Governance Now Visionary Talks Series

Morning briefing: Decision on talks with Pakistan today

GN Staff | January 14, 2016


#pakistan   #jaish   #azar   #terrorist   #pathankot   #RTI   #infosys   #odd even  

India is expected to announce its decision today on foreign secretary-level talks with Pakistan. They are scheduled to be held tomorrow. The government deferred its decision last night after the detention of Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Maulana Masood Azhar was reported in the Pakistani media but not officially confirmed, even to India. Masood Azhar, accused by India of masterminding the January 2 terror attack on the Pathankot air base, and his close relatives, were taken into "protective custody" two days ago, said Pakistani media reports. India has said that unless Pakistan takes strong action against those responsible for the Pathankot attack, the foreign secretary-level talks could not go ahead at this time. Pakistan has not informed India officially whether it has detained Maulana Masood Azhar - chief of the Jaish-e-Mohammed, the terror group that launched a deadly attack earlier this month at the Pathankot Air Force base. Foreign ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said, "We have not received official word on the detention of Masood Azhar." Pakistan minister Mohammad Zubair told NDTV, "I cannot confirm that Masood Azhar has been detained... Jaish offices were raided and several men have been held."

Infosys Q3 surprises, net up 2%; raises FY16 $ revenue guidance
Infosys ' third quarter earnings beat analysts' expectations on Thursday with profit rising 1.94 percent to Rs 3,465 crore and revenue growing 1.7 percent to Rs 15,902 crore Q-o-Q. Dollar revenue for the quarter increased 0.6 percent to USD 2,407 million from USD 2,392 million on sequential basis. Infosys revised dollar revenue growth guidance upwards to 8.9-9.3 percent from 6.4-8.4 percent while maintained constant currency dollar revenue growth guidance at 10-12 percent for FY16. Volume growth stood at 3.1 percent quarter-on-quarter. Attrition rate declined to 18.1 percent during the quarter compared to 19.9 percent in preceding quarter.

Odd-Even will be back after review meeting on January 18

With just two days left for the completion of the Odd-Even trial in Delhi, Transport Minister Gopal Rai confirmed on Wednesday that the scheme is not going anywhere and will be back. Rai said though the scheme will end on January 15 for now, it will be back for a second phase. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will hold a review meeting on January 18 with top officials and experts to work out the details of the second phase of the scheme in which odd-numbered cars are allowed on roads on odd dates and even-numbered cars on even dates. He informed that the government will hold a 'thank you' event on January 17 to 'congratulate' the people of Delhi for making the Odd-Even scheme a success.

Indians can't do without mobile devices while travelling
An international survey has revealed that 80 per cent Indians use mobile devices to keep up with their work even when they are on vacations. This shows a growing dependency on smartphones and gadgets and an urge to remain connected all the time. The Egencia/Expedia Mobile Behaviour Mobile Index, a global study of mobile-device-related behaviour and preferences among travellers conducted across multiple countries and continents, found that India (80 per cent) leads in checking in with work at least once a day followed by Thailand (74 per cent) and Mexico (65 per cent). About 29 per cent of Indians check mails, texts or voice mails for 30 minutes daily, it said. The study found that Indians lead globally (at 13 per cent) in checking on work for more than 1 hour daily. Further, about 74 per cent of Indians seek free wi-fi in cafe or restaurant while on holiday. Business travellers use mobile devices to remain closely connected to their home or office, the study said. Mobile devices are the top resource for navigation, for photo-taking and for staying connected to loved ones. The three countries that place the highest premium on mobile devices as a travel companion include China (where 94 per cent of respondents ranked it 1) and Thailand (91 per cent).

Maharashtra may soon regulate online sale of medicines

Maharashtra government on Wednesday told the Bombay High Court that it was framing a policy for regulating online sale of medicines. On October 29 last year, the High Court had asked the government to take steps to regulate online sale of medicines until a specific law or rules were enacted. Hearing the government's submission that a policy was being framed, the bench of Justices Naresh Patel and Amjad Sayed on Wednesday said "this is a good beginning for creating public awareness about procedure to be followed and action to be taken against defaulters." The High Court was hearing a public interest litigation. Action had been taken in nine cases where medicines were sold online without prescription, it had said, adding that there were as many as 81 websites which sell medicines online, of which 44 are India-based. Mayuri Patil, a city-based college teacher, has filed the PIL based on reports that college students buy abortion pills online.

RTI activists see red in new rules framed by UP

If you seek information from Uttar Pradesh, you should be good at precis writing. The state government won't entertain any request under the Right to Information Act if it exceeds 500 words. That's not all. If the information isn't maintained by a government office, it won't be mandatory for the public information officer to transfer the request, reports Economic Times. According to the new rules, any application that goes beyond 500 words can be rejected by a public information officer. Under the RTI Act, it is mandatory for an information officer to transfer the request of an applicant within five days of receipt if it does not pertain to his charge. However, Section 4 (5) of the UP rules says, "...if a part or whole of the information sought from a public authority is held by two or more other public authorities, then the public information officer shall not transfer the request for information to such other public authorities." Venkatesh Nayak of Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative said the UP rules have at least 21 clauses that either go against the spirit of the RTI Act.

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