Category Archives: National

Congress stomps out first BJP government in southern India

New Delhi/May 8
Congress party on Wednesday stomped out first BJP government southern India with a thumping victory by winning 121 seats in 224 member Karnataka assembly.
As per the Indian Election Commission results, Congress party have 121 seats while BJP managed to get only 40 seats and tied with Janata Dal (Secular) that also won 40 seats in recently concluded assembly.
Congress is now set to form next government in Karnataka as electorate has given them with clear majority and party leaders termed the victory as people’s verdict against 5 years of misrule by the BJP in the state that forced the party to sack the Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa and top leaders for indulging in scams involving illegal mining contracts in the state.
Yeddyurappa had later formed Karnataka Janata Party that destroyed any hopes for BJP for returning into power and this split in voters helped Congress to attain majority votes.
Former BJP regime in state witnessed three chief ministers in the last two years due to infighting in the party after Yeddyurappa was forced to resign from Chief Minister’s post.
Meanwhile, the race for Chief Minister have started in Congress Party and K Siddaramaiah, Veerappa Moily and Mallikarjun Kharge are said to be front runner for new CM’s post, though its party leaders are saying that the High Command will decide on the next Chief Minster of the state.

Two year old child dies after his mother set him on fire

New Delhi/May 8
In a shocking incident, a 2-year-old child died on Wednesday after he was set on fire by his mother in Jamnagar area of Gujarat.
The baby boy, Raunak was set on fire by his mother Vandana (30) after she had argument with her husband. “She allegedly poured kerosene oil on the child after an argument over some issue with her husband, Kishore at their residence near Vambay Awaas Yojana in Jamnagar early this morning and set him on fire. The child was rushed to a nearby hospital were he succumbed to burn injuries,” said the police.
Kishore, who works as a carpenter, had gone to work and Vandana was alone in the house at the time of incident.
“On interrogations, Vandana told the police that she took the extreme step as she is mentally unstable due to marital discord and was fed up with mental torture by her husband.
Meanwhile, police have arrested Vandana and a case has been registered against her in this regard.

Three US women kept hostage for 10 years, rescued

Ohio/May 8
In a shocking incident, three US women were kept hostage by three brothers at their Cleveland, Ohio residence for more than 10 years
The trio, Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight were found tied with chains and ropes in the trio’s house in Seymour Avenue in Cleveland. Cleveland Police rescued the girls after one of the victim Berry managed to escape from the house with the help of the accused’s neighbour.
“Amanda Berry (27), Gina DeJesus (13) and Michelle Knight (32) were rescued on Monday night along Amanda’s six-year-old daughter Jocelyn that was born during her captivity,” said the police, adding that they have arrested the three brothers for kidnapping and keeping the women hostage for 10 years.
The three brothers Ariel Castro (52), Pedro Castro (54) and Onil Castro (54) have kept the women in the basement of the house and they were taken outside the basement very rarely. The police authorities are still baffled as how anyone didn’t noticed them for all these years.
However, police authorities reportedly said that the women were in good physical condition at the time of rescue and they assume that the victims might have been allowed to go outside once in a while.
Amanda, Gina and Michele had gone missing 10 years ago in separate incidents and they have been re-united with their families after a decade.
Amanda Berry had gone missing after work at a fast food restaurant in April 21, 2003 at the age 17 while Gina was 14-year-old when she had disappeared on April 2, 2004 while she was returning to her house from school. Michele was 20-year-old when she was abducted on August 23, 2002 from outside her cousin’s house.

