Citizens' Issues
Keen on GST bill, government may convene a short session
With the monsoon session of parliament turning out to be a washout, the Narendra Modi government is thinking of convening a short session in September -- mainly to secure passage for the Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill, sources said.
 
The sources said a "two-three-day session" could be convened in September as no major business could be carried out during the monsoon session that began on July 21 and ended on Thursday.
 
The Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs, which met on Thursday, decided not to recommend immediate prorogation of the houses. The two houses were adjourned sine die. 
 
The sources said the decision to reconvene the monsoon session would depend on the progress the government makes in getting the support of opposition parties on the GST bill in the Rajya Sabha where it lacks a majority. 
 
The bill could not be taken up in the Rajya Sabha during the monsoon session despite government efforts.
 
The Congress forced repeated adjournments in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha over its demand for the resignations of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhra Raje over their alleged help to former IPL chief Lalit Modi and of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan over the Vyapam recruitment scam.

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COMMENTS

Anand Vaidya

2 years ago

The gov could blackmail Congress on the National Herald scam and get the GST, LAB passed. No?

Meenal Mamdani

2 years ago

Unless the PM and his party are prepared to say mea culpa and beg forgiveness for their past obstruction of the same bill, another short session will not help.
The corporate bigwigs and the senior, sidelined BJP stalwarts have to drum some sense into this arrogant coterie.

Slew of measures announced to reduce Delhi pollution
Increasing the number of CNG buses, crackdown on polluting vehicles and industries and tree plantation drives are some of the many steps being taken by the Delhi government to curb rising pollution in the national capital, a statement said on Thursday.
 
As per the report on curbing pollution in the national capital submitted to the environment ministry, the Delhi government said surveillance against adulteration of diesel and petrol had begun in the city while the process of issuing pollution under control (PUC) certificates to vehicles was being made stringent.
 
"We are strengthening and expanding public transport and by the end of 2016, 1,380 semi-low floor buses, 500 mini buses, and 1,000 buses that will run on CNG under the cluster scheme will be introduced," the report said.
 
In addition, the PUC system is being made tamper proof and in the first six months of 2015, a total of 33,554 motorists have been prosecuted for not carrying valid PUC certificates.
 
Furthermore, entry of overloaded commercial vehicles too is being curtailed and between December 5, 2014 and June 30, 2015, a total of 3,734 vehicles were fined for polluting.
 
"The transport department is contemplating a remote sensing based PUC checking on the lines of Kolkata and is in the process of developing online pollution checking module where the pollution would be checked on real time basis and will be captured on the sensor instantaneously," the report said.
 
As far as industrial pollution is concerned, the Badarpur and Rajghat thermal power plants will soon install online monitoring system while the Timarpur Okhla plant has already installed it. The upcoming Ghazipur and Bawana plants will install the system before their commissioning.
 
The national capital has at present 20 stations to assess air quality. Setting up of at least 20 more in the national capital region has been recommended.
 
In addition, the department of forests has started the project of planting around 12 lakh saplings in the national capital by 2016.
 
Similar reports were submitted by Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan on steps taken to lower pollution in the national capital region.
 
Environment, Forests and Climate Change Minister Prakash Javadekar had three meetings with the environment ministers and senior officials of the four states between April and July.
 
A three month action plan and another for one year was formulated to tackle the four focus areas - agriculture, construction waste and demolition waste and vehicular pollution in the last meeting held on July 24.

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Facebook cancels Indian student's internship
Facebook cancelled an Indian-origin student's internship after he exposed a serious privacy flaw in the social media giant's messenger service, a media report said.
 
Aran Khanna's application, Marauder's Map, used data from Facebook Messenger to map users' location when they sent messages, Boston.com reported on Wednesday.
 
The computer science and math student at Harvard University in Massachusetts, US, posted about his app on social media sites Reddit and Medium in May this year and soon it went viral. 
 
The app caught the attention of Facebook and Khanna was asked to disable it.
 
However, before it was disabled, the extension was downloaded more than 85,000 times and "shared on over 200 publications", according to Khanna.
 
About a week later, Facebook released a Messenger app update to provide users "full control over when and how you share your location information".
 
Facebook cancelled Khanna's summer internship, saying he did not meet the high ethical standards expected from the interns.
 
The student accepted another internship with a tech start-up in Silicon Valley and later detailed the experience in a case study titled 'Facebook's Privacy Incident Response: A study of geolocation sharing on Facebook Messenger' in the Harvard Journal of Technology Science.

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