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Diplomats hail move but with caution

Sumitra Kumar, senior research fellow at the premier strategic think-tank – Institute of Defence Studies and Analysis (IDSA) — however, is apprehensive about Nawaz Sharif’s manoeuvrability with regard to terror elements given that the Punjab provincial government has over the last few years been allocating considerable funds in its annual budget for the Jamaat ud Dawa. “Even faced with the improbability of making much headway on terrorism and Kashmir in the resumed dialogue, it is still important for India to engage with Pakistan. If India hopes to be taken seriously by the international community it should be seen to be managing its relationships with the neighbours earnestly,” Kumar said. Also, continuing the dialogue might tend to weaken the anti-India elements in Pakistan, he said. Besides, the experience of the last 18 months during which the dialogue was interrupted twice has brought both governments to the view that if any forward movement has to be made in improving relations they can only resort to a dialogue and nothing else,” said Kumar, an expert on Pakistan and military affairs.

dna Correspondent

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Also ReadIndia6.2 magnitude quake rocks northeast Afghanistan; tremor felt in Delhi, parts of North IndiaIndiaNo takers among doctors for paramilitary forcesIndiaDelhi emerging as global transit hub for drugsIndiaTwo major defence deals that couldn’t fructify during Narendra Modi’s visit to RussiaIndiaNow for the real talks: India, Pakistan Foreign Secretaries to meet on January 15IndiaAll you need to know about PM Modi’s sudden Pakistan visit <!– /.block –>

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Delhi emerging as global transit hub for drugs

Officials at the NCB, by their own admission say that the high number of cases this year is reflective of successful interception by its intelligence officials, where as the real number of drugs sent through mail services within and outside India could be much higher. “We are imparting training to private courier franchises and the government agencies on how to identify and what to look for while dealing with parcels. There is much more awareness among the staff at courier and postal offices to be alert and this has helped us in high interception,” says Rohit Sharma, Delhi zonal director, NCB.

Shweta Desai

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Also ReadIndia6.2 magnitude quake rocks northeast Afghanistan; tremor felt in Delhi, parts of North IndiaIndiaNo takers among doctors for paramilitary forcesIndiaDelhi emerging as global transit hub for drugsIndiaTwo major defence deals that couldn’t fructify during Narendra Modi’s visit to RussiaIndiaNow for the real talks: India, Pakistan Foreign Secretaries to meet on January 15IndiaAll you need to know about PM Modi’s sudden Pakistan visit <!– /.block –>

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India to discuss PoK with Pakistan: Envoy TCA Raghavan

“The first application to the UN was moved by India and it was on the grounds that a part of the state, which had acceded to India, is now under the illegal occupation of the Pakistan Army,” Raghavan said.

Image Courtesy: MEA

Ahead of the Indo-Pak Foreign Secretary-level talks next month, Indian envoy in Islamabad on Monday said his country will discuss Kashmir which is under the illegal occupation of Pakistan.Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan T C A Raghavan, while giving a lecture, gave a historical perspective of the Kashmir dispute.”The first application to the UN was moved by India and it was on the grounds that a part of the state, which had acceded to India, is now under the illegal occupation of the Pakistan Army,” Raghavan said.”So when you say what is it that India is going to discuss or what is it discussing, it is really, if you ask most Indians, and what is our position — it is the part of that state which is still under the control of Pakistan,” he said during the lecture at the Centre for Security Studies, a private think-tank in the capital.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the broader sense, he said Kashmir will be part of talks with Pakistan.Raghavan’s remarks came just days after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s visit here during which she called on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and met Pakistan Prime Minister’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz.After the meetings, the two countries decided to re-engage under the ‘Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue’.The Foreign Secretaries of Pakistan and India will meet next month in Delhi to work out the details of the dialogue.

India, Pakistan to resume dialogue; Jammu & Kashmir, Siachen among issues to be discussed

Capping a series of positive developments since Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif met in Paris only ten days ago, it was announced here that the Foreign Secretaries will meet to decide the modalities and schedule of the dialogue. Pakistan has assured India of “steps being taken to expedite the early conclusion” of the Mumbai attack trial, something that India has been pressing for long.

