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During his visit to Bhutan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was bestowed with the prestigious ‘Order of the Druk Gyalpo’ Award by the King of Bhutan. In a humble acceptance speech, PM Modi emphasized that this honor belongs not just to him but to all 1.4 billion Indians. He expressed gratitude for the recognition and underscored the deepening ties between India and Bhutan.

“This honor is not my personal achievement, it is the honor of India and 140 crore Indians,” stated PM Modi. He further remarked that receiving an award from another country signifies the mutual progress and cooperation between nations, highlighting the positive trajectory of bilateral relations between India and Bhutan.

The ‘Order of the Druk Gyalpo’ is the highest civilian award in Bhutan and is conferred for lifetime achievements. PM Modi joins a select group of individuals to have received this esteemed recognition, including notable personalities like Royal Queen Grandmother Ashi Kesang Choden Wangchuck and Je Khenpo Trulku Ngawang Jigme Choedra.

The citation accompanying the award lauds PM Modi’s exemplary leadership on national, regional, and global fronts, citing India’s remarkable economic growth under his stewardship. It recognizes his commitment to environmental conservation and renewable energy, as well as his transformative initiatives that have propelled India onto the global stage.

Furthermore, the award citation commends PM Modi’s Neighbourhood First policy, which has bolstered regional cooperation and collective progress in South Asia. It emphasizes his pivotal role in strengthening the enduring bond between India and Bhutan, fostering mutual trust and cooperation.

In accepting the ‘Order of the Druk Gyalpo’, PM Modi reaffirmed his commitment to advancing the shared goals and aspirations of India and Bhutan. The award stands as a testament to the strong friendship and partnership between the two nations, symbolizing the deep-rooted ties and mutual respect that characterize their relationship.

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On Tuesday, March 19, 2024, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) allocated 10 seats for the upcoming 2024 Lok Sabha elections in Tamil Nadu to the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK). The agreement was formalized during a meeting at the residence of PMK founder S. Ramadoss in Thailapuram, Villupuram district, where BJP State president K. Annamalai and Ramadoss signed the deal.

The leaders engaged in discussions for nearly an hour before reaching a consensus, with PMK president Anbumani Ramadoss and former BJP State president and Union Minister of State L. Murugan also present.

Following the agreement, PMK leaders are expected to join the BJP’s public gathering in Salem today, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi is slated to address party members.

The specifics of the constituencies that PMK will contest are anticipated to be announced within the next few days.

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India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is projected to experience a 7.3 percent growth in the fiscal year 2023-24, as per the initial advance estimates of national income released by the National Statistical Office (NSO) on the previous day. The anticipated higher GDP expansion is attributed to increased investment, government expenditure, and improved outputs in key sectors such as mining, manufacturing, construction, and financial services.

In comparison to the 7.2 percent growth in the preceding year, the Indian economy is forecasted to demonstrate accelerated growth in FY24, as indicated by the initial official estimates. The Reserve Bank of India had earlier estimated a growth rate of 7 percent. The government’s assessments suggest a potential 6.9 percent growth in the second half, driven by heightened investment and manufacturing activities.

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The toll from a series of powerful earthquakes in Japan, including a magnitude 7.5 quake, has risen to 57, with most fatalities reported in Wajima and Suzu on the Noto Peninsula in the hard-hit Ishikawa prefecture, according to officials cited by NHK World. Over 20 people are seriously injured, and there are fears that many remain trapped under collapsed buildings.

The earthquakes struck the Noto Peninsula in Ishikawa on Monday, causing building collapses and prompting tsunami warnings reaching as far as eastern Russia. The country’s meteorological office recorded a total of 155 earthquakes that day.

Rescue efforts faced challenges on Tuesday as aftershocks and poor weather hindered operations. The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) issued a warning about heavy rainfall in Noto, cautioning against landslides until Wednesday evening.

A tragic setback occurred when an aircraft carrying emergency supplies caught fire after a runway collision at Haneda airport on Tuesday, resulting in the death of five coastguard crew members.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida emphasized the urgency of the situation, acknowledging the race against time to rescue those possibly trapped in collapsed structures. The government, led by Kishida, plans to convene an emergency task force meeting on Wednesday morning to address relief and rescue operations.

