GANDHINAGAR: Flagging off the Vande Gujarat Vikas Yatra showcasing the achievements of the government over the past 20 years, chief minister Bhupendra Patel said on Tuesday that development and trust have become synonyms in governance of the state over the past two decades. For a fortnight between July 5 and 19, 82 decorated trucks will pass through eight big cities and all 33 districts where about 2,500 events will be organized. The government will educate people about the welfare schemes that can be availed of, a CMO statement said. At the inaugural function at Sabarmati riverfront, CM Patel said that BJP governments over the past 20 years have delivered on the promises they have made to the people. “Vikas (development) and Vishwas (trust) have become synonyms in Gujarat. BJP governments have consistently pursued development in the state and the people have repeatedly shown their trust by voting BJP to power,” the CM stated. Ministers will visit different districts over the next fortnight and about 2,500 development works will either be inaugurated, or their foundation stones laid, the CM said at the meeting. The CM listed various successful projects implemented in the state over the past 20 years.
The 145th Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra was concluded in old city Ahmedabad amid huge fanfare and heavy police security Friday as Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel flagged off the procession only three days after he tested positive for Covid-19.The annual yatra was held after a gap of two years after the procession was curtailed for the past two years due to the pandemic.On Friday, the ceremony began around 4 am when Union Home Minister Amit Shah arrived at the temple premises to conduct the “Mangla Aarti”. Shah left shortly after.Later, CM Patel flagged off the procession. Uncertainty had prevailed over the CM’s presence in the yatra until Thursday after he contracted Covid. However, late Thursday, the Lord Jagannath Temple management was informed that the CM will attend the event as per “doctors’ advice”. On Friday morning, CM Patel was seen wearing a mask and performing the traditional “pahind” ceremony at the Lord Jagannath Temple premises.“On the occasion of the 145th Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra, I pray for the well being, peace and prosperity of the people of Gujarat. I also congratulate the people of Kutch on Kutchi New Year,” said Patel, while addressing reporters outside the temple.Governor Acharya Devvrat, state Home Minister Harsh Sanghavi, Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court Aravind Kumar and former state home minister Pradipsinh Jadeja were also present at the event.A total of 18 elephants and 101 tableau depicting various Akhadas and Bhajan Mandalis and over 2,000 sadhu saints, along with several hundred thousands of devotees were part of the procession that travelled via sensitive pockets of old city Ahmedabad from 7 am to 6 pm.Security was beefed up with over 25,000 police and security personnel in the Jamalpur area of old city Ahmedabad as a high alert was sounded in the wake of the Udaipur terror killing.The procession was surveilled through drone cameras and a helicopter. For the first time, the Gujarat Anti Terrorist Squad was roped in for security measures.Meanwhile, as many as 20 persons, including three children, received minor injuries when the slab of a one-room pucca cabin on which they were standing, collapsed, on the route of the rath yatra.According to police, the incident occurred around 1 pm when the roof of a cabin built alongsidethe road collapsed in Shahpur while the yatra procession was going on.Incidentally, state Home Minister Harsh Sanghavi and Ahmedabad city police commissioner Sanjay Srivastava were present at the spot when the incident occurred and they rushed for help.“As many as 20 people received minor injuries when the roof collapsed on which they were standing. The home minister and police commissioner responded to the accident and helped rescuers and took stock of the situation. The victims received minor bruises,” said a senior police official at Gaekwad Haveli Police Station.
Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel, whose presence in the 145th Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra to be taken out Friday morning in old city Ahmedabad was under clouds due to him testing Covid-19 positive, will attend the event under doctors’ advice. “We have got confirmation from the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) that the CM will attend the Yatra and do the Pahind Vidhi,” said Jagannath Temple Trustee Mahendra Jha.As per Jha, since Patel’s presence was in doubt, they had also invited Governor Acharya Devvrat to perform the Pahind vidhi ritual, traditionally performed by the CM where the leader of the state sweeps the path of the chariot of the gods before the procession begins.On Friday, the yatra will be flagged off after the mangala aarti to be conducted by Union Home Minister Amit Shah at the temple premises.Amid heightened tension in the backdrop of the recent terror killing in Udaipur, the Gujarat Police has been on high alert to prevent any untoward incident during the Yatra.Several lakhs of devotees are expected to attend the 145th Rath Yatra procession, which will be taken out from Lord Jagannath Temple at Jamalpur Darwaza to Saraspur and then back to the temple, in a full-fledged manner after two years of restricted procession due to the Covid-19pandemic.Other cities of Gujarat such as Vadodara, Surat, Rajkot, Mehsana, Banaskantha, Jamnagar, Bhavnagar, Sabarkantha and Gandhinagar, among others, will also see several rath yatra processions marking “Ashadhi Beej” diwas of the Hindu calendar, which also marks the Kutchhi new year.In a first, the state police has also roped in the Gujarat Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) for the security arrangements for the yatra for which over 25,000 police and paramilitary personnel will be deployed along the nine-kilometre route.The yearly Rath Yatra processions in Ahmedabad have had a history of communal violence during the four decades between 1960s and 90s.Ahmedabad Rath Yatra: With ‘docs’ advice’, CM to flag off Yatra; police on high alerthttps://t.co/yC3Kfivz4h pic.twitter.com/1qSqvN8joj— Express Gujarat (@ExpressGujarat) July 1, 2022On Wednesday, a high-level meet was chaired by Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel, Home Minister Harsh Sanghavi and senior police officials to discuss the security arrangements ahead of the procession in Ahmedabad and other cities of Gujarat.“Police commissioners of all four cities and superintendents of police of all districts were present in the meeting where the CM gave directions to ensure law and order and facilitate water and other necessary arrangements for the devotees expected to join the procession. In the wake of a recent incident in the neighbouring state (Rajasthan), the CM has asked police to be on high alert for maintaining law and order in the state,” read a statement issued from the Information Department, Gandhinagar.According to police sources, Sanghavi has asked the police to keep a strict watch on social media for any instigation or attempt to disrupt law and order related to Yatra and the Udaipur incident. After the meeting, the police of at least 15 districts issued advisories Thursday asking citizens to refrain from commenting on anything instigating or rumour-mongering on social media.“In the past two days, we have conducted over 350 peace committee meetings in localities of old city Ahmedabad to ensure harmony between communities. We are anyway on high alert and we have been preparing for the yatra for the past three months. The recent Udaipur incident will have no effect on the yatra,” RV Asari, additional commissioner of police, sector 1, Ahmedabad, told The Indian Express.Amit Vasava, the deputy commissioner of police, Ahmedabad Cyber Crime Cell, said, “We are being vigilant on social media but no adverse impact of the Udaipur incident has been witnessed yet.”Meanwhile, the temple trust management informed The Indian Express that a total of 18 elephants, 101 trucks with different tableaus depicting India’s culture, 30 Akhada Dal groups and 18 Bhajan Mandalis will be part of the procession. A total of 1,200 persons will be pulling the three different chariots in the procession.“We have been requested by the Ahmedabad Police to accompany the procession of elephants. We will have teams of vets from the animal husbandry department and experts from Indroda zoo in Gandhinagar and the Junagadh forest department. The elephants are well-trained and acquainted to walk in public places. If in case any elephant is to be controlled, it can be done by another elephant,” RK Sahu, director of Kankaria Zoo, told The Indian Express.
Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel, whose presence in the 145th Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra to be taken out Friday morning in old city Ahmedabad was under clouds due to him testing Covid-19 positive, will attend the event under doctors’ advice. “We have got confirmation from the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) that the CM will attend the Yatra and dothe Pahind Vidhi,” said Jagannath Temple Trustee Mahendra Jha.As per Jha, as the CM’s presence was in doubt, they had also invited Governor Acharya Devvrat to perform the Pahind vidhi ritual, traditionally performed by the CM where the leader of the state sweeps the path of the chariot of the gods before the procession begins.On Friday, the yatra will be flagged off after the mangala aarti to be conducted by Union Home Minister Amit Shah at the temple premises. Amid heightened tension in the backdrop of the recent terror killing in Udaipur, the Gujarat Police has been on high alert to prevent any untoward incident during the Yatra.Several lakhs of devotees are expected to attend the 145th Rath Yatra procession, which will be taken out from Lord Jagannath Temple at Jamalpur Darwaza to Saraspur and then back to the temple, in a full-fledged manner after two years of restricted procession due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Other cities of Gujarat such as Vadodara, Surat, Rajkot, Mehsana, Banaskantha, Jamnagar, Bhavnagar, Sabarkantha and Gandhinagar, among others, will also see several rath yatra processions marking “Ashadhi Beej” diwas of the Hindu calendar, which also marks the Kutchhi new year.In a first, the state police has also roped in the Gujarat Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) for the security arrangements for the yatra for which over 25,000 police and paramilitary personnel will be deployed along the nine-kilometre route.The yearly Rath Yatra processions in Ahmedabad have had a history of communal violence during the four decades between 1960s and 90s.On Wednesday, a high-level meet was chaired by Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel, Home Minister Harsh Sanghavi and senior police officials to discuss the security arrangements ahead of the procession in Ahmedabad and other cities of Gujarat.“Police commissioners of all four cities and superintendents of police of all districts were present in the meeting where the CM gave directions to ensure law and order and facilitate water and other necessary arrangements for the devotees expected to join the procession. In the wake of a recent incident in the neighbouring state (Rajasthan), the CM has asked police to be on high alert for maintaining law and order in the state,” read a statement issued from the Information Department, Gandhinagar.According to police sources, Sanghavi has asked the police to keep a strict watch on social media for any instigation or attempt to disrupt law and order related to Yatra and the Udaipur incident. After the meeting, the police of at least 15 districts issued advisories Thursday asking citizens to refrain from commenting on anything instigating or rumour-mongering on social media.“In the past two days, we have conducted over 350 peace committee meetings in localities of old city Ahmedabad to ensure harmony between communities. We are anyway on high alert and we have been preparing for the yatra for the past three months. The recent Udaipur incident will have no effect on the yatra,” RV Asari, additional commissioner of police, sector 1, Ahmedabad, told The Indian Express.Amit Vasava, the deputy commissioner of police, Ahmedabad Cyber Crime Cell, said, “We are being vigilant on social media but no adverse impact of the Udaipur incident has been witnessed yet.”Meanwhile, the temple trust management informed The Indian Express that a total of 18 elephants, 101 trucks with different tableaus depicting India’s culture, 30 Akhada Dal groups and 18 Bhajan Mandalis will be part of the procession. A total of 1,200 persons will be pulling the three different chariots in the procession.“We have been requested by the Ahmedabad Police to accompany the procession of elephants. We will have teams of vets from the animal husbandry department and experts from Indroda zoo in Gandhinagar and the Junagadh forest department. The elephants are well-trained and acquainted to walk in public places. If in case any elephant is to be controlled, it can be done by another elephant,” RK Sahu, director of Kankaria Zoo, told The Indian Express.
Ahmedabad: A man who has filed a petition in the Gujarat high court seeking the proper regulation of slaughterhouses in the state has pointed out to what he says is a discrepancy in the number of licences issued. He said the state government claims to have granted licences to 12 slaughterhouses. But, he said, the animal husbandry department’s documents reveal that 354 food and safety licences have been issued to slaughterhouses dealing with large and small animals and poultry. In his response to the department’s reply to his PIL, the petitioner, Dharmendra Fofani of Banaskantha district, has drawn the HC’s attention to the fact that the state government has 344 registered units, and three state licences and seven central licences have been issued to slaughterhouses under the provisions of the Food Safety and Standards Act. The petitioner has said that the government’s affidavits — filed by the animal husbandry department and the Gujarat Pollution Control Board — are silent on the appointment of eminent persons for monitoring and managing slaughterhouses in districts. He said there is no word either on the non-formation of district-level committees as directed in January 2014 by the state-level committee. The state government had submitted that if any irregularity is pointed out by the petitioner, its departments will take prompt action for the proper regulation of slaughterhouses.In his PIL filed last year, Fofani had sought the HC’s directions to the government to close down slaughterhouses, meat shops, and hotels that are functioning in violation of the provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and other related laws.
NEW DELHI: The Centre is facing an uneasy situation as three BJP-ruled states — Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh — have demanded the restoration of wheat allocation to them under the national food security scheme, NFSA. The demands have been made at a time when the Centre is struggling to somehow meet the mandatory stocking norms for wheat as on October 1 and March 2023. Following a record fall in wheat procurement, the Centre on May 14 had reduced wheat allocation under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) by nearly 40% for 10 states, including these three, to tide over any shortage while claiming that the decision was taken after “consultation with state governments”. For the Centre, yielding to the demands would be almost impossible as the total stock with the Food Corporation of India on October 1 is estimated to be barely 12 lakh tonnes more than what it requires to maintain as buffer stock. The surplus stock would be similar on April 1, 2023. While the MP government wrote to the food ministry last month seeking to restore its original wheat quota as it’s an important part of the state’s staple diet, food ministers from UP and Gujarat made similar demands on Tuesday at the food ministers summit chaired by Union minister Piyush Goyal. Gujarat minister Nareshbhai Patel said, “In areas like Saurashtra and north Gujarat, people prefer wheat to rice. We request the government to increase the wheat allocation.” His UP counterpart Satish Chandra Sharma said people in western UP are complaining against the increased allocation of rice. “It will be a great favour if the Centre can accept our demand to restore the allocation,” he said. Goyal, in his address, did not refer to these issues. Both the states have written to the Centre seeking change in wheat allocation. Office said while before May 14, each NFSA beneficiary in Gujarat was getting 3.5 kg wheat and 1.5 kg rice under the food security scheme, now they are 2kg wheat and 3kg rice. “We have requested that there should be 3kg wheat and 2kg rice. We expect the government will approve this,” said an official. Similarly, in UP, each beneficiary is currently getting 2kg wheat and 3kg rice while earlier the ratio was 3kg wheat and 2kg rice. The state has sought the Centre to follow the old norm. A food ministry official said there is hardly any room left for accommodating these demands. “When the states could not procure wheat, how can they expect us to allocate?” he asked.
