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  • NATIONAL

Chinese research vessel, over which India raised concerns, departs from Maldives

The Chinese research vessel Xiang Yang Hong 3 arrived at Thilafushi on February 23, approximately 7.5 km west of Male in the Maldives, despite concerns from India regarding potential surveillance activities. The Maldivian government, known for its friendly relations with China, assured that the vessel would not conduct any research within Maldivian waters.

The 4,500-tonne high-tech Chinese research vessel, Xiang Yang Hong 3, departed from the Maldives after making a port call, rotating personnel, and replenishing supplies. Despite leaving Male harbor, tracking data indicated its presence near Hulhumale two days later.

India has expressed concerns about the vessel's movements, reflecting broader anxieties about China's growing influence in the Indian Ocean Region. Similar visits by Chinese research vessels to Sri Lanka have also raised alarms in India, prompting Sri Lanka to deny docking permissions since 2022.

The Xiang Yang Hong 3, operated by China's State Oceanic Administration, is equipped for various scientific studies, including salinity, microbial genetics, underwater mineral exploration, and environmental research. China has defended the vessel's activities as peaceful scientific endeavors contributing to oceanic understanding.

The vessel's presence near the India-Maldives-Sri Lanka trilateral Dosti-16 exercise in February raised eyebrows, highlighting regional tensions. Sri Lanka's moratorium on foreign research ships entering its waters for a year, declared on January 5, further underscores regional concerns about Chinese maritime activities.

Despite allegations from American think tanks about China's "scientific research" ships collecting data for military purposes, Beijing maintains that its operations comply with international maritime laws.

 

चीनी अनुसंधान जलयान शियांग यांग होंग 3 ने 23 फरवरी को भारत की चिंताओं के बावजूद थिलाफुशी में डॉक किया, माले के पश्चिम में लगभग 7.5 किलोमीटर की दूरी पर, चीन-मित्र मालदीव सरकार ने कहा कि जलयान किसी भी अनुसंधान का नहीं करेगा मालदीवी जलमें।

माले: एक 4,500 टन का उच्च प्रौद्योगिकी चीनी अनुसंधान जलयान जिसने भारत की चिंताओं के बावजूद पिछले हफ्ते मालदीव में एक पोर्ट कॉल किया था, उसने देश की किनारों को छोड़ दिया है, स्थानीय मीडिया की रिपोर्ट है कि बुधवार को।

शियांग यांग होंग 3 ने माले में 22 फरवरी को डॉक किया था और फिर मालदीव की मर्जी के बावजूद हलके हलके चलनों को लेकर उत्पन्न हुए हैं, मालदीवी स्थानीय मीडिया के अनुसार उसकी अंतिम संकेत चंद दिनों पहले हुल्हुमाले के आसपास थे।

मुद्रित रिपोर्टों के अनुसार, जलयान बाढ़प्रभाव, जैविक आनुवंशिक अध्ययन, अंडरवॉटर मिनरल अन्वेषण और अंडरवॉटर जीवन और पर्यावरण अध्ययन के लिए भी उपयोग किया जा सकता है।

भारत की चिंताएं चीनी जलयान की जलयान के बीच मालदीव और श्रीलंका के बीच झुलसती हुई गतियां नई दिल्ली में चिंताओं को उत्तेजित कर दिए हैं, जो भारतीय सागरीय क्षेत्र में चीन के बढ़ते प्रभाव को दर्शाती हैं। भारत की चिंताएं मालदीव के पास के नहीं हैं, बल्कि चीनी जलयान के गतिविधियों के बारे में और भी व्यापक रणनीतिक परिणामों को शामिल करती हैं।

भारत ने अपने अन्य पड़ोसी श्रीलंका के साथ अन्य चीनी अनुसंधान जलयानों की समान यात्राओं को उठाया है, जिन्हें अपने पोर्ट में डॉक करने की अनुमति नहीं दी गई है सिंथा 2022 से। लिपटवाया।

2021 में, भारत ने हंबंतोटा पोर्ट में चीनी बैलिस्टिक मिसाइल और सैटेलाइट ट्रैकिंग जलयान Yuan Wang 5 की एक समान यात्रा पर मजबूत चिंताओं का अभिव्यक्त किया था।

प्रारंभ में, चीन-मित्र मालदीव सरकार ने कहा था कि वे अनुसंधान जलयान को माले पोर्ट में डॉक करने की अनुमति दी है, कहते हुए कि यह रोक योग्य बनाई गई थी और यह "मालदीवी जलमें अनुसंधान करने के दौरान किसी भी अनुसंधान को नहीं करेगा।"

शियांग यांग होंग 3 के बारे में यह 100 मीटर लंबी जलयान चीन के राज्यीय समुद्री प्रशासन (एसओए) के फ्लीट में 2016 में शामिल किया गया था। यह वर्तमान में चीन में एकमात्र 4,500 टन का जहाज है।

2019 से, चीन ने इस जलयान का उपयोग चीन के पायलट समुद्री प्रयोगशाला में 'दूरस्थ जल' और 'गहरे समुद्र' सर्वेक्षण के लिए भी किया है, रिपोर्ट के अनुसार।

 

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  • NATIONAL

SJVN commissions its 100 MW Raghanesda Solar Power Station in Gujarat

 

SJVN, a leading renewable energy solutions provider, has successfully inaugurated its 100 MW Raghanesda Solar Power Station situated in Banaskatha district, Gujarat. This strategic move solidifies SJVN's commitment to sustainable energy solutions. The project is expected to yield 252 million units of energy within its inaugural year, with a cumulative generation estimate of 5,805 million units over 25 years. Through a long-term Power Purchase Agreement inked in January 2022, Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Limited (GUVNL) will receive power from the Raghanesda Solar Power Station for 25 years.

This milestone project elevates SJVN's total installed capacity to 2,377 MW. Notably, it follows closely on the heels of another recent achievement, the commissioning of the 50 MW Gujrai Solar Power Station in Uttar Pradesh on February 23, 2024.

SJVN Green Energy Limited, SJVN's renewable energy arm, secured the Raghanesda Solar Power Station at a competitive tariff of Rs. 2.64 per unit through Tariff Based Competitive Bidding conducted by GUVNL. The project, with a construction cost of Rs. 642 crores, underscores SJVN's commitment to green initiatives and responsible growth.

Geeta Kapur, Chairperson & Managing Director of SJVN, emphasized the company's dedication to bolstering the nation's green energy landscape and solidifying its position as a key player in the energy sector through the commissioning of its eleventh power project.

Financing for the project was obtained from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation under the Global action for Reconciling Economic growth and Environmental preservation (GREEN) program, further highlighting SJVN's commitment to green initiatives. The Raghanesda Solar Power Station is poised to significantly contribute to Gujarat's Renewable Energy Goals and enhance energy security in the region.

SJVN Limited, classified as a Mini Ratna- Category-I and Schedule - ’A’ Central Public Sector Enterprise under the Ministry of Power, Government of India, commenced operations on May 24, 1988, as a joint venture of the Government of India and the Government of Himachal Pradesh.

As a listed entity, SJVN's shareholding comprises 55% held by the Government of India, 26.85% by the Government of Himachal Pradesh, and the remaining 18.15% by the public. The company has diversified into various forms of energy, including Hydro, Thermal, Wind, Solar, Power trading, and Transmission. SJVN aims to achieve ambitious targets, aiming for a Shared Vision of 25,000 MW installed capacity by 2030 and 50,000 MW installed capacity by 2040.

 

 

"एसजेवीएन गुजरात में अपना 100 मेगावॉट राघणेस्डा सोलर पावर स्टेशन का शुभारंभ करता है

एसजेवीएन लिमिटेड ने जिला बनासकाठा, गुजरात में स्थित अपना 100 मेगावॉट राघणेस्डा सोलर पावर स्टेशन का शुभारंभ किया है, जो सतत ऊर्जा समाधानों के प्रति अपने प्रतिबद्धता को मजबूत करता है। परियोजना पहले वर्ष में 252 मिलियन इकाइयों की ऊर्जा उत्पन्न करेगी जबकि 25 वर्षों की अवधि में एकत्रित ऊर्जा उत्पन्न की गई ऊर्जा की अनुमानित मात्रा 5,805 मिलियन इकाइयाँ है। जनवरी 2022 में साइन किए गए एक लम्बे समय तक के पावर परचेस अब agreement में है जिसमें राघणेस्डा सोलर पावर स्टेशन द्वारा उत्पन्न की गई ऊर्जा को 25 वर्षों के लिए गुजरात ऊर्जा विकास निगम लिमिटेड (जीयूवीएनएल) को प्रदान किया जाएगा।

इस परियोजना के जोड़ने के साथ, एसजेवीएन का स्थापित क्षमता 2,377 मेगावॉट हो जाता है। इस उपलब्धि ने फरवरी 23, 2024 को उत्तर प्रदेश में 50 मेगावॉट गुजराई सोलर पावर स्टेशन के शुभारंभ के बाद, इस महीने एसजेवीएन के दूसरे सोलर परियोजना के शुभारंभ को चिह्नित किया।

एसजेवीएन ग्रीन एनर्जी लिमिटेड, एसजेवीएन लिमिटेड की नवीन बांझपनी बांझपनी, ने गुजरात ऊर्जा विकास निगम लिमिटेड द्वारा टैरिफ आधारित प्रतिस्पर्धी बोली प्रक्रिया द्वारा 100 मेगावॉट राघणेस्डा सोलर पावर स्टेशन को 2.64 रुपये प्रति इकाई की दर पर अधिग्रहण किया था। परियोजना की निर्माण और विकास लागत 642 करोड़ रुपये है।

एसजेवीएन के अध्यक्ष और प्रबंध निदेशक, श्रीमती गीता कपूर ने कहा कि कंपनी की ग्यारहवीं पावर परियोजना का शुभारंभ एसजेवीएन के प्रतिबद्धता को हाइलाइट करता है और राष्ट्र के हरित ऊर्जा परिदृश्य को बढ़ावा देने के लिए एसजेवीएन की प्रतिबद्धता को मजबूत करता है।

एसजेवीएन ने ग्लोबल एक्शन फॉर रिकंसाइलिंग इकोनॉमिक ग्रोथ और एनवायरनमेंटल प्रिजर्वेशन (ग्रीन) कार्यक्रम के तहत जापान बैंक फॉर इंटरनेशनल कोआपरेशन से परियोजना के लिए वित्त प्राप्त किया, जो इसकी हरित पहलों और जिम्मेदार विकास के प्रति पुनरुत्साहित करता है। यह परियोजना गुजरात राज्य के नवीनीकरणीय ऊर्जा लक्ष्यों में महत्वपूर्ण योगदान करेगा और क्षेत्र में ऊर्जा सुरक्षा को बढ़ावा देगा।

एसजेवीएन लिमिटेड, एक मिनी रत्न- श्रेणी-आई और शेड्यूल - 'ए' केंद्रीय सार्वजनिक क्षेत्र उद्यम, विद्युत मंत्रालय, भारत सरकार के प्रशासनिक नियंत्रण के अधीन, 24 मई 1988 को भारत सरकार और हिमाचल प्रदेश सरकार के एक संयुक्त उद्यम के रूप में अपना सफर शुरू किया था।

एक सूचीबद्ध एंटिटी, एसजेवीएन के 55% हिस्सेदार भारत सरकार द्वारा रखे जाते हैं, 26.85% हिमाचल प्रदेश सरकार द्वारा और शेष 18.15% जनता द्वारा। एसजेवीएन ने लगभग सभी प्रकार की ऊर्जा यानी हाइड्रो, थर्मल, विंड, सोलर, पावर ट्रेडिंग और ट्रांसमिशन में विस्तार किया है। आगे देखकर, एसजेवीएन 2030 ईसी वर्ष तक 25,000 मेगावॉट स्थापित क्षमता के साझा दृश्य को प्राप्त करने के लक्ष्य को हासिल करने के लक्ष्य से बढ़ने का लक्ष्य रखता है और 2040 ईसी वर्ष तक 50,000 मेगावॉट स्थापित क्षमता का लक्ष्य रखता है।"

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  • NATIONAL

MHA likely to notify CAA rules before implementation of Model Code of Conduct: Sources

On December 27, Union Home Minister Amit Shah emphasized that the implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) cannot be halted as it stands as the law of the land. He accused West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of misleading the public on this matter. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is anticipated to announce the regulations for the CAA 2019 before the enforcement of the model code of conduct. These rules aim to confer Indian citizenship to persecuted non-Muslim migrants from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan who arrived in India before December 31, 2014.

The CAA, passed by Parliament in December 2019 and subsequently assented to by the President, sparked significant protests across the country. Sources suggest that the regulations for the CAA could be revealed before the implementation of the model code of conduct, possibly by March. The CAA can be activated through MHA notifications, allowing eligible individuals to obtain Indian citizenship. The implementation of the CAA, delayed for over four years, requires the formulation of associated rules.

An official stated that the regulations are prepared, and an online portal is set up for the process, to be conducted digitally. Applicants will disclose their entry year into India without travel documents, and no additional documentation will be required. The BJP has emphasized its commitment to implementing the CAA, despite opposition from the TMC led by Mamata Banerjee.

The assurance of implementing the CAA was a significant electoral agenda for the BJP in previous elections in West Bengal. Since 2020, the Ministry of Home Affairs has sought extensions from parliamentary committees to frame the rules. Over a hundred individuals lost their lives during protests or police action following the law's passage. Over the past two years, district magistrates and home secretaries in nine states have been authorized to grant Indian citizenship to certain non-Muslim minorities from neighboring countries.

According to the Ministry of Home Affairs' annual report for 2021-22, 1,414 individuals from non-Muslim minority communities were granted Indian citizenship between April 1, 2021, and December 31, 2021. Indian citizenship by registration or naturalization is granted to non-Muslim minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan in nine states under the Citizenship Act of 1955. However, districts in Assam and West Bengal have not been empowered with these authorities, despite being politically sensitive regions.

 

27 दिसंबर को, गृह मंत्री अमित शाह ने कहा कि सीएए के कार्यान्वयन को रोका नहीं जा सकता क्योंकि यह देश का कानून है। उन्होंने पश्चिम बंगाल की मुख्यमंत्री ममता बनर्जी को इस मामले के संबंध में जनता को गुमराह करने का आरोप भी लगाया।

गृह मंत्रालय (एमएचए) के स्रोतों के मुताबिक, चाहिए इससे पहले साक्षरता संशोधन अधिनियम (सीएए) 2019 के नियमों का ऐलान होने की उम्मीद है, सामग्री को लागू होने से पहले। नरेंद्र मोदी सरकार द्वारा पेश किए गए सीएए नियमों का उद्देश्य बांग्लादेश, पाकिस्तान, और अफगानिस्तान से परेशान गैर-मुस्लिम प्रवासी जैसे हिंदू, सिख, जैन, बौद्ध, पारसी, और ईसाई - को भारतीय नागरिकता प्रदान करना है, जो 31 दिसंबर, 2014 से पहले भारत आए थे।

संसद द्वारा सीएए के पारित होने के बाद और इसके पश्चात् राष्ट्रपति के स्वीकृति प्राप्त करने के बाद, देश के विभिन्न हिस्सों में भारी प्रदर्शन हुआ। विकास के अनुसार ज्ञात स्रोतों ने एएनआई को बताया कि "सीएए के नियमों का ऐलान कोई भी साक्षरता संहिता के प्रवर्तन से पहले किया जा सकता है।" मार्च में साक्षरता संहिता लागू हो सकती है।

एक अधिकारी के अनुसार, सीएए कानून को भारतीय नागरिकता प्राप्त करने की अनुमति देने के लिए गृह मंत्रालय के अधिसूचनाओं के जारी होने से सीएए का कार्यान्वयन किया जा सकता है।

27 दिसंबर को, केंद्रीय गृह मंत्री अमित शाह ने कहा था कि सीएए के कार्यान्वयन को रोका नहीं जा सकता क्योंकि यह देश का कानून है। उन्होंने पश्चिम बंगाल की मुख्यमंत्री ममता बनर्जी को इस मामले के संबंध में जनता को गुमराह करने का आरोप भी लगाया।

सीएए का कार्यान्वयन करने की आश्वासन बीजेपी के लिए प्रमुख निर्वाचनी मुद्दा था। यह प्रमुख लोकसभा और विधानसभा चुनावों में बीजेपी के लिए एक महत्वपूर्ण मुद्दा था। दो साल के बाद से, गृह मंत्रालय ने नियमों को तैयार करने की प्रक्रिया को जारी रखने के लिए

 संसदीय समितियों से नियमित रूप से विस्तार की मांग की है।

2021-22 के गृह मंत्रालय के वार्षिक रिपोर्ट के अनुसार, 1 अप्रैल, 2021 से 31 दिसंबर, 2021 तक पाकिस्तान, बांग्लादेश, और अफगानिस्तान से आदिवासी समुदायों के 1,414 व्यक्तियों को नागरिकता प्रदान की गई।

1955 के नागरिकता अधिनियम के अधीन, गुजरात, राजस्थान, छत्तीसगढ़, हरियाणा, पंजाब, मध्य प्रदेश, उत्तर प्रदेश, दिल्ली, और महाराष्ट्र जैसे नौ राज्यों में पाकिस्तान, बांग्लादेश, और अफगानिस्तान से गैर-मुस्लिम अल्पसंख्यकों को पंजीकरण या प्राकृतिकरण के माध्यम से भारतीय नागरिकता प्रदान की जाती है। असम और पश्चिम बंगाल के जिलों में प्राधिकृति परिस्थितियों पर निर्भर होने के कारण, इन नागरिकता प्रदान करने की अधिकारी अब तक नहीं हैं।

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Home Ministry extends ban on Jamaat-e-Islami for next five years

Ban on Jamaat-e-Islami: Ministry of Home Affairs Extends Ban for 5 Years

The Ministry of Home Affairs has announced the extension of the ban on Jamaat-e-Islami, Jammu Kashmir, for the next five years with immediate effect, declaring it an ‘unlawful association’. This action comes in response to the organization's persistent activities against the security, integrity, and sovereignty of the nation. Jamaat-e-Islami was initially declared an 'Unlawful Association' on February 28, 2019.

