Delhi - Opinion Express

Delhi - Opinion Express

Delhi - Opinion Express

?=BQ =4F34;78 India is facing a massive unemployment crisis with joblessness at the highest in nearly five decades. According to the survey findings report- ed by a business newspaper, the country is facing unprece- dented unemployment of 6.1 per cent in 2017-18 the high- est since 1972-73. The assess- ment survey by the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) was conducted between July 2017 and June 2018. A war of words between the Congress and the BJP erupted over the leaked job cre- ation report card on Friday. In a scathing attack on the Narendra Modi Government, Congress president Rahul Gandhi said the data revealed a “National Disaster”.

In reac- tion, the BJP quickly respond- ed and termed it as “#FakeNews!” The report has not been made public with two members of the National Statistical Commission alleging the Government was delaying the data. The NSSO report on job data has been at the centre of much controversy after two non-governmental members of the National Statistical Commission (NSC), PC Mohanan and JV Meenakshi, stepped down on Monday amid “disagreements” with the Government over the func- tioning of the commission ear- lier this week.

Meanwhile, Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar, who had previously mounted a defence of lowering of UPA-era GDP growth rates, claimed the report cited by the news- paper “is not finalised. It is a draft report”. The Aayog claimed that estimating employment gener- ated in the recent years is edu- cation enrollment that increased from 101 million in 2011-12 to 112 million in 2017. Refusing to comment on the content of the news report, the Niti Aayog chief said the Government will release its employment report by March after collating quarter-on-quar- ter data. He also debunked claims of jobless growth, saying how a country can grow at an average of 7 per cent without employment.

Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, who too was present at the conference, said India is creating adequate number of jobs for new entrants, but “probably we are not creating high quality jobs”. The NSSO job report was previously planned to be released in December 2018. The draft of the NSSO survey reportedly shows that at 7.8 per cent, joblessness is higher in the urban areas of the country than in rural parts, where it was 5.3 per cent. “Among urban males aged between 15 and 29, unem- ployment stood at 18.7 per cent as opposed to 8.1 per cent in 2011-12. Among urban females, it was 27.2 per cent in 2017-18; it was 13.1 per cent in 2011-12.

The unemployment rate among youth reached a record high level in 2017-18 as compared to previous year and “much higher compared to that in the overall population”, highlighted the report.

“For educated rural females, the unemployment rate ranged from 9.7 per cent to 15.2 per cent between 2004- 05 and 2011-12, which rose to 17.3 per cent in 2017-18,” the report said. In case of rural educated males, the joblessness rate surged to 10.5 per cent in 2017-18 from 3.5-4.4 per cent between 2004-05 and 2011-12. For instance, the rate of joblessness among rural males in the age group of 15-29 years jumped more than three folds to 17.4 per cent in 2017-18 ver- sus 5 per cent in 2011-12. In case of female youth in rural areas, unemployment rate stood at 13.6 per cent in 2017- 18 as compared to 4.8 per cent in 2011-12,” the report said.

Countering the media report, Niti Aayog has cited McKinsey Global Institute’s report on “India’s Labour Market — A new emphasis on Gainful Employment’ (2017)” which estimates that a combi- nation of increased Government spending, addi- tional IT hiring, the rise of independent work and an increase in entrepreneurship created gainful employment between 20 million and 26 million people between 2014 and 2017.

Similarly, Surjit Bhalla & Tirtha Das (2018) in their report estimates net job cre- ation as 22.1 million for the 2013-2017 period — a pace considerably higher than the 11 million jobs created between 2004-5 and 2011-12. Mohandas Pai & Baid (September 2018) pointed out that cumulatively, from the formal and informal sectors, India generates over 1 crore jobs each year. As per NITI Aayog, as many as16,970 new chartered accountants were added to the workforce in 2017 with around 5,624 new practices setting up shop, which would have creat- ed further additional jobs. Continued on Page 4 A094B7:D:E4AA486=B42H @A  ) 0A4F40B7>;H 01>DC60=60.

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Delhi - Opinion Express

=4F34;78k5A830H k541AD0AH ( RP_XcP[! 3ULQWHGDQGSXEOLVKHGE\&KDQGDQ0LWUDIRUDQGRQEHKDOIRI&0AC4AQ =4F34;78 An unidentified body of an elderly man was found in Geeta Colony outside a Mohalla clinic on Thursday morning. Police suspect that he froze to death as he was found lying in a canal near the clin- ic, police said. It is suspected that the man was sleeping on the canal as police found him covered in thin blankets. The man was taken to a nearby hospital and was declared brought dead on arrival. The body has been transferred to the mortuary. Prima Facie, police suspect that the man died of natural causes.

“As of now we suspect it was a natural death. The probable cause of death is due to cold. Nothing suspicious till now,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (Shadhara) Meghna Yadav said. Police are further investi- gating the case to establish the identity of the deceased. BC055A4?>AC4AQ =4F34;78 Overcast skies prevailed in the national Capital on Thursday, with the minimum temperature settling at 8.2 degrees Celsius, normal for this time of the year. The max- imum temperature was record- ed at 21.5 degrees Celsius, a notch below the season’s aver- age, said a Meteorological (MeT) department official.

The humidity oscillated between 97 and 60 per cent. The MeT office has fore- cast light rain and drizzle at one or two places for Friday. “Generally cloudy skies will become partly cloudy in the morning. Very light rains and drizzle is likely at one or two places for Friday. The maximum and minimum tem- perature are likely to hover at 20 and 10 degrees respective- ly,” the weatherman said. On Wednesday, the mini- mum temperature was record- ed at 5.2 degrees Celsius and the maximum temperature was 20.9 degrees Celsius. ?C8Q =4F34;78 The Bar Council of Delhi (BCD) on Thursday wel- come the Supreme Court ver- dict quashing certain discipli- nary rules against advocates, including debarring a lawyer from practising.

