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State politics turns ‘hot’ over Barmer Refinery foundation

Politics has become hot in the state in connection with the foundation ceremony of Barmer Refinery.Former Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has tweeted the question about the foundation of the refinery between the code of conduct of the by-elections. BJP state president Ashok Parnami said that permission has been sought from the Election Commission (EC) for the foundation ceremony of the refinery and said he (Gehlot) do not have to worry.PM Modi will lay the foundation stone of the refinery in Barmer on January 14. During the last Ashok Gehlot government, Sonia Gandhi laid the foundation stone for the same refinery. BJP has revoked the previous MoU and has made a new one of the refinery.This is the reason why politics is ‘hot’ on the centre point i.e. refinery. Refuting the tweet of Gehlot, BJP state president said that Gehlot Sahab or anyone should not worry about the code of conduct.BJP will not do any work in violation of the Code of Conduct. The refinery has been discussed with the EC for the foundation ceremony.Gehlot also tweeted about the refinery’s ‘twice’ foundation laying ceremony. In response, Parnami said that Gehlot himself did the refinery MoU in a hurry. In this MoU, people of the state were burdened with Rs40 thousand crore.If interest of 30 years of Rs40 thousand crore is added, then this figure becomes Rs1 lakh 54 thousand crore. Gehlot should thank CM Raje to free the state from this burden.The verbal turn During the last Ashok Gehlot government, Sonia Gandhi laid the foundation stone for the same refinery. BJP has revoked the previous MoU and has made a new one of the refinery. This is the reason why politics is ‘hot’ on the centre point i.e. refinery. BJP state president Ashok Parnami said that Gehlot Sahab or anyone should not worry about the code of conduct. BJP will not do any work in violation of the Code of Conduct.

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Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
Bigg Boss 11: Shilpa Shinde rebukes Akash Dadlani for touching her inappropriately
Here’s how “well-behaved” Shashi Kapoor was different from Raj Kapoor & Shammi Kapoor, writes Shobhaa De
Bigg Boss 11: Hiten Tejwani gets evicted from Salman Khan’s show
Telugu actor Vijay Sai found dead in his apartment; Did he commit suicide?
“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
Varun Dhawan buys a plush new apartment; girlfriend Natasha Dalal attends housewarming party
Aditya Chopra is one of the first ones to know about Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli’s Wedding!
STOP spreading rumours! Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh’s special gift for Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli REVEALED!
SHOCKING! ‘Wonder Woman’ Gal Gadot’s fake porn video goes viral, here’s what happened
Salman Khan cheers up teary-eyed Katrina Kaif during ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ promotions
Not just Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli: Here are other B-Town beauties who bowled over cricketing stars

1,600 to retake exam to legitimise engineering degrees

More than a month after the Supreme Court disallowed technical education through distance mode, 1,600 people whose degrees became invalid after the order have registered for re-examination with the government. Most of the applications are from working professionals with over 10 years of experience.The institutes affected through the apex court’s order are JRN Rajasthan Vidyapeeth, Institute of Advanced Studies in Education (IASE), Rajasthan, Allahabad Agricultural Institute (AAI) and Vinayaka Mission’s Research Foundation, Tamil Nadu. Students who pursued their engineering degrees through distance mode in the academic term 2001-2005 are the ones at the receiving end.The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) had launched a portal to help those who have been affected by the court order in taking a re-examination. As per the data shared by the council, 1,600 people who are from the affected institutions have registered themselves on the portal so far.The number however will go up as the registrations are open till January 30. And apart from the online registration through AICTE portal, the affected people have been sending their information through individual institutes as well.“So far, on the AICTE portal, 1,600 people have registered There is another month to go for it,” said an official.According to government sources, the re-exam which aims at validating the degrees of those affected will be done through a single exam.

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Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
Bigg Boss 11: Shilpa Shinde rebukes Akash Dadlani for touching her inappropriately
Bigg Boss 11: Hiten Tejwani gets evicted from Salman Khan’s show
Here’s how “well-behaved” Shashi Kapoor was different from Raj Kapoor & Shammi Kapoor, writes Shobhaa De
“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
Telugu actor Vijay Sai found dead in his apartment; Did he commit suicide?
Varun Dhawan buys a plush new apartment; girlfriend Natasha Dalal attends housewarming party
Aditya Chopra is one of the first ones to know about Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli’s Wedding!
STOP spreading rumours! Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh’s special gift for Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli REVEALED!
Salman Khan cheers up teary-eyed Katrina Kaif during ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ promotions
Not just Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli: Here are other B-Town beauties who bowled over cricketing stars
SHOCKING! ‘Wonder Woman’ Gal Gadot’s fake porn video goes viral, here’s what happened

Sonia Gandhi holidays in Goa as son Rahul leads Congress in protests against govt

Congress President Sonia Gandhi, who earlier this month retired as the Congress President as her son Rahul took over, is vacationing in Goa and was seen riding a bicycle in the coastal city. A picture of the longest serving Congress President riding her bicycle and posing for photos with tourists was posted by actor Riteish Deshmukh.Some pictures of the Raebareli MP in Goa were also posted by news18.com. The report said that Sonia left for Goa on December 26 and is expected to be back in the first week of January.While Sonia is spending time in Goa, her son Rahul today led the party in celebrating Congress’ 133rd foundation day. He also participated in a protest by the Congress MPs in front of Gandhi statu inside Parliament premises over Union Minister Ananth Kumar Hegde’s comments on the Constitution.He took charge of the party from his mother on December 16. On December 15, a day before Rahul’s elevation, Sonia had said that “my role is to retire,” triggering speculation that she might quit active politics. The party, however, soon clarified that she was retiring from party, not politics.Her daughter Priyanka Gandhi-Vadra also announced that her mother would again contest from Raebareli Parliamentary constituency in Uttar Pradesh.Also readCongress Foundation Day | Constitution under threat, it’s our duty to defend it, says Rahul GandhiSonia, 71, took charge of the Congress party in 1998 and and served at the post for 19 years.

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Congress Foundation Day | Constitution under threat, it’s our duty to defend it, says Rahul Gandhi

In yet another stinging attack against the Narendra Modi government, Congress President Rahul Gandhi today said that, ‘ the BJP operates on the basic idea that lies can be used for political benefit and it is the difference between us and them.’Addressing the party members on the 133rd Foundation Day of the Congress at the party headquarters in New Delhi on Thursday, Gandhi said that his party may suffer or lose elections but would not give up truth.He also attacked the government over the Constitution row. “The Constitution, the foundation of our country is under threat, it is under attack directly, statements are being made by senior members of BJP and it is under attack surreptitiously from the back and its our duty, duty of Congress party and every single Indian to defend it,’ Gandhi said.Keeping up the ante against the government, Gandhi said, ‘What is happening today in or country is a web of deceit, The BJP operates on the basic idea that lies can be used for political benefit and it is the difference between us and them, we might not do well, we might even lose but we will not give up the truth.”He also highlighted the Congress’s “glorious” history, claiming the central idea of the party was truth and “we will continue to fight for it”.

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49 girls saved from Delhi baba ashrams

In fresh raids at self-proclaimed godman Virendra Dev Dixit’s ashrams in Northeast Delhi’s Karawal Nagar by Delhi Commission for Women (DCW), three more minors and as many adults or ‘matas’ were rescued. This took the number of minors rescued so far to 49. Ten adults were found at an ashram West Delhi’s Nangloi.Soon after PILs were filed by Foundation for Social Empowerment, DCW, with the help of Delhi Police and locals, started raids at eight ashrams in Delhi. Five of these, including those in Vijay Nagar, Dwarka, and Palam, Karawal Nagar and Nangloi have been raided since Friday.At Karawal Nagar, a DCW team and Ajay Verma, advocate appointed as amicus curiae by the High Court, discovered that all gates and doors were locked.”It appears that Baba is running a human trafficking racket. CBI should urgently and simultaneously conduct raids at all ashrams of Baba across India and close them down,” said Swati Maliwal, DCW Chief.”Baba is getting time for a cover up. All women and girls should be immediately rescued. The teachings of Baba are irrational and evil.”Locals in Karawal Nagar and Nangloi said that many girls were moved out just before the raids. Neighbours said that they saw cars filled with girls being taken to other locations, but matas at both locations called DCW allegations wrong and said that they have been living comfortably and do not wish to be removed.The minors refused to give any information about themselves. DCW said the girls have been brain-washed and need counselling.

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Parsis giving a treat to Amdavadis on Dec 29

Amdavadis, gear up for a ‘Parsi treat’ before the year ends. The Ahmedabad Parsi Panchayat in association with the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) is all set to bring a first of its kind ‘Parsi fest’ to the city.The fest will be held at 100-year-old Nowrojee Hall in Shahibaug on December 29 and will offer Parsi delicacies, an insight into their garments, vintage car collection and books.Mehr Medora, a member of Parsi Panchayat and trustee of Ushta-te Foundation, said, “On request from the heritage cell of AMC, we have organised the event which will begin from 5.30 pm. Gujarat Governor OP Kohli will preside over the function.”Medora added, “The feat will have stalls displayed by Parsis from across the state. There will be a talk on the contribution of Parsis in the city, Parsi textile exhibition, a tour of Nowrojee hall to delve into the life of how Sir Norojee lived.” The stalls will also be on Parsi cuisine. The star attraction would be stall where visitors can dress up like Parsis in their traditional attire and get photographs clicked with vintage cars in the background.Medora added, “The aim is to showcase our community to the non-Parsis of Ahmedabad. We have invited students of CEPT university, IIMA, NID, NIFT, MICA, etc along with some prominent personalities of Ahmedabad.”Key AttractionsTalk on contribution of the Parsis of Ahmedabad. Textile exhibition. Tour of Nowrojee Hall, to see how Sir Nowrojee lived. Parsi Cuisine. Live music with a dance floor. Dress like a traditional Parsi and get your photographs with a traditional heritage background and Vintage Cars.

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Mend the urban & rural divide: Anil Jain

Experts from various industries asserted the necessity to take steps towards bridging the gap between the urban and the rural through digital mediums during the Zee Rising New India Conclave. Anil Jain, chief general manager, BSNL, informed that about 4,84,000 villages are connected through mobile services across India.“There is a need to connect the rural and urban areas through voice and data. Introducing data facilities will open the residents of rural areas to the world. They will be able to move forward towards innovation with technology. Proper connectivity will allow the overall development,” Jain said.Adding to the discussion, BB Dave, chief postmaster general, Indian Postal Services said that Digital India is incomplete without financial inclusion.“Several financial institutions are not as easily available in rural areas as in urban. The reach of the Indian Postal Services is unparalleled. Financial institutions need to be strengthened. Government has already started bank reforms as a step towards the same,” Dave said.However, education and healthcare as the most neglected areas for development and need utmost attention, said Rahul Kashyap, country manager, communications, Smile Foundation.Edu in shambles“The current status of education in our country is in shambles. Gap in education system should be bridged. Why should children in 70% of India not be given an opportunity to compete with the rest 30%,” Kashyap said.

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Schools defy DoE order, set age bar for admission

In defiance of Delhi government’s Directorate of Education’s (DoE) order on the upper-age limit, three prominent private schools in the Capital on Thursday set an age bar in their criteria for nursery admissions. The move sent parents into a tizzy as the DoE on Tuesday announced to delay the implementation of upper-age criteria to the academic session 2019-20.The DoE had directed all unaided recognised private schools to set the lower-age limit for students in nursery, KG and Class I at three, four and five years, respectively, as of March 31, 2018. It also asked them not to implement any upper-age limit.The three private schools including Frank Anthony Public School, Lajpat Nagar Cambridge Foundation, Rajouri Garden and NK Bakrodia Public School, Dwarka, uploaded their admission criteria mentioning the upper-age limit.”Age of the child at entry level should be less than four years as on March 31, 2018 as per the orders by the DoE, government of NCT of Delhi,” read the criteria issued by the NK Bakrodia Public School. The principal, however, could not be reached for a comment.In 2015, the Delhi government had declared that it would impose an upper-age limit. This part of the government notification was challenged in high court. However, earlier this year, the court upheld the notification and allowed DoE to fix an upper limit for admission to entry level classes in private recognised unaided schools. The DoE on Tuesday set aside speculation and announced that it would not set a bar.The development has left parents anxious.”My son will turn exactly 4 years one month and 20 days old on March 31, 2018. I have no clue if we will be able to enroll him in nursery this year if other shools will also do the same,” said Ritika Kumar, a parent, who missed getting a seat for her child last year.”Only three schools have come up with their admission criteria and all have put upper age cut off. The DoE should immediately look into the matter,” said Sumit Vohra, founder, admissions nursery.com.When contacted, officials at the DoE said that they were not aware of the development and strict actions will be taken if any such violation of the order is found.NO AGE BARThe DoE had directed all unaided recognised private schools to set the lower-age limit for students in nursery, KG and Class I at three, four and five years, respectively, as of March 31, 2018. It also asked them not to implement any upper-age limit. It also asked them not to implement any upper-age limit.

