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Expanded Port of Kapellskär Ready for Operations

first_imgzoom Swedish Port of Kapellskär, the most northern port of Ports of Stockholm, is ready to launch operations at all of its five quay-berths following expansion works.The port now has two piers and five quay-berths. The new 245 metre-long pier has been in operation since summer 2016.The original pier has been extensively renovated and is now ready for traffic, according to the Ports of Stockholm.Expansion works at the site included dredging operations, while the pier received erosion protection, fenders, bollards, safety barriers and new lighting. New water supply and drain connections have been installed and the pier is prepared for the capability to allow vessels to connect to shore electricity.“After three years of reconstruction Kapellskär is a state-of-the-art port with the capacity to welcome the largest combined cargo and passenger-carrying vessels,” Ports of Stockholm informed.The port esplanade area is almost twice as large and the logistics and safety solutions have been updated.The official opening of the new Port of Kapellskär will take place in early summer 2017.last_img read more

Finland Two Maritime Pilots Die after Their Vessel Capsizes

first_imgzoom Two pilot cutter operators, employees of Finnish Finnpilot Pilotage, died on December 10 after their vessel L 242 overturned outside of Emäsalo island, in Southern Finland.Despite the Border Guard’s efforts to right the overturned vessel, it sank during the operation.The pilot cutter operators had been on their way to retrieve a pilot from a pilotage assignment. The cause of the vessel capsizing is unknown.Divers were able to recover the bodies of the ill-fated pilots from the sunken vessel, the company said.“This is a truly devastating day for Finnpilot. We are working with the authorities to determine the causes of this tragic accident in order to ensure the safety of our employees in the future. Procedures to that end are already underway,” Kari Kosonen, CEO at Finnpilot said.The fast pilot vessel L242 was a Kewatec Pilot 1500 that had been in the service of Finnpilot since autumn 2015. According to Finnpilot, the vessel was inspected by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd.Finnpilot and the Safety Investigation Authority (OTKES) joined forces in salvaging the sunken pilot vessel.OTKES has launched an investigation into the cause of the sinking.last_img read more

Jacksonville Port Welcomes Its First ZIM Boxship

first_imgzoomImage Courtesy: Jacksonville Port Authority The Jacksonville Port Authority (JAXPORT) recently welcomed the 10,070 TEU containership Tianjin, operated by ZIM Integrated Shipping Services (ZIM).The boxship made its maiden call to the port’s Blount Island Marine Terminal as part of ZIM’s new Asia to North America service, offered through an agreement with the 2M alliance.The shipping line now offers direct service from Jacksonville to Kingston, Jamaica; Xingang, Qingdao, Shanghai and Ningbo in China; and Busan, South Korea.“The arrival of ZIM is a result of the successful investment of local, federal and state dollars for the Jacksonville Harbor Deepening project and other port growth projects, plus our reputation for operational excellence,” Kristen DeMarco, JAXPORT’s Chief Commercial Officer, said.“This is a monumental occasion for JAXPORT and a milestone in the overall evolution of the port. Ocean carriers are not waiting for the deepening project to be complete, they are investing in Jacksonville now and Northeast Florida’s economy will benefit.”JAXPORT informed that the deepening of Jacksonville’s shipping channel to 47 feet to accommodate even more cargo aboard the largest ships calling the U.S. East Coast is well underway. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently awarded the contract for the second phase of the project as contractors continue to make progress on phase one.last_img read more

