On the eve of Deepavali, the Centre has substantially increased the scholarship for more than 70,000 research students, who demanded better pay package for pursuing a career in science.The new scholarships take retrospective effect from October 1. Science students undertaking PhD and post-doctoral studies will receive better stipend from the government along with other facilities like house rent allowance and medical benefits. Under the new package, junior research fellowship has been enhanced to Rs 25,000 from Rs 16,000, while senior research fellowship goes up to Rs 28,000 from the existing Rs 18,000.The hike for post doctoral studies will be from Rs 22,000 to Rs 36,000 (for research associate-1), from Rs 23,000 to Rs 38,000 (research associate-2) and from Rs 24,000 to Rs 40,000 (research associate-3).While research associate 1 and 2 are generally for one year, research associate-3 can continue the work till the person gets a position in a research institute. For comparison, the entry-level salary at the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research is about Rs 50,000.This is the biggest ever increase in the scholarship for research students, said Union Science Minister Jitendra Singh.The new scheme will benefit almost 71,000 young scientists working in scientific organisations under the central government. The additional financial outgo will be Rs 750 crore every year, which the Finance Ministry has approved. Currently, Rs 1,663 crore is spent annually on the scholarships. The action taken by the government suggests that things can be changed if we put in efforts, Anjali Khatri, a research scholar at the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Delhi told Deccan Herald.She was among the research students who held demonstration outside the department of science and technology in July, demanding better scholarships. Several protestsSeveral protests and demonstrations were held in academic institutes across the country, including in Bangalore, Delhi, Hyderabad and Chandigarh, compelling the government to revise the fellowships.One of our demands, for inflation-linked annual increase, has not been met. We will discuss it with the government, Khatri said.The last revision was in 2010 when students of Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, sat on a hunger strike.
The High Court on Tuesday set aside the trial court order dismissing the petition seeking a probe into allegations of wealth amassed disproportionate to their known sources of income by BJP leaders B S Yeddyurappa, K S Eshwarappa and their kin.Justice Anand Byra Reddy directed the Lokayukta to conduct fresh trial into allegations of disproportionate assets against the duo, after quashing the special Lokayukta court's order, which had dismissed the petition seeking Lokayukta inquiry against the duo earlier this year and observed, The impugned order is set aside and the matters are restored to file before the court below, to be dealt in accordance with law. The complainant B Vinod, an advocate from Shimoga, had filed a criminal revision petition, challenging the trial court order which had dismissed the complaint for want of sanction from the authorities.Three cases have been filed against the family of Yeddyurappa. The former chief minister is now the Member of Parliament from Shimoga. Yeddyurappa is accused number 1 in all these cases.In one case, sites meant for journalists were allotted to Yeddyurappa's daughter Aruna Devi, accused number 2 in the matter by misusing his position, in 2006-07 when he was the deputy chief minister. In another case, his son B Y Raghavendra is the accused number 2, in which he is alleged of encroaching forest land of over 65 acres at Hunsekatte village in Shimoga district. The third case involves illegal felling of trees permitted by senior IAS officer Meera Saxena and another officer Nagraj Hampole in a forest area. A case of criminal breach of trust and loss to the State exchequer has been filed.A case of amassing wealth disproportionate to his known sources of income was filed against Eshwarappa, his son K E Kanthesha and daughter-in-law R Shalini. Eshwarappa is accused number 1 and is charged with nepotism. The special court dismissed the petition, stating that the required sanction from competent authority has not been obtained by the complainant.
Hot on the heels of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's stand that the government will disclose names of some persons under probe for stashing black money abroad, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday quipped, the Congress would be embarrassed by the names when we reveal them in court. Jaitley said in a TV interview that the government had never said that it would not reveal the names of Indians who have undeclared income parked in foreign bank accounts.All that the government said was that treaties with other countries forbid the disclosure of names till charges are framed in court, Jaitley said. He underlined that this process would not take much time.Once we inform the court, the names will automatically be in public domain. The media and Congress got this story all wrong, he told NDTV, adding that it's the Congress which needs to worry, not the BJP. Jaitley said the tax treaties that compel confidentiality at this stage of investigation were signed by the Congress government in 1995.A separate list of at least 500 Indians who held accounts at HSBC in Switzerland was scrutinised by the government, Jaitley said.Switzerland has agreed to share information about those Indians against whom evidence has already been collected in India by tax officials. Given Switzerland's confidentiality rules, this is a major breakthrough, he said.The BJP came under flak from the Congress and other parties after the government told the Supreme Court that it cannot yet make public a list handed over by Germany in 2009 of Indians with accounts in the tax haven of Lichtenstein. The information cannot be disclosed until probe was completed and cases filed in court, the government had said.The Congress charged the BJP with hoodwinking the people by making black money one of its major poll planks in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections and promising to bring back the money from foreign banks. Rejecting allegations of a U-turn by the government, Jaitley said the NDA government would not withhold any information, including the names of account holders.