The BCD said it appreci- ates the observations of the apex court that the Bar coun- cils have a crucial role to play in a democratic society to ensure protection of human rights. The apex court on January 28 struck down certain amended Rules of the Madras High Court and observed that if the bar fails to perform the duty independently and becomes a “sycophant”, it ulti- mately results in denigrating of the judicial system and judi- ciary itself. “Role of Bar in the legal system is significant. The Bar is supposed to be the spokesperson for the judiciary as Judges do not speak,” the bench said.

“It is the duty of the Bar to protect honest judges and not to ruin their reputation and at the same time to ensure that corrupt judges are not spared,” it added.

BCD Chairman K C Mittal, in a statement, said the apex court had upheld the autogeny and dignity of the Bar and has held that Bar is independent of bench”Under the Advocates Act, 1961, the Bar enjoys the autonomous status having dis- ciplinary control assigned to the disciplinary committee of the State Bar Councils and the Bar Council of India,” BCD said.

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Delhi - Opinion Express

=4F34;78k5A830H k541AD0AH ( RP_XcP[" BC055A4?>AC4AQ =4F34;78 Thirteen Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islands Civil Service (DANICS) officers served in Delhi have been promotedtotheIAScadreasper the Government’s order. Kulanand Joshi, present- lyservedassecretary,Lieutenant Governor Andaman and Nicobar also one of them. The civil servant Joshi, belong to Uttrakhand had been additional secretary ( Bhagidari Programme ) during the tenure of former Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit. Hewasawardedasbestoffi- cer by the Dikshit government for his works in Bhagidari pro- gramme, which was an ambi- tious scheme of the then Congress dispensation in Delhi.

Another DANICS officer R N Sharma, who is currently DDA commissioner, has also beenpromotedtotheIAScadre. BC055A4?>AC4AQ =4F34;78 Delhi Directorate of Information and Publicity (DIP)SecretaryJayadevSarangi, who had run-ins with the Arvind Kejriwal Government on a range of issues, retired on Thursday.

In June 2017, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had directed the then chief secretary MM Kutty to replace Sarangi withanotherofficerafterSarangi denied permission to a Facebook Live event of the deputy CM. TheIASofficerhadalsosent a notice to the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) to pay C97 crore that the Government had spent on advertisements, vio- latingtheSupremeCourtguide- lines. About his future assign- ments, Sarangi, said he has not decided yet. He said that he had unearthed C4,000 crore land scam in 2004-05 when he was additional registrar co-operative societyofDelhi.Sarangisaidfol- lowing the scam being exposed, builders had started demanding his ouster.

Sarangi,whowasGoaexcise commissioner in 2012, had also come under target when he had transferred several excise officers in one day, irking liquor mafia in the state. He has been DIG (Prison), SP(Tihar),IG(Tihar),Transport Commissioner (Andaman and Nicobar),in-chargeofPanchayat Raj department (Andaman and Nicobar). He said that he had worked to increase the budget of Andaman and Nicobar’s Panchyat Raj department from C5 crore to C100 crore. The Union Home Ministry had in August 1996 circulated Sarangi’s crime prevention report to all chief secretaries for their suggestion.

BC055A4?>AC4AQ =4F34;78 Expressing concern over financial health of the cor- poration, South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) Mayor Narendra Kumar Chawla has written a letter to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, stating that implementation of recom- mendations of 5th Delhi Finance Commission (DFC) will result in reduction of C1300 crore per year to the civic body.

In the letter, Chawla stated that the provision for allocation of funds under non -plan and plan schemes has been clubbed together by the 5th DFC which used to be separate earlier and due to which the allocation of the funds to SDMC is bound to be curtailed to meager 39.19 per cent of three per cent of net tax collection of the Delhi gov- ernment.

The SDMC has already been facing scarcity of funds to discharge its obligations and in this case it will be diffi- cult to implement the welfare and developmental schemes, it stated. Chawla further stated that at present the share of funds to be allocated to SDMC under this scheme is not clear as 6.5 per cent of net tax collection shall be devolved for schemes under health, education and urban development sectors only after due consultations with the regarding depart- ments and local bodies. “As per the 3rd DFC’s rec- ommendations on devolution of funds to urban local bodies, SDMC had been in receipt of 45.44 per cent share of tax assignment out of the funds apportioned to the local bod- ies, he said, adding that the civic body has since been deprived of this part of the funds also.

?C8Q =4F34;78 ADelhi Court on Thursday directed CBI to expedite investigation into a 1984 anti- Sikh riots case in which Congress leader Jagdish Tytler has been given clean chit for his alleged role, saying that the matter is of sensitive nature. CBI informed Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Amit Arora that lie detector test of controversial businessman Abhishek Verma, who volun- teered to support the case by deposing as a witness, was conducted last December but that report could not be finalised due to non-availabil- ity of scientists.

The court asked the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) to expedite the process of finalising the report and grant- ed it two weeks time and list- ed the matter for hearing on March 8.

Filing a regular status report, in a sealed cover, on fur- ther investigation in the case the CBI also informed the court that they had received some queries from the Canadian government to which they have replied and are not waiting for the response. The court had earlier asked the CBI to write to the Canadian high commission in New Delhi for information regarding the case as one of the key witnesses has been residing in Canada. Senior advocate HS Phoolka, who has been repre- senting the riots victim, has claimed that witnesses were influenced and there was evi- dence of one of the key wit- nesses being sent to Canada, allegedly at the behest of Tytler and they would try to bring him back.

He had told the court ear- lier that Tytler had sent Narinder Singh, son of witness Surinder Singh, to Canada and through him the Congress leader was putting pressure on his father to change the statement and depose in his favour. In June 2015, Verma had deposed before the CBI that Tytler had told him in 2008 he had met the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh after which he got a clean chit by the CBI over his alleged role in the riots case. In his statement as a wit- ness recorded by the CBI dur- ing a probe, Verma, an accused in the naval war room leak and other cases including cheating and forgery, had said Tytler had also told him that a deal was struck and a hefty amount was paid to a riots case witness, who had deposed against him.