NEW DELHI: The Centre is facing an uneasy situation as three BJP-ruled states - Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh - have demanded the restoration of wheat allocation to them under the national food security scheme, NFSA. The demands have been made at a time when the Centre is struggling to somehow meet the mandatory stocking norms for wheat as on October 1 and March 2023. Following a record fall in wheat procurement, the Centre on May 14 had reduced wheat allocation under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) by nearly 40% for 10 states, including these three, to tide over any shortage while claiming that the decision was taken after "consultation with state governments". For the Centre, yielding to the demands would be almost impossible as the total stock with the Food Corporation of India on October 1 is estimated to be barely 12 lakh tonnes more than what it requires to maintain as buffer stock. The surplus stock would be similar on April 1, 2023. Gujarat minister Nareshbhai Patel said, "In areas like Saurashtra and north Gujarat, people prefer wheat to rice. We request the government to increase the wheat allocation."
Almost two months after the government announced a cut in wheat allocation of 10 states under the National Food Security Act, 2013, at least two BJP-ruled states – Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat – have asked the Centre to allocate them more quantity of wheat and urged change in their ratio of wheat and rice allocation, which was revised in May this year.On May 14, the Centre had announced changes in the ratio of wheat and rice from 60:40 to 40:60 and, in some states, from 75:25 to 60:40. Due to change in the ratio of wheat and rice allocation, wheat allocation of 10 states – Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu – under the NFSA came down. Now, UP and Gujarat both have asked the Centre to increase their wheat allocation.“Earlier, UP was receiving 3 kg wheat and 2 kg rice per person per month under the NFSA, which has now been changed to 2 kg wheat and 3 kg rice,” a UP government official told The Indian Express.“The state government has asked the Centre to restore our earlier ratio,” the official said.Similar demand has been made by the Gujarat government. A Gujarat government official said, “Earlier, Gujarat was getting 3.5 kg wheat and 1.5 kg rice per person per month under the NFSA, which has now been changed to 2 kg wheat and 3 kg rice per person per month. We have requested the Food Ministry to change our wheat allocation to revised upward to 3 kg wheat and 2 kg rice.”“The Centre has committed to look into our demand and we hope that it will be changed from next month,” the official added.On 4th May, the Centre had announced a cut in wheat allocation under the PMGKAY for the remaining five months till September 2022. That cut is estimated to save 55-lakh metric tonnes of wheat.
Pointing out that the two Vande Bharat trains launched in 2019 have travelled 14 lakh kilometres and “proven” themselves, Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw Tuesday said the Indian Railways will launch an upgraded second version of the semi-high-speed trains in August 2022.Interacting with media persons at the Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDII) at Gandhinagar, the minister said, “The plan for Vande Bharat trains were given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2017 and the first two trains started operating in 2019. So far, both the trains have travelled 14 lakh kilometres… Last year, 75 more trains have been approved that are under production.”The Indian Railways operates Vande Bharat Express from New Delhi to Varanasi and from New Delhi to Shri Mata Vaishnodevi Katra.Adding that the second and third versions of Vande Bharat trains will use better technology, Vaishnaw said the Vande Bharat trains currently run at 160 kilometres per hour and the second version will touch 180 kilometres per hour and the third version of the train will travel at 220 kilometres per hour.“We will start the roll out of Vande Bharat-2 train or the second version of the trains in August 2022,” he said adding that five-six trains will be rolled out every month after the launch. “The second version of Vande Bharat will have air springs (between the coach and the wheels) and will improve the ride quality manifold,” Vaishnaw added.The minister said once the first batch of 75 Vande Bharat trains are launched, the Indian Railways will launch more. “Of the proposed 400 trains, about 250 will be the second version of Vande Bharat trains and then the third version will introduced,” he added.The Railway minister who was at EDII for an interaction on start-ups said Vande Bharat trains will be operated on new routes and in some places, it will replace existing trains. “Bullet train takes 55 seconds to reach from 0-100 kilometers per hour. A similar technology has been ised in these trains and it has been designed in India. It takes only 54 seconds to reach from.0-100 kms per hour. It has a good acceleration. Its shock absorbers are also very good,” he added.Bullet train projectTalking about the bullet train project, Vaishnaw said the project will pick up speed with a new government in Maharashtra. “The earlier government in Maharashtra was not in favour of this project. But now that people have changed the government, the progress will happen,” he added.“Good progress is being made in the bullet train project. So far, pillars on 70 kilometres of the route on Vapi-Ahmedabad section, have been built. The work on this section began first, as we got the land. Foundations for pillars have been laid on 160 kilometres in this section,” he said work on the 8-9 bridges and stations were also under way.“The first bullet train section from Surat to Billimora is targeted to become operation by 2026. The first bullet train section made by China was 113 kilometres between Beijing and Tianjing. Our section between Ahmedabad and Vapi is 352 kilometres,” he said.Station redevelopmentThe minister said a masterplan for developing 370 stations have been made and tenders for 45 stations have been issued. He said the learnings from the pilot projects for station redevelopment at Gandhinagar, Bhopal and Bengaluru have been incorporated into new redevelopment. Surat, Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Navsari, Rajkot, Vapi, Bharuch, Bilimora, Anand, Nadiad, Ankleshwar, Udhana, Gandhidham, Palanpur, Jamnagar and New Bhuj will be the 16 stations that will be redeveloped in Gujarat. Apart from this, a new station building has been constructed at Vadnagar station and Chhayapuri is being developed as a new satellite station near Vadodara.The railway minister also said that tenders for installing ingenious anti-collision device “Kavach” have been issued for 3,000 kilometres of railway tracks.
It is perhaps useful to understand the worlds of thought and action, to distinguish between two paradigms of understanding that I name as the BAUP and CACP (respectively, “business as usual” and “crisis and contingency”). Forces of law and order usually follow the first, and forces of change the second. The foremost axiom of the BAUP is “closure” (let past injustice stories end, or the chalta hai culture). The CACP reverses this by saying no to “closure” and refuses to terminate stories of injustice. The world lurches from one paradigm to another.Let me mention just two recent instances. The Russian war in Ukraine is now governed by BAUP; gone is the CACP predicting a quick nuclear end of the world. The second example relates to vaccine inequality during the pandemic. Almost the entire Third World, and many global citizens and social movements, supported the request of South Africa and India to the WTO for granting a TRIPS waiver from the hard intellectual property regime; but it is, on present reports, unwilling to do so.I explore here briefly the unending narratives of the British government’s proposed law radically modifying the Northern Ireland Protocol. After Brexit, a new system was needed because the EU has strict food rules and requires border checks when certain goods — such as milk and eggs — arrive from non-EU countries. It is well-known that special trading arrangements were needed for Northern Ireland after the UK voted for Brexit in 2016 because this is the only part of the UK with a land and sea border with an EU country — the Republic of Ireland. But the border issue between the two is a complex, delicate part of the Good Friday Agreement and can raise fears about “instability” that cameras or border posts, as well as any other security measures, may cause. The Protocol now rules that inspections and document checks would be conducted between Northern Ireland and Great Britain (England, Scotland, and Wales) at Northern Ireland’s ports. It was also agreed that Northern Ireland would keep following EU rules on product standards.In a somersault from the negotiated positions in the Protocol, the UK now wants to modify it by creating green lanes (for trusted traders transporting goods to Northern Ireland and exempt from checks and customs controls) and red lanes (meant for products destined for the EU, including the Republic of Ireland, which will undergo full checks and customs controls). Further, the Bill would remove tax restraints on Northern Irish businesses currently governed by EU rules on state aid and VAT rules. Even more, the UK government wants to substitute the European Court of Justice with an independent body to settle disputes over the Northern Ireland Protocol.Thus, the UK’s position is that its new parliamentary law is necessary for the survival of the Good Friday Agreement and peace in Northern Ireland, and it can change the terms of the Protocol to “safeguard an essential interest”. But even Sir Bob Neill, a conservative peer, has alerted against “tarnishing” Britain’s “reputation for upholding the law”.It is sadly true that politics deploys the law both for creating crisis and change and in rendering the catastrophic as the “new normal”. The UK PM, who jointly with the EU created the Protocol, now wishes to undo it by appealing to the fragility of peace in Northern Ireland. This is strange. While the Democratic Unionist Party wishes to largely “scrap” or “overhaul” the Protocol, the leading “nationalist parties and the Alliance Party say that it remains vital to stop a hard border, protect peace, and ensure prosperity”. And we must recall that all this occurs while Ukraine burns under pervasive Russian attacks! The BAUP saga remains a never-ending story.In response, the EU’s position is that revising the Protocol cannot be a solo enterprise since no international agreement, once entered into, may be changed unilaterally. Article 26 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties provides that “every treaty in force is binding upon the parties to it and must be performed by them in good faith” and Article 27 says that a “party may not invoke the provisions of its internal law as justification for its failure to perform a treaty”. The government justifies the change by recourse to the “doctrine of necessity” as providing “a clear basis in international law to justify the non-performance of international obligations under certain exceptional and limited conditions”. However, it is settled normatively that the states may enjoy sovereignty within international rule of law, and not beyond it.The EU has not yet started legal proceedings nor adopted a strategy of “trade war”. Wisely, it proposed a return to negotiation for two months beginning June 15. No “meaningful discussions” were held” since “February concerning suggestions for improving how the protocol is implemented”, including: (1) “reduction of customs and sanitary checks on goods going from Great Britain to Northern Ireland”; (2) reduction in “the amount of “paperwork for agri-food shipments” to a “three-page document per lorry”; and (3) relaxation of rules regarding “chilled meats, such as sausages” which, could still “be sent across the Irish Sea”.How far will the British parliament go along with the government’s proposal is anyone’s guess, as is the fate of any litigative options by the EU before the European Court of Justice in case a Protocol were to be unilaterally changed or rescinded. A litigation path will be long and arduous. The ultimate takeaway for those who suffer the vagaries of governance is the astonishing capacity of the state to convert the catastrophic into normal and normal into problematic. If such be the visages of power, what then are the images of justice?(The writer is professor of law emeritus, University of Warwick, and former vice-chancellor of Universities of South Gujarat and Delhi)
Pointing out that the “problem” of pendency of cases is “intensifying” due to lack of sufficient number of judges, Chief Justice of India N V Ramana on Tuesday said the government is yet to clear 23 names recommended for various high courts (HCs).He said he is “hoping for some forward movement in this regard”.“An issue that has been affecting court systems across the world relates to the fact that decisions within the regular courts take a long time,” the CJI said in his inaugural address at the Conference on ‘Arbitrating Indo-UK Commercial Disputes’ at Mansion House, London.“There is no denying that pendency of cases is a major issue in India,” he said. “Reasons for this include growth of the Indian economy, population, rising awareness about rights etc. In the absence of infrastructure and sufficient number of judges commensurate with the increasing workload, the problem is intensifying. This is why I have been strongly advocating for transforming and upgrading the judicial infrastructure in India, as well as filling up judicial vacancies and augmenting the strength.”He said, “After I assumed the office of Chief Justice of India, in addition to filling up 11 vacancies in the Supreme Court, the Collegia could secure appointment of 163 judges to various high courts. Twenty-three more recommendations are pending with the government. The Central government is yet to transmit another 120 names received from various high courts to the Supreme Court Collegium.“I have been reminding the government to expedite the process so that [the] remaining 381 vacancies can be reduced considerably. I am hoping for some forward movement in this regard.”On arbitration, the CJI said, “Although arbitration is not new to India, I must admit that it is still a domain which is evolving with the changing needs of the time.” He said the “growth of the Indian arbitration scenario has been very responsive to global trends and demands”.The CJI pointed out that besides the ease of enforcement of arbitration awards, another advantage for choosing India as a favored investment destination is its judicial system. He said: “Both the legal systems in India and the United Kingdom are known for giving paramount importance to the rule of law. Both nations share a similar legal culture, where courts are known and respected as independent institutions.“Apart from this, investors would be entering into a common, familiar legal field, as both nations follow the common law system. Laws on important issues are often convergent between both nations.”On the growth of arbitration in India, CJI Ramana said many international dispute resolution institutions are being established across the country to provide the commercial world fast and effective resolution of disputes. State governments are also taking active steps in establishing international arbitration centres, keeping in view global trends, the CJI pointed out.’He said the presence of such international arbitration centres will not only boost India’s global position as an investor-friendly nation but also facilitate the growth of a robust legal practice. This will also provide a fresh avenue for young lawyers to indulge in the practice of international commercial law, he said.The CJI said that to “catch up to the developed world, world-class arbitration and mediation centres need to be set up and promoted” in the country.CJI Ramana said that “keeping the big picture in mind”, he had “taken the initiative to set up an International Arbitration and Mediation Centre in Hyderabad”. He also conveyed that the Centre has proposed to set up another one in Gujarat.“As these centres are new and upcoming, there is a lot to be learned and shared from the success stories of arbitration in London,” he said.
