Kiran Bedi, Shazia Ilmi, and next Jaya Prada? Why BJP’s masterstroke neutralises AAP’s momentum

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At a time when political experts had started writing off for BJP in Delhi Assembly polls, the Saffron party played a master card. After sniffing the looming defeat in the State poll, mainly because of couple of factors including lack of a credible party face and the spill over effect of the Central Government, the BJP brought former team Anna member Kiran Bedi in the team. It looks like this time Modi party doesn’t want to leave any stone unturned as they fell short of four seats in the 70 member Assembly in 2013.

BJP knows that AAP is the only competitor which can wobble its way to move into driver’s seat in the Delhi election. So, the Saffron party is toying with all the permutations and combinations to outshine the rival party. Reportedly, in coming days more women power will be added to the party which will help it in giving impression that BJP is the only women friendly party amongst all (AAP, Congress). Here is the analysis on how Bedi will lift the sagging morale of BJP.

AAP will find it tough to counterattack Bedi

Aam Aadmi Party will really find it tough to deal with Kiran Bedi who has turned the table to Arvind Kejriwal now. India’s first woman police officer Bedi, and Kejriwal were once partners in social activist Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption campaign which shook India in 2011. Bedi and Kejriwal later fell out because of differences on a number of issues. Now as Bedi has joined the Modi brigade and has given upper hand to BJP, it will be really interesting to watch how Kejriwal will deal with his former acolyte. Experts say that because of a psychological barrier as Bedi was once a part of their crusade against corruption, Kejriwal will not be able to up the ante against her.

BJP will project anti-corruption image of party through IPS officer

Kiran Bedi is known for her multiple avatar including celebrated former IPS officer , Magsaysay award Winner, Asian lawn tennis champion and well acclaimed activist.

Giving larger message to the Delhi voters, Bedi yesterday said that she knows both, how to do work and how to get it done. BJP may project this image of Bedi to cobble up people’s support in one of the most competitive assembly election.

Women power will bring voters to BJP’s kitty

With three women celebrity (Jaya Prada, Bedi, Ilmi) in the party, it seems that BJP is in a mood to cash on the women power in the most competitive poll in Delhi. It is being believed that party wants to use Bedi’s experience in police force. The saffron party may give a loud and clear message to the people that party is very serious with deteriorating law and order situation in Delhi. If party will be elected in the election, it will provide better security for women folks who are presently at the receiving end in the capital. Party may hint that being a woman herself, Bedi will understand woman’s plight and agony.

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Credible face for Delhi BJP

At a time when BJP leadership was in complete disarray in the capital, BJP got a face in the form of Bedi. Because of the reason that party had no ‘vote pulling’ face in Delhi with whom people could associate, Modi had to take the reins in his hands. It is expected that now, Bedi who will possibly be declared as CM candidate will fill that gap. Though some of the top leaders may oppose this decision of the party, but that will be limited to mute murmurs only. These leaders know that when Modi gives his assent to anything and it is also subscribed by the master strategist Amit Shah, then there is no scope of this whimpering business.

Modi+Bedi combo

Bedi is known for her soft corner for Prime Minister Narendra Modi. She has been praising Modi ever since she had left Anna Hazare’s membership. Now, it is being believed that Bedi can claim that if we will be voted to power there will be more coherence between Delhi and central government. We will be able to implement things in a better way as Modi government will support in every possible way. BJP will project Modi-Bedi combo to woo people of Delhi in party’s favour. Though, only time will tell whether BJP will be given full mandate or not, but one thing is crystal clear that party has defeated AAP in it’s own game. Kiran Bedi’s inclusion in BJP will definitely prove to be a game-changer for the Saffron party in coming days.

Source: OneIndia

 

Bengal Global Business Summit

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 ‘Not very much is known outside Bengal about the strides being made by Bengal, and this needs to be addressed’ – Patricia Hewitt (UK India Business Council Chairperson) said speaking at the Bengal Global Business Summit  held  on 7 – 8th January in Kolkata.

