Plenty of people talk about getting in better physical condition,but how many actually do something about it and take hundreds ofpeople with them? Mayor Mike Smith of the Municipality ofColchester did just that, and it has won his municipality the Municipal InNOVAward for 2003. The Municipal InNOVAward program was created by the Nova Scotiagovernment to recognize innovation by municipalities and villagesin Nova Scotia in the delivery of their services and programs.The annual award provides an opportunity to recognize qualityinnovation, as well as the chance to spread the word aboutcurrent innovative programs and services. This year’s winner of the Municipal InNOVAward is theMunicipality of the County of Colchester for The Mayor’sChallenge. The Mayor’s Challenge began with Mr. Smith’s personalgoal to bike 8,000 kilometres, or roughly the distance acrossCanada. Before long, the municipal council decided it wanted to dosomething about inactive children who were spending too much timein front of the TV and playing video games. The municipalityacted by extending The Mayor’s Challenge to everyone inColchester County. Local businesses, radio and newspapers endorsed and promoted thechallenge by offering free publicity and prizes. Within a monthof issuing the challenge in January 2003, more than 500 adults,200 children and 11 schools had signed up. The challenge offers something for everyone. There are targetsfor families and individuals of all ages and fitness levels. TheMayor’s Challenge recognizes that the most important thing is tobe active and to have a goal. “I’m delighted that so many people in Colchester County havetaken up this challenge,” said Mr. Smith. “All over the county,children, adults and families are getting out of the house andare getting some exercise. Winning the Municipal InNOVAward isvery gratifying to everyone involved with this project.” The challenge will officially end in December, but themunicipality is encouraging everyone who participated to continueto make physical activity an integral part of their daily lives. “The success of this program, its obvious benefits toparticipants and the community, make it an excellent choice aswinner of the 2003 Municipal InNOVAward,” said Barry Barnet,Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. “Leading a healthy lifestyle pays dividends today and many yearsdown the road.” More information about the Municipal InNOVAward and The Mayor’sChallenge can be found on the Web site atwww.gov.ns.ca/snsmr/muns/awards/default.asp . SERVICE N.S./MUNICIPAL RELATIONS–Colchester Receives 2003Municipal InNOVAward
The independent board of inquiry into the human rights complaint of Coralyn Fleck against Ashton Salon and Day Spa will resume at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, June 13, at the Best Western Glengarry Hotel, 150 Willow St. in Truro. Ms. Fleck alleges she was fired from her job with the salon because she was pregnant. The board is being chaired by David J. MacDonald. -30-
-30- KINGS COUNTY: Route 221 and Route 358 Traffic on sections of routes 221 and 358 in Kings County will be restricted to one lane to allow for road repairs from Thursday, July 27, until Friday, Aug. 4. The work will be taking place between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Route 221 near Centerville and near Canning and also on Route 358 near The Lookoff. Local Area Office: 902-825-4827 Fax: 902-825-3593
— Little Indian Island (also known as Micou’s Island), St. Margarets Bay, Halifax Co., a nine-hectare (22 acre) island that features natural wetlands and is also of recreational value. — Sheep Island, North Harbour, Victoria Co., a 7.3-hectare (18 acre) area that is home to colonies of great blue heron and terns. — Twelve hectares (30 acres) at McGowan’s Lake, Queens Co. that includes ponds that provide valuable habitat for overwintering of Blanding’s turtles, which have been identified in the area. Nova Scotia declared the Blanding’s turtles endangered in 2000. — George Eddy Company Limited lands, 442 hectares (1,092 acres) located on the St. Mary’s River, a popular salmon river, in Guysborough County. The lands are in an area well known to residents and international visitors for its pristine beauty and recreational opportunities — including fishing, canoeing and hiking — and has been used as a site for studies of wood turtles. “We want to thank the partners, like the Mahone Island Conservation Association and the St. Margaret’s Bay Stewardship Association, who are helping to ensure the future of some of these properties through stewardship agreements,” said Mr. Morse. “We also want to thank private land donors and corporations like the George Eddy Company Limited for helping us protect against development in areas that provide Nova Scotians with fine examples of the natural assets we treasure.” Negotiations on the remaining 167.5 hectares (414 acres) of special acquisitions are expected to be completed by March 31. The special purchases are expected to cost a total of $5.36 million, which includes $3.11 million for the six acquisitions announced today. Negotiations also continue on the purchase of properties announced in May 2006 as part of an agreement with Bowater Mersey Paper Company. The province will help protect and preserve an additional 699 hectares (about 1,727 acres) of prime Nova Scotia property for recreational and tourism opportunities, coastal access, inland waterways, and wildlife habitat this year. Islands in Mahone Bay, St. Margarets Bay and North Harbour, and parcels of land in Guysborough and Queens counties, are among the properties that are being added to the province’s existing Crown lands. “These lands will help Nova Scotia protect endangered species and return some of this province’s precious coastal property to Nova Scotians’ hands,” Premier Rodney MacDonald said today, Feb. 22, at a news conference in Mahone Bay. “These lands will provide recreational and environmental benefits to Nova Scotians today and into the future.” Natural Resources Minister David Morse said it was important that the province seize the opportunity to complete these additional acquisitions this year so the lands were not lost to development. “Nova Scotia has one of the lowest proportions of Crown land in Canada — only Prince Edward Island is smaller,” said Mr. Morse. “Much of our culture was shaped by our proximity to the sea and to our natural habitat. These special purchases reinforce our province’s commitment to the environment and to ensuring that future generations benefit from our rich culture and traditions.” The new Crown purchases confirmed today were: Coveys and Backman Islands, 61 hectares (150.5 acres) in Mahone Bay, Lunenburg Co. Both islands have high potential for recreational use and will expand the province’s limited coastal access on the South Shore of Nova Scotia.
