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New Delhi :On Wednesday, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced Rs 10 lakh economic assistance and legal aid to a six-year-old victim of rape.

"I'm horrified after seeing the situation of a six-year-old girl at Safdarjung Hospital. Together with her dad. What community are we living in? Del Govt will provide Rs 10 lakh economic assistance and best legal aid.

A 26-year-old rickshaw puller was detained in West Delhi on Monday for reportedly raping the six-year-old girl. According to police, in the early hours of Monday, the accused recognized as Arun Kumar Das reportedly raped the minor in the Janakpuri region of West Delhi.

Wed, 17 Jul 2019 22:45:32 +0530
Despite his public shows

New Delhi,  US President Donald Trump's claims on Hafiz Saeed's arrest has stumped many as he said that it took 10 years to find him when the Lashkar-e-Taiba chief has been openly moving around in Pakistan after the Mumbai attacks.

In a tweet, Trump described Saeed as "so-called mastermind" of Mumbai attacks when Washington in 2012 had labeled him specially designated global terrorist and had announced a $10 million bounty for information leading to his arrest and conviction. 

"After a ten-year search, the so-called mastermind of the Mumbai terror attacks has been arrested in Pakistan. Great pressure has been exerted over the last two years to find him," he said in the tweet without naming Saeed who was arrested by Pakistani authorities outside Lahore. 

Saeed has been detained and freed in the past and New Delhi has still not reacted to Pakistan's latest action. He has been addressing his supporters in public meetings despite his earlier detention in 2017. 

He had floated Milli Muslim League to contest the general election and had fielded more than 200 candidates without any electoral success. LeT's humanitarian front Jamat-ud-Dawa (JuD) has been active across Pakistan. 

Saeed had organized an anti-India rally in February this year.

Hafiz Saeed's re-arrest came ahead of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's meeting with Trump. Pakistan has also joined the US, Russia and China in finding out a peace solution in Afghanistan by bringing Taliban on board. 

The move has not gone down well in India as it was kept out of the crucial initiative. New Delhi is also opposed to postponement of elections in Afghanistan. Pakistan has also opened up its airspace for traffic from India after blocking it for more than five months in the wake of border tension.


Wed, 17 Jul 2019 22:38:58 +0530
PM Union ministers oppo

New Delhi, Political leaders across party lines -- from Prime MInister Narendra Modi, Union ministers to opposition leaders -- on Wednesday welcomed the International Court of Justice's (ICJ) verdict to continue the stay on the death sentence of Kulbhushan Jadhav by a Pakisani military court for alleged espionage.

In a huge victory for India, the ICJ on Wednesday ordered Pakistan not to execute Jadhav and asked it to reconsider the sentence awarded to him by a military court. The world court also directed Pakistan to grant consular access to Jadhav, while holding that it had "breached" the Vienna Convention in this regard by denying him this right.

"We welcome today's verdict in the ICJ. Truth and justice have prevailed. Congratulations to the ICJ for a verdict based on extensive study of facts. I am sure Kulbhushan Jadhav will get justice. Our government will always work for the safety and welfare of every Indian," Modi tweeted.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh told the media here, "The ICJ has given orders to Pakistan to give consular access to Jadhav and it is a massive victory for India."

Former External Affairs Minister (EAM) Sushma Swaraj in a series of tweets welcomed the ICJ verdict, describing it as a "great victory for India".

"I wholeheartedly welcome the verdict of International Court of Justice in the case of Kulbhushan Jadhav. It is a great victory for India," she tweeted.

In another tweet, Sushma Swaraj said, "I thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi for our initiative to take Jadhav's case before the International Court of Justice. I thank Harish Salve for presenting India's case before ICJ very effectively and successfully." 

"I hope the verdict will provide the much-needed solace to the family members of Kulbhushan Jadhav," she added.

Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari also hailed the ICJ decision and described it as a big diplomatic victory for India. 

"It's a big diplomatic win for India. I Congratulate our Prime Minister Narendra Modiji, former EAM Sushma Swarajji and senior advocate Harish Salve for their tireless efforts in the matter of Kulbhushan Jadhav." 

Former Finance Minister and senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram and Congres General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi also welcomed the ICJ verdict. 

"ICJ delivers 'justice' in the true sense of that word, upholding human rights, due procedure and the rule of law," Chidambaram said in a series of tweets.

"A 15:1 verdict is actually a unanimous verdict," the Congress leader added. 

"Heartened by the Kulbhushan Jadhav verdict. At last justice has prevailed. All of India joins his family in their joy," Priyanka Gandhi tweeted.

Jadhav, an Indian naval officer, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court in April 2017 for alleged espionage. India had approached the ICJ to stay the execution.

Wed, 17 Jul 2019 22:36:29 +0530
Priyanka blows the govern

New Delhi: Criticizing the government of the Yogi Adityanath-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over the spread of state killings, Congress Secretary-General Priyanka Gandhi Vadra here on Wednesday called the killing of ten individuals in UP "shocking."

Under the BJP government, the trust of criminals has grown to such an extent that murders are being committed in the light of day. In Sonbhadra, the killing of nine people, including three women, belonging to the Gond community has shaken consciousness. The chief minister, his ministers and the administration are all sleeping. Is this how the state will become crime-free?" she said in a Hindi tweet.

Wed, 17 Jul 2019 22:33:27 +0530
Huge win for India ICJ o

The Hague,  In a big victory for India and reprieve for Kulbhushan Jadhav, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Wednesday ordered Pakistan not to execute him and asked it to reconsider the sentence awarded to him by a military court.

The world court, while rejecting all objections raised by Pakistan, directed it to grant consular access to Jadhav "without further delay", while holding that it had "breached" the Vienna Convention by denying him this right.

Jadhav, a former Indian Navy officer, was kidnapped by Pakistani agencies on March 3, 2016, from Iran where he was in connection with his business.

Pakistan had claimed that Jadhav was arrested from its restive province of Balochistan and labeled him as a spy. It notified India about it through a press release on March 25, 2016, 22 days after he was picked up.

Jadhav, who hails from Powai in Mumbai and is 49 years old now, was subjected to an opaque military trial, which sentenced him to death on April 10, 2017, even as Pakistan government kept rejecting India's repeated pleas for consular access.

The ICJ, which was moved by India on May 8, 2017, gave a detailed verdict on Wednesday, rejecting all the objections of Pakistan, including one unanimously on the admissibility of the case and also the claims by Islamabad that India had not provided the actual nationality of Jadhav.

In the judgement, the ICJ said it was satisfied that Jadhav was an Indian national and that the fact had been acknowledged by both Pakistan and India.

The court, in its ruling by 15-1, ordered "a continued stay of execution" on Jadhav, saying it "constitutes an indispensable condition for the effective review and reconsideration of the conviction and sentence" of the accused.

It said it "finds that the appropriate reparation in this case consists in the obligation of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to provide, by the means of its own choosing, effective review and reconsideration of the conviction and sentence of Mr. Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav, so as to ensure that full weight is given to the effect of the violation of the rights set forth" of the Vienna Convention on consular access.

Earlier on May 18 this year, the world court had ordered a stay on Jadhav's execution till the final verdict was delivered in the case.

The court, in its verdict on Wednesday, said it found that Pakistan deprived India of the "right to communicate with and have access" to Jadhav to "visit him in detention and to arrange for his legal representation, and thereby breached the obligations incumbent upon it under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.

The world court said that by not notifying the appropriate consular post of India in Pakistan without delay of Jadhav's detention, India was deprived of the right to render assistance provided for by the Vienna Convention to the individual concerned.

Pakistan "breached the obligations incumbent upon it" under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, it observed.

The court said Pakistan is "under an obligation" to inform Jadhav "without further delay of his rights and to provide Indian consular officers access to him" in accordance with the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.

India, while moving the world court on May 8, 2017, had rubbished Pakistan's claim that Jadhav was a "spy" and sought immediate suspension of the death sentence awarded to him and his release.

It had sought direction to the Pakistan government to annul the decision of the military court, failing which the ICJ should declare the sentence "illegal", being violative of the international law and treaty rights.

India had said Pakistan had resorted to a "brazen defiance" of the international law and provisions of the Vienna Convention which guarantee certain civil and political rights to a prisoner.

It contended that it was not informed of his detention until long and that Pakistan also failed to inform the accused of his rights.

It further told the ICJ, the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, that Pakistan, in violation of the Vienna Convention, denied India its right of consular access to Jadhav despite its repeated requests.

India told the ICJ that it learned about the death sentence against Jadhav from a press release.

On May 18, 2017, the ICJ asked Pakistan to "take all measures at its disposal" to ensure that Jadhav is not executed, pending its final judgment in the case.

In its order indicating provisional measures, which was adopted unanimously, the ICJ also stated that the Pakistan government shall inform it of all measures taken in implementation of that order.

Later in December that year, Pakistan allowed Jadhav's mother and wife to meet him in a Pakistani jail, an event which India said "lacked any credibility".

India said the overall atmosphere of the meeting was "intimidating" as Jadhav's mother and wife were not allowed to speak to him in their mother tongue Marathi and that they were forced to change their clothes. The wife's shoes were not returned.

India has maintained that Jadhav was tortured in the Pakistani jail and an alleged "confession" was extracted from him through coercion.

Senior advocate Harish Salve, representing India during a public hearing in the case in the ICJ, said Pakistan had no clinching evidence against Jadhav.

Wed, 17 Jul 2019 22:23:08 +0530
Jaishankar meets Japanese

New Delhi,  In a significant move highlighting the growing closeness between India and Japan, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar held a meeting with the Japanese envoys of five South Asian countries, including Pakistan.

The External Affairs Minister tweeted a picture of the meeting. "Pleasure to receive delegation of Japanese Ambassadors to India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Maldives. Discussed advancing India-Japan cooperation & synergizing our Act East Policy," he wrote on twitter, with a picture of his meeting.

Japan, which is the only country that India has allowed into infrastructure projects in the northeast region, has announced investment of Rs 13,000 crore in various connectivity projects for the sensitive land-locked northeastern region. These include bridges, highways, water supply projects, buildings, sheds, godowns among others.

Japan's contribution to the North-East infrastructure projects comes as the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been giving a massive push to develop the region, including through railway and air connectivity to integrate the region with the rest of the country.

Japan's participation in the North-East comes as a counter to China's growing clout in the Southeast Asian region, and in South Asia. Beijing has been gradually encircling India through its strategic 'String of Pearls', by building or heavily financing ports and bridges in India's immediate neighbourhood.

China and Japan share cool relations, though their trade relations are booming. The discord is mostly over the Senkaku islands in the East China Sea, which Japan says belongs to it, but Beijing has been trying to occupy. Though both sides have overtly buried the hatchet, the islands issue among other irritants, has the potential to flare up.

Japan's role in development work in the North-East will also help in boosting connectivity between the member-states of the Bimstec sub-regional grouping - or the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation, which comprises the seven countries lying in the littoral and adjacent areas of the Bay of Bengal -- Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand. 

India has been stressing the importance of Bimstec grouping, of which Pakistan is not a part.

China has major infrastructure projects in Sri Lanka, including the Hambantota port, which Colombo has leased to Beijing in lieu of the massive debt it has run up. 

In Bangladesh, its Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina during her visit earlier this month to Beijing, inked Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) projects worth nearly $21.5 billion that also include power and infrastructure projects. China's BRI-related investments in Bangladesh stand at around $38 billion.

In Maldives, the government of President Ibrahim Mohammed Solih is said to be reconsidering infrastructure projects inked during the reign of the pro-Beijing Abdulla Yameen government. 

Maldives has said it owes China $3.4 billion as repayment for loans for projects undertaken during Yameen's rule.

In Nepal too, China has a massive presence, and is involved in building a cross-border railway line among others. Beijing has been actively wooing Kathmandu, in an effort to wean it away from traditional and cultural ally India.

Pakistan and China are all-weather allies and Beijing is building the massive $60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor that cuts through Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir.

Japan and India are also part of the ambitious Asia Africa Growth Corridor project to connect with Africa -- which is seen as a counter to China's deep inroads into the mineral-rich continent.
Jaishankar's meeting with the Japanese envoys also comes as Japan has stressed on India's role as a global power to help in the realisation of a free and open Indo-Pacific region, where China has been flexing its muscles.

In November 2017, India, Japan, the US and Australia gave shape to the "Quad" Coalition to develop a new strategy for keeping the critical sea routes in the Indo-Pacific free of any influence.

The Indo-Pacific region comprises the Indian Ocean, and the western and central Pacific Ocean, including the South China Sea. China has laid claim to almost all of the South China Sea.

Prime Minister Modi and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held a bilateral meeting in Osaka last month, on the sidelines of the G20.

Wed, 17 Jul 2019 22:18:39 +0530
Bihar floods Situation i

Patna, With the water level in major rivers receding, the situation in flood-hit Bihar showed signs of improvement on Wednesday.

"There is some improvement in the flood situation. The flood water that spread to large areas is receding, relief and rescue operations are underway for the affected people," an official of the state disaster management department said here.

So far, 33 people have been killed and 26 lakh affected in the floods that have spread to 12 districts.

Reports also said that flood waters have inundated more areas as water from the rivers flowing from Nepal breached embankments and submerged roads at several places in Darbhanga, Sitamarhi and Madhubani districts.

As per a report by the state water resources department, the water level in Bagmati and Kamla Balan has receded. The water level is also decreasing in the Mahanand and Kosi rivers and their tributaries.

However, the water level is rising in the Burhi Gandak and Ganga rivers, it said.

With hundreds of villages submerged and thousands of people displaced, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has directed officials to provide speedy relief to all the affected people.


Wed, 17 Jul 2019 17:18:38 +0530
German envoy meets the ch

Nagpur: Walter J. Lindner, German Ambassador to India, called RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat and visited the headquarters of the organization here on Wednesday.

He later shared photos of his journey on Twitter with an accompanying article, "Visit of RSS Headquarters (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) in Nagpur and long conference with Dr. Mohan Bhagwat, his Sarsanghchalak (Chief)."

Wed, 17 Jul 2019 17:03:50 +0530
BJP expels Champion for 6

New Delhi :On Wednesday, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) expelled Uttarakhand MLA Pranav Singh Champion from the party for six years, days after he was seen dancing in a video that went viral on social media with two pistols and a carbine.

BJP Secretary General Arun Singh said the Khanpur MLA's indiscipline was taken seriously. "The BJP suspends him from the main membership of the party for six years, taking into consideration the MLA's indiscipline. The choice is enforced instantly," he said in a letter in Hindi.

Wed, 17 Jul 2019 16:57:05 +0530
Vadra seeks more time to

New Delhi,  The Delhi High Court on Wednesday adjourned till September 26 the hearing on a plea seeking cancellation of anticipatory bail granted to businessman Robert Vadra in a money laundering case.

Justice Chander Shekhar adjourned the matter after Vadra through his counsel KTS Tulsi sought more time to file his response against the plea moved by the Enforcement Directorate.

During the hearing, Tulsi said that Vadra is still abroad and would return shortly and hence more time is needed to file a reply in connection with the plea moved by the agency.

After the conclusion of the arguments, the court posted the matter for hearing on September 26.

Advocates Amit Mahajan and Manu Mishra appeared before the court on behalf of the investigating agency.

Earlier, the ED had approached the Delhi High Court stating that "Vadra is likely to tamper with evidence and influence witnesses in the case. The special judge (trial court) has failed to appreciate that the respondent is a highly influential person."

"If he is granted blanket protection of bail, there is all likelihood that the respondent shall tamper with evidence," the ED had submitted.

The agency had also pleaded in the high court for custodial interrogation of Vadra, the son-in-law of UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, claiming that he was evasive during the probe.

The case relates to alleged money laundering in the purchase of a London-based property worth 1.9 million pounds.

The agency submitted that it wanted to question Vadra about the source of funds used for the purchase of the flat and ascertain the role of certain other people, who allegedly helped him launder the money.

Wed, 17 Jul 2019 16:48:37 +0530
Central Railway Services

Local train service was halted for some time on Wednesday morning due to overhead equipment broke dwon between Vithalwadi and Kalyan stations..  Two ladies were injured during the accident. Technical team of Central Railway deployed  and restored  the services..

Wed, 17 Jul 2019 16:04:54 +0530
GSLV rocket glitch rectif

Chennai, The Indian space agency has rectified the fault in its Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mark III (GSLV-Mk III) whose Monday flight with Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft was called off one hour before its lift off.

