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Seven newborns die in Delhi hospital fire (Ld)

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New Delhi, May 26 (IANS) Seven newly born babies died after a fire broke out in a baby care centre in Delhi’s Shahdara, police said on Sunday.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Shahdara) Surendra Chaudhary said that on Saturday at around 11:30 p.m. a police control room (PCR) call regarding a fire at Baby Care NewBorn Hospital was received at Vivek Vihar police station, following which a police team rushed to the spot.

Upon reaching the spot, the fire was found in the hospital and its adjacent building.

“In the hospital, there were 12 newborn babies admitted and one was already dead before the fire incident. All the 12 newborn babies were rescued from the hospital with the help of other people and shifted to East Delhi Advance NICU Hospital, for treatment,” said the DCP.

The DCP said that fire tenders also reached the spot and doused the flames.

Delhi Fire Service (DFS) Chief Atul Garg said that seven children were declared dead at the hospital while five newly born babies are undergoing treatment.

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“All 7 dead bodies have been further shifted to GTB Hospital for postmortem. Appropriate legal action is being taken against the owner of the hospital namely Naveen Kichi, a resident of Bhairon Enclave, Paschim Vihar, Delhi,” said the DCP.

–IANS

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Bengal govt avoiding 'tiff' with Raj Bhavan for oath of 4 newly elected MLAs

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Kolkata, July 14 (IANS) After the recent controversies over the oath ceremony of the two legislators elected from Baranagar and Bhagawangola, the ruling Trinamool Congress in West Bengal is cautious this time to avoid any tiff with Raj Bhavan over the swearing-in ceremony of the four newly elected MLAs.

In a clean sweep, Trinamool won all four constituencies in the Assembly bypolls the results of which were declared on Saturday.

Insiders from the state cabinet said that the right protocol for approaching Governor V. Ananda Bose will be followed strictly to get the latter’s nod for the oath ceremony of the four newly elected MLAs namely Madhuparna Thakur from Bagda, Supti Pandey from Maniktala, Krishnas Kalyani from Raiganj and Dr Mukut Mani Adhikari from Ranaghat-Dakshin.

A communique from the state Parliamentary Affairs department will be sent to the office of the Governor this week only, where the latter will be requested to either administer the oath ceremony of the four newly elected MLAs or nominate anyone for the same, said a member of the state cabinet who refused to be named.

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As per the protocol, such initial communique regarding the oath-ceremony of newly elected MLAs has to go to the office of the Governor from the office of the state Parliamentary affairs minister.

However, in the earlier case of Sayantika Banerjee from Baranagar and Reyat Houssen Sarkar from Bhagawangola, the initial communique was sent from the office of the assembly Speaker and the assembly secretary.

The state cabinet member further said that the reaction from the Governor will determine the next course of action and if the Governor adopts the same path of prolonging the process, the Speaker of the House using his own authority under Section 5 of Chapter 2 of the ‘Rules of Business’ of the state assembly, will himself administer the oath-ceremony of the four newly elected MLAs at any forthcoming session of the House.

In the cases of Sayantika Banerjee and Reyat Houssen Sarkar, a special one-day session of the assembly had to be convened for the Speaker to administer their oath ceremony. However, in the case of the four newly elected MLAs that special session will not be necessary as the oath ceremony can be conducted in the forthcoming monsoon session of the assembly resuming this month — probably from July 22.

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However, in that case too uncertainties will prevail on how far the four elected MLAs will be able to participate in the proceedings of the House in the backdrop of Article 193 of the Indian Constitution which gives the power to the Governor to impose such a financial penalty on newly elected MLAs participating in the assembly proceedings or even occupying their allotted seats in the House without the ascent of the Governor.

–IANS

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NITI Aayog launches hackathon to accelerate zero-emission truck adoption in India

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New Delhi, July 14 (IANS) NITI Aayog, on Sunday, announced the launch of the GearShift challenge as part of the e-FAST India initiative.

The hackathon is in collaboration with Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Bangalore, Smart Freight Centre India, CALSTART/Drive to Zero, and WRI India.

It “will help foster innovative business models for the adoption of zero-emission trucks (ZETs) in India, and also address the nation’s pressing economic and environmental challenges,” NITI Aayog said.

As part of the hackathon, students, transport service practitioners, academics, and researchers will develop innovative business models that address financial, technical, and operational challenges in the adoption of electric trucks.

In the first round, teams will submit their initial business models addressing a specific barrier — technical, operational, or financial — that is supported by high-level strategies and research.

Those shortlisted will then present detailed business models with an implementation roadmap, backed by both primary and secondary research.

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The proposals will be mentored by industry leaders to ensure practical and impactful solutions, NITI Aayog said.

“India’s freight sector is vital to the economy, ensuring the smooth delivery of goods to over 1.4 billion people. With road freight accounting for a staggering 55 per cent of India’s annual diesel consumption and nearly 40 per cent of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from road transport, there is an urgent need to transition to more sustainable solutions,” the apex public policy think tank said.

It noted that the “electrification of freight transportation is a key priority, as electric trucks offer a transformative opportunity to reduce emissions, improve air quality, and enhance energy security.”

“The GearShift Challenge marks a pivotal move towards sustainable freight transportation in India,” NITI Aayog said.

