Saturday, January 13, 2018

African Union:Trump must apologies

The organisation representing African countries has demanded that US President Donald Trump apologise after he reportedly made outrageous words against the nations of the continent.
The group’s mission in Washington DC expressed its shock, dismay and outrage and said the Trump administration misunderstood Africans. The US leader made the alleged remark in a Thursday meeting on immigration.
Mr Trump yesterday tweeted that his language he used at the private meeting with lawmakers to discuss immigration legislation had been tough. But he added that the words attributed to him were not the language used.
He has been backed by two Republicans who were at the White House meeting, but Democratic Senator Dick Durbin said Mr Trump did use the outrageous words against African countries several times and used racist language.
The 55-nation African Union condemned the remarks yesterday, while a statement from ambassadors of all countries from the continent at the United Nations demanded a retraction and apology.
Ambassadors unanimously agreed to the resolution after an emergency session to weigh Trump’s remarks.

ED raids, P.Chidambaram & son

Enforcement Directorate conducted raids at the premises of senior Congress leader P.Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram in Chennai and Delhi this morning. Mr Karti Chidambaram is facing charges of money laundering in connection with the Aircel Maxis case. Sources said, four properties were searched in Chennai and one in the national capital. However, Mr Karti’s lawyer has said the Directorate has taken possession of no document during the search.
It is said that the Foreign Investment Promotion Board FIPB in 2006 granted approval for the Aircel-Maxis telecom deal when Mr Chidambaram was the finance minister. The investigating agency says the FIPB acted beyond its mandate since the investment involved was more than its limit. However, Mr Chidambaram denies the charge saying, due procedures were followed.
The Enforcement Directorate earlier issued summons to Mr Karti to appear for questioning, saying a firm is controlled by him has been benefiting from the deal, which he denies. The case investigating being investigated by the CBI as well.

Sharp increase in prosecutions of tax evaders by Income Tax Department

The Income Tax Department has accorded the highest priority to tackle the menace of black money. With this objective in mind, the Department has initiated criminal prosecution proceedings in a large number of cases of tax offenders and evaders.
Prosecutions have been initiated for various offences including wilful attempt to evade tax or payment of any tax; wilful failure in filing returns of income; false statement in verification and failure to deposit the tax deducted/collected at source or inordinate delay in doing so, among other defaults.
During FY 2017-18 (upto the end of November, 2017), the Department filed Prosecution complaints for various offences in 2225 cases compared to 784 for the corresponding period in the immediately preceding year, marking an increase of 184%. The number of complaints compounded by the Department during the current Financial Year (upto the end of November, 2017) stands at 1052 as against 575 in the corresponding period of the immediately preceding year, registering a rise of 83%. Compounding of offences is done when the defaulter admits to its offence and pays the compounding fee as per stipulated conditions.
Due to the decisive and focused action taken by the Department against tax evaders, the number of defaulters convicted by the courts has also registered a sharp increase during the current fiscal. 48 persons were convicted for various offences during the current year(upto the end of November, 2017) as compared to 13 convictions for the corresponding period in the immediately preceding year, marking an increase of 269%.
A few illustrative cases are highlighted below:
i. A Dehradun Court convicted one defaulter for holding undisclosed foreign bank account and sentenced him to two years of imprisonment for wilful attempt to evade tax and to two years for false statement in verification alongwith monetary penalty for each default respectively.
ii. The Court of CJM, Jalandhar convicted a cloth trader with 2 years rigorous imprisonment for trying to cheat the Department by fabricating affidavits and gift deeds, in connivance with his advocate and witness, with the motive of evading tax. The Court, while awarding the sentence to the trader, also simultaneously awarded one year’s imprisonment to the advocate notarizing the forged affidavit and also to the witness for aiding and abetting the serious offence.
iii. In Bengaluru, the MD of a company engaged in infrastructure projects was found guilty of non-deposit of TDS of over Rs. 60 lakh(within the prescribed time), and was sentenced to rigorous imprisonment of three months alongwith imposition of fine. Similarly, a Mohali resident was held guilty of non-deposit of TDS within prescribed time and sentenced to one year jail alongwith fine.
iv. In another case of Hyderabad, the Director of an infrastructure company was sentenced to rigorous imprisonment of six months and fine for wilful attempt to evade tax. She was simultaneously sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for six months alongwith fine for false statement in verification.
v. The Economic Offences Court at Ernakulam sentenced an individual to rigorous imprisonment of three months for selling property to evade payment of taxes of about Rs. 76 lakh despite issuance of the tax recovery certificate by the Tax Recovery Officer.
vi. In yet another case reported from Agra, the Special CJM convicted one defaulter with imprisonment of one year & six months for wilful attempt to evade tax and for false statement in verification respectively alongwith fine.
The Income Tax Department is committed to carry forward the drive against tax evasion and action against tax evaders will continue in all earnest in the remaining part of the current Financial Year.