4H Members Gather in Truro for Provincial Show

first_imgYoung people from across the province will gather in Truro to present more than 40 projects to the public, participate in various competitions, and have fun during the annual Nova Scotia 4-H show. From Friday, Sept. 30 to Sunday, Oct. 2, 4-H members, their families and friends will take part in the provincial 4-H competition and show at the Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition Grounds in Truro. “The 4-H program is an excellent leadership program for young people, helping them become confident, responsible citizens and future community leaders,” said Chris d’Entremont, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries. “The annual show is an opportunity for 4-H members and volunteers to work together as a team and show good sportsmanship.” The three-day event includes livestock competitions, a fashion show, a floral arranging competition, dog obedience and handling trials, a tug-of-war competition, livestock auctions, and displays and selections for the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto. “The 4-H show is a fantastic way to showcase the 4-H experience,” said Elizabeth Crouse, manager of 4-H and rural organizations. “For 83 years our 4-H program has taught lifelong learning skills that develop young people into responsible, community-minded citizens. Our young people and volunteer leaders develop confidence to try new things, meet new people, broaden their interests and learn by doing.” A national survey of 4-H alumni found that 4-H has a lasting and positive impact on the lives of its members and families. Seventy-eight per cent felt the knowledge and skills learned in 4-H continue to benefit them in their adult years, while 69 per cent said parents and families benefitted from the 4-H experience. This year 2,400 4-H members, 1,000 4-H leaders and their families are eligible to attend the 4-H show. Competitions begin in the evening on Friday, Sept. 30 and continue until noon on Sunday, Oct. 2. The public is welcome to attend and admission is free.last_img read more

Construction Company to Compensate Man for Racial Discrimination

first_imgAn independent board of inquiry has ordered Falkenham Backhoe Services to compensate a former employee for the effects of racial discrimination on the job. Lionel Gough of Halifax filed a complaint with the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission in 2004 alleging that he had been subjected to racial slurs and comments from both management and his co-workers while employed with Falkenham Backhoe Services. He alleged that the racial discrimination had resulted in physical and psychological symptoms which eventually required him to leave the company. In her decision, board chair Cheryl Hodder concluded that “Mr. Gough’s race was an operative element in the conduct of his employer Falkenham and his co-workers toward him.” She accepted that “Falkenham has not demonstrated any rational or credible justification for the conduct of its employees.” Falkenham has been ordered to pay Mr. Gough 20 weeks of lost wages plus interest as well as $8000 in general damages. They are also required to conduct sensitivity training for all employees regarding the harmful effects of racial discrimination and to develop a harassment policy for submission to the commission. A complaint is referred to an independent board of inquiry when the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission believes a prima facie case of discrimination is made after an investigation by a human rights officer. The chief judge of the provincial court selects a board chair from a roster and the commissioners ratify the nomination. The decision on the complaint is then in the hands of the independent board. Evidence collected during investigation of a complaint is presented at the hearing by the commission’s legal counsel. The complainant and respondent can make submissions and question witnesses. The board chair then decides whether discrimination has occurred. All parties have a right to appeal decisions of boards of inquiry to the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal. A copy of the decision is available on the commission’s website at gov.ns.ca/humanrights/decisions/2007decisions.htm.last_img read more

Occupational Health and Safety Penalties to Help Decrease Workplace Accidents

first_imgThe province is implementing a monetary penalty system for employers and employees who break occupational health and safety laws in a move to improve workplace safety. Beginning in January, the Department of Labour and Workforce Development’s occupational health and safety division will have the ability to issue penalties when violations of health and safety laws are found in workplaces. “We take the health and safety of our workers very seriously in this province,” said Labour and Workforce Development Minister Marilyn More. “Safety in the workplace is a shared responsibility, and this initiative will work to increase compliance and better protect workforce participants in the province.” Currently, monetary penalties for employers or employees who break occupational health and safety laws are assigned by the courts. Compliance is achieved through education, promotion, enforcement and prosecution. The new system will be an additional form of deterrence. Although workplace injuries continue to decline, in 2008 there were 29 workplace fatalities and 8,000 incidents where employees were not able to go to work the next day. “If this new system saves one life, or prevents one injury, then we are one step closer to being a province that has no workplace accidents or fatalities, and that is where we strive to be,”said Ms. More. The Occupational Health and Safety division issues about 4,000 occupational health and safety orders each year. Orders are issued when violations are found in the workplace. “Workplace injuries have serious impacts on far too many Nova Scotians and their families. Both workers and employers need to be aware, and they need to take action on injury prevention,” said Chris Power, acting chair of the Workers’ Compensation Board of Nova Scotia. “This is an important initiative and it can only create awareness and lead to safer workplaces, which is a goal shared by all of us.” Employers, supervisors and employees subject to the penalty can be appealed to the Occupational Health and Safety Appeal Panel. Penalties imposed on employers and supervisors will be larger than those imposed on employees and the penalty will increase if it is a repeat offence. Other Canadian jurisdictions such as British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick and the Yukon have penalty systems in place.last_img read more

