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Madhya Pradesh

Ten dead, 18 injured in stampede at Kamtanath Pahad temple at Chitrakoot in Madhya Pradesh

Ten pilgrims were killed and at least 18 others suffered injuries in a stampede at the Kamtanath Pahad temple in Chitrakoot in the Satna district of Madhya Pradesh in the early hours of Monday, officials said.

 
Ten killed in stampede at Kamtanath Pahad temple at Chitrakoot in MP
Ten pilgrims were killed and at least 18 others suffered injuries in a stampede at the Kamtanath Pahad temple in Chitrakoot in the Satna district of Madhya Pradesh in the early hours of today, officials said.
 
Inspector General of Police (Rewa Range) Pawan Shrivastav told NetIndian over the telephone that the victims included six women and four men. 
 
He said six of those injured had been discharged after first aid while the rest were undergoing treatment for injuries. None of them was in a serious condition, he said.
 
District Magistrate and Collector Mohan Lal said the incident occurred around 4.45 am today.
 
Thousands of pilgrims had gathered at the temple, located about 80 km from Satna district headquarters on the border between Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh for the five-km "parikrama" (circumambulation) of the Kamadgiri hill on the occasion of Somvati Amavasya.
 
Details of the circumstances leading to the incident were not clear, but Mr Shrivastav said one of the pilgrims, a woman, appeared to have stumbled and fallen and before people realised it, some more people fell and several others following them, all at a brisk space in a cramped section of the "parikrama" trampled upon them.
 
Many of the devotes, especially women, were performing "Shayana Pradakshinam" --- in which they lie down and roll on the path -- for worship when the incident occurred, sources said.
 
The district authorities have ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident, they said.
 
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan expressed his grief at the loss of lives in the incident and announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh to the next-of-kin of those killed, Rs 50,000 for those with serious injuries and Rs 10,000 for those who have suffered minor injuries.
 
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Bye-election to be held on November 9 to fill vacancy from Chitrakoot in Madhya Pradesh Assembly

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The Election Commission of India (ECI) today said it would hold a bye-election on November 9 to fill a casual vacancy in the Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly from Chitrakoot constituency.
 
The notification for the bye-election will be issued on October 16 and the last date for filing nominations is October 23, an official press release said.
 
Counting of votes will be taken up on November 12, the release added.
 
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Cabinet okays allotment of land to MP Govt. for construction of State Guest House in Delhi

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The Union Cabinet yesterday gave its approval for the allotment of Plot No. 29-C and 29-D, measuring 1.478 acres or 5882.96 sq. meters, on the T-Junction of Jesus and Mary Marg with Dr. Radhakrishnan Marg, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi to the Madhya Pradesh Government for construction of its State Guest House in Delhi as per the prevailing rates with certain conditions.
 
An official press release said the conditions are:
 
(i) That the Madhya Pradesh Government will surrender the land measuring 0.89 acres at 2, Gopinath Bardolai Marg, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi to L&DO/MoHUA after completion of the construction of its State Guest House on the allotted land. 
(ii) That the Madhya Pradesh Government will pay for the difference in the area of the land measuring 0.59 acres at the present land rates as both the lands are in the same zone of land rates. 
(iii) That the Madhya Pradesh Government will pay the occupation charges on 0.89 acre already in possession at the present land rates, till it is surrendered to L&DO/MoHUA. 
 
According to the release, the allotment of land will benefit the Madhya Pradesh Government for construction of its State Guest House with all modern facilities keeping in view their present and future requirements. 
 
"The Madhya Pradesh Government will not utilise this land for any purpose other than for construction of its State Guest House. While constructing the building, the Madhya Pradesh Government will adhere to all existing building bye-laws, Master Plan norms, etc.," the release added.
 
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Swaraj urges youth to participate in governance, sustainable development agendas

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External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj today said the youth must debate, discuss and actively participate in shaping the discourse on polity, governance and sustainable development agendas.
 
Addressing the valedictory session of the India-ASEAN Youth Summit, Ms. Swaraj said the youth have immense transformative powers and their energies harnessed and leveraged in the right direction could put the world on course to a more sustainable future.
 
The Minister referred to Lord Buddha's saying that there is no higher bliss than peace. “Towards attaining this bliss we need to empower our youth who has a critical role in preventing conflicts and ensuring sustainable peace. Youth are agents of change and critical actors in preventing conflict and building peace.
 
“Furthermore, when youth are excluded from political, economic & social spheres and processes, it can be a risk factor for violence and conflict. Therefore, identifying and addressing the social exclusion of young people is a must for sustaining peace,” she added.
 
The Minister noted that the summit had brought together youth from 11 different nationalities, is aptly held in India, which is demographically not only one of the most youthful nations.
 
Ms. Swaraj said Bhopal was a place with a distinct syncretic identity, arising from the fusion of Hindu, Buddhist, Afghan and Mughal culture over the ages.
 
“This month, India is celebrating 70 years of independence. ASEAN too is celebrating 50 years of its existence. If age is a number, then both India and ASEAN are in their twilight years, but our dialogue partnership, celebrating its 25th anniversary, is young, full of possibilities and excitement.
 
"In retrospect, I feel our commemorative events are not only a stately celebration of structured engagement across political, security, economic and social pillars, but in actuality, a celebration of our youth, with all its high hopes, impossible yearnings & the desire to change the world for the better,” she added.
 
Referring to the delegates' visit to Sanchi later in the day, she said apart from the Gupta Temple, one of the earliest temples marking the evolution of temple architecture, they would be awed by the Stupas of Sanchi, constructed on the orders of Emperor Ashoka to preserve and spread the Buddhist philosophy. Four gateways showcase Gautama Buddha’s life through intricate carvings.
 
“And friends, what an extraordinary life it was! Born a Prince, raised a Prince in all worldly comforts, Siddharth steps away from it all - a kingdom all his to claim, a loving wife and son, and meditates to emerge as the Buddha- the Enlightened one. This transformation came when he was young, as young as you all are,” she said.
 
“Siddharth himself became the change and as Lord Buddha devoted himself to bring about a change for betterment. Lord Buddha’s message is as relevant in the 21st century as it was two and a half millennia ago. The Middle Path shown by Buddha, speaks to all of us. Its universality and timeless nature run through ASEAN nations and India as a common thread.
 
“It is heartening that our youth has engaged each other actively in debate and discussions over the past few days on a wide range topics including Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Digital and IT Connectivity, UN Sustainable Development Goals, and on the ways and means to enhance India-ASEAN ties,” the Minister said.
 
