Friday, 9 March 2018

SC gives sanction for ‘living will’ in passive euthanasia:

Supreme Court allowing passive euthanasia gives sanction to a living will. It also issues guidelines governing execution of living will and also passive euthanasia in the absence of living wills. The bench, comprising justices A K Sikri, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan also laid down guidelines as to who would execute the will and how the nod for passive euthanasia would be granted by the medical board.
The top court said that directions and guidelines laid down by it and its directive shall remain in force till a legislation is brought on the issue. The ‘living will’ is a concept where a man or woman decides in much advance whether he or she wants to be kept on life support or vegetative condition, in case of a terminal illness.
The CJI, while reading out the judgment, said that all the judges were unanimous that the ‘living will’ should be permitted since a person cannot be allowed to continue suffering in a comatose state when he or she doesn’t wish to live.
The Supreme Court pronounced the verdict on a plea seeking legal sanction for passive euthanasia under which a person suffering from a terminal disease and in his/her last stage of life with no chance of recovery is allowed not to sustain life through artificial support system.The court says it has laid down guidelines on who would execute the will and how nod for passive euthanasia would be granted by the medical board.
A living will, is an advance written directive to physicians for end-of-life medical care. It pointed out that this may lead to the abuse and neglect of the elderly, especially if they were financially well-off.
The SC said it has laid down guidelines on who would execute the will and how the nod for passive euthanasia would be granted by the medical board. The court says its guidelines and directives will remain in force till a legislation is brought to deal with the issue.
Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra says other members of the five-judge Constitution bench have concurred on the guidelines and directives passed by it. Supreme Court lawyer, Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the NGO, Common Cause, which had filed the PIL, had earlier submitted to the Apex Court that since a patient under coma or vegetative conditions could not express his/her wish, so he should be given the right to die.


14 March 2018 : 1000-1400 hrs
The LaLiT Hotel, Barakhamba Road, New Delhi

Chief Guest: HE Mr Anil Baijal, Lieutenant Governor of NCT of Delhi

We are pleased to inform you that the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) is organising itsDelhi State Annual Session and Business Conference on Building Competitive Delhion 14 March 2018 from 1000 hrs onwards at the The LaLiT Hotel, Barakhamba Road, New Delhi.

HE Mr Anil Baijal, Lieutenant Governor of NCT of Delhi has kindly consented to be the Chief Guest and address the industry.

We are writing to cordially invite you to attend the CII Delhi State Annual Session and Business Conference on 14 March 2018 from 1000-1400 hrs at the The LaLiT Hotel, Barakhamba Road, New Delhi.

In case you are not able to join due to prior commitment, then we request you to nominate a colleague(s) to attend on your behalf. You may please confirm your participation through the attached Reply Form.

Look forward to receiving your confirmation.


Analysis of Assets & Liabilities of Regional Parties

Analysis of Assets & Liabilities of Regional Parties – FY 2011-12 to 2015-16

Complete report containing Party-wise information related to assets, liabilities and capital is attached in English. Executive Summary reports in Hindi and Kannada are also attached for your perusal.


There are a set of accounting standards set for commercial, industrial and business enterprises and these accounting standards are issued by the Institute of Chartered Accountant of India (ICAI). Political parties fall under the non-commercial, non-industrial or non- business entity. Thus, the standard accounting formats of the other entities are not applicable to political parties.
The Election Commission of India (ECI) requested for recommendations from the ICAI to bring uniformity in the accounting and auditing practices of political parties. Thus, the “Guidance note on Accounting & Auditing of political parties” or the “Accounting guidelines” were formulated in February, 2012 by the ICAI on the request of the ECI, in order to improve accounting and auditing standards of political parties and improve transparency in their finances. These guidelines laid down principles of recognition, measurement and disclosure items of income, expenditure, assets and liabilities in the financial statements of political parties.
This report analyses the assets and liabilities declared by the 22 Regional Partiesbetween FY 2011-12 and 2015-16 – AAP, AGP, AIADMK, AIFB, BPF, DMDK, DMK, JKPDP, JDS, JDU, JMM, JVM(P), LJP, MNS, RLD, SAD, SFD, Shiv Sena (SHS), SP, TDP, TRS, YSR-Congress.

