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The Minister of State (I/C) for Tourism K J Alphons said that the Tourism Sector alone has created 14.62 million job opportunities in the country in the last four years.  Addressing the media in New Delhi, the Minister further elaborated that the Tourism sector provides opportunities to skilled as well as unskilled job seekers thereby providing employment to all sections of the society.

The Minister added that Tourism Ministry is now focusing on promotional activities to bring attention of the tourists about the unexplored areas of North Eastern states of India, like the largest cave network of Asia which is in Meghalaya. Refuting the recent reports in the media on ‘Safety of women in India’, the Minister ascertained that India is safe for tourists and added that Ministry also has taken various initiatives to ensure safety and security of tourists. In view of this, the Minister said that guidelines on Safety and Security of Tourists have been issued for States/UTs and 14 states already have Tourist Police in one form or other.

The Tourism Minister added that inorder to promote the country abroad, the Ministry has conducted several ‘Incredible India road shows’ in the US, Europe and few upcoming ones in China and Nordic countries. He further added that three theme based 60 seconds Incredible India videos has been released till date and it has received huge viewership in social media platforms. 

The Minister also added that more focus is given to the Cruise Tourism sector with the Tourism Ministry investing Rs. 100 crore and the Shipping Ministry contributing a corpus of Rs. 250 crore to the sector. The cruise ports are being developed at Mumbai where it is along with an entertainment complex, and also Cruise jetties in Goa, Cochin, Chennai and Visakhapatnam.

Wed, 18 Jul 2018 12:43:17 +0530
Sharjah Univ receives del

The University of Sharjah has received a delegation from the University of Science and Technology in Meghalaya, India, to strengthen academic cooperation between both parties in research areas across the health sciences, business administration, engineering, fine arts, literature and social sciences.

This academic cooperation will support the exchange of expertise and training of students, while encouraging collaborative research between faculty members and students.

Dr. Salah Taher, Vice Chancellor for Community Affairs at the University of Sharjah, welcomed the delegation, stressing the significance of providing cooperative opportunities by sharing new ideas that encourage innovation and development of the academic cadres that serve the community and the job market.

He added that the University of Sharjah is home to a number of research groups that work in collaboration with specialised institutions and international universities. The university also organises international conferences, forums, and activities during the academic year that seek to strengthen relations with national and international entities.

At the end of the meeting, the delegation toured the University Medical Campus, the Colleges of Fine Arts and Design, Engineering, and Business Administration, and met a number of faculty members to review possible methods of collaboration. They were also introduced to the programmes and facilities available at the University of Sharjah.

Wed, 18 Jul 2018 12:10:42 +0530
India ensures presence at

Preparations have taken a leap in India for its active participation in the Dubai Expo 2020, Dilip Chenoy, Secretary-General of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, FICCI, has told Dr. Ahmed Abdul Rahman Al-Banna, UAE Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to India, reports WAM.

This came about at a meeting between the Secretary-General and the Ambassador to review India’s preparations for taking part in the landmark event following an agreement between the two sides.

FICCI is India’s leading industry association, and it has been tasked "for helping the government" in preparing the Indian presence at Expo 2020. The Indian pavilion at Dubai Expo 2020 will be on a one-acre plot in the "opportunity" segment, reports WAM.

"This is tune with the great opportunity for economic activity that India provides today on the way to becoming a five-trillion-dollar economy by 2025," Chenoy said. He added that the Indian pavilion will aim to connect with the UAE’s priorities by showcasing India's strength in innovation and start-ups. These are pushing the barriers in high technology areas like artificial intelligence, fintech, space and green energy, according to a press release issued by the UAE Embassy in New Delhi after the meeting, reports WAM.

The Ambassador responded that "the pavilion will focus on connecting minds through sustainable and futuristic technologies integrated with rich traditions which have been nurtured in 5,000 years old Indian civilisation," according to the press release.

He hoped that it will be a fine blend of modern outlook and of a billion dreams and millions of opportunities with a focus on building a happy world. The expectation was that the immense cultural diversity of India will also be on display at the pavilion.

The meeting agreed that India's participation in Dubai Expo 2020 is reflective of the comprehensive strategic partnership between India and the UAE. "The relations between both countries have particularly strengthened and expanded with regular exchange of visits at highest levels in recent years. Apart from the traditional people-to-people and business ties, trade and investment add further vibrancy to the relationship," the press release noted.

Wed, 18 Jul 2018 11:58:15 +0530
VP conveys his concerns o

Expressing serious concern over declining confidence of the people in the Parliament, the Vice President and the Chairman, Rajya Sabha, M. Venkaiah Naidu today asserted that smooth functioning of the House is not the responsibility of the Government alone and it is a joint responsibility of all sections of the House. Conveying his anguish over the last two sessions of the Upper House ending in a ‘loose-loose’ situation for all sections of the House and the people, he urged all parties and leaders to ensure a ‘win-win’ monsoon session and sought their cooperation.

Eight Ministers and 23 leaders belonging to 20 parties today attended the meeting convened by Chairman Venkaiah Naidu, a day ahead of the start of monsoon session tomorrow. 

Referring to the happenings in the Rajya Sabha during the last session, Naidu said ‘No party can bring the House to a standstill insisting on Government’s response even as the members and parties have a right to seek such a response. The better way would be to talk it out, walk out or vote out. If the Government of the day is found to be unresponsive to genuine issues, it should be taken to the people instead of forcing adjournment of the House through persistent disruptions”.

Referring to feedback from the people during his tours across the country during the last eleven months, Shri Naidu stated that people are distressed over non-functional Parliament. He also referred to a recent survey in which people have expressed their lack of trust and confidence in the Parliament and political parties.

Naidu urged both the ruling and opposition parties to stop the ‘mutual blame game’ holding each other responsible for persistent disruptions and dysfunctional House. He stressed that it was time to recalibrate the conventional position that it was the responsibility of the Government to run the House and it should be seen as a shared responsibility.

Referring to news reports about the meeting of opposition parties yesterday, Shri Naidu said his hopes of a productive session were rekindled by their assertion of keenness for an effective monsoon session.

Noting that the Parliament is a part of the political system, Shri Naidu urged the leaders not to allow the coming election season in the country derail the House. He said that Parliament is the best forum for articulating different viewpoints and should be made effective use of instead of allowing political considerations play out in the House. He assured the leaders that all issues would be allowed to be discussed as per the Rules of the House.

Former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh observed that all the leaders endorsed the concerns and sentiments expressed by the Chairman Naidu.

Leader of the Opposition Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad said that over 90% of the parties in the House always desired smooth functioning of the House and those who are agitated over issues of concern to their States need to be appropriately reached out by the Government. He said the opposition has about ten issues for discussion in the House and some of them could be taken up during the monsoon session. He suggested that the Government should start with Bills that have wider acceptance instead of taking up contentious issues.

Wed, 18 Jul 2018 11:44:29 +0530
PM urges all parties to c

Addressing floor leaders of parties in the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha, ahead of the Monsoon Session 2018 of Parliament, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that Government gives huge importance to the issues raised by all Political Parties and urged all Political Parties to collectively strive to create a constructive atmosphere in Monsoon Session to achieve National Good. Modi expressed confidence that all political parties would cooperate on smooth running of the Parliament and undertake constructive discussion on issues of national importance.

A host of issues were brought up by the leaders of parties during the meeting. There was a consensus across party lines on ensuring smooth functioning of the Parliament without disruptions and deadlocks to be resolved through constructive discussions in both the Houses.

Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Ananthkumar, later briefing media persons said that the Government has requested all parties, especially the opposition, for their co-operation for the smooth functioning of the House. “The people of India want the Parliament to function. Government calls for cooperation from all parties in country's interest”, he said. The Minister informed that all parties were in favour of a productive Monsoon session. The Government is always ready to discuss on the floor of the House, any issue as permitted under Rules of Procedure. The Government will leave no stone unturned to facilitate smooth functioning of the Parliament during the ensuing Monsoon Session, he added.

Ananthkumar further informed that the Monsoon Session, 2018 of Parliament is scheduled to be held from Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, and subject to exigencies of Government Business, the Session may conclude on Friday, 10th August, 2018. The Minister said that the Session will provide a total of 18 sittings spread over a period of 24 days and 48* items have been identified for being taken up during the Monsoon Session, 2018. (*Includes 46 Bills and 02 financial item)

Six Bills replacing ordinances namely (i) The Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance, 2018; (ii) The Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018; (iii) The Commercial Courts, Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018; (iv)  The Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018; (v) The National Sports University Ordinance, 2018; and  (iv) The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018 are required to be passed during the ensuing Monsoon Session.

Further, some important pending legislations in the Houses required to be considered and passed during the Session are (i) The Consumer Protection Bill, 2018; (iiThe New Delhi International Arbitration Centre Bill, 2018; (iii The Transgender Persons (Protection of RightsBill, 2016; (iv)  The Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Third AmendmentBill, 2017; (v) The National Medical Commission Bill, 2017; (viThe Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on MarriageBill, 2017; (vii)  The Motor Vehicles (AmendmentBill, 2017; and (viii)  The Prevention of Corruption (AmendmentBill, 2013.

Some important new bills likely to be introduced, considered and passed  during this session apart from the 6 Bills replacing Ordinances are (i) The Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (Amendment) Bill, 2018; (ii) The Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill, 2018; (iii)  The Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Bill, 2018;  (iv) The Micro Small and Medium Enterprises Development (Amendment) Bill, 2018; (v) The National Trust for Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities (Amendment) Bill, 2018; (vi) The Dam Safety Bill, 2018; and (vii) Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018.

The all-Party meeting was attended by Union Minister for Home Affairs, Rajnath Singh, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs and Statistics & Programme Implementation, Vijay Goel, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs and Water Resources, River development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Arjun Ram Meghwal, along with other Ministers.

Wed, 18 Jul 2018 11:33:06 +0530
Indians bag top titles at

Four UAE-based expatriate Indian nationals have bagged the top titles at the 2018 NRI of the Year Awards, fighting off more than 11,500 global nominees, reports Khaleej Times.

Dubbed as heroes who have made their mark on foreign shores, Amiteash Paul, Jogiraj Sikidar, Vardaraj Shetty, and Prasanth Manghat live true to the phrase 'make India proud', and have been recognised for their significant contributions in keeping their Indian heritage alive, despite living away from home, Khaleej Times reported. 

Now in its fifth year, the NRI of the Year Awards, presented by Times Now, ICICI Bank and Global Indian International School, has so far awarded 15 Indian expatriates living in the UAE, with this year's accolades adding four more winning titles to the list, taking that number to 19, reports Khaleej Times.

A total of 22 NRIs were crowned for the 2018 edition Award. Of the five winners based in the Middle East, four of which are living in the UAE. Here, Khaleej Times speaks to the winners.

Tue, 17 Jul 2018 10:34:12 +0530
Putin rejects Russian med

In an extraordinary embrace of a longtime US enemy, President Donald Trump on Monday openly questioned his own intelligence agencies' firm finding that Russia meddled in the 2016 US election to his benefit, seeming to accept Russian President Vladimir Putin's insistence that Moscow's hands were clean, reports Khaleej Times. 

The reaction back home was immediate and visceral, among fellow Republicans as well as usual Trump critics. "Shameful," ''disgraceful," ''weak," were a few of the comments. Makes the US "look like a pushover," said GOP Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, Khaleej Times reported.

Trump's meeting with Putin in Helsinki was his first time sharing the international stage with a man he has described as an important US competitor - but whom he has also praised a strong, effective leader. 

His remarks, siding with a foe on foreign soil over his own government, was a stark illustration of Trump's willingness to upend decades of US foreign policy and rattle Western allies in service of his political concerns. A wary and robust stance toward Russia has been a bedrock of his party's world view. But Trump made clear he feels that any firm acknowledgement of Russia's involvement would undermine the legitimacy of his election, reports Khaleej Times.

Tue, 17 Jul 2018 10:25:21 +0530
VP stresses on the need o

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that empowerment of women is central to achieving the objective of inclusive, equitable and sustainable development and it is not only a national goal but also a global agenda. He was addressing the gathering after inaugurating the International Conference on ‘Empowering Women: Fostering Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Sustainability’ organized by the NITI Aayog and Shri Ram College of Commerce.

The Vice President said that it is beyond doubt that given the right opportunities and proper environment, women have excelled in different spheres of life. He also stressed on the need to create suitable conditions to facilitate and encourage women to have full, active and unhindered participation in social, economic, political and public life so that their potential is realized fully for the benefit of the society.

The Vice President that women face discrimination and exploitation in varying degree and occupy limited space in social, economic and political realms, despite the significant progress made towards the gender equality and empowerment of women through national policies. Mass media like cinema should play a critical role in empowering women and women should be given equal property rights, he added.

The Vice President said that lack of equal access to education & employment, inequalities in the labour market, rising sexual violence and unequal division of unpaid care and domestic work remain the key barriers to their advancement.

Saying that gender disparity hinders women’s empowerment and their integration in mainstream, the Vice President argued for a major shift in our mindset which would lead to a positive attitude towards women and their role in society.

The Vice President said that women's active participation in decision-making has a positive impact on education, health, nutrition, employment and social protection. Women’s empowerment has a multiplier effect not only on their own lives but also on the family and the society, he added.

Stressing on the need to educate the girl child, the Vice President said that rise in female education levels have a positive impact such as reduction in infant and child mortality rates and improvement in family health. If women had the same access as men to productive assets, agricultural output would rise, reducing the number of undernourished people, he added.

Tue, 17 Jul 2018 10:08:41 +0530
France becomes new world

France won the World Cup Russia in a thrilling final with Croatia at Moscow's Luzhniki stadium on Sunday. France overwhelmed Croatia 4-2 to be FIFA World Cup 2018 champion for the second time. Croatia was playing in its first World Cup final. For France, it was a first World Cup crown since winning on home soil in 1998.

Mon, 16 Jul 2018 10:48:39 +0530
Injured Yemenis to receiv

Seventy-four injured Yemenis and their companions have left to India to receive medical treatment at its hospitals. All costs will be paid by the UAE.

Their injuries were the result of attacks by the Houthi militia.

The gesture is in implementation of the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the follow-up of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE .

The humanitarian initiative comes within the framework of the attention paid by the leadership to the Yemeni people, which seeks to alleviate their suffering, improve their humanitarian conditions and support them against the crimes committed by the militia.

It also reflects the strong bonds between the two peoples and a continuation of the Emirati humanitarian efforts to put an end for the suffering of the fraternal Yemeni people.

The UAE Embassy in India has taken the necessary preparations to receive the wounded and to transfer them to hospitals for treatment. The embassy also has formed a number of committees for follow-up, supervision and communication with the patients and to provide them with amenities.

The injured Yemenis praised the stance of the UAE's leadership and people and expressed their wishes that the UAE enjoys permanent security and stability.

They expressed their confidence that the UAE's support will be beneficial for their recovery, so that they may return home safe and in good health.

The UAE has launched a number of similar initiatives, including paying the expenses of medical treatment for 1500 injured Yemenis and their companions in Jordan, Sudan and India, under the supervision of the Emirates Red Crescent. The UAE has also sent medical and relief convoys to support the people of Yemen.

The UAE's humanitarian and relief programme seeks to provide basic food, medicine and medical supplies to improve the humanitarian and health conditions of the Yemenis, in coordination and cooperation with regional and international humanitarian organisations, so as to alleviate the effects of the crisis in Yemen.

Sun, 15 Jul 2018 12:57:57 +0530
Rajnath Singh holds talks

The Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh called on the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina in Dhaka. The meeting took place in a cordial and friendly atmosphere in the presence of senior officials from both sides.

The Home Minister conveyed the greetings of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. The Home Minister complimented the Prime Minister for the excellent growth registered by Bangladesh’s economy under her leadership with a growth rate of 7.78% last year. 

​The two leaders noted that much has been achieved by India and Bangladesh by working together to counter the menace of terrorism and radicalization. They agreed that all countries in the region that are afflicted by this menace should proactively join hands to effectively tackle it. The Home Minister also thanked the Prime Minister for the cooperation extended by Bangladesh in addressing India’s security concerns. 

​They also discussed the influx of displaced persons from the Rakhine State of Myanmar over the past year. The Home Minister conveyed that India is committed to helping in the safe, speedy and sustainable return of these persons to their homes. In this context, India is working on a project to construct prefabricated housing in Rakhine State so as to meet the needs of the displaced persons. India will also continue to provide relief material and supplies to help Government of Bangladesh deal with the needs of those in the relief camps.

Sun, 15 Jul 2018 12:50:02 +0530
PM unveils new developmen

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated, or laid  the foundation stone of important projects, cumulatively worth over Rs. 900 crore, in Varanasi. Among the projects inaugurated are the Varanasi City Gas Distribution Project, and the Varanasi-Ballia MEMU train. The foundation stone was laid for the PanchkoshiParikrama Marg, and several projects under the Smart City Mission and NamaamiGange. The Prime Minister also laid the Foundation Stone for an International Convention Centre in Varanasi.

Addressing a public meeting on the occasion, the Prime Minister began by congratulating the young athlete Hima Das for winning the gold medal in the 400 meters event in the Under 20 World Athletics Championship.

The Prime Minister said that for the last four years, efforts are being made to develop the city of Kashi in accordance with the requirements of the 21st century, keeping its ancient identity intact. He said a New Banaras - a blend of spirituality and modernity - is being developed, for a New India.

He said a glimpse of this new Banaras is now visible all around. He said significant investment has been made in Varanasi over the last four years. He said that the projects worth nearly 1000 crore that were either inaugurated, or for which the Foundation Stone was laid today, is a part of this ongoing exercise.

The Prime Minister elaborated upon his vision of Transfornation through Transportation, and said the Foundation Stone of the Poorvanchal Expressway at Azamgarh today was part of the same exercise.

The Prime Minister said that Varanasi is emerging as a centre for medical science in the region. He said BHU will work with AIIMS to develop a world class health institute.

The Prime Minister spoke of initiatives taken for better connectivity in Varanasi and the region. He said Kashi is emerging as an important international tourist destination. In this context he mentioned the International Convention Centre, the Foundation Stone for which was laid today. He thanked the Prime Minister of Japan, Mr. Shinzo Abe, for this gift from Japan to the people of Varanasi. He appreciated the initiatives taken by the people and the State Government of Uttar Pradesh for tourism, and under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.

The Prime Minister mentioned the poor condition of roads and other infrastructure in Varanasi, four years ago. He said the waste of the city was going unchecked into the River Ganga. Today, he said, by contrast, efforts are underway to clean the Ganga from Gangotri till the ocean. He spoke of the various projects for sewage treatment. He said the fruits of all these efforts would become apparent in the future. He asserted that work is in full swing for an Integrated Command and Control Centre, that would make Varanasi a Smart City. He said the Smart City Initiative is not just a mission to improve infrastructure in cities, but also a mission to give India a new identity. He complimented the State Government for its Industrial Policy, and investment climate, and said the results of this have started to become evident. He mentioned the mobile manufacturing unit of Samsung, inaugurated recently in Noida. He said mobile manufacturing units are creating lakhs of jobs.

Speaking of the city gas distribution project, the Prime Minister said that 8000 houses in Varanasi have already received piped cooking gas connections. He also mentioned the use of CNG as fuel for public transport in the city.

The Prime Minister recalled how the city of Varanasi had welcomed Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and French President Emmanuel Macron. He said another occasion for Varanasi to showcase its hospitality was coming soon, with the PravasiBharatiya Divas in January 2019.

Sun, 15 Jul 2018 12:41:37 +0530
President nominates four

The President of India make the following four nominations to the Rajya Sabha:

Ram Shakal: He is an eminent people’s leader and public representative from Uttar Pradesh, who has devoted his life for the welfare and well-being of the Dalit community. A farmer leader, he is widely respected for championing the cause of farmers, labourers and migrants. He has also been a three-time Member of Parliament, representing Robertsganj constituency of Uttar Pradesh.

Rakesh Sinha: A respected and widely read author, Rakesh Sinha is the Founder and Honorary Director of the Delhi-based think-tank “India Policy Foundation.” A Professor of Motilal Nehu College of Delhi University, he is also currently a member of the Indian Council of Social Science Research. He is a regular columnist in a range of newspapers.

Raghunath Mohapatra: He is an internationally renowned authority on stone carving. Practicing since 1959, he has trained over 2000 students. He has contributed to the preservation of traditional sculpture and ancient monuments, and has worked on the beautification of the Sri Jagannath Temple, Puri. His famous works include a 6 feet high statue of the Sun God carved in grey sandstone, in the Central Hall of Parliament; and the Wooden Buddha, Buddha Temple, Paris.

Sonal Mansingh: She is among India’s foremost exponents of Indian Classical Dance. She has been performing Bharatnatyam and Odissi for over six decades. She is also a well-known choreographer, teacher, orator and social activist. She founded the Centre for Indian Classical Dances, in Delhi in 1977.

Background

Article 80(1)(a) read with Article 80(3) of the Constitution of India provides that the President can nominate to Rajya Sabha, 12 persons having special knowledge, or practical experience in respect of literature, science, art and social service. There were, currently, eight nominated members in the Rajya Sabha, and hence, four vacancies.

Sun, 15 Jul 2018 12:35:17 +0530
Naidu urges educational

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has asked educational institutions to encourage students to visit rural areas to have a firsthand understanding of the problems faced by people living in villages and said that understanding the rural India will enable them to come out with innovative solutions to the problems faced by people. He was addressing the convocation of The ICFAI University, Dehradun, Uttarakhand.

The Vice President asked the students to take active part in social activities like Swachh Bharat and develop a national outlook and students should develop social consciousness. He described nationalism as serving the poorest of the poor, the depressed and oppressed.

The Vice President said that India has now become the sixth largest economy in the world and is an attractive destination for foreign investments. There will be enormous opportunities for the youth and the country should take full advantage of the demographic potential, he added. 

The Vice President said that education is the single most important element in converting our young population into national assets. If the young generation of our nation is empowered, it will constitute a very strong and productive workforce to tackle the challenges like global warming, urban migration, shortage of drinking water, polluted air and fuel inefficient transportation, he added.

Expressing his concern over the decline in moral values and ethics, the Vice President advised students to always abide by the rules. He asked the students to aim for excellence and efficiency and not settle for mediocrity and ordinary approach. Use the knowledge and skills you acquire to go further, transform your world and the world of people around you, he added.

Sun, 15 Jul 2018 12:16:13 +0530
Maneka Gandhi urges state

To provide immediate protection and relief to women facing violence within families, Maneka Gandhi, Union Minister for Women and Child Development, wrote to all Chief Ministers to ensure that the provisions of the ‘Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (PWDVA), 2005’ are effectively implemented.

Maneka Gandhi has particularly urged the States that sufficient number of Protection Officers (POs) be appointed with independent charge of the Act and that their details be made available in public domain so that they were accessible to any aggrieved woman. “It has come to my notice that in most states, Officers of other departments are given this responsibility as an additional charge. Considering the practical situation of how feasible it is for a woman to come out of her home to register a complaint, it is important that we appoint more POs.”

The Minister has also requested that a separate budget be allocated for the smooth functioning of POs, providing support to survivors, capacity building for staff and for generating awareness.

Sat, 14 Jul 2018 09:30:37 +0530
PM congratulates Hima Das

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has congratulated athlete Hima Das on winning Gold in 400m of World U20 Championships.

“India is delighted and proud of athlete Hima Das, who won a historic Gold in the 400m of World U20 Championships. Congratulations to her! This accomplishment will certainly inspire young athletes in the coming years”, the Prime Minister said.

Sat, 14 Jul 2018 09:24:00 +0530
Suresh Prabhu meets World

Minister of Commerce and Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu, met with the World Bank team in New Delhi on Thursday. The team was led by Ms. Caroline Freund, Director of Trade, Regional Integration and Investment Climate and Junaid Ahmad, Country Director for the World Bank in India. Discussions were held to explore ways to strengthen World Bank support towards India's development with collaboration in specific areas of trade, logistics and investment.

 

The Minister highlighted the work being done by the Ministry for developing a National Integrated Logistic Policy (NILP). The Policy will focus on increasing the capacity of storage and warehousing and other value added services. Multimodal logistics parks, integrating various transportation modes, are also being developed right up to the district level. The Minister also highlighted the work being done by the Ministry towards identifying specific products and markets to increase India's exports by USD 100 bn. He underlined the need for understanding product specific supply chains for India to integrate effectively into global supply chains. The (NILP) will reduced the cost of goods and make Indian product more competitive.

In the meeting it was agreed   that a workshop will be conducted with World Bank and concerned Ministries in order to identify specific interventions required to streamline logistics in the country with an aim to integrate Indian products into Global value chains.

Sat, 14 Jul 2018 09:20:14 +0530
Nawaz Sharif Maryam arre

Former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam, sentenced to jail in absentia for corruption, were arrested within minutes of their Etihad Airways flight from Abu Dhabi touching down at Lahore airport, reports NDTV.

The three-time prime minister and his daughter were later handcuffed and flown to Islamabad in a smaller aircraft. More than 10,000 security personnel have been deployed in Lahore, prohibitory orders imposed and mobile phone services blocked to check against any trouble, NDTV reported.

Nawaz Sharif's party, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, or PML-N, had planned a huge show of strength near the city's Allama Iqbal Airport airport for Sharif's homecoming but weren't allowed to reach anywhere close.

Sat, 14 Jul 2018 08:50:59 +0530
Special attention is give

Prime Minister said that special attention is given to skill development of rural youth through Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana. Training is given for employment as well as self-employment to meet the aspirations of youth for a better life. He added that about 28 lakh youth have been trained in skill development through 600 Rural Self-Employment Training Institute and around 19 lakh have been employed.  

During the interaction, Prime Minister talked about the importance of value addition and value chain approach. He urged the Self Help Groups to register in the Government e-Market Place (GeM) to sell their produce.

Interacting with the Prime Minister, the members shared their experiences and success stories associated with Self Help Groups. Prime Minister appreciated how poor women with their self-confidence and strength fought against all adversities. Women beneficiaries also explained how Self Help Groups have ushered in a positive change in their lives. Prime Minister asked the beneficiaries to send their success stories with photos along with their ideas through Narendra Modi App.

Fri, 13 Jul 2018 17:24:27 +0530
VP Urges children to prac

The Vice President of India Venkaiah Naidu has asked the children to be disciplined and stressed on the need to practice the right values of helping others. He was interacting with students represented India at “The International Movement of Children & Their Friends” at the Brave Kids International Festival held in Ukraine and Poland under the patronage of UNESCO.

The Vice President said that many of the current challenges emanate from the lack of proper understanding of various cultures. Cultural exchanges of students will help in fostering ties, building bridges and promoting peace between nations, he added.

The Vice President said that understanding of cultures of different countries enables children to become good global citizens with tolerance and respect for various viewpoints, customs and traditions. He also cautioned children to be conscious of the negative impact of the technology and always use it for gaining knowledge.

The Vice President advised the students to set a goal and work hard with great passion until they achieve the goal. He recalled the words of Swami Vivekananda on this occasion: “Arise, awake, stop not until the goal is reached”.

Saying that culture of a region represents its civilization, ethos, wisdom, morals, customs and social norms, the Vice President said that mutual understanding and respect for each other’s culture will enable the children to develop a broader world view and understand the concept of universal brotherhood.

The Vice President has advised the children to learn as many languages, but asked them not neglect mother tongue. Language embodies the culture, values, mores and traditional knowledge and that’s why preservation of language is essential to conserve the broader cultural aspects of a civilization, he added.

The Vice President witnessed the performance given by the Students on our cultures and traditions.

Fri, 13 Jul 2018 11:10:52 +0530
Transparency accountabi

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that transparency and accountability must become guiding principles for organizations that are working for larger public good. He was addressing the 164th Central Public Works Department Day celebrations, here.

The Vice President said that the CPWD has a greater role in urban development and any construction in our cities must keep the nature in mind and must be environmental friendly. He further said that CPWD must make sincere efforts to take up more infrastructure projects and continue to be a major player in the development of the nation. Protect Nature, Culture and Architecture for better Future, he added.

Saying that India is witnessing urban renaissance, the Vice President said that the entire world is impressed by the transformation of our country because of the reforms undertaken by the Government of India. It is indeed a matter of satisfaction for all of us that our country at present has the distinction of being the fastest growing economy in the world, he added.

The Vice President stressed on the need to use natural energy sources like Solar and said that every building must have provisions for rainwater harvesting. Climate change is a reality and we must keep the impact of it in mind, he added.

The Vice President said that CPWD, as an engineering organization, must also focus on innovation and modernization in the infrastructure sector to ensure accelerated economic growth of the country. He further said that the most important aspect is to maintain timelines in the execution of projects. You must continually strive to innovate and improvise your work methodology and be a credible leader in the area of your activities, he added.

The Vice President asked the employees of CPWD to keep abreast of the latest trends and adopt modern technologies and also adopt the best practices and management tools to make CPWD one of the best and most efficient organizations. He further said that success can be achieved only through hard work, discipline, adopting the right strategy and planning. You should never compromise on quality and always strive to meet the expectations of your clients, he added.

Fri, 13 Jul 2018 10:59:48 +0530
PM to interact with benef

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will interact directly with the members of Self Help Groups under DeendayalAntyodayaYojana – National Rural Livelihoods Mission(DAY-NRLM) and beneficiaries of DDU-GKY and RSETIs, through video conferencing, tomorrow on 12th July at 9.30 am. The interaction is expected to provide an opportunity to the Prime Minister to get to know, directly from the SHG members, about the various activities being undertaken by them under DAY-NRLM and how it has impacted their lives.It will be telecast live by Doordarshan and NIC will be webcasting it through their network. 

The select beneficiaries include - Self Help Groups working on Anti-alcohol movement, maize value chain and marketing from Bihar, Brick making unit from Chhattisgarh, Business correspondent Sakhi and tamarind value chain and marketing and one beneficiary from Jharkhand Manufacturing and marketing of sanitary napkins and DDU-GKY from Madhya Pradesh. Manufacturing and marketing of solar panels and lamps from Rajasthan,PashuSakhi (animal para vet) and DDU-GKY beneficiary from Maharashtra will take part in the direct Samvaad. In addition, interventions for welfare of disabled persons from Tamil Nadu, External community resource person for the formation of SHGs from Telangana, Dairy farm from J&K and Collection and marketing of neem seeds from Gujarat will be a part of the interaction.

DAY-NRLM has emerged as the largest institutional platform for women’s empowerment. The Mission has now initiated implementation in 4884 blocks spread across 600 districts in 29 States and 5 Union Territories. More than 5 crore women have been mobilized into 45 lakh Self Help Groups (SHGs) by May 2018. In addition, 2.48 lakh Village Organizations and 20,000 Cluster Level Federations have also been promoted.

Thu, 12 Jul 2018 10:47:50 +0530
Naidu urges IAS officers

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has asked the IAS officers to look upon people as active agents of transforming India, not merely as ‘target groups’ or ‘beneficiaries’ as we used to call them. He was addressing IAS Officers of 2016 batch posted as Assistant Secretaries in Government of India, in New Delhi.

The Vice President said that unless this approach becomes an integral part of our planning and implementation process, the programmes will not succeed. He further asked the young officers to make good use of the opportunity and understand the role of Union government in formulation of policies and programs. You belong to a civil service that was conceived of as a steel frame of our country by the great visionary unifier and the first Home Minister of independent India, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, he added.

Saying that streamlining service delivery and effective, transparent, people-centred good governance are the need of the hour, the Vice President stressed on the need to address challenges in delivering basic services to the common man. Aim at greater ‘efficiency’ and ‘effectiveness’ and build a culture of ‘evaluation’ and constant ‘learning’ in our governance systems, he added.

The Vice President asked officers to adopt a more empathetic, responsive and inclusive approach of administration. It should be an approach that cares for women, differently abled, the marginalized and those who have been left out of developmental process, he added. 

The Vice President asked officers to view every programme as a “societal mission” and implement them with dedication. There has to be a genuine commitment at all levels of administration to spread the benefits of democratic governance to all sections in society without any discrimination in the spirit of the principle “Sab ka Saath, Sab ka Vikaas,” he added.

Thu, 12 Jul 2018 10:33:23 +0530
Kovind lauds Korea s role

The President Ram Nath Kovind, received  Mr Moon Jae-in, the President of the Republic of Korea, at Rashtrapati Bhavan He also hosted a banquet in his honour.

Welcoming the South Korean President to India, the President said that India and South Korea share democratic values and historical and cultural links.  The economic partnership between the two countries is strong and vibrant.  He expressed confidence that the visit of the South Korean President will infuse a new momentum.

The President congratulated the South Korean President for his efforts and determination in turning the security situation prevailing in the Korean Peninsula into a stable and peaceful one. The President stated that his mediation efforts are commendable and India fully supports them. 

The President said that India-South Korea economic ties are strengthening.  He was happy to note that bilateral trade crossed US $ 20 billion in 2017, posing an impressive 25% annual growth.  He stated that we can do lot more together.  The Indian economy, with an annual growth rate of 7% plus, provides diverse market opportunities.  As Korean investors look to diversify investments, India is poised to provide both a business-friendly environment as well as good returns. This is a win-win situation as India is going to benefit from South Korea’s investments and technology, whereas South Korea will benefit from our skilled and cost-effective manpower and huge market. 

Subsequently, in his banquet speech, President Kovind said that India’s Act East policy harmonises neatly with South Korean “New Southern Community”. As democracies, as countries that seek ethical market practices, and as countries with respect for an inclusive, equitable, stable, secure and rules-based international order, it is logical for us to work together.

The President said that as global partners, we have much to do together. South Korea’s green growth initiatives and the International Solar Alliance can and must complement each other.  We can help build a climate-smart world. We must get our young minds to compete and collaborate in artificial intelligence and robotics as well as in Korean traditional medicine and Ayurveda.

Wed, 11 Jul 2018 11:23:06 +0530
Deadly flood claims 179 l

Rescue workers carried out house-to-house searches in the increasingly unlikely hope of finding survivors after days of deadly floods and landslides that have claimed 179 lives in Japan's worst weather-related disaster for decades, Gulf News reported.

The record downpours that began last week have stopped and receding flood waters have laid bare the destruction that has cut a swathe through the west of the country.

In the city of Kurashiki, the flooding engulfed entire districts at one point, forcing some people to their rooftops to wait for rescue, reports Gulf News.

By Tuesday morning, rescue workers were going door-to-door, looking for survivors - or victims - of the disaster.

"It's what we call a grid operation, where we are checking every single house to see if there are people still trapped inside them," an official with the local Okayama prefecture government told AFP.

"We know it's a race against time, we are trying as hard as we can."

Hideto Yamanaka was leading a team of around 60 firefighters dispatched from outside the prefecture searching homes, Gulf News reported.

"I'm afraid elderly people who were living alone may have failed to escape," said Yamanaka, 53.

Wed, 11 Jul 2018 11:02:31 +0530
Centre formulates action

Union minister Nitin Gadkari chaired an interactive  session of various stakeholders of the travel and tourism trade in Mumbai last week, to formulate  an action plan for realizing the full potential of Cruise Tourism in the country. Union Minister of State for Tourism K.J.Alphonswas also present at the session. Officials of  Mumbai Port Trust,Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation and Tourism Department of Maharashtra Government held detailed deliberations with representatives from the tourism and  travel industry.

The Action Plan that has emerged from these deliberations focusses on developing identified sites as attractive tourist destinations and generating awareness about them both within the country and abroad; ensuring cleanliness and operational efficiency.

As Mumbai would be the hub of Cruise Tourism in the country, it was decided in the meeting that areas like Sassoon Dock and Sewree Fort in the city, and nearby areas like KanhojiAngre Island, Mandwa, Alibaug and Vijaydurg, would be developed as attractive tourist destinations.

In order to attract tourists, water sports activities are being planned around the Marine Drive area. Events like   Ferrari Formula 1 and Grand Prix are also on the anvil.  Mandwa is to be developed as a Wellness Destinations with facilities for activities like Yoga and Meditation to be developed in land belonging to Mumbai Port. Restuarants and other tourist attractions will be developed in the Mumbai Port area in and around the DCT. The State Tourism Department will arrange reception activities like cultural shows for cruise arrivals.

The Action Plan lays a lot of emphasis on publicizing the tourist destinations within the country and abroad through regular interactive sessions with all stakeholders. In case of Mumbai, this would involve Mumbai Port Trust’s participation in Overseas Travel Mart to showcase its tourism projects.

Bollywood will be allowed to shoot in the ICT/DCT/ Water Front of Mumbai Port. Travel agencies will publicize Mumbai-Goa cruise and the Floating Restaurant at Gateway of India and GirgaumChowpatty as tourist attractions for people of Mumbai and outside. Mumbai will also be highlighted among foreigners as an attractive wedding destination. Tourist Information Stands will be set up to provide information to tourists about the various attractions and amenities at the destination. The staff providing information should be professional, have good knowledge about the destination, be proficient in English and other languages. Training will be organized for interpreters to handle foreign tourists.

Wed, 11 Jul 2018 10:05:48 +0530
Road to New India throu

The Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has said the road to ‘New India’ will go through a developed and peaceful ‘New North East’. Addressing the concluding session during the 67th Plenary Session of the NEC in Shillong, he said the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a dream of New India by 2022. The dream of ‘New India’ will be realised with the vision of a ‘New North East’, he added.

The Home Minister said the ‘New North East’ will emerge with better Road Connectivity and Information Technology. “The North East needs better Road Connectivity and it has recently made some progress in this area. The economic potential of the region will be realised with better connectivity,” said Rajnath Singh. “If we can provide quality broadband services in the region the youth of the North East will find the employment opportunities closer to their home. It would also stop the migration of local youth to distant areas of the country,” he added.

Wed, 11 Jul 2018 09:54:30 +0530
Naidu becomes first Chiar

Rajya Sabha has, for the first time in 76 years since it came into being, entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with a foreign counterpart for promoting inter-parliamentary dialogue.

 

2.       Venkaiah Naidu, has, in the process, become the first Chairman of Rajya Sabha to sign such an agreement when he inked an MOU with the visiting President of the Senate of the Republic of Rwanda, Mr. Bernard Makuza.

 

3.       The MOU with 6 articles of cooperation seeks to promote Inter-Parliamentary dialogue, Capacity building of parliamentary staff, Organisation of conferences, forums, seminars, staff attachment programmes, workshops and exchanges, Collaboration in mutual interest in regional and international multilateral parliamentary bodies in furtherance of bilateral relations and friendship between the two countries.

 

4.      Naidu and Makuza discussed issues of bilateral interest and the opportunities for cooperation for mutual benefit. He complimented the people and the Parliament of Rwanda for having 60% of women legislatures.

 

5.       Naidu complimented Rwanda for being elected as the Chair of the African Union in January this year and for successfully hosting in capital Kigali of the Assembly of the African Union in March that resulted in the signing of the African Continent Free Trade Agreement.

 

6.       Mr. Makuza explained the special role of the Senate of Rwanda in monitoring and punishing those responsible for the genocide policy in the country that resulted in the killing of about one million people and also overseeing implementation of the social justice programmes.

 

7.       The three Senator delegation from Rwanda led by Makuza is the first such a delegation exclusively from the Upper House of any country to visit India. The members of the delegation include Senators Ms. Gertrude Kazarwa, Deputy Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Political Affairs and Good Governance and Ms. Therese Kagoyire Vishagara, Member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Security. The delegation is visiting India during 09 to 11, July 2018.

 

8.       Desh Deepak Verma, Secretary General and other senior officials of Rajya Sabha were present during the discussion and signing of MOU.

Wed, 11 Jul 2018 09:36:52 +0530
Vice President calls for

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has called for promoting zero-budget natural in agriculture to make farming viable and sustainable. He was interacting, with the Governor of Himachal Pradesh, Acharya Devvrat, the agricultural expert, Subhash Palekar and the Advisor (Agriculture) to Government of Andhra Pradesh, Vijay Kumar as part of National Consultations to make to double the farmers’ incomes and make agriculture profitable and sustainable.

Acharya Devvrat briefed the Vice President on the best agri-practices adopted in Himachal Pradesh to improve the income of farmers. Subhash Palekar and Vijay Kumar briefed the Vice President on the role Zero-budget farming in bringing down the input costs and promoting natural farming.

The Vice President held extensive discussions on various issues relating to agriculture and also shared the outcomes of National Consultation on Agriculture held in Pune, Maharashtra recently. He said that a series of National Consultations were being held across to seek realistic solutions to make agriculture sustainable and profitable. The Vice President called for innovative solutions to make farming profitable and the scaling up of such solutions.

Unlike in the past, the farmers were facing the problem of plenty and there is a need to streamline the procurement methods. Expressing his concern over increasing input costs and the lack of remunerative prices to farmers, he complimented the Union Government for steeply increasing the MSP for paddy and other kharif crops.

During the interaction, the Vice President complimented the Himachal Pradesh Government for promoting natural farming. He said that other States should emulate Himachal Pradesh as part of mitigating agrarian crisis.

Naidu said farming should be climate-resilient in the wake increasing problems due to climate change. He also stressed the need for eliminating the role of middlemen burden in agriculture and allied activities. Referring to the exorbitant cost of fertilizers and pesticides, he advised the state governments to come out with farmer-friendly policies. There is a greater need for all stakeholders to adopt a balanced approach in protecting the interests of farmers and consumers. 

While commending NITI Aayog for consultation on ‘Zero- Budgeting Natural Farming’, the Vice President said that NITI Aayog must play a bigger role in disseminating research outcomes to farmers.

The Vice President said that he would again hold discussions with them after receiving the recommendations of the national consultations to be held at Chennai and Delhi.

Wed, 11 Jul 2018 09:27:39 +0530
Heavy rain disrupts norma

Heavy rain has been continuing for the third day in Mumbai as it affected the normal life in the city. Non-stop rain has affected the rail transportation in the city as many trains have been running late for almost 30 minutes.

Places like Matunga, Sion, Kurla, Antop Hill, GTB Nagar and Dadar have mostly affected as these places have been experiencing water logging for several hours now.

Tue, 10 Jul 2018 14:33:14 +0530
India Korea inaugurate S

The Prime Minister,Narendra Modi, and the President of the Republic of Korea, Moon Jae-in, today jointly inaugurated a large mobile manufacturing facility of Samsung India Electronics Pvt. Ltd, at Noida.

Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister described the occasion as a special one, in the journey to make India a global manufacturing hub. He said the investment of about Rs. 5000 crore, would not only strengthen Samsung’s business links with India, but is also significant in the context of the relationship between India and Korea.

The Prime Minister noted that digital technology is playing a key role in making the lives of the common man simpler, including through faster and more transparent service delivery. He spoke of the expansion of smartphones, broadband and data connectivity, which he described as signs of a digital revolution in India. In this context, he also spoke of the Government e-Marketplace (GeM), growth of digital transactions, BHIM App, and RuPay cards.

He said the ‘Make in India’ initiative is not just an economic policy measure, but also a resolve of better ties with friendly nations such as South Korea. He said that there is an open invitation for businesses across the world, who want to take advantage of the transparent business culture of New India. He said India’s growing economy, and rising neo middle class, create immense investment possibilities.

The Prime Minister noted that India now ranks second, globally, in the manufacture of mobile phones, with the number of mobile phone manufacturing factories rising from just 2, to 120, in about four years’ time. He said this has created lakhs of employment opportunities.

The Prime Minister asserted that through this new mobile manufacturing facility, the combination of Korean technology, and Indian manufacturing and software support would provide excellent products for the world. He described this as the strength, and the shared vision of both countries.

Tue, 10 Jul 2018 11:19:52 +0530
Nirbhaya case SC uphelds

The men convicted of raping and torturing a medical student on a moving bus in Delhi in 2012 will hang, the Supreme Court ruled today, confirming its earlier decision and rejecting the request of three of four convicts for their sentence to be reduced to a life term, reports NDTV

The top court was asked to reconsider its own ruling in a review plea; the convicts are left with one more legal option of challenging their sentence before they appeal to the President for mercy.

 "There is no new material to review our order", said three judges led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, on the review petition of Mukesh, 29, Pawan Gupta, 22 and Vinay Sharma, 23, NDTV reported.

Mon, 09 Jul 2018 16:29:13 +0530
Heavy rain lashes Mumbai

K.A.Viswanathan

 

King’s circle in Matunga was heavily flooded as heavy rain disrupts normalcy in Mumbai for the second day. A very old Pipal tree fell across the road and on the compound wall of the Jain temple near the King’s Circle police station damaging an Addnl Commissioner of Police’s car parked there.

Fire brigade personnel and police were clearing the debris. People are wading through the water. Fearing heavy rains today most people preferred to stay home and the trains were not much crowded as one passenger coming from Dombivili in the morning said “ surprisingly I could sit and come in the train in the peak hour today.” Most of the roads were waterlogged.

 

 

 

 

Mon, 09 Jul 2018 15:31:22 +0530
PM expresses grief over M

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed grief over the demise of former Meghalaya Governor Mr. M.M. Jacob.

“Saddened by the demise of former Meghalaya Governor Mr. M.M. Jacob. He made notable contributions to the nation as a Parliamentarian, Minister and Governor. He worked extensively for the development of Kerala. My thoughts are with his family and well-wishers in this sad hour”, the Prime Minister said.

Mon, 09 Jul 2018 09:02:26 +0530
Vice President urges doct

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that quality of education in our medical colleges is the life blood of India’s healthy future and asked the medical professionals to be empathetic towards patients while giving treatment. He was addressing the 30th convocation of Tamil Nadu Dr. M.G.R. Medical University, in Chennai.

The Vice President said that universities must offer the best learning environment to our students and stressed on the need to learn from the best minds in the world and we cannot grow if we are insulated and isolated. We cannot contribute to the world of knowledge if we are unaware of the state-of-the-art in any discipline, he added.

The Vice President asked faculty to encourage the students to delve deeper. This will be possible only if the faculty members are themselves good listeners and good lifelong learners, he added.

The Vice President said that quality of healthcare depends mainly on the quality of health care professionals and asked medical professionals and Doctors to have deep understanding and empathy. Young Doctors must work in rural area before getting their first promotion, he added.

The Vice President said that Doctors have a number of emerging opportunities in the present Indian context. He further said that they must be agile to adopt and adapt the best global practices for the benefit of our population. They must constantly set more ambitious goals and strive to achieve them, he added.

Mon, 09 Jul 2018 08:54:05 +0530
Heavy rain disrupts Mumba

K.A.Viswanathan

 

Heavy rains disrupted Mumbai traffic flooding King's Circle and other low lying areas but thanks to Sunday holiday the inconvenience was not felt by commuters as most prefer to stay at home rather than venturing out.

Police were well managing the movements so that no untoward incident happens. All the traffic at King's circle were diverted either over the flyover or via Bhaudaji Road. With the result heavy traffic jam on the King's circle flyover.

 

 

 

 

Mon, 09 Jul 2018 08:37:12 +0530
PM kicks off election cam

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi, addressed a public meeting in Jaipur.

He unveiled a plaque to mark the laying of foundation stone of 13 Urban Infrastructure projects for the State of Rajasthan.

He then witnessed an audio-visual presentation of experience sharing by select beneficiaries of schemes of the Government of India and Government of Rajasthan. This presentation was moderated by the Chief Minister of Rajasthan, Vasundhara Raje. The schemes included Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana, and Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana, among many others.

Addressing the large and enthusiastic gathering, the Prime Minister said he is witnessing first-hand, how Rajasthan welcomes visitors. He said visitors can see the true picture of the progress the State has made in the last few years. He described Rajasthan as a land of courage. Be it living in harmony with nature or defending our nation, Rajasthan has shown the way, he added.

Praising the Chief Minister of Rajasthan, the Prime Minister said she had changed the work culture in the State. The Union Government and the State Government are working together for the progress of Rajasthan, he said. He said that the happiness of the beneficiaries who featured in the presentation today, was evident to everyone present at the gathering.

The Prime Minister spoke at length about how the Union Government is working for the welfare of the farmers. He talked about the increase in Minimum Support Price for various crops, announced for the current Kharif season.

The Prime Minister also mentioned the progress made by various schemes of the Union Government in the State of Rajasthan, including Swachh Bharat Mission, Jan Dhan Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana, Mudra Yojana, Ujjwala Yojana, and Saubhagya Yojana.

Noting that Rajasthan completes 70 years next year, the Prime Minister gave a call to reaffirm the commitment of creating a developed Rajasthan, which will play a pivotal role in the building of a New India.

Sun, 08 Jul 2018 11:08:50 +0530
US Virology Institute hon

The renowned Institute of Human Virology in United States has honoured the chief minister of Kerala Mr Pinarayi Vijayan as the institute appreciated the measures taken by the Kerala government  in order to safeguard people from the devastating effects of Nipah Virus. The rare viral disease had targeted Kerala in the month of May, took the lives of 18 people as well as spreading much fear and alarm in the state.

Dr Robert Gelow, the Co-founder of the institute and also a world famous medical researcher, delivered the honour to the Kerala CM and the state health minister K K Shylaja as well. Mr Gelow was one of the members of the team that detected HIV Virus, which is the prime reason for AIDS.

Earlier, the government officials and the scientists, heads of various academic departments of the institute had discussed many matters, especially about the future of the International Virology Institute, to be built in Thiruvananthapuram.

Sat, 07 Jul 2018 15:50:46 +0530
Summer rain dust storm h

Summer rain and dust storm hit parts of Dubai, Al Ain and the northern emirates while it was hot and humid in the capital on Friday, reports Khaleej Times.

Heavy downpour was reported over Al Khawaneej area in Dubai and Habshan Al Dhafrah in Al Ain while light to moderate rain was experienced over Al Awir in Dubai and Jebel Hafeet in Al Ain. There were also light showers over Al Dhahir and Umm Ghafa, east of Al Ain city and rain showers over some parts of Sharjah, Khaleej Times reported.

Sat, 07 Jul 2018 14:05:46 +0530
95 year old releases her

K.A. Viswanathan

 

When the heart is pure and is filled with divinity, when the urge to attain to the Lord is utmost, the surge of devotion comes out as divine nectar-like songs. Mrs. Parvathy Seshanandan, 95-year-old, a native of Kerala and a resident of Matunga in Mumbai, has composed several devotional songs over the years and eight of them were released at  the Matunga Mysore Association hall amidst a gathering of over 150 people.

 

  

 

The songs written by Mrs.Parvathy includes on Lord Siddhivinayaka, Muruga, Ayyappa, Kanchi Mahaswami and on Bhagawat Gita. She is a devotee of  Lord Ayyappa and has been making a pilgrimage since 35 years. The writer was born in Thiruppanithura in Kerala, in May 1923 and moved to then Bombay after her marriage in 1940.

 

 

She has composed more than 30 songs till now. Eight of the songs were recorded in Bahrain and were played here accompanied by commentary and anecdotes related to her compositions. Her daughter Kalyani Tripurasundari who lives in Bahrain hosted the show. 

Her son S. Sivasubramanian said these lyrics were written 30 years ago and today we are pleased to see so much response to hear her songs. Even at this age, she regularly visits Sri Shankara Mattam, he said.

 

Sat, 07 Jul 2018 12:33:12 +0530
SIES College gets autonom

K. A. Viswanathan

 

The Governor of Maharashtra and Chancellor of Mumbai University C. Vidyasagar Rao, awarded the autonomous college certificate to the SIES College of Arts, Science and Commerce  principal Dr. Uma Shankar at a function held at the college campus, Sion. The vice Chancellor of Mumbai University Mr. Suhas Pednekar and the president of SIES Dr. V. Shankar were also present on the occasion.

The governor lauded the college for its contribution to the State and the country by adopting a tribal village in Karjat  in Raighad district and brought about an integrated development of the village.

The college secured autonomous status from the University Grants Commission from 2018-19 to 2027-28.

“As a Governor, I have special responsibility for the welfare of scheduled areas and therefore I welcome this initiative of the college wholeheartedly.” he said. Through such initiative, we also sensitize students about the socio-economic problems of society. This initiative is worth replicating by other colleges, he added.

“The Hon’ble Prime Minister has promised Rs.10,000 crore and autonomy to 20 universities – 10 public and 10 private to compete globally and emerge as the world’s

best institutions”, the governor said.

"The governor lauded the proposal of the government to set up the Higher Education Commission of India (HECI) which has the potential to reform drastically higher

education in India. A huge focus will be there on academic quality with emphasis on improving learning outcomes, evaluation of academic performance by institutions,

mentoring of institutions, training of teachers, use of technology and so on" , Mr.Vidyasagar Rao said.

Earlier, the governor inaugurated a renovated library named after the former principal Late Prof. S. Ramanathan.

Dr. V.Shankar, president of SIES in his welcome address said the autonomy may be a certification of the potential for excellence, but it brings along with it added responsibility to meet the greater expectations of the students.

Sat, 07 Jul 2018 12:17:15 +0530
Zuckerberg jumps third in

Facebook Cofounder Mark Zuckerberg has leapfrogged Berkshire Hathaway's Warren Buffett and jumps into third position in the list of world's wealthiest people. Zuckerberg now sits behind technology giant Microsoft's owner Bill Gates and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

Zuckerberg now worth $81.6 billion (Rs. 5.61 lakh crore), $373 million more than Buffet.

Facebook has shown an amazing turnaround after the social networking community giant had suffered a setback in the form of data-privacy crisis that hammered its shares as well. Meanwhile, Warren Buffett's shares have shown a steady decline, mainly due to his charity giving. Buffett has already donated about 290 million Berkshire Hathaway Class B shares to charities. Buffett was once the world's wealthiest person.

Sat, 07 Jul 2018 11:55:36 +0530
Shashi Tharoor granted ba

Delhi's Patila House Court has granted bail to the Congress leader Sashi Tharoor in connection with the death of his wife Sunanda Pushkar. The Court allowed regular bail to Tharoor as the court observed that there is no requirement for a formal  bail application since he had already furnished a bail bond of Rs one lakh.

A Delhi court had earlier asked Tharoor to appear before the court on July 7, took cognisance of the chargesheet filed by the Delhi Police which alleges Tharoor's role in abetment of suicide and cruelty towards his wife. The Delhi Police had filed the chargesheet on May 14 and put Tharoor as main accused under sections of IPC 306 and 498A.

Shashi Tharoor's wife Sunanda Pushkar was found dead in a five-star hotel in Delhi on January 17, 2014.

Sat, 07 Jul 2018 11:13:41 +0530
Saudi Forces intercept Ba

The spokesman for the coalition forces "coalition to support the legitimacy in Yemen," Colonel Turki al-Maliki said that, the air defense forces of the alliance spotted the launch of a ballistic missile by the Iran-backed Houthi militia within the territory of Yemen from Imran, towards the territory of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).

Colonel al-Maliki was quoted by Saudi Press Agency (SPA) as saying that the missile was in the direction of the city Jazan and was deliberately launched to target civilian and populated areas, but the Saudi Royal Air Defense forces intercepted and destroyed it, and the missile interception resulted in no casualties.

This hostile act by the Houthi terrorist militia of Iran proves that the Iranian regime continued involvement in supporting the Houthi militia with qualitative capabilities in clear and explicit defiance of UN resolution 2216 and resolution 2231, as such acts aimed at threatening the security of Saudi Arabia and threatening regional as well as international security, al-Malki stated, concluding that the firing of ballistic missiles at populated cities and villages is contrary to both international law and international humanitarian law.

Sat, 07 Jul 2018 10:44:04 +0530
Nawaz Sharif gets 10 year

Pakistan's accountability court found former prime minister Nawaz Sharif guilty in the Avenfield case, awarding him 10 years rigorous imprisonment for owning assets beyond his means and one additional year for not cooperating with the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), reports Khaleej Times.

His daughter Maryam Nawaz, found guilty of abetment in obtaining high-end properties in London, has been given a seven-year sentence, in addition to disqualification from holding public office for ten years. Son-in-law Captain (retd) Safdar has also been given one year for not cooperating in the probe, Khaleej Times reported.

In addition to the sentencing, Sharif and Maryam have been fined 8 million British pounds and 2 million pounds respectively.

The court has also ordered the federal government to confiscate the London apartments.

The Avenfield case was one of three references filed by NAB on orders of the Supreme Court of Pakistan in the landmark Panama Case verdict on July 28, 2017. The other two are in their final stages and expected to conclude in the coming days, reports Khaleej Times.

The PML-N immediately rejected the verdict, calling it legally flawed. Addressing a hurriedly called press conference after the verdict, party president Shahbaz Sharif said he would "take all legal action possible so that justice may be served".

But the only legal option open to the party is appealing against the verdict at the Islamabad High Court.

"They can appeal for suspension of the sentence at the High Court," said Saif ul Mulook, a constitutional expert and former vice president of the Lahore High Court Bar Association, Khaleej Times reported.

Sat, 07 Jul 2018 10:34:23 +0530
Vice President calls for

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has appealed all the Universities in the country to teach various subjects including Science and Technology in their respective mother tongues. He was addressing the Faculty and Students of Pondicherry University, in Puducherry.

The Vice President called for reorientation of teaching methods at educational institutions to bring out the latent talents of the students and stressed on the need to turn universities into global centres of excellence in innovation and research. He further said that higher educational institutions must look closely into its own functioning and identify areas that require reform and those that require transformation. We must also raise the productivity, efficiency and effectiveness and make our processes more transparent, people-friendly and responsive to the needs of our people we are serving, he added.

The Vice President highlighted on the need to fully tap the potential of the human capital by ensuring that they have the knowledge and skills required for the 21st century world.  We must ensure that there are enough opportunities for them to start new enterprises and generate new jobs, he added.

The Vice President asked universities to have an onerous responsibility to create new courses and improve the teaching learning processes to make the students ready to take on these challenges. It is important that students passing out of the portals of our higher educational institutions must possess employable skills, he added.

Saying that education is an instrument for socio-economic transformation of the individuals and the society at large, the Vice President said that it should bring out the best in man and lead to his enlightenment and empowerment. He further said that the Education is the process of continuous learning and does not end with the acquisition of a degree. It must inculcate strong moral and ethical values and facilitate the holistic development of an individual. Education must build character, competence and capacity besides promoting good conduct, he added.   

The Vice President said that the love for learning and quest for solutions needs to be an integral part of every school and University system. He further said that there is a need to vastly improve the quality of education in the Indian universities. The faculty must be constantly learning and help students to access new resources and update the knowledge base, he added.

Sat, 07 Jul 2018 10:19:51 +0530
Chief Justice master of

The Supreme Court of India has underlined in its statement that the Chief Justice is undoubtedly the "master of roster" and has the power to assign cases. The top court was delivering a ruling in a petition that seeks to remove the power of the Chief Justice to assign cases to the bench and demanded the same to the Collegium.

The former law minister and senior lawyer Shanti Bhushan had filed a petition seeking clarification over the power of the Chief Justice in assigning cases to the bench and his role as "master of roster".

"The Chief Justice (CJI) has the role of first among equals and is empowered to exercise leadership in administration of the court which includes assignment of cases," said Justices AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan, confirming the verdict by two previous benches.

Justice AK Sikri has delivered the verdict in the petition filed by Shanti Bhushan through his son Prashant Bhushan. The four senior most judges in the Supreme court had earlier publicly protested against the Chief Justice Dipak Misra in January over the issue of splitting of cases.

Fri, 06 Jul 2018 14:32:03 +0530
Vice President visits Cel

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has visited the infamous Cellular Jail in Port Blair, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, where valiant freedom fighters were meted out most cruel and inhuman treatment by the British. He also paid tributes to the heroes of the freedom moment.

The Vice President also visited solitary confinement cell of Veer Savarkar at the Cellular Jail and paid tributes to great freedom fighter. The purpose of solitary confinement was to demoralise freedom fighters, keep them in small, solitary cells without any scope to interact with fellow prisoners and local people, he said.

The Vice President was received by the Lt. Governor of Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Admiral D.K. Joshi and other dignitaries, on his arrival, in Port Blair, Andaman & Nicobar Islands. He was also given the Guard-of-Honour jointly by the Army, Navy and Airforce.

Fri, 06 Jul 2018 13:34:15 +0530
Vice President lauds pict

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that the picturesque Andaman & Nicobar Islands not only represent the nature’s splendor but are also a microcosm of India’s multi-cultural, multi-religious and multi-linguistic social mosaic.

He was addressing the gathering at the ceremonial Civic Reception given by the Port Blair Municipal Corporation on his maiden visit to the islands of Andaman & Nicobar.

Calling islands an integral part of the national freedom struggle, the Vice President said that the place evokes a sense of reverence and inspiration because of their unique historical legacy as these islands were an integral part of the national freedom struggle. These islands are already attracting a lot of tourists and there is still a tremendous potential that can be tapped if connectivity can be further improved, he added

The Vice President has urged Centre and State Governments to sponsor visits of school and college students from different parts of the country to the Cellular Jail so that they get acquainted with the sacrifices made by our valiant freedom fighters. While the islands have become one of the favorite destinations for tourists, their connection with India’s freedom struggle needs to be highlighted so that the people in the rest of the country, particularly the younger generation become aware of the infamous Cellular Jail at Port Blair, where many of India’s freedom fighters were tortured by the British in the most cruel and brutal manner, he added.

The Vice President called the islands a precious jewel given by the Mother Nature and said that they must be preserved in their pristine purity. Let us add more lustre to them by making them hubs of sustainable socio-economic development. Let us make them the inspirational lighthouses of historical legacy, he added.

The Vice President emphasized on the importance of protecting the environment, pristine natural wealth of these islands. While complimenting the administration for taking up various developmental and welfare measures, we must ensure that the nature and the indigenous tribes who have been living here for thousands of years are protected, he added.

Fri, 06 Jul 2018 13:26:02 +0530
ISRO demonstrates Crew Es

ISRO carried out a major technology demonstration today, the first in a series of tests to qualify a Crew Escape System, which is a critical technology relevant for human spaceflight. The Crew Escape System is an emergency escape measure designed to quickly pull the crew module along with the astronauts to a safe distance from the launch vehicle in the event of a launch abort. The first test (Pad Abort Test) demonstrated the safe recovery of the crew module in case of any exigency at the launch pad.

After a smooth countdown of 5 hours, the Crew Escape System along with the simulated crew module with a mass of 12.6 tonnes, lifted off at 07.00 AM (IST) at the opening of the launch window from its pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota today. The test was over in 259 seconds, during which the Crew Escape System along with crew module soared skyward, then arced out over the Bay of Bengal and floated back to Earth under its parachutes about 2.9 km from Sriharikota. 

The crew module reached an altitude of nearly 2.7 km under the power of its seven specifically designed quick acting solid motors to take away the crew module to a safe distance without exceeding the safe g-levels. Nearly 300 sensors recorded various mission performance parameters during the test flight. Three recovery boats are being exercised to retrieve the module as part of the recovery protocol.

Fri, 06 Jul 2018 12:09:04 +0530
Rajnath Singh reviews sec

During his two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir, the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh reviewed the security situation and developmental issues in the State at a high-level meeting in Srinagar. State Governor NN Vohra, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba and senior officers of MHA and State Government were present.

The Union Home Minister reiterated the Government’s commitment to take all possible measures that would bring accountability, transparency and good governance in the system. With renewed focus on Good Governance and development, the Centre is looking forward to kindle new aspirations and hopes amongst the people of the State, he added.

Rajnath Singh said development and Good Governance had remained elusive for the common people of J&K. The solution to problems lies in empowerment of the people and strengthening the institutions of local self-governance.

The Union Home Minister said the dream of a developed and prosperous Jammu and Kashmir would be realised when there is peace and normalcy in the state. It is the Government’s firm resolve to bring peace, stability and prosperity through an honest, effective and efficient administration for the problems facing the state, he added.

Fri, 06 Jul 2018 11:31:06 +0530
Education is the most im

The Vice President M.Venkaiah Naidu has said that Education is the most important tool for transformation of the society through enlightenment and empowerment. Addressing the gathering at the Dr.B.R. Ambedkar Institute of Technology in Port Blai, he said that Indian higher education system needs to reinvent itself to respond to the emerging challenges of a rapidly changing knowledge economy.

The Vice President said that the ‘real education’ must foster all-round development of students. It should lay equal emphasis on academic excellence and skills for self-employment or gainful employment, he added.

Talking on the need to reorient teaching methods, syllabi and the learning processes to meet the challenges of the globalized 21st century knowledge society, he called for revamping the education system from KG to PG to make it more rigorous, effective and quality- oriented. Emphasis should be there on developing a holistic personality and not merely producing certificate holders, he added.

Stressing that students coming out of higher educational institutions must have empathy, compassion and respect for elders and teachers, he said that they should not only be tech-savvy and scholarly but more importantly, they should have unshakeable integrity and honesty with strong ethical and moral values.

The Vice President said that there is a need to inculcate scientific temper and cultivate a scientific outlook right from early childhood. Children should be made to learn through hands-on experiments rather than focusing on rote-learning, he added.

The Vice President has advised students to become job creators rather than becoming job seekers. He further advised the students to be creative, innovative and try to explore unchartered territories and don’t be afraid of setbacks. Dedication, passion, commitment, hard work, discipline and perseverance will make realize your dreams and achieve your goals, he added.

Thu, 05 Jul 2018 16:37:33 +0530
UAE clears air on expulsi

The UAE has affirmed that since the announcement of the severing of relations with Qatar was made by the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation on June 5th, 2017, in support of the same decisions of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, the UAE has not issued any legal or administrative laws or orders relating to the expulsion of Qatari citizens from UAE territory, nor did it take any action to expel Qatari citizens and nationals who remained in the UAE following the expiry of the 14 day period referred to in the announcement.

This came in a statement released today by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Below is the full text of the statement: "Since its announcement on June 5th, 2017, pursuant to which the United Arab Emirates took certain measures against Qatar for national security reasons, the UAE has instituted a requirement for all Qatari citizens overseas to obtain prior permission for entry into the UAE. Permission may be granted for a limited-duration period, at the discretion of the UAE Government.

The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation wishes to confirm that Qatari citizens already resident in the UAE need not apply for permission to continue residence in the UAE. However, all Qatari citizens resident in the UAE are encouraged to obtain prior permission for re-entry into UAE territory.

All applications for entry clearance may be made through the telephone hotline announced on June 11th, 2017 (+9718002626).

As a result of the false accusations made by the State of Qatar against the UAE, the UAE deems it necessary to affirm its long-standing policy on the entry and residence conditions applicable to persons of Qatari citizenship. Since the announcement severing relations with Qatar was made by the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation on June 5th , 2017 in support of the same decisions of the Kingdom of Bahrain and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the UAE has not issued any legal or administrative laws or orders relating to the expulsion of Qatari citizens from UAE territory. The UAE took no action to expel Qatari citizens and national who remained in the UAE following the expiry of the 14 day period referred to in the June 5th, 2017 announcement.

The UAE regrets that Qatar continues to misrepresent the UAE’s policy on the entry and residence conditions applicable to Qatari citizens. The UAE affirms its full respect and appreciation for the people of Qatar.

The UAE will continue to maintain all measures instituted against the Qatari government to address the threat it poses to regional security and the people of the UAE.

The UAE calls upon Qatar to respect its international commitments and to cease its policies of sponsoring and harbouring terrorist organisations and individuals, interfering in the affairs of its neighbours and giving a platform to extremists through its religious institutions and its government controlled media networks."

Thu, 05 Jul 2018 11:34:29 +0530
Modi interacts with young

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi, interacted with over 170 young IAS officers who have recently been appointed Assistant Secretaries in the Government of India. 

The Prime Minister encouraged them to share their experiences of field training. He discussed with them, some of the elements of good governance, including Jan Bhagidaari, information flows, optimal utilisation of resources, and people's trust in governance. 

Recent governance initiatives such as Gram Swaraj Abhiyan, and Ayushman Bharat, also came up for discussion. 

Minister of State in PMO, Dr. Jitendra Singh and senior officials from the Department of Personnel and Training were present on the occasion.

Thu, 05 Jul 2018 11:00:16 +0530
Abdullah bin Zayed visits

As part of his official visit to India, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of UAE, took part in a round-table meeting, which was held in Mumbai.

The meeting, attended by CEOs of leading companies in India, discussed means of boosting cooperation between the UAE and India, especially in economic, investment and commercial fields.

Sheikh Abdullah said he was pleased with his meeting with the Indian CEOs, adding that the meeting had contributed in enriching the ongoing dialogue, exploring opportunities for joint ventures and exchanging ideas and expertise on mutual cooperation.

The meeting was attended by Mohammed Sharaf Al Hashemi, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for Economic and Commercial Affairs, Dr. Ahmed Abdul Rahman Al Banna, UAE Ambassador to India, and Mohammed Saleh Al Tenaiji, UAE Consul-General in Mumbai.

Wed, 04 Jul 2018 17:57:44 +0530
AAP wins power battle in

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Delhi gets a major relief in the form of Supreme Court ruling as the top court ruled that the real power must lie with the elected government in the national capital.

The Supreme Court's five member constitution bench led by chief justice Dipak Mishra pronounced a significant verdict in a case filed by the AAP against a High court's ruling which states that the Lieutenant Governor has the independent decision-making power.

"Lieutenant Governor's power is not equivalent to Governor. Not every activity required Governor's permission. The Governor must also act accordingly to the cabinet decision", the court said.

The Supreme Court's landmark ruling will come as a major boost for the AAP government who is always in a power battle with the Lieutenant Governor as well as with the centre.

Wed, 04 Jul 2018 12:32:33 +0530
India to create two more

Encouraged by the recently expanded cooperation in energy with the UAE, India’s cabinet has decided to create two more strategic petroleum reserves, the Finance Minister, Piyush Goyal announced.

The two new strategic petroleum reserves will have a combined capacity of 6.5 million tonnes, Goyal said after a meeting of the cabinet, presided by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

He said India will soon approach potential investors, notably in the Gulf countries to operate the new reserves on a public-private-partnership basis.

When Modi was in Abu Dhabi in February, the two sides signed an agreement to fill two existing strategic reserves in Mangalore with oil supplied by Abu Dhabi. In May, the first shipment of crude of approximately two million tonnes meant for the Mangalore reserve was loaded in Abu Dhabi.

Its arrival in India was subsequently celebrated with great fanfare by India’s oil industry. The new strategic petroleum reserves will be in Chandikhol in Odisha with a four-million-tonnes capacity and at Padur in Karnataka with a 2.5-million-tonnes capacity.

India currently has strategic reserves to meet 10 days requirement of crude. The two new facilities will be provide additional supplies for about 12 more days.

Wed, 04 Jul 2018 11:53:07 +0530
Centre warns WhatsApp for

Instances of lynching of innocent people have been noticed recently because of large number of irresponsible and explosive messages filled with rumours and provocation are being circulated on WhatsApp. The unfortunate killing in many states such as Assam, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tripura and west Bengals are deeply painful and regretable.

While the Law and order machinery is taking steps to apprehend the culprits, the abuse of platform like WhatsApp for repeated circulation of such provocative content are equally a matter of deep concern.

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has taken serious note of these irresponsible messages and their circulation in such platforms. Deep disapproval of such developments has been conveyed to the senior management of the WhatsApp and they have been advised that necessary remedial measures should be taken to prevent proliferation of  these  fake  and at times motivated/sensational messages. The Government has also directed that spread of such messages should be immediately contained through the application of appropriate technology.

It has also been pointed out that such platform cannot evade accountability and responsibility specially when good technological inventions are abused by some miscreants who resort to provocative messages which lead to spread of violence.

The Government has also conveyed in no uncertain terms that WhatsApp must take immediate action to end this menace and ensure that their platform is not used for such malafide activities.

Wed, 04 Jul 2018 11:28:03 +0530
Abdullah bin Zayed visits

As part of his official visit to India, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in UAE, and his delegation visited the headquarters of Ashok Leyland, one of largest subsidiaries of the Hinduja Group.

Sheikh Abdullah and his delegation were received by Ashok Hinduja, Chairman of the Hinduja Group of Companies, who also manages the group's sustainability and renewable energy initiatives.

Officials conducted interactive and 3D presentations on the group’s services and facilities, as well as its activities and achievements in various sectors, such as motor vehicles, information technology, IT, foundries, media, entertainment, telecommunications, banking and financial services, infrastructure, oil and gas, properties and healthcare.

Sheikh Abdullah was also briefed about Ashok Leyland and its technical centre. The Chennai-based company is the second largest commercial vehicle manufacturer in India and is one of the largest global manufacturers of trucks.

He praised the group’s capabilities and the skills of its staff and wished them success.

Sheikh Abdullah was accompanied by Dr. Ahmed Abdul Rahman Al Banna, UAE Ambassador to India.

Wed, 04 Jul 2018 11:14:43 +0530
Election Commission launc

The Chief Election Commissioner O.P. Rawat, along with the Election Commissioners Sunil Arora and Ashok  Lavasa launched a mobile app, called ‘Cvigil,’ for citizens to report any violation of the model code of conduct during elections.

“cVIGIL" is a user-friendly and easy to operate Android application. It will be operational only where elections are announced. However, the beta version of the app will be made available for the public and election staff to download so that they can acquaint themselves with its features and also try sending dummy data. Upon successful completion of the trial that is underway, the application will be made available for general use by all, right from the forthcoming Assembly elections in the States of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram and Rajasthan. The practical use of the app during the four-state Assembly polls will also serve as a pilot initiative before it is put to extensive use during the next Lok Sabha General Elections.

The app requires an Android smartphone equipped with a camera, good internet connection and GPS access. The operating system should be Android Jellybean and above. The application supports all the latest Android smartphones.

 “cVIGIL” will allow anyone in the election-bound state to report violations of Model Code of Conduct (MCC) that comes into effect from the date of announcement of elections and goes on till a day after the polls. By using this app, citizens can immediately report on incidents of misconduct within minutes of having witnessed them and without having to rush to the office of the returning officer to lodge a complaint.

The vigilant citizen has to click a picture or record a video of upto two minutes’ duration of the scene of violations of the model code. The photo or video is to be uploaded on the app. The automated location mapping will be done by the app using the Geographic Information System. After its successful submission through the app, the vigilant citizen gets a Unique ID to track and receive the follow up updates on her or his mobile. A citizen can report many incidents in this manner and will get a unique id for each report for follow up updates. The identity of the complainant will be kept confidential.

Once the complaint is lodged, the information beeps in the District Control Room from where it is assigned to a Field Unit. A field unit consists of Flying Squads, Static Surveillance Teams, Reserve teams etc. Each Field Unit will have a GIS-based mobile application called ‘cVIGIL Dispatcher’, which allows the unit to directly reach the location through navigation technology and take action.

After a Field Unit has taken action, it messages and uploads the relevant document as ‘action taken report’ via the ‘cVIGIL Dispatcher’ to the returning officer concerned for his decision and disposal. If the incident is found correct, the information is sent to the National Grievance Portal of the Election Commission of India for further action and the vigilant citizen is informed about the action taken within a hundred minutes.

Wed, 04 Jul 2018 10:56:30 +0530
Former Kenyan PM Odinga m

Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Mr. Raila Odinga, Former Prime Minister and the Leader of Opposition in Kenya, in New Delhi.

Prime Minister Modi fondly recalled their long association, going back over a decade when he had visited Kenya as the Chief Minister of Gujarat. Mr. Odinga also warmly recalled his earlier visits to India in 2009 and 2012.

The two leaders discussed the progress in India-Kenya relations in recent years, as well as regional and global issues of mutual interest.

Wed, 04 Jul 2018 10:37:36 +0530
Naidu s tips to make agri

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that we need to adopt a multi-pronged strategy to make Agriculture viable and profitable and the farm income must be supplemented by non-farm occupations and value addition through food processing. He was addressing Scientists, Farm Experts and Farmers at the Central Research Institute for Dryland Agriculture (CRIDA), in Hyderabad.

Observing that agriculture is the backbone of our economy, The Vice President said unless this sector performs well consistently, the trajectory of the country’s progress will not be smooth. He further said that change is required in Agriculture as there is a change in climate, change in market conditions, change in world order and change in food habits. Allied services like fisheries, poultry, horticulture, food processing and packaging need to promoted to improve farmers’ income, he added. 

The Vice President said that the need of the hour is to make agriculture profitable and sustainable with consistent increase in its growth rate. All the stakeholders involved in agriculture must come to the rescue of the Annadata or else we will be failing in our moral duty, he added.

The Vice President said that vagaries of weather - from high intensity rainfall events to prolonged dry spells have drastically impacted agriculture. He further said that hailstorms, heat waves and perennial droughts are some of the causes for agrarian distress. The uncertainties are driving farmers’ into debt traps and also leading to their suicides, he added.

The Vice President stressed on the need to address the agrarian crisis in a systematic way so that the farmers become prosperous. He further said that creating awareness among the farmers on traditional and modern methods of water conservation will help in effective water budgeting for agricultural activities. Protection of cattle health is important to increase farmers' income, he added.

Highlighting the need to have homegrown food security, he said that no country which was dependent on others for its food security has been successful. Let us rise to occasion and pledge to sustain famers’ livelihoods so that they can live with their heads held high, he added.

Wed, 04 Jul 2018 10:22:39 +0530
Lulu Group launches new h

LuLu Group launched a new hypermarket concept and revamped store design at The Mall in World Trade Center Abu Dhabi, reports Khaleej Times.

LuLu's 148th store was inaugurated by Aldar Properties chief executive officer Talal Al Dhiyebi along with LuLu Group chairman and managing director Yusuff Ali M.A., executive director Ashraf Ali M.A. and CEO Saifee Rupawala, Khaleej Times reported.

Situated within Abu Dhabi's central business district, the store has more than 100,000 square feet area.

Yusuff Ali said the newly launched hypermarket significantly adds to the portfolio of LuLu Hypermarket chains. "LuLu has been the shopping partner of different nationalities and we will continue to preserve this identity with our new store. This new hypermarket introduces a newly improved design and space, which will further strengthen the world-class shopping experience", reports Khaleej Times.

Talal Al Dhiyebi welcomed the opening of LuLu Hypermarket. "Aldar has an enviable portfolio of retail assets including malls and retail community centres throughout Abu Dhabi and Al Ain. We constantly review our retail mix to ensure we provide residents and visitors alike with the right balance of brands. This hypermarket, along with the nine other new brands that have opened at The Mall so far this year, expands the existing mix of retailers and will drive further footfall while responding to local resident demand."

Tue, 03 Jul 2018 16:20:29 +0530
Indian expat wins Dh7 mil

An Indian expat, who lives in Abu Dhabi, has won Dh7 million in a raffle in Abu Dhabi. Indians again won big at the lottery this month taking away most prizes, reports Khaleej Times.

Tojo Mathew, who had purchased ticket no. 075171 at Big Ticket Abu Dhabi, was announced as the winner of the bumper prize on Tuesday.  Nine other winners won Dh100,000 at the lottery today. The winners included five Indians, one Pakistani, and one from Kuwait, Khaleej Times reported.

Indian expat Eqlaqh Kamil Qureshi won the BMW series 02. 

The dream Dh7 million prize was announced at the Abu Dhabi International Airport's arrivals hall at 10am.

Tue, 03 Jul 2018 13:06:38 +0530
Sheikh Abdullah meets IIS

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, has visited the Centre for Nanoscience and Engineering, at IISc in Bangalore, Karnataka State, India.

Sheikh Abdullah and his accompanying delegation were briefed by the centre's officials about its activities, researches, technical sciences and 13 laboratories. He also learned about the centre's current research topics including, but not limited to nanoelectronics, MEMS/NEMS, nanomaterials and devices, photonics, nano-biotechnology, solar cells and computational nano-engineering.

Sheikh Abdullah hailed the research facilities and advanced laboratory equipment for nanotechnology and science. He also praised the great efforts of the staff of the centre and wished them success.

The officials and the working team of the centre welcomed the visit of Sheikh Abdullah and expressed their aspirations to strengthen relations between the two friendly countries and its people.

Sheikh Abdullah was accompanied by Dr. Ahmad bin Abdullah Humaid Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Skills and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the UAE Space Agency, Dr. Ahmed Abdul Rahman Al-Banna, UAE Ambassador to the Republic of India, and Jamal Hussein Al Zaabi, Consul-General of UAE in Kerala.

Tue, 03 Jul 2018 12:51:35 +0530
Sheikh Abdullah meets Kar

As part of his official visit to India, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and his delegation met H. D. Kumaraswamy, Chief Minister of Karnataka.

The meeting saw discussions on friendship and cooperation ties in the areas of the economy, commerce, investment, culture, education, healthcare, space and energy between the UAE and Karnataka.

Sheikh Abdullah highlighted the UAE's keenness to enhance its bilateral relations and cooperation with the State of Karnataka, in light of the excellent ties with India.

Kumaraswamy welcomed Sheikh Abdullah and expressed his country's desire to further strengthen its ties with the UAE.

The meeting was attended by Dr. Ahmad bin Abdullah Humaid Belhoul Al Falasi, Cabinet Member and Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Skills and Chairman of the UAE Space Agency; Dr. Ahmed Abdul Rahman Al Banna, UAE Ambassador to India, and Jamal Hussain Al Zaabi, UAE Consul-General in Kerala.

Tue, 03 Jul 2018 12:47:31 +0530
Mass suicide in Delhi

11 members in a family, including seven ladies, residing in Burari area of Delhi found mysteriously dead in their home. They hanged themselves in their home which turned into a "mass suicide".

Among the 11 people dead, 10 were hanged with eyes tied while one body was lying on the floor.

Tue, 03 Jul 2018 12:10:19 +0530
Railway bridge collapsed

The railway bridge in Andheri, connecting the Eastern Andheri and Western Andheri, collapsed due to heavy rain, leaving six persons injured.  A portion of the Gokhale bridge which connects both western and eastern parts of Andheri was collapsed around 7.30am in the morning.

The train services in the western suburban lines have been halted as the bridge fell over to the railway track.

Fire and rescue force as well as police rushed on to the spot immediately and led the rescue operations. The police informed that they have rescued two men and a lady who were trapped under the debris. 

Tue, 03 Jul 2018 11:40:02 +0530
Sheikh Al Nahyan visits I

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of UAE,visited the Indian Space Research Organisation, ISRO, in Bengaluru, Karnataka, which maintains one of the largest fleets of communication satellites, INSAT, and remote sensing, IRS, satellites.

Sheikh Abdullah was briefed by the ISRO officials on the programmes of the agency, which was launched in the 1960s, and its notable achievements, including the launching of the first indigenously developed satellite, Aryabhata, on 19th April, 1975, and the successful placing of Rohini satellite in orbit in 1980 onboard the Satellite Launch Vehicle, SLV-3.

Sheikh Abdullah emphasised the importance of cooperation on space programmes between the UAE and India, especially after the signing of an MoU between the UAE Space Agency and ISRO for cooperation on peaceful exploration of space. The MoU was signed during the visit of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to India on 11th February, 2016.

Sheikh Abdullah was accompanied by Dr. Ahmad bin Abdullah Humaid Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Skills and Chairman of the UAE Space Agency; Dr. Ahmed Abdul Rahman Al-Banna, UAE Ambassador to India, and Jamal Hussain Al Zaabi, UAE Consul-General in Kerala.

Mon, 02 Jul 2018 16:29:15 +0530
President PM greet Naidu

The President Ramnath Kovind, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, several Governors, Chief Ministers and several prominent persons extended greetings and good wishes to the Vice President of India Venkaiah Naidu, on his 69th Birthday.

The President tweeted wishing Naidu long years of healthy life in the service of the Nation.

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his tweet said: “Venkaiah ji has an exceptional record of public service. He is widely respected as an administrator and for his knowledge of Parliamentary procedures. I wish him a long and healthy life ahead.”

The Union Home Minister, Rajnath Singh and other Ministers called on Venkaiah Naidu and conveyed their greetings.

Several Governors, Chief Ministers and leaders from various political parties including the former Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh have extended greetings to Naidu over phone. Spiritual teacher Jaggi Vasudev was among the other prominent persons who greeted the Vice President.

Naidu kept a busy schedule on his birthday hosting a farewell for the outgoing Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha, Prof. P.J. Kurien besides addressing a large number of Heads of Missions of India in various countries in the presence of the Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj and the Minister of State for External Affairs M.J. Akbar.

Mon, 02 Jul 2018 14:04:56 +0530
Abhilash Tomy to particip

Commander Abhilash Tomy of the Indian Navy is all set to head off on a unique voyage. The officer is the only invitee from Asia to participate in the prestigious Golden Globe Race (GGR) that commences from Les Sables d’Olonne harbour in France. The participants are required to sail around the world, single-handed and non-stop. The uniqueness of the race is that boat designs and technology newer than 1968 is not permitted, hence use of Global Positioning System (GPS), satellite communication, navigational aids, etc is forbidden.

The Golden Globe Race is being conducted by Sir Robin Knox Johnston of UK to commemorate 50 years since the world’s first solo non-stop circumnavigation undertaken by him in 1968 onboard the Indian built boat, Suhaili.

Commander Abhilash Tomy is one of India’s most prominent sailors. He has covered 53,000 nautical miles under sail, including a solo non-stop circumnavigation of the globe in 2012-13 onboard Indian Naval Sailing Vessel (INSV) Mhadei. He is also a recipient of the Kirti Chakra, Mac Gregor and Tenzing Norgay awards.

Commander Abhilash Tomy is representing India, sailing on a replica of Suhaili. The indigenously built sailing vessel ‘Thuriya’ has been built by M/s Aquarius Shipyard Ltd at Goa. The boat showcases India’s boat building capability on the world forum and promotes the ‘Make in India’ initiative. Thuriya stands for pure consciousness and is the background that transcends the three common states of consciousness, namely waking consciousness, dreaming and dreamless sleep.

The race is expected to complete at Les Sables d’Olonne in April 2019. Progress of the race can be viewed on the official GGR website (http://www.goldengloberace.com)

Mon, 02 Jul 2018 13:55:02 +0530
PM condemns terror attack

The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has strongly condemned the terror attacks in Afghanistan yesterday.

“We strongly condemn the terror attacks in Afghanistan yesterday. They are an attack on Afghanistan's multicultural fabric. My thoughts are with the bereaved families. I pray that the injured recover soon. India stands ready to assist the Afghanistan government in this sad hour”, the Prime Minister said.

Mon, 02 Jul 2018 13:42:14 +0530
Vice President urges Indi

Expressing concern over “clear signs of turbulence in the present world order’, the Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu today urged the Heads of Indian Missions across the world to be agile and careful and defend the country’s interests, leveraging India’s moral and material strengths to influence the global discourse through carefully strategised diplomatic response.

Naidu addressed over 125 Indian Ambassadors and High Commissioners at his official residence for 45 minutes in the presence of the Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj, the Minister of State for External Affairs, M.J. Akbar, the Foreign Secretary, Vijay Gokhale and the Secretary to the Vice President, I.V. Subba Rao were present on the occasion.

The Vice President said “Despite the acknowledged need for an Integrated World Order, new ‘walls’ are being erected to the free flow of goods and services and movement of people as well. This return to protectionism has the potential to adversely impact the global effort for collective advancement. There are clear signs of turbulence in the present world order. As the representatives of India in various capitals of the world, you should be alert, agile and quick in grasping the causes and consequences of such disturbances.”

Referring to the enhanced global interest in India story further to the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi’s energetic efforts during the last four years to present a New India to the world, Shri Naidu urged the diplomats to convert this global enthusiasm about India into investments.

Naidu stressed the need “to weave the narrative of India by deftly drawing upon the country’s unique treasures and the timeless values as well as bring alive the excitement of the current phase of economic growth and transformative momentum in contemporary India”.

The Vice President urged the diplomats to be proactive in shaping global position against terrorism, black money and the fugitives.

Referring to the scope of inspired campaign against the rising India, Shri Naidu stressed the need to quickly address perceptions like ‘Women are not safe in India’.

The Vice President observed that with the country’s core civilisational principle of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam”, the world’s largest flourishing democracy, firm commitment to negotiated resolution of disputes and the rising economic and other strengths, India has the necessary moral and material strength to influence global discourse in the interest of humanity.

Naidu urged the Heads of Missions saying “As you carefully sift the ‘negotiables’ from the ‘non-negotiables’, I would urge you to test each of your statements and stance you take in various forums from two essential standpoints. Does it advance world peace and prosperity? and Does it protect our national interests?”.

Mon, 02 Jul 2018 11:22:28 +0530
Bus falls in Gorge in Utt

20 people have died and many others injured after a bus plunged into gorge in Uttarakhand's Pauri Garwal district.

20 bodies have been recovered so far and 12 people have been critically injured. The injured people have been referred to the hospital.

 ANI reports that the number of casualties is expected to rise.  

Sun, 01 Jul 2018 13:01:54 +0530
Girl commits suicide in M

A 14-year old girl, residing in Mumbai's Kandivali East, committed suicide after she jumped off a high rise building in the area's Thakur village. The entire incident was captured in a mobile camera.

The girl jumped off from the 8th floor of Orchid Tower, adjacent to the building where she resided. Many people who were watching the horrible scene had tried to change her mind but she soon jumped before any help could reach her.

The girl was studying in 9th std in a private hospital in Kandivali and she is survived by her parents and her younger sister. The reason behind victim's suicide is yet to be confirmed.

Sat, 30 Jun 2018 11:40:53 +0530
UAE Minister visits Sabar

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, has visited the Gandhi Ashram at Sabarmati, India, the residence of Mahatma Gandhi at Ahmedabad, as part of his official visit to India.

Sheikh Abdullah toured the place and the Ashram Guest House, which receives millions of visitors, as well as the family rooms that tell the history of Gandhi. He was also briefed about the ancient manuscripts of Mahatma Gandhi.

Sheikh Abdullah tried out the charkha, spinning wheel used by Gandhi for spinning thread or yarn from natural or synthetic fibres H.H. also toured the museum, which includes historical paintings and pictures about the life of Gandhi.

At the end of the tour, he placed a wreath of wool on the Mahatma Gandhi statue in the Ashram.

Dr. Ahmed Abdul Rahman Al-Banna, UAE Ambassador to the Republic of India, accompanied Sheikh Abdullah during the tour.

Sat, 30 Jun 2018 09:56:51 +0530
India UAE celebrate birt

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj announced the first of its kind joint UAE-India exhibition celebrating the late visionary leaders Sheikh Zayed and Mahatma Gandhi.

The initiative allows people to gain insight into the lives and legacies of exceptional leaders, commemorating the 100th birth anniversary of Sheikh Zayed and the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. The interactive content showcases rare photos, videos and objects representing the life works and philosophies of both renowned leaders using cutting-edge technologies.

The Zayed-Gandhi Digital Museum would be launched in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates aligning with the 'Year of Zayed' programmes and perpetuating the legacy and honourable memory of the nation's Founding Father and India’s Father of Nation. It also reaffirms the historical ties and shared values of peace, tolerance and sustainability between the UAE and India.

Sat, 30 Jun 2018 09:52:30 +0530
Fire catches commercial b

Major fire engulfed the Shalimar building in the Lawrence Compound near Khira Industrial Estate, at Santacruz West in Mumbai.

The mobile tower of the building was totally damaged and burned though the firefighters had rushed on to the spot immediately. No casualties have been reported so far.

Sat, 30 Jun 2018 08:46:32 +0530
Vice President urges all

The Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu has said that every citizen must play an active role in nation building. People are not merely recipients or beneficiaries, but active agents of change, he said while addressing the gathering on the occasion of the 125th Birth Anniversary of Prof. Mahalanobis in Kolkata, today.

Vice President called Prof. Mahalanobis an iconic visionary who introduced the Indian sub-continent to the field of statistics. His vision, focus, and his application-driven research in the field of statistics, is the bedrock of the modern official statistical system in practice in our country today, he said.

The Vice President said that over 65% of our population are under 35 years of age and it is crucial to turn this ‘potential’ asset in and ‘actual’ asset. If we fail to tap into this reservoir of human resources and turn it into human capital, it will be a missed opportunity and the country would have to cope with a number of socio-economic consequences including poverty inequality, social unrest and unsustainable growth, he said.