Amit Shah on Ban: Zero Tolerance Policy Against Threats to National Security

Union Home Minister Amit Shah reiterated the government's commitment to a zero-tolerance policy against terrorism and separatism. In a statement posted on X, he emphasized that the extension of the ban on Jamaat-e-Islami, Jammu Kashmir, for five years is in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's directive. Shah warned that anyone threatening the security of the nation will face ruthless measures.

 

जमात-ए-इस्लामी पर प्रतिबंध: संगठन को राष्ट्र की सुरक्षा, एकता और संप्रभुता के खिलाफ अपनी गतिविधियों के लिए पाया गया है। इस संगठन को पहली बार 'अवैध संघ' के रूप में 28 फरवरी, 2019 को घोषित किया गया था।

जमात-ए-इस्लामी पर प्रतिबंध: गृह मंत्रालय ने आज जम्मू-कश्मीर के जमात-ए-इस्लामी पर अगले पांच वर्षों के लिए प्रतिबंध लगाया, तत्काल प्रभाव से इसे 'अवैध संघ' घोषित किया। संगठन को राष्ट्र की सुरक्षा, एकता और संप्रभुता के खिलाफ अपनी गतिविधियों के लिए पाया गया है। इस संगठन को पहली बार 'अवैध संघ' के रूप में 28 फरवरी, 2019 को घोषित किया गया था।

जमात-ए-इस्लामी पर प्रतिबंध पर अमित शाह
केंद्रीय गृह मंत्री अमित शाह ने एक्स पर पोस्ट किया और कहा, "पीएम नरेंद्र मोदी की आतंकवाद और सेपरेटिज्म के खिलाफ शून्य सहिष्णुता की नीति का पालन करते हुए सरकार ने जम्मू-कश्मीर के जमात-ए-इस्लामी पर पांच वर्षों के लिए प्रतिबंध लगाया है। संगठन को राष्ट्र की सुरक्षा, एकता और संप्रभुता के खिलाफ अपनी गतिविधियों के लिए पाया गया है। इस संगठन को पहली बार 'अवैध संघ' के रूप में 28 फरवरी, 2019 को घोषित किया गया था।"

"राष्ट्र की सुरक्षा को धमकाने वाले को कठोर उपायों का सामना करना होगा," एचएम शाह ने जोड़ा। "

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Centre unveils 5-year plan in fourth round of talks with farmers: What is it? Explained

Kisaan andolan: Sarkar aur kisaan pratinidhiyon ke beech chaarvi round ke dauraan, pulses, maize, aur cotton fasalon ko nyuntam samarthan moolyon (MSPs) par prapt karne ka panch varsh ka commitment ka prastav rakha gaya.

Sarkar aur kisaan pratinidhiyon ke beech chaarvi round ke baatcheet ke dauraan, teen Union mantriyon ki samiti ne pulses, maize, aur cotton fasalon ko nyuntam samarthan moolyon (MSPs) par prapt karne ka panch varsh ka commitment ka naya prastav prastut kiya, kisanon ke saath samjhauton ke madhyam se. 

Yahaan haal hi ke vikaason aur is ongoing dialogue mein agle kadam ki vistrit jaankari hai:

Sarkar ne MSP prastav prastut kiya
Union Mantri Piyush Goyal ne ek mahatvapurn prastaav ka ailaan kiya, jisme sarkari agencies ko kisaano ke saath samjhauton mein aakarshan badhane ke liye pulses, maize, aur cotton fasalon ko agle paanch varshon tak MSPs par prapt karne ki sujhav di gayi. Ye pahal kisaano ko sthirata aur assurance pradan karne ka lakshya rakhti thi, saath hi vibhinn kshetron mein krishi vikas ko bhi badhaava dene ka kaam karti thi.

Sahakari samitiyan bhi khelengi mukhya bhumika
Prastaavit samjhauton ke tahat, sahakari samitiyan jaise Rashtriya Sahakari Upbhokta Sangh (NCCF) aur Rashtriya Krishi Sahakari Bazaar Sangh (NAFED) kisaano se 'tur dal', 'urad dal', 'masoor dal', aur maize fasalon ko MSPs par kharidne ka commitment karengi. Ye samjhautayen kisaano ko unke utpadan ke liye ek guaranteed market pradan karegi aur Punjab ke krishi drishya ko punarjivit karne mein yogdan degi.

CCI lambi avadhi mein cotton kharidne ka yojana bana rahi hai
Bharatiya Cotton Corporation (CCI) cotton fasalon ko agle paanch varshon tak MSPs par kisaano se kharidne ke liye tayyar ho rahi hai. Ye pahal cotton kisaano ko samarthan pradan karne aur Punjab mein cotton ki kheti ko badhaava dene ka lakshya rakhti hai. Cotton ki kheti kar rahe kisaan CCI ke saath samjhauton mein pravesh karne ka avsar paayenge, jisse unka utpadan MSPs par kharida ja sakega.

Kisaan sarkar ka prastaav mulyankan karte hain
Sarkar ka prastaav prastut karne ke baad, kisaan netaon ne spasht kiya ki ve is peshkash par vichar karenge aur apne pratinidhiyon aur visheshagyaon se paramarsh karenge. Nirnay nirnay paryapts byaah aur negosieshan ke saath subah 19 February ko samapt hone ki ummeed hai.

Baatcheet ke dauraan pradarshan jaari hai
Jab sarkar aur kisaan pratinidhiyon ke beech baatcheet aage badhti hai, kisaan apne maangon par dridh rahate hain. Jari 'Delhi Chalo' march ke dauraan, jo 13 February ko shuru hua tha, kisaano ke shikayaton aur neeti sudharon ki tatkaal aavashyakta par dhyan aakarshit kiya gaya.

MSP aur krishi neeti ka bhavishya
Panch varshon ke procurement yojana aur MSPs ke charcha krishi neetiyon ki mahatva ko darshati hai, kisaano ke chintaon ka samadhan karne aur unki aajivikaon ki suraksha ki guarantee karne mein. Jab tak stakeholders ke beech baatcheet jaari rahegi, visheshagya log kisaano, sarkari agencies, aur upbhoktaon ke hiton ko santulit karne ka mahatva jor dete hain.

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India's power consumption grows 7.5 percent in April-January this fiscal year

Thand ke mausam ne garmi ka saman jaise heater, blower aur geyser ka adhik pryog badhaya, jiski wajah se bijli ki maang aur upyog dono mein vriddhi hui. Satta mantralaya ne desh ki bijli ki maang ko 2023 ke garmi mein 229 GW tak pahunchne ka anuman lagaya tha.

Bharat mein bijli ki upyog me 7.5 percent ki vriddhi darj ki gayi hai, jo ki is varsh ke April-January avdhi mein 1354.97 billion units (BU) tak pahunch gayi hai, isse desh bhar mein arthik gatividhiyon mein izafa darshakar raha hai. Sarkari data ke anusaar, desh mein bijli ki maang is varsh ke April-January avdhi mein 1259.49 BU se 1354.97 BU tak badh gayi hai. 2022-23 ke fiscal ke April-January avdhi mein yah 1505.91 BU thi.

Visheshagyon ka manana hai ki desh mein bijli ki upyog mein 7.5 percent ki vriddhi spasht roop se is fiscal varsh ke pahle 10 mahino mein arthik gatividhiyon mein izafa dikhata hai. Unhone kaha ki bijli ki maang August, September aur October mein badhi, mukhya roop se gile mausam ke paristhitiyon aur tyohar se purva audyogik gatividhiyon mein vriddhi ke karan. Visheshagyon ka manana hai ki arthik gatividhiyon mein sudhar aur thand ke mausam ke karan Bharat mein ek sthir bijli ki maang ki vriddhi hogi. Ve is drishti se keh rahe hain ki Bharat is varsh ke dhaurik varsh ke dauran bijli ki maang aur maang mein sthir vriddhi hogi.

Rashtriya Sankhyiki Karyalay ne pichle January mein jaari pahle agrim anumanon mein Bharatiya arthik vriddhi ko pichle varsh ke 7.2 percent ke provisional vruddhi dar se upar 7.3 percent par ankankit kiya hai. Janwari mein bijli ki maang 133.18 BU se 126.30 BU tak 5.4 percent badhi, data dikhata hai. Janwari 2024 mein ucchatama bijli ki maang - ek din mein sabse adhik uplabdh bijli - 222.32 GW tak badh gayi thi. January 2023 mein ucchatama bijli ki aapoorti 210.72 GW thi aur January 2022 mein 192.18 GW thi.

Visheshagyon ne kaha ki Janwari mein bijli ki maang aur maang dono mein sudhar hua kyun ki mahine mein mercury ne khas karke uttar Bharat mein tezi se giraavat ki. April-July mein varsh ka anumanit star tak nahi pahuncha kyun ki asamayi baarish hui. Ucchatama aapoorti, iske viprit, June mein naye uchayi tak pahunchi, phir July mein 209.03 GW tak giri. August mein ucchatama maang 238.82 GW tak pahunchi. September 2023 mein, yah 243.27 GW thi. October mein ucchatama maang 222.16 GW thi, November mein 204.77 GW thi aur December 2023 mein 213.62 GW thi. Audyogik visheshagyon ne kaha ki pichle saal March, April, May aur June mein phaili vyapak varsha ke karan bijli ki upyog mein asar pada.

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Defence Acquisition Council clears heavy weight torpedoes, mid-air refuelling aircraft among major d

"Mota bhaari torpedoes, udan punarvahak vimaan aur kheecha jata sonars ke liye saude baar-baar taal diye gaye hain aur ab prakriya fir se shuru hoti hai.

Raksha Anuvad Parishad (DAC) ne shukravaar ko ₹84,560 karod ki keemat ke prastaavon ke liye avashyakta ki swikriti (AoN) di, jo kray prakriya ka pratham kadam hoti hai. Prastaavon mein kuch lambe samay se baaki rahe saude shaamil hain jaise ki Navy ke Scorpene class submarines ke liye bhaari vajan wale torpedoes (HWT) aur Indian Air Force (IAF) ke liye udan punarvahak vimaan (FRA) ke liye.

Dusre mukhya saude shaamil hain madhyam range ki samudri avadharna aur bahuvan samudri vimaan Navy aur Coast Guard ke liye, naye peedhi ke anti-tank mines, hawa raksha takaniki niyantran radar, aur software defined radios.

"Aur, dushmanon dwara utpann sankat ko samajhne ke liye Bharatiya nausena ke jahajon ko ek kadam aage rakhte hue, Buy (Bharatiya) shreni ke antargat ek sakriy kheecha jata array sonar ki kray swikriti di gayi hai jiska kabiliyat hai ki ye alp frequencies aur vibhinn gehraiyon par lamba doori tak samarthan kare, dushmanon ke up samudriyon ke lambi doori ki pehchan. AoN ko Kalvari class submarines ke hamla kshamata ko badhane ke liye HWT ki kray swikriti bhi di gayi hai," kaha gaya hai Mantralay ne. "DAC ne IAF ke sanrachna kshamataon aur pahunch ko badhane ke liye FRA ki kray swikriti di hai."

HWTs, udan punarvahak vimaan aur kheecha jata sonars ke liye saude baar-baar taal diye gaye hain aur prakriya ab phir se shuru hoti hai. Deriyo ka karan bhrashtachar ke aarop the aur beech mein, maujooda puraane peedhi ke torpedoes ko Scorpene se agni karne ke liye rachit kiya gaya. Unke kray mein deri ke saath-saath, IAF ko prashikshan ke uddeshyon ke liye vimaan kiraye par lena dekhna pada aur maujooda chhe IL-78 vimaan ko karyaksham karyon ke liye rakha gaya hai.

DAC ne Buy aur Make shreni ke antargat madhyam range ki samudri avadharna aur bahuvan samudri vimaan ki kray swikriti di hai, jisse desh ke vishal samudri kshetra par Navy aur Coast Guard ki nigrani aur pakshagrahan kshamataon ko majboot kiya ja sake. Yeh vishvas kiya jata hai ki yeh Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) dvaara Airbus C-295 parivahan vimaan ke adhar par viksit kiye jaenge.

Seismic sensors wale naye peedhi ke anti-tank mines ki kray aur door door tak seva shuru karne ki suvidha ke saath anubhavi suraksha suvidhaon ke saath Buy (Swadeshi Roop se Nirdisht, Viksit aur Nirman (IDDM) shreni ke antargat Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP) 2020 ki kray swikriti di gayi hai. "Mehanatis balon ke dwara dikhne se bahar ki lakshya ko bharmakshetra mein lene ke liye takneekiy yuddh kshetra mein karyakshamta aur prabhu ki vriddhi karne ke liye, Buy (Bharatiya-IDDM) shreni ke antargat canister launch kiye gaye anti-bahubal loiter yudh pranali ki kray swikriti di gayi hai," kaha gaya hai vivran mein.

Hawa raksha kshamataon ko majboot karne ke liye, vishesh roop se dheere, chhote aur neeche udate lakshyon ke dhoondhne aur nigrani, dhoondhne aur pichhdi ke vibhinn lakshyon ke peechhe lagane ki kshamataon ke liye, air defence takaniki niyantran radar ki kray swikriti di gayi hai. Coast Guard ke liye software defined radios ki kray swikriti, ICG aur Bharatiya Navy yoonit ke beech seemit jankari anubandh ke liye ek "tez gati se sanchar karne ki kabiliyat ke saath surakshit networking" ki unki avashyakta ko puri karegi.

DAC, Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh ke netritva mein, startup aur laghu, madhya aur laghu udyamon (MSME) se naye takneekon ki kray ko badhava dene ke liye DAP 2020 mein sanchit sanshodhan ko bhi manjoori di gayi hai, ek Raksha Mantralay ke bayan mein kaha gaya hai. DAC ne DAP 2020 ke sanshodhanon ko avashyakta ke sandarbh mein manjoori di hai sanketankan aur lagat ganana, bhugtan yojna aur kray sankhya ke sambandh mein.

DAC ne Navy dvaara bahri sena se videshi military sale route ke tahat kray kiye gaye 24 MH-60R bahuvan kshamata vali helikopteron ke liye aantrik sahayata aur marammat punarsthan ke madhyam se sthirta samarthan ki bhi swikriti di hai."

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1 dead as goods train derails near Delhi's Sarai Rohilla railway station

Police ne kaha ki kisi bhi shadyantra ki sambhavna ko nakaar diya gaya hai. Mare hue vyakti ke saare anya sahakarmi surakshit aur swasth hain, police ne kaha.

Rashtriya rajdhani mein Sarai Rohilla Railway station ke paas ek maalgaadi train ke das dibaon ka ulat pher hua, adhikariyon ne kaha. Unhone kaha ki ek vyakti ne rail par apni jaan kho di, unhone kaha.

Ghatna tab ghati jab train shanivaar subah Zakhira flyover ke neeche se guzar rahi thi. Railway Police ke ek adhikari ne kaha ki ghatna mein das dibaon ka ulat pher hua aur unhone yeh bhi kaha ki ek bachaav opereshan chal raha hai.

Railway police aur fire brigade ki team rescue opereshan ke liye jagah par pahunch gayi. "Lohe ke chadaron ko maalgaadi mein bhar diya gaya tha. Track par ek vyakti ki sambhav casualty ko nakaar nahi kiya gaya hai," adhikari ne kaha.

