Child rights panel asks states to probe into madrasas admitting non-Muslim students

News Network
December 9, 2022

Apex child rights body NCPCR has asked all states and Union Territories to conduct an inquiry into all government-funded and recognised madrasas that are admitting non-Muslim children.

National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) Chairperson Priyank Kanoongo, in a letter to all chief secretaries, noted that children belonging to non-Muslim communities are attending government-funded or recognised madrasas. "It is also learnt by the commission that some States and Union Territories are providing them with scholarships too."

"It is a clear-cut violation and contravention of Article 28(3) of the Constitution of India that prohibits educational institutions from obligating the children to take part in any religious instruction, without the consent of the parent," the letter stated.

Madrasas, as institutions, are primarily responsible for imparting religious education to children, the commission said, adding it is learnt that those madrasas funded or recognised by the government are imparting both religious and to some extent formal education to children.

"In view of the above facts, the commission, in exercising its powers recommends a detailed inquiry of all government-funded/recognised madrasas who are admitting non-Muslim children in your states and Union Territories.

"The inquiry should include physical verification of children attending such madrasas. Subsequent to the inquiry, admit all such children in schools for availing formal education," the NCPCR letter stated.

The commission also asked the states and Union Territories "to map all unmapped madrasas in your states and Union Territories and admit any or all children into schools for availing formal education with immediate effect".

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News Network
April 15,2024

New Delhi: India is likely to experience above-normal cumulative rainfall in the 2024 monsoon season with La Nina conditions likely to set in by August-September, the IMD has said on Monday.

However, normal cumulative rainfall does not guarantee uniform temporal and spatial distribution of rain across the country, with climate change further increasing the variability of the rain-bearing system.

Climate scientists say the number of rainy days is declining while heavy rain events (more rain over a short period) are increasing, leading to frequent droughts and floods.

Based on data between 1951-2023, India experienced above-normal rainfall in the monsoon season on nine occasions when La Nina followed an El Nino event, India Meteorological Department chief Mrutyunjay Mohapatra told a press conference here.

Positive Indian Ocean Dipole conditions are predicted during the monsoon season. Also, the snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere is low. These conditions are favourable for the Indian southwest monsoon, he said.

Moderate El Nino conditions are prevailing at present. It is predicted to turn neutral by the time monsoon season commences. Thereafter, models suggest, La Lina conditions may set in by August-September, Mohapatra said.

India received "below-average" cumulative rainfall -- 820 mm compared to the long-period average of 868.6 mm -- in 2023, an El Nino year. Before 2023, India recorded "normal" and "above-normal" rainfall in the monsoon season for four years in a row.

El Nino conditions -- periodic warming of surface waters in the central Pacific Ocean -- are associated with weaker monsoon winds and drier conditions in India.

Three large-scale climatic phenomena are considered for forecasting monsoon season rainfall.

The first is El Nino, the second is the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), which occurs due to differential warming of the western and eastern sides of the equatorial Indian Ocean, and the third is the snow cover over the northern Himalayas and the Eurasian landmass, which also has an impact on the Indian monsoon through the differential heating of the landmass.

The southwest monsoon delivers about 70 percent of India's annual rainfall, which is critical for the agriculture sector. Agriculture accounts for about 14 percent of the country's GDP.

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News Network
April 17,2024

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New Delhi: Searches conducted by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) under the anti-money laundering law rose by 86 times while arrests and attachment of assets jumped by around 25 times in the ten years since 2014 compared to the preceding nine-year period, according to official data.

An analysis of the data by PTI for the last ten years, between April 2014 and March 2024, against the nine years from July 2005 to March 2014 presents a picture of the federal agency's "intensified" action under various sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The PMLA was enacted in 2002 and implemented from July 1, 2005, to check serious crimes of tax evasion, generation of black money and money laundering.

While the opposition parties have alleged that the ED's action during the last decade was part of the BJP-led central government's "oppressive" tactics against its rivals and others, the Union government and the ruling party have asserted that the agency is independent and its investigations were purely based on merit and under the mandate to act against the corrupt.

