2nd February, 2014
- Jammu and Kashmir Cabinet approves setting up of new administrative units in the state.
- Assam government recommends CBI probe into killing of 10 people by miscreants from Arunachal Pradesh; A top militant killed.
- VAT payment procedures simplified for Delhi traders.
- Around 12 Indian sailors missing as a cargo ship sinks in Yemen.
- Thailand goes to polls today to elect a new Parliament, amidst protests by opposition.
- Former world champion Viswanathan Anand suffers second consecutive defeat in the Zurich Chess Challenge.
Jammu and Kashmir Cabinet has approved the setting-up of 659 new Administrative Units in the State. Addressing news persons in Jammu yesterday, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said that the Cabinet has directed Finance and Revenue Departments to prepare a roadmap for implementation of these new units. Describing the decision as historic, the Chief Minister said, this will benefit a large number of people in the State.
Giving details, he said as many as 46 sub-divisions and 135 tehsils, 177 CD blocks, 301 niabats, has been recommended by the concerned Cabinet Sub Committee. The CSC has also given their opinion on converting Patwar Halqas into Panchayats in the state. A political storm brewed in Jammu and Kashmir in the past few weeks over the proposal to create new administrative units with National Conference refusing to budge from its stand in its favour while coalition partner Congress and some others were opposing it. Yogesh Sharrma, AIR Jammu.
In Assam, security forces have gunned down a most wanted cadre of militant outfit Kamatapur Liberation Organization, KLO in Kokrajhar district last night following an encounter. Kokrajhar SP, Sunil Kumar said that the slain cadre was identified as Brindaban Rajbonshi. Meanwhile, the Assam government has recommended a CBI probe into the killing of 10 persons in Sonitpur district on Wednesday by the miscreants from Arunachal Pradesh.
Commissioner- Secretary of Home department G D Tripathi said that the Assam government has recommended CBI probe. Earlier, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi also condemned the incident and announced to ask the Centre for an inquiry. Meanwhile, vehicles between Sonitpur and Arunachal Pradesh are plying amidst tight security. Several organization blocked movement of vehicles at national highway after Arunachali miscreant killed 10 persons at Chaudhua area under Behali reserve forest in Sonitpur district on Wednesday. Security has been deployed at Chauldhua after this incident. Manas Pratim Sarma, AIR News, Guwahati.
Senior Congress Leader and former Union Minister Harish Rawat has taken over as the 8th Chief Minister of Uttarakhand. Governor Aziz Qureshi administered him the oath of office and secrecy along with 11 Cabinet colleagues at Raj Bhawan in Dehradun yesterday.
Our government has taken up the work of reconstruction and rehabilitation of Uttarakhand at first and I will carry it forward with more promptness and speed. My second step will be to decide the priorities for the development of the state in consultation with others.
VAT payment procedures have been simplified for traders in Delhi. This will help them to pay tax regularly and in a hassle free manner. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal made the announcements while interacting with various traders and markets organisations of the city at Delhi Secretariat. He said the government has also decided to scrap Audit Report 1 which was mandatory for traders with an annual turnover exceeding 10 crore rupees. An official release said, the government has raised the ceiling limit of composition scheme from 50 lakh to 1 crore rupees for availing a simplified VAT procedure by small dealers. The simplified procedure allows small traders to pay one per cent tax on their turnover.
The Election Commission has circulated draft guidelines on election manifestos to all the National and State Parties requesting them to offer their comments by the 7th of this month. The Commission will incorporate these suggestions into the guidelines which will then become part of the Model Code of Conduct and will be applicable to all elections in future.
The Election Commission will carry out vulnerability mapping in Gujarat before the Lok Sabha polls, based on which the deployment of security forces during the elections would be strategised. This was stated by the Deputy Election Commissioner Vinod Zutshi in Ahmedabad while reviewing poll preparedness in the state. Our correspondent has the details:
After meeting the district electoral officers, superintendent of Police and other top officials, Mr. Zutshi expressed satisfaction over the poll preparedness in Gujarat. Mr.Zutshi also suggested to hold district and state level workshop of political parties to brief them about the new guidelines of the commission for the coming Lok Sabha elections. He also instructed the chief electoral officer of state to start voter help line in all districts within a week time to facilitate the voters. Yogesh Pandya, AIR News, Ahmedabad.
