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ANGRAU should transform into world class varsity: Andhra Guv

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Andhra Pradesh Governor Biswa Bhusan Harichandan on Tuesday called on Acharya NG Ranga Agricultural University (ANGRAU) to transform into a world class agricultural university.

He made these remarks as the Chancellor of the varsity while presiding over its 50th convocation through virtual mode, held at Mahati Auditorium in Tirupati.

Participating in the event from Raj Bhavan, Harichandan said, “The agricultural university has to play a stellar role in teaching, research and extension activities.”

The Governor said he was happy to participate in the 50th annual convocation and congratulated the winners of gold medals, awards and other distinctions.

He appreciated those students and called them the true ambassadors of the university.

Harichandan congratulated the varsity’s vice chancellor for achieving the 13th rank among national agricultural universities for the year 2019 as assessed by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).

“The skills of teaching faculty have to be upgraded from time to time to achieve excellence in research by allowing academic freedom, providing well equipped facilities for teaching, research, extension and administration,” he noted.

He said the university may take up projects under the public private partnership (PPP) mode in association with agro-industries to achieve synergy in solving field problems and benefit students with employment, fellowships, curriculum revision, collaborative research, entrepreneurial skills and sharing of resources.

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Andhra should emerge as role model in preventing third wave: Guv

Andhra Pradesh Governor Biswa Bhusan Harichandan on Friday said the state should emerge as a role model in preventing the third wave of coronavirus.

He was speaking in webinar ‘Creating awareness on prevention of third wave of Covid-19 in the state’, organised by the Raj Bhavan and seeing participation of various NGOs, including state representatives of the Indian Red Cross Society, Rotary Club, Bharat Scouts and Guides, UNICEF and others.

“There are several NGOs who have done tremendous work during the first and second wave of Covid-19 and they can play a major role in complete eradication of the virus,” he said, appealing to the NGOs to put their resources to optimum use for urging unvaccinated people to go for inoculation and create awareness on following Covid appropriate behaviour.

According to the Governor, with the lessons learnt from the first and second waves, authorities have been able to ramp up health infrastructure by mobilising ventilators, hospital beds, PPE kits and others, resulting in many lives being saved.

He also noted that rapid vaccination drives organised by the state government have also protected many lives.

Observing that the problems of the first wave were not found in the second wave and the problems of the second may not surface in the third wave, he said that complete vaccination of all eligible categories of people and adhering to Covid-appropriate behaviour such as wearing a mask, maintaining social distance, and regular hand wash can help in prevention of the third wave.

“People should take more precautions while participating in social gatherings, religious gatherings, mixing with crowds etc as the new variants of Covid-19 appear to show higher transmissibility than previous variants and early vaccination can prevent hospitalisation in the next wave,” he added.

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Tributes pour in for Pingali Venkayya on birth anniversary

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Tributes poured in for Pingali Venkayya, the designer of the Indian national flag, on his birth anniversary on Monday.

Andhra Pradesh Governor Biswa Bhusan Harichandan said the nation is forever indebted to Venkayya for designing the flag.

“Nation is forever indebted to him (Pingali Venkayya) for giving rise to the spirit of Independence with his tricolour flag during the freedom struggle,” Harichandan added.

Likewise, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief and former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu hailed Venkayya for his creative genius and said the flag stood in support of India’s struggle for freedom.

Naidu said Venkayya was a symbol of Telugu people’s patriotism.

“My tributes to selfless Venkayya on the occasion of his birth anniversary,” he added.

According to Nara Lokesh, TDP leader and son of N. Chandrababu Naidu, Venkayya was also fondly referred to as ‘Japan Venkayya’, ‘Patti (cotton) Venkayya’ and ‘Diamond Venkayya’.

“These names were a testament to his multi-faceted personality. On his birth anniversary let us remember his services to the country in various realms,” Lokesh said.

Similarly, Andhra Pradesh Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Somu Veerraju remembered Venkayya as a popular freedom fighter.

“My tributes to Telugu pride, Venkayya, on his birth anniversary as I reminiscence about him,” Veerraju said.

Earlier in March, current Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi recommending a Bharat Ratna to be awarded to Venkayya posthumously.

