In a series of tweets on Tuesday Union Home Minister Amit Shah called Peoples’ Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) a “gang” and said that along with Congress they have formed an “unholy global alliance” to push back Jammu and Kashmir into an era of “terror and turmoil”. These tweets have come as the elections for the District Development Councils are going to be held from 28 November in eight phases.
The tweets of the Union Home Minister evoked sharp reactions from two former Chief Ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti. Mehbooba in her tweet said that BJP was trying to wriggle out of main issues faced by the country and resort to remarks like “Gupkar gang”, “tukde tukde gang” and branding all opposing thoughts as anti-national has only one aim that is to divert the attention of people. Omar Abdullah said that PAGD is a legitimate political alliance and not a gang.
Earlier Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra intensified attack on Congress and PAGD ahead of local polls in J&K. Both these leaders of BJP have accused PAGD of saying what Pakistan desires them to. Ravi Shankar Prasad has called them anti-national and asks Congress leaders especially Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi to tell the nation what is their stand on PAGD.
Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala uploaded a two-page statement, rejecting the allegations levelled by Amit Shah accusing Congress of pushing back Kashmir to terror and turmoil.
In the statement, the Congress said that it strongly refutes “concocted and baseless assertions”. Surjewala accused Amit Shah of making mischievous statements on J&K. “Congress was never in favour of international intervention on Kashmir issue and was committed to country’s integrity, sovereignty and tricolour”.
The Twitter war started when the Union Home Minister in a series of tweets not only questioned PAGD for its anti-national remarks but also questioned Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi for being in support of PAGD.
In a sharp reaction to these tweets, Mehbooba Mufti took to Twitter and said, “Fighting elections in an alliance is also anti-national now. BJP can stitch as many alliances in its hunger for power but somehow we are undermining national interest by putting up a united front. BJP›s stale tactic of dividing India by projecting themselves as saviours and political opponents as internal and imagined enemies is far too predictable now. Love jihad, tukde tukde and now Gupkar Gang dominates the political discourse instead of rising unemployment and inflation.”
Omar Abdullah also hit out at Amit Shah and said that only in J&K political leaders can be called anti-national for participating in elections. “Only in J&K can leaders be detained and called anti-national for participating in elections and supporting the democratic process. The truth is all those who oppose the ideology of the BJP are labelled corrupt and anti-national,” he tweeted
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Since I was young, I just wanted to do what Dad did: Rinzing Dengzongpa
Actor Rinzing Dengzongpa joined NewsX for a candid chat as a part of NewsX India A list. In the exclusive interview, Rinzing shared a lot about himself as an actor, making his Bollywood debut with an action film and the advice that his dad gave him for ahead of his first movie release. Read excerpts:
Speaking about his debut film Squad, which will soon be releasing on Zee 5, Rinzing said, “It was all Nilesh. I think, around 2018, we had met. He called me for a meeting. I didn’t know what it was about. I knew it was going to be an action movie, but that’s about it. After having a conversation with him, I realised that his knowledge of action is pretty damn good. I had full trust in whatever he had coming. He narrated the script to me and I had also like that, so it was just full stream ahead from there.”
Talking about the stunts that he performed in Squad and how prepared himself for all of that, he expressed, “It was fun. We had our team from Poland and China come down to India for a few weeks. It was nice to have them train and do the fight choreography with me. It also made that easier like when we reached Belarus to shoot. We had another five days of training but those five days were just to recoup and remember all the moves that we had already practiced. It was amazing and a lot of fun.”
When asked about picking an action film as his debut film and when did he decide to become an actor, Rinzing responded, “Of course, I myself love action movies. I love action comedies, action thrillers, so it is one of those genres that I am happy that it is my first movie.” He added, “I decided to become an actor when i was quite young actually. I just wanted to do what dad was doing because I wanted to do what I had seen him do while growing up. As I was growing up, he would always be on sets, I would go to visit him on sets. Since I was young, I just wanted to do what dad does.”
He also told us the advice that his dad (Denny Dengzongpa) gave him ahead his debut film and said, “I actually told him after I just about to sign with Nilesh. Otherwise, he didn’t know anything. He didn’t know anything about Squad and Nilo and me, meeting Nilesh, for example. I used to do everything basically on my own. It was easier. It is just like a nice surprise. He called me today at morning and he said he is very proud of me.”
