Dense fog engulfs parts of Delhi, AQI remains in 'very poor' category - The Daily Guardian
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Dense fog engulfs parts of Delhi, AQI remains in ‘very poor’ category

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New Delhi [India], February 13 (ANI): Air quality in the national capital continued to remain in the ‘very poor’ category on Saturday with a thick layer of dense fog engulfing parts of the city and affecting visibility.
The overall air quality index (AQI) stands at 307, as per the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR).
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) reported AQIs of 392 in ITO, 412 in RK Puram and 406 in Chandni Chowk, all in the ‘very poor’ category.
Delhi Airport in a statement said that due to fog, low visibility procedures are in progress at Delhi airport, however, all flight operations are normal.
Earlier, India Meteorological Department (IMD) predicted dense to very dense fog in isolated pockets very likely over Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi, East Uttar Pradesh and northwest Rajasthan in the morning hours of February 13 and dense fog in isolated pockets over the same area in the morning hours of February 14. (ANI)

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Dream big is my success mantra: Taxolawgy founder Farooq Haque

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Farooq Haque, Founder and CEO of Taxolawgy recently joined NewsX for a chat as part of its special series NewsX India A-List. Farooq not only gave us an insight into his journey from being a CA to a successful entrepreneur but also on how certain businesses can thrive in the new normal.

Speaking about his journey and how it all led to Taxolawgy, he said, “The journey has been a rollercoaster ride. When I was doing my CA, it was quite difficult but that experience taught me a few lessons such as being resilient and to stand up and fight again. These two lessons that I learned as a student helped me throughout my career. In 1998, when I cleared my CA exams, I followed my passion rather than the norms of the industry. I started my own coaching business. Although at that time, it was not called a startup, it was a startup for sure. In two to three years, I became a top coach in Nagpur. Then I faced a dilemma, what to do next? What should you do once you reach the top of the mountain? You can either sit there and enjoy and let the money come in or dream of something bigger.”

“I dreamt of something big and came down that mountain, left Nagpur and went to Mumbai which was a bigger market. This led to another difficult phase in my life. Setting up your business is not that easy so I struggled for almost two years. Then, I moved to Pune and found myself again at the top of the game. Somewhere in 2013 when I was leading a very busy life, taking classes in Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur and many other cities, I realised this is not the thing for the future. There has to be something better than this. There has to be a way through which I can reach multiple places at the same time. That’s when I came up with the idea of video classes. In 2013, I left the business of face-to-face classes and started an ed-tech company called Yo EduTech Solutions Pvt Ltd. We were the pioneers of CA online classes in India. That journey started in 2014 and continued till 2019. In 2019, I realised that there are still much better oceans out there. When GST came in, we realised that we need to have a global knowledge base, especially for taxation. So, we started building a knowledge platform where we can share knowledge. During this phase, my colleague Divya Varma came up with the idea of a freelancing portal wherein we can provide opportunities to chartered accountants and lawyers of this country. That’s how Taxolawgy came into existence and she is the Chief Operating Officer of the company as well as Co-Founder, “ added Farooq.

He shared with us the concept of Taxolawgy and his vision for the company, “We built Taxolawgyas a platform where we can collect all the domain experts such as legal experts, financial experts, website developers, digital marketers, cost accountants, and others working in a business environment and give services to businesses on a global scale. We wanted all of them to come on our platform Taxolawgy.com and provide services on a global scale. It is called Taxolawgy as it started as financial domain, tax and law are the main aspects of it but slowly we expanded it on a much bigger scale. Currently, we have over 3000 experts on-board, all experts of different domains from India, Australia, the Philippines, the US and other countries.”

Along with Taxolawgy, Farooq is also the man behind successful online portals like BookMyWizard, and YoWorkPlace. Giving us an insight into these projects, he shared, “We started Taxolawgy in 2017 after GST came in. While working on this portal we realised that there are a lot of other opportunities out there. Artificial Intelligence is coming in a big way and into everything. However, when it comes to sharing real knowledge based on experience and wisdom there is nothing better than human interaction. The way one human can communicate real knowledge, understanding, and lessons to another person are through human communication. Therefore, we built BookMyWizard which is based on human intelligence and the transfer of human knowledge through human connection. We are using technology for that. What we want is that people who are experts in their domain, who are wizards of their domain, should share their knowledge with people out there and we need this on a big scale today. The world is moving so fast that people want to learn fast. They can’t attend a large number of lectures and classes to gain knowledge. If I am stuck somewhere in my venture like coding then I need help instantly. The way to do that is to connect to a domain expert. That’s what we are trying to build with BookMyWizard. The experts, who are wizards and experienced in their fields, can help people through mentoring, training, or consulting.”

When asked about YoWorkPlace, Farooq replied, “When the pandemic struck, everyone was working from home. Even today most people are working from home and big companies have said that they will continue working from home till the end of 2021. During this stage, when people realised the benefits of work from home and a lot of research was done, I had an intuition that the world is going to move permanently. The way people work is going to change in the future and remote working is going to be the thing. With YoWorkPlace, we are building a complete ecosystem around that. We realised that people who are hired for a job in an office are suddenly shifted to work from home so they face a lot of problems as they were not meant to work from home. You need a complete ecosystem to survive.”

On a parting note, when asked if the pandemic has been an opportunity for all his businesses, he answered, “Yes, I think we were at the right place at the right time. Remote working needs a lot of things to come in, including creating job opportunities. What is happening right now is that people are hired to work from the office but they are working from home. The companies who hire these people hired them as they were living in that place. The location was most important but it is going to become redundant in future as talent will rule. We want to make that shift. We should not hire someone based on his or her location but because of their talent. Since people are working from home, they feel lonely at times. To overcome that, we are building a robust community and network which will provide them with several activities and events for skill development. We are also working towards building a robust network of co-working spaces because if you are not able to work from home, you can go to a nearby co-working space, hire it and work from there.”

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MEHBOOBA SLAMS DENIAL OF BAIL TO PDP LEADER WAHEED PARRA

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MEHBOOBA ALLEGES HOUSE ARREST

PDP chief and former J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has reacted to the recent decision of a special court rejecting the bail application of her party’s youth leader, Waheed Parra, who was arrested by CID wing of J&K police and has been in their custody.

She took to Twitter on Wednesday and said that without having any proper evidence, the court has rejected the bail of a political activist purely on the basis of accusations by police.

On Tuesday a special court, while rejecting the bail application of Waheed Parra, said that between the liberty of a person and the security of the state, the second one is more important. The court said that charges against Parra “were grave, serious and heinous in nature” and that a preliminary analysis of evidence collected so far showed that he was “aiding” militancy in Jammu and Kashmir in the garb of being a politician.

In her tweet Mehbooba said, “Worrying trend that bail is no more the rule but an exception, and an accused is assumed to be guilty without proof. Current state of affairs is such that under trials are jailed for months and even years languishing behind bars before charges are proven”.

It is in place to mention that he was first arrested by NIA and obtained a bail from NIA court on 9 January last month. The NIA had arrested Parra on 25 November last year in a terror-related case.

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FARMERS’ PROTEST RAKESH TIKAIT DEMANDS ESTABLISHMENT OF AGRI RESEARCH CENTRE IN PARLIAMENT

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GHAZIPUR: Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait on Wednesday demanded establishment of a agriculture research centre in the Parliament premises so that rates of crops can be determined.

“The government dispels the Swaminathan report and thinks that the Minimum Support Price (MSP) that is being asked for is too much. Why not establish an agriculture research centre in the Parliament premises, grow crops there and decide their rates according to profit and loss after harvesting?” Tikait told ANI. The BKU leader also said with this farmers’ protest, political parties will now have to include farmer welfare in all elections and will have to address farmers’ issues.

Earlier, Tikait had threatened the Centre that if the three newly enacted farm laws are not repealed, the farmers will march to the Parliament with 40 lakh tractors.

Speaking at a farmers’ rally in Sikar in Rajasthan, Tikait said, “Our next call will be for a march to Parliament. We will tell them before marching. This time it won’t be just 4 lakh tractors but 40 lakh tractors will go there if farm laws are not taken back.”

Tikait also demanded that a new law should be enacted ensuring minimum support price for farmers.

This comes weeks after the violence that broke out in the national capital on January 26 during the farmers’ tractor rally.

Farmer groups protesting against the Centre’s agricultural laws strayed from the prearranged route and broke barricades to enter Delhi. They clashed with the police and vandalised property in several parts of the national capital.

Many also entered the Red Fort and unfurled their flags from its ramparts.

Several public and private properties were damaged in acts of vandalism by the protestors. A total of 22 FIRs have been filed by the Delhi Police and in an incident at ITO a farmer died after his tractor overturned during the same rally.

Farmers have been protesting on the different borders of the national capital since November 26 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. 

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Punjab Cabinet okays new policy for construction of over 25,000 houses for economically weaker sections

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CM Captain Amarinder Singh.

The Captain Amarinder Singh led Punjab Cabinet on Wednesday approved a new EWS Policy, paving the way for construction of more than 25000 houses for the economically weaker sections, with developers and authorities required to develop 5% of project area for EWS housing.

These houses would be constructed in reasonably sized pockets, along with social infrastructure, such as schools, community centres and dispensaries, at convenient locations to ensure comfortable living for the beneficiaries. They will be provided access to basic civic amenities.

This decision was taken during a Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh through video conferencing.

The houses under the new policy would be constructed with the latest brick-less technology, using services of qualified Project Management Agencies (PMAs). They will be offered to eligible families, who will be financed by banks at affordable monthly instalment rates.

The policy provides for eligible applicants to furnish proof of birth in Punjab or of 10 years’ stay in the state from the date of application, such as Aadhaar card, copy of ration card, extract of voter list, copy of driving license, passport etc. Family income should not be more than Rs.3 lac per annum from all sources, as revised by GoI or Punjab from time to time. The applicant/his spouse/minor child must not already own freehold/leasehold residential plot/dwelling unit in Punjab or Chandigarh, and the applicant would be required to self-certify on these counts.

The applications will be received and verified by the authorised banks. Only an application for which a Bank provides loan, or applicant undertakes to make lump sum payment within 40 days of issue of letter of intent, would be considered for allotment through draw or otherwise. Applicant must be married and the application must be in the joint name of husband and wife. There will be bar on sale, gift, mortgage with possession, exchange, long lease of the so allotted EWS dwelling units for a period of 15 years except within the family case of death of allottee.

The government would fix sale price for EWS keeping in view the cost of construction of unit, proportionate cost of site development and common infrastructure such as school, community centre etc. and administrative charges such as PMC, advertisement cost, which would not exceed 5% of the total project cost. Land cost will be taken as zero and there would be exemption from EDC on such EWS projects.

Developers may consolidate their EWS areas in pockets which must be at least 1km apart, be it of 12 to 16 acre in size, in residential zones of SAS Nagar and New Chandigarh Master Plans, on already constructed master plan roads, 5 acre to 16 acre on existing roads with minimum 40 feet right of way in case of rest of Punjab, within 4km of their colonies. Apart from these, the value of area transferred to government and area reclaimed in the colony must be same as per collector rates of the two lands.

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HARYANA CM WANTS EDUCATION FROM KG TO PG UNDER SINGLE ROOF

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Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal has directed the officers concerned to develop a system under which a single educational institute could be set up for imparting education from kindergarten (KG) to post-graduate (PG) levels. He directed the officers to identify two such universities wherein such systems can be implemented initially.

The Chief Minister gave these directions while presiding over a review meeting with the State Educational Research and Training Council (SCERT), District Institute for Education and Training (DIET) and Block Institute of Teacher Education (BITE) held here on Wednesday. Haryana Education Minister Kanwar Pal was also present in the meeting.

The CM directed the officers to chalk out a plan for the accreditation of private institutions and this should be continuously monitored so that they can meet the required standards. During the meeting, it was informed that in the new National Education Policy (NEP), from the year 2030, it will be mandatory for a teacher to hold a BA-B.Ed integrated degree.

CM Manohar Lal directed that work on this programme should be started from next year rather than to wait for the year 2030. He further directed that 10 schools should be identified in three districts of Haryana including Gurugram, Jhajjar and Kurukshetra where internships for the students taking BA-B.Ed integrated degree can be provided. He said that apart from in-service training, training should be made compulsory even before recruitment.

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MATTER OF PRIDE FOR INDIA THAT NARENDRA MODI CRICKET STADIUM IS NOW WORLD’S LARGEST CRICKET STADIUM, SAYS PRESIDENT KOVIND

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It is a matter of pride that the 1,32,000-seater Narendra Modi Cricket Stadium in Motera has become the world’s largest cricket stadium, said President Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday.

Speaking at the inauguration of the Narendra Modi Cricket Stadium and the foundation stone laying ceremony of the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Sports Enclave in Ahmedabad, President Kovind also noted that the stadium also provides world-class facilities for various sporting activities. “It is a matter of pride for us that the Narendra Modi Cricket Stadium has become the world’s largest cricket stadium with a capacity of 1.32 lakh spectators. The stadium is not only the largest in the world but also provides world-class facilities for various sporting activities,” he said.

The President also congratulated officials of the Gujarat Cricket Association, who were instrumental in giving the present shape to the new stadium.

“With a gold rating of green-building certification, this is also a good example of eco-friendly development. The stadium showcases the aspirations and capabilities of the New India that has made a strong mark on the world stage,” he said.

He further said that the dominance that India has achieved in cricket reinforces the belief the country has the potential to achieve a higher position in the world in several other fields as well.

“India is called the ‘Power House of Cricket’ or ‘Hub of Cricket’, so it is quite appropriate that the world’s largest cricket stadium is also now in our country,” he said.

Highlighting that many young cricketers in India, coming from villages across the country are working hard and gradually emerging as significant sporting talents, he said: “Our youth have the capability to perform well in other sports on international levels. For this to materialise, we have to provide the world-class infrastructure the same way we have done for cricket. With this objective, it is significant that the Government of Gujarat has taken the initiative to build an international level sports enclave within the premises of the Narendra Modi Stadium.”

The sports enclave would work as a “multi-sports venue” and also provide facilities for hosting national and international events.

He further praised the Prime Minister for encouraging sportspersons in Gujarat during his tenure as Chief Minister.

“A new culture of sports is being developed by the Central Government throughout the country. Campaigns like ‘Khelo-India’ and ‘Fit-India’ are creating a trend towards encouraging good health and sports among the people,” he added.

The newly-built Motera Stadium was renamed the Narendra Modi Stadium ahead of the pink-ball Test between India and England. Home Minister Amit Shah and Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju were also in attendance on the occasion.

On February 24, 2019, the then President of United States, Donald Trump had visited Motera Stadium for the ‘Namaste Trump’ event, and exactly one year later, the newly-built stadium will now be hosting its first international cricket match.

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