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State departments should make Rajasthan ODF: CM Vasundhara Raje

Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje presided over the 7th Raj Vikas Meeting on Thursday and reviewed the progress of various schemes across the state. She also directed officials to work on war path to include Rajasthan cities in top 50 cleanliest cities of the country. “The government is working to make Rajasthan an ODF State by March,18. The State departments should make ODF State as well as bring its cities in the Top-50 cleanest cities. The initiative under Swacch Bharat Abhiyan has picked up massively in the state,” said a statement quoting Raje as saying. Through video conferencing, the collectors informed the CM of the progress of works in their respective districts during the meeting. Raje, meanwhile, directed Principal Secretary, LSG Manjit Singh and Panchayati Raj Secretary, Naveen Mahajan to monitor the progress of ODF in various districts and form special units and cells to speed up work. She expressed satisfaction and voiced appreciation on the swift action on issues discussed in the previous meetings. Raje stated that the impressive growth and progress of projects under the Centre and State’s flagship schemes is an indication that Rajasthan is on the path to becoming a model state and the officials should continue to work with dedication. She said the state of Rajasthan has shown improvement in various indicators and now time has come for re-engineering current systems to simplify lengthy processes that often become a hindrance to investment and growth.

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BJP to celebrate Vajpayee’s 93rd b’day as ‘Sushasan Yuva Mahotsav’

The youth wing of the BJP, Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), would be commemorating the 93rd birthday of the party’s first Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee as ‘Sushasan Yuva Mahotsav’ (Good Governance Fortnight) from December 10 to 25.While the occasion would be used to propagate the achievements of Narendra Modi government, the gamut of pan-India programmes that has been planned would target all sections of the society.”The BJYM is reaching out to youth throughout India to highlight the good governance model of the BJP as well as information related to government’s programmes. The efforts put in by our PM Narendra Modi to improve the lives of the average citizen will bring about positivity among the youth,” said BJYM national president Poonam Mahajan.To target the youth, on the back of whose support the Modi regime came to power, Yuva Samvad (conversation) and Yuva Sammelans (conferences) would be organised in colleges and varsities, apart from Sankalp Goshti (symposia on sanitation).At youth conferences, senior party leaders would address the youth in nearly 150 cities and towns and district headquarters.To impart a renewed push to the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, sanitation drives involving children and youth would be launched. The youth wing of the ruling party would also honour the safai karamchari’s or sanitation workers as ‘True Swachhta Ambassadors’, in their respective areas.”BJYM’s legal committee would hold publicity programmes about the amendments or changes made in various laws in public interest by the Modi government. Meanwhile, the cultural committee would publicise the government’s achievements through creative cultural groups of respective states,” said BJYM secretary Anoop Antony Joseph.”The sports committee will organise programmes to honour eminent and excellent sportspersons at district and state levels during this period and uprise the people about the decisions taken by government to promote sports in the country. BJYM will also run social media campaigns at various levels during the period and publicise the achievements of Modi government,” Anoop said.SWACHH PUSHTo impart a renewed push to the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, sanitation drives involving children and youth would be launched as part of the programmes. The youth wing of the ruling party would also honour the safai karamchari’s or sanitation workers as ‘True Swachhta Ambassadors’, in their respective areas.

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Declare him Swachh Abhiyan ambassador: Opposition on Maharashtra BJP minister seen peeing by roadside

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Maharashtra Opposition parties has demanded that BJP Minister Ram Shinde who was recently caught on camera peeing the roadside near Solapur, should be declared as the ‘Brand Ambassador’ of ‘Swachata Abhiyan’.Maharashtra Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant said that on the ‘world toilet day’, conservation minister Ram Shinde was seen urinating at road side so it will be ideal for the BJP to declare him the Brand Ambassador of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet project.“BJP government in centre and state are taking credit for the work not done by them. Besides, for the publicity of these not done work, they are using foreign road and bridges pictures. The villages which had got water under previous government scheme and by NGO work, this government is claiming that these work has been done under by them Jalyukta Shivar scheme,” Sawant alleged.He further said Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis recently by tweeting declared Maharashtra open defecation free. “However, within the minutes of CM’s new break, people started uploading photographs and tagging CM where people are shown defecating at road and railway tracks in Mumbai. In last three years, under Swachata Abhiyan, only 1624 toilets are constructed in Maharashtra,” Sawant claimed. NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said that how can the Prime Minister expect people to follow discipline when his own senior ministers are floating the norms?“If the minister gives the excuse of the absence of toilet at a highway, it means this government has failed to develop the infrastructure under its much published Swachata Abhiyan. Interestingly, this government is also charging people the Swachata cess on every development work and fuel as well. The minister has proved that the whole scheme is nothing but a big failure and exploiting the people,” Malik said.

Amit Shah launches BJP’s door-to-door camp from Naranpura

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Gujarat BJP’s ‘Gujarat Gaurav Maha Sampark Abhiyan’ — a door-to-door voters’ approach programme — was kickstarted by party national president Amit Shah on Tuesday. Shah visited his constituency Naranpura in Ahmedabad and met voters at their doorsteps. Shah began the campaign by seeking the blessings of Goddess Ambaji at the local temple and then started visiting voters in the campaign.Shah distributed PM Narendra Modi’s letter among the voters and sought their blessings too. Many elderly people whom Shah knew by name were happy to see the heavyweight leader at their doorstep.A resident of Surya Appartments, Manoj Shah, said, “Amit Shah recognised me and I felt very happy when he called me taking my name. I was thinking he would have forgotten my face or my name but he came to my home, took my name and appealed to vote for BJP. This is a sign of his humility.”Besides Shah, 250 senior leaders of BJP and 60 lakh workers joined the campaign. They will visit different parts of the state from November 7 to 12 and approach the voters. Union ministers also will be visiting Gujarat for this campaign.Meanwhile, Shah’s procession with drums was proceeding in a middle class populated area of Naranpur during the campaign. At the same time, a condolence meeting was being held. When Shah saw people who came to attend the condolence meeting were disturbed due to noise created by the drums, he immediately called local workers and bashed them for creating a ruckus. He also begged pardon of the people for the incident.

BJP initiative will help gauge public mood, opinion: Anandiben Patel

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Gujarat BJP, as part of micro-management at booth level, has started a door-to door campaign ,” Gujarat Gaurav Maha Sampark Abhiyan” on Tuesday. The six-day campaign was kickstarted by BJP national president Amit Shah from his constituency Naranpura. The campaign is basically aimed at gauging the mood of voters and know their political opinion.Former CM and senior leader of BJP, Anandiben Patel, also joined the campaign in her constituency Ghatlodia. In the evening, she held a press conference at BJP’s media center in Ahmedabad.Patel said, “We are discussing different issues with people and trying to know their political likings. We would be in a position to know which voters are pro-BJP, who are pro-Congress and who are neutral. All our workers would collect the details and submit to the party. The party will then analyse this data and decide where BJP would win and where it can lose. If any section is found against BJP, party workers and leaders would try to placate them before the polls.””This is very unique and less expensive technique of micro planning. We would meet the people from Patel community across the state who have been complaining to be victim of police atrocities and try to pacify them. This is how we work everytime in polls and win with thumping majority. While we are reaching door to door, Congress neither has the planning nor the workforce to do this,” she Patel.Anandiben also said workers and leaders who approach voters give them a letter undersigned by PM Modi. The letter tells about the party’s contribution for the development of Gujarat in last 20 years. Patel also said the BJP has distributed 12 families to each of the workers and they have to look after those voters only.”The workers have to take care of 48 voters or 10 to 12 families only. They are supposed to regularly meet these families, propagate the agenda and achievements of BJP governments, discuss their issues and also see that those voters reach the polling station on polling day,” she further added.BOARD MEETINGAnandiben said the party’s parliamentary board will meet during November 10 to 12 in presence of senior leaders to decide on candidate selection and party’s strategies.

Amit Shah to start door-to-door campaign today

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP’s national leader Amit Shah will kick start the party’s Gujarat Gaurav Maha 1Sampark Abhiyan from Tuesday. He will begin a door-to-door campaign from Naranpura constituency. Shah was elected as Naranpura MLA in the last Assembly polls in 2012. Besides Shah, a large array of BJP leaders from Gujarat and central ministers will join the six-day campaign from November 7 to 12.Vice president and senior spokesperson of Gujarat BJP IK Jadeja said, “Amitbhai will start this campaign at 9 am from Naranpura. Leaders will participate in the door-to-door approach. They will seek blessings for a BJP victory.””Gujarat Gaurav Maha Sampark Abhiyan will be the fourth campaign this polls. Our door-to-door campaign is our strength. Thousands of workers will then follow the footsteps of the leaders and would join them. The workers would stick the stickers on the main door of all the households in state and will approach all the voters before the polls,” Jadeja added.The leaders who are to join this campaign are, Nirmala Sitharaman, Smriti Irani, Dharmendra Pradhan, Prakash Javadekar, JP Nadda, Dharmendra Pradhan and other ministers from central government. The Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani, BJP chief Jitu Vaghani, Dy CM Nitin Patel, former CM Anandiben Patel and other state leaders also will hold door to door campaign in their own constituencies.

