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Swadesh Conclave 2023: India will be country with world’s second finest metro system, says Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri

Appreciating that Delhi Metro is one of the finest metros in the world, Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri remarked that in the next two years India will beat the world’s finest metro connectivity system.



Swadesh Conclave 2023: India will be country with world's second finest metro system, says Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri

The Swadesh Conclave 2023 commenced in New Delhi’s Vigyan Bhavan on Monday. The theme of this year’s event is Influential India. Editor-in-chief Rajshri Rai welcomed Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri and stated that the ruling government has done a lot to change India’s image. She added that some departments of the government have special contributions like the Urban and Housing Affairs ministry. 

Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri in his inaugural address at the Swadesh Conclave 2023 expressed that the influencers will mould the real Amrit Kaal.  He expressed that when the truth is trying its shoelaces, the lie would have travelled halfway around the world. Speaking about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s contribution to urban planning, Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri stated that between 2004-2014, total Rs 1,78,000 crore were spent on urban space. PM Narendra Modi saw an opportunity in it and in these 9 years, total expenditure has gone up to Rs 18.07 lakh cr, he continued. 

Read more: Swadesh Conclave 2023 to be held in New Delhi, this year’s theme Influential India

Hailing Swachh Bharat Mission, Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri expressed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the only leader after MK Gandhi to take up cleanliness drive. He highlighted that all the schemes initiated by the Prime Minister are women centric at its core. He mentioned that the girls and the women are the first beneficiaries of Swachh Bharat. He underlined that after PM Narendra Modi launched Ujjwala Yojana in 2016, the people of India received free stove and gas cylinders till 2019, adding that 9 crores united were given free to the people. 

Read more: Swadesh Conclave 2023: Nitin Gadkari says performance audit more important than financial audit

Appreciating that Delhi Metro is one of the finest metros in the world, Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri remarked that in the next two years India will beat the world’s finest metro connectivity system. He further shared that at times he takes a metro ride from home to the airport that takes him around 13-14 minutes. He also noted that India has the lowest fuel price in comparison to other neighbouring countries.

Read more: Swadesh Conclave: India will be largest economy in the world by 2047, says MoS SP Baghel

Senior Advocate Pradeep Rai, the Chairperson of Balaji Foundation & ILRF in his inaugural speech congratulated Rajashri Rai for acknowledging influencers efforts and exploring areas that remained unexplored for a long time. He added that the influencers do great jobs and sometimes they make slight mistakes that result in government pressure and litigation. He further acknowledged that makers, artists, innovators are most importantly the change makers.

Read more: Manoj Tiwari says Delhi is in debt of 1.5 lakh crore at Swadesh Conclave 2023

The first session of the Swadesh Conclave, The Power of Influencers: Shaping the News India concluded with presenting awards to the influencers. The Swadesh Samman awardees are Woodstock International School principal, Dr Craig Cook, playback singer Madhushree, Film Director Sandeep Singh, Fininfluencers and entrepreneur Rachana Phadke, Content creator Anant Ladha. 

Read more: Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore hails influencers as leaders at Swadesh Conclave 2023

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Calcutta High Court suggests changing name of Sita, Akbar lions

Justice Saugata Bhattacharyya asked AAG whether he had any pets and if they were named after national heroes.



The Calcutta High Court on Thursday suggested to the Bengal government that the names of lioness Sita and lion Akbar, who were placed in the same enclosure at the Bengal Safari Park in Siliguri, could be changed.

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) had filed a petition in the High Court to change the name of the lioness Sita, who was recently brought to West Bengal from Tripura.

Hearing a petition, the Single-Judge Bench of Justice Saugata Bhattacharyya orally directed the State to avoid controversy and consider renaming the big cats.

Questioning the intention of the State, Justice Bhattacharyya asked the government if it would name a lion after a Hindu deity, a Muslim prophet or Christian god, a freedom fighter or a Nobel laureate. Generally, anyone who has been revered or respected by the people of our country, Justice Bhattacharyya further asked.

On this occasion, the Additional Advocate General (AAG), appearing for the State, submitted that the naming of the lions took place in Tripura, and it was the responsibility of the Tripura Zoo authorities. Counsel further told the Court that the State itself was already considering changing the name of lions.

Upon hearing the arguments, the Bench also questioned the logic behind naming the lions after a god, freedom fighter or Nobel laureate and further asked why the State did not challenge the names given by Tripura.

