The Indian Express | 5 days ago | 06-08-2022 | 02:50 pm
Lieutenant Governor (L-G) Vinai Kumar Saxena Saturday suspended and initiated disciplinary proceedings against former excise commissioner Arava Gopi Krishna (IAS officer) and deputy commissioner Anand Tiwari over their alleged involvement in the corruption in the formulation and implementation of Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22.Krishna was the excise commissioner when the policy was formulated and implemented on November 17, 2021, and Anand Tiwari was the deputy commissioner to Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia.Besides them, the L-G also suspended and ordered major disciplinary proceedings against 2 other ad-hoc DANICS officers, the then Deputy Commissioners and 9 other officials of the excise department. Overall, 11 officers from the excise department have been suspended.The officials who have been suspended are Assistant Commissioner Pankaj Bhatnagar, Narinder Singh, Neeraj Gupta, Section Officer Kuljeet Singh, Subhash Ranjan and Suman and Dealing Hand Satya Brat Bhargav, Sachin Solanki and Gaurav Mann.“The LG has taken this decision in view of the serious lapses on part of the officers concerned, including irregularities in finalizing the tender and extending post-tender benefits to select vendors, as brought out by the Directorate of Vigilance (DoV) in its report after inquiry,” sources in the L-G’s office said.The action against the senior officers came following an enquiry report by the Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar and the vigilance department. The Chief Secretary, on July 8, had submitted a report to the L-G and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal alleging corruption and violations of ToBR Rule 57. The report also alleged major procedural lapses and the excise department giving undue benefits on the directions of Excise Minister Manish Sisodia, who is also under the lens of the CBI and Delhi Police’s EOW.Krishna was transferred after the excise department furnished its reply to the Chief Secretary on the seven questions he had raised regarding the excise policy.Following this report, the L-G, in July last week, directed Kumar to submit a detailed report on the role of the officers and civil servants in the illegal formulation and implementation of the policy.Sources said that the officers are also under the scanner as they did not inform the concerned authority despite knowing that “illegal activities were going on and changes were being made by Sisodia on behalf of the cabinet without the approval of L-G”.
As Gujarat received 80 per cent of its average rainfall for this season since July this year, the state now has 21 per cent more water than in August 2021 —enough to last until August 2023 for drinking and irrigation purposes, a release from the state government said on Wednesday.In a high-level meeting chaired by Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel in Gandhinagar, the water department stated that the 207 reservoirs in the state, including the Sardar Sarovar project in Narmada, had a total of 69 per cent water until August 10 — the highest in 13 years.The meeting was held in the presence of the Water Supply and Irrigation Minister Rushikesh Patel, in which the water resources department presented a detailed description of the situation of the reservoirs till August 10.The 207 reservoirs of the state have total storage of 25,266 Million Cubic Metres (MCM) of water of which, 17,687 MCM has already been received, this year until Thursday. According to the status report of the Water Resources and Water Supply Department of the state Thursday, the state had a total storage of 70 per ent. Sardar Sarovar dam is 80 per cent full with storage of 7,598 MCM out of the total designed capacity of 9,460 MCM.On August 11, 2021, Sardar Sarovar only had 4,408 MCM water due to deficit rainfall in the catchment areas of the basin in Madhya Pradesh.This year, however, the inflow into the dam from its mother dams Indirasagar and Omkareshwar projects in MP has been heavy. On Thursday, too, the dam had an inflow of 1.1 lakh cusecs, taking the level to 132.7 metres, which is just six metres short of the Full Reservoir Level.The dam is also releasing water by operating the Canal Head Power House and the Riverbed Powerhouse at full capacity — which results in a release of over 50000 cusec water in total after one full cycle.Zone-wise, South Gujarat has the highest filling of reservoirs at 74.52 per cent Thursday with 6,427 MCM of storage, and eight dams completely filled. In Kutch, which received heavy rainfall on July, 12 of the 20 dams are completely filled. Kutch region has a total of 70 per cent water storage Thursday at 232.63 MCM.Until Thursday, Saurashtra recorded water storage of 63.27 per cent and 19 of the 141 dams completely filled while Central and North Gujarat have recorded a total filling of 50.51 per cent and 31.77 per cent, respectively. While Central Gujarat has two dams completely filled and total storage of 1177.33 MCM, none of the 15 dam schemes in North Gujarat is completely filled.At the meeting Wednesday evening, CM Patel instructed to carry out irrigation works in areas that have received a good monsoon, the government release said. The Chief Minister has emphasised saving and storing the excess water by creating check dams.“It was stated in the meeting that out of the 73 water reservoirs of the state from which water is taken for drinking, 62 water reservoirs have enough water to last till August 2023. The Chief Minister also reviewed the rainfall situation in the state during this meeting. Regarding the review of the rainfall situation, it has been said that an average of 80 per cent of the rain has been received in the state till August 10. Not only that, more than 125 mm of rain has been received by all the talukas of the 33 districts of the state,” the government release stated.
