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Wednesday,01-December-2021

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Rahul Gandhi writes to Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan on online classes initiative

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Congress leader and MP from Wayanad in Kerala, Rahul Gandhi extended his support to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s initiative in starting the online classes for school students but expressed concern for the online accessibility of the tribal students. The online classes were launched by the Chief Minister on Monday in view of the ongoing lockdown.

In a letter addressed to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and the District Collector Adeela Abdullah on Tuesday, Gandhi said the ‘First Bell’ initiative launched is an innovative move to establish digital classrooms.

“While this is a temporary alternative, its success depends on students access to digital infrastructure like computers, smart phones, television and reliable internet connections,” wrote Gandhi.

It was on Monday that Vijayan launched the online classes for around 4.5 million students studying in 16,000 schools offering the state syllabus.

Gandhi in his letter also pointed out that a large number of tribal students in his constituency do not have access to the infrastructure needed for this online classes.

“Hence they will be in a disadvantageous position right from the start of the academic year. This may worsen the education inequalities in a district which has the highest school dropouts. Hence, I request to kindly extend necessary support to tribal students to access the digital tools for them. I understand efforts are being made and we will work collectively for this. I would extend my full support to augment the digital infrastructure in my constituency,” said Gandhi.

The Kerala Infrastructure and Technology for Education (KITE) is the backbone of the education system in the state and has taken on to fuel the intricacies of the IT enabled education in over 16,000 schools in the State.

Speaking to IANS, Anwar Sadath, Vice Chairman and Executive Director, KITE said the first day’s response has been very good.

“Our plan of action is from June 1st to 7th, which is the first week of the trial run. By the end of the first week, we will be able to precisely know how things are going and how many students failed to get the connection. This is a very simple process and we are confident that we will be able to reach out to each and every student who will be able to get access. Moreover, in case a student misses a class, it is readily available in the YouTube also. The concerned school teacher will ensure that all their students get this online,” said a confident Sadath, the person who is coordinating this.

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President, PM lead nation in greeting Nagaland on statehood day

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 President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday led the political brass of the country in greeting people of Nagaland on the state’s formation day.

President Kovind said: “Greetings to the people of Nagaland on statehood day. The rich culture and traditions of Naga tribes enrich our ‘Unity in Diversity’. I fondly recall the warmth of the people during my visit in 2017. My best wishes for a bright future of the people and the State.”

In a tweet, Prime Minister Modi said that the people of Nagaland are making rich contributions to India’s growth.

“On the special occasion of Nagaland’s Statehood Day, greetings to the wonderful people of the state. Naga culture personifies valour and humane values. The people of Nagaland are making rich contributions to India’s growth. I pray for Nagaland’s progress in the years to come,” Modi said.

Greeting people, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu said: “My greetings to the people of Nagaland on their state formation day. Recently, I visited Nagaland and was captivated by its pristine beauty, vibrant culture and the deep connection of its people with nature. My best wishes for the all-round growth & prosperity of #Nagaland.”

Union Home Minister Amit Shah said: “I extend my warm greetings to our sisters and brothers of Nagaland on their Statehood Day. This beautiful state is known for its rich traditions and cultural diversity. May Nagaland scale new heights of progress in the coming years.”

Wishing people of the state, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh tweeted, “Best wishes to the wonderful people of Nagaland on their Statehood Day. The state is known for its natural beauty and vibrant culture. Praying for Nagaland’s continuous growth and development.”

BJP chief J P Nadda said: “Warm greetings to the sisters and brothers of Nagaland on their Statehood Day. The state of Nagaland is blessed with immense natural beauty and unique culture. I pray for continuous development and prosperity of the people of this beautiful state.

Union Civil Aviation Minisetr Jyotiraditya Scindia said: “Warm wishes to the people of Nagaland on the State’s Foundation Day. May it continue to move rapidly on the path of prosperity and growth.”

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Stalin govt mulls declaring ‘Pongal’ as Tamil New Year day

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MK-Stalin

 The DMK government is planning to make the first day of the Tamil month, ‘Thai’ as the Tamil New Year day. First day of ‘Thai’ is ‘Pongal’ and the state government, according to sources, is contemplating announcing ‘Pongal’ as the first day of Tamil New Year.

Pongal falls on January 14. If the announcement is made, then the state will go back to an order of 2008 wherein the then Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, late M. Karunanidhi, who is the father of the present Chief Minister M.K. Stalin, announced ‘Pongal’ as the Tamil New Year day. He had announced in the state Assembly then that the Tamil scholars were in full agreement to make ‘Pongal’ or the first day of the Tamil month of ‘Thai’ as the Tamil New Year day.

‘Kalaignar’ Karunanidhi had in 2008 also moved a legislation in the state Assembly announcing ‘Pongal’ as the Tamil New Year day.

However, after the AIADMK under J. Jayalalithaa came to power in 2011, she introduced a Bill in the state Assembly that the first day of the Tamil month ‘Chithirai’ was celebrated as the Tamil New Year day and that there was no need to change it to the first day of ‘Thai’. She moved the legislation in the state Assembly and nullified the changes made by the previous government.

However, ten years after the DMK government assumed office, it is being seriously discussed that the Stalin government would revert to the stand taken by the Karunanidhi government in 2008.

Speculations on this gained currency after the bags, that were meant to distribute gift hampers, were printed with the message of the Chief Minister stating, ‘Iniya Thamiz Puthaandu, Pongal Nallavazhthukal’ (Tamil New Year, Pongal Greetings). This has gone viral and the Civil Service department officials when contacted by IANS were tight-lipped on the same.

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Admiral R. Hari Kumar takes over as Indian Navy chief

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Admiral R. Hari Kumar, a Gunnery specialist and an advocate of integrated theatre commands, took over as Chief of the Naval Staff. He succeeds Admiral Karambir Singh, who retires upon superannuation, after an illustrious career, spanning over forty one years, in the Indian Navy.

Admiral Kumar is an alumnus of the prestigious National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla.

“It is a matter of great honour for me to take charge as the Chief of Naval Staff. Indian Navy’s focus is on our national maritime interests and challenges,” Admiral Kumar said as he received the Guard of Honour at the South Block in the national capital.

He was commissioned into the Indian Navy on January 1, 1983. In his career spanning over 38 years, he has commanded Coast Guard Ship C-01, IN Ships Nishank, Kora, Ranvir and the Aircraft Carrier INS Viraat.

A Gunnery specialist, he has held several key appointments, including Fleet Operations Officer and Fleet Gunnery Officer of Western Fleet, Executive Officer of INS Vipul, Gunnery Officer of INS Ranjit, commissioning GO of INS Kuthar and commissioning crew of INS Ranvir.

His shore appointments include Command Gunnery Officer at HQWNC, Naval Advisor to Government of Seychelles, UN Mission in Somalia (UNOSOM II) at Mogadishu and Training Commander, INS Dronacharya.

As a Flag Officer, he has served as Commandant of the Naval War College at Goa, Flag Officer Sea Training, Flag Officer Commanding Western Fleet, Chief of Staff, Western Naval Command, Controller Personnel Services and Chief of Personnel at Naval Headquarters.

He has also served as the Chief of Integrated Defence Staff to the Chairman Chiefs Of Staff Committee at the critical junction during the creation of the institution of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) and Department of Military Affairs (DMA).

He was the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, WNC at Mumbai, prior to taking over as the Chief of the Naval Staff on November 30, 2021.

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