Court issues notice on PIL seeking to remove election symbol from ballot paper, EVM

Agencies
February 27, 2021

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New Delhi, Feb 27: The Delhi High Court has issued notice on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking direction to State Election Commission to remove election symbol from the ballot paper, including the unit of the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM), in the municipal elections in the national capital.

The Plea states that the election symbols are not required in the presence of photograph of the candidate and the presence of reserved election symbol is ultra-virus the provisions of law enshrined in the Constitution of India and the Delhi Municipal Corporation (DMC), Act 1957. The presence of reserved election symbol is the root cause of corruption in the Corporation.

The Division Bench of Justice DN Patel and Justice Jasmeet Singh on Friday sought response from all the respondents in the matter and slated the matter for April 13th for further proccedings.

The Petitioner, Alka Gehlot is an Ex-Contestant of last municipal election held in 2017 had earlier too approached the Delhi HC in 2019 and that petition was disposed by the court with a direction to the Respondents (including State Election Commission, Delhi) to look into the grievance of the petitioner.

The State Election Commission (SEC) later, refused to grant the prayer of the petitioner without hearing the petitioner on the ground that the Commission cannot make any amendment either in the Act or in the Rules. Further, the SEC refused to grant the prayer of the petitioner on the ground that there is no merit in it and the commission shall continue with the existing impugned provision of putting up election symbol on the ballot paper, plea read.

Advocate HS Gehlot, represented petitioner states that the DMC Act 1957 provides that the councilors to be chosen by direct election on the basis of adult suffrage from various wards which the corporation comprises of without any preference to candidates of political parties. Hence, The SEC ought to conduct election to elect a candidate and not a party. Presence of reserved symbol on the ballot paper is blatant violation of Fundamental Rights and other constitutional rights of the people.

The Plea stated that, Population of Delhi is growing exponentially in violation of NCR Planning Board Act, 1985 and the Municipal Government cannot escape responsibility as most of the corporators are indulged in property dealing or have nexus with them. As a result of unplanned growth Delhi has become one of the most polluted city in the world.

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Agencies
April 10,2021

Bengaluru, Apr 10: Kodihalli Chandrashekar, who is leading the ongoing Karnataka state owned transport employees' strike, has been detained in Belagavi, sources said. 

"Police took Chandrashekar into their custody and are taking him to Bengaluru," sources said.

According to sources in the Belagavi administration, Chandrashekar wanted to meet the Deputy Commissioner of the district, which was not granted.

Angry over it, the leader decided to stage a demonstration there.

The district authorities then detained him and directed that he be sent out of the district.

Meanwhile, fissures seem to have opened among sections of the state owned transport corporation bus employees' federation as the strike over their salary related issues entered the fourth day on Saturday.

The Karnataka government on Friday banned with immediate effect the indefinite strike by employees of the road transport corporations, which affected bus services across the State.

Citing inconvenience caused to the public and that the strike was against provisions of the industrial disputes act, the Labour department issued the ban orders.

The dispute has been referred to the industrial tribunal, Bengaluru for adjudication, it added.

Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa appealed to the employees to resume work, even as he made it clear that it was not possible to meet their demand for wages as per the 6th Pay Commission.

With the government reiterating its stand on wages as per the 6th Pay Commission, RTC employees decided to continue with the strike on Saturday as well.

Kodihalli Chandrashekhar, honorary president of the Karnataka State Road Transport Employees League, said the strike is on and will continue for the fourth day on Saturday.

On Saturday a few union leaders expressed their displeasure over the way Chandrashekhar handled the issue.

The Karnataka Transport Employees Federation has chosen Chandrashekhar as their honorary president to lead their agitation and negotiate with the government for the implementation of the sixth pay commission.

"The strike is continuing, but we are caught in a problem due to the impractical demand. Now we cannot move forward, return backward," the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation union leader K Prakash said.

Chandrashekhar should not have put forth just one demand, which will fizzle out because it cannot be fulfilled in view of the present situation, another union leader said requesting anonymity.

Chandrashekhar was not available for his comment.

There are four state owned transport corporations and all of them have gone on strike demanding salaries on par with the state government employees.

The stalemate has caused inconvenience to the commuters, many of whom alleged that private transporters overcharged for the trips.

