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Chandru is new Deputy High Commissioner for Karnataka and Kerala

In his role as Deputy High Commissioner, Iyer is responsible for all aspects of the U.K.’s engagement in the two South Indian States…reports Asian Lite News

Chandru is new Deputy High Commissioner for Karnataka and Kerala

Chandru Iyer has been appointed as Deputy High Commissioner to Karnataka and Kerala, said a release from the office of the British Deputy High Commission on Tuesday.

In addition, he is also Deputy Trade Commissioner for Investment for South Asia with a mandate to further strengthen and promote the U.K. as a preferred destination for foreign direct investment from India and the wider region.

In his role as Deputy High Commissioner, Iyer is responsible for all aspects of the U.K.’s engagement in the two South Indian States. The role includes promoting business and trade links, strengthening scientific, technological and education cooperation and working with partners to tackle climate change.

Iyer previously worked with leading global professional services firm Grant Thornton as Head of Business Development for its South Asia Group. He is an international business development specialist with extensive experience in international trade and investment.

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K’taka Cabinet clears ordinance hiking reservation

As many as 103 communities classified as SCs and and 56 communities among STs would benefit from the hike in reservations….reports Asian Lite News

The Karnataka cabinet, chaired by Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, on Thursday decided to promulgate an ordinance to raise reservations for Scheduled Castes (SCs) by 2 per cent and for Scheduled Tribes (STs) by 4 per cent.

“Today, my cabinet has taken an historic decision of approving the ordinance on hiking the reservation for my brothers and sisters from SC/ST community from 15% to 17% and 3% to 7%, respectively. This historic decision will bring light and shine into their lives and uplift them by providing adequate opportunity in education and employment,” Bommai said.

Briefing media after the cabinet meeting, state Law and Parliamentary Affairs minister J.C. Madhuswamy said the file on reservation would be submitted to Governor Thaawar Chand Gehlot for approval.

As many as 103 communities classified as SCs and and 56 communities among STs would benefit from the hike in reservations.

Madhuswamy opined that the courts would rule in favour of the government in the event of the cabinet’s decision being legally challenged. The move to increase the reservation for SC/STs by the state government will mean that reservation will cross the Supreme Court’s 50 per cent limit and touch 56 per cent in Karnataka.

The BJP government in Karnataka decided to increase the quota based on a report prepared by a committee headed by retired High Court judge H.N. Nagmohan Das.

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India News Karnataka Politics

Rumours of CM change rattle Karnataka BJP

He said that the leadership change has been carried out before by the high command even though there is only a short time left for the assembly elections…reports Asian Lite News

The ruling BJP in Karnataka is in damage control mode following rumours of Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai being replaced. The BJP which is yet to recover from the wrath of party workers and Hindu activists following the murder of Praveen Kumar Nettare, a BJP Yuva Morcha member, now has the task of clarifying over the leadership issue when assembly elections are just 8 months away.

Sources in the BJP stated that the issue cropped up with the statement of Suresh Gowda, former MLA from Tumakuru constituency. Gowda, known as the blue eyed boy of Union Minister for State Shobha Karandlaje from Karnataka hinted that there could be changes in the leadership before August 15.

He said that the leadership change has been carried out before by the high command even though there is only a short time left for the assembly elections.

Following this, the opposition Congress which has gained momentum after the massive birthday bash of Siddaramaiah organised by the party, hit out at the Karnataka BJP over the leadership change issue.

The Congress on its social media handle stated that Karnataka will see its third CM soon as it had seen in the previous tenure of the BJP government. It said that senior leaders and cabinet members have chosen to be tight-lipped after the visit of Union Home Minister Amit Shah to Bengaluru recently for the same reason.

Sources in the BJP revealed that Bommai does not enjoy the support he once used to. Amit Shah had declared that the assembly elections would be fought under the leadership of Bommai to the chagrin of many CM aspirants.

It is an open secret here that many hardcore Hindutva proponents within the party dislike Bommai and want a change in leadership. However, the high command is treading cautiously over the issue, sources said.

Former Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa stated on Wednesday that there are rumours that there will be changes in the CM’s post. Such a question does not arise. Basavaraj Bommai will continue as CM for another 8 months, he clarified.

Minister for Revenue R Ashok said that Bommai will be the face of the saffron party going into the assembly elections. “If you (Congress) have the capacity declare the CM candidate before elections,” he said.

BJP state president Nalin Kumar Kateel also backed Basavaraj Bommai and stated that he would be the CM till the end of his tenure and there is no question of a change in leadership.

