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  • Prabhu prioritises women safety in rail budget

    Giving priority to women's safety, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Thursday announced the utilisation of resources from the Nirbhaya Fund by Indian Railways, adding that surveillance cameras would be provided in select coaches. Presenting his maiden Railway Budget 2015-16 in parliament in New Delhi, Prabhu also announced a dedicated toll-free number, 182, for receiving any security-related complaints. "Indian Railways would utilise resources from the Nirbhaya Fund for augmenting security of women passengers... For the safety of women passengers, surveillance cameras will be provided on a pilot basis in selected mainline coaches and ladies’ compartments of suburban coaches without compromising on privacy," he said.

    Source: IANS

    2015-02-26 05:28:37 PM
  • 'Swachh Bharat' mission to give women priority: Government

    The government on Thursday said that women will be accorded priority under the 'Swachh Bharat' mission while constructing community and public toilets. Replying to a question in the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Urban Development and Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Babul Supriyo said that one community toilet seat per 25 women and one public toilet seat per 50 women will be built under the mission as against one community toilet seat per 35 men and one public toilet seat per 100 men. "Community toilets are proposed to be built under 'Swachh Bharat' mission for common use of local communities in an area with 40 percent viability gap funding/grant from the Ministry of Urban Development. Public toilets are to be built on pay and use basis," he said. Supriyo informed the house that as per the 2011 census, 44,04,752 public toilets were available in the cities.

    Source: IANS

    2015-02-26 05:25:25 PM
  • Railway Budget: Quality of bed linen to be improved

    The Railways will launch within the next six months a programme to improve the design, quality and cleanliness of bed linen, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said in New Delhi on Thursday. Presenting his maiden Railway Budget in the Lok Sabha, he said that the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) in Delhi has been approached for designing bed linen. Additionally, the facility of online booking of disposable bedrolls at select stations is being extended to all passengers through the IRCTC portal on payment basis, Prabhu said. "The railways will also increase the number of mechanized laundries," the minister added.

    Source: IANS

    2015-02-26 04:02:57 PM
  • Railways plan to set up innovation council 'Kayakalp'

    Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Thursday announced his ministry's plan to set up an innovation council called "Kayakalp" for business re-engineering and introducing a spirit of innovation in the Indian Railways. The government has also proposed an investment of Rs.393.36 crore for computerisation and Rs.40.44 crore for railway research in the financial year 2015-16, Prabhu said. "Railways will set up in 2015-16 four Railway Research Centres in select universities for doing fundamental research," the minister said while presenting his maiden Railway Budget in the Lok Sabha. The railways have also decided to strengthen the Research Design and Standards Organisation into an institute of excellence for applied research.

    Source: IANS

    2015-02-26 04:00:44 PM
  • Government committed to protecting all groups: Jaitley

    The government is committed to protecting the rights of all communities, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Thursday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has spoken repeatedly on the subject, said that the BJP leader while participating in a discussion in the Rajya Sabha on the motion of thanks to President Pranab Mukherjee's address to a joint session of both houses of parliament. "The prime minister spoke in this house in the last session... He has spoken outside also. The consistent message has been that the government is committed to protecting the rights of every group irrespective of their beliefs, caste or religion," Jaitley said. "There will be no compromise on that," he said.

    Source: IANS

    2015-02-26 03:56:49 PM

  • Meghalaya on railways' map

    Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Thursday said that Meghalaya has joined the railway network and Arunachal Pradesh has been linked with the national capital. "We are committed to provide rail connectivity to northeastern states and Meghalaya has been finally brought on the railways' map," the minister said in his budget speech in the Lok Sabha. "Arunachal Pradesh has been finally connected to Delhi," he said. In 2014, the central government flagged off the first passenger train service in Meghalaya connecting Mendipathar in the state with Guwahati in Assam. A project to convert the Bhairabi-Sairang track in Mizoram into broad gauge was also initiated.

    Source: IANS

    2015-02-26 03:53:40 PM
  • Parliament witnesses adjournments over Naidu's remark

    Both houses of parliament witnessed brief adjournments on Thursday as the opposition demanded an apology from Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu for his remarks targeting them. Shortly after the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha met for the day's business, the opposition leaders demanded an unconditional apology from Naidu. On Wednesday, during the motion of thanks to the president's address, Naidu had said that if the Congress can't introspect (about their defeat in elections) in New Delhi, it should "go somewhere far" to do so. Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan repeatedly asked the members to maintain calm, but her appeals went unheard and the house was adjourned till 11.30 a.m.