While there is no official word about the status of the rocket since the flight was called off due to a technical snag, it is learnt from officials of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) that the glitch has been rectified.

"Couple of dates are being looked at for the rocket's launch. It could be between July 20-23," an official told IANS preferring anonymity.

The rocket GSLV-Mk III was supposed to lift off at 2.51 a.m. on Monday with India's second moon mission spacecraft Chandrayaan-2.

One hour before the lift-off officials detected a snag and called off the mission.

"A technical snag was observed in launch vehicle system at 1 hour before the launch. As a measure of abundant precaution, #Chandrayaan2 launch has been called off for today. Revised launch date will be announced later," ISRO tweeted and didn't elaborate further.

Wed, 17 Jul 2019 15:49:45 +0530
Hanuman Chalisa recited

Hathras (Uttar Pradesh),  Activists of religious group Hindu Yuva Vahini (HYV) have registered their opposition to offering 'namaaz' on the streets by reciting "Hanuman Chalisa" on the road in Uttar Pradesh's Hathras.

According to reports, a group of HYV activists sat outside a Hanuman temple in Sikandrarau area and recited the "Hanuman Chalisa" repeatedly for over an hour on Tuesday evening.

The HYV men said that they would continue to hold recitation of "Hanuman Chalisa" every Tuesday till the Muslims stopped offering 'namaaz' on the roads.

Ravindra Kumar Singh, a HYV activist, said that by offering 'namaaz' on the roads on Fridays, Muslims were causing inconvenience to the people since roads remained blocked.

"If they stop this practice, we will also stop otherwise we will make sure that 'Hanuman Chalisa' is recited outside each Hanuman temple on Tuesdays," he said.

The police was silent on the issue. A senior police official said, "There is no complaint and no trouble so our role does not figure in the matter."

Wed, 17 Jul 2019 14:56:45 +0530
Mumbai building crash tol

Mumbai, The overnight death toll in Mumbai's house crash climbed to 14 with three more bodies extricated from the rubble of the four-storied residential building, officials of the BMC Disaster Control said here on Wednesday.

Another 23 persons have so far been rescued, many of them injured seriously, and rescue work is continuing as some people are still trapped under the debris.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday announced a compensation of Rs five lakh each to the kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 to all the injured and the government will foot all their medical expenses.

The Chief Minister also convened a high-level meeting of all concerned departments to discuss the building crash and pin responsibility.

On Tuesday, Fadnavis and the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) had announced separate probes into the disaster.

Around 11.30 a.m. on Tuesday, an illegal rear portion of the 80-year-old Kesarbai Building suddenly crashed, burying at least 15 families who were living in the ground-plus-four storied structure.

Among those who have been killed include the building's caretaker Abdul Sattar Shaikh and his daughter-in-law Sabiya Nissar Shaikh besides three minors.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had expressed grief over the crash in a tweet. "Collapse of a building in Mumbai's Dongri is anguishing. My condolences to the families of those who lost their lives. I hope the injured recover soon. Maharashtra government, NDRF and local authorities are working on rescue operations and assisting those in need."

Kesarbai Building is located in one of the oldest and most congested areas of south Mumbai, and rescue operations were hit with the narrow lanes, huge crowds of onlookers, VVIP movements and the media out in large numbers to cover the tragedy.

JCBs and heavy earth moving equipment could not reach the crash site, ambulances and rescue vehicles had to be parked more than 50 metres on bigger roads, making it one of the most challenging operations for the NDRF and other teams.

However, the local residents helped out by forming human chains to facilitate the relief work, removing the debris in bedsheets, curtains or old saris as time ticked away for those still under the debris.

The Kesarbai Building crash has become the second biggest disaster of the monsoon season this year. On July 2, the compound wall of a BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) reservoir in Malad east crashed following torrential rain that night, killing 30 so far and injuring around 100.

Wed, 17 Jul 2019 14:53:22 +0530
Will follow SC order on

Bengaluru,  Karnataka Assembly Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar on Wednesday said he would follow the Supreme Court's order that the 15 rebel legislators of the ruling Congress-JD-S allies cannot be compelled to participate in the proceedings of the House.

"I will follow the Supreme Court order on the resignations of 15 rebel MLAs within a time-frame, as advised. I will not delay in deciding on the resignations," Kumar told reporters in Kannada at his residence in Kolar soon after the apex court pronounced the order.

Kolar, about 100 km east of Bengaluru, is Kumar's home constituency.

As directed by the apex court, Kumar said, he would not force the rebel legislators to attend the Assembly session on Thursday for participating in the trust vote Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy would move to prove if his coalition government has majority or not in the House.

"The trust-vote would take place on Thursday as fixed by the Assembly business advisory committee on Monday to enable the Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy move the confidence motion for a floor test in the House after debate by the ruling and opposition members," said Kumar.

Of the 16 rebel legislators who resigned, including 13 from the Congress and three from the JD-S, 15 of them petitioned the Supreme Court on July 10 and July 13 for directing the Speaker to accept their resignations forthwith.

Senior Congress lawmaker R. Ramalinga Reddy did not move the top court on his resignation, which he submitted in the Speaker's office on July 6 and was found to be in order. 

Wed, 17 Jul 2019 14:49:28 +0530
Militant killed in J K gu

Srinagar,  One militant was killed on Wednesday in a gunfight with the security forces in Jammu and Kashmir's Sopore town, police said.

The encounter took place in Gund Brath in the outskirts of the town. the body of the militant has been recovered along with a weapon. "Exact identity and group affiliation is being ascertained, the police said.

The gun battle started after security forces comprising special operations group of state po lice (SOG) and Rashtriya Rifles (RR) surrounded the area earlier in the day.

"As the security forces closed in, the hiding militants fired triggering the encounter," an officer said.

Authorities have suspended mobile Internet service in Sopore and also ordered closure of the Sopore Degree College as a precautionary measure.

Wed, 17 Jul 2019 14:44:29 +0530
HC dismisses plea allegin

New Delhi,  The Delhi High Court on Wednesday turned down a plea which alleged large-scale discrepancies in the cut-off marks for Christian Scheduled Tribes (CST), Christian Others (COTH), and Christian Physically Handicapped (CPH) applicants for admission to undergraduate courses in St Stephen's College.

A bench, headed by Chief Justice D.N. Patel and including Justice C Harishankar, dismissed the plea filed by Nandita Narain, a faculty in the college.

Narain, in her petition, had contended that the cut off marks for candidates from Christian reserved category for admission to various courses in 2019-20 academic year are "artificially high and illegal".

"... The cut off marks were kept at a very high level for CSTs, CPH non-Christian SC/ST/PH candidates by not calling for the interview and written exam the prescribed number of candidates who would normally fall within the zone of consideration as specified in clause 11 of the Guidelines set out above," the petition stated.

"Clause 11 of these guidelines specifies that the candidates called for the interview and the written exam should be in a certain ratio to the number of seats available. The effect of clause 11 is that the candidate with the lowest marks in the zone of consideration determines the cut off marks. Thus if the number of candidates called for the interview and the written exam are lower than the prescribed ratio, the cut off marks would be higher," the plea said.

The petitioner has also alleged discrepancies in the interview and written exam scheduled for admission to the B.A Economics (Hons) course.

"The unlawful actions of the college and its principal are in breach of Article 14 of the Constitution of India and the actions are arbitrary, irrational and harshly impact on the lives of the students who have been unlawfully excluded from the admission process," the plea read.

Wed, 17 Jul 2019 14:40:20 +0530
Shiv Sena takes out proce

Mumbai, Ruling ally Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray led a huge procession targeting the high-handed attitude of various private insurance companies in the matter of crop insurance for farmers, here on Wednesday.

The procession began from the Asian Heart Institute to the headquarters of a private insurance player in the Bandra Kurla Complex and included Yuva Sena chief Aditya Thackeray, party ministers in the state government, legislators, party office-bearers and farmers.

The marchers carried placards, banners, party flags and raised slogans condemning what they termed the "injustice" meted out to farmers vis-a-vis crop insurance and the alleged frauds in the scheme.

A delegation of Sena leaders is likely to call on the top officials of the insurance company and submit a memorandum seeking remedial measures.

However, Leader of Opposition Vijay Wadettiwar, Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana chief Raju Shetti and others have criticized the procession as a 'pre-election gimmick' and said "it showed the Shiv Sena could not discipline the insurance companies while being a part of the government in the state and centre."

Wed, 17 Jul 2019 14:34:43 +0530
SC says rebel MLAs can t

New Delhi,  On the eve of trust vote in Karnataka Assembly, the Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that 15 Congress MLAs, who have tendered their resignations, cannot be compelled to participate in the proceedings of the House.

The top court also said the Speaker is free to decide on the resignation of the MLAs as per the Constitution. 

According to the order, MLAs are free to skip the trust vote in the Karnataka Assembly slated for Thursday.

"We also make it clear that until further orders the 15 Members of the Assembly, ought not to be compelled to participate in the proceedings of the ongoing session of the House and an option should be given to them that they can take part in the said proceedings or to opt to remain out of the same," said the bench, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, in its order. 

The court was hearing petitions filed by 15 rebel MLAs, seeking directions to the Assembly Speaker to accept their resignations.

"The Speaker should decide freely, as the court will not come in the way of this process....," said the court, citing the trust-vote.

It said that the order of the Speaker on the resignation issue, as and when passed, be placed before the court.

The court said it while passing interim orders in facts and circumstances of the case and to maintain "constitutional balance" and "competing rights" of the parties".

"The imperative necessity, at this stage, is to maintain the constitutional balance and the conflicting and competing rights that have been canvassed before us. Such an interim exercise has become prudent in view of certain time frame exercise(s) that is in the offing in the Karnataka Legislative Assembly, particularly, the no-trust motion against the present government, which we are told is due for being taken up on July 18 2019," the court said. 

The court also said the the Speaker of the House should be allowed to decide on the request for resignations by the 15 Members of the House within such time frame as the speaker may consider appropriate. 

The court also said that the discretion of the Speaker, while deciding the issue, should not be fettered by any direction or observation of this court and the Speaker should be left free to decide the issue in accordance with Article 190 read with Rule 202 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Karnataka Legislative Assembly framed in exercise of the powers under Article 208 of the Constitution. 

"Constitutional principles should not receive an exhaustive enumeration by the court unless such an exercise is inevitable and unavoidable to resolve the issues that may have arisen in any judicial proceeding," the court said. 

During the day-long arguments on Tuesday, the parties involved pointed out to the bench the implications of the ongoing political crisis in Karnataka on the state as well as elsewhere, and also questioned the apex court's jurisdiction power to entertain the rebel MLAs' petition.

Hearing rebel MLAs counsel senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, the bench said: "We cannot say, in which way, the Speaker should decide the resignation or disqualification of MLAs. We cannot fetter him. Although, the important question is, is there any constitutional obligation for the Speaker to decide upon the resignations before the disqualification of the MLA or to club his decisions on both?"

The bench asked counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi what stopped Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar from deciding on whether to accept or reject the resignations tendered by the MLAs on July 6.

"You were silent on the resignations till the MLAs came to the Supreme Court. Why? If you have decided on the resignations, then where is the scope for disqualification?" the Chief Justice asked Singvhi. 

Singhvi replied that the Speaker had filed an affidavit in the apex court explaining what had happened. 

Asked why wasn't a decision taken when the MLAs went to the Speaker with their resignations, Singhvi said it was a written communication, and the Speaker was not available on that day. "But the decision was communicated to him on July 6," the court added.

Singhvi argued that the first condition of a genuine resignation tendered by an MLA was that "he has to be personally present before the Speaker" and added that the MLAs first met the Speaker on July 11.

Reacting sharply to the argument, the court said that the provision did not negate resigning by letter, but if the MLAs did make a personal visit to the Speaker then he was expected to decide on their resignations immediately. "Why didn't it happen on July 11?" the bench further queried. 

Asking if the Speaker was challenging the Supreme Court's jurisdiction power, the Chief Justice said: "For your benefit, the court had ordered a floor test (referring to the last year's floor test) and appointed a Protem Speaker in a midnight hearing. The exercise of jurisdiction of our power depends only on self-restraint."

Singhvi said the Speaker was in no way questioning the court's jurisdiction and added: "Suppose a Speaker goes crazy, then Your Lordships can intervene." 

The Chief Justice also heard senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, who was representing Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, and questioned the veracity of the petition filed by the rebel MLAs.

Asking the Supreme Court to have looked at the notice behind the petition, Dhawan said: "The court should have not entertained this petition," he said.


Wed, 17 Jul 2019 14:26:22 +0530
Hafiz Saeed arrested in P

Islamabad, One of the most wanted terrorist by India, the mastermind of 26/11 Mumbai attack and several cases of terror crime in the country and Jamat-ud-Dawah (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed was arrested in Pakistan by the counter terrorism unit on Wednesday, Geo TV reported.

The Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) arrested Saeed while he was travelling from Lahore to Gujranwala. The CTD officials are expected to hold a news conference later in the day regarding the arrest. 

Sources in Islamabad confirmed that Saeed co-founder of the Lashkar-e-Taiba, another banned terror outfit, who was to appear in an anti-terror court in Pakistan relating to a case of terror funding, was arrested earlier in the day.

An anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Lahore on Monday had granted pre-arrest bail to the Mumbai terror attack mastermind and three others in a case pertaining to the banned outfit's alleged illegal use of land for its seminary.

Wed, 17 Jul 2019 14:21:32 +0530
Mahindra Group Chairman AWed, 17 Jul 2019 10:21:15 +0530Next transformative idea



 Delhi,  The next big goal of Modi 2.0 is to take its flagship 'Ujjwala' scheme to 80 million households within the first 100 days of the government.

The scheme, which provides free cooking gas connections to female members of below poverty line families, has been hugely successful ever since its launch on May 1, 2016 and has also aided the ruling formation in the just-concluded general election.

So far, Ujjwala connections have touched the 72-million mark. And, government officials said that taking it to 80 million would be worked upon on a war footing so that the original target of Ujjwala is reached in the next 100 days.

In addition, another 10-20 million new LPG connections would be given in subsequent months to cover all poor households as part of a Cabinet decision taken late last year. 

With this, the access to cooking gas, or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), to 100 per cent of the country's households would be completed before the year-end. At present about 93-94 per cent of households have access to cooking gas.

The Modi government has identified 167 transformative ideas across various areas which have to be implemented in a time-bound manner. These ideas, if implemented, would bring visible change and make a meaningful difference in the life of ordinary citizens.

With this, the mission of providing clean fuel to all households in the country would be completed and the next phase would begin where focus would be to ensure that all new connections, particularly for poorer sections of the society, take an LPG refill.

Under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY), gas connections are provided to BPL families with a support of Rs 1,600 for each connection. The LPG connection is provided in the name of the female member of the family.

Launched in May, 2016, the PMUY was initially aimed at providing clean cooking fuel to 50 million women from poor households classified as eligible over a period of three years.

A sum of Rs 8,000 crore was allocated for the scheme to start with. However, given the success of the scheme, the then Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced in the 2018-19 Budget to allocate an additional Rs 4,800 crore and increased the target to 80 million households.

In December, the Union Cabinet also decided to cover all poor households under the scheme that would further increase the number of new connections by 1-2 crore.

The government is also toying with the idea of promoting the use of smaller five-kg LPG gas cylinders under PMUY so that refill rate increases. For this a separate subsidy plan has already been worked out under the existing direct benefit transfer (DBT) scheme.

The average LPG cylinder refill under Ujjwala is a pathetic three per annum while the national average stands close to seven refills in a year. The ministry of petroleum has studied that high cost of refills for a 14.2 kg cylinder is one of the main reasons why lower number of LPG cylinders were being used by BPL families.

With five-kg cylinders, refills can be had at one-third the price of a regular cylinder. This will make it easier for families to increase year-round use of gas connections given under Ujjwala.

(Subhash Narayan can be contacted at

Wed, 17 Jul 2019 10:08:38 +0530
Darshan at Amarnath break

Srinagar,  With over two lakh pilgrims performing the Amarnath Yatra in the past 16 days, officials said it was the highest number to visit the Himalayan cave shrine during the first forthright in the last four years.

On Wednesday, another batch of 4,584 devotees left Jammu for the valley.

Officials said since July 1 when the pilgrimage started, a total of 2,05,083 pilgrims have paid obeisance to the ice stalagmite structure said to have the mythical powers of Lord Shiva.

