reality that they had been defeated.”It is unfortunate Congress and Left manufacture excuses to disrupt Rajya Sabha. Congress has to take the blame and they are cheating people,” said Naidu.Congress, however, put the blame on the BJP government for an intransigent government that demonstrated that there were no limits in furtherance of its agenda of political vendetta and confrontation.Congress said, “Prime Minister has authoritarian style of functioning as been revealed in the last 19 months both in governance and in dealing with the parliamentary business. The centralisation of decision making, policies and all key appointments has adversely affected both the functioning and effectiveness of the government.”It blamed the Prime Minister for ‘enacting a scripted drama’ of ‘reaffirming’ his faith in the Constitution of India and the ideals of Dr BR Ambedkar and at the same indulged ‘in the murder of democracy, federalism and the Constitution’ in Arunachal Pradesh where the high office of the Governor was used to try and dismiss a democratically elected Congress state government.

A frosty Winter Session: Lack of debate in Parliament makes the most populous democracy the worst

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BJP MP Tarun Vijay warns of ‘cyber war’, seeks setting up of Ministry for cyber security

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Raising the issue during Zero Hour in the Rajya Sabha, he said cyber attacks have become a national security issue as cyber criminals were using social networking sites to target users in India

Tarun Vijay

Warning that the Third World War would be a ‘cyber war’, BJP member Tarun Vijay on Wednesday demanded setting up of a separate ministry for cyber security, saying India was the “second largest victim” of these attacks.Raising the issue during Zero Hour in the Rajya Sabha, he said cyber attacks have become a national security issue as cyber criminals were using social networking sites to target users in India. Maintaining that the country has become the “second largest victim” of cyber attacks in the world, he said in the last five months 50,000 cyber attacks have been reported and nearly half of India’s internet population was being hit by cyber attackers.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Citing a report by cyber security firm Norton, the BJP member said on an average, an affected individual loses about Rs 16,000 as a fallout of cyber crime. “This is a dreadful statistics for a country of a young population…I demand that there should be a separate ministy for cyber security in the country. We must take initiative. India must be the first counry to start a cyber security ministry,” Vijay said.He also stressed that for the success of ‘Digital India’ initiative, “we have to take care of cyber crimes”. He also made a case for cyber audits across industries, similar to that of telecom to banking sectors. The member suggested that all MLAs and MPs should be given training on various aspects of cyber security and demanded setting up of a proper cyber laboratory in the country. “India is a software capital of the world, but still we don’t have a state-of-the-art cyber lab in the country,” Vijay added.

Parliament passes bill to amend Atomic Energy Act

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The Atomic Energy Amendment Bill 2015, that was passed by Lok Sabha on December 14, got approval from the Rajya Sabha on the last day of the session without any discussion, evoking protests from some Opposition parties including Left.

Parliament

State-run NPCIL can now collaborate with other PSUs in the nuclear field, with Parliament on Wednesday passing a bill in this regard after government allayed fears that the step will allow FDI into the sector or enable participation of a private firm in atomic power production.The Atomic Energy Amendment Bill 2015, that was passed by Lok Sabha on December 14, got approval from the Rajya Sabha on the last day of the session without any discussion, evoking protests from some Opposition parties including Left. The law seeks to amend the 1962 Atomic Energy Act to change the definition of “government company” in the Act with a view to expand its scope by including such joint venture companies as may be formed between NPCIL and other PSUs, according to the statement of object and reasons.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>At present, only two Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) — Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) and Bhartiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Limited (BHAVINI), which are under the administrative control of Department of Atomic Energy, operate nuclear power plants in the country. Minister of State for PMO Jitendra Singh, who holds the portfolio of atomic energy, clarified that the Joint Venture is for public sector companies and not private sector ones.Jairam Ramesh (Congress) wanted to know whether private companies can also be permitted under the joint venture. The Bill was was introduced in Lok Sabha on December 7 and proposes to to amend the Atomic Energy Act, 1962 that empowers the central government to produce, develop, control, and use atomic energy. While under the Act, a government company that is allowed to produce atomic energy is one in which at least 51 percent of the paid-up share capital is held by the central government. Paid-up share capital is the capital received by a company from the issue of shares.The amendments expand this definition to include companies where the whole of the paid up share capital is held by one or more government company and whose articles of association empower the central government to constitute its Board of Directors. This provision will allow for the formation of joint ventures between Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited and other government companies.Under the Act, a license is required for acquisition, production, use, export and import of any plant designed for the production and development of atomic energy or research. The Bill makes consequential amendments to state that such license will only be granted to entities such as a government company or a department of central government.

Juvenile Justice Bill: Age of juvenile merely a small part of the new law

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Ayodhya temple row: Opposition hits out at BJP, RSS in Rajya Sabha

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Pro-ISIS elements posting messages in regional languages: Government

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Government is closely monitoring the situation, Rajya Sabha was informed.

Some elements, who support the dreaded terrorist group ISIS, have posted messages in Indian regional languages, including Hindi and Tamil, Rajya Sabha was informed today.”As per available intelligence inputs, pro-ISIS elements have posted messages in the social media in Hindi, Urdu, Tamil, Gujarati and English,” Minister of State for Home Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary said in a written reply.He said the government is closely monitoring the situation and has directed the intelligence and security agencies to identify potential recruits and keep them under surveillance.”The cyber space is also being monitored,” he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chaudhary said ISIS is one of the 39 organisations which were declared unlawful under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

Rajya Sabha wasted half its time, Rs 9.9 crore, after disruptions during Winter Session

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While the Lok Sabha where the BJP enjoys a good majority worked worked for 115 hours the Rajya Sabha lost 55 hours due to interruptions by the Opposition.

The continuos disruptions happening in the Rajya Sabha where the government is in a numerical minority has led to the house losing Rs. 9.9 crore, reports NDTV. The report says that the cost of running the house is Rs 29,000 per minute. The productivity of the Upper House is far lower as compared to that of Lok Sabha.While the Lok Sabha where the BJP enjoys a good majority worked for 115 hours the Rajya Sabha lost 55 hours due to interruptions by the Opposition. Lok Sabha passed 14 bills and registered 104% productivity, Rajya Sabha passed nine bills with just 46% productivity. The Goods and Services Tax bill is still pending in Rajya Sabha.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Lower House spent 50 hours on non-legislative business and 33 hours on legislation whereas the Upper House spent 37 hours on non-legislative work and less than 10 hours on legislation. 65 per cent of its time was spent on non-legislative business.In the Question Hour, the Lok Sabha got 87% productivity, clocking nearly 15 hours while the Rajya Sabha clocked in 14% productive time at just 2.4 hours.Regarding the Juvenile Justice Bill, the Rajya Sabha functioned non-stop for five hours on December 22 to pass the bill which was passed by the Lok Sabha in May.

442 people convicted for 1984 anti-Sikh riots in Delhi: Government

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Chaudhary said the rehabilitation package of 2006 provided ex-gratia payment in case of death, injury, damaged residential properties and damaged uninsured commercial, industrial properties and other assistance to the victims of 1984 riots.

Representational image.

442 people have been convicted so far by various courts of Delhi in connection with the anti-Sikh riots of 1984, Rajya Sabha was informed on Wednesday.Minister of State for Home Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary said the Home Ministry has constituted a Special Investigation Team to re-investigate serious criminal cases which were filed in the National Capital Territory of Delhi in connection with the 1984 riots and have since been closed.SIT will examine the records of such cases afresh, he said.Chaudhary said the rehabilitation package of 2006 provided ex-gratia payment in case of death, injury, damaged residential properties and damaged uninsured commercial, industrial properties and other assistance to the victims of 1984 riots.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>So far, the Home Ministry has reimbursed an amount of Rs 154.54 crore to the government of NCT of Delhi under this package, he said.The Minister said the central government has also sanctioned additional compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the next of kin of those who were killed in the 1984 riots.The Government of NCT has reported that they have distributed an amount of Rs 73,53,24,000 to the families of victims, he said.

