Morning briefing: Prime minister meeting departmental secretaries today

GN Staff | December 31, 2015

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Prime minister Narendra Modi is today meeting secretaries of the central government. Official sources said performance of various departments and development works being undertaken by them will be reviewed at the meeting. Modi had met the secretaries June 4 and had set out his agenda of governance and his expectations from them. The prime minister had held a meeting of his ministers on December 18 to discuss similar agenda.
On Wednesday, Modi held his monthly video conference under the Pro-active Governance and Timely Implementation (PRAGATI) initiative, with Union secretaries of various ministries and chief secretaries of the different states.
The prime minister reviewed the status of implementation of Mega Food Parks Project and urged expediting the work project so that farmers receive the intended benefit as envisaged in the scheme.
Modi also reviewed the progress with respect to Aadhaar enrollment and its seeding with bank accounts. Linking Aadhaar with bank account will allow authentication of the beneficiary to receive Direct Benefit Transfer under various government-run schemes like MGNREGA, scholarships. Prime Minister in this regard also asked states to complete the process expeditiously.

Top bureaucrats of Delhi govt on mass leave today
Senior officers of the Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islands Civil Service (DANICS) are on mass leave today in protest against the “illegal” suspension of two colleagues by the AAP government. In a show of solidarity, the AGMUT (Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram-Union Territories) cadre IAS association will join their protest by going on half-day casual leave. Over a hundred DANICS officers hold key posts in the Delhi government and other agencies and, with the IAS officers, form the backbone of the Capital’s administration network.
The two DANICS officials posted with the home department — special secretary (prisons) Subhash Chandra and special secretary (prosecution) Yashpal Garg — were suspended on Tuesday for “insubordination” after they allegedly refused to sign cabinet notes pertaining to a salary hike for public prosecutors and prison staff.
Terming the suspension illegal, the DANICS officers association has written to the Union home ministry requesting the order be declared “null and void” — a development that could open up yet another turf war between the state and the Centre.
Meanwhile, the union home ministry has struck down the Delhi government's action as "null and void." "The Delhi government does not have the power to suspend any DANICS can only recommend their suspension and the Lt Governor can act with permission from MHA," said an official.

Central committee against detention of students till class IV

A committee no-detention policy constituted by the Centre has decided to recommend to the HRD ministry not to fail students up to class IV while insisting on continuous evaluation in all classes. It has decided to leave it to the state government to hold examination for class V.
If a student fails to clear the exam and does not show "minimum level of learning", he will be asked to take another test a month later. The student will be detained in the same class if he fails the second test too. Under the no-detention policy, children are not failed till class VIII. The committee while favouring no-detention in class VI and VII has decided to recommend board examinations for class VIII. The committee had sought suggestions from the states on the policy and 18 states had submitted their views on how to change and improve the no-detention policy.

CIC query to PMO on leakage of information on Sajiv Chaturvedi

The Central Information Commission has directed the Prime Minister's Office to disclose details of any action taken against people for allegedly leaking information on IFS officer Sanjiv Chaturvedi to those who were under scanner of CBI and CVC.  The commission has directed the PMO to disclose the information related to alleged leakage of information.
The case about Magsaysay awardee Indian Forest Service Officer Sanjiv Chaturvedi and it has been sought by activist Subhash Agrawal. He has also sought to know all the records related to action taken against anyone for leaking department of personnel and training opinion relating to Chaturvedi "at a time when reports indicated that such documents were also leaked to the persons against whom CBI and CVC had recommended probe."

Odd-even scheme coordination trial today

The Delhi government is conducting a coordination trial on the implementation of odd-even vehicles scheme at 200 points today in the national capital. The scheme is coming into effect from tomorrow (Friday). "The coordination trial-run of different agencies will be conducted at 200 points for two hours from 9 am to 11 am tomorrow (Thursday) to check preparation of odd-even scheme. 66 enforcement teams of Transport department and 27 teams of sub-divisional magistrates will be deployed. Besides, 5,700 civil defence personnel, 1,000 cadets of NCC and 1,000 volunteers of National Service Scheme will also be deployed," Delhi transport minister Gopal Rai had said on Wednesday.
Around 125 teams of Transport department and Revenue department will be deployed during the 15-day road-rationing plan so that the scheme could be effectively implemented. Violations of odd-even scheme will attract a fine of Rs 2,000. Officials of Transport department, Traffic police and Revenue department have been given powers to impose the penalty on the violators.

