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Railway Board restructured; railway cadres merged: Cabinet

Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Union Cabinet today approved the restructuring of the Railway Board.

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Indian Railways

Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Union Cabinet today approved the restructuring of the Railway Board. Railway Board to have four members and chairperson a reduction from the present number of 8.

The Union Cabinet also approved the merging of railway cadres, which will now be called Railway Management System.

According to a PTI report, the Railway Board will now have Members for Business Development, Operation, Human Resources, Infrastructure and Finance. The posts for Member Traffic, Rolling Stock, Traction and Engineering will be done away with, the report said.

The government is aiming to usher in transformational reforms across the national transporter’s network. The infrastructure and passenger experience on Indian Railways involves roping in the private sector.

As an experiment, India’s first private train, operated by the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), started operations in October this year.

The aim is to eventually invite private operators to run trains on as many as 150 routes on the Indian Railways network.

To facilitate faster movement of passenger trains, Indian Railways is upgrading two major branches of the Golden Quadrilateral; Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Kolkata to 160 kmph speed potential. According to the national transporter, the infrastructure upgradation will take 2-3 years and once the projects are complete, passengers will be able to commute between Delhi and Mumbai in 10 hours and Delhi and Kolkata in 12 hours.

This upgrade is also aimed at making the network more lucrative for private players to run trains on.

India

Congress takes pot shot at Trump for not mentioning Mahatma

“The distinction cannot be more stark…The visiting US president Barack Obama wrote about Gandhi in 2010 that ‘a hero just not to… India but for the whole world’.”

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New Delhi, Feb 24 : Congress on Monday criticised US President Donald Trump for not mentioning Mahatma Gandhi in the visitor book of Sabarmati Ashram and instead praising Modi and called him “great friend” (PM Modi) and called his tour a “wonderful visit”

“This is a snapshot of the note that someone sent. It ostensibly is @realDonaldTrumps note at Sabarmati. No mention of the Great Mahatma. Does he even know who Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was?” Manish Tewari wrote while tweeting the pictures of the visitor book.

Tewari also shared the picturess of Barack Obama who praised Gandhi during his visit. “And this is what @barackobama had to say about the Great Mahatma possibly at Rajghat or Sabarmati.

“The distinction cannot be more stark…The visiting US president Barack Obama wrote about Gandhi in 2010 that ‘a hero just not to… India but for the whole world’.”

“Generations to come will scarce believe that such a one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth. Messrs Modi and Trump doing their best to prove Einstein right in a way he didn’t intend — by erasing the Mahatma from his abode!” tweeted Tharoor

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India

Justice B.P. Dharmadhikari named Acting CJ of Bombay HC

A fortnight ago, his cousin Justice S. C. Dharmadhikari, who was the then seniormost judge after the CJ, had resigned from his post.

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Mumbai, Feb 24 : Justice Bhushan P. Dharmadhikari has been appointed as the Acting Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court, a Rashtrapati Bhavan communique said on Monday.

Justice Dharmadhikari’s appointment follows the retirement of Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog last week.

Justice Dharmadhikari is presently the seniormost judge of the high court.

A fortnight ago, his cousin Justice S. C. Dharmadhikari, who was the then seniormost judge after the CJ, had resigned from his post.

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India

SC judge says opposing govt can’t be labelled as anti-national

“There have been many recent incidents where people have been called anti-national because they dissented from the government,”

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Supreme Court judge Justice Deepak Gupta

New Delhi, Feb 24 : Supreme Court judge Deepak Gupta on Monday said if attempts are made to quell dissent, then it will have a chilling effect on democracy, as “governments are not always right” and that opposing government can’t be labelled as anti-national.

Speaking at the lecture hosted by Supreme Court Bar Association on democracy and dissent, Justice Gupta emphasized the essence of democracy by stating that majoritarianism is antithesis to democracy. “There have been many recent incidents where people have been called anti-national because they dissented from the government,” he said.

“If some party gets 51% votes, does that mean the other 49% should not speak for 5 years…every citizen has a role to play in democracy….governments are not always right,” said Justice Gupta.

“Just because you take a contararian view, it does not mean disrespect to the country. Whenever there is a clash of ideas, there will be dissent. Right to question is an inherent part of democracy.”

He reiterated that the Opposition has the right to protest as long as peaceful means are adopted. Justice Gupta also cited excerpts from a lecture recently given by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, which said: “Blatant labelling if dissent as anti-national stops deliberative democracy.”

Citing vital components of democracy, Justice Gupta said democracy is considered successful, if it protects the civil rights of the citizens. “Dissent has an important role, it should be encouraged…it leads to finding better ways to run the country”, he added.

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