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On Tuesday a government-issued press release announced that a committee headed by veteran filmmaker Shyam Benegal had submitted its report recommending a number of amendments to the Cinematograph Act, 1952. This set of reforms, long overdue, is expected to lay down a "holistic framework" for the certification of films.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government are pushing for a master app which will have all the government services integrated. The project or the app is called UMANG (Unified Mobile App for New-age Governance), and will integrate almost 200 government services such as passport services, land records, income tax, e-Post and Women's safety, among others.
Some JNU professors have released a report describing the university as a ‘den of organised sex racket’. The 200-page dossier, prepared in 2015 by eleven teachers, was recently released to a few journalists. The document, titled Jawaharlal Nehru University: The Den of Secessionism and Terrorism, talks about how a few teachers encourage a decadent culture in JNU and are legitimising separatist movements in India.
With one of the worst droughts to have hit India in decades, farmers from regions of Marathwada and Vidarbha, are being driven to cities in hordes in search of work. Now, the Mumbai municipal corporation has come up with a new scheme, where the farmers and their families can earn livelihood by cleaning sewage water pipes and nullahs in the cities.
At the centre of the row over the AgustaWestland deal, Ahmed Patel, political secretary to the Congress chief Sonia Gandhi asked the public to hang him if he was found guilty. Allegedly the initials 'AP' appear in bribe notes from middlemen that were linked to corruption in a deal where the government bought 12 helicopters for ₹3,600 crores from manufacturer AgustaWestland, whose parent company is Italian.
The Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that the President's Rule will continue in Uttarakhand for now. There will be no trial of strength on the floor of the Assembly on 29 April either.
From the current session of 2016-17, the Supreme Court has insisted that multiple tests should be discarded and one common eligibility test for entrance to medical colleges should be implemented across the country. The National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET) for the current (2016-17) session itself. The court has directed the Centre, MCI and CBSE to sit together and frame a time-schedule for conducting NEET and submit it by Thursday. The SC is also set to hear a plea submitted in the matter.
Off The Front Page
After the hullabaloo over the launch of the 'cheapest smartphone in the world' Freedom 251, now Jaipur-based Docoss has announced an Android-powered smartphone called Docoss X1 priced at ₹888. The company has just setup a website and is taking pre-orders for the smartphone with a promised delivery date of 2 May and is also providing a cash-on-delivery facility.
Barring top business schools such as the IIMs, most business schools in India are producing sub-par graduates who are largely unemployable, a new report has pointed out. Most getting jobs worth less than ₹10,000 per month, the report stated that only seven per cent of MBA graduates get decent employment straight after completing their course.
The NDA government is planning to set up a sex offenders registry in the country similar to the ones maintained in countries such as the US and the UK. Reportedly, details of sexual offenders even below 18 years of age would be included in the database, which will be put up on the website of National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).
Will Nitish Kumar challenge Narendra Modi in 2019, because an alliance led by him can tap into caste agitations and youth unrest, says an opinion piece in Mint. "His biggest challenge will be cultivating an anti-BJP alliance while managing the contradictions within and suppressing individual leadership ambitions. Channelling the energy from university campuses and the disillusionment of caste movements to reap electoral dividends nationally is no mean deal either," says the article.
Underlying all the tension between the BJP and the Shiv Sena is the fundamental cultural difference between the two parties, writes Sidharth Bhatia in Hindustan Times. "While they both flaunt their Hindutva and nationalist credentials, the BJP in the state has always been perceived as a party of Brahmins and traders. In Mumbai, this also translates as Gujaratis and Marwaris, who control finance and trade. The Sena appeals to the Marathi manoos, which is composed of the working class and the rising middle-classes. The BJP is making a serious bid to encroach on that territory, promising economic growth and jobs; this could entice the Marathi youth," he writes.
The Centre is reported to be in favour of moving a bill requiring doctors to prescribe generic medicines in place of costly, branded ones, says an editorial in The Hindu. A recent assessment of India’s expenditure on health showed that out-of-pocket spending comprises 58 per cent of the total; two-thirds of this is on drugs. What makes the situation difficult even for relatively better-off patients who can afford commercial health insurance is that risk cover is generally confined to part payment of hospitalisation bills, but not prescription medicines. The poor are impoverished further by drug costs. It is vital, therefore, that governments act on multiple fronts — making listed essential medicines available free or nearly free to all in hospitals through higher public spending, widening access to generics, and closely monitoring professional practice to eliminate prescription of irrational, non-essential drugs that have no curative effect," it says.
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