Never miss a story

Get subscribed to our newsletter

Photo by Flickr

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone of the 600 MW ultra-mega solar park and inaugurate the Arjun Sahayak irrigation project in Jhansi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone of the 600 MW ultra-mega solar park and inaugurate the Arjun Sahayak irrigation project in Jhansi on Friday.

The move seeks to convert the Bundelkhand region with abundant land and sunlight into a "solar power hub" in the state.

The Prime Minister will also inaugurate the Arjuna Sahayak irrigation project worth Rs 2,655 crore. This is a significant initiative to alleviate water distress in the districts like Mahoba, Hamirpur and Banda and to bring relief to the farmers of the state.

The megaproject on the river Dhasan will not only provide irrigation facilities to over 1.5 lakh farmers of about 168 villages of Mahoba, Banda and Hamirpur but will also facilitate the provision of clean drinking water (potable water) to over 4 lakh families residing in water-scarce regions.

The Arjun Sahayak Project will play an important role in benefitting the crop growers along with other projects.

The project, which started nearly a decade ago (2009-10), will not only make Bundelkhand green but its operationalisation will also help in irrigation of around 44,382 hectares of land in the districts of Mahoba, Hamirpur and Banda.

Along with this, 15,104-hectare irrigation capacity will also be restored. In addition, 20 MCM Drinking Water will also be available to Mahoba from the Kabrai Dam.

Nearly 1,49,755 farmers of 168 villages will be benefited

According to the government spokesman, the Arjun Sahayak Project, which was started in the year 2009-10 at a cost of Rs 850 crore, was to be completed in the year 2015.

However, due to the neglect of the previous governments, not only the completion of the project was delayed but also its cost was increased to Rs 2,655.36 crore.

The project will benefit nearly 1,49,755 farmers of 168 villages of Mahoba, Hamirpur and Banda.

The Bundelkhand region, for a long, has been facing acute water shortage where most wells and hand-pumps have dried up due to decreasing groundwater levels. The residents in the drought-prone regions have been forced to buy basic necessities such as drinking water.

To realise its vision of providing water to every needy through 'Per Drop, More Crop' and 'Har Khet Ko Paani', the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh has worked in a planned and phased manner since it gained power in the state.

The government not only began with proper and timely allocation of funds but also through regular monitoring of these projects the work has been completed in a time-bound manner.

In view of solving the water crisis in such regions, the government completed the Rasin Dam Project (Chitrakoot) Bandai Dam Project (Lalitpur) between March 1, 2020, to March 31, 2021.

In the coming days, projects like Kulpahar and Shahzad of Bundelkhand will serve as a model for the state. These are being connected to the sprinkler system. With this, more irrigation will be done in less water and the yield will also increase.

Besides the Arjun Sahayak Project, the Prime Minister will also lay the foundation of an ultra-mega solar park of 600 MW capacity in Jhansi.

The Prime Minister will lay the foundation stone of the Rs 400 crore project at Jhansi node of UP Defence Industrial Corridor. The project is being executed by Bharat Dynamics Ltd for setting up a plant to produce propulsion systems for Anti-Tank Guided Missiles.

He will launch the National programme of Simulation Training for NCC cadets with the aim to scale up simulation training facilities for all the three wings of NCC.

He will dedicate to the nation augmented reality powered electronic kiosks at the National War Memorial which will enable visitors to pay floral homage to martyrs through the simple click of the button.

The Prime Minister will set the BJP's election agenda in Bundelkhand through two public meetings in Mahoba and Jhansi.


Keep Reading Show less


Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the Centre has decided to repeal the three farm laws.

A little more than a year after they were passed followed by widespread agitation by farmers declining to accept them, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday announced that the Centre has decided to repeal the three farm laws.

Coinciding with the auspicious occasion of Guru Nanak Jayanti, Modi also announced that the constitutional process to repeal the laws would be taken up in the winter session of Parliament that begins on November 29 and appealed to the agitating farmers to withdraw their agitation and go back to their homes.

"It seems some of the farmers are still not convinced by our sincere efforts. We have decided to repeal the three farm laws. The constitutional process to repeal these laws would be completed during the Parliament Session that would start at the end of this month," Modi said, adding an apology in his address to the nation.

Modi also announced to form a committee comprising representatives of the Centre, state governments, farmers, agriculture scientists and agriculture economists to discuss how Minimum Support Price (MSP) can be made more effective, how zero budget farming can be promoted and how crop patterns can be changed in a scientific manner.

After they were passed in the monsoon session of Parliament, the President had given his assent to the three Farm Bills on September 27, 2020. The three Bills were Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 and Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill 2020.

Ahead of these becoming laws and soon after that, farmers across the platforms had embarked on agitation, some of them peaceful, some resulting in damage to the government property, including the riotous agitation at the Red Fort on January 26 earlier this year, and also including the loss of lives of more than 600 farmers at various places during the agitation.

Hundreds of these farmers -- most of them from western Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, and Haryana under the banner of Samyukt Kisan Morcha -- have been camping at various entry points to Delhi. They were not buying the Centre's argument that the three farm laws would bring in reforms in the agriculture sector and basically remove the intermediaries, because of which the small farmers will benefit.