Railways to ‘review’ garbage situation

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Western Railway (WR) will be conducting a ‘review’ of the garbage which has collected outside the Divisional Railway Manager’s (DRM) office at Mumbai Central. Several complaints have been made regarding the collected garbage. The railways, which claimed to be adhering to the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, is now on a back foot.The WR DRM’s office, which is located near the coach center at Mumbai Central, witnesses the dumping of garbage from long distance trains which halt at the terminus for maintenance. This is not collected for several days leading to a stench.”The stench and filth is unbearable and many of our colleagues are falling sick due to the garbage which has been dumped outside the offices. It is not collected for weeks which piles up leading to diseases. Several complaints have been made but we continue to face the problems,” said a WR employee on the condition of anonymity.The frequency at which the garbage is collecting at the spot is now resulting in piles on the road leading to the DRM office and its adjoining offices. “We have been asked to keep our offices and surroundings clean but the DRM office itself has garbage outside its building. The Railways should come up with a solution to resolve the issues,” said the official.Ravindra Bhakar, Spokesperson, WR, said, “We are conducting a review of the garbage which has collected outside the DRM office and we will clear it as soon as possible.”

DNA Observation: Netas’ apathy pours water on govt’s pet Jal scheme

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Mukhyamantri Jal Swavalamban Abhiyan (MJSA), one of the most ambitious projects of Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, is getting all the financial assistance from several organisations but is lacking the support of players of its own turf, the political class.The water sustainability scheme of the state government is getting crores through donation as an aid from several institutions, industries and religious organisations, but what dashes the hopes are the funds received from the particular ‘political class’, which is Rs 27,000 (rounded off) in the first phase and nearly Rs 5,00,000 in the second phase.Whereas, the other organisations donated Rs 35 crore in the first phase and Rs 22.60 crore in the second phase. Notably, only three donations of Rs 27,000 (first phase), and five donations of Rs 4.72 lakhs (second phase) came from the political treasuries.WHAT IS MJSA?Mukhya Mantri Jal Swavlamban Abhiyan is launched by Government of Rajasthan for water conservation. The main aim of the project is to benefit 21,000 villages of the State by 2020. Mukhya Mantri Jal Swavlamban Abhiyaan in Rajasthan has been very helpful to conserve or save the water in the state. The government had a budget of Rs 3,600 crores for the first phase of the campaign.

Modi in Gujarat: Here’s the PM’s schedule on his two-day visit

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday arrived in Dwarka, Gujarat, to offer prayers and attend a special prayer at the Dwarikadheesh Temple.Modi is on a two-day visit to the state.At Dwarka, he will lay the foundation stone for a four-lane cable-stayed signature bridge between Okha and Bet Dwarka to be built at a cost of Rs. 962 crore.Other projects for which foundation stone will be laid include four-laning of 116.24 kilometers of Porbandar-Dwarka section of NH-51 and four-laning of 93.56 km of Gadu-Porbandar section of NH-51.The Prime Minister will also address a public meeting in Dwarka.From Dwarka, the Prime Minister will go to Hirasar in Rajkot district where he will lay the foundation stone for a Greenfield airport.Prime Minster Modi will also lay the foundation stone in Chotila for six-laning of 201-kilometer Ahmedabad-Rajkot section of NH-47 at a cost of Rs. 2,893 crore.He will also dedicate a fully automatic milk processing and packaging plant and a drinking water distribution pipeline for Joravarnagar and Ratanpur area of Surendranagar. The Prime Minister will address a public meeting there as well.The Prime Minister will then proceed to Gandhinagar, where, he will dedicate the newly-constructed building of IIT Gandhinagar to the nation and launch the Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan (PMGDISHA). The Abhiyan is aimed at imparting digital literacy to citizens in rural areas, and provide access to information, knowledge, education and healthcare.On Sunday, Prime Minister Modi will visit his birthplace Vadnagar in Mehsana district. He will inaugurate a medical college and a hospital having a total bed capacity of 650.Prime Minister will also launch the Intensified Mission Indradhanush to accelerate progress towards the goal of full immunization coverage. The mission will provide greater focus on urban areas and other pockets of low immunization coverage.The Prime Minister will also distribute e-tablets to health workers to mark the launch of ImTeCHO (Innovative mobile-phone Technology for Community Health Operations).ImTeCHO is aimed at improving the performance of community health workers ASHAs (Accredited Social Health Activists) through better supervision, support and motivation for increasing coverage of proven maternal, newborn and child health interventions among resource-poor settings in India.The same afternoon, the prime minister will reach Bharuch and lay the foundation stone for Bhadbhut Barrage, to be built over the Narmada River.He will also flag off the Antyodaya Express between Udhna (Surat, Gujarat), and Jaynagar (Bihar). Mr Modi will also unveil plaques to mark the laying of foundation stone, and the inauguration of various plants of Gujarat Narmada Fertilizer Corporation. He will also address a public meeting there before returning to Delhi.

Uniting on platter: Rajasthan food festival in New Delhi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It was a foodie reunion of cultures from east and west of India as Rajasthan Food Festival commenced at Assam Bhavan, New Delhi. The food festival being organised at the state guest house of Assam government was inaugurated by Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje on Friday during her Delhi tour. The festival is being organised under the “Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat” scheme of Modi government to enhance interaction between people from diverse cultures of India. “Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat Abhiyan is a milestone for PM Narendra Modi’s vision for a united and stronger new India,” Raje said on social media after inaugurating the Food Festival.

New metro policy ‘anti-people’: Mayawati

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BSP president Mayawati today said the Centre’s new metro rail policy was “anti-people” and alleged that it would adversely hit metro projects in Uttar Pradesh. A day after the Union Cabinet approved the new metro rail policy, which opens a big window for private investments across a range of operations, Mayawati said it would make setting up of metro projects impossible. “The new metro policy announced by the Narendra Modi government is anti-people. It will become impossible to set up metro projects, especially in Kanpur, Varanasi and Allahabad … Besides, it will endanger the expansion of the ongoing Lucknow metro project,” she said in a statement here. The new policy has made “participation of private players and capitalists necessary” in metro projects. The government is running away from its reponsibilities, Mayawati alleged. She claimed the Centre was reducing its share in the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. “The Centre’s aim is to somehow get ‘prime minister’ afixed with all the schemes to gain mileage and publicity,” Mayawati alleged, without elaborating further. She also charged the Yogi Adityanath government with betraying farmers in the name of loan waiver.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

‘Kisan Yatra’ reaches Delhi, farmers protest at Jantar Mantar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A ‘Kisan Mukti Yatra’ led by the Swaraj Abhiyan, that kicked-off a fortnight ago, today reached the national capital where scores of peasants, activists and a few political leaders gathered in solidarity for the cause of the farmers. The yatra had started on July 6 from Mandsaur in Madhya Pradesh and has covered six states so far. At the city’s Jantar Mantar area, farmers from all parts of the country, “made two specific demands — farming be made remunerative and farmers be made debt-free,” Swaraj Abhiyan said in a statement. The agitating farmers also “questioned the silence” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Mandsaur shootings, it said. “I campaigned for Narendra Modi, I supported him, only because he promised to waive off loans of farmers but later his government in the Supreme Court gave an affidavit claiming that waiving off farm loans is not possible. I want to ask him that if this was not possible, why did he make this promise to me and in his election manifesto, to the people of this country,” said Member of Parliament, Raju Shetti. Farmers of Tamil Nadu who have relaunched their agitation also joined the agitation under the leadership of Aiyyakannu. On the other hand, the children of farmers from Maharashtra, who have committed suicide performed a skit at the venue to bring attention to their plight, the Abhiyan said. CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said, “Along with you, I take the pledge to fight for the rights of farmers and I promise you that I am going to take this fight to Parliament.” Senior advocate Prashant Bhushan, in his address, alleged, “The government is deliberately designing policies that are anti-farmer and pro-corporate. The govt is supporting products such as GM mustard which are designed to benefit the corporate and destroy the farmers as well their farming.” Swaraj Abhiyan leader Yogendra Yadav said “It is not the farmers who are under debt in this country but the country that is indebted to farmers”. Convener of All India Kisan Sangarsh Coordination Committee, V M Singh, said, “This is not just a fight of farmers but of all citizens of this country. Why should a farmer, despite feeding the whole country, be unable to feed his own family.” The Swaraj Abhiyan said the dharna will continue tomorrow as well.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Misunderstandings about GST are being spread: Jaitley

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a very simple tax and several misunderstandings are being spread about this new taxation system, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said today. “GST is a very simple tax and those who follow the law will not be called to the office for assessment. For them, everything, including the return and the assessment orders will be made online,” Jaitley said here today. But, the minister made it clear that who tried to be “over clever” and tried to “circumvent the law” will face the music. The union minister was addressing a rally after laying foundation stone for new office of the BJP near Gill road grain market here today. Just as strong rumours and misconceptions were spread when mobile phones were introduced in the market, several misunderstandings are being created about the GST, he added. He further said Jammu and Kashmir has also accepted the GST in the financial interests of the state. On terrorism, Jaitley said that the BJP was the only party that openly condemned the terrorism, while there were some parties who did not mind using objectionable words against the Army that was fighting a battle on the front for security of the country. “Whatever our ideologies may be, we must be together in fighting for the unity and integrity of the country,” said the minister. Earlier, he addressed a function in the Sat Pal Mittal School organised by the Bharti Foundation for its ‘Satya Bharti Abhiyan’. There he also met a joint delegation of Bharti Kisan Union (Rahnewale) and BKU (Lakhowal). Farmers’ outfits were demanding roll back of GST on agriculture inputs and machinery.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Govt kicks off drive to get special kids to attend school