Cape Breton Company Geared for Growth

first_imgA Sydney-based employer is better positioned to make market gains and create new jobs after undergoing an expansion. Premier Darrell Dexter along with Economic and Rural Development Minister Percy Paris, and Nova Scotia Business Inc., president and CEO Stephen Lund today, July 30, announced a five-year payroll rebate of up to $253,500 for North-Air Window and Door Ltd. “North-Air is a great example of a company that is increasing productivity, creating new jobs and growing the economy,” said Premier Dexter. “This is the type of company that the province is proud to support now and in the future.” Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation previously provided the company with a $347,000 repayable contribution toward a $600,000 capital expansion of the facility. “The government is pleased to partner with the province and North-Air Window and Door Ltd. on the expansion of this manufacturing facility,” said Keith Ashfield, Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. “Investing in small business is key to strengthening the local economy and ensuring Atlantic Canada’s competitiveness.” North-Air has built a larger facility, with faster energy-efficient equipment and is reducing waste and recycling vinyl that diverts it from a landfill. “The 7,000 square feet of new space and the efficient equipment will enable us to keep pace with the increasing demand for our product,” said Alan Stewart, president of North-Air Ltd. “We are excited about taking our product to new export markets.” “It’s important that we continue to encourage companies such as North-Air that are pursuing growth opportunities and increasing productivity,” said Mr. Paris. “Through this project, North-Air has the potential to create good, new jobs in the province and grow the economy.” As demand grows, the company anticipates it may need to add up to 20 jobs within five years. “North-Air is boosting its ability to meet customer needs while reducing energy and production costs,” said Mr. Lund. “NSBI is pleased to encourage the growth of companies such as North-Air that are minimizing their carbon footprint and at the same time becoming increasingly competitive.” North-Air Window and Door Ltd. holds distribution agreements with many dealers, including Home Depot, Castle and RONA as well as independent building supply dealers throughout Eastern Canada. The company has experienced steady growth during the past four years with increased sales throughout Atlantic Canada. Founded in 2001, North-Air Window and Door Ltd., provides attractive, high-quality, and energy efficient vinyl windows and doors to customers throughout the Atlantic provinces. North-Air windows and doors are built to meet or exceed industry standards, providing customers with a beautiful look to their home, as well as increasing energy efficiency. Nova Scotia Business Inc. is Nova Scotia’s private-sector-led business development agency. NSBI helps Nova Scotia companies meet their growth potential through advisory services, trade development, financing and venture capital. The investment attraction agency for the province, NSBI fuels job creation and economic growth. For more information, visit www.nsbi.ca and join the conversation at www.nsbi.ca/connect.last_img read more

Province Marks HIVAIDS Awareness Week and World AIDS Day

first_imgHealth and Wellness Minister Randy Delorey raised a flag at Province House today, Nov. 29, to mark HIV/AIDS Awareness Week and World AIDS Day. This year’s theme, Know Your Status, highlights the importance of prevention, early diagnosis, and ongoing care and treatment. World AIDS day is Dec. 1 and also marks the beginning of Aboriginal AIDS Awareness Week in Canada. “To build on the important work that has been done to fight HIV/AIDS, we need to continue to reduce stigma and encourage people to know their status,” said Mr. Delorey. “Prevention, early diagnosis and treatment are key, and we are working hard to increase access to services to remove barriers for high-risk Nova Scotians.”In July, government increased access to HIV prevention medication by adding it to provincial Pharmacare programs. “The importance of early diagnosis and access to ongoing care and treatment to eliminate HIV cannot be overstated,” said Michelle Proctor-Simms, director of the Nova Scotia Advisory Commission on AIDS. “This speaks to the need for more options to reach the undiagnosed and to get them to the appropriate services and supports.” Twenty-five Nova Scotians have already tested positive for HIV this year. That’s an increase over the average annual number of 16 new HIV cases. There has been a national increase in rates of sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections over the last decade. To find out how to get an HIV test, talk to your primary care provider or visit the Nova Scotia Health Authority sexually transmitted infection and sexually transmitted disease clinic website at http://www.nshealth.ca/service-details/STI%20and%20STD%20Clinic. Information on anonymous HIV testing offered at the Halifax Sexual Health Clinic or the Ally Centre of Cape Breton can be found at https://www.allycentreofcapebreton.com/services/”>http://hshc.ca/anonymous-hiv-testing/</a>.last_img read more

