Sat, 26 November 2016
Note ban was recommended by RBI: Prasad

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21:29   Note ban was recommended by RBI: Prasad
Law and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad today said the decision to scrap Rs 500/1000 notes was taken by the government on the recommendation of the Reserve Bank of India.

"It is not demonetisation. It is a wrong expression. Our government has only taken decision upon recommendation of Reserve bank of India who is authority to take decisions that notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 will not be a legal tender. It is not demonetisation in classical economic sense," he said.

He said that countrys economy has 12-13 per cent cash component out of which Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 account for 86 per cent.

"Now this country is moving towards honesty and transparency let it move in that direction. Now it is our duty to bring India out of corruption taint," Prasad said.

The minister further said due to economic reforms government has saved Rs 36,000 crore by digitalising economic activities such as payment of subsidies and MGNREGA wages through direct cash benefit facilities on to the accounts of intended beneficiaries through Aadhaar.
20:04   Opposition criticises everything Modi does: Shah
Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah today lashed out at the Opposition, saying it was seeking to oppose everything that the Narendra Modi government did only because it did not have any issues to raise.

"If Modi says today is Monday, they will say no no its Tuesday," Shah mocked while addressing a mammoth Kisan Rally organised by the Andhra Pradesh BJP in Tadepalligudem this evening.

"The world praised the surgical strikes the Narendra Modi government conducted on Pakistan but Congress criticised it. The country is happy, the jawans are happy and even kids are happy but Rahul (Gandhi) cried khoon ki dalali," he said.

"It's not Sonia-Manmohan government (at the helm) now that remains indecisive. Its the Modi government that daringly conducted surgical strikes and inflicted a heavy blow to the enemy and the terror camps on its territory," the BJP chief said, recalling the aftermath of the Uri attack.

Shah was also critical of the false propaganda allegedly being carried out by the Opposition over the demonetisation issue.

"They are spreading rumours that demonetisation will hurt the farmers. But let me assure you, it will only benefit the farmers by all means," he claimed.

Asserting that the welfare of farmers and development of the agriculture sector were the top priorities of the Modi government, Shah said every step was being taken to ensure the same.
19:03   Debroy a failed economist: Prashant Bhushan
Prashant Bhushan tweets:

'Modi's favoured economist, Niti Ayog member, (Bibek) Debroy, fielded to counter MMS on Noteban, is a failed Dr from Cambridge'.

Bhushan also posted photo of a letter from  University of Cambridge to Debroy telling him that 'he will not be approved for a PhD degree'.

JUST IN: Five army commandos injured in IED blast in Manipur during combing operations: Army sources. PTI
18:14   Pak names Genl Qamar Javed Bajwa as new army chief
Dawn News reports:

General Qamar Javed Bajwa has been appointed as the new chief of Pakistan Army.

He will be promoted to the rank of four-star general.

He would take up his new post from Tuesday, the day the current army chief Raheel Sharif retires.

Lt Gen Bajwa is currently serving as Inspector General of the Training and Evaluation.

Moreover, Lt Gen Zubair Hayat has been appointed the Chairman Joint Chief of Staff Committee.
17:41   JD-U accuses BJP of using black money to buy land before note ban
Even as Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is backing Prime Minister Narendra Modi's demonetisation drive, his party the Janata Dal-United on Saturday accused Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah of investing party's huge black money by purchasing land in several districts of Bihar just before the demonetisation announcement made by the Centre on November 8.

The JD-U further alleged that buying land using black money in the name of BJP below government rate to evade tax is a clear case of corruption by topmost leaders of the saffron party.

Holding a joint press conference in Patna, JD-U spokespersons Sanjay Singh, Neeraj Kumar and Rajiv Ranjan produced documents relating to some of the land purchases to buttress their allegations and to 'expose' the BJP's, especially its leader and former Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Modi's claim that the payments were made through Real-Time Gross Settlement systems.

Ranjan questioned as to what prompted the saffron party to purchase land in the last two months before the announcement of demonetisation policy?

He alleged that by doing so, the central government has breached the secrecy of its demonetisation policy. -- ANI
16:34   Nitish reaching out to BJP to stash his black money: Pappu Yadav
Lashing out at Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the governments demonetisation drive, Jan Adhikar Party chief Pappu Yadav on Saturday said the former is making friendly relations with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party to stash his black money.

