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Archive for October, 2016

Dubai Metro Ride-Chance to win Dh.50,000

By Gulf News On October - 28 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

Dubai: It’s that time of the year again to leave your car at home and use public transport to go to work. And now, regular public transport commuters stand a chance to bring home Dh50,000, officials said.

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) urged residents of Dubai to use various forms of mass transit on November 1 in celebration of Public Transport Day.

“The RTA has set aside a sum Dh100,000 for two winners; Dh50,000 each. The two winners will be selected from a pool of the most frequent riders of public transport means,” said Abdullah Yousuf Al Ali, CEO of Public Transport Agency and Head of Public Transport Day Committee at the RTA.

The public transport includes the metro, tram, and public buses as well as marine transit modes such as the water bus and water taxi.

The current edition of the event will also feature a contest named: the ‘Scavenger Hunt.’ Here, 20 teams of RTA public transport users will be selected, each team comprising three to five individuals.

“To participate in the contest, each team has to work out a strategy for amassing the largest number of points as quick as possible in order to rank among the winners. Three winning teams will be named and rewarded in Dubai Ice Rink of the Dubai Mall; where other fun contests will be run on the Public Transport Day. Participants have to take Selfies with the name of the station on the background,” Al Ali said.

Contestants should use seven starting points for starting their journeys namely: Burjuman M/S, Mall of the Emirates M/S, JBR Tram Station, Dubai Marina Water Taxi Station, Al Ghubaiba Water Taxi Station, Al Ghubaiba Bus Station, and Ibn Battuta Bus Station.

The Public Transport Day initiative aims at displaying the role of the emirate in supporting efforts towards improving the environment, achieving sustainable development, encouraging residents to use mass transit means, and improving ridership levels.

During the Public Transport Day’s festivities, the RTA will honor 50 best drivers and franchise companies operating under the tutelage of the RTA as part of the authority’s annual Taxi Excellence Award.

Why don’t you shut down courts? SC slams govt over delay in appointing judges

By hindustan times On October - 28 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

The Supreme Court rebuked the government on Friday for “scuttling” the working of judiciary by sitting on the appointment of judges in various high courts despite the recommendation of a recruitment collegium.

“Today we have a situation where courtrooms are locked because there are no judges. For example, Karnataka…. Why don’t you lock the courts?” a bench headed by Chief Justice TS Thakur asked, adding: “Executive inaction is decimating the institution (judiciary).”

The bench is hearing a public interest litigation on the judicial appointment process in 24 high courts, which together have more than 450 vacancies against the sanctioned strength of 1,041.

“You are scuttling the working of the institution,” the bench, which has been asking the government to show urgency, said.

Read | Real issue is judicial overreach, not judges’ appointment

The bench disapproved of the Centre’s cherry-picking of names for Allahabad high court, where the government has cleared only two of the eight recommendations made by the Supreme Court collegium.

India is the only country in the world where judges appoint judges under a collegium system established by the apex court in 1993. Top judges take all decisions on judicial appointments and the government does not have any say in the process.

The National Judicial Appointment Commission (NJAC), which was enacted by Parliament with unanimous decision of political parties, was declared unconstitutional by a constitution bench last year.

Since then the government and the judiciary have been at loggerheads, with the Chief Justice of India pointing out that delay in judicial appointments was making it difficult for courts to function.

Read | Centre thwarting judges’ appointment, hurting judiciary: Supreme Court

CJI Thakur, who broke down earlier this year while talking about the problem, had also expressed disappointment that Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not mention the issue in his Independence Day speech from the ramparts of the Red Fort.

On the government saying the Memorandum of Procedure (MoP) for judicial appointments wasn’t ready, the court said it will constitute a five-judge bench to clarify that appointments should not to be held up if the MoP wasn’t ready.

Initially, the court wanted to summon the secretaries of the department of justice and the Prime Minister’s Office, but later chose to refrain on the attorney general’s request.

Last month, attorney general Rohatgi had told the top court that the government alone can’t be blamed for judicial vacancies as many posts were lying vacant for over five years.

