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Current Affairs - 1 June 2015

Derecognition row: National scheduled castes panel sends notice to IIT Madras

  • Derecognition row: National scheduled castes panel sends notice to IIT MadrasNEW DELHI: The national scheduled castes panel has sent a notice to IIT Madras over the de-recognition by the premier technical institute of a students' group, several of whose members are from the Dalit community, allegedly following a complaint that it was critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

    Confirming the move while speaking to PTI on Sunday, National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) Chairman PL Punia said they have sought a reply from the institute.

    "Youngsters must get freedom of speech on campuses. Extending bans thus is like suppressing their voices. This is completely wrong.

    "I have issued a notice to the institute and sought its reply after taking note of the incident myself. We will take action in this regard," Punia said.

    He further accused the Centre of being "insensitive" towards the marginalised sections and claimed that the number of anti-Dalit incidents had increased ever since the Modi government had come to power.

    "Such incidents have increased. These are not minor incidents, but serious ones," said Punia, who is a Congress Rajya Sabha MP.

    Referring to a clash earlier this month in Nagaur district in Rajasthan in which four persons were killed and seven others injured, Punia claimed that the local administration had not taken the issue seriously until he visited the spot.

    "The district magistrate concerned had not visited the spot. When I visited the spot three days after the incident, only then did the DM accompany me.

    "This shows that the people in the government don't take such incidents seriously, likewise the lower rank officials," he said.

    He urged Dalit organisations to come together against such incidents and added that NCSC, National Human Rights Commission and National Commission for Women need to look into these.

    He also expressed concern over the NDA government slashing budgetary allocations for scheduled castes and minorities.

    A students' group, 'Ambedkar Periyar Students Circle', at IIT-Madras was "de-recognised" following allegations that it was spreading "hatred" against the Prime Minister.

Barclays launches review after FIFA probe: Source
  • LONDON: Barclays has launched an internal review into whether its accounts were used for corrupt payments by FIFA officials, a banking source said on Sunday. 

    It comes after the British bank was named in a US investigation into corruption at football's world governing body, in which seven FIFA officials were arrested this week in Zurich. 

    The source would not give any further details, and a Barclays spokesman declined to comment. 

    Barclays was among three banks with British headquarters named in the US indictment, which outlined how tens of millions of dollars were hidden in offshore accounts. 

    Another, Standard Chartered, said in a statement on Friday: "We are aware that two payments cleared by Standard Chartered are mentioned in the indictment. We are looking into those payments." 

    The third named bank, HSBC, has so far declined to comment. 

    Britain's Serious Fraud Office said Friday that it "continues actively to assess material in its possession and has made plain that it stands ready to assist ongoing international criminal investigations". 

    US authorities have so far indicted 14 people, including the seven FIFA officials held on Wednesday, on charges of involvement in $150 million of bribes for sports media contracts. 

    A senior US legal official has said more indictments are likely in the case.

Income tax forms simplified, date for filing returns extended to Aug 31
  • Income tax forms simplified, date for filing returns extended to Aug 31NEW DELHI: The finance ministry on Sunday came out with new three-page income tax return (ITR) forms, dropping the controversial provision for mandatory disclosure of foreign trips and dormant bank accounts, while it also extended the last date of filing to August 31.

    The new forms — ITR 2 and ITR 2A — will have only three pages and other details will have to be filled in schedules, said a finance ministry statement.

    A new form ITR 2A has been brought out by the ministry which can be filed by an individual or HUF who does not have capital gains, income from business/ profession or foreign asset/foreign income.

    The statement also said that the last date for submission of tax returns will be extended to August 31, 2015.

    With regard to the controversial provision of disclosing details of foreign visits, the release said that the assessee will be required to disclose only the passport number.

    "In lieu of foreign travel details, it is now proposed that only passport number, if available, would be required to be given in Forms ITR-2 and ITR-2A. Details of foreign trips or expenditure thereon are not required to be furnished," it said.

    Further, the ministry has done away with disclosure of details of dormant accounts which are not operational during the last three years.

    "As regards bank account details in all these forms, only the IFS code, account number of all the current/savings account which are held at any time during the previous year will be required to be filled-up. The balance in accounts will not be required to be furnished," the statement added.

    The simplified I-T return forms are being brought after the earlier version was opposed by industry, MPs and assessees for its cumbersome disclosure norms.

    The salaried individuals and those persons who do not have business/professional income are required to file I-T returns in either ITR-1 or ITR-2 by July 31 every year.

Russia puts 89 western leaders on secret ban list
  • Russia puts 89 western leaders on secret ban listLONDON: Britain's former deputy PM Nick Clegg is among a secret list of 89 western leaders declared persona non-grata by Russi, prompting the UK government to say that there was no justification for the move.

    Clegg, the outgoing Liberal Democrat leader, appears to have angered the Kremlin by calling for Russia to be stripped of the 2018 football World Cup in an interview with Sunday Times last July, after President Vladimir Putin's aggression in Ukraine.

    Clegg had said it was "unthinkable" that Russia should keep the tournament.

    He has been joined on the no-go list by eight other Britons, including former UK foreign secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind.

    Andrew Parker, director general of MI5, Sir John Sawers, the former head of MI6, and Philip Dunne, a defence minister, are also reported to be on the list, Sunday Times reported.

    Russian authorities drew up the list, the details of which remain sketchy, in response to European Union travel bans on Putin's cronies over Russia's annexation of Crimea last year.

    Meanwhile, the UK foreign and Commonwealth office said: "There is no justification for this list. And the Russian authorities have not provided any legal basis for the list or for the names on it".

