With eyes set on the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Saturday embark on a two-day tour of eastern Uttar Pradesh, where he will inaugurate and lay the foundation for several key projects, prime among them the Purvanchal Expressway.Mr. Modi will visit Azamgarh, Mirzapur and his parliamentary constituency Varanasi during the tour. In Azamgarh, he will lay the foundation stone of the 340-km-long Purvanchal Expressway, stretching from the State capital to Ghazipur on the eastern fringes bordering Bihar.The six-lane road will pass through Barabanki, Faizabad, Ambedkarnagar, Amethi, Sultanpur, Azamgarh and Mau before ending in Ghazipur. The expressway is to be linked with Varanasi through a separate link road, said the Uttar Pradesh Expressways Industrial Development Authority. The State expects to complete the project, dubbed by it as the longest expressway in the country, by 2021.Earlier this week, the State Cabinet approved the various proposals submitted by the shortlisted builders for the difference packages of the expressway. It is being built through the EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) model.Like the 302-km-long Lucknow-Agra Expressway, the Purvanchal Expressway will also feature an airstrip for emergency landing of fighter planes — near Sultanpur district. “The Purvanchal Expressway will be the lifeline of development in east U.P.,” said Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. Once completed, the expressway would reduce travel time from Purvanchal to Delhi via the Lucknow-Agra Expressway and the Yamuna Expressway.Lost ground While the expressway extends from Lucknow to Ghazipur, the BJP government’s decision to lay the foundation stone in Azamgarh is being viewed with curiosity as it is the Lok Sabha seat of Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav. With Mr. Yadav making it clear that he would contest the next poll from his traditional seat Mainpuri, the BJP is working to regain lost ground in Azamgarh, which is among the three main centres of east U.P. along with Varanasi and Gorakhpur.In Varanasi, Mr. Modi will dedicate or lay the foundation stone of important projects with a total worth over ₹900 crore, the Prime Minister’s Office said. These would include the Varanasi City Gas Distribution Project, Varanasi-Ballia EMU train, International Convention Centre, the Panch Koshi Parikrama Marg, and several projects under the Smart Cities Mission and Namami Gange. On Sunday, Mr. Modi will dedicate to the nation the Bansagar Canal Project, a bridge over the Ganga in Chunar and a medical college, all in Mirzapur district.Mr. Modi’s visit will come amid heightened activity of the BJP in U.P. with the 2019 polls in mind. While last month, Mr. Modi laid the foundation of an academy dedicated to Sant Kabir in Maghar, on July 21 he is expected to address a farmers rally in Shahjahanpur district.
An e-mitra plus operator in Bhim tehsil, Rajsamand district, Rajasthan. | Photo Credit: R.V. Moorthy “There is not enough signal for the Internet to work properly,” Khatik says apologetically. “Imagine, if it is so bad in Bhim town, it’s much worse in the village panchayats. At least, with the urban machines, they can be connected to Wi-Fi even if the speed is slow. Rural machines must be connected to Rajnet [the State operator].” Data available with the government show that in one year, only 10 transactions have been made on this particular machine. Of the 14,440 machines installed across the State over a year ago, 914 have never been used.Khatik adds that all 37 of the kiosks installed in Bhim block have private operators who act as middlemen anyway. “There is no incentive for the operator to even login to the machine in many areas, because he can charge more for the same services without using it,” he says. DoITC data show that the kiosks are used more frequently in urban areas mostly to print out digitally signed certificates and pay for phone and electricity bills. The Jan Soochna portal itself has been accessed only 16,000 times on these machines over the last month.Little informationAlthough the Jan Soochna portal was launched with much publicity, information about it is still to reach many people in Rajasthan. “No one outside our office has heard the name of this Jan Soochna. But it is a new scheme, it will take some time to become popular,” explains Khatik.In the villages of Rajsamand and Bhilwara district, there is no visible publicity regarding the portal as yet. Even villagers who have personally benefited from the expanded database access are yet to hear the term Jan Soochna.“We have put out advertisements in papers and are planning awareness programmes. So far, the entire expenditure on Jan Soochna has come from our own internal budget, but the DoITC has now proposed a budget of ₹5 crore over the next five years to maintain the software and popularise the portal,” says Sharma. He sees the Jan Soochna initiative as the next step of the government’s integrated service delivery efforts, a natural evolution of its franchisee-based e-mitras or service centres. He argues that e-mitras are the ideal facilitators for the Jan Soochna portal.According to the MKSS activists who helped evolve the concept of Jan Soochna, e-mitra operators are often part of the problem, acting as middlemen who have a vested interest in blocking access to information. “We see Jan Soochna as a natural evolution of the RTI movement. This information is meant to back up an accountability and grievance redressal framework, and as such needs government-run information and facilitation centres,” says Dey.MKSS wants training on Jan Soochna usage to be imparted to front-line government workers at anganwadis and panchayats as well as grassroots social workers. Local databases need to be made visible offline as well, says Dey. “Specific data on ration beneficiaries should be painted on the walls of the ration shop itself, so it can be seen even by those who cannot go online,” he says. The DoITC is also seriously considering an MKSS suggestion that printouts of information from the Jan Soochna portal should automatically come with a digital signature, giving them the same legal validity as RTI responses. At the Jan Soochna launch, the Chief Minister gave a