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Navaratri 2018: From Kalash Sthapna timings to importance, Here’s everything

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One of the most vibrant festivals, Navaratri is all around the corner.

Indians across the country are all set to celebrate the 9-day festival with zeal and much fervour from Wednesday onwards.

This year Navaratri will begin on Wednesday, 10 October 2018 and end on Friday, 19 October 2018.

The nine days are dedicated to the nine forms of Goddess Durga.

In West Bengal, the last four days are celebrated as Durga Puja, and on a ninth day, the devotees bid farewell to Maa Durga.

The last day, 10th day is celebrated as Dussehra, to mark the victory of Lord Rama over Ravana.

Here’s all you need to know about the festival:

Nine days Schedule 

Day 1: Pratipada (10 October)- Kalashsthapana, Chandra Darshan, Goddess Shailputri Puja is worshipped on Pratipada.

Auspicious time of Ghatasthapana Shubh Muhurt is 06:22 to 07:25. If you missed this mahurat, then the Kalash can be also placed between 11.51 am to 12.29 pm.

Day 2: Dwitiya (11 October)- Goddess Brahmacharini is worshipped on Dwitiya. She is the unmarried form of Maa Parvati born to Daksha Prajapati.

Day 3: Tritiya (12 October 2018)- Goddess Chandraghanta is worshipped on Tritiya. She is the married form of Goddess Parvati. While chanting puja mantra and stuti, people offer prayers to the Goddess with her favourite flower, jasmine.

Day 4: Chaturthi (13 October 2018)- Goddess Kushmanda is worshipped on Chathurti. She is the fourth avatar of Devi Durga who is believed to create the world with her divine smile, according to Hindu legends.

Day 5: Panchami (14 October 2018)- Goddess Skandamta is worshipped on Panchami.  In this form, Devi Parvati is seen as the mother of Lord Skanda. People offer prayers with red coloured flowers such as hibiscus and roses.

Day 6: Shasthi (15 October 2018)- The sixth day is dedicated to Goddess Katyayani, who is considered to be the most aggressive and violent who is ready to go on war.

Day 7: Saptami (16 October 2018)- Goddess Kalaratri is worshipped on Saptami. She is one of the ferocious and fiercest avatars of Goddess Durga.

Day 8: Ashtami (17 October 2018)- Goddess Mahagauri, who is believed to the most beautiful form, is worshipped on Ashtami. Besides this people also be celebrates Durga Ashtami and Sandhi Puja.

Day 9: Navami (18 October 2018)- Devi Siddhidatri, who is the goddess of achievements and perfections, is worshipped on Navami.

Dashami and Durga Visarjan (19 October 2018)- On Dashami, Goddess Durga in her most divine and powerful form killed the evil buffalo demon, Mahishasura to restore Dharma in the universe. This day effigies of Ravana is also burnt to mark the victory of Lord Rama over the demon king and save Sita.

Puja Vidhi

After taking bath on the day when Navratri commences, put the Kalash in front of Goddess Durga idol. Also, place an earthen pot with mud to grow Khetri. Add barley to it and pour some water, tie a red thread around the pot. It is believed that the more the barley grows in a duration of 9-days, the more fortune and harmony it brings to the house.

Read Durga Chalisa during the puja.

Puja Samagri

Chunri

Durga Saptshati book and Chalisa

Mauli

Ganga water or plain water in Kalash

Mango leaves

Rice

Sandalwood

One coconut

Cloves

Cardamom

Kumkum

Fresh dhruva

Supari

Paan leaves

Happy Navratri to all !!

India

Schools, colleges reopening option given to states under Unlock 4.0 guidelines

The Union Health Ministry has already released SOP for opening of schools from September 21.

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Schools Class Rooms

The Union Health Ministry has already released SOP for opening of schools from September 21. Some states have decided to resume schools from September 21 as suggested by the Centre government’s Unlock 4.0 guidelines. The states that have already issued notification for school reopening according to unlock 4.0 guidelines from September 21 include Bihar and Andhra Pradesh.

India is in the unlocking process and is currently in the Unlock 4.0. In the process, the Union Home Ministry has already issued Unlock 4.0 guidelines and unlocking of public transport including trains, Metro rail, buses have begun. The Unlock 4.0 guidelines also suggest school college reopening cautiously. Due to Coronavirus, school and colleges have been closed in the country since the last week of March, due to which there has been a lot of loss of students’ education and now everyone is waiting for schools to open.

Uttar Pradesh: Due to rising COVID-19 cases, schools are likely to remain shut there.

Delhi: The Delhi government on Friday announced that all schools will continue to remain closed till October 5 amid the coronavirus pandemic. “All government and private schools will remain closed for all students till October 5. However, online teaching and learning activities will continue as usual,” an official order issued by the Directorate of Education (DoE) said.

