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World's first Asian King vulture conservation centre in UP

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World's first Asian King vulture conservation centre in UP

Maharajganj (Uttar Pradesh), June 20 (IANS) Uttar Pradesh will soon have the world’s first conservation and breeding centre for Asian king vultures in Maharajganj.

The facility aims to improve the population of the species, which has been listed as critically endangered in the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s red list since 2007.

S.K. Sharma, the principal chief conservator of forest and the head of Uttar Pradesh’s forest force, said, “This is the world’s first centre for breeding and conservation of Asian king vulture, also called red-headed vulture. It is now ready for formal inauguration.”

“At the moment, we have a pair of male and female vultures. Three more females, who are in the aviary, will gradually get their male counterparts. The aviary is 20-feet by 30-feet,” said Durgesh Nandan, the scientific officer at the centre.

The centre is named Jatayu Conservation and Breeding Centre, where 24×7 monitoring of the vultures is being done.

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Among its staff include a scientific officer and a biologist.

“They (vultures) make one partner in their entire life and lay one egg in a year. Hence, their monitoring is our highest priority,” Nandan added.

Asian king vultures are endangered due to a loss of their habitats and the excessive use of diclofenac, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, in domestic animals, which becomes poisonous for vultures, say experts.

The birds at the centre are fed twice a week and each has a diet of around three kilos of meat at a time.

The centre aims to ensure the good health of growing vultures and provide them with a pair. Once a female lays an egg, the pair will be left free in their natural environment.

“We are ensuring that their natural environment is replicated here so that when the birds are left in forests, they do not face any trouble,” said Nandan.

Only the keeper is allowed entry into the enclosure, which is under strict CCTV monitoring.

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In Uttar Pradesh, the red-headed vultures are rarely seen.

In 2023, they were spotted in Chitrakoot.

The first vulture brought to this centre was on December 30, 2022. Later, another was brought. After two males, the centre also plans to get two female vultures.

Other vulture conservation and breeding centres in the country have long-billed and white-backed vultures, said officials.

–IANS

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MP Sahney demands direct flights to Britain, Canada from Amritsar & Chandigarh

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MP Sahney demands direct flights to Britain, Canada from Amritsar & Chandigarh

MP Sahney demands direct flights to Britain, Canada from Amritsar & Chandigarh

New Delhi, July 22 (IANS) Rajya Sabha MP Vikram Sahney on Monday raised the issue of direct flights to Britain and Canada from Amritsar and Chandigarh airports in the House.

He said lakhs of Punjabis travel to and from Britain and Canada to Punjab.

Minister of State for Civil Aviation Muralidhar Mohol replied that granting points of call to the designated carriers of foreign countries depends on the benefit to the Indian aviation sector, the presence of the Indian diaspora in the country, and the future plans of Indian carriers.

The minister said various airlines of India are free to select destinations they wish to service and operate within the ambit of the bilateral Air Service Agreement (ASA).

Sahney said the government should impress upon carriers like Air India to start more direct flights from Punjab to Britain and Canada and also consider new points of call for any foreign carriers to use the Amritsar and Chandigarh airports as it satisfies the condition of a considerable presence of the Indian diaspora in these countries.

ALSO READ:  PM Modi invites suggestions for his next 'Mann Ki Baat' address

–IANS

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Sharad Pawar discusses Maratha-OBC quota, woes of milk, sugar producers with Maha CM

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Sharad Pawar discusses Maratha-OBC quota, woes of milk, sugar producers with Maha CM

Sharad Pawar discusses Maratha-OBC quota, woes of milk, sugar producers with Maha CM

Mumbai, July 22 (IANS) NCP(SP) chief Sharad Pawar on Monday met Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and held detailed discussions on issues relating to irrigation, milk prices and the problems faced by sugar producers in Maharashtra.

In addition, the senior Pawar reportedly raised the ongoing protests by Maratha and OBC communities over the contentious reservation issue.

The Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) confirmed the meeting between Sharad Pawar and CM Shinde.

“They discussed issues concerning irrigation, milk prices, and sugar factories,” the CMO said.

These are critical issues currently faced by the agriculture and dairy sectors in the state.

Sharad Pawar last week had extended his support to the agitating milk producing farmers who are demanding Rs 40 per litre for milk, implementation of Fair and Remunerative Price and Revenue Sharing policies for the dairy sector, curbing milk adulteration and reducing the prices of cattle feed.

The NCP(SP) supremo had assured the agitating farmers that he would meet CM Shinde and take up these issues for an early resolution to their woes.

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Sharad Pawar has also sought the Maharashtra government’s intervention to help the sugarcane growers who are facing financial problems as they cannot export surplus sugar.

Sharad Pawar pressed the Mahayuti government to take up the matter on a priority basis with the Centre for an early resolution.

Meanwhile, Sharad Pawar is believed to have sought information with regard to the discussion between CM Shinde and pro-Maratha activist Manoj Jarange Patil on the Maratha reservation issue.

Besides, Sharad Pawar also asked for the details pertaining to the talks held between a group of ministers and OBC leaders with regard to the quota issue.

The senior Pawar’s move to raise the reservation issue comes days after NCP minister and Samta Parishad chief, Chhagan Bhujbal sought his mediation to address the present stalemate over the reservation issue.

