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G20 meet kick-starts in Jammu & Kashmir’s Srinagar today, high security alerts issued

The G20 Summit meeting in J&K will be held for three days from May 22-May 24.

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G20 meet kick-starts in Jammu & Kashmir’s Srinagar today, high security alerts issued

The G20 third Tourism Working Group meeting to kick start in Jammu and Kashmir’s Srinagar today. Amid security concerns in the valley, high security alert has been issued with heavy forces deployment.

For more than a month, the preparations to host the conference in the region was underway with beautification works all across, re-development of some lakes, construction of important structures, marshal of security forces etc.

It is the first ever international event in the valley after the scrapping of Article 370(special status of Jammu and Kashmir) in 2019.

The G20 Summit meeting in J&K will be held for three days from May 22-May 24.

As it is a highly sensitive region, high security alerts have been issue, a three-tier security grid is in place, an aerial surveillance drone monitoring is also kept in place to monitor the the area continuously.

National Security Guards(NSG) and Marcos Commandos have been deployed  in and around the venue of the meeting. Special operation group are being deployed at several locations all across to avoid any unwanted situation.

International delegates, officials from various countries will take part in the event and the government ensures all possible action it can to make the guests experience the best hospitality.

Various beautification works have also been taken up like the walls and roads of Srinagar have been painted with beautiful paintings, the famous clock tower in Lal Chowk, Srinagar was also brought down to construct a new one.

Pakistan along with China have strongly objected India’s decision to host the G20 working group meeting in Kashmir and has tried to criticize the decision in international channels.

Arindam Bagchi, the official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs said that the meetings of G20 are being organised all across the country and in almost all cities. He even making a tough statement said, it is very natural to hold these meetings in Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh as these are inseparable regions of the country.

Book reviews

Walking On The Razor’s Edge: The path of the seeker

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The Power of Karma Yoga by Gopi Chandra Das (Jaico Books) is an attempt to unravel the mystique of the Bhagavad Gita in the contemporary context. Is Lord Krishna’s counsel to Arjuna still relevant in today’s time and social space ? How can the timeless teachings of Lord Krishna be adopted by people struggling to cope with the stresses and challenges of modern life? Is there a key teaching which can be easily adopted by stress-torn people? These and many more questions are answered by the author in his easy-to-read style.

The basic premise is that the stress is a function of identity; identity with ego or with role-playing. We all play roles in life: in the family, the office and in the social sphere. These roles demand close identification and exact their cost by way of fear, frustration and failures.

The way out is to ease one’s sense of identity with one’s temporal roles. At the metaphysical level, it means keeping oneself in a detached state from one’s ego. This requires sustained spiritual discipline, but automatically yields to mental distancing with mundane roles as well. No wonder the Katha Upanishad compares the spiritual path to a razor’s edge.

Lord Krishna sought to instil this detached perspective in Arjuna by underlining the perishable nature of the body and the transitory nature of the world. However, the key is to strike a balance between total detachment and total attachment. The golden mean is attained by letting go with discrimination. If we detach too much, it will become difficult to perform our duties; if we cling too much, the material will become a millstone. The idea is to be in the world and yet not be of it. As the Persian saint Abu Said said, “To buy and sell and yet never forget God.”

Detachment, however, doesn’t mean irresponsibility. On the contrary, it means working with utter responsibility; with a sense that the job at hand is a moment to glorify the divine. It is not only work for work’s sake; work is taken up as a tool for self-realization. This is more deeply grasped if we acknowledge that the Gita is not only a handbook of divine knowledge or spiritualised action but essentially a guidepost for the man treading the path of enlightenment.

Sri Aurobindo says: “The Gita is not a weapon for dia­lectical warfare; it is a gate opening on the whole world of spiritual truth and experience, and the view it gives us embraces all the provinces of that supreme region. It maps out, but it does not cut up or build walls or hedges to confine our vision.”

Or as Paramahansa Yoganananda puts it: Gita sheds light on any point of life in which the devotee finds himself in.

Delving yet further, Gopinath explains in the book that letting go is made easy by the practice of apagriha, or being unattached to desires with conscious control on attachment-driven strivings. In the process, one’s motive gets transformed from want-driven to purpose-driven. The aim, at the highest level, being self-realization: the acme of spiritual strivings. For all material strivings ought to be in essence spititual strivings.