big boost to the point of view that the portal is part of a wider RTI framework rather than a mere service delivery, reminiscing about his engagement with the early RTI movement. “About two decades ago, I reached the sit-in protest organised by social worker Aruna Roy and her companions demanding RTI. I agreed to their demands. Then, fortunately, we formed the government and Rajasthan became the first State of Indian to initiate for this law,” he said.As the Rajasthan experiment evolves, other States are already making plans to follow suit and are thus closely watching these debates. Just five days after the launch of Jan Soochna, the Karnataka government directed all departments with beneficiary schemes to begin sharing datasets in preparation for the launch of a similar portal. The real success of the story will depend on how well the Rajasthan government can help empower the marginalised with the biggest tool at its disposal: information. For example, in 2017, MKSS activists got access to a list of 10 lakh people across the State who had been excluded from the government’s pension scheme when the payment system switched from the post office to Aadhaar-linked bank accounts. Overnight, the number of pensioners dropped from 68 lakh to 58 lakh. According to the government, almost three lakh of the excluded names were dead, while another two lakh were fake or duplicates. By painstakingly tracking down names from the list of the supposedly dead, activists like Baluji found that thousands of people like Tolaram had been wrongly excluded. “We sent in the papers to show he is alive, and finally they restarted his pension three months ago,” says Baluji. He navigates search queries and Excel sheets on his phone with a fluency that is enviable in a 62-year-old who has only studied till Class 8. “See, he got ₹8,000 worth of back pay, pensions unpaid for 11 months, on July 25, 2019,” Baluji points to the screen. Tolaram cannot read the information there, but nods vigorously with a gap-toothed smile. “Overall, I have helped people who were denied pensions get more than ₹80,000 worth of unpaid pensions,” says Baluji. In the neighbouring Bhim tehsil alone, more than 1,300 wrongly excluded names were added back to the pension scheme after a re-verification exercise. “It is only possible because we are able to see this information in detail,” Baluji says. Digital Dialogues, the beginningOver the last five years, Rajasthan has been digitising and integrating databases, including flagship social sector schemes, using Aadhaar-based verifications and payments. In 2017, the Department of Information Technology and Communication (DoITC) began to host ‘Digital Dialogues’. Bimonthly meetings were held with interested citizens including activists from MKSS and the wider collective of the Soochna Evam Rozgaar Adhikar Abhiyan, to discuss how to open access to such databases and present them for public use. In early 2018, Tolaram Kumhar, 73, suddenly stopped getting his pension of ₹750 per month. “I went to the bank after a while, but they didn’t have any answers. I didn’t know what to do until Baluji came,” he says, holding a creased booklet that documents the saga of his pension payments. Tolaram gestures to the man sharing the charpoy with him on a breezy October evening. “Baluji looked up information on his phone and found that I had been removed from the government’s pension list,” he says. Why? “Because they said I was dead.”Tolaram, who wears a torn blue T-shirt and a dirty white dhoti, spends most of his days in a small hut located high above the fields and grazing grounds of Thana village in Bhilwara district of Rajasthan. The land looks lush, but excess rainfall in this typically water-starved region has destroyed the maize crop this year, leaving marginal farmers and agricultural workers like him on the brink of destitution and deeply dependent on the government’s pension scheme for basic sustenance.It is people like Balulal Gujjar, popularly called Baluji, who have come to the rescue of people like Tolaram. Baluji is dressed in an intricately tied white dhoti, pleated white kurta-jacket, a silver neckband, and a red turban. He has been a social activist with the Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS) for half of his 62 years. Now an elected ward member in Thana, Baluji with his faded pink jhola is a familiar sight to villagers for 30 km around. Baluji carries a well-used Samsung smartphone in his pocket, through which he accesses the Jan Soochna (public information) portal, which is the Rajasthan government’s latest effort to offer wider and easier access to the State’s increasingly digitised databases. The single window portal aims to increase transparency and accountability in governance. It has 82 different information request options for 32 schemes across 13 departments. It not only explains the schemes but also provides real-time information on beneficiaries, authorities in charge, progress, etc. Jan Soochna was launched with great fanfare by Congress Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot in Jaipur on September 13. Different elements of the portal have been on trial for more than two years, with gradual public access to databases being provided under the previous regime of BJP Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje.Also Read Effort worth emulation: On Rajasthan’s public information portal After she recovered from the operation in June 2017, Devi made several visits to the hospital, but failed to recover her money. “I took all my papers, but they told me they have applied to the insurance company and nothing has come yet,” she says. “Only when Vineet bhai looked on his computer, he found that the hospital had already got the money.” Devi also says that after her operation, she put her fingerprint on a form that she could not read. Later she found out that the form falsely stated that she had not paid any money to the hospital as she was covered by the cashless insurance scheme. In March 2018, Bhambhu, armed with information from the Bhamashah database, accompanied Devi to the hospital and recovered ₹19,600.