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Andhra Pradesh

Chandrababu Naidu on day-long fast to protest injustice to Andhra

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Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, who turned 68 on Friday, began his day-long fast to protest what he calls the injustice being meted out to the state by the Central government.
 
Naidu launched the 'Dharma Porata Deeksha' hunger strike at Indira Gandhi Municipal Stadium in Vijayawada. The fast, which began at 7 a.m., will conclude at 7 p.m.
 
State ministers Kala Venkat Rao, D. Umamaheswara Rao, Nara Lokesh, Kollu Ravindra, MPs and state legislators and leaders of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) joined him in the fast at the massive programme organised by the state government.
 
Naidu garlanded statues of Mahatma Gandhi, B.R. Ambedkar, Jyotirao Phule and N.T. Rama Rao before reaching the stadium.
 
The TDP chief was blessed by Hindu, Muslim and Christian religious leaders before he began the fast. Prominent freedom fighters also called on Naidu to extend their support.
 
Naidu's fast is to demand the Centre to accord special category status to the state and fulfil all commitments made at the time of bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh to carve out Telangana state in 2014.
 
Last month, the TDP pulled out of BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) to protest its refusal to give special status to the state. Naidu alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has gone back on the promises he made in 2014 elections.
 
Naidu has appealed to people to observe the fast against the Central government's attitude, instead of celebrating his birthday. 
 
TDP leaders say this is the first time in the country's history that Chief Minister of a state is observing fast on his birthday.
 
Expressing solidarity with the Chief Minister, leaders and workers of TDP and various organisations are observing the fast across the state. State ministers were also on hunger strike in their respective districts.
 
IANS
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Disabled Dalit woman gang-raped in Andhra

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In a shocking incident, a physically challenged Dalit woman was gang raped in Vijayanagaram district of Andhra Pradesh, police said on Monday.
 
An auto-rickshaw driver and his two accomplices allegedly raped the 21-year-old, in Phool Bagh area of Vijayanagaram town late on Sunday night.
 
According to police, the woman was on her way to her sister's house in the three-wheeler. The auto driver, who was accompanied by two other men, diverted the vehicle and took the victim to an isolated place, where the accused violated her.
 
A passer-by rushed to rescue her after hearing her cries. He dropped the victim at her relatives' house. She was later admitted to government-run hospital. 
 
Police registered a case of rape and also under the SC/ST Act against the auto driver and the two others. A police officer said they were on the lookout for the accused.
 
People condemned the inhuman act of the accused and demanded stringent punishment.
 
IANS
 
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ITDC bags Rs 550 crore infra project in Andhra Pradesh

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The India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) has bagged a Rs 550 crore project for infrastructure development in Andhra Pradesh.
 
ITC signed the MoU on April 10 with Hyderabad-based firm Suraas Impex Pvt. Ltd. for developing a Mega Tourism Destination project at Bhairav Lanka in Kakinada, East Godavari District.
 
This is the first of its kind project for the state-owned ITDC, which got preferred against several private contenders.
 
ITDC will be the consulting agency as well as implementing agency for the detailed project report (DPR) and the execution which will be taken up in three stages from preparing the DPR to the implementation of the project in two phases.
 
ITDC has been the prime mover in the progressive development, promotion and expansion of tourism in the country. The Division has completed 67 infrastructure projects for Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Culture and various State Governments.
 
The division has also prepared more than 85 DPRs for various tourism projects in the country. The corporation provides Engineering Consultancy Services through its full-fledged Ashok Consultancy & Engineering Services Division.
 
It undertakes the development of Tourism infrastructure projects from concept to commissioning. It provides services to Ministry of tourism and State Tourism Departments.
 
Suraas Impex Pvt. Ltd. is engaged in trading, renewable energy power generation & hospitality etc.
 
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ISRO not facing funds crunch, says its Chairman

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The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is not facing any funds crunch for its ongoing activities, the agency's Chairman K. Sivan said on Thursday.
 
Sivan made the remark while was speaking to reporters here after the successful launch of the navigation satellite IRNSS-1I, a part of the NavIC (Navigation with Indian Constellation) series, earlier in the day.
 
The 1,425 kg satellite was carried into space by Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket's 'XL' variant.
 
Responding to a question on the reported funds crunch, Sivan said: "There is no funds crunch. We will ensure the ongoing activities are not affected."
 
The total allocation for the Department of Space for the next fiscal in the Union Budget for 2018-19 is Rs 10,783 crore (including Rs 8,936.97 crore for various space related projects) - up from Rs 9,155.52 crore allocated for 2017-18 net of recoveries and receipts.
 
To a question on ISRO getting its basic needs right -- heavy lift rockets, heavier or higher capacity satellites instead of inter-planetary missions -- Sivan said work had already started to increase the carrying capacty of the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mk-III to 6 tonnes.
 
He said the space agency will be making high throughput satellites that weigh less but give the output of a heavier satellite.
 
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On the concerns raised by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) on the navigation satellite system, Sivan said with the launch of IRNSS-1I, the system was now put in place and the applications would have to be rolled out.
 
He said the industry has to make the necessary products so as to use the navigation satellite system.
 
"We have developed our own atomic clocks which would be used in the upcoming navigation satellites," the ISRO chair said.
 
On the status of the recently launched GSAT-6A satellite that lost communication link soon after it was put into orbit, Sivan said the space agency was able to locate the satellite and track its movements.
 
Asked about space missions for 2018, Sivan said the space agency would launch 5.7 tonne GSAT-11, a high throughput satellite using Ariane rocket.
 
He said the GSAT 29 would be launched using a GSLV Mk III rocket. 
 
There are also launch missions for remote sensing satellites, NavIC satellite and the Chandrayaan-2/moon mission.
 
On the status of resuable launch vehicle project, S.Somanath, Director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) said the next phase will be to test ground landing.
 
IANS
 
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New technique developed to monitor coastal landforms

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Indian scientists have developed a remote sensing technique that uses satellite data to delineate between various coastal landforms like beaches, mangroves and marshes. This method can help monitor and understand impacts of natural disasters as well as human activities on coastal ecosystem.
 
