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24 hours power to all by March 2019: Power Minister R K Singh

By March 2019, all homes in the country will be provided uninterrupted 24-hour power supply throughout the year, Power Minister R K Singh said on Thursday.Singh said 1,694 villages, which are yet to be electrified, will have electricity connection by December 2018 and works in this regard has been going on.All homes will get 24-hour power by March 2019, he said during Question Hour in the Lok Sabha.Singh also said a new law will be enacted to impose penalties on power discoms in case of failure to provide uninterrupted power after March 2019, except due to technical reasons.The minister said the government has set a target of reducing the transmission and distribution (T&D) losses of power from the current 21 per cent to 15 per cent by January 2019.He said Rs 1,75,000 crore is being spent to improve the power infrastructure across the country.”Some T&D losses are inherent in the system. These are termed technical losses. As per a study, the technical losses range approximately from 2.62 per cent to 7.71 per cent.”Additional losses are caused by theft. At the all-India level, energy loss in T&D for the year 2015-16 was 240864.31 million units (21.81 per cent). As per estimates, reduction of 1 per cent in T&D losses results in a saving of Rs 4,146.60 crore in terms of power purchase cost,” he said.

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Secularism was in DNA of Indians much before it was enshrined in constitution: Venkaiah Naidu

Praising the Parsi community for its contribution towards the nation building and the country’s economy, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu said secularism was in the DNA of every Indian much before it was enshrined in the Constitution.Naidu was addressing the members of the Parsi community at the concluding ceremony of the three-day Iranshah Utsav at Udvada in Valsad district of Gujarat, about 200 kms from here yesterday.”‘Sarva dharma sama bhava’ (equality of all religions) epitomises India’s secular ethos. India is a land of diverse cultures and religions. Secularism was in the DNA of every Indian much before it was enshrined in the Constitution,” he said. “The values of tolerance and respect for all religions have been part of the Indian ethos from time immemorial.Unless there is social cohesion, communal harmony and religious tolerance, the progress and development of the country will suffer,” Naidu added. The contribution of the Parsi community in the economy of the country is significant, which is why India’s economy ranks third in the world now, he claimed. He also lauded the community for making “invaluable contribution” towards the nation building and in diverse fields.Also readYoga does not have a religious connotation: Venkaiah Naidu”Freedom fighter Dadabhai Naoroji, industrialist JRD Tata, nuclear scientist Homi Bhabha, music conductor Zubin Mehta are a few among the several stalwarts, who contributed towards India’s growth and glory,” Naidu said. “Although Parsi community represents a minuscule portion of our total population, the contribution made by them in the overall economic development of the country has always remained in the forefront,” he added. According to Naidu, the government would endeavour to make Udvada a global destination for tourism.Udvada Utsav, which started in 2015 on the initiative of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, showcases the glorious history of Parsis over 1,300 years. Vada Dasturji Khurshed K Dastoor, high priest of Iranshah Atash Behram, Udvada and member of National Commission for Minorities, said, “Shreeji Pak Iranshah (Atashbehram) is the link between the past and present times of the Parsi community. It is the witness to the religious pride of our illustrious forefathers and proof of inspiration for younger generation.”

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Remembering Mahamana, Pt Madan Mohan Malviya.

A revered figure of the Indian Freedom struggle, Madan Mohan Malviya is remembered for his numerous contribution in development of modern India. Yet among all the aspects of his majestic personality, it is for his seamless will to ‘serve the country’ that he is remembered most by followers. It was indeed a reflection of this spirit to serve the country that a staunch believer and founder of Banaras Hindu University at Varanasi, Malviya was not in favour of being cremated at the city. On being questioned for his reservation towards being cremated at Varanasi, a holy city being cremated where is considered a fortune among Hindu believers, Malviya answered “Cremated at Varanasi, a man is supposed to attain Moksha, freedom from cycle of death and reincarnation, but I aspire to take another birth to further serve the country”.This was level of his selfless dedication and servitude for the motherland, it is for the same that government of India bestowed on him with honour of Bharat Ratna and the public adored him with title of “Mahamana”. During his entire life, he contributed to establishment of several institutions in addition to Banaras Hindu University, that at time of its foundation in 1916 was the largest residential university at Asia. Among the other institutions to have bloomed under his patronage included Banaras Engineering College and Scouting at India. These institute over the years have further carried on his legacy and produced several gems to serve the country.However, this prized son of India was born in a humble family at a holy city of Prayag on December 25, 1861. His family did not had a political legacy but an academic background that reflected in his personality throughout his life. Even as a youth in colonial India, Malviya was drawn towards the independence movement, his idea for reconstruction of India was par beyond independence from British suppression. His vision was for a society free from bondages such as untouchability and caste divide. He also held immense concern for the environment and even as he paved way of development of institutes of science and engineering, he also initiated movement for safeguarding the holy river Ganga from pollution.As a grateful country remembers him on his 157th birth anniversary, the importance of his works is further reflected as nearly seven decades after Independence the Indian government has went assertive on Clean Ganga mission and Education is being emerged as a major tool for development of India’s huge population in a human resource for the country.

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India is being polarised; community is losing confidence in government: Top Catholic body

The President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) Cardinal Baselios Cleemis on Friday stated that India is getting polarized due to religious affiliation, and the community was losing confidence in the government.In an Indian Express report, Cardinal Cleemis also said that the country was being devided on basis of religious beliefs, which was a bad thing for a democratic nation. “I want my country to be united in a secular fabric. But now, this country is being polarised due to religious affiliations. We should fight against it,” he added.Cleemis’ remarks comes a week after carol singers in a village near Satna in Madhya Pradesh were detained following Bajrang Dal activists alleging they were indulging in forced conversions.Also readCarol singers and priests detained in MP: Bajrang Dal claims forced conversation, Catholic organisations fumeCleemis led a delegation of the CBCI, which met Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday to express their “pain and anguish and seek justice”. Cleemis said Singh’s “spontaneous response” was positive and he assured immediate action. “He said he will see to it that justice is done. I hope he will do his best,” he said, adding that the allegations of forced conversion were baseless.He wanted the government to “decide serious measures to safeguard the interest of citizens. “Make sure that innocent people are treated properly and given protection. The culprits should be punished for their bad acts and for damaging the image of the country. We should stay together, united in diversity,” he said, while speaking to the daily.

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Central min blames power plants for coal shortage in country

Ministry of coal has blamed the power plants for the shortage of coal across the country which happened recently. Notably, apart from other states, Rajasthan power plants also suffered a scarcity of coal which resulted in power cuts across the state during October month.In a reply in Lok Sabha , the ministry replying to question of scarcity of coal in the country, stated that primarily due to failure on the part of the power houses in maintaining stock of coal , as per central electricity authority (CEA) guidelines, during the lean power generation period and unexpected spurt in the demand of thermal power arising out of drop in power generation from other sources, like nuclear, hydro and wind energy during the 2nd quarter of 2017-18 there was a drop in the stock position with the thermal power plants.The ministry also added that abnormally heavy monsoon in mine areas affected production loading at mines and transportation of coal. With increased coal dispatch from coal India limited sources and continuous monitoring, the situation of coal stock improved at the powerhouses.The coal ministry has also informed that the despatch during the period April to December 2017, grew by about 9% as compared to despatch during the same period of 2016-17.This increased coal supply has been mainly responsible for the 4.7% increase in coal-based power generation. Notably, due to coal crisis in the state, electricity department had resorted to power cut of 2 hours in district headquarters, municipality areas and 3 hours in rural areas in October.There was power cut for two hours in district headquarters and municipality. The coal shortage had lead to a deficit of 3,000 MW of power per day in the state. This had created a serious imbalance in demand and supply of power which had forced electricity companies to resort to load shedding.

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Gujarat Elections 2017: Rahul Gandhi says PM Modi has credibility problem, BJP ridicules

The Gujarat poll outcome sparked a political war of words today with Congress president Rahul Gandhi calling it a “massive jolt” to the BJP, drawing ridicule from the ruling party that he was “enjoying defeat as victory” under an illusion.The BJP win by a reduced margin yesterday also led its key ally Shiv Sena to launch a stinging attack on its senior partner, saying it was a “warning bell” to those who believed in an autocratic rule and that “the much-touted Gujarat model has shaken.” Gandhi also hit out at Modi’s Gujarat model of development, calling it “good propaganda and able marketing”, but which is “hollow from within.” The BJP fought off a strong challenge from Congress to win the Gujarat assembly polls for the sixth straight time since 1995.Also read’What jolt? 19 states are now with us,’ BJP takes down Rahul Gandhi on Gujarat verdictThe BJP won 99 seats in the 182-member assembly, down from 115 it won in 2012, and far lower than the 150-plus seats it had hoped for. It is also for the first time that the BJP’s tally slipped below the 100 mark since the party formed its maiden government on its own in 1995. The Congress, spearheaded by Gandhi, won 77 seats, up by 16 seats. Gandhi also raised questions about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s credibility after he led his party to a narrow victory in his home state. He claimed the Gujarat results indicated that the country was not listening to Modi any more and took a dig at his Gujarat model of development. “I came to know there (in Gujarat) that people actually do not accept Modiji’s model.”It was thought that the Congress will not be able to fight the BJP in Gujarat…You saw the results and it has dealt a ‘zabardast jhatka’ (a massive jolt) to the BJP in Gujarat,” Gandhi told reporters in Delhi. The new Congress president called the poll outcome a “very good result” and a moral victory for his party. “We lost, but we could have won…But fell short by a small margin. “A big question has been raised on Modiji’s credibility. Frankly, Modiji has a credibility problem and he will find it very difficult… Because what he is saying, his forces and his organisation are repeating that.”But the country is not listening to that. This, the Gujarat election has shown. In the coming times, you will see this clearly,” he said. Talking of credibility, he said while Modi spoke “non-stop” about corruption, he never uttered a word about Jay Shah (BJP chief Amit Shah’s son) or Rafale fighter jet deal, which the Congress claims was against the country’s interest and encouraged crony capitalism.”The country wants to know that you talked non-stop of corruption. Jay Shah, son of Amit Shah, turned Rs 50,000 into 80 crore in three months, there has been a scam in Rafale deal, why don’t you talk of this. This is the credibility issue,” he said. Gandhi said Gujarat sent out a message to the BJP and Modi that the “anger” within them would not work. The Congress chief, who vigorously campaigned in Gujarat, said in three months the state and its people taught him one thing that one can defeat opponents only with love and brotherhood, and not anger, money or force. Mahatma Gandhi told this to the country and this feeling is embedded deeply in Gujarat.”Gujarat has given a message to Modi ji and the BJP that the anger within you will not help you and love will defeat it,” he said.To a question about Modi’s assertion that the BJP’s win was an endorsement of his development agenda and economic reforms like the GST, the Congress president said, “It is strange as in his poll speeches he did not talk about development, nor about GST and note ban.” Responding to Gandhi’s attack, senior BJP leader Prakash Javadekar claimed the poll outcome had actually jolted the Congress. “We (the BJP) won both state Assembly elections and in Gujarat for the sixth time. Actually this is a jolt for the Congress,” Javadekar told reporters shortly after Gandhi’s attack on Modi and the BJP.The Union minister also alleged that the Congress tried to adopt divisive politics in Gujarat. However, people put their faith in Modi and in his development agenda, he said. Javadekar said he was amused to hear that the Congress president had described the results as a big jolt to the BJP. “It seems Rahul is under the illusion and enjoying defeat as victory. This shows his dynastic arrogance and is an insult to the people’s mandate,” he said.Reacting sharply to Gandhi’s remark raising questions on Modi’s credibility, Javadekar said it was the Congress which was losing its credibility among the people in the country, because of which, he added, the party was losing election after election.The Sena attack on the BJP came in an editorial in its mouthpiece ‘Saamana’, The Sena said the BJP had “barely managed to pass” the electoral exam but was pretending to have passed with distinction. The BJP won Gujarat and Himachal, but the Congress also did not lose, the editorial said. This election result in Gujarat is a “warning bell for those who believe in an autocratic rule,” the Sena said.

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40,000 Rohingya living illegally in India, Kiren Rijiju tells Lok Sabha

Around 40,000 Rohingya migrants were illegally living in India and none of them had been deported so far, Union minister Kiren Rijiju informed Parliament on Tuesday.In a written reply to a question, the Union minister of state for home affairs informed the Lok Sabha that the entry of illegal migrants was clandestine and surreptitious and thus, an accurate figure of how many of them were currently living in the country was not available.As per an estimate, the number of Rohingya migrants could be around 40,000, he said, adding that none of them had been deported so far.Rijiju said though India was not a signatory to the 1951 United Nations Convention on the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol thereon, the country’s track record in dealing with or providing protection to refugees had internationally been acclaimed.He added that there was no legislation to deal with refugees and asylum-seekers in India.

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Gandhi succeeds Gandhi

Formally taking over the mantle of the 132-year-old Indian National Congress, the country’s oldest party, Rahul Gandhi, 47, gave a pep talk to party workers on Saturday, telling Congress cadres to stand up to “regressive” BJP and accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of “taking India back to medieval times”.Launching a direct attack on Modi, he said: “Congress took India to the 21st century, but today the PM is taking us back to the medieval times, where you hear and see killings, hate, and fires everyday. Nobody else seems to have a voice except him.”Accusing the BJP of promoting hate and violence, he said: ” These regressive forces win not because they deserve to but because they are powerful and misuse that power.”Claiming that Congress was different from BJP, he said that his party, known as the ‘grand old party’, so far, will now become the ‘grand old new party’.The new party president, the sixth member of the Nehru-Gandhi family to lead the political outfit, has taken charge from his mother at a time when the party is facing one of its worst crises, with the BJP occupying the centrestage of national politics and getting increasingly robust in states.At a time when the Congress has left a trail of defeats in a series of state polls, starting with its worst ever debacle in 2014 Lok Sabha polls, Rahul underlined the need for party workers to connect with the people. He said he wanted the Congress to become an “instrument for dialogue between Indian people from all corners, religions, ethnicities, ages, genders, and for our dialogue to always be led by love and affection”.The Congress president, who has often accused the ruling BJP of doing ‘politics of polarisation’, also advised party workers to eschew negativity.He also said that while the BJP wanted to wipe the Congress from the country’s political map, the Congress considered BJP members its brothers and sisters. “They want an India free of Congress, they want to erase us but the Congress’s inclusion and respect for all Indians extends even to the BJP. We do not fight hate with hate. They crush voice, we allow the most vulnerable to sing. They defame, we respect and defend. They might control the structures of power, the machinery of silence and fear, but we in the Congress, we are the bastion of the people. It is in this service that my idealism, your idealism, and our hope for politics always rests,” he said.Rahul, who had at the time of his elevation as party vice-president in 2013 recalled his mother Sonia Gandhi telling him that “power is poison”, on Saturday told party workers that “like many Indians across the country, I am an idealist”.Gandhi’s elevation, which had been the anvil ever since Sonia Gandhi underwent a surgery in the US in 2011, marks a generational shift in the party that is battling uncertainties both within and without, mainly in the form of onslaughts of its bitter rival, BJP.Speaking to party workers for the first time as the president, Rahul said he entered politics 13 years ago because of his “profound belief in this country”.”When I joined politics as a 34 year old, I came into this world having watched the generation before me fight the structures of oppression, the structures whose very fuel is lies and silence. When I entered politics 13 years ago, I wished to be a part of the awakening that would transform India at home, by ensuring dignity for all its people, and in the world, where we would step into a role that resonated globally,” he said.He further said that the party must never back down when under attack from the BJP. He urged the workers to stand up to them and that “their anger and hatred makes all of us stronger”.The function, in which returning officers Mullappally Ramachandran and Bhubaneswar Kalita gave Rahul the certificate of winning the election, also saw the presence of former PM Manmohan Singh, Motilal Vora, Janardan Dwivedi, and Madhusudan Mistry on the dais. While handing him over the certificate, Ramachandran reminded Rahul that the office he was going to occupy was once occupied by a “galaxy of stalwarts”, including Mahatma Gandhi, his own great-grandfather Jawaharlal Nehru, Sarojini Naidu, Subhash Chandra Bose, Madan Mohan Malviya etc.Meanwhile, as old and seasoned leaders fear that the generational shift might trickle down to key posts as Rahul gets down to forming his own team over the next few months, sources close to Rahul told DNA that he will strike a balance, to draw on the experience of the party’s “old guard” in advisory roles.

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‘Ray of hope’: Wishes pour in from politicos for Rahul Gandhi as he becomes Congress President

Wishes poured in for Rahul Gandhi from various opposition parties as he took over the reins of the Congress party today, with RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav saying the whole nation “wants to see him as the next prime minister”.Forty-seven-year-old Gandhi responded to the leaders on Twitter, saying, “thank you”. The leaders hoped that Gandhi would strive for the welfare of the people, put up a fight to protect secular fabric of the country. Former Bihar deputy chief minister and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav lauded Gandhi for “redefining” Indian politics. Also readCongress prez Rahul Gandhi pays tribute to martyrs of 1971 warYadav said Gandhi has proved his mettle in inclusive, secular and liberal politics. The RJD leader said the youth feels “duped and cheated” under the current BJP-led NDA regime. “And this respect, Rahul Gandhi ji is being seen as a ray of hope to bring this pessimistic politics to an end. The whole nation wants to see him as the next prime minister of India,” Yadav said in a video message posted on the Congress’s Twitter handle. Also readBJP rakes up Madhu Koda’s sentencing to target Rahul Gandhi on his first day as Congress PresidentReferring to a line “that there are many promises to keep, miles to go before I sleep” from Robert Frost’s poem, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury hoped it would be the guiding motto for Gandhi during his stewardship of the Congress. “In Indian politics, we wish all those who have taken up new responsibilities the best. Our wishes to him in discharging these responsibilities only with the hope that it will be in the interest of the people and the country,” he said in a video message on the Congress’s Twitter handle. “Congratulations Rahul ji for this big responsibility and our best wishes for all ur endeavours,” Delhi Chief Minister and AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal tweeted.In a video message posted on the Congress’s Twitter handle, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav noted Gandhi’s responsibilities have now become greater and hoped he would make consistent efforts to take the grand old party forward. DMK working president M K Stalin also joined the leaders in wishing Gandhi, hoping he would restore glory of secularism. “Am confident that he will fulfil the aspirations and hopes of the people and restore the glory of Secularism, Socialism and Federalism. @OfficeOfRG,” Stalin tweeted. Taking to Twitter, Congress’s chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said that the party takes a pledge for a new movement that is free from fear, fascism, prejudices, equity and true democracy.”New Energy, Newer steps, New Challenges & Navsarjan! Under the leadership of Rahulji, We shall write a golden chapter for Our Nation!” Surjewala tweeted.Facing the uphill task of reviving a moribund party, Rahul Gandhi today took over as the Congress president, and immediately hit out at the BJP, accusing it of spreading hatred and violence in the country.”They break, we unite. They ignite fire, we douse it. They get angry, we love. This is the difference between them and us,” he told party workers.Gandhi, who was heralded by the 132-year-old party’s top brass, family members and boisterous rank-and-file, alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was taking India back to the medieval times.In his first speech to party workers after his formal takeover, he set the tone of its future course and how the party would take on its arch-rival BJP, saying the Congress was for inclusive politics and that it respects all Indians that extends even to the ruling party.The 47-year-old Gandhi family scion said he took over the party reins knowing that he would always be walking in the “shadow of giants”.”Today, the BJP people are trying to spread fire and violence in the entire country and only the force of lovable Congress workers and leaders can stop them,” he said.Before he gave his first address, he sought his mother Sonia Gandhi’s blessings and kissed her on the forehead.Attacking Modi, he said the Congress took India into the 21st century, “while the prime minister today is taking us backward, to a medieval past where people are butchered because of who they are, beaten for what they believe and killed for what they eat”.This ugly violence in the country, he said, has “shamed us” in the world as India’s philosophy and history, born out of love and compassion, are being tarnished by such horror.In an emotionally charged final speech as the Congress chief while passing on the party’s mantle to her son, Sonia Gandhi said the grand old party should set its house in order and introspect while readying for any sacrifice to stop communal forces in the country.She exuded confidence that Rahul would lead the party with courage, patience and devotion. He has endured many personal attacks which have made him “fearless”, she said.She also voiced concern over the alleged attacks on the core constitutional and fundamental values of the country by the BJP and asked party workers not to relent in the fight against such forces.”We are all witness to daily attacks on our fundamental values, against the freedom of speech and expression, against our rich diverse culture, and an atmosphere of fear and suspicion is being created.”Amid this, the Congress must look within and introspect and forge ahead. If we do not stand by our principles, we will not be able to wage this fight for the common people. This is a moral battle and to achieve success, we must set our house in order and be ready for any kind of sacrifice,” she said.Sonia Gandhi said the country was facing “unprecedented challenges”, but stressed that the party was not going to be scared and would fight it out.She recalled the times when she entered politics after losing her “anchor” (Rajiv Gandhi) and “mother” (Indira Gandhi), and how with the support of Congress workers she steered the party to power both at the Centre and in state after state.Congratulating Rahul Gandhi on his elevation, she said personal attacks on him have made him fearless and voiced confidence that his leadership will infuse new vigour in the party.”I am confident that with a new and young leadership, our party will be reinvigorated and bring about changes we need. You have chosen Rahul as your leader. He is my son, and it is not right for me to praise him,” she said.Former prime minister Manmohan Singh said Rahul Gandhi will sustain the “politics of hope” which is needed in the country and not allow the “politics of fear” to take over.In his brief address at an event where the new Congress president was handed over a formal certificate by the party’s election authority, Singh said certain “disturbing trends” are noticeable in the country’s polity and the people were depending on Rahul Gandhi to transform it.Singh described the day as “unique” in the party’s history and said Rahul Gandhi’s leadership would bring a new sense of dedication and commitment to steer the party to greater heights of glory.He also praised Sonia Gandhi for the “powerful and magnificent” leadership provided by her to the Congress which would go down in the annals of its history.”As a distinguished academic pointed out a few days ago, there are dangers that the politics of fear will take over from the politics of hope,” the former prime minister said, apparently targeting the BJP.”May your path be blessed,” he said as he ended his speech.Rahul Gandhi was given the certificate in the presence of Sonia Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Robert Vadra and several senior party leaders.The new party chief also met PCC delegates from various states thanking them for electing him unopposed.There was chaos outside the AICC headquarters where party workers gathered in large numbers to witness the event, making it difficult even for senior party leaders to enter the premises.While there was bursting of crackers outside the venue, women played with ‘gulal’ and young party workers danced to the beats of ‘dhol’.Posters and banners were put up in Lutyens’ Delhi and traffic was halted around the AICC office on Akbar Road.