“After that, my husband got cancer, so we had to use up the money for my husband’s treatment. He died last year,” Devi says, as her two remaining goats enter the courtyard along with her youngest child, 13-year-old Radha. “I never went to school, but my daughter has finished Class 8 and I want her to study till Class 12 at least. Without education, there is nothing,” she says. Strength of unityFor unlettered villagers, the Jan Soochna portal is of little use without facilitators like Bhambhu and Baluji. However, in Gomaka Badia village in Thana panchayat, villagers have also discovered the strength of unity when armed with information. On a hot evening in May 2017, Baluji set up a projector in an open area in front of a small shop owned by Chun Singh, 67. Suddenly, the shopkeeper saw his own face flashing on the makeshift screen. “They had all the details about my ration card. For the first time, I found out that I was getting less foodgrain than I should have. There were five names on my card, so I was owed 25 kg of wheat every month, but I was only getting 10 kg,” he says, sitting on a steel drum in his shop. The information obtained through Digital Dialogues showed that almost every family in the village was getting cheated by the local dealer, Paras. Outraged, a delegation of 22 villagers took their complaint to district authorities in Bhilwara. Following an investigation, the dealer was suspended and the 400-odd quintals he had swindled were distributed among the villagers.Also Read Rajasthan launches information portal “Digital Dialogues was the real beginning of the Jan Soochna portal,” says R.K. Sharma, an additional director who oversees the project. Sharma joined the DoITC in 1988, the year it was formed, and can speak at length about the State’s efforts to use “technology for integrated service delivery” over the last three decades. “Through our discussions with citizens and activists, we developed this portal to share whatever real-time, individual-level data are needed by the common man, to reduce corruption and to increase transparency of governance.”In the month since its official launch, the Jan Soochna portal (jansoochna.rajasthan.gov.in) has had 3.3 lakh visitors and almost 15 lakh information hits. Apart from this, there have been another 50,000 information hits from the Jan Soochna mobile app.The portal provides information in Hindi and English on universal social security, health and education schemes as well as welfare schemes specifically aimed at farmers, construction workers, miners and students. Land revenue records, case listings, and grievance redressal databases are also available. While some categories, such as forest rights, have very limited data, some others have a lot of detail — on individual beneficiaries and specific details of payment, for instance. “This is a much-needed step inspired by the spirit of Section 4 of the Right to Information Act, which mandates governments to maintain computerised records and provide this information suo moto to the public, so that there is minimal need to file RTIs,” says Nikhil Dey, an MKSS activist who has been at the forefront of the RTI movement. A recent NGO study of orders by the Central Information Commission in 2018 found that 70% of the original RTI applications requested information which should have been put out in the public domain already. “You have made people go through so much pain for digitisation, getting multiple cards made, giving their biometric data… At least, let them get some benefits from it. Through Digital Dialogues, we argued that the public has a right to all the information the government collects about them. There should be no password-protected login barring access to these databases,” says Dey.The role of facilitators “It was activists like Baluji who gathered initial information on what data are most needed by marginalised villagers,” says Vineet Bhambhu, earlier a U.S.-bound software engineer and now a grassroots activist, who helped lead MKSS conversations with the DoITC for Digital Dialogues. “We found that people mostly needed data on their own entitlements: food, pensions, job guarantee, educational scholarships, labour welfare benefits, health insurance, treatment for occupational diseases such as silicosis, land rights, etc.,” he says. Bhambhu points out that many poor people had no way to track what happened if payments had been diverted to a different bank account or if forest rights applications had been rejected. In other words, they had no way of finding out what happened to payments if they could not access the databases and processes that form the backbone of a particular scheme or law. Take the case of Sovani Devi. A 45-year-old widow in Bherukeda Amner village in Rajsamand district, lack of information cost her a flock of goats, a loss she could ill-afford. Sitting in her bare courtyard, Devi is flanked by her sons, both disabled. Ram Singh, 18, cannot use his legs and drags himself around on his knees, while his 16-year-old brother Kishore can neither hear nor speak.“Two years ago, I was diagnosed with a tumour in my uterus and I went to the hospital because I had Bhamashah [health insurance],” says Devi. The Bhagwan Mahavir Hospital, a private hospital, is empanelled as part of the State’s cashless health insurance scheme, the Bhamashah Swasthya Bima Yojana, and should have treated a card-holder without payment. “But they said I would have to first pay for the operation and that I would get the money back only later,” Devi says, showing the folder from the hospital. which is located in Deogarh town, 40 km away. Faced with a demand for ₹15,000 for the operation plus additional charges for medication, Devi saw no choice. “I used up all my savings. I went back home and sold 12 [out of 16] goats for ₹30,000 and used that to pay the hospital,” she says. Apart from the operation, Devi says she paid ₹8,600 for medicines, of which bills were provided for only ₹4,600. The rest of the money from the goat sale was soon gone too, in paying for food and travel, with a one-way trip to hospital by taxi costing ₹600. A milestone in greater transparency, accountability “I got one bori [100 kg] of wheat. Now, we all know we must ask for the receipts every time we get ration,” says Singh. Although an FIR was filed against Paras, villagers say that his proximity to the local MLA means that no further action is likely. “The