Delhi High Court questions the 15-day duration of Odd-Even scheme

The Delhi High Court (HC) on Wednesday questioned the 15-day duration of the Odd-Even scheme implemented by the Delhi Government. The policy was formulated by the Arvind Kejriwal led government in a bid to bring down the alarming levels of pollution in the National Capital.

“Can’t you restrict Odd-even to a week?”, HC asked the Delhi government.

The court, responding to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) that sought the repealing of the Odd-Even scheme, asked the government if the policy can be stopped after Friday. Further, it has asked the government to submit the data on pollution levels between January 1-7.

Despite the cooperation from the side of citizens, the policy implementation has caused a lot of difficulties for the public, the court said. Also, highlighting about the increased number of cabs on the roads of Delhi, the court asked if there is any check to know whether they are all CNG cars.

Although, the Odd-even scheme has considerably helped in reducing traffic congestion in the city, the effectiveness of the policy with respect to bringing down pollution levels still remains doubtful.

Source: The Indian Expresss, Hindustan Times

Fourth edition of Delhi Literature Festival to begin on Jan 8

The Delhi Literature Festival, commencing on January 8th at Delhi Haat, is all set to raise discussions on ‘how to get published’, ‘populism of poetry’ and ‘the age of intolerance.’ This will be the fourth consecutive edition.

The 3-day long prestigious literary event, will host more than 50 authors, journalists, publishers, diplomats and political leaders from all across the country who will engage in meaningful and engaging discussions. The festival is scheduled to be inaugurated by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and later followed by a felicitation of eminent Urdu poet Munawwar Rana for his contribution to Urdu poetry. Unlike previous editions, thye festival will not witness participation by international writers and it will mostly be dominated by city- based authors like Kumar Vishwas, Madhulika Liddle, Om Thanvi, etc.  Supriya Suri, Director of Delhi Literature Festival said, “With an increase in the number of participation of authors, the entire program me content is new this time.” A session on growing “intolerance” that took the country by storm will set the debate rolling at the festival. For the discussion, author and senior journalist Saba Naqvi is slated be in conversation with social activist and thinker Seshadri Chari, former Bharatiya Janata Party ideologue Sudheendra Kulkarni, and diplomat Mani Shankar Aiyar.

Apart from this, William Dalrymple’s latest “Return of a King: The Battle for Afghanistan” and “Bihari” are among most awaited book releases at the event. Hosted by eminent journalist Shishir Gupta, the session is set to bring contemporary social issues and issues of identity to the table. Keeping in mind, the roaring success of mythological fiction, the festival is set to host a special session with bestselling authors like Suhail Mathur, Vikas Singh and Christopher Doyle.

With an aim of providing useful insights to authors on how to get their writings published, leading publishing houses like Penguin India, Harper Collins, Penguin India, Red Ink will share the tricks of the trade with them. The concluding session of the festival, “Rediscovery of India,” which will be an offering tribute to the country’s first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, will see his great grandson Rahul Gandhi engaging in a discussion with eminent television journalist Barkha Dutt.

The literary event which will conclude on January 10, will witness around 2000 people who have already confirmed their presence.


File charge sheet against Hardik: SC tells Gujarat

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Gujarat government to file a case against Hardik Patel, the leader of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) who stirred the Patidar community controversy in Gujarat last year. Patel has been in jail for the last two months and his bail plea was earlier rejected by the Gujarat government.

A bench led by Justice J S Khehar was asked by Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi that the state police have to file the charge sheet draft by January 8. The court, in a statement said that it would examine the charge sheet filed and would give a verdict on the alleged sedition offence in a hearing scheduled on January 14.

Two cases of sedition, one in Surat and another in Ahmedabad were filed against him after he lead protests that intensified the Patel community’s demand for reservation. The court also asked the government to provide a copy of charge sheet to Patel immediately after the state drafts it.


Sources: NDTV , TOI 


Malini Parthasarathy resigns as Editor-in-chief of The Hindu

 New Delhi: Malini Parthasarathy resigned from the post of the editor in chief of The Hindu newspaper. According to the sources, this came out as an abrupt resignation after the stormy board meeting, where the board members discussed expenditure relating to the launch of Mumbai edition of the newspaper. Also, what infuriated Parthasaraty was, being questioned by the board about the incurring of the expenditure. She was named as the first woman editor-in-chief of The Hindu newspaper after being appointed by the board of Kasturi and Sons Ltd (KSL), publishers at its meeting on January 20, 2015.