Juvenile Justice Bill: Dropping the age bar is an eyewash, not a safety net for women

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Juvenile Justice Bill passed: Here’s how Rajya Sabha MPs made their respective cases

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Juvenile Justice Bill: After heated debate, public agitation, new law passed in Rajya Sabha

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After heated debate, public outcry, new juvenile justice law passed in Rajya Sabha

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RS passes Juvenile Justice Bill: All you need to know about the new law

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Union Minister VK Singh should be sent to a reform home: BSP

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Earlier, General V.K Singh (retired), who has been at the centre of the ‘dog analogy’ controversy, was jeered at by some members of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha.

VK Singh

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Satish Mishra on Tuesday, while speaking in the Rajya Sabha, said people with polluted mindsets like Minister of State for External Affairs General (Retired) VK Singh should be sent to reform homes.”People with polluted mindsets like Minister V.K. Singh should also be sent to reform homes,” Mishra said. Objecting to Mishra’s comment, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said, “We take strong objection to Mishra ji’s remark on V.K. Singh ji, it should be expunged.”Earlier, General V.K Singh (retired), who has been at the centre of the ‘dog analogy’ controversy, was jeered at by some members of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha. In October, Singh had kicked up a row when he reacted to the killing of two Dalit children by reportedly saying that the government is not responsible if someone ‘throws stones at a dog’. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

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

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

File Photo

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

Here’s a quick guide to the crucial Juvenile Justice Bill to be discussed in RS today

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Juvenile Justice Bill to be tabled in Parliament amid protests by child right activists

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BJP assures Nirbhaya’s parents over Juvenile Justice Bill

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“We have been assured that Juvenile Justice Bill will be passed in Rajya Sabha today. He (juvenile) would not have been released if this bill had passed six months ago. Be it delayed, but we want this bill to be passed in Parliament,” Nirbhaya’s mother said.

Nirbhaya’s mother Asha Devi

ANI
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday assured disappointed Nirbhaya’s parents that the Juvenile Justice Bill would be on Tuesday passed in the Parliament.”We have been assured that Juvenile Justice Bill will be passed in Rajya Sabha today. He (juvenile) would not have been released if this bill had passed six months ago. Be it delayed, but we want this bill to be passed in Parliament,” Nirbhaya’s mother said.After meeting Nirbhaya’s parents Union Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi asserted that there should not be any delay in the passing of this bill. “We salute the initiative that has been taken by Nirbhaya’s parents. We had listed the Juvenile Justice Bill 12 times in the Monsoon Session but unfortunately, the Parliamentary proceedings could not take place and eventually the bill was not passed,” Naqvi told media after meeting Nirbhaya’s parents.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”So far, we have listed this bill for five times in the ongoing Winter Session. We are confident that this bill would be passed by the Rajya Sabha today. We believe that there should not be any delay to bring a stringent law,” he added.With the Supreme Court showing its inability to prohibit the release of the juvenile in the Nirbhaya gangrape case in the absence of laws, telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had on Monday said the ruling dispensation at the Centre is keen to pass the Juvenile Justice Bill and was also ready to bring supplementary agenda on it in the Parliament.The apex court had dismissed the petition of Delhi Commission of Women (DCW) Chairperson Swati Maliwal against the release of the juvenile offender in the December 16 gang rape case, saying ‘there has to be a clear legislative sanction’ in this regard. Rejecting the DCW’s petition, the apex court earlier said that under existing law detention cannot go beyond three years.

Juvenile Justice Bill will be passed today, Naqvi assures Jyoti Singh’s parents

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Rajya Sabha passes SC/ST Bill unanimously through voice vote

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After seeing several days of adjournments, the Rajya Sabha on Monday unanimously passed Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment bill in a matter of minutes and that too through a voice vote and without any debate.

After seeing several days of adjournments, the Rajya Sabha on Monday unanimously passed Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment bill in a matter of minutes and that too through a voice vote and without any debate.The BJP was keen to get the bill through, especially to undo the damage done by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s remarks given during Bihar polls that were dubbed as anti-Dalit quota by the opposition. The party also thinks that the passage of the bill would improve its image among Dalits that in turn could brighten its prospects during the UP state assembly elections due in 2017.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Of late BJP has been taking lot of brickbats for being intolerant and insensitive towards Dalits, especially after union minister V K Singh’s remarks given on the purported killing of two Dalit girls in Haryana recently.Deputy Chairman P J Kurien took up the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, 2015 that aims to prohibit the commission of offences against members of the SCs and STs and adds provisions for establishing special courts for the trial cases of such offences and the rehabilitation of victims, in the second half of day.The sudden change in the atmosphere of the upper house that until recently failed to transact any business because of frequent pandemonium, prompted the deputy chairman Kurien to observe, “There is perfect calm and tranquility. Everybody is cool. A cool breeze is blowing. I don’t know where this breeze is coming from.”The amended bill adds new categories of actions to be treated as offences committed by non SCs and STs and amends certain existing categories. Impeding certain activities related to voting especially vote or not vote for a particular candidate will also be considered an offence.The new offences include – Garlanding SCs and STs with footwear; Compelling to do manual scavenging or dispose carry animal or human carcasses; Abusing SCs/STs in public by caste name; Disrespecting any deceased SCs/STs person held in high esteem or attempting to promote feelings of ill-will against SCs/STs and threatening or imposing economic and social boycott.The offences in case of sexual exploiting of SC or ST woman would include – Using acts, words or gestures of a sexual nature against SC/ST woman; Touching an SC/ST woman intentionally in a sexual manner without her consent; Practice of dedicating an SC/ST woman as a devadasi to a temple.Other actions that will be considered as an offence are Preventing SCs/STs using common property resources, entering any places of public worship that is open to the public, and entering an education or health institution.In case of any violation of any provisions mentioned in this act the courts will presume that the accused non SC/ST person was aware of the caste or tribal identity of the victim, unless it is proved.The bill also adds provision specifying duties of public servants which includes, registering a FIR or complaint, public servant must read out the information given oral complaint by SC/ST person before taking the signature of the victim and giving copy of this information to the victim. It should be noted that parent Act has provision mentioning that public servant (non SC/ST) neglecting his duties related to SCs/STs will be punished with imprisonment for a term of 6 months to 1 year.The Bill adds provision specifying establishment of exclusive Special Court and Special Court at the district level to try offences mentioned under this Act. Exclusive Public Prosecutor and Public Prosecutor will be appointed for every Exclusive Special Court and Special Court.A new chapter added to the bill dealing with the rights of victims and witness mentions that it shall be the duty of the state to make arrangements for the protection of victims and their dependents and the witnesses. It also mentions that state should specify a scheme to ensure the implementation of rights of victims and witnesses.

No debate, no din as Rajya Sabha passes SC/ST Bill within minutes

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Govt hopes for Juvenile Justice Bill’s passage in Rajya Sabha today without ‘obstructionist politics’ by Congress

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oting that the bill was listed in this session on three occasions on December 8, 10 and 11, Venkaiah Naidu said that the same was also listed for 12 days in a row in the last session.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
As pressure mounted on it for early passage of the Juvenile Justice Bill, government on Monday listed the crucial legislation in Rajya Sabha for passage on Tuesday and blamed Congress for blocking it in the past due to its “obstructionist politics” even when it was listed on 15 occasions.Alleging that important bills of national interest are not being passed due to “obstructionist” politics of Congress, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said, “This government was serious to amend the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill, 2015. That’s why we brought this Bill and listed several times in the last session as well as this session.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Noting that the bill was listed in this session on three occasions on December 8, 10 and 11, Naidu said that the same was also listed for 12 days in a row in the last session.”This government had made attempts to pass this Bill by listing several times in Rajya Sabha but could not succeed,” he said and blamed it on obstructions by Congress.Also read: Nirbhaya’s parents meet Ghulam Nabi Azad, seek passage of Juvenile Justice Bill in Rajya Sabha”Tomorrow as Congress agreed, I hope this Bill will come up for discussion. The passage of this Bill will be a tribute to Nirbhaya. We should pass this Bill so that in future such things do not re-occur and it acts as a deterrent. I am hopeful the Bill will be passed tomorrow,” Naidu said.