Une fois les eaux retirées, on encourage les propriétaires à vérifier leurs systèmes septiques. Si le système ne fonctionne pas, communiquez avec le bureau du ministère de l’Environnement de votre région. Les propriétaires doivent également vérifier leur réservoir à mazout pour s’assurer qu’il est toujours bien solide. Toute personne qui a besoin d’aide financière pour répondre à ses besoins essentiels peut présenter une demande d’aide au revenu en communiquant avec le ministère des Services communautaires. Toutes les demandes sont évaluées de façon individuelle afin de déterminer le besoin. Si le demandeur n’est pas admissible, le personnel peut le diriger vers d’autres soutiens communautaires qui pourraient lui offrir de l’aide. Pour obtenir des renseignements détaillés sur le nettoyage après une inondation et sur la sécurité, consultez le www.gov.ns.ca/emo. Le Bureau de gestion des urgences demande aux résidents de faire de la sécurité une priorité alors que les eaux se retirent, que les routes sont réparées, que les ponts sont inspectés et que les efforts de nettoyage se poursuivent, aujourd’hui 16 décembre, dans le nord du Cap-Breton et dans la vallée de l’Annapolis. « Les gens des comtés de Victoria et d’Inverness et de la vallée de l’Annapolis ont eu une semaine extrêmement pénible, a dit Ramona Jennex, ministre de la Gestion des urgences. Nous avons été très chanceux que personne n’a été blessé lors de cette tempête. Soyez prudent aujourd’hui et continuez à vous aider les uns les autres alors que nous nettoyons nos propriétés et nos communautés. » Aucune nouvelle inondation n’a été signalée au Cap-Breton, et de nombreuses routes le long de la Cabot Trail sont maintenant ouvertes. On demande aux résidents de vérifier les conditions routières avant de se déplacer. L’électricité a été rétablie dans la plupart des collectivités de la province, mais certaines régions, notamment Kentville, Wolfville et Kingston, où des dommages importants ont été causés par les vents forts, signalent toujours des pannes. Plus de 100 équipes travaillent pour rétablir l’électricité pendant toute la journée. EastLink signale que 200 clients sont toujours sans service téléphonique dans la vallée, mais tous les autres services ont été rétablis. Au cours des prochains jours, l’évaluation de l’étendue des dommages causés par la tempête sera entreprise. On demande aux propriétaires et résidents de bien vouloir considérer les renseignements suivants : Communiquez avec votre agent d’assurance dès que possible si vous avez des dommages. Faites une liste et incluez des photos ou des vidéos des dommages et des articles qui ont dû être jetés après l’inondation. Conservez un dossier des activités liées à l’inondation, par exemple le temps passé à nettoyer, et conservez des copies des factures et des reçus. N’utilisez pas les appareils ménagers, les prises de courant, les boîtes d’interrupteurs, les boîtes à fusibles ou les panneaux de distribution avant de les faire vérifier par une personne qualifiée du service public. Faites appel à des professionnels qualifiés pour rebrancher l’alimentation en gaz ou en électricité. Si vous sentez une odeur de gaz, quittez la maison et communiquez immédiatement avec votre fournisseur de gaz. Rincez toute contamination à l’intérieur de la maison et éliminer l’eau de rinçage. Nettoyez et faites sécher votre maison et vos biens récupérables dès que possible. Les articles ménagers qui ont été contaminés par des eaux usées ou qui sont restés trempés pendant une longue période devront être mis dans des sacs étiquetés et jetés conformément aux règlements locaux. Toute nourriture, y compris la nourriture en boîte ou en conserve, qui entre en contact avec les eaux de crue doit également être jetée. Il est recommandé que les propriétaires qui utilisent des puits privés fassent vérifier leur source d’eau potable. À titre de précaution, il est recommandé de faire bouillir l’eau pendant trois minutes. Des trousses d’analyse sont disponibles aux bureaux régionaux du ministère de l’Environnement. Le ministère travaille en collaboration avec les municipalités afin d’offrir les trousses dans les bureaux municipaux.