The Gujarat forest department will restore 10,000 hectares of the Banni grasslands in the coming year, and every year in the coming decade.The state plans on restoring at least 76,000 hectares of this 2,497 sq. km grassland which is a high-biodiversity area — it has already restored 10,000 hectares over the past couple of years.The Banni grassland was also flagged by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his keynote speech at the United Nations High Level Dialogue on Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought last year, as part of India’s endeavour to reach the target of restoring 26 million hectares of degraded land by 2030.Forest officials say that while the project was begun in 2015-16, work took off in a major way only last year.The grasslands of Gujarat constitute about 4.33% (8,490 sq km) of the total geographical area, distributed in eight districts and three different climatic regions — Kutch, Saurashtra and central Gujarat. A majority of grasslands in Gujarat (41%) are found in the Kutch district. Banni grassland was declared a Protected Forest in 1955, under the Indian Forest Act, 1927.Besides having 40 species of grass and 99 species of flowering plants, Banni is also home to the Indian wolf, jackal, Indian fox, desert fox, desert cat, caracal, hyena, chinkara, Nilgai, wild boar, Indian hare, common monitor lizard — and the cheetah before it became extinct. Banni also has 273 bird species and in years of good rainfall, is home to thousands of migratory birds.Forest department officials have said that over the years, the landscape of Banni has shown drastic changes with the deterioration of the grassland taking place due to “heavy uncontrolled grazing”, widespread ingress of Prosopis Juliflora (a harmful exotic tree species), dams constructed on rivers flowing towards Banni, periodic occurrence of droughts and continuous increase in soil salinity.“On analysis of the data over last four decades, it was found that in the year 1989, the area was dominated with grasslands covering 54.57% of the area followed by saline areas devoid of vegetation or sparsely distributed vegetation covering 27.30% and Prosopis Juliflora, an alien invasive species, covering only 15.72% of the area. The Land Use Land Cover (LULC) assessment of the grassland over a 10 years interval revealed that grassland areas over the period gradually reduced while in the same period Prosopis Juliflora dominant area increased… encroached to more than 30%. Therefore, within a gap of 20 years, the Prosopis Juliflora dominant areas doubled in Banni,” stated the project proposal of the Gujarat forest department.The mainstay of the restoration project is, therefore, the removal of this alien species, which incidentally was introduced to the area by the forest department in the 1960s to stop the ingress of the salt flats. Ecologists, however, say the tree increases salinity.With a huge 20-lakh livestock population that depends on the grassland, the second part of the project envisions the production and storing of fodder for local farming and pastoral communities that live here. There are 48 villages that live inside the Banni grasslands. This part of fodder production by the forest department has become a cause of grave concern for environmentalists and ecologists in the area.“There exists a huge gap in demand and supply of fodder, making the livelihood of locals very difficult especially in droughts, which are a frequent occurrence in the area. Gujarat imports fodder from outside to make up this gap. It is important then to harvest grasses and keep them in storage as a mitigation measure. The state government has been collecting 67 lakh kg of grass annually. We have already made interventions in the Saurashtra grasslands, as a result of which 3 crore kg of grasses were collected last year. The 30 year average of grass collection was 247 kg per ha and is now 600 kg per ha,” Gujarat Conservator of Forests Dr Sandeep Kumar said.Dr Kumar says multiple species are planted in one patch and only indigenous species of grasses are used.Bharat Patel, deputy conservator of forests (DCF) of Banni Grassland said that his forest division has been given a target to bring additional 2400 ha under controlled grass cultivation in 2022-23 by the state government. “We have achieved this target by creating 27 grass plots of varying size and cumulatively covering 2400 ha. Gando baval (prosopis juliflora) and other unwanted vegetation has been removed from these plots and protective trench has been dug around them. We will start spraying grass seeds once the monsoon rains arrive,” Patel told The Indian Express.Ecologist Dr Ankila Hiremath, who has worked in Banni since 2012, says the forest department action is unnecessary and can even prove to me harmful. “In our experience in restoring parts of Banni, we have found that simply removing Prosopis Juliflora is sufficient, and the indigenous grasses grow back naturally. Moreover, many wildlife species started returning once this tree was removed. The planting of grasses, by furrowing the land, can actually be harmful as the roots of the indigenous grasses remain despite the invasive species – but if you furrow the land, you are removing the grass roots as well,” she said.Sandeep Virmani of Hunnarshala, who works with pastoralists living in Banni, says the milk produced because of this diversity of grasses eaten by the Banni buffalo is unique and, therefore, in demand.“The grasslands have native trees like Acacia nilotica, Salvadora persica and Capparis decidua which are protected under Section 26 in the Indian Forest Act, 1927. These have been destroyed to grow fodder. Banni has sensitive soil ecology where the sweet soil rests on salinity only 2 to 3 metres below the ground and any disturbance of the soil brings up salinity destroying the rich productivity of the land,” Virmani said.
Social media giant Twitter has moved the Karnataka High Court, challenging the Central government orders to take down content under the new IT laws, saying it is an abuse of power by officials. According to reports, the microblogging site has termed the orders “overbroad and arbitrary”. The government had previously said that big social media firms, including Twitter, have not complied with removal requests, despite their legal standing. Late last month, Twitter was warned by the IT ministry of criminal proceedings if it did not comply with some orders.The outer windshield of a SpiceJet aircraft, flying from Kandla in Gujarat, cracked mid-air today after which the plane made a priority landing in Mumbai. The Kandla-Mumbai flight was at 23,000 feet altitude when the windshield’s outer pane cracked. This is the second incident in the day involving a SpiceJet aircraft. Earlier in the day, a SpiceJet aircraft on its way to Dubai from Delhi landed in Karachi as it developed a technical glitch. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is now investigating the two incidents, along with the previous five incidents.Underlining that the observations of the Supreme Court on suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma violate judicial propriety and fairness, a group of former judges and bureaucrats wrote an open letter addressed to the Chief Justice of India. “The observations, simultaneously relayed by all channels in high decibel, are not in sync with judicial ethos and by no stretch these observations, which are not part of the judicial order, can be sanctified on the plank of judicial propriety and fairness,” the letter stated. The signatories include former chief justice of the Bombay High Court Kshitij Vyas, former Gujarat High Court judge S M Soni, former Rajasthan High Court judges R S Rathore and Prashant Agarwal, former Delhi High Court judge S N Dhingra, 77 bureaucrats, and 25 army veterans.POLITICAL PULSEFrom the Urdu Press this week: The flux of news over the past week was breathtaking. In Maharashtra, the Uddhav Thackeray-led MVA government collapsed and rebel Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde was sworn in as the new Chief Minister with the BJP’s ex-CM Devendra Fadnavis as his deputy. The ghastly killing of Kanhaiya Lal in Udaipur, filmed and flaunted online by his killers, convulsed the country. Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair was arrested by Delhi Police for a 2018 tweet. And the Supreme Court, while rejecting Nupur Sharma’s plea to club FIRs over her controversial remarks, came down heavily on her. The coverage of these developments and more, along with analysis and commentary, dominated the news and opinion pages of the Urdu dailies.On Sunday, as office-bearers of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) took oath in Ahmedabad, national convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal launched an attack on the Congress, calling it “a party only on paper”. The statement indicated that AAP, which had contested 29 seats in the 2017 Gujarat Assembly elections, has identified the Congress as its main opponent. And that as the first step in a state ruled by the BJP now for 27 years, is seeking to replace the Congress as the main Opposition. BJP too seems to be recalibrating its political messaging, ahead of the approaching elections. Its attacks are now increasingly directed at the Congress in a bid to downplay the challenge from AAP – a party that has been causing the BJP some heartburn in several parts of the country. Vaibhav Jha reports.Express ExplainedSingapore-headquartered cryptocurrency lending and trading platform Vauld suspended withdrawals, trading and deposits Monday because of volatile market conditions and financial difficulties, the company announced in a blog post. With this, Vauld joins major crypto broker Voyager Digital and crypto lender Celsius Network LLC to suspend trading and withdrawals. Why are cryptocurrencies witnessing such a sharp decline, why are crypto platforms suspending withdrawals, and what are its implications? We explain.India and Australia have decided to strengthen their partnership in the field of projects and supply chains for critical minerals. As part of his six-day tour of Australia, Union Coal and Mines Minister Pralhad Joshi met his counterpart, Resources and Northern Australia Minister Madeleine King, after which Australia confirmed that it would “commit A$5.8 million to the three-year India-Australia Critical Minerals Investment Partnership”. As countries around the world scale up their transition towards clean energy and digital economy, critical resources are key to the ecosystem that fuels this change. So what are these critical minerals? Read here.Preparing for Civil Services and other competitive examinations. Read The Indian Express’ UPSC Key and UPSC Essentials to stay informed.
On a tough day for SpiceJet, two of its aircraft were forced to make priority landings after they developed technical glitches on Tuesday. Including the two new ones, as many as seven such incidents have happened on SpiceJet flights in the last 17 days.Here is the list of all technical glitches reported on SpiceJet aircraft in the last 17 days:June 19* A Delhi-bound Boeing 737-800 operated by the Gurugram-based low-cost airline made an emergency landing in Patna, minutes after take-off from there, after one of its engines suffered a bird hit. The aircraft was carrying 185 passengers and six crew members.* A Bombardier Q400 Dash 8, developed a cabin pressurisation issue after departure from Delhi. As the aircraft climbed out of Delhi, the pilots noted that the cabin pressure did not build up in line with the altitude gain. Following this, the crew decided to return and the aircraft landed safely back in Delhi.June 24* The fuselage warning light on a SpiceJet Q400 aircraft (Guwahati-Kolkata) lit up when it was on ‘rotation’, forcing them to abandon their journeys and return. The pilots of the flight found that the warning was coming from the baggage door at the rear end of the plane, the officials said.June 25* A similar incident took place on SpiceJet’s Patna-Guwahati flight on June 25. A SpiceJet Q400 aircraft was forced to ditch its take-off roll at the Patna airport after the aircraft’s fuselage door warning light lit up. Here too, it was found that the warning had come from the baggage door at the rear end of the aircraft.July 2* A Jabalpur-bound flight operated by the low-cost carrier on a Bombardier Q400 Dash 8 plane made an emergency landing in Delhi after the smoke alarm was triggered. The aircraft took off from Delhi early Saturday, and while climbing past 5,000 feet, the crew noticed smoke in the cabin along with the lavatory smoke alarm sound going off, a top official at the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said.July 5* A SpiceJet Boeing 737 Max aircraft on its way to Dubai from Delhi with 150 people on board landed in Karachi, Pakistan on Tuesday after it developed a technical glitch. Pilots of the Dubai-bound flight noticed unusual fuel reduction in one of the plane’s fuel tanks, following which they decided to divert the plane to the closest airport, officials said. The flight was cruising at 36,000 feet in the Pakistan airspace when the glitch was observed, a source said.* The outer windshield of a SpiceJet aircraft, flying from Kandla in Gujarat, cracked mid-air today after which the plane made a priority landing in Mumbai. Officials said the Kandla-Mumbai flight of SpiceJet was at 23,000 feet altitude when the windshield’s outer pane cracked.The Directorate General of Civil Aviation is investigating all seven incidents.Meanwhile, shares of the budget carrier fell over two per cent on Tuesday following reports that the SpiceJet Boeing 737 Max aircraft had to land in Karachi. The SpiceJet stock fell 2.33 per cent to end at Rs 37.65 apiece on the BSE while on the National Stock Exchange (NSE), it declined 2.20 per cent to settle at Rs 37.70 per share.
