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Rajnath points to PM Modi’s blunder on foreign policy

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By Arti Bali
Senior Journalist

Finally, after two years, the BJP government has realized its misplaced optimism on dealing with Pakistan. Union Minister Rajnath Singh publicly admitted  that Modi government was either soft on Pakistan or is guilty of a flip-flop.

Rajnath Singh said that his trust in Pakistan on the issue of fighting terrorism has been “completely shaken,” as the kind of support which India expected from it was not forthcoming and not allowing an NIA team to probe the Pathankot terror strike will amount to “betrayal”.

When Modi invited Pakistan’s  investigation team to probe Pathankot attack, leaders from across the political spectrum advised Prime Minister Modi not to indulge in adventurism.

PM Modi’s foreign policy has more of a style  than substance. He employed tactics like strong speeches, addressing Diaspora in every country he visited,  extensive media coverage,  more of packaging the event  and also criticizing  Congress  during foreign tours.

India had blamed the Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed and its supremo Masood Azhar of masterminding the attack in January on India’s forward air base at Pathankot.

On Pathankot, he said it was mutually agreed “informally” by the two countries that once Pakistan’s Joint Intelligence Team would visit India, an NIA team would be allowed. “We are awaiting clearance from Pakistan for the NIA team” he said.

When asked about the ISIS threat to India, the Home minister  said, “I am not downplaying it. Some areas that have been radicalised are under investigation. “But I have a perception about ISIS. ISIS will not be able to have an impact in India because we completely trust our Muslim brothers in the country. They are a part of the Indian culture. They will not welcome the activities of ISIS in India,” he said.

Whatever be the scenario, Modi government never heeds to advice of the previous government ie UPA. Leaders from BJP are suffering from inferiority complex as  time and again they point to the dynasty.

BJP must understand that Congress ruled India for the maximum period and many good things have been done during that period, they should shed their coloured glassses.

The United Kingdom,  and France had  supported India’s demand to be a member of the United Nations Security Council with a veto power. Russia was also supporting it. The 10 years of Congress intense hardwork is paying off now and Modi led NDA government is reaping some benefits  like membership to the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).

Moreover, for the first time, United States raised the growing cases  of religious intolerance  and slavery  in  India. US panel’s Republican chairman Bob  remarked “How does a country like India have 12 to 14 million slaves?” Corker asked expressing what he called frustration over India’s failure to address its status as the country with the world’s largest enslaved population.

Only Women power can defeat BJP

Women Power can defeat BJP in Uttar Pradesh and 2019 Lok Sabha polls BJP is busy preparing for the 2017 Uttar Pradesh assembly elections by  organising  a 5-hour mega show across nation, starting from the national capital itself which will showcase and highlight the achievements of the present government and have several performances.

sonia_modi

Despite these mega shows, one thing for the BJP to lookout for is the “Women Factor. As Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar called for a coalition of “secular ” parties to counter the challenge of BJP’s policies and ideology, the assembly election results of the five states points to a most important factor “The Women factor”.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister  Jayalalithaa crushed BJP in their respective states. BJP should watch out for  BSP  supremo Maywati  in UP,  Congress president Sonia Gandhi  and Priyanka Gandhi if she decides to join the fray. The women factor may make it tough for the BJP to win the upcoming elections.

Even Yoga guru  Ramdev said, “BJP will have to work hard if Priyanka Gandhi takes charge of the Congress.” In the 2004 Lok Sabha elections, Congress won 145 seats under Sonia Gandhi leadership.


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Covid-19 corollaries on the dairy sector: CRISIL

Overall, demand for milk and dairy products would be lukewarm in the near term, so prices are unlikely to boil over, according to the report.

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New Delhi, May 26 : Supply chain disruptions in the early weeks of the nationwide lockdown, and bread-and-butter issues for hotels, restaurants and cafes, have materially reduced demand for dairy products.

This is despite supply of most dairy products continuing during the lockdown, since they are categorised as essentials.

The shuttering of hotels and dine-ins has also dried up off-take of skimmed milk powder and khoya.

According to report by CRISIL Research on the state of dairy industry and supply chains, products that can’t be made at home easily – such as cheese, flavoured milk and also khoya – haven’t found their way back to the dining table in the same quantities as before the lockdown.

Demand for ice creams, which usually peaks in summer (accounting for 40 per cent of annual sales) has just melted away. Rural areas, which are feeling the income pinch more, seem to be staying off butter and ghee, the report by global analytics firm has said.

