GN Staff | December 2, 2015
The Army, the Navy and the National Disaster Response Force are out in Chennai to rescue people from their flooded homes. Schools have been forced to close and exams have been postponed at least for this week. Passengers are stranded at the Chennai airport and railway stations due to cancellation of services. Chennai faces more rain in the next four days, said the Met office. It is the worst rain in Tamil Nadu in nearly 100 years. In many parts of Chennai, residents have opened their doors to strangers, offering food, shelter and even mobile recharges. A mall in south Chennai said it kept its doors open overnight for stranded people.
#ChennaiFloods ; the power of social media to make a positive impact and rally support visible when natural crisis hits us unexpectedly.— Sanjay Jha (@JhaSanjay) December 2, 2015
Chennaites use Twitter to help the rain-hit
Amidst all chaos of flooding, Chennaites have taken to social media to rally support. Residents in Chennai are offering support through the hashtag #ChennaiRainsHelp. The aim is to reach out for help through Twitter and offer shelter to the stranded. Help is being crowdsourced through tweets, many of which have been compiled on to a Google spreadsheet. The table, which is being constantly updated, includes details on the area where shelter is available, the number of people that can be accommodated, the Twitter handle as well as the contact number. Some users have even included notes like ‘pets welcome’ as well. There is also a provision for those who need help to post their location or on behalf of someone else. Another section specifies the need for other amenities, such as medical help. All the information on this spreadsheet have been gleaned from Twitter and is meant to be a ‘central repository of stranded people’, as described by Twitter user Sowmya Rao, who began putting the list together.
Jharkhand seeks declaration of state as drought-hit
Jharkhand government on Tuesday decided to recommend the Centre to declare the state as drought-hit following scanty rainfall this season. Additional Chief Secretary and in-charge of the Cabinet department N N Pandey told reporters here that the decision was taken in a cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Raghubar Das.A physical verification found crop loss and decline in the levels of ground water and surface water bodies, Pandey said.The state government had announced a package of Rs 1,398 crore to drought-hit farmers on November 6 for subsidised diesel, distribution of seeds, construction of small check dams and other facilities.
Moody’s says investment cycle picking up
Moody's Investors Service says investment cycle in India is showing nascent signs of recovery, driven by an upturn in the capital replacement cycle and an increase in public sector expenditure.The assessment is consistent with the latest GDP numbers that show a 6.8% year-on-year rise in gross fixed capital formation in the quarter to September. "Recent high-frequency data show that India's investment cycle is starting to pick up," said Rahul Ghosh, vice-president and senior research analyst at Moody's."However, a revival in private sector capital expenditure will be required to sustain the recovery in investment activity, because India's weak fiscal position will limit the ability of the government to further expand public sector-led investment," he said in a statement on Tuesday that detailed Moody's quarterly 'Inside India' report dated November 30.
Mark Zuckerberg gives 99% of shares to charity and celebrates fatherhood
Mark Zuckerberg will put 99 percent of his Facebook Inc shares, currently worth about $45 billion, into a new philanthropy project focusing on human potential and equality, he and his wife said in a letter addressed to their newborn daughter Max Chan. In welcoming the birth of his first child on his Facebook page, Zuckerberg posted a photo of himself, his wife, Priscilla Chan and their new daughter, Maxima, along with a post entitled 'A letter to our daughter.'In the 2,220-word letter, Zuckerberg and Chan touched on issues including health, education, Internet access and learning before announcing the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, which aims to "advance human potential and promote equality."He will keep a controlling stake in Facebook, valued at $303 billion as of Tuesday's close, for what the company called the "foreseeable future." Zuckerberg said he plans to remain CEO of Facebook for "many, many years to come.""Mark and Priscilla are breaking the mold with this breathtaking commitment," billionaire investor Warren Buffett said on Facebook. "A combination of brains, passion and resources on this scale will change the lives of millions. On behalf of future generations, I thank them."
Law commission told to invite suggestions from public to decide on legal issues
The law ministry has suggested its advisory body, the Law Commission, to invite suggestions from the public to decide on what reforms are needed in the country's legal system, reports Economic Times.At present the Law Commission, whose chief function is to work for legal reform, reviews and researches on issues which are either forwarded by the government or are taken up by on its own by the commission. The law ministry wants the public to have a say in the process. The idea - of giving primacy to people's voice - was discussed verbally between top officials of the law ministry and the Law Commission during a recent meeting. The commission's major function is to work for legal reform and its members are primarily legal experts. The commission is established for a fixed tenure and works as an advisory body to the Ministry of Law and Justice.
US to send special forces to combat Islamic State terrorists
The United States will increasingly rely on special operations troops to battle Islamic State jihadists in Iraq and Syria, US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said Tuesday, while calling on international powers to beef up their own efforts. Speaking to lawmakers in the House Armed Services Committee, the Pentagon chief said he was deploying a "specialized expeditionary targeting force" to Iraq to work alongside local Iraqi and Kurdish peshmerga forces battling the IS group. Though the new troops will be based in Iraq, they will have the ability to conduct raids across the border in northern Syria."These special operators will over time be able to conduct raids, free hostages, gather intelligence, and capture ISIL leaders," Carter said, using an alternative abbreviation for the IS group. "This force will also be in a position to conduct unilateral operations into Syria."
Gujarat civic polls counting begins
Counting votes polled for the crucial civic polls in Gujarat, the first major elections in the state after Anandiben Patel took over from Narendra Modi as chief minister, began this morning. early trends show BJP having a slight edge over Congress in Vadodara, Rajkot and Surat.The polls are a test for the ruling BJP, coming against the backdrop of Patel quota protests and the party’s crushing defeat in the Bihar assembly election. Voting for six municipal corporations was held on November 26, while that for 31 district panchayats, 230 taluka panchayats and 56 municipalities was held on November 29.All the municipal corporations — Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, Rajkot, Jamnagar and Bhavnagar — are under the BJP’s control but the Congress is hoping to make a comeback in the state.
PM Narendra Modi’s yet another niftily acronymed scheme, UDAN – short for Ude ‘Desh Ka Aam Naagrik’ and otherwise called ‘Regional Connectivity Scheme’ in officialese – got off to a flying start on Thursday. Modi formally launched a flight from Shimla to Delhi, and
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