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Now, Centre and Delhi Government battle over city’s heritage status

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Amid the ongoing Turf War between the centre and the state government, another issue has come raging between the two.

This time, the issue is regarding the national capital’s chance to become the first ‘world heritage city’ in India, which was killed by the centre last Thursday. The UNESCO World Heritage website reads that Delhi’s Imperial Capital City nomination was withdrawn by the state party (permanent delegation of India to UNESCO) on May 21st.

Though the Central Government has withdrawn Delhi’s nomination for ‘World Heritage City,’ however, the national capital is still in the race of getting the ‘heritage’ tag next year.

On Thursday, the centre had pulled out the name of Delhi from the lists of ‘World Heritage City’ just a month before UNESCO was to review nominations from across the world.

“I have written to the central government asking them to reconsider their decision. It has taken a lot of time and effort to reach this far, and the heritage tag would be a matter of great pride. The nominated zones are a very small area. This will not impact development,” said Delhi Tourism minister Jitender Tomar.

The centre also expressed its concern over the fact that the ‘heritage tag’ could have made lots of restrictions on the city’s development project.

“The heritage tag will slower the development program in the national capital as it imposes lots of restrictions in bulldozing the ancient buildings. Delhi is a heritage city and has lots of edifices more than 500 years old,” said a minister of Central Government.

According to the sources, the Delhi Government has already spent Rs. 2 crore for the nomination.

“We have made our initial procedure. Now it is up to the center to change its decision,” said an AAP Party member.

The city’s nomination will be granted in June 2016 on the basis of a review report given by UNESCO at the end of December this year.

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Tourists Return to Venice as Italy Reopens Borders

International tourists start to return to Venice as Italy reopened its borders after the pandemic

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Tourists have slowly started to return to Venice after the pandemic. Pixabay

International tourists have started to return to Venice after Italy reopened its borders as the once worst-hit country recovers from the coronavirus pandemic as per Latest Travel News & Tourism News.

The city’s streets and squares were still relatively empty, highlighting the profound change for its 50,000 residents, reports Efe news.

Before the pandemic, Venice welcomes around 30 million people annually.

Shops, markets and restaurants have reopened after almost three months of lockdown.

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Since the relaxation of the quarantine measures a couple of weeks ago, the outdoor tables of the city’s cafes and restaurants had begun to come to life, mostly with locals and visitors from neighbouring towns and cities in the Veneto region.

Angela Barbato, an advisor at the Bel-Air Fine Art Gallery, says around 70 per cent of her clients are foreign.

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Before the pandemic, Venice welcomes around 30 million people annually. Pixabay

Also Read: A Healthy Conversation With Kids About Pandemic Induced Job Loss Maybe a Good Idea

While waiting for their return she has been responding to inquiries from callers in the US, Australia, Germany and other places asking when they can return to Venice.

“We are a group of international galleries and we already have loyal clients abroad and Venice is clearly a very international recruitment site,” she said.

The gradual return of foreign visitors has revived the local economy but also fuelled the anxiety of some residents who have become accustomed to a quiet and clean city and are afraid of a surge in mass tourism. (IANS)

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Sri Bhārata Māta Ashtottaram: 108 Sanskrit Mantras

Here are some mantras with detailed explanations for you to stay calm and maintain peace

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Indians we are very blessed to receive the spiritual wisdom of the ancient seers (rishis) of India. Pixabay

By Dr. Devakinanda Pasupuleti

In today’s environment where the views of western academics, a bias compounded by one-sided western news reports on India by the so called mainstream media and post-colonial Indologists with new ways of misrepresenting Sanskrit texts and Sanatana Dharma in what they pass on to students. It is utmost important and urgent task laid up on us to bring clarity to our youth about true Indian culture, traditions, and qualities that are unique only to India.

As Indians, we are very blessed to receive the spiritual wisdom of the ancient seers (rishis) of India that shaped our values, customs, traditions and culture for millennia. With that nostalgia in my mind, as a tribute to our motherland and with great enthusiasm I have written the qualities unique only to India as an ashtottarm (108 names). In today’s “modern” world, where the positive values are too often replaced with materialism, intolerance, violence, extremism, and terrorism; these mantras will help you stay calm and centered in face of adversity, and in the “little” moments. We can all find beauty, peace, strength everywhere we look—if we remember to look for it.

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The following mantra will help you stay calm and centered in face of adversity, and in the “little” moments.

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I have explained each mantra in detail and why Bharatamata deserves to be worshipped with that each mantra. I will publish one mantra at a time as a series over a period of time. If you, your family and children find these mantras very enlightening, my goal and aspiration will be accomplished.

Ashtottaram 1

1) OṀ BHĀRATABHŨMYAI NAMAH

ॐ भारतभूम्यै नमः

OM (AUM)-BHAA-RA-TA-BHOO-MYAI– NA-MA-HA

 (OṀ:  Praṇavanādam, name of God; Bhārata: Historical name of our country; Bhūmi: Land, country, Namah: Salutations)

 “Bharatah” in the Vedas,“Bhārata” in the Bhagavad Gīta- this familiar word has been around since ancient Vedic times. Our understanding is that the name – Bharata varṣha, came into usage because of the famous ruler Bharata. However, if we look into our history, we realize that there are different legends as to how the country got the name Bharata.