To be sure, since the third week of April, supply chains have turned smoother, so demand for staples such as milk, curd, paneer and yogurt are expected to see a quick rebound, leading to on-year expansion in sales, CRISIL said.

The pandemic, however, may sour the business for unorganised dairies because of pervasive contamination fears.

Conversely, as consumers shift, revenues of organised dairies and packaged products should fatten.

Overall, demand for milk and dairy products would be lukewarm in the near term, so prices are unlikely to boil over, according to the report.

Large brands such as Amul and Mother Dairy had already hiked retail milk prices by 4-5 per cent last fiscal. They may not serve an encore.

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445 people died from Australia bushfires smoke: Experts

Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra all had periods where they had the worst air quality in the world as a result of the smoke.

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Arogya Setu App

Canberra, May 26 : Smoke from Australia’s devastating 2019-20 bushfires killed at least 445 people, health experts revealed on Tuesday.

Fay Johnston, a public health expert from the Menzies Institute for Medical Research at the University of Tasmania, told the bushfire royal commission on Tuesday that her team estimated that 445 people died as a result of the smoke that blanketed much of the nation’s east coast, reports Xinhua news agency.

It takes the total death toll from the 2019-2020 bushfire season, which has been dubbed the “Black Summer”, to nearly 480 after 34 people lost their lives directly.

According to modelling produced by Johnston and her colleagues, 80 per cent of Australians were affected by the smoke at some point, including 3,340 people who were hospitalized with heart and lung problems.

“We were able to work out a yearly cost of bushfire smoke for each summer season and… our estimates for the last season were A$2 billion in health costs,” Johnston said.

“There’s fluctuation year to year, of course, but that was a major departure from anything we had seen in the previous 20 years.”

Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra all had periods where they had the worst air quality in the world as a result of the smoke.

Commissioners also heard on Tuesday that the increasing frequency of significant bushfire events in Australia meant that survivors no longer feel safe during the recovery phase.

“Disasters are no longer perceived as rare events, they are often seen as climate change, and they’re part of our new reality,” Lisa Gibbs, a child welfare expert from the University of Melbourne, said.

“We don’t know how that is going to affect recovery because the seeds of hope are a really important part of people’s ability to deal with what has happened and to get back on track.”

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Rising urbanization likely cause of heavy rainfall in South: Research

Their findings were reported in the ‘Quarterly Journal of Royal Meteorological Society’ on May 18, 2020.

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Hyderabad, May 26 : A team of researchers at the University of Hyderabad (UoH) have discovered a link between heavy rainfall in several parts of south India and a growing urbanisation in the region.

A team led by Prof. Karumuri Ashok from the Centre for Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences of the University of Hyderabad, examined whether a common factor, the changing ‘land use land cover’ (LULC) in these states, has any implications for the heavy rainfall events.

Over the past few years, many heavy rainfall events have been reported in cities of south India. Prominent among them are the extreme rainfall that created havoc in Chennai and nearby areas of Tamil Nadu in December 2015, the heavy rainfall over Hyderabad and adjoining regions in Telangana in September 2016, and the extreme rainfall event in Kerala in August 2018.

Notably, these three states differ in their geographical locations, and also the season in which they receive rainfall. Kerala, located on the southwest Indian coast off the Arabian Sea receives heavy rainfall during the summer monsoon from June-September.

Tamil Nadu, off the Bay of Bengal, receives rainfall mainly during the northeast monsoon (October-December). The land-locked state Telangana receives the bulk of its annual rainfall during the summer monsoon season.

A UoH statement stated that their study showed the precipitation during heavy rainfall events in these states has significantly increased from 2000 to 2017. Using the LULC data from ISRO, and by conducting 2 km resolution simulation experiments of twelve heavy rainfall events over the states, the researchers found distinct LULC changes in these three states, which led to higher surface temperatures and a deeper and moist boundary layer. These in turn caused a relatively higher convective available potential energy and, consequently, heavier rainfall.

The study also suggests that increasing urbanization in Telangana and Tamil Nadu is likely to enhance the rainfall during the heavy rainfall events by 20%-25%. Prof. Ashok feels that improving the density of observational rainfall and other weather parameters may help in forecasting extreme rainfalls at city level.

Their findings were reported in the ‘Quarterly Journal of Royal Meteorological Society’ on May 18, 2020.

Prof. K. Ashok and his Ph.D. student Mr. A. Boyaj who is the first author, are both from the Centre for Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences of the University of Hyderabad. The work was done in collaboration with Prof. Ibrahim Hoteit and Dr Hari Prasad Dasari of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Saudi Arabia.

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