"Ab tak ek casualty ka notice mila hai jo rag picker Rafiq ka hai jo waha kaam kar rahe the saath mein teeno anya sahakarmi Railways ke liye ek anudeshak ke neeche. Sahakarmiyon se jaanch karne aur durghatna sthal ka parikshan ke dauraan, koi bhi shadyantra mukhya roop se dikhayi nahi diya gaya hai. Mobile crime team saath mein ek FSL expert ko bhi bulaaya gaya hai sthal ka jaanch karne ke liye. Sthal par local police ke karmachari bhi pahunch gaye hain bheed ko niyantran mein rakhne aur kanoon vyavastha sthiti ko banaye rakhne ke liye," police ne kaha.

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Law Commission recommends strict rules to deal with NRIs, OCIs marrying Indian citizens

Nyay Awaasthi ne kaha ki vistrit kendriya kanoon mein talak, pati ya patni ka palan-poshan, bachon ki hifazat aur palan-poshan, NRIs aur OCIs par saman ka sumons, warrant ya nyayik dastavej bhi shamil hona chahiye.

Ek chinta janak pravritti ke roop mein, Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) aur Bhartiya nagrikon ke beech jhoothe vivah ke mamle badh rahe hain, Law Commission ne is sthiti ka samna karne ke liye ek vistrit kanoon aur aise gathbandhan ka anivarye panjikaran sujhaya hai.

Law ministry ko report "NRIs aur Overseas Citizens of India se Sambandhit Vivahik Mudde par Kanoon" prastut karte hue panel adhyaksh nyayadhish (sevanivritt) Ritu Raj Awaasthi ne kaha ki Aayog ka mat hai ki sujhaya gaya kendriya kanoon vivahon ke sabhi pehluon ka samarthak hona chahiye, NRIs ke vivahon ke saath-saath Bharatiya mool ke videshi nagrikon ke vivahon ke saath bhi.

"NRIs dwara Bharatiya sahpatiyon ke saath jhoothe vivahon ke badhte hue ghatnayein ek chinta janak pravritti hai. Kuch reports dikhate hain ki in vivahon mein izafa ho raha hai, jahan ye vivah dhokhadhadi nikalte hain, Bharatiya patniyon, vishesh roop se mahilao, ko khatarnak sthitiyon mein daal dete hain," Nyay Awaasthi ne apne patra mein kaha.

Aise kanoon ke anurup, panel ne kaha, yeh lagoo nahi hona chahiye sirf NRIs par balki un vyaktiyon par bhi jo 'Overseas Citizens of India' (OCIs) ki paribhasha ke tahat aate hain, jo Nagrikta Adhiniyam, 1955 mein nirdharit ki gayi hai.

"Yah bhi sujhav diya gaya hai ki NRIs/OCIs aur Bharatiya nagrikon ke beech sabhi vivahon ko Bharat mein anivarye roop se panjikrit kiya jaye," Nyay Awaasthi ne kaha.

Nyayadhish (Sevanivritt) Ritu Raj Awaasthi ne NRIs ke vivahon ke sath Bharatiya nagrikon par kya kaha?

Unhone kaha ki vistrit kendriya kanoon mein talak, pati ya patni ka palan-poshan, bachon ki hifazat aur palan-poshan, NRIs aur OCIs par saman ka sumons, warrant ya nyayik dastavej bhi shamil hona chahiye.

"Aur yah bhi sujhav diya gaya hai ki Passports Act, 1967 mein avashyak sanshodhan ki zaroorat hai, talak ka darjana, ek pati ya patni ke passport ka dusre ke saath jodna aur dono pati-patniyon ke passport par vivah panjikaran sankhya ka ullekh karna," unhone sarkar ko kaha.

Aayog ne yaad kiya ki ek naye paristhiti ka samna karne ke liye, Non-Resident Indians Bill, 2019, Rajya Sabha mein 11 February, 2019 ko prastut kiya gaya tha. Shuruat mein, 16vi (pichhli) Lok Sabha ne bill ko Videsh Mamlo Par Committee ko refer kiya. Bad me, 17vi (vartman) Lok Sabha ka gathan hua, uske bad bhi wahi bill punah Videsh Mamlo Par Committee ko refer kiya gaya tha, aur adhik adhyayan ke liye.

Jab tak charchaen jaari thi, Law Commission ko NRI Bill, 2019 par bahumat se sujhav prapt hua Ministry of External Affairs se, jo April mein Law Ministry ke madhyam se aaya tha.

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DGGI summons foreign airlines operating in India over alleged tax evasion

DGGI, the investigative arm under the GST regime, ne kaha ki foreign airlines ke head offices jo rental, aircraft maintenance aur crew salaries jaise services provide karte hain, un par reverse charge mechanism ke tahat tax lagta hai. Unhone das foreign airlines se clarification mangi hai.

Nayi Dilli: GST Intelligence Directorate General (DGGI) ne CNBC-TV18 ki report ke mutabiq, Bharat mein chal rahe das foreign airlines ko bulaaya hai, jin par services ke import par tax evasions ka aarop hai. Adhikar ne crew salaries aur staff expenses ke bhugtaan par vishwasghat ke bare mein spashtikaran manga, sources ke anusar.

DGGI, GST regime ke antargat jaanch ka shaksh, yeh aarop lagata hai ki yeh videshi airlines, jo videsh mein mukhyaalaya sthit hain, unke Bharat mein branch offices hain jo RBI ke dwara passenger aur cargo sales se judi forex ko bhejne ki anumati hai. Haalaanki, anya havaai sevaayein jo videshi mukhyaalaya dwaara pradaan ki jaati hain jisme rental, aircraft ki maintenance, crew salary shaamil hai, CNBC ki report ke mutabiq.

Kaun kaunsi airlines ko bulaaya gaya hai?
Yeh services videsh se aane waali thi aur in par reverse charge mechanism ke tahat GST lagta tha, jise in airlines ne bhugtaan nahi kiya tha. In airlines mein shamil hain - British Airways, Lufthansa (German Airlines), Singapore Airlines, Etihad Airways, Thai Airways, Qatar Airways, Saudi Arabia Airlines, Emirates, Oman Airlines aur Air Arabia, sources ke mutabiq. Yeh jaanchen DGGI Meerut aur Mumbai zones ke dwara ki gayi hain, unhone yeh bhi joda.

"Tax evasions head office se services ke import par Indian branch offices ke dwara hain," sources ne pichle saal kaha tha, ek pichhle report ke mutabiq, jisse yeh darshaaya gaya tha ki in videshi airlines ke Bharatiya offices GST ke niyamon ka palan nahi kar rahe hain. British Airways, Lufthansa (German Airlines), Singapore Airlines, Etihad Airways, Thai Airways, Qatar Airways, Saudi Arabia Airlines, Emirates, Oman Airlines, aur Air Arabia ke Bharatiya offices abhi tak DGGI ko spashtikaran ke liye jawaab nahi diye hain aur adhik samay maang rahe hain.

Experts ne kya kaha?
"Har rupya jo Bharatiya branch office dwara diya jaata hai, woh sirf isliye tax ke adhin nahi hoga kyunki Bharat se bheja gaya hai. Iski kar lagat transaction ke prakar aur aisi sevao ke sthal par nirbhar karta hai," Rastogi Chambers ke nirmaata Abhishek A Rastogi ne kaha, jo alag-alag kshetron ke liye aisi sevao ke import par virodhabhas mein lad rahe hain.

"Jaise ki, Bharatiya branch office dwara videshi mukhyaalaya ko di gayi crew salaries par ki gayi bhugtaan mein kewal nirbhar hoga aur yeh bhi karmchaariyon ke niyamit karne ke prakar par nirbhar karega. Upar se, Bharatiya staff dwaara bahar Bharat mein istemal ki gayi hotel accommodation ke liye ki gayi remittances phir se sevao ke import ka hissa nahi ban sakti kyun ki asli rental accommodation ka sthal Bharat ke bahar hai," unhone joda. Rastogi ne kaha ki vibhinn jurisdikshan par vibhinn lagat hain aur aisi vyayon ke alokaran mein chunauti hoti hai. Is par haqeeqati adhar par sevao ke import ke moolya ka nirdhaaran karna bhi kathin hoga.

"DGGI ek vishesh kshetron par dhyaan kendrit kar rahi hai jo vyapak samasyaon mein lipt hain aur jinse vyapak roop se tax evasions ki khatra hoti hai. DGGI ki yeh dhyaan kendrit jaanch, udaharan ke roop mein, havai adda se judi ho sakti hai aur ise avishvasniya nishaana banaaya ja sakta hai," MOORE Singhi ke karyakari nirdeshak Rajat Mohan ne kaha.

news source reuters

imag source pixabay

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Supreme Court strikes down electoral bonds scheme: Know the chronology of events

Supreme Court ne electoral bonds scheme ko anivarya ghoshit karne ki badi hinsak lagbhag sarkar ko di. Yahaan ek mahatvapurn nirnay tak pahunchne vale ghatnaon ka ek sanchaar hai:

Sarkar ko badi hinsak lagbhag Supreme Court ne rajneeti ki funding ke liye electoral bonds scheme ko "anupaalanheen" ghoshit kiya, swatantrata of bhaashan aur vyakti ke adhikar, saath hi jaankari ke adhikar ke ullanghan ko udhaar diya.

Yahaan ek pramukh ghatnaon ka vistar hai:

Electoral Bond Scheme ke parichay: 2017

- Electoral bonds scheme ko Finance Bill mein parichit kiya gaya.

NGO dwaara kanooni chunauti: 14 Sep, 2017

- NGO 'Association for Democratic Reforms' ne Supreme Court mein scheme ko chunauti denewali ek petition dakhil ki.

Scheme ki ghoshana: 2 Jan, 2018

- Kendriya Sarkar ne aadhikrut roop se Electoral Bond Scheme ko ghoshit kiya.

Bikri dinon ko badhane ka sanshodhan: 7 Nov, 2022

- Scheme ko badhane ke liye sanshodhan kiya gaya, saal mein bikri dinon ko 70 se 85 tak badhaya gaya, jahaan kisi bhi vidhan sabha chunaav ki surksha ki ja sakti hai.

Constitution bench ki refer: 16 Oct, 2023

- CJI DY Chandrachud ke netritva mein ek Supreme Court bench, scheme ke khilaf aapil ko ek panch sadasya Constitution bench ko refer kiya.

Sunwai ki shuruaat: 31 Oct, 2023

- CJI D Y Chandrachud ke netritva mein panch sadasya Constitution bench, electoral bonds scheme ke khilaf aapilon ki sunwai ki shuruaat ki.

Nirnay ki suraksha: 2 Nov, 2023

- Supreme Court ne is mamle par apna nirnay surakshit kar liya.

Itihaasik faisla: 15 Feb, 2024

- Supreme Court ne electoral bonds scheme ko samapt karne wala ek ekmat nirnay diya, State Bank of India ko agle March 6 tak scheme ke rukne wale daata ko chunav aayog ko prakashit karne ke liye niyantrit kiya. Chunav Aayog ko is jaankari ko apne adhikarik vebasait par 13 March tak prakashit karne ka nirdesh diya.

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Delhi Police orders 30,000 tear gas shells, Section 144 imposed in Noida

Ghazipur border par highway par barricades ki wajah se traffic movement prabhavit raha, lekin dono taraf se passage khula hai. Tab tak, kai kisan sangathan, jaise ki Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), ne shukravar ko Gramin Bharat Bandh ya deshwide hartal ke liye bulaya hai.

Adhikariyo ke mutabiq, Delhi Police ne Border Security Force (BSF) ke Tear Smoke unit se 30,000 se adhik teargas shells mangvayi hai, jabki Noida Police ne Thursday raat ko Section 144 ko Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) ke tahat lagoo kiya jab protest aaj apne chauthe din mein ghusa. Tab tak, do mahatvapurn seema bindu, jaise ki Tikri aur Singhu, jo Delhi aur Haryana ko jodte hain, traffic ke liye band rahe. Police ne protest karne wale kisanon ko Delhi mein pravesh karne se rokne ke liye tear gas shells aur water cannons ka istemal kiya hai. Kisanon ka gati band kar diya gaya hai, bhari barricades, lohe ke nakhun aur kathor dhatu ke tar se.

Traffic Police ne yatriyon ki suvidha ke liye advisory jaari ki
Police ne kaha ki Delhi Police aur Gautam Buddha Nagar Police dwara Delhi ke saare seemao par barricades lagakar gahri jaanch ki jayegi, jiske karan yatri gati par dabav ayega aur traffic apni jaruraton ke anusaar badal jayega.

"Delhi jaane wale logon ko traffic takleef se bachane ke liye metro ka jyada istemal karein. Yamuna Expressway se Delhi tak ke marg par sabhi prakar ke malgadiyon ki pravesh niyantran hoga Noida-Greater Noida Expressway aur Sirsa se Surajpur via Pari Chowk ke madhyam se. Traffic takleef se bachne ke liye, drivers apni manzil tak pahunchne ke liye alternativ routes ka istemal kar sakte hain," police ne kaha.

'Sunday ko ek aur baithak ka intezaar hai': Sangh ke mantri Arjun Munda
Baat-cheet jari rahegi aur ek aur baithak sunday ko shaam 6 baje hogi, Sangh ke mantri Arjun Munda ne kaha, aur yeh bhi kaha ki mil baithkar ek hal nikala jayega.

'Protest shanti se jari rahega': kisan neta Jagjit Singh Dallewal
Kendra sarkar aur kisan sangathan ke beech hone wali meeting ke baad, kisan neta Jagjit Singh Dallewal ne kaha, "Protest shanti se jari rahega... Hum kuch aur nahi karenge. Hum kisanon se bhi appeal karenge. Jab baithak chal rahi hai aur hum (seemaon par) aage badh rahe hain, toh baithak kaise chalti rahegi. Unhone (Sarkar) baithak bulayi hai, hum uska intezaar karenge... Agar sunday ko koi sakaratmak natija nahi milta, toh (hum jari rakhege)..."

image source pti

 

 

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SC collegium recommends appointments of HC chief justices in Uttarakhand, Odisha, Meghalaya

One of the resolutions published on the official website of the Supreme Court mentions a vacancy in the position of the Chief Justice of the Uttarakhand High Court due to the retirement of Justice Vipin Sanghi on October 26, 2023.

The Central Government has proposed the names of Chief Justices to be appointed in three high courts in Uttarakhand, Orissa, and Meghalaya. This recommendation was made by the Supreme Court collegium, led by Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud, on Thursday.

The names put forward by the collegium, which includes Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Sanjiv Khanna, are Justice Ritu Bahri, Justice Chakradhari Sharan Singh, and Justice S Vaidyanathan for the positions of Chief Justices in the high courts of Uttarakhand, Odisha, and Meghalaya, respectively.

Justice Bahri is currently serving as a judge in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, while Justice Singh is a judge in the Patna High Court. Justice Vaidyanathan is currently a judge in the Madras High Court.

One of the resolutions posted on the Supreme Court's website states that the vacancy in the office of the Chief Justice of the Uttarakhand High Court has occurred due to the retirement of Justice Vipin Sanghi on October 26, 2023.

"The proposal is to appoint Justice Ritu Bahri as the Chief Justice of the High Court of Uttarakhand," as mentioned in the collegium resolution. It further states that she was appointed as a judge in the Punjab and Haryana High Court on August 16, 2010. It's worth noting that Justice Bahri is the most senior judge in her parent high court.

Regarding her contribution to the judiciary in terms of case disposal, during her 13-year tenure as a high court judge, she has authored 843 reported judgments, with 247 delivered in the last five years. The resolution also points out that there is currently only one woman serving as a Chief Justice, and her elevation would increase the representation of women among high court Chief Justices. This is why Justice Bahri's name is recommended for the position of Chief Justice of the Uttarakhand High Court.

Another resolution on the website mentions a vacancy in the position of the Chief Justice of the Orissa High Court due to the retirement of Justice Subhasis Talapatra on October 3. Justice Singh was appointed as a judge in the Patna High Court on April 5, 2012, and has been functioning as the most senior judge there. The resolution highlights his substantial contribution to the judiciary, with 1,246 reported judgments during his more than 11 years as a high court judge, including 562 in the last five years.

In recommending Justice Chakradhari Sharan Singh, the collegium also considers the fact that the High Court of judicature at Patna currently has no representation among the Chief Justices of high courts. This is why his name is suggested for the position of Chief Justice of the Orissa High Court. A separate collegium resolution mentions that Justice Vaidyanathan was appointed as a judge of the Madras High Court on October 25, 2013.

Regarding his contribution to the judiciary, during his ten-year tenure as a high court judge, he authored 1,219 reported judgments, with 692 delivered in the last five years. The collegium resolution states that Justice Vaidyanathan is the most senior judge in his parent high court.

