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Raju Vernekar

Raju Vernekar

Raju Vernekar is a Media Professional based in Mumbai and is a regular contributor of Imphal Times. He had served as Chief Reporter at Free Press Journal (1996 – 2015 ). His Activities includes writing for different news papers, script writing/production for TV channels, Films Division. Writing poems in Marathi, Hindi, English, Guiding mass media students and helping people to solve their problems. Raju may be contacted at [email protected]

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RBI allows NEFT 24 x7 from today

With a view to facilitate smooth settlement of National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) system, RBI has decided to permit NEFT transactions in the accounts of the member banks maintained by it, on 24 x 7 basis from today.
Till now NEFT was available only between 8 am and 7:45 pm on working days. Besides NEFT did not work on 2nd and 4th Saturday of the week. “In order to facilitate smooth settlement of these transactions, RBI has decided to extend the collateralised liquidity support (LS), round the clock, the RBI circular dated 13 December 2019 stated. The decision to allow NEFT transactions on 24 x7 was taken in the Monetary Policy Meet of RBI held in August 2019.  
LS facility will operate as per the same terms and conditions as the Intra-Day Liquidity (IDL) facility, all member banks eligible for the IDL facility will be eligible to avail of the LS facility, the limit for LS facility would be set by RBI from time to time. Drawings under the LS facility shall be reckoned as part of the eligible IDL limit, the margin requirement on LS facility would be similar to that of IDL facility, outstanding drawing at the end of the day under the LS facility will be automatically converted into borrowing under the Marginal Standing Facility (MSF), the MSF borrowing reversal will take place along with other (Liquidity Adjustment Facility (LAF) operations as is currently being done, the instructions on intra-day-liquidity and reversal of IDL shall continue, as hitherto and RBI may review the facilities based on the experience gained in operationalizing the scheme.  
RBI has advised its member banks that: there will be 48 half-hourly batches every day. The settlement of first batch will commence after 00:30 hours and the last batch will end at 00:00 hours. the system will be available on all days of the year, including holidays, NEFT transactions after usual banking hours of banks are expected to be automated transactions initiated using ‘Straight Through Processing (STP)’ modes by the banks, the existing discipline for crediting beneficiary’s account or returning the transaction (within 2 hours of settlement of the respective batch) to originating bank will continue, member banks will ensure sending of positive confirmation message (N10) for all NEFT credits and all provisions of NEFT procedural guidelines will be applicable for NEFT 24x7 transactions as well. Member banks are expected to keep adequate liquidity in their current account with RBI at all times to facilitate successful posting of NEFT batch settlements. They have also been  advised to initiate necessary action and ensure availability of all necessary infrastructural requirements at their end for providing seamless NEFT 24x7 facility to their customers.
“This move (by RBI) is a step towards reducing the number of cheques while making payments. Reducing cheque-based payments also increases a business’ efficiency. Earlier, RBI had removed NEFT and RTGS (Real Time Gross Settlement System) charges, making such transactions cheaper. This will certainly promote digital payments for business users,” RBI official said.
RBI has already included other categories of recurring payments through the Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS) that enables a customer to pay several bills such as telephone, water, gas, direct-to-home (DTH) and electricity at a single location—electronic or physical.
BBPS payments can be made using cash, cheques as well as through any digital mode of payment such as internet banking, debit, credit card among others. Bill aggregators and banks function as operating units and carry out these payment transactions for customers.

