QBullet: President Gives Away 11 Awards Only; 117 Killed in Storm

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President Ram Nath Kovind confers the Best Music Direction Award on AR Rahman during the 65th National Film Awards function at Vigyan Bhavan on Thursday,  one of the 11 awards that President Kovind gave. 
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1. President Gives Away Only 11 Honours, 50 Skip National Film Awards Ceremony

More than 50 award winners did not turn up at the 65th National Film Awards presentation ceremony on Thursday to protest against a departure from the past, when the President used to hand over all the prizes himself.

President Ram Nath Kovind gave away just 11 of the 137 awards, including the prestigious Dada Saheb Phalke Award for lifetime achievement. Minister for information and broadcasting Smriti Irani and minister of state Rajyavardhan Rathore presented the remaining awards.

Absentees said they skipped the ceremony because they wouldn’t have received the awards from the president due to departure from convention. Rashtrapati Bhavan insisted that the ministry of information and broadcasting (MIB) had been informed weeks in advance of the ceremony that the president would spare only an hour for the function, restricting the number of people who would be able to receive an award from him.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

2. ‘Arrest Should Not Be so Easy’; SC Refuses to Stay SC/ST Order

Members of the Dalit community raise slogans during Bharat Bandh against the alleged dilution of SC/ST Act in New Delhi, on 2 April 2018.
Members of the Dalit community raise slogans during Bharat Bandh against the alleged dilution of SC/ST Act in New Delhi, on 2 April 2018.
(Photo: ANI)

The Supreme Court refused again on Thursday, 3 May to stay its 20 March judgment diluting the provision of mandatory arrest under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, brushing aside the Centre’s charge that the verdict marked an intrusion into the sphere of the legislature and rewriting of the law.

Attorney general K K Venugopal said the verdict was such that he was constrained to use harsh words and protested against the “tampering” of the constitutional scheme of separation of powers.

He said, "The judgment has completely shaken the country. Those who have been oppressed for thousands of years have a feeling that dilution of the arrest provision in the SC/ST Act amounted to protecting the accused.”

The bench, however, remained unmoved. The arguments will continue on 16 May.

(Source: The Times of India)

3. Freak Dust Storm Kills 117

 A tree falls on a vehicle in the dust storm in Bareilly, UP.
A tree falls on a vehicle in the dust storm in Bareilly, UP.
(Photo: PTI)

A chain of powerful thunderstorms, a freak pre-monsoon phenomenon that experts blamed on a confluence of three weather factors, pounded parts of north and north-west India overnight Wednesday, killing at least 117 people and leaving a trail of destruction in at least six states.

Hundreds more were injured in the storms that packed windspeeds of up to 130 km per hour, and wrecked mud houses, damaged crops, uprooted trees and electricity pylons, cutting off power supplies and disrupting train traffic in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana.

Western Uttar Pradesh and neighbouring eastern Rajasthan bore the brunt of the storms; 111 people died in the two states, most of them from house collapses.

Climate scientists attributed an increase in the frequency of storms to climate changes stemming from global warming, caused by heat-trapping greenhouse gases.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

4. SC Told Cauvery Scheme Pending as PM Modi, Ministers Busy with Karnataka Elections

Prime minister Narendra Modi addresses an election campaign rally in Udupi on Tuesday, 1 May ahead of Karnataka polls.
Prime minister Narendra Modi addresses an election campaign rally in Udupi on Tuesday, 1 May ahead of Karnataka polls.
(Photo: PTI)

The Centre on Thursday told the Supreme Court that it had been unable to frame the draft Cauvery water-sharing scheme by the 3 May deadline because “PM Modi and other central ministers were busy campaigning for the Karnataka assembly elections” scheduled for next week.

The Supreme Court had last month criticised the Centre for failing to come up with a plan to implement its verdict on the distribution of Cauvery waters, after the Centre sought three months to draft the scheme, which would defer it beyond the 12 May assembly elections in Karnataka where the water-sharing formula is a contentious political issue.

Expressing its displeasure over the delay by government, a bench led by CJI Dipak Misra told Venugopal, “We are not concerned with the Karnataka elections. The scheme should have been finalised by now. States have no role to play.”

