vijayawada l friday l september 22, 2023 l `9.00 l PAGES 12 l late city EDITION Aadhaar not mandatory for electoral roll authentication The Election Commission told the Supreme Court that it is not mandatory to provide Aadhaar number for electoral roll authentication ECi promises to make clarificatory changes not must even for E.W.S. Admissions: HC Rule 26B of the Registration of Electors (Amendment) Rules 2022, notified last year, said “every person whose name is listed in the roll may intimate his Aadhaar number to the registration officer in Form 6B”. Lawyers for the poll panel argued that providing Aadhaar number was not mandatory under Rule 26B, and it will make clarificatory changes in Forms 6 and 6B ■ ■ Meanwhile, the Delhi High Court ruled that Aadhaar number is not mandatory for admission to a private unaided recognised school under any of the categories of economically weaker section (EWS) The court upheld an order by a single-judge bench staying the Delhi government’s decision to make Aadhaar must for EWS admissions 66.2 crore Aadhaar numbers already uploaded for finalising electoral rolls: ECI 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 Canada loses Indian visa power Spl ACB court skill scam It’s safe haven for terrorists, says MEA; Ottawa told to downsize its diplomatic headcount Y e s h i Se l i @ New Delhi Prime Minister Narendra Modi replying to the debate on the women’s bill in the RS Historic 214-0 RS women’s bill vote came down heavily on the government, wondering why it took nine-and-a-half years to History was made in the Ra- introduce the bill despite promjya Sabha on Thursday with all ising it in the BJP’s election 214 members present in the manifesto in 2014. She also House voting in favour of the faulted the ruling BJP for not Women’s Reservation Bill after inviting President Droupadi a 11-hour debate. There was no Murmu to the inauguration of vote against it, nor was there the new Parliament building. any abstention. The bill reCongress president Mallikarserves 33% seats for women in jun Kharge, in his address, dethe Lok Sabha and state manded that the legislation be assemblies. made effective immeExpressing his grat- Sibal point diately instead putting itude, Prime Minister it off till the Census “We don’t know Narendra Modi in his and delimitation exerintervention said it who will come to cises are completed. power, but they will create a new conBJP president J P must make a fidence among the Nadda attacked the people. All members statement that if Congress for demandthey don’t of all parties played a ing an OBC quota complete the significant role in emwithin the reservaprocess by 2029 powering women and tion for women lawthey will resign enhancing nari shakmakers. Sharply critias PM and HM,” ti, the PM observed. cising Congress leader Kapil Sibal said He urged the memRahul Gandhi obserbers to vote for the bill vation that there were collectively thus sending a new only three OBC secretaries at , message to all the women. the Centre, Nadda Nadda said In all, 72 members participat- OBC reservation in services ed in the debate. Some from the was implemented only after a Opposition called it a post-dat- Supreme Court order in 1992. ed cheque, while others panned “Can he tell us as to how many it as an election gimmick aimed OBC secretaries were there beat electoral gain in the 2024 Lok tween 2004 and 2014? The ConSabha polls. The Opposition gress has always been antialso sought the carving out of OBC,” Nadda alleged. an OBC quota within the Nari Union finance minister NirShakti Vandan Adhiniyam. mala Sitharaman said the BJP Initiating the discussion, does not play politics in matCongress MP Ranjita Ranjan ters related to women. RAJ E SH KU M AR THAKUR @ New Delhi Bilateral tensions escalated further on Thursday as India ordered suspension of 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 of Khalistani separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in June on its soil, which triggered the stand- 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 off. 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 stormy session on day 1, 15 TDP & two rebel YSRC MLAs suspended E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Vijayawada Pandemonium prevailed on the first day of the Andhra Pradesh State Assembly session on Thursday as the Opposition TDP leaders demanded a discussion on the adjournment motion seeking immediate release of party chief N Chandrababu Naidu. As many as 15 TDP and two rebel YSRC MLAs were suspended for storming into the Well of the House and climbing into the Speaker’s Podium. The former chief minister was arrested on September 9 for his alleged role in the Andhra Pradesh State Skill Development Corporation (APSSDC) scam. As soon as proceedings in the House commenced, TDP leaders denounced Naidu’s arrest, tore papers and hurled them on the Speaker. In no time, a war of words erupted between the ruling and Opposition parties amid heavy sloganeering. The YSRC