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Nawaz Sharif dons pink turban gifted to him by Modi at granddaughter’s wedding

Though all the wedding ceremonies are being kept a close family affair away from the public eye, selected footage is released to the media like during the marriage of Sharif’s elder son Husain back in the 1990s. The locals as well as British tailors have reportedly been hired to prepare dresses of the bride and her relatives.

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<!– /.block –>England vs South Africa: All-rounder Broad puts England slightly ahead <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaJammu and Kashmir to be biggest benefactor of Indio-Pak talks: Jitendra Singh​IndiaDid Sonia Gandhi ask Kirti Azad not to raise DDCA issue in Lok Sabha? Rebel BJP MP clarifiesIndiaTwitter 2015: Tweets that rolled controversies IndiaUP CM Akhilesh Yadav’s absence from ‘Saifai Mahotasava’ sparks speculationIndiaWill ensure safe disposal of Union Carbide waste: Prakash JavadekarIndiaSunburn festival will no longer be an year ending event from next year: Goa govt <!– /.block –>

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Did Sonia Gandhi ask Kirti Azad not to raise DDCA issue in Lok Sabha? Rebel BJP MP clarifies

The BJP member noted that the Modi government was fighting against corruption but at the same time, said, “They (Congress) should demand a time-bound probe, CBI, SIT probe.” Jaitley has rejected allegations of wrongdoing against him by Congress members who were seeking his resignation.

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<!– /.block –>UP CM Akhilesh Yadav’s absence from ‘Saifai Mahotasava’ sparks speculation <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaJammu and Kashmir to be biggest benefactor of Indio-Pak talks: Jitendra Singh​IndiaDid Sonia Gandhi ask Kirti Azad not to raise DDCA issue in Lok Sabha? Rebel BJP MP clarifiesIndiaTwitter 2015: Tweets that rolled controversies IndiaUP CM Akhilesh Yadav’s absence from ‘Saifai Mahotasava’ sparks speculationIndiaWill ensure safe disposal of Union Carbide waste: Prakash JavadekarIndiaSunburn festival will no longer be an year ending event from next year: Goa govt <!– /.block –>

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UP CM Akhilesh Yadav’s absence from ‘Saifai Mahotasava’ sparks speculation

The SP supremo said UP has given three Prime Ministers and talents in every field. He said the SP government “fulfilled” its promises in two- and-a-half years which no other state government has been able to do. Mulayam said previous governments did not perform well as a result of which development of the state took a backseat.

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<!– /.block –>Shaharyar Khan again raises hopes of Indo-Pak series, draws rebuke <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaJammu and Kashmir to be biggest benefactor of Indio-Pak talks: Jitendra Singh​IndiaDid Sonia Gandhi ask Kirti Azad not to raise DDCA issue in Lok Sabha? Rebel BJP MP clarifiesIndiaTwitter 2015: Tweets that rolled controversies IndiaUP CM Akhilesh Yadav’s absence from ‘Saifai Mahotasava’ sparks speculationIndiaWill ensure safe disposal of Union Carbide waste: Prakash JavadekarIndiaSunburn festival will no longer be an year ending event from next year: Goa govt <!– /.block –>

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Sunburn festival will no longer be an year ending event from next year: Goa govt

After the clash over the venue at Candolim, the two organizers continue to remain adamant over holding their respective music fests from December 27-30, with neither willing to adjust, despite repeated requests from the state government, he said.

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<!– /.block –>Ex-armyman arrested in Pokhran for spying for Pakistan’s ISI <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaEnforcing odd-even formula: Delhi police chief warns volunteers against vigilantismIndiaJammu and Kashmir to be biggest benefactor of Indio-Pak talks: Jitendra Singh​IndiaDid Sonia Gandhi ask Kirti Azad not to raise DDCA issue in Lok Sabha? Rebel BJP MP clarifiesIndiaTwitter 2015: Tweets that rolled controversies IndiaUP CM Akhilesh Yadav’s absence from ‘Saifai Mahotasava’ sparks speculationIndiaWill ensure safe disposal of Union Carbide waste: Prakash Javadekar <!– /.block –>

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Delhi government inquiry report on DDCA has no mention of FM Arun Jaitley

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had alleged that CBI had raided his office to check the files on DDCA.

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<!– /.block –>Barack Obama to deliver his last State of the Union Address on Jan 12 <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaFire breaks out at Telangana CM K Chandrashekhar Rao’s controversial ritualIndiaNHRC must comment on rights of rape victims: Nirbhaya’s parentsIndia’Akhand Bharat’ a cultural concept, not a political one: RSSIndiaRadhe Maa to Anupam Kher: 8 stars who ‘broke out’ in 2015IndiaGovernment committed to electrification of villages: PM ModiIndiaGovt’s plan to repeal over 1,000 obsolete laws stuck in Rajya Sabha <!– /.block –>

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Train to former PM AB Vajpayee’s village 16 years after he laid foundation

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The train was flagged off by Union Minister of State for railways Manoj Sinha and union MoS for human resources Ram Shankar Katheria on Thursday afternoon.

A train connecting Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s ancestral village Bateshwar with Etawah was flagged off on Thursday, 16 years after the former prime minister had laid the foundation stone for this project.The train was flagged off by Union Minister of State for railways Manoj Sinha and union MoS for human resources Ram Shankar Katheria this afternoon. Sinha said that the government has made big investments for accelerated growth of the railway network and that the rail and goods traffic has increased substantially.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”In five years, the outlay will cross Rs 8 lakh crores,” he said. The Union minister said that all the important stations in the country will be provided with broad band and made wifi enabled connection. Local BJP leaders said that the new train will open new avenues for development in the backward region bordering Chambal.

Use intel to check terror designs along Nepal, Bhutan borders: Rajnath Singh to SSB forces

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SSB was tasked to guard these frontiers more than a decade ago in 2001 after it’s control was taken out from the external intelligence agency RAW and entrusted to the Union Home Ministry.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday asked the troops of border guarding force SSB to sharpen their snooping skills and ensure that terrorist groups are not able to “gather” or carry out their nefarious anti-India designs along borders with Nepal and Bhutan. Addressing officers and jawans of Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) at the forces’ camp here on the occasion of their 52nd Raising Day, he said a robust and sharp intelligence system is the “most important weapon” along these sensitive two borders which are open and not fenced, keeping in view India’s friendly relations with them. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>SSB was tasked to guard these frontiers more than a decade ago in 2001 after it’s control was taken out from the external intelligence agency RAW and entrusted to the Union Home Ministry. “I have a firm belief that being a border guarding force you will be successful in stopping any type of anti-national and criminal activity along Nepal and Bhutan borders. You have had a speciality, that is your intelligence system. Based on your experiences and good work, you will have to make it (snoop capabilities) better so that this system is able to render a more important role in the near future. “I believe that along the sensitive and open Indo-Nepal and Indo-Bhutan borders, intelligence is the most important weapon for crime control. This force has to render exceptional service to not only render its new tasks but also keep in mind its duties it did before 2001,” he said indicating to the force to smartly gel its snooping skills with the task of border guarding.The Home Minister said the paramilitary has to take special care and use its snoop machinery to check “unwanted activities on these two borders so that anti-social elements and terrorist groups are not able to gather there and are not able to carry out any untoward incident” against India. As part of strengthening SSB’s intel mechanism, Singh said his ministry was “seriously” examining a latest proposal sent by the force to extend facilities to its “non-uniformed” cadres on par with the uniformed and armed component. The about 80,000-personnel strong force has less than 3,000 men and women who render civic action work and help in spreading nationalistic values and messages amongst border population to counter anti-India propaganda.There have been incidents in the past when these unarmed personnel were fatally targeted by insurgents and militants as they had no cover and facilities like that of the men in uniform.

Winter Session was ‘victim of strategies aimed to paralyse Parliament’, says Venkaiah Naidu

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Naidu further said that the ruling dispensation at the Centre was ready to discuss issues but for that the House needed to function; but the opposition did not allow the house to function.

Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs M. Venkaiah Naidu

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Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs M. Venkaiah Naidu on Wednesday slammed the Opposition for not letting the Parliament function; saying just concluded Winter Session became the victim of strategy which was aimed to paralyse it.”The nation is disappointed in the manner in which the Parliament functioned in the Winter Session. The nation needs to be given an explanation by the Congress as to why they did not let the Rajya Sabha function,” Naidu said. “All international agencies are saying that India is most favoured destination for investments, but our friends in the Opposition don’t respect the mandate of the people and are creating obstacles for us,” he added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Naidu further said that the ruling dispensation at the Centre was ready to discuss issues but for that the House needed to function; but the opposition did not allow the house to function.”The Congress feels threatened by this Prime Minister and the government and they want to sabotage parliament and democracy,” he added.Claiming that the ruling regime didn’t do anything wrong, Naidu said, “No minister has done anything wrong; no one can raise a finger on us….Something happened in Delhi and District Cricket Association in 2012, and they didn’t let Parliament to function in 2015,” he added.Meanwhile both the houses were adjourned sine die today. The Congress lawmakers continued to disrupt the proceedings over the alleged irregularities in DDCA, demanding the resignation of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.Amid the uproar created by the opposition, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan allowed the question hour.

Act to check plastic waste menace, CPCB tells civic bodies

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In Maharashtra, the estimated plastic waste generation is 10950 tonnes/annum.

With the quantum of plastic waste mounting across urban India and civic bodies showing sluggishness to manage the menace, Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has issued fresh directions asking civic bodies to make action plans within six months to plug environmental damage due to plastic waste. Stopping production of plastic bags less than 40 microns thickness, using biodegradable material in plastic bags and cracking down on illegal plastic bag producers were some of the recommendations CPCB issued in its fresh directions.Currently, The Plastic Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2011, is the guiding regulation on management of plastic waste, but its implementation has been ineffective. The Union ministry of environment, forests and climate change has brought out a new Plastic Waste Rules this year but they are yet to come into effect. According to CPCB, most of plastic waste generated across urban India remains recycled and ends up in landfills. At landfills and in cities, open burning of plastic waste generates toxic emissions, such as; Carbon Monoxide, Chlorine, Hydrochloric Acid, Dioxin &Furans, Amines, Nitrides, Styrene, Benzene, and Acetaldehyde and pollute the environment.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Besides, open burning, plastic also leaches into ground contaminating ground water and chokes rivers, streams along with marine ecosystems such as mangroves and estuaries. To address this issue, CPCB has urged urbaan local bodies and municipal corporations to establish within six months systems to collect, segregate and process plastic waste through recycling. CPCB’s latest assessment of plastic waste shows that 3,501 tonnes of plastic waste is generated per day across 60 major cities. In India, approximately 12 million tonnes plastic products are consumed every year , which is expected to rise further. It is also known that about 50-60% of its consumption is converted into waste.In Maharashtra, the estimated plastic waste generation is 10950 tonnes/annum.Main usage of plastics is in the form of carry bags, packaging films, wrapping materials, fluid containers, clothing, toys, household applications, industrial products, engineering applications and building materials.In other directions, CPCB has asked state pollution control boards to crack down on illegal factories producing sub-standard plastic bags which are less than 40 microns in thickness. “Secretaries-in-charge of municipal bodies in each state shall ensure that all municipal bodies ban stocking, selling and use of any carry bag (having handle or non-handle) having less than 40 micron thickness plastic material. Those found stocking/selling such carry bags shall be penalised by imposing a fine of Rs1 lakh,” the CPCB said.