Coastal ecosystems that comprise mangroves and other landforms protect the shores from natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes etc., prevent soil erosion and are hotspots of biodiversity. Over the years, excessive exploitation of coastal resources for fisheries and other commercial benefits has led to an ecological imbalance. Better surveillance systems are needed to keep a check on anthropogenic activities in such regions.
 
Although images from satellite data are commonly used to study various landforms on earth, distinguishing different landforms in coastal region remains a challenge due to their low lying nature, and absence of clear-cut boundaries between various landforms.
 
Scientists from the National Remote Sensing Centre, Andhra University College of Engineering and Mahatma Gandhi Chitrakoot Gramodaya Vishwavidyalaya utilized an image analysis technique - Object-Based Image Analysis - to demarcate various landforms such as ridges, marshes, mangroves etc. surrounding the Krishna delta present on East coast of India. 
 
The new technique deploys parameters like tone, texture, shape, context, proximity to the sea and height derived from satellite images for classification of landforms. Combining the values of these parameters, a total of 11 landforms such as beach, beach ridge, swale, tidal creek, marsh, spit, barrier bar, mangrove, natural levee, channel island and channel bar were given their peculiar characteristics and were differentiated.
 
The reduced inflow of water from Krishna river to the delta due to construction of dams and reservoirs together with overexploitation of mangroves surrounding Krishna delta for agriculture, aquaculture and industrial is disturbing the ecosystem of this region. In such a scenario, a method that helps to keep a better check on this region could help environmental organizations.
 
“The work is useful for identification of vulnerable zones so that mitigation measures can be planned. However, some more advanced remote sensing data and machine learning techniques can be additionally used for obtaining better results,” commented Dr. Prafful Singh from Amity Institute of Geoinformatics and Remote Sensing, who is not connected with the study, while talking to India Science Wire.
 
The results of the study have been published in journal Current Science. The research team included Tapas R. Martha and K. Vinod Kumar from National Remote Sensing Centre, Hyderabad; A. Mohan Vamsee from Andhra University College of Engineering, Vishakhapatnam;  and Vikas Tripathi from Mahatma Gandhi Chitrakoot Gramodaya Vishwavidyalaya, Madhya Pradesh.
 
(India Science Wire)
 
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Second lead-up conference to 3rd Annual Meeting of AIIB begins in Visakhapatnam

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India has a huge potential and entrepreneurship for development of ports infrastructure, according to Dr Vishwapati Trivedi, former Secretary in the Ministry of Shipping.
 
Delivering the keynote address at the two-day lead-up conference to build up the momentum to the 3rd Annual Meeting of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) here yesterday, Dr Trivedi said the present Government has taken several steps including the launching of Sagarmala project to develop maritime trade and infrastructure.
 
The theme of the conference is “Enhancing Port and Coastal Infrastructure: A Primer on Potential Areas".  The AIIB’s two-day Regional Conference is being organized by the Ministry of Finance in collaboration with AIIB, CII and Research and Infrastructure System (RIS) for Developing Countries.
 
Around 150 delegates representing different colour industry, academic and research institutions are participating in the conference to deliberate upon the major bottlenecks in the quest for developing the blue economy in order to achieve higher and inclusive economic growth.
 
Dr Trivedi said during the last 10-15 years, the rising middle class in the country has seen large amounts of imports in the form of crude and oil, simultaneously registering growth in exports of various products including automobiles.
 
The national waterways development render safe transportation of cargo which is also cost-effective and less cumbersome if port connectivity is networked properly. The Union Government has taken several initiatives to develop waterways for hassle-free transportation across the country, he said.
 
India has identified 107 waterways under Sagarmala Project in order to lessen the logistic stress on road/rail freight transport in the country.  He observed that for investments to flow in, maritime-related regulations need to be relaxed, while ease of doing business should be promoted to facilitate the investors especially foreign investors to come with huge investments.  
 
Speaking on the PPP projects in the ports sector, he said the Central government has initiated 70 to 80 projects under PPP mode for Coastal Infrastructure Development. In Andhra Pradesh, Gangavaram and Krishnapatnam are being developed under PPP mode.
 
Most of the ports have huge land resources which can be utilized for the development initiatives. Visakhapatnam Port is one of the few in the country with the highest net-worth in terms of development, he added.
 
Mr Trivedi pointed out that India was focusing on ship repair as one of the major businesses. Bunkering and Transportation were other key areas where there was a huge potential for the development of shipping sector in the country.
 
Professor Amitabh Kundu, Distinguished Fellow, RIS who chaired the inaugural session of the two-day conference, observed that coastal infrastructure development plays a major role in the development of the shipping sector.
 
Attracting larger traders as partakers in the shipping sector was a big challenge. The initiatives should be sustainable for development along the coastal areas of the country.  Such initiatives must also take along people of various economic backgrounds so that no one is left behind.
 
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Mr Shakil Alam, Director, Multilateral Institutions Division, Department of Economic Affairs said that AIIB is one of the sourcing handles for India’s investment needs next only to China. Five new AIIB funded projects were underway in India with investments worth US$ 1.1 billion, he added.
 
Director General, Investment Operations, AIIB, Yee Ean Pang said the bank was established in 2016 with 57 founding shareholders. AIIB wanted to change the landscape of infrastructure funding across its partner countries, laying emphasis on cross-country and cross-sectoral investments in the shipping sector.
 
It also focuses on mobilizing the private sector for its major participation in infrastructure development of Port and coastal areas. In the shipping sector, there is a need for the private companies to step in. About 40-45% stake in the partnership was being offered to the private players.
 
The AIIB is co-financing with World Bank and ADB in the spread of infrastructure development activities in underdeveloped and developing countries of the Asian region.  Since its launch in 2016, the AIIB has been associated with 24 projects across the world including five approved for India even though there is no project related to Blue Economy.
 
The panel also discussed various port and coastal infrastructure related issues including facilitation of trade, port infrastructure and maritime regulations among others for implementation of the Sagarmala project in a time-bound manner.
 
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TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu meets political leaders in Delhi

 
AP CM Naidu meets political leaders in Delhi
 
 
On his first visit to the capital after parting ways with the BJP, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and TDP chief N. Chandrababu Naidu on Tuesday met leaders of various political parties including Congress, Trinamool Congress and NCP and vowed to defeat the saffron party in the next Lok Sabha polls.
 
