Rahul didn’t blame RSS but linked people for Mahatma’s assassination SC told

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Rahul didn't blame RSS but linked people for Mahatma's assassination SC told

Rahul didn’t blame RSS but linked people for Mahatma’s assassination SC told

New Delhi, Aug 24: Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi had not blamed the RSS as an institution for the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, but the people associated with it, the Supreme Court was told on Wednesday.

Union Minister of Urban Development M. Venkaiah Naidu welcomed the development, saying that “wisdom is prevailed”.

The RSS, however, has demanded an apology from the Congress Vice President.

Senior counsel Kapil Sibal told the apex court bench of Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman of Rahul Gandhi’s stance while referring to an affidavit filed by Gandhi before the Bombay High Court challenging the defamation proceedings against him by a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) worker Rajesh Madhav Kunte.

The bench, while taking note of Gandhi’s statement before the high court, said that it can dispose of the matter after the Congress leader’s “unequivocal” statement that he had not blamed the RSS as an organisation for Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination, but only the people linked with it.

However, the court deferred the hearing till Sep 1 as senior counsel Umesh R. Lalit, appearing for the RSS worker, wanted time to take instructions from Kunte.

Sibal told the apex court that Gandhi has never accused RSS for the Mahatma’s assassination.

He, Sibal said, had told the high court that “the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi was a result of the destructive philosophy of the persons associated with the RSS. It was also clearly suggested that the assassins were associated or affiliated with RSS” and never accused RSS as an institution of the crime.

As the court indicated the order it may pass, Sibal said: “I am not making any addition, alteration or subtraction” in what Gandhi had said in his affidavit.

Venkaiah Naidu expressing satisfaction over the development, said: “I hope wisdom has prevailed upon him, on others to not make such aggressive remarks.”

The RSS reacted sharply, demanding an apology from Rahul Gandhi for his remark.

“Rahul Gandhi and Congress Party should stop lying and apologies,” the RSS wrote on twitter.

Surrogacy bill will not be easy to implement, say women activists

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Surrogacy bill will not be easy to implement, say women activists

Surrogacy bill will not be easy to implement, say women activists

New Delhi, Aug 24: Women rights activists said on Wednesday that surrogacy regulation bill approved by the Union cabinet was a step in the right direction but surrogacy was a complex issue and implementing the proposed law will be challenging.

“Renting a womb has become a commercial exercise and not the way it should be. There is certainly a need for regulation,” said All India Democratic Women’s Association President Subhashini Ali.

“In many countries, there is a counselling of people who want surrogacy, saying that the adoption option should also be considered. They are told all the many health hazards also. The person who is a surrogate, her rights have to be protected,” she Ali added.

According to Sarojini N.B. from the organisation Sama, who has been closely involved with the issue, implementation of the bill is challenging.

“The implementation of law is challenging. The ban (on commercial surrogacy) might push it underground,” she said.

Sarojini feels that altruistic surrogacy with relatives can cause further exploitation of women in a patriarchal set-up.

“Only ‘altruistic surrogacy’ with close relatives, i.e. within the ‘family’ is going to be allowed. There is enough evidence that shows the exploitative nature of the ‘family’ as an institution where women may be subjected to various kinds of patriarchal pressures, including coercion to act as surrogates. We need to look into it carefully,” she said.

The director of the Joint Women’s Programme India and Vice President of the YWCA of India, Jyotsna Chatterjee said: “It’s good that commercial surrogacy has been banned. One of the major things is that it was almost becoming a malice like prostitution.”

Raising issues concerning identity, she said, “If an Austrian man from Europe comes, and goes for a surrogate child in Mumbai, what is the nationality of the child? Will he/she be Indian or Austrian?”

“Though surrogacy has been very helpful for women who have not been able to have their own children, like everything else it has become a fashion,” Chatterjee said.

“Take that actor — one actor who is not married, goes for surrogacy through a woman and says that it’s my child. What about the woman who might, at some time, claim that this is my child? He could give her money. It’s almost like a business exchange. A child is used as a product.”

Referring to the case where an Australian couple abandoned one of their twins in Delhi, Chatterjee showed her concern from the perspective of the child.

