PLEASE STOP CHILD MARRIAGE AS AGAIN A MINOR CLASS 8 GIRL RAN AWAY FROM FROM HOME TO ESCAPE MARRIAGE IN MAYURBHANJ DISTRICT :

What could be more disheartening when a Class 8 girl is forced to run away from her home and seek district administration’s help to escape marriage. “I want to study. But my family members are forcing me to get married,” said the minor girl when she sought help from the district administration to cancel her marriage. The marriage of the girl who hails from Gangaraj village under Kuliana police station of  Mayurbhanj district was scheduled to be solemnized. According to sources, the minor girl, who belongs to a poor family, escaped from her house last night as her mother had fixed her marriage with a youth of Bangiriposi area in the absence of her father.  After leaving her house, the girl brought the matter to the notice of her school teacher, who later informed police and Child Line officials about the same through the local Sarpanch. Later, the girl refused to return to her house and approached the district administration to help her, sources added. District Child Protection Officer Mamata Biswal said, “She does not want to get married. We rescued her soon after receiving information. Steps are afoot to make arrangements for her study  and accommodation.” The Odisha TV : 22nd. Feb,18

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NOW INDIAN CANDIDATES WHO INTEND TO OBTAIN MEDICAL QUALIFICATIONS FROM ABROAD HAVE TO QUALITY THE NEET :

The Health Ministry on Thursday clarified that Indian candidates who intended to obtain medical qualifications from abroad on or after May this year would have to mandatorily qualify the national eligibility-cum-entrance test (NEET). The ministry had earlier this month made NEET, which was introduced in 2016 for admission to government and private medical colleges in India, mandatory for even those who wished to pursue medical courses in foreign universities. It also said students who have already taken admission under present regulations to pursue primary medical courses by taking eligibility certificate from Medical Council of India (MCI) were ‘exempted’ from qualifying NEET. “It is informed that the regulations prescribe that the Indian citizens or Overseas Citizen of India intending to obtain primary medical qualification from any medical institution outside India, on or after May 2018, shall have to mandatorily qualify the NEET for admission to MBBS course abroad. “The decision will be implemented prospectively i.e. from May-2018. Thus, students who have already taken admission under current regulations to pursue primary medical course by taking Eligibility Certificate from MCI are exempted from qualifying NEET,” an official statement said. The clarification came after the ministry received grievances urging it to exempt students who have already gone abroad from the requirement of qualifying the NEET.   The Rediff.com : 23rd. Feb,18

CONGRESS PARTY WILL NOT DECLARE ITS CHIEF MINISTERIAL FACE AHEAD OF RAJASTHAN ASSEMBLY POLLS :

The Congress will not declare its chief ministerial face ahead of the Rajasthan assembly polls, party general secretary in-charge for the state Avinash Pande said, stressing that it has been the party’s ‘tradition’. He said the party’s Rajasthan leaders will put on a united performance to ensure victory ‘as they did’ during the recently-held bypolls in Ajmer and Alwar parliamentary seats and Mandalgarh assembly segment in the state.        “It has been the Congress tradition that it never declares a CM face, barring exceptional cases, ahead of assembly polls. The high command decides about the Chief Minister after discussing it with elected MLAs. This tradition will be followed in Rajasthan too,” Pande said. On Thursday, Congress president Rahul Gandhi held a meeting with Rajasthan Congress leaders, including former Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, state unit chief Sachin Pilot and others on the party’s activities for the next six months. Pande maintained that the leadership issue in connection with the state assembly polls, scheduled to be held later this year, did not figure during the meeting. “We sought the final approval for the party programme for next six months (from Gandhi). All the leaders in unison assured that the programme will be implemented jointly. Rahul ji wished them good luck,” he added. Pande also said that the leaders have decided that the state unit’s ‘Mera Booth, Mera Gaurav’ programme will be implemented in all the assembly segments of the state, which goes to polls later this year. “Hamara hoga ek hi agenda, Congress ka jhanda (Our only agenda is to see Congress flag flies high),” Pande added. Asked about the meeting with Gandhi, Pilot said it was decided that the party will undertake a mass outreach programme in all the 200 assembly segments of the state. “We have now a lot of weight on our shoulders (following the success in bypolls). Expectations are very high from the Congress and we must not rest and immediately start a mass outreach programme the youth, farmers, middle class, rural areas in 200 constituencies. The meeting discussed the details of the same,” Pilot added.  The Rediff.com : 23rd. Feb,18

