New Delhi: Making it clear that gone are the days when Padma awards were given away to ‘well known nominees backed by recommendation (sifarish),’ Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Sunday, said that his government had transformed the process for selecting Padma award winners and that common people are now being honoured on the basis of work done by them.
In the year’s first ‘Mann ki Baat’ address, Mr Modi said the awards are being bestowed on people “who do not live in big cities and are not visible in newspapers and TV.” He stressed in his monthly radio programme that people are being honoured without a recommendation now.
“Making the (nomination) process online has led to transparency. The selection process for these awards has undergone a transformation,” he said, adding, “If you look at these winners, you will feel proud that such kind of people live in the society and you will also naturally feel proud that they are getting this recognition without any sifarish.”
“Now the identity of the awardee is not the deciding factor of the award, rather the importance of his/her work is increasing,” said Mr Modi.
The Prime Minister also highlighted the works of some of this year’s winners, whose names were announced on the eve of Republic Day. He said that the winners should be invited to schools and colleges so that they could share their experiences and inspire others.
He mentioned that this year’s Padma awardees include Lakshmikutty, a tribal woman from Kerala who prepares herbal medicines, and Arvind Gupta, an IIT Kanpur alumnus who inspired generations of students to learn science from trash.
Society should also go beyond these awards and make efforts to recognise people working selflessly, he further said.
Major shift in govt’s way of handling ‘terrorism’: IAF chief on Balakot
New Delhi: The strategic relevance of Balakot air strikes is the resolve of the political leadership to punish the perpetrators of terrorism, Air Chief RKS Bhadauria said on Tuesday.
In his Air Force Day message, the Air Chief said, “The strategic relevance of this (Balakot air strikes) is the resolve of the political leadership to punish the perpetrators of terrorism. There is a major shift in the government’s way of handling militant attacks.”
Stressing that the present security environment in the neighbourhood is a case of serious concern, the Air Chief said Pulwama attack is a stark reminder of the persistent threat to defence installations.
Earlier, the Chiefs of three services paid floral tributes at the national war memorial on the occasion of 87th Air Force Day.
“On February 26 this year, the IAF successfully struck camps located at Balakot. On the next day, the IAF successfully thwarted Pakistan Air Force’s attempts to attack our military establishments. In the aerial engagement that followed we shot down a PAF F-16 fighter aircraft and lost a MiG-21,” the IAF chief said in his remarks during Air Force Day press conference on October 4.
RSS chief says lynching a ‘western construct’ being used to defame India
Nagpur: Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat on Tuesday said lynching is a “western construct” and should not be used in the Indian context to defame the country.
Addressing the Vijayadashmi function of the RSS at Reshimbagh ground in Maharashtra’s Nagpur city, he said the word ‘lynching’ does not originate from Indian ethos but comes from a separate religious text, and such terms should not be imposed on Indians.
He also lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah over the government’s move to abrogate Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, but said some vested interests do not want the country to be strong and vibrant.
Voicing his displeasure over several incidents of mob violence in the country, he said, “Lynching is not the word from Indian ethos, its origin is from a story in a separate religious text. We Indians trust in brotherhood. Don’t impose such terms on Indians.”
“Lynching itself is a western construct and one shouldn’t use it in the Indian context to defame the country,” he said.
Bhagwat urged citizens to create harmony, and that everyone should live within confines of law. “Swayamsevaks are brought up with that sanskar,” he said.
He said in the past few years, there has been transformation in “direction of thought process of Bharat”.
“There are many people in the world and in Bharat as well, who don’t want this. A developed Bharat creates fear in the minds of vested interests…such forces will also not want Bharat to be strong and vibrant,” the RSS chief said.
Even well-meaning policies, statements from persons in government and administration were being misused to benefit nefarious designs by vested interests, he rued.
“We must be alert in identifying these plots and counter them on intellectual and social levels,” he said.
Bhagwat said the world was eager to know if the 2019 elections in such a huge country will be conducted smoothly.
“Democracy in India is not something imported from any country, but a practice which has been prevalent here since centuries,” Bhagwat said.
He said India’s borders were now safer than ever, and more focus was needed on coastal security.
“The number of guards and check-posts on land borders and surveillance along the maritime border, especially on islands, have to be increased,” he said.
On concerns over the economic sector, he said the slowing down of world economy has left its impact everywhere.
“The government has taken initiatives to tide over the situation in the last one-and-a-half months. Our society is entrepreneurial and will overcome these challenges,” he added.
Singh declines Kartarpur invite
New Delhi, Oct 1: Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will not accept Pakistan’s invitation for the inauguration of Kartarpur corridor, media reports said on Tuesday.
Earlier, the Pakistan government had on Monday extended an invitation to former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for the inauguration of Kartarpur corridor that is scheduled to be held on November 9.
“We would like to extend an invitation to former Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for the inauguration function of Kartarpur Corridor. He also represents the Sikh community. We will also send him a formal invitation,” Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said.
The inauguration ceremony will take place three days before the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev.
India has asked Pakistan to “reconsider” its decision to charge USD 20 as service charge from pilgrims visiting the Kartarpur Sahib Gurudwara in Pakistan.
Initially, 5,000 pilgrims will be allowed to visit daily from India but later 10,000 pilgrims will be allowed per day, according to the Ministry of External Affairs.
Pakistan is building the corridor from the Indian side of the border to the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, while the other part from Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur up to the border is being built by India.
The four-lane highway connecting the Zero Point of the corridor up to National Highway-354 is being constructed by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). Besides, a passenger terminal is also under construction.
The corridor will connect Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur with Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur district of Punjab and facilitate visa-free movement of Indian pilgrims, who will have to just obtain a permit to visit Kartarpur Sahib, which was established in 1522 by Sikh faith founder Guru Nanak Dev.