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Rajasthan’s Gujjar quota faces a legal challenge

first_imgThe Congress government’s move to give 5% reservation to Gujjars and four other nomadic communities in jobs and education in Rajasthan, citing them as being an “extremely backward class”, has run into rough weather. A public interest litigation petition filed in the High Court here, challenges the quota Bill on grounds of an “untenable basis” of proportionality of population.Activists Arvind Sharma and Badal Verma contend in their writ petition that the Bill — passed in the Assembly’s Budget session during the Gujjar agitation — had not only breached the 50% ceiling on reservation but had also cited the proportion of Gujjars’ population as per the last Census instead of referring to the quantifiable data of backwardness in education and public employment.The Assembly had unanimously passed the Rajasthan Backward Classes (Reservation of Seats in Educational Institutions in the State and of Appointments and Posts in Services under the State) Amendment Bill, 2019, on February 13.The four other nomadic communities, which have been accorded the quota benefit along with the Gujjars, are Banjara, Gadia-Lohar, Raika and Gadariya.While a Cabinet sub-committee has assured Gujjars that the State will strongly defend the Bill in accordance with Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s written assurance,The writ petition is likely to come up for preliminary hearing in the Rajasthan High Court’s Jaipur Bench next week.Petitioners’ counsel Abhinav Sharma said while the State government had contended that the reservation was aimed at addressing the pressing need to uplift certain communities, the “actual compelling circumstance” was the Gujjar agitation, which had held the entire State to ransom. Gujjars had blocked traffic on the Delhi-Mumbai railway tracks and on several highways for nine days to press for their demands.Tourism minister Vishvendra Singh, a member of the Cabinet sub-committee appointed to address the quota issue who met representatives of the Gujjar Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti, said after the meeting that the government would press its defence strongly in the High Court. “When the 10% reservation for the poor in general category can be enforced, how will the 5% quota not pass the hurdle,” he asked.Before the notification for enforcing the new quota Bill was issued, Gujjars were eligible for 1% reservation in the “most backward” category, in addition to the Other Backward Class (OBC) quota, within the 50% ceiling laid down by the Supreme Court in the Indra Sawhney judgment. Previous State governments had tried thrice to provide 5% reservation to the Gujjars and the four other nomadic communities, who were earlier grouped as a Special Backward Class.The legislation, however, had been struck down in every one of the past three attempts by the Rajasthan High Court, which had ruled that the quota not only exceeded the 50% limit, but was also not supported by quantifiable data to prove backwardness.last_img read more

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Rep Frederick casts vote to lower car insurance rates

first_img Categories: Frederick News 09May Rep. Frederick casts vote to lower car insurance rates House approves historic reforms after decades of gridlockThe Michigan House tonight approved a landmark plan to fix our state’s much-maligned car insurance system and reduce rates for all Michigan drivers, state Rep. Ben Frederick announced.Frederick voted in favor of the plan which allows for the best life-saving medical benefits in the nation, provides seniors and those with other health insurance coverage the ability to opt out of personal injury coverage, rein in medical costs, and fight fraud – features designed to end Michigan’s long-standing tenure as the state with the most expensive car insurance rates in the nation.Frederick has played a key role at leading reform efforts as a member of the House Select Committee on Reducing Car Insurance Rates Committee, the special panel solely dedicated to crafting a long-lasting solution that cuts down drivers’ rates.“The high cost of auto insurance is crushing families in mid-Michigan and across the state,” Frederick, of Owosso, said after the vote. “We needed a plan which saved Michigan drivers a significant amount of money while protecting families and their loved ones injured in auto accidents. As a member of the special committee, it was a pleasure being a part of the reform process. We spent over three months poring over every aspect of this issue to secure the right reform path. The House-approved plan does just that and delivers real, guaranteed savings to all drivers.”The sweeping legislation passed in a bipartisan vote and now advances to the Senate for consideration.PHOTO INFORMATION: State Rep. Ben Frederick address the full House body on Thursday in favor a House plan to bring relief to Michigan drivers through lower car insurance rates.last_img read more

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Music video website Vevo has launched a 24hour li

first_imgMusic video website Vevo has launched a 24-hour linear music TV channel in the US and Canada.Universal Music and Sony-backed Vevo has initially launched the channel on the web and via Xbox and Roku set-tops, as well as on iOS devices and Android and Windows Mobile handsets. However, it also has expressed an ambition to strike traditional carriage deals with cable operators.Vevo TV will feature a constant stream of videos curated by VJs on the model pioneered by MTV in the 1980s. Vevo CEO Rio Caraeff told the Financial Times that the channel was “about a return to how it used to be” and that the company saw a demand for a “programmed, linear experience”. The channel will be supported by advertising.Billboard cited Caraeff as saying that Vevo planned to launch Vevo TV channels in international markets including Europe and Latin America in the near future, and is currently working to add local programming capabilities.Vevo is currently in negotiations with Google to renew its existing distribution deal with YouTube, which Caraeff said was “nearing completion”.last_img read more

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Mai Fyfield Sky has urged Ofcom to separate BT and

first_imgMai FyfieldSky has urged Ofcom to separate BT and its infrastructure arm Openreach in its final submission to the UK broadcast regulator as part of its strategic review of the UK’s digital communications market. In a statement explaining its stance, Sky argued that as BT has sole control over Openreach its decisions about investment in national infrastructure “reflect the interests of BT rather than the whole industry and the businesses and consumers that use its service”.“Openreach’s ownership structure means that companies that compete with BT, like Sky and TalkTalk, cannot work with Openreach on innovations like fibre to the home,” said Sky’s chief strategy officer, Mai Fyfield, discussing Sky’s Ofcom submission.She also claimed that “the national network run by Openreach relies heavily on copper wires and delivers unacceptable levels of faults and service problems for consumers and businesses.”Fyfield said that it makes sense for BT to use the existing copper network for as long as possible. However, with “no prospect” of BT’s retail arm using an alternative high-speed fibre network to deliver services, there is “limited scope for new infrastructure entrants as they would only be able to compete for Sky and TalkTalk’s business.”“The separation of Openreach from the rest of BT will allow it to form part of a more competitive market solution as an independent company. For example, if BT’s retail arm could purchase network services from alternative suppliers, an independent Openreach would be motivated to respond with investment and innovation of its own,” said Fyfield.“As a standalone FTSE 100 company, Openreach would be highly attractive to long-term investors and able to raise fresh capital to invest on the back of future growth from the whole industry.”The comments come after the chief executives of Sky, TalkTalk and Vodafone UK called for an “urgent need for increased competition” and urged Ofcom to ask the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to “undertake a full market investigation,” in an open letter published last month.The Financial Times reported this week that Vodafone would also call for the break-up of BT, ahead of the Ofcom consultation deadline of October 8. It quoted Vodafone’s head of regulatory affairs, Matthew Braovac, as saying: “we want to see a separate Openreach whose business is selling network connectivity and access for all.”last_img read more