The dream girl of Bollywood ‘Hema Malini’ presents Synergy in India
All time ‘Dream Girl’ of Bollywood continues the same spirit of the ‘Soft Power’ of Bollywood, and has invited SUKHSHVLI to India again after 50 years. Hema Malini now presents ‘SYNERGY’ – An Indo-Georgian dance fusion, it will be a cultural Odyssey that will expose the world to two ancient cultures, India & Georgia and give them the platform to showcase their talent. The actress was recently spotted in Crown Plaza, Delhi for the press conference and interacted with the media.
Evergreen and the only Superstar amongst actresses for the longest time, Hema Malini is considered the unofficial ‘cultural’ ambassador for India as she made it her mission to propagate India’s diverse culture to the world. On being asked about her association with Synergy, she said, “I am extremely happy to present and establish synergy here. It has got a very interesting story behind its inception. Jayasmriti is the organization in the name if my mother and her inspiration was always to promote all the artists. So I am following her footsteps in promoting artists.”
She further added, “Synergy happened to me when I paid a visit to Georgia and saw their dance, when I offered them to perform in India they agreed and the result is in front of you all. The performances will be showcased in Kolkata, Chennai, Bombay and Delhi and almost 70 dancers from India and Georgia will grace the occasion.” On being asked about the dance style, she said, “It is a different kind of dance that has no similarity with other dance styles. It is a powerful dance which is a traditional dance form of Georgia. And if we get the support in this, then, I will definitely bring Russian Ballet next year to India.”
No wonder looking at her contribution, service and mission like zeal to Indian culture and dance, Hema Malini is virtually the best to be the cultural ambassador of India. We also wish her all luck in this mission.
The hon’ble Minister of Human Resource Development, Shri Prakash Javedkar and UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, who was undertaking her fourth official visit to India (30 August to 2 September 2017), jointly inaugurated the new premises of UNESCO New Delhi Cluster Office at 1 San Martin Marg, Chanakyapuri, on 30 August 2017, at 5.00pm.
The inaugural ceremony, was addressed by Dr Karan Singh, Member of Rajya Sabha and UNESCO Executive Board Member; Mr Kailash Satyarthi, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Mr Yuri Afanasiev, UN Resident Coordinator and Mr Shigeru Aoyagi, Director and UNESCO Representative to Bhutan, India, Maldives and Sri Lanka.
The building provided by Government of India has been designed by famed architect Satish Gujral, who was present at the ceremony. Situated in the heart of capital’s diplomatic area, the building is a stunning medley of creative artistry and functionality.
“This building stands a symbol of the values shared by India and UNESCO, of our belief in the power of education, the sciences, culture, communication and information as foundations for sustainable development and a more just and peaceful world,” says UNESCO’s Director-General.
UNESCO’s friendship with India traces back to 1946, when India became one of the founding members of the Organization. A short film “70 years of UNESCO in India: Living in Harmony and Peace” was also screened during the event.
Over the decades, India has been an ardent and influential supporter of UNESCO’s mission and ideals, culminating in the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to UNESCO Headquarters in April 2015. Ms Bokova’s visit is expected to further strengthen these ties.
On day one, the Director-General held bilateral meetings with the Minister for Human Resource Development and President of the UNESCO National for UNESCO, Prakash Javadekar; the Minister of Railways, Suresh Prabhu, the Minister of State for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Dr. Mahesh Sharma and addressed the closing ceremony of the two-day Regional Consultation of UNESCO New Delhi Cluster National Commissions. She also participated in an international consultation on the Prevention of Violent Extremism through Education and in the Talking Across Generations event on 31 August organized by the UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP).
On 1 September, she will travel to Gujarat on a two-day trip and will visit the Rani-ki-Vav (Queen’s Stepwell), a World Heritage Site located in Patan. During the final leg of her mission, she will visit the historic city of Ahmedabad, the first urban centre in India to be inscribed on the World Heritage List in July 2017, and will hand over the Certificate of Inscription to Shri Vijay Rupani, Chief Minister of Gujarat, at the event being organized by the state government.
