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Schedule for 9-phase panchayat polls issued

Mudassir Kuloo

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Srinagar, Oct 22: Two days after announcing the municipal poll results, the Chief Electoral Officer, Shaleen Kabra, on Monday announced the schedule for the nine-phase panchayat elections beginning November 17.

Addressing a press conference, the Chief Electoral Officer said the elections would be held for 316 blocks in 4,483 Panchayat Halqas comprising 35,029 Panch constituencies.

“The polling will be held on November 17, 20, 24, 27, 29, December 1, December 4, December 8, and December 11,” he said.

 

The dates of notification would be October 23, 26, 29, December 1, 3, 6, 9, 12, and 14, respectively, he said.

The dates of scrutiny of nominations will be October 31, and November 3, 6, 9, 12, 14, 17, 20, and 24.

Kabra said the last dates for withdrawal of candidature would be November 2, 5, 8, 12, 14, 16, 19, 22, and 26.

The number of electorate in panchayat polls, he said, would be 58,54,208.

He said the counting of votes would be done on the day of polling and in some cases, if required, the counting would take place the next day.

The Chief Electoral Officer said the voting would be done with ballot papers.

“In view of recent amendments making direct election to sarpanch, the electors shall cast their votes for panch as well as sarpanch, for which two separate coloured ballot papers will be used,” he said.

He announced that poll timing would be from 8 am to 2 pm and entire polls process would be completed by December 17.

Asked about the reduction in polling time, he said there would be less voters in panchayat polls than the urban local body elections.

For the panchayat polls, he said that ballot boxes are being brought from Haryana.

About the apprehensions about security being raised by the aspiring candidates, he said, “Appropriate security arrangements are being put in place to ensure peaceful elections.”

 

CEO admits media barred from entering polling booths

Monitor News Bureau

Srinagar, Oct 22: Chief Electoral Officer, Shaleen Kabra, on Monday said media was barred from entering the polling booths in the recently concluded municipal elections to not put the voters to “unnecessary disadvantage”. 

Kabra said special cards were issued by his office for the media men to cover the elections.

“The media people can visit any polling booth. But sometimes, they are barred not to put the voters into unnecessary disadvantage,” Kabra said.

In the urban local bodies elections, the media personnel were not allowed to go inside the polling booths at various places.

Chief Electoral Officer said 178 wards were left vacant in the urban local bodies.

“Separate elections will be held for the vacant wards,” he said.

Asked about low voter turnout, he said he was not the appropriate person to put this question to.

“We made all the arrangements and asked people to vote. Why people did not turn up should not be asked to me.”

The four-phase urban local body elections were held on October 8, 10, 13 and 16.

The overall poll percentage of all phases across the state has been 35.1 percent.  Jammu recorded a voter turnout of 68.4 per cent, while in Kashmir it did not cross double digits in any of the phases.

 

 

 

Model code of conduct to continue

Monitor News Bureau

Srinagar, Oct 22:The Chief Electoral Officer, J&K, Shalin Kabra has said that the model code of conduct that came into effect since the start of Local Body Polls will continue till the completion of the Panchayat Polls.

An official order said, consequent to the above, the following instructions are hereby issued for strict compliance by all the Administrative Secretaries, Heads of Departments, District Development Commissioners and District Superintendents of Police:

(i) There shall be a ban on the transfer of officers/ employees who are connected with the conduct of Panchayat Elections – 2018 till the completion of the electoral process. However, in cases where the transfer of an officer/ official is considered absolutely necessary in public interest, the concerned Administrative Secretary may approach the Chief Electoral Officer, J&K with full justification and obtain prior clearance before issuance of any such order.

(ii) All officers/ officials involved in the conduct of Panchayat Elections including Designated Police Officers shall be under the administrative control of the Chief Electoral Officer, J&K for superintendence and discipline.

Further, all the District Election Officers (Deputy Commissioners) and District Superintendents of Police are enjoined upon to strictly adhere to the instructions issued by the Chief Electoral Officer, J&K from time to time in order to ensure free and fair elections.


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Skandan Krishnan is new Advisor to Governor

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Jammu, Jan 22: The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Government of India, Tuesday conveyed approval of the Competent Authority, to the appointment of Skandan Krishnan, IAS (Retd) as Advisor to the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir.
The formal orders of his appointment as Advisor and other terms and conditions are being notified separately.
Skandan Krishna, has done his graduation in Hyderabad Nizam College, Post-graduation in Political Science from the Christian College, Madras University, and also Bachelor of Law from Madras Law College.
He joined the IAS in 1982 and was allotted Tamil Nadu cadre.
He held various senior positions in the State of Tamil Nadu and served continuously for 25 years before joining the Government of India.
During the period of 25 years, some of the important assignments held by him include the first Registrar of Dr MGR Medical University in 1988; Special Officer and the Collector of Nagapattinam District in 1991-93; the first Member Secretary of Financial Commission for Panchayats in 1994-95. He served both as Director Agriculture and Sericulture in the years 1995 to 1997 and was Commissioner of Industries & Commerce during 2001-02. He also held the post of Secretary Industries in 2002-03 and strived to carry forward the tradition in the State of Tamil Nadu into a major Industrial Hub. He formulated the SEZ policy for the State during this period.
He was also the Chairman of Tamil Nadu Electricity Board and introduced innovative strategies and planning to reduce the transmission losses in the power sector and to boost its revenue. He was also the CMD of Tamil Nadu News Print Ltd in 2003 and played an important role in the modernization of the unit and export marketing of its products.
He had also served in the social sector as Managing Director of Tamil Nadu Corporation for Development of Women Ltd.
In the Government of India, he has held the important assignments of Joint Secretary in-charge of Centre-State Division, Kashmir Division from 2007 to 2012 and was assigned charge of the Additional Secretary (Centre-States) Division from 2012 onwards.

