SC questions 'leprosy-free' tag for India (GS-1/2) (Page-5) India "underestimated" leprosy and diverted funds meant to eliminate the curable disease for 18 long years, the Supreme Court said on Friday. In its 22-page judgment, a Bench led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra pointed out that though the country was declared leprosy-free on December 31, 2005, the reality is "entirely different' The Supreme Court referred to progress reports of the National Leprosy Eradication Programme (NLEP) to show that only 543 districts of the total 642 districts in the country had achieved the World Health Organisation-required prevalence rate of less than one case of leprosy for 10,000 persons. Suffering continues * "The underestimation of cases of leprosy and the declaration of elimination of leprosy has resulted in the integration of leprosy in general health services thereby leading to diversion of funds which would have otherwise been dedicated to eliminating leprosy," Chief Justice Misra, who authored the verdict, wrote.
Meanwhile, patients and their families continue to suffer from leprosy and its stigma. They are even denied their fundamental right to food. They are not issued BPL (Below Poverty Line) cards to claim the benefit of various welfare schemes such as the Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY). They are deprived of housing, basic civic amenities, adequate sanitary facilities and rehabilitation programmes. "At present, majority of the populace afflicted with leprosy live as a marginalised section in society, deprived of even basic human rights. This manifestly results in violation of the fundamental right to equality and right to live with dignity," Chief Justice Misra observed for the Bench also comprising Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud.
Doklam final report lauds government (GS-2) (Page-8) A report by the parliamentary panel on External Affairs, headed by Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, has expressed concern that Chinese infrastructure built close to the India-Bhutan-China tri-junction has not been dismantled, but "commended" the overall handling of the Doklam crisis by the Narendra Modi government. The committee was unable to table the report in the monsoon session of Parliament after protests from BJP members. The members objected to reproduction of the testimony of the Foreign Secretaries verbatim since it could have revealed some deficiencies in the Indian approach Sections removed To address the BJP members concerns, Mr. Tharoor met External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and removed the contentious portions. The tone and tenor of the report is distinctly different from the critical views expressed by many members during the deliberations. During the debate, the Congress members on the committee, including party president Rahul Gandhi, expressed concern that a setback has been spun by the government as a victory.
However, sources said, it was decided not to include these concerns in the final report. At least two members of the committee confirmed that the Opposition members on the committee had said that while the Army's reaction to the crisis was laudable, Indian diplomacy failed to measure up to the task, especially Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "no-agenda" meeting in Wuhan where he failed to even raise the Doklam incident. The final report, however, pats the government for resolving the Doklam crisis. "The Committee would commend the government's overall handling of the crisis as it managed to send necessary signals to China that India will not acquiesce in its unilateral and forceful attempts to change the status quo at any of India's territorial boundaries," the report said. The panel also appreciated the "brave and timely" action of security forces for checking the PLA troops from continuing with their road construction. Note of caution It though adds a caveat by expressing concern that Chinese infrastructure built uncomfortably close to the tri-junction has not yet been dismantled. "The Committee is concerned about the multiple reports which allude to Chinese presence around Doklam plateau and the statements from Chinese authorities about chances of similar happenings in future also, even after the stand-off ended," the panel noted.
The committee said the government's stand was "ambivalent" on construction activities in other areas on the Doklam plateau. The panel said the Indian government should not take the Chinese lightly at any point and "continue to monitor the Chinese activities along the border in general and the area in particular very intensely" * The panel also suggested that military infrastructure, especially the roads on the Indian side, need to be improved. There is also an urgent need for high-technology gear to prepare our security forces to respond befittingly "Even if they have withdrawn their troops from Doklam for the time being, China's strategic intentions should not be taken casually. The Committee would, therefore, urge the Government not to let its vigil down in order to prevent any untoward incident in future," the panel warned. Asked on which portions were removed from the report, Mr. Tharoor refused to comment. "The report speaks for itself and I have nothing to add," he said.