DISGRACED HOLLYWOOD MOGUL HARVEY WEINSTEIN APOLOGISED FOR INVOKING NAMES OF JLAW, STREEP IN LAWSUIT :

Disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein said he was sorry he invoked names of actors Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lawrence in a recent legal defense. “Mr. Weinstein acknowledges the valuable input both Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lawrence have contributed to this conversation and apologizes,” a spokesperson for the 65-year-old said in a statement Thursday, according to E! Online. “Mr. Weinstein has been informed that his civil counsel responded in court to a class action lawsuit which improperly sought to include all actresses who had previously worked with Mr Weinstein, even where those actresses have made no claim of wrongdoing. “Even though Mr. Weinstein has worked with hundreds of actresses and actors who had only professional and mutually respectful experiences with him,” the statement added, “Mr. Weinstein has directed in the future that no specific names be used by his counsel, even where those actors have made previous public statements about him.” In a federal court in New York on Tuesday, Weinstein’s lawyer had cited comments made by Streep, Lawrence and Gwyneth Paltrow meant to suggest that not every woman who ever worked with Weinstein was abused or had a negative experience. Both the Oscar-winning actresses had then publicly called him out for using their quotes in court.   The Rediff.com : 23rd. Feb,18

SEVENTY YEARS AFTER INDEPENDENCE ELEPHANTA CAVES FINALLY GOT ELECTRICITY :

Seventy years after Independence power supply has finally reached Elephanta Caves near Mumbai. A 7.5-km long undersea cable has brought electricity to the world-famous Gharapuri Isle, which houses the UNESCO world heritage site. “It’s a historic day today. This is the first time that such kind of big wire cable is used in the Arabian Sea to spread the lines for electricity,” said Chandrashekhar Bawankule, Minister of Energy, New and Renewable Energy. He further said that the step would now increase the tourism and more people would visit the world heritage site. The step will also benefit three villages — Raj Bander, Mora Bander and Shet Bander.   The Rediff.com : 23rd. Feb,18

THE MEN WHO INSPIRED KAMAL HAASAN :

Tamil movie superstar Kamal Haasan launched his long-awaited political party, the Makkal Needhi Maiam, on Wednesday, February 21, in Madurai, during the course of which he was asked who were the leaders he admired and took inspiration from.  Hassan promptly named them. ‘I like Gandhi, Ambedkar, Nehru, Kejriwal, Naidu, Pinarayi and even Obama. All those who work (for the people).’ Surprisingly, or maybe not, there was no Tamil leader in his list. No Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam supremo M Karunanidhi, who Haasan has often spoken of highly in the past, no poet Subramaniya Bharati, whose revolutionary songs he has mouthed on screen, no E V R Ramaswamy Naicker, whose Dravida movement is the fount of the rational thought Haasan espouses. No A P J Abdul Kalam either, considering that the former President’s home was his first halt on Wednesday morning.   Incidentally, there were no women either in the list.   The Rediff.com : 23rd. Feb,18

SUPREME COURT ISSUED NOTICE TO DELHI POLICE FOR SIT PROBE IN SUNANDA PUSHKAR DEATH CASE :

