PM Modi has shown enormous leadership on issues relating to climate change: COP26 President - The Daily Guardian
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PM Modi has shown enormous leadership on issues relating to climate change: COP26 President

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New Delhi [India], February 16 (ANI): Alok Sharma, President-designate of 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) on Tuesday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has “shown an enormous amount of leadership” in the area of climate change and issues relating to nature and biodiversity.
Sharma, who met Prime Minister today, said the governments must come forward with ambitious targets to cut emissions by 2030 and to set out net-zero targets.
“We had a very good discussion with Prime Minister Modi and I remarked on the fact that he personally has shown an enormous amount of leadership in the area of climate and of course, nature and biodiversity. When he was Chief Minister in Gujarat he set up a climate finance department which was pioneering. It wasn’t something that was happening regularly something across the world. He was someone who helped to get the Paris agreement over the line,” Sharma told ANI.
“The Climate Ambition summit which the UK organised together with UN and France on Dec 12 on five year anniversary of Paris Agreement, the Prime Minister made a bold commitment when it comes to renewables. For that, we are very grateful. I pointed out the message that I am talking to all the governments around COP26. We are looking for a number of things to happen. Firstly, the governments must come forward with ambitious targets to cut emissions by 2030 and to set out net-zero targets,” he added.
Sharma said the issue of finance is really important.
“The issue of finance is really important to make sure developed countries deliver on the 100 billion dollar promise that was made and to get more private finance flowing as well and then in the adaptation space to get countries come up with their adaptation plans which is nearly where India has been leading for a long period of time. And finally to close the outstanding issues from the Paris Agreement,” he said.
Asked about his meeting with Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar and his take on India’s climate action plan, Sharma said, “India has been incredibly forward when it comes to renewables and the story here is very much about driving green growth, which is something that the UK is also doing”.
“We are very committed. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is very committed to green growth. In the UK, we have demonstrated that green growth is possible. Over the last 30 years, we have grown our economy by 75 per cent and yet cut emissions by 43 per cent and I think that’s the message we want to take. If we work together, there would, of course, be compromises but if we able to do that we will achieve consensus and ultimately we have to deliver Glasgow, we have to deliver not just for a generation but for future generations.”
He said they are keen that Glasgow is a physical event.
“I know that COVID-19 is a big issue but we are planning for a physical event. Of course, we are looking at contingencies as well,” he said.
During his stay in the national capital, Sharma was shown of the solar rooftop at India Habitat Centre (IHC). The site has a 250 KWp rooftop Photo Voltaic (PV) plant which helps IHC reduce costs and minimise exposure to fluctuation in grid tariffs, officials said.
They said IHC saves approximately Rs 2 lakh annually and reduces 300 tons of CO2 emissions per year.
It has been set up by SunSource Energy, which is funded by the Neev Fund that was conceptualised in 2015 by Prime Minister Modi and then UK Prime Minister David Cameron. (ANI)

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BJP President JP Nadda offers prayers at Jaipur’s Kali Bari temple

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Jaipur (Rajasthan) [India], March 2 (ANI): Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Jagat Prakash Nadda on Tuesday offered prayers at Kali Bari temple in Jaipur.
“I seek blessings from Goddess Kali at this Jaipur’s famous Kali Bari temple. I hope Goddess Kali spreads happiness, peace and prosperity in all our lives,” said JP Nadda in a tweet.
The BJP Chief offered prayers for a couple of minutes at the temple.
Nadda on Tuesday advised party officials to strengthen the cadre and do self-analysis. Addressing the ‘State Executive Meeting’ at Birla Auditorium, Jaipur, Nadda asked the officials to complete the formation of booth committees by September 24.
“A lot of people among us have stopped self-analysis. This reduces our productivity. You all need to start doing self-analysis. You need to analyse — what you are giving to the party, how much contribution are you making to the party, at what level are you accepted in the party,” he said.
“The formation of our booth committees should be completed by 25th September, that is, Deendayal Upadhyay ji’s birth anniversary. There should not be any booth where our booth committee is not formed and every booth should have women, youth, Dalit brothers, people from backward caste in our committees,” he added.
Nadda asked the party officials to ensure BJP’s victory in Rajasthan in the next Assembly polls. (ANI)

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Adhir Ranjan’s statement unfortunate, believe in civilised political dialogue, says Congress veteran Anand Sharma