The CBI's move seeking permission to conduct poly- graph test on Tytler and Verma had come in view of the court's December 4, 2015 order in which it was mentioned that the lie-detection test may be conducted, if required. Tytler had refused to undergo the polygraph test. The case pertained to the riots at Gurudwara Pulbangash in North Delhi where three people were killed on November 1, 1984, a day after the assassination of Indira Gandhi by her Sikh body- guards. The victims had filed a protest petition challenging the CBI's closure reports in the case.

The court had in December 2015 directed the CBI to further investigate the matter and said it would mon- itor the probe every two months to ensure that no aspect is left uninvestigated.

The agency had reinvesti- gated the case of killing of Badal Singh, Thakur Singh and Gurcharan Singh near the Gurudwara after a court in December 2007 refused to accept its closure report. The CBI has filed three closure reports in the case. ?C8Q =4F34;78 Rapping Delhi Government’s revenue department over varying figures on forest land encroachments in Southern Ridge, the NGT said it didn’t want ‘tamasha’ and sought authentic information on the issue. A Bench headed by Justice Raghuvendra S Rathore expressed surprise that the revenue department was com- ing out with different figures each time and it was not clear how much time was needed to carry out the demarcation work in the ridge area.

“What we propose is that we want authentic and com- plete info on work which remains to be done. Tell us how much time is required. We don’t want tamasha (perfor- mance) that you are filing in bits and pieces. Same for forest department.”We want authen- tic and complete info on work which remains to be done tell us how much time is required,” the NGT bench observed. The National Green Tribunal granted a month to the revenue department and the forest officials to inform it about the actual status of encroachments and the time needed for ridge demarcation. It warned that if the need- ful is not done before March 1, a cost of C5,000 per day would be slapped on the authorities till the work is competed as the matter has been pending before it since 2013.

The NGT had earlier sum- moned the principal chief con- servator of forests and AAP government’s revenue secretary to inform it about the reasons for delay in demarcation of for- est land in Southern Ridge here. The green panel had ear- lier directed the principal chief conservator of forests to file an affidavit stating how much time would be needed to take the possession of demarcated forest land in the Southern Ridge area here. The tribunal was hearing a bunch of pleas field by South Delhi resident Sonya Ghosh and others against encroach- ments on forest land in the Southern Ridge area and seek- ing their removal.

The green panel had ear- lier rapped the Delhi govern- ment for its “casual” approach in demarcation of forest land in the Southern Ridge area and directed it to complete the exercise. It had warned that in case the order was not complied with, disciplinary proceedings would be initiated against the officials concerned and a cost of C2 lakh would be paid by each respondent, particularly the Revenue Department and the Department of Forest. The NGT had earlier directed the Delhi Government to adhere to the time schedule and expeditiously carry out demarcation of the area falling within their limits.

BC055A4?>AC4AQ =4F34;78 In a bid to de - stress students, the Central Board of SecondaryExaminations(CBSE) willprovidepsychologicalcoun- sellingservicesfromFriday.This counselling session is especially for students who will appear for 10th and 12th standards. This counseling session will run till 4th April to help students to overcomeanxietyduringexams. With Interactive Voice Responses (IVRS) on toll free number 1800 11 8004 , fre- quentlyaskedquestion’s(FAQ’s) with live tele-counselling ser- vices,CBSEwillhelpstudentsto de stress students.

The students, parents and stakeholders can obtain pre- recorded useful information on tackling board exams which includes tips for better prepara- tion, time and stress manage- ment,FAQ’salongwithlivetele- counselling services.

“The programme is designed as part of the board’s outreach programme which caters to the heterogeneous stu- dents’ and parent’s population andvastgeographicalnetworkof schools. These tele-counselling will be done by Principals and trained counsellors from within CBSE affiliated schools locatedinandoutsidethecoun- try,” said the spokesperson of CBSE.

Also,forthefirsttime,CBSE will also prepare and upload audio-visual (AV) presentation titled‘KnowingChildrenBetter’ on CBSE website. “The AV will deal with various topics and will help with real time experi- ences and problems of adoles- cents with suggestive measures as coping strategies,” added the official. BC055A4?>AC4AQ =4F34;78 Terming the BJP “anti-reser- vation, anti-Dalit and anti- Constitution”, Opposition lead- ers on Thursday said the party will witness defeat in the com- ing elections and they called for a ‘Bharat bandh’ to demand an Ordinanceonreservationroster. A march was organised by the Joint Forum for Academic and Social Justice.

After the march, several political leaders addressedthegatheringatJantar Mantar as slogans of ‘Jai Bhim’, ‘Inquilab Zindabad’ reverberat- ed through the air.

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is against this system which is “trying to destroy” social justice in every form. “I spoke to our party lead- ers and they will raise this issue in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha. The maths is not in our favour in lower and upper hous- es but the upcoming elections will make sure that it will also become in our favour,” he said. Earlierinmedia,issueswere raised that the current Gove- rnment is going to remove the reservation policy, Sisodia said. 60H0C7A8AC4AQ =4F34;78 All vehicles in Delhi-NCR should be affixed with colour-coded stickers and High Security Registration Plates (HSRP) by October this year, the Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) said on Thursday.

The colour-coded vehicles would help in identi- fying vehicles based on their fuel type and hologram- based light blue colour sticker would be used in vehicles using petrol and CNG fuel, while an orange sticker would be put on diesel-run vehicles. HSRP is a chromium- based hologram applied by hot stamping on the number plates both at the front and back, besides laser-branding of a permanent identification number. The move aims to fight pollution, especially during the winters when a particular type of vehicle could be banned based on its fuel type.

In a meeting, chaired by EPCA chairperson Bhure Lal, with NCR state authorities and members from the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), the apex body repre- senting all major vehicles and vehicular engine manufactur- ers in India, he directed all old and new vehicles to affix with colour-coded stickers by October.

“The EPCA would like to get all four states - Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan — to notify the options and time-frame under through they will ensure that all old four-wheelers would get the colour-coded stickers and HSRP,” said Sunita Narain, a member of the EPCA.

