PALAKKAD (Kerala): World-renowned social thinker, reformer, writer and veteran RSS Pracharak Shri P Parameswaran passed away in the early hours of Sunday. He was 93 years old. He was undergoing Ayurvedic treatment at Ottappalam in Palakkad district, Kerala.
His body was brought to the RSS headquarters in Kochi on Sunday morning for people to pay their last respects. The cremation will be held in Muhamma in the evening.
Fondly called Parameswar Ji, he was national general secretary and vice president of the erstwhile Bharatiya Jana Sanh and the founder-director of the Bharatheeya Vichara Kendram.
Born in 1927 in Muhamma, Alappuzha district, he graduated from University College, Thiruvananthapuram with distinctions in BA (Hons.) in History. He joined the RSS during his student days.
Parameswar Ji worked with towering leaders like Deendayal Upadhyaya, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and L K Advani when he was active in the Jana Sangh.
He was honoured with Padma Vibhushan, the country’s second-highest civilian award in 2018 and Padma Shri in 2004.
Parameswaran Ji was a prolific writer, poet and researcher who is best known for his works on Sree Narayana Guru, analysis of Kerala’s spiritual renaissance movement and comparative study on Vivekananda and Marx.
His body has been brought to the RSS headquarters in Kochi on Sunday morning and will be brought to Thiruvananthapuram by evening for people to pay their last respects. The cremation will be held in Muhamma tomorrow.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid homage to Shri P Parameswaran.
An institution builder, Parameswaran Ji nurtured eminent institutions such as the Bharatheeya Vichara Kendram, Vivekananda Kendra and others. I am fortunate to have interacted with him many times. He was a towering intellectual. Anguished by his demise. Om Shanti. pic.twitter.com/DMo2fBiL3r
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) February 9, 2020
Home Minister Amit Shah too expressed his sadness at the demise of the intellectual giant:
Parameswarji was the director of Bharatheeya Vichara Kendram & President of Vivekananda Kendra. His writings & thoughts on social, cultural, religious and national issues were unparalleled. His contribution to restore democracy during the emergency will always be remembered. pic.twitter.com/rCYfe7S24a
— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) February 9, 2020
A Scholar, great thinker and social worker, Parameswaran Ji was born in 1927 at Cherthala in Alappuzha district of Kerala State. He graduated from University College, Thiruvananthapuram with distinctions in BA (Hons.) in History.
A poet, writer and excellent orator from his college days, Parameswaran Ji entered the realm of social work as a Pracharak of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.
Later in 1957, he was entrusted with the task of building up the Bharatheeya Jan Sangh in Kerala as its State Organizing Secretary. In 1968, he became the All India General Secretary and later Vice-President of the Jana Sangh.
During the days of Emergency, he courted arrest as part of the all India Satyagraha against it and was jailed for 16 months.
In 1977, Parameswaran Ji moved from Politics to the sphere of social thought and development. He was Director of the Deendayal Research Institute at New Delhi for four years.
In 1982, he came back to his home state and gave shape to a new organization; Bharatheeya Vichara Kendram aimed at national reconstruction through study and research. It has its headquarters in Thiruvananthapuram and has units all over the state.
Parameswaran Ji, during his last days, was the Director of Bharatheeya Vichara Kendram. It functions also as a Centre for moulding public opinion in favour of national needs and concerns.
He has also been associated with the Vivekananda Rock Memorial and Vivekananda Kendra, Kanyakumari, and has served in various capacities in the governing body of the Kendra. He is currently all India President of Vivekananda Kendra.
Parameswaran Ji led a life wholly dedicated to social service, especially as a social philosopher and thinker. From early childhood, he had a great inclination towards the study of Hinduism. He was intimately connected with most of the Hindu social and cultural organizations.
He took initiation from Sri. Ramakrishna Mission and was a close associate and disciple of Swami Agamananda social reformer and founder of Advaita Ashram at Kalady, the birthplace of Adi Sankara. Well-informed in the philosophy of Vedas, Upanishads, and Gita he followed in detail the thoughts and writings of Western thinkers like Karl Marx and Arnold Toynbee and the Indian seers like Swami Vivekananda, Sri. Aurobindo, Mahatma Gandhi and Deendayal Upadhyaya.
