J&K’s Accession Day with India celebrated with enthusiasm


J&K’s Accession Day with India celebrated with enthusiasm

The Accession Day of J&K with rest of India was on Monday celebrated with enthusiasm across Jammu and Kashmir and with the government for the first time announcing a holiday to mark the historical day. The J&K State Forces had on this day thwarted the attempt of Pakistani raiders to capture vital installations in Kashmir whereafter the Indian Army landed in Srinagar and protected the airport from falling in the hands of the enemy.

Political parties, including the BJP, Congress and Panthers Party, organized functions to mark the day. The BJP organized Tiranga March in the main cities of Jammu and Srinagar and also at district headquarters.

The march in Jammu was led by the UT BJP chief Ravinder Raina from Gandhi Nagar colony just near the office of the Peoples Democratic Front.

BJP activists organized celebrations for the first time in Srinagar where they danced and sang on the main streets. A Tiranga Yatra with party activists carrying the Indian National Flag through the city was also organized.

Today’s was the first Accession Day that was celebrated after J&K becoming a Union Territory (UT). The previous Kashmir-centric governments did not give any importance to the historical day as they have been projecting J&K a disputed territory by demanding permanent solution of the Kashmir problem.

It was on this day in 1947 when the then ruler Maharaja Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession joining Jammu and Kashmir with the dominion of India.

At least four BJP activists from Kupwara were taken into custody in the morning by the police for trying to hoist the Tricolour at the clock tower in Srinagar’s Lal Chowk.

The J&K Police organized an 8-km “Run for Unity” in the memory of police martyrs in south Kashmir’s Awantipura. As many as 184 boys and girls participated in the run.

Senior superintendent of police, Tahir Saleem, said that the event was organized to honour the police martyrs for their courage, valour and sacrifices for the unity and integrity of the country.

Vikramaditya Singh, who is the grandson of Maharaj Hari Singh, while extending good wishes on the day, tweeted; “On this day we also pay tributes to Brigadier Rajinder Singh, MVC, chief of military staff, J&K State Forces. He gave the ultimate sacrifice along with hundred soldiers defending the state from Pakistani raiders allowing time for the Indian Army to fly in on 27th October 1947.

 

Brigadier Rajinder Singh has thereafter come to be known as Saviour of Kashmir.




Understanding the plights of Dalits through the lens of Hathras and numbers


Understanding the plights of Dalits through the lens of Hathras and numbers

A look into numbers surrounding Dalit lives may help in understanding what actually took place in Hathras on September 14 and why it was followed by a line of barefaced and presumptuous events.

The gang-rape incident of a Dalit woman in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras district had brought to many the chilling memory of the Nirbhaya case. However, more than the barbarity of the crime in Bhoolgarhi’s millet field on September 14, 2020, it was the impunity which followed from the UP administration’s end that shocked many beyond their belief.

After seeing her – allegedly gang-raped by four men belonging to the upper caste Thakur community – lay unconscious in the field, her family had immediately taken her to the local Chandpa Police Station.

Reportedly, the police not only refused to entertain the Dalit family’s claim but subjected them to severe humiliation before banishing then away. On the same day, the victim, 19, was taken to the Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College and Hospital in Aligarh where she was found to have suffered a strangulated neck at the hands of her perpetrators.

According to the police, who registered a complaint on September 20, she had been strangled with her dupatta. The police recorded her first statement two days later on September 22 and arrested the four accused.

The woman succumbed to her injuries a week later on September 29. On October 1, the police rubbished her family’s claim and said that no rape had occurred, citing the “FSL (Forensic Science Laboratory) report didn’t find sperm”. This, despite videos from September 14 emerging where she could be seen naming the four accused and saying they did ‘zabardasti‘ with her.

In between, the UP administration’s high-handed approach in cremating her at the dead of the night on September 29 without her family’s consent had already created a public outrage throughout the country.

Starting with her incineration, each day witnessed one brazen event after another. However, what overtook everything was the panchayat meeting by the local upper-caste populace in support of the accused.

They not only denied the criminality of the four Thakur men but demanded a narco-analysis test of all the parties involved, including the victim’s family, to “reveal the truth about the incident”. And much to the surprise of many, the Yogi government ordered one as well.

While all these indemnities saw the national media drawing comparison of this incident to the Nirbhaya gangrape of 2012, many women’s and Dalit rights activist have not bought this generalisation.

