CMYK SATURDAY www.thestatesman.com 28 JULY 2018 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 20 |` 5.00|LC* KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR IMRAN SHORT OF MAJORITY, WILL NEED SUPPORT FOR GOVT MAY’S ATTEMPT TO BYPASS BRUSSELS IN BREXIT TALKS FAILS P9 P10 SENSEX 37,336.85 +352.21 WEATHER Generally cloudy sky with spells of rain/thundershower. Max-min temp will be around 31-26 degree celsius, respectively. RAINFALL: 11.9 mm RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.95% TEMPERATURE Max: 30.9°C (-1) SUN RISES 05:07 hrs MOON RISES 18.46 hrs NIFTY 11,278.35 +111.05 OPP CONFIDENT AFTER NO-TRUST P7 ` vs $ 68.65 +1.00 PAISA GOLD 28,705.00 -90.00 LJP turns heat on Modi govt Min: 26.3°C (0) SUN SETS 18:20 hrs MOON SETS 05:17 hrs Third quarter of moon on 7 August THUMBNAILS School children during the inauguration of a museum at Cossipore Gun and Shell Factory in Kolkata on Friday. SNS EU observers on Pak polls: A European Union team of election observers said that Pakistan's general elections this week were eclipsed by “restrictions” on freedom of expression and an “unequal” opportunity for candidates to campaign. In its preliminary assessment of the 25 July elections, the EU Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) said the media outlets and journalists suffered from restrictions which resulted in self-censorship. “Positive changes to the legal framework were overshadowed by restrictions’’, it said. Truckers call off strike: Truckers called off their eight-day old strike after the government's assurance to look into their demands, according to a statement. The All India Motor Transport Congress, which claims support of 93 lakh truckers, had gone on an indefinite strike demanding reduction in diesel prices, among others, from July 20. In a joint statement, the Road Transport and Highways Ministry and AIMTC said the strike has been called off. The decision was taken after a marathon meeting of transporters and officials. NCW chief’s reservations on women’s quota: ’ ’ National Commission for Women Chairperson Rekha Sharma said she has “reservations” about the reservation system, arguing that women should make their own way in politics as quotas would only help the daughters and wives of some politicians. Her remarks come at a time Opposition parties are urging the government to ensure that the women's reservation bill is passed in the ongoing Monsoon session of Parliament. Confession row: A day after the National Commission for Women said it has recommended a ban on confessions in churches over fears they could lead to blackmailing of women, a Kerala bishops body has petitioned the PM against the move, calling it “shocking”. Union Minister Alphons Kannanthanam, a Kerala native and a Christian meanwhile “rejected outright” the NCW's recommendation, insisting that the Modi government would never P4 interfere in religious beliefs of people. PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 27 JULY nion minister Ram Vilas Paswan-led LJP today turned the heat on the Modi government, saying its support to the BJP is issue-based as it sought a law to restore the stringent measures of an Act on atrocities against Dalits and removal of NGT Chairman A K Goel by August 9. Party MP and Paswan's son Chirag Paswan said patience of many within the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) is running thin as circumstances raising concerns of the Dalits and tribals have emerged of late. Protecting interests of these communities was at the root of the LJP's tie up with the BJP in 2014, he told a press conference here. His party has been demanding for over four months now an ordinance to restore the original provisions of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act but the government has not done so. He, however, stayed away from issuing any direct threat to the BJP and said the LJP has faith U in Prime Minister Narendra Modi as his government had done a lot for Dalits. “We will cross the bridge when it comes,” he said when asked if his party would consider walking out of the BJP-led NDA if its demands are not met by the August 9 deadline. The LJP will not walk out of the NDA like the TDP he , added. Various Dalit and tribal groups have called for a 'Bharat bandh' on August 10 to press their demands, including restoration of the Act. They have said a Supreme Court order in March weakened the law. Chirag Paswan said incidents of atrocities against the community have risen following the verdict and FIRs were not being registered by police. Goel was one of the two top court judges who delivered the verdict and he was appointed the Nation- al Green Tribunal chairperson earlier this month immediately after his retirement from the Supreme Court. The LJP has criticised his appointment with Chirag Paswan writing to Modi seeking his removal, saying it has sent a wrong message. Dalits believe that he has been rewarded for his judgement, he said. His father has also written to Home Minister Rajnath Singh on the issue. Chirag Paswan expressed the hope that the prime minister will take appropriate decisions once he returns from his foreign visit later in the evening. He said the opposition has been working to give an impression that the government was being “anti-Dalit” and the Modi dispensation should take strong measures to dispel it. Blowing hot and cold, he said the LJP strongly remains a part of the government as it makes it easier for his party to carry out its Dalit agenda. He noted that it was the Modi government which had made the Act more stringent by expanding its ambit. Union Minister Arun Jaitley, singing paeans to the Modi government's achievements, termed the passage of the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill 2018 by the Lok Sabha and reduction in GST rates of a set of commodities as "two significant reforms" initiated by the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre, over the last one week. In a Facebook post on Friday, Jaitley said there will be further reduction in GST tax rates on large screen televisions, air conditioners, cement, etc., as revenue expansion takes place and only luxury and sin goods will attract the highest slab of 28 per cent. Jaitley noted that “within a record period of thirteen months, the GST Council has almost phased out the 28 per cent category. It