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Close to 70 lakh income tax non-filers for 2014-15 identified by authorities

The Income Tax Department has identified an additional 67.54 lakh potential non-filers who carried out high value transactions in 2014-15 but did not file return of income.

The Non-Filers Monitoring System (NMS) was initiated by CBDT, the policy making body of I-T Department, for identification of non-filers with potential tax liabilities.

“The Income Tax Department has conducted the fifth cycle of data matching which has identified an additional 67.54 lakh potential non-filers who have carried out high value transactions in the financial year 2014-15 but did not file return of income for the relevant assessment year i.e. AY 2015-16,” CBDT said in a statement.



Non-filers have been identified based on data analytics carried out by the Systems Directorate of Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) about whom specific information is available in the Annual Information Return (AIR), Central Information Branch (CIB) and TDS/TCS databases.

“While the government urges all tax payers to disclose their true income and pay taxes accordingly, the Department would continue to pursue the non-filers vigorously till all the high potential non-filers are covered,” the statement said.

CBDT has made available in the ‘Compliance Module’ on the e-filing portal of the Income Tax Department the information relating to the identified non-filers.

The information will be visible only to the specific PAN holder when they log into the e-filing portal at https.//incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in.

“The PAN holder will be able to respond electronically and retain a copy of the submitted response for record purpose,” CBDT added.

First Published On : Dec 23, 2016 08:25 IST

Demonetisation: Unemployment rate fell in Nov but has picked up in Dec, says CMIE’s Mahesh Vyas

Getting reliable and timely data for unemployment in India has been a difficult proposition till now, since the government releases data with a considerable lag and there has been precious little non-government effort towards data generation. Now, Centre for Monitoring the Indian Economy (CMIE) has begun tracking unemployment in India since January this year, making the study on job creation in India a little easier.

Mahesh Vyas, CEO & MD, tells Sindhu Bhattacharya, in an e-mail interview that the unemployment rate did not fall right after demonetisation announcement on 8 November. In fact, unemployment rate had been dropping for some time. It fell from 7.4 percent in the week of the announcement to 6.2 percent, and in the week of 27 November, it dropped to less than 5 percent. But it has risen thereafter – to 6.1 percent in the week of 4 December, to 6.6 percent in the week ended 11 December and then to 7 percent in the week ended 18 December. Execrpts:

When did CMIE begin tracking unemployment‎ in India? What spurred you to start this survey?

We started tracking unemployment in January 2016. The series from January, was released in April 2016. Since then, we have been releasing the unemployment rate every day.

Mahesh Vyas, MD & CEO, CMIEMahesh Vyas, MD & CEO, CMIE

Mahesh Vyas, MD & CEO, CMIE

Unemployment is an important lead indicator of any economy. In fact, inflation and unemployment are the two most important fast frequency measures of a modern economy. India did not have a fast-frequency measure of unemployment. In fact, India’s unemployment numbers were very outdated and of practically no use for policy making or for business. Data gaps impair our understanding and they lead to unsubstantiated claims.

The availability of reliable data saves us from avoidable and often acrimonious debates. CMIE decided to fill in this gap and decided that the unemployment rate must be made for a public good. BSE became a partner in this endeavor and helped make the unemployment rate a public good by becoming a sponsor. The enlightened view of the BSE board and CMIE’s large survey machinery has helped make India a much more informed economy today.

What is the methodology for tracking unemployment? How do you manage to get a daily report?

Unemployment is calculated by us, by using the standard formula used internationally, which is the ratio of unemployed persons to the total labour force.

Is the sample size big enough for a proper assessment of the jobs scenario? On what basis are interviewees selected for this data?

The sample used by us is the largest deployed in the country. It consists of nearly 160,000 households. The sample size for the last round conducted during May-August 2016 was 159,624. This provided the employment / unemployment status of about 580,000 individuals who are of 15 years of age or more. This is much larger than the sample size deployed by the National Sample Survey Organisation.

Such a large sample size enables us to get (a) a robust estimate of unemployment and (b) an in depth understanding of unemployment in India. Further, the field execution of the survey is organised such that we get a reasonably large sample that is well spread over rural and urban areas every day to make fast-frequency estimations such as weekly unemployment rate and a 30-day moving average daily estimate as well. The weekly estimation is based on a sample size of about 10,000 household or about 36,000 individuals of 15 years or more.

