Puneeth Rajkumar to be conferred Karnataka Ratna posthumously on 'Rajyotsava'

News Network
August 5, 2022

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Bengaluru, Aug 5: Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Friday said that Kannada film star Puneeth Rajkumar, who died last year, will be conferred with the 'Karnataka Ratna' award posthumously, on November 1, which happens to be Kannada Rajyotsava, the state's formation day.

He will be the 10th recipient of the state's highest civilian honour.

"We have decided to confer the Karnataka Ratna award to Puneeth Rajkumar on November 1, we will be forming a committee consisting of Rajkumar family members to prepare for it, it will be conferred with full honour," Bommai said. He was speaking after inaugurating the annual Independence Day flower show at Lalbagh's glass house.

This year's flower show pays a special floral tribute to Kannada thespian Dr Rajkumar and his son and actor Puneeth Rajkumar.

Considered the Kannada cinema's reigning star, Puneeth, the youngest of five children of Kannada matinee idol Dr Rajkumar, died of a cardiac arrest on October 29 at the age of 46.

The Chief Minister had made an announcement to confer the award on the late actor in November last year, at the ''Puneetha Namana,'' an event to pay homage to Puneeth Rajkumar, organised by the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce (KFCC), in association with Sandalwood film actors' and technicians' associations.

The Karnataka Ratna was last awarded to Dr Virendra Heggade for social service in 2009. Interestingly, Puneeth's late father Rajkumar is among the first recipients of the Karnataka Ratna award in 1992, along with poet Kuvempu.

Other recipients of the award are S Nijalingappa (Politics), CNR Rao (Science), Dr Devi Prasad Shetty (Medical), Bhimsen Joshi (Music), Shivakumara Swamiji (Social Service), and Dr J Javaregowda (Education & Literature).

Puneeth, popularly known as 'Appu' and 'power star' by his fans, made his debut on screen when he was just six months old and went on to win a national award as a child artiste for the film 'Bettada Hoovu'. He then re-emerge as a lead actor in 2002 and went on to star in 29 films, delivering some big hits.

Noting that the flower show has been on since 1922 and attracts a large number of people, Bommai said this being the 75th year of India's Independence it has a special significance and from tomorrow lakhs of people will be coming for next ten days to witness the show.

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News Network
November 26,2022

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Four-times champions Italy are not in this year's World Cup in Qatar, marking the second time in a row that the 'Azzurri' will miss the tournament. Here's what you need to know about the European Champions' failure to qualify:

How did Italy's World Cup qualification campaign unfold?

* Italy were drawn in Group C of the UEFA World Cup qualification round along with Switzerland, Northern Ireland, Bulgaria and Lithuania.

* The pressure was high on coach Roberto Mancini and the squad as Italy failed to qualify for the World Cup in Russia four years earlier.

* They started with three consecutive wins against Northern Ireland, Bulgaria and Lithuania before taking a break for the European Championships last year.

* After winning the tournament, they drew twice in a row to Bulgaria and Switzerland, before claiming a 5-0 win at home against Lithuania.

* With two games left, Italy appeared to be in pole position to secure qualification, but drew 1-1 with Switzerland to leave both teams on equal points before the last round.

* Four months after their Euro 2020 success, Italy's 0-0 draw in Northern Ireland meant Switzerland finished top of their World Cup qualifying group after a win over Bulgaria, sending Mancini's side to the playoffs.

How did the World Cup playoffs unfold for Italy?

* Italy were on course to meet Portugal in the deciding playoff tie, but they missed out on the World Cup finals after losing 1-0 at home to North Macedonia thanks to Aleksandar Trajkovski's last-gasp strike.

* North Macedonia progressed to the final, where they were beaten 2-0 by Portugal, who claimed the World Cup spot.

Why did Italy not qualify for the World Cup in 2018?

* Italy finished in second place of Group G in the qualification for the 2018 World Cup.

* They then failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time in 60 years after being held to a 0-0 home draw in 2017 by a defiant Sweden, who booked a place at the finals in Russia with a 1-0 aggregate win.

* The Italians, who had not missed the World Cup since the 1958 finals in Sweden, saw Andrea Barzagli, Daniele De Rossi and captain Gianluigi Buffon all declare their retirement from the national team right after the game.

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News Network
November 26,2022

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Beijing, Nov 26: China held a meeting this week with 19 countries from the Indian Ocean region in which India was conspicuously absent.

The China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA), an organisation connected with the Chinese Foreign Ministry held a meeting of the China-Indian Ocean Region Forum on Development Cooperation on November 21, in which 19 countries took part, according to a press release issued by the organisation.

