Citizens' Issues
Saradha scam: CBI grills Trinamool leader
West Bengal's ruling Trinamool Congress' state general secretary Shankudeb Panda was on Wednesday interrogated by the CBI in connection with the Saradha scam.
 
Summoned by the CBI, Panda, earlier attached to the Saradha Group as a journalist, appeared before the agency office in the morning.
 
"He is being questioned about his involvement with the Saradha group," said a CBI officer. 
 
The journalist-turned-politician was grilled in December last by the Enforcement Directorate which too is probing the multi-crore scam in which several Trinamool leaders have been indicted.
 
Former state transport minister and senior Trinamool leader Madan Mitra is currently behind bars for his alleged complicity in the scam.
 
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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New IPR policy to boost innovation, patent filings
While domestic applications to the Indian patents office had remained low at about one-fifth of the total filings, a new policy on intellectual property rights (IPR) should help the situation, a top official said on Wednesday.
 
"I am concerned that domestic filings of patent applications have remained static in the past few years at about 20 percent of total filings," Amitabh Kant, the secretary of Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), said here at an IPR Conference hosted by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
 
"Considering that the country has one of the largest reservoirs of scientists and technologists, it seems extremely unjustified that the levels of patent filings are still fairly low," he said, adding there was need to widen the awareness about intellectual property (IP) in the country.
 
The national Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) policy, currently being prepared, would help India become an innovative economy over the next decade, he said.
 
"We expect it to be a visionary document that can guide the journey of India towards becoming an innovative economy in the next 10 years." 
 
A draft policy was placed in the public domain, inviting comments from stakeholders and others interested, he added.
 
Kant, however, stressed the importance of creating an innovative ecosystem which would support translation of inventions into commercial use.
 
"This innovation ecosystem can only be created and nurtured through initiatives of the government in collaboration with industry," the secretary said.
 
He also urged organisations to protect their trademarks as it would help them leverage their brand value towards development of the business.
 
Kant said Indian IPR laws were amended in compliance with the World Trade Organisation, which had led to a comprehensive, legislative, administrative and judicial framework to safeguard IPRs.
 
He also said that the government has taken several measures to improve the delivery of services provided by IP office, such as processing of applications.
 
Nearly 250,000 patent applications and 532,000 trademark registrations are pending with the government owing to shortage of manpower.
 
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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All diesel vehicles to be checked for emissions: Minister
The central government on Wednesday said that it will carry out extensive checks on all diesel passenger vehicles in the country within the next six months to ascertain if any violations of emission norms have taken place.
 
The decision to go in for a massive drive to check all the diesel passenger vehicles across the country came a day after Volkswagen Group India admitted to have violated emission norms.
 
The company also announced one of the largest voluntary recalls of diesel passenger vehicles. 
 
Citing the emission norms violation as a "well-thought-out crime", Heavy Industries Minister Anant Geete said the government will ask the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) to check out all the diesel passenger vehicles across the country within the next six months.
 
"Over the next six months, we will carry out checks on emission levels of all diesel passenger vehicles in India," Geete said here.
 
On Tuesday, Volkswagen Group India announced a voluntary recall for updating all cars fitted with the EA 189 engines in the Indian market. Till November end, approximately 323,700 cars of Volkswagen, Skoda and Audi in India were equipped with EA 189 diesel engines.
 
The company had presented its observations, findings and outlined possible solutions on the EA 189 diesel engines to the heavy industries ministry and ARAI. 
 
"The recall will encompass cars from the Volkswagen, Audi and Skoda model range which carry the software that requires to be updated," the company was quoted as saying in a statement.
 
"The Volkswagen Group India will first present the technical released solution to the ministry of heavy industries and ARAI. Once approved from the competent authorities, the respective brands of the Volkswagen Group in India will carry out necessary actions in a step-wise manner."
 
According to the company, existing installed software does not affects the handling, technical safety or roadworthiness of the cars. 
 
As per the company records from 2008 till end of November 2015, approximately 198,500 cars from Volkswagen, 88,700 cars from Škoda and 36,500 cars from Audi across various models sold in India have been equipped with the EA 189 which includes 1.2-litre, 1.5-litre, 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre diesel engines. 
 
"All the owners of vehicles with EA 189 engines will be informed by Volkswagen Group India through the respective brands about the technical measures that will be implemented in their cars. All necessary technical measures will be implemented in the vehicles at no cost to the customers," the statement said. 
 
"Volkswagen Group India remains fully committed to the Indian market and will not deviate from its future planned investments, product plans and launches. All brands of Volkswagen Group in India will work strongly towards regaining the customer confidence and trust."
 
The automobile manufacturer was served a notice by the government last month over the alleged charges of manipulating emission norms in India, as it has done in the US.
 
The company had to respond to the notice issued by the ARAI by the end of November. The ARAI has been authorised by the central government to conduct an investigation into the matter. 
 
The ARAI is a research association formed between the automotive industry and the ministry of heavy industries.
 
Subsequently, a high-level team headed by the top brass of the Pune-based ARAI submitted its preliminary findings to the government on September 30.
 
The investigation in India was started after the automobile manufacturer was caught fudging emission data of its diesel powered cars to bypass strict emission norms in the US.
 
The fudging scandal began unfolding in the last week of September, when the European car giant said it had used a software in the US to provide false emission test results.
 
Several countries around the world and Europe had started independent inquiries to find out whether the fudging practice also took place there.
 
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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COMMENTS

Ram

1 year ago

Its looking like a big joke. Checking vehicles should come in the second stage. In the first stage by just glancing the moving vehicles we can say they are causing pollution or not. By seizing the vehicles which are polluting even by naked eye stds, pollution will come down by half in India.

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