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IAF releases details on Agnipath recruitment scheme: Key points | India News


NEW DELHI: As protests against the Centre’s Agnipath scheme entered its fifth day on Sunday, the Union defence minister and held a meeting with the tri-service chiefs, while the Indian Air Force released details on the recruitment model.
Here’s a look at the top developments of the day
IAF releases details on Agnipath scheme
The Indian Air Force (IAF) on Sunday released the details of the Agnipath recruitment scheme amid the ongoing agitation and widespread protests against the scheme across several states.
The process for the recruitment will begin from June 24. The IAF document lists the eligibility, educational qualification, medical standards, assessment, leave, remuneration, life insurance cover, etc., among many other factors. As the recruitment process is also open to those below 18 years, the enrolment form will need to be signed by the parents for those aspirants who are below 18 years of age, the IAF notification said.

“Post the period of four years, each Agniveer will go back to the society, based on organisational requirements and policies promulgated by the IAF,” the document said, explaining the benefits which the government will provide to the 75 per cent who will not be retained.
Priyanka, other party leaders take part in protest
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and other party leaders on Sunday took part in a protest against the Agnipath scheme.
Rajnath Singh holds meet
As protests against the Centre’s Agnipath scheme continue in several parts of the country, defence minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday held a meeting at his residence.
The tri-service chiefs were expected to attend the meeting and discuss the rollout of the scheme and ways to pacify agitators. This is the second such meeting called by Singh in two days.
Additional Secretary Lt General Puri to address presser
Department of Military Affairs Additional Secretary Lt General Anil Puri will address a press conference in South Block on Sunday on the new model of recruitment scheme, at around 2pm, the government said.

‘Is this MGNREGA-like step for educated youth or hidden agenda of RSS?’
RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav on Sunday said there were many doubts about the scheme in the minds of the youth and demanded that it be withdrawn.
He asked whether this was a MGNREGA-like initiative for the educated youth or there was a “hidden agenda” of the RSS in it. Yadav also appealed to the youth to protest peacefully against the scheme.
Why is Prime Minister Narendra Modi silent on the whole issue, he asked. He said the government talked about ‘one rank, one pension’, but has come up with a scheme of “no rank, no pension”.
The former deputy chief minister of Bihar posed 20 questions to the government, asserting that there were many doubts in the minds of the people which should be cleared by the government.
“Protests are taking place in many parts of the country and there is anger among those who want to become soldiers,” he said. Yadav demanded that the scheme be withdrawn.
Rahul asks party workers not to celebrate his birthday
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who turned 53 on Sunday, has asked his supporters to refrain from celebrating his birthday as youth are sad. The appeal comes in backdrop of wide protest against the Agnipath scheme.
In an appeal, he said, “I appeal to all Congress workers and my well wishers across the country not to hold any kind of celebrations on the occasion of my birthday.”
The Congress on Sunday will hold a ‘Satyagrah’ against the Agnipath scheme at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi.
(With inputs from agencies)





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supreme court: Supreme Court to hear petition against UP demolitions on June 16 | India News


NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court will hear on Thursday a plea by the Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind seeking directions to Uttar Pradesh authorities to ensure that no further demolition of houses are carried out without following due process.
Protests have been erupting in many cities to condemn UP authorities for demolishing homes and businesses of people who allegedly took part in violent protests on June 10 in connection with the controversial remarks made by Nupur Sharma and Naveen Kumar Jindal about Prophet Muhammad.

On Sunday, authorities had razed the home of Javed Ahmad, who the police said is the main accused in protests that turned violent last Friday. A day earlier, a multi-storey building allegedly owned by a close aide of Nizam Qureshi, the alleged mastermind of the June 3 violence in Kanpur, was demolished .
Critics have panned the “bulldozer justice”, and have claimed that it is aimed at punishing activists from the minority group.
The Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind had moved the apex court seeking to issue directions to UP that no precipitative action be taken in Kanpur against the residential or commercial property of any accused in any criminal proceedings as an extra-legal punitive measure.
Former judges of the Supreme Court and high courts and some senior advocates had also written a letter to Chief Justice of India NV Ramana requesting the top court to take suo motu cognizance of the detention of protestors and demolition of their houses by UP authorities.