Naidu, who spent considerable time in the Central Hall of Parliament, met NCP chief Sharad Pawar, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah, Congress leaders Jyotiraditya Scindia and K.C. Venugopal, Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav and Trinamool Congress leaders Sudip Bandhopadhyay and Derek O'brien.
 
He complained to them about how Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP "let down" the people of Andhra Pradesh on the issue of conferring the special category status on the state and lack of adequate financial assistance in building a new capital, Polavaram projects and other schemes.
 
The Chief Minister told reporters later that his break with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was final and he would work towards defeating it in the next elections. He declined to reveal his political strategy further.
 
Naidu also met TRS leader Jitendra Reddy and Kavitha, daughter of Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, and Union Ministers and BJP allies Anupriya Patel and Harsimran Kaur. DMK's Kanimozhi and AIADMK's V. Maitreyan also met Naidu. 
 
O'Brien said that Naidu thanked the Trinamool Congress for its strong support to the no-confidence motion brought by the TDP and conveyed his greetings to party chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
 
Interestingly, a number of BJP MPs, including veteran Murli Manohar Joshi, greeted Naidu. 
 
The Telegum Desam Party quit the NDA and the government at the Centre last month after accusing the Modi government of "betraying" his state by failing to execute the promises made at the time of its bifurcation.
 
IANS
 
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TDP quits NDA, gives notice of no-confidence motion against Modi govt.

The TDP on Friday formally quit the ruling BJP-led NDA at the Centre over its demand for special status to Andhra Pradesh to overcome the financial and other difficulties it is facing after its bifurcation in June, 2014 to create the new state of Telangana.

 
Naidu attacks Centre, accuses them of doing injustice to AP
The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) today formally quit the  ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) at the Centre over its demand for special status to Andhra Pradesh to overcome the financial and other difficulties it is facing after its bifurcation in June, 2014 to create the new state of Telangana.
 
"Telugu Desam Party has decided to officially exit the National Democratic Alliance due to failure in fulfilling the promises made in the State Reorganisation Act," TDP leader and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu said on micro-blogging site Twitter.
 
"This decision was taken unanimously, in a teleconference with Politburo members, today," he added.
 
Soon after the formal announcement, the party gave notice of a motion of lack of confidence in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government.
 
The notice, signed by Thota Narasimham, the leader of the TDP in the Lok Sabha, was given under Rule 198 (b) of Chapter XVII of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Lok Sabha, said the party wanted to move a one-line motion: "This House expresses no-confidence in the Council of Ministers".
 
Notice of a similar motion of no-confidence has also been given by the YSR Congress, headed by Y S Jaganmohan Reddy, the son of former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy.
 
The motion is expected to be supported by the Congress, the Trinamool Congress, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), the Left parties and some other Opposition parties.
 
Mr. Naidu's decision to quit the NDA came eight days after, in a clear indication of his intentions, he had, on March 8, pulled out the party's two representatives in the Union Council of Ministers -- Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju Pusapati and Minister of State for Science and Technology Y. S. Chowdary -- as differences over the demand for special status for the state persisted between the Centre and the state government.
 
At that time, the party had said that it continued to be in the NDA and to support the government.
 
Mr. Naidu had had a telephonic conversation earlier that day with Mr. Modi during which he explained the reasons for his decision to pull out the TDP Ministers from the Union Council of Ministers.
 
Mr. Naidu's announcement at a late night press conference at Amaravati on March 7 came hours after Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had told newspersons in Delhi that the Centre could not offer special status to the state but would provide a package with equivalent funding.
 
Amid increasing signs of the unease in ties between the TDP and the  BJP over the alleged neglect of Andhra Pradesh in the Union Budget presented last month, Mr. Naidu had said that his party would take a decision on its ties with the ruling BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) at the Centre later. "This is the first step. We will go ahead with other actions later," he said.
 
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"The Centre has been taking one-sided decisions and our patience has run out now. When the purpose of joining the Union Cabinet hasn’t been fulfilled, it’s best to resign now," he had said.
 
Mr. Naidu had said then that the TDP had cooperated with the Centre but the BJP had done injustice to his state, forcing him to withdraw his Ministers from the Union Council of Ministers.
 
He said the Centre was insulting the sentiments of the people of Andhra Pradesh by not keeping the promises made to the state in the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014, under which the erstwhile undivided Andhra Pradesh was bifurcated into two States -- Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
 
Mr. Naidu said Mr. Jaitley's statement was the proverbial last straw. "They have apparently pre-determined the issue. They don't appear to be  helping the  state," he said.
 
The announcement by the TDP chief came a few hours after Mr. Jaitley said at a press conference that the Centre could not offer "special status" to Andhra Pradesh but would offer a "special package with equivalent funding".
 
"We are committed to giving the monetary equivalent of special status to Andhra Pradesh," he had said. Agreeing with the state government's assertion that Andhra Pradesh was suffering in financial terms after the bifurcation, he said the Centre would honour all commitments made by  it at the time of the division.
 
Parliament had passed the Andhra Pradesh Reorganiation Bill in February 2014, amidst noisy protests by those opposed to the bifurcation, after then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced a six-point development package for the Seemandhra and Rayalaseema regions.
 
Intervening in the debate, Dr Singh had said that, first, for purposes of Central assistance, Special Category Status will be extended to the successor state of Andhra Pradesh comprising 13 districts, including the four districts of Rayalaseema and the three districts of north coastal Andhra for a period of five years. 
 
"This will put the state`s finances on a firmer footing," he had said.
 
"Second, the Bill already stipulates that the Central Government shall take appropriate fiscal measures, including offer of tax incentives to the successor states in order to promote industrialization and economic growth in both the states. These incentives will be along the lines extended to some other states," he had said.
 
Dr Singh had said that the Bill already provides for a special development package for the backward regions of the successor state of Andhra Pradesh, in particular for the districts of Rayalaseema and North Coastal Andhra Pradesh. "This development package will be on the lines of the K-B-K (Koraput-Bolangir-Kalahandi) Special Plan in Odisha and the Bundelkhand special package in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh," he had said.
 