According to them, and rightly so, Nirbhaya’s family was not subjected to the kind of humiliation that the 19-year-old Dalit’s family had been undergoing. Unlike the Delhi gang-rape case of December 2012, the incident in Hathras was not just one of the 87 rapes that occur every day in this country, many claimed.

What happened in Bhoolagarhi was also one among the 125 daily reported crimes against Dalits, and a look into numbers surrounding Dalit lives may help in understanding what took place on September 14 and why it was followed by a line of barefaced and presumptuous events.

A categorical reading of a few reports and surveys by academics, scholars and government committees reflects the systematic and institutional discrimination that a Dalit or an Adivasi in India endures right from her/his birth.

According to the findings of the fourth National Family Health Survey (NFHS- 4), conducted between 2015 and 2016, among children below the age of five years, one belonging to the SC/ST community stands at a higher risk of being underweight, stunted and thin. In normal terms, a lower caste child is more likely to be malnourished than his upper-caste or general caste counterpart.

The NFHS- 4 survey released in 2018 found that in the Scheduled Caste communities, 42.8 per cent of the children below the age of five are stunted. The number rises to 48.3 in the Scheduled Tribe communities. 38% of general caste children below five years are stunted.

In “Thin” and “Underweight” categories as well, the children of the SC/ST background stand at the bottom end of receiving the several development and welfare policies that have been introduced in the 73-year-old history of independent India.

The prevalence of Anaemia (lower levels of haemoglobin in the blood) is also higher in backward communities’ children as they are affected by it more than the national average of 58. The rate of anaemia among SC and ST children are 60.5 and 63.1. Among general category children, the number is 53.9.

One way to understand the increased malnutrition among lower caste children is to look into another study by the Medical Journal of The Armed Forces in 2011. It had stated that a child’s nutritional status was directly linked to the parents’ literacy rate. The higher the education among parents, the more food a child intakes.

As per the report, 35.8% of boys and 35.1% of girls who were found underweight had illiterate fathers, in comparison to 16.3% boys and 22.8% with fathers who had either college or high secondary school education.

According to the 2011 census data, the literacy rate among the upper caste Hindus is 73.27%, more than the national average of 72.98. Among the Scheduled Caste community, it is 66.07%.
Overcoming this barrier at the very primitive stage of their lives, the Dalit children coming into the primary education are faced with yet another fundamental crisis – the higher probability of being a school dropout.

A UNICEF report in 2011 found that 51% of Dalit children drop out of elementary schools. The number went up to a staggering 67% among Dalit girls. It stood at 37% among non-Dalit and non-Adivasi children.

In an attempt to figure out the prevailing cause of higher dropout rates among the lower caste children, the National Dalit Movement for Justice (NDMJ), in its Exclusion in Schools: A Study on Practice of Discrimination and Violence found: 

• SC children (especially girls) are forced to do menial jobs. They are forced to clean toilets and other school premises

• Bathrooms are not used by the students but the teachers make the SC children clean them

• Teachers make only the SC children to clean their utensils and many times they were asked to fetch water, tea etc

• SC children are subjected to caste abuse from the peer group and school staff

• Caste Hindu students don’t make friendship with the SC children

“Not only these, but the children are discriminated in terms of seating arrangements, in terms of giving food. They are asked to sit in a separate place to eat,” said Dr.V.A. Ramesh Nathan, General Secretary, NDMJ. “There are several other forms of discrimination that Dalit children face, including sexual abuse.”

The tendency could be traced in higher education as well. Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) in 2019 showed that among the 2,461 dropouts from the IITs in the last two years, 1,171 (47.5%) were either from SC, ST or OBC background.

Of the 99 dropouts of Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), 14 were from SC, 21 from ST category and 27 from OBC category, the HRD Ministry data highlighted.

While years of institutional ostracism has led them to live a life at the lowest end of the socio-economic spectrum, the higher dropout rate worsens the situation further.

Resorting to casual and informal works, thus, becomes one of the most looked-after options among the lower caste populace, resulting in a highly wobble livelihood as witnessed during the first month of the COVID-19 imposed lockdown in India.

According to figures provided by the National Sample Survey (NSS), 2011/12, 47.2% employed SC population are casual workers, while only 15.9% are regular salaried workers. In upper caste communities, 29.7% have regular-salaried jobs, with only 12.4% doing causal jobs.