“Request your kind self to honour the aspirations of the people of Andhra Pradesh by giving a deserving acknowledgement to the life and contribution of late Pingali Venkayya by conferring the Bharat Ratna (posthumously) upon him,” Reddy said in the letter.

Reminding the precedent of conferring Bharat Ratna on other eminent departed leaders, Reddy invoked the names of Bhupendra Kumar Hazarika (1926-2011) and Nanaji Deshmukh (1916-2010), who were posthumously awarded by the Indian government in 2019.

Many feel Venkayya’s contribution was not recognized properly.

On March 31, 1921 in Vijayawada, Venkaiah gifted his designs to Mahatma Gandhi, who recognized his passionate efforts and wrote in his journal ‘Young India’ that, “We should be prepared to sacrifice our lives for the sake of our national flag. Pingali Venkayya, who worked in Andhra National College Machilipatnam, has published a book describing the flags of countries and designed many models for our own national flag.”

On July 22, 1947, the Constituent Assembly adopted Venkayya’s design as the free Indian national flag, thus crediting him as the designer of the Indian tricolour.

The Andhra Pradesh government also doled out a financial assistance of Rs 75 lakh to Venkayya’s nonagenarian daughter, Ghantasala Sita Mahalakshmi.

Venkayya was born on August 2, 1876, in Bhatlapenumarru village near Machilipatnam in Krishna district and breathed his last on July 4, 1963.

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Andhra Pradesh Governor completes 2 years in office

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On completing two years in office as the Governor of Andhra Pradesh, Biswa Bhusan Harichandan on Saturday said he received good cooperation from the YSRCP government as well as love and affection from the people.

He also thanked the Raj Bhavan staff who have been serving him for the past two years.

The Governor marked the occasion by planting saplings in the Raj Bhavan premises in the presence of officials and staff members.

Harichandan said the Andhra Pradesh government led by Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy enjoys an excellent relationship with the Governor’s office, unlike some states where differences are out in the open.

He also met Indian Red Cross Society members from its Andhra Pradesh unit and appreciated their efforts.

“The Andhra Pradesh branch of Indian Red Cross Society has broken all records in tree plantation and blood donation and have done a lot of work even during the difficult Covid-19 pandemic,” Harichandan said.

The Governor told the Red Cross officials to make it a mission that no life is lost in the southern state due to blood loss.

Joint Secretary to the Governor, A. Shyam Prasad and other officials conveyed their wishes to Harichandan on completing two years in office.

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Andhra Guv, CM extend Bakrid greetings

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Andhra Pradesh Governor Biswa Bhusan Harichandan and Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on Wednesday extended Eid-al-Adha greetings to the people in the state.

“On the solemn occasion of Bakrid (Id-ul-Azha), I extend my cordial greetings and good wishes to all my Muslim brethren in Andhra Pradesh,” said Biswa Bhusan Harichandan.

Bakrid holds immense significance in the Islamic faith and is celebrated with special prayers and great reverence, he added.

“Bakrid symbolizes sacrifice, absolute devotion to God and compassion for the poor and emphasises the principle of sharing,” said Harichandan.

As people celebrate Bakrid, the Governor wished for the spirit of charity and goodwill towards all be cherished and nourished.

However, Harichandan cautioned the people celebrating the festival to be wary of Covid-19 pandemic and advised them to strictly follow Covid protocols.

“I appeal to the people of Andhra Pradesh to strictly adhere to Covid-appropriate behaviour by wearing masks and maintain social distance at all times and cooperate with the authorities to prevent the spread of Covid-19,” he added.

Likewise, the Andhra Chief Minister said Bakrid is a symbol of faith, grace and unity.

“My greetings to Muslims who celebrate Bakrid meditating upon the sacrifice of holy prophet Ibrahim,” Reddy added.

The CM prayed for the blessings of Allah on all of us at all times.

However, inclement weather and coronavirus have proved to be the dampener this Bakrid.

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Andhra Guv presents Indian Red Cross President’s medal to Rama Rao

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Andhra Pradesh Governor Biswa Bhusan Harichandan on Friday presented the President’s gold medal of the Indian Red Cross Society to Y.D. Rama Rao.

