Six women officers of the Indian Navy, who successfully circumnavigated the globe on the sailing vessel, INSV Tarini, called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The expedition, known as the Navika Sagar Parikrama, was the first-ever Indian circumnavigation of the globe by an all-women crew. During the interaction, the crew made a presentation on various aspects of the mission, their preparation, training, and experiences during the journey. The Prime Minister congratulated the crew on the success of their mission. He encouraged them to share and write about their unique experiences during the journey. Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Sunil Lanba, was present on the occasion. The vessel was skippered by Lt. Commander Vartika Joshi, and the crew also comprised Lt. Commanders Pratibha Jamwal, P Swathi, and Lieutenants S Vijaya Devi, B Aishwarya and Payal Gupta.
Union Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi today said that "secularism, social-communal harmony and tolerance" is in the DNA of India and compared to the entire world, constitutional, social, cultural and religious rights of minorities are more safe and secure in India. During a meeting with a delegation of “Diocese of Delhi- Church of North India” Naqvi said that the Central Government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is working with commitment to “Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas” and “Development with Dignity” with complete honesty and without any discrimination. He said that the Government has broken every barrier including caste, religion, region and it is moving forward towards “inclusive growth” to ensure that not a single Indian is deprived of the light of development. He added that the government is committed to protect all constitutional institutions, democratic values and religious rights of all sections. Naqvi called for caution against those forces who want to disturb the atmosphere of trust and development due to their “prejudiced mindset and vested interests”. He said, that social-communal harmony is our culture and tolerance is our commitment and we all have to work together to protect and strengthen this culture and commitment. Minister said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is working for all religions and castes without any discrimination. The Government's “Jan Dhan Yojana”, "Skill India", "Start Up India", "Stand Up India", "Mudra Yojana”, "Ujjwala Yojana" have benefited a large number of poor, weaker sections, minorities and women. The Minister said that the work done for the socio-economic-educational empowerment of minorities in the last 48 months had not been done even in 48 years. Programmes such as "Garib Nawaz Kaushal Vikas Yojana", "Hunar Haat", "Nai Manzil”, “Seekho aur Kamao”, "Begum Hazrat Mahal Girls Scholarship", "Nai Udaan”, “Naya Savera” etc have proved to be the milestone for the empowerment of minorities. The Minister said that he regularly meets with various delegations of Minority communities to take a stock of ground reality to ensure that schemes aimed at their socio-economic-educational empowerment are implemented effectively.
Dramatic scenes emerged in Tamil Nadu secretariat as DMK working President MK Stalin who was protesting outside secretariat was detained and taken away. Eleven people, who are protesting against the Vedanta -owned Sterlite copper plant in Tamil Nadu's coastal district of Thoothukudi, have died and many others injured in the police firing over the last few days. Stalin who came along with party members as part of his support to the protest against copper plant was denied permission to meet chief minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami. The police detained him when Stalin decided to make a protest outside secretariat. Many people including environmentalists and residents allege that the new company will contaminate water resources in the locality.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (earlier Victoria Terminus) has completed 130 years of its construction on 20th May 2018. The present day Headquarters building of Central Railway popularly known as Victoria Terminus (now Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus) is an architectural marvel. This magnificent monument was originally planned as the office of GIP (Great Indian Peninsular) Railway. This is the most photographed building after Taj Mahal, and was designed by Frederick William Stevens, a consulting architect. Thus taking almost a decade to built it at a princely sum of Rs. 16,13,863/- Stevens designed the monumental Terminus which was the largest building then erected in Asia and which even today is a standing testimony of his innovative talent. The construction started in 1878 and on jubilee Day in 1887, it was named after Queen Empress Victoria. Later in 1996, it was renamed as Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus. It was again renamed as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus in July 2017. In 2004, UNESCO has enlisted this building as World Heritage Site for its architectural splendour. From December 2012, this heritage building has been opened for public viewing on working days. Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (earlier Victoria Terminus) was constructed at a cost of Rs.16.14 lakh and is designed in Gothic style adapted to suit Indian context. It is a C shaped building planned symmetrically about the east west axis. The crowning point of the whole building is the central main dome carrying up a colossal 16’-6’’ high figure of lady pointing a flaming torch upwards in her right hand, and a spoked wheel low in the left hand, symbolizing `Progress’. This dome has been reported to be the first octagonal ribbed masonry dome that was adapted to an Italian Gothic style building. The station was constructed with 6 platforms at a cost of Rs.10.4 lakh and in 1929, the first remodeling took place to have 13 platforms. Further modifications were done to the yard and the station had two more platforms thus making it a total of 15 platforms in 1994. Today it has 18 platforms with a spacious east side entry as well. In April 2018, a heritage gully was inaugurated adjacent to platform no.18, wherein Sir. Leslie Wilson, the GIP Heritage Electric Loco, and other heritage items are displayed. During Centenary celebrations of Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Building, a postal stamp was released. In 2013, when the building celebrated quasi-centennial (125 years) anniversary, a special postal cover was released on the occasion.
