To ease government transactions and improve transparency and efficiency, the Yogi Adityanath government has decided to implement the e-Kuber system of RBI to disburse government funds directly to the payee's bank account, in times of natural disasters like flood, drought, hailstorm, excess rain, lightning, etc.
Chief minister Yogi Adityanath has issued instructions to the Department of Revenue to implement the e-kuber portal at the earliest.
The system would also overcome payment delays and eliminate risk of paper vouchers being lost in transit.
The transfer of disaster relief amount is currently being done at the district level only.
Under the manual procedure, after getting notified of the details of the incident, the account of loss is recorded by the lekhpal , which is then sent to the district magistrate for payment of tax approved by a series of revenue officials after which the payment is made at the treasury.
The process involves unnecessary delays in providing relief to the victim because of the lengthy paperwork.
There is also lack of transparency as there is no method to keep a check on how many times the same person has received the fund.
Apart from this, the victims are even deprived of the right to file for a claim directly.
According to the government spokesman, the chief minister has emphasised on adopting the e-Kuber DBT system which is aimed at overcoming the shortcomings of the existing system and elimination of delays in transmission of funds to the actual beneficiaries.
In the first phase, all types of agricultural investment grants will be transferred online, while in the second phase, relief funds in cases of loss of life, property and livelihood because of natural disasters will also be transferred online.
The Revenue Department will be the first in the state to implement the e-Kuber system.
E-kuber will facilitate quick transfer of government aid in cases of floods, droughts, fire outbreaks, hailstorms, fog and cold waves, cloudbursts, earthquakes / tsunamis, cyclones, landslides, pest attacks, avalanche, unseasonal heavy rainfall, celestial lightning, thunderstorms, heat strokes, boat accidents, snakebite, sewer cleaning, gas leakage and in cases of wild animal attack.
The main features of the system are that the bill can be directly generated online by the department in half an hour through e-Kuber.
If the money is not transferred to the beneficiary's account due to any reason, the amount remains in the Treasury.
Failed transactions can be checked under the e-Kuber system.
A digital database of the relief recipients will be prepared for quick assistance monitoring from DBT to the beneficiary.
The Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) has rescued a 16-year-old girl from Channa Market in New Delhi's Karol Bagh area. The girl hails from Gumla district in Palkot block of Jharkhand.
The DCW took cognizance of a tweet and rescued her from a house in Channa Market on Thursday. This tweet was traced to a Twitter account in Jharkhand, tagging the Jharkhand and the Delhi Police.
The girl said: "She was sent to Delhi from her village on the pretext of getting work there". A fake Aadhaar card was made for her and she was tutored that if anyone asked her age, she should say it was 18 years."
The victim had been working at a house in Karol Bagh for the last four months and earlier she worked in another house for four months. The girl said that she wanted to return to her native place.
After rescuing the girl, the DCW team placed her in a shelter home following her appearance before the Child Welfare Committee. The DCW has also taken cognisance of how a fake Aadhaar card was made for the girl.
Swati Maliwal, DCW Chairperson, said, "Children from Jharkhand, Odisha and other states are brought to Delhi on a large scale by several job recruitment agencies. Girls from different states are brought to Delhi by luring them with good salaries and are kept in bad conditions without remuneration or meagre salaries and made to work in households."
With the killing of seven terrorists of Ansar Gazwat-ul-Hind (AGuH) in two different operations in Shopian and Pulwama districts of South Kashmir in the last 24 hours, the proscribed terrorist outfit has been wiped out in Kashmir, top police officials told IANS on Friday.
The encounter at Shopian started on Thursday evening and ended on Friday with the killing of five terrorists. Two terrorists, including the Chief of AGuH Imtiyaz Shah, were killed in a second operation at Tral in Pulwama district on Friday.
Police sources said both the operations at Shopian and Tral in South Kashmir are over now.
A large quantity of arms and ammunition, including seven AK rifles and two pistols have been recovered from the slain terrorists.
"Both the ongoing operations at Shopian and Tral are over. Five terrorists in first and two in second operation neutralised. Both the terrorist groups are from the same outfit.
"Seven AK and two pistols recovered.
"With these two encounters and elimination of seven terrorists the terrorist group AGH (Ansar Gazwat-ul-Hind) fully wiped out once again," Dilbag Singh, Director General of Police, J&K told IANS.
An Air India Express flight with 17 passengers and crew, which on Friday morning had left for Kuwait from the Kozhikode international airport, made an emergency landing after it was airborne for 30 minutes.