The summit saw many high profile international visitors amongst the top business fraternity of the country. South Korea’s ambassador to India Joon-gyu Lee, Deputy secretary of China’s Yunnan province Li Xijiming, Mitsubishi Chemicals global CEO Hiroaki Ishizuka, Changi International Airports CEO Lee Seow Hiang, Scomi Group COO Kanesan Veluppillai, Chairman of Bangladesh’s Nitol Niloy Group Abdul Matlub Ahmad and Nepal Chamber of Commerce president Rajesh Kazi Shrestha. They all spoke about Bengal’s business potential, good road and rail connectivity, abundance of skilled human talent, surplus power and investor-friendly policies of the state government. They identified IT, ITES, infrastructure, power, textiles, food processing, steel and cement as the sectors to invest in Bengal.

Dr. Amit Mitra the Finance/Commerce/ Industries Minister of West Bengal stated that the state is ahead of the national average in terms of the growth rate of the economy, the index of industrial production and the growth rate in capital expenditure, at 8.6% against the country’s 4.7% . To this Mr. Arun Jaitley the Union Finance Minister who was the Chief Guest at the summit, explained that it’s the manufacturing sector which create jobs, it’s manufacturing to which people shift from under employment in agriculture and that is where the real challenge lies as the state’s manufacturing base is very narrow. He mentioned the fact that any investor has a choice of countries and states and the objective should be to narrow down that choice by extending cooperation. He continued stating that cooperative federalism has made way for competitive federalism.. States have to compete for the best share of the pie with the centre being keen on inter-state parity. If Bengal did not do enough, other states would march ahead in inviting investments. Almost every state is realising the importance of creating an investment-friendly environment by cutting down red tape, easing tax administration and ensuring a climate that leads to profitable returns. Only then will investment lead to greater investments. He did not though speak about Vibrant Gujarat scheduled between January 11 and 13, or the Madhya Pradesh Global Investment Summit, held last October, but he meant that investors know of opportunities in other states and they invest to make profits. The state govt’s  mission is to make the investor’s journey smooth and ensure easy  and fast returns on investment only then will the economy of the state grow and thereafter the country.

Availability of land being one of the most important  determinants of investment in manufacturing especially in a state from where an automobile plant was driven out for various complexities around this. But Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was clear on her earlier stated stand (where she had denounced the land ordinance designed by Arun Jaitley’s team) stating that the state administration will not acquire land forcibly. She announced that the state has  set up  its land bank and also firmed up the land use policy to facilitate investors. Attempts have also been made to provide clearances – under the 14(Y) section of the Land Ceiling Act – to investors at the earliest with the land bank itself holding in excess of one lakh acres for any upcoming projects.

But reality remains to be seen as after having driven out the Tata small-car project on that issue, no amount of protestations from the state’s chief minister that land is available , not even her assertion that she had cleared land for the Steel Authority project the previous night, will create confidence, unless a firm actually stands up and says that it has all the land that it needs. The other issue is law and order at the grass roots. Even as the summit was on, workers at a nearby TCS construction site, demanding compensation for a colleague who had died in an accident, burnt vehicles before the police could establish control. Many a project site is troubled by local agitation, sometimes led by a ruling party member, for one reason or another. These negate the substantial advantages that the state has like abundant power and skilled labour. Until there is substantial and noticeable reform in governance, the state government’s claims of being business-friendly will continue to be questioned.

But by the end of the 2 day long Bengal’s biggest ever business jamboree, the state managed to garner a whopping investment of Rs 2.43 lakh crores , which also promises more than one crore new jobs in the next couple of years. But since most EOUs and LOIs were signed with central government agengies,  opposition political rivals raised questions as to why the summit was named ‘Global’, instead of ‘Central Aid’.

All said and done the positives that came out of it at the end was without basic infrastructure like ports, roads and inland waterways (urban development also a part which saw an investment of 72,400 crores at the summit) it is hard to attract heavy industry especially entrepreneurs from overseas. Without heavy, small and medium will not take off. West Bengal is an important and strategic investment destination for overseas investors as well as the centre, for it’s location and it’s resources. If the climate for investment in the state is right everyone gains out of it. The state government has been able to bring down the complications of setting and running a project from a 27 stages process in 2008  to 21 stages in 2011 to a single window solution in 2014 and promises to set up a core team of top bureaucrats with finance minister Amit Mitra to monitor the implementation of MOUs signed at the summit and pursue the letters of intent received from investors. An administrative calendar would be chalked out, setting deadlines for implementation of various stages of a project and a time frame for granting clearances and permits for every proposal with the next edition of the summit planned for January 8 and 9 next year.