A recent report has found that the Department of Environment continues to successfully regulate the Sydney Tar Ponds and Coke Ovens Cleanup Project. The department today, June 28, received its third report from the Remediation Monitoring Oversight Board about its performance as the primary regulator of the Sydney Tar Ponds and Coke Ovens Cleanup Project. “We appreciate the work of the board to monitor our role as regulator for the cleanup of this large and complex project,” said acting Environment Minister John MacDonell. “I’m very pleased this independent review has found that we’re doing a good job to deliver on our regulatory responsibilities.” Report findings show that the department is effectively regulating the project and taking appropriate actions to protect the environment and address concerns about odour at the site. The department will review the report before responding to the board. The Remediation Monitoring Oversight Board was created in January 2008 to monitor regulatory performance of the Department of Environment, including project permits and approvals issued, project regulatory issues, and public feedback. The board reports annually to the Minister of Environment. The members of the board are Sinclair Dewis, Edwin MacLellan and Colin Hines. A copy of the Remediation Monitoring Oversight Board report is available at www.gov.ns.ca/nse . The clean up is scheduled to be complete by March 31, 2014.
Two elementary students are the winners of the Family Fishing Adventures contest put on by the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture and Outdoor Writers of Canada. Contestants were required to write a story about a family fishing trip they went on and include a photo or original drawing. The winner in the P-3 category is Danielle Gagne, a Grade 3 student from Ellershouse, Hants Co. The winner in the Grade 4-8 category is Bailee Nauss, a Grade 4 student from Tusket, Yarmouth Co. Each winner received a gift card from Canadian Tire, a hat, t-shirt and fishing equipment. “Congratulations to the winners. Fishing is a wonderful way to spend time with family,” said Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister Sterling Belliveau. “It’s great to see young people enjoying the outdoors and contributing to the conservation of our environment.” Submissions were judged on: what fishing means to them their favourite thing about fishing how their adventure contributed to conservation “Recreational fishing is an activity that brings life-long enjoyment and satisfaction to all participants,” said Duane Radford, president of Outdoor Writers of Canada. “It’s wonderful to have children involved with fishing at such a young age.” To read the winning stories or view the photo and drawing, visit www.gov.ns.ca/fish/sportfishing/extension/ .
The province is helping a locally owned dairy company expand its Truro facility, become more competitive, and protect and create good jobs for Nova Scotians. With a larger and more efficient facility, Scotsburn Dairy Group will be able to secure new contracts and meet growing demand for its ice cream products. The initial expansion will create 40 new jobs and protect more than 500 jobs in Nova Scotia. “Scotsburn wants to capitalize on growing demand for its ice cream, but without the province’s support, it can be difficult to make the upgrades needed so they can win new contracts and continue to grow,” said Truro-Bible Hill MLA Lenore Zann, on behalf of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Minister Graham Steele. “Through jobsHere, we’re making smart, strategic investments in local businesses, and helping to create and protect good jobs families can count on.” The province is lending Scotsburn $5.5 million toward the company’s $10-million phase one expansion. The company can earn up to $480,000 in forgiveness, based on job creation. The loan is repayable over 15 years. A $2-million capital equipment incentive will also help Scotsburn buy new novelty ice cream machines. “Over the past 10 years, Scotsburn Dairy has been aggressively pursuing new customers and markets for the premium ice cream products we make,” said Scotsburn president and CEO Doug Ettinger. “This financial assistance will allow us to continue to grow and create value-added jobs.” Scotsburn’s expanded workforce is expected to earn nearly $35 million in annual payroll, money they can spend in their communities and to make life better for their families. The province will earn $17 million in direct tax revenue over five years. “This is great news for Scotsburn Dairy and the province because of the benefits throughout the company’s supply chain,” said Scotsburn board chair and local dairy farmer Jim Burrows. “For Scotsburn dairy farmers like me, it is important to have our dairy investing in equipment that allows us to supply innovative products, and grow our consumer base.” Scotsburn Dairy Group is the largest locally owned dairy processor and distributor, and