LIVE WORLD NEWS

10 October 2017

10 Oct.NEWS DIGEST:Demonetisation, GST impact: IMF lowers India’s 2017 growth forecast to 6.7%/World Bank reduces India GDP growth forecast to 7% for 2017-18



Evening NEWS DIGEST
10 Oct.2017: 19 Muharram 1439:Vol:9, No:16
Demonetisation, GST impact: IMF lowers India’s 2017 growth forecast to 6.7% 
International Monetary Fund on Tuesday lowered India’s growth projection to 6.7% in 2017, 0.5 percentage points less than its previous two forecasts and slower than China’s 6.8%, attributing it to demonetisation and introduction of the GST.(IMF raised its current year growth forecast for China to 6.8%, 0.1 percentage more than its two previous projections in April and July -- pushing the Communist giant above India at the top of the global growth tally.It also lowered India’s growth for 2018 to 7.4%, 0.3 percentage points less than its previous two projections in July and April.India’s growth rate in 2016 was 7.1%, which saw an upward revision of 0.3 percentage points from its April report.“In India, growth momentum slowed, reflecting the lingering impact of the authorities’ currency exchange initiative as well as uncertainty related to the midyear introduction of the country-wide Goods and Services Tax,” the IMF said in its latest World Economic Outlook report.“Strong government spending and data revisions in India led to an upward revision of 2016 growth to 7.1% (6.8% in April), with upward revisions of about 0.2 percentage point, on average, for 2014 and 2015,” it said.The latest report, released ahead of the annual meetings of the IMF and the World Bank in Washington this week, puts China slightly ahead of India in terms of growth rate for the year 2017.The GST, which promises the unification of India’s vast domestic market, is among several key structural reforms under implementation that are expected to help push growth above eight per cent in the medium term, the report said. “In India, simplifying and easing labour market regulations and land acquisition procedures are long-standing requirements for improving the business climate,” the report said.PTI
IMF lowers India’s growth projection, attributes it to demonetisation, GST
World Bank reduces India GDP growth forecast to 7% for 2017-18
New Delhi: After remaining the world’s fastest-growing region for 8 consecutive quarters, South Asia has slipped to the third position behind East Asia and the Pacific regions, as India’s economy slowed to its lowest level in 13 quarters, World Bank said on Monday.This is at a time when other South Asian nations like Bangladesh and Nepal have registered strong economic growth.In June quarter of 2017-18, Indian economy decelerated to 5.7%, lowest since the economy grew at 5.3% in the March quarter of 2013-14.In its South Asia Economic Focus (Fall 2017), World Bank reduced India’s GDP growth forecast to 7% for 2017-18 from 7.2% estimated earlier, blaming disruptions caused by demonetisation and implementation of GST, while maintaining at the same time that the economy would claw back to grow at 7.4% by 2019-20. Both Asian Development Bank as well as the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) have also cut their growth projections for India to 7% and 6.7%, respectively, for fiscal 2017-18.World Bank said the unexpected slowdown in India’s growth story is because of the delayed consequence of demonetization, sharp decline in the growth rate of public expenditures and uncertainty created by the introduction of GST.“Moreover, the unusually low growth rate of the last quarter could also be affected by measurement error. In India, final growth rate figures often differ considerably from first estimates; on average they tend to be 0.5 percentage points higher.The combination of temporary shocks and measurement error suggests no need for a policy correction,” it added.However, it cautioned that since economic growth has been slowing down for the last five consecutive quarters, there could be more reasons at play.“Over this period, imports increased sharply while private investment declined. Behind these trends lies a combination of large public sector borrowing (especially by the states), relatively sticky interest rates despite decreasing inflation, and an increasingly stressed financial sector,”it said, advising Govt to appropriately adjust its “economic policy stance” without further elaboration. Livemint
PM’s stand up India plan slows down, a reality check
