Monday, July 7, 2014

National meet on Ganga cleaning to be held today

National meet on Ganga cleaning to be held todayUpdated on : 07-07-2014 09:01 AM
With the aim of cleaning and rejuvenating the Ganga river, the Centre is organising a national level meet on Monday where spiritual leaders, policy makers, NGOs and environmentalists will mull over the matter.

National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), the implementation arm of National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) programme of the Environment and Forest Ministry is organising the meet.

"To resolve complex problems associated with River Ganga, effective inter-ministerial, center-state and inter-state coordination is required," an NMCG release said.

Aimed at bringing all the stakeholders on a single platform, the one-day meet, named 'Ganga Manthan', will gather people from various walks of life and draw ideas that will give a better insight for framing a strategic long term policy for restoration of the Ganges.

Representatives of various ministries including those from Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Shipping and Tourism, and other stakeholders would participate in the meet.

The meet would begin with a session where all stakeholders will gather together, followed by four separate parallel sessions for saints and spiritual leaders, NGOs and environmentalists, academicians and technocrats, and public representatives and administrators.

Deliberations will take place on themes such as Ganga and 'Sanskriti' (culture), 'Nirmal and Aviral' (pure and continuous) Ganga, Comprehensive & Sustainable Solutions and 'Jan Sehbhagita' (public participation).

A combined session, where views and ideas discussed in the parallel sessions would be shared to facilitate formulation of a long-term strategy, will conclude the meet.

NMCG is presently implementing various pollution abatement, aquatic resource conservation and institutional development projects under NGRBA in the five basin states on the main stem of the Ganges adopting basin-based holistic approach.
Oppn slams govt in RS on price rise

Oppn slams govt in RS on price riseUpdated on : 07-07-2014 01:39 PM
Slamming BJP government for spurt in prices of essential commodities during its 45-day rule, Opposition Congress on Monday took potshots at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for riding to power on promise of controlling inflation yet doing nothing on it.

Speaking on the issue after his demand for suspension of Question Hour to discuss price rise was accepted by the ruling party, Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said the one-and-half-month rule of BJP government has seen all round rise in prices of vegetables and fruits.

Since coming to power, the BJP-led government has raised rail passenger fares and freight charges besides hiking petrol, diesel and LPG rates that have cascading impact on prices of other commodities, the Congress leader said.

Azad said when in 2012 the UPA government had raised rail fares before the railway budget, the then Chief Minister of Gujarat had written to the Prime Minister opposing such adjustments prior to presentation of the Rail Budget and had demanded its rollback.

"In two years what has changed" that the BJP government raised not just passenger fares but also freight days ahead of the Railway budget, he said, pointing out that fares and freight have been raised by a steep 14-16 per cent.

BJP and Modi's 6-month election campaign was centered around price rise and Congress and UPA leadership was criticised for being oblivious to the plight of poor, he said.

"If Congress did not know poverty and if BJP leaders had better knowledge, then why did they provide for back breaking prices rise in one-and-half-months," he asked.

Azad demanded immediate rollback in rail fares as well as the hike in diesel, petrol and LPG rates.

He said the UPA had initiated landmark measures like the MNREGA and Food Security Bill to help poor.

"Did we not spend money on infrastructure in 10 years," he said, pointing to new airports that came up in Delhi, Mumbai and other places as well as roads and highways, schools and universities built in various parts of the country.
Iran backs Maliki as Iraq PM but prepared for change

 Iran backs Maliki as Iraq PM but prepared for change Updated on : 06-07-2014 07:34 PM
Iran said on Sunday it supports Nuri al-Maliki's bid to stay on as Iraq's premier, but that it is ready to back any other candidate chosen by the Iraqi parliament.

Maliki's "State of Law coalition won first place in the last legislative elections... (and) any decision that is taken in Iraq and has the support of parliament has Iran's backing," said Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian.

"If Mr Maliki is chosen as prime minister, we will work hard together. If another person is chosen by parliament, the Islamic Republic of Iran will also support them. It's an internal affair for Iraq," he said.

