Toilets, drinking water in schools: Court warns Andhra govt

andhra schoolsNEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has taken a stern view of Andhra Pradesh government not complying with its directions to ensure drinking water and separate toilets for girls and boys in schools and directed the state’s Principal Secretary to appear before it and explain the exact position.

Earlier in May 2014, a bench of justices Dipak Misra and V Gopala Gowda said these provisions are essential for basic human rights that enhance the atmosphere where the education is imparted. Continue reading

Modi wants 24-hour point-to-point rail, road connectivity and ports

MODINEW DELHI: From building coastal expressways as part of a plan to upgrade the road and rail network to ensure that a person can reach any point in the country within 24 hours, to boosting labour reforms so that workers are employed for “fixed terms” instead of on contract; from new legislation on conflict of interest to adding a health knowledge institute to every district hospital — a 17-point people-oriented agenda has been sent by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to his ministries.

While Modi’s wishlist was sent on July 10, all the ministries were told to submit detailed action plans, with sharp focus on delivery and implementation, by July 20 so as to put the agenda in place when the NDA government completes its first 100 days in office in August-end. Continue reading

‘Only divine intervention’ can check rape and crime

aziz-qureshiLUCKNOW: A day before he demits office, Uttar Pradesh Governor Aziz Qureshi Monday, in a controversial remark, said incidents of rapes could not be stopped even if the entire police force or Army was deployed. He said only a divine intervention can help check such crimes.

“Rape incidents cannot be stopped. Even if the entire police force or Army is deployed then also rapes will not end,” Qureshi told a TV channel. Continue reading

Sonia Gandhi to deal with warlord Rane fallout

narayan_raneMUMBAI: A day after Konkan strongman Narayan Rane quit the Maharashtra cabinet, efforts to persuade him to take back his resignation failed today and the matter would now be referred to Congress president Sonia Gandhi for resolving it.

Rane, who had a closed-door meeting with Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and state Congress chief Manikrao Thakre to iron out the issues that led to his stepping down, remained unpacified and insisted on acceptance of his resignation Continue reading

Modi govt warns of attacks on Amarnath pilgrims

pilgrimsamarnathKASHMIR: There are intelligence inputs which suggest threat of terrorist attacks on Amarnath pilgrims, Lok Sabha was informed on Tuesday.

Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said there are intelligence inputs about the plan of terrorists to target Amarnath yatra and the same has been shared with security agencies at the Centre and state levels.

Rijiju said since the beginning of the yatra this year, the reports of some incidents of stone pelting on yatra vehicles from Jammu and Kashmir’s Ganderbal district have been received.

In these incidents, injury to one pilgrim and damage to the windowpanes of three vehicles have been reported, he said adding the state government has been taking adequate measures to provide security to the Amarnath pilgrims.- From The Indian Express

China offers Maldives its expertise

maldivesBEIJING: China has offered to train maritime personnel in the Maldives as well as boost its involvement in infrastructure projects in the island nation, as Beijing moves forward with plans to deepen its economic links with the region through its new “maritime silk road” initiative.

China’s envoy to the Maldives, Wang Fukang, told State media that China was “willing to train maritime personnel” and expand maritime cooperation. Continue reading

Is Modi scaling back on his promises to the Indian army?

Indian_ArmyCOMMENT: With Finance and Defence Minister Arun Jaitley setting aside only Rs. 1000 crore for One Rank One Pension (OROP), there is disquiet within the defence fraternity combined with apprehension that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pre-election commitment to give soldiers this long-pending entitlement may perhaps be diluted yet again.

“We reaffirm our commitment to our brave soldiers. A policy of One Rank One Pension has been adopted by the government to address pension disparities. Continue reading

Tirupathi management tightens ban on liquor

tirupati-devasthanamTIRUPATHI: The vigilance and security wing of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams has destroyed liquor seized from pilgrims. Possession, transaction and consumption of liquor is strictly banned at the Tirumala hill shrine.

The vigilance sleuths, along with the excise and prohibition officials, including special protection force personnel, destroyed 1.19 lakh ml of liquor near the Alipiri checkpoint. The liquor was poured out and the bottles smashed to pieces. Continue reading

Modi’s 100 smart Indian cities a Utopian dream?

mumbaiCOMMENT: India’s cities are a shameful mess: the big, older ones, the small ones and even the fledgling new ones.

Mumbai may be the financial nerve of India but it is no more than a rapidly degenerating slum; fast-expanding s and its spread, now known as the NCR, is a perfect example of how not to anticipate that growth; as for Kolkata, it always miraculously manages to breach your belief that nothing could be worse. Continue reading

Empowering India’s rural girls through football

girl_ballJHARKHAND: At a time when the entire world was glued to television sets to watch the World Cup, 18 tribal girls from Jharkhand’s hinterland were busy sweating it out in the fields to hone their own dribbling and passing skills for the biggest tournament of their lives.

Buoyed by their performance in two Spanish tournaments last July, the YUWA team would again fly to the US to participate in the Schwan’s USA Cup – the biggest international youth soccer tournament in the US – under the watchful eyes of the amateur coach Franz Gastler who is also the founder director of Yuwa. Continue reading