NEWS IN BRIEF – FEB 08, 2013

NEWS IN BRIEF – FEB 08, 2013
1. Govt Stumped as Growth Pegged at Decade-Low 5%: NEW DELHI :
The statistics office has forecast GDP growth of just 5% this year,
surprising many and piling on pressure on the finance minister to deliver a
growth-inducing budget and the central bank for more rate cuts soon. The
Central Statistical Organisation’s (CSO) forecast of a decade low growth
rate, bleaker than estimates of the finance ministry, Reserve Bank of India
(RBI) and most private economists, had the finance ministry playing down
the number while others said it would most likely be revised upwards.[ET
p1]
2. 3 cops to protect each VIP, just 1 policeman for 761 citizens, 15,000
More On Security Duty Than Sanctioned: New Delhi: India’s police
personnel to population ratio is 1: 761, but there are as many as 47,557
cops protecting 14,842 VIPs across the country or three police personnel
to one protectee even as rising crime poses a serious threat to the
security of the common citizen. [TOI p1]
3. Cut our cover, help common man: SC bench: New Delhi: Take away
our security and let the available cops protect citizens — this was the
observation of a bench of Justices G S Singhvi and H L Gokhale as the
Delhi Police informed Supreme Court on Thursday that 8,049 policemen
were deployed for VVIP security and just 3,448 for crime prevention and
investigation of criminal cases. [TOI p1]
4. Forged Sonia letter shocks NAC, It Recommended Candidate For
Post In ST Panel To Minister: New Delhi: The office of chairperson of
National Advisory Council got a rude shock recently when it was found
that Sonia Gandhi had written a letter to Minister for Tribal Affairs Kishore
Chandra Deo asking him to appoint Dr Hema Hari Prasanna Pegu to the
post of vice-chairman of National Commission for Scheduled Tribes.[TOI
p6]
5. Swine flu kills 95 in north India since Jan 1, 494 Cases Reported In 4
States: New Delhi: North India suddenly finds itself facing a sharp
upsurge of swine flu cases, with the virus having claimed 95 lives in just
four states of the region so far this year. As per health ministry data, 64
people have died due to H1N1 influenza in Rajasthan while 18 deaths
have been reported from Haryana, 10 from Punjab and three in Delhi till
Wednesday. As many as 494 cases have come to light in these states in
the first 37 days of the year. [TOI p1]
6. Three new swine flu cases in city, Walia Calls Emergency Meeting To
Check Preparedness: New Delhi: A day after TOI reported about three
swine flu deaths in the city, the Delhi government swung into action. It
called an emergency meeting on Thursday to assess the preparedness
level at all its hospitals. State health minister A K Walia, who chaired the
meeting, said directions have been issued to 22 major hospitals, including
five private facilities, to set up isolated wards to offer treatment to patients
affected by the disease. [TOI p5]
7. Coal scam: CBI to grill representatives of 3 PSUs : New Delhi : The
CBI is likely to question representatives of three state government run
public sector undertakings (PSUs) next week in connection with its probe
related to the Coalgate scam. [AA p3]
8. CAG pushing the envelope, says Vinod Rai : New Delhi : National
chief auditor Vinod Rai admitted that the Comptroller and Auditor General
(CAG) was ‘treading a new path’. Addressing a meet at the Harvard
Kennedy School (USA), Rai said that CAG is ‘pushing envelope’ but he
added that this was being done with public interest in mind.[TOI p15]
9. Rahul as Lord Shiva in Kumbh poster : Allahabad: The idea of putting
up posters depicting Congress president Sonia Gandhi as Rani
Lakshmibai and party vice-president Rahul Gandhi as Lord Shiva at the
Sangam backfired on city party leader Abhay Awasthi, depriving him of the
party’s primary membership. [TOI p11]
10. Rahul to Meet State Leaders Next Week: NEW DELHI : After a
brainstorming session with the Congress leadership, Congress V-P Rahul
Gandhi will hold consultations with the party’s state unit presidents and
legislative party leaders on February 15. [ET p2]
11. Jairam against naming of scheme after Vajpayee : New Delhi : Union
Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh on Thursday ruled out BJP’s
demand that the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (Prime Minister’s
Rural Roads Scheme) be named after former Prime Minister Atal Bihari
Vajpayee who had launched the programme.[Pioneer Daily p5]
12. FM radio auctioning overcast by 2G scam : New Delhi :The 2Gspectrum
scam has cast its shadow not only on the telecom industry, but
also on FM radio auctioning. The Cabinet had in July, 2011 approved the
proposal to auction 839 FM radio channels in Phase III in 227 cities, but
even 19 months after the clearance the project that would generate Rs
1,733 crore is yet to see the light of the day.[Pioneer Daily p6]
13. After party set-up, Rahul readies for poll challenge : New Delhi : After
his series of meetings to set the party organisation in order, Congress vice
president Rahul Gandhi has turned his attention to electoral challenges.
