- Child Commission seeks report in Vishwa Bharati Girl Urine Drinking Case
- Internet Giant Google under Radars of Competition Commission of India
- Assam Floods takes away lives of 595 Animals in Kaziranga National Park
- MP Kabir Suman composes song against molestation of Pinki Pramanik
- Uttarakhand starts drive to check Gender Determination Tests
- Bihar gets 100 Million Dollars Loan from World Bank
- How Facebook Saves Billions of Dollars with Facebook Ireland Limited
- Uttar Pradesh registers case against 176 Fraud Hajj Pilgrims
- Air India Emergency Landing in Pakistan was due to False Alarm
- Bihar Engineer Fasih Mehmood detained by Saudi Authorities
Posted: 09 Jul 2012 07:30 PM PDT
National Commission for Protection of Child Rights has asked West Bengal and the Visva-Bharati university to take action within 10 days in the incident of a class 5 student of the varsity school being allegedly forced to drink her own urine as a punishment for bedwetting.
The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) wrote to West Bengal school education secretary and the university and sought a report.
In the letter, it asked the respective authorities to provide the details of their investigations, besides asking for appropriate action against the warden if found guilty.
The incident happened Saturday when Uma Poddar, the warden of Karabi hostel of university’s school Patha Bhavan, found Punita guilty of bedwetting. She allegedly then made the girl drink her urine as a punishment.
The letter, signed by NCPCR member secretary Lov Verma, also sought information about the “Methods of child participation in seeking the information and feedback from the children, by the institution.”
It also directed that Punita should be given immediate counselling at the cost of the state.
While the NCPCR chairperson Shantha Sinha had termed the incident “barbaric”, the university officials have said that a four member fact finding committee has been constituted to look into the matter.
“It is absolutely barbaric. Not even animals can do this,” an outraged Sinha told IANS Sunday.
Incidentally, Visva Bharati was founded by India’s first Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore and in his own words, the institution “acknowledges India’s obligation to offer to others the hospitality of her best culture and India’s right to accept from others their best”.
Posted: 09 Jul 2012 06:30 PM PDT
Internet Giant Google has come under Radars of Competition Commission of India. It has launched an enquiry against the Google for abuse of dominant position and anti-competitive practices.
The competition watchdog has launched the enquiry on a complaint filed by consumer rights body CUTS International.
CUTS International said in a statement Monday that its complaint against Google followed global actions against the search engine giant for its abusive practices.
CUTS International had filed the complaint last month saying Google was abusing its dominant position in the Indian market by indulging in anti-competitive practices in various ways.
The consumer advocacy group has complained that Google was imposing unfair and discriminatory conditions on customers and manipulating algorithmic as well as paid search results by penalising certain websites and advertisers.
The Competition Commission of India is already investigating another complaint against Google by Bharat Matrimony.com. The complaint is about discriminatory practices related to Bharat Matrimony’s AdWords programme.
Posted: 09 Jul 2012 05:30 PM PDT
Assam Floods in 2012 have taken away lives of over 595 Animals in Kaziranga National Park. As many as 595 animals, including 17 single-horned rhinos, in Assam’s Kaziranga National Park died.
National Tiger Conservation Authority member M. Firoz Ahmad, sent by the ministry to make a spot appraisal of Kaziranga in the wake of the floods, reported that 595 animals have died in the park due to inundation.
Of these maximum causality has been reported among hog deer (512) followed by wild boar (28) and rhinos (17), he said in his report submitted to the ministry.
According to the ministry, the report has highlighted the need for relieving the corridor areas from human pressure and avoiding change in land use pattern.
The park management has deployed patrolling staff for the protection of wild animals along the highways by creating barriers along with round the clock surveillance, it said.
Posted: 09 Jul 2012 04:30 PM PDT
Rebel Trinamool Congress MP Kabir Suman has composed a song scathingly critical of the treatment meted out to Asian Games gold medallist Pinki Pramanik by police and other authorities in West Bengal after the athlete was accused of being a male and arrested for rape.
Pramanik is now under judicial custody and undergoing gender determination tests – which have seen her being taken from a private nursing home, to a district hospital and now to the state-run premier SSKM hospital.
“Desher janya rupor padak, desher janya sona/Relay race e tumi deshergorbo seta mone rakhbo na /Tomar linga jaachai porbo video te dhora aache/Mobile e tola sei chobi aaj internet e nache (You have won gold and silver for the country/ You did the country proud, winning medals in relay races, but we don’t want to remember that/ Your gender test has been videographed/ It’s doing a jig on internet),” said the bitterly sarcastic song.
Suman, a Trinamool Congress MP from Jadavpur Lok Sabha constituency, had earlier penned several songs and blogs criticising various steps of the Mamata Banerjee government. His songs had protested against the killing of Maoist leader Kishenji, suicide of peasants and the arrest of a professor for circulating cartoons of Banerjee and other Trinamoolleaders.
