CMYK SATURDAY www.thestatesman.com 29 DECEMBER 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 P7 SENSEX 36,076.72 +269.44 WEATHER Mainly clear sky. Maximum and minimum temperature will be around 23-11 degree celsius, respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.92% TEMPERATURE Max: 23.2°C (-2.5) SUN RISES 06:16 hrs MOON RISES 24.00 hrs THE DISHONOURED AIR CHIEF SERENA MOVING ON TO 'BIGGER, BETTER THINGS' ‘MY MOTHER FEARS FOR MY SAFETY’ P11 NIFTY 10,859.90 +80.10 P6 ` vs $ 69.95 +40 PAISE GOLD 30,430.00 -10.00 Proposal for POCSO Act changes cleared Provides for death penalty for aggravated child abuse Min. 27% Min: 11.2°C (-2.5) SUN SETS 17:02 hrs MOON SETS 11:38 hrs New moon on 5 January THUMBNAILS South Korean President Moon Jae-in Moon Jae-in is ANN Person Of The Year: South i Korean President Moon Jae-in has been named the ANN Person Of The Year because of his steadfast commitment to diplomacy and deescalation and because he single-handedly disarmed the powder keg that had been primed. Moon reached across the border when it was not popular or politically prudent to do so. His insistence on inviting and meeting with the North Korean delegation at the Olympic Games slowed down tensions and opened room for negotiations. Because without Moon Jae-in’s insistence, persistence and patience, the Trump-Kim summit would never have happened. No Moon-Kim summit, no Trump-Kim P10 summit. Mid-air collision averted: In a rare incident, a three planes of three foreign airlines - Dutch KLM, Taiwan’s Eva Air and US National Airlines, carrying hundreds of passengers, came perilously close in the Delhi flight information region and collisions were averted after multiple auto generated warnings and intervention from ATC, an official said. The Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau has started a probe into the incident, which happened on 23 Dec. India announces Rs 4,500-crore assistance to c Bhutan: Prime Minister Modi on Friday announced a Rs 4,500-crore financial assistance to Bhutan to help the country implement its 12th five-year plan, after he held wide-ranging talks with his Bhutanese counterpart Lotay Tshering. In his media statement, Modi said he has assured the Bhutanese PM that India, as a “trusted friend”, will continue to play an P3 important role in Bhutan's development. MHA says foreign journalists violating Indian laws liable to be punished: All foreigners have to respect Indian law and those found in violation are liable to be punished but that does not mean they are blacklisted forever, a Home Ministry official said on Friday after a Reuters journalist was denied entry into India for allegedly violating visa rules. “The action against Cathal McNaughton is not permanent and can be reviewed after six months.’’ INDO ASIAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 28 DECEMBER he Union Cabinet has cleared a proposal to amend the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012 to provide for the death penalty for aggravated penetrative sexual assault on children. Briefing the media on the decisions taken at the Cabinet meeting held on Thursday, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the Cabinet had cleared far-reaching amendments. "It is a very wholesome initiative by the government to strengthen and enlarge the scope of POCSO. He said apart from providing for the death penalty in aggravated offences, the amendments also provide for stringent punishment for the offence of administering hormones for making children "artificially major". The proposed amendments also provide for a jail term for propagating child pornography and fine for not reporting it. T The POCSO Act defines a child as any person below eighteen years of age. Earlier in April, the government had issued an ordinance to provide for the death penalty for those convicted of raping girls below 12 years of age and life term for raping a girl below 16 following the outrage over the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir and similar crimes in other parts of the country. "The modification is made to address the need for stringent measures required to deter the rising trend of child sex abuse in the country," an official statement said. "To discourage the trend of child sexual abuse by acting as a deterrent, Section-4, Section5 and Section-6 are proposed to be amended to provide option of stringent punishment, including death penalty, for committing aggravated penetrative sexual assault crime on a child, to protect the children from sexual abuse," the statement said. "The amendments are also proposed in section-9 to protect children from sexual offences in times of natural calamities and disasters and in cases where children are administered, in any way, any hormone or any chemical substance, to attain early sexual maturity for the purpose of penetrative sexual assault," it added. The government said that amendments to sections 14 and 15 are also proposed to address the menace of child pornography. "It is proposed to levy fine for not destroying or deleting, or (not) reporting the pornographic material involving a child. The person can be further penalized with jail term or fine or both for transmitting, propagating, administrating such material in any manner except for the purpose of reporting as may be prescribed and for use as evidence in court," it said. "Penal provisions have been made more stringent for storing or possessing any pornographic material in any form involving a child for commercial purpose." The government said the amendment is expected to discourage the trend of child sexual abuse by acting as a deterrent due to the strong penal provisions incorporated in the Act. "It may protect the interest of vulnerable children in times of distress and ensure their safety and dignity," it added. INDIA AHEAD IN BOOM TIME FOR BUMRAH P12 SILVER 38,350.00 +500.00 BRENT CRUDE (IN $) 51.97 -0.19 Three Indian astronauts to be sent to space by 2022: Govt INDO ASIAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 28 DECEMBER In major boost to India's ambitious programme to send astronauts to space, the Union Cabinet has approved Rs 10,000-crore "Gaganyaan Programme" that envisages two unmanned and one manned flights to the space. Informing about the decision on Friday, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said: "Three Indian astronauts will be sent to space for up to seven days by 2022." Announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 15, the total fund requirement for the Gaganyaan Programme is within Rs 10,000 crore and includes cost of technology development, flight hardware realisation and essential infrastructure elements. Two unmanned flights and one manned flight will be undertaken as part of the programme. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will collaborate extensively with various national agencies, laboratories, academia and industry to accomplish the Gaganyaan Programme objectives. While the ISRO will be responsible for realising the flight hardware through industry, national agencies, laboratories and academia will participate in crew training, human life science technol- ‘Gaganyaan Programme’ The Union Cabinet has cleared the ‘Gaganyaan Programme’ which envisages two unmanned and one manned flights to the space The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will collaborate extensively with various national agencies, laboratories, academia and industry to accomplish ogy development initiatives as well as design reviews. The first human space flight demonstration is targeted to be completed within 40 months from the date of sanction. Prior to this, two unmanned flights in full complement will be carried out to gain confidence on the technology and mission management aspects. The ambitious programme will also allow pooling in of diverse technological and industrial capabilities and enable broader participation in research opportunities and technology development. It is also expected to spur research and development within the country in niche science and technology domains and provide huge potential for technology spinoffs in areas such as medicine, agriculture, industrial safety, the ‘‘Gaganyaan Programme’’ objectives. The first human space flight demonstration is targeted to be completed within 40 months from the date of sanction. The ‘‘Gaganyaan Programme’’ is expected to spur research and development within the country in science and technology domains. pollution, waste management, and water and food resource management, among others. The ISRO has completed the development of launch vehicle GSLV Mk-lll which has the necessary payload capability to launch a threemember crew module in low earth orbit. It has also tested the crew escape system which is an essential technology for manned space flight. The aerodynamic characterisation of crew module has been completed as part of GSLV Mklll X mission flight. Elements of life support system and space suit also have been realised and tested. In addition, the orbital and reentry mission and recovery operations have been flight demonstrated in Space Capsule Recovery Experiment (SRE) mission. Modi pans JDS-Cong govt over ‘development-free corruption’ Centre committed to democratic process in J&K, says Rajnath PRESS TRUST OF INDIA PRESS TRUST OF INDIA BENGALURU, 28 DECEMBER Tearing into the CongressJDS coalition government in Karnataka, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday accused it of being “steeped” in arrogance and interested only in “development-free corruption”. Targeting the ruling coalition over its contradictions and power struggle, Modi said it seemed as if they were in power “only to play musical chair”, and mocked its much vaunted loan waiver scheme as one of the “most cruel jokes” on farmers. Modi said those in power think that just because they had formed a government “by hook or crook” they can get away with anything, but people would soon teach them a lesson for misgovernance. “People want corruption-free government, but Karnataka government wants development-free corruption,” Modi told BJP's boothlevel workers of the state, while mounting a trenchant attack on the ruling dispensation. The interaction with the BJP's polling booth-level functionaries through video conferencing was part of the party's 'Mera Booth Sabse Mazboot' outreach aimed at galvanising the organisational apparatus ahead of next year's Lok Sabha elections. Referring to reported squabbles between the ruling alliance partners, Modi said,”I can understand the pain of the people of Karnataka. Every day there is news only about who is happy or who isunhappy. And for what? For some ministerial posts. “It seems as if people are in power in Karnataka only to play musical chair,” Modi said. He told party workers that when those in power were not interested in the welfare of people, it was their duty to become “the voice of the people”. The Prime Minister asked BJP workers to “wake up” the government from slumber. Talking about agrarian distress and farmer suicides, he accused the H D Kumaraswamy government of being “steeped in arrogance”. Targeting the state government over its much touted loan waiver scheme, he said, “What they have done in the name of loan waiver will go down in the history as one of the most cruel jokes on farmers.After six months in power, news reports say the government could only benefit a handful of farmers.” The government had announced a massive Rs 44,000 crore loan waiver scheme in July but its implementation has been tardy, drawing criticism from the BJP which is cooling its heels in the Opposition despite emerging as the single largest party after Assembly elections. NEW DELHI, 28 DECEMBER The Lok Sabha on Friday adopted a resolution on imposition of President's Rule in Jammu and Kashmir, with the Centre asserting that it was committed to democratic process in the state after the Opposition termed the decision to dissolve the Assembly as “unconstitutional”. The Statutory Resolution on imposition of President's Rule in Jammu and Kashmir, which requires Parliament's approval, was adopted with voice vote amid din in the House. However, after members insisted, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan allowed a discussion on the issue as a “special case”. As Opposition parties, including the Congress, Trinamul Congress and NCP questioned imposition of President's Rule and dissolution of J-K Assembly, Home Minister Rajnath Singh told the House that no party was in a position to form government even a day before December 19 when the Governor took the decision. He also rejected claims of some Opposition parties that the BJP was propping up a regional party to form government, saying if his party had such an intention, it