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New Delhi: Making a headstart in land reforms, the Rajasthan legislative assembly has passed a landmark legislation to provide statutory backing to land records to create transparency in the sector. They have also passed a separate bill for pool sharing of land which will ease land acquisition and push schemes such as the smart cities mission. Separately, finance minister Arun Jaitley signalled to break the deadlock with the Congress over the passage of the bill to implement the goods and services tax (GST). While Jaitley signalled to end the deadlock over GST, a Delhi court granted bail to Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal in a criminal defamation case filed by the Union finance minister.

Rajasthan first to pass ‘titling’ law

The Vasundhara Raje-led government in Rajasthan has passed a landmark legislation providing statutory backing to land records, effectively guaranteeing land and property ownership. This will create an efficient and transparent modern land market, provide certainty of tenure and end litigation that often mires development projects. Once an individual is accorded legitimate rights to land, which at present can be disputed, their ability to trade these rights improves dramatically. The legislation, The Rajasthan Urban Land (Certification Of Titles) Bill, 2016, was passed by the state assembly through a voice vote on Monday. The assembly on Tuesday passed another law related to land acquisition, the Rajasthan Land Pooling Schemes Bill. Read more

Experts say that this marks the most dramatic event in the history of property rights reforms.

Govt to initiate talks with Congress on GST Bill, says Jaitley

Signalling a fresh attempt to break the deadlock over the passage of the constitutional amendment bill for the implementation of the goods and services tax (GST), finance minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday said the government will initiate talks with the Congress party. Speaking at the Growth Net conference on Thursday, he said the government will talk with the Congress on its demand for capping the GST rate at 18% in the bill itself.

India-Pakistan peace process is suspended: Abdul Basit

In a setback to the nascent India-Pakistan peace processlaunched four months ago, Pakistan high commissioner to India Abdul Basit on Thursday said that talks had been suspended. Basit was also non-committal about a visit to Pakistan by India’s National Investigation Agency, which is probing the 2 January attack on the Pathankot airbase.

Congress moves SC on passage of Aadhaar bill as money bill in Rajya Sabha

The Congress has moved the Supreme Court, challenging the government decision to pass the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Bill as a money bill. Senior Congress leader and former rural development minister Jairam Ramesh, who introduced five amendments to the bill when it was tabled in the Rajya Sabha, has filed a writ petition in the apex court. Read more

Modi spreading hatred, creating divide among people: Sonia Gandhi

Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Thursday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of making grandiose statements during his visits abroad while “spreading hatred” at home, and cautioned voters in Assam against Bharatiya Janata Party’s “communal politics controlled from Nagpur”.

Arun Jaitley defamation case: Kejriwal, 5 other AAP leaders granted bail

A Delhi court on Thursday granted bail to Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and five others in a criminal defamation case filed by Union finance minister Arun Jaitley over certain remarks made by them regarding management of the Delhi and Districts Cricket Association. Chief metropolitan magistrate Sumit Dass asked Kejriwal and the rest to furnish a personal surety of Rs.20,000 each.

Even in drought year, MGNREGS provides less than 50 days of work

The national rural employment guarantee scheme has provided an average of 47.8 days of work to people who demanded it in 2015-16, less than the average of 50 days that the rural development ministry had earlier predicted. Data posted on the ministry’s website also shows that the total number of households that had completed the mandatory 100 days of work as stipulated by law was 4.45 million in 2015-16. Read more

Water cuts for industries around Mumbai get more severe

Nearly 15,500 industrial units in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region are bearing the brunt of a severe water shortage in the region. The Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation, which supplies water to units located on its industrial estates, has extended the duration of water cuts from two days to three in a week in the Thane-Belapur industrial corridor, Taloja industrial cluster and Kalyan-Ambarnath-Dombivli cluster, which together account for nearly 15,500 units.

J&K orders time-bound inquiry into NIT clashes

The Jammu and Kashmir government on Thursday ordered a time-bound inquiry into the clashes at National Institute of Technology in Srinagar, following India’s defeat to West Indies in the World T20 last week. “We have instituted an inquiry to go into the incidents at the NIT,” deputy chief minister Nirmal Singh told reporters.

Cases like Panama Papers may widen rich-poor divide: Raghuram Rajan

Instances of the rich and elite allegedly stashing away cash in tax havens may encourage dissatisfaction among the less well-off, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Raghuram Rajan said on Thursday. Read more

India to seeks better business ties with Iran, UAE

Oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan will explore opportunities for Indian state-run companies to set up fertilizer and petrochemical plants in Iran’s Chabahar Free Trade Zone and seek to conclude a deal with the Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. for building up India’s strategic petroleum reserve. Pradhan starts a four-day trip to Iran and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on 9 April, an oil ministry statement said. Read more

IAS officers and the notorious transfer culture

The data interactive has compiled the transfer records of 39,000-odd postings of about 2,600 serving officers, as posted by the Department of Personnel & Training. You can use it to see where the Centre and individual states, whose IAS officers are organised under 26 cadres, stand when it comes to transfers. Besides cadre, you can also search by departments, gender and individual officers.