Guterres appoints Indian Army officer as commander of UN mission in South

first_imgUnited Nations: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has appointed a decorated Indian Army officer as the new Force Commander of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan. Lieutenant General Shailesh Tinaikar, 57, will succeed Lieutenant General Frank Kamanzi of Rwanda who completes his assignment on May 26. The announcement was made by the UN chief on Friday. The decorated Indian Army officer “has had a long and distinguished career with the Indian Armed Forces spanning over 34 years,” a statement by the UN Spokesperson said. Also Read – ‘Hong Kong won’t rule out Chinese help over protests’ Tinaikar graduated from the Indian Military Academy in 1983 and is currently serving as the Commandant of the Infantry School since July 2018. He previously served as the Additional Director General of Military Operations at the Army Headquarters from 2017 to 2018. From 2012 to 2017, he commanded a division, a recruit training centre and a brigade. Tinaikar was awarded the Sena Medal and the Vishisht Seva Medal for distinguished service. Also Read – Pak Army chief accompanies Imran at key meetings in China From 1996 to 1997, he served in the United Nations Angola Verification Mission III, and from 2008 to 2009, in the United Nations Mission in Sudan. He holds a Master of Philosophy (M.Phil) in Defence and Strategic Studies from The University of Madras. India, the fourth largest contributor of uniformed personnel to the UN peacekeeping missions, currently contributes more than 6,400 military and police personnel to the UN peace operations in Abyei, Cyprus, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti, Lebanon, the Middle East, South Sudan and the Western Sahara. The UN mission in South Sudan, a country born in July 2011, has 19,400 personnel deployed with it as of March 2019. India is the second highest troop contributing country to UNMISS with 2,337 Indian peacekeepers, second only to Rwanda with 2,750. In addition, India currently contributes 22 police personnel to UNMISS.last_img read more

