News Post - Live, Latest and Breaking news from Assam & India. The new Assamese News Portal on Politics, Business, International news, Bollywood and much more Sat, 28 Mar 2015 22:41:44 +0530 News Post en-gb Saradha scam: CBI searches premises of Himanta Biswa Sarma and Anjan Dutta

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday carried out searches at 22 locations including the homes and offices of two former Assam ministers — Himanta Biswa Sarma and Anjan Dutta —in connection with its probe in alleged swindling of investors’ deposits by Saradha group.

CBI sources said searches were conducted at 12 locations in Guwahati, two in Dhubri, Assam, seven in Kolkata and one place in Mumbai in connection with the scam.

Those whose premises were searched in Thursday’s operation included former Assam Ministers and MLAs Himanta Biswa Sarma and Anjan Dutta, former DGP of Assam Shankar Baruah and singer Sadananda Gogoi.

Mr. Sarma was a powerful minister in Tarun Gogoi Cabinet since 2001 but was dropped by the Chief Minister after he spearheaded a campaign to dislodge Mr. Gogoi. Mr. Dutta is considered a Gogoi loyalist who handled important porfolios like transport.

In Kolkata, premises of one Bapi Karim, who was a personal assistant to a minister, industrialists Sajjan and Sandhir Agarwal, a former IPS officer Deben Biswas and one Asif Khan were searched.

There are four FIRs against Saradha Group in which it is alleged that thousands of investors were allegedly duped by the company officials and their associates who swindled their deposits. Besides, there are 44 FIRs in Odisha against ponzi companies.

The Supreme Court had handed over the Saradha chit fund scam probe to CBI and asked the State governments to provide all logistical help to the CBI team investigating the matter.

CBI has formed a Special Investigating Team (SIT) headed by Joint Director Rajeev Singh to also probe the role of Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and RBI.

“Investigation conducted so far puts a question mark on the role of regulatory authorities like SEBI, Registrar of Companies and officials of RBI within whose respective jurisdictions and areas of operation the scam not only took birth but flourished unhindered,” an apex court bench headed by Justice T.S. Thakur had said in its order.

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NITI Aayog approval to state plan size pending The state government informed the house on Wednesday that Assam’s plan size for the current financial year is Rs 23,295.83 crore, but the NITI Aayog is yet to give its final approval...
Guwahati: The state government informed the house on Wednesday that Assam's plan size for the current financial year is Rs 23,295.83 crore, but the NITI Aayog is yet to give its final approval.

The NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog has replaced the Planning Commission of India. The Centre's assistance to states for 66 central schemes in 2014-15 is pegged at Rs 3,38,562 crore, which would be more than twice of Rs 1,36,254 crore in 2013-14.

In a written reply, state planning and development minister Ajanta Neog said till February 28 this year, the state has received Rs 11,100.55 crore. The state has spent just a little over half of this amount till December, 2014, the minister said.

She said the department would require time to give the monthly statement of the expenditure as the facts have to be collected from several departments.

According to the minister's reply, the state received Rs 560.75 crore in April, 2014, Rs 855.25 crore in May, 2014, Rs 1,874.49 crore in June, 2014, Rs 541.13 crore in July, 2014, Rs 1,071.30 crore in August, 2014, Rs 1,663.66 crore in September, 2014, Rs 158.16 crore in October, 2014, Rs 885.80 crore in November, 2014, Rs 1,623.49 crore in December, 2014, Rs 618.62 crore in January, 2015 and Rs 1,247.90 crore in February, 2015.


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AGP gears up for BTC polls amid prez post row
Guwahati: The AGP is gearing up for the April 8 Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) polls amid differences within the party for the president's post. The party leadership said it will take the support of various social and non-political groups in the region.

The party has declared the names of candidates for five seats out of total 40 constituencies

Guwahati: The AGP is gearing up for the April 8 Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) polls amid differences within the party for the president's post. The party leadership said it will take the support of various social and non-political groups in the region.

