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A group of 10 Parliamentarians from Finland led by Chairman of the Parliamentary Finance Committee Johannes Koskinen met Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari at Raj Bhavan, Mumbai on Thursday (27th Feb).

Explaining the purpose of the visit, Chairman Koskinen discussed the similarities in parliamentary practices between India and Finland.  He said many Indian companies including Mahindra, TCS and Wipro are operating from Finland and that the Indian Diaspora in the country is growing.  Stating that Maharashtra is a front-runner State in economic and industrial development, he called for further strengthening cooperation between Maharashtra and Finland. Members of the Finnish delegation told the Governor that Finland is home to snow-capped Lapland region which is similar to the Himalayas. The delegation said Bollywood would find Finland an attractive destination for shooting films.

Welcoming the Finnish delegation to Maharashtra, Governor Koshyari said that while strengthening cooperation in business, economy, clean energy and tourism, there is a need to promote cultural and educational exchanges between India and Finland.  

Ambassador of Finland to India Ritva Koukku – Ronde and Honorary Consul of Finland in Mumbai Shreyas Doshi were present.


Thu, 27 Feb 2020 22:20:56 +0530
Indian army to get new mu

In its latest offer to romp up India’s defence strength, leading public sector undertaking, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is offering an indigenous multirole helicopter to the Indian army for replacing its medium lift choppers such as MI-17s, Kamovs and Seakings.

HAL Chairman R. Madhavan in a statement told media personnel that HAL has apprised Defence Minister Rajnath Singh of the progress made on the design and development of the multirole helicopter for induction in the Indian Air Force (IAF), Navy and Army.

A mockup display of the multirole helicopter was shown to Rajnath Singh at its helicopter production facility in Bangalore. HAL has approached the defence ministry for getting funds to develop the new helicopter.

Throwing more light Madhavan said that HAL hopes to develop the new helicopter in 8 - 10 years when the current fleet of medium lift copters will be phased out. 


Thu, 27 Feb 2020 21:42:57 +0530
Home buyers prefer buying

Over 70 per cent of buyers looking to purchase a house of their own in India are preferring budget properties which are within Rs. 50 lakhs, a survey by real estate major Magicbricks reveals. As per Magicbricks consumer poll most preference was given for properties in Rs.15 to Rs.20 lakhs range with 28 per cent voting for it while around 25 per cent opted for the Rs.30 to Rs.50 lakhs price bracket.

Speaking to media, E Jayashree Kurup, Head Content and Advisory, Magicbricks, said, “The recent launch of the Credit-linked Subsidy Services Awas Portal, (CLAP), has made it easier for consumers to track the status of their applications. This transparent and web-based monitoring system for tracking CLSS by beneficiaries is likely to add to the consumer excitement over being able to purchase affordable homes.”

Affordable and lower-mid segment were popular among salaried classes with luxurious flats being hardly preferred.

Thu, 27 Feb 2020 21:40:22 +0530
5G Smartphones in India b

Realme and iQoo are offering India’s first 5G smartphones for customers but what will you do with it without a 5G network? Western nations and China are far ahead in telecommunications technology and India is lagging behind far. This however, hasn’t stopped smartphone companies from launching 5G phones for Indian market.

With no 5G market and virtually none going to be there for the next couple of years the buzz on 5G phones offered by these mobile manufacturers is nothing but marketing hype. Why I should buy a 5G phone as a showpiece when I can’t use it the way I should, asks a customer. 

Qualcomm came out with 5G modems and recently Snapdragon 865 was also launched.  While Realme launched X50 Pro 5G, iQoo launched the iQoo 3 phone. Both these phones are powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, the chip bundled with 5G modem.

Market sources point out that 5G smartphones will gain popularity and attract buyers when India gets 5G network.

Thu, 27 Feb 2020 21:34:55 +0530
Rioters target Delhi scho

Everything has been seriously vandalized in two Shiv Vihar schools in Delhi except one notebook left behind by a student in one of the schools which were targeted by rioters. Violence erupted in North East Delhi on Sunday and has been continuing unabated ever since. 

The rooftop of the Rajdhani Senior Secondary School was used for launching petrol bomb and soon chaos started in the locality. After having done significant damages the rioters moved to the adjacent DRP School for doing the same, clearly exposing Delhi Police’s complicity and support for the rioters. 

Both schools were substantially destroyed with benches of classrooms being reduced to ashes and walls turned into black after rioters threw petrol bombs. In Rajdhani School window panes were broken and principal room vandalized. Caretaker of the school was trapped inside the school premises for 48 hours and was consoled by the school owner who visited him later.

Thu, 27 Feb 2020 21:32:41 +0530
drones monitoring situati

New Delhi:  police and security forces assign camera drones for surveillance over the violence hit areas of East Delhi. Following the violence, the area is under control of security forces and the residents were also approached by the security forces to get assistance controlling the tensed situation around here.

Sources said that residents are coming forward to help the security personnel present in and around Maujpur. With the help of these people, police and paramilitary forces are trying to gather information about the miscreants.

Tension, however, still persists in Maujpur despite the presence of security forces and de-escalation of the violence.

All markets remained shut on Thursday and essential services such as schools, hospitals, banks, nursing homes, etc. remained affected. Public transport was not easily available as well.

Though the metro stations in and around Maujpur have now been opened for the convenience of the people, the locals, who are apprehensive about their safety, are still not stepping out of their homes.

Thu, 27 Feb 2020 20:58:03 +0530
The works of Sree Narayan

Kalady Sree Narayana Dharmashram head priest Srimad Saigan Swamy said that the works of Sree Narayana Guru are the steps to Advaita thought, the realization of the thought that man is one and that one race is a human race will only lead to good in the world.  He was talking on the occasion of second anniversary of ‘Anpu’, a study centre for Sree Narayana Guru’s kritis and the centenary celebration of Guru’s famous kriti ‘Jathinirnayam’ at Nerul Gurudevagiri B Rajanand auditorium.


Joint Commissioner of Income Tax, Jyothis Mohan, IRS while inaugurating the celebrations, said that the things that people begin to be learn at the age of 70 years are being implemented at an early age by a group called ‘Anpu’, and the teaching of Gurudev’s works in everyday life makes one a good man.

Delivering his speech as a special guest, Sree Narayana Mandira Samiti General Secretary N. S. Salim Kumar said that the proper study of Gurudev’s works will be free from casteist thinking and that Mumbai people are doing better than Kerala.

Spiritual and material progress is the basis of philosophy and whatever the money, status or glory it requires, the ultimate progress must be given to the Guru's words: concentration, virtue and oneness. Dr. Sureshkumar Madhusudanan, former chairman of the Shivagiri pilgrimage committee and managing director of the Seagull Group of Companies urged that Gurudeva’s work can only be understood and realized through study. 

Author Nirmala Mohan talked about the centenary of Guru’s book ‘Caste Nirnayam’. Filmmaker and entrepreneur Murali Mattummal, former chairman of the committee and former union president Harilal Pottath, former Mumbai Thane union secretary P. P. Padmanabhan, Yogam board member Balesh and Mumbai Thane Union women's group president Jagadamma Mohan, Secretary Suma Jayadas, Mira Road, Dombivli Branch, secretaries S. Latheesh, Karthikeyan, Ghatkopar Branch Vice President Jayan Pullani, union vaidika committee secretary K. K. Madhusudanan, coordinator Shantha Velayudhan, Preeti Mangalath and Jaya Balan also spoke and recited Gurudeva's works.


Sivaprasada Panchakam, sung by four-and-a-half year old Devanand was a treat to watch. Kannur Thottada Gowri teacher’s poetry recital lended charm to the ceremony. Sridevi Sundaresan delivered a lecture on Guru Devan's God's image.

In the presence of learners from India and Kuwait, Bijukumar welcomed the participants and TK Mohan expressed gratitude.  A member of Anpu family and the daughter of Nivedita Bhasi, Sonu Bhasi, who passed the solicitor's exam and Sneha Chilanka and Abhinayashree awardee Harilakshmi Priyan, were honoured at the function. P K Balakrishnan, Alka Balakrishnan Suchindran Mangalath and Pradeep Kumar led the programme. The delicious food prepared by the Royal Rasoi was loved by all.

Thu, 27 Feb 2020 20:05:58 +0530
Kerala HC stays temple bo

The Kerala High Court on Thursday stayed the handing of an award by the Guruvayoor Devasom Board (GDB) to the Chief Minister's Press Adviser Prabha Varma for his magnum opus 'Shyama Madhavam'. ' Shyama Madhavam ' is a verse novel that revolves around Lord Krishna and the lives of those who come across him during his earthly sojourn, which the poet says is not as many believe, a series of ecstasies but agonies.The GDB, which manages Guruvayoor's famous Sree Krishna Temple, was to confer on Friday the Poonthanam Jnanappana award. The court said that the cultural programme associated with the award ceremony can however be held.

Thu, 27 Feb 2020 19:52:32 +0530
2008 Malegaon blasts case

Mumbai: One of the prime accused in the 2008 Malegaon bomb blast case, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Pragya Singh Thakur, appeared before a Special NIA Court on Thursday. This was her first appearance before the Special NIA Court in the past eight months, the last being in June last year. Thakur's appearance came a day after Special NIA Court Judge V.S. Padalkar directed all those convicted in the Malegaon 2008 blast case to remain at least once a week before his court pursuant to his May 2019 order. Significantly, the development took place two days after the Bombay High Court frowned at how there was no ' significant progress ' in the case and sought the National Investigation Agency's clarification of the delays in the lower court.

Thu, 27 Feb 2020 16:00:45 +0530
Delhi violence Police co


New Delhi: A day after the Delhi High Court talked tough on alleged inaction of security forces during violence in northeast parts of the national capital, Delhi Police set up special teams that were conducting raids on Thursday in the NCR-Delhi to arrest the rioters. Till now, around 250 persons were rounded up, but many were sent back home as their involvement in rioting was not found. Around 100 persons still in police custody had provided useful information on those involved in violence and arson and were absconding.

A DCP-rank officer said that situation in the northeast Delhi had improved between Tuesday night and Wednesday and no untoward incident had been reported ever since. This had enabled authorities to spare police officials to conduct raids on Thursday to arrest the suspected rioters. These teams comprises officers and jawans of police stations concerned, apart from those from the Special Cell and Crime Branch. "Though teams are conducting raids to catch hold of all those involved in arson and looting, we are in particular looking for an area councillor who is absconding ever since his role in the violence came to light," an Additional Commissioner of Police, who wished not to be named, told IANS.

An Assistant Commissioner of Police posted in northeast Delhi said that so far the death toll was over 30 in Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital and Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital and that the district police was busy getting the post-mortems on the bodies conducted and completing other formalities. An officer in the rank of Joint Commissioner of Police said they were raiding the possible hideouts of Shahrukh, who was caught on camera while brandishing a firearm and pressing it to the chest of a security personnel. He had also allegedly fired several rounds in the air.

A manhunt was also launched to arrest those responsible for the killing of Intelligence Bureau official Ankit Sharma, whose body was fished out from the Chandbagh drain. Ankit's father Ravinder Kumar Sharma had allegedly named the absconding councillor as one of the rioters responsible for his son's murder. Several people living in violence-hit areas told the visiting IANS team on Thursday that police was otherwise making excuses of getting busy in maintaining peace in the affected areas but the promptness it was now showing had come only after the High Court's tough stand.


Thu, 27 Feb 2020 15:38:25 +0530
Rakhigarh village heritag

New Delhi:  Even as authorities see a huge heritage tourism potential of Rakhigarh village in Hisar district of Haryana and is making efforts in this regard, villagers are obviously fearful of what the future holds for them, including their sources of livelihood.

For a small village that does not even have a proper garbage disposal system in place, the Culture and Tourism Ministry plans to give Rakhigarhi a completely new identity, including a museum on the Harappan culture that would be the world's biggest.

The village is about 150 km to the northwest of Delhi.

It is not exactly Rakhigarhi that is of interest to the world at large, but 'teelas' or mounds nearby that hide within them the remnants of the largest Indus Valley civilisation sites, even larger than Mohenjo-daro in Sind in Pakistan that is dated around 2,500 BCE.

Rakhigarhi is also said to be the site of a pre-Indus Valley civilisation settlement dating back to about 6,500 BCE. Later, it was part of the mature Indus Valley civilisation, dating back to 2,600-1,900 BCE.

The archaeological excavations on the mounds adjoining the village in the past have revealed human remains and artefacts of Harappan and pre-Harappan civilisations, which have been kept at the Hisar archaeology office near Jhajpul.

Now with the plan afoot to construct a museum, villagers have welcomed the initiative but are wary too. Landless farmers who depend heavily on livestock to make a living point out they will have to leave the land holding traces of Harappan civilisation below.

The villagers claim the government is offering them flats in lieu of land, which will mean they will have to discontinue rearing of livestock, their only source of income.

"I currently own 500 square yards, while they are offering me a flat of 100 sq yards. Why should I leave my land? How will I rear cows and buffaloes in a flat?" griped Satbeer, an elderly farmer.

The authorities point out that Satbeer and over 160 other landless farmers like him are actually settled illegally on the mounds and that offering flats is the best the administration can do as limited land was available to compensate affected farmers.

The Archaeological Survey of India has been able to get hold of just 83.5 acres of the 350 hectares spanning 11 mounds ever since the process began in 1996, encroachments and pending court cases have drastically slowed down the excavations.

ASI's Chandigarh Circle archaeologist Zulfeqar Ali said the ASI has been able to excavate only five per cent of the land in the village since 1996.

Union Tourism and Cultural Minister Prahlad Singh Patel visited the village on Sunday to act as a facilitators between authorities and residents.

Patel interacted with both sides and took note of issues involved. He announced that the panchayat will come with a plan to move forward and put it before authorities and then both sides will try to find a middle path. He offered to mediate.

"Let's fix a date. You tell me when can you sit with the farmers; I will join in the discussions," Patel was seen telling the area SDM.

"There is no way we will move ahead without the cooperation of locals. I propose that the panchayat comes out with a plan to be discussed with authorities," Patel added.

Till such time arrives, farmers are using the mounds to dry cow dung cakes and throw plastic waste. No surprise that the site that boasts of nurturing one of the oldest civilizations in the world once upon a time at present can be mistaken for a garbage dump.

Thu, 27 Feb 2020 15:23:32 +0530
UAE based Indians call fo

Dubai: Respect to the ongoing violence situation in the capital city, UAE based Indians call for peace asking to maintain peace and harmony among Indian communities.

People says “what is happening in Delhi is disheartening, especially for those of us who hail from the same city,” They were shocked and worried over the ongoing violence in the Indian capital city which has so far killed 33 people.

Violence between pro- and anti-Citizenship Amendment Act groups in Jaffrabad, Maujpur and Gokulpuri in northeast Delhi on Sunday causes number of casualties and 200 injured people.

Indians from all over the world are closely watching the situation around Delhi violence and praying to overcome these situations saying they are still having faith in the country and its people.

Thu, 27 Feb 2020 15:06:49 +0530
Sonia led Cong delegation

New Delhi: A delegation from the Congress headed by interim party chief Sonia Gandhi met with President Ram Nath Kovind and delivered a memorandum on the violence in Delhi. The party urged the President should intervene in the matter and sought the removal of Home Minister Amit Shah. The Congress delegation to the President said that he should direct the government, both central and the state, to act.

Thu, 27 Feb 2020 15:03:03 +0530
Baar Bra Dekho Radhika

Mumbai: Actress Radhika Madan says she gets baffled when she finds how women are still made to feel "judged" for something like a bra-strap.The actress has come forward to lend her support to women, shamed for their peeking bra straps. She has come on board as the face of "Baar Bra Dekho", an unique initiative by MTV to spread the word against strap shaming and normalise conversations around it.

"Awkward stares, nasty glances, unwanted touch - almost all of us have been subjected to such instances while travelling in public transport or otherwise. It baffles me to see how women are still made to feel judged for something like a bra-strap showing that should have been normalised long ago," Radhika said.

"Clothes don't define us and it's simply a woman's call on what she chooses to wear and how. I am glad to lend my voice to a thought provoking initiative like 'Baar Bra Dekho' that lets women give back and be at comfort. Let's celebrate this Women's Day differently and choose not to feel awkward for our bra straps showing. Straps don't shame, so you shouldn't also," she added.

Sharing her story, Radhika said: "I was in school, and it was that phase when you're growing up and you start wearing new bras. I went to school one day, wearing a coloured bra. Ek ladka aaya mere pass and usne mujhe kaha, 'arey, your bra strap is showing'.

"And at that time I realised, I was so embarrassed. I went home and decided that I will now wear nude bras under my school uniform. But now when I think about it, I feel like get a life dude, it's just a bra strap. A bra strap - that is it. You don't have to be embarrassed about it, it's just there."

Through the initiative, Radhika will be asking women to share their stories of shaming to trigger attention and awareness.


Thu, 27 Feb 2020 14:45:32 +0530
Women s T20 World cup

Melbourne: India on Thursday defeated New Zealand by three runs in what turned out to be a thrilling game towards the end. India, who have been provided good starts in the first two matches, again let go of their advantage in the middle overs, losing a flurry of wickets and then posting what was a below par total of 132/8.

However, it was once their spin-heavy bowling which saw them hold their nerves as they eventually restricted the White Ferns to 129/6, thus entering the last four of the tournament with a game left.

Captain Harmanpreet Kaur has called on her teammates to focus on their shortcomings, especially in the batting department, and avoid making mistakes in the upcoming games of the tournament.

Young prodigy Shafali Verma once again provided the team with a great start and contributed with 46 runs. "She (Shafali) is giving us good starts and I hope she continues doing that as quick runs at the top are really important to us," said the Indian skipper while praising Shafali.

Meanwhile, New Zealand skipper Sophie Devine advised her team not to dwell too much on the loss and focus on their next two games against Bangladesh (Saturday) and Australia (March 2).

India, having already topped the Group A standings, will play their final league stage game against Sri Lanka on Saturday.

Thu, 27 Feb 2020 14:03:04 +0530
US cities against Delhi v

Washington: Protests have been planned in the four US cities of Chicago, Atlanta, San Francisco and New York on Friday against the violence in New Delhi that has so far claimed 33 lives, a media report said.

The protests have been organised by a group named South Asian Students Against Fascism under the banner of "Emergency! Stop State Sanctioned Violence in India", the American Bazaar said in the report on Wednesday. Participants will gather in front of Indian Consulates in the four cities.

The organising group calls itself a movement of South Asian students who are together in the fight against fascism, religious intolerance and polarization. Violence erupted between pro- and anti-Citizenship Amendment Act groups in areas like Jaffrabad, Maujpur and Gokulpuri in northeast Delhi on Sunday.

Besides the casualties, over 200 people were injured in the violence.


Source: IANS

Thu, 27 Feb 2020 13:20:50 +0530
Job insecurity personalit

Sydney: Experiencing chronic job insecurity can change your personality for the worse, say researchers, adding that those exposed to job insecurity over more than four years became less emotionally stable, less agreeable, and less conscientious.

The study, published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, built on a growing evidence base about the negative consequences of job insecurity.

"Traditionally, we've thought about the short-term consequences of job insecurity - that it hurts your well-being, physical health, sense of self-esteem," said study researcher Lena Wang from RMIT University in Australia.

"But now we are looking at how that actually changes who you are as a person over time, a long-term consequence that you may not even be aware of," Wang added.

The study used nationally representative data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey in relation to answers about job security and personality for 1,046 employees over a nine-year period.

It applied a well-established personality framework known as the Big Five, which categorises human personality into five broad traits: emotional stability, agreeableness, conscientiousness, extraversion and openness.

The study results showed that long-term job insecurity negatively affected the first three traits, which relate to a person's tendency to reliably achieve goals, get along with others, and cope with stress.

The researchers said the results went against some assumptions about job insecurity.

"Some might believe that insecure work increases productivity because workers will work harder to keep their jobs, but our research suggests this may not be the case if job insecurity persists," Wang said.

"We found that those chronically exposed to job insecurity are in fact more likely to withdraw their effort and shy away from building strong, positive working relationships, which can undermine their productivity in the long run," Wang added.

Previous research has shown that insecure work - including labour hire practices, contract and casual work, and underemployment - is on the rise in Australia and globally.

The HILDA data drew on responses from employees from a broad cross-section of professions and jobs, who were asked about how secure they perceived their jobs to be.

The researchers said that types of job insecurity might include short-term contracts or casual work, jobs threatened by automation, and positions that could be in line for a redundancy.

Source: IANS

Thu, 27 Feb 2020 13:15:06 +0530
Cyanide killer Jolly atte

Forty-seven-year-old Jolly Thomas, who had eliminated six people in her family for several years, attempted suicide by cutting off her right wrists early on Thursday and was quickly rushed to the hospital of Medical College, here, police say. Jolly, who had been housed in the Kozhikode District Jail, first bit her wrists and then rubbed it against the tiles and wounded herself, according to a statement given to the hospital police. The hospital authorities indicate that a surgery is needed. A police probe has started.

Thu, 27 Feb 2020 12:08:22 +0530
Twitter opens Hide Repli

San Francisco: Twitter has rolled out its 'Hide Replies' feature to its developer community, allowing them to create tools that would help users hide replies in the conversation thread on the micro-blogging platform that are offensive, hateful or racist in nature.

Developers can now create tools that automatically hide bad tweets like those including certain prohibited keywords or those that score high for being toxic, TechCrunch reported on Wednesday.

Twitter today automatically hides replies by keywords or Twitter handles. Soon, it will add support for hiding replies from likely troll or bot accounts -- including tweets from user accounts created too recently or from accounts with few followers.

The company has worked with a small number of developers who are now releasing tools that take advantage of the added functionality.

Last November, Twitter had rolled out the 'Hide Replies' feature globally which lets users hide replies they think are irrelevant, off-topic, or annoying and changing the course of the discussion on the platform.

Anyone can choose to hide replies to their tweets. Everyone can see and engage with hidden replies by tapping the grey icon that will appear on the tweets.

It is not the equivalent of a delete button but hides replies behind an icon.

There is, however, a downside to the feature.

"For example, a user could choose to hide replies that simply disagreed with their views. This would then create a 'filter bubble' where only people who shared the original poster's same opinion would have their comments prominently displayed," Tech Crunch reported earlier.

A Twitter user can also hide replies that attempt to correct misinformation or offer a fact check.

Twitter said that it was also working on new controls and more clarity around the rules of conversation spaces.

source: ians

Thu, 27 Feb 2020 11:00:47 +0530
Women s T20 WC New Zeala

Melbourne, Feb 27 (IANS) New Zealand captain Sophie Devine on Thursday won the toss and elected to field against India in their Group A game at the Junction Oval in the ongoing Women's T20 World Cup.

"We are going to bowl first. It's a fresh wicket, we would like to make most of the conditions. We have made a couple of changes. I thought Sri Lanka put us under the pump early on and that's we got to be on the money against India. It's about sticking to your strengths and not get carried away. I am hoping to continue my form," said Devine after winning the toss.

India have made two changes to their playing XI which featured against Bangladesh. Smriti Mandhana and Radha Yadav have been brought in place for Arundhati Reddy and Richa Ghosh.

"We wanted to bat first only. We have two changes today. Smriti and Radha come in for Arundhati and Richa. We are doing well in patches and we need to do well in batting. We will try to give our best today. I did struggle in the last two games but will give my best in this game," said India skipper Harmanpreet Kaur.

Playing XIs:

India: Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Taniya Bhatia(w), Jemimah Rodrigues, Harmanpreet Kaur(c), Deepti Sharma, Veda Krishnamurthy, Shikha Pandey, Radha Yadav, Poonam Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakwad

New Zealand: Sophie Devine(c), Rachel Priest(w), Suzie Bates, Maddy Green, Katey Martin, Amelia Kerr, Hayley Jensen, Anna Peterson, Leigh Kasperek, Lea Tahuhu, Rosemary Mair

Thu, 27 Feb 2020 10:36:30 +0530
SpiceJet to start 11 new

New Delhi: Budget carrier SpiceJet on Wednesday said that it will commence 11 new flight services from March 29. The airline will introduce non-stop flights on the Mumbai-Leh, Leh-Srinagar and Srinagar-Mumbai routes for the first time on its network. "The airline will also enhance its operations with additional frequencies on Mumbai-Rajkot, Delhi-Dharamshala and Bengaluru-Vijayawada sectors," the airline said in a statement.

Recently, SpiceJet had announced the launch of 20 new domestic flights starting from March 29. Besides, the airline will further strengthen its regional network with the launch of two new flights on the Jalandhar-Jaipur-Jalandhar route under the regional connectivity scheme. "With the commencement of this new route, the airline will now operate a total of 54 flights connecting 12 cities under the regional connectivity scheme," the statement said.

According to the company, all new flights will be operational daily except the flight on the Bengaluru-Vijayawada-Bengaluru route. "The airline will deploy a mix of its Boeing 737 and Bombardier Q400 aircraft on all these routes," the statement said. At present, SpiceJet operates 600 average daily flights to 63 destinations, including 54 domestic and 9 international ones.


Thu, 27 Feb 2020 10:32:42 +0530
Going to do lot of busine

New York: Calling relations with "incredible" India "extraordinary", US President Donald Trump has said that Washington was going to do a lot of business with New Delhi.

Asked at a White House news conference about his recent visit to India, Trump said on Wednesday: "A lot of tremendous progress was made in terms of relationship. Our relationship with India is extraordinary right now. And we are going to be doing a lot of business with India." India and the US have not been able to reach a comprehensive agreement on trade, but negotiations were continuing and Trump has said that he expected they would come up with one.

At Wednesday's news conference, he said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is "a great gentleman, a great leader", and India is an "incredible country". During the trip "we were treated very, very well and we really enjoyed it". "They are sending billions and billions of dollars now to the United States," he said. Indian business leaders at a meeting with Trump in New Delhi on Tuesday had told him about the billions of dollars they were investing in the US.

Thu, 27 Feb 2020 10:26:47 +0530
Kareena reveals fitness s

Mumbai:Bollywood actress and style diva Kareena Kapoor Khan has shared her fitness secrets for fans.

Although the actress is on social media, she doesn't use it much, to reveal gym regime details. Rather, Kareena's workout and gym secrets have constantly made it to social media courtesy her best friend Amrita Arora and celebrity trainer Namrata Purohit.

Other than working out, Kareena strongly believes that a healthy attitude towards life and good food are the right tricks to stay healthy, reports

Kareena, who is nicknamed Bebo, shared that she starts her day by drinking a glass of hot water mixed with lime. Breakfast must include poha or upma.

The actress avoids junk food and makes sure to eat home cooked food for lunch and dinner. She has her last meal of the day at around 8pm.

Workout is a must. Kareena is a Pilates girl, though her workout session also includes battle rope exercises, kettle-bell squats and boxing.

She works out four days a week.

Source: IANS

Thu, 27 Feb 2020 10:19:15 +0530
Another FIR against ex UP

The Moradabad police have registered an FIR against former Uttar Pradesh Governor Aziz Qureshi for allegedly delivering an inflammatory speech here on 22 February to anti-CAA protesters at the Eidgah Maidan. A similar FIR was lodged against Qureshi in Lucknow for taking part in another anti-CAA march and stir on February 2. SP (city), Moradabad, Amit Anand, said: "We have registered a case at Galshaheed police station (on Wednesday) under section 143, 145 (unlawful assembly) and 188 (violation of prohibitory orders) of Indian Penal Code (IPC) against Qureshi for participating in the protest and making an inflammatory speech."

Thu, 27 Feb 2020 10:18:13 +0530
Leopard found in school

Pilibhit (Uttar Pradesh):  Leopard entered campus at Government school Keeratpur village on Wednesday and attacked a dog while the frightened children ran to the classroom and locked in to be safe.

Wednesday a leopard from nearby fields entered into the school, the children seeing the leopard locked themselves in the classroom. The children told the incident to  Principal Nidhi Diwakar and she immediately informed the forest department. To ensure security of the children Police deploy armed security at school from Thursday

village head Ranjit Singh Head of the village, asked villagers to accompany children to the school in groups to ensure the security of children.

Thu, 27 Feb 2020 10:05:19 +0530
kamal and Rajini on CAA

Chennai: Actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan on Wednesday welcomed Rajinikanth's criticism of the Central government in failing to control the violence in Delhi.

Minutes after Rajinikanth said that it was the failure of Union Home Minister Amit Shah in controlling the violence in North-East Delhi, Kamal Haasan said in a tweet: "Excellent Friend Rajinikanth. Come like that. This route is good route and not a separate route. It is King's Path of one race."

Rajinikanth had said the violence and related deaths in Delhi were the failure of the Central government's intelligence wing, which was nothing but the failure of Home Minister Amit Shah.He also said there was nothing wrong in peaceful protests but they should not turn violent and current protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act is going beyond limits and they should have been dealt with an iron hand.

He said the Delhi violence, which broke out during US President Donald Trump's visit, was condemnable.

Rajinikanth also hoped that the Central government will be more careful now.

Not forseeing the Central government revoking the CAA, Rajinikanth said the Centre had clearly explained about the National Population Register (NPR) and why there should be no confusion over it.

Rajinikanth also said that it was sad that he was being described as the mouthpiece of the BJP.


Thu, 27 Feb 2020 09:23:45 +0530
Kejriwal announces Rs 1 c


New Delhi: Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced on Wednesday that the Delhi government will give the family of the head constable Ratan Lal who was killed in violence in northeast Delhi a compensation of Rs 1 crore. Speaking in the Assembly, Kejriwal, who had visited the family on Tuesday, said: "As per the Delhi government's policy, we will give Rs 1 crore to head constable Ratan Lal's family." "Hatred and abuse policies won't be tolerated. Delhi's common man hasn't indulged in aggression; outsiders, it includes some political elements," he said.

Thu, 27 Feb 2020 09:00:11 +0530
inspector found shot dead

New Delhi: A 56-year-old Delhi police inspector allegedly shot himself dead at his residence in Rohini.

The deceased Jai Bhagwan was the inspector in Delhi Police's Security Wing. Jai's wife found his body when she returned home from the office.

However, the time of the incident is not yet known. Police said that the gun recovered from the spot was the personnel's service revolver. However, no suicide note has been recovered yet, so the reason behind the grave step could not be ascertained.


Thu, 27 Feb 2020 08:54:32 +0530
malaika arora

Mumbai: Dancing diva Malaika Arora shot to fame with the song "Chaiyya chaiyya" back in 1998. She feels that though there is a trend of remixes these days, the AR Rahman composition is one of those numbers that simply shouldn't be touched.

The song "Chaiyya chaiyya", sung by Sukhwinder Singh and Sapna Awasthi, for the Mani Rathnam film "Dil Se" is an all-time favourite dance number of most people. Its video featured Malaika and superstar Shah Rukh Khan matching steps atop a train, and continues to be popular.

Malaika recently danced to the number in an episode of the new dance reality show, "India's Best Dancer". Asked about it, Malaika told IANS: "When you play that song, you can't help but get up and dance. It is an iconic song. When I shot the song, Geeta (Kapur) was assisting Farah (Khan) at that time. I used to study under Terence (Lewis), Geeta assisted me on that dance. It was nice. We felt that 'let's just go for it'."

But there's one thing she would like to point out about recreations.

"In today's day and age there is a constant trend of remixes. There are a few songs that I think you should never touch. They are iconic. There must be five or 10 songs over the years that you can pull out. 'Chaiyya Chaiyya' is one of them. Don't tamper with it, just let the original be and that's how it should be," she said.

She doesn't have anything against recreations though. "I think some of the remixes are fantastic and go with today's age and kids but yeah, there are certain things you should not tamper with like 'The Godfather' or 'Mother India' are iconic films. You should just let them be," she shared.

Meanwhile, Malaika will be judging "India's Best Dancer" along with Terence and Geeta. It will premiere on February 29 on Sony Entertainment Television.

"I have never done a dance show which is solo based. I have done celebrity based dance shows, I have done a variety show, which had all kinds of entertainment like singing, dancing and comedy. This is the first time that I am doing a dance show like this," said the former judge of "Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa".

"It has its challenges and its space where I feel amazing to learn so much on the show. I feel my co-judges have a lot of technique and expertise about dance and dance forms. When it comes to me, I am a very emotional person. I judge from my heart," she added.

(This news originally from Ians )


Thu, 27 Feb 2020 07:44:27 +0530
Auto industry to stabiliz

American credit rating agency Moody’s in its latest forecast has said it expects the automobile sales to witness stable growth on the back of stimulus measures like discounts for new cars which do not conform to BS VI emission norms.

Moody’s Investor Service has predicted that car sales could be flat this year after plunging to a low 11.8 per cent in 2019 amidst slowing economic growth. The outbreak of coronavirus has also dented auto sales in the near term with auto supply chains undergoing disruptions.

In its press statement, Moody’s said, “We expect Indian auto sales to rise 0.5 per cent in 2020, supported by stimulus measures, discounts on new cars that do not comply with Bharat Stage 6 (BS 6) emission norms, which will take effect in April.”

Weak consumer sentiments and availability of cash in hand had put pressure on auto companies to garner sales in the last year. Car sales could increase by 2 per cent by 2021, the rating agency said in its statement.

Wed, 26 Feb 2020 23:23:00 +0530
Pulse to launch 10 000 he

Pulse Active Stations has announced that it will launch 10,000 health kiosks in India over the next 3 years. The launching of the smart kiosks is expected to create 10,000 jobs and 8,000 micro entrepreneurs in the country. 

The company said that the kiosks, located in over 100 cities throughout India, will measure various health and wellness parameters of users and through its AI based platform give regular indications of potential lifestyle diseases with personalized recommendations to overcome the same.

At an event attended by Lok Sabha MP Kotagiri Sridhar, Pulse unveiled its ‘Pulse Active Stations Network’ revealing 150 additional locations across 100 cities where the kiosks are being planned. Pulse has so far conducted 4 lakh checkups in 150 locations including high footfall places. Some of these being railway stations such as New Delhi railway station, Bengaluru City railway station, Pune Junction railway station, Metro stations in Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai and bus stations in Lucknow, Hyderabad, etc.

Wed, 26 Feb 2020 23:18:46 +0530
Delhi High Court directs

Delhi High Court today ordered the Delhi Police to review all the inflammatory clippings connected to the ongoing anti-CAA agitations taking place in Delhi and submit a detailed report to the court by tomorrow. 

The court told Praveen Ranjan, Special Commissioner of Police to inform the Commissioner of Police and present the findings to the court. Justice S. Muralidhar was hearing the petition seeking an independent enquiry, compensation for the deceased and arrest of political leaders who were inciting violence in Delhi. 

Around 13 people have reportedly been killed in the riots and 86 have been injured thus far.

Wed, 26 Feb 2020 23:16:06 +0530
Cannot share water with o

Punjab Chief Minister, Captain Amrinder Singh today told that Punjab cannot share water with other states. Speaking in reply to the motion of thanks on Punjab Governor’s address, Captain Singh said that there is a scarcity of water in Punjab and in line with internationally accepted riparian principles Punjab will not transfer water from basin to non-basin areas.

According top priority to safeguard Punjab’s water rights the chief minister said that the state government will continue to protect the water rights of the state to ensure the smooth livelihood of its farmers and labourers. Commenting upon the measures taken by his government, Captain Amrinder Singh said that apart from enactment of the Punjab Water Resources (Management and Regulation) Act of 2020, the government had also piloted a unique project namely ‘Pani Bachao, Paisa Kamao’ (Save Water, Earn Money) aimed at incentivizing farmers to save water and earn money by consuming lesser ground water.’

He further told that his government aims to complete the Shahpur Kandi Dam Project in 2022-23 and Kandi Canal, along with attendant water courses, by providing requisite finances during 2020-21. These measures will help Punjab make itself self-sufficient in the years to come.

Wed, 26 Feb 2020 23:14:33 +0530
CRISIL acquires Greenwich

Global analytics company CRISIL has acquired 100 per cent stake in Greenwich Associates LLC. The transaction was completed on December 19, 2019. Greenwich is the leading global provider of data, analytics and insights to the financial services industry specializing in providing unique high value data and actionable recommendations to help clients improve their business results. 

Managing Director and CEO of CRISIL Ashu Suyash said, “Greenwich will accelerate CRISIL's strategy to be the leading player in the growing market of global benchmarking analytics across financial services. Greenwich's deep expertise in Voice of Customers' surveys, proprietary data assets, and capabilities to source and aggregate high value performance data will complement CRISIL's exiting offerings. We are very excited to be able to bring new, powerful and unique analytics to our clients through this acquisition.”

Wed, 26 Feb 2020 23:11:06 +0530
When Bhangra kid amused U

New Delhi: Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra shared a delightful video of a little boy who broke the internet with his incredible dance moves while watching a performance for US First Lady Melania Trump at a Delhi government school on Tuesday.

Sharing the video on his Twitter handle, the business tycoon wrote, "In a world burdened by natural calamities, trade battles, social upheavals & pandemics, this viral clip showing a child's unrestrained enthusiasm is a breath of fresh air. He didn't give a hoot about the celebrity in front & the nervous secret service agent behind! Balle balle!"

In the shared clip, Melania Trump can be seen watching a dance performance by the students at the Sarvodaya Senior Secondary School in Nanakpura. While the students were performing bhangra moves, one student -- Gaganjit -- broke into a spontaneous jig in the audience, much to the amusement of Melania Trump.

While her security apparatus went into a tizzy, Melania Trump enjoyed the impromptu performance thoroughly. As the cameras caught Gaganjit dancing, the First Lady could be seen laughing and clapping for him.

As the post went viral, Twitterati flooded the social media with their reactions. A user wrote, "Chotta Sardar took the entire limelight, he is the star of event...burrrraaaaaaaaahh."

Another wrote, "At last this video brought some smile on face. Paaji tusi cha gaye."

A post read, "A lesson for the so called grown life child like."

"Some perfections can only be inherited. Bhangra in blood. Every move he is doing is an epitome of perfection. This Little sardar just stole my heart...God bless." a user remarked.

Source: IANS

Wed, 26 Feb 2020 21:31:37 +0530
techie in Wuhan surviving

 Hyderabad: A 22-year-old engineer from Andhra Pradesh, who is stranded in coronavirus-hit Chinese city of Wuhan, is surviving on rice and pickle for nearly a month, her relatives said.

The woman from the Kurnool district is eating only the rice supplied in the dormitory and pickle with her from India. And is likely to return with other Indians stranded in Hubei province on Thursday.

The woman, who was not allowed to board the flights to India late last month and earlier this month, is likely to return along with other Indians stranded in Hubei province on Thursday.

China's novel coronavirus epidemic has so far claimed 2,715 lives while there are 78,064 confirmed cases.

Source: IANS

Wed, 26 Feb 2020 21:03:11 +0530
cbse exams postponed

 New Delhi:The Central Board of Secondary Education's (CBSE) class 12 exams in violence-hit areas of northeast Delhi on Thursday have been postponed.

The CBSE said in a statement that considering the request of Delhi's Directorate of Education and to avoid inconvenience to students, staff and parents, the exam has been postponed for the area, but will be conducted in rest of Delhi as scheduled. The exams scheduled for Thursday was English Elective, English Elective C and English Core.

The new date of exam for the affected students will be notified shortly, the CBSE said.


Source: IANS

Wed, 26 Feb 2020 20:53:17 +0530
Trump back home

New York:US President Donald Trump returned home on Wednesday after winding up his visit to expand strategic partnership with India.

What stated during India visit mentioned as two countries are still struggling to reach a comprehensive trade agreement, but the statement said Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi "are working toward a trade agreement that reflects the full potential of the economic relationship between our two countries."

Trump has consistently complained about the US trade deficit with India but the White House pointed out that energy exports to India have grown substantially. According to the trade contracts, India will be buying over $3 billion in American military equipment, including Apache and MH-60R helicopters.

While India does not seem to have acceded to US requests to not use Chinese technology for building the 5G telecommunications network, the statement said they "discussed the importance of building secure 5G systems to promote a trusted networking future".    

Wed, 26 Feb 2020 20:43:26 +0530
Ravi Shankar Prasad lashe

New Delhi: Union law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad lashed out at the interim president of Congress Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday over her statement following the violence in Delhi. Shankar said: "Tension should come to an end in Delhi. Many people are spreading violence here. At a time when Delhi is returning to peace, the remark made by Congress leader Sonia Gandhi is premature. "I condemn this statement of Sonia Gandhi," the Minister said.

Wed, 26 Feb 2020 17:45:34 +0530
Phones of Kerala politici

On Wednesday Congress Party raised the serious allegation against the government of Kerala that the telephones of opposition leaders and the media are being tapped. Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala, speaking to the media here, said the actions of the state government are tantamount to setting off a dangerous trend.

Wed, 26 Feb 2020 17:39:36 +0530
Sonia demands Amit Shah s

New Delhi: The Congress Working Committee met on Wednesday and interim party president Sonia Gandhi, after more than two hours of deliberations, demanded that Home Minister Amit Shah resign following his "colossal failure" in controlling violence in north-east Delhi. "After reviewing the situation, the CWC is firmly of the opinion that what happened in Delhi is a colossal failure of duty for which the Central Government, in particular the Minister of Home Affairs, must bear full responsibility, and calls on the Minister of Home Affairs to issue his resignation immediately. "The Chief Minister and the Delhi Government are equally responsible for not activating the administration to reach out to the people to maintain peace and harmony". she said.

Wed, 26 Feb 2020 15:33:10 +0530
India data costs 33 cr

New Delhi:  Loss of productivity due to procrastination and sick leave stemming from stress around information, data and technology issues cost Indian companies Rs 33,216 crore every year, said a new report on Wednesday.

Over 85 per cent of employees in India reported feeling overwhelmed or unhappy when working with data, the highest percentage globally, according to the research from Accenture and data analytics and business intelligence platform Qlik. Companies lose an average of more than eight working days per employee, annually, said the report.

While on one hand, the report maps India as the world's most data literate country, the report also highlighted the rising workplace stress amongst Indian professionals stemming from information, data and technology issues.

Data is a gold mine that can fuel a culture of innovation and growth. However, when employees struggle to make sense of data, productivity and business value can be affected.

"No one questions the value of data -- but many companies need to re-invent their approach to data governance, analysis and decision-making. This means ensuring that their workforce has the tools and training necessary to deliver on the new opportunities that data presents," said Sanjeev Vohra, Group Technology Officer and Global Lead for Accenture's Data Business Group.

"Data-driven companies that focus on continuous learning will be more productive and gain a competitive edge," Vohra said. The survey involved 9,000 employees around the world, including 1,000 in India.

The report titled "The Human Impact of Data Literacy" identified two ways in which the data literacy gap is causing a disconnect and impacting Indian organisations' ability to thrive in the data-driven economy.

First, despite nearly all employees (83 percent) recognising data as an asset, few are using it to inform decision-making. India has the highest data literacy level globally, with close to half reporting being confident in their data literacy skills -- their ability to read, understand, question and work with data.

Interestingly, while more than half of employees trust their decisions more when based on data, four in five still frequently defer to a "gut feeling" rather than data-driven insights when making decisions. Second, a lack of data skills is shrinking productivity as 85 per cent of employees reported feeling overwhelmed or unhappy when working with data.

A surprising 47 percent of surveyed employees even stated that they would find an alternative method to complete the task without using data at all. Seven in 10 respondents reported that data-overload has contributed to workplace stress, culminating in six in 10 employees (64 percent) of the local workforce taking at least one day of sick leave due to stress related to information, data and technology issues.

Source: IANS

Wed, 26 Feb 2020 14:39:04 +0530
alia BhattSaket Chaudhary

Mumbai:Actress Alia Bhatt will be seen playing the lead role in "Hindi Medium" fame director Saket Chaudhary's upcoming social drama. According to the Mumbai Mirror, the movie will deliver a hard-hitting message in a humorous way. 

"Saket has been working on the script for a while now. He was keen on casting Alia, who liked the script and has given her nod. She is expected to sign on the dotted line shortly.

Meanwhile, the hunt for the leading man is still on. The team will finalise the shooting schedule once the entire cast is locked," a source said.

The film will be produced by Sajid Nadiadwala.Apart from the upcoming social drama, Alia will also be seen opposite Ranbir Kapoor in "Brahmastra".

Source: IANS

Wed, 26 Feb 2020 14:32:58 +0530
cruise liner will be back
Panaji: The Indian Embassy in Japan is making arrangements to bring back Indian sailors, including crew members from Goa, who are currently stranded onboard the cruise-liner Diamond Princess off the Japanese coast in view of the coronavirus scare, Indian Ambassador to Japan Sanjay Kumar Varma said on Wednesday.

Varma, in a communication to Narendra Sawaikar, Commissioner for NRI (non-resident Indian) Affairs in Goa, also said that the 135 odd Indian sailors onboard the cruise-liner would return back to India soon.

"We have been issuing regular informative messages on our Twitter handle as well as our Facebook page. May I request to refer to them for timely updates. Please rest assured that the arrangements for bringing them back to India is being made and very soon they will be in their motherland," Varma said in his letter to Sawaikar.

Sawaikar looks after the affairs of the sizeable Goan expatriate community. His office serves as a liaising agency between them and the state government.

The Goa NRI Commissioner had on Tuesday written to the Indian Embassy in Japan about the anxiety of the parents of Goan sailors onboard the Diamond Princess, a British-registered cruise ship, which is operated by Princess Cruises.

Source: IANS

Wed, 26 Feb 2020 14:29:02 +0530
Rana Daggubati loses 30

Mumbai: Actor Rana Daggubati lost almost 30 kgs for his upcoming movie "Haathi Mere Saathi", in which he will be seen playing the role of a jungle man called Bandev.

To fit into the shape of his character, Rana followed a strict diet and underwent extensive training.

"Prabu Solomon sir (director) wanted everything to be real and organic. It was very difficult for me to lose all the weight since I have always been a guy with a big physique. I had to undergo extensive physical training to get the lean look for this character of Bandev. It has been a wonderful and learning experience for me," Rana informed.

The trilingual movie shot in two different countries, in four forest locales in Kerala, Mahabaleshwar, Mumbai in India, and in Thailand, took 250 days to shoot, involving 145 cast and crew. The film will also release as "Kaadan" in Tamil and "Aranya" in Telugu.

Rana is the protagonist in all three titles. While Pulkit Samrat plays Rana's parallel lead in the Hindi version, southern actor Vishnu Vishal essays the role in "Kaadan" and "Aranya".

The heroines in all three versions are Shriya Pilgaonkar and Zoya Hussain.

The movie is inspired by the unfortunate event of humans encroaching upon the elephant corridor in Kaziranga, Assam. It traces the narrative of a man, essayed by Rana, who dedicates most of his life living in the jungle, with the sole purpose of protecting wild animals.

Produced by Eros International, "Haathi Mere Saathi" is slated to hit the screens on April 2.

Wed, 26 Feb 2020 14:22:26 +0530
food rely on biodiversit

Rome:  All food production entails some transformation of the environment and nations must weight the type and scale of transformation they are prepared to accept, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation chief Qu Dongyu has said. "Biodiversity is fundamental for ecosystems, for human beings, and is the basis of food diversity," Qu said in opening remarks to negotiators at a high-level meeting on biodiversity here on Monday.

Agriculture and food systems are "at the heart of the concept of sustainable development" and are central to deliberations regarding the Post-2020 Biodiversity Framework, he said. Qu noted the "enormous challenge" of feeding more than 9 billion people by 2050 in ways that assure healthy diets and avoid overexploitation of natural resources.

He urged the delegations present to ensure that biodiversity is an integral part of the issues discussed at the 2021 World Food Systems Summit to be hosted by the UN Secretary General. Qu said he hoped for a "robust" outcome would be agreed at the UN Biodiversity Conference in Kunming, China, in October 2020.

The framework decided at the Kunming conference will set the course for the next 10 years and beyond. FAO has shepherded "many milestones" in the history of UN efforts to achieve biodiversity conservation, Qu said, citing the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture and the 2019 State of the World's Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture.

The Convention on Biological Diversity entered into force in December 1993 and currently has 196 Parties. It aims to promote the conservation of biodiversity the sustainable use of its components, and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of genetic resources.

The FAO Director-General urged the delegations present to ensure that biodiversity is an integral part of the issues discussed at the 2021 World Food Systems Summit to be hosted by the UN Secretary General.

Wed, 26 Feb 2020 13:37:57 +0530
floods paralyze Jakarta

Jakarta:The Jakarta Metropolitan Region was paralyzed on Tuesday by floodsafter torrential rains lashed the city, flooding several areas of the Indonesian capital.

Indonesia's national disaster management authority (BNPB) spokesperson Agus Wibobo urged the more than 30 million citizens living in Jakarta and nearby areas to prepare strategies for mitigating the effect of the floods, reports Efe news. In a statement, Widodo appealed to the citizens to share information on the severity of the disaster in their areas in order to facilitate aid distribution.

Authorities were still in the process of evaluating the total number of people affected by the floods.

An official real-time map to report flooding showed hundreds of affected areas in the city, although the eastern zone near Ciliwung river was the worst hit with the water level in the river rising continuously.

Some of the main roads in the capital were completely submerged in flood waters and elsewhere commuters could be seen wading through the waters despite their vehicles being partially under water. Local television network Metro TV reported that the inundations had also affected the presidential palace complex.

The Indonesian meteorological agency (BMKG) on Tuesday issued an alert saying the floods could continue until Wednesday and warned of the effects of two tropical cyclones in the region: Esther - currently situated in North Australia - and Ferdinand, located in the Indian Ocean near the southeastern island of Java.

In late December and early January, torrential rains in the Southeast Asian nation claimed over 60 lives in the Jakarta metropolitan area while tens of thousands were displaced from their homes. The capital has witnessed flooding on two more occasions since then.

Jakarta faces severe problems of overpopulation and subsidence due to constant extraction of underground aquifers which leads to the city sinking 15 to 20 cm every year. Around 40 per cent of Jakarta is located below sea level, which worsens the effects of flooding.

Source: IANS   

Wed, 26 Feb 2020 13:34:04 +0530
Rajasthan villagers block

Jaipur: A large crowd of area villagers blocked the Fatehpur-Jhunjhunu road on Wednesday and staged a protest demanding martyr status for Delhi Police Head Constable Ratan Lal, who lost his life in violence in Delhi on Monday. The protesters asserted that the body would not be cremated till the martyr status was not bestowed on the deceased policeman. While Ratan Lal's family took his mortal remains from Delhi to his native village of Tihavali in Sikar district, a large number of villagers from the area stopped them in Sadeensar village in the morning hours, a few kilometers ahead of the family's village, and blocked the Fatehpur-Jhunjhunu road.

Wed, 26 Feb 2020 13:22:59 +0530
Travel abroad Make your

New Delhi:  In view of deaths caused by novel coronavirus (COVID-19), which has taken over 2,600 lives in China, the Confederation of Medical Associations in Asia and Oceania (CMAAO) issued an updated advisory for travelling.

The coronavirus death toll in mainland China has increased to 2,663 with 77,658 confirmed cases, health authorities said on Tuesday.

According to K.K. Aggarwal, President CMAAO, "if you are travelling abroad, keep the possibility of being quarantined for 14 days in any country."

Travel advisory is divided into four levels: Level 1 on all countries -- Exercise normal standard hygiene precautions, Level 2 in all affected countries -- Exercise a high degree of caution, Level 3 all countries with secondary cases -- Reconsider your need to travel and Level 4 in affected parts of China and Korea -- Do not travel.

"Carry at least 20 days of extra essential medicines stock. Always keep the passport, kept in a plastic pouch, in a safe front pocket, with you in case if you want to leave the country," Aggarwal said.

Aggarwal added that always carry authentic medical prescription with you with generic names of the drugs, and carry dry fruits as well. He also suggested that always book a refundable air ticket even if they are 10 per cent costlier. "Get travel insurance and make sure that you have an up-to-date will, an enduring power of attorney," CMAAO President said.

The doctor advised not to travel to countries with Level 4 warnings like Wuhan, China. "For Level 3 warnings -- like India and Singapore -- travel only if it is a must and minimise time spent in airports or leave the area if you feel uneasy," Aggarwal said.

The deaths outside China were recorded in Iran (12), South Korea (eight), Italy (seven), Japan (five), Hong Kong (two), France (one), Taiwan (one) and the Philippines (one).

Wed, 26 Feb 2020 13:13:27 +0530

Lucknow: Artificial limbs (prostheses) made in the department of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the King George's Medical University, will now have increased longevity and will also become lightweight with change in material and manufacturing methods.

Shagun Singh, who heads the workshop in the department, said, "We are gradually shifting from thermosetting plastic to polypropylene plastic for making prosthesis. Patients will get the benefit as the artificial limbs made from it will be lighter and long lasting."

In thermosetting plastic, the workshop staff was required to fill cotton stock and fibre glass to make it tough to sustain the pressure. But in most cases of first-time users, this material did not last more than a year. The new material (polypropylene plastic) is designed to last longer, she said.

Singh said that a key issue was wear and tear of the pressure points in the earlier material. Since the new material is tougher and can sustain more pressure at pressure points (the places where the body weight comes upon the prosthesis) the wear and tear will be less.

She further explained that the manufacturing method had also been changed and instead of manual work for shaping pressure points, vacuum pumps will now give it shape. This reduces air pockets and chance of breakage to increase the accuracy.

The types of prosthesis that will use changed material include below knee, above knee, through knee, above ankle, partial foot, above elbow and below elbow prosthesis.

Trials have already begun, and people have responded well to prostheses made with the new material.

Source: IANS

Wed, 26 Feb 2020 13:08:56 +0530
baalveer returns delhi

New Delhi: It seems actors Dev Joshi and Vansh Sayani, who play the lead roles in the ongoing TV show "Baalveer Returns, love Delhi food. The two recently visited the Capital to promote their show and took time out to savour some 'dilli ka khana'.

"I'm so glad to have visited Delhi and meet the amazing people here. We have a huge fan base here and I am in total awe of the vibe of the city. I was specially looking forward to try the mouth-watering chaat and the famous chhole bhature in Delhi," Dev said.

Vansh, too, spoke of his love for Delhi food.

"It feels great to be a part of a fantasy show. Receiving so much love from the viewers in Delhi was overwhelming and I had a lovely time with everyone here. I really loved the delicious food in Delhi and I am looking forward to come back to this beautiful city to meet my fans and taste some wonderful delicacies," Vansh added.

"Baalveer Returns", which also features Pavitra Punia, airs on Sony SAB.

Wed, 26 Feb 2020 12:59:15 +0530
president Mubarak passes

Cairo: Hosni Mubarak who ruled Egypt for 30 years had died on Tuesday. He was undergoing treatment followed by surgery at  Cairo's Galaa military hospital.

Born in 1928 in Munofiya province in the Nile River Delta, Mubarak graduated from the Air Force Academy.  He was appointed by then President Anwar Sadat as Air Force Commander in 1972.

He was married to Suzanne Mubarak, a half-British graduate of the American University in Cairo, with two sons, Alaa and Gamal.

In 1975, Sadat appointed Mubarak as his vice president.

He focused on getting Egypt from its isolation with some Arab and Muslim countries in response to Sadat's signing of a peace treaty with Israel in 1979. He made successful ties with Iraq and provided military assistance to Baghdad in its war with Iran. In 2008, Mubarak managed to draw a truce between Islamic Hamas movement and Israel.

Inspired by the first Arab Spring revolt in Tunisia, protesters took to the streets in January 25, 2011, who commemorate the Police Day.

The military announced his resignation on February 11, 2011.

By late May 2011, judicial officials announced that Mubarak along with his two sons would stand trial over the deaths of anti-government protesters.

In 2012, he was found guilty of complicity in the murder of some of the demonstrators who took part in the wave of protests. He was sentenced along with his interior minister to life sentence.

In 2014, Mubarak was found guilty of embezzlement and sentenced to three years in prison.

He was convicted in 2015 along with his two sons of diverting public funds and using the money to upgrade family properties. They were sentenced to three years in jail.

In March 2017, Egypt's top court upheld Mubarak acquittal and he went free, for the first time in six years.

Wed, 26 Feb 2020 12:44:39 +0530
stock markets open red

Mumbai: The 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) on Wednesday opened on a negative note during the morning session of the trade. The Sensex of the BSE opened at 40,194.89 points which was also the high point. The Sensex touched a low of 39,888.17 points.

On Tuesday the Sensex closed at 40,281.20 points.The Sensex is trading at 40,044.11 down by 214.35 points or 0.53 per cent.

On the other hand, the broader 50-scrip Nifty at National Stock Exchange (NSE) opened at 11,738.55 points after closing at 11,797.90 points. The Nifty is trading at 11,711.30 points in the morning.

Wed, 26 Feb 2020 12:19:33 +0530
accenture innovation hub

Pune: Part of Accenture's global innovation network, the company Wednesday opens Third Innovation Hub in India to extend its service and to help clients and co-operate with experts upon AI, IoT, VR,  Blockchain and quantum computing etc.

Innovation hub helps clients to develop new experiences to address the growing complexity of brand-customer interaction, and using the Industry X.0 framework and resources to help clients accelerate innovation outcomes and recast business models.

Pune Innovative Hub seamlessly integrates with the Innovation Hubs in Bengaluru and Hyderabad said Bhaskar Ghosh, group chief executive, Accenture Technology Services.The new innovation Hub brings together the best of Accenture’s technology and innovation capabilities from around the world.  Also enables clients to scale technology investments and boost business outcomes across the enterprise, and create new opportunities for local talent, he added 

Wed, 26 Feb 2020 12:15:47 +0530
Section 144 in northeast

New Delhi: Section 144 imposed in several parts of the national capital on  the violent situation prevailing and unprecedented violence and the order will be expected to continue for the coming days too.

Chand Bagh, Bhajanpura, Maujpur-Babarpur, and Jaffrabad and other localities witnessed unprecedented violence on Monday and Tuesday as pro and anti-CAA protesters clashed. According to sources, no officer in Delhi Police ordered for shoot-at-sight till now.

Wed, 26 Feb 2020 11:59:03 +0530
P Sankaran passed away

Kozhikode: Former Kerala State Minister and Senior Congress leader P Sankaran passed away on Tuesday midnight at a private hospital, Kozhikkode. He was living at Kozhikkode his wife and three children and was undergoing treatment for cancer.

Sankaran known to be the closest of  K. Karunakaran, accepting his advice to contest the Kozhikode,  Lok Sabha election 1998, he won defeating MP Veerendra Kumar. Later he became the  State Minister in A.K. Antony cabinet in 2001.

Sankaran with his naturally polite manners is well accepted among Kerala Politicians and was tried to keep in touch with voters and common man.

Wed, 26 Feb 2020 11:27:04 +0530
Devendra Fadnavis critise

Mumbai: Targeting Shiv Sena's silence over AIMIM leader Waris Pathan's recent controversial remark on Tuesday, former Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said the Uddhav Thackeray-led party might be "wearing bangles" but the BJP wasn't and knew how to retaliate in the same way, said Fadnavis while launching a scathing attack on ruling-Shiv Sena in Maharashtra for not taking strict action against Pathan. Fadnavis was addressing protesters at Azad Maidan where BJP launched a protest against the government of Maharashtra over farmers and women-related issues.

Wed, 26 Feb 2020 10:29:51 +0530
Indian origin MP Suella B

London: Indian-origin Suella Braverman, appointed by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to the cabinet role of Attorney General for England and Wales on February 13, sworn in for the post at the Royal Courts of Justice in London. She is the first female Attorney General to be appointed by a Conservative Party government and is the second woman appointed to the role in British legal history. Braverman, 39, was appointed as the UK's new Attorney General in Prime Minister Boris Johnson's reshuffled Cabinet earlier this month, reported the EasternEye.

Commenting on the new responsibility, Braverman on Monday said : "It is a privilege to be sworn in as attorney general and a moment I will cherish as the second woman to be appointed to this historic role. 
"Restoring confidence in the criminal justice system is my top priority. I want to thank my predecessor for his work in this area and his distinguished service to government." A pro-Brexit campaigner, she was first elected to the House of Commons in 2015 from Fareham and re-elected in 2017 and 2019.

She has chaired the European Research Group comprising Conservative MPs favouring a hard Brexit. The swearing-in ceremony was attended by justice secretary Robert Buckland, chief justice Ian Burnett and the chair of the Bar Council, Amanda Pinto, among others. Buckland welcomed the new incumbent to the "vital and historic role" as the chief legal adviser for the government. Her role will involve overseeing the work of the law officers' departments, which include the independent prosecuting authorities, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and the Serious Fraud Office.

Braverman, whose maiden name is Suella Fernandes, was born in London to migrant parents from Kenya and Mauritius with roots in India. She was educated at Heathfield School in London and went on to study Law at Queens' College, Cambridge. The minister is a barrister and Cambridge University law graduate who specialised in public law and judicial review.


Wed, 26 Feb 2020 10:19:11 +0530
LT Governor Anil Baijal

Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal and Delhi Police Commissar Amulya Patnaik paid tribute on Wednesday at the wreath-laying ceremony of Delhi Police Head Constable Rattan Lal, who lost his life during the North East Delhi clashes. Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai was also present at the                       ceremony. "Head Constable Rattan Lal made a sacrifice for the nation. We are proud of his sacrifice, and we stand with his family," said Patnaik.

Wed, 26 Feb 2020 10:16:25 +0530
us higlight Delhi violenc

New Delhi:US media highlight Delhi tension and violence around Citizenship (Amendment) Act, where the Indian media expansively covers Trump's first-ever standalone tour.

Write ups published in leading US media detailing the alarming situations in capital city between pro and anti-CAA groups, resulting in the death of 10 people, including a policeman. During the visits Trump refused comment over the CAA citing as India's internal matter

Wed, 26 Feb 2020 09:51:53 +0530
cbse exams postponed

New Delhi:Following a series of violent clashes between pro and anti-CAA protestors, the CBSE has decided to postpone the board exams for Class 10 and 12 scheduled for February 26 in violence-affected northeast Delhi.

The decision comes after a request by the Directorate of Education and the government of Delhi who raised concerns over the exams being held amid tension in the region.

The examinations of English Communicative, and English Language and Literature for class 10 have been postponed while exams for Web Application (Old), Web Application (New) and Media have been postponed for class 12.

Earlier the Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi Manish Sisodia announced that all private and government schools in violence-affected Northeast Delhi will remain closed on Wednesday.

Sisodia, also the Delhi Education Minister, said all internal examinations have been postponed by schools.

Source: IANS

Wed, 26 Feb 2020 09:29:08 +0530
Flash protests in Hyderab

Hyderabad: Flash protests were held at few places here on Tuesday night, condemning the violence in Delhi and the alleged complicity of Delhi Police.Candle-light protests were held at Toli Chowki, Seven Tombs Road, King Koti and Yakutpura. Protestors including women raised slogans against Delhi Police, condemning their brutality. They were also carrying placards demanding withdrawal of the CAA, NPR and NRC.

However, police foiled a candle-light march on Neklace Road abutting Hussain Sagar lake in the heart of the city. Some activists had called for the march to condemn Delhi Police's brutality and right-wing violence. Large number of policemen were deployed in the area and the road was deserted even before 9 p.m. Meanwhile, Hyderabad Police Commissioner Anjani Kumar had appealed to citizens to remain alert and united to see that no mischief maker tries to take advantage of the disturbing news from Delhi. "Our Patrol cars and Bike patrols are your closest friend. Don't allow rumor mongering. Take pride in our beautiful city Hyderabad," he said.







Wed, 26 Feb 2020 09:18:50 +0530
Flash protests in Hyderab

Hyderabad: Flash protests were held at few places here on Tuesday night, condemning the violence in Delhi and the alleged complicity of Delhi Police.Candle-light protests were held at Toli Chowki, Seven Tombs Road, King Koti and Yakutpura. Protestors including women raised slogans against Delhi Police, condemning their brutality. They were also carrying placards demanding withdrawal of the CAA, NPR and NRC.

However, police foiled a candle-light march on Neklace Road abutting Hussain Sagar lake in the heart of the city. Some activists had called for the march to condemn Delhi Police's brutality and right-wing violence. Large number of policemen were deployed in the area and the road was deserted even before 9 p.m. Meanwhile, Hyderabad Police Commissioner Anjani Kumar had appealed to citizens to remain alert and united to see that no mischief maker tries to take advantage of the disturbing news from Delhi. "Our Patrol cars and Bike patrols are your closest friend. Don't allow rumor mongering. Take pride in our beautiful city Hyderabad," he said.

He also urged the national media not to show the disturbing visuals of Delhi riots. "It disturbs the mind of common peace loving people. These are testing times for all of us and we all have to work together and ensure that mischief makers do not take advantage," he said.


Wed, 26 Feb 2020 09:16:16 +0530
shilpa shetty

Actress Shamita Shetty is on cloud nine as her sister Shilpa Shetty Kundra welcomed a baby girl a few days ago.

"I'm so excited to become maasi once again. Samisha is a bundle of joy and has brought in so much happiness in the family. Shilpa always wanted a daughter and I cannot be happier for the couple," Shamita said.

On the occasion of Maha Shivratri last week, Shilpa had announced that she and her businessman husband Raj Kundra have become parents to the baby girl, through surrogacy. They named the daughter Samisha.

"Samisha Shetty Kundra... Born :15th February 2020 ... Junior SSK in the house.... 'Sa' in Sanskrit is 'to have' and 'Misha' is Russian stands for 'someone like God'...You personify this name, our Goddess Laxmi and complete our family," Shilpa wrote alongside a glimpse Samisha on social media.

The couple also has a son, Viaan, born in May 2012.


Wed, 26 Feb 2020 08:05:17 +0530
No nrc

The National Register of Citizens (NRC) will not be implemented in Bihar. A proposal for not implementing the NRC in the present form, instead implementing it with an amendment in the National Population Register (NPR) in the format of 2010, was passed by the state Assembly for common consent on the second day of the Budget session on Tuesday.

On the second day, after Finance Minister Sushil Kumar Modi presented the Budget for the financial year 2020-21, a proposal was presented for not implementing the NRC. The proposal received a nod from all the members, thereafter, Speaker Vijay Kumar Chaudhary announced the decision.

Earlier, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar made it clear that there was no question of implementing the NRC in Bihar. He also quoted Prime Minister Narendra Modi's statement about the NRC.

Nitish said in the Assembly that people in the rural areas do not have birth proofs. In view of all these, a letter has been sent to the Central government. The letter sent by the Bihar government on February 15 clearly states that the NPR should be implemented in the old format.

The Chief Minister, while appealing to the opposition parties not to remain in 'Confusion', said that an amendment to the letter has also been requested to add transgender to the gender column.

After the resolution for not implementing the NRC passed in the Assembly, RJD leader and Leader of Opposition, Tejashwi Yadav, congratulated and thanked the colleagues of all the parties including his party.

He said that the Rashtriya Janata Dal became a voice of the people and fought on this issue from street to house. The result of this is that the ruling party was forced to surrender today.

Wed, 26 Feb 2020 08:01:08 +0530
bar unhappy

The Bar Association of India (BAI) has expressed discontent over Supreme Court judge Arun Mishra's remark praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his vote of thanks at the International Judicial Conference 2020, here on Saturday.

Justice Mishra, third in the seniority, praised Modi twice calling him an "internationally acclaimed visionary" and "versatile genius who thinks globally and acts locally". He also praised Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, present at the event.

"India is a responsible and most friendly member of the international community under the stewardship of internationally-acclaimed visionary Prime Minister Narendra Modi," Justice Mishra said.

Lalit Bhasin, president the Bar, said, "The BAI executive committee is of the view that the use of effusive terms of praise and adulation by Justice Mishra about the Prime Minister go beyond the terms of formal courtesy extended during a vote of thanks."

The advocates' body claimed such act served to dilute the perception of impartiality and independence and also diminished the confidence of the public. "As the top court judges are expected to decide cases against the executive, while upholding constitutional principles and the rule of law as paramount", it added.

The advocates' body said it was the foundational obligation of the judges to maintain a discreet and dignified distance from the executive branch of the government.

Source : IANS

Wed, 26 Feb 2020 07:58:57 +0530
geo satelite

Chennai, Feb 25 India will launch its Geo Imaging Satellite (GISAT-1) with its Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV- F10) on March 5.

According to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), its GSLV-F10 rocket carrying the GISAT-1 is expected to lift off at 5.43 p.m. on March 5.

The launch is subject to the weather conditions, the space agency added.

Weighing about 2,275 kg, GISAT-1 is a state-of-the-art agile Earth observation satellite which will be placed in a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) by GSLV-F10.

Subsequently, the satellite will reach the final geostationary orbit using its onboard propulsion system.

A four metre diameter Ogive shaped payload fairing (heat shield) is being flown for the first time in this GSLV flight. This is the fourteenth flight of the GSLV.

Operating from geostationary orbit, GISAT-1 will facilitate near real time observation of the Indian sub-continent, under cloud free condition, at frequent intervals, ISRO said.

Source :IANS

Wed, 26 Feb 2020 07:55:42 +0530
Bihar budget focuses on e

Sushil Kumar Modi, Deputy Chief Minister and Finance Minister of Bihar presented a Rs.2,11,761 crores budget for FY 2020-21 in the state assembly today. The budget focuses on education, agriculture, health and environment. 

Presenting the budget Sushil Modi said a provision of more than Rs 11,000 crore has been made in this budget as against last year. He said that an estimated Rs 1,05,766 crore would be spent on the schemes while Rs. 1,05,955 would be spent on establishment and committed expenditure. Rs. 35,191 is expected to be spent on education, Rs.17,435 towards building infrastructure (roads), and Rs.15,955 crores on rural development.

Sushil Modi also told that Bihar has become the first Indian state to present a “Green budget”. He added that special attention has been given to provide piped water to all houses in the state.

Tue, 25 Feb 2020 21:13:20 +0530
ISMA revises sugar produc

Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) has upgraded its sugar production estimate for October 19 to September 20 season to 26.5 million tonnes. This was arrived at based on the satellite images of cane area taken in the last week of January 2020.  In a press release ISMA stated that there was an agreement that sugar production during 2019-20 would be slightly more at 26.5 million tonnes than the 26 million tonnes estimated by ISMA in November 2019. 

The estimate was made following a reduction in sugar output due to more production of ethanol by diversion of heavy molasses and sugarcane juice. Sugar mills in UP are expected to produce 11.8 million tonnes, Maharashtra about 6.2 million tonnes and Karnataka about 3.3 million tonnes. ISMA has estimated sugar exports for this season at 5 million tonnes.

Tue, 25 Feb 2020 21:05:48 +0530
Modi and Trump discuss tr

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump had an extensive discussion on matters surrounding trade, defence and security to further smoothen bilateral ties. They also deliberated upon regional issues, US peace deal offer with the Taliban, Indo-Pacific developments, terrorism and the uncertainties in the Gulf.

Modi thanked Trump for taking out time from his busy schedule to visit India while Trump described the last two days visit as amazing, particularly the Motera stadium in Ahmedabad. “It was a great honour for me. The people were there more for you than me…1,25,000 people were inside. Every time I mentioned your name, there were cheers. People love you,” Trump told Modi in front of the media. 

India and the US are expected to sign defence deals worth $3 billion. As part of the defence deal US will sell advanced air defence systems and armed and unarmed earlier vehicles. 

Earlier in the day Trump was welcomed at Rashtrapati Bhavan by President of India, Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Trump also received a tri-services guard of honour at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Tue, 25 Feb 2020 19:47:54 +0530
Curfew imposed in North E

Curfew has been imposed in northeast Delhi’s Maujpur, Jaffrabad, Chand Bagh and Karawal Nagar areas following fresh incidents of violence by unruly crowds protesting the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). The clashes between two groups, one seeking its rollback and the other supporting it have been raging for quite some days now. Curfew was imposed following the death of ten people including one police head constable and many including journalists were injured in attacks. Section 144 has been imposed on Delhi for one month. 

Meanwhile a Delhi police spokesperson said that BJP leader Kapil Mishra’s speech was under investigation and the police will investigate all FIRs that have been registered and if a main conspirator is found then action will be taken against him. Delhi Police PRO M.S. Randhawa said that the situation is brought under control. He warned anti-social elements saying that drones have been deployed to monitor the situation. 

Tue, 25 Feb 2020 19:45:15 +0530
Trump offers to mediate o

US President Donald Trump once again reminded the Government of India that the US is willing to mediate on Kashmir. Speaking on the Kashmir issue he said, “Anything I can do to mediate or help, I would do.”

Speaking about Pakistan, Trump said that Pakistan is working on Kashmir and the state has been a thorn in the relationship between the two countries for decades now. He further added that there are two sides to every story and that he discussed terrorism at length today.

Foreign secretary, Harsh Vardhan Shringla had earlier in the day said, “Discussion was centred on positive developments in Jammu & Kashmir. Things are moving in the right direction.”

Tue, 25 Feb 2020 19:43:58 +0530
Schools reopen in Valley

New Delhi: On the second day of reopening of schools in Kashmir after a break of over six months, the netizens continue to respond enthusiastically.

A Twitter user shared the post of kids going to school with the caption, "Schools reopen in Valley, students happy to return to classrooms." The shared post showed students walking towards their respective schools to attend their classes.

Similar photos of the school going children surfaced on the internet, and Twitterati flooded the social media with their reactions.

"Wow...How cute these kids are...I pray these flowers will keep smiling always...."

For the last six months, most students in Kashmir have been missing school after the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5.

The government opened the schools in a phased manner days after the revocation of Article 370, but the move proved a non starter as most students did not attend school. And then, the customary three month winter break were also announced, thus aggregating the break to six months

Source: IANS

Tue, 25 Feb 2020 17:17:21 +0530
Indians Diamond Princess

Mumbai, Feb 25 (IANS) The Centre will send a special chartered flight to Tokyo on Wednesday to bring back the stranded Indians on the Diamond Princess cruise ship which is currently quarantined off the Japanese coast of Yokohama, an official said here on Tuesday.

Quoting an Indian Embassy official in Japan, Maharashtra Bharatiya Janata Party Vice-President Kirit Somaiya said that the consent of all Indians on board the ship to return to India before the expiry of mandatory Japanese quarantine requirements, had been obtained on February 17.

There are a total 138 on board the Diamond Princess.

Two more Indian crew members have tested positive for the COVID-19, raising the total to 14, according to the Indian Embassy, but all were responding positively to the treatment.

There is at least one female crew member who has tested positive from Maharashtra.

"PCR test results announced, from the samples collected earlier, include two Indian crew members on board Diamond Princess, testing positive for COVID-19. The total number of crew members tested positive so far is 14 - responding well to treatment," said an embassy tweet.

Accordingly, all those who tested negative in the tests conducted by Japanese authorities and who have given their consent will be permitted to board the special flight scheduled to depart on Wednesday evening.

However, all the Indians would have to undergo the compulsory medical checkup by an Indian medical team before they can disembark from the cruise ship and undergo the mandatory 14 days quarantine after landing in India.

The Indian Embassy and the Japanese local authorities will make arrangements to ferry the Indians along with their permitted baggage from the Yokohama port to Tokyo's Haneda Airport.

It is not immediately clear at which Indian airport the flight will arrive from Tokyo.

As of Tuesday, 691 coronavirus cases have been confirmed on the Diamond Princess which was quarantined on February 3 in the port of Yokohama after a passenger who disembarked in Hong Kong on January 25 tested positive for the virus.

Source :IANS

Tue, 25 Feb 2020 17:09:23 +0530
Katrina Kaif to Priyanka

Mumbai: What happens when three Bollywood super-divas meet? They've claimed to be the best of buddies so they bond over many things, and cosmetics is certainly a big topic of discussion.

When Priyanka Chopra and Alia Bhatt came calling on Katrina Kaif at her residence on Sunday, that certainly seems to be the case. Katrina's Monday evening Instagram post would stand as evidence. In the post, she hints that she gifted some nice lip colours to Priyanka, from her recently launched makeup brand Kay Beauty By Katrina.

"A little make up party #kaybeauty @priyankachopra .... from our kathak days at Guruji s .... till now it's always a blast with u @kaybykatrina," posted Katrina on Instagram, with a selfie where she and Priyanka pose with a handful of eye-pencils and lip colours.

Source: IANS

Katrina and Priyanka have lately been on buddy terms. Recently, Katrina came out in support of Priyanka after she was trolled for wearing a low-cut Ralph and Russo white fringed gown at the Grammys 2020 red carpet.

Tue, 25 Feb 2020 17:05:21 +0530
Rannvijay Singha has fun

Mumbai: Celebrities like Rannvijay Singha, Tannaz Irani, Barkha Sengupta and Mohammad Iqbal Khan, among others were spotted having a fun time with their children at Nickelodeon Windmill Festival in Mumbai.

The festival aimed at providing a wholesome experience for toddlers, pre-teens and parents. It took place on February 22 and February 23 at Mumbai's JioWorld Garden.

"The festival had a variety of activities for all age group kids from a dance workshop to live parade. I really had a good time with my daughter and she had a lot of fun. Such events can create some unforgettable moments and one should actively participate. I am looking forward to such festivals where I can spend some quality time with my family," Rannvijay, who attended the gala with daughter Kainaat, said.

The two-day event offered over 50 workshops that were specially curated and designed to cater to various age groups across interests like beat-boxing, robotics, Lego workshops, stop motion animation, aeronautics, karate and kick-boxing, storytelling, doodle art and many more.

Also, several images are doing the rounds on the Internet is one where Rannvijay strikes a merry pose with daughter and wife Prianka at the festival.

Source IANS

Tue, 25 Feb 2020 16:42:09 +0530
happy birthday Sanya

Mumbai: Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe surprises Actress Sanya Malhotra by wishing on her birthday on Instagram.

Sanya shared the video on Instagram, Radcliffe wishing   "Hi there, I am here with Junaid. Hello, Sanya, happy birthday! Wherever you are, I hope you're having a great day!" 

Junaid a London-based LSE lawyer made just the argument to convince Radcliffe to wish his big fan Sanya.

Radcliffe shot to global fame essaying Harry Potter through eight films of the fantasy drama franchise based on author JK Rowling's bestsellers. Beyond the blockbuster series, he has also starred in films such as "December Boys" and "The Woman In Black".

Tue, 25 Feb 2020 16:32:43 +0530
movies promoting violence

Chandigarh: Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday announces in the state Assembly that state will not allows movies promoting violence or gangster  and would also approach Censor Board on the same

On the third day of the ongoing Budget session CM says  in discussion responding to a question raised by Khanna MLA Gurkirat Singh Kotli in the Zero Hour over his concern on more movies like the recently banned 'Shooter'(based on the life and crimes of notorious gangster Sukha Kahlwan).

Amarinder Singh said nothing would be allowed to disturb Punjab's hard earned peace and communal harmony and will write to the Censor Board on such movies since the matter comes under its purview.

Tue, 25 Feb 2020 16:22:47 +0530
New collar Employability
Bangaluru: IBM and NASSCOM Foundation Tuesday announces successful completion of first year of the New-collar Employability Skills Program for 2500 students across Karnataka, NCR and Haryana. Students from 23 colleges across the region completed the certified courses in data science and cloud computing.

This corporate social responsibility intervention by IBM engaged students through an on-campus approach in a 204 hour-long blended training model that uses online and face-to-face training immersions to build skills in new-age technologies like Data Science and Cloud Computing.

CEO, NASSCOM Foundation says they will continue the venture in coming and make 2500 more students from non-tech institutes employable

The colleges chosen for the program included Vijaya Evening College, East Point College, Vidya Vahini College, Vivekanand Degree College, Karnataka college Dharwad, Siddaganga College, Siddhaganga Women's College and several colleges in Dharwar, Bhagalkot, Gadag, Koppal, Nargund, and Bangaluru and Tumkur.

Tue, 25 Feb 2020 16:10:55 +0530
Katrina Kaif to Priyanka

A little make up party #kaybeauty

Tue, 25 Feb 2020 15:45:27 +0530
Manushi Chhillar Prithvir

Mumbai: Manushi Chhillar, Miss World 2017 on shooting sets of her Bollywood debut "Prithviraj" says she likes  doodling and that it's something she does to explore her creative side whenever she gets a chance.

As the shooting of the movie  "Prithviraj" continues Manushi  revealed clues about her character in the movie princess Sanyogita. Manushi says Chandraprakash Dwivedi director of the movie asked her to remember she is the princess Sanyogita and she should roar like a lioness!

Directed by Chandraprakash Dwivedi, "Prithviraj" is based on the life and heroism of the dashing king Prithviraj Chauhan. It stars superstar Akshay in the title role while Manushi plays Sanyogita, the love of his life.

"Prithviraj" is being made by Yash Raj Films. It will be released on Diwali 2020.

Tue, 25 Feb 2020 15:18:20 +0530
Kajol tutors Ajay selfie

Mumbai:  Bollywood actress Kajol has been tutoring her actor-filmmaker husband Ajay Devgn on how to click selfies!

Kajol on Tuesday morning took to Instagram, where she shared a photograph of herself sitting on a staircase. According to the caption, it seemed that the actress wanted her hubby to feature in the photo with her.

She captioned the image: "Me: Baby let's take a selfie na... Hubby: Go sit there I will take it... Me: Selfie means both of us together and someone in the pic clicks it. His answer: pointing finger.. laugh emojis."

Ajay shared the same image and said it was his version of a selfie. "My version of the selfie is usually myself behind the camera," he said.

Tue, 25 Feb 2020 14:53:28 +0530
Gambhir visits injured co

East Delhi MP Gautam Gambhir visited DCP Shahdara Amit Sharma, ACP Anuj Jain and Head Constable Yashpal in hospital on Tuesday after being seriously injured during the violent anti-CAA protests in northeastern Delhi that have claimed seven lives, including a constable, so far. Gambhir strongly condemned the protesters and those who made inflammatory remarks. "Nothing can be solved through violence," the BJP MP said. "The solution to any problem only comes through dialogue".

Tue, 25 Feb 2020 14:52:34 +0530
Shops remain closed in vi

Business activities in northeast Delhi continued to be hit in the wake of arson and clashes between anti- and pro-CAA groups on Tuesday as well. Shops in Seelampur and Jaffrabad remained closed, with the shopkeepers hesitating to open their premises because of fears arsonists might target them. Police have set up barricades in Seelampur at the light point, allowing for traffic on one side of the road only. Police also dispersed people in groups in the area to prevent unfair incidents.

Tue, 25 Feb 2020 14:46:35 +0530
selfdriving car algorithm

New York: Northwestern University researchers develops collision-free, deadlock-free guarantee decentralised algorithm to contribute self-driving vehicles safer and more flawless.

The researchers tested the algorithm in a simulation of 1,024 robots and on a swarm of 100 real robots in the laboratory. The research team analyses how to control fleets of autonomous vehicles as they interact with each other.

The robots safely and efficiently converged to form a predetermined shape in less than a minute says the journal, IEEE Transactions on Robotics, to be published later this month.

The advantage of a swarm of small robots is the lack of a centralised control, which becomes a central point of failure. But in a decentralised system, there is no leader telling all the other robots what to do. Each robot makes its own decisions. If one robot fails in a swarm, the swarm can still accomplish the task says author Michael Rubenstein from Northwestern University.

According to the researcher, the robots need to coordinate to avoid collisions and deadlock. The algorithm views the ground beneath the robots as a grid. By using technology similar to GPS, each robot is aware of where it sits on the grid.

Before making a decision about where to move, each robot uses sensors to communicate with its neighbours, determining whether or not nearby spaces within the grid are vacant or occupied.

Even with all this careful coordination, the robots are still able to communicate and move swiftly to form a shape.

The algorithm could be used in fleets of driverless cars and in automated warehouses, the study said.

Tue, 25 Feb 2020 14:20:23 +0530
melania and evanks

New Delhi: US First Lady Melania Trump on Tuesday chose a block printed dress with flowers in myriad colours, as she attended a "Happiness Class" in a Delhi school, while her daughter Ivanka chose a white sherwani and pants for the ceremonial at Raj Bhawan, alongside US President Donald Trump in a black suit an red tie.

Melania Trump visited Sarvodaya Vidyalaya Senior Secondary School in Moti Bagh here and was greeted by children waving flags of both countries.

The First Lady was welcomed with a garland and tilak on her forehead by a young girls, dressed in colorful traditional attire for the event.

The school has been making preparations for months in the wake of the expected visit. Always one to be dressed to the occasion, Ivanka Trump joined her father at the ceremonial reception at Rashtrapati Bhawan dressed in all white. Ivanka was seen in a white sherwani and pants by designer Anita Dongre which featured a Nehru Collar and enamel coat buttons. She accessorised her look with a pair of traditional Polki earrings set in gold.

Tue, 25 Feb 2020 13:58:01 +0530
Chitetsu Watanabe dies
Tokyo: Chitetsu Watanabe, world’s oldest man passed away, 11 days later receiving the Guinness World Record certificate.
Watanabe died on Sunday night at a nursing home in Joetsu in Niigata prefecture, and was received the official certificate of Guinness World Record on February 12. 
Watanabe born in a family of farmers on March 5, 1907 and moved to Taiwan at 20 and returned to Japan after World War II
After the deaths in 2019 of 114 years old German Gustav Gerneth  in October, and Japan's 113 year old Masazo Nonaka in January he was recognized as the oldest male in the world.  
Soon after being certified as the oldest man, he began to experience a lack of appetite and respiratory problems, the wife of his eldest son told public broadcaster NHK.
Japan has among the highest life expectancy in the world and the number of centenarians in the country has crossed 71,000, according to the latest government figures.
Tue, 25 Feb 2020 12:58:56 +0530
Kunal Kamra challenges ai

On Tuesday, the Delhi High Court gave Civil Aviation Directorate-General (DGCA) time to seek instructions on the travel ban imposed on the comedian Kunal Kamra. Kamra approached the court against IndiGo, which suspended him six months from flying with the airlines. Other airlines, too, had followed the suit to this end. Last month, IndiGo had for six months barred the stand-up comedian from using its services on board his flight for allegedly portraying "unacceptable behaviour."

Tue, 25 Feb 2020 12:49:01 +0530
new era in Indo US

Thiruvananthapuram: If you firmly believe that stars and planets and their movement in the celestial space can play a vital role in the relations of two nations, there is good news: A Kerala numerologist has predicted the dawn of a new era in the Indo-US relations with the visit of US President Donald Trump.

M.K. Damodaran -- a 67-year-old retired government employee -- claimed on Tuesday that his prediction is based on the calculations he arrived at after considering the dates of birth of Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

He said his past predictions that came true include India's victory in the 2011 Cricket World Cup, and US topping the medal tally in the 2012 London Olympics.

Damodaran said that the birth number of both leaders is 5, which represents planet Mercury. Besides the sun sign of Trump is Gemini, which is owned by planet Mercury which is represented by number 5.

Likewise, he claimed, Modi's sun sign Virgo is owned by Mercury, and is also related to number 5.

Drawing a comparison with India-US relations during the rules of Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Bill Clinton in the two countries, he said that even then their numerological connection was good.

Besides, he claimed, the occult number of Donald Trump is 3, the same as India's.

Source: IANS

Tue, 25 Feb 2020 12:33:15 +0530
Mukesh Ambani

Mumbai: Reliance Industries (RIL) Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani says India has the opportunity to become one of the top three economies in the world and every entrepreneur in India has the potential to become a Dhirubhai Ambani or Bill Gates.

He says in a fireside chat with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, it will happen in five years or 10 years and India  will reach the top three countries of the world. Empowering small and medium businesses would be key to driving India's growth faster.

Ambani said that India has the opportunity to become the most technically enabled society where all the development could be powered by the tools of technology.

The RIL chairman said that empowering small and medium businesses would be key to driving India's growth faster.

At Microsoft's 'Future Decoded Summit' the RIL chairman said small, medium and micro enterprises provide 70 per cent of India's employment. They drive 40 per cent of India's exports. India has transformed tremendously over the past two decades -- from a $300 billion economy in early 1990s to becoming a $3 trillion economy in 2020.

Congratulating Nadella for his leadership of the organisation, Ambani said that the collaboration between Microsoft and Jio would be a defining partnership of the decade.

Asserting that Microsoft's differentiated approach across the cloud and edge is winning customers, Nadella said that Microsoft now has 57 data centre regions in the world.

In India, Microsoft has three data centre regions Mumbai, Pune and Chennai besides a Cybersecurity Engagement Centre in New Delhi.

Tue, 25 Feb 2020 12:19:37 +0530
proceeding against Flipk

New Delhi: The three judge NCLAT bench on Monday sets aside insolvency proceedings against Flipkart, denoting failure on submission of documents proving operational debt and the amount in default.

CloudWalker, which imported and retailed LED TVs on Flipkart's platform, filed  NCLT last year over default of Rs 26.95 crore towards procured imported televisions. On October 24, the tribunal admitted the its application for initiation of corporate insolvency resolution process (CIRP) against Flipkart, which moved the NCLAT.

The NCLAT bench said that the the operational creditor failed to submit documents proving existence of operational debt and the default amount.

They also failed to submit copies of invoices and copies of documents referred to in the application. Further, the NCLAT noted CloudWalker Streaming Technologies filed the copy of the 'Supply Agreement', and the projections email.

"The Corporate Debtor (Flipkart) is not liable to make any payment to the Operational Creditor," said the Walmart-backed e-commerce major in its response.

Tue, 25 Feb 2020 11:43:44 +0530
Car plows into carnival

London: At least 10 people, including children, were injured when a car crashed into a carnival procession in a town in Germany's Hesse state on Monday, reports said.

The incident was reported from the town of Volksmarsen, the BBC reported. Local media put the number of injured at between 10 to 15.

Police have taken the driver of the car into custody and investigations are on as to the motive, it added. However, local German media cited eyewitnesses as claiming that the driver of the car, a silver Mercedes, had deliberately speeded up as he approached the procession and seemed to target the children.

The procession was being taken out on 'Rosenmontag' (Rose Monday), a carnival day celebrated in some parts of Germany, as well as parts of Austria, Belgium and Switzerland.

As a precaution, all parades in Hesse have been cancelled.

Source: IANS

Tue, 25 Feb 2020 11:23:20 +0530
preparedness against CoV

London: Countries should be "in a phase of preparedness" WHO says in context to the alarming health situation prevailing due to the outbreak of Coronavirus.

The World Health Organisation said it is too early to call coronavirus outbreak a pandemic, but the world should be prepared for such an eventuality.  As an infectious Virus spreads easily from person to another in various parts of the world, BBC reports on Monday.

The virus causes respiratory disease Covid-19, and continues to emerge countries like in South Korea, Italy and Iran. Till now over 1,200 cases have been confirmed in 30 countries and have more than 20 deaths. Italy reported three more deaths on Monday, raising the total there to six.

Stock markets worldwide saw sharp falls due to the situation. China postponed National People's Congress next month, to "continue the efforts" against the coronavirus

Tue, 25 Feb 2020 11:16:49 +0530
Delhi violence Kejriwal

Expressing concern over the ongoing violence in various parts of Delhi, on Tuesday Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal called an urgent meeting of his own party's MLAs as well as the BJP to discuss the situation and hammer out solutions to mitigate the unrest. The Delhi chief minister tweeted early Tuesday morning, urging people to refrain from violence, that everyone should work together to restore peace in the town.

"Am worried about prevailing situation in certain parts of Delhi. All of us together should make all efforts to restore peace in our city. I again urge everyone to shun violence. Am meeting all MLAs (of all parties) of affected areas along with senior officials in a while," he tweeted

Tue, 25 Feb 2020 10:28:20 +0530
Till Modi is in power In

Lahore: Former Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi has claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's thinking is "inclined towards negativity" and till the time he is in power in India, the relationship between the two hostile Asian neighbours cannot improve. "Till Modi is in power, I don't think we will get any response from India. We have all, including Indians, understood the way Modi thinks. His thinking is inclined towards negativity," Afridi said in an interview to Cricket Pakistan when asked if bilateral cricketing ties between India and Pakistan can resume.

"Relationship between India and Pakistan has been damaged because of one person only. And that is not what we want." "People from either side of the border want to travel to each other's country. I don't understand what Modi wants to do and what his agenda really is," he added. The two teams meet sporadically in multi-nation tournaments but have not played a bilateral series since 2013 when Pakistan travelled to India for a three-match ODI series.

India's last visit to Pakistan was in 2006 during Rahul Dravid's tenure as captain. Ever since the 2008 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, the two cricket powerhouses only face each other during ICC tournaments.

Tue, 25 Feb 2020 10:15:26 +0530
Sebi reviews margin frame

Mumbai:To bring more efficiency in the risk management system, market regulator Sebi has conducted a review of the margin framework for cash and derivatives segments.The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) said that it has from time to time put in place various measures to address the risks involved in the cash and derivatives market. "With a view to keeping up pace with the changing market dynamics and to bring more efficiency in the risk management framework, a comprehensive review of the margin framework was done in consultation with the 'Risk Management Review Committee' of Sebi," the regulator said in a circular on Monday.

According to the circular, for securities with intra-day price movement of more than 10 per cent in the underlying market for "three or more days in last one month, the minimum total margins shall be equal to the maximum intra-day price movement of the security observed in the underlying market in last one month." "The same shall be continued till monthly expiry date of derivative contracts which falls after completion of three months from date of levy," Sebi said.

As per the circular, for securities with intra-day price movement of more than 10 per cent in the underlying market for "10 or more days in last six months, the minimum total margins shall be equal to the maximum intra-day price movement of the security observed in the underlying market in the last six months".  "The same shall be continued till monthly expiry date of derivative contracts which falls after completion of one year from date of levy," it said. Besides, the regulator also said that risk management is primarily the responsibility of the Clearing Corporations (CCs) and the framework prescribed by Sebi is of a minimum framework. "CCs are allowed to be more conservative as per their own perception of risk," the circular said.

"The provisions of this circular shall come into effect from May 1, 2020," it added.

Tue, 25 Feb 2020 10:11:07 +0530
China coronavirus toll in

Beijing:The coronavirus death toll in mainland China has increased to 2,663 with 77,658 confirmed cases, health authorities said on Tuesday. The National Health Commission said that it received reports of 508 new cases and 71 deaths on Monday from 31 provincial-level regions on the mainland, reports Xinhua news agency. Among the deaths, 68 were in Hubei province, the epicentre of the outbreak, two in Shandong and one in Guangdong.

As of Monday, a total of 27,323 people have been discharged from hospital after recovery, while the number of severe cases decreased by 789 to 9,126. The Commission added that 2,824 people were still suspected of being infected with the virus. As of Tueday morning, the number of confirmed cases outside China were reported in South Korea (893), Japan (851), Italy (229), Singapore (90), Hong Kong (81), Iran (64), Thailand (35), the US (35), Taiwan (30), Australia (23), Malaysia (22), Germany (16), Vietnam (16), the UK (13), the UAE (13), France (12), Macau (10), Canada (10), India (three), Kuwait (three), Spain (three), the Philippines (three), Oman (two), Russia (two), Bahrain (one), Afghanistan (one), Israel (one), Egypt (one), Lebanon (one), Cambodia (one), Finland (one), Nepal (one), Sri Lanka (one), Sweden (one) and Belgium (one). The deaths outside China were recorded in Iran (12), South Korea (eight), Italy (seven), Japan (five), Hong Kong (two), France (one), Taiwan (one) and the Philippines (one).


