15112022-TTC-01.qxd 11/15/2022 12:54 AM Page 1 13 CHANDIGARH | GURUGRAM | JALANDHAR | BATHINDA | VOL. 142 NO. 315 | 14 PAGES | ~5.00 | REGD. NO. CHD/0006/2021-2023 ESTABLISHED IN 1881 VB FILES CHARGESHEET AGAINST EX-MINISTER ASHU PUNJAB MORE INVESTMENTS IN UT SINCE ABROGATION OF ART 370: PURI J&K /thetribunechd L&T MERGES TECH ARMS WITH LTI MINDTREE BUSINESS TURKEY-UZBEK PACT WILL UPSET INDIA’S CENTRAL ASIA PLAN BACK PAGE tuesday | 15 november 2022 /thetribunechd www.tribuneindia.com SC: Conversion by force ‘very serious’ , affects nat’l security New Delhi, November 14 Describing forced religious conversions a “very serious” matter affecting the national security, the Supreme Court on Monday issued notice on a PIL seeking directions to the Centre and states to take measures to check the practice. “This is a very serious matter. Sincere efforts are to be made by the Centre to stop forced conversions. Otherwise, a very difficult situation will come… Tell us what action you propose? You have to step in,” a Bench led by Justice MR Shah told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who represented the Centre. “The issue affects the security of the nation and freedom of religion and conscience. Therefore, it is better that the Centre may make its stand clear and file a counter (affidavit) on what steps can be taken to curb such forced conversions,” said the Bench, which also included Justice Hima Kohli. The court asked the Centre to file its affidavit before November 22 and posted the matter for further hearing on November 28. Noting that religious conver- SC to list fresh PIL challenging electoral bonds New Delhi, November 14 The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to list a fresh PIL challenging the electoral bond scheme that allows anonymous funding of political parties. “We will list it, the matter will come up,” a Bench led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud told senior counsel Anoop Chaudhari after the latter mentioned the petition challenging a recent notification amending the scheme to provide for “additional 15 days” for the sale of electoral bonds “in the year of elections to the legislative Assemblies of states and UTs”. Chaudhari told the Bench: “They are issuing notifications... This notification is wholly illegal.” An electoral bond is a bearer instrument which can be purchased by a citizen or an Indian company whose identity would remain a secret from everybody except the SBI from whom it has to be purchased. Once purchased, the buyer can give it to any political party which can encash it using its bank account. It was introduced through the Finance Act, 2017 to facilitate the scheme which was notified in 2018. On March 26, 2021, the SC had refused to stay the sale of electoral bonds ahead of elections in some states. — TNS CENTRE MUST STEP IN ❝ The issue affects freedom of religion and conscience… Sincere efforts are to be made by the Centre to stop it. Otherwise, a very difficult situation will come. SC Bench sion was legal under the Constitution, it clarified that forceful conversion was not permissible. “Everybody has the right to choose religion, but not by force. It’s a very dangerous thing,” the Bench said. The top court had on September 23 issued notice to the Centre on a PIL filed by advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay seeking direction to take measures to control fraudulent religious conversion by threat and inducements. It had asked the Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Law and Justice continued on page 11 US, China pedal back tensions with Xi-Biden meet; Blinken visit in works G20 SUMMIT As first step, both nations agree to reopen communication lines Tribune News Service New Delhi, November 14 China and the US resolved to keep an open line of communication in order to prevent competition veering into conflict. China had shut down military-to-military and other lines of communication with the US after a visit to Taiwan by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. As the first step to maintain communication, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will visit Beijing, the two leaders agreed. Meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping for the first time since he took over as US President, Joe Biden explained that the US would continue to compete vigorously with China, including by “investing in sources of strength at home and aligning efforts with allies and partners around the world”. “This competition should not veer into conflict and the US and China must manage it responsibly,” said a White House readout. The two leaders, meeting in Bali on the eve of the G20 Summit, dis- Competition should not veer into conflict and US and China must manage it responsibly. Joe Biden, US PREZ No intention to challenge or displace the US. Good ties important for the whole world. Xi Jinping, CHINESE PRESIDENT US PREZ BRINGS UP TAIWAN ■ President Biden