7:27 am - Monday November 16, 2015

TRAI bill gets President’s acquiesce

123 Viewed Gautam Comments Off on TRAI bill gets President’s acquiesce
pranab-mukherjee

The President gave his assent to the Telecom Regulatory Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2014 on 17th July, officials said on Friday.

The amendment bill was passed by Parliament earlier this week. Government has maintained that focus of the measure was to remove “a palpable anomaly” as the existing law provided that a former TRAI chairman could take up private job two years after retirement but not a government job.

Other regulatory bodies like Competition Commission, Airports Economic Regulatory Authority and SEBI do not have such provision which made the government to amend the law to bring parity, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had told the Lok Sabha.

The bill passed by Parliament replaces an ordinance issued on 28th May to amend a clause in the TRAI Act by which Misra could not have been appointed to any government post after retirement.

The bill amends this section to read as:

“The chairperson and the whole-time members shall not, for a period of two years from the date on which they cease to hold office as such, except with the previous approval of the central government, accept ”

Other regulatory bodies like Competition Commission, Airports Economic Regulatory Authority and SEBI do not have such provision which made the government to amend the law to bring parity, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had told the Lok Sabha.

The bill passed by Parliament replaces an ordinance issued on May 28 to amend a clause in the TRAI Act by which Mr. Misra could not have been appointed to any government post after retirement.

The bill amends this section to read as, “The chairperson and the whole-time members shall not, for a period of two years from the date on which they cease to hold office as such, except with the previous approval of the central government, accept “(a) any employment either under the central government or under any state government; or “(b) any appointment in any company in the business of telecommunication service.”

Mr. Misra, a 1967-batch retired IAS officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre who retired in 2009, joined the PMO the same day the ordinance was promulgated and the bill was being brought to give his appointment the requisite legal backing.

The principal secretary to the prime minister is a key post and acts as main link for coordination among Prime Minister’s Office, cabinet secretariat and secretaries of ministries.

 

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After U.S. President Barack Obama raised the issue of religious intolerance in India, The New York Times published a very strong editorial criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi for what it calls his “dangerous silence” on a series of communal events in the country.The editorial, by the NYT editorial board, lists recent attacks on churches and reports of Ghar Vapsi or conversion and marks out the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) for its proposed conversions programme in Ayodhya in March this year, saying the group “was playing with fire.” “Mr. Modi’s continued silence before such troubling intolerance increasingly gives the impression that he either cannot or does not wish to control the fringe elements of the Hindu nationalist right,” the NYT editorial surmised.Full text of the Editorial published in the New York Times on February 6, 2015:What will it take for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to speak out about the mounting violence against India’s religious minorities? Attacks at Christian places of worship have prompted no response from the man elected to represent and to protect all of India’s citizens. Nor has he addressed the mass conversion to Hinduism of Christians and Muslims who have been coerced or promised money. Mr. Modi’s continued silence before such troubling intolerance increasingly gives the impression that he either cannot or does not wish to control the fringe elements of the Hindu nationalist right.Recently, a number of Christian churches in India have been burned and ransacked. Last December, St. Sebastian’s Church in East Delhi was engulfed in fire. Its pastor reported a strong smell of kerosene after the blaze was put out. On Monday, St. Alphonsa’s Church in New Delhi was vandalised. Ceremonial vessels were taken, yet collection boxes full of cash were untouched. Alarmed by the attacks, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India has urged the government to uphold the secular nature of India and to assure its Christians they are “protected and secure” in their own country.There is also concern about the mass conversions. Last December, about 200 Muslims were converted to Hinduism in Agra. In January, up to 100 Christians in West Bengal “reconverted” to Hinduism. Hard-line Hindu nationalist groups, like the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), make no secret of their support for a “homecoming” campaign designed to “return” non-Hindus to the fold. More than 80 per cent of Indians are Hindu, but Pravin Togadia of the VHP says his organisation’s goal is a country that is 100 per cent Hindu. The only way to achieve that is to deny religious minorities their faith.The VHP is reportedly planning a mass conversion of 3,000 Muslims in Ayodhya this month. The destruction of the Babri Mosque there in 1992 by Hindu militants touched off riots between Hindus and Muslims across India that left more than 2,000 people dead. The VHP knows it is playing with fire.Mr. Modi has promised an ambitious agenda for India’s development. But, as President Obama observed in a speech in New Delhi last month: “India will succeed so long as it is not splintered along the lines of religious faith.” Mr. Modi needs to break his deafening silence on religious intolerance.

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