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New Delhi: Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Wednesday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and submitted a memorandum of demands, including continuation of the special category status for the northeastern state and release of central funds.
“Special category status is needed for all backward states in the country,” Gogoi said at a press conference later in connection with the memorandum.
“We used to get funds that were needed for development works,” he said.
But now the Center has stopped the special category status for all eight northeastern states — Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura — besides Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, he said.
“Under the status, there were some schemes that were 100 percent centrally funded while most were under the 90:10 funding pattern,” Gogoi said.
“Now that has been changed to 50:50 in some cases and 70:30 in others. There is no 100 percent centrally funded scheme,” he said, adding that he had brought this to the notice of both Modi and union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley more than once.
The Assam chief minister said 12 programs, components or schemes which received budgetary support from the Center till 2014-15, have now been completely delinked from central support.
“The estimated impact of this delinking would be Rs.4,051.64 crore (Rs.40.5 billion) which would increase the state’s burden to Rs.2,500 crore,” he said.
He said he also brought to the prime minister’s notice the decrease in fund flow from the Non-lapsable Central Pool of Resources (NLCPR) under the Ministry of Development for North Eastern Region (DoNER) and from the North Eastern Council (NEC).
“In 2013-14, the release to Assam under the NLCPR was Rs 237.14 crore, while the NEC released Rs 118.11 crore. However, in 2014-15, Assam received only Rs 151.15 crore under the NLCPR and only Rs 71.84 crore from the NEC,” Gogoi stated.
In the current financial year, till October, he said the amount has been reduced to a mere Rs 63.52 crore.
Gogoi also said Assam suffered a huge loss of revenue income due to a payment of royalty on crude oil on post-subsidized/discounted prices.
“This resulted in a cumulative loss of revenue income of Rs 10,000 crore for Assam since 2008-09,” he said.
Though Gujarat too faced the same problem, the western state moved court and from February 1, 2014, has been getting a royalty from the ONGC on pre-discounted price, the Assam chief minister said.
As for floods and erosion, he said that the state government earlier submitted a memorandum estimating an amount of Rs 1,915.15 crore for the repair of damaged houses and infrastructure in the 2014 floods.
An additional amount of Rs 619 crore would be required on account of rescue and relief operations, he said.
“The union government has not released the amount, except for Rs 430.97 crore as central share of SDRF (State Disaster Relief Fund),” Gogoi said, adding that when more funds were required these were released from the National Disaster Relief Fund.
With China building several dams over the river Brahmaputra in the Tibet region, he said he urged the prime minister to take up the issue with Beijing so that the flow of the river did not get altered.
In his memorandum, he also sought the revival of the North East Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy (NEIIPP).
“Under the NEIIPP, several subsidies were given to industries set up in the region. Now they have suspended that too.”
Gogoi’s demands in the memorandum on infrastructure in the state include completion of the East-West Corridor, the railway line from Silghat to Balipara via Tezpur with a railway bridge over the Brahmaputra, doubling of railway lines, and preparation of a comprehensive inland water development project with the assistance of the World Bank.
The Assam chief minister also extended his support to the demand of the Koch Rajbongshi, Tai-Ahom, Chutia, Moran, Motak and tea, and ex-tea garden communities to be included in the list of Scheduled Tribes.
Gogoi also urged Modi to have the National Skill Development Corporation augment and strengthen its organization in Assam.
With Assam, along with Meghalaya, set to host the 12th South Asian Games next year, he said his government had submitted to the Centre a demand of Rs 141.73 crore for a smooth and successful conduct of the Games.
“However, the state has received only Rs 22 crore leaving a balance of Rs 119.03 crore,” he said.
Earlier on Wednesday, Gogoi, along with three incumbent Congress MPs from Assam and some ex-party MPs staged a demonstration in front of the parliament in support of the demands. (IANS)
(Photo: Taazi News)
Fashion's biggest extravaganza, The Met Gala 2021, made a comeback with a vengeance after a skip in 2020 due to the pandemic. The theme for this year's gala was 'In America: A Lexicon of Fashion', and as usual in attendance were a long list of celebrities including actors, musicians and sportpersons. Many fashion houses and celebrities chose to dazzle with the dark side of fashion as capes, leather, face masks and all kinds of drama unfolded at the event, as black ruling the red carpet with its darker vibe.
Met Gala regulars like Jennifer Lopez, Rihanna, Sharon Stone, Emily Blunt, Irina Shayk, Gigi Hadid and the Kardashian-Jenner siblings were spotted alongside debutantes like 18-year-old British tennis star Emma Raducanu who recently won the US Open, Rose Leslie from 'The Game of Thrones', gymnast Nia Dennis and Justin and Hailey Beiber who walked the Me carpet together for the first time.
The event is hosted by Vogue's Dame Anna Wintour and is held annually at The Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Here's a look at some of the stars who chose to walk on the darker side:
The event is hosted by Vogue's Dame Anna Wintour and is held annually at The Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art in New York City. | IANS
Keywords: Jennifer Lopez, Rihanna, Sharon Stone, Emily Blunt, Irina Shayk, Gigi Hadid, the Kardashian-Jenner, Emma Raducanu, Met Gala
Many young and middle-aged people today are dying of sudden heart attacks. Studies show that cardiovascular diseases (CVD) strike Indians a decade earlier compared to their Western counterparts. Why is this happening? How can we prevent it? Are we just focused on post-heart attack action? Or should we be focused more on prevention?
