QBullet: Airports On Alert For Gayatri; RSS Fires Ujjain Leader

1. Airports, Exit Points Put on Alert for Rape-Accused UP Minister Gayatri Prajapati

Airports and exit points across the country have been put on alert amid reports that rape-accused UP Minister Gayatri Prajapati is planning to flee the country, according to officials.

Immigration and all the forces have been alerted to keep an eye out for him.

A Letter of Cancellation (LC) will soon be opened against him, which will alert immigration authorities about any possible move by the suspect to leave the country.

The Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), guarding Uttar Pradesh's border with Nepal, has also been alerted about the possibility of such a move by Prajapati.

Prajapati is accused in separate cases of gangrape and an attempt to rape another woman and her minor daughter . He has remained elusive and the Lucknow Police have initiated steps to withdraw his 'Y' category security.

(Source: The Times of India)

Also Read: Rape-Accused UP Minister Gayatri Prajapati Goes “Missing”

2. RSS Fires Its Ujjain Leader Who Called for Killing of Kerala CM

Two days after an RSS leader, Kundan Chandrawat, announced a bounty of Rs 1 crore for Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s head, the RSS on Friday “relieved” him of his “responsibilities” as sah prachar pramukh (joint publicity chief) in Ujjain. Chandrawat, however, continues to be a swayamsevak.

Manmohan Vaidya, RSS Chief SpokespersonHe was not a big leader. He has been relieved of his responsibilities in RSS. Whatever he said was against Sangh’s culture. It was not Sangh’s language.

Malwa prant sanghchalak Dr Prakash Shastri noted that “a misconception has been created about the RSS due to the controversial statement,” and it was not an “official statement of RSS”.

(Source: Indian Express)

Also Read: CPM Office Set Ablaze in Kerala After Blast at RSS Office
Kerala Violence: RSS Cadres Protest in Ludhiana & Hyderabad

3. Centre, SC May Lock Horns Over Making Aadhaar Mandatory for Govt Schemes

The central government’s decision to make enrolment in the biometric-based Aadhaar programme mandatory for availment of all government schemes from the next financial year has put it on a collision course with the Supreme Court.

The government’s move appears to be in contravention of the apex court’s orders that Aadhaar should be a “voluntary” requirement for citizens to derive welfare benefits. 

(Photo: Altered by The Quint)

Although the government claimed that the Aadhaar law enacted in September 2016 gave it the authority to make the 12-digit unique number mandatory for administering schemes, it was told by the court a few days later to continue implementing the social security system as a “voluntary and not mandatory” measure.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

Also Read: If Your Aadhaar Data Has Been Hacked, You Might Never Find Out
Centre Pushes Fingerprint Money Transactions Through Aadhaar Pay

4. Dalai Lama's Arunachal Visit Irks China

The China-India border dispute came into sharp focus on Friday after the Chinese Foreign Ministry warned New Delhi not to allow the Dalai Lama to visit Arunachal Pradesh – the State at the heart of the Sino-Indian dispute in the eastern sector.

China’s sharp response against the visit by the Tibetan leader in exile followed a call by a former Chinese boundary negotiator, who stressed that if the two sides managed to overcome their differences in the eastern sector, the final settlement of the boundary dispute would be well within grasp.

Geng Shuang, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesmanChina is gravely concerned over information that India has granted permission to the Dalai Lama to visit Arunachal Pradesh.

(Source: The Hindu)

Also Read: Modi Govt to Pull a Dalai Lama With Baloch Leaders & Grant Asylum?

5. Digital Deals Show Sharp Dip

The surge in digital transactions during the demonetisation period is seeing a sharp reversal with data for February showing an accelerated pace of decline in electronic transactions. February 2017 saw a month-on-month decline of 21.3 percent in the volume of electronic transactions, higher than the 9.1 percent fall seen in January 2017 over December 2016.

According to data released by the Reserve Bank of India, the decline in value terms also accelerated in February over January 2017.

The decline in electronic payments is being seen as reflective of the improved cash availability situation over the last couple of months since Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 rupee notes were scrapped on 8 November last year.