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More than 80K MCD students dropped out

As many as 85,412 students dropped out from the schools run by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)-led Delhi government and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Municipal Corporations of Delhi (MCDs) during the academic year 2016-17, a report released by NGO Praja Foundation stated on Thursday.”The estimated drop out percentage in schools run by the North MCD is 6.1 percent, South MCD is 6 percent and state government schools is 3.4 percent,” the report titled ‘State of Public (School) Education in Delhi-2017’ said. The East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC), however, has not provided any information on the number of dropouts in their schools.On average, from the three Municipal Corporations, in the last three years (2014-15 to 2016-17), the EDMC has witnessed the maximum dropout followed by North Delhi Municipal Corporation.”Number of drop outs from state government schools has been increasing in the past three years (2014-15 to 2016-17),” the report stated.The data has been compiled on the basis of RTIs received from 640 schools of MCD and 749 schools of state government.SCHOOL-STUDENT RATIO

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Gay prince Manvendra Singh Gohil to start LGBTQ centre in Gujarat

Rajpipla, a small city in Narmada District of Gujarat, will soon have a centre for the LGBTQ community. Manvendra Singh Gohil, erstwhile prince of Rajpipla princely state, revealed this at the recently held Delhi International Queer Theatre & Film Festival. The centre, he said, aims to provide economic and social empowerment to sexual minorities and offer skilled-based training so that they can earn a decent livelihood. “Gradually the gay community is trying not to succumb to the pressure to get married, but once people reveal their sexuality at home, their family members fail to understand and shun them. And since people in India are dependent on parents for financial and emotional needs until late youth, it leaves them with two options – either agree with the parents or be left without resources. I want the community to be independent,” said 52-year-old Gohil, who came out 11 years ago and faced a social boycott.The traumatic consequences of coming out that he faced is the reason Gohil wants to set up the community centre, which is also focused on providing social support.“When I came out in 2006, my own family disowned me and other royal families boycotted me. I see similar things happening to other people and they are left devastated.” Gohil, however, stated that he consciously decided to be on his own before he came out in public about his sexuality and advocates the same to youngsters.”Fortunately, I was on my own financially, and since we grew up with a nanny, I wasn’t very emotionally attached to my parents. But when they saw me doing well on my own and being making it to Oprah Winfrey’s show thrice and recently to Keeping Up With The Kardashians, they accepted me back. Now, the royal family wants selfies with me!,” chuckles Gohil, AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s Goodwill Ambassador.The community centre Gohil plans to set up would sprawl the 15,000-acre property he owns in Rajpipla and would offer a shelter home, training and workshops and also host motivational talks. A rudimentary form of the centre is already up and running in Rajpipla, with an inmate from New Jersey in residence, but Gohil is looking for funds and ideas to develop it further. “The structure is already there; it is on the banks of the Narmada in a very peaceful and non-polluted part of India. It runs entirely on solar energy and can accommodate about 10 people at present. The land is not an issue; the problem is resources and I am fundraising across the world. When money comes, I will build more homes but by the end of 2018, it will be functional and start housing people,” says Gohil who wants similar centres to be built across the country to create a strong network of the LGBTQ community.

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Day before second phase of Gujarat polls, UP farmers protest, raise slogans against Rahul Gandhi in Amethi

Farmers staged a protest and raised slogans against Congress president-elect Rahul Gandhi in his home turf Amethi in Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday.The protesting farmers demanded that either their land that was given to Rajiv Gandhi Foundation is returned or else they are provided employment.They said if their demands were not fulfilled they would demolish the structure built there and continue to protest.The farmers were carrying a banner stating: “Shame on you Rahul, return the lands of farmers.”They staged the protest near Samrat Cycle factory, which was inaugurated by former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi when he was the MP from Amethi.In the 1980s, Jain brothers had taken over 65.57 acres of land in the industrial area of Kausar to run a company but after its failure a land auction took place in 2014.According to the records, UPSIDC had leased 65.57 acres of land to the company in 1986 but when the company was closed down, the Debts Recovery Tribunal got it auctioned in 2014 at Rs 20.10 crore to recover the loan.The land purchased in the auction was paid by the Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust for a stamp duty of Rs 1,50,000.However, later the land auction process was termed invalid by the UPSIDC following which a Gauriganj SDM Court ordered the return of the land of the Samrat Cycle Factory to UPSIDC.Since then the land is on papers with UPSIDC but is still occupied by the Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust.The farmers have not received any compensation for their land which was used for this factory till now.Earlier, Union Minister Smriti Irani had also accused Rahul of grabbing the land of farmers through the foundation.The Congress scion has, however, always pitched for farmers’ welfare and even promised to waive their loan in Gujarat election speeches.

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Enrolment to Std I in BMC schools sees sharp drop

Enrolment to Std I in civic-run schools in Mumbai has come down to 32,218 in 2016-17 from 63,392 students in 2008-09, according to a study by Praja Foundation. This is apparently due to fall in the quality of education provided by the BMC schools.Overall dropout rate was 8 per cent in 2016-17, down from 15 per cent the year before. English medium schools seem to be a better job on this front with a dropout rate of 2 per cent, shows the data released on Tuesday.Praja Foundation had commissioned the to Hansa Research which was conducted in March-April across Mumbai over 20,317 households. Out of this, a total of 3,081 households have children in the age group of 3-15 years and 2,768 households had school-going children. Nearly 400 households surveyed sent their children to municipal schools.If the current trend continues, the enrolment figure will come down to nearly half of the enrolments in 2008-09, says the survey.The study also reveals that compare to private school candidates appeared for scholarship and scholarship holders are very less in MCGM schools. If in private schools candidates appeared for scholarship are 14,690 in 2016-2017, then in MCGM that figure is just 3,276 candidates and scholarship holders in private schools are 10.9% then in MCGM schools are just 0.6% in same year.The total number of students appeared for Secondary School Certificate (SSC) in MCGM in March 2017 were 11,972 whereas this number in private schools are 135,392 and the pass percentage in MCGM is 68.91% whereas in private school is 91.81% shows the study. A fall in the total percentage of MCGM students passing the SSC exam points to a fall in outcomes for municipal school students.Nitai Mehta, founder and managing trustee of Praja Foundation said the BMC must push for penalising teachers for poor student performance. “However, it should ensure that teachers and principals are provided the necessary training, authority and capacity building mechanisms with reference to their school and students.”

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ICJ’s Justice Dalveer Bhandari urges people spread compassion

Be compassionate and kind towards each other. This was the message Justice Dalveer Bhandari delivered at an event organised on the occasion of the Human Rights Day on Sunday.The newly inducted member of the International Court of Justice quoted the Dalai Lama to stress that the qualities of love and compassion are necessities and not luxuries, without which humanity cannot survive.Bhandari was speaking at an award function was organised by the Harmony Foundation to felicitate several organisations across the world for their excellence in serving humanity in their individual manner.The event was also attended by several dignitaries. Justice Bhandari was recently elected for a new term at the Hague world court.Justice Bhandari’s message to spread love and compassion comes at time when the nation’s conscience was shaken by the brutal killing of a migrant worker in Rajasthan.On the messages of The Dalai Lama’s, he said, “Whether one believes in religion or not, whether one believes in re-birth or not, there is nobody who does not appreciate kindness and compassion.”

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Rajasthan murder is a criminal incident, not a case of love jihad: Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi

Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi today sought to see the burning to death of a Muslim labourer in Rajasthan earlier this week as a “criminal incident” and not as a case of “love jihad” as was being alleged.The minority affairs minister also, without naming anyone, said that some “sick” people were allegedly trying to disturb the communal harmony in society. He said a crime should not be clubbed with religion. Naqvi, however, stressed people allegedly doing so will not succeed in their “nefarious designs”. Naqvi, who chaired a meeting of the general body of Maulana Azad Education Foundation here, also said that short- term certificate courses of ‘GST facilitator’ and ‘sanitary supervisor’ have been providing employment opportunities to a “large number” of youth from minority communities.Also readRahul Gandhi has become a good ‘mimicry artist’: Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi “It is an unfortunate incident. We should not club crime with religion and treat criminal incidents as criminal incidents only. The state government has already taken strict action against the guilty,” Naqvi said, when asked about the alleged “love jihad” incident.He added, “Some sick people are trying to disturb the communal harmony in society. But they will not succeed in their nefarious designs.”Also readRajasthan murder: Woman denies she was ‘rescued’ by accusedA 48-year-old Muslim labourer, from West Bengal, was hacked and burnt to death in Rajasthan’s Rajsamand earlier this week, leading the police to arrest the killer, seen raving against “love jihad” while torching Mohammad Afrazul in videos of the incident shared on social media.The accused, identified as Shambu Lal Raigar, is seen in the videos ranting against “love jihad”, a term used by sections of Hindu activists to describe marriages between Hindu women and Muslim men, who they claim seek to propagate Islam.Also read’Want murderers to be hanged in public’: Rajasthan victim’s wifeMeanwhile, the meeting reviewed various schemes being run by the foundation for educational and skill development of minorities.The minister said the youth benefited by the ‘GST facilitator’ course, are helping small, medium enterprises and also big business groups.”Similarly, sanitary supervisors are getting jobs in different projects across the country. Lakhs of toilets, cleanliness centres, health centres are being constructed under the Clean India campaign and these supervisors are strengthening it,” he added.Reiterating Modi government’s commitment towards educational empowerment of minorities, Naqvi said his ministry was spending more than 65 per cent of its total budget on the activities related to the sector.He said more than 1.5 crore students have been given various scholarships by the ministry in the past three years.The minister also talked about the efforts being made under the government’s multi-sectoral development programme and the plan to set up 100 skill development centres named as ‘Garib Nawaz’.”I myself have been monitoring all the educational empowerment and skill development programmes. Any negligence in implementation of these schemes will not be tolerated,” he added.

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Google pays tribute to Homai Vyarawalla, India’s first woman photojournalist

Homai Vyarawalla, India’s first woman photojournalist would have been 104 today had she been alive. On her birth anniversary, Google paid tribute to her through a doodle.Here are 10 things you should know about India’s first woman photojournalist- Homai Vyarawalla was born on 9 December 1913 to a Parsi family in Navsari near Surat in Gujarat. Her father ran a travelling theatre company- She is a graduate from the Sir JJ School of Art- She married Jamshetji Vyarawalla, a photographer with The Times of India- She began her photography career in the 1930s where a chunk of her work was published during World War II in the Illustrated Weekly. At the beginning, her pictures were published in her husband’s name- In 1942, she moved to New Delhi where she joined British Information Services. Here her work was recognised as she took photographs of several Indian leaders including Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru- Most of her photographs were published under the pseudonym “Dalda 13″. The reasons behind her choice of this name were that her birth year was 1913, she met her husband at the age of 13 and her first car’s number plate read “DLD 13”- In 1970, shortly after her husband’s death, Homai Vyarawalla decided to give up photography lamenting over the “bad behaviour” of the new generation of photographers- Later in life, Vyarawalla gave her collection of photographs to the Delhi-based Alkazi Foundation for the Arts.- She was awarded the Padma Vibhushan in 2011- On her 104th birth anniversary, Google paid tribute to her through a doodle.

