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Colleges, universities to re-open from Feb 15 in UP

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Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India], February 13 (ANI): All degree colleges, state, private universities and other educational institutions of higher learning across Uttar Pradesh will re-open in Uttar Pradesh from February 15 while adhering to COVID-19 guidelines, said an official communication on Friday.
According to the communication letter between officials of higher education, it will be mandatory for all teachers and students to wear face masks. Along with this, social distancing will be followed by students sitting at a distance of six feet. All the institutes have to ensure sanitation and thermal scanning.
“All universities, degree colleges and other educational institutions of higher learning across the state will function normally from February 15. These institutions were reopened with restrictions on November 23, 2020,” reads the letter (dated February 12) of Special Secretary of Higher Education Department Abdul Samad sent to the Vice-Chancellors and Directors of Higher Education of all the private and state universities of Uttar Pradesh.
The Higher Education Department has asked the educational institutions to fully sanitized the campus before re-opening.
If a student, teacher or employee has symptoms of cough, cold or fever, they should be sent back home giving first aid. If symptoms of COVID-19 develop in students or staff, immediate testing should be done and results should be recorded, it said.
The educational authorities have been asked to take COVID-19 prevention measures while conducting the classes. (ANI)

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One held by Central Crime Branch in Bengaluru, 1.2 kg gold seized

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Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], February 25 (ANI): Central Crime Branch (CCB) arrested one person for allegedly possessing gold jewellery illegally worth over Rs 60 lakh.
“CCB, Bengaluru arrested a notorious habitual offender and seized 1.280 kilograms of gold jewellery – worth Rs 61 lakh, one pistol and five bullets from his possession,” Sandeep Patil, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) said on Thursday.
A case has been registered and further investigation is underway.
In another case on February 23, the CCB has arrested two Nigerian nationals for alleged drug peddling in the Indiranagar area here.
“CCB has arrested two Nigerian nationals on charges of drug peddling and seized 56 ecstasy pills from them in Indiranagar,” the Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) said on Tuesday. (ANI)

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Forest department rescues wild bear from abandoned pit in Odisha’s Nabarangpur

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Nabarangpur (Odisha) [India], February 25 (ANI): A wild bear that fell into an abandoned 20-feet deep pit was rescued after almost 20 hours by the Forest Department in Odisha’s Nabarangpur on Tuesday.
The ten-hour long operation by a team of forest officials started in the morning and ended in the evening.
According to a forest official: “A team reached the spot on Tuesday morning after getting the information from the villagers. The 10-hour long operation succeeded in capturing the animal. The bear was later released into the wild after medical examination. (ANI)

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Samyukt Kisan Morcha writes to President, seeks unconditional release of arrested farmers

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New Delhi [India], February 25 (ANI): Samyukt Kisan Morcha has written to President Ram Nath Kovind demanding the immediate release of farmers arrested during the ongoing protests against Central agri laws and the removal of “false cases” against them.
A memorandum or letter to the President on Wednesday by Samkyukta Kisan Morcha read, “Regarding the unconditional release of innocent farmers lodged in jails during the farmers movement and cancellation of false cases and notices issued.”
“Sir, the humble request is that for the last six months the farmers of the country have been fighting in various ways and at various levels against the three agricultural laws and for some other demands including legal guarantee of MSP. Under the leadership of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha, for the last three months, the farmers have been protesting indefinitely around Delhi, but hundreds of farmers and supporters of the movement have been jailed by the Government of India and several state governments and false cases have been made,” the letter read.
The Samyukt Kisan Morcha further said, “Observing ‘Daman Virodhi Diwas’ (anti-repression day) across the country, we are sending the following demands to you through district and tehsil authorities. We hope that you will take immediate action in this regard.”
The demands include, Police cases lodged against innocent farmers lodged in jails should be dismissed and they should be released unconditionally immediately.
False police cases filed against farmers and individuals and organizations supporting their struggle should be dismissed.
The notice sent by the Delhi Police, NIA and other government agencies to intimidate the farmers involved in the struggle should be stopped immediately and the earlier notice should be cancelled, it added.
In the name of the police siege of the Kisan Morcha on the borders of Delhi, the closed roads of the common man should be opened, it said.
Farmers have been protesting at the different borders of the national capital since November last year, against the three newly enacted farm laws – Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; the Farmers Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and farm Services Act 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020. (ANI)

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PM Modi leaves for TN, Puducherry to inaugurate multiple developmental projects