“What identity does the child have? The father will take it away. The woman who has produced the child also has rights as she has produced the child. She should be the person who should give nationality to the child,” she said.

According to the social activist Reena Banerjee: “A lot of poor women are exploited because of surrogacy. Huge money goes to doctors and the medical institutions, hired surrogate mothers are just exploited.”

“Surrogacy should only for those women who can’t conceive but it has become a fashion as those women, who don’t want to take the pain of pregnancy, take its advantage.”

“Implementation will be very difficult. Strong monitoring on part of the government is required,” Banerjee said.

Salient points of Surrogacy Bill

by admin - on Aug 24th 2016 - No Comments

New Delhi, Aug 24: Salient features of the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016, cleared by the Union cabinet on Wednesday:

Salient points of Surrogacy Bill

Salient points of Surrogacy Bill

Who can go for surrogacy:
Only Indian couples, who are legally married
The couple must be married for at least five years
The couple will have to produce a medical certificate testifying that either partner is medically unfit to produce children

Who cannot go for surrogacy:
Foreigners, NRIs and even OCI (Overseas Citizen of India) card holders
Same ***** couples, live-in partners
Couples having one or more children, either biological or adopted

Who can become a surrogate mother?
Only a married woman with at least one child
Surrogate mother must be a close relation of the couple seeking surrogacy
A woman is allowed to surrogate only once
A couple can avail surrogacy only once in their lifetime

What is legal protection?
Surrogacy clinics must be registered with the government
Illegally operating clinics, or those flouting norms may be punished with 10 years imprisonment and/or Rs 10 lakh fine
Clinics required to maintain each case record for 25 years

Rights versus wrongs:
A surrogate child, whether boy or girl, cannot be abandoned by parents
A surrogate child will have all the rights that a biological child has, including right to property
A surrogate mother cannot be mistreated by the clinic or the parent couple.

Deepika Padukone finds spot in world’s highest paid actresses list

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Deepika Padukone finds spot in world's highest paid actresses list

Deepika Padukone finds spot in world’s highest paid actresses list

Los Angeles, Aug 24: Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone, who is set to make her Hollywood debut, has already landed a spot in a list of the world’s highest paid actresses, with earnings of $10 million. The list also features heavyweights like Hollywood stars Jennifer Lawrence, Julia Roberts and Jennifer Aniston.

Deepika, daughter of India’s celebrated badminton player Prakash Padukone, is the only newcomer to the ‘World’s Highest-Paid Actresses’ ranking and is the only Indian star to make the cut. She has found the tenth spot in the list, which is topped by Lawrence.

Of the 10 list members, 30 per cent, including Padukone, hail from outside the US. Chinese actress Fan Bingbing was also featured in the list for the second consecutive year, while Charlize Theron, a dual South African-American citizen, returned to the list for the first time since 2013, reported forbes.com.

For the second year in a row, Lawrence became the world’s highest paid actress with $46 million earning while Melissa McCarthy was in the second spot by pocketing $33 million.

Lawrence’s impressive earnings consist largely of a profit slice from the big box office gross of her final “Hunger Games” instalment and a mammoth upfront fee for “Passengers”.

As for Deepika, who will soon be making her Hollywood debut along “Fast and Furious” star Vin Diesel in “xXx: Return of Xander Cage”, she earns far less than her Hollywood counterparts for roles, but compensates with over a dozen lucrative endorsements.

The magazine also put the spotlight on the gender pay gap in the Indian film industry, stating that “though a top male star might earn close to $5 million a movie, prominent Indian actresses rarely clear $1 million a film”, adding that “it’s a discrepancy not uncommon in Hollywood”.

Other names to feature in the list include Mila Kunis, Amy Adams and Scarlett Johansson.

What may come as a surprise to many is that there was no mention of actress Priyanka Chopra, who is making waves in the west, be it for her American TV series “Quantico” or her Hollywood debut film “Baywatch”.

