Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Narendra Modi's 10 questions to Indians over demonetisation

Narendra Modi

After receiving flak from all corners especially from middle class and lower income groups, the Indian Prime Minister Narendra has put 10 questions before Indians to know their opinion over demonetisation.

The questions are available on the Narendra Modi mobile application. It may be mentioned that middle class and lower income groups are facing heat after the Narendra Modi of demonetisation. More than 50 persons died in queues standing to change their currency . There are chaos reported from rural India where people are not getting enough currency for their daily needs.

People can submit their views through a survey consisting of 10 questions, which is available through the Narendra Modi App. Sharing the link to this survey, the Prime Minister tweeted today that he wants a first-hand view from the people, regarding this decision. 

The ten questions in the Survey are as follows: 

1. Do you think that black money exists in India? a. Yes b. No 

2. Do you think the evil of corruption and black money needs to be fought and eliminated? 
a. Yes b. No 

3. Overall, what do you think about the Government's moves to tackle black money? 

4. What do you think of the Modi Government's efforts against corruption so far? Scale of 1 to 5 - outstanding, very good, good, ok, useless 

5. What do you think of the Modi Government's move of banning old Rs 500 & Rs 1000 notes? a. Great move in the right direction b. Good move c. Will make no difference 

6. Do you think demonetisation will help in curbing black money, corruption & terrorism? a. It will have an immediate impact b. There will be impact in medium to long term c. Minimal impact d. Don't know 

7. Demonetisation will bring real estate, higher education, healthcare in the common man's reach a. Completely Agree b. Partially Agree c. Can’t say 

8. Did you mind the inconvenience faced in our fight to curb corruption, black money, terrorism and counterfeiting of currency? a. Not at all b. Somewhat, but it was worth it c. Yes 

9. Do you believe some anti-corruption activists are now actually fighting in support of black money, corruption & terrorism? a. Yes b. No 

10. Do you have any suggestions, ideas or insights you would like to share with PM Narendra Modi? 

The Prime Minister has sought answers on very pointed and direct aspects of the decision of 500 and 1000 rupee notes ceasing to be legal tender. He has also sought feedback from the people on how to make the implementation stronger.

BJP MLA Krishna Khopde's son books for attempt to murder

A youth, said to be a friend of BJP MLA Krishna Khopde’s two sons, was murdered near Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’s house in Gokulpeth locality of the city. 

The murder is fall out of a drunken brawl allegedly involving the MLA’s son, Abhilash, and a bar owner's son. According to police, Shubham Mahakalkar (23), a resident of Ganeshpeth was stabbed to death allegedly by bar owner Sawan alias Sunny Bambrotkar’s brother Shobhit and his accomplices. Shubham had arrived at the scene after a distress call from Abhilash Khopde, who had a fight with Sunny and his staffers over delay in service at the bar. Shubham had gone there along with Khopde’s second son, Rohit.

Abhilash had reportedly injured Sunny by hitting him on the head with a cold drink bottle, and had allegedly ransacked the bar with his accomplices, It was capture in the CCTV. Shubham, who was killed later, was not involved in the scuffle, sources said.

The murder took place 500 metres from the bar, where the police had arrived after Sunny’s call. Shobhit and his accomplices, who came to the spot after the brawl inside the bar, left the spot after seeing the police and started looking for Abhilash and his friends. They managed to zero in on Rohit and his friends and attacked them, police sources said. Another youth Akshay Khandare was also grievously injured in the attack.

Shobhit has been booked for Shubham’s murder. The area is within the one-km radius of the CM’s house and has turned out to be one of the city’s crime hotspots over the last two years, with at least three incidents of firing and four murders taking place.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Nagpur: SBI bank employee dies of heart attack while on duty

The scramble by millions of panicked Indians to exchange banned currency or deposit them turned tragic when a bank employee of State Bank of India (SBI) Nagpur Branch died due to cardiac arrest in the bank on Friday afternoon. 

