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VIDEO: Rally – Delhi Against Jihadi Violence

Thousands of patriotic, nationalistic, peace-loving citizens of the city took out a massive rally in the heart of Delhi.

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Thousands of patriotic, nationalistic, peace-loving citizens of the city took out a massive rally in the heart of Delhi, including locations like Jantar Mantar, on Friday, February 29, 2020.

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POLITICS-GOVERNANCE

Election For 18 Rajya Sabha Seats To Be Held On June 19: EC

The voting will begin at 9 am on June 19 and the vote counting will take place at 5 pm on the same day.

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NEW DELHI: The Election Commission (EC) of India on June 1 announced that the Rajya Sabha elections for pending 18 seats will now be held on June 19, 2020. The elections were earlier scheduled to be held on March 26 but were deferred due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The elections will be to fill 18 seats in Rajya Sabha, out of which four each are from Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh, one each from Manipur and Meghalaya, three each from Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh and two from Jharkhand.

In its announcement, Election Commission also mentioned that Rajya Sabha polls for a total of six seats in Karnataka, Mizoram, and Arunachal Pradesh will also be on June 19. With the upcoming elections, a total of 24 Rajya Sabha seats across 10 states will be filled.


Key Points:

• The voting for Rajya Sabha elections will begin at 9 am on June 19 and the vote counting will take place at 5 pm on the day of the election.

• In its statement regarding the polls in 6 other states, EC mentioned that voting to fill the seats will also take place on June 19 as the elected members to these seats will be retiring in June-July 2020.


• The Election Commission announced the dates as the centre had extended the lockdown till June 30 with relaxations in various states.

• The EC also mentioned that the Chief Secretaries have been given the responsibility to depute a senior official to make sure that whether the instructions regarding COVID-19 containment measures have been carried out properly during the election preparations.

• Election Commission also informed that the decision to hold the Rajya Sabha elections was taken after taking all the factors into consideration.

The EC had earlier issued a notification on March 6, 2020, in order to fill 55 seats in Rajya Sabha from 17 states. The commission scheduled the polling for March 26 and the last date for filing the nomination was March 13.

A total of 37 candidates were declared elected after the last date of withdrawal on March 18.


The leaders who made it to the Upper House included Union Minister of State and RPI leader Ramdas Athawale, NCP President Sharad Pawar (both are from Maharashtra), and Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh Narayan Singh.

Rajya Sabha elections for the remaining 18 seats, which were scheduled to be on March 26, were then postponed due to the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown.

Even with the elections being deferred, the poll panel had made it clear that the completed procedure, including the candidates’ nominations, will remain valid.

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INTERNAL CHALLENGES

Govt Bans 2550 Foreign Tablighi Jamaat Members From Entering India For 10 Years

the foreigners were found to be illegally living in mosques, religious seminaries across India.

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NEW DELHI: The Government today banned 2,550 blacklisted foreign nationals from travelling to India for 10 years. The blacklisted foreign nationals were involved in Tablighi Jamaat activities.

This is perhaps for the first time that the government has blacklisted a large number of people in one stroke and banned their entry into India for such a long duration under the Foreigners Act.

Foreign Tablighi Jamaat attendees had earlier also been charged for the visa rules violation and the MHA cancelled their visa blacklisting 1,750 foreign-based members out of the total 2,083.


The blacklisted Tablighi foreigners include nationals from nearly 40 countries- the US, the UK, France, Australia, Russia, China, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam,  Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gambia, Iran, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, the Philippines, Qatar, Senegal,  Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, Sweden, Tanzania, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia and Ukraine.

The action has been taken by the Home Ministry after various State governments provided details of the foreigners who were found to be illegally living in mosques and religious seminaries across the country.

They had entered India on a tourist visa and had attended congregations at the Nizamuddin Markaz between March 13 and 15.


Many Tablighi members later tested positive for coronavirus. The Nizamuddin Markaz emerged as one of the major coronavirus hotspots in the country with around a thousand COVID-19 positive cases and over two dozen deaths traced to them.

In April, the government had blacklisted the foreigners and cancelled their visas after finding their involvement in Tablighi Jamaat activities.

The government has already decided not to issue a tourist visa to any foreigner who wishes to visit India and take part in Tablighi activities.

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ECONOMY-DEVELOPMENT

Cabinet Approves Increase In Minimum Support Prices For Kharif Crops

The highest increase in MSP is proposed for nigerseed, followed by sesamum, urad and cotton (long staple).

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NEW DELHI: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) chaired by the Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the increase in the Minimum Support Prices (MSPs) for all mandated Kharif crops for marketing season 2020-21.

The highest increase in MSP is proposed for nigerseed (Rs 755 per quintal) followed by sesamum (Rs 370 per quintal), urad (Rs 300 per quintal) and cotton (long staple) (Rs 275 per quintal). The differential remuneration is aimed at encouraging crop diversification.

The increase in MSP for Kharif Crops for marketing season 2020-21 is in line with the Union Budget 2018-19 announcement of fixing the MSPs at a level of at least 1.5 times of the All-India weighted average Cost of Production (CoP), aiming at reasonably fair remuneration for the fanners.


The expected returns to farmers over their cost of production are estimated to be highest in case of Bajra (83%) followed by urad (64%), tur (58%) and maize (53%).

For the rest of the crops, return to farmers over their cost of production is estimated to be at least 50%.

Government’s strategy is one of promoting sustainable agriculture with diversified cropping pattern matching with the country’s agro-climatic conditions, towards higher productivity without jeopardizing nation’s bio-diversity. Support is in the form of MSP as well as procurement.

Besides, with the intention of giving enough policy thrust to the income security of the farmers. Government’s production-centric approach has been replaced by income-centric approach.


Concerted efforts were made over the last few years to realign the MSPs in favour of oilseeds, pulses and coarse cereals to encourage farmers to shift to a larger area under these crops and adopt best technologies and farm practices, to correct the demand-supply imbalance.

The added focus on nutrient-rich nutri-cereals is to incentivize its production in the areas where rice-wheat cannot be grown without long term adverse implications for groundwater table.

In continuation with the above-mentioned measures, Government is taking a holistic approach towards supporting the farmers and facilitate farming-related activities in the lockdown situation due to COVID-19. Efforts are being made to facilitate the marketing of agricultural produce by the farmers.

Advisories have been issued by the Union Government to State Governments / UT to facilitate Direct Marketing, enabling direct purchase from the fanners / FPOs / Cooperatives etc. by Bulk Buyers /Big Retailers / Processors by limiting regulation under State APMC Act.

Besides, the Umbrella Scheme “Pradhan MantriAnnadataAaySanraksHanAbhiyan” (PM-AASHA) announced by the government in 2018 will aid in providing a remunerative return to farmers for their produce.


The Umbrella Scheme consists of three sub-schemes i.e. Price Support Scheme (PSS), Price Deficiency Payment Scheme (PDPS) and Private Procurement & Stockist Scheme (PPSS) on a pilot basis.

In addition, under the Pradhan MantriKisanSammanNidhi (PM-KISAN) Scheme during the lockdown period from 24.3.2020 till date, about 8.89 crore farmer families have been benefitted and an amount of Rs. 17,793 crore has been released so far.

In order to provide food security during the prevailing situation due to COVID-19 pandemic, the Government has decided to distribute pulses to the eligible households under Pradhan MantriGaribKalyanYojana (PM-GKY). About 1,07,077.85 MT pulses have so far been issued to the States/UTs.

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