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Chennai Floods: Why the December music season must go on

If there was a good time to show that art and artistes can be of great social relevance and help, it is in these times of crisis.

Dr Padma Subrahmanyam says we must support Chennai by attending the Margazhi concerts

Picture courtesy: Facebook
What is a reference to Chennai without Bharatanatyam or Carnatic music? It would be like VS Naipaul’s idea of India; tone-deaf and blind to culture. Criticism aside, the December Margazhi festival and life in Chennai are interlinked. The Margazhi, over the last century, became the city’s signature festival. However, this December didn’t begin well for Chennai and parts of Tamil Nadu with the century’s worst floods creating havoc. Death, devastation and destruction were unprecedented. At a time when social media was being debated as one of the most intrusive inventions of the century, for once, it felt useful and worthy. Scores of volunteers launched into mobilising funds and other relief material. Amidst all this chaos, the artistes’ community that was readying itself for the Margazhi was caught off guard. Social media went abuzz with several dancers and musicians announcing the cancellation of their season performances. There were two sides to this. It was ok to cancel performances. But those cancelling, suddenly began giving ‘gyaan’ to others, about being insensitive, cold-hearted and what not. Cancelling their shows seemed to have given them a sense of moral superiority and the need to preach. Hundreds of messages were flying across, for and against performing this Margazhi. I was asked what I felt. My old theatre background and training always told me ‘the show must go on’. It is not about right or wrong or trying to be judgmental. I decided to get the voice of a few artistes and what they felt. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Also Read – Margazhi Utsavam: As Chennai gets back on its feet, should artistes be the exception?Dr Padma Subrahmanyam, a dance veteran who needs no introduction, spoke to me over a frail phone connection. “I just returned from London. If I were an hour late, I would have been one of the four thousand stranded in the airport. My house and dance studio have been flooded. These are miserable times for all of us. I think artistes have a role to play in the society. We cannot sit home and mourn. If you feel art is auspicious, this is the time to spread that auspiciousness. That is why it was a part of our ancient temple rituals too, despite all the wars and bloodshed in the land. Our city needs prayers and positive energy now, more than ever before. We as artistes must come ahead and do our bit. I remember when floods happened in Odisha, I gathered many dancers and we performed and raised funds for relief work. Everyone is going through misery and still putting up a strong face and helping with the aim of ‘Nishkaama Karma’ or doing good without desiring any benefits. I am very proud of Chennai. If you want to show your support to Chennai, come for this year’s Margazhi. Attend concerts and show support!” she said. “Also think of the junior artistes, dance music orchestras and others who have worked hard for this. This is their source of livelihood. Is it fair to deny them?”, she added. “If Bombay Jayashri cancelled her concerts, it is up to her. She is a brand name today, rich and famous and can afford to cancel and wear her solidarity on her sleeve. What about us juniors? Once all this ends, sabhas will still call her and she will perform. She is a brand name in the market and they want to encash on it. For us, it will continue to be a struggle. I think this is a very personal thing. If others are going to office and working, and continuing to help in relief and rehabilitation, so can musicians. I see nothing wrong in performing and doing relief work on the side”, said another young musician who didn’t want to be named. “I heard Sudharani Raghupathy and Chitra Vishweshwaran cancelled their shows. It was laughable. How many shows did they have anyway? They are veterans who have barely performed in the last decade. If I say this in this open, I will be killed. Being seniors in the field, they have seen more of the world than me. Shouldn’t their wisdom allow them to think ahead? They should be the first to organise shows and raise funds. Instead of that, they sit back and preach. This is no time to judge anyone with a moral compass,” added another dancer who didn’t want to be named. One could sense the threat of being judged, or worse labeled for a lifetime for speaking out in the open. This would also affect their careers in the future. But these are voices of the next generation artistes. They want to make a difference to this world and they believe their art will do it. They must be allowed to. Several prestigious institutions like the Madras Music Academy, Krishna Gana Sabha, Bhavans and others have issued a joint press statement in support of the Margazhi. They plan to divert funds towards relief and rehabilitation measures. We got reports of several artistes who suffered badly in the floods. These funds could go towards helping them. “The Margazhi has turned into a fund-raising effort, more than just a festival. So hopefully this helps many musicians and other displaced individuals who will need aid in rebuilding their lives in the months to come,” said Sandeep Narayan, a young Carnatic vocalist who has been offering help in several relief camps. Some artistes were worried if venues and sponsors would profit more from benefit concerts. Transparency is the key word. Monitoring fund-flow strictly will help curb any malpractices. Film actor Siddharth and RJ Balaji have been mobilising funds very efficiently. If they can do it, there is nothing stopping classical artistes from replicating a successful module of working. Last but not the least, this is the birth centenary year of MS Subbulakshmi. For the larger part of her performing career, she gave benefit concerts to raise large funds towards humanitarian causes. Her Ramon Magsaysay award is a witness to her public service. She had the strong conviction that, through her art, she could help resurrect many battered and suffering souls. Were she around today, she would have done what she did all her life, perform with the same sense of ‘Nishkaama Karma’ that Padma mentioned. If there was a good time to show that art and artistes can be of great social relevance and help, it is in these times of crisis. For now, the show, my friends, must go on! Veejay Sai is a writer, editor and a culture criticRelated Read: Can artistes serve humanity by postponing the December music season?

MPs’ won’t get perks & allowances, parliamentary affairs ministry reject panel’s recommendations

RS member KTS Tulsi on his bicycle at Parliament on Tuesday
BB Yadav
dna
The parliamentary affairs ministry has rejected most of the recommendations of a panel of MPs, ranging from canteen facilities on the lines of defence personnel to a fourth of travel fare as incidentals.Not just this. Even former MPs would be entitled to diplomatic passport, have access to VIP lounges in airports and be exempted from toll tax, if the Joint Committee on Salaries and Allowances of Parliamentarians had its way.The parliamentary affairs ministry has struck down nearly 75 per cent of the 65 proposals made by a committee headed by BJP’s five-time MP from Gorakhpur Yogi Adityanath, according to sources.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Committee wanted the word ‘spouse’ to be replaced with ‘companion’ to accompany MPs in AC First Class train travel citing the reason that they could need assistance. The ministry was of the opinion that while single MPs could be given the option of taking a “companion”, the facility can be extended only to spouse in the case of married parliamentarians. As of now, a companion gets a second AC seat. If single, a member can declare a companion and travel together.The Committee also suggested increase in number of free air tickets between sessions for MPs from 34 to 43 and travel allowance during sessions, which have also been turned down. Besides it sought CGHS facilities for even their grand children, on which the ministry was of the view that the benefit should be confined to spouse and children.On the recommendation for ex-MPs to have access to guest houses and VIP lounges, the ministry saw no reason why they needed this after completion of tenure. Several of the demands were seen as unreasonable by the ministry while some did not fall in its jurisdiction, they said.The ministry also was of the view that status quo should be maintained on the existing Rs16 per kilo metre granted to members, rejecting the proposal to enhance it.It also struck down the demands for personal assistants of MPs to be given access to VIP lounges and providing a local phone when members traveled abroad on official work, the sources said. On the proposal to increase the car loan amount from existing Rs four lakh, the ministry was of the view that it should be availed from the market.The demands on which the ministry said “ayes” included enhancement of constituency allowance and salary to PAs from Rs 45,000 to Rs 75,000, raising pension from present Rs 20,000 and doubling monetary ceiling on furniture from Rs 75,000.On the question of increasing daily allowances from Rs 2,000 to Rs 5,000, the ministry said it should be performance linked.The panel sought increase in quota in Kendriya Vidyalayas from ten to 15 a year, a proposal which was left to the HRD ministry. The ministry said the recommendations on housing society for MPs, exempting former parliamentarians from toll tax, car facilities to committee chairpersons in inter-sessions and their security, guest houses for MPs in every state capital and giving access to personal assistants to VIP lounges were not in its jurisdiction and referred these to various ministries. Free air ticketsThe Committee also suggested increase in number of free air tickets between sessions for MPs from 34 to 43 and travel allowance during sessions, which have also been turned down. Besides it sought CGHS facilities for even their grand children, on which the ministry was of the view that the benefit should be confined to spouse and children. While MPs are given lifetime rail travel card, the panel sought ten free air tickets per year for former MPs. The ministry was in favour of continuing with the existing provision of former MPs getting AC two-tier facility.

