The Hindu Important Articles 21 June 2018

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# Vohra takes charge in J&K, reviews security situation
Issues proclamation to impose Governor’s rule; Assembly in suspended animation
Governor N.N. Vohra took over the reins of the administration in Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday, a day after coalition partners Peoples Democratic Party and the BJP parted ways.

He reviewed security preparedness in the militancy-hit State. A Raj Bhavan spokesman said Mr. Vohra issued the proclamation to impose Governor’s rule under Section 92 of the Constitution of J&K, immediately after getting the President’s approval. He placed the Legislative Assembly under suspended animation.

The Governor held a meeting with senior administrative officers and key officials of the security forces. All orders issued by government departments on June 19 “were kept in abeyance,” as he issued fresh administrative orders. Mr. Vohra has appointed B.V.R. Subrahmanyam as Chief Secretary in place of B.B. Vyas. Mr. Vyas and former Senior Security Adviser, Union Ministry of Home Affairs, Vijay Kumar, have been appointed Advisers to the Governor.

Border safety

The Governor called for cohesive action to enforce constant vigil on the International Border and the Line of Control, effectively maintain internal security and ensure the safety of the people, sensitive establishments and installations.

He asked representatives of all the security forces to identify existing gaps and ensure coordinated action on the ground for prompt and strong counter-terror responses. The meeting also reviewed important security-related issues for the Amarnath Yatra, which will begin on June 28.

Meanwhile, bodies of three Jaish-e-Muhammad militants were recovered from Pulwama’s Tral area at the end of an encounter that started on Tuesday afternoon when security forces launched a cordon-and-search operation.

# ‘Only six projects completed under Smart Cities Mission’
The Coimbatore Corporation has taken up 23 projects under the Mission; Parlimentary panel informed
Coimbatore Corporation that has been implementing Smart Cities Mission projects has told the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Urban Development that it has taken up 23 projects and completed six of those.

According to sources in the Corporation and the Committee, which reviewed the projects in Udhagamandalam on June 7, the civic body has said that it had implemented air quality monitoring, smart city app development, flood lighting the Nehru Stadium, digitisation, bicycle sharing and eco-friendly carry bag projects.

The sources said that the Corporation had installed 30 air quality monitoring devices at 30 places for Rs. 11 lakh, developed the smart city mobile app for Rs. 10 lakh, installed flood lighting system at Nehru Stadium at Rs. 2.25 crore, digitised records related to buildings assessed for property tax at Rs. 2.60 crore, introduced bicycle sharing system at no cost and made facilities for promoting eco-friendly bags at Rs. 59 lakh.

Digitisation project

Though the Corporation had spent Rs. 2.61 crore on the digitisation project, the civic body awaited the digitised records, which it would use in building a database for the city.

Though it had not spent any money on bicycle sharing system, the company involved in the project had invested Rs. 38 crore.

As far as the promotion of eco-friendly bag goes, the sources said the Corporation had actually spent only around Rs. 3.50 crore for setting up the kiosk at its main office in Town Hall and buying the bags from manufacturers.

Regarding the Rs. 10.29 crore spent on solid waste management project – construction of compound wall, shed and other facilities to set up a plant to process 600 tonnes waste a day – the Corporation had reported to the Committee that it would complete the project by the end of June 2108.

Parking management project

On parking management project (on-road parking), the Corporation said it had received three bids and was evaluating those. Likewise, on the progress made in establishing an integrated command and control centre, the Corporation said it had earmarked Rs. 30 crore for the project, for which the Tamil Nadu Urban Finance and Infrastructure Development Corporation had called for a common tender for the State. The Rs. 150.73 crore 24×7 water supply staged had reached the execution stage in that the company engaged for the purpose had began the preliminary study.

The Corporation sources said that though the civic body had mentioned installation of water meters in its report to the Committee, it was having a rethink on the project, as senior State Government officials had suggested further automation. The project proposes installation of automatic water meters in 14 wards for easing the process of reading the volume of water consumed. The rethink was regarding automating the process of stopping water supply at the touch of a button.The Corporation had mentioned multi-level car parking, smart schools and sale of treated effluent projects but the on-ground situation was that it had either dropped or having a rethink on the projects.

# Man assaulted in row over inter-caste marriage
A brawl over an inter-caste marriage led to the assault of a man at Jewargi town in Kalaburagi district on Wednesday.

Manjunath Gaikwad, who married Salma Begum a year ago, was attacked, allegedly, by the latter’s family members.

Manjunath sustained serious injuries on the head and has been admitted to the Basaveshwara Teaching and General Hospital in Kalaburagi.

Manjunath and Salma said that they fell in love seven years ago and even though their relationship was opposed by both families, they got their marriage registered in February last year. The couple returned to the town after a year.

A gang of seven persons attacked Manjunath with wooden sticks, allegedly, with the intention to kill him.

Salma also sought police protection, alleging that they are facing death threats from their family members.

A case has been registered at Jewargi police station.