Co-pilot of BSF plane was to attend daughter’s event at school

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Shivrain, a fitness and sports enthusiast, was the only officer of the border guarding force Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) working in the Border Security Force air wing

Parts of the crashed plane

PTI
38-year-old Captain Rajesh Shivrain would have attended the school function of his young daughter on Tuesday had he not been co-piloting the ill-fated BSF aircraft that crashed after a short take-off in New Delhi.Shivrain, a fitness and sports enthusiast, was the only officer of the border guarding force Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) working in the Border Security Force air wing and was reputed for having some deft hands at the flying machines, including on the Superking B-200 that he and his pilot colleague Deputy Commandant Bhagwati Prasad Bhatt was commandeering. The young officer’s two little kids Pradyumn and Pari were in school when their father was flying the BSF sortie to Ranchi carrying a team of six technicians and two others.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”He was supposed to come back and go for his 5-year-old daughter’s school function in the evening. It is really tragic and the twist of fate that he met with the air accident,” a senior official said. They said as soon as the news of the air crash came in, the SSB rushed some of its men to fetch the children from school and look after the family. “He went down in the Dwarka area, kilometres away from where he lived,” the official said, adding that Shivrain lived in Sector-4 of Dwarka locality of the national capital.SSB Director General B D Sharma described Shivrain as a “good officer, brave, sensitive and physically very fit.” “It’s a sad day for us to have lost a very good officer,” Sharma said. Shivrain, who joined SSB in 2002 as an officer, was flying the plane with his batch-mate Bhatt, and, coincidentally both were born in 1977.A resident of Bhiwani, Shivrain joined the BSF air wing in the pilot rank in 2009 and was soon to be inducted permanently in this special unit of the Union Home Ministry. Senior officials of central police forces will pay their last respects to their fallen colleagues at the Safdarjung airport tomorrow after which the mortal remains of Shivrain will be brought to the SSB headquarters here and subsequently a ceremonial guard will take his body in a truck to his village in Haryana.

AAP allegation, malicious and tarnishing Jaitley’s reputation, says his advocate

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Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s advocate Manik Dogra on Tuesday said that all allegations made by the Aam Aadmi Party are baseless and malicious and aimed at tarnishing the reputation of his client.

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Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s advocate Manik Dogra on Tuesday said that all allegations made by the Aam Aadmi Party are baseless and malicious and aimed at tarnishing the reputation of his client. “Our argument was that all the allegations made by the AAP are wrong, baseless and malicious. This is only to tarnish the reputation. Mr. Jaitlety has filed a suit for damages seeking the damage of 10 crore against the defendant. We are very confident and hopeful for the success,” Dogra told the media here.He also added that all defendants individually and collectively have made themselves liable to compensate the plaintiff for a sum of Rs 10 crores.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jaitley had filed a criminal defamation complaint against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and five other leaders of AAP for allegedly defaming him in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) controversy before a Delhi court which took cognizance on his plea.Jaitley’s action comes in the backdrop of attacks on him by Kejriwal and other AAP leaders over alleged irregularities and financial bunglings in Delhi’s cricket body, DDCA, of which he was the president for about 13 years till 2013.

Delhi cabinet calls special assembly session to discuss DDCA; opposition cries political gimmick

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Delhi cabinet resolves to set up Commission of Enquiry on DDCA scam. Special session of assembly tomorrow to discuss DDCA scam and CBI raids on Delhi Secretariat, Kejriwal tweeted.

Taking ahead its fight against finance minister Arun Jaitley, the Delhi cabinet headed by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday decided to call a special session of Delhi Assembly on Tuesday to discuss alleged irregularities in Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) and the CBI raid at the Delhi secretariat last week.The cabinet also approved setting up of a one member commission of inquiry under former Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium to probe alleged irregularities in the DDCA during Jaitley’s 13-year tenure as its head. Jaitley has strongly rubbished the allegations.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Delhi cabinet resolves to set up Commission of Enquiry on DDCA scam. Special session of assembly tomorrow to discuss DDCA scam and CBI raids on Delhi Secretariat,” Kejriwal tweeted.Meanwhile, the leader of opposition at the Delhi assembly alleged that the special session has been called by the government to malign the central government and Jaitley and has been ignoring other problems of Delhi.”We will present a resolution in the House to approve setting up of the Commission of Inquiry,” said deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia.Following a CBI raid in Delhi secretariat, AAP has alleged that the CBI carried out the searches to target the AAP chief and was looking for DDCA’s file. The party has also demanded resignation of Jaitley from the Union cabinet.A month ago, an AAP government-appointed probe committee recommended immediate suspension of DDCA by the BCCI for alleged financial irregularities.The Delhi government panel had suggested that an interim committee of professional cricketers should manage affairs of the game in the capital.The committee had also recommended to the government to appoint a Commission of Inquiry under the Commission of Enquiries Act.BJP MP Kirti Azad, who has been campaigning against alleged corruption in Delhi’s cricket body on Monday demanded an ED and DRI probe into the affairs of DDCA.

Centre to make AC driver cabins in buses/trucks mandatory

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Centre is also thinking of forming teams of paramedical personnel who can rush to the scene of accident on motorcycles and provide first-aid quickly.

Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari on Saturday said that with the objective of reducing the number of road accidents, the Centre is mulling various proposals and was going to make air-conditioning mandatory in the driver’s cabin of buses and trucks.Speaking after inauguration of 76th conference of Indian Road Congress here, he said, “Every year around 1.5 lakh people die and three lakh people get injured in road accidents in the country. Around 5 lakh accidents take place every year and we want to curtail this number by at least 50 per cent.” He said that attention must be paid to road engineering, otherwise in future we may have to think of registering cases against those who make detailed project reports (DPRs) of roads if a faulty road is found to be reason of the accident.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The engineers, he said, should not change the land acquisition plans for roads under pressure from local politicians. Talking to reporters later, Gadkari said the Road Transport Ministry has identified accident-prone spots on highways and drafted a Rs 12,000 crore scheme to prevent accidents by improving the condition of the highways.”We are going to make air-conditioning of driver cabins of trucks and buses mandatory so that the drivers, who work for several hours non-stop, get some relief and can drive with more alertness,” he said.His ministry is also thinking of forming teams of paramedical personnel who can rush to the scene of accident on motorcycles and provide first-aid quickly, he said.The Minister denied that the Road Safety Bill of the Centre encroaches on powers of the state governments. Gadkari expressed hope that electronic toll collection system would start operating on all the highways by April 1, and added that his ministry is ready to give financial aid to states to set up this system on the roads other than highways too.To a question, he said under the UPA government policy, private companies were allowed to start recovering toll after 75 per cent of the road work is complete, but the NDA government was thinking of allowing toll recovery only after the 100 per cent completion of toll-road.

Nirbhaya’s parents and 40 students released after short detention by Delhi Police

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Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal termed the detention as “unacceptable” and said he has asked Chief Secretary KK Sharma to talk to Police Commissioner BS Bassi to secure the release of the victim’s parents.

ABVP activists along with Nirbhayas parents staging a protest against the release of juvenile delinquent in Nirbhaya Case, in New Delhi on Saturday.

PTI
Parents of the December 16 gangrape victim along with 40 DU and JNU students were detained by the police on Saturday as they staged a protest against the release of the juvenile convict in the case. The father of the victim said that they had gathered for a peaceful demonstration against the release of the juvenile convict but the police detained them.”Is there no justice in this country?” he asked.However, police said that the parents were “not detained” but just removed from the road “for their safety”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We detained around 40 youths who had blocked a stretch on the Outer Ring Road but the parents of the victim were not detained. They were removed from the road for their safety, put on a van and brought to the operation cell in Maurice Nagar and later we arranged for their transportation to be taken back home,” said DCP (North) Madhur Verma.Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal termed the detention as “unacceptable” and said he has asked Chief Secretary KK Sharma to talk to Police Commissioner BS Bassi to secure the release of the victim’s parents.However, the father of the victim accused the Delhi government of trying to shield the convict, who has now turned 20.The protesters staged the demonstration at the Outer Ring Road stretch near the correction home, where the juvenile convict was put up, and allegedly blocked the road causing traffic congestion in the area.Also read: DCW reaches out to SC as a last-ditch attempt to stop juvenile convict’s releaseMembers of Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) and Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union (JNUSU) had earlier staged a protest at Jantar Mantar demanding the convict juvenile should not be released. Later, the students along with the victim’s parents held a protest outside the juvenile home and shouted slogans that the government should take immediate steps to stop his release.Nirbhaya’s mother Asha Devi today said, “Prime Minister travels the world, but there is no law for women here. Everyone promises change but nothing has been done.””We have been waiting for justice for three years. The government and judiciary have given up on us. Rapists have been given a report card that you can rape and you will give you machine and money and will protect you by forming a committee,” he said.

CAG performance audit finds cost overruns in paramilitary forces construction projects

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In 20 selected works, mobilisation advances amounting to Rs. 87.64 crore were given by the CAPFs to the executing agencies, but no separate project account for mobilisation advance was maintained by the executing agencies.

CAG’s performance audit has found several irregularities in construction activities undertaken by the seven central armed police forces (CAPFs) including those of tardy land acquisitions, delay in awarding work and completion and no system of quality assurance resulting in bad construction quality of buildings and cost overruns worth several crore rupees.The performance audit undertaken for the period from 2008-09 to 2013-14 found that Union home ministry and CAPFs were not able to meet the requirement of the office buildings as well as residential buildings for personnel as against the authorised requirement of 2.99 lakh dwelling units, only 1.54 lakh dwelling units were available for the CAPFs personnel. Similarly, against the requirement of 5113 office buildings, only 2041 were available.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Thus the satisfaction level in providing residential accommodation for under stress CAPFs personnel ranged from a low of 2.06 per cent to 22.48 per cent as on March 2014 against the targeted 25 per cent satisfaction level.There was a significant delay beyond prescribed limit ranging from 5 months to 9.7 years in 56 out of 132 selected land acquisition cases worth Rs. 236.05 crore. In 23 cases, land was acquired in access of authorisation resulting in additional expenditure of Rs. 29.21 crore. In 18 cases of land acquisition, sale deed/mutation were not executed by the CAPFs in contravention to the home ministry guidelines.In 20 selected works, mobilisation advances amounting to Rs. 87.64 crore were given by the CAPFs to the executing agencies, but no separate project account for mobilisation advance was maintained by the executing agencies.Although there were delays up to 56 months in completion of works, no compensation charges amounting to Rs. 19.86 crore were levied on the contractors.Excess payment of Rs. 6.42 crore over the contractual stipulation was made to the contractors. The excess payment made were mainly due to wrong calculation of price index, escalation of labour rates, cement and steel rates etc.

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.

DDCA row: AAP poses five questions to Arun Jaitley, calls him ‘master of half truth and beautiful lies’

Addressing a press conferencehere, Ashutosh accused DDCA of allowing private firm 21st Century to sub-lease 10 corporate boxes at Feroz Shah Kotla stadium and claimed the firm owned by a friend of Jaitley was extended financial benefit to the tune of over Rs 5 crore for the deal.

The AAP on Friday put ‘five specific’ questions to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley relating to its allegations of corruption in Delhi’s cricket body DDCA under his watch and accused him of giving “vague” response to the charges.Calling Jaitley a “master of half truth and beautiful lies”, AAP leader Ashutosh made certain fresh allegations against the Finance Minister and said his comments that there was no specific charges against him was “misleading”.Jaitley has strongly rejected the allegations calling them a propaganda technique of Kejriwal to deflect attention when he himself was in the “dock” following a CBI raid in Delhi Secretariat.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Addressing a press conferencehere, Ashutosh accused DDCA of allowing private firm 21st Century to sub-lease 10 corporate boxes at Feroz Shah Kotla stadium and claimed the firm owned by a friend of Jaitley was extended financial benefit to the tune of over Rs 5 crore for the deal.The AAP leader asked Jaitley to clarify who were members of the 21st Century and whether it had any of his kin.The AAP leader also accused Jaitley of putting pressure on ONGC to give an amount of Rs 5 crore to Hockey India and sought to know what was the reason behind it.Alleging huge financial bungling in reconstruction of the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium, the AAP leader said although public sector entity EPIL was paid Rs 57 crore for the project the remaining Rs 57 crore out of the total expenditure of Rs 114 crore was distributed among nine companies.”The registered address, e-mail and directors of these companies were same. Did Jaitley know about these companies and is it not corruption,” asked the AAP leader.On Jaitley’s comments that the SFIO report had absolved him, Ashutosh said the Finance Minister hid the fact that punishment for offences mentioned by the central agency included imprisonment.”We had raised specific questions and Jaitley gave vague answers. That is why we are coming out with five specific questions for him,” AAP leader Sanjay Singh said.The AAP leaders also asked Jaitley to tell about his relationship with Hockey India chief Narendra Batra.They said Delhi Government last month had set up committee to probe irregularities in DDCA after getting a communication in this regard from Union Sports Ministry. They said Home Ministry had communicated to Sports Ministry about irregularities in DDCA following which it wrote to Delhi Government.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.Since then, the party has been demanding resignation of Jaitley from the Union Cabinet.

