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Farmers protest: Noida-Delhi border closed for vehicles as farmers from western UP head for Delhi

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Even as more farmers from Punjab and “khaps” from Haryana are making their way to the National Capital to join the protest against the new farm laws, another group of protesting farmers is continuing with its sit-in at the Noida-Delhi border for the second day on Wednesday. This has led to the closure of one of the most important routes that connect Uttar Pradesh with Delhi.

This route is used daily by thousands of commuters by both private vehicles and public transport.

In view of the situation, the Noida Traffic Police has advised commuters travelling to Delhi to avoid the Chilla route and instead take the DND or Kalindi Kunj route.

“The Chilla route is obstructed due to the farmers’ sit-in demonstration at the Noida-Delhi border. Kindly use alternative routes (DND or Kalindi Kunj) to reach your destination,” the Noida Traffic Police tweeted.

The Noida Traffic Police have also shared a Helpline number: 9971009001.

According to the sources, the farmers who are sitting-in at the Delhi-Noida border, belong to various districts of western Uttar Pradesh and have converged to enter Delhi to join the main protest launched by farmers of Punjab and Haryana.

Hundreds of farmers affiliated to the Bharatiya Kisan Union and other groups had gathered at the border Tuesday evening where heavy security has been deployed on both Noida and Delhi sides which has prevented them from proceeding further.

Meanwhile, the Centre, on Tuesday, had sought farmers’ objections and suggestions in writing on the farm laws that are at the centre of the protest.

The first round of talks between the leaders of the farmers’ groups and the government held yesterday was unproductive.

An Agriculture Ministry statement said, “It has been suggested by the government to the representatives of farmers’ union to identify the specific issues related to farm reform acts and share with the government on December 2, 2020 for consideration. These issues will be discussed during the fourth round of meeting to be held on December 3, 2020.

“Various issues related to farm reform acts were discussed at length and talks were held in a cordial atmosphere.”

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Joe Biden to propose 8-year citizenship path for immigrants

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US President-elect Joe Biden plans to unveil a sweeping immigration bill on Day One of his administration, hoping to provide an eight-year path to citizenship for an estimated 11 million people living in the country without legal status, a massive reversal from the Trump administration’s harsh immigration policies.

The legislation puts Biden on track to deliver on a major campaign promise important to Latino voters and other immigrant communities after four years of President Donald Trump’s restrictive policies and mass deportations.

It provides one of the fastest pathways to citizenship for those living without legal status of any measure in recent years, but it fails to include the traditional trade-off of enhanced border security favoured by many Republicans, making passage in a narrowly divided Congress in doubt.

Expected to run hundreds of pages, the bill is set to be introduced after Biden takes the oath of office Wednesday, according to a person familiar with the legislation and granted anonymity to discuss it.

As a candidate, Biden called Trump’s actions on immigration an unrelenting assault on American values and said he would undo the damage while continuing to maintain border enforcement.

Under the legislation, those living in the U.S. as of Jan. 1, 2021, without legal status would have a five-year path to temporary legal status, or a green card, if they pass background checks, pay taxes and fulfil other basic requirements. From there, it’s a three-year path to naturalization, if they decide to pursue citizenship.

For some immigrants, the process would be quicker. So-called Dreamers, the young people who arrived in the U.S. illegally as children, as well as agricultural workers and people under temporary protective status could qualify more immediately for green cards if they are working, are in school or meet other requirements.

The bill is not as comprehensive as the last major immigration overhaul proposed when Biden was vice president during the Obama administration.

For example, it does not include a robust border security element, but rather calls for coming up with strategies. Nor does it create any new guest worker or other visa programs.

It does address some of the root causes of migration from Central America to the United States, and provides grants for workforce development and English language learning.

Biden is expected to take swift executive actions to reverse other Trump immigration actions, including an end to the prohibition on arrivals from several predominantly Muslim countries.

During the Democratic primary, Biden consistently named immigration action as one of his day one priorities, pointing to the range of executive powers he could invoke to reverse Trump’s policies.

Biden allies and even some Republicans have identified immigration as a major issue where the new administration could find common ground with Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and enough other GOP senators to avoid the stalemate that has vexed administrations of both parties for decades.

That kind of major win even if it involves compromise could be critical as Biden looks for legislative victories in a closely divided Congress, where Republicans are certain to oppose other Biden priorities that involve rolling back some of the GOP’s 2017 tax cuts and increasing federal spending.

As a candidate, Biden went so far as to say the Obama administration went too far in its aggressive deportations.

source: The statesman

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Centre-farmers’ standoff will resolve through dialogues: Vice Prez

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Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday said that the current standoff between the protesting farmers and the Centre will resolve only through dialogues.

“We cannot forget the farmers’ efforts in increasing the food production even during the Covid times,” Naidu said while speaking at an awards ceremony jointly organised by Rythu Nestham and Muppavarapu Foundation at the Swarna Bharat Trust in Hyderabad.

He also added that he sees the possibility of a certain meeting ground.

“Restriction-free marketing of farm produce has been a long-standing demand. One country and one food zone has been the demand for a long time. The development of the country is closely tied to farmer’s progress,” Naidu said.

Comparing the farmers’ compassion with that of a mother, he said: “It is the duty of everybody to support the farmers.”

The Vice President lauded the farmers for rendering a great service to the nation during the pandemic by pro3ducing record food grains despite hardship.

He also appreciated the efforts shown by the doctors, sanitation workers, police and media personnel during the pandemic.

“Both the Centre and state governments should work as ‘Team India’ in addressing the needs of the farmers. Apart from ensuring remunerative prices, the farmers should be provided with timely and affordable credit.

“There was also a need to increase the cold storage facilities and the godowns at all levels. As a matter-of-fact, every tehsil must have a cold storage facility,” Naidu added.

Vice President pointed out that the people of India always accorded a very high status to agriculture and this was the reason why our festivals and rituals are closely associated with agriculture.

Referring to a FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation) report which cautioned about the food crisis in the coming times, Naidu asserted saying, “If we support our farmers, India would not only be food secure, but would also be able to feed the world.”

Naidu emphasised for a change in perspective towards agriculture among the public and urged the youth to become proactive partners in promoting farming.

Earlier in the day, Naidu interacted with the youth undergoing training at the Swarna Bharat Trust and advised them to maintain discipline, eat healthy food and always remain fit. He said that the youth in India were highly talented and their skills need to be upgraded through regular training.

source: The statesman

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Haridwar gets a makeover with wall paintings for Kumbh

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Devotees visiting Haridwar during the current Kumbh Mela will get a chance to get a glimpse of hill life through wall paintings. Artists are busy creating murals on walls showcasing the splendor of religious faith, folk traditions and mythological culture in this holy township.

A folk artist playing bagpipe, village women going to forest to collect fodder, artists playing drums, villagers dancing, murals of gods/goddesses, city life of Haridwar, etc — these wall paintings have been done on the walls of bridges, ghats, government building walls in the Kumbh area.

Mythological paintings of religious beliefs and cultural life are ready to woo the guests.

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat said, “The state government is committed to grand hosting of the Kumbh Mela. Efforts are being made to make the visitors familiar with the folk and cultural heritage of Uttarakhand.”

The Uttarakhand government is using wall painting as a medium to make the tourists and devotees aware about the tradition, culture and mythological heritage of the hill state.

The artworks have been created under the ‘Paint My City’ campaign of the Haridwar Roorkee Development Authority. Various organizations are helping to decorate the Kumbh Mela area with paintings.

source: The Statesman

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