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Photo of security guard ‘dragging’ woman out of MP hospital goes viral

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Khargone (Madhya Pradesh) [India], February 20 (ANI): A woman was allegedly dragged by a guard for 300 metres outside the premises of the Khargone District Hospital on Thursday. A photograph of the incident went viral on social media after being published in a newspaper.
However, days after the incident, the hospital administration had refuted claims of the guard dragging the woman out of the hospital.
Divyesh Verma, Superintendent of the hospital, on Saturday clarified that the guard did not use force and the woman in question was ‘mentally unstable’.
“The allegation is totally false. This woman in question was mentally unstable. Someone had left her in front of Tevar Clinic. After which, the woman started pelting stones and abusing the staff members and doctors,” Verma said.
“Upon which the doctors asked the guard to take her out through the garden. Thereafter, she went to the main gate of the district hospital and sat down. When an ambulance came, the guards tried to convince her to give way. But she didn’t listen. On which, she was removed by the guards from there without using force,” he added. (ANI)

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First consignment of ‘red rice’ from Assam flagged off to US

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New Delhi [India], March 5 (ANI): In a major boost to India’s rice exports potential, the first consignment of ‘red rice’ was flagged off on Thursday to the United States of America (USA).
Iron-rich ‘red rice’ is grown in the Brahmaputra valley of Assam, without the use of any chemical fertilizer. The rice variety is referred as ‘Bao-dhaan’, which is an integral part of Assamese food.
The red rice is being sourced by leading rice exporter – LT Foods. The flagging off ceremony of the export consignments was carried out by the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) Chairman Dr M.Angamuthu at Sonepat, Haryana.
As the exports of ‘red rice’ grow, it would enhance the incomes of farming families of the Brahmaputra flood plains, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry said in a release.
APEDA, which comes under the department of Commerce of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, has been promoting rice exports through collaborations with various stakeholders in the value chains.
“The government had set up the Rice Export Promotion Forum (REPF), under the aegis of the APEDA. REPF has representations from the rice industry, exporters, officials from APEDA, the ministry of commerce and directors of agriculture from major rice-producing states including West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh and Odisha,” the release said.
During the April to January period of 2020-21, the shipment of non-Basmati rice witnessed an impressive spike.
The non-basmati rice exports were Rs 26,058 crore (3506 US$ Million) during April-January, 2021 against Rs 11,543 crore (1627US$ Million) reported during April-January, 2020 period. The exports of non-Basmati witnessed a growth of 125 per cent in Rupee terms and 115 per cent Dollar terms, the release said. (ANI)

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BJP likely to announce candidates for first two phases of West Bengal, Assam Assembly polls soon

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By Kumar Gaurav
New Delhi [India], March 5 (ANI): The Central Election Committee (CEC) of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has discussed the candidates for two phases of the Assembly elections for West Bengal and Assam. The party is likely to announce the list of candidates for both states soon.
Top leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, BJP chief JP Nadda and other members of the party held a meeting with leaders of Assam and West Bengal on Thursday, here at the party headquarters.
BJP and its two alliance partners have sealed the seat-sharing deal for 126-members Assam Assembly. According to sources, BJP will contest on 92 seats, Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) will fight on 26 seats and United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL) will field its candidates on 8 seats.
In the meeting held yesterday, the candidates for 84 seats were discussed and finalised, sources said adding that the candidate list is likely to be announced soon after a problem with the alliance partners is sorted out.
In yesterday’s meeting, CEC also discussed the candidate list for the first two phases of seats in West Bengal were discussed and finalised.
Sources said that the crucial constituency Nandigram from where Suvendu Adhikari is the current MLA was also discussed. Adhikari, once a close aide of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader switched to BJP in December, last year.
BJP state leaders want Adhikari to fight against Banerjee from the Nandigram seat. A few days back, Adhikari himself announced that he wants to contest against Banerjee.
The West Bengal Chief Ministere had on January 18 announced that she would contest from Nandigram as well as Bhowanipur seats.
In case, Adhikari does not contest the polls from the Nandigram seat against the TMC chief, then a minister from the Central government is likely to be fielded against Banerjee but the discussion is yet to be finalised, sources said.
After further discussions and issues are resolved, BJP will announce its list of candidates most likely today or tomorrow, sources added.
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.
Assam Assembly elections will be held in three phases beginning from March 27 with the final round of voting taking place on April 6.
The counting of votes in both states will take place on May 2. (ANI)

