In the background of Cauvery issue, the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has quietly renewed its demolition drive, which began in July. BBMP’s demolition drive has been targeting encroachments on the lake beds and rajakaluves or storm water drains (SWDs) after heavy rains flooded the southwest Bengaluru in the end of July. Nearly 600 houses were submerged after the city recorded 250mm of rain, the highest in more than five decades. V Ravichandar, Chairman and Managing Director, Feedback Consulting who is part of the three-member expert committee to restructure the Bangalore City Corporation said that, “the BBMP’s continued determination is to basically follow through the July directive of chief minister Siddaramaiah to clear vulnerable areas that were prone to flooding. I will reserve my judgement of BBMP’s credibility until the whole campaign is over.” Ravichandar added, “as long as BBMP’s broad intent is maintained and neither the high nor the low are spared, they would be sending a clear message to the future, that if you violate the law, we’ll proceed against you.” Ravichandar said, “Although a re-survey seems like a sign of influence, we also don’t have enough data to show the encroachments. So, sometimes a re-survey is needed.” ‘There have been incidents when even after clearing encroachments in past years, the flooding of the areas did not stop. We should rethink watershed management, associated rajakaluve (storm water drains) and streams, continuity between tanks, land cover within watershed and mobility networks. This will help us avoid flooding and minimize demolition.” Ravichandar said “the CDP document is mainly a land use document and does not specify SWDs alignment and thus is not a legal document. It also contains a clause that in case of dispute, the mother document had to be referred to, which are the revenue maps.” By Premji
The National Institute for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog has come up with few plans to make India win at least 50 medals in 2024 Olympics, after the disappointing performance of the Indian athletes in the recent Rio Olympics According to the reports, the NITI Aayog has orchestrated a plan to increase that tally, which in short terms includes prioritizing 10 sports with a high winning potential.The Aayog has also called plans for spotting talent from tribal and rural areas that had under developed sporting infrastructure. The report titled ‘Let’s Play’ said, “Efforts need to be undertaken at each level, from family and communities to schools, regional academies, states and national level.” It added, “These efforts need to be aimed at radically increasing the level of sporting activities, filling the gaps in the system and monitoring for lags.” The recommendations also includes, developing a school curriculum, inclusive of both sports and academics and the need to encourage children to focus on a specialized sport. It has also added that it needs to take lot of experience and drawing from Cricket’s Indian Premier League (IPL) to attract investment and increase viewership. By Prajakt K.
The Supreme Court has ordered Sahara chief Subrata Roy to be sent back to jail. After spending two years in jail, Mr Roy was out on parole. Sahara chief's lawyer has sought an extension of the parole granted to Mr Roy. The top court has said, "You (Mr Roy) are going back to jail." The order was passed after his counsel Rajiv Dhavan objected to the court’s nod to SEBI for selling Sahara group’s properties on their own. Dhavan called it as “very unfair” and also demanded the extension of parole while the group would adduce at a later date its plan to deposit more money for refunding investors. At this, CJI Thakur blasted Dhavan saying: “Don’t tell us what to do, we know what we need to do. You go back to jail. The previous order stands terminated.” Roy had been out since May when his mother passed away. Later the court has been extending his parole on the condition of depositing money with the Sebi towards refunding investors. By Premji
India has improved its position in the global higher education, with a record of 31 educational institutions getting ranked into a new list of the world’s top varsities topped by the University of Oxford. The Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore is India’s top institution in the ‘Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2016-17′ list, up nearly 50 places from its last year’s rank. IISc (201-250 group), up from last year’s 251-300 group, is accompanied by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay (351-400 cohort) in the top 400 table. There are four new entries - National Institute of Technology (Rourkela), Sri Venkateswara University, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research and Tezpur University. “But the star of the region is India, which has 31 universities in the list. Its leading university - the Indian Institute of Science - is edging closer to the top 200, claiming a spot in the 201-250 band, its highest ever position and the country has four new entries in the top 800,” said Phil Baty, the editor of the THE World University Rankings. Other Indian universities which have found a place in the list include Jadavpur University, Aligarh Muslim University, Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, University of Calcutta, University of Delhi, IIT Guwahati, National Institute of Technology Rourkela, Panjab University, Savitribai Phule Pune University. Sri Venkateswara University, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Tezpur University, Acharya Nagarjuna University, Amity University, Amrita University, Andhra University, Cochin University of Science and Technology, Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Manipal University, Osmania University, SASTRA University, Sathyabama University, SRM University, Vellore Institute of Technology have also made it to the list. (Courtesy PTI) By Premji
