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Karnataka govt requests Centre to provide 750 acres in Belagavi for IT Park

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New Delhi [India], February 13 (ANI): Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister C N Ashwathnarayan on Saturday met Union Defense Minister Rajnath Singh and requested over 750 acres of land in Belagavi to facilitate the establishment of the proposed IT park.
The land is in possession of the defense department.
“If this land is handed over to the state government, it will be used to establish an IT park and also to set up Electronic Hardware, Aerospace, and other manufacturing industries,” Ashwathnarayan told media after the meeting.
He added, “The said land which originally belongs to Belagavi village is located adjacent to the National Highway(NH) 4, and is ideal for the development of IT park. Though the state government had ordered for the resumption of this land in November 2012, it still continues to be in possession of the defence department.”
Abhay Patil, MLA, Belagavi South was also present in the meeting. (ANI)

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Assam polls: Sushmita Dev annoyed with seat allocation, Congress denies rumours of her resignation

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By Siddharth Sharma
Dispur (Assam) [India], March 6 (ANI): Congress leader and former Member of Parliament Sushmita Dev has been left annoyed with the seat-sharing method employed in the party’s alliance with All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) in Assam ahead of the assembly polls.
According to sources, Sushmita, who is the president of the All India Mahila Congress (AIMC), is upset with the seat allocation to AIUDF in Silchar, her own constituency and also about the selection of candidates in Silchar.
She has also expressed her objection regarding the consideration of an ex-MLA from one of the assembly seats. Sushmita also approached Congress state in-charge Bhawar Jitendra Singh over the issue, as per sources.
However, the process of candidate finalisation is still underway by the Central Election Committee for the first two phases of the assembly polls to be held from March 27 to April 6.
Meanwhile, Congress General Secretary Randeep Surjewala has denied the reports of Sushmita’s resignation from the party.
Speaking to ANI, Surjewala on Saturday said, “Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is fearing a defeat in Assam and that’s why they are spreading the news of Dev leaving the party.”
“The news of Sushmita Dev’s resignation is wrong and baseless,” he added.
In a press statement, Assam Pradesh Congress Committee’s (APCC) Media Department Chairperson Bobbeeta Sharma said, “It has been brought to the notice of APCC that speculative news about the resignation of President of All India Mahila Congress, Sushmita Dev is doing the rounds on television and web portals. We want to make it clear that she has not resigned from the party.”
Congress is expected to announce the first list of candidates soon, whereas the BJP has declared names of candidates for 70 seats ahead of the state assembly polls.
A total of 2,32,44,454 electors will elect the candidates in Assam for the 15th legislative assembly of Assam. (ANI)

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Goa police nabs 3 in connection with robbery in Dabolim

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South Goa (Goa) [India], March 6 (ANI): Goa police has arrested three men in connection with a robbery case in Goa’s Dabolim.
“After receiving a phone call on Friday, informing about theft being committed in a house in Fatima colony, we immediately alerted our patrolling staff and they rushed to the said house. The staff reached the spot and detained one person namely Sunil More, a member of the gang of four,” said the Superintendent of Police (SP), South Goa Pankaj Kumar Singh.
Sunil is a resident of Ullhas Nagar in Thane.
“After a massive manhunt, the second accused, Suraj Maruti Kambli, also a resident of Ulhasnagar, was traced at Panjim bus stand on Friday evening while he was trying to board a bus for Mumbai,” the SP added.
Around six in the morning on Saturday, the third accused, Vishal Ahuja, was nabbed near one of the casinos in Panaji.
The victim revealed that a gang of four persons led by one person namely Sanjay Verma, a known to the complainant, entered his house, tied him and forcefully demanded money. When the complainant said he didn’t have cash, they demanded other valuables.
Having not found any valuables, Sanjay Verma forcibly took the signature of the complainant on four cheques and also took the credit card along with the pin number from the complainant.
“They also ransacked the entire house and took away five imported wristwatches, around Rs 7000 cash, and a mobile handset,” the officer further informed.
Most of the robbed articles have been recovered. Further investigation is underway. (ANI)

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Poll fever goes high with wall paintings in Kolkata streets

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By Syeda Shabana Parveen
Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], March 6 (ANI): Soon after the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) announced candidates for the forthcoming Assembly elections in West Bengal, the wall paintings and flexes are all set to intensify the poll fever in the city.
Be it TMC candidate Aroop Biswas from Tollygunj or Jawed Khan from Kasba, the walls in south Kolkata have been adorned with party’s ‘joda phool’ (double flower) symbol and candidate names.
The flexes across the city are dominated by TMC slogan “Bangla nijer meyekei chaye” (Bengal wants its own daughter) featuring Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
Some of the graffiti also has catchy lines, like “Jokhon daki tokhon payi, Arup da ke abar chai” (Whenever we call Arup Biswas is accessible). Arup Biswas is TMC’s candidate from Tollygunj.

Elections also bring employment opportunities for painters and flex makers who give expression to all political parties’ messages, be it Bharatiya Janata Party’s ‘Sonar Bangla’ or TMC’s ‘Khela hobe’.
“In Bengal, Mamata Banerjee is going to make a come back again. We were benefitted from her schemes like Swasthya Sathi, Kanyashree and others. Most importantly, she has been with us whenever we need her,” said Subrata Mukherjee, a local resident from South Kolkata.
Another local resident Ranjit Ghatak said, “Bengal believes in development which we have seen in the past 10 years.”

