Morning briefing: Ex-servicemen ready for OROP revision once in two years

GN Bureau | September 3, 2015



The agitating ex-servicemen and the government appeared to have ironed out some major differences over the contentious issue of One Rank One Pension with the defence veterans saying on Wednesday night that they may accept revision of pension once in two years instead of one year as demanded by them. War veteran Major General Satbir Singh (retd), who has been leading the protest in Jantar Mantar for the last 80 days, said they have got positive signals from the government for the last few days but stopped short of saying there was a breakthrough.

Independent MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar, who has been mediating on the issue, said it was time veterans must return home with honour and grace by reaching an early settlement. He urged them to accept the revision of pension every three years.

Shiraj Singh Chouhan offered deal, says Vyapam whistleblower
Vyapam whistleblower Dr Anand Rai on Wednesday alleged that Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan offered to cancel his transfer if he stopped his campaign over the Vyapam and DMAT scams. The 38-year-old levelled the allegation in an affidavit submitted to the Indore bench of Madhya Pradesh High Court. The cour is hearing a plea challenging his transfer from Indore to Dhar. In his affidavit, Dr Rai, who has filed several petitions in the High Court and the Supreme Court over last few years, alleged that Chouhan summoned him to his official residence in Bhopal on August 11 and offered to cancel the transfer if he stopped campaign against him (CM) and his family. S K Mishra, the CM's principal secretary, confirmed that the meeting did take place but at Dr Rai’s instance. Both Rai and Mishra said a common friend was involved in arranging the meeting. However, Mishra denied that any offer was made.

Google is 'unfair, biased', says CCI report
Google has been indicted for distorting its famous internet search results to favour its own services, suggesting breaches of competition law. "The conduct of Google is found to be unfair and discriminatory," the Competition Commission of India's (CCI) 714-page report says. "Google steers users to its own products and services, and produces biased results," according to the preliminary report. "We're currently reviewing this report from the CCI's ongoing investigation," a Google spokesman said in a statement. The CCI can either order the company to halt what it deems unfair practices or fine it as much as 10 percent of its revenues. Google can also challenge the decision in court.

Sensex up over 150 points, Nifty above 7,750
The S&P BSE Sensex surged over 150 points in trade on Thursday following positive trend in Asian markets. The rally in the index was led by gains in Infosys, ICICI Bank, L&T, RIL and Sun Pharma. The 30-share index was trading at 25,595, up 142 points or 0.56 per cent. It touched a high of 25,669.13 and a low of 25,591.38 in morning trade. Nifty was at 7,760, up 43 points or 0.57 per cent. It touched a high of 7,783.05 and a low of 7,758.70 in the first half-an-hour of trading.

Mumbai most expensive city for travellers
Hotel prices went up in the first six months of 2015 and the commercial capital of the country recorded the highest rise of 5 per cent with an average of Rs. 8,091 per night. "In India, overall hotel prices paid by all travellers saw a marginal rise of 2 per cent in the first six months of 2015, to an average of Rs. 6,411 per night," according to the latest Hotel Price Index (HPI) from Hotels.com.  Mumbai recorded the highest rise of 5 per cent with an average of Rs. 8,091 making it the city in India where travellers paid the most in the first half of 2015. Delhi retained its second spot despite a fall of 3 per cent with an average of Rs. 6,677 per night. Hyderabad, which saw a fall of 3 per cent at Rs. 5,339 per night compared to Rs. 5,482 in the same period last year, was the eighth expensive city of the country, the report said. Meanwhile, Jaipur continues to serve best value among the cities analysed with an average of Rs. 5,062 despite a rise of 4 per cent. Bengaluru and Pune both had a marginal rise of 3 per cent, Goa, which recorded the highest rise of 12 per cent last year, saw a minimal rise of 3 per cent with an average of Rs. 5,940 in the first half of 2015.

