Narendra Modi

PM Modi invites Nordic companies to invest in Sagarmala project

Copenhagen [Denmark]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday invited Nordic companies to invest in the Blue Economy sector, including the Sagarmala project and asked the sovereign wealth funds of the Nordic countries to invest in India.

As a part of Sagarmala Programme, more than 800 projects at an estimated cost of around Rs 5.48 lakh crore have been identified for implementation.
Sagarmala projects include projects from various categories such as modernisation of existing ports and terminals, new ports, terminals, inland waterways, lighthouse tourism and skill development, etc.

PM Modi made this pitch at the 2nd India-Nordic Summit. This summit saw the participation of Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen of Denmark, Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir of Iceland, Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store of Norway, Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson of Sweden and Prime Minister Sanna Marin of Finland.

PM Modi and his counterparts from Nordic countries agreed to work together to fight and address climate change and protect the natural environment in accordance with the Paris Agreement.

The Summit provided an opportunity to review the progress of the India-Nordic relations since the 1st India-Nordic Summit, which was held in 2018 in Stockholm.

“Discussions were held on multilateral cooperation in post-pandemic economic recovery, climate change, sustainable development, innovation, digitalization, and green and clean growth. Discussions were also held on cooperation in maritime sector with a focus on sustainable ocean management. Prime Minister invited Nordic companies for investing in the Blue Economy sector, especially in India’s Sagarmala project,” the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a press release.

The Prime Ministers agreed to work together to fight and address climate change and to protect the natural environment in accordance with the Paris Agreement, according to a joint statement.

The Summit noted that the acceleration of the global green transition to combat climate change is one of the greatest and most imminent global challenges.

“At the same time, successful transition to sustainable economy offers huge opportunities including new jobs. The need for setting ambitious goals for reducing emissions and concrete implementation plans was underlined, which will facilitate business actors’ contribution to accelerating the transition,” the JOINT statement read.

The Prime Ministers welcomed the international agreement at COP26 on the need for accelerated climate action for holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 degree above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degree above pre-industrial level.

According to the statement, India and the Nordic countries are committed to ambitious cooperation on renewable energy, energy diversification, smart grids and energy efficiency.

The leaders furthermore discussed collaboration on environmental sustainability including clean water, clean air and circular economy, which is critically important, not only to maintain and support biodiversity, water and wildlife, but also as a basis for food security, human health and prosperity.

The statement said that India and Nordic countries are also committed to adopting the ambitious Post 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework in the upcoming 2nd Part of COP15 of Convention on Biological Diversity to be held at Kunming, China and work together in its implementation.

The Prime Ministers agreed that the blue economy can deliver economic growth, new jobs, improved nutrition, and increased food security, if managed sustainably.

“As leading ocean nations, India and the Nordic countries agreed on the benefits of partnering on transforming the shipping industry towards a low carbon future through exchange of good practices and technology transfers,” the statement read. (ANI)

PM Modi Extends His Best Wishes To Falguni Shah For Winning Grammy

New Delhi [India], April 5 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi has extended his best wishes to Indian-American singer Falguni Shah for winning her first-ever Grammy.

“Congratulations to Falguni Shah on winning the award for the Best Children’s Music Album at the Grammys. Wishing her the very best for her future endeavours. @FaluMusic,” Modi tweeted.

Falguni, who uses the stage name “Falu” won the Best Children’s Music Album Grammy for ‘A Colourful World’ on Sunday.

For the unversed, Falguni moved to the US in 2000, toured with her Boston-based husband Gaurav Shah on the fusion band Karyshma (Hindi for Miracle), and released a self-titled solo album in the US in 2007, blending elements of folk from across the south-east Asia with Western music. She has even performed and collaborated with music maestro AR Rahman.

She is the only Indian-origin woman to be nominated in the Best Children’s Music Album category at the Grammys twice.

We’ve set target to build a new India before 100th year of independence: PM Modi

New Delhi [India] (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi after unveiling the hologram statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose at India Gate on Sunday evening, said that the government has a target to build a new India before the 100th year of independence.
“Netaji used to say ‘Never lose faith in the dream of independent India. There is no power in the world that can shake India’,” PM Modi said while addressing the event today. The Prime Minister said, “Today we have a goal to fulfil the dreams of an independent India. We have a target to build a new India before the 100th year of independence, 2047.”
Paying tribute to security personnel who lost their lives while serving the nation, PM Modi stated, “It was my good fortune that our government got the opportunity to declassify files related to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. Today, I pay tribute to all NDRF and SDRF personnel who lost their lives while serving the nation.”
The Prime Minister also advised people to move ahead in their lives by taking inspiration from the ‘Can Do, Will Do’ spirit of Netaji as he refused to bow before the British.
“Nothing could stop Netaji if he intended to do something. We also need to move further in our lives by taking inspiration from his ‘Can Do, Will Do’ spirit,” he said.
PM Modi shared his experience of a visit to the ancestral home of freedom fighter Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose in Kolkata.
“It was an honour for me to visit Netaji’s ancestral home last year on his birth anniversary in Kolkata. I cannot explain in words the feeling to see his car in which he left Kolkata, his room where he used to study, etc,” the Prime Minister added.
The freedom struggle involved the sacrifices of many countrymen, but efforts were made not to mention the contribution of all of them in history, he said.
“But today, the country is correcting those mistakes after decades of Independence,” the Prime Minister said.
He said that Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav aims at reviving India’s identity and inspirations.
“It was unfortunate that efforts were made to erase the contribution of many great personalities in India after independence,” PM Modi stated.
Speaking about disaster management in India, the Prime Minister said that for the first time, India has started the tradition of Joint Drill for Disaster Management.
He said that the disaster management was handled by the agricultural department earlier and international agencies hailed the initiatives in the disaster management sector.
“Earlier disaster management was handled by the agricultural department. Our government strengthened NDRF. International agencies hailed our initiatives in the disaster management sector,” the Prime Minister added.
He said that the Central government has laid emphasis on reform as well as an emphasis on relief, rescue and rehabilitation.
“We modernized NDRF, expanded it across the country. Space technology and other best possible practices have also been adopted for planning and management,” PM Modi said.
PM Modi unveiled the hologram statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose at India Gate today on the occasion of his 125th birth anniversary.
He said that the grand statue of Netaji will inspire democratic values and future generations.
The Prime Minister also said that the grand statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose is being installed in digital form near India Gate and soon this hologram statue will be replaced by a big granite statue.
After unveiling the hologram statue, PM Modi also conferred the Subhas Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskars, for the years 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022.
The award is announced every year on January 23. The award carries a cash prize of Rs 51 lakh and a certificate in case of an institution and Rs 5 lakh and a certificate in case of an individual.
Meanwhile, Union Home Minister who was also present on the occasion said that PM Modi has taken a historic decision on Parakram Diwas to honour Netaji’s contribution to India’s freedom struggle.
The statue of Netaji at India Gate is to honour his contribution to India’s freedom struggle, Shah said at the event today.
“This is not just a granite statue but a befitting tribute to the legendary Netaji, who gave up everything for India’s freedom”, he said.
It has been the constant endeavour of the Prime Minister to honour the freedom fighters in a befitting manner and the special focus of these efforts has been on the legendary freedom fighter and visionary leader, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.
Several steps have been taken in this regard, including the announcement that his birth anniversary will be celebrated as Parakram Diwas every year. In this spirit, Republic Day celebrations will begin a day early, from January 23. (Image source: Instagram)

Mumbai residential building fire: PM Modi announces ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh for next of kin of deceased, Rs 50,000 for injured

New Delhi [India] (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each from Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF) to the next of kin of those who lost their lives in the Mumbai residential building fire in Tardeo and Rs 50,000 for those injured.
Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has said that six people died in the fire that broke out inside the 20 storey Kamala building in Mumbai on Saturday morning. The civic body further informed that 16 injured people are admitted to the various hospitals while seven have been treated and discharged. “An ex-gratia of Rs. 2 lakh each from PMNRF would be given to the next of kin of those who have lost their lives due to the building fire in Tardeo, Mumbai. The injured would be given Rs. 50,000 each,” the Prime Minister’s Office tweeted quoting the Prime Minister.
“Saddened by the building fire at Tardeo in Mumbai. Condolences to the bereaved families and prayers with the injured for the speedy recovery,” the PMO tweeted.
A level 3 fire had broken out in the residential building. DCP Saurabh Tripathi had said that 21 fire tenders were rushed to the spot to douse out the fire.
Earlier in the day, Maharashtra Minister Aaditya Thackeray and Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar visited the fire site. (Image source: Instagram)

PM Modi calls for direct, emotional connect between administration, public to ensure better governance

New Delhi [India] (ANI): Recalling NITI Aayog’s ‘Aspirational Districts’ programme that is essentially aimed at localizing sustainable development goals, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday called for direct, emotional connect between administration and public to ensure ‘top to bottom’ as well as ‘bottom to top’ governance flow.
“For development in aspirational districts, a direct connect between the administration and the public, an emotional connection, is very important. A ‘top to bottom’ and ‘bottom to top’ flow of governance is needed. And the important aspect of this campaign is technology and innovation,” said the Prime Minister while interacting with the district magistrates of various districts on the implementation of key government schemes. As per the NITI Aayog bulletin, the Aspirational Districts Programme essentially is aimed at localizing Sustainable Development Goals, leading to the progress of the nation.
Speaking further, PM Modi said, “Convergence has proved to be a major reason for the success of the Aspirational Districts Programme. All resources are same, the government machinery is same, officials are same but the result is different.”
The Prime Minister also said, “On the one hand, earlier, the budget kept increasing, plans kept on making, economic development also kept happening in the figures, but even after 75 years of independence, many districts in the country remained behind. Over time these districts were tagged with backward districts.”
“But, times are changing now,” he added.
The Prime Minister took direct feedback about the progress and present status of implementation of government schemes and programmes in the districts. It is aimed at achieving saturation of various schemes by various departments in the districts in mission mode, in convergence with all stakeholders.
Under the leadership of PM Modi, the Government has continuously taken several steps to overcome the asymmetry in growth and development across the country. This is in line with the commitment of the Government towards raising the living standards of all citizens and ensuring inclusive growth for all. (Image source: Instagram)

Our progress lies in progress of nation, says PM Modi

New Delhi [India] (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that the progress of the people lies in the progress of the nation itself.
“Today crores of Indians are putting the foundation stone of Swarnim Bharat. Our dreams and the country’s dreams are not different. Our personal and country’s achievements are not different. Our progress lies in the progress of the nation,” the Prime Minister said while virtually delivering the keynote address at the national launch ceremony of ‘Azadi Ke Amrit Mahotsav se Swarnim Bharat Ke Ore’. Speaking at the event the Prime Minister further said, “The nation exists from us, and we exist from the nation. This realization is becoming the biggest strength of Indians in the making of a new India.”
The Prime Minister also said that with ‘Azadi Ke Amrit Mahotsav Se Swarnim Bharat Ke Ore’, today we are starting a very important event for the country.
The program unveiled yearlong initiatives dedicated to Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav by the Brahma Kumaris, which include more than 30 campaigns and over 15000 programs and events.
During the event, Prime Minister flagged off seven initiatives of Brahma Kumaris. These include My India Healthy India, Aatmanirbhar Bharat: Self Reliant Farmers, Women: Flag Bearers of India, Power of Peace Bus Campaign, Andekha Bharat Cycle Rally, United India Motor Bike Campaign and green initiatives under Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.
Brahma Kumaris is a worldwide spiritual movement dedicated to personal transformation and world renewal. Founded in India in 1937, Brahma Kumaris has spread to over 130 countries. The event is being held on the occasion of the 53rd Ascension Anniversary of Pitashree Prajapita Brahma, Founding Father of Brahma Kumaris. (Image source: Instagram)

PM Modi, Nadda lead BJP’s star campaigners for UP polls; Varun Gandhi, Maneka excluded

New Delhi [India] (ANI): The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday released a list of 30-star campaigners for Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections.
While many star campaigners like Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah are on the list, party MPs and mother-son duo Maneka Gandhi and Varun Gandhi have been excluded from the list. The duo has been victorious multiple times from Sultanpur and Pilibhit. In the recent rejig of the BJP national executive committee, the two were also dropped from that list.
BJP releases a list of 30 leaders who will campaign for the party’s candidates in the first phase of the upcoming Uttar Pradesh election.
The first name on that list includes Prime Minister Narendra Modi followed by party national president JP Nadda. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and BJP candidate from Gorakhpur Yogi Adityanath also features on that list of star campaigners.
Others on that list include Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Home Minister Amit Shah and state president Swatantra Dev Singh.
Union Ministers Dharmendra Pradhan, Smriti Irani, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Dinesh Sharma Keshav Prasad Maurya were also on the list. Sanjeev Balyan and Radha Mohan Singh amongst others were on the list.
Varun Gandhi has taken on Twitter on multiple occasions questioning his party on farmers issue and also the mowing down of farmers by Union MOS Ajay Mishra Teni’s son and subtly blaming his government in the Centre and in the state for not taking action quick enough to arrest Ashish Mishra Teni.
Given the constraints of campaigning because of the spread of COVID, the BJP is likely to hit the campaign trail in Uttar Pradesh in a phased-out manner doing door-to-door campaigning and from there on doing closed-door meetings which would allow 300 people.
BJP sources told ANI that the top leaders of the party including Home Minister Amit Shah and national president JP Nadda will start touring Uttar Pradesh starting the third week of January.
Uttar Pradesh assembly elections will be held in seven phases from February 10 to March 7. The polling in Uttar Pradesh will be held on February 10, 14, 20, 23, 27 and March 3 and 7. (Image source: Instagram)

Karnataka will play major role in realising PM Modi’s dream of making India USD 5 trillion economy: CM Bommai

Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India] (ANI): Stating that Karnataka through startups would make a significant contribution to the country’s economy, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Sunday said that the state will play a major role in realising Prime Minister Modi’s dream of making India a USD 5 Trillion economy.
The Chief Minister in his online message on the occasion of ‘National Startup Day’ said that the idea of New Karnataka for New India would be made a reality. “Karnataka will play a major role in realising Prime Minister Modi dream of making India a USD 5 Trillion economy. Through startups a New Karnataka would make a significant contribution to the economy of New India,” said Bommai and congratulated the Prime Minister for encouraging the youth to inculcate scientific thinking to face new challenges.
“Karnataka is set to play a big role in the nation’s economy in the future. It is a matter of pride that out of 54,000 Startups in the country 13,000 are in Karnataka. Karnataka government has taken a slew of measures to encourage setting up of Startups,” said the Karnataka Chief Minister.
He further said that guidance and scientific support is being provided by the government, adding that in accordance with the Prime Minister’s wish, Startup Day was celebrated in a meaningful manner in the state.
In the coming days the state government would provide a big boost for startups, innovation, scientific thinking and entrepreneurship, he said.
“Thanks to the long term vision of the Prime Minister, the number of startups which was around 500, has crossed the 54000 mark now. He has given a big push for innovation and startups by setting up a forum to help them and freeing them from the restrictions of the government. The Prime Minister has been the inspiration for the highest growth of startups in the state,” said Bommai.
“Karnataka is in the number one spot in IT BT sector in the country. The first software company in Karnataka was started in 1980. It has seen rapid growth since then and the state has the maximum share in IT BT exports,” he said.
The Chief Minister further said that financial assistance is being provided through programmes like Elevate 100, Elevate Unnati for setting up startups by SC and ST communities. Under the Amrit Startup programme financial help is being provided for 75 startups by OBC and minority community members. Similarly, 25 startups from women are being provided assistance. About Rs 120 crore has been granted for 482 startups in the state, he said.
“State government is mulling to take startups to various districts of the state under its ‘Beyond Bengaluru’ project. A new Research and Development Policy would be unveiled to encourage setting up startups from a small garage to big scientific research and industrial units,” said the Karnataka Chief Minister.
He further said that it has been decided to encourage scientific thinking, innovation and entrepreneurship by including them as subjects in the school syllabus.
“About 150 ITIs have been upgraded. It has been decided to upgrade Diploma colleges. The state government would bring an ambitious programme to lay a strong foundation in schools and colleges for scientific thinking, innovation and entrepreneurship,” he said.
There are over 180 science and research institutions in various fields in Bengaluru. Government is keen to see more startups coming in agriculture, horticulture and sericulture which generate more employment, he added.
Bommai wished more startups to come forward with social responsibility towards education, health, social welfare and women’s empowerment. (Image source: Instagram)

PM Narendra Modi Grieves Death Of Pandit Birju Maharaj

New Delhi [India], January 17 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed anguish over the sudden death of Kathak maestro Pandit Birju Maharaj.

In his tweet, Modi acknowledged Pandit Birju Maharaj’s remarkable contribution to the Indian dance form. “Extremely saddened after learning about the demise of Pandit Birju Maharaj, who gave Indian art a special recognition across the globe. It’s an irreparable loss to the entire art world. My heartfelt condolences to his family and fans. Om Shanti,” he tweeted.

Maharaj-ji, as he was popularly known, died surrounded by his family on Monday after suffering breathlessness. He was 83.

Reportedly, the Kathak exponent had been suffering from a kidney ailment and was under treatment for the past one month.