The party has declared the names of candidates for five seats out of total 40 constituencies in BTAD. The nominees are Zakir Hussain from No. 7 Fakiragram (General), Ashwini Barman from No. 20 Mathanguri (Non-reserved), Bhairav Deka from No. 30 Goreswar (ST), Apurba Kumar Deka from No. 35 Mudiobori (Non-reserved) and Bhanu Chahu from No. 39 Pachnoi Serfang (General) constituencies.

Over 20.64 lakh people are eligible to vote in the four BTAD districts of Kokrajhar, Chirang, Baksa and Udalguri. Voting will be held in 2,778 polling stations.

"We are holding discussions on how to go about in the election. As always, we will focus on the issues which will help in solving the problems of indigenous people. A number of non-political organizations are in touch with us for the election. In due course of time, we will decide with whom we will go ahead," said AGP general secretary Ramendra Narayan Kalita.

This time, several non-Bodo organizations are contesting the polls to fulfill their various demands.

The last date for filing nomination is March 25 and repolling, if any, will be held on April 10. Counting of votes will be done on April 11.

Meanwhile, the party's steering committee meeting has decided that the disciplinary action committee will take a call on former chief minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta who had sent a letter staking claim to the party president's post.

"The disciplinary action committee will decide if Mahanta's act violated the party's code of conduct," said Kalita.

Since July last year, Mahanta was away from the president's post after the party's general council refused to accept his resignation. It was at this juncture that working president Atul Bora was given the responsibility. However, Mahanta staked claim to the post recently saying that he was away for six months on health grounds and hadn't quit.

In a press statement, Mahanta said he is ready to make the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of the party. "I will not seek the president's post. I'm ready to serve the party as a general member. The leadership should be handed over to youngsters to regain the lost glory of the regional party," said Mahanta.


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‘Development of NE linked to skills tech colleges impart’ Atul Bora, director of tech education, talks to TOI’s Kangkan Kalita about the growing interest in engineering courses and how it could transform the region...

Q: Most students from Assam and the northeast are now opting for engineering. Can we expect these future engineers to transform this underdeveloped region?

A: Yes, geographically Assam and the region are remote. But as far as the issue of negligence and underdevelopment in the region are concerned, they have to be addressed at the local level. We need to develop our youngsters with technological and managerial skills so that they can productively use local natural capital and manage natural hazards. Higher education institutions, including engineering colleges, will have to shoulder this responsibility that will decide the future of development in the region.

Q: There is shortage of engineering seats in Assam. Is the government taking any initiative to increase the number of seats?

A: There are over 17,000 engineering aspirants in Assam every year and we have around 4,500 engineering seats, including government and private. If the six government engineering colleges get completed, the number of engineering seats in the state will increase by another 750 seats. Hope, the state will be able to provide more scope to the students. Establishment of private engineering colleges has also given a boost to students. From resource management to quality assurance, steep growth of technical education is a challenge in every aspect. That's why we need the right policy.

Q: The prestigious Assam Engineering College (AEC) has produced thousands of technocrats, who are serving across the globe. Does the college have anything new to offer to students?

A: In the past 50 years, we have been able to introduce many new disciplines of engineering keeping in mind the changing requirements. New disciplines and branches like chemical engineering, computer science and engineering, electronics and telecommunication engineering, instrumentation engineering, industrial and production engineering, master of computer application have been introduced to meet the growing demand of technical manpower in emerging fields.

The annual intake capacity has also been increased in each branch keeping in mind the needs and aspirations of the people.

Q: But placement of engineering graduates remains a concern. What policies could be adopted so that students can be absorbed soon after completion of their studies?

A: Government and private sector organizations, which can absorb students, must be in touch with the institutions. But as far as absorption of the passouts and employability is concerned, economic growth in the region is the determining factor. Government departments and technical institutions will have to be linked up so that technical institutions can work in tandem with the departments.

Q: How could technical institutions be linked to the state economy?

A: Introduction of relevant courses and re-orientation of the existing ones in order to support sustainable development ranging from sustainable construction engineering to energy engineering is going to be the key.

Q: There is a large workforce of unskilled workers in the state. Have you come up with any plans for them?

A: We have started six community colleges in different parts of the state keeping in mind the growing number of unskilled workers. We are offering courses to those who are matriculates and those who are not. These courses will empower underprivileged sections.


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