GN Staff | November 6, 2015
Gangster Chhota Rajan was brought to Delhi this morning after being deported from Indonesia. He evaded the police in several countries for over two decades. A special plane sent by New Delhi to bring Rajan arrived at around 5 am. He kissed the ground after stepping off the plane. Rajan was taken to the barricaded CBI headquarters in central Delh in a convoy that included armed escort vans, a SWAT team, commandos and a decoy car. He is wanted for over 80 cases of murder, extortion and drug trafficking in India, mainly Mumbai. However, the 55-year-old gangster will be in CBI custody in Delhi.
Supreme court promises greater transparency in judges selection
The Supreme Court on Thursday sidestepped a demand by a section of lawyers to find ways to deal with complaints about the conduct of superior court judges, and instead indicated it would concentrate on ushering in greater transparency at the pre-selection stage. This could leave a small window open for the government to step in to deal with this issue if it so desired at a later stage, after its attempt to set up a National Judicial Appointments Commission with wider representation to replace the current collegium system of judges selecting judges was struck down by the Supreme Court. The government had also declared that it would introduce a second law to deal with complaints of indiscipline and bad conduct among judges, short of the cumbersome process of impeachment. The court itself had raised hopes of addressing the problem when it hinted at glasnost (openness) and perestroika (reforms) during its ruling on NJAC. But on Thursday, a five-judge bench - comprising justices JS Khehar, Madan B Lokur, Jasti Chelameswar, Kurian Joseph and Adarsh Kumar Goel - unequivocally ruled out debating on the issue. The bench instead said it would for now focus on injecting greater openness into the pre-selection process.
RBI comfortable with existing interest rates
RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan on Thursday said the central bank is comfortable with the current level of policy rates till more room builds up, even as the government expressed hope for further cuts. "What we said in our monetary policy statement is that we essentially looked at all the room we had and we have taken full advantage," Rajan said.Stating that RBI was data-dependent on its monetary policy, the Governor said, "Until more room builds up. We are comfortable with where we are."
Conviction of criminals up, claims Maharashtra CM
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday said the rate of conviction in crimes in the state was improved to 42 per cent from previous 8 per cent after his government came to power last year. "On the account of various measures taken by government, the rate of conviction of crimes which was just 8 per cent before this government took over has now gone up to 42 per cent. We should also make further efforts to improve the conviction rate further. At this conviction rate (42 per cent), Maharashtra stands fifth in country," Fadnavis said. He launched a mobile app "FIR" (First Immediate Response) crated for catering to the elderly persons and women in distress.
Karnataka minister's wife caught on 'sting' allegedly taking bribe
Karnataka's social welfare minister Anjaneya is in trouble after a 'sting operation' by a TV channel on Thursday showed his wife allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs. 7 lakh. The video aired by a channel showed a man keeping currency notes on a table before Anjaneya's wife in the minister's house. The channel claims the money was a bribe for passing a tender worth Rs. 7 crore in a particular district and that it had used fake currency notes as part of its sting operation. However, the minister defended his wife, saying it was a conspiracy to defame him.
Rahul Gandhi showing 'signs of great change': Nayantara Sahgal
Noted writer Nayantara Sahgal is impressed with the way Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi has decided to play a "bigger role". She feels Mr Gandhi is showing "signs of great change". Speaking on the sidelines of fourth Chandigarh Literature Festival here today, Ms Sahgal, niece of former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru was asked what she thinks about Rahul Gandhi. "Like everybody else I thought (several years back), he did not want to be in politics. Many of us thought it would be better if he takes up something else." She, however, quickly added that now she has seen "a great change" in Rahul Gandhi.
NGT bars construction on Ganga banks in Uttarakhand
The National Green Tribunal on Thursday virtually barred construction of buildings 200 metres along the banks of the Ganga in Uttarakhand till further orders to protect pollutants from being discharged into the river. "We direct that no corporation, authority or panchayat shall grant permission for construction of building, houses, hotels or any structures within 200 metres of shore of river Ganga at the highest flood line without prior approval from the tribunal, a bench headed by NGT chairperson Swatanter Kumar said.
