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Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh on February 4,2018 led a Vijay Rath Yatra in Agartala and addressed a party rally where he said the people of Tripura want a change in government. “The enthusiasm I have seen during the Yatra from the BJP workers and the people of the state have confirmed my belief that Tripura wants a change in government. For 25 years, you have had the CPM in power. Even 10 years is enough to bring about changes in a state. Chhattisgarh was considered a backward state, Madhya Pradesh a BIMARU state and Jharkhand as well. If you visit these states now you will see the massive strides that they have made in terms of development.

I am surprised that the CPM has been voted to power for 25 years. There is such poverty in this state that the common man can’t even afford to buy a bicycle. I would like to ask the Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, why so. Nobody can point a finger at any of the Union Ministers and say that there are corruption charges against them. I would like to ask the CM, can you say the same for your ministers?’’ Shri Singh asked.
— (THE HINDUSTAN TIMES, February 05, 2018)


In a move aimed at boosting digital technology and telecommunication, the government proposes to set up five lakh Wi-Fi hotspots to provide broadband access to five crore rural citizens with an outlay of Rs 10,000 crore in 2018-19 for creation and augmentation of telecom infrastructure. Shri Arun Jaitley said the task of connecting one lakh gram panchayats through high speed optical fiber network has been completed under phase I of the Bharatnet project. This has enabled broadband access to over 20 crore rural Indians in about 2.5 lakh villages. The government also proposes to set up five lakh Wi-Fi hotspots which will provide broadband access to five crore rural citizens. Allocation of Rs 10,000 crore has been provided in 2018-19 for creation and augmentation of telecom infrastructure.
— (THE INDIAN EXPRESS, February 02, 2018)

READY TO WORK WITH INDIA: Nepal’s Communist leader KP Sharma

Communist leader KP Sharma Oli, widely seen as Nepal’s next prime minister, has expressed his readiness to work with the Indian government and Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. The victory of a leftist alliance in Nepal’s recent polls had fuelled concerns about relations with India in light of the strident anti-Indian rhetoric by Oli and another senior communist leader, Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda”. Both leaders are perceived as tilting towards China.

In a letter written to PM Shri Modi ahead of Republic Day on January 26, Oli stated he was looking forward to working with the Indian government. “As one of the recently elected people’s representatives and leader of the largest party in the Federal Parliament, I am eager to work together with Excellency and your government for the betterment of our two countries,” Oli wrote in the letter. Oli also wrote that he expected “further close cooperation between our two countries and the people”. He said that Nepal is learning from India’s Constitution in the process of implementing its new Constitution.
— (THE HINDU, January 31, 2018)


An estimated 2.53 lakh central government jobs were generated in the last two years, reveals the Union Budget 2018-19. According to the budget documents, presented by Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley the estimated workforce of central government establishments will be 35.05 lakh as on March 1, 2018. This is 2.53 lakh more than the head count of 32.52 lakh in March 2016. About 2.27 lakh jobs are estimated to have been added in central government departments between 2016 and 2017. An estimated 34.8 lakh people were working with central government departments as on March 1, 2017.
— (THE ECONOMIC TIMES, February 05, 2018)

(Compiled by Pankaj Anand)