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Rajnath Singh to attend Combined Commanders’ Conference in Gujarat’s Kevadia today

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New Delhi [India], March 5 (ANI): Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday will attend the Combined Commanders’ Conference (CCC), a premier brain-storming event of the Military Commanders from the three Services commenced at Kevadia in Gujarat yesterday.
Taking to Twitter, Singh informed that India’s security situation and defence preparedness would be reviewed at the conference.
“Leaving for Kevadia, Gujarat on a two-day visit. Shall attend the Combined Commanders’ Conference, where India’s security situation and defence preparedness would be reviewed. Looking forward to it,” the Defence Minister tweeted.
According to the ministry, the combined apex level military leadership of the country is reviewing the security situation and defence preparedness of the Armed Forces and deliberating pertinent organisational issues for evolving a joint military vision for the future during the three-day conference from March 4 to 6.
The valedictory session on the third and final day will be chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval also in attendance.
In a major change from the past, the scope of the conference this year has been expanded to make it a multi-layered, interactive, informal and informed event with the added participation of about 30 officers and soldiers of various ranks from the three Services, the ministry further stated. (ANI)

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Reporting India – My Seventy-Year Journey as a Journalist by Prem Prakash: A review by Ambassador A R Ghanashyam

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New Delhi [India], March 5 (ANI): “Reporting India – My Seventy-Year Journey as a Journalist” is a “look back and recall with nostalgia” account of independent India’s history seamlessly intertwined with his own life’s journey by author Prem Prakash who has had the priceless privilege of witnessing the making of history in the times and tenures of all the Prime Ministers of India from behind his camera.
A superb storyteller, he has also explained beautifully in the book the metamorphosis of the industry of News, Television, Cable, Internet and the latest Satellite communication systems over the decades while depicting the happenings in the world to the world and that is a bonus.
The book’s timeline runs parallel to India’s modern history. Independent India has witnessed seventeen free and fair Parliamentary Elections with fourteen Prime Ministers at the helm of affairs. The country has negotiated a fascinating, at times treacherous, journey replete with five wars (1948, 1962, 1965, 1971 and 1999) and any number of floods, famines, droughts and diseases not to forget the brutal assassinations of two Prime Ministers and the mysterious demise of a third one. There is also a stretch of 21 months during 1975-77 when the country was put under emergency by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi when fundamental rights of citizens were suspended. The author was also a victim. The mindless mayhem of state-sponsored cross border terrorism which began towards the end of the eighties continues in Jammu and Kashmir.
In Reporting India the author narrates many personal eye-witness accounts including the India-China 1962 War, India -Pakistan 1965 War with interesting details of subsequent Tashkent Agreement, the 1971 War and the creation of Bangladesh and the most recent 1999 Kargil War. The breathtaking political developments and major policy turns and twists in governance during various governments of India, the revealing stories of the Bhopal Gas Tragedy (1984), Operation Blue Star in the Golden Temple in Amritsar (1984), the story of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in Sri Lanka and the attack on Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in Sri Lanka (1987), The India -Pakistan Summit in Lahore (1999), the hijacking of the IC-814 (1999) and the India-Pakistan Summit in Agra (2001) not to forget the war, Taliban and the politics of terror in neighbouring Afghanistan and more make the book an enjoyable and educative read for students, scholars and connoisseurs of history alike.
When India attained independence in 1947, the country’s population was 340 million and the GDP was INR 2.7 trillion – a paltry 3% of the global GDP. Life expectancy was a dismal 32 years and the literacy rate an abysmal 17%. During 1950-51 the contributions to the GDP by agriculture, industry and services sectors were 56%, 15% and 29% respectively. Agriculture employed the largest work-force of 72 per cent with the Manufacturing and Services accounting for 10% and 18% jobs respectively. Former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh once lamented, “The brightest jewel in the British Crown was the poorest country in the world in terms of per capita income at the beginning of the 20th century.”
After century-long handling of India by the East India Company and another century when it was directly under the British Crown, the India of 1947 was not very different from what Dr Singh opined. Be that as it may, before the onset of corona-19, India was the 5th largest economy in the world in Purchase Power Parity terms which is an amazing feat. How individual Prime Ministers of India starting with Pandit Nehru tried to build a modern India from the debris of two centuries’ rule by the British Empire is in itself a great story and has been narrated by many authors, Indian as well as foreign. The book under review is unique since it is narrated by an Indian journalist associated life-long feeding news to western News Agencies in addition to his own Indian outfit.
The memories of the author from his childhood days in Chandni Chowk and the tense times of hosting near and dear ones who had arrived from erstwhile West Pakistan after partition in the home of the author’s parents makes a poignant beginning for the book. The story of how the Gulmohar enclave was planned and built for journalists with help from Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri reveals how Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri resolved a tricky issue. The setting up and consolidation of the Asian News International (ANI) and the impact of newer and better technologies over decades and many a revealing personal anecdote with individual Prime Ministers and other leaders have been interwoven with the main narrative with finesse.
This was an unputdownable book. But it ended too quickly and early leaving the reader longing for more. That was perhaps because the story was big and the author had planned a smaller canvas and not desired a magnum opus. It is a well written good read and go for it book. I strongly recommend it.
(Disclaimer: The author of this article is former Indian Ambassador A R Ghanashyam) (ANI)