EC calls for probe into Chhattisgarh tape row
Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh was caught in a poll-fixing controversy with the election commission on Wednesday calling for an urgent inquiry into a taped conversation that alleges his son-inlaw bribed a Congress candidate to withdraw from an assembly bypoll in September 2014.
The Congress issued a showcause notice to Amit Jogi who figured in the audio tape along with his father, former CM Ajit Jogi, and other party leaders. The party high command said it was waiting for a report from its state unit to take a call on the senior Jogi.
Also, it demanded the chief minister’s resignation and a probe by a Supreme Court judge into the tapes that purportedly reveal a nexus between Singh’s son-in-law Puneet Gupta and Congress leaders — the Jogis, their loyalists Firoz Siddiqui and Ameen Memon and poll candidate Manturam Pawar.
The poll panel took note of the allegation that money was offered to the Congress candidate to pull out and wrote to the Chhattisgarh chief secretary to “urgently” order a “suitable” inquiry. “The commission should be sent a factual report in the matter, with your comments, latest by January 7,” reads its letter.
The audio tape contained conversations that allegedly reveal how the leaders “fixed” the bypoll to the Maoist-hit Antagarh assembly constituency, which the ruling BJP retained when results were declared on September 20, 2014, with the second highest number of votes going to the NOTA or none of the above option in the absence of the Congress nominee.
Voting on this seat was held along with byelections to 32 other assembly constituencies in nine states, where the BJP lost 13 of the 23 seats it held in results declared on September 16.

Sonia Gandhi's Janpath residence bigger than PM Modi's 7 RCR
Congress president Sonia Gandhi's official residence 10, Janpath is bigger than the prime minister's residence at 7, Race Course Road.  According to an RTI reply, the Congress president's home is spread over 5,181 square metre, while the Prime Minister's official abode sprawls over 14,101 square metre.
Sonia's son and Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi has been allotted a bungalow at 12, Tughlak Lane, which is 5,022.58 square metre in size.
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who is not a member of parliament, has a bungalow allotted to her at 35, Lodhi Estate, which spans around 2,765.18 square metre.
The only two personalities who have the privilege of biggest official residences are president and vice president. While President's Rashtrapati Bhawan spans over 320 acres, VP's residence at 6, Maulana Azad Road is spread over 26,333.49 square metre.

Microsoft to warn email users of suspected hacking by governments
Microsoft Corp said on Wednesday it will begin warning users of its consumer services including email when the company suspects that a government has been trying to hack into their accounts.  Microsoft said neither it nor the US government could pinpoint the sources of the hacking attacks and that they didn't come from a single country. Google Inc pioneered the practice in 2012 and said it now alerts tens of thousands of users every few months.

Modi is the most talked about person on Twitter with more than 34 lakh tweets

With more than 34 lakh tweets, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the most talked about person on Twitter in India, according to data compiled by social media analytics firm Blueocean Market Intelligence.  Modi led with 34,16,000 tweets, followed by actor Salman Khan with 27,29,000. The India vs Pakistan Cricket World Cup match had 17 lakh tweets, the Indian Premier League almost 15 lakh and the intolerance row 800,000, reports Economic Times. Other notable trending topics of 2015 were the Delhi and Bihar elections, the one-rank, one-pension row, Chennai floods, the movie Baahubali: The Beginning, the Nepal earthquake, Game of Thrones, the Paris attacks, the Maggie noodles row and the death of former president APJ Abdul Kalam.

Swachh Bharat Mission review from January 5

A new survey under the 'Swachh Bharat Mission' will be undertaken between January 5-20 next in 75 major cities to review sanitation and hygiene conditions, the mission's director said in Mumbai on Wednesday.
Mission director of the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM), Praveen Prakash, who visited some pockets of Mumbai and reviewed Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai's (MCGM) preparedness, told reporters  that the MCGM has set out an ambitious target of building 1.15 lakh toilets by December next. He said the all-India target under the SBM is to build 25 lakh toilets, against which 8 lakh toilets have already been constructed.
Stressing upon behavioural change, Prakash asked MCGM to step up its public awareness drive about 'Swachh Bharat' initiatives. The Centre has laid greater stress on solid waste management, he said.




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