Jammu, Nov 30:Stating that Article 370 was “gone forever”, the Union Minister of State (PP), Dr Jitendra Singh Saturday said that now all Central laws applicable to other parts of the country will be applicable to the newly created UTs of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) and Ladakh.
He said that there are about 854 such laws which are citizen-friendly and will benefit the common man of J&K and Ladakh, who were previously deprived of it.
“Now everybody should understand that Article 370 is gone and gone forever; and not in pieces, but as a whole and it is the determined resolve of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Home Minister Amit Shah,” Dr Singh said.
He appealed to the people of the UTs not to pay heed to the fringe elements with vested interests and to cooperate with the Government in providing welfare to common masses.
Dr Singh was addressing at the inauguration of two-day Conference on ‘Ek Bharat Shreshta Bharat’ with focus on ‘Jal Shakti’ and ‘Disaster Management’ on November 30-December 1, 2019 at Jammu on Saturday.
The conference is being organized by the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG) in collaboration with Governments of Tamil Nadu and Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir.
During the conference, Dr Singh also released the Special issue of e-Magazine, ‘Minimum Government Maximum Governance’ based on Successful Innovations in Governance in the Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.
The innovations included – Back to Village: A people’s programme; Panchayat Polls: IEC campaign for Panchayat elections Amendments in J&K Panchayati Raj Act, 1989; Project KREDA Kargil, Ladakh; Project Tsangda Leh: A waste management programme; Power to all: Total household electrification in J&K state; Project Jalshakti: Reasi; Constituency Development Fund Management Information system, Budgam; Project Saubhagya Plus, Ganderbal; Enabling girl child education, Bandipura; Rejuvenating Lost ponds, Kathua and Enrolment drive in schools and infrastructure improvement with community support in border areas, Baramulla. He also launched the integration of CPGRAMS Public Grievance Portal of Government of India and Awaaz-e-Awam Portal of Jammu & Kashmir.
Dr Singh said that this is the second big conference being organized by DARPG in a short span of time, the first being organized on November 15-16, on replication of good governance practices.
He expressed happiness that the first conference had participation of about 450 delegates from 19 states and 4 UTs and the second conference has participation from about 350 delegates. He said that the development model of North Eastern Region will be implemented in these UTs also.
He also mentioned about the upcoming Panchayat Adalat and Bamboo workshop.
Speaking about the theme of the conference ‘Ek Bharat Shreshta Bharat’, the Minister said that this is one of the flagship initiatives at the behest of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and is going to have good outcomes for both the UTs. This conference will provide an occasion to replicate and learn from good initiatives of Tamil Nadu in these UTs, especially the river management.
Speaking about the disaster management, the Minister said that earlier the response to disasters used to be reactive, but under the leadership of Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, it has now become proactive.
He added that the focus is now on preventive measures and minimizing the damage.
“Now, we have a foolproof technology available in India to mitigate the crisis and we can now forecast disasters very early and inform the administration in real time,” he further said.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that PM’s focus has been on maximum use of technology and real time monitoring.
The Minister said that Jal Shakti Abhiyaan is a flagship programme of the Government and a separate Ministry has been created for it.
He also spoke about the issues related to ShahpurKandi and the Ujh River projects in J&K.
He further said that this unique bonding of Northern-most UTs and Southern-most state will carry a message of good governance from Kashmir to Kanyakumari.
The Minister said that the Government is committed to reach the last man in the queue in J&K and Ladakh.
He added that these UTs have been created with a lot of thought and deliberations. All the Central laws including Right to Education, Right to Minimum Wages, Dowry Prohibition Act and acts related to corruption, vigilance & welfare of parents will now be implemented in these UTs.
He added that the Government has taken this important responsibility and will carry it.
During the conference, the Minister for Revenue & Disaster Management, Government of Tamil Nadu, R.B. Udhayakumar, expressed his happiness to participate in the regional conference on ‘Ek Bharat-Shresht Bharat’ with focus on Jal Shakti and Disaster management’ in Jammu.
Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor, Girish Chandra Murmu observed that the conference is a great opportunity to share the best practices from across the country.
Underlining the importance of water conservation and the sustainability of natural resources, the Lt. Governor emphasized on the need to take immediate measures to save water and mitigate the crisis of water shortage. He said that the agricultural scientists should study the cropping pattern to suit the monsoon and other climatic conditions. It is not only about the availability of water, but also about the quality of water that we need to focus on, he stressed.
The Lt. Governor observed that people can prevent several water borne diseases if they are able to ensure safe drinking water to the people.