is only a matter of time Jaitley said it is only a matter of time that the final obituary of ‘Congress Legacy Tax’ is written. Only the luxurysin tax will remain that the final obituary of the ‘Congress Legacy Tax’ is written. Only the luxury-sin tax would remain.” His remarks came days after the GST Council decided to lower tax on most of the goods with only 32 items remaining in the 28 per cent category, the highest tax slab. Jaitley, who is recovering from his recent kidney transplant, noted, “If the entire category of all the slabs is taken, the past one year has seen a reduction of tax in 384 commodities with no increase on a single product. India has never witnessed such mass tax reduction since Independence.” He said the result of GST implementation and subsequent tweaks has been “lesser rates and higher collection.” The GST Council will meet again on 4 August. Reduction in compliance burden, higher thresholds for applicability of goods and services tax (GST), easing working capital blockages and applicable rates are some of the points the authorities will try to address in the next GST council meeting. Another reform that took place this week was the passage of an amendment in the Prevention of Corruption Act. The Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2018, which seeks to punish bribe givers PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 27 JULY Fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi, allegedly involved in over USD 2 billion scam in Punjab National Bank, claims he had taken Antigua citizenship last year to expand his business as the passport of the Caribbean nation provides visa-free travel to 132 countries, local media in Antigua reported. In a statement issued by his attorney David Dorsett on the diamantaire's behalf, Choksi said there was no truth in the allegations levelled by the Indian government, the Daily Observer, a newspaper in Antigua, reported. Choksi, who was allegedly the partner-incrime of his nephew Nirav Modi in the banking fraud, refused to say anything further on the issue, on the advice of his lawyers. “I can however state that I lawfully applied to be registered as a citizen of Antigua and Barbuda under the Citizenship by Investment Program. During the course of my application I did all that was lawfully required of me to do. My application for citizenship was in due course approved,” a statement said. AGENCIES Omar Abdullah and Mamata Banerjee at Nabanna in Howrah on Friday. SNS STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA, 27 JULY The efforts of the anti-BJP forces to oust the Narendra Modi-government at the Centre may come to naught if anyone is projected as the prime ministerial candidate for the coming Lok Sabha polls, former Jammu & Kashmir chief minister and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah said this today at the state secretariat Nabanna in the presence of chief minister Mamata Banerjee. Miss Banerjee, whom Delhi starvation deaths: Father’s conduct doubted NEW DELHI, 27 JULY for the first time with imprisonment of up to a maximum of seven years, was passed by Parliament this week. According to the senior BJP leader, based on earlier provisions, a loan given by an honest bank management in accordance with the rules, would get subsequently questioned if the recipient of the loan defaulted and the entire process of the bankerlender relationship was referred to an investigative agency. The somewhat loose language of the Act enabled investigating agencies to shed their professionalism and followed the investigators’ golden rule ‘when in doubt, file a charge sheet’. “I do hope that the investigators also realise that it is only professionalism and fairness which will ensure a higher rate of conviction. Punishing the corrupt has to be judiciously balanced with nonharassment of the honest,” Jaitley wrote. A preliminary magisterial probe report today sought further investigation into the conduct of the father of three girls, who allegedly died due to starvation in East Delhi, and said he had given them some “unknown medicine”. He has been untraceable since Tuesday when the sisters were found dead. The report also said that the girls were suffering from loose motion and vomiting which may have been due to some kind of stomach infection, but they were not provided adequate oral rehydration solution (ORS) and proper medication that might have caused dehydration. It said that the father, Mangal Singh, gave some “unknown medicine” to his daughters by “mixing it in hot water” during the night of July 23 and he has not returned since the morning of July 24. PTI Female student enrolment lowest in INIs SNS & PTI NEW DELHI, 27 JULY The enrolment of female students is lowest in the institutions of national importance, followed by state private open universities and government deemed universities, according to the All India Survey of Higher Education (AISHE). The report, which was released by Union Minister of Human Resource Development Prakash Javadekar today, said the Gross Enrolment Ration (GER) in higher education in the country is 25.8 per cent, which is calculated for 1823 years of age group. “Share of female students is lowest in Institutions of National Importance, followed by state private open universities and deemed universities (government). The total enrol- ment in higher education has been estimated to be 36.6 million with 19.2 million boys and 17.4 million girls. The girls constitute 47.6 per cent of the enrolment,” the survey report for 2017-18 said. The GER for male population is 26.3 per cent and for females it is 25.4 per cent. For Scheduled Castes, it is 21.8 per cent and for Scheduled Tribes it is 15.9 per cent as compared to the national GER of 25.8 per cent, it said. More males were awarded PhD degrees during 2017, maximum of them being in science stream. “34000 students were awarded PhD-level degrees during 2017, with 20,179 males and 14,221 females. At PhDlevel, maximum number of students turn out is in science stream, followed by Engineering and Technology. On the other hand, at PG-level max- imum students turn out is observed in social science followed by management stream,” the survey report said. Uttar Pradesh comes at number one with the highest student enrolment, followed by Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. The total number