Muzaffarnagar riots: Sanjeev Baliyan surrenders after warrant for non-appearance in court

The communal clashes in Muzaffarnagar and adjoining areas in August and September of 2013 had claimed 60 lives and displaced over 40,000 people.

Sanjeev Baliyan

PTI
Union minister Sanjeev Baliyan on Friday surrendered in a court in Muzaffarnagar after a bailable warrant was issued against him for failing to appear in connection with a 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots case.Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Sitaram had on November 24 asked the accused, including Baliyan, BJP MP Bhartendra Singh, party MLA Suresh Rana and VHP leader Sadhvi Prachi, to appear in the court on December 18.Related Read: Muzaffarnagar riots: Bailable warrants against Union Minister Sanjeev Baliyan, MLA Sangeet Som<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>According to prosecution, they are facing charges under various sections of IPC for violating prohibitory orders, deterring public servants from discharging their duties and also wrongful restraint.It is alleged that the accused participated in Nadala Mador panchayat meeting and incited violence through their speeches in the last week of August of 2013.The communal clashes in Muzaffarnagar and adjoining areas in August and September of 2013 had claimed 60 lives and displaced over 40,000 people.

CBI asked to ‘finish’ parties who don’t fall in line, tweets Arvind Kejriwal

Escalating his attack on Modi government, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday claimed that CBI has been asked to target all opposition parties.

Escalating his attack on Modi government, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday claimed that CBI has been asked to target all opposition parties.Kejriwal, who has accused the CBI of raiding his office to get hold of a file that ‘traps’ Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, took to micro-blogging site saying, “A CBI officer told me yest that CBI has been asked to target all opp parties n finish those who don’t fall in line.”Kejriwal retweeted a post that quoted sources as saying, “Team Modi’s new strategy: If (PM Narendra) Modi has weakened after Bihar election results, the opposition has to be further weakened.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi Chief Minister’s claim comes a day after he demanded that Jaitley should resign or be “removed” from the Union Cabinet to enable holding of an independent probe into alleged corruption in DDCA.Earlier, Kejriwal said Jaitley’s assertion that AAP’s allegations against him are “unsubstantiated and non-specific” could not be treated as “gospel truth” as the charges against him were “very, very serious”.”Can Jaitley ji’s denial in press be taken as gospel truth? Very serious allegations against him. Why is he running away from investigations? If Jaitley ji were let off without investigations on basis of his press denial, then should all coal and 2G accused also be similarly let off?” Kejriwal asked in a series of tweets.However, hitting back at Kejriwal over the Delhi and District Cricket Association row, Jaitley accused him of spreading “false propaganda”, saying he seems to believe in “untruth and defamation and delivers a language that borders on hysteria”.The AAP, quoting from reports of Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO), DDCA’s internal probe committee and a Delhi Government-appointed inquiry panel, has accused Jaitley of giving “direct and indirect” consent to “massive corruption” in the cricket body.

Suspicious drone near Delhi airport: Cops announce reward for information on accused

On October 27, a UAV, which the police called a suspicious drone, was spotted multiple times near the airport, following which a case was registered under relevant sections of the suppression of unlawful acts against safety of civil aviation Act and the IPC, said a senior police official.
Representational Image

Delhi Police on Thursday announced a cash reward of Rs 1 lakh for any information on the accused who operated a suspicious unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) near the IGI Airport in October.On October 27, a UAV, which the police called a suspicious drone, was spotted multiple times near the airport, following which a case was registered under relevant sections of the suppression of unlawful acts against safety of civil aviation Act and the IPC, said a senior police official.Following the incident, the Union Home Ministry had asked several agencies, including Delhi Police, to submit a detailed report on the case. However, no clue about the drone operator could be found till date, despite security agencies taking several measures and conducting meetings.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi Police particularly had conducted several meetings with heads of villages near the IGI Airport, but nothing came out of those meetings so far, leading to the announcement of the reward, said a police source.”Today, the police commissioner announced a cash reward of Rs 1 lakh in connection with the case. It will come into force with immediate effect for the person(s)… who render any help to trace and arrest the accused person,” the senior official added.

AAP v/s Jaitley: When Smriti Irani clashed with Sagarika Ghose over ‘blasphemy comments’

When Smriti Irani claimed that the accusations against Arun Jaitley were blasphemous, Sagarika Ghose felt that the word was too strong.

Staunchly defending Arun Jaitley, whose resignation has been sought by AAP and Congress for alleged financial bunglings in DDCA, BJP today asserted that it “resolutely stands behind” the finance minister who has an “impeccable” political record. After AAP launched a sharp attack on Jaitley, BJP fielded Smriti Irani to mount a counter attack in which she described the charges as a “blasphemous and preposterous campaign bordering on political hysteria” being created to deflect the public attention from a “corrupt officer” working with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>She also quoted from Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) probe into DDCA affairs done during the UPA tenure to claim that it had given Jaitley a clean chit. “It is observed during the period under inspection that Arun Jaitley is the DDCA president presiding over (its) meetings like a non-executive chairman without involvement in the day to day affair of the company. “No incidents of fraud has been noticed during the course of investigation,” she said quoting from the report. ( AAP v/s Jaitley: Smriti Irani calls AAP’s comments blasphemous)”Today, BJP resolutely stands behind Arun Jaitley and publicly condemns the malicious intent of the Aam Aadmi Party to deflect public attention from a corrupt officer working with Arvind Kejriwal,” the Union Minister told a press conference. A probe done during the Congress tenure gave him a “clean chit” even though the party had used instruments of power to “corner” its leaders, she stressed. The demand of Congress now that Jaitley should resign exposes its political hypocrisy, she said, wondering if it was doing so to deflect attention from the Gandhi family. An unseemly slugfest has erupted between AAP and BJP after CBI raided Kejriwal’s principal secretary’s office on Tuesday with Kejriwal calling Prime Minister Narendra Modi a “coward and psychopath” and BJP hitting back. Showering praise on Jaitley, she said he had written his name in “golden letters in history” with his dedication and work and Kejriwal’s attempts to protect a corrupt officer amounted to abdicating the anti-corruption movement from which he had shot to limelight.Here’s the exchange that followed: With inputs from agencies

Three years after December 16 gangrape, activists say women’s safety has not improved in Delhi

“What has changed in Delhi? Do we have lesser rapes now? Has the security system been strengthened?” activists asked.

Women activists say “nothing much has changed” when it comes to safety of women in the national capital since the tragic December 16 gangrape case three years ago which shook the nation and led to a massive public outcry, forcing Parliament to enact a new anti-rape law.”What has changed in Delhi? Do we have lesser rapes now? Has the security system been strengthened? Have the convicts of brutal gangrape been hanged? Definitely, the Nirbhaya gangrape triggered a huge outcry, but where are the results,” said Ranjana Kumari, activist and Director, Centre for Social Research.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The nation is yet to see the ‘hanging’ of the convicts and to believe the fact that the ones contributing to violence against women will be severely punished and the situation ‘changed VS not changed’ will continue till strong examples are set that the accused will not be spared,” she added.Another activist Kavita Krishnan said, “The juvenile accused is likely to walk free, that speaks volumes about the ‘change’ in the past three years. Neither there is political will nor conviction of the accused”.”Law has been made, funds have been allocated, fast track court was to hear the case, but where is the implementation and where are the results that reflect a change in the society,” she added.Six persons, including a juvenile, had brutally assaulted and raped a 23-year-old girl in a moving bus in south Delhi on December 16, 2012. The victim had succumbed to her injuries in a Singapore hospital on December 29, 2012, plunging the country into grief.Mukesh, Vinay, Pawan and Akshay were awarded death penalty by a trial court in the gangrape and murder case which was later confirmed by Delhi High Court. Their appeals are pending before the Supreme Court. Accused Ram Singh had allegedly committed suicide in Tihar Jail on March 11, 2013, and proceedings against him were abated following his death.The Centre had yesterday asked Delhi High Court to extend the observation home stay of the juvenile convict who is scheduled to be released on Sunday, saying several mandatory aspects were missing from the post-release rehabilitation plan which needed to be considered before setting him free. The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) also issued conditional summons to the Delhi chief secretary, police commissioner and the Union home secretary on Tuesday following their “failure” to produce reports on the release of the juvenile convict.”Things have moved on paper, policy decisions are also being made. It is not that initiatives have not been taken but this passing of buck between the Centre and the state government is providing an edge to police as there is no accountability,” said Annie Raja, General Secretary, National Federation of Indian Women (NFIW).Various events including candlelight vigils and art exhibitions will be organised in the national capital tomorrow as a token of remembrance for Nirbhaya.In memory of their beloved daughter and to reaffirm their lifelong commitment to improving women’s safety, the parents of the victim, in collaboration with women’s and citizens groups, will also mark the day as ‘Nirbhaya Chetna Divas’ at Jantar Mantar.

CBI raids: Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Chouhan condemns Arvind Kejriwal’s language

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AAP activists burnt effigies of Union Government at Indore, Gwalior, Rewa, Jabalpur, Guna, Vidisha, Sagar, Ujjain and Raghogarh among other places, a party release said.

Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Madhya Pradesh Aam Aadmi Party on Tuesday staged protests against the Centre over CBI’s raid at the office of the Principal Secretary of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal even as Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan decried the language used by Kejriwal against the Prime Minister.AAP activists burnt effigies of Union Government at Indore, Gwalior, Rewa, Jabalpur, Guna, Vidisha, Sagar, Ujjain and Raghogarh among other places, a party release said. AAP national spokesperson and state coordinator Alok Agrawal termed the raid as “vendetta politics”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Meanwhile, CM Chouhan, reacting to Kejriwal’s statement, tweeted without naming anyone that “we may have difference of opinion but maintaining decorum & mutual respect are pillars of democracy. Sanctity of language is 1st requisite.The office of Delhi Chief Minister’s principal secretary was today raided by CBI in a corruption case following which a furious Kejriwal lambasted the Centre and termed Prime Minister Narendra Modi as “coward” and “psychopath”.

Nitin Gadkari urges farmers to switch to non-conventional crops

The minimum support prices of farm products were not going to increase much as they were linked to global prices, and therefore the farmers must think of changing crop patterns, reducing input cost and increasing the productivity for profitable agriculture, the Union Road Transport Minister said.

Nitin Gadkari

Changing the crop pattern, reduction of input cost and increase in productivity were vital for improving the agriculture scenario, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said in Nagpur on Monday. Gadkari, who is ‘chief patron’ of Agrovision, an annual agricultural exhibition, was speaking at the conclusion of the event. The minimum support prices of farm products were not going to increase much as they were linked to global prices, and therefore the farmers must think of changing crop patterns, reducing input cost and increasing the productivity for profitable agriculture, the Union Road Transport Minister said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Over five lakh people visited the exhibition during the last four days and some 60,000 farmers participated in various workshops during the exhibition, the organisers said. Gadkari advised the farmers to switch to oil seeds, pulses and maize from the conventional crops, avoid use of fertilisers and adopt organic farming methods.Maharashtra Energy minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule, who was the chief guest, listed various decisions of BJP-led state government for the farmers in power sector. Under Atal solar agriculture pump scheme, 10,000 pumps, each costing Rs 5 lakh, would be distributed to farmers for Rs 20,000 each, and if the scheme succeeded, five lakh such pumps would be distributed in five years, he said.The farmers who pay off electricity bill arrears would be given 50 per cent concession and would be given energy conservation pump, he said. In 8,000 villages ‘agriculture feeder’ would be separated so that the village gets 24-hour power, the minister said. State Water Resources minister Girish Mahajan also spoke on the occasion stressed the need for efficient use of irrigation.

World sets new target to save planet, adopts climate accord

The agreement will be formally ratified at a high-level signature ceremony of the United Nations on April 22, 2016 and at least 55 countries will have to accept for it to come into effect.

