Tuesday, September 2, 2014  


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Fire in Kolkata high rise, trapped persons rescued

Kolkata: A major fire broke out this morning in the 24floor iconic Chatterjee International Building in the heart of the city with fire personnel rescuing those trapped inside the high rise which houses many commercial establishments.

The fire is yet to be doused and 20 fire tenders have been rushed to the spot.

"Four persons who were trapped inside have been rescued using a ladder and they have sent to hospital for treatment for smokerelated complaints," West Bengal Fire Services Minister Javed Khan told news persons here.

"No one else is trapped inside the building," he told reporters while supervising fire tending operations at the building situated at the crossing of Park Street and Jawaharlal Nehru Road here.

Some people who were in the second and third floors of the building were also evacuated, he said.

The fire broke out between the 12th and 15th floors of the building and around 20 fire tenders and two hydraulic ladders have been pressed into service to bring the blaze under control, fire services control room said.

He said fire services and disaster management group personnel reacted very quickly and was thus able to contain the spread of the blaze.

Khan said that it was only after the fire is doused that the cause of the blaze in the building, which houses many offices and business establishments, can be ascertained.

The area has been cordoned off to conduct the operations.

With the fire breaking out just before the office hours and several major thoroughfares closed due to fire tending operations, huge traffic snarls were caused inconveniencing officegoers.

Former Attorney General Goolam E Vahanvati passes away

Mumbai: Former Attorney General of India G E Vahanvati, the first Muslim to become the top law officer of the country, died here today following a heart attack aged 65.

Goolam Essaji Vahanvati is survived by his wife and son, Maharashtra's Advocate General Darius Khambata said.

Vahanvati was appointed the 13th Attorney General in June 2009 for a threeyear term after UPA government was relected. In 2012, the term was extended by another two years.He resigned on May 27 this year after the BJPled government headed by Narendra Modi assumed power.

Prior to his appointment as the top law officer, Vahanvati had served as the Solicitor General of India between June 20, 2004 and June 7, 2009. He was earlier the Advocate General of Maharashtra.

Born on May 7, 1949, Vahanvati obtained a law degree from Government Law College in Mumbai after graduating from St. Xavier's College. Vahanvati was suffering from a lung infection for some time and was admitted to a city hospital.

Manmohan Singh made member of Fin Parl panel

New Delhi: Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who is hailed as the architect of economic reforms in the country, is a member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance, it was announced today.

Incidentally, M Veerappa Moily, who was a minister in the Manmohan Singh government, is heading the Committee on Finance, which also has Congress leaders Digvijay Singh and Jyotiraditya Scindia as its members.

BJP's Jayant Sinha, the Harvardeducated investor and son of former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha, is also a member of the Committee so are S S Ahluwalia and Kirit Somaiah of the ruling party.

In 1991, Manmohan Singh, as Finance Minister in the P V Narasimha Rao government, had ushered in economic reforms that changed the face of the country.

Rahul Gandhi is a member of the Committee on External Affairs, while Congress President Sonia Gandhi does not figure in any of the panels announced. In the last Lok Sabha, Rahul Gandhi had been a member of the Committee on HRD and Sports.

Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge is a member of the Committee on Home Affairs headed by party colleague P Bhattacharya.

There has been a host of senior leaders in the Committee on Defence including BJP veteran Murli Manohar Joshi, former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda and Deputy leader of Congress in the Lok Sabha Amarinder Singh.

The committee also includes Olympic silver medalist in shooting and Rajyavardhan Rathore of BJP and IYC chief Rajeev Satav. Former General B C Khanduri, who missed the ministerial bus due to age factor will now head the Committee on Defence,

NCP supremo Sharad Pawar is a member of the Committee on HRD while his party colleague Praful Patel is on the Committee for Industry headed by JDU leader K C Tyagi.

Former Defence Minister and Congress leader A K Antony is now a member of the Committee on Railways along with party veteran Motilal Vora. BJP veteran L K Advani is a member of the Committee on Information and Technology headed by young Anurag Thakur (BJP). He is also a member of the Committee on Public Undertakings headed by senior BJP leader Shanta Kumar. Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan is a member of the Committee on Urban Development while former Petroleum Minister Mani Shankar Aiyer is a member of the Committee on Petroleum and Natural Gas. Ahmed Patel, Political Secretary to the Congress President, is also a member of the committee.

Trinamool Congress member Sugata Bose, who teaches History at Harvard, is a member of the Committee on External Affairs which is headed by former Union minister Shashi Tharoor of Congress. Supriya Sule of the NCP and Kanimozhi of the DMK are members of the Committee.

BJP's Satyapal Singh, who quit as Mumbai Police Commissioner to join politics and defeated RLD supremo Ajit Singh in his home turf of Baghpat in Western Uttar Pradesh, is a member of the Committee on Agriculture.

Former Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa of the BJP and Congress General Secretary Janardan Dwivedi, are also members of the committee headed by former Union minister Hukm Dev Narayan Yadav.

Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav is a member of the Committee on Labour while Amar Singh, who was his close associate sometime ago, is on the Committee on Food, Public Distribution and Consumer Affairs.