In recommending his name, the collegium also considers the fact that the Madras High Court, one of the largest high courts in the country, is currently represented by only one Chief Justice among the Chief Justices of the high courts. This is why his name is recommended for the position of Chief Justice of the Meghalaya High Court.

(With inputs from PTI)

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World Food India 2023: PM Modi to inaugurate second edition of mega event today, 80 nations to parti

'World Food India 2023': This event is set to highlight India as the 'food basket of the world' and commemorate 2023 as the International Year of Millets. The event will host 48 sessions that focus on various aspects of the food processing industry.

World Food India 2023: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is all set to inaugurate the second edition of 'World Food India 2023' on Friday in New Delhi. As per an official release from the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), the grand event will commence at 10 am in Bharat Mandapam at Pragati Maidan.

The Prime Minister will provide Seed Capital Assistance to more than one lakh members of Self Help Groups (SHGs) to strengthen these groups. With superior packaging and high-quality manufacturing, this support will empower SHGs to command better prices in the market, as per the release.

PM Modi to inaugurate 'Food Street' The Prime Minister will also inaugurate 'Food Street' as part of World Food India 2023. This culinary extravaganza will showcase regional cuisines and royal culinary heritage, with the participation of over 200 chefs presenting traditional Indian cuisine.

The event's primary objectives are to portray India as the 'food basket of the world' and celebrate 2023 as the International Year of Millets. It offers a networking and business platform for government bodies, industry professionals, farmers, entrepreneurs, and other stakeholders to engage in discussions, establish partnerships, and explore investment opportunities in the agri-food sector. The event will also host CEOs roundtables focusing on investment and Ease of Doing Business.

About the event Multiple pavilions will be set up to showcase the innovation and prowess of the Indian food processing industry. The event will feature 48 sessions with a focus on financial empowerment, quality assurance, and innovations in machinery and technology.

This event is expected to attract participants from over 80 countries, including CEOs of leading food processing companies. Additionally, there will be a Reverse Buyer Seller Meet with over 1200 overseas buyers from more than 80 countries. The Netherlands will serve as the partner country, while Japan will be the event's focus country, according to the PMO release.

International Year of Millets The second edition of the global mega food event, World Food India 2023, is scheduled to be held from November 3 to 5. To celebrate the International Year of Millets 2023, a remarkable installation of 50,000 tetra-pack containers of millet beverages will be created and distributed to underprivileged children. Over the course of three days, the 75,000 expected visitors will also enjoy cultural programs, including dance and musical performances. The success of World Food India 2023 will establish a Global Food Event in the country on par with similar marquee events worldwide. It's worth noting that President Draupadi Murmu will deliver the valedictory address on November 5, the event's last day.

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Delhi AQI: Kejriwal-led AAP government to begin electric bus shuttle service for all govt employees

Delhi Air Quality: Commencing today (November 3), the Delhi government is initiating a dedicated electric bus shuttle service specifically for state and central government employees, as confirmed by a senior official.

For Delhi government employees, the e-bus shuttle service will also operate between Gulabi Bagh and Delhi Secretariat, as mentioned by Kundra.

On Thursday (November 2), the air quality in Delhi-NCR approached emergency levels, prompting an immediate prohibition on non-essential construction activities and the closure of primary schools in the capital. This swift response is aimed at addressing the health risks posed by the pollution.

According to a numerical model-based system developed by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology in Pune, the smoke from stubble burning accounted for 25 percent of the PM2.5 pollution in Delhi on Thursday, with expectations of it rising to 35 percent on Friday.

Closure of primary schools in the national capital:

This action falls under Stage III of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP), the government's air pollution control strategy implemented during the winter season.

Stage I - 'poor' (AQI 201-300) Stage II - 'very poor' (AQI 301-400) Stage III - 'severe' (AQI 401-450) Stage IV - 'severe plus' (AQI above 450) The Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM), a statutory body responsible for devising strategies to combat pollution in the region, predicts that pollution levels are likely to rise further due to unfavorable meteorological and climatic conditions.

Delhi's Air Quality Index (AQI) plummeted to 422 at 10 pm, marking the worst levels seen this season. The 24-hour average AQI was 364 on Wednesday, 359 on Tuesday, 347 on Monday, 325 on Sunday, 304 on Saturday, and 261 on Friday. Not just Delhi, several cities in neighboring Haryana, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh have reported hazardous air quality.

The AQI scale ranges from zero to 500:

  • Health concerns due to air pollution:

    "We are observing a surge in irritative bronchitis infections. It is advisable for individuals with respiratory issues like chronic bronchitis and asthma to take their medications regularly and avoid going outdoors unless necessary," stated Jugal Kishore, head of the medicine department at Safdarjung Hospital. Given the spike in indoor pollution in Delhi, he recommends the use of air purifiers in homes.

    Lack of post-monsoon rain:

    Government data reveals that Delhi's air quality in October 2023 was the worst since 2020, with meteorologists attributing it to the lack of rainfall. In October, the capital recorded an AQI of 210, compared to 210 in October of the previous year and 173 in October 2021, as reported by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

    Stubble burning:

    However, these agrarian states have seen a significant rise in farm fires over the past three days. The Punjab government aims to reduce farm fires by 50 percent this winter season and eliminate stubble burning in six districts. According to Punjab's action plan to curb paddy straw burning, about 31 lakh hectares of land in the state are under paddy cultivation, expected to generate around 16 million tonnes of paddy straw (non-basmati). 

    The state is making efforts to nearly eliminate farm fires this year. According to a numerical model-based system developed by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) in Pune, vehicular emissions (11 percent to 16 percent) and stubble burning (seven percent to 16 percent) currently stand as the two major contributors to Delhi's air quality.

    Delhi Environment Minister Rai announced on Wednesday (November 1) that the city government would ban construction work in areas where the AQI remains above the 400-mark for five consecutive days. The Delhi government launched a 15-point action plan last month to mitigate air pollution during the winter season, with a strong emphasis on addressing dust pollution, vehicular emissions, and open burning of garbage.

    In line with the practice of the last three years, the Delhi government last month also announced a comprehensive ban on the manufacture, storage, sale, and use of firecrackers within the city. It has launched the "Red Light on Gaadi Off" campaign to curb vehicular pollution and plans to hire 1,000 private CNG buses to strengthen public transport and reduce vehicular pollution.

    image source pti

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Jammu and Kashmir: Five LeT terrorists killed in encounter in Kupwara, search operation underway

Jammu and Kashmir: The Indian Army has announced the successful prevention of an infiltration attempt on the Line of Control (LoC) on Thursday.

During an encounter between security forces and militants in the Machil sector near the Line of Control (LoC) in Kupwara district on Thursday, a total of five terrorists were neutralized. Officials have confirmed that the search operation is currently underway.

In a tweet quoting ADGP Kashmir, the Kashmir Zone Police provided an update on the Kupwara Encounter: "Three more terrorists of LeT killed (Total 5). Identification is still being confirmed. Search operation is in progress."

The Indian Army, in collaboration with Jammu and Kashmir Police and Intelligence agencies, thwarted an infiltration attempt along the LoC in the Kupwara sector in a joint operation.

The Chinar Corps of the Indian Army posted the following update on the operation: "OP KUPWARA | In a Joint Operation launched by #IndianArmy, @JmuKmrPolice & Intelligence agencies on 26 Oct 23, an infiltration attempt has been thwarted by alert troops along the #LoC in #Kupwara sector. Operations are currently in progress."

Earlier on October 13, security forces detected and safely disposed of a suspicious object in Kupwara. The Army's road opening party discovered two small gas cylinders on the roadside in the Odipora area of the north Kashmir district, suspected to be IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices).

A bomb disposal squad was called to the scene, and the suspicious object was successfully destroyed, with no casualties or property damage reported during the operation.
image sorce PTI

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Railways announces 283 special trains ahead of Chhath Puja | Check List

Last year, the Ministry of Railways announced that Indian Railways had scheduled 2,614 journeys for 216 Puja Special trains. They also emphasized that measures to manage crowds at stations were being implemented.

In preparation for the eagerly awaited Chhath Puja, Indian Railways has revealed plans to operate 283 special trains. This initiative aims to facilitate hassle-free travel for passengers and alleviate the additional passenger rush.

The Special Trains have been strategically organized to connect major destinations across the country, including routes like Delhi-Patna, Delhi-Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra, Danapur-Saharsa, Danapur-Bengaluru, Ambala-Saharsa, Muzaffarpur-Yesvantpur, Puri-Patna, Okha-Naharlagun, Sealdah-New Jalpaiguri, Kochuveli-Bengaluru, Benaras-Mumbai, Howrah-Raxaul, and more.

Furthermore, it's important to note that the Ministry of Railways has taken additional steps to ensure passenger safety and convenience. They have deployed extra RPF personnel at major stations to enhance passenger security and have assigned officers for emergency duties to ensure the efficient operation of trains. Staff members are distributed in various sections to promptly address any service disruptions.

Additionally, the Ministry of Railways has implemented measures to keep passengers informed about train arrivals, departures, and platform assignments through frequent and timely announcements. "May I Help You" booths are active at important stations, with RPF personnel and TTEs available to provide assistance and guidance to passengers. Medical teams and ambulances with paramedical staff are also readily available at major stations.

The Security and Vigilance Department staff is closely monitoring to prevent any malpractice. The Ministry has issued instructions for maintaining cleanliness at waiting halls, retiring rooms, platforms, and stations in general, which are being enforced by Zonal Headquarters.

Earlier, Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw disclosed the number of trains launched by the Railways to facilitate smooth travel for passengers during Diwali and Chhath Puja.

(With information from ANI)

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CJI Chandrachud stands by minority judgement on queer couples, says ‘it’s sometimes a vote of consci

A recent judgment by a panel of five judges has issued a 3-2 ruling on a group of petitions aimed at legalising same-sex marriage, leaving the matter to be determined by Parliament. The court chose not to intervene in the Special Marriage Act.

Washington, DC: Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud referred to the recent Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage, delivered by a panel of five judges, and expressed his commitment to his minority stance, advocating for civil unions of LGBTQ+ couples. He affirmed that such a stance reflects "a vote of conscience and a vote of the Constitution." The Chief Justice made these remarks during the third Comparative Constitutional Law discussion, titled 'Perspectives from the Supreme Courts of India and the United States,' hosted by Georgetown University in Washington, DC.

"I do believe it is sometimes a vote of conscience and a vote of the Constitution. And I stand by what I said," he stated.

The Supreme Court recently delivered a 3-2 verdict on a set of petitions seeking legal recognition of same-sex marriage and decided against intervening in the Special Marriage Act. The bench deferred the decision on granting marriage equality to LGBTQ+ couples to the Parliament.

What were the Chief Justice's views on the matter? The Chief Justice reiterated his minority viewpoint regarding granting rights to LGBTQ+ couples to form unions, whereas the majority of his fellow judges on the bench believed that recognising this right was outside the traditional scope and should be a matter for Parliament to decide.

He explained that the majority of judges on the panel did not endorse his conclusion of extending rights to queer couples.

Highlighting 13 instances in which he had taken a minority position while delivering judgments, Chief Justice Chandrachud explained that the bench collectively determined that legislating on the right to marry for the LGBTQ+ community was within the jurisdiction of Parliament.

"By the unanimous verdict of all five judges on the bench, we came to the conclusion that while we have made significant progress in terms of decriminalising homosexuality and acknowledging the equal participation of individuals from the LGBTQ+ community in our society, legislating on the right to marry falls within the jurisdiction of Parliament," stated the Chief Justice.

"However, three of my colleagues believed that recognising the right to form unions was again beyond the traditional domain and should be left to Parliament," he added, indicating his disagreement with the other three judges on the bench on this issue.

He also noted that three of his colleagues believed that the lack of recognition of the right to adoption by LGBTQ+ unions amounted to discrimination, but this was a matter that needed to be addressed by Parliament.

(With ANI inputs)

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Rajnath Singh visits Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh, observes Chinese PLA posts | WATCH

Rajnath Singh's Visit to Assam and Arunachal Pradesh for Dussehra Celebration with Jawans

Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh: The Defence Minister of India, Rajnath Singh, is currently on a two-day visit to Assam and Arunachal Pradesh to partake in the Dussehra festivities with the jawans (soldiers). During his visit to Arunachal Pradesh, he paid a visit to the forward posts in Tawang, where he had the opportunity to interact with the jawans. He expressed his pride in the Indian Army and the security forces and conveyed this sentiment to the soldiers.

Observing the Chinese PLA Posts at Bum La Rajnath Singh's visit included a visit to the forward posts in Tawang, where he had the chance to observe the posts of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) on the other side of the border from Bum La in the state. Notably, there is an 'Incredible India' gate on the Indian side and the Chinese Border Personnel Meet facility with blue-roofed huts on the Chinese side, visible from Bum La in Arunachal Pradesh.

Accompanied by Indian Army Chief General Manoj Pande The Defence Minister was accompanied by General Manoj Pande, the Chief of the Indian Army, during his visit. He was briefed by Army personnel about the defence establishments along the India-China border at Bum La. This visit held particular significance as it involved celebrating Dussehra with the soldiers at a strategically important location near the Line of Actual Control (LAC). This visit occurred at a time when India and China have been involved in a standoff in certain friction points in eastern Ladakh for over three years.

Paying Homage to Fallen Soldiers As a mark of respect, Rajnath Singh laid a wreath at the Tawang War Memorial in Arunachal and paid tributes to the Bravehearts. He received a briefing about the Tawang War Memorial and also paid his respects to the war hero Subedar Joginder Singh from the 1962 war at his memorial in Bum La.

Performing Shastra Puja During the occasion of Vijaya Dashami, Rajnath Singh conducted Shastra Puja in Tawang. He has been performing Shastra Puja during Dussehra for several years, including during his tenure as the Home Minister in the previous NDA government.

Addressing the Jawans The Defence Minister extended his Vijaya Dashami greetings to the jawans and expressed his desire to be among the brave soldiers of the country on this auspicious occasion. He commended the jawans for their unwavering commitment to safeguarding the nation and conveyed the nation's pride in their efforts. Rajnath Singh acknowledged the pivotal role of the jawans in maintaining the security of the country, which has contributed to India's rising stature in the world.

Acknowledging 'Make in India' Rajnath Singh lauded the manufacturing of weapons within the country under the 'Make in India' initiative, highlighting the significant increase in exports over the past nine years. He emphasized that India is now exporting equipment worth over Rs 20,000 crore, a notable shift from the previous scenario where most weapons were imported.

Interactions with Jawans During his visit to the post, the Defence Minister engaged with the jawans personally, approaching each of them and engaging in conversations. This hands-on interaction highlighted the importance of his visit and his commitment to understanding the challenges faced by the soldiers.

Tawang Sector's Significance The Tawang sector holds a disputed status, with incursions by the Chinese Army having occurred multiple times. In December of the previous year, the People's Liberation Army had transgressed the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Tawang Sector, leading to a face-off with Indian troops. This situation resulted in minor injuries to personnel from both sides.

Chinese Incursion at Tawang Sector Rajnath Singh had informed Parliament that Chinese forces had attempted to "transgress" the Line of Actual Control and "unilaterally change the status quo" in the Yangtse area of the Tawang sector in Arunachal Pradesh. However, Indian troops successfully thwarted these efforts, albeit with a physical scuffle that led to injuries on both sides.

(With ANI inputs)

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Centre to launch 'Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra' in all panchayats across country after Diwali: Here's

The 'Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra' campaign is all set to kick off in every single one of our 2.7 lakh panchayats right after Diwali. The Honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi has really stressed the importance of ramping up the coverage of welfare schemes during a recent meeting with some top officials.

The Central government, led by our beloved Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has made a decisive move to roll out a massive saturation campaign named 'Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra' all over our great nation. This initiative aims to ensure that all welfare schemes are completely saturated within just six months. As per reliable sources, Prime Minister Narendra Modi emphasized the need for hastening the saturation of these welfare schemes during a recent meeting with some high-ranking officials.

As per reports, the 'Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra' campaign is set to commence in all 2.7 lakh panchayats of the country following the Diwali festivities and will run for several weeks.

What did PM Modi have to say about these welfare schemes?
"In a recent meeting with top officials, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed the need to accelerate the saturation of welfare schemes. He stressed his desire for all his schemes to reach full saturation within the next six months. Additionally, during a cabinet meeting, he urged his fellow cabinet members to put in more effort and ensure that beneficiaries who haven't yet received the benefits of welfare schemes are reached at a quicker pace," reported news agency ANI, citing sources.

The Objective of the Yatra
This initiative is designed to achieve full saturation of schemes like Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Grameen), National Rural Livelihood Mission, PM KISAN, Fasal Bima Yojana, Poshan Abhiyan, Ujjwala Yojana, Ayushman Bharat, Janaushadhi Yojana, PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana, Skill development schemes, Vishwakarma Yojana, and more.