The outer windshield of a SpiceJet aircraft, flying from Kandla in Gujarat, cracked mid-air today after which the plane made a priority landing in Mumbai.Officials said the Kandla-Mumbai flight of SpiceJet was at 23,000 feet altitude when the windshield’s outer pane cracked.This is the second incident in the day involving a SpiceJet aircraft. Earlier in the day, a SpiceJet aircraft on its way to Dubai from Delhi landed in Karachi as it developed a technical glitch.On 5th July, 2022, SpiceJet Q400 aircraft was operating SG 3324 (Kandla – Mumbai). During cruise at FL230, P2 side windshield outer pane cracked. Pressurization was observed to be normal. The aircraft landed safely in Mumbai: SpiceJet Spokesperson pic.twitter.com/DYypQXmTyk— ANI (@ANI) July 5, 2022A statement issued by a SpiceJet spokesperson read: “On July 5, 2022, SpiceJet Q400 aircraft was operating SG 3324 (Kandla – Mumbai). During cruise at FL230, its P2 side windshield outer pane cracked. Pressurisation was observed to be normal. The aircraft landed safely in Mumbai.”The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is investigating the two incidents which took place on Tuesday, along with the previous five incidents, the officials noted.(With inputs from PTI)
This is the 7th safety-related concern in SpiceJet in less than 3 weeks, say sources (Representational)New Delhi: A SpiceJet aircraft, flying from Kandla in Gujarat, made a priority landing in Mumbai after its outer windshield developed a crack mid-air, said the airline. This is the second incident in the day involving a SpiceJet plane.Officials said the Kandla-Mumbai flight of SpiceJet was at 23,000 feet altitude when the windshield's outer pane cracked.All passenger and crew members are safe, the airline said in a statement."During cruise at FL230, P2 side windshield outerpane cracked. Associated non normal checklist actions were carried out. Pressurization was observed to be normal. Priority landing was carried out and aircraft landed safely at BOM (Bombay)," the airline said in a statement.Aviation sources have told NDTV that this is the seventh safety-related concern in SpiceJet in less than three weeks. The other incidents, all of which have been brought to the attention of the regulator, including two door warnings, a bird hit, oil leakage from an engine, a pressurisation problem in addition to today's malfunction.The aviation regulator, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) conducted a fleet-wide safety audit of SpiceJet aircraft just last month and continues to carry out inspections on a case-by-case basis.Earlier today, a SpiceJet plane flying from Delhi to Dubai had to be diverted to Karachi due to a malfunctioning indicator light.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comJust two days ago, the pilot of a SpiceJet Q400 airliner flying from Delhi to Jabalpur made a 'May Day' distress call and returned to Delhi after smoke was detected in the cabin.On June 19, a Delhi-bound SpiceJet aircraft, with 185 passengers on board, made an emergency landing in Patna right after take-off as its left engine caught fire following a bird hit.
Important topics and their relevance in UPSC CSE exam for July 5, 2022. If you missed the July 4, 2022 UPSC key from the Indian Express, read it hereFRONT PAGENo service charge by default, Govt tells hotels & restaurantsSyllabus:Preliminary Examination: Current events of national and international importance.Mains Examination: General Studies III: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilisation, of resources, growth, development and employmentKey Points to Ponder:• Why in News–The Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) barred hotels and restaurants from adding service charge “automatically or by default” in the food bill. in case of violation, a consumer can ask the hotel/ restaurant to remove the service charge, or seek redressal by filing a complaint.• What do the Central Consumer Protection Authority’s (CCPA) guidelines say?• What can a consumer do in case of a violation of these guidelines?• Why did the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) issue the guidelines?• Under which law have these guidelines been issued?• What do restaurants and hotels say?• What Is a Service Charge?• Know the types of Service Charges• Service Charges Versus Tips-Know the Differences• Department of Consumer Affairs guidelines on Service Charges, 2017-Key Highlights• The Consumer Protection Act, 2019-Key Highlights• What is the Central Consumer Protection Authority?• Central Consumer Protection Authority constituted under which act?• Central Consumer Protection Authority-know Composition, Powers and Functions• What Does Regulatory Authority Mean?Other Important Articles Covering the same topic:📍Explained: The new guidelines against ‘service charge’, and what you can do if a restaurant adds it to your billGovt still to clear 26 as judges, Bombay HC down to nearly half its strengthSyllabus:Preliminary Examination: Indian Polity and Governance-Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.Mains Examination: General Studies II: Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary—Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity.Key Points to Ponder:• Seventh Amendment Act of 1956 authorised the Parliament to establish a common high court for two or more states or for two or more states and a union territory-True or False?• At present, what is the number of high courts in the country?• Which union territory has a high court of its own?• Articles 214 to 231 in Part VI of the Constitution deals with what?• The judges of a high court are appointed by who?• What was the Supreme court’s ruling in the Second Judges case (1993), with respect to the appointment of a judge of the high court?• Third Judges case (1998) and Supreme Court’s ruling in case of the appointment of high court judges-What was the Supreme Court’s ruling?• The sole opinion of the chief justice of India is alone for the appointment of Judges in the high court-Right or Wrong?• Know in detail about the 99th Constitutional Amendment Act of 2014• The National Judicial Appointments Commission Act of 2014 and the Collegium System-Compare and Contrast• What are the qualifications required for a person to be appointed as a judge of a high court?• A person appointed as a judge of a high court, before entering upon his office, has to make and subscribe an oath or affirmation before whom?• The Constitution has fixed the tenure of a judge of a high court-True or False?• Additional and Acting Judges-Compare and Contrast• The Constitution has made certain provisions to safeguard and ensure the independent and impartial functioning of a high court-Know in detail• Jurisdiction And Powers Of High Court-Know in detailOther Important Articles Covering the same topic:📍Bench above religion📍After 4 years of delay, Centre to clear appointment of Sadiq Wasim Nagral as judge of J&K High CourtGOVT & POLITICSPM hails Digital India: Transparency ending network of middlemenSyllabus:Preliminary Examination: Current events of national and international importance.Mains Examination: General Studies II: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.Key Points to Ponder:• Digital India programme-Know the background• How do you explain Digital India?• The Digital India programme is centred on three key vision areas-Know that three key Vision areas• What is the main purpose of Digital India?• Digital India aims to provide the much needed thrust to the nine pillars of growth areas. They are?• What are the Approach and Methodology for Digital India programme adopted by Government of India?• What are Various Schemes of Digital India programme?• What is Digital India Week?• What is Digital India motto?• Significant Achievements of Digital India-Know in detail• What are the issues and challenges associated with Digital India Programme?Other Important Articles Covering the same topic:📍Vision of Digital IndiaTHE IDEAS PAGEA chill down Asia’s spineSyllabus:Preliminary Examination: Current events of national and international importance.Mains Examination: General Studies II: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.Key Points to Ponder:• According to the author, what was One of the many interesting features of latest summit of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation in Madrid?• Russia and China and their ‘muscular regional policies’. What you have understood with the expression ‘muscular regional policies’?• What is Euro-Atlantic area? Can you mark or shade this region on world map?• How NATO’s Stand changed for China since 2010? (Hint: Given in the article)• Why NATO was called as “brain dead” by famous world leader?• What author trying to say with the statement that ‘for India, it is natural to be neutral between its old friend Russia and its newfound partners in North America and Europe’?• ‘Small countries seek alliances not for the fun of it; they look for alliances when their fears of more powerful neighbours become acute’-Attest this statement with some recent example• What did the present Prime Minister of India said about the dangers of “expansionism” or “vistarvad”?• What do you understand by term “expansionism”?• How expansionism and imperialism are correlated?• The term ‘expansionism’ includes territorial expansion only-True or False?• China and “Asian NATO”-Connect the dots (Hint: Given in the Article)• What Author is saying with this statement-“Thanks to the egregious expansionism of Russia and China, the strategic integration of the Asian and European geopolitical theatres has now begun”• North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)-Know the historical background and current Status• What is Article 5 of NATO’s founding treaty (Collective Security)?• What is Article 4 of NATO’s Founding Treaty?• NATO summit in Madrid-Know the key highlights• Why India did not join North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)?Other Important Articles Covering the same topic:📍Explained: NATO expansion & Russia📍The India–NATO Council and a Tri-Polar WorldThe stakes in KabulSyllabus:Preliminary Examination: Current events of national and international importance.Mains Examination: General Studies II: India and its neighbourhood- relationsKey Points to Ponder:• Afghanistan’s location in South Asia is particularly relevant to India as a geographical neighbour, Why?• How India helped Afghanistan in recent earthquake?• Strategic Partnership between India and the Afghanistan in 2011-Key Highlights• What has been the Government of India’s stand on Taliban which is in power in Afghanistan?• How Afghanistan impacts India’s security?• Map Work-Afghanistan• The first official Indian visit to Kabul since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in August 2021-Why Significant?• What is the Current Situation in Afghanistan?• Who are the Taliban?• In what context have you heard or know about “Good Taliban, Bad Taliban”?• ‘Principle and Pragmatism’ and Relationship with Taliban-Connect the Dots• The Doha Agreement, signed by the United States and the Taliban on 29 February 2020, was one of the critical events that caused the Fall of Kabul-How far you agree?• India’s bilateral relations with Afghanistan before and after august 2021-Compare and ContrastOther Important Articles Covering the same topic:📍Explained: Engaging with the Taliban📍Who are the Taliban?📍Explained: As Afghanistan falls to Taliban, what does it mean for Middle East?EXPLAINEDHow stock markets are valuedSyllabus:Preliminary Examination: Economic and Social Development-Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.Mains Examination: General Studies III: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment.Key Points to Ponder:• Which institution releases the Financial stability Report (FSR)?• How do you describe financial stability?• What is the main takeaway from the latest Financial stability Report (FSR)?• Have the Indian markets corrected enough? Or are they still overvalued?• Do you Know– The Financial stability Report (FSR) is published biannually and includes contributions from all the financial sector regulators. It is the main document to understand the current status of risks to the stability of the Indian financial system.• What is ‘Non-performing assets (NPAs)’?• What are the impacts of High level of non-performing assets (NPAs) on India’s Economy?• Who publish Global financial stability report?Other Important Articles Covering the same topic:📍RBI: Bank NPA ratio at 6-year low, but fintechs expose system to new risks📍New RBI report says asset quality, capital position of banking system continues to improve. That’s something to build onLarge Hadron Collider’s run 3 from today: what it will look for nowSyllabus:Preliminary Examination: Current events of national and international importance.Mains Examination: General Studies III: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.Key Points to Ponder:• What is the Large Hadron Collider?• What does the Large Hadron Collider do?• Why Large Hadron Collider is in news?• “Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire”, or European Council for Nuclear Research (CERN)-Know key details• What is ATLAS project?• What is ATLAS and CMS?• Do you Know–on July 4, 2012, scientists at CERN announced the discovery of the Higgs boson or the ‘God Particle’ during the LHC’s first run. The discovery concluded the decades-long quest for the ‘force-carrying’ subatomic particle, and proved the existence of the Higgs mechanism, a theory put forth in the mid-sixties.• What do you know about Higgs boson or God particles?• Why is the Higgs boson called the God particle?Other Important Articles Covering the same topic:📍5 things you need to know about the Large Hadron ColliderFolk hero Alluri Sitharama Raju: the legend, and political claims on his legacySyllabus:Preliminary Examination: History of India and Indian National Movement.Mains Examination: General Studies I: The Freedom Struggle — its various stages and important contributors/contributions from different parts of the country.Key Points to Ponder:• Who was Alluri Sitharama Raju?• What was Alluri Sitaram Raju well known for?• Who led the tribal revolt in Andhra Pradesh?• Alluri Sitharama Raju-Know his LegacyOther Important Articles Covering the same topic:📍PM Modi unveils statue of legendary freedom fighter Alluri Sitarama Raju in APECONOMYGujarat, Karnataka ‘best’ in startup ecosystemSyllabus:Preliminary Examination: Economic and Social Development-Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.Mains Examination: General Studies III: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment.Key Points to Ponder:• State’s Startup Ranking 2021-Key Highlights• Which state is best for start-ups according to State’s Startup Ranking 2021?• The State’s Startup Ranking 2021 is organised by whom?• Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal trade (DPIIT)-Know in detailOther Important Articles Covering the same topic:📍Gujarat, Karnataka ‘best performers’ in building startup ecosystemGet an e-paper subscription via our special offer – click hereFor any queries and feedback, contact email@example.comThe UPSC KEY Indian Express is now on Telegram. 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Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah have assured him full support for the development and growth of the state.Addressing hundreds of Shiv Sainiks on Monday night during his first visit to his hometown Thane after taking over as the CM, Shinde said the risk that he took (referring to political developments over the last fortnight) has been appreciated by people, despite criticism from certain quarters.“I am going to undertake a tour of the entire state and allot projects in every constituency. There will be a total transformation of the state. I do not exaggerate much, I do work and then speak,” he said.He said Prime Minister Modi has told him to work for the development and growth of the state.“He (the PM) told me that he and the central government would support me. Even Union Home Minister Amit Shah has expressed his full support. They said I am good work for Hindutva,” Shinde said.Referring to the political developments of the last fortnight when he along with some Sena MLAs left for Surat, later stayed in Guwahati and then in Goa before returning to Mumbai, Shinde said 50 legislators had faith and confidence in him.“We had stood up against injustice and not revolted. (Shiv Sena founder) Balasaheb Thackeray had asked us to rise against injustice, this was his teaching and also of (Shinde’s mentor) Anand Dighe,” he said, adding that it was due to the blessings of the two leaders and good wishes of citizens that he became the CM.“We were out for 15 days, and as much as you wanted to meet me, I was also eager to meet my Shiv Sainiks and activists. Even now I don’t feel like I am the CM. I am one among you. Henceforth also, I will be a ‘karyakarta’ among you all,” he said.Shinde said no matter how big his stature may grow, the Shiv Sainik in him will always remain.The CM also said he has given a commitment to the 50 MLAs who supported him that none of them will face defeat in the next elections.“If I give a commitment once, I never listen to even myself till it is fulfilled,” he said.Referring to some strong critical remarks made by Sena leaders after he had left Mumbai with some MLAs, Shinde said “Kamakhyadevi (the deity of a famous temple in Guwahati) gave her blessings to us.” “Truth always wins. We will make the best use of the golden opportunity we have got now to lead the state,” he said.“We have to make our mission successful and honour Hindutva, which also means respect every religion,” he said.Shinde said every caste, creed, and region will get due respect and everyone, including farmers and the poor people, will get justice in his government.In his speech in the Assembly after the floor test, he said, “Everything was spontaneous, whatever I spoke was an expression of my feelings. I could not believe that I could deliver such a speech.” “I have contributed to the Shiv Sena all my life at the cost of my family,” Shinde said while lauding his supporters who gathered in a large number during his address braving the heavy rain.The CM also visited the BJP office here and was greeted by BJP city president and MLC Niranjan Davkhare.
