friDAY 22 september, 2023 epaper.morningstandard.in facebook.com/TheMorningStandard twitter.com/TheMornStandard pa k i s ta n Aadhaar not mandatory for electoral roll authentication elections to be held in Jan 2024 Final list for the delimitation of seats will be issued on Nov 30, followed by poll schedule Page 9 The Election Commission told the Supreme Court that it is not mandatory to provide Aadhaar number for electoral roll authentication A CAPITAL VIEW OF NEWS l New Delhi l J8.00 l PAGES 12 66.2 crore Aadhaar numbers already uploaded for finalising electoral rolls: EC | P7 Canada loses Indian visa power It’s safe haven for terrorists, says MEA; Ottawa told to downsize its diplomatic headcount Y e s h i S e l i @ New Delhi Prime Minister Narendra Modi replying to the debate on the women’s bill in the RS Staggering 214-0 for women’s bill ernment, wondering why it took nine-and-a-half years to introduce the bill despite promHistory was made in the Ra- ising it in the BJP’s election jya Sabha on Thursday with all manifesto in 2014. She also 214 members present in the faulted the ruling BJP for not House voting in favour of the inviting President Droupadi Women’s Reservation Bill after Murmu to the inauguration of a 11-hour debate. There was no the new Parliament building. vote against it nor was there Congress president Mallikarany abstention. jun Kharge, in his address, deExpressing his gratitude, manded that the legislation be Prime Minister Narendra Modi made effective immediately inin his reply to the bill stead putting it off till said it will create a Sibal point the Census and delimnew confidence itation exercises are “We don’t know among the people. All completed. members of all par- who will come to BJP president J P power, but they ties played a signifiNadda attacked the must make a cant role in empowerCongress for demandi n g w o m e n a n d statement that if ing an OBC quota they don’t enhancing nari shakwithin the reservacomplete the ti, the PM observed. tion for women lawprocess by 2029 He urged the memmakers. Sharply critithey will resign bers to vote for the bill cising Congress leader as PM and HM,” collectively thus send, Rahul Gandhi obserKapil Sibal said ing a new message to vation that there were all the women. only three OBC secreIn all, 72 members participat- taries at the Centre, Nadda ed in the discussions. Some Nadda said OBC reservation in from the Opposition called it a services was implemented only post-dated cheque, while others after a Supreme Court order in panned it as an election gim- 1992. “Can he tell us as to how mick aimed at electoral gain in many OBC secretaries were the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. The there between 2004 and 2014? Opposition also sought the The Congress has always been carving out of an OBC quota anti-OBC,” Nadda alleged. within the Nari Shakti Vandan In her intervention, Union Adhiniyam. finance minister Nirmala SithInitiating the discussion, araman said the BJP does not Congress MP Ranjita Ranjan play politics in matters related came down heavily on the gov- to women. P7 R A JESH KUM A R TH A KUR @ New Delhi SC upholds Cauvery board’s 5k cusecs fiat, bins TN’s plea s h r u t i k a k k a r @ New Delhi The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to interfere with the orders of the Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA) and the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee (CWRC) directing Karnataka government to release 5,000 cusecs of water per day to Tamil Nadu for 15 days. A bench of Justices BR Gavai, PS Narasimha and PK Mishra, which considered the Tamil Nadu government’s plea to direct Karnataka to release 24,000 cusecs of water per day, took note of the fact that both CWMA and its technical committee CWRC were holding meetings once every 15 days to assess the situation and said the factors taken into consideration by the panels while issuing the directions were not “extraneous.” “Both CWRC and CWMA have experts from India Meteorological Department, water resource management, and agriculture. After taking several factors into consideration, both the authorities have directed Karnataka to release 5,000 cusecs of water to be realised by Tamil Nadu at Biligundulu. We are not the competent authority We have told you . earlier too. There is CWMA. We sitting in court 4 of the Supreme Court cannot ascertain how much water each state needs,” Justice BR Gavai said. Bilateral tensions escalated further on Thursday as India ordered suspension all visa services to Canadian citizens and asked the Canadian High Commission in India to downsize their staff to bring parity with Indian diplomats. India went on to describe Canada as a safe haven for terrorists, with Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi revealing that extradition of 20-25 individuals had been sought based on their antecedents but there was no response to the demand. The foreign office also said Canada did not share any specific information on the killing Khalistani separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in June on its soil, which triggered the stand-off. wanted criminal killed in Winnipeg Gangster Sukhdul Singh Gangster Sukhdul Singh a.k.a Sukha Duneke, a wanted criminal in Punjab, was killed in the Canadian city of Winnipeg by unidentified people, in what is believed to be due to inter-gang rivalry. He had 18 cases against him, including that of murder It added that there was a degree of prejudice in Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s allegations on Indian role in Nijjar’s murder. As for the visa suspension, Bagchi said, “Our diplomatic staff in the High Commission and Consulates in Canada are working under threats and in that situation it would not be viable to continue issuing visas. Therefore, we have decided not to provide visa services for the time being. Canadian citizens from third countries too cannot apply for visas.’’ India expects Canada to downsize its staff at its High Commission and Consulates. “We need diplomatic parity. Their numbers are higher here than ours in Canada. Canadian diplomats also interfere in our domestic affairs,’’ said Bagchi. Giving it a different spin, the on a different platform Rahul Gandhi on Thursday reached out to porters and autodrivers at Anand Vihar Railway Station in a surprise visit in the morning. The former Congress chief also wore the red uniform and a badge they gave him and carried a suitcase on his head as he walked along with them. In a video that surfaced online, porters were seen surrounding the Wayanad MP as they placed a trolley bag on his head. “I had this desire in my mind for a long time, and they had also called me very lovingly — and the wish of the hard-working brothers of India should be fulfilled at any cost,” Rahul wrote on Instagram. Full Report Page 4 RBI wants to lower wilful defaulter threshold to `25 lakh, expand scope D i pa k M o n da l @ New Delhi The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Thursday issued revised draft norms for banks and financial institutions to deal with wilful defaulters. According to the guidelines, banks have to examine large accounts to see if borrowers are sitting on cash and not repaying. Any borrower who has defaulted `25 lakh or more despite having the capacity to repay will have to be identified as , wilful defaulter. If the borrower has diverted or siphoned off funds, or sold assets given as security for loan, the wilful defaulter tag will be slapped. The tag will also apply if a borrower has failed to honour the com- mitment given to the lender to infuse equity. The same fate awaits guarantors who don’t honour their guarantee despite having the means to do so. RBI has proposed a separate category of defaulters with outstanding above `1 crore. Earlier, the guidelines on wilful defaulters were meant for scheduled commercial banks and financial institutions. The revised norms have bigger scope and are applicable to lenders (banks, NBFCs), asset reconstruction companies, and credit infor mation companies. Once a person or entity is identified as a wilful defaulter, criminal action will follow. These are draft norms, open to feedback from stakeholders. RBI will accept suggestions till October 31 after which it will release final norms based on the feedback received. Central bank proposes separate category Any borrower who has defaulted `25 lakh or more despite having the capacity to repay, will be identified as wilful defaulter. RBI has proposed a separate category of defaulters with outstanding above `1 crore. Express read ISRO to revive Pragyaan, Vikram on September 22 ISRO scientists are confident of “waking up” Chandrayaan-3’s rover Pragyaan and lander Vikran on Friday, after being put in a “sleep mode” on September 2 and 4, respectively, to survive the 14-day-long lunar night. Pragyaan and Vikram have been exposed to extreme cold temperatures through at Shiv Shakti Point. P5 Counsellor access to baby Ariha granted Baby Ariha who has been in foster care since September 2021 was introduced to her rituals after the German government granted counsellor access to the Indian embassy. “German authorities granted counsellor access to baby Ariha on August 31,” said MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi. global body’s accreditation Indian med graduates can now practice abroad Kav i ta B a j e l i dat t @ New Delhi Medical graduates from India will now be able to practice and pursue post-graduate studies abroad as the National Medical Commission, India’s top regulatory body for medical education and professionals, said it has received the coveted World Federation for Medical Education (WFME) Recognition Status for 10 years. “The National Medical Commission (NMC) has achieved the remarkable feat of being granted the coveted World Federation for Medical Education Recognition Status for a re- Canadian High Commission in Delhi said it will temporarily adjust its staff presence to ensure safety of its diplomats. “With some diplomats receiving threats on various social media platforms, Global Affairs Canada is assessing its staff complement in India,” the High Commission said. For his part, Trudeau said in New York — on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly — that he had a direct and frank conversation with his counterpart Narendra Modi in Delhi, in which he shared his concerns. “We call upon India to work with us with full transparency for accountability