The hackathon will tap into the creativity and expertise of participants, and help generate practical solutions that will accelerate the adoption of zero-emission trucks. It will both benefit the economy and the environment.

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–IANS

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Congress appoints Gaurav Gogoi as Deputy Leader, Kodikunnil Suresh as Chief Whip in Lok Sabha

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New Delhi, July 14 (IANS) Congress, on Sunday, wrote to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, informing him about the appointment of Gaurav Gogoi as the party’s Deputy Leader in the House.

Alongside Gogoi, eight-time MP from Mavelikara in Kerala, Kodikunnil Suresh has been appointed as the Chief Whip, while Virudhunagar MP Manickam Tagore and Kishanganj MP Md Jawaid are named as Whips, Congress General Secretary K. C. Venugopal announced in a post on X.

“Hon’ble CPP Chairperson Smt Sonia Gandhi ji has written to the Hon’ble Lok Sabha Speaker informing him about the appointment of the Deputy Leader, Chief Whip, and two Whips for the Congress Party in the Lok Sabha. Deputy Leader – Shri Gaurav Gogoi, Chief Whip – Shri Kodikunnil, and Whips – Shri Manickam Tagore and Md Jawaid,” Venugopal wrote, congratulating the new appointees.

The Congress General Secretary wrote that the party will “champion” the public’s concerns in the lower house of the Parliament.

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“Guided by LoP Shri Rahul Gandhi ji, the Congress and INDIA parties will energetically champion the people’s causes in the Lok Sabha,” the Alappuzha MP added.

Last month, Rahul Gandhi was appointed Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha by the Congress party.

–IANS

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BJP cautions Akhilesh against continuing alliance with Congress

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Lucknow, July 14 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party, on Sunday, cautioned Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav against continuing his alliance with the Congress.

UP BJP president Bhupendra Chaudhary, while addressing the inaugural session of the party’s state executive here, said that the Congress has no base, no ideology of its own and wins with the support of other parties.

He said that the Congress has never done good to anyone and Dr B. R. Ambedkar understood this very well.

The UP BJP president further said that the weaker sections and Dalits had never benefitted from Congress regimes.

“SP is a party of a family that considers Lohia as an ideal and should follow his principles,” he said.

Chaudhary further said that the soul of India resides in Ayodhya, Kashi and Mathura.

“Narendra Modi ji became the Prime Minister of the country for the third time, and it is under his guidance that the country is progressing. A grand Ram temple was built in Ayodhya after 500 years. Prime Minister Modi did the work of removing Article 370 and wrote a new chapter in the country’s history. Earlier, Kanwar Yatra was stopped but today, they are being taken out with much fanfare,” he said.

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He further said that the respect of every party worker was of prime importance for the BJP and there would be no compromise on this issue.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Deputy Chief Ministers Brajesh Pathak and Keshav Prasad Maurya, along with ministers legislators and MPs are attending the one-day meeting that will be addressed by party president J. P. Nadda, later in the day.

–IANS

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UP govt acted swiftly to check losses due to floods

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Lucknow, July 14 (IANS) The Uttar Pradesh’s pre-monsoon preparations have successfully averted major losses from flooding, demonstrating foresight and effective planning.

These efforts in highly sensitive areas and sensitive areas have resulted in the relocation of over 11,962 individuals to safer locations in the last 10 days, ultimately saving countless lives during this critical period, said a government spokesman.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath visited ground zero while officials were deployed in the field. He also conducted aerial surveys of the affected areas and inspected them by boat.

During his visits, the chief minister distributed relief kits to flood victims and consoled disaster-stricken individuals. He provided financial assistance to kin of families who lost their loved ones in the disaster.

The Yogi government had initiated flood preparations well ahead of the monsoon’s arrival in the state. All necessary measures were completed across 24 flood-prone and 16 sensitive districts to mitigate potential disaster scenarios.

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Relief Commissioner GS Naveen stated that on the chief minister’s instructions, continuous monitoring is being conducted in flood-affected areas.

“In Shravasti, due to a sudden release of water in Nepal, 11 workers who were in the fields were rescued late at night. It took about 8 hours of intense effort, but everyone was safely rescued. Similarly, seven individuals stranded in floods in Pilibhit were airlifted and rescued in coordination with the Air Force. Additionally, 76 people trapped in the flood in Kushinagar were successfully rescued.”

The Relief Commissioner said that in the past 10 days, over 11,962 people have been relocated to safe areas in the flood-affected regions. Additionally, more than 21,239 cattle have been moved to secure locations.

There are currently 804 flood shelters operational in these areas, accommodating a total of 1,365 individuals.

Furthermore, 1,178 flood posts have been established to monitor the situation continuously, with 914 boats actively operating in the affected zones.

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A total of 12 teams from NDRF, nine from SDRF, 23 from PAC, and one from SSB have been deployed to carry out relief operations in the flood-affected areas of the state. Continuous coordination is maintained with the Army, Air Force, NDRF, SDRF, and PAC in these regions.

Medical teams are conducting health check-ups, and arrangements for drinking water, medicines, and ORS are in place. Beds have been provided for rest, and adequate lighting has been arranged for nighttime. Additionally, milk and nutritious food have been organised for children in these shelters.

–IANS

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