The Karnataka State Human Rights Commission (KSHRC)recently received a complaint from a distraught mother that policemen had whisked her son away from Bangalore to Molakalmur in Chitradurga a few hours earlier.The mother complained directly to the commission chairperson Meera Saxena.Saxena asked the KSHRCInspector-General to rush to Molakalmur and prevent the man from being harmed. Mid-way to Chitradurga, the IGPand his team were asked to turn back as the local police released the man from their custody without framing charges. But not before strong-arming him into settling dues with a man with connections in the Molakalmur police station.Cases such as these repeatedly come to us as our police team is centralised and dependent on the same police stations which are alleged to have committed human rights atrocities. Hence, we have requested a separate team to be set up in each of the six police ranges in the State, said Saxena. In the past, the State government has repeatedly turned down the KSHRC request on the grounds that too many similar agencies were working to keep a check on police excesses.The commission first made the proposal in 2013. Since then, the human rights body has repeated the proposal several times. It has sought one Superintendent of Police (SP)along with 34 lower-level officers in each of the six police ranges. If we have a police wing in these six ranges, keeping tabs on human rights violations, police atrocity cases, etc, will be easier. People will start having belief in the KSHRC as not only a reactive body but also one that is preventive, said Saxena. None of the arguments has cut ice with the State government so far. In its defence, the government recently cited the setting up of the State Police Complaints Authority (SPCA). It said the SPCA also deals with police excesses. The government has also cited the existence of the Lokayukta and the grievance wing of the Karnataka police. The KSHRChas countered the government saying the SPCAand the other agencies are primarily bodies that handle cases involving officials above the rank of SP. But, most complaints to KSHRCare to do with local police stations. Even if we forward complaints to the police higher-ups, they direct these to the very same police station limits where human rights violations happened, for further investigations, said Saxena.
Subhash Guttedar, former MLAof the JD(S), joined the BJP in the city on Tuesday. The development comes in the wake of reports that BR Patil, the KJP legislator from Aland, is planning to join the saffron party.Guttedar was welcomed into the party by Bidar MP Bhagwant Khuba, former minister Revu Naik Belamagi, former MLC Shashil Namoshi and Rajkumar Patil Telkur, the president of the Gulbarga rural district unit of the party.Guttedar's son Harshananda, a ZP member, and others also joined the BJP. 'No conditions'The former MLA said that he was joining the party without any conditions.However, he hinted that he would be an aspirant for the party ticket from the Aland constituency in the next Assembly elections. Subhash Guttedar added that he was really inspired by the pro-people model of governance followed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Aland comes under the Bidar parliamentary seat.
Food and Civil Supplies Minister Dinesh Gundu Rao's plainspeaking on Congress' leadership issue has not gone down well with the State party unit. Now, the party has issued a gag order for its leaders and workers asking them not to comment anything on the party or its leadership.On Tuesday, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee President G Parameshwara, in a statement to the media, said that no leader or worker of the Congress should either speak to the media or at public functions on leaders, president, vice presidents or members of the working committee. This direction is more applicable to those who issue political statements, he said. Dinesh had tweeted on Sunday - @INCIndia will learn from its losses ... time to strengthen committed grassroot leaders and weed out effete leaders operating out from Delhi. Parameshwara said that no minister or leader should issue any public statement against any leader. Comments, if any, should be made in the working committee meeting or conveyed directly to him. All of us are in responsible position. We have managed many responsible positions. Therefore, no such statements should be made. It is the responsibility of all of us to build the party when it is facing debacle, Parameshwara said, adding that he was making the request to Vishwanath (former MP) and Dinesh Gundu Rao through the media.Parameshwara said that the appointments to boards and corporations would be made after Deepavali. Digvijay Singh, in-charge of party affairs Karnataka, has directed that former and sitting legislators besides those who lost in the previous elections should not be considered for the appointments. This particular issue would be discussed with the high command, he added. Replying to a question, he said the KPCC website would be relaunched and a private agency was redesigning it. MSAnand Kumar, a Youth Congress leader, has stated in a press release that Rao should also remember that the Congress had lost all the three Lok Sabha seats in Bangalore. Despite Rao holding a powerful post and having good experience, the Congress could not perform well in Bangalore city. The minister should have owned up the responsibility for the results, he said.