Cong will use its full power to get J&K’s statehood reinstated: Rahul Gandhi

News Network
January 23, 2023

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Jammu, Jan 23: The demand for statehood is Jammu and Kashmir's biggest issue and the Congress will use "our full power" to get it reinstated, party MP Rahul Gandhi said on Monday as his Bharat Jodo Yatra arrived here to a grand welcome.

Gandhi, who met a cross section of people from Jammu and Kashmir during his yatra, said J&K has the highest level of unemployment in the country.

"The Congress party will fully support you and your statehood (demand). To reinstate statehood, the Congress will use our full power," Gandhi told a gathering at the Satwari Chowk here.

"Statehood is your biggest issue. There is no big issue as big as statehood. Your right has been snatched," he said.

Gandhi said he spoke to a cross section of people from J&K during his yatra and they raised their issues. He said they told him that their voices are not being heard by the administration. "The entire trade is being run by outsiders and people of J&K watch them sitting haplessly," he said.

Gandhi said Jammu and Kashmir has the highest level of unemployment in the country. Youngsters aspire to become engineers, doctors and lawyers but they find they cannot, he said.

"There was another way (to get employment) earlier. It was with the Army. It has also been closed now by a new scheme, called Agniveer, introduced by BJP. That path is also now closed," he said.

In August 2019, the NDA government revoked Article 370 which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir and proposed the state be divided into two union territories, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
 

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coastaldigest.com news network
January 21,2023

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Mangaluru, Jan 21: The city police has continued crackdown drugs network in private medical colleges in Mangaluru as it arrested nine more medicos including two doctors and seven students on charges of ganja consumption and peddling. 

The arrested doctors have been identified as Dr Vidush Kumar (27), from Uttar Pradesh and Dr Sudheendra (34) from Karnataka. 

The students are Dr Siddartha Pavaskar (29) from Karnataka, Dr Ish Midda (27) from Uttar Pradesh, Dr Suryajith Dev (20) and Dr Aysha Mohammed (23) from Kerala, Dr Pranay Natraj (24) and Dr Chaithanya R Tumuluri (23) from Telangana and Dr Sharanya (23) from Delhi. The arrested are pursuing their MBBS, MBBS MS, and internship in BDS and MBBS.

With this the total number of arrested in ganja network case in medical and dental colleges in Mangaluru has mounted to 24.

Earlier the police had arrested 15 persons. All the arrested have been produced before the court and sent to Judicial Custody.

“We have collected all the necessary information from the arrested. The concerned Medical colleges have extended their full co-operation and have suspended the accused involved in this case,” said Police Commissioner N Shashi Kumar.

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P A Hameed Padubidri
January 26,2023

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India and Indian diaspora across the world are once again celebrating the Republic Day commemorating the date on which the Constitution of India, described as one of the largest constitutions in the world, came into effect. 

The real spirit and ethos of the India's independence became visible when the full-fledged constitution of India came into existence in January 26, 1950. 

India's capital-Delhi-takes vibrant colours with the display and reverberation of national flags and songs on each and every street and avenue, demo of military parade, exhibition of the Indian cultural vibes and various programs. 

We can describe this national day as an embodiment of Poorna Swaraj or the complete autonomy. It's a plaque of pride to rule and to be ruled by ourselves with our own laws and rules without any play of foreign rule, say the British reign. Also, it's described as the fervent vibes of a great deal of sacrifices done by our great personalities, who shed their blood & flesh for this great country as a one family. 

Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs and others had stood as a solid wall against the British Raj and as a result, now India stood out tall with its largest democracy & constitution in the world; that makes every Indian in India and  across the globe proud of their identity & stature. Fundamental, civil rights and human rights are securely guaranteed under the provisions of this Constitution. 

This national carnival makes a special stint for the Indian diaspora living in the different parts of the world especially for those who are residing in the gulf countries and MENA regions. This makes them to stand in all the pomp and pride & to share the good message to their host countries' citizens. 

Indian Embassies, Missions & High Commissioners in their respective host countries celebrate this Republic Day by hoisting the Indian flags on the top of the roofs and by organizing various events. Interestingly, this year's Republic Day came as coincidental with the diamond jubilee year of the India's independence, which is termed as "AZADI KA AMRIT MAHOTSAV" as well as the initiation of the Indo-Saudi diplomatic relations. This brings all the pomps & prides among the NRIs especially residing in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. That too with the posting of new Ambassador,  to the KSA, Dr. Suhel Aijaz Khan, after the gap of around 9 months. 

Besides, this year's Republic Day celebrations coincides with the year of India's taking on the prestigious Presidency of G20. The tangs of all these co-incidents makes this Republic Day more meaningful and historical. 