Luke Coutinho, Holistic Lifestyle Coach -- Integrative and Lifestyle Medicine shares an input that could prevent heart attacks at a young age:
Cholesterol is not the culprit, inflammation is: Many people believe that high levels of cholesterol and triglycerides are the sole culprits behind their heart attacks. The main reasons behind most heart attacks are inflammation and oxidative damage in the heart, blood vessels, endothelial lining, arteries, and more. While maintaining healthy cholesterol levels is important, we cannot blame heart attacks on cholesterol levels alone. What then can you do to keep inflammation in check and your heart strong? Adopt simple lifestyle changes.
Many people believe that high levels of cholesterol and triglycerides are the sole culprits behind their heart attacks. | Flickr
Switch from ordinary substandard cooking oils to cold-pressed oils: Refined oils are highly inflammatory and a threat to your heart. Using refined oils just to save some money isn't a wise idea. Choose the right quality and quantity of oil to boost your heart health. It might cost you a few extra bucks, but remember, your health is not a cost but an investment.
Refined oils are highly inflammatory and a threat to your heart. Using refined oils just to save some money isn't a wise idea. | Photo by Ashwini Chaudhary on Unsplash
Switch from a sedentary lifestyle to an active one: Even if you don't engage in a full-fledged workout, just stay active. Walking and yoga are the most effective exercises. Choose fun workouts that you enjoy -- dancing, aerobics, Zumba, swimming, whatever it is, but keep that body moving. People who live a sedentary lifestyle are at high risk of heart attacks. Having said that, over-working out with little orno rest or recovery period is equally harmful. So, figure out the adequate level of activity your body needs and stick to it.
Even if you don't engage in a full-fledged workout, just stay active. Walking and yoga are the most effective exercises. | Photo by Peter Conlan on Unsplash
Don't take matters to your heart: Before renting out your heart space and mind space to a person, event or experience, ask yourself if it is worth it. While stress is inevitable, what sets a happy person apart from a stressed person is their capacity to diffuse and navigate stress and see things in a positive light. You can continue attending stress management classes and workshops, and while all of them can help you feel better for some time, the real change happens when you start changing your perspective towards life and how you relate to stress.Learn to accept and let go. Build your self-worth, create a beautiful inner world, reflect inwards, and allow these teachings to slip into your daily living.
Before renting out your heart space and mind space to a person, event or experience, ask yourself if it is worth it. |cPhoto by Tim Gouw on Unsplash
Fix your sleep routine: There is nothing cool about pulling an all-nighter to work or socialize more. Your body only cares about survival. Remember, your sleep is your heart's free drug. The chronic deprivation of it can increase your risk of a heart attack. Your heart is a muscle that needs recovery. Lack of sleep increases your insulin resistance and makes you more prone to type-2 diabetes and a gamut of metabolic conditions. So, adopt a fixed sleeping schedule and sleep deep.
There is nothing cool about pulling an all-nighter to work or socialize more. | Photo by Tetiana SHYSHKINA on Unsplash
We cannot wait for more misfortunate incidents to realize the importance of lifestyle and start prioritizing it. We must wake up and work towards prevention. Many of us may go through heart disease later in life, no matter how well we exercise or eat clean. So, identify risk factors and work towards tackling them. Even if one of your risk factors is genetic predisposition and there is nothing you can do about it, you can still alter your lifestyle. Our intelligent human body was designed to fix and heal itself. The least we can do is invest in it and help it do its job effectively. Lifestyle can help you bridge this gap.
(Article originally written by: N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe) (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: lifestyle, heart, oil, stress, sleep, human, body, health, heart attack
When it comes to burgers, its not just the patty that makes it all worthwhile... one can't forget the cheese or the crunchy lettuce either. In India, McDonald's ensures their burgers use the freshest produce, which means that don't use any ordinary lettuce. The iceberg variety was first introduced in India by McDonald's, as early as the 90s, at a time when not many people were familiar with lettuce and used cabbage instead. Lettuce is a key ingredient known for its crunch, its odourless and is ideal for salads, sandwiches and burgers.
The fast food giant collaborated with local Indian suppliers and pioneered the local production of iceberg lettuce in the country. Their lettuce undergoes 30 quality and food safety checks. After harvesting, the lettuce is pre-cooled to a temperate of below 40C at the farm gate to maintain its freshness. It is then transported in refrigerated vehicles to the world-class processing plant where it is shredded to a measured length and width and then washed and cleaned thoroughly before being vacuum-packed.
The fast food giant collaborated with local Indian suppliers and pioneered the local production of iceberg lettuce in the country | Photo by amirali mirhashemian on Unsplash
Today, the lettuce that goes into your favourite burger is produced at a pristine height of 10,000 feet under the rain shadow areas of the Himalayas in the Manali and Lahaul districts. Over the last 15 years, the farm base that produces lettuce for McDonald's menu items has grown from 5 acres to more than 100 acres. The process for growing lettuce is very rigorous and thoroughly monitored starting with the selection of seed variety, nursery production, fertigation, integrated pest management and post-harvest technology. Over the years, the company has continued to engage with local suppliers in good agricultural practices, meeting the Gold Standards of food safety and hygiene. It has transferred global best practices in irrigation, pest control, seed selection benefitting nearly 250 small and marginal farmers across the country. These practices ensure the right conditions for the iceberg lettuce to grow.
With over 60 years of experience in developing the best quality standards for the industry to follow, it continues to build and strengthen the foundation of good food practices and knowledge transfer, while serving great-tasting menu items at a value to its customers. "At McDonald's, we are committed to offering great tasting food using high quality ingredients to our customers. To offer the best to our esteemed customers, we take extra care in ensuring that the highest levels of hygiene and food safety are maintained at every step of how our food is produced, where its ingredients are sourced from and how it is processed . We are committed to responsible sourcing and supporting farmers community growing lettuce for us." said Rajeev Ranjan, COO, McDonald's India , North and East.
(Article originally published on IANSlife) (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: burger, india, lettuce, McDonalds, locals, North, East