welcomes Gov. acceptance of non-animal skin and eye tests for pesticide safety

Humane Society International/India welcomes government acceptance of non-animal skin and eye tests for pesticide safety
NEW DELHI (12 Jan, 2018)—In a move that could spare many animals from pain and death in crude 1940s-era experiments, the Registration Committee of the Central Insecticide Board under India’s Ministry of Agriculture has revised its pesticide testing regulations to recognize modern, human cell-based alternatives to rabbit tests for the assessment of eye and skin irritation. This decision comes after more than two years of campaigning by Humane Society International/India and negotiations between HSI/India, members of the pesticide industry and PETA India.
The revised “Guidance Document on Toxicology for Registration of Chemical Pesticides in India” also includes language that directs companies to consider new validated alternative methods to animal testing, and changing some previously ‘unconditional’ test requirements to conditional requirements. Notoriously cruel inhalation studies, in which rats or mice are confined to whole-body restraint tubes and forced to breathe in toxic vapours for up to six hours a day – sometimes for weeks on end or at such extreme levels to determine the chemical concentration that is lethal – are an example of a requirement that has been downgraded to conditional, meaning they may be waived going forward.
HSI/India Managing Director Jayasimha Nuggehalli said: “We welcome the Registration Committee’s move to replace notoriously cruel and obsolete animal pesticide tests. It has been a long journey, and there much is still left to do to bring Indian regulations in line with international best practices for reduction and replacement of animal testing for pesticides. The new regulations put India on the right path and will save countless animals from needless suffering.”
In 2016 HSI/India identified a “dirty dozen” pesticide animal tests that could be ended immediately without risk to consumer or environmental safety. The recent action by the CIB-RC addresses two of these test areas, but overlooks other internationally-recognized animal-saving approaches that could spare thousands more animals for every pesticide chemical tested. Examples include:
  • Calculation of a pesticide formulation’s toxicity instead of conducting repeat “lethal dose” testing via oral, skin and inhalation routes
  • An animal-free test strategy for skin allergy that predicts human reactions with greater accuracy than any of the accepted animal tests
  • An “extended 1-generation” test that reduces animal use by 1,200 rats per test
HSI/India will continue its dialogue with Indian authorities and industry executives until all available animal testing alternatives are fully accepted and implemented in practice.
Media Contact: Vidhi Malla, vmalla@hsi.org, +91 9560103078