According to the airport authorities the flight departed at 8.35 a.m. and returned at 9.10 a.m.
The reason that has been given was that the flight was forced to return after a fire alarm in the cargo hold of the aircraft was sounded.
The flight was then asked to return. It landed safely and all the passengers and crew were safe.
The night curfew imposed in the national capital amid resurgence of Covid-19 is not only hampering the shops, restaurants and others rather it is adding on to the woes of the banquet hall operators as people have started postponing the weddings and cancelling the bookings. A lot of people are even asking the banquet hall operators to change the time of the bookings too.
A lot of weddings are scheduled during the end of April. People have even distributed the wedding cards and invited a limited number guests while some of them have even compromised on the wedding rituals.
Kamal Arora, owner of Hallmark Banquet Hall, told IANS: "A lot of businesses are directly related to the weddings. I have received almost 60 phone calls since morning. People who were coming from outstation to organise their weddings here are requesting to cancel them."
"People are in a panic situation due to uncertainty. The government should provide an e-pass to those who want to organise weddings or increase the time of the curfew from 10 p.m. to 12 midnight," he added.
He said that eight functions have been cancelled since the night curfew has been imposed. The wedding season is from April 22 to 30 only. People who had booked the banquet halls are now cancelling it and going to other states for the same.
Those who had planned their wedding in the capital are also cancelling the functions. Ankit Sachdeva, a resident of Agra, said: "I had planned my sister's wedding in Delhi. While we were planning the wedding, we didn't had any idea that night curfew will be imposed but now we have to change our plans."
"We had requested the banquet hall owner to change the timings for our function. So, now they have asked to organise the wedding between 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.," he added.
Saurav Chawla, owner of Orchid banquet hall, said: "I am unable to understand the logic behind the night curfew. How can it be possible that the virus spreads only after 10 p.m.? The problem is that how we will manage the weddings during the day. The government should work on some feasible solution regarding this."
Delhi's Community Welfare Banquet Association president Ramesh Dang said, "The night curfew has impacted the business of banquet halls. Almost 1,000 banquet halls in the capital will suffer the most because of this night curfew. We have even written to the LG and the Chief Minister urging them to keep the night curfew till April 22 only. We have also asked them to allow people go to their homes after seeing the wedding cards."
Maharashtra's Covid-19 deaths scaled a new high, crossing the 57,000 mark and while the number of new cases has dropped, the state's tally jumped by 1 lakh cases in just two days, health officials said on Thursday.
The state added 56,286 new patients, down from the peak of 59,907 on Wednesday, taking up the tally from 31,73,261 to 32,29,547 now.
Fatalities also shot up to 376 from 322 a day earlier, and the toll increased to 57,028.
The state recovery rate dropped again from 82.36 per cent on Wednesday to 82.05 per cent, while the death rate worsened from 1.79 per cent a day earlier to 1.77 per cent, and the number of active cases jumped up to 521,317.
The Covid situation overall continued to remain grim as a massive vaccine shortage loomed ahead with barely one and half days' stocks available, leading to a fresh 'vaccine war' between Maharashtra and the Centre.
The infections in Mumbai dropped from 10,442 a day earlier to 8,938, taking up the city tally to 491,980, while there were 25 deaths, increasing the toll to 11,881.
The Mumbai circle - comprising Mumbai, Thane, Palghar and Raigad districts - notched 16,574 new cases, a day after touching a new high of 19,952, taking up its total to 10,27,572 now, and deaths zooming up to 20,887.
Of the fatalities, Pune led the state with 46 deaths, while there were 36 in Nagpur, 32 in Hingoli, 28 in Palghar, 27 in Nashik, 26 in Nanded, 25 in Mumbai, 23 in Thane, 21 in Solapur, 15 in Ahmednagar, 12 in Satara, 10 each in Parbhani, and Osmanabad, eight deaths each in Dhule, Sangli, and Amravati, five each in Jalgaon and Akola, four each in Nandurbar, Ratnagiri, Aurangabad, and Beed, three each in Raigad and Latur, two each in Kolhapur, Buldhana, and Washim, and one in Chandrapur, besides two outsiders.
Meanwhile, the number of people sent to home isolation shot up to 27,02,613, while those shunted to institutional quarantine went up to 22,661.
Five persons were killed and four others were critically injured in an explosion in an illegal cracker factory in Bijnor district of Uttar Pradesh.