We need to equip this young population with the skills, knowledge and attitude required for the knowledge economy of the twenty first century to realize the demographic dividend, he said.

The Vice President said that statistics is truly the backbone of good governance. It is absolutely essential for planning and indispensable for monitoring and evaluation. We need data to improve the quality of life and to make informed choices, we need statistics, we need tools to analyze and synthesize, he said.

The Vice President said that India has a tradition that was built by numerous mathematical geniuses like Bhaskaracharya, Aryabhata and Srinivasa Ramanujan. There is a need to continue this tradition of excellence and strengthen the quality of mathematics teaching at school, college and University level, he added.

Fri, 29 Jun 2018 18:23:21 +0530
PM Modi meets members of

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi, today met a group of ten tribal students from Maharashtra. The students were a part of a team of the “Mission Shaurya” initiative of the Adivasi Vikas Vibhag of the Maharashtra State Government. Five students out of this group successfully scaled Mt. Everest in May 2018.

The students shared their experiences during the training and ascent of Mt. Everest. The Prime Minister congratulated the students on their achievements. He exhorted them to take up a sport, and pursue it regularly. He felicitated all the members of the group.

Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis, and Union MoS for Home Affairs, Hansraj Ahir, were present on the occasion.

Fri, 29 Jun 2018 18:13:07 +0530
Details of Indians who de

Union Minister Piyush Goyal has said that full details of the Indians who deposited money in the Swiss banks will be made public by the end of fiscal 2019. The minister was reacting to the latest data released by Switzerland that money deposited by the Indians jumped over 50 per cent to 1.01 billion Swiss francs in 2017.

“If anybody is found guilty, strict action will be taken against them”, said Railways minister Piyush Goyal who is also the interim Finance minister. The minister added that nobody now has the guts to deposit money outside the country and it is due to the hard measures taken by the government.

“Agreement between India and Switzerland has this. From January 1, 2018 till the end of the accounting year (ends March 31, 2019), all data will be made available. Why assume this is black money or illegal transactions?" Piyush Goyal said.

Fri, 29 Jun 2018 18:01:08 +0530
PM interacts through PRAG

The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, chaired his twenty-seventh interaction through PRAGATI - the ICT-based, multi-modal platform for Pro-Active Governance and Timely Implementation.

The 26 PRAGATI meetings so far have seen a cumulative review of projects with a total investment of over Rs. 11 lakh crore. Resolution of Public Grievances has also been reviewed across a range of sectors.

Today, in the twenty-seventh meeting, the Prime Minister reviewed the progress of eight infrastructure projects in the railway, road, and power sectors. These projects are spread over several states including Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Maharashtra, Odisha, Chandigarh, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh.

The Prime Minister reviewed the progress in implementation of the scheme for establishment of new medical colleges attached with existing district/referral hospitals. Mentioning that the Union Government is taking many initiatives in the health sector, he called for expeditious upgradation of health infrastructure.

The Prime Minister said that the first phase of the Gram Swaraj Abhiyan, which ran from April 14th to May 5th 2018, had achieved great success in the implementation of seven key schemes of the Union Government in over 16,000 villages. He said that the second phase of Gram Swaraj Abhiyan is now underway in over 40,000 villages in the Aspirational Districts. He called upon all officers, both from the State Governments and Union Government, involved with this effort to work towards achieving the best possible outcomes in this context, by the 15th of August.

The Prime Minister appreciated the progress made so far under the Saubhagya Yojana, and said that all efforts must be made to complete the ambitious target of providing 4 crore families an electricity connection within the stipulated timeline.

Thu, 28 Jun 2018 10:44:51 +0530
Nikki Haley calls on PM M

Ambassador Ms. Nikki Haley, United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations called on Prime Minister Modi.

Ambassador Haley conveyed greetings from President Trump. Prime Minister requested her to convey his best wishes to President Trump and warmly recalled their earlier meetings and interactions.

Ambassador Haley noted the deepening relations between India and the US particularly in strategic and defence sectors. Both the dignitaries discussed ways to enhance India- US cooperation including on counter-terrorism and in multilateral fora. They expressed confidence that strong India-US partnership will continue to be an important factor for global peace and prosperity.

PM expressed appreciation for President Trump’s South Asia and Indo-Pacific strategies and commended his initiative for denuclearization of Korean Peninsula.

Thu, 28 Jun 2018 10:38:31 +0530
Vice President releases b

On the occasion of the 43rd anniversary of ‘Emergency‘ that shook the nation, Vice President of India M. Venkaiah Naidu asserted that intolerant citizens violating the freedoms of fellow citizens have no right to be ‘Indians’ as it goes against the core values and ethos of India.

He spoke at length on the fallacious causes and the consequences of Emergency after releasing Hindi, Kannada, Telugu and Gujarati versions of ‘Emergency: Indian Democracy’s Darkest Hour’ authored by Chairman of Prasar Bharti A. Surya Prakash.

 Stating that no sensible Government would dare to resort to Emergency after the resounding pro-democracy verdict of the people in 1977, Shri Naidu said that now the threat to individual freedoms is from some misguided citizens.

He said “I am confident that no sensible government would repeat what was done during the fateful night of June 25, 1975. That was clearly a State sponsored ‘Intolerance’ to democracy and individual freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution. But we need to guard against intolerance on the part of certain misguided citizens. We have been occasionally witnessing some such words and deeds of intolerance by some citizens in the name of so called cow protection, Love Jihad, eating habits, watching films, etc. Such incidents lead us to the point that individual freedoms can be in full play only when every citizen respects such freedoms of fellow citizens. Post emergency, the State apparatus would think twice before riding roughshod over the liberties and freedoms of citizens. But it is enlightened citizens who would enable fuller manifestation of such liberties and freedoms. ”

Tue, 26 Jun 2018 08:45:51 +0530
President Kovind receives

The President Ram Nath Kovind, received  Mr Danny Antoine Rollen Faure, the President of the Republic of Seychelles, at Rashtrapati Bhavan. He also hosted a banquet in his honour.

Welcoming President Danny Faure to India, the President said that India recognises the leadership role of Seychelles in Small Island Developing States (SIDS), Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) and on climate change and maritime security issues.  Seychelles has also emerged as the top African country in the Human Development Index.  It has consistently figured among the top five ranking countries in Africa for overall governance.  He complimented the Government of Seychelles for these extraordinary achievements. 

The President said that India and Seychelles have a very special relationship, built on the foundation of mutual trust, enormous goodwill and shared values.  The two countries are happy to share the same geostrategic vision of maintaining peace, security and stability in the Indian Ocean. Our countries need to work together as partners in strengthening the regional architecture of the Indian Ocean. 

The President said that the vast natural resources provide limitless opportunities for the growth and prosperity of our future generations. Our common goal should be to harness the full potential of the ocean based Blue Economy in sustainable manner. He stated that India is happy that Seychelles is partnering it in the International Solar Alliance initiative as a founding member.  India looks forward to working with Seychelles to develop solar energy projects in Seychelles. 

The President assured the President of Seychelles India’s continued commitment for extending development assistance to Seychelles in all the areas which the Government of Seychelles considers critical and of direct benefit to its people.    

Subsequently, in his banquet speech, President Kovind said that close bonds of friendship between India and Seychelles have stood the test of time. For the past four decades, since the independence of Seychelles, our countries have been working together as partners in tackling common challenges, addressing critical issues, and strengthening regional and global cooperation frameworks.

The President said that India has a robust defence, security and strategic cooperation with Seychelles. India-Seychelles strategic convergence has reinforced the resolve to secure their oceanic space, in the region and beyond. India views the Indian Ocean and the Pacific as a contiguous construct sharing similar economic opportunities and security challenges. Our vision is for a free, open, peaceful, prosperous and inclusive Indo-Pacific region, based on a rules-based order and respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Tue, 26 Jun 2018 08:40:37 +0530
UAE Minister visits Humay

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, has visited the Humayun's tomb, in Delhi.

Sheikh Abdullah also toured parts of the 30-acre garden surrounding the tomb, the first of its kind to be established in the Indian subcontinent.

The Humayun's tomb is considered to be one of the most prominent archaeological sites of the Mughal Empire and was added to the UNESCO's World Heritage List in 1993.

Dr. Ahmed Abdul Rahman AlBanna, UAE Ambassador to India, accompanied Sheikh Abdullah during the visit.

Tue, 26 Jun 2018 08:35:42 +0530
India UAE reiterate deep

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, have expressed support for the on-going strategic dialogue, aimed at expanding energy partnerships between the two countries.

This came during a meeting between the two sides following a joint workshop organised by ADNOC and the Indian Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas on expanding investments and partnerships in the oil and gas industry, in both the UAE and India.

Sheikh Abdullah and Modi reiterated their governments’ wish to see deeper and stronger partnerships between the UAE and India in the energy sector, particularly in the fields of exploration, refining, petrochemicals and petroleum products marketing.

Sheikh Abdullah said: "The UAE is unwavering in its commitment to the strategic multi-lateral relationship with India and being a reliable partner in India’s energy security. We look forward to exploring further opportunities to expand our existing ties and to collaborating on new opportunities that will strengthen and deepen the rich and long-standing strategic relationship between our two countries."

The New Delhi meeting between Sheikh Abdullah and Prime Minister Modi was also attended by Dr. Sultan bin Ahmad Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State, and ADNOC Group CEO, and Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, India’s Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas.

Tue, 26 Jun 2018 08:17:20 +0530
UAE Minister Abdullah bin

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, now on a state visit to India, has recognised renowned Indian Dr. Zulekha Daud, in the presence of her family members and Dr. Ahmed Abdulrahman Al Banna, the UAE Ambassador to India.

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah presented a letter of thanks and appreciation to Dr. Zulekha in recognition of her five decades of valuable contributions to the healthcare sector in the UAE and her tireless efforts to boost welfare levels for UAE citizens and residents.

Dr. Zulekha's significant services fructified into the establishment of world-class specialty hospitals, medical centes, educational facilities and pharmacies in both India and UAE.

The recognition coincides with the "Year of Zayed" Initiative during which the country is commemorating the indelible legacy of the Founding Father. It also comes to reaffirm the deeply-rooted relations between the two countries across different domains.

Zulekha Daud is an Indian pioneer who first arrived in the UAE in 1964. She is believed to be the first female practicing doctor in the country and her colossal efforts since then have contributed to advancing healthcare services in the country to enviable levels.

Tue, 26 Jun 2018 08:05:27 +0530
UAE Minister Sheikh Al Na

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and his accompanying delegation met with Sushma Swaraj, India's Minister of External Affairs.

The meeting, held as part of Sheikh Abdullah's official visit to India, discussed bilateral ties and ways to enhance cooperation, particularly in political, economic, commercial, educational and energy fields, as well as means of enhancing the exchange of visits and expertise and strengthening of diplomatic relations.

It also touched on current regional and international developments and other issues of mutual interest.

Sheikh Abdullah emphasised UAE's keenness to enhance its ties of friendship and cooperation with India, in the light of the special and strategic bonds between the two countries. He referred to the importance of this visit and its role in deepening relations between the two friendly countries.

Sheikh Abdullah and Swaraj attended the exchange of the Memorandum of Understanding in the field of diplomatic training between the Emirates Diplomatic Academy and the Foreign Service Institute of India.

The MoU was exchanged by Dr. Ahmed Abdul Rahman AlBanna, UAE Ambassador to India, and Nagendra Prasad, Joint Secretary of Gulf Affairs at the Indian Ministry of External Affairs.

Present were Dr. Sultan bin Ahmad Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State and ADNOC Group CEO, and Ambassador Al Banna.

Tue, 26 Jun 2018 08:02:03 +0530
Modi welcomes UAE Ministe

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has received in New Delhi H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and his companying delegation, now on a state visit to India.

The two parties discussed cooperation ties between the two countries in different fields and means of advancing the privileged bilateral relations to a higher level.

They also addressed prospects of widening the distinguished strategic ties between the UAE and India in the energy field, with a special focus on the partnerships and investments provided by the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, ADNOC, particularly in the fields of exploration, refining, petrochemicals and petroleum products marketing.

The latest developments in the region and international scene were also discussed during the meeting.

Modi welcomed Sheikh Abdullah's visit to New Delhi, wishing it will further bolster cooperation and friendly relationships between the two countries.

Sheikh Abdullah said that the strategic relationship between the two countries has witnessed a qualitative leap across different domains over the past few years, thanks to the political will of their leadership.

He also commended the significant contribution of the Indian community to the development drive in UAE and stressed that Indian residents in the county enjoy government and popular support and respect, and represent a bridge for bolstering ties between the two countries.

The Indian Prime Minister reaffirmed his country's keenness to strengthening the friendly and cooperation ties with the UAE for the benefit of the two peoples.

Modi also lauded the UAE's policy of tolerance, peaceful coexistence, cooperation and respect for all communities living in its territories.

The meeting was attended by Dr. Sultan bin Ahmad Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State, CEO of ADNOC Group, Dr. Abdulrahman Al Banna, UAE Ambassador to India, and Mohamed bin Ali Alabbar, Chairman of Emaar Properties.

Tue, 26 Jun 2018 07:58:04 +0530
UN to celebrate MSME Day

The Ministry of Micro Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME), will organize a National Conclave (UdyamSangam) on 27th June 2018 on the occasion of UN MSME Day. The purpose of the Conclave is to encourage dialogue and partnership among various stakeholders of the MSME ecosystem and for promoting innovation and knowledge sharing on MSME related issues.

President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, will inaugurate the Conclave in Vigyan Bhawan. On this occasion the Solar Charkha Mission of the Ministry will be launched by the President. The Mission will cover 50 clusters and every cluster will employ 400 to 2000 artisans. The Mission has been approved by the Government of India for which the MSME Ministry will disburse subsidy of Rs. 550 crores to the artisans. A Website of the Ministry will also be launched which will act as a bridge between the talent pool and those enterprises seeking trained man power. Nearly one lakh fifty thousand persons have received training in the 18 State-of-the-art Technology Centres of the MSME Ministry last year.

During the day long conclave there will be parallel, break-out sessions on various subjects. Stakeholders from grass root level, associations and other experts on the subject will deliberate upon a range of issues which include strategy to build a financial ecosystem of seed and growth capital of micro and small ventures, role of SMEs in Make-in-India programme, role of women led enterprises for gender parity, role of GST in helping micro and small ventures, research and development of SMEs, role of infrastructure in the development of MSMEs, MSME knowledge services, MSME in health services and traditional medicines and market access development for MSMEs with special focus on Public Procurement Policy. In order to develop a system for creating awareness about Government schemes, a session on communication and media will also be held.

The need for convergences of all government initiatives relating to MSME sector has always been emphasized. UdyamSangam is a step forward towards consolidating that process. UdyamSangam will be followed by a fortnight long MSME Pakhwada called Udyam Lehar.

The UN General Assembly in its 74th Plenary held on the 6th April, 2017 declared 27thJune as Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Day, recognizing the importance of Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises in achieving sustainable development goals and in promoting innovation, creativity and sustainable work for all.

Mon, 25 Jun 2018 19:50:24 +0530
Indian healthcare profess

Dr. Azad Moopen, Founder Chairman and Managing Director of Aster DM Healthcare, has received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Gulf Indian Leadership Summit and Awards 2018, in recognition of his outstanding contribution in shaping the healthcare industry in UAE and the Gulf.

Starting from a single clinic in Dubai in 1987 to a global healthcare conglomerate of more than 323 facilities spread across nine countries, Aster DM Healthcare established by Dr. Moopen, has been driven by his mission of providing quality healthcare that is affordable and accessible to everyone.

The award was presented by Shri Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports, and Union Minister of State at the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in India, accompanied by Arnab Goswami, Managing Director of Republic TV during the prestigious felicitation ceremony held at Grand Hyatt Hotel, Dubai.

Mon, 25 Jun 2018 19:43:37 +0530
UAE to hold first ever W

The International Institute for Tolerance part of Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, has announced the launch of the 'World Tolerance Summit', a two-day conference to be held at the Armani Hotel, Dubai, from November 15th-16th, 2018, to coincide with the International Day of Tolerance on November 16th.

With its theme, "Prospering From Pluralism: Embracing Diversity through Innovation and Collaboration", the summit will host the biggest gathering of 1,000 government leaders, key personalities from the private and public sectors, youth representatives, social leaders, social influencers, and the international diplomatic community in a platform that seeks innovative solutions and to forge fruitful partnerships that will help promote respect for diversity and productive pluralism.

Day one of the summit will be attended by Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the International Institute for Tolerance. In conveying UAE's message of love and tolerance to the world, he said, "Tolerance is not simply enduring the existence of opinions, ideas, behaviours or practices that do not concur with your own. It is about recognising, respecting and embracing diversity. It is about being secure in your own culture and beliefs, so that you respond to what is different with curiosity and compassion rather than with fear and intolerance. To be tolerant one needs to be concerned genuinely for the welfare of one’s fellow human beings, and to take action based on those concerns."

The first day of the summit will also have several forums to promote the global culture of tolerance through its high-profile speakers and through the perspectives of world leaders on better governance, and cooperative engagement of stakeholders such as global tolerance advocates, international and local associations, organisations and private corporations.

The summit will also explore the use of social media and digital networking in advocating the significance of tolerance with respect to its societal and economic benefits.

There will also be a strong effort focusing on the youth through the involvement of educational institutions in inculcating the values of tolerance as well as efforts to include women empowerment and their capacity to promote and advocate the value of tolerance.

Day one of the event concludes with the Tolerance Awards that will give recognition to political and business leaders, change-makers, cultural figures, artists, and influencers for their contribution in the advancement of the culture of tolerance, harmony, and peaceful co-existence through their works.

World Tolerance Summit will have on its second day a series of workshops inculcating the values of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. Topics covered include Zayed Values; The Youth of Today, The Leaders of Tomorrow; Women Empowerment in the Development of Country; A Tolerant Country, Happy Society; Understanding and Learning the Science Behind Tolerance; and Using Arts and Sports in Promoting Tolerance.

The Tolerance Library will give access to a wide range of books from all over the world to give readers a deeper perspective on tolerance. WTS will also utilise the digital media via Tolerance Tube to enhance offsite participants with different opinions on and the value of tolerance through interviews which will be broadcasted on YouTube. The event will also have its own official page on YouTube where people can participate by sending questions addressed to speakers and participants.

WTS Art and Photography Exhibition will be held exclusively during the event. Artists and photographers are welcome to join and showcase their work with Tolerance as their theme. A winner will be selected each for best art and best photograph category and will be given recognition on social media and coverage on traditional media.

World Tolerance Summit is the world’s first-of-its-kind event that tackles tolerance, peace and cultural understanding among mankind. It will be held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai. Inspired by the values of the founder of UAE, the late H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, WTS seeks to create a world where every person of any colour or race is treated equally and without prejudice.

H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE President and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, stated that, "UAE is based on firm and strong values that seek to strengthen its relations on the basis of mutual respect, dialogue, and cooperation, and the abandonment of all forms of terrorism, violence, and intolerance."

In 2016, the appointments of the Ministers for Happiness, Tolerance, and the Future was made to focus on the capability of the government in ensuring the quality of life in UAE as reflected in all its sectors and tiers in society. This initiative inspired the creation of the International Institute for Tolerance through the patronage of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives. IIT acts as a think tank providing solutions to the challenges of extremism and sectarianism through promotion of the culture of tolerance. Since its inception, efforts have been initiated by the Dubai government to ensure UAE will be at the forefront in the advocacy on peace, harmony and tolerance globally as well as locally, and be the finest example to its neighbouring countries.

Dr. Hamad Al Shaikh Ahmad Al Shaibani, Managing Director of the International Institute for Tolerance and Chairman of the Higher Committee of the World Tolerance Summit, said, "This is the idea we want to share with today’s youth. The past had deprived the younger generation of better opportunities and a happier world. Looking forward to the future, we are focusing on achieving happiness by embracing and practicing tolerance now."

"The world has seen atrocities. Even in the eyes of the young could be seen the effects of intolerant behaviours. In the spirit of tolerance, we teach not only the world but ourselves, not to discriminate and disrespect. We teach ourselves to see other human beings with respect, so they would do the same to others. "

Khalifa Mohammed Al Suwaidi, General Coordinator of the World Tolerance Summit, said, "We trust that this government initiative under the International Institute for Tolerance and the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives will completely break the barrier of cultural, political, and religious differences and in its place a bridge for better understanding, cooperation, and mutual respect."

Mon, 25 Jun 2018 19:40:23 +0530
Saudi Aramco ADNOC sign

Saudi Aramco and ADNOC signed an MoU today to jointly develop and build an integrated refinery and petrochemicals complex at Ratnagiri in Maharashtra. The project will be implemented by Ratnagiri Refinery & Petrochemicals Ltd. (RRPCL). 

The MoU was signed between Saudi Aramco President and CEO, Amin H. Nasser and Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State & ADNOC Group CEO. The signing was witnessed by His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, who is on an official visit to India, and Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas & Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Government of India.

Earlier, Saudi Aramco had joined the project by signing an MoU with the Indian consortium on 11th April 2018 on the sidelines of the16 International Energy Forum Ministerial. Saudi Aramco also sought to include another strategic partner to co-invest in the project as an overseas investor.

RRPCL which is promoted by a consortium of India PSUs consisting of IOCL, BPCL and HPCLwill now have Saudi Aramco & ADNOC as overseas strategic partners. The project will be set up as a 50:50 joint partnership (50:50) between the consortium from India and Saudi Aramco and ADNOC. This will be single largest overseas investment in the Indian refining sector.

The strategic partnership brings together crude supply, resources, technologies, experience and expertise of these multiple oil companies with an established commercial presence around the world.

The mega refinery will be capable of processing 1.2 million barrels of crude oil per day (60 million metric tonnes per annum). It will produce a range of refined petroleum products, including petrol and diesel meeting BS-VI fuel efficiency norms. The Refinery will also provide feedstock for the integrated petrochemicals complex, which will have the capacity of producing approx. 18 million tonnes per annum of petrochemical products.

RRPCL will rank among the world’s largest refining & petrochemicals projects and will be designed to meet India’s fast-growing fuels and petrochemicals demand. The project cost is estimated at around Rs.3 lakh crore (USD 44 billion).

Mon, 25 Jun 2018 19:37:35 +0530
Parliament s monsoon sess

The Monsoon Session of Parliament 2018 would be held from 18th July till 10th August, informed Union Minister for Chemicals & Fertilizers and Parliamentary Affairs, Ananthkumar. The Minister was briefing the media after the meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs, chaired by Union Minister for Home Affairs, Rajnath Singh.

Ananthkumar further informed that the session would have a period of 18 working days and appealed to all political parties to constructively cooperate with the Government to make this session a productive one. The legislative business would include passing of six Ordinances promulgated during the inter-session period before the Monsoon Session, 2018.

The Minister said that the Government would bring other important bills, including the Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Third Amendment) Bill, 2017, Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017, Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016, National Medical Commission Bill, 2017, Rights of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Second Amendment) Bill, 2017, inter alia, for consideration and passing in both the Houses of Parliament.

Ananthkumar also informed that the election to the post of Deputy Chairman, Rajya Sabha would also be held during the session as the term of P. J. Kurien is ending this month.

Mon, 25 Jun 2018 19:25:52 +0530
Suresh Prabhu meets Austr

Minister for Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation of India, Suresh Prabhu co-chaired the 15th Session of the India-Australia Joint Ministerial Commission with the Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Steven Ciobo, in Canberra today. Both Ministers emphasized the need for growth in two-way trade and investment. They discussed about how mutual strengths could contribute to economic modernization.

Suresh Prabhu shared the experiences of India’s reform journey, including GST implementation, competition policy, insolvency and bankruptcy acts, and ease of doing business initiatives. Minister Ciobo highlighted the positive impact of growing people-to-people links, pointing to the contribution of the Indian origin community to Australia’s economy and multicultural fabric. Both Ministers noted that the Indian diaspora offers a window into each other’s country.

The Ministers underscored the critical role of the private sector. They discussed the importance of Australian and Indian businesses engaging directly to identify practical solutions and communicating them to the Government. Ministers reflected on the success of Australian Business Week in India (ABWI) in connecting Australian businesses with contacts in India and noted that the Australia-India CEO Forum provided a useful vehicle for government to hear from business leaders. Ministers agreed to increase two-way business delegation activity, including Australia bringing a high level business delegation to India focusing on infrastructure, industrial corridors, logistics and aviation.

The Ministers further discussed about mutual market access issues in certain products of interest to both countries. Ministers acknowledged progress had been made in this regard, and agreed to continue work on outstanding issues. Both Ministers agreed that shared prosperity and growth prospects are best served by an open, global trading system and a rules-based international order embodied in the WTO. The Ministers also reaffirmed their commitment to a high quality and balanced Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) between the two countries.

Prabhu also met the Prime Minister of Australia, Malcom Turnbull. They discussed transfer of technology and expertise related to solar power generation and storage and utilization of power. Prabhu briefed him on India’s reforms programme led by the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi. Detailed discussion took place on India’s experience in implementing the Goods and Services Tax and JAM (Jan Dhan, Aadhar and Mobile connectivity) trinity.

Mon, 25 Jun 2018 19:20:25 +0530
PM to visit Mumbai tomorr

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Mumbai tomorrow. He will inaugurate the third annual meeting of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), a multilateral development bank with a mission to improve social and economic outcomes in Asia and beyond.

The theme for this year’s meeting is “Mobilizing Finance for Infrastructure: Innovation and Collaboration.”  Leaders from varied organizations and levels of government will be sharing ideas and experiences for creating a sustainable future through sound infrastructure investment.

This year will also see the launch of the inaugural Asian Infrastructure Forum, which will gather infrastructure practitioners in a practical and project-driven discourse, focused on matching innovative finance to critical infrastructure needs.

Later, the Prime Minister will meet business leaders and captains of industry, for a discussion on issues such as economic growth, infrastructure development, policy initiatives, investment, innovation and job creation.

Mon, 25 Jun 2018 19:15:26 +0530
Heavy rain disrupts norma

The devastating rain that started since yesterday night wreaked havoc in the Mumbai city as four people killed in the resultant flood of the severe rain. Train services disrupted in the heavy rain as local train are running late.

Malabar Hill, Dharavi and Hindmata have been affected with water logging. BMC officials have been relentlessly trying to pump the water out from roads using motor.

Meanwhile the compound wall of a residential complex in south Mumbai's Wadala collapsed, taking along 15 parked cars. Dramatic pictures showed five other cars covered in debris. The civic body and the fire department have vacated an entire wing of the Lloyds Estate which houses many bankers. No casualties have been reported, reports NDTV.

Mon, 25 Jun 2018 19:06:49 +0530
Heavy rain disrupts norma

The devastating rain that started since yesterday night wreaked havoc in the Mumbai city as three people killed in the resultant flood of the severe rain. Train services disrupted in the heavy rain as local train are running late.

Malabar Hill, Dharavi and Hindmata have been affected with water logging. BMC officials have been relentlessly trying to pump the water out from roads using motor.

Meanwhile the compound wall of a residential complex in south Mumbai's Wadala collapsed, taking along 15 parked cars. Dramatic pictures showed five other cars covered in debris. The civic body and the fire department have vacated an entire wing of the Lloyds Estate which houses many bankers. No casualties have been reported, reports NDTV.

Mon, 25 Jun 2018 13:58:58 +0530
Erdogan wins tightly cont

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has won tightly-contested presidential polls, the election authority said Monday, extending his 15-year grip on power as the opposition complained bitterly about the conduct of the vote count, reports Khaleej Times.

Turkish voters had for the first time cast ballots for both president and parliament in the snap elections, with Erdogan looking for a first round knockout and an overall majority for his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Khaleej Times reported. 

The stakes were particularly high as the new president will be the first to enjoy enhanced powers, without even a prime minister, under a new constitution agreed in an April 2017 referendum strongly backed by Erdogan but which opponents say grants autocratic powers.

Erdogan defeated his nearest rival Muharrem Ince with an "absolute majority" of more than half the vote without needing a second round, said the chief of Turkey's election authority, Sadi Guven.

Mon, 25 Jun 2018 13:09:29 +0530
Gulf press lauds Saudi s

A UAE newspaper has commented editorially on Saudi women legally taking the wheel, calling the decision "a bright new future for the country."

In an editorial on Monday, The Gulf Today said the landmark decision of the Saudi leadership will not only reduce reliance on foreign workers, but also accelerate job growth in the Kingdom.

"The move, ordered last September by King Salman Bin Abdulaziz, as part of sweeping reforms pushed by Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, is bound to steer the nation on the path to peace, progress and prosperity," it said, adding that Saudi families can now save huge amounts of money as many families presently employ at least one driver to transport female members.

It continued, "Retailers, insurers and car hire companies will be among the potential winners, as the decision will boost industries from car sales to insurance.

"The decision will also encourage more women to enter the workforce and raise productivity in the economy. According to a Bloomberg estimate, this will help add US$90 billion to economic output by 2030.

"The impact could be gauged by the fact that some three million women in Saudi Arabia could receive licences and actively begin driving by 2020, as per consultancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.

"A handful of female driving schools have already cropped up in several cities, training women to drive cars as well as Harley Davidson motorbikes, scenes unimaginable even a year ago."

The paper went on to say that Saudi authorities deserve praise for "pre-emptively addressing concerns of abuse by outlawing sexual harassment, with a prison term of up to five years and a maximum penalty of 300,000 riyals ($80,000), and sternly warning people against stalking women drivers."

"Incidentally, women were recently allowed for the first time into a sports stadium to mark national day, another momentous move that came as part of Mohammed Bin Salman’s Saudi Vision 2030. The vision aims at a strong, thriving and stable Saudi Arabia that provides opportunity for all," it added.

The editorial further stated that "June 24th has turned out to be a historic day for Saudi Arabia and the end of the driving ban is undoubtedly a crowning achievement of the country’s leadership and Saudi Vision 2030. The jubilation on the social media is not surprising considering that the decision is momentous."

"Official statistics show that women make up the overwhelming majority of job seekers in Saudi Arabia. Women play an important part in Vision 2030. They now have a major reason to smile as the decision has helped them change the course of their lives," it added.

"Way to go, Saudi Arabia," concluded the Sharjah-based daily.

Mon, 25 Jun 2018 12:08:39 +0530
Union Minister Piyush Goy

The Union Minister of Railways, Coal, Finance & Corporate Affairs, Piyush Goyal inagurated the India Infrastructure Expo 2018 in Mumbai. Two day expo is being organised by the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Government of India, in partnership with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) on the sidelines of the 3rd Annual Meeting of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) at NCPA, Mumbai from 25th to 26th June 2018.

Expressing delight at hosting the Third Annual Meeting of the AIIB, tyyGoyal said, “The Asian Infrastructure Investment bank has really matured in a short period of time and is rapidly progressing to become one of the most important infrastructure financiers across the world. A very strong management team with robust management practices, some of which have never been seen in the global stage have been put in place. India is the 2nd largest shareholder of the AIIB and is the largest recipient of concessionaire finance for various infrastructure projects with nearly 25% of the total funds committed to projects in India, both in the government sector and the private sector”, he said.

He further said “Earlier today, I had an opening meeting with the President of AIIB, and he was expressing satisfaction that India has shown a lot of enthusiasm, and put up very good proposals before AIIB. It truly is a very happy occasion for India, and particularly for Mumbai to host this very important engagement. There are 86 countries which are members of AIIB who are participating. Over 3,000 delegates have already come on board, and I am told the number is growing by the minute”.

The Exposition offers companies from the Public and Private Sector to showcase their latest solutions, technologies and offerings in the realm of infrastructure project development and delivery. Participating companies will also highlight their capabilities and key projects delivered over time for information of all delegates. Several State Governments and Central Ministries will also be showcasing investment opportunities for financial investors from across the world.

 The Exposition is having state of the art digital display and offers participants ample avenues to network and have business meetings with potential partners and investors.

 The highlight of the Exposition is the Oil & Gas Pavilion which has participation of leading Public Sector Companies who are showcasing the upcoming projects in their respective areas of operation.

Some of the key flagship programs that are showcased at this Exposition include Smart Cities, Sagarmala, Bharatmala, Ganga Rejuvenation Plan and the River Linking project. Details on the modernisation plans of the Railways sector in India will also be of interest to the delegates.

 The Government of Chhattisgarh & Government of Gujarat are the partner States to the Exposition while the Government of Maharashtra is the host State to the Exposition.

 Over 50 organisations are participating in the Exposition including leading entities such as IL&FS, Essel Infrastructure, GAIL, JSPL, Wapcos, HPCL, BPCL, NHAI, MMRDA, MIDC, CIDCO, IREDA, ONGC, Indian Oil, EIL and IIFCL.

Mon, 25 Jun 2018 12:03:02 +0530
Home Minister Rajnath Sin

The Union Home Minister, Rajnath Singh, paid an official visit to Mongolia from June 21-24, 2018.  During the visit, Home Minister called on the President of Mongolia, Mr. K. Battulga and held talks with Prime Minister, Mr. U. Khurelsukh, Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. U. Enkhtuvshin, and Minister of Justice & Home Affairs, Mr. Ts. Nyamdorj on wide-ranging issues of bilateral interest, including cooperation between India and Mongolia in disaster risk reduction, border management, and capacity building programmes in security domain.

During the visit, Home Minister along with the Prime Minister of Mongolia presided over the ground-breaking ceremony of Mongolia’s first petrochemical refinery project. The refinery will be built with a Line of Credit of US$ 1 billion extended by India, which was announced during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Mongolia in 2015. The Mongolian side expressed appreciation for India’s support for this project. Both sides agreed that the refinery project will contribute to Mongolia’s economic development and long-term energy security.

Home Minister also visited the headquarters of the Mongolian General Authority for Border Protection (GABP) and announced GOI’s decision to provide a high capacity server for the GABP’s main control centre in order to assist them in more efficient border management. GABP and India’s Border Security Force have ongoing exchanges and cooperation under an MoU signed in 2015. 

During the bilateral talks Home Minister held with the Mongolian leadership, both sides agreed on the need to step up cooperation in a number of areas such as air connectivity, trade and economic cooperation, energy security, mining, traditional medicine, animal husbandry, capacity building, education, people-to-people contacts, media exchanges and cooperation in films.

India and Mongolia, joined by the common thread of Buddhism, are spiritual neighbours. The relationship was upgraded to a Strategic Partnership in 2015 during the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit, which coincided with the 60th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Home Minister’s visit to Mongolia comes as a part of sustained high-level exchanges between the two countries.  Most recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with the President of Mongolia, Mr. K. Battulga on the margins of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Summit in Qingdao, China, on June 10, 2018. Earlier, the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj paid an official visit to Mongolia on April 25-26, 2018.

Mon, 25 Jun 2018 11:40:13 +0530
Naval Chief visits Bangla

Admiral Sunil Lanba, Chief of the Naval Staff will be proceeding on a goodwill visit to Bangladesh from 24 to 29 Jun 18. The visit is aimed at consolidating bilateral defence relations between India and Bangladesh and to explore new avenues for naval cooperation.

During the visit, the Chief of the Naval Staff, will hold bilateral discussions with the Chiefs of the three Armed Forces of Bangladesh and other senior officials of the Bangladesh Government and Military. The Chief of the Naval Staff is also scheduled to call on the President H E Mr Md Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister H E Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh as part of his official meetings during the visit.

In addition to Dhaka, the Admiral is also scheduled to proceed to Chittagong and Khulna where he will be visiting various Bangladesh Naval establishments. The Chief of the Naval Staff is also scheduled to inaugurate the first edition of Indian Navy - Bangladesh Navy Coordinated Patrol (CORPAT) which is being instituted as an annual feature between the navies of both countries. The commencement of CORPAT is major step towards enhanced operational interaction between both navies.

Naval cooperation between India and Bangladesh has been traditionally strong, encompassing a wide span which includes operational interactions through Port Calls, Passage Exercises along with Capacity Building, Capability Enhancement and Training initiatives. Bangladesh Navy was also the Chair of Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) from 2016 to 2018. IONS is a Multilateral Maritime Cooperation platform launched by the Indian Navy in 2008. The Goodwill visit of Chief of the Naval Staff will further strengthen the strong bonds of friendship between the navies of both countries.

Mon, 25 Jun 2018 11:22:54 +0530
PM lauds India s spirit o

Namaskar. My dear countrymen, I’m fortunate once again to be face to face with you in the ‘Mann Ki Baat’ programme. Just a few days ago, a historic Cricket match took place in Bengaluru. Of course you must have realized that I am referring to the test match between India and Afghanistan. It was Afghanistan’s first international match and it’s a matter of honour for us that this historic match for Afghanistan was played with India. Both teams performed par excellence. Besides, bowler Rashid Khan had performed exceedingly well in the IPL earlier this year. I remember Afghanistan President Shriman Ashraf Ghani’s words on Twitter tagging me along “The people of Afghanistan are extremely, proud of our hero Rashid Khan. I’m also thankful to our Indian friends who created a platform for our players to showcase their skills”. Rashid represents what constitutes the best of Afghanistan. He is an asset to the world of cricket. Then he quipped “No, we are not giving him to anyone!” This match will remain etched in our memories for a long time. Anyway, being the first match, it is naturally memorable, but I will cherish it for a special reason. The Indian team did something that is exemplary to the whole world. What does a winning team do while receiving the trophy? The Indian team, while receiving the trophy, warmly invited the Afghanistan team which had played its first international match to pose together for photographs. This incident exemplifies the very spirit of sportsmanship. Sports is an excellent route to unite society and to showcase the talents & skills of our youth. I felicitate both the teams of India & Afghanistan. I sincerely hope, that in future too, we’ll play with each other with the best sportsman spirit & shine together.

 My dear countrymen, this 21st of June, the fourth Yoga Day presented the rarest of sights. The whole world appeared as one entity. In the European Parliament in Brussels, at the UN headquarters in New York, on Japanese naval warships, there were sights of people performing yoga. Saudi Arabia witnessed its first, historic yoga programme and I am told many aasans were demonstrated by women. On the snow capped mountain peaks of Ladakh, Indian and Chinese soldiers performed yoga in unison. Yoga breaks all barriers of borders and unites people. Zealous citizens of hundreds of lands overlooked divisions of caste, religion, region, colour and gender to transform this occasion into a massive festival. If people from the entire world ardently participated in programmes on Yoga Day, why should India not feel elated many times over?

 It is a matter of great pride for a hundred & twenty five crore people to witness members of our armed forces perform yoga on land, sea & sky. A section of our brave soldiers did yoga in submarines; some of them chose the snow clad mountainous terrain of Siachen for the same. Our air warriors astounded everyone by performing yogasans in mid sky, some 15 thousand feet above the earth. Spectacular was the fact that they achieved this feat not inside an airplane but while floating mid air. Schools, colleges, offices, parks, skyscrapers, playgrounds came alive- as yoga venues. Heartwarming was an instance in Ahmedabad. Around 750 divyang brothers and sisters assembled at one place to do yoga and thus created a world record.Yogahas broken barriers of caste, creed and geography to unite the people of the entire world, which is the very essence of the real sentiment innate to Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam that we have followed in letter and spirit over centuries. Our Rishis, sages and saints have laid emphasis on certain tenets; yoga has proved them in a concrete manner. I believe that the concept of wellness today is bringing about a revolution. I hope the campaign of wellness through yoga will gain further momentum. More and more people will come forward to make it a part of their lives.

My dear countrymen, many of you have urged me on My gov and Narendra Modi app to mention Doctor’s Day, the 1st of July. You are absolutely right. We think of doctors only during times of distress. But this is a day when the nation celebrates the achievements of our doctors and expresses gratitude for their spirit of service and commitment towards society. We are a people who, by nature, revere the Mother as the equivalent of god since she is the source of our very existence, our life. On the other hand, there are times when it is the Doctor who gives us re-birth. The role of a doctor is not limited to mere treatment of ailments. Often a doctor plays the role of a family friend, a lifestyle guide. They not only cure but also heal. Today, doctors possess not just medical expertise; they have a vast experience on the co- relation between general lifestyle trends and their effect on our health. Indian doctors have carved a niche for themselves in the entire world through their capabilities and skills. Our doctors have gained recognition for their expertise in the medical field, hardworking attitude and the ability to solve complex medical problems. Through Mann Ki Baat I extend my warmest felicitations on behalf of the countrymen to all our doctors, ahead of Doctor’s Day on the 1st of July.

My dear countrymen, as a people, we are truly blessed to be born in this land, bhoomi of Bharat, India. India has had a rich historical canvas. Every single month, every single day in fact, is a marker of one historical event or the other. Every place in India is replete with signposts of heritage. Every place has been blessed with a saint, a luminary or a great, famous personality who has contributed through his sagacity.

 Thank you very much for your phone call. It is correct that I am reaching Maghar on the 28th. I am sure you know about Kabirwad in Gujarat when I used to work there, I had organized a National session of people belonging to the tradition of saint Kabir. Once again I have been blessed with the opportunity to visit this Samadhi sthal, this shrine. You must be aware that in eastern Uttar Pradesh, there is a place called Maghar. It is here that Sant Kabir Das ji attained Samadhi. Do you know why Kabir Das ji chose to go to Maghar? In those days it was believed that death in Maghar was a roadblock in one’s pathway to heaven.  On the contrary, breathing one’s last in Kaashi was a guarantee for entry into heaven. Maghar was considered unholy but Sant Kabirdas never subscribed to that view. He toiled relentlessly to quell many such superstitions and evil social customs of his times. That is why he went to Maghar and chose to attain Samadhi there. Sant Kabir Das ji, through his verses ‘Saakhis’ and ‘Dohas’ stressed upon the virtues of social equality, peace and brotherhood. These were his ideals. We can feel the essence of these ideals in his compositions. They are relevant & inspiring even in modern times. I quote a doha

 

कबीरसोईपीरहै, जोजानेपरपीर |

जोपरपीरनजानही , सोकापीरमेंपीर ||

 

          The true saint is the one who recognizes & understands the sufferings of others. Those who do not feel the pain of others are insensitive, uncompassionate. Kabir Das ji laid great emphasis on social cohesion. He was a thinker way ahead of his times. In those days, when the whole world was undergoing strife and degradation of moral values, he spread the message of peace & harmony. He worked towards uniting the populace, bridging their differences.

“जगमेंबैरीकोईनहीं, जोमनशीतलहोय

यहआपातोडालदे, दयाकरेसबकोय”         

There will be no enmity in the world if the inner being is at peace.

Compassion should be the universal way of life.

In another doha, Kabir has written.

जहांदयातहंधर्म, जहांलोभतहंपाप

जहांक्रोधतहंकालहै, जहांक्षमातहंआप         

Compassion leads to righteousness,

Greed leads to sin.

Anger is sure to devour you,

Forgiveness is a great virtue.

He said

 

जातिनपूछोसाधूकी, पूछलिजियज्ञान

Never ask a saint his caste or creed;

Ask him about his repository of knowledge.         

He appealed to the people to rise above divisions of religion & caste and make knowledge & wisdom the sole basis of recognition. His principles are relevant even after several centuries have gone by.Since we are referring to Sant Kabir Das ji, I am reminded of a doha couplet in which he says,

"गुरुगोविन्ददोऊखड़ेकाकेलागूंपांय|

बलिहारीगुरुआपने, गोविन्ददियोबताय"||

  Such is the exalted status accorded to the guru, the teacher. And one such guru is Jagatguru, Guru Nanak Dev. He showed the righteous path of life to millions, inspiring them for centuries. Guru Nanak Dev’s teachings endeavoured to eradicate caste based discrimination prevalent in society. He perceived humankind as one & urged everyone to embrace humanity.

Guru Nanak Devji said that the service to the poor and the needy is service to God. Wherever he went, he took many initiatives for the welfare of the society. The establishment of a kitchen free of social discrimination where a person of any caste, sect, religion or community could eat or what we know as the langarsystem was initiated solely by Guru Nanak Dev Ji. The 550th Prakash Parv of Guru Nanak Dev Ji will be celebrated in 2019. I want all of us to join this great festival with enthusiasm and fervour. To celebrate this festival in the entire Indian society and around the world I also urge you to suggest new ideas, new concepts, and innovations on which we can ponder and make preparations and thus we can also celebrate the Prakash parv as Prerna Parv with great pride .

My dear countrymen! The history of India's struggle for independence is very long, very vast and is filled with countless sacrifices. There is another chapter of history associated with Punjab. In the year 2019, 100 years of the horrific incident of Jallianwala Bagh will come to a full circle, it was an incident that embarrassed the entire humanity. Who can forget that dark day of April 13, 1919, when abusing all limits of power, crossing all the boundaries of cruelty; theguiltless, unarmed and innocent people were fired upon. How can we remember the completion of 100 years of this horrific event is something we canall give a thought to, but we must also remember the everlasting message that this incident has imparted that is - violence and cruelty can never solve any problem. It is peace and non-violence, renunciation and martyrdom that are triumphant in the end!

My dear countrymen! Mr. Raman Kumar of Rohini, Delhi, has written on 'Narendra Modi Mobile App' that oncoming July 6 happens to be Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee’s birthday and he wants me to talk about Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee in this episode of Mann Ki Baat. Thank you very much, Raman ji. It feels great to see your interest in India's history. You know, yesterdayjune 23, was the death anniversary of Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee. Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee was associated with many fields, but the areas which were closest to his heart were education, administration and parliamentary affairs, very few people would know that he was the youngest vice-chancellor of the University of Calcutta at merely 33 years of age.

Very few people would also be knowing that in 1937, on the invitation of Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore addressed the convocation in Kolkata University in Bangla. This was the first time under British rule that the convocation in Kolkata University had been addressed to in Bangla. From 1947 to 1950, Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee was the first Industries minister of India and, in a sense, helaid a strong foundation for India’s industrial development, he had prepared a solid base, it was he who had prepared a stout platform. The first industrial policy of Independent India, which came in 1948, was stamped with his ideas and vision. Dr. Mukherjee's dream was for India to be industrially self-reliant, competent and prosperous in every sphere.

He had wanted India to develop heavy industries and also pay full attention to MSME, handloom, textiles and cottage industry. For the proper development of cottage and small industries with finance availability and organizational setup- All India Handicrafts Board, All India Handloom Board and Khadi & Village Industries Board were established between 1948 and 1950. There was also a special emphasis by Dr. Mukherjee on indigenization of India's defence production, in the establishment of four most successful mega projects- Chittaranjan locomotive works factory, Hindustan aircraft factory, Sindri fertilizer factory and Damodar Valley Corporation and other river valley projects, Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee contributed significantly. He was very passionate about the development of West Bengal. It was the result of his understanding, prudence and activism that a part of Bengal could be saved and it is still a part of India.

For Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, the most important thing was the integrity and unity of India - and for this, at the young age of 52, he also sacrificed his life. Come! Let us forever remember Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee’s message of unity imbued with the spirit of goodwill and brotherhood and remain proactive with all our might for the progress of India.

My dear countrymen! During the past few weeks, I had the opportunity to interact with the beneficiaries of different schemes of government through video call. I got an opportunity to know beyond the confines of the files the changes which are being ushered in the lives of people directly from them. People spoke about their determination, their happiness and their achievements. I believe that this was not a mere governmental programme for me, but it was a unique learning experience and during this time the joy of seeing people's faces lit with happiness, can be the moment of greatest satisfaction in anyone's life? When I would listen to the stories of a common man, his guileless words narrating his experience would touch my heart.

In far-distant villages, daughters are providing services ranging from pension to issuance of passport to senior citizens through the aegis of common service centers. Asister from Chhattisgarh collects custard apple and does business by making its ice cream. Like Anjan Prakash in Jharkhand, many lakhs of young besides running the Yuva – Jan Aushidhi kendras in the country are providing affordable medicines in the nearby villages. At the same time a young man from West Bengal desperately seeking a job two to three years ago is now a successful entrepreneur ; And not only this he is providing employment to ten to fifteen people. Whereas young school students from Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Goa are working on an important topic like waste management in their school’s tinkering lab. I just do not know how many such stories were shared with me, there wasn’t a single corner of the country where people did not have a success story of theirs to share with me. I am glad that in this entire programme I witnessed the accomplishments of the common man more than the achievements of the government, of the country's power, the power of New India’s dreams, the power of the resolve of the new India – this is what I experienced!

There are certain people in society, who find no solace till they do not express their frustrated views, their depressed views and seek ways to divide rather than unite. In such an environment, when the common man comes to you talking about emerging hope, new zeal and events that have taken place in his life, it is not to the government's credit. An incident regarding a small girl from a remote village too can inspire the hundred and twenty five crore people. With the help of technology, through the video bridge even a single moment spentwith the beneficiaries was very enjoyable, very motivational and provided satisfaction to work more. There is a renewed joy in dedicating your life for the upliftment, and you’re left with renewed fervour and inspiration.

I am very grateful to the countrymen. 40-50 lakh people participated in this video bridge program and imparted me with a new strength. I again want to express my gratitude to you all.

My dear countrymen! I always feel that if we look around us, somewhere or something good always happens. Many good people out there are involved in beneficial work. We can also smell the fragrance of righteousness. In the past, one thing came to my attention and it happens to be a very unique combination. On one hand, where we have professionals and engineers, on the other hand, there exist farmers tilling the fields, our brethren-sisters associated with agriculture. Now you must be wondering that these are two completely different occupations - what is the relation between these professions? But there exists a link, in Bangalore, corporate professionals and IT engineers came along and created an effortless ‘Samridhi trust’ with which they have doubled the income of the farmers by successful activation of this trust. This trust remained associated with farmers, drew plans and made successful efforts to increase the income of farmers. The training to inculcate organic farming while teaching latest agricultural techniques and how to grow more crops along with a single cash crop in the fields was imparted through the professional, engineers and technocrats associated with this trust started giving training to the farmers. The farmers who initially used to depend on the same single cash crop in their fields and that too the yield was also not good begetting lesser profits, today are not only growing vegetables but also marketing their own vegetables and getting good prices through the trust. Farmers producing grains have also become associated with this trust.

On one hand, farmers have a major role in the entire chain from cultivation till the marketing of crops, whereas on the other hand, to make certain the farmers' participation in reaping profits is an attempt to guarantee their right. A separate seed bank has been created to make good agricultural strains available for reaping a bumper harvest. Women have also been added in this activity and they supervise the work of this seed-bank. I congratulate these young people for this innovative experiment and I am happy that these young professionals, technocrats and others associated with the world of  engineering, got out of their comfort zone to make a connect with the farmer, the village, fields and barns.

Friends! Your youth-power is really inspiring for any young person. Many other young people of our country will definitely visit your website and look closely at your work and will also be inspired by how they can be of use in different areas of the social milieu in their area. I once again felicitate the youth of my country for their innovative experiments, some of which I might have got to know, some might have escaped me, some people might or may not be aware of but nonetheless I wish countless people involved in doing beneficial work ,very good luck from my side.

My dear countrymen! It’s been an year when GST was implemented. 'One Nation, One Tax' was the dream of the people of this country that has become a reality today. If I’ve to give credit to anyone for successful implementation of ‘One Nation One Tax reform’, then I credit the states of our nation. GST is a great example of Cooperative federalism, where all the states decided to take a unanimous decision in the interest of the nation, and then such a huge tax reform could be implemented in the country. So far, there have been 27 meetings of the GST Council and we can all feel proud that people from different political ideologies have been involved in these meetings. These meetings involve representatives of different states; states which have different priorities, but in spite of all this, all the decisions that have been taken in the GST Council so far have been taken with absolute consensus. Before the onset of GST scheme, there were 17 different types of taxes prevailing in the country, but now only one tax is applicable in the entire country. GST is not only the victory of integrity but it is also a celebration of honesty. Earlier, in the case of taxation and allied affairs in the country, there were rampant complaints of Inspector Raj.

In the GST scheme,information technology has replaced the inspector. Everything from return to refund is done through online information technology. The check post has become extinct after the arrival of the GST scheme and the movement of goods has become faster, which not only saves time but is also accruing benefits in the areaof logistics. GST is probably be the biggest tax reform in the world. The successful implementation of such a huge tax reform in India was successful only because the people of the country adopted it and through the power of the masses, fuelled the success of the GST scheme. It is generally believed that such a big tax reform, in a huge country like ours with such a large population takes 5 to 7 years for effective adoption. However within a year, the enthusiasm of the honest people of this nation, the celebration of integrity in the country and the participation of people resulted in this new tax system managing to create a space for itself, has achieved stability and according to the need, it will bring reform through its inbuilt arrangement. This is a huge success in itself which 125 crore Indians have earned for themselves.

My dear countrymen! Once again, while concluding this episode, I wait most eagerly for the next chapter of ‘Mann Ki Baat’, of meeting you and talking to you. I wish you many felicitations.

Thank you very much.

Mon, 25 Jun 2018 09:33:27 +0530
President Kovind delivers

The President Ram Nath Kovind, delivered a lecture at Havana University in Cuba on the subject - “India and the Global South”.  

The President said that the subject - “India and the Global South” - he has chosen to speak on happens to be central to both Cuban and Indian foreign policy. And it is an area of multilateral engagement, where we have seen real and robust impact of India-Cuba close cooperation, with both countries playing a stellar role in powering South-South Cooperation and standing up for a stronger voice for the Global South or Developing Countries. The solidarity of the Global South lay at the heart of the international vision of great leader and statesman of Cuba, Fidel Castro and the Cuban Revolution. He said, his talk was a tribute to Fidel Castro’s contribution and vision to make the world a better place for the citizens of the developing world.

The President said that the values of South-South Cooperation have stood us in good stead. Mutual respect and solidarity among developing countries form the core of it. The success of South-South Cooperation must encourage our developed country partners to see how best these modalities can be utilized by them as well. The decision of the United Nations for hosting the second High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation in Buenos Aires in 2019 is a welcome move.     

The President said that development partnership secures the interests of the Global South, but only partially. We have to work together to push for greater space for developing countries in global governance structures. In this context, we must give a greater push for reform of the United Nations including the Security Council. Similarly, the Bretton Woods Institutions must factor in the growing weight of the countries of the South in their decision making. Alongside our reform agenda, we must counter any move to weaken multilateralism. Preserving a rules-based global trading order remains critical to promote the interests of developing countries. At the World Trade Organization Doha Round of Negotiations, it is essential that issues of food security and livelihoods are given utmost sanctity.

The President said that globalization may have lifted millions out of poverty but the unmet needs in developing countries still remain. The growth agenda centered on poverty eradication, therefore, must be at the heart of the global development discourse. We must also push for greater availability of finance and technology to help developing countries combat Climate Change and meet their development needs.

The President said that the Global South has come a long way in its journey since the 1960’s. Today, the Group stands stronger and taller. It is a diverse Group with countries at various levels of development. But it is important that the unity of the Group be preserved. That’s how we can strengthen multilateralism and promote Right to Development for all.

Earlier in the day (22.06.2018), the President was accorded a ceremonial welcome at the Revolution Palace. Subsequently, he led the delegation level talks with the Cuban side led by President Diaz-Canel. Both sides reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral relations and exchanged views on global issues of mutual concern.

Sun, 24 Jun 2018 11:49:31 +0530
PM lauds citizens active

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the success and milestones achieved by the Swachh Bharat Mission has been possible due to the efforts and participation by the citizens across the country. He said that there is now a perceptible positive change in the mindset of the people towards Swachhata. He emphasized on the efforts of cities of Madhya Pradesh especially Indore and Bhopal which have consistently performed exceedingly well in Swachhata rankings year after year and are setting good examples for the other towns and cities of the country. He said that the country is now closer to realize the dream of Clean India by 150thbirth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi in 2019.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi presented awards to the top states, cities and Organizations of the Swachh Survekshan 2018 in Indore.

Jharkhand was awarded as the best performing state while Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh bagged 2nd and 3rdposition.  Indore, Bhopal and Chandigarh emerged as the top 3 cleanest cities of the country while Greater Mumbai was awarded the cleanest capital city in the country. Vijayawada, Mysuru and New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) were awarded as cleanest cities in population categories of greater than 10 lakh, 3-10 lakh and 1-3 lakh, respectively while Delhi Cantt was awarded as the cleanest Cantonment Board in the country.  In the organizations category, Bakeys Foods Private Limited, Hyderabad was awarded for ‘Swachh Innovation’, Bengaluru based Saahas Waste Management Private Limited was awarded under Swachh Best Practice category and the Swachh Entrepreneur award was given to Daily Dump , Bengaluru.   

Sun, 24 Jun 2018 10:11:09 +0530
Food security is the key

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu said that making agriculture sustainable and profitable should top the agenda of both central and state governments as food security is the key foundation of national security.

Addressing the concluding session of the two-day National Consultation on Agriculture at Vaikunth Mehta National Cooperative Institute of Management, he said that a multi-pronged strategy needs to be adopted to make agriculture viable and ensure that the interests of the farmers are protected.

The Vice President said that the recommendations of the two-day deliberations on six themes will be shared with a wider audience and key stake holders including the union and the state governments and farmers’ organisations. He further said that the outcomes of the national consultation along with inputs received from the wider cross section of people will be placed before the nation. This is expected to generate informed debate on critical issues in this sector and lead to tangible action touching the lives of farmers across the country, he added.

Expressing his concern that the system was in favour of the articulate and organised urban sector, the Vice President said that the time has come for a sharper focus on rural, agrarian population and a positive bias towards farmers. Interests of both farmers and consumers need to be balanced, he added.

One of the new challenges in the agricultural sector is the problem of plenty. ‘We have become self sufficient in food grains. However, this has not translated into higher incomes for the farmers. Unless agriculture is made profitable, we cannot attract more people, especially youth, to take up farming,’ the Vice President emphasised. 

The Vice President said that farmers have contributed immensely in transforming our nation into an exporter of food grains and we owe a lot to them. He further said that food security is central to national security and our kisans are continuously ensuring it.  That's why our nation salutes the farmers and says ‘Jai Kisan!’, he added.

While farmers are ensuring food security, our armed forces guarding our country are ensuring national security. They have demonstrated highest standards of professional excellence and are among the best in the world. We salute their sense of dedication and say ‘Jai Jawan!’, the Vice President added.

The Vice President said that the nation owes a great deal not only to farmers and to the defence forces but also to the eminent scientists who are extending the frontiers of knowledge and contributing to the development of our nation continuing in the same vein he lauded the great heights reached by Indian scientists and said ‘Jai Vigyan’.

Sat, 23 Jun 2018 13:20:01 +0530
President pays tributes a

The President RamNath Kovind, reached Santiago de Cuba, Cuba on the last leg of his 3 - nation State Visit to – Greece, Suriname and Cuba. In Santiago de Cuba, he visited the Santa Ifigenia Cemetery to pay his tributes to national heroes of Cuba – Jose Marti, Fidel Castro, Carlos Manuel de Cespedes and Mariana Grajales. Subsequently, the President landed in Havana on the same day.

The President commenced his engagements with paying his tributes at the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Havana.  Later in the day, the President will be accorded ceremonial welcome at the Revolution Palace.  Thereafter, he will meet his counterpart President Miguel Díaz-Canel and lead the delegation level talks with Cuba.  The two sides are expected to sign two MoUs – one on Traditional Medicine and Homeopathy and second on Biotechnology.

Later today, the President will address the students of Havana University before leaving for New Delhi.

Sat, 23 Jun 2018 11:54:00 +0530
Rajnath Singh attends gro

During the Ground Breaking Ceremony for the Oil Refinery at 'Stantsiin Hooloi' in Altanshiree Soum, Mongolia today, the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh observed that this Ceremony was an important milestone in the bilateral ties between India and Mongolia. The Prime Minister of Mongolia, Mr. Ukhnaagin Khurelsukh and other dignitaries were present.

The Home Minister while recalling the statement made by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his historical visit to Mongolia in 2015 where he had announced Line of Credit of US$ 1 billion for this project, expressed confidence that with the start of this refinery, Mongolia would derive rich benefits. Rajnath Singh was of the opinion that this will further strengthen the relationship between both the countries and averred that it was India which first established Diplomatic relations with Mongolia after it came out of Communist Bloc.

The Home Minister lauded the efforts made by His Holiness Kushak Bakula, who during his life called upon the youth to lead life with human values. He himself, the Home Minister observed, was a symbol of peace and love.

Rajnath Singh further stated that both India and Mongolia should work in close coordination not only for progress and development of Asia but to usher peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.

Home Minister is on a 3-day visit to Mongolia to further strengthen India’s relations with Mongolia and security cooperation. Mongolia is seen as an important strategic partner of India and New Delhi wants to realise the huge potential of bilateral relations with Mongolia.

Sat, 23 Jun 2018 11:48:12 +0530
India is set to host thir

The Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Government of India and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) will jointly host the third Annual Meeting of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) on June 25-26 at Hotel Trident/Oberoi and NCPA, Mumbai.

The theme for this year’s meeting is *“Mobilizing Finance for Infrastructure: Innovation and Collaboration”* that will see leaders from varied organizations and levels of government to share ideas and experiences for creating a sustainable future through sound infrastructure investment. 

This year will also see the launch of the inaugural Asian Infrastructure Forum, which will gather infrastructure practitioners in a practical and project-driven discourse, focused on matching innovative finance to critical infrastructure needs.

The two-day meeting will witness the presence of top policy makers, Ministers from AIIB members, participants from partner institutions, the private sector and civil society organizations. Moreover, leading experts from a range of fields will be present to lead discussions and share insights on addressing Asia’s infrastructure gap in an environmentally and socially friendly way.

Apart from several high-ranking government officials gracing the occasion, Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Shri. Narendra Modi will inaugurate the third Annual Meeting of AIIB on June 26, 2018. Furthermore, Mr. Piyush Goyal, Hon’ble Finance Minister, and Mr. Subhash Chandra Garg, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance will also be present during the course of the meeting, to discuss the environmental landscape of investing in infrastructure plans in India and also share an overview about the third Annual Meeting.

Industries Department, Government of Maharastra is the nodal Department, Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC), Government of Maharashtra is the nodal agency, Confedartion of Indian Industry (CII) is the Professional Conference Organiser (PCO), Research and Information Systems for Developing Countries (RIS) is the knowledge partner, for the third Annual Meeting of AIIB.

In the run up to the Annual Meeting 2018, the Government of India has organised a number of lead up events in different cities in India from February to June 2018, aimed to stimulate debates on several important themes of infrastructure.

During the Annual Meeting, there will be several seminars that focus on topics including mobilizing finance for infrastructure, gender and infrastructure and connectivity within and beyond Asia.  There will also be Host Country Seminars on topics including the sources and instruments of financing and new technology choices and alternatives, and a panel discussion with Chief Ministers on the vision of infrastructure development in India.

The Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Government of India, in partnership with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI), is also organising an exhibition “India Infrastructure Expo 2018. The objective of the exhibition is to offer companies from the public and private sector to showcase their latest solutions, technologies and offerings in the realm of infrastructure project development and delivery.

Fri, 22 Jun 2018 19:00:53 +0530
PM speaks about India s l

The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, today laid the foundation stone for Vanijya Bhawan, a new office complex for the Union Government’s Department of Commerce, at New Delhi. 

The Prime Minister expressed confidence that the building will be completed well within the stipulated time. He emphasized that this would be in keeping with the spirit of New India, and moving away from old practices, under which important building projects, even in the Capital, had been inordinately delayed. In this context, he mentioned the Dr. Ambedkar International Centre, the Dr. Ambedkar National Memorial, the Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra and the new office building for the Central Information Commission. 

He said that this is also the result of breaking silos within the working of the Government. He hoped that the new office building – Vanijya Bhawan – would further facilitate elimination of silos in India’s commerce sector. Speaking about the country’s demographic dividend, the Prime Minister said that it is our collective responsibility to fulfil the aspirations of our youth.

Talking of adoption of digital technology, the Prime Minister remarked that the land on which the new building is being constructed, was earlier occupied by the Directorate General of Supplies and Disposal. This has now been replaced by the Government e-Marketplace (GeM), which has seen transactions worth Rs. 8700 crore in a short time, he added. He urged the Department of Commerce to work towards further expansion of GeM, and leverage it for the benefit of the country’s MSME sector. He also spoke of the benefits of GST, and said the Union Government is making constant efforts to create a people-friendly, development-friendly and investment-friendly environment. 

The Prime Minister mentioned various macro-economic parameters, and other indicators to explain how the India is now playing an important role in the global economy. He said India is now among the top five fin-tech countries, globally. He said subjects such as “Ease of Trading,” and “Ease of Doing Business,” are all related to “Ease of Living” in an interconnected world. 

The Prime Minister emphasized the need for an increase in exports, and said that States must be made active partners in this effort. He said the Department of Commerce must resolve to raise India’s share in total global exports to at least 3.4 percent, from the current 1.6 percent. Similarly he said, efforts must be made to raise domestic manufacturing output, to reduce imports. In this context, he gave the example of electronics manufacturing. He said the Union Government has taken a number of steps to boost domestic manufacturing.

Fri, 22 Jun 2018 18:24:03 +0530
UAE Minister attends Yoga

The Embassy of India in Abu Dhabi, in the presence of Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance, celebrated the 4th International Yoga Day at the Umm AL Emarat park on 21st June 2018. Nearly 5,000 yoga enthusiasts including prominent personalities, diplomats from various countries, Emirati citizens, students and members from the Indian community took part in the Yoga day celebration.

Speaking on the occasion, Sheikh Nahyan said, "Yoga encourages us to discover additional interests and values that we might share with strangers. Yoga leads us to an understanding of others and an informed appreciation of our differences. The ministry supports and applauds events that embrace the spirit of tolerance. Tonight’s celebration of yoga is just such an event."

Welcoming the gathering of Yoga enthusiasts to 4th Yoga Day, Indian Ambassador Navdeep Suri, said that the increasing popularity of Yoga throughout the world, was a testimony to its proven health benefits and yoga was a wonderful technology for holistic life and well being.. He thanked the Government of UAE for their kind support in organizing the fourth edition of Yoga Day as in all previous years.

The event had performers do Yoga postures on Arabic music as a tribute to India UAE cultural ties, a talk on the benefits of yoga by a Abu Dhabi based Russian instructor having learnt yoga in India, Desktop Yoga- a gentle and series of exercises based on yoga and designed specifically for officer goers, Power Yoga - an intense form of yoga, Integrative Yoga focusing on postures to increase integration between the left and right brain, mediation and laughter yoga.

Fri, 22 Jun 2018 18:07:26 +0530
Arab coalition prepared t

The full, peaceful and unconditional withdrawal of the Houthi militia from the city and port of Hodeidah is the only route to avert worsening the situation in and around the city, Dr. Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs has said.

In a statement, Gargash reaffirmed that the Arab Coalition is prepared to increase pressure on the Houthis to achieve this goal.

"With the Hodeida airport now securely in the hands of the Yemeni Government, the Coalition is ready to begin the next phase of its military and humanitarian operations to liberate Hodeida and to protect the already fragile civilian population and the overall humanitarian situation," he added.

Dr. Gargash went on to say that there is now an "increased urgency" to removing the Houthis from Hodeidah city and port. "According to the UN, international aid groups, the media, civilian reports from the city and our own information, the Houthis are purposefully and deliberately seeking to create a humanitarian crisis and to exacerbate the overall conflict," he continued.

These actions include blocking the unloading of humanitarian aid from ships at Hodeida port; removing surveillance cameras in warehouses that have prevented Houthi theft and diversion of food supplies; destroying the water and sewage systems by deep digging to build berms for tanks and artillery; indiscriminately placing landmines and IEDs along roads and in civilian neighbourhoods; pre-positioning sea mines and explosive devices around the port to destroy infrastructure; and placing snipers and heavy weaponry in residential neighbourhoods, the UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs explained.

"The Arab Coalition will not -- and the International community should not -- allow the Houthis to hide behind, mistreat and manipulate the civilian population. We cannot allow the Houthis to divert us from the strategic goals of the operation and our collective efforts to accelerate a peaceful settlement for Yemen and all of the Yemeni people," Dr. Gargash concluded.

Fri, 22 Jun 2018 10:31:28 +0530
Maneka Gandhi performs Yo

The Ministry of Women and Child Development celebrated 4th International Day of Yoga through various activities. The Minister for Women and Child Development, Maneka Gandhi attended a yoga session with pregnant women in New Delhi. The Minister interacted with the expecting mothers who shared their experiences of practising pre-natal yoga.

The Minister performed Asanas along with the pregnant women under guidance of yoga trainer so as to encourage the practice of pre-natal yoga. She emphasised on the importance of yoga for pregnant women. However, the prenatal yoga must be practised only under qualified instructors, the Minister stressed.

The Minister said that making Yoga an integral part of life has holistic benefits and it can help especially the pregnant mothers by giving the ability to stay calm and eases most physical problems during the nine months. She also added that Pranayama has been found to have exceptional benefits during pregnancy and it must be incorporated in the daily regime through all the three trimesters as it helps release negative emotions.

Speaking on the occasion after participating in the Prenatal Yoga session on the occasion of 4th International Day of Yoga, the Minister also said that regularly practising prenatal yoga can help in preparing the women’s body for normal delivery.

The Minister shared her own daily yoga routine and urged people to perform yoga for staying healthy and happy.

Fri, 22 Jun 2018 10:12:16 +0530
India Tajikistan reaffir

India and Tajikistan have reaffirmed their commitment to promote bilateral relations and agreed to enhance economic cooperation, particularly in sustainable water development.

Nitin Gadkari, the Union   Minister for Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation, Road Transport & Highways and Shipping, currently on a two-day official visit to the central Asian republic, held wide-ranging talks with Sirodjidin Muhridin, Foreign Minister of Tajikistan in Dushanbe yesterday.

The two leaders underlined the need to give further impetus to the ongoing bilateral cooperation in various fields and agreed to enhance mutual cooperation in the area of sustainable water development.

Gadkari also conveyed to the Tajikistan leader, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's commitment towards expanding economic cooperation between the two countries, and said that potential for trade in commodities like sugar and milk powder may be explored.

Gadkari gave him an update on the progress of Chabahar Port which India is helping to develop in Iran and said that New Delhi would be willing to share with Tajikistan, Indian expertise in building quality infrastructure.

Sirodjidin Muhridin said India was one of Tajikistan’s reliable political and strategic partners and would also like to expand its economic ties with New Delhi.

Gadkari is in Dushanbe to represent India at the high level global conference on “International Decade for Action: Water for Sustainable Development”.

Fri, 22 Jun 2018 10:02:22 +0530
Indian agencies to look i

The fresh release made in the media today under ‘Panama Paper Leaks’ is being promptly looked into by the law enforcement agencies under the aegis of the Multi Agency Group (MAG) already constituted for facilitating coordinated and speedy investigation. As per the standard operating procedures in place for  investigating such cases, examining the information revealed in the media release with the disclosures made by the alleged persons in the annual returns of income filed, particularly in the foreign assets (FA) schedule, foreign remittance details etc. will be undertaken expeditiously, followed by raising of relevant queries. Subsequently, investigations in appropriate cases would be carried out to bring them to a logical conclusion.

The Panama Paper leaks were originally revealed by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), on 4thApril 2016. On the same day, the Government constituted the MAG, headed by Chairman, Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) as its convener, comprising representatives of the Income Tax Department, Enforcement Directorate (ED), Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

The Panama Paper leaks involving 426 persons have been investigated by the Income Tax Department and other member agencies of MAG. Since the database released by ICIJ did not contain any financial details or details of beneficial ownership, these had to be sought from foreign jurisdictions under tax treaties in most cases. After thorough investigation, involving examination of the disclosures made in the ITRs particularly the FA schedule, residential status, responses to questionnaires issued, responses received from foreign jurisdictions and details of foreign remittances made, 352 cases were found to be non-actionable.

In the 74 cases found actionable, invasive actions were taken in 62 cases with searches conducted in 50 cases, and surveys in 12 cases leading to detection of undisclosed foreign investments of about Rs.1140 crore (approx). In 16 cases criminal prosecution complaints have been filed in jurisdictional courts which are at various stages of hearing. In 32 cases notices under section 10 of the Black Money Act have been issued.

The investigations conducted in Panama Paper cases reflect the Government’s continued focus in dealing with Black Money stashed abroad.  The promptness in action is more than evident as most of the actionable cases have been effectively addressed. Though the investigating agencies faced problems of incomplete data and absence of financial information as well as not very prompt cooperation from other countries, the overall outcome has been very satisfactory. Government would like to assure that the fresh series of Panama Papers information would also be effectively addressed within a reasonable time frame. 

Fri, 22 Jun 2018 09:56:46 +0530
Indian scientists discove

A Team of scientists and engineers led by Prof. Abhijit Chakraborty of Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), Ahmedabad, discovered a sub-Saturn or super-neputune size planet (mass of about 27 Earth Mass and size of 6 Earth Radii) around a Sun-like star. The planet will be known as EPIC 211945201b or K2-236b.

The Research work has appeared online in Astronomical Journal of the American Astronomical Society and published by IOP publishing (the DOI of the article is 10.3847/1538-3881 /aac436).

The discovery was made by measuring the mass of the planet using the indigenously designed “PRL Advance Radial-velocity Abu-sky Search” (PARAS) spectrograph integrated with 1.2m Telescope at PRL's Gurushikhar Observatory in Mount Abu, India. Only 23 such planetary systems (including this discovery) are known to this date with masses between 10 and 70 Earth mass and size of 4 to 8 Earth radii with such precise measurement of mass This discovery is very important for understanding the formation mechanism of such super-Neptune or sub-Saturn kind of planets, that are too close to the host star and as well as planet formations around Sun-like stars.

With this discovery, India has joined a handful of countries, which have discovered planets around stars beyond our solar system. Further, PARAS is the first of its kind spectrograph in Asia, which can measure the mass of a planet going around a star. Very few spectrographs exist around the world that can do such precise measurements.

Fri, 22 Jun 2018 09:43:18 +0530
Citizens must be at the c

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that local bodies should always place citizens at the centre of civic governance, adding that people’s participation in formulating and planning projects and services will improve execution and delivery of the services. He was addressing the gathering after inaugurating the new building of Pune Municipal Corporation, in Pune, Maharashtra.

The Vice President said that Pune has the chance to become a trailblazer in urban governance by adopting a futuristic and people-centric approach. He complimented the Municipal Corporation for issuing municipal bonds for augmenting resources to take up developmental projects in the city. He has also asked the local body to improve its credit worthiness to borrow finances from lending agencies. 

Highlighting the importance of healthy lifestyle, the Vice President suggested authorities to create non-motorized zones. Every city must have dedicated bicycle tracks, pedestrian lanes and parks, he added.

The Vice President said that local body representatives must work collectively, irrespective of political affiliations, to protect water bodies and prevent their encroachment. While expressing his appreciation at the progress made in the implementation of projects under the Smart City mission, he cautioned against cost and time overruns while executing various projects. To improve the governance in urban local bodies, a bottom up approach has to be implemented with zero tolerance towards corruption, he added.

The Vice President said that local bodies need to be provided with the three 3 Fs - Funds, Functions and Functionaries - for effective governance. He said that 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendments should be implemented in letter and spirit.

The Vice President said that authorities must ensure that people get better and quality services. It should be noted that in the present digital age, citizens are seeking prompt and quick action on every complaint or petition submitted by them to the municipal authorities, he added.

Fri, 22 Jun 2018 09:31:28 +0530
President Kovind attends

The President Ram Nath Kovind, participated in the 4th International Yoga Day celebrations in Paramaribo, Suriname along with the President of Suriname, Mr Desiré Delano Bouterse, the Vice President of Suriname, Mr Michael Ashwin Adhin and other dignitaries.

Addressing the gathering, the President said that yoga is an ancient Indian tradition, but it does not belong to India alone. It is part of humanity’s intangible heritage. Millions across the world, in every continent and among all communities, have embraced yoga and interpreted yoga in their own way. The practice of yoga has had a beneficial impact on their bodies as well as their minds. Particularly in today’s world of stresses and lifestyle diseases, yoga can help all of us.

The President said that yoga embodies the symbiotic relationship of mind and body; and of thought and action. It promotes harmony between human beings and nature, a sentiment that is so much at home in the culture of Suriname. It promotes a holistic approach to health and wellbeing. The benefits of yoga must also spur us, in different countries and cultures, to explore traditional wisdom and consider how this could be useful for the modern age – or simply repackaged for our times. Many societies, including Suriname and India, have a wealth of traditional knowledge to offer.

The President said that along with Suriname and India, the fourth International Day of Yoga is being celebrated in practically every country in the world. Yoga is the ultimate expression of Indian soft power. It has won us love and affection among yoga practitioners in all corners of the planet, including in Suriname.

Later today, the President also laid the foundation stone of an Indian Cultural Centre in Paramaribo. The Indian Cultural Centre in Suriname will be dedicated to the promotion of Hindustani music and culture. Later, he will be leave for Cuba - the last leg of his visit to three nations.

The President attended a luncheon banquet hosted in his honour by the President of Suriname yesterday. He also addressed a community reception in Paramaribo.

Speaking at the banquet, the President said that Suriname is part of the “New World’’. People and ideas from far and wide have mingled in Suriname. Whoever came to these shores soon became its own. He paid his deepest respects to the people of Suriname for this togetherness. He stated that he found it a truly humbling experience to have set foot in Suriname among the celebration of the 145th Anniversary of the arrival of Indians to Suriname.

The President said that India and Suriname have an engaging relationship. There is high potential to enhance trade and investment relations between the two countries. Agriculture, tourism, forestry, mining, energy and health are areas which we need to explore.

At the community reception yesterday (20.06.2018), the President said that the Hindustani community is a colourful part of the Surinamese fabric. He was happy to note that the Hindustani community has beautifully assimilated in the Surinamese society and yet, has preserved and kept their traditions and culture alive.

Fri, 22 Jun 2018 09:26:03 +0530
Tourism ministry conducts

The Ministry of Tourism celebrated the International Day of Yoga today, with a plethora of events across the country. In New Delhi, a Yoga session has been conducted from 6:30 AM to 8:30 AM at the Qutub Minar Complex, along with a cycle rally from 6:00 AM starting from the Purana Quila.

The event was inaugurated by Meenakshi Sharma, ADG (Tourism), at the Sun Dial Lawn, Qutub Minar which saw a wide participation from public including more than 30 foreign hospitality guests.

In addition,  the Ministry through its India Tourism offices, organized Yoga sessions and Live demonstrations, across the country, at Major Tourist destinations and iconic locations like, Taj Mahal, Besant Nagar Beach Chennai, Ellora Caves Aurangabad, Sun Temple Konark, Bodhgaya, Sun Temple Konark, Ellora Caves Aurangabad, Assam, Shillong, Somnath Temple Gujarat and many more.

Thu, 21 Jun 2018 17:03:56 +0530
India repatriates Pakista

India's External Affairs Ministry said that they have repatriated six Pakistani prisoners back to their country, reports Khaleej Times.

"Six Pakistani prisoners were repatriated today via Attari/Wagah border," the ministry said in a statement.

"In addition, four Pakistani prisoners have already been released and repatriated in 2018, so far," it stated.

"India attaches high priority to addressing all humanitarian issues, including early release and repatriation of Indian fishermen and prisoners in Pakistan's custody," the statement said, adding that India has secured the release of 147 Indian prisoners, including 146 fishermen, from Pakistan in 2018 so far, Khaleej Times reported.

Thu, 21 Jun 2018 14:54:41 +0530
Fire at DRDO s HEMRL Comp

A fire broke out in one of the buildings at High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL) in Pune. Immediately, the fire fighting vehicles were called and the fire was contained.

In the incident, one contractual worker was found unconscious, who was working in the building when the incident occured. He was immediately taken to HEMRL’s Medical Inspection Room, where doctor declared him dead. The body was sent to Sassoon General Hospital, Pune. An FIR has been lodged in this regard.  

Thu, 21 Jun 2018 14:29:46 +0530
Yoga has nothing to do w

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that Yoga is a holistic approach towards health and well-being with physical, emotional and spiritual dimensions to it. Addressing the gathering while participating in the International Day of Yoga 2018 celebrations, in Mumbai today, he said that the ancient science of Yoga is India’s invaluable gift to the modern world. The Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.

Quoting Sage Patanjali who compiled the first yoga philosophy, the Vice President said that Yoga helps a person to control his or her own random thoughts and allows achieving stillness, a calmness that creates inner harmony.

The Vice President said that Yoga has nothing to do with religion and it is a holistic science embodying the basic principle of organic, interconnectedness of different facets of life. It is unfortunate that some people attribute religious overtones to this ancient scientific system, he added.

The Vice President called on people to make Yoga a part of daily routine to combat modern day health problems. He said that the time has come to introduce yoga as part of school curriculum so that India becomes a nation of healthy and happy people in the coming years.

The Vice President Yoga promotes concentration and focused attention. Apart from enhancing physical and mental agility, Yoga practice makes a person to adopt a balanced attitude towards life at all times, he added.

Outlining the importance of Yoga in daily life, the Vice President said that the worrisome trend of youngsters resorting to extreme steps like ending their lives can be curbed if they develop sense of equanimity and calmness of mind, which can be developed through yoga and meditation.

Thu, 21 Jun 2018 14:24:12 +0530
PM performs Yoga Deliver

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said that Yoga has become one of the most powerful ‘Unifying Forces’ in the world. He was addressing a huge gathering on the 4th International Yoga Day held at the Forest Research Institute campus in Dehradun, Uttarakhand. Prime Minister performed Yogasan, Pranayama and Dhyan with about 50,000 yoga enthusiasts and volunteers at the Forest Research Institute campus.

“It's a proud moment for everyone that today, all over the world; people are welcoming the brightness and warmth of the sun with Yoga. From Dehradun to Dublin, from Shanghai to Chicago, and from Jakarta to Johannesburg, yoga is now spread everywhere”, Prime Minister said

Giving a clear-cut message to the Yoga enthusiasts all over the world, Prime Minister said that the entire world has embraced Yoga and the glimpses of this can be seen in the way International Day of Yoga is celebrated every year.  He further added that Yoga Day has become one of the biggest mass movements in the quest for good health and well-being.

Prime Minister said that we should not hesitate to honour our own legacy and heritage if we want the rest of the world to respect us. He said that Yoga is beautiful because it is ancient and yet modern, it is constant and yet evolving; it has the best of our past and present and provides a ray of hope for our future. 

Talking about the potential of Yoga, Prime Minister said that Yoga has a solution to most of the problems faced by people, as individuals as well as a society. He said that Yoga could lead to a calm, creative and content life, removing tensions and needless anxiety. “Instead of dividing, Yoga unites. Instead of further animosity, Yoga assimilates. Instead of increasing suffering, Yoga heals”, he added.

Thu, 21 Jun 2018 14:00:07 +0530
Abu Dhabi Airport opens n

Abu Dhabi Airports announced the opening of Aerotel’s new airport transit sleeping facility at the Abu Dhabi International Airport. The latest addition marks the airport’s second facility that is operated by Aerotel of Plaza Premium Group.

Open 24 hours a day, the hotel offers flexible hourly booking slots which gives easy access for transit passengers seeking a quick power rest. Its offers include a 2-hour day package between 09:00 to 20:00 and a 4-hour night package available from 20:00 to 9:00.

Saoud Al Shamsi, Acting Chief Commercial Officer of Abu Dhabi Airports, said, "Abu Dhabi Airports’ utmost priority is to ensure a convenient, seamless journey for passengers travelling through the Abu Dhabi International Airport. With more than 20 million people transiting through the airport, the establishment of Aerotel’s new hotel facility cements Abu Dhabi Airports’ position in providing world-class solutions to best accommodate such demand."

"We look forward to strengthening our efforts with Plaza Premium Group and the rest of our partners to continuously create innovative airport services that redefines travel experiences with Abu Dhabi International Airport," Al Shamsi added.

Aerotel can also be found in Terminal 1, which presents 38 spacious rooms divided into three categories: solo room, double plus and double squared that is ideal for solo to family travelers respectively.

Thu, 21 Jun 2018 09:27:06 +0530
Surat gets award under In

Nine awards in three categories, i.e., Project Award, Innovative Idea Award and City Award have been announced under the India Smart Cities Awards, which was launched Housing and Urban Affairs Minister.

The city award is being given to Surat for showing great momentum in implementation of projects especially in the categories of urban environment, transport and mobility and sustainable integrated development.

The Innovative Idea award is being given to a project/idea particularly remarkable for its innovative, bottom-up and transformative approach towards achievement of sustainable integrated development. Joint winners in this category are Bhopal for their Integrated Command and Control Centre (ICCC) and Ahmedabad for Safe and Secure Ahmedabad (SASA) Project.

The Project awards are being given to most innovative and successful projects in seven categories that have been completed by April 1, 2018.

Thu, 21 Jun 2018 09:22:14 +0530
Three day National Yoga O

Three day National Yoga Olympiad concluded at All India Council for Technical Education, VasantKunj in New Delhi. Prizes to the children of winner states were distributed by the Chief Guest on the occasion Mr. Eric Falt, Director and UNESCO Representative to India, Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka.

Speaking on this occasion, Mr. Eric Falt lauded the efforts of the children in performing Yoga.  He said that Yoga reaches beyond gender, culture and language. If understood correctly, it even reaches beyond age and ability and socially, it is also a great equalizer.

He said that the International Yoga Day is a great initiative of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UNESCO is proud to support it. He informed that Yoga is also inscribed since 2016 on UNESCO’s Representative list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. He also shared his concern around the world on education systems which are becoming overly competitive, stress-fuelled and exam-oriented. He shared anxiety on rising trends of intolerance and violent extremism on one hand and increasing levels of angst and depression among the youth on the other hand and felt that this is where Yoga comes into being.

Thu, 21 Jun 2018 09:16:57 +0530
Shillong elected as India

Shillong, the capital city of Meghalaya has been selected as 100th Smart City after evaluating the proposal submitted by it. Till now, 99 smart cities had been selected in four rounds of competition and with today’s announcement, selection of 100 cities has been completed under the Smart Cities Mission.

Previously, 20 cities were selected in January 2016, 13 cities in May 2016, 27 cities in September 2016, 30 cities in June 2017 and 9 cities in January 2018.  With the selection of Shillong, the total proposed investment in the finally selected 100 cities under the Smart Cities Mission would be Rs.2,05,018 crores.

Thu, 21 Jun 2018 09:08:46 +0530
Indian Army honours soldi

To commemorate the 'Year of  Disabled Soldier in  Line of Duty', Indian Army honoured the soldiers who have been disabled while serving the nation in a seminar on 'Physical & Mental Issues of Disabled Soldiers' organised at Manekshaw Centre. The event was attended by disabled soldiers and veterans, along with serving soldiers, officers and ladies. This event was used as an opportunity to connect with injured Indian Army bravehearts and acknowledge their service to the Nation.

DGAFMS, Lt Gen Bipin Puri delivered the welcome address for the event which was presided over by Chief of Army Staff, Gen Bipin Rawat. The COAS emphasized on the need to recognize both the physical and mental aspects of the disability and providing comprehensive care to the disabled soldiers to help them reintegrate into the society. He also highlighted various disabled-friendly initiatives that have been taken in Armed Forces Hospitals.

On the occasion, Maj DP Singh (Retd), a Kargil war veteran and celebrity blade runner also shared his experiences with the audience. Other speakers included Col Sachin Saxena, Psychiatrist from Base Hospital Delhi and Col AS Kalra, Prosthetic Surgeon from Artificial Limb Centre, Pune. They spoke about the challenges faced by disabled soldiers and discussed the very pertinent issue of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder(PTSD) that afflicts a large proportion of disabled soldiers.      

The aim of the Seminar was to provide an educative experience about the various stresses faced by the soldiers and their families, especially when a family member suffers from an injury leading to a devastating disability. A detailed account of various problems with special emphasis on effective solutions to combat them, was deliberated upon. This Seminar is one of the events which focuses to establish 'feel good' connect between disabled soldiers and the organisation and also aims to galvanise support for them.

Thu, 21 Jun 2018 09:04:59 +0530
Air Force builds airbridg

For three months, starting 18 Jun 2018, the Indian Air Force would create an airbridge between Pithoragarh and Gunji, in an effort to airlift 1080 registered passengers to Gunji to enable them to continue their journey for the coveted annual Kailash Mansarovar Yatra.

The requirement for the IAF to pitch in arose, when the MEA approached the MoD for air effort between the places where the connectivity was envisaged to be poor. “The IAF is ever ready to take over any task assigned by the Govt and thereafter ensures that it is executed in a most professional manner” said Air Cmde Pendse of Western Air Command, who is overlooking the operations.

The command had been chosen by Air HQ for this task, especially due to the experience its heptr pilots have in flying in mountainous terrain and landing at high altitudes, given the fact that Gunji is at an altitude of 3100 mts above the sea level.

We have deployed three MLH class of heptrs at Pithoragarh which would be carrying approximately 60-80 passengers per day said the task force commander positioned at Pithoragarh. The heptrs, from the Kirpan and Nubra Warrior units of the IAF, would be deployed for about three months catering for the return journey as well and would fly about 300 hrs in the duration of the operations.

Thu, 21 Jun 2018 08:57:23 +0530
Modi interacts with farme

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with farmers across the country, through video bridge. Over 2 lakh Common Service Centres (CSC) and 600 Krishim Vigyan Kendras (KVK) were connected through the video dialogue. This is the seventh interaction in the series by the Prime Minister through video conference with various beneficiaries of Government schemes.

Expressing happiness in interacting with farmers from over 600 districts, Prime Minister said that farmers are the ‘Annadatas’ (food providers) of our nation. He said that the entire credit for nation’s food security should go to the farmers.

Prime Minister’s interaction with the farmers covered wide range of agricultural and allied sectors like Organic Farming, Blue Revolution, Animal Husbandry, Horticulture, Floriculture etc.

Outlining his vision for farmers overall welfare  in the country, Prime Minister said that government is working towards doubling the farmer’s income by 2022 and to provide farmers maximum price of their produce. He added that the effort is to ensure that farmers receive help during all steps of farming, from preparation of crops to its sales. He emphasized that Government is keen on ensuring minimal cost of raw material, providing fair value for the produce, stopping wastage of the produce and ensuring alternate sources of income for the farmers.

He said that the Government is committed that farmers should feel that from ‘Beej Se Bazaar’ (Seed to Market), how various initiatives helped the farmers to improve traditional farming.

During the interaction, Prime Minister expressed delight in the collective strength displayed by the farmers through the formation of Farmer Producer Group and FPO (Farmer Producer Organisation), enabling them to get agricultural inputs at  low cost and marketing their produce effectively.  In the past 4 years, 517 Farmer Producer Organizations have been created and income tax exemption has been granted to Farmer Producer Companies, to encourage cooperatives amongst farmers.

Thu, 21 Jun 2018 08:51:17 +0530
Vice President to attend

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu will participate as Chief Guest at the International Yoga Day 2018 Celebrations being held at Bandra Reclamation Sealink Promenade, Mumbai.

The Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis will also attend the event which is being organized by a voluntary organization from Mumbai.

Recognizing that Yoga provides a holistic approach to health and well-being, the United Nations has proclaimed June 21 as International Day of Yoga. Since the first International Day of Yoga held on June 21, 2015, the event is being celebrated in many countries across the world every year to raise awareness on the benefits of practicing Yoga.

Thu, 21 Jun 2018 08:46:00 +0530
President arrives in Suri

The President Ram Nath Kovind, reached Suriname on the second leg of his State Visit to three countries – Greece, Suriname and Cuba. This is the first ever visit of an Indian President to Suriname. The President was received at the Johan Adolf Pengel International airport, Paramaribo by Mr Desire Delano Bouterse, the President of the Republic of Suriname, along with other dignitaries and accorded a ceremonial welcome. Subsequently, the President paid his tributes at the Gandhi statue in the city. 

The President addressed the National Assembly of Suriname. He became the first foreign Head of State to address the National Assembly of Suriname.

Speaking on the occasion, the President said that Suriname is an obvious partner for India as we seek to build on our already considerable trade, investment and cultural relations with Latin America and the Caribbean region.

