UP Population Bill Draft says no govt jobs, subsidy for those with over 2 children

News Network
July 10, 2021

Lucknow, July 10: According to a draft of the proposed population control bill, anyone violating two-child policy in Uttar Pradesh will be debarred from contesting local bodies elections, from applying for or getting promotion in government jobs, and receiving any kind of government subsidy.

The Uttar Pradesh State Law Commission (UPSLC) states that the provisions are part of the draft titled The Uttar Pradesh Population (Control, Stabilization and Welfare) Bill, 2021.

The UPSLC website says, "The State Law Commission, UP is working on control, stabilisation and welfare of the population of the state and has prepared a draft bill."

Suggestions have been invited from the public to improve the draft bill and July 19 is the last date for it, reported news agency Press Trust of India.

Listing incentives for public servants who adopt the two-child norm, the draft bill says, "Public servants who adopt the two-child norm will get two additional increments during the entire service, maternity or as the case may be, paternity leave of 12 months, with full salary and allowances and three per cent increase in the employer's contribution fund under national pension scheme."

A State Population Fund will be constituted for the purpose of implementation of the act.

Listing the government's duties, the draft bill says that maternity centres will be established at all primary health centres. The centres and NGOs will distribute contraceptive pills, condoms, etc, spread awareness about family planning methods through community health workers and ensure mandatory registration of pregnancies, deliveries, births and deaths across the state.

The draft bill also says that it shall be the duty of the government to introduce a compulsory subject relating to population control in all secondary schools.

The bill seeks to revitalise efforts and provide for measures to control, stabilise and provide welfare to the population of the state by implementing and promoting two-child norm.

According to news agency PTI, the draft bill reads, "In Uttar Pradesh, there are the limited ecological and economic resources at hand. It is necessary and urgent that the provision of basic necessities of human life including affordable food, safe drinking water, decent housing, access to quality education, economic/livelihood opportunities, power/electricity for domestic consumption, and a secure living is accessible to all citizens."

It is necessary to control, stabilise the population of the state for promotion of sustainable development with more equitable distribution, it says.

It is necessary to ensure healthy birth spacing through measures related to augmenting the availability, accessibility and affordability of quality reproductive health services to achieve the goal of population control, stabilisation and its welfare in the state, the draft bill reads.

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News Network
September 21,2021

Even after the UK announced easing of travel rules related to Covid-19, travellers who received their vaccines in the UAE, India and a few other countries will be considered ‘unvaccinated’ in the UK.

According to the rules, passengers who aren’t recognised as being fully vaccinated will have to take a pre-departure test, further PCR tests on Day 2 and Day 8 of arrival, and self-isolate at their given address for 10 days upon entry.

The rules announced last week will be effective October 4. Britain said it will recognise vaccinations given in 17 more countries, including Australia, Canada, Japan, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and South Korea. It had previously recognised only shots given in the UK, the US and the European Union.

However, James Cleverly, Minister for Middle East & North Africa in the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, said the UK government is finalising arrangements to include the UAE in the plans. “We are finalising arrangements with UAE to include their nationals and residents in our plans to open up to the fully vaccinated from other countries from 4 October,” he said in a tweet.

UK expats residing in the UAE responded angrily to the tweet.

“I hope you’re right. I’m a UK citizen and resident vaccinated while in Dubai, had to do severe rounds of unnecessary quarantine not to mention the cost. It breaks my heart that I feel unwelcome in my own country. It makes no sense!,” said Twitter handle @nataliebirkett.

@EnsOrenda replied to Cleverly: “UAE has a very high vaccine rate, low case rates & v.low death rates. We are obliged to wear face mask in all public places still. The UAE represents a much lower risk than many approved countries. So, it makes sense to recognise Pfizer and AZ vaccines administered from UAE too.”

Aviation analyst Alex Macheras also criticised the policy, saying it is unnecessarily complicated.

“Quite something for UK to take such a stance against so many countries vaccine rollouts…especially those countries administering the exact same vaccines as UK (Pfizer/AZ/Moderna/etc). As we’ve come to expect, UK’s latest travel policy is as unnecessarily complicated as ever."

Author WIlliam Dalrymple used harsh words to slam the policy. “Idiotic UK arrogance & stupidity- especially when Boris was arguing that the Indian AstraZeneca vaccine was the same as the UK one earlier in the Summer,” he said in a tweet.

