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As A Muslim, I Feel Safe In India: Music Icon, Padma Shri Adnan Sami

“I fold my hands and request people to foster peace and harmony,” he said about Delhi violence.



KEWADIA (Gujarat): Singer-musician Adnan Sami on Friday said that as a Muslim he feels safe in India and the Citizenship Amendment Act is for fast-tracking people wanting citizenship and is not for Indians in India.

Speaking at the ‘India Ideas Conclave 2020’ organised by the India Foundation at Kewadia in Gujarat on February 29, Adnan Sami said that as a Muslim he feels safe in India and the Citizenship Amendment Act is for fast-tracking people wanting citizenship and is not for Indians in India.

As a Muslim, I feel safe in India,” he said, answering a query on the Delhi anti-Hindu riots that has left more than 40 dead.

Answering another query on his opinion of the CAA and the ensuing violence perpetrated by Muslim groups, he categorically said that “Citizenship Amendment Act is for fast-tracking people wanting citizenship and is not for Indians in India,” he said. He said that the matter is being politicised.

The Padma Shri awardee also said that he hopes that peace is restored soon. “Being a musician, I always talk about love and peace. I request everyone to talk and maintain peace. I request everyone to respect life and there is nothing that conversation can sort out all issues. I request people to bring peace in the country,” said Adnan Sami.

When asked for his opinion of actor Aamir Khan had stated that his wife does not feel safe in India, Adnan Sami said that “I am not here to answer whatever Aamir Khan has to say. As far as I am concerned, I am a Muslim. I respect all religions, I celebrate all religions. I celebrate humanity in whichever form it comes. I had so many options, but if I felt that I wanted to come to India, being a Muslim doesn’t that say something about how secure I would feel,” said Sami.

Aamir Khan’s remarks were lambasted by everyone in the country as it had exposed his allegiance to the anti-Modi and award-wapsi brigade which created a fake narrative of Muslims being unsafe in India over few isolated incidents.

Adnan Sami:

He was born in London to Arshad Sami Khan, a Pakistani Air force veteran and diplomat of Pashtun origin, and Naureen, who was originally from Jammu and Kashmir.

He is singer, musician, music composer, pianist and actor. He performs Indian and Western music, including for Hindi movies. His most notable instrument is the piano. He has been credited as “the first musician to have played the santoor and Indian classical music on the piano”.

A review in the US-based Keyboard magazine described him as the fastest keyboard player in the world and called him the keyboard discovery of the nineties.

He was awarded the Padma Shri on 26 January 2020.

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Farmers Rejoice As Govt Raises Minimum Support Price For Crops

MSP increased by Rs. 50 to Rs. 300 per quintal. APMC Mandis will also continue to function.



NEW DELHI: A month ahead of last year’s schedule, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the increase in the Minimum Support Prices (MSPs) for all mandated Rabi crops for marketing season 2021-22. This increase in MSP is in line with the recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission.

The government said that the hike is proof that procurement at MSP and the APMC Mandis will continue to function, however, the farmer will be free to sell his produce outside these systems anywhere throughout the country to get remunerative prices.

The hike came after assurances by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his ministers that the MSP will not be scrapped. PM Modi called the hike “another historic decision”.

The highest increase in MSP has been announced for lentil (Rs. 300 per quintal) followed by gram and rapeseed and mustard (Rs. 225 per quintal each) and safflower (Rs. 112 per quintal). For barley and wheat, an increase of Rs. 75 per quintal and Rs 50 per quintal respectively has been announced. The differential remuneration is aimed at encouraging crop diversification.

The MSP hike announced today covered wheat, the key crop in Punjab and Haryana, where the farmers’ protest has been loudest. The MSP of wheat has been increased by ₹ 50 a quintal and will be ₹ 1975 per quintal this season. The other big crop in the area, mustard, will now fetch ₹ 4,650 a quintal — a jump of ₹ 225 a quintal.

The Food Corporation of India (FCI) and other state agencies will continue to purchase farm produce at MSP as before. Hon’ble Prime Minister has always given assurance that procurement at MSP will continue, and the mandi system will also continue.

The announcement of the MSP before the start of the Rabi season will help the farmers in deciding on their crop structure. The MSP for pulses (lentil) and oilseeds has been increased to boost production of these crops so that import of these items can be reduced.

