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Collective consciousness for new way ahead

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The word ‘Samvaad’ can be roughly translated as a ‘Conversation’. Typically, a conversation requires two or more parties – unless one is referring to a soliloquy or an intense reflection within oneself. I am keeping my fingers crossed as I plan to embark on one such inner journey.But, for now, if we wish to facilitate the cross-pollination of ideas, wisdom and worldviews that run the risk of being lost, we need to create spaces for such a healthy exchange, among dialogue, discussion and dissent. Spaces that put people at ease to express their perceptions and experiences, and concerns. Such spaces would facilitate intense listening, caring and sharing. Just as infrastructure development entails brick and mortar, nation-building requires the building blocks of dialogue, discussion and dissent leading to collective resolutions, breakthroughs and progress. This is important in a diverse country like ours. This collective consciousness can also help remove prejudices, build new bridges and instil hope and optimism.Last week, I got to taste the flavour of one such grand conversation or Samvaad, which was focused on tribal people across the globe. This saw the coming together of over 1,500 tribal men and women of about 100 tribal groups from 22 states of India and some from Australia, Canada, Zimbabwe, Laos and Kenya. Organised by Tata Steel in Jamshedpur, Samvaad has been a regular annual event, held from November 15, the birthday of the tribal hero, revered as Bhagwan Birsa Munda.‘Aspiration of Tribal Youth and Leadership for Future’ has been this year’s theme. Showcasing a variety of tribal handicrafts, medicine, cuisines, sports, art and culture, Samvaad has come to be a ‘one-stop-shop’ for exchange across dimensions of tribal life and culture. Workshops on topics ranging from social entrepreneurship, malnutrition, environment, introspective theatre and livelihoods were also held with many practical insights on how to address these challenges in tribal communities and spawn new success stories.In keeping with the spirit of Samvaad, top musicians like Pt Nayan Ghosh, (Sitar), Pt Pushparaj Koshti (Surbahar), Pt Nityanand Haldipur (Flute) and Pt Ulhas Bapat (Santoor) ferried the participants in their inner journey and Samvaad, too, through meditative and contemplative music.While every aspect of this event had something refreshing, I particularly loved the simple yet powerful personal narrative of the legend, Tulasi Munda, affectionately called Tulasi Aappa from Keonjhar, Odisha. As she pranced up and down the stage, with her cloth bag slung across, the 70-year-old Padma awardee was as fiery as she was authentic, confident and compassionate. Inspired deeply by Vinoba, even though she was herself uneducated, she decided to educate tribal children with whatever she knew and learnt. She has educated thousands of underprivileged since 1964. ‘Give, give and give’ was her message. Whatever is given with good intention will empower the giver to give even more, she said with great faith. Following the message of Tulasi Aappa’s life, if each one of us made an inventory of what we can give, we ourselves would be amazed. We can increase the spirit and quotient of giving by liberally offering knowledge, skills, education, insights, information, art, craft or resources to those who need these. There is, perhaps, no one who cannot offer anything.Can we create spaces all around us for such conversations or ‘Samvaads’ to happen? Can we embark on this journey of giving to make a better world and spread the Joy of Giving and Living?

DMRC celebrates week-long ‘Daan Utsav, 2017’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With an objective to encourage people to donate goods, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) is celebrating week-long ‘Daan Utsav, 2017’ till October 8. Earlier known as the Joy of Giving Week, it is about philanthropy, to motivate people to donate, either material goods or do some social service.As part of the week, a collection drive of stationery items and books is being organised at select stations across the metro network. These stations where people can donate are Vishwavidyalaya, Rohini West, Dwarka Sector 21, Noida City Centre, Sarita Vihar, Vaishali, Kashmere Gate, Central Secretariat, HUDA City Centre, and Rajiv Chowk.Commuters will be encouraged to donate books and stationery at designated kiosks at these stations, which will be manned by volunteers. Collection drives will also be organised at DMRC’s residential colonies situated in different parts of the city.Meanwhile, a joy ride along with a puppet show, and a visit to the Metro Museum at Patel Chowk was also organised for children on Wednesday as part of the celebration. About 70 children visited the metro system and toured the museum.

