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State departments should make Rajasthan ODF: CM Vasundhara Raje

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

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Mumbai NGO writes to BMC over LED light pollution at Juhu beach

Worried over the implications of Light pollution- due to high-mast lights put across Juhu Beach, Mumbai’s Awaaz Foundation, after measuring the ‘lux levels’, has written to the BMC as well as the environment department, stating that the difference between illumination levels throughout the beach highlighted the inability of these lights to provide security.In October this year, the BMC had installed LED lights at Juhu Beach that could change colour. The purpose was to beautify the beach and for safety purposes – a move that several environmentalists have been opposing. However, ever since the lights have been installed Juhu residents whose houses overlook the beach have been complaining about light pollution.Awaaz Foundation used a lux meter to measure and record light levels at Juhu Beach at about 7.15pm on Wednesday and it was found that the lux level underneath the mast light was 67,000 lux (equivalent of direct sunlight) and the lux level near the water’s edge was 0.03 lux (equivalent of a moonlit night.) “The great difference between the recorded lux levels throughout the beach highlights the inability of the installed lighting fixtures to provide lighting that will ensure safety as only limited portion of the beach was illuminated leaving several dark patches. This completely negates the biggest claims that of security by BMC for installing these lights on the beaches,” said Sumaira Abdulali, Convenor of Awaaz Foundation questioning that whether BMC conducted any study to understand the impacts of these lights on locals and the environment.She added that the high intensity of LED lighting in its immediate vicinity was causing disturbances to residential buildings that could lead to adverse health effects and was also blocking out the natural views of the stars and moon.Abdulali stressing on the need for a policy to regulate intensity or uniformity of lighting and specific lighting plan shared, “Through the letter we have requested BMC as well as the environment department to consider the harmful effects of light pollution while formulating any policies or projects for beautification of beaches or other natural areas, especially those placed close to residential areas and to also consider framing a suitable policy to regulate light pollution in Mumbai from various sources including street lighting, private security lighting, hoardings, beautification projects and others,” she said.Juhu based Filmmaker and social activist Ashoke Pandit said that the beach has lost its sanctity. “It’s a natural place where one visits to be closer to nature and these lights have completely taken away the feel. There is no doubt that Juhu beach needed lights as there are often chain snatching and other cases of crimes reported but certainly not these kinds of light that have taken away the beauty of our beach,” he said.

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Jain community stands united to support members

The Jain International Organisation (JIO) organised a growth summit on Saturday at Worli to launch various initiatives such as medical schemes, e-wallet app — PowerPay —and a signature campaign to protect the architecture of Palitana Temple.According to the Jain community members, meet-ups help to bring the members together on a single platform to fortify their unity and perform better.Speaking about the initiative, Shree Naypadmasagarji Maharaj Saheb Swami, said, “Through different initiatives we want the community members across the country to be benefited. We hope to get approximately one lakh signature in five days for the temple, and we will submit it to the government. We mainly focus on education and medical facilities.”The e-wallet app, which was launched by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis will help people avail of medical insurance plan designed in a way to provide benefits for the customers.He added, “We have tied up with 33 public and private medical institutes in the city to provide free diagnosis and treatment to the community members.”
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Yogi Adityanath


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Mumbai: AIDS Control Society teams up with college students to raise awareness on HIV

Mumbai Districts AIDS Control Society (MDACS) to tie up with various colleges in order to spread awareness on HIV AIDS among the masses. This year, the MDACS orgnaisation has come up with a different initiative on the occasion of World AIDS Day on December 1. While 16 colleges from across the city have confirmed their participation, the MDACS will also be opening Antiretroviral therapy (ART) center for HIV AIDS detection at Kamathipura. Dr Shrikala Acharya, spokesperson and additional project director of MDACS, said, “Every year we try to collaborate with different colleges groups through NSS units in order to spread the awareness message. The students come up with street plays and other activities which they perform in and around their college areas. This year around 16 colleges have confirmed their participation. Through this initiative, it helps NSS unit students to work for a social cause in the society as well as us to reach out to the masses at different locations in a day.” According to MDACS awareness activity plays a major role to detect HIV in the earlier stage. “While we will be opening ART center at Kamathipura on December 1, a professional group will be performing skits at various location in Kamathipura occasionally to make people know about the facts of HIV/AIDS and prevention measures.”
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Yogi Adityanath


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Sassoon Dock to turn into a public art space

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Local fishing community women at Sassoon Dock had been busy helping international artists for an art exhibition at over 140-year-old Sassoon Dock. With the theme of contemporary art, over 20 artist will be exhibiting their artwork and installations at the Sassoon Dock Art Project. The exhibition will be open for the public from November 11 till December end.As part of Start Mumbai 2017 Urban Art Festival, the St+art India Foundation along with Asian Paints came up with an initiative — Sassoon Dock Art Project. The exhibition displays installations, murals, audio-visual artwork, screenings at Sassoon Dock by transforming it into a public art exhibition.Giulia Ambrogi, Co-Founder and Festival Curator of St+art India Foundation, said, “Not many have visited Sassoon Dock. Through this art exhibition, the objective is to unlock the space for visitors and activate it with artwork, performances and installations. The target audience is young people, bloggers, designers, architecture. Every weekend we will be transforming it into a pop-up culture hub. It focuses on contemporary art related to a global audience, with a local approach.”According to the organisers, the local fishing community have been of great support. The installation also gives out a social message.Tan Zi Xi, an artist who was helped by few of the fishing women has made an installation of the effects of plastic on the environment, said, “The concept came to my mind after reading few articles on the effects of plastic on the ocean. We used recycled material for the installation. Through this installation, visitors will be able to see the view of affected ocean from a fish’s viewpoint. The installation required a lot of helping hands, and the local women engage through various activities to complete the installation.”SOCIAL MESSAGEOne of the artists, Tan Zi Xi, from Singapore, with the help of local fishwerwomen, has made an installation showing the effects of plastic on the ocean. She has used recycled material Visitors will be able to see a fish’s viewpoint of the affected oceans

Visually-impaired people receive torch lit sensor stick by startup ‘Saarthi’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>About fifteen visually impaired individuals were given hand-held assistive device, named Saarthi, at a function held at the Blind People’s Association (BPA) on Thursday.The device which can also be mounted on top of a blind person’s cane is the product of a startup —Torchit — set up by students of the Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University (PDPU).Explaining how the device works, Kshitij Shah, co-founder of Torchit said that the device helps identify obstacles for visually challenged people. “The device vibrates at a different intensity depending on the object and how close it is. It takes a blind person about a week to get used to it. The intensity of vibration is often for a minute but a blind person can detect the subtle variations,” said Shah.The product was in research and development for three years and it has been tested with the help of 1200 visually impaired people.”We have also approached all the institutions in India that work for the blind. Through the start-up, we want to help a cause. We plan to go the CSR way so that companies can help fund purchase of the device for the visually impaired people,” said Hunny Bhagchandani, of Torchit. He was also felicitated by the BPA for his efforts in improving the lives of the blind.The startup managed to raise Rs 20 lakh through the state government and about Rs 4 lakh from participating in 25 start-up competitions.Explaining how the device is better than a cane, Shah said the device sends out an alert before the person using it actually reaches an obstacle. “With a cane, a person can detect the obstacle only when he is close to it. But this device will start vibrating even before a person reaches the obstacle thus alerting them beforehand,” said Shah. Different intensity of vibrations also let the person know if the obstacle is a living or non-living one.The BPA has already added the device as a donation option on its website.DEVICE WORKINGThe device helps identify obstacles for visually challenged people.
The device vibrates at a different intensity depending on the object and how close it is.
The intensity of vibration is often for a minute but a blind person can detect the subtle variations

Day after Anupam Kher’s appointment, FTII students raise questions in an open letter