“We urge the Supreme Court to take immediate suo motu action to arrest the deteriorating law and order situation in UP, specifically involving the high-handedness of the police and state authorities, and the brutal clampdown on the fundamental rights of citizens,” the letter signed by 12 former judges and senior advocates stated.
Post Jahangirpuri violence
In April, the Supreme Court had stopped an anti-encroachment drive by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation in violence-hit Jahangirpuri and agreed to take up a plea against razing of houses of the accused.
Taking a cue from UP, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat, where the administration used bulldozers to raze the properties of people accused of rioting during the Ram Navami processions, the municipality had decided to act against the “encroachments” in Jahangirpuri where riots broke out during a procession commemorating Hanuman Janmotsav.
(With inputs from agencies)





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agnipath: Govt announces ‘Agnipath’ recruitment scheme for armed forces | India News


NEW DELHI: The government on Tuesday unveiled the “Agnipath” scheme which aims to transform the armed forces.
Unveiling the scheme, defence minister Rajnath Singh said that it’s a transformative initiative that will provide a youthful profile to the armed forces.
“Under Agnipath scheme, Indian youngsters will be provided an opportunity to serve in armed forces as Agniveer,” Rajnath Singh said.
The Agnipath scheme has been brought to strengthen India’s security, he added.
The ‘Agniveers’ will be given a good pay package and an exit retirement package after a service of 4 years, the defence minister said.
This move comes in a bid to slash the ballooning salary and pension bills, amid major concerns the move will adversely impact the professionalism, military ethos and fighting spirit of the over 14-lakh strong armed forces.
Lieutenant General Anil Puri said that Agniveer would be a part of this future-ready soldier.
“Agniveer would be India’s young protector. After being with us for 4 years, an Agniveer’s resume and biodata will be very unique. He will stand out in the crowd with his attitude, skills and time he would have spent with us,” Puri added.
Army chief General Manoj Pande said that Agnipath scheme aims to bring paradigm shift in recruitment in armed forces.
The scheme will help ensure optimum balance between youth and experience in Army, he added.
What is Agnipath scheme?
Agnipath is a pan India merit-based recruitment scheme for enrolling soldiers, airmen and sailors. The scheme provides an opportunity for youth to serve in the regular cadre of the armed forces.
All those recruited under the ‘Agnipath’ scheme will be called ‘Agniveers’.
Agniveers will be enrolled for a service duration of 4 years including training period.
After four years, only 25% of the Agniveers will be retained or re-enlisted in the regular cadre based on merit, willingness and medical fitness.
They will then serve for a full term of another 15 years.
The first four years, served under a contract, are not likely to be taken into consideration for the fixation of the final pensionary benefits.
The other 75% Agniveers will be demobilized, with an exit or “Seva Nidhi” package of Rs 11-12 lakh, partly funded by their monthly contributions, as well as skill certificates and bank loans for help in their second careers.
Age limit
Agniveers will be recruited in the age limit of 17.5 to 21 year age gap at the promised salary of Rs 45,000.
Recruitment
  • Candidates will be enrolled under the respective service act for a service duration of 4 years.
  • Centralised transparent screening assessment based on merit and demonstrated performance during service.
  • 100% candidates can apply on volunteer basis to enrol in regular cadre.
  • Meanwhile, 46,000 Agniveers will be recruited this year.

Salary
Agniveers will be given Rs 30,000 per month. Rs 4.76 lakh is the package that it starts with. After 4 years, Agniveer can volunteer. For all Agniveers who achieve martyrdom, full payment of unserved service years will be given.
The scheme will lead to improved battle preparedness through selection of the best with rigorous and transparent selection process.
Seva Nidhi

  • Upto 25% Agniveers to be selected as regular cadre based on central, transparent system after four years.
  • 100% candidates can apply on volunteer basis to enroll in regular cadre.
  • They will be entitled to awards, medals and insurance cover like the regular cadre of soldiers, airmen and sailors.
  • Corpus of Rs 10.04 lakhs plus accrued interest exempted from Income Tax, after four years.