1256 deaths at Gorakhpur’s BRD hospital in 2017

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As many as 296 children died this month at the Baba Raghav Das (BRD) Medical College Hospital in Gorakhpur, which has recorded 1,256 deaths since January, its principal said on Wednesday. Of the August figure, 213 died in the neo-natal ICU and 83 in the encephalitis ward, principal P K Singh said. There have been 1,256 deaths since January this year at the state-run hospital, especially in the encephalitis, infant and children wards, he said. Additional Director, (Health), Gorakhpur, Dr Pushkar Anand said that “in the past 24 hours, 17 children with encephalitis were admitted in the medical college and two died during treatment.”Earlier, giving a break up of the causalities at the hospital, Singh said that 37 children had died on August 27 and 28, of whom 26 died in the neo-natal ICU (NICU) and 11 in encephalitis wards.
ALSO READ 36 children die in last 48 hours at Gorakhpur’s BRD medical college Giving a month-wise break up, he said the toll in January was 152, in February 122, March 159, April 123, May 139, June 137 and 128 in July. The principal said children with different complications and ailments arising out of premature delivery, being underweight, jaundice, pneumonia, infectious diseases and encephalitis were admitted to the hospital, mostly in very serious condition. A lot many lives could be saved if the patients are brought here earlier, Singh said.The UP Special Task Force yesterday arrested a former principal of the government-run medical college and his wife allegedly in connection with the deaths of scores of children.

Motivational speaker Khera tells vigilance officials to be

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A person with a positive attitude cannot be stopped and one with negativity cannot be helped, says motivational speaker Shiv Khera. Giving a lecture on “Winners don t do different things, they do things differently”, organised by the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) yesterday, he said winners develop the habit of doing things losers don t like to. In his pep talk to the group of officials, tasked with checking corruption, Khera emphasised the need for integrity and honesty in life. Throwing light on basic human skills, he said courtesy, integrity and honesty were very important in life and these habits should be inculcated from childhood itself, according to a press release issued by the personnel ministry. These were also essential for nation building. Khera highlighted three skills of successful people — people skills, persuasion skills and prioritisation skills. The lecture was attended by chief vigilance officers (CVOs)– who act as an arm of the Commission to check corruption in a government organisation — based in Delhi as well as CMDs, members of the board of directors and other officers of the vigilance administration. Discussing the upbringing of children, he advised caution as any behaviour that gets rewarded, gets repeated. “So children should be encouraged to repeat and inculcate good behaviour.” In his view, decisions should be based on priorities. “So all issues like health, relationships etc. should be given due priority before they turn into urgent issues,” the renowned speaker said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Amethi women to get toilets as gifts this Raksha Bandhan

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Brothers in this district have lined up a different gift for their sisters this Raksha Bandhan – a toilet. To make the open defecation free campaign successful and create awareness about sanitation here, the Zila Swachchhata Samiti (district committee for sanitation) has started a programme “Anokhi Amethi Ka Anokha Bhai”. Giving details of the plan, Chief Development Officer of Amethi Apurva Dubey told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