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after the appointment of actor Anupam Kher as the chairman of Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), the students’ body of the premier institute has, in an open letter, highlighted some points related to the institute and demanded Kher to address their issues. The FTII students association had raised questions over Kher’s appointment stating that there is an issue of conflict of interest as the veteran actor runs his own acting institute in Mumbai. Following the announcement of the actor’s appointment, the association held a general body meeting at the campus on Wednesday night and based on the issues discussed drafted an open letter.Robin Joy, president of FTII students’ association told DNA, “Through this open letter, we are asking some questions to Kher and we wish to hear a reply from him.”In the letter, the association has raised various issues including their objection to introduction of short term courses, issues related to open day and foundation day celebrated by the administration etc. Claiming that the short term courses are being run to generate funds, the association in the letter mentions that the premier film institute of the country started ideally to impart learning to different aspects of film making, but now the institute is being turned into an institute which runs short term crash courses for generation of funds. “We sincerely believe that the short term courses which are being run cannot impart knowledge on film making in such a short duration. The government institute that exists to provide education to students from all sections should not be driven by the agenda of fund generation which currently seems to be the aim of the institute,” the letter mentions. Opposing the idea of celebrating foundation day and open day, the association in the letter has stated that “We as students believe that the amount of money being spent on lights, erecting set pieces in front of the campus can be spent on the infrastructure and in buying and repairing equipment which would only help the students in finishing their projects in time.”In the same letter, the association has also raised their apprehensions regarding the new syllabus claiming that it has issues like workshops and classes being cut down arbitrarily. The association has also mentioned that the students are being forced to sign undertakings to finish their courses on time but on the other hand the administration is not providing them the necessary resources to finish the project in time.

JJ resident doctors raise security concerns

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Following the attacks on resident doctors across the state in March this year, resident doctors are attempting to make authorities aware ofthe lack of security measures inside hospital premises once again. ?On Monday?,JJ Hospital’s resident doctors went on a silent protest for two hours inside the hospital premises.Over 30 resident doctors came together with placards outside the main hospital building. Through the silent protest, they want to highlight the lack of security facilities inside the hospital’s hostel.Vineeta Singh, a resident doctor and member of Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD), said, “The Maharashtra Security Force (MSF) personnel went on strike in the third week of September but never returned. Since then, the hospital does not have any officials for the security of resident doctors.”Amol Hekare, another resident doctor and member of MARD, said, “We want to stand by our resident doctors working across the state and make the authorities understand the issue. Though there have been no instances of attack on resident doctors at JJ Hospital, we fear for the safety of all of resident doctors.”The resident doctors also highlighted the lack of facilities at the hostel. Another resident doctor, Akash Mane, said, “The hostel rooms are in poor condition. There is always a leakage problem and we want authorities to look into the matter.”

Teacher Development Coordinator programme launched in Delhi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi government on Tuesday launched the Teacher Development Coordinator (TDC) programme, taking forward the government’s Mentor-Teacher programme, which was introduced last year.In the beginning of the current academic year, the heads of schools were asked to select senior teachers from schools run by the Directorate of Education (DoE) for the role of TDCs. Through a letter, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had asked 50,000 DoE teachers to come forward and contribute in shaping the agenda of teaching and learning, along with the principals.”The government believes that a senior teacher in the role of a Teacher Development Coordinator can create a platform for peer learning among teachers and they would be able to explore new ideas and processes of learning,” a senior Delhi government official said.Starting from Tuesday, a three-day workshop is being organised by the State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT), Delhi, at the Thyagraj Stadium for nearly 1,000 TDCs from as many schools. The theme of the workshop is ‘Ensuring Values Through Education’.”The role of teachers is not just to ensure that students learn the subject taught by them but also to make them better human beings.There has to be a convergence among different subjects, so that children get a holistic picture.This is possible only if teachers question the role of their respective subjects in the life of a child, and how it is connected with other subjects,” Sisodia said.As a run up to the workshop, the TDCs are participating in induction sessions organised by the 9 DIETs in Delhi, where the faculty oriented them about their role in schools and how they can work closely with their respective principals and peers to create a culture of support for each other.The government is also planning to provide national and international level exposure to the TDCs, to enhance their world view, apart from regular thematic training.Letter from CMThrough a letter, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had asked 50,000 DoE teachers to come forward and contribute in shaping the agenda of teaching and learning, along with the principals.

Delhi Court acquits rape accused

According to the complaint, the accused, who was younger to the complainant, befriended her through a WhatsApp group. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Delhi court on Monday acquitted a man accused of rape, stating that the physical relationship between the accused and the complainant was consensual. The court observed that the woman’s intimate relationship with the man showed that “her relationship was not an act induced by misconception of any fact”.Additional Sessions Judge Gautam Manan set free the south Delhi resident on charges of raping the 32-year-old woman and said that seeing the age of the woman, it can be easily inferred that she knew about the consequences of allowing a male friend in her bedroom at night. “The entire circumstances discussed above and that have come to the fore from the testimony of none else but the prosecutrix, it cannot be said that the sexual intercourse was without her consent. The act seems to be consensual in nature,” the court said.According to the complaint, the accused, who was younger to the complainant, befriended her through a WhatsApp group.

Students to encourage vendors to get solar lamps

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Oorja is a Hindi word which means energy, and energy is just what these students of Hindu College are looking to provide through project Oorja, which focuses on promoting the use of solar lamps among lakhs of street vendors in the Capital.The team, which is working on the programme as part of its Enactus activity, is creating awareness among over two lakh street hawkers who have been using kerosene lamps for a long time. Enactus is an international non-profit organisation that works with students, academicians and business leaders who conspire to create a difference in their communities and the Enactus Hindu College was established in 2014.The lamps are a major health hazard for users as it leads to a host of physical ailments like poor eyesight, respiratory disorders because of the fumes it emits, besides the ever present danger of fire. From an environmental point of view, students at Team Enactus say that switching to solar LED lamps would reduce carbon dioxide emissions. “Through Oorja, we strive to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by promoting use of renewable sources of energy at grass root level through our solar LED lamps. That is the way forward to a better climate and living conditions,” according to students in Team Enactus.If the over 2,00,000 street vendors in Delhi, who rely on kerosene and other conventional sources of lighting, switch to solar lamps, it can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 26,000 kg.Enactus Hindu College, in association with a local NGO, has commissioned them to make ‘allure lamps’ that are made from glass jars and embossed with crystals to make it look attractive. Backed up with high quality solar PV and Li-ion batteries, these lamps can provide light for up to eight hours if they get five hours of bright sunlight.

Mumbai rains: Pregnant journalist braves 12-hour train journey

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>When 33-year-old Urmila Dethe boarded a Mumbai-bound suburban train at Dombivli in the adjoining Thane district last morning, little did she know that her journey, which normally takes just over an hour, will stretch for almost 12 hours.What made the matters more complicated was that the journalist, who works with a leading Marathi newspaper, is seven months pregnant.”I was in the compartment reserved for the handicapped which had around 20 people, including eight visually-challenged people who had spent the night in a train during the July 26, 2005 deluge,” said Dethe, who boarded the train at around 11.30 AM.She was headed to the Bombay High Court, her ‘beat’ for the newspaper. However, the journey came to a halt at 20 km before her destination, and ended with a dramatic rescue in waist deep waters in the dead of night.”My train got stuck between Kurla and Sion. Through the afternoon, I called and tweeted for help. At one point, I grew concerned for the fellow passengers in the handicapped compartment and chose to stay on,” she told PTI.Fire brigade and police officials tried to find her but did not make any headway.Dethe managed to contact her husband on phone but even he could not reach her due to the chaotic traffic caused by heavy rains. Her husband works in the suburban Bandra Kurla complex.The local Samaritans patrolling the waters, as the tracks had turned into, kept the marooned passengers well fed through their ordeal.Things took a dramatic turn after nightfall, and the number of such helpers also reduced. In between, a local teenager was rescued by an able-bodied passenger from neck-deep waters, after he slipped into a culvert along the tracks.Mumbai BJP chief Ashish Shelar came to know about Dethe’s plight and called her on phone.”His (Shelar) call was very reassuring,” she said.To add to her woes, the mobile network also went down at the same time, proving to be a big stumbling block for rescuers, who were struggling to locate her.Finally, at about 11.55 PM, Dethe heaved a sigh of relief when she saw one end of a Mumbai Fire Brigade ladder recline against the train body and a hand come up, directing her to climb down.”They actually picked me up like a small kid without letting me touch the water. I cannot thank them enough,” an emotional Dethe said.

