Morning briefing: Officials found incompetent or with integrity issues will be retired

GN Bureau | September 17, 2015

The government has decided to let go of non-performing officers and those with suspect integrity by giving them compulsory premature retirement. The performance of those who have either completed 30 years in service or reach 50 years of age, whichever comes earlier, will be reviewed, according to a recent Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) order. Those who get negative reviews will be given a three month notice to retire."Whenever the services of a public servant are no longer useful to the general administration, the officer can be compulsority retired for the sake of public interest," said the DoPT circular. "For better administration, it is necessary to chop off dead wood." Sighting FR 56(j), the rule pertaining to compulsory retirement, the order has asked every department to set up a twomember review committee which will screen officers and employees based on internal feedback and yearly appraisal reports. The Government of India has about 45 lakh employees.

Notification issued for Bihar poll's first phase

The Election Commission has issued notification for the first phase of elections to the Bihar Assembly. A total of 49 Assembly seats would witness elections in the first phase on October 12. Last date for filing of nominations is September 23.
Assembly elections in Bihar would be fought in five phases between October 12 and November 5 in a high-stakes battle, seen as a major popularity test for the NDA. Polls to the 243-seat Assembly would be held on October 12, 16, 28, November 1 and 5. The term of the current Assembly expires on November 29.

Azim Premji, Rohini Nilekani to start independent media ventures

Wipro chairman Azim Premji and Arghyam Foundation chairperson Rohini Nilekani have come together to fund and support independent media ventures in the country, through an entity called Independent and Public Spirited Media Trust. The objective is to fund independent media outfits who provide content which are socially relevant. This is largely going to be a not-for-profit venture and the commitment would be largely through grants. The new trust is likely to have representation of individuals from other fields such as judiciary, regulatory bodies, venture capital and media. The venture is likely to have a corpus of around R100 crore and it is going to be operational in a couple of  weeks’ time.

Delhi HC to hear AAP leader Somnath Bharti’s anticipatory bail plea today

The Delhi High Court will today hear the anticipatory bail plea of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA and former law minister Somnath Bharti, who has been booked in a case of domestic violence. The High Court had earlier on Tuesday granted interim relief to Bharti by staying his arrest till September 17. A Delhi Court had on Monday dismissed Bharti’s anticipatory bail plea in the domestic violence case filed against him by his wife Lipika Mitra.

Gurgaon rape case: Nepal Ambassador hopes Saudi delivers justice

The Saudi diplomat Majed Hassan Ashoor, who was accused of confining and raping two Nepali women who worked as his domestic help, left India on Wednesday. Nepal Ambassador Deep Upadhyay on Thursday hoped that the Saudi Government would deliver justice to the victims. The First Secretary being a diplomat is governed by the provisions of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, according to which diplomats enjoy immunity from arrest, criminal prosecution and civil lawsuits in the countries where they are posted.

First river linking project comes to life in AP

In what is claimed to be the first-ever river interlinking in the country, Godavari and Krishna rivers in Andhra Pradesh were formally linked on Wednesday with the commissioning of Pattiseema lift irrigation project in Krishna district. The project was first mooted in 1950s by eminent engineer K.L. Rao, who was also the central water resources minister. AP chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu unveiled a pylon at Ferry village near Ibrahimpatnam to formally launch the project, linking the two major rivers. Water from Godavari will be extracted using pumps just before it merges with the sea through pumpset and will be dumped into Polavaram Right canal, travelling nearly 174 kilometers.

Through the canal, the water will reach to Krishna River. 24 pumps are to be installed on Godavari River under this project and will come into operation in several phases. All pumps will become operational by the end of March 2016. The project is expected to meet the irrigation and drinking water needs of drought-prone Rayalseema region and also bring stabilisation under Krishna delta.

The project is designed to draw 120 tmc ft (thousand million cubic feet) from Godavari going waster into the sea and release them into the Krishna. Though Naidu had dedicated the project to people on August 15, it could not be commissioned. The project will benefit nearly18 lakh acre of land in irrigation.

US Fed meeting to decide on interest rate

The US Federal Reserve opened a two-day meeting Wednesday to weigh a historic interest rate increase amid calls for it to move gingerly as world economic growth slows. The World Bank has warned developing economies to prepare for more capital and currency market turmoil while the OECD urged the Fed to move slowly and make its policy plans clear, whatever it decides. The policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee, led by Fed Chair Janet Yellen, will announce a decision at 1800 GMT Thursday. Yellen will then address the media, with analysts saying her justification will be as crucial to markets as the decision itself.

Vitamin supplements may come under drug category

The Drug Controller General of India has proposed to bring some popular vitamin supplement brands under the category of 'drugs'. These products are currently classified as 'food' and come under the Food Safety Act, which exempts them from stringent rules on pricing and marketing.

South Indian cities score in real estate market

Southern tier II cities have also outperformed their northern peers as top residential real estate destinations, with Kochi grabbing the top spot, according to a new report by property research firm PropEquity. Vishakapatnam (rank 3), Thiruvananthapuram (5), Mangalore (7), Goa (9) and Coimbatore (10) - featured in the top 10 cities, while only one city from the north - Jaipur (6) - managed to be in the top 10.

Doing business is becomin difficult in India: Biyani

India's retail business pioneer Kishore Biyani has said that doing business is "getting more difficult in the current scenario of regulations" but expressed hope the situation will improve over the next two years.Biyani has expressed disappointment over ever-increasing number of permits for doing business.

Rajastan's  IAS officer Ashok Singhvi arrested in Rs 2.5 crore bribery case

Anti corruption bureau of Rajasthan has arrested Ashok Singhvi, Principal Secretary of Mines Department, minutes after a search at his official residence on Hospital Marg late Wednesday night. This is the biggest ever case of bribery in Rajasthan and the arrest of a senior IAS officer. One hundred and fifty bottles of imported liquor were also seized from his residence. Singhvi's arrest came after the ACB caught Pankaj Gehlot, Additional Director, Department of Mines with Rs 2.5 crore. Pankaj received the money as a bribe from mine owner Sher Khan and middleman Sanjay Sethi.



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Modi govt. imposes 1.7k penalty on RIL

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