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>For 14-year-old Shabana, a specially-abled girl from east Delhi’s Patparganj area, it was a dream come true when a group of government teachers visited her home last month and convinced her parents to enroll her in a nearby school. Until then, joining a school was only a dream for her.“We never send her to school fearing humiliation as she has been suffering from deformity since birth and can’t walk without crutches. But now when some teachers from Delhi government schools approached and assured us that she will not feel any discrimination , we have decided to send her to a school,” said her father Mohammad Israr, a daily-wager.Delhi government’s special drive to enrol Children With Special Needs (CWSN) turned out to be a blessing for hundreds of specially-abled children like Shabana who were deprived of education due to financial stress and lack of awareness. Under this drive, the Office of UEE (Universal Elementary Education) mission — a part of Directorate of Education (DoE)– has directed the teachers, who are working under Special Training Centers (STCs) running in several government schools in the national capital and those working under Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan, to identify such children in their respective localities and motivate their parents to enrol them in nearby government schools. The STCs train children, who are drop-outs or never attended a school, and then shift them to regular classes according to their respective ages.“It’s very important to reach such children coming from financially challenged background and talk to their parents who consider disability a social stigma. Most of these people don’t even know about the facilities like STCs being offered at Delhi governments school. So, such initiatives are really important,” said BK Sharma, Principal, Shaheed Hemu Kalani Sarvodaya Bal Vidyalaya, Lajpat Nagar.A communication in this regard has also been sent to all the schools working under the DoE, MCD, NDMC, DCB and those which are aided by the government saying that “another such drive has been planned from July 10 to August 10 for bringing these children to the schools near to their residence.”According to a senior official at the DoE, it has also been decided to rope in Residential Welfare Associations (RWAs) to identify and motivate such students. Catch them youngUnder this drive, the Office of UEE (Universal Elementary Education) mission — a part of Directorate of Education (DoE)– has directed the teachers, who are working under Special Training Centers (STCs) running in several government schools in the national capital and those working under Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan, to identify such children in their respective localities and motivate their parents to enrol them in nearby government schools.

Yogendra Yadav, Medha Patkar detained during farmers’ rally in Mandsaur

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Swaraj Abhiyan chief Yogendra Yadav, activists Medha Patkar, Paras Saklecha and others were detained by police during a farmers rally in Mandsaur district of Madhya Pradesh. The rally, called the Kisan Mukti Yatra, was started today by the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee to protest the killings of six farmers in Madhya Pradesh?s Mandsaur district on June 6. The farmers also demanded complete loan waiver and fair price of their agricultural produce. The march was scheduled to start from Mandsaur on July 6 and culminate at New Delhi on July 18 after passing through Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

SDMC makes construction of toilets at petrol pumps a must

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After restaurants, petrol pumps in south Delhi will now be having public toilets in their premises. In its bid to promote Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) has asked petrol pumps in its jurisdiction, which do not have toilet facilities, to get them constructed by July 15.Currently, there are 551 public toilets and another 353 community toilets providing free usage to people. Apart from this, SDMC had facilitated free usage of toilets in hotels and restaurants across its jurisdiction. However, this facility is limited to women and children only.”After this move, the number of public toilets will increase from 904 to 1,054. More than 150 petrol pumps will have this facility in the next two weeks,” said an SDMC official.A dedicated officer will monitor the entire process. A set of guidelines have been issued to make the facilities available within the stipulated period.”The toilets at the petrol pumps must remain clean and well maintained and open for the general public during that duration for which the petrol pumps are open. Furthermore, water supply at the toilets should be ensured,” said Kamaljeet Sehrawat, Mayor, SDMCMeanwhile, the municipal body will make the condition of a functional toilet at petrol pump mandatory for issuance of the municipal licence. “Strict action will be taken against those who will not adhere to the guidelines,” Sehrawat added.The decision of allowing women and children to use toilets in hotels and restaurants in south Delhi was later followed by the East Delhi Municipal Corporation, too.

‘Swacch Bharat Abhiyan will have positive impact on economy’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar today said the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan will not only help in keeping our surroundings clean but will have a positive impact on the economy of the country. The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan will serve dual purpose as it will not only help keep the surroundings clean but will also boost the economy, said Parrikar. “Swacch Bharat is Prime Minister’s dream. Swacch Bharat has good impact on health and tourism sector. When tourists find Goa clean they will come again to the state,” Parrikar said addressing local body representatives in the presence of party president Amit Shah. “Swacch Bharat does not only serve the purpose of having a good surrounding but it will also help in putting in place the economy of the country,” the chief minister added. Parrikar said that the state government has planned several activities with municipalities and panchayat bodies which will make Goa a model state. The chief minister also said that the recently held elections for panchayat bodies have proved that BJP’s strength is at the grassroot level. “We are the government which thinks about the local self governance. Even when I was in Centre, I remember, prime minister had allotted 42 per cent of the funds to the panchayat bodies, state government and local bodies,” he said. The grants are being given to the local bodies in a big way. He said Goa can become a model state if local bodies and state government start working together.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Haridwar-bride-refuses-to-visit-home @ 6/25/2017 6:22:07 PM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> A newly married bride Monika refused to come to her husband?s house after marriage as they do not have toilet and also asserted that she won?t come to in-laws house until the toilet was built. Bride?s sister-in-law claimed that the family tried to build a toilet in the house but could not manage to do this. On April 17, a woman named Neha refused to tie the knot with a man in Kanpur after he failed to get a toilet built at his residence. After her decision, she said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi?s ?Clean India Mission? inspired her. Prime Minister Modi launched Swachh Bharat Abhiyan on October 2, 2014 at Rajghat, New Delhi. The drive is inspired by Mahatma Gandhi, who championed the cleanliness. It is India’s largest ever cleanliness drive with 3 million government employees, and especially school and college students from all parts of India, participating in the campaign. The efforts are showing results now as awareness over health and sanitation is on increase even in rural areas.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

People protest, demand justice in Zafar Khan case

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hundreds of people marched in protest in Jaipur on Tuesday, demanding justice for political activist Zafar Khan, who was lynched to death in Pratapgarh on June 16. Zafar Khan, an activist of CPI (ML) in Pratapgarh, died after he was beaten by sanitation workers of the municipality in the presence of nagar parishad commissioner, Ashok Jain when he resisted their attempts to take photographs and videos of women from the Bagwasa Kachchi basti who were going to defecate in the open.The protest march started from CPI (ML) State Office at 35, Dhuleshwar Garden, C-Scheme and culminated at Shahid Smarak, where a protest meeting was organised in which various leaders of left parties and activists demanded immediate arrest of Nagarpalika Commissioner, Ashok Jain who allegedly instigated Nagarpalika Karamcharis to attack Zafar Khan.At the protest meeting CPI (ML) National General Secretary Comrade Dipanker Bhattacharya said that an activist was attacked just because he spoke up for the rights of slum dweller and on that fateful day was also fighting for upholding dignity of women. He said that this is very attack on democratic right of people to protest.In the meeting, activists also raised questions over the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.CPI (ML) State Secretary, Mahendra Choudhary challenged the officials to show how many toilets constructed as part of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan are functional. He said there is a wide scale corruption in the construction of toilets which is reflected in their state.

Jan Swasthya Abhiyan expresses shock over Raj lynching case

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Delhi-based social platform promoting health today expressed “deep shock” over the alleged lynching of a 55-year-old man in Rajasthan after he tried to stop some civic employees from scaring women defecating in the open by taking their photographs. “Zafar’s only crime was that he objected to the photographing of women defecating in the open. Those being photographed included the victim’s wife and 14-year-old daughter,” the Jan Swasthya Abhiyan (JSA) said. It also alleged that “reports suggest a massive cover up of the incident is being attempted and the perpetrators are yet to be apprehended”. On June 16, the municipal employees in Pratpargh town had tried scaring away women by taking their photographs when they were defecating in the open. It was then that Zafar Khan intervened and tried stopping them from clicking pictures. In retaliation, the municipality employees kicked, punched and beat him with a stick, which led to his death, according to the FIR lodged by Khan’s elder brother Noor Mohammed. “The JSA expresses deep shock over the murder of Zafar, a 55-year-old social worker of Pratapgarh in Rajasthan. He was lynched in a frenzy by municipal employees linked to the government’s ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’,” it said in a statement. Zafar had in the past submitted a memorandum against the “harassment of women” by civic officials, which included bullying and shaming of women, the JSA said. “This is not an isolated incident but a consequence of the mission’s ‘name and shame strategy’ where personnel linked to the programme (Swachh Bharat) organise vigilante squads that hound individuals they find violating the programme’s objectives,” it alleged. Days before the killing, the victim himself had petitioned authorities demanding latrines and other sanitary facilities in the colony, the JSA claimed. The Jan Swasthya Abhiyan was formed in 2001, with the coming together of 18 national networks that had organised activities across the country in 2000, in the lead up to the First Global Peoples Health Assembly, in Dhaka, in December 2000. The JSA forms the Indian regional circle of the global People’s Health Movement (PHM).(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Maha to witness political earthquake in July: Sanjay Raut