The President stated that climate change is an international concern and a foreign policy issue. He commended Suriname for its enlightened approach on climate change. He said that India is proud to have Suriname as a co-partner in the International Solar Alliance. He thanked Suriname for ratifying its entry into the ISA. He stated that this will allow us to collaborate on solar energy projects that will be of benefit to Surinamese people and our planet.

The President said that it is not just in the field of renewable energy that India would want to partner Suriname. India is happy to share its developmental experiences with Suriname, as per Suriname’s needs, desires and priorities.

The President was happy to note that young people in Suriname are making increasing use of facilities available under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation programme. He stated that we have also signed an agreement on the formal linkage of the Suriname Diplomatic Institute and the Foreign Service Institute of India. This will facilitate the training of Surinamese diplomats in Information and Communication Technology, in e-diplomacy and in diaspora diplomacy.

Thu, 21 Jun 2018 08:42:16 +0530
Yoga unifies world say

Yoga became a force that unifies the world, says Prime Minister Narendra Modi while he was speaking on the sidelines of the fourth International Yoga Day.

"The link between the brain, body and the soul of a human being in this rapidly changing world happens through Yoga. Thus the feeling of peace passes through us", says Modi.

Modi, along with 50000 people, demonstrated Yoga at the Forest Research Institute in Dehradun. The first Yoga day was conducted on 2015 June 21 at the Rajpath in New Delhi with an attendance of 30000 people.

Thu, 21 Jun 2018 08:32:43 +0530
Governor to take charge i

The Jammu & Kashmir state turns into Governor's rule once again as the President signed in the recommendation of union home ministry to impose governor's rule in the state. The Governor will take charge in Kashmir after three years.

The state was placed under Governor's rule a day after the BJP decided to ended its partnership with chief minister Mehbooba Mufti's People's Democratic Party (PDP).

BJP's decision to stay away from the PDP alliance is a determined move to make gains from the state in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. The BJP alleges that the lack of peace in the state is due to the unnecessary actions of PDP.

The centre had grudgingly gone along with Mehbooba Mufti's idea of a unilateral ceasefire for the month of Ramzan as a peace initiative. The union Home Ministry assesses that instead of letting up, terrorists backed by Pakistan, seized the chance to intensify attacks, reports NDTV.

The centre's refusal to extend the ceasefire was seen as the straw that broke an alliance already weighed down by the conflicting ideologies of alliance partners BJP and PDP.Over the past three years of the BJP-PDP rule, the rift widened amid disagreements over the handling of the aftermath of Hizbul-Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani's killing, the gang-rape and killing of an eight-year-old in Kathua and the Ramzan ceasefire, NDTV reported.

Wed, 20 Jun 2018 09:46:53 +0530
Kuwait oil price declines

The price of Kuwait oil went down by US$3.09 on Monday and settled at US$69.95 per barrel (pb), compared to US$73.04 pb last Thursday, said Kuwait Petroleum Corporation.

According to the Kuwait News Agency, KUNA, the price of Brent Blend went up by 1.5 percent to US$74.53 pb, while future contracts of the West Texas Intermediate were up 0.3 percent to US$65.08 pb.

Wed, 20 Jun 2018 09:32:11 +0530
Arab Coalition Forces Ye

The Saudi-led Arab Coalition Forces, with the Joint Yemeni Resistance Forces, have successfully gained control of large parts of Hodeidah Airport in a qualitative and surprising military operation that destroyed the defences of the Iranian-backed Houthi militias, amid the escape of a large number of militias, and the killing of dozens under a barrage of fire.

The Joint Resistance Forces succeeded in taking full control of the village of al-Manzar, west of Hodeidah airport - where the Houthi militias were holed up - in precise and decisive strikes that confused their ranks and exhausted their military capabilities.

The Joint Yemeni Resistance Forces captured dozens of Houthi gunmen who were holed up behind walls of Hodeidah airport and inside buildings in severe and painful blow to Houthi militias and their leaders. Dozens of Houthi gunmen were killed, including field commanders during the raid of the Yemeni Resistance Forces on the Hodeidah Airport.

The engineering teams affiliated with the Arab Coalition and the Joint Resistance began clearing Hodeidah airport and its surrounding from mines and improvised explosive devices planted by the Houthis indiscriminately in attempts to delay the advance of troops inside the airport.

Wed, 20 Jun 2018 09:27:16 +0530
SAIL supplies steel for W

Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) has supplied around 60,000 tonnes of steel material for the 111-km-long Jiribam-Tupul-Imphal new broad gauge railway project in Manipur. SAIL has supplied TMT rebars and structural along with HR Plates and Sheets, Plate Mill Plates for this project. SAIL has been supplying the materials produced in its state-of-the-art new mills at Durgapur, IISCO, Rourkela and Bokaro  plants.

The project was taken up in 2008 and was declared a National Project.

It involves the construction of 111-km long broad gauge railway line which includes 9 stations at Dolakhal, Kaimai Road, Kambiron, Thingou, Khongsang, Noney Tupul, Haochang Road and Imphal, 148 bridges & 45 tunnels, of which tunnel No. 12 is 11.55-km long, making it India’s longest tunnel.

The project is being developed in two sections. The first section involves the construction of 84 kms of railway line connecting Jiribam to Tupul which is on the verge of completion. The second section of 27 kms connecting Tupul to Imphal is expected to be completed by 2019. Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) is undertaking the construction of the project.

In addition to this, a bridge is being constructed near Noney which will become the tallest girder rail bridge in the world. At 141 metres, the bridge over river Iring  will be as high as two Qutub Minar’s stacked on top of each other.

Wed, 20 Jun 2018 09:11:44 +0530
India s learning institut

The Union Human Resource Development Minister, Prakash Javadekar launched the new digital initiative of HRD Ministry ‘National Digital Library of India’ on the occasion of National Reading Day in New Delhi. This National Digital Library of India (NDLI) is a project of the Ministry of Human Resource Development under the aegis of National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology (NMEICT). The objective of NDL is to make digital educational resources available to all citizens of the country to empower, inspire and encourage learning. National Digital Library of India is developed by IIT Kharagpur.

NDL is the Single Window Platform that collects and collates metadata from premier learning institutions in India and abroad, as well as other relevant sources. It is a digital repository containing textbooks, articles, videos, audio books, lectures, simulations, fiction and all other kinds of learning media.

Speaking on the occasion Minister said that a new era of Digital India has begun as we dedicate this Digital Library to the Nation. He said that the National Digital Library is a 24x7 ubiquitous knowledge resource that is accessible to anyone with internet access and it is built to enable the rise of Digital India. The Minister said that anybody can access the digital library anytime and anywhere absolutely free of cost and will contribute greatly to the Government’s commitment towards “Padhe Bharat Badhe Bharat”.

NDLI can be accessed through www.ndl.gov.in

Wed, 20 Jun 2018 09:05:14 +0530
India s National Health P

J P Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare released the National Health Profile (NHP)-2018 prepared by the Central Bureau of Health Intelligence (CBHI). The E-book (digital version) of the annual document was also released.

The National Health Profile covers demographic, socio-economic, health status and health finance indicators, along with comprehensive information on health infrastructure and human resources in health. At the function, J P Nadda also launched the National Health Resource Repository (NHRR) - Country’s first ever national healthcare facility registry of authentic, standardized and updated geo-spatial data of all public and private healthcare establishments. 

Speaking at the function, Nadda stated that the Health Profile is a very important tool as it has helped in designing various programmes. He cited the examples of initiatives like Free Drugs and Diagnostics and Mission Parivar Vikas that have benefitted from the Health Profiles.

Nadda further said that  India has made substantial progress on several indicators in the recent years and stated that its national health indicators like Infant Mortality Rate (IMR), Maternal Maternity Rate (MMR) and Total Fertility Rate (TFR) are declining faster a than the world pace. The Union Health Minister added that India has shown impressive gains with 22% reduction in Maternal Mortality since 2013. “We must also appreciate that Uttar Pradesh with 30% decline has topped the chart in the reduction of Maternal Deaths,” he said.

Wed, 20 Jun 2018 08:59:19 +0530
India s quest for provid

India’s quest for providing best quality begins with identifying standards, stated Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Commerce and Industry. He was speaking at the 5th National Standards Conclave - Implementing the Indian National Strategy for Standardization, being held in New Delhi, organized by Department of Commerce and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

Speaking at the event, the Minister said that unless products are standardised it becomes difficult to market them. Standardisation boosts both exports as well as domestic economic growth by enabling realisation of value of product and services and consumers will be the biggest beneficiary.

Two reports were also released by the Minister, Indian National Strategy for Standardization (INSS) and CII-ASL Study on TBT/SPS Notifications. INSS is the result of the combined efforts of Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Ministry of Consumer Affairs and industry stakeholders. It provides a vision for the country to achieve the highest quality standards in production and distribution of goods and services in an attempt to reclaim Brand India. The INSS report addresses four broad pillars of Quality Ecosystem: (i) Standards Development (ii) Conformity Assessment and Accreditation (iii) Technical Regulations and SPS Measures (iv) Awareness and Education.

Wed, 20 Jun 2018 08:54:27 +0530
India assures support to

Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Radha Mohan Singh met his Nepalese counterpart Mr. Chakra Pani Khanal, Minister for Agriculture, Land Management and Cooperatives in New Delhi and assured him of India’s support to further Nepal’s agriculture sector.

Singh said both countries are largely agrarian and agriculture has been identified by the two sides as an important area of bilateral cooperation for which we are committed to support Nepal.

In the inaugural Ministerial meeting of India-Nepal “New Partnership in Agriculture”, the two Ministers discussed ways to strengthen cooperation in the agriculture sector such as agricultural research and education, arrangement for supply of fertilizers, mutual recognition of inspection, testing and certification system, trade facilitation measures, strengthening livestock services, veterinary research and development facilities, and promoting exchanges between the India Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) and the Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC).

The Agriculture Minister also expressed happiness that a pilot project on organic farming and soil health for implementation by India in Nepal has also been finalized.

Singh further added that India will be happy to share with Nepal its experiences in implementing new initiatives for enhancing agricultural productivity and welfare of farmers. Initiatives like Soil Health Card, Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna, eNAM, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojna etc. have been yielding positive results, he said, expressing hope that the visiting delegation gained fruitful knowledge that will help improve the respective areas of agriculture and allied sectors in Nepal.

Mr. Chakra Pani Khanal, Minister for Agriculture, Land Management and Cooperatives, Nepal, who is on a five day visit from June 19-23, 2018, will visit Indian Agricultural Research Institute, Pusa and National Centre of Organic Farming, Ghaziabad.

Wed, 20 Jun 2018 08:50:29 +0530
Modi to interact with far

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will interact directly with farmers across the country through video bridge at 9.30am tomorrow. The interaction will provide an opportunity to hear directly from the farmers.

 Initiatives related to doubling the farmer’s income will also be discussed. It will be broadcast directly by Krishi Vigyan Kendra’s, Common Service Centres (CSC), Doordarshan, DD Kissan and Aakashvaani from all over the country. About 2 lakh Common Service Centres and 600 Krishi Vigyan Kendras will be connected through the video bridge. People will also be able to interact with the Prime Minister through “Narendra Modi App”.

Wed, 20 Jun 2018 08:44:21 +0530
India is committed to wo

The President Ram Nath Kovind addressed a gathering of diplomats, policymakers and academics in Athens on the subject “India and Europe in a Changing World”. The event was organised by the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP) – a leading foreign policy think tank in Greece and in Europe.

The President said that India is committed to world peace. He said that India sees peace not just as the absence of conflict but as a reflection of sustainable development and indeed of any effort that anticipates and prevents strife and suffering. When we work for combating climate change, we contribute to world peace. When we assist other developing countries, as per their priorities, and strive for a less unequal world we contribute to world peace. When we rescue and evacuate not just our own citizens from troubled regions, but those of 40 other countries – as we did during the Yemen crisis of 2015 – we contribute to world peace. When we put considerable troops and resources at the disposal of United Nations peacekeeping operations, we contribute to world peace.

President said that radicalisation and terrorism are pressing global concerns. Pockets of instability and extremism can be found in the region to Europe’s east and India’s west. They are a worry for both Europe and India. Promotion of terrorism by state and non-state actors; extremism in a variety of forms and rooted in senseless hate; the proliferation of sensitive weapons; the use of regular communication and financial channels by terror groups – these pose a challenge to not one nation or the other but to all humanity.

The President said that India and the EU must persuade the world to not distinguish between so-called “good” and “bad” terrorists, to shame and sanction state sponsors of terrorism, and to strengthen multilateral platforms such as the Financial Action Task Force and the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum. He expressed India’s willingness to share its domestic experiences and success stories in a manner that may be useful to EU.

On clean energy and climate change, the President said that India and the EU are united in their commitment to the 2015 Paris Agreement. India is scaling up the share of non-fossil fuels in its energy mix. This will go up from the current 31 per cent to 53 per cent by 2027. We are targeting 175 gigawatts of renewable energy, of which 100 gigawatts will be solar energy, he said. The President invited Greece to join the International Solar Alliance (ISA). He also expressed happiness at the European Investment Bank’s willingness to mobilise finance for affordable solar energy projects in ISA member countries.

The EU is among India’s largest trading partners. President said that EU is a critical source of investment and technology, especially for sustainability programmes. Indian companies are significant investors in the EU, in industries as far apart as pharmaceuticals and automobile components. President Kovind said that India remains committed to an India-EU Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA), to be achieved in a generous spirit of mutual accommodation and of pragmatism.

Earlier in the day, the President addressed the India – Greek Business Forum meeting in Athens.

Speaking on the occasion, the President said that India-Greek bilateral trade at US Dollars 530 million is way below its potential. With some efforts this can easily be made to cross US Dollars 1 billion in the next few years and India is keen to take lead in this effort.

The President said that there are clear complementarities between the Indian and Greek economies. He urged Greek shipping, agriculture, food processing, tourism, infrastructure, technology, defence and Start-up companies to look at investment and technology tie-up openings in India. He stated that there are lucrative opportunities for the Greek Shipping Industry in India's ambitious Sagarmala project. He also touched upon the opportunities to collaborate in defence manufacturing, pharma, tourism, real-estate, entertainment, infrastructure and technology sectors as well.

Wed, 20 Jun 2018 08:39:56 +0530
India hosts European Unio

Minister of State (I/C) for Information & Broadcasting and Sports & Youth Affairs, Rajyavardhan Rathore inaugurated the European Union Film Festival dfd. Amit Khare, Secretary Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Government of India; Mr. Raimund Magis, Deputy head of Delegation of the European Union to India; Ms. Katarina Tomkova, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of the Slovak Republic; Producer of the opening Slovakian film Little Harbour Ms. Katarina Krnacova, Additional Director General, Directorate of Film Festival  Chaitanya Prasad and other dignitaries were present on the occasion. The opening ceremony was followed by the screening of Slovakian movie “Little Harbour”.

Speaking on the occasion, Rajyavardhan Rathore said that the charm in watching the film is in seeing the story as well as meeting people and that is the essence of film festival. Though people across the border vary by skin color, culture they are one people. He also said that watching films breaks these barriers and story gets communicated to people of any country. He said that even if language of the film is not understood the emotion in the film is understood through the body language.

Background:

The European Union Film Festival 2018 brings to the city a selection of some of the finest and most riveting films coming out of Europe today. With a selection of 24 latest European films from 23 EU Member States, this years' film festival brings some unusual stories for the world cinema enthusiasts. The European Union Film Festival is organized by Directorate of Film Festivals, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India partnering with the Delegation of the European Union and embassies of EU Member States in various city film clubs.

The festival will traverse through 11 cities in India including New Delhi, Chennai, Port Blair, Pune, Puducherry, Kolkata, Jaipur, Visakhapatnam, Thrissur, Hyderabad and Goa from 18th June till 31st August. Celebrating diversity, the EUFF will screen movies from Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain and Sweden.

As a special attraction this year, audience, students and filmmakers will get an opportunity to interact with Katarína Krnáčová (Slovakian producer), Paula Ortiz (Spanish Director), Salvatore Alloca (Italian Director), Yannis Korris (Greek Director), Douglas Boswell (Belgium Director) and Ádám Fekete (Hungarian Actor) who are travelling to India for the festival. Indian actress Neena Kulkarni who has worked in the Luxembourg movie being screened at the film festival will be attending the festival in Goa.

23rd European Film Festival has some unusual stories to tell: the lines of reality are blurred when the cyber world comes to life; a play done by a motley cast of antiheroes provides an opportunity for redemption; a man stuck in an unhappy marriage practices unusual ways to assert his freedom; a music critic finds his father irksome when they both begin to compete for the attention of an attractive psychotherapist; and three Kurdish siblings come together unexpectedly in a hair-raising journey during which they are pursued by angry relatives. These are just some of the curious themes of the European Union Film Festival of 2018.

Paula Ortiz (Spanish Director), Salvatore Alloca (Italian Director) will be present during their respective movie screenings. 

The award winning film Little Harbour is inspired by true events about two children whose innocent play changes their lives forever. It's a story of children who feel safer in the streets than at home, about children seeking out sturdy lifeboats that cross between the world of fantasy and the harsh reality of life. The ten year old Jarka lives with her mother, who is not yet ready to be a Mum. She spends most of her time alone. Pushed by her desire for love and to form a fully functional family, she finds herself substituting as a mother to two babies.

Film will be with English subtitles. Entry will be allowed for 18+ and will be on a first come, first served basis.

The films to be screened at the EUFF are - The Magic of Children (Austria); Labyrinthus (Belgium) Viktoria (Bulgaria); Cowboys (Croatia); Boy on the Bridge (Cyprus); Tiger Theory / Teorie Tygra (Czech Republic); Walk with me / De Standhaftige  (Denmark);  Land of Mine / Under Sandet (Denmark) The Man Who Looks Like Me / Minu Näoga Onu (Estonia); Unexpected Journey (Finland); 9 Month Stretch / 9 Mois Ferme (France); House without Roof / Haus ohne Dach (Germany); Kissing? / Ontos Filiounte? (Greece); Kills on Wheels (Hungary); Taranta on the Road (Italy); The Lesson / Izlaiduma Gads (Latvia); When You Wake Up (Lithuania); A Wedding / Noces (Luxembourg); Letter for the King (Netherlands)A Brave Bunch (Poland); Mother Knows Best (Portugal); Little Harbour / Piata loď (Slovakia); The Bride / La Novia(Spain) and Eternal Summer (Sweden).

Synopsis of the movies to be screened

Schedule of the movies in New Delhi

Profiles of the visiting Directors / Producers / Actors

About the European Union (EU):

The EU, which consists of 28 countries, has the world's largest economy and its third largest population, after China and India. Though richly diverse, the countries that make up the EU (its 'Member States') are all committed to the same basic values: peace, democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights. They have set up common institutions so that decisions on matters of joint interest can be made democratically at European level. By creating a frontier-free single market and a single currency (the euro) which has been adopted by 19 Member States, the EU has given a significant boost to trade and employment. It is also at the forefront of policies on sustainability.

Tue, 19 Jun 2018 09:26:50 +0530
Govt to team up with Goog

Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Nitin Gadkari has expressed hope that collaboration with Google will help in effective flood management in India. Central Water Commission (CWC), India’s apex technical organization in the field of Water Resources, has entered into a Collaboration Agreement with Google.

CWC would use state-of-the-art advances made by Google in the in the field of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and geo spatial mapping for effective management of water resources particularly in the field of flood forecasting and dissemination of flood related information to the masses widely using the dissemination platforms developed by Google. This initiative is likely to help crisis management agencies to deal extreme hydrological events   in a better manner.

Under this Agreement, CWC and Google will share technical expertise in the fields of artificial intelligence, machine learning, geospatial mapping and analysis of hydrological observation data to collaborate on (i) improving flood prediction systems, which will help provide location-targeted, actionable flood warnings,  (ii)  high priority research project utilizing Google Earth Engine to help visualize and improve flood management and (iii) a cultural project to build online exhibitions on the Rivers of India .

The Ministry had earlier launched an ambitious programme ‘National Hydrology Project’ (NHP) during the year 2016-17. NHP is a World Bank assisted central sector scheme with pan India coverage. The objective of National Hydrology Project is to improve the extent, quality, and accessibility of water resources information, decision support system for floods and basin level resource assessment/planning and to strengthen the capacity of targeted water resources professionals and management institutions in India.

Tue, 19 Jun 2018 09:14:17 +0530
Union Home Minister calls

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh cautioned against the new challenges being posed by crimes in the cyberspace and called for effective measures to improve cyber security. In a review meeting in the Ministry of Home Affairs, he expressed concern over the misuse of social media for illegal activities and directed to strengthen the capabilities of law enforcement agencies to be able to meet the challenges posed by it.

Rajnath Singh appreciated the efforts made in expediting security clearance for proposals in sensitive sectors and noted with satisfaction that the average duration for the clearance of a proposal has come down to 53 days compared to 120 days four years ago. He directed to further reduce the clearance time by making use of online systems in coordination with administrative Ministries for processing the proposals. This would further improve efficiency and monitoring.

While expressing concern over rising misuse of internet for circulating child pornography and other obscene material, the Home Minister directed to expedite the launch of online cybercrime reporting portal. This will enable affected people in States/Union Territories to lodge complaints which will be investigated by the respective law enforcement agencies and action taken for removal of such content.

 

Tue, 19 Jun 2018 09:11:16 +0530
Modi to attend Yoga demon

On the occasion of 4th International Yoga Day, 2000 CAPFs personnel will participate in the function which will be held at Forest Research Institute (FRI) Dehradun, Uttarakhand. The Prime Minister Narendra Modi will also participate in this event. In Lucknow, 2,000 CAPFs personnel (SSB/CRPF/ITBP) will participate in Yoga Demonstration in which the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh will participate.

The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) has been designated as the Nodal Force for coordination among CAPFs for Mass Yoga Demonstration at Dehradun. The ITBP troops will also participate in Yoga sessions at various locations across the country. Border Out Posts (BOPs) of the Force across the Himalayan border will also observe the day with active participation of Himveers at high altitude areas. Apart from this, ITBP jawans will take part in Yogabhyas being organised in different cities of J&K, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh. 

In Delhi, Yoga demonstration is being organised by NDMC at Rajpath and CISF being the Nodal force for Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) of said function will coordinate with concerned authorities of NDMC for participation of 1,000 CAPF personnel. About 2,000 CAPF’s women personnel (700 CRPF, 600 CISF, 300 BSF, 200 ITBP, 150 SSB and 50 Assam Rifles) will do Yoga at Red Fort on 21st June 2018. The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) has been designated as Nodal Force to conduct Yoga demonstrations in Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad.  Also, in-situ Yoga will be performed at all CISF Units, Reserve Battalions, Training Institutions & Office establishments by following the Common Yoga Protocol. The Mobile App. Named ‘Yoga Locator’, launched by Ministry of AYUSH, which provides ongoing details of Yoga activities in surrounding areas, is being downloaded by all CISF Units/field formations for availing the facility.

Tue, 19 Jun 2018 09:03:18 +0530
IAF MI 17 uses Bambi Buck

A Mi-17 V5 Helicopter of the Indian Air force was requisitioned on 17 Jun 2018 for dousing the flames on a merchant vessel MV SSL on the shores of Sunderbans. The Helicopter carried out Bambi bucket operations from Franzergunj Harbour helipad in West Bengal.

The Helicopter flew offshore and located the ship engulfed in flames. After ascertaining the wind pattern and point of impact of water, the fire was doused with
15000 litres of water carried in 6 shuttles with a Bambi bucket. The crew displayed great professionalism and dropped the water with pin-point accuracy over the exact location of fire. The operations by IAF Mi-17 V5 Helicopter controlled the massive fire and fully doused it within a short period of time.

Tue, 19 Jun 2018 08:56:30 +0530
Global trading system mus

Services trade is growing faster than merchandise and such dynamic changes need to be captured in the global trading system, stated Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Commerce and Industry and Civil Aviation. He was speaking at the 6th Growth Net Summit, being held in New Delhi, organized by Ananta Center and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) with Smadja&Smadja.

Services trade requires movement of people, unlike merchandise trade, said the Minister. He stated that India is aiming at a $5 trillion economy by year 2026-27 and goods and services exports are targeted at $1 trillion of this. Over the last year, goods and services exports grew by over 12%, he noted.

The government is working on a comprehensive strategy to boost services exports and $1 billion will be spent to promote 12 champion services sectors. For the first time, a strategy of products in new markets is being developed. Exports are also being promoted in regions like Africa, Latin America and Central Asia, added the Minister.

Noting that the World Trade Organisation was created as part of a rules-based, multilateral, democratic and participatory institution for expanding global trade, he said that countries have recognized the value of global trade for fostering growth and creating jobs. India is working with other countries to ensure that WTO remains relevant, he said.

Tue, 19 Jun 2018 08:48:47 +0530
President cements India G

The President Ram Nath Kovind, who is on a State visit to Greece began his formal engagements. He met his counterpart, President Prokopis Pavlopoulos at the Presidential Mansion where he was accorded a ceremonial welcome prior to the meeting.

During his meeting with the Greek President and the delegation level talks, President Kovind emphasized the age-old civilizational ties between the two nations. The President said that India and Greece shared values of democracy, rule of law and multi-cultural ethos, and these have added depth to our bilateral and multilateral engagements. The President expressed that India was keen to deepen the ongoing co-operation with Greece especially in political and economic fields.

President Kovind highlighted India’s commitment to promote trade and investment engagement between the two nations. He stated that bilateral trade between the two countries of US dollar 530 million was below potential and more efforts must be made to expand and diversify trade between the two countries. He informed the Greek delegation that India had accepted the invitation to participate in the prestigious Thessaloniki International Fair, 2019 as the “Honoured Country”.

He also apprised the Greek delegation of the steps taken by India to improve business climate in the country and said that India wished to collaborate with the Greek companies to become partners in the growth story of India. In particular, India could benefit from expertise of Greece in areas such as Shipping, Food and Dairy, and Tourism. On the other hand Indian companies especially in the areas of pharma, IT, agriculture, real estate, infrastructure and start-ups are keen to establish presence in Greece.

India also thanked Greece for its support for India’s candidature for a non-permanent seat in the UN Security Council and for membership to the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

On the subject of India-Greece cultural ties, the President said that as two ancient civilizations that have interacted with each other for centuries, we have a deep cultural understanding of each other. He also said that the two countries should work together to develop Greek and Indian traditional medicinal practices as healthcare options for people.

After the delegation level talks, the President also met the Prime Minister of Greece Mr Alexis Tsipras and the two leaders discussed different issues of mutual interest to both nations. Later, Mr Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the Leader of Opposition of the Hellenic Republic also called on the President.

During the day, three Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) were signed- (i) the MoU between Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and National Quality Infrastructure System/Hellenic Organization for Standardization on Cooperation in the Fields of Standardization; (ii) MoU between Foreign Service Institute (FSI), India and Diplomatic Academy, Greece on Cooperation in Diplomatic Training and (iii) the Programme of Cultural Cooperation for the year 2018-2020.

Tue, 19 Jun 2018 08:38:00 +0530
Govt sanctions special f

Minister of State (I/C) Youth Affairs and Sports Rajyavardhan Rathore has sanctioned a special financial assistance of Rs.5 lakhs to former International Archer & Arjun Awardee Limba Ram. 

Limba Ram, who is suffering from neuro generative disease or neurological illness is undergoing treatment at Jaipur. He is working for the State Government of Rajasthan and is in receipt of salary beyond the ceiling of Rs.4 lakhs fixed under the scheme of Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay National Welfare Fund for Sportspersons.

The Minister in his capacity as Chairperson of the Fund, has relaxed the condition and by invoking the discretionary clause sanctioned Rs.5 Lakhs considering that his widowed mother, widowed sister and her children, widowed mother-in-law and unemployed brother are dependent on him. 

Earlier, on getting the news of Limba Ram’s admission in a hospital, the Minister had deputed a team of officers to visit and enquire if any assistance is required.  The sanctioned amount is based on the report of this Committee.  The Minister has also asked his officers to regularly visit him and update on his health.

Mon, 18 Jun 2018 18:29:33 +0530
Indian Army observes 2018

To honour soldiers who have been disabled in line of duty, while serving the Nation and to celebrate the undying spirit of ‘Soldiering’, Indian Army is observing the year 2018 as the ‘Year of Disabled Soldiers in Line of Duty’. The primary focus is towards alleviating the sufferings of these soldiers, who have done their duty with utmost dedication to the Nation and have been disabled for the life.

The endeavour this year is to provide a onetime financial assistance to disabled soldiers who have been boarded out from service on medical grounds and are rendered non-employable due to their medical or physical conditions.

Indian Army recognizes the inherent stress and strain on such soldiers & their dependents and has well established rehabilitation programmes and beneficiary schemes but these require to be reinforced. The Government is considering proposal of major grant to establish a separate fund which can be further enhanced by contributions from individuals, establishments and corporate sector thus facilitating meaningful initiatives for disabled soldiers. 

Indian Army plans to create awareness on organizational support available to soldiers and their dependents with respect to medical, rehabilitation, various beneficiary schemes of Central and State Governments, vocational opportunities and assistance for their placement. Indian Army also plans to showcase talent of disabled soldiers by organizing sports and physical activities, cultural events and their art exhibitions. These disabled soldiers have inspiring deeds behind them, hence, it is planned to felicitate them along with selected organizations which dedicate in their rehabilitation.

Management of disabled soldiers is an onerous responsibility. Indian Army plans to galvanise due support for the unemployable disabled soldier, his wife and his family with initial financial support to ensure a life of dignity through partially-funded entrepreneurship venture.

Mon, 18 Jun 2018 18:24:22 +0530
PM to interact with farme

For the first time, Prime Minister is going to have a direct dialogue with farmers across the country, in which various initiatives related to doubling the income of farmers by 2022 will also be discussed. This was stated by Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Radha Mohan Singh.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will interact with the farmers of the country on June 20, 2018, at 9:30 am. It will be broadcast directly by Krishi Vigyan Kendra’s, Common Service Centers (CSC), Doordarshan, DD Kissan and Aakashvaani from all over the country. People will also be able to interact with Prime Minister through “Narendra Modi App”.

Mon, 18 Jun 2018 17:51:54 +0530
Vice President visits Vaj

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu, along with his family members, visited the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), and enquired about the health condition of former Prime Minister, A.B. Vajpayee, who is undergoing treatment there.

The Vice President spoke to the family members of Vajpayee at the hospital. He was also briefed by the doctors on the condition of the former Prime Minister.

The doctors informed the Vice President that Vajpayee’s condition was stable and that he was improving. He was admitted to AIIMS on June 11 with urinary tract infection.

Mon, 18 Jun 2018 17:44:39 +0530
Air Chief Marshal confers

The blue skies of Air Force Academy turned vibrant with a colourful march-past by the passing out Cadets on the ground and amazing aerobatics in the air by various aircraft of Indian Air Force, which marked the momentous occasion of the graduation of 113 Flight Cadets as Flying Officers of the Indian Air Force which included 13 women officers.

The ceremony also marked commissioning of another woman fighter pilot, Flying Officer Meghana Shanbough, in the IAF. Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa, the Chief of Air Staff (CAS) graced the solemn ceremony as the Chief Guest and reviewed the Combined Graduation Parade.   

A total number of 113 Flight Cadets including 13 women cadets were commissioned as Flying Officers, at their alma-mater, the Air Force Academy, the ‘Cradle of IAF Leadership’ that has moulded generations of prodigious aviation leaders.  It was also indeed a proud moment for 80 young pilots, 06 navigators and 27 ground duty officers who earned their coveted ‘Wings and Brevets’, along with 06 officers of Indian Navy and 05 officers of Indian Coast Guard on successful completion of their flying training.  

The CAS gave away various awards to the Flying Officers who had excelled in their training.  Flying Officer Tarun Nair from the Flying branch was awarded President’s Plaque and the Chief of the Air Staff ‘Sword of Honour’ for standing first in Overall Merit in Pilot Course. Flying Officer Abhishek Bajpai and Flying Officer Banti were awarded President’s Plaque for being first in overall merit in Navigation and Ground Duty branches respectively.

The grand event was witnessed by esteemed guests who included proud parents of the graduating trainees, various military and civilian dignitaries and few foreign Defence Attaches. The ceremony began with the sky diving by the ‘Akash Ganga’ Team, enthralling the spectators by dotting the skies of Dundigal with tri- colours and precise landing right in front of them in the parade square. Spectators were held spellbound by the spectacular movements of the Air Warriors Drill Team, the ‘Nishan Toli’ marching-past with the ‘President’s Colours’ of the Academy and impressive Parade by the graduating trainees. The spectators were awestruck by the breath-taking aerobatics of highly experienced and skilled pilots of Suryakiran Aerobatic team, ‘Sarang’ the Helicopter Aerobatics Team, and PC 7 MK-II of the IAF.

The Reviewing Officer was accorded ceremonial salute by the Cadets followed by an impressive march past.  The highpoint of the parade was the ‘Pipping Ceremony’. The Flight Cadets were awarded their ‘Stripes’ (Air Force rank) by the Chief Guest, the AOC-in-C Training Command and Commandant, Air Force Academy.  They were then administered the ‘Oath of Service’ (the Pledge) by the Commandant of the Academy in the presence of the Chief Guest, Parents and other dignitaries.

Later, addressing the Parade, the Chief of Air Staff complimented the newly Commissioned ‘Flying Officers’ for an exceptional standard of parade.  Congratulating the passing-out Cadets the Air Chief said, “It is a matter of pride and honour to review the Combined Graduation Parade and welcome the fine men and women into the Indian Air Force as Military Aviation leaders”. Keeping in view the changing geo-political and strategic environment and varied security challenges faced by India, he urged the young officers to remain in heightened state of preparedness by dynamically adapting to the continuously changing environment. While bringing out that our country is going through a transformational shift to continuously modernise its forces, he told them to widen their horizon and keep pace with the swiftly advancing technology to exploit the true potential of the Aerospace Power. He advised the Cadets to focus on the core values of the IAF- Mission, Integrity and Excellence and to be an inspiration for today’s young generation through selfless service and devotion to duty.He also reminded the Cadets that the task cut out for the Defence forces is painstakingly challenging one and the task of IAF is to defend our aerospace in addition to supporting the people by providing them succor in times of natural calamities. He told the newly commissioned officers that they must serve as role models to the men under their command and hence they must keep themselves mentally agile, physically fit and professionally updated. In conclusion, he exhorted the newly Commissioned Officers to constantly strive to improve their professional qualifications and expand skill levels failing which they will become outdated.

Mon, 18 Jun 2018 09:03:28 +0530
Indian Navy Anchors Burni

In a daring and complex operation, a Seaking 42 C helicopter from the   Eastern Naval Command winched down  one MARCO officer on the ill-fated  merchant vessel SSL KOLKATA which had been on fire since the last two days and abandoned by the 22 crew members on 14 Jun18 off the Sagar Island at the mouth of the Ganges Delta.

The Marine Commando Officer ascertained the conditions in the forward part of the ship and later called in the helicopter to lower onbord three crew members of the ship.   The team managed to drop the starboard anchor from the ship to prevent her from drifting any further.

Thereafter the team prepared the seamanship gear for the ship to be towed if required.

The LIVE nature of the threat was evident from the explosion onboard in the forenoon which restarted the fire.

The helo skillfully recovered all four members of the team and is returning base for turnaround.

Earlier, VAdm Karambir Singh , Flag Officer Commanding- in-Chief Eastern Naval Command had directed that the ship drift towards the Sundarbans delta had to be stopped at all costs notwithstanding the high temperatures onboard to avoid an ecological disaster should the ship capsize on the sandbanks causing pollution from oil on board.

Accordingly, a Seaking 42C helicopter and a Dornier aircraft weredespatched from Visakhapanam  with a core  team comprising divers, Marcos, shipwrights and seamanship specialists to stage through the IAF airbase at Kalaikonda.

Simultaneously, the Naval Officer-in-charge West Bengal laised with the officials of the DG Shipping, ICG, KOPT, the ship owners, Agents and Salvage specialists at Kolkata and kept them informed of the plans.

INS Kadmat which was exercising in the Bay of Bengal on 15 Jun 18 was   directed to proceed at best speed and arrived on site at first light this morning ie 16 Jun 18 to augment the on site support wherein the ICG ships were also standing by.

The operation this morning has successfully managed to arrest further drift of the ship to enable salvage operations by the company.

Mon, 18 Jun 2018 08:58:19 +0530
Vice President calls for

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that development and environment need not be antithetical to each other, but must foster a complementary and symbiotic relationship. He was interacting with the research scholars, students and faculty of the North Eastern Regional Institute of Science and Technology (NERIST), in Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh today. 

The Vice President said that institutes like NERIST have a special responsibility to take the lead in developing environment-friendly technologies in the wake of climate change and its adverse impact. He further said that all scientific endeavors must aim at finding solutions to the problems faced by the society. Science has no meaning if it does not the touch the lives of the people. Scientists and technocrats cannot remain in ivory towers, he added.

The Vice President said that teachers have a major role to play in helping the students strike a healthy balance - while making proper use of technology. Their collective energies have to be channelized towards making technology a potent tool for intervention in bridging the developmental gaps, he added.

Complementing the NERIST for adopting a modular pattern of education, the Vice President said that employability ratio of our engineering and management graduates remains a cause of concern.

The Vice President advised the young graduates and youth of the state to make full use of the skill development programme run by the government. He called on institutions like NERIST to play an active role in imparting skill-based education at various levels. Give your best with all honesty and be proud of all your ventures in life and contribute significantly towards the avowed task of nation building, he added.

Mon, 18 Jun 2018 08:53:19 +0530
Fourth Governing Council

The fourth meeting of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog was held under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Rashtrapati Bhavan. It was attended by 23 Chief Ministers and the Lieutenant Governor of Andaman & Nicobar Islands, apart from Union Ministers, who are ex-officio members and special invitees.

At the end of the day-long deliberations, the Prime Minister highlighted the importance of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog as a platform to inspire cooperative federalism, stressing the need for effective center-state cooperation to advance development outcomes and achieve double-digit growth for India. He called upon States to fix growth targets for their economies as the world looks towards India soon becoming a USD 5 trillion economy. He advised the States to pay special attention to expanding their exports and attracting export oriented investment while organizing their investments summits and events.

NITI Aayog will soon invite States for consultations on how to improve the ‘Ease of Doing Business’ in India and also to improve the ‘Ease of Living’ for the common man. The Prime Minister also emphasized that States may set up their own Committees to look into ‘Ease of Living’ for the common citizen, which is the need of the hour.

The Prime Minister expressed the hope that all Government buildings and street lighting across the country should be replaced with energy-efficient, economical LED lighting as soon as possible and also urged States to work towards the goal of a TB-Free India by 2025, five years prior to the global target of 2030.

The Prime Minister also took into consideration States’ concerns over the Terms of Reference of the Fifteenth Finance Commission and encouraged States to think of new ideas or a new formula, which incentivizes states for their performance. For instance, good practices such as reducing wasteful expenditure and increasing technology use. He emphasized that the Finance Commission devolution formula has to take cognizance of the relative backwardness and low per capita incomes of some states.

The Chief Ministers of the various States highlighted issues such as adaptation to climate change, the need to design and implement State-specific schemes to suit local needs. They also presented the work done by the various states in implementing the Ayushman Bharat and the Aspirational Districts Programme.

All Chief Ministers expressed their commitment to celebrating the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi in a befitting manner. The Prime Minister in his closing remarks said the best manner of showing respect to the Father of the Nation would be to not only achieve a 100% Open Defecation Free (ODF) status for the country but also to make India free from dirt and squalor by October 2, 2019.

The Prime Minister called for exploring the possibility of holding simultaneous and the advantages of a common voter list for each State.

The Prime Minister thanked the Chief Ministers for their suggestions and reassured all present that the Union Government will work towards resolving all issues pending with the States.

Mon, 18 Jun 2018 08:38:00 +0530
Govt not to extend suspe

On 17th May, 2018, Government of India took the decision that Security Forces will not conduct offensive operations in Jammu & Kashmir during the holy month of Ramazan. This decision was taken in the interests of the peace loving people of J&K, in order to provide them a conducive atmosphere to observe Ramazan.

Government commends the role of Security Forces for having implemented the decision in letter and spirit in the face of grave provocation, to enable the Muslim brothers and sisters to observe Ramazan in a peaceful manner. This has been widely appreciated by the people all over the country, including J&K, and has brought relief to the common citizens.

It was expected that everyone will cooperate in ensuring the success of this initiative. While the Security Forces have displayed exemplary restraint during this period, the terrorists have continued with their attacks, on civilians and Security Forces, resulting in deaths and injuries.

Security Forces are being directed to take all necessary actions as earlier to prevent terrorists from launching attacks and indulging in violence and killings. Government will continue with its endeavour to create an environment free of terror and violence in Jammu & Kashmir. It is important that all sections of peace loving people come together to isolate the terrorists and motivate those who have been misguided to return to the path of peace.

Mon, 18 Jun 2018 08:30:24 +0530
PM assures states to take

The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, delivered closing remarks at the fourth meeting of the Governing Council of  NITI  Aayog. 

Welcoming the constructive discussion and suggestions made by various Chief Ministers, the Prime Minister assured the gathering that these suggestions would be seriously considered in the course of decision-making. He asked NITI Aayog to follow up with the States on the actionable points made by them within three months.  

He said that on the lines of the 115 aspirational districts identified by NITI Aayog, States can define their own parameters to identify 20 percent of the total blocks in the State as aspirational blocks. 

Speaking on the issue of environment, raised by Chief Ministers, the Prime Minister urged all States to use LED bulbs in their government buildings, official residences and streetlights. He suggested that this could be implemented within a definite timeframe.

He appreciated several other suggestions made by various Chief Ministers, on matters such as water conservation, agriculture, MNREGA etc. 

He called upon Chief Ministers of Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Sikkim, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh, to work together to make recommendations on a coordinated policy approach to the two subjects of "agriculture and MNREGA," including both pre-sowing, and post-harvest phases.  

The Prime Minister said that it is vital to identify the "last people in the line" so that benefits of governance can reach them. Similarly, he said, social justice is an important governance objective. He said that these noble causes require close coordination and constant monitoring. 

He reiterated the Union Government's commitment to provide universal coverage of seven key schemes to 45,000 additional villages in 115 Aspirational Districts, by August 15th, 2018. 

Elaborating on the Union Government's guiding principle of Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas, the Prime Minister said the schemes of the Union Government are no longer limited to certain people, or to certain regions, and are reaching everyone without discrimination, in a balanced way. 

The Prime Minister said that all villages of the country are now electrified, and under Saubhagya Yojana, 4 crore houses are now being provided with electricity connections. He said rural sanitation coverage has increased from less than 40 percent to about 85 percent in four years. He said that after the implementation of the Jan Dhan Yojana, the entire population of the country will be connected to the banking system. Similarly, he said the Ujjwala Yojana is providing access to cooking gas, and Mission Indradhanush is working towards universal immunization. He said the Union Government is working towards providing housing for all by 2022. 

He called upon all Chief Ministers to contribute their efforts towards this objective of 100 percent implementation of schemes for the welfare of the poor. 

The Prime Minister said that the implementation of these welfare schemes is also bringing about a behavioural change in lives of people. In this context, he mentioned neem coating of urea, Ujjwala Yojana, Jan Dhan Accounts, and RuPay debit cards. He explained how these schemes are improving the lives of the people. 

The Prime Minister said that Swachh Bharat Mission is being discussed around the world. In the last four years, 7.70 crore toilets have been constructed. He called upon all present, to work towards 100 percent sanitation coverage by October 2, 2019, the 150th birth anniversary of  Mahatma Gandhi. 

The Prime Minister called for efforts towards water conservation and water management on a war footing. 

Speaking on the economy, the Prime Minister said that the world expects India to become a five trillion dollar economy soon. He encouraged States to give fresh ideas to the Finance Commission, for incentivizing outcome-based allocations, and expenditure correction.

He expressed happiness that States are now organising investor summits. He suggested that States should focus on exports. He encouraged States to boost "Ease of Doing Business." He said NITI Aayog should call a meeting with all States to provide a further impetus to ease of doing business. He said "ease of living" for the common man is also the need of the hour, and States should now take initiatives in this regard. 

On agriculture, the Prime Minister said that corporate investment in this sector is very low in India. He said States should formulate policies that promote corporate investment in areas such as warehousing, transportation, value addition and food processing etc. 

The Prime Minister said that mining blocks which have been successfully auctioned, should start production at the earliest. He urged States to take steps in this regard. He said District Mineral Foundations will help the poor and the tribals in a big way. 

The Prime Minister called for widespread debate and consultations on simultaneous elections for Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabhas, keeping in view various aspects such as the resulting financial savings and consequent better utilisation of resources. 

In conclusion, the Prime Minister thanked the Chief Ministers once again for their suggestions.

Mon, 18 Jun 2018 08:26:19 +0530
Vice President urges medi

The Vice President Venkaiah Naidu urged the media to effectively function as Means of Empowerment for Development through Informed Actions of people. He also stressed on the need for a positive and constructive public discourse in the country on all major issues and reminded the media of it's role in the same.

Addressing the professionals of Rajya Sabha Television (RSTV) Naidu said “Public discourse should not be negative, acrimonious and divisive. It should unite the people and should not seek to divide them”. Naidu hosted High Tea for about 100 RSTV professionals on the occasion of the channel one million YouTube subscriber base this month.

Naidu complimented RSTV for gaining 5,74,378 new subscribers during the last ten months as against 4,25,622 subscribers acquired during the earlier six years since the launch of the channel in August, 2011.

Naidu said “A nation’s forward march is impacted by the public discourse in the country. Such a discourse needs to be positive and constructive aimed at collectively addressing the challenges being faced by the nation”.

The Vice President further said “Media, as the fourth pillar of democracy has an important role in facilitating such a positive discourse. It needs to highlight the problems, deficiencies in policy and governance at various levels and present different perspectives so that people can make informed decisions. Media can be and in fact needs to be critical without, however, being motivated”.

Stating that RSTV is an institution of Parliament, Naidu said that the editorial policy and coverage of the channel should be guided by the mandate of the Parliament which is catalysing the cause of socio-economic development by addressing the contemporary and future challenges.

Mon, 18 Jun 2018 08:17:48 +0530
Vice President calls for

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that peace, both beyond and within the boundaries is crucial for rapid development of our country. He was addressing the gathering after laying foundation stone for Septage Management System and Storm Water Drainage System for the benefit of the people of Itanagar under Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) Scheme, in Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh.

The Vice President said that India believes in resolving differences through negotiations in an atmosphere of trust and good will and added that no problem or issue is beyond solution if the intentions are right. Our country has all along demonstrated right intentions and we don’t set our eyes on other’s properties and would never allow others target ours, he added.

The Vice President called for determined efforts to address the few unresolved issues so that this cradle of nature would prove to be a real heaven for its people. It is only in an atmosphere of peace that the full potential of this region could be realized, he added.

 The Vice President said that Atal Mission will help Arunachal address infrastructure issues relating to water supply, septage management and sewer networks, storm water drains, non-motorised urban transport and open spaces and parks.

The Vice President also recalled the launch of the AMRUT Mission in June, 2015 as the then Minister of Urban Development.

The Vice President has said that winds of change are sweeping across the country driving the much needed transformation. He further said that new energy, new resolve, new hope, new approaches and new thinking are driving this change. North-Eastern Region is an important vehicle of this change and can lead the march of our country on the path of progress by reaching new horizons, he added.

The Vice President said that the fight against corruption must become people’s movement. Reaching out to the people, delivering system are important in the context of North-East and the Digital, Online, DBT, JAM are the way forward. Transparency and accountability are very important for the success of development and for speedy development, he added.

Sun, 17 Jun 2018 13:08:17 +0530
PM speaks about New India

The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi delivered the opening remarks at the fourth meeting of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog, in Rashtrapati Bhawan Cultural Centre in New Delhi.

Welcoming the Chief Ministers and other delegates, the Prime Minister reiterated that the Governing Council is a platform that can bring about "historic change." He assured the Chief Ministers from flood-affected States that the Union Government would provide all assistance to them, to deal with the flood situation currently affecting parts of the country.

He said that the Governing Council has approached complex issues of governance as "Team India", in the spirit of cooperative, competitive federalism. He described the smooth rollout and implementation of GST as a prime example of this.

The Prime Minister said that Chief Ministers of States had played a key role in policy formulation, through sub-groups and committees on issues such as Swachh Bharat Mission, Digital Transactions, and Skill Development. The recommendations of these sub-groups have been incorporated by various Ministries of the Union Government, he added.

The Prime Minister said that the Indian Economy has grown at a healthy rate of 7.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017-18. He added that the challenge now is to take this growth rate to double digits, for which many more important steps have to be taken. He said that the vision of a New India by 2022, is now a resolve of the people of our country. In this context, he mentioned the issues on the agenda today, including doubling of farmers income, development of aspirational districts, Ayushman Bharat, Mission Indradhanush, Nutrition Mission and celebrations of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

The Prime Minister said that 1.5 lakh Health and Wellness Centres are being constructed under Ayushman Bharat. He said about 10 crore families will be provided health assurance worth Rs. 5 lakhs every year. He said a comprehensive approach is being adopted for education, under the Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan.  

The Prime Minister said that schemes such as Mudra Yojana, Jan Dhan Yojana and Stand Up India, are helping in greater financial inclusion. He emphasized the need for tackling economic imbalances on priority.

He said that all aspects and parameters of human development need to be addressed and improved upon in the 115 aspirational districts.

Narendra Modi said that the Gram Swaraj Abhiyan has emerged as a new model for implementation of schemes. He said that this has so far been extended to 45,000 villages in the Aspirational Districts. He said that the target is universal coverage in seven important welfare schemes: Ujjwala, Saubhagya, Ujala, Jan Dhan, Jeevan Jyoti Yojana, Suraksha Bima Yojana, and Mission Indradhanush. He said this target was recently accomplished in about 17,000 villages.

The Prime Minister said that India has no shortage of capabilities, capacities and resources. He said that in the current financial year, States are receiving over 11 lakh crore rupees from the Centre, which represents an increase of about 6 lakh crore rupees, from the last year of the previous government.

The Prime Minister said that this gathering today represents the hopes and aspirations of the people of India. He said it is also the responsibility of this gathering to make all efforts to fulfill them.

Earlier, the Chief  Ministers and other delegates were welcomed to the meeting by Vice Chairman of the NITI Aayog, Rajiv Kumar. The discussions are being moderated by Home Minister, Rajnath Singh.

Sun, 17 Jun 2018 12:13:39 +0530
OPEC basket price stands

The price of OPEC basket of fourteen crudes stood at US$73.35 a barrel on Wednesday, 13th June 2018, compared with $74.11 the previous day, according to OPEC Secretariat calculations.

The fourteen crudes, from separate OPEC member countries, includes a mix of blends and light and heavy crudes, including the UAE’s Murban.

Sat, 16 Jun 2018 09:25:22 +0530
Yemeni forces gain contro

With support of the UAE armed forces operating as part of the Saudi-led Arab Coalition, the Joint Yemeni Resistance forces have gained fire control over Hodeidah Airport, imposing a tight besiege on the Houthi militias fighters' collapsing defences within the airport perimeters and in the southern entries of the city.

The joint forces captured numbers of the Houthi terrorist fighters. Dozens of the Houthi militia fighters were also killed in confrontations with joint resistance forces and as result of the airstrikes, launched by the Arab Coalition against their entrenchments.

The joint resistance forces also took control of new strategic areas on the southern outskirts of Hodeidah, as well as the main roundabout leading to the airport. The resistance forces are currently tightening the noose on the remnants of the Houthi terrorist militias at Al Khamseen road and approaching the western gates of the airport.

The resistance's engineering units dismantled a network of Iranian-made land mines which was laid by the terrorist militias in a desperate attempt to delay the advancement of the resistance forces from the southern entries of the city. They also foiled an attempt by the Houthis to infiltrate Al Faza area.

The Arab Coalition's fighter jets launched airstrikes that targeted Houthi military vehicles carrying reinforcements from Ebb to the district of Hayes, killing dozens of the Houthi terrorist fighters.

The Iranian-backed Houthi militias set up armed checkpoints around Al Duraihami district to arrest members fleeing from the front because of successive collapses in their ranks, following the major military cooperation to regain the Governorate of Hodeidah and its strategic port from the grip of the terrorist militias.

Sat, 16 Jun 2018 09:11:44 +0530
PM greets people on Eid

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, has conveyed his greetings on the festival of Eid. 

"Eid Mubarak! May this day deepen the bonds of unity and harmony in our society", the Prime Minister said.

Sat, 16 Jun 2018 09:05:11 +0530
Indian Air Force undertak

Three Mi 17 helicopters of Indian Air Force undertook flood affected areas of the state of Tripura, particularly in the town of Kailashahar on 15 Jun 18.

The helicopters are operating from Radhanagar helipad located about nine kilometers from Kailashahar and 4.1 tons of food and other essential supplies were delivered to the affected people in the area.

Sat, 16 Jun 2018 09:01:20 +0530
Vice President greets peo

The Vice President of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu has greeted the people on the joyous occasion of Id-ul-Fitr.

In a message, he said that Id-ul-Fitr marks the culmination of the holy month of Ramzan and signifies the traditional expression of brotherhood and understanding between people. May this festival bring peace, harmony and prosperity in our country, he added. 

Sat, 16 Jun 2018 08:55:43 +0530
President greets on the e

The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind has greeted fellow citizens on the eve of Idu’l Fitr.

In his message the President has said, “On the auspicious occasion of Idu’l Fitr, I offer my greetings and good wishes to all fellow citizens, and especially to our Muslim brothers and sisters in India and abroad.

The culmination of the holy month of Ramzan is a moment of celebration. May it promote fraternity and understanding in our shared society”.

Sat, 16 Jun 2018 08:52:20 +0530
Tourism Minister to run

The Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Tourism, K. J. Alphons will attend a series of ‘Incredible India road shows’ in the United States of America, from 18th to 22nd June 2018. The road shows will be held in several major cities of US including New York, Chicago & Houston.

The Incredible India road shows will hold B2B interactions, presentations & press briefings by the Indian delegation. The key note addresses will be delivered by the Tourism Minister and Incredible India presentation will be made by Joint Secretary Ministry of Tourism Suman Billa, with an aim to project India as a ‘must visit’ tourist destination.

The road shows will include Cultural performances also. The USA is one among the top three source countries in the percentage share of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in India. During April 2018, the USA was the second highest source country with 11.21% share of total FTAs.

In addition, the Minister will also be attending the Federation of Malayalee Associations of Americas (FOMAA) Convention 2018 in Chicago on 22nd June 2018.

Fri, 15 Jun 2018 16:43:55 +0530
India to host European Un

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Putting a spotlight on the latest European cinema, the European Union Film Festival (EUFF) will premiere in New Delhi on 18th June, 2018 at the Siri Fort Auditorium. With a selection of 24 latest European films from 23 EU Member States, this years' film festival brings some unusual stories for the world cinema enthusiasts. The European Union Film Festival is organized by Directorate of Film Festivals, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India partnering with the Delegation of the European Union and embassies of EU Member States in various city film clubs.

The festival will traverse through 11 cities in India including New Delhi, Chennai, Port Blair, Pune, Puducherry, Kolkata, Jaipur, Visakhapatnam, Thrissur, Hyderabad and Goa from 18th June till 31st August. Celebrating diversity, the EUFF will screen movies from Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain and Sweden.

As a special attraction this year, audience, students and filmmakers will get an opportunity to interact with Katarína Krnáčová (Slovakian producer), Paula Ortiz (Spanish Director), Salvatore Alloca (Italian Director), Yannis Korris (Greek Director), Douglas Boswell (Belgium Director) and Ádám Fekete (Hungarian Actor) who are travelling to India for the festival. Indian actress Neena Kulkarni who has worked in the Luxembourg movie being screened at the film festival will be attending the festival in Goa.

23rd European Film Festival has some unusual stories to tell: the lines of reality are blurred when the cyber world comes to life; a play done by a motley cast of antiheroes provides an opportunity for redemption; a man stuck in an unhappy marriage practices unusual ways to assert his freedom; a music critic finds his father irksome when they both begin to compete for the attention of an attractive psychotherapist; and three Kurdish siblings come together unexpectedly in a hair-raising journey during which they are pursued by angry relatives. These are just some of the curious themes of the European Union Film Festival of 2018.

The EU Film Festival 2018 to be held from 18 - 24 June in Delhi, brings to the city a selection of some of the finest and most riveting films coming out of Europe today.  The European Union Film Festival, organized by the Directorate of Film Festivals, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, and European Union will be hosted at the Sirifort Auditorium Complex.

The award winning film Little Harbour is inspired by true events about two children whose innocent play changes their lives forever. It's a story of children who feel safer in the streets than at home, about children seeking out sturdy lifeboats that cross between the world of fantasy and the harsh reality of life. The ten year old Jarka lives with her mother, who is not yet ready to be a Mum. She spends most of her time alone. Pushed by her desire for love and to form a fully functional family, she finds herself substituting as a mother to two babies.

Film will be with English subtitles. Entry will be allowed for 18+ and will be on a first come, first served basis.

The films to be screened at the EUFF are - The Magic of Children (Austria); Labyrinthus(Belgium);  Viktoria (Bulgaria); Cowboys (Croatia); Boy on the Bridge (Cyprus); Tiger Theory / Teorie Tygra (Czech Republic); Walk with me / De Standhaftige  (Denmark);  Land of Mine / Under Sandet (Denmark);  The Man Who Looks Like Me / Minu Näoga Onu (Estonia); Unexpected Journey (Finland); 9 Month Stretch / 9 Mois Ferme (France); House without Roof / Haus ohne Dach (Germany); Kissing? / Ontos Filiounte? (Greece); Kills on Wheels (Hungary); Taranta on the Road (Italy); The Lesson / Izlaiduma Gads (Latvia); When You Wake Up (Lithuania); A Wedding / Noces (Luxembourg); Letter for the King (Netherlands); A Brave Bunch (Poland); Mother Knows Best (Portugal); Little Harbour / Piata loď (Slovakia); The Bride / La Novia (Spain) and Eternal Summer (Sweden).

Fri, 15 Jun 2018 16:39:19 +0530
Suresh Prabhu visits US

To take forward the robust commercial ties with the United States and to resolve outstanding bilateral trade issues, a delegation led by Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu visited USA for meetings with his US interlocutors.

During the visit, he held series of discussions with key officials including the US Trade Representative, Robert E. Lighthizer, Secretary of Commerce, Mr. Wilbur L. Ross and Secretary of Agriculture, Mr. Sonny Perdue. The Minister also had a joint meeting with the India Caucus Co-chairs Senator Mark Robert Warner and Senator John Cornyn.

The meetings were held in a friendly and cordial atmosphere, with appreciation for each other's points of view. Discussions centered around bilateral trade and commercial relations between the two countries and focused on finding the way forward to address concerns of both sides so as to result in a win-win situation. Both the sides agreed for high level official talks at an early date to discuss various issues of interest to both sides and carry forward the discussions in a positive, constructive and result oriented manner.

During the visit, Commerce Minister also interacted with the business community and addressed industry leaders in meetings organized by US-India Business Council (USIBC) and US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF). The Minister informed the industry leaders about the aggressive economic reforms undertaken by India such as GST, Make-in-India, Startup India and ‘Fund of Funds for Startups’ (FFS), Digital India programme, e-commerce, promoting innovation and entrepreneurship and how they have made the business climate much easier in India.

Fri, 15 Jun 2018 16:34:35 +0530
PM interacts with benefic

The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, today interacted with the beneficiaries of various Digital India Mission schemes from across the country, through video bridge. The video bridge connected over 50 lakh beneficiaries, including those from Common Service Centres, NIC centres, National Knowledge Network, BPOs, Mobile Manufacturing Units and MyGov volunteers. This is the sixth interaction in the series by the Prime Minister through video bridge with various beneficiaries of Government schemes. 

Interacting with the beneficiaries, Prime Minister said that Digital India was launched to ensure that people from all walks of life, especially those from rural areas, are digitally empowered. He added that to make this possible, Government has worked on a holistic policy consisting of connecting villages through fibre optic, digitally educating citizens, providing service delivery through mobiles and promoting electronic manufacturing. 

Talking about technology, Prime Minister said that technology has brought about ease of living and Government’s efforts are to ensure that the advantages of technology was available to all sections of the society. Various provisions like online payment of bills including BHIM APP, online booking of railway tickets, and electronic delivery of scholarships and pensions to bank accounts have greatly reduced the burden on common people, Shri Narendra Modi added. 

Describing the importance of Common Service Centers (CSC), Prime Minister said that CSC’s across India are providing digital services to rural India. CSCs have successfully developed Village Level Entrepreneurs (VLE) in rural areas and created job opportunities for more than 10 Lakh people. There are 2.92 Lakh CSCs in rural India providing opportunities to access various government and other services across 2.15 Lakh Gram Panchayats. 

Fri, 15 Jun 2018 16:29:15 +0530
Police intensifies search

The police officials have found the CCTV visuals of three terrorists who were supposed to be the culprits in the killing of Shujaat Bukhari, a senior journalist and the Editor-in-chief of "Rising Kashmir".

Mr.Bukari was killed by three men riding on a bike while he was going outside in his car from his Press Enclave office in Sri Nagar along with his bodyguards. His two security men were also killed in the attack.

The police released the CCTV images of the killers who covered their faces by a hidden mask and helmets. Meanwhile the police appealed all to help police to identify them. The government deployed security men for Bukhari after he faced a similar attack in 2000.

Mr Bukhari was a known face in Kashmir as he initiated many steps in resolving the strained relations between India and Pakistan and was also a part of several peace talks. He started his career as a journalist in Kashmir and then worked as a reporter for 15 years in The Hindu. He found "Rising Kashmir" in the later part of his life along with an Urdu daily as well.

Fri, 15 Jun 2018 16:13:14 +0530
Kerala celebrates Eid ul

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Kerala began celebrations for Eid-ul-Fitr, which marks the end of the fasting month of Ramzan, as the moon was sighted in Kozhikode. But the rest of the country awaits for another day as the moon was not sighted yesterday. Remaining parts of the country along with some other country will celebrate Eid on Saturday.

Kerala will be joined by Saudi Arabia and Middle East as those part of the world celebrate the festival today itself.

Fri, 15 Jun 2018 09:24:36 +0530
Putin receives Saudi Crow

President Vladimir Putin of the Federal Republic of Russia received at the Kremlin in Moscow today HRH Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Saudi Crown Prince, Vice President of the Council of Ministers and Minister of Defense.

During the meeting, they reviewed the aspects of the Saudi Russian relations in a number of fields.

They also reviewed the Saudi Russian cooperation in the field of oil and the two sides reiterated their confirmation of the continuation of the bilateral cooperation to preserve the stability of oil market and growth of the international economy.

Fri, 15 Jun 2018 08:28:48 +0530
Hodeidah liberation proce

Dr. Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, has said the commencement of operations to liberate Hodeidah port opens the way for a successful political process that will bring peace in Yemen.

The minister added that Houthis are a militia who represent a tiny fraction of the people of Yemen. "They overthrew the country’s constitutional government and have oppressed and plundered the country since," Dr. Gargash said in a statement on commencement of operations to liberate Hodeidah port.

For three years, the Houthis have resisted multiple opportunities to engage in serious peace talks, and in the meantime, the humanitarian situation has worsened on the ground, he added.

"The security threat posed by the Houthis not only to Yemenis but to Yemen’s neighbours has grown," he said, adding that the Houthis have used this time to extort money from vital supplies entering Yemen via Hodeidah port. "They have used their positions on Yemen’s west coast to threaten international shipping," the minister went on to say.

According to Dr. Gargash, the Houthis continued to defy UN Security Council resolutions and the Yemeni people’s demand for constitutional government. "If they keep Hodeidah and its revenues and its strategic location, the war will last a long time and the suffering of the Yemeni people will continue," the minister warned.

"This deadlock must end," the UAE minister said, adding that it is clear that for the UN-led political process to succeed, the situation on the ground must change.

"Depriving the Houthis of their control of Hodeidah port, at the Yemeni government’s request, answers the call of the people of Hodeidah for freedom from the Houthi rule. It means that the Houthis will no longer be able to impose their will at the barrel of a gun. They will be one Yemeni group among others, jointly negotiating to decide the future of their country, in a political process under United Nations auspices. That is the goal of our operations in Hodeidah," the minister concluded.

Fri, 15 Jun 2018 08:26:01 +0530
States sign MoU for imple

J P Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare exchanged the Memorandum of Understanding with the State Health Ministers of 20 States marking their commitment towards the launch of the Ayushman Bharat – National Health Protection Mission (AB-NHPM) at a Health Ministers conclave.

J P Nadda said that the initiative will change the landscape of healthcare in the country and we would be remembered forever for our work. “We shall work together, learn together, so that we work with the spirit of cooperative federalism, to perfect this largest health assurance scheme of the world,” Nadda said.

J.P. Nadda emphasized that the success of the scheme hinges upon the active participation of the States. States need to own the scheme while Centre will design the policy framework with all possible flexibility and support. “Exchanging of Memorandum of Understanding is an important step in formalizing the partnership between Centre and States,” he added.

J P Nadda further stated that AB-NHPM will protect around 50 crore people (from about 10 crore families). “It will be cashless and paperless access to services upto Rs. 5 lakhs per year will be available for the beneficiary families at the point of service in both public and private empanelled hospitals across India,” Nadda added. He further said that the beneficiaries under the scheme can avail services anywhere in India and it is expected to bring a visible relief to the target families by mitigating the financial risk arising out of catastrophic health episodes.

A web portal for initiating the empanelment of hospitals under the mission was also launched. This marks the commencement of the implementation of AB-NHPM and takes the Mission closer to launch. Training / Demo of empanelment software will be conducted in next two weeks and States can operationalize empanelment of hospitals by 1st of July.

Fri, 15 Jun 2018 08:19:19 +0530
All women Naval mountaine

An all women Naval mountaineering team led by Lt Cdr Kokila Sajwan  summited Mount Deotibba. The expedition was flagged off by Vice Admiral AK Chawla, AVSM, NM, VSM, Chief Of Personnel on 28 May 18 from New Delhi laying foundation for a team, which would attempt to scale many more challenging peaks in the near future. Mount Deotibba provided excellent opportunity to the team in honing their mountaineering skills.

Mt Deotibba is the second highest peak (6001M) in the Pir-Panjal range in Himachal Pradesh. It is considered to be a difficult peak to summit.

The team was led by Lt Cdr Kokila Sajwan and includes Lt Cdr Nanadini Dam Roy, Lt Cdr Seema Chaudhary, Lt Cdr Pooja Sharma, Lt Cdr Rekha Shree, Lt Cdr Rashu Tyagi, Lt Saino Wilson, Lt Chamm Kumari, Surg Lt Himwant Kaur, Lt Surbhi Sharma, Lt Shristi Thakur, Lt Vipasha Sharma, Lt Kritika Sharma as other team members.

The team started the trek from the road head (Bara Hazari) to the base camp at an altitude of 4250 mtrs through Chikka and Seri. They advanced towards the Summit through advance base camp at 4700 mtrs and the Summit camp at 5250 mtrs.

Displaying exemplary courage and esprit de corps, the team battled         extreme weather conditions including white outs and heavy snowfall                 accompanied by strong winds. After a strenuous push of about 12 hrs of climbing, the team summited the peak at 1300 hrs on 10 Jun 2018.

Fri, 15 Jun 2018 08:11:11 +0530
Dr Inder Jit Singh takes

Dr. Inder Jit Singh, (KL:1985) assumed charge as  Secretary, Ministry of Coal  at  Shastri Bhawan office, New Delhi.  Senior Officials  of Coal Ministry were also present  on this occasion.

Dr. Inder Jit Singh took over the charge of  Secretary which fell vacant after superannuation of Susheel Kumar (IAS:1982:UP) on April 30 this year. In the interim, Secretary Mines, Anil G Mukhim (IAS:1985:GJ) had been holding additional charge as Secretary, Coal. 

Prior to this appointment as Coal Secretary,  Dr. Inder Jit Singh was posted  as Secretary (Coordination) in Cabinet Secretariat. Dr. Singh is a  Ph.D in Economics from Punjab University. In the past he has also held positions in Ministry of Commerce, MNRE at the Centre and other significant portfolios in the State cadre.

Fri, 15 Jun 2018 08:07:49 +0530
PM dedicates modernized B

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Chhattisgarh and inaugurated the Integrated Command and Control Centre at Naya Raipur Smart City. He was briefed on various aspects of the Command and Control Centre.

He later visited Blast Furnace-8 at the Bhilai Steel Plant, and was briefed on various aspects of the Plant. People lined the streets of Bhilai to greet the Prime Minister.

At a large public meeting, the Prime Minister dedicated the modernized and expanded Bhilai Steel Plant, to the nation. He laid the foundation stone for IIT Bhilai. He also unveiled a plaque to mark the commencement of phase-2 of BharatNet. The Prime Minister inaugurated air services between Jagdalpur and Raipur. He also distributed laptops, certificates and cheques etc. to beneficiaries under various schemes.

Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister asserted that development is the best answer to all kinds of violence.

He said that the Bhilai Steel Plant has contributed in a big way to nation-building. He said the modernized and expanded plant would be instrumental in building a strong foundation for New India. He also spoke of the benefits that the other development projects launched today would bring about.

Fri, 15 Jun 2018 08:02:34 +0530
Football fever begins wit

What a way to start the biggest sporting fest in the globe!!! The FIFA World Cup 2018 started with a bang in Russia as the host nation thrashed hopes of Asian challenge Saudi Arabia 5-0 at the Lushnikki Stadium in Moscow.

Russia treated the tens of thousands of home crowd with a goal fest as they controlled the game from the word go. The Asian minnows felt the pressure on the opening night as they were unable to control the ball and lags behind the pace of their opponents.

Saudi's poor defending also made the situation worse for them while Russia's clinical finishing in the final third sealed the match for the hosts.

Fri, 15 Jun 2018 07:55:18 +0530
Air quality in Delhi reac

The air quality in Delhi reached beyond the "severe" level due to the sand storm in western part of the country. The Central Pollution Control Board has said that the situation will remain unchanged for the next two days.

The level of PM 10 particles- the indicator at which the level of pollution is identified- in Delhi and at the National Capital Region currently records 778. An Air Quality Index reading up to 50 is considered “good” and up to 100 is considered “satisfactory”. A reading between 401 and 500 is ranked “severe” on the index, which means the air is dangerously filled with pollutants.

A massive dust storm hit Delhi on Saturday evening. Rain showers were reported in several parts of the national capital immediately afterwards. Wind speeds of between 70 and 80 km per hour were recorded.

Thu, 14 Jun 2018 17:28:31 +0530
Several opposition leader

Several prominent leaders from the opposition side stayed away from the first iftar party hosted by Rahul Gandhi as the Congress President. Thrinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee, BSP chief Mayawati, NCP chief Sharad Pawar and SP's Akhilesh Yadav were among leaders who were found missing.

Manmohan Singh, former President Pratibha Patil, former Vice-President Hamid Ansari and former President Pranab Mukherjee were the key figures who attended the iftar. Pranab's presence was widely noticed as the former president and Rahul Gandhi met for the first time after the latter delivered a speech at the RSS headquarters in Nagpur despite few days back despite strong objections from the Congress party.

A lot was expected from Rahul's iftar party as it hoped for an another case of showcase event for opposition's unity. But the absence of many leaders cast doubts over the future alliance that would take on Narendra Modi and Amit Shah in the 2019 elections.

Thu, 14 Jun 2018 17:17:42 +0530
18 MLAs remain disqualifi

Eighteen MLAs of the ruling AIADMK remained disqualified in Tamil Nadu as the Madras High Court delivered a split verdict. The MLAs were disqualified ahead of a floor test in the state assembly last year where the AIADMK was divided into two as Panneerselvam group and Palaniswamy group.

The chief minister Edappadi Palaniswmay will be a relieved man after the high court's verdict as the rebel lawmakers are loyal to jailed party chief VK Sasikala and her TTV Dhinakaran. Dhinakaran recently won the election from RK Nagar, a seat which fell vacant after the death of party supremo J Jayalalithaa.

If the disqualification of 18 MLAs are cancelled, the government faces a stern test as they already one short of majority - ruling AIADMK has currently 116 MLAS out of the 234-member assembly.

Thu, 14 Jun 2018 16:52:47 +0530
Heavy rain wreaks havoc i

   NT Pillai ( npillai74@gmail.com ) -

                           8108318692

 

Heavy rain coupled with landslides and flash floods caused serious damages in the northern part of Kerala, especially in Kozhikode, Malappuram and Wayanad districts, leaving five people dead and many others worried.

Three people, including two children, in a family were killed in landslide in Thamarassery in Kozhikode. Dilna Sherin (7), her brother Muhammed Shabaz (3), and their neighbour Jaffer's sever-year old son were identified as dead.

Suresh (55), a Thrissur resident was killed after an uprooted tree fell over him and five houses were washed away in the same region.

Meanwhile the Meteorological department has predicted severe rain in the next 48 hours in the state. The Union government has sent disaster rescue force to Kozhikode amid unprecedented rain in the district as well as in the Malappuram district.

Thu, 14 Jun 2018 13:28:51 +0530
UAE Armed Forces Yemeni

With land, sea and air support by the UAE Armed Forces, the Arab Coalition and the Joint Yemeni Resistance forces began today a decisive military operation to liberate Hodeidah city and its strategic port from the grip of the Iranian-backed Houthi militias, who rejected peaceful solutions, reports WAM.

The forces managed to liberate new strategic areas in Al Duraihimi district and areas adjacent to Hodeidah airport after penetrating the Houthi militias frontlines. Following the collapse of their defences, the Houthi fighters abandoned their positions, while their commanders fled the areas after the defeat, reports WAM.

In a statement made to Emirates News Agency (WAM), Colonel Sadiq Al Duwaid, Spokesman of the Yemeni National Resistance, said the joint resistance forces made a huge advance towards the city of Al Hodeidah, closing in 8 kilomteres within the city's airport and controlling the districts of Al Nekhailah and Al Taif, south of Hodeidah, amid major collapse in the Houthi militias ranks. The Arab Coalition's fighter jets pounded the Houthis reinforcements, while the resistance forces killed and captured dozens of Houthi fighters.

Thu, 14 Jun 2018 12:45:51 +0530
UAE introduces new visa r

The Cabinet, chaired by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, adopted a number of strategic decisions with regards to foreign workers' insurance in the private sector, as well as a legislative package of visa facilitations, reports Khaleej Times

A new insurance scheme for workers' guarantees has been introduced. The previous mandatory deposit of Dh3,000 per worker is now replaced by a new insurance that cost only Dh60 annually per worker.

The newly created scheme secures workers' rights in the private sector and reduces the burdens on employers. It allows businesses to recover approximately Dh14 billion, representing the value of current guarantees paid by employers, which will enable them to further invest in the development of their business. The system also enhances the ease of doing business in the UAE, which effectively contributes to market prosperity and growth, Khaleej Times reported.

Thu, 14 Jun 2018 12:38:45 +0530
Russia gears up to host F

FIFA World Cup 2018 will kick off at 8.30 pm IST today at the historical Luschniki Stadium in Russian capital Moscow. 32 teams, thousands watching from the gallery and crores of viewers in television will run behind a ball for the next one month.

Host Russia will take on the Asian pride Saudi Arabia in the first match followed by many high voltage matches at the group stages itself. Former champions Spain will play against Euro champions Portugal tomorrow.

There are many superstars who will be itching to put their signature at the global stage and no better opportunity than Russia World Cup to do that.

Lionel Messi might have five Ballon d'Or awards, five European Golden Shoes, nine La Liga titles and many more at the club level but still finds it short at the international competitions. Despite Messi's brilliant achievements, it is quite obvious that the Argentine is yet to win any major trophy for his nation. Messi's failure at international level has been a stubborn stain on his reputation and a serious threat to his fantastic legacies. This time Messi definitely want to add the most coveted trophy in the world of football to his endless list of achievements in what could be his final international competition for Argentina.

Messi's rival Christiano Ronaldo has to prove that 2016 Euro victory was not a onetime wonder. Messi and Ronaldo always compete each other but falls short at the international level.

Neymar is no more a shadow behind Messi and Ronaldo as he already proved his worth during his short stint at Barcelona while he was playing alongside Messi. Messi, Neymar and Luie Suarez formed a deadly combination upfront and tear apart the opposition defence with ease.

So many things in store for the Russian carnival and hopes that this biggest game of football will pave way for another revolution in the country where lot of rebellions and revolutions occured that change the course of the world.

Thu, 14 Jun 2018 09:23:42 +0530
India receives Britain s

India has received a reply from Britain in response to a "diffusion notice" issued against Nirav Modi, who is accused in the Rs. 13,500 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) loan fraud case being investigated here but it remained unclear whether it contained any reference to the specific location of the fugitive diamantaire, reports NDTV.

Sources said the British reply came in an email to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) which is investigating the case of fraud against Nirav Modi since January and it had issued the diffusion notice in February against the billionaire, his wife Ami, a US citizen, brother Nishal, a Belgium national, and uncle Mehul Choksi, promoter of Gitanjali Group, for locating their whereabouts, reports NDTV.

A diffusion notice is issued directly by an international entity to the countries of their choice to take their help in identifying location, physical description, photograph and fingerprints of an accused wanted in offence with which he or she is charged. The notice is issued through the Interpol, an International criminal police organization that facilitates international police cooperation, NDTV reported.

Thu, 14 Jun 2018 08:47:52 +0530
Mamata backs Kejriwal s s

As the sit-in protest of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and three of his cabinet colleagues at Lieutenant Governor (LG) Anil Baijal's house entered the third day, several regional parties, including the Trinamool Congress backed the protest, reports NDTV.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee appealed to the centre to resolve the problem "immediately", NDTV reported.

"Elected Chief Minister must get due respect. May I appeal to the government of India and the LG to resolve the problem immediately so that people do not suffer", tweeted Ms Banerjee. 

Thu, 14 Jun 2018 08:32:37 +0530
Sikh Welfare Society in U

The Sikh Welfare Society UK celebrated its 10th anniversary. The Society is a registered charity that organises medical assistance including cancer awareness/diagnostic camps and eye camps in remote areas of Punjab and Haryana in India. In the U.K., the organization has contributed by way of support to the homeless, to children admitted in hospitals, among other charitable causes.

High Commissioner of India to the UK, Mr. Y.K. Sinha attended the anniversary celebrations and congratulated members of the Society on the charity work done in India and in the UK. He said that the activities of the Society were symbolic of the contributions of Sikhs in all walks of life.

He said that he was proud of his personal connection with Patna - the birth place of Guru Gobind Singh ji, and said that the ancient city of Pataliputra was a confluence of many faiths- Jainism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Islam and Hinduism, that flourished in the city through the ages. He also spoke of the year-long grand celebrations of the 350th Birth Anniversary of Guru Gobind Singhji organised by the High Commission and thanked Sikhs all over the U.K. in making these celebrations a great success.

High Commissioner Sinha concluded his keynote address by reminding all people of Indian origin in the UK of their critical role as a ‘Living Bridge’ between India and the UK, and urged them to continue to promote bilateral relations as well as to be true ambassadors of the land of their origin.

Mr. Harjinder Johal, Chairman, and Mr. Satnam Singh, General Secretary of the Sikh Welfare Society, Mr Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi, MP and Ms Debbie Kaur Thiara, Mayor, Redbridge were among the other prominent personalities attending the celebrations.

Thu, 14 Jun 2018 08:25:26 +0530
Indian High Commissioner

Continuing with the tradition, Indian High Commissioner in UK Mr Y. K. Sinha attended the Chhatri Memorial Ceremony at Brighton where he paid homage to the 53 soldiers of the Indian Army who laid down their lives during World War 1 and were later cremated at the site.

This year the ceremony also commemorated the centenary of the end of the First World War in which 1.4 million Indian soldiers and officers fought in the Allied forces at the western front in France, Flanders, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Palestine, East Africa and Gallipoli.

The ceremony was also attended by the Lord Lieutenant, officers of the British Armed Forces, Metropolitan Police, prominent members of the local community and members of the Indian diaspora.

An interesting fact: The Chhatri was designed by E. C. Henriques from Mumbai and was unveiled by The Prince of Wales in 1921.

Thu, 14 Jun 2018 08:21:58 +0530
Saudi underscores importa

Saudi Arabia has underscored the importance of finding mechanisms to tighten control on military nuclear sites in Iran and enhance inspections in this regard.

This demand was made by Ambassador Nabil Al-Ashri , Acting Charge d'Affaires at the Saudi Embassy in Austria, while addressing a meeting of the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency at the United Nations office in Vienna, under the chairmanship of Yukiya Amano, Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA.

Al-Ashri said inspections must cover nuclear sites that Iran is likely to use to carry out undeclared nuclear activities and target the security of the region.

The ambassador also refuted the allegations made by the Iranian ambassador against the Kingdom during the meeting.

"The Kingdom will continue in its efforts to counter and combat terrorism in the region, which Iran has generously supported through terrorist militias," Al-Ashri said while expressing the Kingdom’s confidence over the ability and efficiency of the IAEA and its inspectors to carry out the verification and monitoring of Iran’s declared and undeclared nuclear military programmes.

Thu, 14 Jun 2018 08:15:34 +0530
Centre withdraws Nalanda

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the proposal for withdrawal of Nalanda University (Amendment) Bill, 2013 pending in the Rajya Sabha.

The Nalanda University was established on the basis of a Joint Press Statement at the 4th East Asia Summit held in Thailand in October, 2009, which supported its establishment as a non-state, non-profit, secular and self-governing international institution. Subsequently, the Nalanda University Act, 2010 was passed by the Parliament and came into effect from 25thNovember 2010.

The present proposal is for moving a motion in Rajya Sabha withdrawing the Nalanda University (Amendment) Bill, 2013 introduced in Rajya Sabha on August 26, 2013 to amend certain existing provisions of the Nalanda University Act, 2010 and add some new provisions.

The Governing Board of Nalanda University has since been constituted as per section 7 of Nalanda University Act, 2010 with effect from 21.11.2016 with, the approval of President of India. The Amendment Bill will need to be discussed with the current Governing Board of Nalanda University before a final decision could be taken on going ahead with the proposed amendments. Further, the current Governing Board may also look into the entire Nalanda University Act, 2010 afresh and suggest amendments/additions wherever necessary.

Teaching in the University was inaugurated by SushmaSwaraj, External Affairs Minister in September 2014. At present, the University has 116 students in three schools of studies namely School of Historical Studies, School of Ecology and Environment Studies and School of Buddhist Studies. This includes 35 international students from 21 foreign countries.

Thu, 14 Jun 2018 07:50:37 +0530
Indian Railways develops

Continuing towards digitalization and moving towards becoming a cashless economy, the initiative of faster and more techno-advanced transactions in Indian Railways is being taken up, the Centre for Railway Information System (CRIS) has developed a mobile based application ‘utsonmobile'. This application has the following features:

 

1. The ‘utsonmobile’ application enables booking and cancellation of unreserved tickets, issue and renewal of season and platform tickets, check and load R-wallet balance and helps maintain user profile management and booking history.

 

2. The 'utsonmobile' application is very handy, free and is available for both Android and Windows smart phone. Users can download this app from Google Play Store or Windows store free of cost.

 

3. First the passenger will get registered by providing his/her mobile number, name, city, default booking train type, class, ticket type, number of passenger and frequently travelling routes.

 

4. Upon successful registration, Railway Wallet (R-Wallet) will be created automatically with zero balance to the passenger. There will be no extra cost for creating R-Wallet.

 

5. The R-Wallet can be recharged either at any of the UTS counter or through recharge option available in the https://www.utsonmobile.indianrail.gov.in website.

 

6. In case internet connection of the mobile is not up, then ticket booking is not allowed.

 

7. No advance ticket booking is allowed. (i.e.) the journey date will always be current date.

 

8. Paperless Ticket: The passenger can travel without taking hardcopy of the ticket. Whenever Ticket Checking Staff asks for ticket, the passenger will use 'Show Ticket' option in the app.

· The smart phone should be GPS enabled to book paperless ticket.

· The paperless tickets are not allowed for cancellation.

· The journey should commence within one hour after booking paperless ticket.

· The Season ticket can be issued/renewed from mobile application and it will be valid from the next day of booking the ticket. No need of GPS for issue/renewal of Season Ticket.

· Platform Ticket can also be booked from mobile application.

· In case passenger is not able to show the ticket on mobile then it is considered as ticketless travel.

 

9.         Paper Ticket: The passenger can book ticket through the mobile app. On booking of ticket, he/she will get Booking ID along with other ticket details. The booking details will also be available in booking history. The booking ID will also be conveyed through an SMS.

· After booking Paper ticket, Passenger can go to the journey originating (source) station to take ticket print out from any of the ATVM there, by entering his/her registered mobile number and booking ID. The Journey is valid only with printed ticket.

· The  cancellation of Paper ticket is allowed either at the counter after printing the ticket or through the app before printing the ticket. However, in both the cases, cancellation fee is applicable.

· The  journey should commence within one hour after printing paper ticket in the kiosk.

 

10.       For detailed help, visit website "https://www.utsonmobile.indianrail.gov.in".

Thu, 14 Jun 2018 07:44:10 +0530
WHO lauds India s effort

Preeti Sudan, Secretary (HFW) chaired the 27th Meeting of the Polio India Expert Advisory Group (IEAG) to review the country programme activities and make recommendations. The expert member group concluded that ‘the country is on the right track’.

The experts commended the strong leadership of the Government of India, as well as the ownership of the state governments to for maintaining polio-free status for more than seven years and ensuring that every child is vaccinated against the disease. The last case of polio in India was reported in January 2011.  The programme has ensured adequate protection of children through both mass polio vaccination campaigns and childhood immunization. 

Speaking at the meeting, Preeti Sudan said that there are two types of polio vaccine - oral polio vaccine and injectable polio vaccine, which are both used in India to provide enhanced protection.  “We need to ensure that every child in India must receive at least three doses of OPV and two doses of IPV during infancy. This in an invaluable investment for child health in India” Preeti Sudan added.

She further said that the nationwide polio campaigns should continue along with routine immunization strengthening initiatives such as Mission Indradhanush, Gram Swaraj Abhiyan, and Extended-Gram SwarajAbhiyan.

Dr. Michel Zaffran – Head of Polio Eradication, WHO stated that globally the world is closer to polio eradication than ever before.  Eleven cases have been registered in 2018 in only two countries – Afghanistan and Pakistan.  “The experts appreciate the example that India sets for the rest of the world. By eliminating polio in India, the country has demonstrated that global polio eradication is feasible and within reach,” he added.

The group of experts appreciated the efforts of India in using both oral and injectable polio vaccines and recommends that this be continued so that no child in India gets paralyzed ever again. Community participation remains an integral part of polio vaccination efforts in the country. The expert group noted that more than 23 lakh vaccinators are mobilized to support every polio mass campaign during which 17 crores children get the oral polio drops.

Thu, 14 Jun 2018 07:38:11 +0530
PM throws up fitness chal

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, accepting the Fitness Challenge given by Virat Kohli, shared his fitness video. 

The Prime Minister said, “Here are moments from my morning exercises. Apart from Yoga, I walk on a track inspired by the Panchtatvas or 5 elements of nature - Prithvi, Jal, Agni, Vayu, Aakash. This is extremely refreshing and rejuvenating. I also practice breathing exercises. #HumFitTohIndiaFit. 

I appeal to every Indian to devote some part of the day towards fitness. 

Practice any set of exercises you are comfortable with and you will see the positive difference it will make in your life! #FitnessChallenge #HumFitTohIndiaFit.”

Furthering the momentum of Fitness Challenge, the Prime Minister nominated Karnataka CM H D Kumaraswamy, Table Tennis Player Ms. Manika Batra and the entire IPS fraternity, especially those above 40 for the Fitness Challenge. 

“I am delighted to nominate the following for the #FitnessChallenge:

Karnataka’s CM Shri H D Kumaraswamy

India’s pride and among the highest medal winners for India in the 2018 CWG, Manika Batra

The entire fraternity of brave IPS officers, especially those above 40”, the Prime Minister said.

Thu, 14 Jun 2018 07:29:59 +0530
Fire on top of Mumbai s h

A fire has broken out on the top floor of a high rise in Mumbai's Worli area, where actor Deepika Padukone lives, reports NDTV.

Reports suggest no one has been injured. Over 90 residents of the building have been rescued safely say police sources, NDTV reported.

The Mumbai Police have said its staff and firefighting personnel are at the spot. "They are trying to do their best and douse the fire," the Mumbai Police said on Twitter. 

Wed, 13 Jun 2018 15:42:09 +0530
A salute to a never say

 Sunitha Anand

 

I was 17 when she was born. And as all teens I just knew she was different because everyone in the family spoke about her in hushed tones. So, when I saw her for the first time, she looked like all babies do! I wondered what the problem was with Arti.

As she grew up we didn’t see much of her except on annual visits to various Army cantonments as her dad moved. One vacation, we stayed with her family in Ambala. And that’s when I realised she was a baby with special needs. We didn’t have easy access to the internet then, to catch up on the who, what or why …which may come as a surprise to some of you. We took cues from her parents and played with her as best we could.

She was a baby with Down’s syndrome – it is a genetic disorder caused by the presence of all or part of a third copy of chromosome 21. It is typically associated with physical growth delays, characteristic facial features and mild to moderate intellectual disability.

I am sure Arti’s parents went through a lot of turmoil on why this had happened, especially since they had a normal first child. But once she reached schooling age is when they realised they had more in store. There wasn’t any mainstream school that would accept Arti. Her parents were told that she would not live beyond eight years, and that she was “mentally retarded”. They were told that helping her was pointless!

Little did the detractors know that the parents were made of sterner stuff. And the maternal grandfather was a rock-solid supporter in the era of ‘people who loved to point and comment’.After a lot of angst and research, Arti’s mother, Sandhya found a centre for people with Down’s syndrome. Her coach Veerabhadra, took special interest in her as he felt she had a spark. He’s her godfather, completely devoted to her progress, never gave up on her and put every effort in helping to overcome her fears.

Her elder brother, Anish never questioned why his mum was spending more time with Arti. He understood why it was important and now he reminds his mum not to give up and to keep trying. He is married now and his wife also has embraced Arti with open arms.

Today at 28, Arti is a STAR in the world of para swimming. She has won bronze and silver medals in the 2013 Special Olympics. She won her first gold medal in 1998 at the Special Olympics in Chandigarh. Arti Krishnamurthy has taken to water like a fish and this is commendable given that she feared it as a child.

She is a strong contender for the 2019 World Games as well. She will go through rigorous practice and training against the best in India for a spot in the Special Olympics team. At preparatorycamps,she will be around strangers and learn independent self-management - none of this bothers her. She’s super confident all thanks to her parents and people who love her. All the other parents see her as a role model as she can stay on her own, cook a meal, and travel by herself.

I have seen how caring she is – she will make sure her mother doesn’t forget her medicines, father takes enough rest and so on. For those of us who have had the privilege to live with her, one can learn lessons on how to be punctual, disciplined and plan everything to the last detail. Her one indulgence is non-stop ‘Sun TV’ serials Wed, 13 Jun 2018 10:08:32 +0530Kohli receives Polly Umri

India cricket captain Virat Kohli  received the Polly Umrigar Award (Best International Cricketer) for his stupendous performances in the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons. The Board Of Control For Cricket In India (BCCI) bestowed the award on the skipper at their annual BCCI awards ceremony in Bengaluru, reports NDTV.

"POLLY UMRIGAR AWARD for 2016-17 season goes to #TeamIndia Skipper @imVkohli at #NAMAN. The Skipper also receives the Polly Umrigar Award for his stupendous performances in the 2017-18 season too", BCCI captioned on Twitter.