Another major hindrance that affects the well-being of backward communities is judicial discrimination. While two of the three crimes committed against someone belonging to the backward caste is likely to get lost in the files of Indian judiciary, the paradigm shifts when a Dalit stands accused.

The conviction rates in offences under the SC/ST Atrocities Act was just 32%, as per the NCRB data, 2019. The number was above 50% for cases registered in general under the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

“Reservation is there only up to district-level courts. But there is no such thing in higher judiciary. It’s very rare for a Dalit to become a High Court judge or a Supreme Court judge. They think Dalits don’t have that merit to occupy those positions,” said Dr. Ramesh Nathan of NDMJ, linking low the conviction rate in SC/ST Act directly to the lesser number of Dalit judges in the higher judiciary.

However, one may see a stark difference when the offender is from the backward communities. Almost two in every three (64%) inmates awaiting trials were either SC, ST or OBC.

“There were particular SC and ST communities who were treated as habitual offenders before 1947 under specific Acts. Even though such provisions are not there in independent India, the police mindset hasn’t changed much. They fabricate cases against Dalits and Adivasis to keep them inside [the prison],” Dr. Ramesh Nathan asserted.

“Many prisoners languish in prisons because the police do not finish the investigation and file the charge sheet in time. This is a very serious matter because such people remain in prisons without any clue of a police case against them,” NDMJ found in its Study on discrimination against Dalit and Adivasi Prisoners & Victims of Police Excesses.

“There are also issues of ‘unjustified or unnecessary’ arrests that police officials often resort to demonstrate the progress of investigation in counter cases fled by the dominant castes. Section 167 of Cr.P.C. lays down the maximum period within which the police investigation must be completed and a charge sheet filed before the court,” the study further revealed.

“Look at the contradiction here. If the non-Dalits commit a crime they can come out, whereas Dalit Adivasis are forced to spent years in prison,” said Dr. Ramesh Nathan.

It becomes worse when a Dalit woman is a casualty. Among all the crimes against them, the conviction rate in rape is abysmally low at less-than-2 per cent in comparison to the overall rate of 27.8%, as per the NCRB data, 2019. Thus, the Uttar Pradesh government’s state of exemption in the Hathras incident was not appalling but extending the trend.

Breaking the institutionalised shackles of caste-based discrimination at every stage of their life has been a taxing task for the SC, STs and OBCs. And it reflects in their socio-economic status in the society.

According to World Inequality Database’s Wealth Inequality, Class and Caste in India, 1961-2012, published in 2018, India’s upper caste households earn nearly 47% more than the national average annual household income.

Households belonging to the marginalised caste groups, on the other hand, earn less than the national annual income of Rs 1,13,222. While an SC family earns 21% less than the national average, the number is 34 and 8 for STs and OBCs respectively.

Yet, there are many who defy the systematic discrimination at every stage daily and continue on their quest to a dignified life.

However, that a dignified life did not guarantee an undiscriminating life was evident when Maroona Murmu, Associate Professor of History at Jadavpur University of Kolkata was racially attacked for an online post.

Alleging that they took the easy way of reservation, Dalits and Adivasis being shunned out of the highest strata of the society based on their caste is a common phenomenon.

Availing reservation, though, is not the easiest of the tasks as speculated by many in the upper-caste communities.

An RTI by activist Sabyasachi Mukherjee in July this year revealed that the reserved sections of categories ‘Group A’, ‘Group B’ and ‘Group C (excluding Safai Karmacharis)’ in government job sectors are never filled to their actual capacity.

While the Constitution of India directs 49% reservation in jobs, Group A currently has 32.3% employees belonging to either the SC, ST or OBC communities. The number stands at 39.7 in Group B and 48.6 in Group C (excluding Safai Karmacharis).

A sharp imbalance is noticed in the case of Group C (safai karmacharis). The representation of the SCs, STs, and OBCs here is a flabbergasting 66.5%. Thanks to the safai karmacharis, the backward communities’ overall representation in government jobs is 47.5%, Mukherjee’s RTI revealed.

“There is a reservation in the mind of upper-caste people. It cannot be countered with logic. There is a curfew in their mind and they just don’t want to understand. I have been trying to make rational arguments but they just don’t want to understand,” Professor Murmu said.

“As a scholar, I talk about caste violence that is there, the stigma, trauma and humiliation that people of the backward communities face. But everything in counter of them translates into the reservation. The moment one talks about caste, the upper caste people drag reservation,” she added.