the leading manufacturer of ice cream and frozen novelties, in Atlantic Canada. Scotsburn produces private label products for major retail customers that are distributed across Canada and internationally. The Nova Scotia Jobs Fund pursues investment opportunities for communities in transition, industry sectors, regional support, small business programs, infrastructure and large industrial ventures. FOR BROADCASE USE: The province is helping a locally owned dairy company expand its Truro facility, become more competitive, and protect and create good jobs for Nova Scotians. With a larger and more efficient facility, Scotsburn Dairy Group will be able to secure new contracts and meet growing demand for its ice cream products. The initial expansion will create 40 new jobs and protect more than 500 jobs in Nova Scotia. Truro-Bible Hill MLA Lenore Zann, on behalf of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Minister Graham Steele, says Scotsburn wants to capitalize on growing demand for its ice cream, but without the province’s support, it can be difficult to make the upgrades needed so they can win new contracts and continue to grow. -30-
A complete list of the actions can be found at http://novascotia.ca/just/review_ECFH.asp. requiring community access decisions to consider all risks suspending community access leave until a review is conducted after patient did not return on time improving documentation, transparency and accountability for community access decisions providing an onsite smoking area to end unescorted offsite leaves to smoke requiring increased reporting on absent-without-leave incidents creating an oversight committee to review decisions about community access before they are granted The province and Capital District Health Authority have completed 17 of 18 actions to protect public safety and strengthen patient rehabilitation at the East Coast Forensic Hospital. A year ago, the province released the action items in response to a joint review led by the deputy ministers of Health and Wellness and Justice and the CEO of the health authority after the tragic death of Raymond Taavel. The response was based on advice of two independent forensic reviewers who looked at whether procedures and practices for community access were adequate, if patient supervision was sufficient, and whether public notification could be improved. Health and Wellness deputy minister Kevin McNamara reported to partners Wednesday, Sept. 18, that all 15 actions for the Capital District Health Authority and two of the three for the Department of Justice were implemented. The remaining recommendation is to be completed within weeks. “Nova Scotians should be reassured that there are stronger and more accountable processes in place as a result of the work done over the past year,” Mr. McNamara said. “Over the last year we’ve worked hard with our partners in the health care system to do what we can to prevent such a tragic incident from occurring again. “There was a collective will to improve any areas that our reviewers found could be strengthened. These changes will further strengthen patient rehabilitation and better protect public safety.” Justice deputy minister Judith Ferguson said the department has worked hard to improve the system. “This work has made the system stronger and better for patients,” she said. “The final recommendation for the Criminal Code Review Board to have written procedures is almost complete and will be implemented within one month.” Some of the 18 actions include:
An independent human rights board of inquiry has ruled that the Nova Scotia Health Authority discriminated against Melanie Yuille when it revoked her conditional job offer to work as a registered nurse at the Dartmouth General Hospital. Ms. Yuille was unable work night shifts and change her shift rotation every few days for medical reasons. Under the Nova Scotia Human Rights Act, it is illegal to discriminate against people based on their disability. Employers must try to reasonably accommodate the disabilities of new and existing staff in the workplace provided that it does not create a significant hardship on the employer’s operations. Based on the facts of the case, it was determined that reasonably accommodating Ms. Yuille’s disability would not be a hardship for the Nova Scotia Health Authority. It had provided accommodation for the disabilities of existing employees, but not for new hires. Shift scheduling is common in many clinical nursing units and the board ruled that the authority’s discrimination was not intentional. The board chair ordered that the authority hire Ms. Yuille and that both parties continue to ensure there is reasonable accommodation for her disability that does not pose any hardship to the organization. Ms. Yuille made her complaint in May 2015 and board of inquiry chair Eric Slone issued his decision on March 17, 2017. To read the full decision, please visit: humanrights.novascotia.ca.
