New Delhi, May 23, 2017: After assisting the government in printing and transporting new currency notes, the army will now help with the disposal of old notes that went back to the banks after demonetisation.
According to army sources, the government has asked for “15 teams from the army for currency verification”. However, the official did not reveal the exact number of soldiers to be involved in the task.
It was also not clear what method of disposal was to be used. “The deployments will be completed by May 26,” an official said.
The official denied that army soldiers were to guard the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
According to information provided by the government in a written reply to Lok Sabha, on the day demonetisation was announced, there was around Rs 8,58,253 crore in currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 6,85,782 crore in Rs 1,000 notes.
While the RBI has not released any figure on how much of the old currency notes have come back to the banks, it is estimated that around Rs 15 lakh crore has been returned. This is around 95 per cent of the old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes that were in circulation.
Post-demonetisation, as new notes of Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 were printed, the Indian Army was called to assist at the banknote printing presses due to the shortage of personnel to man the facilities round the clock.
Indian Air Force had transported over 600 tonnes of new currency after demonetisation, using its C-130s and C-17 aircraft.
On November 8, 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the spiking of higher value notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000. (IANS)
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday informed that a corridor of medicinal plants would be created on the banks of the Ganga and for this National Medicinal Plants Board (NMPB) would identify 800 hectare of land near the river.
It forms an important part of a slew of initiatives announced by the minister towards development of agricultural infrastructure, capacity building, logistics and legislative reforms.
The NMPB has supported 2.25 lakh hectare area under cultivation of medicinal plants. Now, 10,00,000 hectares will be covered under herbal cultivation in next two years with the outlay of Rs 4,000 crore.
The move is expected to lead to Rs 5,000 crore income generation for farmers. It will also develop a network of regional Mandis for medicinal plants. (IANS)
How many of us remember the names of the army officers who lost their lives while serving the nation? How many of us remember the sacrifices made by our defense forces and their families to protect us? How many of us remember the horror tales of the terrorist attacks on national borders? Hardly a few of us. We tend to forget the sacrifices, the immense bravery, and the spirit of the officers who lay down their lives fighting for the country.
It’s not been long since we faced a terrorist attack. In the late hours of May 2, an Indian army colonel, a major, two soldiers, and a Jammu and Kashmir police sub-inspector carried out one of the deadliest operations in Handwara. A 12-hour long operation to avoid a hostage situation cost us the lives of the brave hearts of India. Two terrorists were also neutralized in the encounter as per a statement released by the Indian Army.
Colonel Ashutosh Sharma, Major Anuj Sood, Jammu, and Kashmir police Sub-Inspector Sageer Ahmed Kazi, Lance NK Dinesh, and NK Rajesh lost their lives in a gunbattle with terrorists in North Kashmir. Just a few days have passed by and it seems like everyone has forgotten their sacrifice.
Why is it so, that we tend to normalize martyrdom of soldiers? It requires immense bravery and courage to serve the country without fearing death. Then why do we forget their sacrifice in a few seconds?
No, their job is not to die, but to fight for the nation and protect us. And when they lose their lives while protecting us, it is a great loss. The loss is as big as a celebrity death. When a legendary actor dies, the whole nation mourns. On the other hand, when a soldier is martyred, it is just a matter of a few minutes, and very quickly, we move on.
Are real-life heroes not as important as reel life heroes? And if not, then why? The soldiers, standing on the borders, protecting us all including the reel life heroes are as important as any other celebrity. They are the pride of this nation. They undergo harsh living conditions and circumstances just to make sure that none of us suffers or dies. Like us, they too have families whom they have to leave back at home to protect us.
Many families lose their sons, fathers, and brothers. These families wait endlessly to meet their loved ones who serve the nation, they spend countless nights worrying, and then one sudden day they have to face their worst fear of losing that member of the family. Women are widowed, children and parents are devastated, but they all are proud. And so are we.
Terrorist attacks on the borders are not given any importance as compared to the terrorist attacks in cities. My question is why? Yes, in cities civilians are involved and a huge number of people die but the same happens when terrorist attacks take place on the borders of the nation. The soldiers are martyred. Then why do we overlook the news of terrorist attacks on the army?
This shows how we have normalized martyrdom of soldiers in our lives. Their sacrifice is overlooked as we tend to think that it’s a part of their job, but it isn’t. They don’t stand on the borders to die. They stand there to fight till the end, to bravely face the enemy and to protect the nation and its citizens. It is their love and passion for the country and their bravery that makes them what they are. They deserve all the respect and appreciation, which we fail to deliver.
Appreciation is not something which our respected soldiers demand, it is something which they deserve.
The least we can do is to acknowledge their bravery, courage, and sacrifice, and pay homage to them and always remember the tale of their bravery.
My homage to the brave hearts and may God give strength to their families.
Nine in ten urban Indians (89 percent) picked banks as the most essential service during the lockdown from a list of businesses providing non-essential goods and services. Respondents who are 40+ were more likely to say this than those between 18-29 years of age (91 percent vs 86 percent), says a survey.
Following this, around three-quarters (74 percent) think of online home repair services to be crucial during this time. The onset of summer and the need for AC and fridge servicing could be the reason for placing greater importance on this need, notes a survey by YouGov.
Many people consider newspapers and magazines as well as pet stores to be of higher importance (61 percent each) in the current scenario than the availability of alcohol- through delivery or at shops (16 percent) and cigarettes (12 percent). However, among the different regions, East India is most likely to consider alcohol and cigarette shops as providing essential services, with 24 percent and 17 percent, respectively, saying this.
Residents of South India are most likely to give newspapers the highest consideration while residents of West India are least likely to do so (68 percent vs 49 percent). The demand for pet stores, however, is comparatively lower in South India. Similarly, the need for pet stores and services is more urgent for tier-1 residents (with 66 percent saying this) than tier-2 (57 percent) and tier- 3 (59 percent) residents.
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The Home ministry’s decision to cancel the permission to sell non-essential commodities on e-commerce platforms may add to the disappointment of many who consider the online sale of kitchen appliances (40 percent), gadgets (33 percent) and body care/ skincare products (35 percent) as essential.
There also seems to be scepticism towards some businesses that the government has allowed to trade during the pandemic. While 60 percent said they consider postal and courier services essential, people seem to be in a less dire need of local standalone salons and parlours, and only a meagre proportion counts salon services – either at home (15 percent) or at shops (13 percent), as eessential’.
Lastly, the government’s dilemma to revoke the restriction on the operation of gyms and fitness centres seems to match the divided public opinion on whether it is essential or not. Close to half (46 percent) think of them as key services, but almost as many (54 percent) feel they are unnecessary.
At an overall level, people seem happy with the availability of essential items in the lockdown, with 76 percent respondents saying they are satisfied with the available essential services and don’t want any more amenities. 17 percent, on the other hand, are dissatisfied with the services and want more amenities during the lockdown.