The Iraqi parliament is to convene on Tuesday to elect a speaker, president and prime minister.

Maliki, a Shiite, has been prime minister since 2006 and last week vowed to "never give up on" his quest for a third term, despite critics blaming him for steering the Shiite-majority country towards all-out sectarian war.

Shiite-dominated Iran has said it is willing to provide Iraq advice and military assistance in the fight with Sunni insurgents who have now declared an Islamic caliphate.

The Islamic State (IS) militants overran large chunks of Iraqi territory last month and have declared there own caliphate.

The militant offencive, which led Iraqi troops to abandon their posts, has emboldened Kurdish leaders to press for independence of their autonomous northern region.

Shiite-dominated Iran has said it is willing to provide Iraq advice and military assistance in the fight with the Sunni insurgents.

Tehran opposes a breakup of Iraq, denouncing it as an Israeli plot.

"We will never allow (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu's dreams about the disintegration of Iraq and the region to come true," Amir-Abdollahian said today. He added that Iran had warned Iraq's Kurdish leaders against separatism, saying it was "in nobody's interest".

Amir-Abdollahian also criticised the United States for doing "nothing concrete to fight against terrorism".

"At best, the behaviour of the United States over the past three weeks regarding Iraq has been suspect. We see no need to cooperate or have talks with the United States about Iraq," he said.

In addition, he said the "role of Saudi Arabia in the events of the region, including Syria and Iraq, is not positive."
Sania enters top-5 for first time in her career

Sania enters top-5 for first time in her careerUpdated on : 07-07-2014 10:41 AM
Indian tennis ace Sania Mirza achieved a career-best rank of number five in the world as the new WTA doubles chart was released on Monday.

Sania, who turned a pro in 2003 and overcame a career-threatening wrist injury in between, has entered the top-five for the first time in her career.

Sania and her Zimbabwean partner Cara Black could not go deep in the just concluded Wimbledon championships, but a second round appearance fetched her crucial 130 ranking points, enough to push her in the top-5.

"Its been a long hard journey since my comeback to tennis from my third surgery when my career seemed to be over.. It is a very satisfying feeling to have bounced back from those despairing times and to be ranked in the top-5 of the world today," Sania told.

Her father and coach Imran Mirza said, "I've always believed Sania had the potential to be a top-5 player. I'm happy she has overcome heavy odds to justify her promise."

In the singles rankings, Ankita gained one place to be 285 as country's best player.

Meanwhile in the ATP rankings, Somdev Devvarman's dropped 10 places to 135 as his poor run continued unabated.

In the doubles, Leander Paes remained unchanged at number 13 and was highest ranked player from the country. Rohan Bopanna dropped three places to sit on the edge of top-20.
Shariat court has no legal status: SC

Shariat court has no legal status: SC Updated on : 07-07-2014 01:12 PM
Disapproving of a Shariat court issuing fatwa and order against a person who is not before it, the Supreme Court on Monday said it has no sanction of law and has no legal status.

The apex court said there is "no doubt" that such a court has no legal status while noting that in some cases, orders were being passed by them which violate human rights and punish innocent persons.

A bench headed by Justice C K Prasad said that no religion, including Islam, allows punishing innocent persons and ordered that no 'Darul Qaza' should give verdict which affects rights of a person who is not before it.

The court passed the verdict on a PIL filed by advocate Vishwa Lochan Madam questioning the constitutional validity of Shariat courts which allegedly run a parallel judicial system in the country.

All India Personal Law Board had earlier submitted that fatwa was not binding on people and it was just an opinion of a 'mufti' (cleric) and he has no power and authority to implement it.

The counsel, appearing for the Board, had said if a fatwa was sought to be implemented against the wish of the person concerned, then he could approach the court of law against it.