"This is the highest number of pilgrims to visit the Cave shrine during the first forthright in the last four years," an Amarnath Yatra official said.

On Wednesday, 1,972 yatris left Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas for Baltal while 2,612 for Pahalgam base camp.

So far, 16 pilgrims have died during the Yatra due to natural causes, according to the officials of the SASB.

Situated 3,888 metres above the sea-level in Kashmir Himalayas, the ice structure waxes and wanes with the phases of the moon.

This yatra will conclude on August 15 coinciding with the Shravan Purnima festival.

Wed, 17 Jul 2019 09:05:31 +0530
Shivraj hits out at Kamal

Bhopal,  A war of words has broken out between former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and the Congress government in the state over the proposed temple of goddess Sita in Sri Lanka.

Accusing Kamal Nath-government of hurting people's sentiments, Chouhan said that the Congress government, instead of completing the temple project, was "verifying the fact whether Mata Sita was abducted or not". 

"Kamal Nath-government's officers will conduct a survey in Sri Lanka to verify whether Mata Sita was abducted or not. How ridiculous! Kamal Nath-government has hurt the sentiments of crores of people by announcing a probe to examine the fact, which the entire world knows," the BJP leader tweeted.

In 2010, the then Shivraj-government had announced to build a Sita temple at the site, where Raavan held her hostage. The then state government had also sanctioned Rs 1 crore for the temple. However, no progress was made over the past nine years. 

"The whole country and the world know that Sitaji was held captive in Ashok Vatika in Lanka. She had to undergo ‘Agni pareeksha' (trial by fire). When I had visited Sri Lanka, I felt that there should be a magnificent temple at the site. I am shocked that Kamal Nath government is talking about verifying the facts," he added in another tweet.

Responding to Chouhan's allegations, state Public Relations Minister PC Sharma said that the former CM had visited Sri Lanka only to gain political mileage. 

"We couldn't find even a single file that specifies the previous government's efforts to construct the temple," Sharma said.

Wed, 17 Jul 2019 09:00:56 +0530
Former DIG s daughter mol

Noida,  A man has been arrested for allegedly molesting the daughter of a former Deputy Inspector General of police in Greater Noida, police said.

The victim's father is a retired DIG from West Bengal police.

Police said the victim was molested outside her college in Greater Noida's Beta-2 sector on Tuesday afternoon by the accused identified as Mantu, a native of West Bengal.

"She soon called up the police and a police response vehicle (PRV) reached the spot. The accused was arrested," said a senior police officer.

A case under section 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) was registered against him, police said.

Wed, 17 Jul 2019 08:56:10 +0530
Airlines to get relief as

New Delhi,  Indian airlines are expected to benefit from shorter flight routes to Europe and other western destinations, as Pakistan removed complete airspace access restrictions on Tuesday.

"After cancellation of NOTAMS by Pakistan and India in the early hours of Tuesday, there are no restrictions on airspaces of both countries, flights have started using the closed air routes, bringing a significant relief for airlines," the Ministry of Civil Aviation said on Twitter.

On Tuesday morning, Pakistani authorities announced the complete reopening of the country's airspace for civilian flights, nearly five months after the military escalation with India.

"With immediate effect Pakistan airspace is open for all type of civil traffic on published ATS (Air Traffic Service) routes," according to a notice to airmen (NOTAM) published on the website of Pakistan's Civil Aviation Authority.

In March, Pakistan had partially opened its airspace but kept it closed for Indian flights.

The closure of Pakistan's airspace following air strikes by the Indian Air Force on February 26 in Balakot took a heavy financial toll on national carrier Air India.

An Air India spokesperson: "Ever since Pakistani airspace was closed, we had to reroute our flights south of Pakistan. The flying time for long haul flights towards USA increased by 90 minutes and also addition fuel usage was needed."

The airline's US-bound flights had to be stopped at Vienna to get a new crew.

"As Pakistan airspace is now open aircraft utilisation will go up, while crew requirement will come down by 25 per cent," the spokesperson said in a statement.

"Flight operation cost for USA-bound flights may come down by Rs 20 lakh on one-way and for Europe-bound flights, it may come down by Rs five lakh."

Earlier, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri acknowledged in Parliament the financial strain that the airspace restrictions caused to Air India.

From March till July 2, the national carrier had bore the brunt of an additional cost of Rs 490.6 crore due to the airspace restriction.

According to IndiGo: "We are pleased with the latest development relating to the opening of the Pakistan airspace as announced today."

"IndiGo flights flying via Pakistan will operate as normal after all regulatory clearances by the concerned authorities."

The airline has a codeshare agreement with Turkish Airlines and operates flight services to Istanbul.


Tue, 16 Jul 2019 22:08:45 +0530
Imran s visit and hopes f


Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khans visit to the US next week is meant to reset Pakistans often stormy relations with the US. The first visit by Khan as Prime Minister of Pakistan had been under discussion for some weeks, but Islamabad got a jolt when the State Department spokesperson refuted Pakistani media reports of a meeting between the Pakistani Prime Minister and President Donald Trump, saying that there was no confirmation of a meeting of the two leaders by the White House. There was much relief in Islamabad when the White House confirmed two days later that a meeting would take place on July 22 in Washington.

It is a visit that will be watched carefully by observers in Delhi. US-Pakistan bilateral relations have been in a trough ever since Trump took over as the US President. Washington has pushed Islamabad to crack down on terrorist organizations operating in the country. But, for the forthcoming summit, Afghanistan will top the agenda of the Trump-Khan meeting since the US President is keen to declare peace in Afghanistan and bring back American soldiers.

Within Pakistan there is a general expectation that Khan's US visit would end the recent acrimony in US-Pakistan ties and take back bilateral relations to the warmth and cordiality they once shared. Over the decades, Islamabad has become greatly adept in managing its relations with Washington through all the highs and lows they have traversed.

Trump had strongly castigated Pakistan when he had formulated his South Asia and Afghanistan strategy in 2017. Washington had suspended the security assistance it provided Islamabad and put on hold several military dialogues. Washington also pressured Islamabad to take action against terrorist groups. Khan and Trump had got into a twitter spat over Trump charging Pakistan of having done nothing for the US despite the billions of dollars of assistance Washington had given Pakistan. But shortly afterwards, Trump did one of his famous U-turns on foreign policy and wrote a letter to Khan, seeking his help to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table.

The visit comes at a time when there are signs of forward movement on the Afghanistan front. A meeting in Doha between US officials and Taliban representatives was described as productive. Even more significant was the first ever meeting between the Taliban leaders and representatives of the Afghan government and other groups.

The Taliban dropped its opposition to talking to the Afghan government and attended a two-day intra-Afghan meet, sponsored by Qatar and Germany, though the Afghan officials were said to be present in their personal capacity (a condition imposed by the Taliban). Afghan politicians, activists and women's groups had peaceable discussions over two days with the Taliban representatives where they found some common ground, such as the need to cut down civilian casualties by avoiding targets, like schools, women and children.

Trump has made it clear that he wants American troops to be out of Afghanistan soon. He is an impatient leader and there is already a steady decrease in the number of American troops still in the war torn country over the past few months. As the peace talks progress, Islamabad will gain importance for ensuring the peaceful withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan through Pakistani territory. It will also look for a peaceful transfer of power to the Taliban in Kabul. Pakistan claims to have persuaded the Taliban to participate in the talks. It wants the Taliban to have a prominent role in any future government in Kabul, which would maintain its interests in Afghanistan.

The changing equations between Washington and Islamabad were evident in early July when the US designated the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) as a global terrorist group. The separatist Baloch Liberation Army has carried out an armed struggle against the Pakistani government for more than a decade. Pakistan banned the militant group in 2006 after a series of attacks on Pakistani security forces, and had been urging the US to ban the outfit.

Islamabad has also taken some action against militant groups just before Khan travels to Washington. It filed cases against the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed and other senior leaders for financing terrorist activities and money laundering. Washington has been pressing Pakistan to take action against the terrorist groups. Pakistan is also facing scrutiny for the past year from the international watch-dog, Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The FATF had warned Pakistan in June to implement its own action plan to control terror financing before the October deadline or be placed on its black list.

Confirming the leaders' meeting on July 22, a White House statement said their talks would strengthen bilateral cooperation, which would bring "peace, stability and economic prosperity to the entire region". With the focus on Afghanistan, the question remains - will the issue of terrorist organizations operating from Pakistan recede to the background?

(Shubha Singh is a foreign policy and strategic affairs commentator. The views expressed are personal. She can be reached at

Tue, 16 Jul 2019 18:32:24 +0530
England took trophy but

New Delhi, July 16 (IANS) After six weeks of action-packed cricket, England emerged as the world champions after beating New Zealand in a close game ending with a Super Over. Sundays final was one of the most nail-biting games this Cricket World Cup has seen, with everything coming down to the last ball.

This World Cup season, cricket fans from all over the world came to Twitter to talk about winning moments, shocking upsets, classic catches, and let's not forget all the memes about the rain. The #CWC19 conversation generated 31 million tweets from May 20 to July 15. 

Comparing the hashtag #CWC19 to the last Cricket World Cup hashtag #CWC15, there was more than a 100 per cent growth in Tweet volume containing the official hashtag.

In this edition, fans across the world were able to catch the video highlight clips from each game on Twitter through official handles @ICC and @cricketworldcup. These handles also tweeted unique videos, behind the scenes content and interviews with captains, which enabled fans to connect with players and experts. These two handles clocked a collective of more than 60 million video views, reaffirming the power of video on Twitter.

Also, the tweet by Indian captain Virat Kohli thanking the fans and his heart-warming gesture towards 87-year-old die-hard India fan Charulata Patel took all users on an endearing trip, making it the most retweeted tweet of #CWC19.

With 2.9 million tweets, the most-tweeted about match was the one between arch-rivals India and Pakistan, making it the biggest One Day International (ODI) match ever on Twitter. The second most-tweeted was the final between England and the Kiwis followed by the first semi-final between India and the Black Caps.



Tue, 16 Jul 2019 18:26:11 +0530
Lack of pressure in He ta

Chennai,  Non-building of sufficient pressure in the helium tanks in the 'Bahubali' rocket could be the reason for calling off the moon landing mission Chandrayaan-2 one hour before the rocket's take off, said two retired official of Indian space organisation.

The rocket Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mark III (GSLV-Mk III) was supposed to lift off at 2.51 a.m. on Monday with India's second moon mission spacecraft Chandrayaan-2.

"A technical snag was observed in launch vehicle system one hour before the launch. As a measure of abundant precaution, #Chandrayaan2 launch has been called off for today. Revised launch date will be announced later," ISRO tweeted and didn't elaborate further.

According to the retired officials of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) there should be proper pressure in the liquid fuel tanks so that there is continuous flow of fuel to the combustion chamber.

"While the fuel is fed into the combustion chamber from the bottom, helium gas is filled from the top. It seems sufficient pressure was not being built up and hence the launch was called off," a retired ISRO official told IANS.

According to him, the flow of fuel to the combustion chamber should be uniform for the rocket to fly.

In 2006, the GSLV-F02 (different variant of GSLV) went out of control less than a minute after lift-off and had to be destroyed in air after it started breaking up.

The reason for the failure, an expert committee in its failure analysis report said, was that a propellant regulator in one of the four strap-on liquid motors had much higher discharge coefficient in its closed condition.

"The reason for this could be an inadvertent error in manufacturing, which escaped the subsequent inspection, and acceptance test procedures. This regulator has functioned satisfactorily in all the previous 50 engines manufactured and tested so far," the report said.

"The primary cause for the failure was the sudden loss of thrust in one out of the four liquid propellant strap-on stages (S4) immediately after lift-off at 0.2 sec. With only three strap-on stages working, there was significant reduction in the control capability," the report said.

"However the vehicle attitude could be controlled till about 50 sec. At the same time the vehicle reached the transonic regime of flight and the vehicle attitude errors built up to large values, resulting in aerodynamic loads exceeding the design limits thus leading to break up of the vehicle," the report added.

According to that report, the thrust of the liquid engines used in the strap-on stages is precisely controlled by a set of regulators.

"Detailed analyses have indicated that in S4 engine the thrust control was not effective. Instead of stabilizing at 5.85 MPa (Mega Pascal) chamber pressure, it reached 7.11 MPa at 2.8 sec. This was much beyond the design limits and the engine failed at 0.2 sec after lift-off, that is 5 sec after its ignition," the report said.

"The larger flow of propellant led to higher operating pressure in the gas generator (4.7 MPa against design specification of 3.6 MPa). Due to this higher operating pressure of the gas generator, the water flow rate into it got reduced. The combined effect of larger flow of propellants and reduced flow of water led to a very high gas temperature of 1,823 K against design specification of 900 K and pressure of 4.7 MPa against the design specification of 3.6 MPa.

"The very high operating pressure and temperature resulted in the structural failure of the gas generator. The consequent abrupt stopping of the turbo pumps that feed propellants at very high pressures to the engines led to loss of thrust of S4 engine.

"The water calibration tests conducted simulating the malfunction of the propellant regulator hardware could closely reproduce the flight phenomenon thereby confirming the larger flow area," the report said.

At that time ISRO ruled out any sabotage theories and said the quality checks and inspections has been strengthened.

Incidentally, even the very first flight of GSLV slated for 28.3.2001 was automatically aborted seconds before the lift-off.

That launch was aborted with the automatic shutdown of the main engine just a second before the lift off.

That too after the four liquid propulsion strap-on boosters started burning.

The automatic shut off system was activated when it sensed that one of the strap-on boosters did not develop the required thrust. The vehicle was immediately disarmed.

The rocket was later flown on 18.1.2001 carrying GSAT-1 satellite.


Tue, 16 Jul 2019 18:23:09 +0530
Tiger kills eats man in

A tiger killed a man in the Corbett Tiger Reserve area of Kalagarh in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand, forest officials said on Tuesday.

The tiger assaulted and murdered Sohan Singh on Monday night, a regular wager, and his half-eaten body was later retrieved from the dense trees where it had been dragged by the tiger.

Tue, 16 Jul 2019 18:18:06 +0530
16 decline in HIV cases

Geneva, The UNAIDS in its latest report issued on Tuesday said that globally, around 1.7 million people became newly infected with HIV in 2018, a 16 per cent decline since 2010, driven mostly by steady progress across most of eastern and southern Africa.

UNAIDS' Global AIDS Update showed that South Africa, for example, has made huge advances and has successfully reduced new HIV infections by more than 40 per cent and AIDS-related deaths by around 40 per cent since 2010.

The report also revealed that AIDS-related deaths continued to decline as access to treatment continues to expand and more progress is made in improving the delivery of HIV/tuberculosis services. 

Since 2010, AIDS-related deaths have fallen by 33%, to 770 000 in 2018.

However, there was still a long way to go in eastern and southern Africa, the region most affected by HIV, and there have been worrying increases in new infections in eastern Europe and central Asia (29 per cent), in the Middle East and North Africa (10 per cent) and in Latin America (7 per cent).

The report also said that key populations and their sexual partners now account for more than half (54 per cent) of new HIV infections globally. 

In 2018, key populations, including people who inject drugs, gay men and other men who have sex with men, transgender people, sex workers and prisoners, accounted for around 95 per cent of new HIV infections in eastern Europe and central Asia and in the Middle East and North Africa.

However, the report showed that less than 50 per cent of key populations were reached with combination HIV prevention services in more than half of the countries that reported. 

This highlighted that key populations were still being marginalized and being left behind in the response to HIV.

"We urgently need increased political leadership to end AIDS," the report quoted Gunilla Carlsson, UNAIDS Executive Director, as saying, 

"This starts with investing adequately and smartly and by looking at what's making some countries so successful. Ending AIDS is possible if we focus on people, not diseases, create road maps for the people and locations being left behind, and take a human rights-based approach to reach people most affected by HIV."


Tue, 16 Jul 2019 18:10:26 +0530
16 decline in HIV cases

Geneva, The UNAIDS in its latest report issued on Tuesday said that globally, around 1.7 million people became newly infected with HIV in 2018, a 16 per cent decline since 2010, driven mostly by steady progress across most of eastern and southern Africa.

UNAIDS' Global AIDS Update showed that South Africa, for example, has made huge advances and has successfully reduced new HIV infections by more than 40 per cent and AIDS-related deaths by around 40 per cent since 2010.

