Thursday, 18 April 2019

Himalayan Heights Motorcycle Expedition reaches Karakoram Pass

The 11 member ‘Himalayan Heights Motorcycle Expedition’ which was flagged off from Karu (Leh) on 07 April 2019 traversed the challenging terrain of Eastern Ladakh, across the Chang La pass and has reached the mighty ‘Karakoram Pass’ situated at an altitude of 18,176 feet on the Karakoram Ranges on 16 April 2019. The joint Motorcycle Expedition which comprises six Indian Army personnel from the Army Service Corps, four from Royal Enfield and one from Himalayan Motorsports Association is being undertaken in the year when the Fire & Fury Corps is celebrating 20th Anniversary of Kargil Vijay Diwas, which marks the victory of the Indian Armed Forces over Pakistan in 1999. 

This unprecedented feat over hazardous and unforgiving terrain with temperatures as low as -40C coupled with freezing winds, is a remarkable tribute to the immortal courage and bravery of the Indian Army. In a rare gesture of encouragement for the expedition members, Lt Gen YK Joshi, General Officer Commanding, Fire and Fury Corps reached the Karakoram Pass to meet and motivate the riders.​​

Speaking on the occasion, Lt Gen YK Joshi lauded the efforts of the team especially the two Women Officers from the Army Service Corps and the woman member of the Royal Enfield team who proved equal in strength, skill and spirit to the other members.

The Ladakh region was witness to the unparalleled valour, indomitable courage and immortal tales of sacrifice during the Kargil War in 1999. The Himalayan Heights Expedition undertaken by the Army Service Corps, Royal Enfield and Himalayan Motorsports Association demands similar attributes and is a salute to ‘Remember, Rejoice & Renew’ the spirit of fortitude, bravery and adventure of the Indian Army.

Courtesy: pib.gov.in

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

President Shri Ram Nath Kovind ’s greetings on the eve of Mahavir Jayanti



The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind in his message on the eve of Mahavir Jayanti has said: -

“On the auspicious occasion of Mahavir Jayanti, I extend my greetings and best wishes to all fellow citizens, especially to the Jain community.

Lord Mahavira’s message of peace and non-violence has enriched our cultural heritage. When the world is facing multiple challenges, the philosophy and teachings of ahimsa, truth and compassion enunciated by Bhagwan Mahavira hold great significance.

Let us on this auspicious day resolve to ceaselessly strive for harmony in our country and across the world.”




Courtesy:pib.nic.in

1.4 crore electors in eight Lok Sabha constituencies of Uttar Pradesh in Phase -II





Agra the largest Phase –II constituency in UP with 19,04,706 electors

16,162 polling stations to facilitate voting in the State during second phase




As many as 1,40,76,635 electors are on the Final Electoral Roll of eight constituencies in Uttar Pradesh which will go to polls in second phase of the General Election- 2019. The constituencies in this phase are - Nagina, Amroha, Bulandshahr, Aligarh, Hathras, Mathura, Agra and Fatehpur Sikri.

As per the data sourced from CEO (Uttar Pradesh) website today, there are a total of 1,40,76,635 electors in second phase including 75,83,431 men and 64,92,326 women electors. Of these eight seats, Agra is the largest parliamentary constituency with 19,04,706 electors and Nagina is the smallest one with 15,74,994 electors.

The data sourced from ECI website shows that in previous General Election -2014, there were a total of 1,34,03,734 electors in these eight Parliamentary Constituencies. This means an increase of 6,72,901 (5.09 %) electors since last General Elections.

