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Madhya Pradesh: No parade, cultural programs of children on Independence Day due to pandemic

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there will be no parade and cultural programmes of children in Madhya Pradesh this Independence Day on August 15.

After the state's cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra shared the details of the plan.

He said, "Madhya Pradesh cabinet meeting took place today under Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. Independence Day function (Swatanrtata Diwas Samaroh) were conducted in every district and tehsils by minsters, but in the wake of COVID-19 it is decided that this function will be conducted at one location in Bhopal with the Council of Ministers by the Chief Minister."

"In zilla and in tehsil, officials will conduct those programmes. This year there will be no public events like cultural programmes of children coming from schools and parade," he said.

Mishra further added, "Chief Minister's speech will be live and telecast on channels. Cabinet decides that in 'COVID Yodha Kalyan Yojna' if an administrative worker dies during duty then that person will get the assistance of Rs 50 lakh immediately. Till now 20 people have received this kind of assistance."

'Vikas spotted at Ashoka Road': Netizens crack jokes as street in Lutyens' Delhi caves in amid heavy rains

In recent days Delhi has received heavy rainfall, leading to waterlogging and traffic snarls. In some places there has been damage to property. In one rather tragic incident where an individual had passed away. Netizens had also watched with fascinated horror as videos of a house collapsing surfaced a few days ago.

On Wednesday, there was a new phenomenon for netizens to contend with as a portion of Delhi's Ashoka Road caved in following heavy rainfall. And as pictures showed, and netizens remarked, this was a sizable pit in a well appointed part of the city.


As is the norm for Twitter, the jokes and comments were soon pouring in. While some attempted rationality, noting that sinkholes and the like were not an impossibility, others were busy criticising Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. Many others took it upon themselves to crack jokes about the situation. And to be fair, it is not just the Aam Aadmi Party that netizens have aimed their jabs at. From Prime Minister Modi to the Congress -- everyone seemed to find a spot in the comments section.

"Dark underground underbelly secrets of lutyens zones," tweeted one user.

"Wow #AshokaRoad is caving in. The end is nigh. #BusYahiDekhnaBachaTha," wrote another.

Many others jibed about how "vikas" had been found in the area.


Take a look at some of the posts:


From media professional to Rajya Sabha MP: Tracking Priyanka Chaturvedi's meteoric rise

On Wednesday, around 45 newly-elected Rajya Sabha members took oath -- the first time that the new members have taken oath in the Upper House chamber when Parliament is not in session.

"Today’s oath taking has been organized to enable the newly elected members participate in the committee meetings which are underway at once and in the monsoon session which is to follow. I hope to nominate all of you on different committees in a day or two," Vice President M Venkiah Naidu tweeted.


Among the newly appointed MPs, there are several first timers, including Priyanka Chaturvedi, who quit the Congress last year to join the Shiv Sena. "Such an honour Sir, I look forward to working to the best of my ability with your guidance and support," she tweeted in response to Naidu's posts.

Going from media professional to political leader

Raised in Mumbai, Chaturvedi holds a degree in Commerce from the city's Narsee Monjee College of Commerce and Economics. She began her career with a media company in the city. Chaturvedi was one of the Directors of media and public relations company, MPower Consultants.

Till date she remains a blogger and has lent a helping hand to many social causes. She is one of the founders of Prayas Charitable Trust which helps educate underpriviledged children.

Her media background and knowledge served her well when she joined the Congress in 2010. Soon, she was one of the party's spokespeople, eventually holding the post of Convenor - Communication of the All India Congress Committee and being the party's National Spokesperson. There were several other milestones along the way. She became the General Secretary of the party's Youth wing from North-West Mumbai in 2012, and in 2015, she was a part of a delegation of political leaders who were selected by the UK High Commission and Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK to visit London and understand their democracy.

Over the years, Chaturvedi became a well known face on media platforms, and has garnered quite the social media following. She had been vocal in her criticism of the opposition BJP, and has on many occasions called out leaders including Prime Minister Modi and Minister of Textiles Smriti Irani.

The switch to Shiv Sena

In 2019, Chaturvedi startled many when she changed political parties after nearly a decade. And while many debated over the reasons why, Chaturvedi remained undaunted. As she tweeted in response to reports the she had been upset after being denied a Lok Sabha ticket from the Mumbai North constituency, "last I checked, ambition is not a curse". Incidentally, she says that while she was disappointed, she was "not miffed" by the turn of events.


Other reports had speculated that Chaturvedi might have been angry over the reinstatement of Congress workers who had allegedly misbehaved with her in 2018 in Uttar Pradesh.

