SRINAGAR: Kashmir and Ladakh are reeling under sub-zero temperatures even as the 40-day intense winter period “Chillai Kalan” started in the Valley on Monday, indicating that freezing night temperatures will continue.
The minus temperature has not only impacted the water supplies in many areas of Kashmir, but the water bodies especially Dal Lake have frozen in patches.
It is in place to mention that Srinagar witnessed on 19 December, the lowest temperature of the season. In Ladakh region, Leh witnessed minus 12 degrees Celsius during the night while in Kargil the temperatures dipped to minus 20 degrees Celsius.
In Kashmir Valley, the MET department, giving details of different places about the sub-zero temperatures, said that Gulmarg witnessed a temperature of minus 6.4 degrees Celsius. Gulmarg has already had four spells of snow this winter and winter games have begun on the icy slopes of the resort.
MET Director of Kashmir Sonam Lotus told the media that the Valley would receive light snowfall with the onset of Chillai Kalan. If his prediction goes right, there may be some respite from the sub-zero temperatures during snowfall. Giving details about the Jammu region MET officials said the Jammu was cold at 5.8 degrees Celsius.
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BRITAIN CALLS FOR UNITY AGAINST CHINA AND RUSSIA
Britain had cautioned Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin that the Western world stands united to fight for democracy against dictatorships which it said were more emboldened than at any time since the Cold War.
Speaking at the Lowy Institute in Sydney, Australia, British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said, “The West must respond together to global threats, deepen ties with democracies in the Indo-Pacific and face global aggressors. Global aggressors are emboldened in a way we haven’t seen since the Cold War.” The Foreign Secretary highlighted that the 21st Century will be the century of struggle between democracies and rivals such as China and Russia who are challenging the post-Cold War consensus through all means be it militarily, economically and technologically.
She added, “They seek to export dictatorship as a service around the world. That is why regimes like Belarus, North Korea and Myanmar find their closest allies in Moscow and Beijing.”
She emphasised on the need to work with allies like India, Japan, Australia, Israel and Indonesia to face down global aggressors and threats to the world order.
In her speech, Liz Truss, called Russia a dictatorial model which is governed by a mercurial elite that had been involved in irresponsible escapades such as the 2014 annexation of Crimea, attempts to meddle in US and European elections, and a series of high-profile espionage and assassination attempts abroad. Truss further cautioned Moscow to desist and step back from Ukraine before it makes a massive strategic mistake and added that “Kremlin has not learned the lessons of history that invasion will only lead to a terrible quagmire and loss of life, as we know from the Soviet-Afghan war and conflict in Chechnya.”
In the last few months, tensions in the West on one hand, and China and Russia on the other hand, had increased in multiple theaters across the globe.
CANDIDATES QUESTION HEIGHT MEASUREMENT TECHNIQUE BEING USED FOR POLICE RECRUITMENT IN HARYANA
The process of male and female police constables recruitment for 5500 posts is going on in Haryana. But amid this, what came to the surface is that a lot of candidates continue to visit the Haryana Staff Selection Commission every day having complaints of irregularities which led to an increase in the troubles of the commission. It is learnt that aspirants miffed over the physical assessment technique being adopted by the Haryana Staff Selection Commission (HSSC) during the aforesaid recruitment. The candidates raised their fingers over and accused machines and equipment of wrong physical measurements being used to measure their heights. The issue has become the talk of the town these days as a lot of candidates had visited the HSSC headquarters having complaints pertaining to the irregularities in the recruitment which emerged as a huge problem for the commission.
While reacting to the media over the ongoing issue, Bhopal Singh Khadri, the Chairman of the HSSC outrightly rejected the possibility of any kind of irregularities saying that there are no such irregularities during the physical measurements of the candidates. If any candidate is not satisfied with his physical measurement, then he will be given another chance and the concerned candidates are suggested to give written complaints or presentations before the commission regarding the issue further he said, the commission has already formed a redressal committee to address the issue of candidates.
Besides, few of the Haryana male aspirants were reportedly upset over the issues of irregularities pertaining to their documents on part of the commission. Many candidates hailing from the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) standing outside the HSSC offices here on Friday said that their documents were up to mark but not accepted which is annoying.
