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Amit Shah meets ministers to discuss coal ‘crisis’

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Amidst reports of a coal crisis in the country, Union Power Minister R.K. Singh and Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi met Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday. Top officials from the Power Ministry, Coal Ministry and National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) were also present in the meeting held at the Ministry of Home Affairs in the North Block. The Ministry of Coal on Sunday reassured the country that ample coal is available in the country to meet the demand for power plants.

In an official release, the Ministry said any fear of disruption in the power supply is entirely misplaced. “The coal stock at power plant end is about 72 lakh tonnes, sufficient for 4 days requirement, and that the Coal India Limited (CIL) end is more than 400 lakh tonnes, which is being supplied to the power plants,” the ministry said.

Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday said many Chief Ministers have written to the Central government about the critical situation at power plants due to a coal shortage. “The situation is critical and many CMs have written about it to the Central government. We all are working together to improve the situation,” he said.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar also flagged the issue

of a possible coal shortage. “It is true there is a problem. As per our requirement, either we get it from NTPC or from private companies. But the supply is affected now. There are some reasons due to which such a situation has arisen. It is not only in Bihar, but also everywhere,” Kumar told journalists on Monday.

Meanwhile, a report from Ranchi said that amid reports of shortage of coal stock in the country, the Central Coalfields Limited (CCL) said that in the coming one or two weeks the problem will be stabilized. Chairman and Managing Director of CCL, PM Prasad said, “There is no such crisis. Definitely coal stock is on a low level because power generation is high this year. You can say there is much growth. For Coal India, we have supplied at least 53 million tonnes, more than last year, in the first half of the financial year.” He said that the Coal India stock will last for at least 20 days.

Asked about the current status of coal stock Prasad said, “The Coal India stock will last for at least 20 days minimum. In the case of CCL, it is 1.95 million and of Bharat Coking Coal Limited (BCCL), it is 6.5 lakh tonnes. With this stock level and with the production is coming up since monsoon is over. I am confident that the stock remaining the same, whatever we will produce will dispatch to the power plant.”

With respect to Jharkhand, he said that both CCL and Bharat Coking Coal Limited (BCCL) have more than 25% in dispatch growth. “In the coming days, since the monsoon is over I am very much confident that it will be stabilized in the next one week. And post-Durga Puja, it will be further picking up. In the last 3-4 days power plants are getting coal. If the requirement is 1.6 million, almost 1.55 million is being met. I am very much confident that in the coming one or two weeks it will be stabilized,” he emphasised. He said that powerhouse coal stocks are being monitored at multiple levels.

“We are continuously monitoring powerhouse stocks at 2-3 levels. One is at the Coal India level, one is at the Ministry of Coal level, further by inter-ministerial groups, Ministry of power and Railways. This is being done thrice weekly and at the company level, we are monitoring every day. We are having continuous discussions with the energy secretaries of some of the states, DVC chairman and linked power plants. We are in continuous touch,” added Prasad.

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LIFE SKILLS COLLABORATIVE LAUNCHED TO CHAMPION SKILLS FOR INDIA’S YOUTH

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Eighteen organisations have come together to announce the launch of the Life Skills Collaborative (LSC) with the aim to support government agencies and education institutions by building a life skills platform that can aid in the transformation of India’s learning ecosystem. In the first phase, the LSC will work in tandem with state governments across Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Maharashtra, and Mizoram to bring contextual, social and cultural inputs to the development of life skills among the young people of India.

The Collaborative comprises organisations with diverse and global expertise in education, skill development, health and gender with a commitment to collaborate in deepening the understanding of life skills, designing learning tools that nurture life skills, and developing context-relevant assessments to measure progress, share learnings and inform system change India. The current collaborators include Breakthrough, Centre for Science of Student Learning, Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, Dream A Dream, Echidna Giving, Gnothi Seauton, ICRW, Kaivalya Education Foundation, Magic Bus, Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, Omidyar Network India, Porticus, Pratham, Quest Alliance, Room To Read, Sattva Consulting, Shantilal Muttha Foundation and The Teacher Foundation. Speaking about the launch, Vishal Talreja, an LSC Collaborator and Co-founder of Dream A Dream, said, “One in three children in India live in extreme poverty and have stunted and/or wasted growth. Children from vulnerable backgrounds are exposed to a combination of adverse experiences causing an irrefutable impact on their physical and mental health. Empathy-based transformative pedagogy, experiential learning, and mentoring can help young people immensely.”