In Suzu, a coastal city severely affected by the earthquakes, Mayor Masuhiro Izumiya reported widespread devastation, stating that “almost no houses are standing.” Approximately 90% of the town’s houses are either completely or almost entirely destroyed, describing the situation as catastrophic.

Japan, accustomed to frequent earthquakes, faces the aftermath of this recent seismic activity, reminiscent of the devastating 9.0 magnitude quake in 2011, which triggered a tsunami resulting in around 18,500 casualties.”

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As we enter 2024, the market has seen a 7% gain in December, an 18% return in the last two months, a 46% return in 2023, and a 57% gain in nine months from the low of March.

Over the last 16 years, the NSE midcap index and the 100 stock index, reflecting midcap and large-cap segments, have witnessed negative returns in 12 out of 16 Januarys. Averaging a 2.2% negative return, exceptions include positive years like 2012, 2015, 2017, and 2020. Notably, 2012 showcased a double-digit return after a 25% market fall in 2011.

Examining historical data reveals nuanced market behavior. In 2011, a 17% market decline preceded the positive January of 2012. Similarly, despite a robust election outcome in 2014, 2015 saw a market return of less than 15% in the prior five months. The positive January of 2017 followed a 10% demonetization-led sell-off in 2016, and 2020’s positive start was amidst recovering from the NBFC crisis.

As we step into 2024, the market closed December with a 7% gain, showcasing an 18% return in the last two months, a 46% return in 2023, and an impressive 57% gain in nine months from the March low. While these gains hold significance for traders and momentum enthusiasts, long-term investors may view them as short-term fluctuations.

Decent macro-economic fundamentals, an anticipation of lower global interest rates, and reduced election risk post BJP’s strong performance in recent state elections contribute to positive factors. While January historically presents challenges, the current positive indicators suggest the market may defy seasonal trends.

The key lies in balancing short-term considerations with a long-term perspective as we embark on the new year.

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Today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to embark on a visit to Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh, where he will inaugurate a multitude of development initiatives totaling more than 16 thousand crores. Among the key highlights of his visit, the Prime Minister will officially open the revamped Maharshi Valmiki International Airport in Ayodhya, initiate the departure of Vande Bharat and Amrit Bharat special trains, and launch several other significant projects.

Amidst the sacred surroundings of Ayodhya, the Prime Minister is expected to dedicate these developmental efforts to Lord Ram, the revered king of Kaushalpuri. In a historic moment preceding the pran pratishtha of Ram Lala, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is poised to inscribe a new chapter of progress and civic amenities in Ayodhya. Stringent security measures have been implemented, ensuring a memorable and secure reception for the Prime Minister’s visit.

The day’s agenda includes a road show, from the airport to the railway station, where the Prime Minister will be warmly welcomed by saints and the general public. The inauguration of the Ayodhya Airport, developed at a cost exceeding 1450 crore rupees, is a significant milestone in the visit. The Terminal Building’s design reflects the architectural essence of the upcoming Shri Ram Mandir in Ayodhya.

In an effort to enhance accessibility to the forthcoming Shri Ram Mandir, Prime Minister Modi will also unveil the redevelopment of four crucial roads in Ayodhya—Rampath, Bhaktipath, Dharampath, and Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Path. Additionally, the foundation stone for a greenfield township in Ayodhya, with a budget surpassing 2180 crore rupees, will be laid by the Prime Minister, further underlining the commitment to comprehensive urban development in the region.

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New Delhi – With a resolute commitment to environmental sustainability, the World Environment Council’s President Prof. Ganesh Channa today is announcing the launch of its second global campaign for the “Environment Protection Bank” program, approved by the United Nations. Set to commence on 1st Jan 2024, this initiative is poised to make significant strides in instilling a sense of environmental responsibility in the hearts of students in schools and colleges across the globe.