2014: Undoubtedly, the year of Modi

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  2014: Undoubtedly, the year of Modi


2014: Undoubtedly, the year of Modi

2014 marked as Modi’s year as he was the top news in the year! His astonishing Lok Sabha victory changed the course of Indian politics and contemporary history.

In a presidential-style election campaign, Modi emerged victorious and propelled the BJP to a clear majority in the Lok Sabha, a first in 30 years for any political party. Modi’s development mantra caught the fancy of the vast majority as the BJP re-defined the relationship between technology and election campaigning. From using 3-D hologram to posting a variety of selfies and engaging on social media platforms like no Indian politician had on Twitter and Facebook. The BJP’s chief campaigner used every possible avenue to reach out to India’s young and old generation.

BJP completely knocked out Congress in 2014 presidential elections by limiting the party to 44 Lok Sabha members, the lowest in the history.  Modi’s campaign as a strong and prominent face of BJP with the agenda of ‘ache din’ (good days) turned out very well in the favour of party. The minister’s back to back victory lead to the Modi’s rule in almost all states of India. The success of BJP in Jharkhand, Jammu & Kashmir, Haryana, Maharashtra, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, and Madhya Pradesh in 2014 is exceptionally remarkable. The party’s next battle ground will be Delhi, Bihar, and Uttar Pradesh.

The internal team of BJP under Modi leadership was also re-defined by sidelining the veterans and installing the new, young team. The veteran politicians LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi were moved to newly formed ‘Marg Darshan Mandal,’ with the end of Vajpayee-Advani era.

Modi has announced some bold policy initiatives like Make in India and Clean India Campaign, and have put forward some legislation through parliament, i.e. the judge’s appointments bill, minor labour law changes, and the small factories bill. The regulations that can be changed by executive fiat are, however, being changed quickly, and their impact will be considerable in the years to come. Moreover people have huge expectations from BJP and specifically Modi. The promises made during campaigning are still waiting to be full filled, the Swiss bank money promise, youth employment scheme, safety of soldiers on border, recovering the encroached land by China and Pakistan, making terror free India, etc.

The year 2014 was a turning point of Modi and BJP, from being Gujarat chief minister to the country’s prime minister. He became the most prominent and the strongest face of the party who lead BJP to its victory. As it is said power comes with responsibility so the government’s to-do-list for 2015 is going to be bulky and quite urgent. 2015 will serve as a year of responsibilities and a deciding year for Modi’s government.

Dual celebration: 100 days of MOM on New Year

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Dual celebration: 100 days of MOM on New Year

Dual celebration: 100 days of MOM on New Year

The New Year beginning for India with a landmark move! Indian Space Scientists will have double celebration this New Year. The day will mark the 100 days of Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) in the red planet’s orbit giving them another reason to uncork the champagne. MOM was expected to orbit Mars for six months and send data back to Earth until its fuel gets exhausted. But now it will continue to study Martian details for up to 15 years because of its fuel efficient technique. MOM has saved a lot during the journey that it is still left with 37 kg of fuel and it takes only two kg for MOM to be in orbit for one year.

MOM is considered as the most economical mission costing $74 million as compared to other countries. It entered the orbit of Mars on September 24, 2014 after the year-long voyage and is also the first to enter the Mars orbit in its first attempt.

MOM project director S Arunan said, “We are so excited about the 100th day of MOM in orbit. So far the spacecraft has been in the pink of health. And it looks like it will live on for several years.” ISRO chairman K Radhakrishnan said that scientists were looking forward to June well past the spacecraft’s assigned life of mid-March when it will go through a phase of no communication with earth. “This would last two weeks when the sun comes in between MOM and Earth cutting off the signal. This will be an ultimate test for the spacecraft’s autonomy (the ability to gauge its own health, remain in orbit and carry out experiments without orders from Earth),” he added.  The ISRO chairman further stated that fuel was not only one of the limiting factors of any spacecraft. The life of a spacecraft depends also on the longevity of its batteries and electronic systems which we had subjected to endurance tests. The systems pass through what scientists call an ‘infant mortality test,’ were they undergo 168 hours of burn-in (under high temperatures). This is to ensure they withstand the extremities of space weather. “Our systems have passed all these tests, so hopefully MOM will have a long life.”

