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Hearing of plea in Delhi HC seeking to defer surrender of prisoners above 65 years adjourned to Feb 22

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New Delhi [India], February 12 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Friday adjourned the matter to February 22 on a plea seeking direction to the Delhi Government and Director General of Prisons to defer the surrender of prisoners above 65 years and those suffering from comorbidities.
In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the plea also prayed that emergency parole to such prisoners be extended for a further period and such prisoners may be directed to be surrender after the surrender of all other prisoners, in the larger interest of prisoners and jail administration.
The matter got adjourn for February 22, 2021, after the Bench of Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh didn’t assemble.
The plea also states that the situation in Delhi jails is not such that one room or barrack can be provided to each infected prisoner because a number of prisoners are lodged together in a single barrack or room.
Delhi jails have the capacity to retain 10,026 prisoners only and at present, about 14,000 prisoners are lodged, excluding about 4,000 prisoners who are presently released on interim bail or emergency parole, read the plea.
“It is, therefore, clear that social distancing cannot be maintained as the Tihar jails are overly crowded and in case 4,000 prisoners surrender, the situation may worsen in Tihar jails and the same would be detrimental and adversely affect prisoners and jail administration as well,” the plea said.
It further stated that age increases the risk for severe illness due to COVID-19, therefore, the aforesaid issue requires detailed deliberations and the accused, in any case, must be directed to surrender in a phased manner considering age, disability, and medical ailments or conditions of prisoners. (ANI)

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Budget session of parliament may conclude before Holi

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By Ashoke Raj And Amit Kumar
New Delhi [India], March 8 (ANI): The second part of the budget session of parliament began on March 8 amid the uproar on fuel price hike in the Rajya Sabha.
Many leaders of five poll-bound states and political parties also demanded the curtailment of the budget session due to the upcoming assembly elections.
Today, a meeting of the Business Advisory Committee (BAC) of Rajya Sabha was held in parliament for allotment of time for discussion on budget allocations of different ministries and agenda of several bills which are pending for passing in the Rajya Sabha.
“During the BAC meeting, Trinamool Congress (TMC) and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) raised the issue of curtailment of the upper house. Some parties from the election-bound states supported the idea but other political parties including BJD, RJD and Samajwadi Party-disagreed,” a Rajya Sabha MP, who was present in the meeting, told ANI.
The Election Commission of India (ECI) has announced poll dates for upcoming assembly elections and the first phase of voting will begin on 27th March in Assam. Thereafter, elections will be held in other states.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha said in the meeting, “two opinions should not come out, therefore, I will discuss with the speaker of Lok Sabha then we will be able to take the final decision on reducing days of the budget session,” a floor leader of the regional party, who attended the meeting, told ANI.
The second budget session that began on March 8 is scheduled to end April 8, but it is likely to conclude before Holi. (ANI)

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Subtle discrimination against women shouldn’t be encouraged in language: Sitharaman

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By Pragya Kaushika
New Delhi [India], March 8 (ANI): On the occasion of International Women’s Day, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman on Monday said nuanced discrimination, even in language, is often accepted and not objected to, due to its subtlety. She added that language needs to be gender-sensitive and wrong language shouldn’t be encouraged.
“Language of communication has to be gender-sensitive. We stand up each time for use of the right language. We come across language both formal and informal that doesn’t recognise an implicit gender bias. We need to say language needs to be gender-sensitive. We shouldn’t encourage such language,” said Sitharaman while addressing a gathering of women MPs and journalists.
Giving an example she quoted a popular Hindi expression the Union Finance Minister said, “Arey main choodi pehen ke baitha hoon kya?” (Am I just sitting here wearing bangles like a woman?) That means you don’t have courage. Each one of us has to say that we don’t accept such language and expressions.”
Another problem she spoke about was facing different terms of engagement for both genders. “We are MPs, but we are often treated as women first, and MPs later. We have to make a conscious attempt to change these things. We need to do more,” she said.
Union Minister for Women and Child development Smriti Irani too spoke at the gathering, and said, “Women who have gathered here today are oft celebrated societally for our strength and achievements. Not many look at the chip on our shoulders, a chip on which we falter at times publically and on social media. Where the impact is strong as we get ‘trolled’ but also we get opportunities in the august House where, irrespective of our ideologies, we speak on issues that bring transformation.”
She also said that under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the narrative has been shifted from women’s development to women-led development.
“We now lead the change not just for us but for others. It is because of this that for the first time in history, we have an amalgamation of a gender inclusion fund in the National Education policy. There are still skies to touch. Our flag and constitution are one despite being from other ideologies,” she added.
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla also took the initiative to celebrate women and their achievements on the occasion of International Women’s Day and acknowledged hardships women face besides commending the work women do in public and private life.
“It’s not easy for women to work as social activists but you took up the challenge and you work with sensitivity,” he told the two women.
The Speaker also praised women journalists for bringing out the real picture with empathy despite opposition from some quarters.
International Women’s Day is celebrated worldwide every year on March 8 to recognise the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women across the globe. This year, the theme for International Women’s Day 2021 is ‘Choose to Challenge’. (ANI)

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NCB conducts multiple raids in Goa, arrests drug peddlers