For the purpose of calculating the unemployment rate we seek information on all persons in the sample households who are of 15 years of age or more. The respondent is the most articulate person of the sample household. Such a person speaks on behalf (and often in consultation with) of all members of the household. So, the answer to your question is that all persons who are more than 14 years of age in our sample households are our interviewees. But, we do not have to interview all of them. One articulate member of the household answers on behalf of all interviewees.

Does the data provide a breakup of unemplyment in organised and unorganised sector? Why only rural vs urban?

The unemployment rate is computed based on a household survey. Households are not organised or unorganised. And, a household survey does not yield the unemployment rate in the organised sector or the unorganised sector. To get this, we need to conduct a survey of employment in enterprises from the organised and unorganised sectors.

However, households do belong to rural or urban regions. And so, it is possible to generate rural and urban unemployment rates. It is also possible to generate state-level estimates of unemployment , and we do produce these every month. At the end of every Wave (ie once in 4 months when the entire sample is surveyed), we also generate unemployment rates by age, gender, and by level of education. All these are estimated at the rural and urban levels of each state as well. A detailed statistical profile is generated every four months that provides much greater insights into the unemployment status in the country.

What has been the trend in unemployment this calendar year? How has it changed, if at all, after demonetisation?

The unemployment rate averaged 8-9 percent from January through September 2016. It fell to 6 percent during October and November.

The unemployment rate did not see any fall after demonetisation. This surprised us because there were several reports every day of broken supply chains and much stress among producers of goods and in the markets. However, the data did not show any increase in unemployment. Unemployment, in fact, dropped for some time. It fell from 7.4 percent in the week of the announcement to 6.2 percent and in the week of 27 November, it dropped to less than 5 percent. Unemployment has risen thereafter. It rose to 6.1 percent in the week of 4 December, to 6.6 percent in the week ended 11 December and then to 7 percent in the week ended 18 December.

Our experience in being able to track the impact of demonetisation on unemployment vindicates our view that a fast-frequency measure is critically important in this world where uncertainties seem to increase every day.

Will the scope of the survey be increased going forward?

Yes, it will be increased. This is only the beginning.

Does it take into account employment generated through welfare schemes like MNREGA?

Yes. It does take into account employment generate through welfare schemes. It does so by the construct of the questions. Welfare schemes are not specific questions. They are subsumed, though, in the questions asked.

Does it also capture movement in wages for organised and unorganised sectors?

It does not capture wages; it does not capture organised and unorganised sectors as clarified earlier.

First Published On : Dec 21, 2016 13:56 IST

Gujarat liquor ban: Govt hopes to get Governor nod for new stringent rules

Ahmedabad: Gujarat Government on Tuesday said Governor OP Kohli has given a “positive” response to granting approval to an ordinance that seeks to tighten rules against sale and consumption of alcohol in the State and enhance punishment for offenders.

The ordinance, seeking to make necessary amendments in the Gujarat Prohibition Act, was approved by the Cabinet on December 15 and sent for the Governor’s nod. The decree proposes stringent action against bootleggers, tipplers and unscrupulous officials.

Representational image. AFP.

Representational image. AFP.

Minister of State for Home Pradeepsinh Jadeja told reporters at Gandhinagar that Raj Bhavan is very “positive” about the ordinance and it was likely to be signed and returned to the Government with approval by Wednesday.

“As the Government is keen to implement the new Act as early as possible, Raj Bhavan has shown a positive view on the ordinance and conveyed to us that the Governor would sign it and return to us by tomorrow.

“As soon as the ordinance gets approval, the new Act will come into force with immediate effect,” said Jadeja.

Some of its key provisions include a significant increase in the penalty as well as jail term for those involved in the purchase, sale and transportation of liquor in Gujarat, where total prohibition is in force.

Under the proposed law, accused in such cases would face up to 10 years in jail and a fine of Rs 5 lakh instead of the three-year punishment under the current Act, an official release said.

Similarly, the liquor den operators, as well as those helping them, would face imprisonment up to 10 years. In another major amendment, people who create ruckus or harass others in inebriated condition would face a jail term of not less than one year and up to three years.

Currently, the punishment for such behaviour is just one to three months in jail and a fine of Rs 200-Rs 500.

As per the ordinance, officials found guilty of helping bootleggers escape raids would attract a punishment of seven years in jail and Rs one lakh fine.

For effective implementation of the new Act, the Government would form a ‘Monitoring Cell’, which will have a toll free number.

