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Four workers injured in mine roof collapse in Jharkhand

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Four workers suffered injuries, two of them seriously, when the roof of a mine partially collapsed at Putki Balihari area in Dhanbad district on Thursday.The mine falls under Bharat Coking Coal Limited (BCCL), a subsidiary of Coal India Limited.A senior district official said the four contractual workers were taking cable to a shaft of the hydro mines in lift when a part of the roof suddenly caved in trapping them.The four were rescued and taken to a hospital where the condition of two of them was stated to be serious, the official said.The two seriously injured were now under treatment at Central Hospital, Dhanbad while the other two were being treated at a local hospital in the neighbourhood of the mines and were out of danger, the official added.The cause of the collapse was being looked into, the official said.

2016 did not belong to Modi, Rahul or Urjit Patel, it belonged to the Indian hypocrite

Meet the person of the year 2016: The quintessential Indian hypocrite.

You would have met him everywhere. In queues outside ATMs, banks and multiplexes, chanting slogans, waging WhatsApp jihad, supporting boycott calls on Twitter, railing against his own countrymen and bleeding from his desktop for soldiers on the border.

His principle: Preach in public exactly the opposite of what you practise in private.

His dharma: Hate in others what you want to hide about yourself.

The year belonged to him. He screamed, shouted, outraged, pointed one finger at others, forgetting the direction of the other four. But as Ralph Waldo Emerson said: “What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say.”

India has always been an amusing bundle of contradictions, a lexicon of oxymorons. We worship at the altar of female goddesses, but have a skewed sex ratio. We boast of sanskars and lofty ideals but practice casteism, demand dowry and have a maniacal obsession with male children.

We are the land of Kamasutra, Khajuraho and have the highest growth rate of population, but we also have Pahlaj Nihalani who fears moral regression of the vulnerable masses if James Bond kisses for half-a-minute on the screen. We are a country that sings bhajans of Meera and Kabir but ends up revering Radhey and Asaram as ‘Maa’ and ‘Bapu’.

We are a country, which, in true Oscar Wilde fashion, is so clever that it doesn’t mean a single word it says.

Representational image. Reuters.

Representational image. Reuters.

But, sometimes a country’s polity and society combine to create circumstances and debates that expose our deeper contradictions, expose bigger hypocrisies. And gave us many shades of the quintessential Indian hypocrite.

This year we had the kaala dhan warrior. He rejoiced when Prime Minister Narendra Modi outlawed notes of higher denomination. In a delirium of patriotism, moral propriety and schadenfreude, he announced the end of black money and the corrupt — everyone apart from, of course, himself.

But, by next morning the kaala dhan warrior rushed to launder unaccounted cash, adjust accounts, put every bit of outlawed currency into bank accounts, announcing at the end of the day, “Yaar, apna to adjust ho gaya.”

He called it a surgical strike on the corrupt, rich and powerful and then bathed in the flowing Ganga of connivance and corruption with co-hypocrites — the broker, the banker, holder of Jan Dhan accounts, presumably the people hit most by kaala dhan.

Nothing captured the prevailing hypocrisy more than the constant changes in deposit and withdrawal rules to counter his propensity to circumvent laws that were hailed in public — Bharat Mata ki Jai — and violated in private.

We had the holier-than-thou fanatic. By day he slammed fanatics of ”that religion” for not allowing a cricketer’s wife to wear a gown. He mocked the utter lack of freedom in that religion, the tyranny of those opposing their religious and moral codes on others. By night he railed at a celebrity couple’s choice of name for their newborn, opposed a woman’s freedom to choose her husband, a person’s choice of food, a producer’s choice of the actor he wanted to cast in his film.

His ideological rival, behaved in an identical fashion. He defended a mother’s right to call her son Taimur, but not a woman’s right to protest Triple Talaq or wear a gown, proving hypocrites of the world have just one religion — hate.

We had the pious gau bhakt. He declared cow as his mother, advocated lynching of men for eating beef, skinning carcasses, but blithely went past bovines looking for food in heaps of garbage lying on roads of ‘Swachh Bharat’, ignored hundreds dying in cow shelters.

He was the bleeding heart patriot who blasted others for complaining of hardships when soldiers were dying on the border but encouraged his children to look for the best overseas job, leaving the vacancies in the Army for the neighbour’s son to fill. He shed Twitter tears when soldiers died in natural disasters in Siachen but laughed when people died in queues outside banks due to a man-made disaster or at Jantar Mantar while demanding one-rank-one pension.

He was the angry desh bhakt who danced to Rahat Fateh Ali Khan’s songs, sang out aloud Honey Singh’s [email protected]#*d mein dam hai to band karwa lo” at parties but protested Ghulam Ali’s ghazal concerts. He gloated when Indian beat Pakistan in hockey but felt outraged at the thought of cricketers and kabaddi players taking on their cross-border rivals. He lamented when one state government spent a few hundred crores on ad campaigns but puffed his chest in pride when another government announced it would put Rs 3,600 crore in the Arabian Sea to showcase a warrior in a state with high rates of farmer suicides and history of droughts.

Finally, he was the social media jihadist who advocated bans on apps of online retailers endorsed by Aamir Khan but rushed to its stores every time a sale was announced. He was the Twitter activist who sought a ban on Chinese items but queued up for flash sales of mobiles made in China, paid for them through Paytm. He was the intolerant troll who wanted films to be boycotted, actors to be punished but bought tickets first-day-first-show, tamely surrendering crores in the dangal of box office, putting their money where their mouth wasn’t.

No, 2016, didn’t belong to Narendra Modi, Arvind Kejriwal, Rahul Gandhi, Urjit Patel, Aamir Khan or Salman Khan. It belonged to the quintessential hypocrite who amused and entertained us throughout the year, proving right Somerset Maugham who famously said, “It cannot, like adultery or gluttony, be practiced at spare moments; it is a whole-time job.”

Congratulations, all of us gave it one full year.

First Published On : Dec 29, 2016 15:15 IST

Government relaxes coastal norms for Ambedkar memorial

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Just days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Statue off Mumbai’s coast, the Centre has paved the way for construction of Dr.Bhimrao Ambedkar memorial at the defunct Indu Mill in Parel. The union ministry for environment, forest and climate change (MoEFCC) has amended the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) notification, 2011, to insert a relaxation that will allow Maharashtra government to change land use for construction of the memorial.The amendment’s timing is of consequence as it will allow the BJP-led government to begin work on the memorial just weeks before the Election Commission imposes the Model code of conduct for the Mumbai civic polls and municipal body polls in other major cities such as Pune, Nasik, Amravati, Nagpur and Solapur. It also comes more than one year after the PM laid the foundation stone for the memorial last October, thus helping the government to expedite work and attract voters from backward castes.The relaxation for the memorial has been inserted under the Rules laid down for CRZ-II areas, specifically those in Mumbai. “Construction of memorial in the honour of Bharat Ratna Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar in Mumbai on Indu 6-Mills land shall be allowed with change in land use from industrial to construction of memorial in accordance with applicable Town and Country Planning Regulations”, said the new item added in the notification.The Ambedkar memorial is to be built on 12 acres of land in Indu Mill and the amendment frees up 5.5 acres of CRZ-II affected land that can now be taken over by the Maharashtra government.

Aligarh: BJP mayor Shakuntala Bharti refers to former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee as ‘deceased’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP’s controversial Aligarh mayor Shakuntala Bharti found herself in a pickle on Saturday during an address to Dharam Jyoti Mahavidyalya School students at Iglas on Saturday. According to a Times of India report, in an event held to celebrate the 155th birth anniversary of Madan Mohan Malviya and Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s 92nd birthday, the mayor referred to Vajpayee as “deceased” in her speech.”Bharat ke purv pradhan mantri Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji hamare beech me nahin rahe, lekin unki yadein hai (Former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji is no longer with us, but his memories remain),” she said. Her statement not only took everyone by shock, but also did not go well with other leaders of BJP and other parties present.However, Bharti tried to brush off criticism of the statement by saying that she was talking about Malviya and not Vajpayee. But, a video of the event was shown to her, she apologised for her mistake and said that she was feeling “miserable” about it. She also wished Vajpayee a healthy and a long life.Vajpayee, the only non-Congress leader who served the nation as the prime minister and completed his full term, was born on December 25, 1924. He was among the founder members of the BJP. After former prime minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Vajpayee is the only prime minister to get three successive mandates. He was felicitated with country’s highest civilian honour, Bharat Ratna, on March 27, 2015. His birthday is also celebrated as Good Governance Day.Earlier this year, Bharti had opposed Manoj Bajpayee starrer ‘Aligarh’ which she claimed defamed the city. (With ANI inputs)

Confer Bharat Ratna on Jayalalithaa: Tamil Nadu CM’s request to PM Modi

Mon, 19 Dec 2016-11:35pm , New Delhi , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday to confer “Bharat Ratna” posthumously on J Jayalalithaa.”I have requested the prime minister to recognise services and welfare policies of Amma and confer her Bharat Ratna,” he said after a meeting with Modi. Accompanied by state Chief Secretary Rama Mohana Rao, advisor Sheela Balakrishnan and Deputy Lok Sabha Speaker M Thambidurai, he also put forth a request for setting up a state-sponsored statue of Jayalalithaa in Parliament complex.”Permission for installation of a life-sized statue of the departed leader on the Parliament premises has also been sought,” Panneerselvam said.At its first meeting on December 10 after Jaya’s death, the Tamil Nadu Cabinet had decided to recommend her name for Bharat Ratna and to propose to the Centre to install her life-size bronze statue in Parliament complex.

Tamil Nadu CM to meet PM Modi; Jaya’s Bharat Ratna, Cyclone Vardah on agenda

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday in the national capital and relay the details of the damages caused by the Cyclone Vardah in the state.”The Chief Minister will also handover a letter to bestow late chief minister J Jayalalithaa with the Bharat Ratna and to unveil bronze statue in the Parliament campus,” an official statement said.Tamil Nadu Cabinet earlier on December 10 decided to recommend late AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa for India’s highest civilian honour, the ‘Bharat Ratna’.In its first meeting chaired by Chief Minister O Panneerselvam after Jayalalithaa’s demise, the Cabinet also decided to recommend to the Centre installation of her life-size bronze statue in Parliament complex.Cyclone Vardah hit several parts of Tamil Nadu earlier on December 12. The storm uprooted trees, overturned cars and did extensive damage to buildings as it tore across Chennai. According to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) at least 10 people have died.Prior to the storm’s landing, Chennai already was pounded with heavy rain and winds.

PIL in SC seeking CBI probe in Jayalalithaa’s death

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Chennai-based NGO has filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the Supreme Court demanding a CBI probe in the death of Tamil Nadu’s former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, ANI reported.The NGO has also demanded access to the medical documents of the former chief minister.68-year-old Jayalalithaa, who fondly known as ‘Amma’ suffered a cardiac arrest on December 4, and passed away the next day. She was hospitalised since September 22, 2016.At least 470 persons reportedly died of “shock” after the demise of AIADMK party supremo. The party has also announced a relief of Rs 3 lakh each to the families.Meanwhile, the Tamil Nadu Cabinet has decided to recommend late AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa for ‘Bharat Ratna’, the highest civilian honour of the country, and to propose to the Centre to install her life-size bronze statue in Parliament complex.

AC rake trial pushed back again

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The first set of field trials of the air-conditioned rake scheduled for the early hours of Wednesday was postponed after officials from the Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) expressed their inability to carry out trials at the present moment, said Central Railway officials. According to CR officials, the postponement came about after a team from Netherlands-based Strukton Rail was to be in Mumbai to take part in the filed trials had to reschedule their trip.The electrical systems and the Train Control and Management System of the train has been jointly built by BHEL and Strukton under a transfer of technology arrangement the former has with the Dutch firm.”The plan was to take the rake from Kurla Carshed to Karjat and then run it on the 14km Karjat to Khopoli section so that several initial readings of the rake could have been taken. There are 7-8 readings that will be ascertained during the Karjat-Khopoli section. Once permissions come in, we can start field trials in other sections beyond Kalyan,” said a CR official.The chances of the rake being run on the section between Kurla and CST is remote, said officials, because the AC rake is taller at 4295mm than conventional rakes. With Christmas round the corner, more delays in the field trials cannot be ruled out, said officials, as the number of leaves of staff increases. The chances that the rake might not be commissioned this financial year ending March31, 2017 is now higher with these delays, said officials.The first of the static trails within Kurla Carshed, where the rake is parked, started on November 2. According to railway officials who oversaw the trials then, the rake was tested for ‘coherence’ among all its different components.The rake was supposed to cost Rs 43 crores when the layout was approved by the railway ministry in March 2014. It was finally finished in March 2016- two years later- at a cost of Rs 54 crores. The Rs 54 crore tag is a sizable 25 percent increase in construction cost. It arrived in Mumbai on April 5.

Thiruvananthapuram: Protest over detention of 12 for disrespecting national anthem

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A group of persons on Tuesday staged a protest in front of a theatre here, protesting police taking into custody 12 persons for showing disrespect to the National Anthem at cinemas screening movies of the International Film Festival of Kerala.”The national anthem is not a digital song. National flag is not an audio visual. Cinema is primarily an entertainment. Cinema hall is a place to sell entertainment,” a placard held by protesters at Tagore Theatre, the main venue of the ongoing festival, said.”Please don’t degrade my national anthem,” another placard said.
ALSO READ Kerala: Six people arrested for not standing during national anthem, later released “We love Bharat. Nationalism cannot be imposed,” the protesters said.In two separate cases, 12 persons were taken into custody for showing disrespect to the national anthem from theatres screening films connected to the festival last night.
ALSO READ SC modifies National Anthem order, exempts differently abled from standing They refused to stand up while the national anthem was being played, police said, adding, cases under IPC section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) had been registered.Those arrested were later released on bail, they said.

Kerala: Protest over detention of 12 for disrespecting National Anthem

Thiruvananthapuram: On Tuesday, a group of persons staged a protest in front of a theatre, protesting police taking into custody 12 persons for showing disrespect to the National Anthem at cinemas screening movies of the International Film Festival of Kerala.

“The national anthem is not a digital song. National flag is not an audio visual. Cinema is primarily an entertainment. Cinema hall is a place to sell entertainment,” a placard held by protesters at Tagore Theatre, the main venue of the ongoing festival, said.