ECR catches 56164 ticketless/invalid ticket travellers in June

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A total of 56164 ticketless passengers or those travelling with invalid tickets were caught under East Central Railway zone in the month of June this year and Rs 2.31 crore penalty realised from them, ECR said today. Cracking down on illegal chain pullers, 412 people were held on this count and Rs 2.97 lakh fine collected from them, Chief Public Relations Officer (CPRO) of ECR Rajesh Kumar said in a statement. ECR comprises Danapur, Samastipur, Sonepur, Dhanbad and Mughalsarai divisions. In intensified campaign, 608 unauthorised vendors were caught and Rs 6.97 lakh penalty realised from the, the CPRO said. A total of 526 people were caught on charge of misbehaving with passengers and fine of Rs 1.38 lakh collected from them, he said. Giving details of the operation, he said 212 people were caught travelling on trains roof and Rs 1.93 lakh penalty taken from them during June month. A total of 686 people were held smoking in railway premises and Rs 1.32 lakh fine collected from them. Around 1059 people were caught on charge of littering on stations and Rs 2.09 lakh fine taken from them, the ECR CPRO said. A total of 957 male passengers were caught illegally travelling in coaches reserved for women and a penalty of Rs 2.71 lakh taken from them.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Delhi govt to put all info online to ensure transparency: CM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today said the Delhi government would put all relevant information online to ensure transparency in its functioning. Launching e-RTI portal at the Delhi Secretariat here, Kejriwal said the government also plans to upload all RTI replies on the portal to ensure there was no repetition of applications. The portal, designed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC), enables the citizens to file the RTI applications pertaining to 172 departments of the Delhi government. “Today is a historic day as people won’t need to visit government’s office to file RTI applications. There is a need to take the Right To Information to the next level. “We will try to put all information pertaining to the government’s work in the public domain, which affects people’s life and helps in bettering transparency,” Kejriwal said. He said if the government puts all information online, people’s won’t need to then file RTI applications. With the launch of the e-RTI portal (rtionline.delhi.gov.in), Delhi became the first union territory to put in place such a system, and the second after Maharashtra to launch the online RTI platform. Giving an example, Kejriwal said that if the concerned department puts daily sales reports of the ration shops online, people won’t have to file RTIs to seek information. “People of respective areas would be able to straightaway verify the claims. Similarly, if the PWD puts measurement book and bills of all work in public domain, it will make the system transparent,” he said. The e-RTI portal also enables citizens to make fee of RTI application through Net banking. An applicant would also be able to track the status of the RTI application. 172 nodal officers have been appointed for monitoring e- RTI portal. If an applicant doesn’t not mention the name of concerned department in the application, the nodal officer would forward the same to the concerned person.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

SC stays Uttarakhand HC order giving ‘human status’ to Ganga

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Supreme Court on Friday stayed the Uttarakhand High Court order declaring river Ganga and Yamuna as a juristic person and as a living entity. This comes after the Uttarakhand government moved the Supreme Court challenging the High Court order granting rivers Ganga, Yamuna and their tributaries the status of living human entities. The plea asked that in case of human casualties in a flood, can the affected people file suit for damages against the Chief Secretary of the State, and also if the State Government would be liable to bear such financial burden. The Uttarakhand High Court had made the landmark judgement on March 20th. Giving the “legal status” of living humans to the holy rivers, the court ordered that the Director, Namami Gange project for cleaning and rejuvenating the river, the Chief Secretary and the Advocate General of Uttarakhand will act as the “legal parents” of the holy rivers and work as a the human face to protect, conserve and preserve them and their tributaries.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Giving lynchings communal colour not right: Yashwant Sinha

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha today said linking lynchings to beef and giving them a communal colour is not always right, amid allegations that these crimes were abetted by Hindutva groups to target Muslims. Sinha, who has often been in news for his criticism of the Modi government, also praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying he “did the right thing” by condemning violence in the name of cow protection and expressed his “fervent hope” that state governments will take the fittest action. “To relate lynching to beef and giving it a communal colour is not always right. Lynching represents a very brutal aspect of society. It should be nipped in the bud,” he said. Giving the example of three cases of lynchings in Jharkhand, he said one was over the suspicion of the victim carrying beef while two others involved an alleged rapist and rumours of child abduction. He said state governments should now strengthen their intelligence machinery and put in place a mechanism which is necessary to deal with such crimes. The former finance minister also termed the roll out of the GST a “huge step forward” and said teething problems can be sorted out with time. To a question about accusation of opposition parties that the BJP government was suppressing dissent, he said they should give specific examples and not make general allegations. Referring to the criticism of the central government following a CBI case against NDTV owners, he said, “When a politician is hauled up everybody immediately comes to the conclusion that he has been rightly hauled up. Everyone then say let the law take its own course. So the law take its own course. We have an independent judiciary and anyone aggrieved can go to judiciary,” he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

