Nova Scotia will conserve energy and further reduce greenhouse gas and air pollution emissions by using new LED lights on many streets and roads. A company in Amherst making street lights that reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions will receive $1,156,000 in government assistance for a demonstration project. The province’s ecoNova Scotia for Clean Air and Climate Change fund is contributing $756,000 to help LED Roadway Lighting Ltd. demonstrate the new technology. Conserve Nova Scotia, in partnership with Natural Resources Canada, is also investing $400,000 in the project. Premier Rodney MacDonald and Environment Minister David Morse announced the funding in Amherst today, April 8. “We are pleased to support a project that invests in our growing green economy,” said Premier MacDonald. “The government is committed to protecting the environment while supporting innovative Nova Scotia based businesses.” The pilot demonstration project will convert 1,100 high pressure sodium street lights in at least 10 municipalities to more efficient light emitting diode, or LED, lights. Many lights at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport and along Nova Scotia highways will also be converted. Switching to LED lights could reduce energy use by more than 50 per cent. The conversion is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 288 tonnes and air pollutant emissions by close to 1,000 kilograms, annually. “The Climate Change Action Plan calls for a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in our province to at least ten per cent below 1990 levels by 2020,” said Mr. Morse. “This LED projectwill help us achieve that goal.” The LED street light demonstration project will support the high tech manufacturing sector and research and development in Nova Scotia. It will also benefit municipalities. “Given the number of street lights in Nova Scotia, municipalities can significantly reduce emissions and save in energy and maintenance costs through this demonstration project,” said Barry Barnet, Minister responsible for Conserve Nova Scotia. “These LEDs will help light the way toward cleaner, more energy-efficient roadways.” LED Roadway Lighting Ltd. plans to market the technology internationally. “This funding will help us partner with Nova Scotia municipalities to showcase this unique, green-friendly lighting to the world,” said Chuck Cartmill, President of LED Roadway Lighting Limited. “This homegrown LED technology has the interest of potential customers in the United States, Europe, the United Arab Emirates, and Panama.” LED lights have a lifespan of 20 years, compared to about three years for roadway lights currently in use. The longer lifespan will increase street safety and lead to less waste in landfills. LED roadway lights further protect the environment by being mercury and lead free. They also reduce light pollution in the night sky. The ecoNova Scotia Fund for Clean Air and Climate Change continues to work with Nova Scotian municipalities, businesses, and organizations on ways to save energy and cut harmful emissions. It is funded by a $42.5 million federal grant. For more information about ecoNova Scotia projects or to apply for assistance, go to www.gov.ns.ca/econovascotia . To learn more about Conserve Nova Scotia, visit www.conservens.ca
FOR BROADCAST: Nova Scotia’s newest UNESCO World Heritage Site celebrated its success today (July 21st). Grand Pré was recognized on June 29th by UNESCO for its agricultural and cultural importance. Education Minister Ramona Jennex, on behalf of Communities, Culture and Heritage Minister Leonard Preyra, joined federal representatives, members of Nomination Grand Pré and the local community to commemorate, with a plaque, the designation of the landscape at Grand Pré. Grand Pré is Nova Scotia’s third World Heritage Site and the designation recognizes the agricultural value of the dykelands along with its sympbolic importance to Acadian culture. The designation followed more than five years of work by all levels of government and the local community . -30- Nova Scotia’s newest UNESCO World Heritage Site celebrated its success today, July 21. Grand Pré was recognized on June 29 by UNESCO for its agricultural and cultural importance. Education Minister Ramona Jennex, on behalf of Communities, Culture and Heritage Minister Leonard Preyra, joined federal representatives, members of Nomination Grand Pré and the local community to commemorate with a plaque the designation of the landscape at Grand Pré. “This is a very special place for the Acadians, the people of the Annapolis Valley and all Nova Scotians,” said Ms. Jennex. “The UNESCO designation encourages people from all over the world to experience Grand Pré’s history and culture first hand and learn more about the people who developed the potential of this land.” The designation followed more than five years of work by all levels of government and the local community through Nomination Grand Pré to advance its nomination to UNESCO. It recognizes the agricultural value of the dykelands and the symbolic importance of the landscape to Acadians. “Acadians want to share their culture and heritage with the whole world,” said Acadian Affairs Minister David Wilson. “This recognition is not only important for Grand Pré but for Acadians in every part of the globe.” “Canada’s 43 national parks, 167 national historic sites and four national marine conservation areas are a cornerstone of the federal government’s conservation strategy,” said Environment Minister Peter Kent. “They preserve and protect Canada’s natural history, drive our economy through tourism, and bring Canadians together from coast-to-coast-to-coast. “Celebrating this great achievement is particularly fitting on Parks Day 2012, and I encourage all Canadians to take today to celebrate our country’s beautiful natural spaces, and important historical sites, especially this, Canada’s newest World Heritage Site.” Grand Pré is the third World Heritage Site to be designated in Nova Scotia. Lunenburg was added to the list in 1995 and the Joggins fossil cliffs in 2008. UNESCO approved two biosphere reserves for Nova Scotia in the past decade. Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve was recognized in 2001 and Bras d’Or Lakes Biosphere Reserve in 2011. “The history of three distinct peoples, the Mi’kmaq, the Acadians and the New England Planters, echo through this land by the sea,” said Nomination Grand Pré co-chair Gérald Boudreau. “The stories imbedded in this remarkable landscape will now become part of the common heritage of humanity,” said Nomination Grand Pré co-chair Peter Herbin. With the UNESCO designation now in place, the province will act on its commitment to provide a $2.5-million investment to a trust to support the work of a stewardship board that will be responsible to protect the site. Trustees will be announced soon. More information about the Grand Pre World Heritage site is available at http://landscapeofgrandpre.ca.
