08032018-TT-01.qxd 3/7/2018 10:46 PM Page 1 13 established in 1881 thursday, march 8, 2018 haryana chandigarh | gurugram | jalandhar | bathinda | jammu | srinagar | www.tribuneindia.com | vol. 138 no. 65 | 20 pages | ~4.50 | regd. no. chd/0006/2018-2020 /thetribunechd /thetribunechd Central govt staff get 2% hike in DA Thaw in ties? Pak yes to Delhi proposals SC:Aadhaar not New Delhi, March 7 The Union Cabinet today approved the release of an additional instalment of dearness allowance (DA) and dearness relief (DR) for Central Government employees and pensioners. The decision to hike the DA by 2 per cent was taken at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The employees will now get DA and DR at 7 per cent of the basic pay and pension, respectively. The same will be given with retrospective effect from January 1, 2018. The government said the DA and DR had been hiked to compensate for the price rise. The hike will benefit about 48.41 lakh employees and 61.17 lakh pensioners. The combined impact on the exchequer would be Rs 6,077.72 crore per annum and Rs 7,090.68 crore in financial year 2018-19 (for a period of 14 months i.e. January, 2018 to February, 2019). The increase is in accordance with the formula based on the recommendations of the 7th Central Pay Commission. — TNS Smita Sharma Accepts humanitarian plan on civilian prisoners, willing to de-escalate ‘LoC environment’ Tribune News Service New Delhi March 7 Amidst continuing bloodshed along the Line of Control, India and Pakistan today acceded to humanitarian proposals. Islamabad accepted three humanitarian gestures proposed by India on the issue of civilian prisoners on both sides. In a formal statement, Pakistan said Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif has accepted proposals that include exchange of three categories of prisoners — women, mentally challenged or with special needs and those above 70 years of age. Pakistan has also said yes to revival of the Joint Judicial Committee mechanism that looks into issues of fishermen and prisoners in each other’s custody. The committee last met in October 2013 in India. Also, the proposal to facilitate the visit of medical experts from both sides to meet and examine the mentally-challenged prisoners for their repatriation, has been cleared by Islamabad. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had discussed these proposals with Pakistani envoy Sohail Mahmood on October 17 last year. She had informed the Parliament Consultative Committee about these proposals on December 21. The proposals were then discussed through internal channels of communication between New Delhi and Islamabad. MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar Flagging concerns effort to de-escalate the extremely vitiated current environment and the situation on the LoC and the Working Boundary,” said the Pakistan Foreign Ministry statement. The two neighbours have witnessed much hostility in ties over the past year with diplomatic slugfest ensuing after the meeting between Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav lodged in Pakistani jail and his mother and wife in Islamabad on December 25 last year. SC:Cannot obstruct marriage by consent RELIEF FOR STRESSED TELECOM SECTOR New Delhi: The Centre has come out with measures to help the domestic telecom sector by allowing restructuring of deferred payment liabilities of spectrum auction of telecom service providers . PAGE 8 said,“The officials on both sides would be working on the modalities to implement the understanding reached on the humanitarian issues.” Additionally, Pakistan has proposed the exchange of prisoners above 60 years and below 18 years of age, which is expected to be accepted soon by India, as per sources. “He (Foreign Minister) also stated that... through such initiatives, Pakistan and India would embark on the road to a comprehensive dialogue, and make a conscious An Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) supporter waves the party flags during a farmers’ rally at Ramlila Ground in New Delhi on Wednesday. PTI REPORT INSIDE ew Delhi, March 7 The Centre on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that state governments must provide protection to inter-caste and inter-faith couples facing threat from khap panchayats or others and that they must inform marriage officers about it. Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand requested a Bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra to direct states to set up special cells in each district to probe complaints by couples fearing physical harm because of their inter-caste or inter-faith marriage. The Bench reiterated: “When two consenting adults get married irrespective of their background, no relative or third person can oppose or interfere with violence or threat to their life.” Reserving its verdict on a 2010 petition by Shakti Vahini against khap panchayats, the Bench said it would give a detailed judgment. An NGO had sought directions to prevent honour killings, mostly by khap panchayats. The court had earlier asked khap panchayats not to behave like “conscience keepers of society” after hearing their views. — TNS must for NEET Says will extend March 31 deadline Satya Prakash Tribune News Service New Delhi, March 7 The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) not to make Aadhaar mandatory for enrolment of students appearing in NEET 2018 and other all-India examinations. A five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra directed the CBSE to accept alternative identification documents such as passport, driver’s licence, bank account, ration card, etc. In view of the