would have done so within six months of the Governor's Rule. “The government doesn't conduct elections but the government is ready for election. It is the responsibility of the Election Commission to hold elections... we are totally committed to democratic process,” he said. The Minister assured the House that security requirement of the Election Commission will be met for free and fair Assembly election in the state. Soon after imposition of the Governor's Rule in June, Singh said, the Governor's report of June 19 to the President indicated that no party or coalition of parties in the state was in a position to form government. The Governor's rule was imposed in these conditions, he said, adding the Assembly was not dissolved for six months in anticipation of formation of government in the state. However, no party staked claim to form government and the Governor had to recommend President's Rule. President's Rule in Jammu and Kashmir follows if the Governor's rule extends beyond six months. The Statutory Resolution will now go to the Rajya Sabha for approval. Initiating the debate, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor said Governor Satya Pal Malik acted in “gross violation” of the Supreme Court order in S R Bommai case that had stated that whether an alliance has a majority or not can be decided only on the floor of the Assembly. Malik's decision to impose Governor's rule after the NC, PDP and the Congress made a move to form the government in the state was also in “violation” of the Sarkaria Commission's guidelines on Centre-state relations, he said. Trinamul Congress' Saugata Roy termed the Governor's decision as “arbitrary” and claimed the Centre had propped up a rival alliance led by Sajjad Lone, who had the support of “only two MLAs”. As Singh was speaking, National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah interjected, saying, “The PDP approached our party and we agreed to provide them support along with the Congress. But the irony was that the fax and phone of the Governor were not working.” Referring to the decision to dissolve the Assembly without giving an opportunity to the proposed NC-PDP-Cong alliance to form government, he said, “Governor's House is not the place to prove majority’’. Political slugfest erupts over The Accidental Prime Minister PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 28 DECEMBER A political row erupted on Friday over The Accidental Prime Minister, a film based on Manmohan Singh's tenure as India's prime minister from 2004 to 2014, with the Congress alleging it was the BJP's propaganda against their party. The film is based on the book of the same name by Sanjaya Baru, who served as Singh's media adviser from 2004 to 2008. The trailer of the film was released in Mumbai on Thursday. “Riveting tale of how a family held the country to ransom for 10 long years. Was Dr Singh just a regent who was holding on to the PM's chair till the time heir was ready? Watch the official trailer of TheAccidentalPrimeMinister, based on an insider's account, releasing on 11 January,” the BJP said after the launch of the film's trailer. The Congress termed the film as “BJP's propaganda” against their party, even as the former prime minister evaded comments on the growing controversy over the film on him. The Congress leaders maintained that such propaganda against the party would not work and the truth shall prevail. Actor Anupam Kher, who essays Singh's role in the film, called The Accidental Prime Minister his “life's best performance”. He also said the film should be seen as a creative endeavour and not an attempt to support a political party. The film's trailer shows Singh as a victim of the Congress' internal politics ahead of the 2014 general elections. Responding to the row, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said on Twitter, “Such fake propaganda by the party would not stop it from asking the Modi government questions on rural distress, rampant unemployment, demonetisation disaster, flawed GST, failed Modinomics, all-pervading corruption”. Asked by journalists at the Congress' foundation day function at the party headquarters here on Fri- day to comment on the film, Singh walked away. Congress leader and Rajasthan CM Gehlot said the truth shall prevail. His colleague and party leader P L Punia accused the BJP of evading answers on its “mis-governance”. “This is the handiwork of the BJP They know that time . has come to give answers after completion of five years and they are now trying to divert attention by raising such issues and evading answering to the public after its government failed on all fronts,” he said. National Conference leader Omar Abdullah tweeted, “Can't wait for when they make The Insensitive Prime Minister. So much worse than being the accidental one”. CMYK ‘MP government has not banned film’ PRESS TRUST OF INDIA BHOPAL, 28 DECEMBER The Congress government in Madhya Pradesh said on Friday it had not banned the film The Accidental Prime Minister, in which actor Anupam Kher plays former PM Manmohan Singh. While several Congress leaders sought a ban on it or removal of “objectionable scenes”, the state unit of the party said it had no comment to make as the film was the BJP's “propaganda”. The Department of Public Relations of the Madhya Pradesh government tweeted that there was no decision by the government to ban the film and media reports announcing a ban were not factual. The film has sparked a row over alleged distortion of facts. The clarification came after a section of media reported that the movie, based on a book of the same name by Singh's media adviser Sanjaya Baru, was banned in the state. The film, whose trailer was released recently, has a motley of actors playing the key players of the Nehru-Gandhi family and Kher stepping into the shoes of Manmohan Singh. Talking to PTI, Madhya Pradesh Congress Media Cell coordinator Narendra Saluja said, “This movie is part of the BJP's propaganda and tactics to divert attention from real issues. So, we don't want to comment on it.” “The chief minister also made it clear that there was no intention of banning any movie in the state,” he said. Earlier, Congress spokesperson Syed Zaffer, resident of CM Kamal Nath's Lok Sabha constituency Chhindwara, had said the film would not be allowed to release.
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