Housing Nova Scotia, the newly formed corporation responsible for affordable housing in the province, is seeking a new CEO as current head Rob Wood leaves to pursue a new opportunity in British Columbia. “I’d like to thank Mr. Wood for his invaluable work at the Department of Community Services and in forming Housing Nova Scotia,” said David Darrow, deputy minister to the Premier and head of the public service. “His work will have a lasting positive impact housing in Nova Scotia and his leadership at Community Services has positioned the department to make significant advances in the coming years. I wish him all the best in his future endeavours.” Mr. Wood had served as deputy minister of Community Services for two years before moving into the role as CEO of Housing Nova Scotia earlier in May. He has accepted the position of British Columbia’s new deputy minister of education. Dan Troke, the current executive director of housing, will be appointed as acting CEO of Housing Nova Scotia, effective Oct. 7. A competition for a permanent replacement will begin immediately.
Halifax-area residents are closer to having more affordable housing in the city’s north end. Housing Nova Scotia has chosen Lydon Lynch Architects to help with the conceptual design to develop the Bloomfield property. It is a major milestone in the visionary residential project. “Bloomfield will be a major development for Housing Nova Scotia, and provide a significant increase in homes that are affordable for people and families in Halifax,” said Joanne Bernard, Minister of Community Services, which is responsible for Housing Nova Scotia. “This is a unique and exciting opportunity for our province to showcase a new sustainable approach to building healthy, vibrant and diverse communities.” The redevelopment of the 3.28-acre former school site will create a unique mixed-use, mixed-income community of at least 478 residential units over three phases. It will also include non-profit, community and commercial space. Housing Nova Scotia and its community partner Imagine Bloomfield are working with volunteers on public consultation to ensure the project meets the community’s needs. “Awarding the conceptual-design contract is another significant milestone in the redevelopment of the Bloomfield site,” said Susanna Fuller, co-chair of Imagine Bloomfield. “We are excited to be getting beyond the imagining, and moving into the creating phase of what will be one of the more exciting urban projects in Nova Scotia.” Bloomfield’s mix of affordable and market-priced units, non-profit cultural, creative and open spaces are meant to create a thriving community-based development. “Bloomfield will establish a benchmark for how urban communities can evolve through a thoughtful engagement process resulting in meaningful places to live, work, learn, engage, create and contribute,” added Kevin Malloy, CEO of Housing Nova Scotia. The contract with Lydon Lynch Architects to oversee conceptual design and LEED certification was awarded through a procurement process and is valued at $200,000. It will include public feedback in the design. Consultation will begin next month to define and establish how affordable housing should be provided and, as outlined in the province’s housing strategy, how other services can be integrated into community-based development. The conceptual design will be launched in November. “We have put together a specialized team for Bloomfield consisting of the best of the best in our city,” said Eugene Pieczonka, team leader and principal with Lyndon Lynch Architects. “I know that, together with Housing Nova Scotia, Imagine Bloomfield and the community, we can build something very special and successful. Our goal is to create an exemplary, affordable and diverse development that Housing Nova Scotia and the community can be very proud of.” Lydon Lynch Architects has won numerous design awards, including the 2010 Lieutenant Governor’s award for the Seaport Farmers Market. They have also designed King’s Wharf, the RCMP headquarters in Dartmouth and are developing numerous urban projects in Halifax, including 22nd Commerce Square, which will transform a downtown city block into an innovative, mixed-use destination. Halifax Regional Municipal Council endorsed Housing Nova Scotia’s bid to redevelop the site in December 2012.