Rao is the Chairman of the East Godavari district chapter of the Indian Red Cross Society and he won the medal for the year 2018-19, recognising his distinguished service for the cause of Red Cross movement in the district for more than a decade.

“The entire team of Indian Red Cross Society and the Andhra Pradesh state branch is proud of his achievement,” said Harichandan, who is also the President of the state branch.

The Indian Red Cross Society gives away two gold medals every year at the national level to individuals who have contributed to the Red Cross movement with exemplary service for more than 15 years.

Generally, these awards are presented by the President of India, who is also the President of the Indian Red Cross Society, but it could not be done this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Harichandan gave away the award to Rao at the Raj Bhavan in the presence A. Sridhar Reddy and A.K. Parida, the chairman and general secretary of the Indian Red Cross society, respectively.

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Andhra Guv, CM condole soldier’s death in J&K, offer Rs 50L ex-gratia

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Andhra Pradesh Governor Biswa Bhusan Harichandan and Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on Friday condoled the death of an Army soldier from the state during an encounter with the terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir.

Jaswanth Reddy died in the encounter at Sunderbani sector in Rajouri district. He hailed from Dariwada Kothapalem village in Guntur district.

The martyr had joined the Madras Regiment in 2016.

Harichandan offered heartfelt condolences to the members of the bereaved family.

Commending the valour of Jaswanth Reddy, the Andhra Chief Minister declared an ex-gratia of Rs 50 lakh for his family recognising the supreme sacrifice.

Reddy praised the bravery of the soldier who laid his life defending the country and conveyed his condolences to the bereaved family members.

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Proud moment for AP, says Guv on Malleswari’s new assignment

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Andhra Pradesh governor Biswa Bhusan Harichandan on Thursday said the appointment of Karnam Malleswari as the vice chancellor of Delhi Sports University is a proud moment for all the people in the state.

“It is a proud moment for the people of Andhra Pradesh that Karnam Malleswari, who hails from Srikakulam district in Andhra Pradesh, has been appointed as the vice chancellor of the first Sports University in the country by the Delhi government,” said Harichandan.

Congratulating the new VC, the Governor said Malleswari became a household name in India after she won the bronze medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

“Karnam Malleswari is an inspiration to women in the country, having won 29 International medals including 11 gold medals in the world championships, Asian weightlifting championships etc and has been conferred the Arjuna Award, Padma Shri Award and Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award,” he added.

Meanwhile, Malleswari, said her ambition in the new role is to produce Olympic medals for the country.

“The biggest focus will be on achieving Olympic medals. We have to groom international players,” said Malleswari, who won the bronze medal in weightlifting in the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

She said the new varsity will offer doctoral courses as well and endeavour to train talented children.

Malleswari said that prospective students with potential in any Olympic sport can apply for admission in the university.

Meanwhile, accolades poured in for the new VC from her home state Andhra Pradesh on the new assignment.

“It is a matter of pride for all of us for the appointment of renowned weightlifting sportswoman and Telugu pride Malleswari as VC of Delhi Sports University,” said actor cum politician Pawan Kalyan.

Similarly, Rajya Sabha MP and senior Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party (YSRCP) leader V. Vijayasai Reddy congratulated Malleswari on Thursday and wished that she becomes an inspiration to many.

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AP Guv calls on varsities to raise Covid awareness on war footing

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Andhra Pradesh Governor Biswa Bhusan Harichandan on Tuesday called on the vice-chancellors of all the universities to take up Coronavirus awareness programmes on mission mode to succeed in the fight against the pandemic.

During a video conference with the vice-chancellors, he stressed on the need for implementing the fivefold strategy of ‘testing, tracing, treatment, Covid appropriate behaviour and vaccination’, which were highlighted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his recent virtual interactions with the Governors and Chief Ministers.

“PM had also advised that a campaign should be taken up with the active involvement of universities and students to spread awareness about Covid-appropriate behaviour and all other precautions as required to prevent and control the pandemic, with the support of civil society, prominent persons, religious leaders, public representatives etc.,” said Harichandan.

The Governor noted that the pandemic posed a huge challenge to the higher education department, currently making the role of vice-chancellors crucial in taking appropriate measures for the safety of the students and staff without compromising on academics.

