Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Lok Sabha Elections 2019; Training, Sensitization and Awareness programmes across A&N Islands

Port Blair, Mar 20: From the Booth Level Officers to general public including differently able citizens in the A&N Islands, training, sensitization and awareness programmes is going on in the wake of 17th General Lok Sabha Elections 2019.
As part of the preparations for the ensuing Elections, a final briefing for the Booth Level Officers (BLOs) was held in the auditorium of the DBRAIT on Mar 19. Addressing the BLOs of Port Blair and Ferrargunj Tehsils, the Returning Officer, A&N Island Parliamentary Constituency, Shri Udit Prakash Rai reminded the BLOs about their duties and responsibilities in the coming weeks and on the Day of Polling.
In another training session for supervisors and assistants for facilitating Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) held in the auditorium of the Anthropological Survey of India. Addressing the trainees of Port Blair and Ferrargunj Tehsils, Shri Udit Prakash Rai reminded the PwD facilitators about their duties and responsibilities in dealing with and helping the PwDs on the Day of Polling.
Meeting for all the sector officers of North & Middle Andaman District was held in the conference hall of District Office, N&MA on Mar.15. The District Election Officer (DEO), N&MA, Shri Awanish Kumar, briefed them about their duties and responsibilities on the Poll day and before. All the Sector Magistrates and Sector Police Officers were advised to remain vigil and visit the polling stations together and check the availability of Assured Minimum Facilities (AMF) in all the polling stations in their jurisdiction.
The Chunav Pathshala, the objectives of organizing 'Chunav Pathshala' is to educate the targeted populations about voter registration, electoral process and related matters through hands on experience, EVM and VVPAT familiarization and education about robustness of EVM and integrity of the electoral process using EVMs besides to help the target audience to understand the value of their vote and exercise their suffrage right in a confident, comfortable and ethical manner, to harness the potential of ELC members for carrying the electoral literacy in communities and to facilitate voter registration for its eligible members, who are not yet registered. It also aims to  develop a culture of electoral participation and maximize the informed and ethical voting and follow the principle 'Every vote counts' and 'No Voter to be Left Behind' and training for persons with disabilities.
EVM awareness camps in various locations of Port Blair Tehsil, to create awareness amongst general public on the use of EVM and VVPAT in the polling process. The hands on training are being imparting by different teams across islands.

Happy Holi: Police; Strict vigil on traffic, especially drunken driving

Port Blair, Mar 20: The festival of Holi (Dhulendi) will be celebrated on March 21, 2019. Traffic Police has made elaborate traffic arrangements to ensure safety of motorists on roads and check the incidents of drunken driving, over-speeding, reckless driving, zig-zag driving, red light jumping, triple riding, minor driving, driving/ riding without helmet, performing stunts on two wheelers and other traffic violations.
Special checking teams with alcometers will be deployed at major intersections and vulnerable points to detect and prosecute traffic violations. Special traffic police teams alongwith PCR and Local Police teams will be stationed on various roads and strategic locations/ intersections all over Port Blair city to check drunken driving, red light jumping and other traffic violations.
As per the directions of Hon'ble Supreme Court Committee on Road Safety, in cases of drunken driving, red light jumping, using mobile phone while driving, dangerous driving and over speeding, driving licence will be seized and liable for suspension for a period of minimum 3 Months.
Action shall also be initiated against the registered owners of vehicles whose vehicles are found to be driven by minor/ unauthorized persons, performing stunts, driving without license etc.
Therefore motorist are advised to obey traffic rules, specifically *Not to drink & drive, *Observe prescribed speed limits, *Obey Traffic Rules, *Not to indulge in racing or competition with other vehicles, *Especially two wheeler drivers/ riders to wear helmets and avoid triple riding, *Not to indulge in reckless, dangerous or zig-zag driving, *Not to allow minor/ unauthorized persons to drive your vehicle and *Not to indulge in performing stunts on two wheelers.
Traffic Police appeals to all motorists to avoid traffic violations especially drunken driving. Parents should not allow minors to drive vehicle. All motorists are advised to obey traffic rules and regulations and follow the directions of the traffic policemen on duty for their safety and of other road users.