Tamil Actor Vijay’s Father Undergoes Surgery After Fall

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Tamil actor Vijay's father undergoes surgery after fall

Tamil actor Vijay’s father undergoes surgery after fall

Kottayam (Kerala), Aug 24: Popular Tamil actor Vijay’s father S.A. Chandrasekhar slipped and fell at a resort in Kumarakom on Wednesday and had to immediatelly undergo a surgery at a hospital here.
Chandrasekhar, a popular producer and director, was at the tourist destination of Kumarakom as part of discussion of an upcoming project.
The incident occurred on Wednesday morning. Chandrasekhar slipped and fell in a toilet, suffering head and back injuries, hospital sources said.
He was immediately rushed to a hospital here by two assistant directors and the doctors conducted a surgery. The doctors have advised him a week’s rest and said that he is recovering well and there is no need for any concern, the source added.

Driverless Cars On The Horizon But India Far From Ready Tech Trend

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Driverless Cars On The Horizon But India Far From Ready Tech Trend

Driverless Cars On The Horizon But India Far From Ready Tech Trend

New Delhi, Aug 24: It was Google that first flagged off self-driving cars. Tesla Motors, GM and Ford soon followed, and now with two bold moves, Uber, the on-demand car pioneer, is fuelling the race to the finish line.
On August 18, it announced a $300 million deal with Swedish car maker Volvo to develop fully driverless, or autonomous, cars by 2021; and also the acquisition of Otto, a San Francisco-based start-up focused on self-driving trucks.
“We have been piloting a programme where friends and family of our Advanced Technology Centre team can request a self-driving car through the Uber app. It’s still early days, but we are planning to expand this pilot to the Pittsburgh community,” a Uber spokesperson told IANS in an email from San Francisco.
Uber will allow people in Pittsburgh to hail modified versions of Volvo sport utility vehicl(SUV) to get around the cityIn May, the self-driving car community was left in shock when Joshua Brown, 40, of Ohio was killed when his Tesla Model S electric sedan crashed into a tractor-trailer while on auto-pilot mode.
Billed as the first known fatal accident involving a self-driving vehicle, preliminary investigation indicated that the crash took place when the tractor-trailer turned into the Tesla’s path and the auto-pilot failed to apply the brakes.
Despite the tragedy, the backers of self-driving cars still see a great opportunity in an age when ‘Time’ is a most precious commodity and people are spending too much of it driving vehicles on increasingly congested roads, or looking for parking.
According to experts, passenger vehicles travel a total of 10 trillion miles annually, at an average speed of 40 km per hour. They also estimate that, assuming conservative occupancy, people are spending 600 billion hours in vehicles.
“Most of the autonomous vehicle service providers and manufacturers are trying to free up this time,” Thomas George, Senior Vice President and Head of CyberMedia Research (CMR), a Gurgaon-based market research firm, told IANS.
George, however, is clear that it will be quite a while before we see the phenomenon in India.
“It will take another generation to make an autonomous vehicle transportation network feasible and widely adopted among the low-automated geographical regions like India, while the US and China could see better adoption within 15-20 years,” George told IANS.
According to studies, the global revenues from “connected cars” — the precursor to fully autonomous or self-driving cars — are growing at an an annual rate of 27.5 per cent and are expected to touch $21 billion by 2020. This is still minuscule when compared to the revenues of one auto maker, say, Toyota, which are in excess of $250 billion
Yet, that is the way future lies, and many countries are creating the infrastructure necessary for connected cars and, eventually, fully-autonomous cars.
In the UK, driverless car trials are likely to begin on a strategic road network by 2017 and a £15 million “connected corridor” from London to Dover will be set up to enable vehicles to communicate with infrastructure and even with other vehicles.
“All these moves indicate that the dream of autonomous vehicles is turning out to be reality,” George added.
For Gaurav Sharma, Research Manager (Enterprise and IPDS) at the International Data Corporation (IDC), the true implementation and adoption will only happen as we thrive further in the connected economy.
“For any autonomous vehicle, data would be the real fuel that would help it sustain a safe and smooth ride. The timely collection, processing and sharing back of data/information between the vehicle and external (control) systems (or internally between the systems) would form its knowledge base and enable the vehicle to function smoothly in different conditions,” Sharma told IANS.
To make autonomous vehicles a success, the associated laws, regulations, traffic systems, infrastructure, emergency response systems, manufacturing systems, data and information handling and processing systems will also need to undergo a change at a faster pace.
“The scenario does look feasible but the human touch is hard to remove, especially in a country like India where this would also entail managing the issues of a large workforce (drivers, mechanics, etc.) who will need reskilling/fitment in other jobs as we look forward to such scientific marvels in our digital economy,” Sharma pointed out.
Safety is also a prime concern as malicious hacking of systems of fully-autonomous cars can cause massive damage.
“It’s important for the autonomous vehicle players to deliver high-security and cyber-security processes. In addition, more steps need to be taken to avoid Tesla or Google-like car accidents,” George added.
For Sharma, “We are looking at the next decade, at least, for a mass adoption of driverless vehicles unless commercialised by companies like Uber (for ride-sharing services) while the people with the capacity to pay might end up owning it earlier than the masses, as always.”