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Maharashtra demands immediate refund of GST compensation; Eight non-BJP states may move Supreme Court

IT News
Mumbai, Dec 12

Maharashtra government in a letter to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, has sought immediate release of Rs 15,558.05 crore comprising Goods and Services Tax (GST) compensation up to November 2019 from the Centre.
As per copy of the CM’s letter made available to media by CM office on late Wednesday evening, “The pending dues include Rs 6946.29 core of tax devolution and Rs 8611.76 crore towards GST compensation”.
“As per the Union budget 2019-20, the tax devolution to Maharashtra was Rs 46,630.66 crore which was 11.15 per cent more than Rs 41952.65 crore received by the state during 2018-19. But, the state received only Rs 20254.92 crore till October 2019 (25.53 per cent less compared to the budget estimate of 2019-20).
The CM also expressed fear of a shortfall in GST collections compared to the benchmark growth of 14 per cent due to the slowdown in the economy. “During the current financial year, we have received Rs 5635 crore as GST compensation for the first four months only. However, an amount of Rs 8611.76 crore is due towards the GST compensation up to November 2019.
“The state is also suffering due to the shortfall in tax devolution. Timely release of GST compensation and tax devolution amount will help my state to manage finances efficiently,” the CM stated.The letter further stated that Integrated GST (IGST) settlement was done during 2017-18 based on tax devolution formula of the Finance Commission, instead of the formula adopted for such settlement. “As per the latest CAG report, for the year ended March 2018, the IGST settlement for many transactions is not happening,” it stated.
Thackeray heads a coalition government of the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress, which came to power last month. The BJP-led NDA government headed Maharashtra prior to the October 21 assembly polls.
In the meanwhile, amidst muted GST revenue growth and worries over delayed allocation of compensation cess, a few state governments are considering legal recourse against the Centre if their dues are not cleared immediately. States like Kerala, West Bengal, Punjab, Delhi and Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Union Territory of Puducherry — all non-BJP states — are planning to knock at the door of the Supreme Court if their concerns are not addressed.
Finance ministers and representatives of these states had met Sitharaman last week, urging her to release the pending compensation cess since August. States get an average cess compensation of about Rs 7,500 crore per month (as per the last fiscal’s numbers), which means the Centre is yet to release funds worth over Rs 30,000 crore to these states.

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NHRC notices to Tripura police over sexual assault and death of a minor girl

