Death to those found guilty of raping girls aged 12 and below in MP
The Madhya Pradesh Assembly unanimously passed a Bill awarding death to
those found guilty of raping girls aged 12 and below. With this, Madhya
Pradesh becomes the first State where those convicted of such rapes will
face the gallows.
Introduced in the House by Law and Legislative Affairs Minister Rampal
Singh, the Bill was discussed in detail and then passed by all parties,
including the ruling BJP and the Opposition Congress.
The Bill will now be sent to the President for his assent, after which
it will become a law, Home Minister Bhupendra Singh told reporters outside
“It was a historic day for Madhya Pradesh as the Assembly, as per the
wish of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, passed a Bill making a
provision to award the capital punishment to those indulging in such crimes
[raping girls aged 12 or younger],” Mr. Bhupendra Singh said.
Capital punishment would be awarded to convicts under Section 376 (A),
which is related to rape, and Section 376 (D, A), pertaining to gang-rape.
Welcoming the Bill, Mr. Chouhan said: “There are people in society who
can be set right only by severe punishments. It [the legislation] will deal
with them. We will also raise awareness in society against such crimes.”
NGT raps Delhi govt for not submitting action plan to tackle pollution
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) rapped the Delhi government for not
submitting an action plan to tackle heavy pollution levels in the city.
The he green panel told the Aam Aadmi Party government that heavy fines
would be imposed if the report is not filed within 48 hours.
A Bench headed by NGT chairperson Swatanter Kumar said: “Tell us one
step that you have taken on previous orders passed by the Tribunal. Are the
people of Delhi always supposed to suffer? We had told you to shut all
offices in case of emergent situations, what have you done? Children are
The counsel for the Delhi government sought time from the Tribunal as
the Chief Secretary and the environment secretary had been recently
To this, the Bench said: “What can we do if you keep changing everybody?
It is not our problem if people don’t want to stick to you.”
Referring to the India-Sri Lanka match, which was briefly stalled on
Sunday due to poor air quality, the Bench said: “Look at people abandoning
matches. You simply keep holding meeting after meeting, and not do anything
The NGT had on November 28 asked Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh
and Rajasthan to submit comprehensive action plans to tackle high levels of
Anti-maoist movement gaining strength in maoist belt
Anti-Maoist posters condemning violence have surfaced in various parts
of Odisha’s Koraput district, in a significant setback to the ultra outfits
that are observing People’s Liberation Guerilla Army week.
The posters, signed by Koraput YubakJagaranSamiti, have appeared in the
Maoist belts of Sunki, Pottangi, Ampabali, Padwa, Lamataput.
The development comes days after the rebels made an appeal to the public
to cooperate with them during their celebration week.
Charging the Maoists as agents of anti-development, the posters warned
the left-wing ultras against killing people by falsely accusing them of
being police informers.
Some of these posters show Maoists killing villagers, torching vehicles
engaged in road construction work, and damaging buildings in remote areas.
The anti-Maoist posters are a clear indication that people here are fed
up with anti-development activities, said Koraput Superintendent of Police
Kanwar Vishal Singh.
“People have realised that the Maoists do no good to the society. They
simply make false promises of development, extort money and kill innocent
people,” he said.
They understand that Maoists have been trying to create an atmosphere of
terror by unleashing violence and killing innocent locals, the SP said,
adding that an inquiry has been launched to ascertain the identity of the
people carrying out this anti-Maoist poster drive.
Enhanced trade relations with China will not affect Maldives’s relations
with its neighbours
Enhanced trade relations with China will not affect Maldives’s relations
with its neighbours, said visiting Ministers here on Monday, defending a
recent Free Trade Agreement with the giant.
Their comments, made at a press conference at the Maldivian Embassy in
Colombo, came in the wake of a trade pact inked by the two countries last
While President Abdullah Yameen’s government has described the deal as a
favourable development, the Opposition has voiced concern over its
apparently quick negotiation.
The FTA, the dignitaries said, covers nearly 300 products, even as
Opposition MPs charged that little information had been made available to
India, known to be watching China’s increasing presence in the region
with concern, is yet to comment on the development.
Clarifying that the FTA with China was “purely commercial”, Mr. Shareef
said Male was mindful of regional security.“When it comes to security in the
Indian Ocean Region, it is between the Maldives, India and Sri Lanka. No one
else is welcome, be it friends from the East or West,” he said.
While there is an existing agreement on South Asian Free Trade Area
since 1993, it has not worked well for the Maldives, they observed, pointing
to non-tariff barriers that came in the way of free trade in the region.