"Nitish Kumar is maintaining friendly relations with BJP to stash his black money. He should first reveal his black money and undisclosed property. He spends the most on advertisement and election campaign. From where did he get the money?" Yadav was quoted as saying by ANI.

Yadav also alleged that the BJP stashed its black money before announcing this move.

"The BJP has stashed its black money four months ago. The Joint Parliamentary Committee should probe the matter," he said.

Highlighting the difficulties faced by the people after the move, Yadav said that this drive has not affected the lavish life of the MLAs and MPs. -- ANI
JUST IN: Cuba decrees nine days of mourning for former Cuban President Fidel Castro. AFP
15:22   Show cause notices to 20 JNU students including Kanhaiya
Jawaharlal Nehru University administration has issued show cause notices to 20 students including sedition accused Kanhaiya Kumar and Umar Khalid, seeking explanation for the alleged 'illegal confinement' of vice chancellor and other officials in the varsity building.

A group of agitating students had confined the VC and other senior officials in the administrative building for over 20 hours last month alleging inaction on the administration's part in locating missing student Najeeb Ahmad.

Najeeb, 27, a student of School of Biotechnology and a native of Badaun in Uttar Pradesh, went missing on October 15 following an on-campus scuffle allegedly with the members of Akhil Bharatiya Vdiyarthi Parishad, the night before.

"Twenty students including Kanhaiya and Umar have been sent notices over the illegal confinement and have been asked to depose before the Proctorial committee which is probing the issue after a complaint was received from the university's Chief Security Officer," a senior varsity official said.

JNU students and teachers have been agitating against the university administration and Delhi Police for their failure to locate the missing student.
13:49   CJI takes on Centre over judicial appointments
Chief Justice of India T S Thakur has once again attacked the Centre over judicial appointments and said that 500 posts of judges lie vacant in various high courts.

"Today, 500 judges posts are vacant in high courts, today we have vacant court room but no judges," CJI Thakur said.

"Tribunals are not equipped. Today, a situation has come that when no retired SC judge wants to head tribunal. Several tribunals are empty. I am pained to send my retired colleagues there," he said.

Citing lack of infrastructure in tribunals, he said, "The government is not ready to give proper facilities. Vacancy, apart from infrastructure, is a major concern for tribunals."

"Appointments have been made.121 or so such appointments have come, but large number of proposals is still pending, hope the government attends to them also," the CJI said on judicial vacancies in high courts.

"Advance ruling is not having its chairman, Armed Forces appellate Tribunal is without a chairman, competition commission without chairman. Posts are falling vacant and I am at pains in persuading my colleagues who are demitting office to accept these appointments," CJI Thakur said.

"They are declining, because the government is not ready even to do the bare minimum of providing a dignified place for chairman to occupy. I have in the past written to the government unless you amend the rules, make Chief justices in HCs also eligible for these appointments. There maybe a situation where an SC judge may not be available to head these tribunals," he said.  -- ANI
More tributes to Fidel Castro from India.

* Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi said that Castro's resolute support for India's cause on various fora will always remain deeply etched in the minds and hearts of the Indian people.

Describing his death as a loss not limited to Cuba or a particular ideology, Gandhi said that Castro led the oppressed and the striving from the front and stood up to every attempt at stifling the voice of freedom.

'His contribution to the Non Aligned Movement and his unflinching support for India's cause on various fora will always remain deeply etched in the minds and hearts of the Indian people,' the Congress quoted Gandhi as saying in a statement.

* Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam president M Karunanidhi hailed Castro as a 'lion cub' who grew to lead a rebellion in the South American country.

'A lion cub who grew to become a respected revolutionary leader in a small country, Fidel Castro is one of the greatest leaders I can never forget,' he said in a statement in Chennai.

Condoling Castro's death, the 93-year old Karunanidhi expressed his sympathies with the people of Cuba and supprters of the former Cuban president all over the world.

He also recalled a poem 'presented' by him during an event to commemorate the Cuban revolution here a few years ago and hailed Castro's leadership.

Castro had ushered in lot of people-oriented welfare measures and had defied the US on many occasions, he said.
12:50   India mourns loss of a great friend: PM Modi on Fidel Castro's demise
President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the death of former Cuban President Fidel Castro.

'Heartfelt condolences on sad demise of Cuba's revolutionary leader, former President and friend of India, Fidel Castro,' Mukherjee tweeted.

