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India falls in Corruption Index, report links high corruption to low press freedom

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India falls in Corruption Index, report links high corruption to low press freedom

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Report names India among the worst offenders in Asia Pacific

Belying Modi government assertions, India has fallen further in rankings in the annual corruption index, released by Berlin-based non-government organisation Transparency International (TI).

India’s rank is 81 among 180 countries in the report covering the year 2017. The index ranks countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption according to experts and businesspeople.

In 2016, India was in the 79th place among 176 countries. India’s ranking in the index had plummeted in 2013 and 2014 in the wake of the spectrum and coal scams. The ranking has improved since then, but seems to be showing signs of weakening. India’s rank has fallen two notches to 81 in 2017 from 79 in 2016.

The index uses a scale of zero to 100, where zero is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean. This year, the index found that more than two-thirds of countries score below 50, with an average score of 43. India’s score remained 40 in both 2016 and 2017, below the global average.

TI finds crackdowns on NGOs and media are associated with higher levels of corruption in the world.  Countries with the lowest protections for press and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) also tend to have the worst rates of corruption, it said. In some countries across the Asia-Pacific region, journalists, activists, opposition leaders and even staff of law enforcement or watchdog agencies are threatened, and in worst cases, even murdered, the report stated.

The report clubbed India with the Philippines and the Maldives as the worst nations in the Asia Pacific in this respect. “Philippines, India and the Maldives are among the worst regional offenders in this respect. These countries score high for corruption and have fewer press freedoms and higher numbers of journalist deaths,” it added.

The report cites reports compiled by the Committee to Protect Journalists, which gives a list of journalists killed in various countries since 1992. The list names eight journalists murdered since May 2014, the last one being Gauri Lankesh who was killed in 2017.

The TI found that almost all journalists killed since 2012 were killed in corrupt countries. Its analysis indicates that countries with the lowest protections for press and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) also tend to have the worst rates of corruption. The TI analysis showed that in the last six years, more than 9 out of 10 journalists were killed in countries that score 45 or less on the Corruption Perceptions Index.

This means that, on average, every week at least one journalist is killed in a country that is highly corrupt. In addition, one in five journalists that died were covering a story about corruption. Sadly, justice was never served in the majority of these cases, the civil society organisation observed.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1519299353233{padding-top: 10px !important;padding-right: 10px !important;padding-bottom: 10px !important;padding-left: 10px !important;background-color: #e2e2e2 !important;border-radius: 10px !important;}”]Since 2012, 368 journalists died while pursing stories and 96 per cent of those deaths were in countries with corrupt public sectors, ie where CPI scores are below 45. Moreover, one in five journalists killed worldwide were investigating corruption-related stories. In Mexico, which dropped by six points on the CPI since 2014, moving from a score of 35 to 29, six journalists were killed in 2017 alone.

368 – Total number of journalists murdered between 2012 and 2017.

70 – Number of murdered journalists who were covering corruption stories.

179 – Number of murdered journalists for which no one was brought to justice (full or partial impunity).

“No activist or reporter should have to fear for their lives when speaking out against corruption,” said Patricia Moreira, managing director of Transparency International. “Given current crackdowns on both civil society and the media worldwide, we need to do more to protect those who speak up.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Transparency International also looked at the relationship between corruption levels and the freedom with which civic organisations are able to operate and influence public policy. The analysis, which incorporates data from the World Justice Project, shows that most countries that score low for civil liberties also tend to score high for corruption.

“Smear campaigns, harassment, lawsuits and bureaucratic red tape are all tools used by certain governments in an effort to quiet those who drive anti-corruption efforts,” said Patricia Moreira, managing director of Transparency International. “We’re calling on those governments that hide behind restrictive laws to roll them back immediately and allow for greater civic participation.”

“CPI results correlate not only with the attacks on press freedom and the reduction of space for civil society organizations,” said Delia Ferreira Rubio, chair of Transparency International. “High levels of corruption also correlate with weak rule of law, lack of access to information, governmental control over social media and reduced citizens’ participation. In fact, what is at stake is the very essence of democracy and freedom.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1519299415438{padding-top: 10px !important;padding-right: 10px !important;padding-bottom: 10px !important;padding-left: 10px !important;background-color: #eaeaea !important;border-radius: 10px !important;}”]Over the last six years, several countries significantly improved their CPI score, including Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal and the United Kingdom, while several countries declined, including Syria, Yemen and Australia.

This year, New Zealand and Denmark rank highest with scores of 89 and 88 respectively. Syria, South Sudan and Somalia rank lowest with scores of 14, 12 and 9 respectively. The best performing region is Western Europe with an average score of 66. The worst performing regions are Sub-Saharan Africa (average score 32) and Eastern Europe and Central Asia (average score 34).[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]See Tranparency International’s tables of rankings[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

India News

Bank holidays February 2023: Banks to remain shut for 10 days, check dates here

Apart from festivals, banks will also remain shut on the second and fourth Saturdays.

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Bank holidays February 2023

Every month banks across the country remain shut due to festivals and other public and private holidays. In February 2023, both private and public banks will not function for 10 days. However, the holidays differ from state to state.

Festivals like Guru Ravidas Jayanti, Hazrat Ali Jayanti, Maha Shivaratri, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, and others will be celebrated in February which might affect the functioning of banks in several states.

Full list of bank holidays in February 2023

DATEDAYHOLIDAYSTATES 
5 February 2023 Sunday Hazrat Ali Jayanti Uttar Pradesh 
5 February 2023 Sunday Guru Ravidas Jayanti Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana & Punjab 
15 February 2023 Wednesday Lui-Ngai-Ni Manipur 
18 February 2023 Saturday Maha Shivaratri Several states of India 
19 February 2023 Sunday Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Jayanti Maharashtra 
20 February 2023 Monday State Day  Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram 
21 February 2023 Tuesday Losar Sikkim 

Apart from this, banks will also remain shut on the second and fourth Saturdays.

