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PM Modi lands in Guwahati to kickstart poll campaign

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Guwahati, April 16 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi landed in Guwahati on Tuesday evening to kickstart his poll campaign in Assam and Tripura.

PM Modi was received at the Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi airport by Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.

The Chief Minister posted on his X handle, “Extended a warm welcome to Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji at LGBI Airport, as he arrived on his 27th visit to Assam.”

The Prime Minister will address rallies in Assam and then Tripura, the first since the election dates were announced last month.

The PM is scheduled to address a huge public gathering in Assam’s Nalbari district on Wednesday at 11 a.m.

He will campaign for Phani Bhusan Choudhury, who is contesting on Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) ticket in the Barpeta Lok Sabha seat.

–IANS

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Rajkot fire probe: 1 IAS, 3 IPS officers to be questioned today

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Rajkot, May 30 (IANS) Ahead of the Union Home Minister’s visit, the investigation into the fire at Gamezone, which claimed 28 lives, has intensified. One IAS and three IPS officers on duty in Rajkot City at the time of the tragedy will be questioned on Thursday in the case.

The state police chief has summoned these officers to Gandhinagar, where the state CID Crime and the Chief Fire Officer of Rajkot Fire Brigade have also been called for questioning, officials shared.

Transferred IAS officer Anand Patel and IPS officers Raju Bhargava, Vidhi Chaudhary, and Sudhirkumar Desai will face questioning today.

State DGP Vikas Sahay will lead the enquiry which may include issues related to Gamezone’s approvals and safety measures.

Chief Fire Officer of Rajkot Fire Brigade, IV Kher’s questioning is expected to revolve around the Fire NOC and other safety compliances at Gamezone.

Rajkot fire probe: 1 IAS, 3 IPS officers to be questioned today, is scheduled to visit Rajkot on May 31 to hold a review meeting with officials regarding the blaze.

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He will seek detailed information on the negligence that led to the tragedy and identify those responsible.

During his visit, HM Shah is also expected to meet with the families of the deceased.

–IANS

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AI learning in Kerala schools begins with this academic year

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Thiruvananthapuram, May 30 (IANS) Kerala has decided to include Artificial Intelligence (AI) in school textbooks and as a result, over four lakh students in Class Seven will study the nuances of AI in the new academic year beginning next month.

It is the first time in the country that all students in a class are getting an opportunity to learn AI uniformly.

Kerala Infrastructure and Technology for Education (KITE), the technology arm of Department of General Education, will make available all the essential software for this in the laptops deployed in schools.

One of the activities in the ‘Computer Vision’ chapter will involve students creating their own AI programme that can recognise human facial expressions.

This programme will be able to identify up to seven different emotions on a person’s face.

Apart from Class Seven, the new Academic Year will see new Information and Communication Technology (ICT) textbooks for Classes One, Three and Five in Malayalam, English, Tamil, and Kannada mediums.

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The curriculum framework emphasises the development of children’s critical thinking, analytical skills, and problem-solving abilities, which are essential for their holistic development.

In this context, special emphasis has been placed on the development of logical thinking and programming skills in the ICT textbooks for the primary level.

The ‘PictoBlox’ package, along with ‘Scratch’ software that teaches visual programming, is introduced in the textbooks to enable students to practice programming, AI, robotics and similar things.

The new ICT textbooks for Classes One and Three include FOSS (Free and Open-Source Software) based educational applications such as GCompris, eduActiv8, OmniTux, and TuxPaint which cover drawing, reading, language learning, numeracy, operations, and rhythm.

In addition to these, applications developed by KITE such as Traffic Signal through which children learn about traffic rules, and Waste Challenges which teaches waste disposal through gaming mode are also included in the ICT textbook.

Further, language labs are also featured in the new textbooks.

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K. Anvar Sadath who is the Chairman of ICT Textbook Committee and also the CEO of KITE said the that new ICT textbooks present practical ICT activities that nurture life skills while also helping in the study of other subjects and providing guidance on cyber safety and fake news identification.

“KITE commenced the AI training for 80,000 secondary school teachers from May onwards and so far 20,120 teachers have completed the training and the remaining also will be trained,” said Sadath.

–IANS

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Will cooperate in probe, says Shashi Tharoor on aide's detention in gold smuggling case

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New Delhi, May 30 (IANS) Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Thursday said that he will be cooperating in the probe involving his aide in a case of gold smuggling.

The aide was reportedly detained from the IGI Airport here by the Customs Department for allegedly trying to smuggle in gold estimated to be valued at over Rs 35.22 lakh.

In a post on X, Tharoor said that he was in Dharamshala for campaigning and was shocked to hear about the incident.

While seeking to make his case clear, he said the aide was an old and ill part-time employee.

“I was shocked to hear of an incident involving a former member of my staff who has been rendering part-time service to me in terms of airport facilitation assistance. He is a 72 year old retiree undergoing frequent dialysis and was retained on a part-time basis on compassionate grounds,” he said.

