Supreme Court dismisses batch of petitions seeking review of Ayodhya land dispute case verdict
The Supreme Court has dismissed a batch of petitions seeking review of its November 9 Ayodhya land dispute case verdict on Thursday, which cleared the way for construction of a Ram Temple at the disputed site.
A five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde, which took these review pleas for consideration in-chamber, rejected them after finding no merits. Justice Sanjiv Khanna has replaces the former CJI Ranjan Gogoi on the bench that delivered the verdict.
Jamiat-Ulama-i-Hind was the first party to challenge the verdict of the court. They said that complete justice can be done in the case only if Babri Masjid is allowed to be rebuilt at the disputed site. It said that the Supreme Court's order to build a temple at the site is virtually a direction to demolish Babri Masjid because if the mosque had not been illegally demolished, the order would have required the destruction of the mosque to build the temple.
At least seven review petitions were filed with the backing of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) citing serious illegalities in the judgment of the apex court.
The Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha was also one of the petitioners. It challenged the court's finding that the disputed structure was a mosque. It stated that references in the judgment to "mosque/Babri Masjid" should be changed to "disputed structure".
The November 9 judgment by the Supreme Court stated that the 2.77-acre disputed land in Ayodhya must go to child deity Ram Lalla Virajman, while a separate 5 acre of land were given to the Muslims for the construction of a new mosque.
Nearly 7 lakh govt jobs remain vacant; 2.5 lakh positions empty in Railways
There were nearly seven lakh job vacancies in different governmental departments as on March 2018. The Union Ministry of Personnel revealed this information before the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.
The biggest Central government employer Indian Railways had 2,59,369 job vacancies, Defence had 1,87,054 vacancies and Home Affairs had 72,365 vacancies, according to the data.
"Recruitment against vacant posts is a continuous process. By the time vacancies are reported by a department get filled up, some new vacancies arise," Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh said. He also mentioned a role is 'deemed abolished' if the position remains vacant for more than two or three years. "Such posts are revived based on the functional justification," he added.
Furthermore, total number of employees on payroll saw a decline since 2014 though the number of sanctioned posts increased by 1.57 lakh (appprox).
Out of the sanctioned strength of 38.02 lakh posts, only 31.18 lakh were filled. According to the data, the sanctioned posts on March 2014 were 36.45 lakh, which means an increase of 1.57 lakh jobs in last five years.
The govt added it has incurred Rs 1.90 lakh crore in 2017-18 on pay and allowances of the employees which was Rs 1.36 lakh crore in 2014-15.
Based on the vacancies reported by the user departments, the Staff Selection Commission (SSC) has started recruitment process to fill up 1,05,338 posts during the year 2019-20, Singh said. During 2017-18, centralised employment notifications (CENs) for 1,27,573 combined vacancies of various group 'C' and Level-1 posts were notified by the Ministry of Railways - for new and future vacancies to arise in two years time, he said.
Another five CENs covering 1,56,138 vacancies of various Group 'C' and Level-1 posts were issued in 2018-19, the minister said. The Department of Posts have also conducted examination/notified to fill up 19,522 vacancies, other than those to be filled up through SSC, in various grades, he said, adding that "recruitment process to fill up 4,08,591 vacancies by the SSC is in progress".
Indian population in US increases near 50% in 8 years
The population of Indians living in US increased by near 9 lakh in last 8 years. According to newly released data from the Census Bureau's 2018 American Community Survey (ACS), the number of Indians in US were 17.8 lakh in 2010 which by 2018 had gone up to 26.5 lakh -- 49 per cent increase. Newly arrived immigrants from India in 2017 were 1.6 lakh which in 2018 declined to 88,000.
On the other hand, the Chinese population in US increased from 21.6 lakh to 28.4 lakh between 2010 and 2018 - signifying 32 percent rise, according to the data.
The ACS data further mentioned, out of the total US population of 327 million, 44.7 million people were foreign-born population. Further, as of July 1, 2018, Indians constituted 5.9 per cent of the total foreign-born population in the US but comprised less than 1 per cent of the total US population.
ACS has measured US population up till July 1, 2018. The CIS in its research paper also mentioned that 14.5 lakh new legal and illegal immigrants settled in the United States in 2017, fewer than the 17.5 lakh million in 2016.
"The falloff in arrivals in 2017 may be due to increased enforcement efforts, lower refugee admissions, and more robust vetting of applicants undertaken by the Trump administration."
Modi govt's big bonanza for farmers; hikes MSP on Rabi crops from 50% to 109%
The Modi-government Wednesday hiked the Minimum Support Price (MSP) on Rabi crops from 50% to 109% for marketing season 2020-21. This is being seen as a big pro-farmer move by the government in its bid to increase farmers' income.
The MSP for wheat is raised by Rs 85 to Rs 1,925 a quintal and for pulses by up to Rs 325 per quintal to Rs 4,800.
This decision was taken at the meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The CCEA has approved MSPs of all rabi (winter-sown) crops for the 2019-20 crop year (July-June) as recommended by the government's farm price advisory body CACP, the sources added.
MSP is the rate at which the government buys grains from farmers. According to sources, the CCEA has approved Rs 85 per quintal hike in wheat MSP to Rs 1,925 per quintal for the 2019-20 rabi crop, up from Rs 1,840 per quintal last year.
Barley MSP has also been increased by Rs 85 to Rs 1,525 per quintal for the current year from Rs 1,440 per quintal last year.
To encourage cultivation of pulses, the support price of masoor has been increased by Rs 325 to Rs 4,800 per quintal for this year from Rs 4,475 per quintal last year.
Similarly, the MSP of gram has been hiked by Rs 255 to Rs 4,875 per quintal for this year from Rs 4,620 per quintal last year.
Among oilseeds, rapeseed/mustard MSP has been increased by Rs 225 to Rs 4,425 per quintal for 2019-20 rabi crop from Rs 4,200 per quintal during 2018-19.
The minimum support price of safflower has been hiked by Rs 270 to Rs 5,215 per quintal for the current year from Rs 4,945 per quintal last year.
Wheat is the main rabi crop, sowing of which will begin next month. The crop will be marketed from next April onwards.
Indian-origin economist Abhijit Banerjee awarded Nobel Prize
Indian-origin economist Abhijit Banerjee has been awarded the Nobel Prize for his efforts to alleviate global poverty. He has received the award along with economists Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer.
"The 2019 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel has been awarded to Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty," tweeted the official handle of the Nobel Prize.
The organisation stated, "The research conducted by the 2019 Economic Sciences Laureates has considerably improved our ability to fight global poverty. In just two decades, their new experiment-based approach has transformed development economics, which is now a flourishing field of research." "2019 Economic Sciences Laureates Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo, often with Michael Kremer, soon performed similar studies of other issues and in other countries, including India. Their experimental research methods now entirely dominate development economics," it stated.
Born in 1961 in Kolkata to Nirmala Banerjee and Dipak Banerjee, Abhijit Banerjee is currently the Ford Foundation International Professor of Economics at MIT. He is the co-founder of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab, a research affiliate of Innovations for Poverty Action, and a member of the Consortium on Financial Systems and Poverty. The lab was founded along with economists Esther Duflo and Sendhil Mullainathan.
Banerjee was a student of South Point School in Kolkata. He was an Economics graduate from Presidency College, Kolkata. He pursued his MA degree in Economics from Jawaharlal Nehru University and his PhD from Harvard in 1983 and 1988 respectively.