The report also revealed that AIDS-related deaths continued to decline as access to treatment continues to expand and more progress is made in improving the delivery of HIV/tuberculosis services. 

Since 2010, AIDS-related deaths have fallen by 33%, to 770 000 in 2018.

However, there was still a long way to go in eastern and southern Africa, the region most affected by HIV, and there have been worrying increases in new infections in eastern Europe and central Asia (29 per cent), in the Middle East and North Africa (10 per cent) and in Latin America (7 per cent).

The report also said that key populations and their sexual partners now account for more than half (54 per cent) of new HIV infections globally. 

In 2018, key populations, including people who inject drugs, gay men and other men who have sex with men, transgender people, sex workers and prisoners, accounted for around 95 per cent of new HIV infections in eastern Europe and central Asia and in the Middle East and North Africa.

However, the report showed that less than 50 per cent of key populations were reached with combination HIV prevention services in more than half of the countries that reported. 

This highlighted that key populations were still being marginalized and being left behind in the response to HIV.

"We urgently need increased political leadership to end AIDS," the report quoted Gunilla Carlsson, UNAIDS Executive Director, as saying, 

"This starts with investing adequately and smartly and by looking at what's making some countries so successful. Ending AIDS is possible if we focus on people, not diseases, create road maps for the people and locations being left behind, and take a human rights-based approach to reach people most affected by HIV."


Tue, 16 Jul 2019 18:10:20 +0530
Karnataka crisis SC rese

New Delhi,  The Supreme Court has reserved till Wednesday its order on petitions filed by 15 rebel MLAs of the Congress and JD-S in Karnataka seeking directions to the Assembly Speaker to accept their resignations.

During the day-long arguments on Tuesday, the parties involved pointed out to a bench, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, the implications of the ongoing political crisis in Karnataka on the state as well as elsewhere, and also questioned the apex court's jurisdiction power to entertain the rebel MLAs' petition.

Hearing rebel MLAs counsel senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, the bench said: "We cannot say, in which way, the Speaker should decide the resignation or disqualification of MLAs. We cannot fetter him. Although, the important question is, is there any constitutional obligation for the Speaker to decide upon the resignations before the disqualification of the MLA or to club his decisions on both?"

The bench asked counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi what stopped Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar from deciding on whether to accept or reject the resignations tendered by the MLAs on July 6.

"You were silent on the resignations till the MLAs came to the Supreme Court. Why? If you have decided on the resignations, then where is the scope for disqualification?" the Chief Justice asked Singvhi. 

Singhvi replied that the Speaker had filed an affidavit in the apex court explaining what had happened. 

Asked why wasn't a decision taken when the MLAs went to the Speaker with their resignations, Singhvi said it was a written communication, and the Speaker was not available on that day. "But the decision was communicated to him on July 6," the court added.

Singhvi argued that the first condition of a genuine resignation tendered by an MLA was that "he has to be personally present before the Speaker" and added that the MLAs first met the Speaker on July 11.

Reacting sharply to the argument, the court said that the provision did not negate resigning by letter, but if the MLAs did make a personal visit to the Speaker then he was expected to decide on their resignations immediately. "Why didn't it happen on July 11?" the bench further queried. 

Asking if the Speaker was challenging the Supreme Court's jurisdiction power, the Chief Justice said: "For your benefit, the court had ordered a floor test (referring to the last year's floor test) and appointed a Protem Speaker in a midnight hearing. The exercise of jurisdiction of our power depends only on self-restraint."

Singhvi said the Speaker was in no way questioning the court's jurisdiction and added: "Suppose a Speaker goes crazy, then Your Lordships can intervene." 

The Chief Justice also heard senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, who was representing Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, and questioned the veracity of the petition filed by the rebel MLAs.

Asking the Supreme Court to have looked at the notice behind the petition, Dhawan said: "The court should have not entertained this petition," he said.



Tue, 16 Jul 2019 18:06:59 +0530
Bihar flood 25 killed o

Patna, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday confirmed 25 deaths due to flood in Bihar. The situation continues to remain grim with over 2.5 million people affected, officials said.

Nitish Kumar had carried out an aerial survey of the flood-affected Seemanchal and Koshi regions on Sunday and Monday. He told the Assembly on Tuesday that relief and rescue operations were underway. 

"More relief camps would be set up if needed," he said during the ongoing Monsoon session.

A total of 26 teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) have been deployed in the 12 flood-hit districts of the state. At least 1,25,000 people have been moved to safer areas, the Chief Minister told the House. 

Nitish Kumar said other than the 199 relief camps that had been set up, some 676 community kitchens were providing food to the people residing at these camps and elsewhere.

The Chief Minister also informed that the flood had damaged 335 rural roads and some small bridges, and added that he had directed officials to arrange fodder for the cattle as well as compensation for loss of crops and animals.

Since Monday, all the major rivers in Bihar have been flowing above the danger mark, leading to embankment breaches. There were also reports of fresh floods in three new districts of Saharsa, Katihar and Purnea.

Dozens of villages have been inundated, forcing people flee their homes and seek shelter at safer places, a disaster management official said. In the worst-hit Sitamarhi and Araria districts, roads have also been damaged. 

The flood were caused by heavy rain in north Bihar and the catchment areas of major rivers in neighbouring Nepal.

However, Water Resources Department officials said the water level in rivers originating in Nepal was likely to decrease as rain in those areas had stopped.


Tue, 16 Jul 2019 18:04:08 +0530
Swatantra Dev Singh is ne

Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh Transport Minister Swatantra Dev Singh was named State President of the Bharatiya Janata Party to replace Union Minister Mahendra Nath Pandey.

Pandey, who was also the Deputy Chief Minister previously, was inducted into the Union Cabinet, requiring a change in the state's guard.

Singh, 54, has been the OBC face of the party in the state and is known for his organisational skills.

Tue, 16 Jul 2019 18:01:20 +0530
Zakir Sonal made Sangeet

New Delhi, Tabla maestro Zakir Hussain and eminent classical dancers Sonal Mansingh, Jatin Goswami (Sattriya) and K. Kalyanasundaram Pillai (Bharatanatyam) were conferred the Sangeet Natak Akademi's prestigious fellowships on Tuesday. The Akademi also announced 44 recipients of its awards for the year 2018.

The names were chosen at the Akademi meeting held on June 26 at Guwahati. 

The fellowship -- called 'Akademi Ratna' -- is deemed a coveted and rare honour, as there are only 40 fellows at any given time.

The Akademi's General Council also selected 44 artistes from the field of music, dance, theatre across the traditional, folk, and tribal genres, puppetry and overall contribution/scholarship to the performing arts for the Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards (Akademi Puraskar) for 2018.

In music, the awardees are: Mani Prasad and Madhup Mudgal (Hindustani Vocal), Tarun Bhattacharya (santoor), Tejendra Narayan Majumdar (sarod), Alamelu Mani and Malladi Suribabu (Carnatic vocal), Suresh Wadkar and Shanti Hiranand (Sugam Sangeet) and H. Ashangbi Devi (Nata Sankirtana).

Joint awards were S. Kasim and S. Babu for the Nagaswaram instrument, and to Ganesh and Kumaresh for violin.

In the field of dance, Radha Sridhar has won it for Bharatanatyam, Akham Lakshmi Devi for Manipuri, Pasumurthy Ramalinga Sastry for Kuchipudi, Surupa Sen for Odissi, Tankeswar Hazarika Borbayan for Sattriya, Gopika Varma for Mohiniyattam, Tapan Kumar Pattanayak for Chhau, and Deepak Mazumdar for contemporary dance.

Kathak dancers Ishira and Maulik Shah have won the award jointly.

For theatre, the Akademi award has been given to Rajiv Naik and Laltluangliana Khiangte for playwriting, Sanjay Upadhyay and S. Raghunandana for direction, Suhas Joshi and Teekam Joshi for acting, and Swapan Nandy for mime.

Bhagawat A.S. Nanjappa has won the honour for Yakshagana and A.M. Parameswaran Kuttan Chakkiyar for Kutiyattam.

For folk music, the awardees are Malini Awasthi (Uttar Pradesh), Gazi Khan Barna (Rajasthan), and Narendar Singh Negi (Uttrakhand).

Mohd. Sadiq Bhagat has won it for Jammu and Kashmir's folk theatre Bhand Pather, Kota Sachidanand Shastry for Andhra Pradesh's Harikatha, Arjun Singh Dhruve for Madhya Pradesh's folk dance, Somnath Battu for Himachal Pradesh's folk music, Anupama Hoskere for puppetry and Hem Chandra Goswami for mask-making.

"Diwan Singh Bajeli and Puru Dadhich have been selected for the Akademi Award 2018 in the field of Overall Contribution/Scholarship in the Performing Arts," the Akademi said.

The Akademi fellowship carries a cash prize of Rs 3 lakh while the Akademi award has Rs 1 lakh. The awards will be conferred by the President at an investiture ceremony later. 

The Akademi Awards, conferred since 1952, not only symbolize the highest standard of excellence and achievements, but also recognize sustained individual work and contribution, it said.

Along with the fellowships and the main awards, the Akademi also announced 32 young recipients of the Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar for 2018.

Named after the shehnai maestro, the award is presented to artistes, across the fields of music, dance, theatre and other performing arts, aged below 40 years with the objective of identifying and encouraging outstanding young talent in diverse fields of performing arts and giving them national recognition early in their life.

The prize carries a cash amount of Rs 25,000 and will be presented to the awardees at a special ceremony.

Tue, 16 Jul 2019 17:55:08 +0530
10 killed 10 injured in


At least 10 people, including four women and a infant, were killed when a four-storied residential building came crashing down in south Mumbai while 10 injured persons were rescued from the debris, BMC Disaster Control officials said.

Another 10-odd families are still believed trapped under the rubble of the Kesarbai Building in Dongri area after its rear illegal portion came crashing down around 11.30 a.m.

Those killed been identified as Sabiya Nissar Shaikh, 25, Saira Rehan Shaikh, 25, K. Amirajan, 13, Sanaa Salmani, 25, Zuber Salmani, 20, Abdul Sattar Kaloo Shaikh, 55, Muzammil Mansoor Salmani, 15, Javed Ismail, 34, Arhan Shehzad, 40, and toddler Ibrahim, 18 months, said a BMC spokesperson.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis ordered a probe into the building crash and assured strict action against those found guilty.

Opposition leaders like Vijay Wadettiwar, Prithviraj Chavan, Naseem Khan, Ashok Chavan, Milind Deora (Congress), Dhananjay Munde, Majeed Memon, Jayant Patil and Nawab Malik (Nationalist Congress Party), and Abu Asim Azmi (Samajwadi Party) among others lashed out at the government for lapses leading to the tragedy.

They demanded a detailed investigation into the causes leading to the accident, identifying the culprits and booking them under charges of culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

Meanwhile, an RTI activist said that the name of the dilapidated structure, is mysteriously omitted from a comprehensive list of 499 "dangerous" buildings prepared by the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

"The BMC, as per the directions of the Bombay High Court, had compiled the list of the dilapidated buildings, which we secured through a RTI reply. Shockingly, Kesarbai Building's name is not mentioned anywhere in the list," Shakeel Ahmed Sheikh told IANS.

Later on Tuesday evening, the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority's (MHADA) chief spokesperson Vaishali Gadpale cleared the air on the building's status.

In a statement, she said that the main dilapidated structure, Kesarbai Building 25/C was completely evacuated by the MHADA last year and the building which collapsed on Tuesday "was the illegal rear portion of this building which is not within the purview of the Mumbai Building Repair & Reconstruction Board".

Earlier in the day, MBRRB Chairman Vinod Ghosalkar had said that the dilapidated structure, believed to be over 80 years old, had been handed over for redevelopment to B.S.B. Developers, which has not yet started the work.

"This is a serious matter and we shall investigate why the redevelopment work was not initiated, what caused the delays and take appropriate action against those responsible," Ghosalkar told IANS.

Among those rescued from the debris include five women, three men and two children aged 3 years each. They are being treated at various hospitals and the two minor males were discharged after treatment.

As a precautionary measure, the police evacuated all residents of an adjoining building and shifted them to a nearby school to facilitate the relief works.

However, narrow approach roads, huge crowds and thickly populated areas, besides continuous VVIP movements to the site, affected rescue operations.

Tue, 16 Jul 2019 17:50:40 +0530
World Cup victory helps B

London, British Prime Minister Theresa May has said that England's success in the Cricket World Cup has helped the nation fall in love with the sport once again.

May hosted a reception at 10 Downing Street on Monday night for the team that beat New Zealand in the final at Lord's Cricket Ground, London, Xinhua reported.

"All combining to create a real thriller, one of the great sporting spectacles of our time," said May.

She told the England squad: "You are a team that represents modern Britain, and that plays like no other side in the world.

"When the odds were against you in the biggest game of your lives, you simply and stubbornly refused to lose. It is that determination, that character, that has made you world champions," she said.

"You have helped the nation fall in love with cricket once again," she said, adding, "we have a team that will be spoken of in awe for generations to come."


Tue, 16 Jul 2019 10:24:03 +0530
Amitabh mocks ICC s bound

New Delhi, Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan is the latest to join the list of people criticising the International Cricket Council (ICC) for the "boundary rule" which helped England win their first men's World Cup.

On Sunday, two dramatic run-outs in the final over of England's innings took the game into a Super Over with the scores tied on 241 after the end of 50 overs against New Zealand at Lord's. However, with the Super Over also ending in a tie, the winner of the showpiece event was decided by the number of boundaries scored. 

England scored 26 boundaries in total in the entire duration of the match as compared to 17 by the Black Caps and were thus crowned as champions. 

Bachchan took to Twitter to mock the ICC rule and said in Hindi: "You have Rs 2,000, I have Rs 2,000. You have one note of 2,000; I have four notes of 500. Who is richer? ICC: The one who has four notes of 500 is richer."

Actor-turned-politician Paresh Rawal also slammed the sport's governing body and tweeted: Instead of changing M.S. Dhoni gloves, the stupid ICC should have changed their super over rules."

Earlier, many former cricketers like Gautam Gambhir, Rohit Sharma, Brett Lee, Yuvraj Singh and others criticised the ICC for the boundary rule. 

Tue, 16 Jul 2019 10:20:33 +0530
RBI charges Rs 7 cr for n

Mumbai: On Monday, India's Reserve Bank said it imposed a penalty of Rs 7 crore on India's State Bank for non-compliance with multiple standards.

"This action is based on regulatory compliance deficiencies and is not designed to rule on the validity of any transaction or agreement that the bank has concluded with its clients," the RBI stated in a declaration.

According to the RBI, the statutory inspection of the bank with reference to its financial position as on March 31, 2017 revealed non-compliance with "Income Recognition and Asset Classification" norms and reporting of data on "Central Repository of Information on Large Credits", among others.

Tue, 16 Jul 2019 10:16:12 +0530
The along the ground 6


New Delhi, A total of 359 sixes were scored throughout the 2019 edition of the cricket World Cup in England and Wales. However, the one which will be remembered for ages is the "six" which was awarded to England that turned the tide for the Three Lions as they beat New Zealand in one of the most thrilling 50-over matches one could ever witness in the game of cricket.

The score-line on Sunday after the end of final read: New Zealand 241, England 241. 

In Super Over -- England 15, New Zealand 15. 

And the Three Lions were crowned champions as they defeated the Black Caps by 0 run -- the smallest of margins one can ever get to see in the game of cricket. 

England were handed the trophy on the basis of boundaries scored. In the entire duration of 112 overs, England scored 26 boundaries as compared to 17 by New Zealand. 

However, the match went to the Super Over courtesy the six runs awarded to England all-rounder Ben Stokes in the final over of the game. 

Chasing New Zealand's first-innings score of 241, England needed another nine runs from three more balls to win the game and become the first men's English team to have their hands at the coveted trophy. 

In the fourth ball of the over, Stokes accidentally knocked the ball coming in from deep midwicket field Martin Guptill and deflected it off to the third man boundary, while attempting to dive for his crease with an outstretched bat, in a bid to complete his second run.

After consultation with Marais Erasmus and the rest of his umpiring colleagues, Kumar Dharmasena signalled six runs for the incident, meaning that England -- who by then seemed to be drifting out of contention needing nine runs from three balls -- were suddenly right back in the hunt towards their World Cup glory needing three more from two.