Getting a doctorate from the prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru University and teaching at Jadavpur University should usually be regarded as a highly successful academic career.

However, despite achieving all of these, Professor Murmu’s experience of being subjected to racial discrimination and abuse has led her to trauma of a different kind, which she feels is experienced by many like her but understood by none with an upper-caste background.

“The sort of mental trauma that I’m going through at the moment, the sort of life that I’ve to lead at the moment, how do I make people understand about it? These are the wounds that we bear in our bodies and our minds,” she said.




‘PM Modi has decided when country would be at war with Pakistan, China’: BJP’s UP chief


‘PM Modi has decided when country would be at war with Pakistan, China’: BJP’s UP chief

The BJP leader linked his claim to the beginning of construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya following a Supreme Court judgment, and the abrogation of special status to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution.

In a controversial remark, BJP’s Uttar Pradesh chief Swatantra Dev Singh said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has decided when the country would be at war with Pakistan and China.

His remarks on Friday came amid tension at the Line of Actual Control between India and China.

The BJP leader linked his claim to the beginning of construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya following a Supreme Court judgment, and the abrogation of special status to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution.

“Like the decisions on Ram Mandir and Article 370, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has decided when there would be war with Pakistan and China,” he is heard saying in a video clip on social media. “Sambandhit tithi tai hai (the date has been decided),” he said in Hindi.

Mr Singh was speaking at an event at the home of BJP MLA Sanjay Yadav, who released the video.

In his address, Mr Singh compared Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party workers with “terrorists”.

When asked about the remarks, local MP Ravindra Kushwaha said the the UP BJP president made them to boost the morale of party workers.

Swatantra Dev Singh’s reported remarks appear to deviate from India’s stand.

On Sunday, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh reiterated that India wanted an end to the border tension with China while asserting that it will not allow “even an inch” of land to be taken away by anyone.




Delhi’s air quality remains in ‘very poor’ category, AQI recorded at 346


Delhi’s air quality remains in ‘very poor’ category, AQI recorded at 346

According to SAFAR, extremely calm surface wind conditions prevail over the Delhi region and are forecast to continue for two days.

Delhi’s air quality remained in the “very poor” category on Saturday with the Air Quality Index (AQI) recorded at 346.

Government agencies said the air quality will deteriorate further in the evening and on Sunday.

Areas like Mundka, Wazirpur and Alipur recorded “severe” levels of air pollution, authorities said.

Government agencies have forecast that the air quality will deteriorate further in the next two days.

The AQI was recorded at 366 on Friday while it was 302 the previous day.

An AQI between 0 and 50 is considered “good”, 51 and 100 “satisfactory”, 101 and 200 “moderate”, 201 and 300 “poor”, 301 and 400 “very poor”, and 401 and 500 “severe”.

The Ministry of Earth Sciences” air quality monitor System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) said a significant increase in the stubble-fire count was observed around Haryana, Punjab and other neighbouring regions of the national capital, which stood at 1,213 on Thursday.

Ten monitoring stations in Delhi entered the “severe” zone on Friday, according to the AQI-monitoring mobile application SAMEER, developed by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

According to SAFAR, extremely calm surface wind conditions prevail over the Delhi region and are forecast to continue for two days. “This will lead to low ventilation conditions for an extended period and accumulation of pollutants near the surface. Further deterioration of AQI is expected for two days,” it said.

According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the air quality will deteriorate further with pollutants PM10 (particles with a less-than-10-micrometre diameter) and PM2.5 increasing.

PM2.5 are tiny particulate matter less than 2.5 microns in diameter and can enter deep into the lungs and even the bloodstream.

The 24-hour average AQI of Delhi was recorded at 256 on Wednesday, 223 on Tuesday and 244 the day before.

The figures are based on data collected from 36 monitoring stations in the city.

The Delhi government has kick-started its “Red Light On, Gaadi Off” anti-pollution campaign for which it has deployed 2,500 environment marshals at 100 traffic signals across the city to generate awareness and curb vehicular pollution.

The drive will be carried out in all 70 Assembly constituencies of the national capital from October 26 to November 15 from 8 am to 8 pm.

The Delhi government has kick-started its “Red Light On, Gaadi Off” anti-pollution campaign for which it has deployed 2,500 environment marshals at 100 traffic signals across the city to generate awareness and curb vehicular pollution.

