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Friday,17-September-2021

National News

Save Agriculture and Democracy: Farmers urge President

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Ram-Nath-Kovind

The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) has sought President Ram Nath Kovind’s intervention to ‘Save Agriculture and Save Democracy’ on the occasion of the 47th anniversary of the Emergency and the completion of seven months of the ongoing farmers’ agitation, a top farmer leader said here on Thursday.

“We are sending a memorandum from all over India to the President, expressing our deep anguish and indignation, and appeal to him to protect both our agriculture and democracy,” said All India Kisan Sabha President and SKM leader Dr. Ashok Dhawale.

The Indian society calls farmers as ‘annadaatas’ and in the past 74 years since Independence, they fulfilled that responsibility.

“When India became Independent, we used to feed 33-crore citizens, today in the same extent of land, we manage to feed around 140-crore Indians. During the coronavirus pandemic, while the other sectors in the economy decelerated and slumped, we achieved record production in agriculture, ensured that our granaries were overflowing and risked our lives,” said the memorandum to the President.

However, in return for this service to the entire country, “the Government of India has thrust the 3 anti-farmer black laws” which will destroy our farming as well as our future generations, snatch agriculture from our hands and hand it over to big corporations, it said.

There are other swords hanging on the farmers’ heads — penalties or jail for stubble burning in a new Ordinance related to Delhi’s air pollution and subsidy withdrawal through the Electricity Amendments Bill, 2020, said Dr. Dhawale.

The memorandum — which would be sent to the President through various state Governors and other channels — terms the three Central farm laws as ‘undemocratic’, created without consultations with the farmers, thrust in the form of Ordinances, tabled in Parliament before sending to Committees for further study or debates, and while pushing the Bills voting by division was not allowed in Rajya Sabha, etc.

Dr. Dhawale added that as the first guardian of our Constitution created by Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar and others, the farmers had hoped that the President would refuse to give assent to such unconstitutional and undemocratic anti-farmer laws, but he (President) did not.

Seeking justice in the form of remunerative returns for their hard work and toil, the memo said that the farmers are in debt, farming has become an unviable profession and over 4-lakh peasants were compelled to commit suicide in the past 30 years.

General

With over 1 cr jabs by afternoon, India sets new record for daily Covid doses

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Mansukh-Mandaviya

 India on Friday set a new record of administering Covid vaccines after administering over a crore jabs by 1.30 p.m., breaking its previous record of 1.33 crore inoculations in a day, said Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya.

Mandaviya tweeted in Hindi (loosely translated as): “On the occasion of PM Modi’s birthday, India has made a record of fastest vaccination and has crossed the milestone of 1.33 crore vaccinations … and we are moving ahead continuously.” He added in the same tweet, “I hope we will make a new record of vaccination today and will present it like a gift to the PM.”

The Union health ministry aims to set a Covid-19 vaccination record on Friday to mark the 71st birthday of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The BJP has planned a 20-day event called “Seva and Samarpan Abhiyan” to mark Modi’s 20 years in public service.

On Thursday, Mandaviya called for a major push to the Covid-19 vaccination drive during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s birthday on Friday, saying it would be the perfect gift for him. He also called on people who have not taken the vaccine till now to get inoculated.

Talking about the ongoing mass vaccination drive against Covid-19, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan on Thursday said that 20 per cent of India’s adult population have received both doses of Covid-19 vaccine, while 62 per cent have got at least one dose of vaccine. He added that total 34 districts in India are still reporting weekly positivity rate of over 10 per cent, while 32 districts are reporting between 5-10 per cent weekly positive rate.

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National News

Congress screening committee for UP polls announced

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Sonia-Gandhi

 Congress President Sonia Gandhi has constituted a screening committee for the upcoming Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh.

The committee has three members and others who are ex-officio members.

The members are Jitendra Singh (chairman) , Deepender Hooda and Vaishali Gaikwad.

The ex-officio members are General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, state Congress President Ajay Kumar Lallu, Congress Legislature Party leader Aradhana Mishra and all AICC secretaries in charge of Uttar Pradesh.

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National News

Delhi CM bans firecrackers on Diwali to fight pollution

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Arvind-Kejriwal

 In a move to fight pollution, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday announced a complete ban on the storage, sale and usage of firecrackers for the third year in a row.

“In view of the dangerous level of pollution during Diwali in Delhi witnessed in the last three years, we are again imposing a complete ban on the storage, sale and usage of any kind of firecracker to save people’s lives,” Kejriwal tweeted, appealing traders to avoid buying or keeping stocks of crackers this year.

The decision has been made keeping Delhi traders in mind as last year the same announcement at the eleventh hour had left many sellers in confusion for they had already purchased huge stocks weeks ahead of the festival.

With the onset of winter, the capital starts gasping for fresh air as pollution level due to burning of crop-residue in the neighbouring states of UP, Punjab and Haryana starts during the same time. Bursting of firecrackers adds to the problem, leaving the air highly toxic and its citizens with severe breathing problems for at least a week.

Only recently, the chief minister, citing a WAPCOS report, urged the central government to encourage farmers in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana to use a Pusa-made bio-decomposer which will resolve the issue of stubble-burning by proving a greener and better alternative to get rid of crop residue.

Other than that, the Delhi government is also working on a Winter Action Plan. All the departments from environment to transport to MCDs have been asked to come up with a plan by September 21 so that a conclusion can be reached by this month end.

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