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Firstpost Ground Report: A region obsessed with sugarcane is schooled in water conservation, and switching crop patterns

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Firstpost Ground Report: Why Devendra Fadnavis’ bold gambit to tackle drought in Maharashtra is working

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Uddhav Thackeray takes dig at BJP, says focus on ground realities than making cities smart

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He further said that his party is focusing on improving the conditions of farmers in the state and that it will live up to the aspirations of the people

Uddhav Thackeray

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday asked the BJP-led Centre and the Maharashtra government to pay attention to ground level issues plaguing the people before focusing on Smart City project.”Before focusing on Smart City project, the government should first focus on mitigating the drinking problems of people. Women in villages need money for their basic survival,” Thackeray said while addressing a gathering in Jalgaon. Shiv Sena is the partner in both the government at the Centre and in Maharashtra. Referring to the incident where a 16-year-old daughter of a farmer in drought-hit Latur district of Marathwada allegedly committed suicide by consuming pesticide as her debt-pressed parents could not buy her a monthly state transport ‘bus pass’ to commute to college, Thackeray said that a minister who has no time to listen to the woes of the people, has no place in his party.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”It is shameful that families in Maharashtra do not have the money to educate a girl child. After Swati Pitale’s (the Latur girl) suicide, I immediately called up Transport minister Diwakar Raote to find a solution to the problem. “Due to his efforts, Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) decided to waive the fee completely for the students of first-year junior college and above in the eight drought- affected districts of Marathwada. Around 4.60 lakh students are benefiting from this scheme,” he said.He further said that his party is focusing on improving the conditions of farmers in the state and that it will live up to the aspirations of the people.”A minister who has no time to listen to the problems of people has no place in the Sena. We do not oppose the government for the sake of opposing but have the courage to oppose what is not beneficial for people. We will live up to the expectations of people,” the Sena chief said.

Shiv Sena workers who blackened Latur RTI activist’s face sacked: Aaditya Thackeray

Shiv Sena workers had assaulted and blackened the face of an RTI activist at Latur in Marathwada region, after he “exposed” an illegal construction case.

The Sena workers brought Bhaikatti to the college premises when around 4,000 students were present and assaulted him with an iron rod, before blackening his face.

Image courtesy: ANI Twitter handle
Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray said on Friday that Shiv Sena workers who blackened the face of RTI activist in Latur have been sacked by party.Shiv Sena workers had assaulted and blackened the face of an RTI activist at Latur in Marathwada region, after he “exposed” an illegal construction case.The activist Mallikarjun Bhaikatti had, through an RTI query, revealed that around 14,000 sq feet illegal construction was carried out in a four-storeyed building and boys hostel on the Latur-Nanded road. Bhaikatti had addressed a press conference at Latur on Thursday to “expose” the illegal construction, police said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Sena workers brought Bhaikatti to the college premises when around 4,000 students were present and assaulted him with an iron rod, before blackening his face. The injured RTI activist was admitted to a hospital in Latur.Local Sena activist Abhay Salunke said Bhaikatti was a “blackmailer”.Earlier this month, Sena workers had blackened the face of Sudheendra Kulkarni, chairman of the Observer Research Foundation, in an ink attack ahead of the launch of ‘Neither a Hawk Nor a Dove: An Insider’s Account of Pakistan’s Foreign Relations’ authored by former Pakistan foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri.

CM Relief Fund row: Shiv Sena frowns at government’s "unhealthy mindset"

The Sena said those who feel the ink attack on Sudheendra Kulkarni brought “disrepute to the state, should now answer if this incident has brought repute”.
Sena frowns at govt’s “unhealthy mindset”