That would mean a higher probability of spotting something interesting on and around Mars. MOM is fitted with five instruments, including a methane sensor that looks for methane the definite indicator of past life and an absorption cell photometer to pick up traces of deuterium and hydrogen which could suggest early existence of water on the red planet. The other instruments are a color camera, an infrared spectrometer and a composition analyser.

MOM is the most proud mission by Indian Space Scientists by being most economical, to reach the orbit in its first attempt and its increased life span. The scientists have huge expectations from MOM for relevant information.

DELHI ON THE VERGE OF ELECTIONS

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Main rivals of Delhi elections

Main rivals of Delhi elections

“Bhai hum toh Kejriwal ke saath hai”( We are the supporters of Kejriwal), said an auto-rickshaw driver, when asked him about his take on Delhi 2015 elections. 2015 comes with a new battle among the three key players in Delhi i.e. AAP and BJP and Congress. BJP and AAP are on the heavier side. The two prominent names are Kejriwal and Modi. They are the main rivals who will be fighting for capital. The election dates are not yet announced but both the parties are seen gearing up for the polls in Delhi.

As comparison to other years, the excitement for election is not up to the mark, it seems that the cold weather has freezed the election excitement. Though excitement is not there, public’s perspectives for their representatives were seen very clear. There was no way in between either they were Kejriwal supporters or Modi followers. An interesting thing that came up was mostly business people and upper middle class were supporting BJP and the minorities were with Kejriwal. The labour class, small vendors, auto-rickshaw drivers were seen very enthusiastic about Kejriwal being in power. They are undoubtedly giving their full support to AAP led government in Delhi. Whereas upper middle class people were clearly criticising Kejriwal for his past action of quitting the CM’s post.

“He did a lot of work in 50 days, the rates of CNG were down by INR 15/kg, paper work got easier, the work for which authority took INR 2,500 were done in INR 250 only. Police stopped humiliating us and electricity and water supply became far better. I am a Kejriwal supporter and this time AAP will be in power,” said Chandar Singh an auto-rickshaw driver. On the contrary, Pradeep Kumar working as an International Consultant said, “Kejriwal has not fulfilled our expectations. I was supporting AAP in last elections even I supported him all over but after his coward act and his fraud promises, he does not deserves to be in power. Kejriwal says that he reduced electricity bills. He used government funds for that; which I think, could have been used for improving the infrastructure and making of hospitals, schools and colleges.”

BJP v/s AAP; Delhi Battlefield

BJP v/s AAP; Delhi Battlefield

Kamaljeet Singh, a Chandigarh based businessman said, “Modi is a fireball and we all can see that, I am supporting BJP. Whatever Kejriwal has done earlier like protests etc., we don’t want that to be repeated again in future. Moreover, he does not even have a political background and is also misleading youth.”

Youth participation in these elections has not come in the forefront as it was used to be in earlier elections. They are very liberal about it. Students had mixed reactions. Vaani, a painting student said, “I am with BJP because my parents are supporting this party.” Whereas, Prakhar Pandey, a CA student quoted that, even if AAP comes in power, then it would not be able to do much work as MCD and police are under the central government. So, there is no point in supporting AAP.

It is the Modi’s wave which is speaking in the party’s favour. BJP’s dominance can be clearly seen in the states like Bihar, Maharashtra, Haryana, Jharkhand and Jammu & Kashmir, where recently elections took place. Majority is influenced with BJP and this has led to expectations in the capital also. These elections are going to be the do or die situation for both the parties. One which is tasting victory in many states, want to conquer the capital also and second, AAP, which started its journey from Delhi and received great support last year in assembly elections, wants to rule the capital again. Battlefield is ready!

VISTARA: A NEW AIRLINE JOINT VENTURE

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VISTARA: A NEW AIRLINE JOINT VENTURE

VISTARA: A NEW AIRLINE JOINT VENTURE OF TATA AND SINGAPORE AIRLINES.

