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Three reasons why BJP is defiant on ‘non-negotiable’ CAA

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Hyderabad Mammoth CAA NRC NPR

New Delhi, Jan 11 : Little before 10 p.m. on the Friday night, the Centre uploaded the gazette notification for the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act, ensuring the Act comes into play with immediate effect. This move comes amid nationwide protests against the Act by various Muslim organisations, intellectuals and student bodies across the country.

This move is seen as a defiance by the government, whose Home Minister, the architect of the CAA, said a few days ago that there would be no roll back. Speaking to media, Amit Shah had said there would be no retraction by “even an inch”.

But even as the Jamia Millia Islamia, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) protest and the fire spreads far and wide, from Mumbai’s Gateway of India to hilly corners of Shillong, the government has its plan in motion to counter the anti-CAA narrative. Many within the government believe, a month long delay in the notification of the CAA even after being passed in Parliament and receiving the Presidential assent was to make grounds to launch the government’s counter.

Modi’s Digital Counter:

The anti-CAA movement was sparked off digitally with a hashtag ‘india against CAA’ that glued students, intellectuals, movie stars and Muslim organisations together. The government too kickstarted the counter offensive digitally. On December 30, Prime Minister himself, in a tweet, launched the counter campaign where he stated, “#IndiaSupportsCAA because CAA is about giving citizenship to persecuted refugees & not about taking anyone’s citizenship away. Check out this hashtag in Your Voice section of the Volunteer module on NaMo App for content, graphics, videos & more. Share & show your support for CAA.”

Very soon, the hashtag started trending on top and many top ministers, BJP state chiefs, Chief Ministers’ of the BJP-ruled states, social media influencers and most importantly, a large number of common people, started voicing their stand on the Citizenship Amendment Act, using the hashtag. Almost two weeks on, it’s still a very popular trend on Twitter that has witnessed mass penetration.

Speaking to IANS, at the time of the launch of this counter digital movement, Harish Ramaswamy, a political thinker, while describing how Modi can afford to go aggressive, even in the face of multi-pronged attacks, said: “See, Narendra Modi’s idea of democracy is where the ruling party alone matters. He doesn’t care about the opposition. Interestingly, he is still a very popular leader and whatever he says, appears to be believable to most.”

Nationwide PR Outreach:

Just a couple of days before Modi launched his digital counter offensive on anti-CAA narrative by the opposition, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had identified six leaders to spearhead its nationwide outreach on the CAA.

While Anil Jain is leading the party’s charge in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar — the two states that have seen major minority resentment towards the CAA, Avinash Rai has been entrusted with leading and coordinating the outreach programme in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Delhi.

Delhi, which will go to polls on February 8, has witnessed largescale violent protests, starting near Jamia Millia Islamia University. Since then, the national capital has been witnessing protests — virtually every day — either by the student organisations or intellectuals.

Saroj Pandey will coordinate the party’s CAA outreach in Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Goa and the Union Territories (UT) of Daman and Diu.

Suresh Bhatt is leading the programme in Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, and the Uninin Territories of Chandigarh and Jammu and Kashmir.

For the southern zone, Ravindra Raju is coordinating with the media to organise press conferences, meetings and outreach to people in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, the Andamans, Puducherry and Lakshadweep.

For the eastern belt, former Bengal BJP chief Rahul Sinha was made in-charge of West Bengal, Odisha, Jharkhand and the Northeast. He is working in coordination with Himanta Biswa Sarma, Assam Minister of Health and Family Welfare, in the Northeast.

Apart from these six leaders, who are coordinating zone wise, a whole array of articulate MPs, party leaders are travelling across the country to make the BJP’s stance clear to people, and arrest any slide in the party’s popularity that might have been caused by the opposition’s huge uproar against the CAA.

Door to door campaign:

Apart from holding press conferences, meeting with intellectuals and social media influencers, the BJP has also embarked into a countrywide door to door campaign for this Act, quite the old school way. Party president Amit Shah himself started it in Delhi and working president J.P. Nadda in Ghaziabad.

On the very first day of the enactment of the law, as many as 42 leaders, including high profile union ministers were deputed across India to knock door to door and pass on pamphlets that seek to “dispel myths” about the CAA.

Before this door to door campaign was kicked off, on Jnauary 1, 2020, as the nation was celebrating, Amit Shah was locked inside the BJP headquarters with top BJP leaders to give final touches to the modalities of the massive campaign and sort out logistical issues. Apart from Shah, those present in that meeting included BJP working President J.P. Nadda, General Secretary (organisation) B.L. Santosh and all other General Secretaries of the party. As per sources, BJP Vice President Vinay Sahasrabuddhe was also present in the closed door meeting.

Lately certain BJP leaders have been making communally coloured statements to make the anti-CAA protests lose its steam. But many believe, it is not a coordinated effort, but a part of the BJP’s campaign for upcoming Delhi election, which is closely fought and the BJP is desperate for a comeback.

But, one thing is clear, not only Amit Shah but even all the BJP general secretaries have time and again articulated, that the reconsideration of the CAA is “non-negotiable” as it involves “credibility of Prime Minister Modi’s word to the refugees”.

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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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dairy industry

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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IMD heavy rains predict

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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