The incident took place on Thursday afternoon in Bakshiwala area in the house of one Yusuf, who was running a cracker unit in his house.
The explosion was so severe that a part of the house was completely destroyed and the bodies of five labourers were buried under the debris.
Sources said that the explosive material kept in the house caught fire which led to the explosion.
The four seriously injured persons have been admitted to the district hospital.
Senior police and civil officials have reached the spot and relief and rescue operations have begun.
According to reports, Yusuf would lock the house form outside while crackers were being manufactured inside.
The police have arrested Yusuf. Further details are awaited.
Owing to the rising cases of coronavirus, the Madhya Pradesh government has decided to put all urban areas under lockdown from 6 p.m. on Friday evening to 6 a.m. on Monday morning.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, talking to reporters on Thursday, said that he has reviewed the coronavirus situation in the state and has decided to place all urban areas under lockdown for two days from 6 p.m. on Friday evening to 6 a.m. on Monday morning. During this time, all the urban areas will be completely shut.
The lockdown has already been clamped in 13 districts of the state on Sundays. Now the government has decided to do a 60-hour lockdown in all urban areas starting Friday.
The state government a day earlier had announced a night curfew in all the cities of Madhya Pradesh. But after a record 4,043 corona cases were discovered on a single day on Wednesday, the government announced a Saturday-Sunday lockdown.
The chief minister has appealed to all to wear mask, maintain social distancing and wash hands regularly.
New Delhi, April 6 (IANS) In a major reshuffle at the Centre on Tuesday, senior IAS official Tarun Bajaj was appointed as new Secretary, Revenue, in the Finance Ministry, while Ajay Seth replaces him as Secretary, Economic Affairs.
Bajaj, a 1988-batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) official who had earlier served as Additional Secretary in Prime Minister's Office, was serving as Secretary, Economic Affairs since April 30, 2020, and had taken additional charge of Secretary, Revenue, after the superannuation of incumbent Ajay Bhushan Pandey.
Besides Bajaj, the Appointments Committee of the Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved appointments of seven other IAS officials in various ministries.
Six posts of Additional Secretaries were also temporarily upgraded to the Special Secretary level.
Additional Secretary, Home, Gyanesh Kumar, a 1988 batch officer, has been appointed as Secretary, Parliamentary Affairs upon superannuation of R.S. Shukla on April 30.
Ali Raza Rizvi, also of the 1988 batch, will take over as Secretary, Public Enterprises in the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises in place of Sailesh, who has become a Member, Public Enterprises Selection Board. Rizvi was Special Secretary and Financial Adviser, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
Indevar Pandey, a 1988-batch officer, has been appointed as Secretary, Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances, and Pensions and Pensioners Welfare upon superannuation of Kshatrapati Shivaji on March 31. He is presently Special Secretary, Development of North Eastern Region.
Special Secretary, Corporate Affairs, Anjali Bhawra, a 1988 batch officer, has been appointed as Secretary, Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, in the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment upon superannuation of Shakuntala D. Gamlin on March 31.
Managing Director, Solar Energy Corporation of India Ltd, Jatindra Nath Swain, a 1988 batch officer, has been appointed as Secretary, Fisheries, in the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying.
Special Secretary, Revenue, in the Finance Ministry, Anil Kumar Jha, a 1988 batch officer, has been appointed as Secretary, Tribal Affairs.
Anuradha Prasad, Pramod Kumar Pathak, Jivesh Nandan, Sanjay Kumar Singh, K. Rajeswara Rao and S. K. Dev Verman -- all Additional Secretaries in different Ministries -- have been promoted to Special Secretary rank.
The Maharashtra government has decided to move the Supreme Court challenging the Bombay High Court order of Monday directing a CBI probe into the allegations levelled against former Home Minster Anil Deshmukh.
"The state government will challenge the Bombay HC order before the Supreme Court," said newly-appointed Home Minister Dilip Walse-Patil, who took charge of sensitive ministry this afternoon.
Speaking to mediapersons, Walse-Patil also said that the state government will extend full cooperation to the Central Bureau of Investigations into its probe on the accusations levelled by former Mumbai Commissioner of Police Param Bir Singh.
As per the Bombay HC orders, the CBI will conduct a 'preliminary probe' into Singh's allegations against Deshmukh and submit its report within 15 days before deciding its future course of action.