The Life Skills Collaborative will focus on three core areas:

1. Voices, a nationwide engagement with youth, parents, and teachers to capture their voices and translate them to insights that can drive the integration of life skills within public education systems.

2. Glossary, a set of definitions that serves as the vocabulary to discuss life skills in India and establish the foundation for discussing and aligning on outcomes, designing assessments across community, practitioners, and government.

3. Assessments, will focus on creation, establishment, and dissemination of an assessment repository for adolescents, teachers, and the system. At the adolescent level, this will assess student’s capacities and strengths in the age groups 11-14 years and 15-18 years; at the teacher level, it will assess the ability of the teacher to foster life skills in an adolescent; at the system level, it will assess the readiness of the system to deliver life skills.

Rathish Balakrishnan, an LSC Collaborator and Co-founder and Managing Partner at Sattva Consulting, said, “Young people often struggle to access education and employment opportunities, limiting their engagement in society and stunting their potential to live a full life. Equipping them with life skills can change this immensely. While there is a lot of interest in life skills, there is a lack of a common vocabulary and effective assessments, which limits its potential. By building credible and system-ready public goods, the Life Skills Collaborative can accelerate the effective adoption of life skills across the ecosystem.”

In recent times, the need for developing stronger life skills has become more acute. Focusing on building life skills in the next generation is imperative in enabling them to handle different situations capably. In a country like India, where a vast majority of the population is young, life skill development enables young people to direct and manage their lives positively.

Geeta Goel, an LSC Collaborator and Country Director, Michael and Susan Dell Foundation (MSDF, India), added, “The Life Skills Collaborative is an innovative attempt to solve a wicked problem – the development of life skills among the young people of India. To achieve this goal, it is essential to support organisations, institutions and government agencies in building a more inclusive learning environment suited towards promoting life skills.”

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RED FM launches World Cup campaign ‘Totka Chalao India Ko Jeetao’

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93.5 RED FM has kick-started its World Cup campaign ‘Totka Chalao, India ko Jeetao’. Capturing the passion and craze of fans, RED FM will celebrate the ‘totkas’ and will have RJs follow some of these tricks shared by listeners as part of the campaign.

Witness the best of entertainment with ‘Nand Kishore Bairagi’ aka RJ Kisna taking a spin on the ‘totkas’ in his unique style. The campaign will also have Bauaa aka RJ Raunac calling up opponent teams as part of his prank calls series. Keeping the passion of the World Cup alive, RED FM will also launch the anthem, ‘Totka Wala Gana’ capturing the craze of cricket fans across the country. Speaking on the campaign, Nisha Narayanan, Director & COO, RED FM and Magic FM, said, “Cricket generates a kind of excitement that cuts across all sections of the society in India. Fans have been eagerly waiting for the mega tournament to start after the Covid-19 pandemic put a stop to all sporting activities. Over the years, cricket has united fans and radio has been a crucial part in bringing them together. There’s no denying that luck and superstitions go hand in hand with a cricket fan and this year we are bringing some of those practices the fans have subconsciously picked up over the years and now cannot let go. Our campaign, ‘Totka Chalao, India ko Jeetao’ will highlight some of the crazy ‘totkas’ that cricket fans follow across the country. We hope that you will share your favourite ‘totkas’ with us and cheer for team India with RED FM.”