Wed, 13 Jun 2018 09:29:47 +0530
Intl Atomic Energy Agenc

The International Atomic Energy Agency welcomed the joint statement of US President Donald Trump and North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un on Tuesday and said it was prepared to undertake verification activities.

Trump and Kim pledged to work toward complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula and Washington committed to provide security guarantees.

"The International Atomic Energy Agency stands ready to undertake any verification activities in the DPRK (North Korea) that it may be requested to conduct by the countries concerned, subject to authorisation by the IAEA’s Board of Governors," Director General Yukiya Amano said in a statement.

Wed, 13 Jun 2018 09:17:47 +0530
Top spiritual leader Bhai

Bhaiyyu Maharaj, a popular spiritual leader who counted some of the country's top politicians and celebrities among his followers, committed suicide on Tuesday by shooting himself in the head at his ashram in Madhya Pradesh's Indore, reports NDTV.

Bhaiyyuji Maharaj, born Uday Sinh Deshmukh, allegedly shot himself over "domestic issues". The police have reportedly found a suicide note that indicated that the 50-year-old was "depressed". He was declared dead at the Bombay hospital in Indore, reports NDTV.

"The country has lost a person who was a confluence of culture, knowledge and selfless service," said Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who had provoked opposition anger earlier this year by appointing Bhaiyyu Maharaj and four other "sadhus" as ministers, NDTV reported.

Wed, 13 Jun 2018 09:12:36 +0530
Pakistan violates ceasefi

Four personnel of the Border Security Force (BSF) have died in Pakistani firing in Chambliyal sector of Jammu and Kashmir's Samba district. One among the four is BSF assistant commandant, reports NDTV.

The major ceasefire violation by Pakistan comes nearly a week after top level military officers of both countries  agreed to implement the ceasefire pact of 2003 in "letter and spirit".

"Pakistan Rangers initiated cross border firing along the International Border in Ramgarh last night. We have lost four of our personnel, including an assistant commandant rank officer, while other 3 of our personnel suffered injuries," Inspector General, BSF, Ram Awtar told news agency PTI. The police chief of Jammu and Kashmir, SP Vaid, in a tweet expressed his condolences, NDTV reported

Wed, 13 Jun 2018 08:56:12 +0530
UP bus accident 16 peopl

Sixteen people have died and twelve others injured in a bus accident in Uttar Pradesh's Mainpuri district this morning, reports NDTV.

Initial investigation suggests that the driver of the bus was speeding when the vehicle hit the road divider. The collision led to the bus being overturned, NDTV reported.

Those injured have been taken to hospitals nearby. Three of the twelve injured are in critical condition. The driver of the bus was also injured and currently being treated at a hospital. The police is waiting to record his statement.

Wed, 13 Jun 2018 08:42:51 +0530
Trump Kim agree for denu

US President Donald Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong Un concluded an extraordinary summit Tuesday with lofty promises by the American president to take care of a "very dangerous problem" and Kim forecasting "major change for the world", reports Khaleej Times

They signed a document that Trump described as "pretty comprehensive," but he declined to describe it, saying the details would be revealed later.

The document signing followed a series of meetings at a luxury Singapore resort, reports Khaleej Times.

Trump said that the process of denuclearisation on the Korean peninsula will begin "very soon" as he wrapped up a landmark summit with Kim Jong Un.

"We're starting that process," Trump said in response to a question about denuclearisation, adding that it would start "very quickly."

Earlier, Kim and Trump shook hands and smiled cautiously as they met at their summit, in which the two men will look for ways to end a nuclear standoff on the Korean peninsula, added Khaleej Times.

Tue, 12 Jun 2018 14:12:29 +0530
Sharjah Shurooq Nine yea

Over the past nine years, Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) has accrued a portfolio of completed and ongoing projects worth AED 7.6 billion extending across a total area of 11.74 million square metres.

Following the Emiri decree No.2 to establish Shurooq, issued by H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, the authority has not only confirmed its pivotal role in driving the emirate’s prospects, it has established Sharjah as a major international business hub.

Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, Shurooq Executive Chairman, said: "The policies and vision of His Highness have strengthened the investment environment, paving the way for a strong economy and immense future growth. Sharjah’s economic strategy is based on diversification, understanding the basic needs of investors and the desire to improve the style and quality of life for all residents. Thanks to Sheikh Sultan Al Qasimi’s foresight, Sharjah has built an outstanding investment development model for other economies to emulate.

He added: "Shurooq was launched under the leadership and vision of Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi and despite being a relatively new entity, the authority has established a global reputation."

He attributed much of Shurooq’s success to the far-reaching approach it has adopted in planning and management as well as in the continuous development of its human resources as part of ongoing efforts to enhance the emirate’s competitiveness as an ideal place to work, invest and live.

"Shurooq focused on constructive cooperation and integration with various state departments and agencies across the UAE for the benefit of all emirates, inspired by vision of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founder of the nation," he said.

Shurooq’s portfolio includes several large-scale projects including Al Qasba, Al Majaz Waterfront and Al Montazah Amusement and Waterpark, as well as the iconic Al Noor Island, which sits on the shores of Khalid Lagoon, combining nature, entertainment, culture and art. Other destinations include The Flag Island and other Flag Squares across the emirate which are among the most prominent national monuments in the UAE.

Other projects currently under construction include the ‘Heart of Sharjah’, the largest historical preservation and restoration project in the region. Planned over five phases, to be completed by 2025, the Heart of Sharjah is home to a variety of tourist facilities such as Souq Al Shanasiyah and Al Bait Hotel.

Shurooq also boasts the Maraya Art Centre and the 1971-Design Space, the ‘I Love Sharjah’ brand and City Sightseeing Sharjah tour buses. The emirate is also home to major events like Sharjah Food Festival and Sharjah World Music Festival, among many others.

In its relentless endeavour to promote the value of services and products it offers to the public, Shurooq entered the eco-tourism sector, launching the Kalba Eco-Tourism project in May 2012 with a view to providing a number of nature reserves and diverse tourist facilities in collaboration with the Environment and Protected Areas Authority in Sharjah.

Pressing ahead with its strategy to implement sustainable projects, Shurooq began the development of the Mleiha Archaeological and Eco-Tourism Project in early 2016. In its first phase, the project saw the construction of the Mleiha Archeological Centre, which offers visitors a glimpse into Sharjah’s rich legacy and historical treasures, and a diverse set of desert adventures.

Sharjah Collection Hospitality Brand Shurooq’s strategy for expansion and growth has continued with the launch of the ‘Sharjah Collection’ hospitality brand, which was announced in April 2017 during the authority’s participation in the Arabian Travel Market.

The Sharjah Collection includes a number of luxurious lodge and B&B-style properties, along with environmentally-conscious hotels to offer its guests unique living experiences with an authentic taste of Arabian hospitality, rich in Emirati culture.

Shurooq appointed Mantis Collection, the owner of some of the world’s finest boutique hotels and eco-escapes, to manage all hospitality facilities that fall under the Sharjah Collection brand.

The first phase of the Sharjah Collection’s portfolio includes three projects: Al Badayer Lodge in the Al Badayer Desert; Bait Khalid Bin Ibrahim in the Heart of Sharjah; and the Kingfisher Lodge nestled within the Kalba Eco-Tourism project. Recently, Shurooq announced the addition of the Fossil Rock Lodge to the Sharjah Collection.

The Kingfisher Lodge, a five-star hospitality project, features a tented camp within a stunning mangrove nature reserve in the heart of Kalba. Construction work on the project began in March 2017, and is expected to open soon.

Shurooq announced that 80% of Fossil Rock Lodge within the Mleiha project is complete, which will serve as a modern luxury hospitality facility offering a unique experience for desert adventurers and nature lovers.

The authority has been actively involved in developing a range of projects, some of which are near completion and will be opened over the next few months. During 2018, other large-scale projects will be delivered, including Al Bait Hotel, a boutique five-star hospitality facility and the first of its kind heritage hotel in the UAE, and Al Badayer Lodge.

Al Bait, part of the ‘Heart of Sharjah’, has transformed authentic Emirati houses through renovation and expansion. Singaporean General Hotel Management (GHM), a leading operator of luxury hotels in the world, has been appointed to operate the AED 100 million luxury resort.

Another project, Al Badayer Oasis, is a retreat overlooking the golden sand dunes of Sharjah’s central region. In July 2017, Shurooq added 10 dormitory rooms for individuals and groups as well as a cinema and a gym, increasing the project’s total investment from AED 45 million to AED 60 million.

Regarding Shurooq’s projects, Al Sarkal said: "Sharjah’s phenomenal growth cemented the emirate's image as a preferred investment destination for investors from across the world and prompted Shurooq to adopt an integrated plan and a new vision to cope with economic changes, resulting in the formation of the Sharjah FDI Office (Invest in Sharjah)."

He continued: "Invest in Sharjah is tasked with leading the emirate’s efforts for investment promotion, with a focus on developing leading real estate and tourism projects and bringing about a positive transformation in the developmental landscape."

He added: "According to figures released by the Sharjah Department of Economic Development, in 2016 the real estate and business service sector achieved growth of 4% and with the launch of new, innovative projects I am confident that we are on the threshold of a big jump for this sector in the near future.

"Sharjah’s sophisticated infrastructure and legislative frameworks encourage the sector to flourish, especially with the introduction of the usufruct right that allows non-UAE citizens to own properties on a 100-year leasehold basis," noted the Executive Chairman of Shurooq.

Al Sarkal also indicated that the previous lack of real estate projects with integrated services and facilities have prompted Shurooq to announce a series of strategic partnerships and joint ventures with world-class local companies such as Eagle Hills, Nakheel, Diamond Developers and Emaar Hospitality.

The ‘Invest in Sharjah’ office is adopting an ambitious strategy that focuses on six main sectors: tourism and leisure; environment and renewable energy; healthcare; transport and logistics; education; and light industries Shurooq is collaborating with relevant bodies and agencies in Sharjah to identify potential opportunities and provide facilities that help attract investments and capital to these sectors, ensuring the free circulation of data between legal, economic and tourist bodies, enhance transparency and objectivity.

According to a statistical study by Shurooq, the tourism and leisure sector in Sharjah has a wealth of opportunities, especially in luxurious accommodation, with four-and five-star hotels accounting for 70% of emirate’s total hotel revenues. This is apart from potential opportunities in leisure destinations in Sharjah, particularly in the food and beverage sector, which is expected to reach $1.4 billion (AED 5.15 billion) in 2019.

The size of the environment sector is expected to reach $281 million (AED1.03 billion) in Sharjah by the end of this year. With Sharjah placing a high premium on preservation and environmentally sustainable practices, the sector is likely to grow to $314 million (AED1.15 billion) by the end of 2020.

Sharjah’s healthcare sector also offers many investment opportunities. With imports accounting for 90% of medicines, there is investment potential to establish pharmaceutical plants to meet a large portion of domestic demand. The number of beds in local hospitals account for 0.6 beds per 1000 people at a time the healthcare sector is expected to grow by 9.3% annually. These figures show the investment appeal and revenue potential in the local health sector through establishing more medical facilities.

In education, Sharjah is home to an impressive array of prestigious and world-class educational establishments, with educated people constituting 92% of the emirate’s total population. The education sector is still very promising for investment, particularly in schools, universities and specialised institutes.

For light industries, Sharjah is home to 65,000 small and medium-size enterprises that find the emirate an ideal place for their growth and expansion. The SMEs provide the domestic market and foreign markets with many light industries such as food, packaging, and light metal industries, among others. Sharjah has 22 industrial zones offering world-class facilities, opening the doors to investors from all over the world.

Sharjah’s GDP hit AED152 billion in 2016 according to the Department of Economic Development, partly attributable to the emirate’s strategic location between Asia, Europe and Africa. Sharjah is home to world-class seaports on the Arabian Gulf and Indian Ocean, as well as its international airport and the sophisticated infrastructure of roads and integrated transport networks. The transport and logistics sector in the emirate is expected to achieve a total value of $1.7 billion (AED 6.25 billion) by the end of 2018 and projected to rise steadily to $1.9 billion (AED 7 billion) by the end of 2019.

Invest in Sharjah is the official entity with a mandate to introduce investment opportunities to business owners, managers and investors in various sectors and helping them to make the most of the emirate’s offerings.

The office implements an overall strategy based on providing a range of advantages and incentives in cooperation with a number of relevant government agencies and departments, to enhance the business environment in Sharjah and make it more attractive.

Shurooq continues to make achievements in 2018, during which it revealed the establishment of a new company ‘Eagle Hills Sharjah’ in a strategic partnership with Abu Dhabi-based leading developer Eagle Hills. Under this new joint venture, Shurooq launched three large-scale projects worth AED 2.7 billion to be developed by the new company.

The three projects include Maryam Island, Palace Al Khan and Kalba Waterfront, all of which are focused on promoting Sharjah's tourism sector and celebrating the emirate's heritage. The large-scale projects, including high-end hospitality facilities, will give a strong boost to the emirate’s flourishing property sector, setting new benchmarks for housing, hospitality and retail offerings, as well as lifestyle communities in Sharjah and Kalba. The projects are scheduled for completion between 2019 and 2020.

The largest of the three projects in term of both value and area is the AED 2.4-billion Maryam Island, a mixed-use development located between Al Khan Lagoon and Al Mamzar in Downtown Sharjah. Maryam Island spans 460,000 sqm, of which 310,000 sqm are designated for commercial and residential compounds, hotel units, restaurants and cafes, shops, leisure facilities and green parks.

The $43.5 million (AED 160 million) Kalba Waterfront is a master-planned retail mall spanning 17,000 sqm with 11,200 sqm of gross leasable area. The shopping centre will be located within the Kalba Eco-Tourism Project adjacent to a lagoon, and house 86 retail outlets, indoor and outdoor dining outlets, local and international brands, a supermarket and entertainment area. The unconventional design of the mall includes internal public streets with outlets and shops on both sides, offering a unique outdoor dining space and breathtaking views.

Palace Al Khan is designed to be Sharjah city’s first five-star luxury waterfront resort. The seaside hotel, extending over 66,200 sqm along the city’s coast in Al Khan area overlooking the Arabian Gulf, will offer 87 hotel keys.

In April, Shurooq signed an agreement with master developer Nakheel to develop a new community retail centre at a total cost of AED75 million.

Under the agreement, Nakheel will develop a high-class community retail and leisure centre in Sharjah’s rapidly-expanding Al Rahmaniya district.

In alignment with its vision to strengthen strategic partnerships with the private sector and boost the emirate’s drive of economic diversification, Shurooq signed a partnership agreement with Diamond Developers to develop a large mixed-used project in Sharjah.

The green project enhances the quality of real estate projects in Sharjah, meeting the highest standards of environmental sustainability, allowing new and innovative options for investments in the green sector.

Parallel to Shurooq’s strategic growth in its portfolio of investments and its plans to strengthen Sharjah’s economic presence by diversifying its sectors, Shurooq established a total of 7 companies that operate under the authority, each with a different function to support the emirate’s economic expansion.

Some of these companies function as transport and logistics, while others function marketing agencies, entertainment houses and trade services. Among these companies are: Sharjah Transport Solutions, Absolute Adventures, Tasweeq, Poltrona Frau, Qatra, Mazare’a and TACA Emirates.

Over the past nine years, Shurooq has bolstered its global commercial and economic ties through overseas business visits and receptions, participation in exhibitions, conferences, forums and international investment and economic events. It also entrenched its position through a continuous presence in many specialised economy and investment events, whether as a participant or an organiser, including the Arabian Travel Market and the Annual Investment Meeting, which are held in Dubai.

On the local level, Shurooq organised economic forums such as Euromoney Emirates Conference, and the Sharjah FDI Forum for three consecutive editions as of 2015. It also organises the UAE-Indian Economic Forum and the Sharjah-Arab Business Roundtable. In another move, Shurooq organised the Sharjah Senior Golf Masters, which received a widespread international attention and coverage.

Shurooq has also enjoyed an impressive presence in the World Investment Forum in Shanghai, the Korean Investment Fair, China’s Trade Week and the Asian Financial Forum in Hong Kong. The authority organised ‘Sharjah Day’ in London and Milan, and took part in the FDI Expo in London, the World Travel Market London and ITB Berlin.

To reinforce Sharjah’s business and investment status, Shurooq organised tours, roadshows and visits along with its participation in events across the world, including the GCC countries, Arab League, China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Malaysia, Japan, Taiwan, India, the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, Portugal, France, Spain, the United States and Australia.

Shurooq has signed a number of agreements with local and international entities, including Air Arabia, the Arab-British Chamber of Commerce, the US Chamber of Commerce, Emirates Transport and Careem, and the Sharjah Center for Astronomy and Space Sciences, among many others.

In recognition of its overall accomplishments, Shurooq secured a large number of local, regional and international awards and accolades. It has won the title Top Investment Promotion Agency in Middle East three times, and was named FDI Agency 2013 as part of the Banking Awards, and FDI MENA Agency of the Year 2014 by the European Global Banking and Finance Awards. Shurooq’s other accolades include the Arab Organisation of Social Responsibility Award and Sharjah Government Communication Award for 2015 and 2017.

Marwan Jassim Al Sarkal was awarded with the Golden Friends of India Award, and was also named the Middle East CEO of the Year by the prestigious Burj CEO Awards, as well as the Best Official Spokesperson as part of the Sharjah Government Communication Award 2017.

Shurooq’s destinations have also won a host of prestigious local and international awards. Al Noor Island won the 2016 WAN Metal in Architecture Award and the Iconic Award in the Best Architectural Design category. Also in the same year, it was named Best Leisure Architecture in Africa and Arabia 2016 as part of the International Property Awards, and was the recipient of the IF Design Award 2017 and German Design Award 2017.

The Mleiha Archaeological Centre within the Mleiha Archaeological and Eco-Tourism Project won the prestigious Cityscape Global – Best Community, Culture & Tourism Project Award in the Middle East, and the Community and Culture Award as part of the Middle East Architect Awards 2016, in addition to other awards from the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority.

Tue, 12 Jun 2018 10:15:20 +0530
Trump Kim meet ends on a

The much-anticipated negotiation talk between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, which commenced at 6 30 am at Capella Hotel in Sendosa, ended up on a winning note.

The US President Donald Trump said that the first one-on-one meeting with Kim was a very good one and he had no doubt in the good future relations with North Korea while Kim said that past experiences and thoughts stood as an obstacle before them for negotiation and now he arrived here after overcoming all those issues.

 The United States and the North Korea have been engaged in a war of words from years long back and this is for the first time that the top leaders of US as well as Korea sit around a table for a negotiation talk. The first meeting involved only both the leaders and their translators in a closed door.

Tue, 12 Jun 2018 10:06:24 +0530
UAE India landmark agre

A landmark agreement signed in February between the UAE and India expanding their bilateral energy relationship has started bearing fruit.

India’s state-owned oil exploration company, ONGC Videsh Ltd., OVL, has announced receipt of the first tranche of equity oil cargo from Abu Dhabi's Lower Zakum oilfield.

A shipload of Das blend crude oil has reached New Mangalore port, the company said in a statement.

An agreement signed in February between Dr. Sultan bin Ahmad Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State and ADNOC Group CEO on the UAE side and Shashi Shekhar, Chairman and Managing Director of ONGC on the Indian side, granted a 10 percent concession in the Lower Zakum field to an Indian consortium, led by OVL.

The consortium includes state-run Indian Oil Corporation and Bharat PetroResources Ltd. The agreement coincided with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the UAE.

The concession commenced on March 9th and is for a period of 40 years. "This first equity cargo of 690,000 barrels was loaded onto the vessel MT Wafrah on June 2nd," the OVL statement said.

Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd, which will pick up the consignment from Mangalore port is an ONGC Group company in the downstream business which operates one of India's most modern and complex refineries, according to the statement.

Tue, 12 Jun 2018 09:57:58 +0530
Indian Railways completel

In line with digital initiatives, Indian Railways has for the first time completely digitized the Complaint management system.

Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways & Coal today launched a new App “Rail Madad” – An App to expedite &  streamline passenger grievance redressal. RPGRAMS (Railway Passenger Grievance Redressal and Management System),which has been developed by Northern Railway (Delhi Division) and comprises many novel features including ‘Rail Madad’ – a  mobile App  to register complaints by passengers through mobile phone/web. 

It relays real time feedback to passengers on the status of redressal of their complaints- the passenger gets an instant ID through SMS on registration of complaint followed by a customized SMS communicating the action taken thereon by Railway. RPGRAMS integrates all the passenger complaints received from multiple modes (14 offline/online modes currently) on a single platform, analyzes them holistically and generates various types of management reports which enable the top management to continuously monitor the pace of grievance redressal as well as evaluate the performance of field units/ trains/ stations on various parameters viz cleanliness, catering, amenities etc. It also identifies weak/deficient areas and laggard trains/stations for undertaking focussed corrective actions.

Tue, 12 Jun 2018 09:38:25 +0530
UK Minister Baroness Will

A delegation from the United Kingdom led by the Minister of State for Countering Extremism and Minister for Equalities, Baroness Williams of Trafford, held talks with the Indian delegation led by the Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju.

The discussions covered variety of important issues ranging from cooperation in matters of migration, tackling extremism, extradition, sharing of criminal records etc. During the meeting, Rijiju also called for implementation of the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to check money laundering and terrorist financing.

While underlining the need for cooperation in fighting international terrorism, Rijiju said terrorism cannot be viewed with a prismatic view and urged the UK Minister to check anti-India activities on its soil. Baroness Williams assured cooperation of the highest level on this issue.

Raising the issue of fugitive tycoons wanted by New Delhi for frauds and financial misappropriations, Rijiju said Britain should not be viewed as a safe haven for men wanted by the law of the other country for various offences. He said while India respects the courts and will pursue the legal procedures in Britain to bring back wanted men, New Delhi expects the cooperation of the UK Government. Allaying concerns over prison conditions in India, Rijiju said there are absolute safeguards against Human Rights violations in Indian prisons.

In response to the UK Minister’s request for facilitating repatriation of illegal migrants, Rijiju said that while the issue of timeframes is important, Government would like to reassure itself about the completion of verification before repatriation process begins. Rijiju also lauded the cooperation of the UK Government on various international forums.

Tue, 12 Jun 2018 09:23:20 +0530
PM meets Vajpayee at AIIM

The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, visited former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee at AIIMS today. 

The Prime Minister interacted with family members of Vajpayee. He also spoke to Doctors and inquired about the health of Vajpayee.

Narendra Modi was at AIIMS for about 50 minutes.

Tue, 12 Jun 2018 09:17:36 +0530
BSF to put laser rays in

Border security force (BSF) plans to use laser rays for tightening security in borders covering Bangladesh in Tripura. BSF officials said that they are considering putting laser based invisible borders at areas where fences are not possible in wetlands and rivers.

The new laser plan is also due in consideration to use in Assam's international border Dhubri to restrict border infiltration. Lasers had already deployed in Punjab and Jammu where the borders touching Pakistan and it was analysed that the laser method yielded success.

The union government had shown a green signal to install iron fence along the 856 km long Bangladesh border in Tripura. Now the new laser rays will add more security in Indian borders.

Tue, 12 Jun 2018 09:11:34 +0530
AAP leaders continue sit

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and his colleagues' sit-in protest at Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal's house continued late into evening as they stick on to their demands. Recent images have shown that Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia in sofas at the Lt. Governor's house while many party workers camped outside.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders demand that the governor should approve the proposal of doorstep delivery of rations and also take actions on IAS officers who have been boycotting work for the last four months.

Meanwhile the Lt. Governor's office released a communique accusing CM of "threatening him" and denied any strike or suspension of work by IAS officers.

The impression from interaction with the officers is that "no sincere efforts have been made to assure the officers that their respect and dignity will be protected and they will not be intimidated, physically or verbally assaulted and threatened," the Lieutenant Governor said. His advice to build an atmosphere of trust  has been disregarded, the communique said.

Mr. Kejriwal tweeted as a response to Lt. Governor's comments said that many officers had told him that they have been threatened by Raj Niwas of dire consequences if they withdraw strike. LG promoting active rebellion against elected government at PMO's instance. People of Del will not tolerate this.

Tue, 12 Jun 2018 08:38:15 +0530
Trump Kim launch histori

With a smiling face each other and a hug from both sides, US President Donald Trump and North Korean supremo Kim Jong Un met for the first time in Singapore. The two leaders began the meeting at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa where the whole world closely watches for the final result of the meeting.

Donald Trump said that there will be a good relationship with North Korea and no need for a doubt on that while Kim said that past experiences and thoughts stood as an obstacle before them for negotiation and now he arrived here after overcoming all those issues.

 The United States and the North Korea have been engaged in a war of words from years long back and this is for the first time that the top leaders of US as well as Korea sit around a table for a negotiation talk. The first meeting involved only both the leaders and their translators in a closed door.

Tue, 12 Jun 2018 08:10:37 +0530
Modi works for some peop

Prime Minister Narendra Modi completely avoided the poor and weaker sections of the society, says Congress President Rahul Gandhi while attending the OBC convention in New Delhi.

"The government ruled by Modi, Amit Shah and RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat stand for only some people in the country. Backward people, Dalits and poor ones are devoid of government benefits. Modi says that Indians lag behind in the skills. But he is telling lies. Indians are skilled people, but not getting opportunities", said Rahul.

Mon, 11 Jun 2018 19:21:20 +0530
Qauntico controversy Pri

Actress Priyanka Chopra tendered an apology for the latest controversial episode in her American TV series 'Quantico'.  The series portrayed a US university Professor as an Indian who tries to destroy New York with a bomb attack.

Priyanka' s apology  came soon after the ABC channel tendered their apology. She took to twitter and said that her intention was not to hurt the sentiment of the people and that she was a proud Indian.

I’m extremely saddened and sorry that some sentiments have been hurt by a recent episode of Quantico. That was not and would never be my intention. I sincerely apologise. I’m a proud Indian and that will never change, she tweeted

Mon, 11 Jun 2018 15:51:41 +0530
China to import rice sug

China will make a new deal to import rice and sugar from India as Chinese president Xi Jinping suggested for a new trade deal which targets $ 10000 crore within two years, during the Shanghai Co-operative Organisation (SCO) summit.

The previous year's trade between India and China reached to $8444 crore after rising to 18.63%. India will host the next year's summit of SCO which is a union of 8 nations where India and the neighbouring country Pakistan joined the organisation last year as a full time member.

Mon, 11 Jun 2018 15:34:58 +0530
Govt recruits from privat

The central government's decision to recruit people from private sector to appoint them at the joint secretary level has invited objections from bureaucratic society as they allege that this is purely against the civil service system and its reservation norms while modifying the bureaucracy in the country by satisfying the requirements of business organisations.

The personal department has issued advertisement inviting people those who have skill, dedication and also having interest in the national development.

The appointments will be in 10 ministries including Revenue, financial services, economic affairs, agriculture, road transportation, Shipping, environment, aviation and trade. The appointments will be on contract basis from 3 to 5 years.

Mon, 11 Jun 2018 15:22:17 +0530
Heavy rain wreaks havoc i

Severe rain as part of the south west monsoon causes miseries in Kerala as many people, especially in Idukki and Wayanad districts, feel the sufferings. Alert system has been given to the people on the banks of Thodupuzha river and Moovattupuzha river as there is a probability to open the shutter of the Malankara dam.

Extended rain has raised the water level in the Neyyar dam to its maximum capacity in a situation where its shutter might be opened at any time. So the officials have given strict alert to people and restricted them going to the Karamana river, Neyyar and Killiyar river.

Mon, 11 Jun 2018 12:35:34 +0530
Nirav Modi seeks politica

Nirav Modi, a jewellery businessman who left India after having a $2 billion fraud case in Punjab National Bank (PNB), seeks political asylum in UK.  International news agency Reuters has reported this latest development citing Indian and British officials.

Meanwhile the British Home department has informed that they won't exchange data in private cases.

Punjab National Bank said earlier in 2018 that two jewellery groups headed by Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi had defrauded it of about $2.2 billion by raising credit from overseas branches of other Indian banks using illegal guarantees issued by rogue PNB staff at a Mumbai branch over several years.

Mon, 11 Jun 2018 11:24:24 +0530
Heavy rain disrupts Mumba

Mumbai, the city which already tasted the initial part of the much long rain rich monsoon, will receive a further amount of rain in the coming hours. The southwest monsoon had hit the state yesterday and more rain has been forecast in Mumbai and South Maharashtra today.

Heavy rain lashed out in Mumbai as the city received 7595 cm rain in the last 12 hours. The city has been under high alert as there will be more rain in the next 48 hours.

The monsoon becomes stronger in Maharashtra and Goa and most of the low-lying areas are waterlogged. Parel, Kurla, Hindmata, Mahim are the areas in Mumbai that are worsely affected by the heavy rain.

Transportation services are also highly disrupted as the rain affected the suburban train services. Train services are not cancelled yet, but most of the trains are late by 15-20 minutes. Two flights cancelled its services due to heavy rain and 32 flights have been delayed.

Three units of the DIsaster Management Force have been deployed in the city to initiate rescue operations in case of any emergency requirements.

Sun, 10 Jun 2018 10:55:20 +0530
Heavy rain in Mumbai Cit

Heavy rain lashes out in Mumbai as the city received 7595 cm rain in the last 12 hours. The city has been under high alert as there will be more rain in the next 48 hours.

The monsoon becomes stronger in Maharashtra and Goa and most of the low-lying areas are waterlogged. Parel, Kurla, Hindmata, Mahim are the areas in Mumbai that are worsely affected by the heavy rain.

Transportation services are also highly disrupted as the rain affected the suburban train services. Train services are not cancelled yet, but most of the trains are late by 15-20 minutes. Two flights cancelled its services due to heavy rain and 32 flights have been delayed.

Three units of the DIsaster Management Force have been deployed in the city to initiate rescue operations in case of any emergency requirements.

Sat, 09 Jun 2018 19:21:35 +0530
World Cup gift FIFA rele

With just seven days to go until the opening match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, FIFA can confirm that 2,403,116 tickets have been allocated to football fans all around the world since sales started in September 2017.

In accordance with the ticket sales structure and in line with FIFA’s efforts to make as many tickets as possible available directly to football fans, more than 100,000 tickets, which were previously reserved for other FIFA constituent groups, will be made available at FIFA.com/tickets on a first-come, first-served basis on 8th June, 23:00 Moscow time (22:00 Central European Time)

Sat, 09 Jun 2018 11:58:10 +0530
UN Myanmar agreement pave

Two United Nations agencies signed a landmark agreement with the government of Myanmar on Wednesday, which they hope will provide hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees with a pathway to return home, from overcrowded camps across the border in Bangladesh.

Ahead of the signing, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Myanmar, Knut Ostby, said in an exclusive interview with UN News that the two most important conditions for their safe and voluntary return are citizenship rights and an end to violence.

"People need to have an identity, they need to be able to exist as normal people in society, they need to be able to move around so they can enjoy services and livelihoods," he said.

"And there needs to be an absence of violence. People need to be able to return in peace," he added.

This is a first, and very important step, but it is now that the really important work starts - Knut Ostby, Humanitarian Coordinator The Memorandum of Understanding, which was officially signed by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN Development Programme (UNDP), and the Government of Myanmar, will give these two UN agencies access to Rakhine State, including to refugees’ places of origin and potential new settlement areas that the UN has so far been unable to access since the violence escalated at the end of last August.

"This is a first, and very important step, but it is now that the really important work starts," said Ostby. "It was a major crisis last year. Hundreds of thousands, (are) living in really horrible conditions today, and we really need to do our best to help them, so they can return home," he added.

The access, once verified, will allow UNHCR to assess local conditions and help the refugees to make informed decisions on voluntary return.

The agreement will also allow UNHCR and UNDP to carry out needs assessments in affected communities and strengthen the capacity of local authorities to support the voluntary repatriation process.

The Advisory Commission on Rakhine State – a neutral and impartial body composed of six local experts and three international experts, chaired by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan – has proposed concrete measures for improving the welfare of all people in Rakhine State.

Sat, 09 Jun 2018 11:53:37 +0530
Massive fire in Mumbai s

A level-4 fire broke out in one of the buildings in Mumbai's Fort area around 4.30 am today. The Patel Chambers in Fort caught with massive fire which led to the collapse of the building later, leaving two firefighters got injured.

The news agency ANI reported that the situation is under control now and rescue operations are still going on.

South Mumbai witnessed a fire for the second time in the last 10 days as a major fire had broke out in the Income Tax office in South Mumbai's Scindia House on last Friday. But no casualties reported there as fire tenders rescued people who were trapped inside.

Sat, 09 Jun 2018 10:17:38 +0530
Heavy rainfall predicted

Southwest Monsoon has further advanced into some more parts of the Central Arabian Sea, remaining parts of Goa, Karnataka and Rayalaseema, some parts of south Konkan, south Madhya Maharashtra, Marathwada, Vidarbha, south Chhattisgarh and South Odisha, entire Telangana, most parts of Coastal Andhra Pradesh, remaining parts of West Central Bay of Bengal and most parts of North Bay of Bengal. The Northern Limit of Monsoon (NLM) passes through Lat. 17°N/ Long. 60°E, Lat. 17°N/ Long. 70°E, Ratnagiri. Solapur, Nanded, Adilabad, Bailadila, Malkangiri, Kalingapatnam, Lat. 21°N/ Long. 90°E, Agartala, Lumding, North Lakhimpur and Lat. 29°N/ Long. 95°E. (Figure 1)

Conditions are favorable for further advance of Southwest Monsoon into some more parts of the Central Arabian Sea, Maharashtra (including Mumbai), Chhattisgarh  & Odisha  and remaining  parts of Coastal Andhra Pradesh during next 24 hours.

Conditions are very likely to become favorable for further advance of Southwest Monsoon into most parts of the Arabian Sea,  remaining parts of Maharashtra,   some parts of   the South Gujarat region, southern parts  of Madhya Pradesh, some more parts  of Chhattisgarh and Odisha, some  parts of West Bengal & Sikkim, remaining parts of Northeastern States and Bay of Bengal during the subsequent 48 hours.

Increased rainfall activity over coastal Karnataka, Goa and south Maharashtra is likely to continue till 10th June. It is very likely to extend to north coastal Maharashtra, including Mumbai from tomorrow. Extremely heavy rainfall in isolated places in these regions is also very likely during this period. The rainfall activity over these regions is likely to reduce from 12th June.

Sat, 09 Jun 2018 09:42:59 +0530
India s Swachh Bharat Mis

Under the Swachh Bharat Mission, the largest behavior change programme in the world, the rural sanitation coverage of India has now risen to 85%. Through the mobilization of rural communities, 7.4 crore toilets have been built across rural India, and as an outcome, over 3.8 lakh villages and 391 districts have been declared Open Defecation Free (ODF).

This is significant because, under the Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen), sanitation coverage has increased to more than double the coverage at the time of the launch of the Mission.

A recent survey conducted by an Independent Verification Agency across 90,000 households in over 6000 villages has found the usage of toilets in rural India to be 93.4%. Two independent surveys conducted in the past by the Quality Council of India in 2017, and National Sample Survey Organization in 2016, have pegged the usage of these toilets at 91% and 95% respectively. This success has been achieved due to the difference in approach to sanitation adopted by the Swachh Bharat Mission in comparison to previous sanitation programmes in the country.

The Swachh Bharat Mission is the first sanitation programme in the country to measure outcomes (ODF) instead of output (toilets) alone. The SBM's emphasis on behavior change in rural sanitation at the grassroots also leads to rigorous verification and sustainability of the benefits accrued to rural communities under the progress made. The SBM is a people's movement, a true jan andolan, and it is this people's participation that has led to the success being witnessed under the Mission. The Mission is on track to achieve an ODF India by October 2019.

Sat, 09 Jun 2018 09:34:27 +0530
Election commission recei

During the bye-election to 2-Kairana and 11-Bhandara-Gondiya Parliamentary Constituencies on 28th May 2018, malfunctioning of a few VVPAT machines was reported during the mock poll and actual poll. To ascertain the causes of failure, the Commission deputed two Special Teams. The preliminary fact finding reports submitted to the Commission, have indicated two major technical reasons for the malfunctioning, namely: -

  1. Failure of Contrast Sensor (error 2.2)
  2. Failure of length sensor (error 2.4)

The above errors are mainly caused by excessive exposure to illumination in the Polling Station.

The Commission has asked the manufacturers and the Technical Expert Committee to suggest additional design improvements as well as suggestions on any layout changes in the polling stations to prevent any excessive exposure to illumination in the future. Manufacturers have also been asked to do a detailed technical analysis once the VVPATs are free from Election Petition (as these cannot be currently accessed in Strong Rooms till 45 days Election Petition period is over).

The Commission has decided to reiterate its SOPs regarding Do’s and Don’t’s and have also formed a Committee to examine further strengthening of the SOPs. The Commission has also decided to make the First Level Checking process stricter. The Commission has also adopted the hardware improvement recommended by TEC to prevent auto shutdown of VVPATs due to excessive light. The Commission has directed that the training of the polling officials be further strengthened and streamlined, so that failures due to human errors are minimized.

Sat, 09 Jun 2018 09:26:14 +0530
PM leaves for China for a

Following is the text of the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi’s departure statement prior to his visit to Qingdao in China.

“I will be visiting Qingdao in China for the annual meeting of the Council of Heads of States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

I am excited to lead the Indian delegation for our first-ever meeting of the Council as a full member. The SCO has a rich agenda for cooperation, ranging from fighting terrorism, separatism and extremism to promoting cooperation in connectivity, commerce, customs, law, health and agriculture; protecting the environment and mitigating disaster risk; and fostering people-to-people relations. In the last one year since India became a full member of the SCO, our interaction with the Organization and its member States has grown considerably in these areas. I believe that the Qingdao Summit will further enrich the SCO agenda, while heralding a new beginning for India’s engagement with the SCO.

India enjoys deep friendship and multi-dimensional ties with the Member States of the SCO. On the sidelines of the SCO Summit, I will have the opportunity of meeting and sharing views with several other leaders, including the Heads of States of many SCO Member States.”

Sat, 09 Jun 2018 09:18:45 +0530
Arab Coalition destroys m

With the participation and support of the UAE Armed Forces, the fighter jets and artillery of the Saudi-led Arab Coalition in Yemen have launched air strikes on the Iranian-backed Houthi militias' locations and assemblies in Bait Al Faqih and Al Duraihami Districts in the south of Hodeidah, which resulted in the destruction of their military reinforcements and equipment.

The coalition forces also targeted the locations and reinforcements of the Houthis militias in the east of Al Mashrai'e, Al-Jarrahi Districts’ outskirts and western Hussainiya amid the escape of the militia elements towards the mountains and a state of confusion and panic among their ranks.

Eighty-six Houthis were killed in air raids launched by the Arab Coalition fighters in confrontation with the Joint Yemeni Resistance forces at the Hodeidah battlefront, while the forces carried out an operation to clear out the Houthi pockets in Al Taif and Al Nukhaila farms in preparation for the battle of liberating Hodeidah.

The Joint Yemeni Resistance continues to mobilise its trained forces and stabilise its positions in preparation for a major battle to liberate Hodeidah from the Iranian Houthi militias and separate the forces from Hodeidah Airport.

The Yemeni Resistance forces have gone a long way in liberating more than 90 kilometres of area from Al Hima Port to Al Duraihmi District, south of Hodeidah, in a short period of time amid the continuation of qualitative military operations to clean the centres of Tahita, Zubaid, and Bait Al Faqih districts from the members of the Iranian Houthi militias and the eastern areas adjacent to the coastal strip, as part of the intensive preparations for the liberation of Al Hodeidah city.

Fri, 08 Jun 2018 17:03:07 +0530
UAE Saudi chair first me

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and President of Saudi Council of Economic and Development Affairs this evening chaired the first meeting of the Saudi-Emirati Coordination Council in Jeddah.

During the meeting, the Saudi-Emirati Coordination Council's Organisational Structure was declared with the objective of accelerating joint co-operation on the implementation of targeted projects and programmes.

The Council’s vision aims to promote the two countries’ global stature in areas of economy, human development, and political, security and military integration as well as ensuring welfare and happiness for their peoples.

Established under an agreement between the two countries reached in May 2016 under the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Council stands as a role model for cooperation between world countries and in the meantime consolidates joint action between GCC states.

Chaired by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, the Saudi Crown Prince, Vice President of the Council of Ministers, and Minister of Defence, the council seeks to ensure synergy between the two sides on achieving joint initiatives conducive to providing job opportunities, boosting GDP and accelerating bilateral investments.

The council seeks to develop a joint vision to deepen bilateral relations in line with the objectives set by the Gulf Cooperation Council in order to strengthen economic integration between the sides and develop innovative solutions for the optimum utilisation of resources while building up an efficient and integrated education system premised on grooming qualified national generations. The council also seeks to strengthen cooperation in areas of politics, security and defence in a way that beefs up the global sovereign standing of the two countries in addition to making the best use of available partnership opportunities between the two countries through a clear-cut and sustainable mechanism based on an integrated approach of benchmarking and performance assessment.

At the end of the meeting, H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed and Prince Mohammed bin Salman signed the minutes of the council's maiden meeting.

Attending the meeting were H.H. Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan, National Security Adviser, H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Sheikh Zayed bin Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Sheikh Shakhbout bin Nahyan Al Nahyan, UAE Ambassador to Saudi Arabia and a number of ministers.

The Council includes 16 ministers from prioritised sectors from both countries as follows: Mohammad bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and The Future; Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy; Dr. Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs; Obaid bin Humaid Al Tayer, Minister of State for Financial Affairs; Hussain bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Minister of Education; Dr. Sultan bin Ahmad Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State; and Ali bin Hammad Al Shamsi, Deputy Secretary-General of the Supreme National Security Council.

From Saudi Arabia, the Council includes the following members: Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Nayef, Minister of Interior; Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan Al Saud, Minister of Culture; Mohammed Al Tuwaijri, Minister of Economy and Planning; Dr Majid bin Abdullah Al Qasabi, Minister of Commerce and Investment; Adel bin Ahmed Al Jubair, Minister of Foreign Affairs; Khalid bin Abdulaziz Al-Falih, Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources; Ahmed bin Aqeel al-Khatib, Board Chairman of the General Entertainment Authority; Mohammed A. Al-Jadaan, Minister of Finance; and Yasir bin Othman Al-Rumayyan, Chief Executive and Secretary-General of the Board at Public Investment Fund.

In order to ensure the best utilisation of partnership prospects, an executive committee has been formed under the chairmanship of Mohammad bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, and Mohammed Al Tuwaijri, to accelerate co-operation and follow up the progress of work.

Fri, 08 Jun 2018 09:35:27 +0530
Indian Naval Ships arrive

Indian Naval Ships Sahyadri, Shakti and Kamorta of the Eastern Fleet under the command of Rear Admiral Dinesh K Tripathi, NM, Flag Officer Commanding, Eastern Fleet currently on an overseas deployment to South East Asia and the Western Pacific, arrived at Guam to participate in the 22nd edition of Exercise Malabar, off Guam, USA from 07 to 16 June 2018.

Exercise Malabar, which started as a bilateral exercise between the US Navy and the Indian Navy in 1992, has evolved over the years with the participation of the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) from 2007. Over the last 26 years, this Maritime Exercise has grown in scope and complexity and aims at increasing the level of mutual understanding, inter-operability and sharing of the best practices between the three navies. Malabar 17 was held in July last year on the Eastern Sea Board of India, off Chennai and Visakhapatnam. It is for the first time that the exercise is being conducted off Guam, a major US Naval Base in the Western Pacific. It would be of interest to note that the US has recently named their Hawaii-based Pacific Command as the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command.

The scope of the MALABAR-18 includes professional interactions during the Harbour Phase in Guam from 07 to 10 June 18. The Sea Phase from 11 to 16 June 2018 includes a diverse range of activities at sea including Aircraft Carrier operations, Air Defence, Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), Surface Warfare, Visit Board Search and Seizure (VBSS), joint manoeuvres and tactical procedures.

Fri, 08 Jun 2018 09:21:51 +0530
India s Operation NISTAR

Indian Naval Ship Sunayana entered Porbandar harbour after successfully evacuating 38 Indian Nationals at/ off Socotra Islands during a swift Humanitarian and Disaster Relief Operation (HADR), code named Operation NISTAR.

The Indian Nationals were stranded for nearly ten days after severe Cyclonic Storm – Mekunu devastated the area around Socotra Island. INS Sunayna was diverted from Gulf of Aden deployment to Socotra Island for search and rescue operations after Indian Navy received a distress call from Directorate General of Shipping and Indian Sailing Vessels Association.

The 38 Indian nationals were successfully rescued/ evacuated in the early morning of 03 Jun 2018. All evacuees were safely embarked onboard the ship and were immediately provided with medical care, food, water and telephone facilities. Thereafter, the ship also undertook intensive surface search and aerial reconnaissance of the area to look for any more survivors.

Upon entering harbour INS Sunayna was received by Rear Admiral Sanjay Roye, Flag Officer Commanding Gujarat, Daman & Diu Naval Area. After initial briefing about the scheduled disembarkation formalities, all 38 Indian nationals were put through mandatory customs clearance and immigration checks. They were served light refreshments. Post completion of all the administrative formalities, they were handed over to the civil police to facilitate their return to native places.

Fri, 08 Jun 2018 09:08:59 +0530
We respect plurality w

"Any attempt at defining our nationhood in terms of dogmas and religion will only lead to dilution of our national identity", says former President Pranab Mukherjee while delivering his speech at the RSS venue.

Mr. Mukherjee added that intolerance will tarnish India's nationality and this is the soil of all communities including Hindus, Muslims and Christs.

"Secularism is our religion. We gain strength from tolerance. We respect plurality. We celebrate diversity. I came here to share my views with you on nation, nationality and love for the nation", he said.

Earlier Pranab had visited the birthplace of the RSS founder KB Hedgewar and paid homage to the RSS founder.

"Today I came here to pay my respect and homage to a great son of Mother India," he wrote in the visitor's book.

Meanwhile the Congress leaders slammed Mr. Mukherjee's new move to visit the RSS headquarters and tweeted that a "primer on what the RSS really stands for".

Fri, 08 Jun 2018 08:56:02 +0530
Heavy rain hits Mumbai A

The urban life of Mumbai gets a taste of the upcoming monsoon as heavy rain lashes out in Mumbai leaving commuters in a disarray. Water level rises in most of the areas and suburban train services disrupted as expected. A Jet Airways flight which was scheduled to land at the Mumbai airport diverted to Ahmedabad.

Flooded roads have been reported from Dadar, Parel, Bandra and Andheri. Disaster management authority has warned severe rain in the next 24 hours throughout Maharashtra. Trains running late for 15-20 minutes in the Mumbai-Thane route due to the disruption in power supply.

Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation or BMC announced "red alert" in the city as there are predictions for an extended heavy rain. BMC cancelled all the leaves allowed to the officers for Saturday and Sunday as part of the precautionary measures to preserve the public from further damages.

Thu, 07 Jun 2018 16:23:52 +0530
Abu Dhabi announces detai

The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, DCT Abu Dhabi, has announced details of both the upcoming Eid Fest celebrations and the annual Abu Dhabi Summer Season, ADSS, 2018.

The celebrations get off to a spectacular start with a 24-hour mall mega sale, featuring discounts of up to 90 percent, as part of Eid Fest celebrations. With more than 500 stores involved, the sale will kick off at 10am on Friday, June 15th and run until 10am on Saturday, June 16th in a bid to bring families and friends to Abu Dhabi to celebrate this special occasion.

Aimed at cementing the Emirate’s status as a year-round tourism destination, the mega sale will be followed by the much-anticipated ADSS returning in its 5th edition between June 21st and August 18th.

Sultan Al Mutawa Al Dhaheri, Executive Director of the Tourism Sector at DCT Abu Dhabi, said, "The Eid Fest celebrations and Abu Dhabi Summer Season are annual anchor activations that aim to underpin the Emirate’s credentials as a destination of distinction during the summer, especially for families looking for unmissable experiences and offers. It forms part of our long-term strategy to incentivise the private sector and tourism industry and get them involved in event development while building both regional and international awareness of the emirate's appeal."

"Through this summer season, we aim to contribute to the increase of overseas visitors to Abu Dhabi, especially from top source markets including GCC and India, raise the average length-of-stay for visitors, and position Abu Dhabi as an attractive destination to visit during the summer," he added.

Thu, 07 Jun 2018 15:56:54 +0530
Nirmala Sitharaman flags

Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman flagged-in the expedition team to Mt. Everest conducted successfully by National Institute for Mountaineering & Allied Sports (NIMAS), Dirang, Arunachal Pradesh.

Sitharaman congratulated the team led by Director and Team Leader Col Sarfraz Singh for their remarkable achievement. It is for the first time that any National Institute expedition team has put eight members on the top of Mt.Everest in their maiden attempt.

The expedition started from South Ridge of Mt Everest from Nepal side on 02 April2018 from Lukla to Everest Base camp via Namche. The team scaled Mt. Lobuche in Nepal on 20 April2018 as part of acclimatisation and final conditioning training. The rotational training to higher camps was carried out by the team upto Camp-3 (7200M) from 22 April to 10 May2018. All the 08 members of the team successfully scaled the peak on 19 and 20 May2018 without any casualty or cold injury.

Thu, 07 Jun 2018 15:45:05 +0530
Maternal Mortality Ratio

India registered a significant decline in Maternal Mortality Ratio. According to the just released SRS bulletin (2016), India has shown impressive gains in reduction of Maternal Mortality with 22% reduction in since 2013.

Nearly one thousand fewer women now die of pregnancy related complications each month in India. Maternal Mortality Ratio of India has declined from 167 in 2011-2013 to 130 in 2014-2016. The decline has been most significant in EAG States and Assam from 246 to 188. Among the Southern States, the decline has been from 93 to 77 and in the Other States from 115 to 93.

According to the SRS Bulletin, there were nearly 12,000 fewer maternal deaths in 2016 as compared to 2013, with total number of maternal deaths for the first time reducing to 32,000. This means that every day 30 more pregnant women are now being saved in India as compared to 2013.

Amongst the States, Uttar Pradesh with 30% decline has topped the chart in the reduction of Maternal Deaths. Three states have already met the SDG target for MMR of 70 per 100,000. These are Kerala, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, while Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are within striking distance.

Thu, 07 Jun 2018 15:14:22 +0530
Stranded Indians from Soc

Indian Naval Ship Sunayana entered Porbandar harbour today after successfully evacuating 38 Indian Nationals at/ off Socotra Islands during a swift Humanitarian and Disaster Relief Operation (HADR), code named Operation NISTAR.

The Indian Nationals were stranded for nearly ten days after severe Cyclonic Storm – Mekunu devastated the area around Socotra Island. INS Sunayna was diverted from Gulf of Aden deployment to Socotra Island for search and rescue operations after Indian Navy received a distress call from Directorate General of Shipping and Indian Sailing Vessels Association.

The 38 Indian nationals were successfully rescued/ evacuated in the early morning of 03 Jun 2018. All evacuees were safely embarked onboard the ship and were immediately provided with medical care, food, water and telephone facilities. Thereafter, the ship also undertook intensive surface search and aerial reconnaissance of the area to look for any more survivors.

Upon entering harbour INS Sunayna was received by Rear Admiral Sanjay Roye, Flag Officer Commanding Gujarat, Daman & Diu Naval Area. After initial briefing about the scheduled disembarkation formalities, all 38 Indian nationals were put through mandatory customs clearance and immigration checks. They were served light refreshments. Post completion of all the administrative formalities, they were handed over to the civil police to facilitate their return to native places.

Thu, 07 Jun 2018 14:48:54 +0530
Argentina cancels warm up

Argentina has canceled their warm up football match against Israel prior to the FIFA World Cup 2018 after the South American nation received unhappiness from many pro-Palestine organisations. The match was scheduled on Saturday at the  Teddi Kollek stadium in Jerusalem.

The Palestine Football Association had came out in publicly against Argentina's move to play against Israel. Football Association President Gibril Rajoub appealed to Argentina to cancel the football match and went to the next level that they will burn the posters of Lionel Messi if he decided to be a part of the game.

Thu, 07 Jun 2018 09:51:43 +0530
Congress JD S alliance

The Congress-Janata Dal (S) alliance government in Karnataka expanded the cabinet after two weeks wait and talks which led to many discussions and stories regarding the credibility of the alliance. 25 more ministers took oath and assumed to power in the HD Kumaraswamy ministry.

14 MLAs from Congress and nine from JD(S) became ministers took oath on yesterday including N Mahesh from BSP.  This is the first time that BSP gets a minister outside Uttar Pradesh. R Shankar which is the lone MLA of Karnataka Prajnavantha Janatha party also included in the cabinet.

Congress MLA and actress Jayamala is the only woman face in the Kumaraswamy ministry. None of the ministers have received their posts so far as it will be decided later.

Thu, 07 Jun 2018 09:37:33 +0530
PM interacts with young i

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with young innovators and Start-Up entrepreneurs from across the country, through video bridge. This is the fourth interaction by the Prime Minister through video bridge series with various beneficiaries of Government schemes.

Delighted at India’s youngsters becoming job creators, Prime Minister said that the Government is committed towards harnessing the demographic dividend. The Prime Minister further said that adequate capital, courage and connecting with people are required for excelling in the start- up sector.

Prime Minister said that things have changed from the time where start-ups meant only digital and technology innovation.  He said that now there are start-up entrepreneurs in many fields. Start-Ups are filed in 28 States, 6 Union Territories and 419 districts. Out of these, 44% of start-ups registered are from Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities as Start-Up India is focussing on encouraging local innovations from their areas. In addition, 45% of the start-up are set up by women.

During the interaction with young entrepreneurs, Prime Minister said that the government has created Rs.10000 Crore ‘Fund of Funds’ to ensure that young entrepreneurs may not face shortage of funds for their start-ups and to facilitate youngsters to innovate.  Through the ‘Fund of Funds’, Rs.1285 Crore funding has been committed, leveraging a total of Rs.6980 Crore in venture funds so far.

Explaining the steps taken by the government to make India’s start-up ecosystem robust, Prime Minister said that the Government-e– Market Place (GEM) has been linked to Start-Up India portal so that start-ups can sell their products to government. Start-Ups have been given income tax exemption for three years. Six labour laws and three environmental laws have been changed so that young entrepreneurs need to provide only self-certification. Government has also started a one-stop digital platform called Start-Up India Hub where all information regarding start-ups and its ecosystem is available for entrepreneurs.

Interacting with the participants, Narendra Modi said that in order to foster innovation and competition amongst youngsters, Government has started various competitions like Atal New India Challenge, Smart India Hackathon and Agriculture Grand Challenge. Prime Minister also mentioned his discussion with Prime Minister of Singapore, on holding a Smart India Hackathon like challenge between innovators from Singapore and India.

Prime Minister also reiterated the Governments’ commitment in encouraging innovation in India. Eight Research Parks and 2500 Atal Tinkering Labs are being established all over the country to encourage youngsters to take up research and innovation.

Addressing the innovators, Narendra Modi invited youngsters to ideate on how to transform agricultural sector. He said that ‘Design in India’ is essential along with ‘Make in India’. Prime Minister also encouraged youngsters to continue innovating and gave the mantra of ‘Innovate or Stagnate’.

Interacting with the Prime Minister, young innovators explained how the various government schemes under Start-Up India initiative have helped set up the new start-ups. Entrepreneurs and innovators also explained their innovations to Prime Minister ranging from agricultural innovations to Block chain technology. Schoolchildren from various Atal Tinkering Labs shared their innovations with the Prime Minister. Prime complemented the schoolchildren for their scientific skills and encouraged them to come up with more such inventions.

Prime Minister gave a clarion call to nation to make ‘Innovate India’, a mass movement. He encouraged the citizens to share their ideas and innovations through the hashtag #InnovateIndia.

Thu, 07 Jun 2018 09:16:32 +0530
Kaala out in internet

Rajinikanth's  much-anticipated movie "Kaala" out in internet soon after its release as the movie appeared in the website of "Tamil rockers". The movie released on 5.28 am early morning and an admin called "Red eye" has uploaded the movie.

Tamil rockers is a website where new movies are appearing along with its release. The police had claimed that they had controlled the website but recent reports on "Kaala" shows that it is still lies beyond them.

Meanwhile "Kaala"s release has brought many sensitive issues into attention once again as the movie will not be released in Karnataka today. His remarks supporting Tamil Nadu in the Kaveri  water dispute invited the ire of Karnataka people and the state has decided not to release the movie. The Karnataka government says that movie can't be released even if Rajinikanth makes an apology from his side.

Thu, 07 Jun 2018 09:09:34 +0530
Monetary policy RBI hike

The Reserve Bank of India hiked its basic interest rate by 25 basis points to 6.5 as its announced its monetary policy. The supreme bank hiked the key lending  or repo rate for the first time after the Modi government came into power - a key decision in its monetary policy after four years.

The RBI turned to hike the interest rate to have a grip on rising prices in the background of growing oil price globally but it will have its repercussions in the family budget of common man. The interest hike will have a say on housing, motor vehicle interest rates. The RBI had previously hiked the interest rates before January 2014.

Repo rate, the rate of interest at which the RBI charges to lend short term loans to commercial bank, hiked to 6.25 percent from 6 percent. The reverse repo, the rate of interest at which the RBI borrows from banks,  also raised to 6 percent.

Wed, 06 Jun 2018 19:35:46 +0530
Hamriya Free Zone India

Saud Salem Al Mazrouei, Director of the Hamriya Free Zone Authority and the Sharjah International Airport Free Zone Authority, signed an investment agreement with Ramesh Parekh, Chairman of Gandhar Oil Refinery India, to establish an integrated project to produce white oil, liquid paraffin, hydraulic liquid, transformer oil, rubber processing oil, motor oil and industrial oil.

The agreement was signed to meet the increasing demand for oil products used in cosmetics, medical products, rubber processing, transformers, vehicles and other industries, such as iron and steel.

Al Mazrouei said that the zone is the preferred investment destination of heavy industries and petrochemicals, due to its key strategic location and its connection to Hamriya port, which supports the import and export operations of investors. The decision of Gandhar Oil Refinery India to establish its new factory confirms that the zone complies with international standards and has an attractive investment environment, he added.

Parekh stated that his company’s projects in India are working at full capacity. Therefore, they aim to implement expansionary projects outside India, to meet the increasing demand for their products, he added while noting that the UAE is their first choice, due to its stable investment environment.

Hamriya Free Zone was chosen for many strategic and logistic reasons based on feasibility studies, and his company will launch a new industrial line, under the trademark, "Texol," as part of their marketing strategy, he said in conclusion.

Wed, 06 Jun 2018 14:31:16 +0530
Court of inquiry ordered

An Indian Air Force Jaguar aircraft, which was on a routine training sortie, crashed over Kutch area in Gujarat. The aircraft was airborne from Air Force Station Jamnagar.

The Pilot, Air Commodore Sanjai Chauhan VM, sustained fatal injuries. A Court of Inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the accident.

Wed, 06 Jun 2018 10:08:03 +0530
Modi to interact with you

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will take part in an interaction with young innovators and start up entrepreneurs tomorrow.

PM said, "Tomorrow at 9:30 AM, I will take part in an exciting interaction with youngsters from the world of start-ups & innovation. The interaction offers a wonderful opportunity to hear directly from pioneering young innovators who have excelled as start-up entrepreneurs. 

India has emerged a hub for start-ups and innovation. Indian youngsters have distinguished themselves due to their futuristic and out-of-the-box thinking. During tomorrow’s interaction youngsters from leading incubation centres and tinkering labs will be taking part as well. 

I would particularly urge my young friends to join tomorrow’s interaction. It is a wonderful way to learn, grow & get inspired. You can join the interaction via the ‘Narendra Modi Mobile App’ or @DDNewsLive. If you have any idea or suggestion, do share it on social media. "

Wed, 06 Jun 2018 10:03:02 +0530
Raj Bhavans are not paral

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that Raj Bhavans are not parallel power centres and advised the Governors to play the role of mentors in the development process. He was addressing the Valedictory Session of the 49th Conference of Governors 2018 in Rashtrapati Bhawan, and said that India has made rapid progress in different sectors over the last seven decades. However, the last four years have witnessed the country demonstrating a new development trajectory, he added.

The Vice President advised the Governors to become catalysts of development and set examples of simplicity and promote handlooms and locally-made goods. He told the Governors “You are wise counsel, a mentor, a friend, philosopher and guide”.

The Vice President said this new development trajectory has a new momentum, new sense of purpose and a new direction. The strong political will is clearly getting translated into a number of programmes and the administrative skills of our vast, competent bureaucracy are being used to deliver results, he added.

The Vice President said what was remarkable, however, is that we are breaking new ground and development was now becoming more and more people-centred and people-driven. In fact, development has become a societal mission, he added.

The Vice President said that by maintaining a close rapport with the state government, they can exert a positive influence on the policies and programmes and guide the government. “We have an opportunity to change the course of development by focusing on inclusive and sustainable development. We should not lose this opportunity”.

The Vice President advised the Governors to highlight the sacrifices made by local freedom fighters to inspire the youth. He also wanted them to encourage people to get involved in social movements by leading and guiding.

The Vice President wanted the Governors to impress upon the State Governments to promote local languages and make them compulsory up to 10th standard. He also asked the Governors to emphasize on ending colonial practices and mindset and highlight our history, tradition, civilization and values. He wanted the Governors to encourage Yoga for physical and mental well- being.

The Vice President also advised the Governors not to air personal views, hold press conferences and post tweets on sensitive and political issues. He advised them to follow the spirit of the advice given by Prime Minister, Narendra Modi to ‘Reform, Perform and Transform’.

Wed, 06 Jun 2018 09:59:00 +0530
PM interacts with Pradhan

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi, interacted with Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana beneficiaries from across the country, through video bridge. This is the third in the series of video bridge interactions by the Prime Minister with various beneficiaries of Government schemes.

Expressing delight at interacting with Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana beneficiaries, Prime Minister said that such interactions help in understanding various aspects of the scheme, including areas that needs to be improved. Prime Minister further added that Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana is not just about brick and mortar but about providing better quality of life and dreams coming true.

Addressing the beneficiaries, Prime Minister said that the last 4 years, Government has taken a mission mode approach towards providing housing for all. Government is working towards ensuring that every Indian has a home by 2022, when India will celebrate its 75 years of independence, Prime Minister added.

Under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, Government plans to build around three crore houses in rural areas and one crore houses in urban areas. The Government has so far given sanctions to build more than 47 lakh houses in urban areas, which is 4 times more than the sanctions given by the previous government in 10 years. Similarly, sanctions have been given to build more than one crore houses in the rural areas compared to 25 lakh sanctions by the previous government in its last 4 years. Government has also been able to reduce the time needed to build a house from 18 months to 12 months, thereby saving about 6 months.

Emphasizing on the changes brought by the present government in PMAY, Prime Minister said that the size of houses built have been increased to 25 square metre from 20 square metres. Also the financial assistance for the scheme has also been enhanced upto Rs. 1,25,000 from the earlier allocation of Rs. 70,000 - 75,000.

During the interaction, Prime Minister said that Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana is linked with the dignity of the citizens and the focus of the Yojana is to ensure more women, Divyang sisters and brothers, SC, ST, OBC, and Minority communities get access to housing.

Engaging with beneficiaries, Prime Minister said that PMAY has created employment opportunities for all. In order to strengthen the scheme, Government is working towards skill development to ensure faster, and quality construction of houses. As part of it, government has started training about one lakh masons. In addition, Government has also started training female masons in many states, thereby resulting in women empowerment.

Interacting with the Prime Minister, all the beneficiaries expressed happiness in owning a house, which has always been a dream. They also explained how it has changed their life and improved the quality of life.I

Wed, 06 Jun 2018 09:51:14 +0530
PM Modi ensures a sustain

Below is the full text of PM’s address on the occasion of World Environment Day 2018 at VigyanBhawan

 

On behalf of the one point three billion people of India, I am delighted to welcome you all to New Delhi.

On the side-lines of this event, I hope the delegates joining us from abroad, shall have some time to see the history and splendour of Delhi.

We are proud to be the global host for World Environment Day, 2018. 

As we celebrate this important occasion today, we recall our ancient ethos of universal brotherhood.

This has been expressed in the famous Sanskrit phrase– VasudhaivaKutumbakam – the world is one family.

The same ethos was reflected in the doctrine of trustee-ship, advocated by Mahatma Gandhi. He had said that ‘Earth provides enough to satisfy everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed.’

Our traditions have for long stressed the importance of living in harmony with nature.

This is reflected in our reverence of the elements of nature. It is reflected in our festivals, and in our ancient texts.

Ladies and Gentlemen.

India is the fastest growing economy in the world today. We are committed to raising the standards of living of our people.

We are also committed to ensure, that we do so, in a way that is sustainable and green.

In this direction, we have given forty million new cooking gas connections in the last two years.

This has freed rural women from the misery of poisonous smoke.

It has also eliminated their dependence on firewood.

It is the same commitment, which has seen over three hundred million LED bulbs being installed across India. Besides saving electricity, this has also prevented huge additional amounts of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere.

We are engaged in a massive push towards renewable energy generation. We have targeted generation of one hundred and seventy-five GigaWatts of solar and wind energy by 2022.

We are already the fifth largest producer of solar energy in the world. Not only this, we are also the sixth largest producer of renewable energy.

We aim to provide an electricity connection to every household, which will further reduce dependence on environmentally degrading forms of fuel.

We are reducing dependence on fossil fuels. We are switching sources of fuel where possible. We are transforming cities and public transportation.

We are a young Nation. To generate employment, we are working towards making India a global manufacturing hub.

We have launched the Make in India campaign. While doing so, we are laying stress on zero defect and zero effect manufacturing. This means manufacturing that is without defect, and which does not harm the environment.

As part of the Nationally Determined Contributions, India is committed to reducing thirty-three to thirty-five percent of emission intensity of its GDP during 2005 to 2030. We are on track to meet the 2030 Nationally Determined Contribution.

According to the UNEP Gap Report, India is also on track to meet its Copenhagen Pledge. We will reduce the emissions intensity of India's GDP by twenty to twenty-five percent over 2005 levels by 2020.

We have a robust National Biodiversity Strategy. With only two point four percent of the world’s land area, India supports seven to eight percent of the recorded species diversity. At the same time, India supports nearly eighteen percent of human population. Our tree and forest cover has also increased by one percent in the last two years. 

We have also done well in the field of wildlife conservation. The population of tiger, elephant, lion rhino and other forms of wildlife is on the rise.

We also recognize the need to tackle the issue of water availability, which is becoming a major challenge in India. We have launched the massive Namami Gange initiative. This programme, which has already started giving results, will soon revive the Ganga, our most precious river.

India is primarily an agrarian country. Continued availability of water for agriculture is of importance. The Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana has been launched to ensure that no farm goes without water. Our motto is ‘More crop, per drop.’

We have also launched a massive campaign to ensure that our farmers convert agricultural waste to valuable nutrients instead of burning them.

Ladies and Gentlemen.

While much of the world focuses on Inconvenient Truth, we have moved on to Convenient Action.

It was this call for Convenient Action that led India, along with France, to form the International Solar Alliance. This is perhaps, the single most important global development, towards the cause of environment, after the Paris Conference.

About three months ago, leaders from over 45 nations, and Heads of International Organizations, gathered here in New Delhi, for the Founding Conference of the International Solar Alliance.

Our experience shows that development can be environment friendly. It need not come at the cost of our green assets.   

Friends.

World Environment Day seeks to address a very significant challenge this year.

Plastic now threatens to become a menace to humanity. A lot of it never makes it to the recycling bin. Worse, a lot of it is non-bio-degradable.

Plastic pollution is already having a deadly impact on our marine ecosystem. Scientists and fishermen alike have pointed to signs of trouble. These include declining fish catches, warming ocean temperatures, and vanishing habitats.

Marine litter especially micro-plastic, is a major trans-boundary problem. India is preparing to join the “Clean Seas Campaign” and make its contribution towards saving our oceans.

Plastic pollution is now entering into our food chain. In fact, micro plastics have now even entered basic food like salt, bottled water and tap water.

Friends.

The per capita plastic consumption in India is much lower than in many parts of the developed world.

Our national mission on cleanliness and sanitation - Swachh Bharat Abhiyan - has a special focus on “plastic waste management.”

A short while ago, I visited the Exhibition set up by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change. It showcases some of our success stories. Among its participants are United Nations, Union and State Governments, industry, and non-government organizations. I hope they continue to do exemplary work in curbing plastic pollution.

Ladies and Gentlemen.

Environmental degradation hurts the poor and vulnerable, the most.

It is the duty of each one of us, to ensure that the quest for material prosperity does not compromise our environment.

As part of 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development the world had agreed to the theme of “Leave No One Behind.” This is not possible without ensuring that we all come together to protect what Mother Nature has given us. 

Friends.

This is the Indian way. And we are happy to share it again with the international community on the auspicious occasion of World Environment Day.         

 

In conclusion, as global host of World Environment Day 2018, I reiterate our commitment to sustainable development.

Let us all join together to beat plastic pollution and make this planet a better place to live.

The choices that we make today, will define our collective future. The choices may not be easy. But through awareness, technology, and a genuine global partnership, I am sure we can make the right choices.

Thank you.

Wed, 06 Jun 2018 09:43:49 +0530
Tharoor to face trial in

Congress lawmaker Shashi Tharoor has to face trial in the case related to the death of his wife Sunanda Pushkar. The court asked Shashi Tharoor to appear on June 7.

Delhi police had submitted an FIR on 14th of last month charging Tharoor for abetting the suicide of his wife Sunanda Pushkar, who was found dead in a five-star hotel in Delhi in 2014.

The police informed court that Sunanda's e-mails and her messages in social media could be considered as her dying declaration.

Police say Sunanda had emailed her husband few days before her death that " I have no desire to live...all I pray for is death".

Sunanda emailed this to Tharoor on January 8 and on January 17, after nine days, she was found dead in a five-star hotel in Delhi

Tue, 05 Jun 2018 18:54:09 +0530
India set to participate

Preparations have begun in earnest in India for its active participation in the Dubai Expo 2020.

The Narendra Modi government’s Commerce Secretary, Rita Teotia, has held a series of meetings with local stakeholders in the Expo 2020, for "making India’s participation a memorable and befitting one," according to an announcement by the government’s Press Information Bureau here regarding New Delhi’s attendance in the mega event.

Teotia has held a series of meetings in this connection with the country’s leading industry associations, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, FICCI, and the Confederation of Indian Industry, CII, "for helping the government" in planning for India’s presence at Expo 2020.

This follows the signing of a formal contract for Indian participation between its Commerce Ministry and the Dubai Expo 2020 Bureau. The Press Information Bureau announcement said New Delhi’s focus at Expo 2020 will be on India’s advances and advantages in space technology, pharmaceuticals, information technology, renewable energy and telecommunications.

The Indian pavilion at Expo 2020 will be on a one acre-plot in the "opportunity" segment. "This is tune with the great opportunity for economic activity that India provides today on the way to becoming a US$5 trillion economy by 2025", according to the announcement.

The Indian Minister for Commerce and Industry, Suresh Prabhu, has expressed his happiness on signing the contract for Indian participation.

Tue, 05 Jun 2018 12:13:59 +0530
PM greets people on Worl

The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has greeted the people on World Environment Day.

“Greetings on World Environment Day. Together, let us ensure that our future generations live in a clean and green planet, in harmony with nature”, the Prime Minister said.

Tue, 05 Jun 2018 12:08:56 +0530
UK launches new counter t

The UK's government launched new counter-terrorism strategy, CONTEST, based on 4Ps with overarching aim to reduce the risk to the UK and its citizens and interests overseas.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid said:''The threat from terrorism is one of the starkest that we face. Last year, sickening acts of terrorism in the UK claimed the lives of 36 people and of course changed the lives of many more.''

The strategic framework is based on four ‘P’ work strands:

Prevent: to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism.

Pursue: to stop terrorist attacks.

Protect: to strengthen protection against a terrorist attack.

Prepare: to mitigate the impact of a terrorist attack.

''The aim of this strategy, is to ensure that our response to terrorism is second to none and that we are doing everything within our power to prevent terror on our streets,'' he explained in a speech published by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office .

''There’s an ongoing battle. A battle for hearts and minds. It will be won in the schools. It will be won in the mosques.

And on our social media. And we must all play our role. No terrorist or terrorist group can possibly bring the people of the United Kingdom to their knees,'' he asserted.

Tue, 05 Jun 2018 09:32:41 +0530
Beat Plastic Pollution

Urging all stakeholders at the national and international level to work towards betterment of environment, Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr. Harsh Vardhan has said that “Beat Plastic Pollution” is not merely a slogan, but India means business about it.  He also added that environment protection is not merely a technical, but a moral issue. 

Delivering the inaugural address of the State Environment Ministers Conference in the run-up to World Environment Day, Dr. Harsh Vardhan pointed out that 25, 000 tonnes of plastic waste is generated every day.  He opined that the developed world must provide the technology, funds and share their research on environmental issues.  He asserted that there is no waste which cannot be transformed into wealth. 

Dr. Vardhan cited the example of Kashipur plant, where 10 tonnes of biomass has been converted into 3000 litres of ethanol. The Environment Minister underlined the need to use Earth’s finite resources judiciously, so that we can move back to our glorious past.  “If every Indian adopts one Green Good Deed per day, a revolutionary change can be brought about in the nation”, Dr. Harsh Vardhan opined.  He urged the State Environment Ministers to inspire people to take up Green Good Deeds and build small, social movements and said that if all work collectively with heart and soul, India can be taken to the top of every parameter in the field of environment.

The Environment Minister underlined that fundamental changes have been brought about in the Environment Ministry and powers have been delegated to the States.  

In his address on the occasion, Minister of State, Dr. Mahesh Sharma expressed concern over the pollution caused due to plastic use in India and how it can create problems for future generations.   Recalling the Gandhian thought of ‘Cleanliness is Godliness, Dr. Sharma said that this is the spirit behind the theme of “Beat Plastic Pollution”.  Advocating the implementation of the Prime Minister’s ‘mantra’ of 6 Rs – Reduce, Recycle, Reuse, Retrieve, Recover, Redesign and remanufacture to eliminate single use plastic, Dr. Mahesh Sharma stressed the criticality of a collaborative role of all the stakeholders from the States in dealing with plastic menace.

Addressing the gathering, Executive Director, United Nations Environment pointed out that in India, Mr. Erik Solheim stated that in India, efforts are needed not only from the Government’s side, but also from the people. “Strongly advocating recycling of all the plastic used, he suggested that plastic used for avoidable purposes such as straws must be refused.  “We need to make environment a citizen’s issue”, Mr. Solheim said.  The senior UN representative felt that universities should form rules and regulations for students to follow environment norms.  He assured that UN’s leadership is here to help take Indian practices to the world.

Quoting several examples from India, Mr. Solheim said that solar efficiency of Kerala should be adopted everywhere.  He also cited the example of the use of electrical vehicles in Maharashtra and Telangana, stating that they should be used in all other states.   He praised the organisation of various events at this year’s World Environment in India and expressed the view that such conferences are important to delineate ongoing pressing issues pertinent to environment. 

Tue, 05 Jun 2018 09:24:56 +0530
Suresh Prabhu attends Inf

Commerce and Industry Minister, Suresh Prabhu, attended an Informal Gathering of World Trade Organisation (WTO) Ministers in Paris. Twenty-Eight (28) member countries of the WTO and the Director General of the WTO attended the informal meeting.

In his intervention, the Minister observed that there were already a number of Ministerial mandates to guide work at the WTO and negotiators have been working for years on many issues.  He said that work should be resumed based on existing mandates, Declarations and decisions, expressing the belief that it would be counterproductive and harmful to the system to ignore the Ministerial mandates and all the work done so far and re-set the negotiations.

He emphasised that political engagement in the process was critical for moving forward and drew attention to the informal gathering hosted in New Delhi in March this year. He mentioned that almost all the participants at the New Delhi meeting were of the view that greater engagement was the only way forward.

The Minister cautioned that while some countries viewed plurilateral discussions as a stepping stone to multilateral agreements, such initiatives could, on the contrary, weaken the multilateral trading system and undermine the inclusive institutional structure of the WTO.

Suresh Prabhu pointed out that there is a Work Programme for E-commerce which provides a forum for discussion within the WTO. He said that India has been actively engaging in this even though it is premature to discuss binding multilateral rules for E-commerce.

Observing that the WTO already has a full agenda, he said that India has reservations about the introduction of new issues such as Investment Facilitation in the WTO lest fundamental issues in agriculture and development get neglected.

In conclusion, Suresh Prabhu expressed the view that such informal engagement at the political level could go a long way in deepening a mutual understanding of issues and concerns and finding ways of moving forward.

During his visit to Paris, the Commerce Minister also had meetings with the Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment and the EU Trade Commissioner, during which various bilateral issues and ongoing trade negotiations were discussed. He also met the DG WTO and discussed the current international situation arising from various unilateral trade actions and counter actions and the challenges facing the WTO.

Tue, 05 Jun 2018 09:13:06 +0530
Modi to address global ce

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the global celebrations of World Environment Day 2018 at New Delhi. Prime Minister will also visit the exhibition set up on the occasion at Rajpath lawns.

The theme for this year’s World Environment Day is ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’. India is the global host nation for the 43rd edition of this event. Environment Ministers, representatives from United Nations and members from various industry bodies will be among the various dignitaries attending the event.

Prime Minister in the 44th edition of ‘Mann Ki Baat’ had underlined that India being the official host of the World Environment Day Celebrations is a recognition of India’s growing leadership in tackling climate change issues.

Tue, 05 Jun 2018 09:07:25 +0530
President stresses on the

The two-day Conference of Governors and Lt. Governors commenced at Rashtrapati Bhavan with the inaugural address of the President Ram Nath Kovind. This is the 49th such Conference held in Rashtrapati Bhavan and the second Conference presided over by President Kovind.

In his opening address, the President said that as per the Constitution, the post of Governor has an exalted place in the scheme of governance. The Governor is a mentor and guide to the state government and an important link in the federal structure. The people of the state view the office of the Governor and the Raj Bhavan as a fount of ideals and values.

The President said that there are approximately 100 million people in our country who belong to the Scheduled Tribes. A majority of this population lives in regions that are covered under the Fifth and Sixth Schedule of the Constitution of India. Governors can help in the shaping of a road map for the betterment of lives of our fellow citizens, who have not benefited as much as expected from our development journey.

The President said that 69 per cent of all universities in our country come under the purview of state governments. About 94 per cent of students enrolled for higher education study in these universities. Governors are the Chancellors of most of these universities. In their capacity as Chancellors of state universities, it is for them to provide the necessary impetus and inspiration to these institutions and to enhance the level of scholarship. With the instruments of their office and with their rich experience in public life, Governors are ideally equipped for this responsibility.

 The President said the Governors can help ensure that admissions of students and appointments of teachers in state universities are completed well in time and in a transparent manner. They can also help ensure that examinations, declaration of results and convocations take place as scheduled. It is for them to inspire state universities to maintain this discipline and integrity.

 The two-day 2018 Conference will discuss important thematic issues in various sessions which include briefings and presentations on flagship programmes of the Government of India and on internal security; higher education in state universities and skill development for employability; steps taken on the report of Committee of Governors, constituted during the 48th Conference of Governors; and commemoration of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. A special session on Union Territories will also be held on June 5, 2018, at which Lt. Governors/Administrators of Union Territories will discuss status of implementation of various flagship programmes.

Tue, 05 Jun 2018 09:01:51 +0530
UAE celebrates annual Zay

The UAE will celebrate the annual Zayed Humanitarian Work Day on 19th Ramadan, which will coincide with the anniversary of the death of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

This year’s celebrations will witness the launch of important humanitarian and charity initiatives, through thousands of government and community events organised by public, private and non-governmental organisations.

Sheikh Zayed prioritised local and international humanitarian and charity issues, and the amount of aid provided by the UAE till the end of 2000, as per his directives, totalled over AED98 billion, in the form of grants, loans and assistance.

Palestine

The Sheikh Zayed Suburb Project in Jerusalem, worth nearly AED15 million, is one of Sheikh Zayed’s critical projects in Palestine. His other projects include the reconstruction of Jenin Camp, which cost around AED100 million, as well as the construction of Sheikh Zayed City in Gaza at the cost of AED220 million, Sheikh Khalifa City in Rafah, and the Emirati neighbourhood in Khan Younis. He also launched many hospitals, schools, health centres and centres for the disabled in Palestinian villages, camps and cities, in both Gaza and the West Bank.

The Gulf is in the heart In 1981, Sheikh Zayed chaired the summit that declared the birth of the Gulf Cooperation Council, GCC, while the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development provided loans to Bahrain worth AED160 million, to fund energy and industrial projects.

In 1972, Sheikh Zayed helped Yemen by launching San’aa Radio, and in 1974, he presented an additional amount of US$1.71 million to maintain television and radio projects.

Under Sheikh Zayed’s directives, the UAE provided emergency aid worth $3 million to Yemen to reduce the effects of floods in the 1990s.

Egypt             

Sheikh Zayed’s directives had a significant impact on Egypt, where he established numerous projects, including the construction of tourist and residential villages and cities, cultivating agricultural land, and providing financial support to medical centres and hospitals.

Following the October 1973 War, Sheikh Zayed covered the expenses of the rebuilding of the Suez, Ismailia and Port Said, which were destroyed by the Israeli attack in 1967.

During his participation in the historic international celebrations in Aswan in 1990, Sheikh Zayed donated $20 million to revive the ancient library in Alexandria.

Morocco

Sheikh Zayed aimed to strengthen the ties between the UAE and Morocco, by launching many initiatives and projects that carry his name. These projects include the Sheikh Zayed Treatment Institution and the Mariam Children’s Centre, as well as the construction of integrated residential units.

In 1976, the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development provided a loan of AED40 million to the Ministry of Islamic Affairs and Endowments of Morocco.

Sudan

Sheikh Zayed provided generous aid to Sudan and donated BHD50,000 to establish the medical college and Nasser Hospital in Wad Madani. He also gave US$3 million to combat the effects of drought in Sudan. The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development also provided a loan of AED5.16 million towards a rural development project in Darfur, in western Sudan.

In 1999, a second relief plane with 40 tonnes of food aid arrived in Khartoum, to help those affected by floods that swept through the Sudanese state of Dongola.

The reconstruction of Lebanon and supporting Syria

Sheikh Zayed was keen to help Lebanon, via a demining initiative in Lebanon's south that was conducted at his expense. He also wanted the UAE to play a leading role in the rebuilding process in Lebanon after the war, and the country provided financial assistance, grants and loans to key development projects.

During the era of Sheikh Zayed, the UAE supported charity and development projects in Syria, and the Abu Dhabi Fund for Arab Economic Development signed three agreements in Damascus to fund three industrial projects, worth AED911 million.

Pakistan

In Pakistan, the cities of Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar are home to three Islamic centres that were established by Sheikh Zayed to promote Islamic and Arab culture among Pakistanis. He also contributed to the paving and widening of the mountain road in Kharan, the construction of the Dali Mosque, the digging of water wells, and the launching of schools and houses.

Sheikh Zayed donated $500,000 in 1982 to establish the Islamic Chamber for Commerce and Industry in Karachi and provided medical aid, scholarships and urgent assistance to earthquake and flood victims.

Foreign aid

Emirati charity projects during the era of Sheikh Zayed were not limited to Arab and Islamic countries, and they also covered the developed world. In 1992, the UAE donated $5 million to the United States, US, Disaster Relief Fund, to help the victims of Hurricane Andrew that hit the state of Florida.

Sheikh Zayed also supported Bosnia and Herzegovina. On 26th April 1993, he provided the country with $10 million to rescue its people from their tragic conditions. He also ordered the shipment of relief aid that included food and medical assistance, and he instructed UAE hospitals to receive injured people for treatment while covering the accommodation expenses of dozens of families in fully equipped apartments and providing them with job opportunities.

In May 1990, an agreement was signed to establish an Islamic printing house in the Chinese capital, Beijing, through an AED3.1 million grant from Sheikh Zayed to support Chinese Muslims. He also donated $500,000 to support the UAE-China Friendship Association.

In 1999, under the directives of Sheikh Zayed, a relief plane flew to Greece from Abu Dhabi to help those affected by an earthquake that hit the country.

In 2000, under the directives of Sheikh Zayed, the Emirates Red Crescent, ERC, distributed meat to refugees from Chechnya in Ingushetia. The Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation provided 145 tonnes of food aid to those affected by famine in the Horn of Africa, and the UAE Cabinet offered emergency aid worth $100,000 to those affected people by an earthquake that hit Guatemala.

International Organisations

Sheikh Zayed keenly supported international and Islamic organisations, and he donated $50,000 after the establishment of the Union to support the activities of the United Nations Children's Fund, UNICEF.

The UAE donated $424,000 to the United Nations Development Programme, UNDP, $100,000 to UNICEF, and $54,000 to the United Nations Refugee Agency, UNHCR.

Sheikh Zayed also increased the capital of the Abu Dhabi Fund for Arab Economic Development to $500 million.

In 1974, the UAE provided 10 million Islamic Dinars to the Islamic Development Bank and presented an interest-free loan to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, UNESCO, worth $2.4 million. In 1982, the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development supported the Senegal River Basin Organisation with a loan of AED259 million.

Mon, 04 Jun 2018 18:01:46 +0530
PM addresses 49th Confere

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the opening session of the 49th Conference of Governors at Rashtrapati Bhawan. 

The Prime Minister spoke at length about how Governors could leverage their experience in different walks of life, so that people derive maximum benefit of various central development schemes and initiatives. He said the institution of Governor has a pivotal role to play within the federal structure and Constitutional framework of our country. 

He said Governors of States with significant tribal population can help in ensuring that the tribal communities benefit from Government initiatives in fields such as education, sports and financial inclusion. He said the tribal communities had played a key role in the freedom struggle, and this should be recognised and recorded for posterity through avenues such as digital museums.  

The Prime Minister noted that Governors are also Chancellors of Universities. He said that International Yoga Day on June 21st can be utilized as an opportunity to generate greater awareness about Yoga among the youth. Similarly, he emphasized that Universities can also become the focal point of the celebrations for the 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. 

The Prime Minister mentioned some key themes of development such as the National Nutrition Mission, electrification of villages and development parameters in aspirational districts. He suggested that Governors could also visit a few recently electrified villages to witness  first-hand the benefits of electrification.

He said that during the recent Gram Swaraj Abhiyan from 14th April, seven key schemes of the Government were implemented fully in over 16000 villages. He said that these villages have been freed from seven problems through Jan Bhagidaari. He said Gram Swaraj Abhiyan is now being extended to 65000 more villages, with a target date of 15th August. 

The Prime Minister suggested that planning for the 50th Governors' Conference next year should begin immediately. This effort should focus on making this annual event even more productive.

Mon, 04 Jun 2018 16:49:45 +0530
Maneka Gandhi calls for s

Air Hostess, who is working with Air India met Maneka Sanjay Gandhi, Minister for Women and Child Development regarding her complaint under the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act 2013.

The Minister has taken up the matter with Minister for Civil Aviation. The Minister has also spoken to the head of the Internal Complaints Committee of Air India and has directed her to complete the inquiry within June, 2018.

Mon, 04 Jun 2018 16:35:25 +0530
Abu Dhabi Univ launches h

Abu Dhabi University, ADU, has launched a happiness course as part of its Public Health programme's core requirements across campuses in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain.

Marking the first time that such a curriculum is to be offered at ADU, the Introduction to Happiness and Positive Psychology Course focuses on the definition of happiness, positive psychology, principles of positive psychology and happiness, as well as on positive psychology strategies and the practical application of happiness. It will also cover the core components of positive psychology with an emphasis on the optimistic side of human nature and the most effective ways for individuals to thrive and achieve their potential.

Speaking at the launch, Dr. Deena Elsori, Head of Department of Applied Sciences and Mathematics at ADU, said, "The happiness course is a fruitful outcome of several rigorous workshops and training programmes for our faculty members on the concept and notion of happiness. Faculty members participating in the training sessions examined ways to develop individual happiness, understand the fundamentals of positive psychology, and how to transfer this learning into their roles as educators. We are confident that this first-of-its-kind course will help our students focus better on their individual well-being."

Mon, 04 Jun 2018 12:14:59 +0530
Arab League urges Argenti

The Arab League has urged Argentina to cancel its national team’s match with Israel next week, citing Israel's violation of Palestinian people's human rights and contravention of all relevant international conventions.

Holding the match, the Arab League said in a statement, sends a dangerous message to the Israeli government that the world is ignoring its gross violations of human rights.

The proposed match is aimed at misleading the Argentine public opinion into believing that Al Quds is the unified capital of the Jewish state, said the statement, condemning the Argentine Football Association's approach to politicise football and ignore all international sports conventions that keep politics away from football.

The match was supposed to be held in Haifa before a decision has been made to run it in East Jerusalem in defiance of FIFA rules and regulations which prohibit any country from playing on any nation's territory without the express permission of both parties.

Mon, 04 Jun 2018 12:02:59 +0530
Vice President promotes c

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that cycling is the best and cheapest form of exercise to keep our-self healthy and people must be encouraged to adopt such environment friendly mode of transport.

Addressing the gathering of cyclists and environmentalists after inaugurating the Bicycle Rally and inaugurating Smart Cycle Station for Public Bike Sharing in NDMC on the occasion of the first World Bicycle Day, the Vice President said that the campaign to promote the use of bicycle must be taken up on a sustained basis and it should not be confined to a ritualistic exercise on World Bicycling Day.

Talking about the rising pollution levels, the Vice President said that many cities the world over have virtually turned into chimneys due to pollution and the gases emitted from vehicles. He said that the time has come for cities and other urban places to promote bicycling in a big way. Dedicated bicycling tracks to be created in our cities and people have to be encouraged to pedal their way to better health, he added.

The Vice President said that one should not see World Bicycle Day as a mere symbolic exercise and said that it addresses two most pressing problems like growing environmental pollution and rising lifestyle diseases. Bicycling will greatly help in reducing adverse health outcomes. Apart from burning calories, strengthening muscles and promoting fitness, bicycling daily will reduce the risk for heart diseases and cancers, he added.

The Vice President also complemented the authorities of NDMC for starting Smart Cycle Station for Public Bike Sharing in the National Capital and said that similar initiatives are needed elsewhere in the country and the youth in particular must take full advantage of such facilities.

Mon, 04 Jun 2018 11:46:05 +0530
Navy evacuates 38 strande

In response to a distress call received from the DG shipping and the Indian Sailing Vessels Association, Indian Naval Ship Sunayna, currently deployed for a mission based deployment in the Gulf of Aden, was directed to evacuate 38 Indian nationals stranded on the Yemeni island of Socotra in the aftermath of cyclone Mekenu.

A very Severe Cyclonic Strom Mekenu crossed the Yemeni Island of Socotra on 24 May 18, leaving the 38 Indians stranded on the island with limited food and water. Also, three Indian dhows at Socotra suffered damages/ sank alongside in the harbour and another Dhow, MSV Safina Al Khijar with 12 Indians onboard is reported to be missing.

Based on this information, the Indian Navy undertook two aerial sorties on 27 and 28 May 18 to search for the missing 18 Indians. INS Sunayna, deployed on a mission based deployment in the Gulf of Aden was pressed into action to evacuate the 38 Indian nationals from Socotra. The operation, code name 'NISTAR', was carried out on the morning of 03 Jun 18 off the coast of Socotra. The evacuated Indians were embarked onboard and immediately provided with medical care, food, water and telephone facilities to call and reassure their families at home. All 38 have been reported to be safe. Post evacuation, the ship would be proceeding towards Porbandar to disembark the Indians ashore.