INVERNESS COUNTY: Crowdis Bridge Crowdis Bridge is closed until further notice for repairs. A detour is available via Crowdis Cross Road, West Big Interval Road and Hatchery Road. LUNENBURG COUNTY: Varner Bridge Work is underway on a new bridge beside the existing Varner Bridge on Route 208 near New Germany. The bridge is open during construction, but there may be occasional, brief closures during normal construction activities. Drivers should use extra caution in the area. The new two-lane bridge will be completed this year. GUYSBOROUGH COUNTY: Melford Brook Bridge The Melford Brook Bridge, on Route 344 at Middle Melford, is closed. A two-lane detour bridge is in place until a permanent bridge is built. The speed limit is reduced to 60 km/h and warning signs are in place. KINGS COUNTY: Whitman Bridge Whitman Bridge, on Whitman Road between Maple Avenue and Ward Road in Aylesford, is closed for repairs until further notice. The detour route is Maple Avenue, Victoria Road, and Ward Road. CONTINUING WORK CUMBERLAND COUNTY: Eddy Road Eddy Road to Fort Lawrence, near Amherst, is closed until further notice. INVERNESS COUNTY: Trunk 4 – Port Hastings Rotary Trunk 4 at the Port Hastings Rotary will have partial lane closures during the installation of an overhead sign. The work will last until the end of March. INVERNESS COUNTY: West Lake Ainslie Road The Hayes River Bridge on West Lake Ainslie Road has a 15-tonne weight restriction. DIGBY COUNTY: Melanson Mills Bridge Melanson Mills Bridge on Marc Comeau Road is closed until further notice to replace the deck. A detour route is in place. COLCHESTER/HANTS COUNTIES: Highway 102, Shubenacadie River Construction is taking place on Highway 102 at the bridges over the Shubenacadie River until September. Traffic is moving in both directions, drivers are urged to travel with extra caution in the area. PICTOU COUNTY: Bridge Work, Brookville Road Work is taking place on two bridges over McLellans Brook on Brookville Road in Pictou County so vehicles can carry oversized loads of wind turbine components to Irish Mountain. Work has begun on the bridge near the intersection of Brook Road. It will continue to have two-lane traffic, but delays are possible. Work on the bridge near the intersection of Willard Fraser Road has begun. Traffic will be limited to one-lane and controlled by traffic signals. Work on both bridges will be finished by Sunday, March 15. VICTORIA COUNTY: Gillis Bridge Gillis Bridge on North Branch Road, just past Uisge Ban (USH-AK BAHN) Falls Provincial Park, is closed until further notice. Access to the park is not affected. -30-
Premier Stephen McNeil offered his congratulations today, Sept. 15, to the Nova Scotians who will be invested into the Order of Nova Scotia next month. “The Order of Nova Scotia is the highest honour awarded in the province. I take great pleasure in recognizing and honouring these extraordinary individuals,” said Premier McNeil. “On behalf of all Nova Scotians, I congratulate the recipients and sincerely thank them for their contributions to our province. We can all be proud of the dedication and commitment they’ve shown in making Nova Scotia a better place to live.” The 2016 Order of Nova Scotia recipients are: Françoise Elvina Baylis, Freeman Douglas Knockwood, Arthur Bruce McDonald, James Leonard Morrow and Donald R. Reid. The recipients will be recognized at the 15th investiture ceremony on Oct. 12, at Province House. -30-
Business and community leaders from across the province will gather in Truro today, May 7, to celebrate new and better ways of doing things. About 150 Nova Scotians will attend the Planting Seeds Innovation Summit at Nova Scotia Community College’s (NSCC) Truro campus, showcasing business innovation in key sectors like agriculture and food. TruLeaf is one of the businesses that will share its entrepreneurial story. Founder Gregg Curwin, of Halifax, and team started growing vegetables indoors in 2011. Now the company has two high-tech farms, in Bible Hill, Colchester Co. and Guelph, Ont., supplying millions of pounds of fresh produce to grocery stores each year. TruLeaf, and spinoff company GoodLeaf, also have a strategic partnership with McCain. That partnership is helping both businesses push further into Atlantic Canada and Ontario while continuing to grow in Bible Hill. “Planting seeds in rural Nova Scotia has really worked for us,” said Jeff McKinnon, vice-president and chief financial officer of TruLeaf and GoodLeaf. “Our story, our growth, our sales and our connection to McCain demonstrate what’s possible when you see a problem, identify a solution and relentlessly pursue it.” “It is great to see companies like TruLeaf pushing forward and doing it from Colchester County,” said Brennan Gillis, CEO of the Truro and Colchester Partnership for Economic Prosperity. “We need to keep working together to drive innovation in new and traditional sectors and support the people that are taking risks.” Government continues to work with NSCC, Cape Breton University, Cape Breton Partnership, Halifax Partnership, Dalhousie University and others to drive innovation, increase the number of high-growth companies and build stronger networks of support for entrepreneurs across the province. Government also continues to create the conditions for more businesses to start and grow by reducing the cost of incorporating a new company to the lowest level in the country, investing in business competitions for new and emerging ideas and encouraging individuals, corporations and registered venture capital funds to invest in homegrown companies through new tax incentives. “Nova Scotia has great economic potential and we need to keep working together to grow our economy, increase the number of high-growth companies and create jobs,” said Business Minister Geoff MacLellan. “By working together, we can build a stronger economic foundation for people to live, work and do business here, for the benefit all Nova Scotians.”
