Get Wired 12/6: Transgender Rights, Spectrum Sharing, Nek Chand and More

Govt ready to negotiate on the land acquisition bill


D.V. Sadananda Gowda. Credit:


Law Minister D V Sadananda Gowda has said that the government is willing to relax its stand on the land acquisition Bill and is open to amending certain clauses after facing stiff opposition both inside and outside the Parliament. Gowda said in an interview with India Today TV,  that the government was willing to amend the clauses relating to the grant of consent and was also willing to retain the clause form the 2013 Act that provided for land to be returned to the original owners if it was unused for 5 years. Investors and industrialists would own the land in industrial corridors, the minister confirmed in the same interview.


Transgender Rights Bill soon

Social Justice Minster Thaawar Chand Ghelot has said that a new Bill, focusing on the transgender identity and the rights of transgender people would be introduced in the Parliament in the monsoon session. The Bill will include provisions regarding prevention of abuse, rights and privileges, skill development and social inclusion of trans people. Developments in this regard have come after the Supreme Court had last year passed a judgment recognizing transgender people as a third category separate from male and female. The same decision had also said that the group be treated as a socially and educationally backward group, making them eligible for reservations in educational institutions and in employment.

Nobel Laureate quits job after sexist remarks

Just days after Tim Hunt made sexist remarks regarding women in science labs at a Korean conference, he has resigned as professor from University College London. Hunt, the 2001 Nobel Prize winner in Physiology or Medicine had reportedly said, “Let me tell you about my trouble with girls. Three things happen when they are in the lab: you fall in love with them, they fall in love with you and when you criticise them, they cry.” Hunt himself admitted to being known as a chauvinist, and defended himself by saying that he was only being honest and that the comment was light-hearted.

Spectrum sharing gets approved

Telecom operators will now be able to share spectrum space, subject to cabinet approval, after the Telecom commission approved the recommendation made by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). The move will result in better services, faster data speeds and greater signal strength for the customer, and a decrease in call dropping rates. TRAI had also suggested allowing the trading of spectrum among the operators to improve efficiency in the sector. The guidelines now await the approval of the cabinet.

Indian Statistical Institute head fired

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Credit: Wikimedia Commons


Dr Bimal Roy was sacked from his post as Director of Indian Statistical Institute, a month and a half before his tenure’s end.  An order issued by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation accused him of “indiscipline” and apprehended that he may indulge in acts of“administrative and financial impropriety”. His successor, Sanghmitra Bandyopadhyay who was to take over on August 1 has now replaced him. Dr. Bimal Roy was honored as a Padma Shri earlier this year.


Utility Bills to count as proof for opening bank accounts:RBI

The RBI has approved up to two months old bills of any service provider(electricity, telephone, postpaid mobile phone, piped gas, water bill) as officially valid documents(OVD) for proof of address. Other documents such as bank account or post office savings bank account statement; pension or family pension payment orders (PPOs) issued to retired employees by government departments or PSUs, if they contain the address too will be OVDs. This comes as part of government’s amendment of the Prevention of Money Laundering (Maintenance of Records) Rules, 2005, which relaxes proof of address criteria.

Now, freshly brewed beer for Delhiites

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Credit: Wikimedia Commons


Delhi’s new excise policy for 2015-16, announced on Thursday, allows restaurants and hotels to open microbreweries within their premises by obtaining licenses. Haryana state already has such a policy. The move is expected to boost revenue for the government. Some proposals have also been made to curb corruption, ensure quality and enhance fund collection.


Twitter tweets its CEO goodbye

Twitter announced that CEO Dick Costolo will be stepping down on July 1, though he will continue to serve on the board. Co-founder Jack Dorsey will replace him on an interim basis. It seems the decision came under pressure from company’s investors on its slow growth and uncertain rank. Twitter has been struggling to gain social media users in proportion to competitors Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.

Nek Chand the Rock Garden genius dies

'Dancing Girls' at the Rock Garden Credit: Wikimedia Commons

‘Dancing Girls’ at the Rock Garden. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The man who created a fairyland out of waste material, Nek Chand, breathed his last at 90 yesterday. His famous Rock Garden at Chandigarh, that started out of personal fascination got government approval for expansion in 1976 and soon became one of India’s key tourist attractions. An artist of world fame, his death comes before 40 figurative mosaic sculptures created by him were to be put on display for the first time in the UK Pallant House Gallery from June 13 to October 25.


Creditors get tough with Greece

International creditors from whom Greece is seeking to receive a bailout package in lieu of its debts have sent Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras a strong message regarding the demands the institutions have made in return of the package. Creditors, especially the International Monetary Fund, has made it clear that Greece must improve its offers of reforms, and said that this is no time to gamble. The primary issues of contention are Greece’s tax system, which the creditors are arguing must be reformed, and the pension system. Greece spends almost 10% of its economic output on pensions, compared to the average of 2.5% in the rest of Europe. Despite the seeming roadblock, the creditors have agreed to discuss and sort the issue out.