    "If Russia's intention is to put pressure on the EU to ease sanctions, this is not the way to do it. The EU and member states are urgently seeking more transparency from the Russian authorities for this move," it added.

    Russia has recently denied entry to a number of European politicians because they are on the "stop list."

    But the list's existence was only admitted last week when it was handed to an EU delegation in Moscow.

United Airlines faces boycott for ‘Islamophobia’ at 30,000 feet
  • United Airlines faces boycott for ‘Islamophobia’ at 30,000 feetCHICAGO: Hundreds of people have pledged to boycott United Airlines after a Muslim passenger alleged discrimination due to Islamophobia over an unopened can of Diet Coke onboard the American airliner. 

    Tahera Ahmad's Facebook post over the "clear" discrimination went almost immediately went viral on Saturday.

    The Muslim chaplain at Chicago's Northwestern University was onboard a flight this weekend when she asked for an unopened can of soda for hygienic reasons and says was told, "Well, I'm sorry. I just can't give you an unopened can, so no Diet Coke for you." 

    When the man next to her allegedly got an unopened beer can from the in-flight service, Ahmad said she was told something even more inflammatory: "We are unauthorized to give unopened cans to people, because they may use it as a 'weapon' on the plane." 

    Ahmad said her fellow passengers were of no help. In her post, she says she was told by another male passenger across the aisle that "you Muslim, you need to shut ... up" and used an offensive word. 

    He said she knew she would use it as a "weapon" so she should better shut up. 

    "I am sitting on a United airlines flight in the air 30,000ft above and I am in tears of humiliation from discrimination... #IslamophobiaISREAL," she posted. 

    Ahmad did not respond to multiple requests for comment, but Muslim activists took to social media to call the alleged incident an "inexcusable" act of bigotry as other social media users said they would boycott United Airlines based on what they interpreted as open discrimination.

IMD predicts respite from heatwave, thundershowers expected between June 1-3
  • NEW DELHI: India Meteorological Department (IMD) finally has some good news for the people of Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, northern Rajasthan and Western UP. According to IMD, people in the aforesaid region will have some respite from heatwave as thundershowers were expected from June 1-3. Heatwave has claimed almost 2,000 people in the country so far, making it the fifth deadliest ever in the world and second deadliest in India.

    Earlier, the much-needed monsoon missed its rendezvous with Kerala on May 30 and weather experts said its onset was not likely for at least a couple of days or maybe more.

    India Meteorological Department (IMD) officials saw no progress in monsoon on May 30, which was initially forecast as the onset date of monsoon over Kerala. Experts said the monsoon was over the Arabian Sea and had to further strengthen to advance over Kerala. The winds continued to be northwesterly and had to become southwesterly, a pre-condition for the onset over Kerala.

    On May 28, the southwest monsoon had advanced into southern parts of south Arabian Sea, in the MaldivesComorin areas and in some more parts of southwest Bay of Bengal, but there was no progress after that.

    According to GP Sharma, vice president, meteorology, at Skymet Weather Services, strong northwesterly winds are prevailing all along the west coast — from Gujarat to Kerala.

    "Prior to the onset of monsoon, winds along the Kerala coast have to change to southwesterly, which is a pre-condition to the onset of monsoon and has not happened till now. There is an anticyclone in the Arabian Sea, which is governing winds all along the Kerala and Karnataka coast. The anticyclone has to become insignificant for the winds to change their direction to southwesterly, which cannot happen in a day's time," he said. It will take at least four days for the anticyclone system to become insignificant and monsoon onset over Kerala may be after June 3 only, Sharma said.


    Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational SciencesNainital
    Central Drug Research InstituteLucknow
    Central Electronics Engineering Research InstitutePilani
    Central Food Technological Research InstituteMysore
    Central Glass and Ceramic Research Institute (CGCRI)Kolkata
    Central Institute for Cotton ResearchNagpur
    Central Leather Research InstituteAdyar, Chennai
    Central Research Institute for Dryland AgricultureHyderabad
    Central Sheep and Wool Research InstituteAvikanagar
    Central Soil Salinity Research InstituteNew Delhi
    Fluid Control Research InstituteKanjikode
    Harish Chandra Research Institute (HRI)Allahabad
    Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI)New Delhi
    Indian Institute of Forestry Research and EducationDehradun, Shimla, Ranchi,
    Jorhat, Jabalpur, Jodhpur
    Indian Institute of Pulses ResearchKanpur
    Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER)Kolkata, Pune, Mohali, Bhopal, Thiruvananthpuram
    Indian Institute of Spices ResearchKozhikode
    Indian Institute of Sugarcane ResearchLucknow
    Indian Institute of Natural Resins and Gums (Indian Lac Research Institute)Ranchi
    National Institute Of Technical Teachers Training and ResearchChennai
    Indian Veterinary Research InstituteBareilly
    Indira Gandhi Institute of Development ResearchMumbai
    Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR)Kalpakkam
    Institute for Plasma Research (IPR)Gandhinagar
    Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR)Bangalore
    National Academy of Agricultural Research ManagementRajendranagar
    National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI)Lucknow
    National Dairy Research InstituteKarnal (Haryana)
    National Environmental Engineering Research InstituteNagpur
    National Institute of Construction Management and ResearchMumbai
    National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER)Bhubaneswar
    Physical Research Laboratory (PRL)Ahmedabad
    Raman Research Institute (RRI)Bangalore
    Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR)Mumbai, Hyderabad
    Indian Institute of Horticultural Research (IIBR)Goa

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