PM Modi and I are world leaders in social media, says Trump

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>US President Donald Trump today described Prime Minister Narendra Modi and himself as “world leaders in social media” — a reference to their multi-million strong following on online platforms — and said it has enabled them to hear directly from their citizens. “I’m proud to announce to the media, to the American people and to the Indian people that Prime Minister Modi and I are world leaders in social media,” Trump said in his remarks at the White House Rose Garden, following his first bilateral meeting with Modi. “We’re believers. Giving the citizens of our countries the opportunity to hear directly from their elected officials and for us to hear directly from them. I guess it’s worked very well in both cases,” Trump said. Trump, who is known for his prolific and at times controversial tweets, and Modi are widely followed on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. While Trump has 32.8 million followers on Twitter, Modi comes a close second with over 31 million followers. On Facebook, Modi has the lead over Trump, who has 23.6 million followers while the Indian leader has 41.8 million followers.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Report blames police firing for farmers’ deaths

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The factual report of the Madhya Pradesh government has blamed police firing for the death of five farmers at Pipaliamandi in Mandsaur district. Giving a detailed account of the violence, the factual report received by the Ministry of Home Affairs on Thursday said that on June 6, a mob of hundreds blocked the Mhow-Neemuch highway and torched 25 trucks besides two police vans and pelted stones on the police station.The police tried to control the violence through lathi-charge but when the situation went beyond control between 2 pm to 3 pm, it resorted to firing in which five persons were killed and eight others injured. Backtracking from his earlier claim, Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Bhupendra Singh also admitted on Thursday that the five farmers died due to police firing. “The death of the five farmers was due to police firing. It has been established in a probe. I have said earlier that the farmers may have died in police firing,” Singh said.

Modi govt has given MSP 43% higher than production cost: Shah

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Modi government within first three years of coming to power has all but fulfilled its poll promise of giving farmers a support price that is 50 per cent more than cost of production of a crop, BJP President Amit Shah has said. The minimum support price (MSP) paid to farmers for their crops is now 43 per cent more than the cost of production if the cost of land is excluded from price calculation, he told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Ban on sale of cattle will hit farmers: Meat exporters’ body

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The meat and livestock exporters’ body today claimed that the government’s decision to put a ban on the sale and purchase of cattle from animal markets for slaughter will eventually hit the farmers. It said a significant number of farmers usually arrives in these markets to sell their “unproductive” cattle. “It is the unproductive cattle, which arrives in large number for sale in these markets, as their feasibility virtually cease to exist, while the per day maintenance cost goes up. “The high yielding milching animals rarely arrive at the cattle market for sale. The per day cost incurred on a buffalo ranges from Rs 125 to Rs 150, while the general price of the milk sold is Rs 40 per litre. If the per day milk production dips, then gradually the cattle becomes unproductive, spokesperson of the All India Meat and Livestock Exporters Association, Fauzan Alavi said. He also said that before taking such a move, the government should have discussed the issue with the stakeholders and dispel all their doubts. They should have given a window period to take necessary action. “The meat industry in India is growing at an annual rate of five per cent on its own. Any such move is bound to hit the industry,” Alavi said. He also claimed that if the animal right activists are really concerned about the welfare of the animals then they must set up a mechanism to ensure that the cattle gets their fodder and is not compelled to consume polythene. The government has banned the sale and purchase of cattle from animal markets for slaughter. The environment ministry has notified the stringent Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017 under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. As per the notification, the member secretary of an animal market committee will have to ensure that no person brings a young animal to the animal market. “No person shall bring a cattle to an animal market unless upon arrival he has furnished a written declaration signed by the owner of the cattle – stating the name and address of the owner of the cattle, with a copy of the photo identification proof. “Giving details of the identification of the cattle and stating that the cattle has not been brought to market for sale for slaughter,” the notification said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Parking lot to be built to ease Nainital traffic jams, HC told

