Terror threat looms over Gaya ahead of Pitripaksh Mela

Bodh Gaya and Mahabodhi Mahavihar have been in the hit list of the JMB and the terror group is said to have made at least three attempts to pull off attacks.

The Bihar and West bengal police departments have been robbed of their sleep, ahead of the fortnight-long Pitripaksh Mela beginning on September 12, as they recovered huge quantities of ammonium nitrate, timers, gelatins and wires from the rooms taken on rent in the city by terror suspects owing allegiance to Bangladesh’s Jamat-Ul-Mujahideen (JMB). Deputy superintendent of police Ghuran Mandal said electronic devices and explosives seized during raids on Friday indicated a major terror plot.

Bodh Gaya and Mahabodhi Mahavihar have been in the hit list of the JMB and the terror group is said to have made at least three attempts to pull off attacks. Ajaz Ahmad, the suspected India head of the Bangladesh-based terror outfit who was arrested from Gaya five days ago in a joint operation by West Bengal and Bihar police, has reportedly told interrogators about plans to stage terror attacks during religious congregations in Gaya and Bodh Gaya.

Ajaj is a suspect in Bodh Gaya serial blasts. Following Ahmad’s arrest, sleuths have been raiding suspected hideouts of terror suspects to bust sleeper cells in Bihar and Jharkhand.

Pitripaksh Mela is scheduled to be inaugurated by the chief minister on September 12. The Gaya police and the district administration have resolved to install CCTVs at key points to keep a watch. Door frame metal detectors are being installed at entry gates of the Vishnupad shrine, where every pilgrim will be scanned before entering the shrine.

Over 10 lakh pilgrims arrive here during the fortnight mela to perform rituals for the salvation of their ancestors’ souls.

Bigg Boss Marathi 2, Weekend Cha Daav, June 23, 2019, written update: Vidyadhar Joshi gets evicted; saves Neha from eviction


In the latest episode of Bigg Boss Marathi 2, Mahesh Manjrekar calls Vaishali, a partial supervisor during the task ‘Ek Daav Dhobi Pachad’. She tries to justify herself but Mahesh tells Team B that he would have been happy if they won the task without Vaishali’s help.
Mahesh appreciates Veena for her strategy of applying oil on the pipe during the same task

Later, Parag and Veena get into a fight as Veena blames him for being disloyal to his group. On the other hand, Parag blames Shiv for dividing their group.

Veena gets angry at Shiv as he is trying to impress her and at the same time he is also trying to give attention to Heena. On that, Shiv tries to explain to her that Abhijeet Kelkar and Vaishali had only asked him to do that to gain more attention from the viewers.

Mahesh then sends some of the housemates one-by-one to the confession room for the Chugli Booth activity. During this activity, Veena’s fan sends her a message that Heena is trying to separate Shiv and Veena on Abhijeet Bichukale’s orders.

Later, Mahesh calls one of the viewers on the stage to punish the culprit of the week. She calls Parag as the culprit and punishes him to apologise to Veena, Kishori, and Rupali.

After apologizing, Parag- Rupali, and Veena- Shiv present a romantic dance whereas Vaishali sings a song for them.

Mahesh plays some songs and asks the housemates to guess the contestant to whom the song is addressed to. Surekha Punekar performs on the song ‘Mala Mhantyat Ho Punyachi Maina’ whereas Vidyadhar shows some dance moves with Kishori to the song ‘Vaajale Ki Bara’.

After all the fun moments, Mahesh moves towards the elimination process. He announces that among all the 6 nominated contestants, Vidyadhar gets evicted and has to take an exit from the show.

While Vidyadhar takes his bags, everyone gets emotional. Shiv and Vaishali get teary-eyed.

Mahesh calls him on the stage and shows a small video clip of his journey in Bigg Boss house.

Lastly, Mahesh gives him the special power to save anyone for the next week. He saves Neha and gives her a birthday gift.

L&T tightens its grip on Mindtree, buys out Nalanda Capital’s stake

Source:- livemint.com

  • If L&T achieves all its share purchase targets, it will end up holding 66% in Mindtree, worth at least ₹10,800 crore
  • Last week, L&T launched its open offer to buy a 31% stake from the public shareholders of Mindtree

MUMBAI: Singapore-based Nalanda Capital on Monday sold its entire 10.61% stake in Mindtree Ltd to Larsen and Toubro Ltd (L&T), signalling the likely end of the stiff fight put up by promoters to the first hostile takeover bid of an Indian software services company.

Nalanda sold its whole stake worth ₹1,707.46 crore to L&T in an ongoing open offer for shareholders of Mindtree. The 10-day open offer closes on 28 June.

Two people directly aware of the matter confirmed the transaction. It is, however, not known if Nalanda took the step following a show-cause notice by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) to the firm for pressing Mindtree’s public shareholders to refrain from tendering shares to L&T at ₹980 per share in the open offer.