The petitioner had submitted that the fundamental rights of Muslims could not be controlled and curtailed through fatwas issued by 'qazis' and 'muftis' appointed by Muslim organizations
Price rise, rail fare hike disrupts Lok Sabha proceedings

Price rise, rail fare hike disrupts Lok Sabha proceedings
The issues of price rise and rail fare hike disrupted proceedings in Lok Sabha on the opening day of the Budget session on Monday with Opposition insisting on a discussion on the matter through adjournment motions.

Speaker Sumitra Mahajan rejected the notices for adjournment motions but said she was ready to have special discussion under Rule 193 that does not entail voting.

Trouble started as soon as the Question Hour began, with members of Congress, Trinamool Congress, RJD, SP, Aam Aadmi Party and the Left trooping into the Well raising the issues of price rise and rail fare hike.

Mahajan's repeated pleas to allow the questions to be taken up went unheeded, leading to adjournment of the House for nearly 40 minutes till noon.

When the House re-assembled, similar scenes were witnessed.

Congress Deputy Leader Amarinder Singh said his party was pushing for the motion in view of the government's "failure" to check skyrocketing prices of essential commodities, including pulses and vegetables, hurting the common man.

"Why can't we have a discussion on the issue like in Rajya Sabha which suspended Question Hour to take up the discussion," Singh asked.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu said the government has nothing to hide and was ready for discussion on the matter under Rule 193.

The Speaker observed that she would not allow adjournment motion either on price rise or rail fare hike but was ready to have a discussion under Rule 193.

As agitating members were not satisfied, the Speaker said, "so you don't want the Zero Hour also" and adjourned the House at around 1215 hours till 1400 hours.
Conspiracy to force CAG to drop discoms audit
From: Media Cell AAP  Sun, 6 Jul '14 5:42p
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
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                                   Sunday, July 6
The latest letter by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) to the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi has exposed the conspiracy hatched to prevent the frauds committed by private power distribution companies from being made public.
The ongoing CAG audit has made the discoms extremely nervous and after all their desperate attempts to stall their account books from being scrutinised have failed, they have hatched a conspiracy with active help from the BJP and the Congress to delay the audit and frustrate the CAG.
It is extremely shocking that the top CAG officials have been forced to remind the LG and the Delhi administration run by him about their duty to ensure that it is mandatory for the discoms to provide all their account books to the auditors.
The manner in which the discoms are hiding their account books and other related data with active connivance from top Delhi administration, is a clear and incriminating evidence about the attempts being made to force the CAG to drop this important audit.
Already the audit process has been delayed for more than six months and on the other hand, the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC), is set to announce a steep hike in the electricity tariffs anytime now.
This injustice being imposed on the people of Delhi will not be tolerated any further.
The Aam Aadmi Party is of the firm view that there is no justification to delay the CAG audit and till the time this process is going on, any decision to hike the electricity tariff is nothing short cheating the people residing in the national capital.
First the people were given false excuses by the then Shiela Dikshit’s Congress government for a decade that accounts of discoms cannot be audited since they are privately controlled and later, a further falsehood of discoms having obtained a stay from the court was floated.
The AAP government called this bluff within 48 hours of coming to office and asked the CAG to find out about the frauds committed by these discoms.
Now, it has been nearly six weeks since Narendra Modi’s BJP government is controlling Delhi administration. The silence of BJP on the CAG audit and power tariff hike is baffling.
Nobody expects the Congress which systematically allowed the discoms to raise electricity tariffs for a decade and loot the people of Delhi, to now support the CAG audit, to now support this scrutiny.
The BJP, which promised a 30% reduction in electricity tariffs needs to break its silence on the fraud being committed on the people.  
The people of Delhi are eagerly awaiting the views of union power minister Mr Piyush Goyal on the social media platforms on this subject.
The AAP demands that the central government should direct the Delhi administration to warn the discoms that their attempts to scuttle the CAG audit will result in cancellation of their licences.
The AAP will lead an unprecedented protest in the national capital in case the DERC goes ahead with its plan to raise the electricity tariffs without waiting for the findings of the CAG audit. (ENDS)
AAP Media Cell

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