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Tuesday said that the State government would release funds every year for the health check-up of policemen and their family members.Speaking at the Police Commemoration Day at CAR Grounds on Mysore Road, Siddaramaiah said, We have decided to implement a health benefit scheme for our policemen, similar to the Central government scheme for IAS and IPS officers.The Central government sanctions Rs 1,000 every year to every IAS and IPS officer for health check-up. Similarly, the State government has decided to sanction Rs 1,000 every year to all policemen which could be used by them and their families. The IPS officers will be excluded from the facility. He added that the State government had extended the group insurance facility from the constable level to the inspector level in 2014-15. The insurance amount has been hiked from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 20 lakh. As many as 83,933 policemen will be benefited from this facility. The compensation for those who lay down their lives while fighting naxals and terrorists has been hiked from Rs five lakh to Rs 20 lakh, the chief minister said. The compensation for permanent disability has been hiked from Rs one lakh to Rs 10 lakh, while the compensation for those injured has been hiked from Rs 20,000 to Rs two lakh. The State government is spending huge sums to ensure accommodation facility to 11,000 staff members and 780 officers, Siddaramaiah said. Public schoolsThe government has opened Police Public Schools in Hubli, Mysore and Bangalore to impart quality education to the children of the policemen, the chief minister said. An amount of Rs 15 crore has been earmarked to open such schools in other districts. The government will increase the number of police canteens from 39 to 46, he added. Home Minister KJGeorge, DG&IGP LRPachuau and a host of senior officers were present at the event.As many as 659 police officers and staff died while on duty last year. Among them, the prominent were sub-inspector Mallikarjun Bande, who was killed while fighting notorious rowdy Munna in Gulbarga, assistant sub-inspector Subhash of Bidar, head constable Shesha Rao.
Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC) managing director Dr P S Harsha asked the members of the Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI) to come forward and adopt public toilets and amenities in and around tourist destinations in the State, so as to make the places more tourist friendly, during an interactive session between the two bodies on Tuesday.The members said that while tourism was a booming sector and the State had a lot of potential in it, most of the tourist places and highways did not have adequate facilities and even the existing facilities were not maintained properly. Addressing their concerns, Harsha said that it would be great if the members helped in creating such facilities to increase tourism in the State. He said that the government was willing to pay for maintaining such services, provided there are any takers for it. During the interaction, Harsha made a presentation on the functioning of the KSTDC and its ventures. He said that the KSTDC was willing to lend its hotels for corporate events and provide them with customised services.He said that even though the KSTDC hotels were on par with the best of private hotels, training the manpower in these hotels was an issue and the government was trying to take care of it. He said that as per the Hunar se Rozgar tak scheme, in association with the Institute of Hotel Managements, rural boys and girls were encouraged to join the hospitality sector in KSTDC and improve their employment opportunities.Along with Harsha, B J Hosmath, managing director of Jungle Lodges and Resorts, made a presentation on eco-tourism. Hosmath said that conservation of natural resources was a major concern for them and they encouraged guests in their lodges to adopt measures to minimise the deterioration of nature. He said that the conservation of water and energy was a major area of concern especially in the eco-tourism sector.
The State BJPon Tuesday demanded that the State government come out with a White Paper on funds released for flood and drought relief, stating that grants had not reached victims nor any mitigation measures were taken up.Addressing a press conference,Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Jagadish Shettar said that though the government had claimed to have released Rs 230 crore for relief works in drought and flood-hit districts, people continue to be in distress.How much compensation has been paid to those who lost their crops and houses in the floods? The government has failed to respond to the miseries of the people. We demand a White Paper on the utilisation of funds, Shettar said.The former chief minister said that the recent attack on IASofficer Rashmi VMahesh inMysore reflected the law and order situation in the State. Awoman IASofficer was assaulted even amid police protection and Chief Minister Siddaramaiah did not even have the courtesy to speak to her, Shettar said.On senior IASofficer Amita Prasad, whom Rashmi has accused of misappropriation of funds at the Administrative Training Institute, Mysore, being taken for central deputation by the NDA government, Shettar said he would take up the issue with the Centre. Shettar said the State government was in two minds on holding the winter session of the legislature in Belgaum as it feared a backlash from sugar cane farmers in the district. Sugar cane farmers have not been given their dues and blame the government for their miseries. The government is trying to avoid holding the legislature session in Belgaum, fearing protests, he said.
