‘Shakti’ anniversary: 'Women availed 227 crore free rides in govt buses in 1 year in Karnataka'

News Network
June 11, 2024

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Bengaluru: Women in Karnataka have availed themselves of 227 crore free rides in government non-luxury buses under the "Shakti" guarantee in the last one year, costing the state exchequer Rs 5,526.64 crore, Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy said on Tuesday.

The Congress government, led by Siddaramaiah, launched the "Shakti" scheme one of the five guarantees which the party had promised before the Assembly elections on June 11 last year.

These promises are said to have yielded rich electoral dividends to the Congress, helping it dethrone the Basavaraj Bommai-led BJP government.

As the government celebrates one year of "Shakti" guarantee implementation, Reddy said in a statement that 226.95 women travelled free of cost in the government buses.

Most such rides were accounted for by the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation buses (BMTC-71.45 crore), followed by Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC-69.5 crore).

North West Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NWKRTC) and Kalyana Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (KKRTC) posted 52.12 crore and 33.47 crore free rides, respectively.

KSRTC incurred an expenditure of Rs 2,111.14 crore, NWKRTC Rs 1,352.68 crore, KKRTC Rs 1,125.81 crore and BMTC Rs 937.01 crore, the statement said.

Reddy said several measures have been taken to improve the public transport system such as approval for the induction of 5,800 new buses. In addition, 2,438 new buses have been inducted across the four transport corporations in recent times.

According to the minister, the state inducted new buses with brand name Pallakki, Ashwamedha Classic, Kalyana Ratha and Amogha Varsha.

Approval has been accorded for recruitment of 9,000 posts in the department. In this regard, appointment orders have been issued to recruit 1,844 driver-cum-conductors and technical assistants, Reddy said.

"Recruitment for 6,500 posts (KSRTC- 2,500 driver-cum-conductors, BMTC-2,000 conductors, NWKRTC -1,000 drivers and 1,000 conductors) is under process and will be completed soon," the minister said.

The government has also enhanced accident relief compensation from Rs three lakh to Rs 10 lakh to dependents in case of death of any passenger in an accident while travelling in bus operated by state-run corporations, he added.

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News Network
June 3,2024

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Mangaluru: Tamil Nadu surfers swept the top honors in all four categories, men’s open, women’s open, groms boys & U-16 and groms girls & U-16, at the Indian Open of Surfing at the Sasihithlu beach.

Ajeesh Ali, who competed in the Paris Olympics qualifiers (2023 ISA World Surfing Games, El Salvador) last year, was crowned the new IOS champion in the men’s open category.

Teenage sensation Kamali Moorthi completed a double victory by winning both the women’s open and groms girls & U-16 categories, successfully defending her titles.

Another Tamil Nadu teenager, Tayin Arun, impressed the judges with his maneuvers and was crowned the new IOS champion in the groms boys & U-16 category.

The final day's action began with the semi-finals of the groms boys and U-16 category. Local favorite Pradeep Pujar led the pack with a score of 8.80, advancing to the finals alongside Prahlad Sriram (8.50), Harish P (8.26), and Tayin Arun (6.76).

Speaking on the surfing conditions today, Dylan Amar from Indonesia, who was the head judge at Indian Open of Surfing, said, “The conditions today were excellent, making this venue highly competitive. Over the three days, the athletes put on an impressive show. If they maintain this level of effort, Indian surfers could soon make it to the Olympics."

The action then moved to the semi-finals of the groms girls and U-16 category. Tamil Nadu surfers Dhamayanthi Sriram and Mahathi Srinivasabharathi qualified for the finals with scores of 4.57 and 3.54 respectively. Kamali Moorthi, the top seed from Tamil Nadu, had already been granted a final spot based on her national ranking.

The finals of the groms boys and U-16 category saw Tayin Arun impressing the judges with his acrobatics, winning his first title at IOS with a score of 10.17. Harish P (8.40) and Prahlad Sriram (7.47) made it a thrilling competition, finishing second and third, respectively. Mantra Surf Club's Pradeep Pujar finished fourth with a score of 5.34.

Speaking after winning his first-ever IOS title, Tayin Arun expressed his joy, "I’m really happy to win the title today as it is my first IOS title, and the conditions were really good for surfing. I enjoyed surfing today, and I’m looking forward to winning more titles in the future. I missed Kishore Kumar as he is my best friend, and I would like to beat him as well."

The final day also featured the groms girls and U-16 finals, an all-Tamil Nadu affair. Kamali Moorthi emerged victorious with a commanding score of 12.17, securing the title by a wide margin. Dhamayanthi Sriram (5.93) and Mahathi Srinivasabharathi (2.07) finished second and third, respectively.