People of Uttar Pradesh have made those speaking on love jehad silent: Akhilesh Yadav

Terming as baseless the objections raised by Centre for the land made available by the state government for setting up AIIMS in Gorakhpur, Yadav said their argument is that the approach road there is narrow.

Akhilesh Yadav

Amid an ongoing debate on intolerance in the country, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Wednesday said those speaking on issues like love jehad and cow slaughter have become silent as they have been given a befitting reply by the people of Uttar Pradesh.”Several parties which were talking on cow, love jehad and other religious issues are silent now as they have been given a befitting reply in the state,” Yadav said at a function at Madan Mohan Malviya Technical University here.The chief minister also exhorted people not to get embroiled in religious issues.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Terming as baseless the objections raised by Centre for the land made available by the state government for setting up AIIMS in Gorakhpur, Yadav said their argument is that the approach road there is narrow.”If the Centre so wants, the state government is ready to make this apporach road four lane,” he said. Referring to the central government’s ‘Make in India’ campaign, he said that this dream cannot be realised without taking Uttar Pradesh along.

Tamil Nadu: Major Road caves in as fresh rains batter Chennai; schools remain shut

Several low-lying areas and roads were inundated and office-goers had a tough time reaching their destination. Traffic in some parts, including the busy Velachery area, moved at a slow pace following inundation.

Image courtesy: ANI | Road caves in at Madhya Kailash signal.

Fresh rains battered many parts of Tamil Nadu and disrupted normal life, submerging pockets of Chennai under water on Tuesday.A section of a major road near the Madhya Kailash signal also caved in as heavy rain pounded the city last night.Several low-lying areas and roads were inundated and office-goers had a tough time reaching their destination. Traffic in some parts, including the busy Velachery area, moved at a slow pace following inundation.Authorities declared a holiday for schools in Chennai, which witnessed heavy downpour last night.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rain also continued to lash many other parts of the state including Tiruchirappalli, Nagapattinam, Thanjavur and Tiruvarur.A report from Erode said vegetable wholesale traders and retail dealers were affected as they could not transport the produce from villages to town areas.The met office has forecasted scattered to heavy rainfall on Tuesday in Chennai and other parts of Tamil Nadu following a trough of low pressure in the Bay of Bengal, closer to Sri Lanka.The toll in rain-related incidents since the onset of the northeast monsoon last month rose to 122 on Sunday.Prime Minister Narendra Modi had earlier instructed the immediate release of financial assistance of nearly Rs. 940 crore to deal with the flood situation in rain- battered Tamil Nadu, hours after Chief Minister Jayalalithaa wrote to him for funds to sustain relief work.(With agency inputs)

Rain lash many parts of Tamil Nadu; schools remain shut in Chennai

Several low-lying areas and roads were inundated and office-goers had a tough time reaching their destination.

Image courtesy: Twitter

Sharp showers continued to lash many parts of the state, including Chennai, resulting in water-logging in many areas and forcing closure of schools in the city even as the weather office forecast more rains.Authorities declared a holiday for schools in Chennai, which witnessed heavy downpour in the morning, after spells of rain on Sunday.Several low-lying areas and roads were inundated and office-goers had a tough time reaching their destination.Traffic in some parts, including the busy Velachery area, moved at a slow pace following inundation.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In many areas, motorists and pedestrians were seen carefully negotiating potholes on the roads, many of which had been damaged due to the monsoon fury.The weather office said a low-pressure area would form in the southeast Bay of Bengal during the next 24 hours commencing 0830 hrs, warning of more rain in different parts of the state.”Moderate to rather heavy rain would occur at many places over all the districts of Coastal Tamil Nadu and Puduchery,” it said.Rain also continued to lash many other parts of the state including Tiruchirappalli, Nagapattinam, Thanjavur and Tiruvarur.A report from Erode said vegetable wholesale traders and retail dealers were affected as they could not transport the produce from villages to town areas.Inspite of the rain, educational institutions remained open in Erode district and parents were seen escorting their children in water-logged areas.

Bihar result would have been different had BJP projected me as CM, says Shatrughan Sinha

Sulking BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha on Monday claimed the Bihar poll results could have been different for his party had he been projected as the chief ministerial candidate.

Sulking BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha on Monday claimed the Bihar poll results could have been different for his party had he been projected as the chief ministerial candidate.”I am not bragging, but I do feel that when the darling (laadla) of Bihar people, the dhartiputra (son of the soil) and the original ‘Bihari babu’ was deliberately sidelined, it definitely had an impact on my supporters and fans.”I can’t say how much difference it could have been, but I can definitely say, some difference would have been there. We could have definitely got more seats than what we got,” he told Rajat Sharma in ‘Aap ki Adalat’ programme on IndiaTV, according to a press release issued by the channel.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Asked whether he was unhappy for not being made a Minister at the Centre, he said,”These are all stale dialogues, planted by vested interests. Some people grabbed too many posts, they started saying I am unhappy because I was not made a Minister.Sinha said, “You don’t get feathers of gold on you when you become a minister, but yes, when I was not made a minister, my fans, supporters, my relatives, friends and my voters began thinking why was I not made a minister. What was my sin? Was my performance not good as a Health Minister, or whether I did not perform well in the Shipping Ministry.” He said, “I know, and I console them by saying it is Prime Minister’s prerogative to select a minister. I am not challenging his wisdom, but simultaneously I console them, if not today, tomorrow (may be I become a minister).” On his name not figuring in the posters and banners during Bihar polls, he said, “Several times they (supporters, fans) felt I was being deliberately sidelined, for some particular reason, on which I will not speak much”.The Patna Sahib MP also did not approve of making the Prime Minister the sole campaigner for the party but said, had he not campaigned the BJP would not even have got the seats it won.”Is it the right method? Could we not lessen the Prime Minister’s burden? Could we not been brought to the front? But why, I think you know the reason better,” he said, seeking accountability being fixed and action taken against those responsible for the defeat.Hitting out at the party leadership for inducting leaders from outside to micromanage the campaign in Bihar, he said they were brought in from Punjab, Maharashtra and Delhi, “who were completely out of touch with grassroots workers and ground reality, who did not understand the caste equations here.”Sinha said, “these people stationed here for months together, so much money, talent and energy were spent, and what was the result?…We do not learn from the earlier defeat in Delhi. It showed desperation. We lost badly and that makes me sad.”