Round Table India distribute food among 70,000 underprivileged kids

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>New Delhi India, Aug 23 (ANI-NewsVoir): Round Table India in association with NGO Robin Hood Army distributed 70,000 food packets among the underprivileged as part of their ongoing campaign ‘Freedom from Hunger’. Christopher Aravinth, President, Round Table India added, “RHA has provided over 70,000 food packets among needy in 20 cities. RTI believes bringing together the different sections of society is the first step toward defeating a systemic problem like hunger, illiteracy and lack of basics – which goes beyond caste, religion and nationality. We promise to be a platform for the youth to set a strong example for creating widespread impact. This could potentially shape the way future generations act when it comes to giving back to society.” (RTI), a non-political and non-sectarian organization of young men of age group of 18 and 40 who strive to promote Service Through Fellowship. Through fellowship endearing young men of this organization have been serving the community for over 50 years. RTI has and continues to put in colossal efforts to create and refurbish primary FTE school blocks by establishing processes, systems and providing educational tools in the hands of young aspiring India through its established network. Round Table India has been truly living up to it’s mission of Freedom Through Education and has been working relentlessly for the upliftment of the underprivileged children of the society! Round Table India is happy to help in spreading education to the underprivileged children of our society. In the past 20 years we have built over 2300 classrooms with an outlay of Rs. 212.50 crore rupees. This will help impact the lives of more than 6.3 million children who are the present and future of a strong and resurgent India. RTI prides itself to be a Zero Overhead Organization. It ensures that every rupee donated / raised goes for Freedom through Education projects, while the administration costs are met with internal funding from members. This uniquely positions RTI differently from other service organizations, since it creates 100 percent value to its stakeholder. Every rupee received by RTI from any donor is stretched to create maximum value and impact. Apart from this Round Table India and its members have also been actively involved in providing relief in every natural catastrophe like Earthquake, Floods, Epidemics and other natural disasters. Round Table India reinforces that children are the future of tomorrow and we need to empower these lives for nation building in the real sense. (ANI-NewsVoir) Ends KS NNNN ANI(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Interview | Digital economy can grow to $2 trillion in the next five years: Ravi Shankar Prasad

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In an interview with Mansi Taneja, Minister for Electronics and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad talks about how e-governance through Aadhaar helped save Rs 57,000 crore in subsidies and why the rise of domestic manufacturing in India is a great cause for cheerHow much will the digital economy grow in the next five years?We expect India’s digital economy to achieve $1 trillion in the next five to seven years. This can be achieved easily. In fact, India’s digital economy has the potential to grow to $2 trillion besides creating 40-70 lakh jobs in employment over this period. Government programmes such as Make in India, Skill India, Start-up India and Smart Cities will help reach the targets, and sectors such as IT and IT-enabled services, electronic manufacturing, e-commerce, digital payments and cyber security will be crucial in reaching these targets.How will you achieve this?It is achievable because the communication industry stands at $150 billion, IT and IT-enabled services stand up to $50 billion, both totalling to $300 billion. Electronic manufacturing in India is worth $100 billion, e-commerce $35 billion. Without including digital payments, the entire digital economy currently has a worth of more than $400 billion. Digital payments will become a $500 billion economy by 2020.How have you improved governance through digital India?India must come up with technology which is affordable, inclusive and developmental. We have done that through the Prime Minister’s Jan Dhan-Yojana programme. For example, we created 28 crore Jan Dhan accounts of the poor that link to Aadhaar. Today, we have 68 crore bank accounts linked with Aadhaar. We have directly started sending subsidies — gas, ration, MNREGA — to bank accounts. Through this, we have saved about Rs 57,000 crore, which used to be pocketed by the middleman. In the Modi government, Rs 100 is being sent and Rs 100 is reaching the villages. Digital governance is good governance, digital delivery is faster delivery.There have been concerns over websites publishing Aadhaar data. How are you addressing that?Aadhaar as a platform is completely safe, secure and respects the privacy of all Indians. That is entirely inbuilt in the Aadhaar Act passed by the Parliament. About 113 crore Indians have Aadhaar and 99 per cent of the adult population of India is on Aadhaar. There is also a robust mechanism under sections 29,30,31 of the law where nobody can share their biometrics for unauthorised use, with due regard to privacy and data concerns. Anybody who tinkers with it will land in jail.A key component of India’s digital economy dream is domestic mobile phone market. How much has this grown?India has come up well in the domestic mobile phone market. Manufacturing of mobile phones which was only six crore units in 2014-15 has reached an estimated 22 crore in 2016-17. In terms of value, there has been 183 per cent jump. In 2014-15, mobile phones worth Rs 19,000 crore were made in India and today an estimated Rs 90,000 crore in 2016-17. About 72 new mobile manufacturing units have come up which has created one lakh new direct jobs and over three lakh indirect jobs.Under your electronic manufacturing policy, it seems only mobile manufacturing has gained momentum?Not true. There are various other schemes which are going on under our ministry such as MSIPs (Modified Special Incentive Package Scheme) and electronics manufacturing clusters. Under MSIPs, we are offering financial incentives to attract investments. About 269 investment proposals worth Rs 1,56,729 crore (till April 2017) have been received under MSPIs compared to only Rs11,198 crore in May 2014.

NBT to organise Panchayat book fair to inculcate reading habits in small towns

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>National Book Trust, a body under the HRD Ministry, which organises the World Book fair, is going to start Sanskrit Book fair and Panchayat Book fair.While there have been book exhibitions on Sanskrit by various agencies in the past, the Panchayat book fair, which will be organised in tehsils and small towns, will be a first-of-a-kind attempt by a government organisation to encourage reading habit in small towns.According to sources in NBT, the authorities are already in talks with Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Chhatisgarh for organising the fair and it is likely to happen around January of February next year.”The idea is to encourage good reading habits among people in small towns and villages, basically places where resources are not available. Through the Panchayat book fair, we also plan to engage children with the panchayat heads and Aanganwadi of the area, to get them other benefits meant for school children,” an official in NBT said.The trust had a few days ago organised a distribution camp in some of the remote and tribal areas and realised that people are interested in reading but they do not have enough resources available. Which is the reason, the trust is now organising various book fairs to facilitate reading material.Apart from the Panchayat fair, Sanskrit fair is also in the pipeline for the trust. Though not on a large scale, this fair will display all the old Sanskrit books, specially vedas and upanishads. Those that are translated from Sanskrit in other languages will also be at display at the fair, which is most likely to be organised alongside the International book fair in the national capital.The trust had recently published its first ever book in Sanskrit on its 60 year completion and it plans to publish 10 more books in the language to mark the occasion.NBT, is meant to produce and encourage literature In English, Hindi and other Indian languages and to make such literature available to public at moderate price. It also organises seminars and fairs to promote reading culture.

A robot with a human touch for children with autism

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Meet Kaspar, a goggle-eyed, child-sized robot, created by researchers at the University of Hertfordshire. The humanoid robot is programmed to help autistic children bridge the gap with other children, family members and teachers.It is most beneficial for children between the age group of five to ten, as according to research, early intervention increases the likelihood of improvement in children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Kaspar, through realistic and simplified human-like features aims to teach children basic human communication and emotions, socially acceptable physical interaction and personal hygiene. Through a collection of skin sensors placed on various parts of its body – including its cheeks, arms, palms, torso, and feet — Kaspar can respond to touch, play games with children and also encourage certain physical behaviours, while being unsupportive of the inappropriate ones. For instance, when tickled, Kaspar will laugh responding cheerfully. But when pinched, with appropriate body language and speech it will tell the child that it hurts. Kaspar’s movements are controlled by an adult with the help of a remote. He can tell children to follow him when he does an action, boost their confidence by asking them to sing or play the drum with him, play games with them to help children learn social interaction and teach them personal hygiene by showing them how to brush their teeth and to eat with a spoon.

