Like you saved yourself from  covid with mask, vote to save Bihar from becoming 'bimar': PM Modi

News Network
October 28, 2020

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Patna, Oct 28: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said that just like the people of the state can save themselves from COVID-19 with a mask, similarly with a single vote they can save Bihar from becoming "bimar" (sick).

"Just like you can save your self from COVID-19 with a mask, similarly with a single vote you can save Bihar from becoming 'bimar'," said PM Modi while addressing a public rally in Patna.

"In the last decade and a half, Bihar has strongly stepped up the move from misrule to good governance under the leadership of Nitishji. Due to the efforts of the NDA government, Bihar has come a long way from inconvenience to convenience, from darkness to light, from distrust to trust, from kidnapping of industries to opportunities,"

The Prime Minister further said that Atal Bihari Vajpayee used to say that the definition of electricity in Bihar is that the connection here is mostly out of the place. The darkness of the lantern period has now ended in the state, he added.

"Who can fulfill the aspirations of the poor and middle class of Bihar? Can those who looted Bihar do it? Those who only thought of their families and did injustice to everyone can never understand Bihar's expectations. Only NDA can do it," said PM Modi.

"Earlier it was rare to find a doctor in the hospital. Now facilities like medical colleges and AIIMS are in place here. Earlier, there was a demand in the villages that somehow the ravine should be spread but now people now desire wide roads that remain in good condition in every season," he added.

The Prime Minister stated earlier general railway stations were also a dream for Bihar but now the stations are connecting with modern facilities, there is also an aspiration to start new rail routes, he added.

"Those who thought only of their family, did injustice to every single person of Bihar, also took away the rights of Dalits and Backward and deprived, will those people understand the hopes of Bihar?" asked PM Modi.

"Earlier there was a demand for ring road in Patna. When the ring road was built, then the demand for the metro increased. Today when the work on Patna Metro is underway, the expectations of similar facilities have increased in other cities," he added.

Today in all the cities of Bihar, including Patna, works are being carried to address the basic issues like roads, water and sewer.

"Modern treatment plants are also being installed to clean the water of the dirty water from drains falling in Ganga. In the past, unprecedented reforms have been done from education to governance, from farmer to labour, from ease of living to ease of doing business. Today, after three and a half decades, India has received the new National Education Policy has been received," said PM Modi.

He added that due to lack of language and opportunities poor and deprived people of Bihar were at disadvantage earlier. However, now this section will benefit the most under the new National Education Policy.

"Interviews of Central Government Group-B and Group-C recruitments have been eliminated, which used to encourage corruption. Now unprecedented improvements have also been made in the system of competitive examinations," PM Modi added.

"There is every possibility of becoming an IT hub in Bihar. Here in Patna too, big IT company has opened its office. New opportunities have opened for youth in Bihar. In past years, a dozen BPOs have opened in Patna, Muzaffarpur and Gaya," he added.

Today, the NDA Government insists that no sector or individual be exempted from government services and facilities, said PM Modi adding that more and more technology is being used for this. In Patna itself, 28,000 pucca houses have been sanctioned to the urban poor using technology, he added.

"If there was no 'Trishakti' of Jan Dhan, aadhaar and mobile, then in the corona period, the ration rights of poor people of Bihar would have been usurped, like previous years," he said.

"Development is the way forward, setting new dimensions. Now crores of countrymen need fast internet in the village. The campaign to deliver optical fibre from village to village within 1,000 days has also started from Bihar. The goal is to complete this work in every village of Bihar in a few months," he added.

Addressing another rally in Muzzafarpur today, the Prime Minister in an apparent attack on Mahagathbandhan, said those who are promising development of the State are the ones who have earned the bad name for closing down industries in Bihar.

Polling for the second phase to take place on November 3 and for the third phase on November 7. The results will be declared followed by the counting of votes on November 10.

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Agencies
November 19,2020

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Patna, Nov 19: Following allegations of corruption, Bihar Education Minister Mewalal Choudhary has resigned just three days after taking oath, according to reports.

Bihars main Opposition RJD and its allies on Wednesday had attacked Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for appointing JD(U)s Mewalal Choudhary as the Education Minister even though he faces corruption charges and was suspended from the party over the issue, and had demanded he be sacked.

RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav had said Choudhary, a former vice chancellor of an agriculture university and a first-time minister, faces serious charges under the Indian Penal Code including cheating and dishonestly (section 420), and criminal conspiracy (120B).

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News Network
November 17,2020

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Bengaluru, Nov 17: After months of closure due to coronavirus-induced lockdown, colleges across Karnataka reopened on Tuesday following all COVID-19 health protocols.

Every student has been asked to undergo an RT-PCR test and they will be allowed to join the varsity only if they tested negative for the infection.

"We had to submit the COVID-19 test result before joining. We have been given certain instructions to be followed. I am feeling good but a little tense too," said Ritika, a student of St Joseph's College.

St Joseph's College has begun conducting examinations and students are coming back from their homes to appear for the same.

"I am happy but tensed too. It took a lot of time for us to adjust to the online scheduling of classes. I do not know If I am ready for the examinations but I hope for the best," said another student.

Thermal screening and sanitisation are mandatory at the entrance gate of the university. Students are directed to wear masks and maintain social distancing inside the college premises.

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Agencies
November 28,2020

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High-ranking Iranian nuclear physicist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, named by the West as leading the Islamic Republic’s military nuclear programme until its disbanding in the early 2000s, has been assassinated in an ambush near Tehran.

Fakhrizadeh was shot “by terrorists” in his vehicle in Absard, a suburb in eastern Tehran, and he later succumbed to his injuries in what amounted to a “martyr’s death”, Iran’s Foreign Ministry said on Friday.