The State government has proposed to amend the Karnataka Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes (Reservation of Appointment) Act 1990, to extend reservation policy to appointments for various jobs outsourced by government departments and government aided institutions.Addressing a press conference on Tuesday,SocialWelfare Minister HAnjaneya said social justice was being denied in jobs that are being outsourced by government departments as the provisions of the 1990 legislation do not extend reservation benefits to this sector.Anjaneya said the amended bill would be tabled in the winter session of the legislature.At present, one lakh jobs are being outsourced by government departments and affiliated institutions of the government. The government will put in place a monitoring mechanism to ensure that employees in outsourced jobs are not fleeced by recruiters. The social welfare department will phase out outsourcing of jobs and will recruit employees directly, he said. Anjaneya said all departments have been directed to compile a list of backlog vacancies since 2001 and submit a report within a month.
The Karnataka Land Grabbing (Prohibition) Act, 2011, provides for imprisonment of one to three years for those convicted of grabbing government land. The law, which has received the assent of the President of India, will be gazetted later this week.Under the law, the quantum of punishment for land-grabbers will be determined based on the extent of land-grab, Law Minister T B Jayachandra told reporters here on Tuesday.Along with the jail term, the convicted land-grabbers will have to pay a fine of Rs 25,000, he said. Special courts which will try such cases can increase the quantum of punishment if the offence is graver.Under the Act, the government will set up a committee to investigate and refer land-grabbing cases to the special courts. The committee will be headed by a sitting or retired judge of the High Court. It will also comprise two sitting or retired district judges and as many revenue officials equivalent to the rank of deputy commissioner.Jayachandra said that once the gazette was issued, he would seek an appointment with the Chief Justice of the High Court of Karnataka to make the list of eligible candidates for appointment to the committee and judges to the special courts.The minister further said that the government would decide on the number of special courts to be set up after the discussion with the chief justice. A total of 400 people, including Group 'D' and 'C' personnel, will work for the land-grabbing prevention committee.According to Jayachandra, the special court will have the powers of a civil or sessions court. When asked whether the courts or the committee will have the power to take up cases suo motu, the minister replied in the affirmative and said the committee could refer the cases to tahsildars. The tahsildars as well as the special courts can take action suo motu if there is a prima facie case of land-grabbing, he said. Law only in cities, townsThe Act will be enforced mainly in urban areas. In rural areas, many other factors have to be considered, including the fact that farmers encroach upon government land for their livelihood. Several laws are already in place for regularising the land encroached upon by farmers or the poor for livelihood and residential purpose, the minister said. We don't want to disturb them. Our intention of enforcing this law is to check commercial land-grabbing. The Act, which the State government had proposed in 2007, was introduced in 2011 and sent to the President for his assent. Its enactment was delayed as the President sought several clarifications in the last four years.
Former Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) pracharak Manohar Lal Khattar will be the next chief minister of Haryana, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) announced here on Tuesday. The 60-year-old bachelor will take oath of office on October 26 in Panchkula near here. The saffron party's decision to coronate a non-Jat Punjabi as the chief minister marks a paradigm shift in the political discourse of a state where the majority Jats have long determined the political narrative. This was Khattar's first election and he will be the first Punjabi chief minister of the Jatland. He won the Punjabi-dominated urban seat from Karnal by a huge margin of over 63,000 votes. Haryana has seen Jat chief minister's in the last four successive governments. Khattar is considered close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and also enjoys the support of the RSS. The decision to name Khattar as the chief minister was taken after a meeting of the BJP Legislative Party. Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu chaired the meeting of the 47 newly elected MLAs in Chandigarh on Tuesday. Khattar's nomination found no resistance during the meeting, party insiders said. Khattar's candidature for the chief minister's post was being talked about in party circles ever since the BJP romped home to a resounding victory. The welcome accorded to Khattar on his arrival at the UT Guest House, the venue for the meeting, made it evident that he would be announced the chief minister shortly.Khattar's name for the coveted post was first recommended by state BJP unit president Ram Bilas Sharma and eventually found support from all the others.Now that Khattar has bagged the top post, all contenders who were in the race for the top post are likely to be made cabinet ministers. It appears almost certain that Capt Abhimanyu, Ram Bilas Sharma and O P Dhankar will be inducted into Khattar's cabinet. The success of the BJP in Haryana was largely because of the polarisation of non-Jat votes in its favour, which is perhaps why the party has preferred a non-Jat face to lead the state.