After the farmers' agitation erupted, the Supreme Court had earlier in January 2021 stayed the three farm laws and appointed a committee, which had submitted its report, which is not yet made public.

The Prime Minister started his address, saying that the government's intention was pure, and it had brought the three farm laws hoping to benefit the farmers, especially the small land holding farmers. "Despite our efforts, despite efforts by agriculture economists and agriculture scientists, we failed to convince a section of the farmers about the sincerity of our efforts," he said.

"The objective of the three farm laws was that the farmers of the country, especially small land holding farmers should be strengthened, they should get right price for their produce and maximum options to sell the produce," he said.

He also listed a number of steps that have been taken by his government for farmers' benefits, including an increase in MSP and record procurement this year. "Beej, Beema, Bazar and Bachat (seeds, insurance, market availability and savings) are what we tried to bring for the small land holding farmers, many of whom supported our efforts. I am grateful to them," he said.

Rakesh Tikait of the Bharat Kisan Union (BKU), a prominent leader of the farmers' agitation, said, "Our agitation will not end soon. We will wait till the laws are repealed in the Parliament. We demand that the government discuss MSP and other issues with the farmers."

In a tweet, Rahul Gandhi said: "Congratulations its win against the injustice, the farmers of the nation have compelled the arrogant govt to bend down through satyagraha."

Congress leader Jairam Ramesh took to twitter to express solidarity with the farmers. "First, bulldoze laws in Parliament. Then face unprecedented protests. Thereafter, confront election realities in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, particularly. Finally, after much appeal, repeal. Kisan-ity prevails at last! I salute the tenacity of our kisans who did not give up," he said.

Former Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh too lauded the step and tweeted: "Great news! Thankful to PM Narendra Modi ji for acceding to the demands of every Punjabi & repealing the 3 black laws on the pious occasion of #GuruNanakJayanti. I am sure the central government will continue to work in tandem for the development of Kisan!" (IANS/JB)

Keywords: Farm Laws, India, Farmers, Gurupurab, Narendra Modi, Protests.

Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Rahul Gandhi said that “Hinduism” and “Hindutva”are two different terms.

After a controversy erupted over remarks made by senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid in his new book, 'Sunrise Over Ayodhya: Nationhood in Our Times', the Congress seems to have got into more trouble with Rahul Gandhi's saying that Hinduism and Hindutva are different things.

Speaking virtually at a party function, he said, "Is there something common between Hindutva and Hinduism? What is the difference between Hinduism and Hindutva. If they are the same, why do they have different names? Why then use the name of Hinduism, and not Hindutva."

He asked, "Is there something common between what Guru Nanak, Kabir, Gandhiji, and King Ashoka said about the Hindutva ideology?" The difference between Hinduism as we know it & Hindutva? Are they the same thing? Can they be the same thing? They are obviously two different things. "

Rahul Gandhi said the RSS has overshadowed the Congress ideology. "Today, whether we like it or not, the divisive, hateful ideology of the RSS-BJP has overshadowed the loving, affectionate, and nationalistic ideology of the Congress. We have to accept it. Our ideology is alive, it's vibrant, but it has been overshadowed. "

He said we have to train groups of people who have an understanding of the ideology and connect with the issues, and we have to explore, and understand, and develop a group of people who understand the difference between these and apply these differences to issues.

The debate on Hindutva is already in the public domain, and the Congress is facing flak from the BJP. A passage from a chapter titled 'The Saffron Sky' from Khurshid's book reads: "Sanatan Dharma and classical Hinduism known to sages and saints were being pushed aside by a robust version of Hindutva, by all standards a political version similar to the jihadist Islam of groups like ISIS and Boko Haram of recent years."

Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad disagreed and said in a statement, "We do not agree with Hindutva as a political ideology distinct from the composite culture of Hinduism, but comparing Hindutva with ISIS and Jehadi Islamists is factually wrong and an exaggeration."

Meanwhile, Vineet Jindal, a Delhi-based lawyer, on Thursday filed a complaint with the police against Khurshid for the remarks made in his book, demanding an FIR be lodged against Khurshid under Sections 153, 153A, 298 and 505(2) of the Indian Penal Code. (IANS/JB)

Keywords: India, Hinduism, Hindutva, Rahul Gandhi, Propaganda

Gambling has been around in the US since the beginning of the US, so some might wonder why it's a political issue now. It started with a 2018 Supreme Court ruling.

By- Chris Carter

Politics in the United States generates much talk these days, because it feels like everyone has very different opinions that they're all passionate about. Online gambling and sports betting are no exceptions. With recent laws around gambling changing, many states have chosen 2021 to enact their measures for legal online betting. These fast few are already seeing record profits while other states still deliberate the specifics. Still more states are completely opposed to gambling, or the Native American tribes that control casinos in their states are working to thwart the rise of online betting. Like all politics, it's a clash of ideals with no obvious answer.

Keep reading... Show less