Madhya Pradesh Governor OP Kohli, State Minister for Water Resources, Public Relations, Parliamentary Affairs Narottam Mishra, Nalanda University Vice Chancellor Prof. Sunaina Singh, Vice Chancellor, Nalanda University and Ms. Jayathma Wickramanayake, UN Youth Envoy, attended the conference.
 
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Rahul Gandhi arrested on way to Mandsaur, meets families of firing victims later

Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi was arrested at Neemuch on Thursday on his way to Mandsaur in Madhya Pradesh, where five people were killed in police firing on Tuesday during violent protests by farmers, but was released later and met the families of the victims on the state's border with Rajasthan.

 
Mandsaur incident: Rahul Gandhi meets kin of deceased farmers
On a day of high political drama, Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi was arrested briefly at Neemuch today on his way to Mandsaur in Madhya Pradesh, where five people were killed in police firing on Tuesday during violent protests by farmers, but was released four hours later and met the families of the victims on the state's border with Rajasthan.
 
The farmers have been agitating for more than a week for waiver of their agricultural loans, fair prices for their produce and other measures by the Government to help them cope with the agrarian crisis.
 
Mr. Gandhi, who was taken to a guest house in Neemuch after his arrest, was released in the evening and told clearly that he could meet the families of the farmers who had died in the firing only on the Rajasthan side of the border between the two states.
 
The police had earlier prevented him and other senior Congress leaders, as well as Janata Dal (United) chief Sharad Yadav, from proceeding towards Mandsaur, the epicentre of the agitation, citing the tension in the town and the curfew imposed there, and the prohibitory orders in place in Neemuch.
 
After his release, Mr. Gandhi met the families of the deceased farmers at a village in Rajasthan and later told journalists that they had some basic demands, including waiver of farm loans and fair prices for their produce, and that he and his party would do everything possible to help them.
 
He said the farmers also wanted stringent action against the officials responsible for the firing on the agitators and the status of martyrs for them.
 
Mr. Gandhi said that, by various accounts, the police seemed to have fired point blank at the agitators, without any warning and without trying to disperse them by using teargas or water cannons.
 
He said he was stopped from travelling to Mandsaur and meeting the farmers. "I only came to meet them, hug them, assure them that I am with them. What can be controversial about this?" he asked.
 
"Am I not a citizen of this country? Can I not visit Madhya Pradesh, can I not visit Uttar Pradesh? I am not an RSS man. Does it mean that I cannot visit Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh or other states?" he asked.
 
Mr. Gandhi said farmers in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and several other states were in distress and while the BJP government was spending huge amounts to help industrialists, they were unwilling to do anything for farmers.
 
He said the Uttar Pradesh government had waived farm loans under continous pressure from the Congress and his party would keep up the pressure on the Madhya Pradesh government to do the same thing.
 
Earlier in the day, Mr. Gandhi was detained at Neemuch as and his colleagues crossed over into Madhya Pradesh from Rajasthan. They had flown from Delhi to Udaipur in the morning and then set out on the 180-km road journey from there to Mandsaur.
 
The Congress Vice-President attempted to defy the police barricades as he shifted from his car to a motorcycle and then another bike before setting out on foot through fields but the police detained him and took him away in a police van to a guest house. Rajasthan Congress leader Sachin Pilot was among those who were detained along with him. All of them were taken into preventive custody.
 
Two other senior Congress leaders, Digvijay Singh and Kamal Nath, and Janata Dal (United) president Sharad Yadav were seen arguing with a police officer who refused to let them proceed further. They said they were just three people and were not in violation of the prohibitory orders, and should be be allowed to go to Mandsaur to meet the families of the farmers who had died in the firing.
 
They said they were willing to go in a vehicle provided by the police and that they had no intention to fuel any trouble. They said they only wanted to talk to the farmers and calm down tempers.
 
"Raj and MP Govts are doing their best to prevent me from entering MP & meeting the families of the #farmers killed in #Mandsaur," Mr. Gandhi said on micro-blogging site Twitter.
 
"What law of the land says that it is illegal to stand in solidarity with farmers who were killed simply for demanding what is their right" he asked.
 
"I only wanted to meet the families of the farmers, to hear what they want to say. I was not given any reason, just told that I am being arrested," he said. "They had done the same thing in Uttar Pradesh earlier."
 
"Modiji cannot waive farmers' loans, cannot give them proper prices and bonus, cannot give them compensation, he can give farmers only bullets," he remarked.
 
"Spoke to families of deceased farmers on phone & conveyed my condolences. I'm here to meet them & will not be deterred frm voicing their concerns," he said a little later.
 
The Madhya Pradesh police had made it clear earlier in the morning that they would not allow Mr. Gandhi and the other Congress leaders to visit Mandsaur. The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) accused Mr. Gandhi of trying to exploit the farmer protests for political gains.
 
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Meanwhile, Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Bhupendra Singh confirmed today that the five farmers who had lost their lives during the protests on Tuesday had died in police firing. He had earlier denied that the police had opened fire.
 
Madha Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan today appealed to the farmers to maintain peace. He said the state government was a government of farmers and the people. He said he would continue to work in the interest of people and farmers and listed the various measures taken by his government for the benefit of agriculturists.
 
Mr.  Chouhan also said that he was always ready for talks and for solutions to problems. He said some anti-social elements were trying to spread violence in the state and the government would deal with them strictly. He urged the farmers not allow the designs of such elements to succeed.
 
The state government has transferred the District Collectors of three violence-hit districts. Mandsaur Collectr Swatantra Kumar Singh has been replaced by Mr. Om Prakash Shrivastava, who was the Collector of Shivpuri.
 
Ms. Tanvi Sundriyal is the new Collector of Ratlam and Mr. Kaushalendra Vikram Singh has been appointed as the new Collector of Neemuch.
 
The Superintendent of Police of Mandsaur, Mr. O. P Tripathi, has also been transferred out, and he will be succeeded by Mr. Manoj Kumar Singh, who was the Superintendent of Police in Neemuch. 
 
The State Home Minister said Mr. Gandhi had tried to breach security provisions. "It does not behove the leader of a national party to ride on a bike without a helmet like a college student," he said.
 
Curfew was, meanwhile, relaxed in Mandsaur for a couple of hours this evening to enable people to make essential purchases and attend to other urgent tasks.
 
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Rahul Gandhi arrested on way to violence-hit Mandsaur as farmers continue stir

Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi was arrested at Neemuch on Thursday on his way to Mandsaur in Madhya Pradesh, where five people were killed in police firing on Tuesday during violent protests by farmers demanding a loan waiver and other measures to ease the crisis facing the agrarian sector.