Jan Soochna portal is not about simply getting information for information’s sake. It must be built into a wider ecosystem of accountability,” says Bhambhu. Over the last two weeks, he has been part of a social audit of a welfare scheme for construction workers. Using their access to the government’s database, teams visited workers across the Bhim tehsil of Rajsamand district, gathering complaints which were presented at a stormy jan sunvai, or public hearing, in Bhim town on Monday. Confronting the labour commissioner, senior police officials and the local MLA under a swaying tent, hundreds of workers testified to a corrupt nexus of agents and government officials swindling them. They said they had been denied thousands of rupees worth of benefits. “We did not know our rights. We had no other option, so we paid the agent, but he cheated us,” said Ambalal, a worker from Sameliya village in Rajsamand district.No middleman, yes middlemanIn the Bhim block office, adjacent to the public hearing sit two expensive kiosks branded as e-mitra plus machines, which are meant to cut out the corrupt middleman and provide services and information directly to the user. The sleek orange and grey machines, which also host the Jan Soochna portal, look like ATM machines and cost ₹2 lakh each. Nearly 15,000 have been installed across the State.However, neither of the machines in Bhim works during the public hearing. One sits amidst coils of wires which have not been connected. The block’s informatics assistant Dalvir Khatik manages to switch on the other machine, but jerks his hand away as he gets an electric shock every time his finger meets the touch pad. Using a piece of paper as a makeshift protective glove, he manages to reach the Jan Soochna portal, but it fails to cough up any information. It gets stuck on a ‘loading’ page.Also Read
View comments Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH MOST READ The Tornadoes overwhelmed the Lady Realtors in terms of attacks, 42-24, and committed fewer errors 17-21.But the telling discrepancy was in the frontline, which Foton declared a no-fly zone with a 3-1 edge in blocks. Foton also had more aces, 8-1. LATEST STORIES Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Jaja Santiago of Foton over Pam Lastimosa and Mar-Jana Phillips of SLR. CONTRIBUTED PHOTOFoton displayed all the qualities that made it a back-to-back champion, exposing Sta. Lucia Realty for the struggling team that it really is Saturday night.The result was a lopsided 25-16, 25-10, 25-16 triumph for the Tornadoes, who spun back into title orbit with their fifth victory in six matches.ADVERTISEMENT QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Torre logs back-to-back wins, grabs share of lead in World Seniors tournament Read Next Kris Aquino ‘pretty chill about becoming irrelevant’ Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion After losing to Petron recently, the Tornadoes have now caught up with the Blaze Spikers at the top spot with similar 5-1 records.It was a big morale bounce back for the Tornadoes, who fashioned out the win in an hour and seven minutes before a capacity crowd at La Salle Lipa Sentrum in Batangas.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutTowering star Jaja Santiago scored 14 points, including two aces and a block.Foton led in all departments as it showed determination to pile up enough wins in the eliminations and secure a lofty spot in the knockout rounds.
Sidney Onwubere vs AJ Coronel. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netEmilio Aguinaldo College eked out a 61-57 victory over Perpetual to end the first round of NCAA Season 93 men’s basketball tournament on a winning note Friday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.Sidney Onwubere willed the Generals twith 21 points, 17 rebounds, and three assists as they stopped their three-game skid to rise to 4-5.ADVERTISEMENT Francis Munsayac also went for 16 markers, three assists, and two boards, while Jerome Garcia had eight points and six rebounds in the win.“To be honest, we gave our hearts in this game. Since this is the last game in the first round, I told the players that we cannot allow them to beat us so we really have to win this game,” said coach Ariel Sison.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingGarcia drilled a three at the 4:52 mark of the payoff period to put EAC up, 50-47, but that proved to be the last field goal for the Generals, who showing poise from the line with their 11-of-12 clip.Perpetual’s three costly turnovers in the final minute also helped EAC’s cause as Munsayac put his crew ahead, 59-52. PERPETUAL 57 – Eze 14, Dagangon 11, Coronel 9, Pido 6, Ylagan 4, Clemente 3, Hao 3, Sadiwa 3, Mangalino 2, Tamayo 2, Casas 0, Lucente 0, Yuhico 0.Quarters: 19-12, 33-27, 43-39, 61-57. Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ PH slips past Singapore, returns to SEA Games basketball final Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Jack Hao and Rommel Mangalino still kept the Altas in the game, cutting the deficit to two, 59-57 with 9.4 ticks remaining, but Munsayac drained two more free throws to ice the game for good.“I’m relieved because I told them that we need to overcome close games like this. We can’t settle for moral victories now,” said Sison. “At least, we’ll come into the second round that we’re confident that we can win.”Prince Eze topped Perpetual (3-6) with 14 points, 20 rebounds, and four blocks, while Gab Dagangon had 11 markers and seven boards, but committed five of the Altas’ 19 turnovers.The Scores:EAC 61 – Onwubere 21, Munsayac 16, Garcia 8, Bugarin 4, Diego 3, Mendoza 3, Bautista 2, Pascua 2, Tampoc 2, Corilla 0, Guzman 0, Mendoza 0.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Biggest Pogo service provider padlocked for tax evasion View comments
