President Ram Nath Kovind denounced the violence which erupted during the farmers’ rally on Republic Day and termed it “unfortunate” while addressing both the houses of Parliament on Friday. He also defended the Centre’s three farm laws.
“The insult of a holy day like the Republic Day and the tricolour is very unfortunate. The Constitution gives us the right to freedom of expression and the same Constitution teaches us that law and rules should be followed equally seriously. My government wants to make it clear that before the three new agricultural laws were enacted, there was no reduction in the rights and facilities which were under the old system. Rather, through these agricultural reforms, the government has given new rights to farmers,” said the President.
He said the Centre was working constantly to remove misconceptions related to the farm laws. “After extensive deliberations, Parliament had passed the three important farm laws seven months ago.”
He added, “The need of the hour is that special attention should be paid to small and marginal farmers, who have only one or two hectares of land in the agricultural sector. More than 80% of the farmers in the country numbering over 10 crore fall under this category. My government accords priority to these small and marginal farmers too. In order to provide expenditure support to these farmers, almost Rs 1,13,000 crore have been directly transferred to their bank accounts under Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi.”
President Kovind also lauded the Central government for its “timely decision”, during the Covid-19 pandemic, “that saved the lives of lakhs of citizens” and pointed out that the number of new coronavirus cases was going down rapidly in the country. “I am satisfied that the timely decision taken by my government saved the lives of lakhs of citizens. Today the number of new Covid cases is going down rapidly. The number of recoveries is very high,” he added.
Commenting upon the vaccination drive against Covid-19, President Kovind said, “It is a matter of pride that India is running the biggest vaccination programme in the world. Both vaccines of this programme are made in India. In this crisis, India shouldered its responsibility towards mankind and provided lakhs of doses of vaccines to several nations.”
Meanwhile, 19 Opposition parties led by the Congress boycotted the President’s address to express solidarity with the protesting farmers. During the address, Congress MP Ravneet Singh Bittu constantly raised slogans demanding the repeal of the farm laws.
The speech of the President also highlighted the government›s plan and policy vision for the next financial year and some of the work carried out by the government in the past. “For modernizing the country›s infrastructure, my government is also working on the ‘National Infrastructure Pipeline’ worth over Rs 110 lakh crore. Along with this, work on six new expressways and 18 new access-controlled corridors under the ‘Bharatmala Pariyojana’ is in progress,” he said. “Under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, construction of 6.42 lakh km of road network has been completed in rural areas of the country,” he said further. He also spoke of setting up infrastructure for animal husbandry and encouraging investment in the dairy sector.
The President also spoke about the changes in the National Education Policy and highlighted how more than 3 crore 20 lakh students are benefitting from various scholarship schemes of the government. He further mentioned developing modern technology in India and easier access to it for every Indian.
President Kovind also paid his tribute to former President Pranab Mukherjee, six Members of Parliament and other countrymen who lost their lives due to the coronavirus. “Our country has faced every crisis with fortitude, be it the coronavirus pandemic, floods, earthquakes or major cyclones in several states, locust attacks or the bird flu. The nation stood together, battled crises on multiple fronts and surmounted every challenge. During this period, we all have also witnessed the unparalleled courage, endurance, discipline and spirit of service of our countrymen. In this fight against the pandemic, we have also suffered the untimely loss of life of a number of our countrymen,” he said.
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PM Modi pays tribute to Sant Ravidas on birth anniversary
New Delhi [India], February 26 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tribute to the mystic poet, Sant Ravidas on the occasion of his birth anniversary, also known as Ravidas Jayanti, on Saturday.
Taking to Twitter, the Prime Minister said, ” Saint Ravidasji gave messages on equality, goodwill and compassion centuries ago, which has inspired the countrymen for ages. I pay tribute to him on his birth anniversary.”
Sant Ravidas belonged to the bhakti movement during the 15th to 16th century and his hymns are included in the Guru Granth Sahib. He is considered the founder of the 21st-century Ravidassia religion.
