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AGENTS OF CHANGE

Bhagwan Ram A Common Thread Of Unity In Diversity In India: PM Modi

PM Modi drew an analogy between the Ram Mandir Karsevaks and soldiers of the struggle for independence.

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PAAVAN NAGRI AYODHYA (Uttar Pradesh): Recounting the different Ramayans written in various languages, Prime Minister noted that Shree Ram is the common thread of unity in diversity in the country. He said that Lord Ram is a symbol of strength and unity for all religions, irrespective of religion.

PM Modi repeatedly said that Ram “belongs to the whole country”. He also made timely references to coronavirus saying it has shown how everyone has to work together and cooperate.

During his historic address at Ayodhya, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that it is an emotional moment for the entire country and construction of Ram Temple will also pave way for the development of Ayodhya and open up several opportunities across sectors which will change the economy of the region.


The Bhoomi Poojan ceremony started at sharp 12.30 afternoon and culminated at 12.45 pm. Watch the ENTIRE Bhoomi Poojan Ceremony here:

The prime minister arrived in Ayodhya in a helicopter where Adityanath among others received him.

Before the function to lay the foundation stone of the ‘Shree Ram Janmabhoomi Mandir’, the prime minister took part in prayers at the Hanumangarhi temple.


From there, he travelled to the ‘Shree Ram Janmabhoomi’ where he performed prayers at the ‘Bhagwan Shree Ramlala Virajman’.

He also planted a Parijat (Indian night jasmine) sapling.

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath were among those who attended the event at the site where a large number of devout Hindus believe Lord Ram was born.

The guest list, including religious leaders who formed part of the movement that started in the 1980s, was restricted to 175 in view of the COVID-19 crisis.

Many Saints, spiritual leaders and other leaders associated with Ram Temple movement were present at the ceremony. Mahesh Bhagchandka and Pawan Singhal from the family of late Ashok  Singhal, Former President of Vishwa Hindu Parishad were Mukhya Yajman in Bhumi Pujan function.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi became the first Prime Minister to have Darshan at Ram Janmbhumi and Hanumangarhi temple of Ayodhya and after planting a sapling of Parijat Tree he took part in the Bhumi Poojan ceremony.

PM Modi was one of the organizers of the 1990 nationwide campaign for a temple at the site where the symbol of religious violence in the name of cruel Mughal invader Babar stood.

Prime Minister also released postage stamps on the model of Ram Temple and on Ramayana encyclopedia on this occasion.

A wooden Kodand Ram Statue was presented as a souvenir to Prime Minister by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

On the occasion Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath said that it was a dream which is became reality after a long gap of almost 5 centuries.

PM Modi performed the Bumipoojan for the temple of Ramlala amidst chanting of Slokas, Blowing of conch shells and renditions of Jai Shri Ram.

Clad in traditional Indian attire of Dhoti Kurta prime minister bowed down in front of Ramlala, performed pooja, accepted the Mukut or the crown and turban given by priests of Hanuman Garhi and did Parikrama also. He became the first Prime Minister to do so.

The city of Lord Rama was reverberating with the sound of Ramdhun on this occasion.

Although lanes of Ayodhya took a deserted look because of the security reasons but in the houses and temples of the city people were doing  Ramkeetran and recitation of Rancharitmanas.

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AGENTS OF CHANGE

Railways Generates 10 Lakh Man-Days Of Employment Under Garib Kalyan Rozgar Abhiyaan

Rs 2190.7 crores have been released to the contractors for the projects being implemented.

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NEW DELHI: Indian Railways has generated 10,66,246 man-days of work till September 25, 2020, under Garib Kalyan Rozgar Abhiyaan in 6 States viz. Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways and Commerce & Industry is closely monitoring the progress made in these projects and generation of work opportunities for the migrant labours of these states under this scheme. Around 164 Railway infrastructure projects are being executed in these states.

Till September 25, 2020, 12,276 workers have been engaged in this Abhiyaan and the payment of Rs 2190.7 crores has been released to the contractors for the projects being implemented.


Railway has appointed nodal officers in each district as well as in the States so that close coordination is established with the State Government.

Railway has identified no. of Railway works which are being executed under this scheme. The works are related to

(i) construction and maintenance of approach roads for level crossings
(ii) development & cleaning of silted waterways, trenches and drains along the track
(iii) construction and maintenance of approach road to railway stations
(iv) repair and widening of existing railway embankments/cuttings
(v) plantation of trees at the extreme boundary of railway land
(vi) protection works of existing embankments/ cuttings/bridges


It may be noted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched massive employment-cum-rural public works campaign named Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan to empower and provide livelihood opportunities in areas/villages witnessing a large number of returnee migrant workers affected by the devastating COVID-19 on June 20, 2020.

The PM announced that an amount of Rs 50,000 crores would be spent for building durable rural infrastructure under the Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan.

This Abhiyaan of 125 days, is being undertaken in mission mode and involves focused implementation of 25 categories of works/ activities in 116 districts, each with a large concentration of returnee migrant workers in 6 states of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Odisha.

Public works are being undertaken during this campaign will have a resource envelope of Rs. 50,000 crores.

The Abhiyaan is a convergent effort between 12 different Ministries/Departments, namely; Rural Development, Panchayati Raj, Road Transport & Highways, Mines, Drinking Water & Sanitation, Environment, Railways, Petroleum & Natural Gas, New & Renewable Energy, Border Roads, Telecom and Agriculture, to expedite implementation of 25 public infrastructure works and works relating to augmentation of livelihood opportunities.


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AGENTS OF CHANGE

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.

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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

(Rs/quintal)

MSP for RMS 2021-22

(Rs/quintal)

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

(Rs/quintal)

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 &

Mustard

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.

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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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