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Telangana legislature rocked by farmer suicides

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Hyderabad: The spate of suicides by farmers in Telangana rocked both houses of the state legislature on Tuesday.

Voicing concern over the suicides, the state government said it was taking all steps to help the farmers overcome the hardships.

Suspending question hour and other business, both houses took up a debate on the issue, which was marred by allegations and counter-allegations by the ruling and opposition parties.

In the legislative council, opposition parties demanded the house observe silence in memory of the farmers who committed suicide but the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) turned down the demand.

Council chairman Swamy Goud said the house can pay its condolences after the debate.

Despite best efforts of the government to help the farmers, they end lives due to crop damage due to deficit rainfall, Agriculture Minister P Srinivas Reddy said while making a statement in the assembly.

For the present situation, the minister blamed policies of the successive governments in the undivided Andhra Pradesh.

The agriculture sector was neglected for decades. The irrigation projects were not taken up while minor irrigation system was totally ignored, he said, blaming depleting ground water table and erratic electricity supply among other reasons for the farmers’ distress.

Sowing operations were taken up across the state with good rains in the beginning of the season in June. However, a dry spell for more than 25 days led to rainfall deficit of 66 percent.

The rains in August and September brought down the deficit to 14 percent, 50 to 70 percent crops were damaged in five districts, he said.

In Mahabubnagar district, 100 percent crops were damaged, the minister said.

This year various crops were cultivated in the area of 35.13 lakh hectares, which includes over 26 lakh hectares rainfed crops and nine lakh hectares irrigated crops.

Srinivas Reddy said under the Rs 17,000 crore loan waiver scheme for farmers, the government spent only a 50 percent amount.

The government will consider providing the remaining amount in one go to provide relief to farmers, he said.

The government also increased compensation for farmer suicide deaths from Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 6 lakh.

The minister said 430 famers ended their lives in last 15 months. The opposition parties however alleged that 1,400 famers committed suicide since the separate state came into existence in June last year.

According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), 898 farmers committed suicides in Telangana during 2014. It was the second highest number in the country after Maharashtra, which reported 2,568 farmer suicide deaths.

Participating in the debate, main opposition Congress Party’s Jeevan Reddy and Telugu Desam Party’s E Dayakar Rao said the implementation of loan waiver scheme in installments was leading to suicides.

(IANS)

For more, read:

Farmer suicide: Telangana farmer climbs phone tower, threatens to jump

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Five Students from Telangana Selected for the NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge

The NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge began as the NASA Great Moonbuggy Race and was first held in in 1994

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NASA

Hyderabad, October 12, 2017 : A team of five students from an engineering college in Telangana has been selected for the prestigious NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge.

The team from SR Engineering College, Warangal, will participate in the fifth annual challenge to be held on April 12-14, 2018, in Huntsville, Alabama, US.

It is one of the four teams from India short-listed to compete in the challenge. Students from 23 countries are participating in the challenge to create a buggey designed to traverse the simulated surface of moon.

The team, which will prepare a moon buggy design, report and submit their idea, will be led by faculty Manoj Chaudhary. It includes P. Paul Vineeth, Prakash Raineni, P.Sravan Rao, Rondla Dilipreddy Aand Venishetty Sneha, said a statement.

Congratulating the students, SR Engineering College Secretary A.Madhukar Reddy said it was a great opportunity to design, build, and test technologies that enable rovers to perform in a wide variety of environments.

The NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge began as the NASA Great Moonbuggy Race and was first held in in 1994, 25 years after the first manned Apollo landing on the moon.

The challenge now focuses on National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s current plans to explore planets, moons, asteroids and comets.

During its 20-year run, the Great Moonbuggy Race engaged more than 10,000 students and demonstrated that these budding scientists and engineers were capable of complex work. (IANS)

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IAF trainer aircraft crashes in Telangana

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HAL Intermediate jet trainer
IAF kiran. wikimedia

New Delhi, Sep 28: IAF’s intermediate trainer aircraft- Kiran, crashed in Telangana on Thursday morning, but the pilot and another person on board ejected out safely.

The aircraft got airborne from Hakimpet Air Force base on Thursday morning for a routine training sortie and crashed around 11.45 a.m.

The aircraft was being flown by a trainee pilot.

IAF sources added that a Court of Inquiry has been ordered to look into the cause of the accident.

According to police, the aircraft caught fire and was gutted after the crash near Ankireddypalli village in Keesara ‘mandal’ (block) of Medchal district.

Minutes after taking off from Hakimpet Air Force Station, the aircraft developed some technical snag and crashed in the fields.

Eye-witnesses said they heard a huge thud and soon flames engulfed the aircraft.

The pilot and another person accompanying him ejected out with parachutes before the crash, police said.(IANS)

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Telangana Minister suggests Central Government to establish a Centralised data bank on Migrants in the Gulf region

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Representative Image, VOA

Hyderabad May 8, 2017: Telangana’s Minister for NRI Affairs K.T. Rao on Monday suggested the Centre establish a centralised data bank on migrants in the Gulf region.

Rao made the suggestion at a meeting called by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on issues related to Gulf migrants in New Delhi.

He said all states should have access to the centralised data to identify who all were moving to the countries in the Gulf.

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An official statement said the Minister also sought appointment of translators of Telugu language at all embassy offices in the Gulf countries.

Rao also urged the central government to come up with a specific policy for legal assistance to migrants by recruiting Indian-origin lawyers abroad. He also suggested an agreement with all Gulf nations to allow Indian migrant prisoners to complete their respective sentences in Indian jails.

As a few companies are unlawfully taking away passport of Indian migrants, Rao urged Sushma Swaraj to raise this human rights violation issue with authorities concerned.

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He also urged the MEA to form a Group of Ministers (GoM) to discuss and emulate the best practices among states regarding issuance of passports, as well as welfare activities for the Gulf migrants.

Sushma Swaraj assured him on the GoM, which will meet once in three months to discuss the migrants’ issues.

The meeting was attended by two central ministers and ambassadors from Kuwait, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar and Bahrain. (IANS)