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Over 60 dead in Himachal Pradesh, Uttrakhand as heavy rain continues

On Tuesday, August 15, the weather office issued an orange notice, and a yellow alert was in effect for the following four days, until August 19.

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In Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, where houses collapsed often, constant rains and landslides killed 66 people. Rescue efforts to the injured and body recovery from debris were ongoing.

60 people have perished in Himachal Pradesh since the severe rains started on August 13; the majority of the deaths, according to Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, occurred there.

The weather office has forecast sporadic but heavy rainfall throughout Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh over the next four days.

Rescuers pulled three dead from the ruins on Tuesday as a result of landslides. Two individuals perished in a recent landslip in Shimla, while one body was recovered from the rubble of a fallen Shiva temple in the city.

A landslip in Shimla’s Krishnanagar area resulted in at least eight buildings, including six temporary structures, collapsing and burying an abattoir beneath the rubble.

He added that a total of 19 bodies had been found since Monday, including 12 at the site of the collapsed Shiva temple in Summer Hill, five in Fagli, and two in Krishnanagar. He further stated that more than 10 persons are still thought to be trapped inside the Shiva temple.

An edict from the education department stated that owing to bad weather, all state-run schools and colleges will be closed on Wednesday.

Around six in the morning, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), the Army, the police and the SDRF commenced rescue efforts at Summer Hill, according to Shimla Deputy Commissioner Aditya Negi.

Following a significant downpour on Monday night, the rescue efforts were put on hold.

On Tuesday, August 15, the weather office issued an orange notice, and a yellow alert was in effect for the following four days, until August 19.

Meanwhile, due to the excessive rains, Himachal Pradesh University postponed classes until August 19. Until August 20, the university library will likewise be closed.

However, a statement stated that both teaching and non-teaching personnel would continue to work at the university as usual.

Tuesday’s meeting to examine the state’s current condition was presided over by Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, who stressed that the Himachal administration is completely committed to advancing restoration operations on a priority basis.

Six people were killed in rain-related accidents in the bordering state of Uttarakhand, up from two previously reported deaths and seven unaccounted for. Since Monday, there has been a lot of rain throughout the state.

The disaster management centre in Dehradun said that a body of a woman who went missing after water from a flooded river Pawar reached settlements in the Arakot area of the Uttarkashi district was discovered on Tuesday. Tejaswini’s body, a 14-year-old girl, was also found in a creek in the Lakshman Jhula area of Rishikesh.

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PM Modi inaugurates 3 major space infrastructure projects, announces names of astronauts for Gaganyaan mission

The four pilots have been training at the astronaut training facility in Bengaluru.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi today revealed the names of four pilots preparing for the country’s historic Gaganyaan human space travel program. Group Captain P Balakrishnan Nair, Group Captain Ajit Krishnan, Group Captain Angad Pratap, and Wing Commander S Shukla, are the four pilots who are selected for this mission.

The PM also bestowed astronaut wings to the four astronaut-designates.

PM Modi addressed the people there and said, he is happy that today he got the opportunity to meet these astronauts and present them in front of the country. He also congratulated the astronauts on behalf of the entire country. PM Modi also hailed the astronaut as the pride of the country.

Meanwhile, the PM inaugurated three major infrastructure projects of ISRO valued at 1800 crore during his visit to Vikram Sarabhai Space Center in Kerala on Tuesday. PM Narendra Modi is on a two-day visit to the southern states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu starting Tuesday, February 27.

The projects include the PSLV Integration Facility at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, the new Semi-cryogenics Integrated Engine and stage Test facility at ISRO Propulsion Complex at Mahendragiri, and Trisonic Wind Tunnel at VSSC, Thiruvananthapuram.

Before the inauguration ceremonyISRO chairman S Somanath extended his respects to Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a felicitation ceremony held at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) in Thiruvananthapuram.

The ISRO chairman said, with the support of the honorable Prime Minister, the space sector is undergoing rapid transformation for expansion. He added that the long-term space vision for Amrit Kal had already been announced by the Prime minister. He further added that the vision had been created for Amrit Kal with the space sector as the torch bearer.

