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Kolkata’s Durga Puja Gets UNESCO Heritage Tag

Durga Puja UNESCO Heritage Tag

The Durga Puja event in Kolkata was granted heritage status by UNESCO on Wednesday, bringing glory to the country and praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
“Kolkata’s Durga puja has recently been included in the list of intangible cultural heritage. “Congratulations India,” the organization tweeted, along with a portrait of the goddess and the hashtag “living heritage.”

The decision by UNESCO has been lauded by Prime Minister Modi as a “subject of immense pride and excitement for every Indian.”

“Durga Puja exemplifies the best of our ethos and customs.” And the Durga Puja in Kolkata is an event that everyone should enjoy,” remarked the Prime Minister.
Durga Puja, according to the Chief Minister, is more than a celebration; it is a feeling.

“This is a proud time for Bengal!” Durga Puja is much more than a festival to every #Bengali around the world; it is a feeling that binds everyone. #DurgaPuja has officially been added to the Representative List of Humanity’s Intangible Cultural Heritage. “We’re all overjoyed!” she wrote on Twitter.
The Ministry of Culture, too, used the microblogging platform to express its congratulations to the city’s citizens.

“I am overjoyed that ‘Durga Puja in Kolkata’ has been added to the @UNESCO Representative List of Humanity’s Intangible Cultural Heritage. Herzlichen Glückwunsch! It’s a mash-up of the county’s rich past and culture, including art, crafts, rituals, and traditions. The ministry wrote, “Jai Maa Durga!”

Bengal’s department of state information and cultural affairs issued a statement congratulating the state’s and country’s citizens.

“The 16th Committee of UNESCO for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) has inscribed Durga Puja in Kolkata on the representative list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity,” according to the statement.
This was also the “first festival in Asia” to receive such recognition, according to the department.

“Today is a special day for us. Bengal is now Biswa Bangla, in a sense. Our best wishes go out to the people of Bengal, the country, and the entire world. “We express our gratitude to UNESCO for designating this wonderful celebration as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity,” the statement continued.

The annual Red Road carnival, which showcases the workmanship that goes into the creation of Durga Puja pandals, has made more people around the world aware of the festival’s grandeur, according to Suvaprasanna, chairman of the West Bengal Heritage Commission.
The Red Road Carnival was founded by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in order to exhibit the festival’s art, culture, and customs. “Durga Puja has been celebrated for decades, but with the carnival, the holiday took on a new dimension,” he said.

Indologist and academician Nrisingha Prasad Bhaduri, who welcomed the news, said Durga Puja is a “global event” that brings millions of people together.

He, on the other hand, believed that the festival should have received the status far sooner.

The latest Red Road carnival, held in advance of the immersion ceremony, was in 2019.
Due to the COVID-19 epidemic, the event has been canceled this year and in 2020.

Soumen Dutta, a member of the Forum for Durgotsab, a leading organization of community Durga Puja committees in the city, said the ten-day gala’s organizers had finally received their due recognition.

“Our years of hard work have paid off with the anticipated outcome. “The scale of Bengal’s Durga Puja celebrations is unparalleled anywhere else in the globe,” he said.
The “holiday has come to symbolize homecoming or a seasonal return to one’s roots,” according to UNESCO’s website.
“Durga Puja is regarded as the best example of public religious and artistic performance, as well as a vibrant platform for collaboration artists and designers.” Large-scale installations and pavilions in metropolitan areas, as well as traditional Bengali drumming and goddess adoration, characterize the event,” it stated.

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Time Magazine’s 2021 “Person of the Year” is Elon Musk

Elon Musk Tesla

Elon Musk, the creator and CEO of the SpaceX space exploration business, just surpassed Amazon founder Jeff Bezos as the world’s wealthiest person.
“Clown, genius, edgelord, visionary, industrialist, showman,” they said “Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been selected Time magazine’s Person of the Year for 2021.

Mr. Musk, who is also the founder and CEO of the space exploration business SpaceX, recently surpassed Amazon founder Jeff Bezos as the world’s wealthiest person, with his net worth soaring to about $300 billion as Tesla’s stock price rose. He owns almost 17% of Tesla’s shares, which sold for nearly $1,000 per share on Monday.