We often take the air and water as a free commodity, but we rarely think about the changing scenario where quality of both these indispensables is deteriorating, the Lt. Governor maintained.
The Lt. Governor further said that the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan has proved how sanitation can improve the lives of people. Elaborating on the role of citizens during natural and manmade disasters, he said that the first responders to any disaster are citizens and their empowerment is the absolute requirement. He emphasized upon the awareness among citizens through early warning and SMS service, among others.
He further emphasized on the need to strengthen the capacity building mechanism, knowledge and information sharing, outlining of Standard Operating Procedures( SOPs) for all the stake holders and learning from the past experiences so that a better future could be secured for the people.
The Chief Secretary of J&K, B. V. R. Subrahmanyam complimented DARPG for organizing this conference. He said that the themes of the conference are appropriate for J&K. He further said that no region in the country is as prone to natural disasters as J&K. He quotes incidents of earth quake of 2005 and floods of 2014 which is due to the unique topography here, he added.
The Conference is being attended by about 350 delegates from State Government – District Collectors/District SPs and representatives of Civil Society, Engineering Departments, Food, CA & Civil Supplies Department, among others.
Power should go into hands of people:LG Murmu
Jammu, Dec 9: Jammu and Kashmir Lt Governor G C Murmu on Monday favoured the early assembly polls in the Union Territory and said the power should go into the hands of the people “as soon as possible”.
He was speaking to reporters after dedicating a 72-metre-long multi cell box type load class 70 bridge to the nation at Draj in Rajouri district.
Responding to a question of media persons about holding of assembly elections in the UT, Murmu said “This is what I am saying that the power should go into the hands of the people as soon as possible. This is what we are saying always.”
Asked further about the specific time frame when the pools will be held, he said “It has its own process.”
General Officer Commanding-in-chief, Northern Command, Lt Gen Ranbir Singh and General Officer Commanding, White Knight Corps, Lt Gen Harsha Gupta were also present on the occasion.
The bridge, constructed by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), spans over Draj nullah and connects the Draj area to Kotranka tehsil under Rajouri district.
Earlier, the Lieutenant governor praised the BRO for their dedication towards nation building through infrastructure development and war preparedness through construction of roads, bridges and tunnels.
Addressed the gathering of local residents, Army and General Reserve Engineer Force (GREF), Murmu said the Draj bridge is important for military as well as for socio-economic development of Rajouri district.
“This bridge will facilitate all weather and speedy movement of the Army troops as well as locals,” he said, and congratulated the BRO for the execution of work with professionalism which will strengthen the road network in the area.
The Lieutenant governor complimented the Army for their unwavering dedication to duty and high standard of professionalism.
He also appreciated the support extended by the local residents and the civil administration in overcoming various challenges faced by the BRO during the construction of the bridge.
Chief Engineer, Project Sampark, Brig Y K Ahuja said the upgradation of the existing causeway with the national highway specifications was essential as it is an important line of communication.
“Now the Draj Bridge will provide all weather movements without any restriction on plying of heavy traffic as it is designed for load class 70,” he said.
Contentious Citizenship Bill passed in LS
New Delhi, Dec 9: The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill on Monday cleared the first test in the Lok Sabha, with 293 members voting in favour of the bill’s introduction and 82 against it.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah introduced the contentious Bill in the Lok Sabha and said that it is not even 0.001 per cent against the minorities in the country.
“This Bill is not even 0.001 per cent against minorities in the country,” Shah said in the House, amid much uproar by the opposition.
“Why do we need this Bill today? After independence, if Congress had not done partition on the basis on religion, then, today we would have not needed this Bill. Congress did partition on the basis of religion,” Shah commented while taking potshots at the opposition party.
“If any Muslim from these three (Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh) nations applies for citizenship according to our law, then we will consider it, but the person won’t get the benefit of this amendment as the person has not faced religious persecution,” he further said.
“Sikhs, Buddhists, Christians, Parsis and Jains have been discriminated against. So this bill will give these persecuted people citizenship. Also, the allegation that this bill will take away the rights of Muslims is wrong,” Shah said.
OPPOSITION PROTESTS OVER RELIGIOUS DIVIDE
As Amit Shah introduced the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in Lok Sabha, the House erupted in protests with AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi comparing the Home Minister to Hitler and being reprimanded by Speaker Om Birla.
Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury slammed the Bill and said, “It nothing but a targeted legislation over minority people of our country”, to which Amit Shah hit back and said, “This Bill is not even .001% against minorities in the country”.
