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n online campaign by a ADelhi University student saying I am not afraid of ABVP has snowballed into a full-scale war of words between political opponents and triggered heated debates in the social media
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n online campaign by a ADelhi University student saying I am not afraid of ABVP has snowballed into a full-scale war of words between political opponents and triggered heated debates in the social media as top Ministers and senior BJP leaders accused the Opposition of inciting violence on campuses and the Congress hit back against an attempt to curb freedom of speech. With tension mounting, Home Minister Rajnath Singh who is in Varanasi, said his Ministry was keeping a watch on the situation. He also ordered the Delhi Police to act with caution over the Ramjas College issue and ensure the situation remained under control. The social media campaign of Gurmehar Kaur, daughter of Captain Mandeep Singh who died in the Kargil War, on the violence at Ramjas College has gone viral and also become a source of major tension between campuses and students groups. Ramjas witnessed widespread violence last week after the ABVP objected to a seminar because of an invitation extended to JNU students Umar Khalid and Shehla Rashid, who were involved in a controversy related to alleged anti-national and pro-kashmir Azaadi slogans last year. The BJP and the Congress have locked horns on the issue of intolerance and freedom of speech. Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu slammed the Opposition for inciting violence on campuses and accused it of subversion, while Rahul Gandhi showed support to Kaur praising her valour for raising her voice against intolerance. Against the tyranny of fear we stand with our students. For every voice raised in anger, intolerance and ignorance there will be a Gurmehar Kaur, round 58 per cent voting Awas recorded in 51 Assembly segments across 11 districts of eastern Uttar Pradesh during the fifth phase of polling on Monday. The fifth phase sealed the fate of 607 candidates, including 40 women, in EVMs. Election Commission officials said in Lucknow that polling was by and large peaceful with sporadic incidents of clashes. However State Government officials claimed that polling was incident-free and long queues were witnessed at several polling stations, especially in Terai districts along Indo-Nepal border like Balrampur, Sidharthnagar and Bahraich. Around two lakh policemen were deployed for the elections which included around 200 companies of Central para-forces. EC officials said that till 9 he Centre Government s Town stationery provider has a utility value of just 3 crore while it takes almost 22 crore annually to sustain that organisation. The Government of India Stationery Office (GISO) procures and supplies stationery, empowered worth just 3 crore, for official use. But, the Government spends a whopping over 22 crore every year simply to ensure the 167-year-old organisation continues to function. The Government of India Stationery Office (GISO), a subordinate office under the Minister of Urban Development, was established in As of now, the Government is spending almost 22 crore on GISO Rahul s office tweeted. You cannot hurt others religious feelings. You cannot question the nation s unity and integrity. You cannot advocate separatism. Dissent, having a different opinion apart from the majority opinion is agreeable but not disintegration. Nobody can advocate disintegration. What is azaadi? What is azaadi of Kashmir? Naidu retorted. Congress subverted people s rights and now they accuse us saying there s no freedom of expression. Freedom of expression is guaranteed under the Constitution of India, but it can t be used to create social tensions or hurt the sentiments of people, said Naidu. am the voting percentage was per cent, which rose to around by 1 pm and was per cent around 3 pm. In 2012 polls, the voting average in these 51 seats was per cent and in 2014 Lok Sabha polls, per cent. In Basti, SP and BJP supporters clashed near Dihrauli booth of Harriya Assembly segment during polling and police had to intervene to control the situation. Continued on Page 4 New Delhi: The right to contest an election from jail does not give anyone the right to be released for campaigning, the Delhi High Court on Monday said while rejecting custody parole to MLA Mukhtar Ansari to canvass for himself in the UP Assembly polls. but purchases only about 3 crore worth of stationery from it for use in offices every year, said an official. The peculiar situation has been in prevalence for the last 12 years and it arose due to the amendments in the General Financial Rules in 2005 that Ministries/Departments to procure stationery directly from agencies other than GISO making it almost redundant. According to sources, the Urban Development Ministry has now taken note of it and directed the GISO to make a presentation about the money it needs to run the unit and the businesses and services they do in monetary terms. The