Mr. Musk’s accomplishments, according to Time, range from his founding of SpaceX in 2002 to his involvement in the creation of the alternative energy company SolarCity, in addition to Tesla, the world’s most valuable car company. The journal underlines that its annual honor is not a reward, but rather “recognition of the individual who had the greatest impact on the events of the year, for good or for evil.”

Mr. Musk has an army of ardent fans (and investors) on social media, where he skewers the powerful as well as regulators attempting to keep an out-of-control leader in check, according to the magazine. He gives outrageous assistance to the world in front of his 66 million Twitter followers and roils markets driving even his own followers and investors insane.

Despite the fact that it only became profitable in recent years, Tesla is by far the most valuable automobile company on the planet, with a market capitalization of $1 trillion at one time this year. Ford and General Motors, two Detroit heavyweights, are worth less than $200 billion combined.

Last month, Mr. Musk announced that SpaceX would attempt to launch its futuristic bullet-shaped Starship into space in January. NASA has signed a contract with SpaceX to deploy Starship to transport astronauts to the moon’s surface as soon as 2025. Mr. Musk stated that he intends to utilize the reusable ships to land people on Mars in the future.

Mr. Musk recently admitted to his 66 million Twitter followers that half of his tweets were “written on a porcelain throne,” according to Time. Time went on to explain one of those bathroom Twitter storms in their profile of the outspoken CEO before concluding, “This is the man who desires to preserve our world and get us a new one to inhabit.”

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India’s Harnaaz Sandhu is Miss Universe 2021

Harnaaz Sandhu Miss Universe 2021

Harnaaz Sandhu, a Punjabi beauty queen who represented India at the 70th Miss Universe pageant in 2021, has won the title. Harnaaz, 21, was crowned Miss Universe 21 years after Lara Dutta has crowned Miss Universe in 2000.

Harnaaz Sandhu won the competition in Eilat, Israel, beating out competitors from Paraguay and South Africa. Harnaaz was crowned at the ceremony by Andrea Meza, a former Miss Universe 2020 from Mexico. The Miss Universe pageant was broadcast live across the world.

Paraguay and South Africa were the first and second runners-up, respectively.

All of the candidates had to answer the same question in the Top 3 round. “What advice would you give to young ladies watching on how to deal with the challenges they experience today?” they were asked.

 

According to Harnaaz, “Well, I believe the greatest pressure on today’s kids is to believe in themselves. To understand that you are unique and that this is what makes you beautiful, stop comparing yourself to others and instead focus on more important global issues. This, I believe, is what you must comprehend. You are the leader of your life, so come out and speak for yourself. You are your own [life’s] voice. I have faith in myself, which is why I’m here today. Thank you very much.”

Only two Indians have won the Miss Universe crown before Harnaaz. Sushmita Sen was the first woman to win the title in 1994. Six years later, in 2000, Lara Dutta has crowned Miss Universe.

In October, Harnaaz was crowned Miss Universe India 2021. The 21-year-old beauty queen is studying for her Master’s degree in Public Administration at the moment.

Harnaaz Sandhu began competing in beauty pageants when she was barely 17 years old. She previously won Miss Diva 2021, Femina Miss India Punjab 2019, and Femina Miss India 2019. She also placed in the Top 12 at Femina Miss India 2019.

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Miss Universe (@missuniverse)

The Chandigarh-born model, who is 21 years old, has previously appeared in Punjabi flicks such as Yaara Diyan Poo Baran and Bai Ji Kuttange.

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Defence Chief General Bipin Rawat Dies in Chopper Crash

Defence Chief General Bipin Rawat

Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat died today in a helicopter crash in Tamil Nadu with 13 others.
Madhulika Rawat, the General’s wife, died.

After taking off from the Air Force base in Sulur, Coimbatore, the Russian-made Mi-17 V5 crashed near Wellington in the Nilgiri Hills.

The helicopter was already descending and would land in 10 minutes. It fell about 10 km from the nearest road, forcing rescuers to walk.

The crash was reported around 12.20 pm.

Rescuers searched through thick smoke and fire for bodies in video footage. Locals and cops rescued charred bodies from mangled metal and fallen trees.

General Rawat, 63, became India’s first CDS in January 2019. The position was created to integrate the Army, Navy, and Air Force.

He was also named head of the newly-created Department of Military Affairs.

