Bharat Ratna for former PMs Narasimha Rao, Charan Singh, scientist MS Swaminathan

News Network
February 9, 2024

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday announced that former prime ministers PV Narasimha Rao and Chaudhary Charan Singh as well as agriculture scientist MS Swaminathan will be honoured with the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian award. 

The Centre had earlier announced the Bharat Ratna for Bharatiya Janata Party veteran Lal Krishna Advani and former Bihar chief minister Karpoori Thakur.

“Delighted to share that our former Prime Minister, Shri PV Narasimha Rao Garu, will be honoured with the Bharat Ratna. As a distinguished scholar and statesman, Narasimha Rao Garu served India extensively in various capacities. He is equally remembered for the work he did as Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Union Minister, and as a Member of Parliament and Legislative Assembly for many years. His visionary leadership was instrumental in making India economically advanced, laying a solid foundation for the country's prosperity and growth,” Modi said on social media X (formally Twitter).

“Narasimha Rao Garu’s tenure as Prime Minister was marked by significant measures that opened India to global markets, fostering a new era of economic development. Furthermore, his contributions to India's foreign policy, language and education sectors underscore his multifaceted legacy as a leader who not only steered India through critical transformations but also enriched its cultural and intellectual heritage,” the prime minister added.

Modi said the Bharat Ratna to Chaudhary Charan Singh dedicated to his incomparable contribution to the country.

“It is the good fortune of our government that former Prime Minister of the country Chaudhary Charan Singh is being honored with Bharat Ratna. This honor is dedicated to his incomparable contribution to the country. He had dedicated his entire life to the rights and welfare of farmers. Be it the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh or the home minister of the country and even as an MLA, he always gave impetus to nation building. He also stood firm against the Emergency. His dedication to our farmer brothers and sisters and his commitment to democracy during the Emergency is inspiring to the entire nation,” Modi posted on X in Hindi.

On MS Swaminathan, Modi said he made monumental contributions to the country in agriculture and farmers’ welfare.

“It is a matter of immense joy that the Government of India is conferring the Bharat Ratna on Dr. MS Swaminathan Ji, in recognition of his monumental contributions to our nation in agriculture and farmers’ welfare. He played a pivotal role in helping India achieve self-reliance in agriculture during challenging times and made outstanding efforts towards modernizing Indian agriculture. We also recognise his invaluable work as an innovator and mentor and encouraging learning and research among several students,” Modi wrote.

“Dr. Swaminathan’s visionary leadership has not only transformed Indian agriculture but also ensured the nation’s food security and prosperity. He was someone I knew closely and l always valued his insights and inputs,” he added.

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News Network
February 27,2024

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Abu Dhabi, Feb 27: The first Hindu stone temple in Abu Dhabi, which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier this month, will be opened to the public from March 1, according to the temple authorities.

The temple has been built by the Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) Swaminarayan Sanstha on a 27-acre site in Abu Mureikhah, near Al Rahba off the Dubai-Abu Dhabi Sheikh Zayed Highway, at a cost of around Rs 700 crore.

The grand temple was inaugurated by Prime Minister Modi on February 14 during a dedication ceremony attended by over 5,000 invitees. From February 15 to 29, overseas devotees who had registered in advance or VIP guests were allowed to visit the temple.

“The temple will be open to the public from March 1 from 9 AM to 8 PM. The temple will remain closed for visitors every Monday,” a temple spokesperson said.

Constructed with 18 lakh bricks and 1.8 lakh cubic metres of sandstone sourced directly from Rajasthan, the temple has been made in the Nagara style of architecture, just like the recently inaugurated Ram Temple in Ayodhya.

According to the temple authorities, the grand temple has been built as per an ancient style of construction and creation mentioned in the Shilpa and Sthapathya Shastras, Hindu scriptures which describe the art for mandir design and construction.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has at least 3.5 million Indians who are part of the Indian workforce in the Gulf. The land for the temple was donated by the UAE government.

The BAPS Hindu Mandir is the largest in the entire Gulf region. The UAE has three other Hindu temples in Dubai.

Seven spires representing the seven Emirates of the UAE, carvings of camels, and national bird falcon, are part of the architecture of the stone temple, to give equal representation to the host country.

“The seven spires have idols of deities, including Lord Ram, Lord Shiv, Lord Jagannath, Lord Krishna, Lord Swaminarayan (considered a reincarnation of Lord Krishna), Tirupati Balaji and Lord Ayappa. The seven shikhars represent the seven Emirates of the UAE,” Swami Brahmaviharidas, head of international relations for BAPS, had told PTI.

To give equal representation to the host country, along with animals like elephants, camels and lions that occupy an important place in Indian mythology, the UAE’s national bird, the falcon, has also been included in the temple design.

