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“Padmavati” not to release before March, according to CBFC

The "Padmavati" team, which was hoping to get a quick censor clearance after the Gujarat elections may be in for disappointing news as it is said it would not be released before March.

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"Padmavati" not to release before March, according to CBFC. IANS

Mumbai, Dec 21, 2017: The Central Board of Film Certification is likely to appoint a panel of historians to watch “Padmavati”, after the makers of the movie stated that it was partially based on historical facts, according to sources.

The “Padmavati” team, which was hoping to get a quick censor clearance after the Gujarat elections may be in for disappointing news.

Source at the censor board said that the makers of “Padmavati” had “unnecessarily complicated its case” with an ambiguous disclaimer in its application for certification which stated that the film was partially based on historical facts.

“The content will now have to be scrutinised for authenticity,” the source said declining to be named. The film had earlier been sent back to the producers after it was found that the column for stating whether it was a work of fiction or was based on historical facts was left blank.

There were protests against the movie by some fringe Hindutva outfits which said it was “insulting to Rajput pride.” Several politicians then weighed in saying they won’t allow the release of the movie in Rajasthan.

The source in the CBFC said that “Padmavati” could only be certified in January, since December was almost over. “We have not scheduled the film. There are at least 40 feature films in different languages waiting in the queue before “Padmavati”,” the source said.

Because of the year-end, some board members were on holiday and a few others had called in sick. “Forget about appointing a panel of historians, we don’t even have a normal Examining Committee to view all the films,” the source said.

“Even by conservative estimates the film won’t be certified before the second week of January. I don’t think they can release the film before March or April. That is, provided the CBFC clears the film without any objection,” the source said. (IANS)

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PM Narendra Modi Launches Plan to Tackle Water Shortage in India

Modi Unveils Plan to Tackle Water Shortages in India's Heartland States

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PM Modi
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks to the media inside the parliament premises on the first day of the winter session in New Delhi, India. VOA

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday launched a 60-billion-rupee ($842 million) plan to tackle water shortages in the country’s seven heartland states where agriculture is a mainstay.

India, the world’s second-most populous country, faces the worst long-term water crisis in its history as demand outstrips supply, threatening farm output and overall economic growth in Asia’s third-largest economy.

Almost every sector of the $2.6 trillion economy is dependent on water, especially agriculture, which sustains two-thirds of India’s 1.3 billion people.

“Water shortages in the country not only affect individuals and families; the crisis also has an effect on India’s development,” Modi said. “We need to prepare the new India to deal with every single aspect of the crisis.”

The plan launched by Modi would help replenish ground water and boost overall availability in Rajasthan, Karnataka, Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat states, which produce staples such as rice, wheat, sugar and oilseeds.

PM Narendra Modi
The plan launched by Modi would help replenish ground water. Wikimedia Commons

India is the world’s leading producer of an array of farm goods, and nearly 60% of the irrigation for agriculture comes from ground water, mainly through electric water pumps. Subsidised electricity gives farmers an incentive to pump out more water, a key reason behind fast-depleting water tables in the vast country.

Supplying clean drinking water to millions of poor people and reviving moribund irrigation projects were a key part of Modi’s policies for India, where the monsoon accounts for nearly 70% of the annual rains needed to water farms and recharge aquifers and reservoirs.

Nearly half of India’s farmland, without any irrigation cover, depends on annual June-September rains to grow a number of crops.

Drinking water is also an issue, as about 200,000 Indians die every year due to inadequate access to safe water and 600 million face high to extreme water stress, according to the National Institute for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog, a think tank chaired by Modi.

According to UK-based charity WaterAid, about 163 million people in India — roughly 12% of the population — do not have access to clean water close to home.

Also Read- 45% Indians Feel that Enough Steps are Not Taken for Women’s Safety: Survey

Every summer water shortages tend to be more acute in large cities such as the capital New Delhi, Chennai — a car-making center dubbed “India’s Detroit”, and Bengaluru, the country’s software capital.

Modi also exhorted farmers to increasingly adopt drip and sprinkler irrigation and use water-management techniques as well as eschewing water-guzzling crops such as rice and sugar cane. (VOA)