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Kolkata child sexual assault: Soon schools need to declare infrastructure details

Amidst on-going protests against alleged sexual assault at two privately-run schools in Kolkata state education minister Partha Chatterjee said that the state government would issue a directive to all private schools for submitting a declaration stating their infrastructure, to the state education department.“They send it to the respective ICSE and CBSE boards. Along with that schools will also have to submit such declaration to the state government. Soon notifications would be sent to all the private schools in this regard,” Chatterjee said on Tuesday.The recent incidents at two private schools of the city – GD Birla Cente of Education and MP Birla Foundation HS School – had brought to the fore several loopholes in the infrastructure of schools and authorities of the state education department will soon convene a meeting with representatives of privately owned schools to discuss issues regarding required infrastructure within the school campus and would review specific cases if need be.Also readKolkata rape: GD Birla school faces legal action after abrupt shutdown, rights body says fate of 7,000 students at stakeIn the month of November, it was alleged that two teachers had allegedly sexually assaulted a four-year-old at GD Birla Centre of Education at Ranikuthi in south Kolkata and following protests from parents and guardians the two accused teachers had been arrested by Kolkata Police.Later it was also found out that on September 13 another child of MP Birla Foundation HS School at Thakurpukur in Behala area had been sexually abused and after a police complaint was filed on September 15, the three-and-a-half year old identified two non-teaching staff members but it has been alleged that even after that the school didn’t take any steps against the accused and only after parents of the victim along with other guardians started a protest since December 2 school authorities have suspended one of the accused on December 5.
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Prithvi Theatre- A Lasting legacy

I still recall when I visited Prithvi Theatre for the first time. I sensed that I was entering the Mecca of Mumbai Theatre. The posters and pictures of old productions were mesmerising. When I was glancing around, suddenly a man in a white Kurta entered the space with his caretaker. I was surprised to see it was none other than Shashi Kapoorsaab— my mother’s favourite hero and the founder of Prithvi, who found this place with his wife Jennifer. I never met him personally but visited Prithvi and performed there many a times. Performing at the venue is an honour for any upcoming actor.Shashisaab build this place as a tribute to his father. With no such place to perform in the Mumbai suburbs, Prithvi is an inspirational venue. The theatre is designed such that you always perform in close proximity to the audience.This itself is enough to give goosebumps to the performer. The place is a niche avenue for quality national and international experimental theatre performances. Mumbai is the city of films and Bollywood where theatre is many a times seen as a stepping stone for entering films.However, Prithvi is more than just that. It is a cherished venue for performances related to poetry, language, children theatre and many more activities that keeps Prithviraj Kapoor’s legacy alive. The theatre fraternity truly owes a lot to Shashisaab and will be indebted to him for this.—Rasika Agashe ( The writer is Founder of Being Foundation and a Theatre Actor- Director)
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Yogi Adityanath

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Issue of marital rape has huge ramifications and is of tremendous importance: Delhi HC

The Delhi High Court today said the issue of marital rape, an act in which a spouse indulges in sexual intercourse without the other’s consent, was of huge ramifications and tremendous importance.The high court fixed January 2 next year to continue hearing arguments in the matter in which some NGOs, espousing the cause of women, have raised the issue of sexual violence in marriage in India.The matter was listed before a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar which during the brief hearing noted the concern raised by the NGOs, RIT Foundation and the All India Democratic Women’s Association.The court asked senior advocate Raju Ramachandran, who is assisting it as an amicus curiae, to freely express his views on the issue in which the Centre has maintained that marital rape cannot be made a criminal offence as it could become a phenomenon which may destabilise the institution of marriage and become an easy tool to harass the husbands. Also readSC criminalises sex with under-18 wife, says let parliament decide on marital rape: 10 factsRamachandran told the bench that he will come up with his views after hearing the submissions of the Centre and the NGOs.Advocate Karuna Nandy, appearing for the two NGOs, tried to impress the bench by citing few studies and research to press for the prayer to declare forcible sexual intercourse between married couple as an offence.She elaborated by referring to the 2005 data of National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) about the gravity of the situation.Also readDelhi HC wants to know whether SC dealing with marital rape issueHowever, without going any further, the bench deferred the hearing with the observation that “the issue has huge ramifications. It is of tremendous importance.” In a related development, the Supreme Court in its historic verdict in October this year, has held that sexual intercourse with a girl below 18 years of age, even by the husband, would amount to rape. It has criminalised sex with a wife who is not a major.The apex court read down a provision in the Indian Penal Code of 1860 exempting males from being tried for rape if the wives were between the age of 15 and 18 years.The top court’s verdict will have ramification in the petition pending before the high court.In the original petition before the high court, the petitioners had highlighted that the provision under the IPC did not consider non-consensual sexual intercourse with a wife, above 15 years of age, as rape.The petitioners submitted that there was a need to strike down the exception clause under Section 375 of IPC that says that sexual intercourse by a man with his own wife, the wife not being under fifteen years of age, is not rape.The court is also hearing two intervention applications, one in support of pleas to make marital rape an offence and the other opposing it.The Centre had advocated retaining the exception clause in Section 375 saying child marriages were taking place in India and the decision to retain a girl’s minimum age as 15 years to marry was taken under the amended rape law to protect a couple against criminalisation of their sexual activity.The NGOs’ counsel had said that they have challenged the constitutionality of section 375 (rape) of the IPC on the ground that it discriminated against married women being sexually assaulted by their husbands.
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World Disability Day 2017: Mumbai cyclists team up with NGO to create awareness

Pedal for Joy, a Mumbai-based cycling group founded by Sanket Subhedar and a group of friends, has joined hands with Muskan Foundation, an NGO that works with the disabled, to celebrate World Disability Day.As part of the programme, which will be held today, 35-40 cyclists will pedal for three kilometres in Mumbai to raise awareness about differently abled people.The main programme that will be organized by Muskan Foundation, will be held at the amphitheatre at Bandra’s Carter Road from 3.30 pm. Shiv Sena youth leader Aaditya Thackeray is expected to be the chief guest at the event.As per statistics given by the World Health Organization, over 15% the world’s population is disabled, with 2.21% coming from India, as per the 2011 national census.However, activists believe that the number could be higher in India, as people tend to hide their disabilities fearing social stigma.
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‘I like PM Modi,’ Barack Obama praises his ‘good friend’, says nothing impossible if India, US work together

Former US President Barack Obama said he likes Prime Minister Narendra Modi who has a vision for the country and is modernising elements of bureaucracy.”I like him. He has a vision for the country and he is modernising elements of bureaucracy,” Obama said while addressing an audience at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit 2017 on Friday.”I was also great friends with Dr (Manmohan) Singh… when you look at the steps Dr Singh took to modernising the economy; it was the foundation for modernising Indian economy,” Obama added.“Dr Singh was the primary partner while we were working during the financial metldown. PM Modi was the primary partner during making of Paris accord. Both of them were sound leaders,” the US President added.Obama is in Delhi to address a townhall for the Obama Foundation today.Also readFormer US President Barack Obama to visit India, hold town hall with young leaders on December 1″I will be conducting a townhall with young leaders of India who can share with me some of the works they are trying to do to make communities better and also answer questions on how Obama Foundation can help,” Obama said on Facebook.The townhall is schedule to be held at 3.45 pm.”The meet will expand the conversation about what it means to be an active citizen and make an impact and how the Obama Foundation can support emerging leaders in this effort,” Obama’s office said in a statement.The bilateral relations between India and US reached a new level under Obama administration. Obama served as the chief of Republic Day celebrations in 2015 and also co-hosted PM Modi’s radio programme “Mann ki Baat”. PM Modi and Obama have met nine unprecedented times till now. PM Modi was also grandly hosted at the White House during his US visit by Obama.
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Congress accuses Gadkari aide of committing ‘scam, BJP rejects charge

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Claiming conflict of interest, the Congress today alleged a company floated by Nitin Gadkari’s private secretary has been receiving government funds, and demanded that the Union minister come clean about it. The BJP, however, rubbished the allegations against Vaibhav Dange as “baseless”. It said the Congress’ charge stemmed from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “rising popularity and spotlessly clean” governance which has left the opposition party “rattled”. Senior Congress MP Jairam Ramesh listed the alleged “scam” by Dange in a series of alleged irregularities by BJP leaders and their relatives, including its president Amit Shah’s son Jay. He also referred to alleged irregularities and conflict of interest in the running of India Foundation of Shaurya Doval, son of National Security Adviser Ajit Doval. News portal The Wire had published two articles recently about the turnover of a company run by Jay Shah growing manifold after the BJP came to power at the Centre in 2014, and several Union ministers being directors of India Foundation of Shaurya Doval. Jay Shah has dragged The Wire to court, filing criminal and civil defamation cases against the portal, while Shaurya Doval rejected the charge that there was any conflict of interest in ministers being directors of India Foundation. Ramesh said Dange and a man named Motiram Kisanrao Patil floated a company– Indian Federation of Green Energy (IFGE)– on October 9, 2014 with a paid up capital of Rs 1 lakh. The IFGE, Ramesh alleged, received Rs 1.5 crore since its inception. “…and the money came from the ministries controlled by Gadkari. IFGE organises conclaves and programmes with ministries and PSUs, and receives financial contributions. “It receives contributions also from corporate entities and persons who deal with the ministries,” Ramesh told reporters here. The Congress leader claimed his allegation was based on information available with the Registrar of Companies. He said it was “unacceptable” that the minister was unaware of the money being received by Dange’s firm. Ramesh claimed Dange’s firm also had the patronage of Union Ministers Suresh Prabhu and Piyush Goyal but without much elaboration. He only said the company’s website had Prabhu’s photograph and that the ministry of new and renewable energy supported IFGE when Goyal headed it. The former Union minister said Dange had violated the Central Civil Service (conduct) Rules that prohibit a public servant from accepting contributions or raising funds. Ramesh said, according to a corporate filing by the IFGE, its office is at Rohit House on Tolstoy Marg in the national capital. The office, he claimed, is owned by IFGE’s national executive member Ravi Boratkar, who is also a director of Purti Power and Sugar Limited owned by the Gadkari family. “So, Gadkari cannot say he is not aware of the dealings of his private secretary’s company…Gadkari should come clear about it…Dange has to resign immediately,” the Congress leader demanded. “This is a quintessential case of conflict of interest… Will the prime minister speak up, act now?” Ramesh asked. Responding to Ramesh’s allegations, BJP spokesman GVL Narasimha Rao said the were “baseless” and aimed at sullying the government’s image. “The Congress party’s allegations against Mr Vaibhav Dange are much noise about nothing. Vaibhav himself has refuted these allegations in a written statement,” Rao told PTI. He said the Congress was repeatedly making such allegations hoping “in desperation that something would stick”. The only effect of such “flimsy” charges is “erosion” of the Congress’ credibility, he said. “The Modi government is spotlessly clean and a corrupt All India Corrupt Congress can never challenge the BJP’s integrity. The Congress would be fooling itself and nobody else by its petty and pointless allegations,” he said.

UGC suspends engineering degrees given by 4 deemed to be universities

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The University Grants Commission (UGC) has suspended engineering degrees awarded by four deemed to be universities through distance mode. The move by the UGC comes following an order by the Supreme Court earlier this month which had restrained universities across the country from continuing any distance learning courses from the 2018-19 without prior approval of the regulatory authorities and ordered a CBI probe into granting of retrospective approvals to four of them. The four universities are –JRN Rajasthan Vidyapeeth, Institute of Advanced Studies in Education (IASE), Rajasthan, Allahabad Agricultural Institute (AAI) and Vinayaka Mission’s Research Foundation, Tamil Nadu. “AICTE Regulations, do apply to deemed to be universities and the four varsities were not justified in introducing any new courses in Technical Education without the approval of AICTE. “Consequent to this..all the degrees in Engineering awarded by concerned deemed to be universities stand suspended,” UGC Secretary PK Thakur said. The top court had directed the AICTE to hold tests for the students whose degrees would stand suspended by January 15, 2018, and said these students should not be given more than two chances to clear the examination.

‘Lack of faith’ keeps Good Samaritans away from police

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Despite the Delhi Police’s repeated attempts to encourage good Samaritans, 57 per cent of the total witnesses to the crime did not step forward to inform. The analysis was on Thursday reported by Praja Foundation that also claimed that 76 per cent of the respondents, who reported a crime to the Delhi Police, were not satisfied with the police response.Releasing data on Thursday, Praja, a non-partisan organisation, stated that of the total of 24,301 respondents to crime, 15 per cent had witnessed crime in Delhi. Of these 15 per cent respondents, it said 57 per cent did not inform the Delhi Police. It also said that of 43 per cent respondents, who reported a crime to the police, 76 per cent were not satisfied with their response.The data collected by Praja claimed that respondents from North West Delhi and Chandni Chowk were the least satisfied respondents with 21 per cent each, from among those who witnessed and reported the crime to the Delhi Police.Chalking out the reason for the low turnout of good samaritans, the data stated that “No faith” in the police/legal system came out to be the biggest reason for not informing the police by respondents who witnessed a crime.”46 per cent of the respondents who witnessed crime reported the same reason. This lack of faith in the police/legal system clearly explains the fall in the registration of cases for almost all the major crimes in Delhi,” the data read.Further, 9. 11 per cent of respondents did not inform the police because they do not want to get involved in any trouble even after witnessing a crime, it said.”Comparing Delhi and Mumbai on the parameter ‘people’s faith’ in the police/legal system’, Mumbai does fairly well with 15 per cent of its residents not having faith to 46 per cent of Delhi residents, who do not have faith in the institutions of police and legal system,”the data suggested. The number of respondents who were satisfied with the response is a meager percentage, 21 per cent in Delhi as compared to Mumbai where 46 per cent people are satisfied.It also said, from the respondents who witnessed a crime in Delhi, 69 per cent preferred to use the police helpline numbers like 100/ 103 to alert them. The second most preferred medium of informing the police by respondents, who have witnessed crime, was calling on the local telephone number of the police station, which was 17 per cent.”No faith in the police/legal system came out to be the biggest reason for not informing the police by respondents who have faced crime. 32 per cent of the respondents who faced crime reported the same reason for not informing the police. This also has clear linkages with low reportage of crimes in 2016 for almost all the major crimes as compared to 2015. The second highest reason for not informing the police by respondents who faced crime was that they do not want to get involved in any trouble was 16 per cent,” Praja data stated.