Reuters
Breaking the logjam in their ties, India and Pakistan on Wednesday announced that they have decided to engage in a “comprehensive” dialogue that will include peace and security and Jammu and Kashmir.Capping a series of positive developments since Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif met in Paris only ten days ago, it was announced here that the Foreign Secretaries will meet to decide the modalities and schedule of the dialogue. Pakistan has assured India of “steps being taken to expedite the early conclusion” of the Mumbai attack trial, something that India has been pressing for long.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Security Advisors (NSAs) of India and Pakistan who had recently met in Bangkok, will continue to address all issues connected to terrorism, according to a joint statement issued by the two countries. The joint statement came after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj met Sharif and later his Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz here on the concluding day of her two-day visit for attending a multilateral conference on Afghanistan.In another significant step towards betterment of ties, Modi will visit Pakistan to attend the SAARC summit likely to be held in September. The “comprehensive bilateral dialogue” will also include Confidence Building Measures (CBMs), Siachen, Sir Creek, Wullar Baragge/Tulbul Navigation Project, Economic and Commercial Cooperation, Counter-Terrorism, Narcotics Control, Humanitarian Issues, People-to-People exchanges and religious tourism.The joint statement condemned terrorism and resolved to cooperate to eliminate it. Swaraj and Aziz noted the successful talks on terrorism and security-related issues in Bangkok by the two NSAs and decided that the NSAs will continue to address all issues connected to terrorism. At a joint press conference with Aziz, Swaraj said that she had a “very good meeting” with both Aziz and Sharif. She said we have decided to start afresh the dialogue, which was going on under the composite dialogue earlier and then in the name of resumed dialogue, and call it Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue (CBD).”The CBD will have all the pillars of Composite Dialogue and some additional components. How this dialogue process should be taken forward will be decided in a meeting between our Foreign Secretaries, who will work on scheduling and modalities of the process.”Scheduling means which all pillars, when, what modalities and who all Secretaries will hold it,” Swaraj said adding “It will have additional components apart from those in the composite dialogue.”Earlier, speaking at the ‘Heart of Asia’ ministerial conference on Afghanistan, Swaraj extended a hand of friendship to Pakistan, saying it was time the two countries displayed “maturity and self-confidence” to do business with each other and offered to move cooperation at a pace Pakistan is comfortable with.”Let me take this opportunity to extend our hand to Pakistan as well. It is time that we display the maturity and self-confidence to do business with each other and strengthen regional trade and cooperation. The entire world is waiting and rooting for a change. Let us not disappoint them.”For its part, India is prepared to move our cooperation at a pace which Pakistan is comfortable with. But today, let us at least resolve to help Afghanistan – in the best traditions of good neighbourliness – through more effective transit arrangements,” she said.Swaraj, who was accompanied by Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar, India’s High Commissioner to Pakistan TCA Raghavan and envoy to Afghanistan Amar Sinha, said terrorism in that country has grown in both intensity and scope in the last few months and that India was ready to work with the Afghan government to strengthen its defensive capability.Swaraj will make a detail statement on her Pakistan visit in Parliament tomorrow. Asked what was the “big change” for India to commence a comprehensive bilateral dialogue, sources said the NSA-level meeting to address terror-related issues went off constructively and that was a big change.They said Pakistani side showed that they understand India’s concerns over the Mumbai attacks trial on which the Pakistani side assured India of the steps to expedite the judicial process. On the Swaraj-Aziz meeting, the sources said some amount of time was spent on the Mumbai trial case.On renaming the dialogue process, they said, “the sense was that we could re-engage but there are other issues like fishermen and religious tourism which needed to be discussed…” The sources said the dialogue process is not disowning the past but taking forward the broad-based dialogue. “We wanted more than the existing subset in the composite dialogue that is why it was renamed,” the sources said.They said the Bangkok meeting was a good meeting and the issues were complex but were not dealt in an accusatory manner but in a constructive way. Swaraj’s meeting with Sharif was multi-lingual where Urdu, Hindustani and Punjabi were used for the conversation.She also met Sharif’s family which included four generations of his family — his mother, wife, daughter and granddaughter. The effort was to unblock ties and move forward, the sources said.In her meeting with Aziz, Swaraj discussed a number of issues with the Pakistani side showing an understanding to India’s concerns over terror. Asked about the progress in ties, the sources said this goes back to Paris where the two Prime Ministers desired to find a way to go forward and India saw the ‘Heart of Asia’ conference as a good opportunity and to convince Pakistan to have NSAs meeting before the External Affairs Minister comes here.

India, Pakistan to resume dialogue; Jammu and Kashmir, Siachen among issues to be discussed

The National Security Advisors (NSAs) of India and Pakistan who had recently met in Bangkok, will continue to address all issues connected to terrorism, according to a joint statement issued by the two countries

