Amit Shah asserts India’s sovereignty

On Saturday, BJP President Amit Shah asserted on the point that India is a sovereign country and it has the right to develop the country within its boundaries. He also said that India is dismissing China’s objection to Japan showing interests in investment in the northeastern states.

While addressing a press conference, he said, “India’s policy has been very well clarified by Sushmaji (External Affairs Minister). It is our sovereign right to develop the country inside our boundaries and we will utilise that right.”

Moreover, China has opposed the involvement of any third party in the Sino-Indian boundary disputes or any foreign investments in areas over which it has claimed in the region.

However, a joint statement has been issued by India and Japan on Thursday stating that

the setting up of the Act East Forum and referred to plans to take up infrastructure projects such as road connectivity and electricity in India’s northeastern states.

Chinese Foreign Ministry, spokesperson Huan Hunyin, reacting to it, said,”We are now trying to seek a solution through negotiations that is acceptable to both sides. Under such circumstances, various parties should respect such aspects and any third party should not be involved in our efforts to resolve the disputes.”

Sources – TOI, ZEE News

7 stray forts given ‘protection status’

The seven stray forts in Maharashtra have been granted ‘protection status’ by the State Archaeology department. Under this, the forts are –  Sangram Durg or Chakan fort in Pune, Yashwantgad (Redi) fort in Sindhudurg and Bandkot in Ratnagiri, among others, with plans to protect 48 more.

These forts are built by the Marathas in the 18th century, many of these forts are a part of over 56 stray monuments in the State that neither come under the state archaeology department nor the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
Currently, there are 400 forts in the State, with only 90 under protection.
According to the Times of India, Tejas Garge, director, state department of Archaeology and Museums, told that with the help of Maharashtra’s Fort Conservation Committee, the department had proposed protection to close to 56 forts and temples, which are currently neither under it nor the ASI. He also added, “Of the 56 monuments, seven have been granted protection status, while the remaining 48 may also get this status in future.”

Garge said that the procedure to get protection for monuments as long as revenue recorded from the concerned district collectorates have to be obtained. He said, “In most cases, the monuments are under the ownership of the government. But there are some cases in which we need the transfer of ownership”.

Sources – Times of India

Delhi HC, denies bail for a woman accused in Augusta scam

The Delhi high court on Friday ruled out against the bail for a woman director of two Dubai-based firms, arrested in connection with the probe into the Rs 3,600 crore VVIP chopper money laundering case. Justice A K Pathak said while upholding a trial court’s July 29 order dismissing Shivani Saxena’s bail plea, “The application is dismissed”.

Shivani Saxena, who is the director of M/S UHY Saxena and M/S Matrix Holdings, both located in Dubai was arrested by The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had arrested her on July 17 from Chennai under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). Now, she is currently judicial custody. Presently, ED has chargesheeted chargesheeted the woman and the companies under various sections of the PMLA.

In 2014, the ED had registered a PMLA case, in its money laundering FIR, which named 21 people including Tyagi.

India scrapped the contract with Finmeccanica’s British subsidiary Agusta Westland for supplying 12 AW-101 VVIP choppers on January 1, 2014. The deal was cancelled over alleged breach of contractual obligations and charges of kickbacks to the tune of Rs 423 crore paid by the firm for securing the deal.

News Sources- Indian Express, The Times of India

Demonetisation fails to affect tax collection in Pune

After Centre’s claims of significant rise in the tax collection after demonetisation, the tax collection data for the Pune region shows that there has been no significant change in the tax buoyancy in Pune area. Jurisdiction of Pune region includes the whole of Maharashtra, excluding Mumbai and 11 districts of Nagpur.

It is recorded that between April 1 and September 1 2017, the tax collection increase to 20.34%, which is 4 % less than last year for the corresponding period in 2016.

However, on the other side, before comparing it to individual taxpayers, there has been a rise in corporate tax collected. According to the Times of India, a senior tax official said, “

“This could be possibly because some corporates were underpaying taxes. Also, it could be attributed to the government’s push to net advance taxes this year”.

Tax collection from individuals till September 12 this year is 17%, lesser compared to the same period in last year. Tax data from April 1 to September 12, 2016 was about 28% of the tax collection for the entire fiscal.
Nonetheless, the data is yet needed some minor corrections, as tax officials said. They also added, tax collection is still going on and people have claimed returns in the deposited amount.

News Sources- Times of India

Dengue becomes severe in Pune

According to the state health department, Pune city is recorded with 1,047 dengue cases and 5 deaths. As the dengue sting gets lethal but the state health department has refused on spread of the disease “officials blamed the prevailing weather conditions for the rise in dengue cases.”

M S Diggikar, joint director (vector-borne diseases) of the state health department, said, “ “The intermittent drizzles followed by sunny days as seen during August and September created conducive breeding grounds for Aedes Aegypti — the mosquito that causes dengue”.

Moreover, when it comes to counting number of diseases, pune city continues to be first in rank with 320 cases, followed by Bombay 295. Activists working on the issue have said that the health department does not take the necessary steps and as a result people suffer.

Health activists, Abhijit More said, “During the Ganesh festival, the health authorities could have used audio-visual and other mass media tools to reach a large number of the population. Besides, municipal corporations need to set up dedicated fever clinics, especially during the monsoon, to identify patients suffering from the disease at early stage. Early detection and treatment hold the key to ward off the menace that dengue has become.”

News Sources- Times of India

Madhya Pradesh Government orders school students to say Jai Hind for attendance

In order to inculcate patriotism, a school in Madhya Pradesh have asked the students to respond to their daily roll call with a” Jai Hind”, instead of the traditional yes ma’am or yes sir. All the government schools in Satna have been directed to ensure this new rule should be implemented starting from October 1.

BJP-run Madhya Pradesh’s school education minister Vijay Shah to ANI said, “For now, this is just a suggestion (for private schools in Satna); we hope they’ll adhere to it since it relates to patriotism.”

He also added, “if the experiment turns successful”, the ‘Jai Hind’-for-yes, ma’am’ response will be made mandatory in all of Madhya Pradesh’s schools. Shah has been focused on a drive to ‘instill strong patriotic values’ in people.

Adding to his statement he also told ANI that if the mission is successful, we will also try to start this in all the schools of Madhya Pradesh after seeking CM’s permission.

Shah’s order comes after supreme court’s mandating national anthem in cinema halls across the country.
Sources – India Today, TOI
Image sources – Indian Express (Representational image)

Ganesh Pandals still on Pune roads; Citizens face trouble

It has been almost two weeks that Ganesh Utsav has ended in the city, still, the pandals have not been dismantled. Pedestrians have been facing trouble in walking on the footpaths along JM Road, Pune.  Pandals have restricted the space and pits, which were dug to plant poles still remain.

According to the Times of India, citizens of the city reported that footpaths have been suffering for about 20 days because the construction of pandals began a full 10 days before the festival this year. People have started seeking actions and they believe it’s time authorities initiate some strong legal action.
According to this year festival guidelines, the organisations are supposed to complete the permissions process four to five days before the start of the Ganesh Festival. The municipal corporation own records reveal that less than 50% of organisers have completed the formalities to construct pandals. Moreover, it is estimated that nearly, 1000 Ganesh organisations applied for permission this year, and rest 1500 mandalas, ran without permission. However, the civic administration has not taken any step against them.
Image and news source – TOI