PM Narendra Modi had launched Stand Up India on April 5, 2016 in Noida.The initiative was launched to support entrepreneurship among women, Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe communities.Under this, every bank has given a responsibility to ensure that wherever they have a branch, in their area, they have to give loans to two individuals – Dalit or an Adivasi, and a woman – in order to help them to start a new enterprise, new business.According to the govt’s website, the stated goal of Stand-up India is to enable bank loans between Rs 10 lakh to Rs 1 crore to at least one SC or ST borrower and at least one woman per bank branch to set up a greenfield enterprise.But nearly after one and a half years of the assurance, the data on loans obtained from Dept of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance, by Indian Express under the RTI, shows a different picture. So far, only Rs 4,852 crore has been disbursed from the total loan amount of Rs 8,803 crore that was sanctioned across the banks.As per the records, after 17 months after the assurance, only 6% of the 1.3 lakh bank branches have provided Stand Up India loans to SC/ST individuals.Data shows less than 25 percent of the branches have provided loans to women in the general category.21 public sector commercial banks have together sanctioned Stand Up India loans to 38,111 individuals. Out of which, 5,559 of them are SC, 1,653 ST and 30,899 general category women. The average amount disbursed to SC/St applicants is Rs 10 lakh. The average amount disbursed to women is Rs 12.27 lakh. As per the data, 6 of these 21 public sector banks have together provided loans to less than 100 SC individuals. However, 16 banks have not sanctioned a single loan to individuals belonging to the ST category.  Indian Express
Truckers’ 2-day ‘Token’ Strike Against GST, Diesel Hikes Ends, But More to Come
2-day nationwide strike by truckers protesting against the GST regime and the exorbitant hikes in diesel price entered its second day on Oct.10.However, this chakkajam led by the All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) was only a “token strike”, and truck operators have said they would intensify their stir after Diwali festive season is over, if their demands are not met.“Working under the GST regime has become cumbersome,”Naveen Gupta, AIMTC secretary general, told Newsclick.He said the transport sector is divided into three verticals – truck drivers, brokers (suppliers), and transporters. “And the multiple schemes, contradictory clauses and complicated structure are causing a lot of confusion for all. GST claims to bring uniformity, but it has created chaos and disrupted our work.” newsclick
'Millions of weavers vulnerable due to GST'
New Delhi: Millions of India's poor artisans and craftspeople, struggling to keep alive their traditional crafts and livelihoods, have been hit hard by the introduction of the GST that has pitted them in an unequal battle against machine-made products, says craft activist Laila Tyabji."The position of weavers is very vulnerable today because of GST. Handloom (products) were free of tax all these years, and it was very much part of national policy," Tyabji told IANS in an interview. Tyabji's organisation, Dastkar, works with craftspeople to promote and revive traditional crafts and recently organised "Grand Saree Fair" featuring traditional sarees from across the country.Stressing that most of them come from marginalised communities and need support, she said: "They received encouragement from successive Govts. Mahatma Gandhi used to say that cottage industries and weavers' craft are part of India's culture, society and also economics."IANS
Law Ministry Permission to ASG to Represent Jay Shah Runs Counter to Its Own Rules: The Wire
New Delhi: Even before The Wire carried its story on Jay Amitbhai Shah’s Golden Touch, Union law ministry had granted additional solicitor general Tushar Mehta permission to represent Jay Shah in his yet-to-be-filed defamation suit against The Wire.The permission was given on Oct. 6 while the story appeared only 2 days later, on Oct 8.Rule 8(1)(a) of the Law Officer (Conditions of Service) Rules,1987,states: “Restrictions- (1) A Law Officer shall not – (a) hold briefs in any court for any party except Govt of India or Govt of a State or any University, Govt School or College, local authority, Public Service Commission, Port Trust, Port Commissioners, Govt aided or Govt managed hospitals, a Govt company as defined in Section 617 of Companies Act, 1956 (1 of 1956), any Corporation owned or controlled by the State, anybody or institution in which Govt has a preponderating interest”.This rule essentially says that a law officer shall not hold briefs in any court for any party except Govt or Govt-controlled bodies. The only exception allowed to this is as per Rule 10, which too comes with a rider:“Power to relax – where the Central Govt is of the opinion that it is necessary or expedient to do so, it may, by order, and for reasons to be recorded in writing, relax any of the provisions of these rules.”(emphasis added).
