GN Staff | January 28, 2016
The government will on Thursday announce the names of the first 20 urban areas that will be developed as smart cities. In subsequent years, the government will announce 40 cities each to be developed as Smart City. These cities will be developed to have basic infrastructure through assured water and power supply, sanitation and solid waste management, efficient urban mobility and public transport, IT connectivity, e-governance and citizen participation. The urban development ministry has received proposals for 97 cities from state governments.
Air India bomber released in Canada
Inderjit Singh Reyat, convicted for the 1985 Air India bombings that killed 331 people has been released from a Canadian prison on Wednesday. after serving two decades behind bars. Reyat -- convicted of lying in court to cover for his co-accused -- previously served more than 15 years in prison for making the bombs that were stuffed into two suitcases and planted on planes leaving Vancouver. One bomb tore apart Air India Flight 182 as it neared the coast of Ireland, killing all 329 people aboard. The second exploded at Japan's Narita airport, killing two baggage handlers as they transferred cargo to another Air India plane. The near-simultaneous bombings on opposite sides of the world was in retaliation to Operation Blue Star - the army action to flush out militants from the Golden Temple in Amritsar in 1984. Reyat was working as a mechanic in westernmost Canada and had purchased the dynamite, batteries and detonators used to construct the bombs.
Mehbooba Mufti holding meetings with party workers on govt formation
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti, who has maintained suspense over government formation in Jammu and Kashmir, will meet senior party leaders in Srinagar and Jammu over the next one week to seek their views on the issue. The PDP president has convened a meeting of senior party workers and zonal presidents on January 31 in Srinagar for getting feedback on government formation. A similar meeting has been convened in Jammu, the winter capital of the state, on February 3.
One more case against Lalu Yadav withdrawn by Bihar govt
A district court today closed a case against Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) President Lalu Prasad Yadav relating to a First Information Report (FIR) registered against him during last Lok Sabha elections, on the plea of the state government, days after the government sought closure of another case against Lalu Yadav and his two sons in connection with a party-sponsored bandh. Judicial Magistrate Gayatri Kumari ordered closure of the case against Mr Prasad registered against him with Parsa bazar police station in Patna district in 2014 on the request of the Public Prosecutor. The case was registered against the RJD chief on April 5, 2014.
Govt, RBI in talks to allow more free ATM transactions
The government is in discussions with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to allow more free ATM transactions for certain types of accounts as part of its drive to deepen financial inclusion through the spread of cash-vending machines, reports Economic Times. Since November 2014, savings bank account holders have been subjected to restricted number of free transactions a month at ATMs belonging to other lenders in Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Hyderabad. he government is expected to seek relaxation from ATM charges for Jan Dhan Yojana accounts and perhaps others as well in rural areas. The government sees availability of financial services at low cost as being crucial to greater inclusion after the initial work of providing account access has been completed.
After US now UK visa worries for Indian IT sector
India's IT industry is fcing pressure from many countries. After the US visa issues, the UK has proposed changes to its skilled-workers visa policy that could increase costs for companies and make transfer of workers more difficult. The UK is the second-largest market for Indian IT companies and accounts for 18% of their export revenue, amounting to about $19 billion annually, according to National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom). The UK's Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has proposed increasing the minimum salary level of IT employees entering the UK for short or long terms to £41,500, according to a report on its website. t has asked for immigration health surcharge and immigration skills charge to be levied on each employee sent to client sites in the UK, which will have a combined impact of £1,200 per applicant per year.
Sack erring officials, PM Modi tells secretaries
Going tough on non-performers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has sent out a stern message to government officials who have not corrected their professional conduct despite repeated warnings. During his monthly interaction with central government secretaries and chief secretaries of states through Pro-Active Governance and Timely Implementation (PRAGATI), PM Modi directed secretaries to identify and asses such employees and recommend disciplinary action, that include dismissal from service and withholding of pension. The Prime Minister urged all secretaries whose departments have extensive public dealing, to set up a system for top-level monitoring of grievances immediately. Reviewing the complaints and grievances from people related to the customs and excise sector, Modi asked for strict action against concerned officials. Modi, Wednesday, also held a meeting of his council of ministers to review progress on schemes related to some ministries and laid thrust on faster delivery of government initiatives.
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