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16 January 2019

16 Jan.ND: SC admits plea but declines urgent hearing against appointment of Rao as CBI Director/ ‘Historical blunder’: Former Delhi HC judge writes to President on elevation of 2 judges to the top court/Congress, Left, 2-3 Judges Among Culprits Delaying Ram Mandir in Ayodhya: RSS Leader


NEWS DIGEST, Afternoon 
16 Jan. 2019: 09 Jamadiul-I 1440: Vol:11, No:103
INDIA
SC admits plea but declines urgent hearing against appointment of Rao as CBI Director
New Delhi:The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused urgent hearing on a petition challenging the appointment of IPS officer M. Nageswara Rao as interim CBI Director. In an oral mentioning, CJI Ranjan Gogoi however indicated that the petition may be listed next week. The petition contended that the Govt  has “completely bypassed” the statutory requirement to consult the high-powered selection committee of PM, Opposition Leader and CJI before appointingRao.NGO, Common Cause, and activist Anjali Bhardwaj, in a joint petition represented by advocate Prashant Bhushan, termed a Jan.10 order of the govt handing over charge and work of CBI Director to Rao as “illegal”.“Govt has attempted to stifle the independence of the institution of CBI by appointing the Director of CBI in an arbitrary and illegal manner,” the petition contended. It said the mandatory requirement under Section 4A of Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE)Act of 1946 to consult the high-powered selection committee was a statutory measure to make the appointment process of CBI Director free from govt interference.“DSPE Act as amended by Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 provides for appointment of CBI Director by a high-powered selection committee which does not have a preponderance of govt and its representatives. The committee consists of PM, Leader of Opposition and CJI or any Judge of Supreme Court nominated by him,” the petition said.Besides, it argued that Rao’s earlier appointment as interim CBI Director following the ouster of Alok Verma on Oct.23 was quashed by the Supreme Court in a judgment on Jan.8. Yet the January 10 order has stated that Appointment Committee of the Cabinet approved the appointment of Rao “as per the earlier arrangement”.thehindu
New CBI chief selection: PM Modi-led selection committee to decide on new CBI Director on Jan 24
New CBI chief selection: PM  Narendra Modi-led panel will meet on Jan.24 to decide on new CBI Director, news agency ANI reported. The selection panel comprises PM  Narendra Modi, leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge and CJI Ranjan Gogoi. This comes a day after Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge asked PM  Modi for the immediate convening of the selection committee to appoint a new CBI Director without any further delay.Kharge has called the appointment of Rao as CBI Interim Director illegal. NewsX
Interim CBI Chief Begins Process Of Making Structural Changes: Officials
NEW DELHI: CBI interim chief M Nageswara Rao has started the process of making structural changes in the Central Bureau of Investigation in order to streamline the work load on various zones of the agency across the country, officials said.Several senior officers have raised the issue of uneven distribution of work in various zones which is affecting the ongoing probes and work force distribution.Normally the issues such as these are discussed in the quarterly review meeting of all the joint directors and deputy inspector general when they converge at New Delhi headquarters of the agency.The last quarterly meeting scheduled in December last year did not take place as the Supreme Court had barred Mr Rao, in his first tenure as acting director, from taking any policy decisions.PTI
Civil Services Veteran Swarup Raises Questions On How CBI Chief Was Shunted Out Twice
Anil Swarup, a 38-year civil services veteran, is surprised at the way Alok Verma was removed as the head of the Central Bureau of Investigation since an officer who was considered good suddenly became bad.“If you did select somebody who was considered to be good, how does he become so bad to have been kicked out twice?” Swarup said. A high-level appointment to a post like director of the CBI is made after a detailed process, he said.BloombergQuint
CBI director’s selection should be decided within the system: Former NSA Narayanan
Former NSA M.K. Narayanan expressed concern over the “internal dissension at the highest level of an institution like CBI” and questioned the way the agency chief was being selected now.Responding to a query on credibility of CBI,Narayanan said: “Internal dissension at the highest level of an institution like the CBI is a matter of concern.” Narayanan, who was participating at an interactive session organised by the Bharat Chamber of Commerce, however, said dissension at the top level of the CBI was not a new phenomenon but earlier such issues used to be decided primarily by the bureaucracy itself.Narayanan questioned the present methodology of selecting CBI chief.IANS
Verma case brings CVC Chowdary back into spotlight
New Delhi :Doubts raised by Alok Verma over the role played by CVC KV Chowdary in the investigation against him leading to his ouster as CBI Director have put the spotlight back on the former Indian Revenue Service Officer.High-powered committee that ordered Verma’s removal cited the findings of the CVC to remove Verma. Ex-CBI director has alleged that Chowdary came to meet him acting as “arbitrator” on behalf of Rakesh Asthana, Verma’s ex deputy who levelled the allegations against Verma, and that Chowdary did not reveal this in CVC report submitted to the Supreme Court. Justice (retd) A K Patnaik, who supervised the CVC report, has also said it had “no evidence of corruption” against Verma. An ex-IRS officer of the 1978 batch, Chowdary, who was appointed in 2015, is not new to controversies. During Chowdary’s stint as CBDT chairman in 2014, the Income Tax had conducted investigations into some diaries seized during raids on the offices of Birla and Sahara companies, which allegedly reflected payments to various politicians, including Narendra Modi during his time as Gujarat CM .NGO Common Cause had gone to court alleging a cover-up, while the Opposition had said Sahara got immunity from prosecution in order to screen beneficiaries of the illegal pay-offs.indianexpress
‘Historical blunder’: Former Delhi HC judge writes to President on elevation of 2 judges to the top court
