Mumbai: In a debatable directive on Tuesday, the Devendra Fadnavis government announced that from November 1 onward, auto-rickshaw permits will only be given to those who could speak the state’s regional language – Marathi.
“Only those applicants who can speak Marathi will be issued new autorickshaw permits from November 1,” said Maharashtra Transport Minister Diwakar Raote.
Maharashtra is an urbanized state and as a result, the directive will impact the auto drivers hailing from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh among thousands of other migrants in the financial capital of India.
The previous governments rule only entailed that a driver must have been a Maharashtra resident for at least 15 years. Obtaining such a certificate is not that difficult.
A survey conducted after the Fadnavis government took over last year revealed 70 percent of the auto-drivers in the state to be non-Maharashtrians. This prompted the government to take the controversial decision.
Facebook on Monday activated its election notification feature for India, requesting people to go out and vote for their candidates in the Maharashtra and Haryana Assembly polls and post that they have voted.
Voting started in Maharashtra for the 288-Assembly constituencies, while over 1.83 crore voters in BJP-ruled Haryana are to cast their votes to elect the 90-member legislative Assembly.
Facebook began sending notifications from the morning to its over 300 million users in India, saying “get information about voting and share that you’ve voted.”
The social networking giant in April joined other social media companies in a voluntary code of ethics for the elections with the Election Commission of India (ECI).
It included measures like a dedicated communications channel for notice and take down after receiving valid legal order, processing of valid requests in the blackout period ahead of voting and voter education efforts.
“Facebook recently launched two new products in India to help people learn about issues they care about and engage with candidates and elected officials in meaningful ways,” Facebook India Vice President and Managing Director Ajit Mohan said in a blog post.
“Candidate Connect” is designed to give voters accurate information and help people learn more about different candidates.
“Share You Voted” lets people share with friends that they’ve cast their ballots in the elections.
“The products have been customised, based on what we’ve learned from local research, including the community’s desire to hear directly from their candidates,” said Mohan.
Google has also introduced a series of steps to urge the netizens and first-time users in the country to register to vote in the country. (IANS)