Important News Articles (Taking Delhi/Noida edition as the base) Page:9/11 derailed Army plan to capture Pakistani posts along LoC Page 1 : CIC selection arbitrary, say RTI activists Page 1 : Flamingo fete a huge draw at Pulicat lake Page 2: ASI finds 2,300-year-old artefacts in Odisha Page 3 Rajasthan, Bihar join hands to eradicate child labour Page 4: State armed with triple-drug therapy to fight elephantiasis Page 5 Fire breaks out on Bengaluru's Varthur lake Page 6 Utilisation of irrigation potential down in Odisha Page 7: Meghalaya's coal mines are used for disposing bodies too Page 7 : RailTel is turning railway stations into digital hubs Page 7: Farmers group, Anna Hazare plan joint stir Page 9 : Getting a raw deal Page 10 New quota giving sleepless nights to Opposition, says PM
Important News Articles (Taking Delhi/Noida edition as the base) Page 10 GoM to report on ST status in February Page1 Figures for long-term visas to minorities don't add up Page1 Bill may not help many Bangladeshi nationals Page Many names do the rounds for CBI chief Page Aadhaar is now passport to Nepal and Bhutan Page 13 Traders to mobilise and vote as one: CAIT Page 13 : Soon, no e-way bills for non-filers of GST returns Page 13 Rationalise new norms for external borrowing: NSEFI Page 13 : Brokers want SEBI to roll back new risk management framework for F&o Page 13 Some banks may soon exit PCA: Kumar Page 13 In 2019, India to beat U.K. in economy size Page 14 Hungry for energy Page 14 RBI: on the horns of a dilemma Page 14 GST: construction equipment gets a boost
Page 13: Traders to mobilise and vote as one: CAIT The trading community has decided to make its presence felt as a single consolidated vote bank for the upcoming general elections. The Confederation of All-India Traders (CAIT) said that from February 1, its officials would travel to nearly 100 cities to convince traders and their staff to vote according to their whip. The aim is to directly or indirectly reach all the seven crore small businesses that employ 45 crore people. The body has been in the news protesting the alleged lobbying carried out by big e-commerce firms to dilute or postpone the recent changes to FDI rules governing the sector CAIT had been protesting last year's Walmart-Flipkart deal citing it as being detrimental to small traders' prospect:s CAIT also made a demand for loan waivers for traders similar to those given to farmers by some States. Whisper campaign The CAIT has planned to launch a whisper campaign whereby traders will be guided to communicate to their customers and others by word-of-mouth the good or bad about any government or political party as per the decision to be taken by the local trade association affiliated to CAIT According to CAIT, each small business can influence about 50 voters, including the family that runs the business and their customers
Page 13 : Soon. no e-way bills for non-filers of GST returns The GSTN is developing an IT system such that businesses that have not filed returns for two straight returns filing cycles, which is six months, would be barred from generating e-way bills. This move would help check GST evasion. Central tax officers have detected 3,626 cases of GST evasion or violations cases, involving 5,278.18 crore in the April-December period. The e-way bill system was rolled out on April 1, 2018, for moving goods worth over 50,000 from one State to another. The system for within the State movement was rolled out in a phased manner from April 15. Transporters of goods worth over 50,000 would be required to present e-way bills during transit to a GST inspector, if asked. The revenue department is working towards integrating the e-way bill system with NHAI's FASTag mechanism beginning April to help track movement of goods
Page 13 :Rationalise new norms for external borrowing: NSEFI National Solar Energy Federation of India (NSEFI), a non-profit organisation, has written to the PMO requesting to direct the RBI to rationalise the new ECB framework suitably, excluding repayment of rupee loans from the negative list RBI allowed the external borrowing in the form of security bond/loan in U.S. dollars to replace the Indian rupee loans having tenure of 10 years or more given by domestic banks/financing institutions As per this notification, erstwhile tracks I and II are merged as foreign currency denominated ECB and track III and rupee denominated bonds framework are combined as rupee denominated ECB to replace the current four-tiered structure NSEFI's Concern: However, the existing permissible end use of repayment /refinancing of rupee loan availed under track-II of ECB has not been considered in the merged foreign currency ECB framework in any form. The repayment of rupee loan to domestic lenders by solar/wind project developers from ECB proceeds would not be possible NSEFI requests government to provide suitable direction/adviceto the RBI to carve out a special category like erstwhile track-II with ECB having minimum average maturity period of 5 years and above within the new merged foreign currency ECB category to permit solar/wind project developers for repayment of their rupee loans to domestic lenders from ECB proceeds Otherwise, such a new framework would jeopardise the large-scale development of wind and solar power projects in India, he wrote NSEFI was founded in 2013 by solar energy industry leaders with a vision to promote solar energy.