Using that number, people can inform police about any illegal activities related to liquor trade or consumption, said Jadeja.

Additional Chief Secretary (Home) MS Dagur along with DGP PP Pandey on Tuesday held a video conference with all District SPs and Range IGs to make them understand new provisions as well as powers given to police, said the release.

First Published On : Dec 21, 2016 13:55 IST

Rajiv Gandhi assassination: SC notice to Centre on plea for probe

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Wednesday sought the response of the Centre and CBI on a plea seeking probe into the alleged “larger conspiracy” behind assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.A bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and L Nageshwara Rao issued notice to the premier investigating agency seeking reply on the plea which alleged that CBI did not probe the conspiracy behind the killing of Rajiv Gandhi in 1991 despite an order from a TADA court in Chennai. The order came on a plea filed by A G Perarivalan, one of the convicts in the assassination case, who contended that that neither the CBI (Special Investigation Team) nor its Multi Disciplinary Monitoring Agency (MDMA), had proceeded with the probe in a proper perspective to bring the accused to book as several top people were involved in the case.The apex court had on Febraury 18, 2014 commuted the death sentence of Perarivalan to life imprisonment along with two other condemned prisoners Santhan and Murugan on the ground of 11 years delay in deciding their mercy plea by the Centre. Perarivalan had earlier sought the case dairies pertaining to CBI and MDMA, which probed the matter. When the matter came up for hearing, the bench wanted to know as to “what for the further investigation is required?” Senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, appearing for Perarivalan, said that further probe is required as CBI had only probed the incident in which Gandhi got killed and it did not go beyond the “boom theory”.”What was followed by CBI was a ‘boom theory’. That is there is a death, followed by an investigation into the boom and trial focusing on the boom. But they have not gone into whether there was a larger conspiracy behind the bomb blast… It is this question which requires investigation,” Dhavan said. To this, the bench said, “So the boom is over, the trial is over and you say there is still something more to it?” Dhavan replied, “Yes. The TADA court said there is more to it. It asked CBI to investigate who the real conspirators were.” Perarivalan had also referred to the inquiry report of the Jain Commission which formed the basis for the TADA court’s decision for a further probe to identify role of individuals to uncover the larger conspiracy in the assassination. The convict had alleged that CBI and MDMA, which were entrusted with the task to probe the facts, have not done their work properly.”The grievance of the petitioner is that the designated TADA Court was monitoring the pending investigation on papers only, but without knowing actual facts of the investigation being conducted by CBI (MDMA) for the last about 17 years. “The TADA Court merely collected sealed covers cluelessly that too in-chambers vide in-camera proceedings from the investigating agency every three months once without even opening the said covers for so many years,” the plea said.Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated on May 21, 1991 at Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu.

I&B totting airtime seconds for top politicians

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Just how much time did various channels give BJP president Amit Shah’s press conference to rebut Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi “khoon ki dalali” comment against Prime Minister Narendra Modi? That was amongst the tasks that kept the government’s Electronic Media Monitoring Centre (EMMC) busy last week.According to sources, the cell, which falls under the information and broadcasting ministry and Is the central government’s media eyes and ears, has now got a new job — keeping tabs on the airtime given to top politicians by news channels.In keeping with its new mandate, the EMMC reported in a comparative analysis report, accessed by DNA, that Shah’s press conference last week Friday got 30 seconds coverage on DD News and 31 seconds each on NDTV 24X7, Times Now and NEWS X. It further showed that India Today gave Shah’s 30-minute press meet a mere 20 seconds, while Hindi news channels such as NDTV India, News 24 and IBN 7 gave 17, 19 and 17 seconds, respectively. ABP News devoted 32 seconds to it and Aaj Tak 30 seconds.According to sources, EMMC also tracks airtime given to Modi and a few other top ministers of his government. Besides the EMMC monitors the TV time allotted to the important events, the sources added.When asked, Chaitanya Prasad, who heads the EMMC, declined to comment. The primary mandate of the EMMC is to track television channels for programme and advertising code violations. The media monitoring arm closely tracks 600 news channels with the help of 200 content auditors. It also updates senior government officials on trending topics on TV news across the country on an hourly basis through text messages.The EMMC, however, has also been preparing a summary of news bulletins and what they cover. A recent message, sent out to top officials in the ministry, PMO and elsewhere, read thus: “TIMES NOW criticises all political parties for playing politics on surgical strike and states that all should unite against the common enemy. CNN NEWS 18 criticises political parties viz. Congress, BJP and BSP for politicising surgical strike and questions whether this is due to upcoming UP polls; also criticises Rahul Gandhi for his derogatory remark on PM. INDIA TODAY says that when unity is the need of the hour, political parties are engaged in blame game; it asks as to why Congress is leaking 2011 surgical strikes at this time. NDTV 24X7 carried an interview of Chetan Bhagat who says that Pak actors should not be sent back but they should make their stand on terror clear; says that world needs to know that Pakistan is inflicting terror on India and Pakistani actors should condemn terror.”In the next two years, the ministry plans to increase the EMMC’s capacity to 1,500 channels from the current 600 to include other emerging TV channels.The EMMC’s earlier avatar, the Central Monitoring Service, was set up by the British to track anti-war propaganda on radio. Its revamped version, the EMMC, was set up on June 9, 2008, by the UPA government to monitor television channels and report on violations under the programme code of the Cable Television Networks Rules (1994).