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Accusing ally BJP of trying to “finish” Shiv Sena, party MP Sanjay Raut said today Maharashtra will witness a “political earthquake” next month. “Time and again, our ally is trying to finish us. So the question now concerns our survival. The Shiv Sena will start its political fight from July. Be ready for it,” Raut said, while addressing a gathering at Nashik as part of party’s ‘Shivsampark Abhiyan’. “There will be a political earthquake in the state next month,” he added. Amid the ongoing agitation of farmers in Maharashtra, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had recently announced the “biggest-ever” farm loan waiver in the state. Raut, however, said that farmers do not need a “selected loan waiver, but a complete one”. He said Sena minister Diwakar Raote will put forth the party’s stand in the meeting of ministerial panel formed to discuss the farmers’ demands. The meeting of the committee will be held at 1 pm tomorrow in Mumbai. Yesterday, Fadnavis had announced the formation of a six-member high powered committee to look into the various demands of farmers, including loan waiver.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

PM Modi meets top bureaucrats, asks them to identify goals to be achieved by 2022

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi today asked top bureaucrats to identify concrete goals to be achieved by 2022, particularly focussing on the development of 100 most backward districts in a mission mode through short time frames.Modi, while interacting with all the secretaries to the government of India, asked them to rise above the “administrative mechanisms of earlier centuries” and work beyond the “silos” of their respective ministries for the development of the country.He told them that they had an opportunity to transform the lives of one-sixth of humanity, a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said.Underlining that institutions must be made “outcome- oriented”, the prime minister asked the bureaucrats to identify concrete goals to be achieved by 2022, the 75th anniversary of Independence.He called for a mission mode approach to the 100 most backward districts in India and said specific goals should be set on various parameters in definite short time frames for these districts, the PMO said.While asking the bureaucrats not to work in silos, Modi said the some of the best results in the last three years had been achieved when the entire government machinery worked in unison, as a team.In this regard, he cited examples such as financial inclusion (Jan Dhan Yojana) and universal immunization (Mission Indradhanush), the PMO said.On ‘Swachhta Abhiyan’, the prime minister said, “the biggest groundswell of support has come from the people, and that is driving change at the administrative level.” Turning to the planned roll-out of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime from July 1, he said it would mark a “turning point” in the country s history.He asked the secretaries to proactively prepare for this transformation, to ensure a smooth transition, the statement said.The prime minister told the bureaucrats that “the world is looking at India differently today and this is a unique opportunity which should not be missed. Let us build mechanisms to meet global expectations.”Ministers Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj and Nitin Gadkari also addressed the secretaries.Earlier, the secretaries made some suggestions on various sectors of governance., the PMO said.

Now, mark-based KRA’s set for civic body commissioners

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On the lines of corporate firms, the Devendra Fadnavis-led Maharashtra government has come up with the concept of marks-based Key Result Areas (KRAs) for all municipal commissioners in the state in order to make them more efficient and accountable for their respective cities.The KRA carries a whopping 40 per cent weightage to Swachh Maharashtra Abhiyan, the pet project of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The weightage is divided into two segments — 30 per cent weightage has been given to segregation and processing of solid waste while 10 per cent weightage to make the city open defecation free by October 2, 2017. The commissioners are expected to ensure at least 90 per cent waste segregation and composting of all wet garbage by March next year.The KRAs already exist for all babus in Maharashtra since 2011. However, it carried a general description of key schemes so far. The new assessment scheme is quantitative. The appraisal of all babus including municipal commissioners are done by the Chief Minister and Chief Secretary offices, a senior government official said.Now, annual performance of the commissioners will be based on their scores in each indicator specified in the KRA. “This will be reflected in their annual confidential report (ACR) as well,” says the government resolution which will be applicable to commissioners of 27 municipal corporations, including Mumbai.Other KRA indicators include collection of revenues (20%), initiatives to increase the revenue of the corporations (20%), implementation of infrastructure projects within stipulated deadlines (10%) and effective execution of Right to Services to citizens and time bound action on CAG, PAC, Courts cases and Lokayukta reports (10%).However, the move has not gone down too well among the civic commissioners. “Every city in the state has some peculiar problems. Some corporations need to focus more on water management due to scarcity, while encroachment is the major issue for Mumbai and Thane. Stipulating common assessment parameters for all is irrational and won’t help much,” a municipal commissioner said on condition of anonymity.

Now, railways to carry out cleanliness survey of tracks

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Widening its sanitation drive, the railways will now carry out a cleanliness survey of tracks on busy routes by an independent organisation and rank its 16 zones based on their performance. The railways has recently released results of a similar survey of 407 stations, carried out by the Quality Council of India. All-out efforts will be made to keep the tracks clean as well as part of the government’s ongoing cleanliness campaign, said a senior railway ministry official. Railway tracks at many stretches resemble garbage dump with leftover food, plastic bottles and paper boxes strewn all over. Discharge of human waste from trains is also a cause for concern. The official said accumulation of garbage and human waste from open-discharge toilets were damaging the tracks. Several railway divisions have pressed into service mechanised system for cleaning of tracks near stations. Besides, installation of bio-toilets in several trains have reduced the discharge of human waste on the tracks. The Indian Railways is the third largest rail network in the world, covering 66,000 km and having more than 8,000 stations. Consequent to the launch of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan on October 2, 2014 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the railways launched ‘Swachh Rail, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’. The aim of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is to achieve the vision of a ‘Clean India’ by October 2, 2019, the 150th birthday of Mahatma Gandhi. The railways has also made operational a ‘Swachh Rail’ portal to showcase cleanliness rankings of various stations and the methodology adopted for rankings. This web portal will also be used to seek passenger feedback on cleanliness. The feedback from passengers will help identify unclean spots and to improve cleanliness standards. It will bring healthy competition among various railway divisions. In the rail budgets of 2015, 2016 and 2017, a series of measures to improve the cleanliness of stations were announced.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

1,366 schools in UP running sans proper buildings: CAG

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Despite availability of funds, 1,366 schools in Uttar Pradesh were running without proper buildings, with some of them even functioning under thatched roof, a CAG report said today. The report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India tabled in the state Assembly said that out of 1.6 lakh schools in the state, 2,978 did not have drinking water facility and 1,734 schools did not have separate toilets for boys and girls. A total of 50,849 schools did not have playgrounds while 35,995 others did not have library facilities, the 235-page CAG report on General and Social Sector for 2015-16 said. Interestingly, there was no electricity in 34,098 schools though they incurred an expenditure of Rs 64.22 crore on wiring and electrical fitting. Free text books were not provided to 26.22 lakh children during 2012-16 (when the Akhilesh Yadav-led SP government was in power), though adequate funds were received under Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), it said. Free text books were provided with delay ranging from one month to over three months because of lax tendering and transportation. Besides, uniforms were not provided to 97 lakh children during the period under review though adequate funds were received under SSA, it added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Centre to open 94 new Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalyas

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Centre will open 94 new Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalyas (KGBV) across the country for girl students belonging to minority and disadvantaged sections. According to a senior HRD Ministry official, the new sanctioned schools are likely to start functioning by next year. KGBVs are upper primary residential schools for girls from SC, ST, OBC categories besides other minority and disadvantaged sections of society. While 75 per cent seats are reserved for girls from the mentioned category, 25 per cent seats are for girls from families below the poverty line. There are currently 3,703 KGBVs functional across India. The Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya scheme was introduced in 2004 under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan program to provide educational facilities for girls belonging to marginalised communities having access to limited facilities.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Shiv Sena MLA sends ‘proxy’ to address drought-hit farmers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> A Shiv Sena leader representing Maharashtra?s drought-hit district of Osmanabad allegedly sent a proxy to his constituency to address drought hit farmers. Former corporator Yashodhar Phanse posed as Shiv Sena MLA Gautam Chabukswar and visited the constituency of Chabukswar, after party chief Uddhav Thackeray had directed all MLAs of the drought hit areas to meet farmers. This happened after the Shiv Sena launched the ?Shiv Sampark Abhiyan? in which all party MLAs have been instructed to visit the drought-hit areas of Marathwada and Vidarbha. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which formed the government in the state in alliance with Shiv Sena, slammed its ally over the incident. Out of 40 Shiv Sena MLAs directed by Thackeray to visit the drought-hit district, as many as 27 did not bother to go on the tour. Following the incident, senior Sena leaders termed it as ?one person?s mistake? and not as an embarrassment for the party. Meanwhile, the Opposition slammed Sena over the matter.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Defer development plan debate, Uddhav tells Sena corporators

