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PM Modi to visit Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra for LS poll campaign today

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New Delhi, April 8 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Bastar and Maharashtra’s Chandrapur on Monday to campaign for BJP Lok Sabha poll candidates.

The Prime Minister will address a public rally in support of BJP candidate Mahesh Kashyap at 1.30 p.m. in Bastar. After this, he will hold a public meeting for Union Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar in Chandrapur at 5:00 p.m.

Major political events that will unfold across the country today:

* Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi will visit Madhya Pradesh on Monday to address public meetings at Dhanora (Seoni district) and Shahdol. The Dhanora meeting is scheduled for 2 p.m. while at Shahdol, the Wayanad MP will reach at 4 p.m. to seek support for Congress’s Mandla Lok Sabha seat candidate Omkar Singh Markam. Madhya Pradesh Congress chief Jitu Patwari and veteran party leaders will be present during the meetings.

* BJP President J.P. Nadda will address public meetings in Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan on Monday. The BJP chief will seek votes for BJP’s Rampur Lok Sabha seat candidate Ghanshyam Singh Lodhi at 11:00 a.m., after which he will proceed to Dhampur to address a public meeting for Nagina seat candidate Om Kumar at 12:30 p.m. The BJP President will also address a public meeting in Rajasthan’s Hanumangarh at around 4:30 p.m.

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* Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will hold multiple public meetings in Maharashtra on Monday. He is scheduled to address public meetings in Wardha at 2.30 p.m., Bhandara (4.30 p.m.), and Nagpur at 6.30 p.m.

* BJP leader General (retd) V.K. Singh will be on a two-day visit to Uttarakhand from Monday. During the visit, he will hold public meetings in Mussoorie, Dhalwala, and Almora.

* Congress leader Sachin Pilot will address four public meetings in Rajasthan on Monday. He is scheduled to campaign in Sikar, Jhunjhunu, Jaipur Rural and Alwar Lok Sabha seats.

* Rajasthan Chief Minister Bhajan Lal Sharma will hold a public meeting in support of BJP’s Barmer Lok Sabha seat candidate Kailash Chaudhary.

* BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain will be on a two-day visit to Uttarakhand from Monday to campaign in support of BJP candidates for Haridwar and Nainital parliamentary constituencies. He will participate in multiple programmes during the visit.

* BSP National Coordinator and party chief Mayawati’s nephew Akash Anand will address a public meeting in Uttar Pradesh’s Bareilly on Monday.

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–IANS

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Racket selling 'herbal pills' to boost sexual health busted in Gurugram; 11 held

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Gurugram, June 20 (IANS) The Gurugram Police on Thursday raided a fake call centre in Sector 18 and arrested 11 persons, including four women, for allegedly duping people on the pretext of selling online herbal medicine to boost sexual health.

The accused used to post ads for such medicines on Google to target the victims. When the victims called them on the given numbers, they duped them on the pretext of selling herbal medicines that they claimed helped boost sexual health.

They also cheated people in the name of GST charges, parking charges, and courier charges, and received money from the victims through UPI and QR codes.

After receiving a tip-off that an illegal call centre had been operating in Sector 18 for the past one year, the district police formed a special team under the supervision of ACP Vipin Alahawat.

The team raided the call centre on Thursday, where 11 persons were found making calls to the victims who were taken into custody after questioning.

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The callers confessed that they were working to sell sex-enhancing pills.

“The accused received Rs 15,000 as salary per month along with 5 per cent commission on the duped amount,” he said.

Seven mobile phones, SIM cards, two CPUs, and other documents were seized from the call centre, the police said.

The accused were produced in a local court which sent them to police custody.

–IANS

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President Murmu turns 66, celebrates birthday with MITTI cafe's staff

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New Delhi, June 20 (IANS) President Droupadi Murmu, who turned 66 on Thursday, inaugurated the MITTI café in the President’s Estate here and later, celebrated her birthday with its staff.

The Mitti cafe is a non-profit organisation providing sustainable livelihoods to persons with disabilities. The organisation also creates awareness about disability through cafes, community meals and skill development initiatives.

President Murmu started her day by visiting the Lord Jagannath temple in Delhi and praying for the welfare of all citizens.

Later in a post on X, the President’s office said: “Taking another step towards creating an inclusive environment, President Droupadi Murmu inaugurated MITTI cafe in the President’s Estate today.”

“The President spent time in the cafe and celebrated her birthday with the staff who were excited to meet and wish the President,” it added.

On her birthday, Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar and Prime Minister Narendra Modi wished President Droupadi Murmu a long and healthy life.

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“Vice President of India, Shri Jagdeep Dhankhar along with his wife Dr Sudesh Dhankhar called on President Droupadi Murmu and conveyed birthday greetings to the President at Rashtrapati Bhavan,” the President’s office said in another post on X.

“Warm birthday wishes to Rashtrapati Ji. Her exemplary service and dedication to our nation inspire us all,” the Prime Minister said in a post on X.

“Her wisdom and emphasis on serving the poor and marginalised are a strong guiding force. Her life journey gives hope to crores of people. India will always be grateful to her for her tireless efforts and visionary leadership. May she be blessed with a long and healthy life,” he added.

President Murmu also visited Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya National Institute for Persons with Physical Disabilities here and interacted with staff members, divyang children and their parents.

She appreciated the “tireless efforts of the institute for the socio-economic empowerment of Divyangjan”.

