www.thehansindia.com WARANGAL FRIDAY 8 FEBRUARY 2019 PAGES 20 `5.00 Forecast: A few showers. Morning clouds. Temp: Max.31C. Min.21°C. Humidity: 50% Sunrise: 06:42 Sunset: 06:09 38 flights diverted due to hailstorm, rain New Delhi: Operations at the Delhi airport saw massive disruption on Thursday as 38 flights were diverted to nearby cities between 6 pm and 8.45 pm and several others were facing departure delays of more than two hours due to severe rain and hailstorm in the national capital, according to officials. Operations of smaller aircraft such as Bombardier and ATR were suspended for a while due to strong winds but resumed later, the officials said. "Looks almost like snow in Delhi! Massive disruption to flights with multiple diversions across airlines. Customers are requested to be patient, really not in staff or airline control," tweeted Sanjiv Kapoor, Chief Strategy and Commercial Officer, Vistara airlines. STATE WINDOWS BUSINESS H Simultaneously published from Hyderabad | Warangal | Tirupati | Amaravati | Visakhapatnam | Khammam | Kurnool | Delhi H DOCS VENT IRE AT TRS MP FOR ATTENDING RMPS’ MEET TATA MOTORS POSTS `26,961-Cr LOSS RBI rate cut to make loans cheaper In its first rate cut in 18 months, apex bank has reduced repo rate by 0.25% to 6.25% Mumbai: In the ﬁrst interest rate cut in 18 months, the RBI on Thursday shed its hawkish stance to reduce policy rates in the maiden policy meeting under new Governor Shaktikanta Das, a move that may make home and other loans cheaper. Coming just months ahead of the general elections, the move will help boost lending and support the government's efforts to boost a slowing economy after it last week unveiled an expansionary budget which included a Rs 75,000 crore cash dole to small farmers and income tax rebate to the middle class. The Reserve Bank of India's six-member monetary policy committee (MPC) cut the repo rate by 25 basis points to 6.25 per cent as inﬂation continues to remain benign. While four out of the six members, including Das, voted for a reduction in interest rate, all the six members unanimously favoured switch in stance to 'neutral' from 'calibrated tightening' adopted in October. Emboldened by a slowdown in inﬂation which fell to 18-month low of 2.19 per cent in December and is expected to be in the range of 3.2-3.4 per cent in April-September to 3.23.4 per cent - lower than previous RBI prediction of 3.8-4.2 per cent range, Das-led MPC weighed more concern about economic growth risks, paving the way for more rate cuts. Besides repo rate, reverse repo was reduced to 6 per cent from 6.25 per cent. Repo rate is the rate at which commercial banks borrow money from the RBI; while reverse repo rate is the rate at which RBI collects money from banks. Das, who unlike his predecessor Urjit Patel is seen more amenable to government demands for boosting credit growth, said it was "vital to act decisively and in a timely manner to address the objective of growth once price stability as deﬁned (in RBI's inﬂation-targeting mandate) is achieved." A former bureaucrat, Das was appointed RBI Governor in December as Patel quit amid a debate over central bank's autonomy. "The shift in stance from calibrated tightening to neutral provides ﬂexibility to address, and the room to address, sustained the growth of India's economy over the coming months as long as inﬂation remains benign," he said. "RBI's decision to reduce the repo rate by 25 basis point from 6.5 per cent to 6.25 per cent and change of stance to 'Neutral' will give a boost to the economy, lead to affordable credit for small businesses, home- buyers etc and further boost employment opportunities," Finance Minister Piyush Goyal said in a tweet. RBI last hiked interest rates in August 2018 by 0.25 per cent. It came on back of a similar increase in June. These hikes were the ﬁrst since January 28, 2014, when rates were hiked by a similar proportion to 8 per cent. In the subsequent years, RBI cut the interest rate on six occasions. In its last revision, on August 2, 2017, rates were cut by 25 basis points to 6 per cent. "Investment activity is recovering, but supported mainly by public spending on infrastructure," the MPC said in a statement. "The need is to strengthen private investment activity and buttress private consumption." The RBI kept GDP growth forecast unchanged at 7.4 per cent for the next ﬁscal year starting April 1, 2019. "Headline inﬂation is projected to remain soft in the near term reﬂecting the current low level of inﬂation and the benign food inﬂation outlook," the MPC statement said. Meanwhile, bankers see more rate cuts in the offing. With the change in the monetary policy stance to ‘neutral’ from ‘calibrated tightening’, RBI may deliver more positive surprises on the rate front, they say. "The policy rightfully signals that rates may further soften further going forward, with the headline inﬂation numbers consistently undershooting the RBI inﬂation mandate and inﬂation expectations materially down," said State Bank of India Chairman Rajnish Kumar said. MORE STORIES ON P8 People don’t want ‘mahamilavat’ govt: PM Modi returns Rahul’s Rafale fire Rahul calls Modi ‘darpok’ Dares him to 5-min debate on Rafale New Delhi: In a frontal attack on the Congress, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday alleged that those who imposed Emergency, "bullied" the