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Friday,17-September-2021

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Violence not part of ‘Kashmiriyat’, President Ram Nath Kovind tells youth

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New Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind presents the National Service Scheme (NSS) Awards for 2018-2019 via video conferencing, in New Delhi on Sep 24, 2020. (Photo: IANS)

Violence, which was never part of ‘Kashmiriyat’, became the daily reality in Jammu and Kashmir, said President Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday urging the younger generation to learn from their rich legacy of peaceful coexistence.

He said that they have every reason to know that Kashmir has always been a beacon of hope for the rest of India. It’s spiritual and cultural influence has its imprint all across India.

The President was addressing the 19th annual convocation of the University of Kashmir in Srinagar.

The President said that Kashmir is a place that defies descriptions. Many poets have tried to capture its beauty, calling it paradise on earth, but it is ultimately beyond words. It must be this bounty of nature that has also made this place a hub of ideas. This valley surrounded by snow-clad mountains provided an ideal setting for sages and seers a couple of millennia ago.

It is impossible to write a history of Indian philosophy without referring to Kashmir’s contributions to it. One of the oldest manuscripts of the Rigveda was written in Kashmir.

This is the most conducive region for the philosophies to prosper. This is where great philosopher Abhinavagupta wrote his expositions on aesthetics and methods for realisation of God. Hinduism and Buddhism flourished in Kashmir, as did Islam and Sikhism after it arrived here in later centuries.

He said that Kashmir is also the meeting point of various cultures.

“In medieval times, it was Lal Ded who showed the way to bring together various spiritual traditions. In the works of Lalleshwari, we can see how Kashmir provides the very template itself of communal harmony and peaceful coexistence,” he said.

This is also reflected in all aspects of life here, in folk arts and festivals, in food and dress. The core nature of the place has always been inclusive, he said.

Almost all religions that came to this land embraced a unique feature of Kashmiriyat that shunned orthodoxy and encouraged tolerance and mutual acceptance among communities.

He said that it was most unfortunate that this outstanding tradition of peaceful coexistence was broken. Violence, which was never part of Kashmiriyat, became the daily reality. It is alien to Kashmiri culture, and it can only be termed as an aberration — a temporary one, much like a virus that attacks the body and needs to be purged.

“Now there is a new beginning and determined efforts to regain this land’s lost glory,” he said.

The President said that he firmly believed that democracy has within it a capacity to reconcile all differences and also a capacity to bring out the best of citizens’ potential. Kashmir is already realizing this vision.

Democracy lets Kashmiri people build their own future, a peaceful and prosperous tomorrow, he said.

The youth and women especially have high stakes in it, and he was confident that they would not let go of this opportunity to rebuild lives and rebuild Kashmir.

Pointing to the fact that about half of the students of University of Kashmir receiving degrees at the 19th convocation are women and 70 per cent of gold medals winners are also women, the President said that it is not just a matter of satisfaction but also pride for us that our daughters are ready to perform at the same level as our sons and sometimes even better.

It is this belief in equality and capabilities that needs to be nurtured among all women so that we can successfully build a New India — an India which is at the forefront of the comity of nations. Building our human resources and infrastructure are the stepping stones to this higher ideal, the President said.

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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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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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