Don't make us feel like we are living in Russian Gulag: Mahua Moitra alleges she is under surveillance - The Daily Guardian
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Don’t make us feel like we are living in Russian Gulag: Mahua Moitra alleges she is under surveillance

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New Delhi [India], February 13 (ANI): Trinamool Congress Member of Parliament Mahua Moitra on Saturday has alleged that she is being put under “some sort of surveillance after Border Security Force (BSF) officers were deputed outside her Delhi residence.”
Raising the allegation, TMC MP wrote a letter to Delhi Police stating that three armed officers have been deputed outside her house when she “neither asked nor wanted” any such protection and requests for these officers to be removed.
She added, “It appears I’m under some sort of surveillance.”
Speaking to ANI, she said, “Don’t waste resources on protecting just me, protect everybody. I don’t need anything special, I don’t take security. If you are surveilling me, ask me and I’ll tell you. Indian democracy is already under threat, don’t make us feel like we are living in the Russian Gulag.”
“The conduct of these armed officers indicates that they are making notes of movements to and fro from my residence, it appears to me that I am under some sort of surveillance. I wish to remind you that the Right of Privacy is a Fundamental Right, guaranteed to me, as a citizen of this country, under the Constitution of India, 1950,” she wrote in her letter.
“Upon making inquiries, I was informed that the armed officers from Police Station Barakhamba Road for my protection, however, I being an ordinary citizen of this country, did neither ask or want any such protection. Therefore, you are kindly requested to withdraw these officers,” the letter reads.
The Krishnanagar MP has alleged the officers were noting all the movements coming in and going out of her residence.
The Gulag was a system of forced labor camps established during Joseph Stalin’s long reign as dictator of the Soviet Union. (ANI)

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Under ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’, Indian seafarers will be recruited in shipping line companies: Mandaviya

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By Amit Kumar
New Delhi [India], March 3 (ANI): Union Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, Mansukh Mandaviya expressed pleasure over international shipping line companies’ desire to recruit Indian seafarers. These companies will also open a seafarers training institute in India under the Prime Minister’s vision of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’.
Speaking to ANI, Union Minister Mandaviya said: “Today under the ‘Maritime India Summit 2021’, a round table meeting was held with the CEOs of top 23 companies of the world. In this meeting, the world’s largest companies were connected to several shipping line companies. The shipping liners praised the sign-off and sign-on facilities for seafarers during the lockdown in India.”
Top CEOs of various companies mutually agreed and said that in the coming days, around 25,000 seafarers will be recruited from India. This move will obviously give a big boost to employment in the country. The is a good thing as many shipping liners are taking interest in our country,” Union Minister Mandaviya further told ANI
Union Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said that Maritime India Summit 2021 is a huge platform for promoting the Prime Minister’s vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat.
“The world’s Seafarer Training Institute is coming to India soon under the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ campaign and will train people in the country. They will recruit people in their company as per the requirement of India. This will help in employment generation.”
Second Maritime India Summit 2021 was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday virtually wherein top CEOs of more than 50 countries and more than a hundred companies from different countries participated and expressed their desire to invest in India Maritime sector. The second Maritime India Summit will conclude on March 4. (ANI)

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Fashion isn’t just about a fashion show, catwalk, behind the scenes or what we see on Instagram: Rina Dhaka

In an exclusive interview with NewsX, Rina Dhaka, one of India’s most celebrated fashion designers, spoke about her journey so far, changes in the fashion industry and much more. Read on!

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Rina Dhaka, one of India’s most celebrated fashion designers, joined NewsX for an exclusive interview as part of NewsX India A-List. She burst on to Indian fashion scene in the late 80s and has showcased her work at The Louvre Paris, and Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York among many others.