Result would have been different, had I been projected as CM: Shatrughan Sinha

“Several times they (supporters, fans) felt I was being deliberately sidelined, for some particular reason, on which I will not speak much”, he said.

“Was my performance not good as a Health Minister, or whether I did not perform well in the Shipping Ministry,” he asked.

Sulking BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha on Monday claimed the Bihar poll results could have been different for his party had he been projected as the chief ministerial candidate. “I am not bragging, but I do feel that when the darling (laadla) of Bihar people, the dhartiputra (son of the soil) and the original ‘Bihari babu’ was deliberately sidelined, it definitely had an impact on my supporters and fans. “I can’t say how much difference it could have been, but I can definitely say, some difference would have been there. We could have definitely got more seats than what we got,” he told Rajat Sharma in ‘Aap ki Adalat’ programme on IndiaTV, according to a press release issued by the channel.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Asked whether he was unhappy for not being made a Minister at the Centre, he said,”These are all stale dialogues, planted by vested interests. Some people grabbed too many posts, they started saying I am unhappy because I was not made a Minister. Sinha said, “You don’t get feathers of gold on you when you become a minister, but yes, when I was not made a minister, my fans, supporters, my relatives, friends and my voters began thinking why was I not made a minister. What was my sin? Was my performance not good as a Health Minister, or whether I did not perform well in the Shipping Ministry.”He said, “I know, and I console them by saying it is Prime Minister’s prerogative to select a minister. I am not challenging his wisdom, but simultaneously I console them, if not today, tomorrow (may be I become a minister).” On his name not figuring in the posters and banners during Bihar polls, he said, “Several times they (supporters, fans) felt I was being deliberately sidelined, for some particular reason, on which I will not speak much”.The Patna Sahib MP also did not approve of making the Prime Minister the sole campaigner for the party but said, had he not campaigned the BJP would not even have got the seats it won. “Is it the right method? Could we not lessen the Prime Minister’s burden? Could we not been brought to the front? But why, I think you know the reason better,” he said, seeking accountability being fixed and action taken against those responsible for the defeat.Hitting out at the party leadership for inducting leaders from outside to micromanage the campaign in Bihar, he said they were brought in from Punjab, Maharashtra and Delhi, “who were completely out of touch with grassroots workers and ground reality, who did not understand the caste equations here.” Sinha said, “these people stationed here for months together, so much money, talent and energy were spent, and what was the result?…We do not learn from the earlier defeat in Delhi. It showed desperation. We lost badly and that makes me sad.”

Jammu and Kashmir: One dead in Baramulla after earthquake rocks state

Fear and panic gripped the valley as heavy tremors were felt at around 2:45 pm on Monday.

At least one person is feared dead in Baramulla area of North Kashmir. A woman has died due to cardiac arrest during the earthquake which rocked the state on Monday.Fear and panic gripped the valley as heavy tremors were felt at around 2:45 pm on Monday. “A lady has died due to heart attack when the earthquake occurred,” Divisional Commissioner Asgar Hasan Samoon told dna.The state police also confirmed damage in several public and private properties from several areas in the valley. Several trees including hundreds of year old Chinar tree were uprooted at several places in the valley and caused damage to vehicles parked near them. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A few houses have also suffered severe damages due to the jolt, which had its epicenter near Hindukush region in Afghanistan. Damage in infrastructure was reported from several areas of the valley including the main fly-over near the city centre Lal chowk area which developed a crack.The chaos following the earthquake, which lasted for about a minute, caused a massive traffic jam in the commercial hub of Lal Chowk. Reports of a crack in the fly over also discouraged commuters to the use the pass. As the tremors, which measured 7.5 on the Richter scale, jolted the city center, people evacuated all shops, offices and buildings and sat down on the roadside due to the fear which, according to many was reminiscent of the earthquake which rocked the valley in year 2005. “The intensity of the earthquake was as high as the one which occurred ten years ago,” an eyewitness Mohammad Hanif said. Meanwhile, several bridges including Safa Kadal in the valley have been closed for traffic movement.

Ceasefire violation: Pakistan targets 30 border posts in Jammu & Kashmir, five civilians injured

After over a month-long lull, Pakistani troops on Friday night resumed ceasefire violations along the international border.

Jammu: Villagers showing mortar shells fired from across the border by Pakistan in a village of Sadoh, Samba district, on Sunday.

PTI
At least five civilians were injured in overnight ceasefire violation by Pakistani troops in Jammu and Kashmir’s Samba and Kathua district.Pakistani troops targeted 30 border posts during the heavy shelling that still continues at some places.According to reports, Pakistan Rangers used 82 mm mortars and heavy machine guns. The Border Security Force (BSF) strongly retaliated, resulting in a heavy exchange of fire. Several houses and shops have been damaged in the shelling.Speaking to ANI, local from Kathua said, “Neither us nor our children have slept for the last 3 days, we are scared.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After over a month-long lull, Pakistani troops on Friday night resumed ceasefire violations along the international border.The ceasefire violations, which had become routine, had stopped after the Director General (DG)-level talks between the BSF and Pakistan Rangers on September 12.Pakistani troops violated the ceasefire 17 times in September 2015. On September 5, an army jawan was injured as Pakistani troops violated the ceasefire by firing on forward posts along the LoC in Poonch district.On August 28, three civilians, including two women, were killed and 17 were injured as Pakistani troops pounded border areas of Jammu with heavy shelling and firing.

RTI activists to boycott Narendra Modi’s address at convention tomorrow

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the 10th annual convention of the Central Information Commission.

PM Narendra Modi

PTI
Several prominent activists on Thursday said they would boycott Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s inaugural address at the annual Right to Information (RTI) convention on Friday, as only a few of them have been invited. “People who have an important role to play in using and protecting RTI are being left out of the process. The invites have gone out to a few people and the most important left out,” Anjali Bhardwaj, one of the activists, said. “The RTI Act has been owned up by people across the country. There are more than eight million RTI acts filed every year. Now, if in this situation the Central Government is holding a convention where it is not inviting members of the civil society, then, it is a issue of great concern,” she added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Another activist Nikhil Dey described the non-invite as ‘an unfortunate step for democracy’, and added that activists have always helped any government with suggestions on running the country. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the 10th annual convention of the Central Information Commission, which is a congregation of RTI activists who discuss issues related to the implementation of the transparency law across the country.

Blows over beef: Watch BJP MLAs assault Jammu and Kashmir MLA for hosting beef party

Srinagar: Several BJP MLAs on Thursday assaulted Independent MLA Sheikh Abdul Rashid in the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly, a day after he had hosted a beef party in Srinagar.

As BJP MLAs assaulted him, several NC and Congress MLAs rushed to save him.

The legislator from Langate had hosted the beef party in the lawns of MLA hostel in Srinagar on Wednesday, with the guests being served beef kebabs, ‘ristas’ (meat balls) and beef patties.

Screengrab from the video. IBNLiveScreengrab from the video. IBNLive

Screengrab from the video. IBNLive

Rashid had claimed that he did not want to offend anyone but wanted to send a message that “no courts or legislature can prevent the people from eating what they want”.

The step was “just to give them (legislators) a clear message that it hardly makes any difference whether you accept or reject the bill… religious matters cannot be kept subservient to courts and assembly,” the MLA had said.

“Nobody on earth, no assembly, no court and no institution can stop us from having what we want to have,” he added.

The beef row erupted after a division bench of High Court in Jammu directed the state to strictly implement the ban in the state as per the law.