It was a very stable aircraft used for VVIP flights, according to former army chiefs.

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Twitter Users Suddenly Losing Followers

Twitter Permissions

Indian Twitter users are voicing their displeasure over a sudden drop in their follower count. Some users claimed to have lost hundreds of followers in minutes, while others claimed to have lost thousands of followers all at once, significantly lowering their following.

Although the network has conducted a clean-up operation to remove bots and defunct accounts, Twitter has begun reinstating its followers.

Twitter is known for cleaning up accounts to ensure that they are secure and free of spam and bots. Twitter made a similar effort to clean up the platform earlier this year, stating, “The number of followers on your account may fluctuate from time to time. Accounts that have been asked to authenticate their password or phone number are not included in follower numbers until they have done so. This is something we do on a regular basis to help keep all accounts safe and prevent spam.”

In a related incident, Twitter announced the deletion of over 3,000 accounts used for “foreign state-linked information operations.” According to Reuters, the banned Twitter accounts were related to operations attributed to six different countries, including Mexico, China, and Russia.

In the meanwhile, Twitter has announced that users would not be able to share private individuals’ media files, such as images or videos, without their permission.

The firm had previously prohibited media files that revealed sensitive information such as a person’s home address, identity documents, or contact information. The new criteria, on the other hand, aim to penalize posts that may harass people or infringe on their privacy.

The new regulations were published barely one day after Twitter introduced Parag Agrawal as the company’s new chief executive officer (CEO), following the departure of Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey.

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LinkedIn Gets Hindi Language Support

LinkedIn

LinkedIn added Hindi language support on Thursday in an effort to attract additional users to its professional social network. With the new inclusion, the Microsoft-owned platform now supports a total of 25 languages around the world. LinkedIn claims that by introducing Hindi to its network, it will be able to reach out to the 600 million Hindi speakers in India and around the world. LinkedIn’s Hindi language support is now available for both mobile and desktop users. The company also intends to develop its new offering by making a variety of job opportunities available on its platform for Hindi experts.

On desktop, as well as on Android and iOS devices, LinkedIn members will begin seeing Hindi in their feed, profile, jobs, and chat starting today. Users that join up for the platform will also have access to it.

The initial deployment of Hindi on LinkedIn is referred to as Phase 1 because the company intends to “work towards broadening the spectrum of career possibilities available for Hindi speaking professionals across industries, including more banking and government jobs.” In the next weeks, the platform plans to introduce additional Hindi publishers and artists to enhance engagement and dialogues among members who speak Hindi as their first language.

In a prepared statement, Ashutosh Gupta, India Country Manager for LinkedIn, stated, “With the debut of Hindi, more users and customers can unlock greater value from the platform through content, employment, and networking, and express themselves in a language that they feel comfortable in.”

How to use LinkedIn in Hindi?

On an Android or iOS device, users must select Hindi as their preferred device language in the phone settings to access LinkedIn in Hindi. If you have previously picked Hindi as your preferred language, the experience will be offered in that language. On the desktop, navigate to Settings & Privacy > Account Preferences > Site Preferences > Language after clicking on the Me icon in the top-right corner of your LinkedIn homepage.

While the user interface and platform experience, including the navigation bar, will be in Hindi, users will still be able to access user-generated material such as postings on their home feed in the language in which they were originally written. However, once you’ve chosen Hindi as your preferred language, you’ll be given the option to See Translation, which will provide you with Hindi translations of the relevant posts.

By going to LinkedIn.com and creating a new account, new LinkedIn members can sign up in Hindi. Existing users can additionally display their profile in Hindi by creating a second language profile in the same language as their first.

Through their desktop, users can add Hindi as a second language. To create a second language profile, go to the Me icon, then View Profile, and finally Add profile in another language.

LinkedIn is attempting to expand its reach in India by adding Hindi. After the United States, the country is said to be the second-largest market in terms of membership, with 82 million members out of an overall base of 800 million. Since the pandemic began in March last year, India’s LinkedIn user base has grown by over 20 million people, with a 15% year-on-year increase, and the platform has seen a jump in engagement and conversations, according to the business.

“We’ve seen high engagement and member growth in the last year, and it’s at this exciting inflection point that we’re reinforcing our vision to create economic opportunity for ‘every’ member of the workforce, as well as breaking down language barriers for Hindi speakers around the world,” Gupta said.

