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Yet another IAS officer quits, says building blocks of democracy being compromised

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An IAS officer in Karnataka, Deputy Commissioner of Dakshina Kannada S Sasikanth Senthil, quit the service today – Friday, Sep 6 – saying in a letter that the “fundamental building blocks of democracy are being compromised in an unprecedented manner” and “it simply cannot be business as usual anymore”.

Senthil is the second high-profile official to resign in a matter of weeks.

Apologising to the people for “discontinuing the job”, Senthil said his decision was “purely personal” and “in no way connected to anyone or to any event in my current profile”.

In his letter, he wrote it was “unethical” for him to continue as a civil servant in the government when the “fundamental building blocks of democracy are being compromised in an unprecedented manner”.

“I also feel strongly that the coming days will present extremely difficult challenges to the basic fabric of our nation and that I would be better off outside the IAS to continue with my work at making life better for all,” he wrote.

A 2009 batch Karnataka cadre IAS officer, Senthil had assumed charge as Dakshina Kannada DC on June 2017 and was hailed for his proactive approach towards district administration. He was a Tamil Nadu topper in the UPSC exams and had bagged the ninth spot at all-India level.

The IAS officer hails from Tamil Nadu and is an engineering graduate specialised in Electronics and Communications. He completed his graduation from Regional Engineering College of Bharathidasan University in Trichy.

Senthil was on leave for a week prior to tendering his resignation today and had asked Zilla Panchayat CEO Selvamani R to take charge during his absence.

Last month, a 2012-batch IAS officer hailing from Kerala, Kannan Gopinathan, resigned from the Dadra and Nagar Haveli administration. The 33-year-old bureaucrat quit on August 21 to protest what he claimed was the denial of fundamental rights to lakhs of people in Jammu and Kashmir amid massive security restrictions after the government decided to end special status to the state under Article 370 and split it into two Union Territories.

Gopinathan rejected the Centre’s statement that the security restrictions were meant to prevent violent reprisals, saying that life holds no meaning to a human being without the right to liberty.

“Life and liberty go together, and that’s the beauty of a constitutional democracy. If they say that they will put you in jail to save your life, would that be acceptable to you? You can argue something like that for a certain period, yes, but this has been going on for three weeks now,” the 2012 batch officer told NDTV in an exclusive interview.

“It’s not like my resignation will cause even a flutter, but one has one’s own conscience to answer to,” he had said.

In January, IAS officer Shah Faesal, who became the first Kashmiri to top the civil services exam in 2009, resigned to protest what he called “unabated” killings in Kashmir and the marginalisation of Indian Muslims. He subsequently formed a political party, the J&K Peoples Movement.

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Gorakhnath temple attack convict sentenced to death by NIA court

Gorakhnath temple attack convict Ahmad Murtaza Abbasi was sentenced to death, Monday, by a special anti-terror court.

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Gorakhnath temple attack

Gorakhnath temple attack convict Ahmad Murtaza Abbasi was sentenced to death, Monday, by a special anti-terror court.

A report quoting Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order), Prashan Kumar, said that Abbasi was awarded the death penalty under Section 121 of the Indian Penal Code by a special NIA court for attacking security personnel stationed at Gorakhnath temple in Uttar Pradesh’s Gorakhpur in April last year.

Abbasi, a chemical engineer, was arrested following an attack with a sharp-edged weapon on Uttar Pradesh Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) personnel posted at the Gorakhnath temple.

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Police said that after interrogation, Abbasi revealed he was in cahoots with the Islamic State and had taken an oath to fight for the global terrorist group. They said that Abbasi was also providing financial aid to the terror group’s sympathizers and supporters.

Ahmad Murtaza Abbasi, a resident of Civil Lines area in UP’s Gorakhpur, is an IIT-ian with a degree in chemical engineering from IIT-Mumbai.

According to the police, Abbasi suffered from mental health issues for which he underwent treatment from several doctors and ultimately led to him separating from his wife in 2017.

On April 3 last year, Abbasi tried to force his way inside the Gorakhnath temple, when stopped, he proceeded to attack the security men deployed there with a sickle in which two constables were injured. However, he was overpowered and arrested.

The ATS investigation revealed that the Abbasi’s attack was part of a “deep conspiracy.” The UP Home Department had said the attack could be termed as a terror incident.

Mughal Garden: Opening date, timing, entry price and how to book Amrit Udyan tickets online

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Mughal Garden: Opening date, timing, entry price and how to book Amrit Udyan tickets online

Mughal Garden, now renamed Amrit Udyan, at Rashtrapati Bhavan is all set to open for the public from January 31. President Droupadi Murmu on Sunday graced the opening of the gardens of Rashtrapati Bhavan, Udyan Utsav 2023.

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Amrit Udyan

Mughal Garden, now renamed Amrit Udyan, at Rashtrapati Bhavan is all set to open for the public from January 31. President Droupadi Murmu on Sunday graced the opening of the gardens of Rashtrapati Bhavan, Udyan Utsav 2023.