The decline in digital transactions in two successive months goes against the government’s stated objective of scrapping high-value currencies – that of moving towards a “less cash” economy.

(Source: Indian Express)

Also Read: How to Make India Less Dependent On A Broken Banking System
Maharashtra Verdict: Has Modi’s Demonetisation Gamble Paid Off?

6. Javadekar Takes a Dig at Javed Akhtar

Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar on Friday took a dig at poet Javed Akhtar’s comments on sportspersons, saying illiterate intelligence was more effective than educated incapacity.

The Minister was referring to the controversy over a social media campaign by DU student Gurmehar Kaur against the violence outside Ramjas College. Wrestlers Yogeshwar Dutt, Geeta Phogat, Babita Phogat, Mahavir Phogat and cricketer Virender Sehwag were among those who criticised her stand.

Prakash JavadekarToday, we are discussing illiteracy. Recently in our country, someone called our sportspersons illiterate and half-literate. Illiteracy is a stigma; it is in the thoughts of some people... That is why some important people have called our sportspersons semi-literate, half-literate and illiterate.

(Source: The Hindu)

Also Read: Babita to The Quint: Javed Akhtar is Illiterate Despite Education
Javed Akhtar Takes on Kiren Rijiju for Attack on Gurmehar Kaur

7. Pollution Turning Country's Rainfall Acidic, Says Study

Pollution is causing rain to become increasingly acidic in many parts of the country, particularly in the last decade, research by India Meteorological Department and Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology has revealed.

Analysis of rainwater samples from Nagpur, Mohanbari (in Assam), Allahabad, Visakhapatnam and Kodaikanal in the decade 2001-2012 showed a pH level varying from 4.77 to 5.32, indicating that these places have actually been receiving ‘acid rain’.

Rainwater with pH below 5.65 is considered acidic. Potential of hydrogen, or pH, is a scale to measure acidity or alkalinity of a solution, where 7 is 'neutral'. For lesser values, acidity increases with decreasing count.

Acid rain is a result of rain water in the atmosphere mixing with polluting gases such as oxides of sulphur and nitrogen emitted from power plants, automobiles and some industrial units.

(Source: The Times of India)

Also Read: NGT Orders CBI Probe Into UP Jal Nigam Over Ganga Pollution

8. Kejriwal Says No More Odd-Even in Delhi, Focus Now on Public Transport System

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Friday restrictions such as road rationing or congestion charge do not work and the focus should be on improving public transport.

The comment is seen as an admission that the odd-even scheme the city tried out twice in 2016, didn’t work. Kejriwal also indicated the plan that restricts the use of private cars was not being brought back.

“Last year we had taken cues from abroad and tried implementing odd-even to fight congestion and air pollution but this is a temporary measure. Not a permanent solution…” he said.

To clear the Capital’s toxic air, a Supreme Court-appointed panel has suggested steps such as steep parking fee, shutting down of schools and a congestion charge on days of high pollution.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

Also Read: After Odd-Even Failure, Delhi Govt to Install Air Purifiers
Instead of Focusing on Odd-Even, We Should Tackle Indoor Pollution

9. EC Rejects AIADMK's Reply on Sasikala's Elevation, Objects to Dinakaran's Signature on Letter

The Election Commission has refused to accept the reply filed by the AIADMK on behalf of incarcerated party general secretary VK Sasikala, to a plea challenging her appointment as party general secretary .

The ground cited by the poll panel is that the reply was signed by TTV Dinakaran, who is not a party office-bearer as per records available with the EC. Dinakaran, Sasikala's nephew, was appointed as interim deputy general secretary of the party on 23 February.

Nirvachan Sadan officerThere is an issue regarding Dinakaran having signed the letter. He is not an office-bearer as per our records. The Commission has asked Sasikala to either sign the reply herself or authorise anybody else to file the reply on her behalf.

(Source: The Times of India)

Also Read: Probe into Jaya’s Death Will Get Sasikala a Life Term, Says Stalin
Sasikala to Serve 13 More Months in Jail If Rs 10 Cr Fine Not Paid

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