ANAND: Six persons, including three women, were killed after a speeding SUV rammed into an auto-rickshaw and motorbike near Sojitra village in Gujarat's Anand district on Thursday evening, police said. The accident took place on a state highway connecting Anand town with Tarapur, they said. Kirit Padhiyar, who was allegedly driving the SUV, fled from the spot abandoning the vehicle but was later nabbed, said district superintendent of police Ajit Rajian. The deceased were residents of Sojitra and Boriyavi villages in the district, local police officials said. "The driver of the SUV will be booked for culpable homicide not amounting to murder under section 304 of the Indian Penal Code," SP Rajian said.
After forming the Mahagathbandhan (Grand Alliance) government and taking oath as the Bihar Chief Minister for a record eighth time Wednesday, a day after he walked out of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) again, Janata Dal (United) supremo Nitish Kumar said that if BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi had been his deputy CM the situation leading to his snapping ties with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) would not have arisen.The BJP, which was stunned by Nitish’s move, pushed Sushil,70, to the margins of the Bihar political scene despite the fact that the latter had enjoyed a warm and close relationship with the CM in their successive coalition governments as his deputy from November 2005 to June 2013 and again from July 2017 to December 2020.Nitish also had a seamless communication line with former Union minister late Arun Jaitley. The Bihar BJP circles then used to dub it as Nitish’s “Jaitley channel”. Sushil was also known to be close to Jaitley. So, the relations between the two NDA allies had remained smooth at both the state and central levels.However, their ties developed the first crack during the BJP National Executive meet held in Patna in 2010, when big advertisements were published in Bihar newspapers showing the then Gujarat CM and current Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Nitish Kumar in the same frame from a picture from a 2009 Haryana rally. Upset by the ads, Nitish cancelled the dinner he was going to host for the visiting BJP leaders.Although the then ruling JD(U)-BJP alliance had survived but some hiccups remained that eventually reached a breaking point in June 2013. But even then, Nitish had kept Sushil and Jaitley posted about his reservations about Modi’s expected projection as the BJP-led NDA’s PM candidate for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.But now, Nitish did not bother to share his concerns with the BJP central leadership and took them by surprise.Less than a month ago, on July 12, PM Modi shared stage with Nitish at a function held in Patna as part of the Bihar Assembly’s centenary celebrations, where the latter welcomed the PM. PM Modi also praised Nitish, calling him a “popular leader” and a “valuable ally”, highlighting his role in ensuring 50 per cent reservation for women in Panchayat Raj institutions.A hint of a discord that the BJP leaders might have sensed was Nitish’s move to skip four back-to-back central dispensation-held meetings, including the NITI Aayog governing council meeting called by the PM, in recent days.Yet, when Union home minister Amit Shah called up Nitish Monday, a day before he severed his alliance with the BJP, he reportedly told the former that there was “no issue”. A JD(U) leader said: “Even though Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan came to meet Nitish Kumar recently and PM, Shah and Nadda would intermittently call him up, there used to be no warmth in his communications with the BJP brass like he had during Sushil Modi’s stint as