Maharashtra: 90% workers of Trimbakeshwar temple go on strike for wage hike in Nashik



The workers of Trimbakeshwar Temple have gone on a strike demanding hike in wages. Over 90 per cent of the workers union of the Nashik-Trimbakeshwar temple has called out for a strike to demand an increase in the salary.

Nashik-Trimbakeshwar, the temple of Kumbh, has been identified as the worker of the Temple Devasthan (abode of god). Thousands of devotees from all across the country pay a visit to Shivaji K Jyotirlinga. In such a case over 90 per cent of workers have called for a strike in the temple. These workers managed work from the security of the entrance to the ticket for the temple. Out of 142 employees of Trimbakeshwar Temple, 136 workers have stopped working. All the 136 employees who have called for the strike are associated with Left Organisations. The temple workers strike on the left banner of Left organizations in Maharashtra is happening for the first time.

Trimbakeshwar Devasthan management is currently operating with the strength of 6 employees. The members of the Trimbakeshwar Temple Trust are angry with the management after the workers went on strike. Due to the strike of workers, the devotees of the temple are at discomfort.

Trishkeshwar Temple K. Trustee Kaisal Ghule, said “The strike of temple workers is not right. The temple administration should intervene and finish the strike.”

However, Trustee Trupti Dharan of Trimbakeshwar Temple said that despite the strike of the employees, the officials and the trustees did good planning so that the devotees did not have any problem. “The work of the temple is also being continued smoothly.”

One of the employees at strike said that they have been fighting for our demands for many years. But the temple administration was not listening to us. For this, we had to get off the road.

Nisha Shiwani has worked in many companies in various capacities and in her free time loves to express herself through her articles. She is based out of the pink city Jaipur.


Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh gets life imprisonment for murder of journalist



Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh has been given life imprisonment by a court in Haryana’s Panchkula for his role in the 2002 murder of journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati. The cult leader had been convicted by a special CBI court on January 11 along with three accomplices.
Special CBI judge Jagdeep Singh pronounced the sentence over videoconferencing on the request of the Haryana government. Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh has been incarcerated at the Sunaria Jail in Rohtak since August 2017. He is serving a 20-year sentence for raping two of his followers. The other three men sentenced on Thursday are lodged at Ambala jail.
The special court handed the life imprisonment sentence to Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, Dera manager Krishan Lal and Dera carpenters Kuldeep Singh and Nirmal Singh for the murder of Sirsa-based journalist Chhatrapati, who was the editor of a newspaper called Poora Sach. The court lso ordered them to pay fines of Rs 50,000 each.
Security has been ramped up in the Panchkula and Rohtak districts of Haryana to contain any backlash from Dera followers. When Ram Rahim was convicted in August 2017, his followers had gone on a rampage.
Prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC have been imposed in Panchkula and heavy security been provided to the court complex. Police have also put in place a two-tier security cover has been placed around the Sunaria Jail, with a two-kilometre radius declared a no-go zone.

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Uttarakhand Congress to start statewide Parivartan Yatra from 21st January. Would expose the BJP govt’s misdeeds



Uttarakhand Congress vice president Surya Kant Dhasmana addressing press conference in Dehradun

As the parliamentary elections are nearing the Congress party in Uttarakhand has also geared up its activities and mass contact programmes in various parts of Uttarakhand in order to accquaint the party workers at the grass roots as well as the general masses about the state government’s failures on various fronts since it came to power in the state about two years ago securing a historic majority of 57 MLAs out of total seventy n to also strengthen its party organisation at the lowest ebb.

The current Congress party organisation is lead by the five time MLA from Chakrata, Garhwal, Uttarakhand and former minister Pritam Singh carrying behind him a transparent image.

In the assembly elections held in 2017 the Congress government led by Harish Rawat suffered badly at the hustings with the then chief minister Rawat himself losing from the two legislative constituencies and his party winning in merely 13 seats, a record low performance in the last eighteen years since the state came into separate existence.