The order had evoked strong resentment from various quarters with many separatist and religious organisations terming it as “interference in religious affairs” and sought revocation of the law, besides pressing for implementation of ban on liquor in the state.

The issue is now before the Supreme Court.

Condemning the assault incident, National Conference leader Omar Abdullah said what happened in the House was impossible to digest.

“What happened today is impossible to digest. An honourable member being assaulted in the House. It seems that they wanted to murder him (Rashid). If he had done anything that was objectionable that should have been put on record,” the former Chief Minister said.

On the beef ban issue, Omar said, “Our sentiments are also attached to this issue… We don’t force our religion on you. My religion prohibits consumption of alcohol and pork… Do I assault everyone who eats pork or alcohol,” he said, demanding that the Chief Minister make a statement on the issue.

Condemning the assault, the Chief Minister said sentiments should be kept under check.

“I condemn this incident. The House has good tradition….sentiments should be kept under control. I ask Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh to apologise for the misconduct of his party MLAs.”

Singh, however, stopped short of apologising.

“We do not approve of what happened in the Assembly today. But what happened in the MLAs hostel yesterday was also wrong,” he said, referring to the beef party.

PTI

Dadri killing: Now, BJP MP Adityanath’s outfit offers guns to ‘harassed’ Hindus

Tyagi, however, termed as “sad” the September 28 killing of Iqlkah and demanded a CBI probe into it.

We will provide them all possible help, be it tan-man-dhan-gun, if they are harassed, said Adityanath’s outfit Hindu Yuva Vahini

File Photo
An outfit floated by BJP MP Yogi Adityanath on Wednesday offered all possible help “including guns” to the Hindus of Bishada village, as it alleged that they were being hounded following the lynching of Mohammed Iqlakh. Several members of the group, ‘Hindu Yuva Vahini’, today tried entering the village but were stopped by the police in view of the prohibitory orders. “We will go and meet Hindus who are being harassed by authorities. We will provide them all possible help, be it tan-man-dhan-gun, if they are harassed,” said Jitendra Tyagi, one of the members of the outfit before police stopped them.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Tyagi, however, termed as “sad” the September 28 killing of Iqlkah and demanded a CBI probe into it.He wondered why “only” Muslims were being offered compensation, while Jay Prakash, a youth who was found dead yesterday, has not been offered assistance. “The one who slaughter cows are being compensated. Did they earn this money on their own? Why only Muslims are getting help? Why Jay Prakash has not been given any help?” Tyagi asked.The Vahini workers also shouted slogans against SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav.

Trucks carrying essential supplies enter Nepal from India as blockade ends

More than 300 trucks carrying essential supplies have been stranded on the Indian side due to the ongoing blockade imposed the Madhesi groups opposing the promulgation of the new Constitution.

Nepal lawmakers congratulate each other after new constitution is passed in Parliament

AFP photo
Trucks from India carrying essential goods and petroleum products started entering Nepal on Wednesday, which is grappling with a fuel crisis due to the blockade of a key trade checkpoint with India by protesters opposing Nepal’s new Constitution. Several cargo trucks entered the Nepali side from Sunauli border in Bhairahawa.More than 300 trucks carrying essential supplies have been stranded on the Indian side due to the ongoing blockade imposed the Madhesi groups opposing the promulgation of the new Constitution.Madhesis are Indian-origin inhabitants of the Terai region bordering India who are opposed to splitting Nepal into seven provinces.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>At least 40 people have died in over a month of clashes between police and protesters from the Madhesi and Tharu communities and ethnic minorities.Nepal government enforced the odd-even system for all kinds of vehicles plying in major cities from today in a bid to reduce the impact of the fuel crisis. It has also been rationing petroleum products in Kathmandu to tackle the problem. The blockade in the Nepal-India border point has made life harder for the people of Nepal for the past 4-5 days.Some people in Nepal blame India for the shortage by imposing an embargo. India denies imposing blockade, saying truck drivers are concerned for their safety after protests in the country.Related Read: Nepali leader tipped to be PM says India ‘breaking international law’ by ‘halting cross-border trade’

Two dead after bus driver suffers heart attack and crushes them, driver dead as well

Deputy Transport Commissioner (Enforcement) Yogesh Pratap Singh has been asked to probe the matter and submit a report within 72 hours.

Two persons were crushed to death under a cluster bus – whose driver suffered a cardiac arrest while driving and lost control over the vehicle – in north Delhi’s Kotwali area today. The driver also lost his life due to the heart attack following which Delhi transport minister Gopal Rai has ordered an inquiry into the incident. Several others were also inured in the incident, The deceased were identified as Suraj (21), Keshav Prasad (48) and the bus driver, Wajid (48).Deputy Transport Commissioner (Enforcement) Yogesh Pratap Singh has been asked to probe the matter and submit a report within 72 hours.The incident was reported around 3.20 PM today, when the bus – on 419 route – lost balance and ended up hitting a mini-truck and a three-wheeler, near the Kotwali police station, crushing five persons.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> According to the police, while Prasad died on spot, after being crushed between two vehicles, the others – including the driver – were declared dead when rushed to a hospital. When an agitated crowd approached the driver after the accident, they found that he was sitting motionless in a slightly twisted position on his seat. Presently, two persons are admitted at Sushruta Trauma Centre and one at Lok Nayak Hospital, and all three of them are reported to be critical, said the senior official.”We have registered a case under Sections 279 (rash driving) and 304A (causing death by negligence) of IPC . Further investigation is underway,” said DP (North) Madhur Verma. Preliminary investigation suggests that the driver had a cardiac arrest while he was on wheels, which led the accident.

Anna Hazare suspends October 2 hunger strike in New Delhi

Anna Hazare said he received an overwhelming response from the people for the issues he have raised.

Anna Hazare

Social activist Anna Hazare on Saturday said he has decided to suspend his agitation scheduled on October 2 in New Delhi as the Central government allowed the Land Ordinance to lapse and implemented the One Rank One Pension (OROP) for ex-servicemen.”I had decided to launch a hunger strike at Ram Lila Maidan in New Delhi on October 2, on birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and Lal Bahadur Shastri to press for the demands pertaining to Land Acquisition Bill and One Rank One Pension scheme,” Hazare told reporters at his native Ralegan Siddhi in Ahmednagar district.The septuagenarian said he had travelled to various places across the country and held public meetings and rallies to build public awareness on the contentious issues. Hazare said he received an overwhelming response from the people. Several organisations of jawans and farmers had also launched agitation in large scale, which compelled the BJP-led NDA government to withdraw the ordinance and to accept the demands to implement the OROP.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Land acquisition ordinance were unjust to farmers and several farmers’organisations in the country had come out on the streets and launched agitation to protest against the proposed amendments in the Land acquisition bill, he added. Besides, ex-servicemen too had began an agitation for OROP.Hazare also demanded the appointment of Lokpal and Lokayutas and said he would launch a fresh agitation if the government did not implement the same.

Supreme Court to hear FTII, coal scam issues tomorrow

Several important cases are scheduled to be heard in the Supreme Court on Monday including the coal scam and the FTII issue.