145 cases against policemen in 2015, no arrest: Survey

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a surprising revelation, despite over 12,000 complaints received against the Delhi Police officers in 2015, of which 346 were declared false, only 145 criminal cases were registered, according to the data released by Praja Foundation on Thursday. It further stated despite 145 criminal cases, no policeman was arrested.The foundation revealed that the number of complaints received in 2015 against the police was 12,913 of which 346 were declared false. Only 145 criminal cases were registered but no police personnel got arrested. The Same year, of 1,057 cases registered against the police, 62% were either withdrawn or disposed of, while 69 were dismissed and in 292 cases major punishment was awarded, it said.A number of incidents were reported in 2016 where rogue policing also came to light. In December 2016, a head constable was suspended after allegedly helping women pickpockets at a metro station when the act was caught in a CCTV camera. In the same month, a constable and five others, including three women were arrested for allegedly honey-trapping businessmen and government employees in Burari area. Two months ahead of this, in October, an inspector was suspended for his alleged involvement in a corruption case of fake coin manufacturing.Apart from this, while in September, three cops from the Delhi Police’s Special Cell were dismissed for extorting money, in August a head constable and two others were booked for carrying out unauthorised construction in Hari Nagar.The data also mentioned that 50% of the respondents to crime do not feel secure in Delhi, whereas 60% do not feel that Delhi is secure for women, children and senior citizens.”67% respondents from Chandni Chowk and South Delhi find Delhi to be unsafe/not secure for women, children and senior citizens. South district of Delhi Police recorded very high occurrence of molestation with women,” it read.57% of the respondents do not feel secure while travelling in Delhi, of which the highest number of respondents was of North East Delhi i.e. 63%, Praja data stated.”A comparison between Delhi and Mumbai numbers (Annual Survey of Households), strictly going on people’s perceptions, Delhi is not considered to be as secure by its residents,” it stated.

Ram Temple dispute to be decided by court alone: BJP leader Subramanian Swamy

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy on Monday said that the dispute related to Ram Temple in Ayodhya would be decided by the court alone, and exuded confidence that the construction work would commence next year.The Rajya Sabha member said Art of Living Foundation head Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s effort to find an amicable solution to the dispute was welcome and good for harmony but the matter would be settled and decided by the court.Speaking at the Jaipur Dialogue Forum, he said that people should be ready to go to Ayodhya by next Diwali.He said that the hearing on the matter in the Supreme Court is expected to begin in early December and end by April.The matter is expected to be decided by the court by August, he added.He expressed confidence that Hindus would win the court battle, after which the construction of Ram temple would begin.Targeting the Congress, Swamy said the opposition party was “leaderless” and would soon disappear.”Congress’s end is sure. If it lives, it can live only in Tihar jail. The corruption the Congress party (leaders) committed is now resulting in punishment by courts,” he said.He also extended support to the Vishva Hindu Parishad’s campaign against ‘love jihad’.He said that there was a need to remain alert to ‘love jihad’.

Empowering women through skills training

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>“Do you know how it feels to purchase something as small as an ice-cream from your own earnings,” 27-year-old Rukhsar asks, displaying a hint of pride that comes with being financially independent. As she shows her merchandise of beautifully embroidered table cloth to visitors at Apna Basti Mela at Nizamuddin Basti, Rukhsar spools tales of a conservative family where girls were not allowed to study, leave alone step out and earn a livelihood.Rukhsar recounts the day when her life took a turn for the better when she was introduced to Insha-e-Noor, a women’s empowerment programme by the Aga Khan Foundation that has been scripting success stories for many like Rukhsar for the past seven years now. Training them in various vocational skills from tailoring, embroidery, crochet etc, the organisation has been helping women in the Nizamuddin Basti, an area where people do not have too many means of livelihood. A patriarchal mindset coupled with lack of education has led to girls and women in this area remaining dependent on their male family members. Insha-e-Noor has tried to the break years old feudal setup in such families, using traditional skills like tailoring as weapon of liberation. Says Ratna Sahni, programme coordinator and centre in-charge, Insha-e-Noor, Nizamuddin Basti, “Most of the women we have trained since the inception of this project in 2010, came from extremely old-fashioned households,” She adds, “When we took the initiative to start this programme, the biggest challenge was to convince women, as well as their fathers and brothers, to let them learn something new.”Breaking barriersA patriarchal mindset coupled with lack of education has led to girls and women in this area remaining dependent on their male family members.Insha-e-Noor has tried to break the years’ old feudal set-up in such families, using traditional skills like tailoring as weapons of liberation.

Bill Gates to help UP fight encephalitis

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Microsoft founder Bill Gates will help Uttar Pradesh government set up a Regional Vector-borne Diseases Centre at the BRD Medical College in Gorakhpur to help state government fight against Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) and Japanese Encephalitis.The medical college in Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s hometown had hogged national and international media headlines when over 33 children had died due to shortage of oxygen in the month of August. BRD Medical College is the only hospital in Eastern Uttar Pradesh to cater to a population of over 5 crore from 12 districts of eastern UP, Bihar and Nepal.After meeting Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in Delhi, the Chairman of the Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation met CM Adityanth in Lucknow on Friday. During their 45-minute meeting, the two discussed IT, health and hygiene, sanitation, cleanliness, farm sector and strengthening Anganwadi Centres.Bill Gates agreed to make investment and provide know-how in spreading awareness on vector-borne diseases in Uttar Pradesh. He announced to help UP government in setting up a Regional Vector-borne Disease Centre at the BRD Medical College in Yogi Adityanath’s hometown Gorakhpur.Accompanied with wife Melinda Gates and a delegation of his foundation, Bill Gates also showed willingness to make investment in the IT, Health, Farm, malnutrition and education sectors to improve the area of cooperation between the UP government and his foundation.Foundation of Bill Gates is working in Uttar Pradesh since 2012. “The UP government has signed a MoU with the foundation for five years to work together in different sectors,” said Awanish Awasthi, the Principal Secretary Information.CM Adityanth hoped that the ties with the Foundation of Bill Gates will not only generate employment opportunities but will help state acquire newer technologies to improve standards of living in Uttar Pradesh.

Ayodhya row: Welcome your efforts but won’t give up claim on Babri Masjid land, Muslim bodies to Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid reports of meeting between Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath over the Babri Masjid issue, the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) and the All-India Babri Masjid Action Committee (AIBMAC) have made that Muslims will not shelve their claims on the land belonging to the Babri mosque.“We have not received any proposal for talks or any formula from Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. We have already made it clear to the spiritual leader that Muslims will not surrender their legal right and rightful claim over the land belonging to Babri Mosque in Ayodhya,” said Jafrayab Jilani, AIBMAC Convenor and AIMPLB Secretary.Jilani said that talks failed in the past also due to same rhetoric and rigid stand of other parties to surrender the entire disputed land. “There is no question of Muslim giving up their claim on 2.77 acres of land in Ayodhya as per the 2010 Allahabad High Court,” said Jilani.In its verdict on September 30, 2010, the Lucknw Bench of the Allabahad High court had distributed he 2.77 acres of land equally between Ram Lala Virajmaan, Nirmohi Akhara and Central Sunni Wakf Board. Later, Sunni Board had filed a case in Supreme Court which will hear the land dispute case on day to day basis from December 5.“We welcome efforts of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. But talks for an out of court settlement will not succeed till Muslim Personal Law Board is involved in talks,” said Maulana Khalid Rashid Firangi Mahali, a member of AIMPLB.The spiritual leader on Wednesday arrived in Lucknow and met the CM for about 40 minutes. “It was a courtesy call. “We held discussion on various issue including welfare of poor and farmers,” said Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.On the question of AIMPLB and AIBMAC rejecting his formula, Sri Sri Ravishanker clarified that “when no formula or proposal was sent to them then where is the question of rejection by them,” he pointed.The Spiritual leader also held a meeting with VHP- RSS leaders, sadhus and saints involved in the land dispute in Ayodhya.“We have told Sri Sri Ravishanker that temple of Lord Ram should be constructed at the 2.77 acres of land. We are ready to build a mosque nearby or any other place of their choice,” said Amar Nath Mishra, a senior VHP leader.Significantly, the All-India Shia Personal Law Board has too sided with the stand taken by the AIMPLB.“They want us to surrender our claim on the land in Ayodhya but Muslims in the country is with the stand taken by the All-India Muslim Personal Board and will follow the Supreme Court verdict,” said Maulana Mirza Yesoob Abbas, Spokesperson for the Shia Board.Meanwhile, Art of Living Foundation Darshan Hathi said that Sri Sri Ravi Shankar was not carrying any formula for resolving the Ayodhya dispute.“He is only providing a platform to representatives from both communities to hold talks and resolve the Ayodhya imbroglio out court,” clarified the Spokesperson.Sri Sri Ravishanker will go to Ayodhya on Thursday to hold with Muslim and Hindu litigants, including Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, Mahant Dharam Das, Dr Ram Vilas Vedanti, Iqbal Ansari and Haji Mehboob etc. The Art of Living Foundation founder had made a similar effort in 2003 to resolve the dispute but it had failed.

Kailash Satyarthi to donate KBC winnings to combat child sex abuse, trafficking

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi on Tuesday announced that the money he won at his appearance of Kaun Banega Crorepati will go into the making of a fund to combat child sex abuse and trafficking.The ‘Surakshit Bachpan Fund’ will be formed from the Rs 50 lakh Satyarthi and his wife Sumedha Kailash won while at the show last week.A release from Satyarthi’s office said that he has pledged his winnings from the show to create a fund to provide legal, financial and medical assistance to the victims (and their families) of child sexual abuse, trafficking and other forms of violence against children. The prize money of Rs 50 lakh will form the seed capital of “Surakshit Bachpan Fund” under the aegis of the Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation.Satyarthi said that the fund will be sustained through the efforts and support of citizens, parliamentarians, judiciary and influencers across the country who have pledged their support to ensure the creation of an India that is safe and secure for children. The fund will be managed under the Kailash Satyarthi Foundation. “The lack of medical, rehabilitation, educational, vocational and legal structure and aide for victims and survivors of child sexual assault and their families continues to be the biggest roadblock in making India safe from child sex abuse. The assistance that the creation of this fund will provide to overcoming this roadblock will be invaluable at a time where there is an increasing number of cases being reported, with children often from the most poor and vulnerable sections of the society,” said a rep from KSA.

PM Modi arrives in Manila for three-day visit

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday arrived in Manila for a three-day official visit to Philippines.Prime Minister Modi will be attending the 15th Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) India summit and the 12th East Asia Summit in Manila on November 14. During the visit, he will also hold a bilateral meeting with the President of Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, who is also the current chair of the ASEAN. The prime minister will also meet some of the other world leaders, who are participating in the East Asia summit in Manila.Prime Minister Modi will also participate in special celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of ASEAN.He will also attend the ASEAN business and investment summit on November 13 and regional comprehensive economic partnership meeting on November 14 in Manila, emphasising these meetings were important as they would further enhance India’s trade and investment ties with ASEAN member states, which constitute a significant over 10 per cent of India’s external trade. The prime minister will also meet the members of the Indian community at a reception to be hosted by the Indian envoy in Philippines. He will also visit the international rice research institute and the Mahavir Philippines Foundation.