He has also penned songs criticising the police action against slum-dwellers of Nonadanga in east Kolkata and transfer of police officer Damayanti Sen, who played a big role in solving the rape of an Anglo-Indian woman in fashionable Park Street despite the chief minister calling the allegation cooked-up.
Suman has had a strained relationship with the Trinamool leadership after he raised his voice against alleged corruption among a section of party leaders and openly condemned the joint forces operation in the Maoist-affected districts of the state.
He is credited with having changed the face of modern Bengali music in the 1990s with the “jeebonmukhi” genre, writing and singing about people and their lives.
Posted: 09 Jul 2012 03:40 PM PDT
Uttarakhand Government has started a drive to check rampant Sex or Gender Determination Tests and to prevent a fall in the gender ratio. The Uttarakhand government has directed all District magistrates to ensure regular inspection of 522 private and 79 government-run ultra sound centres.
The government also told the officials to position in all ultra sound machines ‘active trackers’ that would send SMS alert messages to district magistrates and chief medical officers in case sex-determination tests were conducted.
Chief Secretary Alok Kumar Jain said that district magistrates would be responsible to check sex-determination.
He said as per the 2011 census, the sex ratio of children aged less than six years was 1,000 boys to 886 girls as against 1,000 to 967 in 2001.
Jain also directed officers to initiate an abortion audit system like the maternal death audit system.
Posted: 09 Jul 2012 03:26 PM PDT
Bihar has received a 100 Million Dollars (Rs 50 Crores) Loan from World Bank for implementing a rural livelihood project that would bring lights to 1.5 million households.
The project is aimed at enhancing the social and economic empowerment of the rural poor in Bihar.
Representatives of the government of India, government of Bihar and the World Bank signed the loan agreement here.
The additional financing will help consolidate and expand the project covering all the blocks in six districts covered under the programme named Jeevika (livelihood).
“This will not only allow the project to cover all the villages in the existing districts, but also provide a comprehensive district wide model for poverty alleviation in Bihar, a predominantly rural state with 89 percent of the population living in rural areas,” the finance ministry said in a statement after signing of the agreement.
Posted: 09 Jul 2012 03:02 PM PDT
Social Network Facebook effectively saves Billions of Dollars every year using its subsidiary Facebook Ireland Limited. When you make any payment to Facebook, you come across this unique Clause in its terms and Conditions
I understand that if I am resident or have my principal place of business in the US or Canada, I am contracting solely with Facebook, Inc. Otherwise I am contracting solely with Facebook Ireland Limited.
Why does a US based company like Facebook has to redirect outside payments through its Irish Subsidiary Facebook Ireland Limited?
A Report in The Irish Times suggest that Ireland is the only "material" jurisdiction outside the US scrutinising the tax affairs of Facebook. Facebook has five subsidiaries in Ireland, three of which do not publish accounts.
It has its European headquarters in Dublin and is reported to be planning to more than double the amount of office space it rents here.
Other technology multinationals such as Google, Microsoft and Apple have also used Ireland to reduce the amount of corporation tax they pay.
They save billions of dollars every year from the use of a global tax strategy that has become known as the "double Irish" and which involves Irish subsidiaries and subsidiaries in offfshore locations such as the Cayman Islands.
The key role Ireland plays in Facebook's drive to reduce its tax bill is made clear in the prospectus it submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission in preparation for its flotation on the New York Stock Exchange. The flotation could raise $10 billion or more.
"The material jurisdictions in which we are subject to potential examination by taxing authorities include the United States and Ireland," the corporation declared in its prospectus.
The Internal Revenue Service in the US is examining Facebook's tax assessments for 2010 and 2011, while all tax years since 2008 remain subject to examination by the Irish tax authorities, according to the prospectus.
The taxation of multinationals has always been a difficult task because of the need to estimate the contribution made by particular activities in particular jurisdictions to a multinational's overall annual profits. The task has been made much more complicated by technological changes over the past two decades and the increased sale of products and services over the internet.
In outlining the risks associated with its business in its prospectus, Facebook says its corporate tax obligations are "based on our corporate operating structure and intercompany arrangements, including the manner in which we develop, value and use our intellectual property and the valuations of intercompany transactions."
Taxation authorities can challenge the methodologies used by Facebook "which could increase our worldwide effective tax rate and harm our financial position and [the] results of our operations."
The company pointed out that its effective tax rate could be adversely affected if tax authorities successfully argued that a higher proportion of its earnings should be attributed to a jurisdiction where a high tax rate applies.
Ireland has a 12.5 per cent corporate tax rate; the rate in the US is 35 per cent. Google has reduced the effective tax rate on its global earnings to below 3 per cent.