Tue, 25 Feb 2020 10:06:38 +0530
Internet restrictions to

Internet restrictions in Jammu & Kashmir will remain operational until March 4 as the J&K administration said that anti-national elements, including border-crossing handlers, are misusing VPNs to circumvent Internet restrictions to coordinate terrorist acts with their J&K operatives. "I being satisfied that it is absolutely necessary to do so, in the interest of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the state and for maintaining public order," Shaleen Kabra Principal Secretary to the government, Home department said in the notification.

Tue, 25 Feb 2020 10:00:20 +0530
4 people killed in violen

Three more people have been confirmed to have lost their lives after a Delhi police constable was killed as protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in North-East Delhi. All three died from shooting, reported the Office of the Chief Minister (CMO). According to reports, ten policemen have been seriously injured. One DCP was also injured in the stone-pelting and admitted to Max Hospital in Patparganj. Violence and arson incidents have been recorded in the North-East district areas, especially in the Maujpur, Kardam Puri, Chand Bagh, Gokulpuri, and Dayalpur regions. The tyre market at Kapur Petrol Pump in Gokulpuri was set on fire at around 9 pm. The rioters also set fire to a petrol pump in the Bhajan Pura area. Delhi Police warned it would take strict action against miscreants and anti-social elements.

Tue, 25 Feb 2020 09:51:55 +0530
vitara brezza

Automobile major Maruti Suzuki India on Monday launched the all new compact SUV Vitara Brezza, which was unveiled at the recently held Auto Expo 2020.

The new vehicle has been priced in the range of Rs 7.34 lakh to Rs 11.40 lakh, the automobile major said on Monday.

According to the company, the new compact SUV offers enhanced sportiness, bolder looks, stronger stance, premium interiors and a host of new features.

The vehicle is equipped with the powerful 1.5 litre K-series BS6 petrol engine.

"The compact SUV will be offered with 5-speed manual and advanced automatic transmission with Smart Hybrid," the company said in a statement.

In less than 4 years of its launch, Vitara Brezza has sold over 500,000 units.

Tue, 25 Feb 2020 08:33:07 +0530

The Taliban again launched attacks on Afghan security forces just 48 hours after the week-long seven-day "reduction in violence" pact agreed by the two sides came into effect in the war-torn country, the media reported.

The two attacks on Sunday were reported in Kandahar province, Tolo News quoted local officials as saying.

The incidents comprised an attack by the Taliban on an Afghan security convoy in Shah Wali Kot district, and in the same district a mine exploded near an armoured vehicle of government forces.

The reduction in violence pact came into force on Saturday and just a few hours later, there were at least eight clashes between the Taliban and Afghan security forces.

The clashes were reported on Saturday in Faryab, Uruzgan, Paktia, Balkh, Baghlan, Badghis, Helmand and Kapisa provinces, TOLO News reported.

In a statement earlier on Saturday, Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said the areas which fall under the pact were "centres of all provinces, all corps (Afghan military corps), units, divisions (Afghan army divisions) and all foreign bases".

Any shelling and attacks in the areas which does not fall under the agreement, "shouldn't be taken as a violation, because this is not a nationwide ceasefire", he said in a Twitter post.

The reduction in violence came ahead of the signing of a peace deal between the US and Taliban on February 29.

The peace deal was negotiated between the two sides over the past 18 months in Doha.

The expectation is that this signed agreement will lead to intra-Aghan talks between the Taliban on one side, and a delegation representing the Afghan republic's government and political and civil establishment, on the other.

Tue, 25 Feb 2020 08:30:25 +0530
Guneet monga

Oscar-winning short film producer Guneet Monga, who recently produced the anthology "Zindagi Inshort" -- that amalgamates seven stories -- says that the short film is one of the powerful mediums to narrate thought-provoking stories.

Monga says her team went through around 200 short stories before finalising on the final seven for "Zindagi Inshort".

"These stories really encompass life. The story of two youngsters falling in love in ‘Chhaju Ke Dahi Bhalle', the dark reality of a married couple in ‘Sleeping Partner' or ‘Pinni' or ‘Thappad' really show some real moments of life. While ‘Thappad' is a story of children, ‘Pinni' is the story of an elderly lady. That is the power of a short story," Monga told IANS.

The anthology features Neena Gupta, Divya Dutta, Sanjay Kapoor, Manjot Singh, Deepak Dobriyal, Nakuul Mehta, Isha Talwar, Jitin Gulati, Aisha Ahmed, Swaroop Samant among others.

Monga won an Oscar for producing the short film "Period. End Of Sentence" in the Best Live Action category. So, what keeps her grounded and enthusiastic after winning an Academy Award? "Upbringing I guess. Also, I am quite spiritual. From the beginning of my career as a storyteller, whatever production I have been a part of so far, life has been a struggle. So, for me, the process of storytelling, with a certain conviction is more important for me than anything," she replied.

"I also think we tend to give too much importance to ourselves saying, ‘I have done this, I have produced a film'. Every time I collaborate with film directors or actors, I only feel grateful. Whether it is Neena (Gupta) ji, Deepak Dobriyal, Manjot (Singh), or Nakkul (Mehta), they are all busy actors. Despite their busy schedules, they acted in these short films that reach out through an app like Flipkart, which is a golden opportunity for us," Monga added.

She collaborated with Tahira Kashyap Khurrana for the first time in the project, and is all praise for filmmaker, who is actor Ayushmann Khurrana's wife. "Her writing is her strength and she comes up with quirky ideas that makes her story engaging," said Monga.

Source :IANS

Tue, 25 Feb 2020 07:34:47 +0530
Policeman dies as protest

A head constable from Delhi Police was slain today as pro and anti CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) groups fought each other even as Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal called for peace and harmony.

Ratan Lal, the head constable in Delhi Police lost his life while a youth was injured in the clashes. The youth was injured by a bullet fired by the protestors and unruly vandals set ablaze several vehicles and a house. Shahdara DCP Amit Sharma also suffered injuries and was rushed to hospital.

Several areas including Jaffrabad, Maujpur, and Gokulpuri witnessed violence and police resorted to using teargas to bring the unruly crowds under control. Condoling the death of the constable attached to Delhi Police, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal expressed anguish on twitter: “The death of the Police Head Constable is very sad. He was one of us too. Please give up violence. Nobody benefits from this”.

Northeast Delhi has been witnessing violent clashes between anti-CAA and pro-CAA groups since Sunday afternoon. Efforts to usher peace have proved futile so far, even journalists covering the incidents were beaten up by the crowd and their phones were snatched to stop recordings.

Mon, 24 Feb 2020 22:38:55 +0530
AIADMK holds medical camp

Celebrating former party chief and chief minister of Tamil Nadu Jayalalitha’s birthday, the All India Anna Dravida Kazhagam (AIADMK) distributed free food and held a medical camp for the public. Tamil Nadu’s deputy chief minister and AIADMK coordinator O. Panneerselvam and present chief minister K. Palaniswami handed over Rs. 2 lakh each as financial assistance to over 14 party men who expired while performing duties assigned by AIADMK. Rs. 1 lakh each was given to 109 members of AIADMK labour union.

Doctors at the medical camp checked patients’ heart, skin, joint ailments, blood pressure, ECG and diabetes and also gave away medicines for the needy. A cake weighing about 72 kilograms was cut and distributed at the party office marking late Jayalalitha’s 72nd birthday. Senior party leaders attended the function.

The former chief minister had expired at a Chennai hospital on December 5, 2016.

Mon, 24 Feb 2020 22:35:39 +0530
GAIL investing over Rs 1

Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) is reportedly investing Rs.1.05 lakh crores over the next five years for expanding pipelines and city gas distribution network as well as for infrastructure development. Speaking to the media Manoj Jain, Chairman and Managing Director, GAIL said that the company will also enhance its petrochemical production capacity.

Manoj Jain who recently took over as the head of GAIL said that the company plans to spend Rs 45,000-50,000 crore in laying pipelines, Rs 40,000 crore for city gas distribution (CGD) business and Rs 10,000 crore for enhancing the petrochemical capacity expansion. 

With government giving thrust to increase the share of natural gas in the energy basket to around 15 per cent by 2030, the company is planning to lay gas pipelines for transporting fuel to eastern and north eastern parts of India as well as south India.

Mon, 24 Feb 2020 22:33:17 +0530
Sunni Waqf Board accepts

Uttar Pradesh Waqf board which met today has agreed to take the 5 acre plot in Ayodhya for building a mosque.  Zufar Ahmad Faruqi, chairman of the Waqf board said, “The board will set up a trust soon for the construction of the mosque. Besides the mosque, there will be an Indo-Islamic research centre, a public library, a charitable hospital and other useful facilities on the land.”

Information about the trust and its members will be shared with the media and public once it is formed, he added. The trust will accept donations towards construction of the mosque as well as the other facilities which will come up in the campus. The name of the mosque will be decided later, he said.

The meeting was attended by Adnan Faruq Shah, Junaid Siddiqui, Syed Ahmed Ali, Abrar Ahmed and Juneed Ahmed attended the Waqf board meeting chaired by Faruqi in Lucknow. Last year India’s apex court had ruled in favour of the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya and provided an alternative five acres plot to the Muslim community for construction of a mosque.

Yogi Adityanath cabinet on February 5 decided to give an alternate plot to the Sunni Waqf Board on the Ayodhya-Lucknow National Highway.

Mon, 24 Feb 2020 20:17:40 +0530
Sensex falls 806 points

Stock markets in India alongside global equities market witnessed a meltdown while prices of safe assets like gold went up amidst fears of disruptions in economic activity following the increase in coronavirus related deaths outside China.

Global oil prices fell by 3 per cent leading to sell-off in manufacturing sector stocks. Nifty metal crashed 5.36 per cent and investors kept themselves aloof from entities such as Jindal Steel & Power Limited, JSW Steel Limited, SAIL and Tata Steel Limited.

Gold meanwhile had a record run with investors seeking safer assets in wake of coronavirus outbreak. Gold futures for April delivery topped the Rs 43,000 per 10 grams mark for the first time. 

After the volatility index climbed over 25 per cent, Sensex closed 806.89 points lower at 40,363.23. The broader Nifty settled at 242.25 points lower at 11,838.60. The BSE mid-cap index closed 1.60 per cent lower while the small caps index closed lower by 1.58 per cent.

Countries such as South Korea and Italy also reported deaths from coronavirus affecting the global sensex market adversely. Coronavirus related deaths have already crossed 2,600 in China, the epicentre of the disease. 

Asian share indexes were a sea of red. Korea's KOSPI Index slipped nearly 4 per cent, Shanghai Composite Index was down 0.28 per cent. Besides, Australia's benchmark index slid 2.2 per cent while New Zealand was about 1.3 per cent lower. 

Mon, 24 Feb 2020 20:14:18 +0530
Trump praises Modi in Gan

Breaking away from tradition, US President Donald Trump praised Narendra Modi in the visitor’s book at Gandhi Ashram in Sabarmati. Dignitaries who visit the Gandhi Ashram usually express their feelings in the visitor’s book. This time Trump set a new tradition.

Trump was accompanied by his wife Melania Trump and visited Hriday Kunj, the house in which Mahatma Gandhi had lived for 13 years. They also operated the charkha, the spinning wheel which was popularized by Gandhi. The couple spent somewhere over 10 minutes at the Ashram and were informed about Gandhi and his philosophy. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also highlighted a few achievements of Gandhi to Mr. and Mrs. Trump.

When the visitor’s book was president, Trump wrote: “To my great friend Prime Minister Modi, thank you for this wonderful visit.” Mrs. Trump also put her signature beneath it. 

The US President didn’t pay any tribute to Gandhi's bust with ‘cotton yank’, a tradition followed by every visiting dignitary to the Ashram.

Mon, 24 Feb 2020 20:06:55 +0530
Taj A testament to the r

US President Donald Trump declared Taj as a testament to the rich and diverse beauty of Indian culture. “Taj Mahal inspires awe, a timeless testament to the rich and diverse beauty of Indian culture! Thank you, India,” wrote Trump in the visitor’s book during his visit to the monument built by Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife in the 17th century. 

Trump also enjoyed the sunset along with his wife at the Taj. The Trumps were accompanied by his daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner and top US officials. 

Authorities decked up Taj Mahal over the last one week with a fresh coat of mud pack applied over the structure for the first time since it was built. The mausoleums in the complex were also cleaned in view of the high profile visit. Trump had arrived at the Taj at the head of a 70-vehicle cavalcade, including his luxurious 'Beast'. The President rode to the complex in a battery-operated cart.

This is Trump’s first visit to India and before Trump, Bill Clinton in 2000 and Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1959 were the other US Presidents to visit Agra. The city too witnessed a massive facelift with the local administration putting up huge billboards, placards, cut-outs and posters welcoming the US President and his wife Melania.

Mon, 24 Feb 2020 20:00:38 +0530
Startup Accelerator Progr

Google launched 4th batch of 'Startups Accelerator India'

Bengaluru:Google invites applications for the fourth batch of Google for Startups Accelerator India programme on Monday on area like technology, product strategy, marketing, UX/UI and leadership.


The programme mentors early-stage startups on various aspects of their business and the last date of application is March 15, 2020.

In July 2018, company announced the launch of Google Developers Launchpad Accelerator India and worked with 30 technology startups over 3 classes. The program aimed at solving for India's most pressing problems such as sanitation, healthcare, agritech, fintech, and sustainability," said Paul Ravindranath, Program Manager, Developer Relations, Google India.

According to the company, startups that use technology like AI/ML to solve systemic problems in India can submit their application by visiting 'Google for Startups Accelerator India' by 15th March 2020.

Successful applicants will be notified in early April. The batch will commence with a week's mentorship-bootcamp in April 2020, in Bengaluru, Karnataka. Startups Accelerator India programme, provide a batch consisting of 10 startups (for three months) intense mentorship bootcamps, tech workshops, design sprints, and marketing growth labs along with the opportunities to forge crucial connections to tech teams within Google and experts in the industry.

Mon, 24 Feb 2020 19:37:51 +0530
Donald and Melania Trump

On Monday, US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump visited the famous Taj Mahal in Agra.

The first couple of the United States were spotted walking through the Taj Mahal's open courtyard, holding each other's hands and taking in the amazing beauty of the famous Taj Mahal. Trump was accompanied by daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner, who had been spotted strolling together in front of the historic monument, often considered a symbol of lasting love.

Mon, 24 Feb 2020 19:32:37 +0530
bottle art welcomes Trump

Bengaluru: The Bengaluru bottle artist welcomes  Donald Trump by capsulating portraits of US President and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in glass bottles.

Basavaraju Somaraja 46, an electrician by profession, spent three to four days carefully assembling the images in the glass, costing him Rs 8,000. Bottle art has been his hobby for the past 18 years.

Earlier, he had framed former President A.P.J Abdul Kalam in a bottle in 2006 and personally presented it to him at an event in the renowned Indian Institute of Science (IISc).

Explaining how he achieves this feat, Gowda said he meticulously inserts every single piece inside a bottle using tools he made and deftly glues them together.

Though he wants to give his artwork to Trump, Gowda said he doesn't have access to the most powerful man in the world.

Mon, 24 Feb 2020 17:26:38 +0530
Thalaivi look launched

Chennai: On the birth anniversary of J. Jayalalithaa the late former Tamil Nadu chief minister, Social media unveiled an upcoming biopic starring Kangana Ranaut as  "Thalaivi". Kangana’s sister Rangoli Chandel uploaded the picture on social media pages. Kangana looks as Jayalalithaa wearing a saree with her hair tied, and red bindi with dazzling studs.


Makers of "Thalaivi" released Kangana's first few months ago brought share of criticism, saying the actress looked nothing like the Iron Lady of Tamil Nadu.

Said AL Vijay, director of the film: "We've brought in specialists from the USA to work on Kangana's look. In terms of the story, we would like to portray her (Jayalalithaa's) human side without trying to glorify her."

The film will be released worldwide on June 26 in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi.

Mon, 24 Feb 2020 17:12:06 +0530
Gold hits life time high

New Delhi: Fear of further disruption in economic activity owing to the jump in coronavirus related deaths drove the prices of safe haven assets like Gold to a record high and pushed the oil prices and global equities lower on Monday. Indian benchmark equity index, Sensex lost nearly 800 points during the afternoon trade.

Gold's record breaking run continued on Monday as investors sought more and more safe haven assets over increased uncertainty due to soaring Coronavirus cases. Gold futures for April delivery topped the Rs 43,000 per 10 gm mark for the first time.

South Korea and Italy raised alert due to the soaring Coronavirus cases. South Korea reported its seventh coronavirus death and 161 new confirmed cases on Monday, bringing the total number to 763.

Global oil prices reversed course over worries that the spread of virus will dent global growth. Global oil benchmark, Brent, which jumped to $60 a barrel last week following a decline in fresh cases of Coronavirus, tumbled over 3.23 per cent to $ 56.61 barrel mark on Monday.

Risky asset classes like equities traded lower across the globe as Coronavirus related death jumped past 2,600.

At 2.55 p.m., the Sensex traded at 40,491.46, lower by 678.66 points or 1.65 per cent. The broader Nifty slipped over 200 points to 11,867.50. Sensex had opened above the 41,000 point mark on Monday.

Asian share indexes were also a sea of red. Nifty metal index extended losses and dragged the markets lower. The metal index fell 4.89 per cent. Jindal Steel & Power Limited lost over 8 per cent followed by JSW Steel Limited, Steel Authority of India Limited and Tata Steel Limited which lost over 6 to 9 per cent.

Mon, 24 Feb 2020 16:08:21 +0530
Sensex down 800 pts Gold

New Delhi, Feb 24 (IANS) Fear of further disruption in economic activity owing to the jump in coronavirus related deaths drove the prices of safe haven assets like Gold to a record high and pushed the oil prices and global equities lower on Monday. Indian benchmark equity index, Sensex lost nearly 800 points during the afternoon trade.

Gold's record breaking run continued on Monday as investors sought more and more safe haven assets over increased uncertainty due to soaring Coronavirus cases. Gold futures for April delivery topped the Rs 43,000 per 10 gm mark for the first time.

"Gold's safe haven demand may continue as concerns over more coronavirus cases outside China surge. Meanwhile, aggressive policy easing measures taken by China to shore up the economy and moderate physical market activities likely to limit major upside," said Hareesh V., Head of Commodity at Geojit Financial Services.

South Korea and Italy raised alert due to the soaring Coronavirus cases. South Korea reported its seventh coronavirus death and 161 new confirmed cases on Monday, bringing the total number to 763.

Global oil prices reversed course over worries that the spread of virus will dent global growth. Global oil benchmark, Brent, which jumped to $60 a barrel last week following a decline in fresh cases of Coronavirus, tumbled over 3.23 per cent to $ 56.61 barrel mark on Monday.

Risky asset classes like equities traded lower across the globe as Coronavirus related death jumped past 2,600. The deadly virus has infected more than 77,000 people in China and was described by Chinese President Xi Jinping as the "largest public health emergency since the founding of the country".

At 2.55 p.m., the Sensex traded at 40,491.46, lower by 678.66 points or 1.65 per cent. The broader Nifty slipped over 200 points to 11,867.50. Sensex had opened above the 41,000 point mark on Monday.

Nifty metal index extended losses and dragged the markets lower. The metal index fell 4.89 per cent. Jindal Steel & Power Limited lost over 8 per cent followed by JSW Steel Limited, Steel Authority of India Limited and Tata Steel Limited which lost over 6 to 9 per cent.

Asian share indexes were also a sea of red. Korea's KOPSI Index slipped nearly 4 per cent, Shanghai Composite Index was down 0.28 per cent. Besides, Australia's benchmark index slid 2.2 per cent while New Zealand was about 1.3 per cent lower.

Mon, 24 Feb 2020 16:05:31 +0530
Microsoft Jio partnership

Mumbai: Congratulating Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella for his leadership of the organisation, Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL) Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani said on Monday that the collaboration between Microsoft and Jio would be the defining partnership of the decade.

The partnership between the two organizations, announced at the Microsoft' "Future Decoded Summit' here, is aimed at helping organisations of all sizes in the country scale their businesses.

"Every entrepreneur in India has the potential to become a Dhirubhai Ambani or Bill Gates," Ambani said during a fireside chat session with Nadella.

Saying that India has transformed tremendously over the past two decades -- from a $300 billion economy in early 1990s to becoming a $3 trillion economy in 2020 -- Ambani stressed that India is on track to become one of the top three economies of the world.

Ambani said that the mindset to leverage the use of technology already exists in India, but the partnership between Jio and Microsoft will help organizations to get the digital toolset to scale their businesses.

About 38 crore people have migrated to the 4G technology platform offered by Jio in about three years, Ambani informed, adding that since the establishment of Jio, average data rate has come down drastically in India -- from Rs 300-Rs 500 per GB to Rs 12-Rs14 per GB.

Nadella said that the mission of Microsoft is to help organisation to become independent -- not dependent -- to build their own Artificial Intelligence and other tech capabilities, and tech intensity.

"In the next decade, our main investment will be on making software engineeres that organisations hire more productive," Nadella said, adding that Microsoft will build complete toolchain for developers.

The Microsoft CEO said that the increasing rate of digitization of people, places, and things, will be the defining secular trend over the next 10 years.

Saying that Microsoft's differentiated approach across the cloud and edge is winning customers, Nadella said that Microsoft now has 57 data centre regions in the world.

In India, Microsoft has three data centre regions -- Mumbai, Pune and Chennai -- besides a Cybersecurity Engagement Centre in New Delhi.

Source: IANS

Mon, 24 Feb 2020 16:00:22 +0530
Clash Over CAA In Delhi A

New Delhi: This morning, for the second time in less than 24 hours, violent clashes broke out in the Bhajanpura, Maujpur and Jaffrabad neighborhoods of northeast Delhi, as demonstrators clashed and threw stones at each other for and against the controversial Citizenship law. An auto rickshaw-has been set ablaze. In the  Kabir Nagar area near the Maujpur Metro Station  people from both groups breaking off stones and chunks of the concrete divider along the main road to throw at each other. The Delhi Police resorted to firing tear gas shells in an effort to control the situation.

Mon, 24 Feb 2020 15:51:09 +0530
US deal with Pakistan to

As US President Donald Trump visited Gujarat's Motera Stadium to attend the Namaste Trump gathering, during his address, he touched on terrorism theme, saying his administration is working with Pakistan to crack down on Islamic country terror groups. "The US and India are committed to working together to stop terrorists and fight their ideology, which is why since taking office, my administration is working with Pakistan in a very positive way to crack down on terrorist organizations and militants operating on the Pakistani border," Trump said. He further said, ""Our relationship with Pakistan is a very positive one. Thanks to these efforts, we are beginning to see signs of great progress with Pakistan and we are looking forward to lower tensions, greater stability and a future of prosperity for all South Asian nations."

Mon, 24 Feb 2020 15:40:57 +0530
Trump s visit will have n

The Shiv Sena hit the Narendra Modi-led Center on Monday saying that the visit of US President Donald Trump to India would make no difference to the lives of poor and middle-class Indians. Sena welcomed Trump through an editorial in the Saamna mouthpiece and said India wants US companies. "Trump will be in India for 36 hours during which Indo-US trade deals will take place. Despite the economic slowdown, India needs US investment, helping the rupee recover." It took a dig a centre, however, saying that in 36 hours all economic problems cannot be solved. "When Trump leaves India 36 hours after his arrival, on India's soil there will be no signs of his visit," the Sena told.

Mon, 24 Feb 2020 15:26:28 +0530
Dissent is essence of de

Dissent is the essence of democracy, but no one can speak against the nation, said Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu Monday. Speaking at Goa University's 32nd annual convocation function, Naidu also said corruption was eating into the vitals of democracy and that more steps needed to be taken to fight the evil. Commenting on the social evils of terrorism and corruption, Naidu said: "Terrorism is completely eradicated. Corruption is creeping into the vitalities of the economy and society. Steps are being taken now, but much more needs to be done."

Mon, 24 Feb 2020 15:12:38 +0530

New Delhi: Social media showering tributes on the second death anniversary of late Bollywood star Sridevi sharing their fond memories of the actress.

The hash tags #SrideviLivesForever and #Sridevi have flooded various social media platforms.

A user wrote, "There is no goodbye! As long as there is a cinema! Remembering the glorious lady #Sridevi Garu on her death anniversary."

Another wrote, "Indian Film Industry's Stellar Performer who has given us Timeless Classics #Sridevi Ji, you are alive in our hearts."

A post read, "On her 2nd Death Anniversary, remembering late actress #Sridevi this day, which it's still unfathomable to accept the loss of the Lady SuperStar."

Sridevi, Bollywood's first female superstar, died aged 54 on this day in 2018, after accidentally drowning in a bathtub in a Dubai hotel, leaving the film industry, her family and millions of fans in a state of shock.

She began her career at the age of four in the devotional film "Thunaivan". She worked across Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and Hindi movies. She was honoured with Padma Shri for her contribution to art and cinema.

Mon, 24 Feb 2020 15:04:50 +0530
Trump Modi tweets hindi

New Delhi: Social media flowers on celebration mood when US President Donald Trump’s Hindi tweet on Monday followed by PM Narendra Modi’s reply.

Trump tweeted "Ham Bharat aane ke liye tatpar hain. Ham Raste me hain. Kuchh hi ghanton me hum sabse milenge," barely a couple of hours away from Ahmedabad.

The tweet read like, "We are eager to visit India. We are on the way. In a few hours, we will meet you all."

Modi replied: 'Atithi Devo Bhava' or 'Guest is like God'.

The dialogue in Hindi was immediately hailed by Netizens.

Trump, First Lady Melania Trump along with Modi visited Sabarmati Ashram for a few minutes after arriving at Ahmedabad airport.

The US President will be visiting Sabarmati Ashram and Taj Mahal during his two-day visit to India.

Amid memes and GIFs, several users tweeted that this post is a symbol that India is being noticed on the world stage.

Ahmedabad is ready to welcome Trump who would participate in a roadshow with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and jointly address a gathering at the 'Namaste Trump' mega event at Motera cricket stadium.

Mon, 24 Feb 2020 14:54:18 +0530
coworking in India

Conducive and productive workspaces have become the need of the hour when it comes to providing the right environment to employees and helping them foster growth. With the introduction of coworking spaces and their acceptance in the country, the industry has changed notions about what a typical workspace is and what the functions of a healthy work environment should be. Where earlier the industry was less agile to the changing market and demographic forces, it is now understanding and incorporating elements that can expand and contract operations quickly and give a range of options to its workforce.

The coworking segment in India has seen impressive growth in recent years and is now a catalyst of sorts for modern workspaces. Growth has been witnessed in the number of operators as well as the flexible space take-up in top seven cities of India. The growing popularity of coworking spaces can be seen by the spike in share of coworking in total office leasing. The share of coworking in total office leasing spiked up to 14 per cent in 2019 from 8 per cent in 2018.

The growth in the sector is attributable to the rapid scaling up of existing players and entry of new ones with innovative business models. There has been adoption of innovation and hybrid offerings by the coworking operators. Their networking events, community initiatives and creative designs promote a sense of community and encourage collaboration. The flexibility intertwined with superlative amenities and a community driven ecosystem are attracting occupiers to coworking spaces. These spaces offer unique facilities such as gymnasiums, creche services, food courts etc. that is making them popular.

Who all are occupying the available space?

Apart from SMEs and start-ups who look for cost effective and flexible options, coworking spaces have been gaining traction amongst large corporates too, due to the positive impact of such workspaces on employee productivity. A survey by JLL showed that 40-45 per cent of coworking demand emanated from big corporates, followed by SMEs which contributed to 35-40 per cent of the demand while 15-25 per cent demand came from start-ups.

Several corporates are now moving into coworking spaces to provide an appealing work environment to their employees and flexible leasing, along with added membership benefits that reduce the expenses of running an office space by approximately 15-20 per cent. Coworking spaces provide a holistic approach which consciously and cost-effectively aim to address the employee engagement and real estate needs of all companies, big and small, as well as real estate owners and landlords.

Slow but gradual acceptance

It is interesting to note that the global sentiment with regard to coworking has had a limited impact on the growth of this segment in India so far. Coworking business models in India are evolving considering the altering requirements of the prospective occupiers. Operators are shifting their focus by offering more closed office spaces and fixed seats as opposed to hot desks to cater to the needs of corporates for privacy and business performance. The trend is gaining popularity as the majority of the demand from occupiers is for cabins or closed spaces that have dedicated areas exclusively for the companies who have taken the space from the operator.

Hybrid spaces are a win-win concept for all the stakeholders as this model is benefitting both the operators and the occupiers. Coworking operators get the advantage of securing relatively longer term commitments on leases and therefore create a more stable ecosystem for their businesses. On the other hand, occupiers enjoy dual advantage of the flexibility of a coworking space along with private offices and dedicated spaces.

Another concept that is gaining popularity is the built-to-suit centres in which customised office space as per the requirement of clients is being developed. The trend of 'Managed Offices' is gaining popularity. In this model, the coworking operators undertake real estate planning for their clients by searching a suitable space for them according to their requirements, refurbishing/developing the space as per their specifications and managing the space entirely for their clients. The operators meet all the real estate requirements of the occupiers including managing cafeterias, reception and concierge services, conference rooms, internet lines, power backups, security etc.

Coworking operators are adapting their space according to the needs of occupiers. They are providing multiple options to occupiers ranging from entire buildings dedicated to coworking spaces to coworking offices within conventional work environments. As the coworking players have started to lease larger spaces, the average size of transactions in the coworking segment increased from 52,000 sq. ft. (2018) to 69,000 sq. ft. in 2019.

A new kind of expansion is already underway

Moreover, coworking operators are not limiting themselves to office complexes but expanding their horizons beyond and venturing into shopping malls, hotels and metro stations, as well. The huge potential of this sector is attracting institutional investment and this, in turn, is furthering growth. Investments and acquisitions are not just driving geographical expansion, but also aiding technological augmentation, upgradation of amenities and an increase in the client base.

Landlords and developers have also realised the potential of coworking spaces as reputed brands working out of such spaces also add to the value proposition of the building. Companies are now choosing to opt for coworking spaces as they are having more flexible lease terms, contemporary ecosystem, lower deposit requirements, absence of capital expenditure and help in overall cost reduction in case of the company's cash flow.

The positive impact that coworking spaces have had on employee productivity for corporates and the health of commercial real estate for developers cannot be ignored. Coworking as a segment is expected to expand significantly across several industries and sectors due to a multitude of leasing options and an ocean of choices that are made available, tailored to individuals as well as small and large organisations.

Source IANS

Mon, 24 Feb 2020 14:38:24 +0530
volatility Trump visit

The Week gone by saw markets lose on three of the four trading days and register small weekly losses at close. BSESENSEX closed the week with losses of 87.62 points or 0.21 per cent to end at 41,170.12 points. NIFTY was down 32.60 points or 0.27 per cent to close at 12,080.85 points. The broader markets saw BSE100, BSE200 and BSE500 lose 0.17 per cent, 0.08 per cent and 0.06 per cent respectively. BSEMIDCAP gained 0.21 per cent while BSESMALLCAP was up 0.44 per cent.

The week ahead sees US President Donald Trump begin his flying visit to Ahmedabad, followed by Agra and then the business part of the meeting in Delhi. With the back drop of heightened tensions between China and US on the trade front and not helped in any manner by the outbreak of Coronavirus, both countries will look to India becoming a manufacturing hub. While markets have not anticipated any events happening there is a buzz as Trump visits the world's largest cricket stadium for a rousing reception.

This would be followed by February futures expiring on Thursday the 27th of February. The current value of NIFTY at 12,080.85 points is higher by 45.05 points or 0.37 per cent. The lead is slender and in a volatile week could go in either the direction of bulls or bears.

A large and much awaited IPO from SBI Cards and payment Services Limited would be opening for subscription by Anchor Investors on Friday the 28th of February. The main issue would open on Monday the 2nd of March and close for QIB's on the 4th of March and for HNI's, Retail and Shareholders on 5th of March. The issue consists of a fresh issue of Rs 500 crore and an offer for sale of 13.05 crore shares. The price band would be announced on Tuesday, the day the company kicks of its roadshow in Mumbai. The street expects a price band of Rs 750-755, while I believe this would be lower. The market cap of the company going public at the above expected price would be in excess of Rs 90,000 crs with SBI holding 74 per cent shares.

While this issue would do well, one needs to ponder whether State Bank of India becomes an attractive investment or not. The bank has a market capitalisation of Rs 2.92 lac crs. SBI Life has a market cap of Rs 92,795 crs where SBI (State Bank of India) has 62.80 per cent shareholding. To this if one adds a notional 65,000 crs of SBI cards we are talking of Rs 1.57 lac crs for just these two companies as SBI share. This leaves the bank with a valuation of a mere 1.35 lac crs. Even considering holding discount, the bank valuation is just too attractive to ignore. With AMC business in demand, it would be a matter of time after UTI AMC hits the market, SBI AMC would follow.

From the primary market perspective, SBI Cards would act as a catalyst for the markets and help many more companies waiting on the side-lines to actually get the courage to tap the markets.

Sterling and Wilson Solar continues to be in the news for all the wrong reasons. The company declared a massive dividend of 600 per cent (Rs 6 per share of face value Re 1) and thought the minority shareholder would be appeased with the generosity. Contrary to the management's expectation. The share price tanked further and made a new 52 week. The share lost Rs 47.80 or 17.38 per cent to close at Rs 227.20 against an issue price of Rs 780.

Coming to the markets, expect them to remain volatile ahead of Trump's visit followed by expiry. On a net basis there may not be a significant change on a weekly basis, but intraday moves could be sharp and swift. Use any sharp dips to buy and sell on strong rallies. 

Mon, 24 Feb 2020 13:58:11 +0530
AR Rahman interview

Mumbai: Oscar-winning composer AR Rahman feels although the world is going through a socio-political turmoil, and every second person is expressing political opinion in an aggressive manner, he chooses to channelise his energy in making music, stories and art that can bring about a positive change in the mind of the youngsters.

The Indian music maestro is all set to take a new step in creativity. He makes his debut as scriptwriter and film producer with the upcoming musical film, "99 Songs".

"I am politically illiterate by choice, because I rather invest my energy to create what I am creating. One of the reasons why I am making films, music and training kids in music is to offer them a space that they can explore away from politics, violence and all things that are negative. I see how everyone is getting into some political opinion and it is a grey area. It is complicated and probably I won't be able to articulate my thoughts as correctly as I can do it through music. For me, serving humanity through art -- that heals people, that is spiritual -- is more important when there is too much aggression out there," Rahman told.

His daughter Khatija was brutally trolled a while back by the Swedish-Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen on social media, for wearing the burqa, but Khatija's graceful and befitting answer to the author received huge applauds by netizens.

Rahman's "99 Songs" is directed by Vishwesh Krishnamoorthy and the film features Ehan Bhat, Edilsy Vargas, Lisa Ray, Manisha Koirala, Ranjit Barot and Rahul Ram.

What prompted him to take up the challenge of filmmaking? The 'Mozart of Madras' replied: "Not taking up challenges and feeling complacent due to success is boring! I mean, none of us are immortal. We all are going to die, but before death happens let us give new ideas a try. My drive is to explore human possibilities. Criticism is okay with me, so many challenges are thrown at us by life. It is worth taking up the challenges!"

The songs of his film were released on Thursday in Mumbai. Rahman has created the album with Dolby Atmos. Emphasising on the collaboration, Rahman said: "When you hear music, good sound technology offers you an experience that is worth cherishing. We get to experience Dolby Atmos in cinema theatres. They are now collaborating with streaming platforms where you listen to music on the phone and still get the same sound quality, without those speakers."

He added: "When you listen to a song on your phone, you hear a compressed file that tampers the sound, and the nuances are missed. When a 200MB file is made into a 1. 5 MB file, usually you do not get the same quality. But now that is possible courtesy the new sound technology of Dolby Atmos. I am looking forward to it," he explained.

Mon, 24 Feb 2020 13:52:48 +0530
improve your mental well

New Delhi: Feeling anxious and overwhelmed is not surprising in the 21st century. The year 2020 started under the cynical shadow of political unrest, international security threats, a run of hate crimes and what not. Not to forget about the vile expectations we allow ourselves to go through on a daily basis: become richer, lose weight, be a better person, think positively and more - the urge to meet such expectations, obligations and duties are so high that you often end up crumbling under them.

As Ramon Llamba, Ph.D. in Quantum Physics and the founder of Golden Age Transformation puts it, "The greatest barriers to living a better life are your self-created, overgrown expectations." She pens down some strategic steps that you should take for a more mentally-healthy new year.

Give yourself priority

Self-care is the new empowerment. While we grapple with the growing mental health crisis, it is high time that we prioritise self-love and self-compassion. As most of the psychology studies attest self-love along with compassion is the key to strong mental health.

Practising self-love is not about being self-absorbed or being narcissistic, it is like following a subtle way to get in touch with your inner self, your happiness, and your well-being. It is basically the act of looking after yourself, both physically and mentally, so you are able to push through your limiting beliefs and live a life that truly shines.

So, do yourself a favour, just take a deep breath, give yourself a little hug and start practising the art of self-love.

Take a break (vacation)

No matter how many lists you make or goals you set, things are still going to get stressful and busy. It is scientifically proven that hitting the pause button in your life has some incredible health benefits that far outweigh anything you think you might miss out on.

Trust us, you'll feel refreshed which will ultimately double your productivity. That said, if you still can't take time out to fly on a vacation, there are things you can do even in the most jam-packed days, like incorporating mindfulness. Try to absorb the idea of being in the present by taking a break from all the distractions with a kind heart and an open mind. You can incorporate mindfulness in your daily activities by bringing a wave of awareness and compassion to the things that you are already occupied with, such as during your commute or gym-time or even while eating a meal. Devoting a few moments to fully focus on a task at hand (mind you, you have to put all other thoughts away) can work wonders for your mental health.

You can try beginning each day with a five-minute mindfulness meditation session. If you find it helpful and want to go further then you can choose to opt for therapy to unravel a lifelong pattern, hire a personal trainer, or make time for reading.


Exercising may be the last thing you want to do when you're on your downer or feeling overly stressed, but experts agree that exercising is one of the finest yet most powerful ways to boost your mental health. It is imperative to exercise for 15-30 minutes, three days a week in order to manage stress and anxiety.

Sure, working out can be time-consuming, but your chosen form of exercise doesn't necessarily have to be physical, it can be an emotional and spiritual one too. When people think of exercise, they only consider going to the gym or doing some in-house cardio. Be that as it may, the way to mental wellness is to establish a mind-body connection: be sure to pay attention to your spiritual, mental, and emotional counterparts, too.

Your mental health is dependent on all these four counterparts, together. Try to understand this in the form of trickle-down effect: The physical body is often affected by the sudden play of emotions, our thoughts are directly proportionate to how we feel, and it is our energy level which sways our minds and ultimately our thoughts.

You can fully access the spiritual aspect of your being by maintaining a daily connection with your soul and religion.

Tell yourself something positive

An adjustment to your everyday vocabulary, both in your thoughts and out loud can very well improve your mental health. It may sound trite to you but looking on the bright side of everything really does matter. Instead of always focusing on the negative side, flip your dialogue towards positive outcomes. In addition to keeping up with positive mental health, it will also keep you motivated. For example, rather than saying, "If I bag that job", switch to, "When I bag that job". These small changes in your language will do the deal for you and change your mindset to a glass half full instead of glass half empty. Understand this as a fact that when you perceive yourself and your life negatively, you end up viewing experiences, particularly in a way that confirms the very same notion. When you start using positive words instead, you are more likely to promote feelings of self-worth and personal power.

Prioritise mental well-being

So, yes. Mental health awareness is good. It's important to be aware of something that affects nearly a quarter of the population of this world. Basically, someone experiencing a mental health problem or going through a mental crisis may not even realise this and may need help and assistance to even accept they have an issue that requires dealing with it. There is no shame in seeking professional help in times of need. You can find yourself a therapist who is variably proactive to patiently listen and give you tools that will help.

Mon, 24 Feb 2020 13:17:37 +0530
Top 5 lingerie trends

New Delh: Are you also one of those women who tucked their lingerie in the back drawer somewhere and used it only for special occasions? If yes, then this mentality is oh so wrong. Lingerie is one such fashion item that you should invest in on a regular basis, especially considering the ones you wear every day. Yes, even the pretty, sheer lace kind too. So, prep up to spoil yourself by upgrading your lingerie drawer with trendiest lingerie sets. Shared by Siddharth Grover, Director, Groversons Paris Beauty.

Embrace yourself with Sports bra

The growing interest in health and fitness shows no signs of declining, thus resulting in a demand for high-impact sports bras that deliver on minimizing breast movement and also look stylish. Sports bra have now become a fashion trend that melds workout gear with regular life, whilst providing you with amazing shape and comfort. They are also suitable for all activities from grabbing a coffee to horse riding or running marathons. And that's why sports bras are taking over women's lingerie collection.

Timeless Lace Look

Laces never run out of style, especially when it comes to lingerie. Its delicate and beautiful design is bound to create a timeless look that counts out to be trendy every time you pull it off. Lace adds oomph while keeping the lingerie extremely feminine and will make you feel good about yourself, boost your confidence and will be attuned your body shape every time you gaze in the mirror. These delicate pieces of garments look stunning in almost every colour but when chosen in light or sugary pastels that look is just everyone is swooning on.

Halter Neck Bras

Women today are taking up bold fashion choices and filling up their wardrobes with spunky lingerie such as halter neck bras. There's something supremely cool about the halter silhouette-how it shows off the shoulders but keeps the neck covered up. This lingerie perfectly mimics your summertime halter neckline with a strap that fastens behind the neck. It comes in several fabrics such as cotton, spandex, polyamide, satin, mesh, net, lace, and silk. Such lingerie collection also works beautifully when paired with sheer fabrics, and look incredible when framed behind a mesh top.

Those Sexy back detailing

The detail is on the back this season. Fine strapping, tiebacks, as well as delicate lace and ruffles, create a feminine look. Up your lingerie game this summer with intricate designs and sexy patterns to create that sensuous look with a back detailing bra. These bras are definitely made to be seen, so pair some embellished pieces with your favourite outerwear for incredible evening looks.

Shapewear on the go

When you think of lingerie, you likely reach for bras and underwear, but don't you forget about the one-piece that quickly. Yess, the shapewear is one of those trends that we can't get enough of and surely not falling out of love with, in 2020 also. They have become a staple in women's lingerie wardrobes, and for a good reason. They are no longer simply a fixture on red carpets, but are also available for civilians who want instant lifting and tucking for special occasions, or even just for everyday wear.

So, without delay, hop on the bandwagon and spruce up your lingerie collection starting with the new flavours of the year which are ready to spark your attention and revamp your look.

Source: IANS

Mon, 24 Feb 2020 13:12:33 +0530
Is your pet obese

New Delhi: An extra treat here, a lazy day-in there, all this can lead to your pet being obese. It is hard to ignore that puppy face your pet makes while he or she watches you eat, but as per experts, pet obesity is a direct result of changing pet lifestyles.

"Pets and pet owners have evolved in the last couple of decades. More food options, reduced open spaces for pets and busy work culture for pet parents have all contributed to a very different lifestyle for pets in the country. All these factors contribute significantly to pet obesity which is very much a cause of concern," Gaurav Kwatra, Director, PURINA Petcare India, told.

The pet nutrition brand, which developed a nine-stage Body Conditioning system to assess pets, has also done a 14-year lifespan study with dogs. Results show that dogs that maintain a lean muscle mass live a life upto 15 per cent longer with better quality of life.

It's almost a natural instinct to feed our furry companions whatever you are eating. What goes ignored is the fact that, pets also prone to obesity and overindulgence may be harmful to the pet's health in the long run.

"Apart from the overindulgence, there are plenty of factors that can cause obesity in pets. Sometimes, obesity in pets could be caused by thyroid problems. However, in most cases, obesity is linked to lifestyle and the nutrition intake," Kwatra adds.

What could be the ill-effects of obesity in pets?

Obesity in pets can not only be highly detrimental to their health but also cause discomfort for them in performing day to day activities. Obese pets are usually far less active and are susceptible to conditions like arthritis, diabetes mellitus, cardio-pulmonary problems, constipation, cancer and even premature death.

Can this be cured or reversed by administering a certain kind of food only?

While the emergence of specialized diets would play a vital role in countering the epidemic, together with the veterinarians we need to raise awareness on pet obesity and educate pet owners/parents on how they can help their pets lead a healthier and happier life with proper nutrition. Proper exercise is also crucial in maintaining a pet's health and it is imperative that pet parents take them out for regular walks.

Mon, 24 Feb 2020 13:07:26 +0530
Keto intermittent fast

New Delhi: When it comes to diets for reducing weight, the two regimens that captured the imagination of Indians in 2019 were the high-fat, low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting diet, reveals a survey by domestic health and fitness app HealthifyMe.

Intermittent fasting diets fall generally into two categories: daily time-restricted feeding, which narrows eating times to 6-8 hours per day, and so-called 5:2 intermittent fasting, in which people limit themselves to one moderate-sized meal two days each week.

This diet is suitable for those looking for fat loss, especially when a person is involved in a consistent workout routine.

Ketogenic diet is primarily designed for people with epilepsy but is now being used for other conditions as well, including weight loss, polycystic ovarian disease (PCOD), acne, endurance athletes and also for other nervous disorders. It cannot be used as a long term diet for weight loss as it is very rigid and too much fat can cause serious complications.

Long working hours and sleep deprivation owing to binge watching shows on streaming services are the top two social trends that adversely affected the fitness levels of Indians in 2019, showed the survey based on responses from 500 nutritionists and trainers across the country.

Easy access to packaged food and food delivery services are the other two social trends that had a big impact on people's health.

The other diets that drew people's attention were vegan diet and carb cycling diet.

Vegans do not consume meat, fish, dairy, or eggs and primarily include all plant based foods. While this can be good for people with allergies or intolerances, it can lead to nutritional deficiencies, especially protein and vitamin B12.

Carb cycling, a dietary approach that involves planned increases and decreases in carbohydrate intake on different days, is popular among bodybuilders, fitness competitors and certain athletes who are looking to increase muscle mass and shed body fat.

When it comes to food, the top three "super foods" that Indians consumed in 2019 were green tea, chia seeds and turmeric, as per the survey. This was followed by ghee, ragi and quinoa.

On the other hand, foods like kale or leaf cabbage, wheat grass and amla (Indian gooseberry) were not very popular in 2019, the results showed.

Interestingly, one positive diet trend that Indians followed in 2019 was replacing white rice and wheat with healthier grains.

While white rice was replaced majorly by brown rice followed by quinoa, wheat was replaced by millets followed by jowar and ragi.

Indians' favourite workout time in 2019 was mornings with almost 70 per cent completing their workout between 4 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Out of these, 40 per cent preferred to work out early morning between 4-8 a.m. while 30 per cent worked out between 8-12 p.m., the results showed.

Mon, 24 Feb 2020 12:50:03 +0530
heart disease risk ladis
New York:  Women who sleep poorly tend to overeat and consume a lower-quality diet, say researchers, adding that poor sleep quality can increase the risk of heart disease and obesity.

Previous studies have shown that people who get less sleep are more likely to develop obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease--and that the relationship may be partially explained by diet.

The current study, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, was designed to get a more comprehensive picture in women by examining associations between overall diet quality and multiple aspects of sleep quality.

"Women are particularly prone to sleep disturbances across the life span, because they often shoulder the responsibilities of caring for children and family and, later, because of menopausal hormones," said Indian-origin researcher and study senior author Brooke Aggarwal from Columbia University Vagelos.

For the findings, the researchers analysed the sleep and eating habits of an ethnically diverse group of 495 women, ages 20 to 76.

The study looked at sleep quality, the time it took to fall asleep, and insomnia.

The women also reported on the types and amounts of foods they typically eat throughout the year, allowing researchers to measure their typical dietary patterns.

Similar to previous studies of sleep and diet, the study found that those with worse overall sleep quality consumed more of the added sugars associated with obesity and diabetes.

Women who took longer to fall asleep had higher caloric intake and ate more food by weight, the researchers said.

And women with more severe insomnia symptoms consumed more food by weight and fewer unsaturated fats than women with milder insomnia.

"Our interpretation is that women with poor-quality sleep could be overeating during subsequent meals and making more unhealthy food choices," said Aggarwal.

"Poor sleep quality may lead to excessive food and calorie intake by stimulating hunger signals or suppressing signals of fullness," said study lead author Faris Zuraikat.

"Fullness is largely affected by the weight or volume of food consumed, and it could be that women with insomnia consume a greater amount of food in an effort to feel full," Zuraikat added.

"However, it's also possible that poor diet has a negative impact on women's sleep quality, eating more could also cause gastrointestinal discomfort, for instance, making it harder to fall asleep or remain asleep," Zuraikat concluded.
Source: IANS
Mon, 24 Feb 2020 12:45:19 +0530
IVF babies

London:Researchers have found that the children conceived through assisted reproductive techniques including IVF (in vitro fertilisation) had a 45 per cent higher risk of death before 1 year of age than children conceived naturally.

The findings, published in the journal Fertility and Sterility, link the increased risk to a higher degree of premature births in IVF children and emphasize that the risk of infant mortality is still very small for both groups.

"Our results indicate that the kind of assisted reproductive technique used may make a difference, and therefore it is important to further investigate what causes or underlying mechanisms are behind the risks," said study lead author Anastasia Nyman Iliadou from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden.

"They also show the need for extra attention and care of children conceived with IVF, especially during the first week of life," Iliadou added.

Prior studies show that IVF-pregnancies come with an increased risk of low birth weight, prematurity and birth defects.

These risks have partly been linked to the increased probability of twin-births after IVF-treatment.

In the current study, the researchers selected only singleton children and compared mortality in children conceived through different types of assisted reproductive techniques with children who were conceived naturally.

They analysed data on 2.8 million children born in Sweden over a period of 30 years. Some 43,500 of these were the result of assisted reproduction.

In total, 7 236 children died before 1 year of age, of whom only 114 were conceived with assisted reproductive techniques.

After adjusting for confounding factors such as the mother's age and earlier infertility, the researchers found that the children conceived through IVF had a 45 percent higher risk of death before 1 year of age than children conceived naturally.

The level of risk varied depending on which type of assisted reproductive technique was used, and how many days had passed since birth. The risk gradually declined after the first weeks of life.

During the first week of life, the children conceived after transfer of a frozen embryo had a more than two-fold higher risk of death than the children conceived naturally.

This was, however, based on only a small sample of children conceived with frozen embryos.

After one week, the risk dropped to about the same level as the naturally conceived children.

Infants conceived from transfer of a fresh embryo or with the help of an intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)--where a single sperm is injected into the egg--did not have a higher risk of death than naturally conceived children, irrespective of how many days had passed since birth.

According to the researchers, one explanation may be that more IVF-children are born prematurely than those conceived naturally, which in itself could have negative consequences.

The leading causes of infant mortality among children conceived with assisted reproductive techniques included respiratory distress, incomplete lung development, infections and neonatal hemorrhage, which are conditions often linked to prematurity.

Source: IANS

Mon, 24 Feb 2020 12:40:40 +0530
Drink tart cherry juice

Toronto: Tart cherry juice is known for reducing strength loss and improving muscle recovery after intensive exercise, and now researchers have found that it also helps in improving exercise performance.

The meta-analysis, published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, revealed that tart cherries improved endurance exercise performance among study participants.

"The recovery benefits of tart cherry concentrate are well researched, yet evidence on performance enhancement is scarce and results have been mixed," said study co-author Philip Chilibeck from University of Saskatchewan in Canada.

"The results of this meta-analysis found that tart cherries did help improve performance, and we gained greater insight into the potential mechanism responsible for this benefit," Chilibeck added.

This new meta-analysis examined 10 previously published studies on tart cherries and exercise recovery. The sample sizes ranged from 8-27, and the average ages of study participants ranged from 18.6 to 34.6 years.

Most of the participants were endurance-trained individuals, including cyclists, runners and triathletes. The 10 studies totalled 127 males and 20 females.

To qualify, studies were required to be randomised controlled trials conducted in a healthy adult population and use a placebo as a comparison for tart cherry supplementation (including tart cherry juice, tart cherry concentrate, tart cherry powder and tart cherry powder capsules).

Nine of the 10 studies involved longer-term tart cherry consumption (around two to seven days prior to exercise) and one involved same-day supplementation.

Tart cherry dosages varied across studies and included 200 to 500 mg/day in capsule or powder form, 60 to 90 mL/day of tart cherry juice concentrate diluted with 100 to 510 mL water and 300 to 473mL/day of tart cherry juice.

The total amount of anthocyanins consumed daily ranged from 66 to 2,760 mg. Pooled results across these 10 studies indicated a significant improvement in endurance performance with tart cherry concentrate, with two of the 10 studies reporting significant performance-enhancing effects on their own.

The meta-analysis concluded that tart cherry concentrate in juice or powdered form significantly improved endurance exercise performance when consumed for seven days to 1.5 hours before cycling, swimming or running.

Source: IANS

Mon, 24 Feb 2020 12:34:36 +0530
Olive oil in Mediterranea

New York:The Mediterranean diet, which is commonly referred to as a heart-healthy way of eating, has been linked to a number of potential health benefits, now researchers have found that olive oil in this diet may hold the key to improving lifespan and mitigating aging-related diseases.

Early studies on the diet suggested red wine was a major contributor to the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet because it contains a compound called resveratrol, which activated a certain pathway in cells known to increase lifespan and prevent aging-related diseases.

However, the study, published in the journal Molecular Cell, suggests that it is the fat in olive oil, another component of the Mediterranean diet, that is actually activating this pathway.

"We found that the way this fat works is it first has to get stored in microscopic things called lipid droplets, which is how our cells store fat. And then,

when the fat is broken down during exercising or fasting, for example, is when the signaling and beneficial effects are realised," said study researcher Doug Mashek from University of Minnesota.

According to the researchers, merely consuming olive oil is not enough to elicit all of the health benefits.

The study suggested that when coupled with fasting, limiting caloric intake and exercising, the effects of consuming olive oil will be most pronounced.

The next steps for their research are to translate it to humans with the goal of discovering new drugs or to further tailor dietary regimens that improve health, both short-term and long-term.

"We want to understand the biology, and then translate it to humans, hopefully changing the paradigm of healthcare from someone going to eight different doctors to treat his or her eight different disorders," Mashek said.

"These are all aging-related diseases, so let's treat aging," Mashek added.

Another study, published in the journal 'Gut', showed that following a Mediterranean diet boosts the types of gut bacteria linked to 'healthy' ageing, while reducing those associated with harmful inflammation in older people.

The study found that following a Mediterranean diet for a year could help keep the mind sharp and reduce frailty in old age.

Source: IANS

Mon, 24 Feb 2020 12:25:56 +0530
Garment exports market
New Delhi:  Though Indias readymade garment exports showed a marginal increase in April 2019-January 2020 period, apparel exporters are confident of capturing a larger market share due to the renewed enthusiastic support of the government, the Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) said in a statement on Sunday.

The statement cited AEPC Chairman A. Sakthivel saying this while addressing the body's 42nd Foundation Day here on Saturday.

The statement said that the Chairman has brought up issues being faced by apparel exporters and discussed ways to promote apparel exports iin his recent interactions with Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and Textiles Minister Smriti Zubin Irani.

"While the government has prepared the ground for growth of man-made fibre production in the country with its removal of anti-dumping duty on PTA, the Council has planned to participate in mega exhibitions across the world to showcase Indian apparel," he said.

"Having started out of a small office space in Nehru Place in Delhi as a quota monitoring entity, our Council today has a countrywide presence with 12 offices and a 8,000 strong membership constitution of almost all large production houses, trading houses and small & medium scale units," Sakthivel said.

AEPC members will participate in various international fairs this year including 'India Tex Trend Fair' in Tokyo and 'Pure London' in July, 'Magic Fair' in Las Vegas and 'Apparel Textile Sourcing' in Canada in August, 'Who's Next' in Paris in September, and 'Australia International Sourcing Fair' in Melbourne in November.

"The apparel sector is the largest employment provider after agriculture and employs 12.90 million workers, of which 65-70 per cent are women," he added.

Source: IANS

Mon, 24 Feb 2020 12:17:44 +0530
Lotteries to attract unif

New Delhi: Lotteries will now attract a 28 per cent uniform Goods and Services Tax (GST) from March 1. This GST rate will be applicable to state-run and authorised lotteries from March 1, according to a notification. The GST Council, led by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, had in December last year decided to increase the rate as well as implement a single rate for lotteries. Buyers of tickets for lotteries would now have to shell out 28 per cent.

According to notification issued by the revenue department, the GST rate on supply of lotteries has been amended to 14 per cent and a similar percentage will be levied by the states. As a result, total GST on lotteries will increase to 28 per cent. "This notification shall come into force on March 1, 2020," a notification by the revenue department said. 
Currently, lotteries run by the state-owned agencies levy 12 per cent GST, while a state-authorised lottery attracts 28 per cent tax.

The lottery industry had sought a uniform tax rate on lotteries following which a group of ministers were set up to suggest the GST rate. The eight-member group of ministers headed by Maharashtra Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar, had recommended that the council would decide either on 18 per cent or 28 per cent GST for lotteries. Following this, the GST Council in December voted for a single rate of 28 per cent on supply of lotteries.

Mon, 24 Feb 2020 11:47:30 +0530
Aditya Estates in Delhi

New Delhi:Adani Group's acquisition bid for the Delhi-based Aditya Estates Pvt Ltd approves by the National Company Law Tribunal's principal bench.

The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) in September last year dismissed a plea challenging the NCLT's order to initiate insolvency proceedings against Aditya Estates over the claims filed by ICICI Bank UK Plc. Aditya Kumar Jajodia, a shareholder of Aditya Estates, had challenged the insolvency proceedings against the firm in the NCLAT. Aditya Estates owns a 3.4 acre residential property near Mandi House here.

The total deal value involved is Rs 400 crore, out which the Adani Group would have to make an upfront payment of Rs 265 crore for the acquisition and the remaining Rs 135 crore for meeting statutory charges.

The Committee of Creditors (CoC) led by ICICI Bank UK Plc had approved the bid by 93 per cent vote.

Source: IANS

Mon, 24 Feb 2020 11:28:09 +0530
28 GST for lotteries

New Delhi:From March 1 GST for lotteries will schedule to 28 percent to a nsationwide uniform tax rate according to notification.

This GST rate will be applicable to state-run and authorised lotteries from March 1. The GST Council, led by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, had in December last year decided to increase the rate as well as implement a single rate for lotteries. Buyers of tickets for lotteries would now have to shell out 28 per cent.

GST rate on supply of lotteries has been amended to 14 per cent and a similar percentage will be levied by the states. As a result, total GST on lotteries will increase to 28 per cent.

Currently, state-owned agencies levy 12 per cent GST, while state-authorised lottery attracts 28 per cent tax.

Mon, 24 Feb 2020 11:18:43 +0530
Tibetans in exile celebra

Thousands of Tibetans and their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, who have lived for more than half a century in exile at McLeodganj near here in Himachal Pradesh, started celebrating the three-day Losar or New Year festival on Monday. The Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), the exiled Tibetans ' elected government, has greeted Tibetans from all over the world.

Mon, 24 Feb 2020 11:11:53 +0530
Underworld don Ravi Pujar

Bengaluru: Underworld don Ravi Pujari, 52, was flown to Bengaluru from South Africa, where he was arrested a day before, police said on Monday. "A four-member Karnataka Police team brought Pujari to Bengaluru in the wee hours of the day in an Air France flight via Paris after he was extradited from Senegal in Africa," City Crime Branch Deputy Commissioner of Police Kuldeep Jain told IANS here. 
The police team was led by state Additional Director General of Police A.K Pandey and Bengaluru joint commissioner of police Sandeep Patil, a police inspector and a constable.

"Pujari will be produced in the first Additional City Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) court in the city for judicial custody," Jain said. Pujari was taken to an undisclosed place in the city from the international airport under tight security. According to the Indian Intelligence sources, Pujari was nabbed in a remote South African village where he was hiding with a false identity as Anthony Fernandes, a Burkina Faso passport holder. "Pujari had jumped bail from Senegal last year and escaped to South Africa and got involved in big-time trafficking and extortion," sources said.

On a tip-off from the Indian intelligence, the Senegal police flew to South Africa last week. Pujari, who parted ways with another underworld don Chhota Rajan and wanted in over 200 cases of heinous crimes, including murder and extortion, was detained with the help of the South African agencies. The mafioso shot to notoriety in early 2000 when he started extorting huge amounts from famous Bollywood personalities and builders. He was involved in an attempt to murder case, aimed at killing a prominent lawyer of Mumbai.

Pujari's wife Padma and three children also fled India and some of them hold Burkina Faso passports. His son, who was recently married in Australia, reportedly holds an Australian passport. Last year Pujari, living under the identity of Anthony, jumped bail from a Senegal court through fraudulent means. IANS had accessed the don's new passport. Pujari now goes under the name of Anthony Fernandes and is a citizen of Burkina Faso, a West African country, his date of birth is shown as 25.1.1961.

Pujari, a movie junkie influenced by Amitabh Bachchan's portrayal as Anthony Gonsalves in "Amar Akbar Anthony" was using the name Anthony Fernandes. This passport was issued on jULY 10, 2013 and is valid till July 8, 2023. The passport showed his profession as Agent Commercial which means that he is designated as a businessman running a chain of restaurants called 'Namaste India' in Senegal, Burkina Faso and neighbouring countries. Pujari's lawyers in Senegal had argued in the court citing that he is Anthony Fernandes, a businessmen from Burkina Faso as mentioned in his passport and not a fugitive as claimed by the Indian Government.


Mon, 24 Feb 2020 11:06:22 +0530
Gaza rocket fire

Gaza: Islamic Jihad, Palestinian militant group claims reponsibility for firing rockets from the Gaza Strip into Israel and was in response to the killing of an Islamic Jihad member.

Saraya Al-Quds militants, fired the rockets in retaliation for the death of its member Mohammad al-Na'em, 27, who killed on Sunday morning in eastern Gaza Strip and body was pulled by an Israeli army bulldozer earlier on Sunday says Ismail Radwan, senior leader of Islamic Hamas Movement, Gaza .

Earlier on Sunday, several explosions were heard in the northern Gaza Strip after the Israeli defence system intercepted the fired rockets.

Israeli army said that al-Na'em was killed earlier this morning east of Khan Younis in southern Gaza Strip after approaching the fence of the border between Gaza and Israel in an attempt to plant an explosive device.

Mon, 24 Feb 2020 10:51:08 +0530
Italy over COVID 19

Rome:152 coronavirus cases with three deaths are reported in Italy, at the same time authorities report an infected Italian researcher made recovery completely.

Angelo Borrelli, Civil Protection Department Head reported 152 virus infected cases, 110 were reported in the northern region of Lombardy, 21 in Veneto and nine in Emilia-Romagna. In the country ten towns in Lombardy and one in Veneto, were currently under lockdown.

Government authorities have issued bans at gathering spots and prohibited people entering affected areas. Along with that virus-hit regions allowed economic measures including suspending tax and mortgage payments and asking workers to stay home.

Schools of affected areas will remain closed until February 29, four Serie A football matches have been suspended and Venice Carnival also was cancelled to control corona virus in Italy.

Mon, 24 Feb 2020 10:38:19 +0530
Iran parliamentary elect

Tehran: Hardliners are set to win Iran's parliamentary election, where voting - only 42.6 per cent - was the lowest turnout since the 1979 revolution, reports said on Sunday.1. There were the first elections after the US re-imposed the crippling sanctions.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, however, described Friday's turnout as stunning, claiming Iran's enemies had tried to put people off voting by exaggerating the coronavirus outbreak, the BBC reported.

"This negative propaganda about the virus began a couple of months ago and grew larger ahead of the election," he said, according to his official website

Meanwhile the outbreak has worsened, with 43 confirmed cases and eight deaths. Schools, universities and cultural centres across 14 provinces have been closed. Iraq, Pakistan, and Turkey have closed their borders with Iran, and Afghanistan has suspended air and road travel to and from Iran.

Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli said the low turnout was "completely acceptable" in wake of the coronavirus outbreak, bad weather and recent protests as well as the shooting down of a Ukrainian passenger plane last month.

He said the turnout in Tehran was just 25.4 per cent, with conservatives loyal to Ayatollah Khamenei winning all 30 seats.

Former Revolutionary Guards commander Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf topped the list, and is expected to become the next parliamentary Speaker.


Mon, 24 Feb 2020 10:18:04 +0530
Pro and Anti CAA groups c

The entry and exit gates of Maujpur-Babarpur metro station was closed following clashes between two protesting groups in Delhi. Clashes had broken out between groups opposing the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and those supporting it near Jaffrabad in northeast Delhi. To control the raging crowd Delhi Police fired tear gas shells as people pelted stones at each other.

Jaffrabad metro station was also closed earlier in the day as demonstrators, mostly women, blocked the road leading to the metro station. The women were demanding a rollback of the CAA. BJP leader Kapil Mishra had engineered crowds to throng the Maujpur traffic signal in support of the CAA. Taking to Twitter the BJP leader had written: “We have given a three-day ultimatum to the Delhi Police to get the road cleared. Get the Jaffrabad and Chandbagh road cleared.”

Mishra also put out a video saying that the protestors want to create trouble in Delhi and that’s why they have closed the roads and created a riot-like situation. We haven’t pelted stones on anyone.

Mon, 24 Feb 2020 08:56:23 +0530
Hardliners to win Iran el

As per media reports, Iran which witnessed the lowest percentage of voting, 42.6 per cent since the 1979 revolution is set to bring hardliners to power. Iran had gone for voting for the first time after the US re-imposed crippling sanctions.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s tallest leader, described the turnout as unbelievable despite the threat of coronavirus looming large. He added that the negative propaganda of the virus had begun two months before and intensified as the elections neared.

The virus outbreak however has been fatal with 43 positive cases and eight deaths. Schools and colleges across 14 provinces have been shut temporarily. Iraq, Pakistan, and Turkey have closed their borders with Iran, and Afghanistan has suspended air and road travel to and from Iran.

Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli attributed the low voter turnout to coronavirus, bad weather conditions and recent protests as well as the shooting down of a Ukrainian passenger plane last month.

Mon, 24 Feb 2020 08:53:15 +0530
Shekhar Kapur to sue make

Expressing his disappointment over director Ali Abbas Zafar’s move to remake his iconic Mr. India film, Shekhar Kapur said that he is examining legal options to stop the production of the film. He said that it is time to test this legally. The cult film which had Anil Kapoor, Sridevi and Amrish Puri in the lead was a box office hit in the 1980s. 

Shekhar posted a clipping of late actor Amrish Puri from Mr. India, in which Puri had played the villain role of Mogambo. Reacting on how Mogambo would have reacted to the news of the film's remake if he was alive, Shekhar tweeted: “Kya Kaha? Mr. India 2? Is duniya mein koi aur Mogambo bhi hai?”

Kapur also found it disrespectful on the part of the filmmakers to not grant him the creative rights for the remake. He said,” We sit with writers from day one, but are not the writers. Help actors hone performances but are not actors. Develop and create visual language of film. Slave hours over editing consoles. Directors lead and inspire every aspect of a film and have no creative rights? #MrIndia.” 

Announcing the remake Zafar had tweeted: Excited to partner with @ZeeStudios_ for epic trilogy #MrIndia! It is a huge responsibility to carry forward an iconic character loved by everyone. Currently, working on the script, no actor has been locked till now. Once we lock the first draft of the script, casting begins!

Incidentally actress Sonam Kapoor whose father had featured in the original also expressed her unhappiness on social media. She wrote: “A lot of people have been me asking me about the "Mr India remake". Honestly, my father didn't even know that the film was being remade, we found about it through social media when Ali Abbas Zafar tweeted. It's quite disrespectful and underhanded, if it is true, since no one bothered to consult my father or Shekhar uncle - two people who played a major role in making the film what it was and is.”

Mon, 24 Feb 2020 08:50:20 +0530
Shashi Tharoor calls for

Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor once again pitched for holding fresh elections for Congress Working Committee (CWC) as well as for Congress President. Tharoor tweeted: “I believe a revived @INCIndia is indispensable to provide a national alternative to the divisive policies of the BJP. This is why the current perception of drift must be ended.” 

Reacting to the tweet Congress said that CWC is the highest decision making body in the party and Sonia Gandhi is its interim president. Senior party leader Anand Sharma had on Friday denied that Congress was facing leadership crisis. Some in the Congress believe that Rahul Gandhi may come back as President in April.

Meanwhile another party leader said that the party should not be measured by its Delhi debacle where it failed to win a single seat in the state elections. He said that Congress has won many elections and also won in some states after Lok Sabha election failures. Tharoor on his part continued to be firm by renewing his appeal to the CWC to hold fresh elections and elect a new President to infuse fresh enthusiasm among party cadres.

Many in the Congress have opined that the party should move beyond the Gandhi family and find some new alternatives.

Mon, 24 Feb 2020 08:47:49 +0530
Robot Pepe in Delhi for w

With coronavirus threat looming large not only in China but in India as well, a social robot is on hand to take care of the sanitation for children. Sounds surreal?

Well, it is a reality in some 19 schools in Delhi run by Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee (DSGMC). A robot by the name Pepe will be nudging children in these schools to take care of their hygiene. The Pepe robot costing Rs.7,000 each will be placed on a wall near washrooms to inspire the school children to wash their hands before having food and after playing.

Developed by researchers from the University of Glasgow in Scotland in collaboration with Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham University in India, Pepe will interact with children and encourage them with its talks.

Manjinder Singh Sirsa, the President of DSGMC said that this is being done to promote hygiene practices including hand washing with soap among children and strengthen access to water, sanitation and hygiene in all schools run by the Sikh body.

Mon, 24 Feb 2020 08:45:58 +0530
Nirmala Sitharaman speaks

Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman apprised G-20 nations on the steps her government is taking to boost the Indian bond market. The minister was a speaker at the Finance Ministers & Central Bank Governors meeting held in Riyadh today. She spoke about the initiatives that the Indian government had taken to uplift the bond market such as removal of capital controls for identified categories of G-Secs and increased FPI limit on corporate bond market.

FPI limits with respect to investment in corporate bonds are proposed to be increased to 15 per cent. Analysts believe that the announcements made by Sitharaman will help market sentiments and bring investments into the debt market. Sitharaman congratulated Saudi Arabia for giving priority to developing capital markets. She later held meetings with Saudi finance minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan and Italian finance minister Roberto Gualtieri on the sidelines of the conference.

Mon, 24 Feb 2020 08:41:01 +0530
Nushrat Bharucha

Mumbai, Feb 23 "Sony Ke Titu Ki Sweety" on Sunday completed two years since its release, and the film's lead actress Nushrat Bharucha is grateful to the audience for making the film a Rs 100-crore grosser.

"The film crossing the Rs 100-crore mark was a big thing... It meant that too many people have watched and liked the film... It really changed things for me. It put me on a path where I am more confident about what I am doing and what kind of films I have to do. It's been a great journey. I thank to all the people who supported and helped make 'Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety' a success," Nushrat said.

Directed by Luv Ranjan, "Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety" also featured Kartik Aaryan and Sunny Singh. It revolved around a concept of 'romance vs bromance'.

Reminiscing the film's journey, Kartik took to social media and shared the video of the hit song "Tera Yaar Hoon Main" from "Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety".

"My Turning Point! SKTKS changed everything. Made me dream bigger. Made my belief stronger. Will forever be extra special. Thank you Luv Sir for giving me Sonu And Thank you to the audiences for embracing him so much... Aap Sabka Yaar Hoon Main," Kartik wrote.
Source : IANS

Mon, 24 Feb 2020 07:46:40 +0530
corona virus

Beijing, Feb 23 President Xi Jinping has said that the coronavirus epidemic that has killed over 2,400 people is China's "biggest public health emergency".

"It has the fastest transmission, widest range of infection and has been the most difficult to prevent and control," Xi said at a meeting in Beijing to advance the work on coordinating the prevention and control of the COVID-19 and economic and social development.

Xi Jinping stressed on unremitting efforts on the prevention and control of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) epidemic and coordination in advancing economic and social development, Xinhua news agency reported.

The meeting was presided over by Premier Li Keqiang and also attended by Li Zhanshu, Wang Yang, Wang Huning, Zhao Leji and Han Zheng.

Courtesy : Ians

Mon, 24 Feb 2020 07:40:59 +0530
Ravi Pujari

Dreaded underworld don Ravi Pujari, operating from overseas, has been extradited to India from South Africa where he was arrested.

Pujari, who parted ways with underworld don Chhota Rajan, had jumped bail from Senegal last year and had escaped to South Africa, where he was involved in big-time drug trafficking and extortion.

Pujari would be flown to Bengaluru. He is being brought to India by the Karnataka Police on an Air France flight via Paris.

Sources in Indian Intelligence said that Pujari, who was hiding with a false identity of Anthony Fernandes, a Burkina Faso passport holder, was nabbed in a remote village in South Africa.

On a tip-off from Indian intelligence, the Senegal police airdashed to South Africa last week. Pujari, 52, wanted in over 200 cases of heinous crimes, including murder and extortion, was detained with the help of South African agencies.

Sources in Mumbai Police said that Pujari's arrest has not yet been confirmed officially but Ministry of External Affairs is in touch with its mission in South Africa. An official in MEA refused to speak on the issue. Embassy of Senegal in Vasant Vihar, New Delhi, also did not respond to IANS' queries in connection with Pujari's arrest.

The mafioso first hit the headlines in early 2000 when he started extorting huge amounts from famous Bollywood personalties and builders. He was involved in an attempt to murder case, aimed at killing a prominent lawyer of Mumbai.

Pujari's wife Padma and three children also fled India and some of them hold Burkina Faso passports. His son who was recently married in Australia reportedly holds an Australian passport.

Earlier last year Pujari, living under identity of Anthony had jumped bailed from a Senegal court through fraudulent means. IANS had accessed the don's new passport. Pujari now goes under the name of Anthony Fernandes and is a citizen of Burkina Faso, a West African country, his date of birth is shown as 25.1.1961.

Pujari, a movie junkie influenced by Amitabh Bachchan's portrayal as Anthony Gonsalves in 'Amar Akbar Anthony' was using the name Anthony Fernandes. This passport was issued on 10.7.2013 and is valid till 8.7.2023. The passport showed his profession as Agent Commercial which means that he is designated as a businessman running a chain of restaurants called 'Namaste India' in Senegal, Burkina Faso and neighbouring countries.

Pujari's lawyers in Senegal had argued in the court citing that he is Anthony Fernandes, a businessmen from Burkina Faso as mentioned in his passport and not a fugitive as claimed by the Indian Government.

Clearly indicating a collusion between top government functionaries of Burkina Faso and Pujari in which an influential Indian businessman, who is his partner in a restaurant chain, may have played a role of conduit.

(This story has not been edited by Mediaeyenews staff and is generated from a syndicated feed.)

Mon, 24 Feb 2020 07:37:59 +0530
Odisha CM files nominatio

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik submitted his nomination papers for the post of President of Biju Janata Dal (BJD) at the party headquarters here on Sunday. Patnaik went to the party's head office and submitted his papers with the returning officer Pratap Dev. The formal announcement of state executive committee members and state chief will be held on February 26.

Sun, 23 Feb 2020 15:15:41 +0530
Temporary archway collaps

Ahmedabad:Even as preparations were on in full swing for the arrival of US President Donald Trump at the Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad, a temporary gate crashed down at the venue leading to embarrassment for the authorities here. The temporary gate or archway, identified as Gate No.3 in the VVIP section collapsed following strong breeze on Sunday morning. Some barricades at the venue also fell in the aftermath of low-intensity breezes.

The apparently flimsy nature of the hoardings, and temporary constructions such as hoardings and gateways, have created concerns of safety, especially since the Prime Minister and US President Trump are scheduled to arrive here on February 24 for a mega spectacle 'Namaste Trump'.

Sun, 23 Feb 2020 14:29:12 +0530
quake near Turkey Iran b

Ankara: At least seven people were killed and five others injured after an earthquake measuring 5.7 on the Richter scale struck near the Turkey-Iran border on Sunday, officials said.

Tremors from the quake which centred in northwestern Iran were also felt in Turkey's Van province, reports the state-run Anadolu news agency.

Some buildings were damaged and many people were trapped under debris, Turkey's Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said in a news conference. He added that search and rescue teams were dispatched to the quake-hit region.

A powerful earthquake hit eastern Turkey earlier this year causing the deaths of 41 people and injuring 1,600 others.

Sun, 23 Feb 2020 14:25:41 +0530
Bharti Infratel fdi

New Delhi: After the receiving of FDI (foreign direct investment) approval merging with Indus Towers with Bharti Infratel on friday, the company confirms a meeting of board of directors on Monday. The meeting will take decision upon stock valuation and future plan of action Bharti Infratel informed, at the stock exchange.

The merger closure had been held up as the DoT had held in abeyance the FDI approval due to a Rs 22,000 crore withholding tax dispute between UK's Vodafone Group and India.

The merged entity will be the world's largest telecom tower company with over 1,63,000 towers.

The closure of merger deal also enables Vodafone Idea to raise funds for clearing a part of its adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues to the government. Loss-making Vodafone Idea can expect to raise roughly Rs 4,500 crore from the sale of its stake in the combined entity.

Vodafone Idea needs to pay Rs 56,709.49 crore statutory AGR dues. Of this, the company has paid Rs 3,500 crore. The telco, however, estimates its dues much lower at some Rs 23,000 crore, of which Rs 7,000 crore is the principal.

Indus Towers is a three-way joint venture between Bharti Infratel, Vodafone Group and Vodafone Idea, with the first two holding 42 per cent each. Vodafone Idea owns 11.15 per cent and the rest 4.85 per cent is with private equity firm Providence.

Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Group are expected to hold 37.2 per cent and 29.4 per cent, respectively, in the merged entity as per the terms of the deal announced in April 2018.

Sun, 23 Feb 2020 14:21:34 +0530
Assam to remove Maktab

Guwahati:The Assam government has decided to delete the Arabic word 'maktab' - traditional islamic elementary school - from the nomenclature of 63 state and state-aided primary schools immediately,education minister Himanta Biswa Sarma told mediapersons.

The classical definition of Maktab refers to the traditional Islamic elementary school primarily teaching literacy and the Quran.

The schools allowed them to retain the remaining part of their names. The students from the school would be in difficulty if they sought admission in higher classes in general schools after studying in 'maktab' schools for a few years. And Sarma said the term has become irrelevant now as the Maktab education system doesn't exist in Assam anymore.

The latest decision comes days after Sarma announced the state-run Madrassas and Sanskrit tols (centres of learning) would be closed down within the next three to four months.

The minister said madrasas and Sanskrit 'tols' have been apprised of the government decision to convert them into higher secondary schools.

Sun, 23 Feb 2020 14:04:49 +0530
Underworld don Ravi Pujar



New Delhi: Dreaded underworld don Ravi Pujari, operating from overseas, has been reportedly arrested in South Africa and efforts are on for his deportation to India. Pujari, who parted ways with underworld don Chhota Rajan, had jumped bail from Senegal, last year and had escaped to South Africa, where he was involved in big time drug trafficking and extortion racket. Sources in Indian Intelligence said that Ravi Pujari, who was hiding with a false identity of Anthony Fernandes, a Burkina Faso passport holder, was located in a remote village in South Africa.

On a tip off from Indian external intelligence agency, the Senegal police air dashed South Africa last week. Pujari, 52, wanted in over 200 cases of heinous crimes, including murder and extortion, was detained with the help of South African agencies. Sources in Mumbai Police said that Pujari's arrest has not yet been confirmed officially but Ministry of External Affairs is in touch with its mission in South Africa. An official in MEA refused to speak on the issue. Embassy of Senegal in Vasant Vihar, New Delhi, also did not respond to IANS' queries in connection with Pujari's arrest.

The mafiaso first came into news in early 2000 when he started extorting huge amounts from famous Bollywood personalties and builders. He was involved in an attempt to murder case, aimed at killing a prominent lawyer of Mumbai. Pujari's wife Padma and three children also fled India and some of them hold Burkina Faso passport. His son who was recently married in Australia reportedly hold an Australian passport.

Earlier last year Ravi Pujari, living under identity of Anthony had jumped bailed from a Senegal court through fraudulent means. IANS had accessed the don's new passport. Pujari now goes under the name of Anthony Fernandes and is a citizen of Burkina Faso, a West African country, his date of birth is shown as 25.1.1961.

Pujari, a movie junkie influenced by Amitabh Bachchan's portrayal as Anthony Gonsalves in 'Amar Akbar Anthony' was using the name Anthony Fernandes. This passport was issued on 10.7.2013 and is valid till 8.7.2023. The passport showed his profession as Agent Commercial which means that he is designated as a businessman running a chain of restaurants Namaste India in Senegal, Burkina Faso and neighbouring countries.

Pujari's lawyers in Senegal had argued in the court citing that he is Anthony Fernandes, a businessmen from Burkina Faso as mentioned in his passport and not a fugitive as claimed by the Indian Government.
Clearly indicating a collusion between top government functionaries of Burkina Faso and Pujari in which an influential Indian businessman, who is his partner in a restaurant chain, may have played a role of conduit.

Sun, 23 Feb 2020 14:02:05 +0530
paragliding pre World Cup

Shimla: Himachal Pradesh will host the paragliding pre-Word Cup at Bir Billing in Kangra district from March 31 100 pilots from 28 different countries would participate in the event.

State Additional Chief Secretary (tourism and civil aviation) R.D. Dhiman told the media here that the Paragliding World Cup Association (PWCA) has given permission to organise the pre-World Cup that will last till April 5. organised by the Department of Tourism and the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports in Manali.

Bir Billing is one of the most sought after paragliding sites in the world. Earlier, the world-level event was organised there in 2015.

An arrangement for a helicopter has also been made for the safety of the participants part of the event. 

Sun, 23 Feb 2020 13:53:01 +0530
Trump Melania

US President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump will tour the Taj Mahal on the first day of their visit to India. From Ahmedabad, Trumps will go to Agra and will stay here for at least two hours.

According to reports, Trumps will stay in the 17th century monument for one hour. Trump's aeroplane will land at Agra at 4.45 p.m. on Monday where he will be greeted by UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath and governor Anandiben Patel.

From the airport, Trump's convoy will move to hotel Amar Vilas and from here Trumps will ride battery operated Golf carts to the Taj Mahal at 5.15 p.m.

They will enter the monument from the eastern gate and will get down at the forecourt of the building, right in front of the royal gate. From here they will enter into the Taj through its facade, the main gate and will see in full view for the first time the marble structure, one of the seven wonders of the world.

After entering into the main campus, Trumps will walk from the left side of the water channel and will sit at one of the marble benches installed in 1908 by Lord Curzon, the Viceroy of British India when he removed the wooden benches on the platform of the central tank and replaced them with the four Mughal-style marble benches.

The bench was later known as Diana bench when she came visiting Agra in 1992 and got a solo picture of herself clicked. Since then there has not been any head of state who has skipped a photo op on the same bench when visiting the monument with the Taj Mahal in the backdrop.

Trump will also get his picture taken with his wife sitting on this bench, as a memory of the monument of love.

Sun, 23 Feb 2020 10:42:34 +0530
BSNL employees plan hunge

New Delhi: The All Unions and Associations of BSNL (AUAB) has decided to organise a country-wide hunger strike on February 24 for early implementation of the cabinet decisions on the Bharat Sanchar Nigam's revival.

The strike is also aimed at putting pressure for the expeditious settlement of employees' grievances, according to an AUAB statement here on Saturday.

Last year the cabinet approved a Rs 69,000 crore revival package for both BSNL and MTNL. The salient features of the package included allotment of 4G spectrum, issuing sovereign guarantee for raising Rs 15,000 crore (Rs 8,500 for BSNL and Rs 6,500 for MTNL) funds via long-term bonds, monetisation of assets and implementation of voluntary retirement scheme.

Of these, only the VRS has been implemented and 78,569 BSNL employees have been sent home. The BSNL has not been allotted 4G spectrum. Similarly, the sovereign guarantee is awaited. The process of monetisation of BSNL's assets is also moving slowly, according to the statement.

The Supreme Court's recent judgement on the AGR calculation had created uncertainties in the telecom sector, due to which banks were unwilling to extend loans to BSNL, the AUAB said.

Due to the delay in the 4G spectrum allotment and non-availability of funds, BSNL was unlikely to launch 4G services by the end of 2020, it said and added it was quite grim situation for employees.


Sun, 23 Feb 2020 09:49:35 +0530
Gold mine

New Delhi, Feb 23-2020 Day after the news of discovery of gold deposits estimated to be around 3,000 tonnes in Sonbhadra district of Uttar Pradesh, the Geological Survey of India (GSI) on Saturday rejected any such finding and issued a clarification that the estimated reserve is about 160 kg.

Now, the question did the information spread?

An investigation by IANS revealed that the entire thing started after the correspondence between the mining department of Uttar Pradesh and the collector of Sonbhadra got leaked.

IANS has a letter dated January 31, 2020 from the Directorate of Mines and Minerals (Mining Directorate) of Uttar Pradesh, which has estimated a total of 2943.26 tonnes gold in Sona Pahadi block and 46.15 kg gold in Hardi block of Sonbhadra district. Thus, this letter states that there are likely to be about 3,000 tonnes of gold in the district.

This letter also states that the report of auction of minerals has been made available by the GSI. The land is to be identified before auction of blocks of minerals. The seven-member team has also been informed to extract the gold. In the letter, information has also been given on behalf of the District Magistrate (Collector) of Sonbhadra.

The GSI stated that the organisation is not a party to the news reports published by various media houses about the estimation of the amount of gold.

Source : IANS

Sun, 23 Feb 2020 08:55:30 +0530
Deepika Padukone

Real-life couple Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh are back as an on-screen couple. The actress says considering the kind of movies the pair has done in the past, doing "83" was a refreshing change.

Deepika will be seen as Romi Dev, wife of cricket legend Kapil Dev, played by Ranveer in the upcoming film "83".

Asked about sharing screen space with her husband once again after movies like "Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela" and "Bajirao Mastani", Deepika told IANS: "It was good. It was a refreshing change because of the kind of films that we have done before. It was a completely different setting, era, characters, costumes and dialogues. It was refreshing to work with him in this capacity."

"We were both surprised. We had to remind ourselves that we had worked with each other before because these characters were so different from what we had already done before and we look forward to working with each other in contemporary films a lot more," said the actress.

The film, based on India's historical 1983 Cricket World Cup victory, also has Deepika donning the hat of a producer.

"Chhapaak", based on the life of acid attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal, was her first film as a producer. On the kind of stories she is looking for as a producer, she shared: "My choices will always be made as an actor. When I am approached for a film as an actor, if I feel like certain films need an additional hand holding then I will step in as a producer. Right now, it is not like we have a big slate of films. We will take it as it comes."

She has also announced another film production -- "Mahabharat", to be made from Draupadi's point of view.

Do regional films interest her as an an actor and a producer?

"Of course. Language has never been a barrier. I think at the end of the day, what I look for as an actor is exciting content. In fact, there are a lot of south (film directors and writers who approached me. Eventually, I think it's about finding the right content," said Deepika, who made her acting debut with the 2006 Kannada film "Aishwarya

Sun, 23 Feb 2020 08:50:26 +0530
Shobana lights up 3rd eve

Classical dancer and popular South Indian actress, Shobana Chandrakumar Pillai, better known mononymously as Shobana enthralled the audience with her solo Bharatanatyam performance during third evening of the 47th edition of the Khajuraho Dance Festival yesterday. Innovative and carrying the traditional values in Vasistha style, she started her performance with a traditional composition composed in the raga Mallhari.

Odissi dancer Suprabha Mishra first presented a traditional folk tale 'Rani Ki Bawdi' and then brought alive the various forms of Vishnu described in Vishnu Puran. The final performance of the third evening ended with noted Bharatanatyam dancer Ananda Shankar Jayant and group who presented Navarasa.

The first day witnessed performances by disciples of Jatin Gosvami and Odissi dancer Meera Das and her group. On the second day, among others, Lata Munshi performed Keerthanam.

The 47th edition of Khajuraho Dance Festival was inaugurated by Vijay Laxmi Sadho, Culture Minister, Madhya Pradesh here on Tuesday. This seven-day festival will feature Kathak, Odissi, Bharatanatyam, Manipuri, Kuchipudi and Satriya performances.

During the inaugural ceremony, the Madhya Pradesh Government felicitated Kathak dancer Uma Sharma and acclaimed Sattriya dancer, Jatin Goswami with the Kalidasa Samman.

Speaking on the occasion, Sadho said, "We are proud to honour these artists. Madhya Pradesh has a diversified culture and everyone must contribute to promote our cultural heritage." She also announced that the state Culture Ministry will build an amphitheatre in Khajuraho to promote performing arts.

Organised by the Ustad Allauddin Khan Sangeet Evam Kala Academy, Department of Culture- Madhya Pradesh, the Khajuraho Dance Festival is a week-long festival of Indian classical dance held annually against the spectacular backdrop of the magnificent Khajuraho temples in Chhatarpur district of Madhya Pradesh.

Sun, 23 Feb 2020 08:47:16 +0530
Mangalore QR Code Scamste

Mangalore has been witnessing rising incidents of QR code of late. Crooks posing as army personnel are duping gullible shopowners of their hard earned money. In one of the latest incidents an electronics shopkeeper in central business district area received a call with the caller addressing himself as an army officer. 

He booked a refrigerator and told the shopkeeper that he would make digital payment. The shopkeeper shared the digital wallet number to which the conman transferred a small amount as advance payment. He then called the shop again saying that he sent a QR code to scan, to the shopkeeper’s number on WhatsApp, doing which he could transfer the remaining amount. Convinced the shopkeeper scanned it and immediately the money from his bank account was transferred to the conman’s account. 

Incidents like these are rising and people believe when the caller says that he is working with the Indian Army. However, these are cyber criminals who have found a new modus operandi to do crime and predominantly they target shops and restaurants, said a police official. 

Victims are losing money, ranging from Rs.25,000 to Rs.50,000, and in some cases even more. Incidents like these happen usually on weekends, Saturday and Sunday, when banks are mostly closed.



Sat, 22 Feb 2020 22:33:31 +0530
Bengaluru Woman Jailed fo

A 24 year old woman was sent to jail for holding a ‘Free Kashmir’ placard. The woman activist, Ardra alias Annapurna Narayan was arrested and sent to central prison for 14-day judicial custody after we booked a suo motu case against her under sections 153A and 153B of the IPC for holding a placard with anti-national slogans in Kannada at Town Hall in the city”, deputy commissioner of police (central) Chetan Singh Rathod was quoted as having said. 

This is the second arrest in the city for anti-national activities following the detention of Amulya Leona who shouted Pakistan Zindabad at an anti-CAA rally. Incidentally both the women are lodged in the same cell in the women’s ward of Parpanna Agrahara jail. 

Sat, 22 Feb 2020 22:28:57 +0530
Astrologers to be consult

Astrologers will be consulted for finding an auspicious day for beginning the construction of a grand temple for Lord Ram in Ayodhya. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s former principal secretary, Nripendra Misra is the chairman of the committee for construction of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, confirming the close involvement of Prime Minister’s office. 

Nripendra Misra was appointed at the first meeting of the newly constituted Ram Janmabhoomi Teertha Kshetra Trust. Misra’s experience as an official in Uttar Pradesh including his experience of working with former UP chief minister Kalyan Singh will be useful in steering the project which is sacred for the Sangh parivar. 

The project was initially scheduled to commence on May 2, the birthday of Lord Ram, however, due to logistical constraints the trust will now have to arrive at a new date in consultation with astrologers. 

Sat, 22 Feb 2020 22:25:28 +0530
Only 142 under observatio

Kerala health minister K.K. Shailaja said that only 142 people are under observation for coronavirus in homes and hospitals across the state. She said that while 137 are in homes, only 5 are in hospitals. “Of the 441 samples that were sent for testing, the results of 436 samples that have come are negative and the results of the rest are awaited. The condition of those under observation in the hospitals is stable and there is no need for any worry,” she said in a statement.

She added that 579 who were under observation at their homes were given clearance to go ahead with normal life. Three of the patients including one who came from Wuhan, the epicenter of coronavirus were treated and discharged. The minister further opined that those coming from countries were coronavirus threat was high should stay at home and not mingle with public for sometime.



Sat, 22 Feb 2020 22:21:35 +0530
Modi government breaks st

The ‘Health and Wellness Curriculum’ initiated by the Modi government doesn’t term it sex education and uses creative ways to give exposure to children on adolescent health and puberty. Children will be taught on safe internet practices, reproductive health, and prevention of HIV, and so on under the new curriculum.

The curriculum developed by the ministries of Human Resource Development and Health and Family Welfare was launched recently. The curriculum includes sex education although it hasn’t been explicitly spelt out in the document and a separate curriculum on adolescence education has been merged with this. 

The curriculum will teach things which aren’t covered in classroom textbooks and will be covered in 24 weeks. Children will be taught through comic strips, role playing, group discussions and classroom activities. 

Divided into 11 modules, the curriculum includes will cover topics such as growing up healthy; emotional well-being and mental health; interpersonal relationships; values and responsible citizenship; gender equality; nutrition, health and sanitation; promotion of healthy lifestyles; prevention and management of substance misuse; reproductive health and HIV prevention; safety and security against violence and injuries; and promotion of safe use of internet, media and social media. 

Sat, 22 Feb 2020 22:18:37 +0530
court dismiss convict

New Delhi: A Delhi court on Saturday dismissed a petition filed by one of the Nirbhaya convicts seeking treatment for mental illness, schizophrenia and injuries in head and arm. while dismissing the plea, Additional Sessions Judge Dharmendra Rana observed, "It is evident that the convict is not only being provided regular medical care, but regular supportive therapy sessions are also being conducted for him by specialists."

The convict -- Vinay -- allegedly attempted to hurt himself by banging his head against a wall in the jail earlier this week.

While seeking a direction to shift Vinay to the Institute of Human Behaviour & Allied Sciences (IHBAS) in Delhi for "high level treatment", his counsel A.P. Singh had contended that his client is suffering from mental illness and schizophrenia.

Vinay has exhausted all this legal remedies. He, along with three other convicts, are scheduled to be hanged on March 3 at 6 a.m. for the brutal gang-rape and murder of a 23-year-old girl in the national capital in December 2012. One of the convicts, Pawan, is yet to avail the legal remedy of either curative or mercy petition.

Sat, 22 Feb 2020 17:24:24 +0530
footballer Ashok Chatterj

Kolkata:Former Indian footballer Ashok Chatterjee (78) died on Saturday. Chatterjee was part of the bronze medal winning squad in the Merdeka Cup in 1965 and 1966.