Looking ahead

first_imgAfter BJP won 282 Lok Sabha seats in 2014 – the first time in three decades that a single party was able to gain an absolute majority – it was popularly believed that the unexpectedly strong performance was a one-off affair. The outgoing government had been ridden with colossal corruption cases, the economy had come to a standstill and anti-incumbency was at its peak. But 2019 has proved that the event was not an outlier. Narendra Modi has led his party to another major victory with a dozen more seats than the last time – the first time in five decades when a government is returning with an absolute majority for the second time. Also Read – A staunch allyWhile such a strong mandate is commendable, it shows the faith that the Indian people rest on the party and the immense expectations they hold from it. Moreover, it is a rare opportunity in a complex democracy like India for any party to have the power to introduce bold reforms and long-lasting transformations with little partisan logjams. By again voting BJP into power with an absolute majority, Indian voters expect that the government will adopt such a decisive stance. BJP had also projected itself to be action-oriented in its first term. Also Read – Cuban pathosOver the last five years, the government has introduced a string of reforms that were aimed at enhancing the socio-economic development of the country. The economic measures were directed at increasing productivity of the factors of production including land, labour and capital. In the case of land, the government introduced the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016. The act, by mandating that 70 per cent of the funds collected from the buyers should be used for construction purposes only, helped in addressing the project delays and inefficiencies in the system. For addressing labour productivity issues that the country is facing, the government set up National Skills Development Corporation that has provided training to 5.2 million students. This will help in the optimal utilisation of the country’s demographic dividend. Lastly, the government undertook a couple of moves to address capital-related issues. Since BJP came into power in 2014, the banking sector has been under the stress of mounting bad debt. As of March 2017, bad loans accounted for 10 per cent of banking assets. The best option for salvaging the situation was by targeting the problem of debt resolution. The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code was passed in 2016 as a result. It allows either the creditor or the borrower to approach the National Council Law Tribunal (NCLT) to initiate insolvency proceedings and lays down provisions for debt resolution within a span of 3-5 months. Apart from addressing the issues prevalent in the economy, the government undertook the biggest tax reform in the country with the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST). The tax law, which had been in the works for years, unified the entire country under a uniform tax system and eased the flow of goods and services across state borders. Even though there were a few wrinkles in its implementation, GST would help in reducing the transaction cost for businesses over the long-run and improve its ease of doing business. Along with economic reforms, the government also focussed on improving the living standards of the citizens. Two of the biggest reforms on the social aspect have been on the areas of sanitation and financial inclusion. In 2014, India was a global laggard in sanitation coverage, having significantly high open defecation rates even in comparison to poorer nations like Pakistan, Bangladesh and several sub-Saharan countries. To tackle this issue of low sanitation facilities and improving the child health indicators like mortality, nutrition and stunting, the Modi government launched the Swachh Bharat Mission, aiming to make India open-defecation free. The National Sample Survey’s Swachhta Status shows that the number of rural households with toilets has increased to 64 per cent from 45 per cent during the period 2014-15 to 2017-18, while people defecating in open have reduced from 52 per cent to 33 per cent in the same period. The other flagship scheme of the government, the Jan Dhan-Aadhaar-Mobile (JAM) Yojna, was launched to dismantle India’s archaic subsidy transfer system that has been ridden with corruption, leakages and inefficiencies. The scheme has provided universal access to bank accounts and unique identity to all individuals by allowing biometric authentication to circumvent intermediaries and reduce market distortions with direct transfers. Currently, 100 per cent of the beneficiaries of PAHAL the direct benefit transfer of LPG, 88 per cent beneficiaries of MGNREGA and 86 per cent of the PDS beneficiaries are linked with Aadhaar. The programme delivery is now taking place via direct benefit transfers (DBT). In 2018-19, around Rs 2 trillion was delivered through DBT. The agenda for the next five years for the BJP government should be to maintain continuity with the reform process; leveraging upon the ones that have already been undertaken and venturing into ones that have been left untouched since Independence in 1947. The schemes and initiatives that have been the highlight of the last five years surely have scope for improvement on the implementation aspect. Meanwhile, the strong electoral mandate can be used to push through unpopular reforms that the country needs to solve its perpetual economic ailments. Two of such major reforms are those of land acquisition and labour flexibility. India has had an ugly record of industrial projects falling in limbo due to land acquisition issues. Since land is a state subject, the central government needs to address these in a decisive manner in consonance with its regional partners. Secondly, it is a well-documented fact that the country’s rigid labour laws have disincentivised firms to grow and formalise. Indian firms have, thus, lost out on crucial economies of scale due to these limitations. The next five years are an opportune time for the BJP government to introduce long-standing structural reforms that India’s socio-economic fabric has severely required since its independence. Even the 1991 reforms were majorly market-oriented while the factor-side of the economy was left untouched. With the rapidly changing political landscape of the nation, it is time to infuse a similar exuberance within the economy. (Dr Amit Kapoor is Chair, Institute for Competitiveness, India. The views expressed are strictly personal)last_img read more

Monsoon delayed heatwave to last for another week

first_imgNew Delhi: Large parts of the country will continue to be gripped by a heat wave for another week as the monsoon’s arrival has been delayed, an expert said on Thursday. Although the monsoon is expected to hit Kerala in the next 48 hours, it would take at least seven days to reach the central and western regions of the country that are witnessing severe heat wave conditions now. Several people have reportedly died in the past few days in the country due to heat stroke as the maximum temperatures ranged between 45 and 50 degrees Celsius. Also Read – Pak activated 20 terror camps & 20 launch pads along LoC According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), heat waves were expected in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra’s Vidarbha region, Telangana and coastal Andhra Pradesh. The heat wave in the national capital and some northern cities were expected to become severe in the next few days, with the mercury likely to cross 45 degrees Celsius. There will be relief from the sweltering heat in the National Capital Region (NCR), Haryana and Punjab only after June 11 when a western disturbance may lead to thunderstorm and rains. Also Read – Two squadrons which participated in Balakot airstrike awarded citations “Usually monsoon arrives in Delhi on June 29. However, this time it is expected to be delayed by a week. It may come in the first week of July,” said Mahesh Palawat, Director at the private forecaster Skymet. Light rains had been expected on Thursday evening in the NCR region due to pre-monsoon activities. However, the possibility has died down now, he said. Delhi on Wednesday recorded a maximum temperature of 44.6 degrees Celsius, three notches above the season’s average. On Thursday, the maximum temperature was expected to be little over 44 degrees Celsius. As per the IMD, light to heavy rainfall was expected in southern, eastern and north-eastern states on Thursday evening.last_img read more

