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US Senate slams China over aggression at LAC

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The global community continues to slam China over its aggression against India on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh. A bipartisan US Senate resolution has condemned the Dragon’s use of military force to change the status quo at the LAC with India.

What is also of importance is that the resolution has called for a diplomatic solution to the issue. This is a massive setback to China whose People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops are refusing to budge from their positions along LAC leading to an over month-long military stand-off with India.

The US Senate rebuke of China has come as a shot in the arm of the Indian diplomatic team which is trying to ensure that the issue of China’s expansionism along LAC figures also in the upcoming G-7 Summit. According to sources, India has launched hectic diplomatic lobbying to ensure that China is grilled in this elite group of seven top industrialized nations. Significantly, President Donald Trump has extended an invitation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to participate in the summit. China’s Xi Jinping will skip the summit given the growing tensions between Beijing and Washington.

And, this will be an opportune moment for India to push its agenda, says an official working closely with the US diplomats on this summit. The date of the G-7 annual summit is yet to be fixed. However, PM Modi is learnt to have asked EAM S. Jaishankar to prepare the ground for taking up the misdeeds of China at that forum.

 MEA officials believe that the US Senate resolution condemning Chinese behaviour along LAC, and similar other global developments on the same line in future will together be of a great help to India before the G-7 summit. That will help MEA prepare the ground to get China cornered on this elite forum. An atmosphere against China is building up in America, and the Senate resolution bears testimony to the same, says a diplomat.

The resolution, introduced by senators John Cornyn and Mark Warner, commended India for taking steps to secure its telecommunications infrastructure from Chinese security threats and also supported bilateral and multilateral partnerships, such as the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QSD), to promote a rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific. The QSD, also known as the Quad, is an informal strategic forum between the US, Japan, Australia and India. The diplomatic and military arrangement is widely viewed as a response to increased Chinese economic and military power in the Indo-Pacific region.

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HARYANA AND HIMACHAL TO CONSTRUCT RS 215.33 CR ADI BADRI

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An MoU has been signed between the governments of Haryana and Himachal Pradesh for the construction of the Adi Badri Dam. Regarding this, Chief Minister Manohar Lal said this Saraswati river will be rejuvenated with the construction of the Adi Badri Dam. From time immemorial, religious beliefs will also be revived with the rejuvenation of the Saraswati river, along with this the area will also develop as a pilgrimage site.

It is pertinent to mention that Haryana government has notified an area of 200 km from Adi Badri to Ghaggar river via Kaithal for Saraswati river. A mention of the same can also be found in the revenue records.

While speaking at the MoU signing ceremony held for the construction of Dam at Adibadri in the presence of Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister, Jai Ram Thakur at PWD Rest House, Panchkula on Friday.

It is worth stating that the dam would be built on 31.66-hectares of land in the Himachal Pradesh region and an amount of Rs 215.33 crore would be spent for the same. It will store 224.58-hectare meters of water every year, of which Himachal Pradesh will get 61.88-hectare meters of water and Haryana will get the remaining 162-hectare meters of water. This water will flow into the Saraswati river. The width of this dam will be 101.06 meters and the height will be 20.5 meters. Around 20 cusecs of water from the dam will flow into the Saraswati river throughout the year, added Lal.

He further said that with the construction of Adi Badri Dam, the area around it would also develop as a pilgrimage. He said that the area from Kalka to Kalesar is very important from the tourism point of view. Many religious and tourist places come in this area including Adi Badri, Lohagarh, Kapal Mochan, Mata Mantra Devi. With the development of the Lake along with the dam, many tourists will come here, which will benefit both the states. Besides, several projects would be worked out in collaboration with Himachal Pradesh, including the construction of a dam at the Hathnikund barrage. Along with generating electricity from this dam, the continuous flow of clean water will also become possible in the Yamuna river. In this dam, the water flowing from the mountains to the Hathnikund barrage will be stored, so that the crops will also be saved from flood-like situations. NOC has been sought for this dam, survey work will start soon, added Lal.

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SOURCE CLAIMS MAMATA BANERJEE REACHED OUT TO SONIA GANDHI FOR ALLIANCE IN GOA ELECTIONS

Arup Kali

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The Trinamool Congress has made no mistake in trying to sideline the Congress in the opposition alliance. TMC all-India General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee made such a demand while sitting in Goa on Thursday. In the meantime, there is a lot of speculation about one more piece of information. According to sources, TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee herself had offered to join hands with the Congress in the new year, forgetting everything old. Mamata gave the proposal to Congress president Sonia Gandhi. According to the source, Sonia did not show much interest in Mamata’s message. However, neither TMC nor Congress has commented on the matter. However, Congress claims that the TMC wants to increase its power by demolishing their houses in the states.