As many as 57 B.Ed colleges affiliated under the Devi Ahilya Vishwavidhyalaya (DAVV), Indore, has collectively decided to remain closed for an indefinite period of time when the former decided to launch a pre-affiliation inspection in these colleges manually.The 57 affiliated colleges on Wednesday, in a protest, said they would close their institutes until the pre-affiliation move was cancelled in due time.The decision to unanimously shut the institutions came following the meeting with the university Vice Chancellor Narendra Kumar Dhakkad on Wednesday when no positive results were developed. The university remains adamant despite ardent protest from the colleges.The college directors’ stance:The college directors opine that the inspection for pre-affiliation would be less meaningful and thus term it illegal since half of the academic session for this years are already coveredThere are over 4,000 students pursuing MEd and BEd courses across the 57 collegesGandhi Nagar, patron of Malwa Region Education College Association and Indore Mahavidyalaya Director, at the meeting pointed out that the letters of Gwalior and Bhopal universities that claim the universities had given affiliation under special power”We had even shown high court order in which the court has asked universities to renew affiliations after taking affidavit from the colleges. But the VC was adamant on his decision,” said Gandhi Nagar, as reported by HT Furthermore, the group of directors pointed out that only the National Council for Teacher Education has the prerogative to inspect for pre-affiliation according to the ruling of Madhya Pradesh High Court in FebruaryHowever, the university responded the allegation citing they have thorough the court’s ruling and pointed out that the university was not prevented from conducting pre-affiliation inspection in these collegesNotwithstanding the allegation, the VC has determined to carry out the inspection. “We don’t want to compromise with the norms anymore and we are going to conduct inspection at all the colleges,” said Vice Chancellor Narendra Kumar Dhakkad.Read: SC to monitor setting up of International University in OdishaadvertisementRead: No subsidy for foreign students in IIT Click here for more education related news.For more details, follow India Today Education or you can write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Commanding, Bengal AreaKolkata, May 23 (PTI) Lt Gen Gurpal Singh Sangha today took over as the General Officer Commanding, Bengal Area, of the Army, Defence sources said here.The outgoing GOC, Bengal Area, Lt Gen Giri Raj Singh handed over the command at a solemn function at the HQ Bengal Area.Lt Gen Sangha, a 1981 commissioned officer, has held key command and staff appointments in the Army and has a lot of operations experience, the sources said.He has participated in anti-insurgency operations in Punjab as a company commander and later in Jammu and Kashmir as commanding officer as well as brigade commander.He has also commanded a mountain division in Sikkim, the sources said.Lt Gen Sangha was awarded Vishisht Seva Medal for his contribution in sports (shooting) and Sena Medal for successful anti-insurgency operations in Jammu and Kashmir, the sources added. PTI AMR DKB
It has been a smooth if not dominant ride for Australia thus far but the defending champions run into a tricky Bangladesh when they strive to get closer to World Cup semifinals, here Thursday.The Aaron Finch-led side is at number two behind table-toppers England, though it also has eight points from five matches. Australia (0.812) are marginally behind the hosts (1.862) when Net Run Rate is taken into account.Australia will start favourites in tomorrow’s clash but a passionate Bangladesh are expected to make life tough for the holders.The ‘Tigers’ have shown what they are capable of when they comprehensively beat the West Indies, riding on a magnificent 124 not out from all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan.In the form of his life, Shakib has already hit back-to-back centuries and Australiawould still remember that it was he, who had plotted their downfall in Bangladesh’s historic Test victory against them two years ago with a 10-wicket match haul.What TV channel and live stream is the World Cup 2019 match Australia and Bangladesh on?All World Cup 2019 matches can be viewed on – Star Sports 1, Star Sports 2, Star Sports 3, Star Sports 1 in Hindi, Star Sports HD. Hotstar.com and Hotstar app will live stream all the games.Where will the World Cup 2019 match between Australia and Bangladesh be played?The World Cup 2019 match Australia and Bangladesh will be played at Trent Bridge in Nottingham from 3 PM IST on Wednesday, June 19.Where can I watch the World Cup 2019 match Australia and Bangladesh live?The match will be shown on the Star Sports TV network and can also be streamed on hotstar.com.advertisementWhere can I check the online live updates of the World Cup 2019 match Australia and Bangladesh?You can follow our coverage here – www.indiatoday.in/sports/cricket-world-cup-2019What are the squads for the World Cup 2019 match Australia and Bangladesh?Australia: Aaron Finch (c), David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith, Shaun Marsh, Alex Carey (wk), Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Starc, Kane Richardson, Pat Cummins, Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Adam Zampa, Nathan LyonBangladesh: Mashrafe Mortaza (capt), Abu Jayed, Liton Das (wk), Mahmudullah, Mehidy Hasan, Mohammad Mithun (wk), Mohammad Saifuddin, Mosaddek Hossain, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain, Sabbir Rahman, Shakib Al Hasan, Soumya Sarkar, Tamim IqbalAlso See:
TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Solskjaer: What I’d do with Pogba as Man Utd managerby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveMolde coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes he can get the best from Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba.Solskjaer is expected to be named United caretaker boss after the dismissal of Jose Mourinho on Tuesday.Before the start of the season, the United legend, who worked in the club’s academy, was asked about Pogba: “I would [build the team around him], absolutely no doubt. I had him with David [Gray] and Etzaz [Hussain] who is playing for me tomorrow.”That just shows how far the kid has come. Paul is a fantastic kid so hopefully we can build the team around him and keep him.”On his own managerial skills, Solskjaer added: “Sir Alex [Ferguson] taught me how not to become complacent and always keep the standards up.”Everything I know about managing top footballers I learned from him.”