Talking about her incredible journey so far, she said, “When I came around, there was no such career path for people in designing as such. There was late Rohit Khosla as a designer and there was Ritu Kumar in the northeast. But this whole industry as such didn’t exist. My journey, in fact, is what youth is, youth is all about innovation. That was the need of our hour. Our hour means, me and my contemporaries like Rohit Bal and Tarun Tahiliani; we all came around at a time and we were very heady with that period of time. There was no concept really about money, it was all about creativity, craft and trying to pursue some kind of fashion. In fact, at par with the rest of the world, there was really no design industry, even in the west. There were high street stores like Selfridges, Bloomingdales in America. Designers, as a category of clothing, came about the same time as us. And look where it is today. We have schools of fashion, we have students coming out of these great schools every year and there is a booming trade and industry. When we found the FDCI, we were just nine members. Over a cup of chai every evening and a few laughs, we created this body of FDCI. Today it itself has millions of followers on Instagram and it runs successful events like fashion weeks, which can help designers in India and internationally come together and get work. So yes, fashion has really been a long way and my journey is that journey too.”

Expressing her views on how the landscape of the fashion industry changed over the years, especially with inclusion of issues that matter to young people like body positivity and inclusivity, she said, “Lakme approached me to do a plus-size show and we did the casting for plus sizes. This was, i think two years or maybe two and a half years ago. There were 300 models, who came for audition, we only announced an hour before. Fabulous, body positive, not shy, very confident, and frankly, they could do runways anywhere. These are plus-size models. And one of the girls I picked out from a crowd called Sakshi. She has gone on to be on the cover of every national magazine. Today, she is India’s most celebrated model. Now in fashion weeks, we have to have a better ratio of plus-sized models as well. This is where the journey of inclusivity has got us and then the noise that we made in the years prior to that, took us there. I’m really happy that it’s no more about a size eight, which is called a sample size and passion because we always made samples are the first pieces on that size, which was the model sizing. Today, a sample size is also a plus size.”

When asked about the difficulties faced by the fashion industry in the past one year and are things coming back to normal, she responded, “Fashion is actually one of the trades which teaches you, especially for all of us who have been designers and my contemporaries. We are always in competition, we’re always running to the next season. We’re always pressured against, what we call a deadline, and the deadline has the word ‘dead’ and it’s not a fake word. It really is that you have to die before you finish the clothing.  You are really as good as your last collection or your last show. The year was hard. Everything was shot and the costs were high. There was also the demand totally shrunk. People realised that. My own very old client, who always has to buy something new that I have to offer, who is also like my muse, said, ‘Rina, what have I been doing with my life? Where am I going to go wearing these coats? I don’t know what I’m going to do, I have no need. I have decided not to be an active consumer anymore’.  This was like what the industry faced, especially the luxury industry of ours. In terms of exports as well, there were a lot of uncertainties, fears with stores, closing down, customers patterns, buying patterns and needs changing. ‘How do you reinvent yourself’ was something we all learnt. We’re on that journey now, we’re on that road now. I must say we’re like roaches, we will survive because our trade has taught us such. So, you can’t write us off as yet. We just go through, go through this.”

On a concluding note, she shared a piece of advice for the young designers and said, “Have strong health. Don’t ever ignore your health because you need health. A lot of these children go out and eat on the roadside food. Some of them succumb to jaundice, there were a lot of interns who would get jaundice because of the water, in the early days, not now maybe now they’re more aware. Second, Fashion isn’t a fashion show or a catwalk, behind the scenes or what we see on Instagram, or social media or television. In reality, it is quite dreary and dreadful. It is a lot of pursuit. You go into these dirty lanes following your garment or where it’s made to get it done. One has to be prepared for the monotony of the daily life that you need to pursue to stay in the grind of completing your work. ”

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West Bengal: Bidhannagar Mayor-in-Council Debasish Jana, three TMC councillors from Asansol join BJP

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Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], March 3 (ANI): Bidhannagar Mayor-in-Council Debasish Jana and three Trinamool Congress (TMC) councillors from Asansol joined Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday in Kolkata ahead of the forthcoming Assembly polls in West Bengal.
The four TMC leaders were inducted into BJP in presence of the party’s state president Dilip Ghosh.
The developments come a day after TMC leader and former Asansol Mayor Jitendra Tiwari on Tuesday joined the BJP at a public meeting in Hooghly.
The TMC and BJP have been at loggerheads ahead of the Assembly polls in Bengal. There has been an exodus of leaders from TMC to BJP in recent months.
Elections for the 294 Assembly seats in West Bengal will begin on March 27. The state is set to witness eight-phase Assembly polls this year. (ANI)

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CBI arrests J-K Government official in bribe case