RSP bans plastic bags below 50 micron thickness in its markets

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP) has banned sale of commodities in plastic bags below thickness of 50 microns in its market complexes here. The steel plant has undertaken the measure by invoking the provisions of the Plastic Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2016 with a commitment for strict enforcement in its market complexes, a release from RSP said. Through a notice issued to all licensees and shopkeepers operating in the RSP market complexes, the town administration authorities of the steel plant have summarily banned the sale of commodities by them to customers in plastic carry bags or plastic sheets or multi-layered packaging below 50 microns in thickness, it said. Any violation of the rules in question would attract structured and progressive penalties. It will be Rs 4500 for the first violation which will go up to Rs 6000 and Rs 8000 for the second and third violations. After violation for the third time, the licence would be liable for cancellation, it said. RSP has also appealed to the general public to shun both the use of and demanding for such plastic bags which are not only a threat to the environment but also have a negative impact on Swachha Bharat Abhiyan, the release added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Bukhari asks Sharif to persuade militant youth for ceasefire

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Shahi Imam of Delhi’s Jama Masjid, Syed Ahmed Bukhari, has written to Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif urging him to persuade militant youth and Hurriyat leaders to agree for a ceasefire and resolve the Kashmir issue through dialogue. In a nearly one-month-old letter, Bukhari had said the Kashmir issue is becoming volatile day-by-day, resulting in an increase in tension between the two countries and the only practical way to ease tension on the border is initiation of dialogue between India and Pakistan. “Thousands of people are living under the shadow of AK- 47, a life besieged by bloodshed,” he said. This game of death and destruction is making the situation grave. Due to these circumstances, millions of Indian Muslims are also facing a trying situation. Whenever ties between the two countries are tense it directly affects the Muslims of India, Bukhari said. “The Kashmir issue can neither be solved through guns and stones nor through military expeditions. We should create an environment conducive for the talks at the earliest. “Through the exchange of views and dialogue on the larger issues, we all should formulate a strategy that is in the interest of both nations,” he said in the letter. Referring to what former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had said that “one could change friends but not the neighbours”, Bukhari said he perceived in the context of current situation positive measures aimed to ensure dialogue process is needed keeping in view the interest of the two countries and their people. “I request you to kindly persuade the militant youth and Hurriyat leaders to agree for a ceasefire through your good offices and influence,” the Shahi Imam said. When contacted, Bukhari told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Film lovers attend screenings of Lumiere brother footages

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Film lovers from Pune came in large numbers to the special screenings of Lumiere brother footages at National Film Archive of India (NFAI) auditorium today. It was a housefull response at NFAI from the audience which appreciated the special event, said a release issued here. People of all ages, including children, were present at the screening today to enjoy the funny moments from the Lumiere films such as The Gardener or Jumping the Blanket and appreciate the work of these pioneers who made cinema, as we know it today, possible, it said. The audience also appreciated the screening of the rare footage from the film With Our King And Queen Through India (1912) which was made during the 1911 Delhi Durbar, the release added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Jealous man strangles four-year-old stepson

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jealous and angry at his wife for giving attention to her son, a 33-year-old man allegedly strangled the four-year-old boy to death. The incident occurred in North-East Delhi’s Karawal Nagar area on Sunday. Police said that after having murdered the boy, the man called them up, and then his wife, confessing to the crime.Mahesh, 33, who comes from West Bengal, had married Gulali alias Kiran in 2016. However, as he told police, he soon became jealous of Arjun, Kiran’s four-year-old son from her first marriage. He believed that Kiran gave more love and importance to her son than him.An enraged Mahesh told his wife on Sunday that he had some urgent work and would be taking Arjun along. He then took him near an ice factory in the area and strangled him until he died.”Mahesh hid the body of the child inside a factory under some sacks. He then first called the police informing them that he had killed the child. He then called his wife and informed her too,” said a police official. He added, “Mahesh then left for Anand Vihar bus terminal but we made Kiran call him. Through this, we were able to arrest him from the bus stand.”A case under appropriate sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) has been registered at Karawal Nagar police station. Further investigations are underway. A post-mortem of the child will reveal the exact cause of death.Son a preferenceMahesh, 33, who comes from West Bengal, had married Gulali alias Kiran in 2016. However, as he told police, he soon became jealous of Arjun, Kiran’s four-year-old son from her first marriage. He believed that Kiran gave more love to her son than him.

Non-bailable warrant issued against Rakhi Sawant for remarks on sage Valmiki

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Ludhiana court on Friday issued non-bailable warrant against Bollywood actor Rakhi Sawant again for making derogatory remarks on sage Valmiki.Sawant’s statement about Valmiki last month created a row in the country following a protest which was held in Ludhiana. One of the protestors asserted that the actor needs to be punished so that she does not take the law in her hands.A local court on March 9 in Ludhiana issued an arrest warrant against her for allegedly making inflammatory remarks against the sage, which has allegedly hurt religious sentiments of the Valmiki Community. However, denying the charges against her, Rakhi told ANI that unlike Salman Khan, she is an innocent person, who believes in doing social work.While speaking about the controversy created in the name of Valmiki, the 38-year-old actress said that she used the example of Valmiki’s change of soul to explain the change in her friend and singer Mika Singh, when he was accused in an assault case. During the conversation, she even sought apology saying that, “Through ANI, I want to apologise to all the Valmiki community brothers and sisters, if I have hurt their sentiment. But this wasn’t my intention.”

Lucknow: Muslim community gears up to mark International Yoga Day with PM Modi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Muslim community in Lucknow is all set to celebrate International Yoga day with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 21.On the occasion of International Yoga Day, Prime Minister Modi himself will be doing yoga along with the people of Lucknow, and there is a lot of enthusiasm among the people for the same.Keeping aside caste and religious differences, the locals are all prepped up to perform yoga.The preparation for the same is also going on with great zeal. Not only Muslim men but women are also taking part actively in the preparation and arrangements for the yoga day.”We are very happy that Prime Minister Modi chose our city for the yoga day. We all are eagerly waiting for this day and this is why we all are learning yoga,” said a Muslim man.Giving a message to the ones who associate yoga with religion, they said that “yoga itself means to connect.””Those who ask Muslims to not perform yoga, they say this to divide the society. Yoga has nothing to do with religion. Yoga is itself a religion and on top of that it is important for our health. The Muslims have been practicing yoga for 1450 years. While doing Namaj also we sit in a position which is same as yoga,” said another Muslim man.Urging the nation to make Yoga an essential part of their lives to remain stress free, Prime Minister Modi in his radio address ‘Mann ki Baat’ said that Yoga is the only thing that is uniting the world.”June 21 has become one of the known dates across the world. The entire worlds celebrate International Yoga day. In very short span of time the message of yoga has spread in every corner of the world. Yoga is integrating the world today. Through Yoga, India as a whole has successfully started connecting the world,” the Prime Minister said in his 32nd ‘ Mann Ki Baat’ address.The world will celebrate the third International Yoga Day on June 21.It is celebrated annually since its inception in 2015.An International day for Yoga was declared unanimously by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on 11 December 2014

Digital sanitary pad bank plan launched

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With an aim to make sanitary pads available to every woman and girl, a digital bank providing a sanitary pad kit has been launched by the Versova MLA Bharati Lavekar. The online portal (teefoundation.in) will give a platform to the needy girls and women to avail the sanitary pad as per their demand and also for citizens who are willing to donate to the cause.According to Lavekar, there are thousands of women who need effective menstrual products. Through this initiative, the needy women and girls can be helped and a difference can be made to their lives.The sanitary pad bank was initiated by TEE Foundation with an aim to bridge a gap between the donors and the needy.Speaking about the initiative, Lavekar, President of TEE Foundation, said, “For a year, the initiative was being processed. Cervical cancer is caused due to usage of unhygienic materials like cloth, tree leaves because of which we need such initiatives to provide sanitary pads to girls and women whenever they need it.”According to the organisers, the digital bank initiative will also be reaching out in tribal (adivasi) and Zilla Parishad schools. She added, “The government is already providing them sanitary pads free of cost for 10 months which excludes two months of vacations. But if the rural schools register with us, we will provide pads for the two months which are excluded from government.”Amruta Fadnavis and veteran actress Zeenat Aman also supported the initiative.”Donors can donate either money or sanitary pads. A packet of 10 pads cost seven rupees. The foundation will make sure it reaches those in need. We also have to overcome the taboo of menstruation,” said Lavekar.

