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Cyclone Ockhi continues to pummel Kerala, Lakshadweep, no estimate of missing persons

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Cyclone Ockhi

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Amid signs that Cyclone Ockhi might intensify in next 24 hours, parts of Tamil Nadu, Kerala hit by heavy rain, 200 fishermen stranded off Kerala coast rescued

The Indian Navy and the Coast Guard continued the search for missing fishermen using ships, Dornier aircraft and helicopters in the “rough sea” off Kerala and Lakshadweep on Saturday amid reports that Cyclone Ockhi, which has already wreaked havoc in the region, could intensify further over the next 24 hours.

While over 200 fishermen who were stranded at sea off the Kerala coast have so far been rescued, there appears to be no estimate yet of the number of persons who have gone missing since Cyclone Ockhi hit Kerala and Lakshadweep Islands.

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According to reports by news agency PTI, while INS Nireekshak, INS Jamuna, and INS Sagardhwani of the Indian Navy are continuing search and rescue operations in their designated areas along the coast off Vizhinjam in Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam, two ships INS Shardul and INS Sharda are heading towards Lakshadweep, a defence spokesman said on Saturday.

The naval ships, which left the Southern Naval Command on Friday, are likely to reach Lakshadweep by Saturday evening amid reports of heavy destruction of life and property brought on in the islands by the cyclone. There are also unconfirmed reports that the Ockhi, which has already pummeled large parts of Kerala and Lakshadweep over the past few days, could turn into a super cyclone bySunday.

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The intensity of the cyclone has already made it very difficult for rescue operations to be carried out effectively. A defence ministry spokesman said on Saturday that about eight boats from Kerala with 36 people on board are perhaps adrift at sea off the Kalpeni island.

Meanwhile, 15 fishermen rescued by the Coast Guard are being brought to the Thiruvananthapuram coast while four fishermen were rescued by a Navy chopper on Saturday morning, 20 miles off Kochi.

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According to the Indian Meteorological Department, the cyclonic storm is likely to continue moving on a west-northwest trajectory across the Lakshadweep Islands over the next 24 hours and could then re-curve northeastwards during the subsequent 48 hours.

In line with Cyclone Ockhi’s expected movement, the Met department has issued a ‘high wind’ alert for the Karnataka, Goa and Konkan coasts over the next couple of days. Heavy rain has been forecast for Lakshadweep for Sunday, accompanied by gale-force winds reaching speeds of up to 100 km/hr gusting to 110 km/hr. Squally winds with speeds reaching 45- to 55 km/hr and gusting to 65 km/hr are forecast for the Karnataka coast through Sunday.

Official sources said heavy to very heavy rain would start lashing the Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts from Tuesday, announcing the arrival of another possible cyclone that could emerge from the South Andaman Sea and hit the Tamil Nadu-Andhra Pradesh coast around the same time as Cyclone Ockhi is expected to reach the India’s West Coast.

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India News

Indian High Commission, consulates facing threats, Canada’s allegations politically motivated: MEA

Arindam Bagchi further underscored that it is Canada that needs to look into its growing reputation of being a safe haven for terrorists, extremists, and organised crime.

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Indian High Commission, consulates facing threats, Canada’s allegations politically motivated: MEA

Amidst escalating tension between India and Canada, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi stated that the allegations by Canada seems to be politically motivated, adding that there’s a degree of prejudice. Diplomatic standoff between both the countries broke out after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday claimed that his country’s security agencies were investigating a link between the Indian government and the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar. 

Briefing the media regarding the aforesaid allegation, Arindam Bagchi noted that no specific information was shared by Canada on the Nijjar case. He added that the Indian government had shared specific information concerning criminal activities by individuals on Canadian soil but no actions were taken regarding the same. 

Arindam Bagchi further underscored that it is Canada that needs to look into its growing reputation of being a safe haven for terrorists, extremists, and organised crime. He asserted that the security situation is owing to the inaction by the Canadian government. He also claimed that there are elements linked to organized crime, terrorists, and extremists who are on a free run and politically condoned. 

The Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson also claimed that the Indian High Commission and consulates are facing security threats in Canada and therefore cannot process visa applications temporarily.  He noted that all categories of visas are suspended and that the issue is not about travel to India but about incitement of violence and inaction by the Canadian government. Those who have valid visas and OCI cards can travel freely, he continued.