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New Delhi [India], February 25 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi left for Puducherry and Tamil Nadu on Thursday morning where he is scheduled to inaugurate and lay the foundation stone of various development initiatives.
“Leaving for Puducherry and Tamil Nadu to inaugurate development works that will further ‘Ease of Living’ and economic growth,” tweeted the Prime Minister.
According to an official release, at around 11.30 am, Prime Minister will inaugurate and lay the foundation stone of various development initiatives in Puducherry. At around 4 pm, Prime Minister will dedicate to the nation and lay the foundation stone of multiple infrastructure projects worth over Rs 12,400 crores in Coimbatore.
The Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry are likely to take place in April-May. However, the Election Commission is yet to announce the final dates.
The Prime Minister will lay the foundation stone for the development of Minor Port at Puducherry under Sagarmala Scheme. He will inaugurate the Blood Centre at Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER), Puducherry, which will function as a research laboratory and a training centre for the short- term and continuous blood bank personnel training in all aspects of transfusion.
The school education department has announced a holiday for government and private schools as traffic in the city has been diverted due to the Prime Minister’s visit tomorrow.
In Tamil Nadu at around 4 pm, he will dedicate to the nation the Neyveli New Thermal Power Project.
“It is a lignite-based power plant designed for power generation capacity of 1000 MW and has two units of 500 MW capacity each. Built at a cost of about Rs 8000 crore, the pit head power plant will utilise lignite as fuel from the existing mines of Neyveli, which have sufficient lignite reserves for meeting the lifetime requirement of the project.
The Plant has been designed for 100 per cent Ash utilization. The power generated would benefit Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Puducherry, with Tamil Nadu having a major share of about 65 per cent,” read the release.(ANI)

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Delhi’s air quality ‘very poor’, AQI at 303

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New Delhi [India], February 25 (ANI): The air quality in the national capital once again went down to the “very poor” category on Thursday with the overall Air Quality Index (AQI) registered at 303.
According to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR), at 6 am, the concentrations of the particulate matter (PM) with a diameter of 10 and 2.5 microns stood at 277 in poor category and 124 in very poor category) respectively.
An AQI between 0-50 is considered good, 51-100 is satisfactory, 101-200 moderate, 201-300 poor, 301-400 very poor and 401-500 is marked as severe or hazardous.
“The overall Delhi air quality is in the Poor category as forecasted. Surface winds are low and forecasted to improve during the day. AQI is likely to marginally deteriorate tomorrow and likely to stay at the Poor to the lower end of the Very Poor category. An increase in wind speed and boundary layer height is forecasted from 26 February. This is likely to influence AQI positively and Poor AQI is forecasted on 26 and 27 February,” SAFAR said in its bulletin.
SAFAR, in its health advisory, stated that people should avoid all physical activity outdoors and move activities indoors. It urged the asthmatics to keep medicines handy.
Meanwhile, the air quality in Maharashtra’s Mumbai also deteriorated to the ‘poor’ category from the ‘moderate’ category. (ANI)

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AIMIM alleges Kolkata administration misusing power by denying permission to Owaisi’s first rally

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By Joymala Bagchi
Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], February 25 (ANI): All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen’s (AIMIM) Kolkata wing on Thursday accused the Kolkata administration of “misusing power” for denying permission to party supremo Asaduddin Owaisi’s first rally in the poll-bound state.
Zameerul Hasan, an AIMIM leader told ANI, “We had to cancel the rally as the administration didn’t grant us the requisite permission. Although we sought permission ten days ago still permission was denied. We will do a press conference today at 2:00 pm.”
“They are misusing their power. Seeking permission for the rally by adhering to the procedure is our democratic right,” he added.
The rally was scheduled to take place in the minority-dominated Metiabruz area of Kolkata – which falls in the parliamentary constituency represented by Abhishek Banerjee, nephew of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
The party along with the Indian Secular Front (ISF) of Furfura Sharif cleric Abbas Siddiqui is planning a public meeting at Brigade in the second week of March.
During his earlier visit to West Bengal, after the announcement to contest the West Bengal assembly poll, Owaisi held discussions at Futura Sharif in Bengal’s Hooghly district with Indian Secular Front’s Abbas Siddiqui.
It is to mention that West Bengal is a key state for the AIMIM as the party has stretched its wings in eastern India after bagging five seats in Bihar.
The Assembly election for 294 Assembly seats in West Bengal are slated to take place in April-May. However, the Election Commission is yet to announce the final dates. (ANI)

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