Kolkata-headquartered GISO has offices in Delhi, You want to make universities laboratories for separatist experiments? There is a systematic effort going on you want to have anniversary for Afzal Guru, who was responsible (for) and spearheaded the attack on Parliament, the temple of democracy. And then you appeal to others that freedom of expression is affected, he said. Asked about ABVP s involvement in the protests, Naidu said, ABVP is a nationalist organisation. Other organisations have different views let them express it. Why should outsiders go and disturb peace of campuses? You have such freedom in this country that you can call the PM by name. You compare him with a donkey. Union Minister Kiren Rijiju tweeted that freedom of expression is not a licence to shout anti-national slogans on campuses. Criticise the Government but don t abuse the motherland, he wrote on Twitter. Kaur had last year made a video asking India and Pakistan to amicably settle their disputes. She held a placard saying, Pakistan did not kill my dad, war killed him. Asking who is polluting her mind, Rijiju said, India never attacked anyone, but a weak India was always invaded. Talking to newspersons, he said, One should not say things which could demoralise the countrymen and the security forces. Everybody has freedom but that does not mean that you raise slogans to weaken the country. Continued on Page 4 T arry Jenkins' coming-of- drama Moonlight Bage walked away with the Best Film award at the Oscars but its thunder was stolen by a bizarre announcement mix-up that initially declared La La Land aking advantage of strained relations prevailing between the ruling saffron alliance partners ahead of the BMC Mayoral polls, the Congress, Opposition Congress and NCP are planning to drive a wedge between the BJP and Shiv Sena further, by bringing in a noconfidence against the Devendra Fadnavis-led Maharashtra Government during the Budget session of the State Legislature beginning on March 6. It is a litmus test for Sena that is trying to.seek outside support to win the Mayoral as the best picture winner. It was not the only gaffe at Academy Awards broadcast. The In Memoriam , four-time Oscar-nominated costume designer Janet Patterson, who died last October, was listed among the film industry luminaries. However, the photo shown on the screen was of living Australian film producer Jan Chapman. In an to Variety, Chapman said, I was devastated by the use of my image in place of my great friend and long-time collaborator Janet Patterson. Continued on Page 4 tudents Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) chief Safdar SHussain Nagori and 10 other activists of the banned group were on Monday awarded life imprisonment in a 2008 sedition case for the Ahmedabad blasts. Special Additional Sessions Judge BK Paloda pronounced all the 11 SIMI activists guilty under IPC Sections 124(A) (sedition) and 153 (A)(promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion) and also under the relevant provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. On a plea of 10 of the accused lodged in Ahmedabad s Sabarmati Central Jail, they were informed about the court s judgement through video-conferencing. Besides 45-year-old Nagori, the others convicted are Hafiz Hussain (35), Aamil Parvaz (40), Shivli (38), Qamruddin (42), Shahduli (32), Qamran (40), Ansar (35), Ahmed Baig (32), Yasin (35) and Munroz (40). Nagori, Parvaz, Qamruddin, Qamran, Shivli, Ahmed Baig and Hussain were also convicted under IPC section 122 (collecting arms with intention of waging war against the Government of India). In its 84-page judgement, the court observed, It appears from the activities of the convict that they don t have faith in the lawfully and constitutionally established Government of India. Their acts are against national unity and integrity of the country. They are involved in illegal activities by fomenting religious hatred with an aim to create serious danger for the entire humanity. The prosecution has produced 27 witnesses as evidence to prove crime against the SIMI activists. Appealing to the court to award maximum sentence to them, the prosecution argued that the banned SIMI activists have deliberately involved in acts against the government and have spread hatred on the basis of religion. To fulfill their aims, they have distributed objectionable material, collected arms and explosives and imparted terror-training to the youths and also incited them against the country, the prosecution informed the court. It also stated that during probe their relations with other terror outfits too were established. They don t consider Kashmir as an integral part of India and such literature was also seized from their possession which mentioned about waging a war against the country, the prosecution contended. Continued on Page 4 polls. Similarly, in twin developments that are bound to isolate the ruling BJP and help the Sena capture power in the BMC, the Opposition NCP, Samajwadi Party and MIM which together have a collective strength of 48 seats in the newly elected BMC are seriously considering