Reuters
Breaking the logjam in their ties, India and Pakistan on Wednesday announced that they have decided to engage in a “comprehensive” dialogue that will include peace and security and Jammu and Kashmir.Capping a series of positive developments since Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif met in Paris only ten days ago, it was announced here that the Foreign Secretaries will meet to decide the modalities and schedule of the dialogue. Pakistan has assured India of “steps being taken to expedite the early conclusion” of the Mumbai attack trial, something that India has been pressing for long.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Security Advisors (NSAs) of India and Pakistan who had recently met in Bangkok, will continue to address all issues connected to terrorism, according to a joint statement issued by the two countries. The joint statement came after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj met Sharif and later his Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz here on the concluding day of her two-day visit for attending a multilateral conference on Afghanistan.In another significant step towards betterment of ties, Modi will visit Pakistan to attend the SAARC summit likely to be held in September. The “comprehensive bilateral dialogue” will also include Confidence Building Measures (CBMs), Siachen, Sir Creek, Wullar Baragge/Tulbul Navigation Project, Economic and Commercial Cooperation, Counter-Terrorism, Narcotics Control, Humanitarian Issues, People-to-People exchanges and religious tourism.The joint statement condemned terrorism and resolved to cooperate to eliminate it. Swaraj and Aziz noted the successful talks on terrorism and security-related issues in Bangkok by the two NSAs and decided that the NSAs will continue to address all issues connected to terrorism. At a joint press conference with Aziz, Swaraj said that she had a “very good meeting” with both Aziz and Sharif. She said we have decided to start afresh the dialogue, which was going on under the composite dialogue earlier and then in the name of resumed dialogue, and call it Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue (CBD).”The CBD will have all the pillars of Composite Dialogue and some additional components. How this dialogue process should be taken forward will be decided in a meeting between our Foreign Secretaries, who will work on scheduling and modalities of the process.”Scheduling means which all pillars, when, what modalities and who all Secretaries will hold it,” Swaraj said adding “It will have additional components apart from those in the composite dialogue.”Earlier, speaking at the ‘Heart of Asia’ ministerial conference on Afghanistan, Swaraj extended a hand of friendship to Pakistan, saying it was time the two countries displayed “maturity and self-confidence” to do business with each other and offered to move cooperation at a pace Pakistan is comfortable with.”Let me take this opportunity to extend our hand to Pakistan as well. It is time that we display the maturity and self-confidence to do business with each other and strengthen regional trade and cooperation. The entire world is waiting and rooting for a change. Let us not disappoint them.”For its part, India is prepared to move our cooperation at a pace which Pakistan is comfortable with. But today, let us at least resolve to help Afghanistan – in the best traditions of good neighbourliness – through more effective transit arrangements,” she said.Swaraj, who was accompanied by Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar, India’s High Commissioner to Pakistan TCA Raghavan and envoy to Afghanistan Amar Sinha, said terrorism in that country has grown in both intensity and scope in the last few months and that India was ready to work with the Afghan government to strengthen its defensive capability.Swaraj will make a detail statement on her Pakistan visit in Parliament tomorrow. Asked what was the “big change” for India to commence a comprehensive bilateral dialogue, sources said the NSA-level meeting to address terror-related issues went off constructively and that was a big change.They said Pakistani side showed that they understand India’s concerns over the Mumbai attacks trial on which the Pakistani side assured India of the steps to expedite the judicial process. On the Swaraj-Aziz meeting, the sources said some amount of time was spent on the Mumbai trial case.On renaming the dialogue process, they said, “the sense was that we could re-engage but there are other issues like fishermen and religious tourism which needed to be discussed…” The sources said the dialogue process is not disowning the past but taking forward the broad-based dialogue. “We wanted more than the existing subset in the composite dialogue that is why it was renamed,” the sources said.They said the Bangkok meeting was a good meeting and the issues were complex but were not dealt in an accusatory manner but in a constructive way. Swaraj’s meeting with Sharif was multi-lingual where Urdu, Hindustani and Punjabi were used for the conversation.She also met Sharif’s family which included four generations of his family — his mother, wife, daughter and granddaughter. The effort was to unblock ties and move forward, the sources said.In her meeting with Aziz, Swaraj discussed a number of issues with the Pakistani side showing an understanding to India’s concerns over terror. Asked about the progress in ties, the sources said this goes back to Paris where the two Prime Ministers desired to find a way to go forward and India saw the ‘Heart of Asia’ conference as a good opportunity and to convince Pakistan to have NSAs meeting before the External Affairs Minister comes here.

Acid attacks: Supreme Court asks, states, UTs to rehabilitate victims, ensure free treatment

The Supreme Court in September had issued show cause notices against governments of Kerala, Karnataka, Mizoram and Madhya Pradesh.

Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on Monday asked states and UTs to compensate, rehabilitate and ensure free treatment to acid attack victims as per its guidelines.The Supreme Court in September had issued show cause notices against governments of Kerala, Karnataka, Mizoram and Madhya Pradesh asking why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against them for not filing responses to its directions on issues like rehabilitation of acid attack victims. A bench comprising Justices MY Eqbal and C Nagappan had asked the Chief Secretaries of the four states to file their replies to the contempt notices within two weeks and posted the matter for hearing on September 23.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Related Read: Russian acid attack victim goes back; India to pay medicine billsThe bench was hearing a PIL filed by a Bihar-based NGO Parivartan Kendra seeking the court’s direction on the rehabilitation of the victims. Earlier, the court, which had passed a slew of directions on the issue, had given two weeks more “as a last chance” to certain states for filing counter affidavits. “In the event, this order is not complied with, then Chief Secretary of the respective defaulting States and the Union Territories shall appear in person before this Court on September 9, the next date of hearing,” it had said.Prior to this, the court had come to the aid of acid attack survivors by issuing directions including an order to all private hospitals across the country to provide free treatment, including medicines and expensive reconstruction surgeries, to such victims. It had asked all state governments and Union Territories to “take up the matter with the private hospitals” to ensure that acid attack victims are attended to immediately and adequately. The hospitals, where such victims are rushed after the incident, would have to provide a certificate or document stating that the person was an acid attack victim and the document would enable her or him to access free treatment, including surgeries, at a later stage, it had directed.On the banning of off-the-counter acid sale across the country, it had asked all states and UTs to notify acid as a “scheduled substance” to stop its unregulated sale. The court had also said its order should be sent to Chief Secretaries of all states and UTs, who in turn, would ensure that it reached District Magistrates for compliance and directed them to publicise it to ensure awareness among the people. (With PTI inputs)

PM Modi to interact with 169 Assistant Secretaries tomorrow

These officers have been assigned important desks related with policy and flagship programmes of the concerned ministries and departments

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold an interactive session on Thursday with 169 IAS officers who for the first time started their career as Assistant Secretaries in New Delhi.These officers have been assigned important desks related with policy and flagship programmes of the concerned ministries and departments. They are being groomed by principal mentors at the level of Secretary and divided into four clusters, namely infrastructure, social sector, regulatory, enabling or support sector and economic or commerce related, as assigned by the Cabinet Secretary.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Apart from the desk work, the young officers have been visiting the attached offices besides undertaking field visits. “All the Assistant Secretaries were given individual topics on concept or project paper by their respective ministry or department. A selection of these presentations will be made before the Prime Minister tomorrow,” a press release issued on Wednesday by Personnel Ministry said.