The details of the number of electors in the phase -II constituencies in the upcoming and last two General Elections are given below:






Constituency
General Election Year
                          Number of Electors
Male
Female
Others
Total
Nagina
2019*
838144
736788
62
1574994
2014
795562
697765
92
1493419
2009
650927
545639
 
1196566
Amroha 
2019*
868912
764166
108
1633186
2014
829444
714712
89
1544245
2009
641735
532180
 
1173915
Bulandshahr 
2019*
945340
831100
127
1776567
2014
930827
805499
110
1736436
2009
810237
672512
 
1482749
Aligarh 
2019*
1005371
871294
153
1876818
2014
965995
827010
121
1793126
2009
744060
601291
 
1345351
Hathras  
2019*
990708
840439
69
1831216
2014
969908
788925
94
1758927
2009
799816
637909
 
1437725
Mathura 
2019*
970318
815660
209
1786187
2014
931944
750142
174
1682260
2009
747923
593726
 
1341649
Agra
2019*
1040087
864522
97
1904706
2014
1003777
810896
66
1814739
2009
856239
683444
 
1539683
Fatehpur Sikri
2019*
924551
768357
53
1692961
2014
877271
703267
44
1580582
2009
748440
597302
 
1345742
Total – Phase II
2019*
7583431
6492326
878
14076635


Source - ECI website

*CEO (Uttar Pradesh) website



The State of Uttar Pradesh has a total of 14,40,61,892 electors (Overseas Indian electors and service electors are in addition to these) in its all 80 Lok Sabha constituencies. The State is going through seven phase polling in the current General Elections -2019. In the first phase, voting for the eight Lok Sabha seats has already taken place on April 11th, 2019 and voting for phase-II is scheduled for 18th April, 2019.

Courtesy:pib.nic.in

Election to 8 Vellore Parliamentary Constituency stands rescinded


ECI's decision based on reports of systematic design to influence voters, unearthed during Income Tax raids


The Election Commission of India made a recommendation to the Hon’ble President of India, under Article 324 of the Constitution read with Section 21 of the General Clauses Act, 1897, to rescind the Election to 8-Vellore Parliamentary Constituency, Tamil Nadu vide its proceedings no.464/ECI/LET/TERR/TN/SS-I/2019 dated 14.4.2019.

The decision of the ECIto make this recommendation was based on detection of a systematic design to influence voters in 8- Vellore Parliamentary Constituency during the election process.

Thereport of the DGIT(Inv.), Chennai, Sh. B. Murali Kumar, dated 5
th of April 2019, details the search and seizure operations u/s 132 of the I.T. Act carried out on 29th and 30th of March, 2019 at the residence of Sh. Durai Murugan, MLA and Treasurer of DMK Party and Sh. Kathir Anand, s/o Sh. Durai Murugan and contesting candidate for Vellore Parliamentary Constituency and at Kingston medical College, run by the Durai Murugan Educational Trust.

The search team observed that evidently there was prior rummaging of the premises and removal of material including the control panel of the CCTV as well as the hard disks of the computers. Further discreet surveillance resulted in the confirmation that a large amount of cash and other incriminating material had indeed been shifted out of the college premises while the teams were being denied entry.