Indian Americans raise $2.4 million for public health in India

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Raised at the second annual gala of WHEELS Global Foundation (WGF) in New York over the weekend, organisers of the event said USD 2 million of this was donated by Chirag Patel, co-CEO and chairman, Amneal Pharmaceuticals, and his family.This donation will go towards the soon-to-be established WHEELS India Niswarth (WIN) Foundation, which will be based out of the IIT-Gandhinagar and Indian Institute of Public Health-Gandhinagar campuses.The foundation will work on core areas of water and sanitation and maternal and child health groups.At its inaugural gala last year WGF had raised USD 200,000.”The increase in donations this year demonstrates that donors see the urgency of the issues faced and that WGF is a dedicated partner in alleviating issues faced by rural areas.We are deeply gratified by the generous donations of attendees, sponsors and raffle and auction prize donors,” said Suresh Shenoy, president, WGF.With a vision to use “technology to enable philanthropy,” WGF provides funds to develop Clean Drinking Water Plants (CDWP) in remote villages to alleviate health issues related to poor-quality drinking water, a media release said.

IRMA team into honey biz wins international accolade

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A team from the Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA) is among one of the six winning teams that pitched its social enterprise ideas for change, after an eight month journey of mentorship, overseas study visit and social entrepreneurial learning and exchange.A total of 16 teams, representing eight countries and territories were shortlisted from a pool of 138 participants at the 2017 Young Social Entrepreneurs (YSE) workshop held in March this year. The YSE, organised by Singapore International Foundation (SIF), is a social enterprise programme that nurtures an international network of youth keen in social issues through entrepreneurial means.The team from IRMA, Chaitanya Powar, Abhishek Sharma and Harikrishan Santhosh pitched their social enterprise Auctorem Solutions to the panel of judges at the final pitching session held on November 3. The sustainable venture based in the Western Ghat region of Kolhapur, Maharashtra, works with tribes to facilitate collection, extraction, purification and sales of natural and medicinal honey from the forests.Chaitanya said, “As against other players in the market, we provide safety gears and use scientific method of extracting honey. While we are giving livelihood to the tribal community, we are also ensuring that the beehive is not completely damaged.”Six teams were eventually awarded up to $ 20,000 in seed funding and were selected based on the impact, scalability and sustainability of their social enterprise, and the commitment level of its members.Interestingly, one of the winning team from Singapore, Freedom Cups, headed by sisters Rebecca Paranjothy and Vanessa Paranjothy, produces reusable menstrual cups for women and works on a model buy-1, give-1 where every purchase allows a woman from an underprivileged background to have clean periods.Rebecca said, “Sanitary pads and tampons produce so much waste on this planet. Our freedom cups can be used for 10 years and are hygienic.”Another Indian team that won the competition was Lakshya Jeevan Jagriti run by Summaiya Afreen and Rahul Goswami which strives to enhance the relation between the literacy level of mother and child through dual-generation strategies.8 COUNTRIESA total of 16 teams, representing eight countries and territories were shortlisted from a pool of 138 participants at the 2017 YSE workshop held in March this year.
YSE was organised by Singapore I’ntl Foundation.

Man, who suggested demonetization to PM now back with another radical idea

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Demonetization is an imperative step for the country, but in order for it to be successful one needs to incorporate six-hour shifts across all sectors, including public sector organizations. This is the idea suggested by Anil Bokil, the founder of Arthakranti Foundation, who feels that implementation of short work days would help increasing the GDP growth.In an exclusive interview with DNA, Bokil also expressed the need for doing away with the idea of looking to other countries to aid India in tackling its problems. ExcerptsHas demonetization reduced corruption in the country? Firstly, it’s not accurate to call it demonetization, as it is the de-currencification of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. Arthakranti, which is people movement that works towards ensuring happiness for every Indian, had suggested many measures including doing away with all the currency notes above Rs 50 and our suggestions are well-recorded and have been placed in public domain for a long time now. One has to understand that in a country like India, cash transactions have resulted in making every individual a participant of day-to-day corruption. In that sense it has hit corruption, but the main culprits were the R 500 and Rs 1,000 notes.Has demonetization succeeded in achieving its goals? There is no question of terming it as a success or failure since the Government has already implemented it. In any case, India has to march ahead. Our proposal was like a GPS signaling system. The GPS cannot turn the steering wheel, but will show us directions and even if the driver makes a mistake, an alternative route is provided. It’s the same principle for de-currencification; it was the first step that needs directionWhat steps should the government take regarding the Rs 2,000 note?Had the government removed the Rs 1,000 denomination notes first, and slowly introduced Rs 200 notes, while removing Rs 500 notes, then people would not be so affected by de-currencification. But given that we are a cash-rich economy, it was a good move by the government to do it the way they did. It also helped that they were in the majority so they did not face opposition.Now, the government should consider changing the present 8-hour duty shift to six hours. It would result in tripling the GDP in a matter of one year and would provide jobs for youth.What is the biggest challenge now and what is the solution?Now de-currencification is in the past and we are suggesting 6-hour duty since credit is improving and the major problem is job creation.India is a tropical country and we know that most people work anything between 3.5 and 4 hours in an eight-hour shift. So in order to increase productivity, make working days six hours, so that people in mid-senior and senior level jobs can also have family time. This will also help in employing first-time jobseekers The country needs to be divided in to two shifts of 6 hours each so that jobs are created, wealth creation with improved GDP by availing returns from additional 2 hours productive time out of changed shifts. It would result in double employment in all sectors and when salaried people would increase housing capacity since all these people can avail housing loans and result in increasing GDP thrice. It would show results in villages since there also agriculture would be supported by additional jobs in the families which can bring down agrarian crisis.

Delhi High Court constitutes panel to analyse situation at Kathputli Colony

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court has appointed three court commissioners from different NGO’s working for the people of the Kathputli Colony to assess the ground situation at the slums thereby pointing out the location of the jhuggis of people who have been found ineligible to an official of DDA.A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar directed Arvind Unni from Indo Global Social Service Society, Himshi Singh, National Alliance of Peoples Movement and Sunayana Wadhawan, Volunteer with Sanchal Foundation as the commissioners to find the factual position at the colony.The court’s direction come after some ineligible slum dwellers alleged that their houses were also being demolished despite a stay on the destruction by the Delhi High court.However, this allegation was refused by Ajay Varma, senior standing counsel for the Delhi Development Authority (DDA). He stated that the agency has been “faithfully abiding” by the directions made by the court on October 31 and November 1.The court was informed about the people from the NGO were “actively interacting” with the occupants of Kathputli colony and facilitating them in filing their appeals as well as availability of facilities for those who were relocated.Following this, the court said, “Given the rival contention of parties, we deem it appropriate that the position on the ground needs to be evaluated. For this purpose, it is essential that the factual position is brought to our notice..,” the court said.It then directed the three people to visit the colony and point out the location of the jhuggis of the people who were found ineligible to the Director (Housing -III), DDA, VK Chopra adding that the visit would commence from 2 pm on Monday and continue during working hours till the work was finished. It allowed the standing counsel for DDA, Dinesh Relan or his representatives to remain present on the spot during the visit.”Our orders dated October 31 and November 1 shall continue till the next date of hearing. As already directed, the entire exercise undertaken pursuant to our order shall also be videographed,” the bench said listing the matter on November 16.On October 30, teams of officers from the DDA, along with police had entered the colony during noon and started bulldozing the houses, the outraged inhabitants pelted stones in a bid to put them off.

Patidar agitation reduced to a private stir, say Patel leaders

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A group of social and religious bodies of Patidar community said on Wednesday that the agitation seeking reservation benefits for the community had been reduced to a “private agitation” by a group of misled youths.“The Patidar Anamat Andolan (Patidar reservation agitation) is now a Private Anamat Andolan (private reservation agitation). Some misled youths are misusing the Patidar community’s name for personal gains,” RP Patel, convener of Patidar Organisation Committee, told mediapersons. The Patidar Organisation Committee comprises representatives of six influential Patidar bodies, Umiya Mata Sansthan – Unjha, Khodaldham – Kagvad, Vishv Umiya Foundation – Ahmedabad, Samast Patidar Samaj – Surat, Umiya Mataji Mandir – Sidsar, and Sardardham – Ahmedabad.He said Hardik Patel and others were leading the Patel community’s youths on the wrong path. RP Patel said that the state government has already accepted the community’s demands related to withdrawal of cases against Patidars, to give jobs to kin of deceased Patel youths based on their educational qualifications, formed a Commission for granting reservation benefits to non- reserved communities, and also set up one for probing police atrocities against Patels. “The demand for granting reservation benefits to non-reserved communities under the OBC quota still remains, and we will continue to press for it, but we have to realise that this is not an issue that can be resolved in a short time,” CK Patel, a member of Patidar Organisation Committee said.

PM Modi interacts with IAS trainees, asks them to research governance issues in depth

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi today held an interaction with IAS officer trainees here and asked them to research governance issues in depth, so that they could understand those well.He held the interaction with over 360 officer trainees of the 92nd Foundation Course at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA), a day ahead of his address to them.During the four-hour interaction in four groups, a variety of subjects such as administration, governance, technology and policy-making came up, according to a PMO statement.”Officers shared their own experiences, which were very constructive,” Modi tweeted.The prime minister urged the officer trainees to express their ideas and thoughts to him frankly and without fear, the PMO statement said.He also stressed on the need for them to develop a national vision, the PMO said.The discussions were marked by a large degree of experience-sharing.The prime minister also interacted with faculty members of the academy, who gave him an overview of the work being done there, to train India’s civil servants, the statement said.He also visited the state-of-the-art Gandhi Smriti Library at LBSNAA and attended a short cultural programme by the officer trainees.Earlier, on arrival at the academy, Modi offered floral tributes on the statues of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri.

Civic body, NGO release short film on staying fit

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in association with NGO Bhamla Foundation has released a short film on eating habits with a voice-over by Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar.The film, which is an extended version of the earlier release and part of BMC’s Jaan Bachhao Campaign, was launched earlier this month.The 2.2-minute public awareness short film deals with how a small change in food habits can prevent several lifestyle diseases.The short film conveys the message that the future cannot be changed, but a habit can, and this change can change your future.A total of five health tips have been suggested in the film. From lowering one’s sugar intake to daily workout for half an hour, the film suggests common tips that can keep one free from lifestyle diseases.The film, directed by Rajkumar Hirani, conveys its message very clearly. In the film, Akshay accepts it is very difficult to not eat deep-fried food or sugar, but its quantity and frequency can be changed. Instead of taking one teaspoon sugar, one can add only half teaspoon sugar or like eating samosa can be controlled to one a week.However, the film strongly suggested a routine health check-up and no sugar intake for diabetics.”The film strongly suggested that intake of vegetables should be increased,” said a senior civic health official, attached to the project. At the end of the film, Kumar appears and assures that one can also stay fit like him if they follow these simple tips suggested in the film.BETTER LIVINGThe film is an extended version of the earlier release and part of BMC’s Jaan Bachhao Campaign. The 2.2-minute public awareness short film deals with how a small change in food habits can prevent several lifestyle diseases.

Pollution linked to one in six deaths

Pollution has been linked to nine million deaths each year worldwide, according to a report in The Lancet.

Uttarakhand: Former CM Harish Rawat expresses concerns over PM Modi laying foundation stone for Adi Shankaracharya’s samadhi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat today expressed reservations over Prime Minister Narendra Modi laying the foundation stone for a project to renovate Adi Shankaracharya’s Samadhi in Kedarnath, saying it should be done by saints and seers.Modi is scheduled to visit Kedarnath on Friday, a day after Diwali, when he is likely to inaugurate a number of projects and also lay the foundation for the renovation of the Samadhi (tomb).The tomb was damaged in the 2013 flash floods.”We had our own plans for the project. We wanted the Shankaracharyas of the four ‘peeths’ to lay its foundation and inaugurate it. However, the BJP has decided to assign the work – which should have been done by saints and seers – to the prime minister,” Rawat told reporters here.”They have raised the prime minister’s stature to that of a ‘Dharmapurush’ by making him do the job of saints and seers,” he said.Meanwhile, Dwarka Shardapeeth Shankaracharya Swami Swaroopananda Saraswati has written to Badrinath-Kedarnath Mandir Samiti, saying the foundation stone for the project by Modi was welcome.But, he added, the renovation work should not be assigned to any other institution as it was the “first right” of the Shankaracharyas of the four ‘peeths’ founded by the Adi Guru.”There is nothing wrong with the prime minister laying the foundation of the project, rather it is worth welcoming.But carrying out renovation is our first right,” he wrote.”I had been urged by the temple committee during my visit to Badrinath in May this year to oversee the renovation work of Adi Guru Shankaracharya’s Samadhi. I got a statue of the Adi Guru made in Jaipur and sent it to Kedarnath,” Swami Swaroopananda said in the letter.