According to MCC law 19.8 pertaining to 'overthrow or wilful act of fielder': "If the boundary results from an overthrow or from the wilful act of a fielder, the runs scored shall be any runs for penalties awarded to either side, and the allowance for the boundary, and the runs completed by the batsmen, together with the run in progress if they had already crossed at the instant of the throw or act."

Now, if one looks at this definition of the law, a conclusion can be drawn that England were awarded an extra run, i.e., they should have been awarded five runs instead of six. 

If one takes a close look at the video of the incident, it will be seen that at the moment the ball was released by Guptill, Stokes and his partner, Adil Rashid, had not yet crossed for their second run.

Hence, according to the latter part of the rule, it doesn't appear that the second run was completed. Also, in the law there is no mention on the part of batsman's action. But that was not the case and England were awarded six runs which eventually turned vital looking at the context of the game.

Former international umpire Simon Taufel said that a grave error was made in awarding England six runs -- instead of five. "It's a clear's an error of judgment," Taufel told

Stokes, on his part, did apologise for the unintended deflection off his bat. "I said to Kane I'll be apologising for that for the rest of my life," the all-rounder said. 

However, Williamson was left disappointed as he failed to take his team across the line and said: "It was a shame that the ball hit Stokes' bat, but I just hope it doesn't happen in moments like that."

"Unfortunately that sort of thing happens from time to time. It's a part of the game that we play. I don't wish to nitpick, just hope it never happens in such moments ever again," he added.

However, as former New Zealand cricketer Ian Smith said, "(There were) lots of sixes hit in the tournament, yet the most significant six was one that went along the ground."

No matter how much cricket fraternity debates over the controversial "six", history will remember that incident as the defining moment of the 2019 World Cup final which helped England break a 102-year-old drought and become champions. 

(Aakash Kumar can be contacted at

Tue, 16 Jul 2019 10:07:38 +0530
US Russia to discuss arm

Washington, The US will send a high-level delegation to discuss arms control issues with the Russian side in Geneva later this week, the American media reported.

According to the New York Times, US Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan will head the American delegation, which also includes staff from the National Security Council, Pentagon, and other agencies, reports Xinhua news agency. 

Sergei Ryabkov, the Deputy Foreign Minister, will lead the Russian delegation.

The arms control regime between Washington and Moscow has been under erosion. 

The White House's decision to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty will take effect next month. 

Meanwhile, the US has expressed disinterest in extending the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), which will expire in 2021.


Tue, 16 Jul 2019 10:03:33 +0530
IndiGo to launch six new

Budget passenger carrier IndiGo said on Monday that by announcing six fresh flights it will improve its global connectivity.

Effective July 25 and August 5,IndiGo will launch daily non-stop flights linking Delhi to Jeddah and Mumbai to Kuwait, according to the airline.

In addition, the airline will also launch its third non-stop daily flights between Mumbai and Dubai to meet the growing demand from the industry.

Tue, 16 Jul 2019 09:07:17 +0530
China adamant on naming D

Beijing,  China last week made clear that Indias "no" to recognise the Dalai Lamas successor chosen by Beijing will hurt the bilateral ties that have been on an upswing recently.

Beijing has time and again asserted that the 14th Dalai Lama has no say in appointing his successor and it is the prerogative of the Chinese government.

The Chinese government, which is striving to sinicize Buddhism and harness it as a soft power, cannot afford to let the next Dalai Lama to be chosen by the present one, who has been living in exile in India -- its strategic rival that has long played this trump card against China.

A villain for Beijing, he is the most revered Buddhist monk in the world.

India is home to some 100,000 Tibetans, many of whom fled Tibet along with the Dalai Lama in 1959 after the Chinese army crushed a revolt.

India's granting refuge to the monk, who has spoken openly about Chinese repressive policies in Tibet has tarnished China's image. China would never want that lineage to continue. 

Beijing has time and again said it will never recognise the 14th Dalai Lama's choice and will appoint the next in line with the conventions set by the Chinese emperors.

The current Dalai Lama was chosen by the disciples of the 13 Dalai Lama after his death. Renamed Tenzin Gyatso, who turned 84 this month, was four and half years old then.

But in 2011, the Chinese government announced the right to appoint the next Dalai Lama lies with it and no one else. 

This was re-asserted by the Mandarins and a Chinese think tank when a delegation of Indian newsmen visited Lhasa, the capital of Tibet.

The officials also warned that India's interference in the process of the appointment of the next Dalai Lama would jeopardise the bilateral ties. 

"The current Dalai Lama was recognized by Beijing and his successor must be found through the ‘draw of lots in the golden urn process' within China. 

"The Dalai Lama's reincarnation is not decided by his a personal wish or by some group of people living in other countries," Wang Neng Sheng, Director General at the government of Tibet Autonomous Region said.

Zha Luo, director at Beijing-based think tank China Tibetology Research Centre, did not mince words when what if New Delhi does not accord legitimacy to Beijing choice.

"It will be a major political difference that would impact bilateral relations and any wise political leader wouldn't do that," said Zha.



Tue, 16 Jul 2019 08:59:27 +0530
Delhi to provide free saf

New Delhi,  Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday said his government will provide free safety kits to sanitation workers, hoping there will be no sewer deaths in the city in future.

Speaking at a workshop organised by the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) on sewer safety and awareness of the field level sewer workers, Kejriwal said the safety kit will be given to every worker who works for the cleaning of the sewers.

"We will ensure that free kit is given to everyone so that even if the contractor doesn't provide you with the gear, you use your own gear to stay safe," said Kejriwal, who is also the Chairman of DJB.

The Chief Minister also administered oath of safety and security to the workers. The oath said that no worker will enter any sewer without proper safety gear and will take proper care of safety.

"The death of a worker while cleaning sewers is very saddening. We have to end this; we have to do this together. This can't be achieved by Delhi government or Delhi Jal Board alone, this can be done only when we all work towards it," said the Chief Minister.

Kejriwal said the workshop and training is being done to ensure that no one dies after getting into sewers to clean them.

"Be it any worker of DJB or of contractor, any worker who gets in a sewer for cleaning must have a proper safety gear. It is not only the government's job, but you also have to make sure that you don't get down in the sewer without the safety gear. Don't think that it's a two-minute job and take the risk; please be safe and wear the safety gear before you enter any sewer," he said.

A live demonstration was carried out at the workshop to help the participants understand the right procedure and steps required to clean the sewer and use of the safety gear.

Tue, 16 Jul 2019 08:53:36 +0530
Rebel Congress MLA Baig d

 Bangaluru: Rebel Congress Legisltor and former Minister of State R. Roshan Baig was arrested at the  Bengaluru airport, police said.

"Baig was arrested at Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) for questioning when he was about to take off from Bengaluru on a private aircraft to an unconfirmed destination," Joint Police Commissioner (Crime) Ravikantha Gowda said in a statement.

"We're going to check whether Baig's sudden plan to leave Bengaluru has anything to do with the latest release of a Youtube video by Mansoor Ali Khan's multi-crore Ponzi scheme prime," Gowda said.

On June 19, the Congress also suspended Baig for suspected anti-party operations, including criticism of the state leaders of the party following the latest Lok Sabha elections in which the party was routed in the southern state.

Tue, 16 Jul 2019 08:48:08 +0530
Sanskrit unifies Bharat

New Delhi, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) backed organisation Samskrita Bharati said on Monday that Sanskrit was the unifying language of India which must be promoted by the Narendra Modi-led government at all levels across the country.

Samskrita Bharti also honoured 47 newly elected members of Lok Sabha, including Union Ministers Harsh Vardhan, Pratap Sarangi, Ashwini Chaubey and Shripad Yesso Naik. All these MPs had taken the oath of secrecy in Sanskrit.

Samskrita Bharti's national General Secretary and prominent RSS leader Dinesh Kamat said that the Speaker of the Lok Sabha has been approached to hold training sessions for MPs in the Parliament to get acquainted with the ancient language. 

Kamat, who's part of the RSS think-tank, further said, "Ambedkar had stated that Sanskrit should be made the national language of India. When doctor sahab (Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar) was asked that Sanskrit was a language identified with the Brahmins and that he should not endorse it, Ambedkar told his followers that Vyas, Valmilki and even Kalidas, the great poets of Sanskrit, were not Brahmins. Sanskrit elevates a human being, it unifies Bharat."

Samskrita Bharti at present has 585 centres spread across the country. Reminding the importance of India's ancient language, Kamat said that after the last Lok Sabha polls in 2014, 37 MPs had taken oath in Sanskrit and this time (2019) the number has gone up to 47. 

"Not only the MPs are showing their interest in Sanskrit, the language is also being researched and taught in 40 countries and 254 universities across the world, including China. It is the mother of all Indian languages and even influences languages through out South East Asia. There are 45 lakh manuscripts in Sanskrit, but unfortunately only 25,000 have been published," Kamat added. 

Besides MPs and Union Ministers, several senior leaders of the RSS graced the event held at the Constitution Club here. 

One of the top Sangh leaders Indresh Kumar said that Sanskrit identified Indian culture. The language should be promoted in all institutions across states, he said.

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, who took oath in Sanskrit in 2014 and 2019, was a special guest at the function, as according to the organisers, he was not only an admirer of Sanskrit shlokas (verses of wisdom), but also seemed determined to promote the language across platforms. 

West Bengal BJP chief and MP Dilip Ghosh, who also took oath in Sanskrit, was the star of the event and was honoured by the RSS leadership.


Tue, 16 Jul 2019 08:37:59 +0530
ED summons TMC MP Ex MP

Kolkata/New Delhi,  The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday summoned six persons including Trinamool Congress MP Satabdi Roy and former party MP Kunal Ghosh for questioning in connection with the Saradha chit fund scam case, sources said.

Apart from Roy and Basu, East Bengal football club official Debabrata Sarkar, businessmen Sajjan Agarwal, Sandhir Agarwal and Saradha Group Chairman Sudipta Sen's close aide Arindam Das have also been summoned, the ED sources said.

Among the six persons, Ghosh, Sarkar, Das and Sandhir Agarwal were already arrested in the case and named in the charge sheet by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). They were released on bail later.

According to the ED sources, Trinamool MP Roy, who was also the brand ambassador of a company owned by the Saradha Group, was summoned last week but said she would not be able to meet the officials due to the ongoing parliament session.

She has been again summoned by the agency.

Earlier, a senior ED official in Delhi told IANS that the agency has summoned Ghosh under the provisions of the Prevention of Money-Laundering Act, and a few more people but declined to reveal their names.

The Saradha scam came to light in April 2013 and is estimated at over Rs 10,000 crore. The ED has filed a case on the basis of the CBI's FIR.

Mon, 15 Jul 2019 20:45:21 +0530
Rajasthan HC says no to

New Delhi, The Rajasthan High Court on Monday issued a public notice to put an end to the practice of addressing judges as "My Lord" and "Your Lordship".

"To honour the mandate of equality enshrined in the Constitution of India, the Full Court in its meeting dated July 14 has unanimously resolved to request the counsels and those who appear before the court to desist from addressing the judges as 'My Lord' and 'Your Lordship'," said the notice.

The Supreme Court had made similar remarks earlier in 2014, while hearing a PIL seeking prohibition on usage of such terms to address judges.

A bench of Justices H.L. Dattu and S.A. Bobde then observed that it was not 
compulsory to address the court as "My Lord", "Your Lordship" or even "Your Honour".

The bench, however, had rejected the plea saying that it could not direct lawyers on how to address the court.


Mon, 15 Jul 2019 20:40:45 +0530
Three minors drawned

Mumbai: A seven-year-old kid drowned here on Monday in an open drain, making him the third of its kind in six days in the business capital of the country, authorities said.

Sumit Jaiswal, the victim, fell into an open drain near a garden in Dharavi's Rajiv Gandhi Colony and rescuers took his body out after a few hours. Last Saturday (July 13), at a construction site of the coastal road project in Worli, a 12-year-old boy Bablu Paswan fell into a pit.

Earlier on July 10, a two-month-old toddler Divyanshu Singh fell in an open drain while playing on the road in Goregaon.

Though rescue agencies launched a massive search for him with sophisticated gadgets in a 10 km vicinity right up to the Arabian Sea, his body is yet to be recovered.

Mon, 15 Jul 2019 20:35:56 +0530
Karnataka CM to seek trus

Bengaluru,  Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy will seek a vote of confidence of the state Assembly on July 18, against the backdrop of 16 MLAs of the ruling Congress and JD(S) tendering their resignation.

"I have directed the Chief Minister to hold the floor test in the Assembly on Thursday (July 18)," Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar told reporters after a meeting of the Business Advisory Committee of the House here on Monday.

The meeting was attended by Kumarswamy, Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah and opposition BJP leader B.S. Yeddyurappa.

The floor test will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday.

The BJP has been demanding the floor test in the wake of resignation by 16 MLAs of the ruling alliance -- 13 of the Congress and 3 of the JD(S) -- and withdrawal of support to the Kumaraswamy government by two other legislators.

The resignations have not yet been accepted by the Speaker, who has said he would need time to study whether these were in proper format.

Unhappy with the delay by the Speaker in accepting their resignations, 15 of the rebel MLAs have moved the Supreme Court, apprehending that they could be disqualified.

The top court on July 12 ordered a status quo on the petitions till Tuesday when the matter would be heard again.

The Congress-JD(S), along with lone legislators each of BSP and a regional party and an Independent, have 118 MLAs, including the Speaker, in the 225-member House.

If all the 18 legislators, including 16 rebels and 2 Independents do not attend the session, the effective strength of the House for voting will be 205, including 105 of the BJP and excluding the Speaker and the nominated member.

"As the new halfway mark will be 103 for a simple majority, the ruling combine with 100, including one from the supporting party BSP will fall 3 short off it (halfway mark) to win the trust vote and certain to be defeated," according to BJP spokesman G. Madhusudana.


Mon, 15 Jul 2019 20:26:04 +0530
India s higher education

New Delhi: India trails behind several countries including Brazil and China in terms of student-teacher ratio in higher education segment, a government report has revealed. The 24:1 ratio of India is lower than 19:1 in Brazil and China.
Among the eight countries compared, India's student-ratio has turned out to be the lowest - against Sweden's 12:1, Britain's 16:1, Russia's 10:1 and Canada's 9:1.
This not only results in overburdening a small group of teachers but also adversely affects the quality of academic research taken up by them, says a Human Resource Development Ministry report.
"A low student-teacher ratio indicates the burden on a single teacher of teaching multiple students as well as the lack of time that each student gets. Apart from this simplistic effect, in an institution of higher learning, a smaller number of overburdened teachers are also unable to pursue any research or encourage their students to do so.
"Consequently, the culture of questioning and reasoning cannot be inculcated as a part of higher education in most institutions," the Education Quality Upgradation and Inclusion Programme (EQUIP) report said.
The faculty shortage have worsened over the time due to increasing enrolment rate of the students and low faculty recruitment in the higher education institutes. As per the ministry's All India Survey on Higher Education statistics, while the student enrolment in higher education institutes have increased from 32.3 million in 2013-14 to 36.6 million in 2017-18, the total number of teachers have declined from 13,67,535 to 12,84,755.
According to estimates, the country's higher education sector - central, state and private universities - is facing a shortfall of over 5 lakh teachers. "India is short of professors, with 6,600 posts vacant in central universities, a shortfall of 33 per cent. In IITs and state universities, 35 per cent and 38 per cent vacancies need to be filled respectively," the report stated.
It added that the faculty vacancies have negatively impacted the quality of teaching and research.
"Available data shows that this shortfall in faculty is being bridged by using large numbers of ad hoc or part-time faculty. However, institutions with a high number of ad hoc or part-time faculty perform poorly in terms of teaching quality."
The report also points out that the number of female teachers at the tertiary level of education is also low. "At the all India level, there were 72 female teachers per 100 male teachers. Similarly, in SC category, there were 56 female teachers per hundred male teachers, and in the case of ST and OBC, it was 66 and 68 female per 100 male teachers, respectively," it stated.
Enlisting the reasons for low student-teacher ratios at the higher education level, the report has noted that apart from not filling up the sanctioned strength, most institutions hesitate in creating new faculty positions.
"In addition to the low number of sanctioned faculty positions, faculty vacancy even in sanctioned strength is an extremely serious problem. Due to various reasons such as a ban on recruitment, lack of funds, and the reluctance of states to bear the long-term salary burden, a large number of faculty positions are not filled. Attracting faculty is a big challenge for rural and backward areas because of the lack of infrastructural support and reluctance of teachers in moving to non-urban areas," it stated.
In June, the University Grants Commission had issued guidelines asking the government-operated higher education institutions to fill up 3 lakh vacancies within six months. Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' has also been emphasising on filling up faculty positions on war footing in various meetings with the higher education institutions.

