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Rahul Gandhi Challenges Modi Govt to Release Caste Census Data

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Rahul Gandhi Challenges Modi Govt to Release Caste Census Data
Photo:-@INCIndia/TWT

Kolar : In a public rally on Sunday, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi challenged the Modi-led BJP government to unveil the Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) data that was launched by the Congress-led UPA government in 2011. He emphasized that the release of this data is crucial for the empowerment of the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) and their upliftment in society.

Gandhi’s challenge to the Modi government comes in the backdrop of his disqualification from his MP post following a verdict by a Surat Court in Gujarat for his defamatory remarks on Modi’s surname during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls rally in the same city. However, the Congress leader did not let this setback deter him from raising his voice for the marginalized communities.

During his speech, he highlighted the lack of representation of OBCs, Dalits, and Adivasis in the secretary-level posts of the government, questioning the Modi government’s commitment to providing equal opportunities to all. He urged the government to release the caste census data to know the population of these communities and to ensure that they receive equal opportunities.

Gandhi also took the opportunity to raise his concerns about the alleged malpractices of industrialist Adani and his defence infrastructure company, which reportedly has a China director. He asked the Prime Minister to clarify whose Rs 20,000 crore investment was made in Adani’s shell company.

Gandhi’s rally was an important moment for the Congress party and the opposition, as it provided a platform for the leader to express his views on important issues facing the country. The SECC data is critical for understanding the socio-economic status of various communities and ensuring that their voices are heard in the policymaking process.

Gandhi’s challenge to the Modi government to release the data shows his commitment to fighting for the rights of the marginalized communities and holding the government accountable for its actions. It remains to be seen if the government will take up Gandhi’s challenge and release the SECC data to address the concerns of the OBCs, Dalits, and Adivasis.

Karnataka

Karnataka Cricketer Hoysala Dies at 34 from Cardiac Arrest

The Aegis South Zone tournament in Bengaluru was struck by tragedy as Karnataka cricketer Hoysala K, aged 34, succumbed to a sudden cardiac arrest.

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Karnataka Cricketer Hoysala Dies at 34 from Cardiac Arrest
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The Aegis South Zone tournament in Bengaluru was struck by tragedy as Karnataka cricketer Hoysala K, aged 34, succumbed to a sudden cardiac arrest. The competition, brimming with excitement between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, took a solemn turn with the unexpected loss of this talented player.

After the intense match against Tamil Nadu, Hoysala joined his teammates for dinner when he suddenly collapsed due to a heart attack. Despite swift medical intervention on-site, including emergency treatment by attending physicians, Hoysala could not be revived. He was swiftly transported to Bowring Hospital, but tragically, doctors pronounced him deceased upon arrival. The news sent shockwaves through the cricketing fraternity, with players, supporters, and officials mourning the untimely departure of this gifted cricketer.

Dinesh Gundu Rao, Karnataka’s Minister of Health & Family Welfare, conveyed his condolences via social media, stating, “Deeply saddened by the unexpected passing of Karnataka’s emerging cricketer, fast bowler K. Hoysala, during the Aegis South Zone Tournament. My heartfelt sympathies are with his family and friends during this difficult time. Instances like these underscore the imperative of health awareness, particularly regarding cardiac health.”

Hoysala K, renowned for his prowess as a fast bowler, had previously showcased his talents with teams like Bellary Tuskers and Shivamogga Lion in the Karnataka Premier League, leaving an indelible mark on the state’s cricketing scene. His sudden departure has left a palpable void within the cricketing community.

In the pivotal match against Tamil Nadu, Hoysala played a pivotal role in Karnataka’s triumph, contributing both with the bat and the ball. His thirteen runs off thirteen balls coupled with the crucial wicket of Tamil Nadu’s opener, P. Parveen Kumar, were instrumental in securing a nail-biting victory for Karnataka. Defending a modest total of 173 runs, Karnataka clinched the win by a mere run, showcasing Hoysala’s invaluable contributions to the team’s success.