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MICHAEL KORS TO LAUNCH MK MY WAY IN-STORE POP-UPS THROUGHOUT INDIA

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Michael Kors has announced the launch of an exciting new pop-up store activation throughout India to celebrate MK My Way—the popular interactive experience that immerses customers in the luxe world of Michael Kors and lets them customise their Signature logo print handbags with their initials.

The MK My Way activation will take place in stores with a colourful pop-up kiosk. Equal parts elevated and high-energy, the pop-up’s countertop and facade are splashed with metallic hues and punctuated by oversized, graphic takes on the brand’s signature print. After selecting their Signature print handbag, customers have the chance to have their bags hand-painted by Bangalore-based artist and illustrator Srishti Guptaroy (@srillustrator) with either their English/Hindi initials or with one of four unique motifs designed specifically for Diwali.

As an extension of the in-store program, the motifs will also be made into gify stickers available for all Instagram users. Supplies are provided by Angelus Paints, a California paint company and world leader in luxury customisation. To celebrate the launch, the brand has also created a digital campaign starring Bollywood actress Janhvi Kapoor (@janhvikapoor).

The pop-up store activations will take place in several cities throughout India, including:

Jio World Drive in Mumbai (from 8 to 31 October)

DLF Emporio in Delhi (from 11 to 31 October)

UB City in Bangalore (from 23 to 30 October)

Tatacliq Luxury (online) (from 18 to 31 October)

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Civilian killings in J&K are not random, but part of deliberate plan: Defence expert

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Defence expert Dhruv Katoch, while raising concerns over the recent killing of civilians by terrorists in the valley, on Monday said that the killings in Jammu and Kashmir are a deliberate attempt on the part of the Pakistani intelligence agency where they have made a detailed plan to create disturbance in India especially within the union territory.

Pointing out that these incidents are not “random”, Katoch said, “These are not isolated incidences. Everything is planned. They are targeting the poorer sections working there. The consolidated impact of the act is the cause of concern.” “It is a deliberate attempt on the part of the Pakistani intelligence agency where they have made a detailed plan to create disturbance in India especially within Jammu and Kashmir,” Katoch told ANI.

The defence expert said that it is important to hand this over to these incidents to National Investigation Agency (NIA) to determine the linkages within India, but more importantly to determine the linkages outside India.

Reacting to the ongoing counter-terrorist operation in J-K’s Poonch, he said, “We have already lost nine bravehearts and the operation is still on for nine days.”

He further said that the visit of Chief of Army Staff General MM Naravane to forward areas along the Line of Control in Jammu is simply to convey his support to the troops.

Amid the heightened counter-terrorist operations in the Poonch-Rajouri sector, Army chief Gen Manoj Mukund Naravane is on a two-day visit to the Jammu region to review the overall security situation on the ground.

The Poonch sector has seen heightened military activities in the last fortnight as nine Army soldiers have lost their lives there and operations are still on in the 16 Corps area to neutralise the terrorists. After a lull of six months, terrorist activities have gone up in the hinterland and ceasefire violations attempts are also on the rise in the Jammu area.

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PAKISTAN PLAYING ‘DOUBLE GAME’ IN AFGHANISTAN, TERROR ACTIVITIES MAY AGGRAVATE: THINK TANK

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The fall of Kabul and the conversion of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan on 15 August this year has boosted the morale of terrorist outfits, as per an analysis by a Canada-based think tank.

In view of “strong ties” between the Afghan Taliban and the Tehrik-e-Taliban (TTP), violence is expected to increase in the “pro-democracy” countries and even in Pakistan, according to the think tank, international think tank based in Canada, International Forum for Rights and Security (IFFRAS). In recent developments in the South-Asian region, particularly in Pakistan, 52 people died in 35 terror attacks in August indicating the growing instability in the region, according to the international think tank based in Canada, IFFRAS.

The killing of seven Pakistani soldiers by the TTP in Waziristan in September followed by the killing of the Pakistan Army’s Captain in the district bordering Afghanistan are the latest instances of the rising violence in the region including Pakistan.