Bhubaneswar: Ruling BJD heavyweight Surjya Narayan Patro was unanimously elected as the speaker of the 16th Odisha Assembly Saturday. The seven-time legislator’s name was proposed by Leader of the House and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and seconded by Parliamentary Affairs Minister B K Arukha. There was no other candidate for the post of speaker, Protem Speaker Amar Prasad Satpathy said. After 70-year-old Patro’s name was announced as the Speaker, he was escorted to the Speaker’s podium by the chief minister and senior Congress leader Narasingha Mishra. Also Read – Dussehra with a ‘green’ twist “I congratulate the new speaker,” Patnaik said. Mishra said, “We hope the new speaker will function above political considerations and give protection to the opposition to further strengthen democracy.” “I am happy that the House elected me to the post of the speaker unanimosuly. I thank the leader of the house and chief minister, and all the MLAs for their cooperation,” said Patro, who became the 22nd speaker of the Odisha assembly. As the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) has 112 MLAs in the 147-member assembly, the election to the post of speaker was a mere formality. Also Read – India receives its first Rafale fighter jet from France While the BJP has 23 MLAs, nine belonged to the Congress, the CPI(M) bagged one seat and there is an Independent member. Patro was elected to assembly seven times from Ganjam district. He represented Mohana seat four times and got elected from Digapahandi thrice, including the recently held polls. He was first elected to the assembly in 1990 on Janata Dal ticket from Mohana and continued to win all the elections since then. Patro has served as minister of different departments in the governments headed by Biju Patnaik and Naveen Patnaik. In the previous government, Patro was food supplies and consumer welfare minister.
Aimed at supporting meritorious and needy students for studying in undergraduate degree courses in recognised institutions in West Bengal, the Priyamvada Birla Scholarship and the Jaswant Singh Lodha Scholarship has been providing 24,000/- per year to 25 and five students, respectively. The scholarship amount is aimed at meeting their expenses for tuition fees, boarding and mess charges, and study material. The scholarships are valid for the entire duration of the selected course like B.A., B.Com, B. Sc, BBA, BCA, LLB, to name a few (not exceeding four years), provided the recipients maintain a certain academic standard. Also Read – Pollution makes you more aggressiveThe Priyamvada Birla Scholarship was introduced by the Madhav Prasad Priyamvada Birla Apex Charitable Trust in 2013, and since then it has been providing scholarship to 25 students. In 2018, the Jaswant Singh Lodha Scholarship, instituted by the Lodha Charitable Trust, started providing scholarship to five students. Both the scholarships are executed by the South Point Education Society. Immediately after the Higher Secondary Examination results are announced, copies of the Scholarship application form, brochure/prospectus, poster informing the details of Scholarship, a comprehensive list of recipients of the last five years are sent to the schools affiliated to the West Bengal Council of Higher Secondary Education and many other colleges and universities in West Bengal. There is only one application form for both the scholarships. All the documents are sent in both English and Bengali. Aspirants whose annual family income is less than 75,000 can apply by sending complete applications with all testimonials, supported by the recommendation letter of the head of the institution, where the students last studied, by post/courier by October 19, 2019.