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New Delhi [India], March 3 (ANI): The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has arrested Mohammad Afzal, a Patwari, from Bemina in J-K’s Budgam for having allegedly accepted a bribe of Rs 13,000 from a complainant.
“A case was registered against a Patwari, Bemina, Budgam (J&K) on the allegations of demanding a bribe of Rs 35,000 from the complainant for mutation of the land,” stated CBI in an official statement on Wednesday.
“It was further alleged that the bribe was negotiated to Rs 23,000 out of which an amount of Rs 10,000 was already paid. CBI laid a trap and caught the Patwari red-handed while demanding and accepting the remaining bribe amount of Rs 13,000,” further read the statement.
Searches were conducted at the residence of the accused which led to the recovery of incriminating documents.
CBI also said that the accused was produced before the Court and remanded to three days Police custody. (ANI)

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Gujarat not to increase tax rates in Budget 2021-22

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Gandhinagar (Gujarat) [India], March 3 (ANI): In order to regain the economic momentum amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Gujarat Finance Minister Nitinbhai Patel on Wednesday announced that the state will not increase the existing tax rates in the Budget 2021-22 and will not impose any new tax.
The state government has also given relief in stamp duty, motor vehicle tax, electricity tax and others. Various concessions have been given to small businesses and industrial units for resumption of economic activities.
The move comes after the Rs 14,000-crore relief package was announced in June 2020 for various sections in terms of tax, food security measures and other assistance.
Patel annouced the state budget 2021-22 for Gujarat on Wednesday.
In Gujarat’s largest budget so far of Rs 2.27 lakh crore, Rs 32,719 crore has been allocated for education and Rs 11,323 crore to the health and family welfare department.
The state finance minister allotted Rs 13,493 crore to urban development, Rs 5,494 crore for water resources, Rs 3,974 crore for water supply, Rs 7,232 crore for the Krishi Khedut Kalyan Yojana, Rs 4,353 for social justice and empowerment and Rs 1,502 crore for labour welfare and employment.
A provision of Rs 1,224 crore has been proposed for food and civil supplies, Rs 1,814 crore for forest, environment, Rs 563 crore for Science and Technology, Rs 1,032 crore for the destitute and old age pension and the revenue department has been provided Rs 4,548 crore.
The Budget has allocated Rs 1,500 crore for the Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train, Rs 50 crore to buy new police vehicles, Rs 100 crore for crop credit in Co-operative Department, Rs 11,185 crore for Roads and Buildings Department, Rs 1,478 crore for Ports and Transport Department, Rs 13,034 crore for energy and petrochemical sector and Rs 910 crore for Climate Change Department.
The Industry and Mines Department, Forest and Environment Department, and Home department have been allocated Rs 6,599 crore, Rs 1,814 crore and Rs 7,960 crore respectively. (ANI)

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In a first, Jawans to participate in discussions at PM Modi-headed military commanders’ meet

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By Ajit K Dubey
New Delhi [India], March 3 (ANI): For the first time, jawans from armed forces would be taking part in the Combined Commanders’ Conference to be addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi later this week.
The Combined Commanders’ Conference was till now involved only Commander-in-Chief rank officers who along with their respective Services chiefs would be addressed by the Prime Minister and given the directives on dealing with the security challenges perceived by the government.
“The jawans would take part in different discussions involving issues related to the functioning of forces and operations,” government sources told ANI.
Sources said the suggestion to involve jawans in the discussions came from the Prime Minister’s Office itself.
The jawans participating in the discussions would include Junior Commissioned Officers and Non-commissioned officers and they would be giving presentations on topics given to them, the sources said.
Sources said the insights of jawans come in very handy in day to day functioning of the forces and during the recent India China clash also, the jawans provided valuable suggestions during the digging of trenches and building defences against the Chinese.
Prime Minister has changed the usual way of conducting the combined commanders’ conference as he took it out from the South Block and held it on operational bases.
After his first address in 2014, at a conference in the south block, it has been held on aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, Indian Military Academy, Dehradun and Jodhpur airbase.
This time, it is being held in the Kevadia town of Gujarat in front of the Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel’s Statue of Unity where the top brass of the military would be staying in tents for the duration of the conference. (ANI)

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