Reacting to the elevation of Justice Sanjiv Khanna and Dinesh Maheshwari by the Supreme Court collegium, a former Delhi High Court judge and senior advocate, Kailash Gambhir, has written a letter to President Ram Nath Kovind.Maintaining that he couldn’t believe the news when TV channels broke it, Gambhir in a strongly worded letter has described the decision as “appalling, outrageous and earth shattering”.The decision has raised many eyebrows in legal circles as it supersedes as many as 32 judges who are said to be senior to Justice Khanna.“This is appalling and outrageous that such an earth shattering decision…” he wrote, fearing that the move could be “casting aspersions on their intellect,merit and integrity.”Elevation of Justice Khanna—superseding 32 senior judges will be a black day for the judiciary, Gambhir lamented. Commenting on the recommendation to elevate Justice Dinesh Maheshwari, he wondered that “Justice Maheshwari was superseded by the collegium a month and a half back. Now out of the blue, he becomes more deserving and suitable within such a short gap.” “The credibility and independence of the judiciary should be preserved,” Gambhir said in the concluding paragraph, requesting President to prevent the “historic blunder” from being committed.Sharing a copy of the letter on Twitter, senior Supreme Court lawyer Indira Jaising billed the move as “a blunder beyond repair.” “Demoralised judiciary will implode, Khanna J should politely decline the offer and await his turn in the interest of the institution, nothing personal, he is a super judge, but equally super and senior judges overlooked,” she remarked.nationalheraldindia
Collegium changing picks for SC: Former judges speak out, one writes to President
Elevation of junior judges ignoring seniority left me surprised: Ex-CJI Lodha
Former CJI RM Lodha today said that he was surprised to know that a junior judge was recommended for elevation to the Supreme Court, superseding senior judges.“What I always feel is that the Collegium should act in a transparent manner, and reasons must be forthcoming why the decision was an upturn. There must be transparency. I have always believed that the Collegium works as an institution. It is an institutional body; it is not an individual’s decision. If the consultation or communication between Collegium was lacking, that could have been done. A junior judge was superseded to the Supreme Court, it surprises me,” former CJI Lodha said. Talking about the Collegium, he said: “Collegium is a matured body, comprising of the CJI and four senior-most judges. It is a very strong, powerful, matured and intellectual body and every decision taken by the Collegium must reflect its maturity.”HT
Congress, Left, 2-3 Judges Among Culprits Delaying Ram Mandir in Ayodhya: RSS Leader
Pune: RSS leader Indresh Kumar has alleged that the Congress, the Left and "2-3 judges" were among the "culprits" who were creating hurdles in construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya by delaying justice.He also reiterated the RSS' demand that the Govt  bring an ordinance for construction of the temple. "We appeal to the Govt  to conduct a debate in Parliament. We feel that justice should be done at the earliest," he said, adding that the mood of the entire country is that the temple of Ram should be built as soon as possible. Kumar dismissed as a "lie" the allegations by Congress and other parties that the ruling BJP was raking up the Ram temple issue to derive political mileage in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.Kumar's remarks on Ayodhya came days after the top court rescheduled the hearing in Babri Masjid land title dispute for Jan.29 before a new bench.Kumar, chief of RSS-affiliated Rashtriya Muslim Manch, was in Pune to attend some programmes. "Places of worships such as Kaba, Vatican City, Diksha Bhoomi, Sarnath, Golden Temple and other places worldwide receive respect, then why there is an injustice and insult meted out to the place where Lord Ram was born, and the entire world should answer this question," he told reporters."This is the responsibility of 125 crore people of this country to bring about the solution to address the issue of 'Ram Janmabhoomi', as this is not a responsibility of any party or religion alone," he said. Alleging that the Congress and the Left were among the main culprits for delaying justice in the Ram temple matter, Kumar said, "3rd culprits are 2-3 judges of the SC who are using delaying tactics, and such tactics are turning out to be the hurdles in the case."3 years ago, the SC had categorically said that it would conduct day-to-day hearing in the title suit case and ensured that the decision will be delivered at the earliest, he claimed. "They (the bench) not only refused to oblige the SC but they are defying the Constitution, fundamental rights and the faith of the people of this country. Instead of delivering justice, the matter is being delayed and is put into denial (sic)," he said. PTI
In Big Blow to Five States, SC Refuses to Remove UPSC Role in Appointing Police Chiefs
In a big jolt to five states, the Supreme Court today dismissed their pleas seeking modification of its order on selection and appointment of DGPs. The SC was hearing applications f various state govts, including Punjab, Kerala, West Bengal, Haryana and Bihar, seeking implementation of their local laws regarding selection and appointment of DGPs and said UPSC should not have a role.All these states had pleaded that police is a state subject. The SC had earlier ordered that UPSC would prepare a panel of senior police officers from which a state can choose the DGP.News18
Centre to Extend Reservation to Private Sector Higher Education Institutions