Cattle smuggling, illegal infiltration on Indo-Bangladesh Home Secretary-level talks agenda

The BJP, before coming to power, had made it as an election issue.

Meeting comes close on the heels of deportation of ULFA leader Anup Chetia from the neighbouring country.

Cattle smuggling and illegal infiltration are top on the agenda for the Indo-Bangla Home Secretary-level talks beginning tomorrow, which come close on the heels of deportation of ULFA leader Anup Chetia from the neighbouring country. Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi is expected to raise the issue of cattle smuggling to Bangladesh with his counterpart Mohammad Haque Khan and seek cooperation from that country to completely halt it.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>According to an official estimate, smuggling of cattle to Bangladesh has come down by more than 70 per cent, resulting in a sharp increase in the price of beef in Bangladesh. Home Minister Rajnath Singh had said in September that about 20-22 lakh cattle used to be smuggled every year to Bangladesh and it has come down to 2 to 2.5 lakh cattle this year. During the two-day talks, the Indian delegation is also likely to raise the issue of illegal infiltration from Bangladesh and explore ways how to check it. The BJP, before coming to power, had made it as an election issue.The meeting comes days after deportation of ULFA ‘general secretary’ Chetia from Bangladesh and subsequent deportation of one of the most wanted criminals of Bangladesh, Nur Hossain from India. Bangladesh may raise the issue of killing of its citizens during cross-border firing by India’s Border Security Force.The BSF, on its part, has said that the firing has been result of its attempt to curb cattle smuggling on the directions of the Centre.Dhaka may discuss the issue of construction of border outpost near the Tripura border as agreed during the last bilateral talks between the two Home Secretaries.India had agreed to help Bangladesh to build the outpost along the Tripura border on their side. Bangladesh has sought permission to bring engineers, raw material and workers through Indian soil since the area is unapproachable from its own territory.

Did not transfer VAT commissioner for ‘fighting graft’, says LG Najeeb Jung’s office

LG Secretariat said he acted on the basis of orders from the Ministry of Home Affairs.

LG’s Secretariat is asked to issue relieving orders when the transfer order issued by Ministry of Home Affairs, said Jung’s office.

Delhi Lt Governor’s office on Friday refuted the charges of AAP government that Najeeb Jung had relieved the VAT commissioner for “fighting graft” and pointed out at instances of “poor treatment” meted out to top officials including the Chief Secretary by it.Responding to Cabinet resolutions asking the LG to explain the “compelling circumstances” which forced him to transfer Vijay Kumar, LG Secretariat said he acted on the basis of orders from the Ministry of Home Affairs.It said Home Ministry on October 9 had issued directions that five officers who were earlier transferred from Delhi to other Union Territories since should be relieved with immediate effect. It said Kumar’s name figured among these five officers. “Transfers of officers to be posted out of Delhi is the exclusive domain of the Ministry of Home Affairs and at times the LG’s Secretariat is asked to issue relieving orders when the transfer order issued by Ministry of Home Affairs are not implemented by the Government of Delhi.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”It is clarified there has never been any recommendation from the LG’s Secretariat to the Ministry of Home Affairs requesting for transfer of any of these officers, either now or before,” an official statement said.In a resolution, the Cabinet also decided to appoint a GoM to protect officers from “political victimisation” and authorised it to take all steps required to deal with such issues including providing legal support at government’s cost.To this, the LG office responded sharply saying it will reserve its comments in view of the background of “several episodes of poor treatment meted out by the elected Government to the Chief Secretary, the Principal Secretaries Home, Power, GAD, Services, Commissioner (Transport), Principal Secretary (Law) and others”.

Former actress Nagma becomes the General Secretary of All India Mahila Congress

Nagma Moraraji, who had campaigned for Congress in several elections, and former Maharashtra Minister Varsha Gaikwad are among the 11 General Secretaries of the All India Mahila Congress.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Former actress and Congress leader Nagma was appointed on Tuesday as the General Secretary of All India Mahila Congress, while former DCW chairperson Barkha Shukla Singh was made the chief of Mahila Congress for Delhi unit.Nagma Moraraji, who had campaigned for Congress in several elections, and former Maharashtra Minister Varsha Gaikwad are among the 11 General Secretaries of the All India Mahila Congress. The team of office bearers of Mahila Congress at the national-level approved by the party Vice President Rahul Gandhi also include 9 secretaries.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Shobha Oza, who is also party spokesperson, is the head of the Mahila Congress. Charulata Tokas, daughter of the late Rajasthan Governor Prabha Rau, was made the head of the Maharashtra unit of the Mahila Congress. Susila Negi was appointed as the head of the Himachal Pradesh unit, while Subratta Dutta was made the head of West Bengal unit.The former chairperson of the Delhi Commission for Women, Barkha Shukla Singh, was at loggerheads with the Arvind Kejriwal government after she issued summons to AAP leader Kumar Vishwas in the wake of a complaint against him. Later, the Delhi government had issued her a show cause notice.The announcement about the office bearers of the All India Mahila Congress and of four-state Mahila Congress was made by AICC General Secretary Janardan Dwivedi.