Gandhi has called for a meeting with the newly constituted election coordination
committee, on Saturday. [HT p10]
14. RSS chief backs Modi for PM candidate: Allahabad: The buzz around
Narendra Modi being the BJP’s prime ministerial nominee increased on
Thursday, with Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) chief
Mohan Bhagwat virtually endorsing the Gujarat chief minister, saying
popular sentiments for him needed to be taken into account. [TOI p1]
15. PM candidate debate can weaken NDA : JD-U to Advani : Patna : JDU
leader Harikishore Singh’s recent meeting with L K Advani, where he
reportedly conveyed that “JD-U has no problem with BJP declaring NDA
PM candidate post-poll”, is being seen as an indication of change in the
stand taken by Nitish Kumar’s party.[Indian Express p3]
16. At Sangh meet, clamour grows for mandir and Modi : New Delhi : The
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh wants a government that will ensure a
mandir comes up in Ayodhya, its chief Mohan Bhagwat said, as the
10,000-odd saints in attendance rooted for the Gujarat chief minister as
the country’s next prime minister.[HT p1]
17. Sangh Parivar coming around for Modi?: Allahabad: RSS chief Mohan
Bhagwat’s remark at a VHP gathering on Thursday is seen as a major
indication that the larger Sangh Parivar may be coming around to
projecting Modi as their choice for prime minister despite resistance from
some top BJP leaders and allies like Nitish Kumar. [TOI p14]
18. Setback for Modi as SC Allows Zakia to Challenge Closure, Zakia will
now be able to access documents submitted by special investigation
team: NEW DELHI : The Supreme Court has allowed Zakia Jafri, widow
of former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, to file a fresh petition before a trial
court, challenging closure of a criminal case against Gujarat chief minister
Narendra Modi in the 2002 riots. The court’s decision is a setback for
Modi, considered the frontrunner among the Bharatiya Janata Party’s
prime ministerial candidates in the next general elections. [ET p2]
19. Togadia booked for hate speech, faces arrest: Mumbai/Aurangabad:
The Nanded police on Thursday booked Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader
Pravin Togadia under various sections of the IPC for allegedly delivering a
hate speech at Bhokar in the district last month. Late in the evening, a
senior IPS officer told TOI that law-enforcing agencies have begun the
process of arresting Togadia for his Nanded “hate speech” on January 22.
[TOI p11]
20. Mandir revival may help UPA, Feels Congress : New Delhi : The
Congress feels Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi and BJP president
Rajnath Singh would be assets for it. This is because revival of the Ram
Mandir issue and campaign for Mr Modi’s projection as PM candidate
would ensure the UPA’s victory for the third time, the Congress feels. [AA
p2]
21. SC raps CBI counsel in Ayodhya trial: New Delhi: The Supreme Court
on Thursday disapproved of the CBI counsel’s reference to demolition of
the disputed Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi structure at Ayodhya as a
“national crime”. [TOI p11]
22. BJP divided over temple strategy : New Delhi : The BJP seems to be
clearly divided on the strategy of taking up the Ram Mandir issue ahead of
the crucial electoral battles while Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi’s
supporters want him to desist from identifying with the ongoing
Mahakumbh at Allahabad which they feel is swarming with hardcore
Hindutva overtones.[AA p2]
23. Omar Abdullah rules out alliance with NDA : New Delhi : Jammu and
Kashmir CM Omar Abdullah, who was here on Thursday, has ruled out
the possibility of his National Conference party joining the National
Democratic Alliance after the 2014 general elections. “Question does not
arise about our party going with NDA,” said Omar, who was on a visit to
the Dargah of Khwaja Moinuddin Chisty here along with his father and
Union minister Farooq Abdullah.[HT p10]
24. Bihar RS: KC Tyagi elected unopposed : Patna : Senior JD(U) leader
K.C. Tyagi was elected unopposed to the Rajya Sabha from Bihar
Thursday. This was informed by the state assembly secretary-cum
returning officer Phul Jha. Mr Tyagi, considered a close aide of JD(U)
president Sharad Yadav, was declared elected at the end of the deadline
for withdrawal of nomination as he was the sole candidate in the fray. He
will be a member of the RS till July 7, 2016. The seat had fallen vacant
following the resignation of JD(U) MP U.S. Kushwaha.[AA p2]
25. Vasundhara Raje blows poll bugle in Rajasthan: Jaipur : Former chief
minister Vasundhara Raje, who has recently been appointed BJP
president in Rajasthan, blew the poll bugle on Thursday. Addressing about
50 public meetings, Raje asked the public to be wary of promises that the
Congress government in the state would make in the next six months. [HT