New Delhi: Union human resource development minister Prakash Javadekar announced that reservation for SCs, STs,OBCs and economically weaker sections in the general category in higher education will be extended to all private institutions from new academic year beginning in July.According to the Indian Express, Centre may introduce a Bill the parliament’s budget session to implement the decision. The 93rd amendment to the Constitution in 2006 – under the Congress-led UPA Govt  – accommodated reservation in the private sector. Centre is confident that the decision to extend reservation to private higher education institutions will muster the support to pass in both houses of parliament. “The private institutions will implement reservation for SCs, STs and OBCs too. All the 40,000 colleges and 900 universities will implement reservation,” Javadekar said.Many private institutions currently provide reservation, although it is not mandated by Central law.(AICTE chairman Anil Sahasrabuddhe told Indian Express that a “majority of recognised private institutes provide reservation for students as directed by the state they are located in”.“With the exception of Rajasthan and West Bengal, almost all state Govt s make it mandatory for technical institutes and colleges to provide reservation for SC, ST and OBC students,” he said.HRD ministry has not yet finalised how private sector reservation will be implemented. “In all probability, we will leave it to them [institutions] and ask them to put up their action plan (for implementation) on their websites,” the Indian Express quoted a ministry official as saying. Private educational institution bodies were measured in their reaction to the announcement. Education Promotion Society of India (Epsi) said reservation will have to be implemented with state Govt s’ consultation. Epsi president G. Vishwanatt said, “The state private universities come under the state Govt s. The central Govt cannot enforce reservation in state private universities without the consent of state Govt s.”thewire
From July, quota in higher education across all private institutions: Govt
MM Joshi-Led Panel Report Will Conclude that Modi Govt has No Real Data on Job Growth
New Delhi: Modi Govt  has admitted to a parliamentary panel that it has no real data on the number of new jobs created since 2014.Over the last 6 months, Centre has been engaged in a headlong confrontation with the estimates committee on GDP growth, which is led by veteran BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi.BJP and some members of the parliamentary panel have disagreed on a range of issues including whether there is a lack of credible mechanisms by which employment is measured in India.According to sources, Joshi is now set to table the report in the Lok Sabha. For the first time ever, it will come with three letters of dissent from three BJP members of the committee.Evidently prompted by the Govt , some BJP members have argued the findings of the committee do not match the reality of actual job growth.Over the last year, the PM  and several senior ministers of his Cabinet have argued that an increasing number of Mudra loans and new registrations with EPFO show that there has been healthy jobs growth.The parliamentary committee however has strictly gone by traditionally accepted methods of employment data collection. This includes data put out by NSSO. Govt  itself has admitted there is no NSSO data after 2011-12. NSSO surveys are conducted every five years and the latest round results have got delayed despite the Govt  promising to release it by end 2018.In the interim there have been all-India annual Labour Bureau surveys –the latest being 2016-17 — which the Govt  has chosen not to release officially. It has in fact discontinued this survey too.The last estimate put out by this survey was leaked to the media recently and shows that unemployment was at a four-year peak in 2016-17.thewire
Chargesheet may hurt Kanhaiya’s candidature from Grand Alliance
Patna;Left parties and Grand Alliance constituents have all described the chargesheet against ex JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar as part of a “political vendetta”, but sources said that it might cast a shadow on his possible candidature from the Grand Alliance for the Lok Sabha elections.Begusarai parliamentary seat, once a Communist stronghold in Bihar, is abuzz with speculation about Kumar contesting as a CPI nominee. Though Left parties have not held formal discussions with RJD over seat-sharing, there has been speculation on CPI demanding Begusarai.In 2014, BJP leader Bhola Prasad Singh won Begusarai, defeating RJD’s Tanveer Alam. Singh died last year. An RJD leader said: “The party does not seem comfortable with conceding Begusarai seat to any alliance partner, as RJD’s runner-up candidate Tanveer Alam had polled 3.95 lakh votes. Now with the party taking a stand against 10% quota for General Category, Kumar, an upper-caste Bhumihar, may not be the perfect choice.”Asked if Kumar’s growing stature was coming in the way of his possible candidature, the leader said:“It is also true. Why would we want a young firebrand leader to grow? His growth will only give competition to our leader Tejashwi Yadav in future.”indianexpress
Centre misusing sedition law to keep citizens in check:Kapil Sibal
New Delhi:Two days after the Delhi Police charged former JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar and others with sedition case lodged in 2016,Congress leader Kapil Sibal accused the Govt  of misusing the sedition law to muzzle citizens who speak against it.“There is no need for a sedition law in today’s times, it is a colonial law. Many who merely speak or tweet against the Govt  have sedition charges imposed against them, it is being misused by Centre just to keep citizens in check,” ANI quoted Sibal as saying.HT
Invoking sedition law against Kanhaiya and others travesty of free speech: Shah Faesal
Srinagar: Former IAS officer Shah Faesal Wednesday said invoking sedition law against Kanhaiya Kumar and others in the JNU case was travesty of free speech. "Invoking Sedition law against Kanhaiya Kumar and eight others is a travesty of free speech. Sec 124A IPC is totally at odds with the spirit of the time. World has moved on. India has grown up. It is time for our Govt s to grow up," Faesal tweeted.PTI
Umar Khalid, Facing Sedition Charge, Also Accused of Forging Signature on Letter Permitting JNU Event
Witness until now, Sana may turn accused in ED investigation into Moin Qureshi case
New Delhi:Sana Sathish Babu, Hyderabad businessman at the centre of the battle between CBI’s special director Rakesh Asthana and the agency’s ousted chief Alok Verma, may soon face trouble from the ED.ED, which had earlier made Sana a witness in the Moin Qureshi case, is now taking a re-look at his role in the case, and action may be initiated against him, sources said. “His role as a ‘bribe-giver’, as alleged by CBI, needs to be reassessed,” an official said.The development is significant because until now the CBI and ED had looked at Sana’s role differently in the Qureshi case. While ED made him a prosecution witness against Qureshi, a SIT of CBI, under Rakesh Asthana’s supervision, had considered him an accused and even proposed his arrest.Sana is alleged to have bribed officials through Qureshi for assistance in the Vanpic case, which has YRS Congress chief and Andhra Pradesh’s Leader of Opposition Y S Jaganmohan Reddy in its crosshairs. While probing the Qureshi case, sleuths had also found Blackberry Messenger communications where Sana was ostensibly trying to influence transfers and postings of certain CBI officers.indianexpress