Chatterjee, who made 30 appearances for the Senior National Team, made his international debut when he came on as a second-half substitute for PK Banerjee against Japan in the Merdeka Cup in 1965. He scored 10 goals for India.

He also represented India in the 1966 Asian Games in Bangkok and the Asian Cup Qualifiers in 1967. Besides, he was also a part of the Indian team in the Merdeka Cup in Ipoh and Kuala Lumpur from 1965 to 1968.

At the club level, he donned the Mohun Bagan colours from 1961-1968, and in 1972, wherein he netted 85 goals. In the process, he was part of the triumphant Bagan squads in the Calcutta Football League (1962, 1963, 1964, 1965); IFA Shield (1961 - joint winners, and 1962); Durand Cup (1963, 1964, 1965), Rovers Cup (1966, 1968, 1972 - joint winners), amongst others.

He was honoured with the Mohun Bagan Lifetime Achievement Award by the club in 2019. He also represented East Bengal from 1969-1971 and scored 39 goals for the Red and Golds. He was part of the triumphant East Bengal squads which won the Calcutta Football League (1970, 1971); IFA Shield (1970); Durand Cup (1970); and the Rovers Cup in 1969.

He also represented Bengal in the Santosh Trophy in 1964 (runners-up), 1966, and 1967 (runners-up) and scored 3 goals.

Sat, 22 Feb 2020 17:18:50 +0530
HP CM cancer care centre

Mandi:  Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on Saturday laid the foundation stone of Tertiary Cancer Care Centre at Lal Bahadur Shastri Government Medical College at Ner Chowk near Mandi worth Rs 45 crore.

He also laid the stone of 50,000 litre per capacity milk processing plant of MILKFED at Chakkar in Balh Vidhan Sabha area of Mandi district to be constructed with an outlay of Rs 16.31 crore.

Thakur said Milkfed has a capacity of collecting milk upto 1 lakh liter which needed to be increased. He said in the developed country the base of the rural economy was animal husbandry and the farmers by going for best breed of cows could increase their income manifold.

Thakur appreciated the efforts of Milkfed in diversifying its activities as this would not only ensure increase in its revenue but also help the farmers offering them more effective services.

He said the state government was also promoting indigenous breed of cattle so that the farmers could get high milk producing cows and promoting natural farming so that people could be motivated to rear cattle.

He said the state government has also constituted a Gau Sanrakshan Boarding in the state, besides several cow sanctuaries were being opened in different parts of the state.



Sat, 22 Feb 2020 17:07:24 +0530
India by the Nile fest

Cairo: The annual 'India by the Nile' festival in Egypt will be held this year from March 2-10, bringing with it a selection of classical and popular Indian art forms to the cities of Cairo, Alexandria, Port Said and Fayoum. The festival is organised by the Teamwork Arts (a company that specialises in showcasing Indian art at festivals all over the world) in cooperation with the Indian Embassy in Cairo and several other Egyptian partners, the Al Ahram newspaper said in a report on Friday.

This year, the festival will include "En Route to Bollywood". a colourful show featuring well-known songs from Bollywood films, accompanied by dancers. A Bollywood dance workshop, which is one of the main features of the event, will take place this year too, led by India-based French dancer and choreographer Gilles Chuyen. In addition, the Astha Dixit Dance Company will provide a modern perspective on one of the oldest Indian classical dance forms, kathak.
The culture of Rajasthan will also be on display and also feature folk musicians, according to the Al Ahram newspaper. The festival will also feature "Yoga and Wellbeing" sessions. The festival would not be complete without a taste of Indian cuisine which will be offered in Cairo's InterContinental Hotel.


Sat, 22 Feb 2020 17:03:06 +0530
unlimited safe energy

Sydney: An Australian fusion startup called HB11 which is a spin-off from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Sydney, has secured patents for its ground-breaking, laser-driven technique for fusion energy generation that promises clear, safe energy.

Unlike earlier methods, the laser-driven technique for creating fusion energy is completely safe as it does not rely on radioactive fuel and leaves no toxic radioactive waste, the university said in a statement on Saturday.

HB11 Energy secured its intellectual property rights in Japan last week, following recent grants in China and the US. Conceived by UNSW Emeritus Professor of theoretical physics Heinrich Hora, HB11 Energy's concept differs radically from other experimental fusion projects.

The preferred fusion approach employed by most fusion groups is to heat Deuterium-Tritium fuel well beyond the temperature of the Sun (or almost 15 million degrees Celsius). Rather than heating the fuel, HB11's hydrogen-boron fusion is achieved using two powerful lasers whose pulses apply precise non-linear forces to compress the nuclei together.

Most other sources of power production, such as coal, gas and nuclear, rely on heating liquids like water to drive turbines. In contrast, the energy generated by hydrogen-boron fusion converts directly into electricity allowing for much smaller and simpler generators.

The two-laser approach needed for HB11 Energy's hydrogen-boron fusion only became possible recently thanks to advances in laser technology that won the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics.

According to Dr Warren McKenzie, Managing Director of HB11 Energy, the approach could be the only way to achieve very low carbon emissions by 2050.

Source: IANS

Sat, 22 Feb 2020 17:02:07 +0530
1st Test Pant run out wa

Wellington: New Zealand pacer Tim Southee on Saturday said it was nice to see the back of Rishabh Pant early on the second day as the aggressive wicketkeeper could have scored more runs and taken India into a good position in the ongoing first Test at the Basin Reserve. In the fourth over of Day Two, Pant could manage to add just 9 runs to his overnight score and was run-out in the fourth over in the morning session after being involved a mix-up with Ajinkya Rahane (46).

"I think the run-out of Pant was a big play this morning," said Southee speaking to reporters at the end of the day's play. "With him being such a dangerous player, especially leading into the second new ball, he could score really quickly along with Jinks (Rahane)," he added. Southee, along with debutant Kyle Jamieson, picked four wickets apiece and allowed India to add just 43 runs to their overnight score before bundling them out for 165.

"We knew that once we could open up an end (and face) the bowlers, Jinks would look to play a bit more aggressively and that brings you into play a bit more. I think the way we bowled this morning was pretty good," said Southee. The Black Caps ended the day in the driver's seat at 216/5 and having a lead of 51 runs. The hosts could have been in a much, more commanding position had Kane Williamson (89), Ross Taylor (44) and Henry Nicholls (17) not got dismissed in the final session.

Ishant Sharma was the tormentor-in-chief as he finished the day with figures of 3-31 from 15 overs. "He's been a world-class bowler for a long time," Southee said of Ishant's performance. Ishant earlier revealed that that he slept barely four hours in the past two days and thus struggled hard to deal with a "jet-lag". "When you're slightly underdone in terms of preparation and having an injury coming into the series you can call on previous experience," said Southee.

"He has played 90-odd Test matches and he knows what he needs to do to get himself right for a Test match and when the preparation isn't ideal he is able to find ways to perform like he has," he added.


Sat, 22 Feb 2020 16:58:32 +0530
Poultry Federation US
New Delhi:Ahead of the visit by US President Donald Trump next week, which could result in a limited trade deal between the US and India, the Poultry Federation of India has urged PM Modi to protect the domestic dairy sectors and not succumb to pressure to offer duty concessions to US.

The federation in a letter to the Prime Minister has urged him to "resist the temptation" of opening the poultry sector and slashing the import duty for American dairy products as sought by the US as it might put over 2 crore jobs at risk.

Earlier RSS-affiliate Swadeshi Jagaran Manch (SJM) had said that it remains opposed to any tariff concession or market access for products that might impact farmers' income.

During President Trump's visit on February 24-25, it is widely expected that India and the US would sign a limited trade deal. Further, in order to get some of the preferences restored, India may offer some concessions such as opening the dairy sector and cutting tariff on chicken legs from 100 per cent to 25 per cent.

Industry sources said that Indian government is well aware of the concerns of the local dairy and poultry sectors and would unlikely go against them.

In what seems to be giving credence to it is that the US Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer this week put off his trip to India suggesting that any trade deal compromising the interests of local farmers would be difficult to finalise.

Sat, 22 Feb 2020 16:56:51 +0530
Pankaj Naram passes away

Mumbai: Renowned Ayurveda Master Pankaj Naram, who had provided relief to 9/11 victims and caretakers, besides treating the likes of St. Teresa and the Dalai Lama, passed away following heart failure, his family announced here on Saturday. Naram arrived here from Dubai on February 19 afternoon and suddenly collapsed while going through the check-out formalities at Mumbai Airport.

He was rushed to a nearby hospital and all efforts to revive him were unsuccessful, his wife Smita and son Krushna -- both Ayurveda doctors -- said in an official statement released here today.

The 65-year-old master's patients comprised a host of Indian and international celebrities like St. Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama. Naram was based in Malad, Mumbai where he was the Founder-Director of Ayushakti Ayurveda from 1987-2012.

Simultaneously, he practiced and popularized the Indian traditional medicine among lakhs of patients around the world, notably, the US, Canada, Europe, Australia, South Africa and the Arab nations.

Naram also lectured at prominent universities globally, hosted a series of Ayurvedic television shows in India and abroad, plus helped patients via social media like YouTube channels, etc, and penned several books on health and Ayurveda.

Among the highlights was giving Ayurvedic treatment to hundreds of rescue workers and assistants who helped the victims and survivors of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks on the World Trade Centre, New York.

His family said that with the help of "certain traditional secret remedies" acquired from his spiritual gurus in the Himalayas, Naram was reputed to cure some of the worst diseases, or illnesses, both mental and physical.

A prayer meeting will be held at the Dr. T. R. Naravane School, Kandivali west at 5 pm today to enable his admirers and patients pay their respects to Naram.

Source: IANS

Sat, 22 Feb 2020 16:43:11 +0530
GAF 2020 Kerala Ayurveda

Kochi: GAF 2020, the fourth edition of Global Ayurveda Festival is to be set on May 16 to 20 with the participation of international business, industry, academic and diplomatic participants across continents, said Union Minister V Muraleedharan.

GAF 2020 looks towards putting in place an international cooperation conclave to tap the potential of the global marketplace, research initiatives and medical tourism opportunity. This year there will be several more entities from various ministries like Ayush, Commerce and Industry, MSME, Tourism, External Affairs, which will take the event to a new level.

V Muraleedharan, MoS,External Affairs and Chairman of the GAF said that the fourth edition which is to take place from May 16 to 20 will see more participation of international business, industry, academic and diplomatic participants across continents, said Muraleedharan.

GAF 2020 is encouraged by various Central government departments and also the Kerala State Government, will bring together the efforts of all committed members from various countries to place ayurveda as a global system of medicine.

Sat, 22 Feb 2020 16:33:56 +0530
Sinister campaign on soc

New Delhi: Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Saturday expressed concern over "sinister campaign" on the social media attempting to influence the judiciary, where some people expect through this tool, the judiciary could be eventually influenced.

Speaking at the inaugural session of the International Judicial Conference, Prasad said, "Sinister trend some people start campaigning on the social media on certain issue," adding this section through this campaign is trying to influence the judiciary, especially attempting to establish, what kind of judgement should be on sensitive issues.

Prasad reiterated this is a serious concern, as the judiciary is independent. "They campaign in social media... on what kind of judgement they expect", he added.

The law minister refrained from naming the protests or campaign against the Citizenship Amendment Act, especially the Shaheen Bagh, which has been going on for more than two months.

The law minister also said that the right to privacy is very important, and it must be protected. "But, terrorists and corrupts cannot claim right to privacy", said Prasad.

He emphasized that internet is one of the greatest innovation of human kind, and attempts to abuse it cannot be allowed.

"We have given constitutional right to privacy... We should not allow anybody to kill this innovation (internet).... terrorist should not be allowed to abuse internet", he added.


Sat, 22 Feb 2020 16:13:50 +0530
beauty festival Mumbai

New Delhi: Nykaa and BookMyShow will host Nykaaland first ever beauty festival of India on March 21 to 22 at the Member's Enclosure, Mahalaxmi Racecourse. The event will be hosted by famous Indian Beauty brands along with international brands including industry expert’s master classes and interactive sessions with celebrity beauty trailblazers including Namrata Soni, Anthony cole and Sonic Swarwate.

Featuring Mario Dedivanovic's (long-time make-up artist for global sensation Kim Kardashian) makeup masterclass, Nykaaland further widens the out-of-home entertainment ecosystem creating a rich experience in a genre, as yet untouched.

This unique event gives us yet another opportunity to delight our customers with exceptional beauty experiences and expert interactions. For this flagship property we have found the perfect partner in BookMyShow to be able to create a truly unique festival, says Falguni Nayar, Founder and CEO, Nykaa.

Popular International beauty brands like M.A.C Cosmetics, Huda Beauty, Kama Ayurveda, Kay Beauty, Innisfree, L'Oreal Paris, Lakme, Pixi by Petra, Clinique and Simple amongst several others featuring the event. Also the event is having a dedicated 'discovery zone' for customers Nykaaland enables participants to know more about upcoming trending brands in the world of beauty.

Sat, 22 Feb 2020 16:07:58 +0530
on screen gender based vi

New Delhi: Bollywood actress Taapsee Pannu starrer "Thappad" has promoted a campaign against on-screen gender-based violence. In a short film, Taapsee is seen demanding disclaimers for scenes involving gender-based violence just like the way a disclaimer is displayed for on-screen smoking and animal cruelty. The promotion is a boost for Breakthrough, a women's rights organisation's efforts to bring about a change in the way films approach gender-based violence without disclaimers.

"I'm happy that our petition on warnings and disclaimers for on-screen gender-based violence has received an overwhelmingly positive response. We strongly believe that our efforts at bringing about lasting behavioural change through means of popular culture and community-based actions will play a crucial role in ending gender-based violence. I am happy 'Thappad' has taken the lead. We hope many more films to follow this practice," Sohini Bhattacharya, President & CEO, Breakthrough, said.

The women's rights organisation gathered more than 1.25 lakh signatures as part of its on-going campaign for warnings and disclaimers against on-screen gender-based violence in Indian films.

"Besides introspecting on the nature of on-screen violence against women and girls, and keeping in mind the popular reach of cinema and television, the identification of such acts of violence also enables cinema goers and television viewers to make the connection with real life and to take cognizance if this is happening to them or someone they know,"Bhattacharya added.

Source IANS

Sat, 22 Feb 2020 15:37:51 +0530
get protected from corona

New Delhi: Video of passengers taken extra prevention to get themselves protected from coronavirus went viral on social media.

In the video of passengers from Australian flight, a female passenger seems asleep, wearing a pink plastic outfit and printed face mask and her male companion had a white clear plastic outfit, along with gloves and a face mask.

Australia has confirmed 15 cases of the virus, all of them with a 'direct or indirect link' to the city of Wuhan at the centre of the outbreak.

Sat, 22 Feb 2020 15:07:20 +0530
Obesity at a younger age

London: Researchers have found that surgical treatment of obesity is as effective for individuals who developed the disorder early, by the age of 20, as for those who have developed obesity later in life.

The results, published in the journal Diabetes Care, are based on data from the Swedish Obese Subjects (SOS) study. For the fndings, the researchers covered a total of 4,026 adult individuals who had developed obesity. Half of them had undergone bariatric surgery and the other half were a control group.

"We were somewhat surprised at the results. Since the group that had already developed obesity by the age of 20 had been exposed to obesity and its risks for longer periods, we'd expected that bariatric surgical treatment in these participants would be less effective in terms of weight loss and obesity-related sequelae than in the other group. But it wasn't like that," said study researcher Johanna Andersson Assarsson from University of Gothenburg in Sweden.

Each of the groups was divided into three subgroups, based on the participants' body mass index (BMI) at age 20: those of normal weight, those who were overweight, and those with obesity.

The researchers then investigated whether there was any difference in the effects of bariatric treatment for obesity among those who had developed the disorder before age 20, compared with those who developed it later in life.

"On the contrary, the group with obesity at age 20 lost a little bit more weight after the operation, and there was no difference in effects on diabetes or its complications, cardiovascular disease or cancer, compared with individuals who developed obesity later in life," Assarsson said. According to the researchers, for many diseases, early treatment is advantageous, but individuals with early-onset obesity have often had their disorder for a long time before bariatric surgery is considered.

It has sometimes been speculated that bariatric surgical treatment would be less effective in these individuals because of their longer exposure to the adverse health effects of obesity.

"Here, we show that's not the case. And we think it's important that this information reaches people considering bariatric surgery for obesity and also health professionals who treat patients with obesity," Assarsson said.

Sat, 22 Feb 2020 14:43:44 +0530
Aranya Rana Daggubati

Hyderabad: Actor Rana Daggubati says as he began journeying with the character "Aranya", which involved him spending time in the forest, he understood how a man from the jungles would look like. For his forthcoming movie "Aranya", he took his body transformations to the extreme, undertook immense physical and mental efforts to portray the character.

"As I began journeying with the character, which involved me spending time in the forest and getting to know a herd of elephants, it started becoming clearer how this person, a forest man, would look. And here we are, looking at Aranya/Bandev/Kaadan in his present form," said Rana.

The tri-lingual movie shot in two different countries, in four forest locales in Kerala, Mahabaleshwar, Mumbai in India, and in Thailand, took 250 days to shoot, involving 145 cast and crew.

Rana is the protagonist in all three titles. While Pulkit Samrat plays Rana's parallel lead in the Hindi version, southern actor Vishnu Vishal essays the role in "Kaadan" and "Aranya". The heroines in all three versions are Shriya Pilgaonkar and Zoya Hussain.

The movie is inspired by the unfortunate event of humans encroaching upon the elephant corridor in Kaziranga, Assam. The film traces the narrative of a man, essayed by Rana, who dedicates most of his life living in the jungle, with the sole purpose of protecting wild animals.

Produced by Eros International, the film's VFX has been done by Prana Studios, who have worked on Hollywood biggies such as "Life Of Pi", "Thor" and the Bollywood film, "Detective Bymokesh Bakshi". It is slated to hit the screens on April 2. 

Source: IANS


Sat, 22 Feb 2020 14:24:19 +0530
Intel s 10th Gen Ice Lake

San Francisco: Apple is reportedly planning to launch a refreshed version of the 13-inch MacBook Pro in the first half of this year and now a new report claims that the new 13-inch machines could adopt Intel's 10th-generation Ice Lake chips. The upcoming 13-inch MacBook Pro would be equipped with Intel's 10th-generation i7-1068NG7 Ice Lake 2.3GHz chip with 4.1GHz turbo boost capabilities, Mac Rumors reported on Friday.

As per reports, with this the new 13-inch machine Pro will be approximately 12 per cent faster than the current 13-inch MacBook Pro when it comes to CPU speed and close to 30 per cent faster when it comes to GPU performance.

Additionally, known Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo recently revealed that the iPhone maker is expected to release new iPad Pro models with rear 3D sensing in the first half of 2020.

Kuo in a research note with TF International Securities said the iPad Pro models will gain 3D sensing through the rear-facing camera system. As per report, Apple is expected to use a time-of-flight system, which measures the time that it takes for light to bounce off of objects in a room to generate a 3D map.

Additionally, Kuo also reiterated that Apple plans to release its low-cost iPhone "SE 2" in the first half of 2020 too.

Sat, 22 Feb 2020 14:02:19 +0530
Arvind Kejriwal Manish S

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia were reportedly barred from attending the event at a Delhi government Delhi where U.S. First Lady Melania Trump is scheduled to attend next week. Sources from the government of Delhi reported that Kejriwal and Sisodia had been removed from the school event, even though the program had been scheduled earlier since the school was under the government of Delhi.

Sat, 22 Feb 2020 14:00:32 +0530
Delhi court allows Shashi

On Saturday a Delhi court permitted Congress lawmaker Shashi Tharoor to travel abroad for more than three months. Tharoor is an accused in the murder case of his wife Sunanda Pushkar, and is currently on bail. The court had imposed certain conditions, while granting him bail.

Sat, 22 Feb 2020 13:53:53 +0530
Mumbai Devotees celebrate


Mumbai: Maha Shivaratri is known as one of the most celebrated religious festivals for Hindus. All Shiva temples across the country were reverberated with the chants of “ Om Namashivaya”. It is one of the biggest Hindu festivals celebrated with great enthusiasm. This festival was celebrated on February 21 on the new moon day in the Krishna Paksha in the month of Phalguna or Maagha according to the Hindu calendar. Out of the 12 Shivaratris in the year, the Mahashivaratri is considered to be the most auspicious one.


In Mumbai the devotees visited nearby Shiva temple to offer pooja with milk , Dhahi and Vilwa leaves to Shiva Linga , a symbol for the worship of Lord Shiva, It is believed that the people who fast on this day and night and offer prayers to Lord Shiva get peace and prosperity in their life.

According to a legend , after the Earth was faced with an imminent destruction, Goddess Parvati pledged with Lord Shiva to save the world.  Pleased with her prayers, Lord Shiva agreed to save the world on the pretext that the people of the Earth would have to worship him with dedication and passion. From that day onwards, the night came to be known as Mahashivratri and people began worshipping Shiva with a great enthusiasm. Shiva is considered as the ideal husband and unmarried girls and women pray for a husband like Him.


According to another popular legend, Maha Shivaratri is the night when Shiva performs the heavenly dance of creation, preservation and destruction.

The Mahasivaratri is divided into four Yaamas. All temples with Shiva Linga perform Rudra Japam , Rudra homam during the day. The first Yaama begins in the evening when Mahanyasa Rudra Japam is performed. During this period Lord Brahma is believed to have worshipped Lord Shiva and in the second Yaama Lord MahaVishnu worshipped Shiva. The second Yaama starts from night and continues with other two Yaamas till early morning the next day and ends before Sunrise. During the third Yaama, Shiva comes in the form of Linga and is called “ Lingothbhava” and in the fourth Yaama the entire world of Gods and Rishis were believed to have worshipped the Lord. During the Yaamas the Linga is bathed with Holy water, milk, Chandan, bhasma, coconut water, Dhahi , sugarcane juice , honey and Vilwa leaves with chanting of ‘Om Namashivaya’.


The Sankara Mattham at Matunga had made elaborate arrangements for the eventful night . Devotees from different parts of Mumbai participated in Laksharchana with Vilwa leaves – with the chanting of Om Namashivaya one lakh times. Maha Deeparadhana was performed early morning after all four Yaamas.

Mahashivratri is not only celebrated in India but also in Nepal and other regions where Lord Shiva is worshipped. Among the various popular shrines, Amarnath temple or Mount Amarnath (about 140 km from Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir) is believed to be the holiest in Hinduism. Surrounded by fascinating mountainous terrains and picturesque snowy mountains this shrine remains crowded by pilgrims throughout the year especially on Mahashivaratri.

Sat, 22 Feb 2020 13:04:49 +0530
Bengaluru woman held jail

Bengaluru: Ardra who holded 'Free Kashmir' placard in Banglore city arrested and remanded to 14-day judicial custody.  Chetan Singh Rathod deputy commissioner of police (central) told Ardra was arrested and sent to central prison for 14-day judicial custody after we booked a suo motu case against her under sections 153A and 153B of the IPC for holding a placard with anti-national slogans in Kannada. 

The police have set up two teams to interrogate Amulya and Ardra separately and ascertain reasons for their anti-national actions and investigate if they acted alone or at the behest of other individuals or organisations.

A group of pro-Hindu activists who were at the venue (Town Hall) to stage a protest sit-in against Amulya spotted Ardra standing alone on the footsteps and holding the placard with the slogans.

Sat, 22 Feb 2020 12:18:52 +0530
Reduction in violence

Kabul: A seven-day "reduction in violence" pact between the Taliban, the US and Afghan security forces came into effect on Saturday, paving the way for the peace deal which is to be signed on February 29. According to Afghanistan's National Security Council (NSC), the pact came into force at 12.01 a.m., TOLO News reported.

NSC spokesman Jawed Faisal said that Afghan forces were ready to implement the pact and added: "We hope that the Taliban will reduce violence as per the commitments."

Sources familiar with the matter have said that under the seven-day pact, the Taliban attacks will be reduced significantly. The group will not launch attacks in cities, highways or against US bases or the headquarters of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF).

These terms, however, were yet to be confirmed. On Friday, both US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid confirmed that they have reached an agreement on the deal and its implementation.

Pompeo said that following the successful implementation of the limited ceasefire, the US would move to sign a peace deal with the Taliban on February 29.

Mujahid said that both the US and Taliban will invite senior representatives to participate in the "signing ceremony" of the peace deal. The deal, which the Trump administration has been negotiating for long, includes talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government under President Ashraf Ghani which are to begin on March 10. Mujahid confirmed that they will hold intra-Afghan talks with various political groups.

The Afghan government had stayed away from the US-Taliban negotiations due to strong reservations about the militant group's religious extremism and violence.

As per the peace treaty, the US has agreed to release 5,000 Taliban prisoners between February 29 and March 10. The Trump administration has also committed itself to withdraw all its forces from the war-torn country over a period of 18 months.

The US and NATO forces launched a 'war on terror' in Afghanistan 18 years ago after the global Islamist terror group al-Qaeda - sheltered and supported by the Taliban - attacked the US on September 11, 2001.

The US has around 11,000 troops in Afghanistan and has been gradually withdrawing its forces.

Source : IANS

Sat, 22 Feb 2020 11:56:15 +0530
M Venkaiah Naidu cultural

Chennai: Speaking at the Isha Yoga Centre in Coimbatore Vice President M.Venkaiah Naidu on Friday called for efforts towards a cultural renaissance. He also appealed to the youth to fight against the poison of social evils such as corruption, casteism, illiteracy and poverty inflicting modern day society.

Vice President M.Venkaiah Naidu on Friday called for efforts towards a cultural renaissance, to promote the country's rich cultural and spiritual heritage. Mentioning the twelve Jyotirlingas spread all over India, the Vice President said that this exemplifies that India has always been a single cultural entity since ancient times. 

Naidu said in this competitive world people are increasingly turning to yoga for better health and also for gaining inner peace. Yoga is an art and science and should not be viewed from any political or religious prism.

Sat, 22 Feb 2020 10:59:44 +0530
student with LSD arrested

Jaipur: Rajasthan police arrested  21 drug smugglers on Friday arrested 21 drug smugglers including a B.Tech student Gaugrav Soni for possessing LSD on hand.

The drug nicknamed 'ticket to heaven' mostly available from abroad and the team is allegedly getting from abroad and was supplying to his high profile clients.

Additional Police Commissioner Ashok Kumar Gupta said seven volumes of the drug were seized which might cost Rs 10,000 approximately.


Sat, 22 Feb 2020 10:44:10 +0530
antibodies against COVID

New York: Columbia University will jointly develop potential antiviral drugs and antibodies against the novel coronavirus that could prevent virus replication.

In a statement University explained Four teams of researchers from Columbia University will jointly develop potential antiviral drugs and antibodies against the novel coronavirus. Researchers will pursue four different approaches to develop drugs or antibodies that could prevent the virus from replication. Each approach will draw on prior knowledge and expertise that the scientists have gained while working on successful antiviral therapies against HIV and hepatitis C.

David D. Ho, founding scientific director of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center and professor of medicine at Columbia, said the four approaches will lead to the development of a broad spectrum antiviral drug or antibody that could be effective against a wide range of current and future coronaviruses.

"We're undertaking this work with a great sense of urgency because of the nature of the current coronavirus outbreak," he said, adding: "But we are also thinking ahead to what we may confront in the future."

The four teams will share a $2.1 million grant awarded by the China-based Jack Ma Foundation. As part of the project, the scientists will collaborate with academic researchers in China who are fighting to control the outbreak.

Sat, 22 Feb 2020 10:22:50 +0530
CCI approves stake sale i

The Competition Commission of India has given green signal for selling 49 per cent stakes to France’s Group ADP through green channel mechanism. “CCI received the following green channel combination of acquisition by Atropos de Paris SA (ADP) of equity share capital of GMR Airports Limited (GAL), and GMR Infra Services Limited (GISL),” an official statement said.

GMR Infrastructure Limited had earlier this week announced that it entered into a strategic partnership with Groupe ADP to sell 49 per cent stake in its airports arm for an equity consideration of Rs 10,780 crore. CCI clarified that ADP would acquire up to 100 per cent of the equity shares of GISL directly and 49 per cent of the equity shares of GAL directly and indirectly.

ADP, an international airport operator based in Paris doesn’t have any operations in India currently.

Sat, 22 Feb 2020 08:33:21 +0530
GAF 2020 to tap global ma

The fourth edition of Global Ayurveda Festival (GAF 2020) will be held in Kochi, Kerala from May 16 – 20. Union minister V. Muraleedharan said that the event organizer is planning to hold an international cooperation conclave to tap the potential of the global marketplace, take up research initiatives, and explore medical tourism opportunities. The minister added that the representatives from various ministries such as Ayush, Commerce and Industry, MSME, Tourism, External Affairs, etc. will take part in the event.

The ultimate objective of GAF is to place Ayurveda as a global system of medicine and enhance its popularity amongst various stakeholders.

Sat, 22 Feb 2020 08:29:12 +0530
FATF warns Pakistan on te

Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the global terror financing watchdog has decided not to take Pakistan off from its Grey List and warned it of strenuous actions if the country fails to stop terror funding. The decision to continue Pakistan in Grey List was taken at FATF plenary in Paris.

The FATF further warned Pakistan that if it doesn’t complete a full action plan by June there could be serious business consequences. The plenary further noted that Pakistan hardly addressed any of the primary tasks given to it for stopping funding to terrorists from the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and the Hizbul Mujahideen. All these terror groups are highly active in acts of terrorism in Jammu & Kashmir and other parts of India.

As Pakistan continues to feature in the Grey list of countries it is unlikely to get aid from financial institutions such as International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the European Union, etc. further aggravating the economy of a country which is already in precarious situation. Failure to comply with FATF directives could push the country to Black list alongside countries like North Korea and Iran.

Pakistan received backing from Malaysia but failed in its efforts to move to the white list due to hectic parleying by India which provided materials and evidences on Pakistan’s inaction to control terrorists operating in its soil.

Sat, 22 Feb 2020 08:26:36 +0530
China withholds permissio

China has put on hold a special Indian flight that was scheduled to carry medicines and relief supplies and evacuate Indians still stuck in Wuhan, the epicenter of Covid-19. Beijing didn’t respond positively to India’s gesture for unknown reasons.

The Government of India had on February 17, 2020 announced that it would send Indian Air Force’s largest plane C-17 Globemaster with medical supplies to Wuhan and evacuate Indian residents in the city. China had permitted two special Air India flights to evacuate 647 Indians and seven Maldivians earlier this month.

Sources believe that China perhaps withheld permission for another flight due to pressure from Pakistan which had been receiving lot of flak for its indifference to its own citizens stuck in China and for its inability to rescue them. Around 77,000 people have been infected with coronavirus in China and 2,250 have died of the infection.

Sat, 22 Feb 2020 08:23:51 +0530
China deploys robots to f

China is deploying robots to tackle coronavirus (COVID-19) which is spreading across the country in a big way. The development came to light when a leading media channel put up a video with the caption: Robots are taking over the disinfection work and expected to be put into use in factories and other public indoor spaces in different cities of China.

The video shows the robot spraying to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 in highly populated zones. Netizens have hailed the Chinese move to fight the epidemic in this innovative way. A social media user wrote: Robots are taking over! The only job left for humans is elder care; even the robots won't do it.

Another post read: Interesting how China already had these disinfectant robots at the ready, hummmmmm. Makes one wonder. 

Death toll in China due to coronavirus touched 2,236 with confirmed positive cases of 75,465.

Sat, 22 Feb 2020 08:19:56 +0530
No Invitation to Meet Tru

Congress party has said that it hasn’t got any invitations to meet US President Donald Trump during his India visit scheduled this month. Speaking to reporters Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma said, “We have not received any invitation from the government side and neither from the US. If any invitation will come then we will take a view on it.”

Opposition leader Ghulam Nabi Azad is expected to be invited for President Trump’s reception but the party chief is yet to get an invite. As a practice, visiting foreign dignitaries meet opposition party leaders, e.g. Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajpaksa met Rahul Gandhi and Manmohan Singh during his visit.

Sharma pointed out that India shouldn’t allow US to play big brother role in diplomatic relations and the government needs to adhere to safeguarding sovereignty, self-respect and national interest of India during Trump’s visit. Congress agreed that Trump’s visit was pivotal in furthering relationships between India and US in defence, economy, nuclear energy, space, agriculture and technology. 



Sat, 22 Feb 2020 08:16:47 +0530
Maha Shivaratri wishes

Mumbai: Bollywood celebs took to social media to share good wishes for their fans and prayers to Lord Shiva on the auspicious occasion of Maha Shivaratri. Amitabh Bachhan tweeted in Hindi: "Maha Shivaratri Shubham! Jai Shiv Shankar! Om Namah Shivaay Om Namah Shivaay Om Namah Shivaay!!"

Rishi Kapoor wrote: "Wishing all a very Happy Maha Shiv Ratri!"

Comedian-actor Sunil Grover tweeted: "MahaShivratri ki Shubhkamnaein! Om namah Shivay!"

Singer Adnan Sami tweeted: "Happy Maha Shivratri To All my Friends & Familys...Love! #HappyShivratri"

Singer Shreya Ghoshal wrote: "Om Namah Shivay.. On the auspicious occasion of Maha Shivratri may Lord Shiva bless us all with peace and happiness and guide us all on the path of righteousness."

Not just Twitter, players and wishes were expressed through Instagram also.

Kangana Ranaut's official page shared on Instagram: "Let's engulf ourselves into the divine blessings of Lord Shiva & seek solidarity to move forward with truth, purity & divinity. Let's spend the night of Shivratri by chanting the name of Lord Shiva and seek his divine blessings! A #HappyMahashivratri to all."

Anupam Kher wrote in Hindi: "Wishing everyone a very happy Maha Shivaratri. May Lord Shankar always protect you! Jay Shiv Shankar. Jay Bholenath. Om Namah Shivaay!! Har Har Mahadev!!"

Singer-actor Diljit Dosanjh shared: "Happy #MahaShivaratri BHAM BHAM BHOLE".

Fans also wished back their favourite stars and prayed for their success and good health in the comments below their posts.


Fri, 21 Feb 2020 17:20:38 +0530
Jehan Daruvala redbull

Mumbai:In a huge boost to Indian motorsport, Red Bull Racing Formula One Team have signed Jehan Daruvala for their Red Bull Junior Programme, paving the way for the country's big racing hope to compete in the FIA Formula 2 Championship.

Jehan, who has taken giant strides in the sport since his debut in 2009 as a 10-year-old kid, will race for Carlin, alongside fellow Red Bull Junior Yuki Tsunoda, in his maiden F2 season; it was announced on Friday. His first race is in the Bahrain Grand Prix on March 21.

The Red Bull Junior programme has been instrumental in producing some of the world's best F1 racers over the years including four-time F1 World Champion Sebastian Vettel, Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo, Alex Albon, and many others. The selection into the Red Bull programme is a huge recognition for the young Indian who has consistently performed well at the top of every series he has participated in, culminating in a fantastic season last year where he finished 3rd in the FIA F3 championship.

Jehan had started the season on a strong note with a victory in the first round. A second consecutive victory and more podiums saw him briefly lead the F3 championship around the half way mark. He entered the last round at Sochi in Russia, with an outside chance at the title and a minimum second almost assured. Unfortunately, his car did not start the formation lap of the last race. Forced to start from the pitlane, 29th and last, Jehan drove arguably one of the best races of the season. He charged through the field climbing up from 29th to 9th on track but lost the runner up spot by a mere 1 point.

Jehan began his career with a stellar record in Karting. Soon after attending a program in Mumbai, he started karting in 2009. He went on to win the Micro Max Rookie Cup & National Title in 2010, followed by the Malaysian Junior Yamaha Title in 2011. That was the year he was selected as a member of the Sahara Force India Junior Programme. He went on to become the first Indian to win a FIA title in motorsport, when he won the 2012 CIK FIA Asia Pacific KF3 Championship. He was also the first Indian to win a title in Europe when he was crowned the British Super One KF3 Champion. In 2014, Jehan became the first and only Indian till date to step on the podium of an official FIA World Championship when he finished 3rd in the CIK FIA World Karting Championship.

Jehan stepped up to Formula Racing in 2015, earning multiple podiums in his maiden season in Formula Renault. In 2016 he was runner-up behind Lando Norris in the Toyota Racing Series. Jehan became the first Indian to win an official Grand Prix, when he won the 2017 New Zealand Grand Prix. He moved to the FIA F3 European Championship in 2017 and 2018 earning 8 podiums besides finishing 2nd in the Rookie Championship with 26 rookie podiums in 2017.

"After an excellent year for me in FIA F3 in 2019, I hope to carry my form into my first year in F2 with the support of the Red Bull Junior Team and Carlin. There are many experienced F2 drivers and a number of strong rookies making it an exciting grid this year - I'm looking forward to the challenge!" said Jehan.

Trevor Carlin, owner of Carlin Motorsport, said

"We are delighted to welcome Jehan back to the team for his third season with us. His performance last year in FIA F3 was extremely impressive and we really believe in him. There is no reason why he cannot make it all the way to the top. Without a doubt there will be a lot to learn - both for Jehan as a driver in a more powerful car and also for the team with the new 18-inch wheels but we have a great team ready to meet those challenges."

Fri, 21 Feb 2020 17:11:38 +0530
Gaganyaan ISRO

Chennai: Speaking at "Recent Developments in Aerospace and Defence Technology" ISRO chairman K.Sivan said design and engineering of the launching vehicle and its orbital module system of prestigious human space flight programme-Gaganyaan has completed. In the year 2020 a series of tests have to be conducted to validate the system.

ISRO is planning to build its own astronaut training facility and launch its first small satellite launch vehicle (SSLV) or small rocket in a couple of months and to have the first unmanned flight by the end of next year.

The human space flight demonstration is planned before India's 75th Independence Day in 2022 and four Indians are undergoing astronaut training in Russia.

Fri, 21 Feb 2020 17:06:41 +0530
Mosagallu Kajal Aggarwal

Hyderabad: The first look of actress Kajal Aggarwal from her upcoming film "Mosagallu" starring Vishnu Manchu is out. Kajal, who will be seen as the female lead in her next Tollywood film "Mosagallu", took to Twitter and shared her first look from the film. In the poster, Kajal looks dramatic in a white sleeveless blazer.

The film, directed by Jeffrey Gee Chin, also features Suniel Shetty in a lead role. The movie is based on a true story about the world's biggest IT scam. Sunil will be seen playing a police officer, while Kajal and actress Ruhani Singh are in the female lead roles.

The movie will be released worldwide this summer.

Fri, 21 Feb 2020 16:45:40 +0530
Snail named after Greta

London: A new species of snail has been named after Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg for her efforts to raise awareness about climate change, say researchers.

The new species -- Craspedotropis gretathunberga -- is approximately 2mm long and 1mm wide with grey tentacles and a concave shell. The snail was discovered by a group of citizen scientists working together with scientists from Taxon Expeditions, a company organises scientific field trips for teams consisting of both scientists and laypeople.

"The newly described snail belongs to the so-called caenogastropods, a group of land snails known to be sensitive to drought, temperature extremes and forest degradation", said snail expert and co-founder of Taxon Expeditions Menno Schilthuizen.

Having conducted a vote on how to name the species, the expedition participants and the local staff of the National Park together decided to name the mollusc 'Craspedotropis gretathunbergae', said the study, published in the Biodiversity Data Journal.

"Naming this snail after Greta Thunberg is our way of acknowledging that her generation will be responsible for fixing problems that they did not create. And it's a promise that people from all generations will join her to help," said citizen scientist JP Lim. The expedition team approached Thunberg who said that she would be 'delighted' to have this species named after her.

However, this is not the first time that Taxon Expeditions team names a species in honour of an environmental advocate. In 2018, they named a new species of beetle after famous actor and climate activist Leonardo DiCaprio.

Fri, 21 Feb 2020 16:24:07 +0530
Kerala Congress J factio

Kottayam : The Kerala Congress (Jacob) seems all set for a split as leaders of two factions led by Anup Jacob and former MLA Johnny Nelloore held separate meetings here on Friday and flayed each other.
The party was formed in 1993 by Anup's father TM Jacob after breaking from the Kerala Congress (Mani). Anup is the lone party legislator at present, while Nelloore -- a long- time aide of TM Jacob -- is the party chairman.


Fri, 21 Feb 2020 15:11:13 +0530
LGBTI job fair is here

New Delhi: Delhi is soon going to host its first and Asia's biggest LGBTI Conference, Job Fair and Marketplace, called RISE (Reimagining Inclusion for Social Equity). The second edition of RISE will be held at hotel The Lalit, New Delhi on Saturday, February 22.

Organised by the Pride Circle, RISE will be a day-long congregation of over 1,000 changemakers, businesses, organisations, candidates, students, human resource professionals, advocates, and experts. The event will witness over 400 job seekers and 30 inclusive brands.

There will be a conference, job fair and a marketplace. The job fair will connect LGBTI talent pool with inclusive organisations. Companies such as Uber, Accenture, BNY Mellon, The Lalit, Kronokare, Unhotel, among others will be coming to hire. FICCI has joined as the Industry Partner for RISE. Interested candidates may register themselves by submitting their resume here .

LGBTI candidates may also walk-in to explore job opportunities.

The LGBTI and ally leaders from around the world will be interacting with the attendees through various sessions on topics of business leaders driving inclusion, workplace policies and benefits, discrimination at workplace, transition support, parenting, among other. There will be research report launches along with movie screening, masterclass, breakouts and films.

A marketplace will also be set-up to feature products and services from micro, small and medium-sized LGBTI owned businesses from across India. Over 20 LGBTI-owned businesses will be participating to showcase innovative products and services such as bakery, merchandise, travel and tourism at this consortium.

The first edition of RISE was held in Bengaluru in July last year. Creating a space for the interaction between corporations and the LGBT talent pool, the fair resulted in 43 job placements with annual aggregate CTC of RS 3.9 crore.


Fri, 21 Feb 2020 14:49:26 +0530
Devotees throng temples i

Srinagar: Devotees thronged temples across Kashmir on the occasion of Mahashivratri on Friday, holding special prayers and paying obeisance since early morning.Amid the chants of 'Bam Bam Bole', the biggest congregation of devotees in the valley was witnessed at the ancient Shankracharya temple, located on a hillock overlooking Srinagar, where devotees are holding day-long special prayers.Many devotees especially visit Srinagar from across the country to pray at the Shankracharya temple.Among the devotees at the temple were Mohan Kumar from Bihar and Shri Ram from Hyderabad. The temples in other parts of the Valley are also holding prayers to invoke the blessings of Lord Shiva.



Fri, 21 Feb 2020 13:59:54 +0530
Shilpa Shetty Raj Kundra

Mumbai: Actress Shilpa Shetty Kundra and her businessman husband Raj Kundra have welcomed their second child -- a daughter through surrogacy, sources told.  They have named her Samisha Shetty Kundra. A thrilled Shilpa said that Samisha was born on February 15 and tagged her little angel as "Junior SSK". 

"Samisha Shetty Kundra... Born :15th February 2020 ... Junior SSK in the house.... 'Sa' in Sanskrit is 'to have' and 'Misha' is Russian stands for 'someone like God'..."You personify this name, our Goddess Laxmi and complete our family," Shilpa wrote alongside a glimpse Samisha on social media.

The couple has a son, Viaan Raj Kundra, born in May 2012.


Fri, 21 Feb 2020 12:30:38 +0530
footage of Don Bradman

Melbourne: A unique, colour footage of Donald Bradman -- considered to be the greatest batsman of all time -- has been released by the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA). The vision, available on the NFSA website, shows Bradman striding onto the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) during a testimonial match between AF Kippax and WA Oldfield on February 26, 1949.

This 16mm colour footage is assumed to have been shot by George Hobbs, who had worked as a cameraperson for the Department of Information during the Second World War and later for ABC TV, said the NFSA.

The 66-second video is silent but shows a bustling crowd of about 41,000 that filled the SCG on a sunny Saturday to watch Bradman play his last game at the ground.

While it is said that Bradman's last test series was in England in 1948, according to NFSA, he also played in three testimonial matches after that tour: his own testimonial match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in December 1948 (a tied match in which Bradman scored his last first-class century), the Kippax-Oldfield testimonial match at the SCG in February 1949 and his final first-class match in a Sheffield Shield game in Adelaide for South Australia against Victoria.

In a career that spanned over almost 20 years, Bradman played 52 Test matches for Australia in which he scored 6,996 runs at an unbelievable average of 99.94. He scored 29 hundreds in his stellar career and even got the recognition of being called as 'Sir' Don Bradman.

Fri, 21 Feb 2020 12:23:43 +0530
sugar tax in Poland

Warsaw: Doctors from Alliance of Health Care Employers (PPOZ) says the biggest consumers of sugar in Europe is Polish kids below 10 years who eat 95 grams 19 teaspoons of sugar every day. The draft law on the so-called sugar tax drafted by the Health Ministry was adopted by the lower house of Polish Parliament last week.

The bill aims at imposing additional fees on soft drinks as a tool to fight increasing problem of being overweight and diseases caused by excessive use of sugar. "The introduction of the sugar tax, supposed to discourage Poles from drinking sweet drinks doctors from PPOZ said on Thursday.

Excessive consumption of sugar-based products was a cause of many diseases of civilization like the risk of diabetes and sugar consumption is addictive, like alcohol. Excessive sugar disturbs the endocrine system, and leads to metabolic diseases, they added

The PPOZ doctors added that a sugar tax was already in force in some European Union countries, and according to research, it has significantly reduced sales of sweetened drinks.

Fri, 21 Feb 2020 12:13:24 +0530
Spring Live Auction Mumba

New initiates 'Spring Live Auction'  in Mumbai and 'Spring Online Auction' on February 27 and on March 3 and 4 respectively featuring 112 lots including artworks and collections. The collection might include artworks by famous modern and contemporary Indian artworks and things seized from Nirav Modi including a selection of luxury watches, handbags and cars. 

The Spring Live Auction will feature 40 lots, of which 15 are artworks. Leading the sale is a 1935 masterpiece by one of the most important Indian artists of the 20th century, Amrita Sher-Gil, titled “Boys with Lemons”, which will appear on the auction market for the first time, estimated at Rs 12-18 crore. 

Another highlight of the live sale is an oil on canvas work from 1972 titled Battle of Ganga and Jamuna: Mahabharata 12 by M.F. Husain, estimated at Rs 12-18 crore. The work, focusing on the psychological component and the metaphor of internal moral struggles that it represents through the battle between the two rivers.

A serene blue painting by V.S. Gaitonde from 1972, which will also be auctioned is estimated at Rs 7-9 crore; a vivid red depiction of Krishna by Manjit Bawa estimated at Rs 3-5 crore, and a stunning portrait by Raja Ravi Varma at at Rs 2-3 crore.

Among the 25 luxury collectibles are several important timepieces, including a rare Jaeger-LeCoultre Men's 'Reverso Gyrotourbillon 2' Limited Edition Wristwatch, estimated at Rs 55-70 lakh, and a Patek Phillipe Nautilus Gold and Diamond Wristwatch, also estimated at Rs 55-70 lakh.

The live sale will feature several branded handbags, including the iconic Birkin and Kelly lines by French luxury goods manufacturer Hermes. Rolls-Royce Ghost, estimated at Rs 75-95 lakh will also be auctioned on February 27.

The Spring Online Auction, which will be held on, will comprise a selection of 72 luxury collectibles, with highlights including handbags by brands such as Chanel, Hermes, Louis Vuitton, and Celine; a Cartier Asymmetric 'Crash' Wristwatch and a Porsche Panamera S car.

This appointment by the Enforcement Directorate comes a year after an auction of seized paintings conducted by Saffronart on behalf of the Income Tax Department in March 2019 - which raised Rs 54.84 crore.Last month, Saffronart became the first professional auction house to be appointed by the Enforcement Directorate, Mumbai to auction seized assets.

Select lots from both auctions will be exhibited at Saffronart's gallery in Mumbai from February 18 to March 4.

Fri, 21 Feb 2020 11:52:09 +0530
MIT scientists use AI mod

Washington: US researchers used an artificial intelligence algorithm to identify a powerful new antibiotic compound, which could kill many of the world's most problematic disease-causing bacteria in lab tests. 
The study published on Thursday in the journal Cell showed that it could kill some strains that are resistant to all known antibiotics and also clear infections in two different mouse models, the Xinhua news agency reported. Scientists with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) created a machine-learning computer model looking for chemical features that make molecules effective at killing E. coli.

They trained the model on about 2,500 molecules, including about 1,700 FDA-approved drugs and a set of 800 natural products with diverse structures and a wide range of bioactivities. After training, the algorithm was tested on a library of about 6,000 compounds, finally helping identify a molecule that was predicted to have strong antibacterial activity and had a chemical structure different from any existing antibiotics. The molecule called halicin, previously investigated as possible diabetes drug, was tested against dozens of bacterial strains isolated from patients and grown in lab dishes. It was able to kill many that are resistant to treatment like Mycobacterium tuberculosis, according to the study.

In a mice test, halicin-containing ointment completely cleared the infections of A. baumannii, which is resistant to all known antibiotics, within 24 hours. In another study, the researchers found that E. coli did not develop any resistance to halicin during a 30-day treatment period. The researchers are planning to work with a pharmaceutical company or nonprofit organization, in hopes of developing the new antibiotic for use in humans.

Fri, 21 Feb 2020 11:52:08 +0530
Saffronart to auction Nir

New Delhi: Last month, Saffronart became the first professional auction house to be appointed by the Enforcement Directorate, Mumbai to auction seized assets. Two sales - 'Spring Live Auction' in Mumbai on February 27 and 'Spring Online Auction' on March 3 and 4 will feature a total of 112 lots seized from fugitive businessman Nirav Modi, including significant artworks by leading modern and contemporary Indian artists, and a selection of luxury watches, handbags and cars.

The Spring Live Auction will feature 40 lots, of which 15 are artworks. Leading the sale is a 1935 masterpiece by one of the most important Indian artists of the 20th century, Amrita Sher-Gil, titled Boys with Lemons, estimated at Rs 12-18 crore. The painting, which will appear on the auction market for the first time, was probably painted while Sher-Gil was back at her family home in Simla and represents a time when she was trying to carve out her own identity by exploring subjects deeply rooted in the Indian sentiment.

Another highlight of the live sale is an oil on canvas work from 1972 titled Battle of Ganga and Jamuna: Mahabharata 12 by M.F. Husain, estimated at Rs 12-18 crore. In this work, Husain contemporarises the epic Mahabharata, focusing on the psychological component and the metaphor of internal moral struggles that it represents through the battle between the two rivers. A serene blue painting by V.S. Gaitonde from 1972, which will also be auctioned is estimated at Rs 7-9 crore; a vivid red depiction of Krishna by Manjit Bawa estimated at Rs 3-5 crore, and a stunning portrait by Raja Ravi Varma at at Rs 2-3 crore.

Among the 25 luxury collectibles are several important timepieces, including a rare Jaeger-LeCoultre Men's 'Reverso Gyrotourbillon 2' Limited Edition Wristwatch, estimated at Rs 55-70 lakh, and a Patek Phillipe Nautilus Gold and Diamond Wristwatch, also estimated at Rs 55-70 lakh. The live sale will feature several branded handbags, including the iconic Birkin and Kelly lines by French luxury goods manufacturer Hermes.

Rolls-Royce Ghost, estimated at Rs 75-95 lakh will also be auctioned on February 27. The Spring Online Auction, which will be held on, will comprise a selection of 72 luxury collectibles, with highlights including handbags by brands such as Chanel, Hermes, Louis Vuitton, and Celine; a Cartier Asymmetric 'Crash' Wristwatch and a Porsche Panamera S car. This appointment by the Enforcement Directorate comes a year after an auction of seized paintings conducted by Saffronart on behalf of the Income Tax Department in March 2019 - which raised Rs 54.84 crore.

Select lots from both auctions will be exhibited at Saffronart's gallery in Mumbai from February 18 to March 4.

Fri, 21 Feb 2020 11:48:16 +0530
Snowfall in Shimla Kufri

Shimla: Popular tourist destinations Shimla and Kufri again received snowfall on Friday, while the lower hills across Himachal Pradesh were lashed by rain, bringing the temperature down by several notches.
Towns in upper Shimla district were cut off temporarily with snow cover piled on roads, officials said. Hoteliers welcomed the snowfall as they looked forward to more tourist footfalls this weekend. 
Tourist spots near Shimla like Fagu and Narkanda looked even more picturesque after significant snowfall. In Shimla the snow largely melted. However, in Kufri and Narkanda it would stay for much longer duration. With 3 cm of snow, the minimum temperature in Shimla was recorded at 0.2 degrees Celsius. It was 23 cm snow in Kufri, just 13 km uphill from the state capital.

Keylong in Lahaul and Spiti district was the coldest place in the state at minus 3.7 degrees Celsius. It was 6.6 degrees Celsius in Dharamsala, 0.8 degree in Kalpa and 4 degrees Celsius in Manali. Dharamsala and Nahan towns had 10.6 mm and 16.7 mm rain respectively. Meanwhile, traffic movement beyond Dhalli, 10 km from Shimla, was temporarily suspended as a large stretch of the Hindustan-Tibet Road was under a thick blanket of snow. The Met Office said a Western disturbance -- a storm system originating from the Mediterranean-Caspian Sea region and moving across the Afghanistan-Pakistan region -- would remain active till Sunday, bringing in its wake more rain and snow.

Fri, 21 Feb 2020 11:41:21 +0530
V S sivakumar flays Keral

The  senior congress leader and MLA V S Sivakumar  on Friday alleged that his house's vigilance raid was a "corrupt left government game plan in Kerala to tarnish my reputation and settle political scores."  The raid began on Thursday morning and ended in the wee hours of Friday. He stated that an anonymous complaint about his supposed assets was based on the VACB action disproportionate to his established sources of income.

Fri, 21 Feb 2020 11:35:50 +0530
Rahane holds fort as Indi

Wellington: Vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane held one end as India found themselves struggling on the opening day of the first Test against New Zealand at the Basin Reserve on Friday. At Stumps which the umpires were forced to call early after rains washed out the entire last session, India were 122/5 with Rahane and Rishabh Pant batting on 38 and 10, respectively. Earlier, after being put into bat in rather difficult circumstances, which included overcast conditions and a fairly green track, the visitors didn't have a great start as they lost young opener Prithvi Shaw quite early.

Shaw, who scored a couple of boundaries, was undone by a peach of a delivery by Tim Southee, who disturbed the woodwork in the fifth over and sent back the Indian opener back in the dressing room at his individual score of 16. Cheteshwar Pujara, who is being termed as the new 'wall' of Indian Test team, then tried to steady the ship with other opener Mayank Agarwal. However, after playing out 42 deliveries, Pujara became the first Test scalp of debutant Kyle Jamieson. The good length delivery bowled by the tall, right-arm pacer jagged of a length and Pujara could only manage a fine edge and was caught by keeper BJ Watling after contributing with 11.

Skipper Virat Kohli, who came in next, continued his poor run of form in the ongoing tour and was caught at first slip by Ross Taylor off the bowling of Jamieson. Kohli scored just two runs off seven deliveries and his wicket left India reeling at 40/3. However, Rahane then joined forces with Agarwal and made sure the visitors didn't lose any further wicket till the end of the session. India went into Lunch at 79/3. 
In the second session, Agarwal, who had weathered the first two hours with remarkable composure, couldn't stay long and was caught at fine-leg as he top-edged a rising Trent Boult delivery off his hips after sharing a valuable 48-run partnership with Rahane.

Hanuma Vihari (7) looked shaky right from the start and became the third scalp of debutant Kyle Jamieson, who got him caught behind. However, Pant who was drafted into the playing XI in place of Wriddhiman Saha, played with utmost composure and made sure India didn't lose any further wickets till the end of the session. Not a single ball could be bowled in the final session as heavy rainfall started to pour and continued for long, thus forcing the match officials to call the end of the day's play.

Brief Scores: 122/5 (Ajinkya Rahane 38*, Mayank Agarwal 34; Kyle Jamieson 3/38)

Fri, 21 Feb 2020 11:29:33 +0530
99 Songs AR Rahman

Mumbai:Oscar-winning singer-composer A.R. Rahman turns to film production and script writing with the project "99 Songs" a musical-romance drama. At the music launch of the "99 Songs" A.R Rahman says about his recent experience on film production and script writing as “Till three months back, a lot of things were changing and now it is in front of you. It was an exhausting but beautiful experience,"

He was accompanied by co-writer and director Vishwesh Krishnamoorthy and film's lead actor Ehan Bhatt. Backed by Rahman's production company YM Movies, "99 Songs" is presented by Mukesh Ambani's Jio Studios. Set to be released in the summer, the film will be played in three languages, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.

'99 Songs' is directed by Vishwesh Krishnamoorthy, former frontman of the hardcore band Scribe, who has previously helmed the MTV shows "The Dewarists" and "Bring On The Night".

Besides co-writing and producing the film, Rahman has also composed the original score and 15 songs for the film, starring newcomers Ehan Bhat and Edilsey Vargas. The film also features Rahul Ram of the rock band Indian Ocean, composer Ranjit Barot, with actors Manisha Koirala and Lisa Ray.

Fri, 21 Feb 2020 11:00:27 +0530
AI to identify antibiotic

Washington: Massachusetts Institute of Technology  researchers uses AI algorithm for the identification of a powerful new antibiotic compound, which is capable to kill many of the world's most problematic disease-causing bacteria in lab tests. The study published on Thursday in the journal Cell showed that it could kill some strains that are resistant to all known antibiotics and also clear infections in two different mouse models, the Xinhua news agency reported.

MIT Scientists created a machine-learning computer model looking for chemical features that make molecules effective at killing E. coli. They trained the model on about 2,500 molecules, including about 1,700 FDA-approved drugs and a set of 800 natural products with diverse structures and a wide range of bioactivities.

After training, the algorithm was tested on a library of about 6,000 compounds, finally helping identify a molecule that was predicted to have strong antibacterial activity and had a chemical structure different from any existing antibiotics.

The molecule called halicin, previously investigated as a possible diabetes drug, was tested against dozens of bacterial strains isolated from patients and grown in lab dishes. It was able to kill many that are resistant to treatment like Mycobacterium tuberculosis, according to the study.

In a mice test, halicin-containing ointment completely cleared the infections of A. baumannii, which is resistant to all known antibiotics, within 24 hours. In another study, the researchers found that E. coli did not develop any resistance to halicin during a 30-day treatment period.

The researchers are planning to work with a pharmaceutical company or nonprofit organization, in hopes of developing the new antibiotic for use in humans.


Fri, 21 Feb 2020 10:37:15 +0530
tourists turned to West

New Delhi:After the Novel Coronavirus outbreak in China tourists including Indians turned to Western destinations; during the season tourists prefer to visit Europe, America. Industry professionals says that people traveling to China in connection with the business, and at the same time, tourism in Eastern countries including Malaysia, Singapore are also affected by the alarming health issues prevailing in China. 

Ajay Jaipuria, Managing Director of Travel Oysters, said outbound tourism has been severely affected, as China's tourism has almost come to a standstill. Malaysia and Singapore have also been affected by about 20 per cent, while tourists visiting Hong Kong have reduced by about 25 per cent.

There has been a decrease in tourists coming from the Oriental countries. However, there has been a slight increase in tourists coming to and from Europe and America, because these countries have issued advisories to tourists to not to visit some countries, India is not included in the list.

Devang Riya, Director of, said that around 500 people were going to China, cancelled their tour and at this time no one wants to go to China and Vietnam, although the number of tourists visiting Europe, America, Middle East and Australia has increased slightly.

Sanjeev Nair, Managing Director of Welcome Heritage Group, said his business has had a slight impact, especially in Rajasthan where the number of foreign tourists reaching his hotels has decreased. However, hotel industry-related businessmen say that the Coronavirus outbreak in China has not yet had any significant impact on the hotel business in India.

Another tourism-related businessman told that people who used to travel to the eastern countries for picnics, nowadays have started to travel to different tourist places of the country.

In China, the number of people who died of the deadly coronavirus has increased to 2,118, while the number of people suffering from it has also risen to 74,576.

Fri, 21 Feb 2020 10:28:06 +0530
India faces low downside


New York: India's financial market faces low downside risk from coronavirus' impact on supply chains, will instead continue trading on domestic triggers and the current global health scare represents a "buying opportunity", according to Luis Oganes, JP Morgan's head of currencies, commodities, and emerging market research. "I would say that the things to watch are the turning point in the coronavirus episode, I think that it can lead to a big rebound in emerging market equities," Luis Oganes told IANS in New York.

Oganes is predicting that the next few months are going to be "very interesting" for markets and recommending investors turn to local currency bonds. Emerging market central banks may cut interest rates further and the dollar will remain strong, he said. Asked how the cocktail of downgrades, coronavirus and supply chain disruption affects the India story, he said, "If anything, there's something positive coming from lower oil prices, which India imports."

"I would say that the economic link between India and China is still rather modest. So when we talk about the beta of growth - if China's growth declines by half a point or one full point, how much that affects other parts of the world, India is not topping the charts in terms of that beta," he said. According to Oganes, India won't be the biggest "casualty" of coronavirus' impact on markets. "Even before this episode, there's been a deceleration threatening the Indian economy, but this has nothing to do with coronavirus," he said.

Responding to a question on possible relocation of supply chains outside China, the JP Morgan view is that it's logical in theory but the ground reality is that China's scale is hard to replicate anywhere else in the neighbourhood. Therefore, companies may choose to take the hard knocks and stay put. Oganes said that many of JP Morgan's clients who already have a "huge manufacturing presence in China" say that scale of production cannot be easily replicated in other countries without "massive investments" of time and money.

"They don't have the skill set, they don't have the resources, the manpower, basically the scale to replace", Oganes said referring to alternative locations. JP Morgan has been forced to downgrade emerging market growth a couple of times already since the coronavirus outbreak began in December 2019, with the latest downgrade coming this month. "We started this year thinking that emerging market growth was going to rebound to 4.9 percent. We have trimmed that forecast; we're now at 3.8, so it's like 30 basis points below what we were expecting. Still modest", Oganes said.

The emerging markets research team at the bank thinks a eV' shaped recovery is imminent, where the entire coronavirus hit happens in the first quarter and the recovery begins in the second quarter of 2020. 
"Maybe instead of a V-shape recovery, it's a U-shape recovery, meaning that the recovery comes only in the third quarter. I can tell you that chances are we are going to be forced to do further downgrades", Oganes said. Like other health scares before this, the coronavirus induced lull is a "buying" opportunity, "because eventually the economies do recover, and markets do recover."

Although investors remain nervy about worst case scenarios, Oganes says "no one wants to be making a huge bet against the market or getting overly negative." JP Morgan research suggests that's why there's not been a "massive correction" despite volatility in emerging markets. Looking ahead, Oganes said that any clear headline around diminishing contagion rate or a coronavirus vaccine could launch the markets into a massive market rally and "people know you don't want to be caught short".

(Nikhila Natarajan can be contacted at @byniknat)


Fri, 21 Feb 2020 09:43:28 +0530
Coronavirus toll in China

Beijing: The overall death toll in mainland China due to the deadly coronavirus has increased to 2,236, while the number of confirmed cases reached 75,465, health authorities said on Friday. The National Health Commission said that it received reports of 889 new confirmed cases and 118 deaths on Thursday from 31 provincial-level regions and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, reports Xinhua news agency.

Among the deaths, 115 were in Hubei province and one each in Zhejiang, Chongqing and Yunnan. Also on Thursday, 2,109 people were discharged after recovery, while the number of severe cases decreased by 231 to 11,633. The Commission added that 5,206 people were still suspected of being infected with the virus. It further said that 606,037 close contacts had been traced, adding that among them, 28,804 were discharged on Thursday, with 120,302 others still under medical observation. 

As of Friday morning, the number of reported cases outside China were reported in Japan (723), South Korea (156), Singapore (85), Hong Kong (69), Thailand (35), Taiwan (24), Malaysia (22), Australia (17), Germany (16), Vietnam (16), the US (15), France (12), Macau (10), the UK (nine), the UAE (nine), Canada (eight), Iran (five), India (three), the Philippines (three), Italy (three), Russia (two), Spain (two), Egypt (one), Cambodia (one), Finland (one), Nepal (one), Sri Lanka (one), Sweden (one) and Belgium (one), according to figures published by the South China Morning Post.

The deaths outside China were recorded in Japan (three), Hong Kong (two), Iran (two), South Korea (one) and France (one).


Fri, 21 Feb 2020 09:39:33 +0530
Shaheen Bagh is intact an

New Delhi: The Supreme Court-appointed interlocutors on Thursday again reached Shaheen Bagh to interact with the protesters. "The Supreme Court has extended a hand because this road is closed. Shaheen Bagh is intact and will remain. We just want to find out a solution, hence, we want you to gather at any wide area on the road and then we will discuss the things. By doing this you will remain to be in Shaheen Bagh," said senior lawyer Sadhna Ramachandran, who along with senior lawyer Sanjay Hegde reached at Shaheen Bagh to meet protesters.

But her attempt to mellow down the anger of protesters went in vain as everyone started shouting that we won't shift. Thereafter, Hedge took the reigns of parleys and said: "The Supreme Court is saying that rights of protesters should remain untouched but at any other place". But again the protesting women denied to accept the offer and started putting their issues.

"We are on the streets and sitting here for two months but no one came to us. This movement is not only for Shaheen Bagh but for the whole country. If the Shaheen Bagh shifts, it will weaken the movement across the nation," a woman said.Replying to this, Hegde said: "You are worried that if you people shift from here then no one will come to talk to you. But I ensure you that till we are there no one can stop your hearing in the Supreme Court".

But the protesters collectively reiterated that if the government revokes the Act, we will end our protest."This government has forced us to sit on the road. We are thankful to you that you came here. Now, you ask the government to roll back this Act," a protester said. Thereafter, Ramachandran said that we understand your concerns. But you should understand that the matter of the CAA and NRC in the Supreme Court. Now, it's up to the SC what decision it takes.

Putting their final offer, Ramachandran said: "We will talk to 10-15 women on Friday. Talks can not be carry forwarded from an open stage. They (10-15 women) should come in the front. You chose the venue and make groups of 10-10 people so that we can talk. Otherwise, we won't come on Friday". Angered over the response, a protester told IANS: "There are not here to hold any dialogue. They just want to open the road. They are not concerned about our problems. They are telling us to talk in groups. What will we talk? 10 women will go and only one will speak".

If they want to open the road then they should have done it earlier. We are saying this since the beginning that open the road that the police have blocked, she further said. Finally, Ramachandran said: "If we do not reach any conclusion then the matter will be forwarded to the Supreme Court and it will do the rest. Also, if it happens, the government will do what it wants, we won't be able to do anything".


Fri, 21 Feb 2020 09:36:47 +0530
Anti CAA protest Woman bo

Bengaluru: A woman has been booked for raising seditious slogan "Pakistan Zindabad" in the presence of AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi at an anti-Citizenship Amendment Act rally in Bengaluru. She was booked under specific sections of IPC . It is hoped the police will interrogate her and then present her in court. Asaduddin Owaisi criticized her rally action and said, "We're for India."

Fri, 21 Feb 2020 09:22:39 +0530
Modi Shah cannot deliver

Following its Delhi debacle RSS publication Organiser has made a striking observation on the candidates selected to fight elections. It has stated that a bad candidate cannot win a premium just because the party it belongs to is good. An evil is an evil, it observed and the observation hasn’t come from any opposition party but from the party within.

The author of the article has pointed out that Modi and Shah, the two star campaigners for BJP cannot bail the party forever. “Narendra Modi and Amit Shah cannot always help out in the Assembly level elections and there is no option but to rebuild the organisation in Delhi to address the local aspirations,” the article stated. 

The failure of BJP to reorganize itself at the grassroots level following its defeat in 2015 state elections has been another major factor which manifested in AAP victory. If left unchecked Arvind Kejriwal could grow further in strength and popularity. The faction-ridden state BJP unit in Delhi needs to pull up its socks and plug the gaps to have a chance for winning back Delhi after five years.

Thu, 20 Feb 2020 22:06:23 +0530
Flipkart makes changes at

E-commerce giant Flipkart has introduced changes in its senior management team for exploring new business opportunities. Adarsh Menon, Senior Vice President and Head, Private Brands, Electronics and Furniture will head the new business initiative.

Flipkart CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy communicated the changes through email to Flipkart employees. Adarsh Menon will move on to a new business initiative at Flipkart after a successful stint in CDO (category design operations), Krishnamurthy wrote in the mail. While Menon will head business initiative, Manish Kumar, Vice President - Business Development who built grocery business will now look after private label business. 

Ajay Yadav, Flipkart's Head of large appliances and mobile businesses, will take charge of the electronics business unit which was under Menon.



Thu, 20 Feb 2020 21:59:12 +0530
Arvind Kejriwal developme

The rival has come at last, at least in the capital with Arvind Kejriwal winning the Delhi elections handsomely. The developmental works undertaken by the AAP government in the last five years catapulted him to power once again. Buoyed by the success the Kejriwal-led AAP plans to replicate this throughout India and many state governments are taking note of this development. 

For the BJP this is giving nightmares as they see AAP doing something similar to what BJP did in 2014 when it publicized the Gujarat model of development to win the national elections. The party rode on the waning popularity of Congress besides highlighting Modi’s achievements as Chief Minister of Gujarat from 2001 to 2013. BJP could have a real battle on their hands if AAP succeeds in establishing its footprints in other states.

Governments in other states wanting to emulate what AAP did are doing so. West Bengal government for example has announced free electricity to consumers with quarterly consumption of up to 75 units in its 2020-21 state budget. Other states such as Madhya Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Telangana, Karnataka and Jharkhand have evinced interest in setting up Mohalla clinics to offer cost-effective treatment to public.


Thu, 20 Feb 2020 21:11:22 +0530
Coronavirus will Affect I

Indian manufacturing industries business prospects will be dented as the deadly coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to prolong and serious disruptions are likely to follow, warned rating agency CRISIL. In its report CRISIL said that COVID-19 will have mixed impact on the corporate sector in the fourth quarter of this fiscal.

Key sectors such as auto components, pharmaceuticals, agro chemicals, and so on may survive for another two months with stocks piled up in godown. Industries will be under pressure once the inventories get sold and the manufacturing sector will see their businesses getting impacted. The report also states that credit profiles of some sectors will be impacted if disruptions continue beyond March.

Solar industry for example could face penalties if they miss the deadline of their projects with possible delay in supply of solar panels. However, some sectors which import heavily from China such as ceramics and plastics can benefit with indigenous manufacturing getting a boost as import volumes will reduce.

Further, sectors like steel, paper, leather, textile, etc. can explore export opportunities with countries across the globe stopping their trade with China. India’s manufacturers can fill the vacuum created by Chinese withdrawals. Other sectors such as aluminum, electronics, and pharma bulk drugs may not be able to take advantage due to heavy domestic consumption. 

CRISIL pointed out that with climate conditions getting warmer in the summer months the impact of COVID-19 may get reduced. But in worst case scenario the epidemic may extend to the first quarter of fiscal 2021, intensifying the severity of the negative impact on several businesses.


Thu, 20 Feb 2020 20:26:33 +0530
Nykaaland Launched

Nykaa and BookMyShow have joined hands to launch India’s first ever beauty festival to host home-grown and international beauty brands, interactive sessions with celebrity beauty trailblazers and master classes with leading industry experts.  

Nykaaland will create a new out-of-home entertainment system which hitherto has been unexplored. The first ever edition of the festival will be held in the city of Mumbai on March 21-22, 2020 at Member's Enclosure, Mahalaxmi Racecourse.

Makeup maestro Mario Dedivanovic known by his Instagram moniker ‘MakeupByMario’, the makeup artist for Kim Kardashian will be the centre of attraction and will give an on-stage demonstration of makeup on March 21. Mario Dedivanovic will make a grand debut in India with Nykaaland. 

Speaking about his participation for the festival in Mumbai, Dedivanovic said, “Indian beauty draws heavily from history and culture, making it one of the most varied and rich definitions of beauty, the world over. I am extremely excited to visit India and look forward to hosting a masterclass for the first time ever at Nykaaland.”


Thu, 20 Feb 2020 20:23:24 +0530
5 killed in a road accide

Five people were killed on the Jammu-Pathankot National Highway on Thursday in a road accident at Gagwal, officials said. All the five persons in the car were moved to the nearby hospital where they were declared brought dead. The police have registered a case and started the investigation.

Thu, 20 Feb 2020 18:14:35 +0530
Ayushmann Khurrana
New Delhi: Actor Ayushmann Khurrana, who will next be seen in the gay rom-com "Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan", interacted with LGBTQI+ fans during his visit to the Capital. To spend some time with the star, the fans had to participate in a contest, wherein they had to complete the catchy phrase: "I want to meet Ayushmann because..."The meet-and-greet session was organised by Blued, a gay social app.

"Blued is the largest gay social app in India. While we have done out of the box campaigns in India, which focusses on strengthening the LGBTQI+ community with Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan, being associated as exclusive dating partner, we aim at registering our presence as a brand which will always stand for the community rights and position our brand strongly to help the LGBTQ community in India," Sanyam Sharma, marketing director, Blued India, said.

Speaking of "Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan", the film launches digital sensation Jitender Kumar as Ayushmann's on-screen love interest. The film also reunites the "Badhai Ho" couple Gajraj Rao and Neena Gupta, and features Manurishi Chaddha and Maanvi Gagroo in important roles. Bhumi Pednekar plays a cameo in the film, written and directed by Hitesh Kewalya. The film is scheduled to release on Fenruary 21.

Source: IANS

Thu, 20 Feb 2020 17:56:33 +0530
Kirti Kulhari opts riksha

Mumbai: Unable to hail a cab on time, actress Kirti Kulhari was spotted taking a rickshaw ride in the city. The actress seemed quite happy with the experience as she posted a selfie on Instagram while enjoying the ride in Mumbai's Kharghar area.

Kirti captioned the selfie: "When all the ubers and the olas of the world leave u stranded , it's the Rickshaws that come to ur rescue...Love #mumbairickshaw #almostdependable #happywednesday everyone with all that's coming (expected and the unexpected)"

If this leaves you wondering why the "Mission Mangal" actress was not traveling in her own car, she has an answer for that too!

A fan commented on her post: "Why does a celebrity like you need to travel in Ola/Uber? I mean you must be having a fleet of your cars." To this, Kirti replied: "I am not a person with a fleet of anything. Don't like hoarding anything unnecessarily."

In the photo shared by the actress, she can be seen wearing a pair of headphones. A curious fan asked Kirti which song she was listening to while taking the rikshaw ride, to which the actress revealed that she was listening to some spiritual talk.

On the work front, Kirti Kulhari will next be seen in Ribhu Dasgupta's mystery thriller "The Girl On The Train". The film also starring Parineeti Chopra and Aditi Rao Hydari is slated to hit theatres in May.

Thu, 20 Feb 2020 17:46:15 +0530
indian 2 crane crash

Chennai: Kajal Aggarwal talks about the fatal crane accident on Wednesday night killing three and injuring 12 at the shooting spot of movie "Indian 2".

Kamal Haasan, Kajal Aggarwal and costume designer Amritharam were also at EVP Film City where the crane crashed causing the death of three technicians Krishna, Chandran and Madhu.

Aggarwal said, they are in so much shock, denial, trauma from the monstrous crane accident last night. All it took was a fraction of a second to stay alive and type this tweet. Just that one moment. Gratitude. So much learning and appreciation for the value of time and life.

"Words cannot describe the heartache I feel at the unexpected, untimely loss of my colleagues from last night. Krishna, Chandran and Madhu. Sending love, strength and my deepest condolences to your families. May god give strength in this moment of desolation," Aggarwal tweeted.

"Providential escape from the ghastly mishap. Literally 10 secs away from being crushed under. Fortunate Kamal sir, Kajal n me who were right under are safe #count your blessings.. our crushed canopy under the crane. We are #safe RIP our fellow mates," costume designer Amritharam tweeted.

Thu, 20 Feb 2020 17:39:31 +0530
Sindhu Saurabh win ESPN

New Delhi: Ace Indian shuttler P.V. Sindhu and shooter Saurabh Chaudhary bagged the female and male sportsperson of the year in the ESPN India Annual Multi-Sport Awards announced on Thursday. Sindhu, who became the first Indian player to win the World Badminton Championship title, bagged the award for the third time in a row. Dutee Chand was named as the first winner of the ESPN India Courage Award.

Koneru Humpy won the award for the 'Comeback of the Year'. She claimed her first world title in December 2019 by winning the Women's World Rapid Chess Championships in Moscow to cap a remarkable comeback to the sport. Wrestler Deepak Punia won ESPN's 'Emerging Sportsperson of the Year Award 2019'. Pullela Gopichand, chief national badminton coach, claimed the 'Coach of the Year' Award, following up from nurturing two Olympic medalists in Saina and Sindhu. Under his tutelage, India was to find its first badminton world champion in August 2019.
Manu Bhaker-Saurabh Chaudhary grabbed the 'Team of the Year Award'. The 10m air pistol mixed team combination completed their clean sweep at the 2019 World Cups. 30-year-old Manasi Joshi won 'Differently-abled athlete of the year/Para-athlete of the year Award'. Joshi became world champion after winning the gold medal at the BWF Para-Badminton World Championships in 2019. Balbir Singh (Senior), one of independent India's most celebrated Olympians, was conferred with ESPN's 'Lifetime Achievement' Award 2019.

Thu, 20 Feb 2020 17:06:52 +0530
Madhabi Puri 3 secretari



New delhi: The race for SEBI chairman has picked momentum with the current whole-time member of the market regulator Madhabi Puri Buch leading the race as the current incumbent Ajay Tyagi will demit office on February 28. Apart from Puri's experience with market, government is also keen for a first woman to head SEBI. But that said, the criteria for heading SEBI is certainly not gender based and the selection would be only on the eligibility parameters set by the selection panel headed by Cabinet secretary Rajiv Gauba. The Sebi chairman's position equals that of a secretary in the government.

The selection panel is expected to meet by the middle of next week to take a call on the appointments. The Centre had called for applications from interested candidates before February 10 after inviting applications from candidates from January last week through a public notice. The appointment will be subject to vigilance clearance and other prescribed processes, it said.

The candidates will be shortlisted by The Financial Sector Regulatory Appointments Search Committee (FSRASC), which then will recommend the shortlist to the government. The FSRASC, headed by cabinet secretary Rajiv Gauba, is a panel that selects regulatory chiefs in India. Sources said two top finance ministry bureaucrats -- Finance secretary Rajeev Kumar, DEA Secretary Atanu Chakraborty are also in the list of candidates. Injeti Srinivas, secretary, ministry of corporate affairs who was earlier on SEBI board is also there. All three are due for retirements.

It is government's prerogative to call any candidate it deems fit to be SEBI chairman even without the person formally applying. The high profile case of NSE co-location scam saw finality during Tyagi's time with SEBI imposing penalty on NSE and other restrictions for its alleged involvement. Tyagi is also eligible for a new term if selected till he attains 65 years of age. U.K. Sinha, Tyagi's predecessor was given an extension, being the chairman of SEBI for six years. Sebi's whole-time member Madhabi Puri Buch's term ends in April this year.

N.S. Vishwanathan, currently on the board of Sebi, is also on the list of candidates.

(Anjana Das can be contatced at

Thu, 20 Feb 2020 16:30:17 +0530
Telugu film star Pawan Ka

The chief of the Janasena Party and Telugu film star Pawan Kalyan on Thursday donated Rs 1 crore to the authorities of the Kendriya Sainik Board here for the welfare of army families. The popular film star and politician had promised the donation last year on the eve of Army Flag Day.

Thu, 20 Feb 2020 16:16:00 +0530
India congratulates Afgha

New Delhi: India on Thursday congratulated Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani on his re-election following the announcement of final results of the presidential elections.

The Independent Election Commission (IEC) of Afghanistan announced on Tuesday that Ghani won 50.64 per cent of the vote against Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, who secured 39.52 per cent of votes during the election on September 28 last year. However, Abdullah has contested the final results and vowed to form his own parallel government. In a statement issued on Thursday, Ministry of External Affairs said, "India supports the democratic aspirations of the people of Afghanistan and remains committed to continue to work with the new Government."


Thu, 20 Feb 2020 16:11:44 +0530
3 workers of a film unit

Chennai: Three film unit workers were killed when a crane crashed on them while they were constructing the sets for Kamal Haasan's film ' Indian-2 ' near here on Wednesday night.  The accident happened at EVP Film City near here and also injured nine others. The three dead were identified as Madhu, Chandran and Krishnan.

Thu, 20 Feb 2020 16:07:28 +0530
More land will be acquire



New Delhi,: A day after Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas chief Nritya Gopal Das was named the chairman of the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerath Kshetra Trust, he claimed more land will be acquired for the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya if required.  Talking exclusively to IANS on Thursday, Das said the Ram Janmabhoomi movement has finally culminated and a grand temple will be built at the birth place of Lord Ram. On being made the chairman of the temple trust, Das said he will discharge his responsibility with the utmost honesty.

According to him, the next meeting of the trust will deliberate on the model and design of the temple which is likely to be the same as proposed by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and then other work will be taken up. The temple trust chairman clarified that only those stones will be used for the temple construction which have been kept for the purpose. More stones will be brought if required, he said. About 70 per cent work of the temple construction has been completed. The next meeting will be held after Holi in consultation with Nripendra Mishra, former principal secretary to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has been chosen chairman of the Ram Temple Complex Development Committee.

Nritya Gopal Das said the cost of the temple construction will be met from donations only and no government help will be sought. "Most probably the work of temple construction will start in 6 months from now, and since the temple will be a grand one, it may take more than two years to complete," he said, adding, "when CM Yogi and PM Modi are associated with the work of the temple construction, you can imagine how grand it will be. It will definitely meet the aspirations of the devotees."

"If there is a need, we will acquire more land for temple construction. We will write to UP government if required," he said. Das brushed aside the objection of some seers who raised questions about the composition of the trust. He said when the temple will be constructed, the entire Hindu society will feel proud of it. On the question of objection to the trust by NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Das said, "Sharad Pawar can help Muslims build a mosque if he wants. Here we are working for the construction of Ram temple only. We don't bother about him."


Thu, 20 Feb 2020 16:01:05 +0530
Larry Tesler dies at 74
San Francisco: World renowned computer scientist Larry Tesler (74), the creator of cut, copy and paste & find & replace concepts in computer science passed away. 
Tesler, who breathed his last on Monday, was computer scientist and user interface (UI) guru who is most well-known for creating the seminal computer concepts cut, copy and paste. The innovation and concept of "cut-copy-paste" was pioneered during his time at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Centre in the 1970s.
He was born in 1945 in New York and studied computer science at Stanford. After working in AI research, joined Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) in 1973, where he developed cut, copy, and paste.In the following two decades at Apple, he would be deeply involved in the user interface design of the Lisa, Macintosh and Newton, a precursor to the iPhone, reports CNET.
The concepts would later become instrumental user interface building blocks for both text editors and entire computer operating systems (OS).
In 1979, Tesler was assigned to show Apple co-founder Steve Jobs around Xerox PARC, including the tour in which Jobs and a few other Apple employees got to see Xerox's Alto computer in action.
The computer featured icons, windows, folders, a mouse, pop-up menus, WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) text editor, Ethernet-based local networking and network-based printing and games.
Thu, 20 Feb 2020 14:51:01 +0530
Pawan Singh Hindi music

Mumbai, Feb 20 (IANS) Bhojpuri singer Pawan Singh, who gained popularity with the number "Lollipop Lagelu", is all set to make his Hindi song debut with the track "Kamariya Hila Rahi Hai". The song with JJust music features the Bhojpuri sensation with popular dancer Lauren Gottlieb and is choreographed by Mudassar Khan. It has been recorded with Pawan and Payal Dev.

"I had so much fun singing 'Kamariya Hila Rahi Hai' song. I want all my fans to shower the same love and support which I've been getting for all my songs," Pawan said. The song is going to be a Holi number.

Actor-producer Jackky Bhagnani of Jjust music said: "We all have been a huge fan of 'Lollipop Lagelu', and very thrilled to be collaborating with Pawan Singh for his first Hindi song. Looking forward to this one."

Pawan added: "I'm very excited for my first Hindi song association with Jjust music. I want to thank Jackky Bhagnani and Jjust Music for giving me such a big opportunity and I am glad to be a part of the same."

Thu, 20 Feb 2020 14:21:43 +0530
Coronavirus 7 month baby

Beijing: Wednesday, a seven month old Coronavirus patient discharged from hospital in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality.

The 7 month old baby was confirmed with novel coronavirus infection on February 3, and the hospital set up a special medical team to treat the baby. Everything was fine with the treatment and was discharged from hospital after recovery says Xia Pei, Deputy Party Secretary of Chongqing's health commission.

A total of 296 COVID-19 patients had been reported in Chongqing, with 254 discharged from hospital after recovery.

Thu, 20 Feb 2020 14:16:20 +0530
reopens Aleppo airport

Damascus: Aleppo airport, one of the important airports of Syria, reopened Wednesday after the close down of eight years reports Efe news. Russian troops regained the control of Aleppo’s countryside from rebels this week and Transport Minister Ali Hammoud told a group of journalists accompanied his first flight from Damascus to Aleppo.

The airfield is ready to start receiving aeroplanes and passengers from and to Aleppo. Aleppo airport used to have a capacity of 2.5 million passengers annually. In December 2012, civilian flights were suspended after the opposition captured the city. The Syrian army regained control of the city four years later and authorities started refurbishing the airport.

For the re-opening of the M5 highway linking Damascus to Aleppo efforts are still underway.

Thu, 20 Feb 2020 13:39:12 +0530
Governor releases biograp

Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari released a biographical book on the life of former Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission of India Dr Anil Kakodkar at Raj Bhavan, Mumbai on Wednesday (19th Feb). The biography in Marathi ‘Anuvidnyanatil Jhanjawat’ has been written by Dr Manjusha Kulkarni. Dr Anil Kakodkar, Sumit Mullick, State Chief Information Commissioner, Dr Manjusha Kulkarni and Dr Panditrao Kulkarni were present.

Thu, 20 Feb 2020 12:42:50 +0530
anti cholera drive Vaccin

Dhaka: Bangladesh Health Department has begun nationwide vaccination drive to control Cholera to stop spreading the disease which is infecting thousands of people every year in the country. 

First dose of oral vaccine administration started from Wednesday to February 25 at six high cholera-prone areas of Dhaka for 1.2 million people, reports Efe News. 

The second dose will be administered to the recipients of the vaccine a month later.

Shahnila Ferdous, the health services director for communicable disease says this is the first time the country has taken a vaccination program and vaccination administered to all in the country at different phases. And the Vaccine is WHO’s pre-qualified cholera vaccine not available from any sector.

Health Department says they do not have any official data of cholera patients in the country, but by the report of International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research published in 2014 it is estimated that 66 million people of the country were at the risk of cholera. The report estimated 109,052 cases and 3,272 deaths annually by cholera.

Thu, 20 Feb 2020 12:41:51 +0530
Nikhil Chopra magician

New Delhi:He says magic always happens in slippages and place in between things. Breaking expectations, tying a tight rope across a space, conceptually is what is most important for him. And then, walking that line between sky and earth, between gravity and flight, between falling and flying. And that is where India's best known performance artist Nikhil Chopra is most alive -- between reality and fiction, between today and yesterday, soft and hard, land and water, earth and sky, day and night.

"Now, some of the most interesting communities in the world are the ones which exist near borders for they adopt multiple cultures and what emerges is a something peculiar. That something else is what I am interested in. Some of the most exciting movements in life are always in that space. When you are in a half sleep state, and you feel the lover's hand on your leg�the experience of that touch. That crack, that little window makes us experience the enormous universe. As soon as life is static, it ceases to exist, and is forgotten," says Chopra, who was the 2019-2020 Artist in Residence at the prestigious Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York, USA.

Chopra, who was part of the recently concluded Goa Open Arts Festival had two strong creative desires while completing his graduation at Faculty of Fine Arts at M.S. University, Baroda -- art and theatre. Even as he enjoyed the process of discovering things on canvas while in the studio, he also got involved with an amateur theatre company 'Playhouse' during the years 1997-99 and started acting on the stage. Some of the theatre started to play in the subjects of his paintings too.

"I started to enjoy creating scenarios not as a narrative painter, but as someone who was interested in looking at it from the place of theatre. It was not until I went to the US and started to get exposed to performance art and its ability to create really powerful and political meaning that I acknowledged what was really creating that power. It was essentially coming from the dynamics that the artists' art was creating with its live audience, and the ability to hold the attention of the live audience and deliver a message," says the artist who in 2007, dressed as a character based on his grandfather walked to the Lal Chowk in Srinagar, drawing houses on the road.

Chopra, who participated in the Havana Biennale (2015) and the 53rd Venice Biennale in 2009, and co-founded HH Art Spaces in Goa in 2014, which has been instrumental in pushing alternative events and spaces in Goa, says that when it comes to performance art, generating a dialogue is easy, but producing performances and convincing funders is not. "But then, we are interested in the dialogue it generates, that's why we go through all the effort that goes into producing, no?"

Stressing that performance art is definitely becoming more and more familiar, especially within the art community, and has come to be recognised as a serious form of engagement with material and as a highly aestheticised practice, he adds, "It's a politically charged form of art. When Marina Abramovic had a retrospective at MOMA, it meant performance is here. And forever. Not that I am attributing all the credit to her, but she is the symbol of that becoming. She is also the culmination of a lot of body of work that preceded here. Micheal Jackson needed the James Brown. Making doesn't happen in a vacuum. It happens because a fabricating an idea is not a solo endeavour."

Chopra, whose career picked up soon after his first solo show with Mumbai-based Chatterjee & Lal in 2008 even as he was already preparing for 'The Indian Highway', which travelled to six major art museums and institutions in Europe, uses a lot of drawings in his performances as a tool to transform spaces and alter relationships with walls, floor and ceiling, thereby challenging the confined architecture. A flat wall suddenly starts to represent infinity as there is a seascape has been drawn or because there is representation of disappearing horizon lines or gathering storms.

"The drawing and all the detritus from the drawings, for example, the dust from the charcoal, the muddiness from the mud also transform the body. Not just the space, but the body transforms as well. We are all built into the work and composed into it. At the end of the day, there is this desire to create an image which will offer us the objectivity to read what is going on beyond the fact that the body is suffering . We can then distance ourself from the body, look at it as material. We can only do that if we are successful in thinking about it as material. Often I get asked, how can you be so brutal in your connection with the body? How can you be just flesh, bones. What about love and pain, joy? What about politics that emirate from body? What is important to realise is that when I am performing, I am not Nikhil. My work is political and there are obvious political signifiers that are sent out there for people to read."

Talking about his process, this Goa-based practitioner insists that he believes in following a rhythm and not routine as the latter is regimented while the former is lyrical. "I would align myself with rhythm because I would rather listen to my inner drum than the clicking of my clock. Routines are boring, they are without creativity while rhythms come from the creative space. The moment I start to fall into a routine, I start to worry. Routine is so external, rhythm so internal."

Forever interested in intermixing of fact and fiction and believing that history is very interpretative, the artist feels that there are always a million invisible stories that come together to form large one. "And then, history has always been written by the victors. Don't we all know that what is taught in school is always just one side of the story, something that must be challenged. Imagine, in the UK, school students are not taught anything about the British colonial history. What linearity are we talking about when in certain histories those lines have been erased or systematically an effort is made to ease them. The attitude is whatever is uncomfortable, leave it out.

Feeling that Goa allows him to crawl into his own forest and get away with things that he does, Chopra adds, "There is no self-censorship and I can have deep stakes here without anyone batting an eye lid. Stating that platforms like the Goa Open Arts Festival goes to show that there is a real urgency amongst artists to create this kind of a platform, he adds, "To have this kind of dialogue and interaction� all around there is talent -- and not just artists from Goa, but also those who have moved to the state which offers not just physical, but also intellectual space."

Talk to him about art in public spaces, and Chopra feels that when it comes to performance art, public spaces in India are not potent enough, as urban spaces are a constant spectacle and have always been a place for showmanship -- a place where all social dramas get played out.

"In that milieu/chaos, when you put performance art or any other art, it is going to be received in the exact same way as any other spectacle. People will gather and watch. When it is done, they will go home. Will it have any effect? Yes, maybe it could, but largely speaking, it gets lost. People need to be lured into institutional spaces. That's the work that needs to be done. It's important to bring the public to the art, you can't do the opposite because we are an over saturated and over-stimulated nation and frankly speaking, a very small percentage of us have the tools to understand and receive art.

"In order for us to make a case about art, we need to block out the less of the chaos. Maybe India needs more white cube spaces where you are able to look at the art exclusive of anything else around it. And are able to have a quiet, contemplative engagement with it. The art space is really important because everything needs a framework.

"It is important to have performance work inside spaces to be read and experienced as paintings, sculpture and video. Young performance artists find it very easy to walk out on the street and gather attention. You just have to be a bit of a freak in this country and boom -- you got a crowd. Try that in Europe, and it's not easy. It's a totally different story. When a guy on the street can walk comfortably into a beautiful institution with his family, we have done our job. And that's where art will get democratised."

Pleased that major art and film festivals are finding a space outside metros, Chopra feels that bigger cities are not only full, but even the space for creativity is becoming slimmer.

"It becomes difficult for us to function when one is choked for space, ideas money and opportunity. Outside of metros, you find yourself in a much cleaner, saner, bearable living situation which helps expand our critical mass at a highly accelerated rate. Information and accessibility to technology is everywhere, so why are we hanging on to our urban spaces as cultural practitioners? Culture goes where the practice goes.

"As far as I am concerned, we are very excited about trying to make Goa a cultural hub. The biggest mistake any artist can make is assuming their audience. To assume what your audience is going to think is to dumb them down. We never want to limit our audience to a person or a particular kind of people. We make work for ourselves that we put out there for everyone to witness. Now look at Goa, it feels like the last really liberal corner left in the subcontinent. It's the only place you can dress how you want to. You can walk on the streets at 4 a.m. It's probably the only place in the subcontinent where you feel your neighbours aren't judging you.

"It allows artists to be themselves -- to experiment with ideas and be risqu�. I'm thankful that Goa wasn't a British Colony - I think that different cultural background sets it apart. Being in touch with nature, the food, the beach, the quality of spaces and architecture - these things set it apart. It has a really deep impact on people who move here and live here. For an artist I think it's an unbeatable quality of life."

In the recent future, HH Art Spaces, which has been invited in a collaboration with Galleria Continuaa in Italy, and a space called Bagni Misteriosi in Milan, is taking 12 artists, of which six are Goa -- based for an exhibition titled 'Haze'. HH will be curating the show will open April 15 this year.


Thu, 20 Feb 2020 12:13:54 +0530
accident at Indian 2

Chennai: Three persons of "Indian 2" movie film unit died in an accident when a crane fell on them while constructing the sets for the shooting on Wednesday.

The actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan starring Indian 2 movie directed by S.Shankar is a sequel to the hit movie Indian that also featured the same actor. The accident happened at EVP Film City near here and also injured nine others.