During 2009-2014, 1.52 LMT pulses was procured by the government. During 2014-2019, 76.85 LMT pulses have been procured which is an increase of 4962 per cent. The payment made at MSP rates in the last 6 years is Rs. 7 lakh crore which is double that made by the previous government.

MSP rates fixed in line with Swaminathan Commission recommendation:

The Committee headed by Dr M.S. Swaminathan had recommended that MSP should be at least 50% more than the average production cost. The present Government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi accepted the recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission.

The increase in MSP for Rabi Crops for marketing season 2021-22 is in line with the principle of fixing the MSPs at a level of at least 1.5 times of the All-India weighted average Cost of Production as announced in Union Budget 2018-19.

The expected returns to farmers over their cost of production are estimated to be highest in case of Wheat (106%) followed by rapeseed & mustard (93%), gram and lentil (78%).

For barley, return to farmers over their cost of production is estimated at 65% and for safflower, it is 50%. Presently MSP is fixed for 22 agricultural crops.

Support is in the form of MSP as well as procurement. In the case of cereals, Food Corporation of India (FCI) and other designated State Agencies would continue to provide price support to the farmers. Government has set up a buffer stock of pulses and domestic procurement of pulses is also being done under the Price Stabilization Fund (PSF).

The Umbrella Scheme “Pradhan Mantri Annadata Aay SanraksHan Abhiyan” (PM-AASHA), comprising Price Support Scheme (PSS), Price Deficiency Payment Scheme (PDPS), and pilot Scheme of Private Procurement and Stockist Scheme (PPSS) will aid in the procurement of pulses and oilseeds.

Minimum Support Prices for all Rabi crops for marketing season 2021-22

Crops MSP for RMS 2020-21


MSP for RMS 2021-22


Cost* of production 2021-22 (Rs/quintal) Increase in MSP


Return over cost (in per cent)
Wheat 1925 1975 960 50 106
Barley 1525 1600 971 75 65
Gram 4875 5100 2866 225 78
Lentil (Masur) 4800 5100 2864 300 78
Rapeseed &


4425 4650 2415 225 93
Safflower 5215 5327 3551 112 50

Annual Increase in MSP since last six years (In Rs. per quintal)

Commodity 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21
Wheat 1400 1450 1525 1625 1735 1840 1925 1975
Barley 1100 1150 1225 1325 1410 1440 1525 1600
Gram 3100 3175 3500 4000 4400 4620 4875 5100
Lentil (Masur) 2950 3075 3400 3950 4250 4475 4800 5100
Rapeseed & Mustard 3050 3100 3350 3700 4000 4200 4425 4650
Safflower 3000 3050 3300 3700 4100 4945 5215 5327
The Umbrella Scheme “Pradhan Mantri AnnadataAaySanraksHan Abhiyan” (PM-AASHA), comprising Price Support Scheme (PSS), Price Deficiency Payment Scheme (PDPS), and pilot Scheme of Private Procurement and Stockist Scheme (PPSS) will aid in the procurement of pulses and oilseeds.

Despite global COVID-19 pandemic and consequent nationwide lockdown, timely intervention made by Government has led to an all-time record procurement of wheat at about 39 million tonnes for RMS 2020-21. Around 43 lakh farmers benefitted under procurement operations period which is 22 per cent higher than the RMS 2019-20.

In 2019-20, 390 lakh tonnes of wheat is estimated to be procured, while in 2014-15, 280 lakh tonnes was procured. In 2019-20, 15 lakh metric tonnes of pulses is estimated to be procured, while in 2014-15, 3 lakh tonnes was procured. In 2019-20, 18 lakh metric tonnes of oilseeds is estimated to be procured, while in 2014-15, 12 thousand metric tonnes was procured.

In the current situation of health pandemic, all concerted efforts are being made by the Government to alleviate the problems faced by the farmers, various steps taken by the Government are as follows:

  • Along with an increase in MSP, the procurement process has been strengthened so that maximum number of farmers may get its benefit.
  • Procurement centres for wheat and for pulses-oilseeds are increased by 1.5 times and 3 times respectively during COVID pandemic.
  • During pandemic 390 lakh tons of wheat has been procured at a cost of Rs.75,000 crore which is 15 per cent more than the last year.
  • With the initiation of PM KISAN SAMMAN NIDHI YOJANA around 10 crore farmers have benefitted. The total disbursed amount is around Rs.93,000 crore
  • Nearly 9 crore farmers have received around Rs.38000 crore during COVID pandemic under PM-KISAN.
  • 1.25 Crore new KCCs have been issued in the last 6 months.
  • Summer Season sowing is 57 lakh hectare, which is 16 lakh hectare more than the last year. Kharif sowing is also 5 per cent higher than that of last year.
  • Number of E-NAM markets has increased from 585 to 1000 during Covid pandemic. Last year, e-platform witnessed a trade of Rs. 35000 crore.
  • Rs. 6850 crore will be spent for creation of 10,000 FPOs over a period of five years.
  • In the last 4 years under FASAL BIMA YOJANA, farmers received a claim of Rs.77,000 crore against the paid premium of Rs. 17500 Crore.
  • FASAL BIMA YOJANA is made voluntary.
  • Kisan Rail has been started.

The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance, 2020 and The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Ordinance, 2020 have been promulgated so as to provide alternative channels for farmers to sell their produce outside traditional APMC mandi system and to encourage private participation in agribusiness. The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 has been promulgated to build efficient agri-food supply chains and attract more private sector investment in value-addition, scientific storage, warehousing and marketing infrastructure.

Under the Scheme for Agriculture Infrastructure Fund, Rs 1 Lakh Crore will be provided by the banks and financial institutions as loans with interest subvention of 3% per annum and credit guarantee coverage under CGTMSE (Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises) for loans up to Rs. 2 Crore. The scheme will support farmers, PACS, FPOs, agri-entrepreneurs, etc. in building community farming assets and post-harvest agriculture infrastructure.

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COVID-10: India Conducts Record 10.5 Lakh Tests In 24 Hrs

WHO has advised that a country needs 140 tests/day/ million population.



NEW DELHI: India has crossed a crucial milestone in the fight against COVID-19. For the first time, a record number of more than 10.5 lakh COVID tests have been conducted in a single day.

With 10,55,027 tests conducted in the last 24 hours, India has further strengthened the national diagnostic capacity of testing more than 10 lakh samples daily.

With this achievement, the cumulative tests have crossed 4.14 crore (4,14,61,636). The Centre, keeping in view the evolving global context of COVID-19, conceptualised and implemented the Continuum of Care strategy of “Test, Track and Treat” in close coordination with the State/UT governments.

Pivoted on the strong pillar of aggressive testing, the positive cases are identified early which enables and ensures that their contacts are efficiently tracked in a timely manner.

This is followed up with prompt isolation in-home or facility setting for the mild and moderate cases, and hospitalisation for the severe and critical patients.

The exponential jump in the testing capacity and cumulative tests has resulted in an upsurge in the Tests Per Million. They stand at 30,044 today.

WHO in its Guidance Note on “Public Health Criteria to Adjust Public Health and Social Measures in the Context of COVID-19” has advised comprehensive surveillance for suspected COVID-19 cases. WHO has advised that a country needs 140 tests/day/ million population.

In another row of achievements, all State/UTs have crossed the advised number of tests.

Several states have demonstrated better performance by registering a Positivity Rate lower than the national average.

The testing strategy also ensured a steady expansion of the national lab network.

Today, with 1003 labs in the government sector and 580 private labs, 1583 labs are providing comprehensive testing facilities to the people. These include:

• Real-Time RT PCR based testing labs: 811 (Govt: 463 + Private: 348)
• TrueNat based testing labs: 651 (Govt: 506 + Private: 145)
• CBNAAT based testing labs: 121 (Govt: 34 + Private: 87)

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Legendary Indian Classical Vocalist Pandit Jasraj Dies At 90

Pandit Jasraj was awarded the Padma Vibhushan, India’s second-highest civilian honour.



NEW JERSEY (United States): Pandit Jasraj, one of the world’s most prominent Indian classical vocalists passed away at the age of 90 due to cardiac arrest, says his daughter Durga Jasra. “With profound grief, we inform that Sangeet Martand Pandit Jasraj ji breathed his last this morning at 5.15 EST due to a cardiac arrest at his home in New Jersey, USA,” a statement issued by his family said, newswire agency PTI reported.

Born in Haryana in 1930, his musical career spanned eight decades. In the year 2000, he was awarded the Padma Vibhushan, India’s second-highest civilian honour.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the maestro’s death has left a deep void in the country’s cultural sphere:

President Ram Nath Kovind also expressed his condolences and posted that the revered vocalist had “enthralled people with soulful renditions.”

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