Forest department to monitor social media in order to protect tigers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The forest department is sensitising staff on monitoring social media to keep an eye on information being given by overzealous tourists about sighting tigers in the wild.Officials fear that these details may be misused by poachers and criminals to track and kill the animals. Hence, the department will monitor updates on sites like Facebook to alert ground-level staff to ensure better protection to the big cats.Forest department sources said that they had recently organised a workshop for range officers and foresters (round officers) from the Pench and Bor tiger projects and the Umred Karhandla and Tipeshwar wildlife sanctuaries to update them on intelligence-gathering and technology to combat poaching and wildlife crime.”With an increase in the use of social media and other platforms by people, it is expected that… this will be far-reaching. So, it is imperative that the forest department uses better technology to manage protected areas,” said Jaydeep Das, livelihood expert at the Pench tiger reserve. “People should be careful in posting details like locations (of animals like tigers), lest it is misused by unwanted people,” he warned.”Social media is a double-edged sword… who uses it faster can benefit,” said an official. “We cannot prevent people from using sites like Facebook. But we can find ways to use this technology in a positive manner,” he said.Use of software and technology like the ‘Monitoring System for Tigers–Intensive Protection and Ecological Status (M-STrIPES),’ a GIS-based tool, will also ensure that all areas are patrolled, checked and records maintained.Maharashtra has six tiger reserves –- Pench, Bor, Tadoba- Andhari, Navegaon- Nagzira, Sahyadri and Melghat. The tiger census, results for which were released in 2014, shows that India has 2,226 tigers, up from 1,706 in 2010. Maharashtra has around 190 such big cats. It was 169 in 2010.

Uri terror attack: Pakistan to not send its intelligence chief to attend Saarc meet in India

New Delhi: Amidst the ongoing hostility over terror attack in Uri, Pakistan has decided not to send its intelligence chief to India to attend a conference of top security experts of Saarc countries beginning Thursday.

Soldiers outside the army camp which was attacked in Uri. PTI

Soldiers outside the army camp which was attacked in Uri. PTI

Director General of Intelligence Bureau of Pakistan Aftab Sultan will not attend the Saarc meeting and that country will be represented by an official of the Pakistan High Commission, a Home Ministry official said.

The two-day conference of the High-Level Group of Eminent Experts from South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) countries, to be held here, is being hosted by Director of Intelligence Bureau Dineshwar Sharma and intelligence chiefs of all other Saarc nations – Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Maldives besides India – will participate in it.

Sunday’s terror attack at a military station in Uri, where 18 soldiers were killed, and the continuing unrest in Kashmir Valley for more than two months after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani led to deterioration of bilateral relations between India and Pakistan.

The four terrorists who attacked Uri had come from Pakistan and Islamabad had openly eulogised Wani’s acts, inviting sharp reactions from India. According to a statement issued by the Home Ministry, the second meeting of the High-Level Group of Eminent Experts from Saarc countries will be held on 22 and 23 September. The aim of the meeting is to strengthen Saarc anti-terror mechanism, it said.

The first such meeting was held in New Delhi in February 2012. The agenda of the meeting includes functioning of Saarc Terrorist Offences Monitoring Desk (STOMD) and the Saarc Drug Offences Monitoring Desk (SDOMD), countering terrorism and strengthening anti-terrorism mechanisms in Saarc, intelligence sharing and police cooperation, human resource development and relationship building, combating corruption and cyber crimes, among others.