"Deeply saddened that lumpen goons get prefence in @incindia over those who have given their sweat&blood. Having faced brickbats&abuse across board for the party but yet those who threatened me within the party getting away with not even a rap on their knuckles is unfortunate," she had tweeted on April 17, 2019.

A day later, in a later dated April 18, Chaturvedi resigned. "In the last few weeks certain things have convinced me that my services are not valued in the organisation and that I have reached the end of the road," she noted in her letter.


Chaturvedi was welcomed into the Sena seemingly with open arms. The party had even noted that they were gaining a "good sister". She joined the party on April 19, in the presence of now Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. The same year, she became the Deputy Leader of Shiv Sena.

Even as she has a thriving political career to contend with, Chaturvedi has wears many other hats. She is a mother of two, and also an entrepreneur. Chaturvedi's linkedIn bio says that she had studied Entrepreneurship/Entrepreneurial Studies from the Indian School of Business, and reports add that she had also been selected as a participant in ISB's 10,000 Women Entrepreneurs Certificate programme in 2010.

Rajasthan political crisis: From luxurious breakfast to lounging, check out how Congress leaders are spending time in the resort

Even as the COVID-19 cases surge in the country, MLAs in Rajasthan are dealing with a different kind of crisis.

A rift within the ruling Congress party has led to the current political crisis in the state of Rajasthan. Two factions of the ruling Congress party are currently lodged in two different resorts.

While the faction led by former Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot remains at an undisclosed location in Haryana, a little more than 100 MLAs have been staying in a Rajasthan hotel.

The Congress MLAs who support Ashok Gehlot have been kept at Hotel Fairmont amidst this political turmoil. And from all accounts, the MLAs seem to be making the best of their stay. Reports suggest that the MLAs have occupied themselves playing games, watching movies.

Check out how Congress leaders are spending time in the resort:

The Congress MLAs who support Ashok Gehlot have been lodged at Hotel in Rajasthan. 
The Congress MLAs who support Ashok Gehlot have been lodged at Hotel in Rajasthan. Sangeeta Pranvendra
Congress MLAs staying in a Rajasthan's Hotel Fairmont.
Congress MLAs staying in a Rajasthan's Hotel Fairmont.Sangeeta Pranvendra
The Congress MLAs who support Ashok Gehlot have been lodged at Hotel in Rajasthan. 
The Congress MLAs who support Ashok Gehlot have been lodged at Hotel in Rajasthan. Sangeeta Pranvendra
This is how Congress leaders are spending time in the resort.
This is how Congress leaders are spending time in the resort.Sangeeta Pranvendra
A little more than 100 MLAs have been staying in a Rajasthan hotel.
A little more than 100 MLAs have been staying in a Rajasthan hotel.Sangeeta Pranvendra
Reports suggest that they have occupied themselves playing games, watching movies.
Reports suggest that they have occupied themselves playing games, watching movies.Sangeeta Pranvendra
Reports suggest that they have occupied themselves playing games, watching movies
Reports suggest that they have occupied themselves playing games, watching moviesSangeeta Pranvendra
On Sunday, a video emerged that shows a group of MLAs seated together, reportedly playing Antakshari. In the video shared by The Free Press Journal's Sangeeta Pranvendra, MLAs can be heard singing 'Hum Honge Kamyab...'.

Meanwhile, hearing on a petition filed by Sachin Pilot and 18 other Congress MLAs before Jaipur Bench of Rajasthan High Court resumed on Monday.

The bench of Chief Justice Indrajit Mahanty and Justice Prakash Gupta are hearing the matter.

(With inputs from ANI)

Ram Mandir in Ayodhya: 40kg silver slab to be placed during 'bhumi pujan'

A silver slab, weighing about 40 kilogram, will be placed in the sanctum sanctorum of the proposed grand Ram temple in Ayodhya during the 'bhoomi pujan' ceremony, scheduled to be held in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 5.

The three-day rituals will begin from August 3 and culminate on August 5. According to spokesman of the temple trust chief Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, Mahant Kamal Nayan Das said the rituals will be conducted by priests from Varanasi who also supervised the shifting of the Ram Lalla idol to a new structure in March.

The Ramacharya puja will be conducted on August 4. The foundation of the temple will be laid at 12.13 p.m., the auspicious time fixed by priests after detailed calculation of planetary configurations. Triloki Nath Pandey, decree holder of Ram Janmabhoomi, said that the ceremony on August 5 is 'bhumi pujan' and not 'shilanyas' which was already performed in 1989 by current Trust member Kameshwar Chaupal during the tenure of the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.


