Sc to hear challenge to quota beyond 10-yr cap for SC/STs IN LS The SC will hear pleas questioning constitutional validity of extending reservation beyond the 10 years to SCs and STs in Lok Sabha and assemblies chennai l thursday l september 21, 2023 l `9.00 l PAGES 12 l vellore EDITION Hurdles in bill make it empty rhetoric: CM T M u r u g a n a n d h a m @ Chennai Chief Minister MK Stalin on Wednesday welcomed the women’s reservation bill but said instead of passing token bills, we must work towards g e nu i n e and meaningful change. “People are clever enough to see through the BJP’s empty rhetoric as the reservation would come into effect only after a delimitation exercise is carried out on the basis of a yet-to-be held census,” Stalin said in a nine-page statement issued on Wednesday . Stalin also sought assurance from Prime Minister Narendra Modi that southern states, particularly Tamil Nadu, would not see a reduction in the number of representatives elected to Lok Sabha under the delimitation exercise to be carried based on population. The union government must also not ignore the demands for representation for BC and OBC women in the bill, he said. Stalin said the delimitation process is a ‘Sword of Damocles’ hanging over the head of Tamil Nadu and south Indian states as it would reduce the number of representatives elected to Parliament from these states. This political conspiracy should be thwarted. The attempt to betray Tamil Nadu, a politically conscious state, should be nipped in the bud, the CM said. continued on p5 454-2: Women’s bill gets LS stamp, RS test today 60 participate in the eight-hour-long debate, 27 of them women The petitioner argued that grant of relentless and repeated extension to certain communities resulted in depriving the electorate of their right to choice in candidates and was violative of the right to equality The bench comprises Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud and justices A S Bopanna, M M Sundresh, J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra Diplomatic row Indians not safe in Canada, hate crimes rising: MEA Y e s h i S e l i @ New Delhi P r e e t h a N a i r @ New Delhi The Lok Sabha on Wednesday made history by passing the Women’s Reservation Bill by an overwhelming majority of 454 votes. Only two MPs voted against the bill that seeks to reserve one-third of seats for women in Parliament and all state assemblies. While supporting the bill, the Opposition made a strong pitch for extending the quota to the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) and the immediate implementation of the legislation in the upcoming 2024 elections. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was present during voting. “The proposal has been passed with more than twothirds majority of the members present in the House,” announced Speaker Om Birla after the vote. The bill will now go to the Rajya Sabha. Also, at least half of state assemblies have to ratify it to become law. The bill will come into force only after the delimitation exercise which will be preceded by the decadal Census. Several women Parliamentarians participated in the eight-hour-long debate, which saw spirited exchanges from both camps. Initiating the debate, Congress leader Sonia Gandhi made a strong pitch for caste census and bringing OBC women in the ambit of the law. She also urged the government to implement the quota immediately as any delay would be A five-judge Constitution bench set November 21 to start hearing the plea. The validity of the 104th amendment of the Constitution in 2019 shall be determined to the extent that it applies to the SCs and STs 5-judge bench Congress Parliamentary Party chairperson Sonia Gandhi participating in the debate on the Women’s Reservation Bill in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday | PTI It’s a big step. it’s is not a small step... There is one thing in my view that makes this bill incomplete. I would like to have seen the OBC reservation included in this bill For the first time, it has been acknowledged in the House that it was not one particular family that got the bill for reservation for women in local bodies, but the government of Narasimha Rao Rahul Gandhi, Congress leader Smriti Irani, Union minister “gross injustice” to women. Dispelling the concerns of the Opposition, Union home minister Amit Shah said the next government will conduct the Census and the delimitation exercise immediately after the elections and set in motion the process of reservation. Hinting that the bill will become a reality after 2029, Shah asserted that the BJP has given more representation to the OBCs than those claiming to speak for them. “Nearly 29% or 85 BJP MPs, 29 Union ministers, and 365 of its 1,358 MLAs, which is over 27%, are from the OBC category “ Shah said. , Several Opposition leaders including DMK’s Kanimozhi, TMC’s Mahua Moitra NCP’s Supriya Sule demanded the immediate rollout of the quota. On the demand for immediate implementation, Shah said it could lead to allegations of partiality He said that the mat. ter was best left to the delimitation commission, which would carry out the exercise with transparency. AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi was the only MP who opposed the bill. STEPPING up its diplomatic offensive against Canada, India on Wednesday issued an advisory to its citizens living there “to exercise utmost caution”. The strongly worded advisory came a day after India expelled a senior Canadian diplomat in a tit-for-tat move and rubbished that country’s PM Justin Trudeau’s charge that Indian agents killed Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar. “In view of growing anti-India activities and politically condoned hate crimes and criminal violence in Canada, all Indian nationals there and those contemplating travel are urged to exercise utmost caution,’’ read a statement by the Ministry of External Affairs. The advisory cautioned that there has been a rise in threats targeting the Indian community “Indian nationals are there. fore advised to avoid travelling to regions and potential venues in Canada that have seen such incidents,” it added. The diplomatic row, however, will not affect the military ties between the two countries. Canada’s Deputy Army Chief Major General Peter Scott will attend a defence conclave in Delhi next week, said an Indian Army officer. Meanwhile, pro-Khalistan groups will stage protests outside Indian diplomatic missions in Canada on September 25. CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOgGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI ■ ■ e x p r e ss r e a d TN forms V-C panel, omits guv’s UGC rep Chennai: Tamil Nadu government on Wednesday issued a gazette notification for formation of a three-member search committee for selecting the V-C of Madras University. A UGC representative named by Governor R N Ravi in his press notification issued on September 6 has been dropped from the committee | P2 Court rejects Balaji’s bail plea in ED case Chennai: A Chennai court on Wednesday dismissed the bail plea of minister V Senthil Balaji in a money laundering case filed by the ED, citing gravity of offence, overwhelming materials against him, and his political status | P2 OMG! Zero in NEET-PG entrance exam no bar for higher education seat K a v i ta b a j e l i d at t @ New Delhi THE Medical Counselling Committee on Wednesday said it has slashed the qualifying percentile for NEET-PG 2023 to zero across all categories. The decision was taken following a recommendation by the Union health ministry . So, now all those who appeared for NEET-PG entrance will be eligible to participate in counselling. The Federation of Resident Doctors’ Association said a large number of students will now fill up the seats, which otherwise went vacant. “Over the past years, we have witnessed a persistent challenge in the for m of vacant seats in medical institutions across the nation even after multiple rounds of counselling for NEET-PG,” according to the Federation of Resident Doctors’ Association. However, the move ignited fierce debate among the medical associations and practitioners. While some hailed it, others decried it, saying that it will bring down the quality of future doctors. Earlier, many medical associations had demanded that the cut-off be reduced to accommodate NEET-PG aspirants, as over 8,000 clinical and non-clinical seats in government and non-government colleges were vacant across the country .
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