Intensive Swachh Bharat campaign to be launched from September 25

The decision for re-energising of Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM), a flagship programme of Narendra Modi government, was taken at a high-level meeting of eight Ministers and over a dozen Secretaries of different departments of the Centre that held a brain storming session in Kota on Wednesday.
File Photo
PTI photo
With the aim of re-energising the Swachh Bharat Mission, government will launch an intensive countrywide campaign from September 25 till March 31 next year covering almost every part of the nation.Starting from ward level, the drive involving cleaning and awareness campaign will target railway stations, airports, bus depots, educational and medical institutions, religious places, heritage sites, taxi stands, markets, vegetable mandis roads and underpasses.The decision for re-energising of Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM), a flagship programme of Narendra Modi government, was taken at a high-level meeting of eight Ministers and over a dozen Secretaries of different departments of the Centre that held a brain storming session in Kota on Wednesday. SBM was launched with much fanfare on October 2 last year with many central ministers leading the campaign from the front in their respective areas.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After detailed discussions, an intensive campaign to be taken up at different levels from the ward to the state till March next year has been firmed up, said a senior Urban Development Ministry official. Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu who chaired the meeting stressed on the need to further energise the campaign for visible impact with the participation of all stakeholders focusing on citizen participation. He said that the Mission launched in October last year has stirred the imagination of the people across the country and needs to be converted into a ‘Jan Andolan’ as desired by Prime Minister Modi for desired results.Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, Minister of Civil Aviation Ashok Gajapati Raju, Minister of Health and Family Welfare J P Nadda, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar, Tourism and Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State (MoS) for Agriculture Sanjiv Balian and MoS for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore participated in the discussions.Ministers and Secretaries gave detailed accounts of actions undertaken so far and proposed to be undertaken for ensuring cleanliness in the establishments under their control.From September 25, which is the birth anniversary of late Deen Dayal Upadhyay, till the birth anniversary of late Jayaprakash Narayan on October 11, an intensive campaign will be taken up from ward to state level focusing on citizen engagement. Ministers in the meeting proposed grading of railway stations, airports, shipyards, hospitals, schools and colleges and tourist destinations based on the degree of sanitation. For the information of public such ranking would motivate towards improving sanitation.A senior official of Joint Secretary rank in Prime Minister’s Office referred to the need for separate sanitation strategies to be adopted for rural and urban areas. She suggested that in urban areas, habitations prone to open defecation need to be identified for an area based approach for better results and stressed that on the whole priority may be given to areas where poor people live.Stressing on the need for behavioural change, she referred to the recent elections in Delhi University during when a messy situation was created with regard to cleanliness. Javadekar informed that his Ministry would soon come out with final notifications in respect of management of Solid Waste, e-Waste, Plastic Waste and Bio-medical waste and this would mark the beginning of a significant change on ground.Naidu informed that policies to promote conversion of solid waste into energy and compost are under consideration and after finalization municipal waste would be effectively reused. Chairman, Railway Board, A K Mital stated that of the 1,500 major trains, on-board cleaning services have been introduced in 560 trains and another 400 would benefit from this service over the next two years.Out of the 45,000 coaches, bio-digester toilets have been introduced in 8,368 and these will be extended to another 4,400 this year. Mital said that while retrofitting of existing coaches with this kind of toilets takes time, all new coaches are being fitted with bio-digester toilets.Secretary, (School Education), in the Ministry of Human Resource Development said that introduction of modules on sanitation in school curriculum would be considered.Ward and City Sanitation Plans and achievements will be presented to the people during this period. It has been decided to undertake 11 theme based sanitation campaigns in urban areas.As per the finalised plan, a United Clean India drive will be taken up form October 11 till October 31, which is the birth anniversary of late Sardar Patel. During this period, focus would be on cleanliness drive in transportation sector including railways, metros, bus stands, airports, taxi stands, etc, as transport networks connect all.Agriculture mandis, vegetable and grain markets would be the focus of cleanliness drive during November 1, 2015. Religious places, Tourism and Heritage sites would be targeted during November 16-30. Educational institutions will focus on sanitation from December 1 till December 15.Resident Welfare Associations would take up intensive cleanliness drive during December 16-31. Cleanliness would be ensured at Underpasses, Areas under flyovers and main roads during January 1-15, 2016. Cantonment Boards would focus on sanitation efforts during January 16-31, 2016. Municipal Corporations would focus on cleanliness in Water bodies, Recreation Parks, Play and Rest Areas during February 1-15, 2015. Hospitals and Health Centres/Institutions would do so during February 16-28.Cleanliness drive would be undertaken in Old Cities and main markets during March 1-15. Government Offices/Buildings and Other Public Institutions would be the focus of sanitation drive during March 16-31, 2016.There will be discussion on ward level plans, administering Swachh Bharat Pledge, painting and quiz competitions, street plays and inauguration of new toilets will be taken up at ward level. Showcasing achievements, rewarding meritorious functionaries of urban local bodies, volunteers, NGOs, organizing walkathons, launching public toilet locator apps, launch of city level social media page, organizing competitions will be taken up at city levels.At state level, publicising the progress of Swachh Bharat Mission, walkathons with participation of public representatives and other prominent personalities, felicitating best performing urban local bodies, functionaries, visits to toilet complexes by dignitaries, showcasing technologies for segregation of solid waste will be taken up.

