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COA chief Vinod Rai welcomes “excellent” SC order on Lodha reforms

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Vinod Rai

New Delhi | The Committee of Administrators chief Vinod Rai today welcomed the Supreme Court order on mandatory cooling off period for BCCI office-bearers after two consecutive terms and for putting a roadmap in place for the Board’s elections.

The original Lodha Committee reforms suggested only one term of three years before mandatory cooling off but today’s order allows office-bearers two consecutive terms before the mandatory cooling off.

The new judgement effectively means that current acting secretary Amitabh Chaudhary and acting treasurer Aniruddh Chaudhry can contest for another term.

”This is an excellent order by the Honourable Court. I have absolutely no problem with office-bearers having two consecutive terms. Even I had originally wanted a six year term before cooling off period but couldn’t get consensus,” Rai told PTI on what is being seen as the most significant aspect of today’s order.

Rai said another positive to come out today is the timeline set by the apex court for the adoption of the approved BCCI constitution, which will also pave the way for the Board’s elections provided there is 100 per cent compliance by the state associations. The state units have been today warned by the SC to either comply or face action.

”Now we finally have a roadmap in place which will lead to adoption of the new constitution and subsequently elections. Now there is a time-line in place,” Rai said.

He also expressed satisfaction that all the original members have retained their voting rights.

The SC bench, headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra and comprising justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, restored the permanent membership of Railways, Services and Universities and granted membership to Mumbai, Saurashtra, Vadodara and Vidarbha.

”We had maintained that legacy units like Mumbai should retain their voting rights. The draft constitution also mentions that. Every member unit should have voting rights,” the former CAG said.

“Now the SC ruling will ensure that state units will have to comply with the order by deadlines or else COA can move court,” Rai signed off. Another COA member Diana Edulji also welcomed the latest order.

“We are happy with the judgement. We were appointed by the Supreme Court in the first place to oversee reforms. Now that SC has modified its order, we will have to see that it is implemented properly. I hope everybody will comply and cricket will move on,” she said.

“We did not having anything personal (against any BCCI official). We were nominated by the SC to do a job and our focus has always been on that,” she added.

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India-Pakistan need to work for terror free South Asia: PM Modi writes to Imran Khan

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PM Modi

New Delhi | PM Modi on Monday wrote to his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan and congratulated him for being elected as new Prime Minister of the Islamic democracy.

PM Modi in his letter wrote that “India is currently looking for good neighbourly relations with Pakistan. Both countries  should look for constructive and meaningful engagement towards this.” PM Modi also stressed for the “need to work for terror-free South Asia.”

Cricketer-turned-politician  Imran Khan on Saturday took oath as the 22nd Prime Minister of Pakistan after his party Pakistan Tehrrek-e-Insaf (PTI) emerged as the single largest party in the general election of Pakistan.

Responding to the letter by PM Modi, Pakistan’s Foreign Affairs minister SM Qureshi said,” There is a need for continued and uninterrupted dialogue with India. We are neighbours. We have long-standing issues, both of us know these problems. But we have no other option but to engage in dialogue. We cannot afford adventurism.”

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Kasturirangan says pressure on land resources could be the reason behind rain fury

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Hyderabad  |  Pressure on Kerala’s limited land resources due to the growing population, denudation of the Western Ghats and climate change could be the reasons behind the floods that have ravaged the state, eminent scientist K Kasturirangan has said.

The former chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) noted that the state’s population had increased in the last century and it “has its own pressures on the environment and resources”.

“So, together there has been an impact on the environment … The population has increased, there is more demand on resources, which includes land, agriculture and many other activities,” he told PTI.

Kasturirangan, who was a member of the now-defunct Planning Commission and hails from Kerala, said that heavy rains have in the past been “well managed” by nature through an exceptionally thick vegetation and other kinds of natural endowment that the state has, including the backwaters”.

But the size of the backwaters has shrunk to 50-60 per cent of what it was in the 1940s, he said.

Kasturirangan said the Western Ghats have denuded at many places, “and agricultural practices have been pursued there… population pressure has caused this”.

Climate change could also be a reason behind the heavy rains, according to him.

“There are multiple factors. One has to really analyse it,” he said.

He called for “proper planning” to minimize damage due to heavy rains.

Kasturirangan said steps should be taken to enable sustainable livelihood for Keralites, “make them happy and contented”.

The fierce monsoon rains in Kerala have claimed 210 lives since August 8 and displaced over 7.14 lakh people from their homes.

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Kerala requires technical assistance rather than food and clothing, claims Union Minister KJ Alphons

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Kerala

Thiruvananthapuram | Union Minister and Kerala native KJ Alphons on Monday said that the state of Kerala who is currently suffering the worst floods since 1924 and it no more needs assistance in form of ‘food and clothing’.

Speaking to media, KJ Alphons said, “Help has been pouring in from all over the world, but the state doesn’t need food and clothes. What the state desperately needs is technical assistance to rebuild and recreate”. There will be no electricity in homes. Carpentry, plumbing would be gone. We need hundreds of thousands of electricians, plumbers, carpenters to rush to Kerala. We don’t need clothes/food. People with technical capabilities are required to put life back into Kerala,” added the Union Minister.

Speaking on the relief funds sanctioned by the Union Government, the Minister said,”The prime minister visited Kerala and took stock of the situation. He has promised assistance and whatever it takes to rebuild the state. He announced an immediate assistance of Rs. 500 crore. Before that Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Kiren Rijiju had sanctioned Rs. 100 crore and Rs. 80 crore, respectively. So money isn’t a problem.”

The state of Kerala has already suffered a loss of 21,000 crores with more than 7 lakh people have been forced to stay in relief camps due to constant rains and flood like situation in the state. Various state governments including Maharashtra, Punjab, Delhi, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh offered a contribution worth Rs.10 crores for the relief work. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath also offered Rs. 15 crores from the Uttar Pradesh Relief Fund.

Informing about the relief work, the Union Minister further added, “Things are running very well and all central forces are providing amazing services. Fishermen have turned out to be the biggest heroes. We thank the people of India and other countries for sending help and showing compassion, but we need technical help when the water level goes down. There is no electricity or mobile connectivity. The homes are gone so we need thousands of electricians, carpenters and plumbers to rush to Kerala. The biggest challenge right now is to rebuild. We need people with technical skills to put life back on track.”

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