Olympic FLag Arrives In Tokyo Host City Of 2020 Olympics

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Olympic flag arrives in Tokyo, host city of 2020 Olympics

Tokyo, Aug 24: The Olympic flag, carried by Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike, arrived in the Japanese capital, the host city of the 2020 Olympic Games on Wednesday.
Koike was accompanied by a delegation of Japanese athletes – who recently won 41 medals in the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics – as he arrived at Tokyo’s Haneda airport carrying the famous flag with five interlocking rings, reports Efe.
The governor, who took office after winning a landslide victory in the July 31 Tokyo gubernatorial election, received the flag from International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach during the closing ceremony at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on August 21.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government told Japanese media the flag will be kept at its headquarters until the arrival of the Paralympic flag inSeptember.
Authorities plan to display both flags in different areas of the East Asian archipelago to promote the 2020 Summer Olympics.
It will be the second time the Summer Olympics are held in the Japanese capital, which previously hosted the 1964 Summer Olympics

Rashtrapati Bhavan Battles Mosquitoes

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Rashtrapati Bhavan Battles MosquitoesRashtrapati Bhavan Battles Mosquitoes

Rashtrapati Bhavan Battles Mosquitoes

New Delhi, Aug 24: The Rashtrapati Bhavan on Wednesday said it was taking all possible steps to kill mosquitoes to check the spread of dengue and other diseases.
The clarification followed notices issued by the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) in connection with potential conditions within the sprawling estate which could lead to breeding of mosquitoes.
Emphasising that no case of dengue had been reported from the President’s Estate, the statement said it was “fully conscious” of the need to prevent breeding of mosquitoes.
“Corrective measures … have been immediately taken. Special inspection teams have been formed to identify any violation of instructions relating to prevention of dengue and other water-borne diseases by residents of the President’s Estate,” the statement said.
It said teams were conducting house-to-house searches for any mosquito-breeding possibilities.Rashtrapati Bhavan will continue to work in close cooperation with NDMC to ensure that utmost vigilance is maintained and all possible precautionary measures are taken.”

Only 1 of 27 Indian Sports Bodies Has Athlete As President

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Only 1 of 27 Indian Sports Bodies Has Athlete AsOnly 1 of 27 Indian Sports Bodies Has Athlete As President President

Only 1 of 27 Indian Sports Bodies Has Athlete As President

Indian marathon runner O.P. Jaisha said she fainted at the Rio Olympics on a hot, humid day because no Indian sports official provided her with water or glucose water, a reminder that sports federations in India are often ignorant of sporting requirements.
Much has been written about Indian sports associations managed by politicians instead of athletes. Now, there is clear data on the details:

Only one sports association (SA) the Athletics Federation of India — has a former national athlete as president.

Only nine SAs have former or present players on their governing bodies.

12 SAs have not made available any details about the tenures of presidents and members.

Only two SAs have any kind of plan for the future.

Women constitute between 2 per cent and 8 per cent of SA governing bodies. Hockey India, with 34 per cent female representation, is the exception.

These are the key findings of a new report, Governance of Sports in India: 2016, by InGovern Research Services, an advisory, which analysed publicly available data from 27 sports associations and federations (including the Indian Olympic Association). The IOA’s members include 38 national sports federations (NSFs).