The Vice President of India M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that we must not neglect classical Indian art forms. He was addressing the gathering after inaugurating the revival ceremony of ancient Dance Drama “Ashtapadiyattam” which is “Gita Govindam” written by 12th century poet Jayadeva, in Guruvayur, Kerala. The Vice President said that while the country has preserved and nurtured our illustrious artistic heritage, unfortunately, certain classical Indian art forms remain in a state of neglect and slowly fading. We must not allow this unfortunate situation to persist and our cultural roots sustain us, make our lives richer and make our society more humane and civilized, he added. The Vice President said that reviving “Ashtapadiyattam” is like unearthing the buried treasure and it is like watering a plant that is fast losing its vitality. He hoped that this dance drama is revived in all its pristine glory, as Jayadeva would have wanted it, giving full justice to the costumes, the music and the mudras as used in the original performance, he added. Calling Gita Govindam a remarkable piece of literature, the Vice President complemented Sri Guruvayurappan Dharmakala Samuchayam Trust headed by Metro Man E. Sreedharan.
India and Russia have decided to enhance their economic relations after the informal talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Modi, prior to his departure to Russia, had tweeted that this meet will enable to strengthen the diplomatic relations between India and Russia. Both leaders discussed a wide range of issues including co-operation in nuclear sector, US withdrawal from Iran deal, terrorism and many more. Modi's informal summit with Putin comes less than a month after he met Chinese President Xi Jinping in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that along with “gross national income”, we must focus on how science and technology can foster greater “happiness” and better quality of life as well as harmonious inclusive societies. He was addressing the gathering after conferring Adi Shankara Young Scientist Awards 2018 at the Adi Shankara Institute of Engineering & Technology, in Kochi, Kerala. The Vice President said that the Adi Shankara Young Scientist Awards 2018 is an eloquent testimony to the inquisitiveness, ingenuity, and innovative initiative inherent in our young India. He further said that this is what gives us hope and optimism that India will be able to regain its rightful place in the comity of nations. Advancement of human knowledge has occurred in our country because of the “spirit of enquiry”, the ability to question, the ability to research and the ability to arrive at the truth, he added. The Vice President mentioned three qualities to achieve excellence: First is the willingness to learn from each and every person, institution and learning resource we can access; The second is the ability to probe, analyse and synthesize; The third quality is to search for a completely out of the box solution that answers the problem at hand. The Vice President said that Adi Shankara was not only a great philosopher but an extraordinary poet. He expounded the “Advaita” philosophy as per which, human beings can become divine through knowledge and the ultimate goal is to experience the Sat-chit-Ananda, the state of bliss consciousness that emanates from truth and higher consciousness, he added. The Vice President said that knowledge must lead us to become wise and we must have the wisdom to use the knowledge we acquire for improving our lives. He further said that ultimately, it is the Ananda we are all seeking and this is what we are talking about when we talk of “gross national happiness”. We should draw inspiration from the best in the Indian tradition, remove the deadwood that has also been accumulated over many years and revitalize our country, he added.
Following is the text of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s departure statement prior to his visit to Russia. “Greetings to the friendly people of Russia. I look forward to my visit to Sochi tomorrow and my meeting with President Putin. It is always a pleasure to meet him. Am confident the talks with President Putin will further strengthen the Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership between India and Russia.”
The Prime Minister Narendra Modi, dedicated the Kishanganga Hydropower Station to the nation at a function in Srinagar. He also laid the foundation stone of the Srinagar Ring Road. Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister recalled the various occasions in the past four years when he had visited the State of Jammu and Kashmir. He said that the month of Ramzan is the time to recall the teachings and message of Prophet Muhammad. The Prime Minister said that the 330 MW Kishanganga Hydropower project would go a long way in fulfilling the electricity requirements of the State. He emphasized the need for balanced development of all three regions of the State - Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh.
The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has suggested to the Central and various State Governments to increase investments in agriculture and allied sectors to make farming viable and attractive. He was interacting with Scientists, Faculty Members and Research Fellows at the National Institute of Agricultural Extension Management (MANAGE), in Hyderabad. The Vice President said that there is a need to make agriculture sustainable, viable and attractive by creating required infrastructure, providing timely credit and value addition to farm produce. The central government’s e-NAM project is the way forward for proper marketing, he added. The Vice President said that providing information to farmers on the demand for their produce in advance was essential to prevent distress sale. He further said that providing affordable and reasonable credit to farmers is also equally important. Loan waiver was not a permanent solution as it would not help in creating long-term sustainable activity, he added. The Vice President advised the extension officials to create greater awareness among the farming community on the crop insurance scheme. He also said that Information and Communication Technology (ICT) should be leveraged more effectively for the benefit of farmers. He also added that information should be disseminated to the farmers in the local languages. The Vice President also wanted institutions like MANAGE to educate the farmers on the need to diversify crops to overcome challenges of climate change and sustain their incomes. Stressing the importance of spending time in the fields by the extension officials and researchers, he said it should be made mandatory for agricultural graduates and post graduates to spend time with farmers before completion of their courses. Pointing to the increasing challenges posed by climate change, the Vice President advised MANAGE to promote climate-smart agriculture. He stressed the need for home-grown food security to create surplus food stocks and meet the requirements of burgeoning population. He also emphasized on the importance of better coordination between various institutions related to agriculture. The Vice President urged people to live with nature and promote culture for a better future. Earlier the Vice President visited the Knowledge Incubation Center, Urban Greening stalls, Photo Exhibition, interacted with Agriprenuers and the trainees of Input Dealers Course, released a “Handbook on Important Insect Pests and Diseases of Major Crops in India” and also launched Youtube channel of MANAGE.