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Government ready to face no-confidence motion: Ananth Kumar

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Ananth Kumar

New Delhi, July 17 (IANS) Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Ananth Kumar on Tuesday said that the government has majority in the Lok sabha and it is ready to face the opposition’s no-confidence motion.

“The BJP and the NDA will face it the no-confidence motion, which the opposition wants to bring, under the leadership of Prime MInister Narendra Modi,” Kumar told media after a meeting of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) here.

He said that in the House, the NDA has huge mandate. “The people of the country have given a huge mandate to the NDA and it has a majority in the House. People have reposed faith in NDA in 21 states, so the government will face any motion which the opposition brings in the House,” he said.

Kumar’s remarks came soon after the Congress party announced that it will bring a no-confidence motion against the Modi government in the monsoon session of Parliament and that it is in talks with other opposition parties on the issue.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader also said that the Prime Minister has asked the NDA leaders to expose the opposition parties which are raking up several issues to take political mileage. “Modi also urged the NDA leaders to work unitedly,” he said.

The meeting was attended by Modi, the leaders of Shiv Sena, Akali Dal, Lok Janshakti Party, Rashtriya Lok Samta Party, Janata Dal-United, Apna Dal and other NDA allies.

The NDA meeting was preceded by a BJP Parliamentary Party executive which was attended by Modi, party President Amit Shah, L.K. Advani, M.M. Joshi, Sushma Swaraj, Nitin Gadkari, Rajnath Singh and other senior leaders.

Kumar further said that the NDA members in the meeting hailed Modi for his historic decision to increase the minimum support price of the produce of farmers.

“The NDA leaders told Prime Minister that through his decision to increase the MSP, farmers across the country are happy.”

The NDA leaders also lauded Modi over the Indian economy jumping to the sixth place in the fastest growing economy list.

“On recent reports of the India economy growing at the fastest rate as it climbed from ninth place to sixth place, the NDA leaders hailed the Prime Minister’s leadership,” the BJP leader said.

They also hailed the Prime Minister for Aayushman Bharat scheme which is popularly known as Modicare scheme.

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Metoo reaches Congress doors, scribe alleges molestation by UPA Minister

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MJ Akbar

New Delhi, Oct 16 (IANS) The #MeToo movement that has singed the entrainment and media industry alike besides engulfing Union Minister M.J. Akbar, on Tuesday reached Congress door with journalist Sonal Kellogg alleging that she was molested by a “powerful politician” and a minister in the Congress-led UPA-I government.

Giving an account of her ordeal on website dailyo.in, Kellog without naming the minister, said he would “greet me with a kiss” every time they met and once “pressed one of my breasts”.

“During my time, a Cabinet minister, in-charge of one of the ministries which I was covering, would always greet me with a kiss when I went to meet him,” wrote Kellog who in February 2006 had shifted to Delhi from Ahmedabad joining the Asian Age’s main edition.

“This minister, quite an advocate of women’s rights and empowerment, is highly educated. He studied from St Stephen’s College and did his masters from one of the top universities in England. He is very articulate – but he is also very touchy-feely.

“In Gujarat, where I come from, politicians don’t greet women journalists with hugs and kisses. But he would hold my face and try to kiss me on the mouth,” said Kellogg who is now the chief content writer at Vama Communications, Ahmedabad.

She said that she didn’t report the matter then as “I was new in Delhi and thought if I said anything, it would be viewed as having a small town mentality”.

“I am not able to speak up against authority and mostly just try to manage to stay clear instead of shouting or slapping or something like that,” said Kellogg, a survivor of “long-term child sexual abuse.”

She said the last time she met the MP in his bungalow in early 2014 when he went “too far.”

“At that time, I was in-between jobs. I was sitting across the table and talking to him. After some time, the minister got up to go to the washroom which was on my left, so he walked right across the table and while passing me by, he stretched his hand and suddenly pressed one of my breasts.