MLAs took strong exception to TDP MLA Nandamuri Balakrishna twirling his moustache. Retorting to the gesture, Water Resources Minister Ambati Rambabu advised the filmstar to limit such acts to his movies. P4 RBI mulls lowering wilful defaulter limit to `25 lakh TDP MLAs protesting against Naidu’s arrest in the Well of the House | Express In an unprecedented manner, they threw papers on the Speaker after rushing into the podium. A legislator, who was with YSRC earlier, attempted to damage the computer panel on the Speaker’s desk Today is a black day in the history of the State Assembly. TDP MLAs were suspended from the House because the YSRC leaders do not want the people to know the facts (about the APSSDC case) Ch Venu Gopala Krishna, YSRC leader TDP legislators We are ready to discuss the Adjournment Motion at length, but the Opposition has to present its demand in a proper manner. Not just the skill development corporation issue, we will discuss several issues Buggana Rajendranath Reddy, Legislative Affairs Minister express read Lokesh fears of Naidu’s safety in central prison Rajamahendravaram: Following the death of a prisoner, remanded in Rajahmundry Central Prison, due to dengue while being treated in a hospital, TDP general secretary Lokesh expressed fear that his father Naidu was kept in unsafe environs | P4 D i pa k M o nd a l @ New Delhi The Reserve Bank of India on Thursday issued revised draft norms for banks and financial institutions to deal with wilful defaulters. According to the RBI proposal, banks have to examine large accounts to see if borrowers are sitting on cash and not repaying. RBI suggests that lenders identify wilful defaulters within six months of the loan turning bad. RBI identifies any borrower who has defaulted `25 lakh or more despite having the capacity to repay as a wilful defaulter. Under the proposed norms, if the borrower has 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 commitment given to the lender to infuse equity. The same fate awaits guarantors who fail to honour their guarantee.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 draft norms have bigger scope and are applicable to lenders, asset reconstruction companies, and credit information companies. Once a person is identified as a wilful defaulter, criminal action will follow. Pak general elections to be held in Jan ’24 Islamabad: Pakistan’s election commission on Thursday announced that the general elections in the country will take place in the last week of January 2024, amid mounting pressure from political parties that pressed for timely elections | P9 celestial ride Lord Malayappa Swamy, along with His consorts Sridevi and Bhudevi, blessed the devotees from the Kalpavruksha Vahanam in the morning and Sarvabhupala Vahanam in the evening on day four of the Srivari Brahmotsavams in Tirumala | Express | P3 g l o b a l b o d y ’ s a cc r e d i t a t i o n Indian med graduates can now practise abroad K a v i ta B a j e l i d at t @ New Delhi Medical graduates from India will now be able to practise 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.” 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 give orders on APCID’s plea today E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Vijayawada The Special ACB court in Vijayawada on Thursday deferred its orders in Andhra Pradesh Crime Investigation Department’s (APCID) plea seeking five-day custody of TDP supremo N Chandrababu Naidu to question him in the AP State Skill Development Corporation (APSSDC) case to Friday . ACB court judge BSV Himabindu heard the arguments on Wednesday and reserved orders for Thursday. She postponed the matter to Friday taking into consideration that the quash petition filed by Naidu was pending before the High Court. The orders are likely to be given at 10.30 am. The 73-year-old was arrested for his alleged role in the `371-crore APSSDC scam and was sent to 14-day judicial remand on September 10. He is currently lodged at the Rajahmundry Central Jail. While the investigation agency has sought for Naidu’s custody to further probe into the money transactions related to the case, the latter approached the high court seeking that the case against him be quashed. Before concluding the session on Thursday judge Himab, indu said she will pronounce the orders based on the HC’s decision on the quash petition. “The orders will be pronounced, if the quash petition comes to listing before the High court, on Friday. Arguments over the quash petition have been completed and judge K Sreenivasa Reddy reserved his judgement to September 19,” P4 said Naidu’s advocates. Low household savings due to high consumer spending, says FinMin E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ 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 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 sharp rise in additional financial liabilities, which grew 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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