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A multi-storey parking lot will be built near the town and heavy vehicles, including buses, will not be allowed to enter Nainital during the upcoming tourist season, the district administration has told the Uttarakhand High Court. Hearing a PIL yesterday seeking the High Court’s intervention in combating traffic nuisance in the hill station during this tourist season, the court asked the SSP and District Magistrate to give their views on the matter. Before the division bench of Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia and Justice U C Dhyani, the SSP and the DM laid down the long term plans of the district administration to deal with heavy traffic during the tourist season. They informed the court that a multi-storey car parking lot at Charkhet, 4 kms from Nainital on Kaladhungi road, will be built in the near future for which a sum of Rs 20 crore has already been released. The court ordered that the Joint Magistrate, Nainital should visit and engage the Central Institute of Road Transport (CIRT) to conduct a study to work out solutions. Giving details of the short term plan to combat traffic problems in the upcoming season, the court was informed that general announcements will be made on banning entry of heavy vehicular traffic in Nainital from May 15 to July 15. Only 35-seater mini buses will be allowed to enter the town during this period, the officials said. To ensure this, the tourism department will set up ‘chowkis’ in collaboration with the police department at Kathgodam and Kaladhungi to keep a check on vehicles entering Nainital.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Four held for duping youth with nationalised bank job offer

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Police have arrested four persons from New Delhi for allegedly duping 49 youths from Chhattisgarh, to the tune of Rs 1 crore, under the pretext of giving them a job in a nationalised bank. Three other accused involved in the racket are still absconding, said police. Additional SP, Durg, Rajesh Agrawal, told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Adityanath govt to conduct mass weddings for poor Muslim girls, give them Rs 20,000 each

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh is planning to organise mass weddings for poor girls belonging to religious minorities, in an apparent attempt by the Chief Minister to shed his Hindu hardliner image.”Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has given his consent to mass weddings of poor girls belonging to minority communities and we have included it in the 100 days’ programme of the state government,” Minister of State for Minorities Affairs Mohsin Raza told PTI. Muslims account for nearly 20 per cent of the state’s population and a lion’s share of the benefits under the scheme will go to brides from that community. A proposal is being prepared, the minister said, adding besides extending monetary assistance of Rs 20,000 to each bride, the government will bear other expenses for the mass wedding. He said the idea of mass weddings for girls from minority communities, which would also include Sikhs and Christians, came from the chief minister himself. Giving details of the scheme, Raza said it will be run with Central assistance for which ‘sadbhavna mandaps’ will be set up by the department of minorities welfare. Around 100 weddings would be held in every district after selecting eligible candidates, he said. Initially, it will be a pilot project, and if it receives a good response, the government plans to make it a bi-annual affair, he said.

A year of prohibition: 44,594 arrested, over 8 lakh litres of alcohol seized in Bihar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bihar government had seized over 5,14,639 litre of Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL), 11,371 litre of beer and 3,10,292 litre of domestic brew in the state during the one year of imposition of liquor ban.The Excise and Prohibition department reeled out comprehensive figures of its operation with the help of police for effective implementation of complete prohibition from April 5, 2016 to March 31, 2017.A total of 44,594 people were arrested under new Excise Act, 2016 in the state, it said.Out of this 20,149 arrests were made by Excise department while police arrested 24,445.A total of 44,557 were forwarded to jail jointly by Excise department officials and police as part of intensive drive during the year.Excise and Police together conducted 216595 raids and registered 40,078 cases.Giving details of seizure, the figures said that while Excise department officials seized 1,07,801.24 litre of IMFL the police took into its possession 4,06,738 litre of foreign brand liquor totalling 5,14,639.23 litre during one year of operation.Though there was no ban on Todi (fermented palm tree juice) but restriction was imposed on its sale as per 1991 rules in prohibited areas. A total of 10,217.0 litre of Todi was seized from April 5, 2016 to March 31, 2017 on this count. Giving more details, the department said in the new year, in two days from April 1, Excise and police jointly conducted 2127 raids and arrested 439 persons. They together seized 10,719.38 litre of IMFL and 2823.35 litre of domestic brew on April 1 and 2 this year.