After the inauguration ceremony, the Prime Minister is scheduled to address public gatherings in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, and Tiruppur, Tamil Nadu. Additionally, he will participate in the program called Creating the Future – Digital Mobility for Automotive MSME Entrepreneurs in Madurai.

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Rahul Gandhi reacts to Hijab controversy, says what a person wears is their responsibility and nobody should decide what they wear

Rahul Gandhi said what a woman wears is her responsibility and it is her decision. He thought nobody should decide what they wear. His comments came after the Congress government in Karnataka allowed students to wear Hijab during competitive exams in October last year.

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Congress Leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday said that women’s choice of clothing including a hijab should be respected and one should not dictate what a person has to wear. Rahul Gandhi was interacting with female students at the Aligarh Muslim University in Uttar Pradesh during his Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra.

During the interaction a girl mentioned the hijab controversy in Karnataka and asked the Congress leader about his views on the same. He said what a woman wears is her responsibility and it is her decision. He thought nobody should decide what they wear. His comments came after the Congress government in Karnataka allowed students to wear Hijab during competitive exams in October last year.

The issue erupted in Januray 2022 when Muslim students at a government pre-university college in Karnataka’s Udupi were denied entry for wearing hijabs, citing a violation of the college’s uniform policy. The incident has sparked widespread protests and counter-protests across the state.

The then BJP government issued an order that made mandatory for students to wear uniforms in educational institutes. The order banned the wearing of hijabs in these settings. This decision was challenged in court, and on March 15, 2022 the decision was upheld by the Haryana High Court.

The court said wearing a hiujab is not an essential religious practice in Islam and as result it does not fall under the protection of Article 25 of the Indian Constitution, which guarantees the fundamental right to freely practice one’s religion.

In October 2022, The Supreme Court pronounced a split verdict on the petitions challenging The Karnataka High Court order which refused to overturn a ban on hijabs in educational institutions in the state. The Top court’s split verdict means the issue will be revisited by a larger bench for final decision.In December last year, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah announced that his government will withdraw the order banning hijab in schools and colleges in the state .   

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Rajya Sabha election: Samajwadi Party leader Manoj Kumar Pandey steps down as Chief Whip, voting underway

Samajwadi Party MLA Manoj Kumar Pandey on Tuesday resigned from the post of party chief whip amid the voting for 10 Rajya Sabha seats.

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In the midst of voting for the Rajya Sabha elections, Samajwadi Party leader and MLA Manoj Kumar Pandey resigned from his position as the party’s chief whip in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly on Tuesday.

His resignation from the position was announced barely one day after eight Samajwadi Party MLAs failed to show up for a meeting that the party Chief Akhilesh Yadav had called.

Eight BJP candidates and three Samajwadi Party candidates have applied for the 10 Rajya Sabha seats from Uttar Pradesh as the voting has begun.

The main opposition SP and the ruling BJP both have enough members to send seven and three members to the Rajya Sabha, respectively, without opposition. However, since the BJP is fielding an eighth candidate, a competitive race is expected in one of the seats.

The results will be announced by the end of the day.

The BJP has put up seven other candidates which includes, former Union minister RPN Singh, former MP Chaudhary Tejveer Singh, general secretary of the party’s Uttar Pradesh unit Amarpal Maurya, former state minister Sangeeta Balwant (Bind); former MLA Sadhna Singh, and former Agra mayor Naveen Jain.

Actor-turned-MP Jaya Bachchan, former IAS officer Alok Ranjan, and Dalit activist Ramji Lal Suman are the candidates officially nominated by the Samajwadi Party.

In Uttar Pradesh, a candidate needs around 37 first-preference votes to be elected to the Rajya Sabha.

Voting will end at 4 p.m., and counting will start at 5 p.m.

With 252 and 108 members, respectively, the BJP and the SP have the majority of seats in the 403-member state assembly. The SP’s alliance partner, the Congress, holds two seats.

Thirteen seats are held by the BJP ally Apna Dal (Sonelal), six by the NISHAD Party, nine by the RLD, six by the SBSP, two by Jansatta Dal Loktantrik, and one by the BSP. There are presently four open seats.

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