Sharad Pawar had assured Bhujbal that he would discuss the issue with CM Shinde.

CM Shinde has briefed him about the line of action on Jarange-Patil’s demand for the execution of draft “sage-soyare” notification that recognises Kunbis as blood relatives of the Maratha community members.

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The discussion on the Maratha quota issue coincided with the fresh indefinite fast launched by Jarange Patil from last week.

–IANS

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Lalu Prasad demands Nitish Kumar’s resignation after Centre rejects Bihar’s special status

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Lalu Prasad demands Nitish Kumar’s resignation after Centre rejects Bihar’s special status

Lalu Prasad demands Nitish Kumar’s resignation after Centre rejects Bihar’s special status

Patna, July 22 (IANS) After the Central government turned down the special status for Bihar, RJD Chief Lalu Prasad Yadav demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

“Centre has refused to give the special status to Bihar so Nitish Kumar should resign from his post. We will fight for special status at any cost,” the RJD Chief said.

He also criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi over not granting special status to Bihar.

“PM Modi and Nitish Kumar shamelessly gave Bihar a ‘Jhunjhuna’ (toy). If not the status of a special state, then give anything to Bihar in the name of a special package! JD-U bowed down to BJP,” he wrote on X.

The demand for special status for Bihar has been a recurring issue, with various leaders from the Janata Dal (United) advocating for it.

JD-U Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Jha had brought up the issue in an all-party meeting, stating that the Central government should either grant special state status or arrange for a special package for Bihar.

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Similarly, JD-U MP Rampreet Mandal raised the issue in the Lok Sabha, emphasising that special state status is essential for promoting economic development and industrialisation in backward states.

Vijay Kumar Chaudhary, the Water Resource Minister of Bihar, said, “We have a longstanding demand of special status for Bihar but if any technicalities arise in it, Centre should consider at least a special package for a backward state like Bihar.”

–IANS

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Trinamool to move motions on NEET, 3 criminal laws during Assembly's Monsoon Session

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Trinamool to move motions on NEET, 3 criminal laws during Assembly's Monsoon Session

Trinamool to move motions on NEET, 3 criminal laws during Assembly's Monsoon Session

Kolkata, July 22 (IANS) The ruling Trinamool Congress will move two special motions on the floor of the West Bengal Assembly this week during the Monsoon Session.

The first motion will be for scrapping of the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) and the second will be on the three new criminal laws introduced in India, confirmed the Assembly Speaker.

The decision to move these two special motions was taken at the Business Advisory Committee of the state Assembly on Monday, when the Monsoon Session resumed.

However, as per convention, on the first day the session was adjourned after obituary mention.

The Speaker said that the motion demanding scrapping of NEET and restoration of the previous system of individual state governments conducting such examinations, will be moved on the floor of the House on Tuesday and there will be debates on the matter on Wednesday.

Similarly, another motion on the three criminal laws in the country will be moved by the Treasury Bench on Friday and debates on the matter will be conducted on next Monday.

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Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has already sent a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 24 raising the same demand on scrapping of NEET examination.

She had also written to the Prime Minister objecting to the implementation of the three new criminal laws without proper groundwork and preparation.

–IANS

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Divested of key portfolio, BJP Minister in MP threatens to quit

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Divested of key portfolio, BJP Minister in MP threatens to quit

Divested of key portfolio, BJP Minister in MP threatens to quit

Bhopal, July 21(IANS) Upset after being divested of the key Forest and Environment portfolio, first-time Cabinet minister in Madhya Pradesh, Nagar Singh Chouhan, on Monday threatened to quit from the Council of Ministers in the next two days.

Chouhan, a four-time tribal MLA who is now left with the Scheduled Caste Welfare portfolio, said he would quit the ministerial post and serve the people of his community, adding that his wife Anita Nagar Singh Chouhan, who is a first-time Lok Sabha member, might also quit as an MP.

On Sunday, Nagar Singh Chouhan was divested of the Forest and Environment portfolio which was allotted to Ramnivas Rawat, a six-time Congress MLA who switched sides to the BJP on April 30.

“I have been associated with the BJP for over 25 years. Yet I wasn’t consulted before the decision to divest me of the Forest and Environment portfolio was taken. I have already discussed the issue with (state BJP chief) V.D. Sharma. I will announce my decision in the next two days,” Chouhan told mediapersons on Monday.

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The BJP leader also said what made him more upset was the fact that the ministry was allotted to someone who joined the party from the Congress only a few months back.

When asked if his ‘pressure tactic’ had anything to do with the possibility of him being dropped as a minister in a future Cabinet reshuffle, Chouhan said he never asked for any post in 25 years of his political career.

“I never asked for a ticket for my wife before the Lok Sabha polls. It was the party that chose my wife as its candidate, and we didn’t disappoint as she won by more than 2 lakh votes, the highest winning margin ever from the seat (Ratlam).

“Now if the party feels that two members from the same family cannot be bestowed with key responsibility, I’ll quit as a minister and remain just an MLA, while my wife will step down as an MP,” said Chouhan, considered a loyalist of former CM and current Union Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

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Notably, this is the first resentment shown by any BJP leader after Chief Minister Mohan Yadav assumed office in December last year.

–IANS

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