Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on Saturday that will immediately legalize documents issued by authorities in the troubled Donbass region in eastern Ukraine in the territory of Russia. “Based on the norms of international humanitarian law,” IDs and other documents, such as education diplomas, marriage certificates, and car license plates issued for Ukrainian citizens and persons without citizenship in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, will be “temporarily” regarded as legal in Russia, until the Ukrainian conflict is settled based on the Minsk agreements, the decree states. It also stipulates that people with such IDs can enter Russia with no visas required. Kiev and authorities of the self-proclaimed people’s republics signed a peace agreement in Minsk almost two years ago, with the document aiming at a full ceasefire in the region, as well as providing for constitutional reforms that would give both the LPR and DPR greater autonomy and special status.
Speaking at the Munich Security Conference on Sunday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has once again assured that his country has no plans to produce nuclear weapons. He added that it would take forever for Iran, as quoted by RIA Novosti. According to the Iranian official, it is time to destroy nuclear weapons worldwide, rather than think about ‘joining the club,’ because “it is a dangerous club,” he concluded.
Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Sunday he supports the possibility of a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine, but only if it is based on an exchange of territories and population. “I believe that there is a […] misunderstanding because today on the table we have a proposal to establish a Palestinian state without a single Jew and Israel will become a binational state where more that 20 percent of the population are Palestinians,” he told the Security Conference in Munich, as cited by Sputnik news agency. “I think that the basic principle of solution must include an exchange of population. It doesn’t make sense or create one homogenous Palestinian state and binational state of Israel,” the minister noted. Earlier in the week, Lieberman also stated that Israel was ready to invest in infrastructure and create jobs in the Gaza Strip, but that Hamas has to “give up the terror tunnels and the rockets” first
Around 8,000 people have taken part in a sacred procession near the iconic St. Isaac’s Cathedral in the Russian city of St. Petersburg, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry in St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region said on Sunday, as cited by TASS. The procession which marked Orthodox Youth Day ended without incidents, he added. Between 10-12 thousand people attended the march, according to estimates by the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC). The landmark cathedral, currently run as a museum, has been the focus of an escalated dispute sparked by the city authorities’ decision to hand it over to the ROC. St. Petersburg has seen multiple protests; by those who support the handover and others who oppose the move.
In the wake of recently released RBI Data showing digital payments lower by 10.2 per cent in volume and 7 per cent lower by value in January,2017 in comparison to December,2016 as also increasing trend of usage of cash among Merchants & Consumers due to availability of cash, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has suggested the Government to subsidise transaction charges directly to Banks and absolve either the Merchant or the consumer from the liability of paying such charges. Transaction charges are one of the major deterrent in adoption of digital payments in the Country since neither the merchant and nor the Consumer is willing to pay transaction charges.
The CAIT said that the Country was effectively going on path of digital payments but lack of structured planning, non- inclusion of stakeholders in digital payment initiative and in effective role of National Payments Council of India has brought a break on fore sighted vision of Prime Minister. It suggested the Government to hold Digital Payment Camps in commercial markets across the Country for promotion of adoption of digital payments.Incentives to shopkeepers accepting payments in business transactions through digital payments will encourage traders to embrace e-payment system.
The recent proposal of RBI to subsidise charges on digital payments made for Government revenue is not sufficient. All sorts of digital payments made either for personal expenditure or for business to business or for making payments of Government revenue should be included in the proposal to ensure faster adoption of digital payments in the Country-said Mr. B.C.Bhartia, National President & Mr. Praveen Khandelwal, Secretary General of the CAIT. Both leaders further said that another proposal of RBI prescribing different slabs of transaction charges will make the system more complicated and as such transaction charges as a whole should be subsidised by the Government directly to Banks.
Both Mr. Bhartia & Mr. Khandelwal said that in order to curtail flow of cash, the Government should levy a nominal surcharge on withdrawal of cash from ATM machines. They have also called for a comprehensive incentive policy for the persons and business entities using any mode of digital payments.
The trade leaders also suggested to make a separate body for regulating Rupay Card and the National Payment Council of India should be made an independent regulator to regulate payments market of India. They have further suggested that to intensify digital payments in the Country in a structured way, the Government should form a Digital Payment Promotion Board and representatives of trade & commerce may be included beside officials. The Non-Banking Finance Companies & Micro Finance Institutions should also be brought under the landscape of digital payments to install white label POS terminals by encouraging a scheme to subsidize POS terminals directly or indirectly across both urban and rural areas.