Representational image. AFPRepresentational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

“Please don’t degrade my national anthem,” another placard said.

“We love Bharat. Nationalism cannot be imposed,” the protesters said.

In two separate cases, 12 persons were taken into custody for showing disrespect to the national anthem from theatres screening films connected to the festival last night.

They refused to stand up while the national anthem was being played, police said, adding, cases under IPC section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) had been registered.

Those arrested were later released on bail, they said.

First Published On : Dec 13, 2016 14:15 IST

UP: Five shehnais of late Bharat Ratna Ustad Bismillah Khan stolen

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Five of Ustad Bismillah Khan’s shehnais, four of which were made of silver, have gone missing from his son Kazim Hussain’s home here.”We lodged an FIR last evening after we discovered the theft in our new home in Dalmandi area. The stuff that was stolen included four silver shehnais, one made of wood and silver, Inayat Khan award and two gold bangles,” Bismillah Khan’s grandson, Razi Hassan said.The family had recently shifted to Dalmandi area and the theft happened when they were visiting their ancestral place in Sarai Harha.”We recently shifted to Dalmandi. We had gone to our ancestral house in Sarai Harha. When we returned to our new house, we found that the door was open and someone had broken the lock of the trunk,” he added.Senior superintendent of police (SSP), Nitin Tiwari confirmed the theft, saying, “It is true that the shehnais were stolen from the house. We are investigating the matter.” Hassan said the family is upset as the shehnais were very special to the late musician and were gifted to him by former Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao, Kapil Sibbal and Lalu Prasad Yadav.”One of the shehnais was very precious to him as he played it during the Muharram procession every year. None of his shehnais are left with us except for the wooden one that he played to practice,” Hassan said.The Bharat Ratna awardee’s family has been demanding for a museum to preserve his memorabilia since his death in 2006.”We were hoping that there would be a museum in his memory where we will preserve his memorabilia but who knew they would be stolen like this,” he said.The family is now left with Bismillah Khan’s Bharat Ratna medal, Padma Shree and some other medals, he added

On 90th anniversary of RSS, Mohan Bhagwat asks Hindus to unite, set own houses in order

I, hereby remembering the Almighty and my ancestors, take a pledge that, I have become a member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh to protect the sacred Hindu Dharma, Hindu Sanskriti and Hindu Society, and to make this Hindu Rashtra independent…”

This was the pledge that was taken by 99 selected swayamsevaks (volunteers) of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in Nagpur in March 1928. The original pledge was a hand-written one in Marathi by the then Sangh chief Dr KB Hedgewar. Almost nine decades later, the present RSS Sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat on Thursday evening, while referring to Hedgewar, gave a call to unite and organise Hindus across the world, at an event in New Delhi.

“Hindu(ism) is not a sect; whosoever believes in our diversity is a Hindu. Whether one calls oneself Hindu or a Bharatiya — it means the same. Who were our ancestors in this country? It was Hindus. Hedgewar had said that while you want to see the whole world as a family, first unite those who believe in Hindutva, bring them to your fold — not in fear of Muslims or Christian missionaries. Even if there is no Muslim or Christian, the duty lies in uniting the Hindus as they are unorganised. The others, who are skeptical of being a Hindu due to any reason or are outside the fold, will follow automatically,” said Bhagwat while speaking at an event to commemorate 90 years of the RSS.

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat addresses the audience at the release of collectors' editions of Sangh publications. Firstpost/Debobrat Ghose

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat addresses the audience at the release of collectors’ editions of Sangh publications. Firstpost/Debobrat Ghose

Sending out a strong message, the RSS chief asked the Hindu community to first set its house in order. “the problem is not with others. First, set your own house in order. We talk of having a global family, but we discriminate against our own people — the Dalits. That needs to be stopped. Keep your own principles of life in order. That’s what Sangh says — for it, the importance lies in ‘what a man is’ and ‘not on what he’s doing’.”

Emphasising the role of India as a global leader, he said Bharat has to organise and strengthen itself first, so that we can organise at the global level.

An hour-long address by Bhagwat was more about making people understand the genesis, principles and functioning of the 90-year old RSS. And that is what its publication division, the Bharat Prakashan has attempted to do by bringing out collectors’ editions of its bilingual magazines Organiser (English) and Panchajanya (Hindi). The magazines have covered the journey and evolution of the Sangh since its inception in 1925, by digging out information from archives and old communications.

After releasing the collectors’ edition, Bhagwat urged that while the magazines would help people to know about the Sangh, those willing to know more could visit an RSS shakha. His emphasis was on making people understand the Sangh as an entity.

The existence and functioning of the RSS has always been a debatable subject that has often led to controversies. Speculations have been made on the role (read interference) of the Sangh in the policy-making of the government and that of the swayamsevaks in the public domain. The collectors’ edition divides the RSS journey into four phases — 1925 to 1947, 1947 to 1977, 1977 to 2005 and thereafter, vis-à-vis the roles played by the respective Sarsanghchalaks.

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat releases the collectors' editions of Sangh publications at a function in New Delhi. Firstpost/Debobrat Ghose

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat releases the collectors’ editions of Sangh publications at a function in New Delhi. Firstpost/Debobrat Ghose

“The Sangh is a nothing but a thought process, which evolved out of collective thinking of all in the country over the years. There are misconceptions about the Sangh in the public domain. We never get into any argument and try to avoid any kind of opposition and controversy. Instead, we ensure maintaining a cordial and friendly interaction with all. If anyone wants to know about the RSS, one needs to be free from prejudices and look into it objectively with an open mind. If you have pre-decided notions, you’re bound to have misconceptions,” emphasised Bhagwat.

“The Sangh’s sole objective is man-making and to run shakhas, and it’s the swayamsevaks who perform their duties in society. There’s no other means to know the Sangh than to visit a shakha. One can’t be informed about the RSS by talking about it. You visit a Sangh shakha, if you feel good, stay with it. If not, you can move ahead. But, get your misconceptions cleared. There’s no sanction on visiting us,” Bhagwat signed off.

“The attempt has been made to do an objective analysis of the Sangh through this collectors’ edition and answer many queries in the public domain that has taken the shape of enigma or misconception. Questions have been raised from time to time on the role played by the RSS during India’s freedom movement, post-Independence, during the Emergency and the organisational structure of the Sangh. The two editions will help people to better understand the RSS,” said Jagdish Upasane, group editor Bharat Prakashan, who also spearheaded the collectors’ edition along with its two editors Praful Ketkar and Hitesh Shankar.

First Published On : Dec 2, 2016 11:26 IST

Demonetization is a despotic action that undermines trust: Amartya Sen attacks Modi govt

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen has called Modi government’s demonetization move “despotic action that has struck at the root of economy based on trust”.”It (demonetization) undermines notes, it undermines bank accounts, it undermines the entire economy of trust. That is the sense in which it is despotic,” Sen told NDTV. He further said his immediate point of view on demonetization is on its economic aspect. “It’s (demonetization) a disaster on economy of trust. In the last 20 years, the country has been growing very fast. But it is all based on acceptance of each other’s word. By taking despotic action and saying we had promised but won’t fulfil our promise, you hit at the root of this,” Sen, also a Bharat Ratna awardee, said.Noting that capitalism has many successes that have come from having trust in businesses, he said if a government promises in promissory note and breaks such promise, then it is a despotic act. “I am not a great admirer of capitalism. On the other hand, capitalism has many successes… It’s despotic in the sense that if a government promises in promissory note that when given, we will give you this amount of compensation for it and to break such a promise is a despotic action,” Sen, who is currently Thomas W Lamont University Professor at Harvard University, said.The demonetization issue has also rocked Parliament as both Houses have been witnessing disruptions and adjournments due to noisy protests by Opposition parties for the past several days.

Opposition protest, confusion runs supreme

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amidst utter confusion, whether there is call for a ‘Bharat Bandh’ or ‘Jan Aakrosh Divas’, Opposition parties on Monday hit the streets across the country to protest against scrapping of high-value notes. While the Congress said that there is no call for a strike and call was only for protests, the Left parties enforced a 12-hour bandh in West Bengal. It was, however, not supported by the ruling Trinamool Congress which is most vocal against the note ban. Taking advantage of confusion, the ruling BJP members also hit the markets, launching ‘Jan Abhaar Divas’ – a day to express gratitude to people for ignoring strike. At many places, they offered sweets and flowers to traders, who had not closed shutters. Further Nitish Kumar’s abstention robbed the ‘nationwide protests’ its strength.The state-wide 12-hour strike called by the Left parties to protest demonetization failed to evoke much response in West Bengal. It evoked a partial response in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. In Bihar workers of RJD, Congress and Left parties disrupted train services at many places, but offices and schools registered normal attendance. In Kerala, the shutdown called by Kerala’s ruling LDF on Monday was total. The protest affected the functioning of both the Houses of Karnataka Legislature, but the state remained normal.In Delhi, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad clarified that the Opposition parties had never called for any strike, as it would have caused inconvenience to people. “We had called for Jan Akrosh Divas and not Bharat Bandh,” he said. He claimed that lakhs of angry and anguished people participated in the protests. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee threatened to demonstrate outside Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s residence against demonetization, vowing to dislodge him from the seat of power if the scrapping of high value currency notes is not withdrawn. “The entire country is suffering. There is no money in banks, ATMS. So far 80 people have died due to the hardships caused by demonetization. But Narendra Modi is having a sound sleep and giving lectures on taking the country towards cashless economy,” she told a rally in Kolkata.Congress party chief spokesman Randeep Surjewala told a press conference that the ruling alliance was not able to fathom the pain and anger of 125 crore. More than 20,000 beating ‘thalis’ thronged a march organised by Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken in the evening from the Mandi House to Jantar Mantar. Surjewala released a list of rules and directives on demonetization changed 105 times in the last 19 days to point out how the entire country has left the country confused.He said entire informal sector comprising of 90% of India is in deep distress. There are only 2.4 crore credit card holders and 9 crore debit card holders in and many these are held in multiples by one person. As per the RBI figures of June, 2016, there were 48 crore transactions worth Rs2293 crore through these cards. While mobile wallets have grown by 500%, after the demonetization, the amount transacted has been only Rs11,000 crore, a miniscule figure compared to the cash withdrawn, Surjiwala said.In supportNotwithstanding, the Opposition protests, Nandan Nilekani, who was head of previous UPA government’s Aadhaar project, supported the government’s ban on high-value notes. He said while the credit for creating the Aadhaar system goes to the UPA government, Dr Manmohan Singh, he was grateful to PM Modi for taking it forward. “A lot will depend on the next three months. If they accelerate digitization… long-term, it will be a very good development,” he said.

After lacklustre response to ‘Bharat Bandh’, Mayawati claims Opposition is united

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid fissures appearing in Opposition with JD(U) skipping a key strategy meet over demonetization, BSP supremo Mayawati rejected there is any division among the Opposition parties and said they are “united” against the issue. “I think the government’s decision to impose ban on notes was taken in haste without proper planning. This is not right.Due to this, people are facing problems and entire Opposition is united on this. There is no division and the entire Opposition is raising their voices in Parliament,” she said. The Bahujan Samaj Party leader also said the BJP government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, rather than Opposition, “have imposed” a ‘Bharat Bandh’ on the country, “The BJP government at the Centre has itself imposed Bharat Bandh. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has himself imposed ‘Bharat Bandh’. Our party is not responsible for this,” she said.Underlining that her party is against black money and corruption, she said the Central government’s “way” of containing corruption, by imposing ban on notes in a “hurry” is “not correct” and based on “self-interest”.Stressing the people are facing hardships, she claimed situation like that of “financial emergency” has arisen in the country. Mayawati said even after 20 days of the announcement of the demonetization decision, there has been “no improvement” and long queues could be be seen outside banks and ATMs.Reiterating the Opposition’s persistent demand of presence of Modi in Parliament during the discussion, she asked the Prime Minister is “shying away from replying” to the debate in the House. “Prime Minister must sit in the Parliament during the debate and must reply after listening (to the discussion). Modi did sit in Rajya Sabha for litte time but did not come back after the lunch because he knew he had to reply. Why PM is shying away from replying?” she asked.Earlier in the day as the Opposition were observing ‘Jan Aakrosh Diwas’ to protest against demonestisation, they held a strategy meet where they decided to continue their stir in Parliament till Modi replies to the debate and a JPC probe is announced in alleged leak of the decision. Some fissuers appeared in the Opposition as JD(U) skipped a meeting of all the Opposition parties held in the chamber of Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad in Parliament House. Sources said JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav had left Delhi early this morning. The opposition parties are divided over the ways to protest against demonetizationever since TMC chief Mamata Banerjee decided to march to the President against the move. While she was joined by AAP, National Conference and Shiv Sena, an NDA ally, other opposition parties stayed away.

PM Modi accusing nation of holding black money: DMK

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) on Monday said that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi is accusing the entire nation of holding on to black.”The Prime Minister is accusing over 120 crore people of India for holding black money. Is he clean then? Only he and his supporters are clean, rest of the people are supporters of black money. This is like abusing the common people. He is accusing every Indian of being a supporter of black money. Whoever is going to exchange the money in bank has black money,” DMK spokesperson TKS Elangovan said.Elangovan further said that the prime minister is speaking outside Parliament as he knows that nobody is going to question him for his remarks, and added, that the Center has failed to perform his duty to bring black money from outside, and hence unleashed pressure of demonetization on the common people. “Whatever promises he made so far he has not fulfilled it as yet. He neither cares about Parliament nor about the Parliamentary system because, whatever he speaks outside, cannot be questioned. No Prime Minister in the past sixty years of India’s independence has spoken outside parliament, and when Parliament is in session,” he said.The opposition parties have called for a countrywide protest today against what they call the government’s “mishandling” of the currency ban. Only the Left Front, which has a presence in Kerala, Bengal and Tripura, has called for a strike or ‘Bharat Bandh’ in the three states.Prime Minister Modi yesterday slammed the opposition for its all-India shutdown call over demonetization, saying the country instead needed an end to evils like corruption and black money.Addressing the BJP’s Parivartan Rally in Kasya assembly segment of Kushinagar in Uttar Pradesh, the Prime Minister said, “On the one hand we are initiating steps to curb corruption, but on the other hand a few people are talking about ‘Bharat Bandh’.”He described demonetization as a cure to the 70-year-old disease of corruption.