Condoling the death of three persons Kamal Haasan in a tweet said this accident is very cruel though he had crossed several accidents. More than his pain at the loss, the pain of the family members of the dead would be more.

"I am sharing their grief," he said. Kamal Haasan who visited the injured in the hospital also said they were given first aid and are being treated and he hoped they would soon recover.

Thu, 20 Feb 2020 11:59:09 +0530
Swiggy raises 113million

New Delhi:Swiggy on its Series I funding round raises $113 million by existing investor Prosus N.V. and includes participation from Meituan Dianping and Wellington Management Company.

Sriharsha Majety, CEO of Swiggy says over the couple of years they have made strong strides in their vision of delivering unparalleled convenience to urbal consuments and was building a fundamentally strong and enduring business the sametime keeping consumers at core. 

Last year Swiggy's transaction numbers grew nearly 2.5 times and restaurant partners grew over 1.6 lakhs with more than monthly adding 10000 new restaurants. Presently the company has over 250,000 delivery partners across 520 cities.

Thu, 20 Feb 2020 11:38:23 +0530
economic slowdown ongc

Agartala: Despite economic slowdown and affect in the industrial growth due to the coronavirus outbreak in China and other countries, the business and investment of the Government-run Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) did not affect, ONGC CMD Shashi Shanker said on Wednesday. Shanker said the economic slowdown and the coronavirus outbreak in no way affected the business and investment of the Maharatna company.

"Our investment is constantly increasing. This year ONGC is investing over Rs 32,000 crore. Next year it would be more," Shanker accompanied by the top officials and directors told the media.

He said the gas exploration in the northeastern region would be further augmented and the ONGC is considering setting up new gas based power plants and other industrial units in the region.

"To better utilise the natural gas found in the northeastern region, the Rs 10,000 crore project -- North East Gas Grid project of Indradhanush Gas Grid Limited - would be completed in the next financial year (2021-22)," the CMD said.

He said besides ONGC, four other Central Public Sector companies including Indian Oil Corporation and Gas Authority of India Limited are also involved in the North East Gas Grid project of Indradhanush, which has been laying 1,656 KM gas pipeline to supply natural gas among the eight northeastern states.

The Union Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month has given approval to the North East Gas Grid project of Indradhanush, which would make availability of natural gas across the region and expected to boost industrial growth without impacting the environment and would offer better quality of life to the people in general due to use of cleaner and green fuel.

The ONGC CMD accompanied by Directors of the company arrived in Tripura on Wednesday and visited several gas exploration sites and reviewed the performance of the activities of the company in the northeastern state.

He said the ONGC has been working in Tripura for five decades and has successfully found and explored huge gas and the northeastern state has become the highest gas producing onshore asset.

The ONGC has set up a giant 726 MW power plant in southern Tripura and the power project meeting 30 per cent power requirement of the seven of the eight northeastern states. The ONGC also facilitates setting up of many power projects in Tripura and other northeastern states.

"The (ONGC-supplied) gas-based power projects in Tripura provided electricity also to Bangladesh besides the northeastern states. The ONGC's gas is also used in running thousands of vehicles as Compressed Natural Gas. It also provides Piped Natural Gas to thousands of households and industries for cooking purposes," he said.

The largest crude oil and natural gas company in India, ONGC contributes 75 per cent to India's domestic production with a consolidated turnover Rs 453,461 crore for FY19 (up 25 per cent from Rs 362,246 crore in FY18).

Thu, 20 Feb 2020 11:20:01 +0530
TikTok video Student arre

Kolkata: Candidate arrested at Ratua in Malda district Wednesday for trying to leak English Question paper on TikTok, and three others were banned for bringing mobile phones to examination centre.

Student who was attending West Bengal Board of Secondary Examination at Baidyanathpur High School caught by invigilators at clicking video of the question paper on his mobile phone and for posting on TikTok for circulation.

Student of Baharal P.L.S. High School was caught red-handed by the invigilators in Ratua in Malda district after he clicked a video of the question paper on his mobile phone and posted it on TikTok for circulation. Later Police arrested the student accusing him of leaking the question paper.

The student has been banned from appearing for the examination and will have to appear before Malda juvenile court. 

Three other students are also reported bringing mobile phones to the examination hall are from Atapur in North 24 Parganas district. All three students are external students. Reports says their mobile phones were seized, banned from continuing examination and were marked RA

Thu, 20 Feb 2020 11:03:19 +0530
Yogi asks cops to remain

Lucknow: UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has directed the state government to remain vigilant during Friday's Maha Shivratri festival. While addressing all divisional and district officials via video conferencing on Wednesday night, the chief minister said security of all Shiva temples and the ' kanwariyas ' must be ensured. He asked officials to remain alert for 'Shivratri' and maintain the same level of preparedness until Holi on March 10.

Thu, 20 Feb 2020 10:53:51 +0530
Perfect reward for season

New Delhi: Team India football captain Sunil Chhetri has congratulated FC Goa on becoming the first Indian club to play in the AFC Champions League by confirming their position at the top of the league table in the ongoing Indian Super League (ISL) season. Goa beat Jamshedpur 5-0 on Wednesday to end the ISL league season on 39 points, putting them completely out of the reach of second-placed ATK, who are on 33 points with one match to play.

"Congratulations are in order for FC Goa on bagging the AFC Champions League spot. The perfect reward for season-long consistency," tweeted Chhetri on Thursday. Earlier, Football and Sports Development Limited (FSDL) chairperson Nita Ambani also congratulated FC Goa and said: "Congratulations to FC Goa for creating history and becoming the first-ever Indian football club to qualify for the prestigious AFC Champions League."

"Their success is testament to the efforts put in by the players, coaching staff and management." In addition to winning the Champions League spot next season, FC Goa will also receive the 'League Winners Shield' and a cash prize of Rs 50 lakh for winning the league phase.


Thu, 20 Feb 2020 10:49:03 +0530
Mizoram CM presents tax f

Aizawl: Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga on Wednesday presented a tax-free budget with an outlay of Rs 10,715 crore for 2020-21. In the budget, presented on the third day of the budget session, there is no new proposal for levying new taxes or enhancing tax rates for the next fiscal. Zoramthanga, who also holds the Finance portfolio, told the house that it is a surplus budget of Rs 17.73 crore. The Chief Minister said that the government has taken a series of steps to increase the state's own tax and non-tax revenue at Rs 1,244.76 crore with an estimated growth of 20.50 per cent compared to 2019-2020 budget.

He said the target would be achieved not by imposing fresh taxes but by a more efficient tax collection and better tax management system. The budget proposal has fixed the revenue expenditure estimated at Rs 9,021.85 crore, which is 84.20 per cent of the total budget. "Total fund earmarked for capital expenditure to the development of the state amounts to Rs 1,693.15 crore, which is 15.80 per cent of the total estimated expenditure," Zoramthanga added. With the customary speech of Governor P.S. Sreedharan Pillai, the 5th session of the 8th Mizoram Assembly began here on Monday. The Budget Session will continue till March 14, with a break in between.


Thu, 20 Feb 2020 10:37:18 +0530
Passengers offloaded

New Delhi: Because of the unruly behaviour of passengers to Jeddah, IndiGo flight had to offloaded passengers at IGI Airport Delhi.

Report says Tuesday few passengers part of a large group of travellers from Delhi to Saudi Arabia agitated over the crew. Passengers had arguments over crew and tried to open the aircraft door while taxing for take-off. At the point commander safely returned back to the terminal and the passengers were deplaned and handed over to CISF security forces and continued journey. 

Delhi Police will investigate the issue and reports have been filed on the incident by authorities as per protocol.

Thu, 20 Feb 2020 10:37:15 +0530
2 die after contracting C

Tokyo: Two people who were on board a cruise ship quarantined in Japan earlier this month and had contracted the novel coronavirus, have died, state media reported Thursday, taking the overall toll in the country to three. The two passengers aboard the Diamond Princess were a man and a woman in their 80s who contracted COVID-19, Efe news quoted public broadcaster NHK as saying in a report.

Their identities were not revealed, though they said both were Japanese. The two victis had been admitted to hospital after testing positive. One was evacuated on February 11 from the ship and the other the next day. The cruise was quarantined on February 3 in the Japanese port of Yokohama with 3,700 people on board, but it had since been discovered that about 600 passengers or crew had been infected with the coronavirus.

One other person had died in Japan on February 13 due to COVID-19 in Kanagawa prefecture, south of Tokyo. According to the last official balance, 621 people aboard the Diamond Princess contracted the virus through a passenger who disembarked in Hong Kong before arriving in Japan. Medical teams performed 3,011 tests on the cruise until Wednesday. Outside the cruise, approximately 80 people in Japan have tested positive. Hundreds left the cruise on Wednesday at the end of the quarantine period set by authorities, and the rest were expected to do so between Thursday and Friday.


Thu, 20 Feb 2020 10:33:34 +0530
24 killed in two road acc

In the early hours of Thursday 19 people died in an accident in Avinashi, Tirupur District, when a container lorry from Coimbatore to Salem and a passenger bus from Bengaluru to Kochi collided. In another road accident in Salem district in Tamil Nadu, five persons died when the van in which they were travelling and another bus collided.


Thu, 20 Feb 2020 10:17:06 +0530
Yogi govt spruces up Taj

Agra: Ahead of US President Donald Trump's visit to the Taj city on February 24, the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh, has mounted a massive image makeover of the city, which people say is unprecedented. More than 900 cusecs of water have been released by the state irrigation department, after the sorry plight of the river Yamuna was highlighted by IANS and activists of the River Connect Campaign. The dry and polluted river bed was an eyesore that could ruin the mood of the visiting dignitaries, locals pointed out.

In the last two days, copious quantities of water have been released and men and machines mobilised to clean up the river bed right behind the Taj Mahal, just in case the president spends more time at the rear to view the Agra Fort and the river.Responding to yellowing and dirt patches charges by local environmentalists, the Archaeological Survey of India has undertaken cleaning up of the monument in a big way, using the mud pack therapy to remove dark spots. The Taj Mahal should be ready by Friday, officials indicated on Thursday.

District authorities said more than 3,000 artists from Agra, Mathura, Vrindavan will present cultural programmes along the way, including Ram Lila, Ras Lila, Panchkula, Nautanki. Over 20,000 school kids who have been screened, will line up the route with flags to bring cheer and add to the festivities.The administrative officials said beggars in the city have been forced out of the city. The MG Road and the VIP road from the Kheria airport to the Taj Mahal will be sanitised and beggar less.

The big drain, which is the chief source of the foul smell, is being cleaned up on the eastern gate of the Taj Mahal from where Trump and his team will enter the monument. Trees along the route have been cut and spruced up to allow the clear visibility to security agents. A half a dozen American teams have already checked and verified the data collected by the district administration. Nothing is being left to chance.

It will be a memorable visit in many respects, say tourism industry captains. Tourism should get a big boost with this visit, they hoped. The state of preparedness and competence of the local administration and the security apparatus will also be tested, they said.


Thu, 20 Feb 2020 09:05:24 +0530
Full fledged Trade Agreem

US President Donald Trump scheduled to visit India this month has hinted that US may not sign any full-fledged trade agreement with India. He said that a big one is in the offing. Speaking to reporters Joint Base Andrews in Maryland on Tuesday, President Trump threw light on his India visit and said that US will sign a big deal with India. 

Trump however pointed out that US is not treated very well by India when it comes to trading but added that he was a fan of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and is looking forward with a positive ray of hope. Elaborating further he said that India visit is going to be an exciting one and that everyone who will be a part of the trip will enjoy a lot.

Speaking about inaugurating the Sardar Vallabhai Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad he said that the Prime Minister of India had told him there will be approximately seven million people between the airport and the event. The stadium is under construction but is going to be the largest in the world with a seating capacity of 1,10,000 people and in that way it is very exciting.

One main bottleneck is India's proposed law modelled on European legislation to require financial companies like credit card issuers to store data in India. With the proposed law before Parliament it becomes difficult for Modi to agree to US demands that there should be no such provisions. 

The other one was Indian restriction on importing dairy products from animals fed with offal, the leftover products from killing of animals.

Wed, 19 Feb 2020 22:53:26 +0530
India to Buy 24 Copters f

Cabinet Committee on Security, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given the green signal to purchase 24 US manufactured helicopters for Indian navy. The pivotal decision comes days before the scheduled visit of President Donald Trump. India will be purchasing MH-60R Seahawk helicopters at a price of $2.6 billion, a senior government official told the media.

Last year India had approved purchase of choppers manufactured by Lockheed Martin group. Trump administration had given clearance after US rolled out the “Buy American” plan in 2018, relaxing restriction on sales as it was seen bolstering US defence industry and creating jobs.

The deal will be signed during Trump’s visit to India on February 24. The 24 helicopters will be handy for the Indian navy. The multi-role helicopters will be equipped with Hellfire missiles and torpedoes, and are meant to help the Indian Navy track submarines in the Indian Ocean, where China is expanding its presence. India at present is using P8i aircraft for such operations. 

Wed, 19 Feb 2020 22:49:58 +0530
Medicover Global establis

European healthcare and diagnostic service provider Medicover Global opened a 250-bed hospital in Nellore, Andhra Pradesh (AP). Medicover Global will expand its operations in Nellore with Medicover Oncology Institute, a 100-bed cancer cure facility.

The company revealed that it has invested Rs.700 crores in India and is committed to invest an additional Rs.300 crores towards its upcoming project in the AP town. Medicover Global CEO Fredrik Ragmark in a statement said that the company will bring best-in-class technology, capital, world-class infrastructure, artificial intelligence, and other elite services to deliver quality, process oriented, and patient-centric healthcare in India.

India’s pharmaceutical sector is evolving and will witness significant growth in the coming years and the company by investing in India has made the right decision. Medicover has set up hospitals in Hyderabad, Kurnool and Vishakhapatnam in addition to Nellore, increasing its footprint in the Andhra-Telangana region. 

Medicover India Chairman Anil Krishna pointed out that the group is not just pumping funds but also bringing advanced technology and processes for uplifting the healthcare sector in India. 

Wed, 19 Feb 2020 22:46:14 +0530
Paytm Mall Ventures into

Leading e-commerce platform Paytm Mall has announced that it is venturing into exports to become India’s largest trading house for “Made in India” products. The company is eyeing Rs. 500 crore gross merchandize value (GMV) in the next two years.

“We have entered into exports with an objective to offer a range of Indian products across the global markets with super efficiency,” Sanjeev Misra, Senior Vice President - Paytm Mall, told media. Throwing more light Misra added that Paytm is aiming to become the single largest gateway for global consumers to buy Made in India products. The company has a well-established network of suppliers and is also deploying teams across several geographical locations for maximum outreach.

In its efforts to popularize Indian products in global markets Paytm Mall has been partnering with entities such as Mawarid Distribution, Mayar Foods, Vedica Organics, Ceegee Impex, Five River Foodstuff, and so on. As a result it has expanded market for Indian products in Southeast Asia, Middle East, Canada, the US and Africa and provided increased business opportunities for Indian sellers.

Paytm Mall which is owned by Paytm Ecommerce Private Limited has been redefining the e-commerce space in India with its unique offline-to-online model.

Wed, 19 Feb 2020 22:43:09 +0530
Ration at your Doorsteps

Fresh from winning the state elections Arvind Kejriwal led Aam Aadmi Party is mulling to provide ration at the doorsteps of 17 lakh beneficiaries in Delhi. It is pertinent to note that subsidized ration was already being provided under National Food Security, 2013 through fair price shops. Once implemented, people in Delhi will no longer have to queue up at fair price shops for getting ration. 

Importantly in its previous term Aam Aadmi Party had rolled out doorstep delivery of many essential services such as delivery of caste, income certificates and driving license. Doorstep delivery of ration was pending due to Centre-state conflict. In 2018 the Delhi government had passed a bill to provide subsidized rations at doorsteps of people, it was conceptualized that government will pack the ration and deliver them directly to the people.

Delhi Food and Civil Supplies Minister gave the go ahead to doorstep delivery scheme. The minister has directed the Commissioner Food and Supplies to ensure that this is implemented without any delay which will go a long way in helping the poor and needy to obtain their ration under National Food Security Act, 2013, at their doorstep. 

Wed, 19 Feb 2020 22:39:01 +0530
Facebook invests in India

Leading social media platform Facebook is pumping $110 million of funding into Unacademy, one of India’s fastest growing education technology startup. Earlier Facebook had invested in Meesha, a social-commerce venture empowering first-time entrepreneurs, especially women from small towns. “We thank Facebook and other investors who have joined us in this journey and are supporting our initiative. Our goal is to democratize education and become not just the largest educational organisation but the largest consumer Internet story out of India," Gaurav Munjal, Co-Founder and CEO, Unacademy, said in a statement.

“Facebook is an ally for India’s economic growth and social development and we’re excited about India and its rapidly rising Internet ecosystem,” Ajit Mohan, Vice President and Managing Director, Facebook India, told the press. “With this investment in Unacademy, we are reinforcing our commitment to the Indian startup ecosystem as well as investing in a company that is transforming learning in India,” Mohan added.

With over 2 million views every month, Unacademy is touching the lives of people in the remotest corners of the country. Its success stories include thousands of students who have cracked toughest of examinations, improved their ability to speak and write better and increase their knowledge.

Wed, 19 Feb 2020 22:34:54 +0530
Tata Motors shares tumble

Mumbai: Shares of Tata Motors fell as much as 5 per cent on the BSE before closing 2 per cent lower on Wednesday following JLR boss Ralf Speth's comment on the adverse impact on business due to the coronavirus outbreak. Jaguar Land Rover CEO Speth reportedly said that the company does not have enough parts from China to maintain its British production post two weeks from now. Speth's comments came after Apple on Monday revised down its target for iPhone sales due to the coronavirus outbreak.

"We are safe for this week and we are safe for next week and in the third week we have ... parts missing," Speth reportedly said. The death toll due to novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in China rose to over 2,000 on Wednesday as 136 new deaths from the disease were reported, while the confirmed cases stood at 74,185, Chinese health authorities announced.

With several industries in China on a standstill due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) said that the revenue of Indian companies operating in China is likely to fall by 15-20 per cent in the first two quarters of 2020 and may revive only in the third quarter.

An assessment report by the industry body said that extended holidays have reduced productivity which has a direct impact on revenues and growth. Businesses have been closed since January 24, 2020 and are expected to resume operations only by February 20, which is not certain, it added.

"Overall, companies foresee a dip in revenue by 15-20 per cent in Q1 and Q2 over the previous year. It is expected that businesses will get normalised only by Q3," it said.

Wed, 19 Feb 2020 17:59:10 +0530
batteryless smart devices

San Francisco:A new ultra-low power Wi-Fi radio housed in a chip smaller than a grain of rice can pave the way for batteryless smart devices and more portable, fully wireless smart home setups, suggests new research.

The device developed by electrical engineers at the University of California San Diego in the US enables Internet of Things (IoT) devices to communicate with existing Wi-Fi networks using 5,000 times less power than today's Wi-Fi radios.

It consumes just 28 microwatts of power, according to the findings scheduled to be presented at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference ISSCC 2020 conference being held from February 16-20 in San Francisco.

And it does so while transmitting data at a rate of 2 megabits per second (a connection fast enough to stream music and most YouTube videos) over a range of up to 21 metres.

"You can connect your phone, your smart devices, even small cameras or various sensors to this chip, and it can directly send data from these devices to a Wi-Fi access point near you. You don't need to buy anything else. And it could last for years on a single coin cell battery," said Dinesh Bharadia, Professor at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering.

Commercial Wi-Fi radios typically consume hundreds of milliwatts to connect IoT devices with Wi-Fi transceivers. As a result, Wi-Fi compatible devices need either large batteries, frequent recharging or other external power sources to run.

"This Wi-Fi radio is low enough power that we can now start thinking about new application spaces where you no longer need to plug IoT devices into the wall. This could unleash smaller, fully wireless IoT setups," said UC San Diego Professor Patrick Mercier, who co-led the work with Bharadia.

Think of a portable Google Home device that you can take around the house and which can last for years instead of just hours when unplugged.

"It could also allow you to connect devices that are not currently connected - things that cannot meet the power demands of current Wi-Fi radios, like a smoke alarm - and not have a huge burden on battery replacement," Mercier said.

The Wi-Fi radio runs on extremely low power by transmitting data via a technique called backscattering.

It takes incoming Wi-Fi signals from a nearby device (like a smartphone) or Wi-Fi access point, modifies the signals and encodes its own data onto them, and then reflects the new signals onto a different Wi-Fi channel to another device or access point.

They accomplished this by building in a component called a wake-up receiver. This "wakes up" the Wi-Fi radio only when it needs to communicate with Wi-Fi signals, so it can stay in low-power sleep mode the rest of the time, during which it consumes only 3 microwatts of power.

The University California, San Diego is one of the world's leading public research universities, located in La Jolla, California

Source: IANS

Wed, 19 Feb 2020 17:35:01 +0530
Nutrition in healthy agei

New Delhi: Ageing is inevitable, irreversible and progressive. What's more is that it brings along many changes to the bodily functions and affects most organs. Nutrition has a great role to play in healthy ageing, says Dr Aastha, Head Clinical Nutrition, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Mohali.

"People face several health issues due to age and lack of adequate nutrition can add to the severity of the situation. Therefore, proper nutrient intake is essential for people. As nutrient requirements of people change with age, one must know what to eat and what not to, based on the condition of their body," she said.

Few factors that might lead to reduced food intake after one hits 50 are: Loss of appetite, decreased sense of taste and/or smell, difficulty chewing and/or swallowing, loss of physical strength or mobility, chronic conditions and medication, mental and emotional factors, financial insecurity.

Some do's and don'ts for people of age 50 years and above:

Adopt easy-to-digest, easy-to-absorb, small frequent meals.

Limit sugars, sweet beverages, undiluted juices, prefer fruits

Add plenty of fluids to your diet as they keep you hydrated and boost digestion

Replace refined cereals and grains with whole grain cereals and pulses

The fibre composition in diet should be moderate

Limit sedentary lifestyle - be physically active

Two-three servings of seasonal fruits should be included every day's meal

Add onion, ginger, garlic, lemon, cumin seeds, carom seeds, fenugreek seeds, almonds, walnuts, coconut water in diet as these are good for muscular flexibility, prevent water retention and swelling and also contribute to maintain healthy blood pressure.

Busting a few myths about ageing and nutrition:

There is no reason for avoiding proteins in this age, as proteins are essential for tissue repair, avoiding pulses at night is an additional myth.

Salt needs to be restricted only when one is hypertensive or has serum sodium levels on the higher side.

Cottage cheese does not have cholesterol if it is made from toned milk and is a very healthy option.

Saturated fats need not be eliminated totally from diet, unless one has a heart block or hypercholesterolemia.

Consumption of milk post dinner is just fine provided it's not taken too late.

Reducing the number of meals beyond 3 is way more harmful, so one must target 3 major meals and 2 minor meals to keep metabolism going.

Eating healthily, combined with regular physical activity, can help a person live a full active life.

Wed, 19 Feb 2020 17:10:25 +0530
snacks for kida

New Delhi: If they're just back from school or have some friends over, snacks for kids can become hectic for you and repetitive for them. Tata Sky Cooking expert Chef Nita Mehta comes to the rescue and shares some recipes for healthy treats.


Healthy oats and vegetable cutlets for kids that are pan-fried till golden.

2 potatoes - boiled and grated

½ cups oats

½ cup grated cauliflower

½ cup grated carrot

½ cup boiled peas

½ cup chopped coriander leaves

1 tbsp kishmish

1 tsp salt or to taste,½ tsp pepper

½ tsp garam masala, ½ tsp chaat masala


½ 2 tbsp sesame seeds

½ 2 tbsp suji

How to prepare

1. Mix all ingredients with boiled grated potatoes. Mash well to bind.

2. Make 6 balls of the above mixture. Flatten each ball & give it a heart shape.

3. Spread the topping mix on a plate. Press both sides of each cutlet in it.

4. Pan fry cutlets in 1-2 tbsp oil in a pan.



½ cup kale channe - soak, pressure cook with 1 cup water for 20 min after the whistle

2 small potatoes - boiled and grated

½ cup grated carrot

2 tbsp chopped mint

2 slices of bread

1 tbsp tomato ketchup

½ tsp red chilli powder

1 tsp salt

1 tsp chat masala

2 tsp channa masala


2-3 tbsp corn flour

Some green tutti fruity for eyes

Break bread into pieces and put in a mixer. Grind to get fresh bread crumbs.

Grind the channas to a paste with a little water..

Mix channa paste, boiled potatoes, grated carrot, mint, bread crumbs, ketchup, salt, chat masala, red chilli powder and channa masala.

Make balls and insert a stick in each.

Flatten the ball on the stick. Coat lightly with corn flour. Insert 2 tutti fruity as eyes. Refrigerate for 30 min.

Shallow-fry in a pan, till golden along with the stick.

Make mouth with ketchup and serve


12 mini buns

2 tbsp oil mixed with � tsp salt, red chilli flakes

1 onion - finely chopped

2 tbsp chopped celery

1 red capsicum - cubed

½ cup chopped zucchini

½ cup frozen corn

1 tbsp chopped coriander

Mix together

3 tbsp mayonnaise

1 tbsp mustard sauce

1 tsp chili garlic paste

4 tbsp grated cheese

1 tsp Oregano

1 tsp red chili flakes

Hollow buns. Mix 2 tbsp oil with a pinch of salt and red chili flakes. Brush the outside and inside of each bun with this oil. Keep aside.

Heat 2 tbsp oil. Add onion and celery cook till soft. Add red capsicum. Zucchini and corn. Mix well. Add coriander, salt, pepper and keep aside.

Mix mayonnaise with mustard, chili garlic paste, grated cheese. Oregano and chili flakes..

Add vegetables to mayonnaise mix and check salt. Stuff in the buns.

To serve, heat a flat pan and place the stuffed buns on it. Reduce heat and cover and cook for 4-5 min. Serve hot.


6 slices bread

2 tbsp oil

½ tsp chaat masala


1 cup moong sprouts - boiled with ½ tsp salt, a pinch of haldi in 1 cup water for 5 min)

½ cup chopped cucumber

½ cup fresh anaar

½ tsp Chaat masala

2-3 tbsp imli ki meethi chutney

Boil moong sprouts with ½ tsp salt, a pinch of haldi in 1 cup water for 5 min. Strain

Take a cookie cutter or a steel glass and cut out a round. Repeat with all slices. Keep the bread round on a rolling board. With the help of a rolling pin (belan), press applying pressure and roll out the round thinly

Mix chat masala with oil. Apply on both sides of the bread rounds with a brush

In a muffin tray place the cut out bread

Grill the bread baskets in the oven for 10 minutes or till light brown on the edges

Mix sprouts with cucumber and, anar. Add chat masala. Add 2-3 tbsp meethi chutney

At the time of serving, fill the baskets with the filling.


½ cup grated mozzarella cheese

½ cup grated cheddar cheese

2 tbsp butter

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp garlic paste

½ tsp red chilli flakes

½ tsp oregano

½ tsp black pepper

pinch of salt

Cut loaf into slices

Put 1 tsp butter on a pan and put the bread slices on it. Reduce heat and keep on low heat till golden from bottom.

Mix all ingredients till smooth

Apply on bread on the toasted side

Put 1 tsp butter on a pan and put the bread slices on it. Cover and reduce heat. For 2-3 minutes till cheese looks melted and bread is golden from bottom

Remove from pan and serve



2 boneless chicken breast

1 egg (½ +½)

2 tbsp curd

1 tbsp lemon juice

½ tsp salt

½ cup flour (maida)

½ tsp salt, and pepper

½ tsp red chili powder

1 tsp oregano

½ tsp garlic powder

1 cup cornflakes

DIP (mix all)

1 tbsp mayonnaise

2 tbsp yogurt

1 tsp ketchup

Salt, pepper to taste

Flatten chicken breast with a belan. Cut into thin fingers

Whisk ½ egg with curd, lemon juice and salt in a bowl. Add the chicken fingers. Better to keep aside for 1-2 hours or even overnight

Mix maida with salt, pepper, oregano, red chili and garlic powder

Crush cornflakes in a mixer for just a second

Pick up each piece of marinated chicken and coat over maida

Mix remaining half egg with 2 tbsp water

Dip chicken finger in egg wash and roll over cornflakes

Fry 5-6 chicken fingers on medium heat till golden and cooked. Serve hot 

Wed, 19 Feb 2020 16:38:33 +0530
Good and Fruitful meeting

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal met on Wednesday with Union Home Minister Amit Shah, and said both had a good and fruitful meeting. 

"Met Hon'ble Home Minister Sh Amit Shah ji. Had a very good and fruitful meeting. Discussed several issues related to Delhi. Both of us agreed that we will work together for development of Delhi," Kejriwal tweeted soon after meeting Shah.

Wed, 19 Feb 2020 16:21:48 +0530
Ex S Korean Prez Lee Myun

Seoul:  A South Korean Appellate court on Wednesday sentenced former President Lee Myung-bak to 17 years in jail over multiple corruption charges, including bribery and embezzlement.The Seoul High Court handed down the ruling on Lee, who served as the country's head of state for five years from early 2008, fining him 13 billion won (10.9 million US dollars).It was heavier than the verdict by the lower court, which sentenced Lee to 15 years in prison. Prosecutors demanded a 20-year imprisonment with the fine of 15 billion won (12.6 million US dollars), Xinhua news agency reported.

Lee was taken to a prison again after being released on bail in March last year.The former president was convicted of embezzling tens of millions of US dollars from DAS, a lucrative auto parts maker that is believed to be owned by Lee under the borrowed names.He was found guilty of receiving millions of US dollars in bribes from Samsung Group, the country's biggest family-controlled conglomerate.

The bribe was offered to pay lawyer fees for the auto parts company, which faced a legal case in the United States, in return for Lee's presidential pardon to Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Kun-hee.


Wed, 19 Feb 2020 16:16:59 +0530
Jupiter not as dry as ear

Washington:The largest planet in our solar system may not be as dry as earlier shown by a NASA probe, according to the first science results revealed by the US space agency's Juno mission on the amount of water in Jupiter's atmosphere.

At the equator, water makes up about 0.25 per cent of the molecules in Jupiter's atmosphere -- almost three times that of the Sun, said the study published in the journal Nature Astronomy. These are also the first findings on the gas giant's abundance of water since NASA's 1995 Galileo mission suggested Jupiter might be extremely dry compared to the Sun.

The comparison is based not on liquid water but on the presence of its components, oxygen and hydrogen, present in the Sun. "We found the water in the equator to be greater than what the Galileo probe measured," said Cheng Li, a Juno scientist at the University of California, Berkeley.

"Because the equatorial region is very unique at Jupiter, we need to compare these results with how much water is in other regions," Li said.

An accurate estimate of the total amount of water in Jupiter's atmosphere has been on the wish lists of planetary scientists for decades. The figure in the gas giant represents a critical missing piece to the puzzle of our solar system's formation. Jupiter was likely the first planet to form, and it contains most of the gas and dust that was not incorporated into the Sun.

The leading theories about its formation rest on the amount of water the planet soaked up. Water abundance also has important implications for the gas giant's meteorology (how wind currents flow on Jupiter) and internal structure.

While lightning -- a phenomenon typically fuelled by moisture -- detected on Jupiter by Voyager and other spacecraft implied the presence of water, an accurate estimate of the amount of water deep within Jupiter's atmosphere remained elusive.

Before the Galileo probe stopped transmitting 57 minutes into its Jovian descent in December 1995, it radioed out spectrometer measurements of the amount of water in the gas giant's atmosphere down to a depth of about 120 kilometres.

The scientists working on the data were dismayed to find ten times less water than expected. A rotating, solar-powered spacecraft Juno was launched in 2011. Because of the Galileo probe experience, the mission seeks to obtain water abundance readings across large regions of the immense planet.

The Juno science team used data collected during Juno's first eight science flybys of Jupiter to generate the findings.

Source: IANS

Wed, 19 Feb 2020 16:13:57 +0530
Chennai Port isolates

Chennai: Chennai port isolates two Chinese crew of M.V. Magnate ship inside the ship and blood samples of the suspects were sent for coronavirus infection test.

The ship was allowed to berth on February 18 after an incubation period of 14 days from the last visit to a Chinese port after ensuring all crew were healthy based on pre-arrival monitoring.  The ship with 19 Chinese crew members are kept out-of-bounds from shore and any crew members are allowed shore access.

The Chennai Port health team took measures after the receipt of the medical report as per Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) regarding the matter.

Wed, 19 Feb 2020 16:06:39 +0530
Eat fruit vegetables for

Sydney: Researchers have found that high consumption of fruit and vegetables is linked to lowered odds of memory loss and its co-morbid heart disease. For the study, published in the International Journal of Public Health, the researchers studied data from 1,39,000 older Australians and found strong links between certain food groups, memory loss and co-morbid heart disease or diabetes. The study found that higher consumption of protein-rich foods was associated with a better memory.

"Our present study implies that the healthy eating suggestions of cereals consumption in the prevention of memory loss and co-morbid heart disease for older people may differ compared to other age groups," said the study's researcher Luna Xu from the University of Technology, Sydney, in Australia. She said the study pointed to a need for age-specific healthy dietary guidelines.

Memory loss is one of the main early symptoms for people with dementia, which is the second leading cause of death of Australians. People living with dementia have on average between two and eight co-morbid conditions, which may accelerate cognitive and functional impairment. The most common comorbidities in dementia include cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and hypertension. "The dietary intervention in chronic disease prevention and management, by taking into consideration the fact that older populations often simultaneously deal with multiple chronic conditions, is a real challenge," Xu said.

"To achieve the best outcome for our ageing population, strong scientific evidence that supports effective dietary intervention in preventing and managing co-occurring chronic conditions, is essential," Xu added.


Wed, 19 Feb 2020 15:46:30 +0530
Have ambitions of playing

London:England leg-spinner Adil Rashid has signed a white-ball contract with Yorkshire for the 2020 season. He has suffered with a persistent shoulder injury. He last represented England in Test matches 13 months ago in the West Indies and has not played any first-class cricket since. The 32-year-old is centrally contracted to England for limited-overs cricket, but the ECB's policy is to only consider players for Test selection if they have a red-ball county contract - thus barring him from a Test return for now.

"I am thrilled to sign this contract with my home club and look forward to this season's T20 campaign," said Rashid after England 2-1 victory over South Africa in the T20Is. After struggling with a persistent shoulder injury, the lg-spinner is keen to manage his workload to give himself the best chance of helping England to T20 World Cup glory in Australia this October. "I have decided to concentrate on white ball cricket this summer in the lead up to the T20 World Cup. This is due to an ongoing shoulder injury, so it is important for me to manage my workload to give me the best chance of remaining fit.

"Although I won't be playing red-ball cricket this summer, I still have ambitions of playing Test cricket in the future," he added. Rashid has so far represented England in 19 Tests in which he has picked 60 wickets.


Wed, 19 Feb 2020 15:41:02 +0530
Vodafone Idea pulls a sur

Mumbai: Vodafone Idea on Wednesday saw a sharp surge in its stock price over reports that the government is unlikely to invoke its bank guarantees for now. Its shares were trading at Rs 4.08 a share, higher by 35 per cent on the BSE. With the government mulling the possibility of invoking bank guarantees of the telcos to recover the statutory dues, Vodafone Idea chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla on Tuesday met Telecom Secretary Anshu Prakash on the AGR payment issue after paying Rs 2,500 crore on Monday.

The company had urged the court that the bank guarantee deposited with the government by Vodafone Idea should not be encashed. Birla has maintained that without relief on the AGR payout, it may not be possible to continue as a going concern. On Tuesday, Vodafone Idea's scrips closed 11 per cent lower after India Ratings downgraded its rating on non-convertible debentures of Rs 3,500 crore citing stress on the company's near-term liquidity after the Supreme Court's ruling.

source: ians

Wed, 19 Feb 2020 15:34:27 +0530
fb North Carolina news

San Francisco: Facebook plans removing Facebook page posting misleading news on North Carolina. Winston-Salem police says "North Carolina Breaking News" is sharing untrue stories about the department and reached the administrators of the page who were responded in Russian. Police say all the posts are upon real stories from outside and they were never involved.

Facebook recently removed pages and groups engaging in  foreign or government interference on Facebook and Instagram from Russia, Iran, Vietnam and Myanmar.

Wed, 19 Feb 2020 15:28:22 +0530
Protest will continue

While hearing a petition against the protest at New Delhi's Shaheen Bagh, the three mediators named by the Supreme Court came down to work today. They reached Shaheen Bagh to talk to protesters and convince them to hold the agitation at an alternative site. The protest against the CAA at the south Delhi locality is going on for more than two months, with protesters demanding the government should scrap the law. The Supreme Court had on Monday appointed senior lawyers Sanjay Hegde and Sadhna Ramachandran to go and talk to the protesters. The court had also asked the lawyers to speak to former Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah about assisting them.

Wed, 19 Feb 2020 15:10:23 +0530
threat from climate chang

New Delhi:The health and future of every child and adolescent worldwide is under immediate threat from ecological degradation, climate change and exploitative marketing practices that push fast food, sugary drinks, alcohol and tobacco at children, said a new report on Wednesday. No single country is adequately protecting children's health, their environment and their futures, according to the report by a commission of over 40 child and adolescent health experts from around the world.

The commission, convened by the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations children's agency, Unicef, and medical journal the Lancet, found that while the poorest countries need to do more to support their children's ability to live healthy lives, excessive carbon emissions --disproportionately from wealthier countries -- threaten the future of all children.

"Despite improvements in child and adolescent health over the past 20 years, progress has stalled, and is set to reverse," said former Prime Minister of New Zealand and Co-Chair of the Commission, Helen Clark.

"It has been estimated that around 250 million children under five years old in low- and middle-income countries are at risk of not reaching their developmental potential, based on proxy measures of stunting and poverty. But of even greater concern, every child worldwide now faces existential threats from climate change and commercial pressures," Clark said.

The report, titled "A Future for the World's Children?", includes a new global index of 180 countries, comparing performance on child flourishing and sustainability, with a proxy for greenhouse gas emissions, and equity, or income gaps.

India ranked 131 among the 180 countries in the index. The index shows that children in Norway, the Republic of Korea, and the Netherlands have the best chance at survival and well-being, while children in the Central African Republic, Chad, Somalia, Niger and Mali face the worst odds.

However, when the authors took per capita CO2 emissions into account, the top countries trail behind: Norway ranked 156, the Republic of Korea 166, and the Netherlands 160.

Each of the three emits 210 per cent more CO2 per capita than their 2030 target. The US, Australia, and Saudi Arabia are among the ten worst emitters. If global warming exceeds 4 degree Celsius by the year 2100 in line with current projections, this would lead to devastating health consequences for children, due to rising ocean levels, heatwaves, proliferation of diseases like malaria and dengue, and malnutrition, said the report.

The only countries on track to beat CO2 emission per capita targets by 2030, while also performing fairly (within the top 70) on child flourishing measures are: Albania, Armenia, Grenada, Jordan, Moldova, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, Uruguay and Vietnam.

The report also revealed the distinct threat posed to children from harmful marketing. Evidence suggests that children in some countries see as many as 30,000 advertisements on television alone in a single year, while youth exposure to vaping (e-cigarettes) advertisements increased by more than 250 per cent in the US over two years, reaching more than 24 million young people. Children's exposure to commercial marketing of junk food and sugary beverages is associated with purchase of unhealthy foods and overweight and obesity, linking predatory marketing to the alarming rise in childhood obesity, said the report.

The number of obese children and adolescents increased from 11 million in 1975 to 124 million in 2016 - an 11-fold increase, with dire individual and societal costs.

Wed, 19 Feb 2020 14:44:15 +0530
Cat wearing mask China

New Delhi: Social media Photos of cats wearing masks in China goes viral. Images with descriptions - cat in China wearing masks for protection against the Coronavirus posted on Twitter today.

Following the trend, numerous images of pet animals wearing masks appeared from various parts of China saying animals also needed to be protected from coronavirus (COVID-19).

"Poor poor baby. I feel for the pets in China. They are being treated worse than humans of China," commented a user.

Comments and images on pets also need protection against coronavirus gone trending in social media wednesday. 


Wed, 19 Feb 2020 14:37:13 +0530
First meeting of Ram temp

The first Ram temple trust meeting to oversee the construction of Ram mandir in Ayodhya will take place at 5 p.m. on Wednesday. The meeting will take place at K Parasarn's Residence in Delhi.The three trustees from Ayodhya - Mahant Dinendra Das, Vimlendra Mohan Pratap Mishra and Dr Anil Mishra arrived in Delhi on Wednesday ahead of the meet, while Shankaracharya Vasudevanand Maharaj reached here on Tuesday evening. He held consultations with Mahant Nritya Gopal Das and Suresh Das of Digambar Akhara separately in Ayodhya before leaving for Delhi.

Wed, 19 Feb 2020 14:19:36 +0530
BJP led govt responsible

One day after the death of veteran Bengali actor and former TMC MP Tapas Paul due to cardiac arrest, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday blamed BJP-led government for his death. Claiming that the Centre's harassment led to the death of Pal, Banerjee said he was incarcerated for 13 months, but no one knew what a crime he committed. "People are being detained, but central authorities have been unable to prove their involvement or to determine what crime they have committed. If someone commits a crime, they have to face punishment, but we still do not know what crime Tapas Pal and others have committed," she said.

Wed, 19 Feb 2020 14:09:03 +0530
russia italy for libiya

Rome:Russia is a key player in efforts to end Libya's protracted conflict and is seeking to foster dialogue between the oil-rich country's warring sides, Italy's Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said on Tuesday.


"Moscow is an important interlocutor in the solution of the Libyan crisis," Di Maio told reporters at a press conference here with Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, Italy's Defence Minister Lorenzo Guerini and his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu.

Russia's "commitment to facilitating a constructive and moderate approach by the various sides will be crucial," Di Maio underlined. On his part, Lavrov said Russia is keen to cooperate closely with Italy in international efforts to end Libya's years-old civil war. He expressed Russia's wish to "work intensely" with Italy for peace in Libya.

The Libya crisis has concerned Europe due to its potential impact on security and migration, as well as Russia's growing influence in the Mediterranean. Hundreds of Russian mercenaries are fighting on the side of eastern warlord Khalifa Haftar in Libya's deadly civil war.

European Union states agreed at a summit in Brussels on Monday to create a new Mediterranean mission to enforce a much-flouted United Nations arms embargo against Libya, Di Maio announced.

Stopping arms entering Libya is widely seen as crucial to ending the fighting and to a negotiated peace settlement.

A shaky truce was agreed last month, with Turkish and Russian influence, in the battle for Tripoli between militias loyal to the besieged UN-backed government and the forces of Haftar, who launched a deadly offensive to take the capital last April.

The Nato-backed 2011 ouster of late dictator Muammar Gaddafi plunged Libya into chaos with rival administrations in the east and west since 2014 - each backed by a myriad of armed groups vying for control.

Wed, 19 Feb 2020 12:47:04 +0530
Congress workers distribu

Kozhikode: The Congress workers distributed beef curry and bread in front of the Mukkam police station in Kozhikode(Kerala) on Tuesday amid reports that beef was removed from the menu for state police trainees in Kerala. This is in protest against a a section of media carried reports that beef is omitted from the police trainee canteen menu. However,  this week the Kerala police department said that reports of beef being omitted from the menu prescribed for the newly trained police batch are baseless.

Wed, 19 Feb 2020 12:18:13 +0530
marriage ended in 12 hour

Hamirpur: For two years their love story saw lots of twists and turns, but when the proverbial happy ending finally happened, the marriage lasted only 12 hours. This bizarre drama unfolded in Hamirpur district's Maudaha area, where the girl had fallen in love with Sandeep, who was her classmate.

When the girl's family came to know about the affair, they pressurised the girl and she lodged a complaint with the Maudaha police, accusing Sandeep of sexual exploitation.

Sandeep was taken into custody, but within hours, the girl took back her complaint. Enraged over her withdrawing the complaint, the girl's family members threw her out of the house. The girl went to Sandeep and convinced his family to accept her.

The couple was married on Monday in a temple in the presence of the boy's family. On Tuesday, the girl again had a change of heart and decided that she wanted to end the 12-hour-old marriage. Sandeep, who was apparently fed up of the girl's unstable mind, also agreed to her wishes.

The couple went to the Maudaha Kotwali and said that they were ending their marriage. Talking to reporters, Sandeep said, "I am fed up of her fickle-mindedness. I loved her, but she did not know what she wanted. I am relieved that the matter has ended." The police called the girl's family and asked them to take her home.

Wed, 19 Feb 2020 11:37:14 +0530
HCLglobal delivery centre

Noida:  HCL Technologies opens Global Delivery Centre in Hartford to offer digital transformation to clients in smart manufacturing, insurance, aerospace and defence industries.

With the system HCL enables investments in the area and creates job opportunities regionally and at state level by developing a strong ecosystem. Stanley Black & Decker signed a global agreement with HCL and will be the first anchor client for GDC. 

The first anchor client for the GDC will be Stanley Black & Decker, a diversified global industry that operates the world's largest tool company, which signed a significant global agreement with HCL, said Ajay Bahl, Executive Vice President of MEGA LT Verticals in the US for HCL Technologies.

HCL anticipates growth upon the partnerships, relationship with state and local authorities, commitment to local ecosystems and with recently signed Stanley Black & Decker deals. The company also plans to introduce advanced digital capabilities and transform Stanley Black & Decker's global application and infrastructure environments, responding and enhancing company’s agility and ability for latest business requirements. Addition to that globally company will deploy 1000 people for Stanley Black & Decker as part of the deal.

Wed, 19 Feb 2020 10:41:11 +0530
Ammonia gas leak from Har

Chandigarh: At least 100 people were impacted, including 50 fainted after inhaling ammonia gas that leaked from a cold storage plant in Harayan's Kurukshetra district, police said on Wednesday. Two of them were seriously ill and admitted to the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Hospital in Kurukshetra, some 100 km from the state capital. The police evacuated 100 people from nearby residential areas of Hargovind cold storage in Nalvi village. The cause of gas leakage was not known yet.


Wed, 19 Feb 2020 10:16:54 +0530
Markets open on a positiv

Mumbai: The 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) on Wednesday opened on a positive note. The Sensex of the BSE opened at 41,121.51 points and touched a high of 41,276.14. The Sensex touched a low of 41,121.51 points. On Tuesday the Sensex closed at 40,894.38 points. The Sensex is trading at 41,246.31 points up by 351.93 points or 0.86 per cent.

On the other hand, the broader 50-scrip Nifty at National Stock Exchange (NSE) opened at 12,090.60 points after closing at 11,992.50 points on Tuesday. The Nifty is trading at 12,090.35 points in the morning.

Wed, 19 Feb 2020 10:12:45 +0530
Vande Bharat railway

New Delhi:The New Delhi-Varanasi Vande Bharat Express, that was flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year, has completed a year in service, logging 3.8 lakh km and a cumulative earnings of Rs 92.29 crore with 100 percent occupancy, the Northern Railway said on Tuesday.

The Vande Bharat Express, the first indigenous train of the Indian Railways, was dedicated to the nation by Modi on February 15 last year and it started its commercial run from New Delhi to Varanasi two days later (February 17, 2019).

It covers the distance between New Delhi and Varanasi in eight hours and runs on all days of the week, except Monday and Thursday. It has 16 air-conditioned coaches. All the coaches have a stainless steel car body equipped with automatic doors with sliding footsteps, onboard computers for train control and remote monitoring.

The coaches also have a GPS-based audio-visual passenger information system, on-board hotspot Wi-Fi and comfortable seating arrangements.


Wed, 19 Feb 2020 10:12:36 +0530
Trump hints trade deal un

New York: Feb 19 (IANS) US President Donald Trump has indicated that a full-fledged trade agreement with India was unlikely during his visit there next week -- or even this year -- but a "very big one" was in the offing. "I don't know if it'll be done before the election, but we'all have a very big deal with India," he told reporters at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland on Tuesday when he was asked about the likelihood of it during the visit to India. But he left room open for a symbolic preliminary agreement.

He said, "I'm really saving the big deal for later on. We're doing a very big trade deal with India. We'll have it." Trump's assertion that a trade deal may not be done "before the election" in November could be meant to goad India into making concessions to complete it soon. Complaining about the progress of the trade deal negotiations, he said, "We are not treated very well by India." He quickly added, "But I happen to like Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi a lot."

Trump, who is into show and pomp, sounded eager about the trip encouraging reporters to come along telling them, "It's going to be very exciting; I hope you all enjoy it." Referring to the main programme in Ahmedabad of inaugurating the Sardar Vallabhai Patel Stadium, he said that Modi "told me we'll have seven million people between the airport and the event." "And the stadium, I understand, is sort of semi under construction, but it's going to be the largest stadium in the world. So it's going to be very exciting."

All agog, he repeated the number of the welcoming crowd: "But he says between the stadium and the airport, we'll have about seven million people."The stadium will have a capacity of 110,000 people.
US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer is not going on the trip to India with Trump, which was already an indication that a full-fledged trade pact more than a year in negotiations was not going to be signed.One of the final sticking points is India's proposed law modelled on European legislation to require financial companies like credit card issuers to store data in India.

With the proposed law before Parliament, it would be difficult for Modi to agree to the US demand that there should be no such provision.Another is with the Indian restriction on importing dairy products from animals fed with offal -- the leftover products from the butchery of animals.

(Arul Louis can be reached at and followed @arulouis)

Wed, 19 Feb 2020 10:10:20 +0530
Sonic the Hedgehog

Los Angeles: Hollywood star Jim Carrey says he enjoyed playing evil genius in upcoming film "Sonic the Hedgehog". "I had so much fun with that, and with the entire film," Carrey said.

"I got to play with weird and wonderful gizmos in Robotnik's lab and fly around in his spaceship, on a crane," he added. The actor admitted to having great affection for his on-screen nemesis, saying: "Sonic represents the power of innocence and play. He's a pure soul who's loving his life because there's always fun to be had, which is also my philosophy. I wake up every day and do what I'm passionate about."

Based on the global blockbuster videogame franchise from Sega, "Sonic the Hedgehog" tells the story of the world's speediest hedgehog as he embraces his new home on Earth. In the live-action adventure comedy, Sonic (voiced by Ben Schwartz) and his new best friend Tom (James Marsden) team up to defend the planet from the evil genius Dr. Robotnik (Carrey) and his plans for world domination. The film will release in India on February 28. It will be exclusively distributed in India by Viacom18 Studios. Carrey was delighted to take on the challenge to play the evil genius.

"The wonderful thing about Robotnik is that he's not only the smartest man in the room, he's the smartest man on the planet - a madman with an I.Q. over 300," said Carrey.

Source: IANS

Talking about the role, the actor shared: "He represents pure intelligence that's been screwed up by ego and has moved into the realm of spiritual stupidity. Robotnik was never loved or nurtured, so he hates the world because he feels it had abandoned him. Robotnik wants to be the warden of a mechanised prison that controls the universe. It was wonderful to physicalise that evil and act as if there's always a spotlight on him."

"Sonic the Hedgehog" director Jeff Fowler was thrilled to have Carrey aboard.

"Reimagining Robotnik was a little tricky because in the game he's, well, not the most grounded figure. Jim and I found a way to make Robotnik more modern and believable, while still being bigger than life. Jim really helped shape Robotnik, through his vocalizations and movements. I am so grateful for his input and creativity. Jim is smart, funny, and completely original. He made the character his own," Fowler said. 

Wed, 19 Feb 2020 10:06:30 +0530
3 terrorists killed in Ka

Srinagar: Three terrorists were gunned down by security forces in an encounter in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district on Wednesday, police said. The encounter started on Tuesday night in the Awantipora area in Pulwama. Among the slain terrorists was a dreaded top terror commander. The terrorists were identified as Jehangir Rafiq Wani, Raja Umer Maqbool Bhat and Uzair Ahmed Bhat.

Sources said that a team of Special Operation Group (SoG) of the police had got a specific information about the terrorists after which the operation was launched in Awantipora. A joint team of police and Army conducted cordon and search operation (CASO) after which an encounter broke out with the terrorists. Three weapons and ammunition were recovered from encounter site. The module, which was earlier with Hizbul Mujahideen, had recently joined Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind (AGuH).

Jehangir Rafiq Wani was the second-in-command to Hizbul Mujahideen commander Hammad Khan in Tral in the Pulwama district. Sources said Jehangir joined AuGH shortly before the death of Hammad in January 2020. The killed terrorist group was involved in a series of terror acts, including the killing of civilians, setting a truck on fire in November 2019, pasting of threat posters in September 2019 in Tral.


Wed, 19 Feb 2020 09:16:54 +0530
Congress yet to appoint D

Following its unprecedented drubbing in the Delhi state elections where it failed to win a single assembly seat, the Congress party which once ruled the hearts of Delhi is a house in disorder. The party high command is in no hurry to push through the process of appointing a state chief even as contenders seem to be lobbying for the post.

Shakti Singh Gohil who was made the interim chief after the elections is yet to take up the tasks assigned to him. Sources revealed that Gohil is waiting for orders from senior leader P.C. Chacko to understand his deliverables.

Meanwhile social media is abuzz with former MLA Alka Lamba’s as next Delhi unit chief following her meeting with party high command Sonia Gandhi. Besides Lamba who recently quit Aam Aadmi Party, party candidate from Badli, Devender Yadav is also believed to be in race. Many Congress workers are rooting for a Purvanchal face like Kirti Azad to woo migrant workers in Delhi.

Former Congress MPs Sandeep Dikshit, JP Agarwal and Ajay Maken are also believed to be in contention. The onus however lies with the party high command to choose between young and experienced leaders.

Tue, 18 Feb 2020 22:17:48 +0530
Kishori Ballal Passes Awa

Veteran actress Kishori Ballal, best known for playing Shah Rukh Khan’s mother Kaveri Amma in Swades passed away on Tuesday, February 18, 2020. The Bollywood and Kannada actress was admitted in a Bangalore hospital with age-related health issues.

The actress who began her career with Kannada film Ivalentha Hendthi in 1960 had a career spanning decades. Kishori Ballal in her career worked with some well-established filmmakers such as Ashutosh Gowariker who expressed his condolences in Twitter. 

Ballal who forayed into Bollywood following stellar performances in Kannada films starred in films such as 'Kahi', 'Carry On Maratha', 'Aiyyaa', 'Lafangey Parindey', and many more.

Tue, 18 Feb 2020 22:14:59 +0530
NCR has Rs 77 000 cores

Delhi and NCR has properties worth Rs.77,000 crores unsold as per a report by Home sales reduced drastically following government’s demonetization drive. Economic slowdown aggravated it further with home sales in October - December 2019 quarter declining by 38 per cent in Noida and 6 per cent in Gurugram year-on-year. New launches declined by a whopping 74 per cent in Gurugram and by 61 per cent in Noida as against a year ago.

The prolonged slowdown has resulted in real estate developers in NCR accumulating unsold stocks worth Rs.77,000 crores with developers in Gurugram and Noida having a combined stock of over one lakh unsold units at the end of 2019 as per Elara Technologies-owned real estate advisory portal. 

Talking to media Dhruv Agarwala, Group CEO of, said that project delays, big developers going insolvent, NBFC crisis and poor consumer sentiment impacted real estate adversely. He said that the Supreme Court judgements in Amrapali, Jaypee and Unitech cases may reduce negative sentiments in the market.

Real estate developers in Noida with an overhang of 52 months could take as much as four years and four months to sell their piled up stocks at current sales velocity. Developers in Gurugram with an overhang of 25 months may also take a very long time to sell their properties.

Tue, 18 Feb 2020 22:05:29 +0530
Cooking Gas to Cost More

Common man may now have to shell out more to keep his kitchen functioning as government moves ahead to allow state-run oil companies raise its prices every month to reduce oil subsidy burden that has almost doubled this month.

Sources revealed that prices of a cylinder may increase about Rs.4-5 every month. The practice is similar to the one adopted by state-run oil marketing companies in 2016-17 of regularly increasing the price of LPG cylinder by Rs.2 initially and Rs.4 later.

The practice was discontinued in wake of stiff opposition and a realization that it worked contrary to Ujjwala scheme of providing free cooking gas connections to the weaker sections of the society.

A senior official on condition of anonymity said, “The need for revising the price of domestic cooking gas is stronger this year than ever before as the subsidy per cylinder has doubled with effect from February. If the current price trend holds in FY21, it could jack up the government's LPG subsidy bill from Rs 35,605 crore estimated in the Budget.”

Oil companies meanwhile feigned ignorance on increasing the prices of LPG cylinders at regular intervals from FY21 but confirmed that cooking gas prices will be hiked. Although quantum increase in gas prices mayn’t pinch the consumers immediately, it will reduce subsidies provided to them directly into their accounts gradually

Tue, 18 Feb 2020 21:57:27 +0530
Salary Hikes to be Lowest

Pay increases will witness a marked decline this year as against the year before and perhaps be the lowest in a decade as per a survey conducted by Aon Plc. Companies are expected to increase their average pay for employees by around 9.1 per cent in 2020 as against 9.3 per cent in 2019 and 9.5 per cent in 2018.

The economic slowdown, job losses and growing uncertainties leading to reduced consumption are prime factors in the reduced pay hikes. The report revealed that India leads in the Asia-Pacific region in salary increases but this is attributed to high inflation and a war for key talent and niche skills.

Speaking to the media Tzeitel Fernandes, partner for reward solutions at Aon said that there is an air of caution about the country’s economy and clarified that weak consumer sentiment and low GDP projections have led to the company’s lowest prediction.

E-commerce companies and start-ups are expected to dole out bigger hikes at around 10 per cent on an average while financial institutions may increase salaries by around 8.5 per cent. Auto sector which was under pressure over the last year due to BS-VI emission norms, e-vehicles entry and general slowdown is expected to see salary hikes of 8.3 per cent as against 10.1 per cent in 2018.

The Aon survey studied over 1,000 companies across over 20 industries. 

Tue, 18 Feb 2020 21:50:34 +0530
British MP Visa revoked f

Sources from the Government of India said that British Member of Parliament Debbie Abrahams’s visa was revoked for her anti-India activities. The MP who was critical of India’s move of abrogating article 370 and 35A granting special status to Jammu & Kashmir was sent back from New Delhi airport. 

Sources pointed out that Abrahams wasn’t having a valid visa at the time of her travel to India and was forced to return. Interestingly, she was issued an e-business visa on October 7, 2019 which was valid until October 5, 2020 for attending business meetings. Her e-business visa was revoked on February 14, 2020 on account of her indulging in anti-India activities. The rejection was intimated to her before she boarded the plane to India. 

Congress parliamentarian Abhishek Sanghvi backed the government’s move of deporting Abrahams. Justifying the decision Sanghvi said that Debbie Abrahams was known for her proximity to Pakistan and ISI. Every attempt to attack India’s sovereignty must be aborted.

Abrahams was among a group of MPs who had written formal letters expressing unhappiness on India’s revocation of special status to Jammu & Kashmir.

Tue, 18 Feb 2020 21:42:23 +0530
denies news of coronaviru

New Delhi:The Union Health Ministry on Tuesday released a statement denying news on the first death in India due to novel coronavirus. The Health Ministry said the death of the suspected individual caused by End Stage Liver Disease.

Mr.Sakthikumar from Tamil Nadu was working in Chongqing province of China, 900 kilometres away from COVID-19-affected Wuhan city, returned to India February 5. Sathiakumar was known for chronic liver disease with jaundice manifestation due to alcoholism and was under treatment for the past three years. Also he was admitted and treated for his ailment during August 2019 at a private hospital at Tanjore.

The ministry said that Sakthikumar was screened at Trichy airport and was screened for symptoms of COVID-19. He was found to be asymptomatic therefore he was instructed to be in home isolation for 28 days as per the guidelines issued by the government. He was followed up by the District Surveillance Unit on a daily basis.

On February 12, he started vomiting and was unable to take food and became disoriented for which he was admitted to a private hospital in Madurai under ICU care. He did not have any symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 or Severe Acute Respiratory Infection during the time of admission at the hospital. He was diagnosed with End Stage Liver Disease with Hepatic Encephalopathy.

Tue, 18 Feb 2020 20:55:28 +0530
30 incubators in India

New Delhi: Hyderabad-based global start-up catalyst T-Hub on Tuesday said it has won Startup India and the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade's (DPIIT) bid to nurture 30 select incubators in India.

T-Hub, along with Wadhwani Foundation, will lead a programme to provide continued support and mentorship, it said in a statement. Incubators can apply for the programme and the selected 30 will get access to a 10 months' acceleration programme, beginning from March, designed for incubation managers.

"The future of incubation in India will rest on the ability to look beyond short-term gain and enable startups to pursue the path of continuous innovation," said Ravi Narayan, CEO of T-Hub.

The key objective is to enable and empower incubators to design a world-class entrepreneur support programme that covers all aspects of incubation.

"The incubator and startup ecosystem in emerging economies like India can benefit greatly from the process driven incubation model being used by the best incubators in the world," said Dan Kranzler, Head, Venture Fastrack, Wadhwani Foundation. T-Hub, in consultation with Startup India, will develop a monitoring mechanism to track the progress of participant incubators during and on completion of the program.

Incorporated in 2015, T-Hub has provided over 1,100 national and international startups with access to better technology, talent, mentors, customers, corporates, investors and government agencies.

Started in January 2016, Startup India is the flagship initiative of the government.

Tue, 18 Feb 2020 17:29:45 +0530
Kohli most valuable celeb

New Delhi: Virat Kohli has become the first person from India to have 50 million followers on Instagram. The captain of the Indian men's cricket team is regarded as one of the best batsmen in the current generation. He has so far 930 posts on the picture-sharing website and is following 480 people.

The 31-year-old is also India's most valuable celebrity. According to a study by global advisory firm, Duff and Phelps, Kohli topped the brand valuation list for the third consecutive year as his value rose by an impressive 39 per cent to $237.5 million in 2019.

Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra Jonas is the second most followed Indian on Instagram and is followed by 49.9 million users. Deepika Padukone comes third in the list with 44.1 followers.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is followed by more than 34.5 million users on the picture-sharing website.

Overall, star footballer Cristiano Ronaldo has the maximum number of followers on Instagram. Ronaldo is followed by more than 200 million users and is followed by musician Ariana Grande with 175 million followers. Hollywood actor Dwayne Johnson is third with 172 million followers.

Kohli is currently leading Team India in New Zealand where the two teams -- after competing in five T20Is and three ODIs -- will now face each other in the two-Test series beginning Friday.

Tue, 18 Feb 2020 17:24:12 +0530
make it political Akhtar
Lahore:Former speedster Shoaib Akhtar believes that India and Pakistan should resume bilateral cricketing ties as they compete with each other in other sports and also have an ongoing trade relationship. Speaking on his Youtube channel, Akhtar minced no words and criticised the stakeholders for not holding cricket matches between the two Asian giants when other sporting encounters take place without any problem.

"We can play Davis Cup, we can play kabaddi with each other then what's wrong with cricket? If you want to cut the ties then stop the trade, stop playing kabaddi. Why only cricket? Whenever it's cricket we make it political, it is very disappointing. We eat onions and tomatoes, we exchange pleasantries then why can't we play cricket?" Akhtar asked.

The Rawalpindi Express further suggested that neutral venues can be used for India-Pakistan bilateral ties.

"I understand India can't come to Pakistan, Pakistan can't go to India. But we play Asia Cup, Champions Trophy on neutral venues, can't we do the same for bilateral series? We are one of the best hospitable nations in the world and India have seen it first hand.

"Ask the likes of Virender Sehwag, Sourav Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar we love them like anything. Cricket should not get affected by the differences between us. Hopefully, India and Pakistan can play a bilateral series soon and it's important for both countries to have a tough competition between them. "Pakistan is a very safe place to travel. India's kabaddi team came, they got a lot of love, Bangladesh came to play Test cricket. But if there are still doubts then I suggest neutral venues," he added.

Recently, Yuvraj Singh and Shahid Afridi had said that cricket matches between the two countries will be better for the game as a whole.

The two teams meet sporadically in multi-nation tournaments but have not played a bilateral series since 2013 when Pakistan travelled to India for a three-match ODI series. They last played a Test series in 2008.

Tue, 18 Feb 2020 17:14:13 +0530
Dakshina through BHIM app

Prayagraj: With barely five days left for the Magh Mela to wrap up, devotees are now rushing with donations to various 'akharas' and camps. The unusual thing about giving 'dakshina' (donations), this year, is that a large section of devotees are making cashless payments, most of them through the BHIM app.

Sarthak Upadhayaya, a devotee, said, "I have spent about a fortnight at the Magh Mela and I have been served food thrice a day at my Guru's ashram. It is my duty to offer whatever I can to the ashram. Since cash is in short supply, I have made a cashless transaction this year. Some other ashrams have even got the POS (point of sale) machine for those who do not have apps."

The Aum Waheguru Rishi ashram has been operating its 'Annakshetra' where around 40,000 devotees are served food thrice a day. The members at the ashram offer 'dakshina' either directly to the account of the ashram through BHIM app or in cash. The ashram has been encouraging its members to make online donations during prominent religious events.

According to office-bearers, the ashram does not receive donations from devotees visiting their camp but only from members of the ashram.

Swami Satyanand Saraswati Satyam, who manages the Annakshetra of the ashram, said, "We have been coming to Teerthraj Prayag for last 35-40 years to attend Kumbh, Ardh Kumbh and Magh Mela. We have also been attending Kumbh Melas in Ujjain, Trimbakeshwar in Nashik and Haridwar along with Surya Grahan Mela at Kurukshetra. Donations are an integral part of the camp. We introduced cashless donations after demonetization in 2017."

Tue, 18 Feb 2020 16:48:12 +0530
Montek Singh Ahluwalia

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi's dream of India rising to a $5 trillion economy by 2025 is unrealistic though it will happen at some time, says Montek Singh Ahluwalia, a former Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission and whose document prepared in 1990 largely influenced the economic reforms unveiled the next year, in his book "Backstage - The Story Behind India's High Growth Years". He is also extremely harsh on "two major policy mistakes" of the present government -- demonetisation and the hasty implementation of GST.

To become a $5 trillion economy "calls for an average growth rate of about 9 per cent in real terms over the six-year period from 2019-20 to 2024-25. With growth below 5 per cent in 2019-20, and only a slow recovery expected next year, achieving an average of 9 per cent for the period as a whole is simply not credible. We will certainly get to $5 trillion, but it will be a few years later," Ahluwalia writes in the book, which has been published by Rupa.

"A more realistic target would be to try to reach a growth rate of around 8 per cent per year as quickly as possible. This is certainly necessary if we want to continue to reduce poverty and generate the employment needed to satisfy our young and aspirational labour force. Is 8 per cent growth feasible? India did achieve GDP growth of 8.5 per cent in the first seven years of the UPA, but a return to that growth rate is easier said than done," Ahluwalia warns.

India's growth was at 6.8 per cent in 2018-19 and dropped to 5 per cent in 2019-20. It is expected to "strongly rebound" to 6-6.5 per cent in 2020-21 the Economic Survey tabled in Parliament on January 31 said.

Demonetisation, Ahluwalia writes, "came as a complete surprise when the government on 8 November 2016 announced that all currency notes of denominations Rs 1,000 and Rs 500, accounting for 86 per cent of the value of currency with the public, were no longer legal tender. Holders of these notes were given up to 31 December to take the notes to banks to convert them into new notes. The decision was originally presented as a decisive attack on black money and corruption, but as that particular justification seemed difficult to sustain, several other justifications were advanced."

"Raghuram Rajan, who was then governor of the RBI, was consulted informally about a possible demonetization and he had advised that any long-term benefits would not be worth the short-term costs. In any case, he counselled that if the government was determined to demonetise, there should be careful planning to ensure adequate supply of new notes. In fact, demonetisation was hastily announced a couple of months after Raghu's term as governor came to an end."

Rajan's fears were "amply vindicated. People rushed to banks to exchange their holdings of old notes for new notes, but as there was a shortage of new notes, amounts handed over to banks could only be credited to their bank accounts, from which cash withdrawals were permitted on a restricted basis until the supply of new notes could catch up with demand. The shortage of cash disrupted agricultural markets and operations in the informal sector, both of which are highly cash-dependent", Ahluwalia writes.

Eight months later, "the economy received a second jolt when the GST was introduced in July 2017. Unlike demonetization, which had very little support from professional economists, the GST was universally regarded as a major reform of the indirect tax system. It was expected to generate larger revenues, and also simplify the system but it failed on both counts because of a flawed design and poor implementation."

Also, "frequent changes in the rates added to the confusion, giving the signal that rates could be adjusted through lobbying, which goes completely contrary to the signal of stability that GST should normally convey", Ahluwalia maintains.

He also cautions against "strong centralised governments", a scenario that is now unfolding in India.

"Strong centralised governments have some advantages but they also have a major disadvantage: the failure to provide room for different views. This reduces the likelihood that policy mistakes will be acknowledged and corrected.

"Manmohan Singh recognised the importance of encouraging free expression of views and descent in a liberal democracy. We are now about to go through a different experience with a government enjoying a strong majority and also one which was expected to rely on much greater centralisation of power in the PMO," Ahluwalia maintains.

Ahluwalia concludes that India's "transition to high growth was not a chance development. It was achieved by deliberate policy steps taken by those who had conviction and belief in the need for change. Changing policies in a country as complex as India has to go much beyond making declarations of intent. It needs an open society where businessmen and other stakeholders are free to criticize the government and draw attention to whatever is not working. It needs a team of technically skilled professionals with the ability to understand economic issues offering honest advice to the political class. It also needs a political class that can combine the unavoidable compulsions of adversarial politics with working towards building consensus on the broad direction of economic policy".

"Good economics may not seem to be good politics in the short run, but wise political leaders will realise that it is almost always the best politics in the long run. How to marry the two is, in some sense, the real test of political leadership. I remain an unrelenting optimist that our political system can resolve this conflict and that the India story of high growth and development will therefore continue. India can and must return to its high growth years-our younger generation deserves nothing less."

Tue, 18 Feb 2020 16:40:54 +0530
Nutmeg rosehip oil

New Delhi: Shubhika Jain, Founder and Ceo of Ras Luxury Oils says there's an oil for every ailment. She speaks of the benefits of Nutmeg & Rosehip Essential Oil.

Nutmeg Oil

Also called Myristica Fragrans (Nutmeg) Oil, it has a warm spicy aroma with sweet woody notes which helps ease digestive problems as well as muscular aches and arthritic pains.


  • Powerful and inflammation properties ease swelling joint pains. 
  • Helps treating depression and anxiety.
  • Can be both stimulant and sedative.
  • Relieves menstrual cramps.


Use as a diffuser oil by adding a few drops with water to an essential oil burner. For application on skin and hair, dilute with Argan, Almond or any other carrier oil. Add 1 or 2 drops of the essential oil to a teaspoon of your chosen carrier oil and blend well.

Make your own pain relief blend:

20 Drops of Nutmeg essential Oil

10 drops of Rosemary essential Oil

10 Drops of Peppermint essential oil

100ml of any Carrier oil such as almond, Sesame, Coconut, Jojoba

Rosehip Pure Plant oil

Rosa Canina (Rose-hip) Fruit Oil is rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin A and antioxidants that detox and nourish the skin, improving skin tone. Full of essential fatty acids, it also helps reduce dark spots, scars and blemishes.


  • Vitamin - C in Rose-hip help reduce hyper pigmentation.
  • Being anti-bacterial reduces formation of black heels and fights acne. 
  • Protects and repairs UV damage as well as brightens the complexion.
  • Anti-aging and hydrating.


Take a few drops on your palm and rub to warm. Apply to your face and neck in a circular motion after cleansing and drying the skin. Used as a moisturizer to hydrate and soften the skin, and it is ideal to give the skin a natural boost. Used to reduce stretch marks from skin. It also makes hair softer, silkier and shinier. Conditions the hair, helps treat split ends and tame frizzy hair. Massage your body thoroughly with a generous amount of oil in large, circular motions until absorbed. Massage a few drops on your scalp with the tip of your fingers to absorb and smooth it down along the length of your hair all the way to the ends. Used as a carrier oil for aromatic essential oils that are too potent to use directly on the skin. Excellent for diluting a combination of therapeutic essential oils to make your own face and body massage oil. Add 15-20 drops of essential oil of your choice to 100 ml of Rosehip Oil.


It acts as a valuable addition to beauty products such as face creams and lotions which are made with parabens, Paraffin wax, and other such artificial additions. Provides the essential oil content necessary for a nourishing skin product. Add a few drops to your store-bought moisturizer or face cream and use daily.

Tue, 18 Feb 2020 16:08:18 +0530
Back to square one Madra

Chennai: The Madras High Court on Tuesday set aside the election of five office bearers of the All India Chess Federation (AICF) and asked the Returning Officer to convene a Special General Body Meeting to conduct fresh elections. "The court has said the Returning Officer has to conduct fresh elections for AICF. Now a fresh notice for elections has to be issued and other procedures undertaken. A General Body meeting has to be called again," Kishor M Bandekar whose nomination was rejected earlier told IANS.

"We have asked the AICF Secretary Bharat Singh Chauhan to correct the Federation's website as to the names of its office bearers," Bandekar added. "We will appeal in the Supreme Court against the Madras High Court's decision. As regards correcting the office bearers names we first have to get the certified order of the Court," Chauhan told IANS. "After the conclusion of the election process, the election of a person can be challenged only by a separate election petition and not with a petition seeking clarification. We will move the apex court today (Tuesday)," apex court advocate Sanjay K. Chadha representing Chauhan told IANS.

The Madras High Court gave its decision on the petition filed by the side led by P.R.Venketrama Raja against the rejection of their nomination papers filed for the polls for the association's officer-bearers by the Returning Officer, former Supreme Court judge, Justice Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla. Earlier, Kalifulla had rejected the nomination forms of 23 contestants -- including that of Raja and several others -- as they did not file their nominations in person as specified in para 6.4 of the National Sports Development Code.

The nominations of 15 contestants belonging to the Raja camp were filed with the Returning Officer by D.V. Sundar, then Vice President, AICF. While rejecting the nominations, Kalifulla said in his order that the nominations were returned to Sundar after a division bench of the Madras High Court ordered on February 3: "The Returning Officer is to permit the members of the association to file nominations for the posts of President, Secretary, Joint Secretary and Treasurer before him up to 6 p.m. on February 6."

Kalifulla, in his order, said that in the light of the above facts read along with para 6.4 of the National Sports Development Code, the inevitable conclusion would be that candidates who wish to contest for the posts of President, Secretary, Vice President, Joint Secretary and Treasurer should file their nomination papers personally by handing them over to the Returning Officer. He said this condition should be followed scrupulously. Later Kalifulla declared five persons who had filed their papers in person - Ajay H. Patel for President, Bharat Singh Chauhan for Secretary, Naresh Sharma for Treasurer, M. Arun Singh for Joint Secretary and Vipnesh Bharadwaj for Vice President - as elected unopposed to various posts for the period 2020-2023.

source: ians

Tue, 18 Feb 2020 15:43:19 +0530
British MP s visa cancele

New Delhi: The UK opposition member of the British Parliament Debbie Abrahams who has alleged that she was "unjustifiably denied entry to India", did not carry a valid visa, the government sources said. Government sources told IANS that Abrahams was not in the possession of a valid visa at the time of her travel to India and she was accordingly requested to return.

She was issued an e-business visa on October 7, 2019 which was valid till October 5, 2020 to attend business meetings, sources said. Her e-business visa was revoked on February 14 on account of her indulging in activities which went against India's national interest, a source said.

"The rejection of the e-business visa, sources said, was intimated to her on February 14, way before she boarded a plane to India. "The grant, rejection, revocation of visa/electronic travel authorisation (ETA) is the sovereign right of any country," officials in New Delhi said.

"The previously issued e-business visa was meant for business meetings and not for tourism or visiting family and friends as claimed by her. This is not permitted as per the rules and a separate visa request has to be made," a visa official said adding that there is no provision of 'visa on arrival' for UK nationals at the airport. Interestingly, the opposition leader and Congress parliamentarian Abhishek Singhvi justified Abrahams deportation. Terming it "necessary", Singhvi who is also a noted lawyer, tweeted: "She is not just an MP but a Pak proxy known for her clasp with Pak govt and ISI. Every attempt that tries to attack India's sovereignty must be thwarted."

Tue, 18 Feb 2020 15:41:28 +0530
Sharjeel Imam sent to 14

Sharjeel Imam, a student at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), was sent to 14-day judicial custody in connection with violence that erupted in Jamia on December 15, last year. Protests against the newly enacted Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) had turned violent near Delhi's Jamia Nagar on December 15. During the unrest, several buses were set on fire, in which police and demonstrators were wounded.Sharjeel was arrested in connection with the case on Monday, and then sent to police custody for one day. At the end of its remand period, he was produced before the court on Tuesday.

Tue, 18 Feb 2020 15:38:02 +0530
Apple Watch saves life

San Francisco:An Oklahoma teen athlete, Skylar Joslin, has credited his Apple Watch for saving his life after the device notified him of his abnormally rapid heart rate. The boy received an alert on his two-week old Apple Watch stating he had a high heart rate of 190 beats per minute (bpm), despite being seated in class. He immediately texted a screenshot of the alert to his mother, Liz Joslin, AppleInsider reported.

"I got a text message along with a screenshot of his heart rate that was 190, the following message saying, mommy, there is something wrong. I am not doing anything," Liz said. She rushed her son to the hospital as his heart rate continued to climb even further and went as high as 280 bpm.

The teen was later diagnosed with a condition called Supraventricular Tachycardia, or SVT, which causes a rapid heartbeat that weakens the heart over time. He had to undergo an eight-hour heart surgery in order to fix his rhythm, and will be the face of the Oklahoma American Heart Association Heart Walk on April 25.

"If I wouldn't have gotten his Apple Watch, I don't know that I would've ever known," Liz noted. "I mean it's unknown how long it would've been going on or how long it would've really taken." There have been several examples where the Apple Watch saved lives.

A US doctor recently saved a person's life by using the Apple Watch Series 4 on his wrist to detect atrial fibrillation at a restaurant. Another Apple Watch user in the UK was recently alerted about his low heart rate by the device. It revealed a serious heart condition that ultimately resulted in a surgery to fix the problem.

The Apple Watch Series 4 and Apple Watch Series 5 are both capable of taking an electrocardiogram and also monitors your heartbeat in the background, which helps detect an irregular heartbeat.

Tue, 18 Feb 2020 15:28:18 +0530
Army remembers martyrdom

Srinagar: Indian Army remembers four bravehearts martyred on army attack response to Pulwama suicide attack on Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) on their first death anniversary. On February 14 2019 Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) suicide bomber attacked convoy at Letpora in Pulwama and forty CRPF men were killed.

Kamran alias Ghazi Rasheed a Pakistani militant and "chief operational commander" of the JeM was the mastermind of the IED attack on the CRPF convoy. Last year on this day, an operation was conducted by the security forces against the Pakistani militant.

During the encounter four men of the Army -- Major Vibhuti Shankar Dhoundiyal, Sepoy Hari Singh, Havaldar Sheoram and Sepoy Ajay Kumar laid down their lives. An IED specialist, Rasheed had trained Adil Dar, the JeM terrorist who drove the explosive-laden vehicle into the CRPF convoy.

"Indian Army 18 Feb 2019.... The bravehearts fought valiantly, displayed exemplary courage; eliminated mastermind of cowardly Pulwama attack and made supreme sacrifice. The proud nation remembers the bravehearts," the Army's Northern command said in a tweet while paying tribute to its soldiers.

Tue, 18 Feb 2020 15:21:46 +0530
Gandhi Ji and Godse canno

Weeks after being expelled from the Janata Dal (United) on Tuesday, political strategist Prashant Kishor launched the campaign ' Baat Bihar Ki ' aimed at making Bihar one of the country's top 10 states. Targeting Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, Kishor said the main reasons behind the dispute were ideological differences and, beginning on February 20, the new campaign would reach out to people who believe the state needs new leadership. "It has been a lot of discussion between me and Nitish Ji about the philosophy of the party. Nitish Ji also told us that the party can never abandon Gandhi Ji's principles. But now the party is with those who are soft on Gandhi's killer Nathuram Godse. For me" Gandhi Ji and Godse cannot go hand-in-hand," Kishor said during a press conference.

Tue, 18 Feb 2020 15:15:04 +0530
Mumbai s V Unbeatable win

Mumbai: Mumbai’s V Unbeatable receives international glory by winning the second season of "America's Got Talent: The Champions" 

Congratulating V Unbeatables on their win, a post on the official page of "America's Got Talent" read: "Give it up for your new #AGTChampion winners, @v_unbeatable."

The Mumbai-based dance group V Unbeatable has won the second season of "America's Got Talent: The Champions". The dancers found the international glory with their victory on the US show on Monday.

With 29 dancers from Mumbai, India, first appeared on "America's Got Talent" in 2019, winning a Golden Buzzer from guest judge Dwyane Wade and achieved fourth position last year. The videos of the group members hugging each other on hearing results are running around internet. A video is doing the rounds on the internet in which the group members can be seen hugging each other after hearing the result. The audience even gave a standing ovation to the group.

The group has received immense support from the Indian audience too. Bollywood actor Ranveer Singh also wished the team luck before the finale's announcement.

Tue, 18 Feb 2020 14:33:12 +0530
IOB PCA withdrawal

New Delhi: IOB Chairman Karnam Sekar says they will approach RBI to withdraw PCA (prompt corrective action) once making net profits and want to observe for more quarter to prove that it is sustainable.

The Bank has recently introduced higher disbursement targets and business plans for retail, Agri, MSMEs and others if there is need for capital on the regulatory front.

"We hope to make net profit from this quarter (January-March) onwards and then we will approach the government and RBI for PCA withdrawal. We have a below 6 per cent net NPA already and we want to observe it for more than a quarter to prove that it is sustainable," Sekar told IANS in an interview.

the bank's Net NPA fell to 5.81 per cent as of December 2019 quarter and reported a standalone loss of Rs 6,075.49 crore for the quarter ended December 31. The Bank posted a loss of Rs 346.02 crore in the same period last year.

He said the bank does not currently need either regulatory or growth capital but may tap the market if there is a need.

"We may fall short slightly on CRAR including the counter cyclical buffer. After we hopefully make profits in this quarter capital adequacy ratio will be comfortable. We don't need growth capital also since our plans are not very aggressive immediately. If at all we need, we will go for Tier 1 or Tier 2 capital from the market", the CEO said.

Capital to Risk (Weighted) Assets Ratio (CRAR) of a bank's capital to its risk. IOB has been in PCA for the last 5 years, the longest stay for any commercial bank under PCA because of heavy exposure in corporate loans bringing huge NPAs. Government so far has infused about Rs 8000 crore capital. He said the bank is trying to bring corporate slippage to zero and RAM portfolio slippage to 2 per cent from the 4 percent earlier, then additional provisioning will reduce. IOB's NPA's provision coverage ratio is 86 percent now and net NPA is Rs 7,000 crore in absolute amount.

On its net profit possibilities, the CEO said, "We are making operating profit in the range of Rs 800 crore each quarter. We are recovering about Rs 200 crore each quarter from written-off accounts, which directly adds to the operating profit which is Rs 3000 crore operating profit annually".

As per IOB's strategy to post profit, he said, "Last several years the bank had to make huge provisions on credit which has led to an accumulated provision of Rs 43,000 crore. Not that the entire provision needed to be written off or to be absorbed, as and when we recover NPAs some of them will be ploughed back which will be a straight addition to operating profit".

Tue, 18 Feb 2020 14:16:23 +0530
Network18 TV18 stocks ri

Mumbai: Shares of Network18, TV18, Hathway and Den Networks surged on Tuesday after Reliance Industries' announcement of consolidating the four entities into Network18. Late on Monday evening, RIL announced a consolidation of its media and distribution businesses spread across multiple entities into Network18 and said that its stake in Network18 will reduce from 75 per cent to 64 per cent upon implementation of the scheme.

At 10.30 a.m., stocks of Network18 on the BSE were at Rs 30.05, higher by 4.89 from the previous close, and shares of TV18 were 14.12 per cent higher at Rs 28.70 per share.Hathway Cable Datacom was at Rs 23.10 up 20 per cent, and stocks of Den Networks were up nearly 10 per cent at Rs 59.50 per share.In its statement on Monday, RIL said: "The appointed date for the merger shall be February 1, 2020. The Board of Directors of the respective companies approved the scheme of amalgamation and arrangement at their meetings held today."

The broadcasting business will be housed in Network18 and the cable and ISP businesses in two separate wholly owned subsidiaries of Network18. The company said that the restructuring would create value-chain integration, and render substantial economies of scale.Post the consolidation, Network18 will be an integrated media and distribution company with a revenue of Rs 8,000 crore and will scale-up as one of the largest listed players in the sector, according to the company. Network18 will be net-debt free at consolidated level, providing a solid base for growth as well as improved shareholder returns, the statement said.


Tue, 18 Feb 2020 12:53:25 +0530
Illicit tobacco trade

New Delhi:ASPA urges the government to restrict illicit tobacco trade in a situation where, only 10 percent of cigarette consumption constitutes legal in the country.

"The legal cigarettes' share in tobacco consumption in India has declined from 21 per cent in 1981-82 to 10 per cent in 2016-17. During the same period, the overall tobacco consumption increased 33 per cent. This drop in legal cigarettes revealed the shift to illegal cigarettes," it said.

PSA advisory report 'Report for Nation - Confronting illicit tobacco trade in India for economic & development' says  illicit trade siphons tax revenues and hurts the authorities' capability to provide good governance. It also reduces allocation of resources for socio-economic development, particularly in low-income nations that rely on consumption taxes.

According to experts, the yearly loss of income from tobacco taxation globally was $40-50 billion, that's about 600 billion sticks or 10 percent of consumption. Illicit tobacco trade included chewing tobacco, bidi and gutkha, it said.

Stating that all tobacco products are harmful to human health, even if produced and marketed legally, the APSA said illicit tobacco harmed people in additional ways.

It's estimated that the illegal market reduces average cigarette prices by 4 per cent and is accountable for about 2 per cent higher cigarette consumption.

In India, according to reports, usage of tax stamps has minimised the tragedies due to spurious liquor and increased the excise revenue collection by 15-20 per cent. It could generate similar results for the tobacco industry, Pasricha said.


Tue, 18 Feb 2020 12:51:09 +0530
Police files chargesheet

A charge sheet was filed by the Delhi Police in the case of Jamia Millia Islamia violence on December 15. On 13 February, the chargesheet was filed before the Saket court in Delhi. Protests against the newly enacted Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) had turned violent near Delhi's Jamia Nagar on December 15. During the violence, several buses were set in fire where police and protesters sustained injuries.The police had used batons and teargas shells to disperse the violent protesters.

Tue, 18 Feb 2020 12:47:53 +0530
free wifi continue

New Delhi: Railways has assured the continuation of free WiFi services at 415 railway stations in India. Railtel, a Miniratna PSU under the Ministry of Railways said: "We entered into a five-year contract with Google for supporting us with setting up WiFi at 415 stations only and the contract is going to expire in May 2020. However, RailTel will continue to provide uninterrupted WiFi service, with same speed and network quality, to passengers at these 415 stations after May 2020 as well. We sincerely value the support we received from Google in this journey.”

Google launched its Station initiative in India in 2015 at the busiest railway stations in the country by 2020. According to Google, the decision to shut Station has been taken keeping the affordable mobile data plans and mobile connectivity in mind that is improving globally including in India. "Passengers will not face any inconvenience in terms of WiFi availability. We will also continue to execute WiFi connectivity at the balance stations," the RailTel said.

Google launched its Station initiative in India in 2015 to bring fast, free public WiFi to 415 of the busiest railway stations in the country by mid-2020. Global networking giant Cisco last year teamed up with Google to roll out free, high-speed public WiFi access globally, starting with India.


Tue, 18 Feb 2020 11:48:03 +0530
10 META nominated plays t

New Delhi: The 15th edition of the Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards (META) Festival, a week-long national theatre festival culminating in an awards ceremony, announced its list of nominations for 2020.

Spanning diverse themes from regions across the country, these 10 plays will be staged in the national capital from March 13 to 18 at Kamani Auditorium and Shri Ram Centre for jury members and audience. The winners will be announced at a Red-Carpet Awards Ceremony on March 19 at Kamani Auditorium.

Promoted by the Mahindra Group as part of its cultural outreach programme and curated by Teamwork Arts, META rewards and recognises the best theatrical productions and performances of the year, along with their makers and facilitators.

"We are delighted that META is today the only national-level recognition and awards programme for theatre in our country. This year's selection of plays reminds us of the richness and diversity of our theatrical heritage. With over 385 submissions from all regions of India and the final selection of 10 plays representing many languages and cultures, we are confident that this year's festival will yet again bolster the spirit of theatre practitioners and audiences alike," says Jay Shah, Vice President & Head of the Mahindra Group's cultural outreach.

The 385 entries received went through a selection procedure to arrive at the final list of nominations. This year's Selection Committee featured journalist, film and theatre critic Ajit Rai, journalist and Founder of Aalaap Akhila Krishnamurthy, journalist and theatre critic Deepa Punjani, well-known actor and theatre personality Deepika Deshpande-Amin, Artistic Director of OzAsia Festival in Adelaide Joseph Mitchell and Indian theatre personality Sohag Sen.

Along with Hindi and English language plays, this year's nominations also feature plays in Hindustani, Bengali, Marathi, Malayalam, Assamese (blended with gibberish) and a non-verbal play, representing a wide linguistic range during the week-long festival.

'Chaheta' (The Beloved), a Hindustani play from Pune, explores the psychological scars of a survivor of a traumatic event. Chaheta's dysfunctional family, misplaced in time, walks a fascinating line between inclusivity and alienation and in turn attempts to question the sanity and sanctity of people who claim to talk with God. Produced by Aaskata Kalamanch and directed by Mohit Takalkar, the play is nominated in 7 major categories. This is the 7th time Aaskata Kalamanch has been nominated and they have a slew of META awards to their name including the brilliant play Mein Huun Yusuf Aur Ye Hai Hamara Bhai which won 5 awards at META 2016.

META's nomination list features two plays in Marathi including 'Ekadashavtar', directed by Ranjit Patil from Ruia Natyavalay (Ramnarain Ruia Autonomous College), and Mickey, directed by Suraj Parasnis and Virajas Kulkarni from Theatron Entertainment Pune. While Ekadashavtar is a political satire based on mythology, 'Mickey' is a modern Shakespearean tragedy and a character study of what happens to the best and worst among us when pressures are high and morals low. Both production houses have bagged their first-ever META nominations, a whopping 11 for 'Ekadashavatar' and a formidable 9 nominations for 'Mickey'.

From Kerala, 'Bhaskara Pattelarum Thommiyude Jeevithavum', a Malayalam play based on the novella, 'Bhaskara Pattelarum Entey Jeevithavum', written by famous Malayalam writer Paul Zacharia, has been chosen. The play deals with tyranny, social struggles, love, and freedom. Directed by film and drama director Suveeran and produced by first-time META nominee Backstage, the play has been nominated in 3 categories including Best Production and Best Actor in a Lead Role (Male).

The English plays in the list of the top 10 include 'Every Brilliant Thing', directed by Quasar Thakore Padamsee, and 'For the Record', directed by Nikhil Mehta. Staged in an in-the-round setting, Every Brilliant Thing, is an uplifting play about love, life, family, mental health and a list of all the wonderful things in the world. Black Box Okhla features for the first time at META with 5 nominations for their production 'For the Record', which recreates the deliberations, disputes and the drama of a 1971 incident when a tribunal was tasked with selecting three artifacts to represent India to the world. The play questions ideas of representation and Indianness.

Written, composed and directed by actor-playwright-poet Piyush Mishra, 'Gagan Damama Bajyo' (A musical on the life & times of Sardar Bhagat Singh) is a musical that showcases the inspiring life story of one of India's most celebrated freedom fighters and revolutionaries, Shaheed Bhagat Singh. It explores all the varied and humane elements of Bhagat Singh's life, and breaks the often resorted-to fundamentalist image of him. The play has been nominated in 6 award categories.

The Bengali play, 'Ghoom Nei', directed by Saurav Palodhi, is a working-class manifesto which runs through the highway of a dark and broken society reaching towards light. The play has received a total of six nominations.

The Old Man, directed by 'Sahidul Haque', is an adaptation of the Hemingway classic The Old Man and the Sea, performed in Assamese and gibberish! It brings out the eternal conflict between human society and nature and deals with loneliness, hopelessness and optimism. Produced by Orchid Theatre, the play has been nominated across seven award categories.

'Maze', directed by Sunil Kumar and produced by The Mimers, is a non-verbal play and depicts the relationship between a servant and an old man who are connected through a web of memory and reality. The play has been nominated across four award categories.

Source: Ians

Tue, 18 Feb 2020 11:20:46 +0530
jeff bezos donates
San Francisco:Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos donates $10 billion through his initiative"Bezos Earth Fund" for NGOs, Scientists and activists to fight against global climate change.

Jeff Bezoz said Climate change is the biggest threat to our planet, he  wants to work alongside others, both to amplify known ways and to explore new ways of fighting the devastating impact of climate change.

This is one of the biggest charitable pledges ever, after $36 billion pledge by billionaire Warren Buffett in 2006 and $16.4 billion pledge by Helen Walton, the late wife of Walmart founder Sam Walton, in 2007. Bezos said the fight against climate change has to be a collective action from big companies, small companies, nation states, global organisations and individuals.

Amazon recently announced a pledge to go carbon neutral by 2040. The e-commerce giant Amazon India said last month it will deploy 10,000 electric vehicles (EVs) in its delivery fleet by 2025. Amazon said it is dedicated to building a supply chain model of operations which will minimise adverse environmental impact as it aims to decrease its dependence on non-renewable sources.

The 10,000 Indian EV commitment is in addition to the global commitment of deploying one lakh electric vehicles in the e-tailer's delivery fleet by 2030, announced as part of the company's Climate Pledge.

According to Amazon, the company was the first signatory of the Climate Pledge, promising to groom the e-tailer to be net zero carbon by 2040 across its businesses, almost 10 years ahead of Paris Accord's 2050 goal.

Tue, 18 Feb 2020 11:15:46 +0530
India saw record 45bn VC

New Delhi, Feb 17 (IANS) India saw a record $45 billion investment from venture capitalists (VCs) in 2019 and the growth sentiment was more towards fintech and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) companies, experts said here on Monday.

Amid the growing confidence in the Indian market, consumer tech and the BFSI sectors continued to dominate annual investment by value, said Prabhav Kashyap, Manager, Bain & Company, during the Indian Private Equity & Venture Capital Association's (IVCA) ninth annual conclave here.

IVCA Chairman Padmanabh Sinha spoke about the growth of PE and VC industry and its contribution to the Indian economy.