Firecrackers ban: Chetan Bhagat denounces SC verdict, says why restrictions only on Hindu festivals
New Delhi:Writer Chetan Bhagat has expressed his disagreement with the Supreme Court's order banning the sale of fire crackers in Delhi-NCR till November 1, saying it should be regulated not banned.In a series of tweets, he said that the tradition of burning fire crackers was essential to the festival of Diwali.He went on to say that if crackers were banned to control pollution, the action should be emulated for "goat sacrifice and Muharram bloodshed" during festivals like Eid."Can I just ask on cracker ban. Why only guts to do this for Hindu festivals? Banning goat sacrifice and Muharram bloodshed soon too?," Bhagat wrote."I want to see people who fight to remove crackers for Diwali show the same passion in reforming other festivals full of blood and gore," he tweeted. Banning crackers on Diwali is like banning Christmas trees on Christmas and goats on Bakr-Eid, Bhagat wrote. Bhagat's tweets were met with sharp reactions by Twitterati including politician Shehzad Poonawalla, who wrote, "Yes coz when Shri Ram returned to Ayodhya you (& those who read your books) were bursting Chinese made crackers to celebrate the homecoming?" abplive
‘Soon There Will be Ban on Hindu Cremations’: Tripura Governor on Cracker Ban
Tripura Governor Tathagata Roy, known for his ‘twitter-happy’ ways, has once again kicked up a storm on social media by insinuating that Hindu cremations could be the next tradition on the chopping block after the Supreme Court ban on firecrackers. Weighing in on the apex court’s ruling, Roy smelled a communal conspiracy that is one by one targeting all Hindu rituals.“First Dahi Handi, now crackers. You never know, tomorrow the award wapsi brigade and those carrying out candle marches might file a litigation against the last rites ritual of Hindus, too," he tweeted on Tuesday. News18.com
Rohingya not entitled to refugee status, says brief concept note on Indian Council of Historical Research seminar
New Delhi:At a time when the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar is being debated — including whether India should indeed deport them or adopt a humanitarian stand — the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) is organising a seminar to flesh out the difference between “refugees” and “illegal infiltrators”, seeing Rohingya Muslims as an example of the latter.“Victims of religio-ethnic cleansing from the neighbouring countries that were part of eternal Bharat since time immemorial but got separated from us in 1947, are entitled to shelter and rehabilitation in India, but illegal infiltrators from outside India are not,” says a brief concept note on the seminar accessed by The Hindu.“Rohingya are certainly not entitled to the refugee status. We have another category of refugees —who are internally displaced — like the Hindu community from our own Kashmir Valley, unfortunately now refugees in their own land!” The note also says: “Study on refugees, or ‘forced migration’, is an established academic discipline in various countries, but somehow, it has yet to receive that kind of acceptability in India. As against this, there is the issue of illegal infiltration, and the two cannot be clubbed together.”Governor of Tripura Tathagata Roy will inaugurate the seminar at Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML) and Indian Council of Social Science Research Chairman BB Kumar will deliver the valedictory address.The Hindu
Allowing Women to go Without Male Accomplices on Haj 'Un-Islamic': Barelvi Muslim Clerics
New Delhi: Sunni Barelvi clerics criticised the move of allowing women aged over 45 years to go to Haj without their close male relatives if they are travelling in groups of four or more and termed it “un-Islamic”. The remarks came after Union Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that the Haj Committee of India might consider the recommendation.Clerics said that the authorities’ motive was to “make women work against Sharia”, the Times of India reported. “It is mandatory for women to be accompanied by the husband or any other male blood relation. If women go alone on Haj, they will end up committing a sin, which is the motive of the authorities. As Haj is one of the five pillars of Islam, it should be done according to Sharia and women cannot go without mehram (close male blood relation),”said Mufti M. Salim Noori, spokesperson of Dargah Aala Hazrat.Mufti M.Jameel Khan at Darul Ifta of Dargah Aala Hazrat called the policy un-Islamic.“Women should consider Islamic rules instead of following changes introduced by politicians. As the country has majority of Sunni Muslims within the community, the Govt should draft the policy after contacting leaders belonging to all denominations,” he said.Jamat Raza-e-Mustafa general secretary Maulana Shahbudin Razvi said that they will write to Naqvi asking him not to give permission to women to go on Haj alone.india.com
Clerics slam idea of allowing women to go on Haj alone
Men, women should share pregnancy for 4.5 months: Jamiat Ulama on Gender Equality
Mumbai: Gulzar Azmi, Secretary of Jamiat Ulama on Tuesday said that if everyone wants equality on the basis of gender, then why men and women don't carry pregnancy for four and half months each.This statement from the cleric came days after Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi proposed a Haj Policy that will allow women above 45 to travel in a group of at least 4, without a male member. Azmi said, "The decision to allow Muslim women aged above 45 years to go on Haj alone is entirely illegal and is an intervention in Islam. It is clearly stated in Quran that a woman cannot go on Haj alone.""From the time this Govt has come to power, they tend to touch upon such issues that make Muslim anxious which makes the people of our religion believe that this Govt is against Muslims.The promises that were made by PM  Modi have not been fulfilled yet, so to divert the attention they raise issues against Muslims," he said.Touting Islam as a religion which respects women the most, Jamiat leader said, "I do not understand which religion respects women more than Islam."Questioning the issue of gender equality, Azmi said, "If we talk about equality then there should be equality even in carrying a child in womb. Then a man should carry the baby for four and half months and the women for rest of the half time. Then only one can say that there is equality. First there should be equality in the birth process then other aspects of equality should be implemented in Islam." Huffingtonpost /ANI
'Want equality for women? Get men to carry baby for 4.5 months', says Muslim clerics' body: TOI
TN parties slams Centre for plan to phase out Haj subsidy
Chennai:DMK and Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) have urged the Centre not to accept the recommendations of a panel which has endorsed a move to do away with the subsidy given to Haj pilgrims.Days after a committee formed by the Ministry of Minority Affairs endorsed a proposal to phase out the Haj subsidy, DMK working president M K Stalin said the Centre should not accept the recommendations of the panel. “Besides (the proposed) ending of the subsidy for Haj, cutting down the embarkation points to nine from 21 is tantamount to interfering in the religious freedom of the Islamic people,” he said in a statement, adding that it was a matter of concern. “PM Modi should ensure the subsidy for Muslims,” he urged.Referring to the minister’s remark that the subsidy would be phased out, Stalin said, “This is against the basic goal of that ministry.” PMK chief S Ramadoss claimed that the draft of the new Haj policy would “only create an adverse impact” and urged the Centre to take steps to maintain status quo in the matter, barring the initiative to allow women over 45 years of age to go on Haj without being accompanied by their male relatives.