March 9 deadline for enrolment for NEET, the Bench asked the CBSE to do the needful at the earliest so as to avoid any inconvenience to students. The Bench made it clear that it will extend the March 31 deadline for linking Aadhaar with bank accounts and mobile phone numbers. “Don’t worry. We will do it. Let the arguments be finished,” said CJI Dipak Misra after the petitioners’ counsel demanded that the deadline be extended to avoid any confusion at the last moment. Justice Chandrachud said: “There is an issue. We are nearing the end of financial year. There is uncertainty in banks, stock exchanges and financial markets because of the deadline. They need time to enforce it.” The Centre had on Tuesday hinted at extending the deadline for linking of Aadhaar with bank accounts and mobile phone numbers beyond March 31 after the petitioners against the unique identification number pointed out that the case was likely to take more time to conclude. Pointing out repeat violation of the orders passed by the top court that said Aadhaar was not mandatory, senior counsel Arvind Datar requested the Bench to initiate contempt proceedings against government authorities violating its orders. Datar was supported by senior counsel Vibha Datta Makhija, who pointed out that government authorities were insisting on Aadhaar despite the court’s orders not to make it mandatory. She was representing Abidali Yusufbhai Patel, a student who challenged the Gujarat High Court’s February 27 order refusing to interfere with CBSE’s directive. On behalf of the Centre, the Attorney General told the Bench that the UIDAI had not authorised the CBSE to mandatorily take Aadhaar number of students to get themselves enrolled for the NEET 2018 examination. K’taka Lokayukta stabbed in office Punjab teachers to be shifted every 7 yrs Stable after murderous attack; probe on, BJP sees law-order breakdown Bengaluru, March 7 Karnataka Lokayukta P Vishwanatha Shetty was today stabbed multiple times by a man who reached his office with a complaint, only to be told that the case was shut, officials said. Shetty, in his early 70s, was rushed to a hospital and is prima facie out of danger. The Lokayukta collapsed after Tejaraj Sharma, a contractor from Tumakuru, attacked him in his chamber in a multi-storeyed building incident “shocking” and near Vidhana Soudha, eye- alleged total breakdown of witnesses said. The assailant law and order. was arrested. Chief Sharma, who had Minister Siddaramafiled a complaint iah rushed to Mallya about not getting a Hospital and tender for a work he enquired about Shethad applied for, went ty’s condition. to his chamber and Union Home Minisstabbed him repeatPV Shetty ter Rajnath Singh edly when told by the spoke to the CM and office that the case had been expressed concern over the shut after investigation. attack. Union Minister “The knife is big. It looks Ananth Kumar called the like he has attempted murder. Such a thing has never happened. I have instructed the DGP to investigate in detail. about his background,” Siddaramaiah told the media. On the “security breach”, he said he had asked the police to look into it. “Those who come to meet the Lokayukta are normally given a chit before being called in,” he said. Shetty took over as the Lokayukta in January 2017 succeeding Y Bhaskar Rao, a former HC Chief Justice. — PTI Chandigarh, March 7 Teachers in Punjab will be transferred every seven years. A policy in this regard was okayed by the Punjab Cabinet today. No teacher can ask for a transfer in the first three years of posting, lays down the “Transfer Policy 2018”, which the government plans to enforce from this academic session. General transfers will be made once a year. A notification on probable vacancies will be available on the department website by Janu- FDI in defence since Prakriti to be first ITBP 2014 mere ~1.17 cr woman combat officer Ajay Banerjee TRibune News Service Mohammed Shami Wife complains, contract on hold New Delhi, March 7 Indian pacer Mohammed Shami’s central contract was today withheld by the BCCI after his wife accused him of domestic violence and adultery, charges denied by the cricketer. Shami’s name was not on the list of 26 contracted players released by the BCCI despite his starring role in India’s only Test win in the recent tour of South Africa. A top BCCI official said the Board has held back his name owing to the charges levelled by his wife Hasin Jahan. “It is purely a personal matter. However, keeping in mind that the woman has met the police commissioner of Kolkata, it is only prudent to wait for any official inquiry to take place...” Shami got married in 2014 and has a daughter. — PTI New Delhi, March 7 In what reflects a ‘lack of interest’ by foreign companies in the Indian defence manufacturing sector, there has been a mere Rs 1.17 crore foreign direct investment (FDI) since May 2014. Touting FDI in defence as a major shift in policy, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) had okayed up to 49 per cent stake for foreign companies partnering Indian companies. As per the MoD figures given in Parliament, the defence industry received FDI worth Rs 1.17 crore from April 2014 to December 2017, a mere shadow of the overall FDI inflow into the country during 2016-17 fiscal which stands at Rs 3,86,885 crore. In 2016, a revised FDI policy on defence was announced, allowing FDI up to 49 per cent under the automatic route and beyond that through the government route, “wherever it was likely to result in access to modern technology or for other reasons to be recorded”. The government had also come out with a “Security Manual for Licensed Defence