IT details of Dera Sacha Sauda-linked bodies ‘private’, reveals RTI query

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The details of income tax exemption claimed by social and religious organisations controlled by the Dera Sacha Sauda, which were in public domain four years ago, have now been classified as “private”, an RTI query has revealed.Replying to an RTI query filed by social worker Ramesh Verma, the Income Tax department’s Deputy Commissioner Office in Chandigarh said on September 29 that the information sought fell under the “third party” category, as mentioned in section 11 of the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005. The information sought under sections 11 and 8(1)(j) of the Act fell under the private category and had no relation to public interest, the office said.The Income Tax Office in Sirsa, however, had provided the tax details of the institutions linked with the Dera on July 11, 2013.According to that information, the tax-free income of Dera Sacha Sauda, Begu Road, Shah Satnamji Marg, Sirsa, was Rs 29.18 crore during financial year 2010-11.Shah Satnam Ji Research & Development Foundation’s tax- free income was Rs 16.52 crore. Parampita Shah Satnamiji Education and Welfare Society’s tax-free income was Rs 1.80 crore and Shah Satnamji Green and Welfare Force Society’s tax-free income was Rs 3 crore. All these organisations are based in Sirsa.Asked about the Income Tax department’s classification of the organisations linked to the Dera as “private”, former chief information commissioner A N Tiwari said the tax exemption had been given by the government. “This is a loss to the consolidated fund of India. People have the right to know about it,” Tiwari said. When asked if there had been any amendment to the RTI Act between 2013 and 2017 with regard to providing such information, Tiwari said there have been no changes.

Modi govt to give Muslims girls who graduate before marrying Rs 51,000 ‘Shaadi Shagun’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Meritorious female students who complete graduation before getting married will get a special gift of Rs 51,000 from the Modi govt. The proposal by Maulana Azad Education Foundation has been cleared by the Ministry of Minority Affairs, reported News 18.The Shaadi Shagun Scheme is aimed at incentivising higher education among women. All students funded by the Maulana Azad Foundation are eligible to apply for this provision.The proposal was submitted to Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Naqvi in July. Hussain Ansari, treasurer of Maulana Azad Education Foundation said: “We felt that families of Muslim girls and other minorities are always in dilemma about their daughter’s graduation studies and marriage. The minority groups prefer to save money for their daughter’s marriage rather than spend it on their graduation.”
ALSO READ SC says girl child can’t be treated as commodity, calls separate marriage laws for Hindus and Muslims ‘mockery’This is in addition to the existing Begum Hazrat Mahal Scholarship given to students from six minority communities – Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Parsis and Jains. However, parents of wards who earn more than Rs 2 lakh per annum cannot avail this scholarship.

Rahul Gandhi did not return land taken from farmers by Rajiv Gandhi Foundation: Smriti Irani in Amethi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) top leaders on Tuesday targetted Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi at his turf in Amethi. BJP chief Amit Shah accompanied by union minister Smriti Irani and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Aditynath accused the Congress of the “lack of development” in Amethi. Smriti Irani who led a high-voltage campaign against Rahul Gandhi in Amethi in 2014 tried to convince voters that she would upset the plan of Congress in Amethi in 2019 Lok Sabha elections. In 2014, Rahul Gandhi secured 4,08,651 votes against Irani’s 3,00,748. Though Irani lost to the Congress vice president in Amethi, she managed to reduce his victory margin from around 3.70 lakh in 2009 to 1.07 lakh in 2014.Smriti Irani alleged that the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation here had not returned land taken from farmers. Irani was addressing a public meeting in this constituency, seen as a bastion of the Congress, along with BJP president Amit Shah. “Rahul, who used to talk about relief to farmers, did not return their land taken by Rajiv Gandhi Foundation here,” the Union minister for information and broadcasting and textiles said. In a broadside against the Congress vice president and Amethi MP, Irani said she wanted to address those who saw Amethi just from the vote bank point of view. “There is no collector’s office here. If Rahul is hearing me today I want to say that you used to talk about development in the country and abroad. You make a mockery of development in Gujarat,” she said. Referring to the closure of a cycle factory called SamratBSE 2.22 %, she said, “… the country was surprised that the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, headed by Rahul, which did not do any commercial activities has purchased it. The land should be freed and given back to the farmers.” Irani had created a stir in 2015 when she accused the top Congress leadership of usurping nearly 65 acres of land acquired from farmers for setting up a manufacturing unit, Samrat Cycle, a project that never materialised. Noting that the BJP won four out of five seats during the 2017 assembly polls when Shah had come here, Irani said, “In 2019 (Lok Sabha polls) BJP will win here.” (With PTI inputs)

Breaking barriers: India’s Rajalakshmi wins ‘Popularity award’ at first Miss Wheelchair World

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Breaking barriers, India’s Rajalakshmi on Monday has won the ‘Miss Popularity award’ at Miss Wheelchair World 2017 pageant in Poland’s Warsaw.Rajalakshmi, who hails from Bengaluru, is a dentist by profession. She was forced to take the wheelchair after she met with a road accident 10 years back. The road accident led to a spinal cord injury forcing her wheelchair-bound for life.A polish organisation had organised the beauty pagaent for the first time in a bid to break the social perceptions about disabilities people.Aleksandra Chichikova from Belarus has won the Miss Wheelchair World award.Around 24 contestants took part in the pagaent. The event was organised by ‘The Only One Foundation’, which was founded by two disabled women.

Amit Shah’s son Jay files defamation suit against ‘The Wire’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jay Shah, son of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah, on Monday filed a defamation suit against the author, editor, and owner of the news website ‘The Wire’ in an Ahmedabad court, for alleging huge growth in his firm’s turnover in a year, reports ANI. The hearing of the matter is scheduled for October 11.Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate S K Gadhvi ordered a court inquiry into the matter under CrPC section 302, reports PTIIn his application, Shah prayed for, “criminal action against the respondents for defaming and tarnishing the reputation of the complainant through an article, which is scandalous, frivolous, misleading, derogatory, libelous and consisting of several defamatory statements.” The seven respondents in the case are the author of the article Rohini Singh, founding editors of the news portal Siddarth Varadarajan, Sidharth Bhatia and M K Venu, managing editor Monobina Gupta, public editor Pamela Philipose and the Foundation for Independent Journalism, the non-profit company that publishes ‘The Wire’.The case has been filed under IPC sections 500 (defamation), 109 (abetment), 39 (voluntarily cause grievous hurt) and 120 B (criminal conspiracy).A report, written by Rohini Singh on the news website ‘The Wire’, details the growth of Jay Shah’s company, Temple Enterprise Private Ltd, from revenues of Rs. 50,000 in 2014-’15 to Rs. 80.5 crore in 2015-16.The report also reveals a number of loans received by companies connected to the BJP president?s son, based on documents filed with the Registrar of Companies.Prior to the suit filed by Jay Shah, Union Minister Piyush Goyal on Sunday rejected any allegation sought to be made against Jay Shah or any of his party leaders.Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, Goyal informed that a criminal defamation suit of Rs. 100 crores will be filed against the news website. Goyal said that the article is written to damage the reputation of the party president Amit Shah. (With inputs from agencies)

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

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

Majority of women not aware of safety rights: Survey

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An ASSOCHAM survey of women in major cities across India has revealed that majority of women are not aware of the Constitutional provisions laid down for their safety, which are more than 20 in number. These include over 88 per cent of the respondents in Delhi and the National Capital Region alone.The survey was conducted by the ASSOCHAM Social Development Foundation (ASDF) among 2,500 working women, home-makers and college-going girls in the NCR and in cities like Bangalore, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Pune. The study also revealed that anxiety level increases among the women as darkness falls, with increasing cases of violence against women.”The similar anxiety is more among the guardians of those women who travel by chartered buses, cabs, autos etc. Working women have to battle day in and day out in chartered buses, cabs, autos without knowing whether their drivers and crew members have been verified by the police or not,” said a release by ASSOCHAM. The study also reveals that respondents work late in sectors like BPOs, and IT-enabled services, travel and tourism, nursing homes, and media, among others, feel more vulnerable.Over 53 per cent of the respondents in the Delhi-NCR have migrated from states such as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, etc., in search of work, education of children among other reasons.”The significance of women as an important human resource was recognised by the Constitution, which not only accorded equality of women but also empowered the state to adopt measures of positive discrimination in their favour,” the report stated.GPS-enabled cabs, despite the comfort they offered, have cases against drivers who have molested or raped women travelling in cabs. These cases have, in turn, broken the confidence of many women. “If immediate confidence-building measures are not taken, the impact could be severe on the tourism and hospitality sector in the middle of a tourism season in the North India, which needs to do a lot in terms of law and order,” said DS Rawat, secretary general, ASSOCHAM.Some of the suggestions the ASDF made were self-defence training for women, extra precaution by organisations that employ women for night duties, police verification of cab drivers, and an effective GPS system linked to police stations.

NGO gives 13-year-old Rs 8.5 lakh for kidney transplant

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Three days after 13-year-old Varun wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking him for monetary help for his kidney transplant, he received Rs 8.5 lakh from an Uttarakhand-based NGO that works with the government.”We have been in the hospital since May this year,” said Kamal Kishore, Varun’s father. “We got him discharged in July but his condition worsened. I have lost my job in these four months and my family is surviving on the savings we had,” he added.With both his kidneys failed, Varun currently requires two dialysis a week. The family is a Below Poverty Line cardholder.Following his letter to the PM and tweets to Delhi Chief Minister and Health Minister, Varun was reassured by an NGO, Hans Foundation, that his treatment would be taken care of.A recent letter to the Under Secretary of Prime Minister’s Relief Fund written by the Additional Private Secretary to the Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences stated, “Master Varun has been diagnosed as a case of end-stage renal disease and advised kidney transplant by Dr K Anand, Department of Pediatrics, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital. Considering the pathetic financial condition, I am directed by the Minister to kindly consider this case sympathetically and sanction a total amount of Rs 8,50,000 for his treatment.”

Hindu American Foundation expresses concern over massacre of Hindus in Myanmar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> An eminent Hindu group in the US has expressed concern over reports that a mass grave containing the bodies of 28 Hindu villagers has been discovered in conflict-wreaked Myanmar’s Rakhine state.The Hindu American Foundation (HAF) has urged for an open and transparent investigation into these killings.The Myanmar authorities have accused Muslim Rohingya militants of killing 28 Hindu villagers whose bodies were allegedly found in a mass grave.”The international community and the government of Myanmar must work together towards a peaceful solution to this complex conflict one which upholds the rights of civilians of all communities involved,” said Samir Kalra, Hindu American Foundation (HAF) senior director and author of Hindus in South Asia & the Diaspora: A Survey of Human Rights, 2017.There were likely more mass graves yet to be discovered, as the recently-discovered dead appeared to be from a group of 100 Hindus attacked on August 25, by the Arkin Rohingya Salvation Army a militant group run by Rohingya emigres in Saudi Arabia, the HAF said.
ALSO READ Myanmar Hindu slaughter: Survivors say they were asked to blame Buddhists instead of Muslim terroristsIn the past month, some 420,000 people have fled from Myanmar into Bangladesh, fleeing from a government crackdown on ASRA militants which resulted in some 200 Rohingya villages burned.”HAF is in direct contact with sources in Bangladesh who are monitoring the condition of camps where Hindu refugees from Myanmar are staying. Their accounts are corroborating the media reports thus far regarding the violence against Hindus in the Rakhine region,” Kalra said.

Govt asks 1,222 NGOs to validate bank accounts in which they receive foreign contribution

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> As many as 1,222 NGOs across the country have been directed by the home ministry to validate the bank accounts in which they receive foreign contribution, failure of which will invite punitive action.Among others, the list includes Sri Ramakrishna Math, Ramakrishna Mission, Indore Cancer Foundation Charitable Trust, Coimbatore Christian Charitable Trust, Delhi School Of Social Work Society, Hindu Anath Ashram and Madani Darut Tarbiyat. In a circular, the ministry said all NGOs registered under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) should receive foreign donations in a single designated bank account.However, it is seen that a number of such organisations have not validated their foreign contribution designated accounts, causing problems for the banks to comply with the FCRA provisions that they (banks) report to the central government within 48 hours of such receipt or utilisation of foreign contribution, the circular read. These associations are required to validate their foreign designated accounts and also the utilisation accounts immediately and send the details, including the bank branch, code, account number, IFSC etc through FC 6 form which is available on https://fcraonline.nic.in, the circular said.”Non-compliance may lead to penal actions as per FCRA 2010,” it said. A few others NGOs named are Rehmat E Alam Hospital Trust Anantanag, Rotary Club of Mumbai Midwest, JK Trust, Bombay, Goonj, Madina Education and Charitable Society, Nagaland Bible College, Indian Institute for Nature and Environment Study. The Modi government, which has tightened the rules for NGOs, has already cancelled registration of more than 10,000 non-governmental organisations in the last three years for alleged non-filing of annual returns as mandated in the FCRA.In addition, renewals of more than 1,300 NGOs have been denied or they were closed in recent past for allegedly violating various provisions of the FCRA. The home ministry has also asked nearly 6,000 NGOs to open their accounts in banks having core banking facilities and furnish details for real-time access to security agencies in case of any discrepancy. The move was initiated after it was detected that many NGOs have their bank accounts in cooperative banks or state government-owned apex banks or banks which do not have core banking facilities.In November, 2016, the government had directed more than 11,000 NGOs to file applications for renewal of registration by February 28, 2017. Of the above, 3,500 NGOs have filed applications for renewal and hence the registration of more than 7,000 NGOs were deemed expired due to non-filing of renewal applications. Currently around 22,000 FCRA registered NGOs are operating in the country.