Sources in the BJP stated that anything can happen as Yediyurappa is fully focused on launching his son B Y Vijayendra. The high command is totally focused on winning the assembly elections on a Hindutva plank.

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Karnataka to expand cabinet by Aug first week

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai would visit Delhi on Sunday (July 24) and top leaders are expected to give green signal to the exercise of cabinet expansion…reports Asian Lite News

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Karnataka has finally decided to take up the long-pending task of Cabinet expansion. According to party sources, the high command has taken a call on the issue, and the expansion is likely to be done by the first week of August.

Former ministers — K.S. Eshwarappa and Ramesh Jarkiholi who had resigned following serious allegations, are most likely to get cabinet berth, party sources said.

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai would visit Delhi on Sunday (July 24) and top leaders are expected to give green signal to the exercise of cabinet expansion, according to BJP sources.

The “aspirants” are demanding the expansion in the view of upcoming state assembly elections of 2023, which is less than 10 months away.

Even as there was a wait for Rajya Sabha elections to get over, and some leaders were asking to wait until the elections of Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike, the party has taken a call in this regard, say sources.

There are 5 vacant cabinet berths in the state cabinet and the party is willing to accommodate 10 new faces.

Though there were talks on complete overhaul of the cabinet, since assembly elections are nearing, the party leadership will settle with filling vacant cabinet posts.

Former minister Eshwarappa who had resigned over the contractor suicide has now received a clean chit.

Besides, Jarkiholi who had stepped down from his ministerial position over a sex CD scandal also received a clean chit from the Special Investigation Team.

The BJP, looking forward to attain majority in the upcoming assembly elections and also repeat the feat similar to 2018 Lok Sabha elections of winning 25 MP seats out of 28 is likely to accommodate senior leaders, sources said.

ALSO READ: Karnataka all set for grand Dasara celebrations

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India News Karnataka Syria

Indian Coast Guard rescues 15 Syrian mariners off Karnataka coast

Responding promptly to an SOS call, the Indian Coast Guard rescued 15 crew members of a merchant ship that had run aground off New Mangalore…reports Asian Lite News

In a prompt and swift search and rescue mission, the Indian Coast Guard saved the lives of 15 Syrian nationals working on the foreign flag ship MV Princess Miral, which ran aground off New Mangalore on Tuesday.

The rescue mission was coordinated by Indian Coast Guard ships ‘Vikram’ and ‘Amartya’ braving the rough weather condition. The crew of the grounded vessel has abandoned the ship due to breech in hull and ingress of water in holds. The vessel was bound for Lebanon from Malaysia.

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The successful operation reaffirms Indian Coast Guard’s capabilities as the nodal agency for search and rescue operations in the Indian Ocean Region, a note issued by the ICG stated.

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Diaspora India News Karnataka

Diaspora Meet and Greet with the Education Minister of Karnataka

Dr. Ashwath Narayan highlighted how Karnataka, in particular Bengaluru, is leading on different fronts, attracting the country’s best talent and domestic & foreign direct investments, reports Ragasudha Vinjamuri

A community Meet and Greet was organised by KannadigaruUK recently with Dr. C. N. Ashwath Narayan- ex-Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka, and current Minister for Higher Education & IT-BT, and Nikhil Kamath-Co-founder of Zerodha and True Beacon. The event took place at The Bhavan in West Kensington and was attended by prominent members of the Indian Diaspora.

Minister Dr. Ashwath Narayan delivering his note

At the outset, Vanishree Hegde has extended a welcome to all and has invited Ganapati Bhat to further outline the work of the organisation, especially initiatives such as teaching the Kannada language. Kishen Shastry then briefly spoke about establishing the Kannada Student Society at Cambridge University, which is a milestone for the diaspora segment. Dr. Nandakumara has spoken about the importance of Vidya and knowledge.

Addressing the members of the diaspora, Dr. Ashwath Narayan highlighted how Karnataka, in particular Bengaluru, is leading on different fronts, attracting the country’s best talent and domestic & foreign direct investments. He has highlighted how the state is working in tandem with the central government’s goals and ambitions in improving governance to become the best leader in the world.

Nikhil Kamath spoke of the qualities of the Kannada people that enabled the rise of the city and the state and opined that the reverse migration and expertise of Kannadigas may further enhance and enrich the state.

Both the minister and Nikhil Kamath were felicitated by Kannada Balaga U.K. and KanandigaruUK. The event was supported by Scrumconnect Consulting.