Former Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann learned of his sacking by Augsburg from his assistant coach role in a ten-minute phone conversation, he has revealed.Lehmann was dismissed by the Bundesliga club on April 9 this year, along with head coach Manuel Baum and technical director Stephan Schwartz.The former Germany international, who won 61 caps for his country, was appointed by Baum in January but the management duo only oversaw three victories in their time with the club, leading to their ouster. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? When they were sacked Augsburg were 15th in the table, only four points above the relegation playoff spot.Martin Schmidt took over from Baum and staved off the threat of relegation though the club still finished in 15th place, and had the same four-point margin over Stuttgart, who occupied the relegation playoff spot.Lehmann has spoken of his dismissal for the first time and the 49-year-old was still surprised by the manner of his dismissal.“[Augsburg General Manager] Stefan Reuter called,” Lehmann told Bild.“The phone call lasted ten minutes. He said: ‘We separated from Manuel Baum.’ I thought: ‘What is coming now? Sack or promotion?’” Despite the relationship between Lehmann and Reuter from their time together at Dortmund and the national side, there was no sentiment for the retired shot-stopper. Lehmann who was also an assistant coach in North London, following a playing career that saw spells at Schalke and AC Milan, says he didn’t expect the top job at Augsburg. He did believe that he’d be offered the chance to remain as an assistant, but Reuter told him that wasn’t an option. “Actually, I did not expect the coaching job, because they stressed when I signed my contract that is wasn’t part of the deal. “But I was told on arrival that I would stay if there was a new head coach. That’s different now.” After he was dismissed Lehmann has had no contact with Schmidt, who will be at the helm at Augsburg in the new season. He does believe his short time with the club was of value, despite it coming to a strange end.
New Delhi: The country’s inflation rate has moved to a more stable and low level in the last five fiscals, and controlling price surge remains a key policy focus area of the government, the Economic Survey for 2018-19 said Thursday. Retail inflation based on consumer price index – Combined (CPI-C) fell to 3.4 per cent in 2018-19 from 3.6 per cent in 2017-18, 4.5 per cent in 2016-17, 4.9 per cent 2015-16 and 5.9 per cent in 2014-15, the Economic Survey 2018-19, tabled by Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Parliament, said. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in SepRetail inflation during the first month of the current fiscal stood at 2.9 per cent, down from 4.6 per cent a year ago. Food inflation based on Consumer Food Price Index (CFPI) declined to a low of 0.1 per cent during the financial year 2018-19, the survey said. “The Economic Survey states that the economy witnessed a gradual transition from a period of high and variable inflation to more stable and low level of inflation in the last five years. Also Read – Ensure strict implementation on ban of import of e-cigarettes: revenue to Customs”The government has taken a number of measures to control inflation specially food inflation,” as per the survey. Controlling inflation remains a key area of policy focus and the general measures such as regular monitoring of inflation, issuing advisories to states against hoarding and black marketing, holding regular review meetings on prices and availability of key commodities were taken to keep inflation in check, the survey said. Higher Minimum Support Prices (MSPs) for pulses and other crops to incentivise production and setting up of Price Stabilisation Fund (PSF) for procurement of agri-horticultural commodities are among the other steps taken. Specific measures such as releasing onions at reasonable prices, utilisation of pulses from buffer for strategic market interventions and to meet the requirements of the Army and Central Para-Military Forces were among the specific measures taken by the government, according to the survey. The survey also finds that food inflation in the country has been extremely benign. “Average food inflation for the financial year 2018-19 declined to a low of 0.1 per cent. The food deflation in the second half of 2018-19 is mainly due to deflation in vegetables, fruits, pulses and products, sugar and confectionary and eggs, which together account for 13.1 per cent rate in overall CPI-C,” the survey said. The year also witnessed reduction in both rural and urban inflation, while many states witnessed fall in retail inflation.
WASHINGTON — Lawmakers have reached an agreement on the farm bill, a mammoth package that will fund key safety net programs for the next five years.The conference report signed Monday by members of the House and Senate is the result of months of negotiations. The bill has a price tag of $867 billion over a decade and is expected to be brought to a vote this week in the House, possibly as soon as Wednesday.The legislation reauthorizes crop insurance and conservation programs and legalizes the cultivation of industrial hemp.It does not make significant changes to the food stamp program that serves nearly 40 million low-income Americans. President Donald Trump and House Republicans had pushed to create new work requirements for food stamps, but negotiators rejected them.Juliet Linderman, The Associated Press
“Governments now have an opportunity to create and enforce policy which stimulates competition to fund clean industry,” Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) told reporters. The demand for energy worldwide is expected by surge more than 50 per cent by 2030, he said, requiring a $22 trillion investment – half of that in developing nations – in energy supply infrastructure. Massive increases in greenhouse gas emissions would result unless those funds are earmarked for clean energy, he stressed. For the first time since last December’s landmark UN Climate Change Conference in Bali, where countries agreed to launch formal negotiations to reach a long-term global agreement on climate change, dozens of environment ministers will meet next week before the next set of talks in the Polish city of Poznan begin in December. The Poznan conference will be crucial since it will be the first time that a text, for a successor pact to the Kyoto Protocol, will be discussed, Mr. de Boer said. “It will be very important, in that context, that ministers focus their attention on a shared vision of cooperative action,” he noted. While there has been much talk regarding what developed and developing countries must do to slash emissions, little emphasis has been placed on the infrastructure and resources that poorer nations require, the Executive Secretary said, calling on leaders at Poznan to make the necessary commitments. 10 October 2008The current global market crisis could provide an opportunity for the world financial system to reconstruct itself to promote “green” growth, the top United Nations climate change official said today in New York.