The province has hired Avis Glaze, an internationally recognized expert, to review its education administrative model. The review will look at how public schools are administered, including elected school boards and their central office administration, along with administration at the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. Ms. Glaze served as Ontario’s education commissioner and senior adviser to the Minister of Education. She was the province’s first chief student achievement officer and founding CEO of the Literacy and Numeracy Secretariat. She was awarded the Order of Ontario, as well as many international awards, for her contributions to education. She has extensive experience in system and school improvement having worked with educators in almost 50 countries. She was sent to South Africa by the Canadian government to assist with education reform and national reconstruction and has assisted with education reform in New Zealand. Most recently, she was invited to assist Scotland with its system and school improvement. She has also been a classroom teacher, special education teacher, guidance counsellor, administrator and a faculty of education professor. “This review is about ensuring our system is working as well as it can for the maximum benefit of our students,” said Zach Churchill, Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development. “It’s been two decades since we’ve taken a look at our administrative model. I believe we could benefit from the breadth and depth of experience that Avis will bring to bear on a review.” “Nova Scotia is one of the school systems internationally that is doing innovative work,” said Ms. Glaze. “It believes in continuous improvement and puts students at the centre of all it does. The system is serious about working collaboratively with partners to improve the life chances of students and the prosperity of the province. “I have no doubt with the efforts that are being instituted, that by all measures Nova Scotia will be a world-class education system ” The review will begin immediately with a final report submitted to the Department by Dec. 31. “Together with the work of the Commission on Inclusive Education and the Council to Improve Classroom Conditions, the administrative review is another way we’re working to make our education system better for our kids,” said Mr. Churchill. To view the terms of reference for the review, visit www.ednet.ns.ca/adminreview . For a biography of Ms. Glaze go to avisglaze.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/AVIS-GLAZE-FULL-PAGE-BIO-2016.pdf .
Kolkata: As the results of the polls came out on Thursday, BJP pulled ahead of Trinamool Congress in four out of eight seats in the by-elections, followed by the ruling party in three seats.The seats fell vacant after six MLAs from Bhatpara, Habibpur (ST), Darjeeling, Kandi, Nawada and Islampur seats resigned and contested in the Lok Sabha election, while in two seats the MLAs HA Safwi and Satyajit Biswas died. Madan Mitra of Trinamool Congress was defeated by Pawan Singh of BJP in Bhatpara Assembly. The seat fell vacant after Arjun Singh joined BJP and contested in the Lok Sabha election. Also Read – City bids adieu to Goddess DurgaMitra was a minister in the Mamata Banerjee cabinet in 2011. He resigned following his involvement in the multi-crore Saradha chit fund scam. He subsequently contested from the Kamarhati seat in the 2016 Assembly poll and was defeated. There was violence on May 19, the day of by-polls. Mitra could not enter several areas and his car was attacked. He is currently trailing behind his BJP opponent by over 10,000 votes. In the Darjeeling seat, Niraj Tamang Zimba of BJP is leading ahead of his TrInamool Congress-backed Independent candidate Binay Tamang, chairman of the Gorkha Territorial Administration (GTA). Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellersBJP is also leading in the Krishnagunj seat. The seat fell vacant after sitting MLA Satyajit Biswas was murdered in February. BJP candidate Ashish Kumar Biswas is leading by over 9,000 votes in the seat. Abdul Karim Chowdhury of Trinamool Congress is leading by over 16,558 votes in Islampur. The seat fell vacant after Trinamool Congress MLA Kanaialal Agarwal resigned and contested from the Raigunj Lok Sabha seat. Idris Ali, the former Trinamool MP from Basirhat who contested from the Uluberia (East) seat, is leading by over 16,778 votes. In Nawada, Trinamool Congress candidate Salima Mumtaz Begum is leading. The seat fell vacant after Congress MLA Abu Taher Khan joined Trinamool Congress and contested from the Murshidabad seat. In Kandi, Congress is leading by a margin of over 5,000 votes. Till Thursday evening, BJP was seen leading in four seats, with Trinamool Congress in three and Congress in one.
New Delhi: Delhiites woke up to a cool Saturday morning, unusual for this time of the year, with the minimum temperature settling at 24.5 degrees Celsius, two notches below the average. Relative humidity was 53 per cent at 8.30 AM, a MeT department official said. The day will be marked by mainly clear sky with the maximum temperature expected to hover around 36 degrees Celsius, he said. On Thursday, the maximum temperature settled at 33.4 degrees while the minimum was 26.4 degrees Celsius.
