Madhu Bangarappa to officially join Congress on July 30

News Network
July 27, 2021

Bengaluru, July 27: Former MLA and former president of JD(S) youth wing Madhu Bangarappa will join the Congress during the party's meeting to be held at Gokul Garden in Hubballi on July 30 at 9:00 am.

Bangarappa and his supporters will join the party in the presence of AICC general secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala, KPCC president D K Shivakumar and Leader of Opposition in Legislative Assembly Siddaramaiah, said Congress leader Rajat Ullagaddimath.

JD(S) leaders Kiran Hiremath, Basavaraj Mayakar (Bellad) and other leaders in Hubballi will also join the Congress, a press release stated.

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News Network
September 20,2021

Bengaluru, Sept 20: The state’s Covid-19 numbers continued their descent - a trend which first set in eight weeks ago. In the last seven days, Karnataka registered 6,131 cases, which is 6.6% lower than the 6,571 cases recorded the week before.

The decline allayed fears that cases were on the rise again between September 15 to 17, when case numbers increased to beyond a thousand per day, after days of a decline.

Considering weekly averages, Karnataka’s Covid-19 numbers fell by 29% over the last 30 days, but of equal concern is that the statewide testing numbers, which despite getting a boost in the middle part of last week, have been steadily declining.

In the last seven days, the state government conducted 9.78 lakh tests, which was 9.84 lakh the week before. The average number of tests conducted has declined by 20.4% over the course of the last 30 days.

The state’s declining case numbers are due to abrupt drops in case registrations on some days. Sunday was one of these days with Karnataka recording 783 new cases. Out of these, Bengaluru Urban disclosed that it had identified 267 new cases, comprising 34% of the statewide total for the day.

The decline in the number of new cases in the city has been less steep. Over the last 30 days, the average number of cases have fallen by 8.6%, with testing rates having plummeted by 12.9%.

The next highest cases were recorded in Dakshina Kannada (97), Udupi district (82) and Mysuru district (69).

The new statewide cases, coupled with 1,139 discharges, leave Karnataka’s active caseload at 15,383. Health officials also announced 16 new fatalities. Barring two of the deaths which happened on Sunday, six were backlog deaths which had occurred in July and May.

Covid-19 among children

Between September 12 and 18, the state recorded 247 new cases of Covid-19 of children aged below 11. Among teens (11 to 19), it recorded 827 new cases. In contrast, 289 pre-teen and 888 teen cases were reported in the week before last (5-11 September). Over the last 14 days, pre-teen cases comprise 4.1% of daily Covid-19 cases.

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News Network
September 22,2021

Bengaluru, Sept 22: Opposition Leader Siddaramaiah on Wednesday said the BJP government in the state has indulged in a loot by giving government land to RSS-run Chanakya University at a throwaway price.

"The land measuring 116 acres was acquired at a cost of around Rs 170 crore. The market value is around Rs 400 crore, but the government has given it to RSS-run Chanakya University for Rs 50 crore. This is a loot that the government has indulged in," he told reporters in a press conference.

Also, there are no provisions under which the government land could be given to a private university, Siddaramaiah said. "Therefore, the land given to Chanakya University is illegal," he said.

Siddaramaiah asked the government to immediately withdraw the order of giving Karnataka Industries Area Development land to Chanakya University.

The government Tuesday had passed the bill amidst chaos after it was tabled by Higher Education Minister Dr Ashwath Narayan in the assembly to allow Chanakya University to be set up in 116 acres in the Aerospace Park near Devanahalli.

If the government does not act, the party would take legal action to seek withdrawal of land granted for the setting up of Chanakya University.

He also alleged that the Speaker Vishveshwar Heggade Kageri did not allow a debate in the assembly over the matter and the bill was passed hurriedly.

"What is the reason for passing the bill hurriedly. Is the government under RSS pressure," he questioned. It also amounts to favoritism, he added.

Siddaramaiah also flayed the Speaker for taking side of the government when it is required of him to be neutral sitting in a chair sanctified by the Indian Constitution. "His conduct in the assembly yesterday was not impartial," he added.

Kageri had said that there is a need to encourage institutions that promote Indian cultural values in an era where education is highly westernised.

Siddaramaiah alleged that the government is making efforts to impart Manuvadi education to children with an intention of "reestablishing" caste hierarchy as per Manuvad system.

Yesterday, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai justified the allocation of land to Chanakya University since similar concessions were given to industries to create jobs.

The government will also give concessions to organisations who give good education to the children by keeping their future in mind, he said.

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News Network
September 21,2021

Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government of India has amended over a 50-year-old rule to allow IAS, IPS and IFoS officers to retain gifts received from foreign dignitaries while being members of the Indian delegation, according to an official order.

Existing rules allowed these officers to accept gifts from their near relatives or from personal friends having no official dealings with them, on occasions such as weddings, anniversaries, funerals and religious functions when the making of gifts is in conformity with the prevailing religious and social practice.

But they shall make a report to the government if the value of such gift exceeds Rs 25,000, the rules say.

Gifts include free transport, free boarding, free lodging or any other service or pecuniary advantage when provided by a person other than a near relative or personal friend having no official dealings with the officer but does not include a casual meal, casual lift or other social hospitality.

"No member of the service shall accept any gift without the sanction of the government if the value of a gift exceeds Rs 5,000," says the All India Services (Conduct) Rules, 1968, applicable to the officers of Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS) and Indian Forest Service (IFoS).

Member of the service shall avoid accepting lavish hospitality or frequent hospitality from persons having official dealings with them or from industrial or commercial firms or other organisations, these rules say.

The Personnel Ministry has now amended these rules and inserted a new sub-rule under Section 11 of the All India Services (Conduct) Rules, 1968.

"…a member of the service, being a member of the Indian delegation or otherwise, may receive and retain gifts from foreign dignitaries in accordance with the provisions of the Foreign Contribution (Acceptance or Retention of Gifts or Presentations) Rules, 2012, as amended from time-to-time," read the recently amended rule.

The Personnel Ministry had in March last year sought comments from state governments on the proposed rules.

"…presently there are no provisions under the AIS (Conduct) Rules, 1968, with regard to receipt/retention of gifts from foreign dignitaries by members of the AIS being a member of Indian delegation or otherwise. Therefore, it has been decided with the approval of a competent authority to insert a new sub-rule…," it had said in a communiqué dated March 3 last year.

They were asked to send responses by March 31, 2020, positively failing which would be "presumed that the state government has no objection to the proposed amendments".

Gifts received from foreign dignitaries, from known or unknown sources, are usually deposited with the 'toshakhana' -- a repository of such articles -- in the Ministry of External Affairs.

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