Daily News-7th August 2017
Article 35A of the constitution empowers J&K legislature to define state’s “permanent residents” and their special rights and privileges. It was added to the constitution through a presidential order of 1954 with the then J&K government’s concurrence
“35 A. Saving of laws with respect to permanent residents and their rights.— Notwithstanding anything contained in this Constitution, no existing law in force in the State of Jammu and Kashmir, and no law hereafter enacted by the Legislature of the State: (a) defining the classes of persons who are, or shall be, permanent residents of the State of Jammu and Kashmir; or (b) conferring on such permanent residents any special rights and privileges or imposing upon other persons any restrictions as respects—
(i) employment under the State Government; (ii) acquisition of immovable property in the State; (iii) settlement in the State; or (iv) right to scholarships and such other forms of aid as the State Government may provide, shall be void on the ground that it is inconsistent with or takes away or abridges any rights conferred on the other citizens of India by any provision of this Part.”
Minority status for Jamia Millia Islamia: Govt to withdraw support in cour
The central government has decided to withdraw its earlier stand in court on Jamia Millia Islamia’s (JMI) minority status, The Indian Express has learnt. The HRD Ministry will file a fresh affidavit in the writ petitions pending with the Delhi High Court, stating that its support for the order of the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions (NCMEI) on February 22, 2011, declaring JMI a religious minority institution, was an error in its understanding of the legal position.
The Ministry will also tell the court that JMI was never intended to be a minority institution as it was set up by an Act of Parliament, and is funded by the central government.
According to Section 2 (o) of the JMI Act, the Jamia University was established by Muslim nationalist leaders in 1920 at Aligarh in response to Mahatma Gandhi’s call to boycott all educational institutions supported or run by the colonial regime. It eventually shifted to Delhi and was run by a registered society called the Jamia Millia Islamia society. In 1962, JMI became a deemed university. In 1988, it got the status of central university through a central law.
Bihar Tuberculosis officers ring alarm bells: liquor ban hits supplies for tests
WITH THE Bihar prohibition law also banning methylated spirit and ethanol, laboratories in the state are fast running out of essential ingredients to conduct tuberculosis tests. Laboratories, which have been sourcing supplies from the open market under the cover of buying reagents, were told in February to use Injecta, a type of methylated spirit, till an alternative arrangement was made. But officials admit that Injecta has a falsification rate of over 40 per cent.
The Bihar Prohibition and Excise Act, passed in October 2016, bans the use of all types of alcohol, including methylated spirit and ethanol used for medical purposes and in labs.
The districts with the most cases were Muzaffarpur, Gaya, Patna, Darbhanga and Saran.
Officials say the labs had stocks of spirit and ethanol to last only four-six months when the ban came into force, most of which were exhausted by September-October 2016. While there has been no fall yet in the number of tests conducted, with officials procuring the required ingredients somehow, almost all Communicable Disease Officers (CDOs) in the state have rung alarm bells.
Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB) is of two types — pulmonary (of lungs) and extra pulmonary. Tests for TB include X-ray, sputum microscopy, Gene Xpert, Line Probe Assay, culture (liquid and solid), and drug susceptibility test. The X-ray test, however, is only suggestive and hence other tests are conducted to confirm TB. The most common one, sputum microscopy, requires large amounts of alcohol. Ethanol is required to disinfect surfaces, including for heating and while preparing slides.
It has also forced labs to shift to tests where lesser quantities of spirit and ethanol are required, for example the Line Probe Assay test rather than sputum microscopy. In case of sputum microscopy, sputum has to remain diluted with ethanol for 42 days to rule out any bacteria formation.
However, except for three labs in Bihar — Intermediate Reference Laboratory, Patna, the nodal lab for TB in the state; TBDC, Bhagalpur; and TBDC, Darbhanga, which can do all kinds of TB tests — the rest can do only sputum microscopy. Which means cases from the other labs are also being referred to the three. For making culture and for drug susceptibility test, ethanol is required.
While a suggestion has been made to carry out confirmatory tests through the Gene Xpert method — an advanced procedure that detects DNA sequences for TB and indicates resistance or no resistance to known anti-TB drug Rifampicin, and requires less alcohol — this has its limitations. Besides, it still requires some alcohol to be used as disinfectant.
‘Perform or perish’: Centre retires two IPS officers for poor show
The Centre has compulsorily retired two IPS officers of Chhattisgarh cadre – AM Juri and KC Agarwal – “in public interest” on charges of being inefficient, sending message to officials to either perform or perish.
This is the second instance in recent months when the home ministry has acted tough against Indian Police Service (IPS) officers for inefficient performance or doubtful integrity, sending them on premature retirement.
More than 130 officers have been given premature retirement in the past over two years, Union minister Jitendra Singh told Rajya Sabha in a written reply last month.
Service records of 11,828 Group ‘A’ and 19,714 Group ‘B’ officers have been reviewed so far, he added.
The action has been taken under All India Service Rule 16(3) that says the central government in consultation with the state government concerned can retire an officer of the service in public interest after serving them notice.
The officer added that the Centre reviews the performance of the three All India Services officers, namely the IPS, the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and the Indian Forest Service (IFoS) at two stages – on completion of 15 and 25 years of service.
What gives colour to the firecrackers?
Red: Strontium salts (Nitrates, carbonates and sulphates of strontium).
Orange: Calcium salts (Carbonates, chlorides and sulphates of calcium).
Yellow: Sodium salts ( Nitrates and oxalates of sodium).
Green: Barium salts (Nitrates, carbonates, chlorides and chlorates of barium).
Blue: Copper salts (Carbonates and oxides of copper).
Purple: A combination of copper and strontium compounds.
White: The burning of metals like magnesium, aluminium and titanium).
TFA implementation: Govt formulates action plan with timelines
The government has formulated a detailed action plan with timelines for smooth implementation of WTOs trade facilitation agreement (TFA).
Members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) including India has ratified TFA, which aims at easing customs procedures, expediting movement, release and clearance of consignments. For the implementation of the pact, the government has last year set up Cabinet Secretary-headed National Committee on Trade Facilitation (NCTF).
Implementation of the plan, which also includes suggestions of the private sector, have been divided into short term (0-6 months), medium term (6-18 months) and long term (18-36 months).
- The short term action plan includes augmentation of storage infrastructure for perishable goods and clearance of such goods within 12 hours of landing for import and 8 hours for export.
- The plan for mid term includes updation of all regulatory information available on the internet on a single window portal; to put in place adequate bio-security measures for livestock imports and publication of all fees on a singe window website.
- Cargo release time, both for export and import purposes, would also be reduced within a time period.
- For imports, sea and air cargo release time would be reduced to three and two days respectively. Similarly, for exports, sea cargo release time would be brought down to two days and air cargo the same day.
- The CBEC and the commerce ministry would also work on streamlining policy for e-commerce which includes cutting documentation requirements and providing single submissions.
- Further, as part of the action plan, legislative changes have been proposed in the Customs Act 1962 for processing of documents among other things.
- The agencies and ministries involved in the implementation process includes Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC), Directorate General of Foreign Trade and Animal & Plant Quarantine, textiles and environment ministries.