PM Modi to deliver ‘State of the World’ special address at WEF’s Davos Agenda

New Delhi [India] (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi will deliver the ‘State of the World’ special address at the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Davos Agenda on Monday, said Prime Minister’s Office on Sunday.
PM Modi will address the WEF at 8:30 PM IST via video conference on Tuesday, the office said in a press release. The virtual event will be held from January 17-21. Several heads of state will address the event including Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Chinese President Xi Jinping, and EU Commission’s chief Ursua von der Leyen.
The event will also witness the participation of top industry leaders, international organisations and civil society, who will deliberate on critical challenges being faced by the world today and discuss how to address them. (Image source: Instagram)

COVID vaccination drive added strength to fight against infection, saved lives: PM Modi

New Delhi [India] (ANI): As India marks one year of the COVID vaccination drive on Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the vaccination programme added great strength to the fight against the COVID-19.
The Prime Minister said that the vaccination drive led to saving lives and protecting livelihood. “Today we mark one year of Vaccine Drive. I salute each and every individual who is associated with the vaccination drive. Our vaccination programme has added great strength to the fight against COVID-19. It has led to saving lives and thus protecting livelihoods,” the Prime Minister tweeted.
Earlier in the day, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya had called the COVID vaccination drive the “most successful” in the world.
Taking to Twitter, he wrote, “Today the world’s largest vaccination campaign completes one year. Started under the leadership of PM Narendra Modi, with everyone’s efforts, today, it is the most successful vaccination campaign in the world. I congratulate all the health workers, scientists and countrymen.”
“Due to the unity of people and commitment of PM Modi, India not only manufactured the vaccination against COVID-19 but also vaccinated a large part of the population. The one year of the COVID vaccination drive represents willpower of the country,” Mandaviya tweeted in Hindi.
India’s cumulative COVID-19 vaccination coverage has exceeded 156.76 crore in a span of an year.
India commenced its nationwide COVID vaccination drive on January 16, 2021. Starting initially by inoculating vaccines to healthcare workers, it was then expanded to frontline workers, followed by people above 60 years of age and those above 45 years with comorbidities. Later it was also expanded to all above 45 years of age and then those above 18 years of age.
The vaccination drive for those between the age group 15-18 was started on January 3, 2022 and for administering the precautionary doses to the healthcare workers, frontline workers and sixty plus individuals then commenced on January 10 this year.
As per Union Health Ministry, 1,56,76,15,454 vaccine doses have been administered to eligible beneficiaries, as per provisional reports till 7 am on Sunday. In the last 24 hours, more than 66 lakh vaccine doses were administered. (Image source: Instagram)

India is proud of stellar contribution of Army: PM Modi extends greetings on Army Day

New Delhi [India] (ANI): As India is celebrating Indian Army Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said India is proud of the stellar contribution of the Army in Peacekeeping Missions overseas.
The Prime Minister also highlighted that Indian Army personnel serve in hostile terrains and are at the forefront of helping fellow citizens during a humanitarian crisis. “Indian Army personnel serve in hostile terrains and are at the forefront of helping fellow citizens during humanitarian crisis, including natural disasters. India is proud of the stellar contribution of the Army in Peacekeeping Missions overseas as well,” PM Modi tweeted.
Army Day is observed every year on January 15 to celebrate the first Indian Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army – Field Marshal Kodandera M Cariappa.
The position was taken over on January 15, 1949, from General Sir Francis Butcher, the last British Commander-in-Chief of India. (Image source: Instagram)

Tamil Nadu CM thanks PM Modi for inaugurating 11 medical colleges in state, says M Karunanidhi’s dream come true

Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India] (ANI): Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin on Wednesday thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for virtually inaugurating 11 medical colleges in the state and the new campus of Central Institute of Classical Tamil in Chennai.
Addressing the event today, the Chief Minister said, “I thank PM Modi for participating in this event. This was a dream of former CM M Karunanidhi to bring medical colleges in all the districts of Tamil Nadu.” “Today, Karunanidhi’s dream has come true. I thank the central government for these new colleges,” Stalin said.
Further, Stalin appealed to the central government to give NEET exemption for Tamil Nadu. “I appeal Union government to consider the plea to give the NEET exemption to Tamil Nadu,” he added.
These medical colleges have been inaugurated in districts including Virudhunagar, Namakkal, Nilgiris, Tiruppur, Thiruvallur, Nagapattinam, Dindigul, Kallakurichi, Ariyalur, Ramanathapuram and Krishnagiri.
According to Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), MBBS seats have been increased by 79.60 per cent (from 51,348 seats to 92,222 seats) and the number of PG seats increased by 80.70 per cent (from 31,185 seats to 56,374 seats) during the last seven years.
So, the total medical seats before 2014 were around 82,500. And in the last seven years, a jump of around 80 per cent or 66,000 seats has taken place.
The total number of medical colleges (both government and private) has increased from 387 to 596, a jump of around 54 per cent, the PMO informed. (Image source: Instagram)

PM directs Central Ministries, departments to formulate document for ‘Vision India@2047’ to identify long-term goals

New Delhi [India] (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi has directed all the Central Ministries and Departments to formulate documents for “Vision India@2047” to identify the long-term goals and corresponding outcomes for this decade with timelines and milestones.
In order to suggest the structural and institutional reforms necessary to attain the envisaged “Vision India@2047” on governance, the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG) will convene a meeting with sectoral experts, academics and the scientific community on Saturday. In this regard, Union Minister Jitendra Singh is slated to chair DARPG’s first “Vision India@2047” meeting with Sectoral Experts on governance issues on Saturday, said Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions.
Key issues pertaining to improving efficiency in decision making in the Central Secretariat, reducing pendency, rationalizing working of ministries and departments, ethics, transparency and accountability in public service, creation of effective executive agencies, core principles of reforms in the government, benchmarking governance in states, management practices in 21st-century governance, citizen-centric governance, reforms in state secretariats, district collectorates, use of technology in governance and creation of institutions of excellence would be discussed in the meeting.
Fifteen sector specialists who would be participating in the discussions comprise former Cabinet Secretaries, former Secretaries of Department of Personnel and Training (DOPT), directors of select IITs and IIMs, ASCI and Capacity Building Commission.
Secretary DARPG V Srinivas and Director General IIPA Dr SN Tripathi would be attending the meeting.
“Following the consultative meetings with Sectoral Experts, the DARPG’s Vision India@2047 would be formulated,” the Ministry said. (Image source: Instagram)

Telangana CM requests PM Modi to ensure fertilizers cost maintained at present level

Hyderabad (Telangana) [India] (ANI): Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao on Wednesday requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ensure that the cost of fertilizers maintained at the present level and additional cost, if any, be absorbed by the Centre.
In a letter to Modi, Rao said, “On behalf of crores of farmers, I request Government of India to ensure that the cost of fertilizers is maintained at the present levels and additional cost if any to be absorbed by the Government of India so that farmers are not burdened.” He said that certain decisions taken by the Central Government would adversely affect the farming community in the country, especially Telangana.
The Telangana Chief Minister further reminded that the Central Government in February 2016 promised that it will double the farmer’s income in 6 years by 2022.
“In February 2016, GoI had announced that it will double the farmer’s income in 6 years by 2022. Despite the passage of over 5 years, no specific or structured programme has been initiated towards this direction. Contrary to your policy of doubling of farmer’s income, to the dismay of one and all input costs are doubled in last five years and the income of the farming community is declined, causing distress to farmers,” he said.
He further alleged that the Government of India has turned a blind eye to the increasing prices of fertilizers in the last six years while encouraging states to take up campaigns to reduce Urea and DAP consumption. “It is sad to note that the prices of two most consumed fertilizers 28.28.0 and MoP (Muriate of Potash) have increased by more than 50 per cent and 100 per cent respectively in the last 90 days itself,” Rao further said.
He further said that the fuel consumption in the agriculture sector has increased manifold due to the promotion of farm mechanization by the States.
“Even in the case of petrol/diesel prices, indiscriminate imposition of Cess across the board despite no increase in import price of crude oil has added great distress to the farmers. Due to faulty policies of the Government of India in both the cases of petrol/diesel pricing and fertilizers pricing the farmers are bearing the brunt,” he added.
He pointed out that though Telangana State Legislature passed a unanimous resolution to integrate MGNREGA with agriculture activity so that labour cost, is partially borne by the governments along with farmers, there has been no response from the Central government.
“Similarly, while accepting Prof MS Swaminathan headed National Commission on Farmers’ recommendations to peg Minimum Support Price (MSP) for farm produce at 50 per cent more than the weighted average cost of production, essential costs of farm rentals and cost of fixed capital assets were deliberately excluded while calculating cost of the crop to farmers. Hence the claim that MSP is pegged at 150 per cent of the costs of the crop is misleading,” said the Chief Minister.
Apart from announcing MSP and procuring small quantities of crops, the Government of India has no reliable mechanism of ensuring price guarantees to the farmers for their crops, he said.
Rao further said that it is also noticed that under the guise of pegging FAQ standards at global levels, farmers are denied MSP prices and compelled to sell at lower prices thereby making agriculture non-remunerative
“These policies coupled with the threat of proposed reforms in the agriculture electricity distribution sector by fixing power consumption meters are causing a great deal of anxiety to the hard-working farmers of our country,” he added. (Image source: Instagram)

Omicron spreading rapidly, stay alert, avoid panic: PM Modi on COVID-19 situation

New Delhi [India] (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that Omicron variant of COVID-19 is spreading rapidly as compared to other variants adding that there is a need to stay alert but also ensure that panic is not created.
“Compared to previous variants Omicron is rapidly spreading…it’s more transmissible…Our health experts are assessing the situation. It’s clear that we have to stay alert, but also ensure to avoid panic,” the Prime Minister said during the virtual meeting with Chief Minsters of the states over COVID-19 situation. To contain the spread of the virus, the Prime Minister said the “pre-emptive, pro-active and collective approach” adopted by the central and state governments is the “mantra of victory” this time as well.
India has reported a surge in COVID-19 cases in the recent past.
India on Thursday reported 2,47,417 fresh COVID-19 cases. The new cases reported on Thursday are about 27 per cent higher as compared to yesterday’s figures. On Wednesday, the country had seen 1,94,720 new COVID-19 cases. (Image source: Instagram)

PM Modi assures support of over Rs 3,000 cr in next 5 years to Tamil Nadu for developing health infrastructure

New Delhi [India] (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said Tamil Nadu will get the support of more than Rs 3,000 crore in the next five years for developing health infrastructure.
“The PM Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission aims to address the critical gap in health infrastructure and health research especially at the district level. A support of over Rs 3,000 crore will be provided to Tamil Nadu in the next five years. This will help in establishing urban health and wellness centres, district public health labs and critical care blocks across the state. The benefits of this for the people of Tamil Nadu will be immense,” the Prime Minister said. PM Modi on Wednesday virtually inaugurated 11 medical colleges in Tamil Nadu and the new campus of Central Institute of Classical Tamil in Chennai.
These medical colleges have been inaugurated in districts including Virudhunagar, Namakkal, Nilgiris, Tiruppur, Thiruvallur, Nagapattinam, Dindigul, Kallakurichi, Ariyalur, Ramanathapuram and Krishnagiri.
In his virtual address, the Prime Minister said, “This would be the first time that 11 medical colleges are being inaugurated at one stroke located in any one state.”
In October last year, the Prime Minister had inaugurated nine medical colleges in Uttar Pradesh in the districts of Siddharthnagar, Etah, Hardoi, Pratapgarh, Fatehpur, Deoria, Ghazipur, Mirzapur and Jaunpur.
“I am getting to break my own record,” the Prime Minister said. (Image source: Instagram)

Raising women’s marriage age to 21 will enable girls to build career, become self reliant, says PM Modi

New Delhi [India] (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said that the purpose for raising the age of marriage for girls from 18 to 21 years has been proposed to empower ‘desh ki beti’ so that they get enough time to complete education and build their careers and become ‘Aatmanirbhar.’
“We believe that sons and daughters are equal. By increasing the marriage age of women from 18 to 21, the government wants to enable ‘desh ki beti’ to build a career for herself and become Aatmanirbhar,” the Prime Minister said as he inaugurated the Technology Centre of the MSME Ministry and Perunthalaivar Kamarajar Manimandapam in Puducherry through video conference. Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed faith in the youth of the nation said that the ‘compete and conquer’ is the mantra of new India and the youth of the country has a ‘can do’ spirit which is a source of inspiration for every generation.
“India is entering the golden age of the startup ecosystem boasting over 50,000 startups, out of which more than 10,000 startups were set up in the past 6-7 months amid the challenges posed by the COVID pandemic…’compete and conquer’ is the mantra of new India,” the Prime Minister said after inaugurating Technology Centre of the MSME Ministry and Perunthalaivar Kamarajar Manimandapam in Puducherry through video conference.
“Today’s youth have a can do spirit which is a source of inspiration for every generation. It is the strength of the youth that India has marched much ahead in digital payments. Today, the youth of India is writing code of global prosperity,” he said.
PM Modi said that it is the government’s effort to give youth, the platform and infrastructure to develop the nation.
“We want our youth to pursue their dreams without any barriers and apprehensions. We have reduced our government compliances. Schemes like Mudra Yojana, Startup India, Stand Up India, Skill India, Atal Innovation Mission and NEP are aiding their dreams,” he said.
“I have full faith in the youth of the nation and I am sure that they will take us to heights we haven’t even dreamed of,” he added.
PM Modi inaugurated a Technology Centre of the MSME Ministry and Perunthalaivar Kamarajar Manimandapam – an auditorium with open-air theatre in Puducherry, through video conference.
According to a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), the Technology Centre of the MSME Ministry is established at Puducherry with an investment of about Rs 122 crore. With the focus on the Electronic System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM) Sector, this Technology Centre will be equipped with the latest technology.
Union Cabinet Minister for Women and Child Development Smriti Irani, last month, introduced the Prohibition of Child Marriage (Amendment) Bill, 2021 in Lok Sabha. The Bill seeks to raise the age of marriage of women from 18 years to 21 years.
A bill that was introduced in Lok Sabha in the winter session to increase the age of age”marriage for women to 21 years across all religions has been sent to a parliamentary committee for scrutiny and discussion with stake-holders.
The parliamentary panel is headed by BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP Vinay Sahastrabuddhe, to which the Prohibition of Child Marriage (Amendment) Bill seeks to raise the legal age of marriage for women from 18 to 21 has been referred to, will start its deliberations soon. The 31-member Parliamentary Standing Committee on Education, Women, Children, Youth and Sports has lone woman Rajya Sabha MP from All India Trinamool Congress (AITMC) Sushmita Dev. (Image source: Instagram)

PM Modi speaks to Bihar CM, singer Lata Mangeshkar who tested COVID-19 positive

New Delhi [India] (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday called Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to enquire about his health condition after the latter tested COVID-19 positive.
PM Modi wished him a speedy recovery from the coronavirus infection over the conversation. Bihar CM Nitish Kumar tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday and went under home isolation on the doctor’s advice, the CMO informed.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister also enquired about the health of veteran singer Lata Mangeshkar who was hospitalised after testing positive for COVID.
The veteran singer was admitted to Mumbai’s Breach Candy hospital on Monday. (Image source: Instagram)

Saina Nehwal is unhappy, reveals shuttler’s father as he demands actor Siddharth to apologize

Hyderabad (Telangana) [India] (ANI): Saina Nehwal’s father Harvir Singh Nehwal on Tuesday said that the ace Indian shuttler is unhappy after the remarks made by actor Siddharth against her.
“A person from cinema industry (actor Siddharth) has made some bad remarks against Saina (Nehwal) on Twitter,” Harvir Singh told ANI. Siddharth on January 6 had retweeted a post by Saina Nehwal in which she had expressed her concern over the security breach of Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his Punjab visit on January 5.
Raising concerns over the Prime Minister’s convoy being stopped for 15-20 minutes on a flyover in Punjab’s Bathinda as the road was blocked by protesting farmers, the Olympic medallist tweeted: “No nation can claim itself to be safe if the security of its own PM gets compromised. I condemn, in the strongest words possible, the cowardly attack on PM Modi by anarchists.”
Retweeting her post, Siddharth wrote, “Subtle cock champion of the world… Thank God we have protectors of India. Folded hands. Shame on you Rihanna.”
“The double worded language he has used, he shouldn’t have uttered these words. I wholeheartedly condemn his statement and it is unforgettable and unpardonable from our side. If he has something to say in honour of Saina who has brought laurels to the country, then he should come in open and apologize to Saina, and then it can be thought because it’s a first offence from his side to us,” Harvir Singh said.
“Saina is also unhappy,” Saina’s father added.
Following the controversy, the actor also responded that he did not mean to disrespect anyone and his “subtle cock” tweet contained no kind of insinuation. “Cock and bull. That’s the reference. Reading otherwise is unfair and leading. Nothing disrespectful was intended, said or insinuated. Period,” he tweeted. (Image source: Instagram)

PM Modi sends 100 pairs of jute footwear for Kashi Vishwanath Dham workers

Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh) [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has sent 100 pairs of jute footwear for those working at Kashi Vishwanath Dham in Uttar Pradesh’s Varanasi, sources in the government informed on Monday.
According to governments sources, PM Modi has been deeply involved with Kashi Vishwanath Dham and keeps a tab on all issues and developments in Varanasi.
They stated that the Prime Minister recently found out that most people working at Kashi Vishwanath Dham had to work barefoot because it is forbidden to wear footwear made with leather or rubber in the temple premises.
These include priests, people performing Seva, security guards, sanitation workers and other workers in the temple. (Image source: Instagram)

PM Modi wishes Indian diaspora on Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas

New Delhi [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended his wishes to the Indian diaspora on the Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas and said that they have distinguished themselves all over the world and have excelled in different spheres.
“Greetings to everyone, especially the Indian diaspora on Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas. Our diaspora has distinguished itself all over the world and has excelled in different spheres,” said PM Modi in a tweet on Sunday. He also appreciated the Indian diaspora that they have remained connected to their roots. “We are proud of their accomplishments,” PM Modi added.
Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) is celebrated on 9th January every year to mark the contribution of the Overseas Indian community to the development of India.
January 9 was chosen as the day to celebrate this occasion since it was on this day in 1915 that Mahatma Gandhi, the greatest Pravasi, returned to India from South Africa, led India’s freedom struggle and changed the lives of Indians forever, according to the Ministry of External Affairs.

PM Modi’s security breach 100 per cent administrative failure, the country narrowly escaped murder of its top executive: Kiran Bedi

New Delhi [India]: Former Puducherry lieutenant governor Kiran Bedi on Saturday termed the security breach of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s convoy near Punjab’s Ferozepur as “100 per cent administrative failure” and a pre-planned conspiracy, adding that the country narrowly escaped the assassination of its Prime Minister.
Speaking to ANI, the Former Puducherry LG said, “Plan to ambush the Prime Minister did not succeed. This is 100 per cent administrative failure. The prime minister of this country survived a horrific attack. The state is near the Pakistan border. There could have been a bomb under the bridge. I think this country narrowly escaped the murder of its number one executive.” She slammed the absdence of senior officials, including DGP, Chief Secretary, Home Secretary and District Magistrate at the time of the incident.
“All senior officials look for such opportunities to meet the Prime Minister. I think they have to answer why they were absent. This is criminal negligence. You ran away from your duty. It is a protocol that when the Prime Minister comes DGP, Chief Secretary, Home Secretary and District Magistrate receive him,” Bedi told ANI.
She stated that Chief Minister and the state Home Minister are accountable for the answer to the incident.
“Do not associate this incident with Punjabiyat. Punjabis served the people during the COVID pandemic. We will be who we are. But, do not do such an act which affects the country’s reputation,” she said.
She demanded the dismissal of the DGP and the Chief Secretary.
“It is criminal negligence. They have to be dismissed out of the service… no pension, nothing. A criminal case should be registered against them,” she added.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s convoy was stuck for 15-20 minutes due to a road blockade in Punjab’s Ferozepur. The Prime Minister, who was travelling by road, had to call off his event in Ferozepur on Wednesday.
PM Modi, who had to return to Bathinda airport on Wednesday due to a security breach during his visit is learned to have told state government officials at the airport, “Apne CM ko thanks Kehna, ki mein Bhatinda airport tak zinda laut paaya”.
Following the incident, BJP alleged that the Congress government in Punjab had deliberately created a scenario to harm Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

PM Modi inaugurates second campus of Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute in Kolkata

New Delhi [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday virtually inaugurated the second campus of Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute (CNCI) in West Bengal’s Kolkata.
“The second campus of CNCI has been built in line with the Prime Minister’s vision to expand and upgrade the health facilities in all parts of the country. CNCI was facing a heavy load of cancer patients and a need for expansion was being felt for some time. This need will be fulfilled through the second campus,” a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office said. The second campus of CNCI has been built at a cost of over Rs 530 crore, out of which around Rs 400 crores have been provided by the Union government and the rest by the West Bengal government, in the ratio of 75:25. The campus is a 460 bedded comprehensive cancer centre unit with cutting-edge infrastructure for cancer diagnosis, staging, treatment, and care.
The campus is equipped with modern facilities like Nuclear Medicine (PET), 3.0 Tesla MRI, 128 slice CT scanner, Radionuclide therapy unit, endoscopy suite, modern brachytherapy units, etc. The campus will also work as an advanced cancer research facility and will provide comprehensive care to cancer patients especially those from Eastern and North-Eastern parts of the country.

