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Farm loan waiver a relief, not a solution: Sainath

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New Delhi, June 11 : Veteran journalist P. Sainath on Sunday described farm loan waiver as a relief but not a solution to agrarian crisis and accused the Modi government of not fulfilling its poll promise of implementing M.S. Swaminathan’s recommendations.

“It is very important to understand that the protests across the country by the farmers is not about loans or loan waivers as there are far more serious issues,” Sainath said.

“The loan waiver is a tool, but not a transformation. They are a mechanism but not a solution. They are a relief but not an answer,” he said.

In remarks broadcast on YouTube channel, Sainath, who has written extensively on the Indian agricultural sector, took a dig at Modi government.

“The BJP manifesto promised to implement the Swaminathan Report,” he said.

“But after coming to power, in the Supreme Court, they submitted an affidavit saying this cannot be done. The government did not give any explanation why it lied to the people and the nation.”

The National Commission on Farmers (NCF), constituted under the chairmanship of Swaminathan, suggested a Minimum Support Price (MSP) including an additional 50 per cent over and above the total expenses incurred on farming.

Sainath described the recent farmers’ protests as the “manifestations of crisis”.

“Try to understand farmers’ crisis and do not try understanding agrarian situation to events and episodes of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu farmers protesting in Delhi and the killing of farmers in Mandsaur (Madhya Pradesh) in police firing.

“These are the manifestations of a crisis, they are not the crisis,” he said. Sainath urged bureaucrats, people and think tanks to understand the farm crisis.

He said the protests this year did not start in Vidarbha and Marathwada regions but in the most prosperous areas of Maharashtra like Nashik and the state’s western belt.

He criticised Chief Ministers Shivraj Singh Chouhan of Madhya Pradesh and Devendra Fadnavis of Maharashtra for not having a dialogue with the farmers earlier.

“Both the CMs refused to speak with the farmers in the earlier stage of the protests, which angered the farmers,” he said.

Farmers in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh have asked the government to write off their loans and to give a good price for their produce.

India

Rahul yet to get special permission for Kailash Mansarovar Yatra

The sources said that he could not apply during the stipulated period for the application to visit Kailash Mansarovar, and had applied for special permission, which is normally granted to the MPs but had not received a response to his application so far.

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New Delhi, June 22 (IANS) Congress President Rahul Gandhi, who had expressed desire to go for Mansarovar Yatra after Karnataka elections, has not received a response to his request for special permission from the External Affairs Ministry, party sources said.

The sources said that he could not apply during the stipulated period for the application to visit Kailash Mansarovar, and had applied for special permission, which is normally granted to the MPs but had not received a response to his application so far.

According to a MEA press release dated February 21, the last date for registration was March 23.

However, Gandhi had announced his desire to undertake the pilgrimage on April 29 at the Jan Akrosh rally at the Ramlila Maidan here.

This year, the Yatra is scheduled from June 8 to September 8 through two routes, according to MEA.

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Truckers ‘postpone’ strike following request from centre

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Kolkata/New Delhi, June 22 (IANS) Truckers on Friday “temporarily postponed” their ongoing indefinite nationwide strike following a request from the Central government as Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari was out of station.

The strike, that began from June 18, had been called from June 18 against the high diesel prices, high toll rates and a sharp hike of third party insurance premium, and had entered the fifth day on Friday.

In a media release, All India Confederation of Goods Vehicle Owners’ Association — which had called the strike — said the decision was taken following a telephone call from the Centre, which asked the strikers to come for discussion after June 27.

“We have received telephone call from (the) Central ministry, that since the Minister is not in station till June 27, (they have requested us) to call off the strike and come for discussion after June 27,” said AICOGOA General Secretary Rajendra Singh and President B. Channa Reddy.

“In view of this and in public interest, we have (decided to) postpone the truckers’ strike,” they said.

The AICOGOA said the call for talks was received from Gadkari’s office.

“We received call from Union Minister Nitin Gadkari’s office and they have called us to talk… We have temporarily called off the strike because it was affecting truckers and people both,” another AICOGOA General Secretary Kausar Hussain told IANS.

Over 50 lakh vehicles remained off the road during the strike.

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Sahitya Akademi announces Bal and Yuva Puraskar for 2018

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New Delhi, June 22: India’s national academy of letters, the Sahitya Akademi, on Friday announced the names of 21 winners of its Bal Sahitya Puraskar and 21 recipients of the Yuva Puraskar for this year.

The Bal Puraskar awards will be conferred at a function on November 14, which is celebrated as Children’s Day, being the birth anniversary of India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. The date for conferring the Yuva Puraskar awards has not been declared yet.

“The awards were recommended by jury members representing 22 Indian languages, and approved by the Executive Board of the Sahitya Akademi which met today under the Chairmanship of Dr. Chandrashekhar Kambar, President, Sahitya Akademi,” a statement said.

“Ten books of poetry, seven of short stories, three novels and one play” have been chosen for the Yuva Puraskar award.

The award comprises a casket containing an engraved copper-plaque and a cheque of Rs 50,000 for both types of awards.

In the children’s category, awards have been declared for: Jugallochan Das (Assamese), Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay (Bengali), Sitaram Basumatary (Bodo), Easterine Kire (English), Chandrakant Sheth (Gujarati), Divik Ramesh (Hindi), Kanchyani Sharanappa Shivasangappa (Kannada), Zareef Ahmad Zareef (Kashmiri), Kumud Bhiku Naik (Konkani), Vaidya Nath Jha (Maithili), P.K. Gopi (Malayalam), Khangembam Shamungou (Manipuri).

Also named for the awards are: Ratnakar Matkari (Marathi), Bhim Pradhan (Nepali), Birendra Mohanty (Odia), Tarsem(Punjabi), C.L. Sankhla (Rajasthani), Sampadanand Mishra (Sanskrit), Laxminarayan Hansda (Santali), Kalpana Ashok Chellani (Sindhi), Kriungai Sethupathy (Tamil), Naramshetti Umamaheswar Rao (Telugu) and Rais Siddiqui (Urdu).

The award in the Dogri language category will be announced at a later date.

Poetry dominated the Yuva Puraskar awards this year. They have been declared for Samragnee Bandyopadhyay (Bengali), Esha Dadawala (Gujarati), Aasteek Vajpeyi (Hindi), Wilma Bantwal (Konkani), Umesh Paswan (Maithili), Tongbram Amarjit Singh (Manipuri), Jayadratha Suna (Odia), Dushyant Joshi (Rajasthani), Muni Rajsundar Vijay (Sanskrit) and Bala Sudhakar Mouli (Telugu).

The awardees in the short stories category include Bipasha Bora (Assamese), Padmanabha Bhat (Kannada), Dheeba Nazir (Kashmiri), Chhuden Kabimu (Nepali), Rani Murmu (Santali), Suneel Krishnan (Tamil), Shahnaz Rahman (Urdu).

The awards in the ‘novel’ category will be given to Amal (Malayalam), Navnath Gore (Marathi) and Gurpreet Sehji (Punjabi). Champa Chetnani has been cited for her Sindhi play.

No book was “found suitable” in the English language category. Awards for Bodo will be declared at a later date, while no award has been announced for Dogri.

Established in 1954 by the Indian government, Sahitya Akademi is India’s premier literary institution, promoting preserving literature in 24 languages.

IANS

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