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MSP for farmers will remain, assures Prime Minister Modi in Rajya Sabha

Brijesh Pandey & Sabyasachi Roy Chowdhury

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his motion of thanks on Monday, slammed the Opposition parties for switching their stand over these agricultural reforms. He said, “A detailed session on the ongoing farmers’ protest was held in the House. During this discussion, the Opposition parties only spoke about the protest and no one actually discussed why the farmers are protesting. In the past, the Congress, along with all other parties, have spoken about agricultural reforms. MSP is and will remain.”

 As the farmers across the country continue to protest over Centre’s 3 contentious farm laws, PM Modi said, “The government of India aims to remove all handicaps which come in way of India realising its vast potential as one large common market.” The PM urged the Opposition and farmers to accept new reforms for the sake of the country.

The Prime Minister cautioned against the forces who are trying to destabilise the country. He said, “India is very proud of the contribution of Sikhs. The attempts to mislead will not benefit the country and all must worry on that score. This is a community that has done so much for the nation.”

Referring to the motion of thanks on the President’s address, in Rajya Sabha today, he said, “The President’s address has infused hope, confidence in the world which is facing hard challenges. There are expectations from India and there is confidence that India will contribute to it.”

Addressing to the criticism of Indian democracy, Modi said: “Indian democracy is not a western institution but a human institution. It is imperative to alert the countrymen about the allround attack on Indian nationalism.” Quoting Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, he added, “Indian nationalism is neither narrow, nor selfish or aggressive. It is based on the notion of Satyam, Shivam, Sundaram. India is not merely the world’s largest democracy. India is the Mother of Democracy and this is our ethos.” Hitting out at the critical tweets PM said that India is witnessing a new kind of FDI–Foreign Destructive Ideology.

Praising the effective handling of the pandemic situation, the Prime Minister said, “It is not a success of a party or individual but is a success of the nation. India has seen days when threat of polio, small pox, and now we are at a stage when our nation is making vaccines for the world and undertaking world largest vaccine drive. The Covid-19 period has added new strength to our federal structure and the spirit of cooperative federalism.”.

Terming this as a new FDI, Modi said, “Where countries are deprived of foreign investment during pandemic, India received record investment. There are challenges and we have to decide whether we want to be part of the solution or the problem. The country needs to be saved from this FDI.” He added, “MSME is critical for the recovery and growth of the economy as they have huge employment potential, which is why they received special attention in the stimulus packages during pandemic.”

The Prime Minister underlined the importance of the youth power and said, “Efforts to strengthen the youth will pay rich dividend for the bright future of the country.” He appreciated the quick acceptance accorded to the National Education Policy.

Referring to the notion of “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas,” he underlined the “normalisation in Naxal-affected areas and the northeast’. He said, “The situation is improving there and new opportunities are opening up”. He expressed his hope that in coming time, Eastern areas will play a major role in the development of the country. The Prime Minister also insisted on making a bridge between urban-rural divide.

PM Modi, wrapping up his wide-ranging response, also threw a dig at Opposition members who had criticized him and his government. Referring to Gulab Nabi Azad, he said, “Mr Azad, the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, is among the letter-writers seen to be at odds with the party’s Gandhi leadership. I fear your praise of me. I hope your party men take it in the right spirit and not the opinion of the G-23 in the party.”

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Vijayan most fascist, undemocratic CM Kerala has ever seen: Congress MLA

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Kochi (Kerala) [India], March 2 (ANI): Targeting the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government over alleged backdoor appointments in government jobs, Congress MLA PT Thomas said that Pinarayi Vijayan is perhaps the most fascist and undemocratic Chief Minister Kerala has ever seen.
“Pinarayi Vijayan is perhaps the most fascist and most undemocratic Chief Minister Kerala has ever seen. This is a government that has thrown the sentiments of lakhs of young people in the state into the Arabian Sea,” PT Thomas said at a rally in Kochi.
Youth Congress conducted a rally and public function named Chalo Youth against LDF government’s alleged backdoor appointments in government jobs.
The Congress leader added that Vijayan is the successor of Stalin. He is the only remaining Communist Chief Minister in India.
“Why did Pinarayi Vijayan not speak against the Sangh Parivar? They both are brothers. Narendra Modi is the elder brother while Vijayan is the younger one,” he further said.
Earlier on February 11, Leader Of Opposition in state Assembly Ramesh Chennithala attacked the LDF government over the recruitment row saying that the Pinarayi Vijayan regime has made backdoor appointments for its own people, relatives and loved ones by deceiving the entire youth.
“Why the CM can’t see the feelings of millions of young people who are not getting jobs despite being named in the Public Service Commission (PSC) rank list? You can not stop the rising anger of youth against you. I declare my complete solidarity with the protest of the rank holders in Kerala. The protest is against a government that has made backdoor appointments for its own people, relatives and loved ones by deceiving the entire youth,” he said. (ANI)

