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Economist Rajiv Kumar appointed NITI Aayog Vice Chairman

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New Delhi, Aug 5 : Economist Rajiv Kumar has been appointed the Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog in place of Arvind Panagariya, said informed souces.

Panagariya, an academician on leave from Columbia University, resigned as the NITI Aayog Vice Chairman on August 1.

Kumar, a senior fellow at Centre for Policy Research (CPR), is also chancellor of the the Gokhale Institute of Economics and Politics in Pune and the founding director of Pahle India Foundation, a non-profit research organisation that specialises in policy-oriented research and analysis.

Before coming to CPR, he was Secretary General of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci).

He has also served as Director and Chief Executive of the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) and chief economist of the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), as well as in positions with the Asian Development Bank and the Indian Ministries of Industries and Finance.

He presently sits on the boards of several international and national institutions, including the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center in Riyadh, the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and Asia in Jakarta, the State Bank of India, and the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade. He was a member of the Indian Government’s National Security Advisory Board between 2006 and 2008.

Kumar holds a DPhil in economics from Oxford and a PhD from Lucknow University.

Apart from Kumar, Vinod Paul, a doctor by professsion, has been appointed member of NITI Aayog. Paul is a paediatrician at AIIMS.

India

Media bodies seek action against J&K MLA for threatening press

The Indian Women’s Press Corps, Press Club of India, Press Association and the Federation of Press Clubs of India said in a statement that Singh, a former J&K Minister, had warned journalists at a press conference in Jammu to “draw a line”.

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Choudhary Lal Singh

New Delhi, June 24 (IANS) Media organisations on Sunday demanded strict action against Jammu and Kashmir BJP MLA Choudhary Lal Singh over his “threatening and intimidating” remarks directed at journalists in the Valley.

The Indian Women’s Press Corps, Press Club of India, Press Association and the Federation of Press Clubs of India said in a statement that Singh, a former J&K Minister, had warned journalists at a press conference in Jammu to “draw a line”.

He openly threatened them with consequences and warned them of a fate similar to that of Shujaat Bukhari, the Editor of Rising Kashmir who was shot dead less than a fortnight ago, the statement said.

Bukhari’s assassination was condemned by people in general, besides a number of journalist organisations.

Condemning his remarks, the statement said that Singh also blamed Kashmir journalists for creating a “wrong atmosphere” and told them to control themselves.

Singh resigned from the state cabinet in April following his participation in a rally organised by the Hindu Ekta Manch in January in support of those accused of rape and murder of a young girl in Kathua.

“We demand that strict action be taken against the lawmaker for making threatening remarks hinting possible violence at journalists in the Valley,” the statement said.

It said that such remarks were nothing short of criminal intimidation and a direct attack on the freedom of the press.

“They also serve to vitiate atmosphere and endanger the lives of journalists who work and live precariously in conflict situations,” the statement read.

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NBCC clarifies over Felling of trees for south Delhi’s Housing Project

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New Delhi, June 24: A day after the residents of south Delhi protested carried out a candle light march  in order to protest cutting of more than 16,000 trees under the south Delhi redevelopment project, National Buildings and Construction Construction (NBCC)  chairperson AK Mittal said that replanting and replacement of trees is being done.

“We’ve permission to cut 1400 trees in Nauroji Nagar&2200 in Netaji Nagar. Nothing finalised in Sarojini Nagar yet.That’s only 3600 trees, not 16,000. No. of trees in rest 4 colonies which will be developed by CPWD is also less.Replanting&replacement of trees is going on,”Mittal said.

In September last year, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) had asked the National Buildings and Construction Construction (NBCC) Limited to complete compensatory plantation before they start felling trees for the redevelopment of Sarojini Nagar, Nauroji Nagar and Netaji Nagar areas.

 

The centre while responding to reports saying that nearly 17,000 trees are to be cut in Nauroji Nagar, Netaji Nagar, Sarojini Nagar, Mohammadpur, Sriniwaspuri, Kasturba Nagar and Thyagaraj Nagar as part of the redevelopment project, said that “14,031 trees are to be cut out of the existing 21,040 trees”.

 

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, in a statement, added that “the compensatory plantation of trees will be done in the ratio of 1:10, which will enhance the green area”.

 

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15 killed as tractor falls in Telangana canal

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Hyderabad, June 24 : Fifteen agriculture workers were killed and 15 others injured when a tractor plunged into a canal in Telangana’s Yadadri district on Sunday, police said.

The incident occurred when the tractor carrying the workers fell in Musi canal near Veligonda. The dead include 14 women and a boy.

According to the police, the tractor driver lost control of the vehicle while trying to avoid a motorcycle coming from the opposite direction.

The injured were shifted to nearby hospitals. The death toll may rise as the condition of some of the injured is stated to be critical.

The agriculture workers were on their way to nearby fields for sowing when the incident took place. Police personnel and revenue workers with the help of locals retrieved the bodies from the canal.

State Energy Minister Jagdish Reddy visited the accident site. He told reporters that a probe would be conducted into the incident. He assured all help to the families of the deceased and to the injured.

Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao has expressed shock over the incident. He conveyed his condolences to the families of the deceased and directed officials to provide best medical care to the injured.(IANS)

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