Financial package:
Death Compensation

  • Non-contributory life insurance cover of Rs 48 lakhs.
  • Additional Ex Gratia of Rs 44 lakhs for death attributable to service.
  • Pay for unserved portion upto four years including ‘Seva Nidhi’ component.

Disability Compensation

  • Compensation based on the percenatge disability laid down by medical authorities.
  • One time ex-gratia of Rs 44/25/15 lakhs for 100%/75%/50% disability respectively.

Watch Agnipath scheme to strengthen India’s security: Rajnath Singh





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‘Guardian’ lieutenant governor hits the road after swearing-in | India News


NEW DELHI: Within hours of being sworn in as lieutenant governor of Delhi and telling reporters that he would be seen more on the streets of the capital than in Raj Niwas, Vinai Kumar Saxena, 64, hit the ground running. With virtually the heads of all the civic and planning agencies of the city in tow, he travelled between the heart of Delhi, Connaught Place, and IGI Airport, stopping at 15 locations along the way. At each stop, he gave instructions to the officials, asking them to “aesthetically rejuvenate and overhaul the areas” and ensure “symmetry in city infrastructure”, stressing on cleanliness and greenery.

Just a few hours back, he had been administered the oath of office and secrecy by acting chief justice of Delhi high court Vipin Sanghi at Raj Niwas in the presence of chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, his cabinet colleagues, a couple of central government ministers, MPs, MLAs, judges of the high court and bureaucrats. His appointment came in the wake of Anil Baijal resigning from the post last week citing “personal reasons”.

You’ll see me more on roads than in Raj Nivas: Newly-appointed Delhi LG Vinai Saxena

Soon after the event, he had told reporters that he would be a “local guardian” to the people of the city and would be out on the streets. He observed that Delhi had some problems which he intended to solve during his tenure. “Delhi has some inherent problems and pollution is at the top — be it water, air or noise. We will work together with the Centre, state and local bodies to address these issues,” he said. The chief secretary of Delhi and heads of DDA, NDMC, MCD and other departments were soon following him around the city.
After the swearing-in ceremony, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal had said that his government would provide “full support” to the new LG. “I assure that the Delhi government will provide full support to the new LG. We have done several developmental works together with his predecessor, Anil Baijal, and hope to continue the same with Saxenaji. We are looking forward to it,” he said.

Delhi’s first non-bureaucrat LG voiced his concern about communal tension in the city in the past couple of years and said he would want all communities — Hindu, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians — to work together. In a clear to reference to the recent riots in north Delhi’s Jahangirpuri and the 2020 northeast Delhi riots, Saxena recited a short poem on communal harmony and asked people to join hands and work together to make Delhi a beautiful place to live in.
“There have been a few riots in Delhi… we should work together as brothers… I will try to work together with everyone to make Delhi a beautiful city — a city of joy, a city of flowers,” the LG said. “Sabka saath, sabka vikas aur sabka vishwas should be our motive, and with this mantra, we will work for the development of Delhi,” he added.

The LG said that improving the living conditions of the underprivileged and upskilling the labour class were also among his top priorities. He said he will work on the unorganised sector and provide training to unskilled labourers. “A major part of Delhi’s working sector is unorganised with labourers coming from very poor financial backgrounds. They are involved in construction, plumbing, carpentry etc. To help and empower these workers, we will provide them with training, equipment and tools,” he said.