and justice. We are a country of the rule of law. We are going to continue to do the work necessary to keep Canadians safe and to uphold our values.” P7 markable tenure of 10 years,” the Union health ministry said in a statement. All 706 existing medical colleges in India will become WFME-accredited. Medical colleges that will be set up over the next 10 years will also receive WFME accreditation. Medical graduates from India can now practice or pursue postgraduation in countries like the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, the health ministry statement said. “With NMC being WFME accredited, all the Indian medical students will become eligible to apply for the Education Commission on Foreign Medical Education (ECFMG) and United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE). The recognition will further enhance the quality and standards of medical education in India by aligning them with the global best practices and benchmarks,” the ministry said. It will also facilitate academic collaborations and exchange, the statement said. “WFME’s recognition underscores that the quality of medi- cal education in India adheres to global standards. This accolade empowers our students with the opportunity to pursue their careers anywhere in the world,” Dr Yogender Malik, member of the Ethics and Medical Registration Board and head of media at NMC, said. The WFME is a global organisation dedicated to enhancing the quality of medical education worldwide. Its accreditation programme plays a pivotal role in ensuring that medical institutes meet and uphold the highest international standards of education and training. to get stipend HC restores contracts of fellows, AAP hits out at L-G A n u p V e r m a @ New Delhi The Delhi High Court on Thursday directed that the services of professionals engaged as fellows with the Delhi Assembly Research Centre, whose contracts were terminated by the assembly secretariat, will continue in their position until December 6 and stipends would be paid to them. The court sought the stand of the Delhi assembly secretariat as well as services, and finance departments on a petition by 17 such fellows assailing the termination of their contracts. The court instructed the Delhi Assembly Secretariat, Services, and Finance Department to take a stand within two weeks on the fellow’s petition. The ruling AAP was quick to hit out at L-G Vinai Kumar Saxena for ordering the removal of the research fellows, asserting that Delhi would be run by those who adhere to law and the Constitution, not by those who misuse their power. The party accused the Lt -Governor of “illegally” expelling fellows of the Delhi Assembly It accused the L-G of arbi. trarily misusing his powers. The contracts of the research fellows were terminated on July 5, as per the L-G orders. Seventeen fellows had moved the Delhi High Court, which on Thursday ordered that these fellows will continue in their professional roles. “The L-G has no authority to remove employees. The L-G looks for new ways every day to cripple the Delhi government, causing inconvenience to the people,” AAP said. Low household savings due to high consumer spending, says FinMin Express News Service @ New Delhi The government has refuted claims of distress after a recent RBI data showed the net household financial savings have fallen to a 50-year low of 5.1% in 2022-23. In a clarification issued on Thursday, the finance ministry said the fall in household savings is because of higher borrowings for purchase of real estate and vehicles. “Changing consumer preference for different financial products is the real reason for fall in household savings and that there is no distress as is being circulated in some circles,” read a statement. The ministry added that the concern over the drop in net household savings is unwarranted as the figures cited are ‘flow’ numbers (or net additions in FY23), and that the overall household savings remain almost static. In the clarification, the ministry said households added net financial assets of `22.8 lakh crore in FY21, nearly `17 lakh crore in FY22, and `13.8 lakh crore in FY23. “So, they added less financial assets to their portfolio than in the previous year and the year before, but it is important to note that their overall net financial assets are still growing,” it said. The drop in net financial assets (net financial savings of households) in FY23 is due to a sharp rise in additional financial liabilities, which grew Net household savings at 5.1% Net household savings declined to a 47-year low of 5.1% of gross domestic product in FY23 as compared to 7.2% recorded in the previous year, as per the data released by the Reserve Bank in its latest monthly bulletin from `5.9 lakh crore in FY22 to `15.8 lakh crore in FY23. “They added financial assets by a lesser magnitude than in the previous years because they have now started taking loans to buy real assets such as homes,” it added. Financial liabilities have been incurred to buy real assets. “Vehicle loans have been growing at double digits since April 2022 and more than 20% (yoy) since September 2022. The household sector is not in distress,” it said.
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