Kolkata flyover collapse: Two KMDA officials arrested in connection with tragedy

Kolkata: Two KMDA officials were on Tuesday arrested by Kolkata police in connection with the partial collapse of an under-construction flyover which left 26 persons dead and at least 89 injured.

An aerial view of the site where an under-construction flyover collapsed in Kolkata. PTI

An aerial view of the site where an under-construction flyover collapsed in Kolkata. PTI

With Tuesday’s arrests, the total number of persons arrested in the case reached 12, a senior officer of Kolkata Police said.

Priyatosh Bhattacharyya, Chief Engineer AD Sector, KMDA and Santanu Mandal, Executive Engineer, AD Sector, KMDA were arrested on Tuesday evening, he said.

“Our investigations showed that these two persons have certain roles in connection with the March 31 mishap at Posta in Burrabazar area. There are a few more people who are also involved. They are likely to be arrested,” another officer of the Force told PTI.

Kolkata Police had arrested IVRCL Director Operations Gopal Krishnamurthy, Deputy General Manager of Project Monitoring Cell SK Ratnam, Assistant General Manager Mallikaarjun Rao, IVRCL Assistant Vice-president of Project Monitoring Cell (PMC) and administration of the Eastern Region Ranajit Bhattacharjee in connection with the 31 March collapse.

Also arrested were IVRCL Assistant Manager Debjyoti Majumdar, civil execution of IVRCL Niloy Roy, Structure Manager Pradip Kumar Saha, Project Manager Tanmoy Sil and senior engineers Shyamal Manna and Bidyut Manna.

Incidentally, earlier on Tuesday, Kolkata Police submitted the first charge sheet in connection with the mishap at a city court.

However, murder charge against the ten officers of the construction firm IVRCL were dropped from the first charge sheet.

Instead, the ten were charged under IPC sections 304 (Punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 308 (Attempt to commit culpable homicide), 427 (Mischief causing damage to the amount of fifty rupees), 34 (Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) in the over 2000-page charge sheet.

Polio virus found in Hyderabad, Telangana government launches special drive

The Telangana government on Tuesday decided to conduct a special campaign against polio after a particular type of polio virus was found in sewerage water in the city.The virus (vaccine derived polio virus type-II) was found in the lab tests conducted on samples of sewerage water collected at Amberpet here, according to Rajeshwar Tiwari, Principal Secretary (Health) of the state government.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The virus was found in the checks conducted as part of the monitoring system put in place after polio was eradicated in the country in 2011.”The government decided to conduct a special campaign against polio here and in parts of Ranga Reddy district from June 20 to June 26,” he said.The campaign would be targeted at children in the age group of six weeks to three years.

It’s a conspiracy for ‘Congress mukt bharat’: Sonia Gandhi on Vadra’s alleged benami property

Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday dared the government to conduct an inquiry in connecting with the alleged benami property of her son-in-law Robert Vadra in London.The Congress chief who is in her parliamentary constituency Raebareli, said, “Let them (government) conduct an inquiry, the truth will come out.”She further added that the government was levelling new allegations every day and it was a conspiracy for a “Congress mukt bharat.”<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Speaking about the celebrations on the two years of the Modi government, Gandhi said, “I have never seen something like this. Modiji is a PM not a Shehenshah.””Our nation is facing drought, poverty, farmers are in pain; at these times a ‘show’ is not appropriate,” she added.
ALSO READ Does Vadra have a benami house in London? I-T sleuths seize mails about propertyOn June 1, the Raebareli MP will meet people, district party leaders and workers at Bhuemau guest house and will inaugurate the Jan Suvidha Kendra at Vikas Bhawan. Later, she will attend a meeting of the District Vigilance and Monitoring Committee

Indians ‘swipe left’ on desi Tinder ad

In a new advertisement, Tinder suggests that even Indian parents approve of the dating app – but social media users aren’t convinced.

Delhi taxi drivers’ protest jams roads

Taxi drivers clog roads in protest against ban on diesel and petrol cabs in the Indian capital.

