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ICHR not to conduct, fund study on whether Ram Setu natural or man made

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The Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) will not conduct or fund any study to determine whether the Ram Setu was a man-made or a natural structure, its newly appointed chairperson Arvind Jamkhedkar has said, dismissing the project earlier announced by the HRD body.

The Council had last year in March said it would conduct an underwater exploration study to see whether the Ram Setu or Adam’s Bridge was a natural or an artificial phenomenon.

“There was a proposal by one historian to take up such a project and the council members are against supporting it. In fact, they are very angry about it. We are not going to conduct any such study or even fund one,” Jamkhedkar told PTI.

Jamkhedkar assumed charge of the ICHR on March 5.

“It is not the work of historians to carry out excavations and work like that. For that, there are apt agencies such as the Archaeological Survey of India. The maximum the ICHR can do is to recommend it to the agency concerned,” he said in an interview.

His predecessor, Y Sudershan Rao, had announced that “theoretical training” under a pilot project would begin and exploration would be conducted later.

“One of the major projects that we are going to initiate is the Ram Setu pilot project which will seek to ascertain or find out if these structures were the results of natural phenomenon or man-made,” he had said.

Indian mythology states that the Ram Setu, between what is now India and Sri Lanka, was built by an army of monkeys for Lord Rama and his warriors to cross over to Lanka.

Rao, contacted by PTI, did not comment on the project being scrapped.

“I had initiated the project but by the time we could do any work on it, my term was over,” he said.

The bridge has been at the centre of a controversy, especially since the Sethusamudram shipping canal project was mooted by the UPA government. The project triggered widespread protests, with a section of people holding that it would destroy the Ram Setu.

The ICHR is a flagship research-based institution that functions under the Ministry of Human Resource Development.

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India

AAP will Support Congress if Next PM is From Grand Old Party: Amanatullah Khan

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Amanatullah Khan

New Delhi, Jan 23: Openly announcing support for Rahul Gandhi in 2019, Aam Aadmi Party MLA Amanatullah Khan on Wednesday said that the party would extend support to the grand old party as there is much likelihood that the next Prime Minister would be from the Congress .

“Abhi bahar mujhse koi keh raha tha ki log keh rahe hain ki Congress ko vote isliye denge kyunki Pradhanmantri unka banega, hum ye keh rahe hain ki agar Pradhanmantri unka hi bana toh hum bhi usey support kar denge,” Khan said indicating that 2019 is Modi vs Rahul Gandhi.

The major statement by AAP’s Amanatullah Khan was made in the presence of Chief Arvind Kejriwal at the Delhi Waqf Board meeting.

The chairman of the board, urged the Imams of the city mosques to support the AAP and said, “People are saying they will vote for the Congress because the next prime minister will be from that party.

Muslim voters should elect AAP in Delhi and if Congress wins at the Centre, “it will draw our support”, he said.

Kejriwal also said that his party will support anyone except Narendra Modi and Amit Shah.

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INA veterans to march in Republic day parade

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New Delhi: The Indian Air Force Marching Contingent on Rajpath during Republic Day Parade 2018

New Delhi, Jan 23 : For the first time, four veterans from the Indian National Army (INA) of Netaji Subhash Chadra Bose will take part in the Republic Day parade on Rajpath.

The move is considered as an unprecedented honor for freedom fighters and the acknowlegmentof the contribution of INA in the Indian independence

According to the report, the veterans- Parmanand, Lalit Ram, Hira Singh and Bhagmal. The four are aged 95 plus.
The four veterans, who fought World War II, will be seated in jeeps that will march past Rajpath during the Republic Day parade.

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Piyush Goyal given temporary charge of Finance

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Piyush Goyal

New Delhi, Jan 23 : Railway Minister Piyush Goyal was on Wednesday given charge of Finance Ministry in the absence of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley who is in the US for medical treatment, apparently ruling out his recuperation in time for the interim budget to be presented on February 1.

Goyal will hold the portfolios of Finance and Corporate Affairs on a temporary basis till the resumption of duties by Jaitley, who has now been made a Minister without portfolio, a Rashtrapati Bhawan communique said.

Jaitley (66) had a kidney transplant in May last year and then too Goyal was put in charge of Finance and Corporate Affairs.

“The President of India, as advised by the Prime Minister, hereby directed that during the period of indisposition of Arun Jaitley, the portfolios of Minister of Finance and Minister of Corporate Affairs held by him, be temporarily assigned to Piyush Goyal, in addition to his existing portfolios.

“Further, as advised by the Prime Minister, Arun Jaitley be designated as Minister without portfolio during the period of his indisposition or till such time he is able to resume his work as Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs,” the communique said.

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