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India to ferry Haj pilgrims to Jeddah via sea route: Naqvi

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India to ferry Haj pilgrims to Jeddah via sea route: Naqvi

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi has also confirmed that Muslim women in India can now travel for Haj, without a ‘Mehram’ (male guardian).

Signing the annual Haj agreement between India and Saudi Arabia in Mecca, Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Monday, January 8, said that Saudi Arabia has given its nod to India’s plan to revive the option to send pilgrims via sea route to Jeddah.

In a statement released after the two countries signed the annual bilateral agreement, Naqvi said, “Saudi Arabia has given its nod to revive the option of sending pilgrims by sea route… Officials from both the countries will discuss all the necessary formalities and technicalities so that Haj pilgrimage through sea route can be started in the coming years.”

Stating that the fresh decision to send pilgrims through sea routes would be a “revolutionary, pro-poor, pilgrim-friendly decision, Naqvi said that the travel route by ships will help cut down expenses significantly. While the travel route from Mumbai to Jeddah through waterways existed earlier too, the practice of ferrying pilgrims by ships stopped from 1995.[/vc_column_text][vc_raw_html]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[/vc_raw_html][vc_column_text]In another major announcement, the Union Minister has asserted that Muslim women in the country – for the first time in the history – can travel for Haj, without a ‘Mehram’ (male guardian).

“For the first time, Muslim women from India will go to Haj without ‘Mehram’ (male companion). Separate accommodation and transport has been arranged for these women. Women ‘Haj Assistant’ will be deployed for their assistance,” said Naqvi.[/vc_column_text][vc_raw_html]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[/vc_raw_html][vc_column_text]With more than 1300 Mulim women in India having applied to go for Haj without a male guardian, Naqvi asserted that these women will be exempted from the lottery system and will be allowed to travel to Jeddah. According to the new Haj policy of India, women of the age of over 45 years will be allowed to go for Haj without a Mehram – if they wish to take no companion.

The bilateral agreement in connection with this year’s Haj has been signed between Naqvi and Saudi Arabia’s Haj and Umrah Minister Dr Muhammad Benten. Reportedly, the meeting was also attended by Deputy Minister of Haj Dr Abdul Fattah Mashat, Indian Ambassador Ahmad Javed, Consul General Md Noor Rahman Sheikh and other senior officials.

Earlier on December 31 last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi – while delivering the year’s last radio address ‘Mann Ki Baat’ – said that Muslim women wanted but could not go to Haj as the rules mentioned that they need to be accompanied by a male guardian.

Stating that Muslim women should be excluded from the lottery system of Haj, Modi said, “It had come to our notice that if a Muslim woman wants to go on Haj, she must have a ‘Mehram’ or a male guardian, otherwise, she cannot travel. It was discriminatory, we have changed this rule and this year around 1300 women applied to go without a male guardian.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

India News

Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah deletes post on reservation for Kannadigas in private sector after backlash from business community

the Cabinet meeting held yesterday approved a bill to make it mandatory to hire 100 per cent Kannadigas for C and D-grade posts in all private industries in the State.

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Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Wednesday deleted his social media post on the reservation Bill, which reserves seats in groups C and D for Kannadigas only in the private sector, after backlash from the business community.

Announcing the Bill on X, Siddaramaiah said the Cabinet meeting held yesterday approved a bill to make it mandatory to hire 100 per cent Kannadigas for C and D-grade posts in all private industries in the State.

The post further read, “It is our government’s wish that the Kannadigas should avoid being deprived of jobs in the land of Kannada and should be given an opportunity to build a comfortable life in the motherland.” He said that his government is a pro-Kannada government and their priority is to look after the welfare of Kannadigas.

Later after criticism from industry leaders, the Kartnataka CM deleted the post and then shared another post in Kannada that talks about giving reservation of 50% for administrative posts and 75% for non-administrative posts for Kannadigas in private industries and other organizations of the State.

Speaking to the media, Labour Minister Santosh Lad said the government is trying to introduce a law to give preference to locally available skills. He added that at the management level, it has been decided to provide reservations to 50% of the people.

At the non-management level, it has been decided to provide work to 70%, he said. If a particular skill is not available, people can be outsourced and they can be given work here. But the Government is trying to bring in a law to give preference to locally available skills, the minister further added.

In response to the government’s announcement about the passage of the Bill, industry leaders and unions voiced concerns that it would impede industry growth by pushing away skilled workers not protected by the quota. Nasscom, the apex body for the technology industry in India, stated that the Bill was “deeply disturbing”.

Mohandas Pai, a Padma Shri Awardee and former CFO and Board Member at Infosys, also said that the government must focus on increasing jobs, training, and educating Kannada youth instead of driving away investment. Karnataka is India’s best state, adding that he said we should not destroy this. Pai termed the Bill as ‘discriminatory, regressive, and against the Constitution’ even as he attacked the ruling Congress for the decision.

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Maharashtra sends controversial IAS trainee Puja Khedkar back to academy

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Trainee IAS officer Puja Khedkar, who has been the eye of the storm, has been asked by the Maharashtra Government to report back to the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA), Mussoorie.

A letter from Maharashtra Additional Chief Secretary Nitin Gadre stated LBSNAA has suspended district training of Khedkar and has called her back for further necessary action. The letter said she has been relieved from the district training programme of the state government of Maharashtra and has been asked to join the academy by July 23 under any circumstances.

Khedkar had made it to the headlines for her alleged demands of a separate office and official car, besides using a beacon on her private luxury car without official sanction.

Earlier this month, a report regarding Khedkar and her father’s objectionable behaviour was sent by Pune District Collector Suhas Diwase to the state government.

Reports said Khedkar completed her MBBS and then appeared for the UPSC exams several times. According to her, she joined the IRS in 2019. In a later interview she said she could not join the IRS since there were some technical problems in the OBC allocation of her seat.

Thereafter, in November 2021, she applied and got appointed as the assistant director in the Sports Authority of India. She then appeared for the Civil Services Examination in 2021 and cleared the preliminary exam, the main examination, and the interview, securing the 821st rank.

However, she failed to present herself for a medical test to confirm disability claims of blindness and mental illness due to which she was getting benefits under the category of Persons with Benchmark Disabilities. Consequently, this persisted as a legal battle in Central Administrative Tribunal against UPSC.

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Supreme Court issues notice to CBI, ED on Manish Sisodia bail plea

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Manish Sisodia

The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued notice to the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate in connection with the bail pleas moved by former Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia.

The Supreme Court’s decided to issue notice to the two agencies after arguments on Sisodia’s petitions for bail in two cases relating to alleged irregularities in the now-scrapped Delhi liquor policy. The court granted two weeks to the agencies to file their views.

“Views of agencies have to be heard before any decision is taken,” said Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, pointing at the seriousness of the charges slapped on Sisodia. The former Delhi Deputy CM has been under judicial remand since February 2023 over corruption and money laundering charges.

According to Sisodia’s counsel, the charges against him are politically motivated and lack enough evidence. The counsel had sought bail on medical grounds, to which the CBI or ED objected, saying his release might hamper the ongoing investigation into the case by influencing the witnesses or tampering with evidence.

According to the CBI and ED, Sisodia’s involvement in the liquor policy scheme was responsible for substantial state revenue loss and worked in favor of private liquor vendors.

Manish Sisodia, known for his transformational work in the field of education under the Delhi government, is not the only Aam Aadmi Party leader in jail. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Satyendar Jain are also behind bars. While Kejriwal is jailed in connection with the liquor policy case, Jain is in prison for corruption charges.

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