As many as 76,000 four-wheelers registered in Delhi have already been affixed with both HSRP and stickers. There are around 50 lakh four-wheelers in the city that need to go for HSRP and stickers. BC055A4?>AC4AQ =4F34;78 Delhi’s air quality was record- ed in the ‘very poor cate- gory’ for the second consecutive day due to a drop in wind speed, authorities said on Thursday. According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data, the overall air quality index (AQI) of the city was at 344, which falls in the ‘very poor’ category. An AQI between 0 and 50 is considered ‘good’, 51 and 100 ‘satisfactory’, 101 and 200 ‘mod- erate’, 201 and 300 ‘poor’, 301 and 400 ‘very poor’, and 401 and 500 ‘severe’.

The CPCB said Shadipur and Sonia Vihar recorded ‘severe’ air quality, while in 30 other areas the air pollution level was in the ‘very poor’ category. The level of PM2.5 (parti- cles in the air with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometres) was recorded at 196 and the PM10 level at 326, it said. In the National Capital Region, Ghaziabad, Faridabad and Noida recorded ‘very poor’ air quality while Gurgaon record- ed ‘poor’ air quality, the CPCB data showed. According to the Centre- run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting (SAFAR), the overall air quality deterio- rated over Delhi to very ‘poor’ category.

“Other weather con- ditions remain more or less the same except that wind speed decreased from 4 kmph to 2.9 kmph as expected. Since the speed drop is substantial, it has slowed down the dispersion. The AQI will continue to remain in the very poor cate- gory in the next two days,” the SAFAR said.

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Delhi - Opinion Express

]PcX^]# =4F34;78k5A830H k541AD0AH ( New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday directed Sahara group chief Subrata Roy to appear before it on February 28 for failing to deposit C25,700 crore in the SEBI-Sahara case for returning investors’ money. The apex court said six months were given to Sahara by its last order to arrange the amount but what has transpired during the peri- od has not inspired the confidence of the court. A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi noted that the group has deposited only C15,000 crore.

The bench, also comprising Justices A K Sikri and S K Kaul, declined to give any further chance to Roy and other directors to comply with its pre- vious orders.

It said it had decided to proceed with the matter so that the law takes its own course and directed Roy and other directors to appear before it personally on next date of hearing. Roy, who has spent almost two years in jail, has been on parole since May 6, 2017. The parole was granted the first time to enable him attend the funeral of his mother. It has been extended since then. PTI Ratlam (MP): Three persons, including a Couple, were on Thursday arrested for alleged- ly sexually exploiting, assaulting and manhandling girls of a shelter home in Jaora town in the district, a senior official said.

The arrested include former president of Kundan Kuteer Balika Grah (shelter home) and her husband, she said. Efforts were on to nab the current president of the shelter home as he is also an accused in the case, Ratlam district collec- tor Ruchika Chouhan told reporters here.

"Chairperson of Ratlam dis- trict Bal Kalyan Samiti and ex- president of Kundan Kuteer Balika Grah Rachna Bharti, her husband Om Prakash Bharti and secretary Dilip Barriya were arrested on the charges of sexual exploitation, physical assault and manhandling of the inmates," she told reporters. "The current president of the shelter home, Sandesh Jain, is also accused in the case and efforts are on to nab him," she added. The trio was booked under relevant sections of the IPC as well as the POCSO Act, Chouhan said.

Five inmates of the shelter home had escaped on January 24 by breaking the ventilation window of the toilet.

However, they were later found at Mandsaur's police line area. Jaora Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM) later con- ducted a probe into the incident. "In the probe, the SDM found that the inmates were sex- ually exploited, physically assaulted and manhandled. After that action was taken against those associated with the shelter home," she said. The collector said all 25 inmates of the shelter home were shifted to Ratlam dis- trict's One Stop Centre. From there, they would be shifted to Ujjain's Balika Grah facility. She said a proposal has been forwarded to the divi- sional commissioner to sus- pend Ravindra Mishra, assis- tant director of Women and Child Development Department, for his alleged negligence in the case.

PTI $YV]UW`cdYV]eVc Y`^VcRaVdZ_>A From Page 1 Similarly, doctors & lawyers added approximately 80,000 to the labour force in 2017. Summing up ancillary staff members (clerks, paralegals, nurses, etc) required to set up practices by these professions, over 6 lakh jobs were con- tributed through just these three pro- fessions in the informal sector. “Total stock of employment created through these three professions (CA, lawyers & doctors) is around 1.08 crore (assuming 20 jobs per CA practice, 5 jobs per med- ical practice, and 3 jobs per law prac- tice),” it said. Meanwhile, the Congress and the BJP attacked each other on the issue of job creation with Rahul calling Modi “Fuhrer” — a title for Adolf Hitler — for making tall claims; and the BJP hitting back saying Rahul has “inherited the shortsightedness” of Italian strongman “Benito Mussolini”.

Rahul attacked Modi, saying he promised two crore jobs, but five years later a “leaked job creation report card” has revealed a “national disaster”. In a tweet, he also asserted that it was time for the Prime Minister to go. “NoMo Jobs! The Fuhrer promised us 2 Cr jobs a year. 5 years later, his leaked job creation report card reveals a National Disaster. Unemployment is at its highest in 45 years. 6.5 crore youth are jobless in 2017-18 alone. Time for NoMo 2 Go,” he tweeted with the hash- tag “HowsTheJobs”. Fuhrer was a polit- ical title used for Nazi dictator Hitler. Hitting back at Rahul, the BJP alleged that the Cong president has a “myopic understanding” of issues and said only someone who has never held a proper job “can peddle such fake news”.