Hyderabad: The TRS would give issue-based support to the BJP-led NDA government, a senior leader of the ruling party in Telangana said Friday, ahead of the commencement of the Lok Sabha session next week. “No animosity, no friendship”, K Keshava Rao, who was retained as Parliamentary Party leader Thursday told PTI, when asked about the Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao-led outfit’s policy towards the National Democratic Alliance government. Also Read – Cong may promise farm loan waiver in Haryana “Absolutely issue-based support; same thing (the stand adopted by TRS towards the previous NDA regime) will continue,” the Rajya Sabha member added. The Telangana Rashtra Samiti had backed the NDA on demonetisation, GST and in the elections to the post of President and Vice-President during its last term. Chandrasekhar Rao Thursday shared his thoughts on the strategy to be adopted by party MPs in the Parliament session beginning Monday. Also Read – Modi formed OBC commission which earlier govts didn’t do: ShahThe TRS had aimed to sweep the recent Lok Sabha elections in the newly formed state, repeatedly asserting it would win 16 seats and its ally AIMIM one out of the total 17. The TRS won nine Lok Sabha seats. The BJP, which had a lone member from Telangana in the previous Lok Sabha, sprang a huge surprise winning four seats, while the Congress picked up three. Expecting a hung Parliament, the TRS had since last year made efforts to forge a non-Congress, non-BJP federal front of regional parties which, however, largely remained non-committal. The NDA’s massive win dashed hopes of the TRS, which was keen to play a key role in formation of the government in the event of NDA and UPA falling short of the majority mark. The TRS Thursday appointed Khamman MP Nama Nageswara Rao as party leader in the Lok Sabha. Nageswara Rao, who was TDP’s parliamentary party leader from 2009 to 2014, had joined the TRS on the eve of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. A P Jithender Reddy was floor leader of TRS in the previous Lok Sabha, but joined the BJP after being denied ticket. The TRS would also miss K Kavitha, daughter of the Chief Minister, and B Vinod Kumar, who had served as deputy floor leader of the party in the Lok Sabha. Kavitha and Vinod Kumar, two prominent faces of the party, lost to BJP candidates in Nizamabad and Karimnagar constituencies respectively. The TRS has six members in the Rajya Sabha.
Washington DC: The population of Indian-origin people in America grew by 38 per cent in seven years between 2010 and 2017, a South Asian advocacy group has said in its latest demographic report. In 2017, the population of Indian-Americans with multiple ethnicities was recorded as 44,02,363, up 38.3 per cent from 31,83,063 in 2010, the South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT) said in its snapshot. There are at least 630,000 Indians who are undocumented, a 72 per cent increase since 2010, it said. Also Read – Merkel warns UK Brexit deal ‘unlikely’ without compromise: LondonThe increase in illegal Indian-Americans can be attributed to Indian immigrants overstaying visas, it said. Nearly 250,000 Indians overstayed their visa in 2016 therefore becoming undocumented, it said. In general, the population of American residents tracing their roots to South Asia grew by 40 per cent. In real terms, it increased from 3.5 million in 2010 to 5.4 million in 2017, SAALT said. The Nepali community grew by 206.6 per cent since 2010, followed by Indian (38 per cent), Bhutanese (38 per cent), Pakistani (33 per cent), Bangladeshi (26 per cent) and Sri Lankan populations (15 per cent). Also Read – India, China should jointly uphold peace and stability, resolve disputes through dialogues: Chinese ambassadorThere are currently at least 4,300 active South Asian Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients. As of August 2018, there are approximately 2,550 active Indian DACA recipients. Only 13 per cent of the overall 20,000 DACA eligible Indians have applied and received DACA. SAALT said that as far as DACA recipients from other countries are concerned, there are 1,300 from Pakistan, 470 from Bangladesh, 120 from Sri Lanka and 60 from Nepal. The immigrant population density of the country shows that undocumented Bangladeshi immigrants live in New York (19,000); Michigan (4,000); Virginia (3,000); and California (2,000). The demographic snapshot is based primarily on Census 2010 and the 2017 American Community Survey. According to the report, income inequality has been reported to be the greatest among Asian Americans. Nearly one percent of the approximately five million South Asians in the US live in poverty. SAALT said there has been a rise in the number of South Asians seeking asylum in the US over the last 10 years. The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has detained 3,013 South Asians since 2017. US Customs and Border Patrol arrested 17,119 South Asians between October 2014 and April 2018 through border and interior enforcement, it said. According to SAALT, since 1997, more than 1.7 million dependent spouses of H-1B visa holders have received H-4 visas. In 2017, 136,000 individuals received H-4 status. Nearly 86 per cent of H-4 visa holders are from South Asian countries. In 2015, DHS granted work authorisation to certain H-4 visa holders. As of December 2017, approximately 127,000 visa holders were approved for H-4 EAD, the report said. Nearly 472,000 or 10 per cent of the approximately five million South Asians in the US live in poverty, the report said. Among South Asian Americans, Pakistanis (15.8 per cent), Nepalis (23.9 per cent), Bangladeshis (24.2 per cent), and Bhutanese (33.3 per cent) had the highest poverty rates, it said. Bangladeshi and Nepali communities have the lowest median household incomes out of all Asian American groups, earning USD 49,800 and USD 43,500 respectively, it said. Nearly 61 per cent of non-citizen Bangladeshi American families receive public benefits for at least one of the four federal programmes including TANF, SSI, SNAP and Medicaid/CHIP, 48 per cent of non-citizen Pakistani families and 11 per cent of non-citizen Indian families also receive public benefits, the report said. In the lead up to the 2020 elections, South Asians are becoming an increasingly powerful segment of the American electorate, SAALT said. According to the Current Population Survey (CPS), 49.9 per cent of voting-age, Asian American citizens cast a ballot in 2016. The number of Asian American voters in the last decade has nearly doubled from about two million voters in 2001 to 5 million voters in 2016. Of these, Indians account for more than 1.5 million, followed by Pakistanis (222,252) and Bangladeshi (69,825), SAALT added.