Hindus be Hindus, Muslims be Muslims, why convert entire world, mass conversion must be stopped in India: Rajnath
Mass conversions is a matter of concern and needs to be checked, said Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh at a function organised by a Christian body, on Tuesday. “If you are Hindu be Hindu, Muslim be Muslim, Christian be Christian. Why do you want to convert the whole world?” asked Singh.Singh said he supports freedom to choose religion but believed that a debate was needed, as mass conversion is a matter of concern for any country. “I have never discriminated on the basis of caste, creed and religion. Whether we get votes or not, whether we form the Govt or not, we will never discriminate among people. This is what our PM  feels,” he said at a function organised by Rashtriya Isai Mahasangh. “why are we for increasing the numbers?” he asked. Singh said there are attempts to create a sense of fear among people. “BJP has come. Now there will be trouble. We do not want to run the country by instilling fear. We want to run this country with a sense of confidence(among people). Nobody should feel alienated. This will be our effort,” he said.Singh said there had been attempts to defame NDA Govt. “Recently, stones were pelted at churches. Some priests met me and demanded security. I assured security to them. But it (stone pelting) started a month before the Assembly elections and stopped a month after that. Whose conspiracy is that?” said Singh.He said one cannot be in power and rule without love. “We do not want to level allegations against anybody. If somebody wants to accept a religion, they should without any objection. But if mass conversion starts happening, then it could be a matter of concern for any country.”indianexpress
Hindus be Hindus, Muslims be Muslims, why convert entire world: Rajnath Singh
First Dalit head of Juna Akhara for 'ghar wapsi'
Allahabad:The first Dalit Mahamandaleshwar of Juna Akhara, who took his first dip at Sangam on the first 'shahi snan' day on Tuesday, wants 'ghar wapsi' of Dalits, STs and OBCs who "left Sanatan Dharm, or Hinduism, to embrace Buddhism, Christianity and Islam". Mahamandaleshwar Kanhaiya Prabhunand Giri, 32, called the moment he took the holy dip a long overdue "equality in religion".On Tuesday, Giri talked about exploitation and security threats he faced for being who he is - an SC seer who has risen to one of the most revered positions in the order of sadhus. Born Kanhaiya Kumar Kashyap, the Azamgarh native was initiated as one of the Mahamandaleshwars of Juna Akhara in April last year after the completion of his 'deeksha'.  "I will wash the feet of the past lives of all my community members who embraced Islam, Christianity and Buddhism due to inequality, and bring them back to Sanatan Dharm. I will show them how Juna Akhara has been inclusive with me," said Giri. TOI
J-K governor Malik reaches out to Hurriyat, asks it to apprise him of ‘injustice’ to common people
Jammu:In a bid to build bridges between Raj Bhawan and Hurriyat Conference, J&K governor Satya Pal Malik on Tuesday reached out to the separatist leaders urging them to apprise him directly of the cases of “atrocity and injustice” to common people that they may come across. Malik made the offer with an appeal that the Hurriyat Conference leaders should not treat him as “an alien”.“I have a message for Hurriyat that they should not consider me as an alien,” Governor Malik told PTI. “As far as Hurriyat is concerned, I have respect for them, even though their ideology is different from mine. They have a different ideology and I have a different one,” the governor added.Promising to treat Hurriyat leaders’complaints with due urgency, the governor said, “If they (Hurriyat) feel there is any atrocity (by troops or police), they can contact me on phone or send a person to me.” “I will treat them (and their complaints) the way I am treating the rest of the people,” said the governor, maintaining that he has opened up the Raj Bhawan for all. In his first-ever statement aimed at building bridges between Hurriyat leaders and the Raj Bhawan, Malik also expressed hope that “at some level, there will be talks too” with them at some time.Explaining that he has always been hearing out the people of Jammu and Kashmir, Malik said,“I take all calls including those from common people of the state. My mobiles and WhatsApp have never been silent. All those complaints which come to me on WhatsApp, I have tried to address them.” The governor even attended a few calls from general public during the interview itself.PTI
NIA seeks report on ex-MLA over his ‘soft corner for separatists’
Srinagar:  NIA has sought an “integrity report” on former PDP legislator Aijaz Ahmad Mir, saying that “it is believed that he has soft corner towards the separatists”, in its letter to the J&K Police.“It is believed that he (former legislator Mir) has soft corner towards the separatists. It has also come into notice that once his vehicle was used on the attacks on pilgrims of Amarnath yatra,” NIA wrote in its letter J-K’s Additional Director General of Police.“Therefore, you are requested to provide criminal record/antecedents if any and integrity report on respect of aforesaid Ex-MLA namely Ajaz Ahmad Mir to Shri Rakesh Shrama SP/CIO of the instant case,” states the letter.On Sept.28 last year, a Special Police Officer (SPO) Adil Bashir Sheikh, posted with the then PDP legislator Mir, escaped with seven rifles and a pistol from the legislator’s official residence at Jawahar Nagar in Srinagar. Mir was not in Kashmir when the incident happened.SPO Sheikh, who hailed from legislator Mir’s home town Wachi in south Kashmir’s Shopian, later joined militant ranks and posed in a picture with militants holding AK-47 rifles.When contacted, Mir, who represented Wachi constituency of Shopian in the previous state assembly, said he is not afraid of any probe. “I am ready for any investigation,” he said. “If they have to probe this case or any other case, I am ready,” added Mir.indianexpress
Bombay HC Directs Maharashtra Police to Act Against Illegal Cow Slaughter, its Meat Sale