Executive Summary

Frequently asked questions
·        What is a balance sheet?
Balance sheet contains information on three main financial aspects of the entity, which is a political party in this case. a) The “Assets” of the party are resources such as cash, their bank investments, moveable and immovable properties, vehicles, etc.; b) The “Capital” or “Reserve Fund” portion of the balance sheet is the accumulated wealth of the political party which is essentially assets minus any liabilities of the party; c) The “Liabilities” of a political party includes borrowings from banks, unsecured loans, access to overdraft facilities, etc.
·        What is special about assets and liabilities/ income & expenditure of political parties?
The accounting standards were created keeping in mind the nature of activities of the entities, be it commercial, industrial or business. While political parties do not perform any commercial activities, the purpose of the accounting standard i.e. maintain uniformity in presentation, is kept intact by merely modifying the terminology such as “Income and Expenditure” in place of “Profit and Loss”.
·        What are ECI’s transparency guidelines?
Article 324 of the Constitution empowers the ECI with plenary powers which was established in the Supreme Court judgement (AIR 1978 SC 851) by stating that the Commission has the powers to fill any legal vacuum so as to promote free and fair elections. The transparency guidelines, circulated in 2014, were lawful instructions issued after consultation with all recognised parties and hence are binding. These guidelines were formulated to improve financial transparency in political parties and strongly advised the parties to follow the ICAI guidelines formulated and circulated in February, 2012.
·        What information is captured in this report?
The assetsliabilities and capital declared by the 22 Regional Parties (Annexure-1) between FY 2011-12 and 2015-16 have been taken up for analysis in this report. The assets include fixed assets, loans & advances, deposits made, investments, etc. while the liabilities include bank borrowings, sundry creditors, overdrafts, other liabilities, etc. The capital/ reserve fund is the amount set aside by the parties after subtracting liabilities from the total assets, every year, for party expenditure.
Declaration of assets by the Regional Parties – FY 2011 to 2015-16
·        The average total assets declared by the 20 Regional Parties during FY 2011-12 was Rs 24.11 cr which increased to Rs 65.77 cr during FY 2015-16.
·        YSR Congress was registered in March, 2011 and AAP was registered in November, 2012. The average assets declared by the these two parties during FY 2012-13 was Rs 1.165 cr which increased to Rs 3.765 cr during FY- 2015-16.
*The balance sheet of AGP, BPF, JKPDP, JMM, JVM-P, MNS and TRS for the FY 2012-13 is unavailable in the public domain
**The balance sheet of TRS for the FY 2013-14 is unavailable in the public domain
·        During FY 2011-12, the declared asset of SP was Rs 212.86 cr which increased by 198% to Rs 634.96 cr during FY 2015-16.
·        SP, AIADMK, AIFB and SHS are the only major Regional Parties to show a steady increase in their annual declared assets. The total assets of AIADMK between FY 2011-12 & 2015-16 increased by 155% (Rs 88.21 cr to Rs 224.87 cr) while that of SHS increased from Rs 20.59 cr to Rs 39.568 cr (by 92%).
·        The assets declared by Regional Parties fall under 6 major headsfixed assetsloans & advancesFDR/ depositsTDSInvestments and other assets.
·        During FY 2011-12, the Regional Parties declared maximum assets under FDR/ deposits which amounted to Rs 331.54 cr (68.77% of total assets) which increased to Rs 1054.80 cr (80.19% of total assets) in FY 2015-16.
·        It is to be noted that the only asset category to show a reduction in value was “Loans and Advance”. During FY 2011-11, parties invested a total of Rs 19.75 cr whose current value stands at Rs 16.20 cr.
Declaration of liabilities by Regional Parties – FY 2011-12 to 2015-16
·        The total liabilities declared by the 20 Regional Parties (whose details are available for both FY 2011-12 & 2015-16), was Rs 47.475 cr during FY 2011-12 which increased to Rs 52.21 cr during FY 2015-16.
·        Rs 2.37 cr was the average liability per party during FY 2011-12while it was Rs 2.61 cr per party during FY 2015-16.
·     Total liabilities of YSR-C and AAP for FY 2012-13 was Rs 1.86 cr (an average of Rs 93 lakh per party) and that for FY 2015-16 was Rs 5.03 cr (an average of Rs 2.515 cr per party).
·        During FY 2011-12, SHS declared the highest total liabilities of Rs 16.594 cr followed by DMK with Rs 9.214 cr.
·        Highest liabilities during FY 2015-16 was declared by TRS (Rs 15.97 cr) but the party had declared NIL liabilities during FY 2011-12. Second highest liabilities was declared by TDP with Rs 8.186 cr.
·        Between FY 2013-14 and 2014-15, liabilities of Shivsena reduced by 99.78% (Rs 22.21 cr) while that of TDP increased by 259% (Rs 5.906 cr) between FY 2014-15 and 2015-16.
·        The liabilities declared by Regional Parties fall under 2 major heads: Borrowings (from banks, overdraft facilities and sundry creditors) and other liabilities.
·        Between FY 2011-12 and 2015-16, the Regional Parties declared a decrease in liabilities under “other liabilities” – Rs 42.47 cr (FY 2011-12) to Rs 32.20 cr (FY 2015-16). Liabilities under “borrowings” showed an increase of 400% or Rs 20.034 cr between FY 2011-12 (Rs 5.006 cr) and FY 2015-16 (Rs 42.47 cr).
·        12 Regional Parties have declared NIL borrowings for FY 2011-12 while 9 parties declared NIL borrowings during FY 2015-16.
Capital declared by Regional Parties – FY 2011-12 to 2015-16
·        The total Capital/ Reserve fund set aside by the Regional Parties during FY 2011-12 was Rs 434.635 cr, which increased by Rs 823.535 cr (189.48%) to Rs 1258.17 cr during FY 2015-16.
·        Between FY 2014-15 & 2015-16 the Capital declared by Regional Parties increased by 14.66% or Rs 160.90 cr.
*The balance sheet of AGP, BPF, JKPDP, JMM, JVM-P, MNS and TRS for the FY 2012-13 is unavailable in the public domain
**The balance sheet of TRS for the FY 2013-14 is unavailable in the public domain
·        SP has the highest capital of Rs 634.913 cr during FY 2015-16 followed by Rs 257.18 cr of DMK and Rs 224.84 cr of AIADMK.
·        TDP declared total capital fund of Rs 11.538 cr during FY- 2011-12which increased to Rs 46.09 cr during FY- 2015-16, an increase of Rs 34.552 cr or 299%.

