Some hits and some misses from Mumbai
Navi Mumbai may have to wait much longer for an airport. Smuggling continues unabated but custom officials are clamping down effectively. In other news, Sharad Pawar will file a defamation case against Anna Hazare for false allegations against him. The Real Estate Act gets massive push back from consumer rights' group. To know more and read what is not impacted by demonetization, tap in!
Navi Mumbai airport will miss its 2019 deadline
Three of 4 qualified bidders for Navi Mumbai airport have raised concerns regarding execution and timeline of the Rs.16,000 crore project. Given the current project status, 3 bidders feel it would take six years from "start to finish" and expressed reservation on 42-month deadline. Bidders believe it will take 2 years for ground leveling and there are apprehensions over cost and yet-to-be-granted environmental clearances.
Government approval for CBSE school principals
CBSE schools will now not be able to appoint principals on their own and the state government will have a say. For long this was a bone of contention between CBSE schools and education department: an appointment committee will now include management, independent experts and an education-department nominee. Trustees of CBSE schools are unhappy and believe this will create friction in the selection process.
Defamation case against Anna Hazare
On Tuesday, activist Anna Hazare moved the Bombay high court. He alleged that NCP Chief, Sharad Pawar, his nephew Ajit Pawar and several others are involved in a Rs.25,000 crore sugar mills scam: he has requested an inquiry led by a retired Supreme Court judge in this matter. Sharad Pawar is now seeking legal advice to file a case of defamation against Anna Hazare.
Objections to Real Estate Act
Mumbai Grahak Panchyat (MGP) consumer rights group, has issued 52 objections to rules framed by state government for Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act. The rules have been described as "anti-consumers and builder friendly": key concerns pertain to minimum payment, cancellation of agreement by builder, payment refund to consumer and others. MGP objected to state finalizing rules before local populace can understand rules.
Seizure of gold, iPhones at airport
Customs officials detected multiple cases of smuggling involving iPhones, gold and cash amounting to Rs.77 lakh. In the first instance, three men travelling to Dubai were arrested for carrying 245 notes of Rs.2000. In another case, a traveller from Riyadh was arrested for carrying 6 bars of gold. In the third case, a flyer from Adis Ababa, was arrested with 65 used iPhones.
Professional entrance exams undergo changes
A new qualifying test called National Exit Test will replace National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test that MBBS graduates will have to clear before they can formally practice. Students applying to Maharashtra's engineering colleges via 15% all-India quota won't appear for state's Common Entrance Test. Council of Architecture (CoA) has introduced new guidelines: National Aptitude test in Architecture will no longer give weightage to Std XII marks.
Dance bars not impacted by demonetization
Given the acute liquidity crunch, there's a massive demand for dance bar licences. Mumbai police is surprised given that it's an all cash business: in recent weeks, police received 64 applications, significantly more that last year. There was an influx of applications from December-end as markets were reportedly showing signs of revival. Dance bar owners hope conditions will improve further in 2-3 months.