Farooq Abdullah meets PM, presses for dialogue in Kashmir

By pti On October - 28 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

New Delhi, Oct 28 (PTI) Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah on Friday called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss the situation in the Kashmir Valley which continues to witness unrest for over 100 days

During the meeting, Abdullah stressed for an early dialogue with all the stakeholders who were willing to come to the table for negotiation so that the stalemate can end in the Valley

The former Chief Minister, who has been touring the entire state, said that the Prime Minister listened patiently to him and was receptive to the suggestions he made

“I am sure that the Prime Minister will urgently address all the issues that have been flagged by me and others from the state,” Abdullah told PTI after the meeting

The former Chief Minister said that National Conference has played the role of a constructive opposition party and would continue to do so

“We are willing to do anything for the people of the state who have been victims of unrest for over three months now

“The education sector has suffered. Tourism industry, which is the mainstay of the economy, has been hit badly. The people living along the Line of Control and International Border are suffering. I have requested to take into consideration all these factors and make attempts to bring some relief to the people in the state,” he said

Abdullah, however, refused to share other details about the meeting

“The meeting took place in the most cordial atmosphere and the Prime Minister was equally concerned about the situation in the state,” the NC leader said

As many as 85 people, including two policemen, have been killed and thousands of others injured in the unrest in the Valley triggered by the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani in July. Around 5,000 security forces personnel have also been injured in the clashes.

G Balakrishna, Bengaluru driver, wins Mr. Asia 2016 title

By timesofindia On October - 27 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

25-year-old water tanker driver from Bengaluru has won two distinctive bodybuilding titles – the Mr Asia 2016 and “Arnold Schwarzenegger of Whitefield” – during the 5th Phil-Asia bodybuilding championships in the Philippines. G Balakrishna, a gym instructor, is a resident of Ramagondanahalli near Varthur, who has a list of accolades behind him.”I am proud of my achievement and hope to repeat it more often with some financial support,”I owe it to my mother, Parvathamma, and brother Rajesh who have been my pillars of support,” he said.
Balakrishna, an ardent fan of Arnold Schwarzenegger, said he practices nearly six hours a day and is trained by renowned bodybuilders from Mumbai and Punjab, named Sangram Chougla and Manish Kumar respectively. Balakrishna adds that he’d followed strict diet to bring down his weight for the tournament.

“I am maintaining my position with a rich daily diet that includes 750 gms of chicken, 25 eggs, 300 gms of rice, 200 gms of vegetables along with fish for extra protein and fruits,” he said.

He has earlier won the Mr Universe Under-24 junior contest in 2013 in Germany and the Mr Universe title in the same category at the world championship in Athens in 2014. He joined the water-tanker business in 2010 in Whitefild, Bengaluru.
Balakrishna’s journey to the Mr Asia platform was not easy. Whitefield Settlers’ and Residents Association funded helped him raise funds for the competition. Despite winning the championship, he says, With no government support, I still struggle to participate in bodybuilding championships outside the country,”

Okkoota slams move

By The Hindu On October - 27 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

Udupi:The move of the State government to hand over the 3.88 acres of land in the heart of the city, where the district government maternity and children’s hospital is located, to a private entity, has drawn flak from the Sarkari Mahila Mattu Makkala Aspatre Rakshana Okkoota and the Bharatiya Janata Party.

P.V. Bhandary, convener of the okkoota, said here on Wednesday that it was neither necessary nor transparent.

The existing district government maternity and children’s hospital was functioning well. The government should provide more facilities to its hospitals than privatising them in the name of public-private-partnership. The government had not put the memorandum of understanding signed between it and the private entity in the public domain nor had it made any effort to collect public opinion on such a major move. The private entity would have an upper hand in managing the proposed institutions. Even if the government wanted to give it to a private entity, it should have invited bids through tenders. But this had not been done at all.

In order to oppose the government’s move, the okkoota would take out a procession from Jodu Katte to the Clock Tower, where it would hold a public meeting at 4.30 p.m. on October 28, he said.

Meanwhile, speaking at a party meeting, K. Raghupati Bhat, former MLA and BJP leader, said that the party opposed the move and would show black flags to the Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, when he came to lay the foundation stone for the project here on October 30.

He said 3.88 acres of land had been donated by philanthropist late Haji Abdulla Saheb to the government about seven decades ago. It was wrong to permit a commercial super specialty hospital on that land.

