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Notification allowing women to take NDA exam to be released by May 2022: Defence Ministry to SC

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The Defence Ministry told the Supreme Court that a notification allowing women candidates to appear for the entrance exam to the National Defence Academy (NDA) will be out by May 2022.

Earlier, the ministry had said that a decision has been taken to allow the induction of women into the Armed Forces through the NDA.
Filing an affidavit, the ministry said that keeping the timeline in mind, deliberate planning and meticulous preparation is needed to ensure smooth induction and seamless training of such women candidates.

“The Government of India, in line with its commitment, hereby place on record its clear and categorical stand that the women candidates shall be considered for entry in the three defence services, in the existing streams, through National Defence Academy,” the affidavit stated.
It further said that the NDA entrance exams are held twice a year and the government proposes to have the necessary mechanism in place by May 2022, the time by which the UPSC is required to publish the first notification next year, for the exam.

The affidavit also stated that a study group has been constituted by the Defence services comprising experts to expeditiously formulate a curriculum for women cadets at the NDA and a Board of Officers has been convened to frame a futuristic proposal for training of women cadets at NDA incorporating all relevant aspects.

“Any dilution of physical training and service subject like firing, etc. would invariably impact the battle worthiness of the Armed Forces adversely,” it added.

It also stated the need to have a robust physical separation between male and female residential areas for which new residential facilities have to be developed to accommodate the women candidates including bathroom cubicles with modifications to maintain privacy.

“Some time is needed to construct additional bathrooms, cabins, training facilities and develop curriculum for the new joinees,” the Ministry of Defence told the apex court.

“Only medically fit candidates meeting the selection criteria are allowed to join the Academy. They are also required to meet laid down medical standards. While medical standards for male cadets are in place, appropriate medical standards for women candidates are in the process of formulation. The same needs to be done before they join,” the affidavit added.

A Bench headed by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul had asked the ministry to put the statement of inducting women into the Armed Forces through the NDA, on record through an affidavit

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AC Approves Creation of 4 new Courts of Additional District & Sessions Judge

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The Administrative Council (AC), which met here under the chairmanship of the Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha, accorded approval for the creation of four courts of Additional District & Sessions Judges at district headquarters- one each in District Samba, Bandipora, Ganderbal and Poonch.

Farooq Khan and Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar, Advisors to the Lieutenant Governor, Dr Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary, J&K and Nitishwar Kumar, Principal Secretary to the Lieutenant Governor, attended the meeting.

The Administrative Council also approved the creation of 40 new posts of different categories (10 each) at the new court complexes in the four selected districts with a financial implication of Rs. 258.245 lacs (salary) and Rs 21.657 lacs (NPS) per financial year.

The gradual increase in the population of Jammu and Kashmir has substantially enhanced the judicial workload, which has necessitated the opening of new court complexes to cater to the increased public demand.

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J&K Rolls Out Aspirational Blocks Development Programme

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For intensive and focussed development of the 44 most backward blocks of the Union territory, the Administrative Council (AC), which met here under the chairmanship of Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha, approved the rollout of the prestigious ”Aspirational Blocks Development Programme”.

Farooq Khan and Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar, Advisors to the Lieutenant Governor, Dr Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary, J&K and Nitishwar Kumar, Principal Secretary to the Lieutenant Governor, attended the meeting.

The blocks identified under the Aspirational Blocks Development Programme are the most backward blocks of the UT of Jammu and Kashmir, requiring particular focus to par with other blocks. In addition, the programme aims to improve development in terms of various socio-economic parameters like education, health and wellbeing, and overall living conditions of the people.

These Aspirational Blocks shall be developed by converging various ongoing UT schemes/programmes and centrally sponsored schemes/ programmes. The District Development Commissioners will be tasked with preparing a suitable development plan. In contrast, the Planning Development and Monitoring Department will constantly monitor the district-wise progress of these blocks through a digital portal.

Under the programme, the resources will be delineated across various development sectors – poverty, health & nutrition, education, and basic infrastructure, at the district level. Additionally, an amount of Rs. 1.00 crore will be provided to each block after fulfilment of defined criteria.

The best practices implemented in the development of Aspirational Blocks will be acknowledged and duly replicated in other blocks to ensure the Union territory’s inclusive and equitable socio-economic development.

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RBI Approves Baldev Prakash As Jammu And Kashmir Bank CEO

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The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Wednesday approved the candidature of Baldev Prakash as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Jammu and Kashmir Bank for three years; the Bank said in a note to exchanges on October 27.

The appointment is effective from the date of taking charge or April 10, 2022, whichever is earlier, the Bank said.

The Bank said that the appointment of Baldev Prakash as MD & CEO by the Bank of the Bank and the actual date of his taking charge should be communicated separately.

Previously, Baldev Prakash was working with the State Bank of India in various capacities, including as Chief General Manager responsible for framing bank-level policy and strategy for developing and providing digital and transaction banking services to all Bank corporate clients.

Besides this, Prakash has worked for over four years at Muscat (Sultanate of Oman), responsible for handling remittances business including treasury operations successfully, the Bank said.

In September this year, J&K Bank, in an exchange notification, said the board has approved fundraise up to Rs 2,000 crore subject to shareholders’ approval. The fundraiser will be a mix of debt and equity, the Bank said.

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