Mon, 15 Jul 2019 17:01:52 +0530
Spirituality transcends r

New Delhi: Watching the art of Seema Kohli is like a walkthrough of the pictorial Jataka tales of Ajanta caves, defined by intricacy, rich hues, storytelling and imbued with a deeply spiritual flavour.
Over 200 of her artworks are currently being exhibited in the Museum of Sacred Art (MOSA) in Belgium in a six-month long show.
Titled "The Celestial Revelations", the extensive exhibition opened in the European country on June 15. It shows the vast oeuvre of Kohli -- who works out of her studio in Delhi's Rajinder Nagar locality -- collected by the museum over seven years.
Known for using golden and silver leaves on her canvases, the highly-collected artist paints celestial beings, floating forms and meditating feminine figures surrounded by natural and celestial motifs.
Delving into the origins of her work, 1960-born Kohli says that right from her childhood, she was in an atmosphere congenial to spirituality.
"It was not possible to be away from it (spirituality). The whole ambience was charged with questions, even of death. My mother's grandmother passed away, we were taken to the cremation as 2-3-year olds. We were told that from today, �chaiji' is not there. She has gone, it's only the body which we're going to cremate. It was all logically explained," the 2008 Lalit Kala Akademi award recipient told IANS in an interview here.
Growing up only led to deeper questions and contemplation, causing thoughts of giving everything up.
"When I was 18, I thought renunciation is the path. I wanted to leave everything and move on. I went to my family guru in Haridwar, but my father got me back.
"As you grow, you realise that wherever you are, you make a difference. If I just made a spiritual enquiry in the usual way, I would've lost a lot. I continued with my artistic journey in a much better way than what I would've been able to in the form of a renunciate," she said.
One of India's most visible contemporary artists on the world stage, Kohli's thematic engagements also include that of �Hiranyagarbha' or the golden womb, which celebrates the feminine and procreation.
Despite layering her paintings with spirituality, the multi-arts practitioner -- she paints, sculpts and makes prints -- sees spirituality as transcendent of religion.
"As an Indian, you don't see just one thing but many. You're thrown open to the beauty of it. Everything starts from faith, then a belief consolidates into a religion. I am very open to other faiths and philosophies. I see spirituality as transcendent of religion.
"Because of the family I was born in, it was much easier to understand other religions," she explains, her hands on a table strewn with many colours.
Her works will also be exhibited at the India pavilion of the Jerusalem Biennale in Delhi in October this year.


Mon, 15 Jul 2019 17:00:48 +0530
How a small Uttarakhand t

Dhanaulti (Uttarakhand): When one reaches Dhanaulti -- a picturesque site in the Garhwal region of 'Devbhoomi' (Gods' abode) Uttarakhand -- one can not but feel the fresh breeze gushing through deodar trees and emitting an earthy, woody aroma. This is when you know you have left behind the hustle and bustle of the crowded city.
With Mussoorie - the Queen of the Hills - becoming over-crowded, it is starting to lose its charm and people are now wanting to explore other options. Located just 25 km away is Dhanaulti which is fast emerging as the next big tourist hill station.
"If one wants to cherish nature at its best, experience fresh air, drink the mineral water coming directly from the Himalayas, then Dhanaulti is the place to be.
"But, say it a boon or a bane, it is fast getting commercialised and we have been seeing a lot more tourists than before. Though they are good for our business, people leave behind a trail of garbage which is very difficult to clean up. It is ruining the natural beauty of the Himalayas," Anil Kumar, owner of Burans Breeze hotel, told IANS.
Kumar, who himself belongs to Delhi, said he wanted to escape the noise and pollution of the national capital and hence built a lodge here from where one can see the snow-peaked Himalayan range.
Decoding the name of his hotel - one of the oldest in the area - he said that 'Burans' is for the Burans flower (rhododendron) that grows here which brightens the entire place with its red colour during spring time, and 'Breeze' is for the strong cool breeze that the place witnesses.
"To attract tourists, we have grown cauliflower, potato, and radish in our gardens and use them fresh in our restaurant," Kumar said.
Another hotelier, Rakesh Garg, owner of Silver Dew, bought land here in 1997 when Uttarakhand was still a part of Uttar Pradesh but established a hotel only recently when Dhanaulti started seeing tourists.
"Back then I didn't know the potential of Dhanaulti becoming a major tourist destination. I bought the land for leisurely purposes but now I see a lot of tourists - from bachelors to families," he said.
Speaking to IANS, Ajay Pawar, who is a native and handles several hotels in the area, said the hotel business here is going good. "People are liking this place because of its peaceful and chilly environment and the privacy that it offers.
"Several people are coming here and demanding rooms or cottages which are isolated and close to nature. They don't come here for luxury, they come here to get close to nature, to hear the birds chirp and for the fresh cool breeze."
"People love this place so much that they want to buy land here but most of it has already been bought and new hotels are coming up there. The prices of land have also shot up in merely last 2-3 years."
Gambhir Singh, a farmer who now runs a confectionery shop, said people are shifting from agriculture activities to work in hotels. Even if a person washes utensils in the hotel, he can make more than what he makes in agriculture, he added.
Painting a gloomy picture for the future of farming on the hills, he said the new generation here does not prefer farming work because of increasing costs, risks associated with it, government's apathy, and hard work involved which don't pay off.
Kishori, manager of hotel Rock Resort, said that tourists demand good surroundings more than comfortable rooms, and hence to attract them, they had have planted apple, plum, walnut, and apricot trees.
"People are very fascinated with the trees, they come and take pictures with them. We also make fresh chutneys and jams with the fruits," he said.
Vinita Chouhan, member of a self-help group based out of Mussoorie, has put up a shop in Buranskhanda as the place has started witnessing lots of tourists. They have also set up shops in Dhanaulti, Mussoori, the Dehradun trade fair, and the India International Trade Fair in Delhi.
"We sell woollen clothes and traditional Garhwali food items like 'Urad dal pakora', 'Jhangore Ki Kheer', 'Mandve Ki Roti', and 'Kandali Ki Sabzi'."
"About 100 women are engaged in weaving woollen items like shawls, sweaters, caps, and socks. Another 10-15 women make papad, chips, pickles, and other items," she said.


Mon, 15 Jul 2019 16:58:59 +0530
Annual Mudiya Poonau fa

Goverdhan (Mathura district): Lakhs of pilgrims from different parts of India, including NRIs, are part of the the sea of humanity that has deluged the holy Goverdhan 'Parbat', or hill, that little Lord Krishna is believed to have lifted on his finger to protect inhabitants of Braj from the wrath of Lord Indra.
The five-day annual Mudiya Poonau festival will conclude on Tuesday, on full moon, with a procession of saints and members of the Gaudiya sect. Locals say the total number of pilgrims this year could easily cross five million.
Goverdhan, a tehsil 20 km from Mathura, is connected by rail and road with Rajasthan, Haryana and other parts of Uttar Pradesh.
"Most people from Haryana, Punjab and Delhi are taking the Yamuna Expressway. They can come via Vrindavan, Chatikara, Radhakund. The bypass and newly-laid roads all around, with adequate parking slots, have made it convenient for visitors to reach Goverdhan this year," a district official said.
The divisional railway headquarters at Agra has started a set of two passenger trains, while the state roadways has operationalised a fleet of more than 1,500 buses to ferry pilgrims from Agra and neighbouring districts. As many as 42 parking sites have been developed for vehicles coming in from all parts. The police have put up barriers at 92 points to regulate movement of people and vehicles.
"Least bothered by the intense heat with monsoon clouds taking a break, lakhs of pilgrims are in full 'josh' (enthusiasm), joining 'keertan mandlis' and singing and dancing all through the 'parikrama' (circumambulation) route," a local priest, Keshav, said.
"It's a never-ending procession right now, as faith quotient is running high. The devotees are crowding the Mansi Ganga pond for a holy bath. The administration has provided fountains along the periphery of the pond for the convenience of pilgrims and to ensure cleanliness," he added.
Mathura District Magistrate (DM) Sarvagyaram Mishra said that by Saturday more than 15 lakh devotees had already performed the 21 km long 'parikrama' of Mount Goverdhan.
"After the Kumbh, this is the second biggest 'mela' (festival) in the state," another local priest, Hari Kishan, said. After Vrindavan, Goverdhan, is now becoming a round-the-year spiritual hub of Krishna devotees.
With increasing influx of non-resident Indians (NRIs) and high income group pilgrims from the metros, the town, which once had night stay facilities run only by temples and religious institutions, is now home to smaller hotels and a row of roadside 'dhabaas' (restaurants).
High-profile visitors have, however taken a fancy to the Sri Radha Brij Vasundhara resort spread over 25 acres of lush green offering a panoramic view of the holy Goverdhan hill.
The Brij Vashundhara resort along the circumambulation route near Aanyaur village, looks an oasis amidst dry parched desert sand.
"From the outside, you cannot even make out what's in store inside the campus. But once you are in, it's a treat all the way. The cottages are sited in green clusters that echo with constant chirping of birds," a pilgrim from Gujarat staying in the resort, said.
Goverdhan is perhaps the only pilgrim centre that records the highest number of devotees in India round the year for 'parikrama," said Ravi Baba, a priest.
"They keep coming, whatever be the season or time of day, from thousands to lakhs daily. A rough estimate of the pilgrims would be over ten crore annually. For the five-day annual Mudiya Poonau fair, we have over ten million visitors," said shopowner Madhu Mangal.
Goverdhan is high on the priority list of the Uttar Pradesh government which has embarked on a massive construction spree, building by-passes, new roads, adding pilgrim shelters and providing street lighting along the parikrama route.
A number of NGOs, including Braj Ujjwala, Yamuna Mission and Braj Foundation are busy renovating local ponds and groves. The newly-constituted Braj Teerth Vikas Parishad, has drawn up ambitious plans for development of the area at the initiative of the local MP Hema Malini.
This year, an additional facility in the form of Heli-Yatra is available for pilgrims who are short of time. A seven-seater helicopter circles the holy hill, providing a panoramic view at a fare of Rs 3,000.


Mon, 15 Jul 2019 16:57:50 +0530
IIM Bodhgaya all set to g

Patna:The Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Bodh Gaya in Bihar is all set to get a new look by 2020. The new IIM campus, located in the sacred and historic and city of Bodhgaya, will be spread over 73 acres. The concept for the campus takes inspiration from Buddhist ideologies, evolving into a design which promotes a search for progression in the field of management studies, an official said on Saturday.
Established in 2015, IIM Bodhgaya is the 16th such institute in the country. One of India's leading architectural firms, C.P. Kukreja Architects have been selected through a national competition to design it.
Speaking on the execution of this first-of-its-kind project, the C.P. Kukreja Architects Managing Principal Dikshu C. Kukreja said: "It is our endeavour to create a 21st century world class campus set in a city with deep-rooted historical significance."
"Our design is an amalgamation of these renowned ideologies with a modernism which contributes towards a futuristic vision of establishing a holistic form of an educational space," Kukreja said.
The grandness in the campus architecture is translated through different design elements. Entering the campus, one is greeted with the Buddhist 'toranas' (ornamental gateways), the abstract demeanours of which are imposing and yet rooted to the ground.
Another striking feature of design that sits adorned between these 'toranas' is the Bodhi Tree under which Lord Buddha attained enlightenment. The Bodhi Tree is the inspiration for a striking steel edifice. The glorious scale of this edifice is visible from every point in the campus and helps transmit the values of wisdom, dynamism and tranquillity within the site.
The institute's library block is a literal translation of the inside space onto its facade. The library walls are shaped as a vertical stack of books, while open books form the inspiration for the skylights on the building.
The architects have ideated the campus in a manner which consciously embraces the site's context. The designs seek to enrich the overall educational experience of students aspiring for holistic human development.


Mon, 15 Jul 2019 16:55:54 +0530
Indian real estate firms

New Delhi: The real estate companies in India and China are fast adopting Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology in the development of applications that comprise machine vision for easy analysis and surveying of buildings and structures.
Asia Pacific that contributes nearly 40 per cent in the global construction market, is estimated to be the fastest growing "AI-in-construction" market by 2024, Zion Market Research said on Monday.
The growth in Asia-Pacific "is owing to the extensive adoption of the AI-based platforms, such as machine learning and deep learning, code frameworks, and pre-built algorithms by the real estate companies in emerging economies, such as China and India".
Additionally, the development of creating information modelling is software that gives information on a construction project, warranty details regarding material used, and commissioning data.
This has resulted in increased AI adoption by most of the construction start-ups globally for various applications, the findings showed.
According to the report, the global "AI-in-construction" market was valued at $312 million in 2017 and is expected to reach $3,161 million by 2024.
"The construction sector is adopting AI to obtain precise data and insights to increase productivity, operational efficiency, and ensure safety at work. AI operates on algorithms related to image recognition to find out search criteria," said the report.
In addition, the need for safety measures on construction sites is also projected to drive this market's growth.
"Furthermore, huge investments made by construction companies from the emerging economies globally in the adoption of the advanced AI technology for construction applications is also likely to contribute toward the global growth of the AI-in-construction market," the findings showed.
Europe is projected to witness a remarkable rate of growth in the global "AI-in-construction" market in the upcoming years, due to the huge investments made by construction companies in AI technology for support, training, and digital platform.
Additionally, the rising adoption of the machine and deep learning technologies by companies to automate their business model is also considered as one of the major factors contributing to this regional market's growth, said the report.


Mon, 15 Jul 2019 16:53:48 +0530
7 soldiers civilian kill

Shimla,  Seven soldiers and a civilian were killed and 28 others rescued after a four-storey building in Himachal Pradesh's Kumarhatti town where Assam Rifles troopers were holding a party, collapsed due to rain, rescuers said on Monday.

Deputy Commissioner K.C. Chaman said six soldiers were still trapped in the debris and a rescue operation by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), the Army and the state police was on to save them.

The 28 people who were rescued comprised 17 soldiers and 11 civilians.

The dead included the building owner's wife.

Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur along with his Cabinet Minister Rajiv Saizal, MP Suresh Kashyap and state Assembly Speaker Rajiv Bindal reached the spot and supervised the rescue operation.

Later, they met the injured.

Thakur, who has ordered a magisterial probe into the incident, said as per his information the structure was not raised as per building specifications.

He ordered the registration of an FIR against the building owner Shail Kumar, who was away when the structure collapsed.

According to officials, the incident took place at around 4 p.m. on Sunday when soldiers, belonging to the Assam Rifles of nearby Dagshai Cantonment, were having their party at the roadside eatery-cum-residential complex which caved in due to heavy rain.

Both soldiers and civilians were present in the building, located on the Kumarhatti-Nahan road, around 55 km from Shimla.

The Deputy Commissioner said first the fourth floor of the building collapsed. Then the entire building caved in.

Locals blamed unscientific construction methods and violations in the granting of construction-sanction for the building collapse.

Mon, 15 Jul 2019 10:23:18 +0530
Rebel Karnataka MLAs feel

Mumbai, A group of 14 rebel Karnataka legislators lodged in a Mumbai deluxe hotel on Monday once again complained of "threats" from top Congress leaders. This is the second such development in five days.

In a letter to the Senior Inspector (Head) of Powai Police Station, the 14 -- who described themselves as "Respected Members of Karnataka Assembly" -- have also said that they had no intention of meeting Congress' leaders like Mallikarjun Kharge or Ghulam Nabi Azad or any other Congressman from either Maharashtra or Karnataka.

They urged the police to prevent these leaders from approaching them as they "anticipate" serious threats from them at the Hotel Renaissance, where they are staying.

They have sent copies of their plea to the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Zone 10 and the security and management of the hotel.

However, the latest letter bears no date or acknowledgement stamp from the concerned police station. Although it mentions the names of all legislators present, but at least four have not signed it.

The signatories on the letter include: Shivram Hebbar, B.C. Patil, Muniratnam, R. Shankar, H. Nagesh, Pratap Patil, Gopalaiah, Ramesh J., Somshekar and Basavaraja.

The four MLAs whose signatures are missing against their names are: Mahesh K., Vishwanath, Narayan Gowda and M.T.B. Nagraj.