The BJP said the TDP had decided to leave the NDA because it was finding the going tough in Andhra Pradesh and feared a defeat in the 2019 elections. The party wondered why the TDP had not raised the issue for four long years.
 
It said the TDP was "resorting to lies" to cover up its "inept and inert" governance. "Far from being a threat, TDP's exit is a timely opportunity for the BJP to grow in AP," its spokesperson G V L Narasimha Rao said.
 
Congress has backed the no-trust motion. The party's leader in the Lok Sabha, Mr. Mallikarjun Kharge, said the Congress had been supporting the demand for Special Category Status for Andhra Pradesh since the beginning. He said his party would make efforts to secure justice for the people of the state, adding that it was in touch with other parties in this regard.
 
Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Sitaram Yechury said his party supported the no-confidence motion being brought against the government.
 
"Its betrayal of the promise of special status for Andhra Pradesh is inexcuseable. Its all-round failure and evasion of parliamentary accountability needs to be highlighted," he said on Twitter.
 
Mr. Asaduddin Owaisi said his AIMIM would support the motion because the NDA had failed to implement the State Reorganisation Act and fulfil the promises made by it on jobs for the youth and justice for minorities.
 
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BHEL commissions 600 MW thermal power plant in Andhra Pradesh

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The public sector Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) today said it had successfully commissioned a 600 MW coal-based thermal power plant in Andhra Pradesh.
 
The unit has been commissioned at Rayalaseema Thermal Power Project, of Andhra Pradesh Power Generation Corporation Limited (APGENCO), located in Cuddapah district, a press release from the company said.
 
BHEL has a long-standing relationship with APGENCO, having supplied 100% of its coal-based power generating sets. At present, BHEL is setting up two supercritical units of 800 MW rating in the state, one each at Vijaywada and at Krishnapatnam.
 
BHEL’s scope of work for the Rayalaseema project includes design, engineering, manufacturing, supply, erection and commissioning of Steam Generator, Turbo Generator, ESP along with associated Auxiliaries, Electricals, state-of-the-art Controls & Instrumentation (C&I), and Switchyard.
 
The key equipment for the project has been manufactured by BHEL at its Haridwar, Tiruchirapalli, Bhopal, Ranipet, Hyderabad, Jhansi and Bengaluru plants, while the construction of the plant was undertaken by the company's Power Sector-Southern Region.
 
"Significantly, 600 MW sets are in-house engineered, higher rating units based on BHEL’s highly successful 500 MW rating units, which form the backbone of the Indian Power Sector. So far, BHEL has successfully commissioned 18 sets of 600 MW rating in the country," the release added.
 
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TDP Ministers quit Union Cabinet over issue of special status for Andhra Pradesh

The TDP on Thursday pulled out its two Ministers -- Ashok Gajapathi Raju and Y. S. Chowdary -- from the Union Council of Ministers as differences between it and the Centre persisted over its demand for special status to the state of Andhra Pradesh.

 
Naidu says TDP Ministers at Centre will resign on Thursday
The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) today pulled out its two Ministers -- Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju and Minister of State for Science and Technology Y. S. Chowdary -- from the Union Council of Ministers -- as differences between it and the Centre persisted over its demand for special status to the state of Andhra Pradesh.
 
Mr. Gajapathi Raju and Mr. Chowdary met Prime Minister Narendra Modi here this evening and submitted their letters of resignation to him.
 
Talking to newspersons later, the two Ministers said the TDP, however, continued to be a part of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA). "We continue in the NDA and support the NDA," they said.
 
Mr. Gajapathi Raju said they had explained their position to Mr. Modi. "He knows the issues involved. We hope a solution can be found," he said.
 
Mr. Chowdary said Mr. Modi told them that he stood with the state and the people of Andhra Pradesh and that the Centre would protect their interests.
 
Earlier in the day, Mr. Naidu had a telephonic conversation with Mr. Modi during which he explained the reasons for his decision to pull out the TDP Ministers from the Union Council of Ministers.
 
Mr. Naidu's announcement at a late night press conference at Amaravati yesterday came hours after Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had told newspersons in Delhi that the Centre could not offer special status to the state but would provide a package with equivalent funding.
 
Amid increasing signs of the unease in ties between the TDP and the  BJP over the alleged neglect of Andhra Pradesh in the Union Budget presented last month, Mr. Naidu said that his party would take a decision on its ties with the ruling BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) at the Centre later. "This is the first step. We will go ahead with other actions later," he said.
 
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"The Centre has been taking one-sided decisions and our patience has run out now. When the purpose of joining the Union Cabinet hasn’t been fulfilled, it’s best to resign now," he said.
 
"I am not angry with anyone. This decision has been taken only to benefit the people of Andhra Pradesh. I tried reaching out to the Prime Minister to inform him about our decision. But sadly, he was unavailable," he said.
 
"It's a crucial time.  We have to stand, we have to fight, we have to get it done," he said.
 
Mr. Naidu said the TDP had cooperated with the Centre but the BJP had done injustice to his state, forcing him to withdraw his Ministers from the Union Council of Ministers.
 
He said the Centre was insulting the sentiments of the people of Andhra Pradesh by not keeping the promises made to the state in the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014, under which the erstwhile undivided Andhra Pradesh was bifurcated into two States -- Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
 
Mr. Naidu said Mr. Jaitley's statement was the proverbial last straw. "They have apparently pre-determined the issue. They don't appear to be  helping the  state," he said.
 
The announcement by the TDP chief came a few hours after Mr. Jaitley said at a press conference that the Centre could not offer "special status" to Andhra Pradesh but would offer a "special package with equivalent funding".
 
"We are committed to giving the monetary equivalent of special status to Andhra Pradesh," he said. Agreeing with the state government's assertion that Andhra Pradesh was suffering in financial terms after the bifurcation, he said the Centre would honour all commitments made by  it at the time of the division.
 
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BJP has let down Andhra Pradesh, TDP Ministers to quit Modi govt: Naidu

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu announced late on Wednesday night that his party's two Union Ministers would resign on Thursday, hours after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the Centre could not offer special status to the state but would provide a package with equivalent funding.