According to the source, Mamata recently sent an SMS to Sonia. The TMC leader also gave a message to move forward in the new year, just as the issue of deteriorating relations between the two parties has come up in the run-up to the 2021 elections. Sources claim that Mamata sent a message to Sonia, target 2024, this is the ideal time to devise a strategy to defeat the BJP. According to the same source, in this message, the Congress president said that the Congress high command is not thinking about this right now. It has also been said that Rahul Gandhi has also indicated that he is reluctant to go with the TMC.

According to the source, the Congress leadership feels that it is not possible at all to join hands with those who want to break up their leaders and increase organisations in different states. The leadership of those states also has objections to this. That picture has been seen in Meghalaya, Tripura, and Goa. On the other hand, the way the TMC has been vocal about the ‘failure’ of Rahul or the Congress in the party mouthpieces or in public meetings, it is not possible to sit in line with the TMC.

On Thursday, Abhishek said in Goa, “We want to fight together to defeat the BJP. Other parties are busy sharing the vote. P. Chidambaram of Congress said the TMC had not made any concrete offer. However, TMC all-India vice-president Pawan Burma went to his house on 24 December at 1.30 pm with a proposal to fight in a Congress-TMC alliance. But there was no response from Chidambaram.” Sitting in Goa on Friday, Pawan made the same demand. He said, “On the 24th, I went to meet Chidambaram. What is the situation in Goa, how can we fight against BJP, and make them lose together? I sat for an hour with a concrete plan.”

On Friday, TMC spokesperson Kunal Ghosh tweeted, “TMC’s policy towards the Congress is clear. There is no dilemma anywhere. The TMC leader herself has asked the Congress president to be the steering committee of the alternative alliance, the basis of the joint program. Repeatedly said. Still saying. But Congress did not respond.”

However, Adhir Chowdhury, president of West Bengal Congress said, “If you had goodwill, why didn’t you talk of a compromise with the Congress before the election. Today, when the situation is reversed, there is no place under the feet of the TMC, when the land under the feet of the TMC is being washed away from Goa in the waters of the Arabian Sea, they feel that the blame for the early defeat is on the shoulders of the Congress.”

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CONGRESS LOOKING FOR A NEW POLITICAL SPACE IN UP

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The much-touted UP elections have tendered political parties to make instant changes with their strategies and called for stronger manifestos to compete with the parallel political parties, in order to attract the voters of different interests. Prior to the high-octane electoral battle starting next month, the Congress party on Friday released its manifesto for UP elections targetting “women and youth”, an effort to carve a new political space amongst the two dominant parties, BJP and SP, in the state.

“The vision that was committed by the BJP has failed now. If you look at India and want to propose a new vision to India, you have to start in Uttar Pradesh, every state is important but Uttar Pradesh carries weight like no other state occupies. So we are proposing a new way of doing things for Uttar Pradesh,” Rahul Gandhi said in a joint press conference with Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.

The manifesto, Rahul said, “is not hollow words but we have a strategy to implement what has been drafted after consulting youth whose views are reflected in the manifesto.”

In her remarks, party leader Priyanka said that the party is focusing on development and not on caste-based propaganda politics. This comes amidst the caste-based formation of the two big political parties (BJP and SP), who are the main claimants of the UP’s political win.

To be more clear, SP supremo Akhilesh Yadav adequately ventured to woo Dalit voters in recent times and his latest gain has been Swami Prasad Maurya, who was poached by him in the heat of elections. BJP responded to that by inducting Akhilesh’s sister-in-law in an attempt to gain the votes from the Yadav community.

A Congress functionary who handles the digital marketing campaign for the party in UP said that the party is getting huge responses from people as compared to recent elections. He added, “Priyanka is creating an appeal among women which will change the electoral dynamics of the state politics, we are expecting around 40 seats this time, we will be the kingmakers in UP.”

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PM Modi to interact with Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar awardees on 24 Jan

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will interact with Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar (PMRBP) awardees on 24 January 2022, via video conferencing. Union Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Zubin Irani and Minister of State Munjpara Mahendrabhai will also be present on the occasion.

The event will be a webcast on https://pmindiawebcast.nic.in from 11:30 am onwards, said a press release by the Ministry of Women and Child Development. Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar is given as recognition to children residing in India, above the age of 5 years and not exceeding 18 years (as on 31 August of respective year) with exceptional abilities and outstanding achievement in six fields of Innovation, Scholastic achievements, Sports, Arts & Culture, Social Service and Bravery, which deserve recognition. Each awardee is given a medal, a cash prize of Rs 1,00,000 and a certificate, added the press release.