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Five years of Nirbhaya case: DCW chief writes to PM on things remaining stagnant

Delhi Commission for Women Swati Maliwal on Friday expressed the need to increase the punishment of rape cases of children to death penalty within six months of the crime. Maliwal wrote a detailed letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in which she also stressed on the need to increase resources for police and forensic labs across the country.Mariwal’s letter to the prime minister comes on the eve of the fifth anniversary of the December 16 Delhi case in which a physiotherapy student was gang raped and murdered by a group of six people onboard a bus. The victim was accompanied by a friend who was also beaten up. Both of them were thrown out of the bus on the roadside.Maliwal also tweeted on the victim late Friday. “At the time of the incident, the nation cried for change, but in all this time things remain the same,” she said, further alleging that the money from the Nirbhaya fund that was established has not been used properly.”A report in UK’s The Guardian said that 24,923 rapes reported nationwide, 3,035 occurred in the large cities. “The number of reported rapes elsewhere in the country was more than seven times higher (despite some cases arguably going unreported) than the number of those reported in the main cities. But the police seem to be selective about what they investigate,” the report added.So why are so few rape cases reported? Studies suggest that women report crimes if female police officers are present. In March this year, the government admitted a shortage of women in the force, saying that only 7% of the total police strength in India comprised women.Secondly, the Indian police is short-staffed. A 2013 Indian Express report said that the rural police in the country did not even meet the 1960 standard, while a revelation in the Lok Sabha in 2016 showed that India was short of half a million police officers across the country.

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Global Partnership Summit: India-Japan-Africa partnership to usher in new era of global development

The partnership between India-Japan-Africa can usher in a new era of global development, experts concurred on Wednesday in early morning discussions at the Global Partnership Summit.“India-Japan-Africa Global partnership (IJAGP) promotes people to people partnership besides a sustainable and empowerment based social-economic global framework. One has to work towards a common objective of establishing an alternative development model framework,” said Vibhav Kant Upadhyay, founder, chairman, global partnership summit.Upadhyay added that India and Japan already have a strong and vibrant development framework based on non-bilateral cooperation. “Going forward, we look to the African nations to create a geo-political partnership for an equitable global order,” he said.Also readThe Asia-Africa Growth Corridor is the answer to OBOR Bilali Camara, Country Director, UNAIDS India said for the benefit of humanity, the partnership between the three has to continue. “Healthcare is very important and with our continued partnership, we can eliminate AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria from both Africa and India,” he saidWe have to go behind best medical care, it has to be sharing of best knowledge, best advise which has to be given to people so that they can protect themselves, Camara said.Africa is set for a leap in next decade with upward moving socio economic indicators and there is untapped potential for shared growth and peaceful development. Africa has a strong desire for assuring sustainable future for its people.“IJAGP’s growth model is based on the principles of alternative development model of empowerment and not on the existing model of exploitation,” Upadhyay added.There are many common factors between India-Africa relationship such as partners in freedom struggle, strong people to people contact, trade ties, traditional societies, young demography and close cultural ties.The way forward would be to respect sovereignty of each African state, building partnerships or joint ventures between Indian Japanese African governments or companies and empowering local inhabitants.Community development is the best model forward. Human rights are critical to this development and right to access healthcare is also very important, Camara said.Doga Makiura, a Japanese social entrepreneur, who has an online education firm with presence in Indonesia, Phillipines, Mexico, is looking to tap into African market to train youth there. “Currently, we are looking at Nigeria, Ghana and West Africa to offer our online education services. We need human capital, there is dearth of skilled young people in Japan,” he said.

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Jawaharlal Nehru divided the nation, Sardar Patel united it: RSS leader Indresh Kumar

RSS leader Indresh Kumar today said those who do not love India should leave the country and a law should be enacted to punish those who disrespect the tricolour. Alleging that the Congress divided the nation, he said it was a big lie that it helped India attain Independence. “If you cannot love Bharat then leave Bharat. And, a law should be enacted to punish those who disrespect the country or the national flag,” Kumar said at an event here. “It is a fact that the Congress divided India and it is a big lie that it helped the country attain Independence. Who divided the nation – Jawaharlal Nehru. Who united the nation – Vallabhbhai Patel,” he said. Kumar said there was no “temporary article in any constitution in the world like Article 370 in the Constitution of India”. There was a need to bring the people of Kashmir into the mainstream, he said. The RSS leader said China had to bow down to India on the Dokalam issue under diplomatic pressure.

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Thanks to Narendra Modi govt, 10 crore farmers now have soil health cards

Gujarat elections apart, the Narendra Modi government is silently penetrating and empowering its core votebank — the peasants. In a blitz planned to be unveiled on World Soil Day on December 5, the Ministry of Agriculture will celebrate its feat of having distributed soil health cards (SHC) to 10 out of the 12 crore farmers in India.The ministry has roped in veteran Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar to feature in videos prepared to sensitise and ensure pan-India SHC usage. The actor, ministry sources said, didn’t take payment for the ad campaign. The SHCs have already covered 95 per cent of the total agricultural expanse of the country.Adding another feather to the Modi dispensation after the runaway success of such of flagship schemes as Ujjawala and Mudra, Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh would be launching a mobile app on Tuesday in Jhajjhar district of Haryana through which farmers will have access to all information on soil health cards. Ministry officials will travel the length and breadth of the country with smartphones and feed details of farmers and their crop patterns to the app; crops will also be registered. The results of the soil tests will be published on the app, which the farmers can refer to.”The ministry will be organising farmer sammelans at the districts level via the Krishi Vigyan Kendras. The agenda will be to popularise the use of SHCs by putting up hoardings and distributing leaflets across the country. News and television channels have also been roped in to spread the message,” the minister said.Singh also attacked the previous UPA regimes for neglecting soil health and agriculture, as such. “In the previous seven years, before we came to power, the UPA allocated Rs 75 crore towards soil testing. No one knows what happened to the fund. No parameters were set, neither were the states given any money. In the last three years of UPA, before the NDA came to power, there were just 15 soil testing labs; we have installed over 1000 more in the past three and a half years,” he said.Prime Minister Narendra Modi had in one of the editions of his ‘Mann ki Baat’ underlined the significance of the soil tests for agricultural growth, and the ministry has planned the health tests of the soils across the country to be a biennial exercise.
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Madhya Pradesh Assembly passes bill awarding death sentence for rape of girls below 12 years

The Madhya Pradesh Assembly on Monday unanimously passed a bill with a provision awarding death sentence to those guilty of raping girls aged 12 or below in the state.The bill will now be sent to the Centre which will send it to the President for his approval.The moves comes in the wake of a spurt in rape incidents recently. Madhya Pradesh has the highest number of rape cases registered among all states last year and even the year before that. The state, which has the fifth highest population in the country, accounted for 4,882 rape cases out of 38,947 cases recorded across the country in 2016, as per the National Crime Record Bureau’s report, released last week. The last year’s report showed that the state reported highest number of rape cases (4,391 out of 38,947 cases) in the country in 2015. The state cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had last week approved the bill recommending capital punishment for rape of girls aged 12 years or below.The bill also has the provision for harsher punishment to those guilty of molesting, stalking and harassing women.The Madhya Pradesh government had recently come in for criticism over recent incidents of rape in the state.A 19-year-old UPSC aspirant was allegedly raped when she was returning home from a coaching institute on October 31 here.After public outrage, some police officers were suspended and transferred for the delay in registering an FIR.The NCRB data for 2015 showed that the state reported highest number of rape cases (4,391 out of 38,947 cases) in the country.According to the NCRB data for 2014, the state reported 5,076 rape cases, which was 14 per cent of the total rape incidents reported in the country.In 2013, 4,335 rape cases were reported in the state as against 3,425 in 2012.
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Wish PM Modi found more dignified ways of seeking votes: Manmohan Singh

In a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his predecessor Manmohan Singh today said Modi failed to understand the “pains” of his note ban and GST decisions were going to unleash on the people of his own home state.Calling demonetisation an “uninformed, half-baked crusade” and GST a “badly designed and hastily implemented” measure, Singh also lamented the “low-level rhetoric” used by the ruling party.”I wish the prime minister would find more dignified ways of impressing upon the crowds and seeking their votes…,” he said.Also readModi govt can’t match UPA’s 10-year average growth rate: Manmohan Singh “Just as you were recovering from one blow (of demonetisation), came the GST. Nobody consulted you or tried to understand how your dhandha (business) works,” he told a gathering of members of the local business community here.”The prime minister is from Gujarat, and he claims to understand Gujarat and the poor more than anyone else. How is it that he never understood the pains his decisions will unleash on you?” Singh asked.Also readManmohan Singh criticising demonetization to show allegiance to the family: Dharmendra Pradhan”Your business works on trust and relationships. Without trust in each other, Surat will collapse. You extended this trust to the prime minister and his promise of ‘acchhe din’ (good days). The hope symbolised in those dreams now lies shattered,” he said.In Surat alone, 89,000 powerlooms were sold as scrap and it led to a loss of 31,000 jobs, Singh said. “There are countless such examples from industrial clusters and big mandis (markets) from across the country.”Also read’Don’t want pity’: Manmohan Singh refuses to ‘compete’ with PM Modi over humble backgroundChina benefited from this situation, he claimed.”In FY 2016-17, India’s imports from China stood at Rs 1.96 lakh crore. During the same period in FY 2017-18, the imports from China increased to Rs 2.41 lakh crore. This unprecedented increase in imports by more than Rs 45,000 crore, a 23 per cent increase in a year, can be attributed largely to demonetisation and GST.”These twin blows damaged India’s MSME sector and our businesses had to turn to Chinese imports at the cost of India jobs,” the senior Congress leader said.On demonetisation, Singh said, “This is an uninformed, half-baked crusade on black money where he (Modi) painted everyone as a thief, while real culprits have gotten away.”The Goods and Services Tax was “badly designed and hastily implemented”, the economist-turned-politician said.Maintaining that demonetisation was not the solution to the problem of black money and tax evasion, Singh said the costs of demonetisation substantially exceeded its benefits, and the decision “proved to be mere bluster to reap political dividends while the real offenders have escaped”.Demonetisation and GST have also “sown a deep-rooted fear of tax terrorism among the business community”, he said.”At a time when the economy has slowed down considerably, despite favourable global macro-economic conditions, the fear of tax terrorism has eroded the confidence of the businesses to invest,” he said.”This attitude of suspecting everyone to be a thief or anti-national, the low-level rhetoric is damaging the democratic discourse and has real consequences for how we relate to one another as citizens. Political leaders must stick to the high road,” he said.Singh said on every social indicator, from infant and maternal mortality rates to female literacy, Gujarat has fallen behind the best performing states, including Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu,.He said the recent agitations by the youth cutting across different sections of the society was an indication of the deep dissatisfaction with the performance of successive BJP governments.The former prime minister said a Congress government in the state will hear the voice of every Gujarati regardless of caste, creed, gender or class.Later, talking to reporters, Singh strongly denied Modi’s allegation that the Congress and Congress-led governments hated Gujaratis.”Nothing can be farther from the truth. I realise that many things are said in election times. But when they are gross distortions, they need to be rebutted,” he said, adding that Jawaharlal Nehru, the country’s first prime minister, and the “most famous Gujarati” Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel worked hand-in-hand, and “nothing is gained, as is often attempted by Modi, by pitting the two great leaders apart.”Modi was “denigrating the country” when claiming that Congress party did nothing in 70 years, the former PM said.”I wish the prime minister would find more dignified ways of impressing upon the crowds and seeking their votes without resorting to statements which denigrate our country,” he said.”…While denigrating the past, the prime minister also tends to exaggerate what he will do in future. He was recently quoted in the press as saying that India will become a developed country by 2022,” Singh said, adding that to achieve that, India needed to grow at the rate of 35 per cent per year.The government should get out of the “culture of constant self-praise”, Singh said.”In the ten years of UPA-I and II, when I was the prime minister, we produced 7.8 per cent GDP growth on average. This includes the slow-down in the last two years of our government. When the present government took over, they said they would take growth to 8 to 10 per cent. Modi so far has produced an average of only 7.3 per cent in the first three years,” he said.
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Benegal, 31 others move SC for peace in Ayodhya

On December 5, mere days from now, the top court will commence hearing the title dispute in the Ram Janma Bhoomi-Babri Masjid case. On Friday, days before the case comes up, 32 personalities — experts in various fields — have filed a common intervention application, asking the Supreme Court not to treat this matter as a property dispute.The petition filed by Mohammad Siddique on behalf of the NGO Citizens of Peace and Justice (CPJ) also include stalwarts like filmmakers Shyam Benegal, Aparna Sen, and Anand Patwardhan; writer and columnist Anil Dharkar; activists Teesta Setalvad, Medha Patkar, among others.”The applicants are public-spirited citizens from various walks from life and across the length and breadth of India who feel it is critical as a commitment to the foundational value contained in this constitution, to intervene and inject an urgency and a sane voice in this dispute. Apart from the parties of this dispute, there are vast majority of Indians, voiceless and unheard who have been mute victims to the festering sores and violence caused by his dispute,” the petition read.Filed by advocate Aparna Bhat, the petition submits, “the present Civil Appeal/s raises various issues both legal and social which would have far reaching effects on the communal fabric of the country. Thus, it is the contention of the Applicants to not look at the present Civil Appeal/s through the limited lens of a land dispute.”The applicants thus “seek to intervene in the conviction of proposing a solution to the present problem, which would be consistent with the secular and tolerant ethos that are paramount in ensuring lasting peace in a Country like India with diverse religious sentiments.”The petition further adds that the decision taken by the full bench of the Allahabad High Court proceeded to adjudicate the matter in 2014, on the basis of possession alone. The applicants submit that it has been the categorical finding of the High Court that none of the parties were able to conclusively prove the title of the disputed property.
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Aadhaar to track benami property: PM Modi

Saying that he was ready to pay a political price for fighting corruption as part of his government’s efforts to change the “broken system” of the past 70 years, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday asserted that there was a visible behaviour change in the country.He also insisted that his government’s decision to demonetise high-value banknotes and usher in a new Goods and Services Tax (GST) had scared the corrupt scared and brought black money back into the economy.Modi also said the Aadhaar number would be used to track “benami property”.”There is a behaviour change in the country you can see today… the corrupt are afraid to deal in black money and there is a healthy and clean corporate culture… Going forward, organised corruption will come down by these steps. I may have to pay a political price for the path I have taken but I’m ready for it,” he said. The Prime Minister was speaking at the inaugural session of a Leadership Summit organised by a newspaper group.His statement assumes significance since it is coming in the midst of the ongoing Gujarat Assembly election campaign, where the opposition Congress and others have tried to corner him over the shortcomings in the implementation of the GST as well as the effectiveness of the demonetization.”This government cannot be stopped by anyone from taking steps which will bring permanent changes in the system and ensure the interest of the nation.”He added, “I think those who feel this country cannot be changed using a magic wand are grappling with frustration and disappointment,” Modi said.He also said the information on “black economy” that the government had collected after demonetization would help India in its war against corruption.”Demonetization brought in proof of black money… finished parallel economy,” he claimed.Saying that Aadhaar, the Constitutional validity of which is pending before a bench of the Supreme Court, was an irreversible change, Modi said this and other schemes like Swachh Bharat, Jan Dhan bank accounts, Ujjwala cooking gas scheme, etc, had given the poor of the country a new belief in their country.”In 2014, people didn’t vote only to change the government. They voted to change the system; they voted for a system that is permanent, irreversible…a system that is corruption-free, citizen-centric and development-friendly.” he said.Referring to the “policy paralysis” during the UPA regime, Modi said, “When we came to power what did we get as legacy? The condition of the economy, governance, fiscal order and banking system were in a bad shape. .. Bhrashtachar hi shishtachar tha (corruption was the norm).”PM said…This government cannot be stopped by anyone from taking stepsDemonetization brought in proof of black money… finished parallel economy
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With 16%, UP accounts for most murders in country: NCRB

Uttar Pradesh recorded the highest number of heinous crimes such as murder and those against women in 2016, according to the data of the National Crime Records Bureau released today.UP, the country’s largest state, reported the highest number of cases of murder – 4,889 – accounting for 16.1% followed by Bihar where 2,581 (8.4%) murders took place last year.UP registered 14.5% (49,262 cases) of total cases of crime against women followed by West Bengal 9.6% (32,513 cases) during 2016.Rape cases recorded an increase of 12.4% from 34,651 cases in the country in 2015 to 38,947 in 2016.Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh reported the highest incidence of rape with 4,882 cases (12.5%) and 4,816 (12.4%) followed by Maharashtra 4,189 (10.7%) last year, the NCRB data said.UP recorded 9.5% of the total IPC crime reporter in the country followed by Madhya Pradesh (8.9%), Maharashtra (8.8%) and Kerala (8.7%).A total of 37,37,870 people were arrested in the country in 2016 for various crimes while a total of 32,71,262 people were chargesheeted, 7,94,616 were convicted and 11,48,824 people were acquitted or discharged.
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Pakistan couldn’t divide India in 70 years but BJP managed to do it in three: Arvind Kejriwal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today launched a broadside against the BJP, accusing it of “polarising” the country, and said the saffron party has realised the goal of Pakistan of dividing the nation in just three years of its rule.Without naming Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah, Kejriwal said the AAP is “not like a Napolean” whose intention is to win every state election, but its real purpose is to change the system.”The country is going through a difficult time. The BJP is trying to divide the country by pitting Hindus against Muslims and Muslims against Hindus. What could be the biggest dream of Pakistan other than seeing India divided?” Kejriwal said.He said the BJP is trying to weaken the country by polarisation. “What Pakistan and ISI could not do in 70 years, the BJP has done in three years,” he said, adding that those who were trying to create this divide were “ISI agents and traitors disguising as nationalists”. Kejriwal was addressing Aam Aadmi Party volunteers at the party’s national convention on the occasion of its fifth anniversary at the Ram Lila Maidan here.Scores of AAP volunteers and party leaders from several parts of the country were present for the national convention.Kumar Vishwas, who has had an uneasy relationship with the party leadership, also addressed the crowd.The chief minister also raised questions about the death of CBI court judge B H Loya, who was hearing the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case in which Amit Shah was prime accused, and said even judges were not safe under the BJP rule.”The circumstances in which Loya was found dead have raised various questions,” he said.Urging people in the poll-bound Gujarat to “uproot” the BJP, Kejriwal said the entire nation was looking at Gujarat and praying for the BJP’s defeat. The AAP is contesting in a few seats in the western state.”Voters should vote for a candidate or party that is winning and capable of defeating the BJP. Our aim is to uproot the BJP. Make sure that the BJP loses,” he told the gathering.Kejriwal claimed that the BJP is the “father” of the UPA in corruption.”We gathered five years back in the same place and protested against the UPA for its corruption. Nothing has changed. The BJP has become the father of UPA in terms of corruption,” Kejriwal said citing the Panama Papers revelations and the Vyapam scam in Madhya Pradesh.