Centre makes it mandatory for vehicles to have speed warning from April 2018

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Centre has made it mandatory for all automobile manufacturers to provide speed warning and safety belt reminder systems in new vehicles from April 1, 2018, as part of its road safety improvement plans. A notification to this effect has been issued recently by the ministry of road, transport and highways.Senior officials from the ministry said the speed-alert system will warn the driver through an audio alert if the vehicle speed exceeds 80 km per hour, there would be a continuous audio alert if the vehicle speed exceeds 100 km per hour.The draft rules in the amendment to the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989, also make it mandatory for vehicle manufacturers to install a safety-belt reminder –a system for alerting the driver and the co-passenger for not putting on the safety belt and a ‘manual over-ride’ or central locking system which allows the motor vehicle occupant to open the door from inside using door release lever.The rules also make compulsory for vehicle manufacturers to install vehicle reverse gear sensors in vehicles manufactured on and after April 1, 2018, for assisting safe parking and reverse movement of the vehicles.They state that for new category of M1 motor vehicles, manufactured on or after October 1, 2017, and the existing models manufactured on and after October 1, 2018, should be equipped with a frontal airbag system. An airbag system comprises sensors, diagnostics and air bags module which inflates a bag in instances of crashes and prevents the driver and the passenger of the vehicle from striking against a steering wheel or the window.Car assessmentIndia ranks among the highest in road accidents with five lakh road accidents annually, in which around 1.46 lakh people are killed and three lakh are injured. Among other factors, vehicles manufactured without adequate safety features contribute to the number of deaths on roads.The ministry is also planning to set up the Bharat National Car Assessment Programme (NCAP), which will be rating vehicles based on safety features.The government has also set up a deadline of October 2017 new cars to clear the minimum frontal (64 km per hour) and side crash tests (50 km per hour) and pedestrian protection tests.

Should there be ‘Bharat Bandh’ or should the route of corruption be blocked: Modi hits out at Opposition

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi hit out at opposition parties for their ‘Bharat Bandh’ call against demonetization, saying they are organising the strike at a time when he is trying to root out corruption and black money.”I am stopping black money and corruption and some are giving call for Bharat Bandh,” he said at BJP’s ‘Parivartan Yatra’ rally here in eastern Uttar Pradesh.Without naming any opposition party, Modi said, “We are trying to curb corruption and they are organising ‘Bharat Bandh’. Should there be ‘Bharat Bandh’ or should the route of corruption be blocked?” Several opposition parties have given a call for ‘Akrosh Diwas’ tomorrow to protest against the Centre’s demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes. The Prime Minister said the decision on demonetisation was tough, “but (the) future will be bright”.Referring to the problems being faced by the common man including villagers in withdrawing money, he advised them to take the e-wallet route. “Era of wallet has gone, you can use your mobile phone as your bank branch with the same ease with which you take snaps and send them to friends,” Modi said. Modi said just as people did not have to attend classes to learn how to use mobile phones, they can now use the device in the same way to carry out monetary transactions. “I have already said problems do come. I have sought 50 days from you. Of these, 30 days are still left and the government is taking all efforts to assuage the sufferings of people,” he said.”Have you learnt how to charge your mobile by going to school? You have learnt to operate WhatsApp. Technology has become easy. If you have (a) bank account, you can purchase whatever you want,” he added. Amid the opposition parties creating uproar over poor implementation of demonetization and stalling Parliament for days, Modi said he is aware that people are facing inconvenience.”The NDA govt at the Centre is fully dedicated to the poor, farmers, villagers and dalits,” he said amid applause from the crowd. A united opposition has been attacking the Centre in Parliament over the demonetization issue, with former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh terming the move a “monumental management failure” and a case of “organised loot and legalised plunder” which would lead to dip in GDP growth by at least 2 per cent. Modi also attacked the Samajwadi Party government in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh, saying it was not interested in implementing central schemes for farmers.Thanking the people attending his rally, he said that in 2014 elections when he was himself contesting from Varanasi, he visited many areas of the state but the crowd was not as big. “As compared to today, only half of people used to come. Now a huge crowd, including women, has come to give me blessings,” he said, adding, “I bow before you for the trust you have on me… I will not betray you.”

Aakrosh Diwas | Protest over demonetization tomorrow, no Bharat bandh: Congress

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress made it clear on Sunday it has not called for a ‘Bharat bandh’ tomorrow, but will hold protests across the country against demonetization, which it alleged “was a political move being sold as a fight against corruption”.Speaking to reporters here, party leader Jairam Ramesh said Prime Minister Narendra Modi believes in “dhamaka” politics and the decision to scrap high-value currency notes was taken because he had seen the “writing on the wall” in Uttar Pradesh, where polls are due next year.He claimed that Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes were scrapped to cover up the government’s failure to deliver on the Prime Minister’s big electoral promise of bringing back black money stashed abroad and Modi wanted to do something “dramatic”. “It is a political move which is being sold as a fight against corruption,” Ramesh said hitting out at the Centre. He said people who have amassed wealth by illegal means are not suffering, but those who do not have black money are facing hardships. “Unfortunately, people who needed to be attacked have gone scot-free,” he said, adding that one section of “suited-booted” people was still leading a life of luxury. Ramesh, a former Union Cabinet minister, claimed that BJP was spreading misinformation that Congress and other parties have called for a ‘Bharat bandh’. The Opposition parties will hold protests across the country by observing “Jan Aakrosh Diwas”, he said.Taking a swipe at the Modi government, he said economic activity has anyway come to a standstill since November 9.Asked what will be the Opposition’s strategy in Parliament, Ramesh said a debate will happen if the Prime Minister participates in it.The Congress leader also questioned government’s preparedness to bring in new currency notes, saying that according to estimates, it may take up to 250 days to print new notes and bring economy back on the track.He also criticised the Prime Minister’s call for a “cashless” or “lesscash” society, saying that in India, a majority of people use cash for daily transactions.” “Such things take time and cannot be forced by giving shocks,” Ramesh said.

E-commerce will touch Rs 1 lakh cr in 5 years: Ravi Shankar Prasad

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With a sustained push by the government, and its digital drive, it is likely that the volume of trade in the e-commerce sector will touch Rs 1,00,000 crore in the coming five years, said Union minister for law, eletronics and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad. Speaking at the 111th Annual Session PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the minister said that the government has already saved over Rs 36,000 crore by digitalising economic activities.”We have used payment methods like direct cash transfer for payment of subsidies and MGNREGA wages to the accounts of intended beneficiaries through aadhaar. With e-commerce facilities being made available to rural folk, we have successfully transferred wages for several social schemes into their accounts amounting to a savings of Rs 36,000 crore in the last year,” said Prasad.Prasad also said that close to 40 mobile units have come to India to manufacturer mobile devices, and 11 have already been approved. He further added that the digital drive is being extended to postal services, with banks like CitiBank, Deutsche Bank, and Barclays working on setting up payment kiosks in post offices.Among other who spoke on the occasion included Dr Mahesh Gupta, president of the PHD Chamber, spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, and union minister Harsh Vardhan among others. The gathering also saw the distribution of the PHD Chamber’s annual awards of excellence.While National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) bagged the Good Corporate Citizen Award, the Award for Outstanding Contribution to Social Welfare was taken away by Trident Limited. The Distinguished Entrepreneurship Award went to Narendra Bansal, chairman and managing director of Intex Technologies.Dr Jyotsna Suri, chairman and managing director of Bharat Hotels bagged the Outstanding Businesswoman Award and the Award for Excellence in Skill Development was conferred upon Jubilant Life Sciences. The Lifetime Achievement Award was given to RK Saboo, chairman of KDDL Ltd.

Let’s go clean, the robotic way

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Robots to collect biomedical waste, clean water bodies, clear thousands of tonnes of garbage from the site of Haj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia and even a robotic E-bin from South Africa… students at the World Robot Olympiad had ideas aplenty on how to achieve a Swachh Bharat, the robotic, safe and non-hazardous way.Amongst the participants at this year’s edition, the first time India is hosting the event, was 13-year-old Navya, a Class IX student of St Joseph’s in Mumbai, who remembers being appalled when she read about a nurse who had to pick up biomedical waste with her bare hands and contracted Hepatitis B. That prompted Navya and her two friends, Anshu, 10, and Soham, 13, to come up with the Nurse Assistant, a robot to do the job.It took them six months of hard work. “We researched a lot before starting this project. We read lots of articles on how nurses in hospitals collect biomedical waste, which is really dangerous for their health. So we have come up with this robot, which will clean biomedical waste in a more efficient manner,” she said.Little wonder that their stall at the Olympiad — being held at the India Expo Centre in Noida, with the theme ‘Rap the Scrap’ in line with the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan — was a popular one with many visitors stopping by.Caregivers like doctors, nurses and ward-boys in hospitals are multiple times more prone to catching infections as they are in close proximity with the sick and handle biomedical waste without requisite precautions. In Mumbai’s Sewri TB Hospital, Asia’s largest centre for treating TB, for instance, close to 200 caregivers have been infected with the disease. Of these, 40, including a senior doctor, have died.”It is a very good idea to pick up biomedical waste with help of robots. This reduces human contact. It will reduce infections that can be caused due to pricks in healthy caregivers,” said Dr Lalit Anande, senior medical officer at Sewri.Amongst the thousands of students, from as young as nine to 25, from 51 countries was 11-year-old Krishna, a Class VII student from Manav Rachna School in Faridabad, who has created a robot that can clean small and large water bodies.”Our robot is an autonomous vehicle that collects garbage from various water bodies, removing harmful algae near garbage patches to increase the level of oxygen. After collecting the garbage, it drops it in the recycling factory,” he said.From South Africa were Dilan, 12, and Aydin, 9, with the unique robot, E-bin. “The E-bin has a bar-code with three sections — plastic, paper and metal– and a barcode detector. When one has to throw something in the E-bin, one will bring it near the detector and the section where your waste is meant to be opens automatically,” Dilan explained.And then there was an all-girls team from Saudi Arabia, whose robot is called Haram, named after the mosque in the sacred Ka’bah. “Every year, around 14,000 tons of garbage is collected from the Haj site. There are no proper arrangement for its recycling in Saudi Arabia. So, we have made the Robo-Haram which will collect the trash from the site after every Haj and Umrah and process it for recycling,” said 16-year-old Jasmine.The three-day event, ending Sunday, was organised by the National Council of Science Museums (NCSM) in collaboration with India STEM Foundation (ISF).

Nation remembers victims of 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India is remembering the victims of 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks on its eighth anniversary on Saturday, as various events are being held across the nation, especially Mumbai, to pay tribute to those who lost their lives in the horrific attack.On this day in 2008, 10 Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists came to Mumbai via sea route from Pakistan and carried out series of coordinated shooting and bombing attacks across the city. The attacks lasted four days killing 166 people and injuring over 300.Various events are being organised in Mumbai to pay tribute to the victims of 26/11. To pay tribute to the martyrs of 26/11 terror attacks, Public Concern for Governance Trust(PCGT) an NGO, in association with the National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA), is organising an event, “Unity in diversity-together we remember 26/11”, at NCPA’s Jamshed Bhabha Theatre.On the eight anniversary of the terror attacks, Governor CH Vidyasagar Rao, will chair the performance by Symphony Orchestra of India, music and dance by arts division of Bharat Soka Gakkai, screening of short film titled Hum Sab Ek Hain, while students of Anjuman-I-Islam’s Girls High School will present a patriotic song.Union Power Minister Piyush Goel will also be paying tribute to the victims of the attack. Students of Mithibai College too have organised a peace march to commemorate the memory of the martyrs of the 26/11 attack.Noted designer Archana Kocchar will be displaying her collection at a fashion show in Mumbai as a mark to pay tribute to the victims of 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.

Newborn trafficking racket: CID officials rescue 10 infants in midnight raid in West Bengal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a major breakthrough, CID officials rescued as many as 10 infants from an old age home in West Bengal in connection with the newborn trafficking racket, in a midnight raid on Thursday.Acting on a tip-off, CID officials raided an old age home, Purbasha Centre in southern fringes of Kolkata. With this, the total number of infants rescued by the CID officials stands at 13.”We have recovered 10 infants from this old age home. We have arrested one lady, Reena Banerjee in connection with the recovery of the infants,” said DIG CID, Bharat Lal Meena.This centre houses the elderly and the mentally unstable. A part of the home comprises an asylum. The infants were shifted to this home by one of the main accused of the racket, who is at large.Meanwhile, the police are trying to trace the parents of the newborn.
ALSO READ West Bengal: 13th arrest made in connection with newborn trafficking racketThe police have already arrested 13 people in connection with the newborn trafficking racket. Investigators reveal that this is one of the biggest rackets existing in eastern India.The huge racket was uncovered on Tuesday when CID officials raided a nursing home in Baduria in North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal and recovered two infants wrapped in cotton inside a biscuit carton.