“It’s clear that he has inherited Mussolini’s shortsightedness and has myopic understanding of issues. EPFO’s real data shows sharp increase in jobs, created in just the last 15 months. Only a man who hasn’t ever held a proper job and is totally jobless can peddle such #FakeNews!” the BJP said in a tweet. In a Facebook post in Hindi, Rahul said, “Truth cannot be hidden or buried, it is like a seed, and it doesn’t take long for it to show the mirror to the one who has buried it… Modi’s betrayal of the youth is in front of everyone today.” From Page 1 Agriculture Budget has increased by two folds over five years to C47,800 crore in 2018- 19 under the Modi Government.

This figure is three times of the last Budget in 2013-14, presented by United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government.

Agriculture contributes only 18 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) but caters half of the country’s pop- ulation. Around 69 per cent or 833 million live in rural areas and most of them are poor. After electoral debacle in three major States — Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan — in the last year Assembly polls, the Narendra Modi Government has realised that its existing policies have failed to reach the farmers. The Modi Government, which is seeking a second term, has to win over discontented farmers before the election. They have been hit by falling crop prices and rising input costs, prompting thousands of them to protest in the street to seek debt waivers.

At the same time, the Opposition Congress has mounted pressure on the Government to act after it waived farm loans following victories against the BJP in three States last month. From Page 1 At fifth place, INLD candidate Umed Singh Redhu ended up not only behind the JJP but also trailed another new outfit - the Loktantra Suraksha Party (LSP) led by BJP’s rebel MP Raj Kumar Saini. At Ramgarh, Congress candidate Shafia Zubair won by a margin of 12,228 votes after polling 83,311 votes. Her near- est rival, BJP’s Sukhwant Singh, got 71,083 votes.

Soon after the bypoll victory, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot announced to raise the unemployment allowance for the youth of the State from March 1. “Girls will get Rs 3,500 and boys Rs 3,000 as unemployment allowance for two years,” he said at a function in the Rajasthan University here. Gehlot said the Congress in its elec- tion manifesto had promised to raise the unemployment allowance for the youth. New Delhi: Former Bajrang Dal leader Babu Bajrangi, sentenced to 21 years in jail in the Naroda Patiya massacre case in which 97 people were killed by a mob during the 2002 Gujarat riots, is in “bad shape” due to vari- ous ailments, the State Government informed the Supreme Court on Thursday in reply to his bail plea.

The State Government said that medical reports suggests that Bajrangi has suffered a hundred percent vision loss besides vari- ous other ailments. A bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar and Ajay Rastogi asked the counsel for Gujarat Government to file the medical reports on an affidavit as it needs to be taken on record. Senior advocate R Basant, appearing for Bajrangi, said that he is seeking bail in the case on health grounds as he is now 100 per cent deaf and blind and suffers from vari- ous heart ailments. “Let them (Gujarat) file an affidavit. We will hear you on merit,” the bench said while posting the matter for fur- ther hearing next week.

PTI 1DURGD3DWL\D PDVVDFUHFRQYLFW%DEX %DMUDQJLLQEDGVKDSH FRSVWHOODSH[FRXUW D4UZcVTedDRYRcRTYZVW DfScReRC`je`RaaVRc SVW`cVZe`_7VS#) 3;A4`_X daRc`gVc [`ScVa`ce From Page1 Michel is currently undergoing judicial custody. Saxena’s lawyers alleged that no extradition proceedings were started against him in the UAE and he was not allowed to access his family or lawyers while being sent to India. Earlier, the ED had summoned Saxena, a resident of Palm Jumeirah in Dubai, multiple times in the case and had arrested his wife Shivani Saxena from the Chennai airport in July, 2017.

She is now out on bail.

The ED had alleged that Rajeev, his wife and their two Dubai-based firms — Ms UHY Saxena, Dubai and Ms Matrix Holdings — routed “the proceeds of crime and fur- ther layered and integrated in buying the immovable prop- erties/shares among others”. The ED had said its probe found that AgustaWestland International Ltd, UK paid an amount of Euro 58 million as kickbacks through Gordian Services Sarl, Tunisia and IDS Sarl, Tunisia. “These companies further siphoned off the said money/ proceeds of crime in the name of consultancy con- tracts to Interstellar Technologies Ltd, Mauritius, and oth- ers which were further transferred to UHY Saxena, Dubai and Matrix Holdings Ltd.

Dubai and others,” the ED had charged.

The ED had said Saxena is “beneficial owner” of InterstellarTechnologiesLtdandbothhiscompaniesreceived proceeds of crime in their respective Dubai bank accounts from this firm. $JXVWDDFFXVHG5DMLY OREE\LVW'HHSDN +XJHUHOLHISDFNDJH IRUIDUPHUVOLNHO\ %-3ZUHVWV 0[T^_PaSPccPRZbP\P]PUcTabcaPhX]VX]c^PaTbXST]cXP[PaTPX]9P[P]SWPa ^]CWdabSPh ?C8 Amaravati: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Andhra Pradesh on February 10 and address a public meeting at Guntur, BJP state president Kanna Lakshminarayana said here on Thursday.

This will be the Prime Ministers first visit to Andhra Pradesh in close to two years and also after the TDP pulled out of the NDA.

Modi will visit the state again on February 16 to address another rally in the port city Visakhapatnam, while BJP national president Amit Shah will tour the State on February 4, 21 and 26, Lakshminarayana told reporters here. The Prime Minister was supposed to visit Andhra Pradesh early this month, but the trip was put off because of time constraints as he toured Kerala and other states. Meanwhile, the state BJP president will undertake a bus yatra from February 4, begin- ning from Srikakulam district. Amit Shah will attend the yatra launch and kickstart the BJPs campaign in Andhra Pradesh, he said.

Besides, sev- eral Union Ministers like Nitin Gadkari, Prakash Javadekar, Piyush Goyal and others will also visit the State. PTI Gadchiroli (Maha): Naxals allegedly torched six vehicles, including tractors brought for construction work, in Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli dis- trict on Thursday, a police official said. The incident took place in the morning in Korchi tehsil near Dongargaon police outpost, he said.