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shaheen bagh: ‘Can’t entertain plea at behest of political party’: SC asks CPM to go to high court against Shaheen Bagh demolition | India News


NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday refused to entertain a plea by CPM against demolition drive in Shaheen Bagh and said it cannot intervene in the matter at the behest of a political party.
Asking the petitioners to approach high court, a bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and B R Gavai said: “Why is CPM filing a petition? What is the fundamental right that is being violated? Not at the behest of political parties. This is not the platform. You go to the high court.”
When senior advocate P Surendranath, appearing for the CPM, referred to the apex court’s recent orders on Jahangirpuri where the demolition drive was stayed, the bench said let the affected parties come.
“We have not given license to anybody to come here to say my house cannot be demolished even if it is unauthorized. You cannot take shelter of that order. We cannot interfere … that too at the instance of political parties,” the bench said.
Bulldozers return amid protests at Shaheen Bagh
Earlier today, there was high drama at Shaheen Bagh, the venue of anti-CAA protests, as South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC)officials alongwith bulldozers, trucks and police force reached there to remove illegal encroachments.
In December 2019, Shaheen Bagh was the centre of protests and sit-ins against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. The sit-in was called off in March 2020 when the Covid-19 pandemic had struck the city.
Protests erupted in the area opposing the SDMC’s anti-encroachment drive. Hundreds of people, including women, raised slogans against the BJP-ruled South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) as well as the central government and demanded that the action should be stopped. Some women protestors also stood in front of bulldozers to prevent the exercise.
Later, the SDMC officials returned with bulldozers without conducting the exercise in the area.
Congress, AAP leaders stage dharna
Leaders from the Aam Aadmi Party and Congress reached Shaheen Bagh and staged dharna against the SDMC action.
Aam Aadmi Party MLA Amanatullah Khan alleged that the civic body was carrying out the drive to “disturb the atmosphere”.
Khan claimed that the people of the area had already removed the encroachments at his request.
“Wazu Khana’ and toilets outside a mosque here were removed in presence of police, earlier. When there are no encroachments, why have they come here? Just to do politics?” the AAP MLA said.
Delhi Congress leaders, including party’s media cell vice-chairman Parvez Alam, were among those detained by the police.
‘Don’t link encroachment to religion’
Delhi BJP president Adesh Gupta said the Congress and AAP’s opposition to anti-encroachment drive in Shaheen Bagh proves that they are supporters of Rohingyas and Bangladeshis.
“The way Congress and AAP tried to stop the anti-encroachment drive shows their support for Rohingyas and Bangladeshis. Those who were lying in front of bulldozers will be given a befitting reply by the people,” he said.
“It’s unfortunate that AAP and Congress are opposing removal of encroachment in Shaheen Bagh. I urge them not to link encroachment with religion,” Gupta added.
Anti-encroachment drive to continue in national capital
Delhi BJP chief Adesh Gupta had earlier written to the mayors of South and East corporations on April 20 seeking “the removal of encroachments by Rohingyas, Bangladeshis and anti-social elements” in their areas.
Last month, an anti-encroachment drive conducted by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation in Jahangirpuri area, which witnessed violence between two communities on April 16, drew widespread criticism. The Supreme Court had to intervene to stop the action there.
Adrive was planned in Okhla and Jasola last month but it could not be executed due to unavailability of police force, said SDMC’s Central Zone chairman Rajpal Singh.
On May 10, the anti-encroachment drive will be conducted near Gurudwara Road near New Friends Colony while on May 11, it will be conducted in Meharchand Market, Lodhi Colony near Sai Baba Mandir and near JLN Metro station, he said.
(With inputs from agencies)





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lic: LIC 3.0 to boost shareholder value after listing, says chief | India News