Mon, 04 Jun 2018 11:27:42 +0530
India successfully tested

The long range ballistic missile Agni 5  is successfully flight tested from Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Island (Wheeler Island). All the Radars, Electro Optical Tracking Stations and Telemetry Stations tracked the vehicle all through the course of the trajectory. All the mission objectives have been achieved.

Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman has congratulated all the DRDO Scientists, Staff, Armed Forces and Industries for the success of A5 Mission.

Mon, 04 Jun 2018 11:18:21 +0530
Vice President lauds Andh

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that Andhra Pradesh and Telangana States are launching several initiatives to fast-track development. He was addressing the gathering after performing Yadadri Sri Laxmi Narasimha Swamy Kalyanam, on the occasion of Telangana State Formation Day.

The Vice President conveyed his best wishes to the people of Telangana on the occasion of the State Formation Day. He further said that Telangana is one of the fast progressing and forwarding looking States in the country and he complimented the State Government for launching several initiatives to fast-track development.  Endowed with natural resources, hard-working and talented people, he was sure Telangana will achieve all-round prosperity and progress in the coming years, he added

The Vice President conveyed his best wishes to the people of Andhra Pradesh on the occasion of fourth anniversary marking the creation of the new State. He further said that Andhra Pradesh is blessed with abundant natural resources, talented and hardworking people,  who will raise to the occasion and pioneer its all-round development and make it a model State in the country. He also complimented the State Government for launching various developmental schemes for taking the State forward.

Sun, 03 Jun 2018 08:52:11 +0530
World Environment Day cel

A thematic session on “Sustainable lifestyle towards Enhancing Resource Efficiency and Circular Economy” was hosted at the ongoing World Environment Day celebrations.  The session was organised jointly by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).

The session brought together policy-makers, regulators, international organisations, businesses, civil society and academia for a discussion on the pathways and key elements for shifting consumption patterns and lifestyles towards sustainable alternatives.

Different policy options for achieving a resource efficient society with low ecological footprint and better governance mechanisms were discussed.  It was highlighted that people’s values, expectations and aspirations for the future must be taken into account for developing strategies for consumer engagements. The role of technology, success stories from Indian experiences and inclusive policy frameworks with alternatives were also highlighted as important for the shift towards a resource efficient, circular and sustainable economy. Awareness generation for all stakeholders was identified as the most critical of all measures. Without an informed appreciation of the challenge and problems associated with high consumption lifestyles and increased plastics waste, the efforts towards achieving a sustainable society would not be effective.  

The sessions attempted to identify policy options for a resource efficient society, good governance, low ecological footprint and highlight pathways for shifting consumption patterns and lifestyles towards more sustainable alternatives and helped in identifying key elements essential for developing approaches and policies on sustainable lifestyles considering people’s perceptions of sustainability, their values and expectations for the future. It also enhanced awareness of sustainable lifestyles, and identified mechanisms for a concerted action which are needed to be taken by relevant stakeholders.

Secretary, Ministry of Steel, Dr. Aruna Sharma, who chaired the session, talked about the idea of waste to wealth, which creates a win-win situation for all and also opined that plastic cannot be banned fully, but its size can be a critical component to maintain and that is why it is important to understand that plastic disposal is a bigger issue.  Delivering the special remarks, Central Pollution Control Board Chairman, Mr. S.P S Parihar pointed out that material consumption in India is growing since 2010 and behavioural change is the toughest part. He also gave examples of Swacch Bharat mission of Madhya Pradesh where students are visiting households to train the adults.

Sun, 03 Jun 2018 08:45:04 +0530
DRI seizes 32 kg of gold

Acting on an specific  intelligence, the officers of Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) have effected a seizure of 32 kgs of foreign origin gold valued at Rs 10.32 Crore, smuggled from China into India through the Indo-China Border in the State of Sikkim.

The DRI received a tip off that a huge quantity of Gold of foreign origin that has been smuggled into India from China through Indo-China Border in the State of Sikkim would find its way to Kolkata via Siliguri and would be carried by three persons who would be travelling by a hired vehicle from Gangtok to Siliguri and would there after go to Kolkata by train for the ultimate delivery of the same.

Acting on the said tip off, the officers of DRI led strict surveillance over the area on Sevoke Road, Siliguri, Near Payal Cinema Hall where they intercepted a white colour Maruti Wagon R on 23:15 hrs. Of 31.05.2018. On preliminary enquiry, it was found that the Wagon R vehicle was taken on hire by three passengers. All these three passengers are natives of Maharashtra and they had hired the vehicle for their journey from Siliguri to Gangtok and back.

On preliminary enquiry, the three intercepted persons admitted the fact that they were carrying in their persons gold bars of foreign origin that had been smuggled into India from China through Indo-China Border in the State of Sikkim. All the three persons were taken to DRI office at Siliguri where, on search, three specially tailored cloth belts having several pockets and secured by metal Zip fasteners were found to be fastened around their waist. On opening of the said belts, a total of 32 pcs of primary gold bars bearing foreign inscription were recovered. Each of the gold bars was found to weigh 1 kg, bringing the total haul to 32 kgs.

On further enquiry it revealed that the intercepted persons have temporary residence at Siliguri which too was searched by the DRI officers in the early morning of 01.06.2018 from where Indian Currency worth Rs.20,19,850/- was recovered which the intercepted persons identified as being a part of sale proceed of smuggled gold.

The total seizure value has arrived at Rs.10,52,91,750/-

This is one of the biggest Gold seizure by DRI in the recent past in East and North-East India. In the current financial year, starting from 01/04/2018 till date, in the region spread over West Bengal and the North eastern states, the DRI has seized over 137 kg of Gold and Gold Jewellery valued at close to Rs. 24 Crores in the market, smuggled from Bangladesh, Myanmar ,Bhutan and even from China.

In the previous financial year (2017-2018), DRI has seized close to 430 kgs of Gold and Gold Jewelry in the East and North East region collectively valued at more than  Rs 100 Crores.

DRI remains committed to combating all types of cross border crime  

involving smuggling of gold, consumer goods, drugs and narcotics, wild life articles, Fake Indian Currency Notes and counterfeit goods, import-export frauds and trade based money laundering.

Sun, 03 Jun 2018 08:20:08 +0530
Nipah Virus Centre revie

The Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Shri J P Nadda today reviewed the ground situation with the Health Minister of Kerala and took stock of the public health measures in the affected areas. On directions of the Union Health Minister, a multi-disciplinary Central Team led by Director, National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) including experts from NCDC, AIIMS, Safdarjung hospital, EMR division, NIV Pune was immediately deployed in Kozikode, Kerala and are constantly monitoring the situation of the Nipah Virus Disease and supporting the State Health Authorities in managing the outbreak.

After reviewing the situation, the Central Team suggested triage of Nipah cases and establishment of dedicated isolation facilities in district and strict infection control practices. Majority of the cases were found to be having contact with cases of Nipah virus disease. The Central teams recommended enlisting and daily follow up of all contacts.

Nipah virus disease has affected two districts of Kerala viz. Kozhikode and Malappuram and Government of India has issued the following guidelines.

  • Brief on Nipah Virus disease
  • Advisory for General Public
  • Advisory  for Health Care Personnel
  • Guidelines for sample collection for Nipah Virus
  • Hospital infection control guidelines
  • Laboratory Biosafety guidelines

In addition, to above specific case definition, contact tracing and treatment and clinical management protocol has been provided to State authorities.

National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) is monitoring the situation in various States trough (Integrated Disease Control Surveillance Programme (IDSP) network. Advisories have been sent to all the states, video conferencing have been conducted with States for training and clarifying their doubts. Further samples were sent from various States viz. Goa, Telangana, Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh and all samples were negative. Details of cases and deaths, as on date there are 19 reported cases (18 lab confirmed). Out of 19 reported cases 17 died, from the two affected districts in Kerala State.

Sun, 03 Jun 2018 08:13:06 +0530
Self reliant nation canno

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that a self-reliant nation cannot be built unless each individual is empowered to contribute to it.  Delivering the 8th Nanaji Memorial Lecture organized by the Deendayal Research Institute, the Vice President said that the country needs selfless leaders like Nanaji at the grass root level to inspire and empower each citizen to become a proud partner in India’s progress.

The Vice President said that for deepening the roots of democracy and strengthening pluralism, it is important for people across the social strata to contribute in a conscientious manner towards building an egalitarian, healthy, inclusive and responsive society. Progress can be achieved only when there is peace, social, communal and cultural harmony, he added.  

The Vice President said that the civil society has a critical role to play in societal transformation, in heightening awareness, changing the behavior and attitudes to achieve a better quality of life.

The Vice President said that ancient Indian thought is underpinned by humanism, pluralism and spiritualism. At the centre of this world view has been the belief that human empowerment is key and individual development in all dimensions and in an integrated manner is central to progress as a society and as a nation, he added.

The Vice President said that Nanaji demonstrated how the concept of integral humanism of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya and its applicability on the ground is achieved. In a way, he was the pioneer of the present day corporate social responsibility and had in those days inspired many industrialists to contribute towards social causes, he added.

Describing the need to have collective efforts to transform rural areas into thriving hubs of economic activities, the Vice President said that Nanaji Deshmukh inspired people to take actively participate in rural development. 

The Vice President said that a strong nationalistic fervor and idealism distinguished leaders like late Nanaji Deshmukh and Late Shri Deen Dayal Upadhyay from many other leaders and this passion had its roots in the Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh and its ideological moorings.

Sat, 02 Jun 2018 09:23:54 +0530
Tobacco use declines but

Tobacco use has declined markedly since 2000, according to a new WHO report, but the reduction is insufficient to meet globally agreed targets aimed at protecting people from death and suffering from cardiovascular and other non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

For World No Tobacco Day 2018, WHO has joined with the World Heart Federation to highlight the link between tobacco and cardiovascular diseases (CVD) - the world’s leading causes of death, responsible for 44% of all NCD deaths, or 17.9 million deaths annually.

Tobacco use and second-hand smoke exposure are major causes of cardiovascular diseases, including heart attacks and stroke, contributing to approximately 3 million deaths per year. But evidence reveals a serious lack of knowledge of the multiple health risks associated with tobacco.

"Most people know that using tobacco causes cancer and lung disease, but many people aren’t aware that tobacco also causes heart disease and stroke – the world’s leading killers," said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. "This World No Tobacco Day, WHO is drawing attention to the fact that tobacco doesn’t just cause cancer, it quite literally breaks hearts."

While many people are aware tobacco use increases the risk of cancer, there are alarming gaps in knowledge of the cardiovascular risks of tobacco use. In many countries, this low awareness is substantial; for example in China, over 60% of the population is unaware smoking can cause heart attacks, according to the Global Adult Tobacco Survey. In India and Indonesia, more than half of adults do not know smoking can cause stroke.

"Governments have the power in their hands to protect their citizens from suffering needlessly from heart disease," says Dr Douglas Bettcher, WHO Director for the Prevention of NCDs. "Measures that reduce the risks to heart health posed by tobacco include making all indoor public and workplaces completely smoke-free and promoting use of tobacco package warnings that demonstrate the health risks of tobacco."

Tobacco kills over 7 million people each year, despite the steady reduction in tobacco use globally, as shown in WHO’s new Global Report on Trends in Prevalence of Tobacco Smoking 2000-2025. The report shows that worldwide, 27% smoked tobacco in 2000, compared to 20% in 2016.

However, the pace of action in reducing tobacco demand and related death and disease is lagging behind global and national commitments to reduce tobacco use by 30% by 2025 among people aged 15 and older. If the trend continues on the current trajectory, the world will only achieve a 22% reduction by 2025.

Fri, 01 Jun 2018 19:04:17 +0530
UAE bans imports of food

The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, MoCCAE, has banned the imports of fruits and vegetables from Kerala, India and animal products from South Africa.

According to a press statement, all live animals - including sheep, goats, cattle, buffalos, camels, gazelles - and their non-heat-treated by-products from the Letsemeng province in South Africa have been banned.

The Ministry says that these measures reiterate its keenness in achieving its strategic objectives to ensure healthy and safe food for consumers, enhance biosecurity levels, and eliminating pathogens before they enter the country.

The first decision came based on the information received and published by the World Health Organisation, WHO, on the registration of a Nipah virus, NiV, outbreak in Kerala, India. Preliminary information indicates that the primary host of the disease is the fruit bat, where the virus is transmitted through secretions from the bat to the fruit that it feeds on or touches. Mangoes, dates and bananas are the bat’s most preferred fruit. There have been cases of transmission of the disease among humans and between humans and animals as well.

Based on Federal Law No. 10 of 2015 on food safety and through its management of the fast food alert system, the ministry banned the imports of fresh vegetables and fruits from Kerala. It also issued a circular to the concerned local authorities including the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority and the municipalities of Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Qaiwain, Ras al-Khaimah and Fujairah to prevent the entry of all kinds of fresh vegetables and fruits from Kerala.

The Ministry has called upon the public to take the following precautionary measures when they purchase and eat fresh fruit; to make sure that the fruits are ripe, fresh and non-withered, wet, colour-changed or overripe, also before eating fruit, make sure that there are no visible defects on them, such as pests infections, cuts, dirt or deformities.

The measures also included to make sure that the fruits are free from any strange smell or taste, and that packaging should not contain any damaged fruit. The Ministry also advised consumers to wash fresh vegetables and fruits well before eating them, and that juices should be consumed only when their sources are confirmed.

The second decision to ban livestock from South Africa was based on a notification from the World Organisation for Animal Health of the outbreak of Rift Valley Fever disease. Accordingly, MOCCAE has banned the import of live animals and their non-heat-treated by-products from the infected Letsemeng province. Thermally treated products from all other parts of South Africa have been cleared for import, the Ministry explained.

Fri, 01 Jun 2018 19:00:16 +0530
India s Deccan Queen co

The introduction of ‘’Deccan Queen’’ between the two premier cities of Maharashtra on 1st June 1930 was a major landmark in the history of the Great Indian Peninsula Railway, the forerunner of the Indian Railways. This was the first deluxe train introduced on the railway to serve two important cities of the region and was aptly named after Pune, which is also known as ‘’Queen of Deccan’’ (‘’Dakkhan ki Rani’’).

Initially, the train was introduced with 2 rakes of 7 coaches each one of which was painted in silver with scarlet mouldings and the other with royal blue with gold lines. The under frames of the coaches of the original rakes were built in England while the coach bodies were built in the Matunga Workshop of the GIP Railway.

The Deccan Queen, initially, had only first class and second class accommodation. First class was abolished on 1st January 1949 and second class was redesigned as first class, which continued up to June 1955 when third class was introduced on this train for the first time. This was later re-designated as second class from April 1974 onwards. The coaches of the original rakes were replaced in 1966 by anti-telescopic steel bodied integral coaches built by Integral Coach Factory, Perambur. These coaches incorporated improved design of bogies for better riding comfort and also improvements in the interior furnishings and fittings. The number of coaches in the rake was also increased to 12 from the original 7 coaches providing additional accommodation. Over the year the number of coaches in the train has been increased to the present level of 17 coaches.

From its inception, apart from providing high standards of comfort to the passengers, the train has witnessed various improvement such as introduction, for the first time in India, of coaches with roller bearings, replacement of end on generation coaches with self generating coaches with 110 volts system and introduction of first and second class chair cars providing increased accommodation to passengers. The distinctive colour scheme of cream and oxford blue with red band above the window level has been recently adopted as the colour scheme for this train.

With the ever-growing aspirations of the travelling public for better amenities, improved standards of comfort and better quality of service, it was considered necessary to give a complete facelift to theDeccanQueen.

The rake was changed in 1995 with the following special features:

  • All newly manufactured or about a year old, air brake coaches.
  • The 5 first class chair car in the old rake have been replaced by 5 ACchair cars providing an additional seating capacity of 65 in a dust-free environment. Also the 9-second class chair cars provide additional seating capacity of 120 seats compared to the old coaches. Thus, new rake provides a total seating capacity of 1417 as against 1232 seats in the old rake i.e. an increase of 15%.
  • The dining car offers table service for 32 passengers and has modern pantry facilities such as microwave oven, deep freezer and toaster. Thedining car is also tastefully furnished with cushioned chairs and carpet.

The management systems of Deccan Queen (2123 Dn / 2124 Up) have been assessed by International Services Ltd. and found to comply with the requirements of ISO 9001-2000 under the Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New Zealand in November 2003. At Present Deccan Queen (12123/12124) runs with 17 coaches including 4 AC chair car, one Buffet Car, 10 second class chair car and two second class cum brake vans.

Fri, 01 Jun 2018 18:55:19 +0530
President welcomes six wo

The six women officers comprising the crew of INSV Tarini, who recently completed a circumnavigation of the globe, called on  the President Ram Nath Kovind, at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Welcoming the women officers to Rashtrapati Bhavan, the President said that the expedition they undertook was full of challenges - sailing across the world in the face of rough weather and rough seas and covering over 20,000 nautical-miles in 194 days of sailing. Their success exemplifies a never-give-up attitude, determination, teamwork, mental and physical fitness and professional excellence.

The President said the crew’s success is not just its own. It belongs to and inspires each girl child in our country. This success exemplifies the power of women. 

The expedition aboard INSV Tarini was flagged off on September 10, 2017 from Goa and ended with the return to Goa on May 10, 2018. The vessel was skippered by Lieutenant Commander Vartika Joshi, and the crew comprised Lieutenant Commanders Pratibha Jamwal, P Swathi, B Aishwarya and Lieutenants S Vijaya Devi and Payal Gupta.

During its 254 day voyage (including stopovers), the vessel visited Australia, New Zealand, the Falkland Islands (UK), South Africa and Mauritius. The crew also collated and updated meteorological, ocean and wave data on a regular basis for accurate weather forecast by the India Meteorological Department (IMD), and monitored and reported marine pollution on the high seas.

Fri, 01 Jun 2018 18:49:44 +0530
India kicks off World Env

The global celebrations of World Environment Day 2018, being hosted by India, kicked off with a total of three thematic sessions being held at Vigyan Bhawan here today.  Reflecting the “Beat Plastic Pollution” theme of this year’s World Environment Day, the inaugural session focussed on the management of plastic pollution. 

In his special address on the occasion, Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr. Mahesh Sharma pointed out that the need of the hour is to create a social awareness, particularly among the youth, on reducing the single use of plastic and its reuse.    He said that the menace of plastic cannot be tackled till a win-win situation is created for all the stakeholders with regard to the use of plastic.  Emphasising the importance of Extended Producer Responsibility in reducing the use of plastic, the Minister gave a call to rope in the organised sector to retrieve, recycle and reuse plastic. 

Speaking on the occasion, Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, C.K Mishra, highlighted the need to introspect on what can be done individually, as well as collectively to reduce the use of plastic.  He added that the need of the hour is to launch a strong campaign to say no to the single use of plastic.  

In his special address as Guest of Honour, Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Durga Shankar Mishra said that single use plastics are a concern because they are non-biodegradable.   “Total plastic produced in the last decade is more than that generated in the whole century”, he added.  

Addressing the gathering, European Union (EU) Ambassador to India, Mr. Tomasz Kozlowski praised India’s leadership role on environmental issues.  Highlighting the concept of “Plogging”, (combination of picking up plastic waste and jogging) the EU Ambassador said that this concept is popular in several European nations and can be used to reduce plastic pollution.

Ambassador, Kingdom of Norway, Mr. Nils Ragnar Kamsvag,  Environment, Climate and Energy Counsellor, delegation of European Union to India, Ms. Henriette Faergemann, Additional Secretary, MoEF&CC, Mr. A.K Jain and Convenor, CII Working Group on Plastic Waste Management, Mr. Pradeep Banerjee were among those present on the occasion. 

Fri, 01 Jun 2018 18:40:44 +0530
Lt General Devraj Anbu ta

Lt General Devraj Anbu assumed the charge of Vice Chief of the Army Staff. He succeeds Lt Gen Sarath Chand who after an illustrious career, handed over the baton to Lt Gen Devraj Anbu in a ceremony held at South Block.

Lt Gen Anbu is an alumnus of National Defence Academy, Khadakvasla. He was commissioned into 14 Sikh Light Infantry on  07 June 1980 and has a rich operational experience with the distinction of serving in all types of operational environment to include Siachen Glacier, counter insurgency & counter terrorist operations in Jammu & Kashmir and North-East as well as in 'OP PAWAN' in Sri Lanka.

During his 37 years’ illustrious military career, the General Officer commanded his unit during 'OP PARAKRAM', an Infantry Brigade on the Line of Control in the Kashmir Valley, a Mountain Division in Sikkim, the Indian Military Training Team in Bhutan and Gajraj Corps in the Eastern Theatre.

The Gen is highly decorated and has been awarded Sena Medal (Gallantry) for operations in 'OP MEGHDOOT', Yudh Seva Medal during command of the Brigade, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal during command of the Division and Uttam Yudh Seva Medal during the command of an elite operational Corps.

He had three important staff tenures at the Army Headquarters besides holding General Staff operation appointment at the Division and Corps HQ in the North-East and Jammu & Kashmir respectively. He was the Instructor at the National Defence Academy and an International Military Observer with UN Peacekeeping Mission, UNTAG (United Nations Transition Assistance Group) at Namibia.

Fri, 01 Jun 2018 18:35:00 +0530
Singapore visit Modi int

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi, today visited Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. He responded to questions during an interaction with students.

On a question on the challenges facing Asia in the 21st century, the Prime Minister noted that it is often said that the 21st century will be Asia's century. It is essential to believe in ourselves and know that this is our turn, he added. We must rise to the occasion and take that leadership, the Prime Minister said.

The Prime Minister referred to his recent meeting with President Xi Jinping in China. He said that he gave a document to President Xi, which shows that out of the last 2000 years, India and China's combined share of global GDP has exceeded 50 percent for 1600 years. Further, this was largely achieved without conflict, he said. The Prime Minister said that we must focus on boosting connectivity without conflict.

The Prime Minister said that space technology has a key role to play in good governance. It can vastly improve the life of the common man, he said. Space technology helps us in properly mapping our development infrastructure - be it in terms of where do we need more schools, better roads, added hospitals, the Prime Minister said.

Responding to a question on the balance between tradition and globalization, the  Prime Minister said that mankind has progressed through the ages due to innovation and due to ethics as well as humanitarian values. He said technology is aiding human creativity. Various social media platforms have given voice to millions, he said.

Talking about ensuring inclusive growth in the age of the fourth industrial revolution, the Prime Minister said that disruption does not mean destruction. He said technology empowers people, and a technology driven society breaks social barriers. Technology has to be affordable and user-friendly, he added. He recalled that people were once apprehensive about computers, but computers helped transform our lives. 

Fri, 01 Jun 2018 18:29:26 +0530
Modi addresses Indian dia

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the Indian diaspora in Singapore when he visited the country as part of his three-nation tour including Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. Below is the full transcript of Modi's address to the Indian diaspora

Today, here in this wonderful setting, we see the power of the relationship between India and Singapore. It’s our heritage; our people; and, a great partnership for our times. It is the grace and majesty, and the roar, of the two lions. It is always a pleasure to return to Singapore. It is a city that never fails to inspire. Singapore may be a small island, but its horizons are global. This great nation has shown us that size is no barrier to the scale of achievements or the strength of a nation’s voice in the world.

But, Singapore’s success also lies in the harmony of its multi-cultural society, in the celebration of its diversity, which under-lies a distinct and unique Singaporean identity. And, in this wonderful mosaic, there is an ancient thread, beautiful and colourful, that binds India and Singapore.


Friends, 

The course of India’s centuries-old route to South East Asia also ran through Singapore. The human link is deep and enduring. It lives in the Singaporean Indians. And, this evening has been lit-up with your presence, your energy, your talent and your achievements.

Whether you are here through the chance of history or the opportunities of globalisation; Whether your ancestors came here generations ago, or you came here in this century; Each of you has become part of Singapore’s unique fabric, and its progress.

In turn, Singapore has embraced you, your merit and your hard work. Here in Singapore, you represent the diversity of India. If you want to see all festivals of India in one city, or celebrate them for weeks, Singapore is the place to visit.

That might also be true now for Indian food! I still remember the dinner Prime Minister Lee hosted for me in Little India.


Tamil is an official language here. But, it is a testimony to Singapore’s spirit that school children can also learn five other Indian languages. The city throbs with the finest of Indian culture. This is as much due to the talented Indian community as to the support from Singapore Government.

Here in Singapore you have even started a full competition in traditional Indian games. It brings you memories of your youth and enables children to connect to kho kho and kabaddi.

And, in 2017, International Day of Yoga was held at 70 centres in this city. That makes it one centre for every 10 square kilometres.

No other city in the world could have this Yogic intensity. Institutions like Sri Ramakrishna Mission and Sri Narayana Mission have been here for decades. In their service to society, without distinction between people, reflect the values that bind India and Singapore.


In their journey through Singapore and the region, the greatest of Indian thinkers Swami Vivekananda and poet Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore found a common chord that connects India to the East. Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s call to march for India’s freedom from the soil of Singapore -दिल्ली चलो- is an enduring flame in the heart of every Indian.

And, in 1948 a portion of Mahatma Gandhi’s ashes were immersed at Clifford Pier, just across the bay from here. Thousands from all sections of society witnessed the ceremony. A plane showered rose petals as the ashes were immersed. People took sips of water from the sea.

Day after tomorrow, I will have the honour to unveil a plaque at Clifford Pier to mark that solemn moment of our history. The moment which underlines even today the timeless and universal values of Mahatma Gandhi.


Friends, 

on the foundations of this extraordinary heritage, the wealth of our human links and the strength of our shared values, India and Singapore are building a partnership of our age. It is a relationship that truly meets the test of strategic partnership.

When India opened up to the world and turned to the East, Singapore became a partner and a bridge between India and ASEAN. Political relations between India and Singapore are among the warmest and closest. There are no contests or claims, or doubts.


It is a natural partnership from a shared vision. Our defence relations are among the strongest, for both. My Armed Forces speak with great respect and admiration for Singapore’s Armed Forces. India’s longest continuous naval exercise is with Singapore.

They are marking their Silver Jubilee now. We are proud to host Singapore’s Army and Air Force for training in India. Our ships regularly visit each other.

Many of you have been on board our naval ships. I, too, am looking forward to visiting a Singapore Navy Ship and an Indian Naval Ship at the Changi Naval Base day after tomorrow.

In international forums, we speak in one voice in the cause of a rules-based order, sovereign equality of all nations, and free and open pathways of commerce and engagement. Economics is the heart-beat of the relationship.

It is a partnership at the front-line of India’s global engagement. Singapore is both a leading investment source and destination for India. Singapore was the first country with which we signed a Comprehnsive Economic Cooperation Agreement.

Nearly 250 flights in each direction every week connect Singapore to 16 Indian cities. And, that is set to grow. India is the third largest source of tourists in Singapore and its fastest growing. Our IT companies are helping Singapore stay smart and competitive.

In many area of India’s development priorities, Singapore is a key partner: smart cities, urban solutions, financial sector, skills development, ports, logistics, aviation and industrial parks.

So, India and Singapore are contributing to each other’s prosperity. And, now we are building new partnerships for the digital world. Prime Minister Lee and I just made a tour of an outstanding exhibition of technology, innovation and enterprise. These are the bright youth of India and Singapore.

Many of them are brilliant talent from India that have made Singapore home. They will be the bridge of innovation and enterprise between India, Singapore and ASEAN. A short while ago, we saw the international launch of RuPay, BHIM and UPI.

It is natural for these to be launched in Singapore! Together, we will work for using the power of mobile and digital technology for governance and inclusion. Together, we can build a great economic partnership of the new age.

As Singapore shapes a new future for itself, India emerges as the new global frontier of opportunities. Even in a year of deep structural reforms like the introduction of Goods and Services Tax, we remain the fastest growing major economy of the world.

And we intend to stay that-way. Our economy has become more stable. Fiscal deficit is down. Inflation rate is down. Current account deficit is comfortable. The currency is stable. And, the foreign exchange reserves are at a record high.

In India, the present is changing rapidly. A ‘New India’ is taking shape. And, there are many reasons for it. One, Economic reforms are taking place at a speed and a scale not known so far. Over 10,000 measures by Central and state governments in the last two years have helped us move up 42 places in the Ease of Doing Business rankings.

Over 1,400 out-dated laws have been repealed. India is among the most open economies in the world. Foreign investors can go into almost all sectors, often with up to 100% equity. Indeed, more than 90% of investments in India are through this route.

Two, Tax regime has changed: lower tax rates, increased stability, faster resolution of tax disputes and electronic filing systems. Goods and Services Tax is the biggest tax reform since independence It has unified the nation into a single market and increased the tax base.

This was not an easy task. But, it was done successfully. And, it has created new economic opportunities. Our personal income tax base has also expanded by nearly 20 million.


Three, our infrastructure sector is expanding at record speed. Last year, we built nearly 10 thousand kilometers of national highways – that is 27 kilometers daily, almost double the speed a few years ago.

Pace of rail track addition has doubled. Metro rails in several cities, seven High Speed Rail Projects, dedicated freight corridors, and modernisation of 400 railway stations will transform the rail sector.

Other projects include 10 green field airports; five new major ports; 111 rivers designated as National Water-ways; and over 30 logistics parks. We added over 80 thousand mega-watts of power in just three years.

And, in renewable energy, we have become the sixth largest producer in the world. That is our commitment to a green and sustainable future. Quite simply, the biggest infrastructure story of the world is unfolding in India.

Four, our manufacturing sector is rebounding. There has been a sharp rise in FDI in the past three years – from 36 billion U.S.dollars in 2013-14 to 60 billion U.S.dollars in 2016-17. There is also special focus on the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Sector.


We have launched sector-specific modernisation and productivity programmes, reduced corporate tax rate, and made tax benefits more attractive and easier. The Indian Startup sector is flourishing, and is now the third largest in the world.

My favourite scheme is, of course, the मुद्रा scheme that offers micro credit to the poor and the excluded. Over the past three years, 128 million loans worth more than 90 billion U.S. dollars have been extended – 74% of these have gone to women; yes, 74% to women!

Five. We are strongly focussed on financial inclusion. In the course of the past three years, we have opened 316 million bank accounts for those who never had a bank account. Now, 99% of Indian house-holds have a bank account.

It is a new source of dignity and identity for every citizen, a remarkable story of inclusion and empowerment More than 12 billion U.S. dollars have been deposited in these accounts.

Government benefits worth more than 50 billion U.S. dollars have been transferred directly to the beneficiaries. They now have access to affordable pensions and insurance – everything that was once only a dream. Now here in the world has banking expansion taken place on such a scale and at such speed.

Six, a digital revolution is sweeping through India. Through a biometric identity for everyone, a mobile phone in almost every pocket, and a bank account in everyone’s reach, every Indian’s life is getting transformed.

And, it is also transforming everything else in India: governance, public service, delivery of benefits to the poor, putting banking and pension within the reach of the poorest. For example, digital transactions are growing rapidly.

In 2017, just the UPI-based transactions grew seven thousand percent. In January, all digital transactions were valued at 2 trillion U.S. dollars. We are building broadband connectivity to two hundred and fifty thousand village councils, and we are setting up common service centres in each of those village councils.

These will offer many digital services and create thousands of rural jobs. Under Atal Innovation Mission, we are opening 100 incubation centres and we have opened 24 hundred tinkering labs across India for our children to become innovators and job creators. One of the exhibitors today is from one of these labs.

Seven, India will experience the largest wave of urbanisation in the world over the next two decades. It is a challenge, but also a huge responsibility and opportunity.

We are working to transform 100 cities into Smart Cities, and 115 aspirational districts into new centres of progress.


Mass transit, waste management, pollution control, sustainable habitat and affordable housing are programmes of great priority for us.


Eight, we are investing in skills and raising the standards of higher education to give a life of dignity and opportunity for our 800 million youth. With learning from Singapore, we are setting up advanced Institutes of Skill Development. And, in this fiscal year, we have launched a 15 billion U.S. dollar programme, to further strengthen our higher education system.

Nine, Agriculture sector is receiving a level of priority that it has not since the Green Revolution decades ago. We aim to double the income of farmers by 2022, when Independent India will be 75 and a ‘New India’ will be born.

For this, we are using technology, remote sensing, internet, digital financial system, soft credit, insurance, soil health improvement, irrigation, pricing and connectivity.

Ten, we want every citizen to enjoy what I call ‘Ease of Living’ by 2022. It means, for example, 50 million new houses so that there is roof over every head in 2022.

Last month, we reached a milestone. Each one of our 600 thousand villages are now connected to a power grid. We are also working to provide electric connection to every household.

We have launched this year AYUSHMAN Bharat, the National Health Insurance Scheme. It will cover 100 million families or 500 million Indians with annual coverage of 8000 U.S. dollars. This is simply the largest healthcare scheme in the world.

Quality of life is also linked to clean and sustainable development. That is one of our principal goals. It is rooted in our heritage and our commitment to the planet’s future. And, it informs every aspect of public policy and economic choices in India now.


It includes our mission of Clean India, clean rivers, clean air and clean cities. And, all these changes are taking place because of one and only one reason: our people. A nation of 1.25 billion people, with 65% under the age of 35 years, is on the move, eager for change, and confident about achieving a New India. That is also driving change in governance and politics.

Friends,

There is complete clarity and confidence about the pace and direction of economic reforms in India. We will make it easier and smoother to do business in India. We will work for an open, stable and fair international trade regime. And, our engagement to our East will be among the strongest, and economics will remain an integral part of our Act East Policy.


We want to see a comprehnsive fair, balanced agreement that lifts up all nations on the tide of trade and investment. We have just completed the review of India-Singapore Comprehnsive Economic Cooperation Agreement and we will work to further upgrade it.


We will work with all, most of all with ASEAN, to reach an early conclusion to Regional Comprehnsive Economic Partnership. As India’s engagement with the region grows, Singapore will remain a gateway to ASEAN and the broader East. This year, Sinagapore’s Chairmanship of ASEAN will take India’s relations with ASEAN further and farther ahead.


Friends,

In conclusion For Singapore, there is no better opportunity than India. Few countries have so much in common and so much in potential as India and Singapore. We mirror each other in our societies and we wish the same future for our region.

We pursue a world based on rule of law, and connected by open seas and a stable trade regime. Above all, we have the world’s most talented, dynamic, professional and committed Indian diaspora, proud to be Singaporeans, proud of their Indian heritage, ready to be the bridge between India and Singapore.

The future is a world of unlimited opportunities. It belongs to us. It is up to us to be ambitious and bold to seize it. This evening tells us that we are on the right path. The two lions shall step into the future together.

Thank you.

Thank you very much.

Fri, 01 Jun 2018 10:01:57 +0530
No one to buy Air India

Aviation ministry has decided to end its desperate attempts to sell its shares after no one came out to buy it. The central government had decided to sell Air India's 76 percent of shares after the company posted huge loss for a long period of time.

But no one showed any interest in buying shares despite giving an extension period. Aviation ministry had initiated the process of selling of shares and permitted companies having assets of 5000 crore to attend the auction.

Air India owns hundreds of Boeing, Airbus flights and offers 2300 domestic services to 54 airports in a week.

Fri, 01 Jun 2018 09:23:51 +0530
Indian GDP to grow at 7 7

The Chairman of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister; Dr. Bibek Debroi has said that the provisional Estimates of Annual National Income, 2017-18 & Fourth Quarter (Q4) Estimates of National Income, (Jan-Mar 2018) are a reflection of the fact that the momentum in growth trajectory continues. 

The Fourth quarter (Q4) Jan 2018 – Mar 2018 estimate of Gross Domestic Product released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation estimates the GDP to grow at 7.7 percent. Q4 registered the strongest quarterly growth last financial year indicating a broader continuity in growth acceleration trends. As per CSO, “Real GDP or GDP at constant prices has reached Rs 34.77 lakh crore in Q4 as against Rs 32.27 Lakh crore in Q4 2016-17. 

The CSO has also released the provisional estimates of national income for the full financial year 2017-18. The GDP at the constant prices is estimated to grow at 6.7 percent for the financial year 2017-18. The Real GVA, i.e. GVA at basic constant prices (2011-12) has been estimated at 119.76 for the year 2017-18 showing a growth rate of 6.5 percent over revised estimate of GVA for the year 2016-17 of Rs 112.48 Lakh Crore.

Chairman of EAC to PM, Dr. Bibek Debroy said that the key sectors of the economy are experiencing steady growth. The improved growth numbers are due to the government’s consistent effort in implementing bold structural reforms. Goods and Services Tax, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, Bank recapitalization, 100% village electrification, repealing archaic laws, simplifying doing business etc. have all contributed positively towards growth.   

He further stated that sound macroeconomic management by the government is boosting growth and investment in India. This combined with IMDs prediction of normal monsoon is likely to further boost consumer demand particularly rural demand in the economy. The other key economic indicators like IIP, PMI, etc. are also showing steady growth. The IIP (Q-o-Q % change) grew at 5.23 percent in quarter ending in March 2018 as compared to 4.32 percent in quarter ending in December 2017.

Fri, 01 Jun 2018 09:06:45 +0530
Defence Minister visits F

Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who arrived at Dimapur, Nagaland on 29 May 2018, continued her visit to Spear Corps Zone. The minister undertook a visit of forward posts of the Assam Rifles along the Indo-Myanmar Border and was accompanied by General Officer Commanding Spear Corps Lt Gen Gopal R.

At the forward posts, the minister witnessed first-hand the prevalent conditions and ongoing operations of units deployed for border guarding operations in the area. Here she was briefed by commanders operating on the ground. Having made a comprehensive assessment of the situation, Nirmala Sitharaman expressed immense satisfaction on the high standards of professionalism and dedication displayed by units and formations of Spear Corps responsible for operations along the Indo-Myanmar Border.

During her visit to the forward areas, Sitharaman also interacted with local State Government functionaries and representatives of other security agencies. She also met local community leaders of the area and appreciated their cooperation in maintaining security in the area.

Notwithstanding weather disruptions, the defence minister having accomplished objectives of the visit, departed for Delhi later in the day.

Thu, 31 May 2018 09:59:04 +0530
Values based education he

The President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the Sadhu Vaswani International School in Pune. Speaking on the occasion, the President said that Sadhu Vaswani, the iconic spiritual figure the Sadhu Vaswani International School is named after, was one among our most remarkable nation builders. He taught us to combine the values of our ancient civilisation with the techniques of the modern age.

The President said the city of Pune has been a centre of education for Maharashtra and for the country. The story of modern India owes much to the educational, reformist and progressive ideas that have flowed from this city, and for which our nation is truly appreciative. He noted that it was in Pune that in 1848 Mahatma Jyotiba Phule and Savitribai Phule opened what is believed to have been the first modern school in India exclusively for girls. In their determined efforts to fight caste and gender discrimination and work for the weaker sections, Jyotiba and Savitribai Phule made education their chief weapon, as did other reformers from Pune.

The President said that values-based education helps promote ethics in society. Our freedom fighters and leaders placed emphasis on education – and on discourse that was informed by knowledge, wisdom and learning. Each one of them placed emphasis on a culture of discussion rather than of dispute – and of addressing disagreements while being mindful of the other person’s dignity.

The President said that in school, a child is taught history and geography, language and literature, mathematics and science. In class X and in class XII, children are examined in these and other subjects. They are given marks and grades. While not discounting the importance of such subjects, he drew attention to lessons that a child imbibes in school that may not be formally tested in a board examination. These are the lessons of culture, character, compassion and courage. And of coping with change in a society and a world evolving more rapidly than perhaps ever before.

The President said that a child who imbibes these lessons and internalises these values will always be sensitive to the world outside, and to those who may be less privileged. Such a child will never forget to contribute to society, in whichever way he or she can.

Earlier in the day, the President unveiled the statue of Matoshree Ramabai Bhimrao Ambedkar at the Matoshree Ramabai Bhimrao Ambedkar Garden in Pune.

Thu, 31 May 2018 09:40:22 +0530
Ultimate objective of Sci

Ultimate objective of Science & Technology is to advance and better the human life: Vice President
 

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that scientific research is of no use if it does not improve the life of people. He was interacting with the Students of Delhi Public School, R.K. Puram who won Asian Regional Space Settlement Design Competition 2018 and are scheduled to participate in the world final to be held at NASA, USA.

The Vice President said that the ultimate objective of Science and Technology is to advance and better the human life. He complimented the Students for the unique opportunity they got and appreciated their hard work and dedication for designing of space settlement. It is a remarkable achievement, he added.

The Vice President advised the students to take advantage of the opportunity and told them to gain new experiences and put it for practical use in future.  This trip will provide you for further enhancement of knowledge on space technology, he added.

Describing the achievements of our country in fields of science and technology, the Vice President said that India is one of the leading space research nations and we are Proud of our Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), which is now preparing satellites for other nations including SAARC countries.

On this occasion, the Vice President talked about the history and great traditions of India and said that share and care are the core philosophy of India and said social discriminations and atrocities must be driven out of the society.

 

Thu, 31 May 2018 09:28:36 +0530
Vice President recalls Am

The Vice President of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that Dr. Ambedkar’s thoughts and teachings are relevant forever. He was visiting Dr. Ambedkar National Memorial and Dr. Ambedkar International Centre, which were constructed as part of the Panch Theerth Memorials as a tribute to the revered social reformer and the architect of the Indian Constitution.

The Vice President spent considerable time at the National Memorial, which houses the museum containing 27 exhibits on the life and work of Dr. Ambedkar. The museum has LED walls for screening short films on Dr. Ambedkar. It also has a robotic device which emulates lifelike characteristics of Dr. Ambedkar and repeats the speech he had made in the Constituent Assembly on 25th July, 1949.

Later, the Vice President visited Dr. Ambedkar International Centre and went around the auditoria and a big library.

Interacting with the staff at both the places, he paid glowing tributes to Dr. Ambedkar. He lauded the Government for constructing the memorials in the form of Panch Theerthas at his birthplace at Mhow, Madhya Pradesh, place in London where he had stayed while studying in the UK, Deeksha Bhoomi in Nagpur, Mahaparivathan Sthal in Delhi and Chaitya Bhoomi in Mumbai. 

Describing the memorials as a befitting homage to a great son of India, he said that he was fortunate to have visited all the five places.   

Observing that the depiction of life Dr. Ambdekar at the museum was wonderful, he said “it is a beautiful museum dutifully done to keep the memory of the great son of this great country”. He said the project was initiated when he was the urban Development Minister and it was a dream come true for him to see the “beautiful museum”. The Museum must be visited by every Indian youth, he added. He said the museum was the best place to understand the life, teachings and preaching of Dr. Babasaheb.

After visiting the auditoria and the library at Dr. Ambedkar International Centre, the Vice President said that he was highly impressed with the architecture of the building, located at Janpath. He said the entire literature relating to Dr. Babasaheb should be made available at the library. He suggested to the authorities to regularly hold national and international seminars on Dr. Ambedkar.    

He said Dr. Babasaheb was not only an outstanding intellectual, but was also a great social reformer, philosopher and humanist, who strove all through his life to dismantle caste barriers. His thoughts are eternal and relevant for all times.

He said the nation would be always grateful for his stellar contribution in drafting the constitution. He was one of the builders of modern India and his vision contributed towards the formulation of water and industrial policies in the country. He was the pioneer in giving proper direction and guidance to the nation after independence.

The Vice President complimented the architects and appreciated the monolith sculpture of Lord Budhha Statue inside Dr. Ambedkar National Memorial.

Thu, 31 May 2018 09:21:03 +0530
Modi addresses Indian com

The Prime Minister  Narendra Modi addressed the Indian community in Jakarta. He spoke of the special ties between India and Indonesia, and recalled the Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi earlier this year, where leaders from 10 ASEAN nations, including Indonesia, were present. He noted that it is no coincidence that in 1950, the President of Indonesia had been the Chief Guest at the Republic Day Parade in New Delhi. 

He said the members of the Indian diaspora in Indonesia are proud citizens of Indonesia, but wish to remain connected with their Indian roots as well.  

The Prime Minister said that in the last four years, India has witnessed unparalleled transformation. In this context, he spoke of FDI, openness of the Indian economy, ease of doing business, and competitiveness of the Indian economy.  

He said both countries are proud of their democratic ethos and diversity. He gave examples such as the Bali-Jatra, and similarities in cuisine and language to highlight the close cultural links between the two countries. He noted that earlier today, he and President Widodo had jointly inaugurated the Kite Exhibition, which included themes from the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. 

Talking about developments in India, he said that the Union Government is creating systems that are development-friendly and corruption-free. He said that going ahead from “Ease of Doing Business,” the focus is now on “Ease of Living.” Our processes are transparent and sensitive, he added. He gave an account of the dramatic developments that have taken place in a number of areas of infrastructure development. He spoke of India’s vibrant start-up ecosystem, and the International Solar Alliance.  
Both India and Indonesia have a sensitive outlook when it comes to helping those in need, the Prime Minister asserted. He said that India does not see the colour of anyone’s passport, and helps all fellow humans who require any assistance. He said India and Indonesia do not just rhyme in their names, but share a common rhythm in their culture, traditions, and democratic values. 

The Prime Minister invited the diaspora to visit India to witness first-hand, the changes taking place here.

Thu, 31 May 2018 09:12:27 +0530
CBSE declared Class X res

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) declared Class X results as Thiruvananthapuram performed best amongst all regions with 99.60 % pass percentage followed by Chennai region with 97.37 % while Ajmer stands at third position with 91.86 % pass percentage.

Total 16,24,682 students appeared in the exam out of which 14,08,594 students passed the exam. Overall pass percentage of this year is 86.70.

Prakar Mittal from DPS Gurgaon, Rimzhim Agarwal from RP Public School, Bijnor, Nandini Garg from Scottish Intl School, Shamli and Sreelakshmi G from Bhavan's Vidyalaya shared first rank with 499 marks out of 500.

Total pass percentage of boys is 85.32 % while pass percentage of girls is 88.67 % which is 3.35 % better than boys. 1,31,493 students scored more than 90% while 27,476 students scored more than 95% in this exam. This year CBSE conducted Class X exam from 5th March, 2018 to 4th April, 2018. 

Wed, 30 May 2018 09:37:15 +0530
Modi interacts with Mudra

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with Mudra Yojana beneficiaries from across the country, through video bridge. The video conference is the second in the series of video bridge by the Prime Minister, interacting with various beneficiaries of Government schemes.

Expressing happiness at being able to interact with the beneficiaries, the Prime Minister said that the Mudra Yojana has become a job multiplier. He further added that the initiative has helped in relieving the entrepreneurs from the vicious cycle of moneylenders and middlemen. It has opened up new opportunities for youth, women and those who wanted to start or expand their businesses.

Under Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana, Government has so fargiven out 12 crore loans worth Rs. 5.75 lakh crore. Out of which 28% of the loans worth Rs. 3.25 lakh crore were given to first time entrepreneurs. Of the total loans disbursed, 74% of the total beneficiaries were women and 55% of the loans were given to SC/ST and OBC communities.

Prime Minister, while addressing the PMMY beneficiaries, said that the scheme has transformed the lives of the poor. He said that by aiding small and micro businesses, the scheme has helped to strengthen people economically, socially and has given people a platform to succeed.

Emphasizing on creating self-employment, Prime Minister said that being self- employed is a matter of pride now and has helped people in achieving things that were considered impossible before.

Wed, 30 May 2018 09:22:10 +0530
Objective of education sh

The President Ram Nath Kovind addressed the annual convocation of the Veer Narmad South Gujarat University in Surat, Gujarat.

Speaking on the occasion, the President noted that the Veer Narmad South Gujarat University is named after renowned Gujarati literary figure Narmadashankar Dave or Veer Narmad, who was not only a poet and writer but also a social reformer. Veer Narmad was a nation builder who shaped Gujarati and Indian identity and worked for female empowerment, widow remarriage and similar causes.

The President said the region of ​​south Gujarat is an economic engine for the state. And within this region, Surat makes a significant contribution. The textiles and diamond industries are special to Surat and attract workers from across the country. That is why the city is sometimes called “mini India”. As the leading educational institution here, the Veer Narmad South Gujarat University bears an important responsibility. The large tribal student population that the University serves also adds to its salience.

The President said the objective of education should be to nurture freedom of thought and innovation within the student community, besides building capacities for a professional career. Education should also teach us to respect sentiments of others as well work for the welfare of society.

Earlier in the day, the President attended a function in Surat to felicitate family members of cadaver organ donors. The function was organised by the NGO Donate Life. Addressing the gathering, the President called for motivating people for organ donation as a service to humanity.

Later in the day, the President presented the ‘Santokbaa Humanitarian Award’, given by the SRK Foundation, to Dr Kiran Kumar, former Chairman, ISRO, and Kailash Satyarthi, Nobel Laureate. Speaking on the occasion, the President said he was happy to note that the business community in Surat, which was well known across the world, was supportive of philanthropic and social welfare efforts. He appreciated Govind Dholakia of SRK Exports for taking forward this tradition and instituting the awards.

Wed, 30 May 2018 09:16:51 +0530
Vice President lauds teac

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that the role and contribution of a teacher in the formation of a nation is immense and praiseworthy. He was addressing the gathering after presenting the Malti Gyan Peeth Puraskar to 15 teachers from Government Schools from Punjab, who have shown excellence in teaching, in New Delhi.

The Vice President said that Teachers have been given respect and honour in our culture. He further said that the word 'guru' means 'source of light' and the duty of the teacher is not only to educate the students, but also to make them enriched. They not only have to fill the word knowledge in the minds of students, but also to teach the ethics, commitment, selflessness and even the lesson of awareness, he added.

The Vice President said that in today's changing environment, when education is being more commercialized, it is necessary for teachers to give more emphasis in the formation of their character besides providing education to the students. He quoted Mahatma Gandhi as saying "If there is no good character from education, then there is no value for education for such knowledge.

The Vice President said that usage of mother tongue is very important in the education. He further said that mother tongue is the most accessible and simple language for any person. In mother tongue we can express our views more easily and more affectively, he added.

The Vice President said that the downfall in female literacy rate has a direct impact on India's growth, because it affects every area of development. If women remain uneducated, then it will have a direct and negative impact on the efforts made to control the country's growing population, he added.

Wed, 30 May 2018 09:10:49 +0530
Vice President urges lawm

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that we need adequate representation to women in Parliament and State Legislatures. Releasing a Hindi book titled “Bharat Rajneeti Ke 50 Shikhar Mahilayen” authored by Dr. Asshwine Shastri, he emphasized on the need for political and economic empowerment women, and said that they should be given equal opportunities in all fields.

The Vice President said that the world over it has been recognized that representation of women in legislatures would help in resolving complex and sensitive socio-economic matters.

Pointing out that all political parties had agreed for providing reservation for women in the Parliament and Legislatures, he wondered why they were not moving forward on the issue.

Saying that economic empowerment of women was as important as their political empowerment, he said equal rights on parental property must be extended to women. 

Expressing concern over the growing atrocities on women, he said any atrocity should not be politicalised.  He also called for change of mindset among the people to prevent atrocities. It is not enough if we have a mere Bill, and said that there should be political will and administrative skill to kill the evil. 

Observing that India had the tradition of respecting women from ancient times, he pointed out those women had occupied positions of power in scriptures.  Large number of women had played a key role during India’s Independence movement and in various fields in post-independent India- from sports to politics and economics.  

The Vice President lauded the author for bringing out a book on the achievement of fifty women political leaders of the country. It will not only be useful as a reference book, but will also give inspiration to the younger generation, he added.

Wed, 30 May 2018 09:05:22 +0530
Dehradun to host Intl Yo

The main  event of 4th International Yoga Day celebrations (IDY-2018)  will be held on 21st June 2018 at Dehradun in Uttrakhand.

Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha,  Secretary, Ministry of AYUSH announced that Dehradun (Uttarakhand) has been selected as the venue for Mass Yoga Demonstration (Main Event) of 4th International Day of Yoga on 21st June, 2018.

Kotecha is in Dehradun to initiate the preparations regarding this mega event.  In this regard, Kotecha along with concerned Joint Secretary has met Chief Secretary, Government of Uttarakhand to discuss various arrangements for organizing Mass Yoga Demonstration of 4th International Day of Yoga at Dehradun.

Tue, 29 May 2018 08:51:39 +0530
Mount Deotibba Expedition

All women high altitude expedition to Mount Deotibba (6001 Mtrs) which is located in Himachal Pradesh, has been organised by the Indian Navy from 28 May to 15 Jun 2018. The expedition was flagged off by Vice Admiral AK Chawla, AVSM, NM, VSM, Chief of Personnel on 28 May 2018 from New Delhi.

Lieutenant Commander Kokila Sajwan will be leading the team which comprises of 15 members including two base camp support staff.

Indian Navy had summitted Mt Everest in May 2017. The Service had previously launched the first successful expedition to Everest in 1965 and has been to the South & North poles in 2006 and 2008 respectively.

Now, with culmination of Sagar-Parikarma, the circumnavigation around the globe by All Women Navy Team, Indian Navy seeks to achieve a similar feat on land by organising an ‘All Women Expedition to Mt Deotibba as a launch pad for scaling higher peaks including Everest in near future.

Tue, 29 May 2018 08:47:32 +0530
World Environment Day 201

Emphasising the need to build a movement to connect people and getting them on to a single platform in the run-up to World Environment Day 2018 celebrations, Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, C.K Mishra, has said that the World Environment Day is an attempt is to reach out to a large number of people and is not merely a token celebration. 

Addressing an interactive stakeholders session, jointly hosted by Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) here today, Mishra said that the knowledge sessions being held as a part of World Environment Day celebrations, are an attempt to know what suggestions do the people – including experts, industry, NGOs and civil society have in mind.      

The interactive conversation with stakeholders included senior officers and officials of the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, representatives from FICCI and United Nations Environment. 

The Knowledge Sessions will comprise, among other things, 11 Thematic Areas including – air pollution in Indian cities – present status and future action; local green enterprises and their role in greening the economy; Himalayan ecosystem; sustainable urbanisation – resilient cities; CII & EU on plastic pollution; marine litter and integrated coastal zone management; the new plastic economy: eco-solutions for balancing economic and environmental sustainability; sustainable lifestyles towards enhancing resource efficiency and circular economy; launch of TERI’s consortium on waste proofing the future; corporate sustainability and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); Extended Producer Responsibility; sustainable urban landscapes and smart cities; galvanising finance for India’s development; Waste to Resource (W2R) and natural capital accounting/global nitrogen assessment.  These sessions will be held from June 1-4, 2018. 

An exhibition by various institutions/organisations will be put up in the back lawns of Vigyan Bhawan from June 2-5, 2018.

"Beat Plastic Pollution" is the theme of World Environment Day 2018 celebrations.

Tue, 29 May 2018 08:43:31 +0530
Modi meets Queen Maxima

Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Queen Maxima of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.Queen Maxima is visiting India in her capacity as UN Secretary-General's Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development.

Prime Minister Modi and Queen Maxima discussed the various initiatives taken in the last few years by the Government of India for enhancing financial inclusion in India, such as Jan Dhan Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana, and Atal Pension Yojana. Queen Maxima appreciated the progress achieved by these initiatives.

The two leaders also discussed global development finance. Queen Maxima appreciated India’s efforts in this direction, through the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) scheme and provision of concessional Lines of Credit for development projects abroad, based on the host government’s requirements and priorities.

Tue, 29 May 2018 08:36:22 +0530
PM leaves to Indonesia M

Following is the text of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi's departure statement prior to his visit to Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.

"I will be visiting Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore on 29 May – 2 June 2018. India has a robust strategic partnership with all the three countries.

On 29 May, I will be in Jakarta on the invitation of Indonesian Presiden Joko Widodo. This is my first visit to Indonesia as Prime Minister. I am looking forward to my discussions with President Widodo on 30 May, as also to our joint interaction with the India-Indonesia CEOs Forum. I will also address the Indian Community in Indonesia.

India and Indonesia enjoy strong and friendly ties and share deep historical and civilizational linkages. Both countries are multi ethnic, multi religious, plural and open societies. I am confident that my visit to Indonesia will create greater synergy between Asia’s two largest democracies and further elevate our bilateral ties.

On 31 May, on my way to Singapore, I will make a brief halt in Malaysia to congratulate the new Malaysian leadership. I look forward to meet Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamad.

In Singapore I will be focusing on enhancing India-Singapore partnership in areas of Fintech, skill development, urban planning and artificial intelligence. Singapore entities have become major partners with India in areas like urban development, planning, smart cities and infrastructure development. My visit in Singapore presents an opportunity for both countries to engage further.

On 31 May, I will visit the India-Singapore enterprise and innovation exhibition. I will also address a business and community event followed by a roundtable meeting with select top CEOs of Singapore to discuss business and investment opportunities.

On 1 June, I will call on Singapore President Halimah Yacob. I will also hold delegation level talks with Singapore Prime Minister Lee, and am looking forward to my visit to the Nanyang Technological University where I would interact with young students.

That evening, I will deliver the keynote address at Shangri-La Dialogue. This will be the first time that an Indian Prime Minister would deliver this address. It would be an opportunity to articulate India’s point of view on regional security issues and maintenance of peace and stability in the region.

On 2 June, I will unveil a plaque at Clifford Pier, where Gandhiji’s ashes were immersed in sea on 27 March 1948. I would also visit some places of worship that have civilizational linkages with India.

The last element of my programme would be a visit to the Changi Naval Base in Singapore where I will visit the Indian Naval Ship INS Satpura and interact with officers and sailors of the Indian Navy and Royal Singapore Navy.

I am confident that my visit to Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore will provide a further boost to our Act East Policy and enhance our relations and engagements with all the three countries."

Tue, 29 May 2018 08:29:58 +0530
Former Chief Justice Nasi

Pakistan appointed former chief justice Nasir Ul Mulk as interim prime minister. Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said that Mulk will be at the helm till the elections to the general assembly are held on July 25.

The ruling Pakistan Muslim League- Nawaz (PML-N) and the opposition Pakistan Peoples Party had locked horns each other about who will be the next PM after the current government and the parliament's term had ended on Thursday.

But Abbasi said that they have selected Nasir unanimously and no point in rumours. "People even in Pakistan will be hesitant to lift a finger against Nasir", Abbasi told reporters along with opposition leader Syed Khurshid Ahmed Shah.

Nasir, who was also the interim chief of the Election Commission of Pakistan,  had been the chief justice for a short stint from July 6 2014 during the period of Nawaz Sharif as Prime Minister.

Mon, 28 May 2018 17:31:43 +0530
Election Commission rejec

The Election Commission of India  rejects news reports surfacing in the media alleging 'large scale' failure of EVMs and VVPATs in the ongoing bye-elections and interruption of poll in the States of Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh are an exaggerated projection of reality.

The Election Commission of India has said that the Commission allocates sufficient reserve of EVMs and VVPATs for every General/Bye election to the Lok Sabha or State Legislative Assembly. It is pertinent to mention that during commissioning of EVMs and VVPATs, apart from EVMs and VVPATs required for deployment at every polling station, adequate number of reserve EVMs and VVPATs (around 20-25%) are prepared to replace any defective machine on poll day at the polling station. These reserve EVMs/VVPATs are kept with Sector Officers, who replace the defective EVMs/VVPATs, if any report on non-functioning of EVM/VVPAT received from any polling station. Since each sector Officer is entrusted with only 10-12 polling stations, the time taken to replace any EVM/VVPAT at a polling station is normally less than 30 minutes. The replacement of defective EVMs/VVPATs during actual polls is a normal process and does not vitiate the integrity or credibility of the poll process in any way whatsoever.

Mon, 28 May 2018 16:37:44 +0530
PM interacts with with Uj

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with Ujjwala beneficiaries across the country, through video conference.

Three Ujjwala beneficiaries were present at each of over 600 centres across the length and breadth of the country, for this interaction.

An estimated 10 lakh people viewed the interaction through various platforms, which included the Narendra Modi App and various television news channels and social media platforms, among others.

Expressing happiness at being able to interact with the beneficiaries, and share their experiences, through technology, the Prime Minister said that the Ujjwala scheme has become a symbol of progress. He added that it is driving remarkable social transformation, which is in turn, influencing the holistic development of the country.

Approximately 4 crore women in rural areas have received LPG connections so far, through the UjjwalaYojana. In all, nearly 10 crore new LPG connections have been issued in the four years since 2014, as compared to 13 crore in the nearly six decade period from 1955 to 2014.

In his initial remarks, the Prime Minister quoted a story written by Munshi Premchand in 1933, to highlight the importance of easing the lives of home-makers. He said Ujjwala has brought about benefits through better health outcomes, freedom from poisonous smoke andcleaner fuel. He said women now have a greater opportunity to earn extra income, as time spent on cooking has been reduced.

The Prime Minister emphasized that the Union Government has been paying attention to ensure that there are no middlemen involved in this scheme, and the beneficiaries are chosen through a transparent process.

He said that 69 percent villages in India now have 100 percent LPG penetration, while 81 percent villages have more than 75 percent LPG penetration.

Interacting with the Prime Minister, beneficiaries explained how the LPG connection had reduced time spent on cooking, and enhanced the quality of life for the entire family.

Mon, 28 May 2018 16:14:57 +0530
Peace was prerequisite fo

The Vice President M. Venkiah Naidu has said that peace was prerequisite for progress and attention could not be paid to developmental activities if there was tension on border.

Addressing scientists, students and staff of the Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine (IIIM) at Jammu today, the Vice President said that there should be zero tolerance on matters of national security and unity. He said India wants good relations with all and said that a neighboring country must give up its policy of supporting, aiding and abetting terror.

The Vice President said that both science and religion are the tools in the hands of the people in their quest for prosperity and internal peace. Scientific advancements illuminate our understanding of the universe, where as the religion provides answers to the unexplored universe, he added.

The Vice President said that the issues of ‘mind and soul’ and the relentless internal unrest and lack of internal peace constitute this vast unexplored universe. It is the religion which provides some answers to these raging issues, he added.

Saying that the process of questioning and seeking solutions lies at the heart of research, the Vice President said that human progress is not possible without the quest for deeper understanding of the world around. Research and innovation make us grow and they transform the world we inhabit, he added.

The Vice President said that posing relevant questions and seeking answers must be a way of life. He said that children and young adults must be encouraged to ask questions and search for answers. Quality of research is an important indicator of the quality of an educational system and said that it also determines the pace of a country's development.

Paying tributes to the first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru on his death anniversary, he said the former Prime Minister felt that integration of science and technology with national planning was necessary to improve the socio-economic conditions of the teeming millions of people of our country.

He also recalled the contribution of Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, who was the first Vice President of CSIR. He said that CSIR has also instituted a special fellowship as a tribute namely, "DR. SHYAMA PRASAD MUKHERJEE (SPM) FELLOWSHIP" to commemorate the birth centenary in 2000, he added.

Mon, 28 May 2018 16:10:43 +0530
Akshay Kumar campaigns fo

Eminent actor Akshay Kumar launched an advertisement campaign for the Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) in the capital. The campaign was launched at a Collectors Convention for Toilet Technology organized in the capital. The campaign focuses on promoting the twin pit toilet technology in rural India, and also features actor, Bhumi Pednekar along with Kumar.

In his welcome address, Parameswaran Iyer, Secretary, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, spoke about the contribution made by Akshay Kumar to the Swachh Bharat Mission. He said that right from his movie, Toilet Ek Prem Katha, which was seen and appreciated by rural and urban people across the country, to his participation in the twin pit toilet advertisement campaign for the Swachh Bharat Mission.

Akshay Kumar interacted with Swachh Bharat Mission officials, district collectors, communication experts and members from the media on the occasion. During his interaction, he spoke about the need for influencers of society to talk freely about toilets, and empty toilet pits around the country to destigmatize cleaning of one’s own toilet by members of the family itself.

The twin pit toilet technology was invented in India and is the most well-suited toilet technology for rural India, and is recommended by Government of India and the World Health Organization. It is scientifically proven that:

1.         A pit in a standard twin-pit toilet model fills up in roughly 5 years for a 6-membered family

2.         The waste may then be easily re-directed to the second pit

3.         In 6 months to 1 year, the waste in the filled pit decomposes completely

4.       This decomposed waste is safe to handle and rich in NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium) nutrients which makes it ideal for use in agriculture

The States are continuously encouraged by the Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) to include awareness generation about the above facts as part of their grassroots information, education and communication (IEC) efforts.

The advertisement campaign launched today is an effort, supported by the World Bank, towards encouraging this technology using mass media. The film can be found on the YouTube channel of the Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) (link: tinyurl.com/sbmgramin). It will be translated in several regional languages, and the Hindi version will start airing on television channels with immediate effect.

Mon, 28 May 2018 13:00:38 +0530
Congress MLA in Karnataka

Former Union Minister and newly elected MLA in Karnataka Siddu Nyamagouda, 70, died in a road accident today morning. Nyamagouda's car crashed with a truck when the MLA was returning to his constituency Jamkhandi from Goa.

He was brought to the hospital immediately but efforts to keep alive his life went in vein. Nyamagouda defeated BJP's Srikanth Kulkarni in the recent election in Karnataka.

Siddu Nyamagouda was a minister in the PV Narasimha Rao government in 1991.

Mon, 28 May 2018 12:45:49 +0530
Crucial by polls in 10 st

Voting begins for the crucial by-polls in four Lok Sabha seats and 10 assembly constituencies as this lies as an acid test for the parties ahead of the most important general election in 2019.

Among the elections happening today, main focus is on Uttar Pradesh's Kairana seat where the opposition parties, the Samajwadi Party, BSP and the Congress are supporting Ajit Singh's Rashtriya Lok Dal candidate. Elections are going on in other parts of the country especially in Palghar and Bhandara-Gondiya parliamentary constituencies in Maharashtra and for the one seat in Nagaland.

BJP leader Hukum Singh's death led to an unavoidable election in Kairana as the BJP has fielded Hukum Singh's daughter Mriganka Singh as the candidate this time while Ajit Singh's RLD has fielded Tabassum Hassan as the candidate.

The opposition parties are hoping for a replication of their earlier victories in Gorakhpur and Phulpur which was previously held by UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and his deputy Keshav Prasad Maurya.  

Mon, 28 May 2018 12:15:24 +0530
PM lauds India s fitness

Below is the full transcript of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Mann Ki Baat' on the last Sunday in the month of May

 

Namaskar. Through ‘Mann Ki Baat’, I once again have been blessed with the opportunity to be face-to-face with you. I am sure you distinctly remember that for the last many months, a naval team comprising six women Commanders was on a voyage. I want to tell you something about the ‘Naavika Saagar Parikrama’. These six illustrious daughters of India circumnavigated the globe for over more than 250 days on board the INSV Tarini, returning home on the 21st of May. The entire country welcomed them with open arms, with high spirits. They traversed a multitude of oceans, many a sea, over a distance of almost twenty two thousand nautical miles. This was a first of its kind event in the entire world. Last Wednesday, I got an opportunity to meet these daughters and listen to their experiences. Once again, I congratulate these daughters and their spirit of adventure for bringing laurels to the country, for raising the glory of the Navy and significantly so, for conveying to the world that India’s daughters are no less. Who does not know of the sense of adventure? If you view the journey of human evolution, you will notice that breakthroughs in progress have taken birth in the womb of some adventure or the other. There is an umbilical link between development and adventure; the resolve to achieve something, the burning desire to do something unparalleled, the sentiment proclaiming “I too can do it”. The number of such people may be miniscule, but they turn out to be sources of inspiration for millions of others, spanning an array of eras. Recently, you must have come across quite a few notable happenings pertaining to mountaineers attempting to scale Mount Everest. For centuries, Everest has been throwing the gauntlet at humankind. And for long, brave hearts have been responding to the challenge.

On the 16th of May, a team comprising five tribal students of an Ashram School in Chandrapur, Maharashtra- Maneesha Dhurve, Pramesh Ale, Umakant Madhavi, Kavidas Katmode and Vikas Soyam- scaled the world’s highest peak. These Ashram School students began training in August, 2017, covering Wardha, Hyderabad, Darjeeling and Leh-Ladakh. These young boys & girls had been selected under ‘Mission Shaurya’. True to its name, they brought glory to the country with their brave deed of conquering the Everest. I congratulate these young friends and members of the school in Chandrapur, from the core of my heart. Just a while ago, 16 year old Shivangi Pathak became the youngest Indian woman to scale Everest from the Nepal side. Heartiest congratulations, Beti Shivangi.

Ajit Bajaj and his daughter became the first ever father-daughter duo to ascend Everest. And it’s not that only the young are climbing Everest. On the 19th of May, Sangeeta Bahal, aged more than 50, scaled the Everest. There are some mountaineers who have shown that apart from possessing skills, they are sensitive too.

A few days ago, under the ‘Clean Ganga Campaign’, a group from the BSF Scaled the Everest and while returning, removed loads of trash littered there and brought it down. This deed is commendable indeed; it also displays their commitment towards cleanliness and the environment. People have been ascending the Everest for years & many have managed to reach the peak successfully. I congratulate these daredevils, especially the daughters from the core of my heart.

My dear countrymen, especially my young friends, just a couple of months ago, when I mentioned ‘Fit India’, I did not think it would draw such a good response; that a large number of people would come forward to support it. When I say ‘Fit India’, I believe that the more we play, the more we will inspire the country to come out & play. People are sharing videos of Fitness Challenge on social media; they are tagging each other to spread the challenge. Everybody is now getting connected with this Fit India Campaign. People from the film fraternity, from the world of Sports, common citizens of the country, members of the armed forces, school teachers or even those toiling in fields and farms, their rising notes are building up a crescendo ‘Hum Fit toh India Fit’… ‘If we are fit, India is fit’. For me, it’s heartwarming that the captain of the Indian Cricket team Virat Kohli ji has included me in his challenge… and I too have accepted his challenge. I believe this is gainful and this kind of a challenge will inspire us to be fit alongwith others, as well.

 My dear countrymen, many a time in ‘Mann Ki Baat’, you must have heard me mention a thing or two about sports & sportspersons. And in the last episode, our heroes of the Commonwealth Games shared with us their ‘Mann Ki Baat’, matters close to their hearts through this programme.

Chhavi Yadav ji, thank you very much for your phone call. It is true that sports & games that were once a part & parcel of every child’s life, in every lane in the neighbourhood, are fading into oblivion. These games used to be a special feature of summer holidays. Sometimes in scorching afternoons; at times after dinner, children used to play with exuberant abandon for hours together, leaving all worries behind. Some games saw the participation of the whole family. Aiming the ball at the crooked column of stone slats- Pitthoo, playing marbles, testing one’s agility in Kho kho, spinning the top, Lattoo, or applying skills in swiftly flicking the tapered- edged wooden peg and hitting it aloft-Gilli-Danda, innumerable games were an inseparable part of each & every child’s life from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, from Kutch to Kamrup. Of course, those games were known by different names, depending on the place. Pitthoo is one such game. Some called it Lagori, at other places it was Satoriya, Saat Pathar, Dikori, Satodiya… one game with many names! Traditional sports and games comprise both varieties… outdoor and indoor as well. The unity, intrinsic to our country’s diversity can be witnessed in these games. A single game is known by distinct names at different places. I am from Gujarat. I known of a game played in Gujarat called Chomal Isto. It is played with cowries or tamarind seeds or dice on an eight by eight square board. It used to be played in almost every state. Known as Chowkabara in Karnataka, Attoo in Madhya Pradesh, Pakidakaali in Kerala, Champal in Maharashtra, Daayaam and Thaayaam in Tamilnadu, Changaa Po in Rajasthan, it had innumerable names. One realizes after playing, despite not knowing the language of a particular state, “Oh! We used to play this game in our state as well!” Who amongst us would not have enjoyed playing Gilli-Danda in our childhood? This is a game that is played across villages and cities. It is also known by different names. In Andhra Pradesh it is called Gotibilla or Karrabilla.In Odisha it’s called Gulibadi and in Maharashtra, Vittidaaloo. Some games are seasonal. There is a season for flying kites. While flying a kite or playing a game, one freely expresses one’s inherent unique qualities. You must have seen many a child, shy by nature, leap up with zest, the moment a game begins. Even children with a seemingly serious countenance start expressing themselves; while playing, the innate child within them comes to the fore. Traditional sports and games are structured in such a manner that along with physical ability, they enhance our logical thinking, concentration, alertness and energy levels. Games are not just games; they teach us values in life, such as, setting targets, building up determination, developing team spirit and fostering mutual co-operation. I recently noticed in a training programme in Business Management, our traditional sports and games being used for improving overall personality development and interpersonal skills. These games are proving to be handy in overall development. And then, there is no prescribed age limit for participating in them. From tiny tots to Grandfather-Grandmother, when we all play these games together then the term ‘Generation Gap’ disappears on its own. At the same time, we also come to know about our culture and traditions. Many games also make us aware about our society, environment and other spheres.

 It is a matter of concern, whether these sports & games will fade away to the point of extinction. It will not just be a loss of a game; it will be the loss of the spirit of childhood, something that will exist only in the verses of poetry.

Ye daulat bhi le lo

Ye shohrat bhi le lo

Bhale chheen lo mujhse meri jawani

Magar mujhko lauta do bachpan ka sawan

Wo kagaz ki kashti, wo baarish ka paani

 

Take away all my riches

Bereave me of all this fame

Snuff out my youth if you so wish

But do return the monsoon that drenched me as a child

The puddles & my paper boats, the magic of my rains.       

And we will be forever reduced to listening to this song, hence we must keep our traditional sports alive.It is crucial that today schools, neighbourhoods and youth congregations should come forward and promote these games. Through crowd sourcing we can create a very large archive of our traditional games. The Videos of these games can be shot, outlining the way to play these games along with the mandatory rules and regulations.Animation films can also be made so that our young generations for whom these games played in our streets are something to marvel about, can see, play for themselves and thus bloom.

My dear countrymen, on the 5th of June, our nation, India will officially host the World Environment Day Celebrations. This is a very important achievement for India and it is also an acknowledgement as well as recognition of India's growing leadership in the direction of tackling climate change.

This time the theme is 'Beat Plastic Pollution'. I appeal to all of you, that while trying to understand the importance of this theme, we should all ensure that we do not use low grade polythene and low grade plastics and try to curb the negative impact of plastic pollution on our environment, on our wild life and our health. Let us all visit the World Environment Day website ‘wed-india 2018’ and try to imbibe and inculcate the many interesting suggestions given there into our everyday life.

Whenever we face a torrid summer, or floods, incessant rains or unbearable cold, everybody becomes an expert, analyzing global warming and climate change. But does empty talk bring about any solutions? Being sensitive towards nature, protecting nature, should come naturally to us; these virtues should be embedded in our sanskar.

In the past few weeks, we all witnessed that there were dust storms in the different regions of the country, along with heavy winds and unseasonal heavy rains. There was also loss of life and property. These calamities are basically the result of the change in weather patterns. Our culture, our traditions have never taught us to be at loggerheads with nature.

We have to live in harmony and in synchronicity with nature, we have to stay in touch with nature. Mahatma Gandhi had advocated this wisdom at every step of his life. Today when India speaks of climate justice or plays a major role in the Cop21 and Paris agreements or when we unite the whole world through the medium of International Solar Alliance, they all are rooted in fulfilling that very dream of Mahatma Gandhi.

On this environment day, let all of us give it a good thought as to what can we do to make our planet cleaner and greener? How can we progress in this direction? What innovative things can we do? The rainy season is fast approaching; we can set a target of achieving record plantation of trees this time and not only plant trees but also nurture and maintain the saplings till they grow.

My dear countrymen and especially my young friends, you do remember the 21stof June now;not only you and I, June 21stremains a part of the entire world’s collective consciousness. The 21stof June has been mandated and is celebrated as the International Yoga Day in the entire world and people start preparing for it months in advance. The news being received these days is that there are preparations afoot in the whole world to celebrate 21st June as International Yoga Day.

Yoga for unity and a harmonious society conveys a message that has permeated the world over. Centuries ago, the great Sanskrit Poet Bhartahari had written in his ‘Shataktrayam’.

धैर्यंयस्यपिताक्षमाचजननीशान्तिश्चिरंगेहिनी
सत्यंसूनुरयंदयाचभगिनीभ्रातामनःसंयमः।
शय्याभूमितलंदिशोSपिवसनंज्ञानामृतंभोजनं
एतेयस्यकुटिम्बिनःवदसखेकस्माद्भयंयोगिनः।।

[A man whose father is patience, mother is forgiveness and peace as consort, Truth as his friend, compassion as his sister and restraint for brother as family members and whose bed is the great earth, is clothed by the great sky and whose food is only knowledge. Is indeed a Yogi who won't know any fear.]

This observation expressed centuries ago, straightaway implies that practicing yogic exercises on a regular basis leads to imbibing benefic attributes which stand by our side like relatives and friends. The practice of yoga leads to building up of courage, which always protects us like a father. The practice of yoga leads to germination of a sense of forgiveness in the same manner as a mother has for her children and mental peace becomes our permanent friend. Bhartahari has said that with regular yogic exercise, truth becomes our child, mercy becomes our sister, self restraint our brother, earth turns in to our bed and knowledge satiates our hunger. When so many attributes become one's partner, then that yogi conquers all forms of fear. Once again, I appeal to all the citizens to adopt their legacy of yoga and create a healthy, happy and harmonious nation.

My dear countrymen, today is the 27thof May, the death anniversary of the first Prime Minister of India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru ji. I render my pranam to Pandit ji. Memories of this month are also linked with Veer Savarkar. This was the very month, the month of May 1857, when Indians had displayed their strength against the British. In many parts of the country, our youth and farmers demonstrated their bravery whilst standing up against the injustice. It is indeed sad that we kept on calling the events of 1857 only as a rebellion or a soldiers’ mutiny for a very long time.

In fact, May 1857 was not only evaluated as a minor historical incident but was also an attempt to dent our self-respect. It was Veer Savarkar who boldly expostulated by writing that whatever happened in 1857 was not a revolt but was indeed the First War of Independence. Savarkaralong with his band of brave hearts celebrated the 50thanniversary of the First War of Independence with great fanfare at India house in London. It is also an amazing coincidence that the month which witnessed the First Struggle for Independence was the month in which Veer Savarkar ji was born. Savarkar ji’s personality was full of special qualities; he was a worshipper of both weapons or shashtra and Knowledge or shaashtras.

Generally Veer Savarkar is renowned for his bravery and his struggle against the British Raj. But besides these sterling qualities, he was also a striking poet and a social reformer who always emphasized on goodwill and unity. A wonderful account about Savarkarji has been given by our dear honorable Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ji. Atal ji had said - Savarkar means brilliance, Savarkar means sacrifice, Savarkar means penance, Savarkar means substance, Savarkar means logic, Savarkar means youth, Savarkar means an arrow, and Savarkar means a Sword! Behold! What an accurate depiction of Savarkar by Atal ji! Savarkar marched alongwith both poetry and revolution. Besides being a sensitive poet, he was also a courageous revolutionary.

My dear brothers and sisters, I was watching a story on TV about our underprivileged daughters of certain slums in Sikar, Rajasthan. Our daughters, who were forced to sift through garbage and beg from home to home in order to earn a living - today they are learning sewing and stitching clothes to cover the impoverished. This is an example where the daughters are stitching ordinary to good quality clothes for themselves and other families. Along with this, they are undergoing a training course in skill development.

These daughters have become self-reliant today and are living their lives with respect and have become a strong support to their families. I wish all these daughters, brimming with hope and trust, a very bright future. They have demonstrated that if you have the desire to do something and if you are determined towards that goal then success can be achieved despite all odds! And this is not only about Sikar, but in every corner of India, you will witness something akin to this. If you observe in your neighbourhood, then you will witness for yourselves how people overcome the difficulties in their lives!

You must have realized that whenever we go to a tea shop, and enjoy tea there, a discussion with some of the customers automatically ensues. These discussions are also political and social in nature, can be about movies, sports and sportspersons or can focus even on the problems of the country – any problem with probable solutions are discussed at length – but often the problems and their solutions  remain limited to such animated discussions only.

But there are some people who go ahead with their work, to bring about a change through their hard work and dedication; they make it a reality. Such is the story of D. Prakash Rao, living in the slums of Cuttack, Orissa, who gave up everything of his in order to adopt and realize the dreams of others!Just yesterday I’ve had the good fortune of meeting D. Prakash Rao.

Shriman D. Prakash Rao has been a tea vendor in the city of Cuttack forthe past five decades. A meagre tea vendor; today you will be surprised to know that the lives of more than 70 children are being illuminated through education due to his efforts. He has opened a school named 'Asha Ashvaasan', spending 50% of his incomefor children living in slums and hutments. He ensures education, health and meals for all the children coming to this school. I congratulate D. Prakash Rao for his hard work, his persistence and for providing a new direction to the lives of those poor children attending his school. He has banished the darkness from their lives.Who amongst us does not know the Vedic shloka 'Tamso Ma Jyotirgamaya'! However, it has been put intopractice by D. Prakash Rao. His life is an inspiration to us, our society and the whole country. Your surroundings too must be full of such inspiring happenings. There must be innumerable incidents. Come, let us take positivity forward.

The month of June is so hot that people anxiously wait for the rains, gazing towards the sky for the clouds to appear. People will wait for the moon in a few days from now onwards.Witnessing the moon means that the festival of Eid can be celebrated. After an entire month of fasting during Ramzan, the festival of Eid is a harbinger of celebrations.

I hope and believe that everyone will celebrate Eid with gaiety and fervor and on this occasion children will specially get a grand ‘Eidi’. I hope that the festival of Eid will further strengthen the bonds of harmony in our society. Heartiest felicitations to all of you. My dear countrymen, many thanks to you all. We shall meet once again in another episode of ‘Mann Ki Baat’ next month.

Namaskar

 

Mon, 28 May 2018 11:44:27 +0530
Modi inaugurates Eastern

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated to the nation, two newly built expressways in the Delhi NCR Region. The first of these is the 14 lane, access controlled, Phase-I of the Delhi-Meerut Expressway, stretching from Nizamuddin Bridge to Delhi UP Border. The second project to be dedicated to the nation is the 135 km long Eastern Peripheral Expressway (EPE), stretching from Kundli on NH 1 to Palwal on NH 2.

The Delhi Meerut Expressway, once completed, will significantly reduce travel times from the National Capital to Meerut, and to several other parts of Western Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

After the inauguration of the Delhi Meerut Expressway, the Prime Minister was greeted by people along the newly constructed road, as he travelled in an open jeep for a few kilometres, inspecting the highway.

The Eastern Peripheral Expressway (EPE), will contribute towards the twin objectives of decongesting and de-polluting the national capital by diverting traffic not destined for Delhi.

Addressing  a public meeting in Baghpat on the occasion, the Prime Minister expressed confidence that the entire stretch of the Delhi Meerut Expressway would be completed soon. He said the Eastern Peripheral Expressway would help decongest traffic in Delhi. He said modern infrastructure has an important role to play in raising the standard of living of the people. He outlined the steps being taken in building infrastructure, including roads, railways, waterways etc. He gave examples of the increase in pace of infrastructure development.

In the field of women empowerment, the Prime Minister explained how toilets built under Swachh Bharat Mission, and LPG connections under Ujjwala Yojana are making the lives of women easier. He said that out of 13 crore loans given under Mudra Yojana, more than 75 percent have been given to women entrepreneurs.

The Prime Minister also mentioned the steps taken for Scheduled Castes and Other Backward Castes.

The Prime Minister said that in this year's Union Budget, a provision of 14 lakh crore rupees has been made to strengthen rural and agricultural infrastructure.

Mon, 28 May 2018 11:22:15 +0530
Vice President stresses t

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that it is not possible to ensure the quality of life without electricity. He was addressing the gathering after inaugurating the new building of UP Electricity Regulatory Commission, in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.

The Vice President complemented the authorities for constructing an energy efficient building and called it a model for other government and commercial buildings that are moving in the direction of energy conservation and energy saving. Our economy and lifestyle are dependent of electricity, he added.

The Vice President said that people must make efficient and effective use of electricity as it is not renewable. He also called on people to explore the possibility of new and renewable energy sources. If electricity is to be given to every household, then it will have to be made so cheap that neither the consumer will be burdened, he added. 

The Vice President called for a relook into the way electricity has been viewed. He further said that it is time that one also considers regulating the demand for electricity apart from focusing on energy supply like production and distribution.

The Vice President said that source of energy-resources are limited and we should bring basic improvements in our lifestyle and make the environment energy efficient. Commission can play an important role in determining the criteria for efficiency in the power sector and Demand Side Management (DSM), he added.

Sun, 27 May 2018 06:11:11 +0530
Vice President calls for

The Vice President M. Venkiah Naidu has said that connecting common man with the developmental journey of the country is crucial to build a strong nation. He was addressing the gathering after releasing the book titled "Ankaha Lucknow' authored by Lalji Tandon, in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.

The Vice President said that Tandon has dedicated his life to Lucknow and made valuable contributions in the in developing the city in terms of economy, literarcy, cultural aspects.  He also appreciated him for continuing former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpay's literary legacy.

The Vice President termed the book Ankaha Lucknow as a great example of folk history writingHe urged citizens of Lucknow to revive their tradition and put in collaborative efforts in enhancing the legacy of the great city. 

The Vice President said that everyone must be aware of the great traditions, glorious heritage and priceless heritage of the country so that the country can move forward on the path of desirable progress.

The Vice President said that taking development to the poorest of the poor is crucial to realise the Antyodaya dream of Deendayal Upadhyay ji.

Sun, 27 May 2018 06:11:11 +0530
Abu Dhabi celebrates unlo

A delegation from the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) attended, a special event at the Karnataka oil storage facility, in the Indian city of Mangalore, to celebrate the unloading of the first cargo of ADNOC crude oil sent to the Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Ltd (ISPRL).

The cargo, which was loaded in Abu Dhabi at an event witnessed by Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and ADNOC Group CEO, and Dharmendra Pradhan, Indian Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, arrived in Mangalore following a short, 6-day voyage.

Abdulla Salem Al Dhaheri, ADNOC’s Director of Marketing, Sales and Trading, said, "Our teams, from ADNOC and ISPRL, have worked tirelessly to ensure the successful implementation of this important strategic project. ADNOC is already a trusted and reliable supplier of crude oil and refined products to many customers and partners in India, and we are proud to deepen this longstanding relationship through another important and strategic collaboration."

The agreement between ADNOC and ISPRL, which was initiated in January 2017 during a visit to India by a high-ranking UAE delegation, led by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, covers the storage of 5.86 million barrels of ADNOC crude oil in underground facilities, at the Karnataka facility. Today’s first shipment, of approximately 2 million barrels of crude oil, will be followed by further shipments after India’s annual monsoon season.

HPS Ahuja, CEO and Managing Director of ISPRL, said, "Today's unloading of ADNOC crude oil marks another important milestone for ISPRL, as we deliver on our mandate of establishing strategic crude oil storage facilities that enhance India’s energy security and serve as a cushion during any external supply disruptions. Our agreement with ADNOC builds on the rich history between our nations and opens new opportunities for further partnership and engagement between the UAE and India, one of the world’s fastest-growing economies."

ISPRL has built and will operate three crude oil storage facilities, constructed in underground rock caverns located on the East and West coasts of India. Crude oil from these caverns can be supplied to Indian Refineries, either through pipelines, or through a combination of pipelines and ships. While part of the stored oil can be used for commercial purposes by ADNOC, the major part will be reserved for strategic purposes.

Indian energy demand is forecast, by the International Energy Agency (IEA), to grow by more than any other country in the period to 2040, propelled by an economy that will grow to more than five-times its current size and by population growth that will make it the world’s most populous country. Indian energy consumption is expected to more than double by 2040, accounting for 25 percent of the rise in global energy, and the largest absolute growth in oil consumption.

India is 82-percent dependent on imports to meet its crude oil needs, eight percent of which is supplied by the UAE. In addition to helping to ensure energy security, the oil storage facilities enable ADNOC to efficiently and competitively meet market demand across Asia.

Sat, 26 May 2018 14:10:59 +0530
CBSE announces class 12 r

The CBSE declared the much-anticipated class 12 results as Meghana Srivastava from Noida emerged as the topper with 499 out of 500 marks. Results are available in the websites cbseresults.nic.in and cbse.nic.in.

The first three positions were separated with one mark each as the second topper also comes from Uttar Pradesh with Anoushka Chandra scoring 498 and while Chahat Bodhraj sits in third position with 497 marks.

The total pass percentage is 83.01 where as the top three regions are Trivandrum with 97.32 per cent, Chennai with 93.87 per cent and Delhi with 89.

Sat, 26 May 2018 13:44:18 +0530
Vice President urges Ind

Vice President M.Venkaiah Naidu urged the Indian diplomats to ensure ‘effective diplomacy’ in the context of multipolar and fast changing order of international relations to protect national interests. He spoke for about half an hour on ‘’India and the World” when a group of 41 officers of Indian Foreign Service (IFS)  of 2017 batch called on him at his residence.

Naidu urged the young diplomats who are going to take up assignments in different countries after training “ To be alert and quick on the grasp to properly calibrate India’s position in the multipolar and ever changing world affairs and effectively leverage India’s core civilizational values and ethos and modern strengths of democracy, economic and other capabilities for collective good. Pro-active and effective diplomacy for advancing national interests in the challenging global environment is the need of the hour”.

Responding to queries from the young diplomats, Naidu acknowledged that for too long, the capacities of and opportunities offered by  India have not been properly articulated in the leading and other centres of the world. He said that over the last four years, concerted efforts were being made to address the perception deficit and present India in right perspective across the world, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself leading the charge. He said “Prime Minister is the number one Ambassador of India and you should supplement his efforts by amplifying his vision in different parts of the world”.

Referring to the growing global interest in India, Naidu said “Whatever happens in India these days attracts global interest as we seek to speak for our strengths, our aspirations and the role we can play in furtherance of peace and prosperity for all. You need not be on the defensive. Secularism and peace are in the DNA of our nation. We stand by the principle of One Nation, One Country and One People. Hold your head high and speak for the New India in the making. Project India’s role in today’s world, commensurate with her economic power and it’s ambitions and aspirations within and outside the country”.

Sat, 26 May 2018 09:34:51 +0530
Modi visits Santiniketan

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi, today visited Santiniketan in West Bengal. Prime Minister Modi received the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina, at Santiniketan. Paying homage to Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, the two leaders signed the visitors’ book. The two leaders then attended the Convocation of the Visva Bharati University. 

Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister described India’s democratic system of governance as a great teacher, which inspires over 125 crore people. He said it was his good fortune to be among the learned people on this sacred land of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore.

He congratulated the students who received degrees today. He said that all those who studied at this University have not just received a degree, but have also become inheritors of a great legacy.

The Prime Minister said that the teachings of the Vedas, which describe the entire world as one nest, or one home, are reflected in the values of Visva Bharati University.

Welcoming the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina, he said that India and Bangladesh are two nations, whose interests are linked to mutual cooperation and coordination among each other.

The Prime Minister said that Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore is respected widely across the world. He recalled that he had the opportunity to unveil a statue of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore in Tajikistan three years ago. He said Tagore is a subject of study in Universities across the world even today. He described Gurudev as a global citizen. 

The Prime Minister said that Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore always wanted Indian students to keep abreast of developments across the world, even as they kept their Indianness intact. He appreciated Visva Bharati University for its efforts at skill development and education in nearby villages. He encouraged the University to expand this effort to 100 villages by its centenary year in 2021. He also called upon the University to work towards overall development of these 100 villages.

The Prime Minister said that institutions such as Visva Bharati University have a key role to play in the creation of a New India by 2022. He outlined initiatives taken by the Union Government in the education sector. 

Speaking on the occasion of the inauguration of Bangladesh Bhavan, the Prime Minister described it as a symbol of the cultural ties between India and Bangladesh. 

He said that this University and this sacred land have a history that has seen the freedom struggles of both India and Bangladesh. He added that it is a symbol of the shared heritage of the two countries. 

He said that Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rehman is respected equally in both India and Bangladesh. Similarly, he added that Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, Swami Vivekananda and Mahatma Gandhi are respected in Bangladesh as much as in India. 