“Higher education institutes also have larger responsibility towards the public to create an awareness about protective and preventive aspects with active involvement of existing network of NCC and NSS cadre and to utilize their services,” he observed.

He also adviced to create awareness about maintaining physical fitness, regular yoga and ayurvedic medicines.

He also called upon students to use AP Red Cross Mobile App to campaign for community surveillance throughout the state on a war footing while also protecting themselves from the risk.

Harichandan appealed to all sections of the society to extend full cooperation to the government in tackling the spread of the pandemic.

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Andhra Guv, CM pay tributes to Ambedkar on birth anniversary

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Andhra Pradesh Governor Biswa Bhusan Harichandan and Chief Minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy paid tributes to B.R. Ambedkar, the architect of the Constitution of India, on this birth anniversary.

“I offer my humble tributes to Bharat Ratna Baba Saheb B.R. Ambedkar, father of the Indian Constitution on his birth anniversary. Ambedkar was an eminent jurist, economist, politician and social reformer,” said Harichandan on Tuesday.

He reminded that Ambedkar was a great freedom fighter who waged a continuous struggle for modern India, free of differences on the basis of caste, creed and religion to ensure equal rights for women and weaker sections of the society.

“Ambedkar dedicated his entire life to protect the rights of the poor and downtrodden people. Ambedkar is remembered for his contribution to making of the modern India and for his efforts to curb social discrimination against Dalits,” he observed.

Likewise, Reddy highlighted that Ambedkar laid the path for the development of modern India, striving for the equality of everyone.

“He delivered the strongest and greatest Constitution to India,” noted Reddy.

Hailing Ambedkar, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) supremo N. Chandrababu Naidu said that Ambedkar stood up to caste-based discrimination.

“It is very unfortunate that even now some people oppress Dalits with their caste arrogance,” added Naidu.

Ambedkar was born on April 14, 1891 and he breathed his last on December 6, 1956.

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Andhra CM, Guv hail Jagjivan Ram’s legacy on birth anniversary

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Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy hailed the legacy of Babu Jagjivan Ram on Monday, which is his 113th birth anniversary.

“Tributes to Babu Jagjivan Ram, a freedom fighter and reformist on his 113th birth anniversary. We cannot forget his efforts to bring financial equality to the poor and downtrodden,” said Reddy.

Governor Biswa Bhusan Harichandan said Ram’s contribution to the nation’s politics and development will always be remembered.

“I offer my humble tributes to Babu Jagjivan Ram on his birth anniversary. Babu Jagjivan Ram was an illustrious freedom fighter and a visionary leader,” said Harichandan.

According to the Governor, Ram was an able administrator who rendered impeccable services to the country.

Calling him a true democrat, Harichandan said he fought to uplift the poor, downtrodden and weaker sections of the society.

He said Ram served the country as a cabinet minister for 35 years, holding several key portfolios and noted that Ram introduced path breaking reforms such as the green revolution in the country.

Similarly, at Sareen Nagar Park in Kurnool town, local leaders garlanded Ram’s statue and paid tributes.

Kurnool collector Veerpandian cut a cake as part of Ram’s memorial.

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Amid Covid resurgence, Andhra Guv cancels Holi party

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Amid resurging Coronavirus infections in Andhra Pradesh, Governor Biswa Bhusan Harichandan on Saturday cancelled Holi festival celebrations and party at the Raj Bhavan.

“Andhra Pradesh Governor Biswa Bhusan Harichandan has decided not to organise Holi celebrations at Andhra Pradesh Raj Bhavan in Vijayawada this year, due to rise in number of Covid-19 cases,” said a Raj Bhavan official.

Harichandan appealed to the people to stay at home and celebrate Holi following Covid guidelines.

He told people to maintain social distance, wear a mask, regularly wash hands with soap and use a sanitizer.

The Governor also appealed to all the eligible people to get vaccinated for Coronavirus as it helps in breaking the pandemic’s chain of infections.

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Andhra Guv takes Covid vaccine shot

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Andhra Pradesh Governor Biswa Bhusan Harichandan and his wife Suprava Harichandan received coronavirus vaccine shots on Tuesday in the third phase of vaccination.