On July 9, a group of around a dozen rebel lawmakers had written a similar letter to the Mumbai Police refusing to meet Karnataka Minister and senior Congress leader D.K. Shivakumar and others, who arrived here to resolve the ongoing political crises in that state last Wednesday.

After a day of high drama Shivakumar, his ministerial colleague, two legislators and Maharashtra Congress' Naseem Khan, Milind Deora and others were detained for several hours.

The matter also reverberated in a big way in Parliament with heated exchanges between the Opposition and the government on that day.

Later that night, Shivakumar and the Karnataka leaders were 'deported' to Bengaluru and the police have since clamped prohibitory orders in the hotel's vicinity in suburban Powai.


Mon, 15 Jul 2019 10:19:20 +0530
Yogi suspends 8 officials

Lucknow,  Reacting against the escalating number of cow deaths in bovine shelters, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has suspended eight officials

The suspended officials included the chief veterinary officer of Mirzapur and three other government vets in Ayodhya. Along with the suspensions, Adityanath on Sunday night also issued a stern warning to officials to maintain cow sheds or face the music

Following the death of 36 cows at shelters in Ayodhya and Pratapgarh on Saturday and 35 bovines in Prayagraj on Friday, Adityanath convened a video conferencing with all 75 District Magistrates and warned that cow deaths would invite immediate disciplinary action.

He also said that owners who abandon cattle on streets after milking them will be punished.

Civic authorities in Lucknow, too, were put on notice that if they failed to curb stray cattle menace on streets, they would face action.

Shocking video clips of cow carcasses lying on marshes at an Ayodhya shelter and the subsequent outcry from seers of the temple town angered Adityanath, according to sources.

The Commissioner and District Magistrate, Mirzapur, were asked to probe into circumstances that led to cow deaths in the district.

The Chief Minister also asked the Prayagraj Commissioner to probe the deaths and recommended action against officials responsible for the maintenance of cow shelters, where trapped bovines died after an electric pole fell on the waterlogged shelter.

Amidst protests by farmers and people over cattle trampling upon crops or triggering accidents on streets, the Yogi government had directed all District Magistrates to rehabilitate abandoned cows in new shelters, while announcing a budgetary corpus for protection of the bovines.

On Sunday, the Chief Minister said that panchayat officials will be taken to task if cows were herded on school campuses.


Mon, 15 Jul 2019 10:06:42 +0530
India s second moon missi

Sriharikota (Andhra Pradesh),  India's ambitious moon landing mission Chandrayaan-2 launch was called off due to technical snag in the 'Bahubali' rocket on Monday about one hour before it was to blast-off.

"It is not possible to make the launch within the launch window. The revised launch schedule will be announced later," an official announced from the Mission Control Centre.

Minutes before making this announcement, the officials put on hold the countdown for less than five minutes.

"The technical snag was noticed. We first have to approach the vehicle to assess the problem. First we have to empty the fuel loaded in the rocket, then the rocket will be taken back for further investigation," an ISRO official told IANS.

"This process will take 10 days after that only we can decide on the launch schedule," he added.

The launch was called off nearly one hour before the actual time of launch which was 2.51 a.m.

"A technical snag was observed in launch vehicle system at T-56 minute. As a measure of abundant precaution, #Chandrayaan2 launch has been called off for today. Revised launch date will be announced later," ISRO tweeted later.

Standing at about 44 metre tall, the 640-tonne rocket Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mark III (GSLV-Mk III) is nicknamed 'Bahubali'. And just like the hero in the hit film by the same name lifted a heavy 'lingam', the rocket will carry the 3.8 tonne Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft.

The Rs 978 crore Chandrayaan-2 mission was prestigious one as it aimed to make India as the fourth nation in the world to land and ride on the moon.

The other three nations that had achieved this feat are Russia, the US and China.

The Chandrayaan-2 consists of three segments - the Orbiter (weighing 2,379 kg, eight payloads), the lander-Vikram (1,471 kg, four payloads) and rover Pragyan (27 kg, two payloads).

The GSLV-Mk III with a capacity to carry four ton satellite, is a three stage/engine rocket with two strap-on motors powered by solid fuel. The second stage is a core liquid fuel booster and the third is the cryogenic engine.

To date ISRO has sent up three GSLV-Mk III rockets. The first one was on 18.12.2014 carrying Crew Module Atmospheric Reentry Experiment (3.7 ton). The mission was also to test the rocket's inflight structural stability.

The second and third GSLV-Mk III's went up on 5.6.2017 and 14.11.2018 carrying communication satellites GSAT-19 (3.1 ton) and GSAT-29 (3.4 ton) respectively.

Interestingly, GSLV-Mk III will be used for India's manned space mission slated in 2022.

India presently has two fully operational rockets -- the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and GSLV-Mk II -- with a lift-off mass of 415 ton and a carrying capacity of 2.5 tonnes.


Mon, 15 Jul 2019 09:38:09 +0530
Salma Ansari to build tem

Aligarh, In a gesture that is sure to strengthen the Hindu-Muslim bond, Salma Ansari, wife of former Vice President Hamid Ansari, has decided to build a temple and a mosque inside the 'Chacha Nehru Madrasa' run by her in Uttar Pradesh's Aligarh.

Salma told reporters that this will also ensure the safety and security of students studying here.

"The security of the students who reside in the hostel here is our responsibility. When they go outside the madrasa to visit a mosque or a temple and an untoward incident takes place, it will be our responsibility. We have now decided that both mosque and temple would be constructed within the premises so that the security and safety of our children is ensured."

Salma Ansari said that she was primarily concerned with the safety of students since both, Hindu and Muslim, children study here.

"The death penalty for mob lynching is a good deterrent. Such crimes are a blot on society," she said.

Sun, 14 Jul 2019 16:39:21 +0530
BJP will win over 65 seat

Ranchi: On Sunday, BJP working president J.P. Nadda stated his party would gain more than 65 seats in the upcoming elections at the 82-member Jharkhand Assembly.

"I met and discovered enthusiasm among the key committee members, party district chairmen, MPs and senators, and the job performed by the Raghubar Das administration is also commendable in every industry," Nadda informed journalists.

He also valued the performance of  chief minister Raghubar Das-led  government  in Jharkhand.

Sun, 14 Jul 2019 16:23:59 +0530

    Vani Parameswaran       


A Weekend Trip to Hampi in Karnataka can refresh the memories of those days of History Classes,
where once we must have got introduced to the Chalukyas of Badami, the Hoysalas rulers and all
the other famous rulers and kingdoms of Karnataka. This time with UNESCO’s Recognition as World
Heritage site, this ancient village which served as the capital of one of the largest Kingdoms of India,
has kept a lot of mysteries and stories for the travelers.
This place with its rich heritage has so much to offer for enthusiastic travelers, with its ancient
temples, ruins of Kingdoms, Indian architecture, and its historical antiquity, that it attracts Lakhs of
travelers from around the globe in large numbers. One of the biggest boon for travelers can be
that, all the attractions of Hampi are located in the proximity of 37kms, which makes it easy for the
travelers to explore the places really well.
Vitthala Temple is one of the most important temples to be found at Hampi, as its workmanship with
respect to the architectural wonders is beyond words. It has massive Entrances on three sides which
is termed as Gopuras at North, south, and east. Vitthala temples is also called as Vittaleswara in the
inscriptions. The sculptures found in this temple can make one question about the artistic
intelligence of the former sculptors. The Stone Chariot is often referred to as the Photography Spot
amongst the travelers. This Stone Shrine was built with many Giant Granite Blocks; its carvings
showcase the mythical battle scenes. In the same campus of Vitthala temple, situates a place called
Vitthala Bazaar, which marks the ancient testimony of the ancient market and Lifestyle.
Narsimha Shrine, a huge monolithic sculpture of Narasimha is located near to Krishna Temple,
another attraction in Hampi. It depicts one of the outstanding Art of Ancient times of Vijayanagra. A
large Shivalinga also situates near to this very Narasimha shrine. This 3 meters high Shivalinga has a
charm amongst the travelers, as its lower part of the linga remains in water throughout the year.
The source of water is through a small canal drawn from the Tungabhadra River.
Queens bath is yet another artistic wonders of all time found in Hampi. It is close to the
chandrshekhara temple. This place is marked as one of the most visited structures of Hampi. It is a
large square structure with a plain exterior and an ornate interior. It was, theoretically, once used as
a royal bathing place.
Hemakut Hill locates towards the north west of the corner of the Krishna Temple that leads to a group of
early temples. This place is one among the best to see the sunrise and sunset, and not as tedious to
reach the top compared to other hills found in Hampi. A number of temples in this area are
dedicated to Lord Shiva, the major one being the Virupaksha Temple at the north of this hill.
Hampi, a place of wonderful architectural and heritage makes it an outstanding place for heritage
tours. As we move on to the technological Era, it is necessary to conserve these beautiful places
which remind us of our ancestral wonders and heritage. This place will surely give a traveler, a trip
full of memories and knowledge.

Sun, 14 Jul 2019 11:22:42 +0530
Countdown begins for Chan

Chennai, The 20-hour countdown for the July 15 early morning lift-off of India's heavy rocket nicknamed the 'Bahubali' carrying the Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft began at 6.51 a.m. on Sunday, a top official of the Indian space agency said.

"The countdown started at 6.51 a.m.," K. Sivan, Chairman, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), told IANS.

The 640-tonne rocket Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mark III (GSLV-Mk III) standing at about 44 metre tall, is nicknamed the 'Bahubali', as like the hero in the successful film lifts a heavy Lingam, the rocket will carry the 3.8-tonne Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft.

About 16-minutes into its flight, the Rs 375 crore GSLV-Mk III rocket is expected to sling the Rs 603 crore Chandrayaan-2 into an Earth parking 170x40400 km orbit.

From there, it will be a long journey for the Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft carrying lander-Vikram and rover-Pragyaan will travel further to the moon.

The distance between earth and the moon is about 3.844 lakh km.

On September 6, the Lander Vikram is expected to make a soft landing on the moon and then Pragyaan will roll out to carry out in-situ experiments.

During the countdown, the rocket and spacecraft's systems will undergo checks and fuel will be filled to power the rocket engines.

To date, ISRO has sent up three GSLV-Mk III rockets. 

The first one was on 18.12.2014 carrying Crew Module Atmospheric Reentry Experiment. The second and third GSLV-Mk III went up on 5.2.2017 and 14.11.2018 carrying communication satellites GSAT-19 and GSAT-29 respectively.

Interestingly, GSLV-Mk III will be used for India's manned space mission slated in 2022.


Sun, 14 Jul 2019 10:48:21 +0530
Keep your babies sun safe

New Delhi: It is always fun to have some outdoor time with children, but ensuring that they are safe from the sun is very important, say experts.
Rajesh Vohra, CEO - Artsana India, in assistance with Chicco Baby Research Center, shared some tips:
* Apply sunscreen: Make the usage of a sunscreen a must before stepping out. Your toddler's skin is sensitive and needs attention, especially during the peak summer. A layer of protection against UVA, UVB and infrared rays on toddler's skin should be the agenda. Look for features like broad spectrum, water resistant and easy to apply.
* Sunglasses: Try to protect your baby's eyes and skin from direct exposure of sun. It is essential to make sure that your baby wears sunglasses.
* Wear protective clothing: Find wide-brimmed hats, full-sleeved clothes with comfortable fabric.
* Seek shade in extreme sunlight: Whenever the sun is at its peak and temperature is high, it's good to keep babies in the shade to avoid sunburn.

Sharmila K, Senior Consultant Neonatologist and Pediatrician, Apollo Cradle Jubilee Hills, suggested:
* Prickly Heat: The most common skin problem an infant can get because of clogging of skin pores and accumulation of sweat. These can be controlled by frequent application of lotions such as calamine or a moisturiser, especially on the skin folds, like neck, thighs, groom area behind knees and elbows.
* Sunburns: Any child over 6 months with sensitive skin needs proper sun protection. Infants are recommended to stay indoors. Older kids (1-5) should have sunscreen applied at regular intervals and use of hats and shades should be encouraged.
* Dehydration: While breastfed babies are safe due to intake of mother's milk, infants who are formula fed or have started consuming food must be given extra water after food. To avoid dehydration, they can be fed the fruits with high water content like watermelon and oranges at regular intervals.
* Fevers: Fevers are most common in newborns during summer. Over-wrapping them should be avoided and they should be clothed loosely. When you notice a temperature rise in the kids, give them a bath. This cools the baby immediately.
* Diarrhoea: Loose motions in exclusively breastfed baby is uncommon. Babies who are fed food or water are more prone to stomach infections. If there is blood in stools, visit the doctor immediately as it might be dysentery and would need antibiotics.

Sat, 13 Jul 2019 17:38:50 +0530
Music boosts academic per

Toronto: High school students who take music courses score significantly better in exams than their non-musical peers, says a study. For the study published in The Journal of Educational Psychology, researchers examined over one lakh students in public schools in British Columbia, Canada.
"Students who learned to play a musical instrument not only scored significantly higher but were about one academic year ahead of their non-music peers with regard to their English, Mathematics and Science skills, regardless of their socioeconomic background, ethnicity, and gender," said Peter Gouzouasis, Professor at the University of British Columbia.
The research team also found that predictive relationship between music education and academic achievement were more pronounced for those who took instrumental music rather than vocal music.
The findings suggest skills learned in instrumental music transfer very broadly to the students' learning in school.
"A student has to learn to read music notation, develop eye-hand-mind coordination, develop keen listening skills, develop team skills for playing in an ensemble and develop discipline to practice... all these experiences play a role in enhancing the learner's cognitive capacities, executive functions, motivation to learn in school, and self-efficacy," said study co-author Martin Guhn, Assistant Professor at the varsity.


Sat, 13 Jul 2019 17:37:33 +0530
Trolley bags better than

Madrid: Parents, please take a note. Researchers have found that trolley bags are better than backpacks for schoolkids for their movement and body posture.
They also suggest that children should not carry over 20 per cent of their body weight in their backpack trolleys as it hampers their movement.
For the study published in the journal Applied Ergonomics, researchers from the University of Granada and Liverpool John Moores University assessed 49 primary school pupils from Spain.
In Spain, more than 40 per cent of the children use trolley backpacks, and until now there have been no studies making weight recommendations for this type of backpack, said researchers.
For the study, a kinematic analysis of the children (posture of the trunk and lower limbs) was conducted while they walked freely; carrying no weight; carrying a traditional backpack; and while pulling a backpack trolley with different loads (10 per cent, 15 per cent and 20 per cent of their respective body weights).
It was found that pulling the backpack trolley produces fewer changes in the child's kinematics and, therefore, resembles more closely their movement when walking free of any load, compared to carrying backpacks, even when it weighs very little.
Findings also indicate that the greatest alterations were produced in the hip and trunk when using trolleys or backpacks while there was little difference in the kinematics of the knee and ankle.
The study also confirmed that schoolchildren who use backpacks should avoid carrying loads greater than 10 per cent of their body weight.


Sat, 13 Jul 2019 17:35:54 +0530
Grandparents play big rol

New Delhi: While parents usually take the blame for spoiling their kids by letting them spend huge amounts of time with high-tech electronics, grandparents are to be equally blamed for screen addiction in children.
Grandparents have long been associated with letting their grandchildren do things their parents would never permit, such as extended bedtime, too much television time, and carefree fun.
In the study published in the Journal of Children and Media, researchers found that today's grandparents are still true to their traditional fun-loving image -- allowing their grandchildren, while under their supervision, to spend about half of their time on a mobile phone, tablet, computer or TV.
The study reviewed the experiences of 356 grandparents of children aged 2-7 who take care of their grandchildren at least once per week and found that during an average four-hour visit, the children spent two hours either watching videos or playing games on electronic devices.
Most of the experts suggest that grandparents should restrict technology use by setting simple rules for screen time when babysitting. This is particularly needed when children bring a device from home and expect to watch even more.
The unconditional love-shower of parents and grandparents can go to the point of spoiling children, said Pallavi Joshi, Clinical Psychologist at Sri Balaji Action Medical Institute in Delhi.
"Over the past few years, grandparents' responsibilities for their grandchildren have increased due to changes and issues in families and society.
"If we focus particularly at the extreme amount of screen time the kids devote to the idiot box (TV), parents and grandparents may be blamed for the same, as they do not oppose this habit," Joshi told IANS.
"It's just another sweet way for them to spend more time with children. But this habit should be kept in check before it becomes an issue," she added.
Increased screen time may critically impact a child's development and have several negative consequences; it can stimulate the way a child behaves, even in the long run, as well as make them less physically active. Now, not all screen time is detrimental, but families need to develop limited, healthy screen habits.
"Gadgets have started replacing traditional ways of engaging with children at home. Even with grandparents at home, it is getting increasingly difficult to curtail the screen time for young children. A lot of grandparents are unaware of the effects of excessive screen time," Divya Palaniappan, Child Psychologist, Flinto R&D Centre in Delhi, told IANS.
We need to educate grandparents about the impact of media and technology on children's lives and on its proper use that will benefit the well-being of their grandchildren.
"However, there are some grandparents who gift their grandchildren play toys and activity boxes like Flintobox to spend quality time with them. These activity boxes not only keep children away from television but also helps in bonding with grandparents," Palaniappan added.