 
Rahul Gandhi detained on his way to Mandsaur
Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi was arrested at Neemuch today as he crossed over into Madhya Pradesh from Rajasthan on his way to Mandsaur, where five people were killed in police firing on Tuesday during violent protests by farmers demanding a loan waiver and other measures to ease the crisis facing the agrarian sector.
 
Mr. Gandhi, who flew from Delhi to Udaipur and then travelled by road to Madhya Pradesh, was stopped at Neemuch by the Madhya Pradesh police, who told him that he could not proceed further in view of the prohibitory orders issued there under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code, banning the assembly of five or more persons, as well as the tense situation in Mandsaur.
 
The Congress Vice-President attempted to defy the police barricades as he shifted from his car to a motorcycle and then another bike before setting out on foot through fields but the police detained him and took him away in a police van to a guest house. Rajasthan Congress leader Sachin Pilot was among those who were detained along with him. All of them were taken into preventive custody.
 
Two other senior Congress leaders, Digvijay Singh and Kamal Nath, and Janata Dal (United) president Sharad Yadav were seen arguing with a police officer who refused to let them proceed further. They said they were just three people and were not in violation of the prohibitory orders, and should be be allowed to go to Mandsaur to meet the families of the farmers who had died in the firing.
 
They said they were willing to go in a vehicle provided by the police and that they had no intention to fuel any trouble. They said they only wanted to talk to the farmers and calm down tempers.
 
"Raj and MP Govts are doing their best to prevent me from entering MP & meeting the families of the #farmers killed in #Mandsaur," Mr. Gandhi said on micro-blogging site Twitter.
 
"What law of the land says that it is illegal to stand in solidarity with farmers who were killed simply for demanding what is their right" he asked.
 
"I only wanted to meet the families of the farmers, to hear what they want to say. I was not given any reason, just told that I am being arrested," he said. "They had done the same thing in Uttar Pradesh earlier."
 
"Modiji cannot waive farmers' loans, cannot give them fair prices and bonus, cannot give them compensation, he can give farmers only bullets," he remarked.
 
"Spoke to families of deceased farmers on phone & conveyed my condolences. I'm here to meet them & will not be deterred frm voicing their concerns," he said a little later.
 
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The Madhya Pradesh police had made it clear earlier in the morning that they would not allow Mr. Gandhi and the other Congress leaders to visit Mandsaur. The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) accused Mr. Gandhi of trying to exploit the farmer protests for political gains.
 
Meanwhile, Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Bhupendra Singh confirmed today that the five farmers who had lost their lives during the protests on Tuesday had died in police firing. He had earlier denied that the police had opened fire.
 
Madha Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan today appealed to the farmers to maintain peace. He said the state government was a government of farmers and the people. He said he would continue to work in the interest of people and farmers and listed the various measures taken by his government for the benefit of agriculturists.
 
Mr.  Chouhan also said that he was always ready for talks and for solutions to problems. He said some anti-social elements were trying to spread violence in the state and the government would deal with them strictly. He urged the farmers not allow the designs of such elements to succeed.
 
The state government has transferred the District Collectors of three violence-hit districts. Mandsaur Collectr Swatantra Kumar Singh has been replaced by Mr. Om Prakash Shrivastava, who was the Collector of Shivpuri.
 
Ms. Tanvi Sundriyal is the new Collector of Ratlam and Mr. Kaushalendra Vikram Singh has been appointed as the new Collector of Neemuch.
 
The Superintendent of Police of Mandsaur, Mr. O. P Tripathi, has also been transferred out, and he will be succeeded by Mr. Manoj Kumar Singh, who was the Superintendent of Police in Neemuch. 
 
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24 pilgrims from MP dead after bus falls into Bhagirathi river in Uttarakhand

 
24 pilgrims dead after bus falls into river in Uttarakhand
As many as 24 pilgrims, mainly from Indore in Madhya Pradesh, died when a private bus carrying them fell into the Bhagirathi river in Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand yesterday evening, official sources said.
 
Official sources said six other passengers of the bus suffered injuries and are undergoing treatment in hospitals in Uttarkashi.
 
In all, there were 30 people on board the bus, including its cleaner and driver, both of whom are among those who died.
 
The deceased included 13 women and 11 men, while the injured included three men, two women and a 17-year-old girl. Two of those who died were in their 80s, four in their 70s and eight in their 60s.
 
The pilgrims were on Chardham pilgrimage since May 12 and had already visited Yamunotri and Gangotri and were on their way to Kedarnath when the tragedy occurred around 6.30 pm yesterday near Nalupani in Uttarkashi, about 25 km from the district headquarters.
 
Police, men of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and personnel of the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) and other emergency services were involved in the search and rescue operations.
 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the loss of lives in the accident. “My prayers and solidarity with those who lost their loved ones in the unfortunate bus accident in Uttarkashi. May the injured recover soon," he said.
 
He also announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs. 2 lakh from the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund (PMNRF) for the next of kin of those killed and Rs. 50,000 for those seriously injured in the accident.
 
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Modi to join programme to mark conclusion of the Narmada Seva Yatra in Amarkantak, Madhya Pradesh

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will join the programme to mark the conclusion of the Narmada Seva Yatra in Amarkantak, Madhya Pradesh, tomorrow. 
 
"I am delighted to join the programme to mark the conclusion of the Narmada Seva Yatra in Amarkantak, Madhya Pradesh, tomorrow afternoon," Mr. Modi said on micro-blogging site Twitter.
 
"Narmada Seva Yatra is an excellent mass movement to protect the Narmada and conveys a larger message of saving the environment as well. Tomorrow in Madhya Pradesh, I will be launching the Narmada Seva Mission, which will surely have a major impact on MP’s ecology. 
 
"You can watch tomorrow’s Narmada Seva Yatra programme live on your mobiles on https://t.co/TYuxNNJfIf," he added.
 
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Delhi Metro signs PPA with Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Limited in Madhya Pradesh

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Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) signed three power purchase agreements and a coordination scheduling agreement for 25 years with  Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Limited in Madhya Pradesh, solar power developers and MPPMCL here today.
 
Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Limited is a joint venture of Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) and Government of Madhya Pradesh. The solar power developers are Mahindra, ACME Solar and Solenergi.
 
Delhi Metro has become the first metro to procure solar power on RESCO basis as Inter State Open Access Consumer, a press release from DMRC said.
 