Observations & Recommendations of ADR



1.      According to the ICAI guidelines, parties are directed to declare details of the financial institutions, banks or agencies from whom loans were taken. The guidelines specify that the parties should state the “terms of repayment of term loans” on the basis of due date such as a year, 1-5 years or payable after 5 years – not declared by the Regional Parties.
2.      Details of loans given by the parties in cash/ kind should be specified and if it constitutes more than 10% of the total loans, nature and amount of such loansshould be declared specifically by the parties – not declared by the Regional Parties.
3.      ICAI guidelines on auditing of political parties which were also endorsed by the ECI in order to improve transparency in the finances of political parties,remain guidelines only and have not been actively taken up by the political parties as a mandatory procedure to disclose details of their income. These guidelines were meant to standardize the format of financial statements of parties apart from improving disclosure of income, expenditure, assets and liabilities of the unique association, political parties. Details of disclosure included:
a.      Classification and disclosure of details of donors (individuals, companies, institutions and others) – classification not declared by the Regional Parties.
b.      Revenue from issuance of coupons of different denominations to be disclosed separately – not declared by the Regional Parties.


1.      Changing of auditors every three years:
a.      The amended Companies Act, 2013, which came into force on 29thAug, 2013, stated that no Company shall have an auditor for more than 5 years but this rule was not applied for political parties. Hence, designating a firm/person for auditing of accounts of parties for long durations is not desirable as there is a feasibility of making finances of parties as opaque as possible.
b.      Indian laws do not permit foreign auditing firms to operate directly in India but they might have a tie-up with domestic auditing firms which may enable foreign companies to have access to the parties’ internal accounting.
c.      The 255th Law Commission report has recommended that the accounts of political parties be “audited by a qualified and practicing Chartered Accountant from a panel of such accountants maintained for the purpose by the Comptroller and Auditor General.” However as per the current practice, political parties choose their auditors entirely on their own. This needs to change.
2.      As the income-expenditure statements of political parties are assessed rarely(even those of National Parties), authenticity of the accounts submitted remains doubtful. When the authenticity is not verified, the auditors who might be under-reporting the accounts, remain out of purview of punishment. With online submission of IT Returns, political parties do not submit details of income, expenditure and assets and liabilities as attachments. Thus, the IT department too does not have enough information on the finances of political parties! Annual scrutiny of documents submitted by political parties is recommended.
3.      The 170th Law Commission report recommended introduction of Section 78Ain the RPA and proposed penalties for political parties defaulting in the maintenance of accounts. This needs to be introduced and implemented. Section 276CC of the IT Act penalizes individuals who fail to submit their IT returns.  Similar legal provisions should be applicable to political parties too. Supreme Court judgement in Common Cause vs. Union of India & ors. had stated that when parties default in filing their returns, prima facie they violate provision of IT Act.


Preliminary Earthquake Report
  • 8 Mar 2018 17:39:51 UTC
  • 9 Mar 2018 03:39:51 near epicenter
  • 8 Mar 2018 21:39:51 standard time in your timezone
Location4.389S 153.202E
Depth15 km
  • 115 km (71 miles) E (100 degrees) of Rabaul, New Britain, PNG
  • 330 km (205 miles) NW (308 degrees) of Arawa, Bougainville, PNG
  • 335 km (208 miles) SE (127 degrees) of Kavieng, New Ireland, PNG