Anil Mishra, a member of Trust, said that a formal invite has been sent to the Prime Minister's office, but there is no official confirmation of his schedule yet though a tentative programme had been fixed. Mishra also said that the proposed temple will also have a world class museum where people will be able to see the archaeological artefacts excavated from the Ram Janmabhoomi site. The artefacts played an important role in establishing the Hindu claim on the site.

Some of the artefacts are already on display at Ram Katha Sangrahalaya. Officials of Archaeological Survey of India say there are over 400 centuries-old artefacts, presently housed inside a 25x50 square feet shed on the site. Also, there are scores of pottery and antiques in Manas Bhavan.


Country's first-of-its-kind cow justice scheme starts today: Chhattisgarh government will buy cow dung at the rate of 2 rupees

Chief Minister Mr. Bhupesh Baghel started on the occasion of Hareli
Farming, environment, health as well as rural economy will also be strong
Cultural event held in Chief Minister's residence

The country's first-of-its-kind Godan Nyaya Yojana started in Chhattisgarh from today. On the occasion of Lok Mahaparva Hareli, Chief Minister Shri Bhupesh Baghel started it by purchasing cow dung in a symbolic manner. Under this scheme, the government will buy cow dung at the rate of 2 rupees from cattle rearers and then organic fertilizer will be prepared from it. The objective of the scheme is to promote animal husbandry as well as decrease agricultural costs and increase the fertility of the land. The scheme is expected to bring about major changes in the rural economy along with improving the environment. The Godhan Nyaya Yojana will also create employment opportunities on a large scale.

Traditionally, the green festival is associated with agriculture and the environment. That is why this opportunity was chosen to launch the Godhan Nyaya Yojana. He introduced the scheme at a cultural ceremony held at his residence in Raipur. Suraji village scheme has already been implemented in the villages of the state, under which more than five thousand Gothanas have been approved. Out of these, 2785 gothanas have been completed, the remaining are being constructed rapidly. The Godhan Nyaya Yojana will operate through these Gothanas. Gothans are being developed as day care centers of animals. Along with the manufacture of vermi compost, other income oriented activities are being conducted by the women self-help groups here. The state government has set a target of building Gothan in all 11630 gram panchayats and all 20 thousand villages of the state, in a phased manner. After the construction is complete there will also be purchased of cow dung.

Chief Minister Mr. Bhupesh Baghel started the scheme by worshiping Godhan and agricultural implements at his residence. On this occasion, he congratulated the people of the state for the first festival of the new year and said that this scheme will prove to be a boon for farmers and cattle rearers in times of crisis. This will become the lifeline of the rural economy. He said that this is a multi-pronged scheme, which will help us achieve many goals simultaneously. Mr. Baghel said that not only will the income of livestock be increased by the Godhan Nyaya Yojana, but also the free grazing of livestock will be stopped. The use of organic manure will reduce the use of chemical fertilizer. The security of Kharif and Rabi crops will be ensured in the bi-region. The fertility of the land will improve and the availability of non-toxic food items will increase, this will further improve the level of nutrition.
    Dung will be purchased at two rupees per kg by Gothan committees from farmers and cattle rearers, from which vermi compost will be prepared by women self-help groups. The finished vermi compost will be purchased by the government at the rate of Rs 8 per kg. Other ingredients will also be prepared from purchased dung.