New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal has rapped the governments of Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal and slapped a penalty of Rs 25 lakh on them for inaction over continued damage to river Ganga.It noted that in Bihar there is practically no progress as not a single sewage infrastructure project has been completed. Similarly, in West Bengal only three projects out of 22 have been completed and even for Jharkhand progress is not adequate, it said. Also Read – Pak activated 20 terror camps & 20 launch pads along LoC”The States of West Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhand are not represented in spite of orders of this tribunal by which we recorded strong disapproval to such attitude of the said States. Such insensitivity in a serious matter is a matter of concern. “We direct the States of Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal to deposit Rs 25 lakh each by way of interim compensation for the continued damage to Ganga and inaction of the said States even in responding to this tribunal with the CPCB within a month which may be spent on restoration of the environment,” the bench said. Also Read – Two squadrons which participated in Balakot airstrike awarded citationsThe NGT also said that discharge of effluents is a criminal offence and directed the Uttar Pradesh government to prohibit any polluting industrial activity instead of partially allowing it. “State of Uttar Pradesh may provide funds to the CPCB for remediation of Chromium dumps at Kanpur Dehat, Khanpur and Rakhi Mandi. Proper e-flows may be ensured from the Narora Barrage by the NMCG and the State of UP and compliance status may be furnished. UP may also take expeditious action for removing encroachments, identifying and notifying flood plains on the pattern of State of Uttarakhand,” it said. The UP chief secretary may personally monitor and ensure zero tolerance approach to the pollution of Ganga and take stern action against those responsible for failure, the tribunal said and directed him to file an affidavit before August 7. NGT also noted the submission made by National Mission for Clean Ganga that out of 31 projects undertaken, only four have been completed and work in respect of four projects is still underway. For the remaining work the timeline is proposed extending up to December, 2021, the tribunal noted and said that such progress can hardly be held to be satisfactory. It also asked the Uttarakhand State Pollution Control Board to ascertain whether the level of faecal coliform is beyond parameters from Gaumukh to Rishikesh. “We record our dissatisfaction with the progress particularly after all prescribed timelines are over and no adequate action has been taken against identified polluters, law violators and officers responsible for failure for vigorous monitoring, encroachments and pollution are undisputed. Orders of this tribunal remain uncomplied,” it said. Failure of the authorities is posing a danger to the environmental rule of law, NGT said, adding that continued failure is not only resulting in damage to the environment but also to public health. “Unless prompt and stringent action to control pollution of Ganga is stopped, the tribunal may be left with no option but to recover cost of restoration from officers responsible for the failure and also require their prosecution. Accordingly, Uttarakhand chief secretary may monitor the matter, identify the persons responsible for failure, take credible action and file his own affidavit before the next date,” the tribunal said. During the hearing, Director General of NMCG Rajiv Ranjan Mishra appeared in person and assured that stringent action will be taken for the lapses in monitoring against identified persons within four weeks and compliance of directions of this tribunal will be taken up seriously. In the monitoring mechanism, identified persons will be made accountable for the targets already fixed.
Kolkata/ New Delhi: Junior doctors in West Bengal agreed to call off the week-long strike on Monday after meeting with chief minister Mamata Banerjee at the Bengal state secretariat.After six days of strike, which saw shut Out-Patient Departments, an end to elective surgeries and diagnostic services and affected thousands of patients, the doctors indicated Sunday that they were ready for talks. While the doctors said the Chief Minister had “good intentions” and dubbed her a “guardian”, the Bengal CM accepted their demands, suggesting a 10-point plan to ensure security at the hospitals. Also Read – IAF receives its first Rafale fighter jet from FranceThe meeting, held in presence of the media, came as hospitals around the country suspended all but essential services in solidarity with the Bengal doctors. The matter has reached the Supreme Court, which agreed to hear a petition about the safety of doctors. A vacation bench of Justices Deepak Gupta and Surya Kant agreed to list the matter for Tuesday after the counsel appearing for the petitioner, advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava, sought an urgent hearing. Also Read – Cosmology trio win Nobel Physics Prize”We are proud of our doctors. You may be angry with my government but please go back to work. I will be very happy if you announce the end of your ceasework now,” Banerjee told the doctors after the meeting. She also added that the people must be sensitised, “all patients are not bad”. “We came here for discussion because we want a solution… We believe that you have good intentions. If possible, please take appropriate action against the unwanted incidents that have taken place,” the doctors said during the meeting on Monday. Meanwhile, Monday’s strike called by the Indian Medical Association hit medical services across the country. In most places, all non-essential services – which include Out Patient Departments, elective surgeries and diagnostic tests – have been cancelled. A resident doctor at the Trauma Centre of the premier All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi was allegedly abused and threatened by the drunk relatives of a patient around 1 am on Sunday. The junior doctors held a protest march at the AIIMS campus and are expected to meet Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan and ask for better security. They have also joined the strike, changing their earlier plan of a token protest. Dr Harsh Vardhan has asked states to draw up laws to safeguard the doctors. But the IMA has called for a comprehensive law in dealing with violence on doctors and healthcare staff. It also wants security measures to be specified. IMA president-elect Rajan Sharma said they asked the Health Minister to bring a central law to protect doctors. “The bill for it will take time, but we need a written assurance it will be brought,” Sharma said. See inside
London: Three-time major winner Stan Wawrinka was knocked out of Wimbledon on Wednesday, falling in five sets to 6ft 11in (2.1m) Reilly Opelka as defending champion Novak Djokovic waited to push his bid for a fifth title. Two-time quarter-finalist Wawrinka, 34, was beaten 7-5, 3-6, 4-6, 6-4, 8-6 by his American opponent, the tallest man in the sport and 13 years his junior. Opelka fired 23 aces and 59 winners and goes on to face either 2016 runner-up Milos Raonic of Canada or Robin Haase of the Netherlands. Also Read – Dhoni, Paes spotted playing football togetherOpelka will be appearing in the third round at a Slam for the first time having never won a grass court match in his career prior to coming to Wimbledon. Wawrinka won warm applause for giving a line judge a warm embrace after accidentally colliding with her as he sprinted to hit a backhand. “I was a bit too far to return a serve. I think I went against her, so I was sure she had some pain and was not happy, so I gave her a little hug,” said the genial Swiss. Also feeling the pain was Russia’s Margarita Gasparyan who was forced to retire when just two points from victory against Ukraine eighth seed Elina Svitolina. World number 62 Gasparyan was 7-5, 5-4 ahead when she collapsed to the ground on Court Three, suffering with cramping. Although she bravely tried to continue, the Russian, who has undergone three knee surgeries in her career, was forced to quit.