Gandhinagar archbishop issued notice by EC for letter appealing to defeat ‘nationalist forces’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Election Commission (EC) has issued a notice to the archbishop of Gandhinagar for asking Christians to pray to save the country from “nationalist forces” in the run-up to the Gujarat Assembly polls.Issuing a letter addressed to the Christians, the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Gandhinagar, Thomas Macwan, had last week urged the members of the community to save the country from “nationalist forces” as its “democratic fabric” was at stake, amidst a growing “sense of insecurity” among the minorities. In Gujarat’s political circles, the appeal was seen as an indirect call to vote against the ruling BJP.Gandhinagar Collector and District Election Officer Satish Patel told PTI that the EC issued the notice after taking cognizance of media reports and asked the archbishop to clarify his intention behind issuing such a letter. “We have issued a notice to the archbishop, seeking clarity over his intention behind the letter, which was widely publicised in the media. We have given him a few days’ time to respond. We will decide on the future course of action on the basis of his reply,” Patel said today.
ALSO READ Save country from nationalist forces: Gandhinagar Archbishop Thomas Macwan writes to ChristiansHe added that the letter seemed to be aimed at “confusing” the voters of the minority communities and misguiding them when the poll code was in force in the state. “We understand that the letter was an attempt to misguide the voters and confuse the minority community voters at a time when the model code of conduct is in force. Such a language should not be used,” Patel said. In an official communique dated November 21, Macwan had appealed to the Christians to organise prayer services at parishes and convents, “so that we may have such people elected to the Gujarat Assembly, who would remain faithful to the Indian Constitution and respect every human being without any sort of discrimination”.”The democratic fabric of the country is at stake amidst a growing sense of insecurity among the minorities, other backward classes (OBC), backward classes, poor etc.,” he had said. “The results of this election are significant and will have repercussions and reverberations throughout our beloved nation. It will influence the future course of our country. “We are aware that the secular and democratic fabric of our country is at stake. Human rights are being violated. The constitutional rights are being trampled. Not a single day goes without an attack on our churches, church personnel, faithfuls or institutions,” he said.”The recitation of the Holy Rosary at individual, community, family and parish levels will be of great help. Encourage your faithful to pray the Rosary,” he said. In the letter, the archbishop had also cited examples of how such prayers saved Europe during the victory at Lepanto, referring to the battle of 1571, in which the Holy League of Venetian and Spanish empires had defeated the Ottoman Empire in the Gulf of Patras, and how the “protecting hand of our beloved Mother Mary defeated communist governments and dictators in a number of countries”. The 182-member Gujarat Assembly will go to the polls in two phases — on December 9 and 14. The counting of votes will be taken up on December 18.

Time for consolidation of reforms to deliver ‘desired fruits’: Niti Aayog Vice Chairman

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar today said the time has come for consolidation of reforms, including GST, bankruptcy code and benami law, initiated by the Modi government in the last 42 months to ensure that the steps deliver the “desired fruits”. The new initiatives in the next 18 months, Kumar said, should focus on health and education sectors as these two are going to be critical for human resource development.”You know Modi government has done far too much in those 42 months, it has taken some very major steps. My view is that time has come for consolidation and making sure that these reform steps which have been taken yield the desired fruits,” he told PTI in an interview. The Narendra Modi-led NDA government came to power in May 2014 and the next general elections are due in 2019. Reform measures such as the Goods and Services Tax (GST), Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act, the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) and the flagship schemes like Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) are very major initiatives, Kumar said.”We should now focus on their successful completion except in social sector where some steps need to be taken” on public health and public education system fronts. On criticism that the government has failed to create enough jobs, Kumar said there are a large number of areas which have seen substantial increase in employment opportunities, though they may not be in organised and formal sector. “The number of EPFO accounts have increased, the number of National Pension System (NPS) accounts have increased… (There is a) significant jump in the number of employees within the services sector, especially in tourism, civil aviation, transport and services sector.”Let me say that the lack of employment story, I think, is quite exaggerated,” Kumar said. When asked whether the Modi government would go populist in its last regular Budget to be presented in February next year, Kumar said the government would do what is right for the country and not with an eye on elections. “This government has never believed in any kind of populism, I don’t see any populism coming…I think Prime Minister Modi’s instructions are going to be very clear, let us do what is right for the country,” he asserted.On overall macroeconomic environment in the country, the Niti Aayog vice chairman said the rating upgrade by Moody’s was clear vindication of the fact that the macroeconomic environment in the country is improving, specially with regards to the investor sentiments. “The only slight concern is the continued weakness of the exports sector, which has not taking off as expected,” Kumar said, adding that the rise in current account deficit (CAD) up to 2.4 per cent in the first quarter of the current fiscal should not be a cause of worry because of strong foreign currency reserves.Asked why private investments are not picking up, he pointed out that most people use only the figure of credit offtake on public sector banks (PSBs) as the proxy for private sector investment. “But if you look at credit offtake on private sector banks, it has now risen quite well…Finally also number of initial public offers (IPOs) have been higher than previous year. So if you look at all things taken together, the picture is not at all bad,” Kumar observed.

Save country from nationalist forces: Gandhinagar Archbishop Thomas Macwan writes to Christians

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ahead of the Gujarat Assembly polls, the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Gandhinagar has written a letter urging members of the Christian community to save the country from “nationalist forces” as he said the “democratic fabric” of the country was at stake, amidst growing “sense of insecurity” among minorities.Indirectly targeting the ruling BJP in the state, Archbishop Thomas Macwan appealed to the minority community to help elect those candidates, who respect every human being without discrimination, to the state Assembly. He said the nationalist forces were “on the verge of taking over the country”, which is why the Gujarat elections could make a difference. In an official communique dated November 21, Macwan appealed to the Christians to organise prayer services in parishes and convents “so that we may have such people elected to the Gujarat Assembly, who would remain faithful to the Indian Constitution and respect every human being without any sort of discrimination”.”The democratic fabric of the country is at stake amidst growing sense of insecurity among the minorities, Other Backward Class (OBC), Backward Class, poor, etc,” he said. “The results of this election are significant and will have its repercussion and reverberation throughout our beloved nation. It will influence the future course of our country. “We are aware that the secular and democratic fabric of our country is at stake. Human rights are being violated. The constitutional rights are being trampled. Not a single day goes without an attack on our churches, church personnel, faithful or institutions,” he said.”The recitation of the Holy Rosary at individual, community, family and parish levels will be of great help. Encourage your faithful to pray the Rosary,” he said. In the letter, the Archbishop has also cited examples of how such prayers saved Europe during the victory at Lepanto (referring to the battle of 1571 in which Holy League of Venetian and Spanish empires defeated Ottoman Empire in the Gulf of Patras), and how “protecting hand of our beloved Mother Mary defeated communist governments and dictators in a number of countries”.

Six Left-wing parties to observe 25th anniversary of Babri mosque demolition as ‘Black Day’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Six Left parties will observe the 25th anniversary of the demolition of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya on December 6 as ‘Black Day’ all over the country.The CPI(M), CPI, RSP, AIFB, CPI(ML) and the SUCI(C) on Wednesday gave a call to all their units in the country to protest against the “wilful demolition of the Babri Masjid”.”The Left parties call upon all their units in the country to observe December 6 as a ‘Black Day’ and to strengthen in the current context the struggle against communal polarisation being patronised and encouraged by the central as well as many BJP-led state governments,” the Left parties said in a statement.The parties alleged that the “brazen act” of the demolition was accomplished under the “direct gaze of the authorities and law enforcing agencies under a Congress central government and a complicit BJP government in Uttar Pradesh”.”It remains the severest of attacks on the secular, democratic foundations of the modern republic,” the statement says.The Left parties have also accused the RSS and the BJP of patronising “private armies” that “are acting like a law unto themselves”.”The gau rakshaks (cow vigilantes) of today are on a rampage, attacking dalits and Muslims over fabricated allegations of cow slaughter. Moral policing squads are prescribing what our youths should wear, eat, or whom they should befriend.”Instead of upholding the law of the land and proscribing such private armies, senior BJP leaders, including ministers in the central and various state governments have openly endorsed, patronised, and promoted such private armies and rationalised or even celebrated their violent actions,” the Left parties said.On December 6, which is also the death anniversary of B R Ambedkar, the Left parties will “mount a campaign against the intensification of the assaults on Dalits across the country and on the secular democratic values of our Constitution by the communal forces”.

‘Aur maarna padta toh suraksha bal maartey,’ Mulayam Singh Yadav justifies 1990 firing on karsevaks in Ayodhya

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav on Wednesday justified his order to open fire on karsevaks marching towards Ayodhya in 1990, saying if even more people were required to be killed for the sake of country’s unity and integrity, the security forces would have done it.”Desh ki ekta ke liye aur bhi maarna padta toh suraksha bal maartey (if even more people were required to be killed for the sake of country’s unity and integrity, the security forces would have done it),” he said.He was speaking at an event to celebrate his 79th birthday at the party headquarters in Lucknow.The former Uttar Pradesh chief minister said 28 people lost their lives in the police firing at Ayodhya on 30 October, 1990.Over one lakh kar sevaks from across the country had assembled in Ayodhya for the construction of a temple at the disputed Ram Janmaabhoomi-Babri Mosque site when Mulayam, as the state’s Chief Minister, had ordered the firing to stop them from proceeding.The firing had earned him the nickname of ‘Mullah Mulayam’ and established him as a leader sympathetic to Muslims, which accounts for nearly 20 per cent of UP’s population. The community has since been considered his party’s voter base along with the influential Yadav caste.Justifying his action to save the Babri Masjid, which was ultimately demolished on December 6, 1992, Mulayam said, “A number of Muslims had taken up arms saying if their place of worship ceased to exist, then what would remain in the country.”Yadav said that during a discussion with Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the former prime minister had claimed that 56 persons were killed in Ayodhya.”I had arguments with him. In reality 28 were killed. I came to know the toll six months later and I helped them in my own way,” he said.Mulayam claimed that the Samajwadi Party still enjoyed the support of Muslims and it was the partymen’s fault that they did not get their votes. “They (Muslims) are still voting for the party (SP) and not against it. It’s the shortcoming of our youth.”He said it was matter of shame that the party won only 47 of the 403 Assembly seats this time, adding that even after ordering firing “when the Opposition termed me as a hatyara (killer)”, the SP succeeded in winning over 100 seats in 1993.”They (youths) now are not like those we had in 1993. When a leader could not ensure victory on his village booth, what will be the party’s fate. I want to see a strong party and leaders should also mend their ways by ensuring better connect with the masses,” he said.Mulayam was the Uttar Pradesh chief minister during Ram Janmabhoomi movement spearheaded by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) in 1990. His party lost the 1991 Assembly elections in the state to the BJP.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman misleading nation on Rafale deal, alleges Congress

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Congress on Friday accused Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman of “misleading” the nation on the Rafale fighter aircraft deal by not making public the price of the aircraft, and alleged a “cover-up”.Congress communications in-charge Randeep Surjewala said defence preparedness cannot be a subject for politicising, and accused Sitharaman of using the defence ministry premises for “political mudslinging”.”Repeated attempts at shoddy cover-up and complete non- transparency in purchase of Rafale aircraft have raised serious questions on national interests and national security by the Modi government.”You hold political press conferences in BJP offices where you indulge in political mudslinging but you can’t violate the sanctity, the integrity of the defence ministry by making its premises an occasion or a platform for political mudslinging and I think that is most unfortunate,” he said.Asking why the defence minister or the Modi government are hiding from disclosing the aircraft price, Surjewala said, “The question is rather simple. What is the price per aircraft of the 36 Rafale aircraft being purchased by the Modi government?”He asked whether it is correct that per aircraft price of Rafale as per the UPA government’s negotiations was USD 80.95 million or Rs 526 crore as against the purchase price by Modi government of Rs 1,570.80 crore per aircraft.”Why has the price gone up then? From Rs 570 crore to Rs 1,570.80 crore? And does it mean that there is clear cut loss to the exchequer? And who is responsible for the same?” he asked.The defence minister said that Anil Ambani did not go to France, but his company itself has issued a statement saying he was there in France, Surjewala claimed.”So, who is lying? And who is misleading the country? The day when Modiji announced purchase of Rafale aircraft on April 10, 2015, in France, Anil Ambaniji was present there.”Why is the minister misleading the country? The country is seeking answers for the questions and she will have to answer it,” he said.It is surprising that Sitharaman said India does not require transfer of technology and that the “transfer of technology of manufacturing aircraft does not make any sense”, according to the Congress leader.”Whether she will tell the country why ‘Make in India’ does not make sense? Why the defence minister and Modi government find ‘Make in India’ as non-sensical? “What objection does Modi government have if technology is transferred to a public undertaking so that it can manufacture the aircraft with licence? Whether the minister wants to say that theModi government will not purchase aircraft from Rafale (in future) after the buying these 36 aircraft?” he asked.Surjewala asked how the prime minister took a “unilateral decision” on buying 36 aircraft of Dassault, bypassing the mandatory defence procurement procedure and in the absence of an inter-governmental agreement with France at that time.He also questioned why public sector undertaking HAL was bypassed for getting the offset contract of Rs 30,000 crore despite the work share agreement of March 13, 2014, between HAL and Dassault Aviation.”Why did the prime minister promote the interests of a private corporate entity over a public sector undertaking? “Is it not correct that HAL is the only Indian entity which has decades of experience of building aircrafts? How was HAL by-passed in favour of Reliance, when Reliance had zero experience of building fighter aircraft?” he questioned.On the defence minister’s remark that emergency purchase was made as the UPA did not buy it for 10 years, Surjewala said, “Truth is they are not going to purchase even a single aircraft during five-year rule of Modiji. So what is the consequence of the emergent purchase? Hence, instead of misleading the country, they should give direct answers to the questions asked.”He also said that it was the Congress that initiated internal bidding process and if there was delay in it, the BJP should tell how many aircraft they bought in last 41 months.”When she is not telling purchase price of the aircraft, how would you know the aircraft price has gone up? At least, she should tell what is the price of the aircraft?” he said.

Amit Shah cites Pew survey to hail ‘unabated’ rising popularity of Modi govt

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popularity has risen “unabated” across the country and people’s satisfaction with the economy is at an “all-time high”, BJP chief Amit Shah said today, citing a survey by the Pew Research Center.According to the survey conducted by the American think tank, more than eight-in-ten Indians say economic conditions are “good” in the country despite Modi’s decision to abolish high-value bank notes last November. Nine out of ten people in the country hold a favourable opinion about him and that indicates the popularity of Modi among the countrymen, Shah said in a BJP statement. Modi started the politics of performance in this country by ending casteism, minority appeasement and nepotism from Indian polity, the BJP chief said adding that the country has witnessed a decisive, transparent and corruption free government led by Modi in last three years.”The findings of Pew Global research are very significant. After Modi Government came to power, people’s trust in Government, Democracy and confidence that the nation is in the right direction has gone up drastically,” Shah said in a series of tweets. Modi remains the most popular national figure in Indian politics tested in the survey. His popularity is relatively unchanged in the north, has risen in the west and the south and is down slightly in the east, according to the survey’s findings.
ALSO READ PM Modi remains ‘by-far’ most popular leader, 70% satisfied with country’s direction: Pew survey”PM @narendramodi’s popularity rises unabated across the length & breadth of the country and across demographic groups. His handling of various issues also receive a thumbs up from people,” Shah said. The ease with which Modi handled all challenges for development and welfare of the country has further strengthened the people’s trust on him and also enhanced his respect among them, Shah added. At the briefing on the decisions taken by the Union Cabinet today, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad referred to the survey and said it showed that Modi and his governance has gained popularity in all corners of the country.He said the survey shows how the BJP and its leadership have gained popularity. Asked whether the report came up for discussions at the Cabinet meeting, Prasad merely said that he has been given the report.The survey was conducted among 2,464 respondents in India from February 21 to March 10. Shah also extended greetings to media professionals on the occasion of National Press Day and applauded their commitment towards their profession. “I applaud the commitment and efforts of every media person who works tirelessly to uphold the value of the fourth pillar of democracy,” he said in a tweet.

Renewable sources lag in energy production, total electricity generated by green sources in country less than 7%

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Renewable energy which has witnessed rapid capacity addition in the last three years has started lagging when it comes to electricity generation, this source of power now comprises a little less than 7% of the total electricity generated in the country.Secondly, renewable energy is witnessing a slowdown in capacity addition due to inability of state distribution companies (discoms) to sign new Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), says Care Ratings report on power sector.During the 10 years from 2007 to 2017, renewable energy capacity has increased from 10 GW to 59 GW, during the same period coal and gas based electricity generation saw net addition of 135 GW.“Hydro and nuclear energy generation capacity as a percentage of total installed capacity has fallen during this 10 year period. Nuclear power and hydro power capacity addition has been much less compared to thermal and renewable energy which could be attributed to lesser private sector role in setting up power plants in these segments. As a percentage of total installed capacity, hydro power witnessed a fall in its share from 23% in 2007 to 13.6% in 2017. Nuclear power capacity during the same period witnessed its share falling from 2.8% to 2.1%,” reads the report.The largest share continues to be of thermal energy with almost two-third of the total installed generation capacity in the country.In terms of electricity generation, total energy generated in the country was 1,135 billion units (BU) at a peak demand of 157 GW.For this, thermal energy has been contributing in excess of 80% of the total electricity generated in the country. Hydro power is the second largest generator though its share has fallen from 15-16% in 2007 to 10% in 2017.“Renewable energy in terms of electricity generated constitutes for 6-7% of the total electricity generated in the country. Even if renewable energy were to achieve its 2022 target of 175 GW by 2022 and at the current electricity demand growth of 5%, coal would still continue to fulfil over 75% of the electricity generation requirement in the country,” added the report.Currently, the PLF of coal based thermal plants is in the range of 58-60% as reported by Central Electricity Authority. Gas-based thermal power plants which constitute approximately 10% of the total installed thermal power capacity would continue to witness lower capacity utilisation in the range of 22-25% because of rising global gas prices.Power tariff across sources remain to be low on account of suppressed demand and the same is expected to continue for the coming months.