The Congress organisation since then had become almost defunct in the state as majority of its previous MLAs n ministers had joined BJP.

After the replacement of Harish Rawat who’d been elevated as the AICC general secretary, Incharge Assam Congress at the centre, the former minister Pritam Singh was appointed as state president who has after his untiring efforts brought back the Congress party organisation on rails by his enhancing activities and reconstitution of the state organisation till the grass root level.

Today, the Congress party has regained its lost ground n is in a credible position to give a strong fight to the ruling BJP.

Addressing a press conference at the party headquarter in Dehradun today the senior vice president of Uttarakhand Congress Suryakant Dhasmana announced that the state Congress office bearers n activists led by Pritam Singh would commence the Parivartan Yatra from Chakrata legislative assembly’s Hanol village, Jaunsaar Baaver after the rituals in the temple of Mahashu Devta from 21st January onwards.

This political journey named as Parivartan Yatra would be carried in all the districts of Uttarakhand in five stages involving the district n block office bearers and the grass root workers as well. The Yatra would cover all the five Lok Sabha parliamentary constituencies and the assembly constituencies falling under the jurisdictions of these MP seats of Garhwal and Kumaon divisions.

According to Surya Kant Dhasmana the party president Pritam Singh n other office bearers will address hundreds of small n big meetings on the way exposing the present BJP governments misdeeds and failures on various fronts n also enthising the party workers to prepare themselves for the general elections of 2019.

While the main agenda of this Parivartan Yatra is to expose the ill concieved notions n the misdeeds of the ruling BJP government of the state who has failed on all fronts despite having been in power since the last two years it will also help in revitalising and reviving the Congress party organisation at the grass root level in the entire state.

Prominent amongst those present at the press conference with the state Congress vice president Mr. Dhasmana were the party’s desciplinery commitee’s chairman Pramod Kumar Singh, state chairman of the minority department Tahir Ali, State Congress spokesperson Garima Dasoni, Mahesh Joshi, Rajesh Chamoli and Lakhi Ram Bijlwan.

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Chennai’s Gukesh crowned world’s second youngest grand master



Tamil Nadu lad D Gukesh Tuesday became the second youngest Grand Master in the world and the youngest Indian to achieve the feat at 12 years, seven months and 17 days, erasing the mark set by his state-mate R Praggnanandhaa in June last year.

He achieved his third and final GM norm at the ongoing 17th Delhi International Open Chess tournament in Delhi after beating compatriot D K Sharma in the ninth round.Gukesh becomes India‘s 59th Grand Master.

Ukraine’s Sergey Karjakin remains the youngest-ever GM, having achieved the feat at the age of 12 years and seven months in 2002.

In December last, the Chennai boy had narrowly missed on the record when he lost his third round game against GM Daniele Vocaturo of Italy at the Sunway Sitges International in Barcelona.

Gukesh, however, recovered and he put that setback behind him to beat and has now beaten the record held by his friend Praggnanandhaa, who was 12 years and 10 months old when he became Indias youngest GM.

The youngster, who idolises the legendary Bobby Fischer and India’s own Vishy Anand, told PTI after achieving the feat that he was very happy and excited.

“I am very happy and excited to have become a Grand Master. I am delighted to have won the third (GM) norm and the title. I would like to play Anand sir sometime,” he said over phone.

Before the game I didnt feel any pressure, only during the game. I just forgot about the pressure and focused on my game, he added.

He said he was a little disappointed to have missed out on breaking Karjakin’s record in Barcelona but felt relieved after a while and focussed on his game.

“I was a little disappointed not to break the record in Spain (Barcelona) but chose to focus on the way forward. I also missed out on achieving the record in Mumbai during the Mumbai International Chess tournament due to a technical issue,” he added.

The son of Rajinikanth and Padma, both doctors, the lad picked up the game playing with his parents at home and seeing his interest was enrolled in an academy in the locality.

