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# Talks only with right-minded people in J&K, says Rajnath
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Thursday that the Centre was ready to hold talks with “right-minded people” in Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan, but the neighbouring country should stop terror activities emanating from its soil.
He also said that if Pakistan was unable to stop terrorism from its soil on its own, it should take India’s help.
Mr. Singh is on a two-day visit to the State, along with Union Minister of State Jitendra Singh and Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba, to review the security situation.
“Dialogue can be held with everyone. It is not necessary to be like-minded to hold talks, but it is compulsory to be right-minded,” Mr. Singh said, offering an olive branch to the separatists.
He said the Centre was ready to talk with all people and groups concerned. It had appointed a special representative for holding dialogue with all stakeholders. “The special representative has not been appointed for sightseeing. He has come here 11 times so far,” Mr. Singh told reporters here.
The Home Minister was referring to the appointment of Dineshwar Sharma as special representative to Jammu and Kashmir in October last year. Mr. Singh appealed to the people to come forward for bringing back peace in the State. “Lest we lose another generation of the State to darkness,” he said.
On whether the unilateral ceasefire announced by the Centre would be extended beyond Ramzan, he said a decision would be taken after the situation was reviewed.
“The Prime Minister [Narendra Modi] took a decision on the suspension of operations during Ramzan after giving it due thought. We kept in view the situation of the common people of Jammu and Kashmir… A decision on extending the truce beyond Ramzan will be taken after having all opinions on board. Don’t rule out any possibility,” he said.
Asked what feedback security officials had given about the ceasefire, Mr. Singh said, “Good things were spoken about it.”
Condemning the recent terror attacks, he said militants were not refraining from their nefarious activities even during the holy month. “Those who are not giving up their nefarious activities even in the holy month of Ramzan, should their activities not be called unholy? I would like to say that to mislead the youth is not only deceit but also a crime,” he said.
# Zero date of Amaravati project begins
Singapore Minister of Trade and Industry S. Iswaran expressed confidence that significant progress would be achieved in the construction of Amaravati in six months starting with the seed capital consequent on the signing of two MoUs in his and Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu’s presence here on Thursday.
The MoUs are the Concession and Development Agreement (CADA) and the Shareholder Agreement (SHA).
SHA was signed by the Amaravati Development Corporation (ADC) and Singapore Amaravati Investment Holdings Ltd. (SAIH) and the CADA by the AP-Capital Region Development Authority, Amaravati Development Partners (ADC and Ascendas-Singbridge & Sembcorp Industries) and SAIH.
Mr. Iswaran said these pacts were essential to legally secure the many visions and plans and contracts worked out during the journey so far and they were part of the broader engagement between the Singapore and A.P. governments.
He said the Amaravati Partnership Office established in Singapore and its Centre for Liveable Cities had been playing a significant role in bringing companies together and helping the A.P. government take Amaravati and the rest of the State forward on the industrial front, urban development, people-to-people relations, skill development, and several other areas.
Mr. Naidu said with the signing of the MoUs, the zero date had begun and insisted that development would be visible in the seed capital over the next three months to one year.
Mr. Naidu said the Singapore government was not only helping in constructing the capital city but also in mobilising investments, adopting best practices in governance, skills and tourism development etc. as per the request made by the Andhra Pradesh government.
He said what had so far happened was processing of the conceptual plans, to which the CADA and the shareholder agreements gave a fillip.
The project would henceforth pick up the pace by drawing from extensive homework done by the Joint Implementation Steering Committee (JISC).
The Chief Minister said the development of the seed capital could be seen in the next 15 years, for which land was being given in three phases.
He said the State government was seeking to get clearances for Singapore Airlines to operate flights between Vijayawada and Singapore, in a month.
Amaravati project CEO Benjamin Yap, Ascendas-Singbridge India CEO Vinamra Srivastava and Sembcorp Development CEO Kelvin Teo were among those present.