(With information from ANI and PTI)

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Delhi air quality: Centre invokes measures under GRAP 'Stage II' as AQI likely to turn 'very poor'

Delhi AQI: Delhi's 24-hour average air quality index was recorded at 248 today. The panel, therefore, decided to activate the measures under Stage II of GRAP across the entire NCR, in addition to the actions already taken in Stage I.

Delhi air quality: The central government's air quality panel, on this day (October 21), instructed the authorities in the National Capital Region (NCR) to hike parking charges with the aim of discouraging private transportation. They also urged the enhancement of CNG or electric bus and metro services due to the expected rise in pollution levels.

This initiative is part of 'Stage II' of the central government's pollution control plan, popularly known as the 'Graded Response Action Plan' (GRAP). It is executed in the Delhi-NCR region to combat air pollution during the winter season.

Delhi's Air Quality Index prediction:

During a meeting to assess the air quality situation in Delhi-NCR, the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM), a statutory body responsible for proactively implementing GRAP, mentioned that forecasts from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) and the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) indicate that Delhi's overall air quality is likely to deteriorate and fall into the 'very poor' category on October 23 (Monday) and 24 (Tuesday). This is due to unfavorable weather and climatic conditions.

On Saturday, Delhi's 24-hour average air quality index (AQI) registered a value of 248. Consequently, the panel decided to implement the measures specified in Stage II of GRAP throughout the entire NCR, in addition to the actions already in place under Stage I.

The official order stated, "All actions as outlined under Stage-II should be earnestly executed by all the concerned agencies in the NCR, effective immediately, alongside the ongoing Stage-I actions of GRAP."

GRAP classifies actions into four stages:

Stage I – 'Poor' (AQI 201-300)
Stage II – 'Very Poor' (AQI 301-400)
Stage III – 'Severe' (AQI 401-450)
Stage IV – 'Severe Plus' (AQI >450)

This approach is designed to address the pressing issue of air quality and pollution in the region.

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Cyclone Tej likely to intensify into very severe cyclonic storm | Here are DETAILS

Cyclone Tej: The cyclonic storm is expected to intensify further due to favorable environmental conditions into a severe cyclonic storm on Sunday and move towards the southern coasts of Oman and neighboring Yemen.

Cyclone Tej: According to reports from the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the severe Cyclonic Storm Tej has strengthened over the Southwest Arabian Sea and is currently centered near Socotra, Yemen. It is likely to further intensify into a very severe cyclonic storm over the next 24 hours.

The expected landfall of Cyclone Tej will occur between Al Ghaidah (Yemen) and Salalah (Oman) in the early morning of October 25, as per IMD.

Cyclone Tej brewing in the Arabian Sea:

Meanwhile, a storm is brewing in the Arabian Sea, approximately 1850 km southwest of Karachi, as reported by ARY News. The Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) stated that a low-pressure area in the Arabian Sea has developed into a depression, located at a distance of 1850 km southwest of Karachi, Pakistan. According to reports, the cyclone will be named 'Tej,' following the naming conventions for cyclones in the region.

The cyclonic storm is expected to intensify further due to favorable environmental conditions into a severe cyclonic storm on Sunday and move towards the southern coasts of Oman and neighboring Yemen. The storm is currently situated about 960 km southeast of Oman and is expected to further intensify by this evening, according to PMD Chief Meteorologist Sardar Sarfaraz.

Previously, the system was situated approximately 1810 km southwest of Karachi and 1750 km south of Gwadar. The PMD has reassured that none of Pakistan's coastal areas are likely to be affected by the system. This marks the second cyclonic storm in the Arabian Sea this year.

What meteorologists are saying:

Meteorologists are cautioning that sometimes storms can deviate from their predicted path and intensity, as observed with the earlier Cyclone Biparjoy, which formed in the Arabian Sea in June. Initially, it moved in a north-northwest direction before changing course and making landfall between the Sindh and Gujarat coasts in Pakistan and India, as reported by ARY News. Weather models suggest that the storm is currently heading towards the Yemen-Oman coast.

However, one model indicates a possible re-curvature while positioned over the central parts of the Arabian Sea, potentially steering the system towards Sindh and the Gujarat coast, as mentioned in a report.

source PTI

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President denies approval to Delhi Electricity Reforms (Amendment) Bill 2022: Here's why

The bill aimed to increase the retirement age of Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) members and chairman from 65 years to 70. However, the President has rejected the Bill because the Delhi Assembly lacked the authority to legislate on the Electricity Act.

The President has declined approval for the Delhi Electricity Reforms (Amendment) Bill 2022, which was passed by the Delhi Assembly. This bill intended to extend the retirement age of DERC members and the chairman from 65 to 70. Currently, the tenure of DERC's chairman and members is either five years or until they turn 65.

Speaking to the media, Delhi Assembly Speaker Ram Niwas Goel stated that the President did not approve the bill and sent it back. When asked about it, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that he was not informed about the matter. He mentioned, "I will have it checked," during a press conference.

Official sources reveal that the President returned the Bill because the Delhi Assembly lacks the authority to legislate on the Electricity Act, which is a central law. They explained that the purpose of the legislation was to prevent potential delays in announcing the annual power tariff in case both the chairman and a DERC member retired simultaneously.

Since the establishment of DERC, most of its chairmen and members have been unable to serve their entire five-year term due to their appointment at the age of 60, 62, or later, as well as the maximum age limit of sixty-five years. Last year, the announcement of the power tariff for 2021-22 was delayed because the then DERC chairman, Justice (retd) SS Chauhan, completed his term on July 4. One member of the Commission had retired earlier in January 2021.

(With PTI inputs)

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Uttar Pradesh government to build 'Tourism Facilitation Center' in Ayodhya at a cost of Rs 130 crore

The Uttar Pradesh Tourism Department has already invited applications for bidding through the e-tender portal for the Tourism Facilitation Center.

Ayodhya: With the grand inauguration of the Ram temple, the Uttar Pradesh government, led by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, is all set to establish a Tourism Facilitation Center in Ayodhya. This center is poised to cater to the needs of the countless tourists anticipated to flock to Ayodhya. Spanning an extensive 4.40 acres, this facility is estimated to require an investment of approximately Rs 130 crore. The aim of this initiative is to ensure convenience and enhanced amenities for visitors coming to Ayodhya.

As per an official statement from the Chief Minister's office, the Tourism Facilitation Center in Ayodhya, a brainchild of the Uttar Pradesh Tourism Department, is strategically located to ensure easy access. It will be situated in a predetermined area in Ayodhya to ensure connectivity with National Highway 330 and National Highway 27.

Project Set to Commence Soon
"Under this project, various commercial centers will be developed at the tourist center, including a tourism office, passenger accommodation, an art and craft center, a food court, a shopping mart, and ample parking space. It is expected that within the next one and a half months, the project will break ground, and work will commence," the release stated.

The Uttar Pradesh state government is committed to expeditiously completing this project. To make this happen, the Tourism Department is planning to execute the project through a Public Private Partnership (PPP) model, specifically the Design Build Finance Operate Transfer (DBFOT) model. The comprehensive action plan for the project also addresses the status of existing sites in Ayodhya, outlining whether they will be removed or retained as part of the project.

Work to be Completed Under Master Plan 2031
It's noteworthy that the Uttar Pradesh Tourism Department has already issued invitations for bidding through the e-tender portal. Four companies have submitted their applications. In the next steps, these companies will be invited for financial bidding, and the selected company will receive a Letter of Intent (LOI) and a Concession Agreement from the Uttar Pradesh Government.

These works will be completed under the Master Plan 2031 for the integrated development of Ayodhya. Various facilities are planned for this tourism facilitation center, including passenger accommodation (comprising dormitories, banquets, and MICE facilities). There will also be a central tourist hub, a tourism office, and a commercial area with an art and craft gallery, a shopping precinct, a food court, cafeterias, and restaurants. Additionally, there will be an amphitheater, landscaped public spaces with amenities, ample parking space, and essential services (water, power, and DG backup), as per the statement.

The project will also involve infrastructure enhancements like street lighting, drainage systems, and security and surveillance features, including firefighting equipment, CCTV, and HVAC systems. According to the pre-established plot layout, internal road layout, utilities, and the promotion of green spaces outlined in the Ayodhya Master Plan 2031, the developers will need to get their business plan approved by the Tourism Department. The construction work for the project will adhere to these guidelines and directives.

Ayodhya Tourism Facilitation Center to Cover 3,273 sq m
The Ayodhya Tourism Facilitation Center will encompass a total built-up area of 3,273 square meters, housing shelter homes, craft villages, toilet facilities, and HAT (Hindu, Airport, and Tourist) structures. The primary access route to this site will be from Chowk Ayodhya Road.

"As part of the project, some existing infrastructure may need to be removed or restructured. Two structures, Night Shelters and Shilpgram, may potentially be removed to allow for area expansion under the project. However, the final decision regarding their removal has not been made yet and will be specified in the letter of intent when the decision is taken," the release stated.

Furthermore, the designated area of Ramkatha Park, featuring a stage with an amphitheater, and Quin Ho Memorial Park, will be preserved within the project. There's also the potential for work to be conducted on the canal extension connecting the Tourism Facilitation Centre and the Cultural Museum.

(With ANI inputs)

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Chhath Puja 2023: MCD to allocate Rs 40,000 per ward to augment street lights

Chhath Puja 2023: The Chhath festival is primarily celebrated in Indian states like Bihar, Jharkhand, and Uttar Pradesh. During this auspicious occasion, people observe a fast, take holy dips in rivers, and offer their prayers to express gratitude to the Sun God for blessing the Earth with the gift of life and for fulfilling their wishes.

For Chhath Puja 2023, the authorities in the national capital, Delhi, have made a significant decision. They have allocated a budget of Rs 40,000 for each ward to enhance street lighting on the approach roads to various riverbanks or 'ghats' where Chhath Puja rituals take place. This development was confirmed by officials.

In a recent press conference held today, October 20, Mayor Shelly Oberoi stated, "The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has approved a budget of Rs 40,000 for each ward, aiming to provide all necessary facilities for the Chhath celebrations to people hailing from Poorvanchal residing in Delhi."

Delhi is divided into 250 wards, all of which fall under the administration of MCD. Chhath Puja will be celebrated in November, commencing six days after Diwali. Delhi is home to a significant population of individuals from Poorvanchal, which includes Bihar and eastern Uttar Pradesh. These residents enthusiastically observe the Chhath festival, which is dedicated to paying homage to the Sun God.

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) is currently led by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which emerged victorious in the civic polls held in December 2022.

To gain a deeper understanding of Chhath Puja:

Chhath is predominantly celebrated in the states of Bihar, Jharkhand, and Uttar Pradesh. This festival involves fasting, taking ritualistic baths in rivers, and offering prayers to express gratitude to the Sun God for the blessings of life on Earth and the fulfillment of wishes.

Devotees make offerings to Goddess Chhath and the Sun God (Surya) while fervently praying for blessings to fulfill their desires, whether it's for a son, prosperity, good health, or other aspirations. It is believed that heartfelt prayers and sincere desires bring divine blessings.

During the fasting period, only foods considered pure are consumed, and cleanliness is of paramount importance during this time. Non-vegetarian dishes, especially those containing grains and spices like millet, lentils, buckwheat, and garlic, are strictly avoided.

The rituals of Chhath include taking a sacred dip in natural water bodies, maintaining a fast, and abstaining from consuming even a drop of water to uphold purity and cleanliness. Chhath is celebrated with prayers for the well-being, happiness, and prosperity of family members, and both Chhati Mata and the Sun God are worshiped during the festival.

(With PTI inputs)

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Gujarat signs MoU with IN-SPACe to set up space manufacturing cluster

IN-SPACe Boosts Space Activities for Private Players, Signs Deal with Gujarat Government

On Wednesday, the Gujarat government inked a significant agreement with the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe) to establish a space manufacturing hub in Sanand, located in the Ahmedabad district.

IN-SPACe, headquartered in Ahmedabad, operates as an autonomous agency under the Department of Space (DOS) and actively supports various space initiatives undertaken by non-governmental entities. These initiatives encompass the construction of launch vehicles, satellites, and the delivery of space-related services, among others.

Under the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), IN-SPACe has pledged to extend incentives and technical guidance to space technology equipment manufacturers and startup ventures. Additionally, the IN-SPACe headquarters will house a technical support and incubation center, facilitating the growth of these businesses.

The government, in its commitment to realizing Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision, aims to elevate India's space endeavors. It aspires to establish a space station by 2035 and embark on a lunar mission by 2040. To contribute to these ambitious goals, the government has signed this crucial MoU.

The agreement was signed in the presence of Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel.

Moreover, as part of the preparations for the 10th Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit (VGGS), scheduled for January, investment intentions worth INR 18,485 crore have been expressed through various MoUs. The government revealed that an impressive 71% of the MoUs inked since the inception of VGGS in 2003 and 81% of those signed during the 2019 summit have successfully materialized.

State Minister and government spokesperson Rushikesh Patel highlighted that the "MoUs totaling INR 18,485 crore" have the potential to generate over 65,032 employment opportunities within the state. This year, a "MoU Plus" approach is expected to further boost the success rate to 90%.

Additionally, the government has introduced the "Vibrant Gujarat-Vibrant District" (VGVD) program at the district level to engage with investors in small and medium-sized industries. Thus far, programs have been conducted in 27 out of the 33 districts. Under VGVD, MoUs with investment intentions of INR 39,503 crore have been signed, promising to create 1,50,815 employment opportunities.

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J-K: Two BSF jawan injured after Pakistan violates ceasefire in RS Pura Sector

Two BSF soldiers were injured in the RS Pura sector of Jammu and Kashmir after Pakistan breached the ceasefire and initiated gunfire. According to officials, Pakistan violated the ceasefire and opened fire at the international border in the RS Pura sector of Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday, October 17.

The incident occurred at 10.20 pm, resulting in injuries to two BSF soldiers who were subsequently rushed to the hospital. As per reports, the soldiers were in the process of installing electrical lighting when Pakistan initiated the gunfire.

Following the incident, Indian soldiers retaliated by firing towards Pakistani posts Iqbal and Khannor. This event took place near the Vikram Border Outpost (BOP) along the International Border. Two Border Security Force soldiers were working on installing electrical lighting, approximately 60 meters from the border and 1500 meters from the Vikram border outpost.

The ceasefire breach by the Pakistani Army occurred while the Pakistani Cricket team was in India for the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup.

India-Pakistan Ceasefire On February 25, 2021, India and Pakistan signed a ceasefire agreement, pledging to strictly adhere to all ceasefire agreements along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir and other sectors. This decision was made in response to multiple ceasefire violations by the Pakistani side, bringing significant relief to the residents living along the LoC and the International border due to the cessation of frequent firing in the region.

A joint statement released in Islamabad and New Delhi indicated that the Director Generals of Military Operations of both countries discussed the established hotline contact mechanism and reviewed the situation along the LoC and other sectors in a "free, frank, and cordial" manner.

The Value of Ceasefire Agreements for Pakistan Reports indicate that in 2020, there were nearly 5,000 ceasefire violations and cross-border firing incidents, resulting in deaths and damage to homes. The ceasefire agreement between the two countries entered its third year in February of that year.

In 2003, India and Pakistan initially signed a ceasefire agreement, but Pakistan frequently violated the terms, with over 5,000 violations reported in 2020, the highest in a single year. The 2003 agreement was often not followed in its intended spirit, with more violations than adherence.

Prior to the ceasefire announcement in 2021, Pakistan engaged in shelling and firing along the LoC and the International Border (IB), leading to casualties, damage to homes, schools, health centers, and religious sites on the Indian side.

In a written response to a question in Lok Sabha in February 2021, Union Minister of State for Home G. Kishan Reddy stated that a total of 10,752 cases of ceasefire violations occurred along India's border with Pakistan in 2018, 2019, and 2020. He reported that 364 security personnel and 341 civilians were injured in cross-border firings along the International Border and the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir in 2018, 2019, and 2020.

India shares a 3,323-kilometer border with Pakistan, with 221 kilometers along the International Border and 740 kilometers along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir.

image source pti

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Supreme Court set to deliver verdict on pleas seeking legal validation for same-sex marriage tomorro

On May 11th, an esteemed five-judge constitution bench led by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, engaged in an extensive ten-day hearing, concluded its deliberations and reserved its judgment. This long-anticipated verdict concerning the legal recognition of same-sex marriage will be delivered by the Supreme Court on Tuesday, October 17.

The bench, comprised of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, S Ravindra Bhat, Hima Kohli, and PS Narasimha, will be responsible for announcing this historic judgment. Stay updated with the latest information on the Supreme Court's website, as reported by the news agency PTI.