his deputy.”He also said, “Both Nitish and Sushil entered politics through the JP Movement in the 1970s and knew each other very well. In the course of their partnership as CM and DCM, if there were any reports of any communal incident from anywhere in the state, Nitish would call up Sushil and another BJP leader Nand Kishore Yadav to hep him defuse it. But with the present set of BJP leaders, Sanjay Jaiswal as their state president and two deputy CMs, Tarkishore Prasad and Renu Devi, there was a huge communication gap.”However, it was said to be his long-standing camaraderie with Nitish that cost him the DCM’s post after the alliance returned to power in the 2020 Assembly polls. Sushil defended himself from the charge coming from within the BJP that he was “too close” to Nitish to their leadership’s discomfort, saying “what he did had the backing of the central leadership and it was important to stay in power than confront the CM”.When the BJP top brass called him to Delhi after the 2020 poll results, Sushil was reportedly told that the “leadership responsibility in government would now go to the younger leaders”. However, Tarkishore Prasad, 64, and Renu Devi, 62, were picked as the DCMs, much to the surpise of everyone. They were reportedly chosen as they belong to the OBC and EBC communities, respectively.The BJP, however, did not attempt to make a leader with some significant political heft Nitish’s deputy. It wanted the party to come out of Nitish’s shadows, and its leaders started to attack the CM in a case of political adventurism. A senior JD(U) leader said: “It is a standard power theory to remain loyal and submissive when you are number two. BJP perhaps had been desperate to become number one against Nitish and ended up losing us”.The BJP seemed to have looked for stop-gap arrangements. Even though it had in its ranks leaders like Ravi Shankar Prasad, Giriraj Singh, Sanjay Jaiswal, Mangal Pandey and Shahnawaz Hussain, it perhaps suprised and disappointed its cadre by choosing Tarkishore and Renu as DCMs over these well-known faces. Ujiyarpur MP and Union minister Nityanand Rai tried to throw his hat into the ring because of his closeness to Amit Shah and Union minister Bhupendra Yadav but his being a Yadav put the BJP in a dilemma – given the fact that the Yadav community along with Muslims has remained the RJD’s core vote base – and his leadership candidature remained more a matter of self-projection.Sushil, a Rajya Sabha MP now, continues to raise state and national issues, but he prefers to keep a low profile. When BJP leaders like Bisfi MLA Haribhushan Thakur would issue anti-Muslim statements at regular intervals upsetting Nitish, the party leadership would never rein him in. It was kind of free-for-all in the BJP. Any second-rung leader would take on Nitish and get away with it. Even Sanjay Jaiswal would occasionally go after Nitish over issues like population control and law and order. The absence of a Bihar BJP in-charge like Bhupendra Yadav also contributed to a rise in tension in its relations with the JD(U).A senior BJP leader said: “Sushil Modi still commands great respect. After he was sidelined in Bihar BJP politics, no other leader seems to have filled his slot… We do not know what Centre wants. Getting a small-stature leader might work elsewhere, not in Bihar, especially when you have a leader of Nitish Kumar’s stature to match up to. Now that we are all by ourselves, let us have a leader in BJP in Bihar.”There had been a growing discomfort in Nitish’s relations with the BJP since they formed the government again after the 2020 polls, with the BJP as the senior partner this time. Finally, the “RCP Singh model of conspiracy” might have given him the handle to pull the plug on it.
Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel on Wednesday launched a course on innovation, entrepreneurship and design thinking for schoolchildren at the Gujarat University on Wednesday.The Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) is developed by Vikram Sarabhai National Children Innovation Centre (VSCIC), under the aegis of Gujarat University Startup and Entrepreneurship Council (GUSEC) and UNICEF.Top Education NewsStrike completes 4 days; UG students steer clear of fee hike protest at IITFirst batch of Indian students stuck back home will arrive 'very soon': ChinaSt Xavier’s University professor quits: ‘Forced to do so over Instagram photos’Click here for more The CM interacted with start-ups and felicitated young innovators actively engaged with the VSCIC as well as finalists of herSTART, the women-focused startup promotion platform of GUSEC.“Everything comes down to the vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat, a vision that startups are boosting by generating jobs and encouraging innovation,” said the CM as quoted by an official release issued by the GUSEC. The Vikram Sarabhai National Children Innovation Centre is a national resource centre established by GUSEC, with the support of UNICEF. Explained by The Indian ExpressDo not just read the news. Understand it. Read our daily explainersRead now The Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) is developed by Vikram Sarabhai National Children Innovation Centre (VSCIC), under the aegis of Gujarat University Startup and Entrepreneurship Council (GUSEC) and UNICEF.Top Education NewsStrike completes 4 days; UG students steer clear of fee hike protest at IITFirst batch of Indian students stuck back home will arrive 'very soon': ChinaSt Xavier’s University professor quits: ‘Forced to do so over Instagram photos’Click here for more The CM interacted with start-ups and felicitated young innovators actively engaged with the VSCIC as well as finalists of herSTART, the women-focused startup promotion platform of GUSEC.“Everything comes down to the vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat, a vision that startups are boosting by generating jobs and encouraging innovation,” said the CM as quoted by an official release issued by the GUSEC. The Vikram Sarabhai National Children Innovation Centre is a national resource centre established by GUSEC, with the support of UNICEF. Explained by The Indian ExpressDo not just read the news. Understand it. Read our daily explainersRead now The CM interacted with start-ups and felicitated young innovators actively engaged with the VSCIC as well as finalists of herSTART, the women-focused startup promotion platform of GUSEC.“Everything comes down to the vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat, a vision that startups are boosting by generating jobs and encouraging innovation,” said the CM as quoted by an official release issued by the GUSEC. The Vikram Sarabhai National Children Innovation Centre is a national resource centre established by GUSEC, with the support of UNICEF. Explained by The Indian ExpressDo not just read the news. Understand it. Read our daily explainersRead now “Everything comes down to the vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat, a vision that startups are boosting by generating jobs and encouraging innovation,” said the CM as quoted by an official release issued by the GUSEC. The Vikram Sarabhai National Children Innovation Centre is a national resource centre established by GUSEC, with the support of UNICEF. Explained by The Indian ExpressDo not just read the news. Understand it. Read our daily explainersRead now
The Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA), the premier rural management institute founded by Dr Verghese Kurien, has applied for the Institute of National Importance (INI) or the national university status under the Ministry of Co-operation.IRMA, which is currently an autonomous and self financed institution, plans for a pan-India presence along with expansion from only two diploma programmes and one fellow programme to multiple programmes, soon.This special recognition, if granted, will not only allow it to open centres across the country but also receive funding from the central government.The Institute of National Importance (INI) is a status that may be conferred on a premier public higher education institution by an act of Parliament, an institution which “serves as a pivotal player in developing highly skilled personnel within the specified region of the country/state”.Also, this will be the fourth institute from Gujarat to get the INI status. In 2020, three institutes from Gujarat were accorded the Institute of National Importance status — Institute of Teaching and Research in Ayurveda Jamnagar, National Forensic Sciences University Gandhinagar and Rashtriya Raksha University Gandhinagar.“An application was submitted in January this year for the national university status,” IRMA Director Dr Umakant Dash told The Indian Express.On applying for the status under Co-operation Ministry instead of the Rural Development Ministry — since IRMA is a rural management institute, Dr Dash said that Rural Development Ministry already has the National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRDPR) and various State Institutes of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (SIRDPR) under it, while the Co-operation Ministry has none.Union Minister for Home and Co-operation Amit Shah, during the IRMA’s 41st convocation ceremony on June 12, had said, “IRMA must contribute even more towards strengthening and development of the co-operative sector.”Dash added, “The need and demand for a National University was felt by the Central Government and thus it (suggestion) came from the Ministry. In December 2021, Shah had announced setting up of a National University in the Lok Sabha.”The premier Institute of Rural Management Anand was established in the year 1979, as a society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860.It is registered as a deemed public trust under section 2(13) of the Bombay Public Trusts Act, 1950. Its flagship Post Graduate Diploma in Management PGDM Rural Management (RM) is recognised as equivalent to a Masters degree by the Association of Indian Universities (AIU).Sharing details of the plans and preparations for expansion of IRMA, Dr Dash said that the institute is “mentally prepared”.“Though this expansion will be in a gradual manner depending upon the support from other state governments, within 2-3 years we are expecting to get a pan-India presence. We are mentally prepared. Also, consulting with various stakeholders to understand the requirements is on,” he added.