NANDANA SEN LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN TO HELP VULNERABLE CHILDREN DEVASTATED BY COVID-19
In a bid to ensure safety and welfare of the most vulnerable children whose lives have been torn apart by the deadly combination of Covid-19 and Cyclone Yaas, writer, actor, and child-rights activist Nandana Sen has launched a campaign ‘For a Safe Tomorrow’ in partnership with Save the Children India.
The campaign has successfully mobilised resources for activating on-ground relief work for 200 children, and Nandana and Save the Children announced that they were expanding the campaign to support a greater number of the most at-risk children of West Bengal, who will gain access to a safe living environment, food security, education, healthcare and psychosocial support.
“I’m incredibly grateful for the overwhelming response to our campaign to nurture and protect 200 of the most vulnerable children, and I’m delighted that we can now aim to safeguard many more. These children, who have lost one or both parents and essentially their lifelines, stand exposed to trafficking, child labour and child marriage—and nowhere has this crisis hit harder than in my beloved West Bengal. Save the Children has the commitment, credibility and expertise to ensure that this initiative will be optimally rolled out to protect children who most need our care. I’m touched and inspired by the success of our campaign, which shows that all of us stand in solidarity when the cause is as urgent as the safety of children in crisis,” comments Nandana.
“Save the Children is equally delighted and thankful to all the supporters for the success of this campaign. We are now gearing up to implement the project to support the most deprived children, to start with. Immediate care-givers of children orphaned/abandoned and at-risk will be provided financial support to meet their medical, nutritional, educational and protection needs,” shares Yasmin Riaz, Director of Resource Mobilisation, Save the Children, India.
‘For a Safe Tomorrow’ will target the most marginalised and at-risk children identified across two coastal blocks in the South 24 Parganas district for the period of a year.
The support, given to each child on a monthly basis, will be allocated following a rigorous screening process to ensure that the funds are being utilised to help the children most in need. The plan will be monitored and reviewed until the vulnerability of each child is addressed comprehensively.
In addition to financial and educational support, trained outreach workers and cadres, employed by Save the Children India, will provide counseling and psychosocial support to overcome the trauma associated with the loss of a parent or caregiver. Children who need in-depth psychosocial assistance will be carefully guided to professional mental health institutions or counsellors.
Save the Children’s Covid responses during the first and the second wave were customised to the changing landscape of community needs. In the first response, the NGO reached more than 15 lakh lives including around six lakh children with its humanitarian response during the first wave, and more than 2.5 lakh people with food and hygiene kits distribution.
During the second wave, it supported public health facilities in 15 states with more than 800 oxygen concentrators. The support was extended in the states of Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh with facilitating dedicated paediatric Covid care wards, along with setting up of an oxygen plant in Shravasti district of Uttar Pradesh.
I’m touched and inspired by the success of our campaign, which shows that all of us stand in solidarity when the cause is as urgent as the safety of children in crisis.
— Child-rights activist Nandana Sen
Technological breakthroughs to mark the return of IFSEC India
The International Fire & Security Exhibition and Conference (IFSEC) India Expo, South Asia’s largest security, civil protection and fire safety show by Informa Markets in India is gearing up for the return of its 14th edition which is slated between December 9 and 11 at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi.Supported by associations such as APSA, ASIS Delhi, ASIS Bangalore, CAPSI, ESAI, ELCINA, FOCUS, GACS, IISSM, World UAV Federation India Chapter along with MitKat Advisory as knowledge partner, the show brings together internationally renowned exhibitors, consultants, business experts and key government officials under one common platform. India’s safety and security industry can be broadly classified into cyber security, electronic security, fire safety/detection/prevention, road safety, private and industrial security, and personal protective apparel and equipment. The safety and security industry in India has been consistent in recent years, and various industry segments in the domain are likely to grow between 10-15% annually. An increase in population, rapid urbanization, expansion of industries, vast infrastructure and mass transportation systems are driving expectations for greater safety and security measures, predominantly in critical national infrastructure projects. Yogesh Mudras, Managing Director, Informa Markets in India, said, “We are delighted to announce IFSEC India’s return in the in-person format in New Delhi, to cater to the security industry in the new normal. While the security market in India has grown at a CAGR of 14%, it is expected to be further driven by the enhanced digitisation during the pandemic and requirement for security along with the construction of industrial complexes, public infrastructure and residential complexes. Proactive policies and initiatives like Smart Cities and Atmanirbharta fueled by the Government of India are allowing an ecosystem where businesses can be developed more easily by granting industry status to further catalyse this growth. Contactless technology is seen as a key measure being increasingly used across industries today in the post-pandemic world. IFSEC India 2021 aims to act as a catalyst for the progress and vision of this proliferating industry, as it provides a stage for industry players to collaborate, ideate, innovate, spot trends and enable the shift in India’s security paradigm from a monitoring approach to a responsive one.”This year, cutting edge technology pertaining to products like CCTV & video surveillance, biometrics & RFID, integrated systems, access control, cyber security, GPS Systems, video management, traffic management & parking automation, physical security, perimeter protection, fire detection systems, intruder alarms and more will be showcased. It will bring together over 150 renowned brands, key government officials, consultants and business experts. The Buyer profile of the expo includes professionals such as CSOs, Admin Heads, CIOs, CTOs, Facility Heads, Purchase Managers, System Integrators and Dealers & Distributors of organisations.Significantly, in an industry where up-gradation of technology is the very key to surviving competition.