2 April 2009A new law in Afghanistan seriously curtailing women’s rights, even explicitly permitting marital rape, is a “huge step in the wrong direction,” the United Nations human rights chief said today, calling for its repeal. A new law in Afghanistan seriously curtailing women’s rights, even explicitly permitting marital rape, is a “huge step in the wrong direction,” the United Nations human rights chief said today, calling for its repeal. Not yet published, the law, which was passed by the two houses of Afghanistan’s parliament before being reportedly signed by President Hamid Karzai earlier this month, regulates the personal status of the country’s minority Shi’a community members, including relations between men and women, divorce and property rights. It denies Afghan Shi’a women the right to leave their homes except for ‘legitimate’ purposes; forbids them from working or receiving education without their husbands’ express permission; weakens mothers’ rights in the event of a divorce; and makes it impossible for wives to inherit houses and land from their husbands, even if husbands can inherit property from their wives. “This is another clear indication that the human rights situation in Afghanistan is getting worse, not better,” said Navi Pillay, High Commissioner for Human Rights. “Respect for women’s rights – and human rights in general – is of paramount importance to Afghanistan’s future security and development.” That such a law has been passed in 2009 targeting women in this manner is “extraordinary, reprehensible and reminiscent of the decrees made by the Taliban regime in Afghanistan in the 1990s,” she stressed. Afghanistan’s Shi’a community, composed mainly of the Hazara minority, comprises some 10 per cent of the country’s total population, and the new law has the strong support of the Hazaras’ male leadership, even though it has been vigorously opposed by others in the group as well as Afghan human rights campaigners. There are concerns that the law will set precedents adversely affecting all Afghan women. In addition to women’s rights, there have been other setbacks to the country that have been undermining efforts to consolidate the rule of law in Afghanistan, such as both freedom of expression by the media and civil society activists being increasingly threatened, Ms. Pillay said.
Plug-In Car Grant: Since the launch of the Plug-In Car Grant in January 2011, there have been 97,042 eligible cars registered.Please note: this data includes only new car registrations and not commercial vehicles. For questions about these figures, or to enquire about more detailed data sets, e-mail email@example.com.Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)
TRINKET AND TOURISM specialist Carrolls Irish Gifts is to open a second store in Belfast, it revealed today.The retailer announced its expansion this morning, which includes the creation of 30 new jobs in the city.The shop will open on Donegal Street in early November, said director Lorcan O’Connor. It is the second store opening of the year after the Grafton Street location opened its doors in July.Established 30 years ago, the company now employs 250 staff across Ireland. As well as its existing shop in Belfast, Carrolls has one location in Cork and 10 in Dublin.
Last month, we mentioned the new Verbatim Clip-It USB drive: a fun, if not quirky, way to store data while keeping a stack of papers from blowing away in a stiff wind. At the time, pricing and availability hadn’t been announced, but today Verbatim said they would be available in the United States just in time for the holidays. The design of the drive hasn’t changed, and can still be used as a paperclip as well as a storage device, and is suggested for people who want to include a little more data about themselves or their company with their business card, or want to provide a digital copy of a document attached to the physical copy. Verbatim also said they would ditch the 2GB version in favor of the4GB model only, and offer the Clip-It drive in five colors: pink, green,blue, orange, and black. The lightweight USB drive will retail for $19.99, and will land in stores and online in December.
In all the players that have ever played for Northern Ireland, none will be rated as high as George Saville at a worth of £8m, that is, if his loan deal to Middlesbrough becomes a permanent signing as planned by January.The 25-year-old midfielder is relaxed about whatever pressure this record breaking deal will put on him.Actually, Neil Lennon, who was signed at £5.75m from Leicester to Celtic in 2000 could as well hold this record, considering the worth of that rate in today’s market.REPORT: Batistuta might coach Middlesbrough Manuel R. Medina – May 21, 2019 The Argentinean legend could debut as a manager in the English Championship after completing his coaching diploma in Italy.However, from his comment as reported by The Irish News, Saville does not seem to be concerned by all this: “To me it is just a figure. In this day and age football is growing and transfers are becoming more expensive. For me it is just a positive move and an opportunity to go and progress in my career.“I am a London boy so that [moving to Middlesbrough] will be a challenge in itself, but the family I have and friends I have, I’ll be fine. The move is one I’m ready for. I’m 25 now and I’m looking forward to it.”