  • 735 km (457 miles) ENE (69 degrees) of Lae, New Guinea, PNG
  • 870 km (541 miles) NE (50 degrees) of PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea

At Women’s Day gathering, women speak out, resolve to fight

‘Slum-dwelling women face greater risk to safety and security’
Mumbai | 8th March, 2018: A public meeting organised by Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan on the occasion of International Women’s Day revealed how even in Mumbai, known for being the country’s most women friendly city, women’s safety and well-being depends on the area in the city they occupy and the kind of material structures they live in.
Testimonies at the meeting, attended by around 100 women from several slum pockets in Mumbai, revealed that lives of women in these settlements are several times worse off than that of their counterparts from the upper classes who live in regularised buildings. Not only do the former have to shoulder the burden of arranging for basic amenities like water, unavailable at their door-steps, they must also deal with ever-present threats demolition and the sexual abuse and molestations that follow.
“When our homes are evicted without notice, we are left on the roads, with no toilet facility,” said Sushila Gulab Kale, a resident of Jai Ambe Nagar slum located in Govandi. “It puts our safety at risk in several ways, including possibilities of sexual molestation,” she said at the meeting organised in her slum settlement.
Another resident, Fatima, spoke of the perils pregnant women have to face. “My daughter gave birth to her child and three days after our house was demolished by the government. We spent nights without shelter. No words can explain the pain that we went through after eviction,” she said.
Several women from neighbouring slum settlements of Sathe Nagar, Mandala, Bheemchhaya and Sanjay Nagar came forward to give testimonies about similar difficulties.
Fatima, who works as a sweeper on sub-contract with the Mumbai municipal corporation, said even though she cleaned the gutters and gave sheen to Swachh Bharat, she lacked the basic toilet facility in her slum. “I clean gutters through the entire day. But we in our slum, we are forced to defecate in the open, as there is no toilet. Even then, people living in high-rise buildings adjacent to the open ground where we defecate throw stones at us. You tell us what are we supposed to do? Shall we not defecate and allow our stomachs to swell,” she asked.
Housing, which is a basic necessity, has simply been reduced to a commodity. It implies that if one can afford to buy a house only then he/she will have a house and if one cannot afford to buy a house then there is no provision to get the protection of even a minimum shelter.  The commoditization of housing is reason why slum housing comes into being. Urban poverty is a reality. Slums or informal settlement is where urban poverty exists. There is a certain kind of terminology that has been evolved over a period of time to ridicule these settlements. The terminology is totally unjustified at a time when economic inequalities are growing day by day. The existence of slums is the marker of poverty being perpetuated. The demolition of slums has not eradicated poverty but have forced people to become homeless, voiceless and invisible population of the city that ironically are also workers and toilers. These workers are toilers are responsible for subsidizing of economy at a large.Slum demolition has become a norm in major cities like Mumbai.
A number of women at the gathering expressed their anger on false promises made by every politician before elections.
“We have spent several years seeing politicians come to us with folded hands and promise us better facilities. After the elections, everyone forgets us. The only things the politicians leave behind are words. Shall we hold the words, like we hold air? They simply betray us”, said Maya Sutar from Jai Ambe Nagar. “We get paid for our hard work but politicians only make hollow promises. We are honest people, they are liars” added Sutar.