Using Computerised Tomography technology (CT scan), three Bangalore doctors have helped the police ascertain that six tusks, which were seized from two people, were fake.It all started when the Wilson Garden police nabbed the two people trying to sell the tusks on KH Road (Double Road) in March 2014. To book the duo under the Wildlife Protection Act, the police wanted to verify whether the ivory was genuine. They approached the Indian Institute of Science (IISc). The institute was helped in the task by three Bangalore doctors. It was confirmed that the pieces were fake and made of Plaster of Paris and metal.Gayathri Hospital physician Dr Sunil Mallesh told Deccan Herald, I am a member of Friends for Animals, a group of volunteers and conservationists working on elephant conservation. During an interaction, I learnt that a team of experts was looking for technology to check the genuineness of seized tusks, I volunteered to help. I then spoke to my colleagues Dr Sandeep Ballal and Dr Suresh Reddy, Chief Radiologists and Directors at Radocs Diagnostics and Imaging Private Limited, Chamarajpet. We then decided to do a CT scan and it worked because it helps check the bone density and mineral capacity.The team conducted multiple scans and after three months, concluded that the ivory was fake. However, some minor tests will be done to ascertain if there are any traces of genuine ivory in it.Normally, this technology is used for humans to ascertain injuries, including blood clots, fractures, tumours and infections. The method is also used to ascertain bone density. Doctors and conservationists found it best suited to be used in this case to find out whether the ivory was fake or genuine. While this method was used for the first time without damaging the structure, experts say there are chemical-based methods of testing too, but they damage the piece and take a long time. Conservationists and the Forest department get around a dozen cases annually, of which around 90 per cent turn out to be fake. Prof R Sukumar, elephant expert at the IISc Centre for Ecological Sciences, said that in case of Asian ivory, there are many fake cases, but that is not true in case of African ivory. Trade in ivory is a banned practice.
The VI Additional District and Sessions Court sentenced Harish Gowda, autorickshaw driver from Kalenja Village, Belthangady Taluk, convicted of raping a minor girl, to 10 years of rigorous imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rs 25,000.The court, in its judgement, held Harish guilty of raping the minor and pronounced the punishment. On September 13, 2012 Harish Gowda had offered to drop the girl to her uncle's house. But, instead took her to a secluded place, where he sexually assaulted her. A case was registered in Uppinangady police station.Pronouncing the judgement, Judge Pushpanjali Devi sentenced the accused to 10 year's of rigorous imprisonment for raping the girl, seven years RI for abduction and two years RI for threatening her. During the hearing, 18 witnesses had deposed before the court.
Governor Vajubhai Vala, who is also the chancellor of the universities in the State, has appointed Dr SSHugar as the acting vice chancellor for Karnatak University.The appointment was made in view of the incumbent VC, Dr HBWalikar in connection with a case pertaining to alleged irregularities. Dr Hugar is the Dean of Commerce Department. Prof JSBhat has been appointed Registrar (Evaluation) in place of Dr HTPote and Prof RLHyderabad has been appointed as Finance Officer in the place of SRajashri. Both Dr Pote and SRajashri have also been arrested.
Humidity combined with pollution caused by bursting firecrackers can turn into a dangerous cocktail for those with respiratory disorders, doctors warn.Health experts also say that breathing issues, skin and eye irritation should not be ignored this festive season.Speaking to Deccan Herald on the eve of Deepavali, Dr George D'Souza, HOD, Chest Department, said that as far as possible, those with respiratory problems must stay indoors. Especially for those with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder, (COPD) the condition gets worse on exposure to. pollution. In the recent years, the number of COPD cases have gone up in the City, he added. Besides, he also said that seasonal changes made infections common. To add to this, humidity levels can affect the asthmatic, Dr Dsouza said. Pollen levels go up this season, leading to worsening of respiratory conditions, according to Dr KSSatish, Pulmanologist, Vikram Hospital. Asthama, COPD and other such problems worsen as there is increase in sulphur dioxide and smoke, he explained. Besides, he stated that the pollutants stay in the air for a week even after the festival. 13 locationsThe Karnataka State Pollution Control Board conducted an ambient noise level study, monitoring for short durations as per CPCB in at least 13 locations in the City during Deepavali 2013. Out of the 13 selected locations, which include residential, sensitive and industrial areas, Laggare Cross noted the highest increase at 11.8 per cent as compared to normal days. Besides, it was rather saddening that an increase of 8.8 per cent was noted near Indiranagar ESIC Hospital, which is one of the hospitals in the City that sees a large number of patients. Increase by 6 per centVijaynagar Club, Fortis Hospital and Nagarabhavi noted an increase in about 6 per cent more than the normal days, the study revealed. Parisara Bhavan, Nisarga Bhavan and BTM Layout were the areas that recorded minimal variation.