New Delhi:Bombay High Court has directed Maharashtra police to take cognizance of all the complaints of illegal animal slaughter and the sale of such meat in the state.Looking into the petitions filed against the police department for its shoddy handling of complaints against illegal slaughter and meat sale, a bench comprising Justice BP Dharmadhikari and Justice Revati Mohite Dere observed:"When such shops open up and do business, police authorities or municipal authorities should not wait for a complaint. They have to immediately proceed further and take action as per law. The municipal authorities can verify whether these shop owners/shop keepers have got necessary authorizations and licenses. They could also seize meat and proceed further against the owner to see that offence is not repeated in future."The police department was also told to have proper mechanisms in place in order to keep itself informed about persons involved in such trade and to make lists of offenders. It also asked the police to beef up vigil on the check-posts so that meat could enter the city.“The respondents shall also maintain list of persons who are found frequently indulging in such unauthorized illegal business. The respondent shall also curb illegal transport of such meat by providing appropriate check­posts at border so that meat itself cannot reach the city,” the bench directed.India Tomorrow
3 Azamgarh Men Shot Dead in Saudi, 11 Accused Arrested
Azamgarh: 3 people from Azamgarh district in UP  were shot dead in Riyadh of Saudi Arabia. Saudi Police have arrested 11 people including kafil (sponsor) who had reportedly fled to Dubai after the crime. 2 among the victims were brothers.As per a report in leading Urdu daily Inquilab, the victims, who have been identified as Shafqat (40), Shamim Ahmed (36) and Faiyaz, were natives of the Zamin Rasoolpur village under the Ronapar police station in Azamgarh. They were staying in Riyadh for long. They were working there as drivers. According to the Urdu daily, Shafqat had a quarrel with his kafil some days back, after which the kafil held him at home and disconnected him from outer world. For two days, he was not available on his mobile as it was switched off. Shafqat’s brother Shamim got anxious and he took his friend and Azamgarh native Faiyaz and went to Shafqat’s kafil to inquire about him. Shamim and Faiyaz also went missing and their mobile were switched off. Shamim, elder brother of Shafqat and Shamim and who also lives in Riyadh, got a news report about missing of the three people published in a local paper. He also contacted the local police but got no positive response. He then contacted Indian embassy in Riyadh and subsequently and FIR was registered. The local police carried out raids at the residence of the kafil. From his compound, mutilated bodies of the 3 missing persons were recovered. They were killed with firearm. Police have arrested 11 people including the kafil identified as Abdullah Al-Majid.India Tomorrow
Protest against Citizenship  Bill continues in Manipur
Opposition to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill which was passed in Lok Sabha on Jan. 8 and is pending before Rajya Sabha, continues to rage in Manipur.On Tuesday, 3 protests -- one by representatives of nine political parties and two by students of higher secondary schools in association with women vendors rocked Imphal.The students and the women vendors staged a protest march in the heart of Imphal around noon. However, the police prevented them from marching towards the silent zones at BT road in Imphal, sources said. Later another police team also prevented a similar rally in front of animal husbandry department officeat around 2pm. Police also fired tear gas shells to control agitators.HT
EX-VHP chief Vishnu Hari Dalmia dies at 91
New Delhi:Former VHP President Vishnu Hari Dalmia, one of the three major exponents of the Ram Janmabhoomi agitation, died on Wednesday at his residence in Delhi, a statement said. He was 91.A renowned industrialist, Dalmia breathed his last at 9.38 a.m. at his Golf Links residence.“Vishnu Hari Dalmiaji peacefully moved on to his heavenly abode today morning. His cremation will be held in the evening at at Nigambodh Ghat,” the VHP said in a statement.IANS
ASER 2018: One out of every 8 students in rural India can’t read simple texts
New Delhi:One out of every four Class 8 students in rural India is unable to read even a Class 2 text. And over one in two Class 8 students cannot solve a problem that involves basic division. Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2018 shows that while there are small improvements, the crisis in Indian education, in terms of outcomes, continues. The survey covered around 3.5 lakh households and 546,527 children between the ages of three and 16 across 596 rural districts. It is conducted by an autonomous unit of education-NGO Pratham. hindustantimes
Job group promises to save youngsters from radicalization
Mumbai: Mumbra resident Sana Cheruvalil, a post-graduate in commerce, is among the around 15,000 candidates the Association of Muslim Professionals (AMP), an organization that attempts to stop youths from becoming radicalized and joining global terror groups, has placed through 25 job fairs and 250 drives across the country since its inception a decade ago. Cheruvalil saw posters announcing an AMP job fair at Byculla. Curiosity took her to the venue. A short interview later, she was enlisted for a job at an outsourcing company. That was 6 years ago. She volunteered at a recent job fair held by AMP, which mentors youths to find suitable jobs. “We don’t entirely buy what the agencies say about Muslim youths getting radicalized by jihadi propaganda. But we do feel that the educated unemployed may easily get influenced by propaganda and join organizations such as ISIS. We help educated youths find careers in India and abroad and stay away from bad influence,” said AMP president Amir Idrisi, an IT engineer. TOI
Karnataka: All 118 MLAs intact, it is BJP lawmakers who are ‘hiding’ in hotel, says Kharge
A day after two MLAs withdrew support from the ruling JD(S)-Congress coalition govt in Karnataka, the Congress on Wednesday called for a legislature party meeting in Bengaluru on Jan.18, amid speculation that BJP is attempting to form the government in Karnataka. Meanwhile, CM H D Kumaraswamy said he was in touch with the five Congress MLAs who are said to be camping in Mumbai.“I have been saying for the past three days that they are in touch with me, I’m in the know of all the developments. They may not be reachable to others, but they are reachable to me…,” he told PTI.indianexpress
All eyes on Bengaluru, but crisis looming in Bhopal?