Karnataka:Muslim panel to discuss Haj subsidy abolition
Mangaluru: Muslim leaders in Dakshina Kannada are yet to take a call on proposed Haj Policy that recommends abolition of subsidy for Haj pilgrims.Dakshina Kannada and Udupi District Muslim Central Committee vice-president Ibrahim Kodijal said the committee will be meeting within a day or two to discuss the proposed policy, which also recommends that the central Govt allow women devotees aged over 45 to travel in a group of at least four, without a male escort. "We read it in the newspapers and are yet to go through the details of the proposal. Muslim Central Committee will meet soon to discuss the proposal," said Ibrahim, who is also ex in-charge president of Dakshina Kannada District Congress Committee.TOI
J&K clerics ban women from travelling alone
Clerics of Majlis-e-Shura, a religious conglomerate in J&K's Kishtwar district, issued a diktat barring women from going out alone in public.According to Times Now, the religious conglomerate issued a list of diktats imposing restrictions on women in the state. According to the diktat, women can't go to markets and public events alone, they must not interact with men on the streets and there will be separate classrooms for boys and girls in schools as co-education is 'un-Islamic'. The list also said that music should be banned at marriage ceremonies and any kind of entertainment during weddings will lead to the violators being socially boycotted. The violators will be shamed publicly, the clerics said.Women should only venture out in the company of their father, husband or brother, the clerics warned. firstpost
Darul Uloom fatwa bans rape-accused cleric from heading any mosque: TOI
Bijnor: Former Imam of Bijnor Jama Masjid, Maulana Anwarul Haq, who had faced rape charges earlier has now been barred from becoming imam in any mosque by Darul Uloom Deoband through a fatwa.Imposing the ban, the Darul Uloom committee comprising thre senior clerics spelt out nine reasons for their decision. These include Haq developing illicit relations with a woman, indecent conversation with women on the phone and "giving the religion a bad name". However, on July 14 this year, a Bijnor court had acquitted the cleric after the woman retracted her earlier allegations of rape. Maulana had come out of jail two months ago. After this a controversy has developed over bringing him back to the post of Imam of Bijnor Jama Masjid.According to sources, a few days ago a meeting was held at the mosque over this issue. After this caretaker of Jama Masjid, Javed Aftab went to Deoband to get a fatwa against Haq. Aftab asked the committee at the influential seminary whether Haq could be re-appointed considering the nature of the allegations against him."Committee comprising 3 muftis has now given the fatwa, by which Haq cannot be appointed Imam in any mosque," Aftab said.Reacting to the fatwa, Haq said, "Aftab misguided the seminary and the media about the issue. Darul Uloom has said in its fatwa that an investigation should be initiated by the committee of the mosque. If these allegations are found true, then I cannot be appointed Imam. To get political benefits, Aftab in his application concealed the fact that I have been acquitted by the court."Haq added, "I don't want to become the Imam of Jama Masjid. I have no desire for this post. Only my supporters are staging protest in my favour. When I have no desire for this post, I don't understand why somebody had to go to Darul Uloom over my re-appointment."
