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Job seekers protest at Bihar railway stations
Patna, Feb 18: Thousands of youths on Sunday staged violent protests and indulged in arson at three railway stations in Bihar against reducing the age limit for recruitment in the Railways, leading to services being disrupted for some time, police said.  The protests against the age limit reduction for Group D recruitment and reserving most of the seats for ITI holders in the Railways came two days after hundreds of unemployed youths protested at Ara train station.  On Sunday, the protesters, mostly job aspirants, demonstrated at Rafiganj railway station in Aurangabad district, Athamgola railway station in Patna district and Hajipur railway station in Vaishali district.  They forcibly stopped trains, blocked tracks, torched vehicles and threw stones at police officials in Rafiganj and Athamgola railway stations.  The protesters shouted slogans against the BJP-led Central government and displayed posters that read "hum pakoda nahi bechenge&qu...




Seven workers die cleaning septic tank in Andhra
Vijayawada, Feb 16: Seven workers died while cleaning an underground tank at a private hatchery in Andhra Pradesh's Chittoor district on Friday, police said.  The incident occurred in Venkateshwara Hatcheries in Moram village of Palamaneru block in the district.  The workers were cleaning the septic tank in which the waste gets deposited. Four workers who had first entered the manhole fell unconscious. Three workers who tried to save them were also taken ill.  The villagers pulled all of them out by removing the ceiling of the tank. While four of them died on the way to hospital, the remaining three succumbed at the hospital.  Officials said the workers died of asphyxiation or due to inhaling of poisonous gas. The district officials have ordered a probe into the incident.  The families of the workers alleged that the workers were not provided protective gear.  The company has announced Rs 15-lakh compensation each to the famil...




6 states to tell SC they abide by Godavari water award
New Delhi, Feb 15:  The Supreme Court on Thursday asked Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Odisha, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh to file an affidavit stating they are bound by the 1980 Godavari River Water Tribunal Award in terms of the Interstate River Water Disputes Act, 1956.  The Indira Sagar (Polavaram) Dam also known as Polavaram Dam multi-purpose irrigation project is being carried out in pursuance to the award.   Giving the Chief Secretaries of the six states four weeks time to file the affidavits, a bench of Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta also asked the Secretary of the Union Water Resources Ministry to file an affidavit reaffirming the position that under the 1956 Act all were bound to accept the Justice Bachawat Godavari River Water Tribunal Award.  Asking the Chief Secretaries to file the affidavit, Justice Lokur said in that case they were only left with the interpretation whether the dam under construction was conformi...




Farmers across India need different solutions, says President
Kanpur, Feb 14: President Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday said farmers in different parts of the country need different solutions and that the quality of farm products should be of international standards.  "In a country as vast as India, problems of farmers in different regions are different. We will have to find solutions according to their needs," he said while inaugurating the international conferences 'Agricon 2018' and 'Agriexpo 2018' at Chandrashekhar Azad University of Agriculture and Technology (CSAUT) here.  The President emphasised the need to see grain production, dairy farming, animal husbandry and fisheries, poultry, horticulture and sericulture as part of a composite approach to modern agriculture. There is also need to encourage the food processing industry to give farmers a better price and a better deal for their produce, he added.  "Water is a common concern. In this regard, the Government has promoted the concept of 'per dro...




Gurdwaras feel the GST pinch in serving free langars
By Jaideep SarinChandigarh/Amritsar, Feb 13: The popular community kitchen -- better known as the "langar" -- of gurdwaras in northern India is feeling the pinch of the GST regime that came into force seven months ago.   The cash-rich Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), which manages gurdwaras, or Sikh shrines, across Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, has claimed that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) is putting an extra burden on its finances in running the free food service.  At the Golden Temple complex, which is home to the holiest of Sikh shrines, the Harmandir Sahib, the SGPC claims to have paid nearly Rs 2 crore (about $310,000) as GST.  The Golden Temple complex provides over 100,000 people free food on weekends and other rush days. On normal days, over 50,000 people partake langar served selflessly at the complex to people from various religions, cultures, castes, countries and gender.  The community kitchen...