Hearing begins in SC on plea seeking probe into security lapses during PM Modi’s Punjab visit

New Delhi [India]: The Supreme Court has started the hearing on the plea seeking an urgent judicial probe into the breach of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s security during his visit to Punjab’s Ferozepur on Wednesday.
The plea alleges that PM’s security breach was a deliberate lapse on part of the State government and stern action should be taken against “erring” officials of Punjab government. Senior advocate Maninder Singh mentioned the matter on Thursday before the top court while terming it a serious lapse and sought a probe.
A Bench of Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, Justices Surya Kant, and Hima Kohli asked Singh, who was appearing for an organization, Lawyer’s Voice, which has filed the plea, to also serve a copy of the petition to the Punjab government.
Singh had said that it was a serious lapse on the part of the Punjab government to allow the PM’s cavalcade to be stranded on the road causing an unacceptable security breach.
CJI Ramana asked Singh about what he expected from the court and whether the alleged security lapse happened in Bathinda or Ferozepur.
Singh said the Prime Minister was scheduled to address a meeting in Ferozepur but the security lapse happened in Bathinda.
“Given the situation in Punjab, there should be a fair probe into the lapse and accountability be fixed so that such a situation does not arise again in future,” Singh told the apex court.
“The overall responsibility for ensuring the safety of the Prime Minster rests with the State government and the responsibility for providing proximate security will rest with the Special Protection Group (SPG) as per the SPG Act 1988. On the contrary, what was shocking and alarming on many levels was that local Police personnel on the spot were seen to be participating with the hooligans who jeopardized the security of the Prime Minister,” the plea stated.
It alleged that private persons were given access to the PM’s route, and others were instigated to join the blockade, which represents a serious and unpardonable breach of national security by the State apparatus and the political establishment of Punjab.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister, who was on his way for an election rally, was stopped on a flyover after his convoy was blocked.

PM’s security breach: Punjab govt constitutes high-level committee to probe matter, report in 3 days

Chandigarh (Punjab) [India]: The Punjab government has constituted a high-level committee to probe the security lapses that occurred during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Ferozepur. The committee will submit its report in three days.
An official spokesperson of the Chief Minister’s Office on Thursday said that the committee would comprise Justice (Retd) Mehtab Singh Gill and Principal Secretary, Home Affairs and Justice Anurag Verma. “The committee shall submit its report within three days,” added the spokesperson.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was scheduled to visit Ferozepur on Wednesday to lay the foundation stone of multiple development projects worth more than Rs 42,750 crore.
The Home Ministry said in a statement that PM Modi landed at Bathinda on Wednesday morning from where he was to go to the National Martyrs Memorial at Hussainiwala by helicopter. Due to rain and poor visibility, the Prime Minister waited for about 20 minutes for the weather to clear out.
The statement said that when the weather did not improve, it was decided that he would visit the National Martyrs Memorial via road, which would take more than two hours. The Prime Minister proceeded to travel by road after necessary confirmation of necessary security arrangements by the DGP Punjab Police.
Around 30 km away from the National Martyrs Memorial in Hussainiwala, when the Prime Minister’s convoy reached a flyover, it was found that the road was blocked by some protesters.
The Prime Minister was stuck on a flyover for 15-20 minutes.”This was a major lapse in the security of the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister’s schedule and travel plan was communicated well in advance to the Punjab Government. As per procedure, they have to make necessary arrangements for logistics, security as well as keep a contingency plan ready,” the statement said. “Also in view of the contingency plan, the Punjab Government has to deploy additional security to secure any movement by road, which were clearly not deployed. After this security lapse, it was decided to head back to Bathinda Airport,” it added.
It said only Punjab police knew the precise route of the PM and “never has such police behaviour been witnessed”.The Home Ministry has taken cognizance of the “serious security lapse” and has sought a detailed report from the Punjab government. The state government has also been asked to fix responsibility for this lapse and take strict action.

PM Modi releases 10th instalment of financial benefit under PM-KISAN scheme

New Delhi [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday released the 10th installment of financial benefit under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) scheme via video conferencing in the national capital.
During the event, the Prime Minister also released an equity grant of more than Rs 14 crores to about 351 Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs), which will benefit more than 1.24 lakh farmers. Prime Minister Narendra Modi released the 10th instalment of financial benefit under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) scheme on Saturday via video conferencing.
As per an official statement from the Prime Minister’s Office, this is in line with the government’s continued commitment and resolve to empower grassroots-level farmers.
This will enable the transfer of an amount of more than Rs 20,000 crore to more than 10 crore beneficiary farmer families, said PMO.
Meanwhile, addressing the event, Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said, “Under the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana, effective from 1st December 2018, the Central Government has so far sent more than Rs 1.61 lakh crore to more than 11.5 beneficiary farmer families in the accounts of farmer families.”
“In the current financial year 2021-22, an amount of more than Rs 65,800 crore has been transferred to the beneficiary farmers under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi PM Kisan Yojana,” added Tomar.
Under the PM-KISAN scheme, a financial benefit of Rs 6,000 per year is provided to the eligible beneficiary farmer families, payable in three equal four-monthly installments of Rs 2,000 each. The fund is transferred directly to the bank accounts of the beneficiaries. In this scheme, Samman Rashi of over Rs 1.6 lakh crore has been transferred to farmer families so far.

PM Modi shares glimpse of events he took part in year 2021

New Delhi [India]: As 2021 comes to end, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday shared some highlights of the landmark events he took part in throughout the year.
PM Modi meets Young friends in his Office.

A young girl greets PM Modi during his visit to West.

PM Modi with a Divyang in Varanasi.

PM Modi interacting with External Affairs Minister and National Security Advisor at his residence in Lok Kalyan Marg.

PM Modi presiding over a late night meeting at his residence.

PM Modi taking notes during a Council of Ministers meeting.

PM Modi sitting in the last row during a ‘Chintan Satra’ with his Council of Ministers at Sushma Swaraj Bhavan.

PM Modi at Rashtrapati Bhawan to attend a programme.

Acharya Shree Jitendriyapriyadasji Swamiji Maharaj, spiritual leader of Maninagar Shree Swaminarayan Gadi Sansthan blessing PM Modi.

PM Modi during his visit to Varanasi.

PM Modi with Padma Shri Tulasi Gowda in Rashtrapati Bhavan.

PM Modi during the inauguration of Kashi Vishwanath Dham in Varanasi.

PM Modi taking blessing from 105 year old farmer and Padma Shri awardee Pappammal ji in Coimbatore.

PM Modi at ‘Parakram Diwas’ celebrations to commemorate the 125th Birth Anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, at Victoria Memorial

PM Modi with members of Armed forces on his Diwali visit at Nowshera, Rajouri border post, Line of Control.

PM Modi with members of Women Hockey team during an interaction organised at his residence in Lok Kalyan Marg.

PM meeting with CEOs from PE/VC industry.

PM Modi being welcomed by Pope Francis in Vatican City.

People greeting PM Modi during his visit to Sultanpur, Uttar Pradesh.

A touching moment during PM Modi’s interaction with beneficiaries of Government schemes at Kanpur.

A beautiful moment during PM Modi’s interaction with beneficiaries of various government schemes at Prayagraj.

Modi to visit Meerut on Jan 2, to lay foundation stone of Major Dhyan Chand Sports University

New Delhi [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Meerut on January 2, 2022, and lay the foundation stone of Major Dhyan Chand Sports University at around 1 pm, said a press release from PMO.
The University will be established at Salawa and Kaili villages of Sardhana town in Meerut at an estimated cost of about Rs 700 crore. One of the key areas of focus for the Prime Minister is to inculcate sporting culture and to establish world-class sporting infrastructure across the country.
The establishment of Major Dhyan Chand Sports University at Meerut will be a major step towards fulfilling this vision.
The Sports University will be equipped with state-of-the-art sports infrastructure including synthetic Hockey ground, Football ground, Basketball/Volleyball/Handball/Kabaddi ground, Lawn tennis court, Gymnasium hall, Synthetic running stadium, Swimming pool, Multipurpose hall, and a Cycling velodrome, said the release.
The university will also house facilities for Shooting, Squash, Gymnastics, Weightlifting, Archery, Canoeing, and Kayaking, among other facilities. The University will have the capacity of training 1,080 sportspersons including 540 female and 540 male sportspersons.

Resolve of cleanliness will be fulfilled only with discipline, awareness, dedication, says PM Modi

New Delhi [India]: With an aim to encourage people to follow the ‘Swachh Bharat’ initiative, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said that the resolve of cleanliness will be fulfilled only with discipline, awareness and dedication.
In his Mann Ki Baat program today, PM Modi cited an example of ‘Puneet Sagar’ campaign undertaken by cadets for cleanliness in which more than 30 thousand NCC cadets participated. “These cadets cleaned the beaches, removed plastic waste from there and collected it for recycling. Our beaches, our mountains are worth visiting only when there is cleanliness at the place,” the Prime Minister said.
He said that it is the responsibility of every countryman that the places which give us so much joy, should not be made dirty by us.
Further, he mentioned a start-up named ‘Saafwater’ which has been started by some youth to give information related to the purity and quality of water in their area to people with the help of Artificial Intelligence and the Internet.
“This is just the next step of cleanliness. In view of the importance of this start-up for the clean and healthy future of the people, it has also received a Global Award,” he added.
Speaking about ‘Ek qadam swachhata ki ore’ effort, PM Modi said, “Special campaigns are also being run in ministries and departments to remove the old and pending material. Some very interesting things have happened through this campaign.”
“When this cleanliness drive was started in the Department of Post, the junkyard there became completely empty. Now this junkyard has been turned into a courtyard and cafeteria. Another junkyard has been converted into a parking space for two wheelers,” he said.
He informed that the Ministry of Environment has also converted its vacant junkyard into a wellness centre and the Ministry of Urban Affairs has installed a Swachh ATM too.
“Departments under the Civil Aviation Ministry have started making organic compost from dry leaves falling from trees and organic waste. This department is also working to make stationery from waste paper,” PM Modi stated.

President Kovind, PM Modi pay tribute to Atal Bihari Vajpayee on his birth anniversary

New Delhi [India]: On the occasion of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s birth anniversary, President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday paid floral tribute at ‘Sadaiv Atal’ Samadhi in the national capital.
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and Union Ministers Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh, Nirmala Sitharaman, Piyush Goyal and others also paid floral tribute at ‘Sadaiv Atal’ on the occasion.

Taking to Twitter, Prime Minister Modi said, “Tributes to respected Atal ji on his birth anniversary. Remembering Atal Ji on his Jayanti. We are inspired by his rich service to the nation. He devoted his life towards making India strong and developed. His development initiatives positively impacted millions of Indians.”

Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s birthday is celebrated as the ‘Good Governance Day’.
Vajpayee, who led the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government from 1998-2004, was the first-ever leader from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to have become the nation’s Prime Minister. He served as Prime Minister thrice — briefly in 1996, and then for two terms between 1998 and 2004.
One of the prominent leaders of the country and founder members of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Vajpayee died on August 16, 2018, at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) after a prolonged illness. He was 93.
The late leader was conferred Bharat Ratna in 2015. He had also been awarded Pt Govind Ballabh Pant Award for Best Parliamentarian in 1994.

It is the responsibility of India to contribute in terms of spirituality to nations, says PM Modi

New Delhi [India]: It is the responsibility of India as a spiritual leader to contribute in terms of spirituality to nations across the globe, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday.
PM Modi said this today while chairing the first meeting of the High-Level Committee (HLC) which has been constituted to commemorate the 150th Birth Anniversary of Sri Aurobindo in a befitting manner. The notification of HLC was issued on December 20, 2021. The Committee comprises 53 members from various walks of life. Secretary (Culture), Govind Mohan, gave a presentation on the Road Map for the celebration of the Commemoration and sought an advise of the esteemed members for celebrating the 150th anniversary of Sri Aurobindo in a befitting manner.
Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister expressed his gratitude to the esteemed members for their valuable thoughts and suggestions on Sri Aurobindo’s Commemoration. The Prime Minister said that the two aspects of Sri Aurobindo’s philosophy of ‘Revolution’ and ‘Evolution’, are of key importance and should be emphasized as part of the commemoration.
“The youth should be encouraged towards the concept of greatness as embodied in the philosophy of Nar to Narayan to create a MahaManav as propounded by Sri Aurobindo,” he added.
The Prime Minister further said that it is the responsibility of India as a spiritual leader of the world to contribute in terms of spiritualism to nations across the globe. He suggested that 150 universities across the country should be involved in writing papers on different aspects of Sri Aurobindo’s life and philosophy and the 150 papers to be published on the occasion.
The Prime Minister proposed to launch the commemoration celebrations of Sri Aurobindo from Puducherry coinciding with the celebration of National Youth Day. This will encourage the youth to visit Puducherry and learn about his life and teachings, where Sri Aurobindo spent his life from 1910 to 1950.
The Prime Minister fondly recalled his discussions and deliberations as Gujarat Chief Minister with Shri Kireet Joshi, who was a disciple of Sri Aurobindo. He said that these discussions enriched him with the thoughts of Sri Aurobindo, which were deeply reflected when he was working on preparing the National Education Policy.
The Prime Minister stated that the literature of Sri Kireet Joshi on Sri Aurobindo should be disseminated widely across the world.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah profusely thanked the participants for their valuable suggestions and time and closed the meeting.
Today’s meeting of HLC was held in a hybrid mode. 16 distinguished members were present physically and 22 members participated through Video Conference (VC). The Home Minister Amit Shah welcomed the distinguished participants. Members gave their suggestions at the meeting. All the members expressed the opinion that the concept of integral education of Sri Aurobindo should be a part of the New Education Policy and should be included in the curriculum at the college and university levels.

PM Modi chairs meeting on COVID-19 situation, says people should be ‘satark’, ‘saavdhan’ in view of Omicron variant

New Delhi [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a high-level meeting on Thursday to review the efforts to combat COVID-19 and Omicron strain and emphasised the need to be “satark” and “saavdhan” in view of the new variant.
He said the fight against the pandemic is not over and the need for continued adherence to COVID safe behaviour is of paramount importance even today. “In view of the new variant, we should be ‘satark’ (alert) and ‘saavdhan’ (cautious),” the Prime Minister said.
He directed officials to ensure that the health systems in the states, beginning from the district level, are strengthened to meet any challenge posed by the new variant.
The Prime Minister said that states need to ensure that the eligible population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and to proceed to meet the target in a saturation mode.
It is important for states to ensure that the oxygen supply equipments are installed and fully functional, he told officials.
He gave directions for sending a good number of positive samples for genome sequencing to INSACOG Labs in a prompt manner.
PM Modi also gave directions for accelerating the testing to ensure quick identification of cases for timely containment and treatment.
Focus should also be on effective contact tracing for curbing spread of the transmission, he said and directed officials that the Central Government should send teams to states with low vaccination, rising cases, insufficient health infrastructure to assist them improve the situation.
The Prime Minister reviewed public health response measures for containment and management of COVID-19, strengthening of health infrastructure including availability of drugs, oxygen cylinders and concentrators, ventilators, PSA plants, ICU/oxygen supported beds, human resources, IT interventions and status of vaccination.
Officials briefed PM about the emerging scenario globally driven by the new variant, with an overview of surge in cases in countries having high vaccination coverage and presence of Omicron Variant.
After the presentations, PM directed the the officials for maintaining a high level of vigil and alertness at all levels.

According to an official release, he asked the central ministries to work in close coordination with the states to support their efforts of public health measures of containment and management under the ‘Whole of Government’ approach.
“The strategy of the Centre for proactive, focussed, collaborative and cooperative fight against the pandemic should guide all our future actions,” PM Modi told officials.
He directed them to work with the states on a regular basis and review the status of preparedness of various components of health infrastructure including training and capacity building of human resources, timely availability of ambulances, readiness of states to operationalise COVID facilities for institutional quarantining, and effective and supervised monitoring of those in home isolation. He also directed officials for effective use of IT tools for tele-medicine and tele-consultation.
The Prime Minister said that heightened and close monitoring of emerging clusters and hotspots through and active, prompt and effective surveillance should continue.
The Prime Minister was also apprised of the technical brief and priority actions recommended by WHO in the context of Omicron.
A snapshot of the status of COVID-19 and Omicron in the country, including states reporting a higher number of cases, districts reporting higher positivity, and higher number of clusters was presented to Prime Minister. The details of the Omicron cases reported in the country, including their travel history, vaccination status, and recovered status was also presented.
The Prime Minister was briefed of the various actions taken since November 25 this year when the first advisory of the Union Health Ministry was shared with the states.
He was also briefed about the revised travel advisory for international passengers, review meetings with states/UTs on COVID-19 public health response measures, ramping up vaccination and installation of oxygen supply equipment.
The PM was apprised of the progress in vaccination across the country. He was apprised that more than 88 per cent of the eligible population has been administered the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine and more than 60 per cent of the eligible population has received the second dose.
Officials said that the door-to-door ‘Har Ghar Dastak vaccination campaign’ to mobilise and vaccinate people has been able to motivate people to take the COVID 19 vaccine and has shown encouraging results in boosting vaccine coverage.
The meeting was attended by Cabinet Secretary and senior officials from Niti Aayog, ICMR and several minstries including Home Ministry and Health Ministry.

Ensure health systems in States are strengthened to meet any challenge posed by Omicron: PM directs officials

New Delhi [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday chaired a high-level meeting to review the status of COVID-19 and Omicron variant and directed officials to ensure that the health systems in the states are strengthened to meet any challenge posed by the new variant.
The Prime Minister passed the necessary direction with regards to COVID-19 and Omicron after chairing a high-level review meeting on the issue. According to the Prime Minister’s Office, PM Modi directed the officials to ensure that the health systems in the states, beginning from the district level, are strengthened to meet any challenge posed by the new variant.
“It is important for States to ensure that the Oxygen supply equipments are installed and fully functional,” said PM Modi
“He directed the officials to work with the states on a regular basis and review the status of preparedness of various components of health infrastructure including training and capacity building of human resources, timely availability of ambulances, readiness of states to operationalise COVID facilities for institutional quarantining, and effective and supervised monitoring of those in home isolation,” reads the official statement.
PM Modi directed for sending a good number of positive samples for genome sequencing to INSACOG Labs in a prompt manner. He also directed for accelerating the testing to ensure quick identification of cases for timely containment and treatment. The focus should also be on effective contact tracing for curbing spread of the transmission, he stated.
The meeting was attended by Cabinet Secretary, Dr. V.K.Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog, A K Bhalla, Home Secretary, Rajesh Bhushan, Secretary (MoHFW), Secretary (Pharmaceuticals); Dr. Rajesh Gokhale, Secretary (Biotechnology); Dr. Balram Bhargava, DG ICMR; Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha, Secretary (AYUSH); Durga Shankar Mishra, Secretary (Urban Development); R.S. Sharma CEO NHA; Prof. K. Vijay Raghavan (Principal Scientific Advisor to Govt. of India) along with other senior officials.

Winter session: PM Modi holds meeting with top ministers at Parliament

New Delhi [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with top members of his cabinet in the Parliament on Wednesday to discuss various issues and the government’s strategy.
Union Ministers Rajnath Singh, Pralhad Joshi, Piyush Goyal, Kiren Rijiju, Anurag Singh Thakur and Nitin Gadkari were present in the meeting. According to sources, the government may propose sine die adjournment today, a day ahead of schedule.
Since the beginning of the winter session on November 29, both the Houses of Parliament witnessed continuous disruptions by the Opposition’s ruckus over several issues including the suspension of 12 MPs, the Lakhimpur Kheri incident, and others.
The winter session is scheduled to culminate on December 23.