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray today asked party corporators to defer the debate on draft 2034 Development Plan for Mumbai in the general body of Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM), a source said. Uddhav addressed party corporators at Shiv Sena’s headquarters here, where he said the party did not approve of the proposed development plan and the corporators should seek changes to it, a Sena source who attended the meeting said. Referring to the 3-day special session of state legislature from May 20 to ratify State Goods and Services Tax (SGST) Act, the source said that Thackeray asked the party legislators to demand that Union Government should directly allocate to MCGM the compensation for abolition of octroi. The Sena chief also expressed concerns about security as vehicles entering the city would no longer be checked after octroi is scrapped. In the wake of opposition parties’ state-wide campaign seeking farm loan waiver, Uddhav asked party legislators to assess problems of farmers in 46 Assembly constituencies of Marathwada region, the source said. The Sena would also launch a mass contact program called “Shivsampark Abhiyan”, in which party legislators and leaders will interact with farmers across the state, he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Centre to send site-survey team for IIM off-campus in Kashmir

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid unrest in Kashmir, the Centre is making arrangements for setting up an off-campus of Indian Institute of Management (IIM) in the Valley, in a bid to woo youth towards quality education.Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar today announced that a team from his ministry will next week visit the Valley to conduct a site-survey for the planned campus.Off-campuses are extension of the main campus. An IIM in Jammu is already operational in a temporary campus.The HRD Minister said the process for a permanent campus in Jammu will also be expedited.”The Jammu and Kashmir government has offered a land plot for the off-campus and within a week, a site-survey team will visit there and the work will be started there soon,” he said.The Cabinet had last October approved setting up of an IIM campus in Jammu and an off-campus in Kashmir.Two engineering colleges– in Safapora in Kashmir and Kathua in Jammu– and seven hostels for girl students, have also been approved by the HRD ministry.He said the two colleges sanctioned under the Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan will start functioning this year itself.”Rs 25 crore of the sanctioned Rs 52 crore (for RUSA colleges) will be released immediately for the purpose.” The two colleges will be functioning out of temporary campuses till permanent campuses are set up– which is likely to take around two years.Javadekar made the announcements after his hour-long meeting with J&K Education Minister Altaf Bukhari and his junior minister Priya Sethi here.He also said, polytechnic diploma holders, taking lateral entry in engineering courses, will now be eligible for Prime Minister Scholarship for Jammu and Kashmir students.He said the Ministry will also consider the state government’s request for raising the upper income limit for the scholarship eligibility- which is currently Rs 6 lakh.During the meeting, the Minister also approved disbursal of Rs 200 crore for payment of pending salaries of teachers under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA). Rs 34 crore was approved under the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyaan also.The seven hostels for girl students of government degree colleges will be set up in Bemina, Kupwara, Pulwama, Kargil, Rajouri, Thathri and Palora and amount of Rs 50 crore has been sanctioned for the purpose.Asked about the unrest, Javadekar said, “The state ministers are going in schools and colleges and communicating with students. Even when schools remained closed for four days, on the fifth day, they reopened and things went back to normal”.”Over 98 per cent student-attendance in the board examination reiterated the state residents’ seriousness about education,” he added.

Wall of heroes in 1000 schools, colleges to inspire youths

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Wall of heroes” with portraits of Param Veer Chakra awardees will come up at around 1,000 schools and colleges across the country to inspire the youth. Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar today launched the Centre’s campaign “Vidya, Veerta Abhiyan” as he condemned the killing of two soldiers by Pakistan. While the establishment of the “wall of heroes” is voluntary for the educational institutes, he clarified that Centre will not issue any grants for the purpose and students and teachers should be encouraged to pool in money for the same. “The condemnable and barbaric act by Pakistan has been carried out after ignoring all indicators of humanity. Even war has few principles but they do not any principle of humanity or either they don’t want to know it. The entire country is anguished,” Javadekar said at the event. The HRD Minister reiterated Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s comments that the sacrifice of the soldiers will not go waste. He said, “It is important that we have portraits of such soldiers in our universities to create passion and enthusiasm among the youngsters.” The initiative is part of the Centre’s Vidya Veerta Abhiyan (Wisdom and Warrior Campaign) and was conceived by BJP leader Tarun Vijay, who called it “a humble attempt to inculcate patriotism in the students”. Under the campaign conceptualised by the BJP MP, universities will set up walls measuring 15 X 20 feet and featuring portraits of the 21 soldiers decorated with the Param Veer Chakra, the highest war-time gallantry award. “On a day when the bodies of the two soldiers have come, this campaign is being launched,” Javadekar said as he handed over the portraits of the Param Veer Chakra awardees to the vice chancellors and representatives of various universities including the JNU, the DU, the Jamia Millia Islamia, the Central University of Jammu, the Arunachal Pradesh university, the Kerala University and the IIT Delhi among others. Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre was also present at the event and condemned the beheading of the two Indian soldiers by Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir. The idea of having a wall of martyrs in universities was first proposed by a group of ex-servicemen. They had last year approached JNU Vice Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar, saying portraits of martyrs and tanks used in wars should be put on display in the campus to instill sense of “nationalism” and “patriotism” among the students. The demand came amid a raging debate on nationalism following a sedition row on campus over an event during which anti-national slogans were allegedly raised.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Prepare 2 yr action plan for Swachh Bharat Abhiyan: Govt to

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Prime Minister’s office has directed all the ministries to prepare a two-year action plan for implementation of the much-celebrated ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’. The execution of the plans will be monitored by the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation under the Rural Development Ministry along with the Urban Development Ministry, official sources said. Parameswaran Iyer, Secretary, Drinking Water and Sanitation confirmed that action plans have been prepared by all Union ministries and that they started implementing the same. “All ministries have prepared the action plans for Swachh Bharat Mission for the current financial year 2017-18 and for 2018-19. The respective ministries have committed Rs 5,300 crore budget for sanitation this year,” he told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Raj minister asks officials to resolve water-related issues

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>To meet water requirements of the state during the summer months, Rajasthan Public Health Engineering Department (PHED) Minister Surendra Goyal today directed officials to remain active and resolve water-related issues. During a video conference with officials, the minister asked them to complete works under the second phase of the Mukhyamantri Jal Swavalamban Abhiyan in coordination with the local public representatives. The department’s officials apprised the minister about the current situation in the state. Additional Chief Secretary J C Mohanti asked the department’s engineers to increase movement in the field, take action against illegal connections and ensure supply of drinking water through tankers wherever it is needed. Senior officers of the department were present for the video conference with engineers and other officials.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

SC to hear Swaraj Abhiyan’s PIL on drought-hit states

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Supreme Court on Wednesday is set to hear a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by NGO ‘Swaraj Abhiyan’ seeking proper rehabilitation and financial assistance to the drought-affected people. In the previous hearing, the Apex Court had summoned nine state’s Chief Secretaries in the case asking them to appear before it on April 26 in connection with the drought case. The court passed this order after hearing the plea filed by NGO ‘Swaraj Abhiyan’ seeking proper rehabilitation and financial assistance to the drought-affected people. Bihar, Jharkhand, Telangana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra are the affected drought states. Initially, there were 12 states in the drought case but the Supreme Court deleted Uttar Pradesh and Odisha. In May last year, the apex court had directed the drought-hit states to provide highly subsidised food grains to the affected people under the National Food Security (NFS) Act. The apex court bench had pulled up Haryana, Gujarat and Bihar for refusing to declare drought, despite a sharp fall in the monsoon rains, a primary indicator for assessing people’s distress arising from water scarcity and crop failure. Gujarat declared drought only in some areas that too very late. The apex court had directed all the 10 states, including Haryana and Bihar, to provide five kilogram of food-grains per person a month at the price meant for below poverty line (BPL) families and this should be given to even those above the poverty line (APL) and those not holding ration cards.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Ghaziabad dist admin issues show-cause notices to 18 schools

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Ghaziabad district administration has served show-cause notices to 18 schools here and sought an explanation to the hike in fee. The committee looking into the matter issued the notices two days ago following a meeting called by ADM Finance Rajesh Yadav, which was attended by representatives of the schools and several parents’ associations. The schools have been given 20 days to give their explanation. Till then no school will charge annual fee, District Magistrate Nidhi Kesarwani said. The committee has also asked the schools to explain why they were levying the annual charges, officials said. If their replies are not found justified, annual charges will be waived. Permission of taking annual charges from parents are not mentioned in the NOC of the district administration or CBSE, Kesarwani said. Following protest by parents under the banner of Bhartiya Kisan Sangh, SDM (Loni) Prem Singh Ranjan had issued a notice under section 133 (conditional order for removal of nuisance) of the CrPC to Salwan Public School yesterday. The SDM warned the management to decrease the escalated fee within a week or face legal action. On April 13, scores of infuriated parents staged a protest against 25 per cent hike in fee of private schools. They handed over a memorandum addressed to the district magistrate to take action against the owners of private schools. The protest was led by Shiksha Bachao Abhiyan Samiti (SBAS) and All Schools Parents Association (ASPA).(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