p10]
26. Grand welcome for Raje in Rajasthan : Jaipur : Emerging as a
cohesive party, the BJP in Rajasthan put up an impressive road show on
Thursday to give rousing welcome to its newly elected State party
president Vasundhara Raje. In a well planned programme, it was decided
that she would travel by road to reach Jaipur from Delhi. [Pioneer Daily
p7]
27. Accountability for Guj riots must be fixed: EU : New Delhi: At a time
when Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi is reaching out to people
nationally and internationally, the European Union on Thursday stressed
on “accountability” for the 2002 Gujarat riots, maintaining that the matter
was of “interest” to everyone. [TOI p13]
28. 17-yr-old Kerala rape haunts Cong, Girl’s mother writes to Sonia for
justice: Kottayam: A day after an AICC spokesperson said the Congress
high command will look into the allegations against Rajya Sabha deputy
chairman P J Kurien in the Suryanelli sex scandal, the victim’s mother
sent a letter to Sonia Gandhi, seeking her intervention for an impartial
probe. [TOI p14]
29. BJP-ruled MCD doesn’t follow Modi’s model : New Delhi : Gujarat
chief minister Narendra Modi in his talk to SRCC students on Wednesday
insisted on need for pro-people, good governance (P2G2) model. He
would do well to send across the same message to his party colleagues in
Delhi. The BJP-ruled municipal corporations in Delhi have failed to work
beyond 15 per cent of the installed capacity of e-governance in its six-year
tenure. Insiders blame this on sabotage from within as e-governance
would bring with it transparency in civic services. [Millennium Post p1]
30. Review plea of UP govt turned down, Noida Chairman Removed:
Allahabad: In a setback to the Samajwadi Party government in Uttar
Pradesh, the Allahabad high court on Thursday dismissed a review
application challenging its order directing removal of two IAS officers from
key posts in Noida. While Noida CEO Sanjeev Saran was shifted from the
post in an administrative reshuffle on January 16, chairman Rakesh
Bahadur was on Thursday removed and kept in waiting. [TOI p9]
31. UP CM inducts 12 ministers : Lucknow : The Akhilesh Yadav
Government acquired a younger look on Thursday following
32. induction of 12 more Ministers, taking the total strength of the Ministry to
60. Of the 12 new Ministers inducted into the 11-monthold Government,
six are first timers and six of them are below 40 years of age.[Pioneer
Daily p7]
33. Goel to be Delhi BJP chief? : New Delhi : Former Lok Sabha MP Vijay
Goel is likely to be appointed the new chief of Delhi BJP. Goel held the
post of general secretary in the outgoing team of BJP’s national office
bearers and the new role for him will come less than a year before the
Assembly election. “An announcement to this effect is likely to be made
before the BJP’s conclave in Delhi between March 1 and 3,” sources told
The Pioneer.[Pioneer Daily p5]
34. North, South tug-of-war over civic centre: New Delhi: South and North
corporations are at loggerheads over the issue of ownership of SP
Mukherjee Civic Centre, currently headquarters of both corporations.
North has sent a notice to South to pay property tax as it occupies 10-odd
floors in the building. South Corporation claims as the ownership issue is
yet to be settled, North can’t ask for property tax. [TOI p1]
EDITORIAL/OPINION
35. For A Shock & Awe Budget, To get back to 9% growth, India needs to
start downsizing its government: N V Krishnakumar : Will the finance
minister present a growth budget? Yesteryear election strategies of
populism and debt write-offs are passé and are doubtful to be vote-getters
in the 2014 general election. Issues that are likely to capture voter
imagination in 21st century India are high economic growth, job creation,
social and infrastructure development and poverty alleviation. Contrary to
popular belief, the finance minister must present a budget for New India.
[TOI p20]
36. Modi’s Soft Launch, Can he reconcile the politics of development
with the slogans of Hindutva?: Narendra Modi’s soft launch on the
national scene Wednesday proved his big day out. “He came, he spoke,
he conquered” – that’s how a student flatteringly described the Gujarat
chief minister’s address at the Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC).
[TOI p20]
37. The man who would rule India : Ramachandra Guha: A journalist who
recently interviewed Narendra Modi reported their conversation as follows:
“Gujarat, he told me, merely has a seafront. It has no raw materials — no
iron ore for steel, no coal for power and no diamond mines. Yet it has
made huge strides in these fields. Imagine, he added, if we had the
natural resources of an Assam, a Jharkhand and a West Bengal: I would
have changed the face of India.”(see The Telegraph, January 18,
2013).[The Hindu p10]

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