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New Delhi [India], March 2 (ANI): Calling West Bengal Pradesh Congress Commitee President Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury’s criticism of his ‘concerns’ as ‘unfortunate’, senior Congress leader Anand Sharma on Tuesday said he believes in a civilised political dialogue even if there are differences or ideological issues.
Sharma had earlier tweeted his concerns about Congress’ alliance with Indian Secular Front (ISF), a Muslim outfit headed by the cleric of a local shrine, in West Bengal and said “alliance with ISF and other such parties is against the ideology of Congress and should have been discussed at Congress Working Ccommitee (CWC)”, to which Chowdhury said, “We are in charge of a state and don’t take any decision on our own without any permission.”
“What I said is expression of my concerns. Not only am I firmly committed to the Congress’ ideology, which is inclusive, democratic and secular, but I’m also one of the historian and ideologue of the Congress party. It has to be taken in that context. There is no politics in this. I have said something and it is for others to take the note,” Sharma told ANI.
“It’s unfortunate statement, I believe in civilised political dialogue and discourse. Even if there are differences and ideological issues, those differences can not be personal. I have noted what Adhir babu said but I can’t become personal,” he added.
When asked about his ‘rebellion’ with other G-23 members (or the group of 23 dissenting leaders, who had questioned the party’s functioning in a letter to interim president Sonia Gandhi), Sharma said there is no rebellion.
“Who are we rebelling against? We believe in leadership of Sonia Gandhi. We have never said a word against the party leadership…Yes, we have our concerns from last the two general elections and it’s a fact. What we are saying have to be understood in the right context. We said openly that we want to strengthen the party and we are united Congress. We don’t want anything that can weaken the party,” Sharma said.
He added that Congress always had a positive democratic exercise of internal discussion and debates.
“Hopefully party will come out of this phase and we will see strong revival. That is what we will work for. We wish the Congress candidate the best in the forthcoming Assembly elections and wherever we are asked to go and campaign, we will do so as Congressmen, as we have done in the past,” he said.
Commenting on BJP’s allegation of Congress losing its secular status and depending on communal alliances for survival, Sharma said, “BJP also have alliances. It is infamous for its polarising agenda and divisive politics. BJP does not have the right credentials and qualifications to make such charges.” (ANI)

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Auto drivers bear brunt of hike in CNG prices in Delhi-NCR

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New Delhi [India], March 2 (ANI): The Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL), the firm that retails CNG to automobiles and piped natural gas to household kitchens, on Tuesday, increased prices of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and Piped Natural Gas (PNG) in Delhi and the NCR, leaving auto drivers in the lurch.
The price of CNG has been increased by 70 paise per kilogram and PNG by 91 paise. The new rates have come into effect from Tuesday morning. In Delhi, the price of CNG has now gone up to Rs 43.40 per kg. At the same time, CNG will be available at the rate of 49.08 per kg in Noida, Greater Noida, and Ghaziabad.
The increase in the CNG and PNG prices in Delhi-NCR has put the auto and taxi drivers in trouble due to a continuous hike in the prices. They say their survival is getting tougher amidst such inflation.
Noida-based auto driver Manoj Ojha, speaking to ANI, said, “Prices of everything are going up. Whether it is petrol, diesel, LPG, or PNG. The price of CNG has been increasing continuously since the COVID-19 lockdown. It is getting very difficult for us to survive.”
Atul Kumar, another auto driver from Noida, said there is no work, people are paying less fare too. The problem of unemployment is worsening. The way prices are increasing, it is becoming very difficult for us to bear the cost of a CNG auto.
“Increasing the rate of CNG will cause several difficulties for us. It is getting tougher for us to bear the auto’s expenses. Where the CNG tank used to get filled in Rs 100 is now taking Rs 120. Also, because of the farmers who are sitting on the border right now, we have to cover several kilometres for a Rs 10 ride,” said Sameer, a Ghazipur auto driver.
A Delhi-based cab driver Atul Kumar, who drives his cab in Delhi-NCR, said, “The expenses have exceeded the earnings. Only we know how we are managing. The inflation is increasing. What can we do?”
Meanwhile, Youth Congress workers staged a protest outside the petroleum ministry over rising prices of petrol, diesel and cooking gas.

Hundreds of Indian Youth Congress activists assembled outside the petroleum ministry office with placards in their hands and raised slogans against the central government. The police, meanwhile, arrested a few of the protesters to control the situation.