J’khand CM inaugurates proj worth Rs 40.77 cr in Littipara

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das today laid the foundation stone for developmental projects worth Rs 240.44 crore and inaugurated projects worth Rs 40.77 crore in Littipara in the state’s Santhal Pargana region. “Today is an important day for the Santhal Pargana region, specially for Littipara as foundation stone for Rs 217 crore worth multi-village water supply project has been laid,” the Chief Minister said. The project will be completed in three years and water will be supplied to every household, an official release said quoting Das. Stating that the state government is making efforts to supply drinking water, Das said he had made a commitment to address the drinking water. The Chief Minister also inaugurated a ‘Dakia Yojana’ at Chhotasuraj Bera village and enrolled children in the Littipara block school under the ‘School Challen, Challain Abhiyan’, the release said. Benches and desks at worth Rs 400 crore will be provided to 30,000 schools, he said adding, poverty in Santhal Pargana region will be eradicated through education. Das said 18,000 teachers will be recruited soon and appealed the literate to spend one hour every Sunday at schools to teach children in their respective areas. Stating that only development of villages will make the state and country developed, the Chief Minister said 3.8 lakh houses will be built under the Prime Minister Awas Yojana in the state.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Food for thought: Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh shares mid-day meal with students

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh joined students for mid-day meal at a government school in Mahasamund district.The students of the school in Jamhari village under Saraipali development block were surprised to see Singh amid them. The Chief Minister then sat on the floor and ate mid-day meal with students from primary and middle sections of the school, leaving them ecstatic.Singh arrived in Jamhari by a helicopter as part of his government’s `Lok Suraaj Abhiyan’.He later held his ‘choupal’ (meeting) in the premises of the government school there, said an official from the state’s public relations department.The CM appreciated the quality of mid-day meals served at the school and gave Rs 1,000 as a token of appreciation to the five cooks who had prepared the food, he said.Singh also interacted with students and asked pupils of Class 6 to recite multiplication tables, which they did. He distributed chocolates to children.He also spoke to teachers and asked them to maintain high standards of education.During his visit, Singh sanctioned several projects, including upgradation and repair works of 15km road from Saraipali to Jamhari, shed construction at Muktidhaam and a cement road at the village, the official said.Besides, he allotted Rs 5 lakh for construction of a community hall.The Chief Minister appreciated the efforts of women health workers who have achieved the target of cent per cent institutional deliveries in the district, he said.Singh has been visiting different parts of the state as part of `Lok Suraaj Abhiyaan’, a mass contact programme that seeks to address people’s grievances and take stock of implementation of development works and schemes.The third phase of the campaign started on April 4 and will conclude on May 20. During the campaign, the Chief Minister, his cabinet colleagues and senior officials conduct surprise inspection in villages and address people’s problems.

Jan Arogya Abhiyan tells Maha to address healthcare crisis

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jan Arogya Abhiyan, a statewide coalition of civil society organisations working on health issues since 2000, has asked the Maharashtra government to take a series of steps to implement the National Health Policy 2017.The group said that it is important to address the serious ‘illness’ of public health services in the state.Dr Abhay Shukla, Convenor, Jan Arogya Abhiyan (JAA), said, “At present, the expenditure on healthcare is around 0.5 per cent of the GDP, but to bring it to the levels that the National Health Policy recommends, it will have to be increased by 35 per cent anually for the next eight years.”The healthcare budget of the state is a combination of expenditure by the state and Centre of which the state contributes 65 per cent. But providing resources is not enough, said the group. Managing them and ensuring that plans are rolled out efficiently is crucial, especially in rural areas.“Funds can be lost to corruption. A community can monitor a primary healthcare centre much more efficiently. While it does happen in a significant way in Maharashtra, we want it to be generalised now,” he said.THEIR DEMANDSIncrease in state health budget by 35% for 2017-18, and raise it by the same level every year till 2025
Implement ‘Karnataka model’ where graduating MD/MS doctors are required to compulsorily serve in public hospitals for 3 years.
Enact long-pending ‘Patients Rights Act’ to protect rights of patients in private hospitals
Generalise community-based monitoring across public health services in Maharashtra

Bhushan’s effigy burnt for ‘offensive’ tweet on Lord Krishna

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The effigy of lawyer-politician Prashant Bhushan was burnt in Mathura and Vrindaban today for his controversial statement with remarks on Hindu Lord Krishna. The demonstrators also made a complaint to the police for filing a criminal case against Bhushan, Swaraj Abhiyan leader and Supreme Court lawyer. Bhushan had yesterday stoked a controversy with certain remarks on Lord Krishna while criticising the ‘anti-Romeo’ drive in Uttar Pradesh, following which he was booked for hurting religious feelings. The effigy was burnt at Nagar Palika crossing Vrindaban amidst chanting of slogans. “We all want him to be arrested as he has tried to spoil environment with his objectionable tweet on Lord Krishna,” said Fuldol Maharaj. Two applications in Vrindaban and one in Goverdhan have been given to police for filing of FIR by local Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha leaders who participated in the effigy-burning, police said. “Romeo loved just one lady, while Krishna was a legendary Eve teaser. Would (UP CM Yogi) Adityanath have the guts to call his vigilantes Anti-Krishna squads?” Bhushan had tweeted.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

BJP govt committed to build a new and developed Assam : CM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal today said the BJP-led government in Assam is committed to build a new and developed state based on the edifice of positive values. Sonowal, who was speaking the occasion of ceremonial cheque distribution to beneficiaries of Atal-Amrit Abhiyan said the government’s endeavour was to give quality treatment and through it. “We will continue to reach out to those suffering people who really need our help.” He said the government has been working to ensure equal development, equal dignity and equal opportunity to all sections of the people of the state by giving a boost to Centre’s ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Bikas’. He also requested people to keep a strict vigil on the government and keep a track on its performances so that it can keep working for the development of all. Health and Family Welfare Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said the government has fulfilled its pre-poll promises by launching the Atal-Amrit Abhiyan and made health care facilities accessible and affordable to all. Atal Amrit Abhiyan is a health assurance scheme launched by Assam Government on December 25 last year for the benefit of the economically poor people. Under the scheme, cheques of total Rs 22,50,0000 were distributed today among 3236 patients suffering from cancer, cardio vascular disease, kidney disorder, neurological conditions, burn injuries and neo-natal complications.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

No toilet, no work, Tamil Nadu village panchayat tells drought-hit farmers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Adding to the woes of drought-hit agricultural labourers, a village panchayat in Tuticorin district of Tamil Nadu has denied work under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) to people who did not build toilets in their homes as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.Taking objection to the non-existent rule, a farmer from the Theethampatty village, C Subbiah, 70, has now moved the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court. Acting on the petition, the Division Bench, headed by Justice A Selvam, on Friday issued a notice to the Tuticorin collector in this regard.”I am an agricultural labourer and I don’t have anybody to take care of me. Due to successive monsoon failure, there are no agricultural activities taking place in our village or in adjacent areas. So, I am entirely dependent on the wages provided under the MGNREGA scheme. Now, I have been left jobless with no other income,” he said.Almost 95 per cent of the people living in the Theethampatty village are engaged in MGNREGA and as many as 500 have job cards issued under the scheme. On February 13, the Theethampatty panchayat office assistant-cum-clerk orally declared that those who did not construct toilets under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan would not be provided work under the rural employment scheme, the petitioner said. The official had prepared a list of 200 such people, who he said were now ineligible for work.Subbiah said under the Swachh Bharat scheme, Rs 12,000 was provided to construct a toilet at home. But it required at least Rs 40,000 and people already affected by drought were not in a position to construct toilets, the petition stated.”Moreover, the grant of Rs 12,000 is provided only after the construction of the toilet. How can people with no jobs have money to construct a toilet? Over 100 houses in our village have only one room of 100 square feet each.There is no space to construct a toilet. Our practical difficulties were not being taken into account by officials, who insist on toilets to provide work,” S Ramar, another agricultural labourer from the village said.Subbiah said the panchayat official’s action was unwarranted and a violation of Article 21 (right to life) of the Indian Constitution, adding that the state government had extended the MGNREGA scheme by another 50 days to provide relief to drought-hit farmers.Earlier, Subbiah and some other villagers had taken up the issue with the Block Development Officer of Kayathar and also sent representation to the District Collector on March 6. But no action was taken.