Interlinking rivers is a temporary phenomenon; permanent solution is reviving them: Chandrababu Naidu

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After aggressively advocating interlinking of rivers for years, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Tuesday remarked that it was only a “temporary phenomenon”, but revival of rivers was the permanent solution.”I was instrumental for linking of rivers in the country and prevailed upon (then Prime Minister) Vajpayee. But linking of rivers is only a temporary phenomenon and reviving them is the permanent solution,” Chandrababu said while addressing a Rally for Rivers campaign here today.Chandrababu said he had to go for interlinking of rivers as he had to do something for immediate solution also.”Otherwise, we won’t be in power for doing the right things also for a long time,” he added and took credit for “linking” of rivers Godavari and Krishna in Andhra Pradesh.Explaining his advocacy of interlinking of rivers previously, Chandrababu noted, “In this country, there are floods and there is drought. So, we have to link rivers. Then only we can survive or else some areas will have problems.”As much as 85 per cent of water from major rivers in the country drained out into the sea and another seven per cent from medium rivers.”The Bay of Bengal receives 77 per cent of river water and Arabian Sea 33 per cent. Water depleted by 60 per cent in rivers Krishna and Narmada, 40 per cent in Cauvery and Ganga.These rivers have to be revived,” the Chief Minister pointed out.He vowed to make AP a model state in revival of rivers and said it would be the first to implement the policy framework proposed by Isha Foundation’s Jaggi Vasudev, who launched the Rally for Rivers campaign.Jaggi Vasudev stressed the need for an “enforceable and implementable law” to revive dying rivers in the country.”This should be the policy…an economic plan for the well-being of the society and the farmers. It should be an economic policy with significant ecological impact,” he said.His Foundation was drafting such a policy to be presented to the Centre and the states.”River is a national treasure. We must learn to treat it like that and not as a private property. In the last 7-8 years, depletion of rivers has become so steep that many have already become seasonal rivers from being perennial rivers.This is the moment for us…either we do the right things or just sit by and watch disasters unfold,” the Sadguru warned.’Water man of India’ Rajendra Singh said clearing rivers and river beds of encroachments, preventing pollution of rivers and allowing their environmental flow were critical to reviving the rivers.”Our future will be safe when we save the health of our rivers,” he said.State ministers D U Rao, Kamineni Srinivas, Vijayawada MP Kesineni Srinivas and others attended.

For 50th b’day, bizman to take elderly on foreign tour

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An African businessman of Gujarati origin has decided to celebrate his 50th birthday in a unique way. Touched by loneliness of senior citizens, the businessman has decided to take as many as 44 of them from Gujarat on their first international visit to celebrate his birthday with them.Born in Porbandar in 1967, and now settled in Mozambique, Rizwan Adatia, will celebrate his 50th birthday on September 14 with 44 senior citizens and differently abled couples from Porbandar, Rajkot, Surat and Junagadh. The citizens will visit Singapore and Malaysia from September 10 to 17.Adatia is the founder of COGEF Group, which spans across 11 countries, and has a turnover of more than Rs 2,000 crore.The 44 citizens were selected from out of nearly 650 participants who had gathered for Bhavvandhan, a day-long event organised by Rizwan Adatia Foundation for Social and Cultural Development (RAFSCD) at Porbandar.”This tour will provide these 44 citizens an opportunity to capture a moment in their lives and bond with people from a similar age group,” Rizwan Adatia, founder chairman of the organisation, said.This is not the first time the organisation is taking senior citizens on a holiday.Last year, it had sponsored a cruise trip of 45 female senior citizens from Porbandar. It is also engaged in several other philanthropic activities.A release by Rizwan Adatia Foundation said that Adatia is inspired by his humble beginnings to support various causes.”RAFSCD is a not-for-profit initiative working to raise the quality of life of senior citizens by organising recreational activities,” the release added.CHARITABLE CAUSEAn African businessman of Gujarati origin, Rizwan Adatia was born in Porbandar in 1967, settled in Mozambique.
Adatia is the founder of COGEF Group, which spans across 11 countries, and has a turnover of more than Rs 2,000 crore
He will celebrate his 50th birthday on September 14

Muzaffarnagar riot victims yet to be compensated

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>At least 200 families of 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots have not received the promised Rs 5 lakh compensation from the state government until now, Amnesty International, India said on Friday.Screening a film, Muavaza by Nakul Singh Sawhney who had earlier made Muzaffarnagar Baqi Hai, Amnesty International drew the point home through the victim’s families whose life lay scattered without any support.At least 60 people were killed and more than 50,000 were displaced in the violent riots of 2013 in several villages of Muzaffarnagar and Shamli districts.Between August 2016 and April 2017, Amnesty International India and AFKAR India Foundation, an NGO in Shamli, visited 12 resettlement colonies, met 65 families and analysed the documentation of 200 families.Amnesty’s programme director Asmita Basu said, ” These families were forced to leave their homes and everything they owned during the 2013 violence. But successive governments in Uttar Pradesh have failed them.””The state government first let riot survivors down by not providing security to help them return to their villages, and then denied them full and adequate reparation. With nowhere to go, these families found refuge in resettlement colonies. But the UP government again let the families down by not ensuring basic amenities,” added Basu.According to Mohammed Salim, President of the Riots Victims Justice Committee in Muzaffarnagar district, there were no facilities of water, electricity or proper toilets in most colonies where riot victims lived.” Women are scared to go to the toilets alone at night. They go together in groups. Moreover, it is very dirty due to constant water logging and no proper drainage. People are getting sick on a daily basis,” he added.Amnesty has launched a petition demanding that the UP Chief Minister ensure that families in resettlement colonies receive adequate compensation and rehabilitation.The next stepAmnesty has launched a petition demanding that the UP Chief Minister ensure that families in resettlement colonies receive adequate compensation and rehabilitation.

Mohalla Clinics get L-G’s approval, but with a few riders

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Lieutenant-Governor (L-G) Anil Baijal on Monday gave a green signal to the establishment of Mohalla Clinics, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government’s pet project, but with a few riders.Baijal has approved the proposal with certain safeguards, to promote transparency and ensure delivery of quality healthcare services to Delhi residents. The decision has come after 45 AAP MLAs occupied the Raj Niwas conference hall, demanding to speed up the process of clearing files related to the Mohalla Clinics.”These safeguards are aimed at developing a robust healthcare delivery system, besides addressing complaints received regarding the functioning of clinics, so far. The L-G observed that selection of premises to set up these clinics should be through a transparent and objective mechanism in such a way that the existing healthcare facilities are utilised in an optimum manner and the facilities are accessible to all, especially the weaker sections, without any duplication of scarce public resources. In case of private premises, it has been noted that the selection of premises and fixation of rent should be through a transparent open process, as per prevalent PWD/CPWD norms,” the L-G said in a statement issued on Monday.Recently, the Delhi government’s vigilance department, in a probe, had found irregularities in the functioning of these clinics. A complaint sent to the L-G stated that doctors were treating 533 patients in just four hours a day. It also questioned the data of patients recorded by NGO Wish Foundation.To check incidents of data rigging, the L-G has advised that the administrative department must develop a sound mechanism to verify the number of patients claimed by a clinic. According to the officials, the Delhi government has been advised to develop an online system based on Aadhaar cards within six months.”The conditions laid down by the land-owning agencies concerned, for land use and construction of any temporary structure, must be strictly followed. The Health Department shall not transfer, assign, or otherwise part with the ownership or possession of the whole or any part of the said land in any manner. Further, wherever required, statutory permissions and no objection certificates must be obtained from the local bodies/department concerned,” the statement further stated.IRREGULARITIESThe Delhi government’s vigilance department, in a probe, had found irregularities in the functioning of these clinics.
A complaint sent to the L-G stated that doctors were treating 533 patients in just four hours a day. It also questioned the data of patients recorded by NGO Wish Foundation

Gorakhpur hospital deaths: Govt data shows drop in casualty figures at BRD Hospital in 2017

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Data on deaths of children compiled by the Uttar Pradesh government show a sharp drop in casualty figures in the BRD Medical College in Gorakhpur this year compared to those in the last three years.According to the data compiled by the UP health department, made available to PTI, 1,317 children had died in the state-run facility so far this year.The number of deaths stood at 5,850 in 2014, 6,917 in 2015 and 6,121 in 2016, the department data said.The data showed the average daily deaths translating to 16 in 2014, 19 in 2015 and 17 in 2016 — as against 5.3 a day till August this year.”This (death figure) is much lower than that in the previous years,” Health Minister Sidharth Nath Singh said.
ALSO READ Gorakhpur hospital tragedy: 13 more babies die in BRD Hospital; 2017 death toll goes to 1,317Congress spokesperson Ashok Singh had charged the Uttar Pradesh government with failing to check the deaths in the BRD medical college.”The toll is alarmingly high and the government has failed to check the casualties,” he had said.Countering him, the health minister said “good work” was being done by the Yogi Adityanath government in the state.”The reason (for the fall in death figures) is the good work done in the last five months. We have strengthened encephalitis treatment centres and taken various effective measures to check the dreaded disease so that more patients are treated at community health centre levels and do not just rush to the BRD medical college,” Singh told PTI.According to BRD medical college records, 152 children died in January this year, 122 in February, 159 in March, 123 in April, 139 in May, 137 in June, 128 in July and 325 in August.Taking into account 32 deaths in the first two days of September, the total came to 1,317.A total of 51,018 children were admitted to the hospital in 2014, 61,295 in 2015 and 60,891 in 2016, according to the data put together by the department and its partner, PATH Foundation, a nonprofit organisation. There were no admission figures for this year.Health department sources said till August 31, admissions in district hospitals and encephalitis treatment centres had gone up to 62 per cent as compared to BRD hospital.”We have to bring this up to at least 80 per cent. We are on the right path,” said an official.Because of seasonal illnesses, August usually saw a rise in the number of children being admitted to the medical college which caters to Gorakhpur and adjoining districts in Uttar Pradesh, with patients also coming from neighbouring Bihar and Nepal.The Numbers of deaths of children in August in 2016, 2015 and 2014 were 587, 668 and 567 respectively, as against 324 last month, according to the data.”During 2017, larvicidal spraying and fogging were undertaken in 529 villages/urban areas in seven endemic districts of Gorakhpur and Basti division where community meetings and awareness programmes for health workers are being carried out,” Singh said while explaining the drop in the casualty figure this year.The health minister said, “The combat against Japanese Encephalitis (JE)/Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) continues to be a priority for the state government and every effort is being made to ensure proper treatment and management of cases by taking preventive initiatives to educate and involve the community in our fight against these diseases.” He said a special vaccination campaign was carried out in 38 endemic districts from June 29 to July 15 this year covering 92 lakh children in the 1-15 year age bracket.When contacted, Congress spokesperson Singh expressed doubts over the figures, while Samajwadi Party leader and MLC Rajpal Kashyap dismissed the data.”The government is trying to run away from its responsibilities of providing better health care facilities,” Kashyap said.