Nirbhaya’s parents meet Ghulam Nabi Azad, seek passage of Juvenile Justice Bill in Rajya Sabha

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On a day the Supreme Court rejected a plea against the release of juvenile offender in the December 16 gangrape case, the government said the amendments to Juvenile Justice Act that will allow children between 16-18 years to be tried as adults in heinous crime cases will come up before Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.

Nirbhaya’s parents participated in a candlelight march at Jantar Mantar in the national capital along with hundreds of youths and activists.

PTI
Parents of the December 16 gangrape victim on Monday met Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, seeking the passage of the Juvenile Justice Bill which will allow children between 16-18 years to be tried as adults in heinous crime cases.”We have been assured that the bill will be passed tomorrow and we believe that. Now, it is not the right time to talk about him (the juvenile convict of the gangrape case) as he is a free man and there is no law to hold him back. Our fight is not only for us but for all women and girls,” the victim’s father Badri Singh Pandey told reporters after meeting the Congress leader at the latter’s residence.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On a day the Supreme Court rejected a plea against the release of juvenile offender in the December 16 gangrape case, the government said the amendments to Juvenile Justice Act that will allow children between 16-18 years to be tried as adults in heinous crime cases will come up before Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.However, Congress had earlier in the day termed this move as “brazen mischief” by the government, alleging it was to “defame the opposition” and divert attention from DDCA issue.”Let them not do this mischief. This is a total brazen mischief on the part of the government… This is only to divert the attention of the opposition from raising other issues, about DDCA,” Azad said, adding that the Congress will support the Juvenile Justice Bill in the Upper House.Before meeting Azad, Nirbhaya’s parents participated in a candlelight march at Jantar Mantar in the national capital along with hundreds of youths and activists. Amid protests, the juvenile convict in the case was sent to an NGO in Delhi yesterday.The victim’s mother Asha Devi said notwithstanding the release of the juvenile convict yesterday, she and her husband will continue their fight to ensure death penalty for the rest of the convicts who are currently lodged in Tihar jail.

Demand in Rajya Sabha for setting up Farmer’s Commission

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Participating in a short-duration discussion on the ‘Serious situation arising due to floods and drought in the country’, K C Tyagi of JD(U) took potshots at the government saying while it has run from pillar to post to pass the GST bill, it never took any such initiative on the issue of Minimum Support Price for farmers.

A demand for setting up of a Farmers’ Commission was made in Rajya Sabha on Monday as members expressed concern over the plight of farmers during a discussion on the flood and drought situation in the country.Participating in a short-duration discussion on the ‘Serious situation arising due to floods and drought in the country’, K C Tyagi of JD(U) took potshots at the government saying while it has run from pillar to post to pass the GST bill, it never took any such initiative on the issue of Minimum Support Price for farmers. He said the government should fulfill its promise on MSP that had made in its election manifesto. He regretted that large portions of land have remained uncultivated in a number of states affecting production of wheat in 24 lakh hectares.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Only 40 per cent of land is irrigated while the rest 60 per cent is at the mercy of God, Tyagi said.The earning of farmers has not gone up while the salary of even a fourth grade employee is minimum Rs 42,000 after the 7th pay commission besides allowances “from shoe shining to hair cutting” and prices of commodities have sharply increased, he said.The government should form a Kisan Ayog and make NCP chief and former Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar its Chairman, the JDU leader said, while insisting that views of farmers’ leaders need to be taken into account as feedback from mere FICCI and ASSOCHAM will not work.Basawraj Patil (BJP) also supported the idea of forming a Kisan Ayog saying some such arrangement should be there for farmers on the line of a pay commission for government employees. Patil also made a pitch for cow protection saying no cow should die in absence of fodder and water as it is the “soul” of the nation.

DCW chief Swati Maliwal appeals to MPs to pass Juvenile Amendment Bill

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The apex court earlier on Monday dismissed the petition of DCW Chairperson Swati Maliwal against the release of the juvenile offender in the gang rape case, saying ‘there has to be a clear legislative sanction’ in this regard.

DCW Chief Swati Maliwal
File Photo
PTI
After the Supreme Court on Monday dismissed the plea by the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) against the release of the juvenile offender in the December 16 gang-rape case, DCW chief Swati Maliwal urged the Rajya Sabha MPs to unitedly pass the juvenile law.”Yesterday, I had met Hamid Ansari ji and he had assured me that he will produce it. I am very happy that tomorrow it will be produced. I appeal to all the MPs to unite to pass this bill, otherwise it will be a tight slap to all the Nirbhaya’s of the nation,” Maliwal told ANI.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”I just got to know that within a minute, three laws were passed in the Rajya Sabha. I want to know why this Juvenile Justice Act Amendment bill was not passed in the last three years and how much more time will the Rajya Sabha take to pass this bill? How many more Nirbhaya’s will be created in this nation, after which the Rajya Sabha will pass the bill?” she added.The apex court earlier on Monday dismissed the petition of DCW Chairperson Swati Maliwal against the release of the juvenile offender in the gang rape case, saying ‘there has to be a clear legislative sanction’ in this regard.Disappointed with Supreme Court’s decision, Nirbhaya’s parents on Monday said that the women of this country will never get justice. Rejecting the DCW’s petition, the apex court earlier said that under existing law detention cannot go beyond three years.The parents of the victim protested in the national capital on Sunday. Hundreds of sympathisers joined them at Rajpath near India Gate to show solidarity. The victim’s mother had said that she wanted justice for her daughter and said steps should have been taken long before to not set him free. Six persons, including the juvenile, had assaulted and raped Nirbhaya in a moving bus in south Delhi on December 16, 2012.The victim succumbed to her injuries in a Singapore hospital. Four of the accused were awarded death penalty by the trial court which was later confirmed by the Delhi High Court. Their appeals are pending before the Supreme Court. Another accused, Ram Singh, had allegedly committed suicide in Tihar Jail in 2013.

Chennai floods ‘highly localised’ event, not result of climate change, Javadekar tells Rajya Sabha

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Rajya Sabha cheated country: DCW chief after SC ruling on juvenile’s release in Delhi gangrape case

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Sans GST, Opposition to say "ayes" to bills in RS; washout averted

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The elders have finally decided to get down to legislative business, saving Rajya Sabha from a complete washout for the second session in a row. Chairperson Hamid Ansari stepped in on Friday to get the two sides agree on taking up half a dozen non-controversial legislations, while consensus eluded the contentious Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill.