Union Minister for Urban Development M. Venkaiah Naidu, Union Minister of State for Power Piyush Goyal and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan were amongst those present on the occasion.
 
The DMRC team of senior officers was led by Mr. Anoop Kumar Gupta, Director (E), who has been instrumental in spearheading DMRC’s efforts for enhancing use of solar power to reduce impact of increasing energy tariff and mitigate environment depletion.
 
DMRC was involved in this mega solar project since April 2016 and played crucial role in drafting project documents. Team of officers from DMRC and RUMSL, through diligent detailing, robust project preparedness, keeping appropriate distribution of risks, have achieved a record low first year tariff of Rs. 2.97, for solar energy. 
 
The 750 MW Solar Project being set up at Rewa, Madhya Pradesh, will be one of the largest solar power plants in the world and is likely to be operational from June 2018. DMRC will source 345 MUs annually from this project, effectively the entire energy requirement of Phase – 3 of Delhi Metro project and would mean substantial savings in energy cost for Delhi Metro, the release said.
 
DMRC also has a target of commissioning 20 MWp rooftop solar plants by end of 2017 on its premises and has successfully commissioned 16 MWp capacity till date and already signed power purchase agreements for 31.50 MWp.
 
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ECI Enquiry Committee finds no tampering in EVMs, VVPAT units used in Bhind demo

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The Election Commission of India (ECI) has said that a Special Enquiry team appointed by it has found no anomaly or tampering in the electronic voting machines (EVMs) and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) units  used during a demonstration in Ater, Bhind in Madhya Pradesh recently.
 
The enquiry team, led by Mr. Bhanwar Lal, Chief Electoral Officer, Andhra Pradesh, was appointed by the ECI to enquire into all aspects of the various allegations raised in the media and by political parties after the demonstration.
 
Media reports had said that the VVPAT unit used during the trial gave out slips bearing only the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party's "Lotus" symbol, irrespective of which button was pressed on the EVM. This led to allegations that the EVMs and VVPAT units had been tampered with, which the ECI denied.
 
An official press release said the Special Enquiry team had submitted its report to the Commission, in which said that it had found no anomaly or tampering in the EVM and VVPAT unit used during demonstration in Ater (Bhind) on March 31, attended by senior officials ahead of a bye-election in the state.
 
The release said the team had conducted technical examination of the  Ballot Unit (BU), Control Unit (CU) and VVPAT used during the demonstration as well as oral examination of the officials present during the demonstration. Data was also retrieved from the CU.
 
The release said all this had conclusively established that during the demonstration, four buttons of BU were pressed and the corresponding symbols were displayed.
 
"The team in its report concludedthat it is completely false to say that at multiple times slips of lotus were printed on pressing different buttons during the demonstration on 31st March as alleged," it said.
 
According to it, the lapse related to non-deletion of the pre-loaded data of Govind Nagar AC of Kanpur Nagar from where VVPATs (not EVMs) were received and reloading with the symbols/data of dummy candidates before demonstration as per the laid down protocol of the Commission necessitated appropriate action by the Commission.
 
The enquiry committee concluded that the EVM used in the demonstration in Bhind was not brought from Uttar Pradesh, as had been alleged, though the VVPAt used was brought from the state. Uttar Pradesh was one of the five states where crucial elections to legislative assemblies were held recently.
 
It said that, since the VVPATs are limited in number and had been used by all the five states where elections were held, the VVPATs for the ten states where bye-elections are being held were allocated from the five states where elections had been held.
 
"In this case, the VVPAT was allocated from UP and brought from Govind Nagar AC of Kanpur Nagar,UP," it said.
 
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"Bringing the VVPAT from UP is not in violation of law. As per the law, only the EVMs used in the poll and the VVPAT slips contained in the box are required to be preserved for the period of 45 days in a secured manner for the purpose of Election Petition, if any. There is no bar on the movement of VVPATs machines as the same are not required to be preserved for Election Petitions as the paper slips printed through the VVPAT and contained in the Box are required to be preserved separately. In this case, however, further precaution was taken to move only the reserve VVPATs used as substitutes during poll on which no restriction applies," the release said.
 
The Committee said the enquiry conclusively established that the accuracy of the functioning of the EVMs and VVPATs, including the units used in the Bhind demonstration, was beyond doubt.
 
It said the Commission may like to fix responsibility on the District Election Officer (DEO) and Returning Officer (RO) for the lapses brought out in the enquiry report.
 
"Commission may like to prescribe check list for handling each activity relating to EVM/VVPAT which should be mandatorily adhered to by the electoral authorities and the same should be monitored through MIS online by the Commission. The existing instructions issued from time to time may be compiled in the form of these checklists. The said revised checklistslaid down by the Election Commission of India regarding handling of various activities on EVMs/VVPATs, must be rigorously followed by the entire electoral machinery from the level of Presiding Officer to the CEO.
 
"Commission may like to reiterate that there should be no room for casualness in handling the electoral matters, least of all, such unwarranted remarks, as the sanctity of electoral process forms the foundation of India’s democracy," the committee said in its report.
 
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India signs first loan agreement with NDB for $ 350 million for roads project in MP

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India signed a loan agreement with the New Development Bank (NDB) here yesterday for financing of $ 350 million for development and upgradation of major district roads project in Madhya Pradesh.
 
This is the first loan agreement for an NDB-assisted project in India, an official press release said.
 
The agreement was signed by Mr. Raj Kumar, Joint Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) on behalf of the Government of India and Mr. Xian Zhu, Vice President & Chief Operating Officer on behalf of the New Development Bank. The Project Agreement was signed by Mr. Pramod Agrawal, Principal Secretary, Public Works Department and Mr. Manish Rastogi, Managing Director, Madhya Pradesh Road Development Corporation (MPRDC), on behalf of Government of Madhya Pradesh. 
 
The objective of the project is upgradation of major district roads in Madhya Pradesh to improve connectivity of the interior areas of the state with the national and state highway networks. The project would include upgradation, rehabilitation or reconstruction of approximately 1,500 km of district roads to intermediate lane, all-weather standards, with road safety features and improved road asset maintenance and management.
 
The project outcome is to improve transport connectivity to the interior regions and resultant boost to economic activity in the rural hinterland, the release said.
 
The project implementation period is five years. Government of Madhya Pradesh and the MPRDC are the implementing agencies, the release added.
 