    Source: IANS

    2015-02-26 03:51:18 PM
  • Rail Budget: Slew of passenger amenities announced

    Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Thursday announced a slew of passenger facilities in his maiden budget including user-friendly ladders to mount upper berths to increasing lower-berth quota for senior citizens. The other amenities are: ** Unreserved ticket purchase made simpler through smart phones, debit cards ** Introduction of 'Operation Five Minutes' to ensure that a passenger travelling unreserved can purchase a ticket within five minutes ** Introduction of 17,000 bio-toilets in trains ** Surveillance cameras on select mainline and ladies compartments ** All India 24 X 7 helpline 138 from March 1; Toll free No.182 - for security complaints ** All newly-manufactured coaches to be braille-enabled ** Online booking for wheel chairs to be enabled ** Wi-Fi facility to be extended to category B stations ** SMS alerts to be introduced to inform passengers in advance about the updated arrival/ departure time of trains at starting or destination stations ** New department to keep stations clean ** Toilets at stations need improvement; 650 additional toilets to be created in addition to 120 last year ** Rs.120 crore provided for lifts and escalators to facilitate movement of passengers and goods ** Collaboration with NIFT and NID for better bed rolls, inner coach designs ** For the benefit of the soldiers, a Defence Travel System has been developed for elimination of warrants to make travel easier. This facility has been commissioned in 600 locations. **To expand water vending machines to most railway stations to ensure availability of clean drinking water at very low cost to people **The facility of self-operated lockers would also gradually be made available at stations **TTEs would be instructed to help senior citizens, pregnant women and differently-abled people in obtaining lower berths **Middle bay of coaches will be reserved for women and senior citizens for reasons of safety.

    2015-02-26 03:39:32 PM
  • Kejriwal wants to meet Khattar over water sharing

    Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday sought a meeting with his Haryana counterpart Manohar Lal Khattar to discuss water sharing between the two states. The development comes a day after the Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi halved the power rates and made 20,000 litres of water free for a month for Delhiites. Kejriwal has written to Khattar asking him to take up seriously the issue of reduced water supply to Delhi from Haryana through the Munak Canal, official sources said. This, Kejriwal pointed out, would lead to a serious crisis in Delhi in the coming summer, the source said.

    Source: IANS

    2015-02-26 03:36:46 PM
  • Nothing new in budget: Ex-railway minister

    The NDA government's railway budget for 2015-16 is a repetition of what the UPA government presented in the past, former railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said on Thursday. He said that the budget only took forward previous budgets presented by the United Progressive Alliance government. "It's repetitive...," he told reporters after Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu presented the budget in the Lok Sabha on Thursday. He said that the IT provisions being talked about now were actually introduced by former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi a long time ago. "It would have been good had he done something in the nine months of his government," Bansal said.

    Source: IANS

    2015-02-26 03:34:37 PM
  • Rail budget forward looking, futuristic: Modi

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday described the 2015 rail budget as a “watershed” moment for Indian Railways and called it "forward looking, futuristic and passenger-centric budget". “Rail budget 2015 is a forward looking, futuristic and passenger centric budget, combining a clear vision and a definite plan to achieve it,” Modi said in a tweet after Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu presented his maiden budget in New Delhi. “Rail budget 2015 is a watershed moment for Railways, marking a paradigm shift from discussing coaches and trains to comprehensive railway reform,” he added. The rail budget promises nine more high-speed trains, faster speed of existing trains, Wi-Fi in 400 stations, user-friendly ladders to mount upper berths, easier norms for unreserved tickets, 17,000 bio-toilets in trains, better connectivity in north-east, and cameras for safety of women travellers.

    Source: IANS

    2015-02-26 03:30:57 PM
  • Passenger interest of foremost importance: Suresh Prabhu

    Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Thursday said that the interests of the passengers will be of foremost importance to the government. “95 percent of our passengers are common people; We have to take care of their interests, priorities & grievances,” the minister tweeted minutes before presenting his maiden budget. “We will keep in mind long term interest of Railways & interests of common passenger & try to balance both,” he tweeted. “We have to get investments & become highly competitive in quality of services we offer,” the minister said.

    Source: IANS

    2015-02-26 12:29:34 PM
  • Parliament adjourned

    Both houses of parliament were adjourned on Thursday amidst uproar by the opposition. The uproar in both houses took place shortly after they assembled ahead of the railway budget to be presented by Minister Suresh Prabhu. While the Lok Sabha was adjourned till 11.30 a.m., the Rajya Sabha was adjourned till 11.35 a.m.

