Karnataka IAS officer Shilpa Nag resigns alleging ‘harassment’

News Network
June 3, 2021

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Mysuru, June 3: Karnataka IAS officer Shilpa Nag has announced her resignation from civil service at a press conference alleging ‘harassment’ by Mysuru Deputy Commissioner Rohini Sindhuri.

Shilpa Nag, a 2014 batch IAS officer, is a Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) Commissioner since February 2021. Speaking to reporters, Nag said, “Deputy Commissioner Rohini Sindhuri is constantly calling the higher-ups and complaining to them that no work is being done in the MCC. There is no conducive environment to work in Mysuru, and thus, I am resigning from the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and will send the resignation letter to the Chief Secretary seeking to be relieved from my duties.”

Shilpa Nag also accused Sindhuri of showing personal grudge against her. “If she (Sindhuri) has any personal grudge against me let her take it out on me but why target the officials who are all working non-stop to combat the pandemic since the second wave started? The atmosphere in Mysuru was too stifling to function anymore,” Nag alleged.

She also alleged that Sindhuri is targeting Nag since the MCC is doing a good job. “Rohini Sindhuri is targeting me after media reports stated that the MCC is doing a good job in controlling the Covid-19 in the city,” she said.

Meanwhile, Sindhuri denied the allegations leveled by Nag and said they are totally false and baseless.

Reacting to this incident, Mysuru district in-charge minister S.T. Somashekar said that the government will not accept Shilpa Nag’s resignation. Speaking to reporters in Bengaluru, he said, “Shilpa Nag has done good work as a city corporation commissioner, our government will not accept the resignation and I will talk to Chief minister BS Yediyurappa regarding the issue.”

Somashekar also said he will go to Mysuru tomorrow (Friday) and talk to Shilpa Nag and convince her to take back her resignation.

Recently, Mysuru-Kodagu MP Pratap Simha and Rohini Sindhuri also engaged in a war of words regarding closing down 16 private COVID Care Centres (CCCs) or step-down hospitals in Mysuru district.

Simha had written a letter to Somashekar and sent copies to the CM and State Chief Secretary, seeking a probe into Sindhuri’s conduct and the District Health Officer (DHO) for closing down 16 private COVID Care Centres. He stated in his letter that the investigation must be done on who accorded permission to open the CCCs or step-down hospitals and closing it down.

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News Network
July 28,2021

Bengaluru, July 28: Newly-appointed Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Wednesday assured an efficient, honest and people-friendly government, as he asserted that there will be no multiple power centres in his administration and rejected suggestions about him being likely a "rubber stamp CM".

"My government will have the stamp of being a pro-people administration in the history of Karnataka and I will ensure it," Bommai told reporters here in response to a question on him being perceived in some quarters as a rubber stamp Chief Minister as he is a confidant of his predecessor B S Yediyurappa.

Responding to a question on power centres being created in the state with Yediyurappa still around in active politics, Bommai said in his administration the centre of power will be in the team not with individuals.

"In our system and the constitution there is the position of the Chief Minister, there is a Cabinet, there is bureaucracy, executive and judiciary. The Chief Minister is first among equals, he is the team leader and I want to take everyone together," he said.

Bommai on Wednesday took oath as the new Chief Minister ending months of speculation about the change of guard in the state.

The Chief Minister said he will be visiting flood-ravaged Karwar on Thursday and was waiting for the Prime Minister's appointment for Delhi visit.

He also clarified that his first visit to Delhi is for meeting PM Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and BJP national president J P Nadda to thank them, and thereafter he will discuss with leaders on the Cabinet expansion.

Asked about his statement on working under Yediyurappa's guidance, Bommai said, "When I say I will work under the guidance of Yediyuyrappa it means, following the strong and pro-people decisions taken by him during Covid. Despite coronavirus and financial distress, he had formulated several schemes in the Budget and has given a good administration."

The Chief Minister, who held a single-member Cabinet meeting and meeting with Additional Chief Secretaries and Principal Secretaries of various departments, said officials have been given a "broader picture on the orientation" of his government. "There should be efficient, honest and people-friendly administration and with effective administration we should make people feel that the government is in favour of the last person of the society, the poor, the farmers, backward, women, and the downtrodden. Not by mere orders, but by its effective implementation." He stressed the need for micro-level management, owning responsibility for effective implementation of department's programmes, inter-department coordination and time bound implementation.

"We should work as a team." Warning officials against "chalta hai" attitude, Bommai stressed the need for financial discipline, and asked officials to reduce unnecessary expenditure in departments to less than five per cent by March 31 next year, without affecting programmes.

To lessen the delay in file movements a new system will be introduced, and a file clearance drive will be held and detailed order will be issued in this regard, he said.

"Intention is to bring in an updated file clearance system, where files are cleared within 15 days."

Speaking on improving the state's financial condition, the Chief Minister said discussions will soon be held with the finance department on reducing committed expenditure along with planned expenditure, aimed at bringing in financial discipline.

"The immediate priority is Covid and floods management," he said, adding, steps that need to be taken on controlling the possible coronavirus third wave and vaccination, will be given utmost importance. 

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News Network
July 23,2021

Beijing, July 23: Xi Jinping has made his first visit to Tibet as Chinese president, affirming Beijing’s control over a region where its military build-up and ethnic-assimilation polices have drawn international criticism.

Xi arrived in the regional capital Lhasa on Thursday, the official Xinhua News Agency said on social media.