Industries”, prescribing guidelines on physical, information, documentation, cyber and personnel security aspects. The defence manufacturing sector needs significant capital investment and infusion of technology for which foreign investment can play a critical role. Parrikar in US for ‘cancer cure’ Mumbai/Panaji, March 7 Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who left for treatment to the US this morning, is reportedly suffering from an advanced stage of pancreatic cancer. Sources at Mumbai’s Lilavati Hospital and Goa Medical College and Hospital (where the former Defence Minister was admitted) said there was “probable metastasis”. — IANS Border force joins ranks of other CAPFs New Delhi, March 7 In another first for women, 25-year-old Prakriti has been inducted as the first directentry combat officer in the Indo-Tibetan Border Police. The ITBP is the last of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) to induct women officers in combat roles after the government first allowed it to enrol them in 2016. Prakriti had cleared the UPSC exam for officers’ recruitment in CAPFs in her first attempt. “I always had a desire to don the uniform. My father, who is in the Air Force, has always been an inspiration. I opted for ITBP as my first choice,” she said. Prakriti, who hails from Bihar’s Samastipur, has completed her BE and is currently based in an ITBP unit at Uttarakhand’s Pithoragarh. She will soon join the Officers’ Training Academy of the force in Dehradun. “She is expected to be commissioned as an Assistant Commandant next year after she completes her training,” a senior ITBP officer said. The force already has women in combat roles but only in Prakriti the constable rank. Prakriti, who says her parents gave her a surname-less identity in a caste-ridden society, said she never faced discrimination at home. “I urge other parents that when their children make career choices, they should only see it as their child taking up a challenge, not their son or daughter,” she said. The CRPF and CISF had allowed women to apply as direct-entry officers a long time ago. BSF and SSB did so in 2013 and 2014. — PTI Overcoming staff shortage “Rationalisation Policy 2018-19” aims to obliterate various categories of teachers (primary, middle, senior secondary) and allow them posting anywhere. The move is aimed at overcoming staff shortage. The post of head teacher will be created in primary schools only if the number of students exceeds 60. The teacher:student ratio in Punjab’s primary schools is 27, middle schools 22, high schools 16 and senior secondary 29. TNS . ary 15 every year. Transfer orders will be issued in the last week of March and teachers will have to join their new posting by the first week of April. Official sources said the pol- icy had been drafted under CM Capt Amarinder Singh after exhaustive deliberations with stakeholders, including teachers, school heads and teacher unions. It has been suggested that unmarried women teachers be given a one-time option at the time of their marriage to opt for a particular posting, irrespective of their length of service, and that the benefit be extended to those legally separated from spouses. All schools are to be divided into five zones, depending on the distance from the district headquarters and other parameters. The teachers will be evaluated as per their posting, with a higher consideration for those serving in backward areas. — TNS Women ‘earn 20% less’ in India: Report New Delhi, March 7 Women in India earn 20 per cent less than men, indicating that gender plays an important parameter while determining salaries in India, says a report. According to the latest ‘Monster Salary Index’ (MSI), men earned a median gross hourly salary of Rs 231 compared to women, who earned only Rs 184.8. Though on a year-on-year basis the gender pay gap has narrowed by about five percentage points from 24.8 per cent in 2016, the report says the gender pay gap widens as one gains in work experience. Men with 0-2 years of experience earn 7.8 per cent higher median wages than women, and those with 6-10 years of experience earn 15.3 per cent more. Men with 11 and more years of experience earn 25 per cent higher median wages than women. However, there is a marginally inverted pay gap in the experience group of 3-5 years, where women earn more. Monster.com’s Women of India Inc survey said 69 per cent respondents said gender parity needs to be a top priority for organisations. — PTI Maintenance workers run checks on a train in Guwahati. PTI Now, gang of women to maintain rly coaches 20-member team to start work today Guwahati, March 7 The Railways is launching its first-ever ‘women gang’ for coach maintenance in Guwahati under the jurisdiction of Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) on International Women’s Day tomorrow. A gang of 20 women has been set up in Guwahati for maintenance of coaches, the first time that females have come forward for the job in the history of Railways. After introducing allwomen railway stations at the western tip of the country, the Railways has put together an all-women coach maintenance team. “A 20-member gang has been trained for coach maintenance in Guwahati and will be deployed at the pit line under NFR from Thursday,” NFR chief spokesperson PJ Sharma said. “Coach maintenance, a rigorous job, deals with safety of the train and passengers and safety is the top priority. The safety certificate is given by the maintenance team and this puts an important responsibility on the shoulders of this first-ever allwomen gang,” he added. — Bijay Shankar Bora
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