According to IFFRAS, the role of Pakistan is being studied by the experts and they have been “suspicious” about Pakistan’s “double games”.

The Taliban after capturing power has assured no propagation of terror activities on Afghan soil.

“However, the Taliban has the reputation of saying one thing and then doing quite the opposite,” IFFRAS quoted a scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Aqil Shah as saying.

More than 6,000 terrorists had made their hideout in Afghanistan till 2020 even in the presence of the US military, IFFRAS reported citing a report by the United Nations.

“The total number of Pakistani foreign terrorist fighters in Afghanistan, posing a threat to both countries, is estimated at between 6,000 and 6,500, most of them with TTP,” the international think tank quoted the report as saying.

According to a rights advocacy group, Human Rights Watch (HRW), the Pakistani military and civil societies have garnished their relations with the Taliban for smuggling and terror training to counter India’s rising influence in South Asia, according to IFFRAS.

With the Taliban back in power in Afghanistan, Pakistan is staring at the problem of aggravation of Islamic radicalisation on its soil, furthering its image as a terror state.

“The government will be under greater pressure to make the state more sharia-compliant if Taliban next door is doing that,” IFFRAS quoted a researcher at the University of London, Ayesha Siddiqa as saying.

As pressure mounts on the Imran Khan government in Pakistan to recognise the Taliban government, the chief of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI) called for a revolution to “pull down” the government, according to the IFFRAS.

Following such calls for revolution, the terror outfits in Pakistan may get a boost which may lead to “bloodshed”, according to the think tank.

“With the Taliban taking over, anti-Pakistan terrorist groups will be emboldened, but it doesn’t end there. There could be an emergence of a new war of narratives in the country, which will transform ongoing debates about state and society and the role that religion plays,” IFFRAS quoted the director of the Pakistani Institute for Peace Studies in Islamabad, Muhammad Amir Rana.

Former US National Security Advisor, Lt Gen HR McMaster called Pakistan an enemy nation and said that the country uses “Jihadist terrorists” as an arm of their foreign policy.

“We have to stop pretending that Pakistan is a partner. Pakistan has been acting as an enemy nation against us by organising, training and equipping these forces and by continuing to use jihadist terrorist organisations as an arm of their foreign policy,” reported IFFRAS quoting Lt Gen HR McMaster.

The total number of Pakistani foreign terrorist fighters in Afghanistan, posing a threat to both countries, is estimated at between 6,000 and 6,500, most of them with TTP.

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PUNJAB POLICE FOIL A MAJOR WEAPON AND DRUGS SMUGGLING BID VIA INDO-PAK BORDER

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In an intelligence led operation, Punjab Police have recovered huge arms and ammunition besides heroin during a search operation from near border fencing on Indo-Pak Border in district Tarn Taran. The operation was jointly conducted by Border Security Force (BSF) and Counter Intelligence Amritsar in the area of BOP Mianwali Hithaar, Khemkarn sector.

Sharing these details, officiating DGP Iqbal Preet Singh Sahota said that the Police have received a secret information that some Pak border operatives have concealed a huge consignment of arms and heroin, following which Counter Intelligence Amritsar was sent to the spot and a search operation was planned with the BSF authorities.

He said that during the combing operation, the teams have recovered 22 pistols ( most of them .30 bore Star mark) along with 44 magazines and 100 live rounds besides a packet of heroin (weighing 934 grams) packed in a black coloured kit bag concealed in a paddy field.

During the preliminary investigations, it has come to light that as ‘conceal and clear’ has been the most practised modus operandi of Pak smugglers, this consignment was placed by them in Indian territory across the fence and it was supposed to be retrieved by their Indian associates, said DGP.

The DGP said that a case dated 19.10.2021 under sections 511 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), sections 21, 28, 29 of the NDPS Act, section 25 of the Arms Act and section 14-Finance Act at Police Station SSOC Amritsar has been registered. Efforts are being made to ascertain the identity of the Pak end as well as their Indian links who were to pick this consignment, he added.

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