MUMBAI: Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) will take measures upon listing to enhance shareholder value. While the Act has already been amended to double the share of surplus that is distributed to shareholders, there are other measures planned that are likely to be announced after the listing of the corporation.
Speaking at the launch of the corporation’s initial public offer, LIC chairman M R Kumar said, “We will take all measures required in terms of shareholder value-creation. There are many things we are doing which I cannot share today. Post-listing, maybe after Q1, there are many things that I will be able to share with you.”. He added that already the act was amended to be in line with the rest of the industry to increase the share of the surplus from 5% to 10%.
Earlier in his address to the media, Kumar said that the corporation’s resilience came from its ability to adapt. He said that the first phase of LIC, or LIC 1.0, was immediately after nationalisation when it put in all efforts to spread the concept of life insurance across the country. In the second phase after liberalisation, LIC 2.0 managed to grow and retain its market share despite competition from the private competition. He said that the post-listing LIC 3.0 will deliver value to shareholders.
Kumar said that the valuation of LIC was based on the circumstances. “At the time of listing, the value of new business (VNB) of private players was at the same level as LIC. We will not take as long to grow the value of new business,” said Kumar. In future, the VNB would depend on how the market responds to LIC’s offering of non-par products which have a higher margin for the corporation.
Par and non-par products are terms used to differentiate between participating plans where the insured gets a bonus in line with returns generated by the life fund. “We were always strong on non-par, but the customer preference shifted to savings. I cannot tell you what the mix will be like, but we are growing our non-par products,” said Kumar.
Speaking on LIC’s investment strategy in future, Kumar said that there could be some fine tuning but directionally nothing much will change. “At the heart of the entire assets under management is a set of policyholders for whom long-term investment is more important. As we grow the non-par book, possibly we have to make some shift,” said Kumar.





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jahangirpuri: SC orders to stop demolition in Jahangirpuri for 2 weeks, says will take serious view if drive went on despite stay | India News


NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday stopped the demolition drive against encroachments in Jahangirpuri area of Delhi for two more weeks, sought responses from the North Delhi Municipal Corporation and Delhi Police on Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind’s charge that it targeted Muslims.
The bench of Justices L N Rao and B R Gavai took serious note of Jamiat counsel Dushyant Dave‘s complaint that the authorities continued with the drive for nearly two hours on Wednesday despite a status quo order from the CJI-led bench. “We will deal with that issue later,” it said and asked north corporation and Delhi Police to file their response affidavits while posting further hearing two weeks later.

Buoyed by the relief in Jahangirpuri area, senior advocate Kapil Sibal, also appearing for Jamiat, requested the court to order a status quo on use of bulldozers against commercial and residential properties of Muslims — who are accused in cases relating to heinous crimes, communal riots or stone-pelting on Hindu processions — in UP, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat.

Sibal said the SC must send a strong message across the country and the world that the “rule of law” is alive and kicking in India. “This country cannot be governed by the whims of a political party,” he said and requested the court to protect the properties of accused persons, who are innocent till proven guilty in a court of law.
The bench refused and said, “We are not going to stay demolition drive against illegal structures and encroachments across the country.” Sibal pleaded the court to direct the states to at least stop use of bulldozers. The bench said, “Demolition of illegal structures always needed bulldozers.”

Senior advocates — Dave, Sibal and Sanjay Hegde (for Jahangirpuri incident), and P V Surendranath (for Brinda Karat) — repeatedly told the SC that they are not politicising the issue but alleged that the demolition drive was carried out after Delhi BJP chief Adesh Gupta wrote a letter to the north corporation for razing of illegal structures. Surendranath claimed that the demolition drive stopped only after Karat’s intervention.
Solicitor general Mehta, appearing for the north corporation and Delhi Police, said: “This is what happens when an organisation like Jamiat files a PIL to communalise an ongoing drive for removal of encroachments and obstructions on public roads and footpaths. Once the organisation succeeds in communalising a routine drive against encroachments, the entire political spectrum jumps in for mileage.”
“Did no property belonging to Hindus face bulldozers on Wednesday?” asked the bench, even as Mehta said, “It is an ongoing demolition drive since January 19. No one can point a finger that a particular encroachment was removed just because the encroacher belonged to a particular community or participated in the communal riots.”
Mehta said the owner of every illegal structure facing demolition had been issued prior notice. “That is why not a single individual has come before the Supreme Court or approached the Delhi high court. Because they know that they have to establish with documents that their structure is legal. The SC and HC have repeatedly held that removal of encroachments on road and footpaths need no prior notice and the law provides that the kiosks, benches and chairs illegally placed on footpaths and roads are to be confiscated.”
The bench asked, “Was the North DMC removing only chairs and benches from the footpaths? If so, why did they need bulldozers?” Mehta said, “The demolition drive against illegal structures on public land and removal of encroachment of public roads and footpaths is an ongoing exercise that was done strictly in accordance with law. The drive began on January 19 and was carried out on February 2, February 17 and April 11. The fifth phase was scheduled for April 20. So, the allegation that it targeted one community is a blatant lie.”
The SG said similar lies were spread relating to a demolition drive at Khargone in Madhya Pradesh to give it a communal colour. “There were prior notices in 2021, hearings were held in 2021 and orders for clearing encroachments and illegal structures were passed. The government was only carrying out the orders irrespective of the religion of the owner,” he said.
“Out of the 100-odd properties that faced demolition in Khargone, 88 belonged to Hindus and 26 to Muslims. The government does not discriminate between communities. It goes by the rule of law. There is a pattern that one particular organisation will file a PIL in the SC attempting to communalise the issue. Thereafter, the entire political spectrum would join the bandwagon to cry wolf. The petitioners and political parties are attempting to extract political mileage by communalising a routine drive against illegal structures,” Mehta said.