PM to visit Prayagraj today, transfer Rs 1,000 cr to SHGs benefitting around 16 lakh women

New Delhi [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Uttar Pradesh’s Prayagraj today and will transfer around Rs 1,000 crore in the bank accounts of Self Help Groups (SHGs), benefitting around 16 lakh women members of the SHGs.
According to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), this transfer is being done under the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihood Mission (DAY-NRLM), with 80,000 SHGs receiving Community Investment Fund (CIF) of Rs 1.10 lakh per SHG and 60,000 SHGs receiving Revolving Fund of Rs 15,000 per SHG. “PM Modi will visit Prayagraj on December 21 and participate in a one of its kind programme that will be attended by over two lakh women, at around 1 PM,” reads the release.
The programme is being held as per the vision of the Prime Minister to empower women, especially at the grassroots level, by providing them with the necessary skills, incentives and resources.
The programme will also witness the Prime Minister encouraging Business Correspondent-Sakhis (BC-Sakhis), by transferring Rs 4,000 as the first month’s stipend in the account of 20,000 BC-Sakhis.
When B.C.-Sakhis commence their work as providers of doorstep financial services at the grassroot level, they are paid a stipend of Rs 4,000 for six months, so that they get stabilized in their work and then start earning through the commission on transactions, the PMO informed.
During the programme, PM Modi will also be transferring a total amount of over 20 crores to more than one lakh beneficiaries under the Mukhya Mantri Kanya Sumangala Scheme. The Scheme provides conditional cash transfer to a girl child at different stages of her life. The total transfer is Rs 15,000 per beneficiary.
“The stages are at birth (Rs 2,000), on completing one-year complete vaccination (Rs 1,000), on admission in class-I (Rs 2,000), On admission in class-VI (Rs 2,000), on admission in class-IX (Rs 3,000), on admission in any degree or diploma course after passing class X or XII (Rs 5,000),” it added.
In addition, the Prime Minister will also lay the foundation stone of 202 Supplementary Nutrition Manufacturing Units. These units are being funded by the Self Help Groups and will be constructed at the cost of approximately Rs 1 crore for one unit.
These units will supply Supplementary Nutrition under the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) in 600 blocks of the state, the PMO said in its release.

PM interacts with CEOs of companies across various sectors ahead of Union Budget

New Delhi [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday interacted with the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of leading companies across banking, infrastructure, automobiles, telecom, consumer goods, textile, renewable energy, hospitality, technology, healthcare, space and electronics sectors.
This is one of the many interactions being held by the Prime Minister ahead of the union budget to receive inputs and suggestions from the private sector. Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal was also present in the meeting.
The Prime Minister had interacted with leading private equity and venture capital players last week.

PM Modi meets foreign ministers of five Central Asian countries, emphasises potential of enhanced economic cooperation

New Delhi [India]: Foreign Ministers of five Central Asian countries — Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan — called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday and emphasised the readiness of their leaderships to further strengthen relations with India.
The Prime Minister emphasised the importance that India attaches to its long-standing relations with Central Asian countries, which are part of its ‘Extended Neighbourhood’. He also underscored the potential of enhanced economic cooperation between India and Central Asia, and the role of connectivity in that regard.
The Prime Minister conveyed his felicitations to the Ministers on the 30th anniversary of their independence this year.
Recalling his memorable visits to all Central Asian countries in 2015 and subsequently to Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyz Republic, PM Modi underlined the importance of maintaining cultural and people-to-people contacts between India and Central Asia, given the popularity of Indian films, music, yoga etc in the region.
The Foreign Ministers of the Central Asian countries are in New Delhi and participated in the third meeting of the India-Central Asia Dialogue.
“The Foreign Ministers conveyed the greetings of their Presidents to Prime Minister Modi and emphasized the readiness of their leadership to further strengthen relations with India,” a PMO release said.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval were also present during PM Modi’s meeting with Foreign Ministers of Central Asian countries.
The ministers briefed PM Modi on the deliberations of the India-Central Asia Dialogue held under the chairmanship of External Affairs Minister Jaishankar on Sunday. The Dialogue focused on trade and connectivity, development partnership and regional developments, including the situation in Afghanistan.
The India-Central Asia Dialogue has given impetus to the excellent bilateral relations between India and Central Asian countries. India and the Central Asian countries will mark the 30th anniversary of the establishment of their diplomatic relations next year, the release added.

PM Modi invites citizens to share views for ‘Mann ki Baat’ on Dec 26

New Delhi [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged citizens to share their views for the 84th edition of his monthly radio programme “Mann ki Baat”, which will take place on December 26.
This will be the last edition of the year. The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has called citizens to share their views for Mann ki Baat which will take place on Sunday, 26th December 2021.
Taking to Twitter, the Prime Minister said, “I have been receiving several inputs for this month’s Mann Ki Baat on the 26, which will be the last one of 2021. The inputs cover so many different areas and celebrate the life journeys of several people working to bring grassroots level changes. Keep sharing your views.”
The first episode of the programme was broadcast on October 3, 2014.
In his last episode of Mann Ki Baat, which was broadcast on October 24, the Prime Minister had emphasised the implementation of Swacch Bharat Abhiyan.
The PM had also highlighted that India is one of the first countries in the world, which is preparing digital records of land in its villages with the help of drones.

‘Hindutvavadi’ bathes alone in Ganga’, Rahul Gandhi takes dig at PM Modi

Amethi (Uttar Pradesh) [India]: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday again spoke about Hindu versus Hindutvavadi stating that while a Hindutvavadi could be described as someone bathing alone in the Ganges while a Hindu is one who takes crores along.
Addressing a rally in Jagdishpur in his former Lok Sabha constituency of Amethi, the Congress MP said that the true meaning of a Hindu is someone who only follows the path of truth and never converts his fear into violence, hate and anger. “A ‘Hindutvavadi’ bathes alone in Ganga, while a Hindu bathes with crores of people… Narendra Modi says he is a Hindu, but when did he protect the truth? He said he would give two crore youth jobs, where did he do so? He asked people to bang thalis to get rid of Covid… Hindu or Hindutvadi?” the former Congress president said.
PM Modi ahead of inaugurating the first phase of the Kashi-Vishwanath corridor in his Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi had been seen taking a dip in the Ganga.
“For the first time I saw just one person taking bath in Ganga, removed Yogi Ji, sidelined Rajnath Singh….Remember when Narendra ji was young he fought with a crocodile, I thought he didn’t know swimming…struggling with his hands…” Rahul Gandhi said today.
“Is Hindu a liar? Hindu is the one who walks on the path of truth throughout his whole life. On one side, there is truth, Mahatma Gandhi, a Hindu who spent his whole life understanding truth, and then there is Nathuram Godse, a Hindutvawadi. Nobody calls him (Godse) a Mahatma, because he killed a Hindu who always spoke the truth. Godse was a coward, a weak man he could not confront his own fears…” the Wayanad MP said.
“I will tell you the meaning of Hindu. It is someone who only follows the path of truth, the one who never gives up to fear, and the one who never converts his fear into violence, hate and anger… It’s best example is Mahatma Gandhi.”
Rahul Gandhi further slammed the prime minister for the farm laws and said that he brought in the laws to benefit the industrialists despite the protest of the entire country’s farmers.
“PM introduced farm laws and said that they are going to benefit farmers. After one year when all farmers stood together against the laws, PM had to apologise. We questioned about the compensation for farmers who died in the protest, he said no farmers died in the protest,” Rahul Gandhi said.
Addressing the gathering with his sister and Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi by is side,Rahul Gandhi said: “You are aware of the situation today. Unemployment and inflation are the biggest questions that neither the CM nor PM will answer. PM was taking a dip in Ganga a few days back but won’t talk about unemployment. I’ll tell you why the youth is deprived of employment.”
“Middle-class people and the poor were badly affected by some of the decisions taken by the PM, which also resulted in large-scale unemployment. Demonetisation, wrongly implicated GST, no help during the Covid-19 crisis are some of the major reasons for unemployment in India,” the Congress leader said.
The Congress leader also attacked the Centre and the Prime Minister for the border dispute with China.
According to party sources, Rahul Gandhi was visiting Amethi after almost two and a half years.
“Every lane in Amethi is still the same. Only that there’s anger against the government in people’s eyes. In the hearts, there is space just like before. We are still united against injustice,” he said.
“I came into politics in 2004. Amethi was the city where I contested my first election. People of Amethi have taught me a lot about politics. You have shown me the way to politics and I want to thank each and everyone,” he said.
Rahul Gandhi had represented Amethi for 15 years in Lok Sabha before he was defeated from the constituency in the year 2019 but had won from Wayanad in Kerala from where he had simultaneously contested from.
The visit of the Congress leaders to Amethi comes ahead of Assembly polls in the state slated to be held early next year.

Ganga Expressway will improve connectivity, boost economic development across UP: PM Modi

New Delhi [India]: Ganga Expressway will improve connectivity and boost economic development and tourism in Uttar Pradesh, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone of Ganga Expressway in Shahjahanpur, Uttar Pradesh at around 1 pm on Saturday. “At 1 PM today, will be joining the programme in Shahjahanpur to lay the foundation stone for the Ganga Expressway. This is an important infra project that will improve connectivity across Uttar Pradesh. It will also boost economic development and tourism,” tweeted Prime Minister.
According to Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), the inspiration behind the expressway is the vision of the Prime Minister to provide fast-paced connectivity across the country.
The 594-kilometre long six-lane expressway will be built at a cost of over Rs 36,200 crore.
Starting near the Bijauli village in Meerut, the expressway will extend till near the Judapur Dandu village in Prayagraj. It will pass through Meerut, Hapur, Bulandshahr, Amroha, Sambhal, Budaun, Shahjahanpur, Hardoi, Unnao, Rae Bareli, Pratapgarh and Prayagraj.
Upon completion of work, it will become the longest expressway of Uttar Pradesh, connecting the western and eastern regions of the state.
A 3.5-kilometre long air-strip for assisting emergency take-off and landing of Air Force planes will also be constructed on the expressway in Shahjahanpur. An industrial corridor is also proposed to be built along the expressway.
The expressway will also give a fillip to multiple sectors including industrial development, trade, agriculture, tourism etc. It will provide a big boost to the socio-economic development of the region.
The Ganga Expressway was approved on November 26, 2020. This expressway will be completed by 2024.
Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh are slated for early next year.

Owaisi calls Centre’s decision to raise women’s marriage age from 18 to 21 ‘ridiculous’

New Delhi [India]: All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) President and Lok Sabha MP Asaduddin Owaisi on Friday slammed the Central government for their decision to raise the minimum age of marriage for women from 18 to 21 and termed it “ridiculous”.
Taking to Twitter, Owaisi said that both men and women should be allowed to legally marry at 18 as they’re treated as adults by the law for all other purposes. “Modi government has decided to increase the age of marriage for women to 21. This is typical paternalism that we have come to expect from the govt. 18-year-old men and women can sign contracts, start businesses, choose Prime Ministers and elect MPs and MLAs but not marry? They can consent to sexual relationships and live-in partnerships but cannot choose their life partners? Just ridiculous,” said AIMIM chief.
He allegedly said that there are 12 million kids married before they even turned 10.
“Child marriages are rampant despite a law. Every fourth woman in India was married before turning 18 but only 785 criminal cases of child marriages were recorded. If child marriages have reduced from before, it is due to education and economic progress, not criminal law,” he said.
Owaisi said that more than the legal age of marriage, it is improved education and better economic prospects for youngsters, that impacts when they marry. 45 per cent of the poorest households had child marriages; only 10 per cent of the wealthiest households did so.
“If Modi was sincere, he would have focused on increasing economic opportunities for women. Yet India is the only country where women’s participation in the workforce is dwindling. It fell to 16% in 2020 from 26 per cent in 2005,” he added.
He further said that it is essential to improve their educational outcomes to ensure autonomous decision-making.
“What has the government done to improve education for girls? 79 per cent of Rs 446.72 Beti Bachao Beti Padhao budget was spent on adverts. You want us to believe that this government has sincere intentions?” he asked.
He added that men and women are treated as adults at 18 for most critical things. “Why is marriage any different? The legal age is not really a criteria; the essential goal must be to ensure education, economic progress and human development,” he added.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Union Cabinet cleared a proposal to raise the minimum age of marriage for women from 18 to 21. The government is likely to propose a bill in Parliament during the ongoing winter session.

PM interacts with leading private equity, venture capital players

New Delhi [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday met leading private equity and venture capital players.
The discussion revolved around seeking suggestions on how to make doing business in India “more easier”, attracting more capital and furthering the reform process. This meeting illustrated how the Prime Minister is interacting personally with industry leaders to gather inputs ahead of the next budget.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman was also present in the meeting.

PM Modi to attend ‘Goa Liberation Day’ celebrations in state on Dec 19

New Delhi [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Goa on December 19 to attend the ‘Goa Liberation Day’ celebrations and will lay the foundation stone for multiple development projects worth over 650 crores.
According to Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), Goa Liberation Day is celebrated on December 19 every year to mark the success of ‘Operation Vijay’ undertaken by the Indian Armed Forces that liberated Goa from Portuguese rule. PM Modi will also felicitate the freedom fighters and veterans of ‘Operation Vijay’ at the function.
The Prime Minister will inaugurate multiple development projects including the renovated Fort Aguada Jail Museum, Super Speciality Block at Goa Medical College, New South Goa District Hospital, Aviation Skill Development Center at Mopa Airport and the Gas-insulated Substation at Dabolim-Navelim, Margao.
He will also lay the foundation stone for the India International University of Legal Education and Research of Bar Council of India Trust at Goa.
It has been the constant endeavour of the Prime Minister to improve medical infrastructure and provide top class medical facilities across the country. In line with this vision, the Super Speciality Block at Goa Medical College and Hospital has been constructed at a cost of over Rs. 380 crore under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana scheme, the PMO statement said.
It is the only state of the art super speciality hospital in the entire state of Goa, providing high-end super speciality services. It will provide specialized services like angioplasty, bypass surgery, liver transplant, kidney transplant, dialysis etc. The Super Speciality Block will also house a 1000 LPM PSA plant installed under PM-CARES.
As per the release, The New South Goa District Hospital, built at a cost of around Rs 220 crores is equipped with modern medical infrastructure including OPD services in 33 specialities, the latest diagnostic and laboratory facilities and services like Physiotherapy, Audiometry etc. The hospital has 500 oxygenated beds, 5500 litre LMO tanks and 2 PSA plants of 600 lpm.
The re-development of Aguada Fort Jail Museum as a Heritage Tourism destination under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme has been done at a cost of over Rs 28 crore, it said in a statement.
Before Goa’s liberation, Aguada Fort was used to incarcerate and torturing the freedom fighters. The Museum will highlight the contributions and sacrifices made by the prominent freedom fighters who fought for the liberation of Goa and will be a befitting tribute to them.
The Aviation Skill Development Center at the upcoming Mopa Airport, built at a cost of around Rs 8.5 crore, is aimed at providing training in 16 different job profiles. The trainees will be able to get job opportunities in the Mopa Airport project as it becomes operational, as well as at other Airports in India and abroad.
Gas Insulated Substation at Davorlim-Navelim, Margao has been constructed at a cost of around Rs 16 crores under the Integrated Power Development Scheme of the Ministry of Power, Government of India. It will provide stable power supply to the villages of Davorlim, Nessai, Navelim, Aquem-Baixo and Telaulim.
The India International University of Legal Education and Research of Bar Council of India Trust will be established in line with the focus of the government to transform Goa into a hub of higher and technical education.
The Prime Minister will also release a Special Cover and Special Cancellation to mark the commemoration of the Indian Armed Forces freeing Goa from Portuguese rule. He will also release ‘My Stamp’ depicting the Hutatma Smarak at Patradevi, which salutes the great sacrifices made by the martyrs of the Goa Liberation Movement.
During his visit, the Prime Minister will pay Floral Tributes at Martyr’s Memorial, Azad Maidan, Panaji. He will also attend the Sail Parade and FlyPast at Miramar, Panaji.

Bhutan confers highest civilian award on PM Modi

Thimphu [Bhutan]: Bhutan on Friday conferred its highest civilian award, Ngadag Pel gi Khorlo on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“Overjoyed to hear His Majesty pronounce Your Excellency Modiji’s Narendra Modi name for the highest civilian decoration, Ngadag Pel gi Khorlo,” Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) of Bhutan said in a Facebook post. While conferring the award, Bhutan King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck highlighted support PM Modi extended over the years and particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“HM highlighted all the unconditional friendship and support Modiji extended over the years and particularly during the pandemic. Much deserving! Congratulations from the people of Bhutan. In all interactions, seen Your Excellency as a great, spiritual human being. Looking forward to celebrating the honour in person,” it added.
Since the start of the pandemic, India has provided assistance to Bhutan in the form of COVID-19 vaccines and other medical equipment.
Earlier this year, Bhutan PM Lotay Tshering had congratulated PM Modi for achieving one billion COVID-19 vaccination doses. He also stated that Bhutan being a close neighbour to India, feel more secure.

PM Modi to lay foundation stone of Ganga Expressway in UP’s Shahjahanpur

Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone of Ganga Expressway in Shahjahanpur district of Uttar Pradesh on December 18.
The inspiration behind the Expressway is the vision of the Prime Minister to provide fast-paced connectivity across the country, according to an official statement issued by the Uttar Pradesh government on Thursday. The 594 km long six-lane Expressway will be built at a cost of over Rs 36,200 crores. Starting near the Bijauli village in Meerut, the Expressway will extend till near the Judapur Dandu village in Prayagraj.
It will pass through Meerut, Hapur, Bulandshahr, Amroha, Sambhal, Budaun, Shahjahanpur, Hardoi, Unnao, Rae Bareli, Pratapgarh and Prayagraj.
“Upon completion of work, it will become the longest expressway of Uttar Pradesh, connecting the western and eastern regions of the state,” the statement further read.
A 3.5 km long airstrip for assisting emergency take-off and landing of Air Force planes will also be constructed on the Expressway in Shahjahanpur. An industrial corridor is also proposed to be built along the Expressway.
The Expressway will also give a fillip to multiple sectors including industrial development, trade, agriculture, tourism etc. It will provide a big boost to the socio-economic development of the region, it added.

We fought together, defeated oppressive forces, says PM Modi on Swarnim Vijay Diwas

New Delhi [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday, on the occasion of Swarnim Vijay Diwas, recalled the great valour and sacrifices by the Muktijoddhas, Biranganas and the Indian Armed Forces and said that together we fought and defeated oppressive forces.
Taking to Twitter, PM Modi said, “On the 50th Vijay Diwas, I recall the great valour and sacrifice by the Muktijoddhas, Biranganas and bravehearts of the Indian Armed Forces. Together, we fought and defeated oppressive forces. Rashtrapati Ji’s presence in Dhaka is of special significance to every Indian.” Meanwhile, President Ram Nath Kovind will witness Bangladesh’s 50th Victory Day celebrations in Dhaka today as a guest of honour.
Swarnim Vijay Varsh commemorates 50 years of India’s victory in the 1971 war and the formation of Bangladesh.
Last year on 16 December, Prime Minister Narendra Modi lit the Swarnim Vijay Mashaal from the Eternal Flame at the National War Memorial.
He also lit four flames that were to traverse along with different directions. Since then, these four flames have traversed across the length and breadth of the country, including to Siachen, Kanyakumari, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Longewala, Rann of Kutch, Agartala.
The flames were taken to key battle areas and also to the houses of gallantry award winners and veterans of the 1971 war.
Today, during the Homage Ceremony, these four flames will be merged by the Prime Minister with the Eternal Flame at the National War Memorial.

PM Modi inaugurates Kashi Vishwanath Dham project

Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh) [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday inaugurated phase 1 of the Kashi Vishwanath Dham project at Uttar Pradesh’s Varanasi, which has been constructed at a cost of around Rs 339 crores.
A total of 23 buildings will be inaugurated in phase 1 of the project. They will provide a variety of facilities to the pilgrims visiting Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple, including Yatri Suvidha Kendras, Tourist Facilitation Centre, Vedic Kendra, Mumukshu Bhavan, Bhogshala, City Museum, Viewing Gallery, Food Court, among others. Prime Minister’s vision was also to ensure that all heritage structures be preserved during the course of the development of the project. This foresight came in handy when, during the process of destruction of the old properties, more than 40 ancient temples were rediscovered.
These temples have been restored and beautified while ensuring that there is no change in the original structure.