Page 13: Brokers want SEBI to roll back new risk management framework for F&O The SEBI's recent move to revise the risk management framework by tweaking the margiin requirements for equity derivatives segment is facing resistance with broker associations demanding a roll back or at least an indefinite postponement of the new norms Brokers say that the proposed margining structure will only increase manifold the cost of trading in equity derivatives- also known as F&O, or futures and options, in industry parlance- without any real benefit in terms of reducing risk, which is the motive of the SEBI The Association of National Exchanges Members of India (ANMI), which is the umbrella body of capital market brokers, has written to the SEBI highlighting the concerns ANMI is of the opinion that many components of margin levied/proposed to be increased are unwarranted, excessive, bear zero-to-very-low correlation to risk, and therefore will result in unprecedented damage to the functioning and growth of the equity derivatives market ANMI believes that applicable margin should correlate highly with risk and not exposure/open interest. Therefore, SEBI moves on margins, has less to do with risk management and more to do with controlling open interest and volumes in the F&O markets Among other things, the regulator increased the so-called Margin Period of Risk (MPOR) to two days from the current one day to ascertain the total margin Further, exchanges were directed to calculate the MPOR for each equity derivative product based on liquidity and scale up the initial margins and exposure margins accordingly. hut do was ali ledtiat the proposed anatgaids arenunhc ientikic .nd excessive and thatit would practically
Page 13 : Some banks may soon exit PCA: Financial Services Secretary Some of the banks, out of the 11, have shown better performance. If some banks are performing well and they are adequately capitalised as per Basel norms. Hence, capitalisation will facilitate them coming out of PCA. RBI is seized of the matter, Financial Services Secretary Rajiv Kumar said.
Page 13 : In 2019. India to beat U.K. in economy size According to a report by global consultancy firm PwC, India is likely to surpass the United Kingdom in the world's largest economy rankings in 2019, As per the report, while the U.K. and France have regularly switched places owing to similar levels of development and roughly equal populations, India's climb up the rankings is likely to be permanent PwC's Global Economy watch report projects real GDP growth of 1.6% for the U.K., 1.7% for France and 7.6% for India in 2019. India and France are likely to surpass the U.K. in world's largest economy rankings in 2019, knocking it from the fifth to seventh place, the report said.