These awards are conferred by President Ram Nath Kovind in a ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhawan. The Prime Minister also interacts with these awardees every year. The awardees of PMRBP also take part in the Republic Day parade every year, as per the statement.

However, in view of the Covid-19 situation in the country, it has not been possible to organise the award ceremony in New Delhi this year. On the occasion of National Girl Child Day on 24 January and as part of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, Prime Minister Narendra Modi would interact virtually with the winners of PMRBP-2022, according to the statement.

The children along with their parents and concerned District Magistrate of their respective district would join the event from their district Head Quarters.

During the function, the Prime Minister would give digital certificates to winners of PMRBP 2022 using Blockchain Technology. The certificates would also be given to winners of PMRBP-2021, who could not be given the certificates last year due to the Covid situation. Blockchain Technology is being used for the first time for giving certificates to awardees of PMRBP.

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BASIC INCOME TAX EXEMPTION LIMIT OF RS 2.5 LAKH MAY BE RAISED IN BUDGET

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NEW DELHI: Basic income tax exemption limit, which currently stands at Rs 2.5 lakh, is likely to be raise in the Union Budget 2022-23, according to a pre-budget survey conducted by KPMG.

“On the individual tax front, most respondents i.e. 64 per cent expect an enhancement in the basic income tax exemption limit of Rs 2.5 lakh,” KPMG said in the survey report. When asked about the most anticipated change for individual taxpayers, 29 per cent wanted that the government to enhance the income limit of Rs 10 lakh at which the maximum marginal rate of 30 per cent tax is triggered, while 36 per cent hoped for an increase in the 80C deduction limit of Rs 1.5 lakh.

A small number of respondents i.e. 19 per cent are expecting an increase in standard deduction limit of Rs 50,000 for the salaried class, while 16 per cent expect tax-free allowances/ perquisites for salaried individuals keeping in mind work from home arrangement – provision of internet connection/ furniture/ ear-phones, etc.

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SC refuses to censor Kangana’s social media posts

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The Supreme Court on Friday refused to entertain a plea filed against actor Kangana Ranaut seeking censoring of all her future social media posts in order to maintain law and order in the country.

A Bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud declined to pass an order on the plea. The plea was filed by advocate Charanjeet Singh Chanderpal who also sought direction to transfer all FIRs against the actor across India to Khar police station in Mumbai, and a charge sheet should be filed in a period of six months along with an expeditious trial within a period of two years.

The advocate said that Ranaut’s remarks and posts on social media “are not only outrageous and blasphemous but also intend to cause riots”.

“The remarks are not only outrageous and blasphemous but also intend to cause riots, hurt religious sentiments, they are defamatory as well as portray Sikhs in a totally anti-National manner. It also justifies the innocent killing of Sikhs. The remarks are totally against the unity of our country and the actress deserves a serious punishment in law. They cannot be brushed aside or excused,” the plea read.

The plea filed through advocate Anil Kumar stated that the Union Home Ministry and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India should be directed by the Court to take certain prohibitions and preventive measures regarding social media posts of Ranaut.

None of her posts on social media should be allowed without amendment, deletion, modification or censoring in order to maintain law and order in the Country, advocate Chanderpal stated in the plea.

In terms of the recent comments made by Ranaut regarding farmers’ agitation vis a vis its irrelevant reference as a ‘Khalistani Arm twisting tactic’, all complaints received and FIRs registered all over India may be sent to the Khar Police Station at Mumbai, it added.

Referring to Ranaut’s social media posts, the plea said that her posts infer that all Sikh farmers are separatist and are aspirants of a separatist state of Khalistan and that the farmer issue was nothing but a Khalistan versus State.

“Such kind of irresponsible statements can spread hatred amongst the Indians resulting in the disunity of the Country,” plea further stated.

“Khalistan issue not at all related to the farmer’s issue and racking up this issue in association with an unrelated topic is only intended to not only gain cheap publicity but also to misrepresent a good number of Sikh Farmer as separatist Khalistani,” said the advocate.

It also stated, “The farmers who had objected to the three Farm Laws and the farmer policy were from all faiths, various states of India and not only from Punjab or only from the Sikh Community.”

Ranaut further attacked directly on the worshipers of the Sikh faith by saying that the Sikh must acknowledge Indira Gandhi as their Guru, lawyer added.

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