In Parliament: Lok Sabha logjam ends hours after PM Modi’s reply in Raya Sabha

New Delhi: The Lok Sabha logjam that washed out four days of business last week ended after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh stepped in asking the Opposition not to break tradition of passing the motion of thanks to the President, hours after Prime Minister Modi promised in the Rajya Sabha, in reply to three days of debate, never to abolish the minimum support price (MSP) to farmers nor wind up the Mandis (wholesale markets) but rather modernise them.

Rajnath Singh, who is himself a farmer, welcomed the members in the Lok Sabha to raise the farmer issues during debate on the motion of thanks to the President and the Opposition responded by starting the debate after Congress group leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury insisted on a separate standalone debate of 2-4 hours on the farmers' issues after this debate or after one on the budget.

Calling to maintain the decorum of Parliament and follow the tradition of passing the motion of thanks to the President, Rajnath Singh made an emotional appeal "with folded hands" not to break this tradition and it worked as Chowdhury said the Opposition also does not want to break the tradition.

"We don't have any lack of respect for the President, but we demand that farmers' issues should be taken up immediately after the motion of thanks debate. We can't be silent on the situation of the farmers sitting on Delhi borders in the cold in open. We just want 2-4 hours separate discussion on farmers," Chowdhury said.

The development came hours after the Rajya Sabha passed the motion of thanks to the President, after a fiery reply to the debate by Prime Minister Modi. Rajnath Singh's appeal to start the debate in the Lok Sabha on the motion came after an agreement reached in a meeting of leaders of different parties called by Speaker Om Birla to break the impasse in the House.

RS passes J&K Bill

New Delhi: The Rajya Sabha on Monday cleared The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2021 that seeks to replace the ordinance to merge the J&K cadre of civil services officer with the Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Mizoram Union Territory (AGMUT) cadre. The bill was introduced in the Upper House of the Parliament last week and it was approved with voice vote before Rajya Sabha chairman and Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu.

"The complete integration of both UTs along with one nation one constitution, holistic development and public welfare are being ensured at each level. Through amendment of this bill, the merger of J&K cadre with AGMUT cadre is an important step in that direction," Minister of State for Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy said in Rajya Sabha .

He said that the Constitution of India is now fully applicable in Jammu and Kashmir, and that the bill will enable availability of officers in Jammu and Kashmir who have experience of running union territory administration.

India to have 17 Rafale jets by March: Rajnath

New Delhi: India will have 17 Rafale jets by March this year and the entire fleet of the fighter aircraft bought by the country will reach by April 2022.

In 2016, India had signed an inter-governmental agreement with France to procure 36-Rafale Jet aircrafts at a cost Rs 59,000 crore.

"I want to inform that till 11 Rafale have arrived and by this March 17 Rafale will be on our land. I also inform that all Rafale will be reach India by April, 2022," the minister said while replying a question in the Rajya Sabha.

The first five Rafale were formally inducted into IAF on Sept 10, 2020. The total expenditure on the event was Rs 41.32 lakhs including Rs 9.18 lakh of GST.

To another supplementary query whether the government will privatise few aspects of defence in the coming days, the minister said, "We are giving special focus on indigenisation".

He said 101 items have identified which will manufactured locally and not imported."

Google removes 100 fraudulent instant loan apps

New Delhi: Google has so far removed about 100 instant loan apps from its PlayStore in the country that were involved in alleged collection of personal data and its misuse, fraudulent and unlawful practices of physical threats and use of other coercive methods for recovery of loans, according to the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY).

Answering a query in the Lok Sabha, the IT Ministry said that upon being notified by law enforcement agencies of the availability of certain money lending apps that were possibly not in compliance with the applicable legal and regulatory framework, Google has already removed about 100 such apps since December 2020 till January 20, 2021.

The IT ministry said it received a number of public grievances against frauds and the malpractices by few online instant loan applications available on internet including on Google PlayStore.

Google last month informed that it reviewed hundreds of personal loan apps in India and pulled down several of them found to be violating its app policies.

The company said it has asked the developers of the remaining identified apps to demonstrate that they comply with applicable local laws and regulations in India.

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