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Freedom fighters may soon get free electricity, exemption from toll tax

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

The government has finally decided to give the demands of around 12,000 freedom fighters a thought.

The Union Home Ministry will look into the demands of free electricity for life, exemption from paying toll tax on any national highway and job guarantee in the central government service for their family members.

The government will hold a meeting with committee of freedom fighters in Srinagar tomorrow. Kiren Rijiju, Minister of State will chair the meeting.

The agenda of the meeting will be the discussion on admission of grandchildren of freedom fighters into Central schools anywhere in India, bank loans for family members and railway passes, apart from the issues stated above.

The issue is very sensitive due to its patriotic undertones.

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Kashmir World Film Festival (KWFF) Kicks off in Srinagar, Aims to Promote Film Culture

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Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, July 3, 2017: With the aim to promote film culture, a five-day Kashmir world Film Festival began at Tagore Hall in Srinagar. Not just that, it will also provide a specific platform to aspiring youth in the field of filmmaking and acting.

The festival has been organized by Actors Creative Theatre (ACT), a group of members working in the sphere of art film and literature in collaboration with Media Education Research Centre, Kashmir University and Film and Television Institute of India, breathing life into the war-torn atmosphere, mentioned ANI report.

Filmmaker Mushtaq Ahmad recalls how over the decades, Hindi cinema shares a rather intrinsic relationship with Kashmir, the photographers’ paradise. From Kashmir Ki Kali to Haider, Kashmir has played host to both Hindi as well as International cinema. The festival would be instrumental in involving the youth of the valley in filmmaking and the related areas.

Many popular faces were present in the gathering, including popular film actress Alina Mughal, to quote her “by such initiatives, the youth of Kashmir will get a platform to go out and work in this field”. The festival will continue till July 5 in an attempt to promote entertainment in the region reverberating with the booming sound of bullets.

– prepared by Puja Sinha of NewsGram. Twitter: @pujas1994

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Indian diaspora Can Now Apply for Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) Card till Dec 31

The Home Ministry has decided to extend the date for submission of the application for registration as OCI card holder by the erstwhile PIO cardholders till December 31, 2017

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PIO and OCI cards
PIO and OCI cards. wikimedia
  • The PIO card provided those foreign nationals who could establish at least a third generation tie to Indian origin with travel, work, and residential purposes in India for a 15 year period
  • Implemented in 2005, the OCI card carried more expansive benefits compared to the PIO card, and was valid for the lifetime of the holder
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced in 2014 that the PIO and OCI cards would be merged and the Indian diaspora would be given maximum possible benefits

New Delhi, June 28, 2017: The last date has been extended for six months to apply for the conversion of Person of Indian Origin (PIO) cards to Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) cards to December 31 this year. The facility was available till June 30, 2017 earlier.

According to an official, “The Home Ministry has decided to extend the date for submission of the application for registration as OCI card holder by the erstwhile PIO cardholders till December 31, 2017.”

It should be mentioned that this was for the fourth time the centre has extended the date for conversion of PIO cards to OCI cards since March 31, 2016.

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In 2002, the PIO card was first implemented as a benefit to those foreign nationals who could establish at least a third generation tie to Indian origin and was valid for travel, work, and residential purposes in India for a 15 year period.

Implemented in 2005, the OCI card carried more expansive benefits compared to the PIO card, and was valid for the lifetime of the holder.

According to PTI reports, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced in 2014 that the PIO and OCI cards would be merged and the Indian diaspora would be provided with maximum possible benefits.

Official reports have shown that the simultaneous existence of PIO and OCI cards have led to confusion among People of Indian Origin residing abroad.

– prepared by Durba Mandal of NewsGram. Twitter: @dubumerang

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Muktijodha Scholarship Scheme: India to provide Rs 350 million in next 5 years to Descendants of Bangladeshi Freedom Fighters

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Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, Wikimedia

Dhaka, April 29, 2017: India will give Rs 350 million to descendants of freedom fighters in the next five years under the new ‘Muktijodha scholarship scheme for Bangladesh, Indian High Commissioner Harsh Vardhan Shringla has said.

He was speaking at a scholarship award ceremony in Chittagong on Saturday, bdnews24 reported.

The Muktijodha Scholarship Scheme was started by India in 2006 for descendants of the 1971 freedom fighters. Up to now, more than 10,000 scholarships worth Tk150 million have been disbursed.

This year, scholarships have been awarded to 600 undergraduate students. Of them, 48 were from Chittagong.

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Earlier, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina’s visit to India announced that another 10,000 students will receive scholarships under the new Muktijodha scholarship scheme.

All freedom fighters are now eligible for five years multiple entry Indian visa and 100 of them will be provided free medical treatment in Indian hospitals every year.

Shringla said under the new scheme, students at the higher secondary level will get a onetime grant of Tk 20,000 and those at the undergraduate level will get Tk 50,000.

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He said the initiatives announced by Modi reflect “our continued solidarity with the valiant Muktijodhas”, the daily reported.

“You have fought shoulder to shoulder with Indian troops in 1971 and continue to be our eternal friends. May Almighty bless you all with good health, prosperity and happiness,” he told the freedom fighters gathered at the ceremony.

Minister for Housing and Public Works Mosharraf Hossain was also present. (IANS)