In the same vein, he said that Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore belongs to Bangladesh, as much as to India. 
The Prime Minister said that Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore's credo of Universal Humanism is reflected in the Union Government's guiding principle of "Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas." He said that the shared resolve of India and Bangladesh, against cruelty and terrorism, will continue to inspire future generations through the Bangladesh Bhavan. He recalled the felicitation of Indian soldiers by Bangladesh in New Delhi last year. 

The Prime Minister said that the last few years have marked a golden period in relations between the two countries. He mentioned the resolution of the land boundary issue, and various connectivity projects. 

He asserted that the two countries have similar goals, and are taking similar paths to achieve those goals. 

Fri, 25 May 2018 17:26:51 +0530
Social service cements bo

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that social service promotes integration and helps in cementing bonds between people. He was addressing the gathering after releasing the commemorative postage stamp on the International Association of Lions Clubs. He stressed on the need to promote sanitation and Skills development among the youth.

Complementing the International Association of Lions Clubs providing succor to the poor and needy across the world, the Vice President said that the values of humanism, charity, philanthropy, compassion for fellow human beings and all living creatures are more relevant today than at any other time. 

The Vice President said that every individual must be alive to the needs of the society and the community he is living in and try to extend a helping hand. Nothing gives greater satisfaction and joy than extending a helping hand to those in distress, he added.

The Vice President called on oganisations to supplement the efforts of the governments in eliminating poverty, illiteracy and other social evils like dowry system, gender discrimination and atrocities against women and weaker sections. He further said that nothing gives greater satisfaction and joy than extending a helping hand to those in distress.  Let us become God’s instrument and distribute fortune to the poor and needy he added, quoting the Rig Veda.

The Vice President highlighted the need to promote character education, drug awareness and service learning in a caring, safe, participatory environment to allow students to develop 21st Century life skills and complemented Lions Quest initiative of the club for doing the same.

Fri, 25 May 2018 17:14:39 +0530
Kumaraswamy wins trust vo

Chief minister  HD Kumaraswamy has proved his majority in the Karnataka assembly soon after the BJP boycotted the floor test and walked out of the assembly. 117 MLAs including 77 from Congress, 37 from Janata Dal(S), one from BJP and one independent MLA voted in favour of him.

The BJP has decided to boycott the trust vote in Karnataka and they made a walkout soon after the speech of former chief minister BS Yeddyurappa. Yeddyurappa while walking out said that "let's see how long you last".

Earlier Congress' KR Ramesh Kumar was unanimously elected as the speaker after his opponent S Suresh Kumar from BJP withdrew his nomination.

Former CM Yeddyurappa said that they will conduct a state level strike on 28 May if the government fails to waive off the farmer loans.

Fri, 25 May 2018 16:53:20 +0530
BJP boycotts trust vote i

The BJP has decided to boycott the trust vote in Karnataka and they made a walkout soon after the speech of former chief minister BS Yeddyurappa. Yeddyurappa while walking out said that "let's see how long you last".

Meanwhile the state assembly and the newly formed Congress-Janatha Dal (S) government is all set to face the floor test as they believe that they could easily overcome the test with the help of 117 MLAs. Congress has 78 MLAs, JD(S) has 37, BSP 1 and one independent jointly form the alliance.

Earlier Congress' KR Ramesh Kumar was unanimously elected as the speaker after his opponent S Suresh Kumar from BJP withdrew his nomination.

Fri, 25 May 2018 16:14:06 +0530
Nipah scare Central team

Following directions of the Union Health Minister J P Nadda, a multi-disciplinary Central team from National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) is presently in Kerala constantly reviewing the situation of the Nipah Virus Disease.

The Expert Central Technical team held meetings with the State Health Minister and Doctors of Government as well as Private Hospitals.  Clinical picture, management and treatment given to the patients were discussed in detail along with contact tracing strategy.  A part of the team led by Dr.S.K.singh, Director, NCDC visited Malappuram district where they addressed the doctors from Government and Private Hospitals on the Nipah virus disease. The team along with the State Health Minister also interacted with the general public to create awareness and allay any fears in their mind about the disease. 

The deceased patients from Malappuram had visited the Government Medical College, Kozhikode at the time of admission of the Index cases and had interaction with the index case.  The team also devised draft guidelines, case definitions, advisory for healthcare workers, information to the general public, advisories for sample collection and transportation and a brief on Nipah virus disease.  A draft reporting format was prepared and shared with experts for cases, suspects and contacts.

Another part of the Central Expert Team led by Dr.P.Ravindran, Director(Emergency Medical Relief) visited the Government Medical College, Kozhikode and reviewed the treatment procedure, infection control practises, use and availability of personal protective equipment  (PPE) and availability of drugs, particularly in the designated wards.  An action plan was also developed for the healthcare staff and simulation exercise was planned.

Today, the team held meetings with the District Collector, Kozhikode and discussed streamlining the reporting mechanism and strengthening inter-sectoral coordination. It was decided to provide separate ambulances for transportation of the suspects to designated isolation facilities.  The interim guidelines, case definitions, advisories to healthcare workers and information to the general public were shared. Advisories were issued for sample collection and transportation also. The team also visited the Govt. Medical College, Kozhikode and reviewed the treatment procedure, infection control practises and availability of personal protective equipment (PPE) and drugs in the designated wards.  Simulation exercise for healthcare staff was undertaken as per the Action Plan developed.

The details of cases and deaths as on date are as under:

Total number of confirmed cases: 13

Total number of suspected cases: 16 (15 are admitted in Govt. Medical College, Kozhikode and 1 is admitted in Manjeri Medical College in Malappuram District.   Lab results of these admissions are awaited)

Total number of deaths: 11 (8 from Kozhikode District and 3 from Malappuram District)

Thu, 24 May 2018 16:01:41 +0530
PM meets women officers o

Six women officers of the Indian Navy, who successfully circumnavigated the globe on the sailing vessel, INSV Tarini, called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The expedition, known as the Navika Sagar Parikrama, was the first-ever Indian circumnavigation of the globe by an all-women crew.

During the interaction, the crew made a presentation on various aspects of the mission, their preparation, training, and experiences during the journey.

The Prime Minister congratulated the crew on the success of their mission. He encouraged them to share and write about their unique experiences during the journey. Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Sunil Lanba, was present on the occasion.

The vessel was skippered by Lt. Commander Vartika Joshi, and the crew also comprised Lt. Commanders Pratibha Jamwal, P Swathi, and Lieutenants S Vijaya Devi, B Aishwarya and Payal Gupta. 

Thu, 24 May 2018 15:37:27 +0530
secularism social commu

Union Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi today said that "secularism, social-communal harmony and tolerance" is in the DNA of India and compared to the entire world, constitutional, social, cultural and religious rights of minorities are more safe and secure in India.

During a meeting with a delegation of “Diocese of Delhi- Church of North India”  Naqvi said that the Central Government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is working with commitment to “Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas” and “Development with Dignity” with complete honesty and without any discrimination.

 He said that the Government has broken every barrier including caste, religion, region and it is moving forward towards “inclusive growth” to ensure that not a single Indian is deprived of the light of development. He added that the government is committed to protect all constitutional institutions, democratic values and religious rights of all sections. Naqvi called for caution against those forces who want to disturb the atmosphere of trust and development due to their “prejudiced mindset and vested interests”. He said, that social-communal harmony is our culture and tolerance is our commitment and we all have to work together to protect and strengthen this culture and commitment.

Minister said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is working for all religions and castes without any discrimination. The  Government's “Jan Dhan Yojana”, "Skill India", "Start Up India", "Stand Up India", "Mudra Yojana”, "Ujjwala Yojana" have benefited a large number of poor, weaker sections, minorities and women. The Minister said that the work done for the socio-economic-educational empowerment of minorities in the last 48 months had not been done even in 48 years. Programmes such as "Garib Nawaz Kaushal Vikas Yojana", "Hunar Haat", "Nai Manzil”, “Seekho aur Kamao”, "Begum Hazrat Mahal Girls Scholarship", "Nai Udaan”, “Naya Savera” etc have proved to be the milestone for the empowerment of minorities.

The Minister said that he regularly meets with various delegations of Minority communities to take a stock of ground reality to ensure that schemes aimed at their socio-economic-educational empowerment are implemented effectively.

Thu, 24 May 2018 15:31:44 +0530
Education must aim at hol

Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that education must aim at holistic development of an individual by imbuing the right qualities of head and heart. He was addressing the gathering after inaugurating the Academic & Seminar Complex and laying the foundation stone for Students and Research Scholars’ Hostel at Mizoram University, in Aizawl, Mizoram.

The Vice President said that better infrastructure creates better conditions for quality learning to take place. He further said that it is a necessary catalyst for improving the quality in any educational institution. This campus with its infrastructure and lively environment will be a congenial place for youngsters to pursue academic ambitions and realize their dreams, he added.

The Vice President said that education must prepare the students of today to take on the challenges of tomorrow. It must not only equip them with the latest knowledge but also impart the required skill sets to enable them to be successful in their chosen fields, he added.

The Vice President advised the students also to consider becoming entrepreneurs, job givers and not merely job seekers. He further said that they have a number of alternative career paths and choose the one that they feel passionate about and work to build up their skill set accordingly. Education is for enhancement of our competence, for empowerment, for enlightenment and for employment and enhancing our employability, he added.

Thu, 24 May 2018 15:24:36 +0530
Thoothukudi protest Stal

Dramatic scenes emerged in Tamil Nadu secretariat as DMK working President MK Stalin who was protesting outside secretariat was detained and taken away. Eleven people, who are protesting against the Vedanta -owned Sterlite copper plant in Tamil Nadu's coastal district of Thoothukudi, have died and many others injured in the police firing over the last few days.

Stalin who came along with party members as part of his support to the protest against copper plant was denied permission to meet chief minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami. The police detained him when Stalin decided to make a protest outside secretariat.

Many people including environmentalists and residents allege that the new company will contaminate water resources in the locality.

Thu, 24 May 2018 13:30:51 +0530
Kumaraswamy Days of big

Janata Dal (S) leaders HD Kumaraswamy says that it will be a huge challenge to lead the Congress - JD(S) alliance government just hours prior to him becoming the chief minister of Karnataka. This is for the first time that Kumaraswamy opens up about the challenges lie infront of him.

"This is big challenge in my life. I don't have the hope that I can easily deliver the responsibilities as the chief minister", he said.

Kumaraswamy said that he wish everything will happen positively with the help of god.

Wed, 23 May 2018 09:17:10 +0530
Congress JD S govt to

The Congress and the Janata Dal Secular government in Karnataka will assume power today after a week of political uncertainties and many discussions. JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy will take oath as the chief minister and the Congress leader and PCC President G Parameshwara will take oath as the deputy CM before the governor Vajubhai Vala on 4.30 pm today.

Congress gets the lion's share of ministries as there are 22 ministers would go to the Congress and 12, including the post of the chief minister, will be with the JD(S), out of the state's 34 ministries. The ministers will take the oath later.

Senior Congress leader KR Ramesh Kumar named as the speaker candidate for Congress while the JD)S)' deputy speaker candidate is yet to be named.

Opposition leaders will take this swearing-in ceremony as an opportunity to show their strength and to send a strong message to Modi-Shah team as leaders from the anti-BJP parties such as Congress president Rahul Gandhi, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, BSP President Mayawati, Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu, former CM of UP and SP leader Akhilesh Yadav, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, RLD founder Ajit Singh, actor and the leader of Makkal Needhi Maiam Kamal Haasan will be attending the function.

Wed, 23 May 2018 09:07:07 +0530
BrahMos successfully test

BrahMos, supersonic cruise missile was successfully test fired from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) in Balasore, Odisha as part of service life extension programme. The life extension test firing of BrahMos was conducted from a Static Inclined Launcher, proving the efficacy and longevity of the system which was witnessed by the Scientist from Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and BrahMos.

The precision strike missile flew in its designated trajectory and the key components functioned perfectly.

BrahMos is a joint venture between DRDO of India and NPOM of Russia, the highly versatile BrahMos has emerged as the ultimate weapon of choice in modern warfare with its unmatched speed, precision and firepower.

Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman congratulated team DRDO and BrahMos for the successful test firing and said that it would result in huge saving of replacement cost of missiles held in the inventory of Indian Armed Forces.

Chairman DRDO & Secretary Department of Defence R&D Dr S Christopher, congratulated team DRDO and BrahMos scientists on the successful validation of life extension test firing of BrahMos Missile. DG (BrahMos) & CEO & MD, BrahMos Dr Sudhir Mishra congratulated the team BrahMos for the successful flight test and said this launch will benefit the Armed Forces to maintain inventory for economical and longer duration.

Tue, 22 May 2018 09:38:10 +0530
Mumbai CSMT completes 130

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (earlier Victoria Terminus) has completed 130 years of its construction on 20th May 2018. The present day Headquarters building of Central Railway popularly known as Victoria Terminus (now Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus) is an architectural marvel. This magnificent monument was originally planned as the office of GIP (Great Indian Peninsular) Railway. This is the most photographed building after Taj Mahal, and was designed by Frederick William Stevens, a consulting architect. Thus taking almost a decade to built it at a princely sum of Rs. 16,13,863/- Stevens designed the monumental Terminus which was the largest building then erected in Asia and which even today is a standing testimony of his innovative talent.

The construction started in 1878 and on jubilee Day in 1887, it was named after Queen Empress Victoria. Later in 1996, it was renamed as Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus. It was again renamed as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus in July 2017. In 2004, UNESCO has enlisted this building as World Heritage Site for its architectural splendour. From December 2012, this heritage building has been opened for public viewing on working days.

Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (earlier Victoria Terminus) was constructed at a cost of Rs.16.14 lakh and is designed in Gothic style adapted to suit Indian context. It is a C shaped building planned symmetrically about the east west axis. The crowning point of the whole building is the central main dome carrying up a colossal 16’-6’’ high figure of lady pointing a flaming torch upwards in her right hand, and a spoked wheel low in the left hand, symbolizing `Progress’. This dome has been reported to be the first octagonal ribbed masonry dome that was adapted to an Italian Gothic style building.

The station was constructed with 6 platforms at a cost of Rs.10.4 lakh and in 1929, the first remodeling took place to have 13 platforms. Further modifications were done to the yard and the station had two more platforms thus making it a total of 15 platforms in 1994. Today it has 18 platforms with a spacious east side entry as well. In April 2018, a heritage gully was inaugurated adjacent to platform no.18, wherein Sir. Leslie Wilson, the GIP Heritage Electric Loco, and other heritage items are displayed.

During Centenary celebrations of Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Building, a postal stamp was released. In 2013, when the building celebrated quasi-centennial (125 years) anniversary, a special postal cover was released on the occasion.

Tue, 22 May 2018 09:34:14 +0530
Vice President urges all

The Vice President of India M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that we must not neglect classical Indian art forms. He was addressing the gathering after inaugurating the revival ceremony of ancient Dance Drama “Ashtapadiyattam” which is “Gita Govindam” written by 12th century poet Jayadeva, in Guruvayur, Kerala.

The Vice President said that while the country has preserved and nurtured our illustrious artistic heritage, unfortunately, certain classical Indian art forms remain in a state of neglect and slowly fading. We must not allow this unfortunate situation to persist and our cultural roots sustain us, make our lives richer and make our society more humane and civilized, he added.

The Vice President said that reviving “Ashtapadiyattam” is like unearthing the buried treasure and it is like watering a plant that is fast losing its vitality. He hoped that this dance drama is revived in all its pristine glory, as Jayadeva would have wanted it, giving full justice to the costumes, the music and the mudras as used in the original performance, he added.

Calling Gita Govindam a remarkable piece of literature, the Vice President complemented Sri Guruvayurappan Dharmakala Samuchayam Trust headed by Metro Man E. Sreedharan.

Tue, 22 May 2018 09:25:25 +0530
Opposition aims for a uni

Janata Dal (S) leader HD Kumaraswamy met Congress president Rahul Gandhi and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and both parties decided to stay together keeping in mind the need of an opposition unity in the upcoming 2019 elections.

The leaders met together in Rahul Gandhi's residence in Delhi for the first time since the political dramas are over in Karnataka. Congress General Secretary KC Venugopal who is also the in-charge of Karnataka also attended the meeting.

Kumaraswamy later said that he arrived in Delhi to show his respect and courtesy to the Gandhi family. He added that he invited both to the swearing-in ceremony.

The opposition leaders aim to rally a strong opposition unity against Narendra Modi and Amit Shah through this oath taking ceremony. CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury, Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan and many other opposition leaders will be attending the function.

Tue, 22 May 2018 09:20:57 +0530
India Russia cement ties

India and Russia have decided to enhance their economic relations after the informal talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Modi, prior to his departure to Russia, had tweeted that this meet will enable to strengthen the diplomatic relations between India and Russia.

Both leaders discussed a wide range of issues including co-operation in nuclear sector, US withdrawal from Iran deal, terrorism and many more.

Modi's informal summit with Putin comes less than a month after he met Chinese President Xi Jinping in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

Tue, 22 May 2018 09:05:13 +0530
Israel arrests 11 Palesti

Israeli occupation troops early Monday arrested 11 Palestinians in various West Bank cities, according to the Palestinian Prisoners Society, PPS.

In a statement, the PPS said that Israeli soldiers stormed the cities of Jenin, Bethlehem, Hebron, Tulkarem and Qalqilya and arrested the 11 citizens.

Mon, 21 May 2018 16:51:07 +0530
Dubai to host World Green

The annual World Green Economy Summit, WGES 2018, will be organised in Dubai to tackle global issues and important strategies, including the digital age and its impact on building a ‘green’ and sustainable future growth across industries. This was announced today by the organising committee of the fifth WGES 2018.

WGES is set to take place from 24th to 25th October under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai. The summit is organised by Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, DEWA, and the World Green Economy Organisation, WGEO, in collaboration with international partners under the theme ‘Driving Innovation, Leading Change’.

The event will focus on three main pillars, green capital, digital transformation, and leadership and social engagement. The event will gather financial executives, investment professionals, and thought leaders to discuss ways to increase green capital flows into regional and global environment-friendly projects and how to de-risk those investments.

It will also focus on developing the digital economy and integrating it with the green economy. The summit will discuss the latest smart technologies and digital breakthroughs that promise to accelerate green growth and sustainable development.

On leadership and social engagement, the event will examine the ongoing shift to a green economy – a phenomenon that many fears may lead to human insecurity and inequalities, job losses, and social deficits. Participating leaders and supporters of green innovation initiatives are expected to exchange knowledge and best practices to address the economic and social impact of these programmes.

"The summit also forms a vital aspect of the UAE Centennial 2071 for the UAE to become the best country in the world in 2071; the UAE Vision 2021; the Dubai Plan 2021 and our continuous efforts to achieve the goals of Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 that aims to provide 7 percent of Dubai’s energy from clean energy sources by 2020, 25 percent by 2030 and 75 percent by 2050, not to mention the UAE Strategy for the Fourth Industrial Revolution that aims to achieve a competitive national economy based on knowledge, innovation and futuristic applications by integrating physical, digital and vital technologies," said Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Vice Chairman of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy in Dubai, Managing Director and CEO of DEWA, and Chairman of WGES.

In turn, Abdul Rahim Sultan, Director of WGEO, said, "The summit will be crucial to promoting the widespread acceptance and increased importance of the green economy in the context of sustainable development. We are confident that the inputs from this year’s WGES will contribute to promote implementation of green economy policies at all levels, in a manner that endeavors to drive sustained, inclusive and equitable economic growth through providing us an interactive platform where we can share relevant best industry practices and latest innovations."

The UAE is the first in the Arab world and the region as per the index of realising global green economy and it is at the forefront of the green transformation and renewable energy.

Mon, 21 May 2018 16:25:59 +0530
Vice President Must focu

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that along with “gross national income”, we must focus on how science and technology can foster greater “happiness” and better quality of life as well as harmonious inclusive societies. He was addressing the gathering after conferring Adi Shankara Young Scientist Awards 2018 at the Adi Shankara Institute of Engineering & Technology, in Kochi, Kerala.

The Vice President said that the Adi Shankara Young Scientist Awards 2018 is an eloquent testimony to the inquisitiveness, ingenuity, and innovative initiative inherent in our young India. He further said that this is what gives us hope and optimism that India will be able to regain its rightful place in the comity of nations. Advancement of human knowledge has occurred in our country because of the “spirit of enquiry”, the ability to question, the ability to research and the ability to arrive at the truth, he added.

The Vice President mentioned three qualities to achieve excellence: First is the willingness to learn from each and every person, institution and learning resource we can access; The second is the ability to probe, analyse and synthesize; The third quality is to search for a completely out of the box solution that answers the problem at hand.

The Vice President said that Adi Shankara was not only a great philosopher but an extraordinary poet. He expounded the “Advaita” philosophy as per which, human beings can become divine through knowledge and the ultimate goal is to experience the Sat-chit-Ananda, the state of bliss consciousness that emanates from truth and higher consciousness, he added.

The Vice President said that knowledge must lead us to become wise and we must have the wisdom to use the knowledge we acquire for improving our lives. He further said that ultimately, it is the Ananda we are all seeking and this is what we are talking about when we talk of “gross national happiness”. We should draw inspiration from the best in the Indian tradition, remove the deadwood that has also been accumulated over many years and revitalize our country, he added.

Mon, 21 May 2018 16:12:50 +0530
Nadda assures all support

In view of the rising number of cases and reported deaths due to Nipah Virus in Kozhikode, Kerala, J P Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare has assured all support to the Kerala Government and has directed a multi-disciplinary Central team from National Centre for Disease Control to immediately visit the district, and assist the State and closely monitor the situation. The team will reach Kerala today.

“We are closely monitoring the situation. I have spoken to Alphons and K Shailaja, Health Minister, Kerala and assured them all support of the Central government. I have also dispatched a Central team to assist the State government and initiate required steps,” the Union Health Minister said in a statement from Geneva.

On the directions of the Health Minister, Preeti Sudan, Secretary (HFW) has also spoken to the Principal Health Secretary of Kerala and reviewed the situation.

The Central team includes Dr Sujeet K Singh, Director, National Centre for Disease Control, Dr S K Jain, Head Epidemiology, NCDC, Dr P Ravindran, Director, Emergency Medical Relief (EMR), Dr Naveen Gupta, Head Zoonosis, NCDC along with two clinicians and one expert from Ministry of Animal Husbandry.

Mon, 21 May 2018 16:06:35 +0530
Kumaraswamy in Delhi to m

Janata Dal (S) leader HD Kumaraswamy will go to Delhi today to meet Congress president Rahul Gandhi and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi after he announced that he will prove majority in the assembly within 24 hours of his swearing-in.

Kumaraswamy dismissed the rumours about any type of sharing agreement between the JD(S) and the Congress as he said that he will be the chief minister for five years and there is no power exchange with the Congress.

Meanwhile unconfirmed sources reveal that there will be two deputy chief ministers in the state and PCC president G Parameshwara will be the first choice deputy CM while senior Congress leader Shamanuru Shivashankarappa's name also joins the list as the All India Veerasaiva Sabha has demanded that Shivashankarappa should be the deputy CM.

Mon, 21 May 2018 10:28:14 +0530
Nipah virus More death t

The Nipah virus infection that affected the Kozhikode district in Kerala make more worries as the hospital staff who was under treatment in a city hospital died today morning. Lini Puthusseri, 31, a nurse in the Perambra Taluk hospital which is nearly located to the virus affected area, had taken care of the ill patients.

The latest death takes the death toll due to fever in the wake of Nipah virus to 16.

Meanwhile Union minister for health JP Nadda directed a central team of health experts to rush to the virus affected village in Kerala to study the situation and assist the state government in allaying the fears of the people while the state health dept draws flak from the public as they allege that the health dept not giving due consideration for the critical situation and not even providing masks for the hospital staffs.

The National Virology Institute in Pune has confirmed that the three people from a single family died due to Nipah virus. 10 people with same virus symptoms have been under treatment in various hospitals in Kozhikode.

Mon, 21 May 2018 10:07:23 +0530
India UAE business group

The Indian Business and Professional Council, IBPC, in Dubai recently hosted a meeting in cooperation with the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which commemorated the Year of Zayed, and highlighted the Council’s efforts to strengthen UAE-India economic ties in the near future.

The joint meeting, held at Dubai Chamber’s premises under the theme, "Well-Founded and Future Ready," featured a presentation, focused on the great contributions made by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan towards enhancing relations between the UAE and India and reflected his forward-looking vision, values and legacy. The event connected the IBPC members and provided an ideal platform for Indian businessmen in Dubai to discuss various issues of mutual interest.

During the meeting, Suresh Kumar, President of the IBPC, highlighted the IBPC’s achievements, as well as the important role the Council has played in strengthening UAE-India trade and investment ties. He explained how the Council has served as a catalyst for fuelling UAE-India trade and investment since its establishment in 2003, adding that it will plan to scale up its efforts in this area.

Kumar noted that the IBPC will aim to strengthen its sector focus in the near future and expand its links with major business houses in the UAE, in addition to their counterparts in India, especially those with strong synergies.

He added that the IBPC, with the cooperation and support of Dubai Chamber, would align its activities with the objectives of Dubai Plan 2021, and provide a blueprint for companies to become "future-ready," adding that these efforts would bring about several benefits to all stakeholders.

During his welcome remarks, Hassan Al Hashemi, Vice President of International Relations at Dubai Chamber, described the IBPC as one of the most influential business councils formed under the umbrella of Dubai Chamber. He expressed his optimism about the future of UAE-India relations and said there is huge potential to build on existing ties given the increased economic cooperation between the two countries in recent years.

Al Hashemi revealed the Chamber’s new representative office in Mumbai, set to be opened before the end of this year, will aim to build new bridges between the Indian and UAE business communities and take bilateral relations to the next level.

Following the meeting, the IBPC’s new Governance Board was announced after Dubai Chamber authorised the Council accordingly.

Mon, 21 May 2018 09:46:13 +0530
PM Modi to meet Russian P

Following is the text of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s departure statement prior to his visit to Russia.

“Greetings to the friendly people of Russia. I look forward to my visit to Sochi tomorrow and my meeting with President Putin. It is always a pleasure to meet him.  

Am confident the talks with President Putin will further strengthen the Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership between India and Russia.”

Mon, 21 May 2018 08:42:37 +0530
Kingmaker Kumaraswamy t

After coming out victorious on an intense day of political battle against the BJP and their veteran leader BS Yeddyurappa himself, "kingmaker" HD Kumaraswamy will take oath as the new chief minister of Karnataka.

Yeddyurappa had resigned as the CM just before the trust vote in the assembly after he failed to get the support of 112 MLAs to cross the halfway mark. The BJP have 104 seats while the Congress and the JDS jointly have 117 MLAs, as per their claims.

Kumaraswamy met the governor Vajubhai Vala soon after Yeddyurappa decided to quit. The JDS leader had planned to conduct the swearing-in ceremony on Monday itself but changed later as the Congress were not in the line to conduct it on Monday as the death anniversary of former Prime Minister happened to be on the same day.

In the evening where the Assembly was getting ready for a trust vote, Yeddyurappa announced his resignation after a detailed speech.

"I travelled the entire Karnataka for the last two years. I cannot forget the love and support given by the people. People blessed us with giving 104 seats. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah made me the chief minister. Did you ever see the Prime Minister announce the chief minister candidate before the election? I became the party president in 2016. The Congress and the JDS lost in the election. The governor the invited the BJP as we are the single largest party", Yeddyurappa said.

Sun, 20 May 2018 06:11:11 +0530
Vice President calls for

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has suggested to the Central and various State Governments to increase investments in agriculture and allied sectors to make farming viable and attractive. He was interacting with Scientists, Faculty Members and Research Fellows at the National Institute of Agricultural Extension Management (MANAGE), in Hyderabad.

The Vice President said that there is a need to make agriculture sustainable, viable and attractive by creating required infrastructure, providing timely credit and value addition to farm produce. The central government’s e-NAM project is the way forward for proper marketing, he added.

The Vice President said that providing information to farmers on the demand for their produce in advance was essential to prevent distress sale. He further said that providing affordable and reasonable credit to farmers is also equally important. Loan waiver was not a permanent solution as it would not help in creating long-term sustainable activity, he added.

The Vice President advised the extension officials to create greater awareness among the farming community on the crop insurance scheme. He also said that Information and Communication Technology (ICT) should be leveraged more effectively for the benefit of farmers. He also added that information should be disseminated to the farmers in the local languages.

The Vice President also wanted institutions like MANAGE to educate the farmers on the need to diversify crops to overcome challenges of climate change and sustain their incomes. Stressing the importance of spending time in the fields by the extension officials and researchers, he said it should be made mandatory for agricultural graduates and post graduates to spend time with farmers before completion of their courses.

Pointing to the increasing challenges posed by climate change, the Vice President advised MANAGE to promote climate-smart agriculture. He stressed the need for home-grown food security to create surplus food stocks and meet the requirements of burgeoning population. He also emphasized on the importance of better coordination between various institutions related to agriculture.

The Vice President urged people to live with nature and promote culture for a better future. Earlier the Vice President visited the Knowledge Incubation Center, Urban Greening stalls, Photo Exhibition, interacted with Agriprenuers and the trainees of Input Dealers Course, released a “Handbook on Important Insect Pests and Diseases of Major Crops in India” and also launched Youtube channel of MANAGE.

Sun, 20 May 2018 06:11:11 +0530
PM dedicates Kishanganga

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi, dedicated the Kishanganga Hydropower Station to the nation at a function in Srinagar. 

He also laid the foundation stone of the Srinagar Ring Road. 

Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister recalled the various occasions in the past four years when he had visited the State of Jammu and Kashmir. 

He said that the month of Ramzan is the time to recall the teachings and message of Prophet Muhammad. 

The Prime Minister said that the 330 MW Kishanganga Hydropower project would go a long way in fulfilling the electricity requirements of the State. 

He emphasized the need for balanced development of all three regions of the State - Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh. 

Sun, 20 May 2018 06:11:11 +0530
PM Modi attends Convocati

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the Convocation of Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology in Jammu. At another event, he also laid the Foundation Stone of the Pakaldul Power Project, and Jammu Ring Road. He inaugurated the Tarakote Marg and Material Ropeway, of the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board. 

In his address at the convocation, the Prime Minister said that technology is bringing about change in all spheres of life, and the youth of our country is keeping pace with these developments. 

He said that even in agriculture, there is need to develop a new "culture" through infusion of technology, to benefit farmers. 

The Prime Minister said that the policies and decisions of the Union Government are aimed at increasing the income of farmers. 

He expressed confidence that through Scientific Approach, Technological Innovations, and Research and Development  the graduating students would play an active role in turning agriculture into a profitable profession. 

After laying the Foundation Stone of the Pakuldul project, the Prime Minister said it is a unique day when one hydropower project has been inaugurated; and the Foundation Stone has been laid for another one. He said that the Union Government is working with an approach of "isolation to integration" to develop all the hitherto under-developed parts of the country. 

He said that the Tarakote Marg would provide an alternative route to the Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine, which would facilitate pilgrims. He said tourism, especially spiritual tourism, is a very important source of income generation for the State of Jammu and Kashmir. 

Sun, 20 May 2018 06:11:11 +0530
Yeddyurappa quits just be

The twists and turns in the Karnataka politics reach to a next level as chief minister BS Yeddyurappa quits just before the trust vote in the assembly.

There were talks that the BJP government may fail to pass the floor test amid the missing of two Congress MLAs from the assembly in the morning. Congress alleged that they were held captive by the BJP who desperately required numbers to pass the floor test.

Meanwhile Yeddyurappa who was credited for the resurgence of BJP in the state after a poor show in the last assembly election, delivered an emotional speech in the assembly.

"I travelled the entire Karnataka for the last two years. I cannot forget the love and support given by the people. People blessed us with giving 104 seats. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah made me the chief minister. Did you ever see the Prime Minister announce the chief minister candidate before the election? I became the party president in 2016. The Congress and the JDS lost in the election. The governor the invited the BJP as we are the single largest party", Yeddyurappa said.

Sat, 19 May 2018 19:11:35 +0530
India UAE discuss bilate

Dr. Ahmed Abdul Rahman Al-Banna, UAE Ambassador to India, has met with M. J. Akbar, Minister of State for External Affairs of India, and discussed bilateral cooperation to ensure and provide an enabling environment to support the development of both countries.

During the meeting, Dr. Al-Banna and Akbar emphasised their commitment to further strengthening bilateral cooperation across various sectors and deepen the close and friendly relationship between the two countries.

The two sides also discussed preparations for the upcoming visit of H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, to India.

Dr. Al-Banna said that India enjoys close and multifaceted bilateral relations with the UAE, which is supported by regular high-level visits and strong contacts between the two peoples. He also noted that the recent high-level visits have contributed to raising the level of relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership.

The UAE Ambassador also expressed appreciation for the Indian government's support for strengthening cooperation, noting that continued close cooperation on different topics will remain a cornerstone of the bilateral strategic partnership.

At the end of the meeting, Minister Akbar and the Dr. Al-Banna affirmed their keenness to enhance ties and raise the level of trade exchange between the two countries.

Sat, 19 May 2018 10:33:31 +0530
India calls for judicious

India has called for a judicious use of resources amidst concerns over resource depletion and scarcity.  Addressing the 4th BRICS Ministerial meeting in Durban, South Africa, Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr. Harsh Vardhan has said that a decrease in global materials, or at least stabilization at present levels, demand major reductions in metabolic rates in the Asia-Pacific region, especially India.   

He pointed out that this can become possible only through Resource Efficiency (RE) not only throughout the material life cycle, but also at the post-consumption stage.  The Minister added that secondary resources (waste materials) need to be brought back into production, adopting a Circular Economy (CE) approach.  Dr. Harsh Vardhan emphasised that Resource Efficiency (RE) and Circular Economy (CE) are key elements of Sustainable Development and impact resource efficiency and that is why there is a global commitment to achieve it.  

Reiterating India’s commitment to building responsive, inclusive and collective solutions, Dr. Harsh Vardhan underlined that BRICS nations face similar environmental concerns such as air pollution, waste management, resource crunch and climate change.   “BRICS countries should together emphasize on the cooperation in air pollution control through technology transfer and requisite capacity building”, Dr. Vardhan said.   He urged BRICS nations to commit to cooperation and collaboration on technology transfer, capacity building and knowledge transfer at the country, regional and global levels. 

Sat, 19 May 2018 10:29:45 +0530
Vice President Swachh Bh

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that Swachh Bharat is a prerequisite for establishing a Swasth Bharat. He was addressing the Convocation of Lady Hardinge Medical College.

The Vice President said that the job of faculty members does not end by merely imparting medical knowledge and skills but entails a more onerous responsibility of moulding the young minds into conscientious citizens with uncompromising integrity, high moral and ethical standards. It is said that a person, who plans for a year, sows grains, the one who plans for 10 years, plants fruit-bearing trees, and the one who plans for generations, develops human beings!, he added.

The Vice President said that it is time for all public health experts, healthcare professionals, local bodies and communities to join hands in promoting hygiene and sanitation in a big way to build a Swachh Bharat, a prerequisite for establishing a Swasth Bharat. He further said that lack of adequate medical facilities in the rural areas and the acute shortage of doctors and para-medical personnel across the country is a challenge. We need human resource in the health sector - whether it is a medical college or the paramedical staff, the country needs them in large numbers, he added.

The Vice President said that the Doctors are considered next to God in our country and it is the cardinal responsibility of all those entering the medical profession to uphold the trust and confidence of the patients, who seek treatment from them. He advised the Doctors to maintain the highest standards of ethics and integrity at every stage. I am sure that all the students of the Lady Hardinge Medical College will carry on the legacy of this prestigious institute and contribute towards building a healthy India, he added.

Sat, 19 May 2018 10:22:22 +0530
Boeing airline crashed in

A Boeing 737-200 airliner crashed in Cuban capital Havana shortly after takeoff from the capital's Jose Marti International airport, leaving more than 100 people dead. There were 104 passengers and nine crew members in the state owned airline of 'Cubana' company.

Cuba's communist daily has reported that three passengers were escaped miraculously with lot of injuries. Local media reported that the airline crashed in to the farm land soon after its takeoff.

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canal rushed on to the spot and led the rescue operations.

Sat, 19 May 2018 10:09:01 +0530
Yeddyurappa expresses ful

Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa said that he is 100 percent confident of getting trust vote in the assembly. The Supreme Court on yesterday instructed Yeddyurappa to prove the majority by 4pm today evening after dismissing governor's 15 days time.

Yeddyurappa expressed his full confidence when he had arrived to attend the BJP legislative party meeting before the assembly session begins.

Meanwhile the JD(S) MLAs who were staying in a resort in Hyderabad have arrived in Bengaluru today morning.

In one of the latest developments in the Karnataka episode, the Supreme Court will hear the petition filed by the JDS and the Congress against the appointment of the pro-term speaker. A bench of judges AK Sikri, SA Bobde and Ashok Bhushan, the same bench who asked the Yeddyurappa government to seek the trust vote by today evening itself, will consider the petition.

The Congress and the JDS allege that the Karnataka government overturned the normal procedure in appointing the pro-term speaker.

Sat, 19 May 2018 09:54:36 +0530
PM Modi greets people on

The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has greeted the people on the beginning of holy month of Ramzan.

“Ramzan greetings to everyone. We recall the pious thoughts of Paighambar Mohammad Sahab, who highlighted the importance of harmony, kindness and charity. These are also the virtues the Holy Month of Ramzan stands for”, the Prime Minister said.

Fri, 18 May 2018 09:45:31 +0530
Vice President calls for

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that cities are the drivers of economic growth and all sections of people living in the cities need to be provided with adequate housing and other essential amenities. He was addressing the gathering after laying foundation stone for the World Trade Center at Nauroji Nagar and redevelopment of Netaji Nagar General Pool Residential Accommodation Colony.

The Vice President said that it is a matter of pride and satisfaction for him to be a part of the foundation stone laying ceremony of the projects which were conceptualised and took shape when he was the Housing and Urban Affairs Minister.

The Vice President said that besides providing housing to all citizens, there is a need to create good infrastructure to cater to the needs of the burgeoning population. We must also ensure that the development is sustainable by protecting our environment and resources, he added.

The Vice President said that there is a need to build green buildings and promote energy efficient and smart mobility solutions for optimum utilization of scarce resources and spaces.  There is also a need to promote the concept of green and energy efficient buildings in a big way and create greater awareness among the citizens, he added.

The Vice President said that the projects initiated today are aimed at providing better quality of life to citizens and spur economic growth. Cities are the drivers of economic growth and all sections of people living in the cities need to be provided with adequate housing and other essential amenities, he added.

Saying that India is witnessing urban renaissance following the launch of Smart Cities Mission, the Vice President said that apart from improving quality of life, Smart Cities also seek to provide clean and sustainable environment.

Fri, 18 May 2018 09:42:38 +0530
SC to hear petition again

The Supreme Court will hear a petition that challenges the governor Vajubhai Vala's action where he had invited BS Yeddyurappa to form the government. The top court will seek a clarity on the letter submitted by Yeddyurappa to the governor which claims that he has enough support to run a stable government.

The Supreme Court had heared the Congress petition that sought to stay the BJP's swearing-in ceremony where the court had started hearing the petition around 2am and ended it up with 4 am in the morning, hours before Yeddyurappa's swearing-in.

The top court had rejected the petition filed by the Congress in that rare post-midnight hearing. But the court had also ordered that they will go through the letter submitted by Yeddyurappa to the governor.

Fri, 18 May 2018 09:37:18 +0530
Congress JDS MLAs arrive

The Congress and the JDS MLAs who left Bengaluru early morning today have arrived in Hyderabad. The MLAs left Bengaluru under the leadership of HD Kumaraswamy.

Meanwhile three Congress MLAs have reportedly shifted to the BJP camp as the talks about the split in the congress camp intensified. Anand Singh MLA from Vijayanagar had already left the Congress camp and joined BJP soon after the election results were announced.

A massive day in the Supreme Court as the top court will go through the letter that was given by the chief minister BS Yeddyurappa to the governor Vajubhai Vala which claimed that he had enough support to form a government. The details of the letter is yet to be disclosed.

The court is finding an answer why the governer invited the BJP to form the government instead of the Congress and the JDS who are having more than 112 seats.

Fri, 18 May 2018 09:16:56 +0530
Rare post midnight hearin

The top court of India also felt the strong political heat of the Karnataka as the court hosted for a rare midnight hearing where the Congress made a last minute effort to stay the swearing in of BS Yeddyurappa as the chief minister.

The the court had ruled in favour of the BJP and allowed Yeddyurappa to take oath as CM today morning.

The Supreme Court had arrived in a conclusion after hearing the both sides for more than two hours and the bench led by Justice AK Sikri, who started hearing the case on 2.10 am early morning, ended the proceedings at around 4am in the morning.

Thu, 17 May 2018 09:39:03 +0530
Yeddyurappa takes oath as

Senior BJP leader BJP Yeddyurappa takes oath as the Karnataka chief minister today morning after two days of dramatic political scenes in the state. The governor instructed Yeddyurappa to prove majority within 15 days.

Decks were cleared for BJP after the Supreme Court had rejected the  Congress' plea late midnight to stay the governor's decision to allow Yeddyurappa to take charge as CM.

BJP has the support of 104 MLAs and one independent MLA out of the 224 assembly seats where 113 seats were required to cross the half way mark. So it remains to be seen how well the government formation will shape up in the state and more dramatic political circus are on the cards.

Thu, 17 May 2018 09:10:25 +0530
BJP offered us 100 crore

Janata Dal (S) leader HD Kumaraswamy came up with a major allegation that the  BJP have been approaching JDS MLAs with an offer of 100cr rupees and also an assurance of enough participation in the cabinet.

Kumaraswamy said that the BJP leadership is doing all their money and power to grab the state with only an intention to rule the state anyhow.

BJP leader Prakash Javadekar had met the JDS MLAs in their resort as the other parties alleged that this is a part of "horse trade" to poach the MLAs.

Wed, 16 May 2018 13:10:10 +0530
BJP leaders meet governor

BJP leaders under the leadership of BS Yeddyurappa met the governor Vajubhai Vala at the Raj Bhavan and stake claim to form the government in the state.

The high voltage political drama in Karnataka reaches to the next level as BJP's chief ministerial candidate BS Yeddyurappa has elected as the legislative leader of the state. The decision was made in the legislative meeting of the party.

The governor will invite the party first to form the government if they will be able to prove the majority.

Meanwhile the Congress and the JD(S) had  jointly met the governor yesterday and claimed their majority numbers along with the letter having the signature of MLAs that have been supporting the alliance.

The election results had caused a huge confusion in the state as no party is able to form the government despite the BJP became the single largest party with 104 seats.

Wed, 16 May 2018 12:02:54 +0530
Political drama peaks in

The high voltage political drama in Karnataka reaches to the next level as BJP's chief ministerial candidate BS Yeddyurappa has elected as the legislative leader of the state. The decision was made in the legislative meeting of the party.

The election of the legislative leader now enables the BJP to meet the governor and claim to form a government. The governor will invite the party first to form the government if they will be able to prove the majority.

Meanwhile the Congress and the JD(S) had  jointly met the governor yesterday and claimed their majority numbers along with the letter having the signature of MLAs that have been supporting the alliance.

The election results had caused a huge confusion in the state as no party is able to form the government despite the BJP became the single largest party with 104 seats.

Wed, 16 May 2018 11:34:29 +0530
Army Hospital R R celeb

Army Hospital (R&R), Delhi Cantt organized a programme to celebrate Nurses Day, to commemorate the International Nurses Day.

The Commandant Army Hospital (R&R) Lt Gen UK Sharma addressing as the Chief Guest emphasized that being the most important member of the health team, nurses make a significant contribution in the recovery process of the patients. He also expressed that the profession of nursing is not only challenging but also rewarding.

Speaking on the occasion, Additional Director General Military Nursing Services (ADGMNS) Maj Gen Anna KuttyBabu reiterated that nursing has undergone tremendous changes in response to social needs and influences in recent times. She said, right from the time of Florence Nightingale, the nurses have proved their worth to the whole world. Nurses’ Day is an important day as it is an opportunity to reflect on the enormous contribution made by this incredible profession, she stated.

Wed, 16 May 2018 09:18:46 +0530
PM mourns at the loss of

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed sadness over the loss of lives due to the collapse of an under-construction flyover in Varanasi.

“Extremely saddened by the loss of lives due to the collapse of an under-construction flyover in Varanasi. I pray that the injured recover soon. Spoke to officials and asked them to ensure all possible support to those affected.

I spoke to UP CM Yogi Adityanath Ji regarding the situation due to the collapse of an under-construction flyover in Varanasi. The UP Government is monitoring the situation very closely and is working on the ground to assist the affected”, the Prime Minister said.

Wed, 16 May 2018 09:15:34 +0530
Kovind India s large tal

The President Ram Nath Kovind, inaugurated the 4th Global Exhibition on Services and launched a portal on 12 Champion Sectors in Services in Mumbai.

Speaking on the occasion, the President welcomed around 500 international delegates who are participating in this Global Exhibition from about 100 countries. He commended the Ministry of Commerce and Industry of the Government of India, as well as the Government of Maharashtra, the Confederation of Indian Industry and the Services Export Promotion Council, for this initiative.

He expressed confidence that it would promote the Indian services domain and enlarge and deepen India’s engagement with the global services sector. He stated that the launch of 12 Champion Sectors is a bold new step that will contribute to both India’s economy and the global economy, and will create jobs.

The President said that the services sector represents a vibrant and expanding component of the global economy. Today, services dominates in terms of employment, value addition, productivity and innovation. The pace of technology is intensifying the contribution of services in other sectors – including agriculture, infrastructure and manufacturing. It would not be an exaggeration to say that services forms the backbone of the 21st century global economy.

The President said that in India, the services sector contributes 61 per cent in gross value added. With its young population, large talent pool and comfort with technology, India has natural advantages in the sector and is set to become even more of a provider of services to the world.

Wed, 16 May 2018 09:11:37 +0530
Political drama in Karnat

Political drama in Karnataka gets thick and fast as all eyes on the Governor Vajubhai Vala who is yet to make a call on the applicants ready to form a government in the state.

The Congress and the Janata Dal (S) leaders met the Governor yesterday and claimed to form the government as they said the alliance have enough numbers to cross the halfway mark. Congress leader Siddaramaiah along with ten leaders met the Governor.

JDS leader and the speculative chief minister HD Kumaraswamy also met the Governor yesterday in the Raj Bhavan.

Meanwhile the BJP also trying their last minute efforts to negate the alliance moves of the Congress and the JDS. The BJP leaders, as they are the single largest party in the assembly now, met the Governor in the Raj Bhavan.

BJP met the governor under the leadership of their chief ministerial candidate BS Yeddyurappa accompanied by Union minister H Anantkumar, Rajeev Chandrasekahr MP and Rajeev Karandlaje. Yeddyurppa came out after meeting the governor said that he will form the government in Karnataka.

Wed, 16 May 2018 08:55:38 +0530
Modi Shah takes BJP to do

The BJP makes a strong statement in Karnataka as the latest results show the party has a clear majority dashing the hopes of the Congress who expected themselves to rule the state for the next five years.

As per the latest reports, BJP leads in 119 seats, congress sitting in despair with 57, while the Janata Dal (S) shows improvement from their last performance with 44 seats.

The biggest setback for the Congress is that their chief minister and star campaigner Siddaramaiah lost the battle in Chamundeshwari. The constituency is considered to be as a strong bastion for the veteran leader.  

Tue, 15 May 2018 11:03:48 +0530
Smriti Irani removed from

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP leadership has decided to remove Smriti Irani as the Information & Broadcasting minister after the latest controversies related to the distribution of National Film Awards.

Minister of state Rajyavardhan Rathore will handle the portfolio with independent charge.

Meanwhile Railways Minister Piyush Goyal will get the additional charge of finance and corporate affairs as the current minister Arun Jaitley undergoes a kidney transplant surgery at the AIIMS.

Smriti Irani was given the additional charge of I&B ministry when Venkaiah Niadu resigned after becoming the Vice-President of the country. Smriti Irani will now be confined to the Textiles ministry which she got after she was moved out from HRD ministry at a time when Narendra Modi formed government in 2014.

Tue, 15 May 2018 10:51:13 +0530
Karnataka election BJP l

The highly-anticipated Karnataka election results suggests a BJP surge in the state as the Congress stays second while the Janata Dal (S) plays a crucial part with enough seats in third place.

Out of the 222 seats available for counting, BJP leads in 93 seats, Congress at the second place with 79 seats and Janata Dal with 40 seats. JDS is considered to be as a crucial "kingmaker" in the state with both the BJP and the Congress would like to reach out to JDS for a tie-up.

Tue, 15 May 2018 09:39:41 +0530
Shashi Tharoor charged in

Shashi Tharoor charged in Sunanda Pushkar's suicide; Tharoor says 'unbelievable'

 

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor has been charged with abetting suicide as the Delhi police submitted the charge sheet in the death of his wife Sunanda Pushkar in 2014. The charge sheet also underlines that Sunanda had committed suicide.

If the Delhi police's findings held true, Tharoor will be subjected to 10 years of imprisonment. The Court will hear the case once again on 24 May.

Mr. Tharoor responded to the developments calling the charges as "preposterous".

Tharoor tweeted that if this is the findings of the Delhi Police after four years, then it does not speak well  of the methods or motivations of the police.

"I have taken note of the filing of this preposterous charge sheet & intend to contest it vigorously. No one who knew Sunanda believes she would ever have committed suicide, let alone abetment on my part", Tharoor tweeted.

"If this is conclusion arrived at after 4+ years of investigation, it does not speak well of the methods or motivations of the Delhi Police. In Oct 17, the Law Officer made a statement in the Delhi High Court that they have not found anything against anyone & now in 6 months they say that I have abetted a suicide. unbelievable!", he added.

Sunanda Pushkar was found dead in a room at the star hotel in New Delhi's Chanakyapuri  on 2014 January 17.

Mon, 14 May 2018 18:10:49 +0530
Bengal Panchayat polls V

Violent scenes sprang across the Bengal during the Panchayat election in the state as two Communist couples were burnt alive by the Trinamool Congress workers  in the South 24 Parganas district.

Bomb blasts were reported in three places while two BJP workers were reportedly manhandled in Tharakeshwar as well.

This Panchayat polls assume large significance as this is the final major poll before the ultimate clash in the next year. Thrinamool Congress has already won in almost 20,000 seats before the polls itself so the election is being held for the remaining seats only.

Election results will be announced on 17 May.

Mon, 14 May 2018 12:38:24 +0530
Panchayat poll begins in

The Panchayat polls in Bengal, which had endured violence since the process began after Election Commission had announced notification, began on 7 am today under tight security. Election results will be announced on 17.

This Panchayat polls assume large significance as this is the final major poll before the ultimate clash in the next year. Thrinamool Congress has already won in almost 20,000 seats before the polls itself so the election is being held for the remaining seats only.

Mon, 14 May 2018 09:35:09 +0530
Storm wreaks havoc in Nor

The heavy thunderstorm and sandstorm that have been disrupting the life of many people in northern part of the country for the last few weeks had wreaked havoc  yesterday , killing 41 and injuring many.

The thunderstorm and dust storm  became a villain especially in Delhi, Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh. The weather has warned of more danger in the next two days.

18 people died in Uttar Pradesh, 12 died in Bengal including four children, 9 in Andhra and 2 people died in Delhi.

The devastating storm had brought down many trees and electric posts that increased the misery of people. Road, rail and air transportation disrupted in many parts of the country as 70 flights were diverted and more than 24 flights had been delayed. Many metro services also reportedly delayed.

Mon, 14 May 2018 09:25:18 +0530
First crude oil cargo fro

The historic first cargo of crude oil from the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), destined for the Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Ltd (ISPRL) has been loaded and is en-route to India.

The cargo is the first under an agreement between ADNOC and ISPRL, an Indian government-owned company mandated to store crude oil for strategic needs, to locate 5.86 million barrels of ADNOC crude oil at the Karnataka facility in the Indian city of Mangalore.

The loading, of approximately 2 million barrels of ADNOC crude oil, was witnessed by Dr. Sultan bin Ahmad Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State and ADNOC Group CEO, and Dharmendra Pradhan, Indian Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, at a ceremony in Abu Dhabi.

Dr. Al Jaber said: "The strategic reserve project represents an important new energy partnership with India that leverages the UAE and ADNOC’s expertise and oil resources. With this partnership, new market opportunities will open up for ADNOC, as we not only help to ensure the energy security of the UAE’s largest trading partner, but also gain greater access to one of the fastest-growing markets for high-quality crude oil. Our increased presence in India, will also catalyse demand for our own refined and petrochemical products."

The implementation of the strategic reserve agreement follows ADNOC’s announcement, in February, that an Indian consortium of three companies, comprising ONGC Videsh, Indian Oil Company and Bharat Petro Resources Ltd., had been awarded a 10 percent interest in Abu Dhabi’s new offshore Lower Zakum concession.

Pradhan said: "The UAE is the first country to invest in India’s Strategic Reserves Programme. This important partnership will further strengthen the close energy cooperation that exists between India and the UAE and builds on the historic acquisition of a stake in the Lower Zakum offshore concession by Indian Companies.

"The strategic reserve will provide a boost to India’s energy security and help us deal with supply side disruptions. While part of the stored oil will be used for commercial purposes by ADNOC, the major part will be purely for strategic purposes."

Indian energy demand is forecast, by the International Energy Agency (IEA), to grow by more than any other country in the period to 2040, propelled by an economy that will grow to more than five-times its current size and by population growth that will make it the world’s most populous country. Indian energy consumption is expected to more than double by 2040, accounting for 25 percent of the rise in global energy, and the largest absolute growth in oil consumption.

India is 82 percent dependent on imports to meet its crude oil needs, eight percent of which is supplied by the UAE. In addition to helping to ensure energy security, the oil storage facilities enable ADNOC to efficiently and competitively meet market demand across Asia.

Today’s loading comes the day before ADNOC hosts a major Downstream Investment Forum in Abu Dhabi, where it will unveil more details of its expanded Downstream Strategy, including its new Ruwais industrial hub masterplan. Pradhan will attend the Forum, where he will participate in a panel session.

Sun, 13 May 2018 16:53:39 +0530
President pays homage to

The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, paid homage to Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, former President of India on his  Birth Anniversary at Rashtrapati Bhavan today.

The President, officers and staff of Rashtrapati Bhavan paid floral tributes in front of a portrait of Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed. 

Sun, 13 May 2018 16:47:32 +0530
Army Chief to visit Sri L

General Bipin Rawat, Chief of the Army Staff shall be visiting Sri Lanka from 14 to 17 May 2018 on an official visit. It shall be the first visit of General Bipin Rawat to Sri Lanka. During the visit, he is scheduled to meet the senior most political and military hierarchy of Sri Lanka.

The visit assumes significance in light of India’s persistent efforts to strengthen the existing bonds of friendship and military cooperation based on mutual interests and understanding. Indian Army has been catering not only for varied training requirements of the Sri Lankan Army including imparting specific tailor-made training in different fields but also providing military hardware support.

During the visit, the Chief of the Army Staff shall be inaugurating a communication Laboratory at School of Signals, Kandy, conceptualized and established by the Indian Army, to train the personnel of Sri Lanka Army Signal Corps. The Army Chief shall also be visiting the Sri Lanka Military Academy at Diyatalawa to exchange best practices related to pre-commissioning training being followed by the two armies.

Apart from interaction with the senior leadership of the three Services, General Bipin Rawat shall also be meeting the Regional Military Commanders at Kandy and Trincomalee. The visit is yet another milestone in reaching out to our immediate neighborhood and take forward the military to military cooperation to the next level.

Sun, 13 May 2018 16:41:49 +0530
Bus rolls down hill in Hi

SHIMLA: At least seven persons were killed and 12 others were injured on Sunday when a bus fell into deep gorge near Sanora in Sirmaur district in Himachal Pradesh. The accident occurred near the Nai Neti panchayat, around 25 km from Rajgarh town. Most of the injured have been admitted to the Regional Hospital in Solan. 

The private bus was on its way from Manva to Solan town when the bus skidded off the road and rolled down the hill. Most of the victims belonged to the Rajgarh area. The rescue operation was over, Sirmaur Deputy Commissioner Lalit Jain was quoted as saying by news agency IANS. Officials had a tough time rescuing the victims from the badly damaged bus, said the eyewitnesses.                      
 

Sun, 13 May 2018 15:00:35 +0530
Bus rolls down hill in Hi

SHIMLA: At least seven persons were killed and 12 others were injured on Sunday when a bus fell into deep gorge near Sanora in Sirmaur district in Himachal Pradesh. The accident occurred near the Nai Neti panchayat, around 25 km from Rajgarh town. Most of the injured have been admitted to the Regional Hospital in Solan. 

The private bus was on its way from Manva to Solan town when the bus skidded off the road and rolled down the hill. Most of the victims belonged to the Rajgarh area. The rescue operation was over, Sirmaur Deputy Commissioner Lalit Jain was quoted as saying by news agency IANS. Officials had a tough time rescuing the victims from the badly damaged bus, said the eyewitnesses.                      
 

Sun, 13 May 2018 15:00:28 +0530
Indian pavilion inaugurat

The inaugural session of the Indian Pavilion at the Cannes Film Festival 2018 was held at Cannes, France. Hosted by noted actor Sharad Kelkar, the Indian delegation present consisted of H.E. Vinay Mohan Kwatra, Ambassador of India to France, Ashok Kumar Parmar, Joint Secretary, Ministry of I&B, Govt. Of India, Prasoon Joshi, Writer, Poet and Chairman, Central Board of Film Certification and many others.

The agenda of the delegation from India this year is to showcase diversity in films of the country while furthering collaborations with various other countries.

Sat, 12 May 2018 10:15:33 +0530
Kovind calls for equity i

Emphasising that technology is destiny, the President Ram Nath Kovind has said that technology must also be equity and its fruits must be accessible to all. 

Addressing the 20th National Technology Day celebrations at Vigyan Bhawan, the President said that finances and resources must be available to all technologists who wish to turn entrepreneurs and to migrate from the lab room to the shop floor.  The President pointed out that gender equity must be integrated with technology production. 

Kovind highlighted that the new technologies have three common attributes – (i) they offer solutions that are necessary in the Indian context and contribute to the social and economic needs of our people, (ii) they achieve all this at competitive price points and (iii) they do not compromise on quality. 

“The Government has proposed to establish Centres of Excellence to train young technologists in robotics, artificial intelligence, digital manufacture, big data analytics, quantum communication and Internet of Things.  The Government is also pursuing demonstration and deployment of successful technology solutions for clean energy options”, President Kovind said. 

 

Sat, 12 May 2018 10:11:48 +0530
Sports minister Rathore u

Minister of Youth Affairs & Sports Rajyavardhan Rathore has urged the secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport of United Kingdom  MP Matt Hancock for   his  immediate intervention to ensure that  Shooting  remains part of the 2022 edition of the Commonwealth Games .

The issue was raised when the Visiting dignitary met Rathore. During their half an hour meeting both sides discussed Cooperation in Sports to further strengthen the relations in the area.

Rathore briefed the British Minister about steps being taken for promotion of Sports in the country and elaborated on Khelo India Scheme. He said the scheme has been envisaged to tap talent at a very young age and train it further in a time bound manner with proper financial support from the government.

He invited British players and their coaches to visit India and take advantage of seasonal variations in both the countries for uninterrupted sporting activities. He also urged to explore the possibility of a tie up between sports development programme of both the countries.

The British Minister is in India to promote the upcoming cricket World Cup and 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Sat, 12 May 2018 10:06:04 +0530
Karnataka goes for polls

After a one-month long campaign under the scorching summer where the state had witnessed a flow of national leaders to ensure their votes intact, voters in Karnataka started expressing their mandate. Polling began at 7 am in the morning and will go on till 6 in the evening.

The Karnataka election has earned a reputation for a "mini parliament" election considering the size of the state and the first election after Congress president Rahul Gandhi announced himself as the PM candidate for the general election next year. So a Rahul-Modi fight is on the cards which will be the same case in the 2019 election as well.

There are 224 assembly seats in Karnataka while the election will be held in 222 seats. Polling in RR Nagar constituency has shifted to May 28 as many voters identity cards were raided from a flat in Bangalore and one more seat also left out of the election scenes today as the BJP candidate had died during the election campaign in the Jayanagar constituency.

4.9 crore people will go to polling booths today, 12 percent higher than 2013 election. 2654 candidates have been contesting in this election throughout the state and more than one and half lakh voting machines have been arranged.

Election results will be declared on May 15.

Sat, 12 May 2018 09:57:49 +0530
Mumbai police officer Him

Himanshu Roy, Additional Director General of Maharashtra police and former chief of the Anti-Terror Squad of Maharashtra, ended his life by shooting himself at his residence in Malabar Hills, Mumbai.

He allegedly shot himself using his licensed revolver around 1.40pm Friday. He was rushed on to the hospital but brought dead.

The 1988 batch Indian Police Service (IPS) Officer was battling with cancer and had been on medical leave for the last two years. People close with Himanshu Roy said that he was suffering from depression for some time now despite having treatment in India and in the foreign countries as well. The incident happened when his wife Bhavana was at his home whereas the police have found a one page suicide note from his home which states that no one was responsible for his death.

Himanshu Roy was a decorated figure in the Maharashtra police as he had investigated many big cases including the IPL spot fixing case in 2013, murder of lawyer Pallavi Purkayastha and the death of journalist J Dey. He was the one who unearthed the links of Chhota Rajan in the J Dey murder.'

Himanshu Roy was also a part of the investigation team that founded the role of American terrorist David Coleman Headley in the 2008 Mumbai terror attack.

Many of his colleagues were stunned on hearing his death news.

Sat, 12 May 2018 09:41:28 +0530
Smriti Irani calls for ba

Union Minister for Information & Broadcasting and Textiles, Smriti Irani said that time has come to put laws, ethics and rules into place which will help in balancing the media industry so that one dominant player cannot rule the roost.

Inaugurating the 15th Asia Media Summit (AMS) 2018, she said that India will have around 969 million internet users by 2021 and Indian media industry looks upon the digital world not only as a challenge but also as an opportunity. How do we attract, retain and develop talent which frees good content from the trappings of revenue needs and brings about a balance in media institutions, the Minister further asked.

The 15th Asia Media Summit is being hosted by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, jointly with the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), New Delhi and Broadcast Engineering Consultants India Limited (BECIL), from 10th -12th May, 2018 in New Delhi. The theme of this year’s Summit is ‘Telling Our Stories – Asia and More’, which would encourage regional and bilateral dialogue and cooperation to respond to challenges to the broadcasting sector in the region.

Giving a perspective of the expanding Indian media industry, Smriti Irani said, “India is the fastest growing advertising market expected to touch 10.59 billion US Dollars by the end of 2018 and the mobile spend is estimated to grow to 1.55 billion US Dollars in the year 2018. We have a vibrant media industry which has a direct established impact of Rs 1.35 lakh crore and indirect and induced benefits of Rs 4.5 lakh crore, with close to 4 million people associated with it.”

The Minster expressed hope that the Asia Media Summit will throw up new ideas so that we can look at pathways to strengthen media institutions for a better mankind.

Addressing the inaugural session, Minister of Information from Bangladesh, H.E. Mr. Hasanul Haq Inu, outlined six complex challenges the world faces today, namely - poverty, gender disparity, terrorism, ICT revolution, climate change and uneven globalization. Expressing concern at cybercrimes, he stressed upon the need to fight a war against cybercriminals to keep the media safe and expanding.

Minister of Information from CambodiaH.E. Dr. Khieu Kanharith, said that, “We are trying to improve the state of the press in Cambodia, we seek to maintain strong relationships with the fourth estate.”

Mr. Shigeru Aoyagi, Director, UNESCO, New Delhi Office talked about the role of media in creating peace and partnership on the planet. Quoting from the UNESCO constitution – ‘Since the war is created in the minds of men, we have to build peace in the minds of men’, Mr. Aoyagi called upon the media to tell stories responsibly and in a very constructive way.

Dr. Abbas Naseri Taheri, Director General, International Department and Advisor to President, IRIB, Iran emphasized the need for innovatively using social stories in the Asian cultures to create a bond between the past and the present.

Ms. Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary General, UN spoke via a video message and asked to bridge digital divide in the world so that everyone in the community is able to participate meaningfully. She also highlighted media’s role in building a sustainable planet.

Mr. Sam Seog Ko, Commissioner, Korea Communications Commission said that media has an important role to play in today’s world and it should be used to make a better world.

Vineet Jain, MD, Times Group discussed regulatory reforms for a fair market place that benefits consumers. Talking about data protection, he said that data is being siphoned by global platforms today and we must proactively protect our national interest by ensuring that data stays within India and that it is protected.

This is the first time that Asian Media Summit is being held in India. Over 220 foreign delegates representing 39 countries (SAARC, ASEAN, East Asia, Africa, Oceania, Europe, Syria, Uzbekistan, USA, China) and senior officials of the Government and members of Indian media industry are participating in the event.

Fri, 11 May 2018 13:40:15 +0530
PM Modi visits Nepal

Following is the text of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s departure statement prior to his visit to Nepal.

“I will be visiting Nepal on 11-12 May 2018 at the invitation of the Prime Minister of Nepal Rt. Hon’ble KP Sharma Oli.

This will be my third visit to Nepal as Prime Minister. It reflects the high priority India, and personally I attach to our age-old, close and friendly ties with Nepal.

My visit closely follows the State Visit of Prime Minister Oli to India last month. These high-level and regular interactions reflect my government's commitment to the 'Neighbourhood First' policy, in consonance with the motto of ‘SabkaSaath, SabkaVikas’.

Together, our two countries have completed several bilateral connectivity and development projects in the last few years, and have initiated transformational initiatives for the benefit of our two peoples.

Prime Minister Oli and I will have the opportunity to take forward our recent wide-ranging discussions in New Delhi on issues of mutual interest, and to advance our cooperative partnership across diverse sectors.

In addition to Kathmandu, I am also looking forward to visiting Janakpur and Muktinath. Both these places attract a large number of pilgrims every year. They are living testimony to the ancient and strong cultural and religious ties between the peoples of India and Nepal.

As Nepal enters a new era of consolidating gains of democracy and achieving rapid economic growth and development, India will continue to remain a steadfast partner of Government of Nepal to implement its vision of ‘Samriddha Nepal, Sukhi Nepali'.

I am looking forward to meeting the political leaders and friends in Nepal. I am confident that my visit will further cement our people-centric partnership with Nepal on the basis of mutual benefit, goodwill and understanding.’’

Fri, 11 May 2018 13:26:38 +0530
President Kovind visits S

The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, visited Siachen Base Camp and addressed the soldiers posted there. He also visited the Kumar Post.

President Kovind is the second President of India to visit Siachen. The previous visit was undertaken by President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam in April 2004. This makes President Kovind the first President to travel to Siachen in 14 years.

Addressing the soldier, President Kovind said that as the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces and as the President of India, he has come among them carrying the gratitude of the entire country. The President noted that Siachen is the world’s highest battlefield and it is difficult to live even a normal life in the extreme climate. In such a situation, it is extraordinary for soldiers to stay in a state of constant mobilisation and combat readiness. Their determination and dedication is worthy of the highest praise – and their allegiance to the defence of India is an ideal for all our fellow citizens.

The bravery and valour of soldiers deployed in Siachen over the past 34 years, the President said, has given every Indian the confidence that our borders are safe and secure. The President said he had come to Siachen to iterate to the troops posted here that all citizens of India and the Government of India were always with them and supportive of their families.

The President also paid his respects at the Siachen War Memorial, which is a symbol of the sacrifice of 11,000 soldiers and officers who have been martyred since the Indian Army began Operation Meghdoot on the Siachen Glacier on April 13, 1984.

Fri, 11 May 2018 12:46:54 +0530
Vice President raises con

Vice President M.Venkaiah Naidu has expressed serious concern over growing disconnect in the present world that is highly ‘inter-connected’ like never before and called for intensified collective global effort to address basic problems like poverty and inequality. He asserted that India is seeking a new world order and action based on the country’s ancient wisdom and values  that advocated harmonious existence and common good.

He outlined India’s vision for resolving current global challenges while speaking to the Ambassadors of different countries and students in Panama City on the theme ‘In search of a more Representative and Relevant World Order’.

Naidu noted that technological and scientific advances and expansion of knowledge have thrown up new challenges like cyber security, terrorism, nuclear and chemical warfare etc., threatening human existence. Elaborating further on contemporary issues seeking solutions, he said “Corruption, discrimination, exploitation, violence and violation of basic human rights continue to erode social fabric across the world. These evils and perceptions of exploitation and failure of established governance systems lead to unrest, anger, rebellion and extremism. The sooner we effectively address these issues, the better will be our collective feature”.

Quoting extensively the ancient Indian sages and Vedas, Naidu said India always firmly believed in peaceful and harmonious co-existence including with the nature and these core principles hold the key for resolving current global challenges through collective action for shared benefits. He quoted from ‘Prithvi Suktam’ which said “May out interactions among ourselves and Mother Earth be harmonious” and also referred to the Vedas to highlight the message “Let peace flow over the whole universe”.

The Vice President said “In the world order we want, the power and responsibilities are shared, opinions and voices are respected and wealth and earth’s resources are shared”. Naidu stressed that no country or group of countries should influence or control global decision making and this warranted immediate reform of the United Nations system to ensure more representative decision making on major global issues.

Naidu said “India seeks balanced pursuit of national interests while also upholding the broader duties and values mandated by our membership of the comity of nations which shall form the core of the new and reformed World Order we all must establish”.

Ambassadors of about 40 countries to Panama later interacted with Naidu and appreciated the major initiatives and their implementation by the central government and the fast growing Indian economy. 

Later in the day, Naidu arrived in the Peruvian capital of Lima after visiting Guatemala and Panama for two days each.

Fri, 11 May 2018 12:40:02 +0530
India hosts 15th Asia Med

The 15th Asia Media Summit (AMS) 2018 is being hosted by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, jointly with the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), New Delhi and Broadcast Engineering Consultants India Limited (BECIL), in New Delhi.  Union Minister for Information & Broadcasting and Textiles, Smriti Irani would be presiding as the Chief Guest over the Inaugural ceremony of the Summit on 10th May.

The AMS 2018, an annual summit of the Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development (AIBD) Kuala Lumpur, is a prestigious summit in the Asia Pacific Region and India is hosting the event for the first time. The Summit, with the theme `Telling Our Stories – Asia and More’, would be organized in two parts Pre-summit workshop (8th-9th) and Summit (10th-12th).

Participants would represent organizations like Ministries responsible for Information and Broadcasting in the Asian region, International Organizations UNESCO, FAO, UN; Regulators; Radio and Television broadcasting companies both national/ public and private broadcasters; Television channels and networks, Institutes/Academies of Communication, Media Research; Community Radio groups; Press and Media, and broadcast equipment manufacturers.

The Summit would encourage regional and bilateral dialogue and cooperation to respond to challenges to the broadcasting sector in the region. It would provide a unique opportunity for broadcasters in the Asian region to share their thoughts on software and hardware aspects of Broadcasting. There are also opportunities for networking, facilities for business to business meetings and prospective translation of these meetings into trade and economic relations after the summit.

Further, participation in the summit includes over 200 foreign delegates representing 39 countries of SAARC (Afghanistan, Bangladesh,  Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka); ASEAN (Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam) East Asia (Korea, Hong Kong, Japan); Africa (Mauritius, Nigeria, Seychelles, South Africa, Sudan, Tunisia); Oceania (Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, Fiji, Papua New Guinea) Europe (France, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, United Kingdom) Syria, Uzbekistan, USA, China. There are over 100 Indian delegates also.

Thu, 10 May 2018 13:33:38 +0530
Govt felicitates Indian

The victorious ‘Indian Wheelchair Cricket Team’ met Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thaawarchand  Gehlot in his office. The Indian Wheelchair Cricket team beat Bangladesh in three-matches Wheelchair Cricket Series 2018 by 2-0 held at University of Dhaka stadium, Dhaka, Bangladesh. 

Gehlot tweeted, “The Indian Wheelchair Cricket Warriors outshine Bangladesh in the 2nd International T-20 Wheelchair Cricket Match Series at Dhaka. My best wishes to team India and the organizers Wheelchair Cricket India Association on this wonderful victory.”

Earlier, the team was felicitated by Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Krishan Pal Gurjar at New Delhi airport who presented them flowers and shawls. Welcoming the Indian Wheelchair Cricket team, Gurjar said that the Government is committed to the empowerment of Persons with Disabilities.

The Indian Wheelchair Cricket team beat Bangladesh by 10 runs in the final match against Bangladesh. India set a target of 153 runs for Bangladesh in a limited overs format. However, the host team could score only 143 runs in 15 overs. Rohit Manhotra bagged the Man of the Match and Man of the Series titles. The trophy was presented to skipper Somjeet Singh in a glittering ceremony.

The tournament was first of its kind and it not only inculcated a positive attitude among Persons with Disabilities but also provided a platform to show case their talent and physical abilities.

The names of Indian Wheelchair Cricket are: Mr. Somjeet Singh (Captain), Mr. Abhai Pratap Singh (Vice Captain), Mr. Veer Singh Sandhu, Mr. Rohit Annotra, Mr. Surendra Kasare, Mr. Sukhwant Singh, Mr. Ramesh Kumar, Mr. Jeyan Alt, Mr. Anmol Vasistha, Mr. Vikky Kumar (Wicket Keeper), Mr. Gaurav Yadav, Mr. Sunil Rao, Mr. Bhima Lakhaman Khunti and Mr. Jagroop Singh.

Thu, 10 May 2018 13:27:16 +0530
Naidu visits World Herita

The Vice President of India, M.Venkaiah Naidu visited the historic Antigua (old) Guatemala city for understanding how it’s rich heritage is being maintained since it was declared as a World Heritage City by the UNESCO in 1979. He discussed at length the conservation measures with the Mayor of the city Ms. Susana Heidi Asencio Lueg and concenred officials.

He went around various monuments restored and being conserved. Impressed by the city’s heritage dating to sixteenth century and it’s preservation further to devastation, Naidu said “It is a clear case of life springing from ruins”.

Antigua Guatemala was the third capital built by the Spanish rulers since their invasion of Guatemala in 1524. The first two capitals had to be abondoned by 1541 on account of resistance from the local warriors and natural calamities respectively. Old Guatemala witnessed series of earthquakes since 1565 and was destroyed by earthquake Santa Marta in 1773 forcing the shifting of capital to the present Guatamela City.

Those who stayed back and others who returned started reconstruction of Old Guatemala, restoring most of its mounments. UNESCO declared it as a World Heritage City in 1979.

Addressing the Municipal Council of Antigua Guatemala, Naidu referred to the ancient Mayan civilisation of Guatemala and the Indus civilisation of India and stressed on the need to preserve the rich cultural roots which would in turn guide the present and future generations. He referred to Ahmedabad also being declared as a World Heritage City and noted that ‘twinning’ of the two heritage cities would benefit both.

The Vice President visited the historic monuments including San Jose Cathedral, Museum of Colonial Art, King’s Palace, a renovated ruined property being run as a hotel etc.

Thu, 10 May 2018 13:22:02 +0530
President to visit Siache

The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, will visit Siachen Base Camp tomorrow and interact with soldiers posted there. He will be the first President to visit this Camp since the visit of the then President, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam in 2004. The President will also visit the Kumar Post.

Thu, 10 May 2018 13:16:19 +0530
Karnataka election Leade

Karnataka is all set to go for polls on Saturday as all pre-poll entertainment is on its final stage with the official campaign will finish off today evening. Election will be held in 223 assembly seats with only Jayanagar constituency will be left out of the poll battle.

All the political parties are looking for a final push today especially the ruling Congress, the BJP and the Janata Dal (S). Pre-poll surveys predicted an advantage for the Congress and the party makes a keen effort to maintain that advantage as party president Rahul Gandhi was part of many campaigns across the state.

BJP also puts a high effort in the election campaign as they hopes for a comeback in the state. BJP will end their campaign on a high with the presence of party president Amit Shah and two chief ministers and 22 union ministers as well. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had taken part in the campaign to strengthen BJP's efforts as he attended 18 rallies in the state.

Congress tries hard to avoid any signs of anti-incumbency in the state with senior leader Sonia Gandhi herself assured her contribution to the party's cause in the election. Rahul Gandhi opted for a different protest against the hike in petroleum price as he travelled in bullock cart and bicycle to express his protest against the government.

Thu, 10 May 2018 13:04:37 +0530
IMF names India as fastes

International Monetary Fund (IMF) has named India as the fastest growing economy in the world as the current economic growth of 7.4% will be increased to 7.8% in 2019. IMF has released their new report in the organization's Asia, Pacific regional economic outlook report.

The report also states that India gradually overcoming the worst effects of demonetisation and GST that simultaneously pulled back the growth of Indian economy. The IMF also credited Asia as the most significant "engine" of the world economic system  and the continent became the fastest growing region in the world.

60% of the global growth comes from Asia and among that India and China contributes a sizeable part. The report includes a new entrant as Bangladesh earned a reputation of having the fastest growing economic system behind India.  Bangladesh will post a 7% growth in this year and in the next year as well.

Wed, 09 May 2018 15:28:00 +0530
Trump withdraws from Iran

US President Donald Trump announced that his country will withdraw from Iran nuclear deal.

In a televised address from the White House, the US President said he was making the world safer.

"The United States does not make empty threats," he said.

He added that the deal allowed Iran to continue enriching uranium and, over time, reach the brink of a nuclear breakout.

"The deal lifted crippling economic sanctions on our end in exchange for very weak limits on the regime’s nuclear activity and no limits at all on its other maligned behavior, including sinister activities in Syria, Yemen, and other places all around the world."

Trump signed a presidential memorandum to begin reinstating U.S. nuclear sanctions on the Iranian regime.

"We will be instituting the highest level of economic sanction. Any nation that helps Iran in its quest for nuclear weapons could also be strongly sanctioned by the United States."

Wed, 09 May 2018 08:04:58 +0530
Petroleum minister claims

The Petroleum & Natural Gas and Skill Development Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has said since May 2014, we have doubled the coverage of CGD networks to 94 Geographical Areas spread across 130 districts. Natural Gas is the fuel for the future and the need is to increase share of Gas in India’s primary energy basket from current 6.5% to 15%.

Elaborating on this the Minister made it clear that till 2014, India had City Gas networks in 47 Geographical Areas across 73 districts. Through the 9th Bidding round, we are rolling out City Gas networks in another 86 GAs (Geographical Areas) covering 174 districts. After this round, India shall have CGD coverage in nearly 50% of the total 640 districts in the country and about 50% (61 Crore) of the population of the country.

Speaking at the ninth CGD Bid Round Pradhan said this is the largest ever round which covers 20 states and 2 UTs of the country. Bid process he said has been rationalized and investor-friendly parameters evolved to attract serious bidders, encourage competition and unreasonable parameters like amount of Bank Guarantee determining the winner have been removed.

The Minister underlined that reforms in Natural Gas sector in India are important and PNGRB is performing an important role in refining the gas usage model and even becoming a facilitator from a regulator. A Mini Gas Grid in North East connecting all state capitals being developed by a JV of 5 companies will cover 1,500 kms is also being developed. He said partnership with State Governments is needed and they should co-operate and support the CGD entities and the Ministry in making states pollution free.

Wed, 09 May 2018 08:00:21 +0530
Defence minister lauds In

Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman inaugurated the first edition of the bi-annual Naval Commanders’ Conference. Addressing Senior Leadership of the Navy, the minister commended the men and women of Indian Navy for their professionalism and dedication in performing the duties of safeguarding the maritime interest of the nation.

The minister expressed satisfaction with which the Indian Navy has continued to maintain a high operational tempo through regular deployment of ships, submarines and aircraft in the Areas Of Responsibility (AOR).

During her address Nirmala Sitharaman said, “I am confident that Navy's Maritime Domain Awareness in our Areas of Interests will enable it to respond effectively to the various contingencies, such as Search and Rescue, Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) and anti-piracy. I am glad that the efforts have already started showing results, with the Indian Navy responding proactively to numerous crisis situations around the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) in the last few months; including the heavy rains and flooding in Sri Lanka and post Cyclone 'Mora' in Bangladesh and Myanmar. I also compliment the Navy for the efficient HADR operations undertaken in the wake of Cyclone ‘Ockhi’ in November last year.”

She further added that the Navy has been playing an important role in furthering our national and foreign policy objectives through active cooperation and engagement with not just IOR littorals, but maritime nations across the globe.

Complimenting the Navy, Sitharaman said that today India and the Indian Navy have emerged as the first port of call and a dependable partner for IOR littoral navies, to address their maritime security needs.

Wed, 09 May 2018 07:53:38 +0530
Suresh Prabhu addresses f

Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation Minister, Suresh Prabhu, addressed secretaries and senior officers in the first inter-ministerial meeting on Sectoral Export Promotion Strategy. The meeting was attended by Secretaries to Government of India from Department of Commerce, DIPP, Electronics and IT, Animal Husbandry and Dairying and MSME, besides senior officers from about 14 other administrative Ministries/Departments including Agriculture, Textiles, Petroleum, Food Processing Industries, Pharma, Chemical and Petrochemical, Defence production and MEA which are concerned with various product groups which comprise a substantial part of India’s merchandise exports.

Commerce Minister emphasised that exports are strategically important and sustained growth in exports is critical for India. It is therefore imperative to promote exports as a combined and joint mission which requires the effort of all ministries and departments of the Government.

The Minister asked all officers to prepare an action plan on boosting exports of products being handled by their respective Ministries and send it to the Department of Commerce within the next fortnight. The action plan should also have short term targets which are achievable in the next two months.

Wed, 09 May 2018 07:47:28 +0530
Vice President lauds Indi

The Vice President of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that Indian Community in Guatemala is fortunate to be the inheritors of a great heritage of timeless values. He was addressing the Indian Community Reception hosted by the Ambassador of India to Guatemala, Sajeev Babu Kurup in the honour of Vice President of India, in Guatemala.

The Vice President said that the Indian diaspora is spread in various parts of the world and have contributed to the country they live as well as to the world. He further said that they may be living anywhere in the world and be in whatever occupation but they will add to the material and cultural capital of the country & the world by demonstrating, as ambassadors of our great country. The values of Satya, Dharma, Prema, Shanthi, Ahimsa and Seva -  many of they have been following these ideals which is why Indian diaspora is widely respected, he added.

The Vice President said that time has come for reforms to transform for betterment of people's life. Equal opportunity for all, reaching the unreached, banking the unbanked, funded the unfunded is the need of the hour, he added.

The Vice President wished them and their families a very happy, fulfilling lives that make them stand out as a good, caring and sharing Indian and an esteemed, enlightened global citizen. India’s message to the world has been peace, inclusion, co-existence and harmonious development of individuals and society as a whole constantly nurture, he added.

Wed, 09 May 2018 07:42:49 +0530
SC shifts Kathua rape cas

The Kathua rape trial where an 8-year-old was brutally gang raped and then murdered will be held in the Pathankot court in Punjab. Victim's parents had earlier appealed to the Supreme court to transfer the trial outside to Jammu and Kashmir for a fair and transparent proceedings.

But the Supreme Court has rejected the parents' plea for a CBI enquiry in the case.

The Supreme Court ensured that the Kathua case trial will be held every day and all the proceedings will be captured in the camera.

An 8-year-old minority girl was abducted on January 10 at Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir. Her body was recovered one week later and it was found in the enquiry that she was murdered after a deep physical assault on her body.

Mon, 07 May 2018 16:56:00 +0530
Mayawati Akhilesh to joi

BSP leader Mayawati has stated that she will join hands with Akhilesh Yadav in Uttar Pradesh in the upcoming general election in 2109. The Dalit leader while addressing the media said that both the parties will make a joint statement on seat sharing.

Mayawati aims for a non-Congress, non-BJP front as well in the national level  as she tries her luck with the Janata Dal (S) in the upcoming Karnataka assembly election. Janata Dal also projects Mayawati as a national face for the next general election.

Mayawati and Akhilesh had teamed up in the recent by-polls in Uttar Pradesh and new partnership triumphed the ruling BJP in a crucial battle. SP-BSP pair rain their hose into the den of chief minister Yogi Adityanath and deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya and recovered the seats they won previously.

Mon, 07 May 2018 16:24:04 +0530
Indian High Commissioner

Indian High Commissioner in UK Y.K Sinha met with a high-level delegation from Maharashtra at India House. The delegation was led by Ramraje Naik Nimbalkar, Chairman, Maharashtra Legislative Council and Haribhau Bagade, Speaker, Maharashtra Legislative Assembly along with other Members of Legislative Council and Maharashtra Legislature Secretariat staff.

The delegation had a wide-ranging discussion with High Commissioner Sinha on various issues including the present status of India-UK relations and the role and working of British Legislatures.

Mon, 07 May 2018 09:42:50 +0530
Dubai investment agency w

Dubai Investment Development Agency (Dubai FDI), an agency of the Department of Economic Development (DED), recently went on a tour of three Indian cities as part of attracting investors and businesses from strategic markets to base out of Dubai and achieve faster growth and expansion.

The roadshow covered Mumbai, the financial hub of India, as well as Hyderabad and Kochi, leading commercial and information technology hubs in the south of the country. The Mumbai event was hosted with the support of Morison Menon and the south Indian events along with Musthafa & Almana, both firms Dubai FDI’s institutional partners.

Capitalising on Dubai’s initiatives to reinforce its position as a competitive hub for investors and enterprises across the services and technology sectors, Dubai FDI reached out to solutions providers in diverse domains, including logistics, aviation, biotechnology, engineering, construction, financial services, industrial machinery, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, tourism and hospitality in the three Indian cities.

Ibrahim Ahli, Director of Investment Promotion in Dubai FDI, presented the advantages of Dubai in enabling successful business startup and sustainable growth across a series of seminars and B2B meetings.

"There hasn’t been a better time for bilateral engagement between Dubai and India. UAE-India relations are on a faster and stronger track, and leaders on both sides are determined to make their partnership a game-changer in global trade. In India we were able to connect with our audiences and engage them in identifying areas where Dubai can place them on the forefront of emerging industries and technologies," Ahli said.

India has consistently been the among the top five bilateral trade partners of Dubai and a major source of FDI into Dubai. For the last three years India has been the second largest investor in Dubai and Indians are among the top five nationalities of property owners in the emirate.

By 2020, UAE-India trade is estimated to hit US$100 billion and Dubai’s industrial, residential, tourism and entertainment sectors, along with existing airports as well as sea ports, will play a major role in achieving the milestone. Of the AED 37.8 billion FDI that the UAE attracted in 2017, AED 27.3 billion flowed into Dubai.

Mon, 07 May 2018 09:29:07 +0530
Thunderstorm 13 states o

A thunderstorm alert was issued by the Union Home Ministry for today in 13 states, forcing the Haryana government to instruct all the schools remain closed for the next two days. The Home ministry's new safety alert came in the wake of recent calamities where 124 people were killed in the sand storm across various parts of North India.

There will be heavy rain in the Northeastern states of Assam, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura as well as thunderstorm and squall in some parts of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha, Sikkim, Bengal, Karnataka and Kerala.

Thunderstorm and dust storm had created lot of problems in Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan in the last w eek where the two states accounted for 67 death out of the 124 people died across north India.

Mon, 07 May 2018 09:16:52 +0530
Salman Khan to appear in

Bollywood actor Salman Khan will appear in a Jodhpur trial court today in the blackbuck poaching case. The court will near Salman's appeal petition against the Jodhpur Judicial Magistrate's order that ruled five year jail sentencing for the actor in the blackbuck poaching case.

Salman, along with his sister Alvira Khan, arrived in Jodhpur yesterday afternoon. He will present in the court during the time of petition hearing.

Chief Judicial Magistrate Dev Kumar Khatri had ruled five year sentencing for Salman on April 5 after being found guilty of killing two blackbugs in Jodhpur, in 1998, during the shooting of the film Hum Saath Saath Hain.

Mon, 07 May 2018 08:53:14 +0530
Vice President to visit G

The Vice President of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu departed today for a 6-day visit to Guatemala, Panama and Peru. This is the first official foreign visit of Venkaiah Naidu since he assumed office of the Vice President in August last year.

The Vice President said his visit will strengthen relations with these Latin American countries.

“India attaches significant importance to friendly relationship with the countries in this region,” said Venkaiah Naidu.

“I will be holding meetings at the highest levels in all these three countries. I will also interact with Parliamentarians, University Students and meet members of the Indian Diaspora. Strengthening institutional mechanisms for political interaction, multilateral matters, trade and commerce, investments, Information Technology, traditional medicine, space, defence and culture will be some of the key issues for deliberations. I look forward to a fruitful visit,” he added.

Ambassadors of Guatemala, Panama and Peru to India, Mr. Giovanni Castillo, Dr. Gilberto LIerena Garcia and Mr. Jorge Juan Castaneda Mendez respectively were present at the airport to see off the Vice President on his maiden visit abroad.

Sun, 06 May 2018 12:26:45 +0530
Border Roads Organisation

Border Roads Organisation (BRO), is celebrating its Raising Day on 7 May 2018. BRO, a leader in the arena of infrastructural development in the border areas of the country is celebrating its 58 years of glorious service to the nation.

Since its inception in 1960, so far the Organisation has grown from 2 to 19 projects. The works executed have ensured the territorial integrity and the socio-economic upliftment of the most inaccessible regions of the country as well as India’s neighbourhood. Works executed in friendly foreign countries are a message of the Organisation’s ideology ‘Shramena Sarvam Sadhyam’.

BRO shall endeavour to explore new frontiers while it undertakes systematic modernisation of its construction techniques. Its focus shall remain enhanced productivity and quality construction.

On this occasion, Director General Border Roads Lt Gen Harpal Singh, conveyed his greetings to all veterans and BRO personnel and called upon all ranks of the Organisation to continue on the path of excellence with renewed vigour and dedication.

Sun, 06 May 2018 12:22:09 +0530
Journey through history

First of its kind, mammoth exhibition on Indian Civilisation, was inaugurated by, the President, Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, (IGNCA), Shri. Raam Bahadur Rai,   at National Museum, New Delhi. Dominic Asquith KCMG, the British High Commissioner to India was also present at the inauguration.

The Exhibition marks an unprecedented collaboration in museum exhibition,  with the British Museum, London; National Museum, New Delhi; and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS), Mumbai and is actively supported by the Culture Ministry.

The exhibition chronologically encapsulates the evolution of Indian civilization since antiquity and its interconnectedness with the outside world through a raft of exquisite artefacts from India and abroad.  ‘India and the World: A History in Nine Stories’ offers insights into two million years of history.  It was planned as part of commemoration of 70 years of India’s independence and a year of major cultural exchange between India and the UK (UK/India 2017).

Shri Rai described the exhibition as a “journey through history”, taking Indians to “moments in history that are a matter of pride for us”.“This is also a celebration of cultural exchanges and a moment to remember that our civilization has existed for millions of years and what it has given to the world in terms of culture, science and spirituality,” he added.

Speaking at the event, National Museum Director General Dr. B R Mani, said “This is a phenomenal exhibition for the sheer number of artefacts, the profoundness of concept and the unprecedented extensive collaboration of Indian museums and private collections with the British Museum, London. It truly offers a brilliant exposition on the splendid Indian civilisation and its impact on the global civilizations of the yore,”

Sun, 06 May 2018 12:16:18 +0530
Indian Railways celebrate

On 5th May Indian Railways has a special reason to cheer and celebrate for the women commuters. The first ever Ladies Special train in the world was started between Churchgate and Borivali on 5th May, 1992. 5thMay 2018 will go down in the annals of history as the 26th anniversary of introduction of this milestone of Indian Railways dedicating an entire train to women commuters.

The First Ladies special train, flagged off on Western Railways, was initially run between Churchgate and Borivali and further extended upto Virar in the year 1993.