With security in India being a continuous effort, this year too, IFSEC India will hold a two-day conference that will discuss and deliberate relevant insights gained in the domestic and global security market with the theme: New-Age Threats to Security alongside the exhibition.
The conference will witness the presence and participation of eminent industry personalities including Lt Gen Anil Chait, PVSM, AVSM, VSM, former Army Commander & Chief of Integrated Defence Staff, Avtar Singh, CBCP, Chief of Security & Intelligence, Aluminium Sector, Vedanta, Air Cmde Kedar R Thaakar, Dean, School of Police science and Security Studies, National Forensic State University, Col (Dr) Gaurav Singh (retd), Head-Security Automation, Adani Group, Jeetendra Kumar Singh, Chief Security Officer, Fortis Healthcare and Col Arun Hariharan, Country Head-Nodal, Security, Compliance & HSE, Bharti Airtel Limited – India & South Asia among others.
NEERAJ KOCHHAR INITIATES EMPLOYEE’S MEDITATION PROGRAM
According to research, more than 92% of the workers suffer mental burnouts from stress linked to their working place.The recent Covid-19 situation has contributed to an increase in mental issues, especially amongst the corporate employees. Many thriving companies are using mediation as a tool to empower a community of healthy and happy employees. One such company taking initiative in this direction is Viraj Profiles Limited, the largest Indian manufacturer and exporter of stainless steel long products. The organisation wholeheartedly invests in the development of human capital to utilise the untapped potential and to create opportunities.The company has set up meditation centers across all its office locations in India to improve the mental well-being of its employees.Neeraj Kochhar, Chairman & Managing Director, Viraj Profiles Ltd, who himself has been regularly practicing Yoga and meditation had given an insightful thought before implementing the company’s first wellness program in April 2020 for his employees to cope with the stress. He believes that meditation has many in-office health benefits at mental and also at the physical level.The company organised its first live webinar on 4 May 2020 with the renowned Brahma Kumari Sister Shivani for its employees, partners and suppliers, etc. The program was much appreciated by all the participants and from that day onwards there was no looking back. Since then, Kochhar has made sure to organise regular motivational sessions for his employees. The program has continued to help employees as well as their partners to live a healthier and more active lives. The company, in association with Brahma Kumaris, has organised more than 450 motivational and meditation sessions for its employees in last one and half year covering around 9,000 employees across all levels.The benefits of conducting such sessions for the employees was soon evident with the increased positivity and productivity amongst the employees. Going a step further, the company launched another weekly interactive session called Good Morning Viraj.Talking about the programme, Kochhar said “The program is named as “Good Morning Viraj” and is organised every Saturday morning with the participation of each and every employee in the office and plant location. We also invite a guest speaker from Brahma Kumari to share their views and enlightening perspective to cope up with stress, especially in the current times. In past, we have invited Sister Shivani, BK Yogini Behn, Suresh Oberoi and several other prominent speakers.” Kochhar further adds, “At our Boisar plant, you’ll find a dedicated Meditation Centre with the capacity of more than 150 people and our employees are free to use that facility at all times. You will also find a separate meditation room at our Head Office as well as all other offices. We consider our employees as one of the most valuable assets as they help us scale greater heights. We invest time and resources to ensure that their overall growth and mental well-being is emphasised upon”.He further added, “We offer free consultation and personalised mental guidance to everybody in and outside the office. Initially, the employees felt odd about the meditation program but currently, the session is witnessing regular attendance and encouraging participation from the employees. Health is the focus area for every individual but most people ignore their mental well-being. I always encourage my employees to take care of their physical health, mental stability and follow an active routine”.Kochhar was recently honoured with Golden Achievement Award by Brahma Kumaris during their annual programme at their Head Quarters in Mount Abu. The programme was attended by more than 300 members of Brahma Kumaris and was streamed live all across the globe. Kochhar has been honoured for his dedication and commitment towards bringing in a positive change in society and amongst his Viraj family of more than 9,000 employees.Viraj Profiles Ltd, as a company, has taken responsibility for supporting employees’ emotional stability. Meditation has the power to reduce stress, reduce blood pressure while easing the symptoms of anxiety and depression. Thus, emotional intelligence has garnered considerable attention in the workplace because of its positive association with mental and physical health and its connection to leadership capacity and performance.