On Thursday, Sebi served the show-cause notice to Pulak Chandan Prasad-led Nalanda Capital asking why penal action should not be taken against it for behaving like persons acting in concert (PAC) to thwart L&T’s open offer, without making a counter offer.

“Sebi has questioned Nalanda Capital that on what basis it advised Mindtree’s other public shareholders that L&T should offer a price 20% higher than ₹980 per share. Nalanda Capital has been asked to clarify that being an FPI (foreign portfolio investor), which Sebi regulation empowers it to advise any shareholder in any investee company in India on any such share sale,” said the first person, who is directly aware of Sebi’s processes.

Even though Nalanda has now sold its entire stake to L&T, the company, which is registered as an FPI with Sebi, has to mandatorily respond to the show-cause notice in order to avoid potential penal action by the markets regulator.

Sebi’s notice followed complaints by Mindtree’s investors last week accusing Nalanda Capital of attempting to prevent Mindtree shareholders from selling shares to L&T in the open offer.

On 20 June, proxy advisory firm InGovern Research urged Sebi to probe the matter arguing that Nalanda Capital’s actions could be significantly detrimental to the interests of Mindtree’s minority shareholders. Mint has reviewed a copy of the letter.

Emails to Nalanda Capital, Mindtree and Sebi remained unanswered.

The two people cited earlier said Sebi’s contention is that without the prior approval of the markets regulator, Nalanda Capital cannot either act as a PAC or prevent Mindtree’s public shareholders from tendering their shares in the open offer without making a counter offer.

L&T last week launched its open offer to buy a 31% stake from the public shareholders (including Nalanda) of Mindtree. “Last week, L&T bought close to 7% in Mindtree from public shareholders in the open offer. Amansa Holdings Pvt. Ltd has sold its entire 2.77% stake to L&T on Friday. With stake purchases from Nalanda, mutual funds and some index funds, L&T now holds close to 48% in Mindtree,” said the first person quoted earlier.

The purchase of Nalanda’s stake takes L&T closer to its target of acquiring control of Mindtree.

Mindtree’s existing promoters have been resisting L&T’s takeover plan. Mindtree’s four promoters—N. Krishnakumar, N.S. Parthasarathy, Subroto Bagchi and Rostow Ravanan—hold a total of 13.32% with their families.

However, in the past two months, L&T first acquired a 20.32% stake in Mindtree held jointly by Café Coffee Day (CCD) founder V. G. Siddhartha and two CCD affiliate firms. It later bought more shares of Mindtree from the open market to raise its holding to 28.90%.

L&T has the option of buying a total of 15% of Mindtree shares from the open market. If L&T achieves all its share purchase targets, the engineering conglomerate will end up holding 66% in Mindtree worth at least ₹10,800 crore, along with management control, which will mark the country’s first ever hostile takeover in the IT industry.

Nalanda spent ₹453.1 crore when it bought Mindtree shares in 2009 at an average price of ₹260, making an almost four times gain on its investment in the last decade.

A third person familiar with the development said another reason behind Nalanda’s move could be the promoters of Mindtree losing control of the board.

Last week, Mindtree’s board agreed to induct three L&T executives—chief executive officer S. N. Subrahmanyan, chief financial officer R.S. Raman and senior executive vice-president of L&T’s defence business Jayant Damodar Patil. Mindtree also agreed to L&T’s proposal to induct two independent directors—former L&T executive Prasanna Rangacharya Mysore and former bureaucrat Deepa Gopalan Wadhwa.


Ground Zero | Bihar AES deaths: A hundred deaths, and no answers

Source:- thehindu.com

Cases of acute encephalitis syndrome have seen a spike in Muzaffarpur this year, already claiming more than a hundred lives. Jacob Koshy reports on the appalling state of health care in Bihar, even as the debate on what is causing the deaths rages on

For three days, Bihari Mahato and Shyam Babu Saha’s families have shared a hospital bed. The two daily-wage labourers, who have had to give up work for three days, haven’t exchanged a word, though they have much in common. Both have a boy and a girl each. And their children are battling for life.

Sundar, Mahato’s three-and-a-half-year-old son, is naked, emaciated, delirious and has a distended stomach. Himanshi, six months old and in a striped shirt and shorts, looks bigger and healthier than Sundar. She sleeps longer — fitfully, her mother Vimla says. Both families are from different districts of Bihar. Mahato is from Muzaffarpur and Saha is from Sitamarhi district. Their children were suddenly taken ill. When the children were convulsing and feverish, they were rushed to the Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH) in Muzaffarpur. The doctors noted that their blood sugar had dropped precipitously.

Both children are being given dextrose saline (a sugar solution often administered intravenously), but their parents are nervous. “The fever has subsided but it keeps returning,” says Saha. “The doctors aren’t paying us much attention.” But that’s a quibble given that many other ailing children are sprawled out on mattresses on the floor. Amidst peeling plaster, strewn banana peels, stomping doctors, nurses, journalists and television crew, the children’s ward at SKMCH is symptomatic of the confusion and panic that has gripped Muzaffarpur since early June.