SC asks Centre to prepare action plan on girl trafficking

The court noted that the Central Advisory Committee was scheduled to deliberate on NALSA’s recommendations on September three and directed that the Chief Secretaries of all states and union territories must participate in it.

SC asked the Centre to discuss the report of the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA).

dna Research & Archives
The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Centre to come out with an action plan to prevent trafficking of girls for sexual exploitation, their rescue and rehabilitation after holding discussions with all states. It asked the Centre to discuss the report of the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) on prevention, rescue and rehabilitation of the victims of trafficking for commercial and sexual exploitation at this meeting.The bench headed by Justice A R Dave gave the directions after hearing senior advocate Dushyant Dave, who sought urgent directions for the authorities saying that the problem is grave. “We need to do something urgently,” he told the bench which also comprised Justices Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph. Dave, representing NGO ‘Prajwala’ which had moved the court against the trafficking of girls and women for commercial sexual exploitation, also lauded the NALSA for its recommendations.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The court noted that the Central Advisory Committee was scheduled to deliberate on NALSA’s recommendations on September three and directed that the Chief Secretaries of all states and union territories must participate in it. It also directed the Centre to place before it the minutes of the meeting and file an affidavit within three weeks after September 3 meeting elaborating the steps likely to be taken by it on each recommendation of NALSA which was lauded by all in the court.The NALSA, in its report filed with the apex court, has suggested roles of various stakeholders in the prevention, rescue and rehabilitation of victims of trafficking for commercial and sexual exploitation. The report has sought a direction to the Centre that an organised crime investigation agency be set up to investigate the cases of human trafficking and organised crime. “The court may direct the setting up of a committee by the central government to work out the modalities of setting up such a specialised agency,” it said. “This court may direct that till such time an organised crime investigation agency is set up, the Anti Human Trafficking Unit (AHTU), which works under the ministry of Home Affairs, may be declared as a ‘thana’ for facilitating registration and investigation of cases,” it said.

Separatists to go ahead with meeting with Pak NSA, says Mirwaiz Umar Farooq

Stop childish acts like locking us up in our houses, says Farooq

Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, the chairman of moderate faction of Hurriyat Conference, on Wednesday said that he was baffled over the house arrest and the subsequent release of the separatist leaders and that it was a very negative move. He also said that the Hurriyat will go ahead with the talks with the Pakistan National Security Advisor in New Delhi. “We were put under house arrest for no rhyme or reason. Although, it’s not a new thing for us to be put under house arrest. But, if this is an attempt to stop us from meeting the Pakistan NSA, then it is a very negative move”, Mirwaiz said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He asserted that Hurriyat’s intention was that both nations continue with the talks and in no way were they opposing it. “With LoC incidents on a rise and people dying, having talks has become a prerequisite. All the issue that are happening in Kashmir can only be solved when the talks go ahead,” Mirwaiz said.He added that the Indian government must try to understand that at some point the matter of Kashmir will have to be resolved. Either by war or dialogue and that nobody wants the latter. “Indian government needs to bring a positive change in its thoughts process so that all the state holders can be involved in the process. They need to stop childish acts like locking us up in our houses. Both nations need to show maturity and not try to stop the talks,” he said.Yasin Malik also said that Kashmiris need an end to the conflict and that can happen only through talks. “Issue Kashmiris voice is to take them out from this conflict and this can only happen when the Kashmir issue is solved,” he saidThe Hurriyat leaders will now travel to Delhi to meet with Pakistan NSA Sartaj Aziz, who will arrive in India on Sunday to hold talks on terror with his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval. The meeting between the top security officials of both nations will see the recommencement of dialogue between the two countries after a year. India had called off the talks last year after Pakistan consulted Kashmiri separatists before a meeting of the Foreign Secretaries.With inputs from ANI

Measures to block pornographic sites will be taken: Centre tells SC

The assurance came after a bench headed by Chief Justice H L Dattu expressed its unhappiness that things have not moved forward and the petitioner in the matter was making all sorts of submissions