DATEDAYHOLIDAYSTATES 
12 February 2023 Saturday Second Saturday All States 
15 February 2023 Tuesday Lui-Ngai-Ni  Manipur 
19 February 2023 Sunday Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Jayanti Maharashtra 
25 February 2023 Saturday Fourth Saturday All States 

For those unversed, the Reserve Bank of India categorises holidays into three categories-Holiday under the Negotiable Instruments Act and Real-Time Gross Settlement Holidays, Holidays under the Negotiable Instruments Act, and Banks’ Closing of Accounts.

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In January 2023, banks across the country will remain shut for 14 days.

Date  Day    Holiday    State  
January 1, 2023SundayNew Year Bank Holiday & Weekend Bank HolidayAll over India
January 2, 2023MondayNew Year Bank CelebrationMizoram
January 5, 2023ThursdayGuru Gobind Singh JayantiHaryana and Rajasthan
January 8, 2023SundayWeekend Bank HolidayAll over India
January 11, 2023WednesdayMissionary DayMizoram
January 14, 2023SaturdaySecond Saturday Bank HolidayAll over India
January 15, 2023SundayWeekend Bank HolidayAll over India
January 22, 2023SundayWeekend Bank HolidayAll over India
January 23, 2023MondayNetaji Subash Chandra Bose JayantiTripura and West Bangal
January 25, 2023WednesdayState DayHimachal Pradesh
January 26, 2023ThursdayRepublic DayAll over India
January 28, 2023SundayFourth Saturday Bank HolidayAll over India
January 29, 2023SundayWeekend Bank HolidayAll over India
January 31, 2023MondayMe-Dam-Me-PhiAssam

Bottle hurled at Kailash Kher during Hampi Utsav concert for not singing Kannada song, two held | WATCH

IMD predicts more rainfall as mercury dips across Delhi-NCR

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Bottle hurled at Kailash Kher during Hampi Utsav concert for not singing Kannada song, two held | WATCH

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Two men have been arrested after bottles were hurled at veteran Bollywood singer Kailash Kher during a concert, Sunday in Karnataka’s Hampi.

According to reports, Kher, who was performing during the closing ceremony of the Hampi Utsav, was singing only Hindi songs which made the crowd angry who wanted him to sing some Kannada songs.

Police said a bottle was hurled at the singer from the crowd which barely missed Kher as he continued performing. Unfazed, Kher continued to perform as an official is seen picking up the bottle from the stage.

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They said that the two youth, 22-year-old Pradeep and 21-year-old Surah, have been arrested in connection with the incident and further investigation is ongoing.

Later, Kher, who was unhurt in the incident, was whisked away through the backstage area, a senior official said.

The three-day Hampi Utsav, which began on January 27, is the first time that a cultural festival is being held since the formation of the new Vijayanagara district.

Renowned Bollywood and Sandalwood artistes performed at the event that included a sound and light show.

Prominent Sandalwood playback singers Arjun Jannya, Vijaya Prakash, Raghu Dikshit and Anannya Bhath  and Bollywood playback singers Arman Mallik and Kailash Kher were among those invited to perform.

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IMD predicts more rainfall as mercury dips across Delhi-NCR

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast more rainfall in Delhi-NCR over the next 12 hours even as mercury dipped to five degrees below season’s normal as cold winds and rain lashed the national capital and its adjoining regions over the past 24 hours.

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Delhi Rain

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast more rainfall in Delhi-NCR over the next 12 hours even as mercury dipped to five degrees below season’s normal as cold winds and rain lashed the national capital and its adjoining regions over the past 24 hours.

Maximum temperature dipped to 17.2 degrees Celsius on Sunday while a minimum of 6.4 degrees Celsius was recorded, at least three degrees below season’s normal due to rain fall and cold winds.

The IMD has predicted light-moderate spells of rainfall in the next 12 hours across Delhi-NCR

In a tweet IndiaMetSky revealed that moisture is hitting the mountain tops of Aravali and is instantly being lifted up. This chain expands from South Rajasthan-Delhi, it said, adding that this chain is being boosted by moisture incursion from both seas, convergence and interesting topology.

The Met has predicted light to moderate rain accompanied by thunderstorms across the national capital, some areas likely to be affected are listed below.

Delhi: Narela, Bawana, Alipur, Kanjhawala, Budha Jayanti Park, Jafarpur, Nazafgarh, Delhi Cantt, India Gate, Akshardham, Palam, Safdarjung, Lodi Road, Nehru Stadium, IGI Airport, Vasant Vihar, R K Puram, Defence Colony, Lajpat Nagar, Vasant Kunj, Hauzkhas, Malviyanagar, Kalkaji, Mahrauli, Tughlakabad, Chhattarpur, IGNOU, Ayanagar, and Deramandi.

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NCR: Loni Dehat, Hindon AF Station, Bahadurgarh, Indirapuram, Noida, Gurugram, and Manesar.

Haryana: Jind, Gohana, Hansi, Rohtak, Charkhi Dadri, Mattanhail, Jhajjar, Loharu, Farukhnagar, Kosali, Mahendargarh, Narnaul.

Around 3.3 mm of rain was recorded in Delhi on Sunday afternoon. This was the season’s first rainfall in Delhi which usually records around 17mm of rain in winter.

The IMD in a statement said that a western disturbance is likely to cause “light/moderate rainfall/snowfall at most places with isolated heavy falls over western Himalayan region during the next two days; light/moderate rainfall at some/many places over Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan during the same period. Isolated very light rainfall/drizzle would also occur over Delhi on Sunday and Monday morning”.

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