RBI Annual Report confirms the concerns expressed by Aam Aadmi Party when demonetisation was announced
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) released the final figures of currency returned after demonetisation was announced last year on 8th November, 2016 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The report claims that of the Rs 15,44,000 crore rupees of currency demonetised, Rs 15,28,000 crore has returned, and close to Rs 16,000 crore has not returned. These figures confirm the concerns expressed by National Convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and the Aam Aadmi Party.
Addressing a press conference on this issue, National spokesperson and senior leader of the party Sanjay Singh said, “When PM Narendra Modi announced that the government was demonetising high value currency, AAP and Arvind Kejriwal had said that demonetisation was the largest scam in the history of the country. We had said then that it would destroy the country’s economy, increase unemployment, result in collapse of small businesses, and that ordinary Indians will suffer the most.”
“The truth of demonetisation has finally been revealed by the RBI. On 15th August, Mr Modi claimed from the Red Fort that Rs 3 lakh crore black money had been recovered after black money. This, despite the fact that the RBI chairman had informed the Lok Sabha committee then that counting of notes was still on. The larger question is this: After demonetisation, the RBI had said on 27th November that Rs 14,18,000 crore had been demonetised. But now the RBI is claiming that the figure was actually Rs 15,44,000 crore.
What explains this discrepancy? Is this the amount of additional currency the RBI has received in counterfeit notes? Is the RBI lying to the country? It must answer these questions.”
“This is not just a failure of economics as some are calling, it is a monumental failure of policy. Including the Rs 1,10,000 crore discrepancy in the RBI’s claims about how much currency was demonetised and the Rs 21,000 crore spent in the printing of new notes, the country has lost Rs 1,31,000 crores in this entire exercise. Mr Modi is answerable to the people of India, and he must explain this massive loss.”
National Spokesperson and senior leader Ashutosh added, “Not only was demonetisation a scam of epic proportions, it was also detrimental to the health of the economy. The GDP growth between January to March quarter of 2016 was 8.5% and for the same period it was 6.1% in 2017. There has also been a drastic fall in the growth of the manufacturing sector since demonetisation.”
An MP accused of rape and murder has just defended a guru sentenced for raping two women. Enough is enough. The entire country is reacting in outrage — sign now with one click to kick this pro-rape MP out of Parliament!
MP Sakshi Maharaj has just stood up for the guru jailed for twenty years for raping two women!It’s a betrayal of women everywhere, but if we act right now, we can kick this pro-rape politician out!
BJP MP Maharaj has been accused of rape himself, and is a known hardliner — in the past he’s suggested conversion to Islam and Christianity could be punishable by death. Now he has supported the rapist guru, calling him a ‘simple man’ who he says is being ‘harassed’.
Let’s stand up for women everywhere and demand he’s shown the door. His party is already under pressure — let’s push Prime Minister Modi and the President of the BJP to suspend this sexist rape-champion and remove pro-rape politicians from India’s Parliament.
To Prime Minister Narendra Modi and National President of the BJP, Amit Shah:
As concerned citizens deeply disturbed by the sexist comments made by BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj, we call on you to urgently suspend him from Parliament and from all Parliamentary Committees. We call on you to stand up for India’s women and send a strong signal to the country that there is no place in Parliament for a politician who condones rape.
Maharaj’s hateful remarks came after at least 38 people were killed and hundreds injured in Haryana state by supporters of the rapist. He is now trying to backpedal on his comments, but this isn’t about him. The two heroic women, who wrote to the Prime Minister first accusing the guru of rape, are now facing brutal retaliation.
Instead of calling for the protection of these brave women, Maharaj sent a warning to the courts, saying they could be held responsible for further violence. But now, he is on the back foot. A petition has been filed against him in the High Court for making offensive remarks against the judiciary and his own party are said to be considering what to do with him.
Let’s get rid of this outrageous pro-rape MP and clamp down on institutional sexism in India. Prime Minister Modi says he supports gender equality. Sign now and tell him and the President of the BJP to kick this sexist, rape-champion out of Parliament and stand up for women everywhere.
RECENT EXPERIENCE CAST DOUBT ON GST PORTAL EFFICIENCY
The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has called upon the Government to waive off penalty being charged on late filing of GSTR Form 3B which is summary return for the month of July.