'I extend my deepest condolences to the Government & people of Cuba on the sad demise of Fidel Castro. May his soul rest in peace.

'We stand in support with the Cuban Government and people in this tragic hour.

'Fidel Castro was one of the most iconic personalities of the 20th century. India mourns the loss of a great friend,' said PM Modi in a series of tweets.

'Fidel Castro will remain a legend and a source of inspiration. The world will miss him,' Communist Party of India-Marxist general secretary Sitaram Yechury said.

IMAGE: India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru with Fidel Castro in the United States in 1960. Photograph: Prensa Latina/Reuters
12:21   SP's Amar Singh hails note ban; says proud to have a PM like Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's demonetisation move is a 'courageous' experiment to eliminate black money, corruption and counterfeit currency, Samajwadi Party Rajya Sabha MP Amar Singh has said.

Though it was implemented without making 'proper arrangement', but sudden implementation of the move helped preventing 'adjustment' of black money and unaccounted cash by hoarders, he told PTI.

Singh also said 'he, as a countryman, was proud to have such prime minister who was so dedicated and adamant to root out corruption'.

"The prime minister has punished all who have amassed huge wealth, whether they are from his party (Bharatiya Janata Party) or others," he said, adding now they (black money hoarders) are getting 'sleepless nights'.

Singh claimed the move has reduced the gap between rich and the poor and now people would pay taxes instead of evading it.

"I am not a BJP spokesperson but a SP Rajya Sabha member, whatever the opinion of my party might be on this issue but I have shared my personal view on it," he said.

However, he registered his protest against the mismanagement in implementing the demonetisation move, saying he was pained to the see the common people suffering due to it.

"What is the purpose of implementing a scheme due to which poor, farmers, small traders and common people have to suffer?" he said.-- PTI
11:03   Fidel Castro dead at 90: State TV
Revolutionary Cuban icon Fidel Castro dies, says President Raul Castr.
Gunshots heard as a convoy of the security forces passed through Wadi Pora area of Kashmir's Langate in Handwara. Details awaited
10:33   Tributes paid to martyrs on 26/11 anniversary
Floral tributes were today paid to those who laid down their lives while fighting terrorists who had attacked the metropolis on this day eight years ago.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis was among the dignitaries who paid homage at the 26/11 police memorial site at the Mumbai Police Gymkhana in south Mumbai.
"I pay homage to the brave policemen who fought for Mumbai's safety and laid down their lives for us on 26/11. We are proud of them and we will strive hard for safety and security of our state," Fadnavis said.
"We will strengthen police force with better equipment. It is our priority," he said.
Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, former Mumbai police commissioners Julio Ribeiro, M N Singh and several senior present and former police officers were present.
Family members of the policemen, who lost their lives during the November 2008 attacks, were also present during the ceremony.

On November 26, 2008, 10 Pakistani terrorists arrived by sea route and opened fire indiscriminately at people killing 166, including 18 security personnel, and injuring several others, besides damaging property worth crores.
10:23   Won't give tit-for-tat response to Indian aggression: Pakistan
Pakistan has vowed to defend its borders, waters and space against any attacks by the neighbouring country, however, reiterated its stance that it would not respond in any kind to Indian aggression.

Adviser to the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, speaking in the National Assembly on Friday hinted that talks with India will take place only if Kashmir issue is included in the agenda.

"We are ready for a dialogue with India if the Kashmir issue is included in (the agenda)," the Dawn quoted Aziz, as saying in his eight-minute-long speech on the floor of the house.

Alleging that Indian forces have defied all international norms by attacking an ambulance at the LoC, he said that the situation has escalated following the attack in which 11 persons were killed.

Aziz said that India wants to divert the world's attention away from the Kashmir issue.

The adviser further said the Kashmir cause is actively being taken forward by Pakistan since Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif delivered his speech at the UN General Assembly

"It is an indigenous freedom movement...led by youths. We will continue (to offer) political, diplomatic and moral support to Kashmiris," Aziz said.
More than 20 children injured and two in critical condition after school bus overturned in Chhatarpur district of Madhya Pradesh, news agency ANI reports.
10:03   Nation observes Constitution Day today
India observes its Constitution Day on Saturday, as it was on this day in 1949, the Constituent Assembly adopted the Constitution, however, it came into force a year later.

