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A survey of 7,500 rural households has found that 29% of Swachh Bharat toilets exist only on paper and of those that have been built, 36% are unusable. The survey was conducted by Accountability Initiative at the Centre for Policy Research in December 2015, across 10 districts in five states. Of the 10 districts surveyed, the best performing was Satara in Maharashtra, which has been known for its sanitation achievements. The worst of the ten districts was Nalanda in Bihar, home turf of chief minister Nitish Kumar.
The Cauvery delta has thrown up the latest fast and the furious combo from Karnataka — HD Deve Gowda and Siddaramaiah. Deve Gowda's fast at the Vidhana Soudha complex in Bengaluru on Saturday was in step with Siddaramaiah's furiousness at the manner in which Karnataka is being scolded like a petty offender by the Supreme court. Ever since SC ordered Karnataka to release 15,000 cusecs of water daily on 5 September, the duo have used the river water dispute as an opportunity to make political capital.
India, the fourth-largest emitter of greenhouse gases, formally joined the Paris Agreement to combat climate change on Sunday, the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. Earlier on 2 October, India deposited the instrument of ratification at the United Nations, which also observes the day as the International Day of Non-Violence. At the conference in Paris, India said that it would put its best foot forward to combat the global crisis, but it would have to prioritise growth and development in order to bring millions out of poverty, and provide electricity to vast tracts of the country which still don't have power.
One BSF jawan was killed while another injured when terrorists carried out a 'fidayeen' (suicide) attack on a BSF and adjoining army camps in Baramulla, barely four days after the Indian Special Forces smashed seven terror launch pads during a surgical strike across the Line of Control (LoC). Today's strike comes exactly a fortnight after terrorists struck at army brigade headquarters at Uri, 102 kms from here killing 19 soldiers.
Pope Francis is set to visit Portugal next year and is "almost sure" he'll pop by India and Bangladesh, say reports. Francis recently outlined his 2017 travel plans while flying home from Azerbaijan on Sunday.
On 2 October, Pakistani visitors hurled stones towards Indian viewers' gallery at the Attari international border during beating retreat ceremony while shouting pro-Kashmir slogans. BSF sources confirmed the incident, adding that for past few days Pakistani visitors had been shouting anti-India slogans. Duly, a flag meeting was reportedly held between BSF officials and Pak Rangers after the incident.
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Filmmaker Vidhu Vinod Chopra is currently working on a biopic on Sanjay Dutt, starring Ranbir Kapoor. Chopra added that unless he was unhappy with the script, he would not go ahead with the project. But reportedly, everything is going as per schedule.
A pigeon, reportedly from across the border, was taken into custody after a letter written in Urdu and addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi was found with it by BSF personnel at Simbal post in Bamial sector on Sunday. The development came after two balloons were recovered with a similar message in the area yesterday. Police said the message written on a piece of paper read: "Modi Ji, do not consider us same people as we were during 1971 (Indo-Pak war). Now each and every child is ready to fight against India."
Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha in Meerut celebrated 2 October with inaugurating a bust of Nathuram Godse, the man who shot Mahatma Gandhi. The 2 feet tall, 50 kg statue has now been kept in their Meerut office by Yogendra Verma, the Mahasabha's UP unit president.
Swinging wildly between wanton killing of dogs and extreme 'pro-life' interventions, India has never framed a rational, scientifically valid dog ownership or population control strategy, write Abi T Vanak and Aniruddha Belsare in The Hindu. "What is the cost of the dog problem in India? Other than the terrible human costs associated with direct and indirect fatalities, the treatment of 20 million bite cases annually runs to hundreds of crores of rupees, and results in the loss of 38 million man-hours (2003 survey). A large number of vehicle accidents result from collision with or avoidance of dogs. The cost of the Animal Birth Control (Dogs) rules programmes implemented across the country alone runs into several crores, but this is just a drop in the bucket compared to what it would actually cost to fix the problem," they say.
As Pakistan has kept probing India's threshold of strategic restraint, now India can probe Pakistan's threshold for remaining in denial, says an editorial in Mint. "The public statement that the DGMO Lt Gen Ranbir Singh made on Thursday is most notable for how it conveys India's attempt to contain escalation. The operation was not framed as a revenge for the attack in Uri, but as a pre-emptive move to stop terrorists from infiltrating into India. It was also played as an anti-terrorism operation as opposed to one targeting the Pakistani military. This is in contrast to foreign minister Sushma Swaraj's address to the UN General Assembly last Monday where she essentially erased the distinction between state and non-state actors in Pakistan," it says.
Pink has given voice to a generation of women, yet its beauty lies in its small moments, writes Malvika Sharad in The Indian Express. "While women will continue to find their way through all their struggles, we need more lawyers like Deepak Sehgal, [played by Amitabh Bachchan] who will voluntarily step up to take their cases and comprehend silences. We need more judges like Satyajeet Dutta [played by Dhritiman Chatterjee] who approaches the law with sensitivity and humanness. But above all, we need more films like Pink," she says.
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