He would not object if the promoter of BRS Health and Research Institute, B.R. Shetty, built these three proposed institutions and handed them to the government to run them. If Mr. Shetty would run all the three proposed institutions, then there was no guarantee that it would help the poor patients. Instead, Mr. Shetty could be given land at nearby Kolalgiri village to construct his hospitals, he said.


‘The government has not put the MoU signed with the company in the public domain’

B.R. Shetty to develop Udupi hospital

By The Hindu On October - 27 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

The Cabinet has decided to hand over the children and women’s hospital, currently under the district hospital at Ajjarkad, to non-resident Indian businessman B.R. Shetty, for developing it on PPP model.

The existing hospital will be demolished and a foundation stone for a new hospital would be laid on October 30, Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister T.B. Jayachandra told presspersons on Wednesday. In its place a 400-bed hospital will come up in one year at an estimated investment of Rs. 200 crore.

Supreme Court refuses to go into permissibility of religion in political speeches

By The Hindu On October - 27 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

A seven-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court on Thursday said it cannot be expected to give an “exhaustive list” of dos and don’ts of political speeches.

The court expressed its restraint even as three BJP-ruled States — Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Rajasthan — submitted that “religion can never be separated from society”.

The Constitution Bench, which is examining the 1995 ‘Hindutva’ judgement of the apex court, said it’s mandate does not include going into the “permissibility of using religion in political speeches”.

Rather than a blanket bar on religion in political speeches, Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur, who is heading the Bench, said political speeches should be judged in the context they are made.

The Bench was replying to arguments made by senior advocate Indira Jaising, representing social activist Teesta Setalvad, who sought a complete divorce of politics from religion.

“I know it is difficult to draw a line… I am also for political freedom… but a line must be drawn on the basis of secularism,” Ms. Jaising submitted.

Justice Thakur said the Constitution Bench is not looking into whether religion should be barred from political speeches.

Instead, the Bench is only determining whether the bar on invoking religion under Article 123 (3) of the Representation of People Act, 1951 in political speeches was limited to only the religion of the candidate and his agent or to the religion of the voters in general. The Bench reserved the question for judgement.

“We are only looking into whether it is permissible to make an appeal in the name of religion of the candidate or his agent or voters in general… your argument is that religion generally should be kept out of political speeches. We are not going into the permissibility of religion in political speeches. We cannot give an exhaustive listing of ‘you can say this and you cannot say that’ in political speeches,” Justice Thakur clarified.

Additional Solicitor-General Tushar Mehta, appearing for Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat, said the Supreme Court should leave it to political parties to set their own agendas for election manifestos.

“Agendas and manifestos are better left to political parties unless there is something startling in them, in which case the courts may intervene,” Mr. Mehta submitted.

To this, Justice Thakur asked why States are interested in this matter. “We can understand political parties intervening, but why is the State bothered in this question of political speeches,” he asked.

“Is the State not entitled to intervene? Then why are some NGOs being allowed to make submissions?” Mr. Mehta countered.

Intervening in the matter, Communist Party of India (Marxist), represented by senior advocate Sanjay Hegde, said what is prohibited under Section 123 (3) is not a narrow bar on appeals in political speeches in the name of candidates or their agents.

The party said the real intent of Section 123 (3) is to “prohibit an appeal to sectarian grounds at a personal level of identity politics”.

I am anti-Modi, not anti-India, says Kanhaiya Kumar

By hindustan times On October - 24 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

Former president of the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU) and leader of the All India Students Federation Kanhaiya Kumar said he does not hesitate to call himself a member of the “anti-Modi camp”.

Kanhaiya, who shot to limelight after he allegedly raised ‘anti-India’ slogans at the JNU campus on February 9 this year, was invited to Ludhiana on Sunday by Punjabi Sahit Academy and Social Thinkers Forum for a seminar on “Challenges of Education: Increasing cost—Reducing Jobs” at Punjabi Bhawan.

On the issue of being called “anti-India” by some political leaders, Kanhaiya said: “Some people call me anti-India. Modi is not India but for some he is. For me India is 1.25 crore people of the country but yes but I am a member of anti-Modi camp and I say this without any hesitation,” said Kanhaiya.

India expat worker died in Riyadh, India social forum helps in burial and final rituals.