China and India representatives at the Paris climate talk

Reuters
History was made on Saturday night in Paris. As many as 196 countries adopted a new climate accord – to be known as the Paris agreement – that commits to limit global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius by 2100, while pursuing efforts for an even ambitious 1.5 degrees Celsius pre-industrial levels. More importantly, by adopting the agreement, countries across the globe have committed to end fossil-fuel domination and they have to ensure that net greenhouse gas emissions are zero in the second half of the century. The agreement will be formally ratified at a high-level signature ceremony of the United Nations on April 22, 2016 and at least 55 countries will have to accept for it to come into effect.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> For India, who was seen by the US and European Union as a potential deal-breaker, the agreement protected its interests in the near future. Union minister for environment, forests and climate change Prakash Javadekar said, “We are happy to note that all concerns of India have been taken on board.” The final text of the agreement makes several mentions of the principle of common but differentiated responsibility that was a crucial demand made by India throughout the negotiations. This ensures that India does not have the burden of scaling up their emission cuts or providing climate finance to other nations. But, the United States and other industrialised countries have offset its ‘historical responsibility’ by ensuring that the final text does not include this term. Speaking after the deal’s adoption, Javadekar said, “This (deal) recognizes development imperatives of India and is happy that it acknowledges climate justice, CBDR and equity. We are happy that agreement differentiates between developed and developed nations. We are of the opinion that the agreement could have been more ambitious and actions are far below historic responsibilities and limiting temperature below 2 degrees will be difficult.” The deal also allowed industrialised nations another relief as the issue climate finance – funds provide by richer countries to fight against climate change – was not included in the legally binding section of the agreement. Developed nations will have to provide $100 billion by 2020 and are to scale it up. The Paris agreement will replace the Kyoto Protocol of 1997. Under the 1997 agreement, developed nations were asked to cut down their emissions. But the Paris agreement is more holistic as each of the participating country has submitted their action plan to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions. French President Francois Hollande told the assembled delegates: “You’ve done it, reached an ambitious agreement, a binding agreement, a universal agreement. Never will I be able to express more gratitude to a conference. You can be proud to stand before your children and grandchildren.”
Accord weak, unambitious: Think-tankEnvironmental think-tank Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) called the Paris deal unambitious. “On the whole, it continues to be weak and unambitious, as it does not include any meaningful targets for developed countries to reduce their emissions,” said CSE director Sunita Narain. Outcome has no winners or losers: ModiPrime Minister Narendra Modi said the outcome of Paris agreement had no winners or losers and climate justice was the lone winner. “Climate change remains a challenge but agreement demonstrates how every nation rose to challenge,” Modi tweeted. ‘Best chance’ to save planet: ObamaUS President Barack Obama said the landmark deal is a “turning point” for the world and represents the “best chance” for mankind to save the planet. “I believe this moment can be a turning point for the world,” Obama said in an address to the nation.

Low-key birthday for Manohar Parrikar; Congress says BJP insensitive to flood victims

Prominent BJP leaders led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi wished Parrikar on the occasion.

Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar being felicitated by Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari on the occasion of his 60th birthday at a function at Campal, Panaji on Sunday.

PTI
A public reception sans fanfare marked the 60th birthday of Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar here today amid presence of senior ministers, even as the Congress accused top BJP brass of being “insensitive” towards the victims of Chennai floods. Congress had sought cancellation of the event in view of the Chennai deluge.Earlier in day, prominent BJP leaders led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi wished Parrikar on the occasion.”Wishing Manohar Parrikar & @drharshvardhan on their birthday. They are admired for their simplicity & hardwork. I pray for their long life,” the Prime Minister tweeted.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Parrikar’s cabinet colleagues including Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman also took to twitter to wish Parrikar. Parrikar, former chief minister of Goa, celebrated the day with family and friends in morning at his private residence in Taleigao near here.In the evening, a reception was held at Campal Ground here where about 50,000 people turned up. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari, AYUSH Minister Sripad Naik, state chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar were present on the dais.On the occasion, Parrikar remembered his wife Medha who passed away in 2001 following illness, a little before Parrikar became the Chief Minister of Goa for the first time.”Who was supposed to be 55 (this year), she (Medha) left me at 40,” Parrikar said while referring to the Hindi song ‘Jab tum hoge saath saal ke’ which was played ahead of the beginning of the formal reception. Parrikar said that people never allowed him to feel his wife’s absence. “I am at this position due to love given by people of Goa,” he added.Hailing Parrikar, Gadkari said the former was following politics as an “instrument for bringing socio-political reforms”. “He (Parrikar) has maintained the same profile in public life right from the day he entered politics till date,” said Gadkari.The birthday bash had run into controversy with the Congress accusing the state government of using public money to organise the event. The CM had refuted the charge. The event turned out to be simple one with only a pandal covering the ground to mark the programme. No cultural programme was held on the occasion.Addressing the gathering comprising the BJP leaders and workers, Parrikar hailed the role of defence forces during the Chennai deluge, saying the coordination between the Army and Air Force was commendable.”When Chennai was receiving unprecedented rains, I coordinated and made sure that Army and Air Force rush there. The coordination was commendable,” Parrikar said.Meanwhile, the Congress said the “grand” event shows the BJP’s “insensitivity” towards the victims of Chennai floods.”Despite of all our requests to the BJP leadership both at the state and national level including the PM, the grand birthday bash was held in the city today. This proves the insensitivity of BJP leaders towards Chennai flood victims and those bravehearts who lost their lives protecting the country,” said Congress’ state unit spokesman Sunil Kawathankar.”It seemed more like it was an desperate attempt of state BJP to reinstate the lost glory of their government and moreover to rebuild the loss of confidence amongst Goans in their leader Mr. Parrikar keeping in view the 2017 Assembly elections,” he added.

Post Tamil Nadu rains, Jayalalithha urges PM Modi to postpone Civil Service examinations

The “hardship” faced by the students would place the candidates at a “distinct disadvantage” as compared to candidates from other parts of the country, she said.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Stating that students from the state taking up civil service examinations were affected by heavy rains and floods, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Sunday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to postpone the examinations by two months for “adequate preparations” for them.”I understand that Union Public Services Commission proposes to conduct Civil Services (Main) Examination, 2015, from December 18 to 23. The devastation caused by the recent floods in Chennai has largely interrupted various services including the supply of electricity”, she said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Students all over from Tamil Nadu appearing for civil services examinations use Chennai as the main centre for preparation”, she said in her letter to Modi.”Their life has been completely disrupted in the last few weeks and they were unable to concentrate and study for the examination”, she said.The “hardship” faced by the students would place the candidates at a “distinct disadvantage” as compared to candidates from other parts of the country, she said.”As this has been a calamity of severe magnitude affecting a large population, I request you to kindly take up the issue with the Union Public Service Commission and have the Civil Services (Main) examination, 2015, postponed by at least two months”, she said.It would enable the students from Tamil Nadu to appear in the examinations with “adequate preparation” and would place them on level playing field with their counterparts, she said. She said life was returning to normalcy in many parts of the city and other flood-affected areas as there has been dry weather over the last few days.Various school and University examinations were already postponed by the Government due to floods, she said.

OROP: Ex-servicemen threatens to intensify stir, if demands not met within 3 weeks

The United Front of Ex-servicemen (UFES), an umbrella body of associations of ex-servicemen which is leading the protest, demanded that the Centre appoints “formally” former Army Chief and Union Minister V K Singh as the mediator between them and the government to resolve the issue “immediately”.

File Image

PTI
Ex-servicemen agitating over the ‘One Rank, One Pension’ (OROP) issue on Sunday threatened to intensify the protest if their demands were not met by the Centre within three weeks even as they decided to not vote for BJP in the upcoming assembly elections.The United Front of Ex-servicemen (UFES), an umbrella body of associations of ex-servicemen which is leading the protest, demanded that the Centre appoints “formally” former Army Chief and Union Minister V K Singh as the mediator between them and the government to resolve the issue “immediately”. The veterans “gave” 15 days’ time to the government to “correct” its OROP scheme in line with the protesters’ expectations — failing which a seven-day notice period will be given to the government before the protest is intensified.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We are giving the government 15 days’ time, requesting the government for mediation and after that we will give them seven days’ notice. “Issue an order today itself empowering V K Singh to mediate with us and discuss the issue with us and resolve it within three-four days by removing seven discrepancies in the government OROP,” major general (retd) Satbir Singh, who is leading the protest, said. Singh made the demand during ‘Sainik Aakrosh’ rally organised by UFES at Jantar Mantar here.Aiming to mount pressure on the NDA government, the UFES urged its members to not vote for the BJP in the upcoming assembly elections in several including Assam. The veterans claimed it were the votes of ex-servicemen which helped BJP improve its tally in the 2014 Lok Sabha – more than what the NDA major itself had expected, they claimed. However, the government has “cheated” veterans by not giving the OROP they wanted and BJP had promised to give, Singh said.”You saw what happened to the party in Delhi and recently Bihar. We urge the members to not vote for it in upcoming polls now if our demands are ignored,” he added. The UFES also called upon ex-servicemen present at the rally to boycott Republic Day celebrations this year. Major general (retd) Singh also hit out at Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for stating that the government’s OROP formula was accepted by most of the ex-servicemen’s organisations and that only a small section had some issues with it. “He (Jaitley) should come here and see the number of people who have turned up here,” Singh said, pointing towards the gathering.”The number would be even bigger had our other colleagues reached here in time. Jaitley claims their OROP is acceptable to most of us, it is a lie. More than 99.99 per cent of us are against it,” he claimed. Singh also challenged Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Jaitley and Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar to face a debate with UFES on the issue and added that the ex-servicemen will call of the movement if proved wrong.Singh also announced the UFES rejected 7th pay commission report, saying it is over and above OROP. The rally was also addressed by Colonel Inderjit Singh, who is considered to have begun the fight for OROP. He urged the ex-servicemen to stay “united” for their rights.The government came out with a notification on OROP on November 7 but the veterans still remain unsatisfied. They have demanded that OROP should be implemented from April 1, 2014 and not July 1, 2015 as in the government notification. OROP principle is in perpetuity and cannot be fiddled with, they maintain.

PM wishes Manohar Parrikar on his birthday

Parrikar celebrated his 60th birthday with family and friends in the morning ahead of a public reception scheduled this evening.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday wished his Cabinet colleague and Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on his 60th birthday.”Wishing Manohar Parrikar & @drharshvardhan on their birthday. They are admired for their simplicity & hardwork. I pray for their long life,” the Prime Minister tweeted. Other leaders, including Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadanavis, also tweeted to wish Parrikar on his birthday.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Parrikar celebrated his 60th birthday with family and friends in the morning ahead of a public reception scheduled this evening. His close family members and friends were seen present at his private residence in Taleigao near here since morning.

Paris climate talks: World on brink of climate accord, India backs final draft

The final draft runs into 31 pages and asks countries to pursue the target of limiting the average rise in global temperatures to 1.5 degree celsius. But there is no clear roadmap elucidated that will ensure that this target will be achieved.

French President Francois Hollande made an impassioned appeal on Saturday to finalise a historic climate accord, that will for the first time get most countries to cut their greenhouse gas emissions, just before a draft of the final agreement was released. Nearly 200 countries are still involved in hectic parleys at the international climate change summit that has already crossed its Friday deadline. The release of the final draft will be followed by last round of negotiations and setting the tone for arriving at a deal, Fabius, the chair of the summit, said, “We have an ambitious and balanced agreement. This text establishes a long-term ambitious but necessary goal, also enables each delegation of the countries to return with their heads high.” Raising the political pitch and recalling the failed 2009 Copenhagen climate summit, Hollande said, “What is the point of all this work if we don’t take the deal? All the conditions are met. The landmark agreement for the planet is now ready.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The final draft runs into 31 pages and asks countries to pursue the target of limiting the average rise in global temperatures to 1.5 degree celsius. But there is no clear roadmap elucidated that will ensure that this target will be achieved.Notably for India the principle of common but differentiated responsibility (CBDR) was included in the text while issues relating to finance were also resolved. Union minister for environment, forests and climate change Prakash Javadekar backed the final draft text, signalling India’s support for a climate accord. “We are happy that India’s concerns have been taken care of in the final climate draft of the negotiating text. It is a balanced text and a way forward.” The minister, though, is expected to raise certain reservations India has about the text during the next plenary session. While going to press, negotiators had still not returned after studying the text of final draft. The ministerial negotiations are expected to go beyond midnight Saturday, sources said and French foreign minister will personally speak with ministers to iron out last minute differences.