A group of around 12 Maoists set on fire four tractors and two JCB machines which were brought for construction work in the area, the official said. The rebels also blocked the Kurkheda-Kochi-Chichgad road by cutting trees and plac- ing branches on the way, he said. Police suspect a group of ultra’s divisional committee from North Gadchiroli to be behind the incident as some Maoist banners were found on the spot, he said. A probe was underway into the incident, he said. The rebels have been observing the ‘Naxal Week’ from January 25 to 31, the offi- cial added. PTI 1D[DOVVHWDEOD]H YHKLFOHVLQ0DKD 4`fceR]]`hd Vi>Z_>R_[fe` ]VRgV3VXfdRcRZ W`cecVRe^V_e ?C8Q 146DB0A08 ABegusarai court on Thursday permitted former Bihar Minister Manju Verma, in jail in an Arms Act case that surfaced during a probe into the Muzaffarpur shelter-home sex scandal, to go outside the town for better medical treatment.

Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Sangita Rani passed the order on an appeal filed by Verma, who had alleged that she was in extreme pain due to a dental problem for which proper treatment was locally unavailable and taking painkillers was causing damage to her kidneys.

But, the court made it clear that the suspended Janata Dal (United) legislator would have to bear the expenses. While moving her applica- tion on Wednesday, the former social welfare Minister report- edly broke down and pleaded that she be referred to a hospi- tal in Patna. Verma and her husband, Chandrashekhar, are named in an Arms Act case fol- lowing the recovery of a large quantity of ammunition from their residence. The ammuni- tion was recovered by the Central Bureau of Investigation during a raid in connection with the Muzaffarpur shelter- home sexual abuse case. PTI Jammu: The next Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir will be from the BJP as the party will come to power on its own in the State, State in-charge of the saffron party Ravinder Raina said on Thursday.

Addressing a series of meetings ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s February 3 rally at Vijaypur in Jammu, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader credited the Union Government for ensur- ing “remarkable development” in the state. “The BJP will form its own Government in Jammu & Kashmir after upcoming Assembly elec- tions and the Chief Minister will be from the BJP,” Raina said. Launching a scathing attack on the Congress and the National Conference (NC), Raina said leaders of both the parties had plundered the resources of the State and exploited the people. PTI 1H[W  & 0 ZLOOEHIURP %-35DLQD @=d_fYcYd1^TXbQ _^6URbeQbi! Shillong: A BJP legislator in Meghalaya on Thursday threat- ened to quit the party if the Centre did not exempt Meghalaya and other Northeast states from the purview of Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.

The saffron party is a part of the ruling dispensation in the hill State, led by the National People's Party (NPP). Sanbor Shullai, one of the two BJP MLAs in the state, said, "I will submit a one- month ultimatum to the NDA Government to exempt Meghalaya and other states in the northeast from the purview of the Citizenship Bill." The State cabinet had last year adopted a resolution to oppose the Bill, while BJP Minister A L Hek had said he wouldn't go against the inter- ests of the people.

Addressing a rally here, the BJP MLA also said that he has submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the matter, but was yet to get a response. Shullai's rally, which wit- nessed a huge turnout Thursday, was sponsored by 14 pressure groups and attended by several political leaders in the state. The public meeting came two days after ten political parties of the northeast, most of which are members of the BJP-led North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), along with the saffron party's key ally in Bihar, the JD(U), met in Guwahati to jointly oppose the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.

PTI 0RcXeXbcb^U0[[0bbP\BcdST]cbD]X^]00BDP]S^cWTa^aVP]XbPcX^]bcPZT_ PacX]Pc^aRW[XVWcaP[[h_a^RTbbX^]c^_a^cTbc PVPX]bccWT2XcXiT]bWX_0\T]S\T]c1X %  X]6dfPWPcX^]CWdabSPh ?C8 0HJKDOD\D0/$WKUHDWHQVWR TXLW%-3RYHU&LWL]HQVKLS%LOO Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief MinisterHDKumaraswamyon Thursday asked followers of Shivakumara Swamiji to play a major role for getting the Bharat Ratna conferred on the late Seer.

This is seen as a bid to woo the politically and numerically strong Lingayat community in Karnataka ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. "We honestly want to hon- our your sentiments. I am con- vinced that you will intensify your respect for Parama Poojya Swamiji and you will enable us to felicitate Swamiji with the Bharat Ratna..," Kumaraswamy said. The 111-year-old seer, who was addressed as the "Walking God", died on January 21. "Today, there have been some flaws in giving the Bharat Ratnaawardsbutifyouempow- er us with an opportunity, we will honour your wish by giving the award to the Swamiji," Kumaraswamy asserted.

The Chief Minister was addressing a huge gathering at Siddaganga Mutt at Tumakuru during the 11th day ritual to mark the passing away of the seer. Known for his philan- thropy, the Swamiji turned his Siddaganga Mutt into a major education centre for students of underprivileged communities, built schools and hostels and started feeding hundreds of stu- dents free of cost, much before the mid-day meal programme wasconceivedby Governments. The seer's followers spread across Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtrademandedthatthe country's highest civilian award be conferred on him.

PTI Ranchi: A minor was alleged- ly raped by five youths at Bundu area of Ranchi district and the accused were arrested, a senior police officer said on Thursday.

The incident took place on Tuesday when the girl left home to visit her maternal uncles house at Bundu, about 40 km from here, superintendent of police (rural) Ashutosh Shekhar said. PTI >Z_`cXZc] cRaVUSj WZgVZ_ ;YRc\YR_U ;e]QbQcgQ]iRQdcV_b2XQbQd BQd^QV_bCYTTQWQ^WQcUUb Gorakhpur(UP):UttarPradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Thursday met the BJP office bearers, MPs and MLAs from the eight Lok Sabha parliamen- tary constituencies here. According to the party sources,therepresentativesfrom Ballia,Azamgarh,LalganjGhosi, Salempur, Deoria, Badgaon and Gorakhpur Sadar met Adityanath at the circuit house here and got “winning tips” from the Chief Minister.