Probe finds irregularities in AAP’s mohalla clinics

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi government’s vigilance report on the Aam Aadmi Party administration’s flagship mohalla clinics project submitted to Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal has found major irregularities in the functioning of all 160 neighbourhood health centres. The revelation comes a day after 45 AAP MLAs protested at the L-G office against “pending” files related to the scheme. The report has highlighted violation of guidelines for hiring doctors and fixing rents of the centres, started by Delhi’s ruling party to take diagnostics and treatment of simple ailments to people’s doorstep.The report was also submitted to the Delhi Health Minister’s Secretary on August 29, requesting Health Minister Satyendar Jain’s attention. Questions sent to Jain by DNA remained unanswered.The vigilance department probed complaints which stated that doctors are treating 533 patients in just four hours a day. “The laid down procedures, transparent and competitive process were not followed while hiring some of the facilities, services and manpower.All relevant details of patients are not being logged in for proper records,” the report said.The data of patients is monitored by Wish Foundation which had also spotted irregularities in these clinics. Doctors were found making multiple entries for many patients to jack up numbers they “have attended” to. Three such doctors were suspended early this year.The probe has also questioned the role of an NGO in evaluating the data of patients. “The data needs to be strictly under the control of the Health and Family Welfare department to ensure its reliability and integrity. The payment to doctors was made without requisite audit and verification of the patient footfall,” the vigilance department wrote in its report.The department had raised 11 points of concern and sought replies from the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) and the Chief Medical District Officer (CDMO). Senior officials also said that by allegedly “treating” so many patients in such record time, doctors are violating norms. During the inauguration of the clinics in 2015, doctors were told to spend at least 7-10 minutes on one patient.Currently, there are 110 mohalla clinics operating from various parts of the city with 106 doctors working there. Every doctor gets Rs 30 per patient per day in these clinics which are operational from 9 am to 1 pm.Meanwhile, Baijal on Thursday chaired a meeting with Delhi government ministers on pending files related to mohalla clinics. The L-G assured Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal that a decision will be taken soon which will be in the interest of residents. The move came a day after 45 AAP MLAs occupied the conference hall of Raj Niwas to protest against pending files.

Art institute celebrates 10th anniversary

The event was inaugurated by the founder of the institute, Madhumita Acharya Biswas, a vocalist in Delhi and chief guests Padmashree Shovana Narayan, sarod maestro Pandit Narendra Nath Dhar and Pandit Raj Kumar Misra. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Melody Foundation, an art institute in Dwarka Sector 22, celebrated their 10th anniversary. A concert was organised at the Stein auditorium, India Habitat Centre on August 23. The event was inaugurated by the founder of the institute, Madhumita Acharya Biswas, a vocalist in Delhi and chief guests Padmashree Shovana Narayan, sarod maestro Pandit Narendra Nath Dhar and Pandit Raj Kumar Misra.The evening started with an invocation to Ganesh and Saraswati. Saberi Misra, showcased many specialties of the Jaipur gharana in her kathak recital. The main attraction of the evening was a sarod recital by Pandit Narendra Nath Dhar of Seniya Shahjahanpur Gharana. Kathak guru Rajendra Gangani, sitarist Uday Mazumdar and others attended it.

Ganesh Chaturthi: Day 1 of Visarjan makes loud noise

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Anti-noise pollution activists measuring noise levels across Mumbai on the first day of Ganesh Chaturthi immersions on Saturday found the decibel levels to be even higher than that recorded on the 10th day immersion in 2016.Activist and convenor of Awaaz Foundation Sumaira Abdulali, who recorded noise levels across Mumbai on Saturday between 10 pm and 12 am found the highest noise levels of 116.8 dB where near Shiv Sena Bhavan in Dadar (reading taken at 10.49 pm), where drums and metal cylinders/plates were being played post 10 pm. “All the readings were taken in the extended time period of 10 pm to midnight in residential areas that has educational institutions, hospitals, religious places and courts,” she said.Abdulali shared that there has been an increase in noise levels this year where the one and half day of Ganpati, (which is comparatively silent than the other days) was found to be noisier than all the days of last year’s Ganpati festival. “It can be seen as a direct result of the State Government’s reluctance to curb noise pollution. Suggesting that there are no silence zones today would send a message as if all hospitals, educational institutes and courts vanished over night,” she said.She said that it was extremely important for all citizens and institutes adversely affected by the increased noise levels from any source to complain directly to the Chief Minister and make their displeasure known.Even the twitterati was busy complaining about the high noise levels across Mumbai. National Award winning film-maker Apurva Asrani tweeted: “11pm, Kokilaben hospital in Andheri, Mumbai. Critical patients unable to sleep due to loud music from processions downstairs.” In another tweet, he reached out to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, saying, “My father is in the hospital ICU and unable to rest due to noise from processions. Hospitals must be notified as silence zones.”Noisiest areasMatunga 10.42 pm – 103dBOpposite Sena Bhavan, Dadar 10.49 pm – 116.8dBNehru Centre 11.07 pm – 101.4dBTardeo 11.16 pm – 103.4dBBabulnath 11.28 pm – 109.9dBGirgaum 11.37 pm – 101dB

Adarsh Credit supports Isha Foundation’s ‘Rally for Rivers’ campaign

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>New Delhi India, August 24 (ANI-NewsVoir): Under the leadership of Sadguru, Isha Outreach started ?Rally for Rivers? campaign to preserve the rivers of the country. Adarsh Credit Co-operative Society is also supporting Isha Foundation’s Rally for Rivers campaign. Under the charitable arm of Adarsh Credit, Adarsh Charitable Foundation has always been working on supporting various projects on water conservation and collaboration with “Rally for Rivers” campaign is an extension of our water conservation objectives. In the field of water conservation, Adarsh Credit has removed huge quantity of dirt by desilting of Lakherao and Dudhiya Lake in Sirohi, Rajasthan since last 2 years. This has led to increase in the water capacity of both the lakes and now more water is available for the residents of Sirohi. The local residents of Sirohi have praised the efforts of Adarsh Credit for water conservation initiatives in these lakes. Adarsh Credit has also undertaken various water harvesting initiatives which has led to increase in the groundwater levels. Installation of water harvesting has been completed in 13 building of Sirohi. The locations are: Trauma Center, Janana Hospital, Dharmashala, Dhareshwar Vav, CMHO Building, Tankria school building, Idgah School, New Building school, Goverment College, Government old school building, Sushila Devi Prakashraj Modi Balika Adarsh Vidya Mandir, Bus Stand, Adarsh Vidya Mandir Pavilion and Baghikhana. Water harvesting has been done on 1 lakh square feet of area which has led to increase of 50 lakh liters of water in the ground levels. For providing clean, fluoride-free mineral water at a minimum price, a plan to setup 40-water ATM’s is being implemented in Sirohi. After the implementation of this plan , one ltr of cold water would be available at Rs. 1 and 20 liters of mineral water would be priced at Rs. 5 for the public. So far, Water ATM machines have been installed in Police Line, District Collector Office, Bus Stand and Adarsh Nagar in Sirohi. Geologists have suggested that rivers which have fed us for thousands of years are shrinking dangerously. The perennial rivers have become seasonal. Ganga and Indus are among the 10 largest and oldest rivers in the world. Water pollution and shrinkage of downstream area are dangerous signs. By 2030, we will have only 50 percent water which will be challenge for our own survival. These situations are extremely worrying. “The protection of environment and rivers should be our major social responsibility. We are also working on scientific methods to increase the level of ground water and the results have been very encouraging. Our support to the “Rally for Rivers” is part of our corporate social responsibility, and we are committed to support this cause,” said Rahul Modi, MD, Adarsh Credit Co-operative Society Ltd. (ANI-NewsVoir) Ends SN NNNN ANI(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

AAP’s Mohinder Goyal tops Delhi MLA report card

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The score of Delhi legislators on major parameters including attendance, issues raised, perception of public services, corruption and a clean criminal record, witnessed a reduction in the last year, says a study.”The average score achieved by Members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) in Delhi has reduced from 58.8% in 2016 to 53.4% in 2017,” stated the study entitled Delhi MLA report card. It was released by NGO Praja Foundation on Tuesday.According to the report, there has been a huge increase in the number of MLAs with criminal records. “In February 2015, 14 out of 70 MLAs had FIRs registered against them. In December 2016, this number increased to 39 MLAs. Also, by the end of 2016, 25 out of 70 MLAs had chargesheets filed against them,” it stated.”A large proportion of MLAs raised very few questions in the assembly with as many as 18 of them raised five issues or less in 2017,” analysed by the NGO. “Seven MLAs did not raise even a single issue in 2017. Further, the quality of issues raised by them reduced from 39 percent in 2016 to 35.8 percent in 2017,” it added.The data for the report card was procured through applications under the Right to Information (RTI) Act and through a survey of more than 24,000 citizens commissioned by Praja to research organisation Hansa Research. Fifty seven MLAs from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and 2 MLAs from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) were ranked in all.Winners & LosersThe top three performers according to the report card were Mohinder Goyal from the AAP, Bhavna Gaur from the AAP, and Jagdish Pradhan from the BJP .The bottom three performers were Sahi Ram from the AAP, Rituraj Govind from the AAP and. Dinesh Mohaniya from the AAP.

FEATURE-Indian snake catchers hope "fantasy homes" will keep them from slavery

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>By Anuradha Nagaraj TIRUVANNAMALAI, India, Aug 23 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – A s Devi and Selvam cut across the fields of Tiruvannamalai to reach their hut in Embalam village in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, the young couple stop transfixed outside an unfinished house. “In a few months, this will be our home,” said Devi, a stone quarry labourer who is aged in her late 20s. “For the first time we will live in a house where the thatch roof doesn’t fly off in the rains and there is a proper door, instead of a torn cloth we hang to ensure some privacy.” Devi and Selvam, members of the once-Nomadic Irula tribe known for snake catching skills, will be among the first residents of Abdulkalam Puram, a “rural gated community” outside Vandavasi in Thiruvannamalai district. The complex, which will house nearly 300 people once completed, is a first-of-its-kind project to rehabilitate families from the vulnerable community identified as a “high risk” category of people often trapped in debt bondage, one of the most prevalent forms of human trafficking in India. There are an estimated 463,000 bonded labourers working in 11 industries in Tamil Nadu, according to the non-profit International Justice Mission, most duped into offering themselves for work as security for a loan or debt inherited from a relative which can take years if not decades to repay. According to government data, there are over 100,000 Irula living in Tamil Nadu, many of them victims of debt bondage, for despite a 1976 ban on bonded labour, the practice remains widespread at brick kilns, rice mills and brothels. Last year, the Indian government announced plans to rescue more than 18 million bonded labourers by 2030 and increase compensation for rescued workers by fivefold as part of its efforts to tackle modern slavery. But with the Irula people, who are traditionally snake catchers and live in make-shift homes by water, it has been hard to ensure they don’t fall back into slavery, say campaigners. With no permanent homes and little employment opportunities, they are easy targets for middlemen looking for cheap, seasonal labour, they added. “FANTASY HOMES” The rehabilitation project, one of the most comprehensive such plans in the country, was the brainchild of Prabhushankar Thangaraj Gunalan, a junior bureaucrat in the Tamil Nadu government, who was shocked by the Irulas being left without homes in the aftermath of floods in 2015. In charge of a region known as a source for cheap labour, Gunalan, 34, went back to his office and started mapping out a new idea to help prevent people falling back into bonded labour. “There were hundreds who were being rescued and sent back home and the onus of their rehabilitation was falling on us,” Gunalan, a medical doctor by training, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “When they came back, they didn’t have a home we could send them to. The existing rehabilitation process was piecemeal. I wanted to create something sustainable.” Over several few months, in what Gunalan describes as a “Farmville kind of fantasy mission”, he drew a map of Abdulkalam Puram, named after former Indian President APJ Abdul Kalam who wanted to provide rural communities with urban amenities. Envisaged as a self sustaining rural gated community, Abdulkalam Puram will generate solar power, have a cattle shed, a fodder farm, a community centre, toilets for every two bedroom home and an integrated Irula livelihood centre. The nearly 2 million Indian rupees ($31,000) first phase of the project is near completion and will accommodate 43 families. LIVELIHOOD TRAINING The project, which has seen rare coordination between multiple government agencies, has become a talking point in the region. “It is visionary to say the least,” says Sathish Sivaprakasam, a revenue inspector overseeing the project. “The entire space will be self sufficient. And it has been put on the fast track. These are like dream houses for the Irulas.” To ensure residents of Abdulkalam Puram also have employment, a livelihood centre is planned in phase two with students from the Madras Christian College in Chennai helping settle and retrain former bonded labourers. A venom extraction unit, traditional medicinal herbs nursery, charcoal making unit and brick kilns will tap into the inherent strengths of the community and generate employment. Devi and Selvam find the process “quite unbelievable”. “It looks nice,” they say as they watch the houses being painted and try to visualise a cattle shed behind their home. For Gunalan, that is a compliment. “It’s been two years since I first thought of the project and today there is this satisfaction that something has been accomplished,” he said. “The Irulas are getting what is rightfully theirs.” ($1 = 64.0450 Indian rupees)(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

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