“I was taken aback, not quite expecting this, but I did manage to say, eDon’t touch me.’ Before entering the washroom, he asked, eWhy? What is the problem?’ I told him, ‘Don’t touch me because I don’t like it’. He went to the washroom and then came back, sat down and resumed the conversation as if nothing had happened,” wrote Kellogg, adding she moved back to Ahmadabad and never met the politician.

“I would like to say that even if a man is testing whether his advances are welcome or not, he can’t start with squeezing the breasts of a woman. The least he can do is see whether she is interested – you cannot just grab a woman and think it is okay. Also, in this case, the minister is married and is a father of grown-up daughters, so it is definitely not okay.

So, why didn’t I report the matter? Who was I going to report it to? I was in-between jobs and as I said earlier, I didn’t report my sexual abuse as a child either for more than a decade and a half, in fact I never reported it. I started to speak about it publicly only a couple of years ago,” she added.

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JGU youngest Indian university to feature in ‘QS BRICS Rankings 2019’

The university has been ranked 23 out of 403 institutions among BRICS countries in the category of international faculty.

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Jindal Global University

New Delhi, Oct 16 : O.P. Jindal Global University (JGU) in Sonepat, Haryana, is the youngest Indian university to be ranked in the QS BRICS University Rankings 2019 out of the top 75 Indian universities. It was ranked in the 301 to 350 bracket.

The ranking placed JGU among the top three per cent of the universities in the BRICS region that covers five countries — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

“This global recognition of JGU in our short but inspirational journey of nine years is truly remarkable and something that we can be genuinely proud of in every sense of the word,” said Naveen Jindal, Founding Chancellor, JGU.

Professor Raj Kumar, Founding Vice Chancellor of JGU, received the award from Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog, on behalf of the university in the presence of Jason Newman, Vice President, QS, and Ashwin Fernandes, Regional Director, QS, and other dignitaries.

The university has been ranked 23 out of 403 institutions among BRICS countries in the category of international faculty.

“JGU continues to be ranked amongst the top 350 universities in the BRICS region by QS. We had broken into these rankings for the first time in 2018,” said Professor C. Raj Kumar, Founding Vice Chancellor.

“As a result of our hard work, commitment, and dedication to the cause of JGU’s vision and mission, JGU continues to be the youngest Indian university to feature in these rankings,” he added.

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Congress demands probe into ONGC turning debt-ridden

Supreme Court-appointed panel of experts was a must to probe the allegations and look into the company’s affairs from the time the BJP came to power at the Centre.

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Manish-Tewari

New Delhi, Oct 16 : Congress on Tuesday demanded a Supreme Court-monitored probe into allegations of the state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) turning debt-ridden due to government decisions. The party accused the Modi government of “systematically attempting to destroy the public sector”.

Citing a letter written by the ONGC trade union body to Prime Minister Narendra Modi detailing how government interference has broken the “economic backbone of the company”, Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said a Supreme Court-appointed panel of experts was a must to probe the allegations and look into the company’s affairs from the time the BJP came to power at the Centre.

“From forcing the ONGC to acquire a gas block from Gujarat State Petroleum Corp (GSPC) for Rs 8,000 crore to funding its fiscal deficit by compelling the ONGC to buy a stake in HPCL, the Modi government has systematically hit the ONGC.

“Because of all these, ONGC group’s debt doubled to Rs 1,11,533 crore in 2017-18 from Rs 55,619 crore in 2016-17. Such is the condition that the ONGC has to now avail of overdraft facility to discharge the salary obligation of the employees,” Tewari told the media citing the letter written by the ONGC’s Employees Mazdoor Sabha.

The letter by the employees union written to Modi last month has alleged that “decisions taken over the past four-and-a-half years have broken the economic backbone of the company”.

“Over the past 52 months, a profitable public sector undertaking has been systematically crippled and debt ridden. There seems to be a systematic and calibrated attempt to completely destroy the public sector in India,” said Tewari

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