Several candidates Rohit, Manish, Deepak hailing from Rohtak, Rewari and Palwal took a dig at the physical measure technique being used for police recruitment saying that how the height measured in 2021, of a candidate can differ from which was measured in 2019. So the issue of measurement technique for the recruitment is at the Centre of discussion requiring the HSSC to look into the matter. It is pertinent to mention that the physical measurement technique is still the same since 2019 for police recruitment.
HARYANA AND HIMACHAL TO CONSTRUCT RS 215.33 CR ADI BADRI
An MoU has been signed between the governments of Haryana and Himachal Pradesh for the construction of the Adi Badri Dam. Regarding this, Chief Minister Manohar Lal said this Saraswati river will be rejuvenated with the construction of the Adi Badri Dam. From time immemorial, religious beliefs will also be revived with the rejuvenation of the Saraswati river, along with this the area will also develop as a pilgrimage site.
It is pertinent to mention that Haryana government has notified an area of 200 km from Adi Badri to Ghaggar river via Kaithal for Saraswati river. A mention of the same can also be found in the revenue records.
While speaking at the MoU signing ceremony held for the construction of Dam at Adibadri in the presence of Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister, Jai Ram Thakur at PWD Rest House, Panchkula on Friday.
It is worth stating that the dam would be built on 31.66-hectares of land in the Himachal Pradesh region and an amount of Rs 215.33 crore would be spent for the same. It will store 224.58-hectare meters of water every year, of which Himachal Pradesh will get 61.88-hectare meters of water and Haryana will get the remaining 162-hectare meters of water. This water will flow into the Saraswati river. The width of this dam will be 101.06 meters and the height will be 20.5 meters. Around 20 cusecs of water from the dam will flow into the Saraswati river throughout the year, added Lal.
He further said that with the construction of Adi Badri Dam, the area around it would also develop as a pilgrimage. He said that the area from Kalka to Kalesar is very important from the tourism point of view. Many religious and tourist places come in this area including Adi Badri, Lohagarh, Kapal Mochan, Mata Mantra Devi. With the development of the Lake along with the dam, many tourists will come here, which will benefit both the states. Besides, several projects would be worked out in collaboration with Himachal Pradesh, including the construction of a dam at the Hathnikund barrage. Along with generating electricity from this dam, the continuous flow of clean water will also become possible in the Yamuna river. In this dam, the water flowing from the mountains to the Hathnikund barrage will be stored, so that the crops will also be saved from flood-like situations. NOC has been sought for this dam, survey work will start soon, added Lal.
SOURCE CLAIMS MAMATA BANERJEE REACHED OUT TO SONIA GANDHI FOR ALLIANCE IN GOA ELECTIONS
The Trinamool Congress has made no mistake in trying to sideline the Congress in the opposition alliance. TMC all-India General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee made such a demand while sitting in Goa on Thursday. In the meantime, there is a lot of speculation about one more piece of information. According to sources, TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee herself had offered to join hands with the Congress in the new year, forgetting everything old. Mamata gave the proposal to Congress president Sonia Gandhi. According to the source, Sonia did not show much interest in Mamata’s message. However, neither TMC nor Congress has commented on the matter. However, Congress claims that the TMC wants to increase its power by demolishing their houses in the states.
According to the source, Mamata recently sent an SMS to Sonia. The TMC leader also gave a message to move forward in the new year, just as the issue of deteriorating relations between the two parties has come up in the run-up to the 2021 elections. Sources claim that Mamata sent a message to Sonia, target 2024, this is the ideal time to devise a strategy to defeat the BJP. According to the same source, in this message, the Congress president said that the Congress high command is not thinking about this right now. It has also been said that Rahul Gandhi has also indicated that he is reluctant to go with the TMC.
According to the source, the Congress leadership feels that it is not possible at all to join hands with those who want to break up their leaders and increase organisations in different states. The leadership of those states also has objections to this. That picture has been seen in Meghalaya, Tripura, and Goa. On the other hand, the way the TMC has been vocal about the ‘failure’ of Rahul or the Congress in the party mouthpieces or in public meetings, it is not possible to sit in line with the TMC.