The explosion at the Manikantha firecrackers-making unit in the sleepy Vakatitippa village in the East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh 450 km from here, has reminded its people of the Gail pipeline blast near Nagaram in the same district in June.The sound of the blast that ripped through the shed on Monday afternoon was heard some five km away, in Uppada, Komarangi, Kottapalli, Kumudupalli and Vakatippa. The residents feared that another pipeline had exploded and and ran towards Vakatitippa. A TV journalist, who was the first to reach the blast site, said: I saw charred bodies, particularly of women, scattered everywhere. The unit, nearly 20 years old, employed mostly women. The owner Chukka Srinivasa Rao, who is also injured, has stored a lot of Potash and tonnes of crackers, particularly the flower pots, bombs, and rockets under the same roof. The fire might have caused because of a cigarette, Additional SP Damodar said.The police on Tuesday found several limbs strewn at least 100 metres away from the blast site. The additional limbs indicate that there were many more workers inside or at the perimeter of the unit at the time of the blast, the revenue officials said. However, the district officials are in confusion over licence issued to Rao to manufacture and store so much of explosives. It is unfortunate that the revenue officials say the licence has been renewed, but the fire services say the licence has expired last month, former MLA Vanga Geetha said after visiting the blast site.
Tension escalated on Tuesday over the issue of Telangana continuing to use water from the Krishna river for thermal power generation at Srisailam. This has drawn strong objection from Andhra Pradesh and warranted the deployment of police forces in the area.Andhra Pradesh has urged the Telangana government to stop thermal power production at Srisailam as 6,000 cusec of water goes to waste everyday on being released into the Bay of Bengal. It had even sent a letter to the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) demanding that power production there be stopped immediately. In protest, activists from the TRS, which is headed by Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, ransacked and torched furniture at the Telugu Desam Party (TDP)headquarters in the Nalgonda town of the state.At other places, they also burnt effigies of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, who has sought the KRMB to intervene as the storage level in the Srisailam reservoir reached 106.42 tmc feet. The KRMB advised the Telangana government to ensure that the power production at Srisailam dam doesn't cause depletion of the Krishna river water below the threshold-level needed for drinking and irrigation purposes.The Board, in a letter to Telangana government, also suggested both the states that any water released from both Srisailam and Nagarjunasar dams will be made jointly by the superintendent engineer-level officials from both the governments, and reservoir status should be intimated to the Board on a daily basis. Meanwhile, Andhra Pradesh Irrigation Minister Devineni Umamaheswar Rao called his Telangana counterpart T Harish Rao to reach an agreement. The Andhra Pradesh government is committed to supplying 300 MW of power to help Telangana save its Kharif crop and reasserted the demand that thermal production at Srisailam must be stopped. We have been urging the Telangana government to save water at Srisailam or at Pulichintala. It is also not even allowing us to store water at Pulichintala, Umamaheswar Rao told media near Prakasam Barrage in Vijayawada on Tuesday.We are children of the same mother and we must share our problems. Let the irrigation secretaries talk. We are ready to give power to you (Telangana). You give water from the Krishna for our people, he said.Telangana Finance Minister Etela Rajender, however, has refused to relent, rationalising that his government had not violated any norms. We are following what the erstwhile Andhra Pradesh government used to do, Rajender said.
All India Radio (AIR) has stopped airing 37 educational channels of Indira Gandhi National Open University (Ignou) after, literally, begging for more than a year for payment of about Rs 21.64 crore which was due since April 1 last year.The Gyanvani, a network of the Ignou's FM educational radio stations which were taken off the air by the public broadcaster from October 1, was serving over 30 lakh students of the open varsity across the country.Hundreds of students, who depended on these radio stations for their studies, have been affected. Before taking Gyanvani off the air, the public broadcaster gave enough opportunity to the Ignou to clear its dues. AIR wrote six letters to the open varsity in the last 18 months, requesting for payment of the outstanding amount. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B), too, wrote two letters to the Ignou and sought clearance of the dues but to no avail. Ignou did not respond to any of these correspondence, a senior AIR official told Deccan Herald. Ignou's demand for release of funds to clear the dues with the public broadcaster was stuck due to bureaucratic hurdles. The file related to the release of funds were moved from one table to another.Clearance of duesWhen AIR issued a notice to the varsity on July 9, 2014, threatening that Gyanvani services will be discontinued if dues were not cleared on or before July 29, Ignou earnestly requested the public broadcaster to continue offering services and infrastructure for the running of Gyanvani stations beyond July 29 for the benefit of the society at large. It told AIR that the matter was under active consideration of the Human Resource Development Ministry, hoping that all dues of the Prasar Bharati will be cleared soon. Still no response was received from the Ignou. In spite of assurance, no payment was received from the Ignou and AIR was constrained to stop Gyanvani service from October 1, 2014, AIR official added. When contacted, Director of the Electronic Media Production Centre at Ignou, Iftikhar Khan said AIR should not have stopped the transmission of Gyanvani.Services can be continued by AIR so that students don't suffer. This is a kind of public service provided by the government to the people. It is just a matter of transfer of money from one government department to another. Such delays are bound to happen because of inherent nature of governmental set up, he said, hoping the dues will soon be cleared. As thousands of students are affected by the move, Ignou has begun webcasting curriculum based audio-video programmes.