The scale of the project was such that the project is now spread over a massive area of about 5 lakh square feet, whereas earlier premises was limited to just around 3000 square feet.
Before inaugurating the project, in his Lok Sabha constituency, the Prime Minister greeted the labourers who were involved in the construction of the project with flowers.

PM Modi offered prayers at the Kashi Vishwanath Temple and planted a Rudraksha tree at the premises of the temple.

The Prime Minister, who is in his Lok Sabha constituency for two days, offered ‘Ganga jal’, chandan, ashes and milk to Lord Shiva at the Kashi Vishwanath Temple.

Varanasi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi offers prayer at Kaal Bhiarav temple

He arrived at the temple on Alaknanda cruise, a double-decker boat and took a holy dip in the River Ganga.
Later in the evening, he will also witness the Ganga Aarti while on-board a Ro-Ro Vessel at around 6 pm.
On his arrival in the city, the Prime Minister offered prayers at Kaal Bhairav Temple.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was given a rousing welcome as soon as he reached Varanasi as they showered flower petals and chanted slogans of ‘Modi, Modi’ and ‘Har Har Mahadev’.
During the two-day visit, Prime Minister will also participate in a conclave of Chief Ministers of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, along with Deputy Chief Ministers from Bihar and Nagaland.
The conclave will provide an opportunity to share governance-related best practices and is in line with the Prime Minister’s vision of furthering team India’s spirit.

Assam CM to attend meet with PM Modi, seek blessings at Kashi Vishwanath temple

Dispur (Assam) [India]: Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that for the development of the state, he will be visiting and taking blessings at the Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi of Uttar Pradesh on Monday. Sarma is also scheduled to attend the meeting of Chief Ministers of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ruled states with the Prime Minister.
“Today there is an opportunity to visit Banaras to participate in the meeting of Chief Ministers of BJP ruled states organized under the leadership of respected Prime Minister. For the all-round development of the state, I will also get the privilege of praying by visiting Kashi Vishwanathji,” Sarma said in a tweet (roughly translated from Hindi). Earlier on Monday, the Prime Minister’s Office informed that the Chief Ministers of 12 states and deputy chief ministers of nine states will be present during the inauguration of the Vishwanath Corridor project, that connects two iconic landmarks in the temple town – the Kashi Vishwanath temple to the Ganga ghats in Varanasi.
Varanasi is all set for the inauguration of the Kashi Vishwanath Corridor by PM Modi on December 13.
Chief Ministers of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand will be present at the auspicious occasion.

PM Modi offers prayers at Kaal Bhiarav temple

Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh) [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday offered prayers at the Kaal Bhiarav temple in Uttar Pradesh’s Varanasi.
The Prime Minister is on a two-day visit to his parliamentary constituency. PM Modi also performed aarti at the temple. He was accompanied by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

He will be heading to the Kashi Vishwanath temple next to offer prayers at around 1 pm and inaugurate the Kashi Vishwanath Dham at around 1:20 pm.


The Prime Minister will also witness the Ganga aarti while on-board a Ro-Ro Vessel at around 6 pm.
During the two-day visit, Prime Minister will also participate in a conclave of Chief Ministers of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, along with Deputy Chief Ministers from Bihar and Nagaland.
The conclave will provide an opportunity to share governance-related best practices and is in line with the Prime Minister’s vision of furthering team India’s spirit.

PM Modi to visit Varanasi to inaugurate Kashi Vishwanath Dham

New Delhi [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be on a two-day visit to his parliamentary constituency Varanasi from Monday, during which he will inaugurate phase 1 of the newly-constructed Kashi Vishwanath Dham.
According to Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), “At around 1 PM on December 13, Prime Minister will visit Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple and offer prayers, after which he will inaugurate phase 1 of Shri Kashi Vishwanath Dham, constructed at a cost of around Rs 339 crores.” The foundation stone of the project was laid by the Prime Minister on March 8, 2019.
“It was the vision of the Prime Minister for a long time, to facilitate the pilgrims and devotees of Baba Vishwanath, who had to encounter congested streets and surroundings with poor upkeep, when they practised the age-old custom of taking a dip in the holy river, collecting Gangajal and offering it at the temple. To realise this vision, Shri Kashi Vishwanath Dham was conceptualised as a project to create an easily accessible pathway to connect Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple to the banks of the River Ganga,” it said.

The Prime Minister took a keen and active interest at all stages of the project. Regular briefings, reviews and monitoring were done by the Prime Minister himself, and he constantly gave inputs and insights to improve the project and make it more accessible for pilgrims, including for the disabled.
The project was designed to provide easy access for the disabled and old age people with the provision of ramps, escalators, and other modern facilities.
A total of 23 buildings will be inaugurated in phase 1 of the project. They will provide a variety of facilities to the pilgrims visiting Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple, including Yatri Suvidha Kendras, Tourist Facilitation Centre, Vedic Kendra, Mumukshu Bhavan, Bhogshala, City Museum, Viewing Gallery, Food Court, among others.

The project involved the purchase and acquisition of more than 300 properties around Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple.
“Prime Minister’s vision to take everyone along was the principle based on which mutual negotiations were done for these acquisitions. In this endeavour, the rehabilitation of around 1400 shopkeepers, tenants, and homeowners were done amicably. The testimony of the success is the fact that there is no litigation pending in any court of the country regarding acquisitions or rehabilitation related to the development of the project,” it said.
Prime Minister’s vision was also to ensure that all heritage structures be preserved during the course of the development of the project. This foresight came in handy when, during the process of destruction of the old properties, more than 40 ancient temples were rediscovered.
These temples have been restored and beautified while ensuring that there is no change in the original structure.
The scale of the project was such that the project is now spread over a massive area of about 5 lakh square feet, whereas earlier premises was limited to just around 3000 square feet.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the work on the project has been completed as per the planned schedule.
During the visit to Varanasi, the Prime Minister will also visit Kaal Bhairav Temple at around 12 noon and witness Ganga Aarti while on-board a Ro-Ro Vessel at around 6 pm on December 13.
On December 14, at around 3:30 pm, Prime Minister will attend the 98th-anniversary celebrations of Sadguru Sadafaldeo Vihangam Yog Sansthan at Swarved Mahamandir in Varanasi.
During the two-day visit, Prime Minister will also participate in a conclave of Chief Ministers of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, along with Deputy Chief Ministers from Bihar and Nagaland.
The conclave will provide an opportunity to share governance-related best practices and is in line with the Prime Minister’s vision of furthering team India’s spirit.

Ahead of PM Modi’s Varanasi visit, Kashi Vishwanath Temple decked up

Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh) [India]: Kashi Vishwanath Temple has been decked up before the inauguration by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 13.
Speaking to ANI, Shrikant Mishra, Priest at Kashi Vishwanath temple said, “The city is filled with enthusiasm as the temple is ready to become ‘Vishwanath Dham’ after years. PM Modi is going to inaugurate the corridor on December 13.” “Significantly, ‘Jyotirling’ of Kashi Vishwanath temple is considered to be the most important among other twelve Jyotirlingas, that’s why lakhs of devotees come here to offer prayers. Earlier, this temple was only situated 2,000 metres, but now it has been spread over 50,000 square metres,” the priest said.

The priest further spoke about the difficulties faced during the construction of this corridor. “The path of completing PM Modi’s dream project was difficult as around 14,000 people were displaced from their homes. Now, the Ganga ghat will be easily visible from the temple,” he added.
Meanwhile, the temple’s lighting has been done keeping in mind its blue theme and heritage look.
“The temple has now flourished in its true form. All the arrangements have been made here for devotees. Now, the devotees will get mesmerised by the lighting of the temple as the number of lighting experts were working on it. The lighting has been done keeping in mind its blue theme and heritage look. The walls are adorned with blue lights,” said Suresh, lighting expert at Kashi Vishwanath temple.

Nagendra Pandey, another priest and an astrologer said, “The temple will be inaugurated on December 13 at an auspicious time.”

Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Tourism Minister Neelkanth Tiwari said that the project has been built with Rs 399 crores. “It has been built with Rs 399 crores and is not only taking forward the dignity of Kashi but also creating a possibility of the boom in the religious tourism of Varanasi. The tourism sector is expected to grow insignificantly,” Tiwari said.

At Kashi Vishwanath Dham Corridor, devotees will also see a statue of Maratha Queen Maharani Ahilyabai Holkar, who once reconstructed the temple. The entire event will be aired live across the country.
Known to be Prime Minister’s dream project, this corridor will shorten the time span and will set a direct link between the temple and the Ganga river.

Saryu Nahar Project that was incomplete for four decades has been finished in four years: PM Modi

New Delhi [India]: The Saryu Nahar National Project that was incomplete for four decades has been finished in four years, said Prime Minister Narendra on Friday ahead of his visit to Balrampur for its inauguration on Saturday.
Taking to Twitter, PM Modi said, “You would be shocked to know that work on the Saryu Nahar National Project began in 1978 but for decades, the project was never completed. Costs increased and so did people’s woes. A project that was incomplete for four decades has been finished in four years.” This project will solve irrigation related problems in Eastern UP and help hardworking farmers, PM Modi said.
“The swift work on the Saryu Nahar National Project during the last four years is in line with our Government’s commitment to complete long-pending projects and also harness our water resources for the benefit of our farmers and to further promote Ease of Living, he added.
As per the Prime Minister’s Office, the work on the project started in 1978 but due to lack of continuity of budgetary support, interdepartmental coordination and adequate monitoring, it got delayed and was not completed even after nearly four decades.
“Prime Minister’s vision for farmer welfare and empowerment, and his commitment to prioritising long pending projects of national importance, brought much-needed focus on the project. Consequently, in 2016, the project was brought under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana with the target to complete it in a time-bound manner,” the PMO said.
“In this endeavour, innovative solutions were found for new land acquisition to construct new canals and fill the critical gaps in the project, and also for resolving the pending litigation related to the previous land acquisitions. The renewed focus on the project has resulted in the project being completed in only about four years,” it added.
The Saryu Nahar National Project has been built at a total cost of more than Rs 9,800 crore, out of which more than Rs 4,600 crore was provisioned in the last four years.
The project also involves the interlinking of five rivers– Ghaghara, Saryu, Rapti, Banganga and Rohini– to ensure optimum usage of water resources of the region.
The project will provide assured water for irrigation of over 14 lakh hectares of land and benefit about 29 lakh farmers of over 6,200 villages.
It will benefit nine districts of Eastern Uttar Pradesh namely – Bahraich, Shravasti, Balrampur, Gonda, Siddharthnagar, Basti, Sant Kabir Nagar, Gorakhpur and Maharajganj.
As per the PMO, the farmers of the region, who were the worst sufferers due to delay in the project, will now benefit from the upgraded irrigation potential. They will now be able to grow crops on a larger scale and maximise the agri-potential of the region.

Centuries of colonial rule could not suppress democratic spirit of Indian people: PM Modi at Summit for Democracy

New Delhi [India]: Emphasising that democratic spirit is integral to India’s civilisational ethos, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that centuries of colonial rule could not suppress the democratic spirit of the Indian people.
“Elected republican city-states such as Licchavi, Shakya flourished in India as far as 2500 years back. The same democratic spirit is seen in the 10th Century’s Uttaramerur inscription that codified the principles of democratic participation,” said PM Modi virtually while addressing the Summit for Democracy organised by the US President Joe Biden on Friday. Stressing that these “democratic spirits and ethos had made ancient India one of the most prosperous,” he said, adding, “centuries of the colonial rule could not suppress the democratic spirit of the Indian people.”
“It again found full expression with India’s independence and laid to an unparallel story in democratic nation-building over the last 75 years,” he added.
It is a story of unprecedented socio-economic inclusion in all spheres, the Prime Minister said, emphasising, “It is a story of constant improvements in health, education and human well being at an unimaginable scale.”
The India story has one clear message to the world that democracy can deliver, that democracy has delivered and that democracy will continue to deliver, PM Modi said.
Underlining that structural features like multi-party elections, independent judiciary and free media are important instruments of democracy, he said that the basic strength of democracy is the spirit and the ethos that lie within our citizens and our societies.
“Democracy is not only of the people by the people for the people but also with the people and within the people, ” PM Modi added while addressing the summit, which US President Joe Biden kicked off on Thursday (local time).
The summit focused on challenges and opportunities facing democracies and provided a platform for leaders to announce both individual and collective commitments, reforms, and initiatives to defend democracy and human rights at home and abroad.
President Joe Biden on Thursday took the next step in his plans to promote democracy against rising autocracies when he convened a virtual “Summit for Democracy,” which hosted more than 100 participants representing governments, civil society and private-sector leaders.
US President Joe Biden on Thursday invoked Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela while referring to the work done by Congressman John Lewis, a civil rights activist, during his opening remarks at the Summit for Democracy.
He said Congressman John Lewis was a great champion of democracy and civil rights around the world and took inspiration from other great leaders – Gandhi and Mandela.

“Democracies are not all the same. We don’t agree on everything. But the choices that we are going to make today together are going to define, in my way, the course of our shared future for generations to come,” Biden said.

“Congressman John Lewis was a great champion of American democracy and civil rights around the world, learning from and taking inspiration from other great leaders like Gandhi and Mandela. In the final words, when he was dying, he reminded our country when he said ‘Democracy is not a state, it is an act,” he added.

Biden said the democracies have to stand up for the values that define “us”.

India stands ready to work with partners to strengthen democratic values globally, says PM Modi

New Delhi [India]: India stands ready to work with its partners to strengthen democratic values globally including in multilateral fora, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday.
PM Modi’s remarks come a day after he participated in Summit for Democracy hosted by US President Joe Biden. “Happy to have participated in the Summit for Democracy at the invitation of President Biden. As the world’s largest democracy, India stands ready to work with our partners to strengthen democratic values globally, including in multilateral fora,” he tweeted.
US President Joe Biden on Thursday kicked off the first-ever Summit for Democracy. Besides PM Modi, around 80 world leaders attended the opening remarks virtually, including from France, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Japan, Israel and the Philippines.
The summit focuses on challenges and opportunities facing democracies and will provide a platform for leaders to announce both individual and collective commitments, reforms, and initiatives to defend democracy and human rights at home and abroad.

PM Modi visits Palam Airbase, pays respects to CDS General Rawat, others who died in chopper crash

New Delhi [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday visited Palam airbase here and paid his last respects to Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat and other 11 armed force personnel who lost their lives in a chopper crash in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval also visited Palam airbase and paid their respects to Gen Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat and other 11 armed force personnel who lost their lives in the helicopter crash. The three service chiefs – Army Chief Gen MM Naravane, Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar and IAF chief Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari also paid their respects to CDS Gen Bipin Rawat and others who died in the chopper crash.
Apart from General Rawat and his wife Madhulika Rawat, his Defence Adviser Brigadier Lakhbinder Singh Lidder and Staff Officer Lieutenant Colonel Harjinder Singh also died in the crash.
Other nine defence forces personnel who died in the chopper crash are Wing Commander Prithvi Singh Chauhan, Squadron Leader Kuldeep Singh, Junior Warrant Officer Rana Pratap Das, Junior Warrant Officer Arakkal Pradeep, Havildar Satpal Rai, Naik Gursewak Singh, Naik Jitendra Kumar, Lance Naik Vivek Kumar and Lance Naik B Sai Teja.
Group Captain Varun Singh, who is the lone survivor from the crash, has been shifted to Air Force Command hospital at Bengaluru for further treatment.
Bodies of General Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat, Brigadier LS Lidder and Lance Naik Vivek Kumar have been identified so far.
The Indian Army has said that the process for positive identification of remaining mortal remains is continuing. The mortal remains will be released to the next of kin for final religious rites as desired by respective families.
The Army said that people can pay tributes to CDS General Bipin Rawat from 1100-1230 hours at his Kamraj Marg residence tomorrow.
The last rites will be performed in Delhi on Friday with full military honours. The funeral procession will start from Kamraj Marg and reach Brar Square crematorium in Delhi Cantonment on Friday.
The last rites of Brig LS Lidder will be held at 9.15 am at Delhi Cantonment tomorrow.

PM Modi chairs meeting of Cabinet Committee on Security

New Delhi [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday chaired a Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) meeting on Wednesday evening, informed the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
The meeting is being attended by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval. In the CCS meeting, all members observed two minutes of silence and paid tributes to all those who lost their lives in the chopper crash in Tamil Nadu.
Earlier today, General Bipin Rawat, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), his wife Madhulika Rawat, and 11 other persons on board the Mi-17 V5 helicopter were killed after the aircraft crashed near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu.
The helicopter crashed around noon shortly after it took off from the Air Force base in Sulur, Coimbatore, for Wellington in the Nilgiri Hills.
The General was heading to the Defence Services Staff College in Wellington to address the faculty and student officers of the Staff Course today.
The IAF has ordered an inquiry into the accident.

PM Modi, Russian President hold annual summit meeting

New Delhi [India]: The meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin for the 21st India- Russia Annual Summit has begun at the Hyderabad House here on Monday.
This is the first in-person between them since they met on the sidelines of the BRICS summit in 2019 in Brasilia. There have been six telephonic conversations between the two leaders since then apart from the virtual meetings that they’ve attended for multilateral summits. The visit is in continuation of the tradition of annual summits held alternately in India and Russia.
Earlier in the day, the two countries held their first 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue.
The two countries on Monday signed an agreement for the procurement of 6,01,427 assault rifles AK-203 through Indo-Russia Rifles Pvt Ltd, under the military-technical cooperation arrangement for 2021-31.
Putin had said on Wednesday that he intends to discuss with Prime Minister Narendra Modi new “large-scale” initiatives on further developing “specially privileged” Russian-Indian relations.
“This partnership brings real mutual benefit to both states. Bilateral trade shows good dynamics; ties are actively developing in the energy sector, innovation, space, and the production of coronavirus vaccines and medicines,” Putin had said.

PM Modi says looking forward to continue working with Bangladesh PM on Maitri Diwas

New Delhi [India]: Commemorating 50 years of friendship between India and Bangladesh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said that he is looking forward to continuing working with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to further expand and deepen our ties.
“Today India and Bangladesh commemorate Maitri Diwas. We jointly recall and celebrate the foundations of our 50 years of friendship. I look forward to continue working with H.E. PM Sheikh Hasina to further expand and deepen our ties,” PM Modi tweeted. During PM Modi’s Bangladesh visit in March 2021 to attend the national day of Bangladesh, it was decided to commemorate December 6 as Maitri Diwas (Friendship Day), according to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) release.
Ten days before the liberation of Bangladesh, India had recognised Bangladesh on December 06, 1971. India was one of the first countries to establish bilateral diplomatic ties with Bangladesh, MEA said.
The Maitri Diwas is being commemorated in 18 countries around the world apart from in Dhaka and Delhi. These countries are Belgium, Canada, Egypt, Indonesia, Russia, Qatar, Singapore, UK, Australia, France, Japan, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Switzerland, Thailand, UAE and USA.
The holding of Maitri Diwas is a reflection of the deep and abiding friendship between the peoples of India and Bangladesh that has been forged in blood and shared sacrifices.