"PE & VC clearly have become anchors of the economy and playing a structural role in economy... it provides the right momentum to the Indian economy as investee companies create new jobs as well as give through increased tax revenues," Sinha said in a statement.

However, he added that for the industry to grow, the country needs more capital as well as a talent pool.

The two-day conclave is being attended by nearly 80 private equity, 65 venture capital funds, 50 Limited Partners and Family Offices, 20 start-ups and 15 government representatives.

Sanjay Nayar, CEO, KKR India, said that corporate governance is vital for the industry.

"Some of the government's reforms may seem painful in the short-term but provide a gain in the long term," he added.

According to Sanjeev Sanyal, Principal Economic Advisor to the Centre, free markets should be allowed to function in an appropriate way in the country.

While discussing where we are lagging behind, he said: "The bureaucracy, judiciary, and the private sector... all lack correct lenses."

Source: IANS

Tue, 18 Feb 2020 10:52:28 +0530
Ram Temple

A group of Muslim residents in Ayodhya has sent a letter to the temple trust saying that construction of the Ram temple on the graves of Muslims will be a violation of 'Sanatan Dharma'.

The letter has been sent by M.R. Shamshad, the advocate who represented the Muslim side in the Ayodhya title dispute case.

The letter, which was sent on February 15, said a graveyard exists around the demolished Babri Masjid and that Muslims, who lost their lives in the 1885 riots in Ayodhya, were buried there.

The letter further said: "As per recorded facts, 75 Muslims were killed in the riots of 1885 and they were buried in an existing graveyard around the mosque. Even thereafter, this land was used as a graveyard."

"The Central government has not considered the issue of not using the graveyard of Muslims for constructing the grand temple of Lord Ram. It has violated 'dharma'," the letter stated.

The letter is addressed to senior Supreme Court lawyer K. Parasaran, who is heading the trust, as well as the other trustees, and asks them to consider whether it is acceptable to have a Ram temple over the graves of Muslims.

"Now you all trustees are persons of eminence in contemporary India and have the best knowledge and experience in the field of Hindu/Sanatan religion and practice. In view of religious scriptures of Sanatan Dharma you need to consider whether the temple of Lord Ram Janamsthan can have foundation on the graves of Muslims? This is a decision that the management of the Trust has to take," the letter said.

Talking to local reporters, Shamshad explained: "The fact is that about five acre of this 67-acre land is a graveyard. When the acquisition had taken place in 1993, after the demolition of the Babri mosque, the plan was to build a temple, mosque, library -- everything within this 67 acre."

He said that the government has completely ignored the claim of Muslims in 67-acre land.

The letter also refers to the Ismail Faruqui verdict of 1994, which had said that the 'disputed structure was surrounded by a graveyard on three sides'.

Referring to the judgement, the letter said, "After the 1994 judgement of the SC in the Ismail Faruqui case, the dispute between mosque and Ram temple remained confined to 1,480 sq yards".

The letter also referred to the Acquisition of Certain Area at Ayodhya Act (1993), saying that the exclusion of mosque from the land is "uncalled for".

"With all humility and respect to Lord Ram, I request you not to use the land of about 4-5 acres in which the graves of Muslims are there, around the demolished mosque. The graves may not be visible today considering the fact that the entire area has been differently treated with since 1948 when forcibly an idol of Lord Ram was placed inside the mosque and when, in 1992, the mosque was demolished," it added.

Shamshad, who represented Iqbal Ansari, one of the Muslim litigants in the title dispute case, said he wrote the letter on behalf of multiple Ayodhya residents.

It may be recalled that on February 5, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the formation of a temple trust to oversee the construction of the Ram temple.

he Prime Minister had stated that the entire 67-acre Ram Janambhoomi complex land will be given to the trust for the construction of the Ram temple.

"While deciding the 1,480 sq yard dispute in November 2019, the Supreme Court left the Central government with all the powers to dispose the said land the way it wanted," the letter said.

The SC, in its November 9 Ayodhya verdict, had stated that either the Central government allots five acres in the 67-acre complex or the state government locate an alternate site at a "suitable prominent place" for the construction of the mosque.

Many Muslim leaders were upset with the government deciding to use the entire 67-acre for the temple, and allotting an alternative land elsewhere for the mosque.

Source : IANS

Tue, 18 Feb 2020 10:45:02 +0530
Former MP Bengali actor

Mumbai,: Renowned Bengali film actor and former Trinamool Congress MP Tapas Pal died following a cardiac arrest in Mumbai on Tuesday, family sources said. The 61-year-old actor is survived by his wife and a daughter, who he had gone to visit in the western metropolis. Pal passed away in a hospital near Juhu, where he breathed his last around 4 a.m.

Pal was elected to the Lok Sabha from the Krishnanagar constituency in 2009 and 2014. Prior to that he became a member of the West Bengal Assembly twice in 2001 and 2006 by winning from Alipore seat.
Tapas Pal etched a permanent place in the heart of Bengali cine lovers with his memorable and soulful portrayal of lead roles in blockbusters like Dadar Kirti (1980), Saheb (1981), Bhalobasa Bhalobasa (1985), Gurudakshina (1987) and Anurager Choyan (1986). However, the last few years of his life saw Pal land in controversies. In 2014, a video of his speech warning Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) men to be "beware" of him as he won't spare them "and destroy your entire clan" and "unleash my boys to rape your women" became viral, causing widespread outrage across the nation. He was also arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation on December 30, 2016, in connection with the multi-crore rupee Rose Valley Chit Fund scam, and got bail after remaining 13 months in incarceration.

"Tapas Paul. 1958-2020, today. King of Bangla cinema. Former Trinamool MP and MLA. Travel well, my friend," tweeted his party colleague and Trinamool MP Derek O'Brien. "Sad news of the demise of Mr. #TapasPal, a popular actor of Bengali films and former TMC MP. I pray to God to grant the departed soul a place at my feet and the family to bear this profound grief. Humble tribute!" Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan tweeted in Hindi.


Tue, 18 Feb 2020 10:41:21 +0530
UP Board exam begins

Lucknow:  Uttar Pradesh Secondary Education Board class 10, and 12 examinations begin today at 7,784 centres across the state and will end on March 6.

Over 56 lakh candidates are appearing for the Board class 10, and 12 examinations, almost 30 lakh class 10 students will be taking the elementary Hindi and 26 lakh class 12 students are appearing for general Hindi exam on the first day.

In class 10, out of 30 lakh candidates who registered online, 20,789 are appearing as private candidates. Out of 26 lakh candidates who had registered for class 12 exams, 69,983 are private candidates. This year, the State has made extensive provisions to check the copying and nab the copying mafias facilitating  mass cheating.

The state government has set up a state-level 'monitoring and control room' for CCTV surveillance, nearly 2 lakh CCTV cameras have been installed at 7,784 centres in 75 districts.

The Board (UPSEB) has identified 938 centres as 'sensitive' and 395 as 'hyper-sensitive' examination centers and these centers use colour coded answer copies. In addition the class 10 and 12 will be given pink - yellow and green - blue answer copies which cannot be replaced by unauthorized person.

In addition government has also launched a Twitter, control room helpline numbers, e-mail id and toll free numbers for immediate redressal of complaints and queries


Tue, 18 Feb 2020 10:38:41 +0530
Tendulkar wins Laureus Sp

Berlin: Legendary batsman Sachin Tendulkar has won the greatest Laureus Sporting Moment Award in the last 20 years. The moment, titled 'Carried on the shoulders of a nation', describing the moment when Team India members carried Tendulkar on their shoulders across the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai following their 2011 World Cup victory, received the maximum number of votes by the fans. 
In his sixth appearance in the showpiece event, Tendulkar and the Indian team finally tasted success as they defeated Sri Lanka by six wickets in the final. It was watched live by an estimated 135 million fans across India on April 2, 2011.

Tendulkar, widely regarded as one of the greatest batsmen in the history of cricket, was carried on the shoulders by the Indian team players. He had made a lap of honour in front of raucous cheers, shedding tears of joy after achieving such a momentous victory in his home city. "It's incredible. The feeling of winning the world cup was beyond what words can express. How many times you get an event happening where there are no mixed opinions. Very rarely the entire country celebrates," the 46-year-old said after receiving the trophy from former Australian skipper Steve Waugh handed the trophy to Tendulkar at a glittering ceremony on Monday evening.

"And this is a reminder of how powerful sport is and what magic it does to our lives. Even now when I watch that (moment), it has stayed with me."Tennis legend Brois Becker, who had announced the winner, then asked Tendulkar to share the emotions he felt at that time and the Master Blaster put in perspective how important it was for him to hold that trophy. "My journey started in 1983 when I was 10 years old. India had won the World Cup. I did not understand the significance and just because everybody was celebrating, I also joined the party," said Tendulkar.

"But somewhere I knew something special has happened to the country and I wanted to experience it one day and that's how my journey began. "It was the proudest moment of my life, holding that trophy which I chased for 22 years but I never lost hope. I was merely lifting that trophy on behalf of my countrymen," he added. Tendulkar, who is regarded as one of the greatest batsmen to have played the game of cricket, also shared the impact South Africa's first black President and freedom advocate Nelson Mandela had on him. Tendulkar revealed he met him when he was just 19-years-old.

"His hardship did not affect his leadership. Out of many messages he left, the most important I felt was that sport has got the power to unite everyone."Today, sitting in this room with so many athletes, some of them did not have everything but they made the best of everything they had. I thank them for inspiring youngsters to pick a sport of their choice and chase their dreams. This trophy belongs to all of us, it's not just about me," said Tendulkar. Apart from Tendulkar, former England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff was the other cricketer who featured in the list of greatest Laureus Sporting Moment.


Tue, 18 Feb 2020 10:38:12 +0530
Creating sustainable busi

As we move ahead with the next phase of growth and dynamic changes in sectors across the spectrum from consumer-related businesses to infrastructure in India, a focus on long-term sustainable business models that can deliver both growth and cashflows will be essential.

Sectors from retail to energy have seen old business models challenged and, in some cases, upended. As businesses, investors and the government look at the next phase of growth, a focus on the sustainability of the business in the medium to long-term is vital, besides promoting new business models and technologies.

Regardless of what sectors we look at, the two fundamental questions to ask are whether the business can realistically make profits? And, who will pay? These two questions need to be asked by investors and policymakers alike.

The above discussion applies across the spectrum from energy to retail. For example, when pricing the sustainability of models in the energy space, a focus on the entire supply chain is crucial. For instance, a focus on the cost of energy production is important when one looks at the business model, but if there are significant changes required to the grid and the distribution networks, then the question in terms who finances the concomitant infrastructure changes assumes great importance. Mainly, low-cost energy that can't be consumed isn't a sustainable business model.

The focus needs to be on a model that can price in all the costs involved and, more importantly, access the financing required. Access to the funding required immediately translates into creating business models that focus on the source, price, and availability of financing. For an energy business, the ability to pinpoint the infrastructure needed and the funding source will be vital even as India looks to transform its energy production combined with a much more significant focus on renewables and natural gas.

The same argument applies to brand building space. Creating a disruptive consumer brand is one that has attracted attention. While creating a great product is a critical component, as consumer-facing businesses will admit in selling to consumers, one of the biggest drivers along with product quality, if not the biggest, is the distribution network. Therefore, as investors look at the Indian market, a focus on understanding businesses that have deep and entrenched distribution networks will be crucial towards creating sustainable and profitable companies in the long run.

To further elaborate on the point above, a great product will appeal to a consumer if the value delivery in that consumer segment is over and above what the market offers. However, the long-term sustainability of the business is primarily driven by the capacity to reach a broad consumer base through an extensive distribution network to create the economies of scale required. Strategies that allow for the creation of extensive distribution networks and ensuring that the costs involved are priced into the model is essential.

Mainly, the focus must be not just on what can be sold, but more importantly, how? Consumption habits in India, including the propensity to consume online, can be significantly different from those in other markets. Success in India may be driven through the capacity to create India-centric business models. While it is true that for new models there is a significant challenge in pinpointing exact business models that will work, the critical aspect that needs to be kept in mind is a constant focus on profitability and cashflows is required in addition to innovation.

Additionally, regardless of what sector one is in, it is essential to realise that India is a very different market from the more developed economies. While India is a large market at an aggregate level, per capita incomes are still significantly lower than some other developed economies. Therefore, business models, whether in infrastructure or consumer side, need to price in the complex dynamics that at times can be the difference between success and failure in India.

The next phase of investing and policymaking in India needs to have a renewed focus on creating India centric business models. For sustainable cashflow generating profitable models, having a broad view of the market structure and pricing in all the costs involved will be crucial.

source: IANS

Tue, 18 Feb 2020 10:30:09 +0530
Swaminarayan College Col

Gandhinagar:The Gujarat Police have arrested all the four accused in the February 11 Swaminarayan girls college case where dozens of students were allegedly forced to strip by the college staff. According to sources, the police arrested Principal Rita Raninga, advocate Anita, peon Naina, rector of the girl's hostel Ramila from the Sahajanand Girls Institute (SSGI), which offers graduate and under-graduate courses.

The college suspended the principal, the hostel rector and the peon after the police registered charges against them for allegedly forcing over 60 girls to remove their undergarments to check if they were menstruating.

The accused were arrested under Indian Penal Code Sections 384 (extortion), 355 (assault with intent to dishonour a person) and 506 (criminal intimidation).

According to girl students' allegations, over 60 students were taken to the washroom of the hostel, located on the SSGI campus, by a woman staffer and made to remove their undergarments to check if they were menstruating. Meanwhile, after the National Commission for Women's (NCW) stern actions, SSGI trustees have assured the panel no such convenience would be caused to girl students in future.

Tue, 18 Feb 2020 10:06:57 +0530
Rajiv Bansal takes charge

New Delhi: Senior bureaucrat Rajiv Bansal here on Monday assumed the charge as Air India's Chairman and Managing Director.  He succeeds Ashwani Lohani.
Bansal, a 1988 batch Nagaland cadre officer, was given the additional charge as Air India's CMD in 2017.

Tue, 18 Feb 2020 10:05:53 +0530
Czech Republic confirms s

Prague: The Czech Ministry of Agriculture on Monday confirmed the second outbreak of avian influenza this year in the central Czech region of Pardubice.Over 1,00,000 poultry will have to be killed in order to contain the outbreak of the highly pathogenic subtype of H5N8, the ministry said in a statement. On Sunday, a poultry breeder in the village of Slepotice in Pardubice reported 1,300 deaths in a group of 7,500 turkeys over the weekend, the Xinhua news agency reported.

The birds had reportedly also shown symptoms of avian influenza, which was later confirmed by the State Veterinary Institute in Prague. Besides, there are also some 1,30,000 broiler chickens on the farm."The entire company premises were closed immediately, a disinfection loop will be installed at the entrance to prevent the disease from spreading outside the premises. This evening or tomorrow morning, veterinarians will start dealing with the infected poultry, which will then be safely disposed of in the sanitation plant," said Agriculture Minister Miroslav Toman.

The remaining birds will also be killed and further preventive measures will be taken, the ministry said.The first outbreak of bird flu this year was reported in January in the region of Vysocina, also in the central part of the country. The two cases are the first string of avian influenza outbreaks in the Czech Republic in three years.



Tue, 18 Feb 2020 10:00:22 +0530
Mohan Bhagwat calls Gandh

New Delhi: Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, better known as the Mahatma across the globe was a 'kattar sanatani' Hindu or so claims the RSS boss Mohan Bhagwat. In a book release event in New Delhi on Gandhi, Bhagwat called the father of the nation an 'unapologetic Hindu', someone who wasn't 'ashamed' of his religious identity, a comment that was seen as a dig by the RSS supremo. "He walked and travelled on train and connected to common people and then he thought about 'Bharatiyata'. This is the reason he was not ashamed of being a Hindu. He said he was a 'kattar sanatani' Hindu. His approach was to accept difference in diverse religions and find similarities," Bhagwat said. Speaking at the event, Bhagwat said in another 20 years, one can foresee India as Gandhi saw. He also stressed on Gandhi's honesty, vision and truth.

He released the book 'Gandhi Ko Samajhne Ka Yahi Samay' penned by JS Rajput, a former NCERT Chief and someone who both the Sangh and the BJP are equally fond of. The Modi government nominated him to be the representative to the Executive Board of UNESCO. With Rajput, an educationist by his side, Bhagwat said, "In education, we should tell the truth. One should not teach what he thinks is convenient. Only truth should be taught." Though he backed Bhagwat's claim of Gandhi's trust in all thing 'sanatan', Rajput asserted his belief in diversity of religions. "How did Gandhi become Gandhi? He searched for ancient 'sanatan' ethos and found that that all religions are equal," Rajput told the audience.

This hinduisation of the Mahatma seems to serve the larger Sangh Parivar's intent to associate the father of the nation with the 'sanatan' dharma in face of political assault from the Opposition led by the Congress that rakes up phrases like "idea of India" and "Gandhi's India" to counter the BJP and its ideological mentor Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.



Tue, 18 Feb 2020 09:11:45 +0530
China reports 1 886 new c

Beijing: Chinese health authority on Tuesday said it received reports of 1,886 new confirmed cases of novel coronavirus infection and 98 deaths on Monday from 31 provincial-level regions and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps.

Among the deaths, 93 were in Hubei Province, three in Henan, and one in Hebei and Hunan respectively, according to the National Health Commission, the Xinhua news agency reported.


Tue, 18 Feb 2020 09:06:46 +0530
Indian markets closed low

Mumbai: Indian markets closed lower as fresh growth worries emerged after global rating agency Moody's revised down India's growth forecast. Sensex lost over 200 points on Monday, led by fall in banking and telecom stocks over the SC order in the AGR case. Investors have been worried after Moody's slashed India's growth forecast to 5.4 per cent for 2020 from 6.6 per cent on slower than expected economic recovery. Moody's also cut 2021 growth projections to 5.8 per cent from 6.7 per cent earlier. The market reacted adversely as the apex court had pulled up telcos for not paying the adjusted gross revenue (AGR) liability, leaving the telcos with limited options to get relief from legal or government sources.

According to Motilal Oswal, the recent SC order could have "far-reaching serious ramifications on the telecom and banking sectors with ripple effects on the overall economy". Bank of Baroda, SBI, PNB, Yes Bank and RBL Bank fell over 1 to 5 per cent while Bharti Airtel, and Vodafone Idea also ended in the red. Vinod Nair of Geojit Financial Services said: "Domestic growth concerns seem to be back in the market as indicated by a recent downgrade by Moody's. Banks having significant exposure in Telecom players continue to be in the limelight as lack of funds could delay the payments and degrade the quality of banks balance sheet." "Continuous rise in Coronavirus cases has forced major Asian peers to downgrade their growth outlook which could cause a ripple effect in other nations in the first quarter while recovery is expected from the second," he added.

Sensex closed 202.05 points or 0.49 per cent lower at 41,055.69 after falling as much as 41,030.58. All the sectors ended in red except IT with PSU banks being the biggest loser followed by Pharma, Realty, Metals, and Media. The banking stocks came under pressure after the Supreme Court refused to accept Vodafone Idea's proposal to pay adjusted gross revenue dues in a staggered manner.

Besides, investors globally continue to trade cautiously as Coronavirus related deaths climbed past 17,000 and total cases jumped to 70,500. However, Asian stock markets saw some recovery after China said it will announce measures to arrest economic slump owing to the virus outbreak.

Mon, 17 Feb 2020 19:00:25 +0530
Air India s divestment
New Delhi: Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Monday expressed confidence that this time around, there will be no problem in Air India's divestment. He was speaking here at an event held to distribute the "Letters of Appreciation" issued by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the staff of Air India who conducted evacuation operation of stranded Indians from China's Wuhan city, the epicentre of the Coronavirus outbreak.
The Minister's comments assume significance since the last attempt to divest stake in Air India had failed.
According to the minister, the divestment process has received a healthy response.The government expects to complete sale of Air India in the first half of the next fiscal, according to the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM). Last month, DIPAM had invited an Expression of Interest (EoI) from potential investors for selling 100 per cent of Air India and its stake in two subsidiaries with easy bidding norms of debt and eligibility, in its second attempt to privatise the debt-laden state-run airline.
The deadline for submission of the EoI for 100 per cent divestment in Air India and the airline's stake in low-cost unit Air India Express and airport services company AISATS is March 17, according to a preliminary information memorandum issued by DIPAM on Monday. Since the huge debt had proved unattractive for potential bidders, now, the government has relaxed bidding norms to coax investors to buy the airline. The bidding party will have to bear with only Rs 23,286 crore of the total Rs 60,000 crore debt of Air India. As for eligibility, the lead member of a consortium can have 26 per cent shareholding. The earlier criterion set a holding of 51 per cent in a consortium. The minimum shareholding in a consortium has also been eased to 10 per cent, potentially enabling more entities to bid as part of a consortium.The net worth for eligible bidders has been relaxed to Rs 3,500 crore from Rs 5,000 crore.
Furthermore, the consolidated business in the past had a mix of real estate and aviation interests. However, this time, the government is carving out real estate assets and other businesses which are not integral to the core airline business into a separate SPV along with part transfer of certain debt and liabilities (modalities have been worked out) thereby resizing the balance sheet. The government had earlier struggled to privatise the loss-making airline due to a lack of interest from bidders. One reason for the failure was that the government was unwilling to fully exit the airline, looking to sell only 76 per cent stake.
Mon, 17 Feb 2020 18:53:47 +0530
gold robbed in Ludhiana

Chandigarh: In a daring heist, five armed robbers on Monday decamped with 30 kg gold from the industrial city Ludhiana in Punjab within 20 minutes after tying staff members with a rope. The stolen gold is worth Rs 12 crore. The dacoity was reported at India Infoline Finance Limited (IIFL) on the Gill Road around 11am. The crime was recorded on CCTVs, police said. The crime spot is located just opposite to a Crime Investigation Agency's office.

The IIFL staff raised an alarm when the robbers fled, Police Commissioner Rakesh Aggarwal told the media. At the time of the incident, five employees were present in the office and no customer was there. This is the second major robbery in Ludhiana in the past 20 days. On January 29, four armed assailants looted two kg gold jewellery from V.K. Jewellers.

Mon, 17 Feb 2020 18:47:39 +0530
AIADMK govt will protect

Chennai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswami on Monday said the AIADMK government will not allow any action that would affect Muslim brothers and sisters. Stressing that the government will protect the interests of minorities, Palaniswami appealed to Muslim outfits to reject false propaganda and malicious rumours and cooperate for social harmony. He was speaking in the Assembly on the protests by Muslim outfits here against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and the recent police action against the protestors.

Palaniswami said about 150 protestors on Monday have assembled in the Washermenpet locality and protesting against the CAA and police protection has been provided to prevent any untoward incidents. He appealed to the protestors to reject false propaganda and malicious rumours and cooperate towards social harmony. Recalling the recent police action against the Muslim protests against CAA here, Palaniswami said the community leaders on February 14, 2020 had assured the police that they had no plans to hold protests on that day and added that they plan to hold a protest on February 23, 2020.

However later that day, about 300 Muslims including women assembled on the roads and shouted slogans against CAA. The protestors didn't heed to the advice of the police that it was unauthorised protest and shouted slogans against the central and state governments. Palaniswami said the police arrested 40 protesting men and were asked to board a bus. Inside the bus the arrested men created ruckus and also damaged the vehicle's windshield. Subsequently Muslims in large numbers gathered on the roads without any permission and obstructed the traffic.

They also threw stones, chappals and water bottles at the police injuring some police personnel, Palaniswami said. While the police had erected barricades to prevent the protestors some outsiders came in and instigated the protestors who in turn broke the barricade cordon and started protesting on the road blocking the traffic.  "When the police tried to arrest the protestors, the protestors threw bottles, stones and chappals at them," Palaniswami said.

He said the police arrested 82 protestors who in turn damaged the windshields of the vehicle carrying them. Later, on that night the police held talks with Muslim leaders and the latter agreed to stop their protest and the arrested persons were let out. "Instead of dispersing the protestors continued their protest shouting slogans throughout the night," Palaniswami said. Pointing out to various protests held in the state in the past peacefully with police protection, Palaniswami said some undesirable elements are formenting trouble.

Meanwhile the Speaker P. Dhanapal rejected DMK's demand of passing A resolution against CAA.


Mon, 17 Feb 2020 18:07:12 +0530

Mumbai:The latest Filmfare Awards have disappointed many netizens. People have taken to social media to express their dissatisfaction with the winners, and #BoycottFilmfareAwards has been trending on Twitter since Monday morning.

While fans tweeted their ire, lyricist Manoj Muntashir declared that he is heartbroken over not winning an award for penning the heart-wrenching track "Teri mitti" ("Kesari"). He took to Twitter to announce that he would not be attending any award ceremonies for the rest of his life.

Manoj penned an emotional note: "Dear Awards, even if I try all my life...I won't be able to write a better line than 'Tu Kahti Thee Tera Chaand Hoon Main Aur Chaand Humesha Rahta Hai'. You failed to honor the words which made millions of Indians cry and care for their motherland. It would be a great disrespect to my art if I still continue caring for you. So here I bid you a final good bye. I officially announce- I won't attend any award show till I breathe my last. Alvida."

The mood has been similar for many fans.

Accusing the awards of propagating nepotism and awarding actors and filmmakers who are star kids, a user wrote: "They have to promote betis some renowned people Akhtar, Bhatt and Pandey... nepotism rules in Bollywood... so sad that quality cinema does not matter..#BoycottFilmfareAwards #BoycottFilmFare"

Expressing discontent over the sweep by "Gully Boy", a user tweeted: "Sack full of #FilmfareAwards to that NANGA Gutter boy.. This sold out #Bollywood is responsible for the downfall of our new generation.. Govt must look into this.. #BoycottFilmfareAwards".

Another user wrote: "Worst filmfare awards... some splendid movies were ignored. was never expected from such a jury.. is it only to please d boss @karanjohar or to please @RanveerOfficial @deepikapadukone. 'Teri Mitti' song... super30 movie.. ShushantSingh.. ignored #BoycottFilmfareAwards @akshaykumar".

Another tweet reads: "#BoycottFilmfareAwards they simply ignored #SushantSinghRajput who gave two powerful performances #Sonchiriya #Chhichhore, song of these movies are far better than gully boy and #NaveenPoliShetty #Acid he didn't get even any nomination.. Chhi chhi #FilmfareAwards2020".

On Muntashir, netizens came up in support of him because "Teri mitti" is a song that touched hearts of almost all Bollywood buffs, especially due to its lyrics.

Commenting on his post, a user wrote: "@filmfare and @jiteshpillaai You literally killed faith of many Indians and lyricist by nit giving award to #TeriMitti. This song is best of the decade not only of this year. Rap songs winning over such beautiful meaningful and soulful song."

Netizens continued to express their unhappiness and the hashtag #BoycottFilmfareAwards continued to trend throughout Monday afternoon

Mon, 17 Feb 2020 16:46:55 +0530
Nirbhaya convicts to han

New Delhi:The four death-row convicts in Nirbhaya rape and murder case will now be hanged on March 3 at 6 a.m., a local court here announced on Monday.

Additional Sessions Judge Dharmendra Rana pronounced the order on a petition seeking issuance of fresh date for execution of death warrants in the case pertaining to the gang-rape and murder of a 23-year-old woman in the national capital in December 2012.

Mon, 17 Feb 2020 16:35:52 +0530
Sara Ali Khan interview

New Delhi: Sara Ali Khan was seen in the Capital recently walking the runway for designers Abu Jani-Sandeep Khosla, at the 15th edition of the Blenders Pride Fashion Tour. In a candid chat she shares her love for cinema, aesthetics and a work-life balance.


How do you feel about your association with the 15th edition of the Blenders Pride Fashion Tour?

Sara: I think I am very lucky. It is a big, great and grand event. I am privileged to be able to walk the ramp for people that I trust so much personally, professionally and otherwise.

What is the one thing you're really proud of?

Sara: I am proud of having a sense of self-explanatory films, and yet being very strong. I love my job, and I like the fact that I am not defined by it. But that doesn't take away my love or obsession from it.

You have had a series of hit films in your kitty, how do you feel?

Sara: I am privileged, humbled, excited, motovated.

Is it maximalism over minimalism for you?

Sara: Minimalistic is best. I think they one can standout being who you are. And that's what it should always be about.

Your mum (Amrita Singh) is close to the designer duo Abu Jani- Sandeep Khosla, how does it feel to be their showstopper?

Sara: It is amazing to walk the ramp for them. I don't think I would walk the runway for anybody else. They are family and the best in the business.

How do you feel about the style and aesthetics of the designer duo?

Sara: It is outstanding. I think the way both of them put together the "avant garde" and the "vintage" is so organic and so true to who they are. It is very exciting for me to walk the runway for them.

Too much paparazzi or too little... what is your preference? How does someone strike a balance?

Sara: It does not matter what my preferences are. I cannot change it. So, the way to strike a balance is to know that it is a part of your job. And don't let great reviews make you fly too high, also don't let bad review let you down. You can't change what it's gonna be, so why even ask?

Mon, 17 Feb 2020 16:28:22 +0530
Rohingya to Rakhine state

Dhaka: Bangladesh Foreign Minister Abul Kalam Abdul Momen on Sunday says "Our main target is to repatriate Rohingya to their original homeland, Myanmar's Rakhine state,"

The country may drop its previous plans to move 100,000 Rohingya refugees to a remote island located in the Bay of Bengal. Foreign Minister Abul Kalam Abdul Momen told In a meeting with Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh at Dhaka

Lauding recent development projects on the islet of Bhasan Char and plans to turn it into a business hub and "new Bangladesh" Momen said Bangladeshi citizens left homeless due to river erosion or other reasons should instead be settled there. 

Bhasan Char, a remote islet where the Bangladesh announced in 2018 it would resettle 100,000 Rohingya refugees who fled persecution in Myanmar, is measured 15,000 acres at low tide and 10,000 acres at high tide, according to the government sources. 

The scheme had elicited concerns that the site was less than ideal. Dhaka since said it undertook projects to improve living conditions on the islet. 

The Rohingya, described by the UN as the world's most persecuted people, have faced heightened fears of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in 2012.

Mon, 17 Feb 2020 16:20:40 +0530
oyo hotels reports 2019

New Delhi: Monday on consolidated reports, OYO Hotels and Homes the world's third-largest hotel chain reported a revenue $951 million for the year 2018-19 increasing from $211 million in the previous year. 

Due to rise in expenses net loss of the company also increased the year to to $335 million, the company reported in a statement.

"The inherent costs of establishing new markets, including those related to talent, market-entry, operational expenses among others, resulted in an increase in OYO's net loss percentage in the near-term, which grew from 25 per cent in FY18 to 35 percent of revenue in FY19 to $335 million," it said.

In the financial year  2017-18 the net losses were at 24% of its revenue, while in 2018-19, it stood at 14% of the revenue.Its losses in India, however declined to $83 million, as per the company. 

"In mature markets like India, the focus of the company is to maintain strong brand preference while ensuring we have a clear path to profitability, enabled by accretive growth, operational excellence and strong gross margin. In this context, in 2019, business operations in India contributed to nearly 63.5 per cent or $604 million of this consolidated figure as the business clocked a 2.9x (y-o-y) growth," it said.

OYO's revenue from India in fiscal 2018-19 stood at $604 million. Nearly 36.5 per cent or $348 million of the revenue was contributed by the company's operations outside India, primarily China, it said.

Mon, 17 Feb 2020 16:04:45 +0530
Navdeep Saini New Zealand

Hamilton:  Gearing up for New Zealand Test Navdeep Saini the young Indian Pace bowler is anticipating to make his dream alive by winning as many games as he can for India. 

"I am happy to be playing at the highest level. Like every other player, it was also my dream which has now come true. I just want to carry on with my performances," Saini said during a conversation with fellow teammate Mohammed Shami.

He made his international debut in December 2019 during the West Indies tour, has also been included for the first in the Test squad and is gearing up to face New Zealand in red-ball cricket. For Team India Saini has picked 5 and 13 wickets respectively at five ODIs and 10 T20Is. 

Saini, who When asked about how he would help underprivileged children, Saini said:"I have faced similar situations in my childhood, so I know the hardships," and  "I will try to help them in every possible manner. I have provided financial aid, like providing them with kits to two-three children I have come across till now." he added

Mon, 17 Feb 2020 15:28:25 +0530
AAP to launch one month l

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is all set to extend throughout the country with a goal of connecting with one crore people. As part of the extension plan, senior party leader Gopal Rai said on Sunday, starting February 23, the party will launch a one-month massive campaign in all states.

Mon, 17 Feb 2020 15:10:30 +0530
Rahul remains at No 2 K

Dubai: India's K.L. Rahul maintained his second spot whereas skipper Virat Kohli moved down to the 10th spot in the latest ICC T20I rankings for batsmen released on Monday. Rahul was in great from in the five-match T20I series against New Zealand which India won 5-0. He had scored 224 runs at an average of 56 and played an instrumental role in India's triumph over the Black Caps. Kohli, on the other hand, could manage only 105 runs in the four T20I innings against the Kiwis.

The Indian skipper has been replaced by England captain Eoin Morgan who scored 136 runs from three innings against South Africa and helped them win the series 2-1. He went past Kohli and his deputy Rohit Sharma to claim the ninth position. Quinton de Kock, Morgan's opposite number, has climbed as many as 10 spots to occupy the 16th position, after having registered scores of 31, 65 and 35. Babar Azam remains at the top of the rankings, followed by Rahul and Australia captain Aaron Finch, while the bowling and the all-rounders charts are led by Afghanistan's Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi respectively.

England have retained their third position in the team rankings and their series win against South Africa has taken them within two points of second-placed Australia. India come fourth in the list topped by Pakistan.

source: ians

Mon, 17 Feb 2020 15:02:52 +0530
This time no problem in

New Delhi: Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Monday exhumed confidence that this time around there will be no problem in Air India's divestment. Puri was speaking here at an event held to distribute the "Letters of Appreciation" issued by Prime Minister to the staff of Air India who conducted evacuation operation of the stranded Indians from the Wuhan city. The Minister's comments assume significance since the last attempt to divest a stake in Air India had failed.

According to the minister, the divestment process has received a healthy response. The government expects to complete sale of Air India in the first half of the next fiscal, according to Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM).


Mon, 17 Feb 2020 14:59:39 +0530
Fire in Mumbai GST Bhavan

Mumbai: A massive fire broke out Monday morning on the ground's top floors plus eight-story GST Bhavan here at Byculla, officials said. There are no reports of any casualties in the incident so far, and further details are awaited, said the BMC Disaster Control.

Mon, 17 Feb 2020 14:53:17 +0530
AI predict heart attacks

London:Researchers have used Artificial Intelligence (AI) for the first time to instantly and accurately measure blood flow. The results were found to be able to predict chances of death, heart attack and stroke, and can be used by doctors to help recommend treatments which could improve a patient's blood flow, according to the study, published in the journal Circulation. 

"We have tried to measure blood flow manually before, but it is tedious and time-consuming, taking doctors away from where they are needed most, with their patients," said study researcher James Moon from University College London in the UK. Heart disease is the leading global cause of death and illness. Reduced blood flow, which is often treatable, is a common symptom of many heart conditions. International guidelines therefore recommend a number of assessments to measure a patient's blood flow, but many are invasive and carry a risk.

Non-invasive blood flow assessments are available, including Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance (CMR) imaging, but up until now, the scan images have been incredibly difficult to analyse in a manner precise enough to deliver a prognosis or recommend treatment.

In the largest study of its kind, researchers took routine CMR scans from more than 1,000 patients and used a new automated artificial intelligence technique to analyse the images. By doing this, the teams were able to precisely and instantaneously quantify the blood flow to the heart muscle and deliver the measurements to the medical teams treating the patients.

By comparing the AI-generated blood flow results with the health outcomes of each patient, the team found that the patients with reduced blood flow were more likely to have adverse health outcomes including death, heart attack, stroke and heart failure.

The AI technique was therefore shown for the first time to be able to predict which patients might die or suffer major adverse events, better than a doctor could on their own with traditional approaches.

"The predictive power and reliability of the AI was impressive and easy to implement within a patient's routine care," said study researcher Kristopher Knott.

"This study demonstrates the growing potential of artificial intelligence-assisted imaging technology to improve the detection of heart disease and may move clinicians closer to a precision medicine approach to optimize patient care," said Peter Kellman, who developed the automated AI techniques to analyse the images that were used in the study.

Mon, 17 Feb 2020 14:50:39 +0530
robot assisted surgeries

Bengaluru: Larsen & Toubro (L&T) expects by 2025, 50% of all surgeries to be robot-assisted the company informed at 'Experience Walk-through' as part of a symposium on advancement in robot-assisted surgery. 

Infrastructure and engineering conglomerate Larsen & Toubro (L&T) organised to enable participants to get hands-on experience with cutting-edge products and solutions in the medical and medical equipment field.

Experts in the field including Professor Kesh Kesavadas from University of Illinois and the inventor of RoSS Robotic Surgery Simulator, the world's first stand-alone training system for da Vinci surgical system, and Dr. Ramalingam, from PSG Institute of Medical Science and Research, Coimbatore, expect the percentage of robot-assisted surgeries to jump to 50 per cent by 2025 from around 10 per cent today.

"Training surgeons to become proficient in the use of robots is a major challenge in India. Innovative low-cost training systems such as the Endo-Training kit and new VR/AR based training simulators such as RoSS promises to address the needs of the fast-growing clinical robotic sector," said Professor Kesh Kesavadas of the University of Illinois in the US.

The symposium was dedicated to discussing the possibilities and advancements in the field of Medical Robotics.

Mon, 17 Feb 2020 14:39:42 +0530
Tejas Kangana s 1st look

Mumbai: Kangana Ranauts first look from film “"Tejas"” as an Air Force pilot goes viral. On Monday morning Ronnie Screwvala's production house RSVP movies shared Kangana’s posing in front of a fighter plane on twitter, as a result of which, the hashtags #KanganaRanaut and #Tejas are trending on Twitter

The tweet reads: "Soaring high into the sky! Presenting the first look of #KanganaRanaut as an Air force Pilot in #Tejas. @KanganaTeam @RonnieScrewvala #SarveshMewara @nonabains."

as a result of which, the hashtags #KanganaRanaut and #Tejas are trending on Twitter

After the success of the movie "Uri: The Surgical Strike"  released in January last year, "Tejas" will be RSVP's second film Directed by Sarvesh Mewara,  which pays a tribute to the Indian military.

"#Tejas it's not only a fighter jet but also Kangana's name in the film, she always wanted to play a soldier and her dream came trues, after Manikarnika another war film but this time action will be in the sky, Jai Hind." Kangana's sister Rangoli Chandel tweeted.

Kangana Ranauts first look as an Air Force pilot in her upcoming flick "Tejas" has taken the internet by storm.

Mon, 17 Feb 2020 14:15:30 +0530
Kareena Kapoor Khan

New Delhi: Being part of the grand finale of Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2020 Kareena Kapoor Khan says she loves walking in the ramp and says she may be a hidden model.

Wearing bright green shimmery, off-shoulder, gown with a deep plunging neckline and flowy silhouette for designer Amit Aggarwal Karina was the showstopper on the ramp. "I love walking the ramp. Maybe I'm a hidden model. I get to meet such beautiful designers, wear their clothes, feel so special. I like it and I enjoy working with all of them," says Kareena. 

This is for the first time she appears for Amit, and was at was one of her favourite colours, Kareena says feeling very alive and sexy in the costumes. "The only one missing from the crowd is my husband (Saif Ai Khan). He should have come because I'm feeling fabulous, She said.

The bi-annual fashion event completes 20 years while Kareena has been a part of it since the last 11 years.

Mon, 17 Feb 2020 13:54:39 +0530
Bollywood actor Kunal

Mumbai: Talking about recent movie "Malang" Bollywood actor Kunal Kemmu says he takes vanity seriously, for its part of his job. 

The “Malang” became a talking point after its release February 7 , and his role Michael Rodriguez acclaimed positive response by the audience. If the actor acquired a brawny look with understated sinister edge for the role, he says he builds his body and look based on the requirement of the role.

"As an actor, I have to cater to the need, if the need is to look fit on-screen, I will do that. Yes, I understand that these days, everyone is trying to build their bodies a" six-pack abs and so on a" but we also have to understand that our audience gets inspired by actors, how they look, their body, clothes, and hairstyle. That is why we take vanity seriously, because it is part of our job," Kunal said.

"Malang" released on February 7 and it also features Aditya Roy Kapur, Anil Kapoor, Disha Patani, Elli AvrRam, Keith Sequeira, and Amruta Khanvilkar among others. 

His performance has received good reviews, and Kunal is happy. "I am thankful. I think people are kind to notice my performance. Initially, I was nervous to play the character because it was tricky. I had nothing to draw parallel with. The main story revolves around Aditya, Anil sir and Disha. I did my part with utmost honesty but I had no idea how it would be received. I am happy," he said.

Mon, 17 Feb 2020 13:26:07 +0530
Koneru Humpy wins Cairns

St Louis: India's woman chess Grand Master (GM) Koneru Humpy won the Cairns Cup tournament following a draw against compatriot Dronavalli Harika in the ninth and final round here.Humpy, who was crowned world champion in the last week of December 2019, finished the tournament with 6 points on Sunday (local time). Reigning world champion Ju Wenjun finished second with 5.5 points after winning her final round game against Russia's Alexandra Kosteniuk (5 points). Kosteniuk ended fourth in the tournament. Harika finished tied fifth with 4.5 points.

She had started off her campaign with a win over Carissa Yip of US but suffered a defeat in the second round to Mariya Muzychuk before bouncing back strongly. She played a solid game to hold world champion Wenjun Ju and then registered wins against Nana Dzagnidze and Alexandra Kosteniuk. A victory over Valentina Gunina in the penultimate round helped her pull ahead of the field and all she needed was a draw against Harika.

Last year, Koneru managed to win the 2019 women's world rapid chess championship after defeating China's Lei Yingjie in the final playoff match. Courtesy the win, Humpy would be gaining five ELO rating points and will move to the second spot in the world list.

Mon, 17 Feb 2020 13:14:54 +0530
Implement permanent comm

New Delhi: On Monday the Supreme Court ordered the central government to give all female officers in the Indian Army a permanent commission within three months. Rejecting the Center's statement of physiological limits and social norms to refuse them permanent commission and command posts, the court said it was troubling and contradictory to the equality principle. The bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud said women officers have brought laurels to the country in the past and the government needs to change its mindset to end the gender bias in the armed forces.

Mon, 17 Feb 2020 13:06:43 +0530
Preparations for Trump s

On Monday the Shiv Sena said the ongoing preparations for US President Donald Trump's visit reflect the Indians ' ' slave mentality. ' In an editorial in  ' Saamna ' mouthpiece, the party said Trump's India Trip is like a ' Badshah ' visit. "Before Independence, the British King or Queen used to visit one of their slave nations like India. It is similar to the kind of preparations made from taxpayers ' money for Trump's arriva'l., it said.

Mon, 17 Feb 2020 12:58:53 +0530
Convention on Migratory S

Gandhinagar: At the opening day of Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) Bollywood actor Randeep Hooda selected as Ambassadors for Migratory Species until 2023. 

Along with Randeep Hooda, Ian Redmond OBE International Conservationist and Sacha Dench explorer and environmentalist  were also named as Ambassadors for Migratory Species under the redesigned Ambassadors Programme launched at CMS held at COP13.  

Ian Redmond, the British Biologist has worked as Ambassador for the Convention on Migratory Species from 2010. For CMS Redmond represents terrestrial species, his contribution receives wider acceptance on his work on elephants and great apes. For CMS Redmond represents terrestrial species. 

"One of the most important things I can do in my role as an Ambassador for the UN Convention on Migratory Species is to talk about CMS, write about CMS and help to make documentaries and social media posts about what it does and which species it helps," he said.

Australian Sacha Dench is a pioneering conservationist, champion sportswoman and record-breaking adventurer who is known as the 'Human Swan' following her paramotor journey tracking the Bewick's Swan's migration from the Russian Arctic to the UK in 2016. Dench will be taking to the air for a trip of more than 6,000 miles later this year to track the migration route of ospreys from Scotland to Ghana.

She said: "By investigating the health of the wetlands, especially the plastics and pollutants getting into the water system, we could help all manner of migrating birds and other animals that depend on healthy wetlands and waterways, including ourselves." 

Just prior to being selected as an Ambassador, Dench lost her family home to Australia's catastrophic bushfires.

The launch of the redesigned programme took place on the opening day of the Thirteenth Session of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) here.

Randeep Hooda is an award-winning film and theatre actor, as well as a professional equestrian.

He has advocated for many environmental causes, including wildlife protection and animal welfare, and has generated public awareness for his beach clean-ups in Mumbai. 

"Migration is a part and parcel of the life cycle of many species. It is not only important for them but also important for our planet. They make this world a healthy and more diverse place. Many of them are under threat and we need to work jointly across the globe to protect them," he said.

Aquatic species are often the least discussed but undertake amazing migrations. Biodiversity underwater needs to be conserved. "As an Ambassador, I hope to take the conversation about conservation from conferences to local cooperation," Hooda added.

Mon, 17 Feb 2020 11:59:57 +0530
social media break ups

New York: Estrangement has become harder in the digital age and social media platfroms, such as Facebook and Instagram, can make break-ups much worse, say researchers. People who use features like unfriending, unfollowing or blocking still face troubling encounters with ex-partners online.

For the study, published in the journal 'Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction', the researchers recruited people who had upsetting encounter online within 18 months of parting and interviewed them for over an hour. 

"Even before social media break-ups sucked, but it was much easier to get away from the person. It can make moving on almost impossible if you are constantly being bombarded with reminders in different places online," said study lead researcher Anthony Pinter from University of Colorado Boulder in the US. 

According to researchers, among 19 who underwent in-depth interviews, a disturbing trend emerged: Even when people took every measure possible to remove their exes from their online lives, social media returned them - often multiple times a day. 

"A lot of people assume they can just unfriend their ex or unfollow them, and won't have to deal with them anymore. Our work shows it's not the case," Pinter said. 

News Feed, the primary interface that opens when one goes for Facebook, was a major source of distress, delivering news of ex-lovers announcing they were in new relationship. 

In one case, a participant noticed his roommate had "liked" his ex's post. He was the last of his friends to know. 

Memories revived by posts from the past were equally heart-rending, with one participant recalling how a sweet years-old message from his ex-wife popped up out of nowhere delivering an "emotional wallop," the researchers said. 

According to the study, many shared stories of encountering exes via their comments in shared spaces, such as groups or mutual friends' pictures. Even when someone unfriends his/her ex, if a mutual friend posts a picture without tagging them that may still flow through their feed. 

And even when they blocked their exes some reported that the ex's friends and family would still show up on Facebook as suggestions under 'People you may know'. 

The authors suggest such encounters could be minimised with platform designers paying more attention to the "social periphery" - all those people, groups, photos and events that spring up around a connection between two users. 

For those wanting to rid their online lives from reminders of love lost, they recommend unfriending, untagging, using Take a Break and blocking while understanding they may not be foolproof.

Mon, 17 Feb 2020 11:23:18 +0530
Samsung Note10 Lite

New Delhi: After launching premium flagship Galaxy Note10+ last year that saw a tremendous response in India, Samsung has now brought the 'Lite' version of the same device with the same experience. 

Galaxy Note10 Lite is advertised as a good attempt by industry analysts to woo users in a price band currently dominated by the Chinese smartphone maker OnePlus. 

Note10 Lite is priced at Rs 38,999 for the 6GB variant and Rs 40,999 for the 8GB variant. Both models come with 128GB internal memory. After using the device (8GB RAM and 128GB storage variant) for a couple of weeks, here is what we think about it. 

In terms of the size, the Galaxy Note10 Lite is just as tall as Galaxy Note10+, but there are certain visible differences. 

The major change is lack of premium glass design and the company used plastic instead of glass on Note 10 Lite. 

Another difference is the presence of a 3.5mm headphone jack. Additionally, there is a new square-shaped camera module on top right corner at the back, unlike its predecessor. 

Just like the Note10+, all the buttons are placed on the right, including volume rockers and side key which acts as a multi-functional button for accessing virtual assistant Bixby. The smartphone features a 6.7-inch "Full HD+ AMOLED Plus Infinity-O display," featuring a centered front-facing camera.

The display performs pretty well both indoors or outdoors and there are two modes -- Natural and Vivid. The Natural mode provides colours that are original while the vivid mode adds a punch to the colours. The device is just perfect for streaming content. The smartphone sports three rear cameras and a single front camera. 

The triple rear camera setup has a 12MP main camera with Dual Pixel autofocus, an f/1.7 lens, and OIS. It is assisted by a 12MP wide-angle camera with an f/2.2 aperture and a 12MP telephoto lens with an f/2.4 aperture and OIS (optical image stabilization) for stabilisation. 

The triple rear camera produced natural and good amounts of detail in images. In low light, the device managed to capture details without much fuss which would be a delight for your Instagram followers. The Portrait mode or Live Focus worked well too. 

The selfie camera features a 32MP sensor and an f/2.2 aperture. The camera app offers a wide selection of shooting modes, such as Live Focus Video, Super Slow-Mo and Pro. 

The smartphone is perfect for shooting videos and during the review, videos shot during the 'Auto Expo 2020' came out decent.

The S Pen, that turns the 6.7-inch Galaxy Note10 Lite into a notepad, worked as we expected. Samsung has added Bluetooth functionality to S-Pen which also supports air gestures. 

The Galaxy Note10 Lite runs Samsung's One user interface on top of Android 10, the latest version of Google's mobile operating system. 

The smartphone is powered by in-house Exynos 9810 chipset (it's a 10nm 64-bit Octa-core processor) and we were able to run daily apps like Facebook, WhatsApp smoothly. The device also handled games like Call of Duty and PUBG Mobile effortlessly.

Powering the phone is 4,500mAh battery, which keeps the smartphone going for a day with heavy-to-moderate usage. It also comes with fast charging technology, where a mere one hour charge can provide an entire day's worth of use thanks to the 25-watt charger. 

Conclusion: Galaxy Note10 Lite is a perfect affordable flagship killer. Those who love a big screen with S Pen will definitely opt for the device as it brings premium Samsung experience in an affordable price range.

Mon, 17 Feb 2020 11:13:54 +0530
Iranian hackers VPN

London: Cybersecurity researchers have spotted a widespread hacking by Iranian groups who compromised VPN (virtual private network) servers, planted bugs or 'backdoors' and succeeded in gaining access to the networks of numerous companies and organisations around the world.

During the last quarter of 2019, the research team from the UK-based ClearSky uncovered a widespread Iranian offensive campaign which it called the "Fox Kitten Campaign".

"This campaign is being conducted in the last three years against dozens of companies and organisations in Israel around the world," the company said in a statement on Sunday.

"Through the campaign, the attackers succeeded in gaining access and persistent foothold in the networks of numerous companies and organisations from the IT, telecommunication, oil and gas, aviation, government and security sectors around the world," it added.

Aside from malware, the campaign enfolds an entire infrastructure dedicated to ensuring the long-lasting capability to control and fully access the targets chosen by the Iranians. The campaign infrastructure was used to develop and maintain access routes to the targeted organisations and steal valuable information from the targeted organisations.

"Hackers maintained a long-lasting foothold at the targeted organisations and breach additional companies through supply-chain attacks. "The campaign was conducted by using a variety of offensive tools, most of which open-source code-based and some self-developed.

The Iranian APT groups have succeeded to penetrate and steal information from dozens of companies around the world in the past three years.

The most successful and significant attack vector used by the Iranian advanced persistent threat (APT) groups in the last three years has been the exploitation of known vulnerabilities in systems with unpatched VPN and RDP services, in order to infiltrate and take control over critical corporate information storages. After breaching the organisations, the attackers usually maintain a foothold and operational redundancy by installing and creating several more access points to the core corporate network. As a result, identifying and closing one access point does not necessarily deny the capability to carry on operations inside the network.

"Iranian APT groups have developed good technical offensive capabilities and are able to exploit one-day vulnerabilities in relatively short periods of time," said the researchers. ClearSky observed Iranian groups exploiting VPN flaws within hours after the bugs had been publicly disclosed.

According to a ZDNet report, Iranian hackers have targeted Pulse Secure, Fortinet, Palo Alto Networks, and Citrix VPNs to hack into large companies.

Mon, 17 Feb 2020 11:02:11 +0530
5 killed 70 fainted afte

Islamabad: An unknown poisonous gas leaked from a container at a port in Pakistan's southern city of Karachi killing at least five people, while 70 others fainted, the police said. Deputy Inspector General of Police of South Karachi Sharjeel Kharal told media that the gas leaked when workers were unloading a chemical loaded container from a ship docked at the Kemari area of the Karachi port, the Xinhua news agency reported.

Chief of a private rescue service Faisal Edhi told media that rescue workers wearing gas masks rushed to the site and shifted the bodies and the injured to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital and Jinnah Hospital of the city. The chief feared that the death toll might further rise because several of the affected people are in serious condition at the hospitals. According to local media reports, hundreds of people have run away from the affected area after the gas leak.

Hundreds of police personnel have cordoned off the area and are searching for any other affected people. Pakistan's Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Zaidi said the cause of the gas leak is not known yet, adding that a high-level team has been formed to investigate the matter. 


Mon, 17 Feb 2020 10:40:41 +0530
Aruna Vasudev interview

Bhubaneswar: Recipient of the French Officer of the Order of the Arts and Letters honour, Aruna Vasudev, a name synonymous with film criticism and film festival curation in India, and one of the country's foremost writers on cinema, feels it's now time to stop getting involved with festivals and just concentrate on writing and Japanese painting.

"It's tough for me to travel now. It has been a long and satisfying innings," she smiles, while we sip tea at a roadside stall on a rainy day in Bhubaneswar.

In the city as the Director of the two-day 13th International Film Festival on Art and Artists organised by the JD Centre of Art, which will witness 48 films from 17 different countries, Vasudev is pleased that over the decades, several film festivals have come up in different parts of the country, especially in smaller towns.

"This is an excellent development. Seeing intimate film festivals emerging gives me a lot of hope. Not only do they promise a never-before exposure of world cinema to residents of those cities, but are also instrumental in giving an impetus to the local economy."

Between conversation about films which she considers "great", Vasudev, a doctorate from the University of Paris on cinema and censorship, feels that democratisation of technology has lent an entirely new dimension to the art of filmmaking.

Stressing it is paramount that it be encouraged at every platform, she adds, "Seeing youngsters shooting movies on minimal budgets, sometimes even with their phones is heartwarming. Now money and budget is not what is stopping many. Those who have a story to tell can actually think of giving it a shape."

While several film magazines, concentrating on actors' personal lives may still be thriving, the curator and critic does not sound very optimistic about a serious publication like 'Cinemaya', which she produced. "Yes, people still ask about it and talk about Cinefan, the Asian film festival. But at the end of the day, it boils down to market forces and money in order to survive and sustain."

Trained in cinema at the prestigious La Femis Film School in France, where she first encountered European cinema from across the continent, this 'Star of Italian Solidarity' awardee feels that the Film & Television Institute of India's (FTII) initiative to take capsule courses in different departments of film across the country is a major development.

"This way, they will be able to incite an interest in the medium, also among people who may never get a chance to study film formally. This is a huge country with a massive population, therefore improvisations like these are the need of the hour."

Mon, 17 Feb 2020 10:38:57 +0530
UNSC resolutions on Kashm


United Nations: UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said that the Security Council resolutions on Kashmir have to be implemented � and although he did not make a reference to it, the main resolution requires Pakistan to withdraw from the areas it occupies. Guterres, who is on a visit to Pakistan, said at a news conference in Islamabad on Sunday according to a transcript released here, that: "It is clear that we have taken a position about the need for Security Council resolutions to be implemented and for effective de-escalation and dialogue linked to that, with another very important condition, which is full respect for human rights and (fundamental) freedoms in Jammu and Kashmir."

Security Council Resolution 47 adopted on April 21, 1948, requires the Pakistani government "to secure the withdrawal from the State of Jammu and Kashmir of tribesmen and Pakistani nationals not normally resident therein who have entered the State for the purpose of fighting, and to prevent any intrusion into the State of such elements and any furnishing of material aid to those fighting in the State". Although Pakistanis and their supporters elsewhere cite the Security Council asking for a plebiscite to be held in Kashmir, they ignore the precondition of Pakistan's withdrawal from the occupied areas.

Guterres began a three-day visit to Pakistan, his first as Secretary General, on Sunday to participate in an international conference of 40 years of Pakistan hosting Afghan refugees.During the trip, he is scheduled to visit Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartapur, which gives direct access to pilgrims from India through a special corridor inaugurated last year. Replying to a journalist's question about UN's role in Kashmir, Guterres said that while he as offered his good offices, he "can only work when accepted by both sides".

He said that the UN Human Rights High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet made an "important contribution to clarifying what has happened" in Kashmir through her report.In a report released in July, her office criticised both India and Pakistan for not taking any concrete steps to address the numerous concerns it had raised in an earlier report. While criticising India for what it said was the lack of accountability for actions by security forces and human rights violations, it also said that there were reports that two terror groups were recruiting children on the Indian side of the Line of Control (LOC) and carrying out attacks on civilians.

Bachelet has since criticised India over the restrictions and human rights violations after Kashmir was put under President's rule and the subsequent change in its special status under the Constitution's Article 370. Guterres said that the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) should have full freedom of movement on the Indian side of the LOC as it has in the area under Pakistani control and that its equipment would be reinforced.

"We believe that UNMOGIP should have full freedom of movement; it has on the Pakistani side � we hope that this will also be achieved on the other side, and we will be strengthening its equipment capacity in order to better be able to implement its mandates," he said replying to the question that mentioned 287 alleged ceasefire this year.In his introductory remarks, Guterres said that he was grateful for the UNMOGIP's work and that it "will continue to monitor the ceasefire at the Line of Control in accordance with its mandate".

India maintains that the UNMOGIP has no useful role in Kashmir because under the Simla Agreement of 1972 between the two countries, it is a bilateral issue.India withdrew the government accommodation given to it in New Delhi. Guterres earlier inaugurated a new UNMOGIP headquarters building in Pakistan. Guterres said that he had discussed the situation in South Asia with Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehood Qureshi, and he was "deeply concerned about the increase in tensions that we have witnessed last year".

"I have repeatedly stressed the importance of exercising maximum restraint and taking steps to de-escalate, both militarily and verbally, while reiterating my offer to exercise my good offices, should both sides ask." He added: "Diplomacy and dialogue remain the only tools that guarantee peace and stability, with solutions in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and the resolutions of the Security Council."

(Arul Louis can be contacted at and followed on Twitter @arulouis)

Mon, 17 Feb 2020 10:36:17 +0530
Mithali Raj Lakme Fashion

Mumbai: Indian women's cricket ODI captain Mithali Raj made her debut on the runway at the Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2020, turning showstopper for designer Payal Singhal in association with Corcal Bone and Beauty.

Mithali, who sashayed the ramp wearing a pale blush off shoulder top and lehenga on Saturday. "It's a very different experience. I'm quite excited. I had one rehearsal to get the feel. I had done some charity shows. So, I had a little bit of experience. But I'm not a pro in this. But I hope that experience helped."

Playing in front of thousands of spectators and walking the ramp in front of a new audience, how are the experiences? She replied: "The experience is pretty much the same because you have to focus on what you do here the focus is on the walk. You have to follow what you are told to do. At the same time, I enjoy the experience. When we are in the field we enjoy the atmosphere."

Commenting on the collection called "Parvaneh" (Persian for eButterfly'), Mithali said: "It's nice because it's wearable and you can wear it on occasion. It has a streak of tradition and at the same time modernity in it. You feel very comfortable wearing them."

The line-up comprised contemporary ensembles like modernised trousers, layered shararas, dhoti salwars, low crotch pants and churidaars with an '80s bent. These have been teamed with short jackets in georgette, Chanderi and organza in a colour palette than spans across classic black and white punctuated with grey, rose pink, powder blue and turmeric yellow. Bandhani, abla, ikat, kantha, kashida and gota patti were revisited.

Speaking on why she chose Mithali to close the show for her, Payal said: "It was Mithali's debut on the runway and I was so excited to be the one to be able to do it. I fought for her. I really wanted her to be the face of what we were doing. Mithali is stunning. She looks pretty and she is fit, strong. She was a dream showstoppper."

She added: "What you saw Mithali wearing was a very powerful outfit. It was hassle free. She loves comfortable clothes and so do I. It was not something which was fussy. But it did not compromise on beauty just because it was comfortable."

Mon, 17 Feb 2020 10:33:06 +0530
solo women travellers

New Delhi: For solo travellers or groups India is the best tourist destination where you find richness along with diversity of colorful visuals mingled with various cultures and traditions. Solo female travelling in India is much more relaxing in India and you will love the exciting destination with its adventure, sensory overload and its natural flow of life. 

For international and domestic travellers including financially independent professionals, social media influencers, those belonging to DINK (double income no kids) and travel bloggers domestic attractions are widely accepted and explored. 

Suggested by Vikram Lalwani, Chief Customer Engagement Officer, Sterling Holidays, here are some of the highly recommended destinations that this travel segment, with the wanderlust' bug can explore and experience in India. 


This small and cozy hill station located in the Shimla district of Himachal Pradesh is brimming with beautiful lakes, scenic landscapes and snow-clad mountains.Travellers are offered with activities including Skiing, horse and Yak ride, mountaineering and Tobogganing here. Also Kufri offers a steal for the wildlife enthusiast at The Himalayan National Park trekking. It is extremely safe and welcoming towards tourists, which makes it ideal for women travellers to visit.


Munnar is one of the safest destinations in India, popular for its tea plantations, surreal landscapes and lush greenery. Its locals are known to be extremely tenacious and warm, always ready to lend a helping hand to diverse travellers. The place also houses various resorts in different districts that are suitable for solo women travellers.

Mon, 17 Feb 2020 10:26:41 +0530
windows smart tips

New Delhi: Windows are an integral part of the home. Attached to your walls, they not just beautify your abode, but open the view to the outside world and secure your house. Manish Bansal, Director and CEO of Window Magic, tell you what to keep in mind while choosing the window for your home.

In a home, the windows are pathway into its soul. They have the ability to brighten up any room and act as beautiful decor. Windows come in varied sizes and shapes and each has the boldness of giving character to a construction, he says.

Choose quality Window

While choosing windows, do not forget to consider the quality of the windows. Prefer going to a window manufacturing company as they tend to come with much experience in window making. While looking at quality, besides the price factor; the buyer should also look for the window maintenance and ease of use. Minimum expected qualities from a good window is that the window should be termite proof, water proof, weather proof, energy efficient, and sound proof.

Ensure good Acoustic performance

If you live in a busy area, opting for windows having noise resisting quality is a must. Selecting windows specifically designed for acoustic performance can reduce external noises from entering the home. Windows like casement, fixed, top hung have such qualities.

Try Energy Efficient Windows

India has a tropical climate and a vast majority of any home's temperature fluctuations come from the windows, so always try to choose energy efficient windows that can have a real effect on the power bills. The design, glass type, glazing and seals determine how energy efficient the window is.

Uncompromising Security

Good windows must incorporate quality hardware along with a concealed locking system. Install a single point lock or a multi-point lock in the window as per the security requirements of the home. Consider a double glazed laminated glass window for good security of the home.

The right style

Choose styles which can boost both the value and the look of the house. Consider the colour, proportion, glass and configuration of opening light if any.

Mon, 17 Feb 2020 09:52:08 +0530
Best Innovation award

Mumbai:Kanpur-based company Kanpur Flowercycling Pvt Ltd recently won the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India award for Best Innovation in Fashion for its product Fleather -- biodegradable leather made from discarded temple flowers at the Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2020.


The group launched its new pro-vegan fashion campaign highlighting the cruelty of animal leather and starring Bollywood actress Sunny Leone.

"Cows and other animals raised for leather in India are often loaded onto lorries so severely crowded that many animals are injured or die en route to the slaughterhouse. Leather production also generates vast quantities of pollution, and Kanpur's leather tanneries are particularly notorious for discharging toxic waste directly into the Ganges." said Sachin Bangera, Director of celebrity and public relations, PETA India.

"Kanpur Flowercycling shows that leather can be produced without harming animals or the environment. The company also provides local women with employment."

Mon, 17 Feb 2020 09:40:32 +0530
Three dead as under const

Kolkata: Three persons including an engineer were killed and three others injured when an under-construction bridge on Farakka barrage collapsed in Baishnabnagar of West Bengal's Malda district on Sunday night, officials said. However, Congress MLA Moinul Haq claimed four people had died. Several labourers trapped beneath the rubble have been rescued after the bridge being constructed under the supervision of the National Highway Authority of India gave way.

Police said the dead included a 36-year-old junior engineer Srinivas, and a worker Sachin Pratap beside another person. Three others were injured. The condition of two of them was grave. Seven labourers were rescued after the girder being installed between pillar number one and two came down. Haq claimed the girder slipped and fell when it was being set. "As per my information, the girder slipped and fell when it was being installed. Six were rescued. Four of them died. They included one engineer. Two labourers have been admitted to MMCH. Search is on. One or two more labourers may still be trapped," he said.

Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury demanded a probe into the incident and suitable compensation for the families of the dead. "The bridge was being built to reduce the load on Farakka barrage. It was our long-standing demand. An inquiry should be held to find out the lapses committed by the construction company. I will meet union minister Nitin Gadkari," he said. Dipak Sarkar, Additional Police superintendent, said 9-10 labourers were at work. "There was an accident. People were trapped. We rescued them. The project manager told me 9-10 labourers were at work," said Sarkar.

Mon, 17 Feb 2020 09:05:38 +0530
Narendra Modi unveils Dee

On Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya's 63-ft tall statue, thus inaugurating the Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya Memorial Centre in Padao on the Varanasi-Chandauli frontier. The statue of ' pancha loha ' is the country's tallest statue of the BJP ideologue. More than 200 artisans have been working to complete the structure for nearly a year.

Sun, 16 Feb 2020 15:24:18 +0530
We are firm on Art 370 C

Varanasi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said his government had taken decisions on Article 370 abrogating special status for J&K and the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in national interest.

"These decisions had been pending for decades but we took them in national interest and we will remain firm on them," he said while addressing a function in Varanasi after unveiling a statue of BJP ideologue Deendayal Upadhyaya. The Prime Minister said that Deendayal Upadhyaya always focused on the last man in the line with his 'antyodaya' concept.

"Our government is working on his concept of self-reliance and self-service. Our schemes like free gas connections and toilets cater to the poorest of the poor," he said.He said that the soul of Deendayal Upadhyaya would continue to inspire and bless them so that they could continue to work for the poor.

"Projects worth Rs 25,000 crore have either been completed or are in the process of being completed in Varanasi and this is due to the blessings of Lord Shiva who has given me the responsibility of serving you. Projects worth Rs 12,000 crore that have been launched today include hospitals, schools, roads, flyovers and water projects. We are trying to turn western Uttar Pradesh into a medical hub with improved connectivity," he said.  Modi said that when "we talk of a five trillion dollar economy in India, we must remember that tourism is a major part of it".

"Besides nature, heritage tourism has a strong role to play in achieving the goal. Also, along with Varanasi other holy sites are being developed using new technologies. The Kashi Vishwanath temple complex will soon get a new attractive look. The Ram temple in Ayodhya will also turn into reality because the trust for construction has been formed," the Prime Minister said. He pointed out that Sri Lanka Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, who recently visited Varanasi and Sarnath, was extremely impressed with the city. The Prime Minister hoped that the Deendayal Upadhyaya memorial will continue to inspire generations to come.

The Prime Minister earlier flagged off the IRCTC's Maha Kaal Express through video link. The train will connect the three Jyotirling pilgrim centres of Varanasi, Ujjain and Omkareshwar. A two-day exhibition -- 'Kashi Ek Roop Anek' - was also inaugurated by the Prime Minister at Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya Hastakala Sankul where he interacted with buyers and artisans coming from different countries of the world including America, England and Australia. 'Kashi Ek Roop Anek' showcases products from over 100 artisans from all over Uttar Pradesh. Artists and weavers at the event will also be imparted skills for improving the quality and branding of their wares suitable to the larger national and international markets.


Sun, 16 Feb 2020 15:18:54 +0530
Investments in Karnataka

Hubballi: Rs 72,000 crore investment proposals were received at the Invest Karnataka meet, here on Friday, for the states northern region, said an official on Saturday. "About 50 foreign and domestic firms have proposed to invest Rs 72,000 crore in the northwest and northern regions of the state and a dozen companies signed agreements with us," state Industries Department Secretary Gaurav Gupta said.

Rajesh Exports, Bengaluru-based group, signed an agreement to set up a manufacturing unit at Dharwad to rollout electric vehicles and make lithium ion batteries.

"Rajesh Exports proposes to invest about Rs 50,000 crore for manufacturing electric cars and lithium ion batteries for the domestic and overseas markets. It will generate about 10,000 jobs," said Gupta.

Similarly, Sonali Power has signed a pact with the state nodal agency (Udyog Mitra) to set up a solar power plant at Davangere at a cost of Rs 4,800 crore, which will generate 2,100 direct jobs.

Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa claimed several firms had come forward to collectively invest Rs 1 lakh crore since the BJP government came into being in July 2019.

"Many Indian and foreign firms will sign agreements with the state government at the 3-day Global Investors meet in Bengaluru on November 3-5," Yediyurappa said at the ‘Invest Karnataka' meet.

Noting that Karnataka was rich in natural and human resources, especially in high-tech and skilled workforce, Yediyurappa said investment opportunities were plenty in aerospace, automobiles, machine tools, electric vehicles and bio-technology besides information technology.

"About 40 global firms expressed interest to invest in the state at a roadshow held at Davos, Switzerland, on the margins of the World Economic Forum (WEF) meet on January 23," he said.

Under the new industrial policy, the state government will set up clusters to make toys at Koppal, textiles in Bellari, solar equipment at Kalaburagi and farm machinery at Bidar.

"We are committed to make North Karnataka a power house of industries for the region's development, with Hubballi-Dharwad as the growth hub," Yediyurappa said

Sun, 16 Feb 2020 11:29:30 +0530
Imran khan and pak army

Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that he is not afraid of Pakistan Army as his country's military knows well that he is not corrupt. He said that he is working day and night."Those who indulged in corruption had fear of the Pakistan military, whereas he is neither corrupt nor is he making money by doing politics," Khan was quoted as saying by The News International.


Imran emphasised that the secret agencies were fully aware of the corrupt practices of the former governments of Nawaz Sharif and Asif Zardari. Pakistan PM said that there should be a high treason case under Article 6 of the Constitution against JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman for conspiring against the government.

Sun, 16 Feb 2020 11:18:19 +0530
Sidharth Shukla wins Big

Mumbai: After spending almost five months in the "Bigg Boss 13" house, actor Sidharth Shukla has been declared winner of the show. He has defeated co-contestant and model Asim Riaz. Sidharth won the "Bigg Boss 13" trophy and a cash prize of Rs 40 lakh. After announcing Sidharth as the winner, host Salman Khan congratulated him, and also clicked a selfie with him, and first runner up, Asim.

During his stint on the show, Sidharth has wooed the audience a lot -- whether it was his violent fights with Asim or his romantic connection with Shehnaaz Gill or "aisi ladki" spat with Rashami Desai. While staying in the house, Sidharth even caught Typhoid and was under medication for a few weeks. But he didn't give up. He came back as a warrior, and now has emerged as the winner.

Other contestants who reached the finale were Asim, Shehnaz Gill, Rashami Desai, Arti Singh and Paras Chhabra. Paras quit the show by taking away the cash prize of Rs 10 lakh.

Also, apart from Sidharth and Paras, other finalists won a trip to Abu Dhabi with their loved ones. In the finale episode, audience got a chance to witness some stellar performances by the top six contestants. Sidharth too performed. His sensuous dance with Rashami on "Ang laga de" song left netizens in awe of them. Not only this, he also gave a sweet 'nok-jhok' performance with Shehnaz.

Salman Khan also danced, and that too on the tunes of his song "Munna Badnaam Hua".

Former contestants, including Shefali Bagga, Vishal Aditya Singh, Madhurima Tuli and Himanshi Khurana, were also present in the finale episode to cheer up the mood of the finalists.

The 13th season of "Bigg Boss", which was finally wrapped up after 149 days on Saturday, turned out to be one of the most popular and entertaining seasons in th history of the show. Due to high TRPs and huge craze among people, the show was even extended by five weeks.

Sun, 16 Feb 2020 11:10:50 +0530
Food delivery apps drivin

New Delhi: First things first. Food in the so called "dark" kitchens are not cooked with the lights switched off. They are called so primarily because of their delivery-only model. The growing popularity of food delivery platforms like Swiggy and Zomato has led to a surge of such kitchens in India, which are also called "virtual" or "cloud" kitchens by some.

Some prefer to call them "ghost" kitchens as in many cases, you may not even know that they exist. Did you know that popular eateries like Haldiram's, Chaayos, Keventers, Saravana Bhavan and Vasudev Adigas, to name only a few, have set up cloud kitchens in partnership with Zomato?

They have. And that is the reason why you get to order food from these eateries even in areas near where their restaurants may not exist.

"We started this model in March 2018, when we realised that while a lot of budding entrepreneurs are setting up new restaurants and cloud kitchens, the pace of setting up new kitchen infrastructure has been lagging behind the demand for them," Mohit Sardana, Chief Operating Officer, Food Delivery, at Zomato told.

"We wanted to accelerate the process of investment in kitchen infrastructure in areas facing a supply deficit and therefore, created the Zomato Kitchens model. Today, we are present in 50+ cities with 700+ kitchens that are already operational," Sardana added.

One factor that has worked in favour of the food delivery platforms is the data they have about consumers' preferences. Analysing these data allow them to gauge the nature of the demand of food a particular area generates.

Armed with these data, the food aggregators can confidently approach a restaurant business for cloud kitchen partnerships in new areas that are likely to generate handsome profits for both parties, according to people familiar with the way these partnerships tend to forge.

Swiggy launched its cloud kitchen initiative "Swiggy Access" in 2018 and since then it has created over 1,000 kitchens for its restaurant partners.

Through "Access", restaurant partners can test new markets and expand intra and intercity, with no rent or deposit charged for the premises/infrastructure, Swiggy said.

Swiggy shares valuable insights not only regarding existing customer preferences, but also on unmet food choices with partner restaurants, thereby helping them fulfil the demand-supply gaps.

Restaurant partners are also able to leverage Swiggy's insights to improve their food quality through consistent customer feedback and optimise their kitchens for factors like stock planning, demand forecasting, preparation time and order edits.

Swiggy said that it is committed to working with the restaurant partner community to bring in the necessary confidence and control to ensure there is no compromise in the safety of food.

The food delivery platform added that it mandates all restaurants and cloud kitchens operating on the platform to possess a valid Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) licence and additionally conducts hygiene audits across the restaurant partner network with credible third-party audit firms.

Zomato said that one of the biggest advantages of virtual kitchens is the relatively low investment and business risk.

"If you look at our model, we ensure the restaurateur is supported well enough to focus on what he does best -- food -- instead of being weighed down by compliances and high rentals, among other necessities. That too, with minimum investment. We also draft a customised growth plan with aggressive marketing support, which is unique to their business proposition," Sardana said.

"These are delivery only dark kitchens and are not usually set up on high streets. However, there will be a few locations which are on high footfall areas and can be easily spotted. On the app, all kitchen restaurants appear in the same manner to a user as any other delivery only outlet on our platform," he added.

omato said that it has set for itself "high safety and hygiene standards".

"We have invested time and energy in durable engineering to make sure that we deliver quality kitchens for our partners to use and expand into new markets, wherein with our support on compliances, they do not see the basics as a hindrance when opening up a new facility," Sardana said.

Sun, 16 Feb 2020 11:01:56 +0530
Saudi led coalition warpl

Sanaa: A warplane belonging to the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen has crashed in the northern province of al-Jawf, officials said. A coalition spokesman confirmed that a Saudi Tornado fighter jet had "fallen" while carrying out a support mission near Yemeni army units, the BBC reported citing a leading Saudi media outlet. Yemen's Houthi rebels said they shot down the plane on Friday night.

The UNsaid 31 civilians were killed in Saudi air strikes in al-Jawf on Saturday. A statement from the office of the UN's resident coordinator for Yemen said "preliminary field reports" indicated that at least 12 others were injured in the strikes. The Saudi-led coalition has been battling Yemen's rebel Houthi movement since 2015. It intervened after the Houthis ousted the internationally-recognised government from power in the capital Sanaa. The Houthi rebels said they used ground-to-air missiles to down the warplane on Friday night.

Saudi Arabia has not provided details of any casualties from the crash, or what caused it. It said it carried out a search and rescue operation on Saturday and that some civilians may have been unintentionally killed. Houthi officials said children were among the casualties of retaliatory air strikes by Saudi Arabia, which they said targeted civilians in the area where rebel forces had downed the plane. They said some of those injured were in a critical condition.

In a statement on Saturday, Lise Grande, the UN's resident humanitarian coordinator in Yemen, shared "deep condolences with the families of those killed". "So many people are being killed in Yemen - it's a tragedy and it's unjustified. Under international humanitarian law parties which resort to force are obligated to protect civilians. Five years into this conflict and belligerents are still failing to uphold this responsibility. It's shocking," she said.


Sun, 16 Feb 2020 09:29:08 +0530
Thank you Delhi posters

New Delhi: Aam Aadmi Party national convenor Arvind Kejriwal will take oath of the Chief Minister's office on Sunday at the Ramlila Maidan where big posters saying 'Thank You Delhi!' have been put up. 
Kejriwal will take oath along with his designated Cabinet -- Manish Sisodia, Satyendar Jain, Gopal Rai, Kailash Gehlot, Imran Hussain and Rajendra Pal Gautam.

The AAP got massive mandate in the Delhi Assembly elections as it was elected in 62 of the 70 Assembly constituencies here. The BJP could only manage to get eight seats. And the Congress could get any seat. The entire city has been invited for the ceremony. The party is expecting close to one lakh people, with a major portion of the crowd being the common man of Delhi.

According to the party, the posters have been put up to thank the city for the massive mandate. Senior officials involved in the preparations said around 5,000 security personnel, 125 CCTV cameras, 12 LED screens and 45,000 chairs will be deployed at the ground. "Sitting arrangement has been done for about 45,000 people. The space has been given for people to stand," official said. Kejriwal has invited the entire city, along with all the elected representatives from Lok Sabha and local bodies. The invitation has also been given to all the newly elected MLAs. A total of 50 representatives, from different sectors contributing towards the Delhi governance, are the special guests, who will be sharing the stage with Kejriwal and the new Cabinet. 



Sun, 16 Feb 2020 09:26:09 +0530
Kejriwal Delhi s only CM

New Delhi: Aam Aadmi Party national convener Arvind Kejriwal is the first and the only Chief Minister of Delhi who has preferred the historic Ramlila Maidan for his oath ceremonies, while his predecessors took oath in the Raj Niwas. The venue in the national capital is indeed close to Kejriwal's heart as it was from this place that Kejriwal joined Anna Hazare's India Against Corruption movement in 2011. The movement later became Kejriwal's gateway to politics in 2012.

The city went for polls in 2013, and Kejriwal became the Chief Minister of Delhi with the help of the Congress. He took the oath for the first time on December 28, 2013 in the Ramlila Maidan. However, after 49 days in office Kejriwal resigned on February 14, 2014, the City again went for polls in 2015 and from the same venue a year later on February 14, 2015, he took oath for the second time as the Chief Minister of Delhi.

After completing the term in office, Kejriwal has been again elected as the Delhi Chief Minister for the third time and will be taking the oath from the same venue. Apart from Kejriwal and Aam Aadmi Party, the venue has witnessed the presence of prominent personalities and historical events. As the name says, the ground had been famous for the Ramlila plays -- the dramatic folk re-enactment of the life of Lord Ram.

However, it has also hosted numerous historic speeches in the past, including the one by the Queen of the England, Elizabeth II, who addressed from here in 1961, along with the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. Playback singer Lata Mangeshkar has performed here after the Indo-China war. Lal Bahadur Shastri gave his slogan "Jai Jawan Jai Kisan" from this venue. During the infamous Emergency, the ground witnessed several protests.

On the reason for selecting the venue, an AAP leader said: "The common man of the city is our backbone. They are our strength. It is important for us to involve the people of the city in our crucial moments. So, we need big space for the swearing-in and so the Ramlila ground is the best." 




Sun, 16 Feb 2020 09:22:29 +0530
Amazon ends ties with sev

San Francisco: Hundreds of people in the US face job losses as Amazon is severing relationships with several small delivery contractors across the US apparently due to "safety" concerns, the media reported. While Amazon delivery partner Bear Down Logistics was cutting 400 jobs, Seattle-based Delivery Force was laying off 272 workers, according to the reports.

According to a report in GeekWire, Amazon said these firms were found short of meeting the safety or performance requirements. In a bid to help entrepreneurs start delivery businesses, Amazon launched an initiative called Delivery Service Partners in 2018. Although they operate independently, the DSPs receive support and training from the e-commerce giant.

"Prior to launching the DSP programme to empower entrepreneurs to build their businesses with Amazon, we contracted with a number of small logistics companies," Amazon was quoted as saying in a statement."Some of these companies have not met our bar for safety, performance or working conditions, and we're in the process of exiting them from the programme. We are planning for there to be zero or very little net job loss in these communities because nearly all impacted employees of these companies will have an opportunity to move into other delivery driver roles with Amazon partners," the statement added.

Amazon is now delivering 50 per cent of packages itself, according to recent Morgan Stanley estimates reported by CNBC. Global courier company FedEx last year decided not to renew its air shipping contract with Amazon.

Sat, 15 Feb 2020 21:55:46 +0530
Sid Rashami sensuous dan

Mumbai: It seems the grand finale of "Bigg Boss 13" will offer a lot of surprise elements. A promo video of rivals Sidharth Shukla and Rashami Desai's dance performance on the "Ang laga de" song from the Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone-starrer "Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela" is proof of the fact.

The video is doing the rounds on the Internet in which one can see Rashami and Sidharth cosying up to each other. Not only this, they even recreated their famous "chai" fight while dancing. The two were colour-coordinated in white.

After seeing the teaser of Sidharth and Rashami's grand finale performance, netizens went gaga over it.

"Rashami looking hot on screen! She is lit... She making sid look good," a user commented.

Another one wrote: "They look so hot together."

Apart from Rashami and Sidharth, other finalists, including Paras Chhabra, Asim Riaz and Shehnaz Gill will be seen shaking a leg in the finale.

Sat, 15 Feb 2020 21:34:31 +0530
No business transaction w

No business transaction with Capstone, says Eros Intl

Mumbai:Two days after the Enforcement Directorate said it has registered a case in a foreign exchange scam, Eros International, a company named by the ED, trashed the charges saying it has not received any communication from the ED and that it has no business transaction with the Mumbai-based firm, Capstone Forex Pvt Ltd, another firm allegedly involved in the Rs 700-crore scam.

Eros International in a statement on Saturday said, "We strongly condemn the allegation and want to reassure the market, investors and stakeholders that Eros International Media Limited has not received any communication from ED. We have no business transactions with Capstone Forex."

The rebuttal from the Eros International came two days after the ED said it has busted a massive foreign exchange scam to the tune of Rs 700 crore involving Capstone, which allegedly bought foreign currency on fudged and forged air tickets and passports and named several companies. The ED document alleged that during the probe, it was found that many of the shell companies transferred funds to various big corporates and reputed companies.

"Corporates that have come under the ED scanner include CG Power Solutions, Indianapolls Hospitality, which belongs to Jay Mehta Group, husband of Bollywood actress Juhi Chawla, Consultshah Financial Services, Eros International Media, Jain Energy (Jain Irrigation Group), Navarkar Builders, Next Gen Films, and Swatantryaveer VD Savarkar Multistate Cooperative Credit Society," the ED document said.

According to sources in the central financial probe agency, the name of the Capstone Forex came under the radar in connection with its investigation into Edelweiss Financial Services Ltd whose Chairman Rashesh Shah was recently questioned by ED.

An ED source claimed that Capstone Forex bought forex on "fudged, forged and fake air tickets and passports" and had received more than Rs 700 crore in its accounts from various shell companies. The source also revealed that during questioning, most of the companies "failed to justify" the reason behind the transfer of funds to Capstone Forex.

He said that Capstone came under the ED's lens following a sharp rise in its revenue from Rs 6 crore (approximately) in financial year 2015 to Rs 315 crore (approximately) in financial year 2018.

"While examining bank account statements of the said FFMC (Full Fledged Money Changer), it was noted that Capstone has received hundreds of crores of rupees from various entities, firms and companies during the period of 2017-2019," the source claimed.

According to ED sources, Capstone submitted copies of passports and air tickets to show the proof of the customers to whom it sold the foreign exchange. "However, on checking a few of those air tickets, it was found that the said tickets were forged and fake," he added.

Sat, 15 Feb 2020 17:07:09 +0530
Shilpa Shinde dated Sidha

Mumbai: Television actress and winner of "Bigg Boss 11" Shilpa Shinde has claimed that she was in a relationship with actor and "Bigg Boss 13" contestant Sidharth Shukla. "Yes we had an affair and Sidharth Shukla was a very abusive and aggressive man in the relationship. He was possessive and used to hit me a lot," Shilpa told

She asserted that Sidharth, who has become the most-talked about contestant of the show, should not win the reality TV show.

"I really don't want this to happen. A person like Sidharth cannot win this show. It will be a disaster. He doesn't deserve it and is not worth the title," said Shilpa.

In "Bigg Boss 13", Sidharth is known for his close bond with housemate Shehnaz Gill.

Sat, 15 Feb 2020 17:00:18 +0530
SBI creates unique artwor

New Delhi:With the continuous commitment towards environmental sustainability, the country's largest lender, SBI has taken a unique initiative by creating two distinctive 12.5 ft artworks namely 'Manasvi' and 'Tapasvi'. SBI chairman Rajnish Kumar on Saturday inaugurated both artworks at the Local Head Office (LHO) in New Delhi.

Around 400 computers, more than 2000 microchips, over 400 keyboards and above 200 discarded credit cards were used to create these two artworks. Manasvi means the intelligent one with a pure great thought, whereas Tapasvi means a saint in a state of meditation. Ideated by Vijuy Ronjan, CGM, Delhi Circle, SBI, these artworks have been built and designed by a Jaipur based artist Mukesh Kumar Jwala in just 3 months under a series called 'Mother SBI'.

Kumar said these artworks would inspire the bank to serve its customers with more commitment and dedication. These artworks have been built in yoga and meditation postures which imply the message of being healthy along with environmental protection. 'Manasvi' and 'Tapasvi' depict SBI in human form as a woman that also reflects SBI's consciousness towards India's strong and healthy economy.

SBI is the largest commercial bank in terms of assets, deposits, branches, customers and employees. It is also the largest mortgage lender in the country. As on December 31, 2019, the bank has a deposit base of over Rs 31 lakh crore with CASA ratio of little more than 44 per cent and advances of nearly Rs 23 lakh crore.

Sat, 15 Feb 2020 16:55:03 +0530
World Pangolin Day

New Delhi:As one of the most trafficked wild animals in the world, pangolin is now becoming the project for the conservationists. The UN observes the World Pangolin Day every year this day. The day is marked to raise awareness about this unique mammal.

To raise awareness about the threatened animal, a series of posts was shared by an Indian Forest Service officer Parveen Kaswan with the caption: "Do you know #Pangolins are the most trafficked mammal on the planet. Unharmful & shy but still millions are hunted & trafficked across Asia & Africa. All eight species of them are under threat for their use in medicine. It is #WorldPangolinDay for raising awareness."

"Last year Singapore seized 8.8 tonnes of #elephant #ivory & 11.9 tonnes of #pangolin scales in 3 containers en route from DR Congo to Vietnam. For which 33,000 pangolins were killed. This is only one such seizure. There is a huge market & harmless creature hunted to extinction" he added.

He also remarked: "They are Anteaters & important part of ecosystem. Indian pangolin is found across India & now endangered. Everywhere they are on their last leg. Scales are used in traditional medicines mistakenly for ailments & reducing impotency. Huge market in China & SE Asia."

As the post went viral, Twitterati fell in love with this adorable mammal and urged people across the world to join together in raising awareness about this animal and its plight.

A user wrote, "Such a wonderful, unique creature is the Pangolin. Humans Do Not need their body parts or scales for anything. Let them be, let them live free."

Another wrote, "Pangolins are just the coolest little buddies I have ever seen next to the armadillos. Amazing little creatures and they deserve to be protected by us. They're just so neat."

A post read, "I think we need a lot of awareness about this cute animal. We must save them at war footing as we did for tigers." "So worrying to know how human greed and ignorance is creating such havoc to our nature and environment," a user remarked.

Sat, 15 Feb 2020 16:49:51 +0530
Gwyneth Paltrow feels she

Los Angeles: Actress Gwyneth Paltrow has admitted that she failed as a mother by making her teenage daughter cry during a "road rage" incident. 

During her appearance on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show", the Oscar-winning actress, 47, confessed that Apple, 15, finds her mortifying, reports She is mother to daughter Apple and son Moses, 13, from her first marriage to Coldplay frontman Chris Martin, 42, to whom she was married from 2003 to 2014.

Asked if they are at the point where she is 'embarrassing' to them, she said: "My daughter finds me mortifying. If I do anything in public, past just not talking and standing still, she's like ‘Oh my God stop it!'" She also revealed that Apple has her learner's permit and she drives them to school every day, and one day she drove was the first time she "failed as a mother".

"She's a really good driver. I try to be calm and... the first time I failed as a mother, because she went through a red light and I kind of yelled at her," Paltrow said.

"Then she started crying and it was just terrible and I felt so bad. So then I was like, OK, you know what, I'm just gonna be chill, and now she's an amazing driver and I think I've learned from my mistakes," she added. Paltrow said that she kind of has, "road rage" in the car, and she can see how her daughter, "takes on certain aspects of you".

Sat, 15 Feb 2020 16:44:12 +0530
Delhi marathon receives r

New Delhi:The 5th edition of the IDBI Federal Life Insurance New Delhi Marathon will see a record 18,500 running enthusiasts lining up for glory, with Sachin Tendulkar flagging off one of the country's most prestigious marathons on February 23. The marathon, organised by NEB Sports, will see runners from all walks of life coming out in large numbers to be a part of the event which will flag-off from Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium and traverse through the iconic streets of Delhi.

Recognised as the National Marathon Championship by Athletics Federation of India (AFI), the event will see runners compete in four different categories: Full Marathon (42.2k), Half Marathon (21.1k), Timed 10 K and 5K Swachh Bharat Run. The Full Marathon will start at 4:00 am, followed by the Half Marathon at 6.15 am, and the Timed 10k and 5k run at 7:30 am and 8:30 am respectively. 

This year's edition will see close to 2500 runners aiming for supremacy in the Full Marathon, 6000 runners attempting the Half Marathon, 5500 running enthusiasts participating in the Timed 10K run while the 5K run will have a total participation of 4500. The 5th edition will also see 820 dedicated runners who have participated in all five editions of the marathon. 86-years-old Janardhan BR will be the oldest runner on the grid in the Full Marathon, while Daljit Mirchandani, 72-years-old, will be the senior-most in the Half Marathon. Close to 1000 runners from the armed forces and 250 from the police force will make their presence felt across different categories. Additionally, a total of 14 corporates have fielded their teams.

"We are very happy with the response received this year and the diverse participation of people from all walks of life. In the first edition, we had just 5000 runners and participation has grown fourfold over the five years, with close to 20,000 runners participating this year," Karthik Raman, Chief Marketing Officer, IDBI Federal Life Insurance said.

"The IDBI Federal Life Insurance New Delhi Marathon has grown in leaps and bounds from its first edition in 2016 and has seen a constant and steady increase in participation every year. In fact, this year, we are seeing a 25% increase in participation in the Full Marathon category which shows that people are paying more attention to health and fitness," Nagaraj Adiga, Race Director said.

Sat, 15 Feb 2020 16:38:33 +0530
India s Usain Bolt

New Delhi:Srinivasa Gowda, a Kambala jockey from Moodabidri in Karnataka, has been called for trials by the Sports Ministry after he set a new record as the fastest runner in the history of the traditional sport of the coastal region.

"I'll call Karnataka's Srinivasa Gowda for trials by top SAI Coaches. There's lack of knowledge in masses about the standards of Olympics especially in athletics where ultimate human strength & endurance are surpassed. I'll ensure that no talents in India are left out untested," tweeted Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju on Saturday.

One of the tweets read: "Here's India's very own USAIN BOLT..Mr. Srinivasa Gowda from Karnataka who ran a 100m buffalo race (Kambala) in merely 9.55 seconds whereas Usain Bolt's world record is 9.58 seconds. Thank you @KirenRijiju Sir for acknowledging such talent!"

Shashi Tharoor had earlier tweeted: "Faster Than Usain Bolt? Karnataka Man Running With Buffaloes Covers 100 Metres in Just 9.55 Seconds. I urge the Athletics Association of India to take this man under their wing & make an Olympic champion of him. Wonder how many hidden talents we have!"

The 28-year-old is a construction worker and took just 13.62 seconds to cover a distance of 145 metres at the Kambala at Aikala village about 30 kilometres from Mangaluru.

Srinivasa took just 9.55 seconds to run a distance of 100 metres and netizens were quick to point out that he was faster that eight-time Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt. Bolt currently holds the world record in the 100-metre race at 9.58 seconds in 2009.

Kambala is an annual race held in Karnataka where people sprint 142m through paddy fields with buffalo. Traditionally, it is sponsored by local Tuluva landlords and households in the coastal districts of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi.

Sat, 15 Feb 2020 16:27:38 +0530
Give Kohli freedom win t

London: Indian Premier League (IPL) team Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on Friday unveiled their brand-new logo. The redesigned logo with the majestic lion illustrates and brings alive RCB's philosophy, a bold and fearless attitude of playing exciting cricket. But former owner Vijay Mallya has made it clear that it is time for RCB to win the title as the team gears up for the 13th edition of the cash-rich league.

Reacting to the new logo, Mallya took to Twitter and wrote: "Great...but win the trophy!"

In fact, he went on to speak on how skipper Virat Kohli should be given the freedom to guide the side to a title as the fans want to see the team bring the trophy home.

"Virat came to RCB from the India U 19 squad. Virat has led India to great success and has been an outstanding performer himself. Leave it to him and give him the freedom. All RCB fans want that long overdue IPL trophy," he wrote.

The new RCB logo design balances the simplicity and 'iconicity' of the lion to create the next chapter for one of India's most iconic sports team.

The Bengaluru-based franchise, who have not been able to win IPL since its inception in 2008, on Wednesday had changed the name of their official Twitter handle raising a few eyebrows. The account removed its display picture and cover picture while the name was changed to just 'Royal Challengers'.

The same was done on their Instagram and Facebook accounts.

Sat, 15 Feb 2020 16:23:28 +0530
Poonam Pandey s shoot for

Mumbai: Model and actress Poonam Pandey has always been in the news for her steamy photo-ops in social media and stormy comments in the media. She has done it again, this time seemingly by way of her new Valentine's Day photoshoot.