Hours after the court verdict, Deshmukh quit from his post and is also contemplating challenging the same independently in the apex court.
Walse-Patil admitted that he had taken charge of the responsibility at a very difficult and challenging period in the state with several crises confronting the ruling 16-month-old Maha Vikas Aghadi government.
"The police force is working actively on the ground due to the Coronavirus pandemic… They have to maintain not only law and order but also help enforce the Covid restrictions. Besides, this month there are festivals like Gudi Padwa, Ram Navami, Mahavir Jayanti and the start of the Ramadan month," Walse-Patil observed.
The former Speaker of Maharashtra Assembly said that all have different expectations, but he would focus on the common man and appealed for the masses to have faith in the police force.
Ensuring to strive for a clean police administration bereft of any political interference, Walse-Patil said he would seek advice from the police top brass and retired top cops on how strengthen and modernise the police force.
Despite Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee complaining of 'blatant' misuse of Central forces, 31.71 per cent voters turned out to exercise their franchise till 12 noon during the third phase of Assembly elections in West Bengal on Tuesday.
As many as 78,564,74 voters in 31 Assembly constituencies spread across three districts -- South 24 Parganas, Hooghly and Howrah -- are out to cast their votes during the third phase on Tuesday.
According to election commission data, around 31.71 per cent polling was recorded in the first five hours of polling much on the lines of Phase 1 and Phase 2 polls held on March 27 and April 1, respectively.
Hooghly district, where eight constituencies are going for the poll recorded the highest turnout till 12 noon at 37.39 per cent, followed by Howrah district where 37.04 per cent polling was recorded in seven constituencies.
The 16 constituencies of South 24 Parganas recorded the lowest turnout at 34.71 percent till 12 noon.
Long queues of voters could be seen at most of the polling stations. So far, voting has been peaceful barring a few instances of allegations and counter allegations between the Trinamool and the BJP.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee complained of blatant misuse of Central forces in the third phase of polling.
"The blatant misuse of Central forces continues unabated. Despite us repeatedly raising this issue, @ECISVEEP continues to be a mute spectator while men in uniform are being misused at several places to openly intimidate TMC voters & influence many to vote in favour of one party," Banerjee posted on her official Twitter handle.
There were complaints of violence and voter intimidation both from the Trinamool and BJP camp. While the BJP leaders claimed that the mother of one of their supporters was killed by Trinamool 'goons' at Goghat in Hooghly on Monday night, the Trinamool on its part claimed that its candidate from Arambagh, Sujata Mondal, was chased by BJP 'goons' at Arandi 1 gram panchayat.
Mondal happens to be the wife of BJP leader Saumitra Khan and had joined the Trinamool recently. The ruling party also alleged that their candidate from Khanakul in Hooghly, Munshi Najbul Karim, was beaten up by BJP supporters. The party is likely to lodge a complaint with the EC on Tuesday afternoon.
Earlier on Tuesday morning, the Election Commission suspended a sector officer after three EVMs and four VVPAT machines were found at Trinamool leader Goutam Ghosh's residence. According to reports, sector officer Tapan Sarkar, who was in-charge of Sector 17 in the Uluberia seat, had spent the night at a relative's house who happened to be Goutam Ghosh. The EVMs and VVPAT machines with Sarkar were part of the reserve stock. The commission has said that these EVMs won't be used for voting on Tuesday.
A three-cornered battle between the Trinamool, the BJP and the COngress-Left combine is on the cards in the 31 Assembly seats where polling is underway on Tuesday.
The total number of voters in these constituencies is 78,564,74, including 4,049 service voters, 39,972,18 male electors and 38,590,13 female voters. There are a total of 10,871 polling stations, including 8,480 main and 2,391 auxiliary booths.
The number of 80 plus voters is 1,26,177 while 64,083 are PWDs (persons with disabilities) voters. A total of 243 voters belong to the third gender, while there are two overseas voters.
In total, 205 candidates, including 13 females, from different political parties are in the fray in the third phase of polling. Prominent candidates among them are BJP leader Swapan Dasgupta, Trinamool minister Ashima Patra and CPI(M) leader Kanti Ganguly.
Marking all the 10,871 booths as 'sensitive', the Election Commission of India (ECI) has deployed 618 companies of Central forces for the third phase of polling besides retaining another 89 companies of Central forces from the second phase, which are already stationed in South 24 Parganas, pushing up the number of forces to 707 companies - the highest deployment in the ongoing Assembly elections so far.