Training of Presiding, Polling Officers on Mar.23

Port Blair, Mar. 20: In connection with the upcoming General Election-2019, the training of Presiding Officer, Polling Officer and EVM/ VVPAT will be held on March 23 at 9. 30 am in the auditorium of DBRAIT.

Awareness workshop on MCC held; Deptts. urged to ensure availability of AMF in polling stations

Port Blair, Mar. 20: A workshop was conducted by Election Department of the A & N Administration on March 18, 2019 to create awareness among the Govt. employees about the implementation of Model Code of Conduct (MCC) and functioning, usage and advantage of polling through Electronic Voting Machine (EVM)/ Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT). Shri K R Meena, Chief Electoral Officer, A&N Islands in his opening remark informed the Head of Departments (HoDs) of all Central/ State Government, that EVM/ VVPAT, which are used by the Election Commission, are not only user friendly but also reliable, credible and authenticate machines, which provide ease, comfort and accurate voting by the electors. It was emphasized that the EVMs/ VVPATs are manufactured by the two reputed Central Govt. undertakings and the software of EVM/ VVPAT are scrutinised by the independent Technical Expert Committee before handing over the machines to States/UTs for election. The EVM work as a standalone machine not connected with any network. The machines operate with one time programmable chip, which is neither computer control nor connected to internet. Moreover, the programme used in the EVM is one time programmable chip, which cannot be altered or tampered with.
It was also informed that there are several administrative safeguards which make its operation fair and transparent. The EVMs are closely monitored by political parties and their representatives during the First Level Checking, candidates setting, on the day of poll and counting. The entire process is also videographed and signature of representatives of political parties/their representatives are being taken each time before assigning the EVM/VVPAT to Strong Room. The Commission has also provided opportunity to the representatives of political parties and their representatives to sign the seal of Strong Room and also watch and ward polled EVM stored in the Strong Room.
The CEO also requested all the HoDs to observe MCC and obtain clearance of the Commission through a Committee headed by Chief Secretary, if needed. He also requested to all the Departments to extend help and cooperation to provide Assured Minimum Facilities (AMF) in the polling stations so that voting became a festive and memorable experience to the voters. He requested all the HoDs to ensure casting of vote on the day of poll and also motivate and encourage all the officials working under them and their family members to cast vote on the day of poll.
The Chief Secretary assured all help and cooperation to the UT election machinery during the election. He also acknowledged hard work being done by the election machinery in the UT. During the workshop, a demonstration of functioning of EVMs/VVPATs were also given in which CS, PCCF and DGP along with other HoDs participated. A presentation was also made by the Returning Officer, Shri Udit Prakash Rai on functioning, use and advantage of EVM/VVPAT. Shri Yash Choudhary, Nodal Officer (MCC) also made a presentation on implementation of MCC.

AAP, TMC contestants finalized

Port Blair, Mar 20: Shri Sanjay Meshak, who was contested from Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the 16th Lok Sabha Election will contest this time too in the 17th Lok Sabha Elections 2019 from A&N Islands, AAP sources said.
Trinamool Congress (TMC) has finalized Mr. Ayan Mandal, grandson of Late Manoranjan Bhakta (former MP of A&N Islands) and will contest in the Lok Sabha Elections 2019 representing A&N Islands, TMC sources said.

Kuldeep gets the chance again

Port Blair, Mar 20: The Indian National Congress (INC) have finalized and announced Shri Kuldeep Rai Sharma's name on 16 Mar. 2019 as its official candidate, who will contest in the Lok Sabha Elections 2019 for the lone throne in the Parliament representing from A&N Islands, sources from Gandhi Bhavan said.