Jammu: Pakistani troops Saturday violated ceasefire by resorting to unprovoked mortar and small arms firing along the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir, a defence spokesman said. He said Indian army is retaliating befittingly to silence the Pakistani guns and there was no immediate report of any casualty. “At about 0900 hours, Pakistan initiated unprovoked ceasefire violation with firing of small arms and shelling with mortars along the LoC in Mendhar sector,” the spokesman said. Also Read – Squadrons which participated in Balakot air strike awarded citations on IAF Day The cross-border shelling was going on when last reports were received, a police official said adding the firing triggered panic among the border residents who have been directed to stay at safer places to avoid any casualty. The firing from across the border took place on the day when Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is scheduled to visit the state to lay a wreath at the Kargil War Memorial in Dras to commemorate 20 years of the Indian Army’s Operation Vijay. Also Read – Don’t use ‘lynching’ to defame India: Bhagwat On Saturday, Singh will also dedicate to the nation two bridges built by the Border Roads Organisation at Ujh in Kathua district and Basantar in Samba district. The Ujh bridge is one kilometre-long and the Basantar bridge is 617.4 metres, officials said. Operation Vijay refers to the Indian Army’s limited war against Pakistan’s infiltration in 1999 fought at the icy heights of Kargil, including super-high altitude locations such as Tololing and Tiger Hill.
New Delhi: A bill seeking to provide death penalty for aggravated sexual assault on children and greater punishments for other crimes against minors was approved by Parliament, after it was passed by the Lok Sabha on Thursday.Piloting the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill, 2019, Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani said it aims at making offences against children gender neutral. The Bill, which was already passed by the Rajya Sabha on July 29, defines child pornography, making it punishable. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’Cutting across party lines, members supported amendments to POCSO Act though some demanded that Bill be referred to the standing committee or select committee as it makes certain offences punishable with death. Seeking passage of the bill in Lok Sabha, Irani said this bill is not related to vote bank politics but to save the future of India. In an apparent reference to Congress MP Ramya Haridas who raised the Unnao rape issue in the House, Irani said this bill should not be looked from the perspective of politics and should not be politicised for personal benefits. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KResponding to Haridas, Irani said it was very unfortunate that when she was speaking some members who were supporting her were actually having fun. She further said the courts of this country have even power to punish MLAs and MPs. The Bill, said Irani, would provide added legal protection to 39 per cent of population or 43 crore children, irrespective of whether they are a girl or boy. Besides other things, she said, the Bill defines child pornography so that sexual predators indulging in such heinous crimes could be punished. Regretting that 5,000 persons followed the child pornography site operated by a person, Irani said, “this is a matter of grave concern for the society. The site had even showed the rape of a minor girl, he added. Recalling a case wherein children were administered drugs and harmones to make them sexually active, she said, the law is aimed at providing stringent punishment to such offenders. “We want to provide added protection to children…in rarest of rare cases death (penalty),” she added. Replying on the bill, Irani assured that under witness protection scheme, all measures such as doing threat assessment of the victim and witness and if required even changing their identity and others, were taken to ensure their safety. On if juvenile is involved in sexual offence against the children, the minister said that cases come under juveile justice act and the death penalty could be given only if he is above 16 years of age and juvenile justice board finds that he has adult mind. The minister acknowledged that the rate of conviction in sexual offences is very slow and informed that under Nirbhaya Fund, 1023 fast track courts will be established across the country and 18 state governments have already been taken on board by the government. She also said that a national data base for such cases have also been started and about 6.2 lakh sexual offence cases were registered in that base. Sharing the details of awareness programme among children, the minister said CBSE will carry out programmes in school across the country to make aware children about good and bad touch.She further said more than 40,000 teachers will also be trained for the same. Participating in the discussion, Su Thirunavukkarasar (Cong) suggested that since the bill has a provision for death penalty, it should be sent to a Parliamentary committee for further scrutiny. Rita Bahuguna Joshi (BJP) said the Bill will go a long way in bringing offenders against children to book. Kanimozhi (DMK) said that bill should be sent to select committee or standing committee as harsher punishment could deter people from reporting the crime. While presiding over the proceedings, BJD’s Bhartruhari Mahtab pointed out to Irani that the Hindi version of the POCSO bill used the word “balakon”, a term for young boys, while the English word “children” is gender neutral.