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The President emphasised that a person can overcome any limitation through dedication and determination.

–IANS

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IYD celebrations: Sopore student thrilled over doing Yoga with PM Modi in Srinagar

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New Delhi, June 20 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir, will have the attention of global media on Friday, when he performs Yoga asanas on the banks of Srinagar’s Dal Lake on the occasion of International Yoga Day (June 21).

A large congregation of about 4,000 people is expected at the Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Complex (SKICC), the venue where PM Modi will take the lead in celebrating the Yoga Day.

A young Sopore boy named Faizan Bashir, who is set to participate in the Yoga event along with PM Modi is ecstatic and thrilled over the rare opportunity.

Faizan, a student of government high school Hardu Shiva in Sopore region of J&K’s Baramulla, shared his excitement on getting a chance to perform Yoga asanas along with the Prime Minister.

Expressing his joy over the opportunity, Faizan said that he was all prepared for a trip to Srinagar where he will join PM Modi for Yoga Day celebrations.

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He described this as the most special moment of his life and also thanked the government officials for making his dream a reality.

He also displayed his Yoga skills to the mediapersons and performed asanas like Dhanurasana, Trikonasana in front of them.

This is the tenth edition of International Day of Yoga (IDY) celebrations.

Since 2015, PM Modi has been leading the Yoga day celebrations at country’s different locations, including Delhi’s Kartavya Path, Chandigarh, Dehradun, Ranchi, Lucknow and Mysuru.

Last year, he led the programme at United Nations Headquarters in New York.

–IANS

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Researchers discover new oxygen producing algae in river of Eastern Ghats

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New Delhi, June 20 (IANS) Researchers have discovered a new genus of the Gomphonemoid diatom found in the clean water river of the Eastern Ghats.

The genus which has an interesting suite of features, distinguishing it from the other members of the group Gomphonemoid in terms of valve symmetry and other certain valve features, has been named Indiconema to value its restricted distribution in the country, the Ministry of Science and Technology announced on Thursday.

Diatoms are microscopic algae that play a crucial role in our everyday lives by producing 25 per cent of global oxygen, approximately every fourth breath of oxygen we inhale.

They serve as a basis of the aquatic food chain. Due to their sensitivity towards any water chemistry changes, they are excellent indicators of aquatic health.

The research underlines the importance of diatoms in shaping the biodiversity of India’s diverse landscapes.

Indiconema discovered by scientists of Agharkar Research Institute (ARI), Pune, an autonomous institute of the Department of Science and Technology, differs in having a pore field at both the head and foot pole rather than having only at the foot pole.

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The evolution of monsoons structured the rainforest biome across the Indian Peninsula and the associated varying wetness, which has a direct role in shaping the diatom flora.

The research published in the journal Phycologia, reports one species of Indiconema from the Eastern Ghats and another from the Western Ghats.

A similar pattern of sharing endemic elements between two mountain systems has been observed for other endemic-rich groups, such as reptiles.

Additionally, based on the morphological features of this group, researchers have suggested that Indiconema is sister to Afrocymbella, a genus endemic to East Africa. Early studies noted that similarities between Gomphonema species from India and those from East Africa and Madagascar are supported by the current study association.

The discovery supported by the erstwhile SERB, now ANRF, underscores the importance of ongoing research in unravelling the mysteries of diatom biogeography and their role in shaping the biodiversity of India’s diverse landscapes.

Diatoms are the first recorded microorganisms in India, with Ehrenberg’s first report dating back to 1845 in his voluminous publication Mikrogeologie.

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Since then, several studies in India have recorded diatoms from freshwater and marine environments.

A rough estimate states that there are nearly 6,500 diatom taxa, of which 30 per cent are endemic (restricted to a particular region) to India, suggesting India’s unique biodiversity.

Further, diverse biogeographic zones support various species with habitat diversity ranging from freshwater to marine, sea level to high mountains, and alkaline lakes to acidic swamps.

Peninsular India includes the Eastern and Western Ghats and has distinct physiographic, edaphic, and climatic gradients that cherish a wide array of habitats with unique geographic positions and supporting unique sets of diatoms.

–IANS

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PM Modi arrives in Srinagar on 2-day visit

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Srinagar, June 20 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday arrived here on a two-day visit during which he will lead the Yoga Day celebrations on Friday.

A special plane carrying PM Modi and his entourage landed at 5.20 p.m. at Srinagar airport.

This is PM Modi’s first visit to Jammu and Kashmir after taking charge of the Prime Minister’s Office for the third consecutive term.

J&K Chief Secretary, Atal Dulloo, GOC-n-C Northern Command, Lt Gen, M.V. Suchindra Kumar and DGP, R.R. Swain received PM Modi at the airport.

The Prime Minister then flew in a helicopter from the airport to Badami Bagh cantonment headquarters of the Army’s 15 Corps.

PM Modi later reached the Raj Bhawan in the Chashma Shahi area of Srinagar.

The Prime Minister is also scheduled to reach the Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Centre (SKICC) along the banks of Dal Lake in the city.

Lt. Governor, Manoj Sinha will receive PM Modi at the SKICC where he will take part in ‘Empowering Youth, Transforming J&K’ programme.

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An official said that the programme will benefit youth entrepreneurs, and also inspire the youth with whom the Prime Minister will interact during the programme.

–IANS

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