Regulators caught napping again, as illegal GM soyaa cultivation starts in India

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Reacting to a new major development in the GM crop controversy, after illegal GM soya cultivation was discovered in Gujarat, the Coalition for a GM-Free India said that this requires an urgent action against the regulators as well as seed suppliers. Farmers ensnared into such illegal cultivation of unapproved seeds should not be criminalised, said the Coalition.This illegal fait accompli delivered by such unauthorised cultivation marks the cultivation of the first GM food crop on Indian soils. “The regulatory system in the country is clearly in tatters. Incident after incident shows that with the current regulatory regime in the country, citizens’ interests cannot be protected. If the regulators had acted decisively in the past with severe deterrence, against illegal Bt cotton and later, HT cotton cultivation and other illegal imports of GM foods, this situation could have been prevented to a large extent. The government has to think of a serious overhaul of the entire setup and significant improvements in the inter-agency coordination required for ensuring that no illegal GM cultivation or sales take place in the country”, mentioned the Coalition in a statement issued today.Bhartiya Kisan Sangh (BKS), a national farmers’ organisation recently lodged a complaint with the Gujarat state government and the central regulator Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) about the illegal cultivation of GM soya in Aravalli district, in villages near Modasa town. The Gujarat government is reported to have swung into action immediately to seize the stocks and get them tested, which subsequently were confirmed to be genetically modified, herbicide tolerant soya. It is unclear however what the source of the seed is, and what is the extent of its illegal cultivation.The presence of this GM soya cultivation not only threatens to become an irreversible threat to our environment and health, but also threatens the niche advantage that Indian non-GM soya was enjoying in the global markets, of fetching higher prices for Indian soya, given the large demand for non-GM soya in the world markets. This market is now threatened seriously.This discovery of illegal GM soya cultivation comes at a time when India is about to host an Organic World Congress, the biggest congregation of the organic farming movement of the world, in Greater Noida on 9th, 10th and 11th of November 2017.Ironically, India’s first GM crop cultivation – Bt cotton – was discovered in 2001 growing on thousands of hectares in Gujarat, spread surreptitiously and illegally by the biotech industry. Around the same time of the year in 2001, the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) was caught off-guard when news about large scale illegal cultivation of Bt cotton emerged, even as field trials that were to decide whether India will go for such GM crops or not were still underway. GEAC had ordered the destruction of all the illegally-produced GM material after confirming the presence of transgenic material, and asked for the purchase of such material from farmers if needed by the state government for destruction by burning. However, in March 2002, it ended up approving Bt cotton for commercial cultivation in India, and to this day, no liability was fixed for the illegal spread which presented a fait accompli to the regulators.“It is a well-established strategy deployed worldwide of the biotech industry to first contaminate/spread seeds illegally, and then get regulatory approvals after such illegal cultivations. This has been seen time and again in other countries, and in India too, both with Bt cotton and with herbicide tolerant cotton which is now on lakhs of hectares, unapproved. The regulatory system is caught napping and unprepared again and again. They also have no commitment to their mandate and have not taken any action under the EPA 1989 Rules or the liability clauses of EPA 1986 (Sec 15) which prescribes imprisonment for a term which may extend to five years with fine which may extend to one lakh rupees, or with both, and in case the failure or contravention continues, with additional fine which may extend to five thousand rupees for every day during which such failure or contravention continues after the conviction for the first such contravention. We have never seen any liability fixed against contraventions of 1989 biosafety rules. It is time we fixed liability on the regulators too for the law to become effective”, said the Coalition. Further, there is prima facie contravention of Plant Quarantine (Regulation of Import into India) Order 2003 which also regulates import and prohibition of import of plants and plant products into India.The Coalition notes that illegal herbicide usage is an issue that marks illegal herbicide tolerant GM crop cultivation, and asked for an immediate action on weed-killer sales on unauthorised crops like cotton, mustard and soyabean. It pointed out that that this also showcases the failure of pesticide regulators in the country, and called for a ban on the use of glyphosate, also given its many other known negative fall-outs on health and environment.GM HT soya cultivation in other countries is well documented to cause numerous problems – agri-chemical usage increase, soil health effects, impact on beneficial organisms like bees and monarch butterflies, health impacts from glyphosate used on the HT crop, increase in resistant ‘super weeds’, farmers caught in the trap of proprietary/patented treadmill technologies and decrease in yields. In India, the additional socio-economic issue of huge employment loss for poor agricultural household by the deployment of herbicide tolerant seed technology is also an important matter of concern. Numerous official committees have repeatedly recommended against the introduction of such HT crops in the country, keeping all of this in mind.“We urge the Government of India to enforce strictly the existing regulatory mechanisms and also tighten the regulation with regard to imports of GMOs and products thereof into the country. Several news reports indicated in the recent past that the GM foods entering our food chain in the country are illegal as per the FSSAI – however, they continue to be in the market with no action being taken. Consumers around the country are worried about the health implications from GM foods and it is time that the government curbed illegal GM entry into India in all forms and modes urgently”, said the Coalition.“We need Orders to be issued immediately that all state governments, after urgent ground level verification, write back to the Centre on whether any illegal GM soya cultivation is suspected in their respective states. The GEAC itself should deploy investigation teams into the field to verify the existence of illegal GM cultivation anywhere in the country and take immediate stringent action against the same. There should be a ban on weed killer glyphosate to check its illegal use as well as the spread of illegal HT crop cultivation”, demanded the Coalition.The campaign alliance threatened that it will launch a nationwide campaign if the regulatory body and the government do not swing into action immediately.

Bhanwargarh police stn best in state

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An initiative of ranking the police stations across the country has been initiated by the Home department for which entries have been sent from all the states of the country.The entries comprise only the best working police stations of each state. Interestingly, from Rajasthan, Bhanwargarh police station in Baran district has been chosen as one of the best amongst others in the state and the name has been sent as an official entry from Rajasthan.“The initiative aims at establishing a model base for policing ethics. After much consideration, Bhanwargarh police station was chosen and the name has been sent ahead. A team from the Home ministry is expected to visit the police station to evaluate the same on various parameters such as pendency, law and order, crime solving and others. We expect the result to be out by mid-December. We are sure that if not the top three we will surely get a place amongst the top ten police stations of the country,” said Dusht Daman Singh, SP – Baran.

Ease of doing business: TN launches single-window portal for industries

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Thursday launched the single-window portal for industries as part of the efforts to promote ease of doing business in the state.”Industries department has developed an integrated web-based single window portal (www.easybusiness.tn.gov.in) which will enable industries to obtain the required pre-establishment, pre-operation clearances and renewals across 11 departments including Directorate of Town and Country Planning, Pollution Control Board and Labour,” an official release said.Through this portal, 37 services of various departments would be made available to investors without any human interface, it said, adding that the portal provides for online submission of applications, tracking and monitoring of application through SMS and e-mail.The state government has recently passed the Tamil Nadu Business Facilitation Act 2017 through which an ordinance to strengthen the single window system by stipulating timeline for each approval and also provides for deemed approval in respect of certain clearances.

Cong moves NHRC over DeMo deaths, asks for Rs 1-cr relief

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress party has moved National Commission of Human Rights (NHRC) against what it has called ‘demonetization deaths’ and has demanded compensation for the affected families.Maharashtra Congress secretary Shehzad Poonawalla lodged a complaint with the rights body seeking Rs 1 crore compensation for the kin of those who died due to the rush to exchange cash in the aftermath of demonetization declared on November 8, last year.In his petition, Poonawalla claimed the rush for cash caused some 100 deaths across the country.”Following the demonetization, many people died due to various causes which would include heart attacks owing to shock and collapse. There were suicides by those who were not successful in exchanging currency or withdrawal for want of new currency. Public was collectively worried about getting money for daily needs, marriage, funeral rites, medical treatments,”said the Congress leader.He has cited that improper implementation of the policy caused infringement of the “fundamental right to livelihood and life under Article 21 of the Constitution of India…and the constitutional Right to Property under article 300A”.Poonawalla also said in his petition, “As a conscientious citizen of the county, we plea to this Hon’ble Commission to direct the Union Government to make a compensation of Rs 1 crore for relief and rehabilitation to the families of victims who lost their lives owing to the government’s demonetization action. Hope that this commission gives justice to the families’ prey to demonetization.””In the days following the demonetization, the country faced severe cash shortages with severe detrimental effects across the country. People seeking to exchange their bank notes had to stand in lengthy queues and several deaths were linked due to the rush to exchange cash. This act of demonetization move has been criticized as poorly planned and unfair and was met with protest and strikes against the government in several places across India. This action of current union government has reduced the country’s GDP,” Poonawlla added in his petition.PLAINT LODGEDMaharashtra Congress secretary Shehzad Poonawalla lodged a complaint with the rights body.
In his petition, Poonawalla claimed the rush for cash caused some 100 deaths across the country.

Ajay Bisaria is new envoy to Pak

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ajay Bisaria, currently the Indian ambassador to Poland, has been appointed the country’s top envoy to Pakistan. Though an announcement was made in September, formal orders of his new posting were issued by the External Affairs ministry on Wednesday. The 1987-batch IFS officer will succeed Gautam Bambawale, who was last month posted to China.

‘Bhakt’ auto driver names newborn ‘GST’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While people, in general, want to name their kids after famous people and celebrities, a 26-year-old auto driver has named his son as GST. Yes, you heard it right!In July, India’s biggest tax reform GST (Goods and Services Tax) after independence came into effect after 17 tumultuous years of debate, unifying more than a dozen central and state levies, but doubts remained if the transition to a national sales tax will be without any glitches.Yaswant Singh, the auto-driver who lives in Noida Sector -63 got so much influenced with the unified tax that he named his newborn son as GST Singh Pal.Speaking to DNA, Singh stated, “I was very much influenced by Prime Minister’ Narendra Modis GST system. I also like his speeches, they are really inspirational. I wanted my son’s name to be unique. None of the parents must have ever thought of naming their child as GST. I like this name very much and this will remain forever. I want my son to achieve a good education and will do everything a father can. So, what could be better than this name, so we named our newly born baby as GST,” he added.”Last year, demonetisation took place and we suffered a lot from it but now we have overcome that and have realised that the moves made by PM Modi only affected rich people. It is for the country and we support him in every way.Earlier, I had to take a loan from my relatives also due to demonetisation but I am happy. We think demonetisation and GST will definitely be good for our country,” he further added.”We were mocked by our relatives for keeping this name but we are not going to change it. As GST brought a lot of good changes to the country, in a similar way, our son will also bring good changes to our family,” he said.

During Gujarat floods, Congress MLAs chose to come to Bengaluru: PM Modi in Bidar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On Sunday, PM Modi addressed a gathering at Bidar where he spoke attacked the state’s Congress government. He said that the Bidar-Kalaburagi Railway line could’ve been completed in three years instead of 20.He said: “The work which could have been done in 3 yrs took 20 yrs. It was stuck for several years. Development projects stalled since the Congress rule are being completed now. Congress only believed in ‘Atkana’, Latkana’ & ‘Bhatkana’.”Speaking about the government’s electrification progress, he said: “Had announced from Red Fort we’ll bring electricity to 18000 houses in 1000 days. It’s not 1000 days yet & 15000 houses have electricity.”
ALSO READ If not now when PM is Modi and CM is Adityanath, then when will Ram Temple be constructed: Sadhvi RitambharaHe also said that the current government was committed to ensure the benefit of schemes reach every person.
ALSO READ Shamelessly they are lending their voice for Kashmir’s azadi: Watch PM Modi slam P ChidambaramHe attacked Congress’ Gujarat MLAs for coming to Bengaluru during the Rajya Sabha elections saying: “Gujarat was devastated by floods this year. But Congress leaders, instead of reaching out to people there, preferred coming to Bengaluru.”He also spoke about GST, calling it a ‘collective decision’. He said: “Implementation of GST was a collective decision of all parties. We are open to incorporate changes to make the system better.”
ALSO READ PM Modi lashes out at P Chidambaram’s Kashmir remark, says shameless Congress insulting jawansEarlier, PM Modi blasted P Chidambaram’s advocacy for greater autonomy. “All of a sudden, those who were in power till yesterday have taken a U-turn. Shamelessly, they are making a statement and are lending their voice for Kashmir’s azadi,” Modi told BJP workers in Bengaluru.Chidambaram, a former Union home minister, had said in poll-bound Gujarat’s Rajkot yesterday that when people of Jammu and Kashmir ask for “azadi”, most of them mean they want greater autonomy.”The demand in the Kashmir Valley is to respect the letter and spirit of Article 370, that means they want greater autonomy. My interactions in J&K led me to the conclusion that when they ask for azadi, mostly, I am not saying all… the overwhelming majority, they want autonomy.” “Yes, I do,” Chidambaram said when he was asked if he still thinks that Jammu and Kashmir should be given greater autonomy.Under scathing attack from the prime minister, Chidambaram said in New Delhi today that Modi imagined a “ghost and was attacking it”.Chidambaram said it was obvious that the prime minister had not read the whole answer to the question put to him on Jammu and Kashmir at the Rajkot event.”Those who criticise must read the whole answer and tell me which word in the answer was wrong. The PM is imagining a ghost and attacking it,” he told PTI here.Observing that granting such autonomy will be “perfectly within the Constitution of India”, Chidambaram also said yesterday, “Jammu and Kashmir will remain an integral part of India but it will have larger powers as promised under Article 370”.Without taking Chidambaram’s name, the prime minister said, “I am surprised that those who were in power at the Centre, those who were responsible for the country’s internal security and national security (are saying this).” Modi said the country had no hope or expectations from the Congress.Noting that Sardar Patel took important decisions for the country’s unity, he said thousands of jawans have sacrificed their lives for Kashmir.”The country’s soldiers have sacrificed their lives every moment for the sake of security of the motherland and innocent citizens of Kashmir.”I want to ask the people of Bengaluru, can the country benefit from such people who are playing politics on the sacrifice of our soldiers? They don’t have any shame in saying this. The Congress party will have to give an answer for this (Chidambaram’s) statement,” he said.In his impassioned speech, Modi said, “Those bravehearts who have sacrificed their lives, mothers who have lost their sons for the country…that mother is asking the question, that sister who has lost her brother is asking the question, and the child who has lost his father is asking the question.” But, he said, the Congress was “shamelessly using such language as is used by the separatists in Kashmir. (They are) using the language that is spoken by Pakistan.” Chidambaram had in July 2016 advocated greater autonomy for Jammu and Kashmir, saying India should restore the “grand bargain” under which Kashmir had acceded by granting a large degree of autonomy to it.He had warned that otherwise the country will have to pay a “heavy price”.The Congress, however, sought to distance itself from the remarks of Chidambaram on Kashmir, saying the “opinion of an individual is not necessarily the opinion of the party”.Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala had said Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and “will always remain so unquestionably.”As the issue of greater autonomy for the state came alive once again, Farooq Abdullah’s National Conference pledged to continue its struggle for its full restoration as enshrined in the Constitution of India.”We continue to strive for the restoration of autonomy and restoration of Article 370 to its original, pristine form, while condemning those divisive voices who are opposed to the sovereign constitutional guarantees extended to the people of the state,” the resolution passed at a delegates’ session of the National Conference in Srinagar said.Calling for a political initiative, the party said singular focus on military and operational mechanism to deal with the Kashmir issue was a “dangerous” approach and continued to alienate the people.”We urge both India and Pakistan to initiate a sustained, sustainable and comprehensive dialogue process to resolve all outstanding issues,” it said.NC president Farooq Abdullah and working president Omar Abdullah were present at the delegates’ session held after a gap of 15 years. Thousands of delegates from all three regions of the state attended the conclave.The resolution said the party always worked within the Constitution in which the state’s special status was enshrined.It said the Kashmir issue should be resolved through a sustained dialogue with both internal and external stakeholders, an apparent reference to separatists and Pakistan.”The recently announced initiative through a representative of the Government of India should have clarity and seriousness of purpose to ensure the sanctity of the institution of dialogue is restored and upheld,” the party resolution said. With inputs from agencies

Shamelessly they are lending their voice for Kashmir’s azadi: Watch PM Modi slam P Chidambaram

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a stinging attack on the Congress on the Kashmir issue, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today accused it of “shamelessly” taking a U-turn and lending its voice for “Kashmir’s azadi”, a language spoken by Pakistan.Modi’s sharp comments came a day after senior Congress leader P Chidambaram pitched for greater autonomy for the restive Jammu and Kashmir yet again.He told BJP workers here that his government would not compromise with the country’s unity and integrity.”All of a sudden, those who were in power till yesterday have taken a U-turn. Shamelessly, they are making a statement and are lending their voice for Kashmir’s azadi,” Modi said.
ALSO READ PM Modi lashes out at P Chidambaram’s Kashmir remark, says shameless Congress insulting jawansWithout taking Chidambaram’s name, the prime minister said, “I’m surprised that those who were in power at the Centre, those who were responsible for the country’s internal security and national security (are saying this).” Modi said the country had no hope or expectations from the Congress.Noting that Sardar Patel took important decisions for the country’s unity, he said thousands of jawans have sacrificed their lives for Kashmir.”The country’s soldiers have sacrificed their lives every moment for the sake of security of the motherland and innocent citizens of Kashmir.”I want to ask the people of Bengaluru, can the country benefit from such people who are playing politics on the sacrifice of our soldiers…? They don’t have any shame in saying this. The Congress party will have to give an answer for this (Chidambaram’s) statement…,” he said.Modi said, “Those brave hearts who have sacrificed their lives, mothers who have lost their sons for the country…that mother is asking the question, that sister who has lost her brother is asking the question and the child who has lost his father is asking the question.”But, he said, the Congress was “shamelessly using such language that is used by the separatists on Kashmir’s land.(They are) using the language that is spoken by Pakistan.” Underlining that this was the land of Sardar Patel, he said, “We will not compromise with the country’s unity and integrity and we will not allow it happen.” Chidambaram had told reporters in Rajkot in poll-bound Gujarat yesterday, “The demand in the Kashmir Valley is to respect the letter and spirit of Article 370, that means they want greater autonomy. My interactions in J&K led me to the conclusion that when they ask for azadi, mostly, I am not saying all… the overwhelming majority, they want autonomy.” “Yes, I do,” Chidambaram said when he was asked if he still thinks that Jammu and Kashmir should be given greater autonomy.Chidambaram had in July 2016 advocated greater autonomy for Jammu and Kashmir, saying India should restore the “grand bargain” under which Kashmir had acceded by granting a large degree of autonomy to it.He had warned that otherwise the country will have to pay a “heavy price”.The Congress, however, has sought to distance itself from the remarks of Chidambaram on Kashmir, saying the “opinion of an individual is not necessarily the opinion of the party”.Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala had said Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and “will always remain so unquestionably.”Reacting sharply, the BJP yesterday said it was not surprising to see Chidambaram make such comments given his leader supported those who gave slogan of “Bharat tere tukde honge”, an apparent reference to Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi backing those who protested the arrest of student leader Kanhaiya Kumar in the JNU row.Kumar, then the JNUSU president, and a few others were arrested on the charge of sedition after anti-national slogans were allegedly raised at an event on the campus in February last year to protest the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.”Shocking that PC bats for separatists & ‘azadi’ but then not surprising given that their leader supported ‘Bharat tere tukde honge’ naara!” Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani had tweeted.”Shameful given that PC spoke in Gujarat, the birthplace of Sardar Patel ; a man who dedicated his life for the unity & prosperity of India,” she added.Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had accused the Congress of encouraging separatism in J&K and said Chidambaram’s statement “hurt” India’s national interest which was a serious issue.”Whether this statement which has come from a prominent leader of the Congress party is the party’s official stand or not? I think the party should immediately clarify that,” he had said in Mumbai.

