The Veera Shaiva-Lingayat issue is set to take a centre stage in Karnataka politics as a group of ministers and Lingayat MLAs led by Deputy Chief Minister Laxman Savadi demanded the establishment of Veerashaiva Lingayat Development Corporation (VLDC) on Monday.
The demand was triggered by Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa’s recent announcement to set up the Maratha Development Authority (MDA).
The decision to set up the MDA is seen in the administrative circle as a means to woo the Maratha populace in BasavaKalyan assembly constituency in Bidar district bordering with Maharashtra who are in the sizeable population.
The Assembly bypoll is due in BasavaKalyan after the sitting Congress MLA B Narayan Rao died of Covid-19 in Bengaluru recently.
Savadi along with ministers V. Somanna and B.C. Patil and a few BJP MLAs from the Lingayat community called on Yediyurappa and put forth the demand for setting up the VLDC.
Later speaking to reporters, Savadi said there has been a long-pending demand for a VLDC by various people including many seers.
“Today we put forth this demand before the Chief Minister to set up VLDC. He sought time to mull over the demand,” he said
Agreeing with Savadi, Patil said the community with a 17 percent population in Karnataka had made a significant contribution in shaping the state.
Patil said that the community has a substantial number of poor people, who eke out a living by working as labourers. For their benefit the VLDC should be set up, he added.
The VeeraShaiva Youth Wing too wrote to the Chief Minister demanding the setting up of VLDC.
Congress, however, disagreed with the demand for a VLDC saying that it will not serve any purpose. Instead, there should be reservation for the Veerashaiva Lingayats in education and government jobs.
The Congress MLA and former minister M.B. Patil, who had spearheaded the campaign for separate religious status to the Veerashaiva Lingayat sect, said the VLDC will not serve any purpose. Instead, he demanded a 16 to 18 percent reservation based on the Lingayat population in the state.
In a letter to the Chief Minister on Monday, M.B. Patil said the Lingayats, who are more than a crore in the state, constitute for about 16 to 18 percent of the state population. The existing reservation serves no purpose for them.
He recommended reservations to Veerashaiva Lingayats on the lines of reservation given to Marathas in Maharashtra in education, jobs and scholarships.
“Earmarking a grant of Rs 100 crore or Rs 200 crore will not help. It will only serve as a consolation,” Patil wrote.
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Indigenously designed, developed spectrograph can locate faint light from distant celestial objects
New Delhi [India], March 3 (ANI): Indian scientists have indigenously designed and developed a low-cost optical spectrograph that can locate sources of faint light from distant quasars and galaxies in a very young universe, regions around supermassive black-holes around the galaxies, and cosmic explosions.
“Such spectroscopes were so far imported from abroad involved high costs. The ‘Made in India’ optical spectrograph named as Aries-Devasthal Faint Object Spectrograph & Camera (ADFOSC), indigenously designed and developed by Aryabhatta Research Institute of observational sciences (ARIES), Nainital, an autonomous institute of Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, is about 2.5 times less costly compared to the imported ones and can locate sources of light with a photon-rate as low as about 1 photon per second,” read a release from the Ministry of Science & Technology.
The spectroscope, the largest of its kind among the existing astronomical spectrographs in the country, has been successfully commissioned on the 3.6-m Devasthal Optical Telescope (DOT), the largest in the country and in Asia, near Nainital Uttarakhand.
As per the statement, the instrument, a backbone of the 3.6-m DOT for observations of extremely faint celestial sources, uses a complex arrangement of several lenses made of special glasses, polished to better than 5-nanometer smoothness to produce sharp images of the celestial sky.
Photons coming from distant celestial sources, collected by the telescope, are sorted into different colors by the spectrograph and are finally converted into electronic recordable signals using an in-house developed Charge-Coupled Device (CCD) camera cooled to an extremely low temperature of -120 degree Celcius. The total cost of this instrument is nearly Rs 4 crores.
Dr Amitesh Omar, the scientist at ARIES, led this project with a technical and scientific team, which together researched and developed various optical, mechanical, and electronics subsystems of the spectrograph and camera.
The spectrograph is presently being used by astronomers from India and abroad to study distant quasars and galaxies in a very young universe, regions around supermassive black-holes around the galaxies, cosmic explosions like supernovae and highly energetic Gamma-ray bursts, young and massive stars, and faint dwarf galaxies.
“The indigenous efforts to build complex instruments like ADFOSC in India is an important step to become ‘Aatmanirbhar’ in the field of astronomy & astrophysics,” said Prof. Dipankar Banerjee, Director, ARIES.
Expertise from various national institutes, organizations, including the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and some micro-small-medium-enterprises, were involved to review and build parts of the instrument serving as an example of effective collaboration. With this expertise, ARIES now plans to commission more complex instruments such as spectro-polarimeter and high spectral resolution spectrograph on the 3.6-m Devasthal telescope in the near future. (ANI)
Not enough for Rahul Gandhi to accept 1975 Emergency was a mistake, says Anil Vij
New Delhi [India], March 3 (ANI): A day after Rahul Gandhi said that the Emergency imposed in the country during late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s tenure was wrong, Haryana Home Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Anil Vij on Wednesday said that if the Congress leader has to atone for the imposition of emergency then he should leave the “dictatorial” party.