On Sunday, as office-bearers of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) took oath in Ahmedabad, national convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal launched an attack on the Congress, calling it “a party only on paper” and urging AAP workers to ensure that “not a single vote is cast for it” in the state.The statement indicated that AAP, which had contested 29 seats in the 2017 Gujarat Assembly elections and lost deposits in all, has identified the Congress as its main opponent. And that as the first step in a state ruled by the BJP now for 27 years, is seeking to replace the Congress as the main Opposition.The BJP too seems to be recalibrating its political messaging, ahead of the approaching elections. Its attacks are now increasingly directed at the Congress in a bid to downplay the challenge from AAP – a party that has been causing the BJP some heartburn in several parts of the country.The two-day visit that concluded on Monday was Kejriwal’s fifth in two months to Gujarat, as part of its push in the state, which includes a membership drive, overhaul of the organisation, building of a cadre base, and appointment of Rajya Sabha MP and key strategist Sandeep Pathak as the state in-charge. Sunday’s speech indicated that while AAP’s social media campaign might be aimed at the BJP, it would refocus its energy on the Congress.Addressing some 7,000 new office-bearers, Kerjiwal asked them to conduct door-to-door campaigns, and educate voters on the “free electricity” and “free education” model of AAP in Delhi and Punjab. “We have to tell the people that there is no use voting for the Congress. Last time, they voted for the Congress, and today see how many Congress MLAs have left their own party… They should not waste their votes. The office-bearers of AAP must ensure that not a single vote is cast in favour of the Congress this Assembly election,” said Kejriwal.HISTORIC MOMENT IN GUJARAT POLITICS‼️A Record 6988 office bearers of AAP were administered the oath to serve the people honestly by AAP National Convenor @ArvindKejriwal.This is the beginning of “Change” in Gujarat!🔥#AAPGujaratShapathGrahan pic.twitter.com/95WGX4fZpa— AAP (@AamAadmiParty) July 3, 2022He said that people voted for the Congress as they did not have an alternative in the state if they were angry with the BJP. “On voting day, they see the option of the Congress and are forced to vote for the BJP. The votes of all such people should come to us. If we ensure this, then I say with conviction that the next government is ours,” Kejriwal said.After putting up its best result in 25 years in Gujarat, winning 77 of 182 seats in the Assembly elections of 2017 – wresting 36 of these from the BJP – the Congress has lost as many as 29 MLAs, with the last as recently as May, with most of them defecting to the BJP. Its tally in the House now is 64. Among those to leave was working president Hardik Patel, while its other hope, philanthropist-industrialist Patidar leader Naresh Patel, eventually decided to “not join politics”.The BJP has been wary of AAP since it struck rich in last year’s municipal corporation elections in Surat, the bastion of Gujarat BJP chief C R Paatil, winning 27 seats (all earlier held by the Congress). Last week, the BJP responded in kind to a Delhi team visiting Gujarat schools, by sending one of its own to the Capital, in a bid to bust one of AAP government’s showpiece initiatives.As part of its Assembly poll plan, AAP is expected to zero in first on the 36 Assembly constituencies it took from the BJP in 2017.Speaking to The Indian Express, AAP Gujarat president Gopal Italia said that “the Congress doesn’t have any strongholds in any of the belts of Gujarat”. “We have always maintained that the BJP and Congress behave like the A team and B team of one party… When there are only two runners in a race, then it’s obvious that one of them will come second. But we have come to change that scenario.”Admitting a decision to direct their attention to the Congress, Italia said: “Arvind Kejriwal noticed that the Congress is not doing anything on the ground in Gujarat so he asked karyakartas to target anti-BJP voters. We will tell people who have anger against the BJP that this time they are not helpless as AAP has arrived as an alternative.”Retaliating to AAP claims, Gujarat Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi said it was only helping the BJP. “AAP has been unable to govern Delhi and Punjab where crime and corruption are rampant. Now as an ally of the BJP, they want to enter Gujarat targeting the Congress. But the voters are better educated about AAP and will give them a befitting reply in the elections,” Doshi said.
The Digital India campaign has helped save Rs 2.25 lakh crore from falling into the wrong hands in the past eight years, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Gandhinagar Monday. The campaign has also helped to eliminate middle-men, he said while inaugurating “Digital India Week 2022” and a Digital Expo at Mahatma Mandir in the city.“The transparency that has come due to Digital India has eliminated corruption at various levels adversely affecting the poor and the middle class. We have seen that period when it was difficult to get a service without paying a bribe. Digital India has saved money for the common man… ending the network of middle-men,” said PM Modi while speaking on the seventh anniversary of launching the “Digital India” campaign, a flagship programme of the Central government.“In the last eight years, more than Rs 23 lakh crore has been transferred through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) to beneficiaries. Due to this technology, almost Rs 2.25 lakh crore that would have landed in the wrong hands have been saved,” he added. He said the trio of Jan Dhan, Mobile and Aadhaar, or JAM, have “provided maximum benefit to the poor and the middle class”. The Digital India campaign has also helped eliminate “queues” in the country.“It will touch your hearts to know how Digital India helped missing children reconnect with their parents,” he said as he narrated the story of a young girl from Uttar Pradesh who got lost on a railway platform when was six years old. “She was not able to tell her address or anything about her parents whereabouts. She had an Aadhaar card already registered in her name. Using this data, her parents were found,” said Modi, adding that the girl was reunited with her parents at age of 14 using the Aadhaar data. “Similarly, more than 500 children from different places have been reunited with their parents using this technology.”Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel, Union Minister for Electronics and Information Technology Ashwini Vaishnaw and Union Minister of State Rajeev Chandrasekhar were also present at the event where PM Modi launched a host of digital platforms and services, including Indiastack.global, myscheme, Meri Pehchan, Digital India Bhashini, Digital India Genesis, Chips to Start-ups and an e-book.The Prime Minister said it was Digital India that helped the government tackle the crisis arising out of Covid pandemic. “CoWin and Aarogya Setu are two mobile applications that helped provide 200 crore vaccine doses. The world is still debating how to generate vaccine certificates and in India, the certificate is available immediately after a vaccine dose is taken,” he said, adding that his critics are stuck at why the vaccine certificates carryModi’s photograph.PM Modi also mentioned how GIFT City was emerging as a fintech hub. He said India’s Unified Payment Interface (UPI) has been appreciated by the World Bank and others. “Just in May this year, India conducted 1.3 lakh UPI transactions every minute. In other words, 2200 transactions were conducted every second. Be it developed countries or those who cannot invest in such technology, India’s digital product—UPI—is the centre of attraction. We have scale in our digital solutions. They are secure and have democratic values,” he added.Digital India has also helped bridge the digital divide that exists between rural and urban India, the Prime Minister said. Talking about his recent visit to Dahod (a tribal area in Gujarat), PM Modi said he met a divyang couple who were operating a common service centre (CSC). “The couple met me. They told me that their average income was Rs 28,000 as people in the village come to his centre to avail the services. See the strength of digital India.”Pointing out that Gujarat was the first state in the country to have a State Data Centre, Gujarat State Wide Area Network, e-gram centres and ATVT (Aapno Taluko Vibrant Taluko) scheme, PM Modi said the “experiences in Gujarat” have helped in using technology for governance after 2014. “Thank you, Gujarat. These experiences are the foundation of Digital India,” he added.Sharing a personal experience from the Gujarat Assembly in 2005, Modi narrated how he wanted to introduce widow pensions through post-offices. Pointing out that there was opposition for the move, Modi said, “They were not worried about the widows. When photos and identity documents of widows were submitted, you will be surprised to know that there were many fake accounts in the name of widows that were drawing pensions.”
AHMEDABAD: AAP convener and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal promised that people of Gujarat will get free electricity if his party is voted to power in the forthcoming assembly election. He was speaking at an interactive session, 'Bijli Jansamvaad', organized by the AAP in Ahmedabad on Monday. A number of people listed out the difficulties they are facing in relation to power supply. Kejriwal announced that he will visit the state next Sunday "with a solution to Gujarat's electricity problem." Kejriwal said: "Gujarat can also get free, 24-hour electricity, but the condition is only one, and that is you will have to change the politics, the government, and bring in an honest party." The AAP chief said he will visit the state every week to interact with the public on various issues such as corruption, agriculture, and MSP.
AHMEDABAD: AAP convener and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal promised that people of Gujarat will get free electricity if his party is voted to power in the forthcoming assembly election. He was speaking at an interactive session, ‘Bijli Jansamvaad’, organized by the AAP in Ahmedabad on Monday. A number of people listed out the difficulties they are facing in relation to power supply. Kejriwal announced that he will visit the state next Sunday “with a solution to Gujarat’s electricity problem.” Kejriwal said: “Gujarat can also get free, 24-hour electricity, but the condition is only one, and that is you will have to change the politics, the government, and bring in an honest party.” The AAP chief said he will visit the state every week to interact with the public on various issues such as corruption, agriculture, and minimum support price. Asserting that it was possible to provide free power to citizens without burdening them with additional taxes or piling up loans, the Delhi CM said his experience has shown that 70-80% of electricity bills are inflated. “Today, 73% of Delhi’s power users get zero electricity bills and about 80% of the users of Punjab will get zero electricity bills,” he said. These achievements have been possible without taking any loans or levying additional taxes, Kejriwal said.
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convener Arvind Kejriwal on Monday said that “free” and “uninterrupted” electricity will be available in Gujarat, provided people are ready to “change politics” in the 2022 Assembly elections and bring the party to power.The Delhi Chief Minister was on a two-day visit to the state where he attended a town hall event near Vaishno Devi circle in Ahmedabad on Monday noon on the issue of free electricity, where he reiterated his poll promise of providing power free of cost.“Free and uninterrupted electricity supply is a talisman and I only possess it. No one else in the world has introduced free power supply except our government. We are honest people with noble intentions and we don’t want to make money from power companies. Electricity can be free, cheaper and uninterrupted in Gujarat as well, provided you are ready to change politics and bring us to power,” said Kejriwal.Kejriwal attacked the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the opposition Congress for their alleged failure to make power supply an election issue.“Elections are coming in Gujarat and today we have assembled to discuss the problem of electricity here. I would like to ask you all that AAP is contesting elections for the first time in Gujarat but there have been many elections contested by the BJP and Congress. Has any party sat with you people to discuss the issue of electricity?” Kejriwal said.“They come, organize huge rallies, deliver big speeches and make big promises but then they loot the people for the next five years. Our party workers have been visiting villages in Gujarat, listening to the grievances of the people. Such people who only have 2-3 fans and bulbs, even they are getting electricity bills of thousands of rupees. If poor people have to pay electricity bills of thousands of rupees every month, then how are they supposed to send their kids to school and ensure two times meals? Why is electricity so expensive in Gujarat?,” he further said.Kejriwal accused ministers and elected representatives in the state of “consuming thousands of units of electricity” for free.“Ministers and elected representatives are making merry in Gujarat…they have several ACs in their bungalows yet their electricity bill comes to zero. Whereas you people, despite having only a few fans, bulbs, TV and a fridge at your home, have to spend thousands on the bill. This is unfair. The facilities given to these politicians must be extended to the common people also,” he added.Kejriwal also attacked the BJP government over the power supply provided to state’s farmers.“I got to know that farmers in Gujarat get electricity only during night hours. What is the logic behind this? On top of that, the rate of steep and there are frequent power cuts. I think the Gujarat secretariat Bhawan should get electricity only during night hours for a few days and these ministers should work only during this time. If our farmers will stay awake all night for electricity, when will they sleep?” said Kejriwal.At the end of the event, Kejriwal also promised the audience that he will return to Gujarat next Sunday, “with a solution for free electricity in Gujarat.”
