Wildlife crime control bureau on anvil
Concerned with reports of the disappearing pug-marks, the Union Government has decided to set up a multi-disciplinary crime control bureau to work on a mandate of detection and prosecution of networks and individuals engaged in the poaching of tigers and other endangered species.
Named the "Tiger and Other Endangered Species Crime Control Bureau", the body will work towards conserving the natural heritage by establishing a credible data base on wildlife items and trade, help to convict criminals and their accomplices at the national and international levels and facilitate training to the field staff in intelligence gathering, crime detection and prosecution.
The bureau is being set up to strengthen the ongoing efforts for control of poaching and illegal trade, Finance Minister P Chidambaram told reporters after a meeting of the cabinet on Thursday.
With headquarters at New Delhi, the bureau will have five regional offices and three sub-regional offices. Sensitive border customs posts will also be strengthened. The bureau will have an additional director in the rank of Inspector General of Police. The Cabinet has also endorsed the proposal for additional staff for the bureau.
The Cabinet - with aims of overcoming shortages of pilots - also approved the proposal for making both men and women eligible for the Short Service Commission (SSC) in the flying branch of the Indian Air Force. The eligibility condition for men has been approved after a gap of 13 years. SSC ceiling in the flying branch has been fixed at 20 per cent and terms of engagement of SSC officers in the flying branch to 14 years - with no extension.
Briefing newsmen, the finance minister said the cabinet also approved the proposal for introducing new central sector scholarship scheme to SC/ST students from 2007-08. The scheme will cover students beyond the 12th class, whose total family income from all sources does not exceed Rs two lakh per annum.
The Cabinet also gave its approval for the withdrawal of the Private Universities (Establishment and Regulations) bill, 1995 from the Rajya Sabha. The bill will be removed from the list of pending bills since the UGC regulations,2003 - upheld by the Supreme Court - adequately addresses the concerns regarding mushrooming of private universities.
The Cabinet also approved the signing of an agreement on Indo-Brazil audio-visual co-production.
The maximum temperature in Mumbai is expected to hover around 27 degrees as the city may witness moderate to heavy rainfall on Wednesday. The minimum temperature will stay around 24 degrees. “There will be a high tide of 4.39 metres in the Arabian Sea here at 2.57pm,” an official said. Mumbai witnessed heavy showers on Tuesday as the rain intensity increased in the city after a gap of a few days.
The Union animal husbandry and dairying minister, Parshottam Rupala, who was in Chandigarh on Tuesday to review the situation prevalent due to the lumpy skin disease (LSD) in livestock, said that so far eight Haryana districts have remained unaffected by this disease. “The Union minister said the Haryana government has been making efforts to tackle this disease,” an official spokesperson said. Among the most affected districts are Sirsa, Yamunanagar, Bhiwani, Kaithal, Kurukshetra and Palwal.
Spurring medal-winning sportspersons from Haryana to help train sportspersons who can bring more medals at international sporting events, chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Tuesday gave the slogan of 'Padak Lao Padak Badhao' to the players of the state. The CM, who was speaking at a function organised in Gurugram in honour the Birmingham Commonwealth Games medal winners, said that medal-winning players will have to prepare five-10 players like themselves.
Two miscreants have allegedly snatched Rs 8 lakh from a labour contractor at a railway station in Karnal. Police said the incident took place on Tuesday morning when the victim, Sita Ram of Nilokheri, reached the railway station to board a train. After receiving the information, a police team reached the spot and started investigations. In his police complaint, Sita Ram alleged that his brother-in-law Umesh has a contract to provide labourers to brick kilns.
Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar has called upon the people of the state to take a pledge to accomplish the 'Panch Pran' (five resolves) given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to make India a developed country by 2047, and ensure their contribution towards transforming the county into a potential superpower of the world.