In a press conference yesterday, CEO of Vistara Phee Teik Yeoh announced that Tata Sons-Singapore Airline will be flying from next month i.e. January 9, 2015. Vistara is 49 per cent owned by Singapore Airline and 51 per cent by Tata Sons. According to airline analysts, Indian aviation future belongs to low-cost carriers but Yeoh said there was also room for full-service airlines. “We’re here to redefine the flying experience” and “create a demand for a kind of personalised travel” that doesn’t exist, he said, referring to the “massification” of the Indian travel market. After around seven years of growing preference for low-cost carriers in air travelers, the business class is making a strong return as existing airlines as well as an upcoming full-service carrier focusing on the premium segment.

The new carrier will start with Delhi-Mumbai flights and then include Ahmedabad. It will add routes as its current two-plane Airbus fleet grows. Vistara will operate the 148-seater Airbus A320-200 with 16 seats in business class, 36 in premium economy and 96 in economy. Once it takes off, it will be the third full-service carrier after state-run Air India and Jet Airways.

Vistara Airline

Vistara Airline

India’s air passenger market has expanded at rapid speed but many airlines are laden with debt and are struggling with cut-throat fare wars, high fuel taxes and shoddy infrastructure. Air India and Jet Airways are facing tremendous loss and SpiceJet has reduced its daily departures from 332 to 239 flights to recover from heavy debt. Indigo is the only airline among big four of the country that is reporting profits. Apart from losses in Indian aviation market, Yeoh said “We have done customer surveys and sense there is demand for such a product. No doubt there are challenges, but the government has the strongest mandate in three decades and we are hopeful the impediments to industry will go away.” The luxury airline has raised the curiosity and expectation for prices, Yoeh clarified it by saying “We will leverage on IT and innovation to drive cost leadership. That is paramount. Costs will be managed very tightly, but we will go all out to delight customers.”

With its lavish treatment perspective and cost management, Vistara has raised the bar of expectations among customers, travelers are eagerly waiting for the launch to see how economically lavish the airline is.

PBD 2015 to focus on showcasing new initiatives, innovations: Sushma Swaraj

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PBD 2015 media interaction with Sushma Swaraj

PBD 2015 media interaction with Sushma Swaraj

Only 15 days are left and today, Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs Sushma Swaraj held a media interaction for the upcoming Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, which is going to be held from January 7-9, 2015 at Mahatma Mandir, Gandhinagar, Gujarat.  To begin with, the 13th edition of the three-day annual event beginning January 7 has a special significance this year as it will also commemorate the centenary of Mahatma Gandhi’s return from South Africa; and this is the reason, the event is happening in Gujarat, which is the birthplace of the ‘greatest pravasi’ Mahatma Gandhi.

At the event organised by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs along with Gujarat government, the new government will showcase its new initiatives like Make in India, Clean Ganga and economic reforms. The day one is dedicated to youth. Even youth interactions have been planned at four different educational institutions in Ahmedabad –  Petroleum, Law, IT and Entrepreneur Development. This has been planned with the support of ‘Partner Ministry’ of the event – Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. On January 8, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the conclave and on January 9, President Pranab Mukherjee will confer Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards to distinguished overseas Indians respectively.

At the event organised by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs along with Gujarat government, the new government will showcase its new initiatives like Make in India, Clean Ganga and economic reforms. The day one is dedicated to youth. Even youth interactions have been planned at four different educational institutions in Ahmedabad –  Petroleum, Law, IT and Entrepreneur Development. This has been planned with the support of ‘Partner Ministry’ of the event – Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. On January 8, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the conclave and on January 9, President Pranab Mukherjee will confer Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards to distinguished overseas Indians respectively.

At the event organised by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs along with Gujarat government, the new  government will showcase its new initiatives like Make in India, Clean Ganga and economic reforms. The day one is dedicated to youth. Even youth interactions have been planned at four different educational institutions in Ahmedabad –  Petroleum, Law, IT and Entrepreneur Development. This has been planned with the support of ‘Partner Ministry’ of the event – Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. On January 8, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the conclave and on January 9, President Pranab Mukherjee will confer Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards to distinguished overseas Indians respectively.

Around 3,000 delegates from the diaspora community from across the world are likely to participate; though as of now around 1,200 registrations have been made, majorly from the UAE. The president of the Republic of Guyana Donald Ramotar will be Chief Guest of the event and Foreign Minister of South Africa has also been invited because of commemoration of Gandhi’s return from that country, said the minister Sushma Swaraj.

