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Delhi HC upholds termination of services of 16 CISF personnel suffering from colour blindness

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Delhi HC

New Delhi | The Delhi High Court has upheld the termination of services of 16 CISF personnel who were suffering from colour blindness or defective vision.

A bench of justices Hima Kohli and Rekha Palli said once the authorities had specifically prescribed a set of medical standards for recruitment, it is not open to the court to tinker with those standards.

The bench noted that the policy guidelines laid down by the Ministry of Home Affairs in February 2013 left no manner of doubt that any person who had a defective vision or was colour blind was ineligible for recruitment in the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) or Assam Rifles. Sixteen CISF personnel had approached the court challenging September last year’s orders by which they were terminated from the armed force. They had also challenged the order by which the appeal against their termination was rejected by the Inspector General of Central Industrial Security Force (CISF).

The affected personnel contended that the authorities’ action of terminating their services after finding them medically fit in the initial medical examination was arbitrary and illegal. They said the termination was at a belated stage when they had already undergone training for three to five months and it was unfair and stigmatic as now they had become overage for any other recruitment.

The bench said if any person was wrongly recruited despite having the defects of colour blindness, he was to be promptly removed from service, as soon as the defect was noticed, and appropriate disciplinary action for major penalty was required to be initiated against the doctor who had declared him fit.

“The aforesaid guidelines are not under challenge before us and therefore, on this ground alone, the challenge of the petitioners is liable to fail as it has neither been urged before us that the petitioners are not suffering from colour blindness, nor it has been contended that the aforesaid guidelines are inapplicable to them,” the bench said. The bench said there was no merit in the petition which was dismissed as being without merit. Following an advertisement in January 2015 by the authorities, the 16 persons had applied for the post of constable in the CISF.

They cleared the written examination and after undergoing the medical exam in May, 2016, they were found fit, selected and offered the post of constable (GD) in the CISF as per the merit list published in February, 2017. They were issued appointment letters on March 15, 2017 and directed to report at their respective recruitment training centres for basic training. The letters specified that they would be on probation for two years. After they reported at the training centres, a colour blindness test of all the recruitees was conducted at the CISF Hospital of the centres and the petitioners were found to be suffering from defective colour vision.

However, before taking any action to terminate their services, they were re-examined by a review medical board and were against declared unfit due to defective colour vision and their services were terminated. The court said the facts show that these personnel were recruited after a condition was introduced in the policy guidelines of February 27, 2013 specifically prohibiting the recruitment of persons suffering from colour blindness or defective vision.

“Even otherwise, we are of the view that once the respondents (authorities) have specifically prescribed a set of medical standards for recruitment, it is not open to the court to tinker with the said standards or to hold that the action of the respondents in terminating the services of the petitioners, who admittedly did not meet the criteria prescribed in the guidelines, is in any manner illegal,” it said.

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Legal perspective being sought for quotas for upper castes in Bihar: Nitish Kumar

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Nitish Kumar, the Bihar chief minister today on Monday declared his government will implement quotas for the economically-backward among the unreserved category once they get a legal perspective concerning the suitable modalities.

Nitish Kumar stated that a legal perspective was being sought as to whether the new quotas, which have been brought forth by way of a recent constitutional amendment and are in addition to the existing reservations, could be introduced in the state through an executive order or an Act passed in the legislature.

He also stated that we are bound by the top court judgement, which placed a cap of 50 percent on the quotas for the educationally and socially backward, but added that he is in the support of the demand for increasing the limit to make reservations proportionate to the population of the respective caste groups.

He added, “But opposition parties which are voicing the demand have no clue as to how to go about it. In my view, there should be a fresh tally wherein the separate populations of social segments like SCs, STs and OBCs is taken into account. Based on its report, the nation can move towards ensuring proportional representation for various castes”.

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PM Modi to inaugurate Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas convention in Varanasi on Tuesday

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Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday will inaugurate the 15th convention of the Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas in his parliamentary constituency of Varanasi.

It is for the first time that the three-day long convention is being organized from 21st January to 23rd January in place of 9th January to permit the participants for visiting the Kumbh Mela in Allahabad and attend the parade of Republic Day here.

A statement from the Prime Minister’s office stated that the theme of the convention for this year is ‘role of the Indian diaspora in building new India’.

The chief guest of the convention will be Prime Minister of Mauritius Pravind Jugnauth, whereas a member of Parliament of Norway, Himanshu Gulati will be the special guest. Further, member of Parliament of New Zealand, Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi, will be the guest of honour.

The decision to celebrate the Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas was taken by the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and the first event was celebrated on 9th January 2003 in Varanasi.

As a matter of fact, January 9 was picked to be the day for the celebration of Pravasi Bharatiya since it was this day in the year 1915 that Mahatma Gandhi had returned from South Africa to India.

The Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas is now celebrated once in every two years and gives a platform to the Indian community overseas for engaging with the government and reconnecting with their roots said the statement.

Pravasi Bharatiya Sammaan, is discussed on the selected overseas Indians for their imperative contributions to different spheres both abroad and in India.

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India among the most trusted nations globally: Reports

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Davos | India is among the most trusted nations globally when it comes to government, business, NGOs and media but the country’s brands are among the least-trusted, according to a report.

The The 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer report released on Monday, ahead of the the World Economic Forum (WEF) meet here, noted that the Global Trust Index witnessed a marginal increase of 3 points to 52.

China topped the Trust Index among both the informed public and the general population segments, with scores of 79 and 88 respectively.

India was at the second place in the informed public category and third place in the general population category.

The Index is the average per cent of trust in NGOs, business, government and media.

The findings are based on an online survey in 27 markets covering over 33,000 respondents. The fieldwork was conducted between October 19 and November 16, 2018.

In terms of trust in companies headquartered in each market, the most trusted are those from Switzerland, Germany and Canada. The brands from these countries have a trust score of 70 each while that of Japan is 69 per cent.

However, companies headquartered in India, Mexico and Brazil are the least trusted, followed by China and South Korea, as per the report.

While the score of India and Brazil is 40 per cent, that of Mexico and China stood at 36 per cent and 41 per cent, respectively.

The report noted that there is a growing feeling of pessimism about the future, with only one-in-three mass population respondents in the developed world believing his or her family would be better off in the next five years.

Among the mass population, just one-in-five believe the system is working for them and 70 percent desire change. And despite a full-employment economy, fear of job loss remains high among the general population.

This is based on views of respondents about global companies headquartered in specific countries and how much these firms are trusted by them ‘to do what is right’.

According to the report, globally ‘my employer’ is significantly more trusted than NGOs, business, government and media

“The last decade has seen a loss of faith in traditional authority figures and institutions,” said Richard Edelman, president and CEO of Edelman.

When it comes to reliable sources for news, search and traditional are among the most trusted. Search and traditional media have a score of 66 each, while the score of social media is 44 per cent, the report noted.

“73 per cent worry about false information or fake news being used as a weapon,” it added.

Stephen Kehoe, global chair, Reputation at Edelman said that divergent levels of confidence between the mass population and informed public about the future signal a continued underlying rot in the structure of society.

“While not everyone is taking to the streets, the data shows why protests like the Gilet Jaunes in France, the women’s marches in India and walkouts by employees at some major tech companies could become more mainstream,” Kehoe said.

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