Manohar Parrikar’s birthday bash to be a simple ceremony: Goa BJP

More than 50,000 guests are expected in the event.

Manohar Parrikar

File Photo
The Goa unit of the BJP on Saturday announced that it will observe the birthday of Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar in a simple manner here tomorrow, a decision which has been objected by the Congress. “The birthday celebration of Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar will be attended by the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari,” Vinay Tendulkar, Goa BJP president said. “The birthday celebration will not be a grand one. It will be a simple ceremony. There will be no food or buffet, no lavish decoration. The stage will be simple and not too many flower decorations,” Tendulkar said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> More than 50,000 guests are expected in the event. When asked about the funding of the bash, he said, “About the expense, we will tell you later. We will we have another press conference, where we will explain to you.” Goa Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar said that many people have made contributions for the event. “A minimum amount of Rs 5 to Rs 1000 we can accept. You can also give. Collection will be done in Sanvordem, Pernem and other parts of the state. There is no target for collection,” he said. Asserting that the BJP has earned the goodwill of the people, he added, “These people are in politics, business and at every level. Along with us, they also feel that Parrikarji’s birthday should be celebrated.”The Congress had demanded the celebration to be cancelled and the funds collected for the event to be routed for relief work after the recent Chennai deluge, which resulted in a huge damage to lives and property. More than 900 buses would be used to ferry the crowd that is expected to attend the function.

New photo suggests Netaji was alive in 1966 and met Lal Bahadur Shastri?

This photograph is being held as evidence that Netaji didn’t die in the plane crash in Taihoku in 1945 and validates a recent claim by Shastri’s grandson Siddharth Nath Singh that Shashtri had met someone who was considered an icon back home, while in the Soviet Union.

File Photo

The mystery around Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s death refuses to go away and the latest fodder for conspiracy theorists is a photograph which is being considered as proof that Bose didn’t die in plane crash in 1945. According to these theorists, a forensic face-mapping report of the photo by a British expert suggests that Netaji might have been present at the Indo-Pak peace talks in Tashkent in 1966, with erstwhile PM Bahadur Shastri.The photograph is being held as evidence that Netaji didn’t die in the plane crash in Taihoku in 1945 and validates a recent claim by Shastri’s grandson Siddharth Nath Singh that Shashtri had met someone who was considered an icon back home, while in the Soviet Union.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>According to media reports, researchers will now urge PM Modi to take up the issue of Netaji’s death with Vladimir Putin when the former visits Lucknow later this month.The Modi govt has begun the process of declassification of Netaji files and the first batch of 33 files were handed over to the National Archives in October and will be made public on Jan 23, 2016, Netaji Subhash Chandra’s birth anniversary. Earlier, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee had released 64 files related to Netaji.

Website on Netaji’s last days launched in UK

The website was launched by UK-based independent journalist and Bose’s grandnephew Ashis Ray.

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose

A new website providing documentary evidence of the last days of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose was launched on Friday. The www.bosefiles.info website dedicated to the freedom fighter and Supreme Commander of the Indian National Army (INA) aims to debunk numerous conspiracy theories surrounding Netaji’s death. The website, launched by UK-based independent journalist and Bose’s grandnephew Ashis Ray, said that its purpose is “to chronicle the truth about what happened to Subhas Chandra Bose, based on 25 years of investigation and research into this subject.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> “The site is dedicated to the people of India, millions of whom still worship Subhas (Bose), to (his wife) Emilie Schenkl, who died in 1996 without closure on the matter (of the mystery about his end), and (to his daughter) Dr Anita Pfaff,” the website explains in its ‘About’ section. Bose is believed to have died after a plane crash in Taiwan in 1945. His daughter and sole heir Dr Pfaff, who lives in Germany, accepts this as a credible explanation. But a majority of his extended family in India dispute the story and instead claims he escaped to the Soviet Union. In October, Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave an assurance to a section of Bose’s relatives that he will raise the matter with Russian President Vladimir Putin when he meets him in Moscow later this month. As part of a staggered release of documents, the website has started by posting documents from files of the Indian Embassy in Moscow and the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs which establish that Bose never went to the Soviet Union in or after 1945. “I urge people to visit the website and judge for themselves the merit of the documents that have and will be disclosed,” said Ray, who launched the website to release documents in his possession.

RSS not ISI organisation, but a band of patriots: Nitin Gadkari

Asking Congress to indulge in politics within the limits of decency, Nitin Gadkari said the opposition was trying to portray Prime Minister Modi as a “villain”.

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari
File Photo
PTI
RSS is no ISI but a band of patriots, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Friday said as he hit out at the Congress for “behaving like a fish without water after being out of power”. Asking Congress to indulge in politics within the limits of decency, the former BJP chief said the opposition was trying to portray Prime Minister Modi as a “villain”.”I am a complete RSS worker. I have done struggle…I left studies .. went to jail for nation’s cause, PM has been pracharak of RSS….We are patriots… Is it a violation of Constitution or criminal procedure code if someone is of RSS,” Gadkari fumed after Congress leader and former Law Minister Ashwani Kumar accused BJP of doing divisive politics in the country at the instance of RSS.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”RSS koi ISI organisation hai kya? (Is RSS an organisation like ISI?)…We take pride in it. Congress is behaving like a fish without water after being out of power,” the senior BJP leader said.Both Gadkari and Ashwani were speaking at the programme ‘Agenda Aaj Tak: Vikas ka Express Way’ here. Gadkari said the opposition was all out trying to portray the PM as a “villain” to fulfil their political aspirations. He said the Congress insulted the entire judicial system of the nation when its vice-president alleged that the court order in the National Herald case was due to pressure from PM.Asking to define the rationale behind stalling Parliament over National Herald case, Gadkari said the court decision was independent and politics should not stoop to such a level where PM is being dragged into the controversy.”Indulge in politics within the limits of decency…Allow Parliament to run,” he said, adding that the NDA government at the Centre was working for all sections of the society without any discrimination.”But the opposition is instilling fear among Muslims, minorities and Dalits to pursue its policy of appeasement. BJP has been targeted for incidents like Dadri and killing of a writer in Karnataka despite the fact that it is not in power in those states. Since we came to power we have not taken a single decision which was against any community or religion. PM Modi is working to make life better of all Indians and I urge all political parties to cooperate with us in pursing policies of progress and development,” he said.

Justice for Nirbhaya: Juvenile is an ‘animal’, dangerous to free him, says Subramanian Swamy

“According to the report of Indian Intelligence bureau, the juvenile accuse has turned into a jihadi. So, the court should interfere and make certain provisions in the law regarding this. The government should move court and seek to arrest the juvenile accused under National Security Act. I am going to court and the court will decide what needs to be done. Let us see how the court case goes,” he added.

Terming the juvenile accused in the December 2012 Nirbhaya gangrape case as an ‘animal’, Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy on Friday said it is dangerous to free such a convict and appealed to the courts to make certain provisions in the law to deal with such serious offences.”The juvenile convict should be kept with wild animals for committing such heinous crime. It is dangerous to free such people. There are certain flaws in our law. The juvenile laws are applicable only for people committing crimes like stealing food or bicycle but this law is not applicable for such kind of heinous crimes. There is no provision in the law that if such juvenile accuse do not change in the three years, then what action needs to be taken,” Swamy told ANI.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Also read: Delhi gangrape case: MHA mulls bond for juvenile offender”According to the report of Indian Intelligence bureau, the juvenile accuse has turned into a jihadi. So, the court should interfere and make certain provisions in the law regarding this. The government should move court and seek to arrest the juvenile accused under National Security Act. I am going to court and the court will decide what needs to be done. Let us see how the court case goes,” he added.The Union Home Ministry is contemplating to ask the juvenile convict to sign a legal bond affirming good behaviour after his release from the reformatory home.The bond as per Section 107 of Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) will act as security for keeping the peace after his release from a juvenile remand home.Apprehensions were made by Nirbhaya’s parents against the release of the juvenile, who was reportedly the “most brutal” of all the six offenders.The juvenile, who was under 18 when he was arrested for rape and murder of Nirbhaya, was tried under the Juvenile Justice Act and ordered to keep in a remand home for three years. He is set to be released this month.

Even beef-eaters can be RSS members, says senior leader Manmohan Vaidya

The leader said this in Arunachal Pradesh.

dna Research & Archives
At a time when the question of eating beef has dominated the national discourse frequently, with many states going for stricter laws and the Dadri incident leading to the debate about intolerance, a senior RSS leader has made a sensational statement.According to The Telegraph, Manmohan Vaidya said that RSS doesn’t dictate food habits but eating beef is not traditional across the country. However, he stated that it is fairly common practice in Arunachal Pradesh. He said that beef eaters can also become part of RSS. According to the report, there are nearly 3000 RSS members in the state who consume beef. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Vaidya also firmly rejected charges of growing intolerance in the country. He said people of certain ideologies are always intolerant to contrarian views. Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi earlier said that those who beef can go to Pakistan. One is unsure whether he is aware that some RSS members are beef-eaters.

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu seeks global cooperation on rail security

He said there is a need to share information, ideas and best practices among countries to tackle the security issue.

Suresh Prabhu

Describing rail security as crucial and a much larger concern, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Wednesday said global cooperation is required to tackle the issue as railways is considered a soft target by terrorists.Speaking at a conference to discuss the issue of rail security, Prabhu said an attack on railways might be local but the motivation is global. “Whether the attack on trains and stations in Mumbai or at a bar in Paris, the motivation is same,” he said. The conference, organised by International Union of Railways (UIC), was attended by delegates from many countries.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Stating that security threat to railways is a common problem, Prabhu said, “Railways is considered a soft target by terrorists. It is not possible to frisk everybody. If people want to target India, they will attack railways. Some countries may not like India to grow.”He said there is a need to share information, ideas and best practices among countries to tackle the security issue. Highlighting the importance of assessing threat perception and intelligence gathering, the Minister said, “With proper assessment, a strategy can be worked out. We need to gather security related information as it is crucial for dealing with it.”Prabhu said safety and security are two big priority issues for the railways.”While travelling, passengers expect good services as well as a safe and secure journey. So safety and security are important for railways. Both are very important globally. While safety is an inbuilt system for railway operation, security needs to be put in place,” he said.Referring to the ideology behind terror attacks, he said, “Security threat comes from misconceived ideology. What is happening is a global phenomenon. So we need to evolve holistic management to look at it.”UIC, established in 1922 for promoting rail transport worldwide, is on a mission to promote interoperability, standardisation of rail transport, increased cooperation and sharing of best practices, and to propose improved technical and environmental performance of rail transport among others.

Top Himachal BJP leaders to meet PM Modi today, seek Virbhadra Singh’s ouster

Virbhadra had said on Monday that the CBI was acting as a tool of Central government, but he was not bothered and has full faith in the judiciary.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Top leadership of Himachal Pradesh BJP, including Union minister JP Nadda and BJYM president Anurag Thakur, will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday seeking ouster of Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh.Party spokesperson Ganesh Dutt said, “The appointment of the meeting with the PM has been fixed at 2 PM and the party leaders will apprise him of the corruption charges faced by Himachal Chief Minister and FIR registered against him by the CBI and ED.”All six MPs from Himachal – Union Health minister JP Nadda, Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) president Anurag Thakur, former chief minister Shanta Kumar, party general secretary and incharge of Himachal wing Srikant Sharma, leader of the Opposition in the state Assembly PK Dhumal and state BJP chief Satpal Sigh Satti – will meet Modi over the issue and impress upon the fact that Virbhadra’s continuation in office could hamper and influence the investigations, Dutt said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Virbhadra had said on Monday that the CBI was acting as a tool of Central government, but he was not bothered and has full faith in the judiciary.

Congress trying to divert attention, government has no role in Herald case: Union MInister Venkaiah Naidu

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Naidu said it was “totally unethical, unfair and undemocratic on the part of the Congress party to obstruct Parliament’s functioning on account of the case which has been taken up by the judiciary, where the government has no role to play at all.”

