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Most panchayats in Bihar connected with high-speed broadband: Ravi Shankar Prasad

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NEW DELHI: All 8,743 panchayats in Bihar, except a few, have been connected with the high-speed broadband network under BharatNet, Union IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Tuesday.

Speaking at a programme, he said only 10-12 panchayats could not be connected due to their location in forest areas.

There were 4.2 crore

mobile phone users

in 2014-15 in Bihar which has increased to 6.21 crore in August this year, while the number of internet users was 80 lakh in 2014-15 but now it has increased to 3.93 crore, he said.

Prasad said that Prime Minister

Narendra Modi

believes in promoting and building both the physical and digital infrastructure of the country.

There are around 35,000 Common Service Centres (CSC) in the state that along with the postal service have delivered hundreds of crores of rupees to the poor people during the lockdown, the minister added.

Prasad was speaking at a function where Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated and laid foundation stones for seven urban infrastructure projects worth Rs 541 crore in the poll- bound state via video conference.

Several schemes and projects have been undertaken to build urban infrastructure in Bihar with the prime minister unveiling various schemes, he said.

The prime minister has been saying that

development

of every region of the country is necessary for inclusive growth and it includes eastern India and the

Northeast

and Bihar, which is one of the big states in the East, he said, mentioning the Rs 1.25 lakh crore package for the state and development of rail infrastructure.

Prasad, who represents

the Patna Sahib Lok Sabha

constituency, expressed happiness on the inauguration of two

Sewage Treatment Plants

(STPs) — one in Beur and another in Karmalichak in the state capital.

Deputy chief minister

Sushil Kumar Modi

said that the state government has taken a decision that treated sewage water will not be discharged in rivers, rather it will be used for irrigation purposes and a detailed plan is being worked out.

Effluent treatment plants (ETPs) have been installed in 57 industrial units located along Ganga, he said, adding that zero effluent is being discharged in the river by such units.

Stating that Bihar has received Rs 2,074 crore under the ‘Namami Gange’ project, Sushil Modi said Rs 34,217 crore has been spent in the last 15 years on various schemes of the Urban Development and Housing Department.

Total Rs 155 crore has been approved for organic farming in 12 districts that are situated along Ganga and have been identified as the Organic Corridor of the state, he said.

Organic farming has been started in 103 clusters in five cities along Ganga, Sushil Modi said.

The Times of India is an Indian English-language daily newspaper owned by The Times Group. It is the third-largest newspaper in India by circulation and largest selling English-language daily in the world. according to Audit Bureau of Circulations.

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INDIA

Govt tells why it stopped listing farm suicide cause

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NEW DELHI: The government on Monday told the Rajya Sabha that the national data on causes of suicides in the farming sector had become “untenable” with several states and Union Territories reporting ‘nil’ suicides by farmers and agricultural labourers, and was therefore not published separately.

Reply to a query from Congress MP P L Punia seeking confirmation of and reasons for NCRB having done away with listing causes for farmers’ suicides in its annual report on ‘ Accidents and Suicides in India’, Junior home minister G Kishan Reddy said: “As informed by National Crime Records Bureau, many states/ UTs had reported “nil” data on suicides by farmers/ cultivators and agricultural labourers, even while reporting suicides in other professions. Due to this limitation, data on causes of suicide in farming sector was untenable and not published separately”.

As per the NCRB report, West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, Uttarakhand, Manipur, Chandigarh, Daman & Diu, Delhi, Lakshadweep and Puducherry reported ‘zero’ suicides by farmers, cultivators and agricultural labourers in 2019. This was also the case in 2018, with West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, Uttarakhand, Meghalaya, Goa, Chandigarh, Daman & Diu, Delhi, Ladakh and Puducherry returning ‘nil’ suicides.

Overall, 10,281 suicides by farmers, cultivators and agricultural labourers were reported countrywide last year, down from 10,349 in 2018. Of the 10,281 suicides, 5,957 were by farmers or cultivators and 4,324 by labourers. Maharashtra accounted for the highest share (38.2%) in suicides related to the farm sector in 2019, followed by Karnataka (19.4%), Andhra (10%), MP (5.3%) and Telangana/Chhattisgarh (4.9% each).

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INDIA

LS passes FCRA Bill; govt says it’s not against any religion

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NEW DELHI: The Lok Sabha on Monday passed a bill to amend the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act to make furnishing of Aadhaar numbers of office-bearers of any NGO mandatory for registration and also effect other changes.

Amid concerns raised by various opposition members about The Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2020, junior home minister Nityanand Rai asserted that the bill is not against any religion or NGO. The proposed legislation will also not stop foreign contributions in any way, he noted.

The bill, which also seeks to bar public servants from receiving funds from abroad, was passed after a discussion in the Lower House even as many opposition parties raised objections to the bill. According to Rai, there was misuse of funds by way of transferring the money to other entities and the bill seeks to curb such things. “We will stop misuse of funds,” he stressed.

Congress’s Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said there is a political agenda in bringing the bill and claimed that things are being done to protect PM-CARES Fund. TMC’s Sougata Roy said the bill was to tighten all the organisations getting funds from abroad. When the SC has said that Aadhaar was not compulsory, then “why should you (government) make Aadhaar compulsory,” he asked.

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‘385 Pakistanis among 409 to get citizenship’

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NEW DELHI: As many as 385 Pakistanis, six Bangladeshis, 5 US nationals and 3 Malaysians were among the 409 foreigners granted Indian citizenship until September 17 this year, the government told Rajya Sabha on Monday.

Among the countries whose nationals became Indian citizens in 2020 are Indonesia (2); and Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, UK, Tanzania, Iran and Switzerland (all one each). Junior home minister Nityanand Rai said a total 2,729 foreigners were granted Indian citizenship since 2017. Most of these were from Pakistan, with 2,120 Pakistani were granted Indian citizenship between 2017 and September 17 this year.

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