Citizens' Issues
Major reform bills coming in last 3 days of session: Jaitley
The government intends to bring important legislation on structural reforms in the remaining three day left of parliament's winter Session, notwithstanding the setback on the GST Bill, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Saturday.
 
"The next three days are crucial with very important pieces of legislation coming up before parliament," Jaitley said here addressing the annual general meeting of industry chamber FICCI.
 
"India has almost ceased to be the centre of arbitration and adjudication and we need to bring it back because the arbitration costs abroad are enormous for our companies," he said.
 
"We are bringing in the bill for creating fast-track arbitration in the country, including single-member tribunals," he added.
 
The finance minister said another proposed legislation would be bringing in a new Bankruptcy Law for companies.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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US Sikh store-owner fights off armed robber with only slipper

In a feat caught on surveillance cameras, the 59-year-old Amrik Singh fought off a shotgun-wielding masked robber using only his slipper in the store at his petrol station in Staatsburg, about 150 km from New York City

 

 A slipper can be mightier than a gun in the hands of a valiant Sikh store-owner!
 
In a feat caught on surveillance cameras, the 59-year-old Amrik Singh fought off a shotgun-wielding masked robber using only his slipper in the store at his petrol station in Staatsburg, about 150 km from New York City. (The video can be seen at: https://youtu.be/YbYtHWCi8BQ )
 
"I'm not really a hero," Amrik told IANS Friday about Tuesday's slipper-shotgun face-off. "And I would not want to be a hero. I am just a working man."
 
Singh, who immigrated to the US from Doburji in Punjab's Moga district 35 years ago and has owned the Citgo petrol station and store for 19 years, said he did not have a strategy or a conscious plan to confront the gunman. 
 
But "God told my body to grab the man as he reached for the tray in the cash register", he said.
 
"When the gunman jumped back, I threw the slipper and hit him on the nose," Singh said. "I ran and caught him and we were like wrestling."
 
Laughing, the turban-wearing Singh said: "He did not expect an old man to fight him. He ran outside and I chased him. He fired a shot at my feet, but it missed and hit the ground and he drove away."
 
Asked by IANS about Singh's feat, his wife, Baljinder said: "It is shocking and crazy. He had a guardian angel protecting him."
 
When the would-be robber entered the store with the gun, Singh said he was momentarily taken aback. "After that my mind was clear and I was not nervous at all."
 
He said he first tried to reason with the man and offered to give him money. "But he demanded $100 dollar bills. I told him I did not have any. He tried remove the coin tray and search under it."
 
That's when the confrontation caught on the surveillance video that made prime time TV newscasts across the United States Thursday night started.
 
Singh does not plan to take chances if there is another robbery attempt. "I am a US citizen and I am going to apply for a gun licence."
 
Police don't recommend such acts of bravado. State Trooper Melissa McMorris was quoted by the Daily Freeman as saying "Thank God, the store owner wasn't hurt in the confrontation." 
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
 

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Mid day meals of poor quality: CAG

The report raised many red flags such as over-reporting of enrolment figures, financial indiscipline, poor quality of means and inadequate meals

 

The quality of food served in schools under the Mid Day Meal Scheme continues to remain poor across the country, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) said in a report tabled in parliament on Friday.
 
The report raised many red flags such as over-reporting of enrolment figures, financial indiscipline, poor quality of means and inadequate meals.
 
"Cases of cooking of poor quality meals in unhygienic conditions, inadequate and poor quality of infrastructure in terms of kitchen sheds and utensils were rampant across all states exposing children to health hazards," it said.
 
Launched in August 1995 to boost education by increasing enrolment, retention and attendance simultaneously impacting on the nutrition levels of children, the Mid Day Meal Scheme was extended in 2008-09 to students of upper primary classes.
 
The scheme is currently operational in 27 states and seven union territories.
 
According to the report, the Food Corporation of India did not serve the best quality of rice in Uttar Pradesh schools.
 
It said there were several complaints of poor quality meal cooked by Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation Limited which is engaged in cooking for schools in Chandigarh.
 
According to the report, the prescribed nutrition to children was not provided in schools of at least nine states, including the national capital.
 
In Delhi, samples of cooked food of the 37 service providers during the period 2010-14 were tested by the Sri Ram Institute of Industrial Research.
 
"Out of the 2,102 samples, 1,876 (89 percent) failed to meet the prescribed nutrition standard," the report said.
 
The report showed a consistent decline of enrolment of children in the Mid Day Meal Scheme from 14.69 crore in 2009-10 to 13.87 crore in 2013-14.
 
Declining trends in enrolments during 2009-10 to 2103-14 were observed across the country in states such as Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand, Lakshadweep and Puducherry.
 
The report also observed that the checks to ensure quality of meals and adequacy of nutritional value of food served to children remained only on paper.
 
The inadequate monitoring of the scheme by the human resource ministry and the states was a major bottleneck in implementation. The funds earmarked for monitoring and evaluation had been grossly underutilized, the report cited.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
 

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