Asaduddin Owaisi in Lok Sabha: I appeal to you (Speaker), save country from such a law & save Home Minister also otherwise like in Nuremberg race laws and Israel’s citizenship act, Home Minister’s name will be featured with Hitler and David Ben-Gurion. #CitizenshipAmendmentBill2019
Trinamool Congress MP Saugata Roy said, “This bill is divisive and unconstitutional, it violates Article 14 of the Constitution. This law is against everything our founding fathers including Dr Ambedkar envisioned.”
Owaisi took the criticism to another level and said, “I appeal to you (Speaker), save country from such a law and save Home Minister also otherwise like in Nuremberg race laws and Israel’s citizenship act, Home Minister’s name will be featured with Hitler and David Ben-Gurion.”
To this the Speaker warned Owaisi and said the comment will be expunged the House records.
WHAT IS THE CITIZENSHIP BILL
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill seeks to change the six-decade-old Citizenship Act and grant Indian citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan facing religious persecution in these neighbouring countries.
Members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities, who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, till December 31, 2014, facing religious persecution there will not be treated as illegal immigrants but be given Indian citizenship, according to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB), 2019.
“In Citizenship Act, in Section 2 in sub-section (i), in clause (b) the following proviso shall be inserted namely:- “provided that any person belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi or Christian community from Afghanistan, Bangladesh or Pakistan, who entered into India on or before the 31st day of December 2014 and who has been exempted by the central government by or under clause (c) of sub-section (2) of section 3 of the passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920 or from the application of the provisions of the Foreigners Act 1946 or any rule or order made thereunder shall not be treated as illegal migrants for the purposes of this Act,” the Bill said.
Such refugees will be given Indian citizenship after they have resided in India for five years (six years in CAB 2016), instead of 11 years earlier, it said.
The Bill also proposes to give immunity to such refugees facing legal cases after being found illegal migrants. (AGENCIES)
Bill not even .001 % against minorities: Shah
New Delhi, Dec 9: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday introduced contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 in Lok Sabha and said that it is not even .001 per cent against minorities in the country.
“This Bill is not even .001 per cent against minorities in the country,” Shah said in the House, amid much uproar by the opposition.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019 seeks to grant Indian citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan.
Through this bill, Indian citizenship will be provided to the members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities, who have come from the three countries to India till December 31, 2014, to put an end to them being treated as illegal immigrants in the country.
It is important to note that the Bill was passed by the Lower House of the Parliament earlier this year but lapsed with the term of the previous Lok Sabha during the first term of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi government in the Centre. (Agencies)
Govt to cover all students under scholarship schemes
Srinagar, Dec 9: The Government Monday announced to cover all the students under various Scholarship Schemes, besides providing financial assistance to the physically challenged and persons above age of 70 years in the Union Territory.
It was revealed during a review meeting of field functionaries of Social Welfare Department chaired by Director General Social Welfare, Kashmir, Rukhsana Gani here at Markazi Falah-i-Itfaal, here today.
The meeting was attended by Deputy Director Social Welfare, Kashmir, Zeenat Aara, Assistant Director Administration, Dr Syed Farhana Asgar, Assistant Director Schemes, Najeeb Lateef, District Social Welfare Officer, Srinagar Muhammad Ashraf Akhoon besides Tehsil Social Welfare officers of Kashmir Division.
Highlighting the role of the Department, the Director General asked the officers to ensure that all the deserving people get benefit of these schemes.
The field functionaries were informed about the new guidelines for enrolment of beneficiaries under different schemes during the meeting.
The meeting was informed that 65000 new beneficiaries under Integrated Social Security Scheme (ISSS) and NSAP (National Social Assistance Programme) have been sanctioned by the Centre. The meeting was further informed that 10775 beneficiaries in Srinagar, 2912 in Ganderbal, 7196 in Budgam, 8269 in Anantnag, 5291 in Pulwama, 4147 Kulgam, 767 in Shopian, 8249 in Baramulla, 9204 in Kupwara and 8190 in Bandipora would be covered under ISSS and NSAF schemes.
The meeting also decided to extend the last date for filling National Scholarship Scheme forms by Dec 31, 2019.
The Director General said that the date was extended to cover more deserving students. She also said that Internet Kiosks established at Deputy Commissioner Offices and Tourist Reception Center will facilitate the students in applying for scholarships.
She also said there is a need for generating greater awareness among the masses about these schemes so that the benefits reach to the targeted sections of the society.
Later, the DG along with other officers visited Markazi Falah-i-Itfaal to take on-spot appraisal of facilities being provided to the children.