Government on Wednesday assured the Supreme Court that all possible measures would be taken to block porn sites, particularly those dealing with child pornography.The assurance came after a bench headed by Chief Justice HL Dattu expressed its unhappiness that things have not moved forward and the petitioner in the matter was making all sorts of submissions. “You have not blocked the websites. The petitioner is saying so much,” the bench, also comprising Justices Arun Mishra and Amitava Roy told Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand. The ASG said “we will do whatever is possible”.The bench, also asked Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar, who was appearing in another court, to assist it in the matter and advise the concerned departments of the government.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>However, before Anand had joined the proceedings, the counsel for petitioner had made certain remarks against the Secretaries of some concerned Ministries over the issue which was objected to by the bench and junior advocates appearing for the Centre. “All these are uncalled for,” the bench told advocate Vijay Panjwani, who was appearing for Indore-based lawyer Kamlesh Vaswani.The counsel had made reference about the posting of some photographs of a woman on websites circulated by her estranged husband. He said the matter has been languishing for quite some time but the concerned ministries were not filing responses and counter affidavits. The government counsels said it was not the Information and Broadcasting Ministry but for the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to look into the issue.The bench said no interim order can be passed in the matter which has to be examined after going through the counter-affidavit of the government department. The apex court had earlier asked the Secretary, DoT to file an affidavit on whether the government was competent to issue direction to Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to block porn sites particularly those showing child pornography. The service providers had submitted that they on their own cannot block such sites and they can do so only on the direction of the government. The petitioner had pleaded that although watching obscene videos is not an offence, pornographic sites should be banned as they were one of the major causes for crimes against women.It was submitted that the Centre had failed to devise mechanism to block such sites and absence of internet laws encouraged people to watch porn videos and as it was not an offence. The petition alleged that over 20 crore porn videos or clippings were freely available in the market, which are directly being downloaded through internet or other video CDs.”The sexual content that kids are accessing today is far more graphic, violent, brutal, deviant and destructive and has put entire society in danger, so also safety threats to public order in India. “The petitioner most respectfully submits that most of the offences committed against women/girls/children are fuelled by pornography. The worrying issue is the severity and gravity of the images are increasing. It is a matter of serious concern that pre-pubescent children are being raped,” it had said.”At best, the IPC only recognises the offences of obscenity, kidnapping, abduction and other related offences which are not sufficient to tackle the issue of pornography, and such videos,” it had said, adding that watching and sharing obscene videos should be made non-bailable and cognisable offence.

BJP attacks AAP government for ‘spending crores’ on advertisement

BJP on Friday threatened to approach the apex court if the TV commercial was not withdrawn soon.

The AAP-led Delhi government on Saturday came under attack from BJP for spending “crores of public money” in advertisements for political gains.BJP on Friday threatened to approach the apex court if the TV commercial was not withdrawn soon. BJP said the Arvind Kejriwal regime was following previous Sheila Dikshit dispensation in the matter of advertisements.The opposition party also took potshots at the state government for keeping 21 Parliamentary Secretaries out of the purview of “office of profit” clause terming it as “theatrics”. BJP slammed AAP-led Delhi Government for allegedly spending “crores” of public money promoting itself for “political gains”. “Money from public exchequer is being used for promoting individuals (including Chief Minister Kejriwal) in the government for political gains. Earlier, Sheila Dikshit had done so.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The Lokayukta had then found her guilty. She had spent Rs 22 crore. Now, AAP has spent Rs 5 crore to propagate itself,” claimed Vijender Gupta, Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly. Referring to AAP government’s advertisements, which claim to have controlled corruption, Gupta sought to know who these people are.”The Government has not disclosed their names, but is spending crores of rupees on erecting hoardings to claim credit,” Gupta said claiming the campaign is a case of violation of a Supreme Court order. Meanwhile, the BJP legislator ridiculed the state government for providing “all the facilities” to 21 Parliamentary Secretaries, but keeping them out of the purview of ‘office of profit’ clause.”These are all theatrics. The Parliamentary Secretaries have been given offices, vehicles, are being treated like ministers. They can go through files. Government has provided them several facilities. Crores of rupees are being spent on Parliamentary secretaries. Then you say they don’t fall in the ‘office of profit’ category. This is contradictory,” he said. As per Article 239(A) of Constitution, number of Cabinet ministers in Delhi can not exceed 10 percent of total 70 Assembly seats, that is 7. However, Gupta quipped, Delhi has 28 ministers given the kind of facilities Parliamentary Secretaries are receiving.

Maharashtra | Work on stopping farmer suicides: CM Fadnavis tells Babus

After coming to power, the Fadnavis government held a detailed survey of suicide by farmers in two districts on an experimental basis. The Yavatmal and Osmanabad districts have acquired the ill fame of being farmer suicide centres. While Yavatmal is part of the Vidarbha region, Osmanabad is in Marathwada.

Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday instructed a team of secretaries from various departments to prepare a comprehensive plan to prevent farmers’ suicides in the state.After coming to power, the Fadnavis government held a detailed survey of suicide by farmers in two districts on an experimental basis. The Yavatmal and Osmanabad districts have acquired the ill fame of being farmer suicide centres. While Yavatmal is part of the Vidarbha region, Osmanabad is in Marathwada.Fadnavis held a review meeting of the secretaries from various departments at Sahyadri Guest House. Secretaries from agriculture, revenue, PWD, education, environment, cooperation, health and tribal development and general administration department attended the meeting. The chief minister pointed out that on the lines of the detailed survey of these two districts, a survey for all the other districts should be completed as early as possible. Once the survey is over, a comprehensive policy for preventing suicides can be prepared.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An official informed that the survey of these two districts has been helpful in identifying the most vulnerable families. He said that on the basis of this survey, the families concerned can be given maximum attention through the district administration so that possible suicides can be prevented.There is a plan to provide financial help, counselling as well as treatment in case of health-related issues, so that members from a vulnerable family can be prevented from taking the extreme step. The chief minister instructed the secretaries to ensure that all the 12,000 primary health centres in the state are provided with necessary facilities and adequate medication as well as other essentials. ‘No fag-end purchases’Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis cautioned all the secretaries to ensure that no purchases are made at the fag-end of a financial year for the sake of utilising budget allocations. He also asked them to opt for transparent tender processes instead of the prevailing method of rate contract.