Jagan Reddy occupies CM Office in State Secretariat

first_imgAmaravati: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on Saturday occupied his office in the State Secretariat here. He reached the Secretariat at 8.39 a.m. to a warm welcome by senior officials and senior leaders of his YSR Congress Party (YSRCP). Jagan Reddy entered his office amid chanting of Vedic hymns by a group of Hindu priests. After performing various rituals, he occupied his chamber. Jagan, as the Chief Minister is popularly known, had been functioning from his residence after taking oath on May 30. Also Read – Pak activated 20 terror camps & 20 launch pads along LoC Chief Secretary L. V. Subrahmanyam, Principal Advisor to Chief Minister Ajeya Kallam, Director General of Police Gautam Sawang, officials in Chief Minister’s Office and secretaries of various departments welcomed Jagan. After occupying his chair, Jagan signed three files relating to enhancement of salaries of Aasha workers to Rs 10,000, construction of Anantapur Express Highway and renewal of insurance for journalists. YSRCP stormed to power in the state last month, winning 151 seats in 175-member Andhra Pradesh Assembly.last_img read more

Yogi launches toll free CM helpline 1076

first_imgLucknow: The Yogi Adityanath government on Thursday launched the Chief Ministers toll-free helpline that will enable people from across the state to register their complaints. The helpline number 1076 will work 24×7. It will not only establish a direct contact between the people and the Chief Minister’s office, but will also cast a shadow on bureaucrats who do not respond to people’s complaints. Yogi said that he will review the complaints every month and if a department gets more than 100 complaints in a month, action will be taken against the concerned officials. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity! The 500-seater call centre for the helpline has the capacity to handle 80,000 inbound and 55,000 outbound calls on a daily basis. Yogi said that the helpline would not only make the administrative system more responsive but would also save the people the trouble of having travel to Lucknow to lodge their complaints. When the complainant calls the helpline, he will get an SMS informing him/her that the complaint has been sent to the department concerned. Also Read – Encounter under way in Pulwama, militant killed “A proper follow-up of the complaint will be done to make sure it is redressed and the complainant will be duly informed on his cell phone number about it,” said an official of the IT department. This helpline was conceptualized after the Chief Minister expressed concern over people coming from across the state to get their problems solved, which should have been addressed in their respective districts itself. However, action will be taken against those who make false complaints and play mischief with the helpline.last_img read more

Rahul Gandhi raises slogans in LS over Karnataka issue

first_imgNew Delhi: Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday raised slogans in Lok Sabha over the developments in Karnataka. This is for the first time that Gandhi was seen raising slogans in the 17th Lok Sabha. Gandhi arrived in the House at noon. At that time Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury was raising the Karnataka issue and accused the ruling party of “poaching” its MLAs in the state. He was, however, disallowed by Speaker Om Birla saying, the matter was discussed in the House on Monday and Deputy Leader of Lok Sabha Rajnath Singh had responded to the charges. Also Read – IAF Day: Tributes paid to soldiers killed in line of duty in Jammu “It is your duty to save democracy,” a Congress member said. Unsatisfied with the Speaker’s response, Chowdhury again tried to raise the issue. He scribbled a few slogans on a piece of paper and gave it to his fellow MPs sitting behind him, who promptly raised them. The members raised slogans like “Down with dictatorship” (Tanashahi Band Karo), “Stop the politics of poaching” (Shikar ki rajneeti Band Karo Band karo). As members raised slogans, Gandhi also joined them but his pitch was not as high as others. He merely repeated the last words of the slogans. Also Read – Shashi Tharoor writes to PM Modi: Don’t let your ‘mann ki baat’ become ‘maun ki baat’ As members entered the Well, they continued with the sloganeering. The Speaker also warned members against bringing posters. “This is our right,” said one of the members. To which the Speaker said, “No it is not your right”. “The country is watching you. This is your House. Don’t make it the house of a civic body,” Birla said. The Congress has been raising issues pertaining to Karnataka in the Lok Sabha and accused the ruling BJP of “indulging in politics of poaching”. The year-old Congress-Janata Dal (S) coalition government in Karnataka is on the brink of collapse after a spate of resignations by MLAs. So far 14 MLAs have resigned in Karnataka, which includes 11 from the Congress and three from the JD(S).If accepted, the coalition government’s strength in the assembly would be reduced to 102 minus the Speaker against the halfway mark of 113. The BJP’s strength as of now stands at 107.last_img read more