# KEAM 2018: boys sweep top ranks
Amal Mathew tops in engineering and Jes Maria Benny in medical list
Boys have swept the engineering ranks, securing 90 out of the top 100 ranks in the Kerala Engineering, Architecture, Medical (KEAM) entrance examinations for 2018, while maintaining a slight edge in the State rank list for medical courses too (based on NEET UG ranks), claiming 59 out of the top 100 ranks.

The KEAM 2018 results were announced here on Wednesday by Health Minister K.K. Shylaja.

The first rank in the engineering entrance test went to Amal Mathew of Kottayam, second rank to M. Sabari Krishna of Kollam and third rank to Denin Jose of Kottayam. All except two of the top 10 ranks went to boys. The top three ranks in the State medical rank list based on NEET UG ranks went to girls, even though boys dominated the top 10 rank list. The first rank in the State medical rank list went to Jes Maria Benny of Ernakulam who had a NEET rank of 56. R. Samreen Fathima of Thiruvananthapuram secured the second rank (NEET rank 89) and the third rank went to M.A. Seba of Kozhikode (NEET rank 99).

The architecture rank list, based on the National Aptitude Test in Architecture (NATA) scores, and pharmacy rank list have also been released as part of the KEAM results.

# Elephant electrocuted near Bandipur National Park
A female elephant, around 60 to 65 years of age, was electrocuted near Chikkbaragi village bordering Bandipur National Park.

The carcass was found on Wednesday. The elephant had come in contact with a live electric fence and is suspected to have died instantly. On receiving the information, the park authorities reached the spot and filed a complaint against the landlord on whose field the elephant was found dead.

Ambadi Madhav, Conservator of Forests, said Mahesh, the son of Shivamma, had laid a barbed fence and illegally drawn power from the power lines. A case has been registered against Mahesh under various provisions of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, and the relevant sections of the Electricity Act, 2003.

The post-mortem of the elephant was conducted by veterinarians and the carcass was burnt as per norms. This is the first such incident in recent months in Bandipur while two electrocutions were reported last year from Devalapura and Kundagere, said Mr. Madhav.

Wildlife activists argue that the region around Bandipur and Nagarahole has a history of such electrocutions and it was imperative for authorities to encourage farmers to opt for solar-powered fences that impart a gentle shock that nudges animals away. Though farmers tend to install such fences to prevent wild boars from raiding the agricultural fields, it is the elephants that tend to come in contact with the live wires and meet a grisly end.

# CEA resigns, cites personal reasons
Arun Jaitley breaks the news on blog
Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian said on Wednesday that he was resigning, as he wished to return to the U.S. for personal reasons.

“You must have all seen Minister Arun Jaitley’s blog post announcing my decision to return, for personal reasons, to a life of researching, writing, teaching, and reflecting,” Dr. Subramanian said at a press conference. “This is the best job I have ever had and probably ever will. I will forever cherish the memories of the past nearly four years for the rest of my life. It goes without saying that I remain committed to serving the country at all times in the future.”

Earlier in the day, Union Minister Arun Jaitley announced in a blog post that he had accepted Dr. Subramanian’s reasons for leaving. “A few days ago, Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian met me over video conferencing,” Mr. Jaitley wrote. “He informed me that he would like to go back to the United States on account of pressing family commitments. His reasons were personal but extremely important for him. He left me with no option but to agree with him.”

Dr. Subramanian, who started his initial three-year term as CEA on October 16, 2014, had been asked to continue for another year, which would have taken his term to October 2018. Observing that the exact date on which he would demit office had not been decided yet, the CEA said he would likely remain at his position for “a month or two.”

# Unpaid dues hit street lighting
Electrical contractors go on strike over non-payment of bills
For a couple of hours on Wednesday evening, large swathes of the city plunged into darkness as electrical contractors went on a strike and refused to turn on street lights at 6 p.m.

They demanded payment of pending bills by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP). Only around 25% of the 4.8 lakh street lights in the city were functioning.

Contractors agreed to power up the street lights only by 9.30 p.m. after a round of negotiations with civic officials, but with a caveat: until the payments are made, they will only switch on and turn off the lights, but will not undertake any repairs.

The BBMP Electrical Contractors’ Association decided to go on a strike after receiving no response to several requests to clear pending bills.

K.M. Raju, association general secretary, told The Hindu that the BBMP owed Rs. 35 crore, pending for the past 18 months, to the 100-odd electrical contractors. The contractors are yet to submit bills for around Rs. 10 crore. “In total, the BBMP owes the electrical contractors Rs. 45 crore,” he said.

K.S. Mohan, association member, said that they had first written to the BBMP Commissioner about the pending bills in December 2017, and once again in June. “We have been following up with BBMP officials, but got no response. Bill payments are always delayed. We decided to go on a strike as a last resort,” he said.

# Rain continues to lash the coast; man dead
IMD predicts heavy rainfall for the next two days
A 36-year-old street vendor was crushed to death under a peepul tree that got uprooted in Bantwal taluk of Dakshina Kannada on Wednesday while heavy rain continued to pound coastal Karnataka for the second consecutive day.

The tree fell on the makeshift residence-cum-workplace of Ram Sevak, a native of Unnao district in Uttar Pradesh, who was into preparing and selling concrete flower pots and other articles at Melkar in Bantwal town police limits.