“CM Yogi discussed about the strategy to win a particular seat and also chalked out a detailed programme of working and strengthening each booth,” a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader said. Sunil Ojha, State co- incharge, Pankaj Singh, state general secretary and other party leaders were also present at the meeting. PTI /6SROOV83%-3 OHDGHUVJHWZLQQLQJ WLSVIURP&0

Delhi - Opinion Express

=4F34;78k5A830H k541AD0AH ] PcX^]$ 8=B7>AC =54AB³0F0A3>5 0??A4280C8>=C>A098E =Tf3T[WX) 0bWfX]X:d\Pa 2W^dQThUUXRTB58>RWP[[T]VX]VcWT3T[WX 72^aSTaVaP]cX]VX]cTaX\QPX[c^ U^d]STaP]S\P]PVX]VSXaTRc^a^U 0SPabW2aTSXc2^^_TaPcXeTB^RXTch =)6>EC =Tf3T[WX)0R^\\XccTTWPbQTT] bTcd_c^T]WP]RTcWTUT[[^fbWX_^U ?W3bcdST]cbP]Sf^aZ^dccWT X]RT]cXeTbU^aaTbTPaRWbRW^[Pab fXcWX]cf^\^]cWb3T_Pac\T]c^U BRXT]RTP]SCTRW]^[^VhBTRaTcPah 0bWdc^bWBWPa\PbPXS^]CWdabSPh ?=BQ =4F34;78 In an effort to give a major boost to Indian private industry to manufacture hi- tech platforms, the Government on Thursday decided to allow the local firms to build six conventional sub- marines in the country under the Strategic Partnership pro- gramme.

The total cost of the proposed deal is over C40,000 crore. The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman gave the go ahead. The apex body deciding the acquisitions of the three services also gave the nod for acquisition of 5,000 Milan anti-tank guid- ed missiles for the Army. The public sector Bharat Dynamics Limited will manufacture these missiles having a range of near- ly three km. The cost of the deal is about C1,200 crores.

The Government some time back had cleared the indigenous construction of six submarines known as Project- 75 I but they were to be built under licensed production after inviting tenders. However, the Strategic Partnership allows the India manufacturer to tie up with the foreign vendor and build the weapon systems in India. The Strategic Partnership aims at fast tracking the devel- opment of Indian industry’s capabilities to build fighter jets, helicopters, tanks, warships and submarines within the country thereby expanding the defence industrial base. Incidentally, this is the sec- ond project under the Strategic Partnership to be cleared.

The first one to get the approval in August last year was for build- ing 111 naval utility helicopters. The approval for six sub- marines under the P-75 I pro- gramme will give a fillip to the Navy’splanstoacquireadditional submarines after the six Scorpene submarines join the fleet in next two years. These submarines are being built with FrenchcollaborationatMazagon DocksLimited(MDL),Mumbai. Explaining the significance of the decision about sub- marines, officials said later construction of submarines under the Strategic Partnership programme will provide a major boost to the existing sub- marine design and manufac- turing eco-system through transfer of design and equip- ment technology as well as nec- essary skill sets.

On the main objective of Strategic Partnership pro- gramme, they said it envisages indigenious manufacturing of major defence platforms by an Indian strategic partner who will collaborate with foreign original equipment manufac- turer (OEM) to set up produc- tion facilities in the country. The Strategic Partnership model has a long term vision of promoting India as a manu- facturing hub for defence equipment through transfer of niche technologies and higher indigenous content thereby enhancing self- sufficiency for meeting future requirement of the armed forces, they said. The DAC also approved changes in Defence Procurement Procedure-2016 in the third phase of reforms focussed on making the pro- cedures industry friendly and simplifying unwieldy aspects to ease conduct of business and facilitate smoother and faster procurement of operational urgent requirement of the armed forces.

?=BQ =4F34;78 Castigating Congress for giv- ing lip service to the wel- fare of minorities, BJP presi- dent Amit Shah on Thursday said no major communal riot has happened in the States where his party is in power. “There were people who used to say that minorities have first right on the resources of the country but they did not give them that right. Whereas we believed that poor have the first right on the country’s resources and the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Government ensured this by providing benefits to all poor irrespective of their religion,” Shah said while speaking at the inaugural session of the BJP minority wing’s national con- vention, Taking on the Opposition, Shah questioned why minori- ties are lagging behind despite the fact that those people who kept “appeasing minorities” ruled the country for nearly five decades.

Stating that misconcep- tions were spread about the BJP that if it comes to power, peo- ple from different cultures would not able to practice their traditions, Shah under- lined that the BJP and the Modi Government believes in “sabka sath sabka vikas” (with all, development for all). “As a BJP chief, with pride I can say that today the BJP is in power in 16 states and not a single major riot happened during the party’s tenure. The riots stopped happening in the country as soon as the Congress, the SP and the BSP Governments ended in the states. A fake propaganda was running against the BJP that if it comes to power what will be happen to people of various religions in the country,” Shah said .

The “waqf mafia” looted waqf boards’ lands under pro- tection by pseudo-secular par- ties, Shah said, adding the Modi Government has ensured transparency in all such mat- ters. He also ponted to the Modi Government’s push for passage of the Triple Talaq Bill, which calls for imprison- ment for Muslim men accused of instant divorce, and said it is meant to give justice to Muslim women. The school dropout rate of Muslim girls has fallen to 32 per cent from 72, he said, adding that the Government’s schemes to connect the poor with power and cooking gas connections have benefitted Muslim women as well.

?=BQ =4F34;78 Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday unveiled Mahatma Gandhi’s “Grand Wall Mural” at New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) Main Building at Parliament Street. The mural was a rare tributary endeavour of Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) to ‘Rashtrapita’ on his 150th Birth Anniversary Year.

