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New Delhi: A tableau of the Election Commission and a marching contingent of the French army will be among the firsts at this year’s Republic Day parade with the Indian Army dog squad also slated to make a return to Rajpath.

The French contingent, consisting of 100 French army personnel and 36 band members, will march on the 67th Republic day for the first time in history. Their position will be behind Param Veer Chakra, Ashok Chakra and Mahavir Chakra winners.


France’s President Francois Hollande will be the guest of honour at this year’s celebrations.

Trained dogs of the Indian army, including Labradors and German Shepherds, will march in the parade after 26 years.

“After 26 years, a dog contingent will be participating in the Republic Day parade.

“We (Ministry of Defence) hope that all these new additions will bring beauty and charm to the occasion,” said D. Mohanty, PRO (Defence).

This year a tableau on the Election Commission will take part in the parade depicting the large participation of people in elections.

The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment will present a tableau with its theme based on the 125th birth anniversary of India’s first law minister Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, who is regarded as the chief architect of India’s Constitution.

This year 23 tableaux will participate in the parade where the country will showcase its cultural diversity, development in science and technology and economic and military strength.

According to official, this year many states including Arunachal Pradesh, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala and Maharashtra will not participate in the tableaux. Delhi will also not be there.

Jammu and Kashmir will present its tableau on the economic transformation and natural environment.

The state’s tableau designer Ahmad Dhar said, “The state has seen turmoil. We want to show people different things about the Valley.”

Madhya Pradesh will feature the rare breed of white tigers. The state has one of the largest populations of tigers in the country.

Gujarat is also presenting a theme on wildlife as Asiatic lions of Gir forest will be highlighted in its tableau.

Bihar, in its tableau, will be showcasing the 1917 Champaran movement by Mahatma Gandhi whereas Karnataka will showcase the theme of coffee since the state counts among the top six coffee producers in the world.

Tamil Nadu will showcase the Toda tribe of Nilgiri district. The tribe is identified as one of the six primitive tribal groups of the state.

Tableaus from the Ministry of Communication and IT, Ministry of Panchayat Raj, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation and Ministry of New and Renewable Energy will also be a part of the Republic Day parade. (IANS)


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Dozens of female high school and university students in Afghanistan have joined vocational centers to learn tailoring and cosmetology

Dozens of female high school and university students in Afghanistan have joined vocational centers to learn tailoring and cosmetology as the women and girls have been banned from school and university since the Taliban took over the country, Tolo News reported.

According to these girls, sitting at home is very difficult for them, therefore they are willing to learn a profession.

"It has been a couple of months that we are at home since schools and universities were closed. We have to learn a profession or a job because we can't sit like this at home," said Samira Sharifi, a student.

"I want to learn a profession for my future to help my family, we want our schools to be opened so that we can carry on with our education," said Mahnaz Ghulami, a student.

Most of the trainees in the vocational centres are students of high schools and universities.

After the closure of high schools and universities across Afghanistan, Herat female students have started gaining vocational training in the province.

"We have decided to learn tailoring along with our education," said Shaqaiq Ganji, a student.

"It's necessary for every woman to learn tailoring to help her family and her husband, especially in this bad economic situation," said Laili Sofizada, a teacher.

Due to the closure of schools and universities, the number of students in vocational centers doubled compared to recent years, the report added.

"Our classes had the capacity of 20 to 25 students but we increased it to 45 students, because most of the students have lost their spirit, and their schools and universities have closed," said Fatima Tokhi, director of technical and professional affairs at the Herat department of labour and social affairs.

The Labour and Social Affairs department of Herat said the department is working to provide more opportunities for Herat girls and women to learn vocational training.

"The art and professional sector and the kindergarten departments have started their activities, we support them and supervise their activities," said Mulla Mohammad Sabit, head of the labour and social affairs of Herat.

During the past two months, most of the women and girls who worked in state and private institutions lost their jobs and are trying to learn handicrafts and vocational training. (IANS/JB)


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Prime Minister launched Pradhan Mantri Atmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana (PMASBY) from his parliamentary constituency of Varanasi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday launched the Pradhan Mantri Atmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana (PMASBY) from his parliamentary constituency of Varanasi which will be one of the largest pan-India schemes to strengthen healthcare infrastructure.

The Prime Minister said that the scheme, estimated to cost Rs 64,000 crore, would make the health infrastructure self-reliant.

"Aarogya concept is needed in everyone's life. We should invest the maximum in physical and mental wellness but, sadly this was not done in the post-Independence period. Due attention was not paid and those who were in power, kept the healthcare system deprived and lacking," he said.

Modi said that the middle-class groups and the poor were the worst sufferers in the absence of adequate facilities at the grassroots level.

"This mission will solve these problems. We are focusing on hill states like Uttarakhand and Himanchal Pradesh and also the northeast. We will address the gaps," he said.

The Prime Minister said that special attention would be laid on early detection and 125 districts will have referral facilities.

Secondly, testing would also be stepped up and 730 districts will get integrated testing laboratories.

He said that research centres will also be upgraded and four new National Institute of Virology units would be set up so that the country can be ready to deal with new viral issues and the pandemic.

He said that as the health infrastructure developed, it would generate new employment opportunities too.

The Prime Minister also announced new development projects worth Rs 5,200 crore for Varanasi.

He said that in the past seven years, Kashi had undergone a change with the building of roads, ghats, bridges, parking lots, and cleaning of the Ganga and Varuna rivers.

"This could have been done earlier but the previous governments lacked political will," he said. (IANS/JB)


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Central Vista- the new builddesign of Government of India.

The Supreme Court on Monday sought response from the Centre, within three days, on a plea challenging a notification for change in land use, which would deprive residents of Delhi a vast chunk of green space in the Central Vista area.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted before a bench headed by Justice A.M. Khanwilkar that he will seek instructions from the government. He added since the Prime Minister and Vice President's house is coming up there, therefore it would not be possible to have a recreational area in the vicinity.

After hearing arguments, the bench, also comprising Justice C.T. Ravikumar, posted the matter for further hearing on Friday.

The plea, filed by social activist Rajeev Suri, who had earlier challenged the project earlier citing an illegal change in land use and absence of environmental clearance, through advocate Shikhil Suri, contended that the Centre did, mala fide, issue a notification dated October 28, 2020, notifying the change in land use, which will deprive residents of Delhi a vast chunk of highly treasured open and green space in Central Vista area available for social and recreational activity.

The plea argued that this notification stands against Article 21 (Right to Life) in the right to the enjoyment of wholesome life. "Since the subject plot no 1 takes over spaces of a children's recreational park and bus terminal for public transport, heightened judicial scrutiny is required to cut through the well-disguised illegalities and infirmities to reach the violations of statutory laws," said the plea.

The plea sought the top court to issue directions to call records and quash the notification concerned issued by the Centre, through the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, and, also to prevent loss equities by staying activities such demolition of buildings, cutting of trees, excavation of land and other actions which may be irreversible.

The Central Vista redevelopment project, which covers a three-km stretch from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate in Lutyens' Delhi, at the cost of Rs 20,000 crore, where several government buildings -- including the Parliament House and ministry offices, will be rebuilt.

In January, this year, the Supreme Court had cleared the decks for the Central Vista project by upholding the environmental clearance and the notification for change in land use. (IANS/JB)

Keywords: India, Government, Central Vista, Supreme court of India.