The floor above the general ward is home to the Intensive Care Units (ICUs). Each of the five ICUs has eight beds. Not one of the beds has fewer than three children hooked to bleeping monitors and intravenous lines. Unusually for an ICU, there’s little restriction on non-hospital staff shuttling in and out, but unlike the squalid paediatric wards below, there are no patients sprawled on the floor. The floor is clean, the air-conditioners work, the nurses are extra vigilant, and yet here’s where death lurks around the corner.

Season of trouble

There is a protocol for doctors. As soon as children are wheeled in, they are monitored for fever, convulsions and signs of confusion or loss of consciousness. “What I’ve seen is that several children are brought too late. Unfortunately we lose them,” says J.P. Mandal, a resident doctor at SKMCH. Between June 1 and 17, 312 children were admitted to the hospital under the umbrella diagnosis of acute encephalitis syndrome (AES). According to the Bihar health department, 85 died. The bulk of the dead, 48, were children aged three to seven. Twenty-nine children were less than three years of age. As of June 21, 104 of the 424 children admitted since January 1 had died. Encephalitis, which refers to an inflammation in the brain due to a viral or bacterial attack, causes fever and almost never a drop in blood sugar. In the current epidemic, as well as in previous ones in Muzaffarpur, the doctors have marked cases of and deaths by hypoglycaemia (drop in blood sugar), which is unusual.

While Bihar loses hundreds of children to AES every year, there were sharp spikes in 2012 and 2014, when 395 and 372 children, respectively, lost their lives. Through the years, AES cases have been reported from several districts in Bihar: Gaya, Patna, Aurangabad, Saran, East Champaran, Sitamarhi and Vaishali. Government figures show that the peak years of 2012 and 2014 saw Muzaffarpur account for 35-40% of hospital admissions. While this year’s incidences and deaths are fewer in comparison, the season of trouble is far from over. The outbreak in 2012 took place between May and November. In 2014, it was from May to July. There’s no saying how long the current outbreak will last. A common refrain among district administration officials and some doctors is that the yearly outbreak ceases in intensity soon after the monsoon rains begin in Bihar. Why is that? Nobody ventures an explanation.

Sanjay Kumar, the State’s top civil servant in charge of health, says he cannot quite put a finger on a “single, determining factor” that is responsible for 2019 turning out to be a bad year. It could be the ongoing heatwave — several parts of Patna, Gaya and even Muzaffarpur have recorded temperatures in excess of 4-5°C over what’s normal for this time of the year. At least 80 people have succumbed to the heatwave. “The added heat and humidity could have made young children particularly susceptible to dehydration,” he reckons. “It could also be an infectious disease. It could also be because of children eating litchis.”

Kumar says all the children who are admitted belong to the lowest socio-economic rung; there are no instances of infection in cities or even semi-urban localities. He emphasises that the government had been prepared this year too, like in the past, for the outbreak. It stocked up and supplied oral rehydration solution, ensured that medicine and equipment were provided at medical colleges and district health centres, and conducted public awareness campaigns about the imminent outbreak. However, he admits that the district’s key referral hospital, SKMCH, wasn’t equipped to deal with the deluge of patients. “This year will be a turning point. The bed capacity will be increased to 1,500 and we will have a virology lab [to better investigate vitals of patients and determine disease causes].”

Debating the litchi link

Arun Shah, a paediatrician and private practitioner who has been working in the city since 1984, insists that the spike in AES cases and in fatalities is a result of malnourished children suffering brain damage after eating litchis, particularly unripe or overripe ones. In a 2014 paper, Shah and virologist T. Jacob John had argued that the children in Shah’s clinic in Muzaffarpur were found to have extremely low blood sugar levels and signs of brain damage. While viral or bacterial infections that cause encephalitis (an inflammation of brain cells due to an infection) were well known in Muzaffarpur and neighbouring districts, many of them were taking sick and dying due to encephalopathy (brain damage, in this case, due to an environmental toxin). In 2016, a detailed investigation, published in The Lancet Global Health by the National Centre for Disease Control, India, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, found “confirmation” that litchis contained a chemical called methylene cyclopropyl glycine (MCPG). These are naturally occurring toxins that cause hypoglycaemia and metabolic derangement in children.

When a child is malnourished, her body, having exhausted its reserves of glucose from the digestive tract and the liver, typically turns to fatty acids in biochemical desperation to supply blood sugar to the brain. MCPG, the theory goes, thwarts this mechanism. This can send the brain into hypoglycaemic shock triggering convulsions and, if unaddressed, even death. “But please don’t blame litchis,” stresses Shah. “It is the pride of Muzaffarpur.”

