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Nuclear Safety Regulatory Bill is Referred to Parliamentary Panel

The Nuclear Safety Regulatory Authority Bill was on Friday referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology. 

The NSRA will replace the existing the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) and report directly to the Indian Parliament instead of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC).

The Committee, headed by Congress MP T Subbarami Reddy, has been asked to submit its report on it within three months.

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The Nuclear Safety Regulatory Authority Bill was on Friday referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology. 

The NSRA will replace the existing the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) and report directly to the Indian Parliament instead of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC).

The Committee, headed by Congress MP T Subbarami Reddy, has been asked to submit its report on it within three months.

The council headed by the PM consists of the Union ministers in charge of environment and forest, external affairs, health, home affairs, science and technology, any other ministers to be later nominated by the Central government, the cabinet secretary, the chairman of the AEC, and eminent experts selected by the central government.

The Bill, which seeks to establish a legal framework to regulate nuclear and radiation safety and an authority to carry out the task, was introduced in the Lok Sabha in the Monsoon session which concluded earlier this month.

The Bill provides for creation of a Council for Nuclear Safety headed by the Prime Minister to oversee and review policies relating to radiation safety.

It also provides for establishment of a Nuclear Safety Regulatory Authority to regulate radiation and nuclear safety and achieve the highest standards on the basis of scientific approach, operating experience and best practices followed by the nuclear industry.

Besides, the National Academic Depository Bill, 2011, has been referred to the Standing Committee on Human Resource Development.

The HRD Committee, headed by Congress MP Oscar Fernandes, has been asked to submit a report within three months.



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Setback for Lalu, Jharkhand HC Denies Bail to Him

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Justice Aparesh Kumar Singh rejected the bail petition of Lalu Prasad, saying he was the chief minister and finance minister during the scam period.

The Jharkhand High Court today rejected the bail plea of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav in connection with the second case related to the Rs 950 crore fodder scam of the 1990s. Lalu was sentenced to three and a half years in the case by a special CBI court in Ranchi on January 6. He had appealed for bail a week after his conviction.

This is one of the six cases lodged against Lalu in connection with the scam.

Justice Aparesh Kumar Singh rejected the bail petition of Lalu Prasad, saying he was the chief minister and finance minister during the scam period.

The Public Accounts Committee kept the file for years, but no action was taken.Dismissing Lalu Prasad’s defence, the judge said all the scam cases seemed to be done in his knowledge. Hence, the court is not inclined to release him on bail, the bench observed.

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Unprecedented Buzz Around Meghalaya and Nagaland Elections

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Election campaigning has reached fever pitch in Meghalaya and Nagaland ahead of assembly elections on 27th February.

The political temperatures have particularly soared in poll-bound Meghalaya and Nagaland after Thursday’s (February 22) rallies. While leaders of all parties in the fray are going all out to woo voters, people want the day to day challenges that they face to be addressed by those who come to power.

These challenges range from lack of clean drinking water to poor condition of roads and from lack of power connections to unemployment. Lack of adequate infrastructure is visible in the two states and people want the gap to be filled by the new governments.

The states may be different but issues that people face in the two states are quite similar. Meanwhile, the Congress too is reaching out to voters for support in the elections.

A look at the political scenario in Nagaland shows that out of 60 seats in the state assembly, Naga People’s Front or NPF is contesting on 59 seats.

Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) has put candidates in 40 seats, BJP is fighting in 20 constituencies and Congress on 19 seats.

In the 60 seat Meghalaya assembly, BJP is contesting on 47 seats, Congress on 59 seats and NPP on 53 seats. The two states will go to polls on 27th February and results would be announced on 3rd March.

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AAP MLAs Amanatullah Khan and Prakash Jarwal Sent to 14-day Judicial Custody

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Aam Aadmi Party MLAs Amanatullah Khan and Prakash Jarwal have been sent to judicial custody for 14 days in the matter of the alleged assault on the Delhi Chief Secretary

A Delhi Court has reserved order on the bail petition by the duo till Friday. For now, they have been sent on a 14-day judicial custody.

The two MLAs, on expiry of their one-day judicial custody, were produced before metropolitan magistrate Shefali Barnala Tandon who heard their bail applications and put up for hearing a fresh application filed by the Delhi police seeking their custodial interrogation to ascertain why the chief secretary was called at the midnight.

Metropolitan Magistrate Shefali Barnala Tandon said that orders on the bail pleas of AAP lawmakers Amanatullah Khan and Prakash Jarwal and also on their police custody will be pronounced on Friday.

On Wednesday, Ms Tandon had refused a Delhi Police plea for police custody of the MLAs and sent them to judicial custody till Thursday.

The chief secretary alleged that he was beaten up by the two MLAs in the presence of Arvind Kejriwal at the chief minister’s residence here on Monday night, where he had been called for a meeting.

Prakash’s medical report confirmed that he had been assaulted, even as the Aam Aadmi Party sought to rubbish his claims, calling them wild and ludicrous and challenging his assertion that the meeting was about the release of funds for a celebratory round of advertising by the Delhi government, saying it was about rations not reaching people because of faulty implementation of Aadhaar.

While Jarwal was arrested on Tuesday night, Khan surrendered at a police station here on Wednesday afternoon.

Meanwhile, protests continue over the issue. BJP workers staged a massive protest outside Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia’s residence. BJP has demanded that action must be taken against the Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal as well.

Congress has also targeted AAP over its alleged conduct.

On the other hand, AAP continues to call the allegations fabricated. Party members held a demonstration over the issue.

Earlier on Thursday, members of AAP protested outside Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s home after he condemned the alleged assault of the chief secretary. Workers of the Bharatiya Janata Party also protested against the AAP outside Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia’s house on Thursday, demanding Kejriwal’s resignation as chief minister. They claimed Kejriwal was present at the time the two AAP MLAs allegedly assaulted the Delhi chief secretary, so he must take responsibility for the incident.

After a body of Indian Administrative Services Officers protested against Prakash’s alleged assault, the home minister had said “civil servants should be allowed to work with dignity and without fear”, and that the Home Affairs Ministry had sought a report from Baijal.

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