Further as per DGIT report, based on the intelligence gathered during the discreet surveillance, certain premises of close associates of the candidate Shri Kathir Anand and their relatives were identified and fresh searches u/s 132 of the Income Tax Act, 1961, at Katapadi Taluk, Vellore District were initiated on 01.04.2019 at the residence of Sh. Damodaran, brother in law of Sh.Srinivasan, a DMK functionary. The search operations of the Income Tax Department on
1.4.2019 yielded a total cash seizure of Rs.11.48 Crores, most of which was packed in plastic packets with ward wise details. In addition, unused labels, loose sheets with details of ward- wise breakup of voters and documents related to Kingston Engineering College were found from the residence of Sh. Damodaran. Sh.Srinivasan claimed the ownership of Rs.11.48 Crores
and in his statement recorded u/s 131 of IT Act stated that the cash was meant to influence voters in favour of DMK’s candidate. The fact that the claimant does not have any explained source of income and that the documents found with the cash pertain to an institution run by the family of the DMK candidate lays bare the nexus between the candidate and the sums so
found.
The Special Expenditure Observer, Ms. Madhu Mahajan, filed a report on 8.4.2019 stating that the searches had unearthed a systematic design to influence voters through inducements and that such activities come under the ambit of “corrupt practices” as per Section 123 of the RP Act,
1951.The Special Expenditure Observer was of the opinion that the situation is not conducive
for the conduct of free and fair elections.
The CEO Tamil Nadu filed his report on the 12.4.2019, wherein he has stated that the cash seizure of Rs. 11.48 Cr. along with evidence in the form of computer printouts detailing proposed assembly segment, ward and booth wise money distribution suggests a clear-cut pattern and
design to induce the electors at a large scale across the Vellore Parliamentary Constituency. This organised way of inducement of voters had vitiated the electoral environment which was nownot conducive for conducting inducement free, ethical election in Vellore Parliamentary Constituency at this juncture.
After taking into account all relevant facts and circumstances of the present case, the Commission was fully satisfied that the current electoral process in the said 8-Vellore Parliamentary Constituency in Tamil Nadu has been seriously vitiated on account of the above-mentioned unlawful activities on behalf of the candidate, Sh. Kathir Anand, and some members/ workers of the political party in question. In the Commission’s considered opinion, allowing the current electoral process to proceed and conducting the poll in the constituency
on 18thApril, 2019, as scheduled, in such a vitiated atmosphere would have severely jeopardised the conduct of free and fair election in the said 8-Vellore Parliamentary Constituency.
The Hon’ble President, accepting the recommendation of the Election Commission of India, made in this regard, is pleased to partially rescind Notification No.1389(E) dt.19th March 2019 in so far as it relates to calling upon the said 8-Vellore Parliamentary Constituency in Tamil Nadu to elect a member to the Lok Sabha.

Courtesy: pib.nic.in

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Home Expo India 2019 begins

The 8th edition of HOME EXPO INDIA 2019 opened at India Expo Centre and Mart, Greater Noida today. The three-day exhibition has been organized by the Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH).

Select exhibitors, premium products and invited buyers are the attention of this year’s home expo. Buyers from more than 50 countries including USA, Europe, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, UAE, Lebanon, Iran, Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Vietnam and Romania will be visiting the home expo.

Home Expo India covers sectors with maximum thrust and growth potential in home d├ęcor, furnishing, furniture, flooring, and textiles. About 500 companies in permanent marts will be exhibiting their collection under these categories at the state of the art India Expo Centre & Mart from 16 – 18 April, 2019.

During Home Expo India, a thematic display of the North Eastern region and other artisans will also attract the visitors.

Exports of furniture and accessories grew by about 27.13%, houseware and decorative 15.19%, home furnishing, flooring and home textiles 6.3% last year. Handicrafts exports during the year 2018-19 was Rs. 26,590.25 crores [prov.] registering a growth of 15.46% over the previous year.

EPCH is the nodal export promotion body for handicrafts in India and plays an important role with the main objective of boosting trade in handicrafts and also projects India’s image in the global market as a reliable supplier.

Courtesy: pib.gov.in

One day National workshop on Loss and Damage in India, organized by Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change(MoEFCC)

Loss and damage not only an issue for small island developing countries, but also a critical issue in large countries like India : Secretary, MoEFCC

A one-day National Consultation on Loss and Damage, to deliberate and brainstorm on emerging perspectives on approaches to assess, minimise and address climate-related loss and damage, was hosted by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change in New Delhi today.

The workshop was inaugurated by Additional Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, Dr. P. K. Mishra, who mentioned that India has been experiencing weather and climate related loss and damage, the Kerala floods and Ockhi being the rarest of the rare events. Given the evolving scenario, he suggested that the past is no longer a good guide for the future, and therefore such workshops are important. He identified five principal challenges that need to be addressed, including the need to understand not only the total quantum of loss but also its location, as well as impact on gender and social groups, the need to go beyond what is easier to measure, such as biodiversity loss, ecosystem services etc., address the attribution of the loss and damage, generate scenarios for future situations and invest in adaptive capacities, and the need to bring out clearly that loss and damage is not only an issue for small island developing countries, but also a critical issue in large countries like India which has a long coastline with numerous islands and coastal cities and Himalayan states at the risk of glacier outbreaks. He further underlined that India has committed to ensuring climate justice and mentioned the need for the developed countries to show greater commitment to support the most vulnerable and developing countries, including financial and capacity building support.

