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Nation at a Glance

HC seeks reply on genetic crop

NEW DELHI (PTI): Amid the controversy over genetically modified mustard crop and the Centre’s clearance for growing BT cotton, Delhi High Court has sought a reply from the government on a petition challenging its decision approving India’s accession to an international convention on protection of new varieties of plants.

Taking cognisance of a public interest litigation questioning India joining the convention, the court has issued notice to the Centre asking it to submit reply by November 26.

Government last week had deferred its decision to allow introduction of GM mustard crop in the country after the Genetically Engineering Approval Committee, which decides upon the matter, could not take a final view.

There had been wide protests by environmentalists over the proposal for introduction of GM mustard crop alleging that it would have hazardous affect on human and animal health, and other crops.

The PIL, filed by an NGO said that by approving India’s access to UPOV (union for protection of new varieties of plants) convention, which recognised the rights of seed breeders, including genetically engineered ones, the government had “ignored the rights of farmers and the agricultural bio-diversity on which the food security of the country largely rests”.

It claimed that the decision of the government was contrary to the protection of plant varieties and Farmers’ Rights Act, 2001 in which various provisions for encouraging farmers to develop their own new varieties of seeds had been incorporated after the recommendations of a joint parliamentary committee.

Compulsory military study call

INDORE (PTI): Madhya Pradesh Governor Bhai Mahaveer has called for compulsory military education in schools and colleges which would “help children of the country to become disciplined citizens”.

“The future of the country will be different if feelings of unity, integrity and love for the nation are inculcated among children,” he said, while addressing the fifth conference of former armymen’s service council here on Saturday.

He urged former army personnel to come forward to tackle the challenges being faced by the nation and criticised the passive attitude of some personnel during crisis situations.

Speaking on the occasion, Union minister of state for telecom Sumitra Mahajan said the Centre had prepared an ambitious scheme to construct two lakh houses at an estimated cost of Rs 800 crore for army personnel at major military centres of the country.

Council president Lt Gen. (retd) K.K. Nanda and Indore mayor Kailash Vijaywargiya also spoke on the occasion.

Rajasthan HC sex scandal

B>lJODHPUR (PTI): The anti-corruption bureau will record the statement of suspended deputy registrar of Rajasthan High Court Govind Kalwani in a sex scandal case in a couple of days.

Only after recording his statement, the bureau would decide whether to record statements of two high court judges whose names also figured in the case. The complainant, Sunita Malviya, had charged that Kalwani said her case would be favourably settled if she agreed to “sleep” with him and two judges.

Son kills father

B>lDEHRA DUN (PTI): An 11-year-old boy axed his drunk father to death in Kapkot area of Bageshwar. The incident occurred when the man came home in inebriated condition on Saturday evening and started beating his wife. Unable to control his rage, the boy attacked his father with an axe and killed him on the spot.

Briton murdered

B>lDEHRA DUN (PTI): An 82-year-old British woman was found murdered in a posh colony of the city. Assailants barged into the house of P. Dunkley, who was living alone in the Doon Vihar colony, and murdered her. An Anglo-Indian and a citizen of Britain, Dunkley was living in Dehra Dun since 1970s, local residents said. They said the woman was recently assaulted by her neighbours following a minor tiff over bursting of crackers on Diwali.

Rail disruption

Raipur (PTI): Rail traffic on the Mumbai-Howrah section was disrupted for several hours on Sunday as people blocked the track at Belpahar in Orissa, near Chhattisgarh border, demanding an overbridge near the railway station. Under the banner of “Sangharsh Morcha”, the residents of Belpahar of Jharsuguda district blocked the rail traffic for over six hours, railway sources said.

Drive against satta

Hyderabad (pti): In a drive against satta and matka gambling, police arrested 11 people, including its kingpin who has links with the Mumbai satta gang. The main gambler Shaik Naseeruddin, known as Ganna Naseer, was running satta with a daily turnover of over Rs 2 lakh for the last five years.

Indira Gandhi National Open University will hold a seminar on “India-Australia relations” in New Delhi on November 25. Themes like post-cold war global outlook and economic globalisation processes will be discussed.


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