While the rest of the Valley has remained shut, hundreds of youths stood in long queues outside the District Police Lines (DPL) in Pulwama and Anantnag, awaiting their turn for physical tests for recruitment as Special Police Officers (SPOs). According to official data, 26,553 applications have been received from candidates across Kashmir. The Ministry of Home Affairs has approved the recruitment of 10,000 SPOs, in addition to the over 25,000 SPOs in the state police force at present. The state government has put out the advertisement for SPOs in the first week of August, when the Valley was witnessing massive protests over the death of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani. While addressing a press conference in Srinagar last month, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti had also put the figure at 10,000. This is for the first time that the government has announced a recruitment drive for SPOs in the Valley. The figures show that 4,916 applications have been received from the four districts in south Kashmir that are the epicentre of the current protests - Anantnag (2,190), Kulgam (1,258), Pulwama (774) and Shopian (694). The highest number of applications has come from Kupwara district in north Kashmir, with over 8,500 candidates applying for the posts. There are about 3,800 applicants from Baramulla and 226 from Bandipore. From the three districts of central Kashmir, about 4,000 applications have been received from Budgam, 1,600 from Ganderbal and 1,363 from Srinagar. “We are doing this (recruitment) rally and a few hundred youths come each day,” said DIG, South Kashmir, Nitish Kumar. “More and more youths are coming to us now, saying that they couldn’t come earlier because of curfew and shutdown.” “It (number of applications) certainly picked up after the last date was extended,” said a senior police officer. “But when we compare it with past recruitment drives, it is far less. We used to have a difficult time in controlling the crowd, and there would be hundreds competing for each post. This time the ratio is less than three candidates for a single post,” he said. An SPO was earlier paid a monthly salary of Rs 3,000, according to the new advertisement, they will get an initial monthly salary of Rs 5,000, which will be increased to Rs 5,300 after one year, and Rs 6,000 after three years. By Premji
47-year-old Mazar Ali Khan, alias Munna, boarded a flight back home to Bengaluru from Tokyo, he has spent the 6,658 km-trip reliving fond memories of his wife and children, whom he was to meet after a year. Laden with gifts, Mazar landed on his house’s doorstep only to find it padlocked. Calls made to his wife's mobile went unanswered, so he waited; assuming his 36-year-old wife and two sons (aged 14 and eight) had stepped out and would be back soon. After a long wait, Mazar began to worry and started calling up relatives. Finally, he was told that his sons had been at his sister's house for the last two days. Mazar rushed over only to find that his wife had 'run away' with a 26-year-old neighbour. She had also taken all the jewellery and hard-earned money Mazar had sent back from Japan. Shocked, Mazar filed a police complaint against his wife. "I was shocked to find that my wife Sufriya had run away with Suhail, who stays in the neighbourhood. Every month I would put Rs 1 lakh into her account for our sons' future. In all, my wife has taken cash and gold ornaments worth around Rs 30 lakh," Mazar said. "The accused and his family managed to brainwash my wife. I hope the police help me get my hard-earned money back. I could have returned to Japan to work, I decided not to, as I am unable to trust anybody," Mazar added. By Premji
The much awaited Test series between India and New Zealand kicked off at the Green Park Stadium in Kanpur on Thursday.In the 500th Test, India opting to bat first, started well with Lokesh Rahul and Murali Vijay opening the Indian innings quite strongly and making a 42-run stand. The visitors, playing with three spinner and two pacers, got no success in the initial stage of the game before Kane Williamson turned to Mitchell Santner, who provided first breakthrough to NZ and took the wicket of Lokesh Rahul (32 off 39). Later, Cheteshwar Pujara and Murali Vijay put a great batting effort and 112-run stand before Pujara handing over his wicket to Santner again. After the Pujara’s wicket nobody could contribute well despite R Ashwin and Rohit Sharma’s small partnership and Indian batsmen collapsed after the strong start. Rohit Sharma (35 off 67) and R Ashwin (40 off 76) tried to support India batting in the middle order but the failure of Indian skipper Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane and Wriddhiman Saha has put India backward on stumps of first day of the first match of the series. At the stumps on Day 1, India were 291 for the loss of 9 wickets with Ravindra Jadeja and Umesh Yadav still in the middle. From New Zealand, pacer Trent Boult and Mitchell Santner took 3 wickets each and Sodhi, Wagner and Craig took 1 wicket each on the first day. By Prajakt K.