Page 14 : Hungry for energy OIL TIDE AND EBB Ol demand wll comtinue to rise in Asia Pacthc bat will liWhile the EU is the biggest net importer of natural gas,Renewables are expected to play a big role going forward North America and Europe by 2040. The West will se rising China is on track to become the country with the highest especally in the Asia Pactfc region. All regions are fulefficencies even asit moves towards altemative sources net imports Southeast Asia will become a net importer ted to scale up production of renewables by 2040 MORE GAS IN THE PIPELINE RAMPING UP RENEWABLES Hun 2017 DEMAND, Maor . 2040 DEMAND, MBO 2017NETIPORTSKr.EXPECTED ADDITION IN 2040 20 7POWER GENERATON, TWr1EXPECTEDGEN.NO40 ON THE RISE India's production of renewable energysawa54%surgen 2017-18 compared to 2015-16 The World Energy Outlo 2018 shows that by 2040, demand for renewables will ise across regions s will oil consumption in developing conomies. Varun8. Krishnan takes look at the trends modeled by the International Energy Agency on a New Policies Scenario', which takes nto account governments' current and planned energy policies 400 500 5000 2500 200 110000 90000 0 100 -16 2016-7 2017 West South& Africa Asia We Europe E
Page 14 : RBI: on the horns of a dilemma After changing the stance of the monetary policy in the October review meeting to calibrated tightening from neutral, the RBI under Shaktikanta Das may choose to change the stance back to neutral again in the February review meeting, after retail inflation grew at the slowest pace in 18 months. December retail inflation came in at 2.1 9% on the back of softening food and fuel prices. The MPC of the RBI decided to keep the key interest rate unchanged at 6.5% in the policy review meeting in December. Amid slowing retail inflation and sluggish economic growth, the clamour for a rate cut has gained momentum with the industry bodies suggesting a 50 basis point (bps) interest rate cut along with similar reduction in the cash reserve ratio requirements of banks. We continue to expect the RBI MPC to cut rates by 25 bps on February 7 (and 25-50 bps in 2019) with December inflation coming in at a low 2.2%, atop November's 2.3%, Bank ofAmerica Merrill Lynch (BofAML) said. If the RBI decides to lower the interest rate, a change in stance to neutral will only be natural. A neutral stance would mean there is a scope for interest rates to move either way, as opposed to calibrated tightening which means rates can only go up. Inflation assessment Even if the RBI is guided by headline inflation numbers for policy-making purposes, the divergence in major components of inflation creates the dilemma of whether to lower the rate or not.
The RBI Governor acknowledged that the divergences and volatility among the components becomes a challenge for assessment of inflation. Some of the major components like inflation in food, fuel, and inflation excluding food and fuel, have shown wide divergences. This apart, though food inflation has turned negative since October 2018 and fuel inflation has been highly volatile, inflation, excluding food and fuel, remains sticky at close to 6%. A change in stance is more likely now and a rate cut may have to wait for couple of months. RBI has said they focus on headline inflation numbers but core inflation has stayed elevated, group chief economic adviser, SBI sai BofAML, however, said even if core inflation hardened to 5.4% from 4.9% last month, it should reverse with oil and commodity prices coming off. We track January inflation at 2.7% with food deflation persisting, the report said. What adds to the dilemma is the upcoming Budget on February 1. Traditionally, election years have seen only a vote-on-account in which no major announcements are made. However, this year could be an exception as Finance Minister indicated at a recent event. The convention has always been that the election year budget normally is an interim budget and ordinarily there should be no reason why we should move away from that convention. But then, the larger interest of the economy always dictates what goes into the interim budget and that's something which cannot be discussed, Finance Minister said.
There is the expectation of a major announcement from the government for the rural economy due to the stress faced by the farm sector. If that happens, then RBI would like to watch for implications on inflation as well as on fiscal deficit. There has already been a debate as to whether the government should stick to the fiscal deficit target of 3.3% of GDP when the economy actually needs a stimulus to boost growth. Expansionary policy There are some distressed sectors like agriculture, MSMEs which are in need of desperate support from the government. The current situation specifically says liquidity is required in the economy, distress sectors need to be taken care of, banks need to expand credit, and there is a resource constraint from the government side. So, there is a scope for expansionary policy when inflation is under control, BJP's spokesman said Interestingly, Mr. Das avoided making any observations on fiscal deficit. Probably, he will also wait for the budget to make up his mind.
