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Gandhiji’s ideals are our guiding light: Ram Nath Kovind, Modi

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Mahatma Gandhi’s commitment to peace, harmony and brotherhood remained unwavering, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi remembering the Father of the Nation on his sesquicentennial on Wednesday.

Modi also visited Gandhiji’s samadhi Raj Ghat to pay his tributes. President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu and other dignitaries were also present on the occasion.

He later tweeted: “At Rajghat, paid tributes to Bapu. Gandhi Ji’s commitment to peace, harmony and brotherhood remained unwavering. He envisioned a world where the poorest of the poor are empowered. His ideals are our guiding light. #Gandhi150.”

“Tributes to beloved Bapu! On #Gandhi150, we express gratitude to Mahatma Gandhi for his everlasting contribution to humanity. We pledge to continue working hard to realise his dreams and create a better planet,” he also wrote.

The President tweeted: “Homage to Bapu on #GandhiJayanti. The 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi is an occasion for all of us to rededicate ourselves to the values of truth, non-violence, harmony, morality and simplicity. His message remains relevant for all & he continues to be our guiding light.”

“As we pay reverential homage to the Mahatma on his 150th Birth Anniversary, let us strive to transform our lives by internalizing and implementing the Gandhian principles in our daily life. This is the real tribute to the Father of our Nation. #Mahatma150 #MahatmaGandhi,” Vice President Venkaiah Naidu wrote on Twitter.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar also tweeted: “Today as a tribute to #MahatmaGandhi this day is also commemorated as day of Non-Violence. World really needs Non-Violence because Violence creates problems, Non-Violence offers solution.”

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Decision to be taken on scientific basis: K’taka CM on lifting of weekend, night curfew

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Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Friday said that the decision on lifting of weekend and night curfew will be taken on a scientific basis. A meeting with expert committee members later in the afternoon would decide on the continuation of weekend curfew, he said.

Many legislators, MPs and organisations are set to convey their opinion on the issue. A suitable decision would be taken based on the views of the experts and the trend of the prevailing third wave of Covid, Bommai said.

“We will take into consideration how the third wave has unfolded and its future consequences. It’s impact on health infrastructure in the coming days to arrive at a decision. We will also discuss the action taken so far and the existing situation and decision would be taken on a scientific basis,” he said.

“The state government is doing its duty in the form of ‘Thrividha Dasoha’ of providing Anna (food), ‘Ashraya’ (shelter) and ‘Akshara’ (education) for the deprived,” Chief Minister Bommai said.

Speaking to mediapersons before heading to participate in the ‘Dasoha Dina’ at Tumakuru Siddaganga Mutt he said, “Siddaganga Mutt has heralded a culture of Dasoha (charity) in Karnataka.

“Sri Shivakumara Swamiji has followed the ideals of Basaveshwara in letter and spirit. State government has decided to celebrate Dasoha Day in Siddaganga Mutt. Our government is treading the path shown by the great seer. The rice quota per head has been raised from 4kg to 5kg. Ragi and Jowar are also being distributed according to the food habits of the region,” he said.

The state government has undertaken ‘Vidya Dasoha’ (educational charity) by providing scholarships for children of construction workers and farmers. A massive housing project is being implemented. About 5 lakh houses are being constructed,” Bommai said.

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Indian MSMEs have manufacturing cost advantage in global value chain

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There is tremendous potential for Indian engineering MSMEs to be integrated into the global value chain due to their manufacturing cost advantage, and to achieve high growth, the two most significant interventions required are related to credit assistance and technology upgradation, MSME Secretary B.B. Swain said on Thursday.

The MSME Ministry has been working closely with other Ministries and Departments to facilitate the ease of doing business for MSMEs, he said in his address at the inaugural session of MSME Conclave organised by EEPC India.

MSMEs contribute around 30 per cent to India’s GDP and have a 50 per cent share in the country’s exports. MSMEs engaged in manufacturing engineering products are about 29 per cent of the 67 lakh MSMEs which have registered since July 1, 2020 on the Udyam registration portal. In the National Manufacturing Policy, manufacturing output has been targeted to increase MSMEs’ contribution to the GDP.

A Knowledge Paper titled ‘Integrating Indian MSMEs to Global Value Chain’, released in the inaugural session, suggested that India’s trade regime should promote value addition in the country. Hence, the general tariff structure should be low on raw and primary goods, slightly higher on intermediaries, and the highest on final products.

It further recommended that both direct and indirect tax structure should be neutral and not discriminate between the nature of firms. Banks and financial institutions should be more willing to discern genuine exporters and demand less collateral. Stability in policy measures with less intervention and emphasis on neutrality on behalf of the government will be necessary, it added.

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Former Kerala CM Achuthanandan tests Covid positive

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Veteran CPI-M leader and former Kerala Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan tested positive for Covid-19. The 98-year-old leader has been admitted to a private hospital here, his son V.S. Arunkumar posted on social media.

Even though his father was confined to the house due to his age, the nurse attending on the veteran, the other day turned Covid positive and after he went for testing, he also was found positive, Arunkumar added.

“Following the advice from doctors, he was shifted to a hospital on Thursday and is presently convalescing at the hospital bed,” wrote Arunkumar.

He bowed out from electoral politics and did not contest the April 6 Assembly elections, while he was a member of the outgoing Assembly.

He served as the Chief Minister from 2006-2011 and was the Leader of Opposition from 2011-2016. He had to make way for Pinarayi Vijayan as the new Chief Minister in 2016.

Achuthanandan then had to be content with being a legislator and later he was made the chairman of the Administrative Reforms Commission, which came with cabinet status. But just before the Assembly polls, he quit from the post.

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