At a press conference two years ago, to underline that the litchi fruit was only a triggering factor and sickened only malnourished children, Shah and John ate a bowlful of the fruit in front of television cameras to emphasise that it was malnutrition, and not the fruit, that was the dominant cause of the disease. Shah is unambiguous that the children are suffering because the government didn’t do enough. The recently concluded Lok Sabha election distracted the government from adequately preparing for the outbreak, he says. In 2016, he was part of a government-constituted committee that prescribed guidelines: Children shouldn’t be allowed to skip their evening meal, they should avoid stepping out in the heat, and local public healthcare centres must stock up on anti-convulsion drugs as well as dextrose. These were adhered to in 2017 and 2018. And that’s why there were relatively fewer reports of AES, he argues.

While encephalitis outbreaks in Uttar Pradesh’s Gorakhpur were due to other causes, and children from Muzaffarpur and neighbouring districts have battled viruses such as the Japanese encephalitis virus, the large-scale litchi cultivation in Muzaffarpur, which contributes about 40% of the State’s litchi production, “can’t be ignored as a triggering factor,” he points out.

At SKMCH, several parents of the ailing children are categorical that their children did not eat litchis. The authors of The Lancet study found that two-thirds of children who were sick had eaten litchis. “We work in the fields and there are litchi orchards aplenty where we live,” says Indal Paswan, whose two-and-a-half-year-old son is prostrate on a hospital bed. “But this boy isn’t capable of plucking fruit on his own. We do feed him some fruit as well as other food but we don’t starve him.”

Mandal is insistent that there is a virus or some biological agent that is responsible for the recurrent outbreaks. He scoffs at suggestions of the litchi’s complicity. Children who were brought to the hospital were “poor but not classically malnourished,” he says. If malnutrition and litchi consumption were the causes, then there ought to have been a fairly constant number of deaths every year. This has not been observed, he says. “A peak and an ebb in cases and deaths is what we see. And that’s more typical of a biological agent.”

That no virus or bacteria has been isolated yet in Muzaffarpur is because the hospital lacks adequate facilities to collect tissue and blood samples from patients and preserve them adequately for examination. “I’m confident that at some point this will be found and there will be no mystery,” Mandal says. The focus of treatment, he adds, is to ensure that convulsions are brought under control and blood sugar levels are restored.

What Shah and Mandal do agree on is that the vast majority of deaths could have been prevented if the children had made it to a hospital on time. The most important medicines were easily available, and most of the primary health care centres were well stocked and equipped to deal with AES cases.

No time to grieve

Yet, four-year-old Mohammed Jahid lost his life. Until he fell sick, Jahid had spent his days playing with his older siblings and cousins in the village of Bishnupur Chand, Musahari. His home was a single room thatched hut that did not have a toilet. His and his cousins’ houses lay at the edge of an orchard that had several rows of tall, stout litchi trees. In June, there were only a few fruits that clung to the trees. Most had been plucked and carted away for sale by the owner of the orchard who lives in Patna. “He didn’t show any signs of illness. He had a fever for two days,” recounts Jahid’s aunt, Asha Khatoon. “We took him to a private doctor nearby.” One night, Jahid became delirious, and his father Mohammed Idris rushed to get an autorickshaw to take him to a hospital. He didn’t find one immediately as the roads had been dug up. When they made it to SKMCH, Jahid was immediately taken to the ICU, but he didn’t survive beyond three hours. A day after burying Jahid, Idris was away to find work as a daily-wage labourer. There were still two boys, two girls and a wife to feed.

Will Nitish Kumar go down as the ‘Kushasan Babu’ of Bihar?

Source:- nationalheraldindia.com

He was hailed as ‘Sushasan Babu’ or a good administrator not too long ago. But nothing seems to be working for him as lawlessness and a rush of deaths of children in Muzaffarpur expose his govt

Nitish Kumar is one of the greatest hoaxes going around in Indian politics. He turns ‘secular’ when it suits him. The very next day you might find him sleeping with the BJP without batting an eyelid. He even does not mind stabbing a political partner in the back if it suits him to survive in power. He did it with Laloo Prasad Yadav twice and even ditched Narendra Modi once. He is a survivor whose politics revolves around surviving in power.

When it suited Nitish to take on Laloo Prasad, he marketed himself as Susashan babu or a good administrator. Bihar was then sick and tired of the Laloo-Rabri misrule. It was a period when kidnappings and pot-holed roads of Bihar were making national headlines. The upper-caste establishment, both in Patna as well as Delhi, too, wanted to get rid of Laloo Prasad who had turned too big for his boots for the system.

Fodder scam came handy for the system to replace Laloo. Yet someone was needed to fill Laloo’s vacuum. Nitish was ready to play ball with anti-Laloo forces. But he needed a label to market himself that he did with media-support which sold him as Susashan babu. Nitish who had lambasted BJP for the Babri mosque demolition both inside and outside the Parliament jumped to form an alliance with saffron forces in Bihar to come to power in 2005. Ambitious Nitish was now Bihar chief minister taking on Laloo Prasad who was his one-time close friend as well as political comrade in arms.