Centre approves reconstruction package for flood-ravaged Uttarakhand

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Government of India on Wednesday approved a medium and long-term reconstruction package following the Uttarakhand disaster in 2013. Specific relaxation in the existing guidelines of Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS) Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Scheme (AIBP), Flood Management Programme (FMP), Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) & Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA), Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Employment of Adolescent Girls (SABALA) and Indira Gandhi Matritva Yojana (IMGSY)] were applicable in all the disaster affected areas in the entire State of Uttarakhand. Concerned Central Ministers earmarked central outlays under respective CSS for an amount of Rs. 1884.92 crores allotted during the financial years of 2013, 2014-15 and 2015-16 within its overall budgetary allocation for the 12th Five Year Plan. An amount of Rs. 50 crores allotted under Central Sector Plan Scheme during the financial years of 2014-15 and 2015-16 within its overall budgetary allocation for the 12th Five Year Plan for establishment of ?Environment Research and Training Center at Dehradun?. An amount of Rs. 1100 crores allotted under SPA during the financial years of 2014-15 and 2015-16 for reconstruction work restricted to five districts in Uttarakhand. The GOI released Rs. 1100 crores((Rs. 165 crores during 2013-14, Rs. 495 crores during 2014-15, Rs. 116.22 crores during 2015-16 and Rs. 323.78 crores during 2016-17) to the State on this account. This package was taken by erstwhile Planning Commission (now NITI Aayog) on 9th December 2013. This was stated by the Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri Kiren Rijiju in a written reply to question by Shri Mahendra Singh Mahra in the Rajya Sabha today. The 2013 Uttarakhand floods were the country?s most disastrous natural calamity since 2004 Tsunami in Tamil Nadu. Flash floods, cloudbursts and subsequent land slips led to massive floods in Uttarakhand, claiming the lives of thousands of pilgrims on chardham yatra for Himalayan shrines (Badrinath,Kedarnath,Gangotri and Yamnotri) were stranded. As per the list provided by the state government on 16th July 2013, more than 5,700 people were declared in the ?presumed dead? category, which included 934 local residents.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

CPI(M), TMC clash in RS over ‘strip search’ of SFI leaders at Alipore Central Jail

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Arch rivals CPI(M) and TMC today exchanged angry words in the Rajya Sabha over alleged strip searching of female student leaders in West Bengal.Jharna Das Baidya (CPI-M), through a Zero Hour mention, raised the issue of four female student leaders of the Students’ Federation of India (SFI) allegedly strip searched forcefully at the Alipore Central Jail last week. Instead of treating the students leaders as political activists, they were subjected to “illegal torture,” she alleged amid protests from TMC members. The raising of the issue was strongly objected to by the TMC with its leader Sukhendu Sekhar Roy saying, as per rules, any issue that is not a primary responsibility of Government of India cannot be raised in the House. An inquiry, he said, has already been ordered into the alleged incident.Rejecting Roy’s objection, Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien however said the line of demarcation between the Centre and the states is not sharp and is sometimes blurred with overlap of powers. Overruling the objections, he said the issue at hand is welfare of girl students. “All of us are concerned about welfare of girl students.” Sharad Yadav (JD-U) raised the issue of decreasing allocation to Sarva Siksha Abhiyan for universalising primary education.The spending on that head, he said, has declined from 0.55 per cent of the GDP in 2014-15 to 0.47 per cent this year.Also, not all demands put by the Human Resource Development Ministry has been accepted, he said. In 2015-16, Rs 36,331 crore was sought, but only Rs 28,258 crore was provided. In 2017-18, the allocation was only 57 per cent of the demanded Rs 35,000 crore was provided. While allocation for higher education has increased, that for primary eduction has not followed a similar pattern. He said it is an important issue and a debate should be allowed.

SC to hear Swaraj Abhiyan’s plea seeking assistance to drought

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Supreme Court will on Tuesday hear the PIL filed by Swaraj Abhiyan, seeking proper rehabilitation and financial assistance to the people of 11 drough affected states. The plea was filed by a Delhi based Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) ?Swaraj Abhiyan?, seeking directions from the apex court to the Central and state governments to provide timely and effective relief to drought affected people in several states. A Bench comprising Justices M.B. Lokur and N.V. Ramana will be hearing the case and senior Supreme Court advocate Prashant Bhushan will be representing the NGO. In May last year, the apex court had directed the drought-hit states to provide highly subsidised foodgrains to the affected people under the National Food Security (NFS) Act. The states are Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Odisha, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh. The Bench had pulled up Haryana, Gujarat and Bihar for refusing to declare drought, despite a sharp fall in the monsoon rains, a primary indicator for assessing people’s distress arising from water scarcity and crop failure. Gujarat declared drought only in some areas that too very late. The Bench had directed all the 12 states, including Haryana and Bihar, to provide five kilogram of food-grains per person a month at the price meant for below poverty line (BPL) families and this should be given to even those above the poverty line (APL) and those not holding ration cards.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

India to miss ODF 2019 target due to fund shortage: Panel

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The country will miss its target of becoming open defecation free by 2019 due to “insufficient allocation of funds” under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s much publicised ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’, a parliamentary panel said today. Expressing concern over reduction in funds for the clean India mission, the Standing Committee on Rural Development in its report noted that drinking water and sanitation were crucial areas and that the financial aid in these areas should not be reduced. The Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation under the Rural Development Ministry is the nodal authority for implementation of the clean India mission. “..due to insufficient allocation under Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Grameen), the Ministry will not be able to achieve goal of Open Defecation Free (ODF) by 2019,” the panel said. The committee further stated that reduction or insufficient fund allocation by NITI Aayog and the Finance Ministry would result in “reduction on the target of rural population to be covered with piped water supply.” Against the demand of Rs 25,000 crore for financial year 2017-18 for Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Grameen), an allocation of Rs 13,948.27 crore has been made for the clean India mission and Rs 6,050 crore for National Rural Drinking Water Programme, it said. Emphasising on the optimum utilisation of funds, the panel has suggested the Rural Development Ministry to ask for proper justifications from the NITI Aayog and the Finance Ministry in this regard. “The Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation needs adequate funds so that their future development plans are not hampered and targets fixed are achieved fully as per their timeliness,” the panel added. Swachh Bharat Abhiyan was launched on October 2, 2014 with an aim to make the country ODF by 2019. The clean India mission is divided in two parts –Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Grameen) and Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Urban).(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Bihar to become open defecation-free state by 2019: Minister

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bihar government has set an ambitious target to make the state open defecation-free by 2019, a minister said today. The state government has decided to provide assistance of Rs 12,000 to all those Above Poverty Line (APL) families under Lohia Swach Bihar Abhiyan scheme for construction of toilets as part of its target to make the state open defecation-free by 2019, Rural Development Minister Shrawan Kumar informed the legislative assembly. He was replying to a debate on his department’s budgetary allocation of Rs 9717.48 crore for 2017-18 which was subsequently passed by the ruling benches amid walk out by the opposition members at the fag end of the day’s proceedings. Kumar rued that the Centre has left out large number of poor families from coverage under the Swach Bharat Mission (Rural) as their names did not find a mention in the BPL list and said that eradication of open defecation will not succeed till all these families were included in the list and provided with assistance for construction of toilets. The Rural Development Minister said the state government was providing assistance of Rs 12,000 per family under Lohia Swach Bihar Abhiyan for construction of toilets in order to reduce the number of those people defecating in the open. Painting a grim picture of hygiene condition in rural areas, Kumar said that that out of 2.13 crore families residing in rural areas, a staggering 1.60 crore families did not have toilets in their houses which was a matter of concern and added that the state government has decided to expedite toilet construction on war footing by involving the elected representatives of panchayats and zila parishads. On the positive side, the state government has made one sub-division, 13 blocks, 526 gram panchayats and over 3000 villages open defecation-free, he said. Kumar said that the Centre’s Namani Gange scheme (for cleanliness of river Ganga) has also been put to use for setting a target of making 12 districts located on the banks of the sacred river and added that it has been decided to make 61 blocks, 307 gram panchayats and 473 villages of these districts open defecation-free and out of that 170 villages have already achieved the target. MORE(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

SC to decide if organisation with politicians as members can file PILs

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Friday said it would decide whether an organisation, whose members may also part of a political outfit, can file a public interest litigation (PIL) or not.The apex court’s observation came when Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi objected to a PIL filed by ‘Swaraj Abhiyan’, of which Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan are members, saying the same set of people had been registered a political party with the Election Commission of India.Swaraj Abhiyan is seeking an SIT probe into alleged irregularities in the purchase of an Agusta Westland helicopter by the Chhattisgarh government for VVIP use.Seeking dismissal of the PIL, Rohatgi told the bench of Justices Dipak Misra, A M Khanwilkar and M M Shantanagoudar that politicians cannot be allowed to approach the court with PILs to settle political scores.Taking note of the submission, the bench said it would first decide the “maintainability” of the plea and the issue whether such an organisation can file PILs. “The people behind this unregistered organization had sought registration as a political party called ‘Swaraj India’ before the Election Commission. Functionaries are the same in both the organisations,” the Attorney General said.Lawyer Prashant Bhushan opposed the plea of Rohatgi, saying ‘Swaraj Abhiyan’ is not a political outfit but an unregistered organisation fighting against corruption and for public welfare. Some members are common in both the organisation and the political party, he said, adding this does not render ‘Swaraj Abhiyan’ ineligible for filing a PIL.