In the Vedas, the word Bharat means “ritual fire”. The phrase Bharat varamanatvāt bharatah means the Bearer and sustainer of fire and who gives pleasure. The eternal dharma in the creation is this fire -“Agni”.

“Bha”-means light, knowledge; and effulgence while, Rata-means curiosity, relish; and fond of. So Bharata means one who is fond of light and knowledge. That’s why, from ancient times, we offer prayers to the Sun God every morning- before dawn.

Jaḍa Bharata, a jnāni (the knower of the Absolute-the ‘Brahman’) and avadhūta (who was beyond worldly concerns) was the son of Rājaṛshi-VṛishabhaYogīswara. He ruled our land and according to the Bhāgavata Purāṇa, the country may have been named “Bharata Vaṛsha” and “Bharata Khanḍa” in his honour.

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The above picture shows Bhagavad Gīta in which Bharata is mentioned as “Bhārata”. Pixabay

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It is widely believed that our land was called “Bharata” after Lord Shri Rāmachandra’s youngest brother, who ruled it for 14 years.

Last, but not the least is the story of Ḋushyanta and Śhakunṫala in the Mahābhārata, written by Veḋa Vyāsa. Their son Bharata, (also called Sarvaḋamana, and Ḋouhitra) ruled our country and brought prosperity and peace to the land.

Whatever may be the reasons, the country we proudly call ours is -“Bhārata Bhūmi”.

[ Disclaimer: The pictures used in the article are supplied by the author, NewsGram has no intention of infringing copyrights. ]

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How COVID-19 is Reshaping Education in India?

Learning has shifted to virtual mode during the pandemic

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Education during the times of the pandemic is being delivered virtually. Pixabay

If there is one thing we have learned from the Coronavirus outbreak is that the future is unpredictable. In order to survive and thrive in the ever-changing world, we need to become more adaptive and innovative in every aspect of life. The wake of COVID-19 has coerced businesses, governments, education institutions and students, and almost every collective body to reinvent the ways they do things.

Schools and colleges were the first institutions that were locked down as soon as COVID-19 was declared a pandemic in India. This had an adverse effect on education in India. Amongst the additional concerns of learning of students, the virtual mode of delivering education has come to aid. Many online learning and training platforms in India have come forward with discounted or free access to their trainings. This is so that the school and college students could still continue learning courses of their syllabus as well as other necessary skills while staying at their homes.

E-learning has become a preferred way of learning among Indian students over the past couple of years. Though, it is still an optional way of learning for the Indian learning population. However, the sudden and unfortunate COVID-19 outbreak has turned it into a necessary mode of learning. It is allowing students to keep up their learning whether it is for school exams, semester finals, or competitive exams for college admissions, and jobs. E-learning is letting them study at their own pace and thus making productive use of their time at home.

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E-learning has become a preferred way of learning and education among Indian students during the pandemic. Pixabay

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Many schools and universities across India are also turning to online modes to deliver classes and lectures to their students. With support from technology, parents, faculty, and students, these institutions are making sure that the education is not hampered. They are continuing the classes online by live broadcasting or recorded videos, sharing homework and assignments over emails, and even helping students with their doubts through video mode. This mode of teaching and learning is not only limited to basic subjects but classes like physical education, yoga, dance, photography, and many more are also being taught through the same.

To fight this pandemic, a lot of universities across the world like Stanford University are also contemplating and planning to conduct ‘take-home examinations’ (Source), that is, arranging the examinations such that the students could take them from their homes only. This hasn’t been implemented in India yet; however, with the rising number of cases across India, the institutions may need to plan a similar mode of teaching and evaluating the students.

And, not just examinations, with the uncertainty around how long this situation may persist, students especially college going students may even miss out on doing industrial trainings, finding internships, and placement opportunities. To tackle the same, universities could make students aware or also arrange online internships and job fairs wherein the students could apply for the opportunities online. The corporate industry is equally affected by the COVID-19 outbreak and is switching to offline mode of hiring at the moment and are open to work-from-home options until the situation persists.

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Online Examinations or ‘take-home examinations’ are being conducted for students. Pixabay

The Indian education system has shifted to the online mode of education and all the stakeholders including educational institutions, teachers, students, and parents are welcoming it with open arms. Although this is so as to continue the teaching and learning until the pandemic situation lasts, the stakeholders are also learning and exploring new and efficient ways to continue the process of learning. This makes it highly probable that this mode of education would continue and there will be new such innovations in teaching methods even after the situation has improved.

Also Read: Can a Diabetes Patient Buy Health Insurance?

Someone has rightly said, “Problems are nothing but wake-up calls for creativity”. This unfortunate outbreak has propelled our education system to reinvent the way education is delivered and received. These difficult times are teaching us to be resilient in the face of hardships. Education in India is being reshaped out of necessity. We could either succumb to the changes or choose to see this as an opportunity to learn as well as teach the students various new skills like agility, adaptability, creativity, problem-solving, forward-thinking, flexibility in learning and performing various other tasks.

About the author: Sarvesh Agrawal is the founder and CEO of Internshala, an internship and training platform (internshala.com)