Kolkata flyover tragedy: 10 IVRCL officers sent to police custody

A city court on Monday remanded to police custody till April 15 the ten arrested officials of Hyderabad-based IVRCL which was building the Vivekananda Road flyover that collapsed last month.The order was passed by Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate of Bankshall Court Madhumita Basu.They have been charged under IPC sections 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder) and 120B (criminal conspiracy).<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The arrested are the construction company’s Director Operations Gopal Krishnamurthy, Deputy General Manager of Project Monitoring Cell (PMC) S K Ratnam, Assistant General Manager Mallikaarjun Rao, Assistant Manager Debjyoti Manjumdar and Structure Manager Pradip Kumar Saha.The others are Project Manager Tanmoy Sil and senior engineers Shyamal Manna and Bidyut Manna and Manager (Civil Execution) of IVRCL, Niloy Roy and Assistant Vice-President of Project Monitoring Cell (PMC) and administration of the Eastern Region Ranajit Bhattacharjee.Twenty-six people were killed and around 89 were injured as a portion of the Vivekananda Road flyover collapsed on March 31 in busy Burrabazar area.

Kolkata flyover tragedy: Another IVRCL official under Police scanner

Another senior officer of the Hyderabad-based construction company IVRCL is under scanner of the Kolkata Police investigating the collapse of Vivekananda flyover last week killing 26 people and injuring around 89.IVRCL assistant vice-president of Project Monitoring Cell (PMC) and administration of the Eastern Region, Ranajit Bhattacharjee, who had fallen sick and was hospitalised after March 31 collapse, was today discharged and was immediately taken to the Kolkata Police headquarters at Lalbazar.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Today he has been discharged from the hospital and we have brought him in for questioning in connection with the collapse,” a senior officer of Kolkata Police said adding if the IVRCL official’s replies were “unsatisfactory” he could also be arrested.Eight officers of IVRCL have been arrested under IPC sections 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) and others.Sleuths have arrested Project Manager Tanmoy Sil and conducted a thorough search of IVRCL’s Beadon Street office yesterday and have seized several documents.During the probe into the role of arrested senior engineers of IVRCL Shyamal Manna and Bidyut Manna it was learnt that they were in-charge of construction of the portion of the flyover, which collapsed.”Shyamal was in-charge of construction operations in the previous night and Bidyut overtook the charge next morning… Shyamal had a miraculous escape. When the flyover collapsed, he was standing on it. He managed by jumping from there and clinging on to a girder at the other end of the flyover and saved himself,” the officer said.Kolkata Police sources said labourers at the flyover site had warned Shyamal about some problems with bolts and had urged to stop work.”But Shyamal spoke to somebody over phone and instructed the workers to carry on… We need to check this and who ordered the work to go on,” an officer probing the mishap, said.Meanwhile, a city court today ordered seven-day police custody of both Shyamal and Bidyut Manna till April 11.The Police have registered a case against the construction firm and sealed its office in the city.

Over 50% people in India defecate in the open: Government

Over fifty percent of the population defecates in the open in India which has highest number of people in the world indulging in the practice, Lok Sabha was informed on Thursday. Replying to a question about whether India has the highest number of people in the world defecating in the open, Union Minister Ram Kripal Yadav replied in affirmative. “Yes. As per Joint Monitoring Programme Report, 2015, 59.43% of people defecating in open in the world are from India,” said Yadav, Minister of State for Drinking Water and Sanitation.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Responding to another question, the minister said the number of persons defecating in the open in the country has decreased to 50.05 % (as on February 19, 2016) from 57.95 % as on October 2, 2014 when the ‘Swachh Bharat’ Mission (Gramin) was launched.”As per data submitted by states/Union Territories on online Integrated Management Information System (IMIS), the percentage of rural households defecating in open was 57.95 % on October 2, 2014. This has decreased to 50.05 % on February 19, 2016,” he said.Nadia (in West Bengal), Indore (in Madhya Pradesh) and Bikaner (in Rajasthan) districts have been declared open defecation-free by respective state governments after the Mission was launch. The minister said Sikkim, Kerala and Himachal Pradesh have least number of rural households which defecate in open at 0.10 %, 3.69 % and 5.49 % respectively.On the other hand, Odisha, Bihar and Jammu and Kashmir have higher number of people defecating in open at 77.16 %, 76.25 % and 67.68 % respectively. The minister said that under the Mission, the government has set a goal to achieve Swachh Bharat by October 2, 2019.

Pathankot: Pakistan media attack ‘baseless’ India allegations

Defence analysts and media commentators in Islamabad are lashing out at India for “typically” and “prematurely” blaming Pakistan for the Pathankot attack.

Delhi has passed the odd-even litmus test, says Gopal Rai

Rai said the Delhi Metro had made all requisite arrangements and capacity was increased to carry 32 lakh commuters. Also, 25 Metro Monitoring Teams have been working since morning.

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