Nation
Arvind Kejriwal offers to resign as Convener of AAP; Yadav removed from PAC

In a twist and turn of events, Arvind Kejriwal offered his resignation as national convener of AAP, ahead of the Party’s crucial meet. During the meeting, AAP reportedly decided not to have Yogendra Yadav in its Political Affairs Committee

 

Delhi’s chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has offered to resign as the convener of Aam Admi Party (AAP), just hours before a crucial meeting of the party seniors. The national executive of AAP was scheduled to assemble for a crucial meeting to decide on the fate of party members Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan. Kejriwal’s resignation comes hardly a week after AAP's previous National Executive Council (NEC) meeting, in which Kejriwal had offered to quit, but did not, following overwhelming rejection from the members. According to media reports, Kejriwal has cited being “overburdened” as a reason for his resignation, stating that he is unable to cope with the dual roles as chief minister and convener of AAP. 
 
Meanwhile, according to media reports, the NCE of AAP has decided not to have Yadav in the party's Political Affairs Committee (PAC).
 
This resignation is the latest in the row of troubles and disputes that have plagued the AAP since the past few weeks. It began with party members Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan raising concerns regarding the operations of the AAP and the autocratic leadership of Kejriwal. Many party members were of the opinion that the two of them were conspiring to usurp Kejriwal's position in AAP. 
 
Following this, a NEC meeting was scheduled for 4 March 2015 in order to discuss the issue, and there were reports that both Yadav and Bhushan would be axed from the Political Affairs Committee (PAC), the party's topmost decision making body. 
 
However, Kejriwal has now submitted his resignation as party chief to AAP National Secretary Pankaj Gupta, and it is reported that he will not be attending the NEC Meeting. 
 
Kejriwal had mentioned that he was “deeply hurt” by the ongoing disputes within the party and that he refused to be dragged into the “ugly battle” in his tweets on Tuesday. 
 
The fate of Kejriwal, as well as Yadav and Bhushan will be determined in the NEC meeting, which will be attended by the top 20 members of the party. It is expected that his resignation, like the one he offered last week, will be rejected. In fact, Yadav himself claims to be against this resignation. “If Arvind has resigned then just like the last time we will oppose it again. Last time also, Prashant (Bhushan) and I had raised our hands and opposed his resignation. It is important for the party that he stays on as national convener,” he said. 
 

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KYC pains for NRIs and PIOs
Banks needs to computerise data of NRIs and PIOs, which will indicate, well in advance when the applicant's overseas passport expires; whether or not he holds any other valid documents, like driving license
 
A few months ago, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued the know your customer (KYC) guidelines,  (DBOD.AML.BC No: 44/14.01.001/2014-15 dated 21 October 2014), which makes it mandatory for banks to periodically update its customer identity data.
 
This particular circular refers only to non-resident Indians (NRIs) and persons of Indian origin (PIOs), who may have also obtained the Overseas Citizen of India Card, after securing foreign nationality, and yet, has very close links back with India. This could be through their investments, or kith and kin living there and their own elderly parents living in India. Such a move to obtain the information and keep a track of such NRIs would be of national advantage, in the long run.
 
The requirement, as per this circular, is proof of one being an NRI or PIO and is given by providing a copy of the valid passport and visa, if holding an Indian passport; for a person of Indian origin, holding, a foreign passport, but holding an OCI card, copy of the same would be needed. However, the rules stipulate that these should be attested by the Indian Embassy or Consulate abroad, or a Notary Public, or any branch of an Indian scheduled commercial bank having an overseas branch in the country of residence of the applicant. To obtain this attestation, it is natural for the applicant to produce the original document for verification!
 
Additional proof of identity and address are also required by supporting documentary evidence. This would be for the NRI or OCI who has "returned" back to India, and is living in the country, on his/ her own, and/or with his/ her family.
 
