Modi plans job quotas for less well-off Indians as election nears

NEW DELHI ( ) – India’s cabinet on Monday backed proposals to reserve 10 percent of government jobs for Indians outside the higher income brackets, a plan the main opposition party suggested was an attempt by the government to lure back voters as an election nears.

The initiative is expected to mainly benefit the upper echelons of India’s centuries-old Hindu caste system, which has traditionally been a core voter base for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party.

Modi must call a national election by May and was dealt a setback in December when the BJP lost power to the opposition Congress party in three states, its biggest defeat since he took office in 2014.

Two BJP sources said the quota plan would benefit people from other religions not covered by existing affirmative action – the reason why lower caste Hindus and India’s indigenous tribes were excluded from it.

According to the government bill, the recipients must also be classed as “economically weak”, which the sources said was defined as anyone with annual income below 800,000 rupees ($11,500上海品茶工作室) and owning fewer than five acres of land.

In 2017, the average income in India was $1,939.60, according to the World Bank.

The states the BJP lost included Rajasthan, one of four – the o,上海品茶会所Caitlin,thers being Maharashtra, Gujarat and Haryana – in which upper caste land-owning farming communities have held large protests in recent years demanding quotas for government jobs.

More broadly, Modi has be,上海品茶QQGabriella,en criticized for failing to deliver jobs for young people and better conditions for f,上海品茶微信Easton,armers.

“The … Modi government has suddenly woken up to the woes of (the) economically poor, facing imminent defeat in the 2019 elections,” Congress spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala said of the quota plan.

“Creating reservations in jobs may just prove to be one more ‘Jumla’ (gimmick) for the purpose of election promises.”

Ashwini Kumar Choubey, junior health minister and a BJP member, welcomed the proposal, calling it “historic.”

Hindus, who account for about four-fifths of India’s 1.3 billion people, were traditionally grouped into thousands of castes, whose membership is determined by birth.

The lower castes have faced various forms of discrimination including segregation and social boycotts.

There have been attempts to reduce caste-related inequality, and the country has had many lower caste leaders, including current president Ram Nath Kovind.

But introducing quotas for lower castes has always been a contentious issue and have led to violent protests, though India’s income levels and expenditure patterns remain largely linked to caste.

The government is expected to submit the quota bill to the lower house of parliament on Tuesday. Modi’s BJP has a majority there, but not in the upper house.

Letters – July 27. 2019

Time for Boris Johnson to deliver on adult social care

In his campaign, Boris Johnson pledged that nobody should sell their home to pay for care and made adult social care a high priority – well now it is time for him to deliver.

I say to him, be true to your word. Social care is as important as any other issue – alongside Brexit – and it is time to take action.

Over the years too many politicians have promised to tackle social care and then failed – here is an opportunity for Boris Johnson to be different and show us that he is.

The Green Paper has been delayed and delayed to the point where its moment has passed.

We need urgent action now, even if the Government then publishes more long-term proposals further down the line.

It is a bit like working on a house – the long-term plan might be to completely refurbish it, but if the roof is leaking now, you have to tackle that straight away.

The independent sector is ready, willing and able to offer help and advice to the Government on how we can all work together to tackle the crisis in adult social care and are eager to meet with Mr Johnson and the Secretary of Health and Social Care.

Here is an opportunity for a new Government to make a fresh start and solve the problem of social care once and for all.

Mike Padgham

via email


Sexually explicit sweets disgusting

I visited Blackpool for the first time last week and was outraged by some of the sexually explicit examples sweets that were on very low shelves for toddlers to adults to see, pick up and buy.

Why do the shops even do this?

Do shop owners and councillors not agree that children should not be exposed to sexual items?

Why are they not protecting children?

Please get them banned from family shops. They should only be in sex shops, which are strictly for over 18s only. Why aren’t they already? What is wrong with the law in this country? Would the Royals like their children to view such items?

