EC directs government to defer implementation of Direct Cash Transfer Scheme in Gujarat & HP


Dec4. 2012, ET

NEW DELHI: The Election Commission (EC) on Tuesday expressed dissatisfaction with the government on the announcement timing of Direct Cash Transfer Scheme (DCT). EC directed the government to defer the implementation of the scheme in four districts of Gujarat and two of Himachal Pradesh till the state assembly elections are over.

In a stern message to the government, EC said that the timing of government’s DCT scheme was ‘avoidable’. “The government should have maintained letter and spirit of model code of conduct,” it said.

On its part, the government on Monday had told the EC that it did not violate the model code of conduct by announcing the direct cash transfer scheme. In its reply to a notice from the poll panel, the government had stressed that the scheme was among the proposals announced by then finance minister Pranab Mukherjee in his budget speech in March. Also, the Prime Minister’s Office had issued a statement on September 28, in which it was said that the prime minister has set up the architecture for moving to electronic cash transfers leveraging Aadhaar.

The government, in its reply, said that both these announcements were made well before the model code of conduct came into force on October 3 for the assembly elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh.

BJP has been objecting over the announcement made last week at Congress headquarters by finance minister P Chidambaram and the rural development minister Jairam Ramesh. The ministers termed the scheme as a game-changer. BJP complained to the poll panel that the scheme was announced ahead of the Gujarat assembly polls, scheduled on December 13 and 17, and hence there was violation of the model code of conduct. BJP also added that four of the 51 districts selected to benefit initially from the scheme were in poll-bound Gujarat.

BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad on Monday said that his party was against abolition of the public distribution system, which he claimed had done well in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Bihar. “Is Congress serious about it (direct cash transfer scheme)? Have they done their homework well? Let Manish Tewari say why it has come a cropper after it was introduced with fanfare in Rajasthan,” Prasad asked.

 

Delhi University to get biometric attendance system by January 2013


By NEHA PUSHKARNA

PUBLISHED: 21:24 GMT, 4 November 2012 | UPDATED: 21:25 GMT, 4 November 2012

Teachers may have mixed views, but Delhi University is going to introduce a biometric system for recording their attendance within the next two months.

The executive council on Saturday ‘authorised’ the vice-chancellor to take appropriate steps regarding the long-standing issue of teachers’ attendance in colleges and departments.

Now with a go-ahead from university’s highest decision-making body, the vice-chancellor is planning to usher in the new system by January.

DUTA members protest against the university's vice-chancellor (file picture)DUTA members protest against the university’s vice-chancellor (file picture)

“The EC has unanimously authorised me to take measures in respect of teachers’ attendance. It should be up by January,” vice-chancellor, Professor Dinesh Singh, said.

The biometric system has been in the pipeline for last three years, though opposition from teachers had put it on the backburner.

However, a PIL in the high court following an affidavit from the university in September had made it clear that recording the attendance of teachers was inevitable now.

“The V-C has received feedback from students saying that a large number of teachers still do not attend classes regularly. The biometric system is necessary to make them fall in line,” a senior DU official, said.

The V-C has been making surprise rounds of colleges to find out what the real situation is.

“In fact, the registrar’s office keeps an eye on the teachers who have been protesting outside V-C’s office for last three weeks,” the official said.

The biometric devices will be installed in all colleges and departments in the coming weeks. They can record teachers’ attendance by matching their fingerprints or retina with the records in the databank.

“Teachers of DU are scandalised by the manner in which the executive council, despite opposition from the elected members, has allowed itself to be completely subverted and misled into abdicating its own statutory responsibility,” a statement released by DU Teachers’ Association, said.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome/indianews/article-2227758/Delhi-University-biometric-attendance-January-2013.html#ixzz2BNM0Hl2X
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Green tribunal asks environment ministry to make info on projects public


PTI | May 27, 2012, 11.23AM IST

NEW DELHI: Stressing on greater transparency, the National Green Tribunal has asked the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) to bring in public domain the relevant information regarding ventures in eco- fragile zones.”We also feel there is need to have more transparency in the EIA process and as such, whatever relevant information regarding the projects are used during the time of appraisal of the project from environmental angle by the Environment Appraisal Committee (EAC) and MoEF should also be made available in public domain including the executive summary of specific studies.

“Therefore, we direct the MoEF to make available relevant information other than EIA reportand report of the public hearing considered during the appraisal of the project through its website,” a bench headed by Tribunal’s Acting Chairperson A S Naidu said.

The bench, also comprising G K Pandey as an expert member, passed the directions while suspending the environmental clearance (EC) granted to the proposed 3,600 MW coal-based thermal power plant developed by IL&FS Tamil Nadu Power Company Ltd, at Cuddalore district in Tamil Nadu.

The tribunal also directed MoEF to upload “from time to time the compliance status of various stipulated conditions during the grant of EC to projects so as to bring compliance status in public domain in case of all the projects granted EC under EIA Notification, 2006”.

It said the concerned project proponent must also upload the compliance status of EC conditions, including the executive summary of the specific studies done in respect of the project and update the same periodically.

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