Of these 38 NSFs, sports and disciplines represented by 26 NSFs –which the report probes — featured in the recently-concluded Rio 2016 Olympic Games. The major findings are segregated into five major buckets:

1. Incorporation and constitution of associations and federations

Nine SAs have failed to disclose their objectives to the general public.

10 SAs have failed to make available their constitution/charter to the general public.

10 SAs have not made public their governing statute, which includes the roles and responsibilities of the president, members and other office bearers.

2. Composition of associations and federations

Only one SA has a former national athlete as its president.

As many as eight SAs do not have female representation on their governing bodies. This excludes four NSFs that have not provided any details of their governing bodies.

Of the other SAs, women constitute between 2 per cent and 8 per cent of the governing bodies. This doesn’t include Hockey India, which has a 34 per cent female representation.

Only nine SAs have former or present players in their governing bodies.

3. Governing Body

11 SAs have not provided information related to rotation, tenure as well as term limits of the members of their governing bodies.

12 SAs have not made available any details regarding the tenure limits of their presidents and members.

Of the remaining 15 SAs, only six have set tenure limits for their presidents.

4. Financial Disclosures and Strategy

Only two SAs — All India Football Federation (Strategic Plan 2014-17) and the Indian Golf Union (Tee20 Strategic Plan 2013-2020) — have designed a strategic plan for improvement of their respective sports.

As many as 16 SAs do not publish financial statements in the public domain and/or on a regular basis.

Only one SA — All India Football Federation — has had its financial statements audited by a reputed auditor.

Only one SA — Table Tennis Federation of India — has disclosed remuneration details of key personnel.

5. Management of Conflicts of Interest

Only one SA — Hockey India — has adopted a conflict-of-interest policy.

None of the SAs have disclosed any conflicts of interests or transactions concerning the president or members of governing bodies.

The report outlines six major recommendations that could improve governance of sports in India:

1. Design a strategy/road-map for future: The IOA and all SAs should adopt a strategic roadmap that is disclosed to the public domain. Implementation of this roadmap should be monitored and disclosed regularly.

2. Revamp of elections and succession planning: The SAs should amend their constitutions to set the maximum term limits and retirement limits for members and office bearers (such as president, secretary, treasurer). Once they reach the limit, they should not be considered for future appointments.

3. Be transparent: SAs should put their financial statements, profiles of executive council and administrative staff, budgets, expenses and remuneration details in the public domain.

4. Mitigate conflicts of interest: SAs should disclose conflicts of interest and ensure they are not allowed.

5. Increase player- and female-representation on the council: This is important to enhance diversity on councils.

6. IOA should be more transparent: IOA must disclose its budgets and audited financial statements of its participation in any national and international events. For these events, it should disclose participating sportspersons, non-playing staff, including officials and doctors and a break-up of expenses.

By Devanik Saha

Court directs six of actor Mani’s aides to take polygraph test

by admin - on Aug 24th 2016 - No Comments
Court directs six of actor Mani's aides to take polygraph test

Court directs six of actor Mani’s aides to take polygraph test

Chalakkudy (Kerala) Aug 24: Even as the Kerala government sought a CBI probe into the death of actor Kalabhavan Mani, a court here has asked six of his close aides to undergo a lie detector test.

Mani died at a hospital in Kochi on March 6. The cause of his death has not been ascertained so far.

The new development came after Mani’s close relatives expressed doubts over his close aides who always accompanied the actor.

The Chalakkudy police had submitted a request to the Chief Magistrate’s Court, following which the court called up the six aides, who have agreed to undergo the test.

Mani, 45, who acted in 200 films in Malayalam and other languages, was admitted to a hospital in Kochi on March 4. He was apparently suffering from a liver ailment.

The police probe team were unable to crack the case even as forensic experts said an insecticide (Chlorpyrifos) was found in the actor’s body.

Mani was staying at a 30-acre farmhouse near Chalakkudy, away from his home where his wife and daughter reside.

After his death, hospital authorities reported the presence of the chemical in his body, leading to speculation that he might not have died a natural death.

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