Government school students to be given free medicine for de-worming

Chandigarh/May 8
Nearly 28 lakh students of Punjab’s government and government aided schools will be given first dose of Albendazole tablet for De-worming on May 10 while second dose will be given on November 15, 2013.
Pinjab Health and Family Welfare minister Madan Mohan Mittal said that government school students will be given first dose of Albendazole tablet for De-worming on May 10 and the second dose would be given on November 15, 2013.
Mittal said that May 10 and November 15 of each year would be observed as De-worming days. He urged parents of the children studying in these schools to ensure that their children must get this de-worming dose in their schools.
Miital further said that medical checkup of children studying in government and government aided schools is conducted twice a year and children found suffering with any ailments are given free treatment in government hospitals. “Children suffering from eye- sight problems are given spectacles free of cost and during the year 2012-13, 55,664 spectacles were given to such children. Children suffering with heart ailments are provided free treatment through government and other empanelled hospitals and 1913 such children have been referred for treatment out of which 965 children have already undergone surgeries at a cost of Rs 864 lakh,” Mittal added.
Similarly, free of cost treatment is also being provided for children suffering from Cancer, and 318 such children have been referred till now at an expenditure of Rs. 360 lakhs and the treatment is in progress. Children found suffering from Thallesemia are given free treatment (Chillation therapy) through 6 Thallesemic Societies. 148 such children are already undergoing treatment and till now Rs. 11 lakh has already been spend for the purpose, he added.
As per NFHS-3 survey, 55% children in the country are anaemic and problem of anaemia is also prevalent among the school children of Punjab. The reason behind anaemia are mainly malnutrition and worms in the stomach and children suffering anaemia feel fatigued and also remain irritated and hence unable to concentrate on studies and also suffer with weak memory and other growth related problem etc.

Himachal approves social security pension to 10,369 persons

Shimla/May 8
Himachal government today gave its approval to grant social security pension to 10,369 persons of the state.
A Himachal government spokesperson said on Wednesday that the state government today gave approval to 10,369 pending applications of social security pension for granting pension.
“With this the total number of social security pension beneficiaries had now increased to 2,92,921 that includes old age, widows and disabled pensioners,” the government spokesperson, adding that the state government had already enhanced the pensions from Rs 450 to Rs 500 per month from 1st April, 2013.
Himachal government had earmarked total budget of Rs 206.35 crore under Social Security Pension for current financial year and had also decided to increase the pension of those above 80 years of age from Rs 800 to Rs 1000 per month.
“The subsidy for construction of houses to houseless poor from SC/ST and OBC categories had also been increased from Rs 48,500 to Rs 75,000 from 1st April, 2013 and a target of constructing 3562 houses had been fixed during the current financial year,” said the spokesperson.
Further, the grant for re-marriage of widows and inter-caste marriages had also been increased from Rs. 25,000 to Rs 50,000 besides enhancing the grant under Mukhyamantri Kanyadaan Yojna from Rs 21,000 to Rs 25,000.

Drug and food licences to be made online in Himachal

Shimla/May 8
Chief Minister said that online Food Licensing and Registration System would ease to use interface for Food Business Operators (FBO) and to equip the State Authorities to manage the large number of applications from FBOs besides improving transparency, work flow, streamline reporting etc.
Chief Minister was also presented a cheque of Rs. 11 lakh by Himachal Drugs Manufacturers Association towards Red Cross Society which was handed over to Smt. Anita Tegta, Secretary to the Governor by the Chief Minister.
Health and Family Welfare Minister Kaul Singh Thakur thanked the Chief Minister for launching online XLN and online Food Licensing and Registration System and said that it would be more useful for the department and stakeholders.
Singh said that Rs. 1.6 crore had been spent for setting up this system. He said that State Government has sent a project of Rs. 70 crore to the Government of India for strengthening the Composite Testing Laboratory, Kandaghat, to establish Drugs Laboratory at Baddi and to strengthen the Drugs Control Administration. He said that Himachal Pradesh had become pharma hub of the country and was producing medicines worth Rs. 35,000 crore.
Himachal Pradesh has become the third State in the country to launch Xtended Licensing Node (XLN) for filing online applications and issuing drug licenses and online food licensing and registration system. Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh launched the same here today.
Chief Minister said that Xtended Licensing Node system was e-governance friendly which would bring more transparency and efficiency in the drug licensing procedure. He said that under the system physical file movement from field to head office and correspondence between department and stakeholders would be stopped besides acceptance of applications and license delivery mechanism had been decentralized to the district offices.
Virbhadra Singh said that under the system the licencee would get SMS on his registered mobile number when the application would be marked to drugs inspector for the inspection till the entire process of getting license. Besides, maintaining of drug register would become more easy and duplication of the name of registered pharmacists could be checked. He said that the software would show the inward applications as well as the pending applications with the licensing authorities and drugs inspectors in the State.
He said that this software would also be used to link up with Composite Testing Laboratory, Kandaghat thereby providing the seamless interface with drug testing facilities. He said that system was citizen centric as they could easily locate particular chemist shops having life saving drugs and they can also locate availability of a particular blood group/component at any nearest blood bank. Besides, the general public could also get information about standard and drug samples for life saving drugs of manufactured alongwith batch number, manufacture/ expiry dates etc.