Indonesian Naval Ship and Aircraft arrive for 33rd IND-INDO CORPAT

Port Blair, Mar 20: Indonesian Naval Ship KRI Sultan Thaha Syaifuddin and Maritime Patrol Aircraft CN-235 led by Commodore Dafit Santoso arrived today at Port Blair for the Opening Ceremony of 33rd edition of the India-Indonesia Coordinated Patrol (IND-INDO CORPAT). 
IND-INDO CORPAT will be held from 19th March to 4th April 2019. Ambassador of Indonesia to India, Mr. Shidharto Raza Suryodipuro will also visit Port Blair to attend the Opening Ceremony. On arrival, he will call on Vice Admiral Bimal Verma, AVSM, ADC, Commander-in-Chief Andaman and Nicobar Command.
The Indian delegation will be led by Commodore Ashutosh Ridhorkar, VSM, Naval Component Commander, Andaman and Nicobar Command and will include Indian Naval Ship Kesari and Indian Naval Maritime Patrol Aircraft Dornier of Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC).
During the opening ceremony in Port Blair, various activities such as sporting fixtures, ship visits and professional interactions have been planned. The ship and aircraft from both the countries would undertake patrolling on the respective sides of 236 nautical miles long International Maritime Boundary line and also participate in the 2nd Bilateral Maritime Exercise in the Andaman Sea. This will be followed by a Closing Ceremony at Belawan, Indonesia, which is scheduled from 01-04 April 2019.
The ceremony also coincides with 70 years of India-Indonesia diplomatic ties and will contribute towards Indian Navy's efforts to consolidate inter-operability and forge strong bonds of friendship across the seas.  The two Navies have been regularly carrying out CORPAT twice a year since 2002 that seeks to underscore India's peaceful presence and solidarity with friendly Maritime neighbouring countries to ensure good order in the maritime domain.

Invisible Teacher within Librarian

-          Dr. S. Ganesan
-          Karabi Mandal
We have resources of learning in many varieties. The books are prime resource of learning for students as well as teachers. The term ‘book’ is strongly linked with Libraries. In today’s digital world, the e-books are an addition to the existing printed book library. It is one of the mostly used resources of teaching-learning process. The audio-video CDs are another dimension of our libraries. All these learning resources are being managed by librarian as head of library. The librarian plays multiple roles, especially in School/College library. One of the major roles played by librarian is ‘Teacher’, which is hidden, silent and invisible. He /she plays teaching role-directly or indirectly; actively or passively as routine activity of library. I remember my college days of entering the library as first person and leaving as last person, just before closing of library doors. The concentration on reading for long-hours motivated me to visit the library almost daily during the research work. The silence inside the library inspires like a meditation hall.

Librarian as
·                     Motivator
·                     Google (Search Engine)
·                     Living Encyclopedia
·                     Organizer (Systematic)
·                     Gate way of knowledge
·                     Guide
·                     Learning Facilitator

The students move freely with librarians, because they are not subject-teacher to fear. At the same time, the librarian gets respect, from both students and teachers, for the facilitating role played by dynamic librarian. The smile on the face of librarian inspires us and boost our motivation to read a lot at library. This must have been experienced by many of us during our school or college days. The activities inside library also acts as catalyst for self-motivation to read and learn in library.
Certificate in Library Science  (6-months)
·                     Libraries: An Introduction
·                     Document Processing and Organisation
·                     Information Sources and Library Services
·                     ICT in Libraries
 A college Principal entered the library with more than one attender, to return 10-20 books and has taken another set of 15-20 books from issue counter. This scene has stored in the photographic memory of my mind, strongly. The library is a place of such academic activities to get inspiration from peer-group (or) learned persons. The positive vibrations inside the library can be felt by a student   and it resembles like temple-vibrations while sitting at corridor of the temple.

Bachelor of Library and Information Science  (1 year)
·                     Library, Information and Society
·                     Information Sources and Services
·                     Organizing and Managing Information
·                     ICT Fundamentals
·                     Communication Skills
·                     Management of Library and Information Centre
·                     Document Processing Practice
·                     Information Products and Services
·                     ICT in Libraries

To become professionally trained librarian, there are many academic qualifications such as; Certificate in Library Science, Bachelor of Library & Information Science, Master of Library & Information Science, PG Diploma in Library Automation and Networking, Ph.D in Library Science. In academic institution, the librarian with Ph.D/M.Phil; (or) B.Ed/M.Ed; degrees have academically high/good status and mostly treated at par with teachers, on many occasions.