judiciary and insulted the Army were accusing him of destroying institutions. The PM also hit back at the Congress over the Rafale issue, which has been repeatedly raised by its chief Rahul Gandhi, as he alleged that the Congress did not want the Indian Air Force to be strong and asked "which companies are they bidding for that they are acting so shamefully". Modi took potshots at attempts to cobble a grand alliance of opposition parties to take on the BJP, saying people do not want a "mahamilavat" (highly adulterated) government as they have seen how the NDA government which has a majority can deliver. "Congress imposed Emer- New Delhi: Mounting a fresh offensive on Narendra Modi, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Thursday called the prime minister a "darpok" (coward) and dared him to a 5-minute face-to-face debate on issues such as the controversial Rafale jet deal and national security. Addressing the Congress' minority department convention here, a combative Gandhi also alleged that the RSS was trying to capture the institutions of the country. gency, but they say Modi is destroying institutions. Congress insults Army, calls the Army chief a 'goonda' but they say Modi is destroying institutions," the PM said in a hardhitting reply to a debate on motion of thanks to President's address in Lok Sabha. Continued on Page 4 DEPUTATION TO CENTRAL SERVICES Babus chafe at 360-degree appraisal system PATAN AFZAL BABU Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao reviewing progress of Sri Ram Sagar Project works, at Pragati Bhavan on Thursday SRSP works to move at a fast clip a la Kaleshwaram HANS NEWS SERVICE Hyderabad: Enthused by the Kaleshwaram project works that moving at a fast clip, the Telangana State government on Thursday ﬁnalised an action plan to complete all of the long- pending works under the Sri Ram Sagar Project (SRSP), particularly the components relating to increasing the carrying capacity of the canals and land acquisition for new canal works, on a war-footing. A team of 40 engineers from the state Irrigation Department has been entrusted with the task of completing all the works aimed at providing irrigation facility to 14.40 lakh acres under the SRSP ayacut from the next Kharif season. Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao held a review on PIO man, girlfriend arrested for plotting to kill estranged wife Washington: A person of Indian origin and his girlfriend have been arrested for hatching a conspiracy to hire a hitman to kill the former's estranged wife. Narsan Lingala, 55, and his 52-year-old girlfriend Sandya Reddy have been charged with one count of murder-for- hire and were produced before US Magistrate Judge Michael A Hammer in Newark federal court. Both of them were arrested without bail. According to a complaint filed in May 2018, Lingala was in a holding cell at the Middlesex County Superior Courthouse as he awaited a court hearing. While there, he asked another inmate if he knew anyone who could kill his estranged wife. The inmate responded in affirmative. In June 2018, at the direction of the law enforcement body, the inmate introduced Lingala to an undercover agent posing as a hitman. Over subsequent weeks, Lingala and the undercover police officer spoke over phone and planned to meet in person when Lingala travelled from Indiana to New Jersey. Continued on Page 4 SRSP project with the Irrigation, Finance Department officials and legislators of the North Telangana districts covered under the SRSP project, at Pragati Bhavan. The Chief Minister instructed officials to complete the works at SRSP project before the beginning of the new agricultural season i.e. by June 2019. He said that water from the Medigadda under Kaleshwaram will be lifted in the coming monsoon season and shifted to Mid Manair and Lower Manair dams constructed with 50 TMC capacity. From theses dams, water will ﬂow into SRSP and ﬁll all local tanks. “River Godavari is receiving sufficient ﬂows every year. The Kaleshwaram project was taken up to optimize the utilisation of the available water,” he said. Continued on Page 4 Hyderabad: Telangana IAS officials have upped the ante against the Union government’s 360-degree appraisal system introduced for the purpose of empanelment of bureaucrats who could be sent on deputation to central services every year. Even senior IAS officials in the T state have expressed reservations about the woeful lack of transparency in the new evaluation process. The new system, apart from seeking ACR (annual conﬁdential reports), allows the Centre or the implementing agency- Department of Personnel and Training (DOPT) -- to obtain feedback from different sections, including juniors of the officials working in the same department and outsiders like former legislators and retired bureaucrats on the performance of the officers. Previously only ACRs prepared by their bosses were taken into consideration for deputation to central services. A senior IAS official, who did not want to be named, told The Hans India that the new system has a completely non-transparent process considering that officials do not know why they are being rejected or empanelled. “The officials are strongly opposing the new system because the Centre will not disclose the feedback It is learnt that the Telangana IAS Officers’ Association will protest the 360-degree