The ladies special has been a boon for the working women who had to earlier struggle to board the ladies compartment in the regular trains. Dedicating an entire train to women meant they could travel more comfortably, which was the primary aim of the services. Running successfully for 26 years on one of the busiest suburban lines it is considered a blessing by all women commuters.

To instill a sense of safety & security amongst the women passengers, Indian Railways has come up with various other novel initiatives & measures since then.  CCTV cameras has been installed in many of the ladies coaches. Talk-back System is a new security measure introduced by Western Railway last year, on the occasion of International Women’s Day. In this system, a two way communication is established between a commuter in any of the ladies coach and the guard of the train in the event of any emergency by pressing a button on the unit. This benefits lady passengers, especially, during any exigencies such as security or medical issues.

Sat, 05 May 2018 10:05:36 +0530
Prabhas Shraddha Kapoor

Top talent from three of the world’s leading film hubs have converged in Abu Dhabi for the new action movie ‘Saaho’, proving that the emirate is truly at the centre of the world’s film industry.

Pan India superstar Prabhas, Bollywood actress Shraddha Kapoor and Hollywood stunt legend Kenny Bates are all part of the cast and crew of ‘Saaho’, which is currently shooting at locations across Abu Dhabi.

Maryam Eid AlMheiri, CEO of Media Zone Authority – Abu Dhabi and twofour54, said, "We are no strangers to international productions in Abu Dhabi, however ‘Saaho’ is a milestone for us as it illustrates the incredible reputation our Emirate now has on a global scale.

"The UAE sits at the crossroads of the world, geographically and culturally, with two-thirds of the global population within eight hours’ flying time – meaning we are literally at the centre of the global movie industry.

"Add in financial incentives of filming here such as the 30 percent rebate on production spend, world-class infrastructure, diverse locations, government support, and incredible talent pool, and it is easy to see why three major international productions have filmed here this year already – and it’s only April."

‘Saaho’, the seventh major Indian movie to be shot in Abu Dhabi, is a trilingual thriller written and directed by Sujeeth Reddy and produced by UV Creations, whose other hit films include ‘Mirchi’, ‘Run Raja Run’, and ‘Express Raja’.

Prabhas said, "We are all excited to be shooting in Abu Dhabi – friends in the industry have told me that it’s an incredible filming destination boasting awe-inspiring landscapes, and it is certainly living up to that reputation.

twofour54 is providing full production services as well as the support of its Government and Travel Services department and the film will benefit from Abu Dhabi Film Commissions 30 percent rebate. A number of interns are also working on the project, part of twofour54’s aim to ensure that attracting productions to Abu Dhabi helps to develop the Emirate’s media professionals of the future.

At 50 days, and with more than 250 crew members, ‘Saaho’ will be the second longest Indian movie to be produced in Abu Dhabi after ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ last year. It will also be one of the most dynamic - the large-scale action scenes are expected to take about 20 days to shoot.

Sat, 05 May 2018 10:00:54 +0530
Dakota DC 3 joins Indian

The Dakota DC-3 VP 905, which was accepted by the CAS from the Member of Parliament (RajyaSabha) Rajeev Chandrasekhar on 13 Feb 2018, was formally inducted into the IAF at Air Force Station Hindan.

The aircraft commenced its journey from the UK on 17 April and was flown by a joint crew of the IAF and M/s Reflight Airworks Ltd. The aircraft flew a total of 9750 km during its ferry into India and made en-route halts in France, Italy, Greece, Jordan, Bahrain and Oman. The aircraft landed on Indian soil at Air Force Station Jamnagar on 25 April and reached its final destination at Air Force Station Hindan on 26 April.

This historic flight of the Dakota DC-3 VP 905, across seven countries, was a commemoration of the service provided by this venerable aircraft to the nation.  The arduous feat of traversing half the globe in nine days on an aircraft of this vintage is a tribute to the steadfast determination and professionalism of the crew, the unflinching support provided by the Embassies of India in the countries en-route and the unwavering reliability of the old war horse.

To honour the homecoming of the Dakota, a grand ceremony was held at                      Air Force Station Hindan. The ceremony was attended by the Chief of the Air Staff, Senior functionaries of the MoD, diplomats from the High Commission of the UK, officers of the IAF, representatives from M/s Reflight Airworks and proud veterans of the IAF who have operated this magnificent flying machine.

The unique journey undertaken by the Dakota to its homestead, the Vintage Aircraft Flight of the IAF, was keenly followed the world over and its arrival has scripted an indelible mark in the rich legacy of the IAF.

Sat, 05 May 2018 09:52:53 +0530
PM announces Rs 2 lakh f

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved an ex- gratia of Rs. 2 lakh each from Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund for the next of kin of those who have lost their lives due to dust storm in various states of Northern India.
The Prime Minister has also approved Rs. 50,000 each for those seriously injured due to storm.

Sat, 05 May 2018 09:43:07 +0530
President calls for healt

The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, inaugurated the centenary celebrations of the Christian Medical College (CMC), Vellore.  

Speaking on the occasion, the President said that public health is a global public good and a basic human right. Despite the strides we have taken as a country, there remain regional, rural-urban and gender and community imbalances in terms of health provision. Without adequately addressing these, we cannot rest.

The President said that as societies evolve, economies develop and population patterns change, countries go through epidemiological transitions. India too is experiencing such a transition. It is marked by three challenges in disease control. And we have to manage all three simultaneously. First, India has to reduce maternal and infant mortality as well as communicable diseases such as tuberculosis, vector-borne diseases such as malaria, water-borne diseases such as cholera, diarrhoeal diseases, and vaccine-preventable like measles and tetanus. Second, India has to find an answer to the rise in non-communicable or lifestyle diseases – like diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and many cancers. And finally we need to develop systems to detect and cope with new and re-emerging infectious diseases like HIV, avian flu and H1N1 influenza. In a globalised world, with people travelling in and out of our country in larger and larger numbers, a few small cases can very quickly scale up into a large outbreak.

The President said that this three-pronged challenge calls for interventions across the continuum of care. It calls for prevention of disease, promotion of good health practices and treatment and cure in case of an illness. The impact of a health problem is cross-cutting – it affects a variety of sectors. The meeting of this challenge should also follow a multi-stakeholder approach. Government and civil society, private and public health care providers, charitable and economic institutions all have a role and a stake.

Referring the shortage of manpower in the healthcare system, the President said that there is urgent need for filling the gap in healthcare professionals in our country, and to reform medical education so as to create room for more colleges and more medical graduates. Science and technology are most commonly applied to our benefit by engineers and doctors. In India we have 1.47 million undergraduate engineering seats, but only 67,352 undergraduate medical seats. And about 20 per cent of those seats were added in the past four years. As a country and a system, we need to address this gap quickly.

The President said that doctors need a sharp mind – but much more than that, they need a warm heart. He urged CMC Vellore to continue to train doctors and nurses with warm hearts.

Sat, 05 May 2018 09:37:02 +0530
Air Force chief felicitat

Chief of the  Air Staff Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa felicitated six air warriors for their outstanding performance in the recently held Commonwealth Games and International Shooting Sport Federation World Cu.

The air warriors were commended for their exceptional performance in these internationally coveted sporting events. JWO Vikas Thakur and Sgt Gururaja won a bronze (94 Kg weight class) and a silver medal (56 Kg weight class), respectively, in the weightlifting event at CWG 2018. JWO Ravi Kumar won a bronze medal in the 10 mtr Air Rifle event, both at CWG and at ISSF World Cup Mexico 2018. He is presently ranked No 3 in ISSF Rankings.  

Sgt Shahzar Rizvi won the coveted gold medal & set a World record in the 10 mtr Air Pistol event at the 2018 ISSF World Cup in Mexico. He also won a silver medal in the 10 mtr Air Pistol event at the 2018 ISSF World Cup in Korea.

After achieving this feat Sgt Shahzar Rizvi is the current World No 1 in ISSF Rankings. Sgt Deepak Kumar won a bronze medal in the 10 mtr Air Rifle mixed team event at the ISSF World Cup in Mexico 2018. He is currently ranked No 9 in ISSF Rankings & No 3 in Asia. AC Gaurav Rana won a silver medal in individual event and gold medal in the team event in the 10 mtr Air Pistol at 2018 ISSF Junior World Cup in Sydney.

The Chief of the Air Staff, in his address brought out the importance of the sportsmen becoming role models for the other air warriors and for the youth of the Nation. He emphasized the significance of sustained efforts in improving their own performance. He also congratulated the Air Force Sports Control Board, including the coaches, for providing training and support to the air warriors.

The Indian Air Force has always been in the forefront for promoting sports and games. The medal harvest at the CWG-2018 and ISSF-2018 World Cup stands testimony to the directed efforts of the IAF towards sporting excellence. This will further give impetus to the sportsmen in their quest for achieving even higher standards at an international level.

Fri, 04 May 2018 10:07:58 +0530
Vice President lauds ties

The Vice President of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that India and Serbia enjoy a special relationship based on mutual trust and understanding and the pride in historic relationship with Serbia reminding 70 years of diplomatic relations with the country. He was interacting with the Serbian delegation led by the First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Serbia, Mr. Ivica Dacic.

The Vice President assured the Serbian Deputy Prime Minister on the Kosovo issue, and said that there is no change in India’s principled stand and does not recognize Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) of Kosovo. India has opposed Kosovo's application for membership of various international entities including UNESCO, World Custom Organization (WCO), Interpol, etc, he added.

The Vice President said that there is an immense scope to improve bilateral trade with Serbia. Happy to note that the bilateral trade between India and Serbia has increased in recent years and has reached about 200 million US Dollars in 2017, he added.

The Vice President said that India is the fastest growing economy in the world and various economic reforms are being undertaken. Serbian companies can take advantage to participate in Indian economy through B-2-B model, he added.

The Vice President appreciated the popularity of Yoga in Serbia and widespread celebration of International Day of Yoga across Serbia. 

The visiting Deputy Prime Minister of Serbia has invited the Vice President of India to visit their nation and the Vice President has responded positively.

Fri, 04 May 2018 10:03:16 +0530
50 awardees skip National

President Ram Nath Kovind delivered the National Film Awards 2018 but the function was shadowed by the absence of many awardees as 50 of them decide to skip the event after they had learnt that only 11 awards will be presented by President Ram Nath Kovind.

Instead Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani and minister of state Rajyavardhan Rathore presented the remaining awards, which was unheard of in the history of National Film Awards distribution.

Speaking on the occasion, the President said that our films both represent and contribute to the diversity that is India’s biggest strength. In their narrative our films inspire us to stay true to the ideals of our civilisation and of our shared society. They educate and they entertain. They also hold a mirror to the social challenges that we still have to overcome. And they do this in a language that is universal.

The President said that films are made in a variety of languages in India, from Bhojpuri to Tamil, Marathi to Malayalam to several others. And yet cinema is a language in itself. Hindi cinema has probably done more than any other institution to popularise Hindi as a language across the country. One doesn’t have to be a Bengali to appreciate the humanism and the nuance of a Satyajit Ray or a Ritwik Ghatak. We need not know Telugu to be mesmerised by the epic of “Bahubali”. And let us not forget that A.R. Rahman – who has won the National Award again – made an early impression even among those who did not understand the Tamil words of the songs, but were nevertheless enchanted by his music.

Fri, 04 May 2018 09:56:18 +0530
Abu Dhabi Chamber discuss

Mohammed Thani Murshid Al Rumaithi, Chairman of the Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Navdeep Singh Suri, Ambassador of India to the UAE, have discussed promoting economic and investment cooperation among private sector institutions in the UAE and India.

During the meeting, Al Rumaithi stated that India is a key trading partner of both the UAE and Abu Dhabi while calling for the adoption of legislation to identify procedures related to the trade exchange between both countries.

He added that Abu Dhabi’s economic approach is based on a range of foundations, including private sector partnerships, developing economic zones, establishing new cities and centres, promoting tourism and facilitating trade through a competitive business environment while adding that these foundations have made Abu Dhabi a business destination that attracts investment.

He also pointed out that Abu Dhabi is witnessing significant growth in various economic sectors while stressing that the emirate has an excellent reputation as a regional business centre and highlighting the solid ties between the UAE and India, which are a solid platform for developing economic partnerships and promoting cooperation in various sectors.

Ambassador Suri called on Emirati companies and businessmen to promote their investments and increase their presence in Indian markets, especially in the infrastructure sector.

He also pointed out that the coming period will witness numerous visits by Indian trade and economic delegations to the UAE, to discuss available opportunities and enlarge the scope of their cooperation with Emirati companies in new sectors, which will serve the economies of both countries.

The meeting was also attended by Mohammed Hilal Al Muhairi, Director-General of the Abu Dhabi Chamber, and Dinesh Kumar, First Secretary at the Indian Embassy.

Wed, 02 May 2018 10:50:39 +0530
UAE Minister attends Indi

Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance has said that he supports strongly a close and continuing relationship between India and the United Arab Emirates.

He was speaking at the launch of India’s largest convention centre and third Grand Hyatt hotel in Kochi, Kerala, India, which was developed by the UAE-based retail conglomerate, Lulu Group International.

The inauguration ceremony was attended by Pinarayi Vijayan, Chief Minister of Kerala, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, Sheikh Khalid bin Abdulla Al-Khalifa, Bahrain's Deputy Prime Minister, Yusuffali MA, chairman of Lulu group along with ambassadors of UAE, KSA, Bahrain & Georgia and other dignitaries.

The Minister said: "My presence in this event is another sign of the growing strength of the friendship between the two countries."

"Our international interaction here will reinforce notably historic actions of the past thirty-two months, that is, the two visits by the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi to the UAE and the visit by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces to India as Chief Guest at the Indian Republic Day celebration."

Sheikh Nahyan went on to say that as the UAE’s Minister of Tolerance, "I take great pleasure in the state of Kerala’s impressive tolerance achievements."

Wed, 02 May 2018 10:46:47 +0530
India holds Energy Dialog

The 9th India Japan Energy Dialogue was held in New Delhi. Minister of State(IC) for Power and New & Renewable Energy, R.K Singh, and Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) Mr. Hiroshige Seko signed a Joint Statement at the conclusion of the meeting.

Both Japan and India, as the third and the seventh largest economies respectively, recognized that having access to reliable, clean and economical energy is critical for their economic growth and in achieving this, both Ministers agreed on further strengthening of bilateral energy cooperation for energy development of both countries, while also contributing to worldwide energy security, energy access and climate change issues.

Both India and Japan with a view to implement Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the aegis of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) recognized the importance of development and deployment of next generation technologies including hydrogen to realize de-carbonization.

Both India and Japan appreciated the relevance of the grid stability given the high penetration of variable renewable energy. Both countries agreed to initiate the discussion towards development of Electric Vehicles (EVs) by collaborating with "Policy dialogue on next generation/Zero emission vehicles".

Both India and Japan reiterated the continued importance of coal-based electricity generation in the energy mix in both the countries and also agreed to promote the cooperation on environmental measures for coal-fired power plants.

Both India and Japan further confirmed their commitment to work together in promoting well-functioning energy markets and affirmed to promote transparent and diversified Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) market through the relaxation of destination clause.

Wed, 02 May 2018 09:54:16 +0530
Rajnath Singh lauds India

The Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has said that religion is a personal choice and it should always remain free from any coercion or allurement. He was inaugurating the civic reception in Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) accorded to honour Philipose Mar Chrysostom Mar Thoma Valiya Metropolitan on completion of 100 years of age.

Singh pointed out that Prime Minister Narendra Modi runs a government at the Centre which firmly believes in taking every section of our society along and build a New India. The goal is Development with unity and the dream of making our nation great again can be realised only when the people of India stand united.

The Home Minister said that India has been united not because one religion or some theological thought held the political power or exercised control over the system. This great nation is united because it provides space to peaceful coexistence of multiple thoughts and theologies. The problems faced by this country had always been addressed through a unique interplay of ideas and the biggest living proof of this interplay of ideas is our Constitution.

Rajnath Singh said that the ‘Sarva Dharma Sambhav’ should be maintained in this country and continue cementing the pillars of United India. He said unity is our strength and we all must work to strengthen the bonds of unity, amity and harmony in our society. Singh said this should be our resolve today when we are celebrating the birth centenary of Mar Chrysostom.

The Union Home Minister said the life and work of Mar Thoma Valiya Metropolitan is an inspiration not only to the people of Kerala or to the Christian community, but to the entire nation. His life is a shining example of how God can be worshipped through selfless service for the society and the humanity. Mar Chrysostom has endeared himself to all sections of Kerala Society through his inspiring words and works. The basic quality of Mar Chrysostom Metropolitan is his attitude of universal goodwill and his concern for the development and wellbeing of the entire community of citizens, transcending any narrow sectarian consideration. Considering his valuable contributions to Indian society for well over six decades, the Government of India has conferred Mar Chrysostom by awarding the ‘Padma Bhushan’ this year. By felicitating him with ‘Padma Bhushan’, the Government has not only shown respect towards him but also recognised his tremendous contribution, said Union Home Minister. While remaining true to his own Faith Mar Chrysostom has been able to raise himself above all sectarian considerations and divisions. He has motivated all sections of our society to love each other for the common good.

The Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan presided over the function. Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Prof. P.J. Kurien, Minister for Tourism and Co-operation Kadakampally Surendran, Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala, Shashi Tharoor (MP), V. Muraleedharan (MP), Mayor V.K. Prashanth and a host of other dignitaries including Philipose Mar Chrysostom Mar Thoma Valiya Metropolitan were present on the occasion.

Shri Rajnath Singh offered floral tributes at the lotus Parnasala at Santigiri Ashram and interacted with Ashram inmates. Bahrain Deputy Prime Minister Sheikh Khalid Bin Abdullah Al Khalifa was the Chief Guest at the function.

Wed, 02 May 2018 09:37:46 +0530
Telecom Commission allows

Suresh Prabhu, Minister for Civil Aviation has welcomed the Telecom Commission’s approval for offering in-flight connectivity within Indian airspace. He said that the decision would enable flyers to avail data and voice services during flights over Indian airspace and the government will now work towards creating the license framework for a special category of service providers called ‘In-flight connectivity provider.

He said that these developments mean that airlines are now equipped to bring dramatic, yet cost effective, enhancements to the passenger experience –with passengers ordering products from their phones and tablets and arranging to have them delivered to their homes, or the hotel on arrival at their destination. He said that connectivity to the ground means cabin crews can help passengers to change their onward transit plans to accommodate for changes to their flight, while they are still in the air.

Prabhu assured that he will ensure earliest implementation and complimented those involved in the decision. Re-iterating the government’s commitment in improving the services to air passengers he stated that a new India is in the making under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi where everything is undergoing a positive transformation, from mindsets to methodologies.

Wed, 02 May 2018 09:30:17 +0530
Zulekha Healthcare Group

Zulekha Healthcare Group has launched the fifth edition of its cervical cancer campaign at Conrad Hotel Dubai. The campaign, which was launched in 2014, has proved highly effective in increasing screenings at Zulekha Hospital Sharjah and Dubai, with attendees grown exponentially by 249 percent to 984 during 2017.

A report by HPV Information Centre outlined that at present 1.82 million women in the UAE are at risk of developing cervical cancer, and that every year 93 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and 28 die from the disease. Cervical cancer is a largely preventable disease, but worldwide it is one of the leading causes of cancer death in women with 266,000 fatalities each year, according to the World Health Organisation, WHO.

In order to increase early detection and prevention of cervical cancer among women in the UAE and in honour of the Year of Zayed, Zulekha Healthcare Group will offer 500 free cervical cancer vaccines. The preventative vaccines are open to age group between 9 and 26 years and include residents and visitors to the UAE. This activation aims to support the UAE government’s efforts to decrease cancer fatalities by 18 percent by 2021.

The launch event was attended by Abdulla Ali Al Mahyan, Member of Executive Council and Chairman of the Sharjah Health Authority; Dr Ibtesam Al Bastaki, Director of Investment and Partnership, Dubai Health Authority; Abdulla Salem Al Kaabi, Director-General Rahma Cancer Patient Care Society; Salem Yousef Al Qaseer, Chairman, Labour Standards Development Authority, Government of Sharjah Shri Vipul, Consul-General of India in Dubai, among other guests for the 2018 ‘Chance to Change’ inauguration.

Extending her support towards the campaign, Reem BinKaram said, "We are glad to see the difference made by Zulekha Hospital by taking this initiative to educate the masses on early detection and prevention of cervical cancer year on year. Cervical cancer is preventable if diagnosed early. Doctors play a very important role in educating women who visit them as well as others in the society on the importance of early detection. I urge corporations and healthcare institutions to join hands in spreading the message and work towards making UAE cancer-free."

Zanubia Shams, Zulekha Hospital Co-Chairperson, added, "We are always determined to play an important role in cancer prevention in UAE. A simple but vital change can be made through greater awareness and education of the availability of life-saving screenings for women and vaccinations for girls and boys. Our continued focus is to raise healthcare standards, improve the lifestyle of UAE residents and decrease cancer fatalities in line with the UAE’s healthcare vision."

The hospital offers free human papillomavirus, HPV, test and consultations with gynaecologists alongside the 500 free vaccination opportunities.

Tue, 01 May 2018 09:46:09 +0530
Sports minister lauds Ind

Minister of State (I/C) Youth Affairs and Sports Rajyavardhan Rathore has said that our sportspersons have amazing capacity to do well in every sport and not just in skill based games. At a function to felicitate the medal winning sportspersons of the recently held Commonwealth Games 201 he said Sportspersons are ambassadors of the country, role models of the youth and every Indian feels proud of them.

Terming sports as a soft power, Rathore said “we don’t fund any of the soft powers such as films, cuisine and culture but we fund you”. He further made it clear that there is no dearth of funds for sports but every penny has to be used to its optimum.

About 56 sportspersons from 9 sports disciplines including Mary Kom, Mirabai Chanu, Neeraj Chopra, Sumit Mallik, Sushil Kumar, Vinesh Phogat, Rahul Aware, Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu, Kidambi Srikanth, Deepika Pallikal , SouravGhosal, Vikas Krishan, Gaurav Solanki, Manu Bhaker, Jitu Rai, Tejaswini Sawant, Heena Sidhu, Manika Batra and others were felicitated with cash awards at the function. Roughly each of the gold medal winner received cash award of Rs 30 lakh whereas the silver winners were given Rs 20 lakh each and bronze winners were awarded Rs 10 lakhs.

Sharing his experience as a sportsman, Rathore said there will not be a time when there are no distractions or limitations but we have to learn to concentrate and try to overcome them. The whole journey of sportsmen is in close co-ordination with Sports Authority of India (SAI) and the Ministry of Sports and Sports Ministry team is committed to resolve all the issues, he added. The Minister asked them to justify with logic their demands and act responsible. Advising the winning sportspersons for the future he said the accolades will not last for ever whereas the love for the game will.

Tue, 01 May 2018 09:35:03 +0530
India Malaysia commence

Exercise Harimau Shakti 2018, between the Indian Army and the Malaysian Army commenced on 30 April at Wardieburn Camp, Kuala Lumpur with a brief and impressive handing over of troops ceremony.        Lt Col Irwan Ibrahim, Commanding officer of the 1st Royal Ranger Regiment of Malaysian Army welcomed the Indian contingent and wished the Indian and Malaysian troops for a successful and mutually beneficial joint exercise.          

First phase of the two week long joint military exercise begin with the formal handing over of the Regimental Flag to the Malaysian Army signifying merging of the two contingents under one Commander. 

First day also saw briefings to the joint contingent on Malaysian country brief, exercise settings and security aspects. The day ended with a keenly contested friendly Volley Ball match, which the visitors could finally snatch after a tiff competition. Both armies stand to hone their tactical and technical skills in counter insurgency and counter terrorist operations under the UN mandate. Due emphasis will be laid on increasing interoperability between forces which is crucial for success of any joint operation.          

Exercise Harimau Shakti is a positive step in the bilateral relations between the two nations. The conduct of such exercises in future will enable mutual capacity enhancement and assist in building strong bonds of friendship and cooperation between India and Malaysia.

Tue, 01 May 2018 09:29:28 +0530
PM meets Commonwealth Gam

The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, interacted with the medal winners of the recently concluded Commonwealth Games, who called on him at Lok Kalyan Marg.

The Prime Minister congratulated all medal winners, and complimented those who could not win medals but had performed creditably.

He said that accomplishments in the sporting arena inspire everyone. He told the medal winners that their sporting feats have raised India’s stature. He said that whenever an Indian sportsperson wins on the global sporting stage, it is the Indian flag that rises.

The Prime Minister said that today, the life of a sportsperson can span several decades. In this context, he gave the example of Mary Kom, who is winning gold medals even as she is Member of Parliament. He also mentioned Pullela Gopichand, who is mentoring and coaching many different players, after an immensely successful career as a player.

The Prime Minister said that besides talent, training, concentration and hard work, mental toughness is also important for sportspersons today. In this context, he mentioned the benefits of Yoga.

The Prime Minister urged the sportspersons to remember, and keep in touch with the various Gurus, mentors and teachers, who have guided them right from childhood.

Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Youth Affairs and Sports, Col. Rajyavardhan Rathore, was present on the occasion.

Tue, 01 May 2018 09:24:43 +0530
PM joins Buddha Jayanti c

On the occasion of Buddha Jayanti, Prime Minister Narendra Modi joined the celebrations at Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium, in New Delhi.

He offered Sangh Dana. He also presented the Vaishakh Sammaan Prashasti Patra to the Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies, Sarnath; and the All India Bhikshu Sangha, Bodh Gaya.

Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister asserted that India is home to a unique heritage, where the overriding thought has always been the benefit of mankind. He said that the teachings of Lord Buddha have shaped many nations. He said India has never been an aggressor.

The Prime Minister spoke about the eight-fold path given by Lord Buddha, and said that the problems that we are facing can be overcome by following this path.

The Prime Minister said that Buddha’s message of love and compassion can be of immense benefit to the world today. Therefore, he emphasized that all those who believe in the Buddha, should unite their strengths towards this noble cause.

Narendra Modi said that the Government is working with compassion to serve people, in line with the path shown by Lord Buddha. He also said the Union Government is working with an elaborate vision, to preserve the cultural heritage of India, which includes the heritage associated with Lord Buddha. He said a sum of Rs. 360 crore has been approved for the Buddhist Circuit.

The Prime Minister exhorted the gathering to make a contribution towards the New India of 2022, when the country will celebrate 75 years of freedom. He asked everyone to identify some tasks, which they could resolve to accomplish by that date.

Tue, 01 May 2018 09:14:14 +0530
Vice President India has

Vice President of India, M. Venkakaih Naidu has said that our country has celebrated plurality, diversity and inclusivity and we must collectively strengthen this unique perspective. He was addressing the Civic Reception meeting being organised in honour of His Grace Dr. Philipose Mar Chrysostom & inaugurate the diamond jubilee celebrations of Holy Ordination of the Most Rev. Dr. Joseph Mar Thoma Metropolitan, in Thiruvalla, Pathanamthitta district of Kerala

The Vice President said that Kerala state has traditionally welcomed all religions and is the land of Adi Shankara, the greatest exponent of Advaita philosophy, the land of Cheraman Juma Masjid, the very first mosque in India, the land of Thomas the Apostle who walked this land in the sixth century AD and the land where the Hindu rulers like Sthanu Ravi Varma of Venad gifted a plot of land in the 9th century AD to build a church. He further said that it is the land where Judaism, Jainism and Buddhism co-existed over so many centuries.  No wonder it is now called “God’s own country” where divinity has been worshipped in multiple forms by different sects exemplifying the ancient Indian vision of welcoming noble ideas and ideals from across the globe, he added.

The Vice President said that it gives him immense joy to be with the people of Kerala on this very happy occasion celebrating two important landmarks in the lives of two illustrious sons of our great country - Padmabhushan Dr. Philipose Mar Chrysostom Valiya Metropolitan and His Grace The Most Rev. Dr. Joseph Mar Thoma Metropolitan. He also congratulated the Metropolitan Dr. Joseph Mar Thoma who is celebrating the Diamond Jubilee of his holy Ordination. The people have benefited from his visionary leadership and enduring passion for the health and well being of suffering humanity, he added.

The Vice President said that it is time to re-discover the treasure within. Churches, Temples, Mosques, Gurudwaras and other religious shrines are places of devotion, pious places of spiritual regeneration and catalysts of intergenerational transmission of cultural values. He further said that they are potentially the sites of social and community education and they serve to bring people together. However, if they stray from this path and dabble in politics and issue unwarranted divisive statements, they become dysfunctional, he added.

The Vice President hoped that these two strands of religion and politics are not mixed up and the religious leaders give spiritual guidance to every human being and the political leaders take inspiration from our noble heritage to provide a clean polity.  Today is an occasion for that process of recognizing goodness, recognising the spirit of creating a heaven on earth through pious thoughts and righteous action, he added.

Tue, 01 May 2018 09:08:01 +0530
Fix That Face

By Prerna Mistry

Makeup. The make or break for every woman. Some days seem like such a breeze with us applying our makeup as if we were a makeup guru of sorts and some days feel like as if a toddler just drew across your face. Well then, here are a few hacks to help you during one of those days.

  • Broken Cases?

... Need not result into broken faces as there may have come a time in every woman’s life when a favourite bronzer or an expensive powder may have slipped from your hand only to fall on the floor to break into a million pieces. Fret not. Instead of throwing away the component, take the tip of a bobby pin and crush the powder into fine pieces, then take some rubbing alcohol and pour a little bit into the case and press it down using a tissue paper and let it dry and your powder will be as good as new!

  • So Shady

We all have been victims of wrong foundation shades with our faces and necks looking different as day and night. One of the best ways to avoid the mismatch mishap is to test the foundation colour is not on your wrist or by just looking at the colour through the bottle, but it is by testing the shade on your jaw line.

  • Eye Shadow Fallouts

Whether you use drugstore or high end eye shadow palettes, it is natural to have some fallout. However, it is a common makeup mishap that could even happen to professionals as well. The best way to avoid this is to do your eye makeup before you do your face or use translucent powder to catch the fallouts. However, if you have fallouts even then, just use a fan brush to sweep it away.

  • Lipstick on Teeth

Nothing is more embarrassing than rocking a bold lipstick only to have it imprinted itself on your teeth as well. The simplest solution for this is to take your clean index finger and put it in your mouth, close, and then pull it out. This will pick up any unwanted lipstick that would have ended up on your teeth.

  • Wing It Out

Winged liner is one of the most stressful things there is. Some days it’s just on point (no pun intended) and some days it’s just wonky and looks like a bumpy road. One way to avoid this is to use tape or card as a stencil to get a sharp edge to your liner. Even if you make a mistake, just use a little bit of concealer to fix the mess.

Mon, 30 Apr 2018 18:51:13 +0530
UAE Media Council hosts I

The UAE National Media Council, NMC, received today at its pavilion at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair 2018, Dr. Ram Buxani, Chairman of ITL Cosmos Group, to speak about his book, 'Taking the High Road' an autobiography.

The book, which was the bestseller for several months in Dubai in 2003, is dedicated for narrating Dr. Buxani's life and work in Dubai that lasted for sixty years besides the relationship between the two friendly countries, UAE and India.

"Let me first thank the NMC for inviting me to speak today here about my book and I would like to commend the long and deeply rooted relationship between UAE and India in all areas," he said.

He also noted, "The last visits of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to India, and of Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, to the UAE, gave a great push to the strategic relationship between the two countries in all areas".

India is proud to be the only country in the world that has 16 official languages. "India is not only a country, in fact, it is a world in itself as we a have an endless number of colours, costumes, traditions, cuisines and languages."

"India is the real epitome of unity in diversity, compared only to the UAE that hosts today people from more than 200 nationalities coexisting peacefully and happily a matter that turned it into a land of tolerance and moderation," he said.

The Dubai-based Indian business tycoon chaired the Board of the prestigious Indian High School in Dubai from 2000 to 2004, he is also the founder chairman of Overseas Indian Economic Forum which subsequently paved the way for many business councils.

He also received PhD for his thesis 'Governance of Dubai: The influence of tribal tradition in decision making', especially in the critical periods of development of the city-state, in 2004.

 

Mon, 30 Apr 2018 11:17:30 +0530
Mann Ki Baat PM Modi la

My dear countrymen, Namaskar. Just a while ago, from the 4th of April to the 15th of April, the 21stCommonwealth Games were held in Australia. 71 countries, including India, participated therein. With an event of such scale & magnitude, which saw the participation of thousands of sportspersons from myriad corners of the world, can you imagine the mood that must have pervaded the atmosphere there? An air of excitement, zeal, enthusiasm, hope, aspirations, the determination to achieve – who would want to stay away from an atmosphere like that? These were the times when people all over the country pondered eagerly everyday on the line-up of sportspersons, scheduled for their respective performances. How will India’s performance be, what will our medal tally look like? These questions were but natural. Our sportspersons too lived up to the countrymen’s expectations and displayed stellar performances, winning one medal after another. Shooting or Wrestling, Table Tennis or Badminton, it was a record performance for India. 26 Gold, 20 Silver, 20 Bronze, India bagged a tally of around 66 medals. This success makes every Indian swell with pride. Of course, winning medals is a moment of joy & glory for a sportsperson; it is equally so as a festival of laurels for the country & her countrymen. After the conclusion of a match, representing India, when the athletes draped in the tricolor rise, displaying their medals, the notes of the National Anthem being played evoke a sense of joy and fulfillment, glory and honour. This is very, very special in itself. It is a touching moment that fills one’s heart with thrill; it is a moment full of zest & warmth. It is a wave of emotions that engulfs all of us simultaneously. Perhaps, to express those sentiments I’ll run short of words. But I want to share with you what I heard from these heroes. I feel immensely proud; you too will feel so.

        India’s performance in the Commonwealth Games was par excellence. At the same time, it was special. Special in the sense that this time there were many pathbreaking ‘firsts’. Are you aware that out of the wrestlers who represented India, each one of them returned with a medal? Manika Batra won a medal in each of the events that she competed in. She is the first Indian woman to win a gold in the individual table tennis category too. India clinched the maximum number of medals in shooting. Deepak Lather of Haryana became the youngest Indian Weight-Lifter to win a medal at Commonwealth games. 15 year old Indian shooter Anish Bhanwala became the youngest sportsperson to win a gold for India. Sachin Chowdhary is the sole Indian Para Power Lifter to win a medal at the Commonwealth Games.

        This edition of the games was special on one more count- a majority of the medalists was women athletes. In squash, boxing, weightlifting and shooting – the performance of women turned out to be par excellence. The final contest in Badminton took place between two Indian Shuttlers, Saina Nehwal and P.V. Sindhu. Everyone was thrilled for the fact that despite there being competition, the ultimate medal winner had to be India. The whole country watched it with abated breath. I too enjoyed watching the match. This year, India fared well in Athletics too. Indian sprinters Mohammad Anas & Hema Das missed a medal narrowly, but their record performance has brought glory to the nation. I congratulate them too… my best wishes to them. Athletes who participated in these games hail from various parts of the country, even from smaller towns. They have reached this pinnacle, crossing a great deal of hurdles and hardships. Today, the positions they have secured for themselves, the targets they have achieved, owes a lot to the efforts & contribution of their parents, guardians, coaches, support staff, schools, teachers, the atmosphere provided by their Schools, during this journey in their lives. Even their friends have contributed by boosting their morale under all circumstances. I also congratulate them along with the sportspersons, my good wishes to them. I feel all these athletes have brought laurels to the country with their stellar performances; the fact is, their performances are not mere displays… they are sources of encouragement for upcoming Sportspersons and the young generation of the country alike.

        Last month during ‘Mann Ki Baat’, I had urged our countrymen, especially the youth to espouse ‘Fit India’. I had invited everyone to join ‘Fit India’, lead ‘Fit India’. I was overjoyed to see people getting connected to it with a lot of enthusiasm. Expressing support for this, many people have written to me, sent me letters, shared ‘fitness mantra- Fit India’ stories on social media.

        A gentleman Shriman Shashikant Bhonsale, sharing his photo by the swimming pool, has written, ‘My weapon is my body, my element is water, my world is swimming’.

        Rooma Devnath writes, “I truly feel happy & healthy through my Morning Walks. She further adds,” For me, fitness comes with a smile and we should smile, when we are happy.

        Devnathji, indeed, happiness is fitness, and there’s no doubt about it.

        Dhawal Prajapati, sharing a photograph of himself trekking, has written; ‘For me, travelling & trekking is ‘Fit India’.

        It was heartening to see many eminent personalities encouraging our youth in interesting ways for Fit India. Cine artiste Akshay Kumar has shared a video on Twitter. Even I have gone through it, you too should view it- it shows him exercising with wooden beads. He has mentioned that this exercise benefits muscles of the back and the stomach, to a great extent. Another video of his has gained popularity; in this he’s trying his hand on the volleyball with others. Many other young people have shared their experiences, having joined the ‘Fit India’ efforts. I feel movements like these are beneficial for all of us, for the entire country. I would additionally like to mention, that the movement of ‘Fit India’, without any expense, is called ‘YOG’. Yog has a special significance in the ‘Fit India’ campaign. You too must be busy with preparations… the significance, the merit of 21st June, International Yog Day has been accepted & welcomed globally. Do begin preparing for the Day rightaway. And not just yourself- your city, village, neighbourhood, school, college, men, women, everyone should make an attempt to connect with yog. Nowadays, the benefits of yog in one’s holistic physical & mental development does not need to be told… neither in India nor elsewhere in the world. You must have viewed an animated video depicting me, that has been widely circulated. I congratulate those from the field of animation for highlighting nuances, just the way a teacher does. You too will benefit from it.

        My young friends, you now must be out of the tread mill of exams, exams & more exams; you must be wondering about spending your holidays. You must be contemplating on ways to enjoy your vacations and places to travel to! I would like to talk to you today, to invite you on a new task. I’ve seen a lot of young people these days, spending time in learning new things. The significance of Summer Internship is soaring; as it is, an altogether new experience in itself. One gets an opportunity to experience life anew, away from closeted walls, away from paper & pen and computers. Dear young friends, today I urge you to undergo a special internship. Three Ministries of the Government of India; maybe four- Sports, HRD, Department of Drinking water have come together to launch a ‘Swachch Bharat Summer Internship 2018’. College students, young people from the NCC and Nehru Yuva Kendra, whoever want to do something substantial & learn something for the sake of society, & the country, those who want to get connected with transforming the country and be a reason for it, those who want to do something or the other for society with a positive energy- for them, there is a great opportunity! Even the cause of the cleanliness campaign will get a boost, and when we celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, we’ll surely attain a sense of fulfillment. And let me tell you, the best out of the best interns who have strived in schools & colleges with excellent work will be rewarded with recognition at the national level. Not just that, those interns who accomplish their tasks well, will be awarded two credit points each, by the UGC. Once again, I invite students & young people, boys & girls to avail of the benefits of the internship. You can register yourselves for the ‘Swachch Bharat Summer Internship’ on Mygov. I hope our youth will lend a hand in taking this movement of cleanliness forward. I too am eager to know more about your efforts. Do send in your learning experience, do post your stories, photos and videos. Come. Let us turn this vacation into a learning opportunity, for a totally new experience.   

My dear countrymen! I try to watch “Good News India” programme on Doordarshan whenever I get a chance and I would appeal to my countrymen that we all should also watch this “Good News India” programme wherein we get to know as to how many people in various parts of our country are doing many good things and that such good things are happening.

Recently, I saw that they were presenting the story of some youth from Delhi who are selflessly working in a dedicated manner to help in educating the poor children. This group of youngsters has started a big campaign in Delhi for providing education to the street children and slum dwellers. Initially, shocked to see the condition of children begging around or doing some menial jobs that this group of youngsters got dedicatedly, selflessly involved into this creative mission. Starting with just 15 children from the slums near Geeta Colony in New Delhi it is now being run at 12 places and two thousand children have been brought under its fold. Young teachers associated with this campaign find out a free time of two hours from their busy schedule and contribute in this stupendous mission of bringing out a social transformation.

Dear brothers and sisters, in this very way, some farmers from hilly areas of Uttarakhand have become a source of inspiration for the farmers across the country. With their collective efforts, they have not only changed their own fortunes but have changed fortunes of the whole region. In Bageshwar in Uttarakhand, main crops sown are Mandwa, Chaulai, Corn or Barley. This being a hilly area, the farmers did not get a fair price of their produce. But, the farmers in Kapkot tehsil decided to come out of this situation and adopted a value- addition process and changed the loss incurring equation into a profit-earning one. What they did was that they started production of biscuits from their agricultural produce and sold those biscuits directly in the market. Consequently, Chaulai which the farmers were forced to sell at Rs. 25 per Kg was now selling at Rs. 50 per Kg as biscuits.

Besides, there is a strong belief that the land in this area is iron-rich and these iron rich biscuits are very good for pregnant women as they overcome the deficiency of iron. These farmers have formed a cooperative society in Munar village and set-up a biscuit factory there. Impressed by the bold initiative of these farmers, the administration has also linked this to the National Livelihood Mission. These biscuits are now being supplied upto Almora and Kousani besides being sold to about fifty Aanganwadi kendras in Bagheshwar district. With the hard work of these farmers, the annual turnover of the society has gone up from 10 to 15 lakh rupees and with more than 900 families getting employment here, people have stopped migrating to other places.

My dear countrymen, we often hear that in, times to come, the world will face a war because of water. Everyone talks about this but do we not have any responsibility towards conservation of water? Do we not feel that water conservation must be a social responsibility? This must be a collective responsibility. How can we conserve each single drop of rain water? And, we all know this. And, water conservation is not a new topic for us; it is neither a part of the academic curriculum nor a part of our languages. Our forefathers have lived this as a way of life for centuries together. They gave due priority and importance to each single drop of water. They found out newer methods in order to conserve every single drop of water. Those of you who might be getting a chance to visit Tamilnadu might have noticed that in some temples in the state, there are carvings on stone depicting irrigation system, water conservation methods and drought management. There are vast stone inscriptions in these temples and devotees get a chance to read these educative messages. May it be Mannarkovil, Chiran Mahadevi, Kovilpatti or Pudukottai – you will get to see massive stone inscriptions to this effect. Several baodis (stepwells) are famous as tourist spots but please do not forget that these are the living symbols of the water conservation campaigns which our forefathers had accomplished.

Adalaj and Patan Ki Raniki Vaav (Baodi) in Gujarat is a UNESCO World Heritage site and its grandeur is to be seen to be believed. Baodis are water temples in a way. If you happen to go to Rajasthan, you must visit Chand Baodi. This is one of the biggest and the most beautiful baodis of India and the point to be noted is that this is situated in a water-scarce area. April, May, June and July is the most suitable time when rain water harvesting can be done and if we make preparations in advance, we can reap a rich harvest. Budget under MNREGA is also utilized for this water conservation activity. During the last three years, everyone in his or her own way has contributed towards water conservation and water management. An average of 32,000 crore rupees have been spent besides the MNREGA budget each year on water conservation and water management. If we talk of 2017-18, 55 percent of the total outlay of Rupees 64 thousand crores, which comes to around rupees 35 thousand crores, has been spent on works like water conservation. In last three years, nearly 150 lakh hectares of land got more benefit through water conservation and water management measures. Some people have really benefitted very well from MNREGA budget provisions made by the Government of India for water conservation and water management works. A project of reviving the rivers which had dried out was undertaken in Kerala. Seven thousand workers under MNREGA worked very hard for seventy days and finally succeeded in reviving Kuttumperoor river there. The Ganges and the Yamuna have plentiful of water but there are many other places in Uttar Pradesh like Fatehpur district where two small rivers namely Sasur-Khaderi got dried out. After receiving the reports of Remote Sensing Imagery and Inter Department Coordination, the district administration took up the responsibility of soil and water conservation on a massive scale. They succeeded in reviving the dried out Sasur Khaderi river with the help and cooperation of people from 40-45 villages of the area. This grand achievement is a big boon for animals, birds, farmers, crops and villages. I emphasis that once again April, May, June and July are before us and we must also take up some responsibility for water harvesting and water conservation, we should also chalk out some schemes, we should also do and show something.

My dear countrymen! When “Mann Ki Baat” approaches  I receive messages, letters and phone calls from all sides. Aayan Kumar Banerjee from Devi Tola village of North 24 Parganas in West Bengal in his comment on My Gov has written – “We celebrate Rabindra Jayanti every year but many people are not aware of the Nobel Laureate Rabindra Nath’s philosophy of living peacefully, aesthetically and with integrity. Kindly discuss this point in “Mann Ki Baat” programme so that more and more people may get to know about this.”

I thank Aayanji for drawing the attention of all listeners of “Mann Ki Baat” towards this point. Gurudev Tagore was a personality full of knowledge and intellect whose writings left an indelible mark on everyone. Rabindra Nath was a personality full of talent, a multi – directional personna but a teacher in his inner self can always be felt. He has written in Gitanjali – “ He, who has the knowledge has the responsibility to impart it to the students.”

I do not know Bangla but had the habit of rising early since my childhood and in Eastern India, radio broadcasts start early while in Western India these start a bit late. I have a faint memory that probably around 5:30 in the morning, Rabindra Sangeet used to be broadcast on radio and I had developed a habit to listen to Rabindra Sangeet on radio. And, whenever I got a chance to listen to poems like Anandloke and Aaguner, Poroshmoni, I used to feel as if my mind was being energised. You must also have been impressed by Rabindra Sangeet and his poems. I pay my respectful homage to Rabindra Nath Tagore.

My dear countrymen! Within a few days from now the holy month of Ramazan will dawn upon us. The month of Ramazan is celebrated with full reverence and respect throughout the world. The sociological and collective aspect of fasting is that when a person experiences hunger himself, he comes to realize the hunger of others. When he is thirsty, he realizes the thirst of others. This is an opportunity to remember the teachings of Prophet Muhammad-peace be upon him- and his message. It is our responsibility to follow the path of equality and brotherhood as morals from his life. Once a person asked the Prophet (peace be upon him): "Which is the best thing in Islam?" The Prophet Saab said, "feeding a poor and needy and meeting everyone cordially, whether you know him or not!"

Prophet Mohammad Sahib (peace be upon him) believed in twin principles of knowledge and compassion. He did not possess an iota of ego regarding himself. He preached that knowledge alone defeats ego. Prophet Mohammad Sahib(peace be upon him) believed that if you possessed anything more than your requirement, then donate it to the needy, thus donation or giving alms is important during Ramzan. People donate generously to the needy during this holy month. Prophet Muhammad Sahib believed that a person is rich because of his inherent spirituality, and not materialistic wealth. I wish all the citizens an auspicious month of Ramazan and I hope this opportunity will inspire people to follow the Prophet’s message of peace and goodwill.

My dear countrymen! Buddha Purnima is a special day for every Indian. We must be proud of the fact that India is the birthplace of Lord Buddha, the very synonym of power of compassion, service and sacrifice, who guided millions of people around the world. This Buddha Purnima reminds us of all of our obligation to emulate Lord Buddha’s teaching as well as, pledge ourselves to follow his footsteps. Lord Buddha was the fountainhead of egalitarianism, peace, harmony and brotherhood. These are human values, which are most desired in the world today. Baba Saheb Dr. Ambedkar stressed that Lord Buddha has been a great inspiration in his social philosophy. Baba Saheb had said –“My Social philosophy may be said to be enshrined in three words; liberty, equality and fraternity. My Philosophy has roots in religion and not in political science. I have derived them from the teaching of my master, The Buddha.”

Baba Saheb strengthened the oppressed, exploited, deprived and crores of people standing on the brink of marginalization via the Constitution of India. There cannot be a bigger example of compassion than this. This form of compassion was one of the greatest qualities of Lord Buddha for the alleviation of suffering of the people. The Buddhist monks used to travel to different countries carrying with them the rich ideals of Lord Buddha and this has been occurring throughout the ages. We have inherited the wisdom of Lord Buddha throughout Asia as part of our legacy.

It forges a link between us and many Asian countries like China, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Cambodia, and Myanmar where Buddhist traditions and his preaching are a part of their origins. And this is the very reason that we are developing Infrastructure for Buddhist Tourism, which is going to connect Southeast Asia with the important Buddhist sites of India. I am also very pleased that the Government of India is a partner in the restoration of many Buddhist temples which also includes the centuries old magnificent Anand Temple in Bagan in Myanmar. Today, when there is confrontation and human suffering prevalent everywhere in the world, Lord Buddha's teachings show the way to rid hatred from the world with compassion. I wish people spread all over the world who revere Lord Buddha and believe in the principles of compassion- I wish all of them an auspicious Buddha Purnima.

I seek benediction from Lord Buddha for the entire world, so that we can fulfill our responsibility in building a peaceful and compassionate world based on his teachings. Today, as we remember Lord Buddha, you must have heard about the idols of laughing Buddha, it is said that laughing Buddha brings one good fortune, but very few people know that smiling Buddha is also associated with an important event in India's defense history. Now you will be wondering what is the connection between smiling Buddha and India's military might?

You must remember, 20 years ago today, on 11th May 1998, the Prime Minister of India, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee had said while addressing the nation and his words filled the whole country with pride, courage and elation. The Indian diaspora was infused with new confidence. That day also was the day of Buddha Purnima. On May 11, 1998, at India’s western end a nuclear test was conducted in Pokhran, Rajasthan. It has been 20 years since Pokhranand this test was done on Buddha Purnima with the blessings of Lord Buddha. India's test was not only successful but in a way, India had demonstrated its might in the field of science and technology. We can also say 11 May 1988 is engraved in the history of India as a demonstration of her military power.

Lord Buddha has shown the world- that the power of inner strength or that of the soul is necessary for peace. Similarly, when you are sturdy as a nation, you can be at peace with others. The month of May, 1998 is not just important for the country from the aspect that nuclear tests were conducted this very month, but the manner in which they were carried out is also important. It has revealed to the entire world that India is the land of great scientists and with a strong leadership, India can reach loftier destinations and earn new laurels. On that day, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji had given the mantra - "Jai-Jawan Jai-Kisan, Jai-Vigyan.’

Now that when we are going to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Pokhran test conducted on May 11, 1998, I ask the younger generations of our nation to imbibe the mantra of 'Jai-Vigyan' given by Atalji for enhancing the might and the power of India, to build a modern India, a powerful India and a self-reliant India. Synergize your energy with the strength of India. Witnessing the journey that Atal ji started, we while continuing onwards on that very path with a renewed joy will derive great satisfaction in getting ahead.

My dear countrymen, looking forward to our conversation when we will meet for another episode of Mann Ki Baat.

Thank you very much.

Mon, 30 Apr 2018 11:11:21 +0530
PM greets people on Buddh

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has greeted the people on the auspicious occasion of Buddha Purnima.

“The teachings of Lord Buddha are extremely relevant in the 21st century. His was a life devoted to alleviating suffering and removing injustice from society. His compassion has endeared him to millions. Buddha Purnima greetings to everyone”, the Prime Minister said.

Mon, 30 Apr 2018 11:00:56 +0530
Vice President India to

The Vice President of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that India has the chance to re-emerge as the global powerhouse in the field of education and called for revamping the syllabi and improving the infrastructure to impart world class quality education.

He was addressing the gathering after inaugurating the new campus of the Central University of Kerala and dedicating the educational institution to the nation, in Kasargod, Kerala today. He said that India was once known as ‘Vishwaguru’ and people from across the globe used to come here to study and acquire knowledge and expertise in different domains.

The Vice President said that from private educational institutions to Central Universities like this, every academic organization must work in a mission mode to revamp the educational architecture in tune with the requirements of the 21st century to make India a leading nation in the field of education and innovation. 

He said the education system should aim at the creation of a new, inclusive society, non-violent and non-exploitative, consisting of highly cultivated and motivated individuals inspired by love for humanity and guided by wisdom. He asked the students to be the torch bearers of our culture, traditions, ethos and customs. There is nothing wrong in adopting and assimilating good practices from elsewhere, but always remain rooted to our age-old culture and heritage, he added.

The Vice President recollected the famous words of the Father of the Nation - “I do not want my house to be walled in on all sides and my windows to be stuffed. I want the culture of all lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible. But I refuse to be blown off my feet by any”.

The Vice President said that Education must lay the foundation for the progress of a nation adding that higher education, in particular, has an important role in building a knowledge-based society of the 21st century. He further said that higher education system should expand qualitatively and quantitatively for the betterment of the nation and society.  Graduates need to be competitive not only in a local or national context, but in an increasingly global market, he added.

The Vice President said that in this ‘global village’ our graduates as future leaders need a new kind of intercultural understanding, respect for common rules and fair play, an understanding of different interests, views and ways of thinking, and the ability to analyze and synthesize, he added.

The Vice President expressed the hope that in future various courses, including science & technology, will be taught in respective local languages in various States.

Expressing his concern over the increasing atrocities on women and girls, he said that the mindset has to be changed to address this menace. He emphasized the need for people to collectively fight against social evils like atrocities on women and caste discrimination.

Mon, 30 Apr 2018 10:57:53 +0530
Tejas achieves another mi

Tejas, the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) successfully fired Derby Air-to-Air Beyond Visual Range Missile to expand the firing envelope as well as to demonstrate safe operation of the aircraft during missile plume ingestion into the aircraft engine under worst case scenarios.

The missile was launched from LCA Tejas piloted by Wg Cdr Siddharth Singh on 27 April from the firing range off the Goa coast after exhaustive study of the missile separation characteristics and plume envelope. LCATejas has been designed & developed by DRDO’s autonomous society – Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA).

Integration of Derby, a BVR class missile is one of the major objectives of Final Operational Clearance (FOC) of LCATejas.

The aircraft was tracked by two other Tejas aircraft in close formation to capture the firing event in the specially instrumented high speed cameras for detailed analysis and comparison with the simulation model for validation. The entire planning, practice sorties and final firing was carried out by ADA and it’s National Flight Test Centre (NFTC) officials Cmde JA Maolankar and GpCapt A Kabadwal, IAF, DG(AQA), HAL &  INS HANSA.

Based on the successful integration and demonstration, Regional Centre for Military Airworthiness (RCMA), a unit of DRDO has cleared the series production aircraft of Squadron 45, to be equipped with Derby operational capability. LCATejas has successfully completed a series of captive flight trials to clear Derby for the full operational capability in the entire FOC envelope. In the past, Tejas has qualified for the armaments and missile release related trials.

Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman has complimented DRDO and other agencies involved for making LCATejas fighter jet, a world class aircraft platform.    

Chairman DRDO& Secretary Department of Defence R&D Dr. S Christopher, congratulated and said that with this firing, LCATejas achieved another major milestone towards FOC certification.

Sun, 29 Apr 2018 11:08:19 +0530
Israeli exhibition inaugu

The exhibition 'To the end of Land' was inagurated at the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi by Daniel Carmon, Ambassador, Embassy of Israel in India.

The Exhibition is in collaboration with the Petach Tikva Museum of Art, Israel  and is titled ‘To the End of Land’ contemporary art from Israel on the occasion of 25 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Speaking on the occassion the ambassador said that the exhibition is a festival of art and friendship between the two countries and represents the vision of the leaders of both the countries and widening dialouge  between India and Israel.

The Israeli Ambassador also said, “This exhibition speaks to the heart of the Indo-Israeli relations as it tells the story of Israel’s agriculture and technology in an innovative and out of the box context of contemporary art. It presents the Israeli spirit not only in its content, but also in its method of delivery. We are proud to have partnered with the Indian Ministry of Culture and the NGMA and to have upgraded our cultural cooperation via this special project. Through art, we find a common language through which to deepen our understanding of one another and strengthen our people to people bonds.”

 The exhibition presents a wide range of references and approaches to recent changes in the economic and social landscape in Israel, as manifested by the appearance of

natural scenery in Israeli contemporary art. Engagement with the land, its borders, scars, and produce runs through the work of many artists active in Israel today. The chosen title, “To the End of Land:, strives to draw attention to some of the cultural, social, and political aspects embodied in their artistic explorations of land.

The exhibition is available for the public viewing for the entire month of May, 11am to 6.30pm, tuesday to Sunday. (Closed on Sundays and national holidays.)

Sun, 29 Apr 2018 10:55:45 +0530
North Korea to shut down

South Korean President Moon Jae-In’s spokesperson said that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has assured to close down their nuclear test site in May in the recently concluded meeting between the two Korean leaders.

Moon and Kim had met on Friday to end the long standing war between the two Koreas and in a meeting which concluded successfully.

The spokesperson also said that the closure ceremony will be conducted publicly and will invite experts from South Korea and the US as well. There will be a change in time zone also as North Korea's time zone is half- an-hour different from their neighbour.

Meanwhile US President Donald Trump stated that he will try his part to denuclearise the Korean subcontinent and will be meeting the North Korean leader Kim in the coming months.

Sun, 29 Apr 2018 10:44:26 +0530
Congress holds mega rally

Congress is set to begin their political campaign for 2019 parliament election as they will commence their mega rally in Delhi today. The rally dubbed as "Jan Aakrosh" will be inaugurated by the party president Rahul Gandhi at the Ramleela Maidan.

Congress expects a participation of more than 50,000 for the rally as the Congress wants to highlight the fake promises given by Narendra Modi.

As the name suggests, the Congress aims to highlight the dissatisfaction and anger among the people against the Modi government and to find a route for an administrative change in the next election through "Jan Aakrosh".

Sun, 29 Apr 2018 10:41:09 +0530
Modi Xi Meet Asian gia

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping held their first Informal Summit in Wuhan on April 27-28 to exchange views on overarching issues of bilateral and global importance, and to elaborate their respective visions and priorities for national development in the context of the current and future international situation.

They believe that the simultaneous emergence of India and China as two large economies and major powers with strategic and decisional autonomy, has implications of regional and global significance. They shared the view that peaceful, stable and balanced relations between India and China will be a positive factor for stability amidst current global uncertainties. They also agreed that proper management of the bilateral relationship will be conducive for the development and prosperity of the region, and will create the conditions for the Asian Century. To this end, they decided to strengthen the Closer Development Partnership in a mutually beneficial and sustainable manner, in pursuit of national modernization and greater prosperity for their peoples.

 

Prime Minister Modi and President Xi reviewed developments in India-China relations from the strategic and long-term perspective. They agreed to significantly enhance efforts to build on the convergences through the established mechanisms in order to create the broadest possible platform for the future relationship. They also agreed that both sides have the maturity and wisdom to handle the differences through peaceful discussion within the context of the overall relationship, bearing in mind the importance of respecting each other's sensitivities, concerns and aspirations.

 

The two leaders expressed their support for the work of the Special Representatives on the India China Boundary Question and urged them to intensify their efforts to seek a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable settlement. The two leaders underscored the importance of maintaining peace and tranquility in all areas of the India-China border region in the larger interest of the overall development of bilateral relations. To this end, they issued strategic guidance to their respective militaries to strengthen communication in order to build trust and mutual understanding and enhance predictability and effectiveness in the management of border affairs. The two leaders further directed their militaries to earnestly implement various confidence building measures agreed upon between the two sides, including the principle of mutual and equal security, and strengthen existing institutional arrangements and information sharing mechanisms to prevent incidents in border regions.

 

The two leaders agreed to push forward bilateral trade and investment in a balanced and sustainable manner by taking advantage of complementarities between their two economies. They also discussed ways to promote greater cultural and people-to-people exchanges and agreed to explore establishing new mechanisms in this direction.

Prime Minister Modi and President Xi underlined that as two major countries India and China have wider and overlapping regional and global interests. They agreed on their need to strengthen strategic communication through greater consultation on all matters of common interest. They believe that such strategic communication will have a positive influence on enhancing mutual understanding and will contribute to regional and global stability.

The two leaders agreed that India and China have separately made major contributions to global peace and prosperity through their respective growth and economic development, and would continue to act as engines for global growth in the future. They reiterated the importance of building an open, multipolar, pluralist and participatory global economic order which will enable all countries to pursue their development and contribute to the elimination of poverty and inequality in all regions of the world. They spoke of their respective efforts to contribute to the regional and global economic development.

The two leaders also shared views on their respective foreign policy visions of achieving global prosperity and security. They agreed to jointly contribute in a positive and constructive way in facilitating sustainable solutions for global challenges including climate change, sustainable development, food security etc. They underscored the importance of reform of multilateral financial and political institutions to make them representative and responsive to the needs of developing countries.

The two leaders agreed that as two major countries and emerging economies, India and China, given their vast developmental experiences and national capacities, should join hands to take lead in offering innovative and sustainable solutions to challenges faced by humankind in the 21st century. These include combating diseases, coordinating action for disaster risk reduction and mitigation, addressing climate change and ushering digital empowerment. They agreed to pool together their expertise and resources in these areas and create a global network dedicated to these challenges for the larger benefit of humanity.

Prime Minister Modi and President Xi recognized the common threat posed by terrorism, and reiterated their strong condemnation of and resolute opposition to terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. They committed themselves to cooperate on counter-terrorism.

The two leaders highly assessed the opportunity for direct, free and candid exchange of views offered by the Informal Summit and agreed on the utility of holding more such dialogues in the future. The forward-looking dialogue raised the level of strategic communication about the perspective, priorities and vision that guide their respective policy choices domestically, regionally and globally. It also helped them in forging a common understanding of the future direction of India-China relations built upon mutual respect for each other's developmental aspirations and prudent management of differences with mutual sensitivity.

Sun, 29 Apr 2018 10:38:26 +0530
Tripura CM regrets his co

Tripura CM Biplab Deb said that he regretted his comment on former Miss World Diana Hayden after the Tripura CM had questioned Diana's potential to win the Miss World title.

He said that he meant no disrespect to women.

He had  dubbed the world beauty competitions as "underground activities" and expressed disbelief as to how Diana bagged the title two decades back while addressing a public function.

"It is quite understandable how Aishwarya Rai got the prize. She represented Indian ladies. But can't understand the beauty of Diana Hayden", CM said.

The Tripura CM  said that it was the plan executed by fashion industries as part of their underground activities to grab the Indian markets and in turn awarded five world beauty titles for India.

Sat, 28 Apr 2018 12:01:59 +0530
India strengthens border

After Indian PM Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping held an informal meet to discuss issues that created setback in relations between the two countries, India strengthened its border with China after the centre decided to build 96 more outposts of 96 Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP).

Interestingly India's decision to elevate its border security came at a time when the two leaders met in Wuhan and announced their willingness to work jointly. New border outposts will come up in the 3,488 km long Indo-China border which will enable the Indian force to easily resist the Chinese invasion.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was welcomed by Chinese President Xi Jinping yesterday after which a cultural programme was held to commemorate the meet.

Both leaders decided to meet for informal talks amid various issues including tensions that mounted over the Doklam invasion and many more.

There will only be an unofficial meeting between the two leaders and there won't be any other people except the translators accompanying the leaders during their boat ride and garden visit. 

The Wuhan meet has huge significance unlike the previous meetings as this meet will script the future course of relation between the two countries. 

Sat, 28 Apr 2018 11:15:25 +0530
Kim makes historic decisi

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un announced that he will ink a deal to end the long standing war with South Korea as well as agreed for denuclearisation after Kim and the South Korean President Moon Jae In met at Panmunjom which is located between the two countries.

Both leaders agreed to bring permanent peace in the Korean Peninsula through complete denuclearisation.

Both countries sat for discussion after a decade long wait and this is for the first time that a North Korean leader is visiting South Korea.

The result of the meet will dictate the route of future set of ties between the United States and North Korea as US President Donald Trump had stated that his plans to meet the North Korean leader depends upon the success of the Korean meet.

The highly anticipated talks commenced today after the N.Korean President stepped across the border while his counterpart Moon arrived to welcome Kim at Panmunjom.

Fri, 27 Apr 2018 18:53:16 +0530
PM invites China s Xi for

Prime Minister Narendra Modi invited Chinese President Xi Jinping  to India for the next round of "informal" meet in India while the PM lauded the efforts of two countries in raising the global economy.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Chinese President XI Jinping at Wuhan where the two leaders held an informal meeting. President Xi welcomed PM Modi after which a cultural programme was held to commemorate the meet.

Both leaders are set to "open up" on various issues including tensions that mounted over the Doklam invasion and many more.

There will only be an unofficial meeting between the two leaders and there won't be any other people except the translators accompanying the leaders during their boat ride and garden visit. 

The Wuhan meet has huge significance unlike the previous meetings as this meet will script the future course of relation between the two countries.

Fri, 27 Apr 2018 18:48:15 +0530
PM Modi treats Judiciary

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal launched an attack on PM Modi after the NDA government rejected the Collegium suggestion to uplift  Uttarakhand High Court Chief Justice K.M. Joseph as Supreme Court Judge.

Kejriwal expressed his anguish on twitter and said that the PM is treating the Judiciary in the same manner as he treats Delhi government.

Kejriwal always wages a battle with the centre as he alleges the Modi led government stealing all the powers of AAP govt in Delhi including the appointment of govt employees and their transfers.

Earlier on yesterday the central govt had rejected the Collegium suggestion to uplift Justice K.M. Joseph to the Supreme Court citing Kerala has enough representation in the top court as well as there are many more senior judges ahead of Justice Joseph.

Fri, 27 Apr 2018 16:58:17 +0530
Eggless Whole Wheat Choco

Preparation Time: 10 mins

Baking Time: 25 to 30 mins

Makes: 6 muffins

 

Ingredients:

Whole Wheat Flour – 3/4 cup

Baking Soda – 1/2 tsp

Baking Powder – 1/4 tsp

Chocolate Chips – 1/4 cup

Water – 1/2 cup

Cooking Oil – 1 tblspn

Brown Sugar – 1/2 cup

Overripe Banana – 1 large peeled and mashed

 

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 180 degree celcius. Line a 6 cup muffin tray with cupcake moulds and set aside.
  • Take wheat flour, baking powder and baking soda in a bowl and keep aside.
  • Take water, brown sugar and oil and mix well till smooth and is in a ribbon like pouring consistancy.
  • Now add in the flour mix in and fold gently. Add in the mashed banana and mix well.
  • Use a icecream scoop to fill the batter in the moulds and bake for 25 to 30 mins.
  • Remove it and let it cool for 10 mins.
  • Serve warm or with vanilla ice-cream.

(As Compiled by Prerna Mistry)

Fri, 27 Apr 2018 16:50:14 +0530
Yas Experiences signs agr

Yas Experiences, Yas Island’s recently launched trade arm, has signed an agreement with VFS Global, appointing them as the company’s representative in the Indian market. The appointment will see the new partner work closely with the Yas Experiences’ business development team in Abu Dhabi to promote the leisure and entertainment destination and provide package solutions for trade partners across India.

As part of the agreement, VFS Global will set up three sales offices in Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru to cater to travel partners in Central, North and South India, respectively. The sales representative office headquartered in Mumbai will support Yas Experience’ sales and marketing efforts to further promote Yas Island to Indian travellers.

Marina Cipriano, General Manager of Yas Experiences, said, "Yas Island is no stranger to the Indian traveller. Guests over the past few years have been enjoying some of the Island’s top attractions, namely Yas Marina Circuit - home to the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - and our theme parks Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and Yas Waterworld. Our partnership with VFS Global will allow us to further secure Yas Island’s positioning as a one-of-a-kind holiday destination in Abu Dhabi, and tailor packages with partners that allow travellers to experience more of what we have to offer, especially as we get ready to introduce new attractions in 2018 – such as the soon-to-open Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi."

Around nine million Indians are expected to travel to the GCC by 2021, according to the latest figures from Colliers International. Reports also suggest that growth of the global travel industry is being led by Asian travelers; Indian tourist arrivals in the region expected to grow by CAGR of 7-8 percent.

Cipriano added, "We’ve seen 14 percent growth in Indian visitation to our theme parks in the first quarter of 2018, and we are confident the popularity of Yas Island will continue to grow as we add more leisure and entertainment experiences in the mix."

The two parties will work together to explore approaches to target Indian holidaymakers, and with a strong network presence across India, both are confident of the results this strategic partnership will reap.

"We are absolutely delighted to have been chosen as the India representative for Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. Yas Island is a vibrant and unique destination that is renowned for its assortment of experiences. We are confident that we will be able to further establish the island as a premier destination for discerning Indian travellers," said Vinay Malhotra, Regional Group COO, VFS Global.

Fri, 27 Apr 2018 16:49:31 +0530
Bait Al Naboodah opens af

Bait Al Naboodah, which belonged to the largest pearl dealer in the emirate of Sharjah, has officially reopened after extensive renovation work that was carried out by a team of historians over several years.

Founded in 1845, the historic house was owned by Emirati Emir Obaid bin Isa bin Ali Al Shamsi, a pearl merchant in the Arabian Gulf who expanded his business network to include the Arabian Gulf, India and Europe.

Bait Al Naboodah is characterised by its fine two-storey architectural design. The ground floor includes a bedroom, a spacious courtyard and a water well. The first floor includes a "summer house" and bedrooms.

Recognised as an architectural masterpiece for its time, Bait Al Naboodah was one of the largest houses in the heart of Sharjah located near the Fort of Sharjah and close to the port and the major markets.

The entrance to Bait Al Naboodah draws visitors’ attention to the magnificent interior details, including wooden doors and windows and Roman-designed columns in the courtyard. The rooms have been carefully restored by historians from the Sharjah Institute for Heritage who worked to preserve the building’s frescoes, wooden beams and teak columns.

The house was equipped with an innovative cooling system designed for air flow along the internal walls to help mitigate the high temperatures. This helped the family stay near the sea to take care of their business interests throughout the year even when most people would migrate from the coast to interior areas and oases to escape the summer heat.

Visitors to Bait Al Naboodah can see clear signs of just how successful the pearl merchant and his family were. The house was one of the largest buildings in the area, with a unique design that included architectural and cultural features from all over the world. This acted as a clear indication of the status of Al Naboodah in society.

The renovation has transformed Bait Al Naboodah into an exhibition of the Naboodah family’s holdings. Exhibits include coins from India and the Arabian Gulf, as well as a range of devices and equipment used to measure the weight and size of pearls brought to Sharjah.

There is also a collection of beautifully preserved documents that show Al Naboodah's dealings with various companies, businessmen and prominent members of the community, including the rulers of the era.

Fri, 27 Apr 2018 16:23:11 +0530
India UAE announce new s

The governments of the UAE and India announced the launch of a new strategic partnership focused on skills development and mutual recognition of qualifications.

The partnership was launched at a forum in Dubai, organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, FICCI, supported by the UAE’s Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, MOHRE, and India’s Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.

The new partnership builds on a robust institutional framework of cooperation on labour and skilling matters. A strengthened MoU on cooperation in the labour field was signed during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra to UAE, in February 2018.

Commenting on the announcement, Dr. Omar Al Nuaimi, MOHRE Assistant Under-Secretary, said, "My hope is that this is only the first step in terms of increased collaboration between the UAE and India. It is also my hope that through this partnership, the UAE and India will lead the way regionally in making sure that the skilling of workers in our region is robust. By strengthening trust in the quality of training and certification, and by requiring workers to be skilled and certified prior to their arrival, we can improve the skills mix in the labour market, leading to improved labour productivity for business. The skilling of workers is also likely to positively impact the wage structure here in the UAE, ensuring that wages increase and improving competition among Emiratis for a variety of jobs."

The Indian Ambassador to the UAE, Navdeep Suri, in turn, said, "In the spirit of our MoUs on cooperation in the field of manpower and the Skill Development and Recognition of Qualifications, both countries have agreed to work together to integrate India’s eMigrate system with UAE’s labour e-platform and to facilitate skill development and employment of certified workforce in UAE. Integration of India’s eMigrate system with UAEs labour e-platform will be a very important step to stop contract substitution and to ensure protection and welfare of Indian workers and will benefit both the countries as well."

Fri, 27 Apr 2018 16:16:37 +0530
PM Modi holds talks with

Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Chinese President XI Jinping at Wuhan where the two leaders held an informal meeting. President Xi was welcomed PM Modi after which a cultural programme was held to commemorate the meet.

Both leaders are set to commence talks later today and "open up" on various issues including tensions that mounted over the Doklam invasion and many more.

There will only be an unofficial meeting between the two leaders and there won't be any other people except the translators accompanying the leaders during their boat ride and garden visit. 

The Wuhan meet has huge significance unlike the previous meetings as this meet will script the future course of relation between the two countries.

Fri, 27 Apr 2018 16:01:23 +0530
Korean leaders meet for h

The crucial meet between the two Korean leaders, South Korean President Moon Jae-in and the North Korean President Kim Jong-un, commenced today after the N.Korean President stepped across the border while his counterpart Moon arrived to welcome Kim at Panmunjong which locates between the two countries and where the meet is set to take place.

Both countries will sit for discussion after a decade long wait and this is for the first time that a North Korean leader is visiting South Korea.

The result of the meet will dictate the route of future set of ties between the United States and North Korea as US President Donald Trump had stated that his plans to meet the North Korean leader depends upon the success of the Korean meet.

Fri, 27 Apr 2018 11:53:38 +0530
Modi Xi set to meet toda

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping are set to meet today and "open up" on various issues including tensions that mounted over the Doklam invasion and many more. Both the leaders will meet at the vacation destination, Wuhan.

There will only be an unofficial meeting between the two leaders and there won't be any other people except the translators accompanying the leaders during their boat ride and garden visit.

The Wuhan meet has huge significance unlike the previous meetings as this meet will script the future course of relation between the two countries

Fri, 27 Apr 2018 11:49:39 +0530
Vice President advises do

The Vice President of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu advised the doctors to Treat Patients with Patience, Empathy and Compassion. He was addressing the 8th Convocation of Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, New Delhi.

The Vice President said that education and healthcare are the two pillars of nation building. He further said that India has made rapid strides in various sectors, including the medical field. However, even after 70 years, we are facing many challenges including poverty, illiteracy, atrocities on women and girls, problem of drinking water in many rural and urban areas, lack of hygiene and sanitation, casteism, corruption and urban-rural divide, he added.

The Vice President said that while the Government is committed to providing universal health coverage to all, the urban-rural divide is more glaring in the healthcare sector. To overcome the problem of manpower shortage in rural areas, he advised to make it mandatory for MBBS graduates to work in the rural areas before getting their first promotion. This would enable the rural population to get better medical care and at the same time sensitize the medical fraternity to the healthcare concerns of rural population, he added.

The Vice President said that several State Governments have designed their own health insurance schemes. He further said that the aim is to ensure that no person is denied the right to affordable medical care. The private sector must join hands with the government to ensure that healthcare is accessible and affordable, he added.

The Vice President said that the graduating doctors have chosen this profession casts an onerous responsibility in building not only a ‘Swasth Bharat but also a Shresth Bharat’. He further said that they have been trained under a very proficient faculty and a world-class postgraduate teaching program and research facility.  In this temple of learning, they have been exposed to frontline medical technology, witnessed state of the art operations like organ transplant, limb re-implantation, neonatal operations, brain and cardiac surgery, participated in investigation and treatment of challenging ailments, he added.

Fri, 27 Apr 2018 10:10:13 +0530
Smart Cities Mission is t

The Vice President of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that the Smart Cities Mission is the beginning of India’s urban renaissance. He was addressing the gathering after releasing the Book ‘Smart Cities Unbundled’ authored by Dr. Sameer Sharma.

The Vice President said that a Smart City is a liveable city to the people with required amenities like clean drinking water, sanitation, toilets, infrastructure etc. He further said that it as a renaissance because there has been a paradigm shift in both the planning, approach and implementation of Smart City mission.

The Vice President said that while the government has a Constitutional mandate to devolve funds, functionaries and functions on local bodies, the progress has been slow. He further said that the urban agenda prepared by the present Government aims to address this gap by integrating several types of plans at the city level. People's participation in any programme is crucial for its success, he added.

The Vice President said that the Smart Cities Mission, which was described as ‘Mission Transform nation’ by the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, seeks to transform cities into sustainable centres of economic activity and provide improved quality of life to citizens. He further said that another remarkable feature of the mission was to take up credit rating of cities. One more important strategic element of the Smart Cities Mission is the use of digital technology to bring about transparency and accountability, as well as improving the service delivery to its citizens, he added.

Thu, 26 Apr 2018 08:53:32 +0530
The Emotional Effects of

By Prerna Mistry

Colours aren’t just what you see. They have a deeper impact on our psyche and have an effect on us both mentally as well. Do you ever notice that certain places make you uncomfortable for no reason at all? And that certain places are especially relaxing and calming? Well, there’s a good chance that the colours in those spaces are playing a part in making you feel those things.

Besides, there is also a reason why people prefer certain colours over others and it is this certain preference that determines our personalities in varied ways as each colour has an association with a reaction our brain has when we internalize it.

  • Psychological Effects of Cool Colours

Cool colours provide not only relaxing and calming vibes but also prod creativity as well. Take for example the colour purple; Purple utilizes both, colours red and blue that provides a good balance of stimulation and serenity which encourages creativity and also provides a stress free atmosphere due to its calming effect on the mind. Green is also a calming colour that even helps you concentrate well. Blue is calming as well and also decreases respiration and lowers blood pressure.

  • Psychological Effects of Warm Colours

Utilize colours yellow or orange to create an environment of stimulation and also encourage appetite. The colour red, however, stimulates feelings of love, warmth and helps in regaining energy levels. Red also enhances metabolism, however, it increases respiration rate and increases blood pressure.

  • Psychological Effects of Monochromes

Monochromatic colours, mainly black and white, are polar opposites not just colour wise but also in the effects that they have on our minds as well. Black is associated with power, elegance and mystery. However, too much of it can cause a feeling of grief in one’s mind. White symbolises purity and all that is light and pure. Black can have a negative connotation as opposed to the colour white.

However, having said that, each person has different reactions to different colours. Therefore the universal significance of each colour may not apply to everyone. Hence colour psychology and associations, have many scientific questions about it that are still left unanswered and differences in cultural attachments to colours can only be studied through observation and experiences.

 

 

Wed, 25 Apr 2018 18:28:06 +0530
PM Modi and Chinese Presi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to meet Chinese president Xi Jinping for an ‘informal summit.’ The informal summit is set to be one where matters such as the unresolved border dispute will be discussed among other important topics such as terrorism and India’s trade deficit with China as well.

During the Modi-Xi meeting, the entire spectrum of significant bilateral and global issues is likely to come up for discussion. However, no major agreements are expected to be reached.

Besides, the two leaders are likely to discuss the changes that have taken place and which are unprecedented in the past 100 years to exchange views on the strategic, long term issues concerning particularly bilateral ties.

 

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 18:04:05 +0530
H 1B visa holders spouse

The Trump administration is planning to end allowing spouses of H1-B visa holders to work legally in the US. The move, it has been reported, will impact more than 70,000 H-4 visas holders, who have work permits.

H-4 is issued to the spouse of H-1B visa holders. They obtained work permits under a special order issued by the previous Obama administration that allowed work permits for spouses who otherwise could not be employed while H-1B visa holders sought permanent resident status.

The Trump administration, however, is planning to terminate this provision, according to a letter by US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director Francis Cissna to Senator Chuck Grassley.

“Our plans include proposing regulatory changes to remove H-4 dependent spouses from the class of aliens eligible for employment authorisation, thereby reversing the 2015 final rule that granted such eligibility,” Cissna said.

He further stated that such action would comport with the executive order requirement to “propose new rules and issue new guidance, to supersede or revise previous rules and guidance if appropriate, to protect the interests of United States workers in the administration of our immigration system.”

 

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 17:47:03 +0530
10 killed in Toronto van

At least 10 people were killed after a white van rammed into pedestrians in Toronto. Around 15 people were injured in the incident as well.

The driver has been arrested by the Canadian police and identified as Alek Minassian. The police have taken Manassian into custody. However, the motive for the attack remains unclear.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took to Twitter to offer his condolences and prayers for families affected in the incident. Trudeau tweeted, “Tonight, the hearts & thoughts of an entire country are with the families and friends of those killed in Toronto today. We also wish all those injured a fast and full recovery.”

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 13:19:23 +0530
Diu runs on 100 renewabl

Diu Smart City has become the first city in India, that runs on 100% renewable energy during daytime setting a new benchmark for other cities to become clean and green.

Diu had been importing 73% of its power from Gujarat until last year. It has now adopted a two-pronged approach whereby a 9 MW solar park spread over 50 hectares rocky barren land has been developed besides installing solar panels on the roof tops on 79 government buildings thereby generating 1.3 MW annually.

To further enhance its solar capacity, Diu offers its residents a subsidy of Rs 10, 000-50,000 for installing 1-5KW roof top solar panels. Diu is saving about 13,000 tonnes of carbon emissions every year. Due to low-cost solar energy, power tariffs have been cut in residential category by 10% last year and 15% this year.

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 09:24:38 +0530
Gadkari vows to bring dow

Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari has said that India is exploring an agreement with South Korea for introduction of Highways Information System in the country. This would be developed on lines of the system run by the Express Highways Information Corporation of South Korea, with integrated monitoring of a highway at a centralized control room.

Inaugurating the 29th National Road Safety Week in New Delhi’s Vigyan Bhavan, the Minister spelt out the ministry’s priorities in ensuring safety of road users in the country. He informed that he has fixed a target of bringing down the number of road fatalities to half from the around 1.5 lakh accidental deaths reported when he took over. Gadkari said, though progress has been achieved in this respect, he is still not satisfied and aspires to keep working in this direction.

The Ministry organizes the Road Safety Week every year to create awareness among general public and improve upon the safety of road users. This year, Road Safety Week is being organized from 23rd to 29th of April and the focus is on schools and commercial drivers. Addressing the participants Gadkari requested that every student be made a road safety ambassador for his family and for the society. Various activities have been organized for school / college students, drivers and all road users.

The Minister gave away awards to fifteen school children who won the national level essay competition on road safety. The top three winners were given cash prizes of Rs 15,000, Rs 10,000 and Rs 5,000 and a certificate each. Gadkari also administered the road safety pledge to all those present on the occasion.

Outlining the initiatives and steps taken to improve vehicle safety and overall road safety, the Minister said his ministry has adopted the 4E principles of Education, Enforcement, Engineering and Emergency care to address the problem of road safety. For ensuring vehicular safety, the standards of buses have been upgraded, air bags and speed alert device have been made mandatory for all cars, and every two-wheeler will have ABS to avoid skidding. He said, the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2017, passed by Lok Sabha is waiting to be cleared by Rajya Sabha. This bill comprehensively promotes safety on the road. It would also promote the development of an efficient, seamless and integrated multi-mode public transport system.

The Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has launched a scheme for setting up of Driving Training Centre to provide quality training to commercial vehicle drivers, improve road and environment safety and strengthen overall mobility on roads. 789 road accident black spots have been identified on NHs of which 139 black spots are rectified, work on 233 black spots are awarded and in progress. Ministry had issued guidelines for taking up of Road Safety Audits on National Highways either as part of all new projects. Detailed Road Safety Audits in a length of 610 km have been sanctioned on National Highways in last two years. Installation of crash barriers at accident prone locations on National Highways in Hilly Terrain has been sanctioned in a length of 183 Km at a cost of Rs 108.25 crore.

Shri Gadkari also released a paper on road safety by Indian Road Safety Campaign. IRSC is a youth led national mission promoting road safety, led by students and alumni of IIT Delhi. It is currently working on creating awareness on road safety, developing technologies, simplifying laws and improving the post-accident emergency care system. IRSC organizes an annual road safety championship called as the Safer India Challenge in collaboration with the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways and various state polices involving the youth to come up with innovations in this area. The Safer India Challenge’18 was launched on the occasion. In addition to this the Minister also released a short story collection on road safety theme entitled “Have a safe journey”

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 09:20:47 +0530
Intl SME Convention 20

Delegates from 37 countries are participating in the first ever International SME Convention being held in New Delhi from 22nd to 24th April. Some of the participating countries are Australia, Austria, France, Indonesia, Italy, Kenya, Korea, Malaysia, Morocco, Nigeria, Philippines, Poland, Russia, Spain, Sri Lanka, South Africa and UAE. Delegates from these countries are representing small enterprises of their countries in the sectors of agriculture, healthcare, strategic defence training, education, logistics, digital entertainment and waste management. The Convention will be also hosting over 400 entrepreneurs from India.

During the 2 days’ Convention a Khadi fashion show called “Transcending Boundaries” will be held. The show is being curated by Sunil Sethi of the Fashion Design Council of India featuring Khadi designs of Rohit Bal, Anju Modi, Payal Jain and Poonam Bhagat. The Convention has a special session for women entrepreneurs where successful women business persons will discuss creating sustainable livelihoods for women entrepreneurs.

The MSME sector has emerged as a most vibrant sector in the Indian economy and has gained recognition throughout the world for doing business in areas as varied as waste management, gems and jewellery, agriculture and food processing and the automotive industry. During this Convention around 150 exhibitors from India and abroad have set up stalls showcasing their business and products. During the inaugural function 35 of India’s “Small Giants” were felicitated by the Minister. The companies felicitated are dealing with logistics, bio-technology, pharma, semi-conductors, textiles, gems and jewellery, security and chemicals.

The Minister hoped that a Convention like this will act like a bridge across all sectors and will help India in making use of its demographic dividend by generating jobs for the youth of this country.

The Polish delegation has the largest number of participants and is led by the Mayor of Sosnowiec, Mr. Arkadiusz Chęciński.  Sosnowiec is an industrial city of Southern Poland.  On this occasion, Gianfranco Terenzi, President of World Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (WUSME), Prahlad Kakkar, Chairman, India SME forum, Secretary, Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME), Dr. Arun Kumar Panda, Chairman of Khadi and Village Industries Commission and Chairman of Coir Board of India were also present.

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 09:15:22 +0530
President confers Gallant

The President and Supreme Commander of the Indian Armed Forces Shri Ram Nath Kovind conferred three Kirti Chakras and thirteen Shaurya Chakras to Armed Forces Personnel for displaying conspicuous gallantry, indomitable courage and extreme devotion to duty at a solemn ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Two Kirti Chakras and two of the Shaurya Chakras were given posthumously.

The President also conferred thirteen Param Vishisht Seva Medals, two Uttam Yudh Seva Medals, two Bar to Ati Vishisht Seva Medals and twenty six Ati Vishisht Seva Medals to senior officers of the Armed Forces for distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 09:09:54 +0530
Dakota DC 3 aircraft is s

A Dakota DC-3 aircraft of 1940’s vintage would be inducted shortly in to the Vintage Aircraft Flight of the Indian Air Force.  A large fleet of Dakota DC-3 served in the IAF till 1988.  It was one of the most versatile transport aircraft of its time. To honour the first Dakota which transported troops of the 1st Sikh Regiment to Srinagar on 27 Oct 47, during the Kashmir conflict, the IAF has allocated the aircraft with a registration number. Built in 1944, the aircraft served in military with the RAF and was also operated by various civil airlines.

The aircraft was obtained from scrap in 2011 and was restored to flying condition in UK by Hon’ble Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha) Mr. Rajeev Chandrasekhar for gifting it to the IAF. Subsequently, the IAF signed a contract with M/s Reflight Airworks Ltd London for upgrading its navigational systems. The CAS ceremonially accepted the aircraft into the IAF from Mr. Rajeev Chandrasekhar on 13 Feb 18.

After successfully completing all test flights, after its restoration, the aircraft commenced its journey from the UK on 17 Apr 18. It is being flown to India by a joint team crew of the IAF and M/s Reflight Airworks Ltd. The ferry to India by making   en-route halts at France, Italy, Greece, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Oman, will be completed on 25 Apr 18 at Jamnagar.

To honour the old war horse in its new residence, the induction ceremony of Dakota VP-905 is scheduled on 04 May 18 at Air Force Station Hindan. The ceremony will include the representatives from the OEM, dignitaries from the High Commission of the UK and the proud veterans of the IAF who have operated this magnificent flying machine.

An aircraft of this generation being flown to India from across the World after its restoration, is an unprecedented event in the history of the IAF and joins our vintage flight which was raised in Palam in 1988. The Present day heritage aircraft in Vintage Flight are Howard and Tiger moth with plans afoot to add a wider variety of military aircraft which forms a part of our rich ancestry.

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 09:03:27 +0530
Ways To Keep Your Home Cl

By Prerna Mistry

We all love a clean, fresh home and while pets make for great companions, they tend to leave a mess and quite the stink at home. Keeping a house clean, in itself is a challenge and with a pet, it is another ball game all together. However, having said that, it doesn’t mean that having a clean home with a furry friend is impossible. Here are ways to achieve just that in simple, fast manner.

  • Bathe and Brush

Regular baths are the first and most vital step to keeping your pet and home smelling fresh. Giving your pet a bath on regular intervals will not only keep your pet healthy, but also ensure that your home is sanitised. Besides, brushing regularly or even daily for pets with long or thick coats minimizes hair shedding, keeping your pet’s fur and skin healthy as well.

  • The Right Tools Matter

Getting a pet is a huge responsibility. This is something you hear time and again both before and after you buy a pet. This rings true as when you get a pet, besides just maintaining it, there’s a lot of investment that you need to make even just to clean up after it such as buying a vacuum cleaner, buying a de-shedding glove etc. however, this just doesn’t end here as even you as a pet owner need to take efforts to sweep or mop after your pets, invest in a good disinfectant as well as air fresheners among others.

  • Just Spot It

Try putting down an old towel if your pets have a 'favourite' spot in your home where they like to rest during the day. This will encourage your pet to gravitate to that particular spot, minimizing the chances of hair getting everywhere as your pet would be spending more time in that spot than on the sofa or bed.

  • Paws After Play

While your pet loves to play and it is important to give them plenty of exercise as well outdoors, their delicate paws tend to get soiled and covered in mud. Therefore, put ingrain the habit of wiping their paws before they run all around your house or climb on your furniture to avoid further mess.

  • Fresh Refresh

Just like humans, even animals have body odours. While we as human beings can rid ourselves of the smell by showering regularly, animals (obviously) cant. It is therefore essential to give your pet a bath regularly and apart from this, invest in scented candles and room fresheners to diffuse the ‘dog smell’ or ‘cat smell’ from your home.

 

Mon, 23 Apr 2018 18:12:34 +0530
Chief Justice removal not

Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu rejected the Congress-led opposition parties' notice today to remove the Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra stating that it lacked substantial merit.

Naidu said, “Having considered the material contained in the notice of motion and reflected upon the inputs received in my interaction with legal luminaries and constitutional experts, I am of the firm opinion that the notice of the motion does not deserve to be admitted. Accordingly I refuse to admit notice of motion”.

He further stated, “I have applied my mind to all five charges made out in impeachment motion and examined all annexed documents. All facts as stated in motion don't make out a case which can lead any reasonable mind to conclude that CJI on these facts can be ever held guilty of misbehaviour.”

Naidu, while rejecting the notice, cited a press conference the Congress held on the issue as being in breach of parliamentary customs and conventions and also in violation of Rajya Sabha norms.

He asserted, “I am constrained to observe that in the matter, the well established parliamentary customs and conventions have been delineated and the paragraph 2.2 of the handbook of the Rajya Sabha members have been disregarded. This provision prohibits publicity of any notice submitted by a member till it is been admitted by the chairman and circulated to the members. In the instant case immediately after submitting the notice to me on 20th April, 2018, members addressed a press conference and shared the statements contained in the notice which included some still unsubstantiated charges against the CJI. This act of members discussing the act of the CJI in the press is against propriety and parliamentary decorum as it denigrates the institution of the CJI. I am also aware that there has been a spate of statements in the press that seem to vitiate the atmosphere. I thought, I should, therefore, expedite my decision and end needless speculation”.

Congress leader PL Punia said that Congress and other opposition parties will talk to some legal experts and then take the next step. Congress leaders stated that the party is considering moving the Supreme Court if the notice to remove is rejected.

Mon, 23 Apr 2018 16:07:06 +0530
Rahul Gandhi takes a dig

Rahul Gandhi recently took a dig at PM Narendra Modi. He stated, “Modiji is bothered only about Modiji. PM Modi is only bothered about becoming the PM again. He isn't bothered about rapes.”