The highlight event of the day was the men’s open surfing final, another all Tamil Nadu affair, featuring the top-seeded surfers from across the country. Ajeesh Ali, who represented India at the 2023 ISA World Surfing Games in El Salvador, walked away with the championship title with the highest score of the day (14.70). The intense action and thrilling competition in the category captivated the audience.

Srikanth D (12.57) and Sanjaikumar S (11.10) took the runner-up and second runner-up titles, respectively, while Sanjay Selvamani came in fourth with a score of 6.17.

Speaking after winning the IOS title in surfing men’s open category, Ajeesh Ali said, “I am thrilled to have won the title today after being the runner-up in the previous edition. Winning the Indian Open of Surfing was something I desperately wanted.

"My experience in El Salvador last year for the Paris Olympics qualifiers allowed me to compete with some of the world’s best surfers and learn a great deal from them. The conditions today were challenging with slow waves, but luckily, I had a board specifically for such conditions. The competition was fierce, as my fellow surfers are among the best in the country."

The women’s open surf category finals concluded the event with fierce competition among India’s leading female surfers. Kamali Moorthi emerged victorious, winning the IOS women’s championship title in a thrilling final.

Kamali scored 12.40 in the finals, narrowly edging out 2022 champion Sugar Banarse from Goa, who scored 12.23 and finished as the runner-up by just 0.17 points. Neha Vaid from Mumbai came in third with a score of 2.97.

Speaking post winning the double titles at IOS, Kamali said, "I am thrilled to have successfully defended both my titles at the Indian Open of Surfing. Surfing in Mangaluru is always a joy, and today was no different. The women’s open category was challenging because I was competing against Sugar Banarse, the 2022 champion. Despite this, I managed to stay calm and not let the pressure get to me before the finals." 

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News Network
June 16,2024

In a move indicative of further saffronisation of Indian textbooks, the new NCERT Class 12 Political Science textbook has removed the name of the historic Babri Masjid, referring to it instead as a "three-domed structure." The section on the demolition of the mosque by Hindu nationalist mobs has been reduced from four to two pages, with significant details omitted.

According to the Indian Express, the revised parts include the BJP rath yatra from Somnath in Gujarat to Ayodhya, the role of kar sevaks, anti-Muslim violence following the demolition on December 6, 1992, the imposition of President’s rule in BJP-ruled states, and the BJP’s expression of “regret over the happenings at Ayodhya.”

The old textbook described the Babri Masjid as a 16th-century mosque built by Mughal emperor Babur’s General Mir Baqi. The new version, released this week, refers to it as "a three-dome structure built at the site of Shri Ram’s birthplace in 1528," and claims it had visible displays of Hindu symbols and relics.

The new textbook also praises the 2019 Supreme Court ruling on the Ayodhya dispute, despite criticisms from legal experts and Muslim leaders. The chapter describes the ruling as a 'classic example' of consensus, stating:

“The verdict allotted the disputed site to the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teertha Kshetra Trust for the construction of a Ram temple and directed the government to provide an appropriate site for the construction of a mosque for the Sunni Central Waqf Board. This resolution through the due process of law, based on archaeological and historical evidence, was celebrated by society. It exemplifies consensus building on a sensitive issue and showcases the maturity of India's democratic ethos.”

The changes in the textbook have sparked controversy, with critics viewing them as an attempt to rewrite history and promote a particular ideological narrative.

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News Network
June 12,2024

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Shocking details have emerged from the probe into the murder of a man who allegedly made derogatory comments against the friend and co-star of leading Kannada actor Darshan Thoogudeepa.

According to police sources, Renukaswamy (33) drew the wrath of Darshan for making lewd comments against Pavithra Gowda on her social media posts.

"It was Pavithra who instigated Darshan to punish Renukaswamy. Accordingly, the plan was hatched," they said.

Renukaswamy hailed from Lakshmi Venkateshwara Layout in Chitradurga and worked with a pharmacy company.

"Darshan engaged the Chitradurga unit of Darshan Fan Club Convenor Raghavendra alias Raghu, who obtained all information about Renukaswamy." Renukaswamy's wife Sahana said Raghavendra picked up her husband on Friday night from near their house.

The victim was abducted and taken to a shed in Kamakshipalya area in Bengaluru, the sources said.

"Darshan beat up Renukaswamy with a belt. After he fell unconscious, his accomplices thrashed him with sticks. Further, they threw him against a wall, which proved fatal," they said adding there were multiple bone fractures all over his body.

After he died, his body was dumped in a stormwater drain.

A food delivery boy who noticed dogs eating a human body alerted the police.

When the police were working on the case, two accused approached Kamakshipalya police and "confessed" to having killed Renukaswamy over a financial dispute.

As the investigation progressed, police found out Darshan and Pavithra's involvement.

Darshan, his friend and film actress Pavithra Gowda, and 11 others were arrested in connection with Renukaswamy's murder on Tuesday.

The 47-year-old actor has been remanded to six days' police custody by a court. 

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