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Showing posts from December 2, 2016

HC rejects plea on withdrawal cap (thehindu)

Restrictions on daily withdrawal of cash by bank account holders is a policy decision which is beyond judicial review, the Delhi High Court on Friday ruled, in a fillip to the Modi government’s demonetisation exercise.

The ruling by a Bench of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice V.K. Rao came on a plea seeking removal of cap on daily withdrawal of money deposited in banks before demonetisation kicked in.

‘Devoid of merit’



The judges dismissed the petition on the ground that it was “devoid of merit” as there were “no restrictions” for operating the bank account by “non-cash transactions.“

“It may be added that the manner in which the decision to withdraw the bank notes of specified amount with effect from November 9, 2016 is to be implemented is a policy decision which is beyond the scope of powers of judicial review,” the Bench said.

“The law is well settled that the court can only interfere if the policy framed is absolutely capricious or not informed by reasons or totally arbitrary and f…

HC admits petition for cancer detention centres (thehindu)

‘Kerala has highest number of cancer patients in the country’


The Kerala High Court on Friday admitted a public interest writ petition seeking a directive to the State government to set up early cancer detection centres (ECDC) in all the districts in the State.

The petition also sought a directive to strengthen the existing ECDCs in Ernakulam and Palakkad by putting in place more infrastructural facilities and filling the vacancies of cytopathologists and cytotechnologists.

The petitioner, Bindhya J. of Alappuzha, said early diagnosis of cancer could provide better treatment to patients in the most effective manner at a lesser cost. However, diagnosing cancer early required public and professional awareness as well as prompt clinical and diagnostic intervention.



The petitioner said the State had the highest number of cancer patients in the country. As per a study report, 133 persons per lakh men suffered from cancer disease while it was 125 females per one lakh. This was only the tip of t…

Making of a legislative court ( thehindu)

The Supreme Court order on the national anthem relies exclusively on Fundamental Duties. This is not a coincidence as it closely follows the spirit of the Emergency-era 42nd amendment


The Supreme Court of India, on November 30, gave an order that the national anthem will have to be played before feature films at cinema halls all over the country, and that those present in these halls are obliged to stand up to show respect. Similar orders on respecting the national anthem have been delivered by two High Courts in recent years. Indeed such an order is not in any way an aberration in the post-Emergency trajectory of the higher judiciary. A few months back, the Madras High Court mandated that Thirukkural be taught in all schools in Tamil Nadu. Currently, in another case, the Supreme Court is considering making yoga compulsory in schools. While patriotism, education and health may all perhaps be desirable goals, what is common here is the court compulsorily prescribing highly specific mo…

Right vs far right in France ( thehindu)

French President Fran├žois Hollande’s decision to not make a bid for a second term in office is unsurprising. In the last leg of a term marred by economic uncertainty, high unemployment rates, workers’ strikes, infighting within the ruling party and personal scandal, Mr. Hollande’s approval ratings are abysmally low — as low as 4 per cent in some polls. Moreover, several former cabinet colleagues have said they would run against him in the Socialist Party primaries. It would have been humiliating for a sitting President to go through the primaries to win party nomination. Now, with Mr. Hollande deciding to keep out, the Socialists have the opportunity to put up a united fight under another candidate, most likely Prime Minister Manuel Valls, in the April presidential elections. Still, the left is likely to find it difficult to win back popularity in a campaign in which the agenda is largely being set by the conservatives and the far right. Mr. Hollande’s administration must share some b…

A dampening of economic activity? (thehindu)

ime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to abruptly withdraw legal tender status for Rs.1,000 and Rs.500 notes to save the country from “the grip of corruption and black money” has had one predictable side effect: a dampening of economic activity. With cash availability significantly impaired as a result of the sudden withdrawal of the high-value banknotes that constituted more than 86 per cent of the currency in circulation as of March 31, a palpable impact has been felt across the entire economy. A snapshot of manufacturing from the Nikkei India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index released on December 1 revealed that demonetisation had slowed buying activity and production across the board, and led to the weakest expansion in orders in four months. The survey indicated that producers of consumer goods are among the worst hit, a signal that a key engine of India’s world-leading pace of economic growth — private consumption demand — appears to be sputtering on account of the cash s…

Liquid water carved deep canyons on Mars: scientists (livemint)

Meanwhile on Saturn, they have found a hexagon.

Yes, I mean a six-sided shape like you would find plenty of if you peered into the nearest beehive. Not to my knowledge do these pop up in too many other places in nature, but there’s one on Saturn. Though let’s be clear: There are no bees on the ringed planet. Even if there were, and if for a moment we thought this was part of a beehive, those saturnine bees would have to be enormous. For this hexagon is—hold your breath—about 32,000km wide. How big is that? Well, you would have to place three planet Earths in a row to stretch across the roiling expanse of this thing.

Not your average hexagon.

Not that they found it recently, either. When Nasa’s Voyager spacecraft flew past Saturn in 1980, it sent home images of its experience. In 1988, scientists noticed, while sifting through Voyager data, that there was a massive hexagon at the planet’s north pole. In 1997, Nasa launched the Cassini spacecraft on a mission to Saturn. It started orbiting…

TN braces for Nada

First cargo train departs from south-western Yunnan province’s capital Kunming for Karachi.


China and Pakistan on Thursday launched a direct rail and sea freight service with the first cargo train departing from China’s south-western Yunnan province.

The service was launched with the first cargo train loaded with 500 tonnes of commodities left Kunming, capital of Yunnan, an inland province in south-west China departed for Karachi, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

“China, Pakistan launch direct rail & sea freight service between Kunming and Karachi, cutting transport cost by over 50 per cent,” according to a tweet by the news agency.

Part of Maritime Silk Road

The service is a part of China’s Maritime Silk Road initiative, of which $46-billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project (CPEC) is a part.

The CPEC was launched in 2015 to link up north-western China with the Gwadar deep seaport in southern Pakistan.

The two countries already started the trade activities under CPE…

US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter to visit India next week(theindian express)

Reflecting a new bonhomie of Indo-US defence ties, the Pentagon today announced that outgoing Defence Secretary Ashton Carter would be visiting India next week on his final around the world trip. Slated to be in India on December 8, Carter would travel to Japan, Bahrain, Israel, Italy and Great Britain before returning to the US on December 16. This is for the first time that an outgoing American Defence Secretary has included India in his itinerary for the final overseas trip.


Plans In Place To Take On Any Force Indian Navy On Deployment Of Chinese Navy Ships On Gwadar Port

“He (Carter) will look to build on the strategic handshake between the two nations and to continue the momentum in the relationship over the past decade, including expanded defence cooperation during his time as Secretary,” the Pentagon said in a statement.

Carter among others would meet Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.

Ahead of his visit, informed sources said India has made maritime security a significant priority…

Demonetisation: Supreme Court asks Centre to spell out steps to ease inconvenience (theindianexpress)

The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Centre to spell out measures taken to ease the sufferings and inconvenience of people in rural areas, who are mostly dependent on co-operative banks, post-demonetisation. A bench of Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justice D Y Chandrachud, while hearing a batch of pleas challenging various aspects of demonetisation, said all the parties should sit together and prepare a list of categories of cases which could be referred to high courts and those that could be heard by the aAttorney General Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the Centre, said that the government is aware of the situation in co-operative banks which lack proper infrastructure and mechanism as compared to scheduled banks.

“Entire chapter in the additional affidavit filed by the Centre is dedicated to the issue of co-operative banks. It is not that we are not aware of the situation but these (the co-operative banks) lack proper facilities, mechanism and proper infrastructure as compared to schedu…