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Delhi Government sets time frames for public services
Report dated 06/07/2014 @ 1:39 PM

Delhi Government sets time frames for public services The government plans to set time frames for the delivery of 214 public services. Some of the important services include issuance of FIRs, mutation of property by the municipal corporations, removal of obstructions from roads, and replacement of manhole covers in NDMC areas.

Over two years ago 116 services offered by 24 departments were made time-bound and the proposed increase is believed to go a long way in making the capital a citizen-friendly place.

The law governing time-bound delivery of services prescribes penalties for officers who harass the public with delays and gives the harassed applicants a right to compensation. Although service delivery improved as a result, certain departments still have a long backlog of applications. Of the 82 lakh people who applied for services since the law came into force in 2011, 4.58 lakh are eligible for compensation but nobody has claimed the money, reflecting people's lack of awareness.

The law entitles an applicant to a compensation of Rs.10 for every day the service is delayed but the total payout cannot exceed Rs.200. The amount is deducted from the salary of the official at fault.

The time frames for various services are being finalised and approval has been given to bring the additional 214 services under the agreement and the government's information technology department, that monitors the electronic platform on which such services are registered for real-time supervision by department heads.

Scientists patent technique to detect explosives hidden in the body
Report dated 05/07/2014 @ 3:19 PM

Scientists patent technique to detect explosives hidden in the body Scientists from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore, have developed a new non-invasive technique to identify dangerous and hazardous chemicals hidden in any container. The technique can also be used as a medical diagnostic tool for detecting tumours.

The technique is based on the Universal Multiple Angle Raman Spectroscopy that is based on illuminating the sample with a light source that provides scattered light, offering molecular specific signatures to identify the chemical substance. The technique can also be used to detect tumours and give the chemical component of the tumour, thus identifying whether it is cancerous or not.

According to Prof Siva Umapathy, the lead author of the study, this is the first technique in the world of its kind. The process is like fingerprinting the hidden chemical and once it is installed in airports, it can be used to detect explosives or narcotics in a closed container.

They have already patented the technology and created the prototype, and are now looking for industry partners who can help take the technology forward. The finding was published in the Nature Scientific Reports journal in June.

India's 'semi-bullet train' sets national speed record
Report dated 04/07/2014 @ 1:42 PM

 India's 'semi-bullet train' sets national speed record An Indian passenger train set a new national speed record of 160 kmph (100mph) during a test run between Delhi and Agra. The test is part of the government's plans to upgrade the ageing rail network, as the introduction of high-speed links and bullet trains was one of the key poll campaign promises of PM Narendra Modi.

Delhi Divisional railway manager Anurag Sachan said this is the fastest train in India and they are recording all technical parameters during the trial run and hope to introduce the train to the public by November.

Observers say the railways have been neglected by successive governments over the past three decades of rapid economic growth during which car ownership surged and low-cost airlines bloomed.

Sunanda Pushkar’s sudden death has possible link to IPL scam
Report dated 04/07/2014 @ 1:41 PM

 Sunanda Pushkar’s sudden death has possible link to IPL scam Senior BJP leader and noted lawyer Subramanian Swamy now claims that the death of former Union Minister and Congress leader Shashi Tharoor's wife Sunanda Pushkar, could be linked with money laundering in the Indian Premier League.

Mr Swamy said days before her death Pushkar wanted to call a press conference to reveal details regarding the Kochi tuskers Kerala franchise, and these revelations could have hurt the interests of many of the higher ups involved, who wanted her eliminated. Swamy also claimed that though Tharoor was aware of the murder, he was not involved in it.

Swamy has now written to PM Narendra Modi, seeking a CBI probe into Pushkar's death, and has suggested the PM set up an SIT in view of the fact the cause of death could have something to do with Pushkar's threat of disclosure of money laundering in the IPL scam, involving the son-in-law of a powerful political figure of the UPA.

Pushkar, 52, was found dead in a suite of the Delhi Leela Hotel in January. Her body was found by Tharoor when he returned to the hotel after attending a meeting of the All India Congress Committee. The post mortem said the cause of death was 'sudden' and Pushkar died of a drug overdose.

People have to wear helmets to pay electric bills in Jamshedpur !
Report dated 03/07/2014 @ 3:13 PM

People have to wear helmets to pay electric bills in Jamshedpur ! The 15-year-old Electricity Department in Jamshedpur is in such a dilapidated state that officials wear helmets on duty and everyone who enters the office is also made to wear one.

According to a report, one official who sits beneath the fan thought it best to wear a helmet on duty to ensure safety and he allows only those people who have helmets to enter and pay their electricity bills, the rest are made to pay at the window counter.

The officials claim they have complained to the SDO who also sits in the office, but all they've received are empty assurances. Officials say they are putting their lives at risk doing their duty, and they fear a tragedy could happen any day if the dangerous dilapidated structure is not fixed.

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