On Friday, Mamata Banerjee released the list of 291 TMC candidates for the elections and said she will contest from Nandigram instead of Bhawanipore, her current constituency, where she has been the sitting MLA since 2011.
“We are the first political party to announce the candidate list. Today, we are releasing a list of 291 candidates, which includes 50 women, 79 SCs, 17 STs and 42 Muslim candidates. On three seats of north Bengal, we are not putting up our candidates. In three seats — Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong — Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) will contest the elections and whoever wins will support us,” she said.
The TMC chief said the party was not able to provide seats to many because they have to bring new candidates forward.
West Bengal Assembly elections will be held in eight phases starting from March 27 with the final round of voting on April 29. The counting of votes in the state will take place on May 2. (ANI)

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Health Ministry tells states, UTs with rising COVID cases to ‘Test, Track and Treat’

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New Delhi [India], March 6 (ANI): The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) on Saturday urged the states, exhibiting surge in daily new COVID-19 cases and high active caseload, to return to the fundamentals of ‘Test, Track and Treat’.
According to an official release issued by the ministry, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan and member of NITI Aayog Vinod K. Paul today interacted with Health Secretaries and Managing Directors of National Health Mission of Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Union Territories of Delhi and Chandigarh.
“These States/UTs have in the recent past seen increased positivity and increased number of daily positive cases,” the release said.
The officials reviewed the ongoing public health measures of surveillance, containment and management of COVID-19 cases in wake of the steep rise in daily new cases of COVID-19 and the high number of active caseload being reported from these eight States/UTs.
“These state/UTs have been asked to continue with the effective strategy of ‘Test Track and Treat’ that had yielded rich dividends at the height of the pandemic,” the release said.
During the meeting, it was pointed out that that 9 districts in Delhi, 15 in Haryana, 10 in Andhra Pradesh, 10 in Odisha, 9 in Himachal Pradesh, 7 in Uttarakhand, 2 in Goa and one district in Chandigarh continue to be of concern as these districts are seeing a decrease in total tests being conducted, low share of RT-PCR tests, increase in weekly positivity and low number of contact tracing of the COVID positive cases.
These together can pose high risk of transmission to the neighbouring States and UTs.
The ministry has urged the officials of these states/UTs to increase the share of RT-PCR tests in districts dependent on high levels of antigen testing, to refocus on surveillance and stringent containment of those areas in selected districts which are seeing cluster of cases and carry out an average close contact tracing of minimum of 20 persons per positive case.
The ministry has also asked them to accelerate the vaccination against the virus for priority population groups in districts reporting higher cases.
The state and UTs officials have also been asked to promote COVID-appropriate behaviour through communication and enforcement. (ANI)

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Rape survivor set ablaze, succumbs to burn injuries in Rajasthan’s Hanumangarh

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Hanumangarh (Rajasthan) [India], March 6 (ANI): A rape survivor who was burnt in Goluwala village of Hanumangarh district succumbed to injuries on Friday in Jaipur during treatment.
“The accused was undergoing trial after the woman had filed a complaint. Family members expressed their doubts about him. We are investigating,” Preeti Jain, Superintendent of Police (SP) Hanumangarh told ANI.
The survivor was earlier admitted to a hospital in Sriganganagar but later referred to Bikaner as her condition went serious. Yesterday, she was taken to Jaipur where she died in the night.
The maternal grandmother of the survivor has filed a case against Pradeep Bishnoi at Goluwala police station for burning the victim. The grandmother also said that the survivor had filed a case against Bishnoi for rape and he had been on bail for one and a half years.
According to the deceased’s family, Bishnoi had been threatening and stalking her for the last 15 days.
Bishnoi has been in the custody of Goluwala police for two days and he is being interrogated.
According to police, the CCTV footage shows another person apart from Bishnoi. Meanwhile, the survivor named Bishnoi in her statement to police.
Further investigation is underway. (ANI)

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Govt organises awareness camp for handloom weavers in Srinagar

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Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], March 6 (ANI): An awareness camp was organised by the Handlooms Development Department Srinagar on Friday for weavers and artisans to inform them about various schemes.
The camp also aimed at providing information about various initiatives undertaken by the department for the betterment of the artisan community and to advise them how to avail benefits of these schemes.
The officers at the camp highlighted the details of the Artisan Credit Card Scheme, financial support schemes of National Handloom Organization of Development scheme (NHDP) for Cooperatives or Self-help groups, Block Level Clusters and marketing support for the representation of their crafts on e-platform.
Details on design renovation, packaging of Handloom products were shared by the officers at the camp as well.

The representatives from banks and other government departments also attended the awareness camp to share their knowledge with the artisans.
Mushtaq Ahmad Assistant Director of Handicrafts department said, “This initiative by the government aims to make artisans aware of all schemes for the welfare of weavers and for the development of craft and handloom products.”
“Officials of Khadhi village industries board, several bank cluster heads and Director of Rural self-employment training institute center were also at the camp to share their knowledge about schemes and initiatives for the welfare of the artisans. “
“Khadi village industries board said that they have made a Charkha that gives ten times normal production. Such information is beneficial to the weavers,” he added.
Kumail Syed, the trainer of the program, said, “The awareness program has made the artisans aware of all schemes under the department.”
“There are many weavers who are illiterate. They were told in the Kashmiri language how they could start a small establishment. They were told about a credit card scheme where pashmina weavers could avail a loan up to Rs 2 lakhs with just one registration at the department, free of any cost,” he added.
Raquiya Jan an artisan said, ” I got a lot of information at the camp. We were told about the procedure to avail benefits of many schemes run by the handloom department, and how to avail loans. We were also told about credit card schemes and mudra loans.”
Rehana Bhat another artisan said, “More such programs should be conducted. Weavers do not know the benefit of these schemes. They know that they can get a loan with an artisan card but they have to be guided on what to do with the loan.”
“The artisans get marketing linkages and stalls for exhibition with the department’s support,” she added. (ANI)

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