The nationwide toll due to various reasons related to demonetisation reached to 31. According to police, Rampantula Venkatesh Rajesh (51) was busy doing cash works in the bank when he suffered a cardiac arrest at around 11.45 am. 

He started sweating profusely and soon collapsed in the bank. Employees and customers panicked after the incident and offered water to him. As R V Rajesh was not responding, the bank employees rushed him to Wockhardt Hospital where the attending doctors tried hard to revive him. He was declared dead after all efforts failed.

R V Rajesh was an ex-serviceman working as the customer service assistant at SBI Nagpur’s Gandhi Nagar branch. The demonetization move of the Narendra Modi government created chaos across the country. Many people are still at the receiving end standing in long queues and facing tough time to get their money deposited or changed. Banking staff also getting stressed due to work overload.

A bank peon died of a massive heart attack in Pune rural yesterday. He was stressed handling large crowds and working 12 hours a day. In another case, a 48-year old man, who came to deposit Rs five lakh worth scrapped high denomination notes in a bank in Thalassery in Kerala, died after he fell down from the second floor of a building. While in Bhopal, a SBI cashier died of heart attack. Bank employees have been putting in extra hours and handling large queues.

Demonetisation: Long queues outside banks a serious issue, there could be riot, says Apex court

Hearing petitions challenging the ban on Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes the Apex court of India warned that this is very serious. People have become frantic, people are affected. There may be riots.

The bench led by Chief Justice of India TS Thakur, and comprising Justice Anil R Dave asked Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi if there was a problem with printing new notes.

The CJI then countered it by saying that there was difficulty and suffering and the government cannot dispute that. The apex court took exception to the government's decision to reduce the exchange limit to Rs 2000. The Attorney General told the court that any case relating to demonetisation should be heard by the apex court only and High Courts should not be allowed to hear such petitions. 
"People have the right to approach courts. We cannot shut our doors to the people. If we shut them from going to the High Court, how can we know the magnitude of the problem," said CJI Thakur

Rejecting this the court said that people were going to the courts for relief and it showed the magnitude of the problem.  Senior Advocate leader Kapil Sibbal said that 47 people had died waiting in queues and asked the court to intervene. 

Countering Sibal's argument, Rohatgi called him politically motivated. He added that the government was issuing notifications everyday only because it was concerned about people's problems. The Chief Justice then asked whether there was shortage in Rs 100 notes. Owning up that there was a shortage, Rohatgi said that "Rs 100 notes were in shortage. The demonetised notes were over 80% of our currency."

The Attorney General told the court that people have been allowed to swipe in SBI card-swipe machines and withdraw money. The SC will take up the matter on November 25. Four PILs have been filed in the SC alleging that the sudden decision to demonetise has inconvenienced the public and created chaos.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Rs 92 lakh seized from BJP minister in Maharashtra

Cash worth over Rs 91 lakh belonging to Lokmangal Group of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s MLA and Cooperative minister in the state government Subhash Deshmukh, was seized by the squad of Osmanabad municipality on Wednesday. The cash reportedly comprised of the now-invalid tender of Rs 1000.

After news of seizure of notes spread in the Maharashtra, the opposition united and launched salvo at the government for indulging in corruption. The opposition demanded immediate action against Deshmukh as the vehicle belongs to Deshmukh, said spokesperson of Congress Party. 

The opposition has also sought an enquiry by Income Tax department into bank transactions of state BJP leaders to "unearth black money". When our reporter contacted Deshumukh, he was not reachable. His assistant claimed that the minister is out of town.

"(Recovery of cash) proves that BJP leaders are in the possession of black money. Since the government has launched a campaign against black money and corruption, properties of the BJP leaders should be searched to unearth black money.

State unit Congress spokesman Sachin Sawant has demanded a probe by I-T department into the bank accounts of prominent BJP leaders in the state and the transactions made into them in the last six months.

