Noted economist and activist Jean Dreze and Right to Information activist Nikhil Dey, along with thousands of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) activists, on Friday protested against the “harassment and intimidation” of those who have raised questions of corruption related to the MGNREGA scheme in the Muzaffarpur district of north Bihar.The protest march led by Mr. Dreze, Mr. Dey, Rajendran Narayanan and Sanjay Sahni began at the local Jubba Sahni park in Muzaffarpur and ended at the District Collectorate. Later, they submitted a letter to District Magistrate Mohd. Sohail and Inspector General of Police (IGP) Sunil Kumar, demanding a fair and transparent probe into the allegations. They also urged officials to ensure that whistleblowers are protected. “We also put our demand for work under the MGNREGA be met within the stipulated 15 days time, and a bi-monthly dialogue with officials be organised to address grievances,” Mr. Narayanan told The Hindu over phone.‘Fabricated cases’Earlier, several allegedly false and fabricated cases against MGNREGA activist Sanjay Sahni and some members of his group, the Samaj Parivartan Shakti Sanghthan (SPSS), were lodged at different police stations in Muzaffarpur, for raising questions over corruption in implementation of the MGNREGA scheme. The activists had submitted a fact-finding report to the Bihar Director General of Police (DGP) in June 2017.“But more false cases were lodged against them. More recently, an FIR was lodged against them on September 6 at the Maniyari police station this year,” said Mr. Narayanan. Another petition titled, ‘Bogus FIR against Sanjay Sahni (MGNREGA watch) in Muzaffarpur’, signed by Mr. Dreze, Mr. Narayanan, Mr. Dey, and Aruna Roy, of the Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sanghatan (MKSS), was submitted to DGP K. S. Dwivedi, demanding “appropriate action” and “protection of Sanjay Sahni from further harassment” on September 12, 2018. “But, nothing has happened so far,” added Mr. Narayanan, an MGNREGA activist and assistant professor at the Azim Premji University.“The implementation of social security schemes in Muzaffarpur has seen a distressing downward trend as nearly ₹636 crore due payments are to be made by the State government towards wage and material costs,” said Mr. Narayanan. In Muzaffarpur district, only 94 households have been able to avail their legal entitlement of a 100 days of work in the year, he added.
The semi-finals appearance in the women’s doubles event at the just concluded Wimbledon Championships on Monday catapulted Sania Mirza and Russia’s Elena Vesnina to number two slot in the WTA rankings.Sania-Elena pair has 4506 points in the list which is headed by Kveta Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik with 6865 points.”The partnership with Elena has been great in the last four months, specially the Slams.When we started playing together last year at Dubai, and had somebody said that we will be number two after Wimbledon, we would have laughed,” Sania told PTI from Dubai.Sania has taken a three-week break from the circuit to recover from her left knee injury.”It’s (knee) sore since I am off the pain killers. I am recovering.Hopefully it will be okay after 10 days rest.”Sania’s first tournament after the break will be the WTA event in Washington from July 25.The good show at the Wimbledon also resulted in Sania achieving the career-best doubles rank of 11, an improvement of three slots.In the singles though Sania slid to 63, a loss of three position, after a first round exit.Meanwhile in the ATP rankings, Somdev Devvarman rose to career-best 63 in the men’s singles.Leander Paes also improved his doubles rankings by getting back into the top-10.He is placed eighth while his partner Mahesh Bhupathi is highest ranked Indian in the list at number five.Rohan Bopanna is at number 10, just behind his Pakistani partner Aisam-ul-haq Qureshi.Wozniacki Stays On TopDenmark’s Caroline Wozniacki remains on top of the women’s singles rankings in spite of her failure to win a Grand Slam title.advertisementThe 20-year-old has now spent 38 weeks in the number one position but has only ever reached one Grand Slam final – the US Open in 2009 – and was knocked out in the fourth round at Wimbledon. Petra Kvitova’s reward for winning Wimbledon was a move up one place to seven in the world while Maria Sharapova edges up one place to number five. French Open champion Li Na slips two places to number six.The biggest mover in the women’s rankings was the German Sabine Lisicki, a wildcard entry at Wimbledon where she went on to lose to Sharapova in the semi- finals.Lisicki, who had reached 22 in the world before an ankle injury interrupted her progress last year, moved up from number 62 to 27.Somdev rises to career-best 63 in men’s singlesWith inputs from PTI