Apart from 15 tales from India, including the Ramayana and Mahabharata, stories from Mayan, Aztec, Egyptian, Arabic, European, Chinese and African civilisations have also been depicted in the temple.

While the outer walls of the temple are made using sandstone from India, the interior, made of white Italian marble, is adorned with intricately designed and carved columns and walls.

Other noteworthy architectural elements include two ghumats (domes), 12 samrans (dome-like structures) and 402 pillars. The two ghumats are the “Dome of Peace” and “Dome of Harmony”.
On the two sides of the temple, holy water flows from Ganga and Yamuna, which was brought from India in huge containers.

The temple’s facade features exquisite marble carvings set against a sandstone backdrop, crafted from more than 25,000 pieces of stone by skilled artisans from Rajasthan and Gujarat. A substantial number of pink sandstone were transported from northern Rajasthan to Abu Dhabi for the temple.

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News Network
March 3,2024

Mangaluru, Mar 3: As the Lok Sabha polls are looming, Dakshina Kannada district administration is gearing up to the election process smoothly. According to Deputy Commissioner Mullai Muhilan M P, there are 171 sensitive polling stations in the district, where additional security measures will be deployed during the polls.

While the district has 1,876 polling stations, the district administration has sufficient number of EVMs and VVPAT machines. He said officials have been directed to make necessary arrangements for the smooth conduct of the elections.

At a preparatory meeting held on Thursday, the DC directed officials to ensure basic infrastructure is available at all polling stations across the eight assembly segments in the district.

Drinking water supply, wash rooms, electricity and other facilities should be provided to the polling stations, he added.

Directing the officials from police and other departments to set up checkpoints at all Kerala-Karnataka border entry points, the DC said vehicles entering the district should be checked thoroughly. “Teams should be formed to man the checkposts, and they should work there everyday. Basic facilities should be provided for the staff at the checkposts,” the DC said.

Insisting officials to work in a coordinated manner, the DC said officials on election duty should work responsibly and ensure that there should be no lapses in their work.

The DC said there is a need to keep a watch on the transactions in nationalised, private and cooperative banks in the district. He also insisted that bank officers should be appointed as micro-observers. ZP CEO Dr Anandh K, SP C B Ryshyanth, DCP Siddharth Goyal, additional DC Santhosh Kumar and others were present.

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News Network
February 20,2024

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United Nation's (UN) experts have raised concern over reports of human rights violations against Palestinian women and girls in Gaza and the occupied West Bank since Israel launched its war on Gaza on October 7.

In a statement on Monday, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said that it had received information that Palestinian women and girls have been subjected to multiple forms of sexual assault at the hands of Israeli army officers, reported Al Jazeera.

"We are particularly distressed by reports that Palestinian women and girls in detention have been subjected to multiple forms of sexual assault, such as being stripped naked and searched by male Israeli army officers. At least two female Palestinian detainees were reportedly raped while others were reportedly threatened with rape and sexual violence," the UN experts said.

The experts also said that the OHCHR has received reports of 'arbitrary execution' of Palestinian women and girls, often with their families.

"We are shocked by reports of the deliberate targeting and extrajudicial killing of Palestinian women and children in places where they sought refuge, or while fleeing. Some of them were reportedly holding white pieces of cloth when they were killed by the Israeli army or affiliated forces", they said.

Israel waged a brutal war on besieged Gaza on October 7 after the Palestinian Hamas resistance group carried out its historic operation against the occupying entity in retaliation for its intensified atrocities against the Palestinian people.

So far, the Tel Aviv regime has killed at least 29,092 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and injured 69,028 others.

In the occupied West Bank and east Jerusalem too, Israeli forces intensified raids, killing hundreds of Palestinians and detaining thousand others.

UN experts raised alarm over the arbitrary detention of hundreds of Palestinian women and girls, human rights defenders, journalists and humanitarian workers in Gaza and West Bank.

Many women have reportedly been subjected to inhuman treatment, denied menstrual pads, medicine and food. The OHCHR said that they have also suffered severe beatings and on at least one occasion. Palestinian women detained in Gaza were allegedly kept in a cage in the rain and cold, without food.

UN experts noted that photos of the detainees in 'degrading circumstances' were taken by Israeli forces and then posted online.

An unknown number of Palestinian women and children have gone missing since Israel began its war on Gaza, the experts said.

“There are disturbing reports of at least one female infant forcibly transferred by the Israeli army into Israel, and of children being separated from their parents, whose whereabouts remain unknown,” they said.

The experts have called for an 'impartial, independent and effective' investigation into the allegations and for Israel to cooperate.

The experts further expressed, "taken together, these alleged acts may constitute grave violations of international human rights and humanitarian law, and amount to serious crimes under international criminal law that could be prosecuted under the Rome Statute."

"Those responsible for these apparent crimes must be held accountable and victims and their families are entitled to full redress and justice."

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