‘Reform to transform’ approach to build new India: PM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On the third anniversary of the BJP’s victory in Lok Sabha polls, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tonight said his government was committed to build the “new India” through the “reform to transform” approach. He was responding to wishes and messages tweeted by his followers. “Thanks for your wishes. Through a ‘reform to transform’ approach we are committed to building a new India,” he tweeted in response to a congratulatory message on the occasion of completion of three years in government. It was on this day in 2014 when the results of the Lok Sabha polls were declared, giving the BJP a massive victory. Modi was sworn-in as the Prime Minister on May 26, 2014. To another tweet, he said, “‘India First’ is the foreign policy of the government. Be it trade or cultural spheres, we want to increase our engagement with the world.” In response to another tweet, the Prime Minister said, “…Strength is derived from the skills & talents of 125 crore people of India.” One follower appreciated that the government was thinking of doubling the income of farmers. To this, Modi replied, “Our farmers are the ‘Annadatas.’ When our farmers prosper, India will prosper.”(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Press Council wants to bring social media under its ambit

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Social media should be brought under the ambit of Press Council of India (PCI), the media watchdog, its chairman Justice (retd) C K Prasad said today. “We are of the opinion that social media should be brought under the ambit of PCI, as its (social media’s) reach is much more than the print media. Through it, anything can be circulated world-over within seconds,” he said. The social media uses the “same alphabet” as the print media, so why the former should be excluded from PCI’s jurisdiction, he asked. “After an intense debate, we have recommended to the government that jurisdiction of PCI be expanded by including electronic media under its ambit and to change its name from the `Press Council’ to the `Media Council’,” he informed. “For constituting Media Council, government needs to frame a law,” he said, adding that as per his information, the matter was under government’s consideration. At present, PCI’s remit doesn’t cover the electronic media, but the media watchdog has passed a resolution to take cognisance of attacks on electronic media journalists, he said. The PCI, which held hearings in Indore over the last two days, heard 47 cases, including the assault on photo-journalists outside Tata Group headquarters in Mumbai, restrictions on media on publishing the news related to Hyderabad Central University and attack on a journalist in Andhra Pradesh’s Prakasam district.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Manipuri icon Laishram Singh honoured with Padma Shri @ 5/12/2017 2:57:34 PM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Age is not a hindrance for 97 year-old Laishram Birendrakumar Singh, who was conferred the Padma Shri Award, 2017, the country?s fourth highest prestigious civilian award for his contribution in music. Singh has played a pivotal role in building, promoting music and preserving the indigenous Meitei tradition and identity. Singh started at the very young age and dedicated himself to a lifelong study of a scientific approach to Manipuri folk music. Through his research in folk music, he aimed to promote communal harmony in the state of Manipur, bridging the gap between different communities and enhancing emotional bonding amongst them. The coveted award was given by the Manipur state Chief Secretary O. Nabakishore Singh in Imphal as the musicologist could not travel to Delhi due to ill health. Earlier, he was also honored with Doctorate in Law and Literature by President Pranab Mukherjee as well as Sangeet Natak Akademi awards for his contribution to folk music and to revive the Manipuri folk songs and dances. The now retired Engineer from Public Works Department continues his love for folk music.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Manipuri icon Laishram Singh honoured with Padma Shri

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Age is not a hindrance for 97 year-old Laishram Birendrakumar Singh, who was conferred the Padma Shri Award, 2017, the country?s fourth highest prestigious civilian award for his contribution in music. Singh has played a pivotal role in building, promoting music and preserving the indigenous Meitei tradition and identity. Singh started at the very young age and dedicated himself to a lifelong study of a scientific approach to Manipuri folk music. Through his research in folk music, he aimed to promote communal harmony in the state of Manipur, bridging the gap between different communities and enhancing emotional bonding amongst them. The coveted award was given by the Manipur state Chief Secretary O. Nabakishore Singh in Imphal as the musicologist could not travel to Delhi due to ill health. Earlier, he was also honored with Doctorate in Law and Literature by President Pranab Mukherjee as well as Sangeet Natak Akademi awards for his contribution to folk music and to revive the Manipuri folk songs and dances. The now retired Engineer from Public Works Department continues his love for folk music.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

TN CM inaugurates residential quarters, police stations

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami today unveiled buildings, police stations and residential quarters for police personnel costing Rs 108.12 crore. Through video-conference facility from Chennai, Palaniswami launched the newly constructed houses for police men and police stations, a government release said. The chief minister, who also holds the Home department portfolio, unveiled 488 houses for police constructed at various parts of the State. A new building for Royapettah police station in Chennai along with 25 police Stations set up across the state including Coimbatore, Dindigul, Kancheepuram, Namakkal, Ramanathapuram, Thanjavur and Theni districts were among those inaugurated by him on the occasion. Senior government officials, including Chief Secretary Girija Vaidyanathan were among those who were present, the release added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Kejriwal congratulates BJP, refrains from raising EVM issue

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today refrained from raising the EVM tampering issue, unlike other AAP leaders, as he congratulated the BJP on its victory in the municipal polls. His reaction came hours after it became clear that the BJP was set to retain control of the three corporations, winning over 160 seats, more than its existing strength. The Aam Aadmi Party Chief promised all cooperation to the civic bodies for the betterment of the national capital. Ahead of the poll result, Kejriwal had threatened to launch an agitation over alleged “manipulation” of electronic voting machines (EVMS), an issue he had raised after the AAP’s disappointing performance in the recent Assembly elections in Punjab and Goa. However, there was no word from him on the proposed agitation today. “I congratulate BJP on their victory in all 3 MCDs. My govt looks forward to working wid MCDs for the betterment of Delhi (sic),” Kejriwal, who went into a huddle with top leaders of the AAP as the results trickled in, tweeted. Through his carefully worded congratulatory messsage, the AAP chief also sought to couch the tension within the party over its defeat in the polls, coming as it does after a string of upsets in Punjab, Goa and the Rajouri Garden bypolls here. Other AAP leaders, however, vociferously raked up the allegations of EVM tampering. Senior minister in the Delhi government Gopal Rai said an “EVM wave” is sweeping across the city. “This isn’t a Modi wave, this is an EVM wave. The same happened in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. It is a major threat against democracy. The rights of the electorate will have to be ensured. The BJP wants to demolish democracy,” Rai told reporters. “EVM tampering is the bitter truth of the country’s democracy. One can crack jokes on us initially. But fearing that we will be made fun of, we cannot refrain from speaking the truth,” Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia told reporters after the defeat in the civic elections just two years after AAP’s astounding win in Assembly polls.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Government of Karnataka to host India’s first ‘National Trade Fair for Organics and Millets 2017’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>New Delhi India, Apr 18 (ANI-NewsVoir): Department of Agriculture, Government of Karnataka in association with ICCOA will host ?National Trade Fair – Organics and Millets-2017? during April 28 to 30, 2017 at Palace Grounds, Bengaluru. Karnataka State Agricultural Produce Processing and Export Corporation Ltd. (KAPPEC) is the co-organiser and International Competence Centre of Organic Agriculture (ICCOA) is the Knowledge Partner of this national event. The fair will be inaugurated by Chief Minister of Karnataka Siddaramaiah in the presence of the Minister for Agriculture (GoI) Radha Mohan Singh, Minister for Agriculture, GoK, Krishna Byre Gowda and other dignitaries. The trade fair will be a common platform for networking besides exchanging expertise and knowledge. For Karnataka, it will provide an opportunity to show case its organic wealth, diversity and the overall competence of farmers/farming groups including from different states. Over 10,000 visitors across trading community, farmers and general public will converge on this showpiece event. State Government had brought out a separate policy on organic farming during the year 2004. Since then, the State Agriculture department is promoting organic farming programs in a big way. Several programs have been initiated to address the issues and paving the way for sustainable food production, improving soil health, conserving natural resources, promoting rural development and mitigating drought condition. ?Organic Village Program? was initiated with cluster approach at district level initially, later on extended to taluk level. At present, Hobli level Savayava Bhagya Yojane, a mega program is being implemented throughout the state since 2013-14. Millets are small seeded cereals and grains that are indigenous to India and African countries. Millets are considered to have been cultivated in India from pre-historic times. Their importance as food can be realised from the facts that millets are being cultivated in an area of about 30 million acres in India. Millets require 70 percent less water than rice. They require no pesticides and minimal chemical fertilizers making them mostly organic and environment friendly. They are low cost crops and can be grown well eve in marginal lands, with low rainfall. Millets are nutritional powerhouses high in proteins, dietary fiber, B complex vitamins, essential amino acids, folic acid and Vitamin E. They are particularly high in minerals such as Iron, Magnesium, Copper, Phosphorus, Zinc, Calcium and Potassium. The nutritional and health benefits of millets have created a surge in demand for a variety of millets. Highlights of the Events ?The venue, Palace Ground is strategically located in the centre of the City with good connectivity. Bengaluru is the first city to be established as the main hub for organic agriculture and agri-business. It has the largest number of organic retail chains and is known for attracting buyers and visitors from the organic sector not just from Karnataka but from all over India and the World. ?The event will have a hi-quality exhibition with participation from leading companies and state governments involved in organic agribusiness. It will accommodate producers exhibiting a wide range of organic products. It will also have Central / State Government pavilions and farmer groups who are in the process of organic certification through third party or PGS, fair trade and sustainability standards. Over 100 exhibitors will showcase their product range through this exhibition. ?B2B Meet provides an important linkage with the farmers? groups and market. It will open the avenue of scopes in domestic markets to the farmers and Indian organic produces. ??Organics beyond Agriculture and Improving access to Markets? conference will be held for three days from 28 to 30 April 2017. It will bring in eminent national speakers and delegates. It aims for a unique meeting place for all the organic stakeholders, policy makers, Government and non-government, where discussions, networking and inter-personal meetings will be the focus. ?Special workshop sessions in Kannada will be conducted for farmers from Karnataka. Experts on organic production and value-chains will address these sessions. The farmers will reap the benefit of this trade fair by understanding the Organic market trends, demand, certification process, export potential etc.; thus, understand both the technical as well as the commercial aspect of the organic agribusiness. ?Special activities will be held for the general public such as cooking competition for home-makers, demonstration of various ways of cooking Millets – the forgotten foods, free consultation on health by dieticians and nutritional experts. Special talk will be arranged by renowned dietician emphasising on the role of safe food. ?The Food Court will offer the visitors to taste healthy organic delicacies from across Karnataka on all the three days of the event. To provide systematic market for organic produce of the State, 14 Regional Federations of organic farmers? associations have been established in the State. Through federations it is proposed to take up collection, grading, value addition, processing, packing, brand development, marketing of organic produce, apart from consumer awareness program and other activities. Through organic farmers federations, it is proposed to eliminate the middlemen in the marketing of organic produces thereby providing remunerative prices to organic farmers’ which would in turn improve the economic conditions of organic farmers due to remunerative price for their produce. (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.)

