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Odisha has potential to produce 100 MT steel: Steel Minister Birender Singh

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Bhubaneswar | Union Steel Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh today said mineral rich Odisha is capable of producing 100 million tonnes of steel to enable the country to achieve the goal of churning out 300 mt by 2030.

“Odisha is rich in minerals and mines and has a potential to produce 100 million tonnes of steel out of 300 million tonnes envisaged in National Steel Policy by 2030-31,” Singh said during a visit to Kalinganagar industrial area in Odisha’s Jajpur district.

Describing Odisha as a major steel producing state, contributing more than half of steel production in India, the Union Steel Minister said enhanced production from Kalinganagar and Odisha is important to achieve the common objective of producing 300 million tonne steel by 2030.

Kalinganagar is a major industrial hub. Around 15 steel plants are located in this region which includes public sector plants like Neelachal Ispat Nigam Limited (NINL) and private plants like TATA Steel, Jindal Stainless Ltd, Visa
Steel and MESCO, he said.

Singh expressed the hope that Kalinganagar builds potential to develop downstream facilities which include ferroalloy plants, duct iron pipes, steel furniture, power component manufacturing as well as stainless steel units.

The minister, who interacted with MDs/CEOs of major steel units, said India has become the second largest producing nation in 2018. In 2017-18, India has produced more than 100 million tonnes of steel, he said.

Noting that Indian steel industry has come out of the difficulties faced during 2014-15 and 2015-16 due to various policy interventions by the government, Singh said National Steel Policy was notified during 2017 giving direction and fillip to the domestic industry.

Representatives of steel manufacturers spoke about iron ore availability. Industry representatives also mentioned about the increased need for utilising iron ore fines for pellet manufacturing so that precious iron ore can be preserved, an official statement said.

The minister discussed in detail the challenges to the growth of Indian steel industry, such as logistics in terms of the development of ports and increasing capacity of railways, creating dedicated freight corridors to move raw materials as well as finished goods, it said.

The Union Steel Minister expressed confidence that both the Central government and state government together will find solutions at policy and operational level to achieve a higher level of production in Odisha.

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Muscular security policy will not work in J-K: Mehbooba Mufti says after her resignation

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PDP chief and Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti raised the bogey of Article 370 and unilateral ceasefire on Tuesday, saying the muscular security policy will not work in the state and reconciliation is the key.

“I am not shocked as this alliance was never for power. PDP never believes in power politics and we worked for the people,” she told reporters after an hour-long meeting with her ministers and party workers at her residence.

Mehbooba maintained that Jammu and Kashmir was not an enemy territory as being perceived by few. “We had always said muscular security policy will not work in J-K, reconciliation is key,” she said.

She began her press conference by raising Article 370, under which the state enjoys a special status, and said “…we have safeguarded Article 370 and 35-A (of the Constitution) and we will continue to do that”.

“We have been able to withdraw 11,000 cases against the stone pelters,” she said while listing her side of the story after the BJP pulled out of its alliance with the PDP in the state.

She also mentioned about the unilateral ceasefire during Ramazan announced by Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Lahore in 2015.

Mehbooba, who submitted her resignation to the governor this evening , said her party will continue to strive for dialogue and reconciliation in the state.

“I have told the governor we will not go into any other alliance,” she said.

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Pavements shouldn’t be obstructed by encroachments: Delhi High Court

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Observing that pavements should not be obstructed by encroachments as it could lead to traffic hazards as well as imperil life of pedestrians, the Delhi High Court has directed the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) to remove a temple built illegally on a footpath near C R Park here.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar told the corporation that while bringing the pavement in question to its original condition, the deities in the temple be shifted to another place without damaging them.

It directed the Deputy Commissioner of Police (South-East) to ensure that adequate police protection is made available to the SDMC for implementing the court’s order in which the bench also asked the corporation to file a status report within eight weeks regarding the steps taken by it.

The direction by the court came while disposing of a PIL against encroachments on the pavement at Govind Puri Extension opposite F-Block of C R Park.

While disposing of the matter, the bench said, “Pavements have to be maintained as pavements and no obstruction thereon can be permitted. The same results not only in traffic hazards but imperils the life of pedestrians who have no place to walk.

“In view of the above, the SDMC shall forthwith take steps to remove the entire unauthorized temple opposite F-Block, C R Park, Govind Puri Extension, Kalkaji and ensure that the pavement is brought to its original condition and maintained as such. Needless to say, the SDMC shall take care to ensure the deities are shifted to any other place and that no damage is caused thereto.”

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8,000 Indian journalists to be trained by Google

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To guard journalists against falling prey to false news stories, Google India on Tuesday said it will provide training to 8,000 journalists in English and six other Indian languages in the next one year.

Google News Initiative India Training Network will select 200 journalists from different parts of India. These journalists will improve their skills during a five-day “train-the-trainer” boot camps organised by Google.

This network of certified instructors will then train more journalists at two-day, one-day and half-day workshops organised by the Network giant. Training workshops will be conducted in English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, Marathi and Kannada in cities across India, Google India said in a statement.

The aim of the training is to master Indian journalists in fact-checking, verification and maintaining digital hygiene using information built by experts from First Draft, Storyful, AltNews, BoomLive, Factchecker.in and DataLeads.

“Supporting trusted, authoritative media sources is a top priority for Google, which is why we are proud to collaborate with Internews, DataLeads and BoomLive to support journalists in their fight against misinformation in India,” said Irene Jay Liu, Google News Lab Lead, Asia-Pacific.

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