India has highest number of urban-dwellers with no access to safe, private toilets: Report

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With the breakneck speed of expansion of cities, India has the greatest number of urban-dwellers in the world without safe, private toilets and practising open defecation though the government has made sanitation a priority, a report by a global NGO says. “India ranks top for having the greatest number of urbanites living without a safe, private toilet. 157 million as well as the most urban dwellers practising open defecation 41 million,” the report by WaterAid, a UK-based charity working in the field of safe water and sanitation, says.The second annual analysis of world’s toilets ‘Overflowing Cities The State of the World’s Toilets 2016’, released on the eve of World Toilet Day being observed tomorrow this year, also says the high population density of urban areas means that diseases spread fast in the absence of good sanitation. The report says the problem was so big that the daily waste produced on the streets of India’s towns and cities was enough to fill eight Olympic-sized swimming pools, or 16 jumbo jets with poo every day.Noting that the country was going through the largest rural-to-urban migration of this century, it says Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat (Clean India) campaign recognises the country’s health and wealth largely depends on towns and cities growing in a sustainable, equitable way. “In today’s India, 381 million people a population roughly the size of Western Europe live in rapidly expanding urban areas, and 157 million of those people have nowhere decent to go to the toilet,” it says.Even though the government has made sanitation a priority, the numbers of urbanites living without sanitation has swelled by 26 million since year 2000 as cities expand at breakneck speed, the report, which examined the problems facing more than 700 million urban dwellers around the world living without decent sanitation, says. An estimated 100 million of these have no choice but to defecate in the open– using roadsides, railway tracks and even plastic bags, dubbed ‘flying toilets’. WaterAid’s Director of Programmes & Policy, Avinash Kumar, said India’s rapid and unplanned urbanisation has resulted in various developmental challenges. “… Current rates of urbanisation and meeting the increasing demand for basic services may make achieving Sustainable Development Goals a problem,” he said.Kumar said there was a vital need for an integrated approach towards urban planning that prioritises provision of basic services like clean water, safe sanitation and sustainable faecal sludge management by ensuring eople’s participation. “This is the only way to create a healthier and more sustainable future,” he said. The Swachh Bharat Mission and Smart Cities Mission are good government initiatives, but they need to take into account the ability of Indian cities to absorb and handle the projected population growth in urban centres, Kumar added.The report examines the state of city sanitation around the world, an issue becoming more pressing as two-thirds of the global population are expected to live in towns and cities by 2050.According to it, War-ravaged South Sudan, the world’s newest nation, is the worst country in the world for urban sanitation in percentage terms. An estimated 84 per cent of urbanites have no access to a toilet and every other urban-dweller there practises open defecation, it says.Africa’s biggest economy, Nigeria, is falling furthest behind in reaching its urban population with a toilet. For every urban dweller reached with sanitation since 2000, two were added to the number living without, an increase of 31 million people in the past 15 years.The report, however, says fast-growing China is making the most progress in reaching its urban population with sanitation. “It’s managed to build toilets faster than the pace of new arrivals, reaching 329 million people since 2000, and outpacing population growth by 9 million,” it says.The high population density of urban areas means that diseases spread fast in the absence of good sanitation. One child dies every two minutes from diarrhoeal diseases caused by dirty water, poor sanitation and hygiene.Globally 159 million children under five have their physical and cognitive development stunted; many of such cases are caused from repeated bouts of diarrhoea attributed to dirty water, poor sanitation and lack of hygiene.The report suggested that everyone living in urban areas, including slums, to be reached with a toilet to ensure public health is protected. It also suggested more money, better spent from governments and donors on sanitation, clean water and hygiene for the urban poor.It stressed the need for coordination from all actors in the sanitation chain including governments, city planners, NGOs, the private sector, informal service providers and citizens. The report also said sanitation workers to be given the respect they deserve with stable employment, safety and decent pay. Without them healthy communities and cities are impossible.

Sachin Tendulkar visits adopted village, calls for clean, healthy, Swachh Bharat

Vijayawada: Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar on Tuesday called for making the country ‘Swachh’ and ‘Swasth’ Bharat (clean and healthy India), while encouraging children to play more sports.

“We keep talking about Swachh Bharat because our honourable Prime Minister decided that we need to start cleaning up Bharat, which is extremely important.

“But I feel, along with Swachh Bharat, Swasth Bharat is also important. That is why, I distributed a few cricket bats, footballs and all those things for children to play,” he said at Puttamraju Kandrika village in Sri Potti Sriramulu Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh this afternoon.

Tendulkar had adopted the village under Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY) on this day two years ago, and today he visited it for the second time to take stock of the developments.

In all, the SPS Nellore district administration spent Rs 5.69 crore on laying concrete roads, building storm water drainage system, a community hall and an elementary school building in PR Kandrika village.

The sports legend, who contributed Rs 2.79 crore under Sagy for these works, inaugurated the newly-built community hall.

He has now announced a further grant of Rs 90 lakh for development of infrastructure in Nernuru and Gollapalli villages under Gudur mandal. A total of Rs 1.20 crore would be spent on laying roads, building drains and providing water supply in these villages.

“It is a very satisfying feeling. Things have already changed big time. Also, the icing on the cake is, it (PR Kandrika) is being declared ODF (open defecation free) village.

“That couldn’t have happened without your support, without your will and desire to achieve certain things,” he said.

The Rajya Sabha member told the kids: “You play hard, enjoy sport but also study at the same time. You should have the balance of both. You study when it is time to study. Play, because children should play. It is important to play, need to go out, enjoy yourself and stay together.”

First Published On : Nov 16, 2016 19:47 IST

ATM chaos, demonetisation woes: Narendra Modi must stop his emotional atyachar

Prime Minister Narendra Modi should stop this emotional atyachar. The buck really stops here. All around there is pain, suffering and anarchy. He just has to see the obvious and take note. Empathise, help and act instead of making more promises and rolling out new threats.

All around there is anarchy. Life has come to a standstill. Bazaars are shut, malls vacant, roads empty, squares where unorganised labourers gather for their daily employment resemble Babylon. Every day, people get up in their ghost towns and, like zombies, pursue just one thing: some bank notes, their own hard-earned money, to run their daily lives. But there is none.

Banks have no money. ATMs have no currency notes. Their cassettes can’t accommodate the new currency. Their staff can’t service the eager mob. Everyone is a pauper, a mendicant seeking his own money as alms. And, while the common man suffers, gets beaten in queues for cash, inspectors unleash a raj of raid, fear and insecurity. Definitely not the time to warn of more hardships in December. Threaten to look into records right up to 1947. Thank you!

He need not cry for the sacrifices he has made for the country. We respect them. He needs to cry for the sacrifices India’s masses are making every day because of the ill-planned scheme that has been unleashed.

Representational image. PTIRepresentational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

He needs to listen to the battle cry on the streets. People are calling the state their enemy. This could turn out to be his Waterloo.

His threat of a new war in December is like the promise of another glorious war from the ramparts of Tokyo while the Battle of Stalingrad rages at home. People first need to come out alive of this mayhem. December is far away. It is, like the World War bridges of Arnhem, too far.

Yes, there was a need to go to war against black money. But, what was the tearing hurry to implement it without printing adequate currency notes, getting banks and ATMs ready? Without thinking through the pain and misery that would disrupt life?

He has rushed in where economists fear to tread. Without any plan. Without any strategy. Like an impatient general launching a strike without adequate ammo, without manpower, without supplies, without any regard to the foot soldiers of India and their lives. Just to create a big bang sound economics has been replaced with dramatics.

He demands more suffering and promises the India of dreams in return. Like Swachh Bharat? Like Smart Cities? Like the promise to tame Pakistan with surgical strikes? Like the promise of Rs 15 lakh in every account? Like Namami Gange? Like the new dawn in Kashmir?

Okay, let’s go back into history, right down to Independence. Let us start with 2016. What did this government do about the Panama Paper leaks which named tax-evaders from India? How many of them were caught and penalised?

How much of the Rs 90 lakh crore money parked in illegal offshore accounts was identified and brought back to be distributed in every Indian account, Rs 15 lakh per head?

What is the status of the promises made in 2013-14?

Let’s go farther back a bit. Now that every penny spent since 1947 would be accounted for, we should know how the BJP financed its poll campaign in 2014. Where did all that money come from? Throw open accounts of political parties since 1947 to public scrutiny. Let’s see where the 3-D holograms, jets, rally funds came from. Let’s see how the jumla parties in 2017 elections in UP and Bihar would be organised.

Let’s start the cleaning where it should begin first: At home.

How does India become a sapnon ka Bharat (India of dreams) if every aam aadmi is forced to seek testimonials to honesty by queuing up at banks, lining up dry ATMs to get his white recycled through the government machine as white? If malls, shops are raided by hungry, when there is chaos, fear and dread of the unknown? When accumulated savings suddenly turn into illegal stash. Where everyone with cash in the pocket becomes restless, fearful and a potential target for your inspectors?

When the chants of har, har turned into the dirge of ha-ha kar?

We realise he is playing the old Ameer-Garib game. Like Manmohan Desai, he is writing a script where every aam aadmi thinks he is the baddie beating up the rich man with kaala dhan stashed in his mattress. And where they feel like the hero–Coolie, Mard Tangewala— by making them believe their sacrifice is a part of the fight against the real thugs with money. And the aam aadmi is queuing up to buy the tickets.

We know he is trying to do an Indira Gandhi to India. Like her, he is trying to crack down on the new monarchy, abolishing their privy-purses, so to speak, to give the man on the street the feeling that guillotine of your monetary revolution is falling on the ‘Monied Antoinettes’ of the country. Apres moi, les deluge of money?

He promises there would now be no hoarding of cash since notes of higher denomination are out. Perhaps the new Rs 2000 notes would auto combust after a certain date.

He promises terror-financing would end. Perhaps wire transfers, hawala would go out of fashion.

He promises counterfeit currency would disappear from the market. Perhaps, the neighbours do not know the art of producing the new Rs 2000 notes.

As Faiz said, Hum Dekhenge! (We will see!)

We will see if prices come down, education and health care become more affordable and accessible to all as a right, if job opportunities rocket, the GDP zooms, bureaucracy gives up its principle that corruption is an inbuilt incentive for development.

For the moment, all we can see is the misery of people desperate for cash. The unorganised labour waiting for someone to hire them for the day. The small traders seeking cash to replenish stocks. The housewives waiting for new notes to pay for vegetables, milk and other household essentials. That old woman with fears of her Rs 15000 she had stashed in her flour basket for the rainy day becoming kaala dhan.

Ask the machinery to run faster, infuse more cash, end the humiliation of people being caned for withdrawing money from their own accounts.

Ab ki baar no emotional atyachar!

First Published On : Nov 13, 2016 16:57 IST

Dalai Lama deserves Bharat Ratna, says ex-Himachal CM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former Himachal Pradesh chief minister and senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Shanta Kumar has called on the Centre to honour Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, with the country’s highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna.Speaking at the release of his book ‘Himalaya Par Lal Chaya’ at Tsuglagkhang, at the main Buddhist temple in Dharamsala,Kumar said, “I strongly urge the Indian government to confer the prestigious Bharat Ratna Award on the Dalai Lama. It would be a great example of India’s faith on Tibet.”The 14th Dalai Lama also launched another book, ‘If Autumn Comes’, written by Kumar’s wife.Kumar added that many countries have already awarded the leader for his promotion of peace, and India should not lag behind.The Tibetan administration-in-exile is based in Dharamsala and over one lakh exiled Tibetans live there.The Dalai Lama fled to India in 1959 after fleeing a Chinese crackdown in Lhasa. Thousands of Tibetans have followed him to India, where they live in 50 settlements spread across the country.China has ruled remote and mountainous Tibet with an iron hand since the People’s Liberation Army marched into the region in 1950.Critics accuse China of repressing Tibetans’ religious aspirations, especially their veneration for the Dalai Lama, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989.

Akhilesh asks BJP to name its CM candidate, criticises PM Modi for chanting ‘Jai Sree Ram’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Hitting out at BJP for claiming that the state has five chief ministers, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav today asked the party to find at least one acceptable leader who could be projected as its chief ministerial face in the upcoming Assembly elections.”These BJP people had been saying all along that there are five chief ministers in the Samajwadi Party government. I want to tell them to at least find out one (leader for the post) and bring him in front of the people,” Yadav said at a programme of the Power Department here. Alleging that BJP does not have strength of its own, Yadav questioned what the party had done in over two years since it came to power at the Centre and claimed that even the AIIMS is coming up in the state because the land for it was made available by the state government.Akhilesh termed the BJP members as “hoshiyar, chamatkari and chalu” and recalled Prime Minister Narendra Modi raising the slogan of ‘Jai Sree Ram’ at the recent Dusherra funtion in Lucknow. “What slogan was raised by the Prime Minister during the Dusherra function…earlier they used to chant ‘Bharat mata ki jai’ but now you have forgotten Bharat Mata…which path (do) they want the country to tread,” he said. “You (BJP) are discussing surgical strikes…even senior people had known what it was…I have studied in a military school my classmates are serving at the borders…I asked them and they told me that surgical strikes have been taking place earlier also…this very work is what army does…but (see) how BJP people are misleading the country”, Yadav said.Referring to the upcoming elections, Yadav said people have many options before them and charged the BSP government with wasting public money during its government. “The BSP government installed elephants in this very city…in the past nine years they have remained static…all the funds were wasted and they claim they will form the government,” he said.Citing the various development works undertaken by his government, he said it had taken the state on the path of development and prosperity and claimed ‘work speaks for itself’.No one can compete with the SP government as far as its works are concerned, he stressed.

Ae Deal Hai Mushkil: Forgoing India-Pakistan culture exchange is worse than nukes

It is indeed difficult to remind some hotheads of a maxim that has endured the test of time: Art has no boundary, no religion. As Canadian songwriter KD Lang said, “Art knows no prejudice, no biases. So just go, just go.”

That’s what I intend to do. A multiplex nearby will screen Karan Johar’s Ae Dil Hai Mushqil this Diwali. First day, if not the first show, it will be. Just go.

Frankly, only a fool would miss a movie with lilting music, an impressive star cast and promos that promise great entertainment just because some zealots want it banned to hit Karan Johar for casting Pakistani actors.

Fundamentally, the idea of seeking a ban on an Indian film because it features Pakistani artistes is absurd. It is as insane as cutting the nose to spite the face. (Or typing out social media messages on Chinese handsets for boycotting Chinese goods.)

Ae Dil Hai Mushkil full castAe Dil Hai Mushkil full cast

The cast of Ae Dil Hai Mushkil.

The film has been made for an Indian audience, with Indian money — financed perhaps by legitimate Indian institutions — and may have already been bought by Indian distributors for screening in Indian theatres. Banning it would be tantamount to hitting dozens of Indian interests to get back at just one Pakistani artist. Like nuking a whole Indian industry to kill one Pakistani pigeon that may have flown back after eating a few Indian grains. Great bargain, no?

The other argument, that a ban would teach Karan Johar a lesson, is hilarious. As Anurag Kashyap rightly pointed out, the film was launched around the time Indians were chanting Aman Ki Asha with Pakistan and our Prime Minister was busy making pit-stops at Nawaz Sharif’s farmhouse, exchanging shawls and assorted fruit baskets. What’s Johar’s fault if he got swept away by the bon homie and cast Fawad Khan in his film?

For arguments sake, tomorrow if the Indian government decides to travel on the bus to Lahore, as Vajpayee did, or invite Nawaz Sharif to an oath ceremony in Uttar Pradesh, will it become legitimate again to cast Pakistani actors? Will the deshdrohis of today automatically turn into deshbhakts and vice versa?

Nobody knows when India and Pakistan will nuke each other out of existence. But starving art and culture of ideas from across border will definitely annihilate it.

