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India - UAE manpower memorandum to facilitate NRI workers
Report dated 15/09/2011 @ 8:23 PM
India's Union Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs, Vayalar Ravi, and the United Arab Emirates' Minister of Labour, Saqr Ghobash Saeed Ghobash, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will facilitate Indian workers heading to the Emirates.
The MoU will boost the Web Based Attestation Procedure for employment contracts for emigrant workers in the UAE by the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi. It also deals with issues such as the facilitation of recruitment of Indian manpower, responsibilities of employers and workers, generation of employment opportunities and the protection of workers under the labour laws of the host country.
It is estimated there are around 1.7 million Indians in the UAE of which 1.3 million are migrant workers mostly employed in the construction, services, and household sectors.
The UAE is the tenth biggest investor in India in terms of FDI. Annual remittances made by the Indian community in the UAE amount to over $5 billion. The UAE is also India's largest trading partner with trade valued at $44 billion.
Tamil Nadu train collision could have been prevented
Report dated 15/09/2011 @ 8:21 PM
According to a senior Konkan Railway official, the Konkan Railway developed anti-collision devices (ACDs) back in January 2001 to prevent train accidents, but 12 years and many serious accidents later, the devices have still not been installed in all trains.
The ACDs, designed to prevent various types of collisions such as head-on, side and rear-end and infringement by derailed vehicles on adjacent tracks, were first installed in a section of the Northeast Frontier Railway in January 2001, after successful trials.
In 2010 then railway minister Mamata Banerjee announced that safety measures including ACDs, Train Protection Warning Systems, and automatic fire and smoke detection systems were to be expanded to more zonal railways.
Had these devices been installed, the latest tragic Tamil Nadu train collision could have been prevented.
Delhi Government officers will face salary cuts for bad service
Report dated 15/09/2011 @ 8:19 PM
According to a long-pending government legislation seeking greater accountability in the delivery of public services, the powerful Babus of Delhi will no longer be allowed to delay services to citizens. If they do they will be penalised amounts of Rs.10 to Rs.200 a day for delays in responding to citizens' pleas within a stipulated time-frame.
Delhi government officials however whined that the provisions in the Delhi legislation are more stringent than similar legislations in Punjab and Madhya Pradesh.
Chief Secretary P K Tripathi stated that the government is prepared to implement the law and has also allocated funds to the departments to use the penalty funds to compensate citizens if officials do not deliver services within the specified time frame. The penalty will later be deducted from the concerned officials' wages.
Additionally, departments have been ordered to prepare a citizens' charter that will be posted in their offices as well as on their websites.
The legislation will apply to almost all government departments including Revenue, Food and Civil Supplies, Transport and Trade and Taxes, as well as civic agencies.
The legislation was in fact passed in March, but has now been implemented on the heels of Anna Hazare's anti-corruption movement.
Over 10 dead, 70 injured in Tamil Nadu train collision
Report dated 14/09/2011 @ 6:30 PM
A passenger train from Chennai rammed into a stationary train close to Arakkonam, near Chennai.
Several passengers were trapped inside bogies and gas cutters were used to access the bogies and rescue the trapped passengers.
Rescue operations and relief efforts were hit by heavy rains in the area. Train traffic on the busy sector was also disrupted.
UP students turn into teachers-by-night to fight illiteracy
Report dated 14/09/2011 @ 6:28 PM
Ten undergraduate students from Uttar Pradesh's Indian Institute of Information Technology - Allahabad (IIIT-A), spend the evenings teaching illiterate street urchins and poor children, in an effort to do their bit to fight illiteracy and for the good of society.
One of the student-teachers said they are simply shouldering their social responsibility, which does not need huge resources, just determination and initiative.
Over 100 children from poor families of street vendors, labourers, rickshaw pullers and garbage collectors are among the students being taught by the IIIT-A student-teachers.
For some three years now IIIT-A students have been teaching poor children on the premises of a school situated near their institute, that does not charge them for the use of the premises.
The children are aged 6-14 years and are taught reading, math and morals.
The children are not charged and are provided with books and stationery out of funds the student-teachers raise from friends.