He has been ceaselessly writing articles and books on social, cultural and religious themes. He is also a gifted orator, with a great command of words and a greater depth of insight. He has delivered lectures all over the country on national issues. He participated in the Centenary celebrations of Swami Vivekananda`s address at the World Parliament of Religions held at Chicago in 1993.
Parameswaran Ji was honoured with Padma Vibhushan, the country’s second-highest civilian award in 2018 and Padma Shri in 2004.
He was appointed as the member of the Court (Senate) of Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi in 2000.
He was awarded the Bhaiji Hanuman Prasad Poddar Award instituted by Bada Bazaar Library of Calcutta in 1997, in recognition of this effort in reaching the lofty principles of Hinduism to the common man.
Moreover, he is a winner of the Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award for his book titled “Disa Bhotathinte Darshanam”.
His Social Thoughts:
In the eighties, he took the initiative to call for an end to the mindless political violence in Kerala and put forward the idea of Ideological debate in the place of armed conflict.
This was widely welcomed by the wise men of Kerala and set the trend to end the bitter violence. He is an acclaimed scholar and advocate of the vision of Swami Vivekananda and Sri Aurobindo. His biography of Sri Narayana Guru is one of the well-researched studies on the life and teaching of the reformer saint of Kerala.
In 1998, as an answer to the rising crime rate, delinquency and other social evils in Kerala, Parameswaran Ji proposed observation of ‘a Bhagavad Gita decade’.
Popularising the Bhagavad-Gita as a comprehensive life science was his solution to the social problems of Kerala and the whole of India. This suggestion was well received by other social and religious leaders and organizations.
By a joint effort of several social and religious organizations, a massive movement for spreading Gita awareness started in Kerala.
Eminent personalities like Dr Padma Subramaniam, Justice Sukumaran etc. attended the function, which was formally inaugurated by Sri. Ananda Kumar, Union Minister for Culture, Youth Affairs and Sports.
The International Seminar on Bhagavad-Gita Gita and Modern Problems held at Thiruvananthapuram from December 4-7, 2000, in which 1500 youths, scholars and saints from all over India and abroad including Dr Murali Manohar Joshi, Union HRD Minister and his Holiness The Dalai Lama participated, was organized under the guidance of Parameswaran Ji.
It has now become a movement with the active participation of the youth from the universities and also from every walk of life
Parameshwaran was the Chief Editor of journals‑ ‘Kesari’, ‘Manthan’, ‘Yuva Bharathy’ and the quarterly Vivekananda Kendra Patrika and ‘Pragati’ Quarterly Research Journal.
He has authored the following books on Indian philosophy and society:
- Sri Narayana Guru the Prophet of Renaissance
- Sri Aravindan Bhaviyude Darsanikan
- Vishwa Vijayi Vivekanandan
- Marx and Vivekananda
- From Marx to Maharshi
- Bhagavad Gita – Vision of a New World Order
- Beyond All Isms to Humanism
- Heart Beats of a Hindu Nation (Compilation of selected editorials in Yuva Bharathy)
- Yajna Prasadam (Selected Poems)
- Disabodhathinate Darshanam (Selected Essays in Malayalam)
- Bhagavad-Gita The Nectar of Immortality (Collection of Essays on Gita)
- Marunna Samoohavum Maratha Mulyangalum
- Gita’s Vision Of An Ideal Society
- Makarajyotis(A brief study of Swami Vivekananda in Malayalam)
- Swanthantra Bharatham-Gatiyum Niyathiyum
- Hindudarmavum Indian Communisavum
- Vivekanandanum Prabhudha Keralavum (Edited)
- Hindutva Ideology – Unique and Universal
- Heart Beats of Hindu Nation (3 volumes)
(With inputs from Vichara Kendram, Kerala)
IDSA Renamed as Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses
The decision has been taken to honour the commitment and legacy of late Manohar Parrikar.