Meanwhile, former Indian ministers Jairam Ramesh and Shashi Tharoor slammed the UK’s travel rules under which Indians vaccinated with Covishield would still be treated as unvaccinated.

Ramesh called it “smacks of racism” while Tharoor said that because of the restrictions he had even pulled out of a debate at The Cambridge Union debating society and from the launch events for the UK edition of his book, The Battle Of Belonging.

From October 4, the current traffic light system of red, amber and green countries based on levels of Covid-19 risk will be scrapped in the UK and replaced with one red list only.

The scrapping of an amber list, which is what India is currently on, means reduced cost burden for travellers — especially for the Indian diaspora vaccinated in the UK — related to compulsory PCR tests.

However, an expanded list of countries whose vaccines are recognised in England does not include India, which means that Indians vaccinated with Covishield — the Serum Institute of India produced Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine — would still be subjected to the restrictions mandatory for those unvaccinated.

This new two-tiered system in the UK is expected to stay in place till the end of the year, with a further review planned for early in the New Year.

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News Network
September 18,2021

The US military has admitted killing 10 Afghan civilians, including seven children, in a drone strike last month. Washington has previously claimed that those who killed were terrorists.

The Pentagon had maintained the August 29 strike targeted a Daesh-K terrorist who posed an imminent threat to American troops at the Kabul airport, with Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs Gen. Mark Milley calling it a "righteous strike.”  

But on Friday, General Frank McKenzie, the top general of US Central Command, announced at the Pentagon that the military investigation has found it killed 10 civilians and the driver and that the vehicle targeted was not a threat associated with Daesh-K, a shadowy terrorist group that emerged following the last month bomb blast at the Kabul airport.  The attack killed scores of Afghans and over a dozen Americans.

McKenzie told reporters that the US military drone strike was a "mistake" and offered an apology.

"This strike was taken in the earnest belief that it would prevent an imminent threat to our forces and the evacuees at the airport, but it was a mistake and I offer my sincere apology," he said.

McKenzie added that he is "fully responsible for this strike and this tragic outcome."

Some media outlets had reported that the US drone strike apparently targeted the wrong man, killing an innocent Afghan aid worker along with members of his family, but the top US general described the attack as "righteous".

"At the time of the strike, I was confident that the strike had averted an imminent threat to our forces at the airport," McKenzie told reporters. "Our investigation now concludes that the strike was a tragic mistake."

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News Network
September 16,2021

Amidst raging controversy over the 'narcotic jihad' remark by Pala Bishop Joseph Kallarangatt, another church diocese has sparked a row by publishing a catechism handbook detailing nine stages of the implementation of the alleged 'Love Jihad' to trap Christian girls.

The Thamarassery Diocese, under the prominent Syro Malabar Church, has published the book with controversial content for the catechism study of students belonging to classes X to XII. 

When the book triggered a row after various Muslim outfits asked the government to confiscate it, the church authorities expressed regret on Wednesday and clarified that they did not intend to hurt any religion or faith and aimed only to keep the youth rooted in the Christianity.

The Diocese has no discrimination or intolerance towards any faith or religion, the statement said. "This book has been published not out of any hatred or objection towards any religion. It is only aimed at keeping the Christian youth rooted in the faith and to protect the community girls from exploitation," Fr John Pallikkavayalil, Director, Department of Catechesis under the Diocese, said.

As per the over-130-page handbook, brought out by the Department of Catechesis under the Diocese, 'Love Jihad' is a reality and claimed that it is being implemented through nine stages. It also prescribes some precautions for the community girls to be taken to avoid falling into such love traps.

Among the several controversial remarks, the handbook had references about 'kaivisham', a kind of witchcraft allegedly practised through Muslim clerics to lure Christian girls. It alleged that black magic was being carried out by collecting various objects possessed by the girls including their pen, handkerchief or a strand of hair. Though the Diocese, in its press statement, urged to keep a vigil on attempts to destroy communal harmony, it also said that they had been receiving several complaints of "sex terrorism" targeting Christian girls for some time.

Several Muslim outfits including Samstha Rights Protection Council came out against the handbook and demanded its confiscation by the government. 

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