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Scientific temper, adventure sports in Modi’s Mann Ki Baat

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PM Modi at UNGA
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New Delhi,  Prime Minister Narendra Modi talked about unity, “Nari Shakti”, enhancing the scientific temper of the youth and importance of adventure sports during the 62nd edition of his monthly radio program ‘Mann ki Baat’ on Sunday.

While he wished Indians for the upcoming celebrations of Holi, Gudi Padwa and the Indian new year, the Prime Minister reminded that the festivals carry a message of unity in them.

“In order to further boost the scientific temper among children and youth, one more system has been introduced — a visitor’s gallery has been created with a seating capacity of 10,000 — now you can witness rocket launches in front of your eyes at Sriharikota,” said Modi.

Talking about women empowerment, he said Indian women are scaling new heights. He gave an example of Bihar’s Purnia region and cited the case of a 12-year-old girl. He said Purnia’s women farmers are not only preparing saris, but are also selling them in big fairs, putting up their stalls.

“Entrepreneurship of women, daughters of our country, their courage, are a matter of pride for each one of us. I would particularly like to share with you, the achievement of 12-year-old daughter Kamya Karthikeyan,” Modi said.

Focussing on environment, the he said: “Biojet Fuel is prepared from non-edible tree borne oil. “It is procured from various tribal areas of India. These efforts will not only reduce carbon emissions but may also reduce India’s dependence on crude oil imports.”

Calling India’s biodiversity a unique treasure, he invited Indians to explore it. He also spoke about India’s efforts to create a sustainable habitat for migratory species. He also referred to the recent discovery of world’s largest cave fish which was found in Meghalaya.

The Prime Minister also mentioned about his experience in Hunar Haat, that came to news after he visited the craft fair and relished ‘Litti Chokha’, a delicacy from Bihar.

The Prime Minister termed his visit to the Haat a memorable experience, and during his address mentioned one specific incident. “It was a great satisfaction to hear the words of a disabled woman at Hunar Haat. She told me that earlier she used to sell her paintings on the pavement. But her life changed after joining Hunar Haat,” said Modi.

As always, his radio programme was dotted with anecdotes and his life experiences. He spoke about inspiring stories from Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh, which he claimed exhibit “the power of human determination”.

Towards the end, Prime Minister requested Indians to enjoy adventure sports in the coming months. “The coming days would be perfect to set out and take part in adventure sports. Are you ready?,” he asked.

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330 Markaz attendees take Delhi’s Covid-19 tally to 523: CM

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Arvind Kejriwal

New Delhi, April 6 (IANS) With 20 fresh cases reported in the last 24 hours, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said here on Monday, the Covid-19 case tally in the national capital had reached 523, which included 330 people from the Tablighi Jamaat in Nizamuddin Markaz.

With one death in the past 24 hours, the Covid-19 toll in the city was seven, he said. Addressing the media, Kejriwal said, “Among the 20 new cases, 10 had attended the Tablighi Jamaat event in Nizamuddin. So far, 330 people from Markaz have tested positive.”

Stating that the city government has decided to scale up coronavirus testing, the Chief Minister said the Centre had approved 27,000 personal protective equipment (PPEs) for Delhi, which could be delivered in a day or two.

On the rise in number of cases, Kejriwal said apart from the Markaz cases, it was also due to increase in testing by the Delhi government.

“Testing has been doubled in Delhi in the last few days. Around March 25, we were testing 100-125 people a day. From April 1, we are conducting around 500 tests per day. It will be increased to 1,000 a day,” he said.

He said the government would receive 1,00,000 testing kits by Friday, which would further help increase the coronavirus testing.

From Tuesday, the Chief Minister said ration would be delivered to over 10 lakh poor who had no ration cards. They will get 4 kg wheat and one kg rice per member free of cost.

“People who have applied for the ration cards online can get ration from 421 schools from Tuesday. Although, we request them to not gather in large numbers and maintain social distancing,” he said.

“We aim to give ration to 10 lakh such people and will procure more grain from the Centre, if needed,” Kejriwal said. The Centre was cooperating with the Delhi government in this regard, he said.

Apart from them, around 71 lakh ration cardholders are getting the ration free. The state government is feeding 6.5 lakh people twice a day. “Apart from the government, people are also feeding the poor. I thank all those who are helping in feeding the poor.”

The Chief Minister said the Covid-19 situation was under control in the city. “There is nothing to worry. Keep following the lockdown,” he said.


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Ahmed Patel welcomes cut in MPs’ allowances

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Ahmed Patel
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New Delhi, April 6 (IANS) After the Union cabinet decided to reduce allowances of members of Parliament by 30 per cent for one year, Congress leader Ahmed Patel welcomed the step and said in difficult times it was necessary.

“As a Member of Parliament, I welcome the government decision to cut salaries of MPs. In this difficult time, this is the least we can do to help fellow citizens,” Patel tweeted.

The cabinet approved an ordinance amending the Salary, Allowances and Pension of Members of Parliament Act, 1954, reducing allowances and pension by 30 per cent for a year from April 1, 2020.

The Congress leader said the government should also scrap the central vista project to save money. “Apart from cutting salaries of MPs and Ministers, the central government can save more than Rs 20,000 crore by scrapping the central vista redevelopment project & cutting down on non-Covid-19 publicity expenses,” Patel tweeted.

The Cabinet also approved temporary suspension of MPLADS for 2020-21 and 2021-22 to manage the adverse impact of the Covid-19 outbreak in the country.

The President, the Vice-President and the Governors have also voluntarily decided to take a pay cut.

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Covid-19 knocks at Thackeray’s doorstep

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uddhav thackeray

Mumbai, April 6 (IANS) Covid-19 has apparently reached the doorstep of Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s private residence ‘Matoshri’ in Bandra.

A tea-vendor selling tea near the VVIP home has been found Covid-19 positive, sending the state and health officials in a tizzy. As an immediate precaution, the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Monday sprayed disinfectants in the entire locality and surroundings.

The police, BMC and state health authorities have sealed off most parts of Kala Nagar where the CM’s residence is located in Bandra east and now the tea-seller’s contact tracking is underway.

Contacted for their reaction, top aides of the CM and his office declined to comment on the matter, nor was it clear whether Thackeray was present at his residence on Monday.

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