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Guv accuses parties of politicising R-day order

Press Trust of India

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Jammu, Jan 22: Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik Tuesday accused political parties of politicising an order mandating government employees to attend the Republic Day celebrations and said he stood by the order which was being issued since 2009.

Malik said there was nothing wrong in the order.”I stand by this. This is not a new order. It has been issued since 2009. This was there before me. Every year the same order is issued, not even with a change of comma or full stop,” he said.

“I have the orders from 2009 to 2018 with me”, he said.

 

As per the order issued by the state administration on January 15, employees were warned that failure to attend the function will be construed as dereliction of duty and disobedience.”It is the duty of every government servant to attend the (Republic Day) function which commemorates an important turning point in the history of our nation,” stated the order issued by Deputy Secretary Chander Prakash.

“All the officers and officials of the state government stationed at Jammu and Srinagar are, therefore, enjoined upon to attend the functions as part of their official duty,” it said.

The governor said the order went to all employees of the state government.

“There is nothing wrong in it. They have duty (on that day) and they should be present there. That is why it is being sent to them. There nothing like imposing nationalism on them.”

“From where does nationalism come into this? They have to perform their routine jobs”, he said.

Lashing out at political parties for politicising the issue, Malik said they had become defunct and were losing their base which was why they were resorting to communalism.

“Please do not do such things. It is not good,” he added.

The governor alleged political parties were politicising the issue and dividing the society by communalising it to gain votes.
“This type of politics has destroyed Kashmir”, he added.

Independent MLA Engineer Rasheed termed it an “unconstitutional” order.

BJP leader Ram Madhav supported the governor, saying the order should be accepted as a matter of pride.”It is a matter of pride for every Indian. We all have to participate in the Republic day parade,” he said in response to a question on political parties reportedly criticising the order.

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GMC admits: Patients referred to Srinagar attended by juniors

Nisar Dharma

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Srinagar, Jan 21: The Government Medical College (GMC), Srinagar Monday acknowledged that the patients referred to its associated hospitals in Srinagar are being treated by junior doctors.

A circular by Principal GMC, Dr Samia Rashid said it had come to her notice that “patients referred from various district, sub-district hospitals and peripheries for specialised treatment in Associated hospitals of GMC Srinagar are being attended by Junior Residents without taking advice and consultation from their Registrars and Consultants on emergency duty.”

The circular asked the head of departments and units to ensure that referral patients are only seen by registrars or senior residents on emergency duty.

 

“The head of the departments and units are also impressed upon to ensure that Consultants on emergency duty…should make periodic rounds on their emergency day and take final evening round in emergency areas. Registrars and other resident staff on emergency duty should note down their advice in respect of patients admitted,” the circular reads.

The GMC Principal, as per the circular, asked the medical superintendents of the associated hospitals to monitor the work of Resident Medical Officers (RMOs) and Casualty Medical Officer (CMOs).

“…check whether they are discharging their duties as per their job profile…take necessary disciplinary action against the RMO/CMO who fails to discharge their assigned duties.”

The GMC circular follows the Thursday’s incident in which a pregnant woman, who was referred from Kupwara to Lal Ded hospital, was forced to deliver her baby on road when the doctor on duty refused to admit her.

The baby delivered in sub-zero temperatures died soon after.

Facing flak, the hospital ordered a probe immediately, which, eventually, concluded: “The doctor with her clinical assessment/USG findings did not anticipate the precipitate delivery in her, although unfortunately the doctor on duty went against the SOP for referrals by not admitting the patient.”

 

No negligence will be tolerated: Adv Kumar

Jammu, Jan 21: Taking a serious note of alleged mishandling of a pregnant lady from District Kupwara at L. D Hospital, Advisor to Governor, K Vijay Kumar Monday conveyed his sympathies with the affected family and assured a thorough enquiry into the unfortunate incident.

Chairing a high level meeting in this regard attended by Principal Secretary, Health & Medical Education, Atal Dullo; Principal, GMCs of Srinagar and Jammu; Directors of Health Services of Kashmir & Jammu besides Medical Superintendents of several hospitals the Advisor informed that the Governor has instructed that Hospital authorities across the State should strictly adhere to the Standard Operating Procedures (SoPs) in the case of referrals to tertiary care hospitals adding that no negligence in observing these SoPs would be tolerated in future.

He said maintaining high standards of health care delivery to the citizens of the State should be observed at all costs and that the Governor’s Administration is committed to fill in all the existing gaps of manpower, equipment and infrastructure to strengthen the primary healthcare system across the State.

The Advisor sought recommendations to identify the lapses and gaps so that such incidents do not take place in future. He directed the Principal GMC Srinagar and Jammu and Director Health Services Kashmir/ Jammu to identify Nodal Officers who shall solely be responsible for streamlining the referrals from primary and secondary health care institutions to tertiary care hospitals in the State.

He said that directions have been issued as part of the ‘Auditing Mechanism’ that doctor’s prescription shall be inscribed with seal/ stamp mentioning name and credentials of the prescribing and referring doctor so that responsibilities can be fixed in any eventuality.

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