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After completing 21 years as the Chief Minister of Odisha in March this year, 75-year-old Naveen Patnaik continues to be one of the most popular Chief Ministers in India.
Naveen Patnaik, son of Biju Patnaik, a two-time Chief Minister and a prominent leader in Odisha, founded the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) after the demise of his father in 1997. After the formation of the party in the name of his father, the BJD went on to win all the elections in the state, first in alliance with the BJP and later on its own from 2009 onwards.
The junior Patnaik has formed a record of being the longest-serving Chief Minister in the country.
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The BJD has remained as one of the major forces in the state as it has won all the Assembly polls in the last two decades and bagged the state’s share of the Lok Sabha seats despite the Narendra Modi wave in 2014 and 2019.
Before entering into the fifth term in 2019, the junior Patnaik launched several schemes in the state which made him popular. And even after being elected for the fifth consecutive term, he launched many other schemes which have become popular with the people of Odisha.
When Naveen Patnaik became the Chief Minister in early 2000, the state was still recovering from the super cyclone of 1999 in coastal districts.
However, in the past two decades, natural calamity-prone Odisha has been hit by several cyclones, including cyclone Fani in 2019 but under Naveen Patnaik, the state has been equipped to face these disasters. The handling of the cyclones won national and international praise for him.
Odisha which earlier faced the ignominy of poverty and higher infant mortality rate, now has a stable government, steadily growing economy, record reduction in poverty, and doubling farmers’ income. The state has made its mark in the field of sports and tourism and is considered to be a highly desirable destination for investment.
Naveen Patnaik introduced the maximum number of social welfare measures in comparison to his predecessors. He launched schemes like rice at Rs 1 per kg for the poor to KALIA scheme for farmers which is equivalent to the Centre’s PM-KISAN scheme.
Through these schemes, the BJD government has tried to touch all sections of society besides taking care of other aspects of growth, including infrastructure to industrialization in the state.
According to state statistics, in the last several years the average growth of Odisha has remained about 8 percent compared to the national average of about 6.9 percent.
Earlier the state government has claimed that Odisha has emerged as the most favored investment destination.
The BJD government under Naveen Patnaik has also taken up the work of upgrading the health infrastructure in the state. One of the first AIIMS was set up in Bhubaneswar, and the state government has decided to transform the state’s oldest medical college at Cuttack into a state-of-the-art facility and turn it into an AIIMS Plus integrated medical institution with an investment of Rs 1,000 crore.
The BJD government has also set up four new medical colleges, and seven more are in the pipeline.
Under Naveen Patnaik, the state has managed to place itself on the sports map of the world after Hockey World Cup 2018 was held successfully at the Kalinga Stadium of Bhubaneswar.
What makes Naveen Patnaik more popular in the state among women are the initiatives that his government has taken to promote self-help groups. On International Women’s Day last year, Naveen Patnaik announced the creation of a new department ‘Mission Shakti’ for self-help groups. Three days before that he also announced the state government’s decision to provide 20 lakh concrete houses to rural poor in the next four years.
The BJD founder had recently also taken up the development of Puri, considered as the abode of the state’s presiding deity Lord Jagannath to transform it into a world heritage city with a total investment of Rs 3,208 crore.
Several leaders of the BJD said that the main thrust of the Naveen Patnaik government in his fifth term is citizen-centric governance and the focus is on 5 Ts — technology, transparency, teamwork, time, and transformation. (IANS/KB)
High drama was witnessed in Kanpur Dehat for over an hour when a man, upset over his wife's alleged affair with a local man, climbed the tower with his children and threatened to commit suicide. The incident took place on Monday near Gandhi Nagar in Akbarpur, when the man threatened to commit suicide after throwing his kids down from a height of nearly 40-feet. Chaos prevailed around the area and the locals informed the police that rushed to the spot.
After about half-an-hour of convincing, the police managed to bring him and his children down. The man told the police that his wife's affair was going on with his neighbor. He had complained to the police, but no action was taken. Police said that as per the man, his wife had developed an illicit relationship with a man, living nearby their house. "As per the man, in his absence, his neighbor visited his house often. He said that he had reprimanded his neighbor many times, but to no avail," said the police.
The man had complained to the police, but no action was taken. | Pixabay
The man had also lodged a complaint with the police but no action was taken. On the other hand, Akbarpur police said that on the basis of the complaint, action for breach of peace has been taken against the neighbor accused of luring his wife. Circle officer (CO) Akbarpur Arun Kumar said that the police are trying to sort out the issue. "Whatever action is appropriate will be taken," the official added. (IANS/SP)
(Keywords : Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, man, wife, alleged, affair, children, India, police, neighbor, complaint, suicide, accuse, drama.)
The US forces continued their bombardment of buildings and institutions in Syria's northeastern Hasakah province, as part of their alleged manhunt of Islamic State (IS) fugitives, state news agency SANA reported. The US forces are shelling buildings and public institutions on Tuesday in the vicinity of the Sina'a prison in the Gweiran neighborhood in Hasakah "on the pretext of hunting down IS militants who fled the prison," said SANA.