Himachal Cabinet clears allowance to unemployed youth

Shimla/May 8
Himachal government on Wednesday gave its approval to give skill development unemployment allowance, as promised by Congress party in its election manifesto, to the eligible educated unemployed youth for their skill development.
The cabinet scheme aims at enabling unemployed youth to develop their skill that will help them in getting jobs or self-employment in the field of their choice.
“Under the scheme, provision has been made to provide skill development allowance to unemployed youth of Himachal in the age group of 25 to 35 years who have at least passed ten plus two from State recognised educational institutions and whose name has been registered in employment exchanges for the last two years at the time of submission of application,” a government spokesperson.
Under the scheme, the candidates will be given an allowance of Rs 1000 per month whereas those eligible youth who are 50 percent or more handicapped will get Rs 1500 per month.
Himachal cabinet also decided to enhance marriage grant to bonafide Himachali destitute or women to Rs 25,000 and also to enhance the income limit for eligibility to Rs 20,000 per annum under Mukhya Mantri Kanyadan Yojana.
The state government has also decided to revise the pension of pre-2006 pensioners and as per this decision, pension of pensioners and family pensioners of pre-2006 period has been increased by 50 percent and 30 percent respectively of the minimum of the pay in the pay band and grade pay corresponding to the pre-revised pay scale.
Further, winter allowance of state employees who works in tribal and hard terrain areas, has also been hiked from Rs 200 to Rs 300 per month. Moreover, the state cabinet also accorded its nod to approve the procedure for clearance of roposals by State Level Single Window Clearance and Monitoring Authority (SLSWC&MC) for setting up of industrial units in the State with-in 90 days of the receipt of the proposal. Himachal’s Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh had announced this in his budget speech.
The Cabinet decided to enhance the benefits under the welfare schemes framed under the H.P. Building and Other Construction Workers Rule, 2008.
It also approved to enhance the financial assistance under Widow Re-marriage Scheme from Rs 25,000 to Rs 50,000.
Cabinet gave its nod to upgrade Primary Health Centre Katola to Community Health Centre Katola in District Mandi and also decided to upgrade Community Health Centre Haroli to 50 bedded Civil Hospital in Una District. Further, Cabinet also gave its approval to create posts for the newly opened Primary Health Centre at Gulthani Jawaharnagar and Sub Tehsil Dhami in Shimla District.
The cabinet took decision to issue show cause notices to all five cement plants which had been approved in the past but had not taken adequate steps for commissioning of the plants, asking them why the approval granted to them may not be withdrawn. These cement plants include Keran Limestone deposits, Tehsil Sundernagar, Distt Mandi of M/S. Harish Cements Ltd, Alsindi plant in Karsog Tehsil of Mandi district of M/S Lafarge India Pvt. Ltd, Gumma-Rohana plant, Tehsil Chopal in district Shimla of M/S The India Cement Ltd., Cement Plant (Unit-II) based on already leased out Baga Bhalag Limestone deposits in Teshsil Arki of Solan district by M/S Jai Prakash Associates Ltd., and Baroh-Shind plant in Tehsil Churah of Chamba district by M/S Jai Prakash Associates Ltd.
It was also decided to grant prospecting license to M/S Reliance Cement Company for setting up of a large cement plant based on Limestone, Shale and Quartzite in village Sugarthi, Thangar, Kura Khera, Pauli Kheram Kandal and Bedera in Chopal tehsil of Shimla district measuring 25 square kilometres (2500 hectares).
The cabinet gave approval for extending Shahnahar project Division, Ghandran up to 31 December, 2013. The cabinet gave consent for declaring one barrack each of Model Central Jail Nahan, Model Central Jail, Kanda, (Shimla), District Jail Chamba, Sub-Jail Mandi and Sub-Jail Solan as open jail.
Approval was given to amend recruitment and promotion rules of Child Development Project Officers in H.P Social Justice & Empowerment department and restore earlier provisions of 2007.
It also accorded approval for filling up of six posts of treasury officers in Treasury, Accounts and Lottery Department in the pay scale of 10,300-34800 and 5000 grade pay by direct recruitment through H.P Public Service Commission. Approval was granted for creation of Cyber Treasury enabling online receipt of all kinds of government receipts in the department.
It was decided to fill up six posts of drivers through outsourcing in Water Supply and Sewerage Division, Shimla of Irrigation and Public Health Department.