New Delhi: Bajaj Auto Ltd Monday reported a marginal increase in total sales at 4,04,624 units in June as against 4,04,429 units in the year-ago month. Total domestic sales were at 2,29,225 units last month as compared to 2,34,576 units in June 2018, a decline of 2 per cent, Bajaj Auto said in a statement. Motorcycle sales in the domestic market were down 1 per cent to 1,99,340 units in June as against 2,00,949 units in the same month a year ago, it added. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in Sep Similarly, commercial vehicle sales in the domestic market also declined by 11 per cent to 29,885 units last month as compared to 33,627 units in June last year. Total exports in June, however, grew by 3 per cent to 1,75,399 units from 1,69,853 units in the same month last year. Bajaj Auto said its motorcycle exports grew by 11 per cent to 1,51,951 units in June this year from 1,36,803 units in the year-ago month. Commercial vehicle exports were, however, down by 29 per cent at 23,448 units as against 33,050 units in the same month last year, the company said.
New Delhi: The NCLAT Thursday cleared the takeover of Essar Steel by ArcelorMittal after it rejected all objections raised by the shareholders of the debt-ridden company. The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT), however, gave operational creditors equal footing into the proceeds of insolvency auction. The two-member NCLAT bench, headed by Chairman Justice S J Mukhopadhyaya, rejected Essar Steel Director Prashant Ruia’s contention that ArcelorMittal was ineligible to bid under insolvency and bankruptcy law because of allegedly holding shares loan defaulting companies. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in SepThe NCLAT had earlier reserved its order over a batch of petitions against ArcelorMittal’s Rs 42,000-crore takeover bid for Essar Steel as well as the distribution of funds among the creditors of the debt-ridden company. The bench said that the Committee of Creditors (CoC) will only look at the viability of the resolution plan submitted by the bidder and will not get into the distribution of the amount among different creditors. Distribution of the amount will be done by the resolution applicant as the CoC has no authority on it. Total claims of financial and operational creditors stand revised to Rs 69,192 crore. Meanwhile, an Essar Steel spokesperson said, “It appears that new facts regarding ineligibility under Section 29A which emerged only after the previous judgement of the Supreme Court, have not been given due consideration. We are awaiting the detailed order and decide our course of action thereafter.”
NEW DELHI: Delhi is facing an acute shortage of public transport as only 5,554 buses against the required number of 11,000 vehicles are plying in the national capital. As per the directions of the Supreme Court and the Delhi High Court, the total requirement of bus fleet in the city was 11,000 but presently only 5,554 CNG -run buses were being operated in Delhi.The Delhi government claimed that 1275 low floor AC buses, 2,506 low floor non-Ac buses and 1,672 orange colour standard low floor buses were being operated under the cluster scheme, which was introduced in 2011 to replace the erstwhile blue line buses, said a senior Transport official. Also Read – Bangla Sahib Gurudwara bans use of all types of plastic itemsOn a question on new buses for Delhi, the Transport official said, in the next 10-12 months Delhi will have 3,000 new buses on the roads. The buses will start coming this month and 3000 buses would arrive in city by 10-12 months. All these buses will have CCTV installed in them. But in last four years, no any bus has been added to city bus fleets. Reacting on Delhi public Transport, Delhi BJP president Manoj Tiwari said that the transportation facility of Delhi has been failed completely as the numbers of DTC buses have been halved. “Looking at the population of Delhi, there should be 20,000 buses, but Delhi government has shown a negative approach towards it, rather than increasing the number of buses. In last 54 months, Kejriwal has spent his time in allegations rather than development of Delhi,” said Tiwari. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderDelhi cabinet had taken a decision in September last year for inducting 2,000 standard fllor buses through procurement of 1,000 buses by the DTC and engagement of 1,000 buses under the cluster Scheme. The Delhi government claimed that a cabinet decision was taken on May 18 to procure additional 2,000 low floor buses which are likely to be procured by May 2020 and the DTC board has also decided to procure 500 low floor CNG buses.
