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Armed forces pained by government decisions, Rahul tells Modi

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Rahul-Gandhi

New Delhi, 29 Oct : Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that decisions taken by the government over the past few weeks had adversely affected the morale of the armed forces and caused them “pain and hurt”.

The letter comes a few days after Modi started a campaign #Sandesh2Soldiers to invite people to send letters and messages to the armed forces on Diwali.

In the letter, written on Friday and released to media on Saturday, Gandhi said he was saddened by actions taken by the government in the last few weeks and urged that soldiers should be shown care not only through words but actions.

“As we celebrate Diwali, and rejoice in the victory of light over darkness, let us send this message to our soldiers that our gratitude is expressed both in words and in deed. This is the very least we owe to those who give up their today to secure our tomorrow,” he said.

Gandhi called upon Modi to address “anomalies” in the 7th Pay Commission with regard to the armed forces and implement the One Rank One Pension (OROP) in a meaningful way.

“I am writing to bring to your attention several reports emerging in the media about decisions taken over the last few weeks by the government, that I believe adversely affect the morale of our armed forces.

“I am saddened that in the last few weeks actions taken by the government, far from reassuring the soldiers, have indeed caused them pain and hurt,” he said in the letter.

Gandhi noted that just days after the Indian army conducted surgical strikes on terrorist launch pads across the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir, “the disability pension system was converted to a new slab system, that in many instances drastically reduces the pension received by these brave men in case of a disability.”

He said the roll out of the 7th Pay Commission continues to keep our defence forces at a disadvantage and “further exacerbates the disparity between them and civil employees”.

“And finally, contrary to what was promised, OROP as implemented by your government, does not fully meet the genuine demands of our ex-servicemen and they have been forced to come out on the streets to make their voice heard on this vital issue,” Gandhi said.

Gandhi also pointed to media reports claiming that the government has “downgraded the status of military officers vis-a-vis their civilian counterparts in a letter dated October 18”.

“I therefore urge you to ensure that our soldiers get their due whether it is regarding compensation, disability pension or parity with civil employees.”

He said that their demands must be met “because soldiers should not have to struggle to claim what is surely due to them on behalf of a grateful nation”.

India

Delhi Metro ready to resume services after 169 days

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New Delhi, 7 Sep : Delhi Metro is ready to resume its services, which were suspended since 22nd March 2020 due to Corona pandemic, from tomorrow i.e, 7th September 2020 onwards from Yellow Line (Samyapur Badli to HUDA City Centre) in a staggered manner. Over a period of next five days i.e, by 12th September, rest of the Lines will also be made operational with all safety measures in place to check the spread of Covid-19 in the Metro premises which requires everyone to follow a new normal of social distancing, face mask and hand sanitisation.

“On this Monday and Tuesday, only the Yellow line (49 KM with 37 stations consisting of 20 underground and 17 elevated stations) will remain operational for a period of four hours each in the morning (7 AM to 11 AM) and evening (4 PM to 8 PM). Trains will be available with a headway varying from 2’44’’ to 5’28” (at different stretches) with 57 trains performing around 462 trips. The same will be further extended in a graded manner from 9th to 12th September along with other Lines”, said Mr. Anuj Dayal, the Executive Director of Corporate Communications at DMRC.

“The resumption of services with a new normal to prevent the spread of Covid-19 desires public to understand and co-operate with DMRC/CISF personnel on few aspects for a comfortable and safe commuting experience”, a statement released by DMRC said.

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Cricket

IPL 2020 schedule announced, MI face CSK in opener

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New Delhi, Sep 6 : Defending champions Mumbai Indians will face three-time winners Chennai Super Kings in Abu Dhabi in the opening match of the 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), the revamped schedule of which was finally revealed on Sunday.

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India

Unlock 4 Guidelines: What’s allowed, what’s not

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Metro Services to resume from September 7

No permission needed for inter/intra-state movement of goods, persons

New Delhi, 29 Aug : The Ministry of Home Affairs on Saturday announced guidelines for ‘Unlock 4’, which will come into effect from September 1. As per the new guidelines, Metro rail will be allowed to operate with effect from September 7 in a graded manner, while schools, colleges and other educational institutes will remain shut for students upto September 30.

Under Unlock 4 guidelines, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs will be issuing Standard Operation Procedure (SOP) for the Metro services to resume.

The Ministry of Home Affairs have decided to allow religious, social, political, entertainment, sports and academic events to take place from September 21, but only outside the containment zone with a limited participation of not more than 100 people. Open air theaters will also be permitted from September 21.

“Such limited gatherings can be held with mandatory wearing of face masks, social distancing, provision for thermal scanning and hand wash or sanitizer,” MHA guidelines for Unlock 4 state.

The statement issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs for Unlock 4 clearly stated that there will be no restriction on inter-State and intra-State movement of persons and goods, and no separate permission/ e-permit will be required for such movements.

In a statement the MHA said, “State/ UT Governments shall not impose any local lockdown (State/ District/ sub-division/City/ village level), outside the containment zones, without prior consultation with the central government.”
For the vulnerable section of the population, the MHA said, “vulnerable persons, i.e., persons above 65 years of age, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women, and children below the age of 10 years, are advised to stay at home, except for essential requirements and for health purposes.”

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