# What revival? Close to 50,000 MSMEs shut shop last year
Contrary to claims that the industrial climate in Tamil Nadu has improved, close to 50,000 micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) have been wound up in the State in just one year on account of a host of factors.
A government policy note tabled by the MSME Department in the Assembly on Thursday revealed that the total number of registered micro, small and medium industrial units in Tamil Nadu had dipped by a significant 18.45% in 2017-18 from the previous year. In absolute numbers, as many as 2,67,310 MSMEs were registered in 2016-17; this figure fell to 2,17,981 during 2017-18. This means 49,329 industrial units wound up operations in one year.
In a parallel development, the number of workers employed in MSMEs has fallen by over five lakh during the same period.
In 2016-17, the number stood at 18,97,619, while in 2017-18 it dwindled to 13,78,544.
# Distance education exam postponed
Examinations for undergraduate and postgraduate courses of the Distance Education Programme offered by Mangalore University will start from June 18 instead of June 15 as scheduled earlier.
Registrar (Examination) A.M. Khan has, in a release here, said that the revised examination schedule and details of examination centres are available on www.mangaloreuniversity.- ac.in. While examinations for undergraduate courses will be held at the University College, Hampanakatte, those of M.Com will be held at the Rosario College of Management Studies, Cathedral, Pandeshwar; MA at Dr. Dayananda Pai Dr. Satish Pai Government First Grade College, Car Street (all in Mangaluru); undergraduate courses at MGM College, Kunjibettu, Udupi; all postgraduate courses at Government First Grade College, Kaup; all undergraduate and postgraduate courses at Field Marshal K.M. Kariappa College, Madikeri, and all undergraduate and postgraduate courses at Government First Grade Women’s College, Puttur.
# Protests delay Kaala screening
Rajinikanth’s latest film Kaala , which was released globally on Thursday, got off to a rocky start in Bengaluru and other parts of Karnataka as members from Kannada organisations held protests and dharnas outside multiplexes.
Despite the presence of heavy police security, protests erupted in Bengaluru, Hubballi, Mysuru and in some districts forcing wary exhibitors to cancel the morning screening schedule. It was only by late afternoon and early evening, once the police had rounded up and detained protesters, that multiplexes started screening Kaala to packed houses. However, Kannada activists have threatened to continue protests today.
In Bengaluru, fans hired taxis to the Tamil Nadu border so that they could watch the film in the neighbouring State. In some places such as Raichur, theatre owners refunded ticket buyers after the shows were cancelled.
Vatal Nagaraj, president, Kannada Okkoota, who had called for a ban on the film was detained along with Sa. Ra. Govindu, president, Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce, during the protest.
# RTC strike: Chief Minister threatens tough action
Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao described the strike call given by Telangana Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) staff as a reflection of irresponsibility and out of context.
“This will go down as the last strike in RTC history if they go ahead with the plan,” he stated in press release on Thursday and warned the RTC unions to withdraw the strike call or else the crew will lose their jobs immediately”. Mr. Rao held a high level meeting with ministers, Chief Secretary S. K. Joshi, Director General of Police M Mahender Reddy, RTC Managing Director G. V. Ramana Rao and senior officials. The meeting discussed alternative arrangements to be made if the strike went on and also weighed the pros and cons if the demands of the unions were to be considered.
He said the strike would put an additional burden of Rs. 1,400 crore on the government and asked the employees to see the design of their leaders in giving the strike call. The call was given with a view to winning trade union elections in the TSRTC, he added.
Meanwhile, TSRTC in a media release said that Transport Minister P. Mahender Reddy will hold talks over the strike with the employees at the Telangana secretariat. He will also meet Transport Department Principal Secretary Sunil Sharma and TSRTC Chairman S. Satyanarayana. Speaking to The Hindu , office bearers of the Telangana Mazdoor Union (TMU), the body which has called the strike for increase in wages, on Thursday said that they have not dropped their plans.