Kerala is the ‘global face’, ‘digital powerhouse’ of India: President Ram Nath Kovind

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>President Ram Nath Kovind today termed Kerala the “global face” and “digital powerhouse” of the country, lauding its achievements in the sectors of health, education, sanitation and IT.Kovind, on his second tour to Kerala after assuming the office, attended two functions here today, wherein he said the emphasis on development, health care and education in the state is an example for the rest of the country.Congratulating the CPI(M)-led LDF government in the state in expanding Internet connectivity, he said it would remove the digital divide in the society.”I understand that the government is making efforts to bridge the digital divide and provide free Internet connections to two million poor families by using a new optic fibre network,” he said after launching the state’s ambitious Technocity project at Pallippuram near here.Kerala ranked eighth in the IT sector in the country, he said, adding “the sector provides direct employment to one lakh people”.”This is only the tip of the iceberg. There is immense capacity to make these numbers grow,” he said.Kovind praised the southern state’s tradition and said its thinking has been “humanistic, people-oriented and democratic”.”In sanitation, your achievements are praiseworthy. In local self-government and panchayati raj, again Kerala has deepened our democracy,” he said.Calling Kerala as the “land of spiritualism”, he said that over centuries, the state has been the home of some great religions.”Hindu, Muslim, Christian and Jewish cultures are age-old and have existed in close proximity here. They have given space to each other. It is important to keep that tradition of harmony alive even today,” he said.Kovind praised the hardworking and pleasing nature of Keralites, especially in the field of health care and hospitality.”Here the local people of Kerala across the socio- economic spectrum deserve to be congratulated for having created a remarkable hospitality industry and I would say hospitality culture. This is a role model for many parts of India,” he said.Hospitals and medical centres in and outside the country cannot function without the “ever smiling and ever attentive sisters from Kerala”, he said, adding health care workers from the state, both men and women, are internationally sought after.Mentioning the valuable contributions by the Malayalee migrant community in other countries, the President said they are the backbone of the work-force of so many Gulf nations.”God’s Own Country (Kerala) has an uncommon and important identity as a global face of India. This is true in so many ways,” he said.The President’s praise for Kerala’s religious harmony, hard working nature of its people and achievements of the government comes in the wake of saffron outfits alleging that the southern state has become a fertile land for political violence and jihadi terror.The praise also comes against the backdrop of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath attacking the state for its “poor healthcare” facilities and Goa Chief Minister Manohar Pairkkar stating that Kerala is being ruled by “rogues”.The BJP leaders had visited the state to participate in the recently concluded Janarakha Yatra, taken out by state BJP against alleged political violence unleashed by ruling CPI(M) against its cadres.

IAF drill: Agra-Lucknow Expressway safe from Chinese, Pak missile attacks

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Agra-Lucknow Expressway has now become a safe haven for the fighter jets of the Indian Air Force (IAF) from any Chinese missile attack from Doklam and Pakistan’s from Rajasthan borders. It is because the runaway at the expressway is out of Chinese and Pakistanis missile range.The IAF on Tuesday conducted a historical air operation on a 3.2 kms airstrip at Bangarmau in Unnao on the Lucknow-Agra Expressway as part of its preparedness against any Chinese and Pakistanis aggression on its air bases within their missile ranges. In case of attack, the air strike first targets air bases to destroy them so that fighter jets do not take off for launching counter-offensive.On IAF’s demand requirement, the Union surface transport ministry had passed an order to construct airstrips at every strategically located expressway selected by the Air Force. Uttar Pradesh became the first state in the country to be bestowed with the honour of providing the IAF safest airstrip which out of missile range of China and Pakistan.IAF has five air bases in Uttar Pradesh. They are strategically located at Lucknow, Kanpur, Varanasi, Allahabad, Gorakhpur and Bareilly to facilitate landing and take off facility to MIG, Sukhoi, Jaguar and Mirage fighter jets. Landing of Hercules C-130 is yet to be tested on any of its airstrips.In first of its kind air operations anywhere in the country, about 15 fighter jets touchdown and took off airstrip near Unnao in just 28 minutes. Six Sukhoi-30, six Mirage-2000 and three Jaguars participated in the air drill at the expressway. MI-17 helicopter also participated in the operation.But the show-stopper was the Super Hercules C-130, world’s largest and heaviest tourbo-prop carrier. It took from Hindon air base in Ghaziabad with about 200 Air Force special-trained Garud Commandos. It was the first to make a landing at the expressway at 10.15 am. After Garud commandos descended the air carrier with their vehicles etc, it took off and made another landing at the end to pick them up.Mirage-2000 took off from Gwalior while Jaguar from Gorahpur and Sukhoi-30 from Bareilly air bases to make a sortie at the expressway airstrip safely. They remained on the airstrip for about 40 to 50 seconds with the front wheel up before speeding up to take off testing the airstrip was robust and safe enough to be used in case of any emergency or war-like situation.Earlier, on November 21 2016, Mirage and Sukhoi jet fighters had touchdown the airstrip on 302-km-long Lucknow-Agra Expressway when it was inaugurated by former Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav in the presence of the former Defence minister Mulayam Singh Yadav.It is the second expressway in Uttar Pradesh which has the airstrip to provide facility for landing and take-off. Yamuna Expressway also has similar facility. Country’s longest proposed Poorvanchal Express from Lucknow to Ballia will also have similar facility.

Now, BMC plans to teach mgmt basics

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With the rise in urbanisation across the country and need to manage water, open space and waste management being felt acutely, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to start a course on ‘City Management’ next year onwards. The course will focus on managing a city with limited resources to cater to maximum people.The BMC claims that the course will be the first of its kind in the country to be run by a civic body.”From hospitals to lakes, the BMC is known to manage resources in a better way than other civic bodies in the country. We want other civic bodies or similar organisations to learn how to manage their resources to cater to the maximum number of people,” said a senior civic official attached to the programme.The six-month programme will be run by experts from the industry and officials from the BMC. “We will bring in experts from the industry and also use our own officials with experience in management,” added the official.Despite several issues having cropped up while drafting the development plan (DP) 2034 — a blueprint for development in the city till 2034 — the civic body got it cleared from the corporation.”It is an achievement to prepare a DP of a city like Mumbai which has limited space and to accommodate a huge population and meet the expectations of each and every stakeholder,” said the official. The ‘Development Plan’ will also part of the curriculum. At present, Mumbai’s DP 2034 is with the state government for final approval.”At present, we are finalising important aspects,” added the official.The course will be open for everyone from a resident to a civic body or similar organization. “With a rise in urbanisation across the country, even a resident should know the intricacies of how to run a city like Mumbai,” said the official. The course will also discuss good works being done across the globe.THE COURSE WILL INCLUDEIt will be conducted in the BMC’s training centres in Borivli and Powai.
It will cover urban issues like water and waste management, managing sewerage system, running hospitals, dealing with encroachment on footpaths and maintaining traffic systems. The six-month programme will be run by experts from the industry and officials from the BMC

Cops hunting for victim bartender’s friend for murder

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Horror and shock gripped a team of Delhi Police when its search for a missing 30-year-old bartender lead it to his colleague’s South Delhi house where his body was found chopped in three pieces and stored inside a refrigerator on Saturday night.Vipin Joshi had been missing since Monday. The police suspected his chef friend Badal Mandal’s role in the disappearance as he also went missing the same day. “The house door was locked. When we got inside, we found the refrigerator’s door slightly ajar. We saw signs of blood that had dripped out. We also noticed a trouser, soaked in blood, kept nearby,” said a police officer. The police suspect that the crime might have been committed a couple of days ago.The team found Joshi’s head, and also his torso cut into two pieces and stuffed inside the refrigerator. A meat cleaver suspected to be used in the ghastly crime was recovered from the house and sent for forensic examination. Some liquor bottles were also found from the rented accommodation located in Said-Ul-Azaib, an urban village in upscale Saket area.Joshi lived with his brother in a rented house in the adjacent lane. He worked at FIO Country Kitchen & Bar at the Garden of Five Senses, a 20-acre leisure space run by the Delhi government for the public to socialise and unwind.Mandal worked at the same restaurant where they were called “best friends”. A police team will be sent to Kolkata where his mobile phone’s last location was seen. His phone is now switched off. Mandal had sent his wife and children to their home in West Bengal last month. The police said that the motive behind the gruesome murder was not clear. The sequence of the crime is to be established. The police is questioning other workers at the restaurant.”The trays in the fridge had been removed to fit the body pieces.,” said a police officer.”We informed the police after we noticed a strong stench coming from the house. I did not know Mandal personally but had seen him once drinking at our house along with my brother. My brother came to Delhi in 2007 and started working as a bartender,” said Mahesh, the victim’s brother.HORROR IN SOUTH DELHI HOUSEVipin Joshi had been missing for a week. His body pieces found in chef friend’s fridge
A meat cleaver, a blood-soaked trouser recovered from Badal Mandal’s house
Accused likely to have fled to Kolkata. A police team is being sent to arrest him

Side effects of demonetization, GST: IMF lowers India’s growth forecast for year 2017

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The IMF on Tuesday lowered India’s growth projection to 6.7% in 2017, 0.5 percentage points less than its previous two forecasts in April and July, attributing it to demonetization and introduction of the GST.It also lowered the country’s growth for 2018 to 7.4 %, 0.3 % less than its previous two projections in July and April.India’s growth rate in 2016 was 7.1%, which saw an upward revision of 0.3 % from its April report.”In India, growth momentum slowed, reflecting the lingering impact of the authorities, currency exchange initiative as well as uncertainty related to the midyear introduction of the country-wide Goods and Services Tax,” the IMF said in its latest World Economic Outlook report.”Strong government spending and data revisions in India led to an upward revision of 2016 growth to 7.1% (6.8% in April), with upward revisions of about 0.2% , on average, for 2014 and 2015,” it said.The latest report, released ahead of the annual meetings of the IMF and the World Bank here this week, puts China slightly ahead of India in terms of growth rate for the year 2017. China is projected to grow at 6.8% in 2017, which is 0.1% more than its two previous projections in April and July.However, India is likely to regain the tag of the fastest growth emerging economies of the world in 2018, with China projected to grow at 6.5% in 2018, it said. The GST, which promises the unification of India’s vast domestic market, is among several key structural reforms under implementation that are expected to help push growth above eight per cent in the medium term, the report said.”In India, simplifying and easing labour market regulations and land acquisition procedures are long-standing requirements for improving the business climate,” the report said. Between 1999 and 2008, India on an average grew at a rate of 6.9%, IMF said adding that for the next three years its growth rates were 8.5% in 2009, 10.3 in 2010 and 6.6 in 2011.In the years 2012, 2013 and 2014 it grew at a rate of 5.5%, 6.4 and 7.5 respectively. In 2015, India clocked a growth rate of 8% points. For the year 2022, the IMF has projected a growth rate of 8.2%, as against its growth projection of 6.7 in 2017 and 7.4 in 2018.

Ready for swift response at short notice: IAF chief

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Indian Air Force is prepared to fight a war at a “short notice” and is fully geared up to respond to any security challenge to the country in the most befitting manner, Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa said on Sunday.The IAF chief also said that the uncertainties in the present geo-political environment in the region may require the IAF to fight a “short” and “swift war”.“We are prepared to fight at a short notice should the need arise,” he said while addressing an event at the air base here on the occasion of the 85th anniversary of the IAF.The comments came amid China’s muscle flexing in Doklam and continued cross-border firing by Pakistan.The IAF chief spoke on a variety of issues, including the possible security challenge facing the country, stating that the focus was to transform the IAF into a technology intensive force in the next few years to significantly enhance its overall prowess.“I assure my countrymen that these men and women under my command are confident to take on any threat and fully prepared to undertake full spectrum of air operation and respond to any challenge in the most befitting manner,” he said, in the presence of Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat and top echelons of the IAF.“We are in the process of acquiring new combat systems, upgrading and modernising our existing inventory of aircraft and weapons system with an aim to equip them with the latest avionics technology,” he said.

UNSC must use sanctions as weapon against terror funding in Afghanistan: India

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> India has asked the UN Security Council to use sanctions regime as a weapon against terror funding in Afghanistan and support the strengthening of the war-torn country’s sovereignty and stability threatened by terrorist safe havens across the borders.India also asked the international community to ensure that the forces of terrorism and extremism do not find sanctuaries and safe havens anywhere and at any level.”We must not differentiate between good and bad terrorists, or play one group against the other. The Taliban, Haqqani Network, AI-Qaeda, Daesh, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e- Mohammad and others of their ilk are all terror organisations, many of them proscribed by the UN,” Syed Akbaruddin, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, said.”The international community cannot remain silent. It is the international community’s first and foremost duty to ensure that the forces of terrorism and extremism do not find sanctuaries and safe havens anywhere and at any level,” he said in an apparent dig at Pakistan.Participating in an open debate of the UN Security Council on Afghanistan, Akbaruddin said that these terrorist groups should be treated like terrorist organisations with no justifications offered for their activities.Noting that the situation in Afghanistan has remained particularly painful and disturbing with security worsening and visible signs of withering away of the gains by the international community and Afghan people, the top Indian envoy said that the incessant attacks on hospitals, schools, funerals, or international development agencies, diplomatic missions are a matter of serious concern.”The Security Council must act on the funds which the terrorists in Afghanistan are generating through their illicit activities. In this regard, we would like the Council to consider how the 1988 sanctions regime can be utilised and also leverage for progress in the peace process? These are significant instruments and must be utilised to their full capacity,” he said.”While making our collective efforts here at the UN or at other multilateral settings, we must be mindful to support the strengthening of Afghanistan’s sovereignty and stability, the two things anti-Government terrorist elements are trying to undermine from their safe havens across the borders of Afghanistan,” he said.He said the multiple crises that have been inflicted on Afghanistan had made the country’s territory attractive for criminal and terrorist groups, who are well connected to international terror and crime networks.”These groups are stealing the resources of Afghanistan which ought to belong to the people of the country,” he said.Afghan Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani joined Akbaruddin in identifying terrorist safe havens across the border.”The scourge of terrorism and violent extremism affecting Afghanistan is the product of a long-standing policy by a neighbouring State to keep Afghanistan unstable,” he said.”It has menaced Afghanistan for several decades now, with its roots located in terrorist sanctuaries and safe havens outside of my country,” Rabbani said, adding that the new strategy of the United States for South Asia has generated new hope among people across the country.”In this connection, we welcome the fact that the new strategy recognises the critical need to address the lingering problem of terrorist safe-havens and sanctuaries in our region; and for more determined efforts to end political, logistical and financial support enjoyed by terrorist groups,” he said.”Furthermore, the strategy’s conditions based approach has addressed some uncertainties by reinforcing the right message that the international community’s engagement will endure until Afghanistan becomes stable and secure,” Rabbani said.