It suited both the establishment and the media to project Nitish as an excellent administrator, rather as Bihari messaiah, who put Bihar back onto rails after Laloo’s mayhem in the state. Nitish, to be fair to him, did manage to improve Bihar roads. He also succeeded in putting down kidnappings that had instilled a sense of insecurity among Biharis during Laloo and Rabri Devi’s rule. Nitish Kumar was now hailed as the Susasan Babu not only in Patna but Delhi as well.

Nitish had smooth sailing both in Bihar and outside. He was happy with his alliance with the BJP in Bihar. But politics took a major shift with the rise of Narendra Modi in national politics in 2014. Modi took the country by storm and came to power with a comfortable majority to form the government in Delhi. It was the period when the Congress and its allies were down in the dumps. The Anna Hazare movement had destroyed the ‘secular’ camp’s credibility across the country.

Nitish now sensed a vacuum hitting the anti-Modi secular camp. He now started distancing himself from Modi and the BJP. Ambitious Nitish even started projecting himself as the ‘secular’ national alternative to Modi. He was now rubbing shoulders with the likes of Rahul Gandhi and Sita Ram Yechuri in Delhi while he had already tied up with one-time ‘corrupt’ Laloo to continue in power in Bihar.

But Modi being a much smarter political player than the likes of Nitish Kumar, the Prime Minister forced him to surrender to the BJP in Bihar and finally acknowledge Modi as a tall national leader. Of course, he ditched Laloo Yadav again. There was nothing strange about it as it comes naturally to him to ditch partners when they are down in the dump.

Political opportunism however comes with an expiry date. Because, as the saying goes, you can fool some people for some time but not all the people all the time. Nitish was neither a good administrator nor a principled politician ever. Look how the Bihar administration has crumbled with just one wave of Encephalitis that has turned Muzaffarpur into a killing field for poor children who are dying like rats.

Now even the media reports suggest that Muzaffarpur hospitals are a shame on modern health services. This breakdown of health services has not taken place overnight. It was all there when media marketed Nitish as Susahan Babu.

The only difference is that now Nitish has already served his utility of taking on Laloo and destroy him. Nitish neither has any vision to be a mass leader like Laloo Prasad Yadav nor does he seem to have much administrative skill.

He is essentially a rank opportunist who survives by switching sides whenever it suits him. But all shades of opportunists ultimately hit the dead end sooner or later. Nitish Kumar’s dead end seems to be nigh. Unfortunately, he may go down as Kusashan Babu rather than Sushasan Babu of Bihar

EXCLUSIVE: Will put heart, soul into fighting Bihar encephalitis outbreak, says Health Minister Harsh Vardhan


In an exclusive interview with Rajdeep Sardesai, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan admitted that a lot needs to be done to combat the encephalitis outbreak in Bihar. He, however, assured that he is personally monitoring the situation in the state even as the death toll from encephalitis deaths reached 128 in Muzaffarpur.

As the death toll in the encephalitis outbreak in Bihar continues to rise, Union health minister Harsh Vardhan admitted that many improvements need to be made to India’s health system.

In an exclusive interview with Rajdeep Sardesai, Harsh Vardhan said, “There is certainly a need for a lot of improvement in the health system of the country. In the past five years, we have been trying to do our best to systematically strengthen the system in the country but I think there is a lot to be done.”

The death toll due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) rose to 128 in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district on Wednesday. Amid growing criticism over governmental inaction, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan had issued directions for immediately sending a high-level team to Muzaffarpur to set up a state-of-the-art multi-disciplinary research centre in the wake of these deaths.

Harsh Vardhan also said five virological labs will be set up in different districts in the state. The districts can be decided in consultation with the state government and can be funded through the National Health Mission (NHM), he said.

In one of the decisions taken during his visit, Vardhan instructed to set up a 100-bed paediatric ICU at SKMCH. Also, in the adjoining districts, 10-bed paediatric ICUs will be set up with support from the Centre, so that such cases can be given better and exclusive treatment and there is no unnecessary load on the facilities available at Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH) in Muzaffarpur.

He had made similar suggestions when the Narendra Modi government first came to power in 2014.

When asked about why the Modi government failed to deliver on its 2014 promises, the health minister give a list of work that was in progress. “Let me tell you, super speciality building in the college will be ready by year-end. It will be dedicated to people of Muzaffarpur and those from adjoining districts. I myself visited the site this weekend. As far as the pediatric ICU is concerned, I had suggested there should be exclusive pediatric ICU separate from the main hospital setup but they created ICU within the hospital.”


Harsh Vardhan said his 2014 suggestions were not fully implemented as he was health minister for only four-five months then. The Union minister agreed things need to be improved further, “We need to ensure 100 per cent immunisation of children, we are proactively bringing many children into the net of immunisation but India being a large country we need to go ahead at a fast manner. You have seen the initial impact of Ayushmann Bharat. We have the ambitious plan to build 1.5 lakh health and wellness centres at primary level, out of which 18,000 have been created.”