CAIT President Shri B.C.Bhartia & Secretary General Shri Praveen Khandelwal said that assuming such scenario, the Finance Minister had announced taking lenient view for procedural lapses in initial months of implementation of GST.
It is creditable that in the first month of its implementation, GST has fetched a revenue of about Rs. 93 thousand crores of rupees with about 65% business entities registered with GSTN portal. Though last date of filing GSTR Form 3B designed to furnish summary returns of transactions made in the month of July has already expired on 28th August but it is expected that remaining lot will file the return after paying penalty of Rs.100 per day with a maximum penalty limit of Rs.5,000 only-said the trade leaders.
The increase in GST revenue shows that traders across Country have adopted GST even though lot many technical glitches with GSTN portal and this could be one of the reason for non filing of July summary return by majority of remaining people.
In view of the same, the CAIT has urged Union Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley to waive off the penalty at lease for July and August GST returns. Any penalty clause at this point of time will be counter productive to GST adoption among trading community.
However,the recent experience of the traders with GSTN portal with regard to filing of GST Form 3B was not at all good and landed traders across Country in great trouble even for accessing the portal. The CAIT has asked the Government to ensure smooth functioning of GSTN portal at least to the extent that there should not be any login issue and to ensure that the portal works in a cohesive manner providing ease to Traders in complying with their tax compliance timely.
It is important to note that only a small section of about 80 lakh business entities registered with GSTN were trying to use the portal for filing very limited data, which was either inaccessible or showing errors or could not get the Form or Challan downloaded, keep the traders in a fix. In month of September, the portal has to take care of more than 3 billion vouchers which is certainly a gigantic task since each traders has to upload Invoice wise details on the basis of which the portal will prepare purchase statement of each entity which will be verified by the traders and thereupon tax liability will be derived after adjusting input credit.In case the system do not respond as happened last week, the entire GST eco system will come to a halt. Therefore, keeping in view of the crucial aspect of the issue, the Government must come forward to conducting a technology audit of GSTN portal.
In The High Court of Judicature At Bombay,In the matter of Articles 19, 21 and 226 of the Constitution of India,AND, the matter of Pollution of Coastal Waters of Mumbai City
In the matter of discharge of untreated sewage from slums and industrial waste into the ‘Mithi River”, which is discharged into the Arabian Sea. And
In the matter of discharge of sewage right at the coast line itself, by the City’s Civic Body
And In the matter of right to clean and wholesome environment
And In the matter of saving the ecosystem of Mumbai City.
“Citizen Circle for Social Welfare )
and Education:, though its President – )
Mr. Arshad Ali, aged about 40 )
years old, having its Registered Office )
at – Building No. 04, Mubarak )
Complex, V.B. Nagar, Kurla (West), )
Mumbai – 400070 )…Petitioners
1. The State of Maharashtra, )
Through Government Pleader, )
High Court, Fort, Mumbai )
2. Municipal Corporation of Greater )
Mumbai its Head Office at – )
Mahapalika Marg, C.S.T., ) Mumbai : 400001. )
3. Maharashtra Pollution Control Board, )
Maharashtra Pollution Control Board, ) Kalpataru Point, 3rd and 4th floor, ) Opp. Cine Planet,Sion Circle, ) Mumbai-400 022. )…Respondents
THE HON’BLE CHIEF JUSTICE
& OTHER PUISINE JUDDGES OF THIS
THE HUMBLE PUBLIC INTEREST LITIGATION OF THE PETITIONER ABOVENAMED
MOST RESPECTFULLY SHEWETH :-
The Petitioner most humbly and respectfully submits as under :-
1. The Petitioner is a Mumbai based Non – Governmental Organisation (N.G.O.), for Social Welfare and Education, having Registration No. 1053-2011 G.B.B.S.D., having its Registered Office at the address as shown in the ‘Cause Title’ of the above Petition and as such, is engaged in the welfare of the society at large.
The Respondent No.1 is the State of Maharashtra; Respondent No.2, is a Statutory Civil Authority established under the provisions of the Bombay Municipal Corporation Act, 1888 and the Respondent No.3, is the Pollution Control Board of the State of Maharashtraimplements a range of environmental legislation in the State of Maharashtra and functions under the administrative control of Environment Department of the Government of Maharashtra.