In addition to the above, customer updation requires the current personal details, such as the address location, phone numbers, mobile phone numbers, email address, passport and visa details (if still holding the NRI status, but with the Indian passport etc.), Pan Card data, with a supporting passport photo.
 
The question is that the above needs must also ensure that the Banks are organised to computerise the data, which will indicate, well in advance when the applicant's overseas passport expires; whether or not he holds any other valid documents, such as the Drivers' license (both domestic and foreign, if any).  Many NRIs, who have residences back in India also have Voter's ID Cards, besides having PAN cards. All these need to be incorporated into the system, and the upgrading must be done at the Bank where the applicant operates. Instead of having to produce tonnes of attested documents, RBI must permit, and the Banks should accept, a self-certified statement if there are any changes, with an undertaking that the revised, renewed document, like the passport, will be provided should be enough, which should be actually given within an agreed time frame.
 
The NRIs/OCIs, in comparison to rest of the Indians at home, are a minority. It will be an enormous and Herculean task if the Banks are expected to obtain this sort of information from every single customer that they may have, for the rest of Indians!  

(AK Ramdas has worked with the Engineering Export Promotion Council of the ministry of commerce. He was also associated with various committees of the Council. His international career took him to places like Beirut, Kuwait and Dubai at a time when these were small trading outposts; and later to the US.)

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COMMENTS

vasanti

2 years ago

Valuable insight. Thank you!

Rail Budget: What’s in It for You?
Lots, if the government is really serious
 
Suresh Prabhu, presenting his first Railway Budget, refrained from populist measures, like announcing new trains, and left passenger fares untouched. Interestingly, unlike his predecessors, Mr Prabhu refrained from announcing any new train, but assured members of Parliament (MPs) that he would review their requests before announcing any new train.
 
However, Mr Prabhu announced a slew of measures for passengers, like mobile app for complaints, water-vending machines at major stations, CCTV cameras in some long-distance trains and EMUs (Electric Multiple Units). Indian Railways will introduce ‘Operation Five Minutes’ to ensure that a passenger travelling unreserved can purchase a ticket within five minutes. Provision of modified ‘hot-buttons’, coin-vending machines and ‘single destination teller’ windows will drastically reduce the transaction time. For the differently-abled travellers, a special initiative is being launched whereby they can purchase concessional e-tickets after one-time registration.
 
To make travel on Indian Railways a happier experience, Mr Prabhu has given a thrust to cleanliness, while proposing a new department for keeping stations and trains clean under Swachh Rail-Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. New toilets will be built at 650 additional stations; online booking of disposable bed-rolls will be made available. A 24X7 helpline number 138 and a toll-free number 182 for security-related complaints have also been proposed by the Railway minister in his budget.
 
 
In addition, passengers would receive an ‘SMS Alert’ informing them in advance of the updated arrival and departure time of trains at starting or destination stations.
 
The Railways has approached the National Institute of Design (NID) to design user-friendly ladders for climbing upper berths. Railways is also launching a programme to improve design, quality and cleanliness of bed linen within the next six months. The facility of online booking of disposable bed-rolls at select stations is being extended to all passengers through the IRCTC portal on payment basis.
 
 
There would be more numbers of lower berths for senior citizens. Besides, TTEs (Travelling Ticket Examiner) will now be instructed to help senior citizens, pregnant women and differently-abled persons in obtaining lower berths and middle bay of coaches would be reserved for women and senior citizens, the minister added.
 
Railways would also introduce e-catering, under which passengers will have freedom to select their meals from an array of choices, including local cuisine. At present e-catering is available in 108 trains and, based on passenger response, it would be expanded to more trains. Railways is also setting up base kitchens in specified divisions that would be run by agencies for serving quality food to passengers.
 
Indian Railways’ Delhi Division is taking up a project for introducing on-board entertainment on select Shatabdi trains on licence-fee basis. Depending on the response, the facility will be extended on all Shatabdi trains.
 
Mobile phone charging facilities would be provided in general class coaches and the number of charging facilities would be increased in sleeper class coaches.

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