Cannot rely on EVMs, ballot papers should be used in future:

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav today said electronic voting machines cannot be relied upon and demanded that all future elections are conducted through ballot papers. “When will EVMs develop a snag no one can tell … When will the software fail … Machines cannot be relied upon. We do not have faith in EVMs,” Akhilesh told news persons here. “We have 100 per cent faith in our ballot papers and it is our demand that future elections are held using them … We do not want to go into whether EVMs are good or bad,” the former UP chief minister said. Akhilesh said people feel that they have been misled (by the BJP) for forming the government. “The entire election was fought by spreading hatred in the name of caste and religion … The votes were taken by promising benefits in the name of caste and religion,” he said. The SP chief also launched a two-month membership drive of his party aimed at reaching out to “maximum” people from all sections of the society. “Through this membership drive we will tell people about works done and programmes started by the SP government,” he said, adding that besides traditional means, members will be enrolled through missed calls and social media. On the Yogi Adityanath government’s announcement to provide power for 24 hours in district headquarters, 20 hours in Bundelkhand and 18 hours in villages, Akhilesh said as of now power is being given through power sub-stations, transformers and distribution lines installed by the SP government “which had done a lot of work in the power sector”. The SP chief said time has not come for his party to oppose the BJP government. “We will oppose only when the BJP government will have its budget and will run its schemes,” he said. Asked about the law and order situation in the state, he cited media reports about a man being set on fire in a car in Gorakhpur. “Had such an incident taken place during the SP government, the media would have made it a big issue … Which crime is not taking place … police are being beaten up,” he said, adding that many people are being harassed in the name of anti-Romeo campaign.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Power connections to be issued in one week in Haryana: Goyal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal today said that from July 1 onwards, electricity connections would be issued within one week in Haryana. “All documents related to power connection would have to be submitted at the common service centres set up in villages,” Goyal said while speaking at a meeting held here today to review the functioning of the state power utilities. Goyal said both central and state governments were working in tandem in the field of energy saving. “The cost of LED bulb has been reduced by 88 per cent, and is now provided to people at Rs 65 only. The Union Power Ministry would provide 30 lakh LED bulbs to Haryana every month,” he said, according to an official release. Stating that there was no shortage of power, he directed the officers of power utilities to encourage people to pay their electricity bills so that 24-hour power could be supplied to them. Some good schemes are being implemented in the power sector in the state, he said. Under the Mhara Gaon-Jagmag Gaon scheme, 24-hour power is being supplied to villages where electricity meters have been installed outside houses and people are regularly paying their bills. Goyal directed the officers to work honestly and said the government would incentivise them. For the first time in the history of the country, electricity rates have been slashed by up to Rs 1.5 per unit. Power consumers should avail themselves of schemes of the government to get 24-hour power supply, he added. He urged the youth and students to connect with the honest system and encourage people to pay electricity bills and save energy. “Corruption would not be tolerated and if anyone is found guilty at any level strict action would be initiated against him,” he said. Electricity related complaints could be got registered at toll free number 1912, he added. Goyal said that ‘Urja Mitra’ App had been launched where data of every consumer had been uploaded. Through this application, consumers would be provided information about power supply in their areas through SMS.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Obscene video uploaded on Internet with woman’s name

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A woman here has alleged that some unidentified persons have uploaded an obscene video using her name on the Internet, with the intention to blackmail her, police said today. The woman complained that some unidentified persons made an obscene video using her name and threatened her through mobile phone that they will upload it on the Internet if she fails to give money to them, they said. As she did not pay, the accused allegedly uploaded the video on the Internet, according to the complaint. On the basis of the woman’s complaint, an FIR was yesterday registered in the Bagwala police station here, police said, adding that the victim has provided two mobile numbers from which the accused had called. An investigation is underway in the matter and police are trying to trace the mobile numbers, they added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

First joint cycle expedition of India-Bangladesh Army flagged off from Agartala

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> In a bid to cement mutual bonhomie, a joint cycling expedition of Indian Army and Bangladesh Army, first of its type, was recently flagged off from the Agartala military station. Lieutenant General A. S. Bedi, GOC Gajraj Corps, while flagging off the expedition said, ?India and Bangladesh share a very close linkage as far as history, culture and geography are concern. Both the armies have been interacting with each other at various platforms at the senior level, senior level and training field.? ?This is one of the noble initiatives taken by the Indian and Bangladesh army and shall revive all the old memories of the war of liberation of 1971 as well as learning from the best practices at the junior and younger level between both the armies. This is the first of its kind and I am sure that it is the stepping stone for many such activities in future which both the armies will undertake,? he added. The expedition teams comprising of 19 soldiers each including officers, JCOs and OR will cover approx 532 km in 11 days. Meantime, Major Sajjad, the Bangladesh cyclist team leader said, ?The Indian and Bangladesh army has a very old relation that started during the Bangladesh liberation war, to further strengthen the relation to a new height this is the first joint expedition. The spirit of this expedition is our liberation war of 1971 where the Indian army had its active participation. Through this expedition we are going to smell and touch the great works done by our predecessors during the liberation war.? ?Besides the training events both the armies have its participations in games and sports as well. I hope that this will further strengthen our relation between the two armies and the bilateral relation between the two nations,? he added. Indian and Bangladesh Army conduct joint military exercise annually, the introduction of joint adventure activities will result in increased mutual understanding and cooperation at troops level. The expedition commencing from Tripura?s capital Agartala and will traverse through major cities of Bangladesh via Comilla, Dhaka, Jessore and culminate at Kolkata on April 1. During the expedition the team will also visit historical battle sites of the glorious liberation war of Bangladesh in 1971. A colourful cultural programme and dare devil show was also organised on the occasion to show the strong and cosmopolitan composition of the army. On the Indian side the expedition is being conducted under the aegis of HQ Eastern Command. Apart from increased bonhomie, the expedition will also create awareness about the unique heritage, culture and traditions of both countries amongst the participants.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