He conveyed that the Indian government has informed the Canadian government that there should be parity in strength and rank equivalence in their mutual diplomatic presence. Notably, in a meeting that was held on the sidelines of the G20 Summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi conveyed strong concerns about continuing anti-India activities of extremist elements in Canada, promoting secessionism and inciting violence against Indian diplomats, damaging diplomatic premises, and threatening the Indian community in Canada and their places of worship.

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There is still a chance to send the Women’s Reservation Bill to the Select Committee for including caste quota: RJD MP Manoj Jha

Rashtriya Janata Dal MP Manoj Jha suggested sending the bill to the Select Committee for including the Schedule Caste, Schedules Tribes, Other Backward Castes in the Bill.

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Speaking on the Women’s Reservation Bill in Rajya Sabha, the Rashtriya Janata Dal MP Manoj Jha, said there is still a chance to send the bill to the Select Committee for including the Schedule Caste, Schedules Tribes, Other Backward Castes in the Bill as well.

The Rajya Sabha MP said it would have been a revolutionary step if the 33 percent reservation would not be from the existing quota but it should be a separate quota.

He said the government has created a provision to empower women who come from SC, ST, and OBC communities. There is not much for the welfare of women in the religious text, he added. RJD MP Jha suggested the Modi-led BJP government to take a stand and work for the welfare of the women without any hesitation, he further added.    

Speaking on surname privilege, he said people often overlook their privilege. He said his surname is a privilege. He added our surname has afforded us privilege. Consider those surnames that lack such advantages. In this country, a name may hold little significance, but everything lies in the surname, the Rajya Sabha MP said.

Early in the day, he said the government doesn’t have a clear intention on this bill. There’s no road map and this bill is being passed in Lok Sabha. You have rejected and excluded a big population. PM Modi and his team need to understand that the discussion is not happening on the passing of the bill but on OBC. He further raised questions on OBC not being included in the bill. He said government should revise their position once again or else people have other options to change their position and their bill, Manoj Jha said.

Bihar Deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav has also spoken on the Women’s Reservation Bill and said the reservation should be ensured for backward women and minority women. No one knows when it will be implemented because it will be implemented after the census and delimitation, he added.

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India News

PM Modi to lay foundation stone of International Cricket Stadium in Varanasi on September 23: PMO

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Uttar Pradesh’s Varanasi on September 23 to lay the foundation stone of an International Cricket Stadium.

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The Prime Minister’s Office on Thursday announced that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Uttar Pradesh’s Varanasi on September 23 to lay the foundation stone of an International Cricket Stadium around 1:30 pm.

The PMO also said that PM Modi will also reach Rudraksh International Cooperation and Convention Centre where he will participate in the closing ceremony of Kashi Sansad Sanskritik Mahotsav 2023 around 3:15 pm.

PM Modi will also inaugurate 16 Atal Awasiya Vidyalaya built across Uttar Pradesh, during the programme, the Prime Minister’s Office added.  

The Varanasi International Cricket Stadium is a step towards realising PM Modi’s vision to develop a modern and world-class sports infrastructure. PM Modi is a Lok Sabha MP from Varanasi.  

As per the PMO statement, the International Cricket Stadium will be built in Ganjari, Rajatalab. This will be developed at the cost of Rs 450 crore and will be in more than 30 acres of area.

It has been revealed that the world-class stadium will take inspiration from Lord Shiva for its thematic architecture. The designs will be developed for crescent-shaped roof covers, trident-shaped floodlights and ghat steps-based seating arrangements for the attendees.  

According to the statement, the total capacity of the stadium to accommodate people will be 30,000 spectators.

To provide the best quality education, 16 Atal Awasiya Vidyalaya, which is basically built for the children of labourers, construction workers and those orphaned due to the Covid-19 pandemic, will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the same day. The project has been developed at the cost of Rs 1,115 crore with an aim to make quality education accessible for these children and support their holistic development.

Every school under this scheme has been constructed in an area of 10-15 acres with a classroom, recreational area, sports grounds, mess, a mini auditorium, hotel complex, and also residential flats for the staff members. Such facilities will help children get quality education.  

  

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