By Raju Vernekar
New Delhi,  Dec 10

While the recent Unnao and Telangana rape incidents have stirred the country, the National Human Rights Commission of India (NHRC), has issued notices to the Chief Secretary and the Director General of Police, Tripura, calling for a detailed report in the matter of sexual assault and subsequent death of a minor girl after she was set on fire by her tormentor, in Agartala district of Tripura.  
The Commission has called for a detailed report in the matter within four weeks including status of the investigation and any relief granted to the next of the kin of the deceased. The Commission has observed that though it is not mentioned in the media reports that whether the aggrieved family or the victim had approached the police with their complaint,  the death of a minor girl as a result of a barbaric act done by the accused is a matter of concern. Reiterating its displeasure towards increasing incidents of sexual assault of women across the country, the Commission has said that it is awaiting reports from all the states and Union Territories including Union Ministry of Women and Child Development in the matter.  
According to the reports, on 28 October,2019, the victim was kidnapped by the accused from her residence and was subjected to sexual abuse. Later, the accused raised a demand of Rs. 5 Lakhs in lieu of solemnizing marriage with the victim. Some amount of money was reportedly paid by the victim’s family and there was a dispute between the family and the accused for the remaining money. Subsequently the accused and his mother were arrested by the police.
As part of the world human rights day, a function organized by NHRC, in New Delhi on Tuesday. Addressing the gathering, President Ram Nath Kovind said that the effective strengthening of the human rights at the ground level is a collective task of the whole society. In this regard, the NHRC has done well in spreading awareness and joining hands with civil society to further the cause. Pointing out the contribution of Hansaben Mehta in the field of human rights and gender equality, the President said that we can make a beginning by asking ourselves if we, as a society, have lived up to her vision of equal rights and equal dignity of women. Unfortunately, a series of events in the recent past force us to think again. Incidents of heinous crime against women are reported from many parts of the country. This is not limited to one place or one nation. Thus, the ideal way to commemorate the World Human Rights Day is for the whole world to introspect what more we need to do to live up to the letter and spirit of the sacred text of the Declaration.
On the occasion, Justice H. L. Dattu, Chairperson, NHRC and former Chief Justice of India also addressed the gathering and released NHRC journals and DVD of award winning short films on human rights. Later in the evening, another function was organized at Manav Adhikar Bhawan, New Delhi, to present NHRC short film awards-2019 to the three winners.
Even as the World Human Rights Day was, the Commission decided to set up a task force to prepare a National Action Plan on Human Rights ( NAPHR) comprising the representatives of various Ministries, NGOs, Civil Society and the NHRC among the other stakeholders. This will help flag the key issues of human rights for the government(s), which would require to be addressed with a targeted approach to improve the human rights situation in the country through a sustained mechanism.
As per the statistics released by NHRC on Human Rights Day, in the last one year, it received 48395 cases of human rights violations, related to different topics right from custodial deaths   to the inaction by the state/central government officials. Of these 26352 cases were cleared, while 22043 cases (fresh and old) were under consideration.
 In November alone, NHRC registered 6800 cases. Of these 6672 (Fresh and old), were disposed off and it recommended monetary relief worth Rs. 73.25 lakh to the victims in 27 cases. The  break up was : custodial death (Judicial) (12 cases) Rs 32 lakh, harassment of prisoners (one case)- Rs.5 lakh, rape outside police station(one case)-Rs 3 lakh, atrocities on SC/ST by police (one case) Rs.1.50 lakh, failure in taking lawful action (2 cases)- Rs.2.25 lakh, victimisation-(one case)-Rs 5 lakh, alleged custodial death in police custody (one case)-Rs 3 lakh, miscellaneous (one case)-Rs one lakh, inaction by the state/central government officials (5 cases)- Rs. 12.50 lakh, death due to electrocution (one case)- Rs 3 lakh, abuse of power (one case) –Rs 5 lakh, (total cases-27), total-Rs 73.25 lakh.
This year, NHRC has taken many new initiatives to expand its outreach. It has linked its online complaint filing system with over three lakh common service centres spread across the country, which is expected to be helpful to people in far flung areas to file their complaints quickly. It has also started the services of NHRC Toll Free Helpline number 14433. The State authorities can also file online reports to the NHRC using this portal to avoid delay in providing relief to the victims of human rights violations. The Commission also started video conferencing with the state authorities to expedite disposal of cases.
NHRC has made a number of interventions on key issues of human rights, which include the  issues of bonded and child labour, prison reforms, right to health, mental healthcare, rights of persons with disabilities, silicosis, illegal clinical drug trials, pesticides in food items, pricing of drugs, corporate-social responsibility, manual scavenging and sanitation, human rights of women.
NHRC was set up on 12 October, 1993 to promote a culture of human rights. It is a recommendatory body as per the “ The Protection of Human Rights Act 1993”. But this provision has not come in the way of most of the recommendations of the NHRC being accepted by the Governments resulting in the trust and confidence of the people in it.
Human Rights Day is observed on 10 December, every year to commemorate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), which was adopted and proclaimed by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1948 as the shared standard yardstick to protect human rights across the globe. The Declaration recognizes that the inherent dignity and the equal and inalienable rights of mankind are the foundation of justice, freedom and peace in the world.
The United Nations’ theme for this year’s Human Rights Day is: “Youth Standing up for Human Rights.” Under this theme, the youth will be encouraged to amplify their voices against racism, hate speech, bullying, discrimination and fight for climate justice, among other issues, and engage a broad range of global audiences in the promotion and protection of rights.