The Syrian Foreign Ministry has slammed the US airstrikes as civilian casualties have been reported. | Wikimedia Commons
The shelling came in tandem with waves of raids by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to homes in the surrounding areas, rounding up many civilians and taking them to unknown locations, the state news agency added. On January 20, IS inmates inside the Sina'a prison, which is controlled by the SDF, started a riot that was coordinated with IS militants from outside, who detonated the prison's gates with two booby-trapped vehicles, succeeding to free some prisoners.
The incident triggered clashes between IS and the SDF as well as US airstrikes on the areas, where the IS fugitives could have sought shelter in, Xinhua news agency reported. The clashes and airstrikes are still ongoing as the SDF has so far failed to contain the situation and storm the prison. The Syrian Foreign Ministry has slammed the US airstrikes as civilian casualties have been reported. Hasakah province is largely controlled by the US-backed SDF, while certain areas, particularly in the city of Qamishli, are still under the control of the Syrian government. (IANS/ MBI)
(Keywords: US forces, shelling, bombarding, syria, islamic state, civilian casualties, qamishli, tandem, syrian democratic forces)
The circulating avian influenza outbreaks, including in India, do not seem to pose the 'high' risk but surveillance and biosecurity measures are necessary to reduce spillover risk between poultry and wild birds, a UN-backed scientific task force said. Throughout the past autumn and current winter in the northern hemisphere, multiple avian influenza outbreaks, caused predominantly by the H5N1 HPAI virus, plus other subtypes, including H5N8, have occurred in India, the UK, the Netherlands and Israel with the ever recorded mortality of the Svalbard barnacle geese in Solway Coast.
The Scientific Task Force on Avian Influenza and Wild Birds, co-convened by the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) and the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), on Monday recommended that surveillance and biosecurity measures are reinforced to reduce spillover risk between poultry and wild birds. The Task Force has convened and produced recommendations and guidance for authorities and managers of countries affected or at risk. Wild birds, including globally threatened species, are victims of HPAI viruses causing avian influenza. Affected sites also include areas of international relevance for conservation such as protected wetlands.
More than 2,400 migratory water birds died in the Pong wetlands in Himachal last year because of avian influenza. | Unsplash
It is essential that authorities with responsibility for animal health apply the One Health approach for communicating and addressing avian influenza. That means recognising the health of humans, domestic and wild animals, plants, and the wider environment and acting with a coordinated and unified approach. The Task Force reminds authorities of their international obligations to ensure their response to the pathogenic virus does not include the culling of wild birds, nor actions that would cause damage to natural ecosystems, especially wetlands.
Ruth Cromie, who coordinated the work of the Task Force and the production of the statement, said: "Avian influenza represents a One Health issue threatening health across the board. The highly pathogenic viruses are still relatively new in wild birds and this winter's high levels of mortality remind us of their vulnerability and that working to promote healthy wildlife benefits us all." H5N1 is currently the avian influenza lineage most found in Africa and Eurasia in both poultry and wild birds. The wide range of wild birds affected include wildfowl, waders, gulls, cranes, grebes, herons, pelicans, gamebirds, corvids and raptors (diurnal and nocturnal), in addition to sporadic cases in mammals such as red fox (Vulpes vulpes), Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra) and harbor Phoca vitulina and grey seal Halichoerus grypus.
Consider occupational exposure, e.g. those working on poultry culling operations. | Unsplash
In terms of human health, the currently circulating H5N1 HPAI viruses do not seem to pose the same zoonotic risk as the 'original' Asian lineage H5N1 (clade 2.2 and their derivatives plus clade 184.108.40.206b H5N6 viruses currently in China). In general, the risk can be considered low, recognising that some agencies now consider occupational exposure, e.g. those working on poultry culling operations, as low or moderate. In India, several instances of bird flu were reported in 2021. More than 2,400 migratory water birds, and almost half of them being endangered bar-headed goose, died in the Pong wetlands in Himachal Pradesh last year and that avian influenza (H5N1) was the cause.
Besides the bar-headed goose, the other species that died were the shoveler, the river tern, the pochard and the common teal. An 11-year-old boy died at All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi last year due to avian influenza, country's first fatality. India reported the first outbreak of avian influenza in 2006. RSPB Scotland is calling for an emergency local moratorium restricting shooting on the Solway for the rest of the wildfowling season. It calls for urgent action to reduce the devastating impacts of avian influenza. New statistics from the most recent counts show that the UK is this winter experiencing the worst outbreak of this deadly disease on record, with migratory geese which 'over winter' on the Solway being the hardest hit.
According to RSPB Scotland, the latest population counts of the Svalbard barnacle goose show a drop in numbers from 43,703 in November last year to 27,133 in this month's count. This represents a decline of 38 per cent in the Svalbard breeding population of this species from winter 2020-21. CMS Executive Secretary Amy Fraenkel said: "Through late 2021 and early 2022 there have been numerous outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1, with severe impacts on migratory birds. "The CMS Secretariat responded by convening the Scientific Task Force on Avian Influenza and Wild Birds together with the FAO. We are pleased to share its advice and key recommendations for countries affected or at risk, and look forward to continuing our collaborative work to minimize risks to humans, poultry and wild populations of migratory birds." (IANS/SP)
(Keywords : avian, influenza, surveillance, United Nation, scientists, breeding, population, birds, affected, countries, poultry, migratory, health, issue, virus, responsibility, international, ecosystem.)