Women in the last concluded that there is no end to their suffering if they not fight themselves to make their lives better. “Though we are suffering, we have not given up. We will fight and we will win”, said Jameela Begum of Sathe Nagar slum and who also moderated the public meeting.
Girija Gupte and Mary Antony of Jagrut Kamgar Manch remained present as the guest in the public meeting.
Contact: 9958660556
National Alliance of People’s MovementsNational Office : 6/6, Jangpura B, Mathura Road, New Delhi 110014
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Michelle Obama: On International Women’s Day:

On International Women’s Day:

Michelle Obama <> to you & 1 other(s)
Fri, 09 Mar 2018 00:33:29
Obama Foundation
Hi there, and happy International Women’s Day.Growing up, my parents always had a clear message for me and my brother: There is nothing more important for your future than getting a good education. Nothing.
Even though neither of them had a college degree, they were determined to give us that opportunity. And let me tell you, my education changed everything for me — opening doors I never could have imagined and allowing me to pursue the career of my dreams.
For me, education meant freedom and empowerment; the chance to fulfill my potential and make my voice heard in the world. And it breaks my heart that today, there are millions of girls across the globe who don’t have the chance to attend school.
We know the kind of impact educating girls can have — not just for them and their families, but for their communities and their countries as well.
Girls who go to school marry later, have lower rates of infant and maternal mortality, are more likely to immunize their children, and are less likely to contract malaria and HIV. Girls who are educated also earn higher salaries — 10 to 20 percent more for each additional year of secondary school. And sending more girls to school and into the workforce can boost an entire country’s economy.
That’s why, as First Lady, I started an initiative to help more girls worldwide attend school, and before I left the White House, I committed to working on this issue for the rest of my life.
I want every girl on this planet to have the same kind of opportunities that I’ve had, and that my daughters have — and I need your help.
Every single one of us has a role to play in helping girls get the education they deserve, and International Women’s Day is the perfect time to make that commitment.
I look forward to sharing more about our work with you soon, and I hope you’ll join us in this effort. Thank you for everything you’ve done and continue to do to support the Obama Foundation.
Donate today to support the Obama Foundation’s work, including our ongoing investment in young people across the globe.
ⓒ 2018 Obama Foundation  |  Unsubscribe
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For some—like Gloria—that means risking everything

Dear Naresh,
This International Women’s Day, we are proud to stand with women around the world who are working to build a better, more just world.For some—like Gloria—that means risking everything to keep their families safe.