Union MInister Venkaiah Naidu

File Photo
Hitting out at Congress for disrupting proceedings in Parliament, Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu, on Tuesday, said the government had no role to play at all in the National Herald case in which Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul have been summoned to appear by the court.”They should contest it in court. How can you hold the government responsible? It is totally unfair and irresponsible to fix it on the government as they could not face the truth.They are now trying to blame the government,” he told reporters outside Parliament.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress members, upset over the National Herald case, on Tuesday, paralysed Parliament protesting against alleged “vendetta politics” leading to repeated adjournments in Lok Sabha as well as Rajya Sabha.Parliamentary Affairs Minister Naidu said it was “totally unethical, unfair and undemocratic on the part of the Congress party to obstruct Parliament’s functioning on account of the case which has been taken up by the judiciary, where the government has no role to play at all.”He said there is no political vendetta on the part of the government and it is steadfast focussing its attention on the issues of development, repairing the economy, bringing back administration and providing good governance.Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the case was completely in the domain of the courts. By giving it the dimension that it is political vendetta, “Are they (Congress) suggesting that the courts are now playing politics? What a shame Congress party,” she said. Accusing the government of trying to malign his party, Congress leader Oscar Fernandez, one of the persons summoned by the court in the Herald case, said the case will be fought legally.”So many legal remedies are present before you. We will be legally fighting the case,” he said.Asked why Congress felt that there was political vendetta, Fernandez alleged that the government has not been able to fulfill any of the promises and the people were seeing failures.”They are scared of the public opinion going against them. We have seen the mandate in Bihar, Jhabua by-election and the results in Gujarat (local body polls). Fearing these things, they are trying to do everything possible to harm, to malign, to damage the Congress party but it is recoiling on them,” he said.Sitharaman said the matter related to money being allegedly collected for a political party which was used for commercial business which itself was violative of certain penal provisions.”If this has happened and if the courts find it fit that it has to be heard, it is completely in the domain of the courts.”A matured party cannot even by remote suggestion indicate that the courts are probably now playing politics. It does not go well for our country. I would rather think be you howsoever high, the law is above you,” she said.On Congress leader and lawyer Abhishek Many Singhvi’s charge that the present case is a “proxy litigation”, used as a “political vendetta” by BJP to attack senior Congress persons, Sitharaman said he wants the public to believe that the courts were yielding to political pressure which is nonexistent.

Dadri lynching: Mohd Akhlaq’s son contradicts UP govt’s claims, says will go to any extent to get justice

Mohammad Akhlaq

A day after Uttar Pradesh government claimed that the family members of Dadri lynching victim, Mohd Akhlaq, did not want any further probe in the matter, his son on Monday said he would “go to any extent to get justice”.”I haven’t said that I don’t want any further probe,” his son, Sartaj Saifi said, adding, “Meine sirf yeh kaha tha mujhe CBI probe ki abhi koi zarurat nahi hai” (I only said that presently there is no need for a CBI probe).”Insaaf ke liye, mujhe kahin tak bhi jaana pada, toh mein jaounga (for the sake of justice, I will go to any extent),” he said in various tweets from his Twitter handle @sartajsaifi162.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Mein UP govt dwara ki gyi police karvayi se abhi tak santusth hun (I am satisfied with police probe till now),” Sartaj, who is a corporal with Indian Air Force, tweeted. When contacted, Sartaj told PTI over phone that he had got this tweeted to Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav’s office.A UP government spokesperson had on Sunday said the mother, brothers and other kin of Akhlaq, a resident of Bishada village in Gautam Budh Nagar district whose killing in September sparked nationwide outrage, had called on Yadav at his residence here. According to the spokesperson, the family members of the victim said they were satisfied with the action taken in the case so far and with the Rs 45 lakh compensation extended to them.”They also said that they do not want any further probe in the matter,” an official release issued by the government had said.50-year-old Akhlaq was beaten to death and his 22-year-old son Danish critically injured by a 200-strong mob which barged into their house following rumours that the family had consumed beef. Cow slaughter is banned in UP. Following the incident, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had said that Sartaj was being given accommodation at IAF’s Subroto Park residential complex in Delhi.Amidst debate in political circles over the issue, the Union government told Parliament during the current Winter Session that though no inquiry has been initiated by the Home Ministry into the Dadri lynching, a report has been sought from the state government.

World’s largest practical science lesson attempted at IIT Delhi

The participating students, with excitement writ large on their faces, got a pep talk from Union Science and Technology and Earth Sciences Minister Harsh Vardhan and Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani ahead of the lesson.

Vying for an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records, 2000 students from schools across the national capital on assembled at the sprawling lawns of Indian Institute of Technology here to conduct ‘world’s largest practical science lesson’. Dressed in white lab-coats, the students streamed into a giant tent pitched by the administrative block in IIT-Delhi to take a shot at the world record for the highest number of students to conduct an experiment simultaneously at the same venue. Northern Ireland is the current record-holder with 1,339 students.The participating students, with excitement writ large on their faces, got a pep talk from Union Science and Technology and Earth Sciences Minister Harsh Vardhan and Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani ahead of the lesson.Irani said that there are plans to have an even bigger ‘practical lesson’ in Delhi in the coming months, in which school students from across the country will participate. “We can have it in conjunction with the same team that did this programme today and have over 20,000 students participating. I am hoping that today’s programme has a catalytic effect on how we engage with the sciences and school and higher education,” she said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After the inauguration, the students collected numbered wristbands, displayed them for the camera when entering and took their seats at tables kitted out with graduated cylinders, tissue paper, gloves, droppers and other equipment. During the experiment they managed to together turn methylene blue “reddish-brown” and rapidly decompose hydrogen peroxide to produce foamy ropes as a part of the Elephant’s toothpaste reaction.The video recording and a report on the experiment will now be sent to the Guinness Book which will further evaluate the same and come up with results. The event was organized by Vijnana Bharati (VIBHA), an NGO, as part of the five-day India International Science Festival (IISF) at IIT being jointly organized by the Ministries of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences.

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.

Bill for fast-tracking nuclear power projects likely in Winter Session

The Union Cabinet had last month approved amendments to the Atomic Energy Act to enable Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) to enter into join ventures with other public sector undertakings (PSUs).

Bill for fast-tracking nuke power project likely in Winter Session
File Photo

A bill seeking to fast-track nuclear power projects is likely to be introduced in the Winter Session of Parliament, while another legislation for according greater autonomy to the atomic energy regulator may not be brought this time.The Union Cabinet had last month approved amendments to the Atomic Energy Act to enable Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) to enter into join ventures with other public sector undertakings (PSUs). The move will help secure funds for big ticket projects.Concern over lack of financial resources has been raised by the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) frequently. The amendment will enable NPCIL, which is one of the PSUs under the DAE, to enter into joint ventures with other government undertakings.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>However, sources said, the Nuclear Safety Regulatory Authority (NSRA) Bill may not be presented before Parliament even in this session. The NSRA Bill will seek to create a more independent authority, replacing the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB)—the atomic energy sector watchdog.The Bill, first introduced in the Lok Sabha in 2011, has lapsed and will have to be reintroduced.

All central agencies working to negate ISIS threat: Government

The government, he said, was aware of the threat posed by the ISIS the world over and in the country in particular.

Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Haribhai Parthibhai Chaudhary on Saturday said ISIS threat is “not being taken lightly” and states have been alerted.The government, he said, was aware of the threat posed by the ISIS the world over and in the country in particular. Chaudhury told reporters on the sidelines of his reviewing the 41st passing out parade of the North Eastern Police Academy near here, that all states have been asked to be alert, “especially at the borders”.Stating that all central agencies were working to negate the threat, the Union Minister said, “The personnel at the international border have been asked to be alert.” Chaudhary also said that jailed ULFA leader Anup Chetia has to face the legal process and not go scot-free. “Nobody can escape the law. Chetia has to go through the legal process (for his criminal acts),” he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chetia, who was in Bangladesh since his arrest by the neighbouring country’s police in 1997, was handed over to India on November 11 following which he was arrested by CBI in Delhi the next day. Chetia was arrested in connection with a murder in Golaghat (Assam) and the investigation agency had taken him under its custody on a six-day transit remand.He was brought to Guwahati on November 18 and produced in the SJM CBI Court the same day to be sent to five-days CBI remand that day. At the end of the CBI remand, Chetia was produced on November 23 and remanded to 14 days judicial custody which ended today. Chetia was on Saturday remanded to another 14 days of judicial custody.

Chennai floods: How NDRF is using social media to reach out to people

The Excel-sheet helps the officers on the ground to send the SoS requests to the working teams which are tasked with the area and zone-wise rescue operations, the official added.

Reprsentational Image

Deployed in rescue and relief operations in flood-hit Chennai, NDRF personnel are using social media and the internet to reach out to those in distress with a desk here working 24/7 to ensure that the affected people receive help. A small office desk at the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) headquarters here has picked up over 1,000 strands of vital information on social media and internet and is posting responses to those requesting help. The Information Technology wing of the force, which is being manned round-the-clock by a posse of over a dozen NDRF personnel, is posting assurances to every SoS call made online in the wake of the flood crisis in the southern metropolis.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Thus, the force is responding with messages like ‘noted’, ‘we will do the needful’, ‘will do our best possible’, ‘noted and passed to field teams’ and ‘pls provide full address’ to calls for help by Chennai dwellers. NDRF chief OP Singh is getting hourly updates on his personal mobile phone about the social media response of the force and has also instructed the team to ensure that “each and every” tweet, email, Whatsapp message, SMS or phone call is acknowledged. “We have been getting these messages for the last three- four days… initially, we used to pick the information and send it across to our field units in Chennai and Arakkonam for immediate action, but I thought we need to personally assure the people who either seek help themselves or on behalf of their family or friends.”Half the battle is won when our official twitter handle or email says ‘noted’, which is an assurance to say that we are working on the distress call. The person on the other side feels he or she is being heard and cared for,” Singh told PTI before taking a special flight to the southern state for a review of the situation there. The 12,000-strong force, at the latest count, had received and responded to 339 tweets on its official handle ‘@NDRFHQ’ or through ‘#NDRF’ along with 501 emails, 613 phone calls and 13 messages on Whatsapp. A further 200 such messages are being replied to, it was learnt. “We pick up information from all social media avenues and immediately send it to our field teams, manned by two DIG rank officers in Tamil Nadu, in an Excel sheet format via the V-SAT system activated exclusively for these tasks,” a senior NDRF official said.The Excel-sheet helps the officers on the ground to send the SoS requests to the working teams which are tasked with the area and zone-wise rescue operations, the official added. The calls received on the two helpline numbers — 011-24363260, 09711077372 — are routed to the NDRF On-Site Emergency Operation Coordination Centre (OSOCC) at Kilpauk in Chennai via satellite phone updates, said its Information Technology wing head and Assistant Commandant, Krishan Kumar.Meanwhile, through its twitter handle, the force is also uploading pictures of the operation that is currently underway in the Tamil Nadu state capital. NDRF has also created a smart, SMS-based system to regularly update all field commanders, senior officials and authorities in the Union Home Ministry and send regular notifications regarding requirements during such long-haul counter-disaster operations.

Will expose AAP for making false allegations against me, Delhi Police: BS Bassi

“I am gathering further details on these allegations, and if necessary, will also take adequate action. Bhim Sen Bassi works with honesty. I will bring truth out in front of the people and expose these liars,” he added.

Delhi Police Commissioner Bhim Sain Bassi on Friday asserted that he is not all worried about false allegations being made by the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP Government, and added that he will expose the latter before the people and also take adequate action against the latter for making such ‘baseless’ allegations against him and his force. “I am not worried about false advertisements and allegations against me. I am not scared of any one who calls me a deceiver. In my entire life, I have followed the path of law and honesty,” a curt yet aggressive Bassi told media here.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> “I am gathering further details on these allegations, and if necessary, will also take adequate action. Bhim Sen Bassi works with honesty. I will bring truth out in front of the people and expose these liars,” he added. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has complained against the Delhi Police to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), accusing it of trying to ‘hound’ ruling AAP MLAs by reopening old cases and creating new ones against them. In a letter to the MHA written on November 7, Kejriwal also said that the Delhi Police was not cooperating with his government on several issues. He has mentioned 10 specific complaints against the city police. The Delhi Police has categorically rejected the charge and issued a point-by-point rebuttal in response to Kejriwal’s letter to the Union home ministry.