Life imprisonment for Tunda in 1996 Sonepat blasts case
Sonepat: A court here today awarded life imprisonment to 75-year-old Abdul Karim Tunda in the 1996 Sonepat bomb blasts case.The court of Additional District and Sessions judge Dr Sushil Kumar Garg pronounced life sentence to Tunda, a day after it found him guilty, Tundas counsel Ashish Vats said. Tunda will now be lodged in the Dasna jail in Ghaziabad as many cases are pending against him in other parts of the country as well, Vats said.PTI
Kerala terror camp case: Man held by NIA for organising training
New Delhi:NIA said on Tuesday it has arrested one accused for organising a terror camp in Kerala’s Kannur district in 2013. Azharudeen aka Azhar, 24, a resident of Narath in Kerala, was arrested on Monday night, an NIA official told IANS. He would be produced before a trial court in Ernakulam.The counter-terror agency said the arrest involved the April 23, 2013, case when the secret training camp was organised by Thanal Foundation Trust inside one of its buildings to impart training in using of swords and explosives.On Jan.20, 2016, NIA Special court had found 21 persons of PFI guilty of the charges including criminal conspiracy, membership of unlawful assembly, possession of arms and explosive substances, inciting communal disharmony, assertions prejudicial to national integration besides organising the terrorist camp.IANS
Bodies of riot victims exhumed: Setalvad moves Gujarat HC against FIR
Ahemdabad:Social activist Teesta Setalvad has filed a plea in Gujarat High Court, seeking quashing of an FIR lodged against her for allegedly illegally exhuming bodies of 2002 riots victims in Panderawada in Panchmahal district in Dec.2005. She moved the High Court after the Supreme Court refused to give her relief in July this year.In the petition filed in high court, she has stated that a chargesheet has already been filed and there is no case made out against her. After the public prosecutor sought time, the bench of Justice AJ Desai adjourned the hearing. Setalvad has been accused of hurting religious feelings, fabricating false evidence, trespassing on burial places, among other charges. In her plea, she has stated that there was no question of hurting religious feelings as “not a single person from the Muslim community who are supposed to have been hurt has filed any FIR”. Indianexpress
UP govt proposes ‘grand statue’ of Ram at Ayodhya river banks
Lucknow: Yogi Govt plans to build a “grand statue” of Ram on the banks of the Saryu river in Ayodhya as part of its plan to showcase “Navya Ayodhya.” The proposal was presented to Governor Ram Naik as part of the state tourism department’s initiatives to promote religious tourism. Govt’s slideshow put the height of the statute at 100 m but some officials said that wasn’t final.According to a press communique released from Raj Bhavan, Principal Secretary, Tourism, Awanish Kumar Awasthi made the presentation.The presentation also included information on programmes scheduled for Diwali celebrations in Ayodhya on Oct 18. Governor Naik, CM  Yogi Adityanath, Union Tourism Minister K J Alphons and Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma will be present on the occasion.The communique stated that the statue will be build at Saryughat after clearance from the National Green Tribunal.When asked about the statue, Awasthi said that this was a “concept proposal” and the letter to NGT seeking clearance was yet to be sent.Also part of the plan is a Ram Katha gallery on the banks of the river, a multi-purpose auditorium in the Digambar Akhara premises and various public utility services. For this integrated development of Ayodhya, the state Govt had sent a detailed project report (DPR) of Rs 195.89 crore to the Tourism Ministry at the Centre and the Ministry has so far provided Rs 133.70 crore to the state.Indian Express
300 students of Shishu Mandir ill At UP's Shamli After Inhaling Gas From Sugar Factory
Shamli: Around 300 schoolchildren fell ill this morning in UP's Shamli after inhaling chemical waste from a sugar mill near their school.Students of Saraswati Shishu Mandir were taken to a Govt hospital after they suffering breathlessness, nausea, stomach ache, giddiness and a burning in their eyes.Over 2 dozen children are believed to be seriously ill and some of them have been referred to a bigger hospital in Meerut. "Between 30 and 35 children are in a serious condition, 15 have been referred to Meerut," said Surjeet Singh, a senior district official.Doctors say none of the other children are seriously affected. But at the hospital, there was panic among parents and teachers.In visuals, little children were seen sitting in groups at the hospital after first aid.The childrens' parents say waste from a sugar factory is dumped at a site not far from the school.When the children were heading to school today, factory workers were in the process of burning the waste products, which allegedly gave off toxic fumes.While a few children reportedly fell unconscious, others were taken ill when they reached school.When hundreds of children appeared to collapse with the symptoms of the toxic gas, teachers took them to the hospital. ndtv
Making Aadhaar card mandatory has made it difficult to secure scholarships: Students
Mumbai:Applying for various scholarships has become a hassle ever since the state Govt launched a new website in August to disburse scholarship money, said students.  Those seeking scholarships through the new portal — www.mahadbt.gov.in — are required to provide the details of their Aadhaar cards and their Aadhaar-linked SIM card, and income and domicile certificates. The portal was launched to facilitate Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) mechanism of fund distribution. The state Govt decided to transfer money allotted for the 43 scholarship schemes — 12 pre-matric, 31 post-matric — directly into the bank accounts of the beneficiaries, instead of handing it over to educational institutes.But the students complained that the new formalities have made it difficult to secure scholarships.“Earlier, the Govt would accept birth certificate and income affidavit while applying for scholarship. Now, students have been directed, on a very short notice, to furnish domicile certificates and income certificates. The students now have to make rounds of tehsildar office and Aadhaar centres,” said Amir Nurle, head of zonal scholarship cell, Students Islamic Organisation of India. HT

Muslim League MP ET Basheer’s Salafi remarks backfire
Malappuram:The remarks made by E.T Muhammed Basheer, IUML national organising secretary and MP from Ponnani,  on Salafism has drawn flak from a  section of  partymen, namely the EK faction of Sunnis.An article  in  its mouthpiece ‘Suprabhatham’ on Monday lambasted  Basheer without mentioning his name which was followed by a strong statement from the Samstha Kerala Jamiyathul Ulema (EK).The article alleged that Basheer’s remarks endorsing Salafism would lure  Muslims to radical Salafism which had  proved fatal in many parts of the world.Basheer had  made the controversial remarks in a short video which was produced and released recently by Kerala Nadvathul Mujahideen, Salafi organisation popularly called Mujahids, as part of  the upcoming state conference which is slated to be held in Malappuram in Dec. In the video, Basheer claimed that the Salafi organisation played a crucial role in spreading the message of puritan monotheism, which is considered to be the basis of Islamic belief. The term was widely used by the Salafi preachers to vilify Sunnis.The remark has drawn much flak from the Sunni organisations under Samastha and prompted them to come out openly against Basheer’s stand at a time when the state  is witnessing the perils of this ideology which attracts youths to extremism. Meanwhile, Basheer has distanced himself from the controversy preferring not to react.  Deccan Chronicle.