Ravidas Jayanti is celebrated on Magh Purnima, which is the full moon day of the Magh month as per the Hindu calendar. (ANI)
Need for maintaining caution to overcome pandemic: Home Secretary to states, UTs
New Delhi [India], February 27 (ANI): After extending COVID-19 guidelines till March 31, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla on Friday wrote to all states and Union Territories and said there is a need for maintaining caution and strict surveillance to fully overcome the pandemic.
Urging the officials to ensure the compliance of the guidelines, Bhalla said, “All activities have been permitted, subject to following the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), issued by respective administrative Ministry and Department as well as the SOPs which are to be issued by the States and UTs.”
He further reiterated that there shall be no restriction on inter-State and intra-State movement of persons and goods including those for cross land-border trade under Treaties with neighbouring countries.
“As you are aware, the number of active and new cases in the country has substantially declined over the last few months. However, there is need for maintaining caution and strict surveillance so as to fully overcome the pandemic,” the official added. (ANI)
Jharkhand budget to be presented on March 3
Ranchi (Jharkhand) [India], February 27 (ANI): The Budget session of the Jharkhand assembly started on Friday with an inaugural address by Governor Draupadi Murmu.
The session will continue till March 23 and the budget will be presented on March 3.
The Opposition in the state blamed that the government has made lots of false promises. The ruling party claimed that the budget is progressive and pro-people.
Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren claimed that this budget is realistic and opposition should realise this. (ANI)
Four arrested for killing transgender in Mumbai
Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], February 27 (ANI): Four people have been arrested for the brutal murder of a transgender in Mumbai, Vishal Thakur, Deputy Commissioner of Police Zone-11, informed on Friday.
The transgender was stabbed to death with a sharp-edged weapon in the Goregaon west area on Thursday and a case has been registered at the Bangur Nagar Police Station.
“A transgender person was brutally murdered on February 24 on the side of the road. Police personnel immediately reached the scene and took the body to the hospital. Post mortem revealed that the transgender was stabbed with a hammer or a sharp object,” Thakur told reporters.
“We arrested four persons who later confessed to the crime. It was revealed that they had tried killing the victim three to four times earlier over personal enmity but did not succeed. A case has been registered against them,” he added.
The culprits were arrested from the Palghar district and worked as daily wage labourers, the DCP added. (ANI)
Fire breaks out at factory in Delhi’s Pratap Nagar
New Delhi [India], February 27 (ANI): Fire broke out at a factory in the Pratap Nagar area of Delhi on Saturday morning.
Fire tenders reached the spot and fire fighting operations are underway.
More details are awaited. (ANI)
PM Modi to inaugurate India Toy Fair today
New Delhi [India], February 27 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the India Toy Fair 2021 on Saturday at 11 AM via video conferencing.
“Toys play a significant part in the development of a child’s mind and also help improve psychomotor and cognitive skills in children. In his Mann ki Baat address in August 2020, the Prime Minister had said that toys not only augment activity, but also give flight to aspirations,” read the press release by Prime Minister’s Office.
Noting the importance of toys in the holistic development of a child, the Prime Minister has earlier also emphasized boosting toy manufacturing in India. The India Toy Fair 2021 is being organized in line with this vision of the Prime Minister.
The Fair will be held from February 27 to March 2, 2021. It aims to bring together all stakeholders including buyers, sellers, students, teachers, designers etc. on a virtual platform to create sustainable linkages and encourage dialogue for the overall development of the industry.
Through this platform, the Government and the Industry shall come together to discuss how India can be made the next global hub for manufacturing and sourcing of toys by way of attracting investments in the sector and promoting exports.
Over 1000 exhibitors from across 30 States and Union Territories will display their products in e-commerce enabled virtual exhibition. It will showcase traditional Indian toys as well as modern toys including electronic toys, plush toys, puzzles and games.
The fair will also host numerous webinars and panel discussions with eminent Indian and international speakers with proven capabilities in toy design and manufacturing. For children, it is an opportunity to participate in a plethora of activities, including craft demonstrations on traditional toy-making and virtual visits to toy museums and factories. (ANI)
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