MP: CAG unearths massive corruption scheme by Chouhan govt: nationalheraldindia
BJP suffered a serious setback when CAG exposed massive financial mismanagement, irregularities, misuse of Govt  funds, unauthorized foreign tours, and extension of undue benefits to distillers during BJP rule in MP.Govt failed to ensure submission of UCs on grants-in-aid of ₹18,080.10 crore, says the latest CAG report. “Financial irregularities and weak fiscal management of BJP Govt  have been exposed. It is clear from the CAG report how a group was working for the previous Govt. Losses amounting to crores of rupees have been revealed,” said CM  Kamal Nath. “I have been saying from the very beginning that corruption took over the last Govt . A probe will be conducted. Detailed investigations will be done. We will constitute a Jan Ayog (People’s Commission) and hand it over all such cases. Punitive action will be taken against those who were involved. We will spare no one responsible for losses to the Govt exchequer,” CM warned, adding: “CAG report is just a trailer and the full film is yet to come. Keep watching.”“Blocking of funds on incomplete works impinges negatively on the quality of expenditure. Water resources department, PWD, and Narmada Valley Development Authority had 242 incomplete projects, valued at ₹9,557.16 crore, with cost over-run of ₹4,800.14 crore in 24 projects (where costs have been revised),”says CAG report for year ended March 30, 2017.
Jaitley in US for ‘cancer treatment,’ may not be back in India to present his last budget
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who left for the US on Sunday for medical treatment, may not be back in India to present what could be his last budget on 1 February. This is because Jaitley has reportedly developed another serious medical emergency, which requires urgent surgery. A report by The Wire website said that Arun Jaitley was in the US for the treatment of ‘soft tissue cancer in his thigh, a type of tumour which can spread to other parts of the body quickly.’An earlier report by PTI had said that the finance minister had left for the US for the treatment of his kidney ailment.His sudden visit to the US assumes significance in light of this year’s budget that he is scheduled to present in the parliament on 1 Feb. Although, this will be the interim budget because of the Lok Sabha polls, this could be the last budget for him as the finance minister and his party’s Govt  if BJP fails to return to power after this year’s parliamentary elections. The latest revelation on Jaitley’s health is worrying since the minister had undergone as kidney transplant only last year and any decision to go for further surgeries and chemotherapy will be complicated.jantakareporter
Nitish reveals Prashant Kishor’s appointment as number two in JDU was Amit Shah’s idea
Bihar CM  Nitish Kumar has sensationally revealed that the decision to appoint Prashant Kishor as his second-in-command was the brainchild of BJP President Amit Shah. He said that Shah had phoned him twice to appoint Kishor as his number two in the party.“Amit Shah phoned me twice to induct Prashant Kishor in the JDU,” Kumar told news channel ABP adding that the election strategist was not new to his party. “He’s not new to us. He worked with us in the 2015 assembly elections. He was busy somewhere else for some time, but I am very attached to Prashant Kishor.”Kishor had officially joined the politics last year by formally associating himself with the JDU. He hads run PM  Narendra Modi’s campaign in 2014 before helping the JDU-RJD-Congress alliance in 2015 assembly elections in Bihar.jantakareporter
Shamli man arrested from Faridabad
Meerut:Govt Railway Police (GRP) has arrested a Shamli-based man — Shoib, 24 — from Faridabad with nine pistols and 18 magazines. According to police sources, Shoib and his uncle were travelling in Samta Express when checking by GRP staff led to the finding of consignment. During questioning, Shoib — a resident of Teetarwada village — confessed that he used to buy pistols from Indore and provide it to a person in Shamli. Incident took place on Sunday evening in Faridabad after which an FIR was filed against Shoib and his uncle Arif in addition to the Shamli-based man whose identity has not been revealed yet. Shoib was sent to jail.  On Monday GRP got police remand of Shoib for five days and on Tuesday brought him to Teetarwada village in Shamli’s town Kairana.TOI
India needs to be careful about Aadhaar info misuse: Ex-national security advisor
Kolkata :With Aadhaar cards becoming ubiquitous, the country needs to marshal its defensive and offensive capabilities, former national security adviser M K Narayanan said on Wednesday.At a seminar on cyber security organized by BCCI and CENERS-K here, he said India is listed among top five nations affected by cyber attacks.“The country is on the threshold of a digital age. And the use of Aadhaar cards is becoming more ubiquitous every day.“It is also getting increasingly easier to mask an identity online. Once a code used in a malware comes into the open market, it could be bought and repurposed by hackers and nations across the world,” the former West Bengal governor asserted.PTI
440 including 39 Muslims crack UPSC Combined Medical Services Exam 2018
New Delhi: 39 Muslim doctors are among a total of 440 recommended for various medical posts to be filled based on Combined Medical Services (CMS) Examination 2018 conducted by UPSC the final results of which were declared Tuesday.Out of the total 40 Muslim doctors, who made to the list of 440 successful candidates, 17 are females. As per the Merit List released by the UPSC, 09 Muslim doctors figure among top 100. FEBIN ASHRAF bagged the 11th rank whereas MADINA SOWJANYA ranked 15, SADIQA NASREEN H ranked 17 and ATIQ UL ISLAM ranked 34.Other Muslim doctors who are among top 100 are MOHD QARIB (Rank 42) and AMRIN NAAZ (Rank 72), FURQAN MOHAMMED AHMED (Rank 79), HAJIRA FATHIMA S (Rank 94) and MOHAINUDHEEN SHARUK (Rank 97).In 2017 UPSC CMSE exam, 40 Muslims were in the list of 637 successful candidates. Among them 13 were Muslims. On the other hand, 43 Muslims had figured in the list of 894 successful candidates in 2016 Combined Medical Services Exam.ummid.com
