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Naidu wants Congress’s support in passing GST bill

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Picture Courtesy:-www.indiatvnews.com

New Delhi: Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu on Monday sought opposition parties’ help in passing the Goods and Service Tax (GST) Bill in the parliament’s winter session beginning from November 26.

As he urged the opposition parties not to go by political considerations on the GST Bill, the Congress said the government should address its “pro-consumer” concerns on the bill.

I appeal to political parties not to have political considerations and think in terms of national interest,

Naidu said the GST Bill was the need of the hour, as it had been pending for several years.

Naidu said he was discussing the issue with some opposition parties and their meaningful suggestions could also be taken into consideration.

The GST Bill intends to simplify the indirect tax regime in the country, broaden the tax base and result in better tax compliance due to a robust IT infrastructure.

The bill has been pending in the Rajya Sabha where the National Democratic Alliance government lacks a majority.

Congress leader R.P.N. Singh told reporters here that the government should address the party’s concerns which were in favor of consumers.

Singh said the bill was brought by the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government but could not be passed, as it was held back due to the stance of the Bharatiya Janata Party.

He said the Congress’s demands include a cap on the GST rate at 18 percent, deletion of the provision which allows the imposition of one percent tax by additional levy, an independent dispute resolution mechanism and compensation to Panchayat and urban bodies for loss of revenue along with that to the states.

(Inputs from IANS)

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Crossfire between Rohingya Insurgents and Myanmar Military leaves Hindu Refugees In a Deadlock

Hindus form a small but an established minority in Myanmar and Bangladesh

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Rohingya Hindu refugees
A Rohingya refugee distributes wheat, donated by locals, among other refugees at a camp for the refugees in New Delhi, India.
  • The Hindu refugees, who fled to Bangladesh, have placed their hopes on the Modi  government 
  • The Hindu refugees are scared of moving back to the Buddhist majority Myanmar’s Rakhine state
  • The Indian government was waiting for the Supreme Court to hear an appeal against the home ministry’s plans of deporting Rohingya Muslims from the country 

New Delhi, September 21, 2017: The crossfire between Rohingya insurgents and Myanmar’s military has left hundreds of Hindus, who fled to Bangladesh, placing their hopes on the Indian government.

Around 500 Hindus have taken shelter in a cleared-out chicken farm, in a Hindu hamlet in the southeast of Bangladesh. The place is situated at a distance of a couple of miles, where most of the 421,000 Rohingya Muslims, who also fled violence in Myanmar since August 25, have taken abode, mentions the Reuters report.

The Hindu refugees are scared of moving back to their villages in the Buddhist majority Myanmar’s restless Rakhine state. Modi government, meanwhile, is working to make things easier for Hindus, christians, Buddhists, and other minorities from Pakistan and Bangladesh to gain access to Indian citizenship.

“India is also known as Hindustan, the land of the Hindus,” said a Hindu refugee, Niranjan Rudra, “We just want a peaceful life in India, not much. We may not get that in Myanmar or here.”

The fellow refugees agreed and shared their desire of getting this message received by the Indian government through media.

The Indian government, however, has declined to comment on hopes of Hindu refugees. it was waiting for the Supreme Court to hear an appeal against the home ministry’s plans of deporting around 40,000 Rohingya Muslims from India.

Achintya Biswas, a senior member of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) also called the World Hindu Council, on the other hand, stated India as the natural destination for the Hindus fleeing Myanmar.

Also readStop Lecturing And Demonizing India over its Plan to Deport 40,000 Stateless Rohingya Muslims: Minister

“Hindu families must be allowed to enter India by the government,” Biswas said, according to a report by Reuters, “Where else will they go? This is their place of origin.”

Biswas said the VHP and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, would be submitting a report to the home ministry demanding a new policy that would be allowing Hindu refugees from Myanmar and Bangladesh to seek asylum in India.

While India’s Home Ministry spokesman, K.S. Dhatwalia declined to comment, a senior home ministry official in New Delhi, on the condition of anonymity, mentioned that no Hindu in Myanmar or Bangladesh affected by the violence had approached Indian authorities.

“At this juncture we have no SOS calls from Hindus,” the official said.

“Also, the Supreme Court is yet to decide whether India should deport Rohingya Muslims or not. The matter is sub-judice and any policy decision will be taken only after the court’s order.”

Hindus form a small but an established minority in Myanmar and Bangladesh. Rudra along with other Hindu refugees talked about how they fled soon after Rohingya insurgents attacked 30 Myanmar police posts, instigating a fierce military counterattack.

“Our village in Myanmar was surrounded by hundreds of men in black masks on the morning of Aug. 25,” said Veena Sheel, a mother-of-two whose husband works in Malaysia.

“They called some men out and asked them to fight the security forces … a few hours after we heard gunshots,” she added.

Soon after taking office in 2014, the Modi government issued orders stating that no Hindu, or refugees of other minority from Bangladesh and Pakistan would be deemed as illegal immigrants even if they had entered the country without having the required documents, on or before December 31, 2014.

India, indeed, is in a tough situation, where it can’t compromise with the principles it holds being a Secular nation that is always engaged in humanitarian activities, but will also need to keep in mind the potential security threats that might come along with such an act of acceptance.