The elders have finally decided to get down to legislative business, saving Rajya Sabha from a complete washout for the second session in a row. Chairperson Hamid Ansari stepped in on Friday to get the two sides agree on taking up half a dozen non-controversial legislations, while consensus eluded the contentious Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill.Ansari’s last minute initiative to call an all-party meeting comes at the fag end of a frosty Winter Session ending on December 23. The Rajya Sabha, where the number crunch for the ruling NDA has come in the way of controversial bills, has faced frequent disruptions amidst a government-Congress face off, which intensified over the National Herald case.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The productivity of the House has been 47 per cent against 100 per cent in the Lok Sabha, according to latest PRS legislative research statistics. While legislative business in the Lower House recorded 27 per cent till December 17, it was 10 per cent in the Upper House.The fate of two crucial legislations–GST, which had been on the top of government’s agenda, and the real estates bill– are caught in the government-opposition standoff over them. Meanwhile, the Opposition has agreed to passage of SC, ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, two Appropriation Bills, Anti Hijacking Bill, Atomic Energy (Amendment) Bill, Commercial Courts Ordinance Bill and the Arbitration and Conciliation Amendment Bill during the next week, sources said.All opposition parties gave a word to Ansari to pass the bills after he conveyed that this was one of the “most unproductive sessions”.The government and the Congress have blamed each other for the disruptions. The Congress agreed at the meeting to cooperate in passage of some bills to brush off the perception that it was blocking House in protest against the National Herald case, which it has dubbed as political vendetta by BJP.”Its the government which is not interested in smooth functioning of the House. I have also been parliamentary affairs minister. In the midst of the session, no government topples a state government. Secondly, a chief minister’s office was raided. These are signs that government does not want house to function,” leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said.However, on the issue of charges against finance minister Arun Jaitley in the DDCA issue, there are indications that the Congress has dropped its aggressive stand and demand for his resignation.”We have not retracted from that issue. We are further examining papers related to it. We are studying the entire report. There is enough time,” Azad said.He stressed that the outcome of the National Herald case coming up in a metropolitan magistrate’s court on Saturday will not affect the Congress decision to cooperate in passage of the important Bills. The Opposition opted to drop all the issues in their armour for grilling the government after the Government conceded to debate intolerance.The government also agreed not to press for passage of two Bills – Whistleblower Amendment Bill and Juvenile Justice Amendment Bill– and send them to the Select Committee of the House for further scrutiny. The Opposition wants the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Bill also to go to the Select Committee.Jaitley unsuccessfully pleaded to include the GST Bill in the list of those agreed to be passed but he gave up after the Congress refused to budge until its conditions are met to modify it.Even if the GST bill had been passed by the Rajya Sabha next week as it has already cleared the Lok Sabha’s muster in the last session, it has now become impossible for the government to meet the next April deadline it had set to implement the tax reform.The Constitution Bill will have to be ratified by half the state legislatures and then Parliament will have to pass the GST Bill for levying the new single indirect tax and frame the rules to implement it. This is just not possible in a short time span of three months left and so the government is reconciled to push the Constitution Bill only in the budget session and plan GST from April 2017. Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told reporters that all have decided that the House should function and pass the pending government bills even by sitting late. Blame game The government and the Congress have blamed each other for the disruptions. The Congress agreed at the meeting to cooperate in passage of some bills to brush off the perception that it was blocking House in protest against the National Herald case, which it has dubbed as political vendetta by BJP.”Its the government which is not interested in smooth functioning of the House. I have also been parliamentary affairs minister. In the midst of the session, no government topples a state government. Secondly, a chief minister’s office was raided,” Ghulam Nabi Azad said.

Congress MPs demand aggressive stand against Arun Jaitley

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At the Congress briefing, Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad merely said that the party was studying the report in the case and would come to some conclusion in two-three days.

Demands of adopting aggressive stand against Arun Jaitley were on Friday made at a meeting of the strategy committee of the Congress here, in the wake of AAP’s allegation of financial irregularities against the Union Finance Minister.The meeting was presided by party chief Sonia Gandhi. Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi was also present in the meeting which saw some MPs take up the matter vigorously. Noting that AAP has been taking up the issue spiritedly, they pitched for raising it prominently by the party in Parliament next week.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>At the Congress briefing, Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad merely said that the party was studying the report in the case and would come to some conclusion in two-three days. Two days ago, Congress had targeted Jaitley demanding a Joint Parliamentary Committee to go into the issue and resignation of the Finance Minister pending the inquiry. Following a CBI raid in Delhi Secretariat in connection with charges against Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s Principal Secretary Rajendra Kumar, AAP has been claiming that the Central agency carried out the searches to target the AAP chief and was looking for a file relating to graft in DDCA, a charge refuted by the Modi government as also the CBI.Since then, the party has been demanding resignation of Jaitley from the Union Cabinet. The Aam Aadmi Party today posed five queries to Jaitley relating to alleged corruption in Delhi’s cricket body DDCA.Addressing a press conference, top AAP leaders dismissed Jaitley’s assertions of no wrongdoing as “vague” and “misleading” and instead sought to put the ball in his court by making a set of fresh charges.

Delhi gangrape: Maneka Gandhi blames Rajya Sabha for release of juvenile convict

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All-party meet: No consensus on GST; ready to pass six pending bills

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In the meeting, the members decided to pass the SC ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, the Appropriation Bills, the Anti Hijacking Bill, the Atomic Energy Amendment Bill, the Commercial Courts Ordinance Bill and the Arbitration and Conciliation Amendment Bill during the next week, sources said.

Parliament

An all-party meeting convened by Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari on Friday failed to bring a consensus on the passage of the GST bill, but members of the Upper House decided to pass six other pending bills in the remaining period of three days of the Winter Session. After the hour-long deliberations, Ansari merely said the meeting was “good”. “There has been a very meaningful discussion in the meeting. A number of parties have expressed concern over Parliament not functioning. All of them decided that the House should function. It has been decided to pass the pending government bills even by sitting for late hours,” Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told reporters after the meeting.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Asked about the crucial GST bill, Naqvi said that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley made an appeal to the opposition to pass the constitution bill as well in the conducive atmosphere that has emerged after the meeting.”But, I don’t think the main opposition party has an agreement on this. They have not cleared their position,” he said.In the meeting, the members decided to pass the SC ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, the Appropriation Bills, the Anti Hijacking Bill, the Atomic Energy Amendment Bill, the Commercial Courts Ordinance Bill and the Arbitration and Conciliation Amendment Bill during the next week, sources said.Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said, “nothing new was discussed at this meeting apart from what was discussed at the Business Advisory Committee (BAC) meeting.” When asked whether Congress has agreed to passage of some bills, he said that some of the bills on which his party has committed support like the SC/ST bill will be passed alongwith Appropriation Bill.”There is no decision on GST,” Azad said. Sources add that it was also decided that three bills – the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Bill, the Whistle Blowers Protection Amendment Bill and the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill, will be discussed during the remaining period but the course of action will be decided upon later.During the meeting it was also decided that discussions on matters of public importance like price rise, impact of flood and drought on agriculture, intolerance and a discussion on the developments in Arunachal Pradesh will also be taken up during the last three days.Naqvi said that members have agreed to compensate for the loss of legislative business in the House by working for extra hours during the last days.Asked if the issue of giving more powers to Rajya Sabha Chairman to act against members disrupting the House was discussed at the meeting, he replied in the negative.

‘Crime won, we lost’: Jyoti Singh Pandey’s parents upset with High Court verdict

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Venkaiah Naidu says no use giving importance to useless DDCA-linked accusations

“Arun Jaitley is one of the most honest sincere, intelligent minister. There is no issue of any discussion here in parliament because the issue is not connected with the parliament. There is no use of giving any importance to useless accusation. Arun Jaitley doesn?t want any certificate from them,” Naidu told media here.

Reiterating the absurdity of the Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) accusation against Finance Minister Arun Jaitley with regard to an alleged scam in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA), Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu on Friday said giving importance to useless accusations would be a sheer waste of time.”Arun Jaitley is one of the most honest sincere, intelligent minister. There is no issue of any discussion here in parliament because the issue is not connected with the parliament. There is no use of giving any importance to useless accusation. Arun Jaitley doesn?t want any certificate from them,” Naidu told media here.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Naidu further said, “if you try to spit on the sun, it will fall back on your face, criticising Jaitleyji is like this.”On the continuous disruption of Parliament, the minister said that if they (Congress) have divergent views, which is natural in a democracy, they must insist on having a discussion, but they’re disrupting.People expect Parliament to legislate for their better future .Don’t know what are reasons for the Congress to stall these legislations”AAP is totally wrong and we don’t want to get involved in that. We are more concerned about the non-functioning of the Rajya Sabha because all important bills are pending in the Rajya Sabha. The Lok Sabha has passed around 12 bills or more and people are waiting that it will be passed in the Rajya Sabha also, that is the burning issue. I humbly request that they should allow the functioning of the parliament. Congress Party should answer on why the house is not functioning. We don?t have any problems if they take credit, but they should let the house function,”he added.

With Rajya Sabha leaving key bills in limbo, Hamid Ansari calls for all party meeting

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Finance ministry says GST will be a reality soon, confident of rolling out bill by April 2016

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JD(U) MP KC Tyagi seeks action against Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali

The Uttarakhand government, he said, had found an Ayurvedic ‘son-bearing’ medicine sold by Baba Ramdev’s pharma company fake but no action was taken.

