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PM to visit Assam, West Bengal on Feb 22

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New Delhi [India], February 20 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Assam and West Bengal on February 22, Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) informed on Saturday.
PM Modi will dedicate to the nation important projects of the oil and gas sector in an event organised at Silapathar in Dhemaji, Assam at 11:30 am on Monday, said the PMO. He will also inaugurate and lay the foundation stone for engineering colleges during the event.
Later, he will dedicate to the nation and inaugurate several railway projects in Hooghly, West Bengal.
The statement from the PMO elaborated that in Assam, Prime Minister will dedicate to the nation the INDMAX Unit at Indian Oil’s Bongaigaon Refinery, Oil India Limited’s Secondary Tank Farm at Madhuban, Dibrugarh and a Gas Compressor Station at Hebeda Village, Makum, Tinsukia. He will also inaugurate the Dhemaji Engineering College and lay the foundation stone for Sualkuchi Engineering College.
“These projects will usher in an era of energy security and prosperity, and open bright avenues of opportunity for local youth. They are in line with the Prime Minister’s vision of Purvodaya to drive Eastern India’s socio-economic growth,” the release said.
Governor and Chief Minister of Assam and Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas will also be present on the occasion.
“The INDMAX unit at Indian Oil’s Bongaigaon Refinery leverages the technology developed indigenously by Indian Oil-R&D to produce a higher LPG and high-Octane Gasoline yield from heavy feedstocks. The unit will increase the Refinery’s crude processing capacity from 2.35 MMTPA (million metric tonnes per annum) to 2.7 MMTPA. Its commissioning will also significantly enhance LPG production from 50 TMT (thousand metric tonnes) to 257 TMT and the Motor Spirit (Petrol) production from 210 TMT to 533 TMT,” the release said.
According to the release, Oil India Limited’s secondary tank farm has been built for safe storage of about 40,000 Kilo Litres of crude oil, and the separation of formation water from wet crude oil. “The Rs 490 crore project will also have a Dehydration unit with an operating capacity of 10,000 Kilo Litres per day,” it said.
The Gas Compressor Station at Makum, Tinsukia will increase the nation’s crude oil production capacity by nearly 16500 Metric Tonne per annum. Built at Rs 132 crore, the station comprises 3 Low-Pressure Booster Compressors and 3 High-Pressure Lifter Compressors.
The Dhemaji Engineering College has been built on 276 bighas of land, at the cost of about Rs 45 crore. It is the seventh Government Engineering College in the state and will offer B.Tech courses in Civil, Mechanical and Computer Science. The Sualkuchi Engineering College, whose foundation stone will be laid, will be built on 116 bighas of land at a cost of about Rs 55 crore.
In West Bengal, Prime Minister will inaugurate the extension of Metro Railway from Noapara to Dakshineswar, and flag off the first service on this stretch.
“This 4.1 km extension has been constructed at a cost of Rs 464 crore, fully funded by the central government. It will decongest road traffic and improve urban mobility. This extension will ease out access to the two world-famous Kali Temples at Kalighat and Dakshineswar, for lakhs of tourists and devotees. The two newly built stations namely Baranagar and Dakshineswar have modern passenger amenities and are also aesthetically designed and decorated with murals, photographs, sculptures and idols,” the PMO statement said.
Prime Minister will also inaugurate the third line between Kalaikunda and Jhargram over a stretch of 30 km of the 132 km long Kharagpur-Adityapur Third Line Project of South Eastern Railway, which was sanctioned with an estimated cost of Rs 1,312 crore.
“The four stations between Kalaikunda and Jhargram have been redeveloped by constructing four new station buildings, six new foot over bridges and 11 new platforms, along with the renovation of the existing infrastructure. It will help ensure seamless movement of passenger and freight trains on the Howrah-Mumbai Trunk route,” the release stated.
Prime Minister will dedicate to the nation the doubling of Azimganj to Khargraghat Road section, which is a part of Howrah – Bandel – Azimganj section of Eastern Railway, which has been laid at a project cost of about Rs 240 crore.
Moreover, PM Modi will also dedicate to the nation the fourth line between Dankuni and Baruipara (11.28 kms) of Howrah – Bardhaman Chord Line and the third line between Rasulpur and Magra (42.42 kms) of Howrah – Bardhaman Main Line, which serves as principal gateway of Kolkata. The third line between Rasulpur and Magra has been laid at a cost of Rs 759 crore, while the fourth line between Dankuni and Baruipara has been laid at a project cost of Rs 195 crore.
These projects will ensure better operational fluidity, less journey time and enhanced safety of train operations, as well as boost the overall economic growth of the region.
On January 23, Prime Minister visited Assam and West Bengal and dedicated many development projects to the nation. (ANI)