Gloria fled brutal violence by the MS-13 gang in El Salvador. Thanks to you, she and her children won asylum last October. A lawyer by trade, Gloria is now determined to use her skills to help other vulnerable people in the United States.
To share her story, we are proud to partner with Google using Google’s 3-D virtual reality technology. If you have 3-D glasses, put them on and immerse yourself in Gloria’s world.
Celebrate Gloria and brave women everywhere who are standing up for the rights of others by sharing this video today.
Elisa Massimino
President and CEO
Human Rights First is an independent advocacy and action organization that challenges America to live up to its ideals. We believe American leadership is essential in the struggle for human rights so we press the U.S. government and private companies to respect human rights and the rule of law. When they don’t, we step in to demand reform, accountability and justice. Around the world, we work where we can best harness American influence to secure core freedoms.
Human Rights First
New York: 75 Broad Street, 31st Floor, New York, NY 10004
Washington: 805 15th Street, NW, Suite 900, Washington, DC 20005
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4th National Leadership Conclave

Dear Mr Naresh Kumar Sagar ,
4th National Leadership Conclave
/India Reimagined: Innovative, Inclusive, Invincible
14-15 March 2018: Hotel Le Meridien, New Delhi

I am pleased to share with you that AIMA is organizing the 4th edition of its flagship annual event – The National Leadership Conclave – on 14th and 15th of March 2018 at Hotel Le Meridien New Delhi.  The National Leadership Conclave is a thought leadership platform which brings together various stake holders for constructive dialogue on the way forward for the Indian economy and the well-rounded growth of the nation.
The conclave is being organized under the chairmanship of Mr Sanjiv Goenka, Chairman, RP-Sanjiv Goenka.  The theme of the Conclave this year is “India Reimagined: Innovative, Inclusive, and Invincible”.
India continues to evolve, as geopolitical, technological and trade conditions change. While the country has reacted reasonably well to the change, its leaders need to reframe its aspirations and expedite new capabilities. During the recent decades, India has moved from self-reliance to globalization and from seeking superpower protection to joining the league of the major powers. The country has moved to capability-based opportunities from legacy-based entitlements and from survival jugaad to disruptive technologies. However, the country still has a long way to go.
India is still a low-income country with pervasive poverty. It still has political, economic and technological exclusion. The country relies on foreign innovations for its technological progress and on imported arms for its security. Time has come for India to accomplish disruptive change and its leadership must deliver a country that is truly innovative, inclusive and invincible.
Considering the above imperatives, the Conclave will focus on key leadership challenges facing India to make India innovative and inclusive.
Like previous years, the Conclave will be addressed by India’s leaders from government, business and intelligentsia, who will share their views with participants through interactive sessions. The conclave attracts close to 800 delegates from across the country.
Some of the key speakers confirmed to address the Conclave include

  • Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Commerce & Industry, Government of India;
  • Jayant Sinha, Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Government of India;
  • Sanjeev Sanyal, Principal Economic Adviser, Ministry of Finance, Government of India;
  • Jairam Ramesh, Member of Parliament (RS), Indian National Congress;
  • Sanjiv Goenka, Conclave Chairman and Chairman, RP – Sanjiv Goenka Group;
  • TV Mohandas Pai, President, AIMA and Chairman, Manipal Global Education Services Pvt Ltd;
  • Harshavardhan Neotia, Sr. Vice President, AIMA and Chairman, Ambuja Neotia Group;
  • Ashok Chawla, Chairman, National Stock Exchange;
  • CP Gurnani, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, Tech Mahindra;
  • Arvind Gupta, Chief Executive Officer, MyGov;
  • Brahmakumari Sister Shivani, Spiritual & Motivational Teacher;
  • Akhil Bansal, Deputy CEO, KPMG in India;
  • Shashwat Goenka, Sector Head, Spencer’s Retails Ltd;
  • Tara Singh Vachani, MD & CEO, Antara Senior Living Ltd;
  • Pulkit Gaur, Founder & CTO , ‎Gridbots Technologies;
  • Roshy John, Global Head, Industrial Robotics & Cognitive Systems, Tata Consultancy Services;
  • Pranav Pai, Founding Partner and Chief Investment Officer, 3one4 Capital;
  • Kumar Abhishek, Founder, ToneTag;
  • Anand Anandkumar, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Bugworks
It is my pleasure to invite you and the senior officials from your Organisation/Institution to join us for the4th National Leadership Conclave on 14-15 March, 2018 at Hotel Le Meridien, New Delhi.
I do hope that you would take the advantage of this opportunity to listen, interact and network with the leaders from government, business and intelligentsia by attending the conclave.
Your participation at the Conclave is purely through invitation and there would be no delegate fee for your registration.