Gujarat assembly elections will be held in December: CEC
New Delhi: Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Achal Kumar Jyoti on Tuesday said that assembly elections in Gujarat will be held in December this year."The term of the Gujarat assembly ends on January 22, so the election will have to be completed in December. Assembly elections will mostly be conducted in the December," he said.Gujarat BJP, however, has demanded the elections be conducted in mid-January.When asked whether the state will see a one or two-phased election, Jyoti said that they were "still assessing various aspects, so it will be announced later."Gujarat will be among the two states where as many as 75,000 VVPAT gadgets will be used for the first time with electronic voting machines, it was reported earlier. VVPAT machines will be attached to the EVMs and will allow voters to verify if their vote has gone to the intended candidate."Political parties welcomed introduction of VVPATs. They emphasized need to publicize its functioning," said Jyoti. Jyoti added that Election Commission had asked Gujarat state authorities to provide cashless facilities to polling staff.TOI
Saudi to invest $300 billion in next 4-5 yrs:NITI Aayog CEO
NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant on Monday said Saudi Arabia will invest $300 billion in India in next 4-5 years. “Saudi Arabia wants to invest in energy security and supply and become India’s investment partner. It will invest $300 billion in next 4-5 yrs,” Kant was quoted as saying by ANI.NITI Aayog CEO also said that PM  Modi-led Union Govt would bring a ‘New Energy Policy’ for the country within 30-45 day. Modi’s focus is also on making a national grid for gas, added. energyinfrapost
Indian soldiers battle 'flawed caste-system' promotion policy in court
After fighting enemies often on multiple fronts, soldiers in the Indian Army are now fighting their own battles in India's court.  A soldier from the services has approached the Supreme Court, saying, 'Do not post me to operational areas to fight the enemies and terrorists if the army is classifying me as a non-operational service'.Sipahi Prahlad Singh of the Army Service Corps is not the only one. Several serving officers are up in arms, alleging a 'caste-system' between combat arms and operational logistics services in the promotion policy.The officers were present in the Supreme Court on Monday morning as a notice was issued to the Centre and the army headquarters to respond to the jawan's plea within four weeks. Before Singh, Major Amod of the ASC had approached the apex court with a plea to not post him to combat terrorists in the Rashtriya Rifles (RR) unit in J&K  if he was deemed as a non-operational officer. 'This is an insult to me at the end of my service,' a serving officer of the army ordnance corps told Mail Today.'I trained as a regular officer and was commissioned as a regular officer of the Indian Army. Dailymail
Pak rakes up Kashmir again at UN but India ignores taunt
UN: Pakistan has again tried to sneak the Kashmir issue into a General Assembly debate with no relevance to the topic, but India took the high road refusing to be drawn into a “distraction” from the agenda set for the meeting.Pakistan’s Permanent Representative Maleeha Lodhi devoted a significant part of her speech to Kashmir at committee dealing with decolonisation on Monday. The minister in India’s Permanent Mission,Srinivas Prasad, who spoke later said in his scheduled speech, “We reject the efforts of the delegation of Pakistan to bring issues which have never been on the agenda of this Committee ever in its history.”“We consider it a diversion from the agenda and as a distraction not worthy of a response,” Prasad added.IANS
WORLD
Bangladesh arrests top leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami
Dhaka: Bangladesh police Monday night arrested the top leaders of the country´s largest Islamist party, an official said, as the Govt appeared to have launched a crackdown on the main opposition parties. 9 people were arrested after a raid on a house in Dhaka's northern neighbourhood of Uttara, including the top leader of the Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, Maqbul Ahmed, deputy leader Shafiqur Rahman and former member of parliament Golam Parwar."We learnt from a secret source they were holding a meeting at a secret place at a house in Uttara Sector Number Six. We have found some papers from that place," Dhaka Police deputy commissioner Shaikh Nazmul Alam told AFP, adding they were investigating the documents.He did not say what the Jamaat leaders were arrested for, but that "most of them were fugitive".Prothom Alo, the country´s largest newspaper, said the leaders were arrested on charges of sabotage.The arrests came as the Govt appeared to have launched a crackdown on the opposition parties after it came under heavy flak for its handling of the Rohingya crisis which has seen a massive influx of refugees fleeing violence in neighbouring Myanmar.A Jamaat spokesman condemned the arrests, saying the leaders were attending "a social gathering"."We protest the arrests. These are motivated. We are a democratic party and abide by all democratic norms. We did not do anything that was violent or went against the democratic ways," he said.Ahmed, 79, has not appeared in any public meeting or political activities after he was elected as the head of the Jamaat last Oct, months after the execution of previous leader Motiur Rahman Nizami for war crimes related to the 1971 war of independence against Pakistan.Rahman, who was elected secretary general last year, is seen as his heir apparent. GEO TV