CHINA Dokalam Plateau Image credit Rajya Sabha Doka La Thimpu Gangtok. LaBHUTAN Nathu La Kalimpong Darjeeling Siliguri
Putin likely to visit India next month (GS-2) (Page-9) Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to visit India in early October, an official source said on Friday. The visit of the Russian leader was discussed during the Moscow trip of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Friday where she held talks with the newly appointed Deputy Prime Minister, Yuri Borisov. . Mr. Putin's visit is expected to lead to major bilateral deals. However, final details of the visit are still being worked upon. E-visas welcomed Ms. Swaraj thanked Russia for helping Indian travellers with easier visa procedures. Both our countries are working towards ease of acquiring visa. I welcome Russia's decision to introduce electronic visas for Indians who are willing to travel to the far-eastern parts of Russia," Ms. Swaraj said during the 23rd edition of IRIGC-TEC (India Russia Inter- Governmental Commission). Earlier, Ms. Swaraj was welcomed to the Russian capital by her counterpart Sergey Lavrov.
* It was the first meeting between Ms. Swaraj and the senior Russian Minister following the 2+2 dialogue between India and the United States that was conducted by her and her U.S. counterpart Mike Pompeo. India's planned purchase of the S-400 missile system had formed the backdrop of the 2+2 dialogue. Government sources had indicated that the missile system did not come up for discussion with the U.S. officials and there was an understanding that India-U.S. relations would not be affected by India's ties with Russia. Neither India nor Russia has specified if the defensive missile system was discussed between the two sides on Friday, but significantly the Russian side to the IRIGC-TEC was led by Yuri Borisov who is also in charge of defence-related issues with India. "We have identified new areas of cooperation that include agriculture, science, infrastructure and technology. We would like to extend our cooperation in the field of outer space," she said The 23rd iRIGC-TEC is significant as it comes Just ahead of the crucial November deadline imposed on India by the US. to zero out' energy supply from Iran. Ms. Swaraj indicated that energy supply from Russia to India had increased in recent months.
Justice Gogoi to be next CJI (GS-2) (Page-9) The President has appointed Justice Ranjan Gogoi as the 46th Chief Justice of India. Justice Gogoi will assume office on October 3. He is the first Chief Justice of India from Assam. The warrant of appointment comes less than 10 days after incumbent Chief Justice Dipak Misra recommended Justice Gogoi as his successor. The Press Information Bureau released a statement about the appointment. 13-month tenure As Chief Justice of India, Justice Gogoi will have a tenure of about 13 months till his retirement on November 17, 2019. Chief Justice Misra followed convention by recommending the next senior-most Supreme Court judge as his successor. Justice Gogoi, born on November 18, 1954, joined the Bar in 1978 and practised mainly in the Gauhati High Court. He was appointed a permanent judge of the High Court in February 2001, He was transferred to the Punjab and Haryana High Court in 2010 and appointed its Chief Justice in 2011. He was elevated to the Supreme Court on April 23, 2012.
* Justice Gogoi is the son of Keshab Chandra Gogoi, a former Assam Chief Minister during the Congress regime in 1982. * Justice Gogoi was one of the four senior-most Supreme Court judges who held a press conference on January 12, 2018 bringing up the issue of selective assignment of sensitive cases by recent CJls to certain judges in the Supreme Court. Chief Justice Misra subsequently published a subject-wise roster of cases assigned to judges in the Supreme Court. * In a recent lecture, Justice Gogoi said the country needs independent journalists andd "noisy judges" Justice Gogoi is heading the Bench monitoring the sensitive Assam NRC case. The Benches led by Justice Gogoi have dealt largely with the issue of corruption in politics and public life.
Florence makes landfall in N. Carolina (GS-3) (Page-10) Hurricane Florence, weakened but still dangerous, crashed into the Carolinas on Friday as a giant, slow-moving storm that stranded residents with floodwaters and swamped part of the town of New Bern at the beginning of what could be a days-long deluge. The centre of the hurricane's eye came ashore at about 7.15 a.m. EDT (1115 GMT) near Wrightsville Beach close to Wilmington, North Carolina, with sustained winds of 90 miles per hour (150 kmph) the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said. 150 awaiting rescue North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said Florence was set to cover almost all of the State in several feet of water. On the mainland in New Bern, authorities said more than 100 people had to be saved from floods and that the downtown area was underwater. The town's public information officer, Colleen Roberts, told CNN that 150 more people were awaiting rescue and that citizens were going out in their boats to help. * There were no immediate reports of storm-related deaths or serious injuries but more than 60 people, including many children and pets, had to be evacuated from a hotel in Jacksonville, North Carolina
Graduate in Economics. Gold medal in Dissertation, Prepared various documents on Demonetisation and GST, Share-trading and many more