“I do not condone any alleged wrongdoing and fully support the authorities in their efforts to take any necessary action as may be required to investigate the matter. The law must take its own course,” the Congress leader added.

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Meanwhile, the Customs Department in a statement said that based on suspicion, officers at IGI Airport have booked a case of smuggling of gold against an Indian national who arrived at the Airport from Bangkok by flight TG-323 on Wednesday.

–IANS

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Kerala kidney racket: TN, Kerala Police teams take one Salem native in custody

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Chennai, May 30 (IANS) A joint investigation team of Kerala and Tamil Nadu Police are in Salem for further investigation into the Kerala kidney racket. The team has taken into custody a Salem native considered to be associated with the main accused in the case, Sabith Nasar from Kerala.

Tamil Nadu Special Investigation Team (SIT) has already taken into custody three persons from Coimbatore and Pollachi with regard to the case.

The SIT of Kerala Police have been in Tamil Nadu for the past few days after the main conduits in the racket, Sabith Nasar and Sajith Shyam revealed of the involvement of certain Tamil Nadu-based persons during interrogation.

Salem was in the news in 2015 when a leading nephrologist associated with a few leading private hospitals in the region was arrested for around 80 illegal kidney transplants. Tamil Nadu intelligence has tipped off the state police team that some doctors and middlemen based out of Salem are involved in the Kerala kidney racket as well.

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The Tamil Nadu SIT have also provided information to the Kerala team and a joint investigation is on in Salem.

Meanwhile, Kerala Police is also trying to deport an Aluva native, Madhu, from Iran, considered to be one of the main middlemen in the kidney racket based out of Iran.

The Kerala kidney racket came out in the public domain after Sabith Nasar was arrested at the Nedumbassery International Airport in Kochi on May 19 upon his return from Iran.

The arrest was following a tip-off from Central intelligence agencies who have been tracing regular movementsof Sabith to Iran and other west Asian countries.

–IANS

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LS polls: PM Modi to hold public meeting in Punjab today

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New Delhi, May 30 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address a public meeting on Thursday for the ongoing Lok Sabha elections at Hoshiarpur in Punjab at 11 a.m.

At the culmination of his election campaign, Prime Minister Modi will visit Kanyakumari from May 30 to June 1. In Kanyakumari, he will visit the Rock Memorial and perform meditation at the same place where Swami Vivekananda meditated.

Major political developments that will unfold across the country on Thursday:

*Union Home Minister Amit Shah will visit Madurai in Tamil Nadu along with his family and have a darshan at the Meenakshi Amman temple. Later, he will leave for Thirumayam in Pudukkottai district and have darshan at the Kottai Bhairavar temple

*Bharatiya Janata Party President J.P. Nadda will address public meetings in Punjab — one in Amritsar at 11:25 a.m., another in Faridkot at 1:35 p.m. Later, at 3:55 p.m., he will hold a roadshow from Railway Road to Adda Bazaar, Anandpur Sahib, Rupnagar.

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*Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will address public meetings in Odisha and Punjab. At 11 a.m., he will address a public meeting in Odisha’s Balasore. Later at 4 p.m., he will interact with the people through a village meeting in Punjab’s Nawanshahr.

*Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and BJP leader Yogi Adityanath will address two public meetings each in Himachal Pradesh and Punjab.

*He will address election rallies in Himachal Pradesh — one in Mandi at 11:35 a.m. and another in Hamirpur at 1 p.m. Later he will address public meetings in Punjab — one in Anandpur Sahib at 2:30 p.m. and another in Ludhiana at 3:45 p.m.

*Samajwadi Party National President and former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav will address public meetings in support of the Congress-INDIA bloc and the Samajwadi Party-INDIA bloc candidates from the Maharajganj and Ghosi Lok Sabha constituencies.

*At 12 p.m., Akhilesh Yadav will speak at a joint public rally in support of Congress-INDIA bloc candidate Veerendra Chaudhary from the Maharajganj Lok Sabha constituency. Later, at 1:45 p.m., he will address another public rally in support of Samajwadi Party-INDIA bloc candidate Rajiv Rai from the Ghosi Lok Sabha constituency.

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*The Opposition Grand Alliance in Bihar will hold a public meeting in which Tejashwi Yadav of the RJD, Bihar CPI Secretary Deepankar Bhattacharya, and Vikassheel Insaan Party President Mukesh Sahani will address a public rally in support of INDIA bloc candidate from Nalanda Lok Sabha seat at 1 p.m. followed by another public meeting at 2 p.m. in Hilsa, Nalanda.

*West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee will conduct a 10-km roadshow from Garia to Alipur jail. This roadshow will start at 2 p.m. and cover two Lok Sabha constituencies – Jadavpur and Kolkata South.

*Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas) National President Chirag Paswan will address a public meeting at Nauhatta in Bihar’s Saharsa district at 9 a.m.

–IANS

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