It is petty of us to think that by letting Pakistani artistes work in Indian films we are somehow denigrating ourselves, harming national interest. In fact, when a Pakistani comes and seeks work and identity in our industry, wants to become part of our culture, reach out to our masses, it automatically underlines the fact that India is the dream destination of artistes in the neighbourhood.

It shows, we are the promised cultural El Dorado of the region. At the risk of sounding jingoistic, it won’t be wrong to argue that Pakistanis queuing up in Bollywood showcase our cinematic superiority, a war won without a single shot being fired. So, let artists from the region come and work here, experience the grandeur of our film industry, its liberal values and tell their country of our cultural richness, our soft power.

Art can never survive in isolation. It needs a continuous supply of fresh ideas, contributions from cross-cultures. Indian music and poetry, for instance, borrows heavily from Persian and Sufi traditions. Khwaja Muinuddin Chishty and Amir Khusrau not just contributed heavily to Indian art but redefined it. Guru Nanak Dev, whose first famous words after enlightenment were ”there is no Hindu, there is no Muslim”, based his hymns on syncretism and multi-culturism.

The point is: Nobody knows when India and Pakistan will nuke each other out of existence. But starving art and culture of ideas from across border will definitely annihilate it.

Our great film-makers and artists were always aware of the fact that India and Pakistan, though rivals and even enemies, had a lot to contribute to each other’s art. Even the doyen of pop patriotism Manoj ‘Bharat’ Kumar, the man who turned subtle chest-thumping into an art form knew this. So, after all his Shaheeds,Upkaars and Purabs and Paschims, Bharat Kumar opened the doors of the film industry to Pakistani actors by casting them in his Clerk. India’s greatest showman Raj Kapoor’s dream was to produce a cross-border romance starring a Pakistani heroine, an idea that was implemented by his sons with Zeba Bakhtiar as Henna.

Meanwhile, music flowed freely across the border, making Ghulam Ali, Mehdi Hassan, Noor Bano, Abida Parween, Nusrat Ali Khan as much a part of India’s heritage as Mukesh, Kishore Kumar, Mohammad Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar were of Pakistan. (In 1987, every time Pakistani cricket team appeared on the field, its fans would raise a din in stadiums singing ‘Aa Dekhe Zara‘, a RD Barman war-cry from Sanjay Dutt’s Rocky).

So, now that we are on a banning/boycott spree, will we put plugs into our ears when we hear Noorjahan singing Chandni Raatein, or smash the radio set if an anti-national RJ plays Ranjish hi sahi? Will we ask Pakistan to strip its singers like Aamanat Ali Khan (Patiala Gharana) and Mehdi Hassan (Mewati Gharana) of their cultural roots? Will we ban Saare Jahan Se Achcha (astronaut Rakesh Sharma’s first words to then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi from space) just because it was penned by Mohammed Iqbal?

karankaran

Karan Johar issued a statement on Tuesday evening (18 Oct), stating that henceforth he will not cast Pakistani actors but a ban on his film is unfair.

Then why go after Karan Johar alone?

Art, it must be said at the risk of repetition, exists only to serve the purpose of art; it caters only to individual taste and yearnings. It can’t be held hostage by politics, war hysteria and bigotry of a few. It can’t be dictated by the mood swings of a country’s diplomats. For, politicians come and go, hysterias rise and abate, but art survives for ever.

There is, and will be, just one valid criterion for judging a work of art: its quality. And to find out whether Johar’s latest cinema is what the promos promise, first day it has to be.

The hypocrites who think watching an Indian film in an Indian theatre insults our soldiers can always wait for the pirated version to appear on one of the banned torrent sites.

Jodhpur: Woman, boyfriend kidnap 4-year-old cousin to lead lavish life

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Inspired by a TV crime serial, a woman along with her boyfriend today kidnapped her 4-year-old cousin brother for ransom in a bid to lead lavish life here, said police which rescued the boy within hours.Purnisha (22), her boyfriend Mayank Mehta and his friend Mayank Sindal have been arrested for kidnapping Yug Bhandari for a ransom of Rs 50 lakh in Mansarovar Colony here, said DCP (West) Sameer Kumar Singh.Purnisha lured Yug out of the house promising him a motorcycle ride around 3.30 PM and along with Mehta and Sindal, who were waiting for her, kidnapped him, he said.”The case was solved within four hours of the victim’s father, Ritesh, informing the police of the ransom call. Teams from four police stations were pressed into the case. The case was solved on the basis of call records and interrogation of the family,” he said, adding the boy was rescued from Mahamandir locality later in the evening.The couple wanted to lead a lavish life with the Rs 50 lakh ransom money and accepted that their plan was inspired by a case shown in TV crime serial, he added.”The plan was hatched after Purnisha came to know that her maternal uncle Ritesh, a businessman, had received a huge cash payment,” he said.The SP said, “Mehta and Sindal, who are engineering students, said that one Bharat was also party to the plan.” “We will soon arrest Bharat,” he added.

India should only be called Bharat, head of Jain Digambar sect tells PM Modi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jain Digambar sect’s head Acharya Vidyasagarji Maharaj on Friday suggested Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the country should be called only ‘Bharat’, during their brief meeting in Bhopal.Prime Minister Narendra Modi also sought blessing of the religious leader.Among other things, the Jain sect leader suggested Modi that the country should be called only ‘Bharat’ instead of having the alternative official name of India. “Vidyasagar and Modi spent around 10 minutes together. He was accompanied by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, Madhya Pradesh Governor O P Kohli and Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan,” Jain Digambar community’s local spokesman Ravindra Jain told PTI.”He suggested that the country should be referred to as Bharat instead of India. No country has two names and so should be in the case of our nation, he told the Prime Minister,” Jain said.Besides, Vidyasagar also suggested that orders of the courts should be delivered in regional languages, Jain said. The spiritual leader also expressed concern about students who take loans for education but do not get jobs later, Jain said.Two years ago, there was a series of talks between RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and Vidyasagar at Ramtek near Nagpur. Two months ago, BJP president Amit Shah had met Vidyasagar in Damoh district.

Kerala to be declared ‘open defecation free’, Suchitwa Mission a success

Kerala is set to add another first to its credit by eliminating open defecation. The tiny state which tops India in most human health indices is expected to achieve the new milestone by the end of this month.

The Communist-led government that undertook the programme under the Swachh Bharat Campaign of the Central government has invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi to formally declare Kerala as an open defecation free (ODF) state on the 61st formation day of the state on 1 November.

This will make Kerala the second state in the country to become open defecation free.

So far, only Sikkim has achieved this distinction. With a population of just over six lakhs, Sikkim is one of the smallest states whereas Kerala having a population of 3.3 crore is among the most populous states.

Though Modi’s plan to eliminate open defecation from the country by building 13.04 crore individual household toilets and five lakh community and public toilets by 2019 failed to gain traction in most states, Kerala made most of it by adopting changes suiting local conditions.

A completed facility. Firstpost/TK DevasiaA completed facility. Firstpost/TK Devasia

A completed facility. Firstpost/TK Devasia

More than 97 percent houses in Kerala already had toilets. The Suchithwa Mission, which is implementing the campaign, needed to add only 1.9 lakh toilets to declare Kerala as ODF state. However, the task posed huge challenges to the implementing agency as the houses without toilets situated in critical areas, where conventional toilets were not possible.

Suchitwa Mission officials said majority of the houses without toilets were found to be in coastal and hilly areas of the state. While high density of population and sea erosion made the task difficult in coastal areas, lack of water was found to be the major impediment in tribal areas.

The Suchitwa Mission sought to solve the problems in coastal areas by going for elevated toilets and community toilets. Though the technical problems were solved to a large extent, changing the mindset of people, who are used to open defecation, posed a big challenge.

The implementing agency sought the service of religious organisations in bringing about a behavioural change in the people. Suchitwa Mission Executive Director Dr K Vasuki told the Firstpost that the Latin Catholic Church, which has huge influence among fishermen in coastal areas, played a big role in facilitating construction of toilets in the coastal areas.

The social service wing of the three Catholic Church not only fielded members of its nearly 50,000 self-help groups to create awareness among people about the need for toilets but also lent land, human resources and materials to make the campaign a success, Dr Vasuki said.

Social activists lending a helping hand to build toilet in a hilly area in Kerala. Firstpost/TK DevasiaSocial activists lending a helping hand to build toilet in a hilly area in Kerala. Firstpost/TK Devasia

Social activists lending a helping hand to build toilet in a hilly area in Kerala. Firstpost/TK Devasia

Another major problem faced by the implementing agency was inadequacy of funds fixed for building the toilets. The scheme envisaged a joint fund consisting of central grant worth Rs 12,000 and a local body contribution of Rs 3,400. Suchitwa Mission officials said this was insufficient in critical areas with tough geographical terrains.

Ameersha RS, a programme officer of the Suchitwa Mission, said that the cost of the toilets in such areas was more than double the amount fixed by the government. The Suchitwa Mission had identified 39,120 such toilets. Many of them required additional expenditure of more than Rs 25,000.

Though the scheme envisaged the beneficiary to meet the remaining expenditure, the beneficiaries who belonged to the poor strata were not ready to bear it. The Suchitwa Mission tried to tap CSR funds available with public and private sector companies but their contribution was not sufficient to meet the requirements.

Finally, the state government came to the rescue of the Suchitwa Mission. It made available the entire additional funds through the local bodies giving a big boost to the programme. The government allowed the local bodies to provide the fund from their plan funds.

“We have completed 90 per cent of the 1.90 lakh toilets we need to build to free the state from open defecation. The construction of the remaining 10 percent is in final stages. We will complete this before the end of October so that the state could be declared open defecation free.” Vasuki said.

Vasuki said the task to end the open defecation menace will not be over by simply constructing the toilets. She said that the state will be free from open defecation only if the people use the toilets.

“This is not an easy task. It is difficult to change the mindset of people have been traditionally depending on open space for satisfying the call of the nature. We need sustained efforts to change their habit,” Vasuki said.

She said that the Suchitwa Mission had sought the service of students of schools of social work to conscientise the people about the need to use toilets. The Association of Schools of Social Work in Kerala, which has 46 colleges under it, has agreed to run a campaign in this regard. The Social Service Forum of the Catholic Church has also extended support to the campaign.

Following the completion of the ODF campaign, the Suchitwa Mission will take up construction of toilets in public places. Vasuki said they were planning to make toilet facility available throughout the state by constructing comfort stations in every one km in collaboration with tourism department and other stake holders.

The open defecation free programme will be followed by intensification of the campaign to make Kerala India’s cleanest state with 100 per cent sanitation. Vasuki said Suchitwa Mission was fully geared to transform Kerala a waste free aesthetic state with clean environment, better public health, enhanced hygiene consciousness and quality infrastructure.

Sikkim has already achieved this distinction. Kerala was found following Sikkim closely behind in cleanliness in the national sample survey report released last month.

The state was also found leading in waste management capabilities in the Swatch Bhart rankings in 2015 with Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi figuring on the top 10 and Kozhikode coming fifth in the ranking for the other major cities.

Kochi came fourth and Thiruvananthapuram eighth in the rankings, which were based on extent of open defecation and solid waste management practices. Swatch Bharat Mission officials feel that the ODF campaign will give Kerala a strong foundation to achieve other goals in total sanitation.

They hope that Kerala will become the best place to live in India when it completes the 100 percent sanitation campaign.

Perfumer Monica Ghurde’s murder: Goa police arrests one accused

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Goa police arrested one accused in the case of perfume designer Monica Ghurde’s murder, Goa DGP Muktesh Chander told ANI.On Saturday, the police had said that the post-mortem conducted on Ghurde, whose body was found near in Panaji on Thursday, brought to the fore that she was strangulated to death, although it failed to confirm whether she was raped before the murder or not.The panel of doctors in Goa Medical College and Hospital conducted the post-mortem on the body of 39-year-old Ghurde, who was found dead at her home in Sangolda village on October 6.Ghurde was living alone in a rented three bedroom flat at Sangolda village near Calangute beach. Police investigations have revealed that she might have been killed on October 5. The police said that they had sent teams to the neighbouring states to nab the accused.Gupta said the woman originally hailed from Nagpur and was married to a photographer Bharat Ramamrutham from Tamil Nadu and was residing at Porvorim near Panaji before she got separated from her husband and shifted to Sangolda this year.With ANI/PTI inputs.

Swachh Bharat Rural Sanitation Project adapted from Egypt: World Bank’s Jim Yong Kim

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The US $1 billion ambitious Swachh Bharat Rural Sanitation Project in India is an adaptation of a similar successful programme of Egypt, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim has said while citing this as an example of sharing of global best practices.”Knowledge is flowing across the organisation and to our client countries, driving creativity and innovation,” Kim said in his address to the plenary session of the World Bank Group in Washington.He stated that the World Bank has successfully transferred knowledge and experience across regions. “Through our new structure of Global Practices, knowledge sharing across countries has become easier and faster. For example, when the Government of India came to the Bank to prepare a major programme to expand sanitation services for the poor, we were able to transfer knowledge and experience from Egypt’s Rural Sanitation Project and apply it in India,” he said.Kim stated that this sharing of knowledge resulted in the US $1 billion Swachh Bharat Rural Sanitation Project in India, which applied knowledge of good service delivery — in the areas of local governance, transparency and accountability to citizens — that had already been taken to scale in Egypt.”Thanks to our Global Practices, we are now working to share knowledge from these two projects globally. The changes we put in place were done for a reason: to help us better deliver results for you on the ground,” he said.”It’s important to note that as we were implementing these reforms, you showed your support with a record $52 billion replenishment of International Development Association (IDA). And you encouraged us to boost International Bank for Reconstruction and Development’s lending power through our ‘Margins for Maneuver’ programme,” he said, adding that the IBRD’s loan revenues will exceed administrative expenses in the next fiscal year for the first time in a long while.Citing another Indian example, Kim said he is encouraged by the work that the World Bank is doing now to crowd in private sector investment. “India has one of the largest networks of roads in the world, but the roads are overwhelmed — just 2% of its national highways carry 40% of traffic, causing bottlenecks that can limit productivity and slow economic growth,” he said.”In India, as in every other developing country, infrastructure is key to integrating economies and delivering services. To help improve India’s roads, International Finance Corporation (IFC) invested $250 million in the Singapore-based firm Cube Highways. The firm is acquiring a portfolio of toll roads in India, injecting much- needed funds for road developers to complete their projects,” the World Bank President said.