putting up their own candidate in the Mayoral polls and the Raj Thackeray-led MNS has indicated that it might go with the Sena in the interest of Marathi people in the metropolis. Continued on Page 4 amendments, in , the expenses on the organisation were 9.28 crore while the stationery supplied by GISO stood at a mere 1.63 crore. The data accessed by The Pioneer reveals the trend continued in the years thereafter. In , the expenses incurred were 9.46 crore against a supply of stationery worth 1.37 crore. In , it was 9.87 crore against just 0.75 crore. In , the expenses on organisation increased to crore, and the supply was worth 1.43 crore. Then again, the GISO spent crore on its office Chennai and Mumbai and is responsible for transparent procurement nomical costs and supply to the Government officers for their and manpower while supplying stationery of 4.41 crore in of stationery and use paper-made articles at eco- Soon after the GFR In , the unit did RNI Regn. No. CHHENG/2012/42718, Postal Reg. No. - RYP DN/34/ o improve the standard of Tfood being provided to passengers, Indian Railways on Monday decided to take up the responsibility of providing catering services through its own subsidiary, Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC). Indian Railways will now set up 25 mega base kitchens across the country to provide quality meals. The policy has also separated cooking and food distribution onboard trains. As per the much-awaited new catering policy unveiled on Monday by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, the Railways will not issue any new licences to private parties. Also, the licences of the existing private parties, who enjoy a monopoly over catering in trains, will not be renewed. The policy, that has separated cooking and food distribution, envisages fulfilling aspirations of the public regarding healthy and hygienic food in view of regular complaints from passengers. While the food will be good business of 5.52 crore but spent on itself crore. In the subsequent fiscal, the expenses were crore against a supply of 4.06 crore. In , the GISO s expenses further rose to crore even as its supplies fell drastically standing at just 2.46 crore. The upward spending continued in and as well crore and crore respectively. The figures for actual supplies stood at 2.12 crore and 3.35 crore during the corresponding period. Last fiscal, ( ), the expenses increased to crore while the supplies stood at 5.98 core. Officials said after the amendment in Rule 140 of the GFR a compendium of general provisions followed by all prepared at state-of-the-art base kitchens, it would be distributed through service providers from the hospitality industry. The new policy aims to attract reputed food-chain players from the market and weed out contractors, most of who face CBI probe in corruption cases. While staple food like rice, dal, vegetables, etc., will be cooked in the base kitchens, the Railways will buy other items from well known brands to ensure quality. Prabhu said meals for all mobile units will be picked up from the nominated kitchens, owned operated and managed by IRCTC. Zonal Railways will manage static units except base kitchens. Allotment of minor catering units at all category of stations will be done through open tenders. Prabhu who had served as Power Minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Government and shot to fame after unbundling the power sector (generation, procurement and distribution) has emulated the same method in the new catering policy. The policy that has replaced a seven-year-old one, gives the IRCTC onboard catering responsibility for majority of trains including all the new ones. IRCTC was relieved of the responsibility in the existing catering policy that was introduced by the then Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee in Continued on Page 4 Government offices while dealing with matters of a financial nature the GISO witnessed sharp decline in its business. The role of GISO reduced. Full powers for procurement of goods were delegated to the Ministries or departments. This led to reduction in supply of stationery, reduction in staff strength, and reduction in budgetary allocation, said the officials, adding prior to 2005, the GISO was running in losses but was not in such dismal state. Also, the GISO saw its staff strength getting reduced by half, from 1214 to 622 in Now it has been further reduced from 399 across the country in But after the Seventh Pay Commission, the expenses on the running GISO almost doubled in nable to meet the increas- cost of its efforts to Uing curb Tuberculosis (TB), the Union Health Ministry is mulling to set up a TB Corpus Fund by roping in PSUs and corporate sector. The fund will be for financing activities like nutrition support for TB patients, active case finding in prisons, slums, tribal areas, sputum collection and transport in difficult areas. The fund under Bharat Kshay Niyantran Pratishtan (India TB Control Foundation) is part of the several measures that the Ministry is planning to achieve under the National Strategic