School principals are authorised to call “staff as per requirement for smooth conduct of online classes or any other work”, it said.

Earlier, Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government had issued a notification stating that students of classes 9 to 12 can visit their schools, in areas outside containment zones, on a voluntary basis, for taking guidance from their teachers.

Haryana: As per reports, the Haryana government has decided to start classes for students of Classes 10 to 12 in two state-run schools in Karnal and Sonipat districts on a trial basis

Assam: students of classes IX -XII can visit their schools in areas outside the containment zones.

Uttar Pradesh: Due to rising COVID-19 cases, schools are likely to remain shut there.

Delhi: The Delhi government on Friday announced that all schools will continue to remain closed till October 5 amid the coronavirus pandemic. “All government and private schools will remain closed for all students till October 5. However, online teaching and learning activities will continue as usual,” an official order issued by the Directorate of Education (DoE) said.

School principals are authorised to call “staff as per requirement for smooth conduct of online classes or any other work”, it said.

Earlier, Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government had issued a notification stating that students of classes 9 to 12 can visit their schools, in areas outside containment zones, on a voluntary basis, for taking guidance from their teachers.

Haryana: As per reports, the Haryana government has decided to start classes for students of Classes 10 to 12 in two state-run schools in Karnal and Sonipat districts on a trial basis

Assam: students of classes IX -XII can visit their schools in areas outside the containment zones.

Jammu and Kashmir: Schools can open in the union territory on a voluntary basis.

Bihar: Educational institutions have been given the go-ahead to resume classes for students of classes 9 to 12 in Patna outside the containment zones, as per order issued by Patna D. Kumar Ravi.

Uttarakhand: Government has also decided to not open schools till the end of this month.

Kerala: In view of the rising COVID-19 cases, Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan has decided not to open up schools till the end of this month.

Andhra Pradesh: Schools in Andhra Pradesh are also set to resume normal classes from September 21 for students of classes 9 to 12. SOP has been released by the school authorities for this purpose.

Meanwhile, states like Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Punjab, Odisha, Rajasthan, Sikkim, West bengal, Goa, Karnataka, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh are yet to take a decision on openig up schools.

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DMRC ridership declined during riots, protests: Govt

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Delhi Metro Violet Line

New Delhi, Sep 18 : The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Limited (DMRC) has said that there was some decline in cumulative ridership due to protests and riots in Delhi, the Centre has informed Parliament.

Responding to Unstarred Questions, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs told the Lok Sabha in a written reply on Thursday that the DMRC faced loss of an estimated revenue of Rs 1,609 crore due to closure of Metro services in view of Covid-19 pandemic.

The Ministry said that preparatory work like detailed designing, preparation of tender schedule, and finalisation of tenders were carried out by the DMRC during the countrywide lockdown.

Asked “whether the government has devised any strategy to mitigate the effect of losses incurred by the DMRC”, the Ministry said various innovative means like provisioning of feeder system, property development at stations and on other land, leasing of spaces, Transit Oriented Development and Value Capture Finance are enumerated in Metro Rail Policy, 2017 to enhance revenue of DMRC”.

Ensuring financial sustainability during operations of the Metro rail system is the responsibility of the state government,” it further said.

Responding to the question as to how the DMRC is managing or restructuring loan payments, the Ministry said that payments towards loans have been made by it as per the schedule.

The DMRC resumed its public services from September 7 following the Ministry of Home Affairs’ new guidelines, after more than five months.

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the Centre suspended the Metro rail services in the last week of March.

The Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry has issued Standard Operating Procedures for the functioning of Metro trains allowed under the ‘Unlock 4’ guidelines.

Communal violence had erupted on the issue of Citizenship (Amendment) Act. Clashes broke out in northeast Delhi on February 24 between protesters as well as supporters of CAA, which spiralled out of control to leave at least 53 people dead and around 200 injured.

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NATO forces’ M4 gun falls in JeM hands in Kashmir

Umar and Kamran had allegedly played a key role in planning and executing the fidayeen attack in which the Kashmiri suicide bomber Adil Dar killed 40 paramilitary personnel at Lethapora, Awantipora, on the Jammu-Srinagar highway on February 14, 2019.

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US-made M4 sniper Masood Azhar

New Delhi, Sep 18 : The UN Security Council (UNSC) designated international terrorist and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) founder Maulana Masood Azhars three nephews, each carrying a US-made M4 sniper, have been killed in three different encounters in Kashmir in the last three years.

A number of US-made M4 sniper rifles, used by Nato forces to fight terrorism in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region, have fallen in the hands of Azhar’s guerrilla group, JEM, in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). Released by India in exchange for the IC-814 hostages at Kandahar in December 1999, Azhar has been designated as an international terrorist by the UNSC in May 2019, after years of sustained resistance by China.