The meeting was held in a hybrid manner under the theme of "Shared Development: Theory and Practice from the Perspective of the Blue Economy" in Kunming, Yunnan Province, it said.

Representatives of 19 countries, including Indonesia, Pakistan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Maldives, Nepal, Afghanistan, Iran, Oman, South Africa, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania, Seychelles, Madagascar, Mauritius, Djibouti, Australia and representatives of 3 international organisations were present, it said.

India was reportedly not invited, according to informed sources here.

Last year, China held a meeting with some South Asian countries on Covid-19 vaccine cooperation without the participation of India.

CIDCA is headed by Luo Zhaohui, the former Vice Foreign Minister and Ambassador to India.

According to the official website of the organisation, he is the Secretary of the CPC (the ruling Communist Party of China) Leadership Group of CIDCA.

CIDCA’s official website said the aims of the organisation is to formulate strategic guidelines, plans and policies for foreign aid, coordinate and offer advice on major foreign aid issues, advance the country's reforms in matters involving foreign aid, and identify major programmes, supervise and evaluate their implementation.

During his tour of Sri Lanka in January this year, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi proposed to establish a “forum on the development of Indian Ocean Island Countries.”

When asked whether the CIDCA meeting is the same that is proposed by Wang, the Chinese Foreign Ministry here has clarified to the media that the November 21 meeting was not part of it.

At the November 21 meeting, China has proposed to establish a marine disaster prevention and mitigation cooperation mechanism between China and countries in the Indian Ocean region, the CIDCA press release said.

China is ready to provide necessary financial, material, and technical support to countries in need, it said.

China is vying for influence in the strategic Indian Ocean region with substantial investments in ports and infrastructure investments in several countries, including Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

While China has established a full-fledged naval base in Djibouti, its first outside the country, Beijing has acquired the Hambantota port in Sri Lanka on a 99-year lease besides building the port at Pakistan’s Gwadar in the Arabian Sea opposite India’s western coast besides infrastructure investments in the Maldives.

The Chinese forum apparently is aimed at countering India’s strong influence in the Indian Ocean region where India-backed organisations like the Indian Ocean Rim Association, (IORA), which has a membership of 23 countries have taken strong roots.

China is a dialogue partner in the IORA formed in 1997.

IORA became an observer to the UN General Assembly and the African Union in 2015.

Besides the IORA, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has proposed “Security and Growth for All in the Region” (SAGAR) in 2015 for active cooperation among the littoral countries of the Indian Ocean region.

The Indian Navy-backed ‘Indian Ocean Naval Symposium’ (IONS) seeks to increase maritime cooperation among navies of the region.

Since the June 2020 Galwan Valley clash between Chinese and Indian armies, bilateral ties have been severely hit.

India has consistently maintained that peace and tranquillity along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) are important for the overall development of bilateral relations with China.

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News Network
December 6,2022

Bengaluru, Dec 6: With exit polls favouring the BJP retaining power in Gujarat, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Tuesday exuded confidence that the "pro-incumbency mandate" is likely in this poll-bound southern state.

He asserted that the saffron party will "cent percent" form the government in Karnataka once again, after the 2023 polls.

"People today support good governance and developmental works. It is very clear that there is no support for false and politically motivated allegations. In both states (Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh) our party will be victorious. The whole country is supporting Prime Minister Narendra Modi's leadership," Bommai said in response to a question.

Speaking to reporters here, he said this is not the first time there will be a pro-incumbency mandate in Gujarat, as BJP will be winning there for the seventh time. "This clearly shows that the people have strong faith in the BJP's governance, its leaders, and Narendra Modi's leadership," he added.

Exit polls on Monday predicted a big majority for the BJP in Gujarat and a dead heat in Himachal Pradesh, where most pollsters gave an edge to the ruling party over the Congress.

The counting of votes in both states will take place on December 8.

Elections for the Himachal Pradesh assembly took place on November 12, while polling in Gujarat happened in two phases on December 1 and 5.

Asked whether this pro incumbency mandate will repeat in Karnataka too, the Chief Minister said, "Of course, in Karnataka too there will be a good outcome, and as I have been saying- cent percent there will be a BJP government here once again in 2023."

Assembly elections are due in Karnataka in about 5 months.

The BJP in Karnataka has set a target of winning minimum 150 seats in 224-member assembly to regain power.

The Congress which is hoping to come to power in the state, has set a similar target, while former PM H D Deve Gowda's JD(S) is targeting 123 seats.

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