The drive will be carried out in all 70 Assembly constituencies of the national capital from October 26 to November 15 from 8 am to 8 pm.




Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar warns Mamata Banerjee about increase in COVID-19 cases in WB


Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar warns Mamata Banerjee about increase in COVID-19 cases in WB

Jagdeep Dhankhar highlighted the coronavirus numbers of Thursday presented in the daily bulletin published by the Department of Health and Family Affairs.

Contrary to the national trend, the number of COVID-19 cases in West Bengal is increasing. Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Saturday warned the Mamata Banerjee-led administration and asked it to take immediate action to restrict the rise in cases.

Taking to Twitter, the Governor highlighted the coronavirus numbers presented in the daily bulletin published by the West Bengal government’s Department of Health and Family Affairs on Thursday.

He wrote, “Appeal all to 100% enforce Pandemic Covid restrictions to contain and combat it. October 22. Covid Deaths: 64. Total: 6,308. Covid +ve: 4167. Total: 3,37,283. Utmost vigilace @MamataOfficial called for as Bengal’s current Covid rise is at odds with slowdown seen in the Country.”


The sudden spike in coronavirus cases has been a major concern for the West Bengal administration, especially with the Durga Puja festival going on in the state.

Even through Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had shown interest in ensuring that the festival was held in an usual manner, the Calcutta High Court gave an order against her wish.

Declaring all the pandals as ‘no-entry zones’, the High Court bench of Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Arijit Banerjee, earlier this week, ordered that 60 members in big-ticket Durga Pujas and 30 in smaller ones be allowed inside the pandals. The Puja Committees were instructed to prepare a list of people who would be allowed.

Thr HC directed puja committees that all pandals will have to erect barricades at the entrance of the pandals and the distance is five meters for small pandals and 10 meters for big pandals.

Meanwhile, the coronavirus curve in West Bengal is yet to flatten whatsoever with the state witnessing new records of daily cases everyday for the last one week or so.

West Bengal on Thursday witnessed the biggest single-day spike of 4,157 COVID-19 cases, taking to the total number of cases to 3,37,283. The number of active cases are also on the rise with 36,064 coronavirus patients currently undergoing treatment, an increase from Wednesday’s 35,578. To add salt to the injury, discharge rate has also dropped to 87.44%.

A total of 64 deaths were reported on Thursday. Kolkata recorded 16 deaths, while North 24 Parganas and Howrah witnessed 18 and six deaths respectively. The state has so far seen 6,308 coronavirus-related deaths.

The sudden spike in COVID-19 cases can be linked directly to the low testing in West Bengal. After a steady increase in the number of daily testing – both rapid antigen and RT-PCR tests – throughout the month of July, August and the first few weeks if September, the state has kept the bar of daily testing at around 42-43 thousands for the last 3-4 weeks.




Only organisers to be allowed inside Durga Puja pandals, no-entry for visitors: Calcutta High Court


Only organisers to be allowed inside Durga Puja pandals, no-entry for visitors: Calcutta High Court

The HC has directed puja committees that all pandals will have to erect barricades at the entrance of the pandals and the distance is five meters for small pandals and 10 meters for big pandals.

Amid the spread of coronavirus, the Calcutta High Court on Monday said that Durga Puja pandals would be no-entry zones for visitors.

The court’s reaction comes while hearing a PIL on the attendees at the pandal and it said that only organisers will be allowed inside the pandals, 25 in big pandals and 15 in the smaller ones, amid the fears of rising coronavirus cases in West Bengal.

The HC has directed puja committees that all pandals will have to erect barricades at the entrance of the pandals and the distance is five meters for small pandals and 10 meters for big pandals. A list of the organisers have to be put up outside the pandal and they are the only ones allowed to enter.

The court has asked puja committees to submit a plan on crowd management as the court said there are not enough policemen in Kolkata to manage the crowds in 3000 plus puja pandals in the city.

The High Court had ordered organisers to spend 75 per cent of the Rs 50,000 grant given by the Mamata Banerjee government on Covid-19 precautions like sanitises and masks and the rest on public awareness, a few days back.

The Division Bench had asked the state counsel that though it is proud of Durga puja but can funds be disbursed in this manner. “Can such differences be made in a democratic system?” it further asked.