Sachin Tendulkar is a member of the Committee on Information Technology so is Advani. Varun Gandhi, who failed to find a place in Team BJP when Amit Shah took over is also in the Committee along with party members Hema Malini and Paresh Rawal. Young BJP member Anurag Thakur heads the Committee.

Rekha, a nominated member, is a member of the Committee on Food, Public distribution and consumer affairs.

NonNDA parties which have got chairmanship include Trinamool Congress member K D Singh (Transport) former Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedialso Trinamool(Railways), BJD member Pinaki Mishra (Urban Development), AIADMK's P Venugopal (Rural Development), Satish Chandra Misra of BSP (Health) and K C Tyagi of JDU (Commerce and Industry).

Naval chief to commission largest offshore patrol vessel

New Delhi: Strengthening Navy's coastal surveillance capabilities, Admiral Robin Dhowan will commission its largest offshore patrol vessel INS Sumitra on Thursday in Chennai.

"The latest generation warship built by the stateowned Goa Shipyard Limited will join the Eastern Naval Command fleetat Chennai for nation's maritime surveillance and coastal security," a GSL press release said.

The INS Sumitra is the Indian Navy's largest offshore patrol vessel, the fourth in its class and built on inhouse design of GSL, the shipyard said.

The ship is fitted with most sophisticated weapons, guns,heavy calibre SRGM, rapid fire Russian AK630 guns, chaff launchers Kavach, Electronic warfare system Sanket and various other electronic sensors.

"Significantly, all the equipment planned on the warshiphas been tried and fully operational. It is ready for itsintentional role in war and peace. Further, ship has been built at fixed cost in scheduled time with no pending liabilities by the PSU shipyard," the GSL said.

The vessel can help meet Navy's requirement for undertaking ocean surveillance and surface warfare operations in order to prevent infiltration and transgression of maritime sovereignty and is suitable for monitoring sea lanes of communication, defence of offshore oil installations and other critical offshore national assets.

GSL chief Rear Admiral Shekhar Mital (Retd) said this delivery would take the shipyard's delivery account to 203 ships.

The first, second and third of the series of 105 meter class of NOPV INS Saryu, Sunayna and Sumedha were earlier handed over to the Navy by GSL.

AAP slams Modi government for failures

New Delhi: AAP slammed the Narendra Modi government on Tuesday for failing to bring back black money and curb corruption even after completion of 100 days in office.

"100 days are up. Where is the black money? The government has only set up the cursory SIT on black money, that too following the directions of the Supreme Court. The government hasn't reverted, repealed or even commented upon the double tax avoidance treaties or participatory notes, which are important in smuggling black money away from India. It hasn't implemented any of the key recommendations of the White Paper on Black Money tabled in Parliament in 2012," the party said in a statement.

The party said that the Modi government failed to control prices of essential commodities.

"In the first 100 days of the BJP government, the prices of diesel, kerosene, milk, tomatoes, onions, potatoes and nearly every essential commodity went up by astronomical levels. And it's not as if farmers benefited from this price rise, as they received lower real minimum support prices, adjusted for inflation," the party said.

It also slammed the government saying the Union Budget was a clear example of how the Modi government represented cosmetic change and not something more fundamental.

"Spending on education and health remained exactly the same, and so did the expenditure on women, children and the socially disadvantaged. There were tax deduction announcements, disinvestment, FDI allottment increases, PPPs, calls for modernization, but somehow the Aam Aadmi remained under the radar for Arun Jaitley," the party said.

The party also alleged that the goverment has proposed to loosen the regulations and make as many as 19 amendments in the Land Acquisition Act in a bid to please industrialists without taking care of the environment, farmers and the rural poor.

IAS, IPS officers to sign bond before going on study leave:Govt

New Delhi: The IAS, IPS and IFoS officers need to execute a bond agreeing to refund all expenses borne on them by the government on their study leave in case they fail to return on duty after such sabbatical, the Centre has said.

Under the existing rule, an officer of allIndia servicesIndian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS) and Indian Forest Service (IFoS)are supposed to sign a bond which requires putting in specified period of service after expiry of the study leave.

"It has come to the notice of this Department that the provisions of the aforesaid bond are being circumvented and officers who have availed study leave proceed on prolonged spells of leave due and admissible to them and thus do not put in active service for the requisite period as indicated in the bond executed by them," the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) said in a directive.

In view of which, the provisions of the earlier prescribed format of the bond have been reviewed and decided to revise its format, it said.

In the event of my failing to resume duty or resigning or retiring from service or otherwise quitting service without returning to duty after the expiry or termination of the period of study leave or failing to complete the course of study, an officer shall pay to the government the sum together with interest on government loans, said the revised bond format.

All the ministries, departments, state governments are requested to ensure that the necessary bond in respect of grant of study leave under the All India Services (Study Leave) Regulations, 1960 may henceforth be obtained in the revised formats, it said in the order sent to chief secretary of all state governments and union territories.

"There were instances where officers were either leaving the government job after completion of study leave or extending the period of such courses. The bond will ensure that they return to their job and do some value addition in their work through their learning during the study leave," a DoPT official said.

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