Modi wants New India that is free of caste, corruption: Top 10 developments

Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants to build a “New India”, free from the clutches of casteism, communalism, and corruption. The Prime Minister urged people to make this new vision of the country come true while addressing a gathering in Surat on Sunday before flagging off the Surat Night Marathon, with ‘Run For New India’ as its theme.
‘New India’ has become part of the Prime Minister’s political rhetoric and been used in political speeches as the Lok Sabha polls approach.
Here are the top 10 developments in PM Modi’s speech in Surat and the night marathon:

1) Three obstacles for ‘New India’: PM Modi identified three obstacles in the path to achieving a ‘New India’. “When the whole world has started accepting the importance of India, we need to shed our shortcomings,” the Prime Minister told the assembled crowd in Surat, adding, “We need to build a new India which is free from the venom of casteism. It should be free from communal controversies. There can not be a place for corruption in this new India.”
2) PM Modi paints a picture: Painting a picture of what this vision entailed, PM Modi said that in this ‘New India’, the “aspirations of the youth” would be “fulfilled”, women would be respected, and it would “be free from poverty as well as filth”.
3) Citizens will build ‘New India’: However, the Prime Minister called on the people of the country to help him achieve this vision. Stating that a country was not built by the government, the administration, or even by the politicians, PM Modi called on the common man to move towards a ‘New India’.

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Modi credits Gandhi for ‘Congress-free India’, says following in his steps

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday launched a bitter attack on the Congress party in the Rajya Sabha, saying those opposing the dream of ‘New India by 2022’ want to live with their baggage of the past, and added in a taunt that even he wanted an India of Mahatma Gandhi’s dreams who had envisaged a “Congress-free India”.

Modi also took digs at the Congress party over various alleged scams of distant and recent past and for blocking the triple talaq legislation in Parliament.

“The President has spoken of a New India in his address. Swami Vivekananda also dreamt of a New India. Mahatma Gandhi would also speak of a Young India. I don’t know what is the (Congress party’s) problem with the New India. They say ‘we don’t need New India. We want our older India’,” Modi said as he started his reply to the debate on the Motion of Thanks on the President’s address.
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“They say ‘we need Gandhi wala Bharat’ (India of Mahatma Gandhi’s dreams). Even I want Bharat of Gandhi’s dreams, because Gandhi said after Independence that now there is no need of the Congress party and it should be dissolved.

Delhi air pollution risks children, youth; 8 of 10 with poor lung capacity

In New Delhi, India’s capital and its most polluted city, eight of every 10 children and youth below 20 years of age living in areas with constantly polluted air have poor lung capacity, according to a study by Hazards Center, a Delhi-based advocacy.

These findings come at a time when data on the health effects of air pollution are being denied by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government. There were no conclusive data to establish a direct or exclusive correlation between death/disease and air pollution, said Mahesh Sharma, minister of state for environment, in a response to the Rajya Sabha (upper house of Parliament) on February 5, 2018.

Particulate matter pollution monitored over 15 locations across the capital this winter–between October 10, 2017 and January 10, 2018–along with the peak flow tests conducted on 343 children and youth under 20 living in 11 out of 15 monitored locations revealed that 80% of the sample population had unhealthy or below-normal lung functioning.

Peak flow tests are a simple way to measure lung strength by assessing how fast one can blow air out. Normal values for a paediatric sample of children in the European Union were taken as a base for the test.
That Delhi’s youth do not measure up to a European normal can partly be “due to the demographic differences between the European Union and India, but one would not expect such a large difference in the city with the highest per capita income in the nation”, said the study.

In Pics: Celebrations in BJP camp as Gujarat, Himachal poll victory certain

The Congress carried out negative politics and talked about caste. They said development has gone crazy, when in fact people in the opposition party had gone crazy. The people in Gujarat supported development over caste,” said a supporter of the ruling party.

He was referring to the Congress’ campaign theme “Vikas Gando Thayo Che” (development has gone crazy), ahead of the polls. The BJP had launched a counter drive, titled “I am development, I am Gujarat”.
The BJP o appeared to be on its way to retain power in Gujarat for the record sixth time, with trends from 182 Assembly seats giving it a lead in 104 seats while the Congress was following with 72.

The Election Commission figures showed that the NCP was leading in one seat and the Bhartiya Tribal Party of Chottu Vasava in two seats. Three independents were read more

Demonetisation was an idiotic jolt: 8 things Arun Shourie spoke about

Slamming the Narendra Modi government over sliding economic growth and increasing job losses, Arun Shourie, who was a union minister in the BJP-led government of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, has likened demonetisation with suicide, saying the latter is too “a bold step”.
Former Disinvestment Minister Arun Shourie told NDTV that note ban was the largest money-laundering scheme ever, conceived and implemented entirely by the government.
It was an idiotic jolt, he said read more

Breaking: Nitish Kumar quits as the chief minister of Bihar

Amid differences with alliance partner Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Nitish Kumar on Wednesday resigned as the chief minister of Bihar, citing inability to work because of the strains within the coalition.
“I have resigned for the sake of Bihar. Given the changing circumstances in the state, it has become impossible for the alliance to work. I never demanded that anyone in the government should quit. But if there have been allegations, it is imperative for the person concerned to make a statement and come out clean,” Kumar said.
The development follows the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad’s firm stand earlier in the day that his son and Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav would not resign.
Prasad’s RJD is in the government in the state in alliance with Kumar’s JD(U) and the Congress Party. After the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) recently lodged a first information report (FIR) against Tejashwi Yadav in the land-for-hotels case, there had been demands for read more