(Source: Hindustan Times)

5. 20 Feared Dead in Bihar Bus Accident, PM Modi Tweets Condolences

People watch the passenger bus which caught fire claiming two lives in Motihari district of Bihar on Thursday, 3 May.
People watch the passenger bus which caught fire claiming two lives in Motihari district of Bihar on Thursday, 3 May.
(Photo: PTI)

At least 20 people were feared dead when the bus they were travelling in fell into a pit and caught fire in East Champaran district in Bihar on Thursday, 3 May a PTI report said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed anguish over the loss of lives in the incident that took place in Motihari, in a tweet.

The bus, belonging to Raj Travels, was on its way from Muzaffarpur to New Delhi. The accident occurred under the Kotwa police station area, over 75 km from the state capital, on the National Highway 28.

“It is a really sad incident. There is a provision to give compensation of Rs 4 lakh to the next of kin of dead in such cases and it will be given,” said Bihar Disaster Management and Relief Minister Dinesh Chandra Yadav.

(Source: The Indian Express)

6. Kasauli Woman Officer’s Murder: Accused Arrested from Mathura

Vijay Thakur, the man accused of a 51-year-old Shaila Bala in Kasauli was nabbed in UP’s Mathura district.
Vijay Thakur, the man accused of a 51-year-old Shaila Bala in Kasauli was nabbed in UP’s Mathura district.
(Photo: ANI)

More than 48 hours after he allegedly shot dead a government official leading a demolition drive in Himachal Pradesh’s Kasauli area, hotelier Vijay Thakur was arrested by police from Mathura on Thursday, 3 May officials said.

51-year-old Assistant Town Planner Shail Bala, was allegedly chased and shot dead by Thakur during a demolition drive against unauthorised structures in hotels across the hill resort, on Tuesday.

Additional SP Solan, Dr Shiv Kumar, who was heading the SIT formed to investigate the case, said Thakur was arrested from Mathura in UP as he was constantly on police radar. He said the hotelier was being brought to Solan for investigations and follow-up. He will be produced before the court on Friday, 4 May

(Source: The Indian Express)

7. Delhi AAP Govt to Set up Board for Transgenders

File photo of AAP chief and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
File photo of AAP chief and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
(Photo: Reuters)

The Aam Aadmi Party government has started the process to establish the Transgender Welfare Board. Delhi minister Rajendra Pal Gautam wrote to the social welfare department on Wednesday, 2 May and asked it to form a committee to conduct a comprehensive study on the condition of the transgenders in the capital.

“The committee is likely to be set up within a week and will include two representatives of the transgenders, officials from social welfare department and representatives from organisations working at different levels for the welfare of the transgenders,” Gautam said on Thursday, 3 May.

“The AAP government is sensitive to the rights of the people living on the margins of society. We want not only to protect the human and constitutional rights of the transgenders, but also give them a better life,” he added.

(Source: The Times of India)

8. BJP to Increase PM Modi Rallies from 15 to 21 in Karnataka

PM Modi may end up addressing 21 election rallies in Karnataka, instead of the 15 planned earlier, in a late campaign blitz before the 12 May assembly polls, two BJP leaders familiar with the matter said.

Modi began the second round of his campaign on 1 May, addressing three rallies in Chamrajanagar, Udupi and Belagavi. He returned to Karnataka on Thursday to address three more public meetings in Gulbarga, Ballari, and Bengaluru. In the first round, he addressed about half a dozen rallies before poll dates were announced on 27 March.

“The original plan had three more public meetings each on May 5, 7 and 8,” the first of the two leaders cited above said on condition of anonymity. “Now he will also address rallies on May 6 and 9. He may end up addressing 21 rallies instead of 15.”

(Source: Hindustan Times)

9. Flipkart Co-Founder Likely to Quit After Walmart Takeover

Flipkart co-founders Sachin Bansal (left) and Binny Bansal (right).
Flipkart co-founders Sachin Bansal (left) and Binny Bansal (right).
(Photo: Flipkart)

Flipkart chairman and co-founder Sachin Bansal is likely to quit the company board as Walmart, the world’s largest retail giant, nears a deal to pick up a majority stake in India’s most valued internet company, people familiar with the development said. Flipkart did not respond to queries by TOI.

Sachin, 36 and Binny, 35 are not related. A batch apart in IIT-Delhi, they became friends as colleagues in Amazon before starting Flipkart as an online bookstore in 2007.

Sources said Walmart is keen on retaining only one of the two founders.

“Sachin is most likely to leave and Binny will stay. Walmart has to make sure it buys off his shares, which is what is being worked out,” said a source.

(Source: The Times of India)

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