On the other hand, the pact with China, according to Fisheries and
Agriculture Minister Mohamed Shainee, would enable trade without such
China has thrown open its economic corridor with Pakistan for investment by
China has thrown open its economic corridor with Pakistan for investment
by other countries after successfully commissioning a power plant near
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang invited other
countries to participate in the corridor on the “principle of equality and
voluntarism”, after last week’s commissioning of the first phase of the 1320
Megawatt Port Qasim power project.
He described CPEC, a flagship of its trans-continental Belt and Road
Initiative (BRI), as “an open initiative”.
Mr. Geng cited participation by Qatar’s Al-Mirqab Capital as an
illustration of Beijing’s openness to third-party participation.
China has been focusing on energy projects as part of its plan to bui ld
comprehensive infrastructure — the first essential step to industrialise
Pakistan. Earlier, in May, the Sahiwal coal-fired plant in Punjab was
commissioned, aimed at generating more than 1000 MW of electricity.
::Business and Economy::
Govt. Looking to get the actual data of job creation
For the past three and half years, the NDA government has had a battle
on its hands when it came to providing an enabling ecosystem for adequate
The government’s own data showed that job creation in the formal sector
was slowest in almost a decade, but it has said that it felt the ground
reality on jobs was not being ‘properly’ captured as the existing system
takes into account only the formal sector.
However, this situation could change soon. Speaking to The Hindu ,
commerce and industry minister Suresh Prabhu said “all the economic activity
in India, including in the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) and
informal sectors, will soon get properly captured.” He said this was in line
with international practices.
Incidentally, on the directions of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a task
force was set up in May this year under the chairmanship of the then Vice
Chairman of NITI Aayog, Arvind Panagariya.
The panel’s terms of reference included assessing the existing data
systems and sources that provide information on jobs and job creation and
then identifying alternate sources that could provide such data.
The terms also included recommending mechanisms for capturing
information on jobs and job creation on a regular basis for both the
informal and formal sectors.
The ‘Task Force on Improving Employment Data’, which had sought comments
from stakeholders by July 23 on its draft report, will by September 2018
submit its final report.
Among the main recommendations could be a change in the definition of
employment/workers as well as ways to include and measure employment in the
informal sector as well, he indicated.
According to the draft report, there is no fixed definition of formal
workers currently in India.
It said all definitions were highly restrictive, and exclude many
workers who have decent and steady jobs but either do not work in large
enough enterprises or do not have written contracts. The task force said it
was desirable to adopt a new, more ‘pragmatic’ definition of formal workers.
The plan now is to include workers covered the Employees’ State
Insurance Act, 1948 (or other similar insurance), Employees’ Provident Funds
and Miscellaneous Provision Act, 1952 (or other similar social security
scheme), workers having coverage under private insurance or pension schemes
or provident funds as well as workers subject to tax deduction at source on
their income through submission of Form 16 or similar Income Tax form.
The panel had identified the Micro Units Development and Refinance
Agency (MUDRA) scheme, which provides small, unsecured loans to enterprises,
as an important source of job creation.
According to a report by the SKOCH Group on September 6, the MUDRA
scheme had led to a total of 54,479,763 jobs being generated in just over
two years. These included 37,753,217 direct jobs and 16,726,545 indirect
FM asked revenue intelligence officials to use their discretion fairly and
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley asked revenue intelligence officials to
use their discretion fairly and reasonably in their investigations and use
technology to deal with offenders.
“The power of revenue officers are quite wide so the exercise of
discretion has to be fair, reasonable and productive,” he said at the
celebration of 60th anniversary of Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI),
Mr. Jaitley said that only when the success rate of prosecution and
penalty is high, it would act as a deterrent to offenders.
He said with every passing generation, the nature of economic offence is
changing and technology is being used to commit those offences.
Technology is a great enabler for the offenders and the DRI should use
it effectively to track down economic crimes.
He said that generally many investigative agencies start off with tall
claims when they detect offences but ultimately with trials and prosecution,
the claims fizzle out.
Speaking on the occasion, Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said the DRI
is currently working with a staff strength of 600 officials, which is just
one-tenth of the strength of the Enforcement Directorate.
Fitch Ratings cut the country’s GDP growth forecast for the current fiscal
Days after India’s economy showed signs of recovery, Fitch Ratings cut
the country’s GDP growth forecast for the current fiscal to 6.7% from the
earlier projected 6.9%, saying that the rebound was weaker than expected.
It also cut GDP growth forecast for 2018-19 fiscal year to 7.3% from
7.4% predicted in its September Global Economic Outlook (GEO).
Fitch, however, expects GDP growth to pick up in the next two years on
back of gradual implementation of the structural reform agenda and higher
real disposable income.