UNMA Welcomes UNSG’s Report – Making Migration Work for All

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New York – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, welcomed Thursday (11/01) the release of the UN Secretary General’s report, Making Migration Work for All. The Report comes at a crucial time in the process to develop a global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration, and will serve as an important contribution to global discourse on international migration.
Making Migration Work for All provides a forward-looking analysis and vision, and a principled approach to thinking about contemporary challenges around migration, and how to address them,” said Michele Klein Solomon, IOM Director for the Global Compact for Migration.
Making Migration Work for All recognizes the need to address the factors that compel people to leave their homes in search of safer, better lives. Strong emphasis is rightly placed on whole of government and whole of society approaches at the local, national, regional and global levels, with genuine partnerships not only between governments but with employers, unions, civil society entities and migrants themselves, amongst others, to manage migration.
The Report makes note of the fact that most of the world’s 258 million international migrants already move through safe, orderly and regular means, and that they bring significant benefits to their destination and origin countries.
The report notes, for example: migrants spend, on average, some 85 per cent of their earnings in their host countries, thereby not only addressing skills and labour shortages there, but also contributing directly to economic growth through consumption of goods and services locally.  Moreover, migrants remit homeward 15 per cent of their earnings – in 2017 some USD 600 billion, per World Bank estimates – to the benefit of their families and communities in sender countries which, for many, is a lifeline.
Nonetheless, many countries today confront significant challenges surrounding migration governance.
With migration an expanding global reality, the Report brings a fresh coherence to the migration narrative. It challenges governments to put in place comprehensive national systems to manage migration, based on the rule of law.  It places rightful emphasis on the need to maximize the benefits that migration offers.
IOM particularly commends the Report’s commitment to the notion that migration should be a matter of choice, not necessity, as well as the importance it attaches to protecting the rights of all migrants. IOM shares the UN Secretary General’s concern about migrants in vulnerable situations, including those in large and mixed flows and those affected by the growing effects of environmental degradation and climate change. The emphasis of the Report on addressing irregular migration is also particularly welcome.
“The best way to end the stigma of illegality and abuse around migrants is, in fact, for governments to put in place more legal pathways for migration,” said UN SG Antonio Guterres. “This will remove incentives for individuals to break the rules, while better meeting the needs of markets for foreign labour.”
Echoing discussion during the consultations phase of the global compact process, the Report places a priority on ensuring adequate regular pathways for migrants to access labour market opportunities at all skills levels. These pathways should be based on labour market and demographic assessments in countries of destination, not only for today but for decades to come.
This is but one of the measures the Report proposes to reduce both the incidence and risks of irregular migration and informal employment of migrants.  Partnerships for skills development are one innovative proposal for addressing skills deficits in destination countries while benefiting countries of origin through training of their labour force.  Another would be cross-border ethical recruitment initiatives that are rightly identified as promising for reducing both the costs and risks to migrants.
At the same time, Making Migration Work for All clearly recognizes that governments retain the authority to determine the conditions of entry and stay of migrants, consistent with international standards, and recognizes countries’ legitimate security concerns as well. The Report stresses that migration is not, per se, a threat and emphasizes the importance of ensuring cooperative approaches to human, state and public security, including on border management and returns.
Importantly, the Report places the migration narrative in a positive light, putting people at its centre. Making Migration Work for All recognizes the positive contributions of migrants and migration to inclusive growth, sustainable development and reducing inequalities within and between states over the long term.
IOM supports the call to Member States to put in place a follow-up and review mechanism for the compact to ensure continued yet flexible progress, and notes the Secretary General’s intention to look at how the UN, including IOM, can best organize itself to support Member State implementation of whatever commitments they make in the compact.
As the Report stresses, this needs to be consistent with his overall reform efforts as well as SDG follow-up and implementation.
The UN Migration Agency looks forward to continuing to engage closely with all partners as the process to develop a global compact for migration progresses. IOM believes that the development of a global compact for migration presents an historic opportunity to improve the lives and dignity of migrants as well as the ability of governments to manage migration.
The full report can be accessed here.
For further information please contact, Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email: jmillman@iom.int

Moinuddin Malak tops Pre Qualifying II, 30 players qualify for Final Stage

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Kensville Golf & Country Club, Ahmedabad, January 12, 2018: Nagpur’s Moinuddin Malak (69-69) topped the leaderboard at the PGTI’s Pre Qualifying II for the 2018 season after finishing the second round with a total of six-under-138.
A total of 30 players qualified from Pre Qualifying II for the Final Qualifying Stage as nine players were tied in 22ndposition when the cut was declared at seven-over-151 at the Kensville Golf & Country Club near Ahmedabad.
Malak fired a second straight 69 which featured three birdies on his last five holes.
Ludhiana-based amateur Digraj Singh Gill, the round one leader, slipped to second place at five-under-139 after a 71 on Friday.
Three golfers shared third place at one-under-143 including Ikramuddin Shah, Ajay Baisoya and amateur Aditya Chahal.

