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Dalit student suicide: Suspension revoked but the storm intensifies

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The storm over the suicide of a dalit student in Hyderabad University intensified on Thursday despite the revocation of the suspension of four of his co-research scholars as the Controller of Examinations and 12 other faulty members belonging to SC/ST communities gave up their administrative posts in solidarity.

Wilting under relentless pressure from the students agitating for the removal of the Vice Chancellor Appa Rao and punishment for those responsible for the suicide of Rohith Vemula, the varsity Executive Council met and decided to “terminate” the punishment imposed on the students.

But the protesting students were not satisfied with the revocation of the suspension and burnt copies of the EC decision.

In solidarity with the students, the Controller of Examinations, Chief Medical Officer and Chief Warden were among the 13 faculty members belonging to SC-ST communities who gave up their administrative posts which they were holding as an additional responsibility.

Vijaya Kumar, one of the students, whose suspension was revoked, said this was not enough”The VC must go. This (revocation) is a welcome decision. But we can’t celebrate it because Rohith is not there. We are not able to accept your decision. We have other demands like appropriate compensation and a job for one of the members of Rohith’s family.

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Strawberries to write a new chapter of development in Jhansi

According to the Jhansi District Magistrate, when the two families in Jhansi cultivated strawberries, we drew inspiration from them and decided to organise the ‘Strawberry Festival’ in Jhansi.

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Strawberry

Lucknow, Jan 16 : Jhansi which is well-known as the land of valour is all set to write a new chapter and strawberry cultivation would play a pivotal role in transforming the region. The land of Jhansi in Utttar Pradesh is most suitable for the cultivation of strawberries and to promote its cultivation, a ‘Strawberry Festival’ is being organised in Jhansi.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath would inaugurate the ‘Strawberry Festival’ from January 17 to February 16. During this festival, the cultivation of strawberry would inspire people to take it up throughout Bundelkhand, including Jhansi.

According to Jhansi District Collector Andra Vamsi, farmers could earn better income through strawberry cultivation. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is personally taking a keen interest in the development of Bundelkhand, which is one of the backward areas of the state.

The CM said strawberry cultivation has been started for the first time in Bundelkhand. This region was never known for fruits. Jhansi district is known for its production of pulses, oilseeds and ginger. For the first time, two families in Jhansi without any help from the state government have successfully achieved the feat of cultivating strawberries. These families with the help of drip irrigation and sprinklers cultivated strawberries in the region showing that strawberries could be grown in Jhansi and Bundelkhand. If strawberry cultivation gets a boost in Jhansi, farmers would get a new source of earning a better income.

According to the Jhansi District Magistrate, when the two families in Jhansi cultivated strawberries, we drew inspiration from them and decided to organise the ‘Strawberry Festival’ in Jhansi. DM Andra Vamsi explained that people would be encouraged to cultivate strawberries by organising workshops during the Strawberry Festival. The people would be told how to cultivate strawberries and how it will increase their income.

Strawberry cultivator Happy Chawla told IANS that 1.5 acres have been used for sampling. It would produce an estimated 10,000 kg which would be available at a rate of Rs 100 per kg in the market. If the strawberries are produced and sold properly, then the farmers would get a fair price for their produce and earn a handsome profit.

According to Gaurav Garg, an expert on strawberry cultivation, strawberry farming could end the plight of farmers in Jhansi and Bundelkhand. One kilogram of strawberries from a strawberry plant is available for nearly Rs 70 to Rs 80. The strawberries grown in Jhansi have the same taste as the famous strawberries of Mahabaleshwar. If strawberry cultivation was encouraged in Jhansi and Bundelkhand, it would be in the interest of farmers.

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RBI remains ‘steadfast’ to take necessary steps to support economy: Guv

The RBI Governor’s statement gains significance as the Indian stock market has surged amid the pandemic and scaled new highs in the past one month, raising concerns of stretched valuations.

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Shaktikanta Das

New Delhi, Jan 16 : Reserve Bank Governor Shaktikanta Das on Saturday said that the central bank remains committed to take any further necessary measures to support the economy.

Delivering the Nani Palkhivala Memorial Lecture on Saturday, Das said that RBI’s principal objective during the pandemic was to support economic activity and the policies have helped in easing the severity of the economic impact of the pandemic.

“I would like to unambiguously reiterate that the Reserve Bank remains steadfast to take any further measures, as may be necessary, while at the same time remaining fully committed to maintaining financial stability,” he said.

RBI’s approach to the Covid situation included measures such as loan moratoriums, easing of working capital financing and deferment of interest restructuring among others.

Speaking of the recent bull run in the financial markets, the RBI Governor said that domestic financial markets must remain prepared for sudden decline going ahead in case risk aversion takes hold among investors globally.

“While abundant capital inflows have been largely driven by accommodative global liquidity conditions and India’s optimistic medium-term growth outlook, domestic financial markets must remain prepared for sudden stops and reversals, should the global risk aversion factors take hold,” he said.

The RBI Governor’s statement gains significance as the Indian stock market has surged amid the pandemic and scaled new highs in the past one month, raising concerns of stretched valuations.

This is the second time in a week that Das has raised concerns regarding the bullish trend in stock market.

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Farmer leader Sirsa won’t appear before NIA on Sunday

Without mincing words, he said, “The government is trying to ‘torpedo’ our agitation.”

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Baldev-Singh-Sirsa

Amritsar, Jan 16 : Farmer leader Baldev Singh Sirsa on Saturday said he will not be able to appear before the counter-terror task force, National Investigating Agency (NIA), on Sunday owing to his pre-occupations relating to the wedding of his granddaughter and he would remain busy in family affairs till February 7.

He said he got the notice on WhatsApp at a short notice and there was no formal notice from the agency.

The President of Lok Bhalai Insaf Welfare Society, one of the unions participating in talks with the Government of India over the new farm laws, on Friday night came to know from a reporter that the NIA issued him a notice in connection with a case registered against banned outfit the Sikhs for Justice (SFJ).

Talking to the media in this Punjab city, Sirsa accused the central government for trying to derail the farmers’ protest by adopting various means.

“First, they (the government) tried to put pressure on us (farmers) through people and politicians and then through the Supreme Court. Now it is using the NIA,” he said candidly.

Without mincing words, he said, “The government is trying to ‘torpedo’ our agitation.”

Accompanying three others who too got the NIA notice regarding the case against the SFJ activists, the farmer leader, who didn’t participate in the last and the ninth round of talks between the farmers and the government, asked the NIA to give him time to appear before it after February 7.

“Before it, it is difficult for me to appear (owing to the marriage of my granddaughter),” he said.

Sirsa said many people associated with the agitation have got the NIA summons. “The government tries to terrorise those working for farmers. We are not afraid and going to bend with such tactics. The government is bent on defaming the protest.”

In a surprise move, the NIA has sent notices to over a dozen of people, including a journalist, farmer leaders associated with the agitation and others, in connection with its probe into the SFJ case.

The NIA last month filed a charge sheet against 10 Khalistani terrorists, including US-based designated terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannu, in the Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) case in the special NIA court in Mohali in Punjab.

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