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Bengali actor Srabanti Chatterjee joins BJP ahead of assembly polls

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Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], March 2 (ANI): Bengali actor Srabanti Chatterjee joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Kolkata on Monday ahead of the upcoming West Bengal Assembly elections.
The actor joined the party in the presence of West Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh and party’s election in-charge in the state, Kailash Vijayvargiya.
West Bengal Assembly elections will be held in eight phases starting from March 27 with the final round of voting taking place on April 29. Counting of votes will take place on May 2.
While Mamata Banerjee is seeking her third consecutive term, BJP has set a target of winning 200 seats in the 294-member state Assembly. Congress and the Left have stitched an alliance for the polls and had already finalised the seat-sharing agreement.
With the announcement of the election schedule, the Model Code of Conduct has come into force in the state. (ANI)

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SBI commits Rs 11 crore to support government’s COVID-19 vaccination drive

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Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], March 2 (ANI): In order to support the next phase of the government’s COVID-19 vaccination drive, the State Bank of India (SBI) has decided to contribute Rs 11 crore to the PM CARES Fund, said an official statement on Monday.
“It is at times of adversity that the true form of unity is tested, and we all can take pride in the efforts that our nation has put in to fight the pandemic. The fight against the pandemic is not yet over, and as a responsible Corporate Citizen, we consider it our duty to support the government’s efforts to vaccinate all. I request everyone to come forward and help in whatever way they can to ensure a successful vaccination drive,” Dinesh Khara, Chairman SBI said in a statement.
In 2020, SBI had committed 0.25 per cent of its annual profit to support the fight against COVID-19 and also made significant contribution in the form of supply of masks, sanitizers among others to the needy. Additionally, SBI employees in their effort to support the nation in the unprecedented times had contributed Rs 107 crores to the PM CARES Fund. (ANI)

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Toolkit case: Delhi court to hear Nikita Jacob’s bail plea today

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New Delhi [India], March 2 (ANI): The Patiala House Court in the national capital will hear Nikita Jacob’s petition on Tuesday seeking anticipatory bail in the “Toolkit” document case related to farmers’ protest.
Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana will hear Jacob’s petition today.
Jacob had been granted protection from arrest for three weeks by the Bombay High Court on February 17.
Delhi Police are probing the toolkit case against Jacob, “climate activist” Disha Ravi and others. However, the Court last week granted bail to Disha.
According to sources, Jacob was a committed operator of the Toolkit. She used to address it as a ‘communication package’. The police is analysing about 115 to 120 GB of data which included WhatsApp chats, e-mails, and data recovered from Jacob’s pen drive, mobile and desktop. She was using applications like Singal and Telegram for communication.
The 21-year-old activist, Disha was arrested from Bengaluru in connection with the formulation and dissemination of the ‘toolkit’ document, in the ongoing farmers’ protest. She was one of the editors of the ‘toolkit’ document.
On February 3, Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg had shared this ‘toolkit’ in a tweet, which she later deleted. Greta had also extended support to the protest by farmer unions on the borders of Delhi against the new farm laws. (ANI)

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Man held for blackmailing, raping minor girl in Gwalior

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Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh) [India], March 2 (ANI): Madhya Pradesh Police has arrested a man for allegedly raping a 14-year-old girl in Gwalior district.
The accused identified as Sunil, who worked at the shop of the victim’s father, allegedly blackmailed her by saying that he would kill him if she did not give her consent.
“Fed up with this, the minor ran away from her house to Datia where she came in contact with a child protection agency and filed a zero FIR against the accused. We have arrested the accused and registered a case under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act,” said Amit Sanghi, Superintendent of Police.
Further investigation is underway. (ANI)

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National Rice Research Institute develops device for pest management, patents it

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Cuttack (Odisha) [India], March 2 (ANI): Scientists of ICAR-National Rice Research Institute, Cuttack, have developed an Alternate Energy Light Trap (AELT) device for checking pests in agricultural fields and got a patent for the invention.
The automated device was invented by Dr Shyamaranjan Das Mohapatra, Principal Scientist, Entomology and Dr Mayabini Jena, former Principal Scientist and Head of Crop Protection Division of ICAR-National Rice Research Institute. It can help the farmers to identify insect types that lurk in the field and manage them.

“There are two models of the AELT. The bigger valued at around Rs 8,800 can be used on farmland of about one hectare while the mini version costing Rs 4,100 can be used for land under one acre. We have shared the patent with a Maharashtra-based company and the commercial production of the device will start soon,” Dr Mohapatra told ANI here on Monday.
He said: “With this new invention, we can save crops worth thousands of crores worldwide and can also save the life of people from pesticides used in farm lands to kill insects.”
The AELT device includes a light trap unit for attracting the flying insects, a collector unit coupled with the light trap unit for receiving the lured insects from the light trap.
It is an economical and eco-friendly insect trapping method and efficient enough to handle a large number of insects. (ANI)

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