Bangladesh Jamaat calls nationwide strike against arrests
Egypt court sentences 8 to death for violence
Cairo: An Egyptian court on Tuesday sentenced 8 people to death for committing violence following the 2013 coup against former President Mohamed Morsi.The court also slapped 50 people with life in prison, seven with a 10-year jail term each and three with a 5-year jail term each for similar charges, a judicial source said on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to media.The defendants were convicted of attacking a police station south of Cairo in 2013 and killing five people, including three policemen.Tuesday’s verdicts are still subject to appeal.Egypt was roiled by turmoil when the military deposed Morsi, the country's first freely elected president, in 2013.Following Morsi’s ouster, Egyptian authorities launched a relentless crackdown on his supporters and his Muslim Brotherhood group, killing hundreds and sending thousands behind bars.  Anadolu Agency
Israel to advance plans for nearly 2,000 settlement homes
Jerusalem:Civil Administration’s planning committee announced on Tuesday that it will review plans for 1,844 units in Jewish settlements across West Bank during next week’s meetings. Israel is set to advance plans for nearly 2,000 housing units in West Bank settlements next week, including 30 homes in the flashpoint Palestinian-majority city of Hebron. Civil Administration’s planning committee announced on Tuesday that it will review plans for 1,844 units in Jewish settlements across West Bank during next week’s meetings. Palestinians and most of the international community consider Israel’s West Bank settlement construction illegal and an obstacle to peace. Israel disputes this, saying the fate of settlements should be decided in negotiations.AP
Hundreds of settlers storm Al-Aqsa complex for ‘Sukkot’
Jerusalem;Hundreds of Jewish settlers on Tuesday forced their way into Jerusalem's flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound to mark the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, a Palestinian official said.Firas al-Dibs, a spokesman for the Jordan-run Jerusalem Islamic Waqf, which is responsible for overseeing the city’s Islamic sites, said a total of 537 settlers, backed by Israeli police, have stormed the complex since morning.According to al-Dibs, Jewish groups have called on supporters to converge on Al-Aqsa compound this week to mark Sukkot, a week-long holiday, which started Wednesday and will continue until Sunday. Anadolu Agency
Hamas, Fatah open reconciliation talks in Cairo: AL Jazeera
Representatives from the Palestinian political parties of Hamas and Fatah are meeting on Tuesday for reconciliation talks in the Egyptian capital, Cairo. The talks come a week after Palestinian Authority (PA) Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah visited the Gaza Strip to kick-start the process of transferring administrative responsibility for the besieged territory from Hamas to the national consensus government. The meetings in Cairo are centred around implementing the 2011 Cairo Agreement between the two political parties, in hopes of ending a 10-year political schism.Leading the delegations are the deputy head of Hamas's political office, Saleh al-Arouri, and a member of the Fatah Central Committee, Azzam al-Ahmad. A member of Hamas in the occupied West Bank, Hassan Yousef, said that Israel blocked a delegation from travelling to Cairo through Jordan to participate in the talks. Khalil al-Haya, a member of the Hamas delegation, said the mission would discuss forming a national unity government with the participation of all Palestinian political parties and preparing for legislative, presidential and national council elections. Haya said the negotiations would focus on ending Palestinian division "to confront intransigence and the Israeli project". 2011 agreement stipulated that legislative, presidential and national council elections should be conducted within one year of its signing. The deal would see both Hamas and Fatah form a Palestinian government to appoint the prime minister and ministerial positions.Fatah spokesman Osama al-Qawasmeh told the official PA radio that the Egyptian-brokered talks would stretch for three days and would focus on enabling the national consensus government to exercise its political, security and economic functions in Gaza.Other issues on the agenda include Gaza's electricity crisis, the salaries of PA employees in the coastal enclave, security and the administration of border crossings. Ibrahim Abrash, a political analyst and Gaza's former culture minister, said some issues, such as Hamas' recognition of Israel and the 1967 borders, "will take time to iron out ... but the dire situation in Gaza cannot withhold waiting any longer".Abrash told Al Jazeera that, while he believes Fatah is serious about carrying out presidential elections, the fear is that Israel will get involved.