Full text of PM Narendra Modi’s Mann Ki Baat speech

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>My dear countrymen, Namaskar to all of you! It is now a full three years since I started speaking to you over “Mann Ki Baat”. This is the 36th episode today. “Mann Ki Baat” has provided me with a unique opportunity to get connected with various feelings and positive energy of the country; emotions of our people which include their desires, expectations and at times, even grievances, which come to their minds. And I have never said that these are the expressions of my mind; Mann Ki Baat reflects our countrymen’s minds, their expressions, their expectations. And when I say things in Mann Ki Baat, people from across the country send their ideas, experiences and feelings to me. I am probably not able to convey all these to you but still I get a treasure-full of ideas over e-mail, over telephone, over mygov. or over Narendra Modi App. I receive a multitude of such ideas and suggestions. Most of these are inspiring to me.A large number of these ideas are regarding improvements in the functioning of our government. There are personal grievances and complaints and sometimes attention is drawn to community problems. I just take half an hour of your time in a month but people keep sending suggestions, ideas and other material over Mann Ki Baat during all 30 days of the month. And, the result of this whole exercise is that the government has started realizing the sensitivities and powerful ideas of the people of far off places. And, this is why the three-year journey of Mann Ki Baat is in fact a journey of our countrymen, their emotions and their feelings. I am thankful to our countrymen for having provided me an opportunity to understand the feelings of the common man. In Mann Ki Baat, I have always remembered one sentence of Acharya Vinoba Bhave. He always used to say ‘A- sarkari, Asarkari’, meaning non government is effective. I have also tried to focus on the people of the country in Mann Ki Baat, have kept it away from political hues & tried to remain connected with you with a stable mind rather than being diverted by the heat of the moment or anguish.I surely believe and feel that now after three years, social scientists, universities, research scholars, media experts would undertake its analysis and highlight its every aspect, positive as well as negative. And I am sure that this brainstorming could be useful for Mann Ki Baat in future and will infuse a new energy into it. And, in one episode of Mann Ki Baat I had said that while having our food, we must also be conscious of consuming only as much as we need and see to it that there is no wastage. But, later, I received letters from all corners of the country. Many social organizations and many youth are already observing this in practice. I come to know about a lot many people who were involved in ensuring that leftover food was best utilized. I derived much satisfaction and joy to learn this.Once, in Mann Ki Baat, I had mentioned about a retired teacher from Maharashtra Shriman Chandrakant Kulkarni who donated 51 post – dated cheques of Rs. 5,000/- each for the cleanliness drive out of his total monthly pension of Rs. 16,000/-. And then I saw that a lot many people came forward to donate for this cause.Once, I saw a selfie of a sarpanch with a daughter and referred to the same in Mann Ki Baat. In no time, “Selfie with Daughter” became a big campaign not only in India but across the whole world. This is not only an issue of social media. It became an incident to create a new self-confidence and a feeling of self pride in every daughter. Every parent started feeling that they should take a selfie with their daughter. Every daughter started regaining her own self confidence & self esteem.I was in a meeting with the Tourism Department recently. I asked people who were planning to go travelling that where-ever they visit ‘Incredible India’, they must send photographs of those places. Lakhs of photographs from every corner of India were received which actually became a treasure for those working in the tourism sector. I’ve experienced through ‘Mann Ki Baat’ that even a tiny incident can launch a massive campaign. Today I felt like sharing it, since I thought that it has been three years, and events & incidents over those three years ran across my mind. The nation is always ready to move in the right direction. Every citizen of the country wants to do something for the benefit of others, for social good, for the country’s progress. This is what I gathered, learnt and understood from our countrymen during three years of the Mann Ki Baat campaign. This is the most valuable capital and enormous strength for any country. I heartily bow to my countrymen.In one episode of Mann Ki Baat I had discussed about Khadi and Khadi is not a fabric but an idea, a principle. I have noticed that these days interest in Khadi has increased very much and I had just said that I was not asking people to makeover into wearing Khadi permanently; rather, since there are a number of fabrics then why not Khadi also be one of the fabrics of your choice? May be a bed-sheet in the house, a handkerchief or a curtain, it has been felt that the younger generation has got interested in Khadi. Sale of Khadi has increased and as a result of this, the poor man’s household has directly got connected to employment. Discount is offered on Khadi from 2nd October and people get quite a good rebate. I once again urge that we should try and take forward the Khadi movement. We should follow the spirit of helping the poor to be able to light a Diwali lamp. The poor of our country will derive strength from this and we must do it. The increasing interest in Khadi has infused a new thinking in those working in the Khadi sector as well as those connected, in any way, with Khadi. How do we bring in new technology, how do we increase productivity, how do we introduce looms driven by solar power? How do we rejuvenate our traditional heritage which was lying inactive for 20, 25 or 30 years?Sewapuri Khadi Ashram at Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh was lying closed for 26 years but has got a fresh lease of life now. A number of thoughts were implemented. New employment opportunities were created for a number of people. Khadi Gramodyog revived its training centre at Pampore in Kashmir and in this sector Kashmir has so much to offer. With the reopening of this training centre, the new generation will get a boost in jobs in manufacturing , in weaving, in creating new things and it feels so good to see that even big corporate Houses have started including Khadi items as Diwali gifts. Even people have started exchanging Khadi items as gifts. We now experience how something grows naturally.My dear countrymen, we had taken a resolve in last month’s Mann Ki Baat and had decided to observe a 15-day Cleanliness Festival before Gandhi Jayanti. We shall connect people through cleanliness. Our Honourable President inaugurated this programme and the country got connected. The old or the young, men or women, city or village everyone has become a part of this Cleanliness campaign now. And when I say “Sankalp Se Siddhi”, we can see for ourselves as to how a Cleanliness Campagin is advancing towards Sankalp Siddhi, that is Attainment through Reslove. Everyone accepts this, co-operates in this and makes a contribution in realizing this. I am grateful to our Honourable President. But, every section of society has taken this as its own campaign, everyone has got connected to this. Whether it be people from the sports world, academicians, schools, colleges, universities, farmers, workers, officers, government employees, police, or army jawans – every one has got connected with this. A kind of a pressure has been created in public places and now people resist if someone tries to spoil or to make a public place dirty in any way and even those spoiling public places are also feeling this pressure. It is a good thing and I am pleased to know that just in the first four days of “Swachhata Hi Sewa Abhiyan” more than 75 lakh people joined these activities with more than 40 thousand initiatives..I have seen that some people are continuously working and are determined to bring out results. I noticed something else this time – one is that we clean up a place, and the second is that we become aware and do not spread filth; but if we have to inculcate cleanliness as a habit, we must start an idea- based movement also. This time a number of competitions were organized on the theme “Cleanliness is Service”. More than two and a half crore children took part in an Essay Competition on cleanliness. Thousands of children made paintings. They drew pictures based on their own imaginations. Many people wrote poems and these days I post drawings made by our young children on social media and praise their efforts. Whenever there is a reference to cleanliness, I do not forget to express my gratitude to media persons. They have taken this campaign in a religious manner. They have made a big contribution in creating a positive environment and are leading the Cleanliness Campaign in their own ways.We can see in “Swachhata Hi Sewa” movement as to how the electronic media and the print media in our country can render a big service to the country. Just a few days ago some one drew my attention towards Bilal Dar, a young man of 18 years from Srinagar. And you will be glad to know that Srinagar Municipal Corporation has made him their brand ambassador and when there is a talk of brand ambassador, there is a general feeling that he/she must be a Cine artist or a sports-personality. But not in this case. Bilal Dar got connected to the ‘Swachhata Abhiyan’ or Cleanliness Campaign since the age of 12-13 years and has been working for the last 5 to 6 years. He clears plastic, polythene, used bottles, dry or wet waste – every piece of dirt from Aisa’s biggest lake near Srinagar. He also earns from this activity. His father had died of cancer at a very young age but he connected his livelihood with cleanliness. I congratulate Srinagar Municipal Corporation for taking this initiative towards sanitation and for their imagination to appoint an ambassador for this cause of cleanliness because Srinagar is a tourist destination and every Indian wants to go there; and if such attention is given to Cleanliness it is a very big achievement in itself. And I am glad that they have not only appointed Bilal as their ambassador but also given him a vehicle, and also a uniform and he goes to other areas and educates people about cleanliness and inspires them and keeps tracking them till results are achieved. Bilal is very young age wise but is a source of inspiration for all of us who are interested in cleanliness.I congratulate Bilal Dar.My dear countrymen, we will have to accept the fact that history begets history and when there is a reference to history, it is but natural to recall our great men. The month of October is a month to remember so many of our titans. From Mahatma Gandhi to Sardar Patel, there are many great leaders who gave us the direction towards the 20th and 21st century, led us, guided us and faced so many hardships for the country. 2nd October is the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and Lal Bahadur Shastri, 11th October is the birth anniversary of Jai Prakash Narain and Nanaji Deshmukh and Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay’s birth anniversary falls on 25th September. This is the centenary year of Nanaji and Deen Dayal ji. And, what was the main focus of all these great men? One thing was common and that was to live for the country, do something for the nation; they led the people not by mere sermons but by their actions. Gandhiji, Jai Prakashji, Deen Dayalji were such great personalities who remained far away from the corridors of power but lived every moment for the people, kept fighting all odds following the principle “Sarv Jan Hitay – Sarv Jan Sukhay”, they kept endeavouring tirelessly. Nanaji Deshmukh left politics and joined the Gramodaya Movement and while celebrating his Centenary year, it is but natural to honour his contribution towards Gramodaya.India’s former President Shriman Abdul Kalamji used to speak of Nanaji’s contribution in rural development while talking to the youth. He used to mention Nanaji’s contribution with great respect and he even went to a village to see Nanaji’s work there.Like Gandhiji, Deen Dayal Upadhyayji also talked about the last person at the farthest fringes. Deen Dayalji talked about the poorest of the poor the deprived, distressed ones and spoke of how, through education, employment or otherwise his life could be transformed. We are not obliging these great men by remembering them but we remember them so that we may be able to foresee our forays into the future and the direction we choose.In the next Mann Ki Baat, I will surely mention Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel but on 31st October, Run for Unity – Ek Bharat Shreshth Bharat – will be organized throughout the country. There should be a number of Run for Unity programmes in every city, every town and the weather is also such that one would enjoy running – It is essential for developing a will power of steel, like that of Sardar Saheb. Sardar Saheb unified the country. We also have to run for unity in order to promote the mantra of unity.The element of Unity in diversity being India’s speciality comes naturally to us. We feel proud of diversity but have you ever tried to feel this diversity? I would like to re-iterate to my countrymen, and specially to my young friends that we are alive & aware beings. We should feel India’s diversity, touch it, feel its fragrance. You may see for yourself, that for your inner development also, these diversities of our country work as a big teaching tool. There are vacations, Diwali is drawing near, all around in our country, there is an inclination to travel to some place or the other; people go as tourists and it is very natural. But, it is a matter of concern when we do not see our own country, we do not know about its diversities nor do we understand them. Impressed by mere superficial glitter we have started enjoying touring foreign countries only. You travel around the world, I have no issues but have a look at your own country too. People of North India may not be knowing what all is there in the South! People of West India may not be knowing what all is there in the East! Our country is full of such myriad diversities.If you refer to Mahatma Gandhi, Lokmanya Tilak, Swami Vivekanand, our former President Abdul Kalamji then you will notice that when they toured around India, they got to see and understand India and they got inspired to do and die for the country. All these great men travelled widely in India. At the beginning of their endeavour, they tried to know and understand India; tried to live India within themselves. Can we make an effort as a student to learn, understand and try to live as per the traditions, culture, attire, eating habits and beliefs of different states, different societies, different groups of our country?There will be a value addition in tourism only when we travel not only as a visitor but also like a student and make efforts to assimilate, understand & adapt. This is my personal experience, I had a chance of visiting more than five hundred districts of India. In more than four hundred & fifty districts, I had a night stay too. And now, when I am shouldering this responsibility in India, that travel is coming in very handy and proving to be very useful. That helps me a lot in understanding things. I request you too, to feel the “Unity in Diversity” which is not a mere slogan but is a storehouse of enormous energy. The dream of “Ek Bharat – Shreshtha Bharat” is inherent in this. How many varieties of cuisines there are ! If we eat a new dish every day, we won’t have to repeat any variety throughout our life. This is the power of our tourism. I would request that during these vacations do not go out just for a change but leave with the intention to know, understand –& gain something. Internalize India within yourselves. Internalize the diversities of millions of denizens of India within you. These experiences will enrich your lives. Your vision will expand. And, who can be a better teacher than experience!Generally, October to March is the suitable time for tourism. People travel. I am sure that even this time if you go, you will lend further fillip to my campaign. Wherever you go, share your experiences, share photographs. You must send photographs on # incredibleindia. If you happen to meet people there, send their photos too. Write not only about architecture or natural beauty but write something about their daily life too. Write good travelogues. Send on Mygov. And on Narendra Modi App. A thought comes to my mind, that in order to promote tourism in India what could be the seven best tourist destinations in your state – every Indian must know about these seven tourist spots of his state. If possible, one must visit these seven places. Can you provide some information about that? Can you post on Narendra Modi App? Can you post on #incredibleindia? You see, if all the people of one state will do this, then I will ask the government to do a scrutiny of it and prepare publicity material based on seven common things received from each state. In other words, how can tourist destination be developed keeping public aspirations in mind? Similarly, whatever you have seen throughout India and whichever seven out of these you liked the best and you wish that someone should see these things, or should go there, should get information about them, then you must send photos and information of seven such tourist spots on Mygov. Or on Narendra Modi App. The Government of India will work on that. The government will accept suggestions about making films, videos or preparing publicity material and about promoting that destination. Come, get connected with me. You can also act as a major catalyst in promoting the tourism of our country by utilizing the time from this October to March. I invite you.My dear countrymen, being a human being, there are many things that touch me too. They agitate my heart. They leave a deep impression on my heart. After all I am also a human being just like you. You might have noticed one recent incident, a unique example of grit, determination and patriotism that was witnessed by all countrymen. The Indian Army has got two extraordinary brave women officers; they are Lieutenant Swati and Nidhi. Their husbands laid down their lives in the service of mother India. One can imagine one’s agonizing mental state if her world gets shattered at such a early age! But Swati Mahadik, the wife of martyr colonel Santosh Mahadik – resolved to face the difficult situations and she joined the Indian Army. She received training for 11 months putting in great efforts and she put her life at stake to fulfill her husband’s dreams. Similarly, Nidhi Dubey’s husband Mukesh Dubey was a Naik in the army and attained martyrdom while fighting for his country. His wife Nidhi also took a resolve and joined the army. It is very natural for every countryman to have a deep sense of respect for these two bravehearts, our Matri Shakti. I convey my heartiest congratulations to both of them. They have evoked a new inspiration and a new awakening among millions of our countrymen. Many congratulation to these two sisters.My dear countrymen, there is a big opportunity for our younger generation between Navratra festivities and Diwali. FIFA under- 17 world cup is being organized in our country. I am sure reverberations of the spirit of football will be heard all around. It will evince more interest in Football in every generation. There should not be a single school-college ground in India where we will not see our youngsters at play. Come on, the whole world is coming to play on Indian soil, let us make sports a part of our lives.My dear countrymen, Navratras are going on. It is a time for praying to Ma Durga. The whole environment is filled with sacred fragrance. All around there is an atmosphere of spirituality, an air of festivities, an atmosphere of bhakti, of reverence. This is revered as a festival of Shakti Sadhana. This is also known as Sharadiya Navratri, the beginning of autumn. On this pious occasion of Navratri, I convey my best wishes to our countrymen and pray to Ma Shakti to let our country attain newer heights so that the desires and expectations of all our countrymen get fulfilled. May our nation be blessed with the strength to face any challenge.May the nation move forward and may the year two thousand twenty two- 75 years of India’s Independence be an attempt to realize the dreams of our freedom fighters, the resolve of 125 crore countrymen, with their tremendous hard work, courage and determination to fulfill our resolve and prepare a roadmap for five years. We have moved on; may ma-shakti shower her blessings upon us. My good wishes to all of you. Celebrate festivities, enjoy with enthusiasm.Many Many thanks.

HRD Ministry to work on training tech teachers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With questions being raised about the competency of those teaching engineering students, the Ministry of Human Resource Development is now working on a roadmap to improve training for technical teachers.The National Institutes of Technical Teacher Training and Research (NITTTRs), which train technical teachers, on Tuesday approached the ministry, saying the teachers have become less efficient and therefore unemployable, and sought ways to enhance their employability.”Officials from NITTTRs approached us saying that the quality of teachers coming in the field of technical education has been going down for the last few years and this has impacted quality of engineering graduates that are passing out from the colleges. We had a long presentation in the ministry and will now work on a roadmap to improve teacher education,” said a senior official from the ministry.There are four NITTTRs in the country, in Bhopal, Chandigarh, Chennai and Kolkata. The institutes gave their own presentations on how they want technical education to be improved and asked for suggestions from ministry officials.Among some of the suggestions that emerged from the presentation were regular training sessions for teachers while they are teaching at the institutes so they are abreast of latest developments in their fields. “What most teachers do after they start teaching is to stop updating themselves with latest development, this makes them less efficient,” the official added.Based on the suggestions received from NITTTRs, the ministry will now further work on a roadmap to transform technical teacher training in the country.Around 10-12 lakh students take admission in various engineering institutes across the country every year, given such a large number of students in this field, the ministry wants that the faculty should be up to the mark.

Rajnath Singh appeals citizens to promote Hindu across globe

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On the occasion of Hindi Diwas, Home Minister Rajnath Singh appealed to the citizens of India to increasingly use Hindi for official purposes as well as in personal life, and urged all to vow to promote the country’s official language across the globe.”On this occasion of Hindi diwas, let us vow to promote and support Hindi in mind, in word, and in deed, and take it to its respectable state and make our country proud,” Singh said, while addressing the citizens via a video message.”Since Hindi is the official language, it is our constitutional liability to ensure that Hindi is used a primary language for official work,” said the Home minister, adding that this instruction should be complied with as much persistence as other official instructions are complied with.He also said that we should not limit the usage to official, but also use Hindi in our personal lives too.Rajnath Singh said that the identity of a strong nation is seen by how vast and enriching its language is, and that every language and dialect of India contributes to our national and cultural heritage.”It is the duty of every citizen to protect the nation?s heritage,” he added.Observing the role of Hindi as the country’s official language, Singh claimed that it was the only language that has played a major role in accomplishing unity in diversity.”Hindi not only serves as the medium for expressing the prime elements of Indian culture, but is also a medium for strengthening the unity of the nation,” he said.The Home Minister stressed on the greater usage of Hindi in its simplest form for official functions, and suggested that chiefs of education institutes ensure that Hindi is majorly used as a medium of instruction.”I appeal to every chief of Government ministries, departments, offices, enterprises and banks etc. to primarily use Hindi language in their daily functioning, so that other officers and staff are encouraged to do the same,” he said, adding that offices and institutes should organise practice-based workshops for Hindi to achieve the purpose.In reference to the information revolution in the age of computer and internet, Singh said that Hindi Etools like Unicode, Hindi keyboard, E-Masterword, machine translation have been developed to facilitate the use of Hindi language in computers, and should be increasingly used.”With our efforts, I am sure we will achieve success in spreading Hindi across the globe,” he concluded.India celebrates Hindi Diwas on September 14 every year.

Madhya Pradesh: Lokayukta police unearth unaccounted assets from home of town and country planning dept official

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Lokayukta police on Tuesday conducted raids at the three premises of a senior woman official of the Town and Country Planning department and unearthed unaccounted assets from her possession.The official identified as Anita Kurathe is posted as deputy director of the department in the neighbouring Dewas district and on the basis of a complaint against her, three places associated with her in Indore were raided, Lokayukta’s deputy superintendent of police (DSP) said.She owns a penthouse in a high rise in Indore, a farm house of 3,500 square feet area, eight shops in different localities, Rs 1.5 lakh cash and jewellery, the DSP said.The properties are in her and her close relatives names.”We have also found some clues which indicate that she has a partnership in a hotel in Rau area here and also has 20-25 bank accounts,” the DSP said.Kurathe joined the government service in 1994 and the details of properties that have been unearthed are much more than her known sources of income, said the official.Detail investigations are on and further details are awaited.

It’s the frustration of Rahul Gandhi speaking, deplorable: BJP hits out at his US speech

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bhartiya Janata Party on Tuesday hit-out at Congress Vice President over his speech at the University of California at Berkeley.”The Idea of non-violence is under attack today. Hatred, anger, and violence can destroy us. The politics of polarisation has raised its ugly head in India,” said Rahul Gandhi attacking the BJP.Stating that the liberal journalist being shot, people being lynched because of being Dalit, Muslims killed on suspicion of eating beef, Congress leader said, “This is new in India and damages India very badly. The politics of hate damages India. Making millions of people feel they have no future in the country.”The Congress leader made the remarks while addressing the students on ‘India at 70: Reflections on the Path Forward.'”Astonishing that Congress VP, Rahul Gandhi goes to US and slams his own Country, India ..It’s frustration of Rahul speaking…Deplorable!,” BJP leader Sambit Patra said slamming Rahul Gandhi on Twitter.However, National Conference party leader Omar Abdullah asked Sambit Patra if he would care to share exact quotes where Rahul ‘slams his own country’. “It will be most helpful since some of us can’t find any,” Omar tweeted.To which, Patra replied, “Omar ji with due respect one example is- When RG says that India is a country of Dynasts “भारत एसे ही चलता है” I believe this is demeaning!Rahul further alleged the BJP of running a campaign and spreading ‘abuses’ against him.”There is a BJP machine – about 1,000 guys sitting on computers and telling you about me. Tremendous machine. All day they spread abuse about me and the operation is run by the ‘gentleman’ PM Modi, who is running our country,” he alleged.However, Rahul also praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s communication skills saying that the latter ‘knows how to give a message to three-four different groups in a crowd, so his messaging ability is very effective and subtle.”

In Myanmar, PM defends note ban

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday justified demonetisation which has come in for criticism, asserting that his government was not afraid of taking “big” and “tough” decisions in the interest of the country.Addressing the Indian diaspora here in Myanmar, he said his government could take such decisions because it considers the country above politics.Meanwhile, PM Modi held talks with State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi on Wednesday. On his first bilateral visit to the Buddhist-majority nation, the PM urged all stakeholders to find a solution that respects the country’s unity.A security force operation in Rakhine has sparked a refugee influx in some neighbouring countries, mainly Bangladesh. India said on Tuesday that Rohingya Muslims are illegal immigrants and stand to be deported. The two leaders discussed the security situation along the borders of the two nations and expressed concern at various incidents of terrorism and extremist-related violence that have taken place in their respective nations.The two leaders vowed to combat terror and boost security cooperation. PM Modi emphasised that it was important to maintain stability along the long land and maritime borders of the two countries.Myanmar condemned the recent barbaric terror attack during the Amarnath Yatra in India as also various acts of terror perpetrated by terrorists from across the borders. The two leaders called on the international community to end selective and partial approaches to combating terrorism.”When it comes to a big peace process or finding a solution to a problem, we hope that all stakeholders can work together towards finding a solution which respects the unity and territorial integrity of Myanmar,” said Modi in his joint press statement with Suu Kyi after the talks. Modi also said that India stands by Myanmar amid the challenges the country is facing.After the talks, 11 agreements were signed between the two sides in areas like maritime security, strengthening democratic institutions in Myanmar, health and information technology.Suu Kyi took a strong stance on terror said, “Together we will ensure that terror is not allowed to take roots on our soil or on the soil of neighbouring countries.” She also thanked India for taking a strong stand on the terror threat that Myanmar faced recently.Myanmar has come under international pressure after some 125,000 Rohingya Muslims fled from Rakhine, beginning with an August 25 attack by Rohingya insurgents on dozens of police posts and an Army base.Modi also said that India has decided to grant gratis (no-cost) visa to Myanmarese citizens who wish to visit India. “We would like to contribute to Myanmar’s development efforts as part of our ‘Sabka saath sabka vikaas’ initiative,” said Modi who reached Myanmar on the second leg of his two-nation trip after he travelled to the south-eastern Chinese city Xiamen where he attended the annual BRICS Summit.The PM also announced that India has decided to release 40 Myanmarese citizens, currently lodged in various jails in India. “We hope that they will soon be able to meet their families in Myanmar,” he said.(With agency inputs)

Gauri Lankesh murder: Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare’s families say it’s a warning sign that democracy is in danger

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While condemning the murder of journalist and activist Gauri Lankesh, family members of slain rationalists Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare have stated that these murders is a warning sign that the democracy of the country is in danger.Following the murder of Gauri near her residence in Bengaluru on Tuesday, several journalists, thinkers and activists expresses outraged at the killing of the 55 year old journalist. While Karnataka police are yet to find any concrete clues of Gauri’s attackers, the modus operandi of the murderers is somewhat similar to the three murders of rationalists Narendra Dabholkar who was killed in Pune in 2013, Govind Pansare who was murdered in Kolhapur in the year 2015 and MM Kalburgi who was shot dead at his residence in Dharwad, Karnataka in the same year.Speaking to DNA after the murder of Gauri, Dabholkar and Pansare family members condemned the heinous act. Hamid Dabholkar, son of Narendra Dabholkar expressed concern over these series of murders. “The murder of a female journalist and activist is deeply shocking. Though the attackers and the reason behind the murder is yet to be found out, the modus operandi of the Gauri’s killers is similar with earlier three murders of rationalists,” Hamid said.”In a democracy, we have tolerate the voice of dissent. Even if there is a difference of opinion, murder is not the reaction you expect in democracy. However, such murders are now taking place in our country and such thinking is now spreading like a infectious disease in the country,” Hamid added.Hamid also appealed the society to come forward to protect the democracy of the country. “It is a fight of not just these four families but the entire society as these incidents show that the entire democratic system of the country is in danger,” he said.After the murder of Gauri, some members of Pansare family joined the protest rally in Delhi on Wednesday. Speaking to DNA after the rally, Megha Pansare, daughter in law of Govid Pansare said, “In the past also people would be getting angry if they did not like other person’s views but they did not take the path of killing that person for not liking his views. However, these four murders in a span of four years is a signal that the some elements are taken up anti-democratic path to silence the voice of dissent.””Such murders are creating deep psychological impact in the society which is not at all good for healthy democracy. In a democratic country, certain principles are needed to be followed and if some elements are not following those principles, it the responsibility of the government to make them follow those principles. .However, we are seeing failure on the part of the government to protect our democracy,” she added.Megha also showed concern over the voices in social media supporting the heinous crime.