NEW DELHI: The Government has decided to rename ‘The Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses’ (IDSA) as ‘Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies andAnalyses’. The decision has been taken to honour the commitment and legacy of late Manohar Parrikar. It will align the vision and aspiration of the premier defence Institute with the contribution of the former Raksha Mantri and Padma Bhushan awardee.
Raksha Mantri chairs the Executive committee of the lnstitute’s society.
An epitome of integrity and dedication in public life, throughout his career, late Manohar Parrikar showed a tremendous fighting spirit, taking on the odds with fearlessness. He was Raksha Mantri from November 9, 2014 –March 14, 2017, and steered the Ministry through the tough challenges of attacks like Pathankot and Uri and responded to these with exemplary boldness.
When late Manohar Parrikar was Raksha Mantri, India witnessed a series of decisions that enhanced India’s security capacities, boosted indigenous defence production and bettered the lives of ex-servicemen.
His biggest contribution was towards the implementation of long-standing One Rank One Pension (OROP) demand for the Armed Forces.
He initiated major military reforms with the objective of having a better teeth-to-tail ratio by setting up an expert committee under Lt Gen (Retd) DB Shekatkar for enhancing combat capability and rebalancing defence expenditure.
An autonomous body under the Ministry of Defence, IDSA was established as a registered society in New Delhi in 1965, dedicated to objective research and policy-relevant studies on all aspects of defence and security.
Its aim is to promote national and international security through the generation and dissemination of knowledge on defence and security-related issues. To achieve its goals, the institute undertakes scholarly research, policy-oriented research, dissemination of research findings, training and capacity building and public education.
The IDSA has a well-qualified multi-disciplinary research faculty drawn from academia, defence forces etc., representing a diversity of views. Research at the Institute is driven by a comprehensive agenda and the need to provide impartial analyses and policy recommendations.
Since its inception, IDSA has served as a forum to debate important aspects of national and international security.
The institute conducts several national and international conferences every year and regularly holds round tables and workshops on important developments.
Atal Bhujal Yojana: India, World Bank Sign $450m Loan To Improve Groundwater Mgmt In 7 States
The states span both the hard rock aquifers of peninsular India and the alluvial aquifers of the Indo-Gangetic plains.
NEW DELHI: The Government of India and the World Bank today signed a $450 million loan agreement to support the national programme to arrest the country’s depleting groundwater levels and strengthen groundwater institutions.
The World Bank-supported Atal Bhujal Yojana (ABHY) – National Groundwater Management Improvement Programme will be implemented in the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Haryana, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh and cover 78 districts.
These states span both the hard rock aquifers of peninsular India and the alluvial aquifers of the Indo-Gangetic plains.
The states were selected based on several criteria, including degree of groundwater exploitation and degradation, established legal and regulatory instruments, institutional readiness, and experience in implementing initiatives related to groundwater management.
The programme will, among others, enhance the recharge of aquifers and introduce water conservation practices; promote activities related to water harvesting, water management, and crop alignment; create an institutional structure for sustainable groundwater management; and equip communities and stakeholders to sustainably manage groundwater.
Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance said that in India groundwater is an important source for rural and urban domestic water supplies and its depletion is a cause of concern. The Atal Bhujal Yojana intends to strengthen the institutional framework for participatory groundwater management and encourage behavioural changes at the community level for sustainable groundwater resource management. The use of cutting-edge technology, involving Artificial Intelligence and space technology will further help in better implementation of the programme.
The loan agreement was signed by Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, on behalf of the Government of India and Mr Junaid Ahmad, Country Director, India on behalf of the World Bank.
Mr Junaid Ahmad said that groundwater is India’s most crucial water reserve and managing this national resource is the need of the hour. This programme will contribute to rural livelihoods and in the context of climatic shifts, build the resilience of the rural economy. But its impact will also be felt globally as it stands as one of the important programmes of groundwater management worldwide.
The last few decades saw exponential growth in the exploitation of groundwater through the construction of millions of private wells. Between 1950 and 2010, the number of drilled tube wells increased from 1 million to nearly 30 million. This allowed the area irrigated by groundwater to increase from approximately 3 million ha to more than 35 million ha. Groundwater currently provides approximately 60 per cent of irrigation water. Over 80 per cent of the rural and urban domestic water supplies in India are served by groundwater making India the world’s largest user of groundwater.