Mughal Garden has been renamed to commemorate the 75 years of independence. In keeping with the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav celebration’s theme, the garden has also been given a new name, Amrit Udyan.

Amrit Udyan’s opening and closing date

Amrit Udyan opens once a year to the public. This year, it will remain open for the general public from January 31 to March 26. However, it will be closed on all Mondays and on March 1 and 2 due to G20 meetings and March 8 on the occasion of Holi.

The garden will be accessible to special groups from March 28 to March 31. Amrit Udyan will open for farmers on March 28, people with disabilities on March 29, members of the armed forces, paramilitary groups, and police on March 30, and self-organized groups of tribal women on March 31.

Entry and exit for all visitors will be from gate number 35 of the President’s Estate, close to where North Avenue meets Rashtrapati Bhavan.

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Amrit Udyan timings

People can visit Amrit Udyan during the time period between 10 am and 4 pm.

How to book Amrit Udyan tickets online?

  • Go to the official website of Rashtrapati Bhavan at https://rashtrapatisachivalaya.gov.in or https://rb.nic.in/rbvisit/visit_plan.aspx.
  • On the homepage, select the option that reads Mughal Garden Visit.
  • Enter the required details such as name, date of visit, etc.
  • After that, you are required to submit your photo ID.
  • Click on the register button.

People can also buy Amrit Udyan tickets offline. Walk-in visitors have to register themselves at the facilitation counters as well as at the self-service kiosk near Gate 12 of Rashtrapati Bhavan. The visitors will have 6 slots to choose from, so it is advised to make prior bookings to avoid rushing at the gate.

The number of guests that can be reserved at once is 30. However, schools and colleges reserve a maximum of 50 at a time.

Amrit Udyan entry/ticket price

There is no fee for the booking of slots or entry to the Gardens of Rashtrapati Bhavan during Udyan Utsav. Visitors must, however, pay Rs 50 to enter Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Rashtrapati Bhavan will be open five days a week from Wednesday to Sunday and the Rashtrapati Bhavan Museum six days a week from Tuesday to Sunday. People can also witness the change of guard ceremony every Saturday, except on gazetted holidays.

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Bank holidays February 2023: Banks to remain shut for 10 days, check dates here

Apart from festivals, banks will also remain shut on the second and fourth Saturdays.

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Bank holidays February 2023

Every month banks across the country remain shut due to festivals and other public and private holidays. In February 2023, both private and public banks will not function for 10 days. However, the holidays differ from state to state.

Festivals like Guru Ravidas Jayanti, Hazrat Ali Jayanti, Maha Shivaratri, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, and others will be celebrated in February which might affect the functioning of banks in several states.

Full list of bank holidays in February 2023

DATEDAYHOLIDAYSTATES 
5 February 2023 Sunday Hazrat Ali Jayanti Uttar Pradesh 
5 February 2023 Sunday Guru Ravidas Jayanti Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana & Punjab 
15 February 2023 Wednesday Lui-Ngai-Ni Manipur 
18 February 2023 Saturday Maha Shivaratri Several states of India 
19 February 2023 Sunday Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Jayanti Maharashtra 
20 February 2023 Monday State Day  Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram 
21 February 2023 Tuesday Losar Sikkim 

Apart from this, banks will also remain shut on the second and fourth Saturdays.

DATEDAYHOLIDAYSTATES 
12 February 2023 Saturday Second Saturday All States 
15 February 2023 Tuesday Lui-Ngai-Ni  Manipur 
19 February 2023 Sunday Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Jayanti Maharashtra 
25 February 2023 Saturday Fourth Saturday All States 

For those unversed, the Reserve Bank of India categorises holidays into three categories-Holiday under the Negotiable Instruments Act and Real-Time Gross Settlement Holidays, Holidays under the Negotiable Instruments Act, and Banks’ Closing of Accounts.

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In January 2023, banks across the country will remain shut for 14 days.

Date  Day    Holiday    State  
January 1, 2023SundayNew Year Bank Holiday & Weekend Bank HolidayAll over India
January 2, 2023MondayNew Year Bank CelebrationMizoram
January 5, 2023ThursdayGuru Gobind Singh JayantiHaryana and Rajasthan
January 8, 2023SundayWeekend Bank HolidayAll over India
January 11, 2023WednesdayMissionary DayMizoram
January 14, 2023SaturdaySecond Saturday Bank HolidayAll over India
January 15, 2023SundayWeekend Bank HolidayAll over India
January 22, 2023SundayWeekend Bank HolidayAll over India
January 23, 2023MondayNetaji Subash Chandra Bose JayantiTripura and West Bangal
January 25, 2023WednesdayState DayHimachal Pradesh
January 26, 2023ThursdayRepublic DayAll over India
January 28, 2023SundayFourth Saturday Bank HolidayAll over India
January 29, 2023SundayWeekend Bank HolidayAll over India
January 31, 2023MondayMe-Dam-Me-PhiAssam

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