Children with disabilities still born to Bhopal gas tragedy survivors

Tragic: Study found that kids born to exposed families were found being lighter, thinner and with smaller heads

Bhopal gas survivors take part in a rally on the anniversary of the tragedy on Thursday

PTI
Thirty one years after the night that exposed 5,00,000 families in Bhopal to toxic methyl isocyanate gas from the Union Carbide plant, many children are still being born with disabilities to the these families, a new study by the Sambhavna Trust Clinic found.The study, whose data is still being analysed, saw in its preliminary findings that when compared to unexposed families, a large number of children are being born with congenital malformations to parents with acute exposure to toxic gas or chronic exposure to contaminated water.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Founder and manager of the Trust, Satinath Sarangi spoke to dna on Thursday, also the World Disability Day, describing how much of the aid coming the way of these children was from civil society organisations, and not the government. “In October 1991, the Supreme Court ordered the central government to provide medical insurance to the 100,000 children born to the exposed families. Till date, none of them have been covered,” said Sarangi.The Indian Council of Medical Research initiated a study in the aftermath of the gas leak, where the principal investigator Dr. NR Bhandari found that many adverse effects on health, such as delay in the development of certain areas of the brain in babies. However, Sarangi added, the study was soon shut down, before the babies being examined were 18 months old.The Sambhavana study came in the context of work done by health experts such as Dr Daya Verma, who passed away earlier this year.In a three year period Sambhavana has collected information on diagnosed cases of TB, Cancers, Paralysis, reproductive health of women, physical growth, mental and social development of infants and children and birth defects. It has looked at families exposed to the gas, families exposed to the contaminated water, families who later moved north of the plant and got exposed to the water, and unexposed families. It examined infants between 0-5 years of age and studied growth development and anthropometric measurements, such as height, leg length, hair, etc.Children born to exposed families were found being lighter, thinner and with smaller heads. Sambhavna says that its research workers have identified over 2500 children with possible birth defects in the study population over the past three years. Out of these over 1700 were diagnosed with congenital anomaly by 30 doctors from different parts of the country. These, Sarangi clarified, were only visible diagnosed malformations in children. Thus, many children could be living with as yet undiagnosed anomalies.Sarangi stressed that what these children needed was also medical intervention and aid to cope with their disabilities, and it was not enough to just identify the problem.

Tamil Nadu rains: Centre suspends toll collection on National Highways in state

The order is to come into force with immediate effect and has been issued to ease the rescue.

Government on Wednesday said it has ordered suspension of toll collection on all National Highways in Tamil Nadu till December 11 in view of the flood situation caused by unprecedented rains in the state. “In view of the flood situation caused by unprecedented rains in Tamil Nadu, the Union Minister of Road Transport & Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari has ordered suspension of toll collection on all National Highways in the state till December 11, 2015,” an official statement said.The order is to come into force with immediate effect and has been issued to ease the rescue, relief and rehabilitation operations being undertaken by various central and state agencies on war footings and to help the stranded and marooned people in different parts of the state, the statement said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rescue and relief operations were in full swing today in the worst flood-affected areas of Chennai and suburbs and neighbouring districts, which enjoyed a welcome respite from torrential rains as Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a Rs 1,000 crore more aid to Tamil Nadu.

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

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

Jitendra Singh

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

Amid reports of placing Delhi gangrape juvenile convict under NGO monitoring, Nirbhaya’s parents say he should remain in jail

“We will always be dissatisfied over the fact that the person involved in the brutal killing of our daughter is roaming free. Our daughter will not get justice unless and until the four convicts are hanged and the juvenile convict is put behind the bars,” she added.

dna Research & Archives
Expressing disappointment over reports that the juvenile accused in the 2012 brutal gang-rape case would be kept under monitoring of an NGO for a year, Nirbhaya’s parents on Thursday urged the government to ensure that the former is put behind the bars.”It doesn’t matter to us whether he is put in an NGO or not. What we know is that the juvenile has been released, whether he is an NGO or somewhere else. What matters is that he is out of jail,” Nirbhaya’s mother told ANI.”We will always be dissatisfied over the fact that the person involved in the brutal killing of our daughter is roaming free. Our daughter will not get justice unless and until the four convicts are hanged and the juvenile convict is put behind the bars,” she added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>According to sources, the accused juvenile, who was supposed to be released on December 15, would not be released from jail as of now.Union Woman and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi had said earlier this week that she had written to the Union Home Ministry demanding that sex offenders be tracked after release.Earlier, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) had issued a notice to Centre and Delhi Government on complaint apprehending threat to society from the juvenile post his release.The NHRC had taken cognizance of a complaint received from Nirbhaya’s parents.The convict, who was below 18 years at the time of the horrific crime, was sentenced to three years in a reform home.The punishment was seen by many as disproportionate to the enormity of the crime and spurred demands for changes in the law so that the teenagers involved in serious crimes can be tried as adults.Four other convicts have been sentenced to death and a fifth was found dead in prison.

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

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

File Photo

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

Cabinet approves six new IITs

At present, there are 16 IITs in the country.
File Photo

Six new Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) will be set up in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Chhatisgarh, Goa, Jammu and Kashmir, Kerala and Karnataka with the Union Cabinet on Wednesday clearing a proposal in this regard.A meeting of the Cabinet presided by Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave its approval for operationalisation of these IITs initially by forming of Societies under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 in order to give them legal status till the amendment for their incorporation in The Institutes of Technology Act, 1961 is enacted. At present, there are 16 IITs in the country.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Each new IIT will have an initial intake of 180 students in its first year which would increase to 450 in the second year and to 928 (840 Undergraduates, 80 Postgraduates and 8 PhDs) in the third year of their operation, an official statement here said. The total cost for running these IITs is Rs 1,411.80 crore and will be incurred between 2015-16 and 2018-19, it added.The new IITs will be operated from their temporary campuses for the initial period of three years before shifting to their permanent campuses in the 4th year. Each IIT will have a sanctioned strength of faculty members, with a faculty-student ratio of 1:10. The statement also added that the six new IITs will be registered as Societies as the Institutes of Technology Act, 1961, contains no provision to enable establishment of new IITs.”Every new IIT commenced since its enactment has required an amendment to the Act itself. In light of this, it would be appropriate to establish the new IITs through the formation of Societies as it has not been possible to amend the Institutes of Technology Act, 1961 to make provision for establishment of new IITs, before the admissions to academic session 2015-16 in these new IITs,” the statement added.

Tamil Nadu floods: Chennai Airport to remain closed till December 6 – Union Govt

Chennai Airport authorities had initially shut operations till this morning but extended following incessant rains.

As many as 3,500 people, including 1,500 passengers, were stranded this morning at the Chennai international airport, which has been closed for operations till next morning following flooding of the runway. Airports Authority of India (AAI) said all the stranded passengers are being moved out of the airport, but did not reveal the exact number of those evacuated so far. A NOTAM (Notice to Airmen) has been issued by AAI, which manages the airport, to all air operators with regard to suspension of flight operations till 6.00 am tomorrow. This notice is a communication that informs pilots about potential risks to flight safety.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Around 1,500 passengers and 2,000 others working at the airport were stranded there in the morning, AAI Chairman R K Srivastava said. The process of evacuation of passengers is underway and the exercise is expected to be completed by this evening. “All passengers are expected to be evacuated by 4.00 pm today. AAI has arranged six buses to evacuate the passengers from the airport,” Srivastava said in New Delhi.Srivastava said 66 arrivals and 53 departures have been cancelled since 2000 hours yesterday. “The runway is flooded but the terminal building is safe,” he added. Chennai Airport authorities had initially shut operations till this morning but extended following incessant rains. Nearly 35-37 aircraft, mostly of domestic airliners, are grounded at the airport. The situation at the airport would be reviewed again tomorrow before giving the go ahead for resumption of flight operations, Srivastava said. Union Minister for Civil Aviation Ashok Gajapathi Raju said everything has been “paralysed” at the airport. “A lot of things (sic) are stranded at the airport. So the chairman of Airport Authority has tried to develop a plan to make available some essential material like drinking water, and food…staff is also trying. Everything is paralysed,” he said.Asked when the flight operations were likely to resume, he said, “If the rain stops, then only we can give you some type of time frame, but if it won’t stop then we can’t say anything as Chennai and neighbouring districts are badly affected. If water recedes, then only we will be able to do something”.

Maternity leaves given to surrogate mothers in few cases: Government

A female government servant may be granted maternity leave for a period of 135 days (slightly more than four months) from the date of its commencement. During such period, she shall be paid leave salary equal to the pay drawn immediately before proceeding on leave, the rules says.

dna Research & Archives
The Centre considers grant of maternity leaves to surrogate mothers on case to case basis and it has been given in few cases, Union Minister Jitendra Singh said in New Delhi on Wednesday. A female government servant may be granted maternity leave for a period of 135 days (slightly more than four months) from the date of its commencement. During such period, she shall be paid leave salary equal to the pay drawn immediately before proceeding on leave, the rules says.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The government of India considers grant of maternity leave to surrogate mothers on case to case basis keeping in view the totality of the circumstances of each case. Recently maternity leave was granted in a few cases,” he said in reply to a written question in Lok Sabha.

Chennai floods: Rains will batter Tamil Nadu for a week more, 2 days crucial – IMD

“The phenomenon will continue for the next seven days, but the next 48 hours are very crucial. Neighbouring states will also see rainfall activity,” Rathore said.

Rains will continue to batter Tamil Nadu for the next seven days and the next 48 hours are “very crucial”, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Wednesday said. IMD Director General Laxman Singh Rathore attributed the heavy rains to a “trough of low” over Southwest Bay of Bengal off Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka coast which will continue to bring rains over the next three days. Thereafter, the state will see an anti-cyclone activity which will be associated with “heavy rains” at some places.”The phenomenon will continue for the next seven days, but the next 48 hours are very crucial. Neighbouring states will also see rainfall activity,” Rathore said. He said the Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi chaired a high-level meeting with the “stake holders”, including officials of National Disaster Management Authority, which was attended by Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary through a video conference. The IMD also briefed about the weather forecast.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A warning has also been issued for coastal districts of Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Andhra Pradesh (especially Nellore and Chittoor), interior Tamil Nadu and Rayalseema region of Andhra Pradesh. The period October to December is referred to as Northeast Monsoon season over peninsular India. It is a major period of rainfall activity over the southern peninsula, particularly Coastal Andhra Pradesh, Rayalaseema, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. For Tamil Nadu this is the main rainy season accounting for about 48 per cent of the annual rainfall. Coastal districts of the state get nearly 60 per cent of the annual rainfall and the interior districts about 40-50 per cent of the precipitation.However, this season Tamil Nadu alone has witnessed 50 per cent excess rainfall by December 1 itself. “Almost all districts of Tamil Nadu have received excess rainfall ranging from 10 to 150 per cent,” Rathore said.According to the IMD data, Chennai has seen 89 per cent more than normal rainfall this season, while the districts of Kancheepuram, Tiruvallur, Vellore and Tirunveliveli received 154 per cent, 139 per cent, 136 per cent and 110 per cent excess precipitation respectively so far.

Centre awaiting Akhilesh government’s report on Dadri lynching: Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi

A three-member team of the Commission led by its chairman Naseem Ahmad had visited Bishada village near Dadri in Uttar Pradesh and interacted with family members of Mohammed Akhlaq, who was lynched following rumours of beef eating in September this year, the authorities concerned and locals.

The central government is awaiting a report it had sought from the Akhilesh Yadav dispensation to ascertain factual position and action taken by the state in the Dadri lynching incident, Lok Sabha was informed on Wednesday.”As law and order is a state subject, a report has been called for ascertaining the factual position, comments and action taken by the state government, which is still awaited,” Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said in written reply to a question. The minister was asked if the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) had, in its report on the incident, stated whether the killing was “pre-mediated” and if the episode was a result of planning in which a “sacred” place like temple was used for “exhorting” people of a community to attack a “hapless” family.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He was also asked about the Ministry’s reaction to the Commission findings and steps it took/proposes to take on the panel’s recommendations. Naqvi did not give direct answers to the queries but confirmed the Union government had received the NCM report with its observations on the episode.He said the Union Home Ministry had on October 5 issued an advisory to the state government stating that there is “zero tolerance” toward any attempt to “weaken the secular fabric and exploiting religious emotions or sentiments”. “Also the MHA has called on the states to take strictest action as per law against such elements without any exception whatsoever,” Naqvi added.A three-member team of the Commission led by its chairman Naseem Ahmad had visited Bishada village near Dadri in Uttar Pradesh and interacted with family members of Mohammed Akhlaq, who was lynched following rumours of beef eating in September this year, the authorities concerned and locals.In its report compiled in October this year and put up on its website, the NCM had stated the lynching strongly appeared to be the result of “planning under which people were incited using a temple”. The minority panel had also described in the report as “disturbing” the “irresponsible comments” by politicians who paid visit to the village after the incident. The NCM said it will be “quite an understatement” to say the killing was merely an “accident as has been claimed even by some persons in authority”.