Perfumer Monica Ghurde found murdered in Goa; police sends teams to neighbouring states

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Banking on a few leads, Goa Police has sent teams to neighbouring states to nab the absconding accused in the murder case of high-profile perfume specialist Monica Ghurde.”We will be able to crack this case soon. We are working on different theories. on Friday, we have sent teams to different locations including neighbouring states,” Deputy Inspector General of Police Vimal Gupta told PTI today.The 39-year-old photographer-turned perfumer was found dead in her rented flat in posh Sangolda village on October 6.Police suspect that she was raped and murdered somewhere between October 5 afternoon and night, as she had not been in touch with anyone since that time.The cops are ruling out robbery as nothing was missing from the flat raising suspicions that the killer might have been known to Monica.Gupta said the woman originally hailed from Nagpur and was married to a photographer Bharat Ramamrutam from Tamil Nadu and was residing at Porvorim near here before she separated from her husband and shifted to Sangolda this year.”Police investigations have revealed that she had shifted to Sangolda in July this year and was staying alone,” the DIG said.He said the police are waiting the postmortem report, which would reveal the exact cause of death.Gupta said the murder came to light when the maid who came around 9 AM on October 6 found that the door was locked.When Monica did not open it despite repeated knocks she raised an alarm.”The maid later informed Monica’s brother (Anand, based in Mumbai) who in turn called her husband (Bharat) and then her neighbour, an American woman who had spare keys following which the door was opened and the body was found,” he said.A case has been registered under section 302 (murder) of the IPC.The perfumer, who was a regular on Goa’s social circuit is said to have met Ramamrutham in Mumbai while she was a photographer. She had done her photography course from Mumbai’s JJ Institute of Applied Arts.Subsequently, she moved to Chennai in 2009 to pursue her interest in perfumes, and later shifted to Goa in 2011. Monika had set up her perfume-making company Mo Lab, and was also researching perfumery. She collaborated with eminent designers such as Jean Francois Lesage, Christian Louboutin and Anand Kabra.

Ruckus at tourism event after AAP’s Kapil Mishra taunts Mehbooba Mufti on terrorism

Aam Aadmi Party minister Kapil Mishra managed to make Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti cry after he asked her if she considered Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani and Afzal Guru as terrorists or not, during his speech at the Bharat International Tourism Bazaar function in New Delhi on Tuesday.

Terrorism and tourism cannot go together, he said, inviting protests from Mufit’s entourage. He referred to the CM while saying, “We can fight Pakistan but how do we fight with people who give shelter to terrorists in Kashmir.”

Attacking Mehbooba, Mishra said Pakistani flags were being hoisted in kashmir and nobody was stopping it.

Chaos ensued soon after his statements.

He told Mufti that she cannot expect tourism to boost while not accepting Wani as a terrorist. After the uproar and protests, Mishra had to leave the venue. However, before making an exit, he said that he does not want to share the stage with Mufti.

Mishra’s sharp statements and accusations brought Mufti to tears. She said that she was in two minds about attending the event because “things are not good back home.”

While promoting tourism in the state, the chief minister raised the issue of safety of girls which is the primary concern for a lot of tourists. She said that girls are safer in Kashmir than any other place in the world. “There is no fear of getting raped in a car in Kashmir and the safety of women is the biggest thing that the state can offer,” she added.

She appealed to the people saying, “We need you. I don’t know if you need Kashmir or not but Kashmir needs you.” She considers tourism to be the biggest confidence building measure. By investing in tourism, people are investing in peace and in the emotions of the Kashmir people, according to Mufti. This is significant because it can accelerate the process of restoring normalcy in the state.

She referred to her father Mufti Mohammad Sayeed while saying that he was a lover of nature and Kashmir was his life. He went around asking people to come to the state and the number of tourists was huge this before the unrest started. However, it has died down and normalcy is returning, she said. Mufti then appealed to the people again to visit Kashmir and help it.

With inputs from agencies.

UN issues stamp to honour MS Subbulakshmi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The UN on Sunday released a postage stamp to honour India’s most celebrated Carnatic music artist MS Subbulakshmi, who had performed at the world body 50 years ago. The USD 1.20 value commemorative stamp, issued by the UN Postal Administration in Subbulakshmi’s honour, has the iconic blue emblem of the UN alongside her picture. This year also marks her birth centenary.The stamp was released at a special ceremony at the UN headquarters to mark India’s ratification of the historic Paris climate deal. It was attended by several dignitaries who hailed the country’s move to combat global warming. The ceremony concluded with a soulful rendition by carnatic music singer Sudha Raghunathan of Subbulakshmi’s music as well as of Gandhi’s beloved ‘Ram Dhun’. Raghunathan performed songs in seven languages, including Bengali, and received a standing ovation from the audience. The first stamp was presented to Raghunathan to honour her performance at the UN.Subbulakshmi, the first ever musician to be awarded India’s highest civilian honour the Bharat Ratna, was invited by the then UN Secretary General Late U Thant to perform at the General Assembly in October 1966, becoming the first Indian to perform there. The Indian mission here had also organised a photo exhibition in August at the world body’s headquarters to commemorate Subbulakshmi’s birth centenary which fell on September 16.

Gangtok awarded ‘Cleanest Tourist Destination’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Gangtok, the capital city of Sikkim, has been named as the ‘Cleanest City Destination’ by the Union Ministry of Tourism.The award was received from the Prime Minister by the Commissioner, Gangtok Municipal Corporation in New Delhi on September 30, an official release said in Gangtok on Sunday. The Ministry of Urban Development and Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, nodal Ministries responsible for implementing the flagship programme Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) (Urban and Gramin), jointly organised a day-long national workshop ‘INDOSAN’ at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi on Friday.The workshop which was inaugurated by the Prime Minister saw the participation of Union Ministers of the Ministries concerned, Chief Ministers of many states and Ministers in-charge of Swachh Bharat Mission.The Sikkim delegation was led by state Minister, Urban Development (UD) and Housing Development (HD), N K Subba, Mayor GMC, PCE/Secretary UD and HD, Municipal Commissioner, State Mission Directors (Urban and Gramin), Officials and Panchayats, ADCs-Development Namchi and Gyalshing.The delegates from Sikkim participated in the workshop, particularly in the technical session on Sanitation Technologies, Solid-Liquid Waste Management, inclusive Sanitation and Role of IT and Technology in SBM. A plenary session on Inter-Ministerial collaboration was also conducted, the release said.

At Howrah station, Bollywood posters have a ‘Swachh Bharat’ message

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Howrah division of Eastern Railways has adopted a Bollywood approach to drive home the message of cleanliness. As part of the ‘Swachh Rail Swachh Bharat’ campaign, posters from famous Bollywood movies have been put up on the walls of Howrah station. These posters have famous dialogues from the films, but with a twist.One of the posters with Amitabh Bachchan’s dialogue reads, ‘Deewar par mat thukna’ – which urges people not to spit on walls. Another poster reads, ‘Arey o Samba, kitna jurmana rakhe hai Sarkar, gandagi felane par? 500 rupey’ – highlighting the fine for littering. Passengers seemed to be welcoming the move by the Railway Ministry. “The posters have a great sense of humour and it’s a terrific idea to spread the message of cleanliness among the passengers in this way. An initiative of this sort will help the railway station remain cleaner,” said Pralay Laha, a passenger.

Top 20 films themed on Swachh Bharat to be felicitated on Gandhi Jayanti

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As the central government gears up to celebrate the second year of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan on October 2, it has organised a first-of-its-kind film festival to highlight its flagship scheme, among the many other communication strategies.Organised by the National Film Development Corporation (NDFC), under the Information and Broadcasting ministry, the open-to-all Swachh Bharat Short Film Festival has received over 4,346 entries Sent from my iPhoneA jury comprising actor Vani Tripathi, filmmaker Gitanjali Rao, and advertising personality Prahlad Kakar, has selected 20 three-minute-long short films of the list.On October 2, Information and Broadcasting minister Venkaiah Naidu will be felicitating the directors of the top ten films. The winners of the films would be rewarded with cash awards of Rs10 lakh for the first film, Rs5 lakh for the next three films and Rs2lakh for the next six films. The directors of the rest of the ten films would be awarded certificates.According to sources, the films would be shown across all government platforms.A senior official from the Information and Broadcasting ministry said that films are also likely to be shown in theaters before the beginning of a movie or during intervals to create awareness on the government’s cleanliness programme.”The key objective of the Festival was to generate awareness, inspire people and include them as stakeholders in the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan,” a press note from the government stated.The film festival is among the many participatory ways implemented by the central government to create awareness on the festival. The government is also planning to start competitions between schools and colleges on the theme to spread awareness. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday also said that there should be a special service on cleanliness on TV channels starting Doordarshan.

Strengthen nationalist forces in Jammu and Kashmir: Ram Madhav tells BJP cadre

Jammu: BJP on Wednesday asked its cadres in Jammu and Kashmir to work for strengthening the nationalist forces in the state so that the elements working against the integrity of the country are defeated.

Ram Madhav. CNN-News 18

Ram Madhav. CNN-News 18

“Party leaders should work for strengthening the nationalist forces in the state so that the elements working against the integrity of the country are defeated,” BJP general secretary Ram Madhav said.

BJP national vice-president and Jammu and Kashmir in-charge Avinash Rai Khanna chaired a day-long meeting of state office-bearers, morcha presidents and district in-charges in Jammu.

Madhav, in his address, said that the coalition government in the state was formed to honour the mandate of the people despite ideological differences and it is indeed a matter of satisfaction that both the parties are working in unison to fulfil the promises made to the people.

He said that it is a development-centric government and its priorities are good governance and corruption-free administration.

The meeting discussed the present situation in the state, besides taking stock of the ongoing programmes of the party at different levels, as also the working of BJP coalition government in the state.

Khanna appreciated the efforts of BJP activists in Jammu and Kashmir for actively undertaking party programmes at different levels and serve as bridge between the party and the people.

He said that the party activists have to devote more time in reaching out to the masses and educate them about the projects like Swachch Bharat Abhiyan, Beti Bacho-Beti Padao, Namami Ganga and make it a public movement.

State BJP President Sat Sharma, while addressing the meeting, said that the BJP is in power in 13 states either on its own or in coalition and also at the Centre with two-third majority and the party has achieved these milestones due to the hard work put by its cadre.

Rajiv Gandhi ‘partially responsible’ for 1991 economic crisis, says Sanjay Baru

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Holding former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi responsible for creating the 1991 economic crisis, ex-media advisor to former prime minister Manmohan Singh has said heavy external borrowing coupled with withdrawal of support to the Chandrasekhar-led government ‘put the country to the brink of the crisis.'”There are two reasons for the crisis of 1991, the first reason was the economic policies we followed after 1985, Rajiv Gandhi borrowed internationally very heavily and the fiscal deficit went up, Balance of Trade deficit went up and external debt to the country went up. The fiscal management by Rajiv Gandhi was criticised by many economists, but then a second factor which contributed the crisis was that when the V P Singh government fell. R Venkat Raman agreed to swear in a minority government, led by Chandrashekar, on the condition that Rajiv Gandhi will allow the government to present a budget in parliament and to deal with the crisis. Rajiv Gandhi gave him the assurance that he will not withdraw the support to Chandrashekhar. Just one week before the budget, however, Gandhi took the decision to withdraw support and did not allow Chandrashekhar to pass the budget. That one decision really put the country on the brink of a crisis,” Baru told ANI while discussing key points about his second book titled “1991: How P V Narasimha Rao Made History.”He said the advent of P.V. Narasimha Rao as Prime Minister in 1991 completely changed the nation’s image.”We were at the verge of defaulting, our Balance Of Payment was in trouble, our foreign exchange reserves were coming down and India was on the verge of defaulting, and if we had defaulted in 1991 our status would have been like many African and Latin American countries. Chandrashekhar’s government did not have a majority in the parliament, elections were called, Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated, there was a crisis in the country, the Soviet Union had collapsed. In a very difficult year, Narasimha Rao, who was a heart patient and about to retire, became Prime Minister, and within one month of the formation of his government, he presented one of the major budgets in industrial policy reform and completely changed the image of India,” he said.He also said that the Congress Party mistreated Rao and added that the party denied him a Bharat Ratna, giving it instead to former Tamil nadu chief minister M.G. Ramachandran.”I think his party treated him terribly. For a man who was the Prime Minister for five years, he was elected president of the Congress party. The Congress for the first time, after 20 years, had elections in 1992. He ran a congress government for five years, and yet when he died, they did not allow his body to come into the party headquarters, they did not allow the funeral to be held in Delhi, the party completely erased him. The party gave MG Ramchandra a Bharat Ratna, but did not give him a Bharat Ratna,” he said.

Swachh mission turns 2, Centre plans ‘chai pe charcha’ to customize sanitation programme

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two years after coming to power, Modi government plans to revive its popular ‘chai par charcha’ campaign. As the Union government celebrates the second Swachh Bharat Mission anniversary, it plans to hold a nationwide ‘chai par charcha’ with urban local bodies and village panchayats to discuss, fine tune and customize the sanitation programme.Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his address to the nation through ‘Mann ki Baat’ on Sunday, highlighted the swachh mission’s achievements and spoke about making sanitation a sustainable model, which can generate employment and help earn revenue.A week-long programme that begins from Monday, will enlist the participation of local bodies, students, sanitation workers and railway employees. Flagging off the programme, the government plans to launch an audio visual message on Swachh Bharat, with actor Amitabh Bachchan and cricketer Sachin Tendulkar as its brand ambassadors. “We will also be releasing five short films that have been produced by BBC India. As part of a pilot project, these films will be aired in digital cinemas in Delhi and Mumbai,” said Akshay Rawat, OSD for Swacch Bharat Mission in the drinking water and sanitation ministry.”Chai par charcha will be held at the village level, where village heads and other prominent citizens will discuss sanitation issues and work on a solution to make their villages open defecation free (ODF),” said a senior panchayati raj ministry official. The ministry will be monitoring the meetings and looking into suggestions proposed by the villages.Over the week, about one lakh villages across the country will be declared ODF. Porbandar, Narmada and Mehsana of Gujarat will take the lead, followed by villages from Andhra Pradesh and Kerala. “We have identified 19 districts from six states that have attained the ODF target. These districts will be announced over the week,” added Rawat.The villages identified under the Namami Ganga project in Uttarakhand will also be declared ODF.Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday also highlighted the BJP’s accomplishments in relation to Swachh Bharat. “We have increased cleanliness awareness. We have had a good start and are moving in the right direction,” said Modi in his ‘Mann Ki Baat’ address. The PM also announced that 2.48 crore toilets were built in rural areas, with 1.5 crore additional toilets to be constructed next year.Modi has announced making the Swachh Bharat Mission a sustainable model. “We want to make sanitation a revenue-generating sustainable model to create employment and convert waste into energy,” added Modi.