Xi made a rare visit to Nyingchi, a strategically located Tibetan border town close to Arunachal Pradesh. Nyingchi is a prefecture-level city in Tibet.

Xi inspected the operation of the Sichuan-Tibet railway during his visit, state broadcaster China Central Television said.

Radio Free Asia published a video of Xi walking along a street lined with cheering people, and the Chinese leader waving from the open window of a minibus. Robert Barnett, a British academic who has written about Tibet, posted videos showing Xi speaking to Tibetans.

“All regions and people of all ethnicities in Tibet will march toward a happy life in future,” Xi says in a video Barnett posted. “I am full of confidence as you all are. Lastly, I will not delay your dancing. Let me say this: I wish everyone a happy life and good health.”

The People’s Republic of China earlier this year marked the 70th anniversary of its assertion of sovereignty over Tibet. That was was part of a broader effort by Mao Zedong’s communists to consolidate control over territory historically claimed by China before decades of colonialism, war and internal strife.

The region has been at the center of ongoing border tensions with India. Both sides have reorganized forces to the region after the deadliest fighting in decades last year.

China has faced criticism for its policies in Tibet, which has been subject to intense social, security and religious controls, much like its northern neighbor Xinjiang. In May, Wu Yingjie, the Communist Party chief of mostly Buddhist Tibet, lauded the progress Beijing has made developing the region, saying: “religion has been increasingly compatible with a socialist society.”

In September last year, prominent Xinjiang researcher Adrian Zenz released a report alleging that Beijing was instituting a mass labor system in Tibet similar to the one that has ensnared Muslim Uyghurs. Tibet Governor Qi Zhala said at the time that forced labor transfer “does not exist,” maintaining the local government was focused on providing job training.

Radio Free Asia reported that security measures limiting people’s movements in public were in place in Lhasa, and that work at factories and construction sites has been halted. A ban on flying drones and kites was also in place, it said.

Tenzin Lekshay, a spokesman for the Tibet government in exile in northern India, said in a tweet that Xi should “understand the true aspiration of Tibetan people and resume the dialogue to resolve the Sino-Tibetan conflict.”

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News Network
July 23,2021

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The opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics began on Friday in a nearly empty stadium after a year-long pandemic postponement and a build-up marred by scandal and controversy.

A video showing athletes training at home during the coronavirus pandemic started the show, with pink fireworks bursting into the air after a countdown.

The ceremony in the 68,000-capacity stadium is taking place before just a few hundred officials and dignitaries, including Japan's Emperor Naruhito, French President Emmanuel Macron and US First Lady Jill Biden.

The emperor will officially declare the Games open.

The Olympics have faced opposition in Japan over fears the global gathering of 11,000 athletes could trigger a super-spreader event.

Organisers have put strict virus measures in place, banning overseas fans for the first time ever, and keeping domestic spectators out of all but a handful of venues.

Athletes, support staff and media are subject to strict Covid-19 protocols, including regular testing and daily health checks.

Polls have consistently found a majority of Japanese are against the Games, with opinion ranging from weary indifference to outright hostility.

But there was plenty of enthusiasm outside the Olympic Stadium in the hours before the ceremony, as hundreds of people gathered hoping to soak up the atmosphere and watch the fireworks expected during the extravaganza.

Mako Fukuhara arrived six hours before the ceremony to grab a spot.

"Until now it didn't feel like the Olympics, but now we are by the stadium, it feels like the Olympics," she told AFP as people snapped selfies nearby.

'Determined'

Traditionally a highlight of any Summer Games, featuring the parade of nations and the lighting of the Olympic cauldron, Tokyo's opening ceremony has been drastically pared back.

Fewer than 1,000 dignitaries and officials are present at the stadium, and in a sign of how divisive the Games remain, several top sponsors including Toyota and Panasonic are not attending.

A few hundred protestors demonstrated against the Games outside the stadium as the ceremony began.

Tokyo is battling a surge in virus cases, and is under emergency measures that means restaurants must shut by 8:00 pm and cannot sell alcohol.

Dogged by controversy

But Olympic officials have put a brave face on the unusual circumstances, with IOC chief Thomas Bach insisting cancellation was never on the table.

"Over the past 15 months we had to take many decisions on very uncertain grounds," he said this week. "We had doubts every day. There were sleepless nights.

"We can finally see at the end of the dark tunnel. Cancellation was never an option for us. The IOC never abandons the athletes... we did it for the athletes."

There are also hefty financial incentives in play. Insiders estimate the IOC would have been on the hook for around $1.5 billion in lost broadcasting revenues if the Games had been cancelled.

The pandemic has not been the only hiccup in preparations though, with scandals ranging from corruption during the bidding process to plagiarism allegations over the design of the Tokyo 2020 logo.

The controversies kept coming right up to the eve of the Games, with the opening ceremony's director sacked on Thursday for making a joke referencing the Holocaust in a video from 1998.

Back in the sporting arenas, a new generation of Olympic stars are looking to shine after a decade dominated by the likes of Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps.

US swimmer Caeleb Dressel could target seven gold medals, and in track and field, 400 metre hurdlers Karsten Warholm of Norway and the USA's Sydney McLaughlin are among those hoping to emerge as household names.

Gymnastics meanwhile will see Simone Biles attempt to crown her dazzling career by equalling Larisa Latynina's record of nine Olympic gold medals.

New Olympic sports will also be on display in Tokyo, with surfing, skateboarding, sport climbing and karate all making their debut.

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