The “Environment Protection Bank” program is a pioneering effort designed to empower educational institutions to become active contributors to environmental conservation. Endorsed by the United Nations, the program introduces a unique approach to fostering sustainability by encouraging schools and colleges to adopt eco-friendly practices and initiatives.

Key Objectives of the Campaign:

Global Participation: The campaign invites educational institutions worldwide to participate in this transformative program, fostering a united front in the global fight for environmental protection.

Hands-On Learning: The “Environment Protection Bank” program emphasizes practical, hands-on learning experiences to enable students to actively engage with environmental issues and solutions.

UN-Approved Curriculum: Leveraging the expertise of the World Environment Council and UN guidelines, the program integrates an UN-approved curriculum focused on environmental conservation and sustainable practices.

Incentivized Eco-Actions: Schools and colleges participating in the program will be encouraged to undertake eco-friendly initiatives, with tangible incentives provided through the “Environment Protection Bank.”

Youth Empowerment: The program aims to empower the youth to be ambassadors of environmental change, fostering a generation that is not only aware of environmental challenges but actively works towards solutions.

Why “Environment Protection Bank”?

The concept of an “Environment Protection Bank” is rooted in the idea that every positive action for the environment is an investment in our shared future. By fostering a culture of environmental responsibility within educational institutions, the program aims to create a ripple effect, influencing broader communities and societies.

How Schools and Colleges Can Participate:

Educational institutions interested in joining this global movement can register for the campaign on the World Environment Council’s official website. Detailed information about the program, curriculum, and participation guidelines is available to ensure a seamless and impactful integration of the “Environment Protection Bank” in schools and colleges worldwide.

The World Environment Council invites schools, colleges, educators, and students to join hands in this collective effort to build a sustainable future for our planet.

For more information and to register for the campaign, please visit World Environment Council’s official website: www.wec.org.in or contact +91-8130305369 Email id: worldenvironmentcouncil@gmail.com. Together, let’s bank on a greener future!

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Every year on December 22, we mark National Mathematics Day to honor the remarkable Indian mathematician, Srinivasa Ramanujan. The day holds special significance as it coincides with his birthday.

History and Significance:

The Indian government, under Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2012, declared December 22 as National Mathematics Day.

In the same year, it was also celebrated as the National Mathematics Year.

Srinivasa Ramanujan, born on December 22, 1887, in Tamil Nadu, made significant contributions to mathematics at a young age.

Despite facing poverty in his early life, Ramanujan excelled in trigonometry by the age of 12.

His work covered diverse areas such as Riemann series, hypergeometric series, elliptic integrals, continued fractions, and functional equations of the zeta function.

Ramanujan’s first paper was published in the Journal of the Indian Mathematical Society in 1911.

He earned a research-based B.A. degree from Cambridge University in 1916 but sadly passed away at the age of 32 in 1920, leaving behind around 4,000 original theorems.

Celebrations and Awareness:

National Mathematics Day aims to raise awareness about the importance of mathematics and honor Ramanujan’s contributions.

The day encourages students to go beyond textbooks, fostering critical thinking and logical reasoning.

Schools and colleges organize various competitions, Olympiads, and educational events to celebrate the occasion.

Mathematics, integral to our daily lives, has been enriched by the works of great Indian mathematicians like Aryabhata, Brahmagupta, Mahavira, and Bhaskara II.

As we celebrate National Mathematics Day, let’s appreciate the beauty of numbers and the incredible legacy left by Srinivasa Ramanujan, inspiring generations to come.

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Recently, 141 Members of Parliament (MPs) found themselves suspended—95 from Lok Sabha and 46 from Rajya Sabha—following a spirited disagreement over the opposition’s plea for a statement from Union Minister Amit Shah regarding the Parliament security breach.

Responding promptly, the Lok Sabha Secretariat issued a circular outlining the consequences of the suspension. The circular restricts the entry of suspended MPs into the Parliament chamber, lobby, and galleries. Moreover, they are barred from participating in the proceedings of Parliamentary Committees to which they belong, with their names absent from the business list.