After having gifted cars, flats and jewellery to his employees, the proprietor of Hare Krishna Diamond Exports Private Limited in Surat is now flooded with applications from job seekers.Applicants working in other diamond polishing units of the city have expressed their willingness to work for Hare Krishna Exports. Proprietor Savji Dholakia said, It is an honour for us that so many people have expressed their willingness to work for us. Dholakia told Deccan Herald, We have been receiving applications and I think that it is our reputation among the people that has motivated so many people to apply. Dholakia said that he has already informed the applicants through a social networking site that his firm would remain closed till November 2 for Deepavali, hence all applications would be considered after the firm reopens. It was the loyalty of the employees that earned them this benefit of a deepavali bonus which they were entitled to, he said. An amount of Rs 3.5 lakh as bonus was set aside for about 1200 of its employees and they were asked to choose between purchase of jewellery, flat or car.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will spend Deepavali in Srinagar with the flood affected people there, an act being seen as a special gesture that would also give impetus to the relief and rehabilitation work in the state. The prime minister took to Twitter to announce on Tuesday: Will be in Srinagar on Deepavali, 23rd October and will spend the day with our sisters and brothers affected by the unfortunate floods. Similar actionModi had taken similar action during his previous stint as the Gujarat chief minister. He spent Deepavali with the earthquake victims in Bhuj in 2001. The prime minister's move was welcomed by some political parties including the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which described it as good gesture and encouraging. It is a good gesture.. But it would have been very thoughtful if he had decided to be here for Id also which was observed immediately after floods, PDP chief spokesman Naeem Akhtar said in Srinagar.After the worst-ever floods that killed 300 people and affected thousands of people, the prime minister had taken quick initiatives directing his NDA government to respond quickly to the crisis. He had also urged the people to come out and help the people of Kashmir generously. The armed forces were pressed into action to evacuate people since the Jammu & Kashmir state machinery could not respond to a natural disaster of this magnitude.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Shiv Sena have made a deep dent in the sugar belt, till now controlled by the Congress and National Congress Party (NCP) leaders and their families. Sugar cooperatives and educational institutions in this area have traditionally been Congress and NCP strongholds. Former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan of the Congress and former deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, who is the nephew of NCP supremo Sharad Pawar, may have won from Karad South and Baramati, respectively, but the dominance of the two parties in the region has been clearly shaken.The five districts of Pune, Satara, Sangli, Kolhapur, Solapur voted for change and development, the mantra of BJP's star campaigner and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In the April-May 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the NCP managed to win four seats from the region, followed by the BJP (3), Shiv Sena (2) and the Raju Shetti-led Swabhimani Shetkari Sangathana (1). In the Assembly elections, the BJP and the Sena have among themselves shared 31 out the 58 seats in the region, jolting the NCP . Former home minister R R Patil and Jayant Patil managed to retain their seats in Tasgaon and Islampur in Sangli, but the BJP and Sena made inroads into the region winning five seats in the district. For the Congress, Chavan scraped through in South Karad in Satara district and Patangrao Kadam had a tough time claiming the Flus-Kadegaon seat in Sangli. In Satara the NCP managed to get five of the eight seats, but the BJP wiped out the NCP from Pune, the stronghold of the Pawar family, where it won 11 seats (its ally RSP won the Daund seat in the district) out of 21. The Sena reigned supreme in Kolhapur district emerging victorious in six constituencies.
The Congress has been stumped by Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar's claim that a party leader had suggested to him to prop up a Shiv Sena-led government in Maharashtra. Pawar claimed that he had rejected the Maharashtra Congress leader's suggestion stating that such a government would not last long.The Congress was quick to dismiss Pawar's statement which added an element of intrigue, albeit briefly, to the fluid political situation in Maharashtra in the wake of a hung verdict in the last week's Assembly elections.It is preposterous. The Congress party has never in the past supported parties like the Shiv Sena and will never support it in the future too, All India Congress Committee general secretary in-charge of Communications Ajay Maken told reporters here.In Pawar's statement, the Congress saw NCP's desperate attempt to cling on to power despite its loss in the Assembly elections. The NCP finished fourth with 41 seats in the 288-member Assembly.'Congress will rise again'In the past as well, the Congress has bounced back after playing the role of a vigilant opposition. We intend to play this role even now, Maken said.Pawar had caused a flutter by declaring unconditional support to the saffron party to form the government in Maharashtra after it emerged as the single largest party with 122 seats, but short of a simple majority.The Congress had wondered whether the BJP would seek the support of a political outfit which Prime Minister Modi had dubbed as Naturally Corrupt Party during the election campaign. The Congress has alleged the NCP was offering support to avoid investigations by the BJP-led government into allegations of corruption against its former ministers.
