GN Bureau | October 20, 2015
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday found a new weapon to target prime minister Narendra Modi and the police force. Quoting from a survey conducted by CMS Transparency, Kejriwal tweeted: "Shocking findings CMS survey 2day-Del police (under Modiji n his LG) most corrupt- scathing attack on Modiji's capbilities n intentions." On the finding that Delhi police remains corrupt, Kerjiwal said that Modi should stop being adamant and work together with the state government. The Delhi CM said that if control of Anti-Corruption Bureau and Delhi Police is handed over to him then he will set things straight in one year. As per the CMS survey, a third of households in the national capital have paid a bribe in the last 12 months. While Delhiites feel police was the most corrupt. The department of permit is a close second in corruption rankings. The CMS estimated that Delhi paid a total of Rs 239 crore in bribes last year. The findings are based on a sample survey of 1,501 households.
Punjab cabinet's emergency meeting over holy book issue
Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal has convened an emergency Cabinet meeting today as protests continue across the state over the desecration of the holy book of Sikhs. Three people have been arrested so far over desecrating the Guru Granth Sahib. On Monday, Sikh groups and radical outfits blocked highways across the state, demanding action against those responsible for desecrating the holy book.Protesters have threatened to continue the blockade till October 25 for three hours every day.
Import of 3,000 tonnes of pulses soon
India will procure further 3,000 tonnes of pulses (2,000 tonnes of tur dal and 1,000 tonnes of urad dal) from the global markets to control rising prices. The decision was taken in a high-level meeting where Cabinet Secretary Pradeep Kumar Sinha, along with secretaries of consumer affairs, agriculture and commerce ministries, reviewed the production, procurement, availability and prices of pulses. Earlier purchase of 15,000 tonnes of pulses (urad and tur) from overseas have started arriving in domestic markets. In the review meet, Sinha also interacted with chief secretaries of all states through video conferencing and reviewed imposition of stock limits and enforcement measures taken by the state governments. Meanwhile, the Tamil Nadu government will make available 500 tonnes of imported tur dal allotted by the central government at Rs 110 a kg through 91 cooperative outlets effective November 1. Retail tur dal prices have shot up to Rs 200 per kg despite the government's steps to boost supply and check prices, aggravating consumers' woes. Till last week, tur was available at Rs 185 per kg in the retail market.
Facebook warns users of state-sponsored cyber attacks
Facebook on Monday followed in Google's footsteps and began warning users when it appears they are targeted by state-sponsored cyber attacks. "Starting today, we will notify you if we believe your account has been targeted or compromised by an attacker suspected of working on behalf of a nation-state," Facebook chief security officer Alex Stamos said in a blog post."We do this because these types of attacks tend to be more advanced and dangerous than others, and we strongly encourage affected people to take the actions necessary to secure all of their online accounts."Recommended security moves included rebuilding systems or even replacing computers believed to have been infected with what would likely be sophisticated malicious code. Alerts from Facebook will include boxed messages urging targeted users to immediately secure accounts and will provide a link to turning on a feature that requires a code sent to members' mobile phones along with a password to log in. Google security was ramped up in mid-2012 to include notifying users when it seemed they were in the cross-hairs of state-sponsored hackers.
Rathore to to meet FTII students today
A meeting will be held today between Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and the agitating FTII students in a fresh bid to end the four-month-long strike at the Pune-based institute.This follows several rounds of meetings held between the students and the ministry officials. While the students have been demanding removal of actor Gajendra Chauhan as the head of the FTII council, the government has rejected it outright.
Rs 50,000 fine imposed on AAP MLA for delay in filing reply
The Delhi High Court has imposed a cost of Rs. 50,000 on AAP MLA Commando Surender Singh for delay in filing his reply to an election petition of BJP leader Karan Singh Tanwar alleging that the legislator has a fake graduation degree. Joint Registrar (Judicial) Ashutosh Kumar passed the order after the AAP Delhi lawmaker's reply to BJP's legislator petition was not found on record. However, the MLA has filed his response in the petition. Earlier, the Registrar had granted last opportunity to the AAP MLA. On May 18, Justice Hima Kohli had sought response from Singh on Tanwar's plea that the MLA had "misrepresented himself to be BA in 2012 from Sikkim University... which amounts to corrupt practice within the meaning of the Representation of the People's Act 195"
SC wants toilet numbers in Haryana panchayat polls case
The supreme court has taken note of one of the minimum criteria that a person must have for contesting panchayat elections in Haryana -- a toilet in the house -- and asked the state government to file an affidavit giving details as to how many poor natives have the facility. "You (Haryana) file an affidavit as to how may below poverty line (BPL) families have toilets in their households," a bench comprising justices J Chelameswar and AM Sapre said. The court's direction came when attorney general Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Haryana, justified fixation of minimum criteria including that a candidate should must have a toilet and said around 7 lakh BPL households, out of total 8.5 BPL homes, have toilets."Almost 80 to 85 per cent BPL families have the toilet facilities and hence, this pre-requisite cannot be said to be bad," the AG said, adding that the representatives should "lead by an example". Besides fixing minimum educational criteria for aspiring candidates, the Haryana Panchayati Raj (Amendment) Act, 2015 also said that any candidate desirous of contesting panchayat elections will also have to file a self-certified statement that there is a functional toilet in his or her residence.