Please click on the link to find the updated agenda to the date.
Kindly confirm your participation to Ms Ekta Nayyar, Manager, All India Management Association alongwith the complete details of the nominated officials from your organisation. For further queries if any, please feel free to reach her at Tel: 011- 4312 8100, 24645100 Extn-240’
Thanks and regards,
Ebin  Kuriakose

Management House, 14 Institutional Area, Lodhi Road, New Delhi – 110 003, India
Tel: +91-11-24645100 Ext: 452
Telefax: +91-11-24626689
Email: ;  Website :
CIN No – U93000DL2015NPL288560
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CPR Land Rights Initiative is pleased

CPR Land Rights Initiative is pleased to invite you to its Fourth Annual Conference on
Land Laws, Land Acquisition, and Scheduled Areas in India
Thursday, 15 March 2018, 9:30 a.m – 5:00 p.m.
Friday, 16 March 2018, 10 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Conference Room II, India International Centre
Image Source
India holds the unique distinction of being both the world’s largest constitutional democracy and also one of its fastest growing economies. Critical to the process of India’s economic development is state acquisition of land for infrastructure, dams, industry, and mining. Creating a legal framework that ensures equitable and efficient acquisition of land, through processes that are socially inclusive and politically feasible, has proved challenging. While the Indian Constitution guarantees property rights to all, it enshrines special protections for land rights of the Scheduled Tribes, vis-à-vis the state and other communities, in geographically demarcated tribal majority areas known as the “Scheduled Areas”. This is because land is not only a source of tribal livelihoods but also central to tribal identity, history and culture. However, despite these special protections, the Scheduled Tribes remain one of the most vulnerable, most impoverished, and most displaced of all groups in India. Why is this so? 
Land Rights in the Scheduled Areas
The CPR Land Rights Initiative Fourth Annual conference will feature the launch of its report on “The legal and political economy of land rights of Scheduled Tribes in the Scheduled Areas of India”, which attempts some preliminary answers to these questions. Through a review of constitutional provisions, laws, and policies, governing the rights of the Scheduled Tribes and the administration of the Scheduled Areas, and the financial and administrative structures that effectuate these protections, the Report delineates a conflicting regime of protective and displacing laws, as well as conflicting policy narratives underlying these laws which facilitate displacement of the Scheduled Tribes. The Report will also feature data on the current mapping of Scheduled areas, and the current distribution of dams, forests, and mining in the Scheduled areas. Two panels composed of distinguished speakers, including officials from the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes and the NITI Aayog, community representatives, and academics from various disciplinary backgrounds will comment on the Report findings.
Land Acquisition Litigation in India 
Four years since the Right to Fair Compensation, and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 (the “RFCTLARR Act”) came into force, as central and state governments begin acquisitions under the law, courts are deluged with litigation under the retrospective operation provisions of the RFCTLARR Act.  Building off our Report on “Land Acquisition in India: A Review of Supreme Court Cases from 1950 to 2016“, the CPR Land Rights Initiative team will present findings on Supreme Court litigation under the RFCTLARR Act. A distinguished panel of government officials, lawyers, academics, and journalists, will comment on the recent developments in the implementation and interpretation of the RFCTLARR Act.
Mapping Land Laws in India
Conflicting laws cause legal disputes. Yet, the number and extent of land laws in India is anyone’s guess, because there is no existing publicly available comprehensive database of land laws in India. The CPR Land Rights Initiative team has created a database of 556 laws for a representative sample of seven states, namely, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Meghalaya, and Telangana. Eminent representatives from the NITI Aayog, the Central Information Commission, and PRS Legislative Research will comment on the preliminary findings from the database.
Videos of previous conferences and events of the CPR Land Rights Initiative can be accessed here:

UNSC calls for cease-fire in Syria

UN Security Council on Wednesday called for the implementation of UN Resolution 2401, which demands an immediate cease-fire in Syria.
Members of the Security Council expressed concern about the humanitarian situation and discussed the cessation of hostilities, Dutch ambassador to the United Nations Karel van Oosterom, who is president of the Security Council for the month of March, briefly told reporters after closed-door consultations.
He did not give more details of the meeting and refused to take questions.
Wednesday’s emergency meeting was requested by France and Britain in face of the failure to implement Resolution 2401, which was unanimously adopted on Feb. 24.