Master of Library and Information Sciences  ( 1 year)
·                     Information Sources, Systems and Services
·                     Technical Writing
·                     Informatics and Scientometrics
·                     Public Library System and Services
·                     Project/Dissertation Work

The scope for Library Science is increasing day-by-day. Recently, we have seen expansion of Kendriya Vidyalaya network and opening of 50 new Kendriya Vidyalaya’s: The growth of educational institutions is well known fact to get job opportunity as librarian. There are lot of staff already working in libraries, without professional qualification on library Science, especially the supporting staff members. Upgrading their educational qualification, suitable for their work place, is need-of-the- hour.

PG Diploma in Library Automation and Networking (1 year)

·                     Introduction to Computers
·                     Library Automation
·                     Information Systems
·                     Networking and Internet Technology
·                     Internet Resources
·                     Content Development
·                     Programming
·                     Project Work
·                     Practicals (7)

Imagine a library set-up, where the gate-keeper to Library Head are all professionally qualified in the Library Science and also visualize the quality of such library. Let us have teacher as librarian and vice-versa. Thus, the chance of exposure of hidden teacher, inside librarian, will be made visible to the world. Let us try to transform invisible portion to a visible state.
(The authors are Dr.S. Ganesan, Regional Director and Karabi Mandal staff of IGNOU, Regional Centre, Port Blair and can be reached at (M-8900936718)

Political parties & candidates urged to adhere to MCC

Port Blair, Mar.20: The Election Commission of India has declared the Elections to the Lok Sabha Parliamentary Constituency of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, vide Press Notification dated the 10th March 2019. Under the provisions contained in Representation of Peoples Act, 1951, all the political parties and contesting candidates have been requested to strictly follow all the norms of Model Code of Conduct.
o             No party or candidate shall include in any activity which may aggravate existing differences or create mutual hatred or cause tension between different castes and communities, religious or linguistic.
o             Criticism of other political parties, when made, shall be confined to their policies and programme, past record and work. Parties and Candidates shall refrain from criticism of all aspects of private life, not connected with the public activities of the leaders or workers of other parties. Criticism of other parties or their workers based on unverified allegations or distortion shall be avoided.
o  There shall be no appeal to caste or communal feelings for securing votes. Mosques, Churches, Temples or other places of worship shall not be used as forum for election propaganda.
o  All parties and candidates shall avoid scrupulously all activities which are "corrupt practices" and offences under the election law, such as bribing of voters, intimidation of voters, impersonation of voters, canvassing within 200 meters of polling stations, holding public meetings during the period of 48 hours ending with the hour fixed for the close of the poll, and the transport and conveyance of voters to and from polling station.
o  The right of every individual for peaceful and undisturbed home-life shall be respected, however much the political parties or candidates may resent his political opinions or activities. Organizing demonstrations or picketing before the houses of individuals by way of protesting against their opinions or activities shall not be resorted to under any circumstances.
o  Political parties and candidates shall ensure that their supporters do not create obstructions in or break up meetings and processions organised by other parties. Workers or sympathisers of one political party shall not create disturbances at public meetings organised by another political party by putting questions orally or in writing or by distributing leaflets of their own party.
o  All advertisement for telecasting on TV channels and cable networks by any political parties must be viewed, scrutinized and certified by Monitoring Committee on Media Certification (MCMC).
o  All political parties should try to avoid the use of plastic/polythene for preparation of posters, banners etc. during election campaign.
o  Any and all advertisements at the cost of the public exchequer regarding achievements of the party/Government in power are prohibited.
o   No inducement, financial or otherwise, shall be offered to the voter.
o   Race/caste/communal/religious/ language feelings of the electors shall not be appealed to. (Section 125, RP Act 1951)
o  No activity, which may aggravate existing differences or create mutual hatred or cause tension between different castes, communities or religious or linguistic groups shall be attempted.
o  No aspect of the private life, not connected with the public activities, of the leaders or workers of other parties shall be permitted to be criticized.
o  Processionists shall not carry any articles, which are capable of being misused as missiles or weapons.
o   Loudspeakers whether static or mounted on moving vehicles shall not be used either before 6 a.m. or after 10 p.m. and without the prior written permission of the authorities concerned.
o   Distribution of liquor or bribery in any form is prohibited during elections.
o   Hiring/procuring/use of vehicles for free conveyance of voters is corrupt practice.
o   Permit for vehicles to be used for electioneering shall be be issued by DM/RO and must be affixed on the vehicles.
o   No vehicle except with permit will be allowed for use
o  All Political Parties/Candidates are advised to strictly follow the Andaman and Nicobar Islands Prevention of Defacement of Property Regulation, 1987.