of foreign students enrolled in higher education is 46,114 and top 10 countries constitute 63.4 per cent of the total foreign students enrolled. The AISHE was initiated in the year 2011 to prepare a robust database on higher education.Since then, seeing the usefulness of data collected during the first year of survey, the government decided to make this survey an annual exercise of data collection in the higher education sector. Lack in innovation and quality research was the foremost challenge for the country, HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar said today. He was chairing a three-day national conference of vicechancellors from across the country. “Lack in innovation and quality research is the foremost challenge before the country. Quality expansion and teaching reform is the need of the hour,” the minister said. The minister further emphasised on creating a positive and lively environment to enhance the quality of education in all central and private universities. “It is time to show India's prowess to the world in the field of education. The country hosts many world-class educators who are working in silos and they need to break walls and come forward to share their knowledge,” Javadekar said. “It has been found that many Indians, including few parliamentarians, are among the world's top teachers and the country should make the best use of such resources,” he added. Flagging the issue of plagiarism in PhD thesis, Javadekar said, “A software has been developed which will be made available to all universities to stop plagiarism and will be available free of cost on the UGC website”. Besides vice chancellors of various universities CMYK BRENT CRUDE (IN $) 74.58 +0.04 Opp not to project PM candidate now: Omar Jaitley sees GST rate cut on cement, ACs and TVs with rise in revenue STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 27 JULY P11 SILVER 38,050.00 -400.00 Choksi: Took citizenship of Antigua last year for biz Seeks NGT chief’s ouster, says support to BJP issue-based Min. 78% GERMANY CHAFING AT EARLY EXIT BUT BAYERN ARE CHUFFED across the country, the meeting was also attended by renowned educationists, heads of statutory professional councils and directors of inter-university centres of the UGC. Improving the quality of education by universities, best practices adopted in this regard and imparting vocational skills to students in higher educational institutions were also on the agenda besides discussing the action taken on recommendations made during the vice chancellors' conference last year. PTI adds from Kolkata: The West Bengal government will wait for the Centre to inform it about the recent Right to Education Act (RTE) amendment, seeking abolition of “no detention” policy in schools, state Education Minister Partha Chatterjee said today. the Trinamul Congress has been trying to push for the country's top job, endorsed Mr Abdullah's view and said : “Please don't pick and chose any name for the prime ministerial candidate because this will divide us. We will fight together to overthrow the BJP at the Centre and this is our only objective.” Responding to reporters’ question whether Miss Banerjee would be the prime ministerial candidate for the Opposition front, Mr Abdullah said : “Please don't mention any name so early because no notification or date of elections has even been announced as yet. How can I say? I am too small to comment on this. Our fight to oust the BJP will be futile if we choose any name as the prime minister much ahead of the polls.” But he also hinted that Miss Banerjee could be a candidate. “We will drag her to the Centre considering what she is doing here for Bengal's progress. All parties who are willing to fight BJP will take the decision on who will be the PM’’. Modi, Xi agree to maintain ties 'momentum' PRESS TRUST OF INDIA JOHANNESBURG, 27 JULY Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping have agreed that the Chinese defence minister will visit India next month as part of the efforts to maintain the “momentum” generated by their recent meetings. Modi, who is here to attend the BRICS Summit, met Xi for the third time in nearly three months last evening after their two-day informal summit in the Chinese city ofWuhan in late April and a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Summit in Qingdao, China in June. “It is important to maintain this momentum and for this we should, at our level, regularly review our relationship and give proper instructions whenever required,” Modi told Xi in his opening remarks. He told the Chinese leader that their recent meetings have given a new strength to bilateral ties and also provided new opportunities for cooperation. President Xi said that the Chinese side is ready to work with the Indian side to carry forward the fresh impetus of bilateral relations since their informal meeting in Wuhan, China's state-run Xinhua news agency reported. He called on the two sides to strengthen strategic communication, increase mutual trust, pro- mote practical cooperation, as well as cultural and people-to-people exchanges, strengthen dialogue and properly manage differences, it said. At Wuhan, Modi and Xi had decided to issue “strategic guidance” to their militaries to strengthen communications to build trust and understanding, a move aimed at avoiding a Doklam-like situation in the future. Modi said the Johannesburg meeting has provided one more opportunity to them to strengthen their closer developmental partnership. Briefing the reporters about the meeting, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said the two leaders reaffirmed their readiness to give the necessary direction to their militaries to enhance communication between them and to maintain peace and tranquility in the border areas. “They were satisfied with the efforts being made by the officials of the two sides to strengthen bilateral engagements and to implement some of the understandings and decisions that the two leaders had reached at Wuhan,” he said. PM Modi also expressed his willingness to send NSA Doval to China this year for the Special Representative-level boundary talks, he said. Gokhale said the two sides had agreed at Qingdao that the Chinese ministers for defence and public security would travel to India this year.
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