 
Naidu says TDP Ministers at Centre will resign on Thursday
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leader N. Chandrababu Naidu announced late tonight that his party's two Ministers in the Union Council of Ministers would resign on Thursday, hours after Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the Centre could not offer special status to the state but would provide a package with equivalent funding.
 
Amid increasing signs of the unease in ties between the TDP and the  BJP over the alleged neglect of Andhra Pradesh in the Union Budget presented last month, Mr. Naidu told a late night press conference that his party would take a decision on its ties with the ruling BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) at the Centre later. "This is the first step. We will go ahead with other actions later," he said.
 
The two TDP Ministers in the Union Council of Ministers are Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju and Minister of State for Science and Technology Y. S. Chowdary.
 
"The Centre has been taking one-sided decisions and our patience has run out now. When the purpose of joining the Union Cabinet hasn’t been fulfilled, it’s best to resign now," he said.
 
"I am not angry with anyone. This decision has been taken only to benefit the people of Andhra Pradesh. I tried reaching out to the Prime Minister to inform him about our decision. But sadly, he was unavailable," he said.
 
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"It's a crucial time.  We have to stand, we have to fight, we have to get it done," he said.
 
Mr. Naidu said the TDP had cooperated with the Centre but the BJP had done injustice to his state, forcing him to withdraw his Ministers from the Union Council of Ministers.
 
He said the Centre was insulting the sentiments of the people of Andhra Pradesh by not keeping the promises made to the state in the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014, under which the erstwhile undivided Andhra Pradesh was bifurcated into two States -- Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
 
Mr. Naidu said Mr. Jaitley's statement was the proverbial last straw. "They have apparently pre-determined the issue. They don't appear to be  helping the  state," he said.
 
The announcement by the TDP chief came a few hours after Mr. Jaitley said at a press conference that the Centre could not offer "special status" to Andhra Pradesh but would offer a "special package with equivalent funding".
 
"We are committed to giving the monetary equivalent of special status to Andhra Pradesh," he said. Agreeing with the state government's assertion that Andhra Pradesh was suffering in financial terms after the bifurcation, he said the Centre would honour all commitments made by  it at the time of the division.
 
NNN
 
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Premium tag for coffee grown in Araku Valley

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The Coffee Board has applied for registration of Araku coffee under Geographical Indications to protect the unique identity of the coffee grown by the tribal communities of Araku Valley in Visakhapatnam district of Andhra Pradesh.
 
In a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha today, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry C. R. Chaudhary said the Central Government, through the Coffee Board, was promoting production of coffee in Araku Valley by implementing the “Integrated Coffee Development Project”. 
 
The scheme includes extending financial support for replanting and expansion, creation of water harvesting and irrigation infrastructures and mechanisation of coffee estate operations. In the non-traditional areas, financial support is extended for consolidation of existing coffee plantations through gap filling and application of compost. Technical assistance is also provided by organising capacity building programs and field demonstrations. 
 
The Coffee Board is facilitating collective marketing of Araku Coffee by providing incentives at Rs. 10 per kg for Self-Help Groups (SHGs) and grower collectives.
 
Arabica coffee from the Araku Valley area has gained popularity as a high quality speciality coffee internationally. The Coffee Board has developed exclusive logos for coffee grown in the country based on their geographical distinctiveness, he said.
 
Coffee Board encourages the coffee growers to participate in the “Flavour of India-The Fine Cup Award” competition organised by Coffee Board every year, he added.
 
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NDMA organizes workshop on Preparedness, Mitigation and Management of Heat Wave

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The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in collaboration with the Andhra Pradesh government is conducting a two-day national workshop here on Preparedness, Mitigation and Management of Heat Wave.
 
The workshop, which began yesterday, is aimed at sensitising the States to the need of preparing and implementing their Heat Wave Action Plans in line with NDMA’s ‘Guidelines for Preparation of Action Plan – Prevention and Management of Heat-Wave’, first prepared in 2016, updated in 2017 and shared with all heat wave-prone States and stakeholders for implementation.
 
Speaking on the occasion, Mr R K Jain, Member, NDMA, said with advance planning and preparedness, along with active participation of all stakeholders, heat-related deaths, as well as illnesses, could be brought down as was evident from the reduced number of casualties in 2016 and 2017.
 
“Our approach should be to have zero tolerance to heat wave deaths this year. We have ample time to revise our plan, launch awareness campaigns, and take preventive steps,” he added.
 
Giving a presentation on past experiences, achievement and lessons learnt in prevention and management of heat waves, Dr V Thiruppugazh, Joint Secretary, NDMA, emphasised the importance of local threshold determination and a granular database.
 
The first technical session on Heat Wave Action Plan and Risk Reduction focused on the development of Heat Action Plans for prevention and management of heat waves. It discussed the nuances of fine-tuning Action Plans to cater to localized needs and solutions.
 
This session also highlighted the features which need to be integrated into the built environment to mitigate the impact of the heat wave.
 
The session on Early Warning and Forecasting of Heat Wave was chaired by NDMA Member Kamal Kishore. It focused on the importance of area-specific short-range forecasting, extended forecasting along with operational issues of cooperation, coordination and dissemination of early warning.
 
During the third session, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Telangana, Odisha and Maharashtra shared their experiences and best practices to help other States prepare their Heat Wave Action Plans. These States, which are among the most vulnerable, have been able to largely mitigate the impact of heat waves with better preparedness and timely intervention, an official press release said.
 
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IndiGo commences flights from Rajahmundry to Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai

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Low-cost carrier IndiGo today expanded its regional network by commencing ATR operations from Rajahmundry in Andhra Pradesh.
 
Andhra Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister and Home Minister China Rajappa, along with Mr. Sanjeev Ramdas, Executive Vice President of Customer Service & Operations Control, IndiGo flagged-off the flight from Rajahmundry to Chennai at Rajahmundry Airport today.
 
Other dignitaries who were present at the flag-off ceremony included Mr. Yanamala Ramakrishnudu, Minister for Finance, Planning, Commercial Taxes, Legislative Affairs; Ms. Pantham Rajani Sesha Sai, Mayor, Municipal Corporation, Rajamahendravaram; Mr. Kartikeya Misra, Collector and District Magistrate, East Godavari District; and Ms. B.Raja Kumari, IPS., Superintendent of Police, Rajamahendravaram Urban Police District.
 
