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Nation at a Glance

Centre to postpone number-plate plan

New Delhi (PTI): The Centre may postpone the introduction of high-security number plates for transport vehicles as the majority of states have sought an extension of six to 12 months to implement this. Most of them are yet to frame any comprehensive guideline on the issue, including tender norms.

“We will consider the request for extending the introduction of high-security number plates as the majority of states would not be able to streamline registration systems before February 28,” minister of state for transport and highways B.C. Khanduri said.

As per the new directives, all new vehicles registered after February 28, 2003, should have the high-security number plates and all old vehicles should have such plates by 2005.

The majority of states and Union Territories had sought the extension for down-the-line introduction of the new number plates, Khanduri said. Delhi and states like Maharashtra are yet to come out with final tenders for such plates.

“Unless all the states and Union Territories are ready for the same, the said date may need to be postponed,” he said, adding that the transport ministry has taken note of the difficulty of each state in introducing such plates.

The majority of the states also said they are waiting for the Supreme Court’s judgment on February 20 on the issue of high-security registration plates. They would frame the comprehensive guidelines once the verdict is given, Khanduri said.

Rights panel push for disabled

New Delhi (PTI): Concerned with the problems of people with disability, the National Human Rights Commission has asked the Central and state governments to amend rules and regulations to help such people enjoy the full range of human rights.

In a letter to all chief ministers and concerned Central departments, commission chairman Justice J.S. Verma said disability being a rights issue, the governments needed to bring human rights of the disabled to the centrestage of the developmental agenda.

The commission’s endeavour in these areas has been to bring a paradigm shift in the approach motivated by charity towards the disabled to one based on rights, he said.

Justice Verma said a recent review by the panel has revealed that the implementation of various legislations and programmes for the disabled has been “inadequate”.

The commission has also asked authorities to constitute a taskforce to frame a national policy for creating barrier-free infrastructure for the disabled in accordance with the provisions of the Disabilities Act.

10 fishermen in Pak navy net

Islamabad (PTI): Ten Indian fishermen from Gujarat have been arrested by Pakistani naval officials for allegedly attempting to fish in the country’s territorial waters off the southern Karachi coast, police said.

“The fishermen were detained along with their boats for illegally entering Pakistan’s waters,” police officials in Karachi said. Over 300 Indian fishermen, mostly from Gujarat, are in the custody of Karachi police for allegedly fishing in Pakistan’s waters.

Blast kills one

Ghazipur (PTI): One child was killed and about 10 people seriously injured when a gas cylinder used to blow up balloons exploded near here. The incident occurred when a vendor was filling balloons on the occasion of Makar Sankranti.

Morphine haul

Lucknow (PTI): Morphine worth Rs 65 lakh was seized and one person arrested in this connection in Barabanki district, police said. Acting on a tip-off, a police party intercepted one person on motorcycle on Safdarganj-Jaidpur Road and recovered 650 grammes of morphine.

Harivansh Rai

Mumbai (PTI): The condition of poet Harivansh Rai Bachchan, who had been suffering from breathing problem for the past couple of days, is better, family sources said on Thursday. Ninety-six-year-old Harivansh Rai is being kept in an intensive care unit set up at his son Amitabh Bachchan’s residence in Juhu.

Vehicles seized

Chandigarh (PTI): The excise wing of Haryana police has impounded 83 vehicles, allegedly involved in smuggling alcohol, and recovered a large quantity of liquor. The wing had realised Rs 40 lakh as fine.

4 die in cave-in

Bhilwara (PTI): Four persons were buried alive when the roof of a dilapidated building near a bus stop collapsed. The victims were taking shelter from the cold. They were taken to a hospital where doctors declared them brought dead.

Three Sukhoi fighters of the Indian Air Force will form a trishul over Rajpath as a climax to the Republic Day parade flypast. An improved version of the MI-17V helicopters, used for sustained airlift at high altitudes, will take part for the first time.


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