WORLD
Palestine launches bid for full UN membership despite US veto
Palestine will launch a bid to become a full member of the United Nations, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said on Tuesday.The bid will go ahead despite the United States having said it will veto Palestine's membership plans."We know that we are going to face a US veto but that won't prevent us from presenting our application," Al-Maliki told journalists.He added that the Palestinians will begin lobbying members of the UNSC in the coming weeks.Palestinians presented a request for UN membership in 2011, but the application never came before the UNSC for a vote.Following that attempt, Palestine's status was upgraded from a non-member observer entity to a non-member observer state, which allows the country to be a signatory to treaties for which the UN secretary-general is the depositary.Since then, the country has joined more than 50 international organisations and agreements, according to the Palestinian foreign ministry.Among them are the International Criminal Court and UN heritage body, UNESCO.In 2017, Interpol approved the Palestinian Authority's membership bid, another victory in Palestinians' drive for international representation despite strong Israeli opposition.aljazeera
Lawyers say Israeli authorities blocking efforts by Palestinian Jerusalemites to acquire citizenship
Lawyers working on Palestinian Jerusalemites’ attempts to acquire Israeli citizenship believe that Govt is deliberating blocking such applications, reported Haaretz. According to the paper, “while the number of applications for citizenship has grown, from 69 in 2003 to more than 1,000 in 2018, very few receive a positive response”. Lawyers familiar with the cases “are convinced that this is not something initiated by officials in East Jerusalem but rather a deliberate Interior Ministry policy to prevent the city’s Palestinians from becoming citizens”, Haaretz reported.middleeastmonitor
Israel to demolish 10 Palestine homes in Jerusalem
Israel yesterday handed demolition orders to ten families in Al-Bustan, in the Jerusalem neighbourhood of Silwan south of Al-Aqsa Mosque.Fakhri Abu-Dyab, a member of the Committee to Defend Silwan Land, said that “the employees of the Israeli municipality of Jerusalem distributed the demolition orders, that included my own house,” Felesteen reported.Abu-Dyab said that the target houses are only 400 metres from Al-Aqsa Mosque, stressing that Israel is planning to evacuate Silwan of its Palestinian residents as part of a “systematic” policy.MEMO
Thousands strike in West Bank in protest over PA social security law
Thousands of Palestinians across the occupied West Bank demonstrated against the Palestinian Authority’s controversial social security law, amid fears that the fund will be mismanaged. Shops and businesses in Bethlehem, Ramallah, Nablus, and other major West Bank cities shut their doors on Tuesday, while hundreds of Palestinians protested in Ramallah, the PA's administrative hub.“This strike is a way of telling the PA that most of the Palestinian people are against this law and refuse to abide by it,” said Muhammad Zghayyer, a spokesman for the committee of activists who organised the protests.“Despite 90% of businesses, organisations, and universities across Palestine shutting their doors in protest, and constant demonstrations over the past few months, the Govt  is refusing to listen to the people,” Zghayyer said. middleeasteye
Malaysia to not host any more events involving Israel
Malaysia's foreign minister has announced that the country will not host any events in the future involving Israel.In comments made on Wednesday, Saifuddin Abdullah also said the Malaysian Govt  will not budge over a ban on Israeli athletes in a para swimming competition. The event in July serves as a qualifying event for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics.The foreign minister said that the cabinet affirmed last week that no Israeli delegates can enter Malaysia for sporting or other events.He added that Malaysia also decided not to host any more events involving Israel "to reflect the Govt 's firm stance over the Israeli issue", according to AP.aljazeera
Theresa May and Brexit face uncertain future after crushing defeat in Parliament
London :PM  Theresa May suffered a humiliating defeat over her plan to withdraw Britain from the European Union, thrusting the country further into political chaos with only 10 weeks to go until it is scheduled to leave the bloc.The 432-202 vote to reject her proposal was the biggest defeat in the House of Commons for a PM  in recent British history. And it underscores how comprehensively May has failed to build consensus behind any single vision of how to exit the European Union.Now factions in Parliament will offer their own proposals — setting off a new, unpredictable stage in Brexit, the process of withdrawing from the bloc.“She has completely lost control of the process, and her version of Brexit must now be dead, if she loses by 230 votes,” said John Springford, deputy director of the Center for European Reform, a London-based research institute. Negotiating the withdrawal from the European Union — which 52 %  of British voters, or 17.4 million people, supported in a referendum in 2016 — has been May’s single focus since she became PM , displacing social problems like housing and health care.But her failure to convey any convincing vision of Britain’s future outside the European Union has allowed painful divisions in the country to deepen.New York Times