The court pointed out that the reason for such funds was enunciated as aiding committees to buy masks and sanitisers, however, it observed, the state could have purchased it which would have cost lesser.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee last month had announced a grant of Rs 50,000 to each Durga Pujo committee in the state.

“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been a tough time for all of us. We have decided to provide Rs 50,000 grant to each Durga Puja committee of the state. We have also decided that CESC and the state electricity board will give 50 percent waiver for the puja committees,” she had said addressing the Durga Puja Coordination meeting in Kolkata’s Netaji Indoor Stadium.

West Bengal has been reporting a high number of the daily spike in new cases and deaths. West Bengal has reported 3,983 new cases and 64 fatalities in the last 24 hours taking its toll to 3,21,036 cases and 6,056 fatalities.

With a spike of 55,722 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, India’s Covid-19 case tally has crossed the 75.5 lakh mark, according to Ministry of Health.

India’s coronavirus case tally stands at 75,50,273, with 7,72,055 active Covid-19 cases. The active cases in the country which comprise 10.23 per cent of the total caseload. The number of active cases remained below eight lakh for the third consecutive day in the country.

In the last 24 hours, the country has recorded 66,399 recoveries taking the total recoveries to 66,63,608. The recovery rate now stands at 88.26 per cent.




After Tanishq Ad, netizens target Laxmmi Bomb


After Tanishq Ad, netizens target Laxmmi Bomb

After Tanishq Ad, netizens target Laxmmi Bomb

Mumbai: After targeting Tanishq Ad for reportedly promoting ‘Love Jihad’, netizens started demanding ban on Laxmmi Bomb movie.

They alleged that the movie is also promoting ‘Love Jihad’ as in the trailer of the movie, Akshay Kumar’s character Asif and Kiara Advani’s character Priya are husband and wife.

Reaction of Twitterati
One of the Twitterati wrote, “#BoycottLaxmiBomb boycott laxmi bomb and boycott Bollywood and boycott akshay kumar @akshaykumar  not support about love jihaad”.

No description available.

Laxmmi Bomb: Controversy over name
Another section of netizens have objection over the name of the movie. One of them wrote, “@akshaykumar aap bhi dusre acter ki Tarah nikale ……laxmi bomb nhi hota laxmi laxmi hota Meanwhile, Kamaal R. Khan wrote, “#Laxami is a Goddess, Devi and #AkshayKumar is mocking her by his film #LaxmiBomb! Public must boycott it to teach him a lesson, So that he doesn’t do such a big blunder in the future. It’s India not Canada. Yahan Devi Devtaon Ki puja Ki Jati Hai Mazaak Nahi Banaya Jata!”.

Taniq Ad controversy
Earlier, netizens targeted Taniq Ad for allegedly promoting love jihad. The jewellery brand faced BoycottTanishq calls on social media after it released the ad showing a Hindu-Muslim couple.

 

No description available.Later, Tanishq released a statement on its Twitter handle clarifying, “The idea behind the Ekatvam campaign is to celebrate the coming together of people from different walks of life, local communities and families during these challenging times and celebrate the beauty of oneness. This film has stimulated divergent and severe reactions, contrary to its very objective. We are deeply saddened by the inadvertent stirring of emotions and withdraw this film keeping in mind the hurt sentiments and well being of our employees, partners and store staff.”




India’s coronavirus tally crosses 73-lakh mark, recoveries surpass 64 lakh


India’s coronavirus tally crosses 73-lakh mark, recoveries surpass 64 lakh

India’s coronavirus tally case tally now stands at 73,07,097 with 8,04,528  active Covid-19 cases. The active Covid-19 cases constitute around 10.92 per cent of the total coronavirus cases.

With a fresh spike of 63,371 coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, India’s Covid-19 tally has crossed 73.7 lakh, according to Ministry of Health.

India’s coronavirus tally case tally now stands at 73,07,097 with 8,04,528  active Covid-19 cases. The active Covid-19 cases constitute around 10.92 per cent of the total coronavirus cases.

In the last 24 hours, the country has recorded 70,338 recoveries taking the total recoveries to 64,53,779. The recovery rate now stands at 87.56 per cent.

India,which remains the second worst Covid hit nation in the world, has recorded 895 deaths in the last 24 hours. With this the death toll now stands at 1,12,161 and  fatality rate of the country  stands at 1.52 per cent.

Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh remain the worst affected states in the country. These states account for nearly 55 per cent of the country’s new coronavirus cases.