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13 injured as Jabalpur-Nizamuddin Mahakaushal Express derails in Uttar Pradesh

Thirteen passengers suffered injuries when eight coaches of the 12189 Jabalpur-Hazrat Nizamuddin Mahakaushal Express derailed near Mahoba in Uttar Pradesh in the early hours of Thursday, official sources said.

 
13 injured as Mahakaushal Express derails in Uttar Pradesh
Thirteen passengers suffered injuries when eight coaches of the 12189 Jabalpur-Hazrat Nizamuddin Mahakaushal Express derailed near  Mahoba in Uttar Pradesh in the early hours of today, official sources said.
 
Of the injured, one person suffered a bone fracture and had been hospitalised, while the others had simple injuries, they said.
 
The mishap occurred at 2.27 am between Mahoba and Kulpahar stations on the Manikpur-Jhansi section of Jhansi Division of North Central Railway.
 
Eight rearmost coaches of the train derailed, including four AC coaches, two  Ordinary Second Class General Coach, one Sleeper Class and one Passenger cum Luggage cum Guard (SLR) coach. 
 
The sources said local ambulances were called immediately and some of the injured were rushed to the District Hospital at Mahoba while others were given first aid at the site.
 
The stranded passengers were taken to Jhansi by buses arranged by the Railways and in the unaffectd coaches of the train, which departed from the site at 6.48 am with ten coaches.
 
An Accident Relief Medical Van (ARMV) reached the site along with doctor, paramedical staff and officers. The General Manager, North Central Railway and Divisional Rail Manager, Jhansi alongwith senior officers also reached the scene to supervise the rescue and relief efforts.
 
Helpline Numbers were set up at 17 stations including Nizamuddin, Agra, Gwalior, Jhansi, Orai and Banda, Jabalpur stations to provide assistance to the public. 
 
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Railway officials said adequate free catering arrangements, including food packets, water, tea, milk, water and so on, were made at the site and at Jhansi station for the passengers.
 
A few trains were cancelled and diverted. Efforts were being made on a war footing to restore traffic on the affected section and traffic was expected to resume by late this evening, the sources said.
 
The Ministry of Railways has announced an enhanced ex-gratia payment of Rs. 50,000 for the grievously injured and Rs. 25,000 for passengers with simple injuries.
 
The Railways have ordered an inquiry by a five-member team of Senior Administrative Grade (SAG) level officers of North Central Railway to establish the cause of the accident.
 
The Railways have set up the following helplines for providing information to passengers and their relatives:
Mathura: 0585 2402008, 2402009
Allahabad: 0532-1072, 0532-2408149
Kanpur: 0512-1072, 2323015, 16, 18
Hazrat Nizamuddin: 011-24359748
New Delhi: 011-23542954, 23341074
 
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Lucknow encounter: Rajnath says prompt action by police averted major security threat

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Thursday that the prompt action taken by the police of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, which culminated in the death of a suspected terrorist in Lucknow in the early hours of Wednesday, had helped to successfully avert a threat to national security.

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Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh today said that the prompt action taken by the police of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, which culminated in the death of a suspected terrorist in Lucknow in the early hours of yesterday, had helped to successfully avert a threat to national security.
 
In a suo motu statement in the Lok Sabha on the entire sequence of events, Mr. Singh said they presented an "excellent example of coordination amongst the State Police and Central agencies".
 
He said further investigations in the case would be handed over to the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
 
“As per the available information, on 7th March, 2017 at 09.41 hours a blast took place in the general compartment of train no. 59320 Bhopal-Ujjain Passenger near railway station Jabdi, district Shajapur, Madhya Pradesh. 10 passengers got injuries in this blast and railway property was also damaged. The injured were immediately rushed to the hospital. All the injured are presently out of danger," Mr. Singh said.
 
He said that, with regard to this incident, a case crime number 47/17 under sections 3/4 of the Explosive Substances Act was registered against unknown accused in police station GRP, Ujjain for investigation on the report of train guard.
 
Mr. Singh said that, as soon as the information about the incident was received, the Director General of Police (DGP), Madhya Pradesh rushed to the spot along with other senior officers of Police and Administration and initiated necessary action with regard to the investigation of the incident.
 
"Initial inspection of the scene of crime indicated that the accused had used an IED prepared by using locally available explosives for the blast," he said.
 
The Minister said the Madhya Pradesh Police coordinated with Central agencies for the investigation of the incident. 
 
"Subsequently, based on available intelligence, three suspects were taken into custody by Madhya Pradesh Police during vehicle checking at a place Pipariya in district Hoshangabad. Interrogation of these suspects indicated their involvement in the aforesaid incident and they were arrested. Further investigation of the case is being done in coordination with central agencies and information is being collected about other accomplices of the accused.
 
"Based on the interrogation of the above suspects and other available information, Uttar Pradesh Police initiated action at different places in Lucknow, Etawah, Kanpur and Auraiya.
 
"In Lucknow, information was received about one Mohammad Saifullah alias Ali, resident of Kanpur, renting an accommodation in Haji Colony, Police Station Kakori," he said.
 
Mr. Singh said the Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) of Uttar Pradesh laid a siege of the house and made vigorous attempts to arrest the suspect Saifullah. 
 
"However, he refused to surrender and started firing on ATS team. Ultimately, after 12 hours of efforts, the ATS team entered the room in which Saifullah was holed up and in the ensuing encounter, this suspected terrorist was killed. From the room of the deceased, 8 pistols, 630 live cartridges and other material which included cash of Rs. 1.5 lakh, about 45 grams gold, 3 mobile phones, 4 sim cards, 2 wireless sets and some foreign currency was recovered," he said.
 
"A case crime number 2/2017 u/s 307/121A/122/123/124-A IPC, 3/4/25/27 Arms Act and 16/18/23 UAPA has been registered at Police Station ATS, Lucknow with regard to the incident.
 
"ATS Kanpur Unit has arrested one more suspect from Jajmau Police Station area against whom a case crime number 3/2017 u/s 121/121A/123/124A IPC and 16/18/23/38 of UAPA has been registered.
 
"Apart from the above, two more accused, one from Etawah and one from Auraiya have been arrested by Uttar Pradesh Police on the charge of supplying weapons to the above gang of suspected terrorists. Thus, total 6 arrests have been made in these incidents so far," he added.
 
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Mr. Singh also said the Government and the Lok Sabha sympathised with Mohammed Sartaj, the father of the slain terror suspect, who refused to accept his " traitor" son's body.
 
Media reports had quoted Sartaj as saying on Wednesday, "A traitor cannot be related to me, let alone be my son."
 
"My child has done something wrong and I regret it. I would have personally handed him over to the police if I had the slightest inkling about his activities," he said.
 