Bus fell into river Beas in Himachal’s Kullu district; 50 persons feared dead

Kullu/May 8
Around 50 persons are feared to have been killed after a overcrowded private bus fell into river Beas in Jhiri area on Chandigarh-Manali national highway in Himachal’s Kullu district here today.
So far, the rescue teams have recovered 12 bodies of the bus mishap victims while 15 persons have rescued from the debris of the bus, meanwhile, many other passengers are missing in the mishap.
The private bus on its way to Kullu from from Ani when it skidded of the road and fell into Beas River near Jhiri and around 50 persons were reportedly traveling in the bus at the time of the accident, police said.
“Rescue teams were immediately sent to the accident spot. They are trying to rescue the survivors of the mishap and pull out the bus from river. Meanwhile, the injured have rushed to nearby hospital for treatment,” said the police.
As per reports, the driver of the private had jumped out of the bus before fell into the river and more than 30-40 persons are still reported to be trapped in the submerged bus that toppled upside down in the plunge and only tyres of submerged bus are visible.

India to face shortage of over 9 lakh nurses: Planning Commission report

New Delhi/May 8
India is likely to face acute shortage of trained nurses in government facilities while overall there will a demand of around 9.55 lakh nurses by 2012 in the country, Indian Planning Commission’s National Taskforce report reveals.
As per the Planning Commission report, “There would be a gap of 9.55 lakhs nurses by 2012 of which 2 to 3 lakhs would be in the Government facilities alone.”
The report further states that 14,06,006 nurses have registered so far in India out of which 24,964 nurses have been registered with the North Eastern State Nursing Council.
“There is no proposal to establish new Nursing Training Colleges in the country including North Eastern States. However, Government has sanctioned 16 Auxiliary Nurse Mid-wife Schools and 22 General Nurse Mid-wife Schools in North Eastern States,” India’s Health and Family Welfare minister Gulab Nabi Azad informed Rajya Sabha here today.
Azad said that the country is also facing a shortage of MSc (Nursing) qualified teaching faculty in the country and the government has increased teacher-student ratio in MSc Nursing program from 1 teacher per 5 students to 1 teacher per 10 students.
“Further, the age limit for teaching faculty of nursing has been increased upto 70 years and Indian government has decided to allow super specialty hospitals to start MSc (Nursing) course without having under graduate program,” Azad added.

India becomes second largest producer of fruits and vegetables

Country records 12 percent growth in the exports of agricultural products
New Delhi/May 8
India has become second largest producer of fruits and vegetables while the country ranks third in terms of food grain production in the world. As per the UN’s Food Agriculture Organisation (FAO) report, “India produced 76424.2 thousand tonne of fruits, 156325.5 thousand tonne of vegetables and 388269.2 thousand tonne of foodgrains during 2011.”
Meanwhile, China remains the top producer in terms of fruits, vegetables and food grains production in the world.
The exports of agriculture and allied products have also increased by 12 percent in India to 33.54 billion dollar in 2012-13 as compared with 29.8 billion dollar in 2011-12, India’s minister of State for Agriculture and Food Processing Industries Tariq Anwar informed Rajya Sabha today.
Anwar said that commodities prices are a function of production and demand and do not follow a linear path.
“Agricultural commodities too show this attribute and fluctuate over time and commodity. Currently, International prices of wheat, rice and maize are higher as compared to last year while prices of commodities such as cotton, edible oils and sugar are lower,” Tariq Anwar added.