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Nandikanti Sridhar appointed as Medchal – Malkajgiri District Congress chief

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New Delhi [India], March 4 (ANI): Congress leader Nandikanti Sridhar has been appointed as the president of Medchal – Malkajgiri District Congress Committee in Telangana on Thursday.
“Congress President has approved the proposal of the appointment of Nandikanti Sridhar as the president of Medchal – Malkajgiri District Congress Committee in Telangana with immediate effect,” read an official release issued by All India Congress Committee (AICC). (ANI)

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Odisha govt signs deal with ArcelorMittal to set up steel complex at Kendrapara

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Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India], March 4 (ANI): The Odisha government and ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel India Limited signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for setting up an Integrated Steel Complex in Kendrapara District.
As per an official release, this project will entail an investment of more than Rs 50,000 crore.
The MoU was signed in the presence of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and L N Mittal, Chairman of the Mittal Group.
Speaking on the occasion, Patnaik said Kendrapara was the ‘Karmabhumi’ of his father Biju Patnaik and the latter loved the place and its people from the core of his heart.
“Kendrapara provides ideal prospects for an Integrated Steel Complex and the state government will provide all the required support and facilitation for the setting up of this mega project. Odisha has successfully emerged and the most attractive investment destination in the country today because of its forward-looking industrial policy, facilitation mechanism, and robust infrastructure growth,” said the Chief Minister.
Mittal said he was happy to partner with the Odisha government in setting up this integrated steel complex at Kendrapara, which is in addition to the other investments of ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel in Odisha including the 6 MTPA pelletization plant in Paradeep which will be expanded to 12 MTPA and the beneficiation complex in Keonjhar and slurry pipeline which are already operational.
He further mentioned that he was amazed at the speed of work by the Government of Odisha, which he said was the best he has experienced in his world-wide business experience.
He reiterated that ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel is committed to partner with the Odisha government in the industrial growth journey of the state. (ANI)

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Congress to move no-confidence motion against BJP-JJP govt in Haryana tomorrow

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Chandigarh (Punjab) [India], March 4 (ANI): Congress will give a no-confidence motion to the Speaker against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) government in Haryana on Friday, said former Chief Minister and Leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Thursday.
Addressing the press conference, the Congress leader said that his party also plans to bring many “Adjournment” and “Calling Attention” motions to draw the attention of the government to the multitude of problems faced by the people of the state.
A day before the budget session of the Legislative Assembly, Hooda said the people of the state face a multitude of problems and the Opposition will raise these effectively in the ensuing session.
“The Congress is going to bring no-confidence motion, Minimum Support Price (MSP) guarantee bill, many adjournments and calling attention motion against the government. We will seek answers on issues such as farmers’ neglect, rising unemployment, changes in domicile regulations, rising crime, paper leaks, liquor and registry scams,” he said.
Hooda said the Congress will give a no-confidence motion to the Speaker tomorrow and he would then decide when the House will discuss the motion and vote on it.
“The opposition demands that all issues related to public interest must be discussed during the session and all the MLAs should get full time to highlight these issues,” he said.
“The BJP-JJP coalition government, which has failed on every front, will have to respond to all the scams like liquor, registry, recruitment, paper leak, mining in the house. The Congress will expose how the government is constantly ignoring the farmer movement and persecuting the farmers. A private member bill will be brought to amend the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) Act to provide MSP rights to farmers,” the former Chief Minister added.
The Leader of Opposition said that the slogan of 75 per cent reservation in private jobs was the biggest fraud with the youth of Haryana because, in Section-5 of this law, the government has already given a bypass to the job seekers. “Section 5 provides that any industry can avoid giving reservation to local youth by pretending that special abilities and competencies are needed,” he said.
“Even before the enactment of this law, the coalition government had brought changes to the altering the Haryana domicile rules which would deny the rights of the youth of the state. According to the new rules, now a person from any state can easily get Haryana domicile. On the basis of this, people of other states can get not only reserved 75 per cent private jobs but also government jobs reserved for SC and BC category,” Hooda stated.
“If the government does not change the domicile rules, youth from SC and BC sections in the state will find it difficult to get jobs. Just as the general category from other states were preferred over youths from Haryana in SDO recruitment, young local residents from SC and BC category would face a similar fate after the change in domicile rules,” he added.
Taking a dig at the government, Hooda stated that the government is busy playing with the rights of every section of the society. “This government neither the farmer is getting a fair price for their crops, the youth are not getting employment, workers are not getting work and government employees are not getting respect from those in power,” he said.
Responding to the question of increasing debt on the state, the Leader of Opposition said the total debt on the Haryana from the day the state was formed to the day when then the BJP took office six years ago was Rs 60,000 crore.
“In the six years of the BJP government, this debt has increased to Rs 2.25 lakh crore. Despite this, the Chief Minister is not telling the public the exact figure of the debt on the state. They are misleading by adding the amount of ‘Uday’ to the state’s debt,” he added. (ANI)