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No Proposal to Recognise Bitcoin as a Currency, Nirmala Sitharaman

Bitcoin

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman stated in a reply to the Lok Sabha on Monday that the government has no plans to recognize Bitcoin as a currency in the country.

She also assured the House of Representatives that the government does not gather information on Bitcoin transactions.

“No, sir,” the Finance Minister answered when asked if the government had considered recognizing Bitcoin as a currency in the country.

Bitcoin is a digital currency that enables people to purchase and sell goods and services without the involvement of banks, credit card companies, or other third parties.

It was first created as a cryptocurrency and electronic payment system in 2008 by an anonymous group of programmers. It is said to be the world’s first decentralized digital currency, with peer-to-peer transactions taking place without the use of a middleman.

Meanwhile, during the current Winter Session of Parliament, the government intends to introduce the Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill 2021. The bill aims to outlaw all but a few private cryptocurrencies in order to foster underlying technology while allowing the RBI to create an official digital currency.

In response to another query, Sitharaman stated that during the current fiscal year’s April-September period, ministries and departments spent Rs 2.29 lakh crore on capital spending.

This is 41% of the Budget Estimate (BE) for 2021-22, which is Rs 5.54 lakh crore. She stated that the real expenditure in the current fiscal year is around 38% greater than the similar expenditure in FY 2020-21.

The Government of India launched the National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) with a projected infrastructure investment of Rs 111 lakh crore between 2020 and 2025 to provide world-class infrastructure across the country and improve the quality of life for all citizens to accelerate capital expenditure for the creation and upgrading of infrastructure in the economy.

NIP began with 6,835 projects and has since grown to over 9,000 projects in 34 sub-sectors. According to her, the NIP is expected to improve project preparation, attract infrastructure investments, and play a key role in economic growth.

On August 23, 2021, the National Monetization Pipeline (NMP) was also launched to unlock the value of public sector assets by tapping private sector capital and efficiencies for delivering infrastructure services, she said, adding that the monetization proceeds will be used to augment existing/create greenfield infrastructure to boost the economy.

Gati Shakti (National Master Plan for Infrastructure Development) was then released on October 13, 2021, as a digital platform to bring Ministries/Departments together for integrated planning and coordinated implementation of infrastructure connectivity projects, according to her. It will also improve infrastructure connectivity at the final mile and cut people’s journey time, she said.

On inflation, the Finance Minister stated that the government monitors the price situation of major vital goods on a regular basis and takes corrective action as needed.

“The uptick in inflation has been mostly driven by exogenous factors, such as rising international crude oil and edible oil prices, which have an influence on domestic inflation due to India’s reliance on these imports,” she said.

WPI inflation is also mainly driven by ‘fuel and electricity and manufactured products’ inflation, which is driven by higher global crude oil costs and higher international commodity/input prices, according to her.

The administration has adopted a number of supply-side measures to combat inflationary pressures, she said.

According to Sitharaman, the central government has lowered the Central Excise Duty on Fuel and Diesel by Rs 5 and Rs 10 correspondingly, with effect from November 4, 2021, in order to keep petrol and diesel prices in check.

“Many state governments have responded by lowering the value-added tax on gasoline and diesel. As a result, retail gasoline and diesel prices have stabilized “she stated

India has agreed to release 5 million barrels of crude oil from its Strategic Petroleum Reserves as an additional price-control measure, she said, adding that this release will take place in parallel with and in consultation with other major global energy consumers such as the United States, the People’s Republic of China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea.

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India PM Narendra Modi Repeals Controversial Farm Laws

Farm Laws

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced today that three unpopular agriculture rules that have sparked enormous farmer demonstrations across the country for over a year will be repealed, only months before elections in places like Uttar Pradesh and Punjab.
The declaration was made during the Guru Purab festival, when the birthday of Sikhism’s founder, Guru Nanak, is commemorated across India, mostly in Punjab, where elections are set to take place in three months.

“Perhaps something was missing in our tapasya (efforts), which is why we were unable to persuade certain farmers to comply with the legislation. But today is Prakash Parv, and it’s not the time to point fingers. I’d like to inform the country today that we’ve decided to repeal the three agriculture laws “In a speech to the nation, Prime Minister Modi remarked.