4 Aussie bikers on trip across India to play Holi in Mumbai

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Four Australian bikers, who have embarked on a 7,000-km long journey across India under the project ‘Ride for Rights’, would reach Mumbai on Monday and celebrate Holi with children in Sion-Koliwada here. The bikers– Cameron Perry, Scott Grills, Ben Butcher and Taylor Hogan– have partnered with the Indian NGO Child Rights and You (CRY), to embark on their dream project ‘Ride for Rights An Indian Odyssey’ from Delhi. “Through their journey, the bikers aim to film a documentary on the challenges faced by children in India, create mass awareness about their issues, and capture stories of hope and change, and in the process raise funds for their cause,” CRY, which works for children’s rights in India, said in a statement. In Mumbai, the bikers, who are supporting the welfare project launched by NGO Sparsh, in which CRY is a partner, will interact with communities and underprivileged children, the statement said. “While playing Holi with the children, they would capture stories of kids and highlight challenges, which deprive them of their rights,” it said. Providing details of their 45-day tour, the CRY said the bikers started the journey from Delhi and would reach Maharashtra on March 13 after visiting Rajasthan and Gujarat. After Maharashtra, they would head to Goa and Karnataka. Later, they would go to Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Odisha, before visiting Uttarakhand and ending their ride in Delhi, the statement said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

India can become largest inventory of stem cells globally

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In what it pitches as the first-such-program in the world, a preventive healthcare services company, is starting a bank for preserving umbilical cord stem cells and tissue that may be used not just by the donor and her family, but also by other community members.Stem cells are master cells that can develop into different cell types, such as brain cells, blood cells, etc, and organ tissues in our body. They have the capacity to heal and regenerate. This capacity makes them ideal solutions in treating conditions such as thalassaemia, leukaemia, lymphoma and other cancers. The umbilical cord is a rich source of stem cells and tissue. Many parents therefore now opt to ‘bank’ the umbilical cord so these life-giving stem cells and tissue can be harnessed in the event of future illnesses.Traditionally when the umbilical cord is banked, its stem cells and tissue are meant for use by the baby during its lifetime or, if the stem cells match then by the baby’s siblings as well. In order to create a larger inventory of stem cells and address the challenges of sourcing matching stem cells, Chennai-based LifeCell has envisioned Baby Cord Share as a community stem cell bank. Think of it as giving your car to Uber, which ensures that a lot more people get to ride in it during the time when you aren’t in the driver’s seat.”Parents who preserves their child’s umbilical cord will find better access to stem cells than (parents in) any other country in the world,” said Mayur Abhaya, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of LifeCell, stating that stem cells can be relied upon to treat 80 medical conditions. “This is a transformational approach to stem cells, where we match under utilised asset to the unmet demand.”This sort of a community stem cell bank would make stem cells available not just to the baby but to the entire family with a higher and quicker probability of finding a match from the community pool. It’s success though would hinge on the number of members that pool into the community bank, which comes at a cost — for Baby Cord Share, LifeCell has a registration fee of Rs17,000 and an annual storage fee of Rs 4,000. Besides, while thousands of babies are born in India every day, a large majority of these births take place at home. Of the births that do take place in hospitals, called institutional deliveries, less than 2 per cent preserve umbilical cords.LifeCell, however, is confident that new parents, especially those in the age group of 25-35, are increasingly aware about the advantages of preserving umbilical cord stem cells, and opt to do so. “Through community banking of cord blood units, India has the potential to become the largest inventory of stem cells globally, increasing the scope of potentially lifesaving stem cell transplants for babies, their families, their communities, and others of Indian origin worldwide,” said Abhaya.

MP cop who underwent gastric bypass surgery to return to Neemuch tomorrow

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After reducing over four kilogram of weight, Madhya Pradesh’s police inspector Daulatram Jogawat will be travelling back to Neemuch on Tuesday.Jogawat under went a banded gastric bypass surgery on March 2 at Saifee Hospital for which he reduced 3.5 kgs of weight before the surgery.According to Doctor, Jogawat, started walking around in his ward after four hours of the surgery at the hospital. Speaking about his surgery, Dr Muffazal Lakdawala, said, “After looking at the medical reports we choose to perform banded gastric bypass surgery on him. Through this, he his health issues like diabetes, sleep apnea, swelling of legs will go away and his hypertension will be under control. According to him after his gall bladder operation he started gaining weight but that is not the exact reason for his obesity.” Jogawat is now on a liquid diet for 15 days. Expressing about his health condition and diet plans, Jogawat, said, “I am fine now and thankful to the doctor to treat me free of cost. I am kept on liquid diet for first 15 days and on semi solid diet for next 15 days. After a month, I can start eating slowly.”The over all cost of operation was around 3.5 lakh rupees but doctor operated Jogawat for free of cost. Two doctors and a nurse performed the surgery. According to the doctor, Jogawat was a good candidate for the banded gastric surgery looking at his health condition. He will be able to lose 40 kgs in first six months and another 40 kgs in next six months.While Jogawat arrived in the city from Neemuch on February 26 night to meet Dr Lakdawala, the police inspector from MP was put through a series of tests on Monday, February 27. Jogawat’s genetic tests showed no hormonal or genetic links for his obesity.Two weeks ago, Shobha De had tweeted a picture of Jogawat, with a caption saying ‘heavy police Bondobast’ during the Mumbai municipal elections. Speaking about the tweet, Jogawat, said, “The photo which was tweeted by Shobha De was shot in 2014. I later got to know through media that the picture is getting viral. I can truly say that ‘nari shakti mahan hoti hai’ because of that tweet I am here today. I received many offers from Noida but my people recommended me to choice Dr Lakdawala from Mumbai.”

PM Modi to visit Israel this year, dates yet to be finalized

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Israel this year. The dates of the Prime Minister?s visit are yet to be finalised. The External Affairs Ministry Secretary (Economic Relations) Amar Sinha on Tuesday stated that a joint coordination committee will be created by India and Israel to plan out high-level political visits between both the nations. ?We (India and Israel) will create a joint coordination committee which will plan out high level political visits apart from the other things,? said Amar Sinha at an event to mark the commencement of commemoration of 25 years of diplomatic ties. ?Both the governments are contemplating to hold a series of events on a variety of subjects to celebrate the occasion in a befitting manner. We are constantly trying to make it a more multi-dimensional relationship,? added Sinha. India and Israel have been co-operating each other on many fronts including cooperation in Defense and in Agriculture and achieved milestones in fostering bilateral relationship. Through agricultural technology of Israel, India has set up 25 Centre of Excellences (CoEs) spread over nine Indian States for the benefits of Indian farmers. Both the countries are committed to further deepening and diversifying the relation in many areas including space, S&T, R&D, education, dairy and innovation. India established diplomatic ties with Israel in 1992. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to make a bilateral visit to the Jewish nation sometime later this year.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