A press release from the airline said it would connect Rajahmundry to Hyderabad with twice daily frequencies, and one direct daily frequency each on Rajahmundry–Bangalore–Rajahmundry and Rajahmundry–Chennai–Rajahmundry sectors. 
 
IndiGo is the only airline that connects Rajahmundry with direct flights to three major metros of southern India: Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad from day one of its operations, the release said.
 
The airline operates more than 1000 flights daily to 48 destinations.
 
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L&T Construction wins orders valued at Rs. 2,265 crore

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Infrastructure major Larsen & Toubro (L&T) today said the Transportation Infrastructure and Water & Effluent Treatment businesses of its construction arm had jointly bagged three EPC orders worth Rs. 2,265 crore from Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority (APCRDA).
 
The scope of work includes Investigation, Design & Construction of Roads, Drains, Culverts, Water Supply, Sewerage, Sewerage Treatment Plants, Utility Ducts for Power & ICT, Reuse Waterline & Avenue Plantation for land pooling schemes in Zones – 6, 7 and 10 areas of Amaravati Capital City. 
 
"The order has been bagged by L&T against stiff competition. This order strengthens L&T’s presence in the Amaravati Capital region of Andhra Pradesh," a press release from the company said.
 
The project will provide state-of-the-art infrastructure to the city of Amaravati including wide trunk roads with flexible and rigid pavements, along with multiple facilities like cycle track, sidewalks & smart street lighting, ICT, and so on, it said.
 
“Amaravati is fast developing into a world-class city and we are proud to be part of its growth story,” said Mr. S.N. Subrahmanyan, CEO and MD, Larsen & Toubro. “This order reinforces trust and confidence that the Government of Andhra Pradesh has on Larsen & Toubro to execute large projects to quality and in time. We are grateful to APCRDA for giving us this opportunity to execute an infrastructure project of this magnitude, which will immensely benefit the residents of Amaravati,” he added.
 
"The package is part of the master plan to develop Amaravati into a smart city with infrastructure on par with the best in the world," the release added.
 
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IndiGo launches Tirupati operations with flights to Hyderabad, Bengaluru

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Low-cost carrier IndiGo today expanded its regional network to Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh with flights from the temple town to Hyderabad and Bengaluru.
 
A press release from the airline said it would connect Tirupati with Hyderabad with three daily non-stop flights and to Bengaluru with two daily non-stop flights.
 
"Apart from this Tirupati will also be connected to many new cities on IndiGo’s existing network of Airbus 320s and ATRs. IndiGo will connect Tirupati to Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Dubai, Singapore among other cities via Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai and Mangalore," the release said.
 
Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju along with Mr Aditya Ghosh, President and Whole Time Director, IndiGo, flagged off the airline's second flight from Tirupati to Hyderabad at the Tirupati International Airport today.
 
IndiGo operates more than 1000 flights every day to 47 destinations.
 
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Kovind inaugurates Andhra Pradesh Fibregrid, three other projects

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Saying that in a 24x7 hyper-connected world, governments have to be online, on time and on the ball, President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated Andhra Pradesh Fibregrid and three other projects at Velagapudi, near Vijayawada, yesterday.
 
The other three projects are the Andhra Pradesh Surveillance Project, Drone Project and Free Space Optical Communication or FSOC system.
 
Speaking on the occasion, the President said from an expensive luxury even a decade ago, data and Internet access are today seen as a utility – as much a basic need as water, electricity and cooking gas.
 
“We are moving towards a plug-and-play system where it will be the norm for houses and office spaces to come pre-configured with broadband connectivity. Andhra Pradesh is attempting to realise that potential. In a sense, it has understood the future,” he said.
 
Mr Kovind said access to the Internet has multiple benefits. Common citizens are finding uses for and benefits from data access that we could not have imagined. Farmers and small producers in rural areas use Internet connectivity to contact buyers in distant locations and make themselves aware of the real value of their products.
 
“Similarly, digital classrooms and telemedicine can help our people leapfrog traditional handicaps. They can expand the circle of knowledge as well as make quality healthcare and diagnosis available even in distant areas. That is why data connectivity is such a tool of human empowerment and of social change,” he added.
 
He said he was happy to note that the State Government was planning to use drones for providing Real Time Information for Governance. This will have multiple benefits in security and policing, mining, urban development, raising agricultural productivity, measuring forest cover, anticipating natural and other disasters and so on. It is a model for other states to follow.
 
“The integration of technology with the entire range of government responsibilities is worthy of appreciation. We are moving towards a paradigm where technology is not just an optional add-on to governance – but more or less drives modern governance.
 
“In a 24/7 hyper-connected world, governments and administrations cannot afford to be reactive. They have to be online, on time and on the ball. Technology is the enabler that allows this,” he pointed out.
 
Later, the President attended a briefing on the Real Time Governance (RTG) at the RTG Centre in the Secretariat Building.
 
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Bye-election to AP Legislative Council from Kurnool Local Authorities' Constituency

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The Election Commission has said that it would hold a bye-election on January 12, 2018 to fill a casual vacancy in the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council from Kurnool Local Authorities' Constituency. 
 
The vacancy has arisen due to the resignation of Mr. Silpa Chakrapani Reddy on August 14. Mr. Reddy's term would have normally ended on May 1, 2023.
 
An official press release said the notification for the bye-election would be issued on December 19 and the last date for making nominations is December 26. The last date for withdrawal of nominations is December 29.
 
Counting of votes will be taken up on January 16, 2018, the release added.
 
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Kovind opens Centre for Defence Studies at Andhra University

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Expressing concern over the overall gender imbalance in scientific and technological institutions, President Ram Nath Kovind has said that the true test of India’s progress would be “in the access and opportunity we provide our daughters when it comes to education."
 
Speaking to a gathering during his visit to the Andhra University here yesterday, Mr Kovind said, “In this context, I am happy to note that 40% of the students at this University are girls. I am fully optimistic that the inauguration of the Classroom and Laboratory Complex at the Andhra University College of Engineering for Women will enhance our country’s capacities to produce high-quality women engineers and technologists.”
 