Hamas, Fatah open reconciliation talks in Egypt
Divisions remain as Hamas-Fatah reconciliation talks due to start

Hate crimes targeting mosques, Muslims doubled in UK: Report
London: Violence, assaults, arson and other hate crimes targeting mosques and Muslims more than doubled across the UK this year, a media report said today, quoting latest official figures.Police forces recorded 110 hate crimes directed at Muslim places of worship between March and July, up from 47 over the same 6 month period in 2016, the Independent reported.It said the crimes include racist abuse, threats to bomb mosques, attacks on mosques and worshippers, damage to vehicles outside mosques, graffiti daubed on buildings, arson attacks and physical assaults on Muslims arriving and leaving mosques.Describing the figures as "deeply troubling", Britain's shadow home secretary Diane Abbott said attacks on any religious group or minority are abominable.PTI
Afghan-Pak border villages brace for Berlin Wall-style divide:Reuters
Chaman/Quetta: Thousands of Pashtun tribal people who for decades ignored the invisible line that bisects their dusty villages and demarcates the Afghanistan-Pakistan frontier are bracing for a Berlin Wall-style divide of their neighbourhoods. Pakistan, worried by Islamist attacks, is building a fence to prevent militants criss-crossing the porous 2,500km frontier along the disputed colonial-era Durand line drawn up by the British in 1893.The fence, which Kabul opposes,will run down the middle of so-called "divided villages" where few people have passports and Pashtun tribal loyalty often trumps allegiance to the state.Seven such villages are dotted around Chaman district, home to the bustling border-crossing town of Chaman in Pakistan's southwestern province of Baluchistan. Other divided villages are believed to exist further north in the restive Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).
Ceasefire in Myanmar ends amid allegations of govt-initiated ethnic cleansing
Yangon:Myanmar authorities said there was no sign of attacks by Rohingya Muslim militants on Tuesday as a one-month insurgent ceasefire came to end.Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) announced the ceasefire from Sept. 10 in order, they said, to facilitate aid deliveries to Rakhine State, where their attacks on the security forces on Aug. 25 triggered a ferocious Govt crackdown.The Govt offensive in the north of Rakhine State has sent some 520,000 Rohingya civilians fleeing to Bangladesh and has drawn international condemnation and UN accusations of ethnic cleansing.The Govt denies ethnic cleansing. It had rebuffed the insurgents' ceasefire, saying it did not negotiate with terrorists.Myanmar says more than 500 people have been killed in the violence since late August, most of them insurgents.Reuters
Myanmar takes first step to ease Buddhist-Muslim tension
UNHCR says 11,000 Rohingya refugees crossed over into Bangladesh from Myanmar in a single day
Critical moment beckons for Catalan separatists
Spain's ongoing dispute with Catalonia could come to a climax with speculation that the region's president might make a unilateral declaration of independence as early as this evening. Carles Puigdemont is due to address the regional parliament in Barcelona on Tuesday at 16:00 GMT, drawing warnings from the Spanish central Govt that it will not allow the country to be split."Spain is not going to divide and national unity will be maintained. To do so, we will use all of the instruments that the legislation gives us. It falls to the Govt to take the decision and to do so at the right time," Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy told Spanish newspaper, El Pais. Deputy PM Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said Spanish leaders were considering "all possible options" and described the Catalan leader's push for independence as "fanaticism". "We are ready for any circumstances because we are already vaccinated against the fanaticism of Puigdemont and any hope that he will return to sanity and serenity," she said. aljazeera
FLASH: VIEWS & NEWS
End of good times for the BJP?Aijaz Zaka Syed
BJP IT cell’s attempt to use Nobel winner’s name to endorse demonetisation backfires:Sam Jawed -
Will India Extend Protection to the World’s Most Persecuted Ethnic Minority – the Rohingya?PRASHANT BHUSHAN AND CHERYL D’SOUZA
Firecracker Ban Is Not A Story Of Hindu Victimhood: Sandip Roy Contributing Editor, HuffPost India
SC cracker sale ban ahead of Diwali in Delhi needs welcome, not a communal twist: Here’s why:Rajeev Kumar
Who are Masked Men Targeting Rohingya Hindus,Why?
There is a case for regulating firecrackers. But SC ban raises questions:Karan Thapar
Muslim Co-operative Bank’s chairman considers bank his personal property: Imtiaz Shikilkar, former president of Baramati Municipal Council
Modi’s pursuit of black money proves drag on India’s economy: Financial Times
NIA being misused as weapon against us by BJP Govt; PFI

 
Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:01 PM)

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