It was in 1924, during British raj, that the Railways began to have a separate budget. The decision of the government to announce the Union Budget early (probably the first day of February every year) and merge the Railway Budget with the general budget has been welcomed by most economists. The government will not present a railway budget starting FY18, dispensing with an annual practice that started 92 years ago in the British era. "With scrapping of the railway budget, the finance ministry may consider cutting short on these concessions," he indicated. Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu claimed that merger of the two budgets will not affect the 'distinct identity' of the railways and its functional autonomy. "The government will also take an initiative to ensure that there is a separate discussion to the railways expenditure each year so that there is a element of detailed Parliamentary scrutiny and accountability," Prabhu said. “Beyond the fact that general budget is going to be bigger (post Railway budget merger) and the entire process is going to start early with the budget advancing, there aren’t much changes expected due to the budget overhaul in the economy,” said Devendra Pant, chief economist at India Ratings and Research. The government will form a committee to look into the aspect of concessions to as many as 53 categories, including senior citizens, sportspersons, freedom fighters and differently-abled among others. "As far as the burden of concessional fare in different categories including sportspersons and patients is concerned, the government will constitute a separate committee to find out a way forward for it," a senior railway ministry official said. Congress MP and Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge said that the merger will create more bureaucratic hurdles for the rail ministry as it would strip it off its financial autonomy. “Merging the general budget with the railway budget, in my personal opinion is not good, because for everything the railway department will have to go and stand before the finance department. Even in urgent matters also, they will have to seek the permission of finance department. So, there is no autonomy of finance. Due to this, the railways will be stuck, and the railways is a sensitive department which carries every day more than two to three crore passengers and provides great benefit to the poor,” Kharge said. By Premji
Don’t mess with Punjabi aunties! 49-year-old Punjabi aunty Karamjit Sangha who owns a News and Booze store in Hull, UK, was threatened by a robber with a seven-inch knife to hand over her cash but not only did she not give him the money, she also scared him away. The robber Stuart Gleeson decided to disturb Karamjit Sangha while she was sipping on her freshly brewed tea and that probably turned out to be a bigger mistake than asking for money. Sangha asked him to wait till she finishes her tea. “I was just sitting there having my cup of tea when he came in holding this seven-inch kitchen knife. He told me to give him all the money, but I was relaxed. I told him I was having a cup of tea. He demanded I put it down and give him the money. I said ‘OK’ and picked up the craft knife and waved it at him. I wouldn’t have hurt him, but it was enough to scare him. He started shaking and then he ran off,” she said. The incident reportedly happened on May 26. The guy has been sentenced to five years jail time. “The shop worker must have been extremely frightened when you waved the knife at her,” said the judge. Sangha said, “This sentence is fantastic. Something like this has never happened to me before. But people shouldn’t feel sorry for me, they should feel sorry for him. He just got scared and that was it.” By Premji
The Race Course Road, where the Prime Minister's official residence is located, is renamed as Lok Kalyan Marg. The announcement was made at a press conference attended by NDMC Chairman Naresh Kumar, Delhi Chief Minister Aravind Kejriwal and Meenakshi Lekhi, the BJP MP who represents New Delhi constituency in Parliament. "We have unanimously decided to change the name of Race Course Road to Lok Kalyan Marg," Kejriwal said. "Inspired by public welfare we all have joined politics, be it Aravindji, me or the Prime Minister of India, inspired by public welfare people have joined politics. Nothing is greater than Lok Kalyan (public welfare), so it should be named so," said Lekhi. "Any name change has to be done following legal procedures. Aravindji cannot change the name of the road where he lives, similarly the Prime Minister too cannot do that. It is not about any one's personal wish, but only the authorised body can do this (renaming). In this matter the NMDC has the full rights to do so and it has taken an honorable decision. The decision has been taken unanimously and without any political considerations," added Lekhi. "The NDMC is empowered to name any public road, therefore, there is no need to send any proposal either to the state (Delhi) government or the union government. Once the decision is taken by the council, it will be duly notified," said the NDMC chairman. By Premji