Public statement

Public Statement
Joint Citizens Protest demands scrapping of biometric UID/Aadhaar number database project
Speakers spoke against UIDAI’s proposal of 360 degree view of Citizens
The planned Joint Citizens Protest against world biggest Central Identities Data Repository (CIDR) of 12 –digit biometric Unique Identification (UID)/Aadhaar numbers happened at the Parliament Street from 3 pm onwards on12th of January, 2018.  More such protests are planned across the districts and cities in the country.  Several speakers at the protest site demanded immediate stoppage of the biometric UID/Aadhaar number database project.  There were concerns expressed at the decline in the number of citizens of the country due to citizen’ deaths as a consequence of UID/Aadhaar menace. There was talk about how disclosures about breach of UID/Aadhaar database by The Tribune reveal something similar to what Edward Snowden did albeit in an Indian context. It has compromised national security and the personal sensitive information of present and future Presidents, Prime Ministers, judges, legislators and officials handling sensitive assignments besides all the Indians. This has compromised both the right to privacy of citizens and nationals security
The current UIDAI chief Satyanarayana finds mention in the report Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology that examined the work of Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY), Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, asked about the surveillance by National Security Agency (NSA) of the US. It states that in the context of privacy of data, the Committee desired to know the Department’s stand on the issue of surveillance by US and interception of data sent through e-mails. To this, Satyanarayana, as Secretary, DeitY, responded during the evidence as under:-“Sir, about the US surveillance issue, there has been a debate, as you are aware, this morning in the Rajya Sabha itself and the hon. Minister has addressed this issue. He also emphasised that as far as the Government data and Government mails are concerned, the policy, the copy of which I have given to the Committee earlier, is going to address a large part of it. Hopefully, by the end of this year, if it is implemented, the things will be absolutely safe and secure…x.x.x.x…In the reply, the Hon. Minister also said that we have expressed our serious concern about the reported leakages and in the name of surveillance, the data that has been secured from various private sources, internet resources by the US Government. We have expressed it formally to the Government of the US and also during the Secretary of State’s visit a few weeks ago in India, this has been reinforced on a person to person basis.”
He added, “We have been assured that whatever data has been gathered by them for surveillance relates only to the metadata. It has been reiterated and stated at the highest level of the US President that that only the metadata has been accessed, which is, the origin of the message and the receiving point, the destination and the route through which it has gone, but not the actual content itself. This has been reiterated by them, but we expressed that any incursion into the content will not be tolerated and is not tolerable from Indian stand and point of view. That has been mentioned very clearly and firmly by our Government.” In effect, the Government of India has formally communicated to Government US that India has no problem if they conduct surveillance for metadata in fact it is acceptable and tolerable but “incursion into the content will not be tolerated and is not tolerable.”
Contrary to the claims of the promoters of biometric Unique Identification (UID)/Aadhaar like Nandan Nilekani that “Millions of people without any ID, now have an ID”, the fact is that of all the Aadhaar numbers issued to Indian residents till date – 99.97 per cent had pre-existing identification (ID) documents. This has been revealed in a reply to an application under Right to Information (RTI) Act by Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY). The enclosed reply reveals that out of the 83.5 crore UID/Aadhaar numbers issued till then, only 2.19 lakh residents (0.03 per cent) have been given numbers based on the introduction by the introducer system because they did not have a  pre-existing ID. This proves that that ‘an inability to prove identity” has not a major barrier to access benefits and subsidies. Now it has emerged that UIDAI’s project and its proponents have been complicit in engineering free flow of data to US and its allies contrary to government’s written submission on e-commerce opposing free access to citizen’s data base at 11thWTO Ministerial. Notably, companies like Accenture (USA), Safran Group and Ernst & Young have been given access to sensitive data of present and future Indians.
At the protest site there was reference to the presentation of J Satyanaraya, the chairman of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) on People Hub: …the Core of DBT dated 22nd, July 2016 wherein he revealed the purpose of People’s Hub is to have “Getting a 360 degree view of Citizens” that alters the relationships between citizens, government and the business enterprises.  As per IBM, a “Single View of a Citizen” is required because it “Provides authorized access to citizen master data as a service.” It “supports security and privacy requirements for the access and control of data”. It “provides data quality management to establish a “enterprise” record for a party.” It “Performs as a synchronization point to control the distribution of citizen master data in a standardized way.”  It “Increases service and accuracy, and decreases the cost of serving the public.”It provides “flexible platform capable of supporting multiple data formats and allowing for new sources to be readily added as requirements change. It also “provides analysis and discovery services to resolve identities and discover relationships.”
It may be recalled that Edwin Black’s book IBM and the Holocaust revealed IBM’s strategic alliance with Nazi Germany. IBM and its subsidiaries helped create enabling technologies, “step-by-step, from the identification and cataloging programs of the 1930s to the selections of the 1940s.” Notably, IBM was in the census business. The book reveals that IBM technology was used to organize nearly everything in Germany and then Nazi Europe, from the identification of the Jews in censuses, registrations, and ancestral tracing programs to the running of railroads and organizing of concentration camp slave labor. Coincidentally, IBM is involved in UID/Aadhaar project as well.
Citizens Forum for Civil Liberties (CFCL) participated in the protest to express its solidarity.

Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat press conference

Chief of Army Staff General Bipin Rawat in Delhi interacting with media on its annual media meet was in his elements to dwell on the volly of question tossed by media person in style appreciated  by media fraternity.
Army chief  after briefing the media for nearly 15-20 minutes opened the floor for the media to raise question.
On question of modernizing the force, the question was raised in many forms he categorically said, We need modern weapons and technology. We have to look at what we require to fight the future wars. We have to get systems that are best suited for our requirements:
Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat  added, Please visit the schools of J& K and see for your self the way children are taught with two maps one of india and the second of J&K , the education in Kashmir needs to be revamped. Let it not got corrupted. There must be check on disinformation through madrasas and Masjids. Children are being taught wrong things in schools. What does it lead to in a child’s mind?
Chief  added the China is a powerful country but we are not a weak nation and we are aware of his influence in the region.
Chief also paid Media his heartfelt gratitude for being mature and helping in assisting the mission of army but jibed not to seek our next mission strategy which need to be different unique so unpredictable to our adversaries, targets. Yes we can mull on last military skills. He said not primary media but social media need to be more mature and responsible which is need of the hour.
Touching media his verbatim
“Care to Martyrs family,widows, veterans and brotherhood are the culture for which people across nation join for this virtue embedder and shall ever imbibe to be part of family care,culture.
  1. Sagar Media Inc : Army Chief interaction with Media Repeated Q’s were asked on Dokhlam,BPJ,Morale of soldiers, Modernisation & Preparedness of Army, Twin front, He said forget 1962. Accepted some pitfalls in opening remarks.s surprise Media not spoke MIG submarine Vikrant slips
  2. Sagar Media Inc: Army Chief address with voluble diction suave persona non aggression attitude cool conduct in his two hours interaction Media paid apt attention to his each word spoken and showered lavish praise after the event.Balanced approach appreciable never in rage.
  3. Sagar Media Inc: Address Media Army Chief said we need to visualise future of combat. Technology help effective surveillance Engaging target can b differentiate weapon system.invoking internal security anti terrorist counter terrorists,engage human rts Nat disaster,beyond mandate
  4. Sagar Media Inc Army Chief: Assured Media the Coordination with China army is on move LOC and LOA differentiation are best resolved. Further adds we don’t need modernisation what others need our defence is as per need and requirements.