raised objections to Chi- US President Joe Biden with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on the sidelines of G20 Summit in Bali. PTI na’s coercive and increasingly aggressive actions towards Taiwan ■ Also raised concerns about China’s nonmarket economic practices, which ‘harm American workers and families, and workers and families around the world’ PM MODI LIKELY TO MEET BIDEN, SUNAK ■ PM Modi is likely to meet US Presi- dent Biden, PM Rishi Sunak and French President Macron among other leaders at the G20 Summit ■ It wasn't clear if a separate meet- ing between PM Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping is in the works ■ If it takes place, it will be the first one-on-one interaction since the Galwan valley clash in June 2020 cussed the importance of developing principles that would advance these goals White delight PM Narendra Modi on his arrival at Bali airport in Indonesia. PTI and tasked their teams to discuss these further, it added. Xi spoke about charting a “flight course” for the relationship between the two superpowers, which was Presidency theme: ‘World one family’ New Delhi, November 14 India’s G20 Presidency will be grounded in the theme “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” or “One Earth One Family One Future”, which underlines the message of equitable growth and shared future for all, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his predeparture statement before leaving for Bali, Indonesia, to attend the G20 Summit. In a significant moment for India, Indonesian President Joko Widodo will hand over the G20 Presidency to PM Modi at the closing ceremony of the Bali summit. India will officially assume the G20 Presidency from December 1. “I will also extend my personal invitation to G20 members and other invitees to our G20 Summit (in India) next year,” said PM Modi. continued on page 11 edit: india’s G20 Presidency important not only for the two countries, but also for the continued on page 11 Amazon plans to lay off 10,000 staffers: Report San Francisco, November 14 Amazon is reportedly planning to lay off nearly 10,000 of its workforce in corporate and technology roles beginning this week, a media report said. According to The New York Times, the cuts will target Amazon's devices organisation, which includes voice assistant Alexa, as well as its retail division and human resources. The total number of layoffs is yet to be determined, but if it is around 10,000, it would represent about 3 per cent of Amazon’s corporate employees and less than 1 per cent of its global workforce of more than 1.5 million, which is primarily composed of hourly workers, said the report. Amazon will also become continued on page 11 WPI drops to 19-month low of 8.39% Retail inflation falls to 6.77% due to easing of prices in food basket Tourists throng snow-covered Nathatop near Jammu after a fresh spell of snowfall on Monday. PTI New Delhi, November 14 Retail as well as wholesale inflation dropped in the month of October due to a fall in global prices of commodities. The fall in the annual rate of inflation based on the wholesale price index (WPI) in October was at a 19month year-on-year low of 8.39 per cent as against 10.7 per cent recorded in September. In October 2021, it was 13.83 per cent. Retail inflation also fell to 6.77 per cent in October from 7.41 per cent in the preceding month, mainly due to prices SOME RELIEF FOR RBI ■ The fall in retail inflation has brought some relief for the RBI which has been struggling to bring it below the upper tolerance level of 6% ■ The central bank has been tasked to keep inflation at 4% with a margin of 2% on either side ■ Retail inflation in the food basket was 7.01% in October compared to 8.6% in the preceding month easing in the food basket, though it remained above RBI’s comfort level for the tenth month in a row. Rural inflation continued to be Permanent residents can Shimla turnout 1.4% less than in 2017 now join Canadian army EC continues to grapple with voter apathy in urban areas Toronto, November 14 The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) have announced that permanent residents, of whom Indians form a large chunk, will now be allowed to enlist, as the military struggles with low recruitment levels, according to a media report. The move came five years after the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) announced that they’re changing their “outdated recruitment process” which will allow permanent resi- 80 lakh immigrants in Canada 10Lmore to arrive during 2022-24 Indians form a large chunk 1 lakh Indians got PR in 2021 dents who have lived in Canada for 10 years to apply, CTV News reported. The announcement came close to Remembrance Day, amid reports that the Canadian military is struggling to recruit new members to fill thousands of vacant positions. As of 2021, there were more continued on page 11 New Delhi, November 14 Even as a record 75.6 per cent