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The TV channels and the print media of late have been full of Kanhaiya Kumar of JNU and all that happened in the campus starting with the Poetry Reading event for which permission was sought by Umar Khalid, who is now in jail. My only question to Kanhaiya Kumar and the other office bearers of the JNU Students Union is: even if you did not raise the anti national slogans yourself, what did you do to stop them? Surely, you were more popular on campus than those so-called “outsiders”. How come they hijacked the poetry reading contest? Here’s what the JNU authorities have had to say about the incident on February 9, 2016 that triggered everything that followed.

But other things have been happening in the country as well. There have been news worthy items though they have received far less publicity than they deserve. Sadly, many of these achievements do not find adequate mention on TV channels because these stories are not centered on caste and creed.

Under Piyush Goyal, the Union Power Minister, rural electrification is going on in full swing.  As of date, electrification has been completed in 6000 out of 18500 villages that did not have electrification at all. You and I living in cities often curse the Government when we face power shut downs from time to time. Imagine the plight of rural people who have never had electricity at all! It augers well for the future that Mr Goyal claims with confidence that the Government will electrify all the villages before the deadline of 2018.

Likewise, there has been considerable progress in building infrastructure by way of our National Highways network. Recently, Finance Minister Jaitley praised Nitin Gadkari, Minister for Road Transport. When the present Government under Narendra Modi assumed office in May 2014, more than 70 road projects – spanning nearly 8,300 km with an outlay of Rs 1 lakh crore – were “languishing” because of “legacy factors”. With Gadkari’s “exemplary and proactive interventions”, Jaitley said, nearly 85 per cent of the projects are back on track. Mr. Gadkari has said that the rate of road construction has increased from 2-km per day to 18-km per day under the current dispensation and the target is to increase that rate to 30-km a day by March this year.

On a lighter vein, forgetting politics for a moment, another bit of news that will bring cheer to you as it does to me is that eating some amount of chocolate is actually good for you. Researchers led by psychologist Merrill Elias say, “We found that people who eat chocolate at least once a week tend to perform better cognitively.”

 

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