JD(U) MLA KC Tyagi

A demand for action against yoga guru Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali pharma company for selling products like noodles and pasta without the food regulator’s approval was made in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday.Raising the issue through a Zero Hour mention, KC Tyagi (JD-U) also raised questions over why no appeal was filed in the Supreme Court against the Bombay High Court order lifting restrictions on sale of popular noodles Maggi.Describing the two as the new “Dabangs”, he said no action has been taken despite FSSAI finding faults with their products. He alleged that Patanjali noodles and pasta are being sold without the approval of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Uttarakhand government, he said, had found an Ayurvedic ‘son-bearing’ medicine sold by Baba Ramdev’s pharma company fake but no action was taken.”He (Baba Ramdev) poses as if he is very close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He openly claims that he has helped with ‘tan, man and dhan’ (physically, mentally and monetarily) in formation of the BJP government,” Tyagi alleged.Similarly, the verdict of Bombay High Court in the Maggi case was accepted. “Why was no appeal made to the Supreme Court,” the JD(U) leader said and remarked “daal mein kuchh kala hai” (there is something fishy).

FM Jaitley says India can grow at 9%, makes fresh bid to the Congress to end GST deadlock

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Sushma Swaraj justifies decision to restart Indo-Pak dialogue, rejects charges of ‘flip-flop’

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Renewed dialogue with Pakistan marks beginning of peace, Sushma Swaraj tells Parliament

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Nirbhaya Case: Subramanian Swamy hopes that juvenile order is in public interest

“My guess is that the high court will set a new standard so that juveniles who commit heinous crimes do not have an easy out just by claiming to be juveniles,” Swamy added.

Subramanian Swamy
File Photo

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy on Monday said that he was hopeful about the courts handing down an order to prevent the release of the juvenile involved in the December 2012 gang rape case in outer Delhi.”The main important thing that the management committee has to consider is the mental health which has been provided under the rules as a precondition for setting him out into society. So, what has been finally decided is that the court has reserved its orders, but it has said that it has understood the gravity of the situation and we will definitely give an order which in the public interest. And the most important part which the court have observed is that the rules do provide that the juvenile must be a law abiding citizen before he is released into mainstream society,” Swamy told media.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> “My guess is that the high court will set a new standard so that juveniles who commit heinous crimes do not have an easy out just by claiming to be juveniles,” he added. Holding the Congress responsible for the continuing lawlessness against women in society, Swamy further stated that the law has to be amended which is lying in the Rajya Sabha. He accused the Congress of blocking the passage of the legislation into law. “Such an important law has been blocked for almost six months. It is a shame on the Congress Party. It could have been passed in the Rajya Sabha on a priority basis, as it has already been passed in the Lok Sabha. The Congress are to be blamed for continuing lawlessness against women in our society,” he added. Meanwhile, the victim’s father said that the juvenile convict must not be freed as he might be a “threat to society”. “It is not about being a juvenile or an adult, but about crime. The crime he has committed and after he is released it will definitely affect the youth in the country. He is a threat to the society. I believe that he should not be released anyhow. The person who can sit inside jail and learn to be a jihadi, what will he do outside,” asked the victim’s father.

Former Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh hospitalised

Singh, 59, was rushed to Fortis hospital after he felt uneasy. “He complained of pain. Doctors are ascertaining the reasons behind his health condition,” an aide said.

Amar Singh
File Photo

Former Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh was on Monday admitted to a private hospital in New Delhi after he complained of uneasiness.Singh, 59, was rushed to Fortis hospital after he felt uneasy. “He complained of pain. Doctors are ascertaining the reasons behind his health condition,” an aide said. The former Rajya Sabha MP had been facing health related issues for the past seven years and had undergone a kidney transplant.There has been talk of Amar Singh’s return to the Samajwadi Party which had expelled him in 2010 following differences with the leadership. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Congress disrupts both houses of Parliament, third day running

Strap: Derogatory remarks in LS, National Herald case in RS lead to walkouts, multiple adjournments

Members protest in the Rajya Sabha during the ongoing winter session of Parliament on Thursday

PTI
The Congress party continued to paralyse the workings of the Rajya Sabha for the third day in the row over the National Herald case. The House was adjourned six times on Thursday, as Congress members entered the Well of the House, every time the proceedings resumed. In the Lok Sabha where the BJP enjoys a majority, the debate on drought resumed after one adjournment when the Congress staged a walkout, followed by Trinamool Congress, demanding suspension of the BJP’sthree-time MP Virendra Singh for “derogatory remarks” against Congress leaders during the drought debate on Wednesday.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge asserted that Virendra Singh’s personal attack on Rahul Gandhi and others had degraded the dignity of Parliament and exposed the ‘vendetta politics’ of the ruling dispensation. He took strong objection to the ministers supporting the BJP member. “If the government supports such people, we are not going to tolerate it. Unless you suspend him or there is an unconditional apology, it will affect the dignity of members,” Kharge said before leading a walkout against the “intolerant” conduct of the BJP MP.
In the Upper House, despite repeated appeals from the Chair to maintain discipline and with the BJP ready to discuss the Deccan Herald issue, the Congress refused to initiate any discussion and continued to raiseslogans against the Prime Minister. “Modi teri tanashahi, nahi chalegi, nahi chalegi (Modi your dictatorship – will not work). No sooner did Congress members enter the Well of the House, than Union health minister JP Nadda said,”Sir we are ready for a discussion immediately.” Supporting Nadda’s view, deputy chairman PJ Kurien tooappealed to the Congress to participate in the debate. The Congress members however refused to break the ice, forcing an adjournment of the House. Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs made a point of order appealing to chairman Hamid Ansari to take action against members for stalling the proceedings. “If the members don’t want to participate, they may be asked to leave. Some people cannot hold the House to ransom for personal gains. I appeal to the chair to take necessary action,” he said. When the Rajya Sabha was resumed for the third time post the lunch break, Congress members again entered the well of the House hooting and howling. Asking the members to maintain decorum in the House, deputychairman, PJ Kurien said, “You can raise slogans, please at least don’t howl.”

46% of rape victims in Delhi are minors: Government

However, the Union Home Ministry maintained that Delhi Police, as a conscious policy of “truthful reporting”, is registering complaints in the recent years with an objective that no crime, especially crime against the vulnerable groups, including women, goes unreported

In the past three years, five minor girls were allegedly raped in every two days, forming around 46% of the total rape cases reported in the national capital in the corresponding period.”In 2013, 1,636 rape cases were reported in Delhi of which, in 757 cases victims were minors. In 2014, 2,166 rape cases were reported in which 1,004 pertained to minors. “Till October 31 this year, as many as 1,856 rape cases have been reported and in 824 cases, the victims are reported to be below 18 years,” Rajya Sabha was told on Wednesday.However, the Union Home Ministry maintained that Delhi Police, as a conscious policy of “truthful reporting”, is registering complaints in the recent years with an objective that no crime, especially crime against the vulnerable groups, including women, goes unreported. “During 2014, the work-out percentage of rape cases in Delhi was as high as 80.79%. Similarly, during the current year (upto October 31, 2015) it is 77.16%,” the Rajya Sabha was told.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Crimes like rape are handled with great sensitivity and various measures have been taken by Delhi Police for the safety of women in the city. Emphasis is given to ensure that all cases of crime against women are investigated by women officers. “Delhi Police has organised self-defence training programmes in which 17,699 girls and women were imparted training during the year 2014,” said Minister of State for Home Affairs Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary.