Gukesh said he did not feel any pressure in the lead-up to the tournament adding there was some pressure when he played in Barcelona with the record on the line.

“I felt some pressure while playing in Barcelona as there was a possibility of my breaking the record. But once I missed the chance the pressure was gone. Now, I am relaxed,” he added.

After starting out by playing at home with his parents, he was enrolled in a summer camp and was drawn to the game under the guidance of M S Bhaskar and then a few others, including Vishnu Prasanna.

At the age of seven I joined a summer camp in my school. MS Bhaskar, was my coach there, spotted my talent and encouraged me,” Gukesh said of his early days in chess.

He is presently coached by Grand Master Vishnu Prasad.

A seventh standard student of Velammal Vidyalaya, he said his school had supported him a lot whenever he had to miss classes to play in tournaments.

Gukesh, with a FIDE rating of 2497, said his aim is now to keep improving his game and achieve the Super GM title.

“Now that I have become a GM I can play bigger touraments and will get invitations to challenging events.

I want to improve my game and also achieve Super GM title,” he added.

The Chennai lad, who trains six to seven hours a day, said he likes to watch Tamil comedy scenes to relax.

Gukesh had secured his first GM norm during the Bangkok Open in 2018 when he finished 27th in a strong field.

His biggest moment came when he won the U-12 World Cadets Championship with a score of 10 out of 11.

He continued his great run by securing the top spot and winning the GM norm round-robin tournament in Serbia.

Noted chess coach R B Ramesh, who trains Praggnanandhaa, congratulated Gukesh on his achievement.

“So many norms at Delhi open! Congratulations to Gukesh for becoming second youngest GM in the world!,” he wrote on his Facebook page.

Gukesh’s father said he was elated at his son’s achievement and also relieved. Rajinikanth is set to join his son Gukesh in the capital later tonight.

The young chess player’s mother Padma said she was feeling great and was proud of Gukesh’s feat. “I am feeling great now and also proud of him.

He was under little pressure when playing in Spain when there was a possibility of him breaking the world record in the tournament,” she added.

She also wanted Gukesh to focus on improving his game and becoming a Super GM. She thanked the Tamil Nadu state chess association and the school for supporting the lad.


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Congress-led Chhattisgarh withdraws from Modi govt’s Ayushman Bharat scheme



The Congress government in Chhattisgarh has decided to withdraw from the Centre’s flagship universal healthcare scheme, Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) or Ayushman Bharatscheme, which was rolled out from the state’s Jangla Development Hub in Bijapur district.

The newly formed government in the state is planning to devise its own universal healthcare scheme which will replace Ayushman Bharat, which was started on September 15 last year.

State health minister TS Singh Deo said, “We have decided to withdraw from the scheme.”

“We don’t understand why we need to operate insurance packages when we have the entire system of medicine purchase, ASHA worker network and primary healthcare centers in place. We have the manpower and are capable of providing universal healthcare,” he added.

The minister when asked whether the move was politically motivated, said that Ayushman Bharat is similar to the UPA’s Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana and that they are simply implementing their manifesto promise- universal healthcare scheme.

He also went on to say that Congress had promised ‘right to health’ in its 2014 parliamentary poll manifesto.

The move comes after a series of representations from associations including government doctors, hospital owners, and even beneficiaries.

The state government is now planning to introduce an alternative scheme which covers the poorest of poor, outpatients’ care and expenditure on medicines.

The new healthcare programme is the first central programme which the newly installed state government has spurned.

The newly elected government argues that a new alternative scheme needs to be devised in Chhattisgarh as the central scheme does not address the basic problems of primary healthcare. It is targeted at secondary and tertiary care.

“Almost 85-90% of the patients have waterborne diseases, malnutrition, malaria, typhoid — these are not what Ayushman Bharat addresses,” a source said.