Flood situation in Assam worsens, death toll rises to 24
The flood situation in Assam has deteriorated as incessant rains pounded the state and
four more persons lost their lives taking the death toll up to 24. The calamity has affected nearly 10 lakh people in over 2,000 villages. A total 29 people have been killed in the two spells of floods in 2015. Nearly 10 lakh persons are affected in 2,005 villages across Dhemaji, Kokrajhar, Bongaigaon, Sonitpur, Barpeta, Goalpara, Morigaon, Cachar, Lakhimpur, Jorhat, Tinsukia, Darrang, Baksa, Nalbari, Kamrup, Dibrugarh, Sivasagar, Golaghat and Nagaon districts.

Farooq Abdullah applies for LPG subsidy
With an annual income of more than Rs 10 lakh and assets worth over Rs 13 crore, Jammumand Kashmir's former chief minister Farooq Abdullah has applied for LPG subsidy. Abdullah, the president of main opposition National Conference, has submitted a form for non-Aadhar based LPG subsidy transfer with Super Gas Service at Durga Nag, a distributor of HP Gas, on August 14 this year, an official of the gas agency said. Prime minister Narendra Modi has been appealing for months that the well-off people should give up LPG subsidy so that benefits could be diverted to the needy poor people.

Home withdraws security cover to 30 VIPs, Shinde's family in list
Centre has withdrawn security cover of  30 political leaders and bureaucrats. Among them are family members of former home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, former speaker Meira Kumar and 2G-scam tainted former minister A Raja. Others whose security cover has been withdrawn include Naveen Jindal, Abdul Rashid Shaheen, Subodh Kant Sahai, Suman Mahato and R K Dhawan. T K A Nair, Principal Secretary to former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and former Delhi lt governor Tejendra Khanna. In the list are former ministers V Narayanasamy and Jitin Prasada, former solicitor general Gopal Subramaniam, justices J R Midha, B S Chauhan and D K Jain, NHRC member Satyabrata Pal, Rajya Sabha MP Rishang Keishing, former governor V K Duggal’s son Sunil, V Narayanasamy’s daughter-in-law Yamuna, former home secretary Anil Goswami and former cabinet secretary Ajit Seth.

Over 45,000 people register for PM Narendra Modi's Silicon Valley reception
Over 45,000 people have signed up to listen to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's address to Indian-Americans in Silicon Valley on September 27. The final list of the 18,500 people who will get a chance to hear Prime Minister Modi speak live at the SAP Arena in San Jose on September 27 will be decided from a  a computerised draw of lots.

Valuation of India’s top 30 software firms crosses $10 billion
The total valuation of India's top 30 enterprise software product companies is touching $10.25 billion, pushing up the value of an index compiled by software products think tank iSpirt by 20 per cent, reports Economic Times. The report, based on an index called iSPIxB2B comprising top 30 software product companies in India and their valuations, said that the number of employees at these companies have also grown by nearly 18 per cent to over 21,200 employees.

Arrest should be avoided if accused cooperates in probe: SC
The Supreme Court has said that custodial interrogation should be avoided if the accused cooperates in the probe. "In cases where the court is of the considered view that the accused has joined the investigation and he is fully cooperating with the investigating agency and is not likely to abscond, in that event, custodial interrogation should be avoided. A great ignominy, humiliation and disgrace is attached to arrest. "Arrest leads to many serious consequences not only for the accused but for the entire family and at times for the entire community. Most people do not make any distinction between arrest at a pre-conviction stage or post-conviction stage," a bench of justices A K Sikri and R F Nariman said.

57 percent students not prepared for employment
More than half of Indian students do not possess the skills required for employment even as they are educated, a recent survey has revealed. Teachers said that 57 per cent of students in the country are educated but not adequately prepared for employment. 'The Pearson Voice of Teacher Survey' also found that teachers in Delhi do not think that the education system in the country is providing holistic education to students. The survey also said that 75 per cent teachers have called for restructuring of course curriculum in collaboration with industry.

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