Throughout their suspension, the MPs are prohibited from submitting notices, participating in committee elections, and claiming daily allowances. The circular clarified that if suspended for the remainder of the session, they won’t receive daily allowances, as their stay during suspension is not considered official duty residence under the law.

The suspension, causing dissatisfaction, prompted Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge to declare a nationwide protest scheduled for December 22. Kharge underscored the united opposition’s stance against what they perceive as an undemocratic decision. He emphasized the persistent demand for Union Minister Amit Shah or PM Modi to address the Parliament about the security breach, a call that has gone unanswered.

As tensions escalate and the opposition unites against the suspension, the unfolding parliamentary drama raises important questions about the delicate balance between disciplinary actions and democratic rights within the Indian political landscape.

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Solapur’s Compassionate Son: Early Years and Inspirations

In the vibrant city of Solapur, Maharashtra, on October 10, 1910, a compassionate soul named Dwarkanath Kotnis was born. His early years, shaped by the cultural richness and community spirit of Solapur, laid the foundation for a remarkable journey. Driven by an inquisitive mind and profound empathy, young Dwarkanath ventured into the field of medicine, inspired by the diverse influences of his hometown.

Dreams Beyond Borders: From Solapur to War-Torn China

The dusty streets of Solapur witnessed the nascent dreams of a young boy whose aspirations would transcend borders, making him a symbol of humanity’s finest attributes. Little did the city know that the seeds of altruism sown in its soil would blossom into a life of service that spanned continents and cultures. Dwarkanath Kotnis’s odyssey from Solapur’s charming lanes to the war-torn landscapes of China bore witness to the universality of compassion and the boundless reach of a caring heart. Today, on the 81st anniversary of his passing, we pay tribute to a man whose legacy serves as a beacon of cross-cultural cooperation and humanitarian service between India and China.

Medical Maverick: Contributions During the Second Sino-Japanese War

Dwarkanath Kotnis, a distinguished Indian physician, gained prominence for his selfless service during the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945). Motivated by the plight of the Chinese people, he volunteered for a medical mission to China, working tirelessly in war-torn regions to provide medical assistance to soldiers and civilians. His unwavering commitment and compassionate efforts earned him immense respect in China, where he became a national hero. On December 9, 1942, at the tender age of 32, Dwarkanath Kotnis succumbed to illness, leaving behind a legacy of international solidarity and medical altruism.

Kong Xianhua
Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in Mumbai

Journey to China: A Cross-Cultural Medical Mission

Completing his medical studies at Grant Medical College in Mumbai and specializing in ophthalmology, Kotnis embarked on his journey to China in 1938 as part of a medical mission led by Dr. M. Atal. Working under challenging conditions, he not only treated the wounded but also embraced the local culture, learning Chinese and adapting to customs. His dedication to the Chinese people led to his appointment as the Director of Medical Services in the Chinese army.

Enduring Legacy: Posthumous Honors and International Recognition

Dwarkanath Kotnis’s impact extended beyond his lifetime, etching his contributions into history as a symbol of selflessness and international collaboration. The Indian government posthumously honored him with the prestigious Padma Bhushan in 1951 for his exceptional service. His story became widely known through books, documentaries, and films, including the acclaimed Hindi movie “Dr. Kotnis Ki Amar Kahani.”

Chinese Gratitude: Memorial in Shijiazhuang and Continuing Friendship

In China, Dwarkanath Kotnis is remembered with deep gratitude. The city of Shijiazhuang in Hebei Province, where he served, houses a memorial hall showcasing his belongings and serving as a testament to the enduring friendship between India and China.

Dr. Rajendra Jadhav
Dr Dwarkanath Kotnis Memorial Committee, Mumbai Chairman
One decade completed The Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence Friendship Award for Dr. Rajendra Jadhav

Reflecting on a Life of Compassion: The 81st Death Anniversary Commemoration

As we commemorate the 81st death anniversary of Dr. Dwarkanath Kotnis, we reflect on a life that exemplifies the universal values of compassion and service, transcending borders and cultures. His story remains a powerful narrative of solidarity between nations in times of adversity, inspiring generations to come.

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