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Karnataka seeks an independent DRDO lab in Shivamogga


PTI, Sep 18, 2020, 12:39 PM IST

Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Thursday met Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi and requested for an independent Laboratory of the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) in Shivamogga.

The Ministry of Defence has considered the Karnataka government’s proposal for establishing a Research Cell of the DRDO at Kuvempu University, but the state is expecting a full-fledged independent DRDO Laboratory in Shivamogga with ample number of scientists and technocrats, the Chief Minister was quoted as saying in an official release.

The CM further said the laboratory can explore natural remedial measures for military use from the Western Ghats region. The land required for the construction of the laboratory as well as the official quarters for the personnel will be provided by the state government, it added.

Shivamogga is the home turf of Yediyurappa, as he represents Shikaripura assembly constituency in the district, while his son B Y Raghavendra is the MP from Shivamogga Lok Sabha constituency. Earlier in the evening, the Chief Minister called on the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and asked her to accept the recommendation of the 14th Finance Commission for a special grant of Rs 5,495 crore for Karnataka on account of reduced devolution.

According to the release, in a memorandum submitted to the Finance Minister, Yediyurappa said against the recommendation of Rs 2,100.25 crore performance grant to Urban Local Bodies and Rural Local Bodies an amount of only Rs 869.40 crore has been received. He requested to release a balance amount of Rs 1,230.85 crore, it said.

While extending gratitude for the timely release of funds under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNGREGA) scheme, Yediyurappa sought early release of outstanding material dues of nearly Rs 665.09 crore and unskilled wage dues of Rs 54.65 crore. He also appealed to the Centre to notify an additional 50 days under section 3(4) of the MNGREGA, as Karnataka has faced an unprecedented pandemic, it added.

Yediyurappa, who reached Delhi this afternoon will be there for next two days, during which he is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and several central Ministers regarding the development of the state. He is also expected to meet top BJP leadership including party national President J P Nadda and discuss the much-awaited expansion of his cabinet.

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