Even before PMJAY was introduced, Chhattisgarh had insurance coverage in the health sector.

The erstwhile Congress-led UPA had introduced Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana for those below the poverty line. The Raman Singh-led BJP government later tweaked the central scheme to introduce Mukhyamantri Swasthya Bima Yojana to include those above poverty lines. However, problems plagued the scheme over the past two years as small nursing homes sprung up in remote centers and the number of patients in government hospitals declined.

Meanwhile, Chhattisgarh has become the fifth state to say no to PMJAY.

A month before the Centre rolled it out, Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik announced the launch of Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana on almost the same lines as the central scheme. Telangana has consistently parried the Centre’s attempts to initiate the scheme.

West Bengal government withdrew from the scheme last week when CM Mamata Banerjeetook an exception to PM Narendra Modi’sphotographs on letters sent to beneficiaries. The West Bengal government said that with a 60:40 share in the expenditure on the scheme, it should get space on letters sent to beneficiaries.

The Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government in Delhi has also given a cold shoulder to the scheme.

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Delhi University appoints Shakti Singh as new DUSU president



DUSU (Delhi University Students Union) vice-president Shakti Singh was promoted to the post of president on Tuesday.

The Delhi University made the formal announcement after the High Court on December 18, 2018, had ordered Singh to take charge as DUSU president.

“The university had been delaying the decision for no reason since long. This comes after we created pressure upon the authorities. We still have many demands in line including demands for specially-abled students, fee reduction in the revaluation, filling posts of DU administration which has caused problems for students amongst others. If the university does not act upon these demands in the future, we would call a massive protest and would even demand the resignation of the Vice Chancellor,” said ABVP’s Siddharth Yadav.The DUSU elections were held in September.

In November last year, Shakti Singh had staked claim for the top post of the Union, after Ankiv Baisoya resigned from the post of president following his suspension from the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) in a fake degree row.

A first information report (FIR) was also filed against the former DUSU President Baisoya on complaints of the Buddhist department of the university claiming that Baisoya used a fake degree to claim admission and contest elections.

The Delhi University canceled the admission of Baisoya on November 14 after receiving a letter from Thiruvalluvar University confirming that his bachelor’s degree was fake.

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Income Tax exemption may be raised to Rs 5 lakh by Modi government: Report



The Narendra Modi government is expected to double the income tax exemption limit in the interim Budget, reports have said. This would make income tax-free till Rs 5 lakh per year, up from the present Rs 2.5 lakh exemption. The expected bonanza is being perceived as an effort to shore up the BJP’s support with the middle class just months before the 2019 Lok Sabha election.

The raising of the income tax exemption is expected to be announced by Union Finance Minister when he rises to present the Modi government’s interim Budget, or vote-on-account, on February 1, new agency IANS reported.

It is the practice of the Union government to present a vote-on-account if a general election is around the corner, and leave the final Budget and appropriation process to the next government when it takes charge.

The abolition of the income tax or at least raising exemption slabs significantly has been a key focus on the economic agenda of a number of ideologues and advisors of the BJP. The move could also be seen as a bid by the ruling party to fight back against reports of middle class anger going into the elections.

At present, tax is not applicable on income up to Rs 2.5 lakh per year. Income between Rs 2.5 and Rs 5 lakh is taxed at 5 percent while income between Rs 5 lakh and Rs 10 lakh attracts income tax of 20 percent. All income over Rs 10 lakh is taxed at 30 percent. Individuals over the age of 80 pay tax only on income over Rs 5 lakh per annum.

There is also speculation that the Jaitley may announce a reduction in the top income tax rate from 30 percent to 25 percent.

The government is also in the process of rolling out the new Direct Tax Code, which is an overhaul of the income tax regime that has been in place for over 50 years. The new Direct Tax Code is set to be introduced on February 28.