Sailing with the Narendra Modi wave, the BJP has demolished the voters' base of the Congress party in Mumbai, the commercial capital of Maharashtra.The BJP emerged as the top performer in the recently-held Assembly elections in Mumbai which sends 36 legislators to the 288-member Maharashtra Legislative Assembly. In these elections - the BJP won 15 seats and the Shiv Sena 14. The Congress could win just five seats and the NCP won no seats. In 2009, the BJP won only 5 seats and the Sena 4 seats while the Congress won 17 seats and the NCP three, respectively. The political game was different in 2009 as the Congress and NCP had an alliance, as did the Shiv Sena and BJP. Surprisingly, Raj Thackeray's MNS which had half a dozen seats last time did not win a single seat this time around.The most prominent winner in Mumbai is the leader of the opposition in the Maharashtra Legislative Council, the BJP's Vinod Tawde who won by a margin of over 70,000 votes. The prominent loser was the high-profile former Mumbai Congress president Kripashankar Singh, who is close to the Gandhi family. In neighbouring Thane and Palghar districts, which has 24 seats, the BJP grabbed 10 seats, followed by the Shiv Sena with 8, NCP 4 and the Hitendra Thakur-led Bahujan Vikas Aghadi 2. Thakur won the prestigious Vasai seat defeating social activist and sitting MLA Vivek Pandit, who had the backing of the Sena as well as the BJP. Thakur's son Kshitij Thakur won the neighbouring Nalasopara seat.Mumbai, Thane, Palghar and parts of Raigad district face infrastructure bottlenecks - and people have put their faith in Modi's development agenda. These areas also rejected the MNS brand of politics and the Shiv Sena could not cash in on its theory of a Gujarati-Marathi divide and allegations that BJP has designs to separate Mumbai from Maharashtra.Despite its developmental activities - flyovers, mono rail, metro rail, expressways, high-speed links - the Congress could not do much in its stronghold of Mumbai. The BJP is now going to be working to fulfill its agenda of a Congress-free Mumbai, Thane and Palghar. People of Mumbai want change and they have faith in the policies of Modi, said Nilesh Sheth, a businessman. We have seen others for so many years, so why not change? said Heeralal Patel, a chef. Raj Suri, a former tour guide, said that he has seen Mumbai changing over the years and how needs too have changed.
Harya-na's first BJP chief minister, Manohar Lal Khattar's journey to the coveted post is that of a man who worked silently behind the scenes, first for the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and then the BJP, with sincerity and grit for decades. Khattar worked in a small shop in New Delhi's Sadar market while pursuing graduation. At 24, Khattar joined the RSS. His political acumen was hard to ignore and Khattar was eventually appointed as a Pracharak at 27-years of age.But one cannot overlook the fact that Khattar's coronation would not have been possibly had he not been in the good books of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the RSS. Khattar and Modi have worked together in Haryana way back in 1996 when Modi was party in-charge of Haryana affairs. Khattar's rise has been an eventful one. In the first election of his political career, Khattar won by a huge margin of over 63,000 votes from Punjabi-dominated urban seat of Karnal. Khattar's candidature was backed to the hilt by the party despite the fact that he has no administrative experience. Khattar, who walks tall with a clean and upright image, enjoys the support of the RSS. Party insiders say Khattar is a hard task-master who has always maintained a low profile. He lets his work do the talking, a leader quipped.An agriculturist by profession, Khattar comes from a humble background. His father and grandfather struggled for a living. Khattar is accomplished for his organisational skills, that he mastered being in the RSS and working at various levels in the BJP. The BJP made a conscious decision not to name any leader for the CM's post in the run up to the polls, but it was little surprise that the party sounded its election bugle with Modi's first rally in Karnal.Khattar, party sources said, has been instrumental in the BJP's success in various states, including Gujarat and Chhattisgarh. Since 2000, Khattar has been the organisational general secretary of the Haryana BJP. He was also the chairman of the campaign committee of the Haryana BJP for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.