Though she took the charge on February 1, 2015, Malini Parthasarathy has resigned before she completed a year, owing to differences with the company board. She has worked at The Hindu in varying capacities for years and in recent months she also strengthened the paper’s editorial capabilities. She is one of the shareholders of the Kasturi and Sons Ltd. She succeeded Siddhartha Varadarajan who was editor till 2011. After Varadarajan departed from the newpaper, the publication also saw the exit of well known journalist such as editor for rural affairs P. Sainath, and national security specialist Praveen Swami. As per the sources, chances are that Suresh Nambath, national editor at The Hindu can be the interim editor of the newspaper.




Migrant crisis: 27 bodies found along the Turkish coast

At least 27 bodies have been found washed up along the 2 different areas of the Aegean coast of Turkey after their boats capsized on their way to island of Lesbos, on Tuesday.

While seventeen bodies were washed up on a shoreline in the district of Ayvalik, the other ten were found in the district of Dikili, said a local official to Reuters. Though the flow of Syrian migrants using the sea to find refuge in Europe dipped in the end of last year due to the cold weather, the total figure was summed up to a million in 2015. The coast guard rescued around 12 people from the Ayvalik coastline while operations to find the rest of the survivors have begun. “We heard a boat sink and hit the rocks. I surmise these people died when they were trying to swim from the rocks. We came here to help as citizens,” an unnamed eyewitness said to Reuters.

Since the start of the civil war, five years ago, Turkey has been host to 2.2 million Syrians, having spent $8.5 billion on their housing and feeding.


Is the man in the new ISIS video an Indian born converted Muslim?

In the latest ISIS released video, the terrorist who is being referred to as the new Jihadi John seems to be an Indian origin Muslim with the name Siddharth Dhar.  The terrorist is based in Britain and is currently referred to with the name Abu Rumaysah.

The terrorist reportedly fled from Britain after getting bail to instill terrorist activities. Later, he flew to Syria to join the ISIS. The 32 year old shifted from Britain with his Wife and children to be a part of the militant organisation as well as converted to Islam. Abu Rumaysah ran a small business of renting bouncy castles in the capital of Britain before becoming a part of  Al Muhajiroun. The video which was released showed the killing of five UK men who were spying on the workings and operations of the ISIS. The main objective and concern in the new released threat video is Siddharth Dhar.

The accused’s sister and mother have both seen the latest ISIS released video and have noticed similarity in the voice of the terrorist (who was masked) as well their son/brother. Siddharth Dhar’s mother said, “Yes, I have had heard the voice in the video but I don’t know, I’m unsure of the voice. This is the most difficult questions to answer. I just can’t say.”

Siddharth Dhar is referred to as the new Jihadi John by the British media after the release of the video. The accused’s sister said that he had converted to Islam religion more than 10 years from now. All she has now are fond memories of them together as children. Siddharth’s former neighbors claimed that his wife might have been the reason for him to choose the path of extremism. Dhar’s earlier business associate confirmed that the man in the video was indeed him.


Pakistan must continue to target all militant groups: John Kirby

Washington: After Islamabad announced it has commenced work on the “leads” provided by India, a top US official stated that, US expects Pakistan will take steps against the committers of the terror outbreak on Indian Airforce (IAF) base in Pathankot.

John Kirby, State department Spokesman on Monday said, “The government of Pakistan has spoken very powerfully to this and it’s certainly our expectation that they’ll treat this exactly the way they’ve said they would.” Calling terrorism a “shared challenge” in South Asian region, the US also asked all countries in this part of the world, to work hand in hand in disrupting and dismantling the terrorist web. America has noted that the Pakistan government, also publicly and privately criticized this terror attack.

Kirby in a statement said that, US has been clear with the highest administration of the government of Pakistan that it will continue its target operations of all militant groups. The government of Pakistan has publicly and privately said that there will be no discrimination among terrorist groups as part of its counter-terrorism operation. “So this is a shared challenge that we all face in the region and we in the United States want everybody to treat it as a shared challenge,” Kirby said, adding that the US has strongly condemned the terrorist attack on the Indian Air Force (IAF) base in Punjab’s Pathankot.

Kirby stated that, US will continue to engage with the government of Pakistan to that end the threat of terrorism. He believes that there’s more everybody can do, as this is a shared challenge, and this challenge doesn’t necessarily observe borders and boundaries. Kirby also noted that normalization of relations between India and Pakistan remains crucial to the security and economic growth of the entire territory.