His companion, Deepak, escaped with minor injuries, police said.

The incident happened around 3.30 a.m. while Bantwal taluk, which received over 90 mm rainfall between Monday and Tuesday, continued to receive heavy rain on Tuesday too. Bantwal town police registered a case of unnatural death. Mangaluru and surrounding areas, having received over 150 mm rain on Tuesday-Wednesday, continued to receive heavy rainfall on Wednesday too. Though the district administration did not declare holiday for schools, it said respective school administrations were free to declare holiday depending on the situation.

Deputy Commissioner S. Sasikanth Senthil told The Hindu that a similar situation was likely to continue for many days, including in July; hence discretion has been given to schools. A few schools in the city declared holiday for the day. Areas around Kottara Chowki along National Highway 66, which get inundated every time it rains heavily owing to encroachment of major drains, got inundated on Wednesday morning too. Mangaluru City Corporation had to deploy water pump sets to pump out excess water.

Vehicles inched along on National Highway 66 (Edapalli-Panvel) between Thokkottu and Surathkal because of heavy rain and pothole-ridden road surface during the morning.

Rains were not that heavy in Udupi and Uttara Kannada districts, though it continued to pour throughout the day in the region. Both the districts had received about 33 mm average rainfall during Tuesday-Wednesday. While Ankola in Uttara Kannada had received 110 mm rainfall, Kollur in Udupi district had received 90 mm rainfall. The India Meteorological Department, Bengaluru, has cautioned heavy to very heavy rain across the coast at least for the next two days when rainfall would exceed 115 mm. There could be heavy rainfall for the next three days thereafter, the IMD said in its bulletin.

# UDF calls for Idukki hartal
The United Democratic Front (UDF) will organise a dawn-to-dusk hartal in Idukki, Devikulam, Udumbanchaola and Peerumade Assembly constituencies on Monday raising various demands, including the final notification of the Kasturirangan report on removing the ban on construction and tree felling in eight villages of Munnar taluk. The Thodupuzha assembly constituency will be exempted from the hartal, said a release issued by S. Ashokan, chairman, UDF district coordination committee.

# Naidu takes up steel plant issue with Modi
‘File revised affidavit in Supreme Court’
Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu on Wednesday requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to get a revised affidavit filed in the Supreme Court for the steel plant in YSR Kadapa district.

Backward region

In a letter to the PM, Mr. Naidu said the feasibility report being furnished by the MECON Limited be taken into consideration keeping in view of its utility for the backward Rayalaseema region.

He said the affidavit the Ministry of Steel had filed earlier was based on the initial report of the Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), which dismissed it as economically unviable.

Mr. Naidu said he had personally submitted a memorandum to the PM in the wake of the MECON Limited’s report on the basis of the land details and topo sheets it provided to the State government.

He quoted from Schedule XIII of the A.P. Reorganisation Act where it was mentioned that SAIL should examine within six months the feasibility.

It was, therefore, a statutory duty on the part of the Government of India to do so, he said.

Curbs at Vizag airport

In a separate letter, Mr. Naidu requested Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman not to impose restrictions on the civilian air traffic at the Visakhapatnam airport till the proposed Bhogapuram international airport was completed.

After the development of the new airport, the runway at the naval air station INS Dega would be available exclusively for the military purpose, he said.

If restrictions were imposed, it would have effect for up to seven hours on weekdays including the peak traffic period in the evenings.

The military-civil coordination meeting held on May 2 proposed the restrictions for reserving certain slots for the military.

# Accused in idol theft case nabbed
He was on the run for three years and was picked up from his Red Hills house
The sleuths of the Idol Wing on Wednesday arrested the main suspect in a Rs. 80 crore metal idol smuggling case, who was absconding for the past three years, from his house in Red Hills.

The suspect, Jayakumar alias Kumar, was later taken to Kumbakonam for judicial remand.

The eight idols, stolen from three temples, were recovered a few months after they were stolen.

During investigation, it was found that 16 persons were involved in the case.

“Out of this, 14, including a woman who posed as a journalist, were arrested. However, the main accused, Jayakumar, was absconding. One is suspected to be dead,” said a police officer.

Mr. Ponmanickavel said Jayakumar, along with the others, used to conduct a recce of target temples by posing as devotees.

Jayakumar will be taken into police custody for further questioning.

# U.S. quits UN human rights body
The United States on Tuesday announced its withdrawal from the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) terming it “hypocritical and self-serving.” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley blamed the UNHRC for bias against Israel and refusing to eject members who are violators of human rights.

Announcing the decision at the State Department, the officials named Russia, China, Cuba and Egypt for thwarting U.S. efforts to reform the Council.

The UNHRC has been among the targets of President Donald Trump’s politics against global organisations and treaties. Under his presidency, the U.S. has withdrawn from the U.N. climate treaty and the UNESCO.

UNHRC was founded in 2006. Then President George W. Bush was dismissive of the body. Under President Barack Obama, the U.S. joined it in 2009.

# CM to go for naturopathy
Having staged a dharna at Raj Niwas for nine days, CM Arvind Kejriwal is expected to go to Bengaluru on Thursday for a naturopathy session.

Source:- The Hindu

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