Taking a dim view of money sanctioned from CM’s Relief Fund for a dance troupe’s foreign tour at a time when a poor girl from Latur district committed suicide, the Shiv Sena has said it depicts “unhealthy mindset of the government”.The Sena said those who feel the ink attack on Sudheendra Kulkarni brought “disrepute to the state, should now answer if this incident has brought repute”.Swati, a Class XI student from Jadala village near Latur, allegedly committed suicide recently as she could not manage Rs 260 for her bus pass to go to school.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In her suicide note, the girl purportedly said she took the extreme step as she could not bear to see her parents suffer and worry about arranging marriage for their daughters.”With the girl’s suicide, it has become clear that those in power can only speak. On one hand Swati committed suicide due to poverty and on the other the state government approves Rs 8 lakh to fund a dance troupe to Bangkok. This depicts the unhealthy mindset of the state government,” the Sena said in an editorial in party mouthpiece ‘Saamana’.Many such young girls may be on the verge of committing suicide, the ruling alliance partner said while describing such incidents as a blot on the state’s image and sought to know what the government plans to do about it.”At one point, the ‘Latur pattern’ was famous in the education sector. Now, the region has developed a ‘suicide pattern’. It is a blot on the image of Maharashtra. Those who say the ink attack on Sudheendra Kulkarni brought disrepute to the state, should now answer if this incident has brought repute,” the party said.The ‘Latur Pattern’ of study, developed by former principals of a college in Latur, is a combination of special training and intensive coaching, designed to help students in providing point-to-point answers to questions which could be expected in the examination.Taking a dig at its senior ally, the Sena said it was happy that its ministers, who claim to be sidelined in the government, were not consulted before the sanctioning of Rs 8 lakh for the dance troupe.”Shiv Sena ministers say they are not treated with respect and are not taken into confidence before taking decisions. We are happy that we were not taken into confidence before allotting Rs 8 lakh for this foreign tour or we too would have been cursed by Swati,” it said.While the government celebrates its one year in power, it should also ensure such incidents are not repeated, the Sena stressed.An RTI query filed by activist Anil Galgali recently found that Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had approved Rs 8 lakh for a government employees’ dance troupe to participate in a competition in Bangkok in December.

Meet the man on a mission to provide affordable food for Pune students

Not only food at lower costs, the initiative also provides space for students to sit and study.

Thousands of students from villages and towns come to Pune each year to study or prepare for competitive examinations. Many amongst them belong to the economically lower backgrounds and struggle to keep up with the high standards of living in the city. To support these students, Sachin Tekale decided to start a mess serving unlimited homemade food at minimal rates. Despite the rising rates of basic necessities that have led to either an increase in the cost of food or degradation in quality, Gharcha Jevan, started on October 16, provides quality food to students. They provide two meals per day at Rs 2000 per month. “Most of the time, students don’t eat anything for days due to lack of money. I, myself, had been through this when I came in the city first and had to struggle to earn money. I had to live on Parle G biscuits for days as I could not ask for money from my parents who stay in Latur,” said Tekale, who now owns two computer teaching institutes in the city. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The initiative is supported by Vishwajyoti foundation, Mitti ke Rang and other NGOs. To reduce costs, Tekale’s mother has volunteered to cook for out-stationed students every day. Not only food at lower costs, the initiative also provides space for students to sit and study. There are books and newspapers kept for students to read or study. “I want to start a 24-hour service where students can come study and we can help them with tea or snacks. Also, those who study all day can come and work in the night as a source of income,” he said. Read the full story here. For more hyperlocal stories, visit iamin.in

Maharashtra government declares drought in 14,708 villages

Keeping in mind the drought situation, the government has also declared that the fees of school and college for students in these villages will be waived off.
Representational Image
dna Research & Archives
Maharashtra government on Friday declared drought in 14,708 villages in the state. Maharashtra government had last month said that if the state receives less than 50% of average rainfall between June and July. Keeping in mind the drought situation, the government has also declared that the fees of school and college for students in these villages will be waived off. Other than this, the electricity bill of agricultural pumps too be will be waived off. Govt also announced that it will establish special centres to purchase agricultural products. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Marathwada region has been most affected, especially Beed, Latur and Osmandabad districts. Also, Jalgaon, Nanded, Satara, Ahmadnagar, Parbani and Vidarbha are the other districts facing the drought. A state cabinet sub-committee, in its report, had last month recommended that the norm for declaring drought if there was less than 75% rainfall should be revised to less than 50% rainfall from June to July. Drought should be declared if the water stock in irrigation dams is less than minus 0.4 of the Normal Difference in Vegetation Index (NDVI). The other new norms recommended include determining drought on the basis of Moisture Adequacy Index.The earlier norms, which came into existence during the British Raj, relied on ‘Nazar Aanewari’ (on site crop yield), Eknath Khadse, Minister for Relief and Rehabilitation and Agriculture said. “After Independence, the base changed to Paisewari. However, with the devaluation of the paisa, the yield assessment is even today conjectured by standing on the farm bund and arriving at an approximate crop yield estimate,” Khadse had said.

