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Monday,17-May-2021

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Govt committed to development without religious discrimination: Narendra Modi

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday that his government was committed to ushering in development in the country without any discrimination on the basis of religion.

“I assures that nobody will be left out and not discriminated against on religious lines. Everyone will move forward by enjoying the Fundamental Rights given in the Constitution,” Modi said while addressing through videoconference the centenary celebrations of the Aligarh Muslim University in Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh.

Modi is only the second Prime Minister to address an AMU function after Lal Bahadur Shastri 56 years ago.

The Prime Minister pointed out that during the nationwide lockdown due to coronavirus pandemic, the Union government did not discriminate against anyone and gave free food grains to 80 crore poor.

He said that the Union government had also got opened 40 crore bank accounts, given houses to 2 crore persons and built toilets for 10 crore others under the ‘Clean India Mission’.

“Developmental issues should not be looked at from the political angle. The new India will shun the narrow political outlook,” Modi remarked.

Due to government policies, the dropout rate among Muslim women, which was 70 per cent in the last many decades, had now dropped to only 30 per cent due to increase in the number of toilets constructed in educational institutions, he added.

During his speech, Modi recalled the AMU’s rich heritage of 100 years.

Modi quoted Sir Syed Ahmed Khan — who set up the Muhammadan-Anglo Oriental College that later became the AMU — that a person who loved his country will think of the welfare of the people without any prejudice.

He said that there may be ideological differences but the new India will offer common ground to all, as was the case during the freedom struggle.

The Prime Minister congratulated the university for increasing the number of female students to 35 per cent, adding that the government had provided 1 crore scholarships for such students.

Education leads to employment and entrepreneurship which in turn results in economic independence, he pointed out.

Modi said that during the pandemic, the AMU served the needy and even donated money in the PM-CARES fund to show their responsibility towards the nation.

Hailing the university for promoting diversity, the Prime Minister also said that it was one of the strengths of the country.

The AMU had helped India strengthen its relations with Muslim countries and nearly 1,000 foreign students were currently on its rolls. The Prime Minister said that the university should strengthen its soft power.

Modi said that the country was moving ahead after the ban on instant Triple Talaq.

The Prime Minister also released a postal stamp at the event, where University Chancellor Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin and Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank were also present.

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Amit Shah talks to 4 CMs about preparedness on cyclone Tauktae

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Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday chaired a review meeting with the Chief Ministers of Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Union Territory of Daman and Diu, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli to assess preparedness to deal with the cyclonic storm “Tauktae”.

He took stock of the measures and the plans by the states and UTs, as well as Central Ministries along with agencies concerned to deal with the cyclone, and the situation arising out of it.

National Weather Forecasting Centre of the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said that “Tauktae” (pronounced as Tau’Te) over east central Arabian Sea is likely to intensify further in the next 24 hours.

The cyclone is very likely to move north-northwestwards and reach Gujarat coast in the evening hours of May 17 and cross Gujarat coast between Porbandar and Mahuva (Bhavnagar district) around May 18 early morning.

“Tauktae” moved nearly northwards with a speed of about 11 kmph during past 6 hours and lay centered at 5.30 a.m. on Sunday over east central Arabian Sea near latitude 15.0 degree North and longitude 72.7 degree East, about 130 km west-southwest of Panjim-Goa, 450 km south of Mumbai, 700 km south-southeast of Veraval (Gujarat) and 840 km southeast of Karachi (Pakistan),” the IMD said.

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Harsh Vardhan to hold video meet with 4 CMs on Covid

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Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan will be holding a meeting with Health Ministers of Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat on Covid-19 situation and progress on vaccination drive in these states later on Saturday.

Harsh Vardhan will hold a meet with the Health Ministers of these four states through video conference at 3 p.m.

The Union Minister will review current Covid situation and progress of vaccination drive being run in their respective states to mitigate the spread of the deadly virus which so far has infected 2,43,72,907 people across the country, including 36,73,802 active cases and 2,66,207 deaths.

In a tweet, the Minister informed about his meeting on Covid-19 situation and vaccination drive in these states.

Uttar Pradesh is on top with 13,85,855 Covid cases reported so far in the state followed by Andhra Pradesh (11,75,843), Gujarat (6,09,031) and Madhya Pradesh (6,05,423).

The Health Minister will hold the meeting hours after attending a high-level virtual meeting on Covid-19 situation in the country chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

In the past 23 days India’s daily Covid tally has plateaued over the three-lakh-mark and over 3,000 casualties for 17 days.

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Six-time Congress MP R.L. Bhatia passes away at 100

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Six-time Congress MP and two-time Governor R.L. Bhatia passed away in Amritsar on Saturday, his family members said.

Former Minister of State for External Affairs, Bhatia was 100 years old. He represented the Amritsar parliamentary constituency six times from 1972, and was the Governor of Kerala from 2004 to 2008 and of Bihar from 2008 to 2009.

He was admitted to Fortis Hospital a day earlier after he complained of uneasiness.

Known for his impeccable image, Bhatia would have turned 101 on July 3.

MP Manish Tewari paid a visit to Bhatia at his residence in December last year to enquire about his well being along with Amritsar MP Gurjeet Aujla.

In a tweet after the meeting, Tewari wrote, “Spent some wonderful time in his company, marvelling at his memory and recollection of events, even at this age!”

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