More than 19 lakh of the 3.29 crore applicants in Assam were
left out of the final National Register of Citizens (NRC) that was published
on Saturday to conclude a Supreme Court-monitored exercise that took five
years and ₹1,220 crore.
According to rights groups, the exercise also made people in
Assam — mostly Hindus and Muslims of Bengal origin under suspicion of being
illegal immigrants spend more than ₹7,800 crore on hearings, besides claiming
the lives of around 60 people.
Each excluded person will have 120 days to file an appeal at any
of the existing 100 Foreigners’ Tribunals 200 more are to be established within
a month which in turn will have to dispose of the cases within six months. The
appellant then has the option of approaching the High Court and Supreme Court.
The process of receipt of NRC application forms started in May
2015 and ended on August 31, 2015. A total of 3,30,27,661 members applied
through 68,37,660 applications. The particulars submitted by the applicants were
taken up for scrutiny to determine the eligibility of their inclusion in the
Releasing the final data, the NRC authority headed by the apex
court-appointed State Coordinator PrateekMr.Hajela said the updating exercise
started in 2013 under the apex court’s watch.
“The process of NRC update in Assam differs from the rest of the
country and is governed by Rule 4A and the corresponding Schedule of the
Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards)
Rules, 2003. These rules were framed as per the cut-off date of the midnight of
March 24, 1971, enshrined in the Assam Accord of 1985,” he said.
The Election Commission today launched new mega Electors
Verification Programme (EVP) across the country. The programme, which seeks
to electoral rolls through crowdsourcing, will go on till 15th of October.
Under the programme, a voter from each family will get a
username and password, allowing a person to upload all documents related to
electoral registration and tag similar details about his or her family members.
These details will then be verified by block-level officers. It
will be done by 36 CEOs at the state headquarters level, by 740 district
electoral officers at the district level and by BLOs and electoral registration
officers in around one million polling stations.
The EVP programme can be effected both online and offline. On
the occasion of the nationwide mega million launch of Electors Verification
Programme, a special camp was held at Election Commission Headquarters in New
Unveiling the initiative, Chief Election Commissioner SunilArora
said the electoral roll is the foundation on which the entire superstructure of
the Election Commission stands. He urged all the citizens to participate in the
verification programmes so that the Commission can provide better electoral
services in all forthcoming elections.
Reiterating the importance of a healthy electoral roll, Election
Commissioner Ashok Lavasa said, the participation of people is paramount to the
success of the drive and urged all to come forward and ensure an error-free
The ₹2,000 currency notes introduced during the
demonetisation exercise of 2016 have dropped in circulation in the last one
year ended in March 2019.
According to data in the Reserve Bank of India’s annual report,
there were 3,363 million pieces of such notes in circulation as at end March
2018, which was 3.3% of the total currency in circulation, in terms of volume.
In value terms, the ₹2,000 notes’ share in total currency circulation was 37.3%.
The number of pieces dropped to 3,291 million in the year ended
March 2019, which was 3% in terms of volume and 31.2% in value of total
circulation. At the same time, the number of ₹500 notes significantly increased
to 21,518 million pieces from 15,469 million pieces during the period under
The ₹500 notes, as at end March 2019, was 19.8% of the total
circulation in volume (as compared to 15.1%) and 51% in terms of value (as
compared to 42.9% in end March 2018).
“In value terms, the share of ₹500 and ₹2,000 banknotes, which
had together accounted for 80.2% of the total value of banknotes in circulation
at end-March 2018, increased to 82.2% at end-March 2019.
There was a sharp increase in the value of ₹500 banknotes in
circulation from 42.9% to 51.0% over the year,” the report said.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu intends to annex
Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, he said on Sunday,
reiterating an election promise made five months ago but again giving no
Settlements are one of the most heated issues in the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Palestinians have voiced fears that Mr. Netanyahu
could defy international consensus and move ahead with annexation with possible
backing from U.S. President Donald Trump, a close ally.
With publication of a U.S. peace plan still pending, Mr. Trump
has already recognised Israel’s 1981 annexation of the Golan Heights, territory
Israel captured from Syria in the 1967 Middle East war.
Palestinians seek to make the West Bank part of a future state
that would include the Gaza Strip and have East Jerusalem as its capital. Israel
captured those areas in 1967 and moved troops and settlers out of Gaza in 2005.
After decades of settlement-building, more than 400,000 Israelis
now live in the West Bank, according to Israeli figures, among a Palestinian
population put at about 2.9 million by the Palestinian Statistics Bureau.
China and the United States began imposing additional
tariffs on each other’s goods on Sunday, the latest escalation in a bruising
trade war, despite signs that talks would resume some time this month.
A new round of tariffs took effect from 0401 GMT, with Beijing’s
levy of 5% on U.S. crude marking the first time the fuel has been targeted since
the world’s two largest economies started their trade war more than a year ago.
The Trump administration will begin collecting 15% tariffs on
more than $125 billion in Chinese imports, including smart speakers, Bluetooth
headphones and many types of footwear.
China has consistently denied Washington’s accusations that it
engages in unfair trade practices, vowing to fight back in kind and criticising
U.S. measures as protectionist.
China has also pressed the United States to cancel the tariff
increase, but said last week that a September round of talks was being discussed
between the two.
The trade war further strains Beijing-Washington ties, already
overshadowed by U.S. freedom of navigation exercises near Chinese-occupied
islands in the disputed South China Sea, and U.S. support for self-ruled and
democratic Taiwan, which China claims as its own.
Astronomers at Canada’s McGill University have made a
“fingerprint” for the Earth, which could be used to identify a potentially
life sustaining planet beyond the solar system.
Using over a decade of observations of the Earth’s atmosphere
taken by the SCISAT satellite, McGill Physics student Evelyn Macdonald, and her
supervisor Prof Nicolas Cowan have constructed a transit spectrum of Earth — a
detail on the fingerprint-like unique composition of our planet’s atmosphere.
The fingerprint includes the simultaneous occurrence of both
ozone and methane, which happens only when there is an organic source of these
compounds on the planet, says the study.
For making this observation, the satellite’s instruments must
wait for a planet to pass over the star. If the telescopes are sensitive enough,
astronomers can potentially identify chemicals in such planets like carbon
dioxide, oxygen, or water vapour which are molecules that improve the chances
that a planet is habitable, or even inhabited, said Cowan.
The McGill University astronomers add that this system might be
a promising place to search for a fingerprint similar to Earth’s since the
planets here are orbiting a star which is smaller and colder than our Sun.