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Man grows orchard of 10,000 trees on barren land in Bihar’s Gaya

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Gaya (Bihar) [India], February 13 (ANI): Satyendra Gautam Manjhi from Imaliyachak, a small village in the Belaganj block area of Gaya district, has on his own planted a huge orchard on the wastelands of an island in the Phalgu River.
Manjhi said that he started work on his orchard, which consists of 10,000 trees, mostly guava, 15 years ago inspired by the ‘mountain man’ Dashrath Manjhi.
He recounted that Dashrath Manjhi, who singlehandedly carved a path through a mountain, came to his house one day.
“Dashrath Manjhi told me to plant an orchard in this area. At that time this place was barren and deserted and there was only sand everywhere. It was a lot of trouble in the beginning. Water had to be brought from the house in a pot for the plants,” he further said.
Talking to ANI he said, “Animals used to destroy the plants. I brought thorny bushes from the forest and made a hedge. The hedge still protects my orchard.”

“When Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar came to know about my contribution to environmental protection, I was made a member of the Child Protection Commission,” he said.
Satendra Gautam Manjhi holds an MA degree from Magadh University.
An erstwhile member of the Child Protection Commission and currently a member of the Senate at the University of Magadh, Manjhi still continues to take care of his orchard.
Most of the guavas are of the Allahabad Guava variant which is considered to be of high quality. He added that he has started making profits by selling guava.
“I urge the people of this country to start planting trees,” he further said. (ANI)

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PM Modi calls for increased participation of private sector in agriculture research, development

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New Delhi [India], March 1 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday called for increased participation of the private sector in agriculture, especially in research and development.
“There had been much contribution by the private sector towards research and development in the agriculture sector but it is time to increase participation of the private sector in Research and Development in the agriculture sector. It should not be limited to just seeds, but a holistic scientific ecosystem associated with one crop, the entire cycle,” said PM Modi while addressing a webinar on the implementation of Budget 2021 in the agriculture sector.
Addressing the concerns over contract farming, he said, “Contract farming is being done in some form or the other for a long time. Our efforts should be that contract farming should not just become a business but we should also fulfill our responsibilities towards that land.”
He added that with food processing, “We must also focus on helping the smallest farmers with modern technology.”
Elaborating his point by citing an example, he said, “Just like we have a network for blood testing, we must have a network for soil testing.”
PM Modi further said that a 50 per cent subsidy is being given on the transport of all fruits and vegetables for the Kisan Rail under the Operation Greens Scheme. Kisan Rail has also become a strong medium for the country’s cold storage network.
Endorsing the provisions taken for the agriculture sector in Union Budget 2021, he reiterated that his government is working in the interests of the farmers.
“We have made reforms and started Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) schemes worth Rs 11,000 crore which will help the agro-industries. Ready to eat, ready to cook, seafood, and several other items are being promoted,” he said.
“It is the need of the hour to ensure farmers’ produce get as many options in the market as possible. We have to integrate our agricultural produce into the global processed foods market,” said PM Modi.
Listing out the steps taken by his government for agriculture in Budget 2021-22, he said, “India of 21st century needs post-harvest or food processing revolution and value addition amid increasing agriculture production. It would have been good for the country had this been done 2-3 decades back.”
“Central government has increased agriculture credit target to Rs 16.50 lakh crore – animal husbandry, dairying, and fisheries sectors have been given priority. Rural infrastructure fundraised to Rs 40,000 crore. Micro-irrigation fund doubled,”he added.
(ANI)

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People above 60 years arrive in Mumbai hospital for vaccination

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Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], March 1 (ANI): People arrived at BKC Jumbo COVID-19 hospital in Mumbai to get COVID-19 vaccination as the nationwide drive to inoculate people above 60 years of age and those above 45 years with comorbidities begun on Monday.
“For comorbidities, citizen has to produce a certificate from registered medical practitioner, in which one of the enlisted comorbidities has to be verified and certified by registered medical practitioner. They have to submit it to the center and on-site registration can be done,” Dr Rajesh Dere (Dean COVID Center, BKC Hospital) told ANI.
BKC Jombo Covid-19 timing is from 9 am to 5 pm.
India is going to start its second phase of COVID-19 vaccination drive to inoculate people above 60 years and those over 45 with comorbidities against the coronavirus from March 1, the central government had announced on Thursday.
Maharashtra reported 8,293 new COVID-19 cases, 3,753 recoveries and 62 deaths in the last 24-hours, the State Health Department informed on Sunday.
“The state has so far reported a total of 21,55,070 COVID-19 cases, out of which, 77,008 are the active cases,” the Maharashtra Health Department said.
A total of 52,154 people have died due to COVID-19 in the state so far. As many as 20,24,704 people have recovered from the disease.
According to the state health department, the recovery rate in Maharashtra is 93.95 per cent and the fatality rate is 2.42 per cent. (ANI)