Local authorities had confirmed Fakhrizadeh’s death several hours earlier and also said that several attackers were killed.

Fakhrizadeh served as the head of the Research and Innovation Organisation of the defence ministry at the time of his death.

Iran’s foreign minister alleged the killing of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh bore “serious indications” of an Israeli role, but did not elaborate.

Israel declined to immediately comment on the killing of Fakhrizadeh, whom Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu once called out in a news conference saying: “Remember that name.”

Israel has long been suspected of carrying out a series of targeted killings of Iranian nuclear scientists nearly 10 years ago.

Photos and video shared online showed a Nissan sedan with bullet holes through windshield and blood pooled on the road.

The semiofficial Fars News Agency said witnesses heard the sound of an explosion and then machine gun fire. The attack targeted the car Fakhrizadeh was travelling in, the agency said.

Those wounded, including Fakhrizadeh’s bodyguards, were taken to a local hospital, the agency said.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

Al Jazeera’s Assed Baig, reporting from Tehran, said that according to Fars News Agency, Fakhrizadeh “came under attack by three-four unknown assailants”.

“They also say three-four people were killed in that incident,” Baig said.

“We have had the head of the Revolutionary Guard say that assassinating nuclear scientists is an attempt by hegemonic powers to stop Iran from gaining new sciences.”

‘Serious indications’ of Israeli role

Iran’s foreign minister called on the international community to condemn “this act of state terror”.

“Terrorists murdered an eminent Iranian scientist today. This cowardice – with serious indications of Israeli role – shows desperate warmongering of perpetrators,” Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote on Twitter on Friday.

In a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the UN Security Council on Friday, Iran also said there are “serious indications of Israeli responsibility” in the attack and said it reserves the right to defend itself.

“Warning against any adventuristic measures by the United States and Israel against my country, particularly during the remaining period of the current administration of the United States in office, the Islamic Republic of Iran reserves its rights to take all necessary measures to defend its people and secure its interests,” Iran’s UN envoy, Majid Takht Ravanchi, wrote in the letter, which was seen by Reuters news agency.

Fakhrizadeh, 63, had been a member of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and was an expert in missile production. Fars said that is why Israeli secret services had long sought to eliminate him for many years.

A military adviser to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei accused Israel of killing Fakhrizadeh to try to provoke a war.

“In the last days of the political life of their … ally [US President Donald Trump], the Zionists (Israel) seek to intensify pressure on Iran and create a full-blown war,” commander Hossein Dehghan tweeted.

He said Fakhrizadeh’s work will continue to be a “nightmare” for Iran’s enemies.

Fakhrizadeh was one of “the people who are fighting without any claims behind the scenes of political battles and achieved martyrdom in this path”, Dehghan tweeted.

The US Pentagon declined to comment on reports of the attack.

‘More detrimental to Iran’s antagonists’

Mohammad Marandi, a professor at the University of Tehran, told Al Jazeera that the assassination “is going to make Iranians more assertive when it comes to dealing with its antagonists” and that it was too late for hostile entities to do anything about Iran’s nuclear programme.

“Fifty years ago, if they carried out this attack it would’ve had an impact. But now Iran’s nuclear programme is developed, it’s highly diverse. It has many young scientists and these murders will be more detrimental to Iran’s antagonists, I believe, than Iran,” Marandi said.

“[Fakharizadeh] was one of the first generation of people in Iran who helped develop nuclear technology.”

Fakhrizadeh led Iran’s so-called Amad (Hope) programme. Israel and the West have alleged it was a military operation looking at the feasibility of building a nuclear weapon in Iran. Tehran has long maintained its nuclear programme is peaceful.

The International Atomic Energy Agency says the Amad programme ended in the early 2000s. Its inspectors now monitor Iranian nuclear sites.

The assassination comes as Trump, who has been fervently backed by Israel in his “maximum pressure” campaign on Iran, is slated to leave office in less than two months after losing the presidential election to Democrat Joe Biden.

In recent weeks, multiple reports by American media have said, citing unnamed sources, that Trump has been seriously considering a military attack on Iran, even on its main nuclear site in Natanz.

In May 2018, Trump unilaterally withdrew from Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers and imposed harsh economic sanctions that have only escalated since.

In the first European reaction to Fakhrizadeh’s assassination, Carl Bildt, co-chair of the European Council on Foreign Relations, said the attack may be related to Biden’s promise to return to the nuclear deal.

“It’s not unlikely that this targeted killing was part of efforts to prevent the Biden administration from reviving diplomacy with Iran and going back to the nuclear agreement,” he tweeted.

In the past year, the Trump administration has also tried to make it harder for a Biden administration to come back to the nuclear accord through retargeting Iranian entities and individuals that were already sanctioned with new terrorism-related designations.

Friday’s assassination marks the second high-profile targeted killing of a top Iranian official after IRGC Quds Force chief General Qassem Soleimani’s killing in a US air strike in January this year.

Hillary Mann Leverett, founder of political consultancy group Stratega, said while the killing was not as “shocking” as that of Soleimani’s assassination, it was still “very disturbing”.

“It is certainly one of the most high-level assassinations we have seen in the past year,” she told Al Jazeera over Skype from Mclean, Virginia.

“I think it is intended to stoke tensions particularly in this interim period between the current administration and the Biden administration.”

“The Trump administration have openly said that they will exert what they call ‘maximum pressure’ in its most maximum essence between now and when they have to leave office on January 20,” Leverett said.

Iran has previously called the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” strategy an instance of “economic and medical terrorism”.

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