A few days ago after the demonetisation, old currency notes worth more than Rs 6 crore were seized from the brother of a BJP MLA in western Maharashtra while Rs 91 lakh has been seized from Subhash Deshmukh's Lokmangal Bank in Umerga town, Sawant stated.

"He (the minister) should be sacked from the ministry and arrested," NCP spokesman Nawab Malik said in a press conference. 

India's DRDO developes four new Naval systems

India's Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) have developed four Naval Systems including ABHAY – Compact Hull Mounted SONAR for Shallow Water Crafts, HUMSA UG – Upgrade for the HUMSA SONAR System, NACS – Near-field Acoustic Characterisation System, and AIDSS – Advanced Indigenous Distress SONAR System for submarines.

The systems have been designed and developed by NPOL, a Kochi based premier laboratory of DRDO which has outstanding contributions and achievements in the design of SONAR systems for the Indian Navy to its credit. ABHAY is an advanced Active-cum-Passive integrated SONAR system designed and developed for the smaller platforms such as shallow water crafts and coastal surveillance/patrol vessels. Designed using the latest technology in hardware architecture and advanced signal processing algorithms, the SONAR is capable of detecting, localizing, classifying and tracking sub-surface and surface targets in both its active and passive modes of operation.

The prototype of this compact SONAR ABHAY installed onboard a nominated Naval platform has successfully completed all user evaluation trials to demonstrate the features as per the Naval Staff Qualification Requirements. Indian Navy has proposed to induct this SONAR on three of the ABHAY class ships. Intensifying the command over the high seas is the HUMSA-UG that is designed for upgrading the existing HUMSA SONAR system of the Indian Naval platforms. The hardware architecture is based on the state-of-the-art open architecture processor technologies that will enable smooth upgrade of the system capabilities. This system is proposed to be installed on seven ships of three different classes of ships.

NACS determines the in-situ performance of the SONAR systems which are used to find the frequency-dependent 3-D transmission and reception characteristics of the SONAR. It is also used to measure the magnitude and phase characteristics of the SONAR transmission and reception electronics and the transducers. The NACS has been integrated with the HUMSA-NG SONAR array and proved onboard Naval platforms and this will be fitted on all frontline ships.

NPOL has also developed AIDSS, a distress SONAR that is an Emergency Sound Signaling Device which is used to indicate that a submarine is in distress and enable quick rescue and salvage. It is a life-saving alarm system designed to transmit SONAR signals of a pre-designated frequency and pulse shape in an emergency situation from a submarine for long period, so as to attract the attention of Passive SONARS of Ships or Submarines in the vicinity and all types of standard rescue vessels in operation. It is also provided with a transponder capability. With the induction of these four systems, the underwater surveillance capability of the Indian Navy will get a boost, besides providing a fillip to the quest for self-reliance in this critical area of technology.

The systems will be handed over to the Indian Navy by the Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar at a function on Friday. Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba will formally take over the systems from the Defence Minister.

NMRCL: Nagpur Metro Rail Project gets Euro 130 million AFD credit

Nagpur Metro on Thursday achieved financial closure of the project by securing a credit of Euro 130 million from AFD (French Development Agency). 

A Credit Facility Agreement in this regard was signed between the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance and AFD. Selvakumar, Joint Secretary (DEA) and Nicolas Fornage, Regional Director for South Asia, AFD signed the agreement in the presence of French Ambassador Alexandre Ziegler in New Delhi. 

The 20 year period credit with a moratorium of five years, will be used for funding Signalling, Telecom, Automatic Fare Collection Systems and Lifts and Escalators. 
Earlier, in April, 2016, Government of India signed a loan agreement with KfW Germany for 500 million Euro for Nagpur Metro. 

With today’s credit agreement, Nagpur Metro which was incorporated in February,2015 and commenced civil works in May last year has achieved financial closure in a record 18 months. Order for rolling stock has already been placed and tendering of other packages for power supply, traction systems, signaling, telecom, automatic fare collection system etc., are in advanced stages.