The Petitioners by way of the present petition are aggrieved by the dismal condition of the coastal water of the city of Mumbai, which is polluted to the most extreme level, which is dangerous to the entire ecosystem and the public at large has been complaining about the same. Pertinently, the Petitioners, have personally surveyed the coastal areas of Mumbai City, to find out about the effects and causes of Water Pollution and have also read about the same, in several newspaper articles wherein, they (Newspaper Articles) have relied upon several reports on the causes and effect/impact of pollution of the coastal water and in one such report, which is formulated by one Institute known as, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, which was published in Mirror Now, in its online article dated 15th May 2017, it is stated based on their survey that
“…Mumbai’s coastline is now considered among the most polluted in the world. And one of the reasons for this is that the sewage receives a basic preliminary treatment before it is pumped into the sea…”
Hereto annexed and marked Exhibit ‘A’ are the copies of the photographs clicked on 30-07-2017, of the Mumbai’s coastline at Marine Drive which shows/reflects untreated sewage/waste piled up in huge quantities on the coast line. Hereto annexed and marked as Exhibit ‘B’ is the computer print out of the said Mirror Now online article dated 15th May 2017.
Pertinently the Respondent No.3, had conducted a survey which was reported in an article published by English Daily – ‘Hindustan Times’ dated 18/07/2017 wherein, it is stated that the Respondent No. 3 analyzed the water quality along Mumbai’s Coast Line during the period between January and May, 2017, in order to create a Water Quality Index (WQI). The quality of coastal water at Juhu, Girgaum and Haji Ali recorded 44, 45 and 45.2 WQI levels. Whereas, Mahim recorded 45.2, Worli Sea-face 46.1, Nariman Point 46.8 and Dadar Chowpatty 46.8 respectively. According to the readings WQI levels between 38 and 50 are classified as polluted; a reading between 63 and 100 indicates clean water. Mithi’s WQI is 28, which means highly polluted water. The reason which the Respondent No.3 assigned for the polluted costal water are insufficient sewage treatment and untreated sewage from slums. Hereto annexed and marked Exhibit ‘C’ is the computer generated printout of the said article dated 18/07/2017, published in said English Daily ‘Hindustan Times’.
Moreover, according to several other reports other than the reports/surveys conducted by the Respondent No.3, also spell out the reasons as to why Mumbai’s Coastal Waters are dirtiest/ most polluted in the world and the same is not only dangerous/harmful to the well-being of the residents of Mumbai City, but also hazardous to plants as well as, aquatic/marine life and the same has also been reported by India Times News published online on 3rd April 2017, wherein it has also been reported based on survey done by one – Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI), Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Germany, which revealed that the litter on the four beaches in Mumbai, viz., Juhu, Versova, Dadar and Aksa ; there were 68.83 items of waste/debry, per sqm. and the majority of such waste/debry consisted of micro-plastics (41.85%) ranging in size from 1mm to 5mm. Hereto annexed and marked Exhibit ‘D’ is the computer generated print out of the said article dated 3rd April 2017.
Further, according to a study done/conducted/ carried- out by the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), Nagpur, the level of faecal coliform (FC) — a bacterium found in human and animal excreta — is between 100 and 1,000 times higher than the permissible limit set by law, and the said study is focused on the impact of sewage discharges on the water quality on the west coast, which further reveals/unearths/brings to light that even the slightest intake of such contaminated sea water by a resident swimming therein, could lead to gastrointestinal illnesses like nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and stomach pain, headaches, fevers, respiratory infections and skin and eye irritation. The same has been reported by the English Daily ‘Hindustan Times’ dated 25/07/2016. Hereto annexed and marked Exhibit ‘E’ is the computer generated print-out of the said article dated 25th July,
The Petitioners state that they have personally visited the coastline of Mumbai on 30-07-2017, and were shocked, surprised and dismayed to notice that there are several points along the coastline at Marine Drive, Mumbai, where they found that the sewage is discharged through big sewage pipes directly into the Arabian Sea at the coast line itself whereas, it is the duty and the responsibility of the Respondent No.2 – Corporation, to discharge sewage at the distance of about 3.7kms from the coast line, which is a practice followed world-wide in-order to keep the coast line clean. Hence, the Corporation is itself flouting with the rule of law, which is one of the primary reason for contamination/pollution of coastal water, which as aforesaid has resulted in Mumbai’s coastal water as being one of the most polluted in the world. Hereto annexed and marked Exhibit ‘F’ are the photographs dated 30-07-2017, of the points along the coast line at Marine Drive, Mumbai, which shows that sewage is being discharged from a big sewage pipe, for which the Respondent No.2 – Corporation is wholly and solely responsible.