UP : Police team carrying out checks on abattoirs attacked

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A mob today attacked a team of Uttar Pradesh police and some other officials carrying out the drive against illegal slaughterhouses leaving five of them injured. Giving details of the incident, Additional SP Ram Murat Yadav said the team had got information about alleged cow slaughter in the area and raided the place. But, they did not find anything and returned. As soon as the news of police action spread, people gathered pelted the police team with stones leaving five of them injured, he said. SDM Rashid Khan was also attacked and his staff suffered injuries. Police reinforcement was rushed to bring the situation under control, Yadav said, adding an inquiry has been ordered into the matter.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Vyapam scam: Candidates ‘lied’ middlemen were dead

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The CBI suspects there were over 90 instances in the Vyapam scam wherein candidates lied that the middlemen, who hired examinees to appear on their behalf, were dead. It is alleged that a large number of bright students were hired by the candidates to take the medical entrance examination conducted by Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board known as Vyapam, CBI sources said. Giving details of the modus operandi, the sources said the candidates were approached by middlemen who engaged other middlemen to identify bright students in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Delhi and Rajasthan who could impersonate those taking the medical entrance examinations. The strategy was such that the candidate did not know the second middlemen or the impersonator, they said. In large number of cases, the photographs in online forms submitted by the candidates were allegedly morphed in a way to match with the impersonator who was supposed to take the entrance examination on the payment of a fee, they said. When the scam surfaced, candidates were asked to give names of poor people who were dead as the middlemen, the sources said. This was allegedly done to cover the tracks so that police cannot reach the actual middlemen and the examinee who appeared on behalf of such candidates in the examination. When the CBI took over the probe in the matter, it suspected that in about 96 cases, candidates and the middlemen were lying prompting them to undergo lie detector tests, the sources said. They said the candidates and middlemen who refused to undergo the test were put under psychological assessment test (PAT) for which their permission or that of the court is not required. The agency has so far carried out such tests in 96 cases thus prompting majority of the candidates and the middlemen to tell the truth and identify the real persons, the CBI sources said. The 48 reports received by the agency from the CFSL show that 40 such candidates have spoken truth while eight remained deceitful, they said. (More)(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Invoking Guru Ramanuja and Sikh Guru Gobind Singh,

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Yechury attacked the government for building an atmosphere of fear and religious intolerance in the country. “If you do not believe in my god, you are not part of India. That is what has been happening in the country,” he said. Citing Gobind Singh, he said the Guru had introduced the ‘kirpan’ (knife) to protect the poor and the weak from all kinds of religious and casteist oppression. “Now what do we have in our country where the kirpan was meant to defend the poor and oppressed from religious persecution,” Yechury asked, adding that in the past year, there have been greater atrocities against minorities with official patronage. He called the demonetisation drive of the government as the “biggest disruption” which has affected the normal existence of the vast majority of people and their livelihood. “None of the four points which the PM listed for undertaking the initiative have been achieved and, on the contrary, many things have been endorsed and legalised,” he said. “There is more money than that was demonetised that has come to your banks. Now what does that mean? All your black money has now been converted into white, all the counterfiet currency has been legalised,” Yechury said. Attacking the note ban move, he said the Prime Minister’s assertion that it will impact terror funding has not yielded any result. “After the surgical strike.. the number of our jawans who have laid down their lives in terrorist attacks has doubled in these three months as compared to three months earlier,” he said. In the President’s address, there was no mention of over 100 people dying in queues while trying to take out their own money from banks during demonetisation. “All these deaths of innocent people have been put aside as a sacrifice for a big thing that was being achieved,” Yechury said. Explaining the impact on the overall economy of the country, he said around 45 per cent of the country’s GDP is controlled by informal economy, which also employs around 80 per cent of the people and is almost 100 per cent cash-based. “All that has been disrupted. Crores of Indians have been put to unneccessary disruption as a result of this,” he said, adding that the move has led to economic disruption. Giving examples, he said two-wheeler sales in the country have dropped by as much as 35 per cent while there has been a drop in orders for Banarasi sarees by half in the Prime Minister’s constituency of Varanasi. (More)(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