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PM urges cops from North East to create healthy atmosphere for development programs 

IT News
Pune, 9 November 2019

While addressing valedictory session of the three day 54th DGsP/IGsP conference in Pune( Maharashtra), on Sunday evening, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed special interest for the development of North Eastern states, critical for “Act East Policy” of the government and urged the DGPs of these states to make extra efforts to create a conducive environment for the development programs.
Modi opined that a threat to country’s security by forces across the border still continues, but our forces are capable of handling any situation to give a befitting reply to the enemies. He also discussed the recent incidents of rape in Telangana and Uttar Pradesh (Unnao) and advised police to be doubly alert.
 ” At all times, the police must strive to improve the image of its force to inspire confidence among all sections of society including women and children, Modi said and emphasized the role of effective policing in making sure that women feel safe and secure.
Apart from leading the discussions and giving valuable suggestions over the past two days, Modi also appreciated the meticulous efforts made by the country’s police forces for maintaining general peace and tranquility in the country and said that we must not forget the contribution of their families who stand firmly behind them.
Prime Minister urged the heads of police departments to carry forth the spirit of the conference to the lowest level-from state to district to the police station. After viewing the presentations given by different state police forces, he mentioned that a comprehensive list of best practices could be prepared and adopted by all the states and Union Territories. He also commented that technology provides us an effective weapon to ensure pro-active policing that factors-in the feedback of the common man.
Commending the conference for generating good inputs for policy planning and implementation, Modi laid emphasis on emergence of concrete outcomes from the finalized action points.
He concluded his remarks by recognizing the pulls and pressures confronting the police officer in the day to day discharge of duties. However, he said, that whenever they are in doubt they should remember the ideals and the spirit with which they appeared for the civil services exams and continue to work in national interest, keeping in mind the welfare of the weakest and poorest sections of society.
In order to encourage meaningful exchange of views and experiences, the duration of conference, was changed to three days from earlier one day and venue of the conference was shifted out of Delhi and now the conference is held in different locations since 2015.  The format of the conference has also undergone significant change in terms of the presence of the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister in the conference.
In the lead-up to the conference, committees of DGsP are established to formulate the contours of presentations on contemporary security threats. Additionally, during the conference, break-out sessions are held to further refine policy issues. This year, 11 core groups were formed for holding brain-storming sessions on key aspects of internal and external security such as terrorism, naxalism, coastal security, cyber threats, combating radicalization and narco-terrorism etc.
On the occasion, the Prime Minister also awarded the President’s police medals for distinguished service to officers of the Intelligence Bureau.
During his two days stay (Saturday/Sunday) in Pune, Modi also interacted with scientists from Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER). IISER scientists made presentations to the Prime Minister on varied topics ranging from new materials and devices for clean energy application to agricultural biotechnology to natural resource mapping. The presentations also showcased cutting edge technologies in the field of Molecular Biology, Antimicrobial resistance, Climate studies and Mathematical Finance research.  
Prime Minister appreciated the scientists for their informative presentations and urged them to develop low cost technologies that would cater to India’s specific requirements and help in fast-tracking India’s growth. He visited the IISER, Pune campus and interacted with the students and researchers. He also visited the state-of-the-art super computer PARAM BRAHMA, deployed by C-DAC in IISER, which has a peak computing power of 797 Teraflops.
Before leaving for New Delhi on Sunday night, Modi also called on former Union Minister Arun Shorie admitted to Ruby Hall Clinic located at Bund Garden in Pune and inquired about his health. A team of chief cardiologist Dr Parvez Grant, neurosurgeon Dr Sachin Gandhi took  Modi to Shourie’s room.
Shourie has been undergoing treatment after he fell on December one, while out on a walk near his bungalow in Lavasa, some 60 kilometres from Pune.  Shorie suffered a brain injury, including internal bleeding and swelling, doctors said and added that he was recovering fast and was showing no signs of neuro-deficit (abnormal function of a body area due to weaker function of the brain).
The 78-year-old former BJP leader, Arun Shourie, who was a minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government between 1999-2004, had become a vocal critic of the economic policies of the Modi government, leading to a parting of ways with the ruling dispensation. Shourie  is a prolific writer and Ramon Magsaysay awardee who had served as an economist with the World Bank during 1967-1978.

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