review by submitting a memorandum to the Centre soon sought from different sections. There is every possibility of misuse of power under the new system, which came into force recently”, the official said. Bureaucrats will be the victims if their subordinates and other stakeholders are biased while giving the feedback. The entire career of bureaucrats will be at stake if someone deliberately gives wrong feedback against the officials. A senior bureaucrat said that the entire information gathered by the Centre about the official will remain anonymous. The 360degree review also violates the Right To Information (RTI) Act as officials are denied access to the feedback. The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice had also highlighted ﬂaws in the new system; yet, the Centre is not ready to alter it. The new empanelment scheme is also against the spirit of democracy, officials reasoned. In the erstwhile system using ACR, officials had access to the entire report and enjoyed the right to stage a protest should they feel that the report is biased. Continued on Page 4 NO PROPER GUIDELINES Hyderabad: Basically, empanelment is the process through which a pool of civil service officers is selected for appointment to top bureaucratic posts -- joint secretary and above -- with the Government of India. The Union government introduced the 360-degree appraisal procedure in April 2015 to empanel civil servants for central government posts. However, for more than three years even guidelines were not framed for its implementation. Meanwhile, the process that was nevertheless adopted received heavy criticism for its lack of transparency and in view of its susceptibility to discrimination. The 360-degree appraisal system, or the Multi Source Feedback—additional step during review—is designed to consider feedback on the candidates from peers, subordinates, and other stakeholders, in addition to that of superiors. All said and done, the 360-degree appraisal first came under the spotlight in August 2017, when a parliamentary committee criticised the system for its opacity and subjectivity, noting that it was also “susceptible to being manipulated.” Facebook to ﬂash ‘paid for by’ on political ads New Delhi: Aiming to bring more transparency to ads related to politics in India ahead of the general elections, Facebook on Thursday launched a tool that will allow its users to know the people behind the political ad on its platform and how much they spent for it. A 'disclaimer' offering details about those responsible for running the ad will be featured. "Starting today (Thursday), people will begin to see political ads with 'Published by' or 'Paid for by' disclaimers speciﬁed by advertisers. This will give people more information about who is responsible for the ads they see," Shivnath Thukral, Public Poli- cy Director, India and South Asia at Facebook said. People will also be able to access a 'searchable ad library' to ﬁnd out more about ads related to poli- tics, including range of impressions, spends and demographics of who viewed the ad. This month, Facebook will also start showing the primary country location of the people who manage pages running or paying for political ads in India. The social media giant said the enforcement of the new features and the political ads policy begins February 21, and from then only advertisers who have completed authorisations and made stipulated disclosures will be allowed to run political ads in In- dia. With ensuing general elections, the Indian government had warned social media platforms of strong action if any attempt was made to inﬂuence the country's electoral process through undesirable means. The government is also proposing to amend IT rules, wherein social media, online platforms and messaging apps will be made more accountable and be mandated to deploy tools to identify and curb unlawful content as well as follow stricter due dili- gence practices. Over the last few months, social media players like Facebook, Twitter, and Google have promised to infuse more transparency into political advertisements on their platform and have since announced a slew of measures as part of election integrity efforts. Facebook - which has over 200 million users in India - said it is committed to create a new standard of transparency and authenticity for political advertising on its platform and Instagram.
thehansindia.com is a news portal which strives to keep you hooked on to news-as it happens. Our team aims to keep you abreast with whatever is making headlines across the world including politics, business, sports, lifestyle and entertainment. thehansindia.com is a part of The Hans India, an English Daily published across Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. The newspaper was launched in 2011 and publishes editions from Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam, Amaravati, Rajahmundry, Khammam, Kurnool, Nizamabad, Tirupati and Warangal simultaneously, the newspaper is on its way to becoming the leading English Newspaper in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. We are soon going national too. The Newspaper is owned and operated by Hyderabad Media House Ltd, which also runs the Telugu-language news channel, HMTV. In a nutshell, we closely highlight socio-economic development of India in general and the two Telugu states in particular.