Rohingyas violence: India shares concerns with Myanmar over situation; request all to find a peaceful solution, says PM Modi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India said today that it shares Myanmar’s concerns over “extremist violence” in the Rakhine state from where 125,000 Rohingyas have fled to Bangladesh, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging all stakeholders to find a solution that respects the country’s unity.Modi, who held wide-ranging talks with State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, asserted that it was important to maintain the security and stability of the land and maritime boundaries of the two countries.The two leaders also vowed to combat terror and boost security cooperation.Modi’s first bilateral visit here comes at a time when the Myanmarese government led by Nobel laureate Suu Kyi is facing international pressure over the 125,000 Rohingya Muslims that have poured into Bangladesh in just two weeks after Myanmar’s military launched a crackdown in the Rakhine state.Modi, in his joint press statement with Suu Kyi after the talks, said India understands the problems being faced by Myanmar.He said India shares Myanmar’s concerns over “extremist violence” in the Rakhine state, especially the loss of innocent lives of the people and the security personnel.”When it comes to a big peace process or finding a solution to a special issue, we hope that all stakeholders can work together towards finding a solution which while respecting the unity and territorial integrity of Myanmar ensures peace, justice and dignity for all,” Modi said.His remarks came a day after Union Minister Kiren Rijiju said Rohingyas are illegal immigrants and will be deported from India.Rijiju had asserted that nobody should preach India on the issue as the country has absorbed the maximum number of refugees in the world.After Modi-Suu Kyi talks, 11 agreements were signed between the two sides in areas like maritime security, strengthening democratic institutions in Myanmar, health and information technology.Modi, in his statement, stressed on scaling up security cooperation, saying that being neighbours, the two countries have similar security concerns.Taking a strong stance on terror, Suu Kyi said, “Together we will ensure that terror is not allowed to take root on our soil or on the soil of neighbouring countries.” Suu Kyi also thanked India for taking a strong stand on the terror threat that Myanmar faced recently.Rohingya militants raided police posts in Myanmar’s Rakhine state last month, killing 12 security personnel.The meeting between Modi and Suu Kyi came on a day she was quoted as telling Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that global outrage over Myanmar’s treatment of its Rohingya Muslims was being fuelled by “a huge iceberg of misinformation”.Sympathy for the Rohingya was being generated by “a huge iceberg of misinformation calculated to create a lot of problems between different communities and with the aim of promoting the interest of the terrorists”, Suu Kyi was quoted by an official statement as telling Erdogan in a call.Suu Kyi has come under fire in recent days for failing to speak out against violence targeting Rohingyas, particularly given her previous image as a champion of human rights.Hundreds have died since Rohingya militants raided police posts in Myanmar’s Rakhine State.UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has also called for the Muslims of Rakhine state to be given either nationality or legal status, and voiced concern about violence that has since late August forced nearly 125,000 people to flee and risk destabilising the region.Modi also asserted that India stands by Myanmar amid the challenges the country is facing.He said that India has decided to grant gratis (no-cost) visa to Myanmarese citizens who wish to visit the country.Modi highlighted the development initiatives India was undertaking in Mynamar especially in capacity building, which Suu Kyi said her country needed the most.”I believe the democratic experience of India is relevant for Myanmar and that is why we are proud of our massive support in the capacity building of the executive, legislature, election commission and press council and other institutions in Myanmar,” Modi said.Talking about India’s assistance to Myanmar, he said the work on the Paletwa Inland Waterways Terminal and Sittwe port under the Kaladan project has been completed.Modi also noted that the high-speed diesel from India has started coming through trucks to meet the needs of Upper Myanmar.Under the development partnership, Modi highlighted India’s assistance in the development of high quality education and healthcare and research facilities in Myanmar.He said in future also India would take up projects that will be according to the needs and priorities of Myanmar.”Today’s agreements will strengthen our all-round bilateral cooperation,” the prime minister said.He also lauded Suu Kyi’s leadership in Myanmar’s peace process.Earlier, during the delegation-level talks, Modi said, “We would like to contribute to Myanmar’s development efforts as part of our ‘Sabka saath sabka vikaas’ initiative.” He said deepening the relationship with Myanmar was a priority for India, as a neighbour and also in the context of the ‘Act East Policy’.Later in the day, Modi flew to Bagan and paid respects at the Ananda Temple there.Modi arrived here on the second leg of his two-nation trip after he travelled to the southeastern Chinese city Xiamen where he attended the annual BRICS Summit.Yesterday, Modi called on Myanmarese President Htin Kyaw, describing it as a “wonderful meeting”.They had discussed steps to deepen the “historical relationship” between the two neighbours.This is Modi’s first bilateral visit to Myanmar. He had visited the country in 2014 to attend the ASEAN-India Summit.The Myanmarese president and Suu Kyi had visited India last year.Myanmar is one of India’s strategic neighbours and shares a 1,640-km-long border with a number of northeastern states including militancy-hit Nagaland and Manipur.

SC dismayed over prevalance of child marriage despite law against it

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court expressed dismay over the prevalence of the practice of child marriage despite the existence of the Child Marriage Prohibition Act and termed as unfortunate that this was being done mostly at the behest of girl child’s parents.The court was hearing a plea questioning the validity of a provision permitting a man to have physical relationship with his wife, even if she was aged between 15 and 18 years.During the hearing, the top court said striking down of such provision in section 375 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) would amount to creating an offence.Section 375 of the IPC, which defines the offence of rape, has an exception clause that says intercourse or sexual act by a man with his wife, not below 15 years, is not rape.”It is a hard reality and is unfortunate that most of the child marriages happening in the country are done by parents of the girl child. However, to this, there are odd exceptions when a minor boy and girl fall in love and marry on their own,” a bench of Justices M B Lokur and Deepak Gupta said.It also sought to know whether it can create an offence by striking down the exception 2 of section 375 of IPC which the Parliament has refused to do.Advocate Gaurav Agarwal, appearing for NGO Independent Thought, said by amendment to CrPC in 2013, the age of consent for sexual intercourse by a girl, which was earlier 16 years has now been increased to 18 years.He said that exception 2 to section 375 of the IPC still retains the age of consent as 15 years, due to which there is a huge gap of three years in the age of consent for a married girl child and an unmarried girl.Agarwal, assisted by advocate Vikram Shrivatava, said that exception 2 to section 375 of the IPC was discriminatory and violate Article 14 of the Constitution.Taking note of the arguments, the bench said, “We have to accept this hard reality. These kind of marriages are still happening in the country and if we are going to strike down this exception, then what would happen to the child born from such marriages. We have to keep all aspects in mind.” Agarwal said the court can strike down the exception like it did recently in the practice of triple talaq among Muslims for being arbitrary and discriminatory.He contended that this classification has no rationale nexus with the object sought to be achieved as the reasoning behind increasing the age of consent to 18 years in 2013, was that a girl below that age is incapable of realising the consequences of her consent.”If this is the object for increasing the age of consent to 18 years of age, then marriage of girl between the age of 15-17 years does not make the girl mature enough (mentally or physically) for the purpose of consent. Thus, it is discriminatory,” Agarwal said.He cited the fourth National Family Health Survey of 2015-16, and said there were 26.8 per cent of brides in the country who were married below the age of 18 years of age.In the third Survey of 2005-06, the figure was even larger and 46 per cent of women (23 million brides) were married before the age of 18 in the country, he added.The Centre, in its affidavits, had admitted that child marriage were still happening in the country due to uneven economic and educational development.”It has been therefore decided to retain the age of 15 years under exception 2 of section 375 of IPC, so as to give protection to husband and wife against criminalising the sexual activity between them,” it had said.It had said that lawmakers had taken a pragmatic view regarding the issue of ‘marital rape’ as marriage being a social institution was the bedrock of any society and hence, needs to be protected.”Exception 2 of section 375 of IPC envisages that if the marriage is solemnized at the age of 15 years due to traditions, it should not be a reason to book the husband in the case of offence under the IPC,” it had said.The Centre also gave details of number of prosecutions that have been instituted over the last three years.The apex court had on August 9 said the raging issue whether to make forced marital intercourse and sexual acts, part of offence of rape in penal law, has been extensively debated and it cannot be considered as a criminal act.Earlier, the apex court had in 2015, made National Commission for Women (NCW) party to explain how the offence of rape in the Indian Penal Code (IPC) afforded an exception to a man to have physical relationship with his minor wife and still not qualify it as crime.The NGO in its petition sought direction to declare exception 2 to Section 375 of the IPC as “violative of Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution to the extent that it permits intrusive sexual intercourse with a girl child aged between 15 and 18 years, only on the ground that she has been married.”It has also referred to the provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO), 2012, and said these provisions were contrary to the IPC provision.The POCSO provision provides that physical relationship with a minor constitutes the offence of rape and it does not exclude such relationship between a man and his minor wife.

Mumbai Rains: President Kovind says thoughts with families, especially children

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> President Ram Nath Kovind today said government and public agencies were taking all steps to help people affected by torrential rains in Mumbai and his thoughts were with families, especially children, living in the worst-hit areas.He also appreciated voluntary groups and organisations which are helping people stranded in the flooded areas.”Thoughts with families, especially children, in Mumbai and western parts of the country hit by heavy downpour. Govt and public agencies taking all steps amid heavy rains. Glad to note voluntary groups and citizens too coming together (sic),” he tweeted.Heavy downpours pummelled Mumbai today, disrupting rail, road and air services, uprooting trees and swamping homes in the megapolis and satellite towns.People’s woes were compounded by the high tide that prevented natural drainage of water into the sea.

Fed up with potholes, Gurugram RWAs warn of boycotting polls

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A couple of weeks before the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) election, several Residential Welfare Associations (RWAs) of areas such as Ardee City, Sushant Lok-1, Nirvana Country, and South City-2 protested against the civic body on Saturday.The RWAs siad that if the MCG did not pay heed to residents’ problems, they would boycott the upcoming election.The MCG took over the responsibility of maintaining the infrastructure in these areas in 2016 from private developers. The residents rued that the MCG and the builders now keep shifting the blame onto each other while potholes on the roads widen.“Our colony, nearly 4 acres across, was constructed by private builders in 1985. They are yet to get completion certificate from the government and are supposed to maintain the infrastructure till they get this certificate, but they are not. It has been more than 30 years and they could not get the certificate,” said Dr AK Nagpal of Sushant Lok Phase I RWA.He further said,“Last year, the Haryana government declared that MCG will take over and maintain these areas. Now the builder’s stopped working. That is why we have come up with the slogan ‘No Road No Vote’.”Some residents are even planning to nominate their own candidate for the upcoming MCG election as they have lost all hope of help from political parties. “The roads are in bad shape. There are one-foot-deep potholes. Even villages have better roads. Apart from the MCG, we approached many government agencies as well, but they all refused to listen to us. We’re all paying taxes and we pay external development charges as well. In return, this is what we get,” rued Ajay Makhija, a member of the South City 2 RWA.

Coming soon from HRD – rock concerts to instil patriotism at IITs, central universities

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Students at IITs and central universities across the country would soon groove to patriotic music by rock bands visiting their campuses.The HRD Ministry has asked these institutions to host music bands who would be performing patriotic numbers.As part of the programme named “Yeh India ka time hai”, the government has identified certain bands which would be visiting campuses across the country and perform patriotic numbers, specially from Bollywood.”A private entertainment firm has been taken on board which has identified around a dozen rock bands. The shows will be planned in various institutions over the next month,” a senior official said.The programme has been organised to celebrate 70 years of India’s Independence and 75 years of the Quit India Movement this year.Earlier this month, the government had also asked all universities and educational institutions to take students to memorials of freedom fighters and residences of martyrs in the run-up to the 70th Independence day celebrations.The varsities and schools also organised an oath taking ceremony where students, teachers and non-teaching staff took a pledge to make the country a “terrorism-free, caste-free, corruption-free, uncleanness-free and poverty-free society”.

Play FIFA on computer, but get on the field also: PM Modi appeals in Mann Ki Baat

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi today asked the youth to sweat it out on the play fields instead of spending time in playing computer games, saying “playing field is more important than play station”.Modi said India is a young nation and it should be reflected on sports fields.The Prime Minister made a special mention of sport in his popular radio programme ‘Mann ki Baat’, two days before hockey wizard Dhyan Chand’s birth anniversary, observed as National Sports Day.”The young generation of our country should come forward in the world of sports — and in today’s computer era I would like to alert you to the fact that the playing field is far more important than the play station,” Modi said.”Play FIFA on the computer, but sometimes show your skills with the football out in the field. You must be playing cricket on the computer but the pleasure of actually playing cricket in an open field under the sky is something else,” he added.The Prime Minister also reminded the nation of the achievements of Dhyan Chand, who was a triple Olympic gold medallist.”The country celebrates National Sports Day on the 29th of August. This is the birth anniversary of the great hockey player, hockey wizard, Major Dhyan Chand ji. His contribution to hockey was unparallelled. I am reminding you of this because I want the younger generation of our country to take part in sports,” he said.”Sports should become a part of our lives. If we are a young nation, our youth should get manifested in the field of sports as well. Sports means physical fitness, mental alertness and personality enhancement. What else does one need? Sports, in a way, is a recipe that brings people together.”In his address, Modi noted that the youth of the country is often glued to technology-driven games on computer and TV shows.”There was a time when the children in the family went out to play, the mother would first ask ‘when will you come back home?’. Now the times are such that children when they come home, they either start watching cartoons in a corner or are glued to mobile games. And the mother has to shout ‘when will you go out?’.”How times have changed! There was a time when the mother would demand to know when her son would be back. And today, she demands to know when he will go out,” said the Prime Minister.Modi informed that the government is launching a Sports Talent Search Portal, an initiative of Sports Minister Vijay Goel, to unearth sporting talent in the country.”Any talented child, who has an achievement in sports, can upload his bio data or video on this portal. The Ministry of Sports will impart training to selected emerging players.The Ministry is launching the portal tomorrow,” he said.Modi also mentioned the upcoming U-17 FIFA World Cup to be held in India for the first time later this year. “The good news for our young friends is that the FIFA Under-17 World Cup is being organised in India, from the 6th to the 28th of October. Twenty-four teams from all over the world will be making India their home. Come, let’s welcome the young visitors from all across the world with the festival of Sports. Let’s enjoy the sport, and create a conducive sporting atmosphere in the country.”