The M4 carbine is extensively used by the US Armed Forces and is replacing the M16 rifle in the United States Army and the United States Marine Corps combat units as the primary infantry weapon and service rifle. The M4 is also capable of mounting the M203 and M320 grenade launchers.

The M4 has semi-automatic and three-round burst firing modes (like the M16A2 and M16A4), while the M4A1 has semi-automatic and fully automatic firing modes (like the M16A1 and M16A3). It is essentially a lighter and shorter variant of the M16A2 assault rifle with a telescopic stock.

Three of Azhar’s nephews-Talha Rashid, Usman Ibrahim and Umar Farooq-have died in different encounters with security forces in Kashmir in the last three years. All the three were in possession of M4 rifles which were recovered, along with other arms and ammunition, from the sites of the gun battles. Till now different variants of the Russian-made Kalashnikov or AK-series rifles have been the principal assault weapon with the Kashmiri and the Pakistani militants in J&K since 1988.

The M4 has entered the scene amid apprehensions that sections of jihadist guerrillas could shift their base to Kashmir after a compromise between the Americans and the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Dilbag Singh, DG, J&K Police, puts the number of the militants with M4 rifles around six, claiming that ten US-made snipers had been seized. “Five to six JeM commanders are active with M4 rifles but they are well on our radar,” he said. However, some senior officials of the National Investigation Agency (NIA), who have been associated with the investigation of high-profile terror attacks in the last two years, maintained that 10 to 15 JeM commanders were currently armed with M4 rifles.

“The commander of every JeM module of 3-4 militants has one M4 but they have not been able to cause much damage to the police or the security forces,” said an NIA officer.

During investigations, the NIA has learned that as many as 60 JeM militants had infiltrated into Kashmir through the international border in Jammu between June 2017 to January 2020. They sneaked into the Samba and Hiranagar areas in groups of three to five. An unknown number of infiltrators is said to have entered through one underground tunnel which has surfaced early this year. According to the officials, each group carried 3-4 AK rifles and one M4 rifle.

Three of such groups were intercepted at Jhajjar Kotli, Bann Toll Plaza and Jawahar Tunnel on the 265-km long Jammu-Srinagar highway. Each time the modus operandi was to board a waiting truck in Samba or Hiranagar and reach the JeM’s hideouts in Kulgam, Shopian and Pulwama districts in southern Kashmir.

On June 20, an unsuccessful attempt was made with the help of the Pakistani Rangers to deliver arms and ammunition, including one M4, two magazines and 60 rounds of ammunition, besides seven M67 grenades, by an 18-kg drone. The quadcopter was, however, spotted by the BSF observation posts in Hiranagar and shot down. The consignment was supposedly for a Pakistani terror commander Ali Bhai, based in South Kashmir. Officials believe this was the first such attempt.

A three-member group of JeM infiltrators, travelling by an arranged truck, was intercepted by security forces near Jhajjar Kotli on the Jammu-Srinagar highway, on September 12, 2018. All the three militants were killed. Their driver and another civilian facilitator were arrested.

In an identical chance encounter at Bann Toll Plaza on January 31, another group of three JeM infiltrators was killed on the Jammu-Srinagar highway. Their truck driver and one civilian facilitator were arrested.

On September 9, the J&K Police intercepted a vehicle at Jawahar Tunnel on the same highway. One M4, one AK rifle and six Chinese pistols were recovered from the truck on the way to the valley from Jammu. The driver, along with a terror facilitator, both residents of Shopian, was arrested.

Talha Rashid, son of Masood Azhar’s sister, was killed in an encounter on November 7, 2017 at Aglar Kandi in Pulwama district. His Pakistani associate Mehmood Bhai and a local militant, Waseem of Drabgam Pulwama, were also killed in the same encounter. Rashid’s M4 was among the other arms and ammunition recovered.

In the middle of 2018, security agencies learned that JeM had deployed four of its commanders, each armed with an M4, from its training centres in Pakistan. Sameer Tiger, one of the most wanted militant commanders with one M4, made his own photograph viral on the social media.

Later that year, Azhar’s second nephew (the son of his brother), Usman Ibrahim alias Haider, was known to have attacked and killed three security personnel in separate sniper attacks in 10 days in the Tral-Awantipora belt. He was killed, along with an associate, in an encounter at Chankitar, Tral, on October 31, 2018. His M4 too was recovered.

Azhar’s third nephew Umar Farooq was killed, along with his Pakistani associate Kamran, in an encounter at Suthsoo Kalan village, bordering Budgam and Pulwama districts, on March 29, 2019. The recoveries included Umar Farooq’s M4 carbine. Umar and Kamran had allegedly played a key role in planning and executing the fidayeen attack in which the Kashmiri suicide bomber Adil Dar killed 40 paramilitary personnel at Lethapora, Awantipora, on the Jammu-Srinagar highway on February 14, 2019.

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