The government had last year, decided to observe 26th November as Constitution Day to honour our Constitution and its promulgation.

Activities like mock Parliament, essay and debate competitions are being organised across the country on the occasion. Central Board of Secondary Education has also asked the affiliated schools to celebrate the day.

The day is celebrated to value and preserve the rich heritage of composite culture and to develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform.

Constitution Day will work as a catalyst and the day will also promote to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wild life and to have compassion for living creatures.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi released two books on the Constitution in New Delhi on Friday. Speaking on the occasion, he said it is important to connect to the spirit of the Constitution and to be aware of its various articles.

He also said that though the nation celebrates Republic Day on 26th January with pride, it is incomplete without celebrating Constitution Day on 26th November.
09:49   PM Modi leads Time's Person of the Year reader's poll
Prime Minister Narendra Modi currently leads Time's Person of the Year reader's poll, with 11% of the votes cast.

Modi is currently ahead of other figures such as WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange and United States president-elect Donald Trump, the magazine said. While Assange currently has 9% of the vote, Trump has 8%.

Voting ends on December 4, and TIME will reveal its Person of the Year on December 7.

Others in contention include Russian President Vladimir Putin, US gymnast Simone Biles, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and singer Beyonce Knowles. Outgoing US President Barack Obama also features on the poll. However, the final decision will be taken by the magazine's editors.

The magazine said it would select the "person or persons who most affected...our lives, for good or ill, and who embodied what was important that year".

 Previous holders of the title include Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg (2010), Ebola fighters (2014) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (2015).
08:54   Govt launches AirSewa website and app to track flights, register complaints
The aviation ministry on Friday launched the AirSewa portal and mobile app that will include a mechanism for grievance redressal, back-office operations for grievance handling, flight status and airport information.

Aviation minister Ashok Gajpathi Raju said the government was committed to provide a hassle-free and comfortable air travel experience; to do this it was necessary to recognise the pattern of problems that people face, and make suitable systemic improvements.

AirSewa is an initiative of the ministry to offer people a convenient and hassle-free air travel experience, he said.
08:30   One dead after 6.7 quake hits China
One person was killed after a powerful 6.7-magnitude earthquake rocked Akto County in the quake-prone Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, state media reported.
A villager died as a house collapsed due to the strong tremors that hit the Kizilsu Kirghiz Autonomous Prefecture last night. Six houses also were found cracked or collapsed, state run Xinhua news agency reported.
The local administration said the epicentre was located 10 km beneath the surface and was in the cold highland areas which are sparsely populated. No casualty was reported from the village closest to the epicentre.
Strong tremors were also felt in neighbouring Kashgar Prefecture. Sections of the railway in southern Xinjiang have been temporarily closed.
The China Earthquake Administration has initiated emergency response measures and sent a team to the quake-hit area. An emergency response was also initiated by the regional seismological bureau.
08:28   Snowden loses final Norway appeal for no-extradition pledge
Norway's supreme court rejected a final appeal by fugitive whistleblower Edward Snowden to secure assurances he would not be extradicted to the US should he travel to Norway to collect an award.
Just as was the case in an original lawsuit and the subsequent appeal to a lower court in Oslo, the supreme court said it could not evaluate an extradition request preemptively.
Former US National Security Agency contractor, Snowden, who lives in exile in Russia, faces charges of espionage and theft of state secrets in his homeland that could land him up to 30 years in jail.
It's a further blow for the 33-year-old US citizen and his supporters at the Norwegian branch of the PEN Club who hoped he would be able to pick up the Ossietzky prize, which celebrates "outstanding efforts for freedom of expression."
Norway was one of the countries where Snowden sought asylum after fleeing the United States in 2013, but Oslo's response was that asylum seekers had to be physically present in the country to apply.
00:05   France offers refugees 2,500 euros to voluntarily deport themselves
The French government is offering 2,500 (Rs 1.8 lakh) to refugees who voluntarily leave and return to their own countries if they do so before the end of the year.

France presented the offer as "a form of compensation for refugees and migrants who have made the journey to Europe, saying they are eligible for the payment if they leave the country before 31 December.

The offer, branded as an "incentive" by immigration officials, reportedly comes with a series of added benefits including a paid-for air fare and the opportunity for some refugees to be granted up to 10,000 (Rs 7.26 lakh) of financial aid in setting up employment when they return.