Uri attack: Tearful adieu to four valiant soldiers from Maharashtra

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An emotional farewell was given to four valiant army jawans from Maharashtra, who lost their lives in the Uri attack, as their last rites were performed in their respective native villages with full military and state honours.Sandip Somnath Thok (24) from Nashik district, Chandrakant Shankar Galande from Satara, Vikas Janardhan Kulmethe (27) from Yavatmal district and Panjab alias Vikas Janrao Uike (26) from Amravati lost their lives in the terror attack on Sunday. Amid slogans in his praise by thousands of emotional villagers and family members, the mortal remains of Army jawan Sandip Thok were consigned to flames at his native Khadangli village in Nashik district.The body of Sandip, who is survived by parents, elder brother Yogesh and two married sisters, was yesterday brought to Ojhar Airport in Nashik district in an IAF plane from Srinagar and then taken to his native village last night. His parents, relatives and villagers broke down on seeing the valiant soldier’s body.A procession was also taken out in the village as state Rural Development Minister Dadaji Bhuse, District Collector Radhakrishnan B, Sub-Divisional Officer Mahesh Patil, Tehsildar Manoj Khairnar and others paid rich tributes to the martyr. The jawan was bid farewell amid chants of ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ and ‘Sandeep Thok amar rahein’ by grief-stricken villagers as his mortal remains were cremated late last night with full military honours.Galande’s body was brought to his native Jashi village in Satara this morning where his last rites were performed with full military honours. Thousands of villagers and teary-eyed family members gathered at the site to pay their last respects. A large procession was carried out by villagers.People paying tribute to the mortal remains of Lance Naik Chandrakant Shankar Galande during his cremation ceremony at Jashi Village in Satara, Maharashtra on Tuesday. PTISatara Guardian Minister Vijay Shivtare, state Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Protection Minister Girish Bapat, and several others paid tributes to the jawan. Galande had joined the Army in 2004 as soon as he completed his education. He is survived by his wife, two sons, parents and two brothers. His parents, while talking to reporters yesterday, had demanded stern action against Pakistan.Meanwhile, bodies of Vikas Kulmethe and Vikas Uike were flown to Nagpur airport. While Kulmethe’s body was brought to Nagpur last night, Uike’s mortal remains were brought there this morning. After the Army officials paid homage to the two martyrs this morning, their bodies were taken to their native places.Maj Balbir paying tribute to Sep Vikas Janardan Kulmethe of Yawatmal who was killed in Uri attack, at Kamptee Cantonment in Nagpur on Tuesday. PTIKulmethe’s body reached his native Purad village in Wani at about 2.15 pm and was received by Union Minister Hansraj Ahir. The body was then kept at his house for the public to pay their last respects. An emotional farewell was given to Kulmethe, where thousands turned up. The entire tehsil observed bandh for the day.Army jawans carry the coffin of Sepoy Panjab alias Vikas Uike, who was martyred in Uri attack, during his funeral in Nandgaon in Amravati district of Maharashtra on Tuesday.​ PTIVikas, who joined the army in 2008 and was transferred to the camp at Uri six months ago, got married two years back. He is survived by his wife Sneha (23), a four-month-old daughter, a younger brother and parents. Mortal remains of Vikas Uike from Nandgaon Khandeshwar town in Amravati district, were consigned to flames this afternoon. His family members and villagers could not hold back tears as his elder brother lit the funeral pyre amid the gun salute and full state honours. Before the body was brought to the town, residents burnt the effigy of Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in protest.When the van carrying Uike’s body reached the home town, his family members broke down, even as slogans of ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ and ‘Shahid Vikas Amar Rahe’ rent the air. The market remained closed today while thousands lined the road to bid adieu to Uike. He had joined the Bihar Battalion of the army at Chandrapur in 2009, served at Assam and West Bengal, before being posted at Jammu and Kashmir three months ago. He left behind parents, a brother and a married sister. His father Janrao had earlier said that they were planning to marry him off soon. “We had planned to solemnise the engagement on Diwali but all our plans have been shattered,” he had told PTI.

#IThankMyDoctor trends on twitter on National Doctors’ day

On 1 July, Friday, India celebrates National Doctors’ Day honouring the legendary physician and the second Chief Minister of West Bengal, Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy. He was also awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1961.

Millions of twitter users on Friday, in India expressed their gratitude to their doctors using the now trending hashtag #IThankMyDoctor.

Here are some of the tweets celebrating National Doctors’ day:

She the people.tv paid tribute to Dr. Saroj Sanan in her fight against drug addiction.

Union Minister Maneka Gandhi tweeted about India’s first woman physician.

While some called their doctors ‘gods’, others lauded their doctors over their strong commitment to their patients.

Some tweets chose to be funny instead, in order to mark the occasion.

As doctors become the heroes of the day, other professionals rallied for their profession too.

Critics of Yoga Day will face side-effects: Pro- RSS journal Organizer

Taking a dig at ‘seculars’ opposing Yoga day and its promotion, a pro-RSS journal on Monday said those protesting with “coloured and tainted glasses” will face “side-effects” including their political uprooting.”Unfortunately, the people who are politically standing on their heads do not understand that Shirshasana is an unnatural method of combating an unnatural lifestyle, doing that beyond a certain time that also in an unscientific way can lead to many side effects. “The ‘secular-Communist’ practitioners of Hatha Yoga are not ready to understand that it is neither about BJP nor about Modi, it is purely about Bharat, the cultural tradition of which is inherently Hindu.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”If they try to uproot that by performing wrong asanas, the only response they will get is their political uprooting. The earlier they understand this, the better it is for them and for their political health and survival,” the ‘Organiser’ said in its editorial. The pro-RSS journal said that some people who preferred either to boycott Yoga Day or uproot it from Indian roots are performing a similar kind of “Asana” without understanding the “side effects”.The editorial “Shirshasana with political glasses on” said when the second International Day of Yoga witnessed enhanced participation by all UN member-countries, some people with ‘so-called secular’ and ‘anti-Modi’ glasses chose to “stand on their head in protest”.It said while Bihar government distanced itself from the “historic” day while raising issues from ‘liquor ban’ to music day celebrations, “his competitor in the race for leadership of ‘secular alliance’, Arvind Kejriwal used his usual asana of protest, ‘challenging the Prime Minister’.” It also attacked Communists after Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja questioned the use of chants and prayers before public Yoga performance on Yoga Day at Thiruvananthapuram.”Again the problem is tainted glasses of Communism with headstand position compel them to see everything with divisive and upside-down mindset,” it said. The journal said the position of standing on head is certainly unnatural as it makes one see everything upside down if not done scientifically.

Here’s why PM Modi met a retired school teacher in Pune

When 67-year-old Chandrakant Damodar Kulkarni wanted to contribute to a good cause, Prime Minister Narendra Modi objected.In a way, what the retired drawing teacher wanted to do was to help the Prime Minister himself. After hearing Modi’s August 15 address to the nation, he wrote to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) that he wished to contribute Rs 5,000 every month towards the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan scheme. In fact, he even sent a few cheques.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>For Kulkarni, who retired as a drawing teacher from the St. Joseph Boys’ High School in Khadki in February 2007, this was nothing new. Throughout his life, he has donated money to social causes. He has helped pilgrims, he has donated Rs 2,100 every month for a year to the Sassoon General Hospital in Pune and more.But the cheques he sent to the PMO returned. Officials at the PMO told him that the Prime Minister did not feel it good to accept a pensioner’s money. Kulkarni then informed the PMO that all his family members are independent, nobody is dependent upon him and insisted on donating money.The PMO finally yielded and directed him to send money to the Swachh Bharat fund and not in the Prime Minister’s name. What Kulkarni did next was to prepare 52 cheques from September 2015. The figure 52 has a little story to it. Modi has 52 more months to complete his five-year term and that’s why Kulkarni decided to sign 52 leaves. And his total contribution added up to Rs 2.6 lakh.On Saturday, at 10.30 am, when Kulkarni’s son Mangalkumar attended a phone call, he was in for a big surprise. The caller at the other end was from the PMO and he told Mangalkumar that the Prime Minister wanted to meet his dad at Balewadi. Mangalkumar said that the family came to know about his dad’s Modi connection only after a letter from the PMO reached home.The family members were instructed to reach the Badminton hall, where a Smart Cities programme was being held.Kulkarni and his family finally met Modi. When Modi called him Chandrakant-ji, he said he felt like an elder brother. Kulkarni had only two requests to the PM: improve the conditions at the Sassoon General Hospital and install a bio-gas plant, developed by Dr Suhas Mhapuskar, at Dehu Road, to help pilgrims.Modi also made a young and naughty friend at the function – Kulkarni’s grandson Aadi. When Modi asked the class V student whether he would help his grandfather, he replied in the negative. Modi pinched Aadi’s ears and told him to give his grandfather a chocolate.

PM Modi to address nation through ‘Mann Ki Baat’ today

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will share his thoughts with the nation on a number of issues in the 21st edition of the ‘Mann Ki Baat’ programme on June 26.People can share their thoughts in MyGov Open Forum and can also dial the toll free number 1XXX-XX-7800 (repeat 1XXX-XX-7800) and record their message. The phone lines shall remain open to 22nd of this month and selected voice messages may be included as part of the broadcast.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the earlier editions, the Prime Minister had talked on several issues, including water conservation, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, promotion of khadi, skill development, scholarship for disabled children, infrastructure for educational institutions, menace of drugs and farmers’ problems.

NDA govt not strong against Hindu accused in blast cases, says Asaduddin Owaisi

Hyderabad: AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi on Thursday alleged that the Narendra Modi government is “not strong” against those accused in bomb blast cases who are Hindus.

“When it comes to the issue of bomb blasts, whether it is Malegaon, Hyderabad Mecca Masjid and Ajmer, they (BJP-led NDA government) are not being strong on those accused just because they happened to be from (the) majority community,” he said while discussing his assessment of the Modi government’s two years in office.

A file photo of Asaduddin Owaisi. AFP

A file photo of Asaduddin Owaisi. AFP

The Lok Sabha member from Hyderabad also said: “They (BJP) promised 1.20 crore jobs to youngsters every year. Hardly, five lakh jobs were created. They promised that prices would come down. Prices are skyrocketing, whether it’s pulses or other essential commodities.”

Despite the price of crude sliding to $35 a barrel as compared to $85-90 when the BJP came to power, retail prices of petrol and diesel have not come down, he said, adding that the government has increased excise duty more than eight times.

“On the economic front, no policy at all. On containing inflation, no. BJP has failed to deliver on these promises,” Owaisi told PTI.

Reacting to whether India is moving towards a “Congress- Mukt Bharat” as suggested by BJP as the party fared badly in the recent round of Assembly elections, he said: “…It is for the Congress party to decide because they want to tackle BJP, but they moved a resolution of suspension of (AIMIM MLA) Waris Pathan for not saying that slogan Bharat Mata Ki Jai in Maharashtra Assembly.”

“It’s the Congress party which moved the motion (on Pathan’s suspension). So, it’s for them to decide. That’s why not knowing what to do, Congress party, whether in Telangana or Maharashtra, people (Congress) themselves are confused on what stand to take,” Owaisi added.

Sanjaya Baru favours Bharat Ratna for P V Narasimha Rao

It would be a “fantastic gesture” by the NDA government if it announces Bharat Ratna to P V Narasimha Rao, said Sanjaya Baru, who has been media advisor to former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.”I think next week is the 95th birth anniversary of P V Narasimha Rao. It would be a fantastic gesture on the part of Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi to announce ‘Bharat Ratna’ (to Rao),” he said in reply to a query from audience during a panel discussion to mark the 25th anniversary of Rao becoming India’s Prime Minister.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Baru’s new book “1991-the year that changed India” would be released next month. Baru hailed the contributions of Rao as the Prime Minister who initiated the economic reforms in the country and steered the country in difficult times.Former CBI director K Vijayarama Rao and Rao’s grandson Subhash, a BJP leader, were the other panelists in the discussion held on Tuesday night. Contrary to the “popular perception”, Rao was elected as the Prime Minister by Congress MPs in 1991 and not nominated to the post, Baru said on the occasion.Dismissing the claims that Rao only “implemented” suggestions on the economic reforms programme, he said it was Rao who decided to implement the policies.”Various committees submitted a series of reports suggesting various policy changes. None of these policy changes were implemented during the five years when Rajiv Gandhi was Prime Minister. He had 400 MPs in Parliament… It was Narasimha Rao who decided to implement those policies,” Baru said.Subhash said a memorial for Rao is being built in New Delhi and that the governments of both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have favoured conferring ‘Bharat Ratna’ on the former Prime Minister.

Arun Jaitley led committee to boost outreach of ‘Swachh Bharat’ and ‘Ganga Rejuvenation’

New Delhi: In a bid to bolster the communication outreach of its two key flagship programmes ‘Swacch Bharat’ and ‘Ganga Rejuvenation’, the government has formed a High Powered Committee headed by Union Minister Arun Jaitley which will hold its first meeting on 22 June .

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. PTI

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. PTI

Apart from Jaitley, who holds Finance and Information and Broadcasting portfolios, Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, Drinking Water and Sanitation Minister Birender Singh, Water Resources Minister Uma Bharati, Women and Child Development minister Maneka Gandhi, HRD minister Smriti Irani and Minister of State for I&B Rajyavardhan Rathore are membersof the committee.

“The committee will look at the progress made under the schemes and work to coordinate and monitor intensive Multimedia Campaigns for dissemination, outreach and advocacy,” a senior official told PTI on Tuesday.

The panel has been formed in line with the recommendations of a Group of Secretaries on ‘Swacch Bharat’ Mission and ‘Ganga Rejuvenation’.

