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PM MODI TO UNVEIL ‘STATUE OF PEACE’ TODAY

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PM Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will unveil ‘Statue of Peace’ to mark the 151st birth anniversary celebrations of Jainacharya Shree Vijay Vallabh Surishwer Ji Maharaj, on Monday at 12:30 pm via video conferencing. The 151-inch tall statue has been made from Ashtadhatu (8 metals, with Copper being the major constituent), and is being installed at Vijay Vallabh Sadhana Kendra, Jetpura, in Pali, Rajasthan. Shree Vijay Vallabh Surishwer Ji Maharaj (1870-1954) led an austere life as a Jain Saint working selflessly and dedicatedly to spread the message of Lord Mahavira. He also worked relentlessly for the welfare of masses, the spread of education, eradication of social evils, wrote inspiring literature and gave active support to the freedom movement and the cause of Swadeshi.

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Google unveils USD 25 million in grants aimed at empowering women in India

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New Delhi [India], March 8 (ANI): Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, on Monday announced a range of programs and a grant of USD 25 million to nonprofits and social enterprises working on empowering girls and women.
“We are today launching a global http://Google.org Impact Challenge for women and girls. We will provide USD 25 million in grants to non-profits and social enterprises doing important work to help women address systemic barriers, economic equality and more,” said Sundar Pichai.
Google.org’s new Impact Challenge, a philanthropic initiative was unveiled on International Women’s Day by Pichai.
Google.org — the philanthropic arm of the technology giant, is aimed at addressing systemic barriers and inequities so that women have access to economic equality, the opportunity to build financial independence, and pursue entrepreneurism, said Google chief executive Sundar Pichai at a virtual event.
“We are announcing a new commitment to allow 1 million women in the rural villages to become entrepreneurs, through business tutorials, tools, and mentorship,” he added.
“Whatever these teams need, we are going to be alongside them and help carry out their vision,” said Jacquelline Fuller, President of Google.org, at the event. The company said it will accept applications from teams worldwide until April 9.
Fuller also announced that Google.org is going to invest an additional USD 1 million to help underserved women in India. Even as India is the world’s second-largest internet market, women make up a small percentage of online users in the country.
Five years ago, Google launched a program called ‘Internet Saathi’ to bring internet literacy to women in rural parts of India. The company said the program, for which it collaborated with Indian conglomerate Tata, significantly helped improve women’s participation on the Indian internet.
Four of 10 internet users in rural India are now women, said Google, up from one in 10 in 2015. The company, citing its own research, said the Internet Saathi program benefited more than 30 million women in India — and that it’s now concluding the program to focus on other efforts to continue this mission.
“This program created a cascading effect,” said Sanjay Gupta, the head of Google India, at the event. (ANI)

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CPI-M to contest six seats in Tamil Nadu as part of DMK-led alliance

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Tamil Nadu [India], March 8 (ANI): The Communist Party of India-Marxist will contest six seats as part of the DMK-led alliance in Tamil Nadu.
Tamil Nadu CPI (M) general secretary Balakrishnan said that the party has been allocated six seats for the forthcoming polls in the state.
“We will work on all the 234 seats to defeat AIADKMK-BJP alliance,” he said.
Elections to the 234-member Tamil Nadu assembly will be held on April 6 and the counting of votes will take place on May 2. (ANI)

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Congress MLA rides a horse to Jharkhand assembly on Int’l Women’s Day

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Ranchi (Jharkhand) [India], March 8 (ANI): Congress MLA Amba Prasad on Monday rode a horse to the Jharkhand assembly on the occasion of International Women’s Day. Prasad said that the horse has been gifted to her by a retired Army officer.
“This horse has been gifted to me by Colonel (retired) Ravi Rathore on the occasion of International Women’s Day,” she told ANI.
The 31-year-old is a Congress MLA from the Barkagaon assembly constituency in the Ramgarh district.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended wishes on the occasion of International Women’s Day, saying that India takes pride in the many accomplishments of women.
“Saluting our indomitable #NariShakti on International Women’s Day! India takes pride in the many accomplishments of the women of our nation. It is our government’s honour to be getting the opportunity to work towards furthering women empowerment across a wide range of sectors,” PM Modi tweeted.
“On the occasion of International Women’s Day, greetings and best wishes to all fellow citizens. Women in our country are setting new records and achievements in various fields. Let us collectively resolve to promote gender justice and eliminate inequality between women and men,” President Ram Nath Kovind said in a tweet.
Each year on March 8, International Women’s Day is observed in order to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day commemorates women, who despite various challenges posed by society have proven their mettle in every sphere across the world. (ANI)

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Women-led development taking place under PM Modi’s leadership, says Smriti Irani