Home minister calls for vigilance against 'radicalisation of youth'
Home Minister Rajnath Singh today said that online security experts will have to be vigilant against attempts of radicalisation of Indian youth. "Today, due to technology and internet, a person living in a remote area can have access to such information by which he can indulge in an act of terror, despite not being associated with any terror group, said Singh. Inaugurating an information security conference - 'Ground Zero Summit-2015', the Home Minister said 'cyber terrorism' is a big danger in the world along with cyber crime. "Such forces are also active in the cyber space which work in the direction of radicalisation of youth. Cyber security experts need to be alert specially towards the online radicalisation," he said. The Home Minister said cyber world is the fifth dimension of security along with the earlier dimensions of security i.e. land, air, water and space.
BJP serves show cause notice to senior leader Hari Om for indiscipline
The BJP today served a show cause notice on its senior leader Hari Om who recently criticised the party's actions, including over alliance with Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for forming government in the state, saying it amounted to gross indiscipline and misconduct. "The state unit of BJP has served a show cause notice to Professor Hari Om, through which he has been called upon to submit his explanation within seven days for airing publically statements on his own without the consultation or consent of the concerned leaders of the party," party leader Narinder Singh said. Hari Om had recently criticised the party's decision of forming the coalition government with PDP and labelling BJP's overall conduct as pernicious and gross, Mr Singh said, adding it was an attempt to defame the party.
New low-cost battery could help store wind, solar energy
Researchers are developing a new battery, using low-cost materials such as sodium and magnesium, that could make storing power from renewable sources such as wind and solar energy more affordable. Wind and solar energy projects are growing at a respectable pace. But storing electric power for days when the air is still or when the Sun goes down remains a challenge, largely due to cost, researchers said. Today, lithium-ion batteries are the storage technology of choice for many applications, from electric cars to smartphones. A luxury electric cars maker is ambitiously expanding its lithium-ion technology and has already started rolling out systems to homeowners in a pilot project to save up power for homes, researchers said. However, the $ 3,000 price tag for the pack itself plus installation costs put it out of reach for most customers.
Tendulkar, Warne to ring opening bell at NY Stock Exchange
Sachin Tendulkar and Shane Warne will ring the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange today, becoming the first cricketers to perform the ceremonial activity at the world's largest stock exchange. Tendulkar and Warne are in the US as captains of an inaugural all-star line-up of 28 cricket legends from across the world for the first ever 'Cricket All Stars' series in the US. The 'Cricket All-Stars' kicks off on November 7 at Citi Field in New York City with a special opening ceremony prior to the match as well as other functions and galas.
Sulabh founder joins Malala, Obama on 'Global Diversity List'
Founder of Sulabh International Bindeshwar Pathak has been named alongside Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai and US President Barack Obama in an inaugural 'Global Diversity List'. Pathak is among 50 global personalities "who have used their position in public life to make an impact on diversity", the list supported by 'The Economist' magazine said. "Humanist, social reformer and diversity champion, Pathak works as an advocate for the so-called 'untouchable' caste, so they may work, live and pray as a fully integrated part of Indian life," it said. "His work in the improvement of sanitation and production of bio-gas is changing health and wealth outcomes for the poorest people and is cited as one of the Globally Best Practice by the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements," the list said in reference to 72-year-old Pathak. Purnima Mehta, director-general of the American Institute of Indian Studies (AIIS), is the other Indian-origin name on the list, which also includes the likes of Britain's Prince Harry, actor Angelina Jolie and Hilary Clinton. "The list marks a seminal moment for the diversity profession, by publicly recognising the world's most influential, innovative and creative diversity professionals in one comprehensive list for the first time," said Palmer-Edgecumbe, CEO of the 'Global Diversity List'. "The list sets the benchmark of exceptional performance in the profession today and creates the role models for the diversity professionals of tomorrow," Palmer-Edgecumbe added. Nominated for by readers of 'The Economist', several thousand entries were received from around the world for this first-ever analysis.
Fire on the Ganges: Life among the Dead in Banaras By Radhika Iyengar 4th Estate / HarperCollins, 348 pages, 599
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