Sartaj asserted that he was an Indian citizen, who was born in this country and whose ancestors were also born here. He said Saifullah had left home about two and a half months ago after being scolded for not working. Last week, the youth had called his family to stay that he was going to Saudi Arabia for a job.
 
The Home Minister said that when the Uttar Pradesh met Sartaj to hand over Saifullah's body, he had refused to accept it. "He said I have worked hard all my life for my family, but this boy has shamed me. I sympathise with the father of Saifullah, I am sure the whole House sympathises with him," Mr. Singh said.
 
"He has lost a son. The government is proud of such people, the whole House is proud of such people," Mr. Singh said.
 
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Cabinet approves establishment of Food Legumes Research Platform at Amlaha, Madhya Pradesh

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The Union Cabinet yesterday approved the established of Food Legumes Research Platform (FLRP) at Amlaha, Sehore in Madhya Pradesh with satellite hubs in West Bengal (for pulses) and Rajasthan (for Natural Resource Management) in the second phase by International Center for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA).
 
An official press release said the Cabinet also approved signing of lease ded with the Madhya Pradesh Government for the 70.99 hectares of land provided by it at Amlaha Farm, Sehore on land rent of Rs. 1 per acre per year 30 years on lease and to further lease it to ICARDA to establish the FLRP.
 
The Cabinet gave "in principle" approval for conferring on FLRP an international status as contemplated in Clause 3 of the United Nations (Privileges and Immunities) Act, 1947.
 
It authorised the Department of Agricultural Research (DARE) on behalf of Government of India in all matters regarding establishment of the Platform and the Ministry of Agriculture to carry out technical modifications in the Supplementary Agreement signed between ICAR and ICARDA relating to establishment of FLRP, if required.
 
The release said the establishment of FLRP will enable India to harness the best of international science in meeting the emerging food security challenges. India would be able to rapidly and effectively absorb the research output achieved in the country by FLRP. 
 
"A major international R&D institution will make India an even bigger center for agricultural research in the world and this in turn, will attract further research & development investment in the country.  
 
"This is a research set-up by an international organization. ICARDA has a good track record of innovation, as in climate resilient technologies including suitable food legume varieties for dry-land production systems. ICARDA will carry out research through a multi-disciplinary team of scientists for enhancing productivity of crops range-land and livestock. This platform will contribute significantly towards reducing poverty, improving food security, improving nutrition and health, and sustaining the natural resource base.    
 
"The research output would benefit farmers of all regions, whether big, small or marginal; and as technologies developed would be eligible for use by all farmers, the project is equitable and inclusive," the release added.
 
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MP govt. orders judicial probe into SIMI activists' jailbreak, encounter deaths

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Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has ordered a judicial probe into the sensational jailbreak  by eight under-trial prisoners, said to be activists of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), on October 31 and their death in an encounter with the police on the outskirts of the city a few hours later.
 
The judicial inquiry will be conducted by retired Madhya Pradesh High Court judge S K Pandey, an official press release from the state government said here late last night.
 
Justice Pandey will probe all aspects related to the escape of the SIMI activists from the high-security Bhopal Central Jail and the subsequent encounter with the police in which all eight escapees were gunned down, the release added.
 
The announcement of the judicial probe has come against the background of loud demands for such an inquiry from the Congress and other Opposition parties and human rights activists, especially after unverified video tapes surfaced on social media websites and raised questions about the police claims about the sequence of events.
 
The eight prisoners had staged the sensational escape from the prison after killing a security guard, head constable Ramashankar Yadav, around 2.15 am on October 31, police officials had said on that day.
 
They said the police had received inputs that the escapees were hiding near Acharpura village on the outskirts of the state capital and they surrounded the area, along with personnel of the Special Task Force (STF) and Counter Terrorist Group (CTG), around 4 am.
 
According to them, the escapees were armed with sharp weapons, which they had made out of the steel plates and spoons they were given in jail for eating food, and firearms and had engaged in cross-firing with the security forces. 
 
"We had no option but to gun them down to prevent them from escaping," a senior police official had said, adding that a couple of policemen had suffered injuries in the encounter.
 
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The daring jailbreak took place when a change of security guards was taking place near the cells where the eight men were held, official sources said. The sources said the prisoners overpowered the two guards and slit the throat of one of them, before scaling the outer wall of the prison using bedsheets and blankets which had been fashioned into ropes.
 
The incident came as a major embarassment for the state government, given that four of the escapees were part of a group of seven SIMI activists who had engineering a similar jailbreak from the Khandwa jail in Madhya Pradesh, about 280 km from Bhopal, on October 1, 2013. One of the seven was nabbed soon after, while two were killed in an encounter with the police at Nalgonda in Telangana in April 2015 and the remaining were nabbed in February this year.
 
The prisoners had been arrested in 2010-11 in connection with the murders of a policemen, a lawyer and a bank official on November 28, 2009.
 
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HCC-LCESPL JV awarded Rs 374 crore contract from Narmada Valley Development Authority in MP

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Infrastructure major Hindustan Construction Company (HCC) today said its joint venture (JV) with Laxmi Civil Engineering Services Pvt Ltd (LCESPL) had been awarded Rs. 374.6 crore contract by the Narmada Valley Development Authority to construct Bistan Lift Irrigation Scheme on turnkey basis. 
 
HCC's share in the joint venture is 51% (Rs 191 crore). The project is to be completed in 30 months, a press release from HCC said.
 
The project will irrigate 22,000 hectares in Bistan region under Gogawan, Bhagwanpura and Khargone tehsils in Khargone district of Madhya Pradesh by drawing water from the main canal of Indira Sagar project, it said.
 
The release said the scope of the project includes two pumping stations, connecting pipeline of 167 kms and micro irrigation systems including automation systems (SCADA), it said.
 
HCC has extensive experience in execution of large scale multidisciplinary EPC contracts for some of the largest lift irrigation schemes in the country.  HCC has constructed Godavari Lift irrigation Phase I, Phase II and Phase III, the Veligonda lift irrigation project, the Rajiv Sagar lift irrigation project in Telangana and Saurashtra Branch Canal in Gujarat. 
 
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Eight SIMI activists escape from Bhopal jail, gunned down hours later

Eight prisoners, said to be activists of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India, staged a sensational escape from the high-security Bhopal Central Jail early Monday morning after killing a security guard but were gunned down hours later in an encounter with the police on the outskirts of the city, official sources said.