Time limit allowed for passing credit notes for longer period compared to VAT is one more welcome step. Such a large migration can never happen without the entailing blues during implementation. There persist some variances which will benefit the industry in a big way There are some parts that go into the manufacture of the end-use equipment, which carry a higher rate of GST than the end use equipment itself. It is advisable to stabilise the rates of end-use equipment, which are predominantly machinery, under l 8% category, including the components that go into the manufacture Until recently, GST rate for special purpose vehicles (SPV), was 28%. In the GST Council meeting held in July 2018, the rates were reduced to 18% These SPVs still continue to be under HSN code starting with 87. In line with motor graders, truck mounted cranes, wheel loaders etc., which are also similar to SPVs, but classified under HSN code beginning with 84, the subjects of latest amendment of rates should also classified under the codes starting with 84, to avoid inconsistencies in future With the current challenges in web-based reconciliation, assessees are finding it difficult to file GSTR-1 by the 10th of the subsequent calendar month. Many customers' GST numbers are changed which need to be corrected after following up with the customers, which takes time. GSTR-1 and GSTR-3B should be allowed to be filed together. The classification of goods with reference to HSN Codes should be made uniform across all dealers without restricting to 2, 4 and 8 digits for various categories based on scale of operation
Surgical strikes as they were carried out in 2016 involved no casualties of Pakistani military personnel, and involved no land grab. That is business as usual on the LoC and happens all the time Eventually, the units were prepared for Op Kabaddi on September 1, 2001, but the order to proceed was never issued, given the changed geopolitical situation after the 9/11 attacks as it would have been considered taking advantage of a tragedy and viewed unfavourably by the international community It is significant that a few months later in December 2001, after the Parliament attack, the Army mobilised for the more conventional Operation Parakram, and a standoff with the Pakistani army that lasted for months. Former Northern Army Commander stated that local actions keep happening at the LoC but the Army cannot do an operation of this magnitude without the clearance from the political establishment Key political figures of the time Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and NSA Brajesh Mishra have since passed away, while former Defence Ministers Jaswant Singh and George Fernandes are now indisposed Growing risk-taking The book reveals such details that remain sensitive 18 years later to show the extent of risk-taking by the armies on both sides of the LoC under the nuclear umbrella. This should be highlighted to enforce a bilateral mechanism that would bring down tensions between India and Pakistan.
Page 1: Flamingo fete a huge draw at Pulicat lake The Flamingo Festival had a flying start with tourists, both domestic and foreign, making a beeline for the picturesque Pulicat lake, a safe haven for migratory birds It was a virtual treat for bird watchers as over 90,000 birds have come from far away places to the lake this year, though belated in view of the late arrival of the northeast monsoon and the failure of the southwest monsoon The lake is the second largest brackish water ecosystem in the country after the Chilika lake in Odisha. It was a memorable experience for the bird lovers who thronged the place as a large number of birds dotted the barringtonia trees, where they have built nests to raise their offspring. The role of the local fishermen is important in protecting the ecosystem, even while eking out their livelihood
Background O Flamingo Festival This Festival is held every year to promote tourism in Pulicat and Nellapattu. It is being organised for the past 12 years. Migratory birds from Siberia have been visiting this place for breeding and the colourful birds are a treat to the eye of bird watchers. Nelapattu Bird Sanctuary Biggest habitat for some hundreds of pelicans and other birds. Located about 20 km north of the Pulicat Lake on the Andhra Pradesh-Tamil Nadu border. O Pulicat lake Second largest brackish water lake or lagoon in India, after Chilika Lake. It straddles the border ofAndhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu states with over 96% of it in Andhra Pradesh. The lake encompasses the Pulicat Lake Bird Sanctuary The barrier island of Sriharikota separates the lake from the Bay of Bengal and is home to the Satish Dhawan Space Centre. Two rivers which feed the lagoon are the Arani river at the southern tip and the Kalangi River from the northwest The Buckingham Canal, a navigation channel, is part of the lagoon on its western side.