Rajiv Gandhi assassination case: SC to pronounce verdict on setting convicts free

The bench, also comprising justices FMI Kalifulla, Pinaki Chandra Ghosh, Abhay Manohar Sapre and UU Lalit, had reserved the judgement on August 12

Rajiv Gandhi

dna Research & Archives
The Supreme Court is likely to pronounce on Wednesday its verdict on constitutional issues arising from Tamil Nadu government’s decision to set free the convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, including the power of states to remit sentences.A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice HL Dattu, who would be demittimg office on Wednesday, would authoritatively deal with questions raised by the smaller bench while staying the state government’s decision to set free seven convicts in the sensational case.The bench, also comprising justices FMI Kalifulla, Pinaki Chandra Ghosh, Abhay Manohar Sapre and UU Lalit, had reserved the judgement on August 12 after hearing for eleven days the arguments advanced by Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar, who appeared for the Centre, and others including senior advocates Ram Jethmalani and Rakesh Dwivedi, representing V Sriharan alias Murugan, one of the seven convicts, and Tamil Nadu government respectively. The court would be dealing with seven issues framed by the smaller bench on the scope of the Executive’s power of remission.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It would decide whether state governments also have power of remission in cases where central agencies like CBI are the prosecutor.”The issue of such a nature has been raised for the first time in this court which has wide ramification in determining the scope of application of power of remission by the Executives, both the Centre and the State.”Accordingly, we refer this matter to the Constitution Bench to decide the issue pertaining to whether once power of remission under Article 72 (by the President) or 161 (by Governor) or by this Court exercising Constitutional power under Article 32 is exercised, is there any scope for further consideration for remission by the Executive,” the apex court had said while referring the matter to the Constitution bench.It had said the Constitution bench would decide whether the sentence of a prisoner, whose death penalty has been commuted to life, can be remitted by the government. The bench would also decide whether life imprisonment meant jail term for rest of the life or a convict has a right to claim remission, it had said.Another issue for the constitution bench to decide is whether a special category of sentence could be provided for cases where death penalty might be substituted by imprisonment for life or imprisonment for a term in excess of 14 years and to put that category beyond application of remission.The bench will also decide whether the Union or the State has primacy over the subject matter enlisted in concurrent list of 7th Schedule of the Constitution for exercise of power of remission.During the hearing, Centre had said that repeated mercy pleas before the President and the Governor by convicts seeking remission or commutation of their sentences violated the principle of finality. It had also asserted that the killers of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi did nor deserve any mercy as the assassination was the result of a conspiracy involving foreign nationals.The Tamil Nadu government, on other had, had asserted the states have power to grant remission under the law and trashed accusations that its decision to release seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case was “political and arbitrary”.The state government had wanted to know as to why Congress governments at the centre delayed the decision on their mercy pleas that led to commutation of their death sentence in the first place.Jethmalani, appearing for one of the convicts, had sought dismissal of Centre’s plea, contending that the citizens could file writ petitions for enforcement of their fundamental rights and “Union of India is not a citizen but State under Article 12; it has no such rights vested in it”. The apex court had on February 20 last year stayed the state government’s decision to release three convicts – Murugan, Santhan and Arivu, whose death sentence had been commuted to life term by it two days before.It had later also stayed the release of four other convicts — Nalini, Robert Pious, Jayakumar and Ravichandran, saying there were procedural lapses on part of the state government.Santhan, Murugan and Arivu are currently lodged in the Central Prison, Vellore. The other four are also undergoing life sentence for their role in Gandhi’s assassination on May 21, 1991 in Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu.

Please take back your awards, Rajnath’s olive branch to award-returnees

Rajnath Singh on Tuesday extended an olive branch to writers, filmmakers and intellectuals who have returned their awards in view of ‘rising intolerance’ in the country, requesting them to take back their awards.

During the debate on ‘intolerance’ in Lok Sabha, which went on for 7 hours, the Union home minister said he is willing to sit with anyone and sort out their misgivings on the functioning of the government while taking on board their apprehensions and suggestions.

Rajnath Singh. IbnliveRajnath Singh. Ibnlive

Rajnath Singh. Ibnlive

“I appeal to the artists, literary people, scientists and other eminent people who have returned the awards to kindly take their awards back,” the minister said during his speech in Lok Sabha.
“The doors of this government are open for any discussion over tolerance or intolerance with those who have misgivings about our functioning”, he added.

Ribbed by the Opposition, including Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on the issue of intolerance including Dadri killing, Singh put the ball in UP government’s court.

“When we found out about Dadri, I immediately issued an advisory and sought a report from the Uttar Pradesh government on the incident.

“The UP government report made no mention of any communal angle. Even the word beef was not mentioned,” the home minister told the Parliament.

He, however, announced that should the Akhilesh Yadav government recommend it, the home ministry is ready to “immediately launch a CBI probe into the killing of Mohammad Akhlaq Saifi so that truth is out in the open.”

Singh, during whose speech the Opposition staged a walkout, said: “I want to assure this House, on behalf of myself and the Prime Minister, that if anyone tries to harm the social and religious harmony, he will not be spared”.

Rahul Gandhi during his speech had accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of silent acquiescence for not objecting to Union minister General VK Singh’s statement on Dalits and “carrying on as if nothing happened”.

“VK Singh sworn in as MP and was the General of Indian Army, he compared Dalit children to dogs; by doing this he directly challenged the Constitution but PM remained silent over the matter,” Rahul Gandhi said.

Rejecting his charges, Rajnath Singh said: “You ask why PM is silent on VK Singh. Every time something like this happened in the past, did the PM respond?”

“Home ministry is my portfolio. I’m responsible for what’s happening in the country. Whenever any incident happens that threatens to disturb the communal and social harmony, I immediately speak on it and if needed, take necessary action.

“On VK Singh’s remark, I released a statement saying we should be careful about what we say or say in such a manner so that it isn’t open to malicious interpretations”

“Gen VK Singh himself released a clarification, stating that his statement was twisted out of context,” the home minister told the Parliament. “Yes, our government is intolerant. We are intolerant towards corruption, unclean surroundings, terrorism, violence against women and such issues.”

On Monday, Rajnath Singh had demanded an apology in Lok Sabha from CPM MP Mohammad Salim, who had, during the debate on intolerance, cited a report in Outlook magazine that had quoted the Union home minister as making a communal statement.

After the controversy, during which Rajnath Singh said: “He had never felt so hurt as today in my political career”, Outlook issued a statement via Twitter, clarifying that the quote was wrongly attributed to Rajnath.

After leaders’ rhetoric, climate negotiators start work on deal | Reuters

PARIS With encouragement from 150 world leaders ringing in their ears, government negotiators in Paris were on Tuesday left to turn the rhetoric into reality and agree a draft text of a global deal to slow climate change.

U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping made common cause on Monday with other countries to stress the urgency of an agreement to slow a rise in global temperatures blamed for spurring floods, heat waves and rising sea levels.

But as the leaders left Paris, negotiators from 195 countries were left to work on a draft text of more than 50 pages still riddled with disagreements.

The main sticking point is how to come up with the billions of dollars needed to finance the cleaner energy sources that are badly needed if emerging countries are to develop without relying heavily on fossil fuels.

Many delegates said the large turnout at the U.N. climate summit in Paris, weeks after attacks by Islamic State militants killed 130 people, was a sign of hope after the last summit collapsed in failure in 2009 in Copenhagen amid rancour between rich and poor nations.

French President Francois Hollande said he was encouraged by the start of talks that are planned to run until Dec. 11.

“It’s set off well but it has to arrive too,” he told reporters. He said there were “two reefs. Either we overload the vessel and it sinks or we empty it and it goes nowhere.”

The technical talks repeated little of Monday’s grand language. Countries restated their negotiating positions with few hints of likely compromise.

China’s delegate Su Wei “noted with concern” what he called a lack of commitment by the rich to make deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions and help developing nations with new finance to tackle global warming.

NITTY GRITTY

“It’s back to the nitty gritty,” said Alden Meyer, of the Union of Concerned Scientists, adding the opening day was “all good but that does not resolve the crunch issues.”

“It is still a text with many options,” Peruvian Environment Minister Manuel Pulgar Vidal told Reuters, adding with a shrug “but everybody has shown their commitment to have an agreement.”

The mood was brightened by major announcements including a plan by India and France to mobilise $1 trillion for solar power for some of the world’s poorest people and a private sector initiative led by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates to mobilise billions of dollars for new energy research and development.

“Leaders still have the scars of Copenhagen on their hearts and brains,” Yvo de Boer, who was the U.N.’s climate chief in Copenhagen, said.

“The fact that so many leaders came back here on the opening day to send encouragement … is a sign that they really want to move,” he said.

A deal in Paris would be by far the strongest ever agreed to bind both rich and poor nations to limit greenhouse gas emissions, which scientists say have blanketed the earth, raised global temperatures and begun upending the planet’s climate system.

Liz Gallagher, of the London-based E3G environmental think-tank, said the opening day had “made an agreement more likely”.

But she said the biggest gap was over climate finance. Developing nations want the rich to pledge rising amounts beyond the current goal of $100 billion a year by 2020 to help them obtain clean energy sources and adapt to the effects of climate change, such as more floods, droughts and intense storms.

Other disputes concern how to define a long-term goal for phasing out fossil fuels.

In June, developed nations in the Group of Seven (G7) signed up for a goal of decarbonising the world economy by 2100. China and India say they need to rely on coal to lift millions from poverty and prefer a shift to low-carbon development this century.

So far, pledges made by about 170 countries to curb greenhouse gas emissions beyond 2020, made in the run-up to the Paris summit, are too weak to limit rising global temperatures to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial times. That is widely viewed as a threshold for dangerous and potentially catastrophic changes in the planet’s climate system.

(Writing by Alister Doyle; Additional reporting by Bate Felix and Emmanuel Jarry; Editing by Bruce Wallace and Janet Lawrence)

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

Intolerance debate: Rahul Gandhi tells PM Modi not to learn wrong lessons from Pakistan

The Congress Vice President’s speech was repeatedly interrupted by BJP members, especially when he targeted Union Minister VK Singh who, he alleged, had likened two Dalit children in Haryana who were burnt to dogs to dogs.

Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday launched a scathing attack on the Government on the issue of intolerance telling it not to learn the “wrong lessons” from Pakistan and pleaded that it should listen to the people who have been “disturbed” over recent incidents. “People like Narayana Murthy, Raghuram Rajan and P M Bhargava are among the many protesting… They are disturbed like millions of other people. Respect them and try to understand what is disturbing them. Go and listen to them,” he said speaking on the debate of intolerance in the Lok Sabha.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Congress Vice President’s speech was repeatedly interrupted by BJP members, especially when he targeted Union Minister VK Singh who, he alleged, had likened two Dalit children in Haryana who were burnt to dogs to dogs. This was strongly contested by the BJP members. The Minister was not present in the House. “Our Prime Minister allowed this man to continue as Minister. Ambedkar spent his entire life ….and wrote the Constitution so that the two children are not burnt. The Prime Minister is unable to see this contradiction,” he said amid cries of ‘shame-shame’ from the Opposition benches. I request Government, please do not learn the wrong lessons from Pakistan. Be tolerant. Listen to your people, embrace your own people. Mahatma Gandhi gave voice to the people. Pakistan became a failure because their leaders crushed voices of their people…were intolerant. Let us not learn the wrong lessons,” he said.Gandhi regretted that the Prime Minister remained silent after the Dadri lynching incident despite the fact that the son of the person killed is an air force personnel. “The ultimate responsibility for his protection is with the Prime Minister who remained silent”, he remarked.

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