Sachin Tendulkar opens questions innings in RS, four more this week

After three years of being nominated as a member in the House of Elders, cricketer Sachin Tendulkar has opened his innings of asking questions. While on Monday he gave a written query, the second so far, on changes in issuance driving licences, he has four more questions listed out for the week on Human Resource Development and Railways ministries.Tendulkar asked his first question on Friday on criteria for declaring suburban railway services as a separate zone. “Will the Minister of Railways be pleased to state the rationale behind creating a new zone for Kolkata Metro and whether it can be replicated in other cities such as Mumbai, Chennai and Delhi that also have similar suburban rail services; the criteria that a suburban railway system must fulfil to enable it to be notified as a separate zone; and whether the above three cities fulfil that criteria and are eligible for being notified as separate zones?”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With just a seven per cent attendance in Rajya Sabha since 2012 (as per PRS legislative research), this was his first major participation in the House, where he has not participated in any debate. The absence of nominated members came up in Rajya Sabha on Monday morning when a lawmaker sought exemption from attending the House. When the Chair sought permission of the House for it, JD-U MP KC Tyagi objected to members who have been continuously absent from being nominated.Besides Tendulkar, Bollywood actress Rekha and Mithun Chakravarty, who are also nominated members, have a low attendance of five per cent and ten per cent, according to PRS figures. None of them have participated in debates so far. A member runs the risk of disqualification for being absent for 60 consecutive days.”Sachin Tendulkar is the biggest cricketer. Rekha is a big star. They are nominated to share their life’s experiences with the House. But, the House is denied of that. I request that in future such people are not nominated,”Tyagi later told dna.About Tendulkar asking written questions, he said “he has made his maiden run in Parliament.”On Monday, Tendulkar asked whether under the proposed new Motor Vehicles Act, the government proposed to make driving licence procedure more transparent and stringent in order to curb fake licences; whether it is also proposed to implement strict guidelines to test and train the driving licence applicants; and what steps are being taken in the new Act to safeguard the rights of pedestrians, drivers, physically challenged persons and to curb the incidents of road rage.Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways P Radhakrishnan said the ministry was working on a proposal to replace the Motor Vehicles Act with ‘The Road Transport and Safety Bill, 2015’. He gave a detailed response listing the proposals in the bill.

Dog remark: ‘Rahul trying to give political colour’, says government defending VK Singh

“Rahulji wakes up suddenly and starts some programme. V K Singh has not made any such statement,” Rajiv Pratap Rudy told reporters.

Rahul Gandhi leads protest outside Parliament

ANI
Defending Union Minister V K Singh, government on Monday rejected the opposition charge that he had made anti-dalit remarks and said it was unfortunate that Congress was bent on giving political colour to the matter.Speaking to reporters outside Parliament after Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi led a protest by party MPs demanding Singh’s ouster, Union Minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy said that Singh is being “traumatised” for a statement that he has not made. “Rahulji wakes up suddenly and starts some programme. V K Singh has not made any such statement,” he told reporters.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rudy said that Singh respects the Constitution and held that he had not said anything what was being attributed to him. “Rahulji wants to do give this issue a political colour. It is unfortunate that a statement not made by someone is attributed to a minister. He is traumatised for that. This is not correct,” Rudy said.Rahul, Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, party leaders Anand Sharma, Deepender Hooda and several others participated in the protest against Singh’s “dog” remarks held shortly before the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha assembled for the day.Singh, who is Minister of State for External Affairs, had kicked up a storm in October with his comments that the Centre cannot be blamed if somebody throws a stone at a dog to shield it from criticism for the Faridabad Dalit burning incident, prompting opposition to demand his ouster.

Rahul Gandhi leads Congress’ protest outside Parliament, demands VK Singh’s ouster over dog remark

Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia said that they were raising the issue as it was about “the behaviour of a central government minister against a particular community, infact Indians per se”.

Rahul Gandhi leads protest outside Parliament

ANI
Congress MPs led by Rahul Gandhi on Monday staged a protest outside Parliament house demanding removal of Union Minister V K Singh for his “dog” remarks.Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, party leaders Anand Sharma, Deepender Hooda and several others participated in the protest held shortly before the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha assembled for the day. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Later speaking to reporters, Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia said that they were raising the issue as it was about “the behaviour of a central government minister against a particular community, infact Indians per se”. He said that Government needs to take action and only giving speeches was not enough. Singh had kicked up a storm in October with his comments that the Centre cannot be blamed if somebody throws a stone at a dog to shield it from criticism for the Faridabad Dalit burning incident, prompting opposition to demand his ouster.Singh, who is Minister of State for External Affairs, has been under opposition fire for allegedly using ‘dog analogy’ to refute allegations of inaction levelled against the government in the aftermath of two Dalit children being burned alive in Haryana. The government side has been insisting that Singh had not made any such comment about Dalits and there is no reason for the Opposition to raise the issue.

Has the Indian parliament lost its relevance?

MP Baijayant Jay Panda explains why some Indians feel that Indian parliament is struggling to serve its purpose.

With no word from Congress, government to go ahead with GST and other bills

While at the 45-minute long meeting on November 27 at the PM’s official 7-Race Course residence, the government did agree to review its position, Sonia Gandhi told Modi that she would discuss the proposal internally within her party.

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi with former prime minister Manmohan Singh at a function in New Delhi on Saturday
B B Yadav
dna
With no response from the Congress, even a week after Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Congress president Sonia Gandhi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the the PM’s residence, the government has decided to go ahead with key reform legislations, preparing for an imminent showdown, with the main Opposition in Parliament next week. Among other proposed legislations, the government has listed the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill, officially known as The Constitution (122nd Amendment) Bill, 2014 and also the Real Estate bill for consideration and passage.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> While at the 45-minute long meeting on November 27 at the PM’s official 7-Race Course residence, the government did agree to review its position, Sonia Gandhi told Modi that she would discuss the proposal internally within her party. Since then she has left for the United States for a medical check-up and nobody in the party is now ready to bite the bullet. The government is also planning to pass six bills in the Lok Sabha and seven in the Rajya Sabha next week, beginning Monday. Government sources say, they were still awaiting a response from the Congress in the light of economic advisor Arvind Subramanian’s recommendations that offer more-feasible economic solutions to address the main Opposition’s concern to resolve the long-standing political deadlock. “We cannot wait endlessly and hope Congress puts its point of view before the House during the debate,” said a government source. It is highly crucial for the Modi government not to miss the April 1 deadline for GST rollout, which means the bill has to be passed in the current session itself, to include its cascading effects in the budget preparations, which have already kicked off in North Block and across state capitals. The Business Advisory Committee of the Rajya Sabha has allotted a time of four hours for the GST Bill and two hours for the Real Estate Bill. The Select Committees of the House have already submitted their reports on these two bills which are pending for further consideration and passing by the Rajya Sabha. The legislative agenda of Lok Sabha includes consideration and passage of the High Court and Supreme Court Judges (Salary and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill 2015, the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill, 2015, The Indian Trusts (Amendment) Bill 2015, the Payment of Bonus (Amendment) Bill 2015, and the Industries (Regulation and Development) Amendment Bill 2015. The non-legislative business which could be taken up in Lok Sabha next week includes a discussion on drought situation in the country, price rise and India’s relations with neighbouring countries. Arvind Subramanian’s recommendations on the GST were seen as an outcome of a meeting between the PM and the top Congress leaders and were held to resolve the deadlock to help it get passed in Parliament’s winter session itself. His panel decided to provide a range for the GST rate for various products and services: from 12 per cent to 40 per cent (the higher rate being applicable for select products such as luxury cars or tobacco products etc). However, the key revenue neutral rate suggested by the CEA panel stood at 15-15.5 per cent. The standard rate for GST stood at 17-18 per cent, the rate at which most products would likely be taxed. It also accepted a key Congress demand to do away with a proposal to levy a 1 per cent inter-state tax on transfer of goods. Congress is, however, refusing to budge . “Unless this, the barrier of 16-18 per cent is not removed and there is an independent authority. We are not going to accept it. The BJP wants the GST which is anti-people,” said Congress spokesperson and Rajya Sabha MP Pramod Tiwari. “Our leader Rahul Gandhi has made it very clear that we are not going to accept GST which is anti-people, anti-traders and anti-common man,” he added. Another trigger has come from a statement of Skill Development Minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy proposing to levy an additional 2 per cent cess on income tax to garner funds for skill development. Congress leaders say, if approved, this cess, would be a part of the basket of 27 different kinds of cess and surcharges. Other than that, the Congress is already unhappy with the 0.5 per cent Swachh Bharat cess that came into effect from 15 November this year. There is also disquiet for not including petroleum products in the GST. Petrol that costs Rs60.48 per litre in Delhi can drop to just Rs30.35 a litre if the 18 per cent GST rate is implemented. The government has kept the petroleum, alcohol and tobacco products outside the purview of GST as the states do not want to lose them as hefty money earners, yielding most of the tax revenue. The way the Congress forced the government’s hand not to allow manufacturing states like Gujarat to levy 1 per cent additional tax besides the national GST, pressure is bound to build on the government in Parliament not to exclude any item from the GST. Since the production cost of petrol today is Rs23.77 per litre while the petrol pumps get commission of Rs2.26 per litre, the GST at 18 per cent works out to Rs4.32, making the selling price of petrol as Rs30.35 per litre. Its inflated price of Rs60.48 per litre in Delhi is because of the central excise of Rs19.06 plus the state’s levy of sales tax or VAT of Rs12.10. The central and state taxes together account for Rs31.16 per litre while it would be just Rs4.32 if brought under GST. The Modi government has, however, steadily raised taxes on petrol and diesel to increase revenue collections as the excise duty on petrol was Rs9.48 per litre in April 2014 and has been hiked five times to rise to Rs19.06 per litre. The industry doubts if the government would be prepared to forgo the revenue by agreeing to bring petrol and other petroleum products under GST.