PM Modi, Putin to meet with spotlight on India-Russia special, privileged strategic partnership

New Delhi [India]: As India prepares to host Russian President Vladimir Putin for the annual India-Russia summit, New Delhi’s time-tested and all-weather partnership with Moscow is back in the limelight.
This will be the first in-person meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Putin after their meeting on the sidelines of the BRICS summit in Brasilia in November 2019. Putin decided to go ahead with the visit despite the emergence of a new COVID-19 strain Omicron which has affected the schedule of several bilateral and international summits.
During the summit, PM Modi and the Russian President will review the prospects of bilateral relations and will discuss ways to further strengthen the strategic partnership between the two countries.
Putin’s visit assumes great significance as some analysts are questioning the future of India-Russia ties due to the improved Russian relations with China and Pakistan. Other experts have highlighted how India’s growing engagements with the US could prove to be an impediment to the time-tested partnership with Moscow.
Refuting these arguments, a prominent Moscow-based political analyst said the Russian-Indian axis remains strong and isn’t affected by third parties’ pressure.
Andrew Korybko, an American Moscow-based political analyst, told ANI that Moscow respects New Delhi’s right to clinch whatever partnerships it wants with other countries but it expects that they won’t be directed against any third countries.
Korybko said that enhanced partnership with Russia helps India recalibrate its multi-alignment policy towards Eurasia “after it tilted heavily towards the Indo-Pacific in recent years”.
“Against the context of US-Russian tensions and especially the US’ threats to sanction India under CAATSA for purchasing Russia’s S-400 air defence systems, this shows that the historical Russian-Indian axis – which is among the most enduring in the modern era – remains strong and isn’t affected by third parties’ pressure,” he told ANI in an email interview.
Asked if Moscow is concerned about India’s increasing engagement with the US, Korybko said “Russia respects India’s right to clinch whatever partnerships it wants with third countries, but it expects that they won’t be directed against any third countries”.
Furthermore, Korybko said Putin will likely seek to further diversify the special and privileged strategic partnership away from its military-industrial focus and towards more economic, technological, and integrative directions.
“In particular, this could see some deals signed for Russian companies to invest more in India, further technological cooperation (including on vaccines), and more progress on the and especially the VCMC. Basically, this visit will try to take their historical partnership to the next level, helping it evolve with the times and remain an axis of stability and certainty in Eurasia,” he said.
The annual summit is a time for both leaders to recalibrate the long-standing relationship. Experts believe that both countries understand the importance of mutual cooperation and continued coordination at the world stage, despite the few hurdles that may arise from time to time.

Farmers, farming both have prospered since 2014: Narendra Singh Tomar

New Delhi [India]: Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Friday informed the Rajya Sabha that both “farmers and farming have prospered since 2014”, the year when the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) established a clear majority on its own in the Lok Sabha elections.
Replying during the Question Hour in Parliament during the ongoing Winter Session, Tomar said doubling of Kishan Credit Card (KCC), increasing of Minimum Support Price (MSP) to farmers that is at least 1.5 times the cost of production across all commodities and PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Scheme are among various other steps taken by the Modi government so far for the welfare of the farmers. Responding to a question on PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Scheme, the Minister said, “It is a continuous scheme and the farmers have to verify themselves to get the benefits of the scheme”.
The Minister said the Centre has provided a sum amounting to around Rs 1.60 lakh crore to around 11.5 crore farmer families under the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Scheme so far.
Tomar said a total of 12.5 crore farmers have come under the ambit of the scheme as per the survey and 11.5 crore farmers have availed its benefit so far and the remaining farmers will be soon covered under it.
“Both the farmers and farming have grown towards prosperity since 2014,” said the Minister.
As per the Minister, the government has been running various awareness schemes to benefit the farmers under PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Scheme and almost all the farmers have been aware of it.
He further said that the Central government is committed to rolling out the promised sum under the scheme to the bank accounts of all eligible farmers who can register their names to the PM Kisan list to receive the benefits under the flagship scheme of the Central government.
He said the farmers have to register themselves in the farmers’ corner at the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana website for which Common Service Centres (CSC) have been authorised to provide help in each village to register all the farmers under the scheme.
Tomar said the “farmers of West Bengal” have also started registering themselves to the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Scheme.
Small and marginal farmers in the country are given financial assistance of Rs 6,000 every year directly to the bank accounts of eligible farmers under the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Scheme. The sum is transferred in three separate instalments of Rs 2,000 each.
Farmers are awaiting the 10th instalment under PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana. So far nine instalments of the scheme have been credited to farmers’ accounts and the 10th instalment is likely to be credited around December 15.
The central government is set to release Rs 22,000 crore to the account of farmers as part of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi or PM KISAN Scheme soon.

Uttarakhand polls 2022: PM Modi likely to hold public rally in Kumaon region

New Delhi [India]: Ahead of the upcoming Uttarakhand Assembly elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to hold a public rally in the Kumaon region during his second visit to the state later this month, informed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) sources on Wednesday.
According to sources, PM Modi is preparing to visit Uttarakhand once again this month after his scheduled visit on December 4. “During his next visit which will begin on December 24, the public rally is expected to take place in Haldwani area of Uttarakhand’s Kumaon region,” sources added.
PM Modi will visit Uttarakhand’s Dehradun to inaugurate and lay the foundation stone of multiple projects worth around Rs 18,000 crore on December 4.
As per the official note released by the Prime Minister’s Office, PM Modi will lay the foundation stone of eleven development projects. This includes the Delhi-Dehradun Economic Corridor (from Eastern Peripheral Expressway Junction to Dehradun) which will be built at a cost of around Rs 8300 crore. It will significantly reduce the travel time from Delhi to Dehradun from six hours to around 2.5 hours.
The Prime Minister will also lay the foundation stone for the Child-Friendly City Project, Dehradun, to make the city child-friendly by making the roads safer for their travel. Foundation stone for projects related to the development of water supply, road & drainage system in Dehradun at a cost of over Rs 700 crore will also be laid.
He will inaugurate seven projects, including those which focus on making travel safer by tackling the problem of chronic landslides in the region. He will also inaugurate Hydroelectric Project and Himalayan Culture Center at Dehradun.

Need to provide ‘strong alternative’ at national level, says Sharad Pawar after meeting Mamata Banerjee

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India]: Ahead of the general elections scheduled in 2024, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar said that there is a need for like-minded political forces to come together to provide “strong alternative” at the national level.
Pawar spelt out his strategy to counter Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 2024 Lok Sabha polls following his meeting with Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo Mamata Banerjee in Mumbai. After meeting Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday, Pawar stated that Mamata’s intention is that like-minded forces should come together at the national level and set up a collective leadership.
“We have to provide a strong alternative to leadership. Our thinking is not for today, but for the election. This has to be established and with that intention, she has visited and had a very positive discussion with all of us,” he said.
“Be it Congress or any other party, the thing is that those who are against BJP, if they will come together, they are welcome, he said when asked if Congress will be a part of the “strong alternative”.
Banerjee, the West Bengal chief minister, has been recently reaching out to an array of regional parties. Her meeting with Pawar came a day after she held discussions with Shiv Sena leaders Sanjay Raut and Aaditya Thackeray.
“Sanjay Raut and Aaditya Thackeray met her. Today, my colleagues and I had a long chat with her. Her intention is, in today’s situation like-minded forces have to come together at the national level and set up collective leadership,” Pawar said.
Pawar too tweeted a photograph of the meeting with the TMC leader at his residence here.
“Pleased to meet Hon’ble CM of West Bengal Smt @MamataOfficial at my Mumbai residence. We Discussed various issues. We agreed upon the need to strengthen the collective efforts and commitment towards safeguarding democratic values and ensuring the betterment of our people”, Pawar tweeted.
Meanwhile, the West Bengal CM after the meeting took another swipe at Congress and questioned the existence of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA).
“There is no UPA now,” Mamata said.
This comment by the TMC chief comes ahead of the Cold War between Congress and the TMC.
Recently, Mamata Banerjee visited Delhi but she did not meet Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi.

CM Mamta Banerjee expresses grief over Nadia mishap

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India]: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee expressed her condolences over the death of 18 people in the Nadia road accident.
“Heartbroken to hear about the road accident in Nadia. I offer my deepest condolences to the bereaved families and pray for the speedy recovery of those who were injured. May God give them the strength to get past this difficult time,” she tweeted. “Government of West Bengal will extend every necessary assistance and support to the kin of the victims. We are beside you in this sad hour,” the Chief Minister said in another tweet.
As per the police officials, at least 18 people were killed and 5 others injured in a road accident that took place in West Bengal’s Phulbari area of Nadia district. The injured people have been shifted to Shaktinagar district hospital.
West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar has also expressed his grief over the mishap.

PM Modi chairs meet on Covid situation, vaccination

New Delhi [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday chaired a meeting on the situation relating to COVID-19 and vaccination with top officials.
Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, Principal Secretary to PM Modi, PK Mishra and NITI Aayog member (health) Dr VK Paul among others attended the meeting. India reported 8,318 fresh COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, informed the Health Ministry.
As many as 465 people succumbed to the COIVD-19 infection in the country in the last 24 hours, taking the death toll to 4,67,933.
With 10,967 fresh recoveries, the total recoveries stand at 3,39,88,797. The recovery rate is currently at 98.34 per cent, which is the highest since March 2020.
The active case accounts for less than 1 per cent of total cases, currently at 0.31 per cent, lowest since March 2020, at 1,07,019.
Amid rising concern about a new COVID-19 variant ‘Omicron’ first detected in South Africa, India also added several countries to the list from where travellers would need to follow additional measures on arrival in India, including post-arrival testing for infection.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare adds Hong Kong and Israel to the list of countries from where travellers would need to follow additional measures on arrival in India, including post-arrival testing considering the detection of new COVID variant ‘Omicron’ in South Africa.

Manohar Lal Khattar meets PM Modi, discusses development projects in Haryana

New Delhi [India]: Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Friday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said development works in Haryana were among the issues discussed.
In a tweet, Khattar wrote, “I reached respected Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji’s residence in Delhi today and met him. During this, many important issues ranging from current and upcoming development works in Haryana were discussed in detail with him.” After attending the meeting, Khattar said, “It felt good after meeting PM Modi. We discussed the Antyodaya Gramodaya Mela, Auto Appeal System (AAS), DRISHYA-drone technology and Large Scale Mapping.”
“The Prime Minister showed concerns on pollution, cleanliness in the rural sector and ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’,” he said.

Putin to visit India on December 6 for annual India-Russia summit

New Delhi [India]: Russian President Vladimir Putin will arrive in New Delhi on December 6 for the annual India-Russia summit.
This will be the first in-person meeting between Putin and Prime Minister Narendra Modi after their meeting on the sidelines of the BRICS summit in Brasilia in November 2019. During the summit, the leaders will review the state and prospects of bilateral relations between the two nations and will discuss ways to further strengthen the strategic partnership between the two countries, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi announced on Friday.
“Russian President Vladamir Putin will pay an official visit to New Delhi on December 6 for 21st India, Russia annual Summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” Bagchi said during a weekly press briefing.
The summit will offer an opportunity to exchange views on regional multilateral and international issues of mutual interests, Bagchi noted.
“The visit will further provide an impetus to India-Russia special and privileged strategic partnership,” Bagchi said.
The last India-Russia annual summit took place in 2019 during the visit of Prime Minister Modi to Vladivostok city in Russia.
The annual summit could not take place in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic situation.

PM Modi shares words of wisdom by Ambedkar, Rajendra Prasad in his Constitution Day speech

New Delhi [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday took to Twitter to extend best wishes to citizens on the occasion of Constitution Day.
PM Modi shared a picture of Chairman of the Drafting Committee of Indian Constitution Dr BR Ambedkar’s speech in the Constituent Assembly on November 4, 1948. “Best wishes to our citizens on Constitution Day. On this special day, sharing a part of Dr Ambedkar’s speech in the Constituent Assembly on 4th November 1948 in which he moved a motion for the adoption of the Draft Constitution as settled by the Drafting Committee,” PM Modi tweeted.


Further, mentioning the teachings of President of Constituent Assembly of India Rajendra Prasad, PM Modi tweeted in Hindi “No matter how beautiful, well-organized and strong any constitution is made, if it is not run by the true, fearless, selfless servants of the country, then the constitution cannot do anything. This spirit of Dr Rajendra Prasad is like a guide.”


Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the distinguished gathering and participate in the programmes that will be organised in the Parliament and Vigyan Bhawan today to celebrate Constitution Day.
Constitution Day is celebrated on November 26 each year to mark the adoption of the Indian Constitution by the Constituent Assembly in 1949. Constitution came into force on January 26, 1950, marking the beginning of a new era in the history of the Indian Republic.
The Constitution Day was first celebrated in 2015 as a mark of tribute to India’s first Law Minister Bhim Rao Ambedkar, who played a pivotal role in the drafting of the document.
The roots of this vision can also be traced back to the “Samvidhan Gaurav Yatra” organised by the then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in 2010.
The Constitution of India, one of the longest written Constitutions of the world, constitutes of a Preamble, 22 parts with 395 articles and eight schedules.

Cannot keep Kashmir by using muscle power: Mehbooba Mufti urges Centre to restore Article 370, 35A

Ramban (Jammu and Kashmir) [India]: Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday urged Centre to restore Article 370 and Article 35A and said that Kashmir cannot be kept with the country by using muscle power.
“We decided to go with India of Gandhi Ji, which gave us Article 370, Article 35A and our own flag…If you want to keep Jammu and Kashmir with you, reinstate Article 370 and Article 35A and solve Kashmir issue. You cannot keep Kashmir with you by using muscle power,” Mufti said while addressing a public rally at Banihal in Ramban district of Jammu and Kashmir. She also said, “It took India 200 years to get independence from the British and BJP took 70 years to remove Article 370 unconstitutionally. We may take 70 months but we will compel the Indian government to return not only Article 370 but resolve the Kashmir issue as well for which our youth sacrificed their lives.”
In August 2019, the Central government scrapped Article 370 which gave special rights to the people of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the region into two categories- Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

PM Modi to lay foundation stone of Noida International Airport on Thursday

New Delhi [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone of the Noida International Airport (NIA) in Jewar, Gautam Buddha Nagar, Uttar Pradesh on Thursday at 1 pm.
The development of the first phase of the airport is being done at a cost of over Rs 10,050 crore. The airport is spread over more than 1300 hectares of land, the completed first phase of the airport will have a capacity to serve around 1.2 crore passengers a year and work on it is scheduled to be completed by 2024.
Taking to Twitter, the Prime Minister had said that the project will boost commerce, connectivity and tourism.
“Tomorrow, 25th November is a major day for India’s and Uttar Pradesh’s strides in infra creation. At 1 PM, the foundation stone of the Noida International Airport will be laid. This project will significantly boost commerce, connectivity and tourism,” the PM had tweeted on Wednesday.
According to Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), Uttar Pradesh will become the only state in India to have five international airports.
The development of the airport is in line with the vision of the Prime Minister towards boosting connectivity and creating a future-ready aviation sector.
“A special focus of this grand vision has been on the state of Uttar Pradesh that is witnessing the development of multiple new international airports including the recently inaugurated Kushinagar airport and the under-construction international airport at Ayodhya,” it said.
This airport will be the second international airport to come up in Delhi NCR. It will help decongest the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport.
As per PMO, the airport is strategically located and will serve the people of cities including Delhi, Noida, Ghaziabad, Aligarh, Agra, Faridabad and neighbouring areas.
The airport will be the logistics gateway of northern India. Due to its scale and capacity, the airport will be a game-changer for Uttar Pradesh. It will unleash the potential of Uttar Pradesh to the world, and help establish the state on the global logistics map.
It further said that for the first time, an airport in India has been conceptualised with an integrated multi-modal cargo hub, with a focus on reducing the total cost and time for logistics.
“The dedicated cargo terminal will have a capacity of 20 lakh metric tonne, which will be expanded to 80 lakh metric tonnes. Through facilitating the seamless movement of industrial products, the airport will play a crucial role in helping the region attract huge investments, boost rapid industrial growth, and enable the reach of local products to national and international markets. This will bring new opportunities for numerous enterprises, and also create tremendous employment opportunities,” the statement added.
The Noida International Airport will be implemented in four phases and the work on the first phase is scheduled to be completed in 36 months, said Civil Aviation Secretary Rajiv Bansal.
According to Civil Aviation Secretary, it is a greenfield project that will be implemented in four phases.
“The traffic of 12 million passengers per year is expected in the first phase and by the completion of final phase i.e. between 2040-50, the capacity of Jewar airport will be to handle 70 million passengers per year,” Bansal said.
He also informed that Uttar Pradesh government is spending Rs 4,326 crore on the acquisition of land and rehabilitation and resettlement. Bansal said that the Prime Minister is personally monitoring the project.
As per PMO, the airport will develop a Ground Transportation Centre that will feature a multimodal transit hub, housing metro and high-speed rail stations, taxi, bus services and private parking.
This will enable seamless connectivity of the airport with the road, rail, and metro. Noida and Delhi will be connected to the airport through hassle-free metro service. All major nearby roads and highways like the Yamuna Expressway, Western Peripheral Expressway, Eastern Peripheral Expressway, Delhi-Mumbai Expressway and others will be connected to the airport.
The airport will also be linked to the planned Delhi-Varanasi High-Speed Rail, enabling the journey between Delhi and the airport in only 21 minutes.
The airport will also house a state-of-art Maintenance, Repair and Overhauling (MRO) Service.
The design of the airport is focused on low operating costs and seamless and fast transfer processes for passengers.
The airport is introducing a swing aircraft stand concept, providing flexibility for airlines to operate an aircraft for both domestic and international flights from the same contact stand, without having to re-position the aircraft. This will ensure quick and efficient aircraft turnarounds at the airport while ensuring a smooth and seamless passenger transfer process.
It will be India’s first net-zero emissions airport. It has earmarked dedicated land to be developed as a forest park using trees from the project site. NIA will preserve all native species and be nature positive throughout the development of the airport.
It will be executed by the international bidder Zurich Airport International AG as a concessionaire.
The groundwork for the first phase regarding land acquisition and rehabilitation of the affected families has been completed.

PM Modi to participate in Constitution Day celebrations on Friday at Parliament’s Central Hall

New Delhi [India]: As a part of the Constitution Day celebrations on Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will participate in the programmes that will be organised in Parliament and Vigyan Bhawan.
The programme organized in Parliament will begin at 11 am and will be held in the Central Hall of Parliament. It will be addressed by the President, Vice President, and Lok Sabha Speaker. After the speech of the President, the nation will join him Live, in reading the Preamble of the Constitution.
The President will also release the digital version of Constituent Assembly Debates, a digital version of a calligraphed copy of the Constitution of India and an updated version of the Constitution of India that will include all amendments to date. He will also inaugurate ‘Online Quiz on Constitutional Democracy’, as per the official statement.
Prime Minister will also inaugurate the two day Constitution Day celebrations organised by the Supreme Court, at 5:30 PM in Plenary Hall, Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi, according to the statement.
Prime Minister will also address the distinguished gathering at the central hall of the Parliament.
All Judges of the Supreme Court, Chief Justices of all High Courts and senior-most puisne Judges, Solicitor General of India, and other members of the legal fraternity will be present on the occasion.
The nation will celebrate Constitution Day on November 26 to commemorate the adoption of the Constitution of India by the Constituent Assembly in 1949.
The observation of Constitution Day started in 2015, based on the vision of the Prime Minister to give due recognition to the significance of this historic date.
The roots of this vision can also be traced back to the “Samvidhan Gaurav Yatra” organised by the then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in 2010.