When we shift from want-driven to purpose-driven action, the need for personal validation ceases. In our quest for a spiritual-centric action mode, yagna plays an important role. The concept of yagna is transposed from a religious fire-rite to diurnal mundane acts in which personal motives are quenched. As the borderline between the spiritual and the material gets increasingly dissolved, the quest for enlightenment becomes the summum bonum of life.

The direction and blessings of a sadguru is also needed in this eternal quest for soul freedom. In the ultimate sense, the material life and its duties become a stepping stone for a higher life which man embraces to achieve the state of kaivalya. The book lucidly interweaves real-life stories with philosophical concepts, which make for interesting reading.

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India News

Centre lists 6 new Bills for Parliament Monsoon Session

The Centre will introduce six new Bills, including the one to amend the Disaster Management Law.

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The Centre will introduce six new Bills, including the one to amend the Disaster Management Law, at the beginning of the monsoon sessions of the Parliament, which will start on July 22.  

Besides the Finance Bill, the government has also included the Bhartiya Vayuyan Vidheyak, 2024 to replace the Aircraft Act of 1934 to provide enabling provisions for ease of doing business in the civil aviation sector.

The list of Bills was published by Parliament bulletins and furnished by the Lok Sabha secretariat on Thursday evening. The Monsoon Session will kick off on July 22 and continue till August 12.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is scheduled to present the Union Budget on July 23.

Other bills listed for introduction and passage during the session are the Boilers Bill, Bhartiya Vayuyan Vidheyak Bill, Coffee (Promotion and Development) Bill and the Rubber (Promotion and Development) Bill.

Notably, the Boilers Bill replaced the pre-independence era law, the Coffee (Promotion and Development) Bill and the Rubber (Promotion and Development) Bill.

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla also incorporated the Business Advisory Committee (BAC), which has the final say on the parliament agenda; the committee comprises 14 nominated MPs from different parties.

From the BJP, the committee involves Nishikant Dubey, Anurag Singh Thakur, Bhartruhari Mahtab, P.P. Chaudhary, Baijayant Panda, and Dr. Sanjay Jaiswal. From the Congress, K. Suresh and Gaurav Gogoi have been included. Sudip Bandyopadhyay represents the TMC, Dayanidhi Maran represents the DMK, and Arvind Sawant represents the Shiv Sena UBT.

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Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah deletes post on reservation for Kannadigas in private sector after backlash from business community

the Cabinet meeting held yesterday approved a bill to make it mandatory to hire 100 per cent Kannadigas for C and D-grade posts in all private industries in the State.

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Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Wednesday deleted his social media post on the reservation Bill, which reserves seats in groups C and D for Kannadigas only in the private sector, after backlash from the business community.

Announcing the Bill on X, Siddaramaiah said the Cabinet meeting held yesterday approved a bill to make it mandatory to hire 100 per cent Kannadigas for C and D-grade posts in all private industries in the State.

The post further read, “It is our government’s wish that the Kannadigas should avoid being deprived of jobs in the land of Kannada and should be given an opportunity to build a comfortable life in the motherland.” He said that his government is a pro-Kannada government and their priority is to look after the welfare of Kannadigas.

Later after criticism from industry leaders, the Kartnataka CM deleted the post and then shared another post in Kannada that talks about giving reservation of 50% for administrative posts and 75% for non-administrative posts for Kannadigas in private industries and other organizations of the State.

Speaking to the media, Labour Minister Santosh Lad said the government is trying to introduce a law to give preference to locally available skills. He added that at the management level, it has been decided to provide reservations to 50% of the people.

At the non-management level, it has been decided to provide work to 70%, he said. If a particular skill is not available, people can be outsourced and they can be given work here. But the Government is trying to bring in a law to give preference to locally available skills, the minister further added.

In response to the government’s announcement about the passage of the Bill, industry leaders and unions voiced concerns that it would impede industry growth by pushing away skilled workers not protected by the quota. Nasscom, the apex body for the technology industry in India, stated that the Bill was “deeply disturbing”.

Mohandas Pai, a Padma Shri Awardee and former CFO and Board Member at Infosys, also said that the government must focus on increasing jobs, training, and educating Kannada youth instead of driving away investment. Karnataka is India’s best state, adding that he said we should not destroy this. Pai termed the Bill as ‘discriminatory, regressive, and against the Constitution’ even as he attacked the ruling Congress for the decision.

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