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supreme court: Supreme Court stays demolition drive in Jahangirpuri for two weeks | India News


NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday ordered a 2-week long stay against the demolition drive in Delhi’s Jahangirpuri, thereby posting the hearing in the matter to a later date.
The apex court said that it will take serious view of the matter if it finds that the demolition drive in Delhi continued on Wednesday despite its orders to halt the drive and maintain status quo.
What SG Tushar Mehta said
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the North Delhi MC, told the court that the drive against removal of encroachments by Hindus and Muslims was carried out to remove obstruction of roads and footpaths.
He further added that it was the fifth day of the drive which was had originally started on January 19.
The 2-judge bench of Justices LN Rao and BR Gavai, hearing the case, asked whether footpath and public road encroachments by stalls required bulldozers, to which the SG said that any building which faced demolition action had been put on prior notice and the drive was carried out without breach of any law.
Mehta also added, “Let any affected person come and tell the top court whether he has not been given prior notice and whether their encroachments were demolished just because they participated in communal riots.”
He told the top court that the problem arises when an organisation like Jamiat files a petition sensationalising the issue on communal lines and then the entire political spectrum jumps in to reap mileage. “Why a single affected party has not come to the SC or filed petition in Delhi HC,” he asked.
Mehta said similarly the Khargone demolition drive has been communalised by the political parties. In Khargone, among the affected parties, 88 were Hindus and 26 were Muslims. “Yet, as in Jahangirpuri case, the political parties communalised the incident,” Mehta said.

What Dave and Sibal said
Appearing for Jamiat, senior advocates Dushyant Dave and Kapil Sibal said the bulldozer action against Muslim community must stop across India. They pleaded that the court should send a message that the rule of law prevails in India and not the whims and fancies of a political party.
When Sibal sought a complete stoppage of demolition drive across India through bulldozers, the bench of Justices Rao and Gavai said “We cannot stop demolition of illegal structures across India. And demolition of illegal structures require bulldozers.”
Bulldozers tore down several concrete and temporary structures close to a mosque in Jahangirpuri on Wednesday as part of an anti-encroachment drive by the BJP-ruled civic body, days after the northwest Delhi neighbourhood was rocked by communal violence.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday intervened twice to stop the drive after it took cognizance of the petition filed by Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind against the demolition.

Civic body statement
In an official statement issued in the Wednesday evening, the civic body said that its officials removed temporary kiosks on the pavements and ramps with the help of seven JCB machines/bulldozers in the heavy police presence.
“About two kilometres of road near Kushal cinema were cleared from encroachment. As many as 25 items were seized and 20 tonnes of garbage was lifted. The encroachment was removed by the licensing department, engineering department, enforcement cell and health department of Civil Lines as a joint team,” the civic body said in the statement.
It also said that similar actions for removal of encroachments were carried out in the past as well.
(With inputs from agencies)





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