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New Delhi [India], March 8 (ANI): Union Textiles and Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani on Monday said that under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the narrative has shifted from women’s development to women-led development.
She also stated that now women not only lead change for themselves but also for other women, adding that for the first time Gender Inclusion Fund was introduced into the National Education policy.
“Under PM’s leadership, the narrative has shifted from women’s development to women-led development. We now lead change not just for us but also for other women. Because of this, for the 1st time in National Education policy’s history, we have Gender Inclusion Fund”, said the Union Minister while addressing a gathering of women MPs and journalists on the occasion of International Women’s Day.
She further said, “There are still skies to touch. Our flag and Constitution are one despite being from different political ideologies.”
“Women who have gathered here today are often celebrated societally for our strength and achievements. Not many look at the chip on our shoulders, a chip on which we falter at times publically and on social media. Where the impact is strong as we get ‘trolled’ but also we get opportunities in the August House where irrespective of our ideologies, we speak on issues that bring transformation”, added Irani.
Addressing the same event, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman on Monday said nuanced discrimination, even in language, is often accepted and not objected to, due to its subtlety. She added that language needs to be gender-sensitive and wrong language shouldn’t be encouraged.
“Language of communication has to be gender-sensitive. We stand up each time for use of the right language. We come across language both formal and informal that doesn’t recognise an implicit gender bias. We need to say language needs to be gender-sensitive. We shouldn’t encourage such language,” said Sitharaman while addressing a gathering of women MPs and journalists.
Giving an example she quoted a popular Hindi expression the Union Finance Minister said, “Arey main choodi pehen ke baitha hoon kya?” (Am I just sitting here wearing bangles like a woman?) That means you don’t have courage. Each one of us has to say that we don’t accept such language and expressions.”
Another problem she spoke about was facing different terms of engagement for both genders. “We are MPs, but we are often treated as women first, and MPs later. We have to make a conscious attempt to change these things. We need to do more,” she said.
International Women’s Day is celebrated worldwide every year on March 8 to recognise the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women across the globe. This year, the theme for International Women’s Day 2021 is ‘Choose to Challenge’. (ANI)

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TMC writes to LS Speaker, RS Chairman to adjourn ongoing Parliament session

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New Delhi [India], March 8 (ANI): Trinamool Congress Parliamentary Party Lok Sabha Floor Leader Sudip Bandyopadhyay and Leader of the TMC Parliamentary Party in Rajya Sabha Derek O’Brien on Monday wrote to Lok Sabha Speaker and Rajya Sabha Chairman respectively requesting them to adjourn the second part of the Budget session in view of the upcoming Assembly polls in four states and one Union Territory.
“Due to the intensive ongoing election preparations in the state, the Members of Parliament from All India Trinamool Congress would find it difficult to attend the second part of the Budget session beginning from March 8,” Derek O’Brien wrote in the letter.
“We (TMC) urge you to consider the adjournment of the ongoing Parliament session,” the TMC MP added.
He also cited two earlier occassions in the letter when the same had been done in view of forthcoming Assembly polls.
Earlier, Rajya Sabha has been adjourned till 11 am on Tuesday following a ruckus over fuel prices in the parliament.
Rajya Sabha on Monday witnessed repeated adjournments following sloganeering by the Opposition MPs.
“We will continue our agitation (demanding a discussion on fuel price rise) when Rajya Sabha reconvenes at 1 pm,” said Mallikarjun Kharge, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha.
“Petrol and diesel prices are nearly Rs 100 per litre and Rs 80 per litre respectively. Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) prices have also gone up. Rs 21 lakh crores have been collected by putting excise duty/cess, because of this entire country including farmers are suffering,” Kharge had said. (ANI)

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Delhi HC extends OP Chautala’s parole till April 12

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New Delhi [India], March 8 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Monday extended the parole of former Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala, serving a 10-year jail term in a teachers’ recruitment scam, till April 12.
A division bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Anup Jairam Bhambhani also listed Chautala’s plea seeking directions to the authorities concerned to release him by granting special remission in view of related notification of 2020 for further hearing on April 12.
Meanwhile, the high court directed the Delhi government to file an affidavit with a relevant record in the petition filed by Chautala, seeking release by granting the benefit of special remission.
Chautala had approached the high court through his lawyer Amit Sahni submitting that the state should have released him considering his age and disability and that his case was covered under the notification issued by the government of India, whereby prisoners with 60 years and above were to be released in half of their sentence.
The petitioner has submitted that he has almost undergone the entire incarceration and as such in view of the earlier order passed in December 2019 by the division bench of Justice Manmohan and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal, the Delhi government has not granted special remission to him.
Chautala and others were convicted and sentenced in the case of illegal recruitment of 3,206 junior basic teachers (JBT) in 2013.
On January 22, 2013, a trial court had sentenced 55 accused in the teachers’ recruitment scam case for illegally recruiting 3,206 teachers in Haryana in 2000. Others sentenced in the case include Chautala’s son Ajay Singh Chautala, his then political advisor Sher Singh Badshami, the then Officer on Special Duty (OSD) Vidya Dhar, IAS and then Primary Education Director Sanjiv Kumar. (ANI)

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