Maharashtra: WhatsApp group admin arrested for objectionable content in Latur

The four have been arrested so far in regards to the case.

Administrator of Whatsapp group among four arrested for objectionable content in Latur

An ‘administrator’ of a WhatsApp group in Latur district has been arrested for objectionable content posted on the group. Police in Chakur tehsil of Latur district in Marathwada arrested the admin and three other members of the WhatsApp group after noticing objectionable content, including video clips posted on the group.A police officer from Chakur police station said that those arrested – Shivaji Barche, Rajkumar Telange, Amol Somwanshi and Manoj Lavhrale – will be produced before a court. The four have been arrested and cases under sections 153, 34 and section 67 of IT Act, 2000 have been registered, he said. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

We are just postmen: Nana Patekar sends a message, gives aid to kin of farmers who committed suicide

Latur (Maharashtra): Actors Nana Patekar and Makrand Anaspure distributed cheques of financial aid to as many as 113 families of farmers from Latur and Osmanabad districts of Marathwada, who have committed suicides, owing to drought and indebtedness.

The kin of the deceased were given cheque of Rs 15,000 each at a function held in Latur on Saturday.

Actor Nana Patekar. Reuters

Actor Nana Patekar. Reuters

“The challenge of drought is staring us in the face… I feel leaders like Sharad Pawar (NCP chief), Narayan Rane (Congress leader), and chief minister Devendra Fadnavis should come together to fight the crisis,” Patekar told reporters later.

“This (drought) is a natural calamity. I don’t know whether my wish (of these leaders coming together) will be fulfilled or not. The drought is transient and it cannot be tackled by one party alone. Many people have helped (farmers) in their own ways, we are just postmen,” the 64-year-old actor said.

Patekar and Anaspure, a famous Marathi actor, had launched a drive to help the distressed families of farmers in the wake of drought and suicides.

On 10 August, they had provided financial assistance of Rs 15,000 each to the families of 62 farmers from Vidarbha region, who had committed suicide.

At the function, both the actors personally went to the seats of the kin and handed them over the cheques.

In his appeal to farmers, Patekar asked them not to surrender to the situation.

“Keep fighting. Farmers will not see good days unless their produce gets a guaranteed price. Even a notebook, a pen or even a soap has price printed on them, but milk that farmers sell do not have any price,” the “Krantiveer” actor said.

On the percentage of suicide of Muslim farmers being negligible, Patekar said, “This is because Holy Quran terms suicide as a sin and the betrayal of God’s will. This teaching of Quran touches my heart,” the actor added.

PTI

Maharashtra receives 80 per cent of month’s rainfall at onset

View article: Maharashtra receives 80 per cent of month’s rainfall at onset

Mahresult.nic.in HSC Results 2015 Maharashtra Board: Results declared; Konkan region tops with 95.68%

The Maharashtra Board has declared the Class 12th HSC results.

Mahresults.nic.in HSC Results 2015

The much-awaited Maharashtra Board Class 12th HSC Results have been announced, with 91.26 % students who appeared for examinations earlier this year.For the fourth consecutive year, the Konkan Divisional Board tops the Maharashtra results as 95.68 % students from Konkan region passing the examination. Of the nine regional boards, Nashik board scored the least with 88.13 % students clearing the examinations.Pune Divisional Board scored 91.96%, Aurangabad Divisional Board scored 91.77% and Latur scored 91.93 % marks.Mumbai, that has the highest number of students, narrowly edged the bottom place with 90.11 % students passing the HSC exams.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Maharashtra Board conducts exams within the state through nine divisional boards at Pune, Mumbai, Latur, Aurangabad, Nagpur, Nashik, Kolhapur, Amaravati and Ratnagiri. This year the examinations were conducted from February 21 to March 17.Students will need to submit their roll number and state of birth to obtain their results. The students can download their results online but original marksheets will be provided by the Maharashtra Board a few days later.Students can check or download their results on official website http://www.mahresult.nic.in/.Students can also check their results on http://www.maharashtraeducation.com/ , http://www.hscresult.mkcl.org/ http://www.rediff.com/exams/ .

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