Tendulkar joins LinkedIn, shares his life beyond cricket

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Four years ago, Indian batting legend Sachin Tendulkar decided to call it a day and retired from all forms of cricket. On March 2, Tendulkar joined social media site LinkedIn, becoming the first Indian sportsperson influencer, and shared the tale behind what prompted him to retire. During the champions trophy in October 2013, Tendulkar recalls that he had to force himself to wake up and go about his day. “My mornings would start with a gym workout, a routine I had been following for 24 years. But that morning in October, something had changed. Were these signs… signs that I should stop? Signs that the game that has been so dear to me, would no longer be a part of my daily routine?” Tendulkar wrote. Recalling when his idol Sunil Gavaskar decided to call it a day, Tendulkar said that he had made up his mind to quit when he found himself checking the clock to see how much time there was left for lunch and tea intervals.“Suddenly I knew exactly what he meant. My mind and my body were telling me the same thing. Maybe, it’s time to hang up my boots,” he wrote.Tendulkar knew that he would miss the energy from the crowds.After he finally retired in Mumbai, the first thing that crossed Tendulkar’s head was, “What now?”“One of the highlights of my post-cricket years has been the adoption of Puttamraju Kandriga, a village in Andhra Pradesh. Seeing the village don a new look after two years of intensive infrastructural development had a joy that can’t be put into words,” says Tendulkar, while talking about his second innings. In addition, Tendulkar is involved in a project called ‘Spreading Happiness’ that provides electricity to deprived areas.“Arrangements to tap solar energy have been made in over 73 villages and nearly 25,000 people have been impacted by the same. The mission to ‘light up’ homes across the length and breadth of the country will continue,” he said.While he also is actively involved in the ‘Swacch Bharat Abhiyan’, and has time to focus on other sports such as football (Tendulkar co-owns the Kerala Blasters ISL team), the cricket legend says the most important changes in his second innings are the changes he has made in his personal life. “Now, I have more time for my family, to travel, pursue my passions and focus on things that are close to my heart, ones that I can now explore. The love and affection from fans has remained unchanged, the chants still resonate and appear wherever I travel, which is amazing and something for which I am eternally grateful,” he said.

‘Cheeky ABVP why so creepy’: DU reverbates with protest after Ramjas ruckus

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Cries for ‘azaadi’ and the ‘cheeky ABVP why so creepy’, reverberated the DU campus during an anti-ABVP march joined by over 2,000 students and teachers against “onslaught” on universities and “curb” on dissent. Students, teachers and non-teaching staff from various universities including JNU, Jamia and Ambedkar University, participated in the protest march. The march was organised following recent violence at the Ramjas college which saw clashes between ABVP and Left-backed AISA over cancellation of a seminar invite to JNU students Umar Khalid and Shehla Rashid following opposition the RSS’ students’ wing.Massive police deployment was in place at the North Campus. Two AISA members were allegedly attacked by ABVP supporters following which an FIR has been registered by Delhi police. The protest march which comes a day after ABVP’s ‘Tiranga March’ was also joined by few politicians including Left leaders Sitaram Yechury and D Raja, Swaraj Abhiyan’s Yogendra Yadav and AAP’s Pankaj Pushkar, who discarded the ABVP’s “idea of violence for nationalism”.Fearing rerun of last-week violence, massive police deployment was seen on the varsity’s North Campus as protesters continued with their march till they reached the Vivekananda statue in the Art’s faculty– the traditional protest site of ABVP. Buoyed by the turnout at today’s protest, DU students have decided to take out another march from Mandi House to Parliament on March 4 in protest against ABVP.
ALSO READ This all my 20-year-old can take: Gurmehar Kaur pulls out of protest against ABVP Addressing the protesters, Swaraj Abhiyan leader Yogendra Yadav said, “We will learn our nationalism from Bhagat Singh and not from them whose forefathers never hoisted the national flag at their headquarters. Neither will we tolerate nor will we engage in violence. The protest is not about Left or Right but wrong and right”.Yadav was apparently referring to RSS which till recently did not hoist the tricolour at their Nagpur headquarters.CPI leader Sitaram Yechury said, “They cannot win this with their intellectual skill and want to replace it with violence. Humara nationalism is “we are Indian’ and not ‘who is a Hindu’?” “This is a collective fight to defend our constitutional rights. We will be raising the issue of DU in Parliament,” CPI (M) leader D Raja said. JNU students Kanhaiya Kumar and Shehla Rashid also joined the march demanding “non-violence” on campuses even as ABVP members raised “go back Kanhaiya” slogans. Later in the evening, the Congress-affiliated National Students Union of India (NSUI) took out a “mashal rally” against “ABVP’s attempts to curb students’ freedom of expression and misusing ‘nationalism’ to further their agenda”. The NSUI, at the same time, condemned the “violent ways” of the Left in handling of the situation.

Online campaign seeks disabled-friendly measures in railways

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A wheelchair-bound young woman from the city has launched an online campaign seeking “disabled-friendly” measures in Indian railways. Virali Modi, the first runner-up at the Miss Wheelchair India contest in 2014, has put up an online petition on change.org. Her plea has even caught the attention of Union Minister Maneka Gandhi, who has requested Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu to make required changes on “mission mode”. The petition has so far found 94,210 supporters. Virali, who wanted to become a model and actor but lost her legs due to malaria in 2006, has recounted her ordeal while travelling in trains. In the petition, she says, “I’ve been groped and manhandled three separate times by porters. They were helping me board the train because Indian trains are not wheelchair accessible. I am a disabled woman living in Mumbai who loves to travel.” “I have had to wear a diaper, because I couldn’t use the train bathroom. And when I needed to change that diaper, I had no privacy and had to wait for hours for the lights to go off at night…The railways treat the disabled as a piece of luggage. This needs to stop!” “According to The Disability Rights bill, there need to be facilities available for those with disabilities. The Railway Ministry has been talking of making trains disabled friendly but in reality, we are still humiliated every single time because of poor implementation,” she said in the plea. Virali has also put forth the suggestions which need to be implemented to make Accessible India Campaign (Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan) successful. “Accessible bathrooms with proper space inside, clean and higher toilets, low sinks, accessible coaches in all trains, curtains around the berths to change and Proper infrastructure to cross railroads if needed to change platforms are the basic facilities that a disabled needs,” she has written. She said that besides these infrastructure related demands, I also want an attitudinal shift in the way the disabled are treated. A disability rights activist and a motivational speaker, Virali, who is currently in Pennsylvania, told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Swaraj India invites applicants who wish to contest MCD polls

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Kickstarting the process of selecting candidates for civic polls, Yogendra Yadav-led Swaraj India today “invited” applicants who wish to enter the electoral fray. Yadav said thrust would be on women and youth while selecting the candidates,”however, there will be no compromise on people with 4 Cs —- bad character, criminal record, corruption and communal.” The party also announced a three-tier screening system to choose candidates for the polls to 272 civic wards of three municipal bodies, namely the NDMC, EDMC and SDMC, scheduled this year. “We are inviting those who think they want to be a part of the electoral process, wish to contest polls and bring in a change. We invite them all,” Yadav said. He said the party has uploaded the form on the website of Sawraj Abhiyan, the parent body of Swaraj India. The applicants will be first vetted by a screening committee for the ‘4Cs’. Candidates will be further short-listed by the selection committee headed by party’s general secretary Ajit Jha. Names of the selected candidates will be made public. “If anyone has information about any incident related to the 4Cs, people can inform the party,” said Yadav, who was expelled along with noted lawyer Prashant Bhushan from Aam Aadmi Party in 2015. “The claims will be investigated by an Integrity Committee of six people headed by noted RTI activist Anjali Bharadwaj. If this committee finds the claim to be genuine, then the decision of the panel will be mandatory,” Yadav said. The panel will work independent of the party and none of the members are associated with Swaraj India, he added. The names of the candidates will be announced after February 12, when Swaraj India will have its ‘Jawab Do Hisab Do’ rally at the Ramlila Maidan, where it will ask for an account of work done by the Delhi government and the BJP-ruled civic bodies. Incidentally, the AAP too had a similar system in December 2013 assembly polls, where candidates were invited and selected through a selection process. However, the process was discontinued in Delhi Assembly polls, 2015, and Punjab polls. Last year, Swaraj Abhiyan had also backed a candidate in a MCD by-poll in Wazirpur for which it had adopted a model similar to one used in the US primaries. Candidate was zeroed down after extensive debate among those who wished to contest polls. Finally people were asked to select their candidate, who was backed by Swarak Abhiyan. However, in the polls, the candidate could barely manage a few hundred votes.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Experts say hike in MNREGA funds nominal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Civil society groups on Wednesday said that the allocation to MNREGA has seen a mere 1% jump as opposed to reports of a 25% increase. “Last year’s allocation of Rs 38,500 crores was increased to Rs 47,500 crore by ​t​wo supplementary allocations during the course of the year,” read a statement released by People’s Action for Employment Guarantee. The statement, signed by Aruna Roy, Shankar Singh and Nikhil Dey of the Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan, Kamayani Swamy and Ashish Ranjan of the Jan Jagran Shakti Sangathan and Annie Raja of the National Federation of Indian Women, also said that as of now, 22 out of 34 States have negative balances. “As per the Ministry’s own data a total of Rs 3,469 crores in pending liabilities have already piled up, even as they have spent 93% of the funds available for this financial year. This is likely to dramatically go up over the next two months, as traditionally demand for work has peaked during this season,” read the report.In an order on the ongoing Swaraj Abhiyan PIL; the SC directed the government to release adequate funds to the state government in time and even asked it to “shape up”. “Despite this, as per the Ministry’s mechanism of preparing indicative labour budgets, even to honour only the approved budget for the months of February 2017 and March 2017, nearly Rs 10,013 crores would be required (at the average cost per person day of Rs 228). This means that we would end the year with close to Rs 13,482 crores in pending liabilities, and a budgetary allocation that has not even kept pace with last year’s amount in real terms. At present 54% of the wage payments continue to be delayed, and as a result Rs. 231 crores of compensation to workers also remains due,” read the statement.

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