Monday December 18, 2017
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OROP: Third soldier joins fast, PMO steps in, police say sorry

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New Delhi: As a third soldier joined his two colleagues on a fast-unto-death demanding One Rank One Pension (OROP) on Tuesday, a worried government reached out to the ex-servicemen and urged them to end the hunger strike.

And on the 65th day of the agitation on Tuesday, Delhi Police issued a formal apology for forcibly ending the ex-servicemen’s protest in the city centre a day before Independence Day.

It was the second day of an indefinite hunger strike by retired Colonel Pushpender Singh and former Havildar Major Singh when they were joined by another retired Havildar, Ashok Chauhan.

“When the government said it will implement OROP, why are they delaying it?” asked Pushpender Singh.

On Tuesday, Principal Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office, Nripendra Misra, met the veterans and urged them to call off the fast and to restore normalcy.

2015-08-18_2106“We told him that if there is a concrete assurance (on OROP’s implementation), we will stop it,” retired Lt. Gen. Balbir Singh, president of the Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement, said.

Maj. Gen. Satbir Singh, who too was at the meeting, said: “We have sought an assured date for the implementation of OROP. It should be effective from April 1, 2014 as decided by the government.”

When the official could not give the commitment, the Indian United Ex-Servicemen Front decided to go ahead with the fast.

“The fast unto death will continue. We will decide on our next move after August 23-24,” Front spokesman Anil Kaul told IANS.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Sunday urged the ex-servicemen to wait till August 24 as he will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

But the veterans, agitated over the August 14 police action and disappointed with the prime minister’s Independence Day speech, decided to launch the protest fast.

Delhi Police apologised for its action against the ex-servicemen at Jantar Mantar and promised to “rectify” its mistake.

After meeting the retired soldiers, Joint Commissioner of Police Mukesh Kumar Meena told the media: “We respect the veterans.” He spoke in the company of the protesters.

“What happened on August 14 was due to some confusion and misunderstanding. We are with you. We will try to rectify our mistakes,” Meena said. “We did not intend to hurt anyone.”

On Friday, police tried to forcefully evict the protesting ex-servicemen, leading to scuffles.

The home ministry intervened after an uproar and told the ex-servicemen that they would not be asked to leave the protest venue.

Around 24 lakh retired soldiers and some 6.5 lakh widows will benefit if OROP is implemented.

Currently, the pension for retired personnel is based on the Pay Commission recommendations of the time when he or she retired. So, a major general who retired in 1996 draws a lower pension than a Lt. Colonel who retired later.

(IANS)

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Sainik School Model to be Incorporated in Non-Military Schools, suggests Prime Minister’s Office to HRD

The elements of military school training the PMO wants to introduce in regular schools include discipline, physical training and ‘patriotic sentiments’

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Sainik school
Two Army T-55 Tanks dedicated to Sainik School, Korukonda. Wikimedia
  • PMO advised HRD ministry to include elements of a Sainik school in regular school
  • The inclusion of elements will incorporate “holistic development” of students
  • Kendriya Vidyalayas and Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas will have Sainik school like features

July 21, 2017: The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has advised the HRD Ministry to include elements of a military school in regular schools too. This will incorporate discipline, physical fitness, and patriotism in non-military schools. The PMO has suggested the inclusion of such elements in all schools for “holistic development” of students. According to a report, the meeting on Tuesday, July 18 was called out by the PMO to discuss the proposal with Senior HRD officials.

The idea of introducing military elements in schools was first introduced under the NDA government at a meeting of the Central Advisory Board of Education (highest government advisory body on education) held in October last year. In the meeting, Mahendra Nath Pandey, Minister of state for HRD accentuated the importance of military education for students to promote the idea of patriotism and nationalism, mentioned Indian Express report.

He further adds,  if 2,000 of the 10,000 students at Nalanda University were trained in military education, they would have foiled “Bakhtiyar Khilji’s plan” to plunder and raze the institute.

Sainik Schools were established in 1961 by the then Defence Minister V K Krishna Menon with the purpose of preparing youngsters for the defense services.

[bctt tweet=”Sainik Schools were established in 1961 to prepare youngsters for the defense services. ” username=”NewsGramdotcom”]

The HRD ministry is exploring new ways to introduce Sainik School like features in Kendriya Vidyalayas (KVs) and Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas (JNVs), which are also residential school. The PMO’s suggestion was also discussed with the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE).