'Time almost up', EU warns after British MPs reject Brexit deal
European Union leaders have warned that Britain is running out of time after UK politicians resoundingly rejected PM Theresa May's Brexit agreement, deepening the country's worst political crisis in decades. Following the crucial vote on Tuesday in Britain's lower house of parliament, frustrated officials in Brussels and other European capitals insisted the divorce deal they signed with May's Govt  in late 2018 remains the best way to avoid a feared "hard Brexit" on March 29."We regret the outcome of the vote and urge the UK Govt  to clarify its intentions with respect to its next steps as soon as possible," said a spokesperson for Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council.In a post on Twitter, Tusk also suggested the only real solution was for Britain to stay in the EU in the wake of the vote, which saw legislators defeating May's Brexit divorce deal by a crushing margin of 432 to 202 - the worst defeat in modern UK history."If a deal is impossible, and no one wants no deal, then who will finally have the courage to say what the only positive solution is?" Tusk wrote after the vote.aljazeera
Pakistan should strive for two child per family norm to control population growth SC
Describing Pakistan's rapidly growing population as a "ticking timebomb", the Supreme Court Tuesday urged religious scholars, the civil society and the Govt  to back population control measures, including a two children per family norm, in the Muslim-majority country. A 3-member bench led by Chief Justice Saqib Nisar made the observations during a hearing in a case related to population control in Pakistan, now the world's fifth most populous. In its order, the Supreme Court urged religious scholars, the civil society and the Govt  to take steps to promote population control in the country. The bench referred to the increasing population as a "ticking timebomb"." Increasing population is a burden on the country's resources. It is about the future of the next generation. It would be unfortunate if the population is not controlled. Two children per home will help to control the population. There is a need for a campaign on the matter," the apex court was quoted as saying by the report.  "The entire nation needs to stand together to control the population," the chief justice said.According to 2017 census, Pak's population was approximately 207,774,520, making it the world's fifth most populous nation only behind China, India, US and Indonesia.PTI
Iran rejects Qatar policy on Syria:foreign minister
Iran’s Foreign Minister has said that, despite having a good relationship with Qatar, the Govt  in Tehran rejects Doha’s policy towards Syria.“It is important for Iran to expand its relations with its neighbours,” explained Mohammad Javad Zarif in an interview with Al-Vefagh, “but that does not mean that it agrees with everything that these countries do.”Zarif’s comments came after Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed Bin Abdul Rahman Al-Thani said that his country did not see the need to reopen its embassy in Damascus. The Qatari official added that the Govt  in Doha also still opposes Syria’s return to the Arab League.middleeastmonitor
1-3rd of UN workers say sexually harassed in past 2 yrs
                                                https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/01/workers-sexually-harassed-years-190116032228960.html
One-third of UN staff and contractors say they experienced sexual harassment over the past two years, according to a new report released by the organisation. The online survey, carried out by Deloitte in Nov and published on Tuesday, was completed by 30,364 people from the UN and its agencies - just 17 %  of those eligible.In a letter to staff, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres described the response rate as "moderately low"."This tells me two things: first - that we still have a long way to go before we are able to fully and openly discuss sexual harassment; and second - that there may also be an ongoing sense of mistrust, perceptions of inaction and lack of accountability," Guterres wrote, according to Reuters. The survey comes amid wider "Me Too" movement around the world against sexual harassment and assault. It also follows UN efforts to increase transparency and strengthen how it deals with such accusations over the past few years after a string of sexual exploitation and abuse accusations against the world body's peacekeepers in Africa.aljazeera
Kenya attack leaves 14 dead; siege over:Prez
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said all the gunmen behind Nairobi hotel complex attack have been killed and the 17-hour hostage crisis is over.In a national television address, Kenyatta said 14 civilians died in the attack claimed by the al-Shabab armed group.The president said more than 700 civilians were evacuated from complex."Security operation at Dusit complex is over and all the terrorists have been eliminated," said Kenyatta. "We have confirmation that 14 innocent lives were lost through the hands of these murderers, terrorists with others injured." aljazeera
flash: views & NEWS
Shah Faesal: We see corruption, governance failure when right people don’t get elected
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Will simmering anger over Citizenship Bill dent BJP hopes in Assam? Even party workers are worried:Arunabh Saikia
Bulandshahr: Fearing its supporters’ wrath, Yogi govt books cow-slaughter accused under NSA:Aas Mohd Kaif

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 6:27 PM)

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