In the new set of images Poonam is reclining face down, dressed in what seems like a deep orange one-piece swimsuit. She has slid down the dress from over her upper torso for effect, and is seen covering her chest with her hands.

As love is in the air, she also posted some Valentine's Day videos on Instagram. In one video, she is seen wishing everyone a Happy Valentine's Day. In another, she says she "literally got a cock from him" even though she was expecting flowers. Then she asked her three million followers, "what was your Valentine surprise?"

Sat, 15 Feb 2020 16:17:36 +0530
smart diaper can alert

New York:Worries about changing the baby's diaper at the right time may soon become a thing of the past for many parents as Indian-origin researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a "smart" version of the product that can alert a caregiver when it is wet.

This smart diaper is embedded with a moisture sensor that detects dampness and sends a signal to a nearby receiver, which in turn can send a notification to a smartphone or computer, according to a study published in the journal IEEE Sensors. The sensor could also be integrated into adult diapers, for patients who might be unaware or too embarrassed to report themselves that a change is needed, according to Pankhuri Sen, a research assistant in MIT's AutoID Laboratory.

"Diapers are used not just for babies, but for ageing populations, or patients who are bedridden and unable to take care of themselves," Sen said. "It would be convenient in these cases for a caregiver to be notified that a patient, particularly in a multibed hospital, needs changing," she added.

If worn too long, a wet diaper can cause painful rashes. "This (smart diaper) could prevent rashes and some infections like urinary tract infections, in both ageing and infant populations," added research collaborator Sai Nithin R. Kantareddy, a graduate student in MIT's Department of Mechanical Engineering.

The sensor in the diaper consists of a passive radio frequency identification (RFID) tag, that is placed below a layer of super absorbent polymer, a type of hydrogel that is typically used in diapers to soak up moisture. When the hydrogel is wet, the material expands and becomes slightly conductive -- enough to trigger the RFID tag to send a radio signal to an RFID reader up to one metre away. The researchers estimate that the sensor costs less than 2 cents to manufacture, making it a low-cost, disposable alternative to other smart diaper technology.

Over time, smart diapers may help record and identify certain health problems, such as signs of constipation or incontinence. A typical RFID tag has two elements: an antenna for backscattering radio frequency signals, and an RFID chip that stores the tag's information, such as the specific product that the tag is affixed to. RFID tags don't require batteries; they receive energy in the form of radio waves emitted by an RFID reader.

When an RFID tag picks up this energy, its antenna activates the RFID chip, which tweaks the radio waves and sends a signal back to the reader, with its information encoded within the waves.

This is how, for instance, products labelled with RFID tags can be identified and tracked. The new sensor may be especially useful for nurses working in neonatal units and caring for multiple babies at a time.

Sat, 15 Feb 2020 16:12:34 +0530
Eating fast food can make

New York: If you want your children to stay in shape, do not allow them to indulge in burgers and pizzas. Researchers have found that fast food intake can independently contribute to excess weight gain among children. Being overweight and obese increases the risk of numerous physical and psychosocial problems during childhood, including fatty liver disease, Type-2 diabetes and depression.

"We now know from our studies and others, that kids who start on the path of extra weight gain during this really important time frame tend to carry it forward into adolescence and adulthood, and this sets them up for major health consequences as they get older," said first author Jennifer Emond, Assistant Professor at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College, US. "To our knowledge, ours is the first study to follow a cohort over time and to show that fast food, by itself, uniquely contributes to weight gain," explained Emond.

Previous research has shown that fast food intake is common among children and has suggested that there is an association between fast food consumption and children becoming overweight or obese. But it has not been clear whether eating fast food independently contributes to excess weight gain at such a young age.

In an effort to make this determination, the investigators followed a cohort of more than 500 pre-school age children (ages 3 to 5) and their families in southern New Hampshire for one year. The height and weight of the children were measured at the beginning and end of the study published in the journal Pediatric Obesity.

Parents reported their children's fast food intake frequency weekly - from 11 chain fast food restaurants - in six online surveys that were completed at two-month intervals. The researchers found that at the beginning of the study, about 18 per cent of the children were overweight and nearly 10 per cent were obese.

Importantly, about 8 per cent of the children transitioned to a greater weight status over the one-year period. "Unlike with past research, we were able to adjust for other factors - such as exercise and screen time - that could possibly explain away this relationship," Emond said. "Findings from this research should be used to inform guidelines and policies that can reduce fast food marketing exposure to children and help support parents who may be struggling to adopt healthier eating behaviours for their kids," she added.

Sat, 15 Feb 2020 16:04:15 +0530
A Small Fire Breaks Out i

A small fire broke out on Saturday in the basement of hotel ' The Park ' in Delhi. The fire was confirmed only after three foreigners complained of smoke-induced breathlessness. They were admitted into hospital. 14 people were admitted to the Ganga Ram hospital after complaining of breathlessness. Most of them have been discharged now.

Sat, 15 Feb 2020 15:59:11 +0530
Green tea plus exercise

New York:People suffering from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease may benefit from regular exercise and replacing high-calorie beverages with decaffeinated, diet green tea, suggests new research.

The researchers found that a combination of green tea extract and exercise reduced the severity of obesity-related fatty liver disease by 75 per cent in mice fed a high-fat diet.

Although untested in human trials, the results suggest a potential health strategy.

"Combining the two might have health benefits for people, but we don't have the clinical data yet," said Joshua Lambert, Associate Professor of Food Science at The Pennsylvania State University in the US. 

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is a significant global health problem that is expected to worsen, Lambert said.

Because of the high prevalence of risk factors such as obesity and Type-2 diabetes, fatty liver disease is forecast to afflict more than 100 million people by 2030. And there are currently no validated therapies for the disease. 

In the study, mice fed a high-fat diet for 16 weeks that consumed green tea extract and exercised regularly by running on a wheel were found to have just a quarter of the lipid deposits in their livers compared to those seen in the livers of a control group of mice.

Mice that were treated with green tea extract alone or exercise alone had roughly half as much fat in their livers as the control group. 

In addition to analyzing the liver tissues of mice in the study, which was published recently in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, the researchers also measured the protein and fat content in their faeces. 

They found that the mice that consumed green tea extract and exercised had higher fecal lipid and protein levels. 

"By examining the livers of these mice after the study concluded and by screening their faeces during the research, we saw that the mice that consumed green tea extract and exercised actually were processing nutrients differently -- their bodies were handling food differently," Lambert said. 

"We think the polyphenols in green tea interact with digestive enzymes secreted in the small intestine and partially inhibit the breakdown of carbohydrates, fat and protein in food," he added. 

"So, if a mouse doesn't digest the fat in its diet, that fat and the calories associated with it pass through the mouse's digestive system, and a certain amount of it ends up coming out in its faeces," he said.

Sat, 15 Feb 2020 15:58:52 +0530
RSS chief inaugurates new

Ahmedabad: Chief Mohan Bhagwat of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) inaugurated here on Saturday the newly built Gujarat headquarters building of the Sangh- Dr Hedgewar Bhavan-. After offering flowers to a large Bharat Mata painting installed at its main entrance, he inaugurated the five story building, located in Maninagar city. The new structure was built at a cost of Rs five crore.

Sat, 15 Feb 2020 15:52:21 +0530
Fire in Thane mall no ca

Thane: On Saturday a fire broke out at the Thane of Maharashtra. So far no fatalities or injuries have been reported. The fire broke out on the Lake City Mall's first floor in Kapurbawdi near the Thane (West) Balkum Fire Station.

Sat, 15 Feb 2020 15:42:40 +0530
Shah Faesal booked under

Former IAS officer and president of the People's Movement of Jammu & Kashmir (JKPM) group, Shah Faesal has been booked under the Public Safety Act (PSA). He is now one of the eight political leaders who had been charged under draconian law after Dr. Farooq Abdulla. Others who have been booked under PSA include Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti, Ali Mohammad Sagar, Sartaj Madani, Hilal Lone, and Nayeem Akhtar.

Sat, 15 Feb 2020 15:36:29 +0530
Arth A walk through Indi

New Delhi:Arth, the culture fest is back with its second season in the National Capital Region. The National edition will be held in Delhi from February 21 to 23, at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. The festival aims to rediscover, reconnect with and revisit India through art, culture, literature, politics, and society. It celebrates the essence of Indian thought and philosophy by bringing together close to 200 scholars, writers, artists and artisans from across India and the globe as participants.

The edition will also include varied activities, including cultural performances, workshops, visual art installations, live art, etc. Exclusive sessions have been curated for children, which will comprise creative workshops. Among the prominent Indian names speaking at the festival includes, Sonal Mansingh, Lord Meghnad, Ruskin Bond, Abhijit Iyer Mitra, Abhinav Prakash, Anand Ranganathan, Anuj Dhar among others.

The second season will also include performances by legendary artists like Bhai Manohar Singh, Euphoria, Gurdas Mann, Kumar Vishwas, Mame Khan, Mohanakrishnan, SinamBasu Singh, Qutbi Brothers, and Shubha Mudgal. Also, Nartaki Natraj, the first trans woman to receive Padma Award will also be performing.

Shreyasi Goenka, Founder, and Director, Arth, said: "We are focused on keeping alive the meaning of Indian culture. It's in our DNA. I am extremely glad to announce the second season of India's largest attempt to celebrate all things that belong to this land, Arth. We want to inspire people to look inward and discover what we as Indians stand for, what we are forgetting, what we criticise and why and ultimately, how we can all move forward. The second season of Arth in Delhi will aim to bind us together by discovering our common ethos."

Dr Vikram Sampath, Festival Director, Arth, said: "Arth is a festival to truly understand the extent of India's cultural evolution. Arth- through lectures, panel discussions, concerts, and performances-will contextualise a lot of this traditional knowledge to modern times. The festival aims to be the definitive platform to help attendees deep dive into India's culture."

Source : IANS

Sat, 15 Feb 2020 15:31:13 +0530
Will decide on retirement

Lahore: Veteran Pakistan all-rounder Shoaib Malik has said he will be making a decision about his international retirement around the T20 World Cup slated to be played in Australia this year. "The World Cup is still far off and I think right now my focus is on the Pakistan Super League and coming matches for Pakistan. When I get closer to the World Cup I will see what to do," Malik told reporters on Friday. "I will have to see my fitness and position in the national side closer to the World Cup and then I will take a decision on final retirement," he added. The former Pakistan skipper had retired from ODIs after last year's World Cup in England. After three games at the World Cup in which he scored 8, 0 and 0, he was dropped from the team. 

However, recently he was called for the three-match T20I series against Bangladesh. In the first T20I, he even scored an unbeaten 50 and showed no signs of rustiness. The 38-year-old, who has played 35 Tests, 287 ODIs and 113 T20Is for Pakistan, is now focusing on making most of the every opportunity available.

source: ians

Sat, 15 Feb 2020 15:30:21 +0530
Anti CAA protests held ac

Chennai: Protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and the police action against the protestors on Friday night here were held by muslim organisations in Chennai, Nagercoil, Madurai, Virudhunagar and other places on Saturday.  According to the police, during the anti-CAA protest in Chennai on Friday some protesters hurled stones and chappals injuring some policemen. This prompted the police to resort to mild baton charge and some prostesters were detained, as they had assembled for protest without permission.

The protesters also demanded the Tamil Nadu government to pass a resolution in the Assembly against the implementation of the CAA. Meanwhile speaking to media, Chennai Police Commissioner A.K. Viswanathan said they had visited police officials who were injured at the protest site on Friday and no public was injured. Viswanathan said permission has not been granted for holding the protests.

The Police Commissioner also met the Chief Minister K. Palaniswami on Saturday. DMK President M.K. Stalin urged the Tamil Nadu government to withdraw the cases against the protesters, while condemning the police action on them late on Friday. He also said the state government should permit holding of peaceful protests. Stalin said the protests were held peacefully and he demanded the state government to pass a resolution against the CAA on Friday evening. In a statement MMK leader M.H. Jawahirullah also condemned the police action.

He said Tamil Nadu police has been denying permission to hold protests in Chennai, Madurai and other places similar to that of being held in Delhi's Shaheen Bagh. Jawahirullah said the police had not kept their word of giving permission to hold anti-CAA protest when approached. The protesters decided to hold protest on Friday and the police took action against them. 
He also demanded action against the police officials and release of those arrested.


Sat, 15 Feb 2020 15:26:39 +0530
data shared with Google

San Francisco: Amazon-owned home security company Ring, which has been in the middle of a controversy for sharing data with Google and Facebook, is likely to change its privacy settings. 

This comes after almost two weeks of a study that showed the company was sharing user data with tech giants like Facebook, Google and other parties without their consent.

The change will let Ring users block the company from sharing most, but not all, of their data, a report in CBS News said on Friday.

A company spokesperson said people will be able to opt out of those sharing agreements "where applicable." The spokesperson declined to clarify what "where applicable" might mean, the report added.

The Amazon-owned home security firm will roll out the feature for users soon.

More recently, Ring has faced privacy concerns around its technology.

In late January, an Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) study found the company regularly shares user data with Facebook, including that of Ring users who don't have accounts on the social media platform, CBS News added.

Sat, 15 Feb 2020 15:23:00 +0530
Tharoor fined Rs 5 000 by

New Delhi: In the defamation case filed by BJP leader Rajiv Babbar, a Delhi Court levied a fine of Rs 5,000 on senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor over his frequent non-appearence. Additional Metropolitan Chief Magistrate Vishal Pahuja strongly ordered Tharoor to appear before the court on March 4, next hearing date.

Sat, 15 Feb 2020 15:21:25 +0530
Tesla Model 3 wins contra

Taipei:Electric vehicle (EV) maker Tesla has won a contract with the Taiwanese military police to provide them with a fleet of 20 Model 3 electric vehicles.

The Tesla Owner Elon Musk’s Taiwan Twitter account shared a photo of Model 3 vehicles fitted with the official military license plates. Taiwan authorities will also purchase solar roofs and two wall chargers from Tesla, as Tesla Model 3 and Model S have been popular trends among Police departments.

Many countries including US and Dubai are using Tesla cars and Cybertruck for Police departments and plans to buy more from Tesla in future.

Sat, 15 Feb 2020 15:08:51 +0530
Kashmir marked disputed

San Francisco: The Washington Post reported the outlines of Kashmir are shown in dotted lines suggesting  "disputed" territory. But for those viewing within India it shows ordinary as part of India, within the country. Google shows the borders of several other countries and looks differently on Google Maps for those checking from outside the country. According to Google, it follows local legislation wherever local versions of Google Maps are available. 

"Our goal is always to provide the most comprehensive and accurate map possible based on ground truth," Ethan Russell, Director of Product Management for Google Maps, was quoted as saying in a statement by The Post.

More than 220 countries and 200 million. surfaced information about places and Businesses are mapped on Google Maps. Along with using satellite imageryGoogle Maps also take contributions by volunteers, AI advanced technologies and Machine Learning technologies for Mapping. 

While Google dominates the mobile maps market, Apple Maps comes second in terms of popularity. An Apple spokeswoman told The Washington Post that the iPhone maker is responsive to local laws with respect to border and place name labelling.

Sat, 15 Feb 2020 14:49:44 +0530
to accelerate plant life

Hyderabad: Giving a major boost to the efforts to modernise crop breeding, the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) on Friday launched a new facility, which is projected to significantly lower time and cost of crop varietal development. Called RapidGen, this facility has in it the technology that can make plants zoom through their lifecycle to quickly reproduce and bear seeds. Where it normally takes about a decade to develop new varieties, RapidGen can help cut that down by about 40 per cent, scientists at ICRISAT said.

The state-of-the-art facility, a first for any public sector agricultural research institution, will accelerate plant lifecycle in light, temperature and humidity-controlled conditions.

Presently, breeding a new crop variety takes about a decade or more, with six or seven years spent in seasonal generational advancements to arrive at the elite lines that go for testing and release as varieties. RapidGen will shorten the six-seven year window significantly. "Climate and exponential population growth have to be considered for rapid development of improved food crops is essential. But we also need to look at what has been achieved to sustain food security and achieve nutrition security," said Dr Peter Carberry, Director General, ICRISAT.

"With facilities like RapidGen, crop breeders can overcome the limitations of seasons and photoperiod to develop the elite generations in fraction of the time and cost it would take if done in fields."

Dr Kiran K Sharma, Deputy Director General, Research, ICRISAT, told the media persons that protocols for chickpea, groundnut, pearl millet and sorghum are already in place. "Protocol development is the first step before a breeding program can take advantage of facilities like RapidGen. With their development, our partners and collaborators, both public and private, can integrated these modern techniques into their breeding programmes."

ICRISAT is collaborating with several agricultural research institutes under Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), State Agriculture Universities and industry partners to mainstream rapid cycling of the crops for which protocols have already been standardised.

Sat, 15 Feb 2020 14:27:50 +0530
UK under storm alerts

London: UK weather reports warn about new storm Dennis and experts anticipating more damage than recently hit storm Ciara which flooded many houses across the country last week. 

Media reports on Saturday that Environment Agency warns flooding with “perfect storm” likely to be worse with saturated ground with strong winds, melting snow and heavy rains - BBC reported. 

Amber warnings for rain and yellow warnings for wind were in place for most of the UK from Saturday afternoon into Sunday evening, which means flooding could cause a danger to life, power cuts and also a good chance that transport links would be impacted.

Budget airline EasyJet has confirmed the cancellation of 234 flights to, from and within the UK, while flag carrier British Airways said it was making a "small number" of cancellations, merging some short-haul flights that are travelling to the same destination.

The LNER train company has already cancelled dozens of services between London and the north-east of England.

The predictions however, were not as severe as last week when Ciara brought as much as 184 mm of rain and gusts reaching 97 mph, resulting in hundreds of homes flooding and more than 500,000 being left without power.

But experts have warned Storm Dennis could cause more flooding damage, because of the heavy rain falling on parts of the UK still recovering from Ciara. John Curtin, the Environment Agency's executive director of flood and coastal risk management, said Cumbria, Lancashire and Yorkshire were the areas he was most "concerned" about.

"This (storm) could be a step up from what we have seen before," the BBC quoted Curtin as saying. "We had a big storm last weekend, (we now have) saturated catchments, snowmelt and rainfall, so it is a perfect storm."

Newly-appointed Environment Secretary George Eustice said he had spoken to local flood response groups across the country on Friday. "We are fully focused on ensuring that communities are protected and have access to the support and advice they need to stay safe this weekend."

Sat, 15 Feb 2020 13:07:21 +0530
YouTube channel Govinda

Mumbai:Bollywoody’s favorite actor Govinda opened his account on YouTube recently after making his debut on TikTok. The actor has named his YoutTube channel 'Govinda No.1'. Famous actors like Alia Bhatt, Kartik Aaryan and Jacqueline Fernandes are also on YouTube.

"Each time, I have made sure that I entertain my fans who have showered me with their love and blessings, and social media is the best way to do it," Govinda said.

On the film front, Govinda has been away from the silver screen for quite a while now. He was last seen in "Rangeela Raja", which was released last year.

Sat, 15 Feb 2020 12:47:06 +0530
K Surendran is new Kerala

Thiruvananthapuram: The national leadership of the BJP, on Saturday, named  K. Surendran as its new president of the Kerala unit.

"I will do my best and do justice in the faith that the leadership of the party has placed on me by strengthening the party here." said Surendran to the media.

The post has been lying vacant since incumbent president P.S. Sreedharan Pillai demitted the post after being appointed as Governor of Mizoram, late last year.

Sat, 15 Feb 2020 12:39:17 +0530
Dal Lake to be beautified

Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir administration is to beautify Dal Lake under the Smart City plan. To restore the glory of the famous Lake the Goverment is planning to deploy men and machinery on the western site of Dal Lake and clear the portion of weeds by February 25 

Divisional Commissioner Baseer Ahmad Khan stated during a meeting convened on Friday to review various issues pertaining to the Dal Lake.

He said that smart cards will be distributed among the Dal dwellers and directed the Srinagar Deputy Commissioner to submit a complete report in this regard to the Divisional Commissioner's office immediately.

Sat, 15 Feb 2020 12:27:47 +0530
Donald trump Sat, 15 Feb 2020 12:16:57 +0530Supreme Court lifts ban o

New Delhi:Ban on construction activities in the Delhi-National Capital Region lifted by Supreme Court. The Delhi NCR region was imposed a ban for construction activities on November 4 with its deteriorating air quality. Senior advocate Aparajita Singh, assisting the court as amicus curiae in the pollution matter, told a bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra and comprising Justice Deepak Gupta, that the ban can be completely lifted as it has served its purpose.

Additional Solicitor General A.N.S. Nadkarni, representing the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, contended before the court that the Delhi government has allocated a plot for the installation of smog towers at Connaught Place and Anand Vihar in the capital, and the work is in progress.

The apex court's decision came during the hearing of a plea filed by the India Trade Promotion Organisation. The apex court in December 9 lifted the partial ban on the construction activities, allowing construction activities between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., after the Central Pollution Control Board submitted the air quality index (AQI) level was not in the severe category.

The apex court also issued notice to Delhi government on the incidents of garbage burning in the city, and sought its response. The bench also asked the Chief Secretaries of Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan to file affidavit regarding compliance of the court's direction in taking measures to curb pollution -- including stubble and garbage burning.

The bench asked all the states to file their compliance affidavit on the next date of hearing on February 28. The top court had issued notices to all states seeking various details, including measures taken to manage good air quality and disposal of garbage.

Sat, 15 Feb 2020 12:16:34 +0530
Finance Ministry to clear

New Delhi:The government is to clear Rs 540 crore of investments in residential properties which benefits 1,800 homebuyers. Finance Ministry in twitter posted "Special Window clears projects with capital commitment of more than Rs 540 Crores. Disbursements started which will provide relief to 1800 home buyers and unlock Rs 3000 Crores of invested capital,"

Further, preliminary clearance has been given for due diligence to 14 projects with capital commitment of Rs 2,500 crore that will provide relief to 10,000 home buyers and release Rs 12,500 crore of invested capital, it said, adding that around 40 more deals under active consideration for investment.

The Central government last year announced a Rs 25,000 crore fund to help complete over 1,500 stalled housing projects, including even those that have been declared NPAs (non-performing assets) or admitted for insolvency proceedings. The move is likely to help 4.58 lakh housing units across the country with only RERA-registered projects with positive net worth will be provided funds.

The Rs 25,000 crore fund is in form of alternative investment fund (AIF). The Centre is infusing Rs 10,000 crore into this stress fund, while the remaining being provided by state insurer LIC and SBI. The AIF is being managed by SBI Caps.


Sat, 15 Feb 2020 12:02:59 +0530
Global consulting firms t

Bengaluru: Global consulting firms lead campus recruitment in premier business school Indian Institute of Management-Bangalore (IIM-B), the school said on Friday.

"Prominent domestic and international recruiters participated in the final placements which resulted in premium jobs for the students. There was a 6.14 per cent increase in the total number of jobs offered compared to the previous year," said IIM-B career development services chair U. Dinesh Kumar in a statement.

Accenture lead consulting job offers of 147 with 26 absorptions, followed by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) (23), Bain & Company (20), Kearny (15), McKinsey & Co (14), GEP Consulting (7) and others. In the technology consulting domain, PriceWaterHouseCoopers made 12 placement offers among a total of 27 recruitment.

From the IT sector, Microsoft IDC lead recruitment with 10 offers, out of a total of 38, also featuring TCS, Flipkart, Amazon, Paytm and others. As many as 42 students bagged jobs in the finance stream. Goldman Sachs made the highest of eight offers, followed by JP Morgan with five, Avendus Capital with five and others such as Wells Fargo, Landmark, Prime Ventures and Motilal Oswal Group.

Among conglomerates recruiting for their leadership tracks, Aditya Birla Group dominated with eight offers, followed by Adani Group with seven, Vedanta with six, Capgemini with five, Tata Administrative Services with four and others. Management students with sales and marketing elective bagged 55 offers in total, lead by Heineken beer-maker Anheuser-Busch InBev with 10 jobs, FIIT JEE-EdFora with five, Procter & Gamble with and others.

From the operations stream, 17 students bagged jobs in Accenture Operations, Hindustan Coca Cola, Gilbarco, Moonfrong and others."IIM-B has seen an increase in domestic and international offers across sectors such as consulting, finance, general management, product management, e-commerce, operations, analytics and marketing despite market conditions," said placement representative Anushree Jibhakate.

Among all the job roles, strategy consulting and product management continue to be the most sought after, followed by finance and general management. According to the state-funded institute, all 428 students bagged 518 jobs in the lateral and final placements from the 2018-20 post graduate programme (PGP) or MBA batch over three days of interviews. Meanwhile, a source from IIM-B told IANS that students from other fulltime residential courses, different from the flagship two-year MBA or PGP, did not get fully placed.

"Twelve students from executive post graduate programme (EPGP) and seven out of nine from the post graduate programme in public policy and management (PGPPM) course did not get jobs yet," said the source.


Sat, 15 Feb 2020 11:47:39 +0530
recruit IIM Banglore camp

Bengaluru: Global consulting firms lead campus recruitment in premier business school Indian Institute of Management-Bangalore (IIM-B), the school said on Friday. "Prominent domestic and international recruiters participated in the final placements which resulted in premium jobs for the students. There was a 6.14 per cent increase in the total number of jobs offered compared to the previous year," said IIM-B career development services chair U. Dinesh Kumar in a statement.

Accenture lead consulting job offers of 147 with 26 absorptions, followed by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) (23), Bain & Company (20), Kearny (15), McKinsey & Co (14), GEP Consulting (7) and others.

In the technology consulting domain, PriceWaterHouseCoopers made 12 placement offers among a total of 27 recruitment. From the IT sector, Microsoft IDC lead recruitment with 10 offers, out of a total of 38, also featuring TCS, Flipkart, Amazon, Paytm and others.

As many as 42 students bagged jobs in the finance stream. Goldman Sachs made the highest of eight offers, followed by JP Morgan with five, Avendus Capital with five and others such as Wells Fargo, Landmark, Prime Ventures and Motilal Oswal Group.

Among conglomerates recruiting for their leadership tracks, Aditya Birla Group dominated with eight offers, followed by Adani Group with seven, Vedanta with six, Capgemini with five, Tata Administrative Services with four and others. Management students with sales and marketing elective bagged 55 offers in total, lead by Heineken beer-maker Anheuser-Busch InBev with 10 jobs, FIIT JEE-EdFora with five, Procter & Gamble with and others.

From the operations stream, 17 students bagged jobs in Accenture Operations, Hindustan Coca Cola, Gilbarco, Moonfrong and others."IIM-B has seen an increase in domestic and international offers across sectors such as consulting, finance, general management, product management, e-commerce, operations, analytics and marketing despite market conditions," said placement representative Anushree Jibhakate.

Among all the job roles, strategy consulting and product management continue to be the most sought after, followed by finance and general management. According to the state-funded institute, all 428 students bagged 518 jobs in the lateral and final placements from the 2018-20 post graduate programme (PGP) or MBA batch over three days of interviews.

Meanwhile, a source from IIM-B told IANS that students from other fulltime residential courses, different from the flagship two-year MBA or PGP, did not get fully placed."Twelve students from executive post graduate programme (EPGP) and seven out of nine from the post graduate programme in public policy and management (PGPPM) course did not get jobs yet," said the source.

Sat, 15 Feb 2020 11:43:03 +0530
Leander Paes in doubles f

Bengaluru: Tennis was the ultimate winner at the KSLTA courts as almost all the matches -- singles quarterfinals and doubles semifinals -- went till the wire in the US $ 162,500 Bengaluru Open, giving the viewers their money's worth. Indian tennis legend Leander Paes doubled their joy by reaching the title round along with his partner Matthew Abden.

The Indo-Aussie pair quelled the challenge of the second seeds Jonathan Erlich of Israel and Andrei Vasilevski of Belarus 6-4, 3-6, 10-7 amidst the chanting of Leander's name by the supportive crowd.

The only match that didn't produce the fireworks was the second semifinal between another Indo-Australian pair of Saketh Myneni (IND) and Matt Reid who had to concede their match to an all Indian pair of Purav Raja and Ramkumar Ramanathan, seeded fourth here.

The latter had won the first set 7-5 and were tied 15-15 in the first game of the second set when Reid fell down and hurt his knee.

Sat, 15 Feb 2020 11:17:35 +0530
Bhawna Jat qualifies for

Ranchi: India's female race walker Bhawna Jat has earned a quota for Tokyo Olympics Games in 20km RaceWalk event after setting a new national record at the National Race Walk Championships on Saturday. The 24-year-old from Rajasthan clocked a record time of 1 hour, 29 minutes and 54 seconds to bring about her win at the Seventh National Race Walk Championships. She comfortably beat the Olympic qualification mark of 1:31.00.

Her previous best in the category was 1:38.30, which she had set in October last year. Meanwhile, Priyanka Goswami missed out on the qualification with a narrow timing of 1:31:36, just 36 seconds slower than the Tokyo qualification standard time. In the men's event, Sandeep Kumar won the race after clocking a timing of 1:21:34. However, he was unfortunate to miss out on the Tokyo Olympics qualification by just 34 seconds which is set at 1 hour 20 minutes.

Kumar will now aim to seal a spot for the Tokyo Olympics at the Asian Race Walk Championship to be held next month in Japan. "Will try to further improve timing if selected for Asian RW Championships next month in Japan and try to qualify for Tokyo 2020," said Kumar. KT Irfan had last year become the first Indian from athletics to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics after finishing fourth in the 20 km event of the Asian Race Walking Championships held in March in Nomi, Japan.


Sat, 15 Feb 2020 11:12:33 +0530
Chronic kidney disease ki

New York: Researchers have revealed that chronic kidney disease caused 1.23 million deaths worldwide in 2017 and the rates of people needing dialysis have increased more than 40 per cent since 1990. According to the findings, published in the journal The Lancet, there were 697.5 million cases of chronic kidney disease in 2017 and nearly one-third of those patients lived in two countries - China, with about 132 million cases, and India, with about 115 million.

"Chronic kidney disease is a global killer hidden in plain sight. The evidence is clear: Many nations' health systems cannot keep pace with the dialysis demand. Cases far exceed and are well beyond the ability of those systems to handle. The consequences, literally, are deadly," said study researcher Theo Vos from University of Washington in the US. In addition to deaths resulting from organ failure in chronic kidney disease, impaired kidney function also puts individuals at higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease, the researchers said.

Globally, chronic kidney disease directly resulted in an estimated 1.23 million deaths in 2017, with an additional 1.36 million deaths attributable to cardiovascular disease resulting from impaired kidney . Chronic kidney disease was the 12th leading cause of death globally in 2017, up from 17th in 1990. According to the study, 10 other nations - the US, Indonesia, Russia, Japan, Brazil, Pakistan, Mexico, Nigeria, Bangladesh, and Vietnam - each had more than 10 million cases in 2017. In total, 79 of the 195 countries included in the study exceeded 1 million cases. Those cases and deaths in 2017 led to an estimated 7.3 million years lived with disability and 28.5 million years of life lost, the study said.

There was a more than 15-fold difference in the burden of chronic kidney disease among countries: American Samoa, El Salvador, Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, and Mauritius had the highest estimated rates of years lost to ill health (disability-adjusted life years or DALYs) with more than 1,500 per 100,000 population. In contrast, Andorra, Finland, Iceland, and Slovenia had the lowest burden with fewer than 120 DALYs per 100,000 population. The primary cause of chronic kidney disease varies, with hypertension and diabetes being the most common.

The link between kidney disease and other major non-communicable diseases highlights the importance of preventive care and public health policy in limiting the progression of chronic kidney disease. HIV and exposure to toxins or heavy metals play an additional role in developing countries, while in some areas of the world the cause remains unknown, the researchers said.


Sat, 15 Feb 2020 11:08:58 +0530
Valentine s Day Man prop

Kolkata: A man was seen proposing to his girlfriend with a rose while journeying by the new East West Kolkata Metro on Valentines Day on Friday. The man knelt down on his knees to propose to the smiling woman occupying a seat of the nearly empty coach of the spank new metro, which began its commercial run on Friday.

The Kolkata Metro shared on its social media handle a photo of the man proposing to the woman. Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday inaugurated the 4.8 km first phase of the EW Metro corridor that connected the tech hub of Salt Lake Sector V with the soccer venue Salt Lake stadium.

Source IANS

Sat, 15 Feb 2020 11:08:45 +0530
Facebook cancels MWC 2020

San Francisco:Facebook's Global Marketing Summit  'Mobile World Congress' 2020 is informed cancelled due to evolving public health risks related to coronavirus. A report in The San Francisco Chronicle says MWC 2020 was scheduled from March 9-12 at Barcelona and worldwide participants exceeding 5,000 were expected for the event. 

"Out of an abundance of caution, we canceled our Global Marketing Summit due to evolving public health risks related to coronavirus," a spokesperson was quoted as saying in the report late Friday. The company is also planning to hold the event in San Francisco in the future.

In accordance with the global alarming situation with Novel Coronavirus fears several top exhibitors and tech companies pulling out of the event. Other events postponed or cancelled include Chinese Grand Prix, the Black Hat information security conference's Asia summit; London Metal Exchange's annual Asian gathering in Hong Kong and Art Basel's annual art fair in Hong Kong, among others


Sat, 15 Feb 2020 11:01:55 +0530
US dollar ends higher on

New York: The US dollar inched up in late trading on Friday as US consumers' sentiment in February improved while the gross domestic product (GDP) in euro zone grew slower in the final quarter of 2019. In late New York trading, the euro decreased to $1.0839 from $1.0842 in the previous session, and the British pound decreased to $1.3032 from $1.3053 in the previous session. The Australian dollar fell to $0.6710 from $0.6724, Xinhua reported.

The US dollar bought 109.76 Japanese yen, lower than 109.82 Japanese yen of the previous session. The US dollar was up to 0.9818 Swiss franc from 0.9792 Swiss franc, and it was down to 1.3252 Canadian dollars from 1.3260 Canadian dollars. Data released by the University of Michigan on Friday show upbeat consumer sentiment this month. The consumer sentiment index for February was at 100.9, beating market expectation and higher than the reading in January.

In the European Union (EU), the GDP of euro zone inched up 0.1 percent in the last quarter of 2019, slower than the 0.3 per cent growth in the previous quarter due to contractions in France and Italy, according to the EU's statistics office Eurostat on Friday. The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six major peers, increased 0.05 per cent at 99.1248 in late trading.


Sat, 15 Feb 2020 10:58:38 +0530
15 children die in Haiti

Port-au-Prince: At least 15 children were killed in a fire at a Haiti orphanage run by a US-based Christian non-profit group, authorities said. Two children died in their rooms when the fire erupted on Thursday night in the orphanage located on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince, while the other 13 succumbed to respiratory complications at a nearby hospital, Efe news quoted a senior official as saying on Friday. 
"Unfortunately, the Fermathe hospital where the victims were admitted couldn't do much. They were already in serious condition and breathing very weakly even before they arrived there," the official said.

A candle left on a board in one of the hallways in the two-storey complex was the apparent origin of the blaze. The fire spread through the ground floor of the building and left one bedroom and other rooms completely charred, but the smoke also affected the second floor where the other bedrooms were located. The orphanage, which had the capacity to house 66 children, has been run for the past 40 years by the Orphanage of the Church of Bible Understanding, a Pennsylvania-based Christian organization. Located in Petion-Ville, a suburb of Port-au-Prince, the orphanage did not have an operating permit. 
That situation is the norm in this impoverished country, with only 35 of Haiti's 754 orphanages having a license to operate.


Sat, 15 Feb 2020 10:54:51 +0530
Over 17cr PAN cards to be

New Delhi: More than 17 crore PAN cards will become inoperative if not linked with the Aadhar by end of March.

In a move with large scale disruption potential, the Income Tax Department has said that Permanent Account Number (PAN) will become inoperative if not linked with Aadhaar by March 31, 2020. 
It may be recalled that the deadline for linking of PAN and Aadhar has been extended several times and the latest deadline ends on 31 March, 2020. As per the latest figures, over 30.75 crore PANs have already been linked to Aadhaar. However, 17.58 crore PANs are yet to be linked with the 12-digit biometric ID.

The Supreme Court had in September 2018 declared Aadhaar as constitutionally valid and held that the biometric ID would remain mandatory for the filing of income tax returns and allotment of PAN cards. 
"Where a person, who has been allotted the permanent account number as on July1, 2017 and is required to intimate his Aadhaar number under sub-section (2) of section 139AA, has failed to intimate the same on or before March 31, 2020, the permanent account number of such person shall become inoperative immediately after the said date for the purposes of furnishing, intimating or quoting under the Act," the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) said.

Through a notification, the CBDT amended Income Tax rules and inserted Rule 114, stipulating the "manner of making permanent account number inoperative". The notification said that persons whose PANs become inoperative shall be liable for all the consequences under the I-T Act for not furnishing, intimating or quoting the permanent account number. For those linking PAN with Aadhaar after March 31, 2020, the I-T department said it shall "become operative from the date of intimation of Aadhaar number". Section 139 AA (2) of the Income Tax Act says that every person having PAN as on July 1, 2017, and eligible to obtain Aadhaar, must intimate his Aadhaar number to the tax authorities.


Sat, 15 Feb 2020 09:17:10 +0530
42 day Amarnath Yatra thi

Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Girish Chandra Murmu, who is also the Chairman of the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB), on Friday presided over the 37th Board Meeting held at Raj Bhavan, Jammu, an official said here.Regarding the duration and date of commencement of the Yatra 2020 pilgrimage, based on the approach set out by the Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Committee, which had been set up to advise on the duration and schedule of future Yatras, and keeping in view the the safety and security of the pilgrims, the Board decided that a 42-day Yatra would commence on June 23, 2020, on the auspicious day of the Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra festival and conclude on the occasion of Shravan Purnima (Raksha Bandhan festival) on August 3, 2020.

The Board noted the steps taken by the CEO for registration of pilgrims through 442 designated branches of the Punjab National Bank, Jammu and Kashmir Bank and YES Bank, located in 32 states and union territories (UTs), and directed him to take all required measures to commence the advance registration of pilgrims from April 1, 2020.Considering the success of the Pilot Project of Online Registration of a limited number of intending pilgrims in 2019, the Board decided to increase the quota of online registrations.

The Board also directed that wide publicity be made, through the electronic and print media, informing intending pilgrims to timely secure the prescribed Compulsory Health Certificates issued by the Doctors or hospitals nominated by their home states or UTs and only, thereafter, seek advance registration from the nearest designated bank which would issue the pilgrim a Yatra permit valid for the specified date and route. The Board also advised the CEO to appeal to all the potential pilgrims to consult their doctors before starting the pilgrimage. The CEO was also directed to widely publicize that no person below the age of 13 and above the age of 75 years shall be permitted to undertake the pilgrimage.

The Board further directed the CEO to take timely steps for ensuring uninterrupted telecom connectivity in the Yatra area.Appreciating the important services rendered by the 'langar' (free kitchen) organisations, the Board looked forward to their continued support during the ensuing Yatra. The Board directed the CEO to caution all potential pilgrims to particularly take into account the difficult climate and terrain in the high altitude region of the Yatra and prepare themselves fully for undertaking the pilgrimage.

According to the official, as in the past, an awareness campaign would be launched in cooperation with the Information Ministry all details relating to the Yatra would be placed on the Board's website The Board reviewed the action plan drawn up for the conduct of Yatra 2020, particularly the arrangements being made for medical care, sanitation facilities, installation of the railings at all vulnerable points along each of the two routes, as well as the measures being taken to preserve the environment on the pilgrimage route by ensuring garbage removal in a scientific and environment-friendly manner. Instructions were also issued to ensure that the Yatra routes and camps remain plastic-free and completely prohibited the entry of single use plastic.

source: ians

Fri, 14 Feb 2020 21:35:16 +0530
VHP criticises Kerala CM

On Friday, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) launched a blistering attack on Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, citing a news report by ' Organiser, ' the RSS mouthpiece, alleging that a Kerala church was illegally selling acres of intruded coastline or government land to Christian families. VHP spokesperson Vindo Bansal tweeted: "Nothing can be more dangerous than it...Making a mockery of law, the Latin Church sold Kerala public-revenue land worth crores of rupees to 192 christian families, 167 houses completed but @vijayanpinarayi Govt had surrendered???" Bansal also tagged Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan, urging him to act in the matter.

Fri, 14 Feb 2020 21:31:07 +0530
Pawar miffed with Thacker

Mumbai: Displaying strains in the Maha Vikas Aghadi, Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar expressed his displeasure over Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray's move to hand over the politically sensitive Elgar Parishad - Koregaon-Bhima case to the National Investigation Agency (NIA). "Law and order is a state subject. It is not proper to encroach upon the rights of the state. Maharashtra's support to the move is also unfair," Pawar said in a media interaction. This is the first instance wherein Pawar - the architect of the MVA alliance of Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress - has taken public stance opposing the CM in the fledgling 75-day old government.The 79-year old leader's annoyance came after a Pune Sessions Court transferred the case to the NIA and directed all accused to be produced before the Special NIA Court in Mumbai on February 28 where the matter will be heard henceforth.

NCP leader and state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh had said yesterday that the CM had used his discretionary powers to effect the takeover from Pune Police to the NIA though the Centre should have first discussed the matter with the state.After initial resistance, the state government came around to the view that it had no objections to the transfer of the case to the NIA, as dictated by the Centre last month.
The Centre's move came barely a couple of days after Pawar had written to the CM to set up a Special Investigation Team to re-investigate the case including the role of the Pune Police, while several NCP and Congress leaders have termed the entire case as fabricated and the Centre's move as 'unconstitutional'.

After Pawar's letter, Deputy CM Ajit Pawar had convened a meeting of the home department and others to review the status of the case, and immediately thereafter, the Centre decided to hand it over to the NIA on Jan. 25.Later today, the Bombay High Court rejected the anticipatory bail applications of two activists and accused in the case - Gautam Navlakha and Anand Teltumbde - but gave them four weeks protection to file an appeal in the Supreme Court. The case dates back to the Dec. 31, 2017 Elgar Parishad in Pune, followed by the caste riots next day, Jan. 1, 2018 in Koregaon-Bhima, and subsequently the nationwide swoop on over a dozen activists in June-August 2018. The activists and intellectuals were charged with harbouring Maoist links, indulging in anti-national activities, planning to create political disturbances, preparing to wage a war against India, conspiring to assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi and plotting to overthrow the government.


Fri, 14 Feb 2020 21:25:50 +0530
Sociedad beat Mirandes in

San Sebastian: Second-division side CD Mirandes showed Real Sociedad how they reached the semifinals of the Copa del Rey, forcing the hosts to work hard for a 2-1 win that sets the stage for an exciting second leg next month in Miranda de Ebro. While hardly impressive in league play, Mirandes have proven to be the giant-killers of the 2020 Copa del Rey, dispatching three LaLiga clubs, including fifth-place Sevilla, to reach the final four.

And the visitors got off to a fast start at San Sebastian's Reale Arena on Thursday, where Martin Merquelanz -- who plays for Mirandes on loan from Sociedad -- forced a stop from home goalkeeper Alex Remiro in the opening minutes, reports Efe news. But the hosts got on the scoreboard first.

Christian Portu drew a foul in the box from Mirandes defender Odei and the referee awarded a penalty. Mikel Oyarzabal converted to put La Real up 1-0 in the eighth minute. Undaunted, Mirandes remained on the attack, led by Merquelanz, and managed to pull level in the 39th minute when Mickael Malsa got the ball to Aias, whose shot deflected off Sociedad defender Nacho Monreal and out of Remiro's reach to make it 1-1.

The stars appeared to be in alignment for Mirandes as Sociedad lacked pace and struggled with self-inflicted wounds. With three minutes left in first-half regulation, Martin Odegaard tested Mirandes keeper Limones, who made the initial stop and turned aside a second effort by Portu before conceding to the Norwegian on the rebound.

Sociedad pushed hard for a third goal after the restart, yet aside from a Portu strike that forced an outstanding save from Limones, Mirandes looked the more dangerous team.

Alex Isak, who scored a brace in Sociedad's 4-3 quarterfinal upset of Real Madrid, had a sub-par night and was pulled in the 66th minute for Willian Jose, greeted by jeers from supporters still sore over after failed bid to move to Tottenham Hotspur during the January transfer window. Jose delivered a great ball to Oyarzabal shortly after coming on, but the striker fumbled the chance, while Remiro dealt with a free-kick from Merquelanz to preserve the narrow lead.


Fri, 14 Feb 2020 15:53:25 +0530
Health issues normal for

Rio de Janeiro: Brazil's three-time World Cup winner Pele, who is suffering from a "kind of depression" as per his son, said on Friday that health issues are "normal for people of my age". According to a BBC Sport report, the legendary Pele in a statement said: "I am not avoiding fulfilling the commitments in my always busy schedule." "I have good days and bad days. That is normal for people of my age. I am not afraid, I am determined, confident in what I do."

Pele has suffered a series of health problems in recent years, including a urinary tract infection that left him hospitalised for 13 days last April. The 79-year-old former Santos and New York Cosmos forward has also encountered complications related to hip replacement surgery and now needs a frame to walk. "He is very sheepish, reclusive," his son Edinho had told TV Globo. "Imagine, he's the king, he was always such an imposing figure and today he can't walk properly. He's embarrassed, he doesn't want to go out, be seen, or do practically anything that involves leaving the house."

Edinho, who also played for Santos as a goalkeeper in the 1990s, had added that his father had not properly recovered from an operation in 2012 during which a part of the hip bone was removed and replaced with titanium prosthesis. "He's pretty fragile," Edinho said. "He had a hip replacement and didn't have an adequate or ideal rehabilitation. So he has this problem with mobility and that has set off a kind of depression." Pele scored a world record tally of 1,281 goals in a 1,363-match professional career that spanned 21 years. He was capped 91 times for Brazil and scored 77 international goals.

source: ians

Fri, 14 Feb 2020 15:37:47 +0530
PM to visit Varanasi on S

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be visiting his parliamentary constituency Varanasi on Sunday to flag off Mahakaal Express linking three 'Jyotirling' pilgrim centres and launch several development projects there, the Prime Minister's Office said on Friday. On his one-day visit to Varanasi, the Prime Minister will flag off the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation's (IRCTC) Mahakaal Express through video link. The train will connect three 'jyotirling' pilgrim centres -- Varanasi, Ujjain and Omkareshwar. This would be the first overnight journey by a private train in the country.

Modi's visit to Varanasi came at a time when Delhi Chief Minister-elect Arvind Kejriwal has invited him to his swearing-in in capital's Ramlila Maidan on Sunday. Kejriwal will take oath as Delhi Chief Minister for the third consecutive time, along with his cabinet at 10 a.m. as his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) bagged 62 of 70 seats in the recently concluded Delhi Assembly elections. In his visit to Varanasi, Modi is also scheduled to participate in the closing ceremony of the centenary celebrations of Jagadguru Vishwaradhya Gurukul and also be releasing the translated version of the Siddhant Shikhamani Granth in 19 languages and its mobile app.

Modi will also dedicate to the nation the Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya Memorial Centre. About 30 Odisha craftsmen and artists worked on the project over the last year. At the event the Prime Minister will unveil the 63-ft Pancha Loha Statue of Pt Deendayal Upadhyaya -- the largest statue of the leader in the country. Over 200 artisans have worked round-the-clock for the last one year to complete the statue. 
At a public function, Modi will dedicate to the nation over 30 projects that include a 430-bed super speciality government hospital at Kashi Hindu Vishwavidyalaya (BHU) and a 74-bed psychiatry hospital at BHU.

Modi will inaugurate 'Kashi Ek Roop Anek' -- a two-day event at Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya Hastakala Sankul. It will showcase products from all over Uttar Pradesh. The the Prime Minister will interact with buyers and artisans coming from different countries of the world.

Fri, 14 Feb 2020 15:25:43 +0530
SC dismisses Vinay Sharma

New Delhi: On Friday the Supreme Court dismissed Nirbhaya case convict Vinay Sharma's appeal challenging President Ram Nath Kovind's denial of his mercy petition. The SC mentioned there was no basis for judicial review of the death row convict's rejection of the mercy petition. All content, including the medical report by Vinay Sharma, had been put before the President who applied his mind in refusing the plea of mercy, the apex court said.

Fri, 14 Feb 2020 15:21:33 +0530
Rahul raises questions on

New Delhi: The Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday asked who benefited from the terror attack in Pulwama. The BJP hit back, claiming that he had given a "clean chit" to Pakistan in the case.

Rahul Gandhi tweeted: "Today, as we remember our 40 CRPF martyrs in the Pulwama attack, let us ask: Who benefited the most from the attack? What is the outcome of the inquiry into the attack? Who in the BJP government has been held accountable for the security lapses that allowed the attack?"


Fri, 14 Feb 2020 15:03:39 +0530
love in time of Whatsapp

Mumbai: A bunch of young actors -- Paras Priyadarshan, Anshul Chauhan and Anud Singh Dhaka -- has got a chance to live the nineties era courtesy the upcoming Netflix original series "Taj Mahal 1989", when love stories bloomed in reality and not in edited pictures on social media. The actors felt youngsters these days do everything to post on the virtual world than work at developing real-life heart to heart connection.

"Taj Mahal 1989" revolves around three love stories of two different generations, and all of them are intertwined.

Asked what was the one practice that new-age love stories miss, compared to the nineties, Anshul told IANS: "For me, the willingness to make a relationship work, was so important back then. Putting effort instead of just leaving it and moving on faster (was important). That, of course, requires a lot of patience, and it needs a strong mind not to give up easily. Paras, who plays a young lad, focused to build his career but also very much in love, completes a love triangle in the plot. "I think the authenticity of every idea -- whether it is poetry, cinema, or impressing your lover -- there were no templates but an original way of doing things. These days, everything falls in a formula. I wish instead of doing photo-shoots of couples to put out on social media, we live the moment to create a lifetime memory. Sab kuch Instagram thodi na hai yaar (everything isn't Instagram, friend)!"

Anud focuses on the importance of spending quality time with family and loved ones.

"I think it has also a lot to do with spending quality time. Earlier there was a balance of personal and professional life. Spending time with not only the immediate family but also relatives and neighbours (was important). People used to engage in conversation. So back then, once you fell in love, you would be ready to wait for the moment when she would arrive, look at her from a distance and feel how your heart would race! That was the excitement! Now, we have whatsapp, (so) I know she is coming in 10 seconds!" said Anud.

The series "Taj Mahal 1989" streams from Friday. It also features Danish Hussain, Sheeba Chaddha, Shiri Sewani, Mihir Ahuja and Vasundhara Singh Rajput, Geetanjali Kulkarni among others.

Neeraj, who plays a middle-aged professor of literature who is trying hard to save his marriage, recalls his young age and remembers how he was deeply in love in the nineties. Speaking about an interesting change he has observed in the new-age relationships, he said: "I like how young couples these days express their thoughts and emotions very honestly. They know how to put everything on the table. It has its pitfalls but they do not hesitate to talk about everything. Not that we were unreal in our days back in the nineties, but these days youngsters are open to approaching things in a more practical and articulate way than our times."

Fri, 14 Feb 2020 13:46:23 +0530
Vidya Balan Female actor

Mumbai: Actress Vidya Balan feels that nowadays people in India are feeling worried that their wives, daughters, mothers are standing up and challenging their status quo. She also took jibe at male actors saying that they shut their mouths on relevant issues in the country whereas female actors are more vocal.

"I think female actors have been more vocal in a lot of ways and male actors don't open their mouths at all, which is why we are told why don't you stick to what you are doing. There have been threats issued. That's only because we (females) are threatening their status quo," said Vidya, while interacting with students at her alma mater St. Xavier's College, at a conversation named 'Arts

She added: "People are worried and I am not saying that just men are worried that tomorrow, their daughters, sisters, mothers, wives, girlfriends or friends are going to stand up and question what is happening around them, and that is where it comes from. It comes from that deep-seeded fear that their status quo is being challenged. I think whoever wants to express should be able to express. In the same way, I will say that peaceful protests are our constitutional right so as long as we are not being violent, we should be able to say whatever we want to say. I think everyone in country should go through our constitution to know about our rights and responsibilities."

Vidya is, for the first time working with a female director in her upcoming film "Shankutala Devi". Asked if it is different working with a female filmmaker, she said: "Yes it is. I have just had my first experience. I have done a film which tells a story of mathematician and the human computer named Shankutala Devi, which I also shot in St. Xaviers College. It has been written and directed by Anu Menon So, it's my first experience with a female director."

She added: "I don't want to make gender generalisation, but I think experiences and perspectives of men and women tend to differ. So, I would like to call it as some kind of an equaliser and I would like to see that happening across the board. Now, we have more women writers, directors and technicians in films and I feel the women's perspective are a little more nuanced, which is why probably they are finding more opportunity on the digital platforms because it allows you to have more nuanced narrative. In films we keep it is simplistic and that's why it makes all the difference."

Fri, 14 Feb 2020 13:35:57 +0530
Vodafone Idea tanks 13 a

New Delhi: Vodafone Idea tanked over 13 per cent on the BSE after the Supreme Court on Friday came down heavily on the telecom companies for non-compliance of its earlier order in the adjusted gross revenue (AGR) case. Vodafone Idea had said that it may collapse without any relief from the court. The struggling company has a Rs 53,000 crore AGR due, one of the highest among Indian telcos. The top court had asked the telcos to pay Rs 1.47 lakh crore to the Department of Telecom (DoT). On Friday it summoned their top executives to court to explain why its order on clearing dues was not followed.

However, Bharti Airtel and Reliance Industries which owns Jio managed to trade in the green after the court's strictures. A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra also warned the telecom companies that the court may initiate contempt proceedings against them and government officials for not complying with its order. The top court has ordered the managing directors of Bharti Airtel , Vodafone, MTNL, BSNL, Reliance Communications, Tata Telecommunication and others to be present in the court on March 17.

The top court also directed the Centre to immediately withdraw order passed by its desk officer to not take coercive action against the telecom companies.


Fri, 14 Feb 2020 13:33:30 +0530
OPEC need further product

New Delhi: The production cuts continued by OPEC may not be enough to stabilise global markets and the oil cartel may have to look at cutting crude output by another 0.85 million barrels to balance the market hit hard by the Coronavirus outbreak.

According to a report by ICICI Securities, in the worst case scenario of China demand falling further on virus spread, OPEC may need to further cut production by 0.85 mbpd in the months of February and March to prevent the price of global crude oil from falling.

China is the largest importer of oil and among its top consumers after the US. The spread of coronavirus there has also impacted oil consumption and resulted in a further slide in already oversupplied oil market.

The report of the brokerage firm has said that if China's demand falls by 2.6-2.0 mbpd (Platts' worst case scenario) in February-March 2020, it would result in a scenario where existing production cuts by major oil producers may not be enough to sustain prices.

OPEC's January 2020 output at 28.37 mbpd is 0.29 mbpd below agreed quota, mainly due to fall in Libya's output by 0.36 mbpd to 0.79 mbpd. Libya's current output is 0. 2mbpd and if it goes to zero by the end of February 2020, OPEC output will remain at 27.88 mbpd in Q1CY20E. However, OPEC may still have to cut output by another 0.85 mbpd to balance the market in Q1CY20, the report said.

From mid January oil prices have fallen over 20 per cent to about $54-55 a barrel.


Fri, 14 Feb 2020 13:32:01 +0530
Sanjeev Chawla moves HC a

New Delhi: anjeev Chawla, a key accused in one of the biggest match-fixing scandals in cricket, moved the Delhi High Court on Friday to appeal his 12-day police remand declared a day earlier by a Delhi court. Additional Metropolitan Magistrate Sudhir Kumar Sirohi, of Patiala House Court, had sent the convicted bookie in police custody after being extradited from London on Thursday. He is one of the leading suspects on the allegations involving former South African captain Hansie Cronje in the 2000 match-fixing scandal.

Fri, 14 Feb 2020 13:26:52 +0530
CAIT against Amazon Flipk

New Delhi: The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), which has of late grabbed headlines for its fight against e-commerce heavyweights like Amazon and Flipkart, may soon take up its case with the US President Donald Trump on his upcoming official visit to the country. The traders' body has sought an appointment with Trump, whereby it wants to speak on e-commerce issues along with other demands, including setting up an Indo-US Business Corridor for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

In its letter to Trump, CAIT said that Indian traders are delighted about his forthcoming visit to India and it wanted US-based companies to come and invest here.

Speaking to IANS, Praveen Khandelwal, Secretary General of the traders' body said that if representatives from CAIT are able to meet the US President, then they would invite more investments into India from the US, and also ask him to suggest the companies to operate as per the laws and policies of India. "The whole world can come and invest in India, we don't have any problem. We welcome the US companies also because there is no bigger consumer-driven market than India. But we want to say that whoever comes, they should follow our law and policies," he said.

On being asked whether CAIT would raise its concerns regarding e-commerce giants Amazon and Flipkart, Khandelwal said that it would "absolutely" raise the issue regarding both the players. The organisation would emphasise on the creation of an Indo-US Business Corridor for SMEs, he added.

Speaking of the growth of Indian SMEs in his letter to Trump, Khandelwal said: "In this scenario where Indian SMEs are on a path of growh, we being the apex voice of Indian SMEs seek an audience wth you for a delegation of senior SME leaders from all over the country during your forthcoming visit to India to discuss ways and means to build an Indo-US SME Business Corridor under the broad policy guidelines of the government of India."

CAIT's move to seek an appointment with the US President gains significance as the former is already in a fierce tussle with the US-based e-commerce majors Amazon and Flipkart, whose new promoter is the American retail giant Walmart. The traders body had staged protests across the country during the visit of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to India last month.

The organisation has time and again written to and met Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal, among others, to register their protest against what it describes as deep discounting and unfair means by both the online platforms. CAIT has blamed both the platforms of violating the norms for foreign direct investment (FDI).

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) had in January ordered an enquiry into the operations of both Amazon and Flipkart on multiple counts, including deep discounts and exclusive tie-ups with preferred sellers.

Amazon, on the other hand, has filed a writ petition in the Karnataka High Court seeking a stay on the CCI probe order, hearing on which is underway.

Source: IANS

Fri, 14 Feb 2020 13:17:03 +0530
Varun Dhawan rubbishes re

New Delhi:Bollywood actor Varun Dhawan recently took to Twitter to deny rumours of his Roka with longtime girlfriend Natasha Dalal. It all started after Varun Dhawan was spotted at girlfriend Natasha Dalal's home with his family members on Wednesday. As all the family members get together, a media report stated that the couple completed a pre-marriage ritual during the get-together, probably Roka.

As the reports surrounding their Roka ceremony are all over the Internet, Varun Dhawan took to Twitter to say that he along with his family was spotted at Natasha's home for a party.

In his tweet, he wrote, "Hey guys before u let ur imagination run wild it was a birthday party wanted to clarify before any false news is spread cheers."

As per the reports, Natasha Dalal's father's birthday party was attended by Varun, David, mom Lali, Rohit, Anjini and Siddharth Dhawan gathered together for a celebration. Karan Johar, Manish Malhotra and Punit Malhotra also arrived at the venue.

Varun has been in a relationship with Natasha for quite some time, but kept his personal life guarded. It was only recently that he started opening up about his equation with Natasha.

Fri, 14 Feb 2020 12:19:42 +0530
Rajiv Bansal becomes Air

New Delhi:  Senior IAS officer Rajiv Bansal was on Thursday named the Chairman and Managing Director of national carrier Air India. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet approved Bansal's appointment as CMD of Air India in the rank and pay of an Additional Secretary.

At present, Bansal, a 1988 batch officer of the Nagaland cadre, held the post of Additional Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas. He succeeds Ashwani Lohani.

In August 2017, he was given the additional charge as Air India's CMD. Additionally, he has had an earlier stint with the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) between 2006 and 2008.

Fri, 14 Feb 2020 11:45:52 +0530
Haathi Mere Saathi

Mumbai: At poster and teaser launching event of the film Haathi Mere Saathi, Actor Rana Daggubati, has said that the film mirrors society. 

The Movie Haathi Mere Saathi, revolves around the story about destroying the natural ecosystem naming as developmental activities.Conflict between common man who retains the ecosystem and corporate giants threatens the environment. Originally the film "Haathi Mere Saathi released in 1971 starring Khanna-Tanuja was a super hit, it was about animals and men being in close relationships.  Rana said Rajesh Khanna's film was a tribute to that friendship .

The movie starring Pulkit Samrat along with Rana is to be released on April 2. The movie will shoot in different languages including Hindi, Telugu, and Tamil, with a different cast across languages.

"We are not trying to give any social message through this film, but it mirrors society. This (human encroachment) is happening in many parts of the country and in many parts of the world. Everywhere there is an elephant corridor and there is urbanisation. Obviously there are cities that grow and break their (animals) natural habitat, so a sense of co-existence is what Bandev (his character's name) teaches you in the film," Rana said present at the do were co-actors Zoya Hussain, Shriya Pilgaonkar and the film's director Prabhu Soloman were also participated the event .

Fri, 14 Feb 2020 11:24:55 +0530
Have to keep putting in t


New Delhi: Ace Indian boxer Amit Panghal, who has been ranked number one by the Boxing Task Force of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) ahead of the next month Olympic Qualifiers, insists that he will have to keep putting in the hard yards to remain on course for a medal in the Tokyo Games.Panghal, who won the historic silver medal at the World Championships in the 52-kg weight category, is at the top spot with 420 points, according to the list released by the IOC's Boxing Task Force, which is in charge of administering the sport right now. "I am very happy about attaining the number one rank for the qualifiers. This will motivate me even more to perform in the future competitions," Panghal told IANS.

"I have to remain confident about my game and keep putting in the hard yards and after following a good training method hopefully I will be able to produce good results for my country," he added. The 24-year-old is the first boxer in the last 10 years to achieve the global top position in his category. Olympic bronze-medallist Vijender Singh had in 2009 achieved the number one spot after he won bronze in the 75kg weight category at the World Championships held in Milan. Last year, Panghal had said that that at least two gold medals can be expected from Indian boxers at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

"We will go into the Tokyo Olympics with an aim to win at least two gold medals. We can win more but at least two gold medals can be expected from Indian boxers at the Tokyo Olympics," Panghal had said earlier. The Asian Olympic qualifier event, which was originally scheduled to be held from February 3 to 14 in Wuhan, will be held at the Sport City in Amman, Jordan from March 3-11.

source: ians


Fri, 14 Feb 2020 11:09:58 +0530
Insect decline agenda at



New Delhi: Insect decline and its cascading effects on migratory species feeding on them will be on the agenda for the first time at a UN summit on migratory species beginning in Gujarat this week, organisers said on Thursday. The 13th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS COP13) that will see participation of 129 countries will run from February 15 to 22 in Gandhinagar. It is the first time India will host a CMS COP.

About half of all insect species are rapidly declining. A third face extinction, including generalist species, which were once common and widespread, says CMS, an environmental treaty under the aegis of the UN Environment Programme. IPBES highlighted the dramatic loss of biodiversity and biomass in its global assessment report. A recent review of the drivers of insect decline has estimated that, at the current rate, 40 per cent of the world's insect species might become extinct over the next few decades.

The European Union presented its draft resolution and decision to CMS COP13 to better understand the insect die-off and its effects on migratory species and identify possible solutions to prevent further decline of insect populations. The main drivers causing insect decline are habitat change and loss, pollution through synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, invasive species and pathogens, as well as climate change.

Insect biodiversity plays a vital role for functioning ecosystems, especially for insectivorous migratory species such as birds and bats. According to CMS, despite recent developments in research on insect decline and its drivers, knowledge gaps remain about the conservation status and population trends of insects in some regions. Furthermore, attention has only recently started to be paid to the decline of insects as their numbers worldwide continue to fall dramatically.

To combat the drivers of insect decline, the draft resolution recommends a series of actions. Increased scientific research is needed to better understand the impact of insect decline on migratory insectivorous animals. Scientists recommend a precautionary approach with respect to the use of pesticides, especially in habitats important for migratory birds and bats. They also advise caution so that non-target insects that are the food of migratory insectivores are not harmed. Actions are required to conserve insects, restore their habitats and address the causes of decline.

An important prerequisite to achieving the goal is raising awareness among farmers regarding the drivers of insect decline. Parties to EUROBATS, the agreement on the Conservation of Populations of European Bats, have ready adopted resolutions discussing insect decline as a threat, highlighting the need for guidelines for urgent actions. Providing further guidance related to the broader field of insects is vital for all migratory species that feed on them.

The insect decline agenda is scheduled for discussion on February 19. At the triennial conference, more than 1,200 delegates from 129 countries will take decisions on the conservation of migratory wildlife, which is in significant decline worldwide. According to the 2019 Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, one million species are at risk of extinction, including migratory species listed under CMS. CMS COP13 will be opened by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 17, marking India's commitment to tackling the loss of biodiversity and the protection of vulnerable species globally.

The UN Wildlife Conference in India will also kick off the 'super year' for biodiversity, which will culminate in the adoption of a new global biodiversity framework in Kunming in China during the 15th UN Biodiversity Conference in October 2020.

(Vishal Gulati can be reached at

Fri, 14 Feb 2020 11:03:58 +0530
Taj Mahal 1989 cast dec


Mumbai: A bunch of young actors -- Paras Priyadarshan, Anshul Chauhan and Anud Singh Dhaka -- has got a chance to live the nineties era courtesy the upcoming Netflix original series "Taj Mahal 1989", when love stories bloomed in reality and not in edited pictures on social media. The actors felt youngsters these days do everything to post on the virtual world than work at developing real-life heart to heart connection.

"Taj Mahal 1989" revolves around three love stories of two different generations, and all of them are intertwined. Asked what was the one practice that new-age love stories miss, compared to the nineties, Anshul told IANS: "For me, the willingness to make a relationship work, was so important back then. Putting effort instead of just leaving it and moving on faster (was important). That, of course, requires a lot of patience, and it needs a strong mind not to give up easily.Paras, who plays a young lad, focused to build his career but also very much in love, completes a love triangle in the plot.

"I think the authenticity of every idea -- whether it is poetry, cinema, or impressing your lover -- there were no templates but an original way of doing things. These days, everything falls in a formula. I wish instead of doing photo-shoots of couples to put out on social media, we live the moment to create a lifetime memory. Sab kuch Instagram thodi na hai yaar (everything isn't Instagram, friend)!" Anud focuses on the importance of spending quality time with family and loved ones.

"I think it has also a lot to do with spending quality time. Earlier there was a balance of personal and professional life. Spending time with not only the immediate family but also relatives and neighbours (was important). People used to engage in conversation. So back then, once you fell in love, you would be ready to wait for the moment when she would arrive, look at her from a distance and feel how your heart would race! That was the excitement! Now, we have whatsapp, (so) I know she is coming in 10 seconds!" said Anud.

The series "Taj Mahal 1989" streams from Friday. It also features Danish Hussain, Sheeba Chaddha, Shiri Sewani, Mihir Ahuja and Vasundhara Singh Rajput, Geetanjali Kulkarni among others. Neeraj, who plays a middle-aged professor of literature who is trying hard to save his marriage, recalls his young age and remembers how he was deeply in love in the nineties. Speaking about an interesting change he has observed in the new-age relationships, he said: "I like how young couples these days express their thoughts and emotions very honestly. They know how to put everything on the table. It has its pitfalls but they do not hesitate to talk about everything. Not that we were unreal in our days back in the nineties, but these days youngsters are open to approaching things in a more practical and articulate way than our times."

(Arundhuti Banerjee can be contacted at


Fri, 14 Feb 2020 10:58:33 +0530
Syria intercepts missiles

Damascus: The Syrian air defences intercepted a number of missiles from the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights that targeted areas around Damascus, according to state-media.Sounds of explosions reverberated across the capital city on Thursday night before the official report said the air defenses were triggered by a missile attack, reports Xinhua news agency. The last Israeli attack was carried out on February 6, during which some military sites in the western countryside of Damascus were hit.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 12 pro-Iran fighters were killed in the attack.The strikes further highlighted the sprawling tensions between Israel and Iran in Syria.Clashes between the two countries have escalated over the past months. Israel accuses Iran of entrenching itself near the Israeli border. Israel has carried out hundreds of airstrikes in Syria against Iranian targets and convoys transporting weapons to Hezbollah, an Iran-backed Lebanese militia. In 2019 alone, more than 17 Israeli attacks took place against targets in Syria.


Fri, 14 Feb 2020 10:52:52 +0530
Journalists to get new pa

Following a warning from intelligence agencies about the possibility of a terror attack on Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, where the perpetrator may come in the form of a journalist, fresh identity cards are being given to journalists here. The city police have started issuing identity cards to journalists bearing photographs that will cover the programs of the chief minister. Only those carrying photo identity cards will be allowed to henceforth cover the programmes.

Fri, 14 Feb 2020 10:48:45 +0530
R K Pachauri Dies

R.K. Pachauri, former director general of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) who was accused of sexual misconduct died on Thursday, February 13, 2020 after a prolonged heart ailment. He was 79. Pachauri was the chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) from 2002 - 2015. During his tenure the IPCC was awarded with Nobel Peace prize.

Pachauri, a leading environmentalist and crusader for climate change died peacefully at his residence on the evening of February 13, 2020, his family said in a statement. Pachauri was recently admitted to Delhi’s famous Escorts hospital for treatment. He had undergone an open heart surgery at the hospital after getting a stroke last year.

TERI’s present director general, Dr. Ajay Mathur, the successor of Pachauri, in a statement said, “It is with immense sadness that we announce the passing away of Dr RK Pachauri, the Founder Director of TERI. The entire TERI family stands with the family of Dr Pachauri in this hour of grief.”

Dr. Pachauri who rose to unprecedented heights in his professional career had an unceremonious exit from TERI following the lodging of a complaint of sexual harassment by one of his subordinates in the organization. The woman’s complaint eventually resulted in his exit from TERI and a Delhi court framed molestation charges against him in October 2018. Pachauri however continued to assert his innocence.

Fri, 14 Feb 2020 10:21:07 +0530
Kolkata inaugurates its s

Ending a long wait of 36 years, Kolkata’s second metro line was flagged off with Union minister for Railways Piyush Goel flagging off the first phase of the East-West metro corridor connecting the city’s tech hub Salt Lake Sector V to the soccer venue Yuva Bharati Krirangan.

More than three decades ago, India’s first underground railway service that connects north Kolkata to south Kolkata was inaugurated by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. The East-West Metro Railway will be India’s first under river train line. Commercial operations will begin from Friday over a truncated 4.88 kilometre stretch linking six overground stations: Sector V, Karunamoyee, Central Park, City Centre, Bengal Chemical and Salt Lake Stadium stations.

Piyush Goel said that the complete 16.6-km stretch is expected to be operational in two years as the bottlenecks have been addressed.

The East-West metro railway once fully completed can carry seven to eight lakh passengers daily. Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation is supervising the project which is technologically analogous to the Eurostar (connecting Paris and London) and bridges the twin cities of Howrah and Kolkata.

Fri, 14 Feb 2020 10:15:47 +0530
Hubei the epicentre of c

Hong Kong: The epicentre of the outbreak, Hubei province in China is now changing the way it counts coronavirus infected persons which led to total cases jumping by almost 15,000 on Thursday.Till now, the China death toll is at 1,367, up 254 as cases rise to 59,804. In Hubei, the infections have jumped by 14,840 as the death toll reads 242. Wuhan, the worst affected city is the capital of Hubei province. 
On Thursday morning, Hubei province officials said they could count cases diagnosed through clinical symptoms such as a cough, and a chest scan showing signs of pneumonia. The new criteria allow cases to be added without a positive diagnostic test.

China has said that there are 8,030 severe cases, while 5,911 have recovered or been discharged. The Hubei administration has issued instructions that enterprises not resume work before February 20.
The outbreak and its handling has now led to a purge at the top with Jiang Chaoliang being removed from his post as Communist Party secretary for of Hubei. He was replaced by Ying Yong, the mayor of the financial hub Shanghai. At the same time, Ma Guoqiang was dismissed as party secretary of Wuhan, the city in Hubei where the outbreak originated.

The reshuffle follows a call to send top officials to the hardest hit province of Hubei -- comes amid concerns about early efforts to suppress information about the severity of the health crisis. Ma, the Communist Party's highest ranking member in Wuhan, has said he was full of guilt and regret for not acting faster.The number of officially diagnosed coronavirus cases in Hubei surged by 45 per cent to nearly 50,000. The sudden spike reversed the declining growth trend of previous days.

The Hubei national health commission said it would now start including cases confirmed by "clinical diagnosis," which refers to using CT imaging scans to diagnose patients. Previously, many patients with pneumonia-like symptoms found via CT scans could not be diagnosed as positive without an additional nucleic acid test.


Fri, 14 Feb 2020 09:20:00 +0530
Akshay Kumar in Masaleda

New Delhi: Triple the fun with Khiladi Kumar? The celebrity posted a picture of him ecstatically holding what seems to be a Kurkure. This is the first time that Akshay is seen donning the hat and playing a triple role.

Akshay is seen in triple generation avatars portraying himself as a young lad, a father and a grandfather. There are speculations that if not a movie, Akshay Kumar could be endorsing the brand. The snack brand, has positioned itself as the family entertainer, and is known for lining up a multitude of celebrities in the past. His popularity and sense of humour marries well with the brand.

Is the brand sending a message that the treat is a favourite family one or could it be a sign that Akshay is set to star in his most 'masaledar' role for the year?

Queries sent to the brand have gone unanswered.

With a handful of projects that Akshay is working on currently and yet another exciting role up his sleeve, fans could be in for a completely loaded year of their favourite entertainer. 

Thu, 13 Feb 2020 17:50:56 +0530
Time for Congress to rein

Niwari (Madhya Pradesh):Terming the 2020 Delhi Assembly poll results "disappointing", Congress General Secretary Jyotiraditya Scindia on Thursday said that the party needs to reinvent itself with new ideology, new thinking and new ways of functioning.Speaking to media in Prithvipur area here, he said: "The results of the Delhi are very disappointing for the party... And new thinking, new ideology and new ways of functioning is required." Scindia, who himself lost from his family bastion of Guna in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, said that in the last 70 years the country has changed a lot. "And in the new era, we have to go to people with a new thinking," he said.

Earlier, Congress spokesperson Sharmistha Mukherjee has also voiced her opinion publicly, saying "enough of introspection" and that it is "time for action now", blaming lack of strategy and unity at the state level."We are again decimated in Delhi. Enough of introspection, time for action now. Inordinate delay in decision making at the top, lack of strategy and unity at state level, demotivated workers, no grassroots connect - all are factors. Being part of the system, I too take my share of responsibility," Mukherjee said in a tweet on Tuesday, when the results of the Delhi assembly polls were announced.

The Congress scored a nil in the 70-member Delhi assembly for the second consecutive time since 2015. This was the party's third dismal performance in the national capital. Despite ruling the city for 15 years from 1998 to 2013, it was reduced to eight seats in the 2013 Assembly polls. Mukherjee, who is the daughter of former President Pranab Mukherjee, also hit out at former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram after he, in a tweet, taunted the BJP over its defeat in Delhi, saying AAP won and the "bluff and bluster" lost. In her response, she said: "With due respect sir, just want to know - has Congress outsourced the task of defeating BJP to state parties? If not, then why are we gloating over AAP victory rather than being concerned about our drubbing? And if 'yes', then we might as well close shop."This is the first strong message from a Congress leader indicating that all is not well in the party.


Thu, 13 Feb 2020 17:39:15 +0530
Policy stability will spi

New Delhi: Policy certainty will increase domestic and international investing into India, a new report out on Thursday by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) said. The report, India's Renewable Energy Policy Headwinds - Recommendations for Urgently Accelerating Activity in the Renewable Energy Sector, finds a number of recent policy positions that have undermined growth in this sector. "India is one of the world's largest and fastest growing markets for renewable energy and power transmission," report author and IEEFA's Director of Energy Finance Studies Tim Buckley told IANS in a statement.

"Domestic renewable energy tariffs are now two thirds the cost of domestic coal-sourced power tariffs and half that of new imported thermal power costs. "India must be very proud of this result, and they must leverage this opportunity to enhance energy security whilst securing deflationary domestic energy investments. "The opportunity cost of delaying India's electricity sector transition is too high.

"With a few policy tweaks, India could be back on track to meet its ambitious target of 450 gigawatts of renewables by 2030," said the report. The IEEFA report identifies a number of policies currently stifling growth in renewable energy sector in India. They include the imposition of the solar cell and module trade duty in 2017, which the government is now looking to extend beyond 2020. The duty has neither reduced imports nor significantly improved the competitiveness of Indian manufactured solar cells. Instead, it has severely slowed down solar installs in India, both because of the extra cost imposed but equally due to the confusion on delayed implementation.

"The uncertainty of this trade duty has been one of the most serious impediments to India's renewable energy momentum," said co-author Kashish Shah, IEEFA's energy finance analyst. "Instead of trying to make Indian manufactured solar cells competitive by increasing the price of imported modules, the industry needs an assured offtake in domestic markets, as was achieved in the recent, very successful solar manufacturing tender. It also needs to be incentivised for exporting."

Better centre-state coordination on renewable energy development and increasing the expansion of necessary transmission networks and balancing capacity (batteries, pumped hydro storage, demand response management and more flexible thermal capacity) are further policy areas requiring immediate attention. "Renewable energy developers are currently experiencing delays and cost overruns while waiting for the central and state governments to talk to each other and streamline their activities. This is jeopardising their project economics and stalling further investment," said Shah.

The report finds a key pre-requisite for continuing India's renewable energy investment ambition is concurrently building out and modernising India's national transmission grid to accelerate the enormous progress achieved over the last decade. "India could attract $500 to 700bn in new investment by 2030 - the opportunity is huge," said Buckley. "To do this, India's grid must be urgently expanded. The slow-down in transmission capacity is slowing India's renewable energy ambition.

"And the continuing ballooning underfunding of subsidies and rising state-discom debt is severely hampering the financial industry's ability to finance new renewable energy development, as is some state's desire to renegotiate on projects. This is not on - and creates instability for investors." The report concludes that sovereign risk, policy risks and erratic discom payments are all creating unnecessary financial constraints for the Indian renewable energy sector.


Thu, 13 Feb 2020 16:47:15 +0530
Panchayat byelections in

On Thursday, the Election Commission said the byelection for the vacant panchayat  seats in Jammu and Kashmir's Union Territory would take place in eight phases next month.That is the first major political exercise since last year's August repeal of Article 370. Also, Jammu and Kashmir state was divided into two territories of the Union-J&K and Ladakh. Announcing the schedule of the polls, J&K Chief Electoral Officer Shailendra Kumar said ballot boxes will be used in the elections. "There will be 8 phases of elections. For Jammu division it is 4 phases, for Kashmir division it is 8 phases," he added. 

Thu, 13 Feb 2020 16:39:20 +0530
SpaceX hires ex NASA expe

San Francisco (IANS) Ahead of its launch of astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard its Crew Dragon capsule which is tentatively scheduled for May 7, the Elon Musk-led SpaceX has hired a top former human spaceflight expert, the media reported.

In his new role, William Gerstenmaier, the former leader of NASA's human spaceflight programme, is reporting to SpaceX Vice President of mission assurance Hans Koenigsmann, CNBC reported on Tuesday.

SpaceX is preparing its Crew Dragon spacecraft to fly NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to and from the space station in the first flight.

Showing off its spacecraft on Tuesday, SpaceX said that the Crew Dragon was undergoing electromagnetic interference testing in preparation of its Demo-2 mission, which will be the first to transport astronauts.

The uncrewed Demo-1 mission flew in March of last year. "I'm glad to see a Crew Dragon DM2 capsule video out there to share and show off! Can't wait for the ones from @NASAKennedy as @NASA and @SpaceX bring human spaceflight back to the Florida coast! #LaunchAmerica," Behnken said in a tweet.

According to a report in Ars Technica, NASA is working toward a May 7 launch of a Crew Dragon spacecraft. But the date is far from finalised.

Thu, 13 Feb 2020 16:39:16 +0530
Hold local polls as per 2

Kochi: The Kerala High Court on Thursday directed the State Election Commission to conduct the coming local bodies elections on the basis of the 2019 voters list used for the Lok Sabha polls and not a 2015 list used for local polls that year. The new local bodies in Kerala have to assume office latest by November.

Earlier, the Congress-led UDF had approached the High Court on the use of the 2019 voters' list, but it ruled out interfere in the matter as the poll process had begun.However, the UDF appealed against the decision, following which the division bench overruled the single-judge verdict.

The Kerala government and the State Election Commission had maintained that they would prefer the 2015 voters list as using the 2019 list meant a lot of expenditure as local polls were held on the basis of wards as compared with assembly polling booths in other elections.

"This is not a setback to the state government. Did we say that it was a setback for the United Democratic Front when the court ruled in favour of the 2015 list? As far as the state is concerned, we have to ensure smooth conduct of the polls, and we will do it," Local Bodies Minister A.C. Moideen told the media. V. Bhaskaran, State Election Commissioner said that this need not be seen as a setback.

"We only pointed out the difficulties of using the 2019 Lok Sabha voters list as it has to be recast with regard to polling booths based on wards in the local bodies. Once the verdict comes, we will go through it and if need be, might go in for an appeal," said Bhaskaran.

Senior Congress leader N. Venugopal, who was the petitioner in the case, said that there was huge difference in the 2015 and 2019 lists. "The 2015 list comprises names of 2.51 crore voters, while the 2019 list has 2.61 crore voters. Around 1.2 million voters in the 2015 list have since changed their address or moved out, or passed away. So, it would not be right to use it," Venugopal said. As for likely appeal in the matter, he said that local bodies polls ideally be held in October will be delayed. Perhaps, that's what the ruling Left wants, he said.


Thu, 13 Feb 2020 16:24:27 +0530
ITsector outlook for bett

Bengaluru: The burgeoning Indian IT sector is cautiously optimistic about its outlook for the ensuing fiscal 2020-21 in the face of global risks, said its apex body on Wednesday.

"Though growth and hiring outlook for the IT industry is sound, our CEO survey revealed that the executives professed cautious optimism as risks abound in an uncertain world," said the sector's representative body Nasscom in a statement here.

According to Nasscom's CEO survey for fiscal 2020-21, 53 per cent of the top Indian IT executives foresee a strong world economy in 2020 as 72 per cent of the CEOs expect their global clients to demonstrate better growth in the year ahead. In the developed markets, 60 per cent of the surveyed CEOs are eyeing growth in technology spending.

The three growth drivers for technology spending are enabling digital at the core of enterprise, augmenting customer experience and digital operations, powered technologies such as cloud, data, AI, machine learning and cyber security. Larger digitalisation deals, key BFSI and retail verticals growth and enhanced business opportunities in Europe and Asia Pacific are expected to propel the IT industry, the survey said.

The strategy CEOs are adopting to capitalise on digitalisation in 2020 include reskilling and building the right talent pool, identifying key products and platforms and forging partnerships and co-innovations.

As many as 73 per cent of the CEOs believe 2020 to be strong, but outlined that lack of digital capabilities and skills to be a key hiring risk.Other risks the CEOs highlighted for the IT industry in the next fiscal featured macroeconomic factor and global economic uncertainties and cyber security.

Giving a hint of how things would be for the IT sector in 2030, the Nasscom CEO survey showcased the five mega trends such as data-led economy riding on 175 zettabytes, disrupted future of work, environmental sustainability stress, Asian economic eminence and mass urbanisation and hyper personalisation.

"Revenue from data-led solutions will offset new capital expenditure on data and analytics infrastructure, chief data officers will be ubiquitous. Megatrends 2030 will create unprecedented business and consumption shifts, pushing digitalisation-led global output to nearly $100 trillion or 40 per cent of 2030 global GDP," the survey said.

Terming the 2009-19 decade as an unparalleled techade, Nasscom said the IT industry created two million direct jobs, attracted $50 billion in foreign direct investments (FDI) and created 10,000 technology companies, including 27 unicorns.

According to the industry body, the decade also added 500 million new internet users and generated $50 billion e-commerce revenues. Focusing on 2019, Nasscom said the economy experienced a slowdown, but the spending on tech remained stable.

It said the global tech expenditure grew by 5.6 per cent as the global sourcing market clocked up to $213 billion in revenues. Some new technologies changing businesses and identified by Nasscom included AI, 3D printing, blcokchain, big data and analytics, cybersecurity, Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, immersive media and cloud computing.

Further breaking down the financials of the IT industry in fiscal 2019-20, Nasscom said IT services generated $97 billion in revenue, business process management $38 billion, engineering and Research and Development $33 billion, software products $9 billion, hardware $16 billion and e-commerce $54 billion. Among all the constituents within the IT industry, e-commerce grew the highest year-on-year at 26 per cent in 2019-20, Nasscom said.

Other Nasscom highlights in the analysed fiscal included IT sector cornering 46 per cent share in services exports, attracting more than $4 billion startup funding, Indian enterprises going digital with $2 billion expenditure on digital transformation and the country continuing to be the top location for global capability centres.

Recognising the growing share of digital revenues, Nasscom said revenue from digital constituted 28 per cent share of the IT industry revenues, clocking 23 per cent year-on-year growth.

Digital skilling of employees also emerged crucial with nearly nine lakh digitally skilled employees and the top five Indian IT companies employing 50,000 such employees in the US.

Spending up to one per cent of the revenues on research and development, Indian IT companies filed more than 6,500 patents in the 2019-20, propelled by more than 150 innovation centres of excellence as 20 global unicorns have their Research and Development centres located in India.

Thu, 13 Feb 2020 16:24:20 +0530
Major fire in Andheri Mu

Mumbai: On Thursday afternoon a major fire engulfed the building of the Rolta company in Mumbai, the BMC Disaster Control said. An official said they found the blaze about 1 p.m. In the company's server room, situated in the top floor of a three-story commercial building at MIDC east of Andheri. The cause of the fire is not known and there are no casualties reported so far.

Thu, 13 Feb 2020 16:09:18 +0530
Moot Court competition 20

New Delhi: Aiming to promote values of environmental justice and sustainability, the Jindal Global Law School of O.P Jindal Global University in Sonipat, Haryana will host the India national rounds of the 24th annual Stetson International Environmental Moot Court competition 2019-2020.

Organised by Surana & Surana International Attorneys, the contest will be hosted at the Jindal Global Law School (JGLS) from February 14-16, 2020.The Stetson International Environmental Moot Court competition helps galvanise intellectual consciousness and social sensitivity among the youth.

Environmental issues have increasingly occupied centre-stage in international law, public policy and global governance. "This exercise is a significant step towards sensitising today's youth to become tomorrow's green policy-makers to combat the negative long-term impact of environmental pollution on health, economy and social well-being of mankind in a sustainable and swift manner," Vinod Surana, Partner & CEO, Surana & Surana International Attorneys, said in a statement on Thursday.

"We are delighted to partner with the Jindal Global Law School of O.P. Jindal Global University in organising this moot court competition," Surana added. This year's moot proposition concerns some of these significant challenges in the context of the reintroduction of a species of bears that have gone extinct.

Crucially, the dispute between two states regarding the reintroduction of bears has been referred to the International Court of Justice for adjudication.

The thematic relevance of such issues and the institutional setting make for a promising competition with innovative legal arguments and development of comparative jurisprudence.

With the vast array of teams registered to participate in the competition, the event aims to bring together world class scholars, distinguished jurists and budding international lawyers with an active interest in bridging the gap between theory and practise in international environmental law. Justice Gita Mittal, Chief Justice of the High Court of Jammu & Kashmir will be the chief guest at the valedictory session and awards ceremony.

"We are very excited about hosting this moot court at a critical time in history when there are serious challenges to the future of our planet. Law schools and universities have a very big role to speak truth to power on issues relating to environment and the moot courts are opportunities for us to engage with the law and policy," said C. Raj Kumar, Vice Chancellor, O.P Jindal Global University.

Thu, 13 Feb 2020 15:50:28 +0530
Australian bushfires fir

Sydney: All of the blazing bushfires in New South Wales (NSW) were now considered contained, fire officials in the Australian state said on Thursday.

"After what's been a truly devastating fire season for both firefighters and resident, who've suffered so much this season, all fires are now contained in New South Wales," the BBC quoted NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) Assistant Commissioner Rob Rogers as saying. It is the first time in the fire season that containment, meaning firefighters managing to build a perimeter around the fire, so it cannot spread further, has been achieved.

While there was still some fire activity in the south of the state, said the RFS, emergency workers could now "really focus on helping people reboot".

Across the country, fires have killed at least 33 people and destroyed thousands of homes since it first erupted in September 2019. More than 11 million hectares of land, an area comparable to the size of England, has been affected across all states and territories. NSW has been the worst-affected state. Two blazes alone - the Currowan and Gospers Mountain fires - each burned about 500,000 hectares. But both were declared out after the record rainfall earlier this week, along with dozens of smaller fires, the BBC reported.

Flood warnings have been issued for NSW and for southern Queensland as Storm Uesi approaches, bringing winds of up to 130km/h.


Thu, 13 Feb 2020 15:37:25 +0530
Breast milk boosts brain
New York:With maternal factors, such as breast milk, having been shown to affect a baby's development, now researchers have found that the carbohydrate, the oligosaccharide 2'FL, found in breast milk enhances cognitive development.

In this cohort study of 50 mothers and their babies, the researchers analysed breast milk composition and frequency of feeding at 1 and 6 months of age.

Cognitive development was measured at 24 months using the Bayley-III scale, a standardised test of infant and toddler development.

"Through our high-throughput analytical platform we can quantify oligosaccharides like 2'FL and many others in hundreds of breast milk samples in a short period of time," said study co-author Lars Bode from University of California in the US.

"This technology allows us to associate differences in milk composition with specific infant outcomes like cognitive development, validating existing data from preclinical models or generating entirely new hypotheses," Bode added.

The findings, published in the journal PLOS ONE, showed that the amount of 2'FL in breast milk in the first month of feeding was related to significantly higher cognitive development scores in babies by 2 years of age.

The amount of 2'FL in breast milk at 6 months of feeding was not related to cognitive outcomes, indicating that early exposure may be more beneficial.

Using a statistical technique called mediation analysis, the researchers were able to independently evaluate the effects of breastfeeding in general, and the effects of the oligosaccharide 2'FL.


Thu, 13 Feb 2020 15:20:00 +0530
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos buy

San Francisco: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has created a record with a new deal in Los Angeles when he bought the Warner Estate for $165 million (roughly Rs 1,178 crore), The Wall Street Journal reported.

This is the biggest residential deal in the Los Angeles area as the previous record was created last year for a deal worth roughly $150 million when media executive Lachlan Murdoch acquired Chartwell, a Bel-Air estate.

According to a report in The Verge, the Warner Estate bought by Bezos spreads out over nine acres in Beverly Hills. Designed in the 1930s for Jack Warner, who was the former president of Warner Bros., the Warner Estate came up after nearly 10 years of work.

The estate has terraces, guest houses, a tennis court, and a golf course. While the deal may appear way to expensive for ordinary mortals, it may not pinch Bezos much whose net worth is $131.9 billion. The Amazon CEO bought the Warner Estate from media mogul David Geffen.

Earlier this year, Bezos reportedly spent around $80 million on a few New York apartments.


Thu, 13 Feb 2020 15:09:47 +0530
Apple launches Swift Play

San Francisco: Apple has launched Swift Playgrounds app for Mac as part of company's Catalyst app initiative, designed to help bridge the software gap between its macOS and iOS platforms. The app requires no coding knowledge to use and is ideal for students who are just starting out with coding.

"Swift Playgrounds is a revolutionary app for iPad and Mac that makes learning Swift interactive and fun. It requires no coding knowledge, so it's perfect for students just starting out. Solve puzzles to master the basics using Swift -- a powerful programming language created by Apple and used by the pros to build today's most popular apps," the company said in a statement.

Swift Playgrounds is built around a collection of Apple-created lessons, using puzzles and an interactive 3D world.

"Now you can make robots do incredible things with code you write yourself. Learn to program-connected devices like the Sphero SPRK+, LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3, and drones by Parrot, and watch them come alive right before your eyes," the company added.

Swift Playgrounds for Mac is available from the Mac App Store and it is a free download.

Thu, 13 Feb 2020 14:58:33 +0530
Brad and Angelina is the
Los Angeles:Fans want Hollywood stars Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie to reconcile according to a new most-wanted celebrity couple reconciliation list. In a new Valentine's Day-themed survey, 27 per cent of voters named Pitt and Jolie, the celebrity couple they would most like to see back together, reports

Pitt and Aniston came in second with 22 per cent -- eight per cent ahead of third-placed Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield.

"High School Musical" stars Vanessa Hudgens and Zac Efron and Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder complete the top five, while Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan, "Twilight" stars Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart, and Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom make the top 10.

Thu, 13 Feb 2020 14:14:41 +0530
India Fashion Awards 2020

New Delhi: Recognising the efforts of unsung heroes who have devoted a major part of their lives for the fashion fraternity and brought fame to the country, India Fashion Awards will be organised in the capital.

India Fashion Awards recognises creativity and innovation celebrating exceptional contribution of individuals whose imagination and creativity have broken new ground in fashion, the brands and businesses that have made a significant contribution to the fashion community in the past year in India and the amazing artists who curate the glamorous fashion shows.

Rajnigandha Pearls India Fashion Awards in Association with DLF Avenue curated by Talent Factory is all set to establish a benchmark with its debut edition on February 20, 2020.

Who's who of fashion fraternity from Delhi and Mumbai will be present at the event. Some of them are Maneka Gandhi, Santosh Kumar Gangwar Union Minister, Kiran Chaudhury, Bollywood actors Chitrangada Singh, Sophie Choudhury, Rahul Dev, Cyrus Sahukar, fashion designers Manish Malhotra, Tarun Tahiliani, Rohit Bal, Rohit Gandhi-Rahul Khanna, Gaurav Gupta, Amit Aggarwal, supermodels Dipti Gujral, Candice Pinto, Sonalika Sahay, Lakshmi Rana, Sucheta James among others.

The brainchild of Sanjay Nigam, Founder Team Talent Factory said: "Fashion is the most influential form of non-verbal communication and this is where we find sync with India Fashion Awards 2020, where we are awarding and honouring the achievers in different fields of the fashion industry and especially the ones who work tirelessly behind the stage."

He added: "IFA aims goodness in fashion fraternity and that's where Rajnigandha Pearls comes into the picture as the brand associates itself with goodness and believes that goodness can only be measured through our good deeds and a kind demeanor."

Source IANS

Thu, 13 Feb 2020 13:47:36 +0530
Michael Clarke wife Kyly

Melbourne:Former Australia captain Michael Clarke and his wife Kyly have announced their divorce after seven years of marriage. The couple, who got married in May 2012, have a four-year-old daughter, Kelsey Lee.

"After living apart for some time, we have made the difficult decision to separate as a couple, amicably," the couple issued a joint statement to The Australian on Wednesday.