The ED booked as many as 5,155 PMLA cases during the last ten years as compared to a total of 1,797 complaints or Enforcement Case Information Reports (ECIRs or FIRs) filed during the preceding period (2005-14), a jump of about three times, the data said.

The data shows that the agency also got its first conviction starting the 2014 fiscal and it has, till now, got 63 persons punished under the anti-money laundering law.

The ED conducted 7,264 searches or raids in money laundering cases across the country during the 2014-2024 period as compared to just 84 in the preceding period - a jump of 86 times.

It also arrested a total of 755 people during the last decade and attached assets worth Rs 1,21,618 crore as compared to 29 arrests and Rs 5,086.43 crore worth of attachments respectively during the last compared period, the data stated.

The arrests are 26 times more, while figures related to the attachment of properties are 24 times higher.

The agency issued 1,971 provisional attachment orders for various types of immovable and movable assets during the last decade as compared to 311 such orders taken out in the preceding comparable period.

It got about 84 per cent of the attachment orders confirmed from the Adjudicating Authority of the PMLA during 2014-24 as compared to 68 per cent confirmations from the same authority during the last compared period.

The filing of charge sheets also saw a jump of 12 times in the last decade with 1,281 prosecution complaints filed by it before courts as against 102 during the preceding period.

The data said the ED secured conviction orders in 36 cases from various courts leading to the prosecution of 63 persons and a total of 73 charge sheets were disposed of during the last decade.

No conviction was obtained by the agency nor any charge sheet was disposed of under the anti-money laundering law during the 2005-14 period, according to the statistics.

The agency also got the court's permission to confiscate assets (attached as proceeds of crime under the PMLA) worth Rs 15,710.96 crore and it also restituted properties (including bank funds) of Rs 16,404.19 crore (out of the total amount under confiscation) during the last decade.

As there were no convictions during the preceding nine-year period, no confiscation of assets and resultant restitution could take place, as per the data.

The ED is also empowered to seize cash under the PMLA and the data said the agency froze more than Rs 2,310 crore worth of Indian and foreign currency during the last ten years as compared to a figure of Rs 43 lakh during the preceding period.

The agency also got notified a total of 24 Interpol red notices for apprehension of various accused who left India and hid in foreign shores and sent 43 extradition requests during 2014-24.

No such action was taken by the agency during the preceding period.

Four persons were extradited to India during the last ten-year time period while similar orders were secured against businessmen Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi and Sanjay Bhandari. The three are based in the UK and the ED is trying to bring them back to the country as all the accused are contesting the orders issued against them.

"These statistics reflect the intensive drive that the ED has undertaken to check money laundering crimes," an agency official said.

The ED investigates financial crimes under two criminal laws -- the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act (FEOA) -- apart from the civil provisions of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).

The FEOA was enacted by the Narendra Modi government in 2018 to cripple those who are charged with high-value economic frauds and abscond from the country to evade the law.

The ED, as per the data, filed a total of 19 such applications before the designated special PMLA courts in the country following which 12 persons have been declared fugitive economic offenders.

It also confiscated assets worth Rs 906 crore under the said law by the end of the last fiscal on March 31.

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News Network
April 9,2024

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Mangaluru/ Bengaluru, Apr 2: Karnataka’s coastal belt some of the neighbouring areas will celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr on April 10, while rest of the state will witness the festival on April 11 due confusion over moon sighting. 

Muslim religious heads in twin coastal districts of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi on the night of April 9 declared the end of Ramadan and beginning of Shawwal following reports of sighting of crescent moon. 

With this Eid will be celebrated on April 10 in the above region. Similarly, Muslims in Bhatkal and neighbouring state of Kerala too will celebrate the festival on April 10. 

However, Muslims in other parts of Karnataka will continue to fast on April 10 and celebrate the Eid on the following day due to non-sighting of moon in their region. 

The Karnataka Moon Sighting Committee chairman Moulana Maqsood Imran formally announced that the Eid-ul-Fitr in Bengaluru and areas of Karnataka will be celebrated on Thursday April 11. 

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