Meeting today to select Delhi lokayukta
Lt Governor Najeeb Jung will hold a consultation with Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, chief justice of high court and the leader of opposition in Delhi Assembly today to select new lokayukta for the national capital. Delhi government has sent names of three retired judges for the post of lokayukta, which has been lying vacant since November, 2013. The government had told high court in the last hearing that all steps will be taken to ensure that the Lokayukta was appointed by the end of October. In August this year, Law Commission's former chairman AP Shah, had turned down the Kejriwal government's proposal to appoint him as the next Delhi lokayukta.
Central para-military forces at all Bihar polling booths
The Election Commission on Monday asked its officials to ensure deployment of central para- military forces (CPMFs) at all polling stations in Bihar during the remaining phases of the Assembly polls to ensure free and fair voting. Chief clection commissioner Nasim Zaidi and Election Commissioners AK Joti and Om Prakash Rawat directed the district magistrates and superintendents of police to ensure deployment of CPMFs inside all polling stations."That would instil confidence among voters, especially those belonging to the weaker sections," Zaidi told reporters here after a review meeting along with the two other election commissioners.CPMFs have already been deployed in the Naxalite-affected areas and would be further strengthened, he said.
Electronics import may hit $40 billion, go past gold and silver
From about $28 billion in 2011, import of electronics could rise to $40 billion in 2016. This is mainly due to a surge in smartphone shipments. Imports of electronics exceeded those of gold and silver in the first six months of the current financial year, estimates based on government data showed, adding up to over $19 billion. While a decline in gold imports contributed to the trend, the rapid rise in demand for electronic goods also played its part. India is one of the fastest-growing consumers of electronics globally, but domestic production of such goods was only $31 billion during 2014-15. For some months now, electronics have edged out gold, machinery and pearls to become India's second-largest category of imports, after oil.
Care Ratings lowers India’s GDP forecast to 7.5-7.6%
Ratings Agency CARE Ratings has cut India's GDP forecast for the current fiscal to 7.5-7.6% from its earlier projection of 7.8-8%. The downgrade takes into account global developments like slowdown in China, Yuan depreciation, Fed rate hike and domestic factors like monsoon that have come in the way of realization of earlier projections that the agency made. "Global growth has lowered down and the initial anticipated growth is unlikely to materialize. In particular, China has slowed down and the prospects do not look too encouraging." the agency said in its report on Revised prognosis for Indian economy. The rating action also factors in downbeat agriculture production which is pegged around a low of 0.5-1% this year as the first advance estimates for kharif crop indicate a shortfall in case of food grains and cotton besides sugarcane.
Sensex starts on a cautious note; Nifty holds 8250
The S&P BSE Sensex started on a cautious note on Tuesday tracking muted trend seen in other Asian markets. The fall in the index was led by losses in HDFC, ICICI Bank, ONGC, Bharti Airtel, and ITC. At 10 am Sensex was at 27,377.56, up 12 points and Nifty at 8279.00, up 4 points due by gains in pharma, IT, realty and consumer durable stocks. Most other Asian markets traded mixed tracking cues from the US markets. Japan's Nikkei gained 0.3 per cent while South Korea's Kospi climbed 0.2 per cent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was down 0.55 per cent while China's Shanghai Composite slipped 0.4 per cent.
Google for work targets Microsoft office customers with offers
Google is escalating an attack on Microsoft's lucrative Office software in an attempt to hit its longtime rival where it will hurt the most. The assault is targeting companies and government agencies paying for Microsoft's suite of word processing, email, calendar, spreadsheet and other Office programs. If they dump Microsoft, Google will give them free use of a package of its competing software that normally costs $5 or $10 per user each month. The price for the " Google for Work" software will be waived for the duration of the defecting customers' existing contracts with Microsoft or any other supplier. The offer is open for the next six months in the US and will eventually be extended to other countries. Google is limiting the free usage to 3,000 people per defecting customer.
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Should public sector banks be privatised?