 
8 SIMI activists escape from Bhopal jail, gunned down hours later
Eight prisoners, said to be activists of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), staged a sensational escape from the high-security Bhopal Central Jail early this morning after killing a security guard but were gunned down hours later in an encounter with the police on the outskirts of the city, official sources said.
 
The sources said the police had received inputs that the escapees were hiding near Acharpura village on the outskirts of the state capital and they surrounded the area, along with personnel of the Special Task Force (STF) and Counter Terrorist Group (CTG), around 4 am.
 
According to them, the escapees were armed with sharp weapons, which they had made out of the steel plates and spoons they were given in jail for eating food, and firearms and had engaged in cross-firing with the security forces. 
 
"We had no option but to gun them down to prevent them from escaping," a senior police official, adding that a couple of policemen suffered injuries in the encounter.
 
The daring jailbreak took place around 2.15 am when a change of security guards was taking place near the cells where the eight men were held, official sources said.
 
The sources said the prisoners overpowered the two guards and slit the throat of one of them, a police head constable identified as Rama Shankar Yadav, before scaling the outer wall of the prison using bedsheets and blankets which had been fashioned into ropes.
 
Police cordoned off the entire area immediately and launched a massive manhunt for the escapees on the roads and highways leading out of the city and at bus stations and railway stations.
 
Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Bhupendra Singh said there would be an investigation into the possible security lapses that led to the incident.
 
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The incident has come as a major embarassment for the state government, given that four of the escapees today were part of a group of seven SIMI activists who had engineering a similar jailbreak from the Khandwa jail in Madhya Pradesh, about 280 km from Bhopal, on October 1, 2013. One of the seven was nabbed soon after, while two were killed in an encounter with the police at Nalgonda in Telangana in April 2015 and the remaining were nabbed in February this year.
 
In the Khandwa incident, the prisoners had managed to escape between 2 am and 3 am after breaking down a part of the wall of a bathroom. They also stabbed and injured two policemen who were posted outside the Khandwa jail and tried to stop them, before making away with their rifles and motorcycles.
 
The prisoners had been arrested in 2010-11 in connection with the murders of a policemen, a lawyer and a bank official on November 28, 2009.
 
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Eight SIMI activists escape from Bhopal Central Jail after killing security guard

Eight prisoners, said to be activists of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), escaped from the high-security Bhopal Central Jail in the early hours of Monday after killing a security guard -- a police head constable -- and scaling the outer wall of the prison using bedsheets.


 
8 SIMI activists escape from Bhopal jail after killing guard
Eight prisoners, said to be activists of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), escaped from the high-security Bhopal Central Jail in the early hours of today after killing a security guard -- a police head constable -- and scaling the outer wall of the prison using bedsheets.
 
The daring jailbreak took place around 2.15 am when a change of security guards was due to take place near the cells where the eight men were held, official sources said.
 
They managed to overpower the guard, identified as Rama Shankar, slit his throat with a sharp weapon and escaped by scaling the outer periphery wall using bedsheets and blankets fashioned into ropes, they said.
 
Police have cordoned off the entire area and launched a massive manhunt for the escapees on the roads and highways leading out of the city and at bus stations and railway stations.
 
Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Bhupendra Singh said there would be an investigation into the possible security lapses that led to the incident.
 
The incident has come as a major embarassment for the state government, given that four of the escapees today were part of a group of seven SIMI activists who had engineering a similar jailbreak from the Khandwa jail in Madhya Pradesh, about 280 km from Bhopal, on October 1, 2013. One of the seven was nabbed soon after, while two were killed in an encounter with the police at Nalgonda in Telangana in April 2015 and the remaining were nabbed in February this year.
 
In the Khandwa incident, the prisoners had managed to escape between 2 am and 3 am after breaking down a part of the wall of a bathroom. They also stabbed and injured two policemen who were posted outside the Khandwa jail and tried to stop them, before making away with their rifles and motorcycles.
 
The prisoners had been arrested in 2010-11 in connection with the murders of a policemen, a lawyer and a bank official on November 28, 2009.
 
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Bye-elections to be held on November 19 to fill four LS, eight Assembly seats

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The Election Commission (EC) today said it would hold bye-elections to fill casual vacancies in the Lok Sabha from three States and eight seats in the Legislative Assemblies in seven States.
 
The vacancies in the Lok Sabha are from Lakhimpur in Assam, Shahdol (ST) in Madhya Pradesh and Coochbehar (SC) and Tamluk in West Bengal, an official press release said.
 
The Assembly seats vacant are 20-Baithalangso (ST) in Assam, 45 – Hayuliang (ST) in Arunachal Pradesh, 179-Nepanagar (ST) in Madhya Pradesh, 263-Monteswar in West Bengal, 195-Thiruparankundram in Tamil Nadu, 4-Barjala and 25-Khowai in Tripura and 17-Nellithope in Puducherry.
 
The release said the notification for the bye-elections will be issued on October 26 and the last date for making nominations is November 2. Counting of votes will be taken up on November 22.
 
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14 dead, 16 injured as bus falls into pit near Ratlam in Madhya Pradesh

 
14 dead, 16 injured as bus falls into pit near Ratlam
At least 14 people died and 16 others suffered injuries when a private bus carrying them veered off the road and plunged into a pit filled with rain water near Ratlam in Madhya Pradesh today, official sources said.
 
District Magistrate B. Chandrashekhar told NetIndian over the telephone that the deceased included three women and 11 men.
 
He said both the driver and the conductor of the bus were among those who lost their lives.
 
There was no accurate estimate of the number of passengers the bus was carrying, and district officials and agencies were continuing to search for more bodies in the pit, which is part of an abandoned mine. A team from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) had reached the scene and were helping out with the rescue operations, Mr. Chandrashekhar said.
 
The bus was on its way from Ratlam to Jaora when the mishap occurred around 10.30 am at 12 Patthar Khadan, about two km from Namli. Various accounts suggested that the driver of the bus lost control over the steering wheel, resulting in the tragedy. The entire bus was submerged under the water, sources said.
 
The injured were rushed to nearby hospitals for treatment.
 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed grief over the loss of lives in the accident.
“Extremely distressed by the loss of lives caused by the bus accident in Ratlam, MP. My thoughts are with the bereaved families. I wish those injured in the bus accident in Ratlam a quick recovery," he said on microblogging site Twitter.
 
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Mukherjee hands over keys of EWS houses in Gwalior

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President Pranab Mukherjee has expressed happiness at efforts being made under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana to provide houses to every homeless person in the country by 2022.
 