They received the first doses of the vaccine at the new government hospital in Gunadala, Vijayawada.

Harichandan said he did not feel any inconvenience in getting inoculated and advised all eligible people to come forward and take the vaccine as it helped in curtailing the spread of the virus.

The Governor and his wife were administered Covaxin, manufactured by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech pharma major.

“Indian scientists have demonstrated to the world the country’s capability in the field of vaccine research and development,” he said.

Harichandan appreciated the scientists responsible for the development of Covaxin in such a short period of time and enabling saving the lives of the people.

Following the vaccination, doctors informed the Governor that the date for their second dose of vaccination will come after March 30.

Meanwhile, a health official said that eligible people interested in going for vaccination can register themselves in any of the 456 government hospitals and 90 private hospitals networked to the Arogyasri scheme listed on the CoWin website.

The state continues to vaccinate healthcare and frontline workers for the virus.

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AP marching ahead with emphasis on education, health care: Guv

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Andhra Pradesh Governor Biswa Bhushan Harichandan said the state is marching ahead with emphasis on education, health care, agriculture and welfare, on Tuesday at the 72nd Republic Day celebrations.

“The beneficiaries are selected in a transparent manner without any scope for discrimination on the basis of caste, creed, religion or political affiliation by implementing the schemes in a saturation mode by covering all eligible persons,” said Harichandan.

According to the Governor, the state has passed through testing times with the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic and the government has effectively handled the situation by taking measures to win accolades from across the country.

He said the government put in place necessary infrastructure and mechanisms for the storage, transport and administration of the vaccine, since the rolling out of the country-wide vaccination programme 10 days ago.

Harichandan highlighted that despite the pandemic, Andhra Pradesh did not neglect welfare programmes or stop initiatives such as delivering rations, groceries, purchase of agriculture produce, export of aqua products and special Kisan Rail services.

He said the state launched the distribution of 31 lakh house sites for the poor on the occasion of Vaikunta Ekadasi and Christmas on December 25.

“The scheme will ensure not only construction of houses but building of habitations coming up in 17,000 well defined layouts,” said the Governor.

He highlighted that the state government delivered sale agreements pertaining to 2.6 lakh TIDCO houses to eligible women beneficiaries in urban areas, out of which 1.43 lakh have been handed over for Re 1.

He said Polavaram Irrigation Project has been revised to Rs 55,549 crore to stabilise the existing ayacut of 23.5 lakh and provide irrigation facility to 7.2 lakh acres.

Harichandan also referred to the alleged temple attacks in the state and said there is no place for such activities.

He reminded that the state is of the firm view that decentralisation of development by the trifurcation of capitals, Amaravati as legislative capital, Kurnool as judicial capital and Visakhapatnam as executive capital, would usher in balanced development of all regions in the state.

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Right vote is powerful instrument in people’s hands: AP Guv

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Andhra Pradesh Governor Biswa Bhushan Harichandan on Monday said that the right to vote, which is a powerful instrument in the hands of people and makes them sentinels of the noble tradition of democracy, should not be exercised just mechanically.

“The right to vote is the mother of all political rights provided under the Constitution. Every citizen of the country, including youth, should feel proud of performing their respective Constitutional duties as this will ensure their meaningful participation and significant contribution to the growth of the nation and the society,” said Harichandan.

He called for the new and young voters to come forward and actively participate in the celebration of our democracy and said that the actual participation and exercise of the right to vote would empower and enable youth to contribute for the welfare of the society.

“In a democracy, voters are not subject to any pressure or fear and they are free to choose the candidate of their choice and advised youth to come forward and register themselves as voters once they become eligible,” said the Governor at the programme held at the durbar hall in the Raj Bhavan to commemorate the 11th national voters day.

K. Vijayanand, chief electoral officer, said that the voters day is being celebrated all over the country with the theme ‘make our voters empowered, vigilant, safe and informed’.

He said voters day is celebrated on January 25, a day on which the Election Commission of India (ECI) was constituted in 1950.

Vijayanand said that the final electoral rolls for AP were published on January 15.

