Ambedkar Jayanti To Be Observed As ‘Water Day'
- NEW DELHI: India will observe the birth anniversary of B R Ambedkar on April 14 as "Water Day" to sensitize people on managing the precious natural resource. Apart from being instrumental in framing the Constitution, Ambedkar was also responsible for an all-India policy on managing water resources. Announcing the government's decision to observe April 14 every year as "water day", Union water resources minister Uma Bharti said, "Water is going to become an important agenda of the government in the coming days."
- She was addressing a national seminar on "Dr Ambedkar's path of water resources management for inclusive growth", organized by the Central Water Commission on the occasion of the late leader's death anniversary on Tuesday. Underlining role of water in different plans and schemes, the minister said, "There is a need to reform water resources management in the country and those who are misusing water should be punished." The ministry has already initiated a process to draft a model law which will have provisions of punishment for those misusing water. Stay updated on the go with Times of India News App. Click here to download it for your device.
AIADMK Will Head For A Split : Subramanian Swamy
- NEW DELHI: AIADMK will head for a split as J Jayalalithaa's close confidante Sasikala Natarajan will take over the reins of the party and not allow newly-elected chief minister O Panneerselvam to function independently, senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy on Tuesday claimed. "AIADMK will not survive as a single entity. Sasikala Natarajan will be the head of the organization and will not give Panneerselvam a free hand and she will ultimately find somebody from the family for the post," Swamy said. The BJP leader said Panneerselvam has no base in the party, nor does Sasikala posses any political "acumen".
- On Monday, two hours after the announcement of Jayalalithaa's death, in a swift political transition, her loyalist Panneerselvam was sworn in as CM at a sombre ceremony at the Raj Bhawan along with all the ministers in the erstwhile cabinet. Panneerselvam had stepped into her shoes twice earlier when Jayalalithaa was convicted in corruption cases. As finance minister, he was given charge of the portfolios held by Jayalalithaa after she was admitted to Apollo Hospitals on September 22.
5 Killed In Coal Mine Accident In China
- BEIJING: At least five workers have been killed and six remain trapped in a coal mine after a gas explosion in central China's Hubei province, the third major mine accident in recent days in the world's top coal producing nation. The explosion took place on Monday at Xinjia Coal Mine in Badong, a county in Enshi Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture when 46 miners were working underground. Sixteen workers were at the coalface during the outburst. Five managed to escape but 11 were trapped, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
- By Tuesday, rescuers had retrieved five bodies. Twenty rescuers were working in two shifts to clear the mine shaft and search is on for the remaining six. Air is being pumped into the area where the miners are trapped, and mining authorities have supplied rescuers with respirators. Mining experts are checking the condition of the shaft. The legal representative of the mine is being held by police. Last week, at least 53 people were killed after two separate explosions rocked coal mines in northern China. Thirty-two people were killed following an explosion at a coal mine in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and 21 workers trapped in a coal mine in China after an explosion on Novemeber 30 were confirmed dead.
Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar To Be Next CJI, First From Sikh Community
- NEW DELHI: India will get its first Chief Justice from the Sikh community in the new year as Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar will be sworn in as the next CJI on January 4. The process for Justice Khehar's appointment as the next CJI was set in motion by incumbent CJI T S Thakur, who wrote to the Union government on Tuesday recommending his appointment as the next CJI. This is in sync with the tradition of the CJI being succeeded by the seniormost judge in the Supreme Court. Justice Thakur retires on January 3. In his letter to law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, Justice Thakur described Justice Khehar as a competent and worthy successor. Interestingly, 64-year-old Justice Khehar's appointment as CJI would mean persons from the Sikh community getting to occupy the three most important posts in Indian democracy over a period of time — President (Giani Zail Singh), PM (Manmohan Singh) and CJI.
- Justice Khehar was appointed as an SC judge on September 13, 2011. Justice Khehar will have a short tenure of a little over seven months — from January 4 till August 28. He earned a place in history when the five-judge bench headed by him shot down the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC), a body being set up through a constitutional amendment unanimously passed by Parliament to select judges for the SC and HCs. Justice Khehar authored the lead judgment and termed the NJAC a threat to independence of judiciary as the law minister was part of the committee to select judges. However, he took into account the strong criticism of the opaque procedure employed by the SC-devised collegium system to select persons for appointment as judges and directed the government to redraft the Memorandum of Procedure (MoP) for judges' appointment and make it more transparent.
- The non-finalisation of MoP has been a handle for the government to counter the present CJI, who has accused the Centre of sitting over recommendations for appointment of judges. The ball, which was thrown into the Centre's court on December 15, 2015 on framing of MoP, will now be back in Justice Khehar's court after he assumes charge. The MoP finalisation and filling up of nearly 500 judges' posts in the higher judiciary, including seven in the SC, would be one of the foremost tasks before Justice Khehar and his senior colleagues. Justice Khehar also headed a bench which created history by restoring the Congress government headed by Nabam Tuki to power in Arunachal Pradesh even after it was dismissed and President's Rule was imposed. Known for his wit in the court room and frankness in calling a spade a spade, Justice Khehar was a long way from law when he graduated in science from Government College, Chandigarh, in 1974.
- He chose law as a career and completed graduation in law in 1977 from Panjab University. He got LLM degree in 1979 and stood first to win gold medal from the same university. Immediately after his postgraduation in law, he started practice in Punjab and Haryana HC and was designated senior advocate in 1995. He participated in proceedings relating to removal of two judges — SC judge V Ramaswamy and Chief Justice of Karnataka P D Dinakaran. In the Ramaswamy case, he appeared as counsel for one of the MPs who supported Ramaswamy before the inquiry panel headed by Justice P B Sawant. In the Dinakaran case, he as Chief Justice of Uttarakhand HC headed the inquiry panel.