Supreme Court of India

PTI photo
Several important cases are scheduled to be heard in the Supreme Court on Monday including the coal scam and the FTII issue. The SC will resume hearing on a plea seeking probe against former CBI Director Ranjit Sinha, who was accused of scuttling investigations in the coal block allocation scam. The CVC has to inform the court about the assistance it could provide in the probe against former CBI Director. The Supreme Court will also hear PIL seeking its intervention to end the FTII crisis, triggered by the appointment of Gajendra Chauhan as the chairman of the premier institute.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Supreme court will hear a plea of BJP leader Subramaniam Swamy, who is seeking quashing of six criminal defamation complaints lodged against him for allegedly making some comments against Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa in his tweets.

In a bid to end stigma, manual scavengers will tie rakhi to PM Modi

New Delhi: Several manual scavengers, liberated by an NGO, will tie rakhi to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan that falls on Saturday.

PM Narendra Modi. PTI

PM Narendra Modi. PTI

The group of five women will also hand over 1,000 rakhis to Modi designed by the widows from Vrindavana and Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh who have been looked after by the NGO Sulabh International.

“Tying Rakhis to prime minister will be a major symbol against the existing stigma towards manual scavengers. It is a sad thing that widows have been considered inauspicious and manual scavengers as untouchables,” said Bindeshwar Pathak, founder of Sulabh International.

With the help of Sulabh International, these people have been moved from manual scavenging to work like cooking, embroidery and painting.

Earlier on Raksha Bandhan, hundreds of manual scavengers and widows also tied rakhis on the wrist of Hindu priests and Sanskrit scholars.

Sulabh International works towards improvement of sanitation conditions across the country and also helps in the rehabilitation of manual scavengers.

IANS

Couple allegedly assaulted by Uber driver in Bengaluru

However, the driver has disputed the couple’s version and said that he was attacked first.

A couple in Bengaluru was allegedly assaulted by an Uber driver on Tuesday and when they went to the cops to complain, they were apparently forced to reach a ‘compromise’. However, the driver told The News Minute that he was hit first. According to the report, the passengers were reportedly going to meetings from Koramangala to Bellandur and have alleged that their Uber driver stopped at Marathahalli, refusing to go further. After they insisted, he agreed and dropped the man, but later the driver apparently refused to go to Hebbal to drop the woman. When she objected, he is said to have used vulgar language. Later, when the man reached the spot to intervene, the driver allegedly physically assaulted the two of them. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The driver also allegedly got other Uber drivers involved and they surrounded the couple, refusing to let them go to the police. When the police finally arrived, the couple allege that they weren’t allowed asked by the cops to not file a case but reach a compromise. The woman also said that Uber’s response to their calls for help was poor. The woman has written a public Facebook post saying, “.. had THE WORST experience with ‪#‎Uber_BLR‬ yesterday. We were surrounded by a mob of uber goons and their friends and weren’t even allowed to go to the police station. Easily the worst experience in my life- something you think you only see in the news. #uber_BLR did not help us at all. Even though we kept calling them to send help they never showed. We had friends calling them to send help- but no response from Uber. Also, their driver extorted inr 5000 from us on the basis that we would be left in one piece. Ughhhhhh. So upset with everything. Uber has to pay.. And they also broke my laptop screen… and yes, #uberhastopay for that too.”However, the driver has disputed the couple’s version and said that he was attacked first.An Uber spokesperson told The News Minute, “We’ve suspended both the rider and driver account until further investigation. If either party wishes to file a complaint with the police, we are happy to assist in the investigation.” Several tweets were also posted about the incident which did not elicit much response from Uber.

Indians celebrate Maggi verdict

Indian social media has erupted with joy after it was reported that a court called the ban on Maggi noodles legally untenable.

News broadcasters express concern over show cause notices over Yakub Memon

Several leading news broadcasters have expressed concern and dismay over show cause notices issued by the government to four channels over their coverage of the execution of Yakub Memon, at a meeting held on Wednesday with Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley.

Yakub Memon

Several leading news broadcasters have expressed concern and dismay over show cause notices issued by the government to four channels over their coverage of the execution of Yakub Memon, at a meeting held on Wednesday with Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley.Around six representatives Broadcast Editors Association (BEA) met Jaitley, who is also the Finance Minister, at his office in North Block where they shared with him concerns relating to action by the I&B ministry against broadcasters NDTV India, NDTV 24×7, Aaj Tak and ABP News.The Broadcasters have been wanting that the ministry refer the matter to the self regulatory mechanism established by them. They have also expressed concern over the tendency of both Centre and state governments to serve notices selectively on media organisations.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The news broadcasters, sources said, expressed unhappiness and concerns over the issuing of notices which was heard by the Minister while the editors were also apprised of the ministry’s point of view.Senior functionaries of BEA when contacted however were unwilling to comment on the meeting.Reportedly BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao spent time with I&B ministry officials scanning the coverage of news channels related to Yakub’s hanging. When contacted, Rao however declined to comment.I&B ministry officials too refused to confirm or deny the report. The Electronic Media Monitoring Centre (EMMC) under the I&B ministry monitors the capacity of around 600 TV channels.The ministry has issued separate show cause notices to Aaj Tak and ABP News after the channels telecast interviews with Chhota Shakeel, aide of Dawood Ibrahim.In its notice to Aaj Tak, the ministry said that the channel had for over five minutes carried the programme where Chhota Shakeel is heard making “some very objectionable comments about the Indian justice system”.A similar notice was issued to ABP news for airing Shakeel’s comments.

81 dead in floods across India; Mamata Banerjee says situation in West Bengal ‘beyond control’

80 lakh people were affected in fresh floods due to excessive rains in worst affected Gujarat, Rajasthan, West Bengal and Odisha. A total of 36,90,627 people in 9,691 villages of 210 blocks in 12 districts in West Bengal have been affected due to floods, while a population of 40 lakh in Gujarat and 4,80,399 in Odisha, it said.

Murshidabad: Children use big cooking pots as floats in a flooded area in Murshidabad district of West Bengal on Sunday.

