Scores of farmers dead but Modi govt indifferent: Harsimrat Kaur Badal

News Network
September 17, 2021

As farmers protest a year of the contentious farm laws, Shiromani Akali Dal leader and former Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal said the Centre is indifferent to the farmers' needs.

"A number of farmers have died and many are still sitting at the state borders but this government (Centre) is indifferent. We will continue our fight until the three farm laws are repealed," he said.

The Delhi Traffic Police on Friday alerted commuters about the closure of specific roads and suggested diversions to avoid any inconvenience due to the protests.

Taking to Twitter, the Delhi Traffic Police informed about closure of roads at Jharoda Kalan border and suggested commuters to refrain from using these routes in view of the farmers' movement.

A senior police officer said, "Members of Shiromani Akali Dal have gathered at Gurudwara Rakab Ganj on Friday morning in view of a protest march organised by them against the farm laws."

The SAD under the leadership of its President Sukhbir Singh Badal had given a call to take out a march starting from Gurdwara Talab Ganj Sahib to Parliament House against the "anti-farmer" laws passed by the Central government.

Due to a demonstration call by farmers to assemble at Gurudwara Rakab Ganj, police pickets have been placed in precaution at different areas in the national capital while traffic is being released after vehicles have been checked, a senior traffic police officer said.

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News Network
October 22,2021

Bengaluru, Oct 22: The fee for undergraduate medical and dental courses in the state is likely to go up by 15% this academic year.

Sources in the Department of Medical Education said the government was mulling continuing the previous year's decision on fee hike. This means 15% hike for government seats and 25% for private seats. 

A meeting on the issue between the Medical Education minister and the private medical college representatives on Thursday was cancelled last minute as the minister was busy with his pre-scheduled engagements.

"It was the first meeting convened and it got cancelled. We have not officially received any requests from them about the fee hike, but the same will be discussed in the meeting with the minister and we are planning to decide on it in the first sitting itself," said an official from the Department of Medical Education. 

According to the sources, the private medical college managements are demanding  a hike of 25% to 30%. A representative of a private medical college from Bengaluru said, "The deemed-to-be universities and private universities have the privilege to charge around Rs 12 lakh to Rs 15 lakh. We want the fee to be increased on par with them."

Officials said that this is the last year that the state government will bargain with the medical colleges. "From next year, the matter would be left to all-India level counseling by the Directorate General of Health Services, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Since this is the last year, in all probability, we are doing this, we might consider their demand and increase the fee in line with the previous year's agreement," added an official.

The existing fee structure for medical courses for government quota seats at a private medical college is Rs 1,28,746 and for private quota seats is Rs 9,81,956. This is as per the hike made during 2020-2021 academic year. 

Similarly, the fee in private dental colleges stands at Rs 83,356 and Rs 6,66,023 for government and private quota seats, respectively. 

It can be recalled that the fee for undergraduate medical courses has increased by 200% in the last 10 years. The fee charged during 2006-07 academic year for government quota seats at private medical colleges was Rs 42,000. 

In the academic year 2018-19, even the fees at government medical colleges increased significantly from Rs 16,700 to Rs 59,800.

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News Network
October 18,2021

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Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh and four others have been sentenced to life imprisonment in the murder case of a former dera manager, Ranjit Singh.

Ranjit Singh, who was also a follower of the dera, was shot dead in 2002. He was murdered for his suspected role in the circulation of an anonymous letter, which narrated how women were being sexually exploited by the dera head.

A special CBI court in Panchkula, Haryana, on Monday, also imposed a fine of Rs 31 lakh on the dera chief.

The others convicted along with the self-styled godman are: Krishan Lal, Jasbir Singh, Avtar Singh and Sabdil.

The dera chief had pleaded leniency, citing the welfare works carried out by the dera. However, the CBI opposed it and demanded the "maximum punishment" under the IPC Section 302.

The court had, on Friday, convicted the five for the murder.

Over two years ago, the godman was also awarded life imprisonment for the murder of a journalist, Ram Chander Chhatrapati.

Meanwhile, prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC have been imposed in Panchkula.

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News Network
October 28,2021

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Bengaluru, Oct 28: Software exporter Wipro's Azim Premji donated Rs 9,713 crore or Rs 27 crore a day to retain his top rank among Indian philanthropists in FY21.

Premji, the founder chairman of the company, increased his donation by nearly a fourth during the pandemic year, as per the Edelgive Hurun India Philanthropy List 2021, which had HCL's Shiv Nadar at second place with contributions of Rs 1,263 crore towards upliftment causes.

Mukesh Ambani of Reliance Industries, India's richest man by a distance, came third on the list with a Rs 577 crore contribution and was succeeded by Kumar Mangalam Birla with Rs 377 crore. The second richest Indian Gautam Adani is eighth on the givers' list with a donation of Rs 130 crore towards disaster relief.

Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani's ranking improved to fifth with a Rs 183 crore donation with “societal thinking” being identified as the primary cause.

“At present, most of the money is going to fundamental aspects like education and healthcare because of the requirements on the ground. Nilekani has indeed made interesting contributions, and in 10 years, we will have broader civil society issues feature as primary causes,” Hurun India's managing director and chief researcher Anas Rahman Junaid said.

He said as the age profile of the givers shifts to those under-40, and many of them being self-made ones also presents a hopeful picture.

There are a few new entrants into the list, including the largest stocks investor Rakesh Jhunjunwala, who donated a fourth of his overall earnings or Rs 50 crore in FY21 with efforts on education. Jhunjunwala, who recently had a private meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is among the backers of Ashoka University, as per a statement.

Brothers Nithin and Nikhil Kamath committed $100 million (Rs 750 crore) over the next few years to support individuals, organisations and companies working on solutions for climate change and are 35th on the list.

Former chairman of engineering major Larsen & Toubro, A M Naik, is 11th on the list with a donation of Rs 112 crore, it said, adding that he has pledged to give away 75 per cent of his income for charitable purposes.

Others in the top ten givers include the Hinduja Family, Bajaj Family, Anil Agarwal and the Burman family.

Nine women find their place in the list led by a Rs 69 crore donation by Rohini Nilekani of Rohini Nilekani Philanthropies and, followed by Leena Gandhi Tewari of USV who donated Rs 24 crore, and Anu Aga of Thermax donated Rs 20 crore.

Based on the place of residence, Mumbai led with 31 per cent of the list and was followed by New Delhi 17 per cent and Bengaluru 10 per cent.

The pharma industry has the largest number of philanthropists followed by automobile and auto components and software and services.

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