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Centre accused of 'illegally' denying details on RTI Act

-The Hindu Activist sought copy of proposed amendments An activist has accused the government of “illegally” withholding information about amendments proposed to the Right to Information Act, 2005, after her plea seeking details about the procedure followed was turned down. RTI activist Anjali Bharadwaj wrote to the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) last month demanding to know when were the amendments to the Act proposed and forwarded to the Union Cabinet. She sought details about the consultative process followed by the government before bringing the amendments and wanted to know whether the government had placed the draft of the revised legislation in the public domain. She demanded a copy of the draft law. In response, the DoPT refused to provide any details. “The matter regarding amendments in the RTI Act, 2005 is under consideration and has not reached finality. As per section 8(i)(i) of the RTI Act, 2005, information requested by you cannot...

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Demonetisation failed to make India a 'less cash' society -Vivek Dehejia and Rupa Subramanya

-Livemint.com The ratio of currency in circulation as share of broad money is back at pre-demonetisation levels, according to Reserve Bank of India data On 8 November 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the “demonetisation” of high-value currency notes. When it became clear the ex ante goals of reducing corruption and black money were unlikely to succeed, attention shifted to a range of possible ex post facto rationales for the move. Numerous commentators, including the two of us, argued that one such goal would be to push the economy towards greater formalisation, and, relatedly, to push the financial sector towards greater digitisation and a reduced reliance on cash. This broad rationale was then quickly picked up by the Modi government and its supporters. Now that sufficient time has elapsed, it is possible to bring data to bear on the specific question: Has demonetisation succeeded in making India a “less cash” society? To our...

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Draft Data Protection Bill ready, may be submitted this week -S Ronendra Singh

-The Hindu Business Line Srikrishna panel seeks to meet Minister New Delhi: The much-awaited data protection policy may soon come out as the recommendations on the draft Data Protection Bill are ready, and can be submitted to the Minister of Electronics and Information Technology, any day within this week. An expert Committee chaired by retired Supreme Court judge BN Srikrishna has prepared the recommendations. The Committee was set up in December to study various issues relating to data protection in India and make specific suggestions on principles to be considered for data protection and suggest a draft Data Protection Bill. The objective was to ‘ensure growth of the digital economy while keeping personal data of citizens secure and protected.’ “The recommendations (on the draft policy) are ready and the Committee has asked a time from the Minister (Ravi Shankar Prasad) so that they can further discuss issues or clarifications, if any,” a senior government official...

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Tenant farmers bear the brunt of agri distress -KV Kurmanath

-The Hindu Business Line Most suicides among landless and marginal farmers Hyderabad: Tenant farmers and cotton growers in Telangana are under severe distress according to a survey of farm families whose bread winner committed suicide. About 75 per cent of the suicide were by tenant farmers and 81 per cent of them were cotton growers. The survey by the Rythu Swarajya Vedika and a group of students from Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) during May 10 to June 13 covered 700 families out of the 3,500 families that witnessed a suicide from June 2014 to April 2018. “The sample is 20 per cent of the total subject size. We collected details on the extent of land, tenancy, loans from banks and private lenders and the crops cultivated,” Kiran Kumar Vissa of Rythu Swarajya Vedika said. “About 13.5 per cent or 93 farmers didn’t own any land and were either landless farmers or small and marginal...

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Cotton production may be higher: CAB

-The Hindu ‘Crop damage from pests contained’ Coimbatore: The Cotton Advisory Board (CAB) estimates cotton production for this season (October 2017 to September 2018) to be 370 lakh bales. The board had estimated cotton production to be 345 lakh bales and exports at 59 lakh bales for the season when it had met in December. Bollworm attack Production estimates were lower in the beginning of the season as the board expected damage to the crop from bollworm attack. However, state governments took steps to contain the damage, said J. Thulasidharan, president, Indian Cotton Federation. Please click here to read more. ...

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