Modi govt deliberately weakening labour laws, alleges Rahul Gandhi

He said that is why the labour laws were being diluted, so that the workers come to his knees.

Rahul Gandhi

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, accusing him of making deliberate attempts to weaken labour-related laws which was creating dissatisfaction among the workers.Alleging that Modi has launched a “big assault” on the workers, a combative Gandhi vowed to fight their battle like the Congress did for the farmers on the land acquisition bill.”Like we fought for the rights of farmers, we will fight for the cause of the workers and stand with them and would not retreat an inch. We will fight BJP, Modi and RSS,” he said amid applause at the 31st Plenary Session of INTUC, the trade union wing of the Congress. Gandhi said although he agreed with the Prime Minister’s idea of turning India into a global manufacturing centre to make it more competitive than China, the unanimity ends there.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>This, he claimed, was because the Prime Minister considers Indian worker as “dishonest, shirker and one who could be made to work only by wielding the stick”. He said that is why the labour laws were being diluted, so that the workers come to his knees. “If you look at the new laws being made in Gujarat, Rajasthan and Haryana, you will see that Modi has started a big assault on workers,” he said.He claimed the Prime Minister feels that there was need to weaken the labour laws and “discipline” the workers so that they could be forced to work. Modi feels that with ‘hire and fire’ policy and weakening of unions, the workers will be made to work, Gandhi claimed.”I do not agree that our worker is either shirker or indisciplined… Our worker is scared. He is scared of his future, the future of his children. The worker is scared whether the job he has today will be there tomorrow. Will the factory gate open for him tomorrow,” the Congress leader said.Insisting that the government should become “judge” between the labourers and the industry and “not advocate” of industry, he told the Prime Minister that if he is able to remove fear from the mind of the workers then India would be able to surpass China in no time.Addressing the gathering, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the “dissatisfaction” of workers with the “anti-labour and unimaginative” economic policies of the NDA government was obvious from the one day general strike observed in the country on September 2.Gandhi’s attack on the Modi dispensation came after INTUC chief G Sanjeeva Reddy accused the government of launching an assault on interests of the labourers in various ways. Reddy alleged that the government was not recognising INTUC as the largest trade union organisation in the country with 3.31 crore members despite “submission of all documents for verification”. Gandhi said Modi had attempted to acquire lands of farmers by promulgating the land ordinance thrice but Congress MPs resisted and ensured that it was not done. He alleged that now the Prime Minister’s attempt is to break the safety net for workers which was built over decades by the Congress when it was in power.Claiming that whosoever was advising the Prime Minister on labour matters was “wrongly advising” him, Gandhi said the workers would take India to greater heights if their “pain” is removed. Taking a dig at the Prime Minister, the Congress vice-president said “these are days of Twitter and selfies” and Modi has a penchant for using new words and phrases.He assured the INTUC leadership that he would accommodate their representatives in Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha and state assemblies as also in the ministries so that the issues of labour get their due attention. Former Prime Minister Singh said that in the name of structural labour reforms, attempts are being made to reduce the scope for secure industrial jobs in favour of contract labour and ‘hire and fire’ approach.”It is generally agreed that we need at least 500 million skilled workers by 2022. The actual pace on the ground is only a fraction of this target,” he said. At the same time, he said that industrial strife, strikes and lockouts are “not the best means” to resolve unrest. “We must enlarge the available space for resolving industrial problems through peaceful dialogue involving all the stake holders of the tripartite process namely workers, industry and government.”He said the trade union movement has to be made aware that at present Indian economy faces a fragile recovery and inadequate expansion of employment opportunities and public enterprises face an uncertain future.

How govt averted an embarrassing situation in Rajya Sabha

Normally, private member bills, except in a rare few cases, are withdrawn by those moving them after a reply from the government.

Doing a quick thinking, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi pointed to the Chair that the House does not have quorum for voting.

Disfavouring inclusion of certain castes under the SC category, government was today on the verge of facing an embarrassing situation in Rajya Sabha when a private member bill on it was about to be put to vote but it was averted as the ruling side cited lack of quorum.The situation almost reached the embarrassing point for the government as Vishambhar Prasad Nishad of Samajwadi Party, who had moved the bill, insisted on putting it to vote, rejecting pleas for withdrawing it. As Nishad remained adamant on voting, Deputy Chairman P J Kurien started the process of voting on the bill.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Normally, private member bills, except in a rare few cases, are withdrawn by those moving them after a reply from the government. “If he is not withdrawing, I will have to put it to vote,” Kurien said. Sensing an unpleasant situation, some members of BJP, including a minister, went out of the House which was left with 21 members altogether.Doing a quick thinking, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi pointed to the Chair that the House does not have quorum for voting.As per the rules, the House should have at least 10 per cent of members of the total strength present for quorum. In the case of Rajya Sabha, presence of at least 25 members is required for quorum. Since the House did not have as many members, it was adourned for the day. Earlier, replying to the bill, Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thaawar Chand Gehlot urged the member to withdraw the bill saying that the Centre cannot include castes like Mallah, Goriya and Kashyap under SC as the Registrar General (RGI) has rejected the UP government’s proposal twice.”Recommendation of RGI is binding for us. RGI has rejected the UP government’s proposal twice, the government of India cannot include these castes mentioned by the member under SC,” he said. A

Government examining whether Muslim NCC cadets can sport beard

“The recommendations were discussed in Rajya Sabha on December 2 by way of answer submitted by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, who has replied that this matter (recommendations) of the State Minorities Commission is being examined by the Ministry and necessary orders will be passed,” Khan told reporters here.

Defence Ministry is examining the recommendation of Andhra Pradesh State Minorities Commission to allow Muslim cadets in National Cadet Corps (NCC) to sport beard on the lines of the exemption given to Sikh community, Commission chairman Abid Rasool Khan said on Friday.On a petition by some Muslim cadets who were barred from NCC for sporting a beard, the AP State Minorities Commission had asked the Defence Ministry to make the exemption, granted to Sikh community, applicable to Muslims too.”The recommendations were discussed in Rajya Sabha on December 2 by way of answer submitted by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, who has replied that this matter (recommendations) of the State Minorities Commission is being examined by the Ministry and necessary orders will be passed,” Khan told reporters here.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He expressed the hope that the government will pass necessary orders after taking note of the recommendations of the Commission.”It will be a great achievement for the Commission and an important milestone in the history of India, and if orders are passed as per the recommendations of the Commission then any Muslim will get parity with Sikhs to sport beard in para military services,” Khan said.Earlier, the Commission had issued notices to Director General NCC and stated that sporting beard is fundamentally ordained in the tenets of Islam.The Commission had, accordingly, recommended to central government that such a regulation barring the Muslim cadets from undergoing training is deemed as infringing upon their right to freedom and liberty, and had recommended that the Muslims be allowed to sport beard on lines of the exemption given to the Sikh community.Subsequently, officials representing NCC and Ministry of Defence, who appeared before the Commission, cited Defence regulations which prohibited facial hair and said they were applicable to NCC too, Khan said.

Rajya Sabha sees adjourments on VK Singh’s remarks in Dalits, Mohan Bhagwat’s comments on Ram temple

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Government’s plans for Parliament’s winter session going awry?