India is predominantly a cash-based economy, with less than 5 per cent of Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE) of INR 70,000 crore transacted by electronically payments. Those cards are used almost entirely at ATMs rather than at the point of sale (a ratio of 10 cash transactions to 1 at the point of sale). Considering just currency, the ratio of currency to GDP in India (12.2%) is higher than countries such as Russia (11.9%), Brazil (4.1%) and Mexico (5.7%). It is an admitted fact that true value of electro
As part of our Urban Workshop Series, the Centre for Policy Research (CPR) and Centre de Sciences Humaines (CSH), Delhi, are delighted to invite you to a workshop on Gender and Public Transport in India: How do we move from women’s safety to gender equity? by Sonal Shan, Senior Manager at the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy
Date: Tuesday, 28th February 2017
Time: 3.45 p.m.
Venue: Conference Hall, Centre for Policy Research, Dharma Marg, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi 110 021
The increased policy attention to gender in public transport in India has focused on women and is largely circumscribed by technological and project level interventions aimed at addressing and preventing gruesome incidents of violence. The accounts of sexual violence in the public sphere and Nirbhaya’s death in December 2012 galvanized action by civil society and different levels of government in creating safer public transportation systems.
However, public transport planning remains gender blind as city mobility plans rarely collect gender disaggregated data, investigate gendered trip chaining patterns, the mobility of care, inequities such as daily harassment, time poverty, forced mobility and forced immobility, lack of access to non-motorized vehicles and employment and growth in public transport organizations.
This is compounded by fragmented information on existing initiatives undertaken by public transportation authorities. For example, bus-based authorities have created toilets for transgender persons at city bus stands (Mysore), installed GPS devices and CCTV cameras, provided segregated seats and women only doors, conducted gender sensitization trainings, created Women Safety Committees (e.g. Bangalore) and reserved jobs for women drivers and conductors (e.g. Karnataka). Some of these were initiated prior to 2012, often on political requests or on receiving complaints. The implementation challenges, impact of these actions or the extent to which gender equity is rooted within the transport organization’s vision and goals has not been explored. Thus a wide area of research themes on gender and mobility in India remain uninvestigated.
This paper situates women’s security within a broader goal of gender equity; and identifies research gaps in moving the policy discourse towards gender equitable public transport systems. The research focuses on city bus services as they form the back bone of urban India’s public transportation system. The research was conducted at the Indian Institute for Human Settlements and was first presented at the conference on “Urban Planning, Governance and Design for Reducing Urban Conflicts and Violence: Critical Learnings and Possibilities”, March 2-4, 2016, Ahmedabad.
Sonal Shahis Senior Manager at the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, where she coordinates urban planning projects, policy and research. She has 12 years’ experience in over a dozen cities in India, on city-scale to neighbourhood plans, transit oriented development and station accessibility planning to street design, historic precinct conservation, gender, urban redevelopment and housing policy research.
She wears dual hats as a practitioner and educator. In addition to co-teaching undergraduate urban design studios and graduate history and theory of planning courses, she has conducted capacity building sessions and workshops with professionals, government officials and practitioners. She has presented in numerous conferences such as Safe and Inclusive Cities Conference (Ahmedabad), Transed (Delhi), Walk 21 (Munich), Eco-mobility Conference (Changwon), Talking Transit (Bhopal) and ConnectKaro (Bangalore and Mumbai).
Sonal previously worked with reputed organizations such as the Indian Institute of Human Settlements, World Resources Institute and with the late Charles Correa at the Urban Design Research Institute. She completed a B.Arch from KRVIA, Mumbai University and MSc Urban Planning from Columbia University.
This is the eighty fifth in a series of Urban Workshops planned by the Centre de Sciences Humaines (CSH), New Delhi and Centre for Policy Research (CPR). These workshops seek to provoke public discussion on issues relating to the development of the city and try to address all its facets including its administration, culture, economy, society and politics. For further information, please contact: Christine Ithurbide at email@example.com, Pa rtha Mukhopadhyay at firstname.lastname@example.org or Marie-Hélène Zerah at email@example.com
Italy’s Renzi defies foes, opens way for party leadership battle
Italian PM Matteo Renzi has resigned as head of the ruling Democratic Party (PD) on Sunday, triggering a leadership battle in which he will take on rivals threatening to split the center-left. Renzi quit as prime minister in December after losing a referendum on constitutional reform, but is eager to return to power and is pushing for national elections to be held this year rather than early 2018 as scheduled. Renzi did not say when the leadership ballot would be held, but allies say he is keen to hold it before local elections in June, fearing that defeat for the PD then could sink his chances. Recent opinion polls have put the PD neck and neck with the 5-Star Movement, founded by comedian Beppe Grillo, which wants a referendum on Italy’s euro membership.
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