Vakadu Mettu eta elaballi Nelapattu Nelapattu Bird Sanctuary Barrier island 1 6 Sritharikota Sullurypeta adaiahpalem Tade 1 6 Sricity Sathyavedu Pulicat Gummudipoondi 5 2 1 04
Page 3: Rajasthan, Bihar join hands to eradicate child labour A multi-stakeholder initiative, launched here for eradicating child labour, has taken a resolve to rehabilitate the rescued children and undertake collective action to promote child labour-free goods and stop trafficking of children. The governments of two States and civil society groups have come together to support the initiative. Besides, partners of the initiative in Bihar will work for recovery of victims, their rehabilitation, access to compensation, enrolment in schools and regular follow-up visits to prevent re-trafficking About 80% of children employed in the workshops in some localities oflaipur are trafficked from Bihar Over half of them are in the age group of 10 to 14 years and they end up working in harsh conditions for 15 hours a day, for which they receive a meagre payment of 800 to 2,000 per month Additional Labour Commissioner flagged off a mobile van which will reach out to citizens and ask them to take a strong stand against child labour. He said the initiative was a platform for scaling up the Labour Department's efforts, which would ensure that "no child is robbed of his or her childhood". The child labour-free goods production will be taken up through partnership with leading business champions with the goal of making Jaipur the safest place for international retailers and ethical Indian companies to do business. The initiative will also engage local communities to build resistance and raise awareness through hoardings, bus shelters, street performances and school presentations, requesting the public to call the helpline for children.
Page 4 : State armed with triple-drug therapy to fight elephantiasis Maharashtra is all set to roll out the WHO-recommended triple-drug therapy for lymphatic filariasis to speed up elimination of the disease. A pilot project was rolled out in Nagpur. Nagpur is one of the six high-prevalence areas. Lymphatic filariasis, commonly known as elephantiasis, is a neglected tropical disease. According to the WHO, infection occurs when filarial parasites are transmitted to humans through mosquitoes. The infection is usually acquired in childhood, causing hidden damage to the lymphatic system. The State currently has a two-drug regimen consisting of diethylcarbamazine citrate and albendazole The drugs are distributed in endemic areas through a Mass Drug Administration (MDA) exercise carried out once a year. In the triple-drug regimen, a drug called ivermectin will be added During the MDA in Nagpur, people were administered the three-drug combination while other areas got the two drugs. It is a challenge to convince people to take them because very few understand the concept of prevention. Everyone except for pregnant women, children below one year and chronically ill patients were given the drugs. Experts say the MDAs are better for prevention as those living in filariasis-endemic areas may be carrying the infection without symptoms. The drugs, which are safe to be taken for a non-infected person as well, kill the microfilariae (minute larvae) and clear intestinal worms. thogh a Mas Drug Administration (MDA)exercise carried
Page 6 : Utilisation of irrigation potential down in Odisha Odisha's utilisation of irrigation potential has dropped which is a cause for concern, says NABARD. In 2007-08, the utilisation was 80.5%, which has decreased to 63.55% in 2016-17 Water management The utilisation has been far less than the potential, which necessitates enhancement of water-use efficiency through adoption of proper water management practices in addition to appropriate irrigation devices In 2014-15, irrigation potential was created for 52.04 lakh ha whereas in the same year it was used in 34.61 lakh ha. In the subsequent year, against irrigation potential created for 54.74 lakh ha, the utilisation was 32.94 lakh ha In 2016-17, farmers used irrigation facilities in 35.53 lakh ha as against 55.91 lakh ha irrigation potential The State has around 29% irrigated land for all major crops as against the national average of 48.6%. The country has achieved irrigation coverage of 60.1% for rice whereas Odisha lags behind with only 33.3%. In case of total cereal, the State's irrigation coverage is 32% against national average of 60.1 % For pulses, irrigation covered in Odisha is 2.2% against country's average 19.9%. Odisha's productivity is comparatively low due to dearth of irrigation and inputs, insufficient investments by the farmers, outdated agronomic practices and for want of marketing facilities, the NABARD focus paper points out.