  Narva-Garwa-Ghurwa and Bari programs are being run under the Suraji village scheme already implemented by the state government to revive the rural economy. The Godhan Nyaya Yojana is linked to the Garwa, Ghurwa and Bari components of these. Recently, Rajiv Gandhi Kisan Nyay Yojana has also been launched to provide the farmers the right price for their produce, under which Rs. Of these, 1500 crores of the first installment has been transferred on the day of the inception of the scheme. The second installment amount will be released in the month of August.
      Agriculture and Water Resources Minister Mr. Ravindra Choubey, Urban Administration Minister Dr. Shiv Kumar Dahria, Food and Culture Minister Mr. Amarjit Bhagat, Parliamentary Secretary Mr. Vikas Upadhyay, President of Chhattisgarh Housing Board, Mr. Kuldeep Singh, at the Chief Minister's residence Juneja, Chairperson of State Women Commission, Mrs. Kiranmayi Nayak, Chairman of Raipur Municipal Corporation Mr. Pramod Dubey, Chairman of Khadi and Village Industries Board Mr. Rajendra Tiwari, Food Civil Supplies Corporation President Mr. Ram Gopal Agrawal, Adviser to Chief Minister, Mr. Vinod Verma and Mr. Pradeep Sharma , Chief Secretary Mr. RP Mandal, Additional Chief Secretary to Chief Minister Mr. Subrata Sahu, Principal Secretary of Forest Department Mr. Manoj Pingua, Commissioner of Agricultural Production Dr. M. Geeta, Secretary to Chief Minister Mr. Siddharth Komal Singh Pardeshi, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Many public representatives and enlightened citizens including Mr. Rakesh Chaturvedi were present. The Chief Minister performed the Hari Palli with his wife Smt. Mukteshwari Baghel.
    State government ministers, parliamentary secretaries, presidents of authorities, panchayati raj institutions and public representatives of urban bodies participated in programs organized in various districts for the launch of the Godhan Nyaya Yojana.
         To celebrate the traditional Hareli festival of Chhattisgarh, a part of Chief Minister's residence was given the appearance of rural environment today. A tableau was prepared for the way the puja is performed in the village houses at the Chief Minister's residence. The tableau of the village houses and fences were prepared by dung and mud. Gauthan has also been built to suit the village. Gada baila was kept here for decoration. Apart from this, many items including the use of farmers, tools, nangar, gaiti, rapa, kudali, bansula were kept.
    Chief Minister Shri Bhupesh Baghel worshiped tools and fed cows to londi. He inaugurated the Godhan Nyaya Yojana at Gauthan, built at the Hareli Chief Minister's residence. A replica of Gauthan has also been made at the Chief Minister's residence. Scales and grazing have been arranged for dung weighing. Nangar, Kopar, Supa, Parra, Kandil, Khumri, Dori, Machi, Pidhwa, Jata, Paddy Sack, Gedi, Bahri, Racher, Handi, Maraki, Bana, Humahi, Gaad Chakka, Chhena , Is decorated with milking, luthi, chatai. The village deity and Tulsi Chaura are placed at the place of worship.

Rachul and gedi enjoyed

    Chief Minister Mr. Bhupesh Baghel enjoyed the family Rahchul (Rahchuli) during the cultural ceremony held at his residence on the occasion of Hareli. They also climbed the Gedi and performed various traditions related to the festival.

Bamboo song vocals echo

       Folk artists, folk dancers, folk singers of Chhattisgarh performed in traditional costumes with musical instruments and decorations. Bamboo songs were also played at the Chief Minister's residence on Hareli. Bamboo song artists have been specially invited from Gariaband district. The bamboo song was performed by Latti Yadav and fellow artist. According to the tradition of Chhattisgarh, on the Hareli festival, the cattle of the house are fed with londi along with herbs to keep the cow and the bull healthy. Dumpling bhajiya and gurha chile are specially prepared in houses on Hareli day. On this day, people of the Yadav community roam the village and put neem leaves in the houses to protect people from diseases. People of blacksmith society make many types of agricultural machines. According to the needs of the village, the instruments used in agriculture are made by them only. In accordance with the folk and social tradition, the people of blacksmith society put nails in homes to protect them from the evil.


Coronavirus in Pimpri Chinchwad: PCMC takes over all COVID-19 beds in private hospitals

Following the rising instances of patients failing to find critical care in the city, Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) has now decided to take over all allocated COVID-19 beds in the city. Thus the civic body will also take control of COVID-19 beds in private hospitals.

As per the report published by ToI, this move by the civic body will bar private hospitals from admitting those not approved by the civic body from Monday.

Recently, several instances of asymptomatic patients occupying the beds which can better serve the serious patients came into light. One of the PCMC officials, while talking to ToI, said, "Many such asymptomatic patients have been blocking critical oxygen beds, which could have been used by those in real need."

To get the information about the available beds in the city hospitals, you can download the PCMC Smart Sarathi App.

To download the app, give a missed call to the following number - 8080049900 or scan the QR code which is given below:

To get the information about the available beds in the city hospitals, you can download PCMC Smart Sarathi App.
To get the information about the available beds in the city hospitals, you can download PCMC Smart Sarathi App. Twitter (@PCMCSarathi)

Meanwhile, the second phase of the 10-days lockdown in Pimpri Chinchwad started today. As per the new notification by PCMC, shops of essential services including meat and fish shops will be open from 8 am to 6 pm on Sunday.

However, from Monday these shops will be open from 8 am to 12 pm only.


Simi Garewal says a 'powerful' person viciously tried to destroy her career; applauds Kangana Ranaut's bravery

Actress Simi Garewal took to Twitter to applaud actress Kangana Ranaut for being brave and bold in her recent interview with Arnab Goswami. The talk show host also opened up about how a 'powerful' person viciously tried to destroy her career but she stayed silent.

