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Leading Muslim Scholar Tufail Ahmad proposes Revolutionary Uniform Civil Code (UCC) to initiate Public Debate on the Issue

A draft Uniform Civil Code is the first-ever attempt to bring specific issues before the public for a wider discussion, said Tufail Ahmad

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Women belonging to Muslim community, VOA

New Delhi, November 30, 2016: Tufail Ahmad, a leading Muslim scholar on Wednesday proposed a draft Uniform Civil Code (UCC) to initiate a public debate on it.

A former journalist with BBC World Service and author of Jihadist Threat to India – The Case for Islamic Reformation by an Indian Muslim, Ahmad has called it a working draft for public consultation.

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[bctt tweet=”Even civil society organisations and human rights activists have shied away from advocating a UCC for Indian citizens.” username=””]

A uniform civil code was desired by the framers of the Constitution to ensure that basic fundamental rights of citizens, irrespective of their religious and other identities, are protected within a larger human rights framework, he said in a statement.

This UCC is drafted within a broader context of a Universal Bill of Rights for the Indian citizen (Ubric). This draft UCC is the first-ever attempt to bring specific issues before the public for a wider discussion, he added.

The 12-clause document is a working draft to be improved through wider public consultation.

At present, no draft UCC exists that could enlighten the people of India regarding the specifics that will constitute such a code, Ahmad explained of his venture.

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It is necessary to emphasise that the word ‘uniform’ in the uniform civil code is not meant to homogenise the lifestyles and identities of Indian citizens but to ensure that certain fundamental rights to equality and liberty are protected for them by the Indian state.

Ahmad also questioned political parties and civil society who have failed to make any attempt towards advocating UCC and said: No attempt has been made by the Indian government to draft a Uniform Civil Code for fear that political parties could lose Muslim votes.

Even civil society organisations and human rights activists have shied away from advocating a UCC for Indian citizens. This is a result of the prevailing erroneous belief that the uniform civil code is meant to curb personal laws, especially only of Muslims.

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The Law Commission had, on October 7, floated a 16-point questionnaire on its website asking the common people, activists, organisations and other stakeholders to give suggestions on the implementation of the UCC. The Commission has extended the period for submission of replies to December 21. (IANS)

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Government Prepares Comprehensive Plan For Revival of BSNL

It also noted that a Coordination Committee comprising senior officers of the DoT, BSNL management, and representatives of AUAB is already working in this regard

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BSNL is providing mobile services in Kashmir. Image Source: www.freejobsinfo.in

The government is making all efforts to make state-run BSNL robust and financially viable again and has prepared a comprehensive plan for its revival, an official said on Sunday, on the eve of a nationwide strike called by the employees unions over their demands.

BSNL employees and officers have given a three-day country-wide strike call from February 18 to highlight their long-pending issues, including allotment of 4G spectrum to the telecom major and wage revision for the workforce.

“All efforts are being made, and will continue to be made, to make BSNL robust and financially viable,” a Communications Ministry statement said.

“The main demands of the All India Unions and Associations of Bharat Sanchar Nigam (AUAB) include benefits to executives under the 3rd Pay Revision Committee (PRC) with 15 per cent fitment and to non-executives as per the 8th wage negotiations w.e.f. 1.1.2017, allotment of 4G spectrum to BSNL, revision of pension for BSNL retirees w.e.f. 1.1.2017 and delinking of same with pay revision for PRC implementation, and deduction of payment of pension contribution by BSNL on actual basic pay instead of on the highest level of the pay scale.

“Government wishes to re-emphasize that it will continue to engage with the BSNL management and representatives of the unions and associations, to support their reasonable demands, and to guide the organization towards a revival,” it said.

The SIM will now be available for employees of Patanjali only.
Comprehensive plan prepared for BSNL’s revival: Government.

Noting that the Department of Telecommunications (DOT) is taking “positive steps” regarding each of these demands, the ministry said the issue of alloting 4G spectrum to BSNL is being referred to telecom regulator TRAI “to recommend on the issue of administrative allocation, quantum, price and appropriate frequency band”.

“Further action will be taken on receipt of the said recommendation. In parallel, a comprehensive proposal for revival of BSNL has been prepared, which will be taken up for consideration by competent authorities very soon.”

It also noted that a Coordination Committee comprising senior officers of the DoT, BSNL management, and representatives of AUAB is already working in this regard.

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“Representatives of AUAB have also held meetings with the DOT Additional Secretary in which they have been duly apprised of the progress being made in relation to their demands,” the statement said.

It pointed out that the BSNL management has appealed to its employees not to resort to any agitation at this critical juncture when the organization is engaged in “sincere and serious efforts” to protect and enhance the company’s market share, “and when any disruption in services can only adversely impact the interests of BSNL and its customers, employees and other stakeholders.” (IANS)