The Petitioners state that when they visited Mumbai’s Coastline they found that the trees which are planted on the promenade/footpath there, have no leaves on that part of the tree which are facing the coastline and the same is because of the spill over of the coastal water on the trees, during high tides and the same further establishes the fact that the water is polluted to extreme levels which is prima facie unfit/dangerous/hazardous to entire ecosystem. Hereto annexed and marked as Exhibit ‘G’ are the photographs such trees at the Marine Drive at Mumbai.
The Petitioners further state that the Respondent No.2, are fully aware that they are not treating all the waste at the sewage treatment plants in Mumbai, to the optimum/prescribed level, in order to make it fit for releasing the same into the sea. Moreover the Respondents have further contributed in making Mumbai’s sea, as one of the most polluted in the world, by being aware of the fact that about 25% of waste/sewage is directly discharged into the sea without receiving/ being subjected to any kind of treatment of whatsoever nature, as the same is the sewage released /discharged from slums and small scale industries loacted in the vicinity of the Mithi River. The Respondent No. 2 – Corporation is turning a blind eye to the unabated/uninterrupted flow of such untreated sewage by slum dwellers, which accounts for about 25% sewage generated on a daily basis in Mumbai City. The Respondent No.2 as well as the Respondent No.1, have to come up with a clear policy to cut down the flow of such sewage by slum dwellers by formulating a law in that regard or by way of imposition of a provision under the existing laws, by way of amendment. Hereto annexed and marked Exhibit ‘H’ are the photographs dated 30-07-2017, clicked by the Petitioners at ‘Mithi River’, Dharavi, showing the amount of garbage accumulated/gathered on the surface of the said river and the same also shows, that the sewage is discharged from the slums directly into the said river, as the sewage discharge pipes are clearly visible therein. Thus, the Respondent No.2, has not laid out the drainage system in the slum areas, which as per reports accounts to 25% of untreated sewage into the sea.
The Petitioners further state that as per various surveys conducted relating to the impact/effect of contaminated sea water on the fishes consumed by the residents of Mumbai, which are caught by fishermen within certain kilometres of the coastline, have concluded/held that if, such fishes are consumed then, the same is dangerous to human life, as such fishes carry toxicants, on account of pollution in the sea.
That therefore, this Hon’ble Court be pleased to issue writ of mandamus or any other writ in the nature of mandamus or any other appropriate writ or order or direction and thereby, frame appropriate guidelines to stop the pollution of the coastal waters of Mumbai City.
That this Hon’ble Court be further pleased to direct the Respondents to discharge the sewage at an appropriate distance and stop discharging the same at the coast line;
That this Hon’ble Court be further pleased to direct the Respondents to immediately frame appropriate policy/law in-order to stop the flow of sewage into the ‘Mithi River’, by laying dranage system in the vicinity of the said river and also, to impose penalty on all the dwellers and industrial houses in the vicinity of the said river in case they are found discharging the same in the said river.
That this Hon’ble Court be further pleased to direct the Respondents to upgrade its sewage treatment plants and also further, be pleased to direct them to form a mechanism to verify whether all the sewage treated at such plants is treated to its optimum level.
That this Hon’ble Court be pleased to direct the respondents to increase the number of sewage treatment plants in Mumbai.
That pending the hearing and final disposal of the above Petition this Hon’ble Court be pleased to appoint a commission to assist this Hon’ble Court with regard to the subject-matter of the above Petition.
