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Become vocal for local toys: PM Modi in Mann Ki Baat

Brijesh Pandey

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday addressed the country through his radio programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’ and cautioned everyone about the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. During the programme, he emphasised on the need to wear masks and the importance of maintaining a distance of two yards. In his address, he also laid focus on making India vocal for local toys for children.

PM Modi said there is a very rich tradition of local toys in the country and there are many talented and skilled craftsmen who specialise in making good toys. Some regions of India are also developing into toy clusters. He added that the global toy industry had more than Rs 7 lakh crore. “The business is so big, but India’s share is very less. A nation with such a large heritage and tradition should have a larger share in the toy market. We have to become vocal for local toys,” he said. The Prime Minister also apologised to the parents while speaking about toys, sensing that children listening to the programme might demand new toys from their parents.

 With festivals around the corner, he said India has a very deep connection between her festivals and the environment. Even though there is excitement and enthusiasm among people, there is also a discipline that touches the mind as fairs are set up at various places and religious prayers are also performed. “People are also doing their daily work, taking care of themselves and taking care of others. The kind of restraint and simplicity that is being seen in every event happening in the country is unprecedented this time. Ganeshotsav is also being celebrated online somewhere and the statue of eco-friendly Ganesh has been installed at several places,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister, during the radio programme, also appreciated the tradition called ‘Barna’ of Tharu tribal society. He said that for centuries, people of Tharu tribal society in West Champaran, Bihar, have been following a 60-hour lockdown, a ‘60-hour burn’ in his words. The people of Tharu society have made ‘Barna’ a part of their tradition to protect nature and it has been there for centuries. During this time, no one comes to the village, nor does anyone come out of their homes and people believe that if they get out, then the new trees and plants are damaged due to their movements and everyday activities. He said, “At the beginning of Barna, our tribal brothers and sisters worship in a grand way and at the end of it there are programs of songs, music, dance of tribal tradition.”

He also remembered the hard work of teachers during the corona period and lauded their efforts for turning adversaries in their favour. He mentioned that the teachers not only accepted this challenge, but also turned it into an opportunity. They adapted to the use of technology in studies and tried to help students. PM Modi said that in the year 2022, India will celebrate its 75 years of Independence. “It is very important that our generation today should be familiar with the war of independence and the heroes of our country and feel the same nationalism. The generation should be aware about what happened during the freedom movement in their districts and regions, they should know about the people who were martyred, and who were in jail and for how long. If our students know these things, then their effect will also be seen in their personality. A lot of work can be done for this, in which our teachers have a big responsibility,” he said.

Ahead of the Teachers Day celebrations on 5 September, the PM also urged the teachers to bring forth the personalities of those who were martyred and create an environment with their colleagues to give tributes to them.

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Imran challenges Pak govt to arrest him over leaked audio

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Imran challenges Pak govt to arrest him over leaked audio

As the controversy regarding the leaked audio continues in Pakistan, former Prime Minister Imran Khan has challenged the coalition government led by the Pakistan Muslim League (N) to arrest him.
At a public gathering in Taxila, Punjab on Sunday, the deposed leader said PML-N vice-president Maryam Nawaz wanted the cypher to disappear in a bid to hide the conspiracy hatched by PM Shehbaz Sharif’s party. “This is the movement of real independence and we are ready to face jails. I am ready to go to jail and for my nation as well. “We are not afraid of jail,” he was quoted as saying by The Nation.
The cypher is an alleged secret diplomatic cable which fueled conspiracy theories that the US administration wanted to topple Imran Khan’s government and facilitate regime change in the country.
The cypher is based on then-envoy Asad Majeed’s meeting with US State Department official Donald Lu, who has been at the centre of PTI’s claim that the US conspired to dislodge Imran from office in April.
During his address, Khan said, “They have started a new drama regarding the disappearance of the cypher while its master copy is in the office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Maryam Nawaz can ask her ambassador about it, “he added.
While referring to the Pakistan army, he said, “Those who could prevent the conspiracy from succeeding, if they call themselves neutral at this time, the nation will never forgive them.” Pakistan’s Federal Cabinet has formally given the go-ahead to start legal action against former PM Imran Khan over the recent audio leaks that purportedly featured him and his aides discussing a US cypher.
On Friday, the Pakistan federal cabinet met with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in the chair.

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‘With Grateful Recognition’: How an Indian American bagged Lifetime Achievement award in U.S.

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‘With Grateful Recognition’: How an Indian American bagged Lifetime Achievement award in U.S.

Vivek Lall, an Indian-origin General Atomics Global Corporation chief executive, is honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award by US President Joe Biden with a citation of ‘With Grateful Recognition’.
The citation was given to Lall, who has a PhD in Aerospace Engineering from Wichita State University in Kansas, by AmeriCorps and the Office of the President. It was also personally signed by the President of the United States, as per the official statement.
AmeriCorps is a part of the US government. The organisation aims to foster activities that bring Americans closer together to “serve communities.”
Lall, an industry leader and scientific community titan, works as Chief Executive at General Atomics. The company is a global leader in the specialised fields of nuclear technology and has developed state-of-the-art Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) like the Predator, Reaper and Guardian drones.
Lall, the son of an Indian diplomat, was one of the handful of individuals with Indian origins to have been invited to meet Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi this past year during his Washington visit.
Notably, prior to his leadership position at General Atomics, Lall worked for organisations such as NASA, Raytheon, Boeing, and Lockheed Martin; his experience and accolades have been regarded as unparalleled by many in the scientific community and long-term industry observers alike.
He is serving as a US Technical Team Member for the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) Science and Technology (STO) with the Pentagon.
He was appointed in a critical advisory role to the US Cabinet Secretary, heading the Department of Transportation, encompassing entities like the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), in 2018. 