The Supreme Court  sought the response of the Delhi Police on a plea filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy seeking a SIT probe into the death of Congress MP Shashi Tharoor’s wife Sunanda Pushkar.  A bench of Justices Arun Mishra and A M Khanwilkar issued a notice to the police on Swamy’s plea, leaving open the question of maintainability of the petition. “Keeping the question of maintainability open, let a notice be issued,” the bench said.  The court was hearing Swamy’s appeal against the Delhi High Court’s October 26 verdict dismissing his plea for a probe into Pushkar’s death by a court-monitored Special Investigation Team. Pushkar was found dead under mysterious circumstances in a suite of a five-star hotel in Delhi on the night of January 17, 2014. The high court had last year rejected Swamy’s plea for a court-monitored SIT probe into Pushkar’s death and termed his public interest litigation (PIL) a “textbook example of a political interest litigation”.  Swamy, in his plea before the high court, had alleged that the police had “botched up” the probe and accused Tharoor of “interfering” in the investigation as a minister in the erstwhile UPA regime and later.  The high court had chastised the BJP leader and his lawyer, who was a co-petitioner before it, for making “sweeping allegations” in the petition against Tharoor and the Delhi Police without giving any basis for such accusations.  The high court had said that Swamy ought to have mentioned his political affiliation as well as that of Tharoor in his plea  as these facts were important to the adjudication of the case. The Rediff.com : 23rd. Feb,18

A 12-YEAR-OLD BOY SITU SHOWED EXEMPLARY COURAGE TO SAVE HIS UNCLE FROM THE JAWS OF A CROCODILE IN BHITARKANIKA NATIONAL PARK :

A 12-year-old boy from Kendrapara district showed exemplary courage to save his uncle from the jaws of an estuarine crocodile in a creek inside Bhitarkanika National Park. As per information, the incident happened on Tuesday at Kandira village under Rajnagar block of the district when one Binod Mallick was attacked by a crocodile while he was washing his hands in a creek after having dinner. A salt water crocodile present inside the water pounced and bit into Binod’s hands dragging him into water. Fortunately, his nephew Situ who was also present along with him to keep a watch on their paddy harvest was quick to attack the reptile with bamboo stick. When the crocodile lost its grip, Situ dragged his injured uncle to safety. Situ is a Class IX student of Basudev High School in Kandira. Binod who sustained injuries on his hands was initially admitted to the district headquarters hospital and later shifted to Capital Hospital in Bhubaneswar. Meanwhile, Bhitarkanika DFO Bimal Prasanna Acharya said that in spite of repeated warnings to avoid water bodies in crocodile infested areas, people keep on putting their lives at risk.  The Odisha TV : 22nd. Feb,18

ODISHA’s PIPILI CHANDUA TO KONARK CHAKRA IN CAPITAL CITY CANBERRA OF AUSTRALIA :

From ‘Pipili Chandua’ to ‘Konark Chakra’, Australians have found a unique way to celebrate the rich cultural heritage and tradition of Odisha in their capital city Canberra. Odissi music and melodious ‘Jagannath Bhajans’ echoed in the Australian city during a special event -“Odisha on London.” “Odisha on London”, was organized by the local Odia community and OriOz (Odia in Australia) under the ‘India in the City’, National Multicultural Festival 2018 initiative in Australia. The event showcased sculptures, arts, handicrafts and heritage from all across Odisha for the first time in the Australian capital city. The event was a display of multifaceted Odia culture before the audience that hails from various parts of the world and settled in Australia. ‘Chaturdha Murti’ of Lord ‘Jagannath,’ ‘Balabhadra’ and Goddess ‘Subhadra’ along with ‘Sudarshan Chakra’ was also placed on a designed ‘Ratna Singhasana’ at the event.  “We are proud of our local Odia community who put in their hard work to organize such an event here,” said Pravati Panigrahi, vice-president of OriOz. Visitors were guided through the rich history of Odisha and informed about the hidden treasures of mineral wealth, wildlife and natural beauty. Moreover, the audience also got a chance to experience the delicious cuisine of Odisha, ‘Odissi’ & ‘Sambalpuri’ dance forms and ‘Jagannath Bhajans.’ Members of Shibani Mishra’s local Odissi dance academy enthralled the gathering with their Odissi performance during the event. The National Multicultural Festival is a three-day annual event held in Canberra in February. The Odisha TV : 22nd. Feb,18

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