Mrs K Cox

via email


We must rebuild our armed forces

I was so pleased to hear that a military option to the Iran crisis is not been considered. We’ve learned nothing from the Falklands and have continually used our Armed Forces as an easy option to cut expenditure.

I hope our new Prime Minster has the strength to cut genuine waste and use the savings to rebuild our Armed Forces.

It is well known that weakness can take us into a serious conflict.

Christopher Clapham

Address supplied


Dangers of drowning durin,上海品茶微信Jaden,g school break

With the start of the school summer ho爱上海419lidays, I am writing to request your readers’ help in saving young people’s lives.

In 2018, 263 people accidently drowned in open water across the UK. Sharing information about some of the common factors associated with these deaths may help avoid further tragedies this summer.

In many accidental drownings, water temperature was a significant factor.

‘Cold water shock’ is an involuntary gasp when one is suddenly plunged into cold water, this can result in the inhalation of water and drowning. Immersion in cold water also increases the heart rate, makes breathing more difficult and causes muscles to tire, dramatically impacting on one’s ability to swim.

After a long period of hot weather, many people assume that open water will be relatively warm. In reality, the water temperature of quarry lakes and reservoirs can be well below 15 degrees.

These lakes and reservoirs can also be extremely deep, have sudden changes in water depth, be difficult to exit and conceal a range of hazards.

The Mineral Products Association (MPA) is supporting the water safety campaigns being run by the RNLI an,上海品茶工作室Falkner,d other organisations such as the RLSS and the Fire and Rescue Services.

Collectively, we do not want to discourage members of the public from enjoying the water but would like people to be aware of the risks and choose to swim in areas that are safe.

Sadly, eight people drowned in quarry lakes in 2018, the majority of these were young males in disused quarries. Please help to raise awareness of these safety messages, particularly if you have children or teenagers who may be visiting or swimming in a former quarry.

Visit www.respectthewater.com. The RNLI’s ‘Float to Live’ campaign highlights how this simple technique can be life-saving if one is in difficulty in water.

Elizabeth Clements

Mineral Products


New traffic restrictions approved in Newton Aycliffe to boost road safety

A raft of parking restrictions are set to be introduced in Newton Aycliffe after winning backing from councillors.

Last week, Durham County Council’s Highways Committee discussed new proposals in a bid to keep parking rules up to scratch.

The new traffic regulation orders (TROs) follow consultation with residents, councillors and local business owners.

Under the plans, double yellow lines will be introduced across ,上海品茶QQNate,Newton Aycliffe to improve access for local businesses, improve road safety and tackle obstructive parking.

This includes Hurworth Road following reports of vehicles blocking access for HGVs.

During consultation, objections were lodged from businesses in the industrial area claiming the T,上海品茶会所Ike,RO would have a negative impact on trade.

Greenfield Way, Newton Aycliffe (Image: Google)

But strategic traffic manager on the council, Dave Wafer, said HGVs combined with obstructive parking could create issues “detrimental to highway safety.”

Another plan included double yellow lines on Greenfield Way, near Greenfield Community College and the junctions of Malvern Way and Alston Crescent.

While concerns were raised about the restrictions forcing more parking into residential areas, traffic officers stressed the changes would improve road safety.

Mr Wafer added: “Not only do schools attract people in parked vehicles but they attract a large number of children by definition.

“Where children are crossing the ro爱上海ad in areas like this we want to stop cars parking, if the odd extra car goes into a side street that’s not where the children are crossing.

“So yes it may appear to local residents to be to their detriment.

“But from a highway safety point of view, you’re separating parked vehicles from children crossing the road, which in my view, is the most important factor to be addressed by that.”

Following discussion, councillors backed plans for the changes, including double yellow lines on narrow roads around Middridge Village Hall to improve access and “maintain the flow of traffic.”

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However, the final say rests with the council’s corporate director before the restrictions can be enforced.

Newton Aycliffe parking changes will see double yellow lines introduced in the following areas:

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