Presiding over a function for distribution of keys and ownership certificates for houses for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS)  built under the Integrated Housing & Slum Development Project at Jiwaji University here yesterday, he said solving the housing problem was not easy. 
 
As of 2012, the housing shortage in urban India was to the tune of 1.88 crore and, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 6.6%, it is expected to touch 3.4 crores dwelling units by 2022 as per projections.
 
But providing housing to all is not merely a slogan and through the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, the Government is committed in this regard, he said.
 
Mr. Mukherjee also congratulated Madhya Pradesh government and people of Gwalior for their city getting selected for development under the “Smart City Programme” of the Centre. 
 
“It is indeed heartening to be present on the occasion when a number of residents, till now living in slum like conditions, are being provided the ownership of houses of their own,” he added.
 
The President said at one time there was a slogan ‘Roti Kapda aur Makan, Mang Raha Hai Hindustan’. Now he would like to add two more requirements to this slogan, that is, ‘Shiksha' and 'Swasthya’. Only when food, clothing and housing along with health and education are available to the people of the country can growth of India be possible, he added.
 
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President attends 60th Founders Day of Scindia Kanya Vidyalaya, Gwalior

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President Pranab Mukherjee has said that he saluted women who courageously faced every impediment in life to reach their goals and achievements.
 
Addressing the 60th Founders Day Celebrations of Scindia Kanya Vidyalaya here yesterday, he said he was happy to be present on the occasion of six decades of establishment of the institution. 
 
He complimented the late Vijaya Raje Scindia for the vision and courage of establishing an educational institution exclusively for girl children at a time when literacy amongst women in the country hovered around a meagre 10%.
 
Mr. Mukherjee also congratulated the Board of Governors of the school and expressed hope that the high standard set by its founders would be upheld in the future, too.
 
He said today education was the alchemy that could take India to its next golden age. He called upon teachers and students to strive for democratisation of quality education.
 
The President said education and learning were a lifelong process. Quoting Swami Vivekananda, he said, “Education which does not help the common mass of people to equip themselves for the struggle for life, which does not bring out strength of character, a spirit of philanthropy, and the courage of a lion- is it worth the name? Real education is that which enables one to stand on one’s own legs."
 
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Bye-elections to fill vacancy in Rajya Sabha to be held on October 17

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The Election Commission today said it would hold a bye-election on October 17 to fill a vacancy in the Rajya Sabha from Madhya Pradesh.
 
The vacancy has arisen due to the resignation on August 20 of BJP member and former Union Minister Najma A. Heptulla, who has been appointed as Governor of Manipur.
 
Her tenure in the Upper House of Parliament would, in the normal course, have been upto April 2, 2018.
 
A bye-election will also be held on the same day to fill another casual vacancy in the Telangana Legislative Council elected by the members of Legislative Assembly due to the resignation of sitting member Tummala Nageswara Rao on May 23. The term of his office would have been up to June 3, 2021. 
 
Notifications for the bye-elections will be issued on September 26 and the last date for filing nominations is October 3. Counting of votes will be taken up at 5 pm on October 17, one hour after polling ends.
 
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Tourism Ministry approves projects worth Rs. 450 crore in MP, TN, UP, Uttarakhand, Sikkim

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The Central Sanctioning and Monitoring Committee (CSMC) for the Swadesh Darshan Scheme in the Ministry of Tourism has approved projects worth Rs. 450 crore for development of various projects in five states.
 
The projects are related to the Heritage Circuits in Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand, Ramayana Circuit in Uttar Pradesh, North East Circuit in Sikkim and Coastal Circuit in Tamil Nadu, an official press release said.
 
The Heritage Circuit in Madhya Pradesh covers Gwalior- Orchha- Khajuraho-Chanderi-Bhimbetka-Mandu with a total project cost of approximately Rs. 100 crore. The project envisages world class infrastructural development of the sites which includes developing a Theme Park and Convention centre in Khajuraho, Sound and Light Show in Mandu. 
 
Site Illumination, Construction of Tourist Facilitation Centres and parking area are other interventions proposed in the circuit, the release said.
 
The Heritage Circuit in Uttarakhand envisages developing tourism infrastructure in Jageshwar, Devidhura, Katarmal and Baijnath with a total cost of about Rs. 83 crore. The highlights of the project are development of Eco Log Huts, Sound and Light Show and Upgradation of Temple Pathways. 
 
The Coastal Circuit in Tamil Nadu envisages development of the Chennai-Mamamallapuram -Rameshwaram-Manpadu–Kanyakumari route with total project cost of approximately Rs.100 crore. Sound and light show, development of beach amenities, and construction of pedestrian bridge connecting Vivekanand Memorial with Tiruvalluvar Statue at Kanyakumari are the highlights of the project.
 
The Ramayana Circuit in State of Uttar Pradesh envisages development of two destinations -- Chitrakoot and Shringverpur at a cost of Rs. 70 crore. The plans include development of Parikrama marg, food plaza, laser show and foot overbridge connecting the MP and UP parts of Chitrakoot, apart from development of ghats, tourist facilitation centre and parking areas.
 
The Ramayana Circuit in Uttar Pradesh also includes Ayodhya for which the State Tourism Department of Uttar Pradesh is preparing a Detailed Project Report (DPR).
 
The North East circuit in Sikkim with approximate project cost of Rs. 95.50 crore includes development of eco log huts, cultural centre, paragliding centre, craft bazaar, base camp for mountaineering and meditation hall, the release added.
 
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BRICS Convention on Tourism to be held at Khajuraho on September 1-2

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The Ministry of Tourism will host the “BRICS Convention on Tourism” on September 1-2 at Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh as a precursor to the the BRICS Summit to be held in Goa on October 15-16.
 
Delegation from the five BRICS countries -- Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa -- are expected to participate in the Convention.
 
The two day event will comprise an inter-Governmental exchange of views and ideas, Panel discussions on Technology, Innovation in Tourism, and Cooperation between the BRICS countries for promoting intra-regional tourism. 
 
B2B meetings between the Indian travel trade and their counterparts from the other BRICS countries will also be organised.
 
Elements of culture, handicrafts and cuisine from different regions of India will be showcased during the convention.
 
Post-convention familiarization tours are also being organised for the BRICS delegates from September 3-6, an official press release said.
 
The itineraries for the familiarisation tours will cover tourist destinations in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, which include Varanasi- Bodhgaya, Orchha/Agra, and Bhopal-Sanchi- Bhimbetka. The tours will be hosted by the respective State Governments, the release added.
 
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