We consider our employees as one of the most valuable assets as they help us scale greater heights. We invest time and resources to ensure that their overall growth and mental well-being is emphasised upon.
ANOTHER JOLT FOR PUNJAB GOVT AS IT REMOVES SFJ LEADER PANNU’S BROTHER FROM PUNJAB GENCO
After a lot of drama in the Punjab government either by party people or opposition, there is yet another noose for the Punjab government. This time, it is the removal of Balwinder Singh Kotlabama as Chairman of Punjab Genco. Kotlabama is the brother of Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) leader Avtar Singh Pannu. Pannu is an extremist residing outside India and alleged to have misled Indian Punjabi Youth in the name of Khalistan. Kotlabama was appointed Punjab Genco Chairman on 2 November.
While attacking the government, Shiromani Akali Dal asked the Chief Minister that why did he appoint Pannu’s relative as chairman. Bikram Singh Majithia said further that although the appointment was cancelled after pressure from the Akali Dal, the Chief Minister should order an inquiry into the activities of Kotlabama along with the appointment.
While speaking to The Daily Guardian, former minister Majithia said that though the government removed the latter on the pressure of Akali Dal, the Chief Minister should tell that what pressure was put on them to reward the family of anti-national with the top post. “The Chief Minister should clarify and tell Punjabis whether they are under pressure from their cabinet colleagues to reward such anti-national families.”
Majithia demanded an inquiry into the entire appointment as well as an inquiry into the activities of Kotlabama. On the other side, Ravneet Singh Bittu welcomed the decision of the Punjab government regarding the removal of Kotlabama on his Twitter handle. He tweeted, “Following heavy resentment amongst Congressmen after the appointment of Kotlabama, brother of Pannu, as Chairman, Punjab Genco ltd, we welcome the decision of Punjab government on removing him from his post.”
OVER 139.5 CR COVID-19 VACCINE DOSES PROVIDED TO STATES, UTS SO FAR: CENTRE
NEW DELHI: More than 139.5 crore Covid-19 vaccine doses have been provided to States and Union Territories so far, of which, over 19.19 crore balance and unutilised doses are still available with them to be administered, informed the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) on Monday.
“More than 139 crore (1,39,51,88,670) vaccine doses have been provided to States/Union Territories so far through Government of India (free of cost channel) and through direct state procurement category,” the health ministry said. “More than 19.19 crore (19,19,03,551) balance and unutilised Covid-19 vaccine doses are still available with the States/Union Territories to be administered,” it added.
The vaccination drive in the country has been ramped up through the availability of more vaccines, advanced visibility of vaccine availability to states and Union Territories for enabling better planning by them and streamlining the vaccine supply chain.
As part of the nationwide vaccination drive, the Centre has been supporting the states and Union Territories by providing them Covid-19 vaccines free of cost.
In the new phase of the universalisation of the Covid-19 vaccination drive, the Central government will procure and supply (free of cost) 75% of the vaccines being produced by the vaccine manufacturers in the country to states and Union Territories.
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