However, Harsh Vardhan admitted that expenditure on health in India needs to increase. “There is an ambitious plan to increase the health budget to 2.5 per cent (from the current 1.5 per cent) of the total Union budget. Personally, as a doctor, I wish I could get much more,” said Harsh Vardhan.

The spread of encephalitis in Bihar has been attributed to malnutrition. Unripe litchi fruit contains a high concentration of the toxin called MCPG which triggers hypoglycemia if consumed by a child with a malnourished body. Therein lies the answer to the question: why only the poorest of the poor and mostly those living in Muzaffarpur and adjoining districts are suffering from the disease.

Harsh Vardhan said that the Modi government has diagnosed the problems in the system and hopes to eradicate them by 2022. “When we took over in 2014, under the leadership of PM Modi we tried to diagnose each and every problem in the country. A lot has been done and a lot needs to be done and we are very hopeful that in the new India that we are talking about in 2022, you will see a lot of perceptible and measurable changes in the country,” said Harsh Vardhan.

However, the minister was not able to give a clear answer on whether the NDA government in Bihar or CM Nitish Kumar should be held accountable for the encephalitis outbreak. “You have to appreciate that this disease has not been eradicated anywhere in the world. It is endemic to this part of the country. This is not happening only here,” he said.

When questioned on how the UP government had managed to control the encephalitis outbreak in the state but Bihar had failed, Harsh Vardhan said that he was doing his best to improve the situation and was monitoring it closely. “I can only tell you that we are trying to do our best. I have sent one of my joint secretaries there [to Muzaffarpur], have sent all possible help — paediatricians, virologists, epidemiologists. From our side, we have ensured that whatever gap exists is filled. I was only four-five days old in this ministry, but I sent a high-powered team there. Every day I am monitoring things on an hourly basis and the teams are reporting to me directly.”

Finally, when asked if he could give a guarantee that such a grim scenario would not be seen in Bihar next year, Harsh Vardhan said, “I can only give you one guarantee that Dr Harsh Vardhan will personally monitor the implementation of all the suggestions that he gave in 2019. I will do my best and I will put my heart and soul into it.”

Bihar: Death toll in AES outbreak climbs to 163; Muzaffarpur, Vaishali worst-hit districts


The death toll in Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) outbreak in Bihar climbed to 163 lives on Friday, leaving the state in despair. 

Muzaffarpur: The death toll in Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) outbreak in Bihar climbed to 163 lives on Friday, leaving the state in despair. 

Muzaffarpur was the worst-affected district with 126 fatalities. Two more children, admitted to the district’s Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH) died, earlier on Friday. 

In Vaishali’s Lalganj area, another child lost the battle to the viral disease, taking the death toll to 18. At least nine children with AES symptoms are admitted to the district’s Sadar Hospital and are receiving treatment in the special ward.

Another six children lost their lives in Begusarai district, five in Samastipur, two each in Motihari, Patna and Bettiah and one each in Bhagalpur and Gopalganj.

Taking cognizance of the alarming health situation prevailing in the state, Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai announced that all 17 BJP MPs in Bihar will build a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) in their districts. He took responsibility to get PICU constructed in Samastipur district. On June 19, the MoS issued Rs 25 lakh from Members of Parliament Local Area Development (MPLAD) fund for the construction of the PICUs. 

On Tuesday, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar visited Muzaffarpur and held a meeting with officials to review the situation, but refused to answer any questions on the health crisis.

The state health department deputed additional medical officers, child specialists and nurses from other districts to Muzaffarpur to help the health officials in the district.

AES is a viral disease which causes mild flu-like symptoms such as high fever, convulsions, and headache

Beware of land scammers: Bokaro DC

BOKARO: Taking a note of a steep rise in incidents of land scams that dupe many people, Bokaro deputy commissioner Uma Shanker Singh on Wednesday urged the residents to verify land-related documents from the government office concerned before buying flats or houses from builders and real estate agents.
TNN | Feb 20, 2014, 10.07AM IST

Singh made this appeal after a fresh case of land scam was busted in an inquiry constituted by him. A builder launching housing project named Golden City in Chas block has allegedly duped more than 100 people for a sum of about Rs 3 crore. The company had purchased 71 acres of land, but sold a chunk of more than 10 acres on the basis of fake documents.

After receiving complaints from the residents, Singh constituted an inquiry headed by Chas circle officer Naresh Soni and special officer Krishna Kumar. They found that the builder has fraudulently sold land to the residents showing fake sale deed and agreements. Singh said that a notice was sent to the builders asking them to present documents before the officials, but they failed to appear before the panel. However, when residents started demanding their money back, the builder threatened them with dire consequences.

The accused have been identified as Sushil Kumar Singh, Sunil Kumar, Sudhir Kumar, Anil Kumar and five others. “Based on the report, I have directed the officials to take strict legal action against the accused. We have also asked the police to take necessary measures to ensure that those cheated by the builder get their money back,” said Singh. He also urged the people of the district to “verify land status before purchasing flats or bungalows from builders or middlemen. Do not keep your eyes closed while buying houses as it will make you suffer”

Bokaro has witnessed many lands scam cases in which builders first acquire lands in an unauthorized manner and then sell it to residents. Singh also warned builders to not to indulge in such unfair practices because they are not being spared if caught someday. Rising population and rapid industrialization has inflated land prices and boosted the real estate business here.