Quake hits central Myanmar

A strong 6 point magnitude earthquake hit a remote region of central Myanmar early this morning.
The US Geological Survey said, the shallow quake struck some 40 kilometres west of the town of Pyu.
It was followed by three weaker tremors in the region, of magnitudes 5.3. The USGS said, there is a low likelihood of casualties and damage, but noted that residential structures in the region are typically vulnerable to earthquake shaking.
The epicentre was located in a sparsely populated region between the capital Naypyidaw to the north and commercial hub Yangon to the south.

Pak open fire at Uri positions along LoC

Pakistani troops violated cease fire and  opened fire at Indian positions along the Line of Control in Uri sector of Jammu and Kashmir.
An Army official said today, no casualties have been reported so far. He said, Pakistani troops resorted to unprovoked firing in Kamalkote area of Uri sector last evening.
The ceasefire violation was effectively retaliated by the Indian Army.

PM Modi: Ask youth to create new India

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked the youth to become an agent of change for the emergence of India as a new India.
Addressing the National Youth Festival 2018 via video conferencing, Mr Modi said in New Delhi today that the government wants to make youth job creators and as youngest innovators.
The Prime Minister urged the youth to make sports a part of their lives. He said, youth should resolve to create the India that the freedom fighters dreamt of.
Mr Modi said, government is there to help them economically in their innovation work and help them start their own businesses.
Mr Modi said, during the Mann Ki Baat programme on All India Radio last month, he had had called for organising mock parliaments in the districts to further the spirit of discussion among the youth.
He said there has to be an ecosystem of innovation among youth. Mr Modi said, some people will tell that today’s youth lack patience.
He said, in a way, this is what ignites an innovative zeal in the youth. He said, it enables the youngsters to think out of the box and do new things.

ISRO launch PSLV C-40, in the space

India today successfully launched weather observation satellite Cartosat 2 Series and 29 other spacecraft onboard its dependable Polar rocket from Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.
  1. Sagar Media Inc :Cart2 separate 1038 second and satellite are placed in orbit from foreign UK,Canada,Rep Korea all nano satellite completed 4th stage to re-ignite To put last satellites in orbit.
  2. Sagar Media Inc ISRO Launch 100 th satellite PSLV-C40 with 31 satellite successfully after 46 KM PSLV,2nd stage separate 3rd stage ignite and separate.4 th stage ignite to put 31 Satellite in desired orbit at 476 KM .4th stage normal reach goal at its destination.500km. Cart2
A jubilant ISRO Chairman A S Kiran Kumar announced that the Cartosat 2 Series satellite, the seventh in the series, a nano satellite and 28 commercial payloads were successfully injected into the orbit one by one by the PSLV C-40, in the space of about 17.33 minutes since lift-off.
ISRO’s Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network took control of the Cartosat 2 Series satellite in space. International customer satellites are three micro and 25 nano-satellites from six countries — Canada, Finland, France, Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.
President Ram Nath Kovind congratulated the scientists at ISRO saying it is a moment of pride for every Indian. He tweeted launch of India’s 100th satellite Cartosat-2, along with two co-passenger satellites as well as 28 satellites of six friendly countries, to is a milestone for our country .
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also congratulated to ISRO and its scientists on the successful launch of PSLV today. This success in the New Year will bring benefits of the country’s rapid strides in space technology to our citizens, farmers, fishermen etc. In a tweet, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu also congratulated the entire team of ISRO for the successful launch.
Information and Broadcasting minister Smriti Irani congratulated ISRO scientists In a series of tweet, the minister said, the successful launch of satellite Cartosat-2 series is a hallmark of Indian scientific aptitude and indicative of the perseverance and proficiency of ISRO team.
She said, 28 satellites from 6 Nations carried by today’s launch are a testimony to not only our philosophy of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ but also compliments Prime Minister’s endeavour of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’.
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