"What right the Chief Minister has to declare a final

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>verdict on the case at the beginning of investigation itself? Through the remarks, he had given an indication that the probe would not progress further,” Chennithal said. He also sought an apology from the Chief Minister for his controversial remarks on the case when the investigation was at a crucial stage. Moving the notice for an adjournment motion, P T Thomas (Congress) wanted the government to take steps to bring before law any “bigwigs” involved in the conspiracy behind the crime. Thomas, one of the first people’s representatives who intervened in the case, also narrated the harrowing experience undergone by the actress as told to him by the victim herself just hours after the incident on February 17. After the opposition’s boycott during the Zero Hour, the Speaker took up other businesses including the discussion on the Motion of Thanks to the Governor’s Address. Earlier in the day, the opposition members, who came with a banner saying “Where is women safety? Goons and mafia roaming”, also boycotted the Question Hour when the Speaker refused to take up an adjournment motion on the matter by suspending Question Hour. The actress was abducted and allegedly molested inside her car by a group of persons, who had forced their way into the vehicle on the night of February 17 near Kochi.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Surgical strikes decision was taken soon after Uri attack: HM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The decision to carry out cross-LoC surgical strikes last September was taken at an emergency meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi soon after terrorists attacked Uri army camp, Home Minister Rajnath Singh revealed today. “When the news came in September (last year) that terrorists attacked an Army camp (in Uri) and killed 17 jawans, an emergency meeting was convened in which the Prime Minister, the Defence Minister and I, along with officers, took part. A firm decision was taken that a surgical strike will be carried out,” Singh said here. Indian Special Forces carried out surgical strikes on seven terror launchpads along the LoC in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir on the intervening night of September 28 and 29. The Army had said “significant casualties” were inflicted on the terrorists and their supporters in the strikes. The surgical strikes were carried out 11 days after the terror attack on the army camp in Uri in Kashmir. “Through the surgical strike, we have given out a message to the world that we are not weak but a strong nation,” the Home Minister said while addressing a programme here. He said this while asserting that the Prime Minister has been firm in tackling terrorism and the surgical strikes bore testimony to this. Singh recalled that in 2014, he himself had asked BSF “not to count bullets” while replying to Pakistani firing from across the borders. “In September 2014, I came to know that five people were killed in firing from across the LoC. I immediately called up the BSF DG to inquire what BSF was doing. He told me that BSF had shown white flag 16 times to communicate that BSF wants a dialogue. But there was no response from Pakistan. “I then ordered the BSF DG that from now on if a single bullet is fired from Pakistani side, BSF should not count its bullets while answering them,” he said. Singh, however, said that common people of Pakistan, including Muslims, were in favour of good relations with India. “But unfortunately there are certain elements who want to take the route of terrorism and hatred. Now, from the terror attacks in Pakistan, one can see that terrorists do not have religion, caste or creed,” he said, adding “a terrorist is just a terrorist”.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Make me brand ambassador : Kejriwal asks permission to repeat bribery remark after EC flak

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Days after the Election Commission censured him for exhorting voters in poll-bound Goa to accept bribes, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today told the poll panel that his remarks were aimed at containing graft and sought a review of its order to allow him to repeat the comments.Holding that the EC misinterpreted his comments, he also asked the poll panel to make him the brand ambassador to put an end to bribery in elections, alleging its order against him was encouraging corruption.”By stopping me to say what I am saying, the Election Commission is not stopping corruption, but encouraging it. I hope you (the EC) will re-examine this. “Through this comment, I am trying to stop bribery. In fact, the Election Commission should make me its brand ambassador,” Kejriwal said in a letter to Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi.On Saturday, Kejriwal was censured by the EC for his comment asking voters in Goa to take money from political parties, but vote only for AAP. The commission had also warned of strong action, including derecognition of AAP, if the Delhi chief minister repeated his comments. He claimed that he was trying to end corruption through his remarks and that the EC can publicise his statement to deal with bribery and corruption during elections.”We have shown this in Delhi election. People took money from BJP and Congress, but voted for us. If the Election Commission uses my statement and propagates it then in two years, the political parties will stop distributing notes,” Kejriwal said. He also said the EC has not been able to stop corruption in the last 70 years and if his remarks were used, then bribery during polls can be ended in two years.”A court in Delhi had ruled that a similar statement I made earlier does not amount to bribery,” he said in the letter.

Narendra Modi at Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas 2017: Our govt changed ‘brain drain’ to ‘brain gain’

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday lauded the Indian diaspora across the world as he addressed people at the 14th Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas 2017 in Bengaluru.

“There was once a discussion about brain drain. And I told people at that time: Are only foolish people left here?” Modi said. “Today, I can say with a lot of confidence: The present government’s initiative changed brain drain to brain gain,” he added.

“In foreign lands and communities across the globe, the Indian diaspora represents the best of Indian culture, ethos and values,” said the prime minister, adding that the hard work, discipline and peace-loving nature of Indians abroad made them role models for other communities.

“You have various objectives and paths. But within all of us, there is only one dream: Bharatiyata,” he said. “Indians have brought about development wherever they have been. They have established a connection with whichever place they have gone to,” he added.

“For my government and for me personally, engagement with overseas Indians has been a key area of priority. I have met many Indians in US, UK, Australia, South Africa, UAE, Qatar, China, Japan, South Korea,” said Modi.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Reuters

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Reuters

“As a result of sustained and systematic outreach, there is a strong drive among the Indian diaspora to connect more extensively and deeply with India’s social and economic transformation. They are co-travellers in the development of the nation,” he said.

“NRIs (Non-Resident Indians) and PIOs (Persons of Indian Origin) have made outstanding contributions to their chosen fields. Among them, there are politicians of stature, scientists of repute, outstanding doctors, brilliant educationists, economists, musicians, bankers, engineers and lawyers. Did I mention our well-known IT professionals?” said the prime minister.

Modi also said that the central government was committed to the safety of Indians abroad.

“The welfare and safety of all Indians abroad is our top priority. For this, we are strengthening the entire ecosystem of our administrative arrangements,” he said.

“Whether it is loss of passports, need for legal advice, medical advice, shelter or even transportation of mortal remains to India, I have directed all Indian embassies to be proactive to address problems of Indians abroad,” he said. “Our response to overseas Indians’ needs is based on accessibility, sensibility, speed and promptness. 24×7 helplines with Indians embassies, open house meetings with Indian nationals and use of social media platforms for immediate access are some of the measures we have put in place,” he added.

“We do not see the colour of the passport. We only see the blood relations,” he said.

Praising External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj for her commitment to her duties, Modi said, “Our External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj ji has been prompt in reaching out to distressed Indians abroad.”

“Through the Sankat Mochan programme in July 2016, we repatriated over 150 Indian nationals from South Sudan. In the last two years, we facilitated the repatration of over 90,000 Indian nationals from nearly 54 countries. Through the Indian community welfare fund, we assisted over 80,000 Indian nationals abroad,” said the prime minister.

“For every Indian abroad, home should never be far away,” he said.

“We have taken several steps to safeguard immigration of Indian workers abroad. Online registration for foreign employers on e-migrants portal has been made mandatory…Grievances of migrant workers continue to be addressed online…We are taking strict action against illegal recruitment agents in India,” he added.

“For the migrant Indian workers, a skill development programme called Pravasi Kaushal Vikas Yojana will be launched, targeted at Indians who seek overseas employment,” he said.

The prime minister also urged PIOs to convert their PIO cards to Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cards.

“I would again encourage PIO card holders to convert their PIO cards to OCI cards. I am happy to announce that we have extended the deadline for this from 31 December to 30 June without any penalty,” he said.

“It is my firm belief that connect between India and overseas Indians ahould be sustained and enriching for both. In October last year, I had the honour of inaugurating the Pravasi Bharti Kendra in new delhi. This Kendra is dedicated to the overseas community. I am sure it will become a symbol of the global progress, struggles and achievements of the Indian diaspora,” Modi said.

“We want close ties with the young overseas Indians. To provide the young overseas Indians to visit their motherland and reconnenct, we have launched Know India Programme, through which six groups of young overseas Indians are visiting India,” he added.

“India is moving fast towards development. One definition of FDI is FDI and second is First Develop India,” Modi said, encouraging Indians abroad to invest in India.

The prime minister also took a dig at Opposition leaders criticising the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes.

“We took a massive step against corruption and black money. Black money and corruption were slowly making the politics of our country hollow. It is unfortunate that there are those in politics who worship black money. They try to portray our efforts are anti-people,” he said. “But I thank you (overseas Indians) for the dedication which you have shown to the fight against black money,” he added.

First Published On : Jan 8, 2017 12:09 IST

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