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Rusty and sloppy in the first half, sharp and solid in the second for the New York Jets.Ryan Fitzpatrick threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score, and the Jets overcame a sluggish start to beat the banged-up Washington Redskins 34-20 on Oct. 18.Chris Ivory ran for 146 yards and a TD on 20 carries for the Jets, who improved to 4-1 for the first time since the 2010 team opened 5-1. Brandon Marshall had seven catches for 111 yards, and Eric Decker also caught a TD pass.The Jets, coming off a bye-week break, trailed 13-10 at halftime, with the Redskins (2-4) scoring their points off three turnovers — all by Bashaud Breeland.But New York opened the second half with 24 straight points to take control against a Washington team without several starters, including wide receiver DeSean Jackson, left tackle Trent Williams and cornerbacks DeAngelo Hall and Chris Culliver.Kirk Cousins was 25 of 43 for 196 yards with a touchdown to Pierre Garcon and two interceptions for the Redskins. He has two interceptions each in four games this season — all losses. Cousins has no INTs in Washington’s two wins.The Redskins downgraded Jackson to out Oct. 17; he hasn’t played since the season opener because of a left hamstring injury. Tight end Jordan Reed, center Kory Lichtensteiger and backup running back Matt Jones were also out.With so many injuries, even Robert Griffin III was active — as the Redskins’ third-string quarterback — for the first time this season.Nick Folk tied it at 13 with a 39-yard field goal early in the second half. Two plays later, the Jets got the ball back when Darrelle Revis made an easy interception of Cousins’ pass for Ryan Grant. It was Revis’ sixth takeaway of the season.With the ball at the Redskins 18, the Jets wasted no time as Fitzpatrick took off up the middle, got a big block from tight end Kellen Davis near the goal line and got into the end zone for a 20-13 lead.Marshall made it 26-13 with a terrific fingertips catch just off his shoe tops, getting inside of Breeland on a low throw. He then scooted down the sideline for a 35-yard TD — as Breeland sat on the field with his head in his hands in disbelief.New York got the ball right back when Marcus Gilchrist picked off Cousins’ deep pass for Jamison Crowder. Decker caught a 2-yard pass to put the Jets comfortably in front, 34-13 early in the fourth quarter.The Redskins crept closer when Jeron Johnson blocked Ryan Quigley’s punt and Rashad Ross recovered in the end zone with just under four minutes left. But Davis recovered the onside kick.The Redskins, starting at the Jets 37 after Breeland recovered Decker’s fumble on New York’s opening drive, needed seven plays to get into the end zone, capped by Cousins’ 2-yard toss to Garcon.The drive was kept alive by Ryan Grant’s 6-yard catch on third-and-5 — ending the Jets’ streak of consecutive third-down stops at 19.New York came right back, tying it on Ivory’s 1-yard run that capped an 11-play, 83-yard drive.Washington forced another turnover when Breeland ripped the ball out of Marshall’s hands after a 12-yard catch, and Dustin Hopkins kicked a 54-yard field goal to tie it at 10.The Jets turned it over again on their next possession as Fitzpatrick’s pass tipped off Marshall’s hands and Breeland made a diving interception. Six plays later, Hopkins kicked a 30-yarder for a 13-10 lead.(DENNIS WASZAK Jr., AP Sports Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shares
The Ministry of Labour and Social Security has boosted its capacity to deliver social services to vulnerable Jamaicans through the acquisition of 13 Toyota Hilux Pick-up Trucks, valued at $38.5 million. The vehicles, which were handed over to portfolio Minister, Hon. Derrick Kellier on Wednesday (November 28) at his 1F North Street office, will enhance service delivery to 400,000 beneficiaries of the Programme of Advancement through Health and Education (PATH); some 100,000 National Insurance Scheme (NIS) pensioners, and beneficiaries of other social programmes. “I wish to further emphasise that the acquisition of the vehicles constitutes the Government’s firm commitment to strengthening the nation’s capacity, to further delivering critical services to the most vulnerable in Jamaica,” Minister Kellier said. He noted that the vehicles, which will enhance the Ministry’s fleet, will also assist in the response to hurricane and other disaster victims. Minister Kellier urged the operators of the vehicles to keep them in good condition at all times, so that for years to come, they will continue to serve the Ministry. “The Ministry will continue to carry out its work to ensure that the social welfare of citizens is met at all levels. We are fully committed to fulfilling our mandate to catering for the country’s most vulnerable, including senior citizens and persons with disabilities.” he said. The vehicles were purchased using the Government of Jamaica procurement guidelines, and will be assigned to parish offices island-wide.