Arvind Kejriwal claimed that 73 per cent of the people in Delhi get zero electricity bill.Ahmedabad: Ahead of the Gujarat Assembly elections due later this year, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday said he will visit the state every week to interact with the public on various issues like corruption and farming, and claimed it was possible to provide free electricity to people if they bring an "honest party" to power in the state.The Aam Aadmi Party's (AAP) national convener said his party has shown in Delhi and Punjab that they stick to their promise."Gujarat can also get cheap, free, 24-hour electricity, but the condition is only one, and that is you will have to change the politics, government, and bring in an honest party...I will be back on Sunday with a solution to Gujarat's electricity problem," Mr Kejriwal said during a town hall organised on the issue of electricity.When some members of the general public raised various issues affecting them, the AAP leader said he will discuss them separately."Today, we should discuss electricity. We will discuss other issues as well. I will visit Gujarat every week and hold 'jan samvad' (public dialogue) on the issues of corruption, agriculture, MSP (minimum support price)," he said.Mr Kejriwal said if Gujarat ministers can enjoy zero electricity bills despite consuming thousands of units, then why not the general public.If farmers in Gujarat are supplied electricity at night, then ministers should also be given the opportunity to work at night for some time at the secretariat, he said during the town hall, referring to an issue raised by a farmer that power supply for agriculture at night adversely affects their life.Mr Kejriwal, without naming anyone, also accused BJP leaders of lying by claiming that there are no power cuts in Gujarat.He said a "very big leader" from Gujarat said people of the state do not want anything for free. "First you give up free electricity...," he said."They are scared that if people are provided free electricity, then they will have no money left to loot," he said.Mr Kejriwal said the "magic" behind their ability to provide free electricity is their clean conscience and honesty."We do not ask for money from power companies, we improve them, we work in the interest of the public. Other parties seek donations for elections from such companies, but we do not seek donations. You are our donation," he said.Sharing the experience of Delhi where the AAP government provides free electricity up to 200 units, Mr Kejriwal said as soon as his party assumed office, power companies were warned not to raise the unit rates."We said we have nothing to do if you gave money to former governments, but our government is honest, we will not ask for a single penny from you. But, you should not raise the electricity rates. They have not raised the rate in the last seven years," the Delhi CM said."We provide subsidies to the public after saving money on corruption, which is why they are enjoying free electricity. When we managed to do so in Delhi, the BJP and Congress said this cannot be done in a larger state, so we won in Punjab," he said.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comHe claimed that 73 per cent of the people in Delhi get zero electricity bill. In Punjab, where the scheme was introduced from July 1, it will be around 80 per cent, he added.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
AHMEDABAD: Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convener Arvind Kejriwal promised that people of state will get free electricity if his party is voted to power in the forthcoming Gujarat assembly election. He was speaking at an interactive session - 'Bijli Jansamvaad', organised by the party in Ahmedabad on Monday. Even as a number of power users listed out the difficulties they are facing regarding electricity, Kejriwal announced that he will visit Gujarat next Sunday "with a solution to Gujarat’s electricity problem." Asserting that it was possible to provide free power to citizens without burdening them with additional taxes or piling up loans, the Delhi CM said that his experience has shown that 70% to 80% of electricity bills are inflated. "Today 73% of Delhi power users get zero electricity bills and about 80% users of Punjab will get zero electricity bills," he said. Kejriwal said that this has been possible without taking any loans or levying additional taxes. "I am a literate man, an engineer and I have worked in the IT department. I have done my calculations well." he quipped to a round of applause. Hinting at a complete overhaul of the electricity distribution system, he said that providing free power is like performing magic. An art which only he knows. "The secret to free electricity is that I have stopped electricity companies from fleecing people," he said. Commenting on the Gujarat government providing power to farmers during the night hours, the Delhi CM remarked, "If farmers get electricity at night, then the secretariat should also get power only at night." "Elected representatives are using thousands of units of power without paying anything. Some may have installed air conditioners in their toilets too and yet get zero electricity bills. People of the state should get the same benefits as the elected representatives," he said.
Arvind Kejriwal also condemned the killings in Maharashtra's Amravati and in Rajasthan's Udaipur.Ahmedabad (Gujarat): With just a few months left for the Gujarat Assembly election, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convenor Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday urged the Gujrati people to vote for AAP saying that "those who are not satisfied with BJP should vote for us"."We are not here to engage in dirty politics or corruption. We are here to help people. We are doing good work in Delhi and Punjab. Don't waste your vote on Congress. Those who are not satisfied with BJP should vote for us," said Arvind Kejriwal addressing a gathering in Ahmedabad.As many as 6,988 AAP office-bearers took oath on Sunday."The common man in Gujarat wants a change. They are joining hands with the AAP... There are no Congress office-bearers or volunteers in Gujarat, but lakhs from AAP. Within a month, we'd be bigger than even BJP," said Mr Kejriwal.Expressing hope and confidence over the AAP's victory in the 2022 Gujarat elections, the Delhi Chief Minister said, "AAP is expanding on a huge scale in Gujarat. People are tired of the 27 years of BJP. BJP thinks Congress can't replace them so they have developed ego. People are looking with hope towards AAP this time."The Delhi Chief Minister also condemned the killings in Maharashtra's Amravati and in Rajasthan's Udaipur.On June 28, a tailor Kanhaiyalal Kumar was murdered by two men inside his shop in Udaipur in the broad daylight, while a chemist shop owner Umesh Kolhe was killed by several men in Amravati on June 21.On the incident, the Delhi Chief Minister said, "Whatever is happening is wrong, the country can't move forward like this. There should be peace and unity. I condemn this and hope that the accused get the strictest punishments."AAP's Gujarat hope has been fuelled by its performance in the February 2021 Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) polls in which the BJP won 93 seats, while Aam Aadmi Party bagged 27 seats in the Surat Municipal Corporation election.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comThe Assembly election in Gujarat is scheduled for December 2022.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
AHMEDABAD: Gujarat reported 419 Covid-19 cases and one death on Monday, which took the tally to 12,34,117 and the toll to 10,948, a state health department official said. So far, 12,19,657 persons have recovered, including 454 during the day, leaving the state with an active caseload of 3,512, he added. The official said Ahmedabad reported 155 new cases, Surat 96, Vadodara 40, Mehsana 19 and Bhavnagar 17, among other districts, while the lone death took place in Mehsana. A government release said 43,981 persons got vaccine jabs on Monday, which took the overall number of doses administered in the state to 11.15 crore. The adjoining Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu has 13 active cases, a local official said.
AHMEDABAD: The city on Sunday recorded 203 new Covid positive cases, an 11.4% drop compared to 229 on Saturday. For Gujarat, the drop was 21.4% — from 580 on Saturday to 456 on Sunday. Other cases included 86 from Surat city, 38 from Vadodara city, 13 each from Bhavnagar city, Kutch, Mehsana, Navsari, 12 from Valsad, 11 from Surat, and 10 from Gandhinagar city. With the discharge of 156 patients, the active cases in Ahmedabad reached 1,536, whereas for Gujarat the figure was 3,548. Out of 33 districts, four have zero active cases, whereas seven have more than 100 active cases. Most of the cases are concentrated in the urban areas primarily with higher testing. In the past 24 hours, Gujarat vaccinated 937 persons for the first dose and 4,423 for the second. In all, 5.41 crore were administered the first and 5.34 crore, the second dose of Covid vaccine. The state administered booster doses to 7,012 persons, taking the total to 40.94 lakh.
AHMEDABAD: Gujarat on Sunday reported 456 Covid-19 cases, which took the tally to 12,33,698, while the death toll remained unchanged at 10,947, a state health department official said. The recovery count increased by 386 during the day and reached 12,19,203, leaving the state with an active caseload of 13,548, he added. He said Ahmedabad led with 207 cases, followed by 97 in Surat, 41 in Vadodara, 15 Bhavnagar, among other districts. A government release said 11.15 crore Covid-19 vaccine doses have been administered in Gujarat so far, including 12,372 on Sunday. Two new Covid-19 cases were reported in the Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, raising its tally of active cases to seven, local officials said. Gujarat's Covid-19 figures are as follows: Positive cases 12,33,698, new cases 456, death toll 10,947, discharged 12,19,203, active cases 3,548, people tested so far - figures not released.
Gujarat on Saturday reported 580 COVID-19 cases, which took the tally to 12,33,242, while the death toll remained unchanged at 10,947, a state health department official said.The recovery count increased by 391 during the day to touch 12,18,817, leaving the state with an active caseload of 3,478, he said.Ahmedabad reported 236 new cases, the highest in the state, followed by Surat with 106 cases, Vadodara 36 and Mehsana 29 cases, among other districts, he added. A government release said 11.15 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered so far, including 39,438Saturday.
AHMEDABAD: The active Covid-19 cases in Gujarat rose to 3,042 after 126 days or more than four months on Thursday with 547 new cases and 419 discharges being recorded across the state. Ahmedabad accounted for 43% of the active case tally with 1,318 cases. The city recorded 222 fresh cases and the discharge of 184 patients. According to the state health department, 82 cases were reported from Surat city, 46 from Vadodara city, 22 from Valsad, 18 each from Mehsana and Navsari, and 16 from Gandhinagar city.
Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel tested positive for Covid-19 Wednesday and has been isolated at home with mild symptoms, sources in the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) said.“He (the CM) was having mild symptoms yesterday (Tuesday) following which he got himself tested. Today, the result came positive. He has got himself home isolated,” the source said.The development has put a question mark on the CM’s attendance at the annual Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath in Ahmedabad scheduled Friday. As a tradition, the CM flags off the Rath Yatra while performing the Pahind Vidhi ritual.“The CM has tested positive for Covid-19. But he is fine and home-isolated. About attending the Rath Yatra, he will be following the advice of the doctors,” an official in the CMO said.Meanwhile, CM Patel Wednesday virtually reviewed the alertness and preparation of the Gujarat police to ensure that the 145th Rath Yatra is carried out in Ahmedabad in a safe and harmonious manner.An official release from the CMO stated that Patel participated in a video-conference that was also attended by Minister of State for Home, Harsh Sanghavi, and police commissioners of four metro cities and superintendents of police of all the districts. Chief Principal Secretary to the CM K Kailashnathan, Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Rajkumar, and Director General of Police Ashish Bhatia were also present in the virtual review meeting.As per the release, the CM also gave suggestions for maintenance of law and order in the state while keeping in mind the developments in neighbouring states.As per the state government’s daily bulletin on Covid-19, Gujarat recorded 529 new cases Wednesday. With that, the total number of active Covid-19 cases in the state is 2,914.Out of the total 529 fresh cases, Ahmedabad city reported the maximum cases at 220, followed by Surat (79) and Vadodara (53).
BENGALURU: Gujarat, Karnataka and Meghalaya were the ‘best performers’ in developing startup ecosystems for entrepreneurs last year, according to the latest ranking by the Centre’s Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT). Kerala, Maharashtra, Odisha, Telangana and J&K were in the next category of ‘top performers’. In the previous report in 2019, Gujarat and Andaman and Nicobar Islands were ‘best performers’, while Karnataka and Kerala were ‘top performers’. There are three other categories: Leaders, aspiring leaders, and emerging startup ecosystems. Tamil Nadu, UP, and Punjab are among the eight states and UTs in the leaders category. TN and UP were in the emerging startup ecosystems category in 2019. Rajasthan, Delhi and MP are among the 11 in the aspiring leaders category. Over 50 changes for startups’ ease of doing business, says Minister of Commerce & Industry Piyush GoyalAmong major states, Andhra Pradesh and Bihar are in the emerging startup ecosystems category, according to the latest ranking of states and UTs by the DPIIT. The study looks at areas like institutional support to startups, access to markets, incubation support and funding support. This year, three areas were added to the framework, including capacity building of enablers, mentorship support and fostering innovation & entrepreneurship. India has the world’s third biggest startup ecosystem, after the US and China. Commerce & industry minister Piyush Goyal, while releasing the latest report, said India should aspire to be No. 1. The government, he said, has enacted 52 regulatory changes to support ease of doing business for startups and to facilitate their growth. “Indian startups have raised $42 billion in funding during the calendar year 2021, surpassing funding raised in any other calendar year previously. This momentum has continued forward in 2022, with startups raising over $11 billion in Q1 2022 itself,” he said. The state-specific reports for each of the 31 participating entities include a comprehensive analysis of the respective ecosystem and an overview of the strengths and priority areas for the future. Policy interventions have been high on the government’s agenda. Karnataka was ranked best performer for launching an engineering research and development policy to attract sector-focused incentives, and creating regulatory sandboxes for startups to avail exemption from state and municipal laws.
AHMEDABAD: The erstwhile royal family of Danta has lost its claim to the Ambaji Mata temple, its properties and Gabbar hill, and has been fined Rs 50,000 by a civil court for unnecessary litigation for over half-a-century to pursue its claim. Principal senior civil judge B K Avashia discarded the claim laid by the former ruler of Danta state, Maharana Prithvirajsinh, over the famous temple on situated on Arasur Hill in Banaskantha district and the nearby Gabbar hill. The suit was filed in 1970 and after the death of the former ruler, his heir Mahipendrasinhji Parmar pursued the litigation claiming the temple and properties back from the state government and the Shree Aarasuri Ambaji Mata Devsthan Trust, which manages the temple. The dispute over the temple’s ownership began after a merger agreement by the then royal family with the Governor General of India in 1948. The family was entitled to full ownership, use and enjoyment of private properties belonging to the Maharana. In an inventory of immovable properties, securities and cash balances, the Ambaji temple, Gabbar hill and all temple properties were mentioned on the list of the family’s private properties. The temple was to be managed by atrust formed by the government with the maharana acting as chairman of the board of trustees. In 1953, the government of Bombay took over the temple after a government of India decision to treat such properties as state properties. The maharana moved the Bombay high court to claim ownership over the temple and the hill, and the high court ru- led in his favour in 1954. The governments successfully challenged this decision in the Supreme Court. After the apex court’s order in 1957, the government took possession of the temple. The maharana then appro- ached the civil court, which ruled against his family after 52 years. While discarding the royals’ claim over the temple, the court took note of nearly seven decades of litigation. It said that it is the family’s right to litigate, but the maharana “should have stopped himself from further litigation” after the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the government. But he approached the civil court after more than a decade. Hence, his suit was barred by the law of limitation as well. The court further said that the plaintiff has “wasted so much time and money of the defendants as well as of this court. He is liable for exemplary but realistic cost”.