Sikh Regimental Centre

Sikh Regimental Centre-Jharkhand
The Sikh Regiment is a regiment of the Indian Army. It is currently the highest decorated regiment in the Indian Army, and was at one stage the highest decorated regiment in the British Empire.  

The Sikh Regimental Centre is presently located in Ramgarh Cantonment, 30 km from the Ranchi, which is the capital of the state of Jharkhand in India. The Centre was earlier located in Meerut in the state of Uttar Pradesh.

Over its life of more than 150 years, the regiment has participated in various actions and operations both in the pre and post-independence era in India and abroad, including the First and the Second World War.With a humble beginning of two battalions, today the fraternity has grown to a regiment of over 1 training, 17 regular infantry and two reserve battalions strong. Enlisted soldiers are strictly recruited from Sikh community, while officers are recruited from all regions and areas of India .

The Sikh Regiment is one of the oldest and highest decorated Regiments of the Indian Army. The Regimental Centre is located at Ramgarh, South Bihar. With 73 Battle Honours, the largest collection of Victoria Crosses-Param Vir Chakras and equivalent, the Saga of Saragarhi, the young soldiers of the Sikh Regiment are proud to wear the regimental colours of India’s highest decorated regiment. Since it’s raising more than 150 years ago, the regiment has been in the vanguard of various actions and operations both in the pre and post-independence era in India and abroad.

To separate Fort Gulistan and Lockhart, 10000 Orakzai and Afridi Lashkars attacked Saragarhi on September 12, 1897 at daybreak. The attack was initially rebutted with the enemy sustaining a loss of over 60 killed. Lt Col J Haughton, the then Commanding Officer, took all efforts to hold Saragarhi. However, the battalion was forced to retreat initially as the enemy repeatedly attacked Saragarhi. Without losing heart, the Sikhs did not move back from the fort. One Sepoy took control of the guardroom and shot down not less than 20 enemies, before tribesmen set the guardroom on fire and burnt him to death. By about 3 pm, men and ammunition ran short and the assailants destroyed the battalion post by putting it on fire. Thus, the brave Sikhs killed 450 tribesmen before making the supreme sacrifice.
Location info:
Address:Sikh Regimental Centre,Ranchi,Jharkhand,India
Nearest City:Ranchi
Best time to visit: October to March
Temperature ranges from maximum 37 to 20 °C during summer, and maximum 22 to 10 °C
Maharaja Ranjit Singh brought the well built and courageous people, of the then Punjab, Dogras from Kashmir and other martial tribes and formed “Khalsa Army”. Following numerous heroic and valiant battles by the Khalsa Army, XIV Ferozepur (1 Sikh, now 4 Mechanised Infantry), and XV Ludhiana (2 Sikh) were raised from the soldiers of the vanquished force on August 1, 1846. The Sikh Regiment came into existence on 1 August 1846, with the raising of Regiment of Ferozepore Sikhs and Regiment of Ludhiana Sikhs by Captain G. Tebbs and Lieutenant Colonel P. Gordon respectively and were used in great effect in the 1857 Indian Rebellion.
Interesting things to do:
Interesting things to Visit:
The Museum of the Regimental Centre displays a record of the Sikh Regiment in four halls viz:   The Religious/motivational HallThe Hall of Heritage,The Regimental Glory HallThe Peripheral Gallery.Victoria Crosses
Honours & Awards: 

2 Param Vir Chakras,
2 Ashok Chakras,
14 Maha Vir Chakras,
14 Kirti Chakras,
64 Vir Chakras,
15 Shaurya Chakras,
75 Sena Medals
25 Vishisht Seva Medals.

Ranchi Hill:
Ranchi, being located at an altitude of 21,40 feet from sea level, is a popular health and holiday resort and a place of sacred pilgrimate.Some comely sights in the town include Ranchi Hill,Tagore Hill,Ranchi Lake etc. A panoramic view of the town can be behond from the hill top. The Shiva Temple situated on the top of the hill,is an added attraction for the devotees for whom it assumes the places of reverence during Shravanmas same as that of Baijnath Dham (Deoghar). Offers a panoramic view of the town from its summit. There is a Shiva temple on the top of the hill.

Tagore Hill:
On the periphery of Ranchi is “Tagore Hill”, named after Rabindra Nath Tagore who is believed to have written a part of famous Gitanjali here, besides other poems. Ram Krishna Ashram is situated at the foot of the hill. This hill is very attractive and bigger than “Ranchi Hill”.