Taj Palace art auction raises Rs 28 cr

first_imgTo mark the 115th anniversary of the Taj Group of Hotels, Delhi’s iconic 5-star hotel Taj Palace has raised Rs 2.8 crore through an auction of a fascinating lineup of Indian modern and contemporary art. The 40 per cent of money was further donated to the Taj Public Service Welfare Trust, the hotel said in statement released on August 10, 2019. The Trust reaches out to those affected by adversities, like victims of terrorism, natural disasters and members of the armed forces, to help rebuild their lives. Also Read – An income drop can harm brainAlso, the rest 60 per cent of the amount raised will go to DAG. The works, curated from art gallery DAG’s collection, of Amrita Sher-Gil, F N Souza, M F Husain, S H Raza, Jamini Roy, K H Ara, Sohan Qadri and Sakti Burman, to name a few were auctioned. An untitled graphite-on-paper by Sher-Gil (1913-41) went under the hammer for Rs 70 lakh in the Friday auction. Another key painting by world-renowned artist M F Husain (1913-2011), a 1982 watercolour titled ‘That Obscure Object of Desire’ sold for Rs 22 lakh. Also Read – Shallu Jindal honoured with Mahatma AwardTaj’s live auction ‘Art from the Heart’ was a no-reserve and no buyers premium one. “Each work has been picked to reflect a wide swathe of Indian art. When curating the selection, we ensured the periods they represent are varied (from 1952 to 2005), that the works are in different mediums, and that the genres range from figurative to abstract, from heads to landscapes, from folk modernism to high modernism,” Ashish Anand, MD and CEO of DAG, the curating gallery, had earlier told.last_img read more

CM calls for awareness drive on organ donation

first_imgKolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has called for a movement to create awareness on organ donation, on Tuesday.She tweeted in this regard: “Today is Organ Donation Day. As a nation, we should work together to raise awareness on this important issue. #Bangla is one of the few states to have successfully created green corridors for the speedy transfer of organs.” It may be mentioned that Bengal is the only state in the country where heart transplantation was conducted in a state-run hospital free of cost. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaA team of doctors led by Dr Plaban Mukherjee had conducted heart transplantation on 38-year-old Rakhal Das at Calcutta Medical College and Hospital in November 2018. Saikat Lattu (30) had died and his relatives agreed to donate his organ. Whenever the case of organ transplantation is reported in a state-run hospital or private healthcare establishment, the city police create a green corridor to dispatch the organs to the venue in the shortest time possible. Slowly the movement to donate organs is gathering momentum in Bengal. Various NGOs are conducting awareness drives and are holding workshops and seminars, in which the doctors of state-run hospitals take part. The doctors have told the participants that the bodies of the deceased are not disfigured after organ donation.last_img read more