The Facebook prospectus points to the risks associated with the fact that the Obama administration has publicly stated that international tax reform is one of its priorities.
It shows that the allocation in Facebook's turnover between the US and the rest of the world has altered significantly in the past year. In the first quarter of 2011 the split was $427million/$304 million between the US and the rest of the world. The corresponding split for the first quarter of this year was $536 million/ $522 million.
There are five Facebook subsidiaries in Ireland: Facebook Ireland Ltd; Facebook Ireland Holdings; Facebook International Holdings I; Facebook International Holdings Ii; and Facebook Payments International Ltd. Only the two limited liability companies publish accounts. Unlimited companies are not obliged to do so. Facebook Ireland Holdings owns the two limited Irish Facebook firms. The three unlimited firms have the same three US-based directors.
Posted: 09 Jul 2012 01:16 PM PDT
Uttar Pradesh government has lodged cases against 176 people whose names were included in the list of those approved for the Haj pilgrimage through fraudulent means, a minister said.
In addition the government has also ordered lodging FIRs against officers and agencies who ‘slipped’ the names of these people in the list.
Making the announcement at a press conference, Parliamentary Affairs and Urban Development Minister Azam Khan said that he suspected that something was wrong with the list and had ordered an internal probe into the matter.
It was found that the list had names of 158 people, who were on the waiting list, while 18 others found their way into the final list though they had not even formally applied for the pilgrimage.
Khan, who is also the head of the state Haj Committee, further announced that all people, groups and agencies involved in the racket would be permanently blacklisted.
He added that this scam had been going on for the last five years by manipulating the computer software meant to prepare the list of Haj pilgrims.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav had last month requested the central government to increase the quota of Haj pilgrims from the state.In a letter written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, he requested that the state be allowed to send at least 32,532 people on Haj, maintaining the quota of 2011.
As per the nationwise quota allotted by Saudi Arabia, India sends the third largest contingent of Haj pilgrims, out of which a fourth go from Uttar Pradesh.
In his letter, Akhilesh Yadav noted that in 2011, the number of pilgrims from the state was 32,532. This year the Haj Committee of India allocated a quota of 29,388 pilgrims, which is 3,144 less than last year, the chief minister said.
Azam Khan had written to Haj Committee of India Chairman Mohsina Kidwai May 7, requesting her to maintain last year’s quota. The state has received 36,754 applications for the pilgrimage this year.
Posted: 09 Jul 2012 11:39 AM PDT
Air India engineers, who were flown to Nawabshah airport in Pakistan to attend to an Airbus A-319 that had landed under emergency conditions on Monday, have found that the cockpit panel had emitted a “false alarm” about a technical problem.
“There was nothing wrong with the hydraulic system of the aircraft and, apparently the cockpit panel emitted false alarm making red lights to blip,” airline officials said.
“However, even such a technical glitch has to be corrected and that is being done,” they said.
The officials said the relief Airbus A-320 plane, carrying the 130 stranded passengers and crew of the A-319, had flown back to Delhi from Nawabshah.
The Air India plane flying from Abu Dhabi to Delhi had landed at Nawabshah in Pakistan’s southern Sindh province early on Monday morning under emergency conditions after the cockpit panel emitted emergency signals, which later turned out to be false.
“The aircraft was flying over Pakistani air space when the pilot saw warning lights on the cockpit panel and sought permission to land at the nearest airport which was Nawabshah,” an AI spokesperson said.
Posted: 09 Jul 2012 10:38 AM PDT
The government Monday told the Supreme Court that Bihar engineer Fasih Mehmood was under the detention of the Saudi Arabian authorities.
Additional Solicitor General Gourab Banerjee told the apex court bench headed by Justice P. Sathasivam that Saudi authorities have informed the CBI June 26 that he was under their detention.
The court directed the government to file a report on the status of Fasih within three weeks. Fasih’s wife Nikhat Parveen had filed an application seeking to know the whereabouts of her husband.
Fasih, 35, who hails from a village in Darbhanga district of Bihar, was reportedly arrested in Saudi Arabia May 14 for suspected terror links in India.
Fasih’s wife Nikhat Parveen had moved the apex court alleging that her husband had been picked up by a joint team of the Indian and Saudi officials on May 13 for his purported terror links and his whereabouts were not known.
The Centre had earlier told the apex court that the alleged abduction of the engineer from Bihar in Saudi Arabia has turned into a diplomatic issue with Riyadh “not saying anything.”
The government said Fasih Mohammed was neither in India nor in the custody of any police here and the Ministry of External Affairs has been pursuing his case with its Saudi Arabia’s counterpart.
The CBI had earlier issued a red corner notice for tracking Fasih.
During the earlier hearing on June 6, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), the Home Ministry and the Delhi Police had, in a joint response, rejected the allegation that Fasih Mohammed was abducted by the Indian police personnel for custodial interrogatio
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