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Goa [India], March 8 (ANI): The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) teams of Maharashtra and Goa conducted multiple raids in Goa which they arrested a few foreign nationals, including local drug peddlers, and seized a huge amount of drugs from their possession.
The team, led by zonal officer Sameer Wankhede, conducted raids at multiple locations on the intervening night of March 7 and 8 across Goa as part of an anti-narcotics drive.
They recovered 41 blots of LSD (Commercial quantity), 28 grams of Charas, 22 grams of Cocaine, Ganja 1.100 kilograms, 160 grams of white powder believed to be Narcotics Drugs/Psychotropic substance, 500 grams of blue crystal substance suspected to be psychotropic substance and Rs 10,000.
Two foreign nationals namely Ugochukwu Solomon Ubabuko (Nigeria) & John Infinity aka David (Congo) have also been taken into custody and are being interrogated. The NCB Mumbai team also succeeded in apprehending another major drug supplier Hemant Saha aka Maharaj from Miramar, Panjim.
Ubabuko had earlier been arrested in 2013 by Goa police and Prasad Walke is a history-sheeter who had also been booked by NCB Goa in 2018 for trafficking of various drugs.
During the follow-up action, the NCB team searched the premises of Walke & recovered LSD blots (commercial quantity) on Monday.
Saha is a native of Madhya Pradesh & has been running a Shack in the Morjim area for the past several years. After locating him, NCB raided his premises late last evening which resulted in the recovery of 15 blots of LSD (commercial quantity) and 30 grams of Charas. (ANI)

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Delhi’s GSDP contracts by 3.9 pc to Rs 7.9 lakh crore in FY 21: Eco Survey

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New Delhi [India], March 8 (ANI): The advance estimates show Delhi’s gross state domestic product (GSDP) at current prices during 2020-21 at Rs 798,310 crore, marking a contraction of 3.92 per cent over the previous year, the Economic Survey showed on Monday.
The GSDP at current prices increased by about 45 per cent in the last six years — from Rs 550,804 crore in 2015-16 to Rs 798,310 crore in the current financial year, according to the survey presented by Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia.
The per capita income at current prices is estimated at Rs 354,004 against per capita income of Rs 127,768 at the national level, which makes Delhi’s per capita almost three times the national average.
The state has maintained its consistent revenue surplus which was Rs 7,499 crore during 2019-20 as compared to Rs 6,261 crore during 2018-19, the survey showed.
There is a fiscal deficit of Rs 3,227.79 crore during 2019-20 as compared to Rs 1,489.38 crore in 2018-19 which is 0.39 per cent of GSDP as compared to 0.2 per cent during 2018-19.
According to the survey, the state provided a budget allocation of 74.77 per cent for social service sectors under schemes or projects.
The education sector remained to be on the top with a maximum share allocation of 23.83 per cent. The state government has a total of 1,230 government and government-aided schools.
The gender gap in literacy in Delhi has declined moderately over the years from 12.62 per cent in 2001 to 10.1 per cent in 2011. The happiness curriculum has been implemented in all government schools and approximately 7.95 lakh students have been benefitted during 2019-20.
The education sector was followed by transport with a budget allocation of 14.67 per cent, medical and public health sector with 13.39 per cent share, social security and welfare with 13.11 per cent budget allocation, housing and urban development with 12.62 per cent and water supply and sanitation with 12.62 per cent share allocation.
Under the scheme Business Reform Action Plan, Delhi has ranked 12th in 2019 among all states and union territories.
According to the survey, peak demand for electricity increased from 5,846 MW in 2015-16 to 7,409 MW in 2019-20.
The per capita expenditure on health in Delhi increased from Rs 1,996 in 2014-15 to Rs 3,029 in 2019-20.
The state government is implementing a four-tier health care infrastructure model having Mohalla clinics and polyclinics at tier-one and tier-two for providing primary and secondary health care services. (ANI)

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Both Houses of Parliament to commence at 11 am from Tuesday

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New Delhi [India], March 8 (ANI): Both Houses of the Parliament will commence their sitting from 11 am on Tuesday.
The decision to revise the timing of both Houses was announced on Monday. Both Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha were operating under curtailed hours of timing and social distancing norms amid COVID-19 induced norms.
Member of Parliament, Vandana Chavan, in the Rajya Sabha Chair, informed members today that the sitting of the Upper House to commence from 11 am to 6 pm from tomorrow.
“On the request from many members from various parties, the Chairman has decided that from Tuesday, the sitting of Rajya Sabha will commence from 11 am will 6 pm as usual timings of the House. Members will sit in Rajya Sabha and gallery,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Lok Sabha will also function as per usual timings of the House existing before the COVID-19 situation from tomorrow.
The second part of the Budget session of Parliament commenced from Monday with all COVID-19 precautionary measures in place.
Earlier, the Rajya Sabha was scheduled to function from 9 am to 2 pm while Lok Sabha was scheduled to function between 4 pm to 10 pm.
The Budget Session of Parliament, which commenced with the address of President Ram Nath Kovind on January 29, concluded on February 29. The Union budget was tabled in the Parliament by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on February 1. (ANI)

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Uzbek soldiers arrive in India to participate in Dustlik II joint Army exercise

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New Delhi [India], March 8 (ANI): Uzbek soldiers on Monday arrived in New Delhi to participate in Dustlik II joint Army exercise.
In the Indo-Uzbek Joint Exercise Dustlik-ll, the RezangLa Battalion 13 Kumaon is representing the Indian Army.
The exercise is based on counter-terrorist operations and aims at enhancing military cooperation. (ANI)

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