On Thursday, Abhishek said in Goa, “We want to fight together to defeat the BJP. Other parties are busy sharing the vote. P. Chidambaram of Congress said the TMC had not made any concrete offer. However, TMC all-India vice-president Pawan Burma went to his house on 24 December at 1.30 pm with a proposal to fight in a Congress-TMC alliance. But there was no response from Chidambaram.” Sitting in Goa on Friday, Pawan made the same demand. He said, “On the 24th, I went to meet Chidambaram. What is the situation in Goa, how can we fight against BJP, and make them lose together? I sat for an hour with a concrete plan.”
On Friday, TMC spokesperson Kunal Ghosh tweeted, “TMC’s policy towards the Congress is clear. There is no dilemma anywhere. The TMC leader herself has asked the Congress president to be the steering committee of the alternative alliance, the basis of the joint program. Repeatedly said. Still saying. But Congress did not respond.”
However, Adhir Chowdhury, president of West Bengal Congress said, “If you had goodwill, why didn’t you talk of a compromise with the Congress before the election. Today, when the situation is reversed, there is no place under the feet of the TMC, when the land under the feet of the TMC is being washed away from Goa in the waters of the Arabian Sea, they feel that the blame for the early defeat is on the shoulders of the Congress.”
CONGRESS LOOKING FOR A NEW POLITICAL SPACE IN UP
The much-touted UP elections have tendered political parties to make instant changes with their strategies and called for stronger manifestos to compete with the parallel political parties, in order to attract the voters of different interests. Prior to the high-octane electoral battle starting next month, the Congress party on Friday released its manifesto for UP elections targetting “women and youth”, an effort to carve a new political space amongst the two dominant parties, BJP and SP, in the state.
“The vision that was committed by the BJP has failed now. If you look at India and want to propose a new vision to India, you have to start in Uttar Pradesh, every state is important but Uttar Pradesh carries weight like no other state occupies. So we are proposing a new way of doing things for Uttar Pradesh,” Rahul Gandhi said in a joint press conference with Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.
The manifesto, Rahul said, “is not hollow words but we have a strategy to implement what has been drafted after consulting youth whose views are reflected in the manifesto.”
In her remarks, party leader Priyanka said that the party is focusing on development and not on caste-based propaganda politics. This comes amidst the caste-based formation of the two big political parties (BJP and SP), who are the main claimants of the UP’s political win.
To be more clear, SP supremo Akhilesh Yadav adequately ventured to woo Dalit voters in recent times and his latest gain has been Swami Prasad Maurya, who was poached by him in the heat of elections. BJP responded to that by inducting Akhilesh’s sister-in-law in an attempt to gain the votes from the Yadav community.
A Congress functionary who handles the digital marketing campaign for the party in UP said that the party is getting huge responses from people as compared to recent elections. He added, “Priyanka is creating an appeal among women which will change the electoral dynamics of the state politics, we are expecting around 40 seats this time, we will be the kingmakers in UP.”
PM Modi to interact with Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar awardees on 24 Jan
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will interact with Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar (PMRBP) awardees on 24 January 2022, via video conferencing. Union Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Zubin Irani and Minister of State Munjpara Mahendrabhai will also be present on the occasion.
The event will be a webcast on https://pmindiawebcast.nic.in from 11:30 am onwards, said a press release by the Ministry of Women and Child Development. Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar is given as recognition to children residing in India, above the age of 5 years and not exceeding 18 years (as on 31 August of respective year) with exceptional abilities and outstanding achievement in six fields of Innovation, Scholastic achievements, Sports, Arts & Culture, Social Service and Bravery, which deserve recognition. Each awardee is given a medal, a cash prize of Rs 1,00,000 and a certificate, added the press release.
These awards are conferred by President Ram Nath Kovind in a ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhawan. The Prime Minister also interacts with these awardees every year. The awardees of PMRBP also take part in the Republic Day parade every year, as per the statement.
However, in view of the Covid-19 situation in the country, it has not been possible to organise the award ceremony in New Delhi this year. On the occasion of National Girl Child Day on 24 January and as part of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, Prime Minister Narendra Modi would interact virtually with the winners of PMRBP-2022, according to the statement.
The children along with their parents and concerned District Magistrate of their respective district would join the event from their district Head Quarters.
During the function, the Prime Minister would give digital certificates to winners of PMRBP 2022 using Blockchain Technology. The certificates would also be given to winners of PMRBP-2021, who could not be given the certificates last year due to the Covid situation. Blockchain Technology is being used for the first time for giving certificates to awardees of PMRBP.
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