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Business India News Karnataka

ISMC to set up $3bn Semiconductor Fab Investment in Karnataka

The ISMC announced an investment of Rs 22,900 crore ($3 billion) investment in a 65 nm Analog Semiconductor Fabrication plant in Karnataka…reports Asian Lite News

The ISMC team met Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai at his home office, Krishna, on Sunday.

E.V. Ramana Reddy, Additional Chief Secretary to Government of Karnataka, Commerce and Industries, Department of Electronics Information Technology Biotechnology and Science & Technology signed the MoU on behalf of the state government, with Ajay Jalan, director of ISMC.

The ISMC has requested 150 acres of land in Mysuru’s Kochanahalli Industrial area. This will be one of India’s first and largest semiconductor fabrication units under the Central Government’s Indian Semiconductor Mission upon project approval by the Government of India.

The project is expected to generate more than 1,500 direct and 10,000 indirect employment opportunities and ancillary semiconductor ecosystem industry development in the area with significant multiplier effects.

Speaking on the occasion, Bommai said: “This MoU is a significant agreement amid the competition among various states to attract semiconductor fabs. Karnataka understands that it is not just the fiscal incentives that matter but the availability of a conducive eco-system and overall ease in operations are also important.

“We have one of the best infrastructures in the country and an abundant skilled talent pool. As a state we are not just trying to bring down the entry barriers for businesses but also make it easier to exit businesses, should it be so required. With robust policies, a committed team, best-in-class infrastructure, and an ever-increasing talent pool of workers, Karnataka is on its way to become a premier investment destination. I invite all of you to be a part of this Growth Story.”

“It is the nation’s pride under the leadership of and vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi we are becoming Atmanirbhar in semiconductors Fab,” he said.

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Karnataka Science and Technology Minister C.N. Ashwath Narayan also expressed his support, saying: “Semiconductor production in Karnataka will provide further impetus to the economy of the state and we are happy to support global firms to set up manufacturing facilities here.”

Signing the MoU, E.V. Ramana Reddy said: “The uptick in Indian investment in semiconductors coincides with the global demand for semiconductors amid a shortage expected to run through 2025. We have suggested an Electronics and Systems Design cluster in Mysuru as the investment destination for ISMC.”

Commissioner for Industrial Development, Gunjan Krishna, said: “The present geopolitical circumstances necessitate that India develops the ecosystem for the semiconductor manufacturing in the country and Karnataka is well poised to take advantage of that because of its robust ecosystem in the electronic chip design industry. The manufacturing facilities will only add to the growth of the sector.”

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India News Karnataka Lite Blogs

Unique megalithic burial site discovered in K’taka

A small variation is found in Kerala, with side openings in the subsurfce, but central opening was common in both the cases…reports Asian Lite News

A unique megalithic burial site, dating back to around 800 BC, has been discovered at a cashew nut plantation near Ramakunja village in Kadaba taluk of Karnataka’s Dakshina Kannada district, it was announced on Tuesday.

Based on the information provided by villagers, a team of experts visited what is known as the “Pandavara Guhe” (cave of Pandavas) and found the megalithic site, which had some startling feastures.

“Usually, megalithic burials are marked by stone circles, menhirs, and stone cairns. But, it is the first time in India, a sepulchre is marked by a circle or zero. It brings up interesting questions like did megalith era people knew zero or did they invent it first?” Prof. Murugeshi T., Associate Professor and Dean of the Department of History and Archaeology, MSRS College, said.

In the case which is presently under study, there is no central opening but, a huge engraving of a circle, of about 7 feet diameter, was found above the laterite surface and exactly below this in same dimension, a hemispherical cave with a side opening of about 2 feet in height, he said.

This side entrance is designed like a doorframe and it’s oriented to the north-east direction, he added.

Perhaps, it was the first rock engraving of megalithic period found from Dakshina Kannada, says Prof Murugeshi T., adding that no grave goods were found inside the cave, but, in the centre, an altar-like pit was noticed and it is also curious.

Also very small pieces of red, black, and red pottery were found in small quantities in the cave. Most probably, the cave had been robbed by the locals, the professor said.

There are 2.5 or 3 feet circular openings in the centre cut into the laterite about a metre deep and the bottom is cut into a hemispherical shape with the various depths and circumferences, he said, adding that this type of rock-cut caves are common in the southern west coast of Karnataka.

A small variation is found in Kerala, with side openings in the subsurfce, but central opening was common in both the cases.

Evidence of megalithic culture, including its burial sites and other unique features, has been frequently found in south India, including Karnataka. Coastal Karnataka and Kerala recorded a very special type of megalith phenomenon like rock-cut caves, scooped out in the laterite earth.