“We will complete the process of abolishing the three laws in the Parliament session beginning at the end of this month,” he stated.

The Prime Minister began by defending the regulations, claiming that they were intended as improvements, primarily for the country’s small and marginal farmers. However, he conceded that although some farmers were convinced, others were not.

“Everything I did was for the benefit of farmers. What I’m doing is for the good of the country.”

Since November 2020, tens of thousands of farmers from Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan have been camped outside Delhi, asking that the “black laws” be repealed. The BJP has encountered widespread opposition in northern states, which it cannot afford as it prepares for upcoming elections, including the national elections in 2024.

The protests, according to Rakesh Tikait, a leading farmer leader, would not cease until the laws are repealed in the session that begins on November 29.

Throughout multiple rounds of talks between the administration and farmers, as well as interruptions in parliament and Supreme Court sessions, the farmer protests were unyielding.

“We haven’t been able to persuade farmers to change their minds. Only a small percentage of them were opposed to the laws, but we continued to strive to educate and inform them “Prime Minister Modi stated.

The opposition and farmers have accused the government of rushing the three bills through parliament without much debate. The rules, according to the government, will eliminate intermediaries and increase farmers’ revenues by allowing them to sell anywhere in the country. Farmer unions said that the laws would expose them to unfair competition, put them at the whim of corporations, and rob them of a guaranteed price for their produce.

The stunning reversal is politically advantageous for the BJP as it seeks re-election in Uttar Pradesh, a crucial state in the run-up to 2024.

The BJP’s re-election campaign would have been harmed by farmer demonstrations in western Uttar Pradesh, according to party leaders.

The Prime Minister’s and other major leaders’ frequent visits to Uttar Pradesh, such as Amit Shah, demonstrate the party’s commitment to retaining the state’s political importance.

PM Modi was scheduled to return to Uttar Pradesh shortly after his speech to announce a slew of new initiatives.

Many see this as a masterstroke in Punjab, where the BJP has been relegated to a small factor following the breakup of ties with long-time ally Akali Dal over farm rules.

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BCCI Appointed Rahul Dravid as the New India Head Coach

Rahul Dravid
Photo Credit: India.com

The selection of Rahul Dravid as coach of the senior men’s Indian cricket team seemed inevitable. This was a natural development for the former India captain, who dabbled in commentary after retiring in 2012 before settling into the mentor-cum-coach model. In his hometown of Bengaluru, he led the India under-19 team, the ‘A’ team, and the National Cricket Academy. All of this was leading up to the Indian team’s coach position being vacant after incumbent Ravi Shastri’s contract expired at the end of the current ICC Twenty20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Dravid, like his steady batting style that garnered him the nickname ‘The Wall,’ was not in a hurry. He prefers the deliberate step, which has defined him since his school days till he became one of the sport’s finest batters, putting a heavy price on his wicket. Dravid was always the team player, with a disposition that was as at home on the ground or in the company of literature. In One Day Internationals, he even wore wicket-keeping gloves to keep the playing eleven balanced. He carries the weight of greatness, the warmth of kindness, and the strain of expectations with him. In a country where everyone has an opinion on everything about cricket, this is a difficult position to hold.

Rahul Dravid Indian CoachDravid the player batted with a gutsy determination that defined his forays onto the field. He was also a fantastic close-in fielder, which goes overlooked in the midst of his avalanche of runs. He remained an outspoken captain, and his act of declaring the Indian innings during the 2004 Multan Test against Pakistan, while Sachin Tendulkar was approaching his double century, is one of the most powerful team-first-records-later diktats in Indian cricketing history. But, although Dravid was in command as a player or captain, his duty as a coach is to get the current skipper and the team ready for a match, as well as fine-tuning tactics.

It’s all about passing on information and hoping for the best from his wards. It’s difficult, and men with pedigree like Kapil Dev, Greg Chappell, and Anil Kumble have had mixed results as coaches in the past. India may have had a glitch during the ICC T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates, but this is a core group that has performed admirably in recent months, both at home and abroad. Dravid inherits the correct blend in this light. There are, nevertheless, some gaps. India has not won any important ICC silverware in recent years, and victories in 1983, 2007, and 2011 feel a long way away. While the 48-year-old wears the coach’s hat, this should provide plenty of fodder for thinking.

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