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Cold wave grips north India, to last till Jan 13 at least



cold wave

New Delhi, Jan 11 

With temperatures dipping at most places as icy winds swept the plains following heavy snowfall in the hill states over the past five days, cold wave conditions intensified over north India on Wednesday.

Jammu and Kashmir was in the grip of an intense cold wave with Srinagar recording a minimum temperature of minus 4.1 degrees Celsius and maximum temperature of 6.2 degrees.

The weather office said that the night temperatures could drop further as the dry weather was likely to continue during the next 48 hours.

In Pahalgam, the minimum dropped to minus 12.4 degrees Celsius, while Gulmarg recorded minus 13 degrees Celsius.

In Himachal Pradesh, tourist resort towns of Shimla and Manali also witnessed bitter cold, recording minimum temperatures of minus 3.2 and minus 6.6 degrees, six and eight degrees below normal respectively. Manali’s maximum temperature of 2.8 degrees was eight degrees below normal.

Amritsar in Punjab was the coldest place in the plains with the minimum temperature at 0.9 degrees and a high of 17.6 degrees. Ludhiana and Patiala cities recorded lows of 1.6 and 2.7 degrees, four degrees below normal.

Chandigarh residents too had a shivering night with the minimum temperature going down to 2.4 degrees, two degrees below normal. The city saw a high of 16.1 degrees. Icy winds swept the city and neighbouring areas.

With Wednesday being the first day of filing of nominations and start of the poll process for the February 4 assembly elections in Punjab, candidates and their supporters had to brave the chill while campaigning.

With heavy snowfall in many parts of neighbouring Uttarakhand, icy winds blew through many places in Uttar Pradesh intensifying the cold wave in the state on Wednesday.

The morning temperature in Lucknow dropped to 8 degree Celsius.

In view of the chill, all schools in the state capital have been asked to remain closed till January 15, an official said on Wednesday.

The order would be enforced on all schools, government, semi-government and private for classes up to class 8. Students of classes 10 and 12 would, however, be rejoining as per schedule.

As a result of poor visibility and fog in western UP, many trains have been delayed by hours, forcing some cancellations by the Northern Railways (NR), leading to inconvenience to hundreds of passengers.

Cold wave conditions affected life in desert state of Rajasthan with minimum temperature touching minus 2.4 in Mount Abu, while Churu was the coldest in plains in the state shivering at minus 0.3 degrees Celsius, 5 degrees below normal.

Jaipur recorded a minimum temperature of 3.8 degree Celsius, 5 degrees Celsius below normal.

The local weather office said that there no respite is likely from the cold wave in the next 48 hours.

Looking at cold wave, district collectors in some districts have declared holidays in schools till Saturday. In Jaipur, the District Collector has directed schools will not start before 9.30 a.m.

National capital Delhi witnessed a chilly Wednesday morning with the minimum temperature dropping to four degrees Celsius, three notches below the season’s average and the lowest this season.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) forecast no rain and predicted the cold wave could mellow down from January 13 (Friday) onwards.




Uttar Pradesh: Lucknow school where student was knifed to lose recognition



murder knife

Lucknow, Jan 23: A school in the Uttar Pradesh capital where a Class 1 student was critically injured last week in a knife attack by a senior girl to lose its recognition, an Education Department official said on Tuesday.

Officials stated in the aftermath of the January 16 incident, an inspection was carried out at the Brightland School in Triveni Nagar which found “very many discrepancies” both in terms of education standards and the security of students.

The District Inspector of Schools (DIOS) of Lucknow Mukesh Kumar Singh has recommended to the Education Department that the recognition of the school be cancelled, the official told IANS.

Prima facie, the official said, the management has been found guilty of trying to fudge the matter and hide it from the police.

The DIOS said that various classes in the school were being run without permission and against norms, and the team set up by the government had found serious lapses in the security system.

The school was allowed by the Uttar Pradesh Board to have classes till Class 12 but was running additional certificate courses, which is illegal, the official said.

The management has claimed that it had installed 70 CCTV cameras in the premises, but there were only 64 and many cameras were found dysfunctional during the inspection, he said.

There was no attendant near the toilet, where the incident took place in which Hrithik was slashed with a kitchen knife by the Class 7 girl student.

District officials said the state government has directed them to conduct surprise inspections in various schools here to ensure that children are safe and that the managements were adhering to the norms.


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After 22 days, UP gets police chief in O.P. Singh



UP DGP O. P. Singh
UP DGP O. P. Singh, Photo tweeted by ANI

Lucknow, Jan 23: After a gap of 22 days — the longest in the history of the Uttar Pradesh Police — the state got a new Director General of Police (DGP) on Tuesday as O.P. Singh took over the charge in the presence of senior officials of the department.

The 1983-batch IPS officer was relieved by the central government from the post of the Director General (CISF) last week.

Soon after coming from the national capital, Singh met senior Home Department officials and on Tuesday visited the famous Hanuman Setu temple to propitiate the Hindu monkey God before driving to the DGP office at 1, Tilak Marg here.

A new name plate bearing the name of the police chief was quickly put up outside his official residence, adjoining the police headquarters.

His predecessor Sulkhan Singh demitted the office following his retirement and after a three-month extension, on December 31 last year and the post had been lying vacant ever since.

Singh had been named as the new police chief by the Yogi Adityanath government, but he had not been relieved by the Centre, much to the embarrassment of the state government.

While the grapevine blamed the Brahmin lobby in the ruling party as the force behind the delay, there was also speculation that Singh’s appointment was being jettisoned as he was very close to former Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav and was the SSP of Lucknow when the infamous murderous attack on BSP chief and then Chief Minister Mayawati was perpetrated at the VIP Guest House.

However, it was reliably learnt that Chief Minister Adityanath’s will prevailed over others and O.P. Singh was relieved from the Centre. He has a two-year-plus tenure left and this could give him an edge in controlling crime, old timers feel.

Singh has been police chief in Almora (undivided UP), Lucknow, Allahabad, Moradabad, Lakhimpur Kheri and Bulandshahr before serving in the state Intelligence Department and the CISF and the NDRF at the Centre.


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Indian missions abroad should issue Aadhar to NRIs: Congress



Shantaram Naik

Panaji, Jan 23: Indian embassies and consulates should issue Aadhar cards to NRIs, Goa Congress President Shantaram Naik said in a letter to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday.

Naik said that the current procedure that requires Indian citizens living abroad to travel to India to obtain Aadhar cards was cumbersome.

“Government should make arrangements in all embassies, consulates and other designated places to issue Aadhar cards to Indian citizens residing abroad,” Naik wrote.

“It is not practical to require the presence of Indian citizens to come down to India only for the purposes of obtaining Aadhar cards,” Naik said.

Goa has more than two lakh expats working primarily in Europe and the Gulf region.


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