    Source: IANS

    2015-02-26 11:41:07 AM
  • Veer Savarkar ignited spark of nationalism: Modi

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday paid tribute to freedom fighter Veer Savarkar on his death anniversary, saying he "ignited the spark of nationalism in several lives". "Tributes to the great Veer Savarkar on his Punya Tithi. He ignited the spark of nationalism in several lives," Modi tweeted. He also shared an image of himself paying tributes to the Hindu ideologue. Savarkar was born on May 28, 1883 and died on Feb 26, 1966.

    Source: IANS

    2015-02-26 11:37:57 AM
  • Vyapam issue: MP governor seeks appointment with Pranab

    Madhya Pradesh Governor Ram Naresh Yadav, who has been named an accused in the Vyapam recruitment scam, has sought appointment with President Pranab Mukherjee. The Special Task Force (STF) had filed an FIR against Yadav for recommending for two youths in the Forest Guard examination conducted by Vyapam. A Raj Bhavan source said on Wednesday evening that the governor has sought an appointment with the president on Thursday. However, no confirmation in this regard was received from the Rashtrapati Bhavan. The source also confirmed that the governor had not tendered his resignation yet and an official press release would be issued by the Raj Bhavan if he resigned.

    Source: IANS

    2015-02-26 11:35:36 AM
  • Rahul Gandhi not being allowed to function independently: Digvijay

    Congress party vice president Rahul Gandhi "feels very strongly" that he is not being allowed to function independently by "vested interests" in the party, said Congress party general secretary Digvijay Singh on Wednesday. In an interview with Headlines Today, Digvijay Singh said that Rahul Gandhi was "not running away" and he is "made of sterner stuff". Digvijay Singh said that Gandhi had held consultations on the future roadmap of the Congress before going on leave. He acknowledged that he was surprised when he learnt about the latter's leave, adding he came to know about it from journalists. Asked if Gandhi was frustrated at not being allowed to function freely within the party, Digvijay Singh said: "I'm not sure of that, only he can answer. One thing I know that he feels very strongly that he is not being allowed to function independently."

    Source: IANS

    2015-02-26 11:31:45 AM
  • Rahul Gandhi may be Congress president soon

    The current Vice-President of the Congress is most likely to move to the top of the party hierarchy. Rahul Gandhi is likely to be the party president in April as the party is trying to come to terms with the rout in 2014 general elections and subsequent series of losses in various assembly elections. Senior Congress leaders like Digvijay Singh and Kamal Nath have put their weight behind the likely move to be made. "Mrs. Sonia Gandhi thinks Rahul Gandhi is doing something and Rahul thinks that Mrs. Sonia Gandhi is doing something. We must have a situation where Rahul is in command," said Kamal Nath.

    Source: IANS

    2015-02-26 11:29:26 AM
  • Suresh Prabhu to present Rail Budget today

    Union Minister for Railways, Suresh Prabhu will present the first Rail Budget of the Modi government on Thursday. The eyes will be on the passenger fare and freight rates, if there is a hike. There seems a possibility of a hike as the railways are going through a revenue crisis. The union minister also has to make ways to ensure safety and security in Indian trains. It will be worth a watch if Suresh Prabhu is able to cut down the cross-subsidy for passenger service from freight revenue which is close to Rs 24,000 crore and the steps to expand goods transportation share in the national transporter.

    Source: News Reports

    2015-02-26 10:34:22 AM
  • SAD-BJP alliance sweeps Punjab civic polls

    The SAD-BJP alliance in Punjab has swept the civic polls. Out of the 2,037 seats of the 122 Municipal corporations and Nagar Panchayats, the alliance took a total of 1,161 seats. The ruling SAD took hold of 813 wards, while the BJP managed to win 348 wards. Trying to gain stronghold in the state, the Congress won 253 wards. According to the Election Commission sources, 624 seats went to independent candidates. The Akali Dal registered big win in Amritsar, Moga, Tarn Taran and Mohali while Congress emerged as the biggest party in Nurmahal, Khanna, Doraha, Patran, Malerkotla, Abohar, Gidderbaha and Nawanshahar towns. The BJP was ahead of the others in the wards of Ferozepur, Fazilka, Mukerian, Dasuya, Nangal, Tanda, Rajpura, Deenanagar and Sujanpur.

    Source: News Reports

    2015-02-26 10:09:56 AM
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