PIL for Uniform Civil Code not maintainable MPLB tells HC

first_imgNew Delhi: A fresh tug of war is on the cards in the Delhi High court between the supporters of Uniform Civil Code and those opposing it as a new PIL was filed on Monday seeking that a high level panel be set up for drafting the UCC.The PIL was tagged with a similar pending petition which has been opposed by the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB). A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar said it will hear both the petitions on Tuesday. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’The first petition, filed by Bharatiya Janata Party leader and lawyer Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, has sought direction to draft a UCC to promote unity, fraternity and national integration. The fresh petition, filed by advocate Abhinav Beri, was mentioned by Upadhyay before the bench and both the petitions have been tagged together for hearing on Tuesday. The fresh plea has sought a direction to the Centre to constitute a judicial commission or a high level expert committee to draft a UCC for securing gender justice, equality and dignity of women. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KIt said gender justice and gender equality, guaranteed under Articles 14-15 of the Constitution and dignity of women, guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution, cannot be secured without implementing the Article 44 (the State shall endeavour to secure for citizens a Uniform Civil Code throughout the territory of India). The AIMPLB has sought to be impleaded as a party in Upadhyay’s petition, claiming that the plea was not maintainable in law and ought not to be entertained. The BJP, in its manifesto before the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections, had mentioned the UCC saying that Article 44 of the Constitution lists it as one of the Directive Principles of State Policy. BJP believes that there cannot be gender equality till such time India adopts a UCC, which protects the rights of all women, and reiterates its stand to draft UCC, drawing upon the best traditions and harmonising them with the modern times, the manifesto said. Upadhyay claimed that the issue of UCC is there in the BJP’s manifesto since the time of Jan Sangh in 1952. He contended that the Centre has “failed” to put in place a UCC as provided under Article 44 of the Constitution. The lawyers who have filed the petitions have claimed that a UCC would replace the personal laws, based on the scriptures and customs of various religious communities, with a common set of rules governing every citizen of the country. Beri’s petition also sought that a direction be given to the Law Commission to draft a UCC within three months taking into account the best practices of all religions and sects, civil laws of developed countries and international conventions and publish that on its website for at least 90 days for wide public debate and feedback. It said the nature and purpose of the Article 44 is to introduce a common civil code for all, which is essential to promote fraternity, unity and national integration. “It proceeds on the assumption that there is no connection between religion and personal laws in a civilised society. “While the Constitution guarantees freedom of conscience and of religion, it seeks to divest religion from personal law and social relations and from laws governing inheritance, succession and marriage, just as it has been done even in the Muslim countries like Turkey and Egypt etc. The object of Article 44 is not to encroach upon religious liberties,” the plea said. The need of the hour for national integration is a draft copy of UCC, it added. In last 70 years, the Constitution has been amended 125 times and judgment of the Supreme Court has been nullified five times but the executive has not taken serious steps to implement Uniform Civil Code, the plea said. The high court had on May 31 issued notice to the Centre seeking its response to Upadhyay’s PIL. In December 2015, the Supreme Court bench headed by then Chief Justice of India TS Thakur had declined to hear Upadhyay’s petition. PTIlast_img read more

Flipkart onboards 27K kirana shops to strengthen last mile delivery

first_imgNew Delhi: Walmart-owned Flipkart on Monday said it has onboarded nearly 27,000 ‘kirana’ shops across 700 cities to strengthen its pan-India supply chain ahead of the upcoming festive season. This will further strengthen and personalise e-commerce experience for its existing 160 million customers, help deepen its reach to newer geographies and consumers and support ‘kiranas’ by enhancing their income, a statement said. It will also help reach out to millions of new consumers during the upcoming festive event, The Big Billion Days, it added.last_img read more

Poverty accelerate the ageing process

first_imgGenetics, lifestyle and environment are all factors that somehow influence when and how we all age. Now, researchers have revealed that four or more years with an income below the relative poverty threshold during adult life may accelerate the ageing process. For the study published in the journal European Journal of Ageing, the researchers have tested 5,500 middle-aged persons, using various ageing markers: physical capability, cognitive function and inflammatory level. Also Read – An income drop can harm brainThe results were then compared with the participants’ income throughout the 22 years leading up to the test. An annual income of 60 per cent below the median income is considered relative poverty. “We have found that there is a significant correlation between financial challenges and early ageing. And this is important in order to be able to instigate preventative measures”, said study co-author Rikke Lund, Professor at the University of Copenhagen. Also Read – Shallu Jindal honoured with Mahatma Award”With our results, we show that poor finances are a strong indicator of early ageing – this knowledge can be used to prevent the problems,” she added. For the findings, the participants have been through both physical and cognitive tests, each of which is an expression of general strength and function. The researchers measured the participants’ grip strength, how many times they could get up from and sit on a chair in 30 seconds and how high they could jump. “There is a significant difference between the test results. People who have been below the relative poverty threshold for four or more years in their adult life perform significantly worse than those who have never been below the threshold,” Lund said. The results show that the financially challenged group, relative to the comparison group, can get up and sit down two times less per 30 seconds and that their grip strength is reduced by 1.2 kilos. In addition, the researchers have measured the inflammatory level of the participants. A high inflammatory level is a sign that the body is in a state of alert and can likewise be used as a marker for illness and ageing.last_img read more