Kanke Dam:
On the other end of Ranchi is the “Kankedam” which is ever crowded with tourists. It is a popular picnic spot.
Mobile range info:
How to reach?
Nearest Railway Station:Ranchi railway station is on the South Eastern Railway and is directly connected with Calcutta, Patna, Rourkela etc.
Nearest Airport:Ranchi airport is connected by regular Indian Airlines services with Calcutta, Patna, Bombay and New Delhi.
Road Transport:Ranchi is situated on National Highway No.23 & 33 and there are nets of good roads around it. Ranchi is directly connected by regular bus services with all the main places in the state and also outside the state.
Nearest Visiting places:
Hundru Falls:
45 kms on Ranchi – Purulia road, where the Subarnrekha river cascades down from an altitude of 320 feet is a sight not to be missed especially in monsoon or when the wind sets the motion. The pools at the base of the falls are favorite picnic and bathing spots.  

Jonha Falls:
40 km, on Ranchi -Purulia road also known as Gautam Dhara, is another enchanting retreat amidst rich flora and fauna beside the Kanchi river. The scenery it is very picturesque and it is a popular picnic spot. To admire the fall one is required to descend 500 pared steps.

Sita and Dassam Falls:
Adjacent to Jonha Falls is Sita falls which can be seen at its best in the morning. Afternoon may best be saved for the Dassam falls (34 kms on Ranchi – Tata road) where Kanchi river falls from a height a of 114 feeHirni Falls is another fascinating water fall with beautiful surroundings. It is situated 75 kms form Ranchi .

Breeding Center:
km from Ranchi is Mutta Muggar. Breeding center in Ormanjhi which took off with 3 Bihari muggars (Crocodiles) and 2 from Chennai. Today they account for over 50. Nearby is the biological park replete with valuable samples of wild life.

Mc Calukieganj:
60km from Ranchi on haighway 47 is a very sleepy hamlet amidst green forests. The name evokes nostalgia and one gradually discovers the place popular with Anglo-Indian community. During 1950s there were no less than 100 Anglo-Indian families with their typical cottages, clubs and shops.

Hatia Dam:
There is another dam known as “Hatia Dam”. It is about 12 kms from the city.Ranchi is picturesquely situated in the heart of Chotanagpur at an altitude of 2140 feet (654.5 metres) above sea level, in the nucleus of the region.Once the summer capital of Bihar, Ranchi is well known for its scenic attractions, water falls, barren rocks and hillocks. It has a number of industrial complexes which are very important in the industrial life of a country. While on the one hand beautiful and exciting water falls are scattered around this town, on the other hand huge industries are also to be seen there which do attract visitors. There are many scenic attractions in and around Ranchi which hold tourists for days together. It is also an important place for the study of tribal ways of life and offers an ideal opportunity to those interested in Anthropology. Bihar Tribal Research Institute and museum is well worth a visit for those seeking to know more about the tribes of Bihar . One can consider some of the village rich in tribal life and above all, it is the central point of Chotanagpur which one cannot miss to visit. Due to its good climate, lot of people come here for health sake too. It gets 1530 mm rain annually.

Tribal Research Institute and Museum:
The museum located at the Tribal Research Institute building at Morabadi Road has a collection of stone sculptures, terracottas and arms as well as ethnological objects. It also exhibits life and history of tribal people of Chotanagpur.

Tagore Hill:
Tagore hill named after the famous Tagore family is located near Ram Krishna Mission Ashram at Morabadi. It is said that Ravindra Nath Tagore wrote several of his books at the top of the hill which is at a height of around 300ft. Besides the Ramakrishna Mission Ashram, the Centre of Divyayan and Agararian Vocational Institute is also situated at the foot of the hill.

Baidynathdham :
Baidynathdham or Babadham is a famous Hindu pilgrimage center. There is a famous temple of Lord Shiva. In Shrawan month, huge number of devotees come on foot from all over India to pay homage to Lord Shiva.
Machali Ghar:
This aquarium is located near CCL headquarters on Kanke Road. There is a several species of fish here.

Gonda Hill :
Situated 9 km north of Ranchi, the pleasant and calm Gonda hills is an ideal place for a picnic. There is rock garden here with several structures or statues made of stone. It is similar in design to the Rock Garden of Jaipur. At the foot of the hill, there is a big lake known as Kanke Dam.
Nearest Petrol Pump:
Sanjeet Petrol Pump:Rohtak road,Ranchi,Jarkhanad,India   Zenith Petrol Pump:Ramdayalu Nagar Muzaffurpur,Roshpa Tower Main Road,Ranchi,Jharkhand,Inida,Phone: +91 651 – 9835121022
BNR Hotel:Gosaintola,Ranchi,Jharkhand,India  
Hotel Arya:Lalpur Chowk, H.B. Road,Ranchi,Jharkhand,Ph:09334713996Hotel Capitol Hill:Mahatma Gandhi Rd,Ranchi,Jharkhand,India,ph:0651 2331330
Things to carry:
Tips & Suggestions:
Help Line/Phone Number:
Police Station:100
Nearest Hospital:Sadar Hospital:Ranchi,Jharkhand,India
Society/Community Phone Number: