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DLF debuts on Dow Jones Sustainability Index 2020 in Emerging Markets category

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Reality major DLF Ltd has been recognised as an index component of the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI) in the Emerging markets category. This recognition demonstrates DLF’s track record for its governance, social and environmental initiatives.

While DLF is the only real estate company from India to be included in the DJSI index, it joins the ranks of just 11 companies from India to be recognised for the benchmark for Corporate Sustainability.

DLF now ranks 18th amongst 250 global real estate companies across the US, UK, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, etc, as per Corporate Sustainability standards in 2020.

The company achieved a 93 percentile overall score in Governance, Environment & Social Dimension. It scored 100 percentiles in various criteria including social reporting, environmental reporting and social integration.

Rajiv Singh, Chairman, DLF said, “DLF Limited is proud to be the only Indian real estate company to be listed on the renowned indices of DJSI. As a leading real estate company, sustainability is integral to our business. With a dynamically evolving environmental and social landscape, sustainability is the only way forward for us. Hence, as we play our part in building resilient ecosystems that promote a more sustainable way of living, we are continually striving to embed leading ESG practices in our day-to-day operations.”

Manjit Jus, Global Head of ESG Research and Data, S&P Global, said, “We congratulate DLF Limited for being included in the DJSI Emerging Markets. A DJSI distinction is a reflection of being a sustainability leader in the real estate industry. With a record number of companies participating in the 2020 Corporate Sustainability Assessment and more stringent rules for inclusion this year, this sets DLF apart and rewards your continued commitment to people and planet.”

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JAISHANKAR ALL SET TO REACH BANGLADESH TODAY AHEAD OF PM MODI’S EXPECTED VISIT

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New Delhi : Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s expected visit to Bangladesh, External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar will pay an official visit to Dhaka on 4 March at the invitation of his counterpart Dr A.K. Abdul Momen.

According to a statement by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Jaishankar will meet his counterpart and will also call on Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. The EAM’s visit to Bangladesh follows the Prime Minister-level Virtual Summit held between two countries on December 17, 2020, and will also provide an opportunity to take stock of the progress in bilateral relations.

Hasina, in conversation with PM Modi during the virtual summit in January, said that India is the country’s true friend for its support during the 1971 Bangladesh liberation war.

Both sides had also reiterated their strong commitment to eliminating terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.

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RSS WASN’T PART OF FREEDOM STRUGGLE, JUST CHANTING ‘BHARAT MATA KI JAI’ ISN’T PATRIOTISM: UDDHAV

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Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday hit out at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), and said mere chanting of “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” does not make one a patriot or prove one’s love for the country.

Addressing the Assembly during the Budget session, Uddhav Thackeray said the Shiv Sena was not part of the freedom struggle but neither was the BJP’s “parent organisation” (the RSS). “Therefore, only chanting ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ does not prove your love for the country. You don’t have the right to chant ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ if you are not going to give justice to people and if you are forcing farmers to protest on the streets,” Uddhav Thackeray said.

While the Shiv Sena have been targeting the BJP on a regular basis, this was a rare occasion when Uddhav Thackeray attacked the RSS too.

The Maharashtra CM also took a potshot at the Centre over changing the Motera stadium’s name to Narendra Modi stadium in Ahmedabad. “We won’t lose any cricket match as the name of the stadium (Motera) has been changed to Narendra Modi stadium. We have named the international airport after Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj but they have changed Sardar Patel stadium’s name. We don’t have to learn Hindutva from you,” said Thackeray.

On February 25, amid a controversy over the renaming of the cricket stadium, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani clarified that the name change involves only the Motera stadium and the sports complex where it is located will continue to be named after Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.

Hitting out at Congress, Rupani had said, “We are building a sports complex on a 233-acre land and have named it as Sardar Patel Sports Complex. Only the cricket stadium has been named Narendra Modi Stadium. So Congress has no right to criticise.” The newly-built Motera Stadium was renamed the Narendra Modi Stadium in Gujarat on 24 February.

Thackeray also spoke about the recently passed farm laws and opposed the views of the Centre stating that farmers are in trouble in Punjab. “Farmers are in trouble there (Punjab). Their power and water supplies have been cut off and nails put in their path. But they run away when they see China. If this kind of preparation was made at borders with China or Bangladesh, infiltration won’t happen,” he said.

The 10-day joint session of the Maharashtra Legislature began on March 1. The budget of Maharashtra will be tabled on March 8.

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CIVIC POLLS: ANDHRA HC SUSPENDS SEC ORDERS

Lokeswara Rao

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The Andhra Pradesh High Court suspended some of the directives issued by the State Election Commission (SEC), on ward volunteers and accepting renominations of candidates in some municipalities even after the end of the procedure. State Election Commissioner Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar had directed district collectors to keep ward volunteers away from municipal polls, both directly and indirectly. He ordered that all the rules which apply to government employees will also apply to the volunteers according to the model code of conduct.

The SEC also directed that the responsibility of distributing voters’ slips should not be given to the volunteers. Ramesh Kumar issued these orders claiming suspicions that volunteers may allegedly behave in a biased way in favour of some candidates. The High Court ruled against Kumar’s order of taking back the tablets given to volunteers as part of their governance delivering duties, all of which now stand cancelled. Likewise, the court gave an interim suspension of the SEC’s order allowing renominations in Tirupati, Rayachoti and Punganuru municipalities as the nomination procedure has already been finished. The court ordered that no new opportunities should be given for nominations. Before the court’s orders, the ruling party leaders criticised the SEC for issuing orders restricting the volunteers and allowing renominations in these three civic bodies.

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Centre’s Jal Jeevan Mission supplies drinking water through taps in Ladakh village

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Overcoming the challenges posed by nature, the Jal Jeevan Mission has been successfully implemented in Stok village in Leh district. People in the village are now getting regular drinking water through taps at home.

The Centre started work for the Jal Jeevan Mission in Ladakh in September 2020. The project, budgeted at around Rs 362 crore, intends to provide safe drinking water through Functional Household Tap Connections (FHTCs) to every home across the Union Territory’s 125 villages by December 2022.

Ladakh poses a massive challenge when it comes to water supply due to its extreme weather and rough terrain. The water gets frozen in the pipelines during winter, disrupting supply to homes. These geographical conditions were kept in mind, along with factors like the availability of groundwater and water supply from river channels, by Jal Jeevan Mission officials while taking measures to ensure regular water supply.

The team arrived at Stok after talks with the villagers. Various measures were discussed, after which the infiltration gallery technique was decided upon.  In this technique, sub-surface water (water under frozen ice) is brought to a certain location that has a system in place for filtering. The sub-surface water is deposited in an overhead tank to protect the pipe from freezing. The pipe is then connected to the bottom of a reservoir or river. The water is cleaned before it is transported to the supply site.

Solar energy is used to keep the water hot in the overhead tank and then supplied to the village at a scheduled time to prevent it from freezing.

Additionally, pipes are laid three to four feet below the ground to protect the water pipes from freezing and bursting. Insulated pipes are used to prevent them from cooling too quickly.

A similar water supply technique is being used to provide drinking water in Stok, Nang and Phyang villages. 

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Jagan has turned Andhra into a debt-ridden state: YSRCP MP

Lokeswara Rao

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YSRCP rebel MP Raghurama Krishnam Raju has alleged that the YSRCP government had turned Andhra Pradesh into a debt-ridden state. He questioned whether it was necessary to build three new ports in the debt-ridden state and said that the government has to take further loans for the construction of these ports.

Raju asked what is there to sell to build the ports. He questioned how far it is good to issue tenders for inexperienced pharmaceutical company to build the ports. Raju took a jibe at the government, saying that it was ridiculous for the YSRCP government to give assurances that new hospitals would be built without improving the existing ones. He accused the government of filing false atrocity cases against him. He said he had complained to the Lok Sabha Speaker about this and asserted that soon, he would lodge a complaint with Home Minister Amit Shah.

Raju said, “Our government took loans to tune of Rs 74,000 crorein 10 months. No state takes this much of loans as Andhra Pradesh. The government of Andhra takes hand holds also from the RBI, in the name of welfare schemes. The CM has been damaging the state.”

He questioned why no action has been taken against the culprits who killed his uncle. Religious conversions have increased in the state after Jagan took charge as CM, he alleged.

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SASIKALA QUITS POLITICS AHEAD OF TAMIL NADU POLLS

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CHENNAI: Expelled AIADMK leader V.K. Sasikala on Wednesday stated that she is quitting public life while asking the AIADMK cadre to stand united and ensure DMK is defeated in forthcoming Assembly elections. “I have never been after power or position even when Jaya (J Jayalalithaa) was alive. Won’t do that after she is dead. (I am) quitting politics but I pray that her party wins, and her legacy goes on,” Sasikala said. “I will step aside from politics and pray that Amma Government is established in Tamil Nadu,” she said in a statement, adding: “I pray for golden rule of Amma (Jayalalithaa).”

Sasikala’s statement comes ahead of Tamil Nadu Assembly polls, which will be held in a single-phase on 6 April 2021.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) said the AIADMK would decide on accommodating Sasikala in the ruling party-led alliance the state assembly polls. The AIADMK has so far ruled out accommodating her or her nephew T.T.V. Dhinakaran-led Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam in the party or in the alliance led by it.

Sasikala had stepped in as chief of the party after Jayalalithaa’s death in December 2016 and was set to take her post when she was sentenced to a four-year jail term for corruption. Before leaving for jail, she handpicked EPS to take over as CM, but in her absence, he patched up with OPS—who had rebelled against Sasikala’s leadership—and the two removed her from the post and the party.

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