What did the Centre convey to the Supreme Court regarding this issue? During the course of arguments, the Centre expressed its concerns to the apex court, suggesting that any constitutional pronouncement in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage might not be the appropriate course of action. The Centre argued that the court may not be able to fully anticipate, comprehend, or address the potential consequences of such a declaration.

Furthermore, the Centre disclosed that it had received responses from seven states on the matter of same-sex marriage. Notably, the governments of Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, and Assam have voiced their opposition to the petitioners' plea for legal recognition of such unions. The Supreme Court initiated its deliberations on this matter on April 18.

Various states hold divergent views on the legal recognition of same-sex marriages. The Centre has reached out to the states, requesting their input on issues related to same-sex marriage. Several states, including Assam, Andhra Pradesh, and Rajasthan, have expressed their disapproval of granting legal status to same-sex marriages in the country. On the other hand, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Manipur, and Sikkim have requested additional time to provide their viewpoints on the issue of same-sex marriage.
source PTI

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Law panel recommends rolling out registration of e-FIRs in a phased manner

The Law Commission has stated that e-FIRs will address the longstanding problem of delays in FIR registration and enable citizens to report crimes immediately.

The Law Commission has recommended implementing the registration of e-FIRs gradually, starting with offenses carrying a maximum prison term of three years.

In a report submitted to the government earlier this week and made public on Friday, the law panel proposed the creation of a centralized national portal to facilitate e-FIR registration.

It emphasized that e-FIRs will resolve the persistent issue of FIR registration delays and empower citizens to report crimes in real-time.

In a letter to Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal, Law Commission Chairman Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi said, "Due to the rapid advancement of technology, communication methods have greatly improved. In such a scenario, sticking to an outdated system of FIR registration is not conducive to criminal reforms."

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Employers get three months’ time to validate joint options for higher PF pension

The Employees' Pension Fund Organisation (EPFO) has granted employers an additional three months to complete the process, with the revised deadline now set for December 31st.

On September 29, the Employees' Pension Fund Organisation (EPFO) extended the deadline for employers to upload and validate the joint options and wage details of employees, aiming to provide them with a higher provident fund pension. Employers now have an extended period of three months to finalize the process, making the new deadline December 31st. The initial deadline for submitting joint options had been on a Saturday.

In accordance with the Supreme Court's order dated November 4, 2022, concerning an enhanced PF pension, the EPFO introduced a portal on the members' platform for submitting joint options for employees. This portal was open from February 26th to May 3rd. Responding to employee requests, the deadline was first extended to June 26th and then to July 11th. By July 11th, the EPFO had received 17.49 lakh applications for option validation and joint options. Due to representations from both employers and employers' associations, the deadline for employers was extended once again, this time to September 30th.

The EPFO disclosed, "We have subsequently received numerous requests from employers and employers' associations, urging us to extend the deadline for submitting wage details of applicant pensioners and members. As of September 29th, there are still 5.52 lakh pending applications for option validation and joint options with employers." The EPFO noted that these requests were reviewed sympathetically, and the Chairman of the Central Board of Trustees has granted employers an extension to submit wage details until December 31st.

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Law Commission against lowering age of consent under POCSO Act

The Law Commission has suggested the implementation of "guided judicial discretion" when handing down sentences in cases involving the implied consent of individuals aged 16 to 18. In a report released on September 29, the Commission recommended against altering the current age of consent, which stands at 18 years, under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. Instead, they proposed introducing "guided judicial discretion" for cases involving implied approval of children in the 16 to 18-year age group.

The 22nd Law Commission, led by Justice (Retired) Ritu Raj Awasthi, submitted Report No. 283 to the Law Ministry on September 27, and it was published on their website on September 29.

In their report, the Law Commission acknowledged that certain amendments to the POCSO Act of 2012 would be necessary to address situations involving implied approval, even if not legally defined as consent, among children aged 16 to 18. They argued that lowering the age of consent would negatively impact efforts to combat child marriage and child trafficking. Furthermore, they advised courts to exercise caution even in cases related to "adolescent love," where criminal intent might be absent.

In a letter to Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal, Justice Awasthi wrote, "The Commission believes that it is not advisable to modify the existing age of consent under the POCSO Act."

Regarding the age of consent, the Karnataka High Court (Dharwad Bench) made a reference to the Law Commission on November 9, 2022, asking them to reconsider the age criteria for consent, given the increasing number of cases involving minor girls above the age of 16 engaging in love relationships, eloping, and having sexual intercourse with boys.

A similar reference was made by the Madhya Pradesh High Court (Gwalior Bench) in April of the same year, where the Court noted that the current enforcement of the POCSO Act "causes injustice in cases of statutory rape where de facto consent is present."

In response to these judicial observations, the Commission suggested that cases involving implied approval should not be treated with the same severity as those originally envisioned under the POCSO Act. They, therefore, proposed the introduction of guided judicial discretion in sentencing such cases to ensure a balanced approach that safeguards the best interests of the child.

Additionally, on September 27, the Law Commission submitted Report No. 282, which recommended a phased rollout of e-FIR (Electronic First Information Report) registration, starting with offenses carrying jail terms of up to three years. The Commission argued that e-FIRs would address the persistent issue of delays in FIR registration, allowing citizens to report crimes in real time. Justice Awasthi emphasized in his letter to the Law Minister that clinging to an outdated system of registering FIRs does not align with the advancements in communication technology.

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Revenue Minister Pramila Mallick set to become first woman Speaker of Odisha assembly

Ms. Mallick states that the Odisha CM is a strong advocate of women empowerment, as evident in her nomination for this prestigious role.

Pramila Mallick, Odisha's Revenue and Disaster Management Minister and a six-time MLA, is all set to make history as the first female Speaker of the Odisha Legislative Assembly. This development carries immense significance, especially at a time when the Parliament is deliberating on the Women's Reservation Bill. Ms. Mallick is expected to officially file her nomination for the position of Speaker in the assembly on Thursday. Given the overwhelming majority enjoyed by the BJD in the assembly, her election as Speaker is merely a formality.

The Speaker's position had been vacant following the resignation of Bikram Keshari Arukha, who was appointed as the Finance Minister in the recent cabinet reshuffle.

Expressing her gratitude, Ms. Mallick remarked, "I am deeply thankful to the Odisha CM for entrusting me with this responsibility. I am committed to conducting the proceedings of the house with utmost fairness."

She further emphasized, "The BJD was founded to uphold the vision of the legendary Biju Patnaik, who was always ahead of his time. As far back as 1992, the former CM had introduced reservations for women in panchayati raj and urban local bodies, setting a precedent that other states followed years later."

"Likewise," she continued, "Odisha's current Chief Minister, Naveen Patnaik, took proactive steps by passing a resolution in the assembly and dispatching representatives to other states to garner support for the Women's Reservation Bill in Parliament five years ago. It is heartening to see that the Parliament is finally debating this issue after all these years," the veteran BJD leader added.

Ms. Mallick concluded by saying, "My candidacy for the Speaker's position is a testament to Mr. Patnaik's unwavering commitment. On behalf of the BJD, he handpicked 33% of women MPs for Parliament. He doesn't just make empty promises regarding women's reservation; his actions speak volumes."

She called upon women to step forward and actively participate in governance through electoral politics. She believes that Odisha CM's efforts to empower women will be remembered by future generations across India. (EOM)

Image source : Hindustan Times

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Census a must for women’s reservation Bill to become reality

The Women’s Reservation bill in India is awaiting implementation, and its fate is tied to the long-overdue decennial Census, a process that the central government has repeatedly postponed.

The core issue surrounding the passage of the Women’s Reservation Bill is the delayed decennial Census, which has been lingering since 2021.

The 128th Constitutional Amendment Bill of 2023, also known as the Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam, will be put into effect after the 2026 delimitation, taking into account the latest census data. Delimitation refers to the process of defining territorial boundaries for electoral constituencies based on changes in population.

The most recent Census was conducted in 2011. Initially, the government attributed the delay to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the Registrar General of India (RGI) has not provided any specific reasons for the ongoing delays in the last two notifications.

As reported by The Hindu, on June 30, an order by the Additional RGI extended the freeze on administrative boundaries until December 31. This effectively rules out the possibility of conducting the Census before the 2024 general elections, scheduled for April and May of the same year.

Since 2020, the deadline for freezing administrative boundaries, which include districts, tehsils, sub-districts, revenue villages, municipalities, police stations, and towns, has been extended eight times. The extension intervals have gradually increased from three to six months.

Before conducting the Census, administrative boundaries are frozen, and it takes a minimum of three months to train enumerators, who are government officials responsible for the data collection.

Given that this will be the first digital Census, it is anticipated that data summarization will be faster. A Home Ministry official commented, "We have made all the necessary preparations, and our systems are ready; the delay is a political decision."

In response to questions about the Census, a senior Cabinet minister stated, "We will announce and notify when it is done; there will be no secrecy."

The government may be considering an increase in the number of Lok Sabha seats through delimitation.

However, the national delimitation exercise has raised concerns about unequal representation of states in the Lok Sabha. Southern states argue that the delimitation of Lok Sabha seats, coupled with a reduced share of central funds based on population, may be unjust, especially since these states have effectively implemented family planning programs compared to northern states.

State assemblies also need to enact separate legislation before the Women’s Reservation Bill can become law.

According to K. Narayanan Unni, a former Deputy RGI, the data used for various government schemes is outdated. He highlighted a significant issue, stating, "Outdated data from the 2011 Census is being used to determine beneficiaries, and this has led to the exclusion of 10 crore people from the Food Security Act. Surveys like NSS or NFHS, being sample surveys, cannot provide highly reliable estimates at lower geographic levels, making the Census essential. For instance, there may still be villages with low female literacy rates, and only a Census can identify them for program formulation."

Mr. Unni also pointed out a potential challenge with the Reservation Bill, saying, "While the Bill talks about three consecutive elections, the Constitution currently mandates delimitation after every Census, which has been deferred until 2026. If delimitation occurs between the three elections, identifying constituencies for reservation may pose difficulties."

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Women’s reservation bill | Govt. introduces ‘Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam’ in Lok Sabha

In a significant move on September 19, the government introduced a constitutional amendment bill in the new Parliament building, marking a historic moment. This bill aims to reserve one-third of seats in the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies for women, reviving a long-pending proposal that has been in limbo for 27 years due to a lack of consensus among political parties.

Named the "Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam," this bill is expected to facilitate greater female participation in policymaking at both the state and national levels. The government believes that this step will contribute to India's development and help achieve the ambitious goal of becoming a developed country by 2047.

Unlike previous attempts, this time, the bill is likely to pass smoothly, with several political parties supporting the reservation of seats for women in both the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies.

However, it's important to note that the actual implementation of this reservation may take some time. It is unlikely to be in effect for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in 2024 because the reservation will come into force only after a delimitation exercise is completed.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, speaking in the Lok Sabha, highlighted that the Union Cabinet approved the bill, expressing the government's desire for more women to participate in the nation's development process. He noted that the world recognizes the significant contributions made by Indian women across various domains, from sports to startups.

The bill proposes a 15-year period for the reservation, with a quota for SC/STs within the reserved seats for women. The Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Eighth Amendment) Bill, 2023, was introduced in the Lower House through a supplementary list of business.

It's important to reiterate that the reservation will take effect following a delimitation exercise and will continue for 15 years. The bill also specifies that seats reserved for women will be rotated after each delimitation exercise.

The government pointed out that while women are substantially represented in panchayats and municipal bodies, their representation in State Assemblies and Parliament remains limited. The inclusion of women in these legislative bodies is expected to bring diverse perspectives and enhance the quality of debates and decision-making.

Efforts to introduce a women's reservation bill in the Lok Sabha and State Legislative Assemblies have been ongoing since 1996. The last attempt in 2010 saw the Rajya Sabha passing a similar bill, but it could not secure passage in the Lok Sabha.

Current data reveals that women MPs constitute nearly 15% of the Lok Sabha, while their representation falls below 10% in many State Assemblies.

Photo Credit: PTI

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In their new House, MPs explore changes, maintain combative spirit

In a picturesque scene at the newly rechristened "Samvidhan Sadan" (formerly the old Parliament building), Indian MPs embarked on their first day in the new Parliament building with great enthusiasm and energy. The transition from the old to the new was akin to starting a new school term.

As the Members of Parliament made their way into the building and their respective chambers, they couldn't resist the temptation to capture the moment, snapping selfies and admiring the modern computer setups at each desk.

Interestingly, the Nari Shakti Vandan Adhineeyum, also known as the Women’s Reservation Bill, made its debut online, catching some opposition members by surprise. BJP MP Nishikant Dubey swiftly came to the aid of his counterparts from the opposition, helping them access the online version of the Bill. However, their objections centered around the Bill's specific provisions and the requirement for a decadal census and seat delimitation before the reservations could take effect.

The Lok Sabha session was scheduled to commence at 1:15 p.m., right in the middle of lunchtime and immediately following the ceremonial exit from the Central Hall of Parliament. A few MPs, driven by hunger, embarked on a quest for the canteen facilities, which turned out to be a bit of an adventure. "The first order of business should be to give MPs a tour of the place, so that we know where everything is," remarked an opposition MP.

Another MP was spotted consulting a paper layout of the Lok Sabha to better understand the seat allocations for various political parties.

In a historical moment during the first session of the Lok Sabha in the new building, the visitors' gallery was brimming with women who had gathered to witness the introduction of the Nari Shakti Vandan Adhineeyum. Among them were renowned actresses Kangana Ranaut and Esha Gupta. Some women in the gallery began chanting slogans in support of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. However, Union Ministers Gajendra Shekhawat and Anurag Thakur promptly intervened to maintain decorum in the Parliament, even though opposition benches pointed out that the sloganeering was inappropriate.

Protests erupted from the opposition as the Nari Shakti Vandan Adhineeyum was introduced, and the Rajya Sabha witnessed a heated exchange between Leader of the Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. It was evident that while the venue had changed to a new House, the spirit of parliamentary combat had transitioned seamlessly from the old one.

Photo Credit: ANI

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Three Hoysala temples of Karnataka inscribed as UNESCO World Heritage sites

All three temples are safeguarded by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), and their nominations have been submitted as 'The Sacred Ensembles of Hoysalas.'

The Hoysala temples in Belur, Halebidu, and Somanathapur in Karnataka have been officially designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites on September 18th. This significant recognition is expected to enhance global awareness and potentially lead to increased international tourism to these locations.

The Chennakeshava temple in Belur and Hoysaleshwara temple in Halebidu, both situated in Hassan district, had been on UNESCO's tentative list since 2014. Later, the Keshava temple in Somanathapur, located in Mysuru district, was added to the tentative list. In February 2022, the Indian government officially nominated all three sites for the 2022-23 UNESCO World Heritage listing.

An expert from the International Commission on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) conducted site visits to all three temples in September of the previous year. These sites were subsequently officially inscribed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites during the 45th session of the World Heritage Committee in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is responsible for the protection of all three temples, and their nominations were submitted collectively as 'The Sacred Ensembles of Hoysalas.'

The Hoysala temples are renowned for their distinctive architectural style, characterized by intricate ornamentation and a stellate design constructed on elevated platforms. The primary material used in their construction is choloritic schist, commonly known as soapstone, which is soft and ideal for intricate carving.

Construction of the Chennakeshava temple in Belur began during the reign of King Vishnuvardhana in 1117 CE and took an impressive 103 years to complete. The Hoysaleshwara temple was commissioned in 1121 CE, while the Keshava temple in Somanathapur, Mysuru district, was built under the patronage of Somanatha Dandanayaka during the rule of Narasimha III in 1268 CE.

Mr. A. Devaraju, Commissioner of the Department of Archaeology, Museums, and Heritage, expressed his satisfaction with the inscription of these three sites as World Heritage Sites. He emphasized that these monuments are renowned for their exquisite sculptures and carvings, and this recognition will further bolster tourism.

The final submission dossier was prepared by the Bengaluru chapter of INTACH (Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage) in collaboration with the Department of Archaeology, Museums, and Heritage, and the Department of Tourism, with support from the Archaeological Survey of India.

Photo Credit: The Hindu

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G20 Framework Working Group meeting in Chhattisgarh discusses economic outlook, supply chain challen

The ongoing and concluding meeting will review the discussions held in the FWG in 2023 and delve into prospective work areas, as stated by an official.

The two-day G20 Framework Working Group (FWG) meeting, held under India's G20 Presidency, commenced on September 18 in Raipur, the capital of Chhattisgarh, as confirmed by an official.

On the first day, extensive discussions revolved around the global economic outlook and supply chain dynamics, he further informed.