Johannesburg: South Africa’s former president Jacob Zuma, facing allegations of corruption, has told an inquiry that he initiated the idea of having an “alternative media” in the country that led to the controversial Indian-origin Gupta family establishing their media empire. Zuma, who was forced to resign as president in February 2018, appeared for the first time on Monday at the inquiry, which is investigating allegations that he oversaw a web of corruption during his term in office. Also Read – Imran Khan arrives in China, to meet Prez Xi JinpingThe allegations against 77-year-old Zuma focus on his relationship with the Gupta family, which was accused of influencing Cabinet appointments and winning lucrative state tenders through corruption. “I have been vilified, alleged to be the king of corrupt people,” Zuma told the inquiry led by Judge Ray Zondo. Zuma told the judge that he had conceived the idea of having an “alternative media” in South Africa because “the media in this country is very biased; at all material times, just critical”. Also Read – US blacklists 28 Chinese entities over abuses in XinjiangThe Zondo Commission is inquiring into allegations of “state capture” during Zuma’s rule. Zuma said the African National Congress (ANC) had been trying to establish some media as an “alternative” voice, but despite trying by partnering with other people, this never worked. He had then suggested that a newspaper be established, which the ANC had agreed to. This led to him approaching the Guptas with the idea. “They seemed to be warm to the idea” Zuma said, adding that he and ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe met the Guptas to further discuss the idea. “When (the Guptas) were ready with the idea, they said to me: ‘Give us a name; we don’t know what to call this newspaper’.” He gave them some names of newspapers during the freedom struggle, from which they selected ‘The New Age’. “When this paper was operating and really being appreciated in this country to bring in an alternative voice, I wondered whether I could push them further,” he said. “I suggested the paper to them; I suggested the [TV] channel [ANN7]. The Guptas partnered with a media house in India to establish the ANN7 channel, which was closed down after allegations of their involvement in “state capture” emerged. The New Age was earlier first sold to an individual with controversial vendor financing from the Guptas, but also shut down after being economically unviable. “Somebody can then say we were abusing this friendship. It was never the other way round,” Zuma said. “It’s me who put them into trouble, because I said your paper is so successful and so your TV thing can be successful. “They agreed and said it’s a good idea and they moved on it. There was no law broken there. There was no wrong thing done,” he said. “ANN7 brought a fresh air in the country in terms of reporting; in terms of putting across progressive ideas,” the former president said. “It was never a back door thing or there’s corruption about it. Never.” Zuma said he found the Gupta family “very friendly”. “I never did anything with them unlawfully. They just remained friends, as they were friends to everybody else,” Zuma said, adding that they had also been friends of former presidents Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki. He objected to allegations that he had allowed the state to be “captured” by the family, and had auctioned the country, the BBC reported. “Did I auction Table Mountain? Did I auction Johannesburg?” he said. Zuma resigned as president in February last year after huge outcries over his alleged involvement in corrupt and illegal activities that left a number of government departments bankrupt.
A set of 12 ‘languishing’ crafts, including Akola and Nandana hand block prints, Mashru, Rangkat and Garad Korial silk weave, Rogan paintings and Chamba Rumal art, is the focus of a new exhibition, which opened at the Central Cottage Industries Corporation (CCIC) Emporium, here on August 1. The exhibition was inaugurated by Shantmanu, IAS Development Commissioner (Handicrafts) Chairman CCIC, Ministry of Textile, Govt of India. These are among the 55 handicrafts and handloom arts identified by the Ministry of Textiles as endangered with limited practitioners and craftspeople. Also Read – An income drop can harm brainThe exhibition ‘Kala Sampada’ focuses on 12 of these crafts – five handicrafts and seven handloom styles – that are fading into oblivion due to changing consumer tastes and new generations of skilled artisans shifting to other occupations to earn a living. “For our national awards each year, we keep five awards reserved for these categories. We also conduct guru-shishya camps for expert artisans to train new entrants. Stalls at exhibition places, like Dilli Haat, are also reserved for them.” Also Read – Shallu Jindal honoured with Mahatma Award”To boost sale and marketing, the exhibition at this emporium will help to attract craft lovers and buyers,” said Shantmanu, CCIC Chairman and Textile Ministry Development Commissioner. Other showcased crafts include Matka Noil silk, Patan Patola, Nagpuri Cotton, Lashingpee, silverware, wooden toys of Odisha and Sanjhi craft. For the handloom section, the exhibits are in form of everyday wearables, like sarees, dupattas, men’s clothing, quilts and table mats. The 10-day exhibition-cum-sale is on at the Jawahar Vyapar Bhavan. Central Cottage Industries Corporation of India Ltd. (CCIC), a Public Sector Undertaking under the Ministry of Textiles is engaged in the promotion and retail marketing of best of authentic Indian Handloom and Handicrafts products through its showrooms in New Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kolkata, Secunderadabad, Patna, and Varanasi. CCIC sources its merchandise directly from, weavers, master weavers, craftsperson, and master crafts person, Shilpgurus, National Awardees and Clusters. CCIC is dedicated to the development of India Crafts and Craftperson thus providing a unique Platform for showcasing and marketing of handicrafts & handlooms products globally.