Later addressing the gath- ering , the Vice-President said the 150 square meters clay mural of Mahatma Gandhi, made of ‘Kulhads’ from the hands of 150 village potters across India, was a matter of great pride for the nation as it was practical display of Gandhian thoughts on village industries. “This endeavour of KVIC is a ‘Tribute with difference’. It is also a proud moment for the nation, when KVIC’s grand mural is showcasing the com- bined ‘sweaty’ efforts of village potters across the nation — hailing from hilly Leh to sea- side Maharashtra, and from dense jungle area of Chhattisgarh to Gangetic Varanasi,” he said.

Earlier, KVIC Chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena said the idea of making this wall mural came on December 22 last year at a function in Varanasi and took shape on January 6 in Morbi — the home State of Mahatma Gandhi.

“It was the herculean efforts of our adroit potters, who made the kulhads for this mural in no time. These 150 pairs of hands have given us the message that why did Mahatma Gandhi pay so much attention on the growth of village indus- tries. The KVIC has so far dis- tributed more than 6,000 Electric Potter Wheels so far across the country and by the end of this fiscal, we are dis- tributing another 10,000 Electric Potter Wheels, which will create employment of over 40,000 people,” he said. Minister of State for MSME Giriraj Singh said time has come to incorporate scientific intervention in the Khadi sec- tor.

“Without following the economic principles of Mahatma Gandhi, Ram Manohar Lohai and Deen Dayal Upaudhyay, the concept of development will remain a mirage for our country,” he said.

?=BQ =4F34;78 The Home Ministry has rejected ousted CBI Director Alok Verma’s resig- nation and directed him to join immediately as DG Fire Services. Verma, who has resigned and retired on Thursday, however, did not budge and did not join. Sources indicated that Home Ministry is expected to take action since he did not join. Verma’s denial may lead to suspension of his pension ben- efits, they maintained. It is learned that Verma will chal- lenge Government’s actions, if any. Within 24 hours of his transfer, on January 11, Verma had resigned, rejecting the Government’s order to join as DG Fire Services.

Verma had contended that he had crossed the superannuation age for DG Fire Services, Civil Defence and Home Guards and he wanted to be treated as having superannuated from the day he was moved out of the CBI. He said that he “was only serving the Government as CBI direc- tor until January 31, 2019 as it was a fixed tenure role”. The tenure of CBI director is fixed for two years.

As Verma did not take up the new assignment as direct- ed, he is likely to face depart- mental action which may include suspension of pen- sionary benefits, MHA officials said. In a letter sent to Verma Wednesday, the MHA said, “You are directed to join the post of DG, Fire Services, Civil Defence & Home Guards immediately”. This communication was seen as a rejection of his plea in a letter to Secretary, Department of Personnel, ear- lier this month in which he said he should be deemed to have retired from service on July 31, 2017, the day he completed 60 years.

Verma, a former Delhi Police Commissioner, was first moved out of the CBI by the Government in a midnight order on October 23 last year on the recommendation of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) but was reinstated by the Supreme Court on January 9.

After the Supreme Court order, a high-powered panel headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a 2:1 decision removed Verma and asked him to join the residual term of the CBI direc- tor as DG Fire Services, Civil Defence and Home Guards. The Prime Minister and Justice AK Sikri, the nom- inee of Chief Justice of India, favoured removal of Verma while the third member of the commit- tee — leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge — opposed the move. ?=BQ =4F34;78 Listing out the key achieve- ments of the Modi Government ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday asserted it has worked to build a “New India” after assuming power in 2014 and infused new hope when the nation was passing through “uncertain times”.

He addressed both the Houses — Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha — in the Central Hall of Parliament on Thursday on the first day of the Budget Session. During his over 60-minute address, Kovind spoke on issues ranging from Rafale jet deal, surgical strike, demon- etisation and 10 per cent reser- vation for the general catego- ry poor to the triple talaq leg- islation, the Citizenship Amendment Bill and the state of economy. He claimed the country was passing through a difficult period before the 2014 General Elections, but the present gov- ernment came out with an ini- tiative to create a “new India”.

The President’s address, which reflects the government’s views, assumes significance as it comes just ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, expected to be held in April-May.

Referring to the contro- versial Rafale jet deal with France over which the Congress has targeted the gov- ernment, Kovind said the Indian Air Force will welcome the ultra-modern fighter air- craft in the coming months to strengthen its strike capability after a gap of many decades. The mention of Rafale as well as the 2016 “surgical strikes” carried out on terror launch pads across the border was greeted by thumping of desks by the treasury benches. The President backed the Centre’s Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which has met with stiff Opposition from political parties and people in the northeastern States.

“The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill will make it easier to provide Indian citizenship to those who had to take refuge in India after facing oppression somewhere else,” he said. The president also praised the introduction of reservations for the poor among upper castes. The Government has taken many measures for women’s welfare, like intro- ducing a Bill to make triple talaq illegal and extending the period of maternity leave, he added.

Addressing problems faced by farmers, who, he called are the foundation of the economy, the President said: “My Government has taken the his- toric decision of fixing the minimum support price (MSP) of 22 crops at one and a half times higher than the produc- tion cost of the crop.” He praised the Government’s 2016 decision to demonetise old currency notes and said the Centre has taken several steps to bring back black money stashed abroad, including signing treaties with other countries. He also pointed out that India’s ease of business ranking improved from 142 in 2014 to 77 in 2018. “In 2014, India’s share of the world’s Gross Domestic Product was 2.6 per cent.

Today, it has increased to 3.3 per cent,” Kovind said. Listing out several other government initiatives, the president praised schemes such as the Deen Dayal Antyodaya scheme, the Ayushman Bharat and the Swachchh Bharat Abhiyan.

Highlighting the govern- ments achievements and vari- ous welfare schemes, Kovind said 21 crore poor people were covered under the PM’s life insurance scheme, while over 2 crore households got power connection as part of the PM’s Saubhagya scheme. “Under Swachchh Bharat initiative, the Government has built nine crore toilets,” he said. Kovind also claimed that C88,000 crore had been deposited in bank accounts under the Jan Dhan scheme. He cited an international survey and said that 55 per cent of all new bank accounts opened around the world between 2014 and 2017 were in India.

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