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Petrol price slashes, diesel becomes costlier: Here’s how to check today’s rates



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The prices of petrol on Wednesday witnessed a fall while diesel becomes costlier. Prices of Prteol were reduced for seventh straight day. In major cities of the country, petrol price fell by 8 paise per litre while diesel became costlier by 12-13 paise.

In Delhi, petrol prices fell to Rs 70.33 as against Rs 70.41 on Tuesday whereas diesel price rose to Rs 64.59 as compared to Rs 64.47 yesterday.

Meanwhile, in Mumbai, a litre of petrol will cost Rs. 75.97 today after a decline of 8 paise. On the other hand, Diesel witnessed a drop of 13 paise in Mumbai and is being sold at Rs 67.62 per litre.

The rise in prices comes amidst the revision of global crude oil prices owing to a possible stifling of supply in the near future.

The last week of 2018 saw a dip in fuel prices. However, prices have been on the rise since January 7.

How to check fuel prices in your city

1. Check Petrol/Diesel Price at your nearest Indian Oil Petrol Pump using Pump Locator

You can visit Indian Oil’s official website to locate your nearest Indian Oil petrol pump and view prices of petrol and diesel. Using the Petrol Pump Locator, you can also check the various facilities and services offered at these petrol pumps.

2. Download Fuel@IOC Mobile App on your smartphone to locate your nearest Indian Oil petrol pump and track fuel prices

  • 3. You can also check petrol & diesel price by sending SMS to 92249 92249
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Devanshi Rana wins one more individual Gold in Khelo India



There are some sport persons who are born to shine and bring laurels for the state n the country they are born in. If one achieves the outstanding triumphs n that too gold medals in the national n international sports’ competitions of repute, one after another, enhancing the country’s reputation then applauding n encouraging such extraordinary talents becomes our moral n professional duty as well as such budding sportspersons not only enhance the nation’s prestige but also become a credible source of inspiration to the budding sportspersons of the country.

I am talking here about none other then the daughter of globally famous shooter n presently the shooting coach Jaspal Rana’s gold medal winning daughter in pistol shooting who’d recently lived up to her famous shooting surname by way of winning the prestigious individual Gold Medal in under 21women’s pistol at the KHELO INDIA YOUTH GAMES in 2019 in PUNE.

According to Devanshi’s grandfather Narayan Singh Rana, who’s the founder of Jaspal Rana Shooting Academy in Dehradun his 19 year old grand daughter Devanshi living in Delhi led 23 – 20 before the last serious of five shots.

As per report, the last series turned out to be dramatic as Anjali, who looked in the terrific form did not load all five bullets for the last series.

After shooting three hits out of four Anjali’s pistol has no ammunition to fire the fifth, for the possible gold. In contrast Devanshi who’d finished 8th in the same event at the ISSF Junior World Cup in SUHL last year registered only one hit out of five which was enough to secure the Gold.

Abhidnya Patil of Maharashtra who had topped the qualification with 579, took the bronze after loosing a long-drawn shoot-off to Anjali.
Earlier in the qualification, both Devanshi and Anjali had registered 567 to qualify for the final.
The Results:
Under-21 Women’s 25m Pistol: 1. Devanshi Rana (Delhi) 24 (567); 2. Anjali Choudhary (Haryana) 23 (567); 3. Abhidnya Patil (Maharashtra) 20 (579).

It may be recalled that Devanshi had won Gold, Silver n Bronze in earlier world championships held last year in various Pistol shooting events.

Her father Jaspal Rana is himself an International shooting Champion having won several Gold in Asian Games n many other prestigious global shooting events. Jaspal had won Gold in 1994 in Hiroshima Asian games follwed by three Golds in Doha in 2006.

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Uttarayini celebrated with gaiety and fervour in 62 locations in Delhi. Delhi govt financed majority events



The annual Uttarayini festival held on Makarsankranti was celebrated in various parts of Delhi with gaiety and fevour this year as well on 14th and 15th January with Uttatakhandies living in Delhi dancing, singing, exchanging pleasentaries, felicitating outstanding people n preparing traditional Kichri to serve people in at least more than seventy locations of Delhi n NCR donning their traditional colourful attires and interacting in local dialects.