ALSO READ: Five boarding schools which teach Army training in India

Students at these residential schools have to join the National Cadet Corps (NCC), undergo rigorous physical training and adopt patriotic lives. The Ministry of Defence directs 25 such schools.

Stressing on the binding need for nationalism and patriotism in CABE meeting, Madhya Pradesh’s education minister also affirmed that more Sainik Schools should be set up by the government.

-Prepared by Staff writer at Newsgram

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Cattle Slaughter Law: Kerala to call an all-party Meeting to discuss the Issue

There have been widespread protests against the new law. Youth Congress have taken to the streets in the state but caused outrage by publicly slashing the head of an ox during one such protest.

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Cows in India, Pixabay

Kerala, May 29,2017-With both the main political fronts in Kerala opposing the ban on cattle slaughter, the state cabinet will on Wednesday announce a date for an all-party meeting to discuss the issue, Agriculture Minister V.S. Sunilkumar said on Monday.

“This is a question of livelihood for thousands of farmers in the state and has been in practise for ages. We will take up this issue in the cabinet meeting and don’t be surprised if Kerala initiates legal steps against the new law,” he told the media here.

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There have been widespread protests against the new law. Youth Congress have taken to the streets in the state but caused outrage by publicly slashing the head of an ox during one such protest.

The ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist held over 300 “beef festivals” across Kerala where cooked beef was freely served.

Forest and Animal Husbandry Minister P. Raju said the new law cannot come into effect in Kerala.

“This is a ridiculous law. Kerala cannot implement it. We will look into all angles on how to tackle this,” Raju said on Monday.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) appears to be the only party in Kerala which has accepted the central government’s directive on cattle slaughter.

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“The new law has been misunderstood by the other parties,” BJP state General Secretary K. Surendran said.

For the Congress, what has come as a dampener was the manner in which their activists in Kannur slashed the head of an ox.

The police on Sunday night registered a case against the Youth Congress activists, whose action has been strongly condemned by Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi.

Youth Congress leader Regil Makutty and three others were suspended on Monday by the national leadership and the state Congress followed suit.

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State Congress President M.M. Hassan told reporters that the state government should call a special session of the assembly to override the central law.

“Today we are observing a black day to protest against the anti-people law of the Centre. But we do not approve of what happened in Kannur. Hence, we have suspended them from the party,” said Hassan. (IANS)

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PM Narendra Modi likely to visit Houston to address Indian Diaspora and strengthen bilateral ties with US

In February this year, a a delegation of NRI community leaders met Modi in Delhi, and requested him to plan his next diaspora event in Texas where about 2,50,000 Indian-Americans live and work.

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Indian PM Narendra Modi, Wikimedia

Houston, May 17, 2017– Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was invited by the Indian Diaspora in Houston, Texas in the United States earlier in February, this year. The PMO is considering to visit the city and address the Indian Diaspora along the lines of address made by the prime minister in Madison Square Garden in 2014 and Silicon Valley in 2015.

In February this year, a delegation of NRI community leaders met Modi in Delhi, and requested him to plan his next diaspora event in Texas where about 2,50,000 Indian-Americans live and work.

The visit to the city was further emphasized by US energy secretary Rick Perry when he met the Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan earlier in march. Rick said that Modi’s visit would improve energy cooperation between the two countries, adding a new dimension to bilateral ties, mentioned Indian Express report.

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Considering PM Modi’s interest in space diplomacy, the NASA Johnson Space Centre would also be an attraction.

According to Indian Express report, as the Indian-US space cooperations and plans to launch a launch a joint satellite in 2021 are also areas where Modi would look to build relations with the US, the Texas visit is under “serious consideration” and the PMO will reportedly take a call by the next week.

A BJP leader said, “Time is short, and we would need to make arrangements fairly quickly if the PMO decides to go ahead with the Houston diaspora event.”

He also added that a senior functionary of the ruling party who coordinates such events will be traveling to the U.S. next week.

As the Donald Trump administration is lifting restrictions on exploration and exports, fossil fuels will be an added component while emphasizing the wide range of cooperation between the two countries such as defense and counter-terrorism.

This will be the Indian Prime Minister’s 5th visit to the US in the preceding three years but the 1st visit after President Donald Trump assumed office in January this year.

– prepared by Nikita Tayal of NewsGram, Twitter: @NikitaTayal6