voter turnout was registered in Himachal Pradesh during the November 12 Assembly polls, apathy among urban voters continued with Shimla recording the lowest voting percentage at 62.53, data shared by the Election Commission (EC) today showed. Compared with the 2017 elections, the turnout in the state’s capital fell by 1.4 per cent. Urban Shimla’s important localities, including government colonies, clocked some of the lowest polling RURAL SEGMENTS LEAD 62.53% 100% 8% 4.5% lowest voter turnout in Shimla constituency turnout at Tashigang, world’s highest polling booth lower turnout in urban areas than that in rural segments more women cast their vote than male voters percentages (ranging in fifties). Greater participation by voters in these areas could have resulted in an even higher turnout, a senior EC official said, adding that the average turnout in urban areas such as Shimla, Solan, Kasumpti and Dharamsala was approximately 8 per cent lower than that in rural segments. The turnout of women voters was roughly 4.5 per cent higher than that of male voters with 76.8 per cent women exercising their franchise and men 72.4 per cent. Tashigang, the world’s highest polling booth at 15,265 feet, recorded continued on page 11 higher at 6.98 per cent as against urban inflation of 6.50 per cent. On the retail front, the inflation in the food basket was 7.01 per cent in October as against 8.6 per cent in September, according to the data released by the National Statistical Office (NSO) on Monday. Year-on-year, retail inflation was 4.48 per cent in October 2021. The decline in the rate of wholesale price index (WPI)based inflation in October is primarily due to a decline in commodity prices. However, a weaker rupee and high food prices will continue to put pressure on inflation figures. This was also the first continued on page 11 IN BRIEF Tihar Jail supdt suspended for VIP treatment to Jain NEW DELHI: A Tihar Jail superintendent has been suspended for 'providing' special treatment to AAP minister Satyendar Jain, lodged in the prison in a money laundering case, sources said. TNS SC to hear PIL for judicial probe into Morbi tragedy GUJARAT: The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to list for hearing a PIL seeking constitution of a judicial commission to probe the Morbi bridge collapse incident in Gujarat which claimed over 130 lives. PTI Can’t close eyes to Delhi’s poor air quality: HC NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court has said it can’t close its eyes to the fact that the air quality in the Capital was oscillating between ‘very poor’ and ‘severe’. It sought a report on the issue in four weeks. PTI Chhattisgarh officer Dwivedi is Prasar Bharti CEO NEW DELHI: Senior IAS officer Gaurav Dwivedi has been appointed the Chief Executive Officer of Prasar Bharati. A 1995-batch officer of Chhattisgarh cadre, Dwivedi will have a five-year tenure. TNS No funds for mid-day meals, Karnal teachers spend from own pocket Parveen Arora Tribune News Service Over 15L pupils in 13,500 Haryana schools served mid-day meals. FILE Karnal, November 14 For three months now, government schools in Haryana’s Karnal district have not received funds for the mid-day meal scheme, forcing teachers to spend from their own pocket or purchase ration on credit to feed the children. In some schools, teachers have temporarily diverted funds meant for parentteacher associations (PTA), sports, examination, building, child welfare, etc, to serve mid-day meals to students. The teachers said the funds would be replenished once the mid-day meal payments were received from the government. There are 778 schools in the district where mid-day NOT PAID FOR 3 MONTHS ■ The payments for mid-day meals have not been released since August ■ The cooks, who’re paid ~7,000 a month, are awaiting October salary ■ Teachers temporarily diverting school funds meant for other purpose 778 95,000 schools in students Karnal where beneficimid-day meals served aries of the scheme meals are served to around 95,000 students. The budget for ration and other cooking 1,853 cooks employed under the scheme material has not been released since August while the cooks are awaiting their October salary. After the revised budget, Rs 5.45 per student is now given for Classes I-V and Rs 8.17 per student for Classes VI-VIII. The salary of a cook is Rs 7,000 and there are 1,853 cooks in the district. A teacher from Nilokheri block said he had been purchasing ration on credit, but the grocer now appeared running out of patience. Repeated requests to the higher authorities to provide funds had fallen on deaf ears, he said. Requesting the government to release the funds regularly, another teacher from Indri block said he had been spending from his own pocket, but that “he could do so only till a limit”. Deepak Goswami, a member of the district mid-day meal monitoring continued on page 11
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