By admin On October - 24 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

A 52 year old man from Gulbarga District of Karnataka died in Saudi Arabia due to cardiac arrest.

The deceased is SayedHussainAwar. He hailed from Gulbarga District of Karnataka. He was working as driver in a Private company in Al Malaz over 11 years.

After the news of his death, Matheen Gulbarga a relativeof deceased person and Shuail Gulbargaapproach Indian Social Forum to burial of dead body and its final rituals.

Team of Indian Social Forum led by Ismail Mangalapete and Ibrahim Anaje actively gale into matter with the help of Matheen and Suhail.

As per Saudi Arabian law they have visited police station to claim natural death of body. Team has also visited Indian Embessy in Riyadh and contacted deceased relative to give power of attorney to release death body from hospital; finally they able to get power of attorney from Indian embassy office in the name of Matheen who is close relative of died person.

After preparation of all papers finally on 21-10-2016 they perform final prayers of dead body in Al Rajhi Masjid Riyadh, after that dead body buried in Al Naseemcemetery in Riyadh with complete Islamic rituals. Indian Social ForumMembers,relatives and well-wisher of died person were presented.

InbrahimAnaje and Mathem were able claim his unpaid salaries and hand overs to his relative after contacting his company several time. They have also submitted all documentsto claim his final settlement andservice benefits.

Indian Social Forum Karnataka Working committee paid condolence to Deceased person

Relative andfriends of Sayedanwarhussainthanks to Indian Social Forum for their immense help.

Hike in Saudi visa fees could impact business ties

By timesofindia On October - 21 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

RIYADH: A seven-fold hike in visa fees to do business in Saudi Arabia risks deterring the foreign investment needed to transform its oil-dependent economy, diplomats and other sources say.

But a senior Saudi business leader has dismissed such concerns, insisting the country’s most sought-after business partners could easily afford the new charges.

“It’s incredibly short-sighted,” a Riyadh-based diplomat said of the changes which took effect this month.

“They’re obviously bleeding and they want to put the cost on foreigners as much as they can,” he said, asking for anonymity. “It’ll end up costing them a lot more than what they gain in visa payments.”

Higher visa fees are one of many moves adopted by the kingdom to cover a loss in oil revenue which has slumped by 68 percent over the past five years, according to official data cited by Bloomberg News.

But the higher cost of entry permits has left people “scratching their heads”, a second diplomat said.

“We are expecting to see business reconsider Saudi as a market,” said the Western envoy. “It’s certainly happening already,” though not in a major way.

Starting in October, a six-month business or work-visit visa allowing multiple entries costs 3,000 riyals ($800), compared with 400 riyals before, said Ala Siyam, general manager of Gulf Consulting House.

The consultancy, in Khobar on the Gulf coast, assists clients from more than 40 countries in securing visas to Saudi Arabia, which requires all foreigners to have a local sponsor, whether to visit on holiday or business.

Siyam told AFP the changes do not apply to the European Union or United States, while fees for British nationals have only slightly increased.

Most other countries face the higher charges but also have a new option of applying for one or two-year visas. Those cost 5,000 riyals and 8,000 riyals each.

Single-entry business visas are now priced at 2,000 riyals, several times higher than before.

An oil industry source called the new tariffs “crazy” and a “complete mistake” if Saudi Arabia was seeking foreign partnerships.

Since 2014, global oil prices have collapsed by about half, accelerating Saudi efforts to move away from petroleum which still accounts for the bulk of government income.

In April, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, 31, announced a “Vision 2030″ reform programme to transform the world’s biggest oil exporter into a private-sector powerhouse with diverse industrial interests and major international investments.

To promote job creation among Saudis and boost exports, Vision 2030 aims to foster small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) partly through “international partnerships”.

“This will be achieved by attracting both regional and international retail investors”, the Vision says.

But higher visa fees will be a “particular disincentive for SMEs”, including those wanting to assess the market or meet potential partners, the first diplomat said.

He and the Western diplomat agreed that foreign companies will now be more likely to consider doing business, and even meeting, elsewhere.

Abdulrahman al-Zamil, former chairman of the Council of Saudi Chambers, says the impact of the hike in visa fees is being exaggerated.

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