He added, “We will never allow the BJP and RSS to even touch our constitution. The people of India will speak their 'Mann ki Baat' in 2019.”

The Congress is set to continue its nationwide campaign for a year till April 14, 2019.

Gandhi further asserted, “Modiji sees spirituality in making pakodas, and cleaning toilets. But for himself, he only sees spirituality in becoming Prime Minister.”

Mon, 23 Apr 2018 15:38:54 +0530
Travel trade professional

Travel trade professionals from across the world’s hospitality industry will descend upon Dubai tomorrow for the opening of Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2018, the region’s leading travel industry showcase.

Celebrating its 25th year, ATM 2018, which takes place at Dubai World Trade Centre, will showcase the largest exhibition of regional and global hotel brands in the history of ATM, with hotels comprising 20% of the total show area.

Building on the success of last year’s exhibition, where more than 39,000 industry professionals agreed deals worth US$2.5bn, ATM 2018 will welcome over 2,500 confirmed exhibitors including 65 national pavilions.

More than 100 new exhibitors are set to make their ATM debut this year, including Visit Finland, Guizhou Province of China, Hungarian Tourism Agency Ltd, Polish Tourist Organisation, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Dubai Municipality Leisure Facilities Department, Yas Experiences, Indigo Airlines, Kurdistan Tourism, Tokyo Convention & Visitors Bureau, Jakarta City Government Tourism and Culture Office and Shanghai Municipal Tourism Administration to name a few.

Simon Press, Senior Exhibition Director, ATM, said: "We have visitors registered from all corners of the globe covering all segments of the hospitality industry for what promises to be the biggest show yet in the event’s 25-year history.

"The growth and scale of ATM 2018 is testament to the buoyant travel and tourism industry here in the MENA region. With Expo 2020 now just two years away, this growth will undoubtedly continue as Dubai aims to complete 160,000 hotel rooms in time to welcome an additional five million visitors over the course of the event."

Mon, 23 Apr 2018 09:48:33 +0530
Record number of Indians

Union Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that for the first time after the Independence, a record number of Muslims from the country will go to Haj this year and that too without any subsidy.

He said that the government led by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has succeeded in getting India’s Haj quota increased for the second consecutive year and now, for the first time after the Independence, record 1,75,025 pilgrims from India will go to Haj 2018. A total of 3,55,604 applications had been received for Haj which included 1,89,217 male and 1,66,387 female applicants.

This year, a total of 1,28,002 pilgrims will go through Haj Committee of India which include about 47 per cent females. 47,023 Haj pilgrims will go through Private Tour Operators.  Besides, for the first time Muslim women from India will also go to Haj without “Mehram” (male companion). A total of 1308 women have applied to go for Haj without “Mehram” and all of these women have been exempted from lottery system and allowed to proceed to Haj.

In 2017, a total of Rs 1030 crore was paid to airlines for air fare for 1,24,852 Haj pilgrims. Whereas, in 2018, a total of Rs 973 crore will be paid to airlines for 1,28,002 Haj pilgrims. It means, Rs 57 crore less will be paid to airlines this year even after ending the Haj subsidy.

The Minister also said that Saudi Arabia has given green signal for India’s decision to reviving the option of sending Haj pilgrims through sea route also and officials from both the countries are in discussion on all the necessary formalities and technicalities so that Haj pilgrimage through sea route can be started in the coming years.

Naqvi said that for the first time, choice of embarkation points has been given to Haj pilgrims which has received overwhelming response.

In this training camp, 623 “Khadim-ul-Hujjaj” from all the states participated. Officials from Haj Committee of India, Vrihan Mumbai Mahanagar Palika, Disaster Management agencies and doctors informed them in detail, all the process related to Haj including accommodation, transport, health and safety of Haj pilgrims at Makkah-Madina. For the first time, Female Haj Assistants will be deployed to monitor various facilities for women Haj pilgrims.

Mon, 23 Apr 2018 09:43:01 +0530
Economic Affairs Secretar

Subhash Chandra Garg, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), said that countries in India’s constituency in the World Bank – Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Sri Lanka – now are the highest growing block in South Asia and the World at large.  Garg said that it will cross 3 trillion GDP this year. It attracts close to 100 billion dollars of FDI and Portfolio Investment and will grow around 7.5% this year. However, it has widespread poverty and faces enormous developmental challenges.

Subhash Chandra Garg, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) was addressing the 97th Meeting of the Development Committee Plenary in Washington D.C. The items on the Agenda included Sustaining Financing for Sustainable Development; A Report to Governors on Shareholding at the Spring Meetings 2018; Progress Report on Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Management in the World Bank Group Operations; Forward Look Implementation Update; and Update to Governors on Gender Diversity in the Executive Board of the World Bank Group.

Subhash Chandra Garg further said that while the World Bank Group - IBRD, IFC, IDA, MIGA – has supported the growth and development of this constituency, it will need to continue in the foreseeable future. This is the reason capital increase has been a matter of critical interest for India. 

He expressed happiness that there is now an Agreement on the capital increase package and that it is reasonably large – a 13 billion capital increase in IBRD and IFC together, which from the historical context, is a truly unprecedented expansion of capital. Garg expressed India’s support for the shareholding review, including development of dynamic formula and the capital package. 

Mon, 23 Apr 2018 09:36:32 +0530
India tightens grip again

Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance, 2018 has come into force as the President of India has given his assent to the Union Cabinet’s decision to promulgate the said Ordinance. Earlier, the Union Cabinet, in its meeting held on 21st April, 2018, had decided to approve the proposal of the Ministry of Finance to promulgate the Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance, 2018.

Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance, 2018 (“the Ordinance”) lays down the measures to empower Indian authorities to attach and confiscate proceeds of crime associated with economic offenders and the properties of the economic offenders and thereby deter economic offenders from evading the process of Indian law by remaining outside the jurisdiction of Indian courts.                     

The need for the Ordinance has arisen as there have been instances of economic offenders fleeing the jurisdiction of Indian courts, anticipating the commencement, or during the pendency, of criminal proceedings. The absence of such offenders from Indian courts has several deleterious consequences - first, it hampers investigation in criminal cases; second, it wastes precious time of courts of law, third, it undermines the rule of law in India.

The existing civil and criminal provisions in law are not entirely adequate to deal with the severity of the problem. In view of the above context, a Budget announcement was made by the Government in the Budget 2017-18 that the Government was considering to introduce legislative changes or even a new law to confiscate the assets of such absconders till they submit to the jurisdiction of the appropriate legal forum.

Pursuant to the above announcement, the Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, 2018 was introduced in LokSabha on the 12th March, 2018. The Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, 2018 was listed for consideration and passing in LokSabha on many occasions after its introduction. The LokSabha has since been adjourned sine die and both the Houses of Parliament were prorogued on 6thApril, 2018.         

In order to address the deficiency in the present laws and lay down measures to deter economic offenders from evading the process of Indian law by remaining outside the jurisdiction of Indian courts, the Ordinance is being proposed. The Ordinance makes provisions for a Court (‘Special Court’ under the Prevention of Money-laundering Act, 2002) to declare a person as a Fugitive Economic Offender.

A Fugitive Economic Offender is a person against whom an arrest warrant has been issued in respect of a scheduled offence and who has left India so as to avoid criminal prosecution, or being abroad, refuses to return to India to face criminal prosecution. A scheduled offence refers to a list of economic offences contained in the Schedule to this Ordinance. Further, in order to ensure that Courts are not over-burdened with such cases, only those cases where the total value involved in such offences is 100 crore rupees or more, is within the purview of this Ordinance.

Mon, 23 Apr 2018 08:46:33 +0530
Naval Chief visits Iran f

The 6th edition of Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) and Conclave of Chiefs is being hosted by Iran at Tehran from 23 to 25 April. The Chief of the Naval Staff is leading a four member Indian delegation for the event.

The IONS was conceived by the Indian Navy in 2008. The forum seeks to enhance maritime cooperation among navies of the littoral states of the Indian Ocean Region by providing an open and inclusive forum for discussion on regionally relevant maritime issues that would lead to common understanding on the way ahead.

The inaugural edition of IONS was held in February 2008 at New Delhi, with Indian Navy as the Chair for two years. This was followed by UAE from 2010 - 2012, South Africa from 2012 - 2014, Australia from   2014 - 2016 and Bangladesh from 2016 - 2018.

The IONS Charter of Business was agreed upon by the Conclave of Chiefs and brought into effect in February 2014. A relatively young forum, barely in its 10th year of existence, it has grown into a formidable organisation with 23 members and 09 observers. As the founder nation, India will also be conducting commemorative activities in November 2018 at Kochi, for celebrating its 10th Anniversary this year.

The visit of the Chief of the Naval Staff is also aimed at consolidating bilateral naval relations between India and Iran and to explore new avenues for naval cooperation. Admiral Sunil Lanba will also hold bilateral discussions with the Commander IRI Navy, and other participating ‘Chiefs of Navy/ Head of Maritime Agencies’.

Mon, 23 Apr 2018 08:38:42 +0530
Vice President Share C

The Vice President of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that Share and Care has been the core of our philosophy. He was addressing the gathering after inaugurating Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple renovated by Hare Krishna Foundation, in Hyderabad.

The Vice President said that temples have been the centres of India’s cultural ethos and they have been centres of music, dance and spiritual upliftment of the masses. They have spread awareness of religious and spiritual thoughts through traditions like Harikatha and Purana Pravchana, he added.

The Vice President said that temples have had a central place in India’s cultural life and we revere every action that serves humanity. He further said that there is a sanctity attached to many of our daily activities which is why we have words like “Vidyalaya”, “Chikitsalaya”, “Bhojanalaya” and even “Shauchalaya”.  We see divinity everywhere because we believe that all living and non-living beings are manifestations of the same divine principle and energy, he added.

The Vice President said that Krishna symbolizes the eternal values of love, compassion, empathy and righteous behaviour. He further said that if we can bring about the Krishna consciousness in society, we can usher in a huge transformation in the lives of people. We can foster peace, prosperity, fraternity and bring Vaikuntha or anxiety free environment in each and every family, he added.

Mon, 23 Apr 2018 08:34:41 +0530
UAE attends World School

The UAE is the only Arab country participating in the 2018 World Schools Championship in Badminton, which opened in India yesterday, with 200 players representing 15 countries participating.

The championship, which will run until April 24, brings together young and talented shuttlers from all over the world at Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Balewadi.

Ahmed Abdul Rahman, the head of the Sports Activity Department at the Ministry of Education, who is leading the country's mission in the event, said the participation is aimed at honing players' skills and earning them good experience through interactions with world's top teams in this sport, like India.

The event is being played in two categories – selected teams and school teams. Each Schools team comprises of students from the same school, whereas selected teams comprise of players from the same country and from different schools. The matches are played in a team format with two doubles and three singles matches. Each team comprises of five boys and five girls.

Sun, 22 Apr 2018 12:26:56 +0530
President receives the fi

The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, received the first copy of the book “Adi Shankaracharya: Hinduism’s Greatest Thinker”, from the author Shri Pavan Varma, at Rashtrapati Bhavan. 

Speaking on the occasion, the President said the imprint of Adi Shankaracharya, who was born over 1,200 years ago in Kerala, is still apparent in contemporary India and in fact in all parts of our country. He remains among the most influential personalities in our long and rich history. He was a spiritual leader, a Vedantic philosopher, a monk, a scholar and an explorer. His contributions are not just in the religious or spiritual sphere – they continue to be a guide to everyday life.

The President said that while modern technology expands our knowledge of the universe, it is our ancient wisdom that helps us to reconcile our very existence with today’s cutting-edge inventions and discoveries. That is why 21st century India is a synthesis of both the Upanishads and the Internet. Both are important for the Indian soul.

The President said that Adi Shankacharya instinctively understood this. Way back in the 8th Century, he combined pride in India’s earliest philosophical traditions with the realities of his age. He established four peethas – in the north, south, east and west. These peethas were and are different – and at once they were and are the same. That is the beauty of India.

A visit to these peethas, the President said, should not be seen as just a pilgrimage. It is actually a cultural exploration of the frontiers of Indian civilisation and of our diverse society.

Sun, 22 Apr 2018 12:21:22 +0530
Vice President calls for

The Vice President of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that urban rural divide in providing medical care must end adding that people living in rural areas must have access to affordable and quality healthcare. He was addressing the gathering at First Graduation Day function of Malla Reddy Institute of Medical Sciences & Malla Reddy Institute of Dental Sciences in Hyderabad, Telangana.

Highlighting the shortage of doctors and nurses all over the country, the Vice President said that rural areas are under-served in terms of medical facilities and personnel. Working in rural areas for MBBS Graduates must be made mandatory before they get their first promotion, he added.

The Vice President said that India needs a multi-pronged strategy to improve the well-being of our people. He suggested the government to increase budgetary allocations for healthcare and address infrastructure and manpower shortages. Setting up more medical, dental and nursing colleges and providing affordable and accessible treatment as well as education is also crucial, he added.

Addressing the students, the Vice President said that medical students and doctors must ensure that their trust is never broken and maintain the highest credibility. He further said that not only credibility, they must also have empathy and compassion. They have taken up a noble profession where they don’t distinguish between a poor and rich patient while providing treatment and a good human being will always make a good doctor too, he added.

The Vice President said that India needs to become world leader in education and reduce brain drain. He complimented the Union Government for launching ‘Study in India’ programme to promote India as a destination for higher studies and attract foreign students.

The Vice President said that in the modern times, certain aberrations have crept into our social life and we are witnessing barbaric incidents like rapes, female feticides and dowry killings. He further said that no civilized society can tolerate such inhuman acts and the most stringent punishments have to be meted out to criminals who perpetrate those crimes. Gender equality must begin at home and families play a big role in shaping the attitude of children and boys must be made to treat girls with respect, he added.

Sun, 22 Apr 2018 12:17:11 +0530
PM lauds civil servants

The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, addressed Civil Servants on the occasion of Civil Services Day. He said the occasion is one of Appreciation, Evaluation and Introspection. He described the Prime Minister's Award as a step towards motivating civil servants, and congratulated the awardees. He said the awards also indicate the priorities of the Government.

He said that the priority programmes such as Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, Deendayal Upadhyay Kaushalya Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, and Digital Payments, for which awards have been given, are important programmes for New India.

Speaking on the subject of Aspirational Districts, the Prime Minister said that these 115 districts could become growth engines for their entire States. He stressed on the importance of Jan Bhagidaari, or public participation, in development. He said 2022, the seventy-fifth anniversary of independence, can become an inspiration for working towards achieving the India of the dreams of our freedom fighters.

The Prime Minister asserted that all available technology, including space technology, should be used for improving governance. He said it is important for civil servants to keep pace with emerging technologies worldwide.

He described civil servants as people with great capability and said that these capabilities can contribute in a big way, for the benefit of the nation.

Sun, 22 Apr 2018 12:13:01 +0530
Dhvani se abdaurChinh

An exhibition titled "Dhvani se ŚabdaurChinh” was inaugurated at National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai.

Curated by AdwaitaGadanayak and his team, the exhibition speaks to us about southern sensibilities and singular identities that were forged through scholarly adaptations, multiple skills and experiments that were seeking to juxtapose the notions of the modern with the traditional. It identifies artists who practiced in Southern states as well as artists who were born there or had family trees and moved up North to become the greatest practitioners and pedagogues.

The czar of the Madras Movement, K.C.S. Paniker – believed that an artist had to foreground tradition and cultural art forms and interpret these within contemporary sensibilities, leading to defining the regional modern particularly in Madras.

Hence, Paniker's regional modern was firmly fixed in the wedge between the visibility and identity of the southern artists nationally, and developing a visual language born of an Indian ethos - the vitality of the Indian spirit.

Historians have noted that the modernity which was established in Madras in the '60s integrated and blended pioneering visions of certain artist-teachers at the Madras School of Arts and Crafts.

The culling also includes Malayali veterans like K. G. Subramanyan, the cultural theorist, the philosopher, the art mandarin who taught seven decades of students as well as A. Ramachandran the scholar, the author, the art historian and the guru who taught a love for the immediate environment to his students.

Sun, 22 Apr 2018 12:07:26 +0530
PM reaffirms commitment o

‘’On Earth Day, let us reaffirm our commitment towards creating a better planet for our future generations. Let us work together to mitigate the menace of climate change. This would be a great tribute to our beloved Mother Earth.

I compliment all those individuals and organisations who are working towards promoting harmony with nature and ensuring sustainable development’’, the Prime Minister said.

Sun, 22 Apr 2018 12:02:17 +0530
Yashwant Sinha quits BJP

Former Union finance minister Yashwant Sinha announced that he is quitting the BJP and will move away from politics in future. He blamed the party and the NDA for undermining the democracy of the country.

Sinha had handled the external affairs and finance portfolios in the AB Vajpayee government from 1998 to 2004.

Yashwant Sinha, in an event in Patna, said that he is taking a 'sanyas' from any kind of party politics and ending all ties with the BJP. He added that he will launch a nationwide protest to strengthen the democracy of the country.

Yashwant Sinha had started revolting with the BJP since the Narendra Modi government took charge in the centre from 2014 as he and some other senior leaders including L K Advani were marginalised in the party.

Finance minister Arun Jaitley and Sinha had confronted each other few months back and Jaitley deemed Sinha a "job seeker at the age of 80". However Sinha cleared that he is not an aspirant for any post and is not at all interested to seek any post.

Sat, 21 Apr 2018 18:15:23 +0530
Shake It Off

By Prerna Mistry

Milkshakes are universally loved by everyone all across the world. They are not just tasty but also can be customised to create a beautiful dessert drink that is yummy and filling. The best part about milkshakes is that a thick, creamy shake can be so filling that you can actually substitute a meal by opting for a glassful of this delicious drink. And with the weather in summer being so hot and draining you of energy, this makes the perfect solution for when you don’t feel like eating on a sweltering summer day and want to keep yourself cool. Here are a few mouth-watering milkshakes that make for the perfect recipes in order to indulge your taste buds.  

  • Mango milkshake

Ingredients-

  • Milk (chilled) - 1 cup
  • Sugar - 1 ½ tbsp (or as per taste)
  • Mango (ripe, large) - 2
  • Vanilla ice cream - 2 scoops
  • Ice cubes (small) - 3-4 (optional)

Method-

  • Cut the mangoes and then add them in a blender with milk, sugar, and 1 scoop of vanilla ice cream and the ice cubes.
  • Blend this till the mango pieces integrate well and you have a smooth, creamy milkshake.
  • Remove this in a glass and top it off with 1 scoop of vanilla ice cream. You can add small pieces of mangoes and mango syrup on the ice cream. Enjoy it when it is chilled.

 

  • Tiramisu milkshake

Ingredients-

  • Vanilla ice cream- 4 large scoops
  • Instant coffee powder- 2 ½ tsp
  • Mascarpone cheese- 2 tbsp
  • Butter cookies- 2
  • Chocolate sauce- 8 tbsp
  • Whipped cream

Method-

  • Combine the ice cream, coffee, mascarpone cheese and butter cookies in the blender. Blend until smooth.
  • Pour the milkshake into a glass and top it with whipped cream and chocolate sauce.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy!

 

  • Nutella milkshake

Ingredients-

  • Cold milk- ½ cup
  • Chocolate ice cream- 1-2 scoops
  • Icing sugar- as needed
  • Vanilla essence- ¼ tsp
  • Nutella- 2 ½ tbsp
  • Ice cubes as needed

Method-

  • In a blender, pour the milk, add in the chocolate ice cream and Nutella and blend it once.
  • Next, add in your ice cubes, vanilla essence and icing sugar and blend it once again, till frothy.
  • Serve it cold with some chocolate ice cream or whipped cream and dust it with some cocoa powder and enjoy!

 

  • Cornflakes milkshake

Ingredients-

  • Corn flakes- 2 ½ cups
  • Hot milk- 1 ½ cups
  • Vanilla ice cream- 2 scoops

Method-

  • Steep 1 ½ cups corn flakes in 1 ½ cups of hot milk for 30 minutes.
  • Strain and freeze the milk in an ice cube tray.
  • Blend the frozen milk cubes with vanilla ice cream and 1 cup of corn flakes.
  • Serve cold and immediately and garnish it more corn flakes.

 

  • Mint Oreo milkshake

Ingredients-

  • Mint extract- 1 tsp
  • Oreos- 1 cup
  • Vanilla ice cream- 5 scoops
  • Milk- 8-10 tbsp
  • whipped cream

Method-

  • Crush the Oreos and keep aside.
  • Take vanilla ice cream, milk and add to it some mint extract.
  • Blend all the ingredients together until frothy and top it with some whipped cream and crushed Oreos and serve chilled.
Sat, 21 Apr 2018 17:31:25 +0530
Union Cabinet approves am

The Union Cabinet, today, approved an ordinance to ensure death penalty to those convicted in raping children up to the age of 12. The government will amend the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) and the bill will be presented in the next session of the Parliament.

The Central government had informed the Supreme Court that they were seriously considering ways to amend the POCSO act but the sudden move comes in the wake of a string of rape cases and murder of children in the country.

Additional Solicitor General P.S. Narasimha informed the court of the government's plan when the Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra was ready to consider the PIL over the attack of an 8-year-old girl.

Sat, 21 Apr 2018 16:40:43 +0530
Sri Sankara Jayanthi begi

K.A.Viswanathan

 

The ten day Sri Sankara Jayanthi celebration commenced at the  Sri Sankara Mattam at Matunga in Central Mumbai . It is  the only temple which is  fully dedicated to Adi Sankara and has his idol as the main deity celebrated the Sankara Jayanthi in a befitting manner.

 

Starting with Mahanyasa Rudra Japam and homam, Navavarana Pooja, , beeja danam , Anna dhanam which was followed by Abhishekam( bathing of the idol) with holy water.  In the evenings there will be daily discourses on “Sankara Vijayam”- the history of Adi Sankara , by noted Vedic scholar Sri Neela Bala Sarma from Tamil Nadu. The idol was taken around the area in procession with the beating of drums and Vedic  recitation by Vedic scholars.

 

Adi Shankara was born around 2500 years ago was an  Indian Hindu philosopher and theologian whose teachings had a profound influence on the growth of Hinduism. Also known as Shri Adi Shankaracharya and Bhagavatpada Acharya (the guru at the feet of Lord), he was a religious reformist who critiqued the rituals-oriented schools of Hinduism and cleansed the Vedic religious practices of ritualistic excesses.

 

Adi Shankara is best remembered for his remarkable reinterpretations of Hindu scriptures and his commentaries on the Vedic canon (Brahma Sutras, Principal Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita). He was an exponent of the Advaita Vedanta school of philosophy which refers to the recognition that the true Self, Atman, is the same as the highest Reality, Brahman. His teachings on the philosophy have tremendously influenced various sects of Hinduism and have contributed to the development of the modern Indian thought.

 

He was born in a very poor family in a village named Kaladi in Kerala. The great Saint Adi Shankaracharya, had travelled to Kashmir, more than two millenniums ago and spread the Vedic message of truth, oneness & harmony. He lived for 32 years and with in that spread Hindu dharma across the length and breadth of the county and established four Matthams.

Sat, 21 Apr 2018 15:18:07 +0530
Vice President inaugurate

The Vice President of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that translating “legislative intent” into “programmatic content” and demonstrating to the common citizens what “Surajya” actually looks like in day to day administration, the civil services have an enormous opportunity today. He was delivering the inaugural address at the 2-day event of the 12th Civil Services Day.

The Vice President said that a clean, competent, people-friendly, proactive administrative leadership is the need of the hour. He further said that ‘Swarajya’ has to be meaningful for each Indian and, for this ‘Surajya’ is inevitable. There is a need for honest introspection into the effectiveness and efficiency of our administrative structures and processes, he added.

The Vice President said that the focus has shifted to “implementation” and “innovation” and it is becoming increasingly clear that “business as usual” approach will not do. We must collectively transform India into a nation that we can all be proud of, he added.

The Vice President called on officers of Civil Services to reorient their approach to look upon themselves as catalysts of change, as facilitators of change, as inspirational leaders for an aspirational India. He further said that it is the collective responsibility of the executive, the legislature, the judiciary and the media to identify, combat and root out evils including casteism, communalism, corruption, inequality, discrimination and violence. We need to be sensitive to these unpleasant realities and try to alter them by being unbiased and evenhanded, he added.

Sat, 21 Apr 2018 09:11:03 +0530
Vice President Education

The Vice President of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that education should not only prepare our youth to face challenges of a technologically-driven knowledge society, but also make them analyze critically and come out with innovative solutions to the problems faced by people. He was addressing the gathering after inaugurating the IILM University Gurugram Campus from IILM Lodhi Road Campus.

The Vice President said that students should be confident of dreaming big and exploring uncharted territories and remain rooted to our culture, traditions, customs and history. He further said that they should never neglect their parents, mother tongue, motherland and native village. They should always believe in co-existing harmoniously with nature for a better future, he added.

The Vice President expressed concern over the global ranking of Indian Universities and said that there are more than 800 universities in the country and none of them figures in the top ranked global institutes.

The Vice President said that merely expanding infrastructure with sleek-looking buildings will not make an institution excellent unless it imparts education of highest standards without compromising on quality. Liberal and interdisciplinary education is must to get a holistic perspective of the increasingly knowledge-centric and interdependent world, he added.

Vice President said that education in silos will not equip students for future. Liberal education with focus on technology, skill development and entrepreneurship will serve well the students, industry and the society, he added.

Sat, 21 Apr 2018 09:05:52 +0530
Styles For A Sweat Free S

Summer is here and so are the bucketfuls of sweat and (possible) bouts of dehydration. Besides making efforts to drink a gallon of water and keeping the air condition on for the day, the moment we step out in the sun, it’s far from fun and more often than not, it feels like we are somewhat melting like a popsicle on a hot summer’s day! Here are some styles to keep yourself not only looking, but feeling cool this summer.

  • Opt For Lighter Colours

Light shades such as white, yellow, beige, pale pink, blue and other pastels are colours that help you keep cool as they reflect the sun’s rays back into the atmosphere, which promote the absorption of sweat and allows more air to pass over your body in comparison to dark fabrics that in turn absorb these rays, trapping the heat, making you feel hotter.

  • Wear Loose Clothes

During the heat, avoid wearing ill fitting or tight fitting clothes that restrict your blood circulation as your blood vessels tend to dilate in summer so that your body can cool itself by letting heat escape through your skin. Also, loose clothing, enables you to move freely rather than making you feel stuffy.

  • Choose The Right Fabric

It is very vital to choose the right kind of fabric during the summer to ensure maximum comfort during the hot days. It is advisable to stick with mainly cotton fabrics as cotton absorbs sweat easily and further discourages the growth of bacteria and yeast. You should also avoid synthetic fabrics as well because unlike cotton, synthetic fabrics trap in more heat rather than release it, which again, makes you feel trapped and hot.

  • Choose Your Style

Although shorts, sleeveless tops are generally preferred during summer, it is essential to remember that if you do wear clothes that expose skin, you must be generous with you sunscreen as the without it, you skin is vulnerable to UV damage and rashes. It is therefore, ideal to wear clothes such as loose pants, long flowy skirts and long dresses.

  • Chuck That Bagpack

Replace your bagpack with a slingbag or handbag as the bagpack on your back during a hot day, will only make you excessively sweat.

  • Wear Little To No Jewellery

It is better to wear little or no jewellery as chains and heavy necklaces stick to your skin, metals get hot, and bracelets cover your wrists, only making you feel more uncomfortable as they are the cooling points of the body.

(As Compiled by Prerna Mistry)

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 16:17:09 +0530
Opposition parties go ahe

The opposition parties have submitted a notice for the impeachment of the Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra to Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu. The Congress claimed that around 60 MPs have signed the letter.

The four senior most judges in the Supreme Court had already revolted against the CJI two months ago and publicly expressed their displeasure in the activities of the CJI by conducting a press meet outside the lawns of the SC, an unprecedented move in the history of Indian judiciary. The four judges also sent a letter to the CJI for the immediate corrections required in the function of the top court.

But the sudden move to proceed with the impeachment motion by the Congress came out in the wake of an order passed by the bench headed by the CJI to not investigate further in the death of Judge BH Loya and that, Loya died due to natural causes.

The opposition parties headed by the Congress had convened today and decided to go ahead with the impeachment letter with the support of NCP, Trinamool Congress, SP and RJD in the meeting.

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 15:29:33 +0530
Gujarat HC acquits Maya K

The Gujarat High Court has acquitted former minister and BJP leader Maya Kodnani in connection with the 2002 Naroda Patiya massacre case while uphelding the conviction of another accused Babu Bajrangi.

The Naroda Patiya case is related to the mass massacre of 97 people during the Gujarat riots in 2002.

Earlier in 2012 in August, a special court had punished Maya Kodnani and 31 others. Kodnani was awarded a 28-year jail term, but Kodnani came out on bail two years later in 2014.

BJP President Amit Shah was testified in the special court where he clearly favoured Kodnani in connection with the Naroda Patiya case.

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 15:24:52 +0530
Dubai s DMCC signs MoU wi

Dubai's DMCC, the world’s leading free zone for commodities trade and enterprise, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Institute of Directors in India, during the 28th Word Congress on 'Leadership for Business Excellence & Innovation', taking place in Dubai.

The MoU represents a commitment from both parties to strengthen ties, increase knowledge transfer and boost connectivity with the Dubai-based Indian business community, and identify further areas of collaboration to increase trade. Bilateral trade between the UAE and India has risen from US$182 million in 1982 to approximately $53 billion in 2017, a growth trend expected to continue in the coming years.

"Directed by the vision of its leaders, Dubai is built for business. The emirate’s state-of-the-art infrastructure has grown significantly over time, and it has become a modern magnet for international commerce. DMCC is proud to have supported this development story, and contribute to the formation of Dubai’s diversified economy through the provision of multi-sector revenue streams," said Ahmed bin Sulayem, DMCC Executive Chairman.

"It is clear that more trade, more investment and fewer barriers to business is good for Dubai, DMCC and all connected partners. The agreement signed today symbolises that this approach to business is a shared one. We are delighted to be working even closer with the Institute of Directors, and supporting the many Indian businesses wishing to setup in Dubai," he added.

Lt Gen. J S Ahluwalia, President of Institute of Directors, said, "This agreement cements our longstanding relationship with DMCC. It builds on the work we have done together, over many years, to forge even stronger ties between the Indian business community and its counterparts in Dubai and the UAE. This is a significant moment for all involved and we look forward to the next phase of partnership. Together, we will continue to advocate for trade and promote good governance, sustainability, innovation and excellence across all businesses, industries and sectors."

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 08:25:13 +0530
New Delhi to host Interna

One hundred and fifty participants from 31 countries and 400 entrepreneurs from India will participate in the four day International SME convention being held in New Delhi from 22ndto 24th April.

The Ministry of MSME has engaged with over 35 International Trade Development organisations to attract and invite able and willing entrepreneurs and encourage people to people contact with select Indian Entrepreneurs from key sectors of the International counterparts. The convention has specific focus on inclusion of MSMEs in the Make in India program & empowering women entrepreneurs.

The MoMSME recognizing the potential of sustainable Indian SMEs in collaborating with International Companies not only for setting up manufacturing operations in India but also for utilizing the reach and market access of International Counterparts for promoting and exporting Made in India products and services. Need was felt to create a platform which could allow Entrepreneur – to – Entrepreneur exchange of ideas, free and fair business discussions, mutual sizing of opportunities and ways to address them.

India is home to more than 60 million MSMEs, majority of who are in low-tech areas and serve the local domestic markets. Of these, a small percentage, have the ability and capability to derive access to International Markets, with the vast majority of enterprises working as ancillaries. Together the MSMEs constitute a single largest employer after the Agriculture sector in India. Highly developed economies have banked on their small and medium enterprises for both GDP Growth as well as higher employment resulting in higher per capita incomes.

 

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 08:20:39 +0530
PM lauds senior citizens

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the interactive session Bharat Ki Baat Sabke Saath has lauded the efforts of Senior Citizens of India for giving up subsidy for travel in Indian Railways.

While interacting at the event in London, PM recounted his days spent at Railway Station & the enriching experience he gathered there from. PM also noted the remarkable progress made by Indian Railways in Infrastructure creation.

Indian Railways have registered a significant rise in the number of senior citizens who have chosen to give up the subsidy. From 15th August, 2016 to 31st March, 2018 about 40 lakh esteemed senior citizens have voluntarily given up concessions resulting in benefit of Rs. 77 crore  savings to Railways from this single initiative. Option for giving up of concession in passenger fare for senior citizens to the extent of 100% was already available. Further, Indian Railways has popularized it along with giving the option to avail either the full concession provided to them on rail tickets or half of it.

The scheme of “Give it up” Senior Citizen concession has been a great success. Indian Railways is thankful to the citizens, who have opted for giving up senior citizen concession.          

At present, male senior citizens get 40 per cent while women get 50 per cent concession on the total fare. Though there are many categories of passengers including sportspersons and differently-abled persons who avail concessions, the major beneficiaries are in the senior citizen segment.

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 08:14:58 +0530
Vice President speaks on

The Vice President of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that education and sanitation are important in our country and public sector, private sector and individuals also should contribute towards achieving this. He was addressing the Students and their parents being offered Scholarships from Amar Ujala Foundation of Amar Ujala Publications Limited.

The Vice President said that Amar Ujala Foundation, as a part of its social responsibility, taking up a series of field activities that help underprivileged sections of the society, particularly the less advantaged including Divyanjans. He further said that this Foundation is fulfilling it’s Corporate Social Responsibility in Education, Empowerment, Awareness, Rural Development and Health sectors.

The Vice President said that helping the poor and underprivileged is a part of our rich cultural heritage. Helping the poor or uplifting poor is not only the responsibility of the governments but also the responsibility of corporate sector, he added.

The Vice President said that blood donation is also an important social activity. He further said that serving the human being is serving the God. This is part of our responsibility and everyone should work for others. Learn, earn and return to the society with the motto of share and care, he added.

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 08:07:13 +0530
Vice President advises yo

The Vice President of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu has advised the youth to protect preserve and celebrate Indian culture and traditions and youth that are both present and future of this country can achieve their life's goals with hard work and dedication. He was addressing the gathering after releasing a Book titled 'Bhavdiye' based on Compilation of Letters written by Shri Kedar Nath Sahani.

The Vice President said that Kedar Nath Sahani was a writer, freedom fighter, social reformer and an icon who inspired others all over his life. He further said that during his long public life, he ensured freedom to his writers or scholars while he was an editor.

The Vice President said that that compilation of letters of Kedar Nath Sahai is an important source of research for younger generation. The Compilation allows to get the author's unbiased personal views on the then political, social scene, he added.

The Vice President said that the problem of Kashmir is still a challenge for the country and everyone will have to make a collective effort for a peaceful environment.

The Vice President lauded the efforts of Sahni in empowering the downtrodden and weaker sections of society and said that he had planned a forum for providing affordable capital to entrepreneurs belonging to downtrodden and weaker sections.

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 08:01:56 +0530
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Thu, 19 Apr 2018 18:22:43 +0530
UAE Ambassador attends U

Dr. Ahmed Abdul Rahman Al-Banna, UAE Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of India, has participate in the launch of the UAE-India Cultural Futures Initiative, UIFCI, organised by the International Institute for Cultural Diplomacy, IICD, in collaboration with the Imagindia Institute.

The Ambassador lit a torch as a sign of the launch of the initiative, which is in line with the Year of Zayed, and aims to further enhancing ties between the two nations via soft diplomacy.

The event, hosted by the President of the Imagindia Institute, was attended by Dr. Mohamad Kamil Al Muaini, Chairman of the IICD, Dr. Svanzhu Trivedi, National Spokesman for the Bharatiya Janata Party, along with a number of diplomats and officials in India.

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 17:09:44 +0530
SC dismisses further inv

The Supreme Court today stated that the death of Judge B H Loya, who was handling the case against BJP President Amit Shah at the time of his death, will not be investigated further. The Supreme Court also rejected seven public pleas for appointing a special team for investigation.

Justice Loya died on December 1, 2014 when he was going through the fake encounter case against Amit Shah. Judge Loya reportedly collapsed and died while attending a marriage function in Nagpur.

The top court said that Judge Loya died due to natural causes and also asserted that they would not encourage these type of  cases fuelled by conspiracies.

The bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra said that the petitions are intended to malign the judicial system of the country. The bench observed that it would be ideal to begin contempt proceedings against the petitioners.

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 16:21:39 +0530
UAE to host Asia Cup 2018

The UAE has been confirmed as the host venue for the Asian Cricket Council’s (ACC) 2018 Asia Cup One Day International tournament.

Teams from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan will take part in the tournament to be played in Abu Dhabi and Dubai from September 13th to 28th, 2018.

Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Chairman of the Emirates Cricket Board, has said, "Emirates Cricket is very proud for the UAE to be chosen as the host venue of the ACC Asia Cup. Our board has very close relationships with our Asian Cricket counterparts and, with the full support of our national sports councils and the Emirates Cricket Board members."

"This is a very important tournament in the ACC calendar, and one we are extremely pleased to secure, especially during the auspicious ‘Year of Zayed’. We extend our sincere thanks to the ACC, Asia Cup hosts BCCI, and all Member Unions for their trust and unanimous support," he added.

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 16:17:36 +0530
Saudi Aramco signs MoU wi

Saudi Aramco signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Ratnagiri Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd. (RRPCL), a consortium of Indian oil companies which includes The Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. (IOCl), Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd. (BPCL), and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd. (HPCL), to jointly develop and build an integrated mega refinery and petrochemicals complex at Ratnagiri, in the state of Maharashtra. Saudi Aramco may also seek to include a strategic partner to co-invest in the mega refinery.

The strategic partnership brings together crude supply, resources, technologies, experience, and expertise of these multiple oil companies with an established commercial presence around the world.

A pre-feasibility study for the refinery has been completed and the parties are now finalizing the project’s overall configuration. Following the signing of the MOU, the parties will extend their collaboration to discuss the formation of a joint venture that would provide for joint ownership, control, and management of the project.

The refinery will be capable of processing 1.2 million barrels of crude oil per day. It will produce a range of refined petroleum products, including gasoline and diesel, meeting BS-VI fuel efficiency norms. The refinery will also provide feedstock for the integrated petrochemical complex, which will be capable of producing approximately 18 million tons per annum of petrochemical production.

In addition to the refinery, cracker and downstream petrochemical facilities, the project will include associated facilities such as a logistics, crude oil and product storage terminals, raw water supply, as well as centralized and shared utilities.

Ratnagiri Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd. (RRPCL) will rank among the largest world refining and petrochemicals projects and will be designed to meet India’s fast-growing fuels and petrochemicals demand. The project cost is estimated at around $44 billion.

"Investing in India is a key part of our company’s global downstream strategy, and another milestone in our growing relationship with India," said Saudi Aramco President and CEO Amin Nasser, who also noted the opening in 2017 of Aramco Asia’s New Delhi office with a mandate to expand Saudi Aramco’s international portfolio in this key economic growth region.

"The signing marks a significant development in India’s oil and gas sector, enabling a strategic joint venture and investment partnership that will serve India’s fast-growing demand for transportation fuels and chemical products. Participating in this mega project will allow Saudi Aramco to go beyond our crude oil supplier role to a fully integrated position that may help usher in other areas of collaboration, such as refining, marketing, and petrochemicals for India’s future energy demands," said Nasser.

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 09:36:56 +0530
Army Chief Iauds the perf

The Chief of Army Staff acknowledged  the performance of their Army athletes who were part of the Indian contingent which has brought laurels for the nation, during the recently concluded Commonwealth Games. Army personnel got a haul of three Gold, three Silver and four Bronze Medals although they were expected to do better. 

The achievers: Subedar Jitu Rai (SM) - Gold Medal (Shooting), Havildar Om Prakash Mitharval - Two Bronze Medals (Shooting), Subedar Satish Kumar - Silver Medal (Boxing), Naib Subedar Amit Kumar - Silver Medal (Boxing), Naib Subedar Mohd Hassumuddin - Bronze Medal (Boxing), Naib Subedar Manish Kaushik - Silver Medal (Boxing), Havildar Gaurav Solanki - Gold Medal (Boxing), Naib Subedar Neeraj Chopra - Gold Medal (Javelin) and Naib Subedar Deepak Lather - Bronze Medal (Weightlifting), have done the nation proud.

The Chief of Army Staff further encouraged and motivated the athletes to continue their sustained and focused efforts as they train and prepare for the forthcoming International events, before they launch themselves into the Olympics arena.

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 09:27:53 +0530
Equip farmers with knowle

The Vice President of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu said that India must equip farmers with knowledge, insights and products. He was addressing the Valedictory Session of the One Day State Level Workshop on Biodiversity and Sustainable Agriculture for Doubling of Farmer’s Income” organized by the Government of Manipur and the Central Agricultural University, in Imphal, Manipur.

Vice President said that water conservation is crucial for sustainable agriculture, and said that there is an urgent need to conserve resources. He further said that, in his view, not only should we construct ponds for water conservation but also convert these artificial water storage structures into active fresh water ecosystems which in turn will be biodiversity spots for the aquatic wealth of the state, he added.

The Vice President said that global warming is real and is affecting our lives in every way. He further said that it should be our endeavour to sustain the agricultural production by mitigating the effects of global warming while conserving the biodiversity in ways that are sustainable. You must ‘dialogue’ with farmers, ‘discover’ new products and practices and ‘disseminate’ new insights and knowledge for development, he added.

The Vice President said that agriculture sector needs a big boost in India and efforts are needed to make it sustainable, economical and attractive.  We need to focus on the farmer’s incomes as well as on the farm productivity and long term environmental sustainability, he added.

The Vice President said that best practices from the traditional farming with the latest know-how can play vital role in improving productivity in agriculture. He further said that apart from intensification of agriculture, we must go in for greater diversification. Farmers should be encouraged to go in for a greater variety of alternative crops like high value fruits, vegetables and medicinal plants, he added.

 

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 09:22:21 +0530
India to keep strong ties

At the invitation of Prime Minister Theresa May, the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi visited the United Kingdom (UK) as a Guest of Government. The two leaders held wide-ranging and constructive discussions and underlined the strategic partnership and growing convergence on regional and international issues. Prime Minister Modi will also participate in the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London from 19-20 April.

India and the UK issued a statement after the Indian PM Narendra Modi and the UK PM Theresa May made a bilateral talk. The joint statement is as follows:

The UK and India have a natural ambition to reinforce our Strategic Partnership, based on shared values, common law and institutions, as the world’s oldest and largest democracies. We are committed members of the Commonwealth. We share a global outlook and commitment to a rules-based international system that strongly opposes unilateral actions that seek to undermine that system through force or coercion. We share the Living Bridge of countless personal and professional ties between our nations.

The UK and India will work closely together and with other Commonwealth member-states, the Commonwealth Secretariat and other partner organisations to address shared and global challenges. We are committed to reinvigorating the Commonwealth, especially ensuring its relevance tosmall and vulnerable states and to our youth, who make up 60% of the Commonwealth's population. The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting is an important opportunity to address these challenges as we come together and unite under the summit's official theme "Towards a Common Future”. Specifically, the United Kingdom and India will make commitments to help create a more sustainable, prosperous, secure and fairer future for all Commonwealth citizens by taking action.

To promote coordinated global action to tackle plastic pollution including through the Commonwealth and India’s role as host of World Environment Day 2018.

To provide practical support to help Commonwealth member-states boost cyber security capacity;

To help Commonwealth member-states implement the World Trade Organisation (WTO)Trade Facilitation Agreement by providing technical assistance and increased support for the Commonwealth Small States' offices.

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 08:35:39 +0530
Rape is rape don t poli

"Rape is rape. I don't want to compare the rape cases during the period of this government with the previous government. Never politicise rape", says PM Narendra Modi, reacting to the nationwide protests over the rape cases in Unnao and Kathua.

PM was interacting with participants across the globe in "Bharat ki Baat Sabke Saath" programme held at London, UK.

He also took questions from the participants. Following are the highlights from his interaction with the participants:

The person in the Railway Station was Narendra Modi. The person in the Royal Palace in London is the Sevak of 125 crore Indians.

My life at the Railway Station taught me so much. It was about my personal struggles. When you said Royal Palace, it is not about me but about the 125 crore people of India

'Besabri' is not a bad thing. If a person has a cycle, a person aspires a scooter. If a person has a scooter, a person aspires a car. It is nature to aspire. India is getting increasingly aspirational.

I was not born with an aim to be in history books. I request you all- remember our country and not Modi. I am just like you all, a common citizen of India

Yes, people have more expectations from us because they know that we can deliver. People know that when they say something, the Government will listen and do it.

During the freedom struggle Mahatma Gandhi did something very different. He turned the freedom struggle into a mass movement. He told every person that whatever you are doing will contribute to India's freedom

Today the need of the hour is to make development a mass movement

Participative democracy makes good governance possible

Look back at India's history. India has never desired anyone else's territory. During World War 1 and 2 we had no stake but our soldiers took part in the Wars. These were big sacrifices. Look at our role in UN Peacekeeping Forces

We believe in peace. But we will not tolerate those who like to export terror. We will give back strong answers and in the language they understand. Terrorism will never be accepted

Those who like exporting terror, I want to tell them that India has changed and their antics will not be tolerated

I do not need to read books to understand poverty. I have lived in poverty, I know what it is to be poor and belong to the backward sections of society. I want to work for the poor, the marginalised and the downtrodden.

18,000 villages did not have electricity. So many women do not have access to toilets. These realities of our nation did not let me sleep. I was determined to bring about a positive change in the lives of India's poor

I am like any common citizen. And, I also have drawbacks like normal people do.

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 08:01:52 +0530
Busting Food Myths

By Prerna Mistry

There’s a kernel (no pun intended) of truth in all the infamous food myths that have been doing rounds since generations, be it that eating a lot of chocolate causes acne or the tree second rule or even of the cheese you ate before bed giving you nightmares. While some of them do have valid points to back the claims, others however, are purely made up and sometimes, even bizarre. Here are some of the popular food myths that we are going to bust for you!

Myth: Carbs are bad.

Truth: Sugary and refined-carbohydrate-rich foods, such as white bread, pasta and doughnuts and cakes are unhealthy and can lead to health problems like heart disease and diabetes. However, carbs in the form of whole grains, beans, fruits and vegetables are extremely important as they are your body’s main source of fuel and are packed with vital nutrients and fibre as well. Therefore, it is not the carbs in your food that make you fat, it is indeed the intake of too many calories that aid to excessive weight gain.

Myth: If you can’t pronounce it, you shouldn’t eat it.

Truth: This is not entirely true as not everything that you can’t pronounce is necessarily bad for you. Many a times, vitamins and other essential minerals are listed on the back of food packs as their scientific name, for example, Cholecalciferol and Ergocalciferol are both words that are hard to pronounce but they are just other names for vitamin D3 and vitamin D2, both which are vital for our bodies to absorb calcium and phosphorous to make our bones stronger.

Myth: Gluten free foods are better.

Truth: Only if you suffer from coeliac disease, which is an autoimmune disorder that affects 1% of the population and causes the body to attack the small intestine where gluten is ingested. Besides this, it is imperative to observe that most gluten free products available in the market actually contain more fat, sugar and salt in them.

Myth: Eating carrots will improve your eyesight.

Truth: Carrots contain Vitamin A (vital for eye health), however, they’re not the answer to improve your vision!

Myth: The three second rule.

Truth: It is important to either discard or wash and eat the food that fell on your floor irrespective if you picked it up using your ninja skills within two, three or five seconds as bacteria sticks to food almost instantaneously.

Myth: Salads are healthy.

Truth: You ain’t losing those calories with every bite like you wanted as even though a salad mainly consists of raw vegetables and your choice of healthy proteins and all, it also contains dressing and sometimes, varied toppings even, that make it high in saturated fats and calories. However, having said that, a salad can be healthy if made with ingredients such as fresh vegetables, beans, some lean protein, nuts all tossed in a vinegar based dressing.

Myth: Skipping meals = weight loss.

Truth: While this may seem like a tempting and a sure short way for losing pounds, it does more harm than good. Short, intermittent fasting and very-low-calorie diets can offer some benefits occasionally. However, it can have the opposite effect on metabolism, slowing it down even, to compensate for a lack of food to process which may in turn lead to further weight gain.

Myth: Calories eaten at night are more fattening than those eaten early in the day.

Truth: Calories are calories and it doesn’t matter what time you eat them. What matters are the total calories you take in.

Myth: Eating after exercise diminishes the benefits of working out.

Truth: Exercise breaks down muscle fibres and after a workout the body begins its healing process and consuming healthy foods adds to this process and is important for metabolism and for building muscle mass as well.

Myth: Ghee is harmful for health

Truth: Ghee is made up of 65% saturated and 32% monounsaturated fatty acids. Monounsaturated fatty acids are a highly important form of dietary fat as the kind found in olive oil, which aids in reducing cholesterol.

 

Wed, 18 Apr 2018 18:22:37 +0530
Kathua case a shame to

President Ram Nath Kovind said that the Kathua rape case is a shame to the country and it is the responsibility of the society to ensure security for the girls in the country. The President expressed his displeasure while addressing the 6th convocation of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University, in Jammu.

"An innocent girl was brutally raped and killed recently. It is a shame that these type of incidents are happening in the country even after 70 years of independence. It is the responsibility of the society to ensure that these incidents won't happen to our ladies and girls", said the President.

Wed, 18 Apr 2018 17:51:06 +0530
UAE official visited Defe

Matar Al Dhaheri, Under-Secretary of the UAE Ministry of Defence, attended the opening of Defexpo 2018, India's largest land, naval and internal homeland security systems exhibition in New Delhi.

The UAE official toured the exhibition and gained knowledge about the latest naval, air and land systems.

He met with Defence Minister of India, Nirmala Sitharaman, to discuss bilateral defence relations and a variety of issues of mutual interest.

Wed, 18 Apr 2018 17:13:36 +0530
Fahim Al Qasimi attends K

Sheikh Fahim bin Sultan bin Khalid Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Government Relations Department and Chairman of the Higher Committee for Digital Transformation in Sharjah, highlighted the Department's objective to reinforce its cooperation with various international institutions and authorities.

It also seeks to exchange knowledge and expertise and standardise international means of communication, based on the approach and values of Sharjah, led by H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, he added.

He made this statement while visiting India, where he met with Pinarayi Vijayan, Chief Minister of Kerala, and several senior officials. Hussain Al Mahmoudi, CEO of the Sharjah Research, Technology and Innovation Park, accompanied Sheikh Fahim bin Sultan.

The visit is a response to an invitation received by the department to participate in '#Future', the first Global Digital Summit of its kind in Asia, which saw the attendance of over 2,000 participants and 40 speakers.

Al Qasimi delivered a speech on UAE Innovation Month while stressing that the UAE aims to promote its position as a global centre of innovation, as well as to build its capacities and create a culture of innovation.

During the exhibition, Al Qasimi met with representatives of the United Nations Office of Communication and Information technology, to discuss ways of promoting their cooperation in technological innovation and establishing the UN Technological Innovation Lab in Sharjah.

Al Qasimi briefed Vijayan and the senior Indian officials about Sharjah’s Digital Transformation Programme, which aims to transform all its services to smart services, in line with the UAE’s regional and international role in providing e-services.

He also highlighted the importance of cooperating and establishing long-term partnerships with Kerala, which has a prominent intellectual, commercial, industrial and scientific stature.

Al Mahmoudi stated that Sharjah supports the UAE’s knowledge sector and attracts leading minds and intellectuals to invest in their talents.

The Indian side highlighted the importance of reinforcing their cooperation and exchanging knowledge with Sharjah while praising the emirate’s overall efforts and achievements.

Wed, 18 Apr 2018 17:10:29 +0530
Modi arrives in London

After a busy day of discussions in Stockholm, Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in London for his four-day visit. Modi was received by the Britian's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson at the London's Heathrow airport.

Boris expressed his excitement in receiving the Indian PM as he looked upon to raise the India-British bilateral ties to the next level.

Meanwhile Modi will be seen attending several leaders on the sidelines of the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting including a meeting with the British Prime Minister Theresa May today.

Wed, 18 Apr 2018 17:02:02 +0530
Vice President calls for

The Vice President of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that there is a need to create health coverage schemes that provide widest coverage to the young, aged and infirm and those suffering from both critical acute and chronic ailments. He was addressing the gathering after launching the Atal Amrit Abhiyan by Assam Government, which seeks to provide access to quality medical care to 3.2 crore people, in Guwahati, Assam.

The Vice President called on the private sector to supplement the efforts of the government in a big way in reaching out medical care to the people in rural areas. He further said that quality of health services should be good enough to improve the health of those receiving services. People should be protected against financial-risk, ensuring that the cost of using services does not put people at risk of financial harm, he added.

The Vice President said that modern day lifestyle is leading to various non-communicable diseases and said that efforts are needed to arrest the growing incidence of such disease which is affecting even the young.  There has to be concerted efforts from all stakeholders in healthcare to raise awareness among the people on the dangers of leading sedentary lifestyles, eating junk food, harmful use of alcohol and tobacco, he added.

The Vice President stressed on the need to change school curriculum include lessons on NCDs and physical exercises should be made mandatory for school and college students. Wherever possible, yoga asanas should also be taught to children, he added.

The Vice President said that north-eastern States like the rest of India are facing shortage of medical manpower and medical facilities in rural areas. This shortage has to be bridged by opening more medical colleges and setting up more number of healthcare facilities in the rural places, he added.

Wed, 18 Apr 2018 16:59:38 +0530
Cash crunch in ATMs Fina

The finance ministry has reviewed the currency circulation in the country in the wake of  reports of cash shortages and some ATMs running dry of cash or becoming non-functional in some parts of the country.

There has been unusual spurt in currency demand in the country in last three months.    This unusual spurt in demand is seen more in some parts of the country like Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, MP and Bihar.

Finance ministry stated that the Government of India with the Reserve Bank of India have taken all steps to meet this unusual demand.

"We had adequate reserves of currency notes which have been used to meet fully the extraordinary demand generated so far.  We continue to have in stock adequate currency notes of all denominations, including of Rs.500, 200 and Rs.100 to meet any demand.

The Government would like to assure all the people that there have been adequate supply of currency notes which have met entire demand so far. The government would also like to assure that it would be supplying adequate currency notes to meet even higher levels of demand if such demand were to continue in the coming days/months.

The Government is taking all steps to ensure that ATMs are supplied with cash and to get non-functional ATMs normalised at the earliest", ministry stated.

Wed, 18 Apr 2018 10:51:29 +0530
India demonstrates mariti

During both phases of Ex Gagan Shakti, the IAF is effectively exercising its Maritime war fighting concepts on both the Western and Eastern seaboards.  Air Dominance, over the entire extended area of the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) in support of the Indian Navy (IN) is being demonstrated by employment of combat enablers like the FRA (Flight Refueling Aircraft) in conjunction with our maritime fighter forces of the Su-30 and Jaguar class carrying potent long distance anti shipping weaponry.

Missions have been flown in the initial phase to address both near and in depth targets over the Western Sea Board utilising Su-30 and Jaguar fighter aircraft equipped with the potent Brahmos and Harpoon Anti ship missiles respectively. 

The Su-30 ac has also showcased its strategic reach by operating from the eastern most air bases on the peninsula and engaging maritime targets well out into the western seaboard with support of AAR.  After quick repositioning of Maritime Assets the focus has now shifted in Phase–II to addressing targets over the Eastern Sea Board right upto the Mallaca Straits. 

The full compliment of Maritime Assets would now operate from bases in the  Southern peninsula and Andaman & Nicobar islands. Extensive missions would be flown by the Su-30 and Jaguar  in conjunction with the IN P-8i MR ac  using long range weapons  to refine and practice offensive and defensive tactics against maritime targets.

Such demonstrations of extended reach utilizing potent standoff weapons in Joint coordinated Operations with the IN  has adequately show cased the IAF ability  to support the IN in order to dominate the  IOR and effectively address any misadventure by an adversary in our area of interest.

Wed, 18 Apr 2018 10:33:08 +0530
India Sweden reiterates

At the invitation of Prime Minister Löfven, Prime Minister Modi paid an official visit to Stockholm on 16-17 April 2018.

Prime Minister Modi and Prime Minister Löfven met on 17 April and recalled their Joint Statement issued in Mumbai in 2016, welcomed progress so far on its implementation and reconfirmed their commitment to the Joint Statement as the overall political framework for cooperation. 

India and Sweden share values of democracy, rule of law, respect of human rights, pluralism and a rule-based international order. Both Prime Ministers reiterated their commitment to dialogue and cooperation on key international issues of mutual concern, including climate change, Agenda 2030, international peace and security, human rights, gender equality, humanitarian issues, international trade. The Prime Ministers underlined the urgency to step up global efforts to combat climate change, and emphasized their common continued commitment to the Paris Agreement. Both sides agreed to continue security policy dialogue at the level of National Security Advisors, in line with the Joint Statement.

Both Prime Ministers agreed to close cooperation in the UN, and other multilateral fora. They took note of the UN Secretary-General’s reform efforts to ensure a UN fit to support Member States to deliver on Agenda 2030. They also reaffirmed the need for reform of the UN Security Council, including its expansion, to make it more representative, accountable, effective, and responsive to the realities of the 21st century. Prime Minister Modi thanked Prime Minister Löfven for Sweden’s support to India’s candidature for non-permanent membership of United Nations Security Council (2021-22) and for Sweden’s support to India’s permanent membership of a reformed and expanded United Nations Security Council.

Both Prime Ministers expressed their commitment to support and strengthen global export control, non-proliferation and disarmament objectives and looked forward to close cooperation in these areas. Prime Minister Löfven welcomed India’s recent accession to the international export control regimes, including to Australia Group (AG), Wassenaar Arrangement (WA),Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR),and The Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation (HCOC), and expressed support for India’s membership of the Nuclear Supplier Group (NSG). 

Both Prime Ministers called for greater unity and stronger international partnership to counter terrorism, disrupt terrorist networks and financing, and to prevent violent extremism. They emphasized that the global counter terrorism legal framework should be regularly updated to address the changing threat of terrorism with strength, and underscored that any measures taken to counter terrorism comply with international law. In this regard both countries called for an early finalisation of the draft Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT).

Wed, 18 Apr 2018 10:28:25 +0530
India Nordic countries c

The Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of Denmark Lars Løkke Rasmussen, the Prime Minister of Finland Juha Sipilä, the Prime Minister of Iceland Katrín Jakobsdóttir, the Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg and the Prime Minister of Sweden Stefan Löfven held a Summit hosted by the Swedish Prime Minister and the Indian Prime Minister.

During the Summit, the Prime Ministers pledged to deepen cooperation between the Nordic countries and India, and focused their discussions on key issues related to global security, economic growth, innovation and climate change. The Prime Ministers reaffirmed the importance of free trade as a catalyst for achieving inclusive growth and realising the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Prime Ministers acknowledged that innovation and digital transformation drive growth in an interconnected world, and underpin a growing engagement between the Nordic countries and India. The role of the Nordic countries as global innovation leaders was underlined. The Nordic approach to innovation systems, characterised by a strong collaboration between public sector, private sector and academia, was discussed, and synergies were identified with India’s rich pool of talent and skills.

The Summit emphasised the Indian government’s strong commitment to innovation and digital initiatives as key to prosperity and sustainable development, with national flagship programmes such as Make in India, Startup India, Digital India and Clean India. Nordic solutions in clean technologies, maritime solutions, port modernisation, food processing, health, life-sciences and agriculture were mentioned. The Summit welcomed the Nordic Sustainable Cities Project aimed at supporting the Smart Cities Program of the Government of India.

The Prime Ministers noted that the unique strengths of India and the Nordic countries offer immense opportunities for trade and investment diversification and mutually beneficial collaboration. During the talks, the importance of the rules-based multilateral trading system as well as open and inclusive international trade for prosperity and growth was underlined.The Ease of Doing Business practices were emphasised as a priority for both the Nordic countries and India.

The Prime Ministers acknowledged that terrorism and violent extremism are major challenges for the international community. They discussed global security, including cyber security, based on their shared values of human rights, democracy and the rule of law, and their commitment to uphold the rules-based international system. They also discussed export control and non-proliferation. The Nordic countries welcomed India’s application for membership of the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group and reaffirmed their commitment to work constructively within the Group with the aim of reaching a positive outcome at the earliest opportunity.

The Prime Ministers reaffirmed their support for the United Nations and the Secretary-General’s reform efforts to ensure a UN fit to support Member States to deliver on Agenda 2030 and took note of his proposals to strengthen the UN, including in the areas of development, peace operations, peace building and conflict prevention. The Nordic countries and India reaffirmed the need for reform of the UN Security Council, including its expansion in both permanent and non-permanent seats to make it more representative, accountable, effective and responsive to the realities of the 21st century. The Nordic countries agree that India is a strong candidate for a permanent seat in a reformed Security Council expanded with both permanent and non-permanent members.

The Prime Ministers reaffirmed their full commitment to implementing the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development as well as the ambitious implementation of the Paris Agreement. They agreed to continue efforts to develop cleaner energy systems, renewable energy and fuels, increased energy efficiency and technologies for cleaner energy production. The Prime Ministers noted that women’s full and meaningful participation in political, social and economic life is key to inclusive development and agreed to promote the empowerment of women.

The Prime Ministers agreed that a strong partnership can help spur innovations, economic growth, sustainable solutions and mutually beneficial trade and investments. The Summit emphasized the importance of strong people-to-people contacts through education, culture, labour mobility and tourism – all areas where the Nordic countries and India see a continuous increase in both interests and numbers.

Wed, 18 Apr 2018 09:59:35 +0530
Modi addresses Indian dia

The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, addressed the Indian Community in Stockholm. He thanked the Government of Sweden, in particular His Majesty the King of Sweden; and the Prime Minister of Sweden, Mr. Stefan Lofven who was present at the event, for the warm welcome he received in Sweden.

He said that India is going through a great transformation today. He said that the current Union Government had been elected on the mandate of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas. He said the Government has worked towards a developed and inclusive India, in the last four years. He said all efforts are being made to create a New India by 2022.

"Through initiatives  such as International Yoga Day, efforts are also being made to see that India emerges as a global thought leader once again. The world is looking at India with confidence. In this context, he mentioned humanitarian relief and rescue efforts, the International Solar Alliance, and membership of key regimes such as MTCR, Wassenaar Arrangement, and Australia Group. The world is acknowledging India's technological capability, including its space programme", PM said.

The Prime Minister said that India is also building International Partnerships to boost innovation. In this context he mentioned the innovation partnership with Sweden, and a similar initiative with Israel. He said the Government is focusing on Ease of Living. In this context, he also mentioned the Ayushman Bharat scheme, which he described as the world's biggest healthcare assurance scheme.

The Prime Minister urged the gathering to not limit their connect with India, to just an emotional one. He said the emerging New India offers them many opportunities to innovate, trade and invest as well.

Wed, 18 Apr 2018 09:40:10 +0530
Busting Beauty Myths

By Prerna Mistry

The beauty industry is one of the biggest industries of all time. Today, there are thousands of products available in the market as per the customers’ preferences and at varied price points at that. Each product claims to help all your woes and make your life oh so perfect, but is it really the case? Here is a list of beauty myths that we are going to bust for you to test if these myths are indeed a holy grail or a holy fail!

Myth: Makeup causes acne.

Truth: There is no research that actually proves that makeup causes acne. However, old beauty products that have been exposed to light, air and bacteria and unclean make-up brushes have the potential to unleash a host of skincare problems including acne. Besides, using expired makeup products could only worsen the situation as this not only clogs pores but also one can never anticipate how their skin would react to the chemicals present in the products as well. Therefore, personal hygiene is key to keep your skin glowing and flawless. It is important to use a good cleanser and remove all your makeup well before going to bed as well.

Myth: Expensive products are better than inexpensive ones.

Truth: While we may be tempted to think this true, considering the amount of money beauty enthusiasts end up spending on products, this may not necessarily be the case as not all expensive products use the products they claim they use but also, it isn’t necessary that our skin may agree too well with the products as well.

Myth: All natural skincare ingredients are safe

Truth: Sadly, this is so not true as there are no facts or any scientific legitimacy proving that natural or organic ingredients are better for your skin. As sometimes not all plants may be good for your skin or that, you may be allergic to some of these organic materials as well.

Myth: Brush your hair with 100 strokes before bed for shiny and healthy hair

Truth: This is one of the biggest lies of all time! (Well, maybe not) but, you should only brush your hair as much as you need to get rid of tangles. Over-brushing can over-dry your hair besides also giving it static leading to hair looking frizzy or even causing friction, resulting in hair breakage as well.

Myth: Pulling out one gray hair will result into more gray hair

Truth: Plucking the hair from one follicle has no effect on nearby follicles. So, feel free to pluck out that gray hair!!

Myth: Avoid using oily products on oily skin

Truth: The truth here is a far cry from what we normally hear for using oily products from oily skin. Skin is a sensory organ and therefore, using products that claim to make you skin ‘oil-free,’ only results into more sebum production once oil is stripped from the surface of the skin. However, having said that, you need to use oils that are more light weight in nature and which your skin can absorb without clogging your pores.

Myth:  Parabens cause cancer

Truth: False. Parabens, it turns out, do more good than harm as they are incorporated in formulas in small amounts to prevent the growth of disease-causing microbes as without them, products, specifically cosmetics, could host disease causing microbes such as bacteria, yeast, fungi, and other things that can cause serious, immediate health problems.

Tue, 17 Apr 2018 13:25:27 +0530
PM Modi s three day Europ

Britain is all set to welcome Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he visits the country as part of the Commonwealth heads of meeting which is in turn his second visit to the country. The PM is currently visiting Sweden as part of his three-day European tour.

Modi is said to receive a grand reception unlike to any other heads of states who come to attend the summit as Britain anticipates a boost in diplomatic ties and in the trade-commerce pacts with India.

The Prime Minister had arrived in Sweden on Monday and he will leave for UK after attending the Indo-Nordic summit in Stockholm. Modi visited Sweden after former PM Rajeev Gandhi visited the country 30 years back in 1988. 

Tue, 17 Apr 2018 11:48:08 +0530
Make Your Day Batter When

By Prerna Mistry

When it comes to the overall aesthetic image, what you see on TV and on the internet is a far cry from the actual picture. Bakeries generally have an entire team of experts and even housekeeping staff that manage the entire show. At home it is usually one or two people working in a limited environment. It takes time to manage and organise everything, but you will get there someday. Till then be prepared to face a royal mess in the kitchen. You might get on the nerves of your family members with the mess, but always remember, any human being can be bribed with good food.

You’re going to have a lot of tasting at every stage and your family is invariably going to be your taste testers. This will obviously be a field day for them for the most part, but it will have a strong impact on the diets of everybody. The dishes are not just going to be rich in flavour but also in the ingredients as well as the calories. And too much of anything can be bad for one’s health.

But even as desserts, it is not healthy to eat baked foods everyday as these are heavy foods and not so easy to digest. This is why it always works better to bake in small batches in order to prevent you from making a meal out of cakes and curbing your calorie intake.

The biggest challenge in baking however is the decorating. This is what usually gets people interested in baking. There are wonders that one can create with different ideas and techniques, but this is something that can take quite a while to master. And decorating also involves lifelong learning, creativity and reinventing. Patience is the key word when it comes to icing, piping and embellishing all your baked goodies since it involves a lot of materials, techniques, ingredients and recipes.

Decorating a cake involves a lot of approaches and features. And all of these can be very tricky to work with. Piping on something simple like whipped cream and ganache looks so easy in videos and even if you see a professional baker do it in real life. Try doing it the first time on your own and nailing it; it would be nothing short of a miracle. If that happens, consider it to be your lucky day. Because the first few times you have to deal with uneven layers of cakes or cupcakes, cakes and cookies that look like the theme was either food fight or disaster or even sabotage. Sure if it’s tasty it’s going to be eaten anyway, but we all love to eat foods that are appealing. Even making the cream, the ganache or rolling out the fondant and gum paste can be a very messy affair when you are starting off. You have to be patient and be aware of the fact that the flair and flourish that come with Instagram worthy baked goods will take time to master and ease into.

However, as the old saying goes, “Practice makes perfect”, don’t get disheartened and discouraged by these obstacles and the mess ups and goof ups that come along the way at starting levels of your journey as a baker. And as the words of the Cake Boss Buddy Valastro himself, “No matter what the recipe, any baker can do wonders in the kitchen with some good ingredients and an upbeat attitude!”

Mon, 16 Apr 2018 19:31:44 +0530
Kathua case SC issues no

The Supreme Court has issued a notice to the Jammu & Kashmir government on a plea to transfer the trial of the rape case where an 8-year-old girl was gang raped and then murdered to the outside of the state.

The top court advised the state government to give a reply by April 27 as well as to provide security to the family of the girl and to the lawyer who is representing the family in the court.

A plea was filed by the father of the girl Anuja Singh in the court to transfer the case to the outside of the state.

Meanwhile the Kathua court postponed the hearing of the case to April 28 due to the plea filed today despite the trial had started today.

Mon, 16 Apr 2018 16:55:36 +0530
I can be raped killed

Deepika Singh, the lawyer, who is proceeding the case of an 8-year-old who was raped and killed in Jammu Kashmir's Kathua has said that she may become a victim or she could be murdered as well.

"I can be raped.....I can be killed....they may not allow me to practice in the court. They have isolated me. I don't know how to survive", says Deepika.

The lawyer told that she will approach the Supreme Court to request for protection.

"Justice should be delivered. I will stay firm to ensure justice to the 8-year-old", Deepika said.

Mon, 16 Apr 2018 16:29:35 +0530
Mecca Masjid blast NIA c

The National Investigation Agency (NIA ) court has acquitted all accused in the Mecca Masjid blast in Hyderabad, including Swami Aseemanand, who has been linked to three terror attacks. The court said that the NIA had failed to prove anyone's guilt.

Swami Aseemanand and five others faced trial for a blast that occured in 2007 at the Mecca Masjid , near Charminar in Hyderabad. 9 people were killed and 58 injured in the blast.

The initial inquiry was conducted by the police but many complained against the investigation and handed the case over to the CBI before the NIA had took over the case from the central  agency in 2011.

Mon, 16 Apr 2018 16:27:11 +0530
DefExpo concluded in Chen

The 10th edition of Defexpo India, a biennial exhibition on Land, Naval and Internal Homeland Security Systems, held from 11 to 14 April 2018 at Thiruvidanthai in Kancheepuram district on the East Coast Road near Chennai, concluded.

Governor of Tamil Nadu Banwarilal Purohit presided over the closing ceremony, which was also attended by Secretary (Defence Production) Dr Ajay Kumar, Chairman and Managing Director Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, Shri T Suvarna Raju, Additional Secretary (Defence Production) Subhash Chandra and District Collector of Kanchipuram P Ponniah.

Speaking on the occasion, the Governor congratulated the Ministry of Defence for having successfully organised the DefExpo India – 2018 at Thiruvidanthai attracting large number of Indian and foreign exhibitors.  He also mentioned that the occasion added flavour to the celebrations as it coincides with Tamil New Year and also with 127th birth anniversary of Babasaheb Dr Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, the principle architect of our Constitution. Purohit also thanked the people of Chennai and neighbouring areas for playing host and volunteers who have partnered and contributed to the success of the exhibition.

On the concluding day, very large crowd turned up to DefExpo India – 2018 making the event a grand success. Enthusiasm was also evident among organised groups from schools and colleges and visiting youth who were curious and showing keen interest in defence technology.

On the sidelines of the DefExpo India – 2018, indigenously designed and built Indian Naval Ships Sahydari - a stealth frigate, Kamorta - anti submarine warfare corvette, Sumitra - a naval advanced offshore patrol vessel, Airavat - an amphibious ship and Kirch - a missile corvette were kept ‘Open to Visitors’ at Chennai Port for the first time in the history of DefExpo from 13 to 15 April 2018. The ships visit witnessed overwhelming response from the citizenry of Chennai and adjoining districts.      

The DefExpo witnessed four-days of hectic activities with underlined theme of ‘India: The Emerging Defence Manufacturing Hub’ showcasing India’s capability in export of defence systems and components. More than 670 exhibitors, including over 150 international exhibitors took part in the event. The MSME sector had representation this time around 15 per cent. An event of this scale was made feasible by the wholehearted support of people and various service agencies, including hotel industry and tour operators, in the host state of Tamil Nadu. The people of Chennai lived up to the reputation of being excellent hosts.

Mon, 16 Apr 2018 08:55:23 +0530
Vice President calls for

The Vice President of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that every person in the reserved category should get the fruits of development. He was addressing the gathering during the release of the book titled 'Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar: Vyakti Nahin Sankalp', edited by Kishor Makwana and handing over the first copy to the President, Ram Nath Kovind, at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The Vice President said that there should be equitable representation among the reserved categories in education and employment in accordance with their population. Paying rich tributes to Dr. Ambedkar, he said he was a symbol of excellence and inspired every Indian. He said “Dr Ambedkar is an icon for New India and his thoughts are the guiding ideal for us”. He symbolized how every individual despite hardships can achieve great heights.

The Vice President said that Dr. Ambedkar also epitomized how one’s talents can be used to shape the lives of millions of people by dedicating oneself to nation building.  As the Prime Minister says, “every poor man and woman from marginalized sections of society who has succeeded owes it to Babasaheb and his work. As he said, there would be no Modi, without Ambedkar” he added.

The Vice-President said that the Prime Minister was not only inspired by Dr. Ambedkar's grand vision but has made it a mission to integrate his vision into the overall governance of the country.

The Prime Minister's call for building a New India was an amplification of Dr. Ambedkar's vision of a society that is not torn apart by casteism, communalism and other fissiparous tendencies, he said.

Observing that Dr. Ambedkar was an unabashed and vocal supporter of industrialization, the Vice President said “Make in India along with promoting Ease of Doing Business has finally unlocked this latent potential”, he added.  India has become the second largest steel producer and the fourth largest automobile market. “India is the second largest producer of mobile phones and this is just the beginning of the India story”.

Recalling that Babasaheb had worked extensively on infrastructural issues, particularly that of power, he said that India was now the world’s third largest electricity producer. Stating that Dr. Ambedkar was also the Architect of India’s Water Policy, he termed the massive Hirakud project as a gift from Babasaheb to India.

The Vice President said Dr. Ambedkar also worked on issues relating to women. He was the first person to think of making workplaces more women-friendly and fought for 8 weeks of maternity leave for women which now have been increased by the government to 26 weeks.

The Vice President said that the youth want an India “that is inclusive, peaceful and forward looking.  It is an India that cares for each individual and moves ahead as Team India. And true enough, we as a nation have taken rapid strides in the recent years. We must keep up the momentum”, he added.

Mon, 16 Apr 2018 08:49:58 +0530
Kovind receives first cop

The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, received the first copy of the book ‘Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar: Vyakti Nahin Sankalp’ from the Vice President of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu, who formally released it at a function held at Rashtrapati Bhavan, to mark Dr B.R. Ambedkar’s birth anniversary.

Speaking on the occasion, the President said that Dr Ambedkar, like Dr Martin Luther King Jr, is an inspiring figure for all humanity. There is need to do justice to his legacy. The President was happy to note that Dr Ambedkar’s 125th birth anniversary was commemorated at the United Nations in 2016.

The President said the book that he had been presented was a slim volume but covered the inspiring life of Dr Ambedkar and several dimensions of his ideas and personality. The President called the book an accessible resource to understand Dr Ambedkar. He congratulated all those associated with its publication. He expressed hope that thoughts compiled in the book would reach more and more citizens and motivate them to work together in peace and harmony.

Mon, 16 Apr 2018 08:44:30 +0530
PM lauds India s CWG perf

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi has congratulated India’s contingent at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

“India's contingent at the 2018 Commonwealth Games has made every Indian extremely proud. All our sportspersons gave their best and played very well. I congratulate all those athletes who are bringing back medals.

Every athlete who represented India at 2018 Commonwealth Games inspires us. Their life stories illustrate the power of dedication and a never-say-die attitude that made them overcome countless hurdles to attain the heights of success they did at the CWG.

I hope India’s success at 2018 Commonwealth Games motivates more youngsters to pursue sports and creates larger awareness on the importance of fitness in everyone’s lives.

On our part, we in the Government are doing everything possible to strengthen the FitIndia movement”, the Prime Minister said in a series of tweets.

Mon, 16 Apr 2018 08:39:44 +0530
Modi to visit Sweden UK

Following is the text of Prime Minister, Narendra Modi’s departure statement prior to his visit to Sweden and the United Kingdom.

 

"I will be visiting Sweden and the United Kingdom for bilateral meetings and for the India-Nordic Summit and the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting during 17-20 April.

On 17th April, I will be in Stockholm on the invitation of Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven. This is my first visit to Sweden. India and Sweden share warm and friendly ties. Our partnership is based on democratic values and commitment to an open, inclusive and rule-based global order. Sweden is a valuable partner in our development initiatives. PM Lofven and I will also have the opportunity to interact with top business leaders of both the countries and chart out a future roadmap of cooperation with focus on trade and investment, innovation, S&T, skill development, smart cities, clean energy, digitization and health. I would also call on His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf, King of Sweden.

India and Sweden will jointly organize the India-Nordic Summit in Stockholm on 17th April with the Prime Ministers of Finland, Norway, Denmark and Iceland. The Nordic countries have globally recognized strengths in clean technologies, environmental solutions, ports modernization, cold-chains, skill development and innovation. Nordic competencies fit well with our vision for India’s transformation.

On 18th April 2018, I will be in London on the invitation of Prime Minister Theresa May. I had last visited the UK in November 2015. India and the United Kingdom share a modern partnership bound by strong historical ties.

My visit to London presents another opportunity for both countries to infuse fresh momentum to this growing bilateral engagement. I will be focusing on enhancing India-UK partnership in the areas healthcare, innovation, digitization, electric mobility, clean energy, and cyber security. Under the theme of “Living Bridge”, I will also have the opportunity to meet people from various walks of life who have enriched the multi-faceted India-UK relationship.

I would also call on Her Majesty The Queen, interact briefly with CEOs of the two nations who are working on a new agenda of economic partnership, launch an Ayurveda Centre of Excellence in London, and welcome the UK into the International Solar Alliance, as its newest member.

On 19th and 20th April I will also participate in the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting being hosted by the United Kingdom which will take over as the new Chair-in-Office of the Commonwealth from Malta. The Commonwealth is a unique multilateral grouping that not only provides useful assistance to its developing country members, particularly the small states and small-island developing states, but also has a strong international voice for development issues.

I am confident that these visits to Sweden and UK will be useful in enhancing our engagement with these countries."

Mon, 16 Apr 2018 08:36:37 +0530
Retired civil servants wr

A group of retired civil servants have wrote an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, squarely blaming him and his government, over the rapes in Unnao and Kathua that have shooked the country.

The letter by 49 civil servants came at a time when thousands of people across the country hit the streets to mark their protest over the insecurity feeling loomed over the country's daughters.

The letter takes a dig on the NDA government saying "the government failed in performing the most basic of the responsibilities given to it by the people".

"The bestiality and the barbarity involved in the rape and murder of an eight year-old child shows the depths of depravity that we have sunk into. In post-Independence India, this is our darkest hour and we find the response of our Government, the leaders of our political parties inadequate and feeble", the letter said.

The group of retired civil servants refers the current situation "a moment of existential crisis, a turning point" and suggest the crisis will be settled depends on the government's response.

Mon, 16 Apr 2018 08:16:47 +0530
11 year old girl held cap

Amid nationwide protest against the murder of an 8-year-old girl in Kashmir getting bigger after she was gang raped, Surat Police has said that the girl who was found dead in the city with lot of injuries in her body was possibly held captive, tortured and raped before being killed.

The police are yet to confirm the identity of the girl and believes her age to be between 9 and 11 years and the autopsy reports reveals that she had suffered major injuries, at least 86 injuries in her body, including private parts caused by a blunt object.

The rape and the murder of the Surat girl is the latest in a string of cases where an 8-year-old girl was brutally raped and then killed in Kashmir and also a 16-year old was allegedly raped by a BJP lawmaker in Uttar Pradesh's Unnao district already generated widespread protests across the country.

Mon, 16 Apr 2018 07:46:17 +0530
Pak denies permission for

India-Pak relations reached a new low as Pakistan has blocked Sikh pilgrims' access to Indian diplomats as well as denied the pilgrims from visiting the Gurdwara. India immediately launched a strong protest against the neighbouring country's action which could spur their relations further.

Indian diplomats in Pakistan had planned to welcome the pilgrims who had entered the Wagah railway station, but failed to do so.

External Affairs ministry in a press release stated that Indian high commissioner Ajay Bisari was returned back by the Pakistan government when the diplomat tried to meet and welcome the pigrims in the Gurdwara.

Sun, 15 Apr 2018 19:38:38 +0530
Malayalees celebrate Vish

 

K.A.Viswanathan

 

Vishu, one of the most important festivals of Kerala, also Kerala New year, is celebrated all over the country where Keralite live.  Vishu  falls on the first day of the Malayalam month of  Medam  on  April 14/15. A festival of gaiety and renewal, this day is celebrated with great fun in Kerala and other parts of the country. This day  is also celebrated as New year's day in Tamil Nadu.



The main ritual on this day is ‘Vishukkani’ .  People make it a point to see all the auspicious things as soon as they wake up.  On the previous night of Vishu, fresh agricultural produce such as rice, paddy, cucumber, jack fruit, arecanut, coconut and ripe plantains are aesthetically decorated and placed at the feet of Lord Krishna. A big mirror is also kept at the back of this decoration for reflection. The little yellow flowers called Konna Poovu  are considered a must in this assemblage which is looked upon as the symbol of prosperity. This is called ‘Vishukani’.

There is a belief that to catch a glimpse of the reflection of these signs of prosperity in the mirror at the crack of dawn, would bring prosperity to the individual. The morning of the Vishu  one of the members of the house, usually the eldest female member lights the lamp and looks at 'Kani' . She wakes up other members, one after another and the 'Kani' is shown to everyone of them, taking particular care not to allow anyone to look by chance at other things. Older members of the family give ‘Kaineettam’ , a token amount of money, to the youngsters, as part of the celebrations. People carry on this custom believing that in this way, their children will be blessed with prosperity in future. Later they visit temples wearing new cloths and pray for a prosperous new year.


 

While the men and the children engage in bursting crackers, women start cooking a variety of delicacies for the day`s lunch. The feast  is prepared by the women of the household and the whole family sits down to enjoy the vishu lunch together. The dishes prepared from the vegetables and fruits that are abundant in the season like jackfruits, mangoes, pumpkins , coconuts and of course  Pal payasam (keer).

In Mumbai the festival is celebrated in most  of the temples where  preferably  the idol of  Lord Krishna is kept. At the Kochu Guruvayoorappan temple, also called Asthika Samaj  at Matunga in central Mumbai, Keralites from most part of the City  visit , men wearing  Mundu and females wearing Zaried  off white saree called ‘Pamundu’.They  stand in que  from early morning for darshan to see the ‘Vishukani’ and also the glimpses of Lord Guruvayoorappan. The unique feature of this temple is, it also has the idols of presiding deity Lord Rama with his consort Sita, Lakshmana and Hanuman, Lord Subramanya, Lord Ayappa , lord shiva, Lord Vinayaka and the Navagraha  devatas. In one visit to the temple the devotees can see  all the deities. That’s the reason this temple is always crowded.

 

Another  temple in the vicinity called Sri Sankara  Mattham   also display the Vishukani in a befitting manner . The temple also has the idol of Sivalinga and Adi Shankara.

 

Pics : Vishukani at Asthika Samaj,Matunga.
 

Sun, 15 Apr 2018 17:27:58 +0530
CWG Saina beats Sindhu

Saina Nehwal came out victorious in the all-Indian Badminton final of the women's singles at the Commonwealth Games after beating fellow compatriot P V Sindhu 21-18, 23-21. The much anticipated summit clash took place at morning 5am.

In another  glamorous final at the Badminton court, India's World No.1 Kidambi Srikanth bow down to Malaysian legend Lee Chong Wei. Srikanth let the advantage slip as he won the first set and was on road for a gold medal. But Lee worked on his experience, enabling him to come back into the game.

Sun, 15 Apr 2018 17:14:10 +0530
Spilling The Tea

By Prerna Mistry

Teas have traditionally been a part of various cultures for over thousands of years. No matter what the season, tea is a well loved beverage as it is quite versatile in nature and can be customised to our personal preferences. Almost all non-herbal teas are made from the leaves of the plant Camellia Sinensis which is a shrub native to China and India and it is only the differences in the processing of the leaves that classify the teas as different from each other. Herbal teas, however, are made by infusing herbs, fruits or spices in warm water and contain little to almost no caffeine. There are thousands of blends of tea, each with their own flavour and unique and numerous health benefits that go far beyond simply refreshment.

Generally there are five kinds of true teas, namely Green Tea, Black Tea, White Tea, Oolong Tea and Pu-erh Tea, while any other flavoured tea is considered as Herbal Tea. Packed with antioxidants, each tea contains benefits that are vital to physical and mental health. Here is a list of teas and their sui generis benefits.

  • Green Tea

This true tea is preferred by a majority of people and rightly so as green tea is rich in antioxidants that aid in reducing the fat content in your body resulting into weight loss. Besides supporting weight management, green tea also prevents heart disease and slows down aging, stabilizes cholesterol, lowers blood pressure, prevents cancer as well as stabilizes blood sugar.

  • Black Tea

As tea leaves are oxidised completely during its production process, black tea has a very strong aroma, flavour and colour to it. Black tea improves the overall antioxidant status in our bodies which in turn protects the heart, the lungs as well as supports gastrointestinal health. However, black tea has the highest caffeine content in comparison to other teas.

  • Oolong Tea

This tea is very distinct yet complex in nature as it contains characteristics of both green and black teas. Oolong tea helps fight obesity as it improves lipid metabolism as well as improves overall digestive health, treats eczema and prevents heart disease and cancer among others.

  • White Tea

Contains the most anticancer properties as compared to other teas, white tea is uncured and unfermented. Like green tea, white tea supplies antioxidants, strengthens the heart, aids to weight loss and prevents cancer as well.

  • Pu-erh Tea

Considered a black tea, its leaves are pressed into cakes. Pu-erh tea has strong digestive, antibacterial, and warming properties and it cleanses the bloodstream of fat and toxins as well. Most commonly found in China, this tea contains live but beneficial bacteria and the processing of the leaves allows for microbial fermentation as a result of which the tea continues to age and change even after drying the tea leaves. Research suggests that consuming this tea each day can also reduce cholesterol and plaque of the arteries.

  • Herbal Teas

Herbal teas aren’t your regular teas as they contain little to no amount of actual tea leaves. Herbal teas make use of flowers, spices and fruits which are then boiled in hot water to create a warm, refreshing beverage that has many benefits depending on your choice of ingredients.

 

Sun, 15 Apr 2018 16:20:08 +0530
Mary Kom Gaurav Solanki

India started  the 10th day of the Commonwealth Games on a bright note as India earned three gold medals in today morning itself. Veteran Marry Kom and Gourav Solanki won gold in Boxing while shooter Sanjeev Rajput also joined the party later.

Marry Com started the gold hunt today as she thumped Northern Ireland's Christina Ohara 5-0 in the women's 45-48 kg category. Gaurav Solanki followed it up with winning the championship in men's 52 kg category.

Meanwhile in Shooting, Sanjeev Rajput created a new games record enroute his gold medal in men's 50m Rifle 3 Positions.

India currently stands third in the points table with 20 gold, 13 silver and 14 bronze.

Sat, 14 Apr 2018 10:10:36 +0530
US UK France begin stri

The United States, Britain and France have jointly launched precision strike against Bashar al-Assad's Syria as a reply to the latter's alleged use of poison gas in Syria that killed at least 50 people last week.

US President Donald Trump later addressed the media in the White House and announced that the allies have launched joint strike in Syria's targeted areas and prepare to go with further measures until the Syrian regime stopped its use of chemical weapons.

Explosions were heard in the city of Damascus shortly after Trump began his media briefing.

Meanwhile Russia slammed the operation conducted by the US, UK and France and warned a stringent response to them.

Sat, 14 Apr 2018 08:44:19 +0530
CBI arrests BJP MLA in Un

BJP lawmaker Kuldeep Singh Sengar, accused of raping a 16-year-old in the Unnao district in Uttar Pradesh has been arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation. The arrest came soon after the Allahabad High Court ordered the CBI to arrest the lawmaker at the earliest.

The court's order to arrest the lawmaker comes hours after the probe agency had taken Sengar into custody for more questioning while the court also reprimanded the BJP government in UP for delaying the arrest formalities.

Chief Justice Dileep Baba Saheb Bhosle said that the government's intent to delay arrest despite registering FIR by the police will have far reaching consequences and a menace to the country's democracy.  

Sat, 14 Apr 2018 08:15:47 +0530
Kathua rape case Two BJP

Two Jammu & Kashmir ministers from BJP have quit from the cabinet after protests gathered momentum over the Kathua rape case where an 8-year-old girl was brutally raped inside a forest in the Jamu & Kashmir.

Minister for Forest Lal Singh and Industries minister Chander Prakash have decided to resign from the ministry after the state CM Mehbooba Mufti demanded their resignation.

Sat, 14 Apr 2018 07:41:48 +0530
Our daughters will defin

Prime Minister Narendra Modi finally broke his silence over the protests against the Kathua and Unnao rape cases where a small girl was brutally raped inside a forest in the Jammu & Kashmir. Modi said that justice will done while without mentioning the name of the incidents.

"These incidents have caused great shame to our country. The turn of events that have been discussed for these two days should not be happened in a civilised society. The culprits won't be allowed to escape", said the PM.

The Prime Minister also said that our daughters will definitely get justice while speaking at the memorial dedicated to Dr BR Ambedkar.

Modi came out with a response soon after the Congress President urged him to give answers to the issue.

The Kathua crime case had come into lime light in the national level after the crime branch reported that the girl was brutally raped after she was absconded on January 10.

Sat, 14 Apr 2018 07:29:25 +0530
PM takes a surprise metro

Prime Minister Narendra Modi took a surprise metro ride from a station near his official residence to travel to north Delhi  for an event at a memorial dedicated to Dr BR  Ambedkar in the national capital today.

He started his metro journey from the Lok Kalyan Marg station and ended it at the 26 Alipur Road and then dedicated the Ambedkar memorial to the nation to mark the birth anniversary of the architect of our constitution.

Public made most of this rare opportunity as they found time to take selfies with the PM who obliged with the desire of many passengers.

Fri, 13 Apr 2018 21:30:09 +0530
President greets nation o

The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind has greeted fellow-citizens on the eve of birth anniversary of Dr B.R. Ambedkar.

In a message, the President has said, “On the occasion of the birth anniversary of Dr B.R. Ambedkar, I pay my homage to this icon of our national life, and extend my warm greetings to all fellow citizens. Dr Ambedkar was a multifaceted personality whose impact on our society and nation has remained relevant – and will remain relevant. He was an academic and economist, a scholar and moral philosopher, an exceptional legal mind and constitutionalist. Above all, he was an activist for social reform and for legitimate opportunities for women, and a champion of liberty.

Dr Ambedkar waged a life-long struggle for a better and fairer society – for a modern India free of caste and other prejudices, ensuring equal economic and social rights to women and to those from traditionally disadvantaged communities. His ideals and his belief in the rule of law found most eloquent expression in the Constituent Assembly. Appropriately, he is considered the Chief Architect of our Constitution – which continues to be the guiding light for the Republic of India.

Despite the personal challenges he faced, Dr Ambedkar was remarkably free of rancour and resentment. For this, and for his many social, political and professional contributions, he continues to be a beacon for us. And he shines as a universal symbol of human freedom and individual dignity. It is important to appreciate Dr Ambedkar’s personality and message in all its dimensions, and not to compartmentalise, as we often do.