CEO, NITI Aayog, Shri Amitabh Kant, complimented the Ministry for the unique initiative of organizing the workshop and mentioned that the topic of loss and damage has become a major pillar of international negotiations under UNFCCC and has gained importance since COP 19 held in Warsaw. He highlighted that India, being bigger than 23 European countries and having a higher rate of growth and population, is facing greater challenges as compared to developed countries. The need to follow low carbon sustainable pathway, poverty alleviation and addressing climate change impacts are to be prioritized, said Shri Kant

Secretary, Environment, Forest and Climate Change Shri C. K. Mishra highlighted that GHG emissions have been talked many times, but the discourse needs to move to critical elements and systematic planning. He urged the global community to come up with a global plan to address the issue loss and damage. He mentioned the Fiji Clearing House on Risk Transfer introduced at UNFCCC COP23, which was the first time when risk transfer and mitigation was discussed internationally. It was brought out that it is not only a Small Island States issue, but also for countries like India which who are at the risk of facing climate induced loss and damage. He added that global experience is good for knowledge and learning, but the country needs to bring in its own policies and recommendations as it has a diverse geography. He also underlined the three critical elements for addressing the issue of loss and damage, including risk reduction through more plantation, risk retention and risk transfer through insurance and funding mechanism.

Mr. Chad Tudenggongbu, representative from UNFCCC, talked about the global context of the issue of loss and damage, including heat waves, tropical cyclones, salinization, glacial retreat and desertification. He highlighted that the response action for loss and damage often requires multinational arrangements, with enhanced action and support.

The workshop had two technical sessions on specific topics including ‘Strengthening response to address loss and damage’ and ‘Approaches to assess, manage and address climate risks and loss and damage’ with eminent speakers from various State Governments, organisations and institutions including International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, IIT Delhi, Madras School of Economics, National Institute of Disaster Management, ActionAid International, Government of Tamil Nadu, Government of Uttarakhand, Government of Kerala, GIZ, and Indian Institute of Public Administration.

Courtesy: pib.gov.in

AUSINDEX-19 Concludes

The Australian and Indian Navy have concluded a two-week long bilateral maritime exercise code-named AUSINDEX on 14 Apr 19. Personnel from the Eastern Fleet bid farewell to Her Majesty's Australian Ships Canberra, Newcastle, Paramatta and Success with a promise to meet again.

The current edition of the exercise had the participation of the highest number of units thus far with four frontline ships with integral helicopters, one submarine and a variety of aircraft including P8I and P8A long-range Maritime Reconnaissance Anti-Submarine Warfare aircraft took part from both navies. For the first time, 55 American and 20 New Zealand military personnel embarked onboard the RAN ships and witnessed the exercises during AUSINDEX-19.

The third edition of the exercise which commenced on 02 Apr 19 included a series of advanced warfare drills in all three dimensions comprising anti-submarine warfare exercises, air defense exercises, anti-surface warfare exercises including live-fire drills, replenishment at sea, and cross deck flying. The bilateral exercise was aimed “to strengthen and enhance mutual cooperation and interoperability between the IN and RAN, providing opportunities for interaction and exchange of professional views between the personnel of the two navies”.

Courtesy: pib.gov.in

Himalayan Heights Motorcycle Expedition reaches Karakoram Pass

The 11 member ‘Himalayan Heights Motorcycle Expedition’ which was flagged off from Karu (Leh) on 07 April 2019 traversed the challenging t...