Modi govt gives green signal to IAS, IPS officers to retain ‘gifts’ received from foreign dignitaries

News Network
September 21, 2021

Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government of India has amended over a 50-year-old rule to allow IAS, IPS and IFoS officers to retain gifts received from foreign dignitaries while being members of the Indian delegation, according to an official order.

Existing rules allowed these officers to accept gifts from their near relatives or from personal friends having no official dealings with them, on occasions such as weddings, anniversaries, funerals and religious functions when the making of gifts is in conformity with the prevailing religious and social practice.

But they shall make a report to the government if the value of such gift exceeds Rs 25,000, the rules say.

Gifts include free transport, free boarding, free lodging or any other service or pecuniary advantage when provided by a person other than a near relative or personal friend having no official dealings with the officer but does not include a casual meal, casual lift or other social hospitality.

"No member of the service shall accept any gift without the sanction of the government if the value of a gift exceeds Rs 5,000," says the All India Services (Conduct) Rules, 1968, applicable to the officers of Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS) and Indian Forest Service (IFoS).

Member of the service shall avoid accepting lavish hospitality or frequent hospitality from persons having official dealings with them or from industrial or commercial firms or other organisations, these rules say.

The Personnel Ministry has now amended these rules and inserted a new sub-rule under Section 11 of the All India Services (Conduct) Rules, 1968.

"…a member of the service, being a member of the Indian delegation or otherwise, may receive and retain gifts from foreign dignitaries in accordance with the provisions of the Foreign Contribution (Acceptance or Retention of Gifts or Presentations) Rules, 2012, as amended from time-to-time," read the recently amended rule.

The Personnel Ministry had in March last year sought comments from state governments on the proposed rules.

"…presently there are no provisions under the AIS (Conduct) Rules, 1968, with regard to receipt/retention of gifts from foreign dignitaries by members of the AIS being a member of Indian delegation or otherwise. Therefore, it has been decided with the approval of a competent authority to insert a new sub-rule…," it had said in a communiqué dated March 3 last year.

They were asked to send responses by March 31, 2020, positively failing which would be "presumed that the state government has no objection to the proposed amendments".

Gifts received from foreign dignitaries, from known or unknown sources, are usually deposited with the 'toshakhana' -- a repository of such articles -- in the Ministry of External Affairs.

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News Network
October 19,2021

Mangaluru, Oct 19: Two separate incidents of stabbing have been reported from Ullal and Konaje areas of Mangaluru taluk in last 24 hours. 

A youth was stabbed near Chota Mangaluru road in Ullal today (October 19).

The injured, identified as Harish, proprietor of a gas repair shop, was rushed to a hospital in Thokottu after the attack.

It is suspected that Vishal, a resident of Uliya in Ullal, committed the offence over personal reasons. Police have launched manhunt to nab the suspect.

In a separate incident, BJP activist was attacked by some miscreants at Konaje last night.

It is said that three persons riding a motorbike attacked Prakash Shetty (38), former member of Konaje gram panchayat. 

Prakash Shetty was returning home along with a friend, Manjunath, by a motorbike when the miscreants who came on their bike, swung a sabre at Prakash, it is learnt. He suffered minor injuries on his hand. 

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News Network
October 15,2021

profGK.jpg

Bengaluru, Oct 15: Veteran Kannada actor and performer Professor G K Govinda Rao passed away due to age-related illness in Hubballi at 4.45 am on Friday.

Govinda Rao is survived by two daughters.

The 84-year-old acted in several Kannada films including 'Shastri', 'Mithile Sita', 'Grahana' and appeared in lead roles in the Kannada TV serials Maha Parva and Malgudi Days.

G.K.Govinda Rao has participated in several social movements and has openly criticized certain "divisive" political parties and supported Congress party during the 2014 General elections.

He opposed superstitions practiced in society like Made Made Snana and gave lectures to create awareness against prevailing superstitions.

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai condoled the death of the actor, saying that with his death, "the country has lost a great thinker".

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News Network
October 17,2021

Bengaluru, Oct 17: Congress leader BZ Zameer Ahmed Khan has said JDS leader HD Kumaraswamy is not a politician, but a dealer, and he does not do any work without benefits.

"I have seen Kumaraswamy from close quarters. He does not do any work without seeking benefits. It is impossible for the JDS to win by-elections. He has fielded (Muslim) candidates to help BJP.

"It is not politics, it is a deal between JDS and BJP. Kumaraswamy does not do anything without a deal. He is a dealer," he told reporters late yesterday evening at the Bengaluru International Airport.

He was replying to a query on Kumaraswamy hitting out at Opposition Leader Siddaramaiah for orchestrating "political genocide" of Muslim leaders in Congress party.

Further turning on the heat against Kumaraswamy, Khan accused him of collecting money from Byrathi Suresh, an independent candidate, to defeat Iqbal Ahmed Saradagi in the legislative council polls in 2012.

"Who supported Byrathi Suresh? How much money was taken from him? With the help of ex-Chikkanayakanahalli MLA Suresh, the meeting was fixed at UB City flat. How much money was taken then? It was for defeating Saradagi, wasn't it? Doesn't he (Kumaraswammy) know? Siddaramaiah did not defeat Saradagi, but JDS who defeated him. Invite Kumaraswamy for a debate on this," he said.

Kumaraswamy had alleged Siddaramaiah was responsible for the defeat of Saradagi, a protege of senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, in the legislative council polls in 2012.

Kumaraswamy also had blamed Siddaramaiah for clandestinely working for Byrathi and defeating CK Abdul Rehman, the official candidate of the Congress and grandson of late CK Jaffer Sharief, in the byelection to Hebbal assembly constituency in 2016.

He also held Siddaramaiah responsible for the ouster of Roshan Baig from the party. "The only reason for doing this was that he had questioned the state leadership's poor performance in the last Lok Sabha elections," he added.

Baig himself had blamed Siddaramaiah for his suspension from Karnataka Congress.

Kumaraswamy also had rapped Siddarmaiah for insulting Tanvir Sait, who was making sincere efforts to empower the secular forces in the polity.

The supporters of Sait had protested against Siddaramaiah for serving their leader notice for attempting to forge an alliance with JDS for the Mysuru mayoral election in February this year.

Kumaraswamy had also blamed Siddaramaiah for the six years suspension of MA Salim who had linked KPCC President DK Shivakumar to an irrigation scam as a minister and defended VS Ugrappa who entertained his conversation.

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