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Chandrababu Naidu detained by police at Tirupati airport

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Tirupati (Andhra Pradesh) [India], March 1 (ANI): Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leader and former Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu was detained by Renigunta police at Tirupati airport in Renigunta on Monday, while on way for election campaigning in Chittoor district.
Naidu sat on a dharna at Tirupati airport after he was detained by Renigunta police.
“We will not be stopped. We will not be silenced. Your fear-driven, state-sponsored vendetta won’t stop me from reaching out to my people. Grow up, @ysjagan #Chittoor #AndhraPradesh,” Naidu tweeted.
The TDP chief was scheduled to attend an election campaign in the Chittoor district.
More details are awaited. (ANI)

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SC rejects plea challenging Centre’s overriding power over States on transfer, deputation of IPS Officers

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New Delhi [India], March 1 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Monday rejected the PIL filed by a West Bengal based advocate, challenging the constitutional validity of Rule 6 (1) of IPS (Cadre) Rules, 1954 for conferring powers on the Central government to override the states in connection with matters of transfer and deputation of IPS cadre officers.
A two-judge bench of the Apex Court, headed by Justice L Nageswara Rao and also comprising Justice S Ravindra Bhat dismissed the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by a West Bengal based lawyer, Abu Sohel.
“We dismiss the petition. We do not find any merits in the petition,” the bench led by Justice Rao said in his order.
The lawyer-cum petitioner, Sohel, in his petition, pleaded to the Top Court that Rule 6(1) should be struck down by the SC for violation of the Constitution of India and public policy.
The petitioner contended before the Supreme Court that at present, the states have to bear the brunt of arbitrary actions taken by the Central government under the said Rule. (ANI)

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UP primary schools welcome students with balloons, flowers

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Gorakhpur (Uttar Pradesh) [India], March 1 (ANI): Private and government primary schools across Uttar Pradesh greeted students of Classes 1 to 5 with balloons and flowers as they reopened on Monday, nearly a year after they were closed due to the outbreak of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The Rawat Pathshala in Gorakhpur welcomed students with arti and tika.
“Desks and benches have been sanitised. Students have been asked to wear masks and wash their hands. We are ready to follow the state government’s guidelines,” said Brijanand Prasad Yadav, Principal of the school.
Some students, however, were seen without face masks. Responding to this, Yadav said that face masks had also been made a part of the school uniform and parents of the defaulters will be asked not to send their children without masks.
Sangeeta Singh, a teacher at the school said, “We are so happy to have the students back in school. We are being careful to follow all protocols and are doing our best to make up for the lost time through the 100-day model.”
Students expressed joy and happiness upon meeting their friends and teachers.
“I am so glad to be back in school. I haven’t seen my friends in a long time. I’m very glad to see my teachers as well,” said a student.
There are currently 2,103 active COVID-19 cases in Uttar Pradesh, as per data from the Union Health Ministry. As many as 5,92,699 recoveries and 8,725 deaths have been reported from the state so far. (ANI)

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Miss India Delhi 2019 Mansi Sehgal joins AAP

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New Delhi [India], March 1 (ANI): Miss India Delhi 2019 Mansi Sehgal joined Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Monday in the presence of party leader Raghav Chadha.
Earlier this year, AAP convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced that the party will contest Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat-in coming two years.
Kejriwal announced AAP’s future electoral plans while addressing the National Council meeting of the party in Delhi.
Mansi Sehgal did her early education at Dwarka’s Delhi Public School. Later, she completed her B.Tech from Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology.
She currently runs a start-up and won the ‘Femina Miss India Delhi’ pageant in 2019. (ANI)

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