Page 7: RailTel is turning railway stations into digital hubs The Indian Railways has one of the world's largest public WiFi networks in Rail Wire WiFi. With around 2.6 crore users logins in a month, and over 9,491 Tetra Byte (TB) of aggregated data consumption, Rail Wire WiFi at 746 railway stations across the country is only getting stronger. The network, provided by RailTel, a Mini Ratna central PSU under the Ministry of Railways, is not only one of the largest but also one of the fastest public WiFi networks. The response to the high speed service provided as part of turning railway stations into a platform for digital inclusion has been phenomenal, RailTel said Bona fide passengers are using this WiFi facility for streaming high definition (HD) videos, and downloading movies, songs and games, and engaging with their office work online, says RailTel. For a modern handset, the speed can go as high as 40 Mbps for the initial 30 minutes of unhindered open access, which is unmatched on any other network. The backbone capacity of each of these railway stations is 1 GBPS. Free WiFi services to commuters are being provided under Rail Wire, RailTel's retail Broadband initiative. Of the 746 railway stations, RailTel has provided high speed WiFi at 414 A, Al and C category railway stations across the country, in association with Google as the technology partner.
Page 7: Farmers group, AnnaHazare plan joint stir Farmers group Rashtriya Kisan Mahasangh (RKM) plans to join hands with anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare for a joint nationwide agitation from January 30. We have five demands: the establishment of a Lokpal and Lokayuktas; full implementation of the MS Swaminathan commission'srecommendations; complete farm loan waiver; minimum support prices for vegetables, fruits and milk; and a pension of 5000 per month for farmers, said RKM spokesperson. Mr. Hazare, a social activist best known for the mass protests against corruption in 2011, recently announced his plans to fast from Mahatma Gandhi's death anniversary, as the Centre had failed to implement the Lok Pal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 He said he wrote 32 letters to PM Modi but had not got any reply so far.
Page 9 : Getting a raw deal Farmers sold most of their produce in the last six months of 2018 at a price lower than in the corresponding period in 2017. Most non-farm products were not sold at similar low raw deal Br Vig nesh kadhabkrishnam at a time when production of foodgrains was at a record high By Vignesh Radhakrishnan Food price dips I The WPI's year-on-year growth for primary food products" was negative in the second half of 2018. This indicates that farmers sold their produce at a lower rate in these months than in the same period in 2017 Rest holds good I The combined WPI's Y-o-Y growth, which includes all articles in the market, has not seen a dip since March 2016, indicating that most products other than food articles were sold at a higher price than in 2017 2004-05 BASE SERIES -2011-12 BASE SERIES 2004-O5 BASE SERIES 2011-12 BASE SERIES - 20 15 S 10 10 in August 2018, the lowest since 2012 5 5 -5 Jan 2 na 2015 2016 -10 Jan Jan Jan 2017 Jan 2018 Jan 2013 Jan 2014 Jan 2015 Jan Jan 2017 Jan 2013 Consumer's delight I The Consumer Price Inflation (CP)'s year-on-year growth for food products fell to -2.61% in December 2018, indicating that consumers bought food products at a lower price than in December 2017 Supply glut I A sharp inrase in supply following good harvests and high imports may have caused negative inflation. For example, in Dec. 2018, production of pulses peaked, while WPI Y-o-Y of pulses fell to -27% FOOD INFLATION TOTAL INFLATION PULSES PRODUCTION PULSES IMPORT OOO TONNES (LEFT AXIS) OO TONNES (LEFT AXIS) 10 30000 40 WPI Y-O-Y. PULSES (RIGHT AXI 20 5 2000O 1000O Jan 2017 Jan 2018 FY 2013 FY 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 FY FY FY FY Jan 2014 Jan 2015 2016 Includes food grains, vegetables, fruits, condiments, eggs, meat and fish. WPI indicates the price change at the wholesale tevel-for instance, between traders. CPl indicates price change at the retail level.
Page 10: New quota giving sleepless nights to Opposition, sayS PM A day after the Opposition's massive unity rally in Kolkata, PM Modi termed the grouping against his party an alliance of corruption, negativity and instability Stating that his government's decision to provide 10% reservation to EWS in the general category was giving sleepless nights to the Opposition Those who never believed in democracy within their parties were now talking about democracy from a public platform, he said, taking a dig at the Opposition's rally He said such people did not have faith in any institution and were busy defaming constitutional authorities While on the one hand, they are busy saving or nurturing their own families, we are busy developing a nation. Our country is our family. Those who start violence against the person contesting against them even at the panchayat level, are now singing songs of protecting democracy, Mr. Modi said. After researching the Constitution, we made 10% reservation for the economical!yweaker sections. They have not done anything for social injustice. When we did it, they were caught napping, he said Additional seats Seeking to allay concerns about lack of seats in educational institutes to accommodate the new quota provision, Mr. Modi said, I would like to assure that we will increase l 0% seats in every educational institution so that despite reservation, everyone will get an opportunity. He said the government would ensure that no one faced injustice and that the quota for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes remain intact.