Lauding Kangana Ranaut, Simi Garewal wrote, "I applaud #KanganaRanaut who is braver & bolder than I am. Only I know how a 'powerful' person has viciously tried to destroy my career. I stayed silent. Because I am not so brave... "

Weighing in on the cruel and unforgiving nature of Bollywood which is particularly tough on outsiders, she added: "I don't know what all of you felt after watching #KanganaSpeaksToArnab ..but it has left me quite depressed.. I'm distraught at what #SushantSingRajput endured .. and also what many 'outsiders' go through in Bollywood.. it must change!"


In another tweet, Garewal wrote, "When George Floyd was killed in America it set forth an awakening. In the same way #SushantSingRajput 's death maybe the harbinger of an awakening in Bollywood.."


For the unversed, during an interaction with Republic TV, Kangana Ranaut said that she will return her Padma Shri award if she is unable to prove the claims she has made about Sushant Singh Rajput's suicide.

She said, "I am not saying that anyone wanted Sushant to die, but definitely doomed. These people are emotional vultures. They want to see people lynch themselves. To date, Mahesh Bhatt is selling Parveen Babi's illness in so many versions through his films. Why is Mumbai Police not summoning — Aditya Chopra, Mahesh Bhatt, Karan Johar, Rajeev Masand? These 4 people. Why, because they are powerful?"

"Sushant's family shouldn't be harassed because these people are too powerful. These people aren't even summoned. Mumbai Police investigation is a complete sham. I have said no to Bhansali's Padmaavat but he hasn't done anything vengeful. He doesn't gang up on anyone but he's being summoned. Shekhar Kapur, a God-like figure in the industry is being summoned,” she added.


Coronavirus in Pune: PMC reports 1,838 cases on Saturday; total cases in city goes up to 35,878

As per the update by Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), an addition of 1,838 COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours increased Pune city's infection count to 35,878.

While the death toll stood at 935 as 18 people lost their lives during the day, an official update read on Saturday.

A total of 774 persons were discharged during this period and the city has 13,062 active cases.

A total of 1,98,489 tests have been conducted in the city till now and 6,981 tests were conducted on Saturday


The corporation has also issued the number of ward-wise cases in Pune till July 17. Every ward office area in the city has crossed the mark of 1000 cases as of July 17. Check out the cases in your ward here:

Ward-wise cases in Pune till July 17.
Ward-wise cases in Pune till July 17.Twitter (@mohol_murlidhar)

Meanwhile, the second phase of 10-day lockdown in Pune started on Sunday and shall continue till July 23, to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 in the city.

During the lockdown, shops selling essential commodities will be allowed to function along with medical, hospitals, and milk supply.

Joint Commissioner of Pune Police Ravindra Shisve said, "Earlier it was decided that shops related to essential services will remain open between 08:00 am to 02:00 pm but since shops will be opening after five days tomorrow, it is expected that people may come out in large number to buy essentials which may lead to violating social distancing norms."

"Hence, district administration along with police has decided to allow the opening of shops related to essential services between 08:00 am to 06:00 pm for tomorrow. Later, from the day after tomorrow, they will be allowed to remain open between 08:00 am and 02:00 pm till July 23 as it was decided earlier," added Ravindra Shisve.

He further appealed to the public to step out in a scattered manner in order to maintain social distancing and avoid large gatherings while buying essential commodities. He also requested all to cooperate with the administration.

As per the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Maharashtra -- the worst-affected state from the deadly virus -- has a total of 2,92,589 coronavirus cases and 11,452 fatalities.

(With inputs from ANI)


Giving new lease of life: Family of Navi Mumbai mother who died at childbirth donates her liver, kidney and heart

Family of a 39-year-old woman from Navi Mumbai decided to give a new life to four others by donating her organs, following her death.

As per the report published by The Indian Express, officials from Apollo Hospital said that the woman, identified as Reena Pandey, had delivered a baby on July 6 and died due to intracranial bleeding. Hospital authorities declared her brain dead late on Friday.

Her family gave consent to donate her liver, both kidneys and her heart to four others, who were in need of an organ transplant.

The story was also shared on social media and few users appreciated the family for taking the decision. Check out the reactions here:


In one such story, in February the organs of a brain-dead 25-year-old Raigad resident, Mahesh Yerunkar, brought fresh hope to the lives of five others, who were urgently in need of transplants.

Yerunkar had met with an accident on February 5, while returning home from the funeral of a relative. Around 1 am, his bike was hit by a car, causing him chest, stomach and brain injuries and he subsequently began bleeding from both ears.

He was tested twice for apnoea and was declared brain-dead later that day.

After this, social workers from the Zonal Transplant Coordination Committee (ZTCC) counselled his parents, who agreed to donate his organs - heart, liver (two parts) and both kidneys.