Chief Ministers of non-NDA ruled states of Uttar Pradesh, Kerala and Nagaland have confirmed their participation along with those ruled by BJP or its allies include Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana and Maharashtra. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and a number of Union Ministers will participate in plenary sessions which will have themes such as ‘Opportunities in India’, Smart Cities and Urban Planning, Skill Development and Tourism etc. Addressing a press conference along with Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel, Swaraj said she personally invited all the Chief Ministers including West Bengal’s Mamata Banerjee and hoped that more CMs will participate in the event. “This time, the event has come up with four unique concurrent sessions, which are divided as – PIOs (Girmityas), Gulf, French speaking diaspora (francophone) and Indian diaspora organisations,” she added. While, Anandiben highlighted the cultural evenings and dinners and arrangements arranged by the state government. She also briefed about three-storey permanent hi-tech exhibition on Mahatma Gandhi’s life which is to be inaugurated by Prime Minister at Salt Mount in Mahatma Mandir.

PBD was started by the BJP government in 2003 and after that, for four years, it was organised by the Congress government. Now, this time, again it has come into the hands of NDA government. The moot question is – will the new government be able to scale up the numbers of the attendees, which has come down? The minister during the media interaction said that PBD, this time, is “innovating”. Lets wait and watch and see, where does this “innovation” take PBD and what kind of investment it will bring to the country. It is a matter of 15 days from now!

Return of E-rickshaws to Delhi roads legally

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Return of E-rickshaws to Delhi roads legally

Return of E-rickshaws to Delhi roads legally

Paving a way for existing E-rickshaws to return on Delhi roads, Lok sabha has passed the bill to legalise E-rickshaws in Delhi by bringing them under the ambit of Motor Vehicles Act. The drivers of these battery-operated vehicles will also be provided with licenses and govt. has promised to incorporate member suggested rules, once it becomes a law.

These rickshaws were banned after the death of a three year old kid, slipped into a pot of boiling sugar syrup when the three-wheeler struck his mother and threw her off-balance outside a street-side sweet shop in east Delhi. Apart from the problems faced and the accidents, the bill to bring back e-rickshaws has been passed in Lok sabha.
Several amendments and rules were kept forward about the continuation of vehicle by the transport ministry that it will not carry more than 4 passengers including driver, more than 40kg luggage is not allowed. The power of electric motor should not be more than 2000 watts, the maximum speed of vehicle should be less than 25km per hour and the driver is bound to have license.
The act of Lok sabha passing the bill raises many questions about the transport minister Nitin Gadkari, depicting his relations with Purti Green Technologies, one of the seven companies that were granted licenses by the state-run Council for Scientific and Industrial Research CSIR to produce e-rickshaws and moreover hurrying the action because of nearby elections. The minister denied the allegations of bill being passed early due to elections or any commercial relations with Purti Green Technologies saying that the early  passage of the bill will be a boon for one crore poor people who face a lot of health problems by plying cycle rickshaws manually.

E- rickshaws

E- rickshaws on roads

Gadkari also stated that all the safety measure, including the standardisation of the design of e-rickshaw have been addressed in the bill, he further added saying that the govt. has decided to provide low interest loan to the rickshaw pullers belonging to poor and backward minority communities to buy e-rickshaws. He also spoke about pollution-free India and the government’s ambitious plan to convert polluting diesel buses to “e-buses.”
There are always two sides to everything. E-rickshaws provide employment to people and also in a sense promotes illiteracy, as license can be given to illiterates hampering the safety of people and violation of traffic rules. It also serves as a substitute for manual pulling rickshaws and is a way of earning livelihood for many poor people but because of its inappropriate structure and other safety reasons it was banned. With legalising it, the govt. has promised to work on its structure and the safety. The bill has still to be passed in Rajya Sabha to be practiced in Delhi. We hope that that it goes well as thought by the ministry and help rickshaw pullers to lead a better life.

 

 

 

PESHAWAR MASSACRE LEAVES THE WORLD BAFFLED

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PESHAWAR MASSACRE LEAVES THE WORLD BAFFLED

PESHAWAR MASSACRE LEAVES THE WORLD BAFFLED

“My son was in uniform in the morning. He is in a casket now,” wailed one parent. “My son was my dream. My dream has been killed.”