Kolkata: A day after the Lokenath temple tragedy killed five persons and injured 20, local residents in Kachua on Saturday blamed the local administration and the temple committee officials for poor handling of the crowd.The people in the area accused police for poor crowd control and lack of planning. They alleged that the temple committee and local police administration did not chalk out any alternative route to clear the crowd in case of any untoward incident. “The tragedy happened due to lack of proper planning,” said Montu Biswas, a local resident. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaHe also alleged that the approach road to the temple is very narrow and the situation turns dire whenever there is a surge of devotees during any occasion. It was also alleged by the villagers that the police had refused to open the six drop gates leading to the temple. There were very few police officials to manage the crowd. The number of devotees surpassed all records this year, giving anxious hours to the district administration. The devotees had taken shelter under a shed close the temple as it was raining heavily on the day of the incident. When it stopped raining, the devotees started rushing into the temple, leading to a stampede-like situation. Some of them fell down and suffered severe injuries. The injured persons were rushed to various hospitals in the city and the districts. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee soon announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh for the families of the deceased, Rs 1 lakh for grievously injured persons and Rs 50,000 for those who suffered minor injuries.
San Francisco: Microsoft has launched a Bug Bounty Programme for Chromium Edge where the company is inviting cybersecurity experts across the world to identify vulnerabilities in the Chromium Edge browser, with rewards ranging from $1,000 to $30,000. The company is offering rewards in various tiers. Spoofing and tampering reports would earn anywhere between $1,000 and $6,000. Information disclosure and remote code execution will be awarded between $1,000 and $10,000 and elevation of privilege will rake in between $5,000 to $15,000, Digital Trends reported on Sunday. Also Read – Swiggy now in 500 Indian cities, targets 100 more this year As per the report, $30,000 will be given in exchange for finding a combination of an Elevation of Privilege flaw and a Windows Defender Application Guard container escape. “We are excited to expand our bounty programmes today to include the next version of Microsoft Edge and continue to grow and strengthen our partnership with the security research community. “We welcome researchers to seek out and disclose any high-impact vulnerabilities they may find in the next version of Microsoft Edge, based on Chromium, and offer rewards up to the US $30,000 for eligible vulnerabilities in Dev and Beta channels,” Jarek Stanley, senior program manager at Microsoft, said in a post. Microsoft recently launched Chromium-based Edge beta for Windows 10, 7, 8/8.1 and macOS.
Kolkata: A state-level nurses’ organisation protested near the gate of NRS Hospital and Medical College in Kolkata on Wednesday against the Indian Nursing Council’s decision to phase out the General Nursing and Midwifery (GNM) course.Besides, the association, Nurses Unity, also alleged discrimination in pay scale of the state government in all nursing sections. A delegation submitted a memorandum to CM Mamata Banerjee at Nabanna, after which the protest was withdrawn. “How can they just abolish a course, which has been there since years. We are against the decision and have submitted a memorandum to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee,” said Parbati Pal, secretary of Nurses Unity. (With inputs from Indian Express)
Kolkata: In what may be called a puja gift to the residents of ward 118 on Jyotish Roy Road in New Alipore, councillor Tarak Singh has decided to install a huge LED screen for infotainment of the visitors at Rajnandini Park. The LED screen will be placed at a strategic location so that those sweating out in the open-air gym in the park can it while exercising.”The open air gym in the park that started in February last year has become very popular. Now , we will show films, news, weather forecast , activities of the state government and the Kolkata Municipal Corporation through the LED screen in the park to attract more people Children films and cartoons will also be aired. We want to project the park as a place of relaxation for people of all age groups. We will try to unveil the facilities before the Durga Puja,” said Tarak Singh, councilor of ward 118 who is also the Member Mayor in Council (Drainage) of KMC. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaThe company that has been roped in for installation and projection of the LED screen gave its demonstration on Wednesday evening. It may be mentioned that residents hailing from the weaker sections of the society find it difficult to go to private gyms because of financial stringency and lack of time. Morning and evening walkers , who visit the parks can do some workout if similar arrangements can be made for open-air gym free of cost. Member, Mayor-in-Council (Parks and Gardens) Debasish Kumar has instructed his officials to explore places in parks under KMC where the infrastructure of such a gym can be put into place. Sources in the Parks and Square department said that they. “We will not be able to run gym equipment which are driven by electricity. But we can have some of the machines for light workout like waist twister, multi twister, chest press, twist steeper , health walker etc that do not need electricity,” an official of KMC’s Parks and Gardens department said KMC maintains 720 parks in the city spanning across its 144 wards.