The Court further noted that the petition filed by VHP espoused the rights of a large section of people and said that naming a lion after Sita, a largely worshipped by Hindus would hurt their religious sentiments.

During the exchange with AAG, Justice Bhattacharyya also stated that the animals could not be named after respected figures. He further asked AAG whether he had any pets and if they were named after national heroes.

The Bench had directed the petition by VHP to be reclassified as a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) and redirected it to a regular Bench that can hear the same.

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Farmer who died in protest, survived by mentally ill father, unwed sister

Farmer Leader Jagjit Singh Dallewal has asked the Punjab Government to declare Shubhkaran Singh a martyr and provide benefits accordingly. 



The 21-year-old farmer, Shubhkaran Singh who died during the clashes between the police and the protesting farmers on Khanauri border left behind his mentally ill father and an unwed sister. His mother died years ago.

The 21 years old, a resident of Balloch village of Bathinda in Punjab, left his home on February 13 to join the Delhi Chalo march. Reports stated that Shubhkaran Singh was the youngest among the group of 15 people who left to join the protest from the village.

Reportedly, Shubhkaran was the only son and sole breadwinner of the family. The 21-year-old farmer has about two acres of land. Shubhkaran, who has two sisters, also took a loan for the marriage of his one sister.

The farmers who halted their protest for two days after the death of the youth, have blocked the autopsy. Farmer Leader Jagjit Singh Dallewal has asked the AAP led Punjab Government to declare Shubhkaran a martyr and provide benefits accordingly. The leader further said that the government should create a five member board to conduct the post-mortem examination.

Meanwhile, farmer leader Sarwan Singh Pandher said that the police took action when the farmers were peacefully trying to cross over into Haryana. He added that more than 100 farmers have been injured and demanded the treatment of injured farmers.

Haryana police while appealing for peace said that farmers escalated the violence by attacking the police personnels with sticks and maces and that the police were only trying to restrain them.

Issuing a statement, Additional Inspector General, Manisha Chaudhary said that farmers surrounded the police from all sides, burned stubble by pouring chilli powder in it. She added that around 12 policemen were seriously injured because of the attacks by protestors at Datta Singh Wala-Khanauri border.

Meanwhile, farmer’s leader Pandher said that farmer leaders will discuss future actions and until then, all farmers will remain camped at the borders.

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Congress slams Govt over X blocking accounts linked to farmers protest on Centre’s order, says democracy is being murdered

X disagreed with these actions and maintain that freedom of expression should extend to these posts.



The Congress party on Thursday slammed the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led central government over the action of microblogging platform X blocking accounts and posts linked to the ongoing farmers’ protest and called it a murder of democracy.

Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh, taking to X, said that the action taken by the social media platform on the Centre’s order was a murder of democracy in India.

The Elon Musk-led X, sharing a post on its platform in response to the IT ministry’s order asking it to temporarily block 177 accounts linked to the farmers’ protest, said that the Indian government has issued executive orders requiring it to act on specific accounts and posts, subject to potential penalties, including significant fines and imprisonment.

The X’s Global Government Affairs team further stated that it complied with the orders and they would withhold these accounts and posts in India alone, however, they disagreed with these actions and maintained that freedom of expression should extend to these posts.

Consistent with their position, a writ appeal challenging the Indian government’s blocking orders remains pending. X has also provided the impacted users with notice of these actions following their policies.

Due to legal restrictions, they were unable to publish the executive orders, but they thought that making them public was essential for transparency. This lack of disclosure can lead to a lack of accountability and arbitrary decision-making, the X’s Global Government Affairs said in a post on its platform.

Meanwhile, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also hit out at the Modi government and termed it a murder of democracy. Taking to X, he raised several questions and said if farmers ask for MSP, shoot them. Is this the Mother of Democracy? Gandhi further said that when the youth ask for the appointment, the Centre refuse to even listen to them, if the former governor tells the truth, then they send CBI to his house.

He also attacked the Modi government for freezing the bank accounts of the most prominent opposition party. He added, saying that Section 144, internet ban, sharp wires, and tear gas shells on farmers are not justified in the democracy. He further attacked the Centre for suppressing the voice of the people. He charged on Centre, saying Modi ji public knows that the government have murdered democracy and they will answer it.

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