GANDHINAGAR: Speaking perhaps for the first time on the issue, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday said at a time when the entire world was discussing how India was able to give certificates to citizens soon after they were vaccinated against Covid-19, there were some people who were just focusing on why his photograph appeared on these documents. Speaking at the inaugural function of the Digital India Week 2022 at Gandhinagar, Modi said India's digital-driven Covid-19 vaccination programme (CoWin served as technology platform for the humongous inoculation exercise) received world-wide praise. "The world is amazed at the way record of each dose of vaccine given to such a large population was made available. People elsewhere faced trouble in getting vaccine certificates. But in India, once a person got a vaccine dose, he would immediately receive the certificate on his mobile phone," Modi stated. "The world is discussing how we managed to give Covid-19 vaccination certificates to people just after they got jabbed, but a few people here (in India) were just focused on why there was Modi's photo on these certificates," the PM said to the amusement of many in the audience. Critics have widely slammed the BJP-led NDA government for the prime minister's photo on Covid-19 certificates. Asserting that India is leading the way in the fourth industrial revolution and the massive digital push in the country is driving India's growth, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched seven portals to further enhance availability of various schemes more easily to people. The PM said the role of digital technology has drastically changed the lives of people of the country and India has eliminated all queues by going online. Digital technology has changed lives, eliminated queues Eght to 10 years ago, we had to stand in lines (queues) for everything. We had to stand in line for birth certificates, to pay bills, for ration, for admission, for exam results, for certificates, in banks. We used to stand in so many lines. India has eliminated all lines by going online," he said. The central government's flagship programme Digital India has given relief to the poor from corruption and it is working for elimination of middlemen in all fields, Modi said at the event. The PM said that India is guiding the world in the fourth industrial revolution. "As time passes, if a country does not adopt modern technology, time moves ahead leaving it behind. We can proudly say that today India is guiding the world in Industry 4.0." the PM stated. To further enhance availability of various services, the PM launched seven portals namely IndiaStackGlobal, a repository of projects implemented under GlobalStack, MyScheme - a service discovery platform facilitating access to government schemes, MeriPehchaan - a national-single-sign-on to access multiple online applications, Digital India Bhashini - a portal to avail various schemes and services in regional languages, Digital India Genesis - a portal to provide plug-and-play services to start-ups, Chip to Start-Ups - a portal for promoting chips and semiconductor entrepreneurship and Digital E-book - a compilation of all schemes being promoted under the Digital India campaign. Regarding the popularity of Unified Payments Interface (UPI), Modi said even small traders and hawkers on the street use the system and it has become a great success among people. In this context, he referred to a beggar in Bihar who was seen giving people options to pay him alms via digital mode with a QR code placard hanging around his neck. UPI is a system that powers multiple bank accounts into a single mobile application (of any participating bank), merging several banking features, seamless fund routing & merchant payments into one hood. "Earlier, digital payment by card swapping facilities were available in a few big stores. But now I am told that even a beggar in Bihar has taken his QR code and accepts digital money," he said. The PM recalled the opposition meted out to the digital payment system being pushed by his government faced in Parliament. "When we introduced this scheme in Parliament one ex-finance minister raised many issues with it. He said 'people do not have mobile phones, how will they use them'. He is highly learned. The problem with highly learned people is that they make a lot of analysis," Modi said in a veiled reference to former finance minister and Congress leader PK Chidambaram. Unveiling ambitious plans for the electronics manufacturing sector, the PM said, "Today, India is working on the target of taking electronics manufacturing to more than $ 300 billion in the next three or four years. India wants to become a chip maker from a chip taker. Investment is rapidly increasing in India to increase production of semiconductors".
Gujarat Revenue Minister Rajendra Trivedi on Monday visited the flood-ravaged villages of Borsad taluka in Anand district and handed over compensation cheques for Rs 4 lakh to families of three persons killed in the flash floods of Saturday night.Trivedi also assured that families who have lost domestic animals in the floods will also receive compensation shortly.Accompanied by District Collector M Y Daxini and BJP MP Mitesh Patel, along with other elected representatives and teams of NDRF, Trivedi visited the affected areas and interacted with people in the shelter homes, distributing grains and sarees to women.Trivedi, who is the guardian minister of Anand district, also handed over the compensation cheques for Rs 4 lakh to the families of the three deceased persons –Sanjay Patel, Kisan Baria, and Sana Thakur.Speaking to reporters, Trivedi said that despite the taluka receiving over 300mm rainfall in 24 hours, the administration and the BJP “did its best” in the given situation.In response to a query about the pre-monsoon work of the administration in the flood-affected areas, Trivedi said, “It is not the question of the pre-monsoon work in this matter. When any place receives rainfall of 1 foot (300 mm) in a span of 24 hours, the low-lying areas are bound to be flooded… Even in such a situation, the administration was able to reach everyone and shift people to safer places. Unfortunately, three persons were killed but the government did not sit back and watch… The revenue department, collector’s office and the workers of the BJP got together and faced the floods…”Trivedi added that the government would soon also release the compensation to families that have lost domestic animals.“We are aware that many domestic animals were drowned in the flood… I surveyed the villages today and I could see the flood water has left marks up to 11 feet… Our party workers and elected representatives have travelled through the flood waters on tractors and along with the district administration ensured that all people were taken care of.. We had 200 people in the shelter home and everyone was served food,” Trivedi said.Collector MY Daxini said that Trivedi distributed sarees to 180 women and grains to families at the shelter home, who will slowly be shifted back to their homes.“The water has receded in most places but the teams are working on surveying the area. The health teams are also in action, checking those families that are still in the shelters and villages where water has just receded are being sanitised. The carcasses of animals are also being disposed of,” Daxini told The Indian Express.“So far, close to 150 families have moved back to villages such as Bhadran but about 186 families from Sisva and around are still in the shelter. The survey teams will complete their work and in a day or two, we will also complete the cash dole for compensation and loss of household items as per government rule,” the collector added.
Gujarat was listed as “best performer” for the third time in a row in the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade’s (DPIIT) States’ Start-up Rankings 2021, results of which were released by Union Minister for Commerce and Industry, Textiles and Consumer Affairs, Piyush Goyal in New Delhi on Monday.The Gujarat delegation led by Principal Secretary, Education, S J Haider and Industries Commissioner & Nodal officer for Startup Gujarat Cell Dr. Rahul Gupta received the award, a government release said.According to the release, the state was recognised for “Best Practices” like financial assistance to over 160 startups, sensitising over 300 potential private investors for investing in startups, and sensitising over 150 Government officials for engaging with startups.The 2021 ranking was based on seven broad reform areas consisting of 26 action points ranging from Institutional support, Fostering innovation & entrepreneurship, Access to market, Incubation support, Funding support, Mentorship support, and capacity building of enablers.Startup India team undertook an extensive user feedback exercise and focused towards on-ground implementation of reforms in the state.
India is now working on digital mapping of rural properties using drones, the Prime Minister said.Gandhinagar: With an aim to enhance the accessibility of technology, streamline service delivery to ensure ease of living and give a boost to startups, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday launched numerous digital portals and said that India's leading the fourth industrial revolution."All programmes launched today are going to strengthen Ease of Doing Business and Ease of Living. They'll give a fillip to India's startup ecosystem. India can proudly say that India is not just part of the Industry 4.0 Revolution but is actually leading it," said Prime Minister Modi.Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched multiple digital portals at the ongoing Digital India Week 2022 including a single sign-in portal Meri Pehchaan, Digital India Bhashini, Digital India Genesis, Chips to Startup (C2S) programme."All programmes launched today are going to strengthen Ease of Doing Business and Ease of Living. They'll give a fillip to India's startup ecosystem... India can proudly say that India is not just part of the Industry 4.0 Revolution but is actually leading it," Prime Minister Modi added.India is now working on digital mapping of rural properties using drones and other such devices."In the last 8 years, more than Rs 23 lakh crore have been transferred to beneficiaries through Direct Benefit Transfers. With this technology, around Rs 2.23 lakh crore, which went to the wrong hands, got saved," he added.Prime Minister Modi emphasized that with the robust use of technology in national governance, the queue system has been reduced to minimum in Gujarat with the digitisation of the services." The government's Digital India programme has given relief to the poor from corruption and it is working for elimination of middlemen in all fields," he said.If compared India to other developed countries, Prime Minister Modi said that the country accounts for 40 per cent of digital transactions.Digital India Bhashini is built with an aim to enable easy access to the internet and digital services in Indian languages, including voice-based access, and help the creation of content in Indian languages.The key intervention in building AI-based language technology solutions for Indian languages will be the creation of multilingual datasets. Digital India Bhashini will enable massive citizen engagement to build these datasets through a crowdsourcing initiative called BhashaDaan.'Digital India GENESIS' (Gen-next Support for Innovative Startups) is a National Deep-tech Startup Platform, to discover, support, grow and make successful startups in Tier-II and Tier-III cities of India. A total outlay of Rs750 Crore has been envisaged for the scheme.The Chips to Startup (C2S) Programme aims to train specialized manpower in the area of design of semiconductor chips at Bachelor's, Master's and Research levels, and act as a catalyst for the growth of Start-ups involved in semiconductor design in the country. It offers mentoring at the organisational level and makes available State-of-the-art facilities for design to the institutions. This is part of the India Semiconductor Mission to build a strong design ecosystem in semiconductors.The prime minister was addressing the Digital India Week 2022 in Gandhinagar. The theme for the week is 'Catalyzing New India's Techade'.The Digital India Week 2022 will have physical events from July 4 to July 6 in Gandhinagar. The programme will celebrate the anniversary of Digital India and demonstrate how public digital platforms like Aadhaar, UPI, Cowin, Digilocker etc. have enabled ease of living for citizens.It will showcase India's technological prowess to the global audience, explore collaboration and business opportunities with a wide range of stakeholders, and present the Techade of opportunities for NextGen.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comIt will witness the participation of Startups and leaders from Government, Industry and Academia. A Digital Mela is also being organised with over 200 stalls that will showcase digital solutions enabling ease of living and also the solutions that have been developed by Indian Unicorns and Startups. Digital India Week will also have India Stack Knowledge Exchange in virtual mode between July 7 and 9.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
Former Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat had the task of leading the Congress into the Assembly elections this year. He lost from the Lalkuan constituency while the party’s tally slumped to 19 seats. In a wide-ranging interview, Rawat talks to The Indian Express about his party’s heavy loss, his future and that of the party, and the BJP government’s performance.Excerpts:The Pushkar Singh Dhami administration has completed 100 days and is making several claims about the work it has done. How do you rate the government’s performance?I feel that 100 days are not enough to judge a chief minister’s performance. We need at least one year and only in that much time, we can understand the direction a government is working in and what its intention is. News items have appeared that there has been corruption in giving jobs. The government itself has accepted that there is some corruption in recruitment in cooperative banks. The law-and-order situation is deteriorating. In the last 100 days, at least 10,000 youths have joined the list of the unemployed. Over 200 persons died during the Chardham Yatra. Where are the medical services? Roads are in the worst condition. There are frequent power cuts.You have been protesting against the Agnipath scheme. What is your take on it?It is a fraud against more than 50,000 youngsters who completed their medical and physical tests and were waiting for their appointment. Now you are saying that recruitment will take place afresh through the new scheme. In states like Uttarakhand and Haryana, being in the Army is a matter of great pride.When a 21-year-old will retire, what will he do? Where are the posts? In Uttarakhand, around 18,000 persons have lost their jobs since the BJP government came to power. Their chief minister is saying that they will give reservation to Agniveers in jobs. How will you give reservation beyond 50 per cent? There is no state where the reservation isn’t already close to 48-50 per cent.You have praised CM Dhami on several occasions.Yes. In fact, I am again going to appreciate him for promoting honey and bay leaf in Champawat. I have also praised him for making significant demands (seeking an extension of the GST compensation and on share on the Tehri dam) in front of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. But there should be results too.It is good that he is trying to amend the mistake he made during the division of assets with Uttar Pradesh and said 25 per cent share of Uttar Pradesh should be given to us. I appreciate this. The demand for an extension of the GST compensation is also appreciable, and I am saying that it needs to be increased for 10 years. If the CM is making the right noise, I will stand by him. However, if his voice is not heard, I will say that the ‘double engine’ they keep talking about is a non-starter.The Supreme Court has commented on