In Thailand, voting to elect a new Parliament is underway, with anti-government protesters forcing the closure of more than 10 per cent of constituency polling stations. Election Commission Secretary General Puchong Nutrawong said protesters prevented voting across 12 southern provinces and in at least two Bangkok constituencies. Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra voted soon after polls opened near her Bangkok home. Anti-government protesters say they will disrupt voting across Thailand and continue their campaign to force Ms Yingluck to quit.
In Syria, at least 46 civilians were killed yesterday, after the Syrian regime helicopters dropped explosive-packed barrels on rebel-held areas of the northern city of Aleppo. The latest bombing comes as UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called the Syrian situation the most urgent security challenge in the world today. Ban Ki Moon met the US Secretary of State John Kerry and the Russian Foreign Minster Sergei Lavrov on the sidelines of an international security conference in Munich and requested them to use their influence to ensure the early resumption of peace talks aimed at finding a comprehensive political solution to the crisis in Syria.
Ban Ki Moon appealed to the Syrian Government and the opposition to come back for the peace talks scheduled for February 10 in Geneva with a more constructive approach. The UN Chief called for unfettered access of relief materials and aid to the Syrian people in the besieged city of Homs. The Syrian Government has dismissed this idea and said focus has to be on wiping out terrorism. Atul K Tiwary, AIR News.
About 12 Indian sailors went missing after their cargo ship sank off the coast of southeast Yemen's Hadramout province yesterday. Yemeni authorities said, the merchant ship fell while transporting car tyres and car parts near Hadramout’s coast. Rescue boats have been sent and Coast Guards in the area have been alerted to help in the search for the missing Indian sailors. Indian Embassy in Sanaa is working closely with the Yemeni authorities.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will inaugurate the Bi-Centenary celebrations of the Indian Museum in Kolkata today. Dr. Singh will unveil the modernized Indian Museum and will release a monograph on the history of 200 years of Indian Museum.
On this day in 1814 the Indian Museum was established. The Museum was housed at the Asiatic Society in Kolkata from 1814 to 1878. Initially it was known as the ‘Asiatic Society museum`, subsequently known as ‘Imperial Museum` and later as the ‘Indian Museum`. This Museum is the largest Museum in the country, which occupies a resplendent mansion and exhibits an Egyptian Mummy, the Buddhist Stupa from Bharut, the Buddha’s ashes, the ‘Ashoka Pillar besides rare collection of antiques, amour and ornaments, fossils, skeletons and Mughal paintings. Arijit Chakraborty, AIR News, Kolkata.
Former world champion Viswanathan Anand has suffered a shock defeat at the hands of Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura of United States in the Zurich Chess Challenge tournament. The defeat came in the second round of the event which is being held in Zurich. Having lost to Levon Aronian of Armenia in the first round, Anand now finds himself at the last spot in the highest category event.
In Tennis, India has gained an unassailable 3-0 lead over Chinese Taipei in the Asia-Oceania Group-I Davis Cup tie at Indore. In the Doubles rubber, the duo of Rohan Bopanna and Saketh Myneni sailed past the pair of Hsin-Han Lee and Hsien-Yin Peng, to win the tie.
- Most papers have reported about protests by students from the North East over Nido Taniam's death in Delhi. The Hindustan Times, The Statesman and The Tribune show these students holding a candle light vigil. "No arrest yet for Jan 25 attack in city" writes The Times of India. The paper reports of two Manipuri women thrashed in full public view, just 4 days after the earlier incident.
- There's new twist in the VVIP chopper case. Papers write of middle man Christian Michel telling Augusta West land officials to contact close advisors of Sonia Gandhi to clinch the 3600 crore rupee deal. "Copter scam throws muck at Congress brass", writes Mail Today.
- "A viable alternative" writes the Hindu, of several parties, which are meeting in Delhi, on the 5th of February to discuss a non Congress, non BJP alternative.
- The Tribune has a picture of Harish Rawat taking oath as the Chief Minister of Uttarakhand.
- 'NTPC gives ultimatum to BSES - Power play - 10 days reprieve for Delhites" writes The Pioneer. The Hindustan Times puts it as 'No outages till Feb 10, discoms get time to pay".
- 'DD won't blush at 'A' movies anymore' writes the Asian Age, on its front page. The paper adds that the I&B ministry is now taking a favourable view of airing shows with adult content for mature audiences.
- Would you like to shop at Harrods, Macys or Selfridges, in the comfort of your own home? Its possible now, says the Times of India, as these upscale stores are delivering to online orders from India.