Wednesday November 21, 2018
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Beno Zephine: In a first, candidate with 100% visual disability set to join IFS

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Tamil Nadu: Beno Zephine, 25- year-old woman from Tamil Nadu, has become the first-ever 100 per cent visually challenged person to become an IFS officer. On 12th June, she was informed by the External Affairs Ministry, that she has been admitted into Indian Foreign Service.

“I am really thankful to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, for taking this big decision. I am told the IFS was not identified for the blind. They make certain exceptions for candidates with low vision,” Beno told a national daily.

“I am grateful that in order to give me the assignment, the central government has modified some parameters,” Beno added.

In 2014, she secured an impressive all-India 343 rank in the country’s most prestigious examination. However, her post remained pending for over a year.

Beno Zephine, completed her masters in English at Loyola College, and is now pursuing Ph.D. at Bharatiyar University.

As per a report by the Times of India, Beno transcended the dependence on Braille books by switching to Job Access With Speech (JAWS), a software that allows visually challenged to read from a computer screen, to scan Tamil and English books.

She wishes to meet PM Modi and Tamil Nadu’s Chief Minister Jayalalitha before joining the service.

“I want to seek their blessings and thank them for all the support”, she told the national daily.

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India Begins Its Election Season With Five States

The BJP has sent top leaders to campaign in Chhattisgarh.

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India, elections, vietnam
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi gestures as he addresses the gathering during the 'Global Mobility Summit' in New Delhi, India, VOA

India began on Monday the first of five state elections to be held in coming weeks, important tests for Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he plots a course that he hopes will ensure him victory in a general election due by May.

Voters in the central state of Chhattisgarh went to the polls on Monday to elect representatives for 18 of the state assembly’s 90 seats in a staggered poll complicated by logistical problems and left-wing guerrillas.

The state of about 26 million people has been ruled by Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) since 2003, and he will be hoping to hold on to power.

India, elections
Prime Minister Narendra Modi Continues To Stay Mum On The #MeToo Movement. Wikimedia Commons

“Some unholy people have handed guns to children who should have pens in their hands,” Modi told a rally in the state on Friday, referring to the rag-tag guerrillas battling government forces from forest hideouts. “They’ve finished the lives of our tribal children.”

Hundreds of election workers had to be flown in to remote polling stations by helicopter because of the danger posed by the rebels.

Modi called for voters to back his BJP and its vision of “development for all.”

The final phase of voting in Chhattisgarh, which is known for its coal, iron ore and bauxite reserves, will be on Nov. 20.

India,India, elections
India’s Congress party President Rahul Gandhi displays documents as he accuses Narendra Modi’s government of buying 36 Rafale fighter jets from France’s Dassault at a highly inflated price, in New Delhi, India. VOA

The BJP was the preference of about 43 percent of voters in Chhattisgarh, 7 percentage points ahead of the main opposition Congress party, according to a survey released last week by the Lokniti-Centre for the Study of Developing Societies.

Modi’s other big tests will be in the neighboring central state of Madhya Pradesh, where the BJP is slightly ahead of Congress, according to polls, and in the northwestern state of Rajasthan, where Congress is expected to emerge victorious.

A good performance by the BJP in the elections would help it deflect growing criticism over unemployment and a crisis in the countryside over falling farm prices and wages.

India, elections
Modi Appeals For A Regional Front Against Terrorism, flickr

Elections will also be held for assemblies in Telangana in the south and Mizoram in the northeast.

The BJP has sent top leaders to campaign in Chhattisgarh, including Yogi Adityanath, a firebrand Hindu priest and the BJP chief minister in Uttar Pradesh state.

Also Read: PM Narendra Modi Announces Easier Access to Credit

Adityanath has been appealing to the BJP’s Hindu-nationalist base and on Sunday accused the opposition of blocking construction of a temple for Hindu god Ram on a disputed site in Uttar Pradesh.

The destruction of a mosque on the site by a Hindu mob in 1992 sparked deadly riots across the country. (VOA)