Centre extends ‘PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana’, free ration till March 2022

New Delhi [India]: The Government of India decided to extend the ‘PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana’ to provide free ration till March 2022, informed Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Anurag Thakur on Wednesday.
Addressing media here, Thakur said that in the Union Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, “It has been decided to extend the ‘PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana’ to provide free ration till March 2022.” Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) is a food security welfare scheme that was envisaged by the Prime Minister to provide assistance and help mitigate the economic impact of COVID-19.
Under PMGKAY, 5 Kilogram of additional food grain, per person, is given to all beneficiaries covered under National Food Security Act.

Centre completes formalities to repeal 3 farm laws

New Delhi [India]: Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Anurag Thakur on Wednesday informed that the Union Cabinet led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has completed the formalities to repeal three farm laws.
Addressing the cabinet briefing today, Thakur said, “Today, the Union Cabinet led by PM completed formalities to repeal the three Farm Laws. During the upcoming session of the Parliament, it will be our priority to take back these three laws.” Prime Minister Narendra Modi, had earlier on Friday, announced that the Centre will repeal the three farm laws and bring necessary bills in the winter session of Parliament beginning later this month.
The Prime Minister had also announced that the government will constitute a committee to work on a new framework for Minimum Support Price (MSP).
Farmers have been protesting against the government’s three farm laws since the Centre had passed the laws in 2020.
The Farm Laws Repeal Bill, 2021 seeks to repeal the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance, Farm Services Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.
The Farm Laws Repeal Bill, 2021 has been listed for introduction and passage. It is among 26 new bills on the agenda of the government.

Will ask farmers to go home once they get assurance on MSP says Meghalaya Governor Satyapal Malik

Shillong (Meghalaya) [India]: Meghalaya Governor Satyapal Malik, who was at odds with the Centre and was targeting the Narendra Modi government on the issue of farm protests, has welcomed repealing of the laws and said that the Prime Minister has shown a big heart in taking the decision.
Malik also said that he will explain to farmers that they should not take the fight beyond the Minimum Support Price (MSP) issue. In an interview with ANI, Malik said, “The government must assure farmers on the minimum support price and form a committee. The matter will be resolved and I will urge farmers to go back home after that.”
“Farmers must not stretch protests beyond the MSP issue,” he added.
On being asked why he made remarks taking on the government, despite being in a Constitutional position, he said, “In the past also governors had taken such positions. Governors had toppled elected governments. Why was there silence then?”
“Had the government taken the decision earlier, it would have been more beneficial,” he added.
Malik also said that the decision has not been taken under any political pressure or on opposition influencing the farmers. “Farmers are apolitical and are not influenced by any political party,” he added.
“There is no single incident of stone pelting or even abuses being hurled from farmers’ side. Opposition leaders may have come to support them, but the farmers did not give them space in the movement,” he said.
Regarding the recent row, Malik said, “The day I get any indication from the one who appointed me, I will step down.”
Recently, Malik had said at an event that 600 people died protesting against the three contentious farm laws, but no condolences have come from the Centre.
“Even when an animal dies, Delhi ‘netas’ express condolences, but they could not pass a proposal in Lok Sabha for 600 farmers,” said Malik at an event in Rajasthan’s Jaipur.”
“India has never witnessed such a big protest,” he said about the farmers’ protests.

India to ban private cryptocurrencies, bill to be tabled in Parliament

Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi

New Delhi [India]: The government would introduce a bill to ban all private cryptocurrencies in India while providing certain exceptions to promote the underlying technology of cryptocurrency.
The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021′ is among 26 new bills on the agenda of the government for the winter session of parliament beginning November 29. The bill seeks to create a facilitative framework for the creation of the official digital currency to be issued by the Reserve Bank of India.
While seeking to prohibit all private cryptocurrencies in India, the bill “allows for certain exceptions to promote the underlying technology of cryptocurrency and its uses”.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had earlier this month chaired a meeting on the way forward for cryptocurrency and related issues.
According to sources, the meeting strongly felt that attempts to mislead the youth through over-promising and non-transparent advertising be stopped.
It was also discussed that unregulated crypto markets cannot be allowed to become avenues for money laundering and terror financing.
The meeting was an outcome of a consultative process as RBI, Finance Ministry, Home Ministry had done an elaborate exercise on it as well as consulted experts from across the country and the world.
The new bills will be introduced in Parliament before being taken up for passage.
Apart from the 26 new bills, three bills referred to the standing committees, are also on the agenda of the government for consideration and passage.

Union Cabinet likely to officially repeal farm laws

Parliament of India

New Delhi [India]: The Union Cabinet is likely to approve the proposal to withdraw the three farm laws in the meeting on Wednesday, sources said.
“Union Cabinet is likely to take up on Wednesday, November 24 the withdrawal of the three Farm laws for approval. The Bills for withdrawal of the laws shall then be introduced in the forthcoming Parliament session,” sources in the government told ANI. The Government of India has listed ‘The Farm Laws Repeal Bill, 2021’ in the legislative business to be taken up in Lok Sabha during the winter session of Parliament beginning November 29.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, earlier on Friday, announced that the Centre will repeal the three farm laws and bring necessary bills in the winter session of Parliament beginning later this month.
The Prime Minister had also announced that the government will constitute a committee to work on a new framework for Minimum Support Price (MSP).
Farmers have been protesting against the government’s three farm laws since the Centre had passed the laws in 2020.
The Farm Laws Repeal Bill, 2021 seeks to repeal the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance, Farm Services Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.
The Farm Laws Repeal Bill, 2021 has been listed for introduction and passage. It is among 26 new bills on the agenda of the government.

TMC should declare Mamata Banerjee as Prime Ministerial candidate for 2024 LS polls, says BJP

Mamata Banerjee addressing a rally

New Delhi [India]: West Bengal Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Sukanta Majumdar on Tuesday said that Trinamool Congress (TMC) should officially declare that party’s Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is their Prime Ministerial candidate for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
Speaking about Banerjee’s visit to the national capital, Majumdar told ANI, “If Mamata Banerjee is the Chief Minister of West Bengal, it is natural that she will come to Delhi and meet our ministers including the Prime Minister. Every Chief Minister comes to Delhi to meet Central ministers for the development of the state. As far as it is concerned that if she is the face of the Opposition or not, the Trinamool Congress should first make an official declaration that Mamata Banerjee is their PM candidate. Firstly, we want TMC to declare this, and then let the Opposition decide whether they will accept Mamata Banerjee as the face of the Opposition or not. Our PM face is decided. It is Prime Minister Narendra Modi.” Banerjee, who arrived in Delhi on Monday (November 22), is slated to be in the national capital till November 25. She will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday to discuss issues pertaining to the Border Security Force (BSF) and the development of the state during her visit to Delhi.
Over Banerjee’s Delhi visit, Majumdar claimed that the TMC supremo is attempting to form a national party adding that “this is the reason why she is sending her people to different states,” he said.
Hitting out at the ruling TMC in the state, Majumdar alleged that Mamata Banerjee became the Chief Minister in West Bengal for the third time by doing “politics over violence.”
“She wants to take this violence to other parts of the whole country,” he said.
Majumdar also attacked TMC on holding demonstrations in Delhi over alleged police brutality in Tripura and said that Mamata Banerjee is “dharna politics master.”
“She had staged a dharna to save her corrupt police officers and ministers. She even went to the CBI office to stage a dharna. It was natural that she would use the gimmicks of what she is an expert at. That is why TMC MPs were outside the Union Home Minister’s house in Delhi,” said Majumdar.
A delegation of TMC MPs on Monday met Union Home Minister Amit Shah in Delhi over the alleged police brutality in Tripura. A total of 16 TMC MPs including Derek O’Brien, Sukhendu Sekhar Roy, Santanu Sen and Mala Roy arrived at the party office in Delhi on Monday and held a protest outside the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) over the Tripura police incident.
Tensions in Tripura increased after violent incidents in the run-up to the elections to the Agartala Municipal Corporation (AMC) and 12 other municipal bodies slated for November 25.
TMC earlier alleged that several people sustained injuries after an attack on the residence of Trinamool Congress Tripura unit’s Steering Committee chief Subal Bhowmik in Bhagaban Thakur Chowmuni area of Agartala on Sunday.
Talking about Banerjee’s visit to Delhi, BJP Bengal in-charge and IT cell head Amit Malviya said that if she wants to become the face of the Opposition, then TMC should formally announce it.
“In the election, the public decides who will be suitable for the post of the Prime Minister. The Opposition keeps meeting among themselves, but they should announce who is their leader and what are their policies. On this basis, the public will decide whether you are right or not. But TMC is keeping silent in Delhi,” Malviya said.
On the other hand, BJP leader Priyanka Tibrewal, who contested in the Bhawanipur by-polls in West Bengal, took a jibe at TMC leader Abhishek Banerjee and Mamata Banerjee and said,
“Abhishek Banerjee is an alien. No one knows him in Tripura. TMC is doing all this just to come into the limelight and gain sympathy. TMC’s character is of blood-stained politics. They are now talking about violence. People in West Bengal have seen the violence of TMC. In Tripura, TMC is doing drama.”
Meanwhile, Supreme Court on Tuesday declined the plea of TMC to postpone the Tripura local body elections scheduled on November 25 and directed the police to increase the security arrangements for conducting free and fair polls and the declaration of results.
The Bench was hearing a contempt petition filed by All India Trinamool Congress and its Rajya Sabha MP Sushmita Dev alleging non-compliance with the apex court order by Tripura authorities passed on November 11 to ensure a free and safe atmosphere for political campaigning for the local body elections scheduled on November 25.
The Bench has now posted the matter for November 25 to ascertain compliance of the court’s order.

Will write open letter to PM Modi on MSP, other issues: Samyukt Kisan Morcha

New Delhi [India]: Samyukt Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of over 40 protesting farmer unions on Monday held an all delegation meeting and announced that the agitation will continue as per the schedule while adding that it will write an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Minimum Support Price (MSP).
Briefing mediapersons, farmer leader Balbir Singh Rajewal said, “We will write an open letter to Prime Minister mentioning the pending demands including MSP Committee, its rights, its time frame, its duties; Electricity Bill 2020 and the withdrawal of cases against farmers. We will also write to him to sack the Minister Ajay Mishra Teni over Lakhmipur Kheri incident.” However, the farmer leader welcomed the step of farm laws roll back announced by Prime Minister Modi and said, “It was a good step, we welcome it. But a lot of things still remain.”
“We discussed repeal of farm laws. After this, some decisions were taken. SKM’s predecided programs will continue as it is – Kisan panchayat in Lucknow on November 22 gatherings at all borders on November 26 and a march to Parliament on November 29,” he said.
Rajewal said that another meeting of SKM will be held on November 27 to discuss way future course of action.
“For a decision on further developments, another meeting of SKM will be held on November 27. The decision will be taken on the basis of the situation until then,” he added
The Samyukta Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of over 40 protesting farmer unions held a meeting today after its core committee meet on Saturday. Rakesh Tikait of the Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU), one of the key organisations leading the agitation, did not attend the meeting as he is currently in Lucknow.
Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) meeting, which was going on at Singhu border, concluded on Sunday.
The meeting was called to discuss the future course of action on farmers’ protests after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced repealing the three farm laws.
As the government has agreed to withdraw the three farm laws, the farmer unions have shifted their focus on minimum support price (MSP), demanding a law on it.
The farmers are also demanding compensation for the farmers who lost their lives during farmers’ protests and the withdrawal of cases registered against them.
The farmers have been protesting against the three farm laws for the past year across Delhi’s borders.

As farmer’s agitation continues, Rahul Gandhi says people not ready to trust PM’s words due to ‘false rhetoric’

New Delhi [India]: Following the Samyukt Kisan Morcha’s (SKM) announcement to continue the protest till farm laws are repealed, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday said people are not ready to trust the words of the Prime Minister due to “false rhetorics”.
Taking to Twitter, Gandhi said, “jhoothe jumale jhel chukee janata pm kee baat par vishvaas karane ko taiyaar nahin! kisaan satyaagrah jaaree hai. #FarmersProtest continues. (The public who has suffered due to false rhetoric is not ready tp trust the words of PM! Farmers Protest continues). Samyukt Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of over 40 protesting farmer unions on Monday held an all delegation meeting and announced that the agitation will continue as per the schedule while adding that it will write an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Minimum Support Price (MSP).
Briefing media persons, farmer leader Balbir Singh Rajewal said, “We will write an open letter to Prime Minister mentioning the pending demands including MSP Committee, its rights, its time frame, its duties; Electricity Bill 2020 and the withdrawal of cases against farmers. We will also write to him to sack Minister Ajay Mishra Teni over the Lakhimpur Kheri incident.
“However, the farmer leader welcomed the step of farm laws rollback announced by Prime Minister Modi and said, “It was a good step, we welcome it. But a lot of things still remain.”
“We discussed repeal of farm laws. After this, some decisions were taken. SKM’s predecided programs will continue as it is – Kisan panchayat in Lucknow on November 22 gatherings at all borders on November 26 and a march to Parliament on November 29,” he said.
Rajewal said that another meeting of SKM will be held on November 27 to discuss way future course of action.
Notably, the Union Cabinet is likely to take up the withdrawal of the three Farm Laws for approval on November 24, the government sources said.
The Bills for withdrawal of the laws will then be introduced in the forthcoming winter session of Parliament which is scheduled to commence from November 29.

PM Modi calls for constituting High-Power Police Technology Mission

Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called for constituting a High-Power Police Technology Mission, under the leadership of the Union Home Minister to adopt future technologies for grass root policing requirements.
Addressing the valedictory session of the 56th DGsP/IGsP Conference in Lucknow, PM Modi called for an analysis of all police-related incidents and developing case studies to make it an institutionalised learning mechanism and also suggested the development of interoperable technologies which would benefit Police forces across the country. He also hailed the hybrid format of the Conference as it allowed a free flow of information between various ranks, according to a release by the Prime Minister’s Office.
The Prime Minister also suggested the development of interoperable technologies to benefit Police forces across the country.
Citing the importance of technology in the lives of the general public, the Prime Minister gave examples of CoWIN, GeM and UPI. He also appreciated the positive change in Police attitude towards the general public, particularly post-COVID, and suggested positive use of drone technology for the benefit of the people.
PM Modi stressed on review of the SMART Policing concept introduced in 2014 and suggested the development of a roadmap for its continuous transformation and institutionalisation of the same in Police forces.
To tackle some of the routine challenges faced by Police, he urged to involve highly qualified youth to look for technological solutions through hackathons.
In the run-up to the Conference, various core groups of DGsP were formed for holding discussions on key aspects of national security such as prison reforms, terrorism, Left Wing Extremism, cyber-crimes, narcotics trafficking, foreign funding of NGOs, drone-related matters, development of border villages, etc.
The Prime Minister also awarded the President’s Police Medal for Distinguished Service to IB personnel.
As per the media statement, for the first time, as per the directives of the Prime Minister, IPS officers from various states had submitted articles on contemporary security issues.
The Conference was inaugurated by Union Home Minister Amit Shah on November 19, 2021, wherein he had awarded trophies to the three-best Police Stations of the country.
Shah participated in all the discussions and offered his valuable suggestions and guidance.

Agitation will go on till MSP, other demands resolved by Centre, farmer union leader

New Delhi [India]: Krantikari Kisan Union leader Darshan Pal Singh said on Saturday that their agitation will go on till pending issues of farmers like MSP, rollback of Power Bill 2020 and Air Quality Ordinance are resolved by the Centre.
“The agitation will continue till our pending issues are not addressed. These issues include MSP, rollback of Power Bill 2020, Air Quality Ordinance, withdrawal of cases against us and allocation of land for a memorial dedicated to farmers who died during the agitation. We hope that government will hold talks to resolve these issues,” he told the media here. The repeal of three farm laws was the key demand of protesting farmers. Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on Friday that the three bills will be repealed in the forthcoming parliament session.
Darshan Pal Singh said that a meeting of the main body of Samyukt Kisan Morcha will be held on Sunday and all upcoming events of the morcha will go on.
“Our programmes for November 22, November 26 and November 29 will continue as usual. Lucknow rally will be held on November 22. One year of farmer’s agitation will be marked across the country on November 26 and there will be a tractor rally to the Parliament on November 29,” he said.

Hope this decision unites nation, says Sukhbir Singh Badal on Centre’s call to roll back farm laws

Chandigarh (Punjab) [India]: Shiromani Akali Dal President Sukhbir Singh Badal on Friday hailed the Centre’s call to roll back the three farm laws and hoped that this decision unites the nation.
Badal further urged the Prime Minister to also withdraw the cases against the farmers. “Wholeheartedly welcome the decision on the repeal of three farming black laws. Shiromani Akali Dal is particularly grateful that Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s Parkash Purab was chosen to announce it. I hope this decision unites the nation, which has seen much temper due to the protests,” tweeted Badal.
“I only wish the Prime Minister would have taken the decision when Shiromani Akali Dal had raised the issue at the time of enactment of these farm laws. A lot would have been different then. Now I urge @PMOIndia to take it forward by withdrawing the cases against farmers,” he tweeted.
In a major move, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday announced the repealing of the three Central farm laws.
Farmers have been protesting against the government’s three farm laws since they were passed by the Centre in 2020.
The three farm laws are as follows: The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act provides for setting up a mechanism allowing the farmers to sell their farm produces outside the Agriculture Produce Market Committees (APMCs). Any licence-holder trader can buy the produce from the farmers at mutually agreed prices. This trade of farm produces will be free of mandi tax imposed by the state governments.
The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act allows farmers to do contract farming and market their produces freely. The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act is an amendment to the existing Essential Commodities Act.

MSP is bigger issue than farm laws, says Navjot Singh Sidhu

Chandigarh (Punjab) [India]: Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu on Friday said that issues related to Minimum Support Price (MSP) are bigger than the farm laws.
Sidhu said if the central government genuinely wants to fulfil its promise of doubling the farmers’ income then it should fulfil the demand for legislation to guarantee a remunerative MSP. “MSP is bigger issue than farm laws, it is the lifeline of Indian farmers … If the central government genuinely wants to fulfil their promise of doubling the farmers income or accepting the C2 formula of Swaminathan report, then they should accede to this demand,” Sidhu said in a tweet.
Hailing the Centre’s decision to repeal the three farm laws, Sidhu termed it as a “step in the right direction”.
He added that the “sacrifice” of the farmers has “paid dividends”.
“Repealing of black laws a step in the right direction …. Satyagraha of Kisan morcha gets historic success…. Your sacrifice has paid dividends…. Revival of farming in Punjab through a roadmap should be the top priority for the Punjab government ….accolades,” Sidhu said.
In a major move, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday announced that the Centre will repeal the three farm laws and bring necessary bills in the winter session of parliament beginning later this month. Farmers have been protesting on the borders of Delhi against the three farm laws.

PM Modi lays foundation stone of UP Defence Corridor project worth Rs 400 cr in Jhansi

Jhansi (Uttar Pradesh) [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday laid the foundation stone of the Uttar Pradesh Defence Industrial Corridor project worth Rs 400 crores in Jhansi.
The Prime Minister laid the foundation stone of the much-awaited significant project on the concluding three-day ‘Rashtra Raksha Samarpan Parv’ event being organized by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) along with the government of Uttar Pradesh here in the city. The Centre has decided to set up two Defence Industrial Corridors in the country– one in Tamil Nadu and the other in Uttar Pradesh. The Uttar Pradesh Defence Industrial Corridor has nodes at Agra, Aligarh, Jhansi, Chitrakoot, Lucknow and Kanpur.
For the Jhansi node of the Uttar Pradesh Defence Industrial Corridor, the state government has made nearly 1,034 hectares of land made available.
Bharat Dynamics Ltd, a Defence Public Sector Undertaking (DPSU), is setting up a plant for the propulsion system for Anti-Tank Guided Missiles in the Jhansi node. It will be spread over 183 acres of land in Jhansi. The facility will involve an investment of Rs 400 crores.
The project is expected to provide direct employment to 150 people and indirect employment to nearly 500 people.
Besides, the Prime Minister dedicated and launched several new initiatives of MoD to the nation in a grand ceremony organized in the precincts of Jhansi Fort.
The Ministry of Defence has taken several steps to promote ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ in defence in the last two years. These include the issue of positive indigenization lists, earmarking of 64 per cent of capital procurement budget for the domestic industry, promotion of startups under Innovations For Defence Excellence (iDEX) initiative, speeding up of capital acquisition process and setting up of Defence Industrial Corridors among others.
As a demonstration of the thrust on ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’, the Indian Army, Indian Air Force and Indian Navy are adopting indigenously designed and developed platforms for their use. Three platforms were formally handed over by the Prime Minister to respective Service Chiefs in the event.
These platforms depict maturing of the Indian defence industry ecosystem with contributions from Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO), DPSUs and Defence industry and startups.