“We have demanded a hike as per the pay revision commission (PRC). This is due since April 1, 2017. We will follow the strike norms of wearing badges,” said TMU working president M. Thomas Reddy.
Mr. Reddy said that apart from PRC revision, which TSRTC employees should be paid once in four years, the TMU is demanding job security for its employees. He claimed that staff face the threat of suspensions and in some cases even dismissal.
“At the moment, the strike will go as per plan. We will definitely meet the minister at the meeting on Friday,” he said. He declined to comment on the CM’s threat.
# Conspiracy seen to split Hindus ‘with the help of foreign funds’
All India convention ends at Ramnathi
Stating that a conspiracy is being hatched at the international level to divide Hindu Dharma with the help of foreign funds, the seventh All India Hindu Convention which concluded at Ramnathi in Goa on Thursday warned in a resolution that the conspiracy to split the Veerashaiva Lingayat from Hindu Dharma will not be tolerated.
“During the recent Karnataka elections, the Congress employed the strategy of ‘divide and rule’ to recommend the status of religion to Lingayat community. However, we will not tolerate the conspiracy to make Lingayat a religion. We will strongly oppose it. Veerashaiva Lingayat are Hindus and they will remain so in future too. A Hindu Nation is essential to foiling the conspiracy to split Lingayats from Hindu Dharma. The BJP should promise to establish Hindu Nation, instead of focussing on development in its election manifesto for 2019,” said the resolution.
# Inter-religious couple seek protection
A Goa-based couple have sought protection from the government saying that they were facing life threats from the girl’s family.
Sachin Talwar, who hails from Mallapur in Gokak taluk, and his wife, Jarlene Gonsalves, who hails from Goa, were married two days ago in Banda in Maharashtra.
They now live in Teeswadi in Goa.
Sachin Talwar (24) is a driver and 20-year-old Jarlene Gonsalves is a BBA student.
They ran away from home after realising that their families would not support their marriage. They were married on June 5. But Jarlene Gonsalves’ family filed a kidnap complaint with the Goa police. Sachin Talwar’s mother and brother have been arrested by the Goa police.
In a memorandum to Deputy Commissioner S. Ziyaullah, Sachin Talwar has said that his wife’s parents have threatened to kill him.
# Nipah: Centre yet to rule out bats as source
Results of fresh samples collected from 55 fruit bats awaited
The Union Health Ministry on Thursday said that bats cannot be ruled out as the primary source of Nipah outbreak, nearly two weeks after a Central medical team told it that samples collected from bats in two districts, where 17 people have died of Nipah infection, tested negative.
On May 26, the medical team in its report to the Ministry said samples collected from insectivorous bats in Kozhikode and Malappuram districts tested negative.
But Union Minister of State for Health Ashwini Kumar Choubey said on Thursday that new samples of 55 fruit bats were collected two days ago and sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune.
The test results of the fresh samples are awaited. R.R. Gangakhedkar, head of the Division of Epidemiology Communicable Diseases, Indian Council for Medical Research, said the previous samples were from insectivorous bats, which were not known to be Nipah carriers, and not from fruit bats.
The Nipah virus stays for a short duration in the body of fruit bats as their system is quite capable of fighting it. So even if a bat has been infected by virus earlier, their samples may test negative later. “Thus, there is need for a larger sample for testing,” he explained.
The Indian Council of Medical Research has suggested that samples of excreta of fruit bats be collected for testing. Mr. Choubey urged people not to panic as the infection has been contained.
The Central medical team is examining the travel history of Mohammad Sabith, 26, the first person to die in the Moosa family that lost four members to the virus infection. He had travelled to Saudi Arabia, where he worked as a helper, and returned to India sometime back.
The Central medical team in its report last month had ruled out pigs to be the primary source of the virus.
# Maharashtra SSC results to be out today
Maharashtra SSC results to be announced today
Ending an anxious wait for over 17.5 lakh students, the State Secondary Certificate (SSC) or Class X results to the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education will be announced on Friday.
Source:- The Hindu