At least 81 people lost their lives and more than 80 lakh people were affected in fresh floods due to excessive rains in worst affected Gujarat, Rajasthan, West Bengal and Odisha.While the death toll touched 48 in West Bengal, 28 died in Rajasthan and five in Odisha, a Home Ministry statement said here today.A total of 36,90,627 people in 9,691 villages of 210 blocks in 12 districts in West Bengal have been affected due to floods, while a population of 40 lakh in Gujarat and 4,80,399 in Odisha, it said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In West Bengal, 48 deaths have been reported from various parts of the state during the floods owing to lightening, wall collapse, electrocution, snake bite and drowning. The excessive rain for the past two days coupled with high tide and water released from Jharkhand and Odisha has rendered the flood situation in West Bengal “beyond control”, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said.She advised people in vulnerable areas to take shelter in relief camps to avoid “untoward incidents.”GujaratIn Gujarat, 14 districts and population of about 40 lakh were affected in recent floods due to heavy rainfall in the last few days. More than 10 lakh food packets have been airdropped or distributed to the flood victims, an official statement said.Temporary relief camps have been set up in affected areas and peoples are accommodated on need basis. A total of 17 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams have been deployed for rescue and relief operations in Gujarat.RajasthanIn Rajasthan, so far 28 people have lost their lives, out of which 12 people died during past few days owing to very heavy rainfall and flood like situation in many parts of the state. Rajasthan has experienced excessive rainfall in most of its districts. The situation is grim particularly in districts of Jalore, Jhalawar, Baran, Sirohi, Barmer and Dungarpur.Apart from State Disaster Response Force, Police, RAC etc., at present eight teams of NDRF were deployed for rescue and relief operations. So far, more than 630 peoples have been rescued from various districts in Rajasthan. Relief materials have been distributed to the affected population.West BengalFourty eight people have died in the floods in West Bengal owing to lightening, wall collapse, electrocution, snake bite and drowning. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee called in the army for rescue operations in the worst flood-hit areas on Sunday. She has postponed her tri to northern West Bengal in order to personally look at the rescue operations. As reported by State government due to cyclone KOMEN, heavy to very heavy rainfall occurred at isolated places in almost all South West Bengal districts. So far, 12 districts consisting of 210 blocks and 9,691 villages have been affected due to floods. A population of 36,90,627 are affected.State Government has deployed 121 boats for rescue and relief operations. A total of 5,672 cattle is also lost in the floods.The State Government has set up 1,537 relief camps and 2,14,306 people have been accommodated, it said.The army has carried rescue and relief operations in Jhawdanga village in Purbasthali Block 2 in Burdwan district from their base camp in Panagarh. At least 450 villagers have been evacuated from the village where river Bhagirathi had overflown. Burdwan District Magistrate has said to HT that 150 villagers were still stuck and army was rescuing them. The worst affected districts are Burdwan, Murshidabad, West Midnapore, Howrah. Various rivers in Bengal had breached their embankments. Parts of Kolkata was waterlogged following the heavy rainsManipurMeanwhile, persistent rainfall over the past few days caused a massive landslide at Joumol village in Chandel district in Manipur on Saturday, killing at least 21 people. As per reports, the landslide led to the collapse of almost all houses in the Zoumul village under Khengjoi sub-division. According to HT two people including a 60-year old farmer died in Langmeidong and Rengkai.The report adds that, areas in and around capital Imphal and its outskirts were submerged.“A team of Assam Rifles have reached the spot (Joumol village) today with the help of a helicopter and carrying out search and rescue operation,” an official source said to HT. Several hundreds living near riverbanks were being moved to a safer location. Moreh, a commercial town near the Indo-Myanmar border was cut-off from Imphal following a landslide. Several villages in Ukhrul district too were cut-off from the rest of the state.Responding to the situation, the state Irrigation and Flood Control Department has reportedly opened one control room with the number 0385-2451550 in Imphal. Centre directed NDRF to move forces to Manipur for rescue and relief operations in the landslide-affected areas.OdishaTen villages were marooned in Odisha and a total of five people lost their lives and while 644 villages and population 4,80,399 are affected. “All the major rivers in the state are flowing below the danger level. However, inflow of rain water from West Bengal, where heavy rainfall occurred under the effect of cyclonic system Komen, has caused marooning of some more villages in Balasore district,” special relief commissioner GVV Sarma said to HT.ODRAF units are carrying out relief and rescue operations.So far 1574 people have been evacuated to safer places. Seven relief camps have been opened and 55 people have been accommodated. 132 boats have been deployed for rescue operations.MyanmarIn Myanmar, 15 have been killed due to the floods and 1,50,000 people have been affected. Four districts in central and western have been declared as ‘national disaster-affected regions’.Many are sheltered in monasteries. The rescue operations remain hampered due to the floods.With inputs from Pooja Mehta and agencies

Indian Twitter users outraged over AQ Khan’s comments on APJ Abdul Kalam

People took to twitter to show their anger about Pakistani scientist Abdul Quadeer Khan’s comment on APJ Abdul Kalam that he was an “ordinary scientist”

AFP
Abdul Quadeer Khan, known for his contribution to Pakistan’s atomic bomb project commented on the demise of former president APJ Abdul Kalam. In a telephonic interview with the BCC, Khan said, “Kalam was an ordinary scientist and I cannot recall any big inventions by him.” He also said that India had developed its missile program with the help of Russia. The comment has created a furore on social media. Several retorted with comments on AQ Khan’s career<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Some targeted the Pakistani scientist’s IQ.Many quoted examples of APJ Abdul Kalam’s humility.One person could not believe that Pakistan even had a scientist.Others took to posting videos and gifs of failed missile launches saying it represnted AQ Khan’s career. APJ Abdul Kalam was known as the People’s President and there has been an outpouring of tributes to his work and life in days since his death. The country is in mourning over the passing of former President.

Obama mourns Kalam, extends ‘deepest condolences to the people of India’

Washington: US President Barack Obama has condoled the death of former Indian president APJ Abdul Kalam describing him as an advocate for stronger US-India relations, and who worked to deepen the two countries’ space cooperation.

“A scientist and statesman, Kalam rose from humble beginnings to become one of India’s most accomplished leaders, earning esteem at home and abroad,” he said in a statement on Tuesday.

Extending his “deepest condolences to the people of India” on behalf of the American people, Obama noted Kalam’s “tenure as India’s 11th president witnessed unprecedented growth in US-India ties”.

PTI ImagePTI Image

PTI Image

“An advocate for stronger US-India relations, Kalam worked to deepen our space cooperation, forging links with NASA during a 1962 visit to the United States,” he said.

“Suitably named athe People’s President, his humility and dedication to public service served as an inspiration to millions of Indians and admirers around the world.”

Meanwhile, the US media highlighted his role in advancing India’s nuclear, space and missile programmes.

The influential New York Times in an obit said Kalam’s “role in advancing India’s nuclear programmes made him one of his country’s most beloved figures”.

“Kalam’s celebrity could be traced to 1998, when India detonated five nuclear devices in the northwestern desert, to widespread international condemnation,” it said.

“Described at the time as an ‘impish, shaggy-haired bachelor’ of 66, he was one of the most exuberant boosters of the country’s nuclear programme,” the Times said.

“Kalam spent a little time outside India. For him, it was a point of pride that India had developed its bomb without much help from foreign powers. And he described himself as thoroughly Indian,” the Times said.

“I am completely indigenous!” he told the newspaper in 1998, it recalled.

Time magazine described Kalam as “one of India’s most renowned rocket scientists who served as the nation’s 11th president”.

Kalam, it recalled told TIME in a 1998 interview that he developed an early fascination with flight while growing up on the south Indian isle of Rameswaram.

“Then there were a lot of birds on the island,” he was quoted as saying, “and I used to watch their beautiful flight paths. That got me interested in aeronautics.”

The Washington Post noted Kalam was “a scientist who was known as the father of the country’s military missile programme”.

“He was credited with helping develop his country’s first space satellites,” it said. “In the 1980s, he helped design the nuclear-capable Prithvi and Agni ballistic missiles.”

“He played a crucial role when India tested its nuclear weapons in 1998,” the Post said noting, “The test resulted in sanctions against the country but helped elevate Kalam’s to the status of folk hero in his country.”

Several Indian-American organisations have also offered condolences on the death of “India’s missile man”.

The Federation of Indian Associations (FIA) said along with the Indian-American community it mourns the “loss of our beloved and eminent scientist” who “was an irreplaceable role model for the young and passionate of India”.

IANS

Maharashtra joins 6 other states to include Yoga in school curriculum

Maharashtra also plans to establish a Yoga university to bring out standardised courses, on the lines of Gujarat, Karnataka and Odisha, which already have big yoga varsities.