The fourth and ultimate session of the G20 FWG commenced at 10 am at Mayfair resort in Nava Raipur, with the participation of over 65 delegates from G20 nations, invitee countries, and various international and regional organizations, as stated by an official from the Press Information Bureau.

Chandni Raina, advisor to the Union Finance Ministry, and Sam Beckett, the Chief Economic Adviser at HM Treasury, UK, chaired the meeting, he added.

During the first day, conversations delved into the most recent global economic outlook and policy guidance on crucial macroeconomic matters, the official shared.

"In the subsequent session, experts from the USA, Brazil, Canada, and South Africa presented insights into the global economic scenario. Following these presentations, member countries had the opportunity to pose questions," he continued.

In the third session, a presentation addressed the challenges within the supply chain and its microeconomic aspects. Diverse aspects were covered by organizations like the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OCAD), the International Labour Organization (ILO), and the World Trade Organization (WTO), he stated.

Additionally, during the same session, experts from China, South Korea, and Germany also shared their perspectives, he mentioned.

Post the meeting, G20 delegates planted saplings at G20 Vatika in Nava Raipur and subsequently visited Purkhauti Muktangan, a cultural and sculpture garden, he added.

The outcomes from this working group during the 2023 Indian Presidency have been successfully concluded and are referred to in the New Delhi Leaders Declaration, which includes the G20 Report on Macroeconomic Impacts of Food and Energy Insecurity and the G20 Report on Macroeconomic Risks Stemming from Climate Change and Transition Pathways, he highlighted.

The ongoing final meeting will review the discussions held within the FWG in 2023 and explore potential areas of focus, as mentioned by the official.

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SC gives Maharashtra Speaker a week to open disqualification proceedings against CM Shinde and other

The Supreme Court, on September 18, instructed Maharashtra Assembly Speaker Rahul Narwekar to initiate disqualification proceedings against Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and other MLAs accused of defection within a week. This directive comes after four months since the Constitution Bench entrusted the Speaker with this task on May 11, with little progress observed during this time.

The court had anticipated the Maharashtra Speaker to demonstrate "deference and dignity" towards its direction to decide the disqualification petitions in a "reasonable time."

In the recent order, the court directed the Speaker to schedule the disqualification petitions within a week, ensure the case records are prepared, and establish a timeline for the hearing and announcement of his decision.

"The Supreme Court's order necessitates the Speaker to resolve the disqualification petitions within a reasonable timeframe. While recognizing the importance of maintaining harmony between the Speaker, who leads the Legislative Assembly, we also expect him to respect the directions issued by the Supreme Court through its constitutional authority of judicial review," stated a three-judge Bench led by Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud in the order.

The court has set a two-week deadline for the next hearing. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Speaker, has been directed to present the proposed schedule to the court.

On May 11, a five-judge Bench had instructed the Maharashtra Speaker, acting as a tribunal under the Tenth Schedule (anti-defection law) of the Constitution, to promptly hear and decide the disqualification petitions.

In his petition, Sunil Prabhu, a loyalist of Uddhav Thackeray, represented by senior advocate Kapil Sibal and advocates Amit Anand Tiwari and Nishant Patil, pointed out that the Supreme Court had placed its trust in Mr. Narwekar to fairly adjudicate the anti-defection proceedings against Mr. Shinde's group.

"The Speaker is the appropriate authority to adjudicate petitions for disqualification under the Tenth Schedule (anti-defection law)... The Speaker embodies propriety and impartiality, and it was therefore inappropriate to express distrust in the office of the Speaker," the May 11 judgment had noted.

"Four months have passed since the judgment. It has become a complete farce. There is a serious problem... We gave the Speaker representations on three occasions after May 11 — on May 15, May 23, and June 2. Till date only notice has been issued in the disqualification proceedings," Mr. Sibal said.

Currently, 56 MLAs face disqualification under the Tenth Schedule, with 34 disqualification petitions awaiting Speaker Narwekar's attention.

Mr. Sibal highlighted that the Speaker conducted a hearing on September 14, knowing that the case was scheduled before the Supreme Court on September 18. In the September 14 order, the Speaker mentioned that the hearing would take place again "in due course."

The senior lawyer reminded the Supreme Court of Justice (retired) Rohinton F. Nariman's January 2020 judgment in the Keisham Meghachandra Singh case, which had given Speakers three months to decide disqualification petitions. Justice Nariman had deemed three months as a reasonable, if not sufficient, timeframe.

"He cannot say 'in due course.' He has to take up the matter immediately… What did the Speaker do after our direction on May 11? The Speaker is a tribunal under the Tenth Schedule. As a tribunal, he is amenable to our judicial review… As a tribunal, he has to abide by our orders passed after judicial review… Four months have passed, and he is still in the stage of issuing notices?" Chief Justice Chandrachud asked Mr. Mehta.

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New Parliament to host session from September 19

The first day of the special session will take place in the historic building, with Members of Parliament (MPs) relocating to the new facility on the following day. The demand for the Women’s Reservation Bill is set to be addressed during this unique parliamentary session.

Over three months after the inauguration of the new Parliament House, MPs are scheduled to transition to the new building on Tuesday, which marks the second day of the special session. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi conveyed this information to leaders from various political parties during a government-convened all-party meeting on the eve of the Special Session of Parliament, scheduled between September 18 and 22.

"On the inaugural day, the session will convene at the Old Parliament House. The subsequent day, September 19, will feature a photo session, typically reserved for the conclusion of the Lok Sabha’s tenure. Following this, a ceremonial event will commence in the Central Hall at 11 a.m., after which we will move to the new Parliament premises. The parliamentary session in the new Parliament is set to commence on September 19, with regular government activities commencing on September 20," stated Mr. Joshi during a media briefing following the two-and-a-half-hour-long meeting.

Boosting women's representation Out of the session's total duration, only three days are allotted for government-related proceedings, which currently lack clarity. Several parties, including some NDA allies like the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the National People’s Party (NPP), have urged for the passage of the Women’s Reservation Bill during this Special Session of Parliament.

"Even in the all-party meeting, it was apparent that there were merely four women representatives compared to over 50 men. It is disheartening to witness such limited political representation for women, who constitute 50% of the population," expressed Pinaki Mishra from the Biju Janata Dal (BJD), at the forefront of advocating for the Women’s Reservation Bill's passage.

Agenda remains uncertain The government faced numerous inquiries regarding the secrecy surrounding the session's agenda. Several opposition leaders alleged that this reflected a lack of confidence in Parliament on the part of the government.

"Even now, the session's complete agenda remains undisclosed. The Parliament bulletin released on September 13 carries a cryptic note stating that the 'statement is not exhaustive.' This implies that the government may introduce additional bills, and even today, they have not clarified what to expect," noted Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha floor leader Derek O’ Brien.

A total of 51 leaders representing 34 parties attended the all-party meeting. The government has indicated that eight Bills, including four already listed, will be tabled during the special session.

Delayed invitations Several leaders expressed disappointment regarding the last-minute invitations for the flag hoisting ceremony at the new Parliament. It has come to light that Tiruchi Siva of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) tore up his invitation during the meeting, protesting that the invitations were solely in Hindi. He also voiced concerns that most MPs received their invitations for Sunday's event only late on Friday evening. Furthermore, a Communist Party of India (Marxist) member complained that the government had not made arrangements for the participation of opposition leaders at the event, as chairs were reserved exclusively for ministers.

At the outset of the meeting, National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah suggested that Parliamentarians pay homage to the three officers who lost their lives in an ongoing encounter with militants in Anantnag, southern Kashmir. A minute of silence was observed to honor the slain officers at the meeting's conclusion.

Andhra's political turmoil The all-party meeting briefly became embroiled in Andhra Pradesh's political turmoil, marked by a heated exchange between Telugu Desam Party (TDP) MPs Ram Mohan Naidu and Jaidev Galla, and YSR Congress leader Vijay Sai Reddy. It began with Mr. Naidu's remarks about Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 2014 statement regarding "expediting criminal cases against legislators," highlighting the lack of progress on this front.

Mr. Naidu pointed out that the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister faced "eleven CBI cases, seven ED cases, and eleven other cases" yet continued to hold office. Mr. Reddy took offense at Mr. Naidu's comment, stating that "tomorrow even Lalit Modi could aspire to be the Chief Minister." Chaos ensued, with TDP and YSR Congress MPs exchanging allegations for several minutes. Mr. Naidu also raised concerns about the recent arrest of TDP president Chandrababu Naidu by the State police and called on the Union government to intervene, citing a threat to democracy in the State.

Opposition parties have also demanded the reinstatement, without further delay, of the two Rajya Sabha MPs and one Lok Sabha MP from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) who have been suspended indefinitely.

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Indian Army draws lessons from Ukraine war, revises artillery requirements

In the updated Artillery setup, the Indian Army is shifting towards more self-propelled and mounted gun systems, taking cues from the recent conflict in Ukraine. The Indian Army has revised its Artillery regiment's configuration, emphasizing a blend of mobility and enhanced long-range firepower.

The Army aims to achieve its goal of transitioning the entire artillery to medium 155 mm gun systems by 2042, according to a source familiar with defense matters.

"The Regiment of Artillery, in collaboration with the Operations Branch, has conducted a thorough analysis. In the revised Artillery structure, the Army is placing a greater emphasis on self-propelled and mounted gun systems," the source explained. "Firepower plays a pivotal role in winning battles. Manoeuvrability alone isn't sufficient unless it's complemented by firepower."

The Army has initiated a plan to standardize the caliber of all artillery guns to 155 mm, and the source mentioned that the plan for mediumization using indigenous guns is expected to be completed by 2042.

The source highlighted the importance of firepower as a decisive factor in battles and emphasized the need for a well-balanced mix of guns and missiles. Additionally, the source noted that the time between target acquisition and firing has significantly reduced from five to ten minutes to just a minute or two.

The conflict also underscored the importance of survivability, with reports indicating that Russia lost approximately 5,000 guns and rocket systems. The source stressed the need for strategies to preserve forces and adopt shoot-and-scoot techniques. "The Russia-Ukraine conflict also highlights the necessity of preparedness for protracted warfare," the source stated, emphasizing the importance of building a robust indigenous defense industry based on India's capabilities and the capacity for surge production.

Regarding the Army's artillery priorities, sources mentioned the following:

1.Transitioning guns to 155 mm caliber.

2.Developing rocket and missile regiments with extended ranges and precision.

3.Modernizing munitions for increased range and accuracy.

4.Reorganizing surveillance and target acquisition (SATA) units for efficient surveillance, data management, coordination, and targeting.

5.Developing effective sensor-shooter networks and processes.

After a considerable gap, the Army introduced the M777 Ultra Light Howitzer (ULH) in November 2018, and all contracted 145 guns have been inducted. Additionally, 100 K9-Vajra Self Propelled Guns have been introduced, with plans for procurement of 100 more in the pipeline. "Limited trials have been conducted, and the contract is expected soon. Based on this, we may acquire more guns in the future," a source disclosed.

The Army has also placed orders for 114 Dhanush guns, which are indigenously upgraded versions based on the Bofors guns, as well as 300 Sharang guns, upgraded from 130mm to 155 mm caliber, referred to as upgunning.

Currently, the Army has seven M777 ULH regiments and five K9-Vajra regiments. Moreover, Request for Proposals (RFPs) has been issued for two additional gun systems — the 155mm/52 caliber Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS) and the Mounted Gun System (MGS). The MGS includes both crew and ammunition on board the vehicle and boasts shoot-and-scoot capabilities. The Army aims to acquire approximately 300 of these guns.

The Advanced Weapons and Equipment India Ltd., established after the corporatization of the Ordnance Factory Board, is in the process of upgrading 300 130mm M-46 guns to 155mm. Originally slated to be completed in four years, the project is running behind schedule. So far, one regiment has been inducted, and the conversion has extended the range from 27 km to over 36 km.

In addition to guns, there is a strong focus on indigenizing munitions. Officials noted that trials are currently underway for four different types of munitions.

Photo: Photo: bharatforge.com

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Stab at nine world records during Assam plantation drive

In Guwahati, the Assam Government, under the leadership of Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, has initiated the Amrit Brikshya Andolan, a significant effort aimed at increasing the state's green cover. This movement has garnered immense public support and aims to set nine world records by planting saplings, primarily of commercially valuable trees.

The Amrit Brikshya Andolan witnessed enthusiastic participation from people all across the state, with the goal of planting one crore saplings. Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma emphasized the importance of ensuring the survival of at least 80% of these saplings to contribute to achieving the vision of net-zero carbon emissions, a dream championed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

On the concluding day of this nine-day campaign, Chief Minister Sarma expressed the commitment of his BJP-led government to surpass its own achievements by planting eight crore saplings in 2024 and an additional 10 crore saplings in 2025.

Chief Minister Sarma highlighted the focus on planting commercially viable trees, emphasizing that this would not only bolster the local economy but also sustain the green movement.

During this movement, several world records were attempted, including creating the largest spiral of saplings, distributing the highest number of seedlings in a single day at a single venue, planting the most trees by a team in 24 hours, the most trees planted in an hour, forming the largest planted tree mosaic, planting the most trees by a team of 100 in an hour, and conducting the largest online nature conservation lesson.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi commended Assam's plantation drive in a letter to Dr. Sarma, describing the initiative to plant one crore saplings across the state as admirable and praiseworthy. He emphasized that Assam's picturesque landscapes, rich biodiversity, and diverse ecosystems would greatly benefit from the plantation of saplings on private and community-owned lands, further enhancing the green cover in this scenic state.

Photo Credit: PTI

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All MPs called for group photo on September 19

Indian Members of Parliament (MPs) are also receiving fresh identity cards for their access to the new Parliament House.

As per an official announcement, all Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha members have been summoned for a collective photo session on Tuesday morning.

On September 19, the legislative activities will shift to the new Parliament building.

According to the communication from the Lok Sabha Secretariat, all MPs are requested to gather for a group photograph at 9.30 am on September 19.

Furthermore, MPs are in the process of obtaining new identity cards to facilitate their entry into the new Parliament facility.

A five-day parliamentary session is scheduled to commence on September 18.

On September 17, Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar proudly raised the national flag at the fresh Parliament House. He was accompanied by Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, and they jointly hoisted the flag on the "Gaja Dwar" of the new Parliament building.

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Government shelves socio-economic data of Persons with Disabilities as disability database goes onli

The Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment is raising doubts about the "quality" of the data it collected during the registration of approximately 94 lakh Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) for Unique Disability ID (UDID) cards over the past six years. The government has decided to set aside this socio-economic data, as reported by The Hindu. The Ministry argues that the socio-economic information, which includes details such as caste, education level, employment status, income, and marital status of PwDs, was made optional in the registration process, and as a result, many individuals chose not to provide this information.

Rajesh Aggarwal, Secretary of the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD) under the Social Justice Ministry, stated, "The data are not being released because of quality issues." When asked about the possibility of collecting socio-economic data for future UDID registrations, Mr. Aggarwal explained, "The primary objective of the form is to obtain a disability certificate, and we cannot make the form too lengthy by requesting information that cannot be verified."

Recently, the DEPwD published aggregated data from the 94 lakh UDID registrations, excluding the socio-economic data. The purpose of this project was to create a national database for PwDs, including their socio-economic details, to facilitate targeted policy-making and interventions.

However, the government has not disclosed the exact number of individuals who provided socio-economic information. The government had initially aimed to utilize the data to encourage e-commerce platforms to enhance accessibility for PwDs, allocate resources effectively, and influence the education sector to introduce special educators and accommodations for PwDs.

Despite these objectives, the fate of the data remains uncertain, with the government opting not to publish personal and family income, employment status, occupation, socio-economic category, and level of education data. Officials have cited low response rates in fields like marital status and income as reasons for discounting this data.

While the DEPwD offers several benefits to PwDs, including special education, vocational training, skill training, and scholarships, the focus has shifted away from collecting socio-economic information due to data quality concerns.

The data released on the data.gov.in portal includes UDID information categorized by district, gender, age, and type of disability, and it is intended to assist NGOs and researchers in creating accessible physical infrastructure for individuals with specific types and levels of disabilities. This data will be updated quarterly.

The government had also hoped to use the UDID database to design accessible websites and applications and promote digital inclusion for PwDs. However, the UDID form does not include sections requesting information on the current usage of computers, mobile devices, or the Internet by PwDs.

Concerns about UDID Effectiveness:
As the government's plans to create a unified database of disability and socio-economic data for PwDs are put on hold, a Parliamentary panel expressed doubts earlier this year about the Department's ability to collect accurate population data through the UDID mechanism in a timely manner. The government explained that UDID forms were meant to provide enough information to develop targeted policies, especially with the delay in the 2021 Census. However, the panel noted that the number of UDID cards issued far exceeded the PwD population estimate from a decade ago, raising questions about the accuracy of the data.