Plans NSP , framed recently after several discussions with all the stakeholders in the sector. It is built on the success and learnings of the last NSP implemented thorough the Health Ministry s Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP). The NSP aims to achieve a rapid decline in cases of TB morbidity and mortality while working towards elimination of the disease in India by 2025, said a senior official from the Ministry. Despite several measures, India continues to carry onefourth of the global burden of TB with 40 per cent of its population infected with the bacteria. The deadly disease claims an estimated 4,80,000 Indians every year and more than 1,400 every day. However, what is worrying the Government is that there are more than 10 lakh missing cases every year that are not notified and most remain either undiagnosed or unaccountably and inadequately diagnosed and treated in the private sector. For achieving the goals, the Ministry is in the midst of preparing a plan to address the patients seeking care in private sector. The scheme will have suitable incentives for the private doctors and patients for reporting TB cases coupled with another scheme to provide free of cost medicines to TB patients going to a private doctor/institute, the official added. He said a robust, modern informative system will be developed to monitor the newly diagnosed as well as existing cases of TB on delivery of the drug kit to the patient, compliance to treatment regimen etc. The availability of rapid molecular tests will be suitably augmented so that these diagnostic facilities are also made available for patients referred by any private doctor or institute. To improve the compliance of the TB patients to the treatment regimen, a customised SMS services will be started to remind each patient on regular basis about the time to consume the drugs. A mechanism will also be started for facilitating nutritional support to the TB patients, including financial support through DBT mode, the official said. amil Nadu Chief Minister TEdappadi K Palaniswami on Monday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and submitted a memorandum with various demands of the State. In his first visit as the Chief Minister, Palaniswami urged for settlement of the Cauvery water sharing dispute and exemption of the state from NEET (National Eligibility cum Entrance Test) for medical courses. The detailed memorandum also sought central funds for damage caused by cyclone 'Vardah' in the meeting this evening. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister will also meet Central Ministers Nitin Gadkari, Venkaiah Naidu, Ravi Shankar Prasad and Piyush Goyl on Tuesday to discuss various projects concerning the state. On Monday evening the Chief Minister hosted dinner for senior officers from Tamil Nadu cadre working with Centre. he Ministry of Urban TDevelopment (MoUD) has proposed to increase Reform Incentive Fund from 500 crore during to over 3,000 crore per year over the next three years. The States and cities will have to implement five new reforms that include formulating of Land Titling Law, credit rating of Urban Local Bodies, value capture financing, moving to a trust and verify approach and improving professionalism of Urban Local Bodies. According to an official statement, cities will be ranked based on performance under each reform category for providing reform incentive. The ministry has evolved a new reform matrix to enable State sand cities to go beyond the present incrementalism of taking small steps towards implementing transformational reforms over the next three years, for a turnaround in urban governance, planning and finance. The concerned Group of Secretaries in their hree institutes of Indian TCouncil of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE), Dehradun, have developed 20 high-yielding varieties of plant species. The Variety Releasing Committee (VRC) of ICFRE, granted approval for the release of these varieties of plant species, at a meeting held on Monday. The three institutes are Forest Research Institute (FRI), Dehradun, Institute of Forest Genetics and Tree Breeding (IFGTB), Coimbatore and Tropical Forest Research Institute, Jabalpur. The Forest Research Institute, Dehradun, has worked on ten improved varieties of Melia dubia and three clones of Eucalyptus tereticornis, the timber of which is in high demand in the industry. The released cultivars of Melia, popularly known as Dreake, or Malabar Neem, not only have a high productivity per unit area, with an average of cubic metre per hectare per annum. report on urban sector have recommended that After a review of the schemes over the years, the Group felt that instead of an incremental approach, the time has come for ushering in transformational reforms in Governance, Planning and Finance, the statement said. The ministry has organised a national-level workshop on urban development on Tuesday. The Ministry will also discuss with States and Union Territories new initiatives. The Research at Institute of Forest
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