District Election Officer Nicobars flags off Election Express

Port Blair, Mar.18: The District Election Officer, Nicobars, Dr. Monica Priyadarshini flagged off the Election Express on March 18, 2019 from the office of the Deputy Commissioner, Car Nicobar. The Election Express will be travelling to all villages and create awareness amongst the voters of Car Nicobar about the importance of voting. Similar Election Express will be launched in all Islands of Campbell Bay and Nancowry group as well.
Dr. Priyadarshini highlighted the importance of creating awareness among the people on voting and elections.  Under the directions of the Election Commission of India, various Systematic Voters' Education and Electoral participation (SVEEP) programme and activities were being carried out by the District Administration, Nicobars and the Election Express was one such activity.

Builders get GST leeway till March 31

New Delhi, Mar 20: GST Council allows them to choose between old and new rates for under-construction properties
The GST Council, in its 34th meeting on Tuesday, decided to allow builders of properties under construction up to March 31, 2019, to choose between the old GST rate of 12% with input tax credits (ITC) and the lower rate without ITC announced in the previous meeting. New constructions on and after April 1 will be taxed at the new rate.
The council had, in its previous meeting, said that the GST rate for under-construction properties would be reduced and the option of availing input tax credit would be removed.
As such, it set the tax rate for normal under-construction residential properties at 5% without ITC, and the rate for affordable housing under-construction projects at 1% without ITC.
Developers, however, pointed out that the problem was how to treat the input tax credit already availed. The Council said it would deliberate on the issue, and Tuesday’s decision was an attempt to address that.
“The GST Council has decided that for under-construction properties up to March 31, 2019, the developer will have the option of going for the old rate or the new rate,” Revenue Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey said at a press conference following the video-conference meeting. “They will have to make this choice within a set time-frame, which will be decided over the next few days in consultation with the States.”
Decision on window
“The decision will be on whether this window will be 15 days or 30 days,” Mr. Pandey added. “New construction on April 1 [and] onwards will have to be at the new rate.” The council also said that these lower GST rates would be applicable for developers who sourced 80% of their inputs and input services from registered suppliers. “On shortfall of purchases from 80%, tax shall be paid by the builder at the rate of 18% on RCM [Reverse Charge Mechanism] basis,” the government said in a press release. “However, tax on cement purchased from unregistered persons shall be paid at the rate of 28% under RCM, and on capital goods under RCM at applicable rates.”
“The pragmatic move to segregate under construction projects from new projects would provide relief to builders who were worried about the loss of input tax credit,” M.S. Mani, partner at Deloitte India said.
“This would also enable them to price the loss of input tax credits in the new projects.”
The GST Council also prescribed a formula for the reversal of the ITC by those developers who have under-construction properties as of March 31, 2019, but choose the new tax rate. The new formula basically calculates the total ITC of the project by extrapolating, based on the ITC taken for the percentage of the project that is completed as of that date. This number would also incorporate the proportion of flats booked and invoiced.
“Reversal of input tax credit on a proportionate basis would entail significant computational issues for builders as each project would be in various stages of construction and have differing pre and post-completion sale patterns,” Mr. Mani added. (The Hindu)

Complaints on violations of Model Code of Conduct (MCC)

Port Blair, Mar 20: Consequent upon declaration of General Elections to Lok Sabha 2019, by the Election Commission of India the Model Code of Conduct (MMC) has come into force. In view to monitor and regulate actions against any violations with respect to MCC various teams have been formed and activated. General public is hereby advised to inform any such violation of MCC directly to the election Toll free No.1950. On receipt of such complaints the same will be forwarded to the concerned Nodal Officer to initiate corrective measure against the said violations, a press release from Returning Officer, A&N Islands Parliamentary Constituency said here.