Mehul Choksi asks CBI

Gitanjali Gems promoter and PNB fraud prime accused Mehul Choksi on Thursday wrote a letter to the Central Bureau of Investigation expressing his inability to join the probe in the multi-crore scam.
Choksi cited ‘persisting health problem’ due to a ‘cardiac procedure which was conducted in the first week of February 2018’ to say that he is unable to travel. He however, has not revealed about his current location. Choksi also said that he has ‘pending work’ to complete.
Choksi took the opportunity to fire salvo on officials for suspending his passport. “I further wish to point out that the RPO Mumbai has not given me any explanation as to why my Passport has been suspended and as to how I am a security threat

Berlusconi ‘to support’ Lega leader as Italy PM

Silvio Berlusconi will support the leader of Italy’s Euroskeptic partner Lega Nord in attempts to form a government, the former prime minister said. The four parties in the center-right coalition agreed during the campaign that the leader of the party that won the most votes would head a government, according to Reuters. In a personal defeat for Berlusconi, the far-right Lega surpassed his Forza Italia (FI) party in Sunday’s elections. Lega won about 17 percent of the vote to 14 percent for FI. “In full respect of our agreements, we will now loyally support attempts by [Matteo] Salvini to form a government,” Berlusconi told Corriere della Sera on Wednesday. The vote produced a hung parliament, with Lega and the anti-establishment Five Star Movement both saying the president should name their own leaders as prime minister.

This International Women’s Day, we’re putting you on notice.

This International Women’s Day, we’re putting world leaders on notice. Will you sign our Poverty is Sexist open letter?
Right now, a seismic shift is happening. Women around the world are speaking up and stepping forward in their millions, calling out the injustice they experience every day. These movements are changing conversations, changing culture, and changing laws.
It’s critical that the girls and women hit hardest by gender inequality – those living in extreme poverty – are not left behind. If we demand more from our leaders, together we could rewrite history.
The letter reads:
Dear World Leaders,
This International Women’s Day, we’re putting you on notice.
For 130 million girls without an education. For one billion women without access to a bank account. For 39,000 girls who became child brides today. For women everywhere paid less than a man for the same work.
There is nowhere on earth where women have the same opportunities as men, but the gender gap is wider for women living in poverty.
Poverty is sexist. And we won’t stand by while the poorest women are overlooked.
You have the power to deliver historic changes for women this year. From the G7 to the G20; from the African Union to your annual budgets; we will push you for commitments and hold you to account for them. And, if you deliver, we will be the first to champion your progress.
We won’t stop until there is justice for women and girls everywhere. Because none of us are equal until all of us are equal.
Thank you for putting your name to what you stand for.
The ONE Team

Qatar won’t be barred from Arab summit

Qatar will not be barred from an Arab summit in Riyadh later this month, but the standoff between Doha and a Saudi-led, four-nation alliance could last a “long time,” Saudi Arabia’s crown prince said. “We will not accept any resolutions to the crisis [with Qatar] outside an Arab or a Gulf framework, but that does not mean we will bar Qatar from attending the upcoming Arab summit,” said Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who flew to London Tuesday night at the end of a three-day visit to Egypt. The comments, made to Egyptian editors, were published Wednesday in the Al-Shorouk newspaper. He added the crisis with Qatar “could last for a long time,” comparing it to the US’s decades-long embargo on Cuba. Saudi Arabia sealed Qatar’s only land border last June, and the four nations have cut off air and sea access, forcing Qatar to divert flights over Iran and transit goods through other ports. The prince also described Iran, Turkey and militant groups as the “contemporary triangle of evil,” AP reported.

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