Later, Harichandan presented awards to Visakhapatnam collector V. Vinay Chand, Vizianagaram collector M. Hari Jawahar Lal and other officials.

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Andhra Pradesh Governor, CM extend Christmas greetings

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Andhra Pradesh Governor Biswa Bhushan Harichandan and Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy have extended their Christmas greetings to people.

“Christmas is a time of joyous remembrance of Jesus Christ. It is also an occasion to cherish the teachings of Jesus of bonds of love, tolerance and compassion, among all people in the world,” said Harichandan.

He said the life of Jesus Christ is a source of inspiration to all of us to lead a life of virtue and faith.

“On this occasion, I join my Christian brothers and sisters and pray for the peace and harmony in the world,” he said.

The Governor also appealed to all the celebrants to stay at home to stay safe and celebrate the festival, taking all coronavirus precautions such as maintaining social distance, wearing a mask and washing hands frequently.

Conveying Christmas greetings, Reddy said one should show love to fellow human beings, be merciful towards the helpless and forgive their enemies.

He wished for the good of everybody in the state and God’s blessings.

The Chief Minister attended church with family members at Idupulapaya in Kadapa district.

He also visited the resting place of his late father and undivided Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, Y.S.R Reddy earlier.

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Andhra Guv calls for public support to eradicate Tuberculosis

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Andhra Pradesh Governor Biswa Bhusan Harichandan asked for public support to eradicate Tuberculosis (TB) by 2025 on Friday as he launched the TB Seal Sale campaign.

“TB continuous to be a killer disease and its spread has become a cause for concern even in the developed world,” said Harichandan at the Raj Bhavan’s Durbar Hall.

He reminded that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared TB as a global emergency and India as the second most populous country in the world which shoulders a quarter of all the cases.

The Governor said nearly 27 lakh TB cases were notified in India in 2019 while AP is estimated to have nearly 1 lakh cases, though with a successful cure rate of 91 per cent, achieved with the implementation of Revised National TB Control Programme (RNTCP) with directly observed treatment (DBT) in all the districts.

“Centre is implementing aEnd TB Strategy’ with more focus on active case finding, introduction of highly specific and sensitive molecular diagnostics in the programme,” he said.

Introduction of daily treatment regimen, universal drug susceptibility testing and introduction of new drugs for drug resistant TB are some measures which Harichandan highlighted as being implemented by the government.

However, he stressed on the need to scale up programme activities at grassroots level with active participation of voluntary organizations such as TB Association, Indian Medical Association, Red Cross, Lepra India, TB Alert, World Vision, AMG India International and Arogyavaram Medical Centre and others to control the lethal scourge.

Meanwhile, the Governor has also appealed for generous contribution from the public to TB Seal Sale campaign and for partnering to eradicate the disease by 2025.

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Jagan meets Governor on Polavaram, polls

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Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy on Friday met Governor Bishwabhusan Harichandan to discuss a host of crucial issues.

On the eve of Diwali, Jagan extended his greetings to the Governor. Among the key issues, Jagan reportedly discussed the local bodies elections which were postponed by state election commissioner Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar in March in view of the spread of coronavirus. The SEC had recently held an all-party meeting to arrive at a consensus on holding elections to local bodies, even was the ruling YSRCP stayed away from the meeting. The Andhra Pradesh government had filed a petition in the High Court that elections should not be held in view of the pandemic situation.

Jagan also apprised the Governor about the Polavaram project and the pending dues of ₹4,013 crore from the central government. The Chief Minister reportedly informed about the central government’s decision to cap project cost to Rs 20,398 crore as against the Rs 47,725 crore. Jagan had already written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying capping the project cost would result in the project remaining incomplete.

Another key that came up for discussion was the appointment of VCs. The Andhra Pradesh government has sent the file on the appointment on VCs, but the Governor is yet to take a call on it.

Jagan also discussed with the Governor on holding the next Assembly session and the Bills that needed to be passed.

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Did Governor Bishwabhushan Harichandan acted out of bias

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In a tearing hurry, Governor Bishwabhushan Harichandan on Friday approved the two controversial bills — the Andhra Pradesh Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of all Regions Bill and APCRDA Repeal Bill paving the way for creating three capitals in the state.