If the current trends persist, 60 per cent of districts are likely to reach a critical level of groundwater depletion within two decades, which in turn will render at least 25 per cent of the agriculture production at risk. Climate change will likely exacerbate current pressures on groundwater resources.
The programme will introduce a bottom-up planning process for community-driven development of water budgets and Water Security Plans (WSPs). Water budgets will assess surface and groundwater conditions (both quantity and quality) and identify current and future needs. The WSP, on the other hand, will focus on improving groundwater quantity and incentivize selected states to implement the actions proposed. Such community-led management measures will make users aware of consumption patterns and pave the way for economic measures that reduce groundwater consumption.
“The Programme will support on-ground actions that are based on community ownership and judicious management of water resources. Reversing groundwater overexploitation and degradation is in the hands of the hundreds of millions of individuals and communities – they need the right incentives, information, support, and resources to move to a more sustainable development and management of groundwater resources,” said Abedalrazq Khalil and Satya Priya, Senior Water Resources Management Specialists and World Bank’s Task Team Leaders for the programme.
Crop management and diversification will be the other focus areas. Studies indicate that a one per cent increase in the area irrigated with groundwater leads to a 2.2 per cent increase in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Also, a one per cent increase in irrigation efficiency will reduce GHG emissions by 20 per cent. The programme will support the adoption of micro-irrigation systems, including sprinkler and drip irrigation to increase productivity and support farmers to shift to low water-intensive crops.
To facilitate this process, the government will transfer a significant portion of the money (nearly 80 per cent) to local governments, including districts and gram panchayats, as incentives for achieving targets in groundwater management. The remaining funds will be used for providing technical support for sustainable management of groundwater and strengthening institutional arrangements in the selected states.
The $450 million loan, from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), has a 6-year grace period, and a maturity of 18 years.
First Inter-City Electric Bus Service In Maharashtra Inaugurated By Nitin Gadkari
The 43-seater capacity bus, manufactured by Mitra Mobility Solution, runs 300 KM on a single charge.
PUNE (Maharashtra): Union Minister for Transport, Highways, and MSMEs, Nitin Gadkari on Friday inaugurated the first inter-city electric bus service, between Mumbai and Pune in Maharashtra.
The 43-seater capacity luxury electric bus, manufactured by Mitra Mobility Solution, has a range of 300 kilometres on a single charge and would be operated twice daily between the two cities, the operator Prasanna Purple Mobility Solutions said.
The company, which claims to already have around 1,300 electric buses in operation, is also looking to extend these services in other parts of Maharashtra and adjoining states, it’s Chairman and Managing Director Prasanna Patwardhan told reporters.
“This new move in the electric vehicle space gives us yet another opportunity to serve our customers. We also plan to extend this service to other routes within Maharashtra and adjacent states,” Patwardhan said.
Speaking at the event Gadkari said his efforts in the last 4-5 years have been to see that electric buses run in large numbers on the country’s highways. He also said various corporations, state government corporations and private operators might order some 10,000 electric buses this year.
“We are also planning to build e-(electric) highways,” he said.
Recently, we had reported that the minister had urged industry players to join hands with the government for the proposed electric lane on Rs 1.03 lakh crore Delhi-Mumbai Expressway while promising to provide policy support to serious players.
“Indian investors should come forward for investing in electric lane stretch of the Delhi-Mumbai expressway to be built at a cost of Rs 1.03 lakh crore within three years,” the Minister had said while addressing a conference on ‘Developing a Roadmap for Low Carbon & Sustainable Mobility in India’ by FICCI.
The minister had also said that the government is ready to provide policy support to serious investors and also appealed them to come forward in the field of alternative fuel including bio-CNG and electric vehicles. This could cut India’s huge Rs 7 lakh crore crude imports, he said. Stressing on modern transport infrastructure, he said he will also take up the issue of electric highways during his ensuing visit to Sweden this month.
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