-prepared by Samiksha Goel of NewsGram. Twitter @goel_samiksha

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Pingali Venkayya: Remembering the man responsible for our National Flag

A tribute to Pingali Venkayya on his birth anniversary, a humble man belonging a small village in Andhra Pradesh.

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Pingali Venkayya and National Flag
Pingali Venkayya designed the Indian National Flag. Twitter
  • Venkayya first conceived the idea of a national flag on 31st  March 1921 at an Indian National Congress conference
  • A postage stamp was issued to commemorate him in 2009
  • In January 2015, a statute was dedicated to him by M. Venkaiah Naidu, was put forth in the fore lawns of the All India Radio (AIR) building in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh

August 2, 2017: Pingali Venkayya was an Indian freedom fighter and the man who designed the flag on which Indian national flag is based. He was born on 2 August 1876 in Bhatlapenumarru village near Machilipatnam in Andhra Pradesh. He was a language enthusiast, knew multiple languages like Japanese and Urdu, had a doctorate in Geology, fond of history and also established an institute in Machilipatnam, Andhra Pradesh.  His village Bhatlapenumarru did not even have a statue of him till 1998.

Venkayya joined the British Indian Army at the tender age of 19 and also took part in the Anglo-Boer war in Africa. It was during this war that Venkayya met Mahatma Gandhi and formed a bond that lasted for more than 50 years.

Venkayya first conceived the idea of a national flag on 31st  March 1921 at an Indian National Congress conference. His version of the flag comprised of two colors- saffron and green to which Mahatma Gandhi added the white stripe. Lala Hansraj, Arya Samaj movement founder added the Dharm Chakra ( wheel of law) to it. Thus the present tricolor flag we see today was adopted on on July 22, 1947.

Pingali Venkayya: The unsung hero who designed India’s National Flag

Venkayya died with poverty on 4 July 1963 in Vijayawada. A postage stamp was issued to commemorate him in 2009. His name was proposed for Bharat Ratna in 2011 but In 2014 the award was instead given to cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and scientist C.N.R. Rao. Venkayya’s contributions were sidelined by the Indian government.  In January 2015, a statute was dedicated to him by M. Venkaiah Naidu, was put forth in the fore lawns of the All India Radio (AIR) building in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh.

On his 141st Birth Anniversary, Twitterati remembered him:

– by Kritika Dua of NewsGram. Twitter @DKritika08.

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Gender Equality Charter Soon to be Launched in India

ECU and Indian National Science Academy collaborate to reduce the gender gap

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Gender Equality. Pixabay.

New Delhi, July 24, 2017: Women in STEMM India workshop which was held last year in November, was organized by the UK, Australian and Indian government highlighted the importance of promoting women in the field of science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) academic and professional endeavors.

It was observed in the workshop’s Summary Report that there is a very limited data available on the number of women working in STEMM in India. They also cited many reasons as to why there are so few of them working in these areas; a lack of role model in the family often acts as a demoralizing factor. When they do take part in the education programs in these fields, they are predominantly softer subjects or more suitable for women. While the so-called ‘hard’ science like- physics, observes a lack of participation from women.

Often the intensive coaching programs, which helps invigilate student’s preparations for qualifying admissions in these courses see a lack of participation from women, or are often made unavailable to them. If somehow they manage to enter employment in STEMM field their opportunities decline as they climb up the professional ladder, limiting their roles and responsibilities.

It was also observed in a keynote speech, that not only to women fall behind in numbers in STEMM but they’re equally invisible in other fields – be it for the lack of support system or be it the cultural boundaries. Many women after marriage end up being stay-at-home wives while the man of the house is ‘manned’ up for these jobs.

The report’s first recommendation was to create a proposal to extend the Athena SWAN charter framework in India to the Indian National Science Academy. Athena SWAN Charter was laid out by ECU which is headed in the UK.

The UK based Equality Challenge Unit laid out a proposal co-authored by Indian National Science Academy to bring their Athena SWAN charter in India; the charter was established in 2005 to promote women in higher education, research, and employment in STEMM. It was later extended to arts, humanities, social science, business and law (AHSSBL), and in professional and support roles, and for trans staff and students. Universities are promoted to encourage a progress on equality and diversity, and the Athena SWAN charter recognizes their commitment to bringing this change by awarding them upon monitoring their progress and contribution.

Women in STEMM workshop was attended by ECU’s Athena SWAN manager, Dr Ruth Gillian, who said: ‘At the heart of ECU’s Athena SWAN charter is the advancement of gender equality for all, therefore I am pleased to see a commitment to promote and increase the participation and progression of women in STEMM careers by proposing the introduction of an Athena SWAN framework in India.’

‘ECU looks forward to partnering with the Indian Science Academies’ inter-academy panel to develop this proposal’, she added.

The report was concluded on the note that uniform data sources in STEMM and gender equality be identified in India, Australia, and the UK so that the issue can be reported systematically.

-Prepared by Nivedita Motwani of NewsGram. Twitter @Mind_Makeup


NewsGram is a Chicago-based non-profit media organization. We depend upon support from our readers to maintain our objective reporting. Show your support by Donating to NewsGram. Donations to NewsGram are tax-exempt.