That the Petitioner has filed the above Petition in a great hurry/urgency and therefore, the Petitioner reserves the right with the leave of this Hon’ble Court to add/alter and/or amend any of the above grounds, and also to correct any technical/provisional requirement of law, if any, with the leave of this Hon’ble Court.
That, the petitioner has not filed any petition in this matter before this Hon’ble High Court or Supreme Court of India, touching the subject-matter of the above Petition.
To the petitioner’s knowledge the Respondent have not filed any caveat application under Section 148-A of Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 in this matter.
That the Petitioner has no other efficacious remedy but, to approach this Hon’ble Court by way of the above Petition which is in the interest of the Public at large.
The Petitioner has paid the prescribed court fees
That the reliefs as prayed for, is granted then no loss, harm, damage, prejudice, and/or injury shall be caused to the Respondents however, if the same are not granted then the same shall result in grave loss, harm, prejudice and injury to the Petitioner, and the same cannot be compensated in terms of money. Moreover, the non grant of reliefs shall result in travesty and miscarriage of justice.
That the Pan Card Number of the Petitioner is
That the above Petition is not barred by the law of limitation.
That the Petitioner source of in-formation is based on the Exhibits and also personal knowledge as spelled-out hereinabove.
That the Petitioner has no personal interest save and except, that the same is filed in the interest of the public at large.
That this Hon’ble Court has the exclusive jurisdiction to try, entertain and dispose of the above Petition.
The Petitioners, therefore, pray :
that this Hon’ble Court be pleased to issue writ of mandamus or any other writ in the nature of mandamus or any other appropriate writ or order or direction and thereby, frame appropriate guidelines to stop the pollution of the coastal waters of Mumbai City;
that this Hon’ble Court be further pleased to direct the Respondents to discharge the sewage at an appropriate distance and stop discharging the same at the coast line;
that this Hon’ble Court be further pleased to direct the Respondents to immediately frame appropriate policy/law, in-order to stop the flow of sewage into the ‘Mithi River’, by laying drainage system in the vicinity of the said river and also, to impose penalty on all the dwellers and industrial houses in the vicinity of the said river in case they are found discharging the same in the said river;
that this Hon’ble Court be further pleased to direct the Respondents to upgrade its sewage treatment plants and also further, be pleased to direct them to form a mechanism to verify whether all the sewage treated at such plants is treated to its optimum level;
that this Hon’ble Court be pleased to direct the respondents to increase the number of sewage treatment plants in Mumbai;
That pending the hearing and final disposal of the above Petition this Hon’ble Court be pleased to appoint a commission/panel of experts to assist this Hon’ble Court with regard to the subject-matter of the above Petition;
for any other and further order as this Hon’ble Court may deem fit and proper, be passed.
A delegation of opposition parties on Thursday met President Ram Nath Kovind and urged him to ensure that a floor test is conducted in the Tamil Nadu assembly so that the Edappadi Palaniswami government proves its majority.
The delegation comprising MPs of DMK, Congress, CPI and CPI-M met the President and urged him that the governor should be persuaded to direct the Chief Minister to take a floor test in the wake of 19 MLAs of the AIADMK faction owing allegiance to TTV. Dinakaran faction withdrawing support to the Chief Minister.
Talking to reporters after the meeting, CPI-M General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said the issue is that of democracy in the country.
DMK MP Kanimozhi said they also told the President that it was time a full-time governor is appointed in the state that is going through a political crisis.
ADB and Centre sign 250 mn dollar loan agreementON JANUARY 31, 2018 BY NARESH SAGARLEAVE A COMMENTEDIT
Asian Development Bank and the Centre have signed a 250 million dollar loan to finance the construction of over 6,200 kilometres all-weather rural roads in Assam, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY).
The program is aimed at improving rural connectivity, facilitating safer and more efficient access to livelihood and socio-economic opportunities for rural communities through improvements to about 12 thousand kilometres Rural Roads across the 5 States.
Joint Secretary (Multilateral Institutions) in Department of Economic Affairs Sameer Kumar Khare signed the loan agreement on behalf of Government of India. Speaking on the occasion, Mr Khare said, the ADB-funded investment program will provide continued assistance to the PMGSY and support the Government’s long-term goal for rural development.
He said, the programme is li…