Getty Images
The International Day of Yoga has set the ball rolling for the revival of the ancient Indian physical, mental, and spiritual practice or discipline within the country with Maharashtra, Karnataka and Gujarat on Sunday announcing their plans to include Yoga in school curricula. Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh had already introduced Yoga in their schools from this academic year.Maharashtra education minister Vinod Tawde and Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel on Sunday announced that they were planning to include Yoga lessons in school curricula. TDP-ruled Andhra Pradesh has announced a grant of Rs 25 crore for conduct of yoga events on a regular basis.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Government is planning to include yoga in school and college curriculum,” Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah was quoted as saying in Bengaluru. He was talking at the Yoga day celebrations after performing nadi suddhi pranayama along with his cabinet colleagues.Interestingly, Karnataka is ruled by the Congress whose national leaders had been ridiculing the Narendra Modi government’s initiative to popularise yoga across the globe, calling it a “self-branding plan” of the PM. Several Muslim leaders had also opposed the Yoga day celebrations.Rajasthan has made surya namaskar too compulsory in schools, apart from Yoga. Chhattisgarh School Education department introduced an extra class in the curriculum of all government and private-run schools a day before the International Day of Yoga.States ruled by the BJP and its allies took the lead in organising mammoth yoga events and announcing various initiatives on Sunday.Andhra CM Chandra Babu Naidu compared Prime Minister Narendra Modi with his namesake Swami Vivekananda (born Narendra Nath Datta), by showing a way for the international community by focusing on India’s spiritual philosophy.The RSS too was batting for making Yoga compulsory in schools. In the latest issue of its mouthpiece, Organiser, it said: “Balanced lifestyle is no longer a style statement but a necessity and has to be mentally accepted and physically exercised across culture, class, gender and nationalities. The best way to make this possible is introducing yoga as part of curriculum.”Several schools across India especially those affiliated with CBSE and ICSE boards already offer yoga sessions to the kids in primary and secondary schools mainly due to its rising popularity and benefits. However, an inclusion of the exercise form in curricula would force all schools to follow it, says Prashant Redij, president of Maharashtra School Principals’ Association.In fact, yoga has already been implemented in some of the schools in UK and some other countries. Maharashtra had Vipassana in schools since 2011Getting Yoga into curriculum would not be easy in Maharashtra. The state in 2011 has introduced Vipassana in schools. “There already exists a GR dated October 5, 2011 which directs all schools to train class 5-10 children in Vipassana. Several teachers have been trained in the Buddhist meditation form though a very few schools follow it because of lack of support from the government and from parents,” said a principal. It would be interesting to see whether government would withdraw it or would accommodate yoga too in the fitness regime of the kids.

Uttar Pradesh: 10 killed after fire breaks out in a hotel in Pratapgarh

According to Uttar Pradesh police, a short circuit is the cause of fire.

Image Courtesy: ANI Twitter
At least 10 people were killed and several others were injured after a massive fire broke out at a hotel in Pratapgarh, Uttar Pradesh on Friday morning. Several fire tenders have been rushed to the spot to douse the flames. “We noticed the fire at around 5.00 am. A short circuit is the reason behind the fire,” said Balikaran Singh Yadav, a police official. Twelve people, who are said to be serious condition, have been rushed to a hospital in Allahabad.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Further details are awaited.

Uttar Pradesh: Journalist allegedly thrashed, dragged for land grab expose in Pilibhit

A television journalist Haidar Khan has alleged that he was tied to bike, dragged and beaten up for land grab expose.

A television journalist Haidar Khan in the hospital.

Image Courtesy: ANI Twitter
In a yet another horrific case, a journalist in Uttar Pradesh’s Pilibhit district was allegedly assaulted for his report on illegal land deals.A television journalist Haidar Khan has alleged that he was tied to bike, dragged and beaten up for land grab expose.According to reports, police have registered an FIR and started investigation in the case. The journalist is in hospital in critical condition.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Few days ago, a journalist Jagendra Singh was murdered allegedly on the orders of Samajwadi Party Minister Ram Murti Verma for Facebook posts.Also read: Several incidents of scribes under threat unearthed in Uttar Pradesh​Meanwhile, even as the state government stubbornly refuses to take any action whatsoever against its minister of state charged with a journalist’s murder, the scribe’s family and supporters have started an indefinite dharna demanding a CBI probe.There are reports of the family being offered money and also being intimidated to keep silent. The family members are demanding a CBI probe into the incident, immediate arrest of the minister and dismissal of the policemen involved in the horrific crime.

ABVP demands Hindi, Sanskrit be made compulsory subjects

The ABVP’s annual national executive meet is the culmination of a series of seminars on the new education policy organised in various states across the past few months.

Smriti Irani, minister for human resources and development has her work cut out for her in order to finalise the new education policy, which her ministry has been drafting for over a year now with nation-wide inputs. Several right-wing organisations have been brain-storming to generate a list of suggestions for the new policy. Among these is the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the students’ body affiliated with the RSS, which has also come up with its slew of demands for central education institutions. Emphasis on primary education in the mother tongue, compulsory teaching of Hindi and Sanskrit languages, incorporation of “Indian culture and societal values” for “overall development” of students are among the prominent demands which the students’ union will place before the MHRD for inclusion in the new education policy.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The ongoing national executive meet of the ABVP at Aurangabad also finalised other demands for the MHRD, which include participation of students’ representatives in various education bodies so that students views can be incorporated during the framing of curricula, research projects and other crucial decisions. The ABVP’s annual national executive meet is the culmination of a series of seminars on the new education policy organised in various states across the past few months. Yadunath, the organisational secretary of ABVP (Mumbai) told dna over phone, “Primary education in the mother tongue is important as it helps improve the grasping power of the children, as has been shown by various studies. Moreover participation of students in the organisations which decide on curricula and research projects is also a must to make these organisations more realistic, holistic and based on societal need.” “We also seek a mandatory accreditation and rankings of schools and higher education institutions but their norms must be re-considered in the light of Indian realities,” said Yadunath. As for skill development programmes, the students’ body wants the government to launch special programmes to promote the traditional arts and heritage of the country. ABVP is seeking a change in the national education policy which was drafted in 1986 and was amended by the Union government in 1992. The saffron body has been raising the issue of commercialisation of education. It has been against the proliferation of private universities which it deems as “profit making institutions”. These institutions, ABVP says, have increased the costs of higher education over a period of time and have prospered because of the “wrong policies” of the previous government. The meeting in Aurangabad of ABVP’s highest body was followed by the BJP’s state executive council meet in the same city on May 23 and 24. The ABVP, though, has named it as “Sambhajinagar meet” ing. The term has been used by RSS and its affiliated bodies since long. Several saffron organisations, including the Shiv Sena, want a change of name for the city which takes its moniker from Aurangzeb, a Mughal Emperor.

IAF fighter jet Mirage 2000 lands on Yamuna Expressway as part of trial exercise

A Mirage 2000 fighter jet of the Indian Air Force landed successfully on the Agra Yamuna Expressway as part of a trial run on Thursday morning. This trial exercise was to test whether the national highways can be used for emergency landings.

The fighter jet soared down the highway and smoothly landed before taking off again.

Mirage 2000 fighter jet lands on Yamuna Expressway in trial exercise. IBNMirage 2000 fighter jet lands on Yamuna Expressway in trial exercise. IBN

Mirage 2000 fighter jet lands on Yamuna Expressway in trial exercise. IBN

The aircraft landed at about 6:40 AM, senior IAF officers said, adding that the force has plans to activate more such stretches on highways in the future.

The IAF has been considering the use of national highways for emergency landing by fighter aircraft.