Every spring, hundreds of sandhill cranes visit Homer to mate and nest. You’ll often find them looking for tasty morsels along the shoreline or silently strutting across your backyard. For the last thirteen years, Kachemak Crane Watch has organized a “sandhill crane count” to keep track of their population.Listen NowA sandhill crane looks and sounds like a modern day dinosaur.Lesser sandhill cranes in Homer, Alaska.(Photo courtesy of Nina Faust)They stand about three feet tall and have a six-foot wing span. They use their sharp four-inch beak for probing in the dirt and catching insects and small mammals.And sometimes, they use that long beak for defense.“That beak is a very very lethal weapon,” says Faust.That’s Nina Faust. She’s the co-founder of Kachemak Crane Watch, a non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of sandhill cranes.“I think they’re very majestic birds. A lot of people describe them as regal, they move like royalty and they’re just very elegant. When they dance, it’s just the most gorgeous thing you’ve ever seen,” says Faust.A flock of 20 lesser sandhill cranes forages in a grassy field at Inspiration Ridge Preserve in Homer. Faust points to a group of three cranes standing close together.“You can see a family right there. The adults have red on the top and they have a yellow eye. The young are totally golden colored with no red top and a dark eye,” Faust explains.They’re getting ready to migrate 2400 miles to their overwintering grounds in Sacramento, California. But before the cranes leave in mid-September, Faust has a job to do.Every fall, she organizes a “citizen science” survey of the crane population on the southern Kenai Peninsula. On three specific days, residents contact her to report sandhill crane sightings. Using this information, she’s able to estimate how big the population is each year.Habitat loss and predation can have a big effect on the crane population, says Faust. Around Kachemak Bay, bald eagles are a constant threat.“It’s interesting to watch because sometimes they’ll see the eagle way off in the distance and they’ll start giving this little brrr growling call. Everybody stands up and looks and they all get ready. If it gets closer, poof, they’re gone!” Faust laughs.A juvenile lesser sandhill crane (“colt”) in Homer, Alaska.(Photo courtesy of Nina Faust)A large-scale die-off of Common Murre seabirds in early summer attracted bald eagles to the Homer area. Faust says that many of the eagles appear to have stayed behind and are now preying on other animals, including cranes.Another potential hazard? Humans.“You almost never see them on roads. But this year, there’s been a problem because someone who lives on a busy road started feeding them. And they’ve been starting to walk all over the neighborhood. I’ve had people stopping me in the post office, calling me on the phone, saying what’s with the cranes marching down the middle of the road in Homer?” says Faust.Cranes strolling in downtown areas risk getting hit by cars. They can also fly into power lines.“I mean, my gosh. They get panicked and they can fly right into ‘em. It breaks their wings, it can rip their beaks off. Just a horrible death,” says Faust.Despite these threats, this year’s survey showed that the lesser sandhill crane population in Homer is holding steady at about 200 individuals. The population produced 47 babies this year, but only 30 survived to the end of the nesting season. That’s about normal.In early September, the sandhill cranes left Homer and headed back to California’s Central Valley.Faust and her fellow “craniacs” watched the last cranes depart for the year. She says this time always feels bittersweet.“It leaves a big hole in your heart,” she says.In California, Bart McDermott is eagerly awaiting the arrival of the cranes. He manages Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, just south of Sacramento. He says the cranes start arriving in early October.“You start to hear them first. If you’re fortunate enough, you can hear their prehistoric sounding cackle,” McDermott says.The cranes roost in wetlands at night and go out into neighboring agricultural fields during the day to forage for grain. But McDermott says that the cranes are facing a growing list of threats in the Sacramento area.“Unfortunately there’s a lot of urban development. So we’ve seen a lot of these fields that cranes typically go out and forage in start to be converted into housing developments ,” he says.The ongoing drought in California also poses a risk to cranes.“In order to have a wetland you need water. And you need a lot of water. The birds also rely on the farmers having water to grow those crops. There’s also concerns of wildlife diseases. You get smaller areas where you have higher concentrations of birds roosting in water and there’s the risk of disease communication and outbreaks,” says McDermott.The cranes will remain in California through the winter, before heading north in late February. For now, craniacs in Homer will have to wait until spring before these graceful giants return to nest.
Vijayawada: TDP leaders Konakalla Narayana, Devineni Umamaheswara Rao, Gadde Anuradha, Bachula Arjunudu and Varla Ramaiah demanded the State government to react on the comments of Union Minister of Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekawat in the Lok Sabha on the cancellation of Polavaram tenders. Speaking to media persons here on Saturday, they said that the Union Minister found fault with the government for canceling the Polavaram contract. They said that the comments of Union Minister are a shame on the State government. They said that Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy cancelled the Polavaram works contract with a motive to bag Polavaram Hydropower Project contract. Also Read – Three of a family commits suicide at Amalapuram in East Godavari Advertise With Us The State government irresponsibly had asked the contractor to cancel the work, they lamented. They said that no one removes the existing contractor when the River Godavari faces flood situation. They said that the State government was facing anti-incumbency from the public just in two months after assuming the charge. No government in the past faced such bad image like YS Jagan Mohan Reddy’s government, they opined. Also Read – Saaho movie tickets pricey in Nellore Advertise With Us The TDP leaders participated in the district coordination meeting at the party office here on Saturday. On this occasion, they passed a resolution to expose the anti-people policies of the government. They further said that they would meet people and take steps to get their support in the local body elections. Krishna District and Urban TDP party wing presidents B Arjunudu, Budda Venkanna, senior leaders T Premnath, and Kommareddy Pattabhiram were also present.