GN Bureau | January 9, 2016
The army on Friday asked civilians to avoid wearing Army-pattern dresses and shopkeepers to refrain from selling combat clothes, as it issued fresh guidelines to the public to prevent terror attacks. The guidelines, to be followed across the country, come nearly a week after six terrorists infiltrated through the border and launched attack at the Air Force station in Pathankot, claiming the lives of seven security personnel. Civilians have been asked to avoid wearing "army-pattern" dresses and shopkeepers were asked not to sell combat cloth, army uniforms and equipment as "it is illegal" to do so, an official spokesperson said here.
Also private security agencies, police and other central forces not to wear "combat-pattern" dresses as "it is not authorized and leads to false alarms", the official said. "All traders and shopkeepers interested in selling army uniforms may approach the local military authority and request for shops in units/cantonments approved areas/shops," the official said. "It is illegal to sell army uniforms to unauthorized persons," the official said, adding, "The guidelines have been issued in public interest and to prevent terror attacks." Also, the relatives of armed forces personnel and ex servicemen were requested not to use items of uniform which they may be having as they could create false reports, the official said and added that it was illegal to do so.
Stranded Pakistan Hindu family returns home after nearly 2 years
With all decks cleared for her return, an elderly Hindu woman from Pakistan, who had been stranded in India for nearly two years along with her son and sister-in-law, finally left for Pakistan by the Karachi-bound Thar Express post midnight. Hawa Devi (75) along with her son Mahesho and sister-in-law Moomal have been granted all required permissions to leave the country. Hawa Devi (75) of Mithi in Sindh Province of Pakistan had come to India on pilgrim visa in March 2014 to visit Haridwar. After their trip to Haridwar, they had come to Jodhpur to meet their relatives. However, owing to some procedural glitches, they were stuck in Jodhpur after officials neither granted permission for departure nor refused. The officials also collected their passports which later expired along with visa permissions.
Limited edition of Pravasi Bhartiya Divas today
The first limited edition of Pravasi Bhartiya Divas, an annual event to mark contribution of the Diaspora to India's development, is being held in New Delhi on Saturday. The event is being organised for the first time by the External Affairs Ministry (MEA) in the wake of government's decision to merge Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs with it. Last year, the government had decided to hold larger version of Pravasi Bhartiya Divas (PBD) after every two years and that limited version of the event will be organised in the intervening year. The 13th edition of the PBD was held in Gujarat last year. The government is likely to seek deeper engagement of Indian Diaspora in the country's overall growth and development. January 9 was chosen as the day for PBD as it was on this day in 1915 that Mahatma Gandhi, the "greatest Pravasi", returned to India from South Africa and led India's freedom struggle.
Telecom sector to generate new jobs in five years
The telecom industry is expected unlock 7 lakh new job opportunities in the next five years, a top telecom skill development group said in its assessment that it has submitted to national planning committee NITI Aayog, reports Economic Times. It was an in-house study backed by telecom leaders, said Telecom Sector Skill Council (TSSC) Chief Executive Lt Gen (retired) SP Kochhar. Of the total workforce in the sector, the retail and handset segments will employ 35%, service providers 29%, network and IT vendors 18%, telecom gear manufacturing 15% and infrastructure providers 3%, according to its estimate. The organisation, according to Kochhar, is well-positioned to fulfill Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ambitious vision of Digital India, encompassing initiatives such as Make in India, Skill India and e-literacy. The industry, he said, is open to set up lab infrastructure in rural India. "Recently, we have had discussions with Foxconn and it will come on board for its skilling needs soon, TSSC top executive said. Foxconn, the largest contract manufacturer of electronics in the world, has recently committed $5 billion investment to set up manufacturing and R&D facilities in India and is expected to employ 10 lakh people by 2020.
IT ministry redresses 200 complaints on facebook and twitter
Social media is fast becoming a popular platform for the communications and IT ministry to fix consumer complaints from across the country. The ministry has redressed about 200 complaints till now. Until December the minister's office had forwarded 136 complaints received through social media to different departments for action. Of these 92 cases were successfully redressed. A small team in the minister's office attends to any specific complaint posted by citizens on his Facebook and Twitter accounts. Every complaint that the officers find tangible and specific is forwarded to the department concerned in writing and a time frame is given for attending to that complaint. The minister's personal staff monitors this redressal mechanism and delay in redressing public grievances beyond the stipulated time frame is taken very seriously. The state run-BSNL separately received 326 cases, of which 111 cases had been resolved.
Forex reserves fall $1.68 billion to $350.3 billion
India's foreign exchange reserves fell $1.68 billion in the week ended January 1, suggesting that the Reserve Bank of India may have intervened in the market to soften the fall of the local currency, facing withdrawal of foreign investment. The reserves, which act as a cushion against dollar outflows and provide critical import cover, stood at $350.369 billion at the end of the reporting week, the RBI said.
The dollar reserves can be used to support the rupee and prevent it from depreciating sharply. The rupee closed at 66.69 to the dollar on Friday, 24 paise higher than Thursday's close of 66.93 per dollar. Pressure on reserves is likely to intensify in the weeks ahead as global investors may withdraw their investments from emerging economies and seek refuge in safer destinations, especially after the uncertainty led by China's decision to devalue the yuan.
Supreme court allows review plea due to error in its verdict
The Supreme Court on Friday conceded that there was an apparent error in a judgment pronounced a year ago by which it was held that benefits of reservation can be extended to SC/ST category employees in banks in Group-A posts which carry an ultimate salary of Rs. 5,700 per month. A bench comprising Justices J Chelameswar and AK Sikri ordered deletion of those paragraphs of the judgment that had contained the mistake and said, "once we find an error apparent on the face of the record and to correct the said error, we have to necessarily allow these review petitions."
Allowing a batch of review petitions filed by various banks including chairman and managing director Central Bank of India, the bench found force in the argument of Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi. Agreeing with his view, the court said "it is this error, which is apparent on the face of the record, viz the reservation is provided in promotion by selection respect of posts carrying salary of less than Rs. 5,700 per month, that has led to further error that such reservation in the matter of promotion is applicable from Scale I upward up to Scale VI."
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