For today’s trial, all facilities like make shift Air Traffic Control, safety services, rescue vehicles, bird clearance parties and other requirements were set in place by the IAF.

“The operation was conducted in coordination with District Magistrates and Superintendents of Police of Agra and Mathura,” an IAF statement said.

The aircraft first made a practice approach on the highway coming down to 100 metres before landing on the next approach.

IAF officials said such landings can be carried out in emergencies if an active airport is not available under certain circumstances.

TV reports had said that this is the first road runway in India, and preparations were being made for emergency landing in strategic areas. Mumbai and Mangalore are also being considered are strategic locations where these landings can happen. The IAF had also been carrying out trial exercises for a couple of days.

On the ground, an Air Force helicopter took many rounds in the air before Mirage 2000 landed on the runway, NDTV reports. Several IAF personneln were present on the spot of landing to monitor the exercise.

First time ever: IAF’s fighter jet lands on Yamuna Expressway in trial exercise

A Mirage 2000 fighter jet of the Indian Air Force landed successfully on the Agra Yamuna Expressway as part of a trial run on Thursday morning. This trial exercise was to test whether the national highways can be used for emergency landings.

The fighter jet soared down the highway and smoothly landed before taking off again.

Mirage 2000 fighter jet lands on Yamuna Expressway in trial exercise. IBNMirage 2000 fighter jet lands on Yamuna Expressway in trial exercise. IBN

Mirage 2000 fighter jet lands on Yamuna Expressway in trial exercise. IBN

The aircraft landed at about 6:40 AM, senior IAF officers said, adding that the force has plans to activate more such stretches on highways in the future.

The IAF has been considering the use of national highways for emergency landing by fighter aircraft.

For today’s trial, all facilities like make shift Air Traffic Control, safety services, rescue vehicles, bird clearance parties and other requirements were set in place by the IAF.

“The operation was conducted in coordination with District Magistrates and Superintendents of Police of Agra and Mathura,” an IAF statement said.

The aircraft first made a practice approach on the highway coming down to 100 metres before landing on the next approach.

IAF officials said such landings can be carried out in emergencies if an active airport is not available under certain circumstances.

TV reports had said that this is the first road runway in India, and preparations were being made for emergency landing in strategic areas. Mumbai and Mangalore are also being considered are strategic locations where these landings can happen. The IAF had also been carrying out trial exercises for a couple of days.

On the ground, an Air Force helicopter took many rounds in the air before Mirage 2000 landed on the runway, NDTV reports. Several IAF personneln were present on the spot of landing to monitor the exercise.

Mamata Banerjee to oversee relief operations at Indo-Nepal border

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will personally oversee relief operations for the earthquake victims at the Indo-Nepal border on Monday.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will personally oversee relief operations for the earthquake victims at the Indo-Nepal border on Monday.”WB CM to oversee relief operations at Indo-Nepal border on May four,” the All India Trinamool Congress office tweeted on Saturday.Soon after the quake, which severely rocked Nepal last week leaving thousands dead, Banerjee had rushed to north Bengal to gauge the damage inflicted by the tremor in the area which adjoins the Himalayan country.North Bengal reported three deaths – one each in Jalpaiguri, Naxalbari and Siliguri. Several injured have been admitted to the government hospital in Siliguri.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

‘Most Nepal troops’ in quake effort

Nine out of 10 Nepalese troops are reportedly taking part in search and rescue operations after a massive earthquake that killed 4,000 people.

Bird-flu cases detected in Hyderabad; officials ordered to kill 80,000 birds

Officials confirmed about the cases after receiving lab report from Pune.

Several cases of bird flu were detected in Hyderabad on Tuesday. According to reports, officials confirmed about the cases after receiving lab report from Pune.Considering the threat, officials have ordered to kill 80,000 birds.Since 2006, India has culled 6.4 million birds because of bird flu.A month ago, the threat of a bird flu outbreak loomed large on Amethi. Hundreds of hens and other birds including ducks and pigeons were culled in different villages of Bazar Shukul block in Amethi district to check the spread of bird flu.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The culling took place under the surveillance of a high powered committee formed by Directorate of Uttar Pradesh Animal Husbandry department to check the spread of dangerous viruses of the killer disease.

dna impact: Banks sometimes don’t report frauds, says Raghuram Rajan

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Raghuram Rajan has promised action against the guilty in the cheating and forgery cases that have led to the loss of Rs 27,000 crore in the last five years.He was reacting to a report, ‘Banks no safe havens for your money,’ front-paged by dna on April 8. He told ZEE Business that “we will examine the matter and book the culprits”.”Frauds do happen – both small and big. We need to tackle them, otherwise frauds will increase,” he said.”We need to find out how it happens. We have to do in a sensible way. Sometimes banks don’t report frauds. We are working on how to improve banks and will keep looking at frauds,” said Rajan.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>dna had reported how cheating and forgery have led to public and private sector banks losing as much as Rs 27,000 crore cumulatively in the last five years. The information was obtained by dna under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. Several thousands of depositors have lost their money, and, in a majority of cases, recovery did not happen.Even this is just a conservative estimate with actual losses being several thousand crores. More than 11,500 cases of cheating and forgery cases involving Rs 1 lakh and above were reported by banks to RBI.

Bihar CM Nitish Kumar calls for taxation powers to panchayats

Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday advocated taxation powers to panchayats in order to strengthen them.

Bihar CM Nitish Kumar. PTI

Bihar CM Nitish Kumar. PTI

“Panchayats should get the right to impose taxes and also to distribute assistance money during accidents. The Bihar government is determined to strengthen the panchayati raj system in the state,” Kumar said.

The Chief Minister was speaking at a meeting of representatives of the three-level panchayati raj system and urban civic bodies organised at town club grounds in Madhubani, around 180 km northeast from the state capital.

He pointed out that the panchayati raj system has been granted constitutional status through the 73rd and 74th amendments, and will keep getting stronger with time.

“Many rights have been given to them, but their implementation will take some time. We need to ensure that there is a proper system in place with the panchayats to implement such rights or powers. Several posts need to be created for this at the panchayat level,” he added.

Kumar said that in the coming days people will call this self governance structure as ‘panchayat sarkar’ just like the state government or Central government. He assured all help to panchayat representatives with regard to their honour, allowances or accident compensation.

Kumar also inaugurated a newly-built district guest house at Madhubani on the occasion.

PTI

Nitish Kumar advocates taxation powers to panchayats

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday advocated taxation powers to panchayats in order to strengthen them.

Kumar said, “Panchayats should get the right to impose taxes and also to distribute assistance money during accidents. The Bihar government is determined to strengthen the panchayati raj system in the state,” Kumar said. The chief minister was speaking at a meeting of representatives of the three-level panchayati raj system and urban civic bodies organised at town club grounds in Madhubani, around 180 km northeast from the state capital. He pointed out that the panchayati raj system has been granted constitutional status through the 73rd and 74th amendments, and will keep getting stronger with time. “Many rights have been given to them, but their implementation will take some time. We need to ensure that there is a proper system in place with the panchayats to implement such rights or powers. Several posts need to be created for this at the panchayat level,” he added. Kumar said that in the coming days people will call this self governance structure as ‘panchayat sarkar’ just like the state government or Central government. He assured all help to panchayat representatives with regard to their honour, allowances or accident compensation. Kumar also inaugurated a newly-built district guest house at Madhubani on the occasion. Also Read: Nitish Kumar’s trust vote appears a mere formality

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