The Delhi government this year as well financed 62 Uttarayini events in various locations of Delhi majorly organised by the AAP office beares and socio cultural organisations of UK in Delhi and enjoyed by the people of the Himalayan state living in the capital n NCR.

The entire capital city, particularly in areas dominated by the Uttarakhand folks one can conveniently find cultural events with Uttarakhandi cultural heritage in colourful traditional attires happening in every legislative constituency of Delhi n NCR with mesmerising songs and dances enthralling one and all.

Prominent amongst those where Uttarayini was celebrated with gaiety n fervour were Burari, Shyam Vihar Nazafgarh, Trilokpuri, West Vinod Nagar, Aya Nagar, Gole Market, Kirti Nagar, Qutub Vihar, Palam, Kailashpuri, Sagarpur, Karampura, Punjabi Bagh, Awantika Rohini, Karampura, entire Trans Yamuna, East Delhi, North Delhi , New Delhi and South Delhi.

It may be recalled that the Uttarakhandies comprise of more than 30 lakhs in Delhi n NCR n being a sizeable vote bank n a deciding factor in several municipal n legislative constituencies of Delhi, every political party eye on this credible vote bank.

Majority of the Uttarakhandi vote shifted to BJP after 1992 on the Ram Mandir pretext but in the name of establishing the Garhwali Kumaoni Academy in Delhi, n financing the events of Uttarayini in all the 70 legislative constituency for the second time, a majority portion of the Uttarakhandi vote bank seems to have shifted to AAP reveal sources.

The national election of 2019 n the state assembly polls of 2020 are nearing. Therefore every political party in Delhi is eying on the Poorvanchali n Uttarakhandi vote bank who jointly constitute an 55 % vote chunk of the capital thus a decisive factor to form government of their choice in Delhi.

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Veteran journalist of HT Dr. Kailash Chandra Papnai is no more



I am really shocked to learn about the sad demise of Dr. Kailash Chandra Papnai a senior journalist and former chief of the bureau of Dainik Hindustan , HT. He breathed his last on 14th January, night at the age of 70 after a prolonged illness suffering from cancer which he developed after the surgery of some other minor part of his body.

Kailashji was a very senior journalist and an affable human being. He was quite helpful n cooperative too. I came in Dr. Papnai’s contact n proximity when I was managing Rajesh Khanna’s New Delhi election as his media and political advisor cum cordinator during 1991 onwards.

I fondly remember Dr Papnai covering the entire election for the newspaper he represented. The HT’s senior press photographer then, Padmashree Virendra Prabhakar used to be with him to cover Kaka’s election campaign, public meetings and padyaatras etc.

I used to cordinate n assist both of them to get Kaka’s n Dimple’s interview and provide him news tips n scoops, as was doing for other journalists too, covering the super star Rajesh Khanna’s New Delhi election against BJP’s Shatrughan Sinha. Dr. Kailash Papnai was a learned journalist, a literateur n a benevolent human being.

After retirement from HT he used to contribute to various newspapers as a free lancer but his passion for writing on hill people, their problems n politics was always n regularly reflected in his articles published in Utaranchal Patrika. In his sad demise while the entire journalistic fraternity of Delhi, Uttarakhand n the country has lost a senior journalist with great professional acumen we’v lost a benevolent human being and a gentleman to the hilt.

A soft, affable, caring human being, a gentleman to the hilt  n a  journalist of repute Dr. Kailash Papnai would be always remembered by his near and dear friends n all those who knew him personally n from professional point of view.

The Uttarakhand Journalists Forum expresses its heartfelt tributes to the departed soul praying God to rest his soul in peace and condolences to the bereaved family to give them enough strength to bear this most irreperable loss. Amen

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