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Centre, Assam move SC for sample re-verification of NRC

Seek 20% recount in border districts, extension of July 31 deadline for final list

More time sought: The Centre and the State said the exercise should be done by Class I officers. REUTERSREUTERS

The Centre and the State of Assam on Tuesday made an urgent mention before the Chief Justice of India for an extension of the deadline for the final publication of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) from July 31, 2019, to a “future date”.

In identical but separate applications, they urged the Supreme Court for more time to conduct a “sample re-verification process” of the names included in the draft NRC published on July 30, 2018.

They said a 20% sample re-verification of the names should be conducted in districts bordering Bangladesh and a 10% sample re-verification in the remaining districts.

The Assam government, represented by advocate Shuvodeep Roy, said the 20% sample re-verification should target border districts where illegal migration from Bangladesh was higher and where population growth had been reported higher than the State’s average, as per census reports.

Don’t try to lay down the limits of our jurisdiction: SC

Court to rule on plea against Karnataka Speaker today

Turmoil in House: BJP members staging a protest in the Legislative Council in Bengaluru on Tuesday. K. MURALI KUMARThe Hindu

The Supreme Court on Tuesday took a swipe at the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) combine in Karnataka for questioning its power to give directions to the Speaker after welcoming the court’s intervention last year.

“When our order is in your favour, you do not complain… Remember, there is no rule on the extent of powers of this court. To try to trap the parameters of the Supreme Court within inflexible limits is totally abhorrent to the Constitution,” Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi told senior advocates A.M. Singhvi and Rajeev Dhavan, appearing for Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar and Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy. The observation came when they questioned the court’s power to give directions to Mr. Ramesh Kumar.

The court reserved for judgment pleas filed by rebel MLAs against the Speaker’s “delay” in accepting their resignation. It announced that it would pronounce its order at 10.30 a.m. on Wednesday.

Relief for airlines as Pakistan opens its airspace after 6 months

In a massive relief for air travellers and airlines, Pakistan reopened its airspace for all flights early on Tuesday after a gap of six months since the IAF launched strikes in Balakot. Hours after the announcement, an Air India flight from San Francisco to Delhi became the first Indian aircraft to fly over the neighbouring country and reach the destination 90 minutes early.

The curb meant airlines had to take a longer route to their destinations and burn more fuel, stop midway for refuelling and roster more pilots and cabin crew as their duty hours are regulated.

An increase in fuel expenses, which constitute 40% of an airline’s operational costs, resulted in an increase in fares and, in some cases, cancellation of flights.

“Pakistan has cancelled the NOTAM [notice to airmen] for its airspace with effect from 0038 IST, the consequential NOTAMS by India also cancelled. Airlines likely to resume normal routes through Pakistan airspace,” an official of the Ministry of Civil Aviation said.

The move will benefit Indian carriers as well as the airlines that enter or exit Pakistan from its eastern border with India, such as South East Asian airlines, as Pakistan had lifted its curbs on most other airlines.

Rajasthan to bring law against mob lynching

Bill likely to be tabled in ongoing session

The Congress government in Rajasthan has decided to bring a law to curb mob lynching and honour killing. A Bill on the subject is likely to be introduced in the ongoing budget session of the State Assembly.

Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot made the announcement while replying to the debate on the State budget on Tuesday. He expressed concern over the rising incidents of mobs targeting individuals on suspicion of crime and killing them.

The latest incident occurred in Rajsamand district on July 13, when a police head constable investigating a land dispute case in Padmela village was allegedly beaten to death by a mob.

Recently, the Uttar Pradesh Law Commission framed a draft legislation to combat mob lynching. The Congress-led Madhya Pradesh government is also planning a similar law.

In July last year, the Supreme Court had urged Parliament to consider enacting a new law to tackle incidents of lynching.

(With PTI inputs)

Schools turn nutrition gardens in Mizoram district

Self-sufficiency in fruits, vegetables helps them nourish children when the villages remain cut off in monsoon

New idea: The first phase of the programme to create edible gardens has been launched in 213 schools and anganwadis.

It takes a powerful SUV almost nine hours on non-rainy days to cover 296 km from Mizoram capital Aizawl southward to Lawngtlai, headquarters of the State’s remotest district Lawngtlai bordering Bangladesh and Myanmar.

Loaded commercial vehicles take much longer, and those carrying perishables mainly from Assam’s Silchar, 180 km north of Aizawl, take ages. By the time the pick-up or mini-trucks reach Lawngtlai, the fruits and vegetables are usually not fit to be consumed and the best of the lot are too expensive for many to buy.

This was what Shashanka Ala noted when she was posted as the Deputy Commissioner of Lawngtlai, Mizoram’s most backward and disaster-prone district where a fourth of some 170 villages remain cut off during the monsoon. It didn’t take her long to relate the shortage of quality fruits and vegetables with the deficiencies in the district’s children belonging mostly to the Chakma and Lai ethnic minorities.

Lawngtlai has 35.3% stunted, 21.3% underweight and 5.9% severely wasted (low weight-for-height) children under 5 — highest on all counts in Mizoram.

Ms. Ala and her team designed a remedy: Kan Sikul, Kan Huan. In the Mizo language, it means ‘My School, My Farm’.

“Vegetables and fruits available in Lawngtlai town are costly. But the townspeople at least get them unlike the villages where transporting perishables is unthinkable. So we thought of involving school children, their parents and teachers to create a nutrition garden in each school,” Ms. Ala told The Hindu.

The first phase of the programme covering 213 schools, Anganwadi centres and childcare institutes was launched a few days ago. Another 188 would be added in the second phase while the third phase focussing on livestock and poultry farming would cover all 776 schools and centres to benefit 15,042 children.

“The aim is to make every school, Anganwadi, child care institution and hostel in Lawngtlai self-sufficient in the local variety of fruits and vegetables by March 2020. This is to reduce malnutrition and stuntedness among children,” Ms. Ala said.

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