A bloodcurdling attack on Peshawar’s Army Public School, near Pakistan-Afghanistan border, killed around 141 people, 132 of whom were children and teenagers attending the academy. The slaughter, carried out by six Taliban terrorists, is the single worst terror attack in the country’s history and one of the most brutal assaults faced by a school. Even in conflict-ravaged Pakistan, it seems an unprecedented act.

The assault began in the morning when terrorists wearing vests of explosives scaled a back wall of the school using a ladder. They open-fired at the auditorium and then went to classrooms and other parts of the school. Army commandos in no time arrived at the scene and started exchanging fire with the gunmen. It took them eight hours to end the assault and clear the school. It has been reported that all the attackers died on the spot but it was not clear whether they blew themselves up or were shot by the soldiers.

Hospitals were overwhelmed by the injured and dead. Shell-shocked  survivors recounted horrific episodes of the assault describing it nothing short of mayhem. The attackers came dressed in paramilitary uniforms looking for people to kill. A 16 year old survivor, Shahrukh Khan, who was shot in both legs, said he managed to survive after playing dead.

SMALLER COFFINS ARE HEAVIER TO CARRY

SMALLER COFFINS ARE HEAVIER TO CARRY

As quoted by an army official, the militants did not seem to have any intention of taking the children hostage or making demands, their sole purpose was to kill kids, that’s what they did.  Pakistan’s Taliban spokesman Mohammed Umar Khorasanin said the assault was “a revenge attack” for an army offensive in North Waziristan in June that targeted militants.”We targeted the school because the army targets our families,” “We want them to feel our pain.” However, Taliban militants in neighboring Afghanistan descried the killing spree, calling it “un-Islamic.”

The attack drew swift condemnation from around the world.
“It a senseless act of unspeakable brutality, my heart goes out to everyone who lost their loved ones today. We share their pain & offer our deepest condolences,” said, Narendra Modi. Nobel Prize-winning Pakistani student activist Malala Yousafzai said, “We stand with all those families and all those children who are injured right now and who are suffering through this big trauma.” “The terrorists have once again  showed their depravity,” said, Barack Obama.

The incident has left the world dumbstruck, assassinating kids for taking revenge is not acceptable. After such an outrageous act, we hope that it strengthens the view of countries joining hands and fighting unanimously against terrorism.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SHIMLA WITNESSES FIRST SNOWFALL OF THE SEASON

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SHIMLA WITNESSES FIRST SNOWFALL OF THE SEASON

SHIMLA WITNESSES FIRST SNOWFALL OF THE SEASON

Cold conditions intensified due to the unexpected snowfall in Shimla, followed by rain in some parts of northern India which got temperature drop by 8-12 degree Celsius. Bright and pleasant mornings were turned into chilly winter days with minimum temperature recorded as minus 0.6 degree in Manali, 2.7 degree in Shimla and 5.4 degree in Dharamshala.

Hoteliers and farmers in the hilly regions seemed happy with the onset of snow. Shimla for its charm, hilly surroundings, enchanting sunrise and sunset views and a popular honeymoon spot attracts a large number of tourists. Snow being the cherry on the pie for Shimla, hoteliers are expecting a good kick to the tourism business. Farmers too got over with the threat of dry season and feel relieved with the increase in chilling hours required for upcoming apple season.

Apart from good business for people, snow also resulted in blocked roads as well as unannounced power cuts. Around 850 roads were blocked out of which only 100 major roads got opened and the bus service in interior areas of Shimla and Kullu also got suspended due to the slippery road conditions. Moreover, 400 vehicles including buses, were stranded between Rohtang Pass and Solang Nallah. Vehicular traffic at Hindustan-Tibet National Highway was hampered at Narkanda and Kufri as well.

People enjoying snowfall

People enjoying snowfall

According to the PWD officials, the work is under process and the roads would be cleared in a day, which won’t hamper the tourist season.
People are writing queries to newspapers and meteorological department to know about the status of snow during Christmas and New Year, to plan their trips accordingly. The local Meteorological office has predicted dry weather for next two days and rains, thunderstorm and snowfall from January 8 onwards

Even after the blocked roads, tourists were found to be enthusiastic to see the season’s first snow and planned their trip to Shimla.
Winters is termed as the best time for the people who love adventure sports like skiing and ice-skating to visit Shimla. Shimla, during winters, flaunts its extraordinary beauty wrapped in snow.
 

 

 

 

 

 

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