In the University, he opened the Centre for Defence Studies and also laid the foundation stone for the E-Classroom Complex and Incubation Centre.
 
Mr Kovind, during his speech, pointed out that some of the leading defence and space scientists who have powered the missile programmes and rocket launches are women.
 
“Earlier this week, at a university convocation in Agra, I was privileged to felicitate the senior DRDO scientist Dr Tessy Thomas, known as the 'Missile Woman of India'. Women achievers like her are role models for our youth, particularly for our girl students,” he added.
 
Mr Kovind said it was extremely satisfying to note that the Andhra University, in particular, the College of Engineering, was engaged in R&D projects with defence institutions.
 
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The newly-setup Centre for Defence Studies will focus on cybersecurity, nanotechnology, radar and communications, corrosion technology, and other technologies that have strategic dimensions, he added.
 
Professors and researchers from the Andhra University were collaborating on specific projects with DRDO as well as with the Naval Research Board and other institutions. Professors have also been used as R&D consultants for missile projects, including in the development of the Brahmos missile.
 
Additionally, expertise from this University has been sought by the Eastern Naval Command, headquartered in Vishakhapatnam, for civil engineering structural applications and corrosion related issues, Mr Kovind said.
 
“Research related to defence and military applications and technologies will have multiple benefits for our country. It will provide a tonic to the effort to Make in India. And as experience in other countries has shown, research in defence technologies can also lead to innovations that have diverse civilian applications,” he added.
 
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National Conference on PDS Reforms held at Vijayawada on December 4-5

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A two-day National Conference on Public Distribution System (PDS) Reforms was held on December 4-5 here as part of the efforts to improve the functioning of the PDS through automation of Fair Price Shops and computerization of Supply Chain Management.
 
The conference was attended by the representatives from 20 States along with those from NIC, WFP and GIZ. 
 
Important aspects of PDS reforms which came up for discussion in the workshop included seamless working of the online systems, strategy for grievance redressal, enhancing the outreach of the system to the deprived segments of the society, effective safeguards for non-denial of entitled food grains to the beneficiaries and viability of fair price shops. The participating States shared their experiences and initiatives in these areas.
 
Enforcement of the provisions of National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013 regarding oversight and grievance redressal in partnership with States/UTs also figured in the discussions, an official press release said.
 
The participants also visited fair price shops, godowns and call centres for a first-hand exposure to the innovations like equipping ePoS devices with Best Finger Detection (BFD), Fusion Finger Detection (FFD) and Iris  features to minimize the instances of failure of biometric authentication.
 
They also were shown the integration of electronic weighing machines with ePoS devices, cashless transaction through ePoS, distribution of foodgrains for ICDS and MDM schemes through ePoS and management of the distribution of foodgrains without biometric authentication.
 
The participants saw the recent initiative of Village Mall Scheme aimed at improving the viability of fair price shops. In order to set up Village Malls in the FP Shops, the Andhra Pradesh Government has tied up with Reliance Group for ten districts and with Future Group for another three districts, the release added.
 
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Depression over Bay of Bengal may reach north AP, south Odisha coasts on Saturday morning

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The depression over southeast Bay of Bengal and neighbourhood is very likely to move north-northwestwards and reach north Andhra Pradesh and south Odisha coasts around December 9 morning, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
 
In a bulletin issued at 1130 hours today, IMD said the depression had moved northwards with a speed of about 35 kmph during past six hours and lay centred at 0830 hrs IST of today near latitude 12.0º N and longitude 88.0 ºE, about 870 km southeast of Gopalpur and 875 km to the east-southeast of Machillipatnam. 
 
"The system is very likely to move north-northwestwards and reach north Andhra Pradesh and south Odisha coasts around 9th December morning. The system is likely to intensify further into a deep depression during the next 24 hours.
 
"However, there is a probability of slight weakening of the system when it reaches near north Andhra Pradesh and south Odisha coasts," the bulletin said.
 
Under the influence of the system, light to moderate rainfall was very likely at most places over Andaman Islands and at a few places over Nicobar Islands during the next 24 hours.
 
Rainfall was also very likely at most places over north Andhra Pradesh on December 8-9, over Odisha during December 8-10 and over coastal districts of West Bengal on December 8, with isolated heavy falls.
 
Squally winds with speed reaching 40-50 kmph, gusting to 60 kmph, were very likely over and around Andaman Islands during the next 24 hours and decrease thereafter, the bulletin said.
 
Squally winds with speed reaching 40-50 kmph, gusting to 60 kmph, very likely to prevail along and off north Andhra Pradesh and Odisha coasts from today evening to December 9 morning and will decrease thereafter, it said.
 
Sea conditions would be rough to very rough around Andaman Islands during the next 24 hours. Sea conditions would be rough to very rough along and off north Andhra Pradesh and Odisha coasts from today evening to December 9 morning, the bulletin said.
 
Fishermen along and off Andaman Islands were advised not to venture into sea till the forenoon of tomorrow and fishermen along and off Nicobar Islands were advised not to venture into deep sea during the same period.
 
Fishermen along and off north Tamil Nadu and south Andhra Pradesh coasts were advised not to venture into deep sea today and tomorrow. Fishermen along and off north Andhra Pradesh and Odisha coasts were advised not to venture into sea till December 9 morning.
 
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L&T Hydrocarbon Engineering wins order valued at over Rs. 1600 crore

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L&T Hydrocarbon Engineering Limited (LTHE), a wholly-owned subsidiary of engineering and construction major Larsen & Toubro Limited (L&T), has won an order worth more than Rs. 1,600 crore from the public sector Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited's (HPCL) Visakhapatnam Refinery.
 
The project is a part of HPCL Visakh Refinery Modernisation Project (VRMP) and involves engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning of 3.053 MMTPA Full Conversion Hydrocracker Project.
 
"The order reinforces L&T’s unique capability to deliver 'design to build' engineering and construction solutions across the hydrocarbon spectrum," a press release from the company said.
 
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Kovind to visit Visakhapatnam on December 7-8

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President Ram Nath Kovind will visit Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh for two days from tomorrow.
 