“I am thankful to Nischith and his family for their local hospitality and grateful to Yusuf Haider of National Gold and Diamonds, Mangalore for providing the vehicle. I also appreciate my students, Shreyas, Goutham, Shariq, Karthik, Dishanth and Vishal Rai for their 2 days of hard work in excavating the cave,” Prof. Murugeshi added.

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K’taka allows recital of Quran at temple fair


The administrator of the temple had written to the Muzrai department seeking clarification over the continuation of the ritual, which has been going on for years and symbolises Hindu-Muslim unity…reports Asian Lite News

Amid the ongoing unrest over incidents of communal polarisation in the state, the BJP government in Karnataka on Wednesday permitted continuation of an age-old ritual of reciting verses from the Quran during a historical Hindu religious fair despite objections from Hindu groups in Hassan district.

The move has been appreciated by thousands of devotees who took part in the ‘Rathotsav’ of Channakeshava temple at Belur in Hassan district.

Kazi Syed Sajeed Pasha recited verses from the Quran in front of the chariot of Lord Channakeshava in the presence of thousands of Hindu devotees. The ritual symbolises Hindu-Muslim unity and harmony.

“The recital of verses from the Quran has been a tradition for generations and it has came from my ancestors. Whatever may be the differences, Hindus and Muslims should live in a united manner and let the God bless all,” Pasha said.

The ‘Rathotsav’ ceremony at the Belur temple is performed for two days, which is a rare phenomenon in the state. The idol of Channakeshava will be embellished with gold and diamond jewelleries gifted by the erstwhile kings of the Mysuru kingdom. Lakhs of devotees throng Belur during this temple fair.

Meanwhile, Hindu organisations have objected to the age-old tradition of recital of Quran before moving the chariot this year following a series of developments in the state.

The administrator of the temple had written to the Muzrai department seeking clarification over the continuation of the ritual, which has been going on for years and symbolises Hindu-Muslim unity.

The Commissioner of the Muzrai department, Rohini Sindhoori, gave green signal to the continuation of the ritual.

She said that according to Section 58 of the Hindu Religious Act, 2002, there should not be any interference in the rituals and traditions of the temple.

After her direction, the temple committee decided to go ahead with the ritual of recital of verses from the Quran.

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K’taka moving to ensure exit of Muslim traders

The government plans to implement the rule through the Muzrai department which manages more than 30,000 temples in the state….reports Asian Lite News

Amid all the din and commotion in the state following ban calls on Muslim traders by Hindutva groups, the ruling BJP government is all set to clear temple premises in Karnataka of Muslim vendors, according to sources.

Already, the state government has declared on the floor of the House that there is no provision for non-Hindus to carry out their business on temple premises and religious fairs.

The government plans to implement the rule through the Muzrai department which manages more than 30,000 temples in the state. The department has given clear instructions on not allowing Muslim vendors from participating in the auction of shops on the premises of temples, said Muzarai department sources.

The move will be backed by the law made during the Congress government when S.M. Krishna was the Chief Minister. To ensure that the shops which are taken in auction are not given on sub-lease to Muslims, the department has prepared clear cut rules that those who get the shops in auction only will have to run them, the sources stated.

Further, the department had given directions to suspend the lease agreement in case of finding out that the shop has been given to Muslim vendor on sub-lease. It has also been decided to suspend the executive officer if any violation of guidelines is found.

Muzrai department is all set to issue notices in this regard to 48 shops which are going for auction in different temples in Bengaluru, including famous Kadu Malleshwara Temple and Kashi Vishwanath Temple.

According to the Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowments Act 2002, there is no provision for non-Hindus to carry out their business on temple premises. The guideline also says that the person who takes shops in auction should not do anything which hurts the sentiments of devotees.

Though the guidelines have been in existence since 2002, they are being implemented in the present scenario by the ruling BJP government in Karnataka, which has stirred a controversy. Opposition Congress is claiming that it is being done keeping polarisation of Hindu votes for upcoming Assembly elections in 2023.

The ban trend came to the fore following the protest by Muslim businessmen and vendors against the High Court verdict on wearing of hijab. The High Court had dismissed the petition seeking permission to wear hijab in classrooms and stated that wearing of hijab is not an essential practice in Islam. Following the protest, Hindu organisations came up with slew of ban calls on Muslim businessmen which has led to the unrest in the state. The recent government’s decision to ensure the exit of Muslims from all temples that come under Muzrai department is likely to further create a stir in the state, say the sources.

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