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MGNERGA served as lifeline for workers who lost jobs during Covid pandemic: Kharge



Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge on Wednesday said that Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act(MGNERGA)served as a lifeline for workers who lost their jobs during Covid pandemic.

Speaking on the ‘Motion of Thanks’ to the President’s address in the Upper House, he said that traditionally the President’s speech is a policy document, but unfortunately it had neither policy nor vision.

Slamming the BJP leaders, he said: “You say nothing happened in the past 70 years, if nothing had happened you would not have been alive today and anyone who speaks against the government is an anti-national,” he stated.

Whenever the Opposition raises its voice, the government says that religion is under danger. “In 2014, you had promised two crore jobs every year and going by that, by now you should have provided 15 crore jobs. Yesterday’s budget speech announced to create 60 lakh jobs in the next five years but over two crore people are unemployed today.”

In Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, the youth have taken to the street demanding employment, whereas the Central government has nine lakh vacancies, including 15 per cent in Railways, 12 per cent in the union Home Ministry, 40 per cent in Defence sector, he added.

Noting that 60 per cent Micro, Small, Medium Enterprises (MSME) units are now closed down, Kharge further said that we brought MGNREGA which, Prime Minister Narendra Modi used to term a live example of “our unsuccessful policies”.

“During Covid, this MGNREGA served as a lifeline for workers who lost jobs and around Rs 1.80 lakh crore should have been allotted to MGNREGA, but you have kept only Rs 73,000 crore for the scheme. You only gave 20 days’ jobs to only seven crore unemployed people, against the 150 days promised during the pandemic,” he alleged.

Price rise during these days is at 12-year-high, he added.

Referring to the Chinese encroachment on Indian territory, the Congress leader said that “the hostile neighbour has been snatching our land, building houses, why are you not showing your red eyes to them now? When we were in power, we were asked by the then Opposition to show red eyes to China.

“You do not talk about China at all. Why are you are silent now?” Kharge questioned while PM Modi was present in the House.

On the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) which is a profitable venture, he said that the government is going to disinvest it.

He also slammed the government for not paying any compensation to the farmers who lost their lives during the year-long agitation against the three farm laws, saying: “You called them mawaali (hooligans), aatankawadi(Terrorists), a minister’s son killed four farmers and he was not sacked because of political interest, you should sack the home minister (MoS Home Ajay Kumar Mishra Teni), as he could influence the probe.”

The Congress leader also made a reference to harassment of minorities and how the Mother Teresa’s organisation Mission of Charity was targetted.

National News

People steal beer bottles after truck overturns in Andhra




People stole beer bottles after a truck carrying alcohol cases overturned in Andhra Pradesh’s Anakapalli district.

The incident occurred on the national highway between Anakapalli and Bayyavaram on Monday evening.

As the entire load of 200 cases of beer bottles fell on the ground, locals in the area scurried to steal them instead of helping the truck driver and cleaner, who escaped the accident with minor injuries.

A footage of the incident has gone viral on social media.

Similar incidents of people stealing liquor bottles after road accidents involving alcohol-carrying trucks have been reported in the state in the past.

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Khagaria-Bhagalpur bridge collapse will affect water biodiversity in region




Collapse of Khagaria-Bhagalpur bridge over the Ganga river will have a long-lasting effect on the water biodiversity of the region, as per environmental experts.

Ashok Ghosh, the professor of Mahavir Cancer Institute and former chairman of Bihar state pollution control board told: “Such a big chunk of concrete structure falling into the Ganga will have a big environmental effect for a long time. It will deeply hurt the water biodiversity of the river in this region. The water-borne animals will be adversely affected by it.”

“Unlike silt, the concrete structures used in the making bridges are non biodegradable materials. Hence, there is no question of the concrete structures dissolving in water. The iron rods may turn into rust after coming in contact with water but it is a slow process which takes years. Also, the ongoing projects of cleaning the river will also suffer a big jolt due to the bridge collapse,” Ghosh said.

The concrete structures of such a massive amount change the flow of the river as well. It makes the river more shallow in the region which leads to flooding. Khagaria in particular is affected by floods in the monsoon sessions. The fresh structural disaster would create more trouble for people living in the region,” Ghosh said.

Bihar is located in the low lying area of Himalayan range. As a result, a large number of rivers like Kosi, Kamla Balan, Gandak, Parman, originate from Himalaya and its water cross various North Bihar districts to finally fall in Ganga river.

The biggest challenge of the state government is the silt carried by these rivers and its accumulation in the low-lying areas of North Bihar and in the Ganga river. It makes the rivers more shallow by disturbing the natural drains. It turned worse after the drainage system of various districts were developed in an unplanned manner. The water comes from the Himalayan range but does not return or exit to other sides due the ill drainage system.

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National News

President Murmu Is 1st Indian To Be Conferred With Suriname’s Highest Civilian Award




President Droupadi Murmu has been conferred with Suriname’s highest civilian award by President Chandrikapersad Santokhi to honour the deep-rooted bilateral ties. Murmu arrived in Suriname on Sunday on a three-day state visit – her first since assuming office in July last year.

“An honour reflective of the deep-rooted India-Suriname ties! President Droupadi Murmu @rashtrapatibhvn conferred with the ‘Grand Order of the Chain of the Yellow Star’, the highest civilian award of Suriname by President @CSantokhi,” the Ministry of External Affairs tweeted.

Presidemt Murmu’s statement

President Murmu said she was greatly honoured to receive Suriname’s highest distinction.

“This recognition holds tremendous significance, not only for me but also for the 1.4 billion people of India whom I represent,” she tweeted after receiving the award on Monday.

She dedicated the honour to the successive generations of the Indian-Surinamese community, who have played a stellar role in enriching the fraternal ties between our two countries.

PM Modi congratulates President Murmu

Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the President on receiving the award.

“Congratulations to Rashtrapati Ji on being conferred the highest civilian award of Suriname – Grand Order of the Chain of the Yellow Star. This special gesture from the Government and the people of Suriname symbolises the enduring friendship between our countries,” Prime Minister Modi tweeted.

Despite her many official engagements, President Murmu spent some time with a group of children who came to greet her in Paramaribo. She offered them India-made chocolates.

President also visited ‘Marinetrap’ where she witnessed the simulation and welcoming of the arrival of the First Indians in Suriname. She also inaugurated the simulated village at Independence Square.

Murmu’s visit to Surinam coincides with 150th anniversary of the arrival of Indians in Suriname

On Monday, President Murmu met her Surinamese counterpart Chandrikapersad Santokhi and later led delegation-level talks between the two sides. Speaking on the occasion, the President said that she was happy to be in Suriname on her first State Visit as President of India when it is commemorating the 150th anniversary of the arrival of Indians in Suriname.

She said that deep historical and cultural ties provide the foundation for the India-Suriname multifaceted and modern partnership.

Bilateral trade between India and Suriname

The President noted that bilateral trade between the two countries is well below potential. She said that there is a need to work together to expand bilateral trade for mutual benefit. She expressed confidence that the agreements signed during the visit would help boost the trade and economic ties. She said that there is scope for further collaboration in sectors like pharmaceuticals, Ayurveda, agriculture and defence, the Rashtrapati Bhavan said in a press release.

The President said that India is committed to enhancing technical cooperation and contributing to the capacity-building and skill development of Suriname’s human resources as per the country’s requirements. The two countries also signed three MoUs to enhance bilateral cooperation.

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