Page 10 : GoM to report on ST status in February The Group of Ministers (GoM), formed by the Assam government to study the issue of granting the Scheduled Tribe (ST) status to six communities in Assam, will submit its report on February 15. On January 10, the Union government introduced a Bill in Parliament to declare the six communities- Adivasi (Tea Tribes), Chutia, Koch-Rajbongshi, Matak, Moran and Ta-Ahom -STs after approval from the Registrar-General of India and the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes. Assam's 14 recognised tribes, divided into the Scheduled Tribe (Hills) and the Scheduled Tribe (Plains), are opposed to the plan for granting the status to the six communities. They say most of these communities are educationally, politically and financially more advanced than them, besides outnumbering them. According to the coordination committee of the Tribal Organisations of Assam, the State's total tribal population is 3.8 million, while the six communities account for more than 15 million of the State's 31.2 million people. The GoM will meet representatives of the All Assam Tribal Sangha, the Bodoland Territorial Council and the autonomous councils of the Rabha, Tiwa, Thengal Kachari, Sonowal, Mising and Deuri tribes.
Page 11: Figures for long-term visas to minorities don't add up In response to an RTI query on the number of long-term visas given to Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, Parsis, Christians and Buddhists from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh from January 1, 1990 to September 6, 2018, the Home Ministry said, As per the available information no. of certificates issued to Pakistani Hindus are 230, and Afghanistani Sikhs are 4 The Home Ministry did not furnish any reply on the number of Bangladeshi Hindus who have availed the facility However, Union Minister of State for Home told the Rajya Sabha on August 8 last year that 9,152 such visas were granted from 2016 to 2018 and 13,262 Pakistani nationals had applied for them during the period. After hundreds of Hindus and Sikhs came to India alleging persecution in Pakistan, the then UPA government decided to give them long-term visas. Most of them had come on pilgrim visa, which expired According to a Home Ministry official, the LTVs granted to Pakistani Hindus from 2011 to 2014 stood at 14,726 that ti Submissions by the Ministry before the JPC on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill say that till now, 31,313 persons belonging to the minority communities (25,447 Hindus, 5,807 Sikhs, 55 Christians and two Buddhists and Parsis each) have been given the LTVs, a precursor to Indian citizenship, on the basis of their claim of religious persecution These persons will be the immediate beneficiaries of the contentious Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019, orc eirdhists and Parsis eachmnorty communitics2s,shin at proposes to grant citizenship to Hindus, Jains, Sikhs. Parsis, Christians and Buddhists from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh who came to India before December 31, 2014
Page 11: Aadhaar is now passport to Nepal and Bhutan Aadhaar cards are now valid travel documents for Indians under 15 and over 65 travelling to Nepal and Bhutan, according to a Home Ministry communique. Indians other than those in the two age brackets will not be able to use Aadhaar to travel to the two neighbouring countries, for which no visas are needed Indian citizens going to Nepal and Bhutan don't need a visa if they have a valid passport, a photo identity card issued by the government of India or an election ID card issued by the Election Commission. Earlier, persons over 65 and under 15 could show their PAN card, driving licence, Central Government Health Service (CGHS) card or ration card, but not the Aadhaar, to prove their identity and visit the two countries Giving details, the official said a certificate ofregistration issued by the Embassy of India, Kathmandu, to Indian nationals is not an acceptable travel document for travelling between India and Nepal. However, the emergency certificate and identity certificate issued by the Indian Embassy in Nepal will be valid for single journey for travelling back to India, he said, citing the communique.
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