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Karnataka

Karnataka Council Passes FAR Amendment Bill

Karnataka Council approves FAR Bill amidst uproar. Premium FAR capped at 0.4%, Transferable Development Rights at 0.6%.

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Karnataka Council Passes FAR Amendment Bill
(Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar | File Photo PTI )

The Legislative Council approved the bill enabling the sale and purchase of premium Floor Area Ratio (FAR) despite the BJP members staging a walkout during the session on Thursday.

Presented by Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar, who oversees Bengaluru City Development, the Karnataka Town and Country Planning (Amendment) Bill 2024 received passage in the Council after its prior approval in the Assembly. This legislation permits developers to augment building floors by acquiring additional FAR through a fee payment equivalent to 40% of the guidance value, as sanctioned by local planning authorities. Furthermore, the bill sanctions the sale of FAR.

According to Shivakumar, the inclusion of premium FAR provision is anticipated to augment the revenues of local planning authorities, enabling investment in developmental endeavors. The premium FAR allotment is capped at 0.4%, with Transferable Development Rights limited to 0.6%.

The bill mandates that the proceeds from premium FAR fees be allocated towards land acquisition and the enhancement of basic amenities. Presently, FAR determination hinges on factors like road width, zoning regulations, and other pertinent parameters.

Expressing concerns, BJP MLCs cautioned against potential traffic congestion arising from the proliferation of buildings due to additional FAR. They proposed referring the matter to a select House committee for comprehensive deliberation, while some members advocated for an in-depth discussion before tabling the bill.

Shivakumar defended the legislation, asserting its simplification aimed at benefiting all stakeholders and bolstering the revenues of local planning authorities. He underscored that the previous BJP administration under Basavaraj Bommai had intentions to amend this law.

“We’ve introduced certain amendments to the law. Premium FAR has been operational in Mangaluru for some time now, generating approximately Rs 3,000 crore in additional revenue over the past six years. This amendment extends the same benefit to the entire state,” remarked Shivakumar.

However, BJP members opposed the bill and subsequently staged a walkout from the Council.

In addition, the Council ratified the BBMP Property Tax Amendment Bill, which previously received approval in the Assembly.

Shivakumar elucidated that the bill aimed to rectify an oversight from the previous government, which led to substantial penalties on property owners. He highlighted that the 15th Finance Commission stipulated the release of grants contingent upon property tax aligning with the guidance value, necessitating the introduction of this amendment bill.

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Karnataka

Forest personnel in Karnataka search for leopard, find dog

Forest officials in Rajarajeshwari Nagar were on high alert on Monday and Tuesday in response to reports of leopard sightings from concerned residents.

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Forest personnel in Karnataka search for leopard, find dog
(Representational Image)

Forest officials in Rajarajeshwari Nagar were on high alert on Monday and Tuesday in response to reports of leopard sightings from concerned residents. However, their efforts were met with an unexpected discovery. Despite the urgency of the calls, upon investigation, officials determined that the alleged leopard was, in fact, a dog.

Responding to multiple calls from RR Nagar residents who claimed to have seen a leopard in their vicinity on February 11 and later on February 19, forest personnel conducted a thorough search operation. However, their efforts yielded no evidence of a big cat prowling the area.

Even as some residents maintained night vigils in hopes of catching a glimpse of the elusive creature, no leopard was sighted. The situation escalated when residents of a local apartment complex shared CCTV footage capturing an animal moving along the road, albeit unclearly.

With concerns mounting, residents promptly alerted forest authorities, presuming the creature to be a leopard. Forest officials mobilized their resources for a comprehensive search, only to discover that the supposed leopard was, in reality, a domestic dog.

The incident highlights the importance of accurate identification and prompt response in wildlife management, even in urban areas where encounters with wildlife are rare but not unheard of.

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