In yet another bid to release the seven convicts in the
Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, the Tamil Nadu government wrote to the
Centre, seeking its views on its decision to free them.
Under Section 435 of the Cr.PC, the State has to consult
the Centre before releasing prisoners prosecuted by the CBI or under a
In December last year, the Supreme Court had ruled that
the State government had no power to release the convicts without the
In 1999, the Supreme Court found the seven guilty of con-
spiring to assassinate Rajiv Gandhi in May 1991.
The State government’s earlier attempt in 2014 to release
the seven failed, as itscommunication to the Centre gave only three days’
time for a response.
The main petition questioning the legality of the
government’s order of release is still pending before a three-judge Bench of
For the second year in a row, the Modi government has
reduced fund available to child health interventions, with a massive cut —
from Rs. 15,483.77 crore last year to Rs. 14,000 crore in the latest budget.
The National Family Health Survey (NFHS)-4 data for 15
States shows that 37 per cent of children under the age of five are stunted;
22 per cent are wasted while 34 per cent under the age of 5 are under
The Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) has seen a
7 per cent reduction in fund.
The scheme, implemented by the Women and Child
Development (WCD) Ministry, is the country’s flagship intervention to
improve child nutrition in the country.
That’s not all — the percentage share of the Mid-Day Meal
(MDM) scheme in the total Union Budget allocation has gone down from 0.74
per cent in 2014-15 (BE) to 0.49 perCent in 2016-17 (BE).
The allocation for the MDM scheme for 2016-17 stands at
Rs. 9,700 crore (2016-17 BE).
The budget comes a week after the Economic Survey states
that India needed to increase investments on child nutrition programmes if
it were to capitalise on the demographic advantage offered by its young
The total amount spend on child health by the government
would be Rs. 65,758 crore. Over the last two years, allocations for ICDS has
seen a sharp decrease, maintain experts.
In the fourth attack since 2007, heavily-armed
terrorists, including suicide bombers, struck the Indian consulate in
Afghanistan’s Jalalabad city, killing nine persons, including an Afghan
security person and causing damage to the chancery.
All Indians in the mission were safe and six terrorists,
who carried out the attack, were dead.
While two terrorists blew themselves up, four militants
were killed by the Afghan police. Two civilians were also killed in the
The attack on the Indian consulate was part of a trend of
such operations launched from Pakistan.
They are simply attacking India’s presence in
Afghanistan, whenever they get the opportunity.
The whole spectrum of the India- Afghan relations, the
relationship itself, is the target of the attacks.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the government
would take a final decision on his budget proposal to tax 60 per cent of
employees’ provident fund (EPF) savings of those earning over Rs.15,000 per
month, before it responds on the issue during a debate on the Finance Bill
The finance ministry had issued a clarification that EPF
savings won’t be taxed at retirement, if the retiring employee opts to use
60 per cent of his EPF account balance to buy an annuity product that
provides them a monthly pension.
The Budget had announced that 40 per cent of EPF savings
will be tax-free at the time of withdrawal on retirement. Till now, EPF
savings are tax-exempt at the time of retirement.
Mr. Jaitley said that the tax proposal was not aimed at
revenue generation, but help everyone get a pension in their old age.
“The balance 60 per cent (of EPF savings) if converted to
annuity and used for a regular pension will not be taxed. The objective is
to incentivise people to get pension and disincentivise consumption of
savings,” he said.
Stressing that the proposal would only impact high-income
private sector employees, the minister said that nearly three crore active
EPF members receive monthly salaries of less than Rs.15,000 and would not be
affected by the tax.