“It is not enough for Rahul Gandhi to accept that the Emergency imposed by his grandmother in 1975 was a mistake, because anti-democratic and dictatorship thinking is still alive in Congress. Indira Gandhi may not be here but the rest of the leaders who supported the Emergency are still active in the Congress,” Vij said in a tweet.
“Today he is also leading the same party. If Rahul Gandhi has to atone for the imposition of emergency, then he should leave the dictatorial Congress party,” he added.
Rahul, while participating in a webinar organised by US university Cornell on Tuesday, said that the Emergency imposed in the country in 1975 was wrong.
“There is a fundamental difference between what happened in the Emergency, which was wrong, and what is happening now. Congress party, at no point, attempted to capture India’s constitutional framework. Our design doesn’t allow us that. Even if we want to do it, we can’t,” said the Wayanad MP in interaction with Professor Kaushik Basu.
On June 25, 1975, Indira Gandhi had announced a national emergency in view of ‘threats to national security’.
During the emergency, opposition leaders were arrested, censorship was imposed, and a ban was announced on grassroots organisations which lasted for a period of 21 months. (ANI)
Bengali actor Sayantika Banerjee joins TMC ahead of West Bengal Assembly polls
Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], March 3 (ANI): Bengali actor Sayantika Banerjee on Wednesday joined the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC), ahead of Assembly elections in West Bengal.
She joined the TMC in presence of party leader and West Bengal Minister Partha Chatterjee and other leaders.
Sayantika Banerjee said, “I was with Didi for the past 10 years but today I officially joined TMC. I request the people of Bengal to be with us and Didi. We know Bangla wants Bengali.”
Earlier on Tuesday, Bengali actor Srabanti Chatterjee joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Kolkata. Bengali actor Yash Dasgupta has also joined BJP along with several other Tollywood actors including Papiya Adhikari and Mallika Banerjee.
West Bengal Assembly elections will be held in eight phases starting from March 27 with the final round of voting taking place on April 29. The counting of votes will take place on May 2.
West Bengal is likely to witness a triangular contest this time with TMC, Congress-Left alliance and the BJP in the fray. (ANI)
Sex tape case: Truth about video will come out after probe, says K’taka Deputy CM
Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], March 3 (ANI): A day after a case was registered against Karnataka Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi for allegedly sexually assaulting a woman, Deputy Chief Minister Ashwathnarayan on Wednesday said that the truth will come out after an investigation.
A purported sex tape showed Major and Medium Water Resources Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi in a compromising position with a woman.
“We have seen treachery, vendetta, honey trap, blackmailing as the motive behind such videos. I don’t know the truth, time will decide everything. The truth will come out after an investigation,” Ashwathnarayan told reporters here when asked about Jarkiholi’s alleged involvement in the sex tape case.
Karnataka Home Minister B Bommai said that an inquiry is being conducted as per law adding that Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will make a decision on taking action against him.
Union Minister Pralhad Joshi had on Tuesday said that the BJP will take action after checking the authenticity of the alleged sex video tape in which Jarkiholi is said to be involved.
“I have seen the video of state minister Ramesh Jarkiholi in the media. I will speak to the Chief Minister and the party chief about it. We will check the authenticity of the CD and take action accordingly,” the Union Minister said.
A case was registered against Jarkiholi on Tuesday for allegedly sexually assaulting a woman.
Addressing reporters, the complainant Dinesh Kallahalli, who is a social activist, said, “I have lodged a complaint with police, demanding a probe into a sex scandal involving Ramesh Jarkiholi.”
Jarkiholi denied the allegations, saying that he will resign from politics if these allegations are proven true.
Speaking to reporters, the minister said, “I do not even know the woman and the complainant. I am going to meet my high command to convey a clarification about the alleged video. I was in Mysuru and I went to Chamundeshwari Temple. I do not even know about the video because I never spoke to that woman. I will resign from my MLA post and politics if these allegations are proven against me.” (ANI)
SC refuses to entertain plea seeking to prosecute Farooq Abdullah for statement on Article 370
New Delhi [India], March 3 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to entertain a Public Interest Litigation (PIL), filed by one Rajat Sharma, against former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Farooq Abdullah, seeking a direction to prosecute him for allegedly making a statement on scrapping of Article 370.
The bench of the Apex Court also slapped a fine of Rs 50,000 on Sharma.
A bench of the Apex Court, headed by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, while refusing to entertain the PIL filed by Sharma, observed that the expression of views that are dissent and different from the opinion of the government cannot be termed as seditious.
The PIL filed by Sharma sought prosecution against former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Farooq Abdullah for allegedly making a statement on scrapping of Article 370.
The central government in August 2019, scrapped the provision of article 370, bifurcating the state into two Union Territories — Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. (ANI)
I-T raids underway at properties of Anurag Kashyap, Vikas Bahl, Taapsee Pannu in Mumbai
Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], March 3 (ANI): Income Tax Department is conducting raids at the properties of film director Anurag Kashyap, film producer Vikas Bahl and actor Taapsee Pannu in Mumbai, sources said.
Offices and residences of Kashyap, Bahl and Pannu are being searched in the raids, sources in the Income Tax Department added.
More details are awaited. (ANI)
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