ONE EARTH, ONE FAMILY & ONE FUTURE is the catchphrase of G20 that makes this day fervent & more spirited. 

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News Network
January 16,2023

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The richest one per cent in India now own more than 40 per cent of the country's total wealth, while the bottom half of the population together share just 3 per cent of wealth, a new study showed on Monday.

Releasing the India supplement of its annual inequality report on the first day of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting here, rights group Oxfam International said that taxing India's ten-richest at 5 per cent can fetch entire money to bring children back to school.

"A one-off tax on unrealized gains from 2017–2021 on just one billionaire, Gautam Adani, could have raised Rs 1.79 lakh crore, enough to employ more than five million Indian primary school teachers for a year," it added.

The report titled 'Survival of the Richest' further said that if India's billionaires are taxed once at 2 per cent on their entire wealth, it would support the requirement of Rs 40,423 crore for the nutrition of malnourished in the country for the next three years.

"A one-time tax of 5 per cent on the 10 richest billionaires in the country (Rs 1.37 lakh crore) is more than 1.5 times the funds estimated by the Health and Family Welfare Ministry (Rs 86,200 crore) and the Ministry of Ayush (Rs 3,050 crore) for the year 2022-23," it added.

On gender inequality, the report said that female workers earned only 63 paise for every 1 rupee a male worker earned.

For Scheduled Castes and rural workers, the difference is even starker -- the former earned 55 per cent of what the advantaged social groups earned, and the latter earned only half of the urban earnings between 2018 and 2019.

"Taxing the top 100 Indian billionaires at 2.5 per cent, or taxing the top 10 Indian billionaires at 5 per cent would nearly cover the entire amount required to bring the children back into school," it added.

Oxfam said the report is a mix of qualitative and quantitative information to explore the impact of inequality in India.

Secondary sources like Forbes and Credit Suisse have been used to look at the wealth inequality and billionaire wealth in the country, while government sources like NSS, Union budget documents, parliamentary questions, etc have been used to corroborate arguments made through out the report.

Since the pandemic begun to Nov 2022, billionaires in India have seen their wealth surge by 121 per cent or Rs 3,608 crore per day in real terms, Oxfam said.

On the other hand, approximately 64 per cent of the total Rs 14.83 lakh crore in Goods and Services Tax (GST) came from bottom 50 per cent of the population in 2021-22, with only 3 per cent of GST coming from the top 10 per cent.

Oxfam said the total number of billionaires in India increased from 102 in 2020 to 166 in 2022.

The combined wealth of India's 100 richest has touched USD 660 billion (Rs 54.12 lakh crore) -– an amount that could fund the entire Union Budget for more than 18 months, it added.

Oxfam India CEO Amitabh Behar said, "The country's marginalised – Dalits, Adivasis, Muslims, Women and informal sector workers are continuing to suffer in a system which ensures the survival of the richest.

"The poor are paying disproportionately higher taxes, spending more on essentials items and services when compared to the rich. The time has come to tax the rich and ensure they pay their fair share."

Behar urged the Union finance minister to implement progressive tax measures such as wealth tax and inheritance tax, which he said have been historically proven to be effective in tackling inequality.

Citing a nationwide survey by Fight Inequality Alliance India (FIA India) in 2021, Oxfam said it found that more than 80 per cent of people in India support tax on the rich and corporations who earned record profits during the Covid-19 pandemic.

"More than 90 per cent participants demanded budget measures to combat inequality such as universal social security, right to health and expansion of budget to prevent gender-based violence," it added.

"It's time we demolish the convenient myth that tax cuts for the richest result in their wealth somehow 'trickling down' to everyone else. Taxing the super-rich is the strategic precondition to reducing inequality and resuscitating democracy.

"We need to do this for innovation. For stronger public services and for happier and healthier societies," said Gabriela Bucher, Executive Director of Oxfam International.

Oxfam India urged the Union finance minister to introduce one-off solidarity wealth taxes and windfall taxes to end crisis profiteering. It also demanded a permanent increase in taxes on the richest 1 per cent and especially raise taxes on capital gains, which are subject to lower tax rates than other forms of income.

Oxfam also called for inheritance, property, and land taxes, as well as net wealth taxes, while enhancing the budgetary allocation of the health sector to 2.5 per cent of GDP by 2025, as envisaged in the National Health Policy. Oxfam said it also wants public health systems to be strengthened and budgetary allocation for education to be enhanced to the global benchmark of 6 per cent of GDP.

"Ensure workers in formal and informal sector are paid basic minimum wages. The minimum wages should be at par with living wages which is essential for living a life with dignity," it added. 

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