When the session began last week, the government strategy appeared to have revolved around the passage of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

Opposition members protesting in Rajya Sabha on Thursday

PTI
The government’s efforts for a smooth winter session appear to be fading as new issues are cropping up to fuel confrontation between the government and opposition.When the session began last week, the government strategy appeared to have revolved around the passage of the Goods and Services Tax (GST). A week later, the mood has changed to a bitter government-opposition face off, with sparring in Rajya Sabha, the BJP listing out corruption cases against Congress leaders and GST’s fate hinging on the main opposition party, which seems to be divided on it.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>That the Congress would be unrelenting in its approach towards government was apparent from Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s speech in Lok Sabha on intolerance. On Thursday morning, at a meeting convened by him, party leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge was criticised by his colleagues who were of the view that the government was let off too easily in the intolerance debate. The issue is likely to come up in Rajya Sabha next week when it takes up CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury’s notice for a house resolution.Gandhi and other younger Congress leaders are understood to be taking a less conciliatory stand on GST than the older generation which includes former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Some Congress leaders are of the view that having brought its demands for amendments from a dozen to three, it should not make further compromises on these.Meanwhile, relations have soured inside the Rajya Sabha. Soon after the government-Congress confrontation in the House over Kumari Selja’s remarks on discrimination in a Dwarka temple, BJP fielded commerce minister Nirmala Sitharaman to tear into the Congress. At a press conference, Sitharaman listed out corruption charges against Congress leaders and chief ministers bringing into its line of fire senior members right from Preneet Kaur to former finance minister P Chidambaram, over the ED raids in firms linked to his son Karti Chidambaram.However, to questions about the passage of GST bill, she said she hoped that the attack on the party would not effect the Congress stand on the bill. “GST is something which is their (Congress) bill. It is in national interest. If these are becoming an issue because of which Congress party, and I would not imagine that, would not support GST, then it would be a sad day,” she said, expressing hope that it would deal with the allegations with “maturity”.Sitharaman also raised the charges against Congress chief ministers of Kerala, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand– Oommen Chandy, Virbhadra Singha and Harish Rawat– demanding that the party take action against them.The tit-for-tat politics brings back memories of the last session, which was a washout. However, Sitharaman said the attack on Congress should not be linked to business in the House.”I would expect business to run and constructive engagement. I hope its not being suggested that whenever BJP picked up the omissions of Congress, it is tied up with Parliament’s functioning,”she said.To add to the acrimony between the government and opposition, BSP objected to union minister VK Singh’s presence in Rajya Sabha over his alleged remarks about the death of two dalit children.

Chennai flood situation ‘alarming’, eight army columns deployed: Rajnath Singh

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Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa to conduct aerial survey of flood affected areas

Earlier, Jayalalithaa had sought Rs. 2,000 crore for flood relief work. The Centre released a financial aid of Rs. 939.63 crore. Meanwhile, Rajya Sabha members offered to donate a part of their MPLADS fund for rehabilitation and rescue work.

Chennai floods
File Photo
PTI
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa will conduct an aerial survey of flood affected areas of Chennai, Kanchipuram and Tiruvallu on Thursday.There is water logging in many parts of Chennai due to heavy rains and normal lives remains disrupted. More than 500 people have so far been evacuated in flood-hit Tamil Nadu by several National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams, claimed OP Singh, NDRF Director General (DG), on Wednesday. “The teams have evacuated more than 500 people so far. Also, we are getting calls, messages from affected people and our teams are responding accordingly,” he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Earlier, the Indian Air Force (IAF) lifted three NDRF teams from the Palam airport for flood-hit Tamil Nadu on Wednesday evening with relief materials. Earlier, Jayalalithaa had sought Rs. 2,000 crore for flood relief work. The Centre released a financial aid of Rs. 939.63 crore. Meanwhile, Rajya Sabha members offered to donate a part of their MPLADS fund for rehabilitation and rescue work.Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday took stock of the flood situation in Tamil Nadu and discussed it with his cabinet colleagues, including the Home and Finance Ministers. “I want to inform the House that today morning the Prime Minister met the Home Minister, Finance Minister and myself and discussed the flood conditions in Tamil Nadu. We exchanged information on the situation,” Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu said in the Lok Sabha.The Indian Air Force has already deployed two MI-17 choppers at Tambaram and two MI-17s are being moved from Tirupati to Chennai for relief and rescue operations. Five Chetak helicopters are also operating from Tambaram. In addition, four MI-17 – two each at Bangalore and Nagpur – are on standby.The National Disaster Management Authority will coordinate the relief activities on behalf of the Centre. The authority has a round-the-clock Toll Free helpline number 1078 for this purpose.Heavy rains and water overflowing above the danger level at Railway Bridges in Chennai-Gudur section has impacted the functioning of trains following which the South Central Railway (SCR) has cancelled 12 trains and assured full refunds of fare for the same.Meanwhile, Tambaram railway station in Chennai has been turned into a makeshift shelter for the stranded passengers there. Chennai Airport will remain closed till Friday. From Thursday, Chennai bound flights will be landing at INS Rajali Airbase of Indian Navy at Arakonam which is about 60 kilometers from Chennai.

Amid GST uncertainty, government-Opposition relations sour

The Selja issue has left a bitter taste in the Congress and united the Opposition against the government. While a way out is likely to be foundon Thursday to end the deadlock in Rajya Sabha, the issue had paralysed business in the House till 3.30 pm.

Opposition members protest in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday

PTI
After the government and opposition struck conciliatory notes raising hopes on the Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill, relations between the two sides took an acrimonious turn on Thursday.In Rajya Sabha, the government’s attempts to counter Congress member Kumari Selja’s statement that she faced discrimination as a dalit in the Beyt Dwarka temple had infuriated the Opposition. Meanwhile, Union minister VK Singh unleashed a counter-attack through five tweets on Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi who had taken him on during his speech in Lok Sabha on intolerance on Wednesday.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With GST bill on top of its agenda, the government had reached out to Congress leadership last week with Prime Minister Narendra Modi meeting his predecessor Manmohan Singh and the opposition party’s President Sonia Gandhi. Modi had reached out to Opposition underlining the importance of consensus while making speeches in both houses of Parliament.The Selja issue has left a bitter taste in the Congress and united the Opposition against the government. While a way out is likely to be foundon Thursday to end the deadlock in Rajya Sabha, the issue had paralysed business in the House till 3.30 pm.The same day, VK Singh retaliated to Rahul Gandhi, who demanded his removal for allegedly comparing dalit children with dogs. Singh refuted the allegation of playing divisive politics saying he served in the army for 42 years putting his and his men’s lives on the line to protect the socio-economic and cultural fabric of the country.”Intriguing that Rahul Gandhi questions my absence from the Parliament, wonder how someone who vanished for 57 days earlier this year and has one of the poorest track records when it comes to attending the Parliament (43% in 2013), does so with a straight face,” Singh said.The sparring comes at a time when the GST ball is in the Congress’s court. In fact, the Congress is expected to get back to the government after Sonia Gandhi returns from the US on December 5.The government, which had given utmost priority to its legislative agenda in the session, had also asked MPs not to get provoked by the Opposition remarks as it was the responsibility of the ruling side to run the House.

No exact co-relation between mobile tower radiation and wildlife health: Prakash Javadekar

Environment Ministry had constituted an expert committee to study the possible impacts of communication towers on wildlife, including birds and bees, in 2010.

Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar

There is no exact co-relation between mobile tower radiations and health of wildlife even as there are indications that Electromagnetic Radiations (EMR) affect their biological system, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said on Wednesday.Environment Ministry had constituted an expert committee to study the possible impacts of communication towers on wildlife, including birds and bees, in 2010.”As per the report of the committee, while there are indications that Electromagnetic Radiations (EMR) affect biological systems of animals, birds and insects, it also points out that exact coorelation between radiation of communication towers and health of wildlife is so far not established,” Javadekar said in a written reply to Rajya Sabha.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The reports also states that although existing literature depicts adverse effects of EMR on the biological systems of living beings, more research is required to assess the true impact of EMR on free-living floral and faunal species, including birds and bees in the country,” he said.

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