The prices of petrol and diesel have increased sharply over the past few days, with that of petrol touching the 100-rupee mark in some of the cities. Opposition parties have held protests in different parts of the country over the rising prices of fuel.

On February 25, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said that she will not be able to answer when the prices of petrol and diesel will be reduced.

However, Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Steel Dharmendra Pradhan has said that price of fuel will decrease once the winter season ends. (ANI)

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Assam polls: Priyanka Gandhi ‘guarantees’ financial sops for women, free electricity, 5 lakh jobs

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Sonitpur (Assam) [India], March 2 (ANI): Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Tuesday announced five poll guarantees for the people of Assam if her party is voted to power in the state.
A law that nullifies the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), creation of five lakh government jobs, a hike in the daily wage of tea workers to Rs 365, free electricity up to 200 units per household and Rs 2,000 monthly income support to all housewives are among the guarantees that Priyanka Gandhi announced
The Congress general secretary said that “these are not promises but guarantees.”
Addressing a rally in Tezpur in the state she said: “We will provide Rs 2,000 per month to all the housewives as ‘grihini samman’. The woman working in tea gardens will be provided Rs 365 per day. We’ll create 5 lakhs new govt jobs. These are not promises but guarantees.”
The Congress leader further announced that when her party is voted to power in the state, a law shall be enacted that will ensure that the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) is not implemented in Assam.
“When our party comes into power, a law will be enacted to ensure that CAA is not implemented here. 200 units of electricity will be given free of cost every month,” said Priyanka Gandhi.
Earlier today, the Congress general secretary, who is on a two-day visit to the poll-bound state spent some time with tea estate workers at Sadhuru tea garden in Biswanath district.
Dressed in a saree and balancing a basket on her back, the 49-year-old was seen plucking tea leaves.
“The life of tea garden workers is full of truth and simplicity and their labour is valuable for the country. After sitting with them today, I understood their work, felt well being of their families and the difficulties of their life,” Gandhi tweeted along with pictures of herself interacting with the tea workers.
Assam assembly elections will be held in three phases. In the first phase, 47 seats in 12 districts will go to the polls on March 27. In the second phase, 39 constituencies in 13 districts will go to the polls on April 1 while 40 assembly constituencies in 12 districts to go on polls on April 6.
The counting of votes will take place on May 2. (ANI)

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Goa Governor administer oath to State Chief Information Commissioner

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Panaji (Goa) [India], March 2 (ANI): Goa governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari administered the oath of office to Vishwas Ramnath Satarkar as State Chief Information Commissioner (SCIC) and Sanjay Narayan Dhavalik as State Information Commissioner (SIC) on Tuesday.
According to the state government, Koshyari administered the oath of office to SCIC and SIC in the presence of Chief Minster Pramod Sawant.
According to a statement issued by the state government, Director of Information and Publicity Sudhir Kerkar read out the order of appointment of SCIC and SIC.
State Chief Secretary Parimal Rai, Secretary of Information and Publicity Mihir Vardhan and other officials were also present at the oath-taking ceremony.
The SCIC and SIC will hold office for a period of three years. (ANI)

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J-K Crime Branch arrests 3 in Delhi for online lottery scam

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Srinagar (Kashmir) [India], March 2 (ANI): The Crime Branch of Jammu and Kashmir Police on Tuesday arrested three people in New Delhi in connection with an online lottery scam.
The three people, who have been arrested, include Santosh Kumar Bhagat of Gaushala, Kishangarh Vasant Kunj, Lakhan Lal Ahirvar of Kishangarh, Vasant Kunj and Benedict Silvester alias Manav Tyagi of Chattarpur Extension in the national capital.
The trio have been arrested in connection with the case registered in 2019 under section 420 RPC and 66-D IT and got their transit remand, according to the Crime Branch, Jammu and Kashmir Police.
The case was registered at Crime Branch Kashmir upon the reception of a written complaint from a complainant named Alia. The complainant received a phone call from an unknown number, informing him about a prize of Rs seven lakh rupees that he had won in a contest.
In order to claim the prize money, he was asked to deposit some money after which the complainant deposited an amount of Rs 1,38,000 in the bank account maintained by the name of Non-Stop Deal, operated by one Santosh Kumar Bhagat.
Further investigation in the case is on confirmed Crime Branch of Jammu and Kashmir Police. (ANI)

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