The government has faced criticism from experts, activists, and opposition leaders for excluding disability-related questions from the forms used in the sixth round of the National Family Health Survey earlier this year.

Photo Credit: The Hindu

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In diverse India, name change demands consensus

The change of name of a country cannot and should not be undertaken as a political party's agenda.

An official invitation sent out by Rashtrapati Bhavan regarding the G-20 summit in New Delhi, under India's presidency, used the term 'President of Bharat' instead of 'President of India,' sparking a controversy. This controversy reflects the current political climate characterized by intense distrust among different factions, unexplained vindictiveness, and a surge of nationalism among those in power. There is widespread anxiety about the nation's future due to these developments.

The government has not provided any official explanation for this sudden change. The abrupt alteration in formal communication from the head of state caught the nation off guard. Supporters of the government argue that the country's name can be interchangeable as 'Bharat,' as stated in Article 1 of the Constitution. Some even suggest that a resolution in Parliament could change the name to 'Bharat,' possibly in an upcoming special parliamentary session. Surprisingly, even some senior advocates of the Supreme Court of India support this viewpoint.

Before delving into the country's name change issue and its handling, it's essential to understand that Parliament has the authority to change the country's name at any time by amending the Constitution, as outlined in Article 368. However, the public is left bewildered by the general confusion surrounding this issue.

From a constitutional perspective, let's examine the change of the country's name. First, the invitation from Rashtrapati Bhavan used the term "President of Bharat." Constitutionally, there is currently no President of Bharat; Article 52 specifies that there shall be a President of India. This official nomenclature of the head of state cannot be altered without amending Article 52. Therefore, it's evident that "President of Bharat" does not align with Article 52 of the Constitution.

Article 1 states, "India, that is Bharat, shall be a Union of States." These words do not imply that 'India' and 'Bharat' are interchangeable or that 'Bharat' can replace 'India' as the official country name. In fact, 'Bharat' is not used in any other articles of the Constitution, except in the Hindi version published under the President's authority through Article 394A.

If the Constitution makers intended 'Bharat' to be interchangeable, they would have used it in various parts of the Constitution, which is the authentic Constitution of India described in Article 393. The phrase "India, that is Bharat..." in Article 1 serves a clarificatory purpose, explaining that 'India' is also known as 'Bharat.' The Hindi translation of Article 1 further emphasizes that 'Bharat' translates to 'India,' reaffirming that 'India' remains the country's authentic name unless legally changed.

Using 'Bharat' interchangeably with 'India' in official communication can cause confusion. The official name of the country is the Republic of India, used in all official correspondence with foreign countries and international organizations. Agreements and treaties with foreign governments are made in the name of the Republic of India, not the Republic of Bharat. Using both names interchangeably will perplex foreign governments, and a country can only have one official name, either India or Bharat, not both.

During the Constituent Assembly debates, Article 1 initially stated, "India shall be a union of states." The term 'Bharat' was added later during the debate due to pressure from several members. However, B.R. Ambedkar included "that is Bharat" as a compromise. He never suggested that 'Bharat' could be used interchangeably in the original Constitution.

Changing a country's name should not be driven solely by a political party's agenda. In a diverse country like India, consensus is crucial, and people from all regions should emotionally connect with the country's name. Otherwise, it could alienate certain sections of the population. The notion of liberating India from its colonial past should lead to the removal of all colonial symbols, including Rashtrapati Bhavan, Parliament House, and the Assembly building, and a complete overhaul of the administrative structure, among other changes. India's entire railway system also represents a colonial legacy.

Does this newfound anti-colonial enthusiasm align with the principle of 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam,' the motto of the G-20 during India's presidency?

Photo: loc.gov

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Supreme Court has prepared a ‘platform’ to assess ‘top’ 50 judges before appointment in the apex cou

The Chief Justice, D.Y. Chandrachud, stated that the aim is to enhance transparency in the Supreme Court judge appointment process by establishing clear selection criteria, even though the process cannot be conducted in public view. Chief Justice Chandrachud shared this during the centenary edition of the Ram Jethmalani Memorial Lecture.

He mentioned that the Supreme Court, with a youthful team consisting of distinguished scholars, interns, and legal researchers, has developed a comprehensive platform to evaluate each of the "top 50 judges" in the country, who are potential candidates for Supreme Court judge positions.

Addressing a common criticism of the collegium system, Chief Justice Chandrachud noted, "One of the criticisms about the collegium system is that we have no factual data to evaluate people whom we are considering for appointment to the Supreme Court."

He elaborated on the efforts to make the collegium system more transparent, saying, "I have a Centre for Research and Planning led by an officer from the Haryana Judicial Services, along with two highly accomplished young scholars and several interns and law researchers who collaborate with us for two years. We have compiled a comprehensive platform where we have assessed each of the top 50 judges in the country who could be potential Supreme Court judges."

Chief Justice Chandrachud disclosed this information to an audience that included Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal, current and retired judges, prominent legal experts like Fali S. Nariman, senior advocates, and law students.

The primary objective is to bring transparency to the Supreme Court judge appointment process by establishing clear selection parameters, even though this process cannot be conducted publicly. The team will meticulously examine the candidates' judicial decisions and their quality.

However, Chief Justice Chandrachud did not specify whether the selection of the 50 "top" judges would be based on their seniority among High Court judges or solely on their merit and performance on the Bench.

Currently, judge appointments are made based on various criteria, including seniority, regional representation, and merit, following a Memorandum of Procedure established through the Three Judges Cases.

Regarding Ram Jethmalani, Chief Justice Chandrachud praised him as a luminary who made a lasting contribution to the rule of law and legal education through a lifetime dedicated to the pursuit of justice.

Photo Credit: ANI

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Defence ministry clears procurement of military hardware worth ₹45,000 crore

The approval for the procurement proposals within the 'Make in India' initiative arrived while the prolonged border dispute with China in eastern Ladakh continued.

India has given the green light to nine procurement proposals worth approximately ₹45,000 crore, including the acquisition of 12 Su-30 MKI fighter jets, Dhruvastra air-to-surface missiles, and upgrades for Dornier aircraft.

The endorsement of these procurement proposals under the 'Make in India' framework is significant, given the technical issues reported with the Dornier aircraft earlier this year. These upgrades will enhance the Indian Air Force's avionics and increase its accuracy and reliability.

"The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has granted Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for nine capital acquisition proposals totaling around ₹45,000 crore," stated the Ministry of Defence.

AoN signifies the initial approval for any defence acquisition project. The meeting of the DAC, which approved these nine proposals, was chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.

"All these acquisitions will be sourced from Indian vendors under the Buy (Indian-Indigenously Designed Developed and Manufactured (IDDM)/Buy (Indian) category, which will significantly boost the Indian defence industry towards realizing the 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat' (self-reliant India) vision," the Ministry of Defence added.

During the DAC meeting, Mr. Singh emphasized the need to increase ambitions in indigenization. "Instead of a 50% indigenous content threshold for IDDM projects, we should aim for a minimum of 60-65% indigenous content," he stated. To enhance protection, mobility, attack capability, and the survivability of mechanized forces, the DAC has approved the procurement of Light Armoured Multipurpose Vehicles (LAMV) and the Integrated Surveillance and Targeting System (ISAT-S), according to the statement.

Additionally, the DAC has given clearance for the procurement of High Mobility Vehicle (HMV) gun towing vehicles for the swift mobilization and deployment of artillery guns and radars.

Furthermore, the DAC has approved the procurement of next-generation survey vessels for the Indian Navy.

The Indian Air Force's proposal for the avionic upgrade of Dornier aircraft to enhance accuracy and reliability for operations has also received AoN.

"The DAC has granted approval for the procurement of Dhruvastra Short Range Air-to-Surface Missiles as a potent Indigenous Precision Guided Weapon for indigenously built ALH Mk-IV Helicopters," the Ministry stated.

"The AoN for the procurement of 12 Su-30 MKI Aircraft with associated equipment from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has also been accorded," it further added. During the DAC meeting, the Defence Minister directed the Chief of Defence Staff, Service Chiefs, Defence Secretary, and DG (Acquisition) to collaborate with the Indian industry to raise the minimum indigenous content threshold.

Photo Credit: PTI

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PM Modi to launch Vishwakarma scheme on September 17

In the scheme, craftsmen can enroll on the PM Vishwakarma portal by using their biometrics.

The Centre's recently unveiled initiative for artisans, PM Vishwakarma, will be formally inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 17, coinciding with Vishwakarma Jayanti. Mr. Modi had mentioned this scheme during his Independence Day speech, and the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has recently allocated ₹13,000 crore for its implementation. This program will be accessible to traditional craftsmen and artisans for a period of five fiscal years, from 2023-24 to 2027-28.

"The Prime Minister has consistently emphasized his commitment to support individuals involved in traditional crafts. This commitment is driven by the desire not only to provide financial assistance to artisans and craftsmen but also to preserve and promote our age-old traditions, culture, and diverse heritage through local products, art, and crafts," stated the Prime Minister's Office in a press release.

Under this initiative, artisans can register on the PM Vishwakarma portal using their biometric data. They will receive recognition in the form of a PM Vishwakarma certificate and ID card, as well as skill enhancement through basic and advanced training. Additionally, they will be eligible for a toolkit incentive of ₹15,000, collateral-free credit support up to ₹1 lakh (first installment) and ₹2 lakh (second installment) at a concessional interest rate of 5%. Furthermore, incentives for digital transactions and marketing support will also be provided, as stated by the Prime Minister's Office.

Photo Credit: PTI

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PMMSY: Successfully addressing critical gaps in the fisheries value chain

In 2020, when the Indian fisheries sector was gearing up for substantial growth due to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's reforms, recognizing the vast potential of the Blue Economy, and initiating comprehensive development measures, including the establishment of a Fisheries Ministry, the COVID-19 pandemic posed a severe threat. However, the Prime Minister turned this adversity into an opportunity by unveiling the Atmanirbhar Bharat package for the fisheries sector. An impressive sum of ₹20,050 crore was earmarked for the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) in September 2020, marking the largest-ever investment in the history of Indian fisheries.

Thanks to this substantial infusion of funds and focused attention, the PMMSY began addressing critical gaps in the fisheries value chain, encompassing fish production, productivity, quality, technology, post-harvest infrastructure, and marketing. It identified key strategic areas of focus, which include marine fisheries, inland fisheries, welfare of fishermen, infrastructure and post-harvest management, cold water fisheries, ornamental fisheries, aquatic health management, and seaweed cultivation, among others.

As it completes its third year, the PMMSY has successfully expanded inland fisheries into unconventional areas by introducing advanced technology. This has inspired numerous talented and entrepreneurial youth to venture into fisheries. Presently, young female entrepreneurs from the Kashmir Valley are efficiently cultivating cold water rainbow trout using a recirculatory aquaculture system. Aquapreneurs in Nellore have emerged as successful exporters, courtesy of biofloc-cultivated shrimps.

The PMMSY has also played a pivotal role in broadening fisheries to non-traditional regions. Nearly 20,000 hectares of fresh pond areas are being dedicated to inland aquaculture, even in landlocked regions like Haryana and Rajasthan. Farmers here are effectively converting saline wastelands into productive areas through aquaculture.

Furthermore, the PMMSY has empowered women involved in fishing to explore lucrative alternatives and alternative livelihoods, including ornamental fisheries, pearl culture, and seaweed cultivation. A recent ₹127 crore Seaweed Park in Tamil Nadu's Ramanathapuram district is a groundbreaking initiative by the Modi government.

The PMMSY has facilitated the establishment of 900 fish feed plants and 755 hatcheries while supporting research and genetic improvement of Indian White Shrimp in Chennai, developing specific pathogen-free brood stock, and domesticating tiger shrimp in the Andaman Islands.

India has now secured a place among the top three countries globally in fish and aquaculture production and stands as the world's largest shrimp exporter. The government has recently announced an investment of ₹6,000 crore as a sub-scheme under the PMMSY, pushing the total investment in fisheries to over ₹38,500 crore over the past nine years.

Indian fisheries production, as per provisional figures for 2022-23, has reached an all-time high at 174 lakh tonnes, and export earnings have also surged. Cumulative fish production since 2014 surpasses the production of the previous 30 years. Shrimp production has skyrocketed by 267%, from 3.22 lakh tonnes in 2013-14 to 11.84 lakh tonnes in 2022-23. India's seafood exports have doubled, rising from ₹30,213 crore in 2013-14 to ₹63,969 crore in 2022-23.

As the collaborative efforts between fishermen and the government strengthen to harness the potential of the Blue Economy, one can't help but wish that the legendary Tamil actor and politician M.G. Ramachandran, who portrayed the lives of the fishing community in the film "Padagoti," were alive today. He would undoubtedly have been delighted to witness how Prime Minister Modi, with his earnest endeavors and clear vision, has effectively addressed the concerns of fishermen and guided them on the path of development through the mantra of 'Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas, and Sabka Prayas.'

Photo Credit: ANI

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Govt. limits wheat stocks to control price rise, hoarding

The Food Secretary has given his assurance to control the price rise during the festive season.

Observing an increase in wheat prices and concerns about hoarding before the festive period, the Central government has taken steps to reduce the stock limits for wheat held by traders, wholesalers, retailers, large retail chains, and processors across all States and Union Territories. The revised stock limit is now set at 2,000 Metric Tonnes (MT), down from the previous 3,000 MT. Speaking to the media about this decision, Union Food Secretary Sanjeev Chopra attributed the rising prices to an "artificial scarcity" created by some individuals.

The Centre has urged all entities involved in wheat stocking to register on the wheat stock limit portal and regularly update their stock levels every Friday. The Food Ministry has stated, "Any entity found not registered on the portal or found in violation of the stock limits will face appropriate punitive action under Section 6 & 7 of the Essential Commodities Act, 1955." Furthermore, if stocks exceed the prescribed limit, sellers are required to bring them down within 30 days. The release also mentioned that Central and State Government officials will closely monitor the enforcement of these stock limits to prevent any artificial scarcity of wheat in the country.

Mr. Chopra expressed concern that some individuals are hoarding excess wheat, leading to unnecessary price hikes. He noted that although current wheat prices at the retail level are averaging ₹30 per kilogram and remain stable, the recent uptick in NCDEX prices could potentially impact retail prices.

Regarding the retail prices of food grains, sugar, and edible oil in anticipation of the upcoming festivities, Mr. Chopra reassured that there won't be significant price spikes. He stated that the Central government possesses sufficient stocks of essential items and is closely monitoring hoarding activities. He remarked, "In the upcoming festive season, I do not foresee any significant price increases for the commodities we deal with, whether it is wheat, rice, sugar, or edible oils."

Mr. Chopra also addressed concerns about sugar prices, mentioning that while prices have been stable, rumors of potential shortages due to a weak August monsoon have led to price increases in some areas. He clarified that the country has an adequate sugar stock of 85 lakh tonnes, which can meet requirements for three and a half months. The government released an excess of 25 lakh tonnes of sugar in August to ensure stability. Additionally, Mr. Chopra expressed optimism about a bumper rice harvest during the kharif season and good sugarcane production in states like Karnataka and Maharashtra.

Photo Credit: Reuters

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All reported births and deaths to be digitally registered on Centre’s portal from October 1

From October 1, all reported births and deaths across the country will be digitally registered on the Centre's portal, as per a recent government announcement. This development stems from the Registration of Births and Deaths (Amendment) Act, 2023, which introduces digital birth certificates serving as a universal document for various purposes such as admission to educational institutions, driving license applications, government job applications, passport issuance, Aadhaar enrollment, voter registration, and marriage registration, among others.

The official notification issued by Registrar-General and Census Commissioner, Mritunjay Kumar Narayan, states, 'In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (2) of Section 1 of the Registration of Births and Deaths (Amendment) Act, 2023 (20 of 2023), the Central government hereby appoints the 1st day of October 2023 as the date on which the provisions of the said Act shall come into force.'

This centralized database will also facilitate updates to the National Population Register (NPR), ration cards, property registration, and electoral rolls. The NPR, initially collected in 2010 and updated in 2015 through door-to-door enumeration, already boasts a database of 119 crore residents. It is noteworthy that the NPR plays a pivotal role in the creation of the National Register of Citizens (NRC), as mandated by the Citizenship Act.

States will be mandated to register births and deaths on the Centre's Civil Registration System (CRS) portal and share data with the Registrar-General of India (RGI), which operates under the Union Home Ministry.

Additionally, the Act empowers the government to 'collect Aadhaar numbers of parents and informants, if available, in case of birth registration.' Presently, one of the parents voluntarily provides the Aadhaar number for the newborn's birth certificate generated through the CRS. As of March 31, Aadhaar has achieved a saturation rate of 93% among a projected population of 138.72 crore.

Photo Credit: The Hindu