US today is much more flexible partner than in past, says Jaishankar

Singapore: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Friday said that the US today is a much more flexible partner, much more open to ideas, suggestions, working arrangements than in the past.
“I have been dealing with the US for close to 40 years now. US today is a much more flexible partner, much more open to ideas, suggestions, working arrangements, than in the past,” Jaishankar said in response to a query during the panel discussion ‘Greater Power Competition: The Emerging World Order’ at the Bloomberg New Economic Forum event in Singapore. Answering another query, he said the manner of China’s growing influence is very different from the US.
“There is no question that the US has strategically contracted for some time. Relatively and absolutely, American power and American influence are not what they used to be. It is also clear China has been expanding, but the nature of China, the manner of its growing influence is very different from the US, and we don’t have a situation where China necessarily replaces the others – US,” he said.
“It is natural to think of the US, China as the big one, but there are other countries, not just India, which have come much more into play. There has been rebalancing in the world. I think different countries have different ways to do that. In essence, the landscape has changed and become more volatile,” he added.
The session was also attended by former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Referring to Quad, which is a grouping of Australia, India, Japan and the US, Jaishankar said, “It is a good example of some countries coming together on a certain set of concerns or issues of interest.”
“This reflects a very different kind of world we are moving into…the real transition after 1982 is now occurring,” he added.
Answering a question about how the world is changing, he said it is not unipolar and not bipolar either.
“It is certainly not unipolar and it is not really bipolar either. There are many more players. A lot of what we are doing in terms of repositioning, working with countries, (it) is multipolar work,” he said.
“In a sense, it is partly a hedging strategy, partly autonomous partnership, often very issue-based (as) we work with different countries on different sets of issues,” the minister said.

PM Modi hits out at opposition, says keeping farmers entangled in problems has been basis of some political parties

Mahoba (Uttar Pradesh) [India]: Hitting out at the opposition parties, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that keeping farmers entangled in problems has been the basis of some political parties.
Addressing a public meeting here, the Prime Minister said the government of parties run by families did not want to fulfil the requirements of farmers. He said while these parties practice “politics of problems” the BJP practices “politics of solutions”.
“The governments run by parties of families wanted to keep farmers in problems. They used to make announcements in the name of farmers, but even a pie did not reach them. From PM Kisan Samman Nidhi, we have sent 1. 62 crore rupees directly to the bank accounts of farmers so far,” the Prime Minister said.
“To always keep farmers entangled in problems has been the basis of some political parties. They do politics of problems while we do of solutions. The solution to Ken-Betwa link has been found by our government. We found the solution after talking to all sections,” he said.
The Prime Minister said the government has taken steps for the welfare of farmers at every level – from seeds to the market.
The Prime Minister made the remarks hours after he announced the repeal of three farm laws. In his address to the nation on Friday morning, he also said that the government will complete the constitutional process to repeal the three agricultural laws in the winter session of parliament that begins later this month.
Farmers have been protesting against the three farm laws since they were passed last year.
During his visit to Mahoba district in Uttar Pradesh, the Prime Minister dedicated various developmental projects including the Arjun Sahayak Project, Ratauli Weir Project, Bhaoni Dam Project and Majhgaon-Chilli Sprinkler Project. The cumulative cost of these projects is more than Rs 3250 crore and these will help in irrigation of around 65,000 hectares of land in Mahoba, Hamirpur, Banda and Lalitpur districts. These projects will also provide potable drinking water to the region.

Victory for Farmers’ Movement, Farm Laws to be taken back

New Delhi [India]: In a major move, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday announced the repealing of the three Central farm laws.
In his address to the nation, PM Modi said, “Today I want to tell everyone that we have decided to repeal all three farm laws.” Farmers have been protesting the government’s three farm laws since had passed the Farmer’s Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020.
The three farm laws are– The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act provides for setting up a mechanism allowing the farmers to sell their farm produces outside the Agriculture Produce Market Committees (APMCs). Any licence-holder trader can buy the produce from the farmers at mutually agreed prices. This trade of farm produces will be free of mandi tax imposed by the state governments.
The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act allows farmers to do contract farming and market their produces freely.
The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act is an amendment to the existing Essential Commodities Act.

PM Modi pays tribute to Indira Gandhi on her 104th birth anniversary

New Delhi [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday paid tributes to late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on her 104th birth anniversary.
“I pay my tributes to former Prime Minister Smt. Indira Gandhi Ji on her birth anniversary,” tweeted Prime Minister. Born on November 19, 1917, to India’s first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Kamala Nehru, Indira Gandhi served as the first and only woman prime minister of the country from January 1966 to March 1977 and again from January 1980 until her assassination in October 1984.

Navy to get advanced electronic warfare suite

New Delhi [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will formally hand over Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) designed Advanced Electronic Warfare (EW) suite for Naval ships to the Indian Navy at a ceremony in Jhansi on Friday.
The ceremony will be held as part of Rashtra Raksha Samarpan Parv at Jhansi on 19 Nov 2021. The Prime Minister will kick start the beginning of the significant project on the concluding three-day ‘Rashtra Raksha Samarpan Parv’ event being organised by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) along with the government of Uttar Pradesh. Advanced Electronic Warfare (EW) System ‘Shakti’ has been designed and developed by Defence Electronics Research Laboratory (DLRL) Hyderabad a laboratory of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for Capital Warships of the Indian Navy for the interception, detection, classification, identification and jamming of conventional and modern Radars.
The Shakti EW system will provide an electronic layer of defence against modern radars and anti-ship missiles to ensure electronic dominance and survivability in the maritime battlefield. This system will replace the earlier generation EW Systems of the Indian Navy, the Ministry of Defence said in a statement.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi will formally hand over this system to the Indian Navy at a ceremony to be held as part of Rashtra Raksha Samarpan Parv at Jhansi on 19 Nov 2021,” the statement read.
The system has been integrated with the wideband Electronic Support Measures (ESM) and Electronic Counter Measure (ECM) for the defence of Indian Navy Ships against missile attacks. The ESM of the system helps in finding accurate direction and interception of modern radars. The system has a built-in radar fingerprinting and data recording replay feature for post-mission analysis.
First Shakti system has been installed on-board INS Visakhapatnam and is being installed on-board Indigenous Aircraft Carrier, INS Vikrant. Twelve Shakti Systems are under production at Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) supported by more than fifty MSMEs at a total cost of Rs 1805 Crores. These systems are scheduled to be installed on-board capital warships under production, including P-15B, P-17A and Talwar class follow-on ships. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh congratulated DRDO, Indian Navy and Industry Partners for the development of the Shakti EW System.
He said that this will enhance the capabilities of the Indian Navy and termed it as a major milestone towards Atmanirbhar Bharat in areas of advanced defence technologies. Secretary DDR&D and Chairman DRDO, Dr G Satheesh Reddy has congratulated the teams associated with the development of the Shakti EW System and said that the system will further augment the Navy’s Electronic Intelligence capability. Prime Minister Modi will be laying the foundation stone of the Rs 400 crore Uttar Pradesh Defence Industrial Corridor project in Jhansi on Friday.

PM Modi to address nation at 9 am today

New Delhi [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the nation at 9 am today.
According to Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), later the Prime Minister will also inaugurate key schemes relating to irrigation in Mahoba, Uttar Pradesh. Later in the day, Prime Minister is scheduled to visit Jhansi for the “Rashtra Raksha Samparpan Parv”. During this event, he will formally hand over Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) designed Advanced Electronic Warfare (EW) suite for Naval ships to the Indian Navy.

Global trust earned by our healthcare sector has led to India being called ‘pharmacy of the world’, says PM Modi

New Delhi [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday lauded the healthcare sector in the country and said that global trust earned by the Indian healthcare sector has led to India being called the “pharmacy of the world”.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the First Global Innovation Summit of the Pharmaceuticals sector today via video conferencing. Speaking at the summit, PM Modi said, “Whether it is lifestyle, or medicines, or medical technology, or vaccines, every aspect of healthcare has received global attention over the last two years.”
“In this context, the Indian pharmaceutical industry has also risen to the challenge. The global trust earned by the Indian healthcare sector has led to India being called the ‘pharmacy of the world’ in recent times,” PM said.
The Prime Minister said that India also exported more than 65 million doses of Covid vaccines to nearly 100 countries this year
“Our definition of wellness is not limited by physical boundaries. We believe in the well-being of the entire humankind. And, we have shown this spirit to the whole world during the Covid-19 global pandemic,” he said.
“We exported lifesaving medicines and medical equipment to over 150 countries during the initial phase of the pandemic. We have also exported more than 65 million doses of Covid vaccines to nearly 100 countries this year,” PM Modi added.
The Prime Minister’s office informed that Global Innovation Summit is a distinctive initiative that aims to bring together key Indian and international stakeholders from the government, industry, academia, investors, and researchers to discuss and strategize priorities to foster a thriving innovation ecosystem in the pharmaceuticals industry in India. It will also highlight the opportunities in the Indian pharma industry that has huge growth potential.
The two-day Summit will have 12 Sessions and over 40 national and international speakers deliberating on a range of subjects including the regulatory environment, funding for innovation, industry-academia collaboration, and innovation infrastructure.
It witnesses the participation of leading members from domestic and global Pharma Industries, officials, investors and researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, John Hopkins Institute, IIM Ahmedabad and other eminent institutes.

PM to attend 56th DGP Conference

New Delhi [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the 56th Conference of Director Generals of Police (DGP) and Inspector Generals of Police (IGP) at Police Headquarters, Lucknow on November 20-21, 2021.
The two-day conference will be held in a hybrid format, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a release. DGP of states/UTs and heads of central armed police forces and central police organizations will attend the conference physically at the venue in Lucknow, while the remaining invitees will participate virtually from 37 different locations at IB/SIB Headquarters.
According to the release, the conference will discuss a wide range of issues including cybercrime, data governance, counter-terrorism challenges, left-wing extremism, emerging trends in narcotics trafficking, prison reforms among others.
“Since 2014, the Prime Minister has taken a keen interest in the DGP conference. Unlike the symbolic presence earlier, he makes it a point to attend all sessions of the conference and encourages free and informal discussions that provide an opportunity to top police officials to directly brief the Prime Minister on key policing and internal security issues affecting the country,” read the release.
As per the vision of the Prime Minister, since 2014, the annual conferences, which used to be customarily organized in Delhi, have been organized outside Delhi with an exception of the year 2020 when the conference was held virtually.
The conference had been organized at Guwahati in 2014; Dhordo, Rann of Kutch in 2015; National Police Academy, Hyderabad in 2016; BSF Academy, Tekanpur in 2017; Kevadiya in 2018; and IISER, Pune in 2019.

Australia-India relations will grow with time, says Australian PM Scott Morrison

Sydney [Australia]: Asserting that Australia and India share a deep friendship, Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Thursday said that both countries are making great progress in many areas including space, science, digital technology.
“Australia-India shares deep friendship and our relations will grow even more with time. We are making great progress in so many areas including space, science, digital technology. It’s an honour for Australia that PM Modi is addressing Sydney dialogue,” he said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address was preceded by introductory remarks by the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
“It is a great honour for the people of India that you have invited me to deliver the keynote at the inaugural Sydney Dialogue. I see this as a recognition of India’s central role in the Indo Pacific region and in the emerging digital world,” PM Modi said.
Underlining the impact of the Digital Age, PM said “we are in a time of change” that happens once in an era, where technology and data are becoming new weapons.
He said the Digital Age is changing everything around us. “It has redefined politics, economy and society,” he added.
“It is raising new questions on sovereignty, governance, ethics, law, rights and security. It is reshaping international competition, power and leadership,” the Prime Minister said while speaking on the theme of “India’s Technology: Evolution and Revolution”.

“As a democracy and digital leader, India is ready to work with partners for our shared prosperity and security. India’s digital revolution is rooted in our democracy, our demography and the scale of our economy. It’s powered by enterprise and innovation of our youth,” said PM Modi during his keynote address.
Noting that India’s digital revolution is rooted in its democracy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi listed out “Digital transitions shaping” the country, at the inaugural edition of The Sydney Dialogue.
Prime Minister said that India is “turning the challenges of the past into an opportunity to take a leap into the future. While speaking on the theme of “India’s technology evolution and revolution”, PM Modi noted that there are five important transitions taking place in India.
“One, we are building the world’s most extensive public information infrastructure. Over 1.3 billion Indians have a unique digital identity. We are on our way to connecting 600,0000 villages with broadband. We have built the world’s most efficient payment infrastructure, the UPI. Over 800 million use the internet, 750 million are on smartphones.”
The Sydney Dialogue is being held from November 17-19. It is an initiative of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. The event will also witness a keynote address by the Former Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe.

Trump administration was close to mini trade deal with India; but US domestic politics more complicated now, says trade body chief

Washington [US]: US-India Strategic Partnership Forum Chief Mukesh Aghi has said that the Trump administration was very close to the mini trade deal with India, but now the domestic politics in America is “much more complicated”.
“With Trump administration, we were very close to the mini trade deal. I think to show some kind of success in early harvesting. It is important that India-US agree where it was left with the Trump administration to close that out to build the momentum itself. But the domestic politics in the US is now much more complicated,” Aghi told ANI on Wednesday (local time). Commenting further on the Biden administration, US-India Strategic Partnership Forum Chief said, “The progressive Left inserts labour rights, they talk about human rights, religious freedom, and I think if you start pushing those into a trade deal, you will not get a trade deal.”
US and India have agreed to take a comprehensive look at ways to expand the bilateral trade relationship.
In a virtual meet, US Trade Representative Katherine Tai and India’s Minister of Commerce and Industry, Piyush Goyal had looked forward to their upcoming meetings in New Delhi (November 22-23).
Both leaders agreed to take a comprehensive look at ways to expand the bilateral trade relationship and ensure the future success of the US-India Trade Policy Forum, read Tai’s statement.

Sydney Dialogue: PM Modi lists 5 ‘digital transitions’ shaping India

New Delhi [India]: Noting that India’s digital revolution is rooted in its democracy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday listed out “Digital transitions shaping” the country, at the inaugural edition of The Sydney Dialogue.
“As a democracy and digital leader, India is ready to work with partners for our shared prosperity and security. India’s digital revolution is rooted in our democracy, our demography and the scale of our economy. It’s powered by enterprise and innovation of our youth,” said PM Modi during his keynote address. Prime Minister said that India is “turning the challenges of the past into an opportunity to take a leap into the future. While speaking on the theme of “India’s technology evolution and revolution”, PM Modi noted that there are five important transitions taking place in India.
“One, we are building the world’s most extensive public information infrastructure. Over 1.3 billion Indians have a unique digital identity. We are on our way to connecting 600,0000 villages with broadband. We have built the world’s most efficient payment infrastructure, the UPI. Over 800 million use the internet, 750 million are on smartphones.”
On the second transition, PM Modi said India is “transforming people’s lives by using digital technology for governance including empowerment, connectivity, delivery of benefits and welfare.”
“Three, India has the world’s third-largest and fastest-growing ecosystem. New unicorns are coming up every few weeks to provide solutions to everything from health to national security,” said PM Modi.
The fourth transition is India’s industry and services sectors are undergoing massive digital transformation using technology for conversion of resources and protection of biodiversity, he added.
On the fifth transition, Prime Minister said that there is a large effort to prepare India for the future. “We are investing in developing indigenous capability in telecom technology such as 5G and 6G; India is one of the leading nations in artificial intelligence,” he said.
PM Modi’s address was preceded by introductory remarks by the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.
The Sydney Dialogue is being held between November 17-19. It is an initiative of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.

PM Modi to deliver keynote address at Sydney Dialogue tomorrow

New Delhi [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will deliver the keynote address at The Sydney Dialogue on Thursday.
He will speak on the theme of India’s technology evolution and revolution, with the address being preceded by introductory remarks by the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement. The Sydney Dialogue is being held from 17-19 November. It is an initiative of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.
It will bring together political, business and government leaders to debate, generate new ideas, and work towards common understandings of the opportunities and challenges posed by emerging and critical technologies.
The event will also witness a keynote address by the Former Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe.

IAF gets ‘Made in India’ chopper

New Delhi (India): In a significant push for make in India in the defence sector, Prime Minister Narendra Modi would be handing over the first of the Light Combat Helicopters to the Indian Air Force in Uttar Pradesh’s Jhansi during the ‘Jhansi Jalsa’ event.
The event would also see the Prime Minister handing over ‘Made in India’ drones to the Indian Army which would be using them for different requirements all across the country. “The Prime Minister will hand over Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, HAL designed and developed Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) to Indian Air Force,” Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar told a press conference while giving details of the event.
He said the LCH is the only attack helicopter in the world that can land and take-off at an altitude of 5,000 m with a considerable load of weapons and fuel.
For the Navy, the Prime Minister would hand over the DRDO designed Advanced Electronic Warfare suite for naval ships including that for Indian Aircraft Carrier Vikrant.
“The Advanced EW suite will be used in different naval ships including destroyers, frigates etc. and marks a big step towards ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’,” the defence secretary said.
The Prime Minister would also lay the foundation stone of a Rs 400 crore project to develop the propulsion system of the anti-tank guided missiles by the Bharat Dynamics Limited.
This would be the first project in the Jhansi node of defence industrial corridor created in Uttar Pradesh by the government.
The Prime Minister would also launch two projects related to the National War Memorial in the national capital including two kiosks to pay homage to the personnel and an app that can give a 360-degree virtual tour of the facility.

PM Modi to launch 100 new Sainik schools, NCC Alumni Association in Jhansi

New Delhi [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch the National Cadet Corps Alumni Association in Uttar Pradesh’s Jhansi on November 19 and will be the first member of the association, Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar informed on Monday.
Kumar also informed that the Prime Minister will also dedicate eight programmes and projects to the nation, which would include 100 Sainik Schools which would be started in the next two years. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch the National Cadet Corps Alumni Association. This will help the former cadets of the organisation to keep in touch with it. PM Narendra Modi would be the first member of the NCC alumni association to be launched on November 19 in Jhansi,” the Defence Secretary said.
He informed that 1,283 schools in border and coastal districts will have the NCC.
“896 schools in border areas, 255 in coastal areas and 132 in stations where Indian Air Force is present,” he added.

PM Modi greets people of Jharkhand on Statehood Day

New Delhi [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday wished the citizens of Jharkhand on their Statehood Day.
“Wishing all the residents of Jharkhand a very Happy Statehood Day. This land of Birsa Munda, which has a historical identity with its unique culture, should move forward in the journey of development,” said PM Modi in a tweet. Jharkhand was carved out of Bihar on the birth anniversary of 19th-century freedom fighter and tribal leader Birsa Munda on November 15, 2000.

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