The government has sacked trainee and probationary employees of various corporations, including 216 Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation in the past two days for taking part in the agitation.

The government also managed to run 652 buses till 10 am.

Yet, it was way too short of the demand.

The Railways too are operating nine special trains on Saturday.

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News Network
April 6,2021

Siliguri, Apr 6: A mild earthquake of 4.1 magnitude hit north Bengal on Tuesday morning, as per the National Center for Seismology.

The earthquake, the second to hit the region in less than 12 hours, occurred at 7.07 am and the location was 64 km east of Siliguri, it said.

The depth was 10 km, it added.

There was no immediate report of any damage or losses, officials said.

However, people came out of their homes in panic as the tremors were felt across the north Bengal districts of Jalpaiguri, Alipurduar and Darjeeling.

The impact was also felt in parts of Sikkim.

On Monday night, an earthquake of 5.4 magnitude hit Sikkim with tremors being also felt in the states of Assam, West Bengal and Bihar.

The quake occurred at 8.49 pm at a depth of 10 km near the India-Bhutan border.

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News Network
March 31,2021

gendergap.jpg

India has slipped 28 places to rank 140th among 156 countries in the World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap Report 2021, becoming the third-worst performer in South Asia.

According to the report, India has closed 62.5 per cent of its gender gap till date.

The country had ranked 112th among 153 countries in the Global Gender Gap Index 2020.

Noting that the decline also took place on the economic participation and opportunity subindex, albeit to a lesser extent, the report said India's gender gap on this dimension widened by 3 per cent this year, leading to a 32.6 per cent gap closed till date.

Most of the decline occurred on the political empowerment subindex, where India regressed 13.5 percentage points, with a significant decline in the number of women ministers (from 23.1 per cent in 2019 to 9.1 per cent in 2021).

"Among the drivers of this decline is a decrease in women's labour force participation rate, which fell from 24.8 per cent to 22.3 per cent. In addition, the share of women in professional and technical roles declined further to 29.2 per cent. The share of women in senior and managerial positions also remains low: only 14.6 per cent of these positions are held by women and there are only 8.9 per cent firms with female top managers," the report said.

Further, the estimated earned income of women in India is only one-fifth of men's, which puts the country among the bottom 10 globally on this indicator, it said.

Discrimination against women is also reflected in the health and survival subindex statistics. With 93.7 per cent of this gap closed to date, India ranks among the bottom five countries in this subindex.

Wide gaps in sex ratio at birth are due to the high incidence of gender-based sex-selective practices. In addition, more than one in four women has faced intimate violence in her lifetime, the report said.

"Conversely, 96.2 per cent of the educational attainment subindex gender gap has been closed, with parity achieved in primary, secondary and tertiary education. Yet, gender gaps persist in terms of literacy: one third of women are illiterate (34.2 per cent) compared to 17.6 per cent of men," it added.

Among India's neighbours, Bangladesh ranked 65, Nepal 106, Pakistan 153, Afghanistan 156, Bhutan 130 and Sri Lanka 116.

Among regions, South Asia is the second-lowest performer on the index, with 62.3 per cent of its overall gender gap closed.

"Within the region, a wide gulf separates the best-performing country, Bangladesh, which has closed 71.9 per cent of its gender gap so far, from Afghanistan, which has only closed 44.4 per cent of its gap.

"India is the third-worst performer in the region, having closed 62.5 per cent of its gap. Because of its large population, India's performance has a substantial impact on the region's overall performance," the report said.

In South Asia, only Pakistan and Afghanistan ranked below India.

The report stated that India, home to 0.65 billion women, has widened its gender gap from almost 66.8 per cent one year ago to 62.5 per cent this year.

In Pakistan and Afghanistan, the income of an average woman is below 16 per cent of that of an average man, while in India it is 20.7 per cent, it said.

As the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic continues to be felt, the global gender gap has increased by a generation from 99.5 years to 135.6 years, the report noted.

Now in its 15th year, the report benchmarks the evolution of gender-based gaps in four areas: economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment. It also examines the drivers of gender gaps and outlines the policies and practices needed for a gender-inclusive recovery.

For the 12th time, Iceland is the most gender-equal country in the world. The top 10 most gender-equal countries include Finland, Norway, New Zealand, Rwanda, Sweden, Ireland and Switzerland.

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