This isn’t the first time that a governor of a state has acted in a partisan and biased manner. In no way will it be the last, either.

Earlier, the Governor had passed an ordinance promulgated to reduce the State Election Commissioner’s term to three from five years. The Governor had given his assent to remove Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar as SEC. He gave his assent even as the case was sub-judice with at least three petitions pending in the Andhra Pradesh High Court. The next day, the Andhra Pradesh government had appointed 75-year-old retired judge Kangaraju who later met the Governor at the Raj Bhavan.

However, the High Court had reinstated Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar despite the Governor passing the Ordinance promulgated by the Andhra Pradesh government. In a way, the High Court verdict was not just a blow to the Andhra Pradesh government, but a huge embarrassment to the Governor.

This time, the Governor gave his assent to the two controversial bills even as the matter is pending in the High Court. However, the Governor stated that he approved the two Bills after thorough consultations with legal experts. The Governor’s move gains significance as the matter is sub-judice, pending before the High Court.

The same story is likely to repeat again, mostly likely his decision will prove to be a historical blunder. The Governor’s assent will be open to legal challenge and stand before the courts. However, his assent to the two Bills should not come as a surprise as the Governor while addressing the Assembly session via video-conference from Raj Bhavan had clearly stated that the creation of three capitals will be a reality. The Governor’s statement from Raj Bhavan comes even as the matter was pending in the High Court.

The Governor has approved the bills notwithstanding a demand by the Opposition parties to refer them to President Ram Nath Kovind. Both the Bills were passed in the Assembly in January and introduced in the Council, while the chairman referred them to the Select Committee. The two Bills require deeper examination.

The bills were halted in the Assembly for the second time as the session was suspended amid pandemonium. Telugu Desam Party has requested the Governor not to give assent to the two Bills as the Legislative Council had disapproved the state government policy in this regard.

The Governor’s nod should also not come as a surprise for another reason: Governors in the country are too well-known to have acted in a partisan fashion and served the agendas of parties they belonged to or are closer to.

The governor is appointed by the President who acts on the advice of the Council of Ministers at the Centre as per Article 74 of the Constitution. In essence, the governor is chosen by the government of the day. Therefore, Governors are explicitly or implicitly political appointees.

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Harichandan takes cue from Tamilsai Soundarajan on Covid-19

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Andhra Pradesh Governor Bishwabhusan Harichandan seems to have taken a cue from his Telangana counterpart Dr Tamilsai Soundararajan.

On Tuesday, he held a video-conference from Raj Bhavan in Vijaywada to take stock of the Covid-19 situation in the state.

In the video-conference, Andhra Pradesh Governor discussed in detail with Chief Secretary Nilam Sawhney and principal secretary (health) to review the measures being initiated by the state government to combat the pandemic. Harichandan enquired from the top officials on testing, treatment and medical facilities in government hospitals. The video-conference was also attended by Medical, Health and Family Welfare commissioner K Bhaskar and Rajamouli.

Harichandan’s video-conference with Andhra Pradesh chief secretary comes in the wake of the state reporting more than 4,000 new coronavirus cases and 54 deaths during the last 24 hours, taking the total number of infections in the state to 53,724 and the fatalities to over 696. Last Saturday, the state reported record 3,963 new Covid-19 cases with 52 virus-related deaths.

In Telangana, Dr Tamilsai Soundararajan had been proactive in assessing the Covid-19 situation in the state. She had openly expressed her anguish and unhappiness over the KCR government’s handling of the pandemic. She also called Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar and Special Chief Secretary (Health) Shanti Kumari to Raj Bhavan to assess the situation in the state. On several occasions, the Governor was openly critical of the government’s handling of Covid-19 situation in the state, patients being overcharged by private hospitals and lack of equipment in government hospitals. She criticised the government for not testing enough and advised the government to ramp up the testing in the state.

The Governor’s public criticism over the state’s response to the pandemic did not go down too well with Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao who met her at Raj Bhavan on July 20. The Telangana CM had discussed the measures the government has been taking to contain the spread of the virus, testing and treatment being given to the Covid-19 patients in various government hospitals in the state

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