Examine plea seeking independent body for Haj pilgrims: HC
New Delhi, Feb 12: The Delhi High Court on Monday directed the Centre to take a "considerate view" and examine grievances raised in a plea seeking an independent Muslim body to look into arrangements for Haj pilgrims.  A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C. Hari Shankar directed the Centre and the concerned ministries to examine and take a expeditiously view on the petition filed by Delhi-based advocate Shahid Ali.  Ali, in his plea, referred to the end of subsidy on flights for the pilgrimage and said since this had happened, there was no need for a government-controlled panel to manage its affairs.  He also wanted an end to the Haj Committee Act and to formulate an independent agency to deal with the issues.  --(IANS)




Violence in Allahabad over Dalit student's killing
Allahabad, Feb 12:  Angered over the killing of a Dalit student of Allahabad University, students on Monday went on a rampage, setting fire to a bus.  The angry students also laid siege to the house of District Magistrate Suhas L.Y., police said.   Brutally assaulted by four men, Dalit student Dilip Saroj died on Sunday night after slipping into a coma. He was attacked outside a restaurant in Colonelganj on Friday night.   A waiter at the restaurant, Munna Singh Chauhan, has been arrested and two policemen have been suspended.   Angry varsity students aligned to the Samajwadi Yuvjan Sabha (SYS) and the All India Students Association (AISA) took out a protest march on Monday and raised anti-government and anti-police slogans.  Demanding immediate arrest of the culprits, the students also sought adequate compensation for the deceased student's family.   Saroj was a LLB 2nd year student and hailed from Pratapgarh. A video of...




Less than 30% of Nirbhaya Fund utilised: RTI reply
By Somrita GhoshNew Delhi, Feb 11: Less than 30 per cent of the much-hyped Nirbhaya Fund, that now has run up to Rs 3,100 crores, has been utilised so far in the last five years despite tall claims by the government on women's safety and welfare in the country, an RTI reply has revealed.  The government, in the Union Budget that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presented on February 1, proposed to pump in another Rs 500 crore into the non-lapsable corpus fund that was launched in the aftermath of nationwide outrage over the brutal rape and murder of a 23-year-old woman -- given the moniker Nirbhaya, or fearless, by the media -- in the capital on December 16, 2012.  In response to a RTI query by IANS, the Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) said only Rs 825 crore has been utilised from the Nirbhaya Fund -- which was named after the woman -- till date out of the Rs 2,711 crore that accumulated in 2017-18.  Till January 2018, 21 proposals have been app...




Supreme Court seeks ideas to enforce anti-sexual harassment law at workplace
New Delhi, Feb 9: The Supreme Court on Friday asked the NGO Initiative for Inclusion Foundation (IIF) to give suggestions for effective implementation of a law to curb sexual harassment of women at workplaces, particularly in the private sector.Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud sought the suggestions after the Central government in its affidavit claimed that it has taken steps to enforce the Protection of Women from Sexual Harassment at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013.  Appearing for the IIF, senior counsel Sanjay Parikh said there was no implementation of the law in private companies.  He said a meeting was held with Assocham four years ago but nothing happened after that.  The IIF has sought putting in place the guidelines for the implementation of the law at all levels.  The court had issued notice to all the states in the last hearing of the matter on January 4. The not...




No death of newborn reported due to lack of oxygen, says government
IndiaTomorrow.net,New Delhi, Feb 9: Contrary to various incidents of children’s death in various government hospitals due to lack of oxygen, the government on Friday said that there was no death reported of newborn children in the country due to lack of life saving oxygen.Replying a written question by Prof. K.V. Thomas, Member of Parliament from Ernakulam, the Minister of Health and Family Welfare Jagat Prakash Nadda said in Loksabha that no such incident reported in the country.“As per information received from states, there are no such incidents reported where death of newborn children occurred due to lack of life saving oxygen,” Nadda replied.He said that under the National Health Mission survival of the newborn is in government priorities.“Improving the survival of newborn is one of the priority area under National Health Mission as nearly 60% of under five child mortality is contributed by newborn mortality,”  Nadda added.In August last year abo...




Delhi's homeless may be imparted skills to get jobs
By Nikhil M. Babu New Delhi, Feb 9: Hundreds of homeless people staying in government-run night shelters across the capital may soon get jobs if a novel proposal to train and make them employable goes through.  The Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB), an agency looking after homeless people in the city, is considering a proposal by an industry lobby to impart skill-based training to the homeless and then refer them for jobs with private organisations, DUSIB CEO Shurbir Singh told IANS.  According to the proposal from the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI), the industry lobby has agreed to conduct a scope study to understand job requirements in the market.  This will be followed by a list of skills which could be imparted to the homeless so that the chances of them landing a job are high.  The PHDCCI would then undertake a study among the homeless to understand their backgrounds and what levels of training they would be able t...




Delhi Police arrests IAF officer for espionage
New Delhi, Feb 9:  Delhi Police on Friday said it has arrested Indian Air Force (IAF) Group Captain Arun Marwaha on charges of espionage for passing secret information to Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency. "He was arrested on Wednesday after a case was registered against him under the Official Secrets Act (OSA)," Delhi Police Special Cell's Special Commissioner M.M. Oberoi told IANS.  He was produced before a court here on Thursday that sent him to police custody for five days.  Oberoi also said Marwaha was earlier detained by the IAF in January.  The Group Captain had been detained by the IAF for investigation on January 31 after his activities were found "suspicious". The Air Force had approached the Delhi Police to investigate the case.  According to a Special Cell officer, privy to the investigation, Marwaha, 51, shared information and documents with two Pakistani agents who chatted with him on ...




China removes 279,000 sexual, violent cartoons from internet
Beijing, Feb 9: Chinese authorities have removed 279,000 violent or sexual cartoons from the Internet as part of a government campaign.  According to the Ministry of Culture, as a part of the campaign launched in January, 1,079 online accounts were also shut, reports Efe news.  The videos targeted in the campaign allegedly showed children's characters, often those from Disney or other popular ones such as Peppa Pig, in violent or pornographic scenarios, which are popular as "fan fiction" on Internet video platforms.  The authorities have also told major Chinese Internet firms such as Baidu, Tencent and Youku to review content on their platforms and delete any such videos immediately.  --(IANS)




199 SpiceJet passengers have narrow escape
Chennai, Feb 8: The 199 passengers of a Delhi-bound SpiceJet flight had a narrow escape on Thursday as their plane suffered two tyre bursts -- one while taking off and then while making an emergency landing here, said a top airport official.  "The SpiceJet flight took off in the afternoon. The pilot of the next flight readying for take off reported the presence of some foreign material. On inspection, it was found to be tyre pieces and the SpiceJet flight was called back," Chennai Airport Director G. Chandramouli told IANS.  "While making the emergency landing, the flight suffered another tyre burst. As the aircraft moved on the metal portion after the tyre burst, a small portion of the runway got damaged," Chandramouli added.  The passengers disembarked, the plane was defuelled and after replacement of a part, the aircraft was moved to a safer place, he said.  According to Chandramouli, the damaged portion of the runway was r...




Muslim Personal Law Board demands action against those speaking of building Ayodhya temple
Hyderabad, Feb 8: The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) on Thursday demanded contempt of court proceedings against those speaking of building Ram temple at the site of the demolished Babri Masjid in Ayodhya.  The apex body of the Indian Muslims, which is beginning its crucial three-day plenary here on Friday, said the court and the government should take action against those making such statements.  "This is a clear case of contempt of court. The court and the government should take action," said Board spokesman Moulana Sajaad Nomani.  He told reporters that the Board would present its case before the Supreme Court and would abide by its verdict.  The apex court on Thursday began hearing petitions challenging the 2010 Allahbad High Court verdict in Ayodhya dispute case and fixed March 14 as the next date of hearing.  Nomani said the Board had not received any proposal from any organization regarding the Babri Masjid...