Maharastra which remains the worst affected state has reported a singe day spike of 10,226 Covid-19 cases taking the states’s total tally to 15,64,615 cases and 41,196 fatalities.

Delhi has reported 3,483 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, taking the total to 3,21,031 cases and 5,924 fatalities.

India has conducted a total of 11,36,183 tests, taking the total tally of Covid-19 tests conducted to 9,12,26,305.




30 people, including 15 from Hyderabad, reported dead due to heaviest October rain in AP, Telangana


30 people, including 15 from Hyderabad, reported dead due to heaviest October rain in AP, Telangana

PM Modi spoke to Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao and his Andhra Pradesh counterpart, Jaganmohan Reddy, yesterday over the situation assuring them of all possible support from the central government.

In heavy rains across Telangana on Wednesday, which has left roads looking like rivers, cars completely submerged and buildings almost entirely flooded, 30 people have reportedly died.

As per the initial reports, as many as 15 deaths are from Hyderabad alone.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao and his Andhra Pradesh counterpart, Jaganmohan Reddy, yesterday over the situation assuring them of all possible support from the central government.

“Assured all possible support and assistance from the Centre in rescue and relief work. My thoughts are with those affected due to the heavy rains,” he tweeted.

The usually tame Musi river was in spate and flowed over the bridges and the Hussainsagar Lake overflowed the embankments and turned the streets into streams with cars, lorries, container vehicles and even people swept away in the gushing water.

Andhra Pradesh too experienced heavy rain which claimed ten lives in the state and caused extensive damage to crops, roads and uprooted electricity poles.

After the deluge hit the city around yesterday night the Telangana government declared two days of holiday till Thursday and urged the residents against venturing out unless there was an emergency. Since midnight, personnel from army, NDRF and the civic body’s own disaster response force (DRF) used boats to evacuate scores of people who were marooned in their houses. People had a tough time with the streets flooded, power supply hit and telecom lines disrupted, leaving them without even drinking water. There were also reports of roads caving in at various locations such as Moosapet.

Areas like Begumpet and Somajiguda which are in the very heart of the city were completely flooded. Video footage showed water gushing out at Yashoda Hospital, Somajiguda, which is a key private hospital for treating Covid -19 patients.

Although the deep depression has started to move away, according to the weather forecasts there is more rain in store for the city in the next two days. Telangana which has witnessed unprecedented rain during past two months saw Hyderabad receiving 176.6 mm of rain on a single day when the normal is just 4.2mm. Many areas in the city recorded over 200 mm of rain in past 24 hours.




Ramesh Pokhriyal virtually inaugurates new facilities at IIT Roorkee


Ramesh Pokhriyal virtually inaugurates new facilities at IIT Roorkee

Speaking on the occasion the Minister said that IIT Roorkee is the pride of India as it is the oldest technical institutions in Asia.

Union Minister for Education Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ today inaugurated the new Lecture Hall Complex(LHC), Centralized Heating, Ventilation, Air conditioning (HVAC) and a Sewage Treatment Plant(SPT) via online mode of the Indian Institute of Technology(IIT) Roorkee.

Minister of State for Education Sanjay Dhotre also graced the occasion. The online ceremony also witnessed the presence of Prof Ajit K Chaturvedi, Director, IIT Roorkee, Prof Manoranjan Parida, Deputy Director, IIT Roorkee, Deans, Associate Deans, Departments/Centres Heads, Professor in Charge, Registrar, Joint Registrar, and Deputy Registrar at IIT Roorkee.

Speaking on the occasion the Minister said that IIT Roorkee is the pride of India as it is the oldest technical institutions in Asia. Being in the league of the premier institutions, IIT Roorkee has set a benchmark in excellence in academics in India and is actively contributing to the cause of building ‘New India’ as envisioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. IIT Roorkee is based in the Himalayan region that is endowed with biodiversity.

However, human-animal conflicts have become common in this region. The Minister appealed that IIT Roorkee should come up with viable solutions to reduce human-animal conflicts and contribute to scientific social responsibility.

Pokhriyal highlighted that the New Education Policy -2020 has presented a new framework for the intellectual development of the youth of the country. The government has made a great effort to bring significant changes in the education system keeping in mind the rapidly changing world and future challenges and needs. He hoped that the implementation of NEP- 2020 will strengthen the students and provide a path to make India a developed, digital, and self-reliant country.




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