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No digital twin for Bruce Willis

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No digital twin for Bruce Willis

Hollywood star Bruce Willis has denied selling the rights of his face to an AI company to create his ‘digital twin’.
According to Deadline, it was widely reported last week that the actor sold the rights to his face to a Russian deepfake company called Deepcake.
This would have allowed them to create a ‘digital twin’ for the actor, who retired in March following his diagnosis of aphasia, a condition affecting a person’s speech.
According to Deadline, Willis’ spokesperson denied any kind of partnership or agreement with the company this weekend. Deepcake confirmed this to a British news outlet.
Deepfake companies use artificial intelligence to create realistic simulations of famous figures.
A deepfake of Willis appeared in an advert for a Russian telecoms company last year.
Deepcake claims to have worked with the actor on the AI for the ad and used a glowing recommendation from him on their website, but Willis’s people did not confirm this, as per Deadline.
This comes after ‘Star Wars’ veteran James Earl Jones handed over the rights of his unique Darth Vader tones to another AI company, Respeecher, indicating that he was retiring from the role, and passing the baton through use of technology.

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Taiwan disapproves of China’s false claims about its sovereignty

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Taiwan disapproves of China’s false claims about its sovereignty

Taiwan on Sunday rebutted Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s remarks about the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) resolve to achieve unification and said that it sought to undermine the legitimacy of Taiwan.
Taiwan will never accept Beijing’s attempts to undermine its sovereignty, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said yesterday, after the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) at its National Day celebrations in Beijing vowed to achieve unification with Taiwan, reported Taipei Times. The council said the statement was an attempt to undermine the legitimacy and sovereignty of Taiwan. “We will never accept such ideas,” it said.
The CCP’s statement was not conducive to peaceful cross-strait relations, the council said, reported Taipei Times.
The event, hosted by the Chinese State Council, featured Chinese President Xi Jinping, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, the other five CCP Politburo Standing Committee members and Vice President Wang Qishan, among others.

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Meet 10-year-old influencer from Kashmir who is taking internet by storm

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Meet 10-year-old influencer from Kashmir who is taking internet by storm

A ten-year-old girl from Kashmir’s Sopore has taken the internet by storm with her social media videos.
Known as the youngest social media influencer from the Kashmir Valley, Aqsa Masrat has enthralled hundreds of thousands of people who watch her videos regularly.
The young girl posts videos not just about the scenic beauty of her home state but also about a handful of societal concerns.
A student of Shah Rasool Memorial Welkin Sopore, Aqsa was just six years old when she made her first video. Her first video was about ‘Chillai Kallan”-the harshest forty-day-long spell of winter in Kashmir.
Speaking about the video, Aqsa said, “I wanted kids my age to enjoy it and be able to connect it to a real-life event, so I decided to produce a video about Chillai Kallan. It was my first random video that saw an unexpected response from the public. I was encouraged to make more such videos.”
The young talent has made 50 videos so far and has received immense support and love from the viewers along her journey.
As mentioned above, Aqsa not only records videos about everyday problems but also uses her social media to draw attention to problems in her community. She has also created videos that demonstrate how crops are grown and harvested.
“I got views in lakhs on my videos like Sopore Fruit Mandi, Paddy harvesting, Kangri. In fact, I got one million plus views on one of my videos ‘Mere Mamu ki Shaadi’. People are showering praises for my videos,” Aqsa said.
The budding influencer is currently studying for her 5th standard and while many love her work, she did face some problems from the people around her. Recalling how her family helped her on her journey, Aqsa said, “There are many people around me who have inspired me for my amelioration but when it comes to making videos, I got inspiration from my uncle (maamu), who is an internationally acclaimed photojournalist.”
She has over 58 thousand followers on her Facebook page, ‘What Aqsa Says’ and in the future, she aspires to be an IAS officer.  

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Chinese Communist Party propagates inevitability of Xi’s third term

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Chinese Communist Party propagates inevitability of Xi’s third term

In the run-up to the 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), propaganda has been centered around projecting the inevitability of a third term for President Xi Jinping. Incidentally, at the end of his anticipated third term, President Xi would become the second longest-serving head of the CCP after Mao Zedong, who was in control of various positions for 33 years and 174 days. Xi would also surpass the tenure of Jiang Zemin, who led the CCP as General Secretary for 13 years and 145 days during the period 1989–2002.
Interestingly, the expected third term would provide Xi an opportunity to further stamp his authority on the party, military, and government with the intent of creating an enduring legacy. Meanwhile, the CCP, as part of its efforts to shore up public support for Xi’s third term, announced on September 27 that it would publish a compilation of documents, called the “Revitalisation Library,” which would highlight China’s pursuit of national rejuvenation as well as the long-term goals of the party.
President Xi underlined that the ‘Revitalisation Library’ is a major cultural project, aimed at bolstering public confidence in the country’s path. President Xi also reappeared (September 27) in public, for the first time in the aftermath of his return from Samarkand, and visited an exhibition in Beijing on the country’s achievements since 2012.
Xi was also accompanied by Beijing-based members of the Politburo of the CCP. Significantly, Xi calls Mao’s time the ‘revolution period,’ Deng Xiaoping’s the ‘building period,’ Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao’s the ‘reform period’ while calling his term a ‘whole new era.’

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