"With the greatest of respect for each other, we've come to the ­mutual conclusion that this is the best course for us to take while we are committed to co-parenting of our daughter."

It is reported that the divorce is worth approximately $40 million. According to Fox Sports, the celebrity pair separated five months ago, with Clarke moving out of their home in Vaucluse before relocating to the pair's Bondi beachfront pad, worth $8 million. It is also reported that 38-year-old Kyly Clarke will continue to occupy the Vaucluse property with their daughter.

The 38-year-old has also confirmed that he will be joining the Big Sports Breakfast show this year alongside former rugby league great Laurie Daley. He posted a photo alongside his co-host on Instagram on Thursday following reports last week he would be joining the breakfast radio show on Sky Sports Radio.

Clarke, who led Australia in their successful World Cup campaign in 2015, retired from international cricket in 2015 after playing 115 Tests in which he scored 8,643 runs, including 28 centuries. He also played 245 ODIs and 34 T20Is.

Source IANS

Thu, 13 Feb 2020 13:34:36 +0530
Experts anticipate win w

New York: US-India analysts tracking President Donald Trumps scheduled visit to India later this month are keenly watching for a much anticipated trade deal that holds the promise of ending three years of escalating trade tensions, but are dialling down expectations of this being a "transformational" moment.

Trump and First Lady Melania Trump are scheduled to visit India February 24-25 for the first time since he occupied the White House.

Speaking to reporters this week, Trump said the trade deal with India will happen if "we can make the right deal".

"I'll be watching most closely the much-anticipated trade deal, which is likely to represent some good progress in solving a handful of price caps and tariff issues, but as far as I can tell, (it) will not mark a transformational moment," Alyssa Ayres, senior fellow for India, Pakistan, and South Asia at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Ayres served as deputy assistant secretary of state for South Asia from 2010 to 2013 and is the author of 'Our Time Has Come: How India is Making Its Place in the World'.

Bharath Gopalaswamy, Senior Fellow, Observer Research Foundation, said the "painfully negotiated" trade deal in the making will be a "win-win" for both sides. "Other issues that are likely to come up are the evolving US-Iran relations as well as the implementation of US's free and open Indo-Pacific strategy," he said.

Ayres said the "challenges" in the US-India economic relationship go back many years and are "tough to resolve" although successive US and Indian governments have been chipping away at the task.

Explaining the gaps, Ayres said India and US discussed a Bilateral Investment Treaty for 10 long years "before both sides figured out that our model BITs on each side are just too far apart".

Despite these irritants, there remains "strong compulsion" and "convergences" for the two countries to collaborate, according to Daniel Twining, President of International Republican Institute, a think tank.

Speaking to IANS, Twining said "the US will want India to lift protectionist restrictions on its growing domestic market, and India will want more US trade and investment as well as more predictability for highly skilled immigrants".

Twining said: "Both Modi and Trump also understand that more than any other factor, China's ambitions and growing influence risk undermining peace and security, and this creates convergences for the US and India to cooperate - as do climate change and new frontiers in clean energy, technological transformation, and the prosperity agenda."

For several weeks now, negotiators on both sides have been working on overdrive to seal the impending trade deal, just like they did before Narendra Modi's visit to the US last September.

The Trump administration comes into the negotiations riding high on recent deals with China and the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

The US has been seeking greater market access for its technology exports, agriculture and dairy products. It has pushed back against Indian policies on medical devices and India's proposals related to data localisation and e-commerce.

India and the US should "focus on what is doable", according to Mark Linscott, Senior Fellow with the South Asia Program at the Atlantic Council, writing in The Hindu newspaper.

He writes: "A new, hybrid approach on investment would be a substantial step in the right direction. It will be critical to sustain momentum coming out of a first trade deal when the two leaders meet in Delhi. If India and the U.S. fail this test, the trade relationship is more likely to languish than blossom."

After Trump took office, the US has revoked duty-free treatment for some Indian exports under the Generalized System of Preferences and threatened sanctions on any Indian company importing oil from Iran. The GSP is designed to give duty-free market access to exports from developing countries.

The Trump government has reportedly been mulling a "Section 301 investigation", under the US Trade Act of 1974 which allows the executive branch to impose tariffs on countries it accuses of unfair trade practices.

Beyond the policy issues, the grand reception that awaits Trump in India is getting a lot of play.

"The President seems very focused on the rally in Ahmedabad, so I'm watching that too," Ayres said.

Speaking to reporters at the White House, Trump said he expects to see "millions" of people on the way from the Ahmedabad airport to the Sardar Vallabhai Patel stadium in Motera, Ahmedabad, where he is expected to address a massive public rally with India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi.       

Source: IANS

Thu, 13 Feb 2020 12:46:56 +0530
Too early to predict end
Geneva :The World Health Organization (WHO) has said that it is "way too early" to predict the end of the coronavirus epidemic despite an apparent slowdown in the number of new cases in China.

"This outbreak could still go in any direction," WHO Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus said, the BBC reported on Thursday. Earlier, China reported its lowest daily number of new coronavirus cases - 2,015 - for two weeks. 

The virus has killed more than 1,100 people and infected 44,600. The number of new daily infections reported by Chinese authorities hit a peak last week at close to 4,000. 

On Tuesday, top Chinese epidemiologist Zhong Nanshan said the epidemic should peak in China this month before subsiding. The WHO has been able to track down the source of transmission in all but eight of the 441 cases of the virus outside China, its head of emergencies Michael Ryan said. 

He said that the apparent stabilisation in the number of new cases in China and the slower spread of cases outside Hubei province - where the virus first emerged - was reassuring. 

"(That) is to a great extent due to a huge public health operation in China," he said. But he added: "I think it's way too early to try to predict the beginning, the middle or the end of this epidemic right now." 

Four possible vaccines were being funded for pre-clinical development, WHO Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan told reporters. "I think we will find a vaccine," she said. "It will take some time. A vaccine cannot be made overnight." 

Dr Tedros, the WHO chief, also praised Cambodia for taking in the Westerdam, a US cruise ship that had earlier been turned away from ports in Japan, Thailand and Taiwan despite having no sick patients on board.

It was "an example of the international solidarity we have consistently been calling for", he said.

Source IANS

Thu, 13 Feb 2020 12:21:49 +0530
Jet Suit will make it hap

Nashville: Imagine going to the office flying at a speed of 50 kms per hour. No traffic woes, no parking headache and the journey is all electric. No, we are not talking about Tesla CEO Elon Musk and his eccentric yet game-changing ideas for the future of transportation.

For the 'Marvel Man' Sam Rogers, who has now successfully demonstrated the flight with wearing a gas-turbine-powered Jet Suit over the river at nearly 80 kms per hour, the whole idea is not to just provide entertainment and fun for the audience, but work on more lightweight and efficient parts and let the humankind fly safe from once place to another in the near future.

Rogers redesigned the Jet Suit that has set a Guinness World Record for speed in the field of human aeronautical innovation. "Five turbojet engines spooling up on your body is a very visceral experience," according to Sam.

A student of the UK-based Loughborough University, he is currently additive design lead and jet suit pilot at Gravity Industries, founded by British inventor and entrepreneur Richard Browning in 2017.

The company is behind the "Daedalus Mark 1", a jet pack that uses several miniature jet engines to achieve vertical flight. The kerosene engines are rated at 22 kg of thrust each.

"We augment the body and mind with a suite of patent pending technology to enable unparalleled human flight," Rogers said on the sidelines of the Dassault Systemes' 3DExperience World conference here.

"It's a great feeling, kind of like the Marvel superheroes, to wear the Jet Suit and fly," said Rogers, who is setting up a flying race over a river with Jet Suit-wearing enthusiasts.

The intense 1,000bhp (brake horsepower) roar of a Jet Suit demonstration must be an amazing visual treat. "The aim is an unparalleled human flight and mobility right in front of your eyes, leaving you inspired to question what else is possible for human creativity to achieve," said Rogers.

Gravity has flown at over 60 events in 20 countries in the 18 months since its launch.The five-turbojet engine Jet Suit is 3D printed entirely in aluminium, steel and nylon.

It has kerosene-fuelled turbines on the back and on the arms, each with 22kg of thrust, with the controls located inside the grip handles."After several iterations, the turbines on the arms and back is the optimal configuration," said Rogers, adding that 3D printing is playing an ever-increasing role in the design and manufacture of such prototypes. The Jet Suit is available for $4,40,000 and the company has sold 10 such suits to the inventors.

The aim, said Rogers, is to keep innovating and reduce the price for mass use one day. The dream of office workers flying in and out at work is not too far it appears.


Thu, 13 Feb 2020 12:03:15 +0530
US stocks trade higher am

New York:US stocks traded higher on Wednesday as investors digested the latest quarterly corporate earnings reports.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 196.23 points, or 0.667 per cent, to 29,472.57. The S&P 500 added 18.82 points, or 0.56 per cent, to 3,376.57. The Nasdaq Composite Index increased 66.60 points, or 0.69 per cent, to 9,705.55, Xinhua reported.Most of the 30 Dow component companies traded higher, with UnitedHealth Group and Caterpillar adding 3.22 percent and 2.17 per cent respectively, leading the gainers.

All of the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors traded in green territory, with consumer discretionary increasing 0.93 per cent, leading the advancers. CVS Health reported fourth-quarter earnings revenue that was boosted by higher sales in its pharmacy benefit management business.

The drugstore chain registered quarterly revenue of $66.9 billion and adjusted earnings per share of $1.73, both topping Wall Street's estimates.

Source IANS

Thu, 13 Feb 2020 11:52:39 +0530
Mobile Internet services

Since Wednesday evening the 2 G mobile Internet services have again been suspended in Kashmir.

Last week, on the death anniversary of the parliament attack convict Afzal Guru and JKLF chief Maqbool Bhat, the internet was suspended for a few hours.

Thu, 13 Feb 2020 11:42:31 +0530
Anoushka Shankar There i


New Delhi: (IANS) Grammy-nominated sitarist, composer and producer Anoushka Shankar finds strength in vulnerability, and says she is increasingly finding it easier to trust that she can be vulnerable in her music. Asked how important it is to be vulnerable as an artist, Anoushka told IANS: "There is great strength in vulnerability, as it takes courage to push through the fear and share one's true self with others. In music, that vulnerability really speaks to listeners as it connects with their own hearts. I find it increasingly easier as the years go by, to trust that I can be vulnerable in my music."

Apart from music, the daughter of the late globally-renowned sitar exponent Ravi Shankar is known for her personal battles, from successfully battling substance abuse, opening up about sexual abuse, hysterectomy to her struggle with depression. In a social media post, Anoushka shared that she took her youth and potency for granted, and had no self-worth. The internationally-acclaimed sitarist feels that embracing one's true vulnerability and honesty is "an ongoing process, like any growth!"

"I saw things five years ago I couldn't see ten years ago, but I see things now that I couldn't see five years ago. I've become more fiercely protective of my self-worth than I used to be. And I learn more every day what honesty really is, beyond lies and witholding truth, and into an internal sense of integrity," she said. The mother of two channels her inner thoughts and her emotions through her music. "Traces of You" was about intense joy, pain and sadness, her album "Land Of Gold", released in April 2016, was written in response to the refugee crisis. Her latest album "Love Letters", a compilation of songs written across 2018-2019, documents a time of profound flux for the artist: health issues, heartbreak, domestic upheaval.

Reflecting about the process of making music, Anoushka said: "It's always been my feelings that push me to create music. The feelings can be due to my own personal experiences, such as on 'Love Letters', or they can be my feelings in reaction to world events, such as on 'Land of Gold'. Intense feelings need an outlet, and music is one of my strongest outlets." Anoushka will perform in India as part of her worldwide tour of her latest album "Love Letters". She will perform in Mumbai on February 13, and in Delhi on February 14. The tour, presented by Alchemist Marketing Solutions, will mark her homecoming to the Indian sub-continent after more than two years. "It's a homecoming, personally and musically, a return to roots and an offering to where it all began," she about performing in India. 


Thu, 13 Feb 2020 11:29:11 +0530
Posts disappear captain

Hamilton: Team India skipper Virat Kohli, who also leads Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the Indian Premier League (RCB), has been left shocked after the franchise removed their profile picture and posts from various social media accounts. Kohli, who is currently leading the national side in New Zealand, on Thursday said he was surprised that posts from the social media accounts of RCB disappeared and him, being the captain of the side, was not even informed.

"Posts disappear and the captain isn't informed. @rcbtweets let me know if you need any help," Kohli tweeted. RCB, who have not been able to win IPL since its inception in 2008, changed the name of their official Twitter handle raising a few eyebrows. The account removed its display picture and cover picture while the name was changed to just 'Royal Challengers'.

The same was done on their Instagram and Facebook accounts. Indian leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal was also left shocked after the development. "Arey @rcbtweets, what googly is this? Where did your profile pic and Instagram posts go?" Chahal had tweeted on his way back from New Zealand.

AB de Villiers, who also plays for RCB, also expressed shock at the development which came weeks ahead of the start of the 2020 IPL edition. "Folks at @rcbtweets, what's happened to our social media accounts? ?? I hope it's just a strategy break. ????" de Villiers wrote. RCB's actions come a day after the Bengaluru-based franchise signed Muthoot Fincorp as their title sponsor for IPL 2020. RCB on Tuesday announced a three-year partnership with Muthoot Fincorp Ltd, a part of the Muthoot Pappachan Group, popularly known as Muthoot Blue, a diversified conglomerate in the financial services industry.

The partnership of title sponsor for the marquee T20 team includes the heavily valued "jersey front" logo placement, which will be prominent on the playing and training jersey, in stadium integration at home matches, digital and other high visible media platforms, a statement had said.


Thu, 13 Feb 2020 11:25:38 +0530
Xi chairs leadership meet

Beijing: The Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee on Wednesday held a meeting on the prevention and control of the pneumonia epidemic caused by the novel coronavirus or COVID-19. Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, chaired the meeting and made an important speech, reported Xinhua news agency.

Xi said the epidemic situation has shown positive changes due to concerted hard work and that the prevention and control work has achieved notable outcomes. "The results are hard-won progress made by all sides," Xi said. Noting that epidemic prevention and control have entered a critical stage that requires stringent efforts, Xi stressed focusing on priorities without any let-up and strengthening prevention and control in areas where the epidemic situation is particularly serious or at greater risk.

Xi demanded resolute efforts from Party committees and governments at all levels to win the people's war against the epidemic and urged them to strive to achieve this year's economic and social development goals and tasks.


Thu, 13 Feb 2020 11:19:23 +0530
Coronavirus in China disr

Chennai: The coronavirus outbreak in China is disrupting the global technology sector (hardware, electronic manufacturing services providers and semiconductor companies), as operations in the world's largest technology manufacturing hub are threatened, said Standard and Poor's (S&P) report on Thursday.

In a report "Coronavirus A Wide-Ranging Ill For Tech Supply Chain", S&P said it expects the virus will be contained globally in March 2020 (no new transmissions in April), allowing travel and other restrictions to be unwound by the middle of the second quarter.

According to the report, the factories are expected to reopen in February and the near term negative impact to the technology sector can be reversed later.

"However, if the outbreak proves more difficult to contain, the effect on the tech sector could be extensive as lengthy factory shutdowns or significant underutilization could materially lower the global output of tech components, sub-assemblies, or finished goods," S&P statement said.

"We haven't taken any rating actions related to the outbreak, S&P Global Ratings analysists David T. Tsui, Raymond Hsu, and Mark Habib said in the report.


Thu, 13 Feb 2020 11:13:38 +0530
Cruise ship docks in Camb

Phnom Penh: A cruise ship carrying thousands on board that had been denied entry into several countries over fears that its passengers were infected with a the deadly coronavirus, docked in Cambodia on Thursday, 13 days after setting sail.The Westerdam, which departed on February 1 from Hong Kong amid the growing outbreak and had been turned away from Japan, Thailand, Taiwan, the Philippines and the US territory of Guam, arrived in the port of Sihanoukville, where its operator Holland American Line, said it would remain several days, reports Efe news.

"Guests will disembark in Sihanoukville over the next few days and transfer via charter flights to Phnom Penh for forward travel home. Holland America Line will arrange and pay for all flights home, in addition to the full cruise refund and 100 per cent future cruise credit already communicated," the operator added.Holland American Line added that there were no coronavirus infections among the 2,257 people on board - 1,455 guests and 802 crew members - which was Japan's initial concern for not allowing it to dock in Yokohama and subsequent destinations.

"All guests on board are healthy and despite erroneous reports there are no known or suspected cases of coronavirus on board, nor have their (sic) ever been," the operator read.Taking to Twitter on Thursday, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, World Health Organization director-general, thanked Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen for allowing the ship to dock in Sihanoukville.

"My sincere thanks to the government of Cambodia and Prime Minister Hun Sen for clearing the way for Westerdam Cruise ship to dock at Sihanoukville soon. This is a welcome act of solidarity at a time when the world has a window of opportunity to stop #COVID19 & avoid stigma & fear," the tweet read. Hun Sen's government has taken a particularly relaxed stance amid the outbreak.

Addressing the media last month, he said that Cambodia would "stand by" China in light of the crisis and alluded that taking strong contingency measures would be detrimental to the economy and bilateral relations.The comments came as he was asked whether the country would suspend flights to the affected areas in China, which he likened to "killing the Cambodian economy" and a downgrade of his country's diplomatic relations with Beijing.

Cambodia has so far confirmed one case of the new coronavirus.The WHO on Tuesday officially named the disease COVID-19, while the virus which causes it has been called SARS-CoV-2 (changed from its provisional name 2019-nCoV) by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses.The organization said "CO" stands for "corona," "VI" for "virus, "D" for "disease" and "-19" for "2019" - as the outbreak was first detected December 31.



Thu, 13 Feb 2020 11:10:55 +0530
Raj Bhavan gets top Rolli

Mumbai: The Raj Bhavan Garden at the Governor’s residence has received top two Rolling Trophies in the Garden Competition at the 59th Annual Vegetable, Fruit and Flower Show that concluded in Mumbai. This was the third consecutive year for Raj Bhavan to receive the top award. Raj Bhavan also received 5 other trophies in various competitions of flower display.


Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari invited the Garden Superintendent and the gardening staff and congratulated them for their dedicated work. The Governor’s Garden received the first top prize in the category of gardens of Government, Semi Government, Municipality, Institutions, Railway Offices and Stations and Commercial establishment having area above 1000 sq. mt. The second top prize was received in the category of Bungalows maintained by Government over 2000 sq.mts area.


The gardening staff of Raj Bhavan received the awards at the hands of noted economist Dr Usha Thorat at the Vegetable, Fruit and Flower Show. President of the Society Dr Ashok Kothari and Vice President Dr Arun Sawant were present. The Raj Bhavan garden received 5 other trophies in the segment ‘ Annuals Grown in Containers, Collection of Aromatic and Medicinal Plants, Cut Flowers – Annuals, Cut Flowers – Biennial and Perennial and Orchid. The trophies were given away by Vice Chairman of MSRDC Radheshyam Mopalwar.




Thu, 13 Feb 2020 10:25:22 +0530
13 dead in Agra Lucknow E

Ferozabad:Thirteen people were killed and 31 others injured as the bus in which they were travelling collided with a truck on the Agra-Lucknow Expressway. The accident took place on Wednesday night in Firozabad. All the injured have been admitted to the Sefai medical college. Vishwa Deepak, Medical Officer, Emergency Ward of Sefai Mini PGI, said: "At least 31 injured patients have been admitted to the hospital and 13 were brought dead."

Superintendent of Police (Rural) Rajesh Kumar said: "The sleeper bus was going from Delhi to Motihari (Bihar). The double-decker bus hit the container truck from behind."
Taking cognizance of the accident, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath directed the District Magistrate and Senior Superintendent of police to reach the spot and oversee relief work. He also issued directives for proper treatment of the injured.


Thu, 13 Feb 2020 09:11:33 +0530
pak drones

New Delhi, Feb 12 Since the global watchdog on terror funding, Financial Action Task Force (FATF) mounted pressure against the Imran Khan government, terror groups based in Pakistan have been smuggling weapons for their recruits in Kashmir via Punjab.

Top official sources told IANS that since the February 2019 Pulwama suicide attack, dozens of weapons enroute Jammu and Kashmir, have been seized in Punjab. There has also been a rise in the Pakistan-originating Chinese drones dropping weapons and communication devices in Punjab following the abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir's special status on August 5, last year.

Pakistan-based terror groups have sent at least eight drone sorties, air-dropping 80 kg of weapons in Punjab during the last few months, sources said.

"We have seized 15 AK-47s, 10 in Punjab in two separate cases and five at Lakhanpur border between Punjab and Jammu. Besides, we have also recovered dozens of pistols, ammunition, satellite phones, fake Indian currency notes (FICN) and hand grenades from these drone sorties in separate incidents since August, 2019," a top source said, adding that there may have been many occasions when the security forces were unable to intercept and seize the Pakistani arms consignment.

An official who did not want to be named said that the usage of drones for dropping arms was "scary" because Pakistan can smuggle anything from biological to chemical weapons into India using unmanned vehicles.

Earlier, terrorists were mostly infiltrating from the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu & Kashmir and would bring large consignment of arms along. The LoC trade was another route for smuggling arms into Kashmir.

But after the NIA cracked down on terror groups and their support system in Kashmir and FATF tightened its noose around Pakistan, the strategy of banned terror groups like Jaish-e-Mohammad, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Hizbul Mujahideen has changed, a source said.

"Given the scrutiny and conditions that Pakistani establishment is supposed to meet to get off the FATF's 'grey list', they are now using alternative routes for cross-border terror," another source said.

"They are now mostly infiltrating from Jammu region and Punjab. But we don't know exactly from where and we don't know how many may have infiltrated through these routes in the last one year. 60 militants have infiltrated in just the last two months, as per our intel reports," a senior police official in Srinagar said.

In the last one year, officials said, the ISI -- the sponsor of terror groups in Pakistan -- has also pumped their resources into reactivation of their global Khalistan network too. Pakistan's spy agency ISI has been funding Sikh separatism (Khalistan) in Punjab and Muslim separatism Kashmir for last several decades.A

Though Khalistan movement seemed to have died down, but its network is now back in action, through Germany and Lahore, an NIA source said. National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Wednesday issued non-bailable warrants of arrest against two KhalistanAZindabad Force (KZF) terrorists -- Ranjeet Singh, a resident of Jammu, who has fled to Pakistan and Gurmeet Singh, a resident of Hoshiarpur, who now lives in Germany, in the September 2019 case of weapons airdropping.

Investigations have revealed that they were successful in recruiting dozens of militants to carry out terror attacks in India, an NIA statement said. Nine people have already been arrested from Punjab in the case.

The usage of drones for arms trafficking and smuggling came to light after the discovery of the burnt drone, whose eight Chinese batteries were stripped off by the accused on the instructions from their handlers across the border, sources said.

FATF (Financial Action Task Force), a global watchdog on terror funding and money laundering, had placed Pakistan in 'grey list' in June 2018, requiring it to crackdown on terror groups and their finances by October 2019. Failure to comply poses the risk of being placed on the Black List along with Iran and North Korea, which can adversely impact a country's trade and investment. The Imran Khan government expects to exit the FATF grey list with the help of China, Turkey and Malaysia in the February 16 meeting.

Source : IANS


Thu, 13 Feb 2020 07:18:15 +0530

Microsoft owned GitHub has announced the opening of its subsidiary GitHub India Private Limited to better serve the developer community and GitHub’s customers in India. GitHub’s third largest community of developers is based in India, growing 22 per cent last year and solidifying GitHub’s base in India.

“As the third largest group of active developers on GitHub, Indian developers are truly building the future of software. Over the past year, the number of public repositories in India has grown 75 per cent, demonstrating a sharp increase in collaboration across the Indian developer community," Erica Brescia, Chief Operating Officer, GitHub, said in a statement.”

GitHub by building a strong team in India aims to strengthen its relationships with developers and support open source development amongst developers. Maneesh Sharma, General Manager, GitHub India will spearhead its India growth strategy.

The California headquartered company said that it will build a strong team across all functions including community, engineering, sales, support, marketing and services - to enable customers to adopt DevOps best practices at scale and collaborate with over 40 million developers across more than 100 million projects.

Many Indian companies are collaborating and building the software that powers their businesses on GitHub.

Wed, 12 Feb 2020 22:31:37 +0530

Convicts from the December 2012 Delhi gang rape case were using delaying tactic to save their skins said Nirbhaya’s mother as she broke down in the court. A Delhi court was hearing the petition of the state and Nirbhaya’s parents who were seeking death warrants against the four accused.

What about my rights, asked Nirbhaya’s mother reminding the court that it has been more than seven years, and that justice hasn’t been done. A Delhi court on Wednesday offered Pawan Gupta, one of the four death row convicts in the gang rape cum murder case legal aid when he told the court that he didn’t have a lawyer.

Speaking further on the delay, Nirbhaya’s mother said that the new lawyer will take their own sweet time to study the case in detail. Sessions judge Dharmender Rana while pronouncing the order to get a lawyer to represent the accused also stated his displeasure in the delay from Pawan’s side.

Wed, 12 Feb 2020 22:28:39 +0530
welfare model

It came, it saw and it conquered. Arvind Kejriwal led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is the new sheriff in town and with back-to-back election victories has supplanted Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in New Delhi, the capital of India. AAP which is India’s youngest political party came up with some novel schemes which were welfarist for the public and perhaps freebies for their opponents.

The experiment in Indian politics began by Kejriwal may perhaps be copied by other states with Congress and BJP already getting sleepless nights. Pressure will now mount on them especially in states where they are in power to dole out freebies. The new model of subsidized electricity, water, health, education and other public services such as free transport for women in bus and metros have given much needed relief to the public especially when the economy is floundering.

Kejriwal has perhaps become the torch bearer for political parties looking to gather votes in return. West Bengal government has already announced free power of upto 75 units for each household. Maharashtra government is planning to provide free electricity upto 100 units per household. Commenting on these developments, Arvind Kejriwal said, “I am happy that cheap electricity is now an issue in the polity of the country. Delhi has shown the way to other states. In 21st century, citizens should get cheap electricity 24 hours a day.”

A political analyst expressing his views on the development said that public wants cheap electricity and water and it is gaining importance in political circles. Pressure will be on BJP and Congress governments and eventually states such as Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka and so on will be forced to follow suit. Uttar Pradesh government for example spends only 4 per cent of its budget on education whereas Delhi is spending 25 per cent of its budget on education. Political parties have to give relief to common men and the time to start it is now.

Wed, 12 Feb 2020 22:22:59 +0530
Twitter blocked BJP Karna


Bengaluru: Social media giant Twitter has blocked the Karnataka BJP's account for 24 hours for its tweets on people with 'liberal views', a party official confirmed on Wednesday. "Twitter has blocked BJP Karnataka account for 24 hours. Of late, the team has been looking into the role of liberal, leftists and Congress held state administrations for the last couple of years and how the ecosystem is functioning against the CAA," Vinod Krishna Murthy, Karnataka state BJP Yuva Morcha Vice President told IANS.

Murthy said the Karnataka BJP IT cell has been telling the world what the liberals, leftists and Congress have done and commenting about why the liberals are going against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) which was not openly talked about. The BJP Yuva Morcha leader is clueless about who complained against their twitter handle but hinted that the whole ecosystem opposing BJP and CAA would have ganged up together and gotten it done.

"If you look at our tweets, we are taking on Congress head-on and with facts. We have also been taking on the liberals straight-on, whoever has been misleading the public with lot of issues they are not even aware of and which is not even relevant to the topic," claimed Murthy. According to Murthy, BJP Karnataka IT cell fired a series of tweets in the past couple of days, which were deleted by the American social media giant.

He said he did not keep and account of the number of tweets disseminated and later taken off by Twitter. Murthy said the BJP Karnataka is not against anybody but only talking the truth and about the divisive nature of Congress and how since independence it kept the minorities away. On Wednesday, BJP Karnataka official handle tweeted, "It is unfortunate that our handle was locked out by Twitter for speaking the truth about liberals."

It has vowed that it will not step back in its efforts to bring out the truth in the public domain. "A big thanks for your support and encouragement. Satymeva Jayate. Jai Hind," the political party said to its supporters after Twitter unblocked the account on Wednesday. The account remained blocked entirely on Tuesday. "We got our Twitter account unblocked with the help of BJP's national social media and IT team based in Delhi," confirmed Murthy. However, he said the social media major did not seek any assurance or warn the BJP Karnataka IT cell as it unblocked the account in one single day.

It tweeted on Monday, accusing Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh, Sushil Kumar Shinde and Vijay Bahuguna for "cheating" Dalits. "In 2012, Congress was in power at the Centre and Uttarakhand. These were responsible for Supreme Court's decision to remove reservations for Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) in government jobs and promotions," said Karnataka BJP.

Karnataka BJP spokesperson G. Madhusudhana told IANS that he had no idea about the account being blocked and then unblocked by Twitter. "What has happened? I don't know," said Madhusudhana. Reacting to the drubbing BJP suffered in the Delhi Assembly polls, the party tweeted that there is no need to lose heart. 
"Now is the time to go back to voters to win their hearts and minds. Let us plan for 2025 from today. We are with you," tweeted Karnataka BJP on Wednesday.

In another video post on February 8 on twitter, BJP Karnataka showed a long queue of burqa-clad women waiting to vote in the Delhi assembly elections. 
The Muslim women were seen showing their voter identity cards one after the other as someone asked them to do so in Hindi. "Kaagaz nahi dikhayenge hum!!! Keep the documents safe, you will need to show them again during National Population Register (NPR) exercise. #DelhiPolls2020," tweeted BJP Karnataka showing them.

Though BJP congratulated Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for winning the Delhi polls, the party highlighted that it managed to increase it vote share by six per cent compared to 2015.

(Sharon Thambala can be contacted at

source: ians

Wed, 12 Feb 2020 22:13:26 +0530
Kashi Mahakal Express

Following its successful launches of Tejas Express, Indian Rail Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) will launch its third corporate train. The Kashi Mahakal Express will have its inaugural run between Varanasi and Indore on February 16, IRCTC officials said today. The train is expected to begin its commercial run from February 20.

IRCTC has revealed that the train will be superfast and will have air-conditioned coaches with sleeping berths for its overnight journey. IRCTC is yet to announce the time table of the train. As per IRCTC the train will connect three places, Jyotirlinga - Omkareshwar (near Indore in Madhya Pradesh), Mahakaleshwar (Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh) and Kashi Vishwanath (Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh), besides also connecting the industrial and educational hub of Indore, and Bhopal, the capital of Madhya Pradesh.

The train will journey three times a week between Varanasi and Indore via Ujjain, Sant Hiradnagar (Bhopal), Bina, Jhansi, Kanpur, Lucknow/Prayagraj and Sultanpur. IRCTC is extending facilities to passengers such as high quality vegetarian food, bedrolls, and housekeeping and security services. Passengers travelling in the train will also be covered with a complimentary travel insurance of Rs.10 lakhs during the journey.

Passengers can book tickets on IRCTC website or its mobile app as well as authorized travel agents. The train will have an advance reservation period of 120 days and will only have the general and foreign tourist quotas. Current booking will be available to passengers at the station itself after preparation of the first chart, 4 hours to 5 minutes before scheduled departure of the train.

Wed, 12 Feb 2020 22:00:03 +0530
Dwarka Expressway

The Delhi-Gurugram-Dwarka expressway which has been delayed by more than 10 years is likely to be operational in one year, a senior NHAI official told the media. The official affirmed that 30 per cent of the work is complete and contracts for construction have been awarded to four construction companies with a strict timeline.

The official clarified that NHAI has divided into four packages the 16 lanes expressway starting from the Delhi Gurugram expressway at Shiv Murti and going all the way to Kherki Dhaula toll plaza via Dwarka Sector 21, Gurugram border and Basai. Around 19 kilometres of the expressway falls in Gurugram while remaining around 10 kilometres fall in Delhi. The foundation stone for the expressway was laid on March 8, 2019, by Shri Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways.

The total cost of the project is Rs 7,500 crore and provides signal-free travelling experience to commuters who can reach from one point to another in 20 to 25 minutes. The expressway is expected to smoothen traffic movement between Delhi and Gurugram.

Wed, 12 Feb 2020 21:56:34 +0530
45 lakh concealed in pean

New Delhi:A video clip on interception of currencies of various countries is doing the rounds on the internet. It shows security personnel cracking peanuts, unzipping sealed biscuit packets and digging into oily meat pieces to extract an assortment of Saudi riyal, Qatari riyal, Kuwaiti dinar, Omani riyal and euros rolled and wrapped neatly inside.

These currencies sum up to a total of approximately Rs 45 lakh in Indian currency. The CISF tweeted the video of the interception with the caption, "Vigilant #CISF personnel apprehended a passenger namely Mr Murad Alam carrying high volume of foreign currency worth approx. INR 45 lakh concealed in peanuts, biscuit packets & other eatable items kept inside his baggage @ IGI Airport, Delhi. Passenger was handed over to customs."

As the post went viral on the Internet, Twitterati flooded the social media with their reactions. A user wrote, "That's notoriously innovative in a totally bad way."

A post read, "Smart chap...innovation in the wrong way. If this guy is trained well, it would be a great asset for the government."

A user remarked, "Does not matter how much money I will make... I will not be able to put so much effort ever."

Source: IANS

Wed, 12 Feb 2020 17:54:32 +0530
2011 World Cup Victory st

Mumbai: The 2011 World Cup victory still gives Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar the goosebumps as he feels the entire incident just happened "yesterday".

In his sixth attempt, Tendulkar -- under the captaincy of M.S. Dhoni -- finally tasted success in 2011 when India beat Sri Lanka by six wickets in a thrilling final played at the Wankhede on April 2. Carried on the shoulders of his team-mates, Tendulkar took a lap of the ground, after the victory was sealed in his home city of Mumbai.

That moment, titled 'Carried On The Shoulders Of A Nation', is a reference to the Indian historic win and has been shortlisted as one among the five contenders for the greatest Laureus Sporting Moment 2000-2020 Award. And Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh have urged fans to vote for the cricketing great.

"Yuvi, this moment is for Team India and every Indian around the world. The 2011 Cricket World Cup win is etched in my mind like it just happened yesterday. Still get goosebumps thinking about that night," Tendulkar wrote on Wednesday while replying to Yuvraj who has urged fans to vote for the 46-year-old.

Describing Tendulkar as a "friend, teammate, mentor and icon", current Team India skipper Kohli also said: "A friend, teammate, mentor and icon. Let's all come together and vote for Sachin paaji for the Laureus Sporting Moment 2000-2020."

Responding to him, the Master Blaster wrote: "It is definitely a moment to remember Virat! Glad to have a teammate & friend like you to cherish it with. Thank you for your support."

The foundation has launched the Laureus Sporting Moment 2000-2020 for public voting, which gives fans the opportunity to choose the winner who will be announced during the Laureus World Sports Awards Show in Berlin on February 17.

Source: IANS

Wed, 12 Feb 2020 17:43:41 +0530
2011 World Cup Victory st

Mumbai: The 2011 World Cup victory still gives Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar the goosebumps as he feels the entire incident just happened "yesterday".

In his sixth attempt, Tendulkar -- under the captaincy of M.S. Dhoni -- finally tasted success in 2011 when India beat Sri Lanka by six wickets in a thrilling final played at the Wankhede on April 2. Carried on the shoulders of his team-mates, Tendulkar took a lap of the ground, after the victory was sealed in his home city of Mumbai.

That moment, titled 'Carried On The Shoulders Of A Nation', is a reference to the Indian historic win and has been shortlisted as one among the five contenders for the greatest Laureus Sporting Moment 2000-2020 Award. And Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh have urged fans to vote for the cricketing great.

"Yuvi, this moment is for Team India and every Indian around the world. The 2011 Cricket World Cup win is etched in my mind like it just happened yesterday. Still get goosebumps thinking about that night," Tendulkar wrote on Wednesday while replying to Yuvraj who has urged fans to vote for the 46-year-old.

Describing Tendulkar as a "friend, teammate, mentor and icon", current Team India skipper Kohli also said: "A friend, teammate, mentor and icon. Let's all come together and vote for Sachin paaji for the Laureus Sporting Moment 2000-2020."

Responding to him, the Master Blaster wrote: "It is definitely a moment to remember Virat! Glad to have a teammate & friend like you to cherish it with. Thank you for your support."

The foundation has launched the Laureus Sporting Moment 2000-2020 for public voting, which gives fans the opportunity to choose the winner who will be announced during the Laureus World Sports Awards Show in Berlin on February 17.

Source: IANS

Wed, 12 Feb 2020 17:40:32 +0530
64 26 CR Naveen Patnaik

Bhubaneswar: Reference to the Odisha government's recently released property lists of 20 ministers on the government website, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik's owns assets worth over Rs 64.26 crore as on March 31, 2019. Patnaik's assets including movable properties of over Rs 62.66 lakh and immovable inherited properties valued at over Rs 63.64 crore, makes him the richest among the council of ministers in Odisha.

Naveen has an Ambassador car of 1980 model that is valued at around Rs 8,905, jewellery worth about Rs 2.12 lakh, deposits over Rs 40 lakh, farmland and building in an area of 22.7 acres at Tikri Khera village valued over Rs 10.75 crore in March, 2017.

in New Delhi Naveen owns his ancestral property's 50 percent share and two-third share of Naveen Niwas in Bhubaneswar worth over Rs 9.52 crore.Naveen Patnaik has a loan of Rs 15 lakh that he borrowed from his elder sister, Gita Mehta.

Tusharkanti Behera, Sports and IT Minister is the poorest among the Council of ministers with total assets of Rs 26 lakh.

Naba Kishore Das, Health Minister the only Minister in the state who possesses two revolvers and a rifle.

Pratap Jena Panchayati Raj Minister owns properties valued at over Rs 9.92.

Wed, 12 Feb 2020 17:16:31 +0530
I am now losing faith an

After a Delhi court on Wednesday offered Pawan Gupta, one of four death row convicts in the rape and murder case of the Nirbhaya gang, legal aid since he said he has no lawyer, Asha Devi, Nirbhaya's mother cries and leaves court. "I am now losing faith and hope. Court must consider the convicts ' delay tactics. Now, if a new lawyer is appointed to convict Pawan, he / she will take his / her own time to go through case files," said Asha Devi.

Wed, 12 Feb 2020 16:41:16 +0530
Cabinet approve two bills

New Delhi: On Wednesday, the Union Cabinet gave its approval for two new bills to help farmers and resolve disputes around maritime ports.

The bills include the Pesticide Management Bill, 2020 and the Major Ports Authority Bill, 2020, which will be introduced in Parliament during the forthcoming second phase of the Budget Session starting on March 2.

Wed, 12 Feb 2020 16:27:14 +0530
Robert Irwin recreates fa

New Delhi: Robert Irwin, the son of the late 'Crocodile Hunter' Steve Irwin, recreated his late father's iconic photograph holding a Koala dressed in uniform from the Australian zoo.In the photo, which was posted on Instagram, Robert was captured lovingly leaning his head against the adorable critter, while cradling it in his hands.

He was dressed in the Irwin family's trademark khaki uniform and sported a leather wrist-watch. Earlier, the Australian zoo had shared the original photograph of Crocodile Hunter Steve back in January. As the post went viral, users flooded the social media with their reactions. Fans couldn't believe how both looked so alike. A user wrote: "His father would have been so proud! But I really second his mother to have such courage to grow the child in the manner so that he can choose the way his father did, truly remarkable, a human what we always should be towards mother nature."

Another wrote: "you look so much like your father it's unreal." A post read: "You look so much like your dad in this picture... You and your family are wonderful!" A user remarked, "I thought it was a photo of your dad then!"

Source IANS

Wed, 12 Feb 2020 16:26:42 +0530
HDFC Bank to provide smar

Bhubaneswar: HDFC Bank and Odisha government MSME Department duely signed a MoU upon smart banking solutions to Startups in presence of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday.

"Young entrepreneurs are engines of growth for new Odisha. I am sure this MoU between Start-up Odisha and HDFC Bank will open up new possibilities for startups," said the Chief Minister.

HDFC bank provides smart banking solutions to Govt recognised Startups along with offering opportunity to pitch solutions to requisite stakeholders. They also will work towards providing the startups an opportunity to showcase their Software solutions and services. The bank will extend incubation and acceleration assistance to all Startups to bank with HDFC said an official.

"My government is working relentlessly to support the young Startups in every possible way. We are going to set up a world-class Startup Hub in Bhubaneswar and launch a fund for Startups this year to further boost the ecosystem," said Patnaik.

HDFC Bank is having third party alliances to provide discounts for startups across key business support functions like shared work spaces, digital marketing, content writing, tax and legal advisory, financial management, compliance among others.

Also, it will enable startups to list on their Smart Buy platform for growth and visibility, the official said.

Dibyashankar Mishra, the MSME Minister said: "Odisha is one of the fastest growing StartUp ecosystems in the country and we invite more such partners to collaborate with us in this journey creating a holistic support system for Startups."

The Chief Minister expressed his satisfaction with the progress made under the Odisha Startup Policy.

Wed, 12 Feb 2020 16:17:01 +0530
WHO to speed up research

New Delhi:In order to speed up research to find treatment for the deadly novel coronavirus, the World Health Organisation on Wednesday organised a forum in collaboration with the Global Research Collaboration for Infectious Disease Preparedness (GLOPID-R). The Global research and innovation forum is to mobilise international action in response to the virus (2019-nCoV) emergency.

The two-day event taking place at the WHO headquarters aims at bringing together key players, including leading scientists as well as public health agencies, ministries of health and research funders pursuing 2019-nCoV critical research and the development of vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics, among other innovations. 

The purpose of the forum is to identify key knowledge gaps, and research priorities and accelerate the generation of critical scientific information. 

According to the WHO Research and Development Blueprint, a global strategy and preparedness plan, which was formulated during the spread of the Ebola epidemic in Africa, rapid activation of the research and development activities will be conducted. Its aim is to fast track the availability of effective tests, vaccines and medicines that can be used to save lives and avert large scale crises. 

The forum expects outcomes that provide research roadmap with clearly defined priorities and governance framework addressing each of several thematic areas like virus, diagnostics, natural history and transmission, clinical, therapeutics, vaccines, ethics, regulatory science, animal health, data and samples analysis. The forum is to be attended by multi-disciplinary teams.

Source IANS

Wed, 12 Feb 2020 15:52:28 +0530
Kohli continues at No 1

Dubai: India captain Virat Kohli has maintained his top spot in ODIs while leading India pacer Jasprit Bumrah has been displaced from the numero uno ranking.
Kohli endured a rare lull with the bat garnering just 75 runs in the three-match ODI series against New Zealand which concluded on Tuesday with India losing all the three games in a row. He is followed by Rohit Sharma who had to miss the New Zealand ODIs with an injury. Ross Taylor has also moved upwards by a spot and is currently placed at the fourth spot.
In the ICC rankings for bowlers, Bumrah has been replaced by New Zealand's Trent Boult at the numero uno spot. Bumrah was far from his best as despite playing in all the three games against the Black Caps, he was unable to make any impact and returned wicketless while going for a total of 167 runs in the 30 overs he bowled.
The Indian pacer is followed by Afghanistan's Mujeeb ur Rehman, Kagiso Rabada and Pat Cummins.
In the list of all-rounders, Ravindra Jadeja has made a jump of three places and moved to the seventh spot. Jadeja scored 63 runs in the two innings he batted in and also picked up two wickets.
Afghanistan's Mohammad Nabi has climbed to number one spot in the all-rounders' list while Ben Stokes has lost some ground after having been rested for the recent South Africa ODIs as he has slipped to the second spot.

Source IANS


Wed, 12 Feb 2020 15:44:27 +0530
India s GS Lakshmi set to

Dubai: India's G.S. Lakshmi will become the first woman match referee to officiate at a global ICC event when the Women's T20 World Cup starts in Australia from February 21.

On Wednesday, the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced the match officials for the league phase of the Women's T20 World Cup, with three match referees and 12 umpires set to take the reins for the 23-match tournament. Lakshmi will officiate as match referee in the league match of the tournament to be played between former champions West Indies and first-timers Thailand on February 22 at WACA in Perth. Last year, she had become the first female match referee to oversee a men's One-Day International in the opening match of the third series of the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup League 2 in the United Arab Emirates.

The list of match officials for the T20 World Cup includes a record six women. Besides Lakshmi, Lauren Agenbag, Kim Cotton, Claire Polosak, Sue Redfern and Jacqueline Williams are the other women who will officiate as umpires for the eight-team competition. Williams will stand along with Shaun George in the high-profile tournament opener between Australia and India on February 21, soon after becoming the first woman to officiate as a third umpire in a men's international cricket match.

Polosak, who became the first female umpire to officiate in a men's ODI last year, will pair with Nitin Menon in the match between West Indies and first-timers Thailand on February 22. 
Chris Broad will be the senior most match official at the event with Steve Bernard also officiating as match referee. The other umpires at the tournament will be Gregory Brathwaite, Chris Brown, Ahsan Raza, Langton Rusere and Alex Wharf.

The appointments for the semi-finals will be announced at the end of the league stage and those for the final will be finalised after the semi-finals. Match officials at Women's T20 World Cup 2020: Match Referees: Steve Bernard, Chris Broad, GS Lakshmi.
Umpires: Lauren Agenbag, Gregory Brathwaite, Chris Brown, Kim Cotton, Shaun George, Nitin Menon, Claire Polosak, Ahsan Raza, Sue Redfern, Langton Rusere, Alex Wharf, Jacqueline Williams.



Wed, 12 Feb 2020 15:39:35 +0530
5 people found dead in Ea

Delhi: On Wednesday five people from the same family were found dead at a house in Bhajanpura in East Delhi. According to sources, the family — Shambhunath (43), his wife Sunita (38), daughter Kavita (16), two sons lived in a rented accommodation in the block of Bhajanpura C.

Wed, 12 Feb 2020 15:34:33 +0530
family found dead

New Delhi: Five people from the same family were found dead in a house in East Delhi's Bhajanpura on Wednesday.

According to sources, the family -- Shambhunath (43), his wife Sunita (38), daughter Kavita (16), sons Sachin (14) and another son -- was living in a rented accommodation in Bhajanpura C block for some time.

On Wednesday, neighbours noticed that the gate was locked from outside. Sensing something amiss a resident informed the police. After that the police broke open the door and found the bodies. 

Source IANS

Wed, 12 Feb 2020 15:28:10 +0530
Kejriwal elected leader o

Leader of the Aam Aadmi Party Arvind Kejriwal was elected on Wednesday by the MLAs as the leader of the AAP legislature party in the Assembly. Kejriwal was elected unopposed during a meeting at his residence with all the 62 MLAs.

Wed, 12 Feb 2020 15:24:53 +0530
Saif s Jawaani Jaaneman

Mumbai: 2020 Indian Bollywood comedy film by Nitin Kakkar,"Jawaani Jaaneman" starring Saif Ali Khan' is now all set to be released on the big screen of Saudi Arabia on Thursday. The film was released in India on 31 January 2020 and succeeded to create positive responses from critics and audience all over India.

"It is wonderful to see how 'Jawaani Jaaneman' is being loved by all fronts. We are proud of the film and the fact that it is Saif's first solo entertainer making it to the Saudi market, makes this film all the more special. Hopefully, the film will be loved by the Saudi audience too," Jay Shewakramani, who co-produced the movie, said.

"Jawaani Jaaneman", which is directed by Nitin Kakkar, has received a positive response from the audience and critics. starring Saif Ali Khan as a 40 year-old father and debutant Alaya Furniturewala as his daughter, alongside Tabu. The movie is presented by Pooja Entertainment in association with Black Knight Films and Northern Lights Films.

Wed, 12 Feb 2020 15:18:57 +0530
Women tend to drink more

Syndey: Women aged 50-70 are more likely to consume alcohol than younger women, at levels that exceed low risk drinking guidelines, according to a new study.

The researchers found that despite the potential health risks of exceeding national drinking guidelines, many middle-aged and young-old women who consume alcohol at high risk levels tend to perceive their drinking as normal and acceptable, so long as they appear respectable and in control.

For the findings, published in the journal Sociology of Health & Illness, researchers at New Edith Cowan University (ECU) in Australia and Aalborg University in Denmark, investigated the social construction of alcohol use among 49 women aged 50 to 69 in Australia and Denmark.

"The research highlighted that respondents from both countries indicated that alcohol use among women their age was normal and acceptable," said study lead author Julie Dare from ECU. According to Australian health authorities, drinking more than two standard drinks on any day increases the risk considerably of premature death over a woman's lifetime.

The researchers found that women place more importance on appearing to be in control, behaving respectably, social pleasure and feeling liberated than the quantity of alcohol consumed or potential health risks. While some women reported reducing their drinking due to health concerns, others suggested that positive health behaviours such as exercise served to 'neutralise' alcohol-related health risks.

According to the study, health advice and interventions relating to middle-aged and young-old women's drinking practices need to acknowledge that women may socially construct their drinking practices to prioritise matters other than biomedical impacts of alcohol. While the study highlighted many similarities between Australian and Danish women, one interesting cultural difference was the way Australian women thought about alcohol in relation to stress.

"If the Australian women had some sort of distress in their lives they believed it was acceptable to drink. They were quite open about this saying 'I just had a bad day, I needed to have a drink'," Dare said.

Source IANS

Wed, 12 Feb 2020 14:53:03 +0530
Nutanix USA commissioned

Bengaluru: Global enterprise cloud computing company Nutanix officially commissioned India headquarters in Bengaluru aiming to expand innovative ecosystem also to nurture a strong internship and incubation programme in India.

The US-based global enterprise cloud computing company Nutanix is setting up facilities to attract more workforce, and further setting to develop the company's expansive portfolio of enterprise solutions.

"We're excited by our new home and the opportunities it provides us. India is integral to delivering the best solutions and service to our global customers and this facility marks yet another step in our ongoing commitment to the country," Sankalp Saxena, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, India Operations, Nutanix said in a statement.

The new Bengaluru Headquarters is situated in the midst of the city's IT hub with a total in space of about 2,000 square feet.It brings together all the business and management functions under a single roof. The campus consists of an open plan and engaging workplace, with multiple collaborative and creative spaces as well as an in-house gym, sleep pods, and gaming zones along with fully catered canteen facility providing breakfast, lunch and dinner menu for staff.

Nutanix said the setting up of the Bengaluru headquarters is in line with the company's continuing expansions in India, to nurture a strong internship and incubation programme with the support of local colleges

Wed, 12 Feb 2020 14:28:58 +0530
lower dementia risk in ol

London: Men who are taller in young adulthood may have a lower risk of dementia in old age, according to new research.

Previous studies have suggested that height may be a risk factor for dementia, but much of this research was not able to take into account genetic, environmental, or other early-life factors that may be linked to both height and dementia.

"We wanted to see if body height in young men is associated with diagnosis of dementia, while exploring whether intelligence test scores, educational level, and underlying environmental and genetic factors shared by brothers explain the relationship," said lead author Terese Sara Hoj Jorgensen from University of Copenhagen in Denmark.

For the findings, published in the journal eLife, researchers analysed data on 666,333 Danish men born between 1939 and 1959, including 70,608 brothers and 7,388 twins, from Danish national registries.

They found a total of 10,599 men who developed dementia later in life.Their adjusted analysis of this group showed that there was about a 10 per cent reduction in the risk of developing dementia for about every 6cm of height in individuals above the average height. 

When the team took into account the potential role of intelligence or education, the unadjusted relationship between height and dementia risk was only slightly reduced.

They found that the relationship between height and dementia also existed when they looked at brothers with different heights, suggesting that genetics and family characteristics alone do not explain why shorter men had a greater dementia risk. 

"A key strength of our study is that it adjusted for the potential role of education and intelligence in young men's dementia risk, both of which may build up cognitive reserve and make this group less vulnerable to developing dementia," said study senior author Merete Osler.

'Cognitive reserve' refers to the brain's ability to improvise and solve problems that come up in everyday life. 

Adjusting for education and intelligence reduces the likelihood that the relationship between height and dementia is really explained by cognitive reserve, the researchers said.

"Together, our results point to an association between taller body height in young men and a lower risk of dementia diagnosis later in life, which persists even when adjusted for educational level and intelligence test scores," Osler said. 

"Our analysis of the data concerning brothers confirms these findings, and suggests the association may have common roots in early-life environmental exposures that are not related to family factors shared by brothers," she added.

Source IANS

Wed, 12 Feb 2020 13:59:49 +0530
my fans Adnan Sami

Mumbai:After receiving the Padma Shri, Singer-composer Adnan Sami says he is feeling a tremendous sense of responsibility to try. "It's really precious. I feel when you are honoured with a prestigious award like Padma Shri, it increases the responsibility. Now, I feel a tremendous sense of responsibility to try and do even better," he said.

Adnan Sami was given Padma Shri on India's 71st Republic Day, hournouring Sami's contribution to music.

"The most important thing is that the field in which I have been given this blessing of an award is art and music. I feel my responsibility towards my fans, my country is through my profession, which is music," said the singer, at the launch of his new song 'Tu yaad aya' in Mumbai.

Opposition politicians and lots of Social Media users in India were criticizing the government over the honouring Adnan Sami with Padma Shri as at a time when the nation's ties with Pakistan have been hostile.

He continued: "So, apart from being a responsible citizen in general, my responsibility is to ensure that I give my best through my profession, which is music, for which I have been honoured, and try and excel and give back even more of my love through music."

Wed, 12 Feb 2020 13:12:12 +0530
oreign Delegates reaches

Srinagar: To know the first hand ground situation of the Union Territory the second batch of foreign delegates reached Srinagar on Wednesday morning and will conduct a visit to Jammu and Kashmir in the coming days.

European Union diplomats representing Germany, France, Czech Republic, Poland, Bulgaria and Hungary are in Srinagar for a day on Wednesday and in Jammu on Thursday. The commission has checked into a hotel in Srinagar and the hotel area foreign envoys staying is ensured security.

A delegation of ambassadors visited the Union Territory last month, delegation will also meet business representatives and others during the visit. The delegation will inform about the security situation in Kashmir

Wed, 12 Feb 2020 12:37:59 +0530
Galaxy S20 a massive seri
San Francisco: Samsung Electronics on Tuesday unveiled its first full 5G flagship lineup, Galaxy S20 series - with S20 Ultra variant with a massive 16GB RAM. Featuring all the latest technology for the latest Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven camera architecture, 8K video shooting and super fast charging.

"As all three Galaxy S20 variants come with 5G connectivity, Samsung is providing a next-generation device for transforming people's lives. With an incredible, AI powered camera, you can capture the moments as they happen and connect more seamlessly with the people you love," said Dr TM Roh, President and Head of Mobile Communications Business, Samsung Electronics.

The Galaxy S20+ and Galaxy S20 Ultra are the first devices able to power new mobile experiences that take advantage of both sub-6 and mmWave technologies while Galaxy S20 supports sub-6 technology.

All three devices are capable of delivering non-standalone and standalone 5G capabilities and Galaxy S20+ and Galaxy S20 have a triple camera system at the rear with main 64MP camera and a 10MP selfie shooter while S20 Ultra has main 108MP camera and 40MP front camera.

The devices have groundbreaking zoom capability. The users will be able to use up to 30X zoom on the Galaxy S20 and S20+ and can experience Super Resolution Zoom up to 100X with a clearer view ever than before on S20 Ultra.

Owing to its AI camera has the high intensity to capture a large number of photos, videos, with Live focus, cropped, Ultra Wide and more to capture best moments ever.

Available colors: Cosmic Grey, Cloud Blue, Cloud Pink colours; Galaxy S20+ comes in Cosmic Grey, Cloud Blue, Cosmic Black and Galaxy S20 Ultra comes in Cosmic Grey, Cosmic Black colours.

Charger: 25W fast charger (S20 Ultra supports 45W superfast charging).

Battery: S20 houses 4000mAh battery, S20+ has 4,500mAh battery while Ultra has a huge 5,000mAh battery.

Storage -- S20 in 128GB variant LTE version with 8GB variant while S20+ and S20 Ultra in in 128GB, 256GB and 512GB variants.

Gaming: With a 120Hz display, the users will have the ability to experience to the next leve with incredibly smooth gaming.

Also offers 8K video shooting with live stream video to a Samsung QLED 8K TV.

Partnering with YouTube Samsung Galaxy S20 series upload your 8K videos directly to YouTube. "Netflix and Samsung are working together to put the Galaxy S20 in the hands of renowned directors to capture bonus content based on popular Netflix Originals," said the company.

To launch its popular Forza Street for marking Samsung will partner Microsoft later.The company also showcased new Galaxy Buds+, that has sound by AKG and features 2-way speakers, 3 mics for unparalleled sound and voice quality; and up to 11 hour long battery along with an extra 11 hours in the case. Buds+ app, aGalaxy Buds+', is now iOS compatible.

Wed, 12 Feb 2020 12:06:09 +0530
Corona virus

New York, Feb 11 Researchers have developed an interactive map of the novel coronavirus spread -- which has claimed over 1000 lives in China -- that allows users to see the number of cases worldwide, as well as recoveries and deaths.

Moreover, all these trends are available in real time.

A new interactive map from the University of Washington geographer Bo Zhao, give updates every few hours with data from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organisation (WHO), China and other government agencies, including those in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.

"Mapping is a powerful tool to tell social, cultural and political phenomena," said Zhao.

"As a geographer, and in what people call the 'post-truth era,' it's important to weigh in with data sources to show people how things are happening," Zhao added.

The outbreak of the coronavirus, which is believed to have originated in China's Wuhan city in December, has been declared a public health emergency by the WHO.

Chinese health authorities on Tuesday said the death toll due to the deadly coronavirus in China has increased to 1,016, with 42,638 infected cases.

According to China's National Health Commission, 7,333 serious cases had been recorded as of Monday midnight, while 3,996 people were discharged, reports Efe news.

According to the University of Washington, Zhao recently produced an online atlas to illustrate the global refugee experience.

The coronavirus, he said, is another societal issue that people can gain perspective on by seeing it on a map.

While the Chinese government has been criticised for its response to the crisis, and concerns have arisen about its transparency, Zhao said China's National Health Commission data is the most accurate available for the country.

"But the outbreak is not just affecting China or the city of Wuhan It is a global issue, and that's the perspective users can gain from the map. The numbers on display are important too because there are more recoveries than deaths," he added.

As more detailed data becomes available, the researchers plan to add county-level totals from China, and state and provincial totals from the US and Canada, respectively.

Source : IANS

Wed, 12 Feb 2020 11:42:50 +0530
US Stock trade on Tuesday

US stocks traded higher on Tuesday after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell testified before the Congress. In a prepared speech, Powell said the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) believes the current stance of monetary policy will influence to build a strong labor market, continuing economic growth, and inflation reverting to the committee's symmetric 2 per cent objective.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average reached 29,314.54 increased 37.72 points, or 0.13 per cent,. The S&P to 3,368.55, 500 added 16.46 points, or 0.49 per cent,. The Nasdaq Composite Index to 9,701.87 adding 73.48 points, or 0.76 per cent.

"Over the second half of last year, economic activity increased at a moderate pace and the labor market strengthened further, as the economy appeared resilient to the global headwinds that had intensified last summer," he said.

Powell added that The central bank is monitoring closely the emergence of new financial trends after the coronavirus.Three times in 2019 The Fed lowered interest rates, cutting the target range of the federal funds rate by 75 basis points to 1.5-1.75 per cent.

Tuesday On the economic front, the US Labor Department said on the last business day of December, the number of job opportunities fell to 6.4 million and job openings rates are decreasing to 4 per cent. over the month, hires and separations were little changed at 5.9 million and 5.7 million, respectively.


Wed, 12 Feb 2020 11:10:00 +0530
Former army personnel sho

A former army personnel was allegedly shot dead by his teenage daughter after he opened fire at her and his wife, injuring them seriously in Mitthauli village in Mathura district. The incident took place on Tuesday, when Chetram, 41, pulled out his gun after a heated family argument and fired at his wife, 38, and daughter, 17. As he turned the weapon to shoot his 13-year-old son, the injured daughter managed to snatch the weapon from him. She then opened fire, killing the former soldier on the spot. Chetram's wife and his daughter are battling for their lives at a private hospital.

Wed, 12 Feb 2020 10:53:50 +0530
Shots fired at Naresh Ya

An Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) volunteer lost his life in Delhi late Tuesday night after a few unidentified miscreants fired shots at the convoy of AAP MLA Naresh Yadav, who had just secured the Mehrauli assembly constituency. Another individual was wounded in the firing incident. According to a post on AAP's official Twitter handle, the volunteer's name is Ashok Mann. "Today we have lost one of our family member. May his soul rest in peace," the party posted on the social media site.

Wed, 12 Feb 2020 10:45:52 +0530
Pro BJP artists fail to m

Kolkata: The BJP suffered a huge setback with none of those who joined the party over the past few months managing to win in the high-profile elections to the Artists forum - the representative body of actors of the Bengali film industry - in the vote count on Monday. The elections were held on Sunday. The Left came up with an impressive show with several candidates close to them racing to victory. The Trinamool, despite a few reverses, had lot of reasons to cheer, as a number of actors considered loyalists to the party won.

Shankar Chakraborty was elected as Executive President defeating his nearest rival pro-Trinamool Bharat Kaul. BJP leader Anjana Basu finished a poor third. Arindam Ganguly was elected as General Secretary. Among prominent pro-Left candidates Paran Bandopadhyay was elected as vice president, while Debdoot Ghosh won the post of Assistant Secretary. June Malia, Rana Mitra and Sagnik Chatterjee were among the pro-Trinamool candidates who got elected. Pro-BJP actor Sumon Bandopadhyay claimed his party never looked at the Aritists' Forum polls as a apolitical contest".

"It has always been an apolitical body. There was a forcible attempt to politicise it some time back. But the results say those who contested sans any party colour got the support of the majority," he said. However, state BJP President Dilip Ghsoh alleged a collusion between the Left and the Trinamool against his party. "(Left major) CPI-M is alleging a tie-up between BJP and Trinamool. But the fact is CPI-M itself is tilting to (chief minister and ruling Trinamool Congress supremo) Mamata (Banerjee) for survival.

"There are vested interests in the industry, which we oppose. Those who want the vested interests to rule the roost, joined hands and defeated others," he said. State minister and Trinamool leader Aroop Biswas - who looks after the issues concerning the Bengali film industry for the party and the government a" expressed satisfaction with the results. "Elections to the Artists Forum election have always been apolitical. The trend has continued this time also. I congratulate the artists for not giving entry to the communal forces," said Biswas.

Since its impressive show in last year's Lok Sabha polls, a number of Bengali screen personalities had been crossing over to the BJP, which had recently become very active in matters concerning the industry. However, those close to the Bengali film world feel the saffron outfit paid the price for factional feuds. Over the past seven-eight months four pro-BJP artists organisations were floated, by various leaders and artists. Those in the know say there is no love lost between these organisations.

Wed, 12 Feb 2020 10:36:52 +0530
Kapil Azharuddin urge BC

New Delhi: Former Indian greats Kapil Dev and Mohammad Azharuddin have been left disappointed by the behaviour of the Under-19 team after the World Cup final where they were involved in an altercation with their Bangladeshi counterparts. After Bangladesh won the final beating India by three wickets (via DLS) at the Senwes Park on Sunday, the players of the two teams were seen engaging in an exchange of words and even some pushing and shoving on the field.

"I would like to see the board (BCCI) take some strict action against the players to set an example. Cricket is not about abusing the opponent. I am sure there is enough reason for these youngsters to be dealt with firmly by BCCI," Kapil was quoted as saying by The Hindu. "I welcome aggression, nothing wrong in it. But it has to be controlled aggression. You can't cross the line of decency in the name of being competitive. I would say it was unacceptable that youngsters put up such an obnoxious display on the cricket field," he added.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has sanctioned five players, including three from Bangladesh -- Towhid Hridoy, Shamim Hossain and Rakibul Hasan --and two from India --Akash Singh and Ravi Bishnoi for the scuffle. Azharuddin also reiterated what Kapil said, insisting that players need to be disciplined. "I would take action against the errant Under 19 players, but I also want to know what role has the support staff played in educating these youngsters. Act now before it is too late. The players have to be disciplined," Azharuddin said.

Earlier, Bishan Singh Bedi has lashed out at the Priyam Garg-led team, saying their behaviour was disgusting and disgraceful. "You bat, bowl and field badly�happens, but there's no excuse for behaving badly. The behaviour was disgusting and most disgraceful. The innocence of that age was not visible at all," Bedi told Mid Day. Bedi, who represented India in 67 Tests and 10 ODIs, said the behaviour of the Bangladesh cricketers is not our problem. "Look, what Bangladesh do is their problem, what our boys do is our problem. You could see that there was abusive language used," he said.


Wed, 12 Feb 2020 10:31:50 +0530
China nCov death toll rea

Beijing: Chinese health authorities Wednesday said it received reports of 2,015 new confirmed cases of novel coronavirus infection and 97 deaths from 31 provincial-level regions and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps. With this, the overall confirmed cases on the Chinese mainland has reached 44,653 by the end of Tuesday, and 1,113 people died of the disease. Among the 97 deaths reported on Tuesday, 94 were in Hubei Province and one in Henan, Hunan and Chongqing respectively, according to China's National Health Commission, reported Xinhua news agency.

Another 3,342 new suspected cases were reported Tuesday, said the commission. Also on Tuesday, 871 patients became seriously ill, while 744 people were discharged from hospital after recovery. The commission added that 8,204 patients remained in severe condition, and 16,067 people were suspected of being infected with the virus.
A total of 4,740 people had been discharged from hospital after recovery.

The commission said 451,462 close contacts had been traced, adding that among them, 30,068 were discharged from medical observation Tuesday, with 185,037 others still under medical observation. By the end of Tuesday, 49 confirmed cases including one death had been reported in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR), 10 confirmed cases in the Macao SAR, and 18 in Taiwan. One patient in Macao and one in Taiwan have been discharged from hospital after recovery.


Wed, 12 Feb 2020 10:27:11 +0530
Sayani Gupta turns produc

Mumbai: Actress Sayani Gupta is set to co-produce "Where the Wind Blows", a film which will feature her as the only protagonist. It's been directed by Karma Takapa, whose films "Ralang Road" and "Mor Mann Ke Bharam" have travelled to various festivals. According to a source, "the interesting fact about the film is that the entire film is shot in the Himalayas. The cast and crew climbed till the base camp of Mount Everest. The average temperature there was around minus 27 degree Celsius. Sayani along with the crew of only seven people climbed and completed the shoot in 26 days".

Sharing her experience of working on the film, Sayani said: "This film is very close to my heart. Shooting for it was not lesser than a roller coaster ride. Though the shoot was difficult, the experience was one of the most memorable ones. I had the best time shooting with Karma and team." "Where the Winds Blow" is a journey of a young woman who embarks on a trek towards an unknown destination somewhere in the high Himalayan mountains. As the terrains turn harsh and nature challenges her, she braves these and her internal hurdles to find her resilience. Sayani, who has featured in films like "Jolly LLB 2" and "Article 15", is co-producing the film with Human Trail Pictures.


Wed, 12 Feb 2020 10:23:33 +0530
US dollar retreats amid s

New York:The US dollar retreated in late trading on Tuesday as investors' risk appetite went stronger. Market confidence restored on hopes that the outbreak of novel coronavirus infection may close to its peak. Traditional safe-haven currency Japanese Yen weakened against the greenback. In late New York trading, the euro was up to $1.0920 from $1.0914 in the previous session, and the British pound increased to $1.2961 from $1.2915 in the previous session. The Australian dollar increased to $0.6713 from $0.6679, Xinhua reported.

The US dollar bought 109.75 Japanese yen, higher than 109.69 Japanese yen of the previous session. The US dollar was down to 0.9754 Swiss franc from 0.9769 Swiss franc, and it fell to 1.3290 Canadian dollars from 1.3318 Canadian dollars. The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six major peers, was down 0.11 per cent at 98.7235 in late trading.


Wed, 12 Feb 2020 10:20:27 +0530
Goa Open Arts festival an


New Delhi: With a view to build upon the community of creative people residing in Goa, the maiden edition of The Goa Open Arts Festival that will take place from February 13 to 16 at Nagoa in North Goa aims to foster collaborations and relationships amongst participants who may not have previously known each other - but are all living and making work in the state.

Talking about this free to attend and open to the public festival, Sitara Chowfla, independent curator and spokesperson of the festival recalls that the festival was prompted by the idea that there are a significant number of creative people - artists, writers, designers, poets, musicians and who had come from around the country and the world, to make Goa their home.

"The intention has also been to encourage and provide a platform for creating new work and for artists to retain control over what and how they show. This is a point of difference from many other festivals - that it is organised by artists and the content is driven by the selected artists and not by curators. We're also working to making it a sustainable, eco-responsible event," she tells IANS.

Stressing that the underlying thought behind the three-day festival is premised on the idea of ‘openness', Chowfla elaborates that they have included a diverse range of practices in the arts -- music, performance, visual arts, poetry -- and also opened up different interpretations of art. "For example we have chefs who are using food to awaken sensory experiences and a mental health initiative that uses creative design to reach out to adolescents. There will also be artists conducting workshops for children from the village schools, thus opening up space to a different audience. One important aspect of being open is that it is for anyone to apply, whether an emerging artist or an established practitioner," she says.

With participation from more than 70 artists, selected from the open call for applications, the festival will showcase a wide discipline of artists and makers. The visual arts exhibition includes works by Orijit Sen, an interactive textile art project by young Goan artist Rujuta Rao, multimedia installations by artists Gopika Chowfla, Dheer Kaku, Mustafa Khanbai and Rajaram Naik. There's also many interactive projects including the Travelling Library by Bookworm trust, a special exhibit on mental health by Goa - based NGO Sangath in collaboration with Quicksand Design Studio, and a polaroid photo studio set up by photographer Bharat Sikka.

Well-known artists Nikhil Chopra, Madhavi Gore and Bhisaji Gadekar will be doing performances.

The main stage will witness acoustic music and poetry acts by the likes of Rochelle D'Silva, Shyamant Behal, Govez, and late-night music will range from Sufi music by HAWA, jazz and funk by the Coffee Cats, and a Fado concert by Sonia Shirsat. "We've also created a lot of opportunities for local schools to interacts with our programme - clay-making, theatre and printmaking workshops for students in the area."

The independent curator says that though they plan to expand their reach in terms of the artists they get to know and the audiences who are interested in their programme in the coming years, the aim is not really to make the festival bigger. "Our focus will be on deepening the engagement with the community with more sustained programs through the year and through fostering cross-collaboration between our current participating artists," she asserts.


Wed, 12 Feb 2020 10:17:07 +0530
Kejriwal to meet LG today

New Delhi: A day after Aam Aadmi Party received a clear majority in the Assembly election result, party Chief Arvind Kejriwal will meet Delhi Lt. Governor Anil Baijal on Wednesday. Kejriwal, the national convenor of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), has also called a meeting of the newly elected party's MLA, sources said.
In Delhi, which is a state with an Assembly, the President appoints the Chief Minister on the advice of the Lieutenant Governor. The party with the majority meets the LG to give proposal to form a government.Kejriwal on Tuesday became the Chief Minister-elect for the third time as the AAP bagged 62 of 70 seats -- far more than the majority mark.


Wed, 12 Feb 2020 09:10:32 +0530
wife pours oil

Bengaluru, Feb 11 A city-based woman poured simmering hot oil on her sleeping husband suspecting infidelity, a police officer said on Monday.

Manjunath, 40, who works with a private company, suffered 50 per cent burns as his wife Padma, a homemaker, poured hot oil on him.

"We have arrested Padma. However, we are suspecting that she is mentally unstable," Yeshwantpur Assistant Commissioner of Police Srinivas Reddy told IANS.

The bickering couple used to have fights regularly over a suspected affair and fought on Saturday as well.

At around 7 a.m. on Sunday, Padma spilled a litre of hot oil on her husband and fled the home with her children.

A screaming Manjunath ran out of home and was rushed to the Victoria hospital by his neighbours.

Though out of danger, Manjunath suffered burns on his shoulder, face and hands.

According to the police, Manjunath and Padma have been married for nine years and have two children. The live in Yeshwantpur's Mohankumar Nagar.

Source : IANS

Wed, 12 Feb 2020 07:23:38 +0530
IDBI Bank posts bigger Q3

Mumbai: Lender IDBI Bank on Tuesday announced that its net loss during the third quarter ended December 31, 2019, has widened to Rs 5,763 crore "on account of the bank exercising the option of lower tax resulting in one-time reversal of DTA (Deferred Tax Asset)". According to IDBI, its net loss widened to Rs 5,763 crore from a net loss of Rs 4,185 crore reported for the same period of the previous financial year. "During the quarter, bank exercised the option of a lower tax rate taking a one-time hit of Rs 6,273 crore," the bank said in a statement.

"Excluding the impact of this one time additional hit, bank would have reported net profit of Rs 418 crore against the net loss of Rs 5,763 crore being reported for the current quarter."
However, the bank's net interest income for the quarter in consideration improved by 13 per cent to Rs 1,532 crore, as against Rs 1,357 crore for corresponding quarter of the last fiscal.
Besides, the lender's gross non-performing assets (NPAs or bad loans) and net NPA ratios improved. The net NPAs reduced to Rs 6,805 crore as on December 31, 2019, from Rs 21,360 crore as on December 31, 2018, and Rs 7,919 crore as on September 30, 2019.

"Provision Coverage Ratio (including technical write-fffs) improved to 92.41 per cent as on December 31, 2019, from 75.21 per cent as on December 31, 2018, and 91.25 per cent from September 30, 2019," the statement said. "First Time NPAs reduced to Rs 2,113 crore in Q3-2020 from Rs 2,211 crore in Q3-2019 and Rs 2,059 crore in Q2-2020." 
Besides, recovery from NPAs stood at RS 3,136 crore in the third quarter. The better-than-expected operating profit for the third quarter, which improved by 76 per cent to Rs 1,278 crore, as against Rs 725 crore for the same quarter of last fiscal, might enhance the bank's attractiveness for divestment.

On February 1, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman proposed the sale of the government's entire stake in the bank to private players. The government, a promoter, holds around 46.5 per cent stake in IDBI Bank. In September 2019, state-run Life Insurance Corporation of India and the government together infused Rs 9,300 crore as equity capital into the bank.


Tue, 11 Feb 2020 22:19:44 +0530
Delhi Congress chief Subh

With Congress failing to open its account at the elections to the Delhi Assembly this time as well, Delhi Party unit leader Subhash Chopra resigned. The party may now concentrate on the members of GenNext, as there are no round the corner elections. The faction, which bagged 22 percent of the polled votes in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, has this time had less than 5 percent.

Tue, 11 Feb 2020 22:14:11 +0530
prasanth kishor

The runaway victory for Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi elections has once again put the spotlight back on election strategist Prashant Kishore. The star strategist was shunted out by Nitish Kumar from Janata Dal United (JDU) when he voiced his opinion against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens.

Sources have revealed that Kishor is being wooed by JDU’s rival the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) as the party prepares to launch its campaign for the Bihar state elections later this year. A senior RJD functionary not wishing to be named said that the decision to reap in Kishor lies with RJD supremo Laloo Prasad Yadav who is serving a jail term. He further said that Kishor’s unceremonial exit from JDU may establish working chemistry between him and RJD.

Prashant Kishor first came to limelight when he helped the then Gujarat CM Narendra Modi win a third term in Gujarat. He rose to prime prominence when he enabled Modi to win the 2014 landmark elections. Post that success he went on to help Nitish Kumar register victory in Bihar polls in 2015. Further success followed with Punjab in 2017, Andhra Pradesh in 2019 and West Bengal by-polls in 2019, and with his latest success in Delhi in 2020 he has perhaps established himself as the man with Midas touch.

Image Courtesy :

Tue, 11 Feb 2020 22:06:22 +0530
donald trump visits

US President Donald Trump will come to India later this month, the White House announced today, ending weeks of speculation. Government of India has said that Trump’s visit to India will further enhance the strategic partnership between India and US.

The White House in a Twitter post published, “President @realDonaldTrump & @FLOTUS will travel to India from February 24-25 to visit Prime Minister @narendramodi! The trip will further strengthen the US-India strategic partnership & highlight the strong & enduring bonds between the American & Indian people.”

Trump will be the fourth consecutive US President to visit India starting from Bill Clinton in 2000, George Bush in 2006, and Barack Obama in 2010 and 2015. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had for the first time in June 2017 extended invitation to Trump to visit India. India also invited him to be the chief guest for Republic Day last year which didn’t materialize.

Former Indian ambassador to the US, Arun K Singh said that Trump’s decision shows that India occupies an important place in his scheme of things.

The White House announcement has come in wake of Trump winning an impeachment case against him in the US Senate last week. “President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump will visit India on February 24 – 25, 2020," the White House later said in a statement. The President will visit New Delhi and Ahmedabad which is PM Modi’s home state.

President Trump will attend official engagements in New Delhi and Ahmedabad and interact with a wide cross section of Indian society indicating a public event on the lines of “Howdy Modi” in Houston which brought in a reported 50,000 people and Trump himself, could take place in the Gujarat leg of the visit.

Tue, 11 Feb 2020 21:49:06 +0530
Delhi election

Arvind Kejriwal led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has once again swept the polls winning 62 seats, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won 8 seats while the Congress failed to open its account for second time in a row in Delhi. The Delhi election results have once again confirmed that people make a clear distinction between state and national elections. In the general elections BJP won all the seven Lok Sabha seats while AAP was a distant third. People give more prominence to local issues than national ones, hence, different results.

The development work carried out by Kejriwal and his team in education, health, transport, water, electricity and numerous other infrastructure developments seems to have struck a chord with the voters. While BJP went on an overdrive with Shaheen Bagh and CAA protests, AAP distanced itself from these controversial issues and focused fully on the work it carried out during the last five years. Furthermore, BJP didn’t name a chief ministerial candidate and relied heavily on national issues and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popularity which didn’t pay off. It became more of a one man contest.

The elections further reveal the perennial decline of Congress which now is a shadow of its former self. A party which ruled Delhi for 15 consecutive years and was a dominant force in national as well as regional politics is on the road to nowhere. It is time for Sonia Gandhi and think tanks to have a relook at their strategies. An election loss in Delhi will have a rippling effect in Bihar as well and for BJP it is an uphill task to gain power in the state. With BJP struggling to retain power in Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Delhi, Bihar may prove to be far tougher although they plan to fight the elections jointly with Nitish Kumar’s JDU.

The country’s political landscape is fast changing over the last two years with BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) losing out in 6 states. The saffron footprint which in March 2018 covered over 75 per cent of India’s political landscape has been reduced to less than 35 per cent. Currently, the party is in power in Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka and North East states while all other areas have non-BJP governments. The party is in power in the centre for another four years but things could change rapidly if they don’t stem the tide. The alarm bells are ringing louder for J.P. Nadda and the time is apt for the party to relook, re-strategize and emerge stronger failing which it could go the Congress way and end up on the scrapheap.

Tue, 11 Feb 2020 20:53:39 +0530
Sensex up 400 points as n

Mumbai:The benchmark Sensex on Tuesday added 400 points during the early trade over reports of Chinese workers returning to factories and a drop in new Coronavirus cases.

Although the Coronavirus related deaths have crossed 1000, more than the SARS epidemic in 2003, Dalal Street is interpreting the drop in new cases as initial signs of normalcy returning in China.The 2,097 new cases on Monday were down from 2,618 during the previous day. At 11.19 the Sensex was up 353 points to 41,333.43 while the Nifty jumped 112 points to trade at 12,143.80. Buying was seen across all sectors led by metal and auto stocks which surged over 1 per cent each. GAIL, JSW Steel and Hindalco were the top gainers on the NSE.
Going ahead, experts said markets would continue to be volatile as it would closely watch the developments over coronavirus and its economic impact.

Investors would also be cautious ahead of the macroeconomic data-points due to be released during the week including CPI/WPI inflation and IIP data.

source: ians

Tue, 11 Feb 2020 17:57:16 +0530
SIES NSS students conduct


Mumbai: The NSS unit of the SIES College of Arts, Science & Commerce jointly with the Blood bank wing of the LTMG hospital, Sion and supported by the Past Students' Association of the college conducted a blood donation camp at the Dadar (CR) station on 11th February,2020. Dr. Uma Shankar , principal inaugurated the camp .


The NSS unit of the college has been conducting regular workshops and camps in various SIES adopted villages in Maharashtra and also conducts road shows to educate slum dwellers and villagers.


Tue, 11 Feb 2020 16:52:38 +0530
Vitamin D deficiency duri

Prenatal factors such as vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy, can influence the development of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), say researchers. The findings, published in the Journal of American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, demonstrated an association between low maternal vitamin D level in early to mid-pregnancy and an elevated risk for diagnosed ADHD in the offspring.

The researchers from University of Turku in Finland, included 1,067 children born between 1998 and 1999 diagnosed with ADHD in Finland and the same number of matched controls. The data was collected before the current national recommendation in Finland for the intake of vitamin D during pregnancy, which is 10 micrograms per day throughout the year.

In the study, the researchers used the exceptionally comprehensive Finnish Maternity Cohort (FMC) consisting of approximately 2 million serum specimens collected during the first and early second trimester of pregnancy. The research offers strong evidence that a low level of vitamin D during pregnancy is related to attention deficiency in offspring. As ADHD is one of the most common chronic diseases in children, the research results have a great significance for public health, according to the researchers.

According to a study the risk of ADHD was 34 per cent higher in children whose mother had a vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy than in those children whose mother's vitamin D level was sufficient during the first and second trimesters. The result was adjusted for maternal age, socioeconomic status and psychiatric history, the research said.

Source IANS

Tue, 11 Feb 2020 16:32:23 +0530
dengue cases in Sri Lanka

10,607 dengue cases were reported across the country from last month. The Ministry's Epidemiology Unit reported a 90 percent increase from last year of the same period. According to Ministry's Epidemiology Unit Colombo reported highest number of dengue cases of about Colombo at 1,693, followed by Trincomalee (1,278), Jaffna (1,061), Batticaloa (1,044), Kandy (662) and Gampaha (74) reports Xinhua news agency.

Monaragala, in the Uva Province of the country, was the only district that did not report any dengue cases, while all other districts in the country recorded over 15 patients in January. Health officials called on the public to be vigilant on mosquito breeding sites and take steps to clean those sites and keep the environment clean on a regular basis.

In 2019, 90 people died and over 99,000 others were affected by the mosquito-borne virus in Sri Lanka, with the National Dengue Control Unit launching several programmes to eradicate mosquito's breeding grounds.

Tue, 11 Feb 2020 16:18:37 +0530
Minor raped murdered in

A three-year-old girl has been raped and murdered in Uttar Pradesh's Sitapur district. The incident has led to an outrage with people blocking the Sitapur-Delhi highway for several hours on Tuesday.

Senior police officials reached the spot and assured the people of strict action against the accused who has been arrested. Following which the blockade was lifted. According to reports, the victim was playing outside her house under Mohali police circle, late on Monday evening, when she was lured away by a youth, Raju, who offered her biscuits.

Raju took the child to his house where he raped her and then strangulated her to death. He put her body into a sack and then covered it with a bucket. The victim's parents were not at home when the incident took place.

When the parents returned and found their daughter missing, they started searching for her. The victim's uncle saw Raju and asked him if he had seen the child. Raju became nervous and rushed into his house and the uncle followed him in. The child's slippers were lying in the courtyard.

The police was called in and after an intensive search, the body was found in a sack, hidden under a bucket.

Raju was arrested and has been booked under the relevant sections of IPC and the POCSO Act.

Tue, 11 Feb 2020 15:24:56 +0530
Modi Shah magic collapsed

Mumbai: "The magic of Modi-Shah has collapsed in Delhi," was a close reaction from Sharad Pawar, president of the Nationalist Congress Party, to the imminent victory of the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Tuesday's Delhi elections. "Congratulations to Arvind Kejriwal-ji and AAP workers for achieving a 'sweeping victory' in the polls!" said Pawar.

Tue, 11 Feb 2020 14:59:29 +0530
Parenting is so intrinsic

A picture of an alligator swimming across the Chambal river with its young ones on its back is doing the rounds on social media and has sparked a wave of reactions among the people on Twitter. The photo was shared by an IFS officer Parveen Kaswan with the caption: "The most attentive #father in the town !! Picture captured by Dhritiman Mukherjee where a #Gharial taking kids across the #chambal river. Conservation efforts are helping this species to bounce back. And when we talk about river #conservation we are also talking for their future."

As the post went viral, Twitterati fell in love with it. A user wrote: "A responsible parent...Teaching so many lessons in just one image." Another wrote: "Nature makes for a beautiful subject. How well captured. Parenting is so intrinsic irrespective of species. Endearing."

"Growing crocodile is legalised in Australia for commercial purposes. There number shot up. Why can't India think in that manner?" asked one user.

A user remarked: "It's a marvellous picture of love and affection, unparalleled."

Source IANS

Tue, 11 Feb 2020 14:41:26 +0530
Skin hair care riders

Biking is one of the greatest pleasures in life, but prolonged exposure to the sun can cause various skin and hair problems. The air all around us is infused with harmful chemicals that have severe adverse effects on our skin. Some simpler ways to avoid the harmful ultraviolet radiation and chemicals is to cover the exposed parts of your body while stepping out of your house. But this is not sufficient, we need to take extra care of our skin and hair and treat them right. So here are a few tips to keep in mind while going on a road trip or even while riding a bike, shared by Manisha and Sankalp Chopra, Founders, Aelius Parallel Holding Pvt Ltd.

Skin care tips

During summers, the skin is exposed to excessive levels of ultraviolet radiation which can cause skin tissue damage and lead to pigmentation. In order to avoid this, it is important that you take special care of your skin. You must apply SPF cream while travelling which prevents skin from UV rays and avoids any form of skin pigmentation.

Long rides make your skin dehydrated and pale. So, to rehydrate your skin you must cleanse it with a cleanser. Additionally, it is important that after cleaning you dab it with a toner and on post that moisturize the skin with a hydrating moisturizer. Cleansing, toning and moisturizing are the most important part of your skincare and to choose the right form of products is the key to a healthy and radiant skin.

Dust and pollution are your unwanted buddies on a road trip and especially for those with oily skin these unwanted friends can cause a lot of harm. So, if your skin is oily or even otherwise, carry wet wipes because dust can spoil your skin and cause pimples and roughness.

Your lips are as important as your skin. So always apply a lip hydrator or lip balm before you step out for your road expedition.

Do not use excessive makeup while you are on a long road trip. It is important that your skin can breathe, but makeup clogs your skin. So avoid heavy makeup, however, simple eyeliner and lipstick is good to go.

Hair care tips

Sun can damage your hair and make them look dry and rough. So, before stepping out apply some hydrating serum which will save your hair to get over heated. Do not loosen up your hair while travelling. Try to make some twisted buns or braids. Do carry a hair band or a headscarf. These are life savers and prevent your hair from getting tangled.

Do not use hair sprays on a road trip. You may end up with a crown of dust on your head.

Tue, 11 Feb 2020 14:26:48 +0530
student gets 41 obscene c

Lucknow: A 20-year-old female student here has received obscene calls and message from 41 different numbers in the past six days.The victim has lodged an FIR with the Krishna Nagar police station in Lucknow in this regard.

In her complaint, the undergraduate said that she had started receiving vulgar messages on her WhatsApp from February 3. The messages came from an international number. She told the police that when she blocked a particular number, the message would come from another number. When she began blocking numbers on WhatsApp, she started receiving obscene calls from different numbers.

The girl said she received messages from 30 different numbers and calls from 11 numbers. "It was traumatic," she said in her complaint. Initially, she did not want to lodge an FIR fearing social stigma, but her parents and friends persuaded her to do so.Krishna Nagar Station House Officer Ram Kumar Yadav said that all the numbers given by the complainant had been put on surveillance and efforts were on to track down the accused.

Tue, 11 Feb 2020 14:15:34 +0530
Andhra ink MoUs with 11 i
Amaravati:The Andhra Pradesh government on Monday signed 11 MoUs with leading organisations from across the country to develop agriculture sector in the state.The state's Agriculture Department signed the MoUs with the officials of various institutes in the presence of Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy and his cabinet collages Kurasala Kannababu, Mopidevi Venkataramana and Kodali Venkateswara Rao.

The Chief Minister said that it is very important to partner with such eminent organisations for the development and improvement in the agriculture standards.As part of these MoUs, farmers will be trained in organic and natural farming techniques. They will also be offered training in various agriculture domains, he said.

The institutes with which the state signed the agreements include the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), New Delhi, the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF), Chennai, the National Institute of Plant Health Management (NIPHM), Hyderabad, the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), New Delhi, the Central Fertiliser Quality and Training Institute (CFQTI), Faridabad, the National Seed Research and Training Institute (NSRTI), Varanasi, the Central Institute of Dryland Agriculture (CRIDA), Hyderabad, the National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI), Karnal, the Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI), Bareilly, the Institute of Animal Health and Veterinary Biologicals (IAHVB), Bengaluru, and the ICAR-Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture (ICAR-CIFA), Bhubaneswar.

H. Arun Kumar, Special Commissioner, Agriculture, signed the MoUs with the officials of the institutes.

Jagan Mohan Reddy said after coming to power, his government took initiatives to provide good governance right at the village level itself. Through village and ward volunteers, all the government services are being provided in the village level right at the doorstep of the beneficiary.

The government has also established 11,158 'rythu bharosa' centres across the state for the benefit of the farmers and by June, all these centres will be made available with agriculture assistants, horticulture assistant, veterinary and aqua assistants. Farmers will be given quality seeds, fertilisers and farmer equipment through these centres. Also, they can sell their produce through these centres at not less than the support price given by the government.

"Through rythu bharosa, every year Rs 13,500 is being provided to the farmer families and we are providing free electricity for nine hours. We are also providing crop insurance to the farmers without putting any burden on them."

The Chief Minister said that that 50 percent of the farmers in the state are having less than 1.25 acres of agriculture land and 70 percent of the farmers are with less than one hectare of land.


Tue, 11 Feb 2020 14:07:01 +0530
Kerala groom arrives on c

Thiruvananthapuram: In a unique form of protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), a bridegroom in Kerala, Haja Hussain, came for his wedding ceremony riding on a camel holding an anti-CAA poster in his hands, on the outskirts of the capital city on Monday. Accompanied by a large crowd mostly comprising his friends and relatives, Hussain carried a placard which read 'Reject CAA, Boycott NRC and NPR' as he arrived at the wedding hall in Vazhimukku, about 20 km from here, on a camel back.

Hussain said that he choose to do this to express his protest against the CAA. "Along with the 'Meher' (the custom where the groom hands over gold or money to the bride), I also gave a copy of the Constitution. CAA should be rejected," said Hussain, who is a local businessman.

Tue, 11 Feb 2020 14:01:40 +0530
Pooja with salman

Pooja Hegde will be starring opposite Salman Khan in the upcoming film "Kabhi Eid Kabhi Diwali". The actress says she cannot wait to start working on this one with superstar.

An excited Pooja took to Twitter and wrote: "2020 begins in a BIG way! Aah been dying to share this news with you'll @BeingSalmanKhan... can't wait to start working on this one with you... @NGEMovies @farhad_samji...Let's gooo #KabhiEidKabhiDiwali #blessed #SajidNadiadwala @WardaNadiadwala."

Pooja will be playing Salman's love interest in the film.

Sajid Nadiadwala, who is producing and scripting the film, said: "Having worked with Pooja in Housefull 4, we felt she was a perfect fit for this film. She has an amazing screen presence and will make for a good pair with Salman. They will bring freshness to the story."

Talking about how it is a special subject for the trio, Sajid added: "'Judwaa' was one of Salman and Bollywood's first Eid releases. Even my directorial debut, 'Kick', opened during the festival."

Salman Khan will be presented in a completely new avatar in the film. The look is currently being decided upon. Pooja is playing a traditional small-town girl opposite Salman's character.

"Kabhi Eid Kabhi Diwali", which is slated for an Eid 2021 release, will be directed by Farhad Samji.

Source : IANS

Tue, 11 Feb 2020 14:01:08 +0530
ozone pollution ups morta

Researchers have found that daily exposure to ground level ozone in cities worldwide is associated with an increased risk of death. Ground level ozone is a highly reactive gas commonly found in urban and suburban environments, formed when pollutants react in sunlight.

The findings, published in the journal The BMJ, based on data from over 400 cities in 20 countries across the world - show that more than 6,000 deaths each year would have been avoided in the selected cities if countries had implemented stricter air quality standards.

"These findings have important implications for the design of future public health actions; particularly, for example, in relation to the implementation of mitigation strategies to reduce the impacts of climate change," said researchers from University of Bern in Switzerland. Current air quality thresholds (in micrograms per cubic meter of ambient air) range from 100 µg/m3 (WHO), 120 µg/m3 (European Union directive), 140 µg/m3 (US National Ambient Air Quality Standard), and 160 µg/m3 (Chinese Ambient Air Quality Standard).

Recent reviews suggest that 80 per cent of the world's population in urban areas are exposed to air pollution levels above the WHO threshold.Most previous studies have found positive associations between ground level ozone and mortality, but differences in study design and quality make it difficult to draw consistent conclusions across different regions.

To try and address this, an international research team has analysed deaths and environmental measures (weather and air pollutants) in 406 cities of 20 countries, with overlapping periods between 1985 and 2015.

Using data from the Multi-City Multi-Country Collaborative Research Network, they derived daily average ozone levels (above a maximum background level of 70 µg/m3), particulate matter, temperature, and relative humidity at each location to estimate the daily number of extra deaths attributable to ozone.

A total of 45,165,171 deaths were analysed in the 406 cities. On average, a 10 µg/m3 increase in ozone during the current and previous day was associated with a 0.18 per cent increased risk of death, suggesting evidence of a potential direct association. This equates to 6,262 extra deaths each year (or 0.2 per cent of total mortality) in the 406 cities that could potentially have been avoided if countries had implemented stricter air quality standards in line with the WHO guideline.

What's more, smaller but still substantial mortality impacts were found even for ozone concentrations below WHO guideline levels, supporting the WHO initiative of encouraging countries to revisit the current air quality guidelines and enforcing stronger emission restrictions to meet these recommendations, say the researchers.

Tue, 11 Feb 2020 13:55:57 +0530
heavy rain in Australia

The heavy rains lashing New South Wales (NSW) state have led to hopes that all the bushfires in the Australian state could be out by the end of the week, an official said on Tuesday.Since February 7, parts of the fire-ravaged Australian state have experienced their heaviest rainfall in years, leading to widespread flooding and power outages, the BBC reported.

According to the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS), the deluge has extinguished 30 fires, leaving only four "uncontained". In total, 24 fires remain burning across the state. Nationally, blazes have killed at least 33 people and destroyed thousands of homes. More than 11 million hectares of land - an area comparable to the size of England - has been affected.

Officials have renewed wet weather warnings for parts of the coast and the neighbouring state of Queensland, but said the heaviest downpours had passed by Tuesday. Emergency response services in NSW said they had received about 10,000 calls across the state on Monday as wild weather brought down trees, flooded homes and disrupted public transport.