FULL TEXT ‘Mann ki Baat’: No one has right to resort to violence in the name of their beliefs: PM Modi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In his monthly radio programme Mann ki Baat on Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said violence in the name of faith won’t be tolerated, asserting that the guilty would not be spared.His comments are significant in the aftermath of the mayhem unleashed by followers of self-styled godman Gurmeet Ram Rahim on Friday.PM Modi added that everybody will have to bow before the law and that the Constitution provides scope for redressal of all kinds of grievances.Also Read: Violence in the name of faith won’t be tolerated, guilty will be punished: PM Modi’s stern messageRead the full text of his address below:My dear countrymen, Saadar Namaskar. When on the one hand, a sense of festivity pervades the land, and on the other, news of violence comes in, from one part of the country, it is only natural of be concerned. Ours is the country of Buddha and Gandhi, it is the land of Sardar Patel who gave up his all for the unity of the nation. For centuries, our forefathers have imbibed community values, nonviolence, mutual respect – these are inherent to us. We have been hearing and saying Ahimsa ParmoDharmah from our childhood. In my address from the ramparts of the Red Fort, I had said that violence in the name of faith will not be tolerated, whether it is communal belief systems, whether it is subscribing to political ideologies, whether it is allegiance to a person or customs and traditions. No one has the right to take the law into one’s own hands in the name of one’s beliefs. In the Constitution given to us by Dr. Baba Saheb Ambedkar there is every provision for ensuring justice for each and every person. I want to assure my countrymen that people who take the law into their own hands and are on the path of violent suppression – whether it is a person or a group –neither this country nor any government will tolerate it. Each and every person will have to abide by the law; the law will fix accountability and the guilty will unquestionably be punished.My dear countrymen, our country is a land of diversities – these diversities are not limited to our cuisine, life style and attire. We observe diversity in every walk of life. Even our festivals are replete with diversity. Ours is arich cultural heritage, spanning thousands of years – when we look at our cultural traditions, social customs, historical events, there would hardly be a day left in the year which is not connected with a festival. You would have noticed, that all our festivals follow the almanac of nature. There is a direct connect with nature. Many of our festivals are linked straightaway with farmers and fishermen.Speaking about festivals today, I would first like to wish you all michhamidukkadam. The Jain community celebrated the SamvatsariParva yesterday. In the month of Bhadra, ParyushanParva is celebrated by the Jain Community. The last day of ParyushanParva is observed as Samvatsari. This is indeed a remarkable tradition. The festival of Samvatsari is symbolic of forgiveness, non-violence and brotherhood. It is also known as the KshamavaniParva, and on this day, people traditionally greet each other with, ‘michhamidukkadam.’ We have been hearing in our shaastras, our holy texts, “KshamaVeerasya Bhushanam”, that is, forgiveness is the adornment of the brave. The one who forgives is valiant. And Mahatma Gandhi always said, that forgiveness is the quality of great men.Shakespeare in his play, “The Merchant of Venice”, while explaining the importance of forgiveness, has written, “Mercy is twice blest, It blesseth him that gives and him that takes,” meaning, the forgiver and the forgiven both stand to receive divine blessing.My dear countrymen, Ganesh Chaturthi is being celebrated with great fervor all across the country. When we speak of Ganesh Chaturthi, it is but natural to talk about Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav, that is, community celebrations of the Ganesh Festival. This tradition was established by Bal Gangadhar Tilak 125 years ago, and it was 125 years ago that Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav became a symbol of India’s struggle for freedom. And after Independence, this festival has become a vehicle of raising social and educational awareness. Ganesh Chaturthi is a ten-day festival. This Mahaparva, mega-festival stands for unity, equality, integrity and honesty. My heartiest greetings to all of you on the occasion of Ganeshotsav.The festival of Onam is being celebrated in Kerela. Of the numerous colourful festivals of India, Onam is a prime festival of Kerela. This festival is known for its social and cultural significance. This festival showcases the rich cultural heritage of Kerala. It gives the message of love and harmony – awakens new hopes and aspirations, and gives new confidence to the people. Our festivals are now becoming great attractions for tourism. And I would like to mention to my countrymen, that festivals like Navaratri in Gujarat, or Durga Utsav in Bengal are tremendous tourist attractions. Other festivals of our country too, provide an opportunity to attract foreign visitors. We should think about what more can be done in this direction.In this series of festivals, Eid-ul-Zuha will be celebrated in a few days from now. Heartiest felicitations and best wishes to all countrymen on the occasion of Eid-ul-Zuha. Festivals are of course symbols of faith and belief; in the New India, we should transform them into symbols of cleanliness as well. In individual households, festivals and cleanliness are linked together. In fact, preparationsfor festivals always begin with cleaning. This is nothing new for us, but it is important to convert it into a social character. Public cleanliness must be insisted upon not just in our homes but in our villages, towns, cities, states and in our entire country – Cleanliness has to be inextricably linked to our festivals.My dear countrymen, definitions of being modern are perpetually changing. These days, a new measure to gauge a new dimension, a new parameter, has come in to being. It determines what your upbringing has been, how modern you are, how modern your thinking is. And that measure is your level of environment consciousness. Are your activities ecofriendly, environment friendly or otherwise?It is considered to be unacceptable in society today, of you are not environment friendly. And as a result of this I find that, the ecofriendly Ganpati, in this Ganesh Festival has turned into a huge campaign.If you go on YouTube, you will see that children in every home are making earthen Ganesh idols and are colouring them. Some are using vegetable colours, while some are pasting bits and pieces of paper. All sorts of experiments are being carried out in every family. This is probably the first of its kind, the most widespread experiment in environment consciousness. Media houses too, are making a great effort in training people, inspiring them and guiding them towards ecofriendly Ganesh idols. What a massive transformation this has been; a pleasant one at that. And as I mentioned, our country is blessed with millions and millions of the brightest of brains. And it is nice to see all sorts of new innovations. Someone told me about a gentleman who is an engineer and who has collected and combined special varieties of clay, to give training in making Ganesh idols. The Ganesh Visarjan or immersion is done in a small bucket of water, where the idol dissolves within no time. And he didn’t stop there. A tulsi, Holy Basil, sapling was sowed in it. The campaign for Cleanliness which was initiated three years ago will be marking its third anniversary on the 2nd of October. And the positive results are now being seen. Toilets have increased from 39% to almost 67% of the population? More than two lakh thirty thousand villages have declared themselves open defecation free.Gujarat saw devastating floods recently. Many people lost their lives. When the waters receded, there was so much filth everywhere. That is when, in Dhanera in the Banaskantha District of Gujarat, volunteers of Jamiat-Ulema-e-Hind cleaned twenty-two affected temples and two mosques in a phased manner. They came together and toiled collectively. The volunteers of Jamiat-Ulema-e-Hindset a fine, inspiring example of unity for cleanliness. If this committed effort towards cleanliness become inherent to us, our country will certainly take our nation to greater heights.My dear countrymen, I call upon you to begin a campaign, Swachchata Hi Sewa, Cleanliness is Service, at least fifteen-twenty days prior to Gandhi Jayanti on 2nd October – on the lines of the age-old belief, Jal SevaYahiPrabhuSeva, Service to Water is Service to God. Let’s create an environment of cleanliness in the entire country. Whenever and wherever possible, let’s look for the opportunity. But we must all come together. We could look at this as preparations for Diwali, preparations for Navaratri, preparations for Durga Puja. Do Shramdan, Donate through labor. Come together on Sundaysand Holidays. Go to settlements in your neighborhood, go to nearby villages, but do this in the form of a movement. I urge all NGOs, schools, colleges, social, cultural and political leaders, people in the government, collectors and sarpanches, to begin creating an environment of cleanliness at least fifteen days ahead of Gandhi Jayanti on the 2nd of October so that it turns out to be the 2nd October of Gandhi’s dreams. The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation has created a section on MyGov.in where after constructing a toilet you can register your name and the name of the beneficiary family, who you helped. My friends from the social media can run a few creative campaigns and thus become a source of inspiration in the virtual world, to see results in the real world. The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation has organized, the Swachch Sankalp se Swachcha Siddhi Pratiyogita, From the resolve of Cleanliness to attaining Cleanliness Competition comprising an essay competition, a short film making competition and a painting competition. You can write essays in various languages and there is no age limit. You can make a short film even with your mobile phone. You can film a two-three-minute movie that inspires cleanliness. It can be in any language; it could be silent too. The best three participants – three at the district level, three at the state level will be given prizes. I invite one and all – Come, join the Cleanliness Campaign in this manner as well.I would like to reiterate, let’s resolve to celebrate, 2nd October Gandhi Jayanti this year as Swachch Do Aktoobar, Clean 2nd October. And to this end beginning 15th September let us take the mantra, the message, Swachchata Hi Seva, Cleanliness is Service to each and every home. Take one or another step towards cleanliness. Make your effort to be a part of it. You will see how the Gandhi Jayanti of this 2nd October shines. You can imagine the inner bliss of paying homage to our revered Bapu, with fifteen days of this cleanliness campaign, Swachchata Hi Seva, when we celebrate Gandhi Jayanti on the 2nd of October. My dear countrymen, I want to specially express my indebtedness to you. I want to thank you from the core of my heart, not because you have been connected with Mann Ki Baat, for such a long time – I want to express my gratitude and indebtedness as millions of people from across the country come together with Mann kiBaat. The number of listeners are in crores out of which lakhs of people write letters to me, send messages, and get their messages recorded on phone, which is a huge treasure for me. This has become a great opportunity for me to understand the hearts and minds of one and all. Much as you wait for Mann ki Baat, I await your messages with greater eagerness. I always look forward with anticipation, because I find so much to learn from all that you share. It is an opportunity to test my endeavors on this touchstone. Even the smallest of your suggestions help me in thinking anew on a wide variety of subjects. I therefore express my heartfelt gratitude for your contributions and also my indebtedness to you. My endeavor always is to see for myself, hear, read and understand your thoughts. All sorts of things come to me. Now take this phone call for example. You will be able to correlate with it. You too would feel that, you would’ve committed the same mistake. Sometimes certain things become a part of our habits, that we don’t even realize that we are doing something wrong.“Pradhan Mantri ji, I am Aparna from Pune. I want to tell you about a friend of mine. She always tries to help others, but one habit of hers amazes me. I went for shopping with her at a mall. She coolly spent two thousand rupees on a sari, and four hundred and fifty rupees on a pizza. Whereas, she haggled for a long time, over merely five rupees, with the auto driver, who took us to the mall. On the way back, we stopped to buy vegetables, and again she haggled with the vendors to save 4-5 rupees. I feel very bad. We spend extravagantly in high places, without a single thought, but when it comes to our hardworking brethren, we quarrel with them over small amounts. We don’t trust them. Please speak about this on Mann kiBaat.”Now after listening to this phone call, I am certain that you would have been shocked and awakened and would probably have resolved not to repeat such a mistake. Don’t you feel that whenever a vendor comes to your door to sell something, on his rounds, when we come into contact with small shopkeepers, vegetable sellers, auto rickshaw drivers – in fact any person who earns through sheer hard work – we start bargaining with him, haggling with him: “No not so much, make it two rupees less, five rupees less!” And it is us, the same people, who go to dine at a fine restaurant, we don’t even bother to check the bill, we just go ahead and pay the money, without thinking twice. Not just this, when we go to a showroom to buy a saree, we don’t bargain, but when it comes to someone poor, we just cannot resist bargaining. Have you ever wondered what a poor man goes through? It is not a matter of two or five rupees, it hurts him deeply, when he feels that you are questioning his honesty. Two or five rupees make no difference to your life, but have you thought how much heartache this petty habit of yours can cause him. Madam I am grateful to you for calling me with this touching message. I am certain that my countrymen, if they are in the habit of behaving in this way with the poor will now stop doing so.My dear young friends, the country celebrates National Sports Day on the 29th of August. This is the birth anniversary of the great hockey player, hockey wizard, Major Dhyan Chand ji. His contribution to hockey was unparalleled. I am reminding you of this because I want the younger generation of our country to take part in sports. Sports should become a part of our lives. If we are a young nation, our youth should get manifested in the field sports as well. Sports means, physical fitness, mental alertness and personality enhancement. What else does one need? Sports, in a way, is a recipe that brings people together. The young generation of our country should come forward in the world of sports – and in today’s computer era I would like to alert you to the fact that the playing field is far more important than the play station. Play FIFA on the computer, but sometimes show your skills with the football out in the field. You must be playing cricket on the computer but the pleasure of actually playing cricket in an open field under the sky is something else. There was a time when the children in the family went out to play, the mother would first ask, “When will you come back home?” Now the times are such that children, when they come home, they either start watching cartoons in a corner, or are glued to mobile games. And the mother has to shout, “When will you go out?” How times have changed! There was a time when the mother would demand to know when her son would be back. And today, she demands to know when he will go out.Young friends, the Sports Ministry is launching a Sports Talent Search Portal to search for sporting talent and to groom them. Any talented child who has an achievement in sports, can upload his biodata or video on this portal. The Ministry of Sports will impart training to selected emerging players. The Ministry is launching the portal tomorrow. The good news for our young friends is that the FIFA Under 17 World Cup is being organized in India, from the 6th to the 28th of October. Twenty-four teams from all over the world will be making India their home.Come, let’s welcome the young visitors from all across the world with the festival of Sports, let’s enjoy the sport, and create a conducive sporting atmosphere in the country. I speak about sports today, and just last week, a heartwarming incident took place, which I would like to share with my countrymen. I had the opportunity to meet some young daughters, some of who, were born in the Himalayas, who had absolutely no connection with the sea. Six of these young daughters are in the Navy. Their grit and zeal, is inspiring for all of us. These six young women will embark on a voyage across the seas, in a small boat, INS Tarini. The expedition has been named, NavikaSagar Parikrama. They will circumnavigate the globe and return home, after many months. Sometimes they will spend 40 days on the seas in one go; at times, thirty. Our six daughters riding the waves of the high seas, with courage, is the first instance of its kind in the world. Each and every Indian would be proud of these daughters. I salute their valour and I have asked them to share their experiences with the entire country. I too am making a separate arrangement for their experiences on the NarendraModiApp to ensure that you can read it. For this is a tale of heroism, a tale of personal experiences, and I would be happy to bring you the stories of these daughters. My best wishes and blessings to these daughters.My dear countrymen, we celebrate 5th September as Teacher’s Day. It is the birthday of our former President, Dr. Radhakrishnan ji. He was the President, but all through his life, he saw himself as a teacher. He preferred to live a teacher’s life. He was committed to being a teacher. He was a scholar, a diplomat, the President of India and yet, quintessentially a teacher. I salute him.The great scientist Albert Einstein said, “It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.” The most important quality of a teacher, is to awaken in his students, a sense of creativity and the joy of learning. As we celebrate Teacher’s Day this year can we come together and take a resolve? Can we run a campaign in mission mode? Teach to Transform, Educate to Empower, Learn to Lead. Can we move ahead with this resolve? Get someone committed to a five-year resolve. Show him the path of attainment, which he can achieve in five years – so that he can experience the joy of success in life. Such an atmosphere can be created by our schools, our colleges, our teachers, our educational institutions. When we speak about transformation in our country, we must think of our teachers as we do of our mothers. The teacher plays a vital role in transformation. In the life of every teacher, there are incidents of simple efforts that succeeded in bringing about a transformation in somebody’s life. We will play a big role in the transformation of the nation, if we make a collective effort. Come, let’s move forward with the mantra, Teach to Transform.“Pranam Pradhan Mantri ji, I am Dr. Ananya Awasthi. I am a resident of Mumbai and work for the India Research Centre of Harvard University. As a researcher, I have been specially interested in Financial Inclusion. With reference to the social schemes related to Financial Inclusion, my question to you is: In the backdrop of the Jan DhanYojna launched in 2014, can you say that, do the statistics show thattoday, three years later, India is financially more secure and stronger, and whether this empowerment and benefits have percolated down to our women, farmers and workers, in villages and small towns. Thank you.”My dear countrymen, the Pradhan Mantri Jan DhanYojna, financial inclusion, had been a point of discussion amongst Financial Pundits, not just in India, but all over the world. On the 28th of August 2014, we had launched this campaign with a dream in our hearts. Tomorrow on the 28th of August, the Pradhan Mantri Jan DhanYojna will complete three years. Thirty crore new families have been linked to this scheme, bank accounts have been opened. This number is larger than the population of many countries of the world. And today I feel a great sense of fulfilment, that within three years, the last man on the fringes of society has become a part of the mainstream economy of the country. His ways have changed, he has now started going to the bank. He has started saving his money. He feels financially secure. When there is cash in the hand, or in the pocket or at home, one is tempted to indulge in wasteful expenditure. There is now an air of prudence. He is now beginning to understand that the money can be of use for his children. The money can be used productively in the days to come. Not just this, when a poor person sees a RuPay Card, in his pocket, he finds himself to be equal to the privileged – that if they have a credit card in their pockets, I too have a RuPay Card in mind. He feels a sense of dignity.In the Pradhan Mantri Jan DhanYojna, almost 65 thousand crore rupees have deposited in banks by our underprivileged brethren. In a way, this is a saving for the poor, this is his empowerment for the future. And those who opened their accounts under the Pradhan Mantri Jan DhanYojna, have received the benefit of insurance as well. Schemes like, Pradhan Mantri Jeewan Jyoti BimaYojna, Pradhan Mantri Suraksha BimaYojna, with a small premium of one rupee or thirty rupees, are giving a new sense of confidence to the poor. For many families, in times of adversity, or on the demise of the head of the family, through the one-rupeeinsurance,they received two lakh rupees in a matter of days. Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojna, Start Up Yojna, Stand Up Yojna – for Dalits, Adivasis, women, educated youth, youth who want to stand on their own feet – for millions and millions through Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojna, they have been able to get loans from banks without any guarantee. They have been able to stand on their own feet and have succeeded in giving employment to one or two other people as well. Banks have conducted surveys about how the common man has benefitted from Jan DhanYojna, from Insurance Schemes, from RuPay Card and Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojna. I recently met a few bankers, who shared inspiring stories from their survey. There isn’t enough time today, but I would certainly like request the bankers to upload these inspiring stories, on MyGov.in, so that people can read them and be inspired by how a scheme can bring about transformation in the life of a person, how it can bring a new energy, a new confidence – hundreds of examples have come before me. I will try my best to bring these to you; and the media can also take advantage of these inspiring stories. They too, can interview such people, and inspire the young generation.My dear countrymen, once again, I wish you “michchamidukkadm.” Thank you very much.

Satyarthi launches Bharat Yatra

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi on Tuesday announced launched a 35-day long ‘Bharat Yatra’, to intensify his fight against child trafficking and child sexual abuse across the country. “I declare a war on child sexual abuse and trafficking. Today I am announcing (the launch of) ‘Bharat Yatra’, the biggest movement in history to make India safe again for children.” Satyarthi said.

Let’s remember this day

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Perhaps only if one is a Muslim woman not exactly on the best of terms with her husband — feeling the constant cold threat of getting ejected from his life and ‘surgically’ removed from her children post the mere utterance of ‘Talaq, Talaq, Talaq’ — can one truly understand how far-reaching the Supreme Court’s judgement is and how deeply supportive the stand of the Modi government has been.Ironically, a government that has been called ‘non-secular’ and ‘anti-Muslim’ has been the one to push hard for the true emancipation of Muslim women in this country. In April, PM Modi had said, “Our Muslim sisters deserve justice… We can’t simply move forward at a slow pace, but charge ahead with full speed.” The Ministry of Law and Justice, in an affidavit, had referred to principles like gender equality, secularism, international covenants, religious practices and marital law prevalent in various Islamic countries to advocate that the practice of triple talaq needed to be adjudicated upon afresh by the apex court.On Tuesday, the Supreme Court did that, and more. It bid ‘talaq’ to instant triple talaq in a 3-2 judgement that will go down in Indian judicial history as a milestone that removed the heaviest millstone from around the necks of millions of Muslim women in this country. The job of crushing that millstone for good now rests in the hands of the political establishment.DNA urges it to rise to the occasion, reach beyond the politics of appeasement, and bring about real change in the lives of real people.

Piracy, copyright violation sources of terror funding: Rajnath Singh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Piracy and copyright violations are sources of terror financing and money laundering, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said today while announcing a special course in all police training colleges on intellectual property rights (IPR).The training, he said, will sensitise policemen about the crimes that occur by IPR and copyright violations and prepare them to enforce the relevant laws strictly. Delivering a keynote speech during the ‘National Workshop on Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs)’, Singh asked agencies like the police and the customs department “not (to) take lightly” these violations as they have direct links with public safety and security of the country.They can be exploited by terrorists and criminals to generate illicit funds and subsequently pump them for terrorist acts, he said. The three-day workshop is being organised by the Commerce Ministry, while the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) enforces the various provisions of the IPR Act in the country. Singh said: “Police officials shall be equipped with proper knowledge and training, so as to curb and restrain IPR violations at the very outset.”A course in IPR would be introduced in police training institutes to familiarise and sensitise our police forces on IPRs. We will ensure all the facilities.” The minister added that these infringements like in pharma, software and other sectors pose a “serious safety threat” and hence the policemen, who are mandated to check these crimes on ground, need to be aware about the legal provisions of the Act that they enforce. “Apart from infringement of private rights, counterfeiting and piracy activities also give rise to serious organised crimes. Counterfeiting, piracy and smuggling also finance criminals and terrorists who deal in counterfeit goods to launder illegal money,” he said.Further, the minister said the intellectual ability of a country has the “power to determine its future” as he added that India is known for its artistic craftsmanship, traditional techniques and creative workmanship. He said the government and his ministry accords “highest importance” to prevention of crime and recognises the need to strictly deal with IPR-related crimes as he urged state police departments to strengthen their capabilities to check and investigate crimes in this domain. “The law and order situation and crime scenario in India has made it necessary to modernise the state police forces quickly,” the home minister said.The state police, he said, needs to improve its functioning and get equipped with the latest technology to successfully meet emerging challenges in the IPR regime. The government has taken some “serious steps” in this context, he said adding the centre has quickly moved towards taking new steps to strengthen the IPR regime in India. The event was also attended by Singh’s deputy in the MHA, Kiren Rijiju. He said that the ministry will undertake all measures that makes sure that the enforcement system in the country for IPR related crimes is “robust”.”In terms of recognising and protecting IPR, I am sorry to say that we have not been very successful. That is why, the assault on the quality becomes so prominent in our nation,” the minister of state for home affairs said. Rijiju added that all the stakeholders in the domain should take steps to “kill” piracy. He also urged law enforcement agencies to not wait for IPR violation complaints to come at their doors but deploy a system where action is launched in an automatic fashion once a contravention is detected.”The confidence of the people who innovate will be high, once they know that they are secure,” he said. Rijiju said that while at one hand “copy and paste” is very easy, research and development is not looked as a “lucrative or priority” avenue in the country.

Man held with gold worth Rs 72 lakh at IGI airport

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A man has been arrested by the customs officials at international airport here for allegedly trying to smuggle into the country gold valuing about Rs 72 lakh. The accused was intercepted after his arrival from Dubai on Sunday. “His baggage search resulted in recovery of gold weighing 2.46 kg in the form of seven pieces, found concealed in a wallet and cigarette box kept in a stroller trolley bag, having market value of Rs 71.88 lakh,” a press release issued today by the customs said. The passenger, aged 40 years, has been arrested and the gold seized, it said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

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