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Wednesday,28-September-2022

Politics

Yogi govt to tackle malnutrition with fortified rice

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The Uttar Pradesh government has decided to start distribution of fortified rice all over the state in the next one year through Public Distribution System (PDS), to address anaemia and deficiency of micro-nutrients in women and children.

Commissioner, Food and Civil Supplies, Sorabh Babu, said: “Fortified rice is being distributed in Chandauli district and Sewapuri block of Varanasi district. In other districts of the state, fortified rice is being distributed in mid-day meals and ICDS (Integrated Child Development Scheme).

“Taking it to a larger population and to tackle malnutrition, the state government will start the distribution through Targeted PDS (TPDS) in 60 high burden and aspirational districts of the state,” he added.

The state government is preparing an action plan in this regard. By April 2023, it plans to cover the entire TPDS scheme and start distribution to 15 crore beneficiaries of the state.

The Centre’s scheme of distribution of rice fortified with three nutrients (iron, folate, and vitamin B12) has started in Chandauli district on a pilot basis and was launched by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on January 9, 2021.

Malnutrition and lack of essential nutrients in poor women and poor children pose major obstacles in their development.

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) defines fortification as “deliberately increasing the content of essential micronutrients in a food so as to improve the nutritional quality of food and to provide public health benefits with minimal risk to health”.

Rice fortification is a process of adding micronutrients to regular rice using extrusion technology. This involves the production of fortified rice kernels (FRK) from a mixture using an extruder machine. The fortified rice kernels are then blended with regular rice or non-fortified rice, typically at a ratio of 1:100 to produce fortified rice.

The benefits of fortified rice include reduction in anaemia, increased levels of haemoglobin, vitamin B12, zinc, and multiple micronutrients.

National News

PFI ban: Vijayan holds high-level meeting with police officials

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 Hours after the Centre banned the Popular Front of India, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday met top state police officials to take stock of the situation and draw elaborate plans to ensure that everything is kept under control.

State police chief Anil Kant told Vijayan that everything is under control and the Superintendents of Police of all the 14 districts have been asked to be on high alert.

In a related development, the RSS office at Aluva in Ernakulam district was provided Central security.

Meanwhile, PFI state General Secretary A. Abdul Sathhar, in a press statement, said that the PFI has been wound up and asked its cadres to stop all political activities and organisation work.

News also came the Kerala Police, acting on the directions of the National Investigation Agency, took Sathar into custody and is now kept at the Kollam Police Club waiting for the NIA officials to arrive to take him away.

In an early morning joint operation last week, the NIA and the Enforcement Directorate took into custody several top level state and national leaders of the PFI from various parts of the state in two cases registered at Delhi and in the state.

Those who were named in the case registered in Delhi were immediately taken to Delhi and produced before a court there and those named in the case in the state before local courts here.

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Maharashtra

Maharashtra ATS to enforce further crackdown on PFI after Centre’s ban

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The agency has so far conducted raids in 12 districts in Maharashtra, arresting and detaining scores of people linked to the Islamist organisation
Following the central government’s imposition of a five-year ban on the Popular Front of India (PFI), the Maharashtra anti-terrorism squad (ATS) is planning to enforce a further crackdown on the organisation in the state, a senior officer said on Wednesday.“Relevant action has been initiated against the PFI in Maharashtra in accordance with the Centre’s ban this morning. We are getting details of their offices, members and bank accounts,” the officer said.

The agency has so far conducted raids in 12 districts in Maharashtra, arresting and detaining scores of people linked to the Islamist organisation. Sources said that more arrests are likely to happen in the days to come based on interrogations of the accused arrested so far.
The Union home ministry’s move banning the PFI and its affiliates under Section 3 of the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act will be referred to a tribunal for adjudication, whether or not there is sufficient cause to declare the organisation “unlawful association”, people familiar with the procedure said.

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National News

Why right-wing majoritarian outfits not banned, asks Owaisi

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AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi on Wednesday said that the Centre’s ban on Popular Front of India (PFI) cannot be supported and asked the government why has it not banned right-wing majoritarian organisations.

The Hyderabad MP said while he has always opposed PFI’s approach and supported democratic approach, this ban on PFI cannot be supported.

The All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) president believes that a draconian ban of this kind is dangerous as it is a ban on any Muslim who wishes to speak his mind. “The way India’s electoral autarky is approaching fascism, every Muslim youth will now be arrested with a PFI pamphlet under India’s black law, UAPA,” tweeted Owaisi.

“How come PFI is banned but organisations associated with convicts of Khaja Ajmeri bomb blasts aren’t? Why has govt not banned right wing majoritarian organisations?,” he asked.

He said actions of some individuals who commit crime does not mean that the organisation itself must be banned. He pointed out that the Supreme Court has also held that mere association with an organisation is not enough to convict someone.

“Muslims have spent decades in prison before being acquitted by courts. I have opposed UAPA & will always oppose all actions under UAPA. It runs afoul the principle of liberty, which is part of basic structure of the constitution,” he wrote.

“We should remember that Congress amended UAPA to make it stringent & when BJP amended the law to make it even more draconian, Congress supported it This case will follow timeline of Kappan, where any activist or journalist is randomly arrested & takes 2 years to even get bail,” he added.

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