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RailTel launches prepaid plans for Wi-Fi at more than 4000 railway stations

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New Delhi [India], March 4 (ANI): RailTel has launched prepaid plans for its Railwire Wi-Fi at 4000 plus railway stations across the country.
“RailTel has launched prepaid plans for its Railwire Wi-Fi at 4000 plus Railway stations across India. Going forward, a passenger can use 30 minutes free wi-fi per day at 1 mbps speed at these 4000 plus railway stations. For using the Wi-Fi facility at a higher speed of upto 34 mbps, the user needs to choose a plan with a higher speed by paying a nominal fee,” read a press statement by the Indian Railways on Thursday.
The plans have been designed to offer flexible choices to users as per their needs. A number of payment options like net banking, wallet, credit card can be used to purchase plans online.
With a vision of turning railway stations into a platform for digital inclusion, RailTel Corporation of India Limited (RailTel), a Mini Ratna (Category – I) Central Public Sector Enterprise, under the Ministry of Railways, has started providing high-speed Wi-Fi service at railway stations.
The Wi-Fi service is currently available at 5950 plus stations across the country and Wi-Fi at the station premises is accessible to anyone with a smartphone and an active connection (post verification through OTP sent via SMS).
During pre-COVID time, more than 2.9 crore people were using the service monthly. Once the situation normalizes and footfall at stations becomes regular, a revenue of Rs 10-15 crore annually is expected from the paid Wi-Fi.
Talking about the plan launch, Puneet Chawla, CMD RailTel said, “We did a detailed trial run of Prepaid WiFi at 20 Stations in Uttar Pradesh and based on the response and detailed testing, we launched this plan at 4000 plus more stations across India. We intend to launch the prepaid plans for all the stations with our RailWire Wi-Fi this financial year”. (ANI)

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Kerala Assembly polls: 4 Congress leaders resign from Wayanad citing negligence of leadership

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Wayanad (Kerala) [India], March 4 (ANI): Ahead of the assembly polls in Kerala, four Congress Party leaders have resigned from the Congress party within the last four days alleging negligence of Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) leadership in the state.
Former KPCC Member KK Vishwanathan, KPCC Secretary M S Vishwanathan, District Congress Committee General Secretary P K Anil Kumar and Mahila Congress leader Sujaya Venugopal have resigned from the party, informed sources.
KK Vishwanathan alleged that the party is being led by only a ‘three men team’ in Wayanad. M S Vishwanathan said that he is resigning from the party as he believes that the Congress leadership in the Wayanad district has failed. P K Anil Kumar has joined Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD).
As of now, KPCC has appointed senior leaders including K Sudhakaran MP to settle the issue. K Sudhakaran will discuss with the leaders who have resigned.
Sources told ANI that many leaders are unhappy with the ongoing candidate selection discussions. The resignation of four leaders from Wayanad where Rahul Gandhi holds parliament constituency has put the Congress leadership in trouble.
The election for 140-member Kerala Assembly in 14 districts will be held in a single phase on April 6.
The tenure of the 14th Kerala legislative assembly will come to an end on June 1, 2021. A total of 2,67,88,268 electors will elect the candidates in Kerala for the 15th legislative assembly.
For Assembly poll 2021, the number of polling booths in Kerala has been extended from 21,498 to 40,771. The counting of votes will be held on May 2. (ANI)

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Combined Commanders’ Conference commences in Gujarat’s Kevadia

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Kevadia (Gujarat) [India], March 4 (ANI): The Combined Commanders’ Conference (CCC), a premier brain-storming event of the Military Commanders from the three Services commenced at Kevadia in Gujarat on Thursday, said the Ministry of Defence.
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.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will join the military commanders along with the team of Secretary level officers from the Ministry of Defence for deliberations from day two of the conference, the ministry informed.
It further stated that 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.
As per the Defence Ministry, the key events encapsulate series of discussions and deliberations on a range of issues pertinent to the Armed Forces and its role in nation building, with the participation of senior most political and bureaucratic hierarchy in addition to the multi-layered participation of military personnel.

It is interesting to note that the CCC in 2014 was held at Delhi. Since then it has been moved out to different venues across the country. The conference was held on board INS Vikramaditya in 2015 and in 2017 at the Indian Military Academy at Dehradun.
The last edition of CCC was held in 2018 over a period of two days at Air Force Station, Jodhpur. There have been several major developments in the Higher Defence Organisation since including appointment of first ever Chief of Defence Staff and setting up of the Department of Military Affairs (DMA), and several important and multifarious issues affecting modernisation and transformation of the Armed Forces are currently under active consideration/ implementation. (ANI)

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