‘Crop loan of Rs 196 cr given to Chg farmers in Rabi season’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Crop loan to the tune of Rs 196 crore has so far been disbursed to over 64,000 farmers in the state during ongoing Rabi season, a top official said today. Chhattisgarh State Cooperative Bank (APEX Bank) has set a target to disburse Rs 600 crore interest-free short-term agriculture loans during the season through its primary agriculture cooperative societies, said Ashok Bajaj, Chairman Chhattisgarh State Co-Operative Bank. A sum to the tune of Rs 196 crore has so far been disbursed (at the rate of 0 %) to over 64,000 farmers through 1,333 cooperative societies, he added. Giving a break-up, he said an amount of Rs 77.44 lakh was given away as loans to 388 farmers in Raipur, Rs 57.73 lakh to 309 farmers in Gariyaband, Rs 24.32 lakh to 105 farmers in Mahasamund and Rs 7.73 crore to 3320 farmers in Dhamtari districts. Similarly a loan of Rs 72 lakh was given to 28 farmers in four districts of Bilaspur division and about Rs 19.35 crore to 4,385 farmers in seven districts of Bastar division, he added. The loan distribution will be continued till March 31.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Mayawati addresses crowd in Meerut, says people will not be abandoned during BSP rule

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BSP Supremo Mayawati addresses an election rally in Uttar Pradesh’s Meerut. “Instead of giving laptops and mobile phones we will give direct financial aid to the people in need. SP sarkar ki tarah ghatiya khana nahi diya jaaega (in schools) anda, chana aur cake diya jaega (There won’t be horrible food in schools like the times of Samajwadi Party. We will provide eggs, chickpeas and cake in schools.),” she said. “Congress, BJP and Samajwadi Party abandoned the people of Uttar Pradesh but this will not happen during BSP rule,” she said.

J&K: Mortal remains of 14 soldiers killed in avalanche to be sent home after weather clears

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The mortal remains of 14 soldiers, who were killed in avalanches in Gurez sector of Kashmir, will be flown to their native places as soon as weather is clear, Army said in Srinagar on Friday.”Arrangements are in place to carry the mortal remains of the martyrs to their native places immediately after weather becomes clear,” Defence Spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia said.The bodies of the soldiers were recovered after the concerted efforts of the Avalanche Rescue Teams (ART), which is equipped to work specially in inhospitable terrain and weather conditions, following the avalanches. Giving details, he said, an army post near Mahazgund village in Gurez valley was struck by an avalanche at around 5 PM on January 25, in which three shelters were burried under the snow and seven soldiers trapped. “Swift action by a few soldiers at the post and timely help from the villagers of Mahazgund ensured saving of six soldiers. Unfortunately, three soldiers could not be saved whose bodies were retrieved on January 26 by the ARTs that were rushed to the post,” he said.”At around same time, a patrol unit of Junior Commissioned Officer and 10 other personnel was caught in a massive avalanche near Niru in Gurez Valley, in which all the 11 soldiers were trapped,” he said, adding none of the soldiers could be saved at this place.The Army prays for the gallant departed souls who braved all odds with exemplary commitment and dedication to duty and made the supreme sacrifice in the service of the motherland, he said. “Our hearts go out to the bereaved families and we pray to almighty to grant them strength to bear this irreparable loss,” the spokesman said.

Former Ofsted chief Wilshaw to work with schools in India

Former Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw is going to work for an international schools group and return to his “roots” in India.

PM entitled to free travel: IAF in RTI response

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Prime Minister is entitled free travel on Indian Air Force planes for which no bills are raised, IAF has said in an RTI response.Commodore (Retd) Lokesh Batra had sought to know from the Prime Minister’s Office the information on the laid down procedure for clearing bills of IAF BBJ aircraft chartered flights for the Prime Minister’s foreign visits.His application was transferred to the Defence Ministry which sent it to the Indian Air Force. The air force in its response said,”…Prime Minister is entitled for free airlift in VVIP aircrafts (sic) of the IAF.No bill has been raised for such airlifts.” Giving background of the application, Batra said under the RTI link on the ‘PM India’ website on “details of expenses incurred on air travel in respect of foreign visits” of the Prime Minister there was no mention of the expenses incurred by IAF on such visits. “It is observed that under the column ‘Expenses incurred on Chartered Flight’; between the period August 2014 to May 2016…the Prime Minister had made five foreign visits by ‘IAF BBJ Aircraft’ Chartered flights. However, there is no mention of ‘expenses incurred’ on foreign visits by the Prime Minister by chartered IAF BBJ aircraft flights,” he said.

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