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Woman dies by suicide in UP’s Sambhal after registering rape case

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Sambhal (Uttar Pradesh) [India], March 5 (ANI): A woman died by suicide in Grampura village of Bahjoi Police Station limits in Uttar Pradesh’s Sambhal district, days after registering a rape case against a person.
According to police, the person who has been accused of rape has been arrested.
Speaking to ANI, Sambhal SP Chakresh Mishra said on Thursday, “A woman died by suicide in Bahjoi Police Station limits. The woman had registered a rape case against a person on January 27. The accused of the rape case has been arrested. There was a love affair between the deceased woman and the accused.”
Now, on the complaint received by the deceased’s brother, a case has been filed, SP said adding that further actions are being taken. (ANI)

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Indian Army conduct basketball, wushu competitions for youth in J-K’s Budgam

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Budgam (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], March 5 (ANI): Keeping in mind the importance of sports and physical activity, the Indian Army on Thursday conducted a four-day basketball and Wushu competition for the youth in Gogoland of Jammu and Kashmir’s Budgam district.
The event started on March 1 and concluded on March 4. Basketball matches were conducted for the boys while the girls participated in Wushu, a form of martial arts.
During the presentation ceremony conducted at the Old Field Military Station, the players were given basketball and wushu kits.
This initiative by the Indian Army will allow the youth to participate in various sports competitions held at state, national as well as international levels.
“We aim to motivate youth from humble backgrounds. Many don’t have access to facilities that are needed to hone their skills. We want to provide a platform to young children with aspirations and we have been knocking on doors of every house to find children who need this kind of support,” said Tarun Narula, Commander Chinar AD Brigade.
He further said that the youth were also educated about the harmful effects of drugs and were encouraged to spend time in meaningful activities such as this.
Players expressed gratitude and appreciation to the Army for their initiative that will help improve the quality of sports and inculcate a team spirit among the youth.
“We had a lot of fun. More such programs should take place in the future. We got a lot of encouragement and support from the Army,” said a player. (ANI)

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