the Nupur Sharma controversy.I appreciate the Supreme Court comment and thank it. The decision has also shown a mirror to the Central government and the BJP.After your loss, we heard you saying that the Muslim University controversy was the main reason behind your defeat.First, there were some faults in decisions related to me, especially on if I should contest the elections or not. If you are saying that I need to contest, you should have let me fight from the seat I wanted. When it was mandatory that I contest, my seat should have been decided when candidates for the first 50 seats were announced. I chose a constituency from the remaining 20 seats. When I chose that seat (Ramnagar), it was changed just two days later and I was asked to go to Lalkuan. When I reached Lalkuan, the candidate there did not like it. All this damaged the party’s prospects. However, I do not blame any one person for this.Even after this, we were in a close fight. To tackle that, the Muslim University controversy was created. The entire propaganda machinery of the BJP was activated. The PM, dozens of central ministers, and several BJP CMs, all started attacking me. They started saying things like they are giving free ration, and the Congress is giving Muslim University. I even challenged BJP to show me the news article in which I announced building a Muslim University. BJP forged a paper in their social media room and spread that. The party (Congress) though we do not need to address the Muslim University allegation. This made people suspect that maybe the BJP is telling the truth.Do you think not declaring you the CM candidate was a mistake?I will not say that, but I believed that to strategically answer the BJP we needed to say that we are fighting under this person. They (BJP) always make the elections about (Narendra) Modi. Like if the Muslim University lie wasn’t propagated by Modi, it would not have worked. The lie was coined up by him, and the rest were just spreaders. People were watching Modi and felt that he is saying so maybe Harish Rawat is doing something wrong.A person (Congress leader Aqeel Ahmad) gave the memorandum (demanding a Muslim University) and someone took it. It was later leaked to the media. Harish Rawat was nowhere involved. This person (Ahmad) was here promoted to party state vice-president and also sent to campaign for my daughter (Anupama Rawat) in Haridwar Rural. All this was under a planned conspiracy to establish that the said person is close to me …The BJP planned this conspiracy against you, or did your own party do this?I do not know that, but I have decided that I will go to court against this. I have given several chances to the BJP to prove their claim. I will now ask for justice and protection.Do you agree that the Congress is going through a bad phase both at the state and nationally? Do you have a revival plan?Recently, we met in Udaipur and analysed everything in detail. On six major planks, we have taken more than 100 decisions that are to be implemented or are being implemented. We will revert to the old stand of the Congress. Our core strength is inclusiveness, nationalism, and Indianism. We are the ones who created India of the 21st century.But, our enemies have started calling us non-Indians and anti-nationals. They mislead people about our inclusiveness and called it Muslim appeasement. We thought that this misinformation will not work. But we forget that sometimes people want some spicy things too. Such spicy things were created in the RSS factory. They created a narrative and that is why a new era started on the pretext of the ‘Gujarat model’ which nobody has seen… We know that if we are on the right path and follow the right morals, that is the only answer. People changed their tastes in search of spice, but now they are getting frustrated with that too.The internal tussle in state Congress continues. Is there a plan to tackle it?My blessings are with the new leadership. As far as the tussle is considered, these kinds of things are there within any party. When four people will dig a field, the shovels will always collide.Did you ever consider leaving politics?There is a time for everything and the situation right now is not like that. If the circumstances for Congress were normal, and the party was in strength, then it would be right. Today if I leave politics, you will give just a half-page article in the newspaper. I also cannot leave Congress as it will be a crime I cannot dare commit. However, if Sonia (Gandhi) ji said ‘Harish now you are very tired’, I would leave politics immediately.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged the issue of proxy teachers in village schools at a recent conference, suggesting that states try to curb the occurrence by placing photographs of permanent teachers in classrooms, it is learnt.He also suggested campus recruitment drives in teacher training institutes and getting private schools to adopt schools in remote areas during the national conference of chief secretaries, held in Dharamshala on June 16-17, The Indian Express has learnt.The PMO is learnt to have directed the Education Ministry to ensure that the action plan formulated by him is implemented “quickly” to improve the country’s pupil-teacher ratio (PTR), which, in states like Bihar and Jharkhand, remain below the standards set by the Right to Education Act, 2009.At the conference in Dharamshala, the implementation of the National Education Policy-2020 was one of the key items on the agenda.On school education, the PM made broadly 20 suggestions at the conference, where top officials of the Education Ministry were also present, a source said. “He began his remarks by referring to the issue of proxy teachers, especially in village schools. He suggested that placing photographs of teachers in every classroom, which some states like Rajasthan have experimented with, can be replicated elsewhere,” an official said.In 2018, a World Bank report on India had highlighted the problem of proxy teachers, where teachers employed by the government illegally send others to teach on their behalf. It is a major issue in the Northeast, particularly in Nagaland, according to Education Ministry officials.In 2018, a World Bank report on India had highlighted the problem of proxy teachers, where teachers employed by the government illegally send others to teach on their behalf. It is a major issue in the Northeast, particularly in Nagaland, according to Education Ministry officials.In teacher recruitment, the PM suggested that states and Union Territories explore the model followed by government as well as private companies in carrying out hiring of final year engineering graduates from campuses across the country. “The PM strongly suggested that campus recruitment drives can be done in teachers training institutes as well,” the official said, seeking anonymity.According to the RTE Act, at the primary level, there should be at least one teacher per 30 students, while the ratio should be 35:1 at the upper primary level. But the Unified District Information System for Education (UDISE) report 2020-21 shows many states are yet to achieve the desired levels.For instance, in Bihar, the PTR at the primary level is 57:1 and 60:1 at the higher secondary level; 30:1 and 55:1 in Jharkhand. Education is in the concurrent list of the Constitution and the recruitment of school teachers comes under the purview of states and UTs.In response to a question in the Lok Sabha, the Centre had said in August 2021 that Bihar has 66 per cent government schools with an adverse PTR, followed by Jharkhand (52 per cent), Uttar Pradesh (37 per cent), Madhya Pradesh (35.51 per cent) and Andhra Pradesh (33.56 per cent).To improve the standards of school education in remote areas, the PM also suggested officially implementing the practice of private schools adopting schools in remote areas by following a CSR model. “The PM said that the idea is to launch student and teacher exchange programmes under the model to enhance exposure,” the official said.Buy Now | Our best subscription plan now has a special priceThe PM also pitched a similar exchange programme model for anganwadis and schools located close to each other to prepare pre-school students for formal schooling. Another highlight of the PM’s action plan is to do away with single teacher schools in the country, this official added.According to a UNESCO report released in 2021, there are nearly 1.2 lakh single-teacher schools in the country, of which an overwhelming 89 per cent are in rural areas.“States with a high percentage of single-teacher schools include Arunachal Pradesh (18.22 per cent), Goa (16.08 per cent), Telangana (15.71 per cent), Andhra Pradesh (14.4 per cent), Jharkhand (13.81 per cent), Uttarakhand (13.64 per cent), Madhya Pradesh ( 13.08 per cent), Rajasthan (10.08 per cent),” the UNESCO report states.
AHMEDABAD: Since its birth as the youngest municipal corporation in the state, Gandhinagar, the capital of Gujarat, has not had an official scientifically developed landfill site. It had been dumping garbage on the bank of the Sabarmati in Sector 30 for a decade now, illegally. The irony is that despite having the state secretariat, the capital’s municipal corporation was left in the lurch for securing land to develop a legal, environmentally safe landfill site. Gandhinagar residents generate 110 metric tonnes of garbage every day. This is collected and the Gandhinagar Municipal Corporation (GMC) dumps it near the Mukti Dham crematorium in Sector 30. This site is barely 150m away from the river and 2km away from the Chief Minister’s official residence. Thousands of tonnes of legacy waste lie at this site and every monsoon, leachate from the site and garbage including plastics, metals, and domestic waste, flow into the river. Despite this pollution along the riverbank, Gandhinagar ranked 22 in Swachh Bharat Sarvekshan and was rated a three-star garbage-free city in May 2020. In Swachh Bharat Sarvekshan 2021, Gandhinagar was ranked India’s cleanest state capital. This site was not a natural choice. In 2011, barely a year after the formation of the GMC, the civic administration made repeated requests to the state government for a landfill site. Out of frustration, when pleas went unheeded, it even dumped waste on the main helipad of the capital city, a VIP landing spot. “This caused an uproar. Urban development officials contacted the revenue department on the same day and finalized a spot 15km away from the city. Just when the site was being developed, the Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) rejected it claiming that it was only a few hundred metres away from the river,” says a GMC official. It was then that GMC’s solid waste management team began dumping waste on the bank of the river in Sector 30. Till 2019, GMC has suggested a site near Pethapur village, but protests erupted as people were incensed that the proposed site was near a temple. The government was also eyeing a site near Lodhara, but that too did not seem to work. In March, GMC requested proposals (RFP) to develop a large plot of land near the crematorium in Sector 30 as its official garbage dump. “We are in the process of getting GPCB approval for developing this plot as the official dumpsite. We are demarcating the plot and will apply for approval after that,” said Jashu Patel, chairman of the GMC standing committee.
AHMEDABAD: On Sunday, the city experienced cloudy weather but no rain. In the periphery, however, Bavla recorded 12mm rainfall, Dhandhuka 5mm, Viramgam and Daskroi 3mm each. According to the state government data, 129 talukas received rains on Sunday with 53 recording 10mm or more. Mangrol near Surat recorded 38mm, followed by 35mm at Songadh near Tapi and 34mm reach in Kambha near Amreli and Karjan near Vadodara. According to India Meteorological Department (IMD), heavy rain is very likely in Bharuch, Surat, Navsari, Valsad, Porbandar, Junagadh, and Devbhoomi Dwarka on Monday, and Navsari, Valsad, Kheda, Ahmedabad, Panchmahal, Vadodara, Chhota Udepur, Narmada, Bharuc, Surat, Dang, Tapi, Amreli, Bhavnagar and Botad on Tuesday.
Vedanta’s plan to sell off its closed copper smelter plant in Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu, could play out in several different ways, metal industry executives and analysts said, but towards the same outcome — the unit not getting restarted.Last month, the Anil Agarwal-promoted company invited expressions of interest for the copper smelter with a deadline of Monday, July 4. The offer includes the sale of the copper smelter complex, sulphuric and phosphoric acid plants, copper refinery, a captive power plant and a residential colony, among other associated infrastructure.When functioning, the plant addressed almost 40 per cent of India’s copper demands but was shut down by the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board in May 2018 after violent protests emerged outside the plant because of environmental concerns, leading to 15 people being killed by police firing. In March 2020, the Madras High Court dismissed Vedanta’s pleas challenging closure of the plant, and the company then appealed against the order in Supreme Court, which started hearing the case in March this year. The company’s plans to sell the plant has come even as the apex court is yet to give its verdict.“We do believe that there are a lot of sensitivities involved, and any bidder looking to acquire the Tuticorin plant is going to very critically evaluate restarting production. The Supreme Court decision is also pending, and there is no political support from the state government,” Hetal Gandhi, director, CRISIL Research told The Indian Express.Gandhi also pointed out that because of the rising demand for copper, new players are showing interest in entering the sector. Ahmedabad-based Adani Group has started work to build a 1 million tonne per annum copper plant in Gujarat, which the company says will be one of the biggest copper refinery complexes in the world. It is expected to start production by 2024. “If you see, a new area that Adani is entering, like cement, has been through acquisition at a very high premium. So for the copper unit also, if they saw a remote chance at restarting production (at the Tuticorin plant), they would have tried (to acquire) it,” Gandhi added.A senior executive at a state-owned mining company said that Vedanta’s move to sell the copper plant could be a strategy to pressurise the government. “State governments are very keen on bringing in new investments, and the sale of such a major plant could send the wrong message for the political leadership. But also keep in mind that the Tuticorin issue is a very politically sensitive issue. Neither of the major political parties in Tamil Nadu have supported reopening of the plant. Even with a new owner, the obstacles to restart the unit still remain,” the executive said. An e-mail query sent to Vedanta in India did not elicit a response.Buy Now | Our best subscription plan now has a special priceAnalysts said that the plant’s operations assume significance given India’s import dependence for its copper needs. “Since 2018-19, India is importing copper in different formats. In 2020-21, almost 52 per cent was being met through imports, and in 2021-22, this number jumped to almost 61%. So while the demand for copper is rising, we are seeing share of imports is actually going up. This includes both primary and secondary copper,” Gandhi said.Saurabh Bhatnagar, partner and metals & mining consulting leader, EY India, said: “Copper is a major component in many industries, with the electrical and telecommunications industries being the largest consumers, followed by transport, consumer durables, building & construction and engineering goods. Therefore, its usage remains a good indicator of economic health. With a consistent GDP growth of the country, and with a dip in domestic production, imports of refined copper increased to 92,290 tonnes in 2018-19 from 44,245 tonnes in 2017-18 while exports declined to 47,917 tonnes from 378,000 tonnes during this period”.“India will continue to import more copper in various forms in the country to meet its growing demand,” he added.