An official press release said that Mr. Kovind would inaugurate an Aircraft Museum on Beach Road, Visakhapatnam. On the same day, he will lay the foundation stone for the E-Classroom Complex and Incubation Centre as well as declare the opening of the Centre for Defence Studies at Andhra University. 
 
He will also visit the Dr B.R. Ambedkar Memorial School in Visakhapatnam, it said.
 
On December 8, the President will present colours to the Submarine Arm of the Indian Navy before returning to Delhi, the release added.
 
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Cyclone Ockhi weakens, heads towards south Gujarat, north Maharashtra

Photo:IMD
Photo:IMD
Even as cyclone Ockhi over eastcentral Arabian Sea is gradually weakening and moving towards South Gujarat and north Maharashtra,  a well-marked low pressure area has developed over southeast Bay of Bengal, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said today.
 
A bulletin issued by IMD at 1620 hours today said Ockhi had moved further north-northeastwards with with a speed of 13 kmph during the past six hours and lay centred at 1430 hours IST near latitude 15.2º N and longitude 69.0º E, about 590 km southwest of Mumbai and 770 km south-southwest of Surat. 
 
"It is very likely to continue to move north-northeastwards, weaken gradually and cross south Gujarat and adjoining north Maharashtra coasts near Surat as a deep depression by the night of tomorrow, the 5th December 2017," it said.
 
The bulletin said heavy rainfall was light to moderate rainfall was very likely at a few places over Saurashtra and south Gujarat region today. Light to moderate rainfall was very likely at most places over Saurashtra and south Gujarat (Valsad, Surat, Navsari, Bharuch, Dang, Tapi, Amreli, Gir- Somnath, Bhavnagar, Diu, Daman, Dadra, and Nagar Haveli districts) tomorrow with heavy rainfall at isolated places, and light to moderate rainfall at many places in the two regions on December 6.
 
According to it, light to moderate rainfall was very likely over north Konkan, including Mumbai, in Maharashtra today. Light to moderate rainfall was also likely at most places over north Konkan (Palghar, Thane, Raigarh, Greater Mumbai, Dhule, Nandurbar, Nashik, Jalgaon, Ahmednagar and Pune districts) tomorrow, with isolated heavy rainfall.
 
Squally winds with speed reaching 50-60 kmph, gusting to 70 kmph, were very likely along and off north Maharashtra and South Gujarat coasts from today from tonight to December 6 morning.
 
Sea conditions would be rough to very rough along and off north Maharashtra and South Gujarat coasts from tonight till December 6 morning, the bulletin said.
 
The IMD advised fishermen not to venture into the sea along and off south Gujarat and north Maharashtra coasts from today till December 6 morning.
 
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The bulletin said the low pressure area over southeast Bay of Bengal and adjoining south Andaman Sea was very likely to become a depression during the next 24 hours and further intensify into a deep depression during the subsequent 48 hours. It is very likely to move west-northwestwards towards north Tamil Nadu and south Andhra Pradesh coasts during the next three days, it said.
 
According to it, rainfall was very likely at most places over Andaman Islands over Andaman Islands during the next three days, with isolated heavy rainfall.
 
Rainfall was also very likely at many places over north Andhra Pradesh and south Odisha on December 7 and 8, it said.
 
Squally winds with speed reaching 30-40 kmph, gusting to 50 kmph, were likely around Nicobar Islands today and 40-50 kmph, gusting to 60 kmph, on December 5 and 6 and would decrease thereafter.
 
Sea condition would be rough to very rough around Nicobar Islands during December 4 to 6.
 
Fishermen along and off Nicobar Islands are advised not to venture into sea during this period. Similarly, fishermen along and off the Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu coasts were advised not to venture into the sea from December 6 to 8.
 
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Naidu calls for homegrown food security strategy

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Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu today called for evolving India's own homegrown food security strategy to meet the needs of the country’s increasing population.
 
Inaugurating AP AgTech Summit 2017 here, Mr Naidu said increased production and efficient distribution of food grains could move the country forward to achieve the goal of zero hunger and adequate nutrition for all.
 
“Ours is a country with a vast agro-ecological diversity and where 64%  of the total workforce in the rural areas is engaged in agriculture and contributes 39% of the total rural net domestic product.
 
“Agriculture plays a vital role in India’s economy. Agriculture, along with fisheries and forestry contributes around 17% of the Gross Value Added (GVA) during 2016-17 at 2011-12 prices,” he said.
 
“The last 70 years after independence have been years of significant growth. The country’s food grain production increased by 8.7% and reached a record high of 273.83 million tonnes in 2016-17,” he added.
 
Mr Naidu said the Food and Agriculture Organization has acknowledged that India is the world's largest producer of milk, pulses and jute, and ranks as the second largest producer of rice, wheat, sugarcane, groundnut, vegetables, fruit and cotton.
 
From 50 million tonnes in 1950, India's food grain production rose more than five times, to over 257 million tons in 2014-15. India is the world's largest milk producer, producing over 130 million tonnes annually. The dairy sector is also one of the largest employers of rural people, especially women. With an annual production of over 10 million tonnes, India ranks second in global fish production and aquaculture, next only to China.
 
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“Yet, we have formidable challenges confronting us. We have set for ourselves a very ambitious target of doubling farmers’ income by 2022. According to one estimate, if we have to achieve this, the progress in various sources of growth has to be accelerated by 33%.
 
“Clearly, business as usual will not do. We have to innovate. We have to work with farmers to infuse knowledge and technology.  We must use technology to enhance productivity and see that the economic benefits of increased production reach all the farmers. Combine Agricultural Technology with Information Technology to improve Agricultural Sector. The workforce in agriculture sector is declining at the rate of approximately 2 percent every year. There is a general perception that agriculture is not a good economic proposition. This perception and trend must be reversed,” Mr Naidu said.
 
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, Minister for Agriculture, Horticulture, Sericulture and Agri-Processing, Andhra Pradesh, Somireddy Chandramohan Reddy, Minister for Human Resources Development, Ganta Srinivasa Rao, Minister for Endowments Pydikondala Manikyala Rao were present on the occasion.
 
The AP AgTech Summit 2017 provides an opportunity for global leaders, start-up founders and technology experts to discuss innovative ideas for agricultural transformation in Andhra Pradesh as well as in the rest of India, he added.
 
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