PM Modi launches PRAGATI platform for redressal of grievances

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today launched his ambitious multi-purpose and multi-modal platform, PRAGATI, which is aimed at addressing the common man’s grievances and monitoring important programmes and projects.

File Photo
PTI
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today launched his ambitious multi-purpose and multi-modal platform, PRAGATI, which is aimed at addressing the common man’s grievances and monitoring important programmes and projects.Speaking on the occasion, Modi said the step is to ensure that governance in India becomes more efficient and responsive as the whole world is now observing India keenly. PRAGATI, or Pro-Active Governance And Timely Implementation, is a unique integrative and interactive platform.During the first PRAGATI interaction on Wednesday, the Prime Minister discussed issues related to unseasonal rain and relief to farmers, public grievances, project implementation, Swachh Bharat and ‘ease of doing business’.Prime Minister Narendra Modi launching Pragati, a multi-purpose, multi-modal platform for Pro-Active Governance and Timely Implementation, in New Delhi on Wednesday. PTIAmong the issues discussed were two sets of public grievances of more than 20 people relating to the payment of Employees Provident Fund of private sector and Income Tax refunds, a PMO statement said. It was noted that all the grievances had been redressed. Also, the intervention through PRAGATI is leading to system improvement so that such grievances do not arise, it said.Two issues flagged by Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra regarding National Highways and clearance for Navi Mumbai airport, respectively, were also discussed. Six central government projects involving more than a dozen Union ministries and 13 states were also discussed. It was noted that various actions and permissions relating to the projects were pending for several years.A review was also undertaken about progress of school toilet programme and Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. The Prime Minister gave directions for redressal of grievances and compliance on the projects and programmes and motivated all officers to work in coordinated manner for outcome, the PMO statement said.A built-in feature of PRAGATI is that these directions will remain in the system for further follow up and review till the finality of the matter. The PRAGATI platform uniquely bundles three latest technologies: Digital data management, video-conferencing and geo-spatial technology. It also offers a unique combination in the direction of cooperative federalism since it brings on one stage the Secretaries of Government of India and the Chief Secretaries of the States, the statement said.
With this, the Prime Minister is able to discuss the issues with the concerned Central and State officials with full information and latest visuals of the ground level situation, it said, adding it is also an innovative project in e-governance and good governance.Immediately after assuming office, the Prime Minister had shown his keenness to design a credible mechanism for redressal of public grievances, it noted. He was equally keen to see that programmes and projects launched by the central and state governments are monitored properly for timely implementation and desired outcome.With that spirit and for holistic development of the country, it was also felt necessary to facilitate from the Union government level the projects of the states.Accordingly, with the three objectives of grievance redressal, programme implementation and project monitoring, an IT-based redressal and monitoring system has been designed. It will combine data management and analysis, geo-spatial applications as well as video-conferencing.The application will be accessible to the Secretaries of the central government and the state Chief Secretaries.PM Modi also tweeted about the launch of Pragati:

DMK’s Stalin dismisses rumours, to seek re-election as treasurer

Dismissing as ‘malicious’ reports that he had offered to quit as party treasurer, DMK leader MK Stalin today affirmed that he was seeking re-election as party treasurer. Media reports today claimed that Stalin had offered to quit as he was “not allowed” by Karunanidhi to contest for the post of general secretary, a post being held by veteran leader and former Finance Minister K Anbazhagan.Stalin dismissed such reports as malicious rumours. “I condemn this strongly and deny such reports completely. Somebody has spread such rumours with malicious intent,” he told reporters. “I would like to state categorically that this has been done deliberately to create confusion among party ranks,” he added. He also clarified that party district secretaries, including J Anbazhagan had called on him to take his signature for filing papers to the post of treasurer.The visits of party functionaries with Stalin were “used to fuel speculation” by vested interests, a DMK senior leader who declined to be named said. On the demand for a larger role for Stalin by his supporters, he said it was true that they would like to see him go to the top of the party’s organisational pyramid.”The post, however, does not matter. For all practical purposes, he is steering the party and is it not perceptible?” he asked. Though active, Karunanidhi is 91 years old and his peer Anbazhagan is older than him and Stalin was giving DMK the much needed “tactical political direction,” he added. “Be it the process of finalising candidates for the Lok Sabha elections, deciding the party’s electoral strategy or the present organisational polls, you can see his mark everywhere,” the DMK leader said.He pointed out that a sizable chunk of party workers, including district Secretaries like J Anbazhagan and P K Sekar Babu who have been elected in the ongoing 14th party organisational polls are loyalists of Stalin.On the drubbing in the last year Lok Sabha polls the campaign for which was strategised by Stalin, the leader said such electoral losses “cannot diminish his leadership value and skills.” “Victories and defeats are common in any democracy. You need to see his performance holistically,” he said.Meanwhile, expelled DMK leader and elder son of Karunanidhi, MK Alagiri told reporters at the airport here today that he would join the party “if it reformed itself.” Asked to be explicit, he used a Tamil saying which meant that “certain things cannot be ended unless the one who commits it reforms himself and decides to not do it.” He reiterated his charge that there was “no democracy” in the DMK.Top leaders Karunanidhi, Anbazhagan and Stalin are all set to be re-elected as president, General Secretary and treasurer at the party’s general council meet here on January 9.Elections to the top posts will mark the end of the organisational polls in the DMK.

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