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Opposition in Rajya Sabha Denied Other Backward Classes (OBC) Rights: PM Narendra Modi

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Narendra Modi. Wikimedia

New Delhi, April 13, 2017: Prime Minister Narendra Modi had accused on Wednesday of opposition parties of denying backward castes their rights by blocking the passage of a bill, which accords constitutional status to the OBC commission, in the Rajya Sabha.

According to the bill, the new body NCSEBC will replace the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC). Once the Bill becomes law, states will not be able to add or delete castes from the backward classes’ list without Parliament’s approval, mentioned PTI reports.

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Modi had expressed surprise at the stand of the opposition as members of all parties had been urging him for bringing the legislation, the BJP said in a statement after its OBC MPs thanked him in Parliament for passage of the bill in the Lok Sabha.

Modi had told them, “The bill was passed unanimously in the Lok Sabha but blocked in the Rajya Sabha (by opposition parties). Denying the backward sections their rights with such negative politics is regrettable”.

“As an MP it is your moral responsibility to make the people from backward classes aware about this legislation and organize programmes for the same”, Modi had urged other BJP OBC MPs and had asked them to reach out to their counterparts in all other parties and convince them to support this bill.

Noting that the satisfaction one gets by working for poor is uncomparable to anything else, Modi told party MPs that people from the backward castes have self-respect and would never forget generosity.

Emphasising on the need to ensure easy credit for the poor, the Prime Minister said to keep these people away from the clutches of moneylenders the MPs should promote Bhim application among people.

The OBC MPs of the BJP had gathered to thank the Prime Minister for passage of the bill in the Lok Sabha which seeks to create National Commission for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (NCSEBC), with judicial powers and constitutional status.

Modi also asked the MPs to make backward classes aware about the bill and how it would be a game changer in their lives.

The Rajya Sabha had yesterday referred the Constitution (123rd) Amendment Bill, 2017, which has already been passed by the Lok Sabha, to the Select Committee under pressure from the opposition. The ruling NDA does not have a majority in the House.

The committee that will examine the bill will be headed by BJP member Bhupender Yadav. It has been asked to submit its report by the last day of the first week of the next session.

The 25-member Rajya Sabha Select Committee includes Sharad Yadav, Ram Gopal Yadav, Satish Mishra and Praful Patel.

– Prepared by Upama Bhattacharya. Twitter @Upama_myself

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Build Bridge between Artificial Intelligence, Human Intentions: PM Modi Urges Technocrats

Observing that there is a conspiracy to present technology as a challenge for India's demographic dividen

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Modi, Human, AI
He said the emphasis should be on ways to upgrade skills as per the demand. "Let AI be just another aid, which is little more sophisticated," he said. Pixabay

Stressing integration and right balance between human and artificial intelligence (AI), Prime Minister Narendra Modi here on Sunday said the debate on AI should focus on bridging the gap between human intentions and AI, and not its likely negative impact.

Speaking at the launch of book ‘Bridgital Nation’, written by N. Chandrasekaran and Roopa Purushottam, Modi said, “The debate should not be on what are the dangers from AI, but how to bridge the gap between artificial intelligence and human intentions.”

He said the emphasis should be on ways to upgrade skills as per the demand. “Let AI be just another aid, which is little more sophisticated,” he said.

Observing that there is a conspiracy to present technology as a challenge for India’s demographic dividend, he said, “Human intentions and right intentions” were important for AI’s operations. Technology and talent were force multipliers, rather than a threat, he said. Technology was a bridge between aspirations and achievements, he added.

Modi, Human, AI
Speaking at the launch of book ‘Bridgital Nation’, written by N. Chandrasekaran and Roopa Purushottam, Modi said, “The debate should not be on what are the dangers from AI, but how to bridge the gap between artificial intelligence and human intentions.” Pixabay

The Prime Minister narrated how technology had been a key component of government schemes to reform, transform and perform. He mentioned about the use of data intelligence, digital mapping and real time monitoring in Ujjwala Yojana, which has transformed the lives of millions of women. He also talked about how technology had helped in empowering people through schemes, like Jan Dhan Yojana and Ayushman Bharat.

Modi said his government had used technology to remove silos among departments and build a bridge between supply and demand through innovative ideas, like the Government e-market Place (GeM). He explained how technology was used to create a robust startup system in the country, especially in tier 2 and 3 cities, which helped in development of a new ecosystem of startups.

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On the need to convert challenges posed by technology into opportunities, Modi cited the example of creation of India Post Payment Bank. The disruption caused by technology to the entire postal organisation had converted it into a tech-intensive banking system, benefiting millions through postal bank, he added. (IANS)