New Delhi: The government has approved the railways’ proposal to increase the train speed on Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Howrah routes to 160 kmph which will reduce travel time by 3.5 hours and five hours respectively, making them overnight journeys.While the cost of the project for the Delhi-Mumbai route will be Rs 6,806 crore, the cost for the other route will be Rs 6,685 by 2022-23. This was part of the ministry’s 100 day agenda. The decisions were taken in the Cabinet meeting held on Monday, but were made public on Wednesday. It was during this Cabinet meeting that the decisions on Kashmir were discussed with Union ministers. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c detailsThe increased speed on these routes will ensure improved service, safety and will create capacity, a statement from the government said. Increasing the speed of the Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Howrah sections to 160 kmph will ensure up to 60 per cent increase in average speed of passenger trains and doubling of average speed of freight traffic, the statement said. Together these two routes account for 29 per cent of passenger traffic and 20 per cent of freight traffic. The government has also approved the ministry’s plan to construct a new line between Vaibhavwadi-Kolhapur (now Shri Chhatrapati Shahumaharaj Terminus) (108 km) with an estimated cost of Rs 3,439 crore. The project will be completed by 2023-24 and will be executed by Construction Organization of Central Railway.
New Delhi: The Finance Ministry has asked public sector banks (PSBs) to initiate a month-long consultation process with officers at branch level to seek suggestions on streamlining banking sector to help the country achieve $5-trillion economy in five years. The suggestions emanating from a month-long campaign beginning Saturday will be used as inputs to prepare a road map for the future growth of the banking sector. According to a communication by the ministry to the heads of PSBs, it will be a bottom-up consultative process from the branch level onwards which will involve discussions at the branch or regional level, state level and national level. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalThe consultation process is aimed at aligning the banking sector with national priorities, stimulating ideas and inculcating a sense of involvement among bankers at the branch level, it said. The campaign envisages not only performance review but synchronisation of banking with region-specific issues and their growth potential. It also aims to find out role of PSBs as active partners in the Indian growth story for the next five years. The country has set a goal of achieving a $5-trillion economy by 2024-25. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostIt will also find solution for enhanced ease of living making banks more responsive to customers and challenges before banks and their preparedness in areas such as cybersecurity and data analytics. There will be focus on raising credit offtake for supporting economic growth credit support to infrastructure and role of the banking sector in doubling farmers’ income and water conservation. Besides, supporting for green economy, improving education loan and other sectors such as micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and exports. In addition, there will be focus on pushing digital economy and financial inclusion, it said. The consultative process will be divided into three stages with the first being at the branch or regional level, followed by the state level. It will culminate with a national-level two-day brainstorming in Delhi. The campaign comes at a time when the economy is facing headwind and it has slowed to a 5-year low of 6.8 per cent. There are ominous signs showing that slowdown may be deep. The automobile sector is facing its worst crisis in two decades and reports suggest thousands of job losses in the auto and ancillary industry. In the real estate sector, the number of unsold homes has increased, while fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies have reported a decline in volume growth in the first quarter. Though lending by banks to industries has shown a significant jump from 0.9 per cent in the June 2018 quarter to 6.6 per cent in the corresponding period this year, the same to job-creating MSME sector has slipped from 0.7 per cent to 0.6 per cent during the same period. However, silver lining amid gloom is improvement in non-performing assets of the banks. Last month, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told Parliament that total bad loans of commercial banks declined by Rs 1.02 lakh crore to Rs 9.34 lakh crore in 2018-19, on the back of steps taken by the government.