Railway prosecutes over 6 lakh persons for begging and hawking in last three years
IndiaTomorrow.net, New Delhi, Feb 7: The government on Wednesday informed the Loksabha that more than six lakh people have been prosecuted for begging and hawking in railway stations in last three years and out of them more than five lakhs were convicted and over 29 crore was collected as penalty from them. Responding to a written question regarding ‘a beggar free nation’ from CPI(M) MP from Kunnur P. K. Sreemathy, the Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Ministry of Planning Rao Inderjit Singh said that under section 144 of Railways Act 1989 from 2015 to 2017 some 616012 persons were prosecuted for begging and hawking in trains and railway stations and out of them 532067 found guilty. A total 29 crore 52 lakh were collected from them as a fine. According to section 144 of the Railway Act, 1989, if a person found guilty for selling anything in train or railway station without a license or found begging may face a one year jail term or one thousand rupees fine o...




The iconic Howrah Bridge celebrates 75th anniversary
By Sirshendu PanthKolkata, Feb 7 : The British-era Howrah Bridge, that serves as a crucial gateway to the city that ferries one lakh-plus vehicles and over 1.5 lakh pedestrians daily, is celebrating its 75th anniversary.It was on February 3, 1943, that the bridge was quietly thrown open to the public, replacing a pontoon bridge linking what was then Calcutta and Howrah.   The steel colossus -- christened Rabindra Setu (in 1965) after one of Kolkata's greatest sons, Nobel Laureate and poet Rabindranath Tagore -- has become a symbol of the city over the decades, connecting the bustling eastern metropolis with the terminal Howrah station over the Hooghly river - a distributory of the mighty Ganges.   However, the beginning of the journey, of what was the world's fourth-longest cantilever suspension at that time, was unheralded, amid the dark days of World War II.   The 26,500 tonne structure, that finds mention in Rudyard Kipling's works, was "thrown ope...




Jindal University rape case: SC asks accused to share password
New Delhi, Feb 7: The Supreme Court on Wednesday made it clear that it would not tolerate the possibility of "continuous blackmail" of the gang rape victim of O.P. Jindal Global University by the convict students, and asked them to share the password of their laptops containing her photos.  A division bench of Justice S.A. Bobde and Justice L.N. Rao asked the accused to share the iCloud account password with the victim.  "We are not concerned about the guilty. We are concerned about the present situation. There are pictures of the girl with one of you. It is difficult for us to accept and tolerate continuous blackmail," Justice Bobde told the counsels appearing for the accused.  It added: "You must give access to those photographs. If you have deleted, make sure that they are not released. If not, you have to give the password to the girl."  Senior advocates Shanti Bhushan and Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the accused...




One allopathic doctor for 1597 persons in India
IndiaTomorrow.net, New Delhi, Feb 6: The government on Tuesday said that there is one allopathic doctor for 1597 persons in the country.Responding to a written question in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday,  Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Minister of State In The Ministry Of Health and Family Welfare, said that as per the Medical Council of India record, there is a total 10,41,395 allopathic doctors were registered till 30 September last year and assuming 80 percent of their availability, the doctor-population ratio of 1:1597. He said that according to World Health Organization norms the ratio should be one doctor for a thousand people.




Dehradun fake encounter: Delhi HC upholds conviction of 7 Uttarakhand cops
New Delhi, Feb 6:  The Delhi High Court on Tuesday upheld a trial court's order convicting and awarding life terms to seven policemen for killing a 22-year-old MBA student in a staged shootout in Dehradun in 2009. The High Court ruled that a "fake encounter has no place in legal system". "A fake encounter is a form of extra judicial killing which has no place in a legal system governed by the rule of law.   "It is a manifestation of the impunity with which armed forces, including the police, are prone to act in utter disregard of the rule of law," a bench of Justices S. Muralidhar and I.S. Mehta said.  "It also is symbolic of the cynicism with which the police themselves view the efficacy of the criminal justice system.   "The police, in this perception, are not just the accusers, but the prosecutor, the judge and the executioner."  The court described the matter as "a tragic case o...




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