“A key aspect related to these schemes is awareness so that people have a sense of ownership towards these key schemes. The panel would try to outline a communication outreach with regard to strategy, design, content creation and implementation of these key initiatives,” the official said.

Apart from Jaitley and other ministers, senior officials of the concerned ministries and top officials of Doordarshan, All India Radio, Department of Audio Visual Publicity (DAVP) etc will also be present in the meeting.

Among the terms of references of the group are, planning for integrated media campaign and allocation of integrated Multi-Media campaigns.

The panel, which will meet at least once every month, will also come up with communication innovations on the two schemes.

Amit Shah to attend BJP meet to review May 16 Kerala poll results

A two-day meeting of Kerala BJP leaders will begin in Thiruvananthapuram to review the results of the May 16 Assembly elections in which the party opened its account in the state legislature.BJP President Amit Shah would attend the state committee meeting on Thursday while a state-level office-bearers meeting will be held on Wednesday, a party release said. It is for the first time after Assembly elections that the leadership meetings are being held in the state.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A meeting of the NDA Steering Committee would also be held on June 23, the release said.The meetings would review the performance of BJP in the Assembly elections and discuss constituency-wise reports. It would also discuss and decide the stand to be taken by the party on crucial issues such as the Athirapilly hydro electric project, Mullaperiyar Dam, a bone of contention between Kerala and Tamil Nadu, and the development of national highways.Shah would also take part in the Shyama Prasad Mukherjee commemoration meeting to be held in Thiruvananthapuram on June 23, the release added.BJP fought the May 16 polls in alliance with the Bharat Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS), a political party launched by Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana (SNDP) Yogam, an outfit of backward Ezhava community.The party scripted a history with its nominee and senior leader O Rajagopal winning the Nemom seat to help the Lotus bloom in the Assembly for the first time and also garnered 15 per cent vote share in the state, dominated by the bipolar politics of Congress-led UDF and CPI(M)-led LDF.

Gulbarg massacre verdict: Witnesses’ statements nailed 24 accused in the case

Ahmedabad: It was the testimonies of the witnesses which helped the court on Friday hand down sentences to the 24 convicts in the 2002 Gulbarg Society massacre case.

The court relied on the testimonies of eyewitnesses who said that Atul Vaidya, a local VHP leader, Kailash Dhobi and Jayesh Jinger were among those who dragged out former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri when he stepped out of his house to mollify the mob. The mob hacked Jafri to death.

Vaidya, sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment, was not found guilty of murdering Salim Abubakkar, as charged.

Narayan Tank, sentenced to life imprisonment, was among the leaders of the group which dragged Jafri out, as per the witnesses.

Kailash Dhobi, who got life sentence and who was ‘accused number one’ in the charge sheet, entered the society at around 1.30 pm with a mob which broke the compound walls, and he killed with sword Anwar Khan Pathan, witnesses said.

Representational image. AFPRepresentational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

Jayesh Kumar Jinger threw bricks that killed one of the victims, and burnt the bodies by pouring inflammable liquid, witnesses said.

Special judge P B Desai, however, acquitted K G Erda, an inspector attached to Meghaninagar police station in whose jurisdiction the Society stands. “It is very difficult to establish beyond reasonable doubt the culpability… of a single police officer when the entire police force could be said to have been highly ineffective that day,” said the court.

Kailash Dhobi, Yogendra Shekhawat, Jayesh Jingar, Krishna Kalal, Jayesh Parmar, Raju Tiwari, Bharat Rajput, Dinesh Sharma, Narayan Tank, Lakhansinh Chudasama and Bharat Taili got the life sentence. Mangilal Jain got 10 years’ jail term.

Atul Vaid, Mukesh Jingar, Prakash Padhiyar, Surendrasinh Chauhan, Dilip Parmar, Babu Marwadi, Manish Jain, Dharmesh Shukla, Kapil Mishra, Suresh Dhobi, Ambesh Jingar and Sandeep Punjabi were sentenced to seven years imprisonment.

BJP corporator Bipin Patel was among those who were acquitted, giving benefit of doubt.

Rajnath Singh hails Modi as ‘first’ PM playing social, political role ‘effectively’

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday said Narendra Modi is the “first” Prime Minister of the country who is effectively playing his social role alongside political role and bringing about change in the mindset of the people.”Normally a person active in politics is concerned with political role but it’s for the first time that the country is witnessing a Prime Minister not only playing his political role but is also not behind in playing a social role,” Singh said while launching an integrated waste management project in South Delhi.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In 2014, Modi launched Swachh Bharat Mission and it was for the “first time” in Independent India that the people holding top posts were seen holding brooms and cleaning roads, he said.The country has witnessed a “big change” in the two years in the form of “change of mindset” of the people, Singh said adding that after the Prime Minister’s appeal “over 1.5 crore people” gave up their subsidy on LPG cylinders.”It’s a change of mindset that 1.5 crore people gave away subsidy benefit on one appeal of the Prime Minister. It’s no mean feat,” he said.He said people are “losing faith” in politicians because of “gap” in their words and deeds and every political workers should remember to play his social role, besides political, to win the faith of the people. He also said Indian economy is the “fastest growing economy” in the world, adding the government was working towards creating an environment so that everyone has a job to to earn livelihood by the end of 2022.The Minister also asked the three municipal corporations in the national capital to take up sanitation on a large scale and top the rankings of the cities in the country.

52% citizens find their city cleaner after Swachh Bharat, finds survey

New Delhi: Fifty-two per cent of citizens find their city cleaner 600 days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Swachh Bharat (Clean India) initiative, a countrywide survery has found.

“At 600 days, Swachh Bharat is making progress but civic sense awareness and municipal engagement and effectiveness remain a critical challenge,” LocalCircles, which conducted the online survey of over 40,000 citizens, said.

Interestingly, only 21 per cent citizens had found their city cleaner one year after the initiative was launched.

Twenty-three percent of citizens said availability of public toilets had improved, against only 12 percent who had found an improvement a year after the drive began.

Fifty-percent felt civic sense awareness was the most important driver for improving cleanliness, while 40 percent felt municipal engagement and effectiveness was needed for better cleanliness.

File photo of PM Modi promoting the Swachh Bharat campaign. PTIFile photo of PM Modi promoting the Swachh Bharat campaign. PTI

File photo of PM Modi promoting the Swachh Bharat campaign. PTI

Responding to the question: How is your city since the launch of Swachh Bharat on 2 October, 2014, 11 per cent said it was much cleaner while 41 percent said it was somewhat cleaner. However, 40 per cent said there was no change while eight per cent said things had become worse.

Responding to the question on the availability of public toilets, a whopping 64 per cent said there had been no change, while 13 percent took the can’t say route.

The respondents also had some suggestions on how the initiative could be improved: Among them:

* Quarterly city-level events following a common structure and led by the local municipal commissioner and mayor should be organized engaging citizens, NGOs, local celebrities, corporates, and community organizations in every city

* The objective of these events should be to take up key city challenges (not individual grievances) in the area of waste management, public toilets, open defecation

* Municipalities should outline their annual plan, money available for Swachh Bharat, challenges and seek citizen inputs on how to overcome them online and via quarterly events

* All municipal commissioners should join their city’s respective Swachh Bharat citizen circle to remain connected with citizens and should have a dedicated social media focal

* A Swachh Bharat ambassador (an appointed one or a local celebrity) should be part of the quarterly review

* As appropriate, a local advisory board, including active citizens, may be formed for Swachh Bharat in every city which may meet monthly or more often

* Garbage pickers and municipal workers with exceptional delivery in the previous quarter must be nominated through a process and felicitated in the quarterly meeting

* Any RWAs that have done good cleanliness work in last quarter must also be recognized with some civic incentives like trees planted, park renovation and the like

* Civic sense awareness drives must be planned for the year with citizen participation and scheduled for every month

* Every street consisting of not more than 100 houses should be asked to form one Swachh Bharat team and should maintain their streets along with municipality officials with potential competition between localities

* A citizen rating system can also be rolled out where citizens rate their municipality and the municipality, state and central Swachh Bharat Directorate has access to all ratings at all times

* A system could also be announced where a municipality that has received Swachh Bharat funds and continues to have a low rating on delivery metrics in six months is liable for action

* Year-wise targets could be fixed by the Mission Directorate, for municipalities and monetary awards should be given as incentive to those who fulfil the targets.

LocalCircles (localcircles.com) is a citizen engagement platform that connects citizens at local, city and national level to participate in governance and make their urban life better. It claims it has more than 1,000,000 citizens connected on it across the country. .

Shiv Sena releases posters attacking BJP, PM Modi

Escalating its turf water with ruling ally BJP, the Shiv Sena launched a publicity blitzkrieg again the party and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.On Friday, the Shiv Sena released a series of posters on social media questioning the Modi and BJP on issues like shrinking freedom of speech, unrest on university campuses like JNU, rising crimes against women and a girl being forced to unbutton her jeans before BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj, the bumps in the Swacch Bharat Abhiyaan including lesser numbers of toilets constructed over the years, agrarian distress and inadequate disbursals under the MUDRA scheme.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The posters also carry slogans like “Naam Nahi, Niyat Badliye, Modiji,” (don’t change names of schemes, change your intentions, Modiji), “Suit- boot mein loot,” “Bhashan jyada, kaam aadha,” and “Jumlabazi chalu rahegi.”

Sadhvi Prachi’s statement causes uproar in J&K assembly; opposition demands condemnation from PDP-BJP govt

The Jammu and Kashmir Assembly on Thursday witnessed uproar over the controversial statement of VHP leader Sadhvi Prachi, calling for ‘Muslim-Free India’ even as opposition members sought a condemnation from the PDP-BJP government.The issue was raised during the Question Hour by Independent MLA Sheikh Abdul Rasheed, who asked the government to explain what she meant by her controversial “Muslim-Mukt Bharat” statement.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Is this what you mean by ‘Desh Badal Raha Hai’ (the nation is changing)?” Rasheed said.
ALSO READ Activist Rahul Easwar files FIR against Sadhvi Prachi for anti-Muslim remarksHe was supported bSadhvi Prachi’s statement causes uproad in J&K assembly; opposition demands condemnation from PDP-BJP govty Congress members who also condemned the statement made by Sadhvi Prachi.”What is this Muslim-Mukt Bharat? Do they want to repeat Gujarat (2002 riots)?” Congress MLA GM Saroori said.Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh (BJP) said the statement has appeared in newspapers and it is not right to make such comments.”India is a secular country where people of all faiths and communities live including the atheists. The statement (Muslim-Mukt Bharat), which appeared in the newspapers, is not right,” Singh said but stopped short of condemning the VHP leader’s remark.Yesterday, Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Council, the Upper House, had witnessed a ruckus over the statement made by Sadhvi Prachi in Roorkee.Known for courting controversies, Sadhvi Prachi had claimed the mission of a “Congress-free India” has already been “accomplished” and it is now time to “rid the country of Muslims”.

Swachh Bharat effect: Inspired tribal sells goat to build toilet at home

Jaipur: Inspired by the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, a tribal has sold off his goat and mortgaged the ornaments of his wife to complete the construction of a toilet in his house in Rajasthan’s Dungarpur district.

A daily wager, Kanti Lal Rot, who lives with his mother, wife, children and widow of his brother, in a thatched house along Dungarpur-Ratanpur road was inspired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Mission) after he was informed about the campaign by local activists.

Representational Image. AFPRepresentational Image. AFP

Representational Image. AFP

The activists convinced him to construct a toilet in his house.

He was told that he will get Rs 4000 each from the centre, the state government and from the municipality if he constructs a toilet in his house following which he started to construct the toilet.

“He started digging work all by himself and constructed a structure with the help of some labourers after he got the first installment. The amount he got was spent in construction work. When he had no money to pay labourers, he sold one of his five goats for Rs 5000 and mortgaged silver ornaments of his wife and made the payment,” K K Gupta, Vice Chairman of Muncipality Dungarpur, said.

Gupta visited the family on Wednesday after he came to know that he had to sell his goat to make the payment for toilet construction to labourers and praised him.

He also gave him Rs 4000 to get back the mortgaged ornaments and felicitated him.

Netaji’s family want CBI to probe Mathura clashes

Miffed over the use of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s name by the sect involved in Mathura violence, his grandnephew Chandra Kumar Bose on Tuesday demanded a CBI inquiry into the incident. “Netaji took up arms to fight against the British rule. But now the rule of law is supreme. We have a Constitution that does not allow anyone to take law into their own hands.”They (the sect) were using the name of Netaji for their own vested interests. I feel there should be a CBI inquiry into the incident to bring out the truth,” Bose said. “From where did they get so much of arms and ammunition?” he wondered. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ram Vriksh Yadav, the chief of the violent encroachers at Jawahar Bagh who was among those killed in the clashes with police in Mathura last week, was the leader of Azad Bharat Vidhik Vaicharik Kranti Satyagrahi – an outfit claiming allegiance to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. “I strongly object to the use of Netaji’s name by this sect. They for their own benefit are resorting to violence and maligning the name of Netaji,” Bose added.

SC dismisses plea seeking CBI probe into Mathura violence

New Delhi: Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to entertain a plea seeking a CBI probe into the violence at Mathura in which 29 people, including two police officers, died while members of the Swadheen Bharat Vidhik Satyagrahi outfit were being evicted from a public park.

A scene during clashes between the police and the encroachers in Mathura on Thursday. PTIA scene during clashes between the police and the encroachers in Mathura on Thursday. PTI

A scene during clashes between the police and the encroachers in Mathura on Thursday. PTI

An apex court vacation bench of Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose and Justice Amitava Roy, while dismissing the plea, said it was entirely for Uttar Pradesh government to approach the centre for a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe.

Lawyer Ashwini Upadhyay, who is also the spokesman of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Delhi unit, had moved the plea.

The court said the petitioner had not pointed out whether the state government had not taken any steps after the incident last week or if the investigation was deficient, resulting in lack of confidence among the people.

The court also asked the petitioner’s lawyer if he had made any representation to the Uttar Pradesh government for a CBI probe.

The court said there were several steps that had to be taken before the petitioner’s lawyer approached the top court seeking direction for CBI probe into the Mathura violence.

Permitting Upadhyay to withdraw his petition, the court said the matter relating to the eviction of Swadheen Bharat Vidhik Satyagrahi members was still pending before the Allahabad High Court and the petitioner could appear in that court.