Among the hundreds of rescues carried out, emergency workers saved one man from a flooded river in the state's north, the BBC report said. He had been swept away and survived by clinging to a tree for 10 hours. In another rescue north of Brisbane, a man and woman were saved after they were also spotted clinging to a tree. They had been swept away from their campsite on a blow-up mattress, authorities said.

Tue, 11 Feb 2020 13:49:23 +0530
plant this Valentine s D

In relationships too plants usher in calm and beauty to any space. If you are thinking of gifting your loved ones a beautiful bouquet of flowers this season, think again. This Valentine's Day, gift a live plant rather than a bouquet. Real plants are aesthetically pleasing, pocket-friendly and come in varied shapes and forms. Cherry on the cake, they will grow with love and care just like your relationship with your loved ones. 

Introducing plants to your loved ones for the first time? LazyGardener suggests gifting these low maintenance and easy to grow houseplants: Lipstick Aglaonema, Tradescantia Zebrina, Variegated Pothos (Money plant), Sansevieria (Snake plant), Philodendrons Oxycardium, or Spider plant.

If your partner already has experience with plants, consider gifting these plants to get them excited: ZZ plant, Hoya Kerrii, Succulents, Monstera Deliciosa or Fiddle Leaf Fig.

Here are some flowering plants that you can gift: Jasmine, Orchids, Christmas Cactus, Lilies, or seasonal flowers like Petunia, Zinnias, and Pansy.

As per LazyGardener, almost all flowering plants require direct sunlight but if you still want to bring flowering plants indoors then Peace Lily and Anthurium are good options.

Don't forget to brief your beloved on these plant caring tips:

1. Water: Most plants die from over watering than under watering. Water your plants only when the soil feels dry when you touch. If the soil doesn't stick it means that you can water.

2. Light: All plants need light, whether direct or indirect. Anywhere where you can read a newspaper without artificial light has indirect light just enough for your plants. LEDs also help plants grow.

3. Nutrition: Just like humans, plants too need nutrition. Make sure to feed your plants at regular intervals. Plant food sticks are a hassle free nutrition to consider.

4. Soil: Most plants do well in light rich soil which has less water retention capacity.

The beauty of plants is in seeing them grow with you. Gift a plant this Valentine's, and give some tender loving care to both the plant and your relationship.

Source IANS

Tue, 11 Feb 2020 13:32:39 +0530
John Abraham has triple r

Rumours started roaming upon Actor John Abraham that he has a triple role in the Milap Zaveri-directed upcoming film "Satyameva Jayate 2". But such  unconfirmed news seems on the movie could just not be more than some publicity hoax and not much else says reports.

According to John, Satyameva Jayate 2 "will be very different in its treatment" from the first film, released in 2018. In an interview with the tabloid Mumbai Mirror, he said: "The original was primarily a film for the masses. This time, we aim to get the classes in, too, by tackling relevant issues."

On rumours of a triple role, the actor avoided a direct reply. "Milap is still in the process of developing certain characters and he might like me to play other roles, too. But that's still up for a lot of discussion. So, I can't say if there's going to be one, two or three of me in the film," he told the tabloid, according to

"Satyameva Jayate 2" is scheduled to be released on October 2.

Tue, 11 Feb 2020 13:28:25 +0530
John Abraham has triple r

Rumours started roaming upon Actor John Abraham that he has a triple role in the Milap Zaveri-directed upcoming film "Satyameva Jayate 2". But such  unconfirmed news seems on the movie could just not be more than some publicity hoax and not much else says reports.

According to John, Satyameva Jayate 2 "will be very different in its treatment" from the first film, released in 2018. In an interview with the tabloid Mumbai Mirror, he said: "The original was primarily a film for the masses. This time, we aim to get the classes in, too, by tackling relevant issues."

On rumours of a triple role, the actor avoided a direct reply. "Milap is still in the process of developing certain characters and he might like me to play other roles, too. But that's still up for a lot of discussion. So, I can't say if there's going to be one, two or three of me in the film," he told the tabloid, according to


Tue, 11 Feb 2020 13:24:57 +0530
Crowd swells at AAP s Del

New Delhi: The number of workers at the Aam Aadmi Party headquarters here continues to swell with the party office already jam packed, buoyed by the trends suggesting the return of Arvind Kejriwal-led Party.

Close to 2,000 and counting, party volunteers, supporters and workers gathered around the Aam Aadmi Party office at ITO. According to the party, even common man of the city also came to celebrate the victory of "Delhi's son". The picture, however, was totally different at the Delhi Congress office just across the road, which wore a deserted look.

AAP's Rajya Sabha MPs Sanjay Singh, N.D. Gupta and Sunil Gupta gave victory speeches, taking jibe at the opposition BJP. Singh said Delhi has given mandate to its son, whom they were calling "terrorist".


Tue, 11 Feb 2020 13:20:20 +0530
Democracy has won in Del

On Tuesday, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee described the success of Aam Aadmi Party in the polls at the Delhi Assembly as the victory of democracy, and said people did not want divisive politics.

Banerjee, who has called on AAP supremo and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal to congratulate him on the resounding success of his party, later told media here that the BJP is now losing every poll.

Tue, 11 Feb 2020 13:16:07 +0530
NCoV infected Chinese lad

Wuhan:33-year-old woman  infected with novel coronavirus pneumonia gave birth at the Second Affiliated Hospital of Xi'an Jiaotong University in Xi'an, but the baby was not affected by.  

Authorities said the first nucleic acid test of the bay associated with  novel coronavirus tested shows negative. In the next few days the baby had to ensure intensive care and tested again for the control and prevention of Coronavirus. 

The woman and the infant are currently in a stable condition and have been transferred to the fever ward. Following days both will move to the neonatal isolation ward, respectively, for additional care and treatment.

The woman was transferred from the central hospital of the city of Shangluo, Shaanxi On February 7. And the designated hospital is a group of medical experts with a series of treatment plans. The medical team made additional measures to ensure the safety of the patient and her baby. 

Tue, 11 Feb 2020 12:12:45 +0530
India Heritage hotels

Why not let us take a break from a cliche getaways and lets have a dip to relive the ancient curates of Great India. You might have been amazed to dine with traditional retreats of ancient India's finest collections of art, biodiversity, architecture, crafts and traditional culture. From Kanyakumari to Jammu and Kashmir there are a number of its kind to explore and enjoy with traditional India.

Castle Kanota, Jaipur, Rajasthan

Castle Kanota is located in Jaipur at the onshore of Kings and Palaces where the guests are getting rare opportunities for royal dining. Guests are provided with a chance to dine like royalty with their specially prepared thali from the collection of the family archives. All the recipes are taken straight out of the Kanota family archives. Which is handwritten in about 50 books. All these recipes serving here for the guests are exclusively found here at Castle Kanota.

Rajbari Bawali, Raypur, West Bengal 

The Rajbari Bawali, is a 250 year old architectural masterpiece built by the Zamindars of Bengal. First 170 years of the history of Rajbari Bawali was the period of prosperity and lavish days. But the grandeur came to fade after the independence losing major share of wealth during the years. After its recent restoration the property holded back its lost graceful days. Each guest who visits here can explore the luxury life of Bengal's Zamindars also gets experience of its opulence, traditions, practices and cuisines. Truly to part of the grandeur of Zamindars of Bengal

Belgadia Palace, Mayurbhanj, Orissa

Orissa's Mayurbhanj district is famous for art and architecture where Belgadia Palace is situated. The palace is recently renovated and the Heritage Property is part of sustainable tourism, benefiting the empowerment of tribal people of the area. Belgadia Palace offers its guests a finest chance to visit the art forms and royal life around.

Belgadia Palace offers insight into Art forms including Mayurbhanj Chhau folk dance which was highly celebrated during golden era of Palace under the rule of Mayurbhanj. 

Stok Palace Heritage Hotel, Ladakh,

Set in the midst of the valley of Singey Sangpo, Stok Palace Heritage Hotel gives guests an opportunity to experience 200 years old traditions and the culture that practiced over the region .The Stock Palace Hotel was built by Ladakhi craftsmen in 1820s and was Namgyal Dynasty's family home. Now the Heritage hotel is remodeled under King Jigmed Namgyal restoring traditional methods and elements. Most of the traditional elements found here are dying crafts today.

Wild Mahseer, Balipara, Assam

The Wild Mahseer, Balipara was built by the British Assam Tea Company in 1864. This beautiful heritage stay is in essence the reflection of the lifestyle of colonial tea planters of Assam. Every traveller is offered here with rarest offer to enjoy biodiversity of Eastern Himalayan Botanical Ark

Tue, 11 Feb 2020 11:40:45 +0530
relocating pets

Relocating with pets has always been a nitty-gritty moment for the masters, so just think how anxious it could make your pets. They easily get irritated when we make any changes in their habitat or their living environment. Such problems don't come with a magical solution. Aakanksha Bhargava, CEO of PMR, underlines few tips that could make your beloved companion's experience a bit calmer and enjoyable.

Closely research the pet import laws in the place that you're relocating

First things first, get all the paperwork done before moving to the desired location. Basically paperwork is needed only when you are planning to cross state lines or planning for air travel, only then you have to keep your papers in order. In case if you are moving a few blocks away there is no need for paperwork.

Talk to your vet

Before shifting, you should talk with your veterinary doctor over the issue, and seek their guidance. You should visit the veterinarian to get all the important vaccinations, medications and records updated before leaving for the new place. It is also essential to find out if your pet needs to be tranquillised. If yes, then would it be safe for your pet or not.

Once you have reached your destination, find a vet who can visit your place at regular intervals. Just like humans they also need to be taken care of.

Work with a pet relocation service company

If you are worrying a bit about your pet relocation, you should immediately consult with a pet relocation agency. Their mentorship can help you in this difficult moment. They will offer you the state of the art services, which can resolve your issues up to some extent. Such agencies will provide you every support you have needed, the only thing you have to assure them, is you obey all of your destination's pet import rules.

Start getting your pet early in their kennels as early as possible (customized kennels for the pet)

Relocating a pet by keeping him inside a kennel is one of the safest and secure methods. Pet kennels provide a lot of benefits to the pets irrespective of their mode of travel. That's why it's been suggested to acquaint your pet with the kennel before relocations. Higher the association of pet with the kennel, lower will be the trouble during relocation. A professional pet moving company not only help one with moving their pets along but also takes care of the basic yet crucial details such as tranquilising details which are a must and should be affixed to the container. One can find essential details, such as time at which tranquiliser was given, type of sedation, dosage and estimated durations for tranquilising.

Apart from this, proper feeding and watering requirements should be kept along with kennel. All the necessary feeding instructions should be affixed to the container along with the supplies at the outer top side of the container.

Why should we use a kennel?

  • Reduces travel anxiety.
  • Prevents injuries to the pets.
  • Maintains the supply of food and water.
  • Prevents any kind of littering inside the vehicle premises.

Get all your documents in order

Make sure that you have all the sets of required documents. The set of required documents will be of rabies vaccines and other vaccinations documents, a letter from your vet allowing the pet to travel, certificates satisfying the pet norms of the desired place is crucial. It is also essential to keep in mind that sufficient information and arrangements regarding quarantine and delivery are also mentioned. Also whether or not the pet is accompanied with an attendant and whether or not the "Live Animal" Label has been correctly identified and attached with the pet's document & kennel.

Know where your pet will be on running day

Make sure you microchip all of your animals during your last vet visit if they aren't already chipped. Have all ID tags, collars and leashes accessible on the move-out day to put on your pet on surveillance mode. Keep their food, toys and beds available so you can set them up easily once you get to the new house. Along with checking for anything in the house that you left behind, make sure you count heads before you leave, including kids and pets.

After moving day, don't let pets roam around the neighbourhood until they are acclimated

Ease your pet into the new house by familiarizing it a little bit. Place their common items in the places they're used to - bowls, litter boxes, scratching posts. For example, if their bowls were in the old place in the kitchen, keep the bowls in the kitchen in the new place. When their litter box is inside the toilet, put it in the new place in the kitchen. Also, don't let your pet to roam in the surrounding until they get familiar to everyone.


Tue, 11 Feb 2020 11:36:31 +0530
Chicken consumption is sa

New Delhi: Union Ministry of Animal Husbandry has clarified that chicken may be considered safe as no report has so far confirmed its involvement in coronavirus outbreak, which has claimed over 900 lives in China.

Animal Husbandry Commissioner Praveen Malik on Monday in a letter to Vijay Sardana, Advisor, Poultry Federation of India, said that poultry was not found to be involved in the transmission of 2019 nCov to humans in any report globally.

Responding an email sent by Sardana seeking clarification on the issue of livestock product consumption vis-a-vis 2019 novel corona virus (2019 nCoV), Malik said, "In this context, this is to clarify that the predominant route of transmission of 2019 nCoV, appears to be human to human, as per World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) though 2019 nCoV may not have had an animal source, which requires further investigation."

"Poultry has not been found to be involved in the transmission of 2019 nCov to humans so far in any report globally," he added.

The letter also mentioned that similar viral outbreaks of coronavirus in past (SARS 2002-03, MERS 2012-13) or corona-associated common cold had no involvement of poultry and poultry products world over.

"Thus, with knowledge of present affairs of 2019 nCoV, consumption of poultry and poultry products may be considered safe. The general principles of hygiene, however, may be followed as per the suggestions of World Health Organisation (WHO) or OIE.


Tue, 11 Feb 2020 10:24:37 +0530
Lalremsiami wins FIH Risi

New Delhi: Indian women's hockey team striker Lalremsiami has been adjudged the FIH Rising Star of the Year 2019. Lalremsiami, who made her international debut in 2018, was part of the team's success at the Hockey Series Finals Hiroshima 2019. She also played a key role in the team's performance at the Olympic Qualifiers in November last year where they edged out USA to earn their ticket to 2020 Tokyo Olympics. She was also part of the team that won the Olympic Test Event in Tokyo.Lalremsiami was up against Argentina's Julieta Jankunas, China's Zhong Jianqi and the Netherlands' Frederique Matla.

"I am very honoured to win this award. This is a big moment for me and I thank everyone who voted for me to win this award. This comes as a big motivation for me to do well. I would also like to thank my teammates who stood by me during my personal struggles," stated Lalremsiami, who was part of the India U-18 team that won silver medal at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires.


Congratulating Lalremsiami, Mohd Mushtaque Ahmad, President, Hockey India said: "I congratulate Lalremsiami for winning the prestigious FIH Rising Star of the Year award. She is a youth icon for youngsters in Mizoram and she has done very well for the team since her debut. She has great potential and I wish her the very best in future tournaments."

Tue, 11 Feb 2020 10:20:57 +0530
Trump Melania to visit I

New Delhi/Washington, Feb 11 (IANS) US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump will visit India from February 24-25, during which they will also travel to Prime Minister Narendra Modis home state.

This will be Donald Trump's first visit to India as the US President.

The announcement of his two-day visit came just a week after he was acquitted by the US Senate in his impeachment trial. He was accused of illegally seeking help from Ukraine to influence the forthcoming presidential elections in November.

In an official statement, the US Press Secretary said the President and the First Lady "will visit Ahmedabad, which is in Prime Minister Modi's home state of Gujarat and played such an important role in Mahatma Gandhi's life and leadership of the Indian independence movement".

During a phone call over the weekend, Trump and Modi agreed "the trip will further strengthen the US-India strategic partnership and highlight the strong and enduring bonds between the American and Indian people".

Tue, 11 Feb 2020 10:16:03 +0530
BJP issues notice to UP M

Lucknow: A day after Uttar Pradesh Minister Raghuraj Pratap Singh stoked controversy by demanding a ban on burqa worn by Muslim women, the state BJP too note of his behavior and demanded to know, why he shoul not be expelled.The party has issued a show cause notice asking Singh to explain why he shouldn't be slapped charges of indiscipline for issuing irresponsible statements.Uttar Pradesh BJP chief Swatantra Dev Singh said that Raghuraj Pratap Singh's statements were against women, irrespective of caste or religion, mounted to indiscipline therefore could not be tolerated. "The respect of women is of utmost importance for the party organization. The party cannot give permission to flout party norms and principles," he said.

In an apparent reference to protest by women against CAA in the Shahjamal area in Agra, the minister had said that burqas were being used by 'terrorists' to conceal their identity.
He had said that the trend of wearing a burqa started in Arabian countries and is not an Indian custom. He added India should ban its use and pointed out that even Sri Lanka had banned it after a series of bomb blasts ripped the country last year, leaving many dead and injuring scores of people. He further said that 'Surpanakha' had worn a burqa to hide her face after Laxman cut off her nose. "Only descendants of Surpanakha wear burqa," he added.

This is not the first time that Raghuraj Pratap Singh has left the party leadership red faced. He had earlier said that people raising slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath would be buried alive. He had also said that anti-national elements will 'die a dog's death'.


Tue, 11 Feb 2020 10:12:11 +0530
Brahmanand Siingh

National award winning filmmaker Brahmanand Siingh feels "creative artists have become too dependent on technology". The writer, director who made a biopic on Late Jagjit Singh "Kaagaz Ki Kashti", and a feature-length documentary on R. D. Burman, "Pancham Unmixed: Mujhe Chalte Jaana Hai", adds that artists today "find it easy to approach things by trying to figure out what will work rather than expressing their inner creativity and making it work".

Siingh is now working on a web series on RD Burman called "The Pancham Legacy". In a conversation with Siingh to know more about the project, his love for music and the current scene of the Indian music industry.

Tell us about the upcoming web series you are working on.

Siingh: About a decade ago, I had spent two-three years making "Pancham Unmixed: Mujhe Chalte Jaana Hai." and it became one of the most loved and treasured films of all time, with an almost cult success, you can say. Among the 350 plus screenings wherever I have been invited with the film, everyone invariably asked, what next are you doing on Panchamda.

In due course of time, with my constant growing understanding of Panchamda and his music, it would often occur to me that while doing the film, I was bound by many limitations of time and length, but there's so much to explore, understand and share about his music. Each passing year, one keeps discovering newer dimension of RD's music� and I thought, about a year back, it's just appropriate to give the Pancham crazy and Pancham hungry millions a longer version of many of the things I could not cover in the film version or could touch upon only briefly. This is one of the best ways to explore his huge and growing legacy and delight the world.

What will the web series talk about?

Siingh: The six part web-series will explore his huge influence and impact on today's musicians who are at their peak creating their own music. Having known many of them, it's impossible to come across anyone worth their contemporary name and stature, who is, in their own ways, in some way or the other, not charmed or influenced by Panchamda's music. Their insights and internalizations, in addition to takes on mysterious elements like why an Phone X launch or Heineken beer commercial use Pancham's music almost as if it is the contemporary in-thing for everyone. It's not that these big brands have any dearth of options.

Then, in a structured and episodic way, we track Panchamda's huge influence on corporate houses, the millennials and generations X,Y,Z� who pick his songs as their favourites even without much knowing who composed it or how they were done � the why's and other areas give us a huge insight into what makes compositions and songs, timeless. Along with these, hundreds of stories and anecdotes behind his compositions and experimentations. And of course, the human side of him that millions want to know� the ups and downs, which we can examine and explore in detail. In short, the entire Pancham mystique which millions want to know today and which I could not cover of felt was too little in the film made a decade back.

What made you think this is the right time to create a documentary on RD Burman?

Siingh: I feel any time is right time to create anything on Panchamda. He is so timeless. But yes, the kind of excitement and search for his grammar and mind-set of creations I feel is there today is amazing. Even people who are not in the business of creating music enjoys them because they are applicable and inspiring in anything that we may choose to do.

Also, we need to, every now and then, keep doing something like this to revive and carry our legends and legacies to the next generations, which, if not done, makes people familiar with the name but without understating the enormity and dimensions of their works.

You created a biopic on Jagjit Singh. Do you plan to create a web series on him too?

Siingh: As of now, not very sure. But who knows, a little later, maybe, yes. It's taken me ten years after doing the film on Panchamda to embark on this landmark journey. I am trying to crack a way in which we archive our legacies and enjoy their works, work-processes, mind-sets and journeys while constantly learning from them and getting inspired. Inspirational Entertainment, while retaining all the tenets of good narrative, is missing from this country.

In a world which is ruled by electronic dance music and remixes of various songs, how you think the legacy of Jagjit Singh can still remain alive?

Siingh: People like Jagjit Singh are, I feel, beyond formats. With his Panjabi tappas and many foot-tapping ghazals (an unheard concept before him), he has made people dance in any concert where he performed � the world over � much before the electronic dance mix had caught on.

So it's a matter of providing strong music with catchy rhythms and beats. People have been dancing to it from the time of "Mera Naam Chin Chin Chun" and Elvis Presley's numbers. The greatest plus point of timeless creations and timeless geniuses is that they remain valid and relevant across time and across generations. The idea is to capture their stories and legacies with sufficient punch and panache and charm to make it appealing to people irrespective of generational gaps.

What is your take on the current music scenario?

Siingh: I feel good music is still being created but the percentage has gone down. So, if in the 50s, 60s, 70s, a large percentage of songs would be gems, that number went down in the last 30-40 years. A good ball park reference point invariably is, how many songs of which era do you remember, irrespective of your age.

In today's music too, some music created are still gems and maybe we need to push the limits in the quality of compositions beyond just what sells and what may seem popular. What becomes popular is also largely dependent on what you churn out. Else, just to cite one example, Jagjit Singh could not have enthralled an audience of 50,000 at a time when ghazal appreciation was limited to audiences of just a few hundreds.

I feel, with some exceptions, creative artists have become too dependent on technology and find it easy to approach things by trying to figure out what will work rather than expressing their inner creativity and making it work. In any era, what does not work is far more always than what works .

So, why be so dependent on popular choices, why not create a trend. That entrepreneurial, risk taking element and the formulating absolutely original stuff is missing by and large. They also need to give it more time and attention in one go than they are able to do so in an age of WhatsApp and Social Media � there are too many concentration-breaking elements present today than it was in the past. There's no need to wish them away nor can they be, but we need to raise ourselves above it and manage them to our advantage and still find time and concentration to create masterpieces with greater frequency.

Any future projects besides "The Pancham Legacy"?

Siingh: I do have a few more in progress in different stages of development. One of them is an international collaboration on the Sufi, Rumi and a few more related with either social causes or around music, the two genres that excite me and fascinate me most. We will talk about them at the right time. And very soon.

Source: IANS


Tue, 11 Feb 2020 10:04:52 +0530
In Very Early Leads AAP

The early leads first showed the BJP leading minutes after the counting process. Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) of Arvind Kejriwal soon gained an edge over the BJP.

Tue, 11 Feb 2020 08:26:32 +0530
haathi mere saathi

Mumbai, Feb 10 (IANS) The adventure drama "Haathi Mere Saathi" now has a release date. The film will hit the big screens on April 2.

Apart from announcing the release date, the makers have also unveiled a new poster in which Rana can be seen standing in front of an elephant.

The trilingual film explores the relationship between a mahout and his elephant. The film will also release as "Kaadan" in Tamil and "Aranya" in Telugu.

Rana Daggubati is the protagonist in all three titles. While Pulkit Samrat plays Rana's parallel lead in the Hindi version, southern actor Vishnu Vishal essays the role in "Kaadan" and "Aranya". The heroines in all three versions are Shriya Pilgaonkar and Zoya Hussain.

Talking about the film, director Prabu Solomon said: "I am very excited about the project. The objective of bringing out a narrative of this scale in three different languages is to reach out to audiences in various parts of India. It is a subject that needs everyone's attention and should be talked about. I hope we make a difference with the three titles."

The movie is inspired by the unfortunate event of humans encroaching upon the elephant corridor in Kaziranga, Assam. The film traces the narrative of a man, essayed by Rana, who dedicates most of his life living in the jungle, with the sole purpose of protecting wild animals.

Produced by Eros International, the film's VFX has been done by Prana Studios, who have worked on Hollywood biggies such as "Life Of Pi", "Thor" and the Bollywood film, "Detective Bymokesh Bakshi".

Tue, 11 Feb 2020 08:14:28 +0530
telengana teenager

A college student was found murdered with her throat slit at her residence in Telangana's Karimnagar town on Monday, police said.

According to police, an unidentified person killed the 17-year-old with a kitchen knife. The Intermediate First Year (Class 11) student of a private junior college was alone at her residence.

Her parents, both daily wage workers, found her murdered when they returned home in the evening.

Police rushed to the scene and shifted the body for autopsy. Clues team and dog squad were pressed into service.

A police officer said they did not find many clues but gathered some fingerprints.

Tue, 11 Feb 2020 08:05:22 +0530
Actor vijay Mon, 10 Feb 2020 22:34:08 +0530Vishaka Hari performs at


Well known Harikatha exponent Smt. Vishakha Hari gave a two day scintillating Sankeetha Upanyasam on “Mahabharatha Katha Saranam” at the Shanmukhananda Fine
Arts & Sangeetha Sabha auditorium , Mumbai. Before the performance she was felicitated by Sabha’s Vice President Smt Usha Ravi with a Ponnadai.


Visaka Hari is very popular now for her “Sangeetha Upanyasams”, i.e., half classical music and half Upanyasam. The dance guru of Visakha Sudharani Ragupathy once said
she was a child prodigy in both dance and music and got confused at one stage on which one to choose as her career. She finally decided music with Lalgudi Jayaraman as her

During her performances you can see her only in 9 yards saree. When young Visaka was like any other City girls with Jeans, T-shirt. What a decisive transformation at this
age! - only some divine personalities can do that.


Smt. Vishaka performs harikatha on various topics such as Shrimad Ramayanam, Bhagavadam, Skandam, Sri Vaishnava Samhita, Divya desa Vaibhavam, Shri Bhaktha
purisha sthavam , Shatakams and Keerthanas.

She is an all-India rank-holder in Chartered Accountancy with ranks and distinctions tucked under her belt in commerce and direct taxes but revels being a raconteur. She
grew up in Chennai but prefers the spiritual aura and serenity of Srirangam. She travels widely for her performances but leisure is spent studying scriptures and rehearsing
Upanyasam and Sangeetham.

Mon, 10 Feb 2020 22:09:09 +0530
Vijay Mallya

Fugitive Indian tycoon Vijay Mallya’s appeal against extradition is coming up for hearing in the Royal Courts of Justice in London. Mallya had filed an appeal against a magistrate’s court order to extradite him to India in February last year. Mallya has been on bail since his arrest on an extradition warrant in April 2017.

The Royal Courts of Justice in London will hear Mallya’s appeal against the magistrate’s order which was signed by UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid. The tainted liquor baron is facing criminal charges of fraud and money laundering amounting to Rs. 9,000 crores.

Last year, a two-member High Court bench comprising Justices George Leggatt and Andrew Popplewell that reasonable arguments can possibly be made on certain aspects of the prima facie case ruling by Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot’s December 2018 extradition order.

Advocate Clare Montgomery representing Vijay Mallya had questioned Justice Arbuthnot’s findings in accepting Indian authorities’ assertions that his client made misrepresentations to Indian banks and cheated them of money. Mallya asserted his innocence and told reporters that he felt vindicated by the court ruling and affirmed his resolve to pay back the money he owed to Indian banks.

Listed for three days until Thursday, Mallya’s appeal will come up for a full hearing this week, a verdict is expected soon after or at a later date.

Mon, 10 Feb 2020 22:00:22 +0530
china praises PM

China today welcomed Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s letter to Chinese President Xi Jinping offering India’s solidarity and help to deal with coronavirus outbreak. China said that the gesture demonstrated New Delhi’s friendship with Beijing. The deadly virus has claimed over 900 lives in China and PM Modi has assured China of all possible help to deal with coronavirus.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang released a statement thanking and appreciating India’s support for China’s fight against the NCP Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia, the official name for coronavirus. India’s acts of goodwill are a measure of its friendship with China, Shuang said when asked to comment on PM Modi’s letter to Xi Jinping.

Following the outbreak of coronavirus several countries have evacuated their citizens from China and restricted the movement of goods and people to and from China, India has followed suit as a precautionary measure. Shuang said that China is ready to work with India and the international community to tackle coronavirus and safeguard public health.

Mon, 10 Feb 2020 21:57:10 +0530

Latest medical test result of the Kerala medical woman student who came back from Wuhan becoming India’s first case for the novel coronavirus is negative. Doctors treating her have reported her condition to be stable.

The state health department has said that 34 people are treated in isolation across various hospitals in Kerala. A senior medical officer from the National Institute of Virology (NIV) testing centre in Alapuzzha said that the blood test result of the patient from Thrissur was negative. He added that confirmation from NIV, Pune is awaited.

Mon, 10 Feb 2020 21:51:04 +0530

Young teenage sensation Shafali Verma met her childhood idol master blaster Sachin Tendulkar in Australia. Shafali clicked a picture of her posing with the former Indian cricket captain and uploaded it on her Instagram account with a heart-warming post.

"The reason i took up this game was because of Sachin sir. My whole family has not just idolized and but literally worshipped him. Today is a special day for me that i got to meet my childhood hero. It was a dream come true for me. ?? @sachintendulkar," Shafali wrote.

Incidentally, last year, on November 9, Shafali shattered Sachin’s long-standing record of being the youngest Indian to score a half-century in international cricket when she scored 73 from 49 balls against the West Indies.

Shafali will play in the 2020 ICC Women's T20 World Cup as the Harmanpreet Kaur-led team launches its bid for a first World Cup title.

Cricket fans can watch the live action in Star Sports Network and Hotstar from February 21 onwards.

Mon, 10 Feb 2020 20:46:24 +0530
Coronavirus death toll

National Health Commission of China has revealed that 908 people in China have succumbed to the coronavirus epidemic and a record 40,171 are infected with the malicious disease. Till midnight 6,484 severe cases were recorded while 3,281 people recovered and were discharged.

Chinese news agency EFE reported that 3,99,487 patients were found to be in close contact with the infected of which 1,87,518 are under observation. Amongst these 23,589 were suspected to have contracted the deadly virus.

Latest figures show an increase of 97 deaths compared to the preceding day with 3,062 new infections. Of the 97 deaths, 91 were reported in Hubei province in which Wuhan was the epicenter of the outbreak. A total of 2,618 of the 3,062 new coronavirus have been detected in Hubei alone.

All the reported deaths, except for one in Philippines, have been from China, accounting for 99 per cent of the deaths, even though around 20 countries across the world have confirmed cases. Coronavirus has reportedly claimed more lives than the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2003.

Mon, 10 Feb 2020 20:39:59 +0530
Car sales

Car sales have declined by 8% in January 2020 as against January 2019 as per the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), the industry body for automobiles in India. Rajan Wadhera, President, SIAM, attributed the decline in sales to the rising cost of vehicle ownership and an overall economic slowdown.

With the exception of three-wheelers, sales of every other segment showed a decline. Sales data from SIAM revealed that domestic passenger vehicle sales declined 6.2 per cent to 2,62,714 units as against January 2019. Car sales dropped by 8.1 per cent while two-wheelers dropped by 16.06 per cent.

Commercial vehicles sales during the last month dipped by 14.04 per cent to 75,289 units and vehicle sales across categories declined 13.83 per cent to 17,39,975 units as against 20,19,253 units recorded in January 2019.

Wadhera however said that SIAM was hopeful that recent government measures to spur growth including its announcements on greater spending in infrastructure and rural economy would boost the sale of commercial vehicles and two-wheelers. The automobile industry is keenly looking forward for an incentive-based scrappage policy, Wadhera concluded.

Mon, 10 Feb 2020 20:36:40 +0530
Indian shooters Deepak

New Delhi:Asian Games silver medallist shooter Deepak Kumar is expecting a great result from the Indian shooting contingent at the Tokyo Olympics.

Kumar, who secured an Olympic quota for India in the 10m air rifle event at the Asian Championships last year, said: "I have secured an Olympic quota for India in the 10m air rifle event. I booked the berth for my country after I clinched bronze at the Asian Championships last year. However, my place in the Indian shooting contingent isn't confirmed yet."

"The Olympic team will be decided in a few months. I feel that I have a 99.99 percent chance of making it to the team since I have produced good results. India has finished number one in all of the shooting World Cups in 2019. So, I am expecting a great result from the Indian shooting contingent at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics," he added.

Source: IANS

Kumar lauded the government's efforts to improve the sporting culture in the country. "The Indian government thought about the fact that why couldn't the Indian contingent perform to its potential at the Rio Olympics. So now the government is trying to inculcate a competitive mindset in our athletes. With continued efforts from the government, the Indian athletes will produce better results in the future Olympic Games," said the 32-year-old.

Kumar believes that the university-level students have a good chance of showcasing their talent at the Khelo India University Games, the first edition of which will be held from February 22 to March 1.

"The Indian government is making a lot of effort to improve sports in India and all of their initiatives like the Khelo India Youth Games have produced great results. The government has provided a platform for athletes at all levels to showcase their talent. So through the Khelo India University Games, the university students in India now have a chance to show their skills as well," said the shooter.

Source IANS

Mon, 10 Feb 2020 18:38:56 +0530
Thailand honours Sunny Le

Bangkok:13th Edition of Asian Business & Social Forum in Thailand honours Bollywood actress Sunny Leone. Along with husband Daniel Weber Leone received the awards.

Receiving Asia One Women empowerment Award under 40 Sunny Leone said "My cosmetic line is a reflection of me, and my team and we have worked really hard to get every aspect of it right .The award completely belongs to the team StarStruck and Daniel that has got the brand global recognition."

Sunny Leone is also awarded for influential Asian Award and India's Fastest Growing Brand award for her cosmetic line StarStruck.

Mon, 10 Feb 2020 18:27:35 +0530
Kochi Biennale 2020

Bhubaneswar: With Singaporean-Indian curator Shubigi Rao, taking over as curator of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2020, get set to see more research-based projects this time.

"Her own work is very research based. Also, she is looking at ecological issues and is quite interested in Global South, so we can look forward to a lot more projects from Latin America and Africa, and not just North America and Europe," Bose Krishnamachari, the founder member and President of Kochi Biennale Foundation and Biennale Director of Kochi-Muziris Biennale tells.

Ask Bose, who recently had a major exhibition in Kolkata if the logistics involved with the massive Biennale affects his own work, and he asserts that though it does, but it's a great learning for him.

"Biennale is also art making thing for me. The whole process of working with people and creating a collective community is immensely creatively enriching, " says the artist, who was attending the 2-day 13 th International Film Festival on Art and Artists organised by JD Centre of Art in Bhubaneswar.

Stressing that the Biennale will never sell its property, unlike some festivals in the country, Bose elaborates, "We welcome support from the private sector, and have been getting it too. However, ours will always be Kochi-Muziris Biennale. We believe it's made by people and for the people. CSR support from different companies does come in and many cultural institutions are also tied up with us."

Attributing the success of the Biennale to the local population across classes too, the artist feels that it is important to create enthusiasm among local public towards art. "You have to make them comfortable. We have been able to erase the borders of elitist way of exhibiting, and made everybody welcome. Abroad you spend 25 Euros for entering a biennale;

here we charge only Rs 50 or Rs 100 for adults. We didn't want it to be for free, so that it is not taken for granted. However, entry remains free on Mondays, and we have 20 mediators that take people around. Point is, you need to constantly work towards that enthusiasm."

Talk about the fact that China is creating a 26 square kilometres Shanghai International Art City while India doesn't even have a museum in every state, and Bose points, "It's not that the country can't fund it. When we can spend Rs. 3000 crore for a statue, what is stopping us from

distributing that kind of an amount among all the states and UT's for a museum? The government and bureaucracy need to realise that culture is the only power we have. Not investing in that is bound to have negative ramifications."

While stressing that it is important to seek advice and approach experts in museum making and cultural institution making from across the world, and hold competitions, Bose adds, "That is a way better approach than giving contracts to someone who has powerful connections, right? At the

Biennale, we always believe in seeking expertise of the best regardless of geography."

The Mumbai-based artist feels that living in that city has been a great education for him. "Extremities exist in that space. That's my philosophy also - maximalism and minimalism in art. I've lived there for decades and each individual I've spent time with --- artists, musicians and theatre people have always offered lots. Life in all its shades resides there -the absurdity, the contradiction. So I can see the co-existence of so many lives and avatars in Mumbai. It's an inspiring space when everyday you can invent something from the invented. That city is like a process making machine."

Stressing that the idea of Shantiniketan needs to be implemented everywhere with more conversation spaces and places for kids to practice the arts, Bose adds, "We may not have many museums, but there is so much heritage all around. What is stopping schools and other educational institutions to take students there regularly?"

Now looking at ways to support young practitioners, the artist, talking about the Students' Biennale says, "Last year, we also produced the work of the selected students and gave them Rs 25,000 each."

Calling upon other states to start small art festivals, Bose says that it is paramount to have committed people with a passion to passion for making something for the country. I never thought that I making something only for Kochi.

A major reason for the success of Kochi Biennale is that the foundation gets some part of the funds from the government; the rest is raised by us. Though the state does the auditing, but they never taken away our autonomy on the creative side. Every state government should be ready to give that. Several senior bureaucrats from other states come and visit but then they have to take it further� It's not just the idea that matters. A PPP model can really work."

Source: IANS

Mon, 10 Feb 2020 18:02:57 +0530
Bigg Boss 13 John Cena

Mumbai:"Bigg Boss 13" is just a few days away from its finale, and Asim Riaz has Hollywood star John Cena rooting for his victory. After posting a picture of Asim on Instagram a few days ago without any caption, Cena has now once again shared a picture of the "Bigg Boss" contestant. This time, the image has the hashtag ‘Asim Riaz For The Win written on it.

Cena's recent post has left netizens excited, though most have wondered if Cena actually watches "Bigg Boss 13". Reacting to Cena's post, Riaz's former "BB 13" contestant Himanshi Khurana commented with fire emojis on the picture.

Another user wrote: "It seems John Cena watches 'Bigg Boss' daily." On Cena's part, the posts are probably meant to work as an early promotional campaign for "Fast & Furious 9" in India.

Speaking of "Bigg Boss 13", Asim Riaz, Sidharth Shukla, Aarti Singh, Rashami Desai, Paras Chabra, Mahira Sharma and Shehnaz Gill are currently competing with each other for the trophy. The final of the reality show is on February 15.

Source IANS

Mon, 10 Feb 2020 17:52:02 +0530
Realme X50 Pro 5G will la

Beijing: Chinese smartphone manufacturer Realme on Monday confirmed that the company's upcoming flagship 'X50 Pro 5G' will be launched on February 24 at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

Realme X50 5G was launched in China in January this year and its proversion X50 Pro 5G' powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 and will have a RAM up to 12GB LPDDR5. CMO of the company Xu Qi Chase remarked Pro 5G will come with model number RMX2071.  Also it comes with a minimum 12 GB Ram and with an internal storage of 256GB.

The Realme X50 5G features a 6.57-inch Full HD+ IPS LCD display with a screen resolution of 2400 x 1080 pixels, 90.4 percent screen-to-body ratio and 120Hz refresh rate.


Mon, 10 Feb 2020 17:41:33 +0530
Omar s sister files petit

The sister of former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah has filed a Supreme Court petition challenging his detention under the Public Safety Act (PSA). Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for petitioner Sara Abdullah Pilot on Monday, listed the matter before a bench headed by Justice NV Ramana, for urgent listing.

Mon, 10 Feb 2020 16:55:57 +0530
Cong s protest to expose

New Delhi: The Congress will hold a countrywide protest on February 16 to expose the "anti-quota" ideology of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), said Congress General Secretary (Organisation) K.C. Venugopal on Monday.

The Congress move comes in the backdrop of the Supreme Court verdict delivered on February 7 where it said that there is "no fundamental right which inheres in an individual to claim reservation in promotions", and also no court can order a state government to provide for reservation to SC/STs. In a circular issued to all the state units and the frontal organisations, Venugopal said, "As you are well aware that the BJP and the Sangh Parivar ideology is opposed to the reservations for SC, ST and OBC communities. The BJP has been systematically attacking the provision of reservations for SC, ST and OBC through various statements and actions for the last many years."

Slamming the BJP-led central government, he said "Carrying forward this agenda, the BJP government now has taken the unconstitutional stand in the Supreme Court." Sharing the Supreme Court's order, he said, "In response to the stand taken by the BJP government, it has been decided by our party to vehemently expose the BJP and agitate for the constitutional rights of the SC, ST and the OBC on February 16."

Venugopal asked the party leaders to organise a dharna or public meeting or protest march under the combined aegis of the SC, ST and OBC departments, coordinated and monitored by state unit chiefs. Congress leader of House Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury raised the issue during Zero Hour. Attacking the government, he said, "There has been discrimination against the SCs and STs for centuries. But, the Indian government decided to give them rights after independence. What happened to this government? Why is the government trying to snatch the rights of SCs and STs."

However, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi rejected the Congress's allegation against the government, saying "it was the Supreme Court's judgment and the government has nothing to do with that". He told the Congress that it was it's government in 2012 when the matter came up in the court.

Mon, 10 Feb 2020 16:49:35 +0530
Ind A vs NZ A Rahane

Lincoln: Ajinkya Rahane, vice-captain in the Indian Test set-up, showed signs of form as he scored a century on the fourth and final day of the second unofficial Test that India 'A' played against New Zealand 'A' at the Bert Sutcliffe Oval. The game ended in a draw.

The match saw all of the top five in the Indian batting line-up cross the 50-run mark in their second innings. While Shubman Gill (136), Hanuma Vihari (59) and Cheteshwar Pujara (53) had gone past the milestone on the third day, it was the turn of Vijay Shankar (66) to join the party on the final day.

While Pujara and Gill could not add much to their overnight scores, India 'A' continued to dominate as Rahane and Shankar shared a 120-run stand.

Rahane reached the three-figure mark in the final session before both teams shook hands to call it a day. The India vice-captain remained unbeaten at 101 with the team's score on 467/5 in reply to the New Zealand 'A' total of 386/9 declared.

The first unofficial Test between the two sides had also ended in a draw at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch, meaning the two-match series ended 0-0.

India and New Zealand will play a two-Test series starting February 21 in Wellington.

Brief Scores: New Zealand 'A': 386/9 dec (Daryl Mitchell 103*, Glenn Phillips 65; Sandeep Warrier 2/50, Mohammed Siraj 2/75); India 'A': 467/5 (Shubman Gill 136, Ajinkya Rahane 101, Vijay Shankar 66)


Mon, 10 Feb 2020 16:43:30 +0530
Virat to win captain of t

New Delhi: Eoin Morgan, who led England to their first World Cup title, on Monday won the captain of the year award for 2019 announced by ESPNcricinfo. After losing to Sri Lanka and Australia in the tournament, England needed to win four straight games to lift the trophy -- which they did, winning the title after a tied thriller against New Zealand at the iconic Lord's last year.

In the 13th edition of the annual ESPNcricinfo Awards, the ODI batting performance of the year award went to Ben Stokes for his nerveless performance in the tied World Cup final. He made an unbeaten 84 in the regulation 50 overs and a further seven in the Super Over. Matt Henry, whose three-wicket spell in the World Cup semi-final knocked India out of the tournament and during which he was almost unplayable, won the award for the ODI Bowling performance of the year.

In the Test batting category, Stokes' epic rearguard in the Headingley Ashes Test lost out narrowly to Kusal Perera who made the landmark 153 not out against South Africa in Durban to take the title. Sri Lanka were 52 for 3 chasing a steep 304 to win, when Kusal came in to bat in the fourth innings. With 9 wickets down and 78 runs to chase, Perera played one of his greatest knocks to see them home.

Jofra Archer, who was voted the debutant of the year, also starred in the World Cup, with three-wicket hauls in five of England's first six games. He finished the tournament as their leading wicket-taker, and took that form into the Ashes series that followed, producing six-fours in two Tests and finishing with 22 wickets at an average of 20.07.

Meg Lanning and Ellyse Perry of Australia won the women's batting and bowling performances of the year awards, respectively. Lanning was consistent with the bat through the year, but it was her unbeaten 133 off 63 balls in the first T20I at Chelmsford, at the time the highest score in women's T20I cricket, that was her zenith. Perry's 7 for 22, also against England, were the best ODI bowling figures by an Australian woman cricketer.

The winners, across the 12 categories, were selected by a jury comprising former cricketers such as Ian Chappell, Ajit Agarkar, Daniel Vettori, Mark Butcher, Michael Hussey, Daryll Cullinan, Russel Arnold, Shahriar Nafees, Isa Guha, Snehal Pradhan and Peter Borren, and ESPNcricinfo's senior editors, writers, and global correspondents.

Mon, 10 Feb 2020 16:41:54 +0530
Goa municipal corporaiton

On Monday, Mapusa Civic Corporation in North Goa passed a resolution congratulating Premier Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah on passing the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). "This Council resolves to congratulate Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah for the historic Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019, which offers to grant Indian citizenship to the persecuted minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, seeking refuge in India on the ground of religious persecution and who are already staying in India prior to December 31, 2014," the resolution passed by the Mapusa Municipal Council on Monday read.

Mon, 10 Feb 2020 16:37:35 +0530
Ayurveda Bill 2020 introd

On Monday, the government introduced the Institute of Teaching and Research in Ayurveda Act, 2020 in the Lok Sabha, which seeks to grant the status of an institution of national importance to a cluster of ayurvedic institutions on the campus of the University of Gujarat Ayurveda in Jamnagar. The three institutes which would be clubbed are Institute of Post Graduate Teaching and Research in Ayurveda, Gulab Kunverba Ayurveda Mahavidyalaya and Institute of Ayurveda Pharmaceutical Sciences. Congressman Shashi Tharoor also objected to Bill saying that it "failed to define the requirements for fulfilling the broader perspective."

Mon, 10 Feb 2020 16:30:16 +0530
Police resort to lathicha

New Delhi: The police resorted to a lathicharge on the demonstrators near the Holy Family hospital, which is within walking distance of Jamia Millia Islamia, after an hour of long standoff between the security forces and the students Monday. The lathicharge was made to push back the protesters.

Mon, 10 Feb 2020 16:25:10 +0530
launched Solar Orbiter

Washington:Collaborative mission between European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA launched Solar Orbiter on United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Florida. 

European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany confirmed they received signals from the spacecraft at 12.24 am that indicates successful deployment of the system’s solar panels. Solar Orbiter will deploy an instrumental boom in the first two days and will communicate with earth and collect scientific evidence.

Solar Orbiter is on a unique trajectory that will allow its comprehensive set of instruments to provide humanity with the first-ever images of the Sun's poles, NASA said. "As humans, we have always been familiar with the importance of the Sun to life on Earth, observing it and investigating how it works in detail, but we have also long known it has the potential to disrupt everyday life should we be in the firing line of a powerful solar storm," said Gunther Hasinger, ESA director of Science.

During its three months of commissioning phase team checks upon spacecraft's 10 scientific instruments and ensure proper working of the solar orbiter. The trajectory includes a total of 22 approaches close to the sun along with bringing spacecraft within Mercury’s orbit to study more about The Sun and Sun’s  influence on space. 

This trajectory includes 22 close approaches to the Sun, bringing the spacecraft within the orbit of Mercury to study the Sun and its influence on space.

"By the end of our Solar Orbiter mission, we will know more about the hidden force responsible for the Sun's changing behaviour and its influence on our home planet than ever before," Hasinger said.

It will take Solar Orbiter about two years to reach its primary science orbit. The mission combines two main modes of study. In-situ instruments will measure the environment around the spacecraft, detecting such things as electric and magnetic fields and passing particles and waves.

The remote-sensing instruments will image the Sun from afar, along with its atmosphere and its outflow of material, collecting data that will help scientists understand the Sun's inner workings. Throughout its mission, Solar Orbiter will use successive Venus gravity assists to draw its orbit closer to the Sun and lift it out of the ecliptic plane, the US space agency said.

Mon, 10 Feb 2020 15:58:22 +0530
AI research IIIT Delhi

New Delhi:IIIT-D Monday signed MOU with Extramarks the global education technology company to encourage research on Artificial Intelligence (AI). For creating innovative breakthroughs in Artificial Intelligence Extramarks, in partnership with IIIT-D set up a research laboratory in Computer Science Department.

Professor Ranjan Bose, director of IIIT Delhi, remarked about the partnership as "AI has tremendous potential to reform education delivery, making quality education accessible in the remotest parts of the country and the world. He added "This partnership opens the doors of constructive research for our students, who will benefit greatly from the practical experience they will gain from engaging with Extramarks. Together, we hope to lead the revolution in education delivery from the front."

The collborative effort will bring in fresh ideas and innovation for students and are hopeful for delivering personalized education along with making the education interactive and effective. 

Mon, 10 Feb 2020 15:21:14 +0530
wedding for 47 different

Jaipur: Wedding ceremony hosted for 47 differently abled couples at Udaipur Rajasthan on Sunday by Narayan Seva Sansthan (NSS). More than 30 couples have undergone corrective surgery treatment and vocational training from the NSS.

The NGO also offered jobs to keep them financially fit and employable.  During the wedding took pledge against dowry, the couples got blessed by Padma Shree Kailash 'Manav' Agarwal, Founder, Narayan Seva Sansthan, Kamala Devi Agarwal, President Prashant Agrawal, Director,Vandana Agarwal.

Newly married Sonam said, "It is really tough to find a suitable life partner after so many physical problems and financial constraints. We are happy to get married at Mass Wedding Ceremony and hope to have a good life ahead together. We know, it is not going to be easy but together is easy to climb every obstacle by holding hands. "

For 35 years Narayan Seva Sansthan (NSS) carried over different social activities including healthcare support, free food, artificial limb distribution, skill education, etc. Through the Mass wedding ceremony, NSS successfully brought in differently-abled persons under a single roof.

Through 'World of Humanity' foundation, our efforts are to boost the offering free corrective surgery, skill education with nurturing their skills like sports, Agarwal added.

Mon, 10 Feb 2020 15:04:10 +0530
revisiting list of protec

Kochi: Marine experts at a workshop organised by the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI)on threatened and protected elasmobranchs asked for revisiting the list of marine elasmobranchs (sharks and rays). Leading marine experts on Saturday demanded that it's time for revisiting the list of marine elasmobranchs (sharks and rays) reference to the Wildlife Protection Act (1972). In the meeting its suggested  for a special provision for marine conservation may be brought in considering stakeholder interaction and also considering the complexity of use in marine water.

The meeting also called for periodic scientific assessment of the species protected under the WPA and modification in the listing, as almost two decades have elapsed since the inclusion of 10 species of elasmobranchs in the protected list.

P.U.Zacharia, head of the Demersal Fisheries Division of CMFRI asked to conduct studies on how existing policies related to protection of shark on the livelihood of fishermen. He also added "Any suggestions on the conservation of these resources will consider the interest and opinions of the stakeholders too. "

Mon, 10 Feb 2020 14:34:26 +0530
Gandhiji s whole life was

New Delhi: Mahatma Gandhi wanted India's unity at any price and fought for unity every moment of his public life. Also Gandhi was against dividing India on religious lines saya former President Pranab Mukherjee launching journalist M.J. Akbar's new book "Gandhi's Hinduism - The Struggle Against Jinnah's Islam" "Gandhiji's whole life was dedicated to Hindu-Muslim unity... Gandhiji is not just the father of our nation, he was also the maker of our nation... he was the moral vector to guide our action by the measure by which we are judged," Mukherjee said.

Veteran journalist M.J. Akbar's new book "Gandhi's Hinduism - The Struggle Against Jinnah's Islam" is a chrinicle upon leading facts discussing endgame of India Pakistan partician and fomation of Pakistan. Noting that "communal unity and harmony is the bedrock of India's strength and the key to its glorious future", Mukherjee said Gandhi believed in the "intrinsic power of Hinduism" of assimilation, evaluation and adaptation, "as it was inclusive and offered space for the presence of people from every faith".

To this end, the book "strongly emphasizes" the fact that "Gandhiji fought for the unity of India for every moment of his public life", rejecting "the conventional explanation that partition would be a solution to the communal problem (created by the British)", noting at a prayer meeting a month before Partition that this would lead to a conflict between India and Pakistan, Mukherjee said.

"It will go to the credit of Mahatma Gandhi that he not only saw through the designs of the British in first creating and then fostering the communal divide in India when they saw that the continuation of their rule was not viable and then did everything for their future strategic and geopolitical interests "with the Muslim League under Mr Jinnah", Mukherjee said.

Mon, 10 Feb 2020 12:43:15 +0530
oaquin Phoenix oscar 2020

Los Angeles: Joaquin Phoenix won the best actor Oscar at the 92nd Academy Awards for playing superhero Batman's nemesis in "Joker".He faced tough competition from actors like Adam Driver, Leonardo DiCaprio, Antonio Banderas and Jonathan Pryce.

After winning his first Oscar, Phoenix got emotional and quoted a lyric by his late brother River: "Run to the rescue with love and peace will follow."He also spoke about injustice, honoured the natural world and said let love and compassion be "our guiding principles"."We're at our best when we support each other and not cancel each other out. That is the best of humanity," he said.

Source: IANS

Mon, 10 Feb 2020 12:09:36 +0530
Justin Bieber donate 10K

New York:Justin Bieber promotes his fans mental health awareness programme donating $100,000. At the promotion of Bieber’s new album at MTV's Fresh Out Live event "Changes" star shared generosity by supporting  Julie Coker, who was campaigning for mental health charity.

"I work for mental health now because of my own mental health struggles in the past. And it's important for us to talk about mental health because more than 50 per cent of us will have a mental health challenge in our lifetime," Coker told the New York Post.

She added: "Justin has a big following, so if he has a good message about mental health, hopefully everybody else... will want to start thinking about mental health in a different way."

Bieber has been open about his own mental health struggles, and notably took time away from the spotlight last year to focus on his personal wellbeing, amid a battle with Lyme disease.

Mon, 10 Feb 2020 12:03:33 +0530
No unusual delay in annou

On Sunday, the Election Commission answered questions about the delay in providing the exact voting percentages of the Delhi Assembly Election 2020 and 62.59 percent of the final vote turnout. "The final voter turnout was recorded at 62.59%," Delhi Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Ranbir Singh said on this day. Notably, Delhi had recorded a voter turnout of 67.47% in the 2015 assembly polls. He also addressed the earlier queries by saying that, as some had indicated, there were no unusual delays in announcing the number, explaining the late announcement by saying that some returning officers were busy with data inspection all night long to ensure its accuracy.

Mon, 10 Feb 2020 11:52:36 +0530
Oscars 2020 best picture

Los Angeles: "Parasite" South Korean film celebrates the title winning the Best Picture at 2020 Oscar, also created history being the first non-English to win the top honour. At the gala on Sunday night, director Bong Joon-ho along with "Parasite" cast and crew got on stage as the audience gave a standing ovation to the team for their victory.

The "thank yous" got a little long and soon, music started playing to get them off the stage. South Korean film producer Miky Lee then paid tribute to Bong's "smile, his crazy hair, the way he talks, the way he walks, and especially the way he directs".

"What I really like about him is his sense of humour and the fact is he can be really making fun of himself and he never takes himself seriously," she said.

The film defeated films such as "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood", "Joker", "Jojo Rabbit" and "The Irishman" to win the best picture award. The comedy-drama also won in best directing, international feature film and writing (original screenplay).

Mon, 10 Feb 2020 11:41:09 +0530
Bilateral deals Sri Lanka

Colombo: The Sri Lankan Cabinet approved signing of bilateral agreements with countries including China, Pakistan and Iraq for promotion of tourism. To boost the crisis-hit sector of the country, the government expects to enter into agreements with several other countries such as South Africa and Georgia reports Daily Financial Times newspaper.

"Escalation of the coronavirus crisis could pose a negative impact on the tourism industry. But we are optimistic of signing these agreements as soon as the tourism industry in the world recovers," said  Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga. Due to the global health crisis with novel coronavirus threats, the signing could be delayed. 

Already the country signed tourism promotion agreements with India, Thailand, Seychelles, Poland, Tajikistan, Malaysia, Australia, Russia, South Korea and the Philippines. The agreements would benefit Sri Lanka as well as other countries in the event disasters hit the world Minister pointed out. India, the UK, China, Australia, Germany, the US, Maldives, France and Canada are the country's major tourism markets, and also planning to appoint destination marketing agencies based on the countries.

In 2019, Sri Lanka received a little over 1.9 million tourists. This year, the new government has aimed to attract 3 million tourists, increasing it to 10 million within five years.

Mon, 10 Feb 2020 11:29:30 +0530
suicidal thoughts in kids

New York: Recent studies reveal the root causes begin from family conflict and parental monitoring are significant to predict in kids from 9 years.  Major percent of the children surveyed in the study had caregivers who did not report or not aware about the suicidal thoughts of the children.Deanna Barch, Professor at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, US remarks "Our data suggests that's absolutely not true. Kids are having these thoughts. They're not at the same rates as adults, but they are nontrivial” and added Historically, the belief has been that people don't need to ask kids about suicidal thoughts before adolescence.

Evaluating and dividing thoughts and actions into categories the study reports  2.4 to 6.2 per cent of the children reportes they had thoughts about suicide, from thinking as they were dead to devising -- but not performing the plan. When it came to actions, they saw 0.9 per cent of these 9- and -10-year-olds said they had tried to commit suicide; 9.1 per cent reported non-suicidal self-injury.

The caretakers did not know about the child's experience, but more than 75 percent of cases children self-reported suicidal thoughts or behaviours, said the study. Parents and people around kinds should be aware about a 9-year-old is thinking about suicide. Barch said, "If you have kids who are distressed in some way, you should be asking about this," she said, adding that caregivers can help identify kids who might be in trouble.

The study, published in the journal JAMA Network Open, looked at 11,814 children between ages 9 and 10 from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study, a longitudinal study in the US on adolescent brain health in which caretakers also participate.

Mon, 10 Feb 2020 11:11:18 +0530
TN CM Cauvery dellta

Chennai:  Tamil Nadu CM K. Palaniswami on Sunday announces  the Cauvery delta region will be declared as a 'protected agricultural zone' and government will come out with a law after consulting legal experts.Laying foundation stone at Salem for Advanced Institute for Integrated Research on Livestock and Animal Sciences (AIIRLIVAS) CM said  Cauvery delta region is near to coastline and in future to meet risk of sea water incursion Cauvery region should be protected.

Cauvery delta region Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Trichy, Ariyalur, Nagapattinam, Pudukkottai, Cuddalore and Karur will be protected agricultural zones for Tamil Nadu's food security. Farmers in the Cauvery delta region witnessed several protests by farmers and opposition parties over permission given for hydrocarbon exploration projects.

Owing to the free cattle scheme, farmers' living conditions have improved much in Tamil Nadu. The Chief Minister also announced the state government will not give permission for hydro-carbon exploration projects in the Cauvery delta region to prevent them turning to desert in coming years.

Mon, 10 Feb 2020 10:35:53 +0530
Storm Ciara storm in UK

London, Feb 10: UK reports extreme weather conditions with the recent hit Storm Ciara named “Storm of the century”. Country issues several National severe Weather Warning including Amber warning for Wales and England. On Sunday and Monday mornings passengers are asked to check out for weather updates beforehand.

Warnings from the Fire Chief requesting people not to travel unless “absolutely necessary” with cities are flooded and have disrupted motorways.

Evening Standard reports at least 35000 homes being left without power and large waves crashing on the coastline. From Sunday weather warnings are issued throughout the country. In North Yorkshire severe flood warnings are issued for river Nidd. 


Mon, 10 Feb 2020 10:12:13 +0530
Sodhi Tickner join NZ sq

Mount Maunganui: New Zealand have been forced to add Ish Sodhi and Blair Tickner to their injury-marred squad for the third ODI against India set to be played at the Bay Oval on Tuesday.  Sodhi and Tickner were part of the New Zealand A team playing against India A in the second unofficial Test in Christchurch. Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee -- both of whom are battling gastro -- and Scott Kuggeleijn, down with a viral bug, are still recovering, putting their participation in the third and final ODI in doubt.

Santner and Kuggeleijn didn't even feature in the second ODI against India in Auckland while Southee worked his way through illness to deliver a match-winning spell, also picking Virat Kohli's wicket in the process. The illness adds to the worries for New Zealand, the side already without their regular captain Kane Williamson who missed the last two T20Is and the first two ODIs against India due to shoulder injury.

New Zealand have already sealed the three-match series and would be aiming for a whitewash and avenge their 0-5 T20I series defeat against the Men in Blue.


Mon, 10 Feb 2020 10:09:27 +0530
Hong Kong lifts cruise sh

Hong Kong: Hong Kong authorities have allowed over 3,600 passengers that were forced into quarantine for five days on the World Dream cruise ship over coronavirus fears, to disembark. Half of the travellers have passed "numerous medical tests" and temperature controls, and all the tests carried out on the ship's 1,814 crew members have come back negative for coronavirus, Efe news reported citing the Hong Kong Health Department as saying on Sunday.

"As all quarantine measures carried out by the Department of Health have been completed, all passengers and crew members can leave the cruise," Leung Yiu-hong, chief port health officer at the Centre for Health Protection, said at Kai Tak Cruise Terminal on Sunday. The ship has been in quarantine since February 5 after it became known that crew members were in contact with eight Chinese people infected with the deadly novel coronavirus on the cruise trip.

At the time, the enforced quarantine was issued over fears crew members could have become infected and passed on the disease to passengers on the ship which was left stranded for days while health checks and extensive laboratory work were done. The cruise operator Dream Cruises has suspended the operation of the ship until further notice. It is not the first cruise ship that has encountered problems in the wake of the coronavirus epidemic, with the British Diamond Princess cruise ship remains stranded in the Japanese port of Yokohama. 
Of the passengers 70 have tested positive for the virus.

MS Westerdam, which docked in Hong Kong last week, was banned from entering ports in the Philippines and Japan over fears passengers could be infected with the deadly disease, despite no knowledge of infections aboard.


Mon, 10 Feb 2020 10:05:27 +0530
Saint arrested for raping

Prayagraj: A saint, accused of raping a 14-year-old girl, has been arrested from Jhusi area by the Prayagraj police. According to reports, the accused has been identified as Sanjeev Kumar Rai a.k.a. Sanjeev Maharaj.

Police sources said that Sanjeev Maharaj had allegedly raped the girl at his camp on the Magh Mela ground on February 5.

Station House Officer (SHO), Jhusi police station Brijesh Singh said that the accused is a native of Gadwar in Ballia district.

"The accused had set up a camp under his organisation Parmarth Utthan Evam Anusandhan Sansthan on the Magh Mela ground. On February 5, the accused allegedly raped the minor girl who used to deliver flowers at his camp," the SHO said.

The girl's mother sells flowers from a makeshift shop in the Mela ground. The victim used to deliver flowers to various camps of kalpwasis around their shop. On February 5, when the girl went to Rai's camp, he allegedly convinced her to come inside and raped her. The accused called the girl inside by telling her that he wanted to give her 'prasad'.

The girl somehow managed to escape and then told her mother about the rape. Acting on a tip-off, a police team nabbed the seer from the Lotus trisection in Jhusi on Sunday.

An FIR was lodged at Jhusi police station under relevant sections of the IPC and Pocso Act on February 6 on the complaint filed by the victim's mother.


Mon, 10 Feb 2020 09:57:09 +0530
BJP isn t Hindutva s fl

As Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) leader Raj Thackeray took off a massive rally in Mumbai on Sunday seeking the removal of illegal ' infiltrators ' from Pakistan and Bangladesh, his disgruntled cousin and Shiv Sena president took a jibe at him saying his party need not change its flag to prove its Hindutva. The CM made these comments at a meeting of the party legislators and district presidents. He also quoted Uddhav Thackeray as saying the BJP isn't Hindutva's ' flag-bearer. '

Mon, 10 Feb 2020 09:02:11 +0530
Scent of rose

Researchers have found that smelling the scent of rose improves the quality of the learning and can also helps in sleeping better.

The study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, was conducted within pupils of two classes that learned English vocabulary, one of which learned it with the scent sticks while the other one did it without it.

"We showed that the supportive effect of fragrance works very reliably in everyday life and can be used in a targeted way," said study leader Jurgen Kornmeier from the University of Freiburg in Germany.

For the study, first author and student teacher Franziska Neumann conducted several experiments with 54 students from two 6th grade classes of a school in southern Germany.

The young participants from the test group were asked to place rose-scented incense sticks on their desks at home while learning English vocabulary and on the bedside table next to the bed at night.

In another experiment, they also placed the incense sticks on the table next to them during a vocabulary test at school during an English test.

The results were compared with test results in which no incense sticks were used during one or more phases.

"The students showed a significant increase in learning success by about 30 per cent if the incense sticks were used during both the learning and sleeping phases," Neumann said.

The results also suggest that the additional use of the incense sticks during the vocabulary test promotes memory.

"One particular finding beyond the seminal initial study was, that the fragrance also works when it is present all night, this makes the findings suitable for everyday use," Kornmeier said.

Previous studies had assumed that the fragrance needs to be only present during a particularly sensitive sleeping phase.

"Our study shows that we can make learning during sleep easier. And who would have thought that our nose could help considerably in this," Kornmeier said.

Sun, 09 Feb 2020 20:43:29 +0530
Eat your food with hands

Why people eat rice with hands in most parts of India? Because directly touching the food makes experience of eating more enjoyable, say researchers.

The study, published in the Journal of Retailing, revealed that when high self-control individuals touch food directly with their hands, compared to when they use cutlery, they not only find what they eat -- tastier and more satisfying -- but also eat more.

"Our results suggest that for people who regularly control their food consumption, direct touch triggers an enhanced sensory response, making food more desirable and appealing," said study researcher Adriana Madzharov from Stevens Institute of Technology in the US.

In her first experiment, Madzharov had 45 undergraduate students visually inspect and evaluate a cube of Muenster cheese, hold it before eating it and then asked them to answer questions about their eating behaviour.

Half of the participants used a pick and sampled a cheese cube with an appetizer while the other half sampled a cheese cube without pick.

Initially, the two groups did not indicate any difference.

The researchers found that participants who reported a high degree of self-control when consuming food -- individuals who report that they can resist tasty foods and are conscious about what and how much they eat -- when using their hands found the cheese tastier and more appetizing.

Even when Madzharov manipulated participants' thinking on self-control, goals and food consumption, these findings persisted, suggesting that a high degree of self-control influences how people experience food when they touch it directly with their hands -- to show whether self-control is real or primed.

In the second experiment, the researchers separated a new set of 145 undergraduate students into two groups.

The first group was told to imagine that they have decided to be more careful with their diet and cut back on excessive eating in order to achieve their long-term objective of being fit and healthy.

The second, that they had decided to worry less about their weight all the time and allow themselves to indulge in tasty foods more often in order to enjoy life and experience its pleasures.

All participants were given a plastic cup with four mini donuts inside it -- only half of them were allowed to use their hands, while rest used picks.

As in the first experiment, the participants were then asked to visually inspect and evaluate the mini donuts on hedonistic qualities such as texture, freshness, quality and nutrition.

The researcher also instructed them to report their level of focus and attention when eating the mini donuts to get a measure of mindfulness and sensory experience.

The study found that when participants were primed with self-control (vs. indulgent) thinking, they evaluated the sampled food more positively than when they touched it directly with their hands.

It also suggests that the mechanism driving this effect was the enhanced sensory experience that participants reported in the direct touch or self-control condition.

Source : IANS

Sun, 09 Feb 2020 19:11:55 +0530
ICC U19 WC final

Potchefstroom (South Africa): Sharp bowling from the fiery Bangladesh pacers and good fielding coupled with some slack running between the wickets led to India folding for 177 in the ICC U19 World Cup final on Sunday in Potchefstroom. India are looking to win their fifth title while this is the first time that Bangladesh have reached the final.

Opener Yashasvi Jaiswal was the standout performer for India, scoring 88 off 121 balls. He has scored at least a half century in all but one match in this tournament, and ends it as top scorer with a whopping 400 runs.

However, his team mates fell in a pack to Bangladesh who came out all guns blazing.

India were put to bat first after Bangladesh won the toss and openers Jaiswal and Divyaansh Saxena were greeted with a barrage of deliveries angled at the body and cramping them for space. Saxena was, especially, targeted by Tanzim Hasan Sakib with the ball and verbally. It took India 14 balls to finally get their first run.

The constant pressure from Sakib and Shoriful Islam eventually did the trick when Saxena flashed at a delivery outside off stump and drove it straight to backward point. Avishek Das was the man who got the wicket and it was his first over of the match.

After this came the most stable period of the Indian innings as Jaiswal and Tilak Varma stood their ground to the Bangladesh attack. Runs began to flow and Jaiswal scored his fifth 50 of the tournament. The pair also took India past the 100-run mark and their partnership was worth 94 runs.

It was Sakib who eventually got the breakthrough for Bangladesh with a short delivery that Varma looked to cut. The ball flew into the hands of the fielder at deep backward point.

Jaiswal then found able company in wicketkeeper Dhruv Jorel but ended up falling to Shoriful Islam eight overs later. He cramped Jaiswal for room and his attempted shot flew to short midwicket where Tanzid Hasan was standing.

India went on to lose their next six wickets for 21 runs in the next nine overs. Islam dismissed Siddesh Veer off the very next ball of the over after which Jorel and Ravi Bishnoi were both run out due to mix-ups between the wicket. Atharva Ankolekar and Kartik Tyagi were dismissed by Avishek while Sushant Mishra fell to Sakib.

Brief scores: India U19 177 in 47.2 overs (Yashasvi Jaiswal 88, Tilak Varma 38; Avishek Das 3/28) vs Bangladesh U19.

Sun, 09 Feb 2020 19:06:02 +0530
fb buys startup uses AI

San Francisco: Facebook has acquired Scape Technologies -- a London-based computer vision start-up working on location accuracy beyond the capabilities of GPS.

Full terms of the deal remain as yet unknown, although a Companies House update reveals that Facebook Inc now has majority control of the company (more than 75 per cent).

"However by looking at other filings, including a recent share issue, I understand the price could be about $40 million," TechCrunch reported on Saturday.

The start-up's cloud-based "Visual Positioning Service" translates images into 3D maps that deliver a precise outdoor location across entire cities.

It is pertinent to note that it's not yet clear what Facebook intends to do with Scape. But, the augmented reality (AR) glasses may be the best fit.

Founded in 2017, Scape Technologies was developing a "Visual Positioning Service" based on computer vision which lets developers build apps that require location accuracy far beyond the capabilities of GPS alone.

Sun, 09 Feb 2020 19:00:30 +0530
complaint against paytm

Ghaziabad, Feb 9: The Uttar Pradesh Police have registered a complaint against digital payment company, Paytm, for allegedly duping a customer.

"An FIR has been registered against the company at Ghaziabad's Kavinagar police station. On the basis of the complaint, the investigation is being conducted," Ghaziabad Police Public Relation Officer (PRO) told IANS.

The case was registered after a man complained that he was duped of money on the pretext of a cashback offer.

He had allegedly received a call from a person who introduced himself as Paytm Vice-President.

Sun, 09 Feb 2020 18:54:05 +0530
Narendra Modi

President Ram Nath Kovind’s address provides hope and presents a roadmap for India to move forward in the years to come, said Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi replying to the Motion of Thanks to President’s address in Lok Sabha.

“His address comes at a time when we enter the third decade of the century. Rashtrapati Ji’s address instils a spirit of hope and it presents a roadmap for taking the nation ahead in the times to come”, the Prime Minister reiterated.

The Prime Minister in his address said that people are losing patience and are not willing to wait any more. They are looking for speed and scale, determination and decisiveness, sensitivity and solution. The Government of India is working with agility and great pace and as a result in five years around 37 million people have bank account, 11 million people have access to toilets in their homes, 13 million people have got cooking gas, around 2 crore people have their own house. Around 40 lakh people in over 1700 illegal colonies in Delhi now own a house.

Increasing farmers’ income was one of the top priorities of the central government, the issues surrounding MSP, crop insurance and irrigation related schemes were pending for several years. Our government increased the MSP to one and half times and spent one lakh crore rupees spent to complete the stalled irrigation projects.

“More than five and a half crores of farmers joined the Pradhan Mantri Crop Insurance Scheme; farmers were paid a premium of thirteen and a half crore rupees, insurance claims of more than 56 thousand crores are settled, the Prime Minister said. Modi added that agriculture budget increased five times, “PM-KISAN Samman Yojana is transforming the lives of many farmers. A sum of Rs 45,000 Crores have been transferred and several farmers have benefitted due to this. In this scheme there are no middlemen and no extra file-work,” he said.

Speaking further the Prime Minister said that the government has kept fiscal deficit in check, inflation is under control and India is experiencing macro-economic stability. Modi also spoke about the numerous steps the government has taken to win investors’ confidence and boost the economy of the country. He further elaborated that schemes such as Stand up India and Mudra have brought prosperity and many of the Mudra beneficiaries are women. Loans worth more than Rs. 22 crores have been disbursed to the youth under the Mudra scheme.

Prime Minister Modi added, “For us infrastructure is a combination of aspirations and achievements, about connecting people to their dreams, people's creativity to consumers. Infrastructure is connecting a child to her school, a farmer to the market, a businessman to his customers. It is about connecting people to people.”

He added that next generation infrastructure will drive India’s economy forward, earlier infrastructure development brought opportunities for select few but now to many more as we have made this sector transparent. Going on we are investing Rs.100 lakh crores in infrastructure sector to boost growth, economy and development.

Sun, 09 Feb 2020 16:47:22 +0530
siddhartha Gigoo

New Delhi: Award-winning author Siddhartha Gigoo's latest 'The Lion of Kashmir' (Rupa Publications), that released recently explores and reflects on the happenings in Kashmir from 1990 to contemporary times. But there is more to it.

"Essentially, I wrote it to study a father-daughter relationship in the light of the deeply complex political and law-and-order situation in Kashmir," the author tells IANS.

The book revolves around the Special Operations Group ('Special Forces' in the novel), a pro-government counter-insurgency militia in Kashmir largely composed of surrendered Kashmiri militants who have been a target of their own aides and partners from various militant outfits. They have been criticized by local political parties, successive governments and even by the people of Kashmir.

"Branded as turncoats and traitors by the very people whom they are duty-bound to protect from militant attacks, they often find themselves caught between the devil and the deep blue sea. Their identities are shrouded in mystery; they can't even reveal their faces. Imagine their lives in such a hopeless scenario. They are 'neither here nor there' cops. They walk on the razor's edge on a daily basis."

Author of 'The Garden of Solitude' (2011) and 'A Fistful of Earth and Other Stories' (2015), which was long listed for the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award 2015, Gigoo's short story 'The Umbrella Man' won the Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2015 for Asia. Talking about his writing process, Gigoo, who has a day job, prefers writing during nights and weekends.

"However, I spend a great amount of time pre-writing a novel, meaning conceiving a novel in my head before I begin to write. It has taken me years. Sometimes a sentence takes days."

Mention the fact that he began with writing poetry and then switched to prose, and the author asserts, "Storytelling must also be poetic. Baudelaire says: Always be a poet, even in prose. I still write poems, but I don't write to get them published, though I share some on Instagram. Sometimes, while writing a poem you discover a story. And then you're compelled to write it. For me, the first line of a story is born in the shape of a poem."

Even as it has been 30 years since the Pandits were forced to leave the valley, Gigoo is optimistic that they will go back home. "It might take us years, decades, centuries, but we will go back to our homeland, reclaim our past and rebuild our homes."

Preferring to present the 'complete picture' when it comes to Kashmir, incorporating different points of view, he stays away from presenting only a single point of view. The author asserts that it is important for him to look outside the frame and have a 360-degree view. Quietly looking at people, reading their expressions, snooping into their conversations, and imagining them in all sorts of situations and circumstances while they are going about their daily lives.

"More importantly, placing yourself at the centre of their worlds. Being with them and yet being detached. As a novelist, I don't think in terms of Muslim side of the story and the Hindu side of the story. I am incapable of such narrow-mindedness. What intrigues me is the human condition. It is not divided along the lines of religion.

Something interesting and of profound human significance is always taking place in the most ordinary places and with the most ordinary people. All we got to do is look, and then discover the extraordinariness. One must have the ability to shut the door to the outside world, yet keep all other doors to the same outside world open."

Also a filmmaker, who has made short films like 'The Last Day' and 'Goodbye Mayfly' says he does look forward to making more short films, "Only if I am able to arrange the budget."

Ask him if the abolition of Article 370 would really pave a path for the return of Pandits to the valley, as stressed by the present government, and he says, "I hope it does. One can only hope. People all over the country are talking of being able to buy land and property in Jammu and Kashmir now. Stripped of its special status, Kashmir is now a place that belongs to everyone, where everyone can settle.

Article 370 was supposed to give us a special status with unique rights and privileges no other Indians born elsewhere had. The special status that was bound by the state's constitution to protect us from persecution in 1990, then guarantee our dignified return to our own homes before it is late, but failed to do so, is now gone forever. The yearning for restitution is stronger than ever in my heart. The dream of home persists. The dream to reclaim everything that was snatched from us lingers on."

Sun, 09 Feb 2020 16:10:13 +0530
Giriraj Kishore passes

Kanpur, Feb 9: Well-known Hindi litterateur and Padma Shri awardee Giriraj Kishore passed away on Sunday, following a cardiac arrest at his Suterganj residence in Kanpur, doctors said.

He was 83 and is survived by his wife, two daughters and a son.

Giriraj Kishore's body would be handed over to the medical college as per his wishes on Monday.

He was awarded the Padma Shri by the President of India in the year 2007 and was the recipient of the Sahitya Akademi award in 1992.

He was conferred the Vyas Samman in 2000, and an honorary Ph.D. by Chhatrapati Shahuji Maharaj University in 2002.

Kishore was best known for his novel 'Pehla Girmitiya' that was based on Mahatma Gandhi's stay in South Africa. The novel was a bestseller.

Sun, 09 Feb 2020 16:00:40 +0530
Mystic Kalinga Manojdas

Bhubaneswar: Manoj Das, who was recently bestowed with Padma Bhushan for his outstanding contribution to English and Odia literature, on Saturday received Mystic Kalinga Literary Awards-Indian and Global Languages.

He received the award at the fourth edition of the two-day long Mystic Kalinga Festival (MKF) here.

Mystic Kalinga Literary Award has been instituted to recognise and celebrate prolific and inspiring writers, poets and performers.

Das also presented a talk on "Divine Madness: Knowledge, Ecstasy, and Transformation", the central theme for the fourth edition of the Mystic Kalinga festival.

The eminent litterateur informed that he is in the process of translating 'Savitri', the epic poem written by freedom fighter and spiritual guru Aurobindo Ghosh into Odia language.

Sun, 09 Feb 2020 15:52:36 +0530
Raj Thackeray starts mega

Mumbai: Over an estimated 100,000 activists took part in a mega-procession taken out by the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena President Raj Thackeray, demanding the ouster of Pakistani-Bangladeshi infiltrators living in the country, here on Sunday.

After starting from their Shivaji Park home, Thackeray and his family, including wife Sharmila, their son and MNS leader Amit Thackeray, first performed an 'aarti' and took 'darshan' of Lord Ganesha at the famed 220-year old Siddhivinayak Temple in Prabhadevi.

Later, accompanied by the MNS top brass, the Thackerays led the procession from Girgaum Chowpatty as it wend its way to the historic Azad Maidan, around 4 kms away, where more enthusiastic crowds awaited Thackeray, who is expected to address a rally later.

Thousands of MNS activists from all over Maharashtra have been trooping to Mumbai since Saturday night to join the procession, by public or chartered buses, private vehicles, trains and even motorcycles.

The entire route from Girgaum Chowpatty to Azad Maidan resembled a sea of the MNS' new saffron-hued flag with the symbol of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj's Royal Seal.

Marching peacefully and in an orderly fashion, many raised slogans demanding that the illegal migrants living in the country should be driven away as they are a drain on the country's economy, resources and jobs, besides posing threats to national security.

However, Raj Thackeray has made it clear that the morcha is not in support of the CAA-NRC-NPR which have created massive socio-political upheavals around the country over two months.

This is the MNS' first public show of strength after it donned 'new avatar' on January 23, with a new flag, symbol, 'Hindutva' agenda and right-wing direction as it struggles for survival to create its own political space in Maharashtra, particularly after the recently changed state political scenario.


Sun, 09 Feb 2020 15:44:25 +0530
Sundar Nursery New Delhi

New Delhi, Feb 9 (IANS) The Gujral Foundation, in association with Outset India, has commissioned a pleated pavilion titled "The Song of the Earth and the Sky" at the Sunder Nursery, New Delhi, designed by the architect and artist Ankon Mitra.

Reha Sodhi is the curatorial advisor on the project. The pavilion, which was inaugurated on February 5 will be open to the public for viewing till April 26.

It is part of the foundation's public art project - commissioning temporary pavilions by selected artists, architects and designers that will respond to different locations in India.

The Gujral Foundation completed its tenth year in 2018, which marked the beginning of the Foundation's focus into the realm of architecture and design. This began with the presentation of the India pavilion at the London Design Biennale in September 2018 and continues through various initiatives including partnerships, exhibitions, outreach, interventions and forums in both India and internationally.

In "The Song of the Earth and the Sky", Mitra seeks to create an Enso diagram, where copper of the Earth and silver of the sky meet and embrace in a meditative bliss. Architecture of the past lies strewn everywhere in the garden, lending the viewer a gem of geometry - a beautiful pointed arch. In the pavilion, the artist has multiplied the arch nine times to symbolise the nine realms. The Zen garden represents yin and yang, wind and water - two elements that connect the Earth and the sky. The multitudes of folds in origami create a single pleated song. In that moment of rhapsody, the physical garden dematerialises and like all spiritual energies, becomes the universe.

"This is an unprecedented opportunity, hopefully the beginning of an annual pavilion building project in New Delhi, comparable to the prestigious Serpentine Pavilion in London or the MoMA PS1 in New York," said Mitra.

Sun, 09 Feb 2020 15:40:07 +0530
Raj Thackeray starts mega

Mumbai: Over an estimated 100,000 activists took part in a mega-procession taken out by the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena President Raj Thackeray, demanding the ouster of Pakistani-Bangladeshi infiltrators living in the country, here on Sunday.

After starting from their Shivaji Park home, Thackeray and his family, including wife Sharmila, their son and MNS leader Amit Thackeray, first performed an 'aarti' and took 'darshan' of Lord Ganesha at the famed 220-year old Siddhivinayak Temple in Prabhadevi.

Later, accompanied by the MNS top brass, the Thackerays led the procession from Girgaum Chowpatty as it wend its way to the historic Azad Maidan, around 4 kms away, where more enthusiastic crowds awaited Thackeray, who is expected to address a rally later.


Thousands of MNS activists from all over Maharashtra have been trooping to Mumbai since Saturday night to join the procession, by public or chartered buses, private vehicles, trains and even motorcycles.

The entire route from Girgaum Chowpatty to Azad Maidan resembled a sea of the MNS' new saffron-hued flag with the symbol of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj's Royal Seal.

Marching peacefully and in an orderly fashion, many raised slogans demanding that the illegal migrants living in the country should be driven away as they are a drain on the country's economy, resources and jobs, besides posing threats to national security.

However, Raj Thackeray has made it clear that the morcha is not in support of the CAA-NRC-NPR which have created massive socio-political upheavals around the country over two months.

This is the MNS' first public show of strength after it donned 'new avatar' on January 23, with a new flag, symbol, 'Hindutva' agenda and right-wing direction as it struggles for survival to create its own political space in Maharashtra, particularly after the recently changed state political scenario.

Sun, 09 Feb 2020 15:38:53 +0530
Srilankan PM at Kasi Temp

Varanasi, Feb 9 (IANS) Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, on Sunday, arrived in Varanasi and offered prayers at the famous Kashi Vishwanath temple.

Rajapaksa arrived in Varanasi at the Lal Bahadur Shastri airport and was given a warm welcome by senior officials.

He then drove straight to the Kashi Vishwanath temple where he participated in the 'puja' in the sanctum sanctorum of the temple.

The 'puja' was conducted by a team of 'pundits' who offered 'prasad' to the visiting dignitary after the 'aarti'.

The Sri Lanka Prime Minister then visited the Kaal Bhairav temple to offer prayers.

After a brief halt at the hotel, he will visit Sarnath, 10 kilometers from Varanasi, and will pay tributes at the Dhamek Stupa where Lord Buddha gave his first sermon to five disciples after attaining enlightenment.

Rajapaksa is on a four day-visit to India.

Sun, 09 Feb 2020 15:32:01 +0530
31 women Delhi Assembly

New Delhi, Feb 9 (IANS) A total of 31 women have been elected to the Delhi Assembly since its first election in 1993, with highest number of MLAs being 20 from the Congress in a span of 22 years till 2015.

In the first and second Assemblies, in 1993 and 1998 respectively, the BJP had one female member in each term to the House, while no other party's female candidate was ever elected to the House after that period.

In 1993, the first Assembly of Delhi, there were three women elected to the House. While two of them were from the Congress, one was from the BJP.

The two female Congress MLAs were Krishna Tirath and Tajdar Babar and that from BJP was Purnima Sethi. It is worth mentioning that Tirath has been fielded by the Congress again for the 2020 Assembly election from Patel Nagar Assembly.

In the next Assembly in 1998 -- when Sheila Dikshit became the Chief Minister of Delhi for the first time -- maximum number of women were elected to the House. The Assembly elected nine women, out of which eight were from the Congress and one was from the BJP -- Sushma Swaraj from Hauz Khas.

This was also a landmark year as post this, no female BJP leader has been elected to the House till date.

In 1998, BJP's Sushma Swaraj was elected to the House after she served as the Chief Minister of Delhi in the first Assembly for a brief period just before the Assembly elections.

Dikshit became the only second female Chief Minister of Delhi.

Apart from the two -- Dikshit and Swaraj -- seven other women from the Congress were elected to the House: Tajdar Babar, Kiran Choudhary, Sushila Devi, Anjali Rai, Darshna, Krishna Tirath and Meera Bhardwaj.

Both Swaraj and Dikshit passed away in 2019, within a period of one month.

In 2003, the third Assembly of Delhi was elected with seven women -- all from Congress. While Tajdar Babar, Krishna Tirath, Anjali Rai and Sheila Dikshit were re-elected, the other three women elected to the House were Kiran Walia, Barkha Singh, and Meera Bhardwaj.

In 2008, when the national capital elected the fourth Assembly, there were three Congress MLAs -- Sheila Dikshit, Kiran Walia and Barkha Singh who were re-elected.

The political picture of Delhi changed after the Aam Aadmi Party was formed in 2012.

The city went for polls in 2013 and there were three women elected to the House, this time, all were from the AAP -- Veena Anand, Rakhi Birla and Bandana Kumari. In 2013, no party got a clear majority and so, AAP and Congress joined hands to form a government for 49 days.

Arvind Kejriwal became the Chief Minister of the city but he resigned after 49 days.

The city again went for polls in 2015 and this time, the AAP bagged 67 of the 70 seats. There were six women elected to the House and all were from the AAP.

While Rakhi Birla and Bandana Kumari were re-elected, Alka Lamba, Bhavna Gaur, Parmila Tokas and Sarita Singh were also elected to the House.

Lamba was disqualified from the Assembly after she switched to the Congress in 2019. In the 2020 Assembly polls, she contested from Chandni Chowk as a Congress candidate.

Till the sixth Assembly of the Delhi, there were a total of 31 females elected to the House with 20 females from Congress, nine from the AAP and two from the BJP.

Also, no independent female has been elected to the Delhi Assembly so far.

In 2020 Assembly polls, a total of 79 women are trying their luck with 24 of them from the Congress, BJP and AAP.

Sun, 09 Feb 2020 15:26:55 +0530
netflix takedown singapor

San Francisco, Feb 9: Netflix has removed movies and TV shows from its global platform at the demand of foreign governments and the majority -- five of such requests -- came from the Singapore government.

The media streaming behemoth revealed the details in its first report, named "Environmental Social Governance", which it said would provide more transparency on the impact of its platform on society and its governance structures, ZDNet reported on Sunday.

The takedowns all occurred between 2015 and 2020.

The streaming giant said in its report: "We offer creators the ability to reach audiences all around the world. However, our catalog varies from country to country, including for [broadcasting] rights reasons [and] in some cases, we've been forced to remove specific titles or episodes of titles in specific countries due to government takedown demands."

It is pertinent to note that government takedowns aren't a new phenomena for online media platforms.

Facebook, Apple, Twitter, YouTube, and even Wikipedia often receive and comply with requests from government bodies to remove content from its platforms in those countries.

The reasons for such requests often range from local laws banning certain kinds of content to the publishing of unauthorised material to straight up attempts of censorship, according to Mashable.

Sun, 09 Feb 2020 15:21:11 +0530
RSS pracharak P Parameswa

In the early hours of Sunday former leader of the former Bharatiya Jana Sangh, P Parameswaran, died. He was one of senior-most Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) ' pracharaks ' and the founder-director of  BharatheeyaVichara Kendram. He was honoured  with Padma Vibhushan, the country's second-highest civilian award in 2018 and Padma Shri in 2004.

Sun, 09 Feb 2020 15:19:08 +0530
robot in china hospital

New Delhi: Tweeple were amazed as hospitals in China are using robots to deliver food and medicines to patients infected by the novel coronavirus which has killed 811 people so far.

Taking to Twitter, a user posted a video in which robots are used to serve food and medicines in a hospital in China to the patients who were infected with coronavirus.

Another user commented "I am fascinated by the logistics of it all. Compressed construction - training for staff as to what goes where...configurations, maps..." While another said "cool job."

Appreciating the designing of the robot, a user said "with lights designed to sort of look like a friendly face"

With a 'Thumbs Up' emoji, a user wrote "Nice" while another said, "a Robot can help curb the spread of coronavirus."

"The robot that rolls up, ejects and inserts the food plate into the slot of the isolation ward can help curb the spread of coronavirus," said a user.

Sun, 09 Feb 2020 15:14:46 +0530
Maha police marathon

Mumbai: It turned out to be a reunion of sorts for the Bollywood policemen "Singham" and "Sooryavanshi" on Sunday as Ajay Devgn and Akshay Kumar attended the Maharashtra Police International Marathon.

They were accompanied by filmmaker Rohit Shetty, who has earlier helmed Ajay-starrer "Singham", and is all set to come up with another cop drama "Sooryavanshi", featuring Akshay.

Sharing a glimpse of his presence at the marathon, Akshay took to Instagram and wrote: "Team #Sooryavanshi at the Maharashtra Police International Marathon on this beautiful Sunday morning, a great initiative where the police doesn't run after you but with you..#AaRahiHaiPolice #MarathonMovement @itsrohitshetty @ajaydevgn."

In the image, one can seen Akshay, Ajay and Rohit sharing smiles with each other in black T-shirts with "Aa Rahi Hai Police (the police is coming)" written on it.

Speaking of "Sooryavanshi", it is scheduled to release in March. The film also features actress Katrina Kaif.

Sun, 09 Feb 2020 15:07:07 +0530
Locust outbreak UN chief

Addis Ababa, Feb 9: The UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has called for intensified international efforts to deal with a locust outbreak that has affected desert areas across 20 countries, stretching from west Africa to India.

"The UN has issued an urgent appeal for assistance. I ask the international community to respond with speed and generosity to ensure an effective response and control the infestation while we still have the chance," Guterres said on the sidelines of the 33rd Ordinary Session of the Executive Council of the AU in Ethiopia's capital on Saturday.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on Tuesday disclosed that the Horn of Africa (HoR) region is the worst desert locust affected area from the three hot-spots of threatening locust activity globally, Xinhua reported.

According to the FAO, the increasing desert locust swarms in Ethiopia and Somalia have continued to migrate into Kenya, where they spread to 14 northern, central and southwest counties, reaching within 200 km of northeast Uganda and southeast South Sudan.

Guterres said the locust swarms affecting many parts of Africa are unprecedented in size and scope, with climate change playing a big part in aggravating the locust crisis.

"Today locust swarms are as big as major cities and it's getting worse by the day. There is also a link between climate change and the unprecedented locust crisis plaguing Ethiopia and East Africa.

"Warmer seas mean more cyclones generating the perfect breeding ground for locusts," said the UN Secretary General.

The desert locust (Schistocerca gregaria), which is considered as the most dangerous of the nearly one dozen species of locusts, is a major food security peril in desert areas across 20 countries, stretching from west Africa all the way to India, covering nearly 16 million square km, according to the UN.

Sun, 09 Feb 2020 12:01:27 +0530
kills 20 in Thailand

Bangkok: A soldier on Saturday killed 20 people and injured many more in a gun rampage in Thailand's Nakhon Ratchasima city, also known as Korat, police said.

Jakraphanth Thomma, a junior officer, killed his commanding officer before stealing weapons from a military camp, a defence spokesman told the BBC.

The suspect then drove to the city centre and entered a shopping complex, where he is believed to be holed up.

The suspect, whose motives remain unclear, posted images of his attack on social media sites.

Authorities have sealed off the Terminal 21 shopping centre in Nakhon Ratchasima, as they try to track down the suspect.

Troops and police have entered the building and there have been reports of more gunshots.

Amarin TV carried pictures of dozens of people fleeing to safety, including one young woman being brought out in a wheelchair.

The Bangkok Post reported earlier that the suspect, who it said was 32 years old, had taken hostages, but this has not been officially confirmed.

The suspect's mother has been brought to the shopping centre to try to persuade him to give himself up.

Defence ministry spokesman Lt. Gen. Kongcheep Tantravanich said 20 people had been killed so far.

The attack began on late Saturday afternoon at the Suatham Phithak military camp, where the commanding officer, named by the Bangkok Post as Col. Anantharot Krasae, was killed.

The Post said a 63-year-old woman and another soldier were also killed there.

The suspect seized arms and ammunition from the camp before taking a Humvee-type vehicle.

He then opened fire at a number of sites before arriving at the Terminal 21 shopping centre.

Local media footage appears to show the suspect getting out of his vehicle and firing shots as people flee.

CCTV footage shows him inside the shopping centre with a raised rifle.

Other footage showed a fire outside the building, with some reports saying it was caused by a gas canister that exploded when it was hit with a bullet. One of the suspect's social media posts features an image of himself with the fire in the background.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha is following developments and expressed condolences to the families of those killed, a spokeswoman said.

The public health minister has put out an appeal for people to donate blood at hospitals in the area.

He posted on his social media accounts during the attack, with one post on Facebook asking whether he should surrender.

He had earlier posted an image of a pistol with three sets of bullets, along with the words "it is time to get excited" and "nobody can avoid death".

Facebook has now taken the page down.

It said: "Our hearts go out to the victims, their families and the community affected by this tragedy in Thailand. There is no place on Facebook for people who commit this kind of atrocity, nor do we allow people to praise or support this attack."

Sun, 09 Feb 2020 11:56:02 +0530
Iran aborts cyber attack

Tehran, Feb 9: A "powerful" distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack that targeted Iran's telecom services on Saturday morning has been aborted, a senior Iranian telecommunication official was quoted as saying by Press TV.

Sajjad Bonabi, Deputy Head of Iran's Telecommunication In