Sat, 13 Jul 2019 17:32:23 +0530
Bengali artist finds her

New Delhi: For Kolkata-based artist Sujata Kar Saha, the natural landscapes she saw during her childhood in her village returned to her as inspirations for her paintings, a fresh selection of which will open for public display on Friday here.
In an exhibition titled 'Shifting Expression' at the Triveni Kala Sangam, Saha will display 21 recent paintings that reinterpret landscapes in a range of vibrant hues. Her medium is oil on canvas.
Asked why she chose to work with nature, Saha told IANS that in her village Kashipur in West Bengal's Purulia, she grew up with rocks, agriculture and open skies, images that remained with her in her adult life.
Equipped with a rich colour palette and memories, she paints natural imagery that resemble mountains, rivers, valleys and the horizon.
Saha's solo show runs till July 21. Entry is free.

Sat, 13 Jul 2019 17:28:08 +0530
China to host 2020 World

New Delhi: The Unesco has announced that the Chinese city of Fuzhou will host the 44th session of the World Heritage Committee in 2020. The decision concluded the 43rd session of the World Heritage Committee meeting in Baku, Azerbaijan.
During this year's session, the Committee inscribed 29 new sites on the World Heritage List -- one in Africa, two in the Arab States, 10 in the Asia Pacific region, 15 in Europe and North America and one in Latin America.
The Indian city of Jaipur, popularly tagged the 'pink city', also figured in the World Heritage List, inviting greetings from across the country and its political leadership.
The World Heritage List now features 1,121 sites in 167 countries.
The Committee approved the removal from the List of World Heritage in Danger of the sites of Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works, Chile and Birthplace of Jesus: the Church of the Nativity and Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem, Palestine.
One property has been added to the List of World Heritage in Danger: the Islands and Protected Areas of the Gulf of California, Mexico.
Several major archaeological sites were also added to the list, including the Dilmun Burial Mounds (Bahrain), the Ancient Ferrous Metallurgy Sites of Burkina Faso and the iconic site of Babylon (Iraq), once the centre of the neo-Babylonian Empire and the site of the Hanging Gardens, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.


Sat, 13 Jul 2019 17:27:12 +0530
Extensive repair work on

Agra: The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has begun extensive repair work on one of the four minarets of the iconic 17th century monument of love, the Taj Mahal. The ASI has undertaken the exercise after reports of damage and cracks in the stones and rusting of iron clamps.
ASI chief in Agra, Vasant Swarnakar told IANS that this was a "special exercise" and not a routine one. Soon scaffolding would soon be erected and the area fenced to keep visitors at a safe distance.
Officials said this repair work to replace damaged stones and fix lining in black stones that had peeled off was being undertaken after almost 90 years. Around two dozen marble slabs of the stairs would be replaced.
The dome of the main mausoleum will also be given mud pack treatment to contain "discolouration" and cleanse the yellow stains. This "beauty parlour treatment" is now a regular feature, to ensure the world heritage monument appeared sparkling white.
Meanwhile, the greenish patches on the white marble stones at the rear, towards Yamuna, have appeared again as bacterial colonies have developed in the highly polluted water of the river. Tiny insects identified as Goeldichironomus, feeding on pollutants, leave their poo on the surface, giving a green look, according to experts.


Sat, 13 Jul 2019 17:25:28 +0530
This art exhibition is a

New Delhi: Humans are capable of showing at least 27 distinct emotions, and an ongoing art exhibition on human expressions here takes viewers through many of them.
Charcoal artist Arunkumar Chatterjee, an NGO worker from Bihar but based in Maharashtra's Latur, has built upon numerous emotions he has encountered over his life, to create his 'Expressions' series.
His exhibition "Journey of Life" opened for the public at the India International Centre (IIC) on Wednesday.
Subtle yet powerful, the paintings turn into mirrors for the viewers when they depict everyday emotions like cheerfulness, hatred, suspicion, euphoria, morbid curiosity and vengefulness, among others.
Chatterjee's long, human faces might appear similar at first but reveal much more on a closer look. Take his work showing 'resentment', which shows two figures, one with an open eye leaning towards the other.
He has studied fine arts in Patna and Khairgarh, followed by residency scholarships in Beijing and Tokyo. The charcoal work, once taken up by Chatterjee because charcoal is one of the least expensive mediums as compared to oil or acrylic, has kept him company through his travels to various cities.
Art, he told IANS, runs in his family with his grandfather being the courtroom artist for a royal family in Bihar's Darbhanga.
"Journey of Life" displays 10 years of the artist's work. It will run till July 16.


Sat, 13 Jul 2019 17:24:37 +0530
Women more vulnerable in

New York: Researchers have found that women are significantly more likely to suffer injuries than their male counterparts in frontal car crashes.
Researchers said that belted female occupants have 73 per cent greater odds of being seriously injured in frontal car crashes compared to belted males (after controlling for collision severity, occupant age, stature, body mass index and vehicle model year).
"Until we understand the fundamental biomechanical factors that contribute to increased risk for females, we'll be limited in our ability to close the risk gap," said Jason Forman, Principal Scientist at University of Virginia.
According to the researchers, newer automobiles have tended to exhibit a decreased risk of injury overall. Specifically, risk has decreased for skull fractures, cervical spine injury and abdominal injury. Injury risks to the knee-thigh-hip region and the ankle are also significantly reduced.
The study, published in the journal Traffic Injury Prevention, is an analysis of crash and injury data compiled from 1998 to 2015. These data come from a sample of police-reported crashes in the US.
It focused on frontal impact crashes with belted occupants, aged 13 and older. The data included nearly 23,000 front-end crashes involving more than 31,000 occupants, and a nearly equal number of females and males.
"These results provide insight into where advances in the field have made gains in occupant protection, and what injury types and risk factors remain to be addressed," Forman said.

Sat, 13 Jul 2019 17:21:35 +0530
Anita Dongre inspired by

New Delhi: Fashion designer Anita Dongre says she has faced numerous challenges throughout her career, but she always found inspiration in the strength of women around her.
Her label AND has launched videos of women and their inspiring stories of overcoming challenges through their initiative 'ANDiRISE'.
"Having faced a number of challenges throughout my career, I have always found inspiration in the strength of women around me. The ANDiRISE platform is a beautiful amalgamation that commemorates these inspiring women who have overcome hardships in life through hope, courage, and wisdom," Dongre said in a statement.
It is a platform for women to share their stories of grit, determination and breaking stereotypes. Four videos have been launched as part of the initiative, and they include international swimmer and fitness enthusiast Rujuta Bhatt; the 'Modern Sufi' creator Vani Kabir, IT professional and aspiring life coach Manisha Mangret; and architect, writer and founder of Moms & More Namrata Kalia.


Sat, 13 Jul 2019 17:20:43 +0530
1 in 4 women go on date f

Washington: Call it new-age dating but nearly one in four women now go on a date not for the sake of romance or building a long-term relationship but grabbing a free meal, an interesting study has revealed.
The new phenomenon is a "foodie call" where a person sets up a date with someone they are not romantically interested in, for the purpose of getting a free meal.
New research finds that 23 to 33 per cent of women in an online study admitted they have engaged in a "foodie call".
The researchers from California-based Azusa Pacific University and University of California-Merced found that women who scored high on the "dark triad" of personality traits (psychopathy, Machiavellianism, narcissism), as well as expressed traditional gender role beliefs, were most likely to engage in a "foodie call" and find it acceptable.
"Several dark traits have been linked to deceptive and exploitative behaviour in romantic relationships, such as one-night stands, faking an orgasm, or sending unsolicited sexual pictures," said Brian Collisson from Azusa Pacific University in a paper appeared in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.
In the first study, 820 women were recruited. They answered a series of questions that measured their personality traits, beliefs about gender roles, and their "foodie call" history. They were also asked if they thought a "foodie call" was socially acceptable.
Twenty-three per cent of women in this first group revealed they'd engaged in a "foodie call".
"Most did so occasionally or rarely. Although women who had engaged in a foodie call believed it was more acceptable, most women believed foodie calls were extremely to moderately unacceptable," the findings showed.
The second study analyzed a similar set of questions of 357 heterosexual women and found 33 per cent had engaged in a "foodie call".
For both groups, those engaged in "foodie calls" scored higher in the "dark triad" personality traits.
The researchers also note that "foodie calls" could occur in many types of relationships, and could be perpetrated by all genders.


Sat, 13 Jul 2019 17:19:42 +0530
Motherhood reduces breast

London: Motherhood teaches women to become comfortable with their bodies as they learn to focus on breast functionality as opposed to the aesthetics of breasts and the body, says a new study.
The study, published in the journal Body Image, suggests that perfectionism is related to breast size dissatisfaction, but only in non-mothers.
Of the 484 Italian women surveyed for the study, 69 per cent reported breast size dissatisfaction, with 44 per cent wanting larger breasts.
"There is the fact that becoming a mother naturally results in changes to the appearance of the breasts, particularly in terms of their size," said study co-author Viren Swami, Professor at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) in Britain.
"But perhaps the most relevant is that becoming a mother -- and particularly the experience of breastfeeding -- may focus women's attention on breast functionality as opposed to focusing on the aesthetics of breasts and the body," Swami added.
Perfectionistic self-presentation -- the desire to create an image of flawlessness in the eyes of other people -- is known to contribute towards negative body image.
The study found that breast size dissatisfaction was associated with higher levels of two of the three factors behind perfectionistic self-presentation - non-display of imperfection and perfectionistic self-promotion.
However, this association was not found among the 54 per cent of women surveyed who were mothers. This was particularly the case among women who had more than one child.
"Our findings suggest that motherhood may help to decouple the link between perfectionistic self-presentation and breast size dissatisfaction," Swami said.


Sat, 13 Jul 2019 17:17:57 +0530
Salman Khan s Most Lovin

New Delhi: Salman Khan has been actively sharing posts about different facets of his life on social media and his latest Instagram entry is not an exception. On Wednesday night, Salman shared an adorable picture along with his little friend, who happens to be his pet pooch. Salman can be seen caressing his dog and looking at him lovingly in the picture. In his post, the 53-year-old actor described his little friend as the "most loving, loyal and selfless species." He wrote: "Spending time with the most loving, loyal and selfless species." The picture received over 3 lakh likes within a few hours.
Salman's pet pooch frequently makes appearances on his Instagram profile. A few days ago, the actor shared a video from his work-out session, in which his dog walked into the frame, leaving Salman amused, who could be seen smiling in the video.
Salman has never shied away from expressing his love for his pets. When the actor lost his dog Mylove in October last year, the actor shared a special post on social media. That's not it, When his pet dogs - Myson and Myjaan died in 2009, the actor constructed a memorial for them in Mumbai.


Sat, 13 Jul 2019 17:15:20 +0530
Cats could be banned from

Perth: Cats could be banned from going outdoors during certain hours under laws to tackle the number of strays in Western Australia. Government officials in Perth are reviewing cat and dog legislation after a rise in complaints about stray animals.
Proposed changes to the Cat Act 2011 could see felines forced to stay indoors permanently or given curfews that limit them from going outdoors between sunrise and sunset.
The law review could also see harsher penalties handed out for owners of noisy or dangerous dogs. According to PerthNow newspaper, hospitals in Perth treat about 25 people a week on average for dog bites.
Since 2013, punishment for dog owners whose pets attack people or other animals was increased to a maximum A$10,000 (£5,400) fine or 12 months in jail.


Sat, 13 Jul 2019 17:11:49 +0530
M E s largest aquarium to

Abu Dhabi: The largest aquarium in the Middle East was now 70 per cent complete and is set to open next year in Abu Dhabi, the media reported on Thursday.
The 10-zone, the giant National Aquarium at Al Qana measuring over 7,000 square metres is expected to welcome an estimated 1 million visitors per year, Gulf News reported.
The aquarium will form one of the key anchor features at Al Qana, the much-anticipated waterfront destination in the heart of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) capital.
Home to more than 33,000 marine creatures, responsibly and ethically sourced from around the world, The National Aquarium will be led by a world-class team of 80 marine experts and specialists.
Commenting on the progress of the project, general manager of The National Aquarium Paul Hamilton, said: "This will bring the excitement and wonder of the oceans to the doorsteps of Abu Dhabi's community and to visitors from all around the world.
"Through accredited educational programmes and accessible information, people of all ages will be able to understand more about the marine world at The National Aquarium."
The National Aquarium will have a whole department dedicated to education.
It will have the capacity to welcome 50,000 school children a year to visit and learn at the site. Guests will be able to learn about more than 250 species, spanning from the tropical waters of the Pacific and freshwaters of the Amazon through to the frozen ice caps of the Arctic and the caves of the Mediterranean.
At its core, The National Aquarium will educate about the UAE and Arabian Gulf, celebrating the marine marvels of its home nation.


Sat, 13 Jul 2019 17:10:06 +0530
How to choose right food

New Delhi: It's not just dogs, but cats can be your furry friends too. If you got one, understand how to maintain their nutritional requirements to ensure a healthy lifestyle for cats, say experts.
Lack of proper knowledge about the essential nutrients required for their diet can be detrimental to the cat's health and growth.
Gaurav Kwatra, Director, PURINA PetCare India, that has recently launched PURINA FRISKIES, a premium cat food brand in India, and veterinarian Hitesh Swali have shared some key points to keep in mind while selecting the right food for cats:
* Cats have unique nutritional needs: Nutrients such as taurine should be included in their diet as they are unable to produce sufficient amounts naturally. A deficiency in taurine can result in a number of conditions in which their heart and eye health can severely suffer.
* Cats need more protein: Adult cats require approximately 44 per cent more protein than adult dogs. If protein intake is inadequate, the cat will start to break down its own body protein to meet its energy requirements. This high protein must also be accompanied by essential amino acids, essential fatty acids and vitamins such as A and D.
* Cats are picky eaters: It is necessary to provide cats with an exciting mealtime experience. While complete nutrition is extremely important for cats, it is equally important to delight their senses through differently shaped kibbles and delicious aromas.
* Cats enjoy small meals: Unlike dogs, cats are nibblers and enjoy many small meals throughout the day. Hence, it is important that the food is nutritionally balanced and provides the right nutrients in adequate amounts.
* Cats cannot survive on a vegetarian diet: Cats are obligate carnivores, hence it is impossible to meet their requirements with a vegetarian diet. Cats also have different nutritional requirements and different ways in which their body assimilates nutrients hence cat food formulated by nutritionists addresses these unique needs.


Sat, 13 Jul 2019 17:08:10 +0530
Boss on call Beware as c

Jerusalem: In a warning, an Israeli cyber body has unearthed a new type of attack where hackers are using Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology to impersonate senior company executives.
The main innovation is the attacking software, which learns to mimic the voice of a person defined for it and makes a conversation with an employee on behalf of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
The most common types are phishing messages and an invoicing fraud in which the attacker impersonates the vendor, submits an invoice to the company and tries to motivate an employee under time pressure to make a bank transfer, provide information or allow access to the company's network, informed the Israel National Cyber Directorate (INCD).
In this method, instructions are given to the companies staff members to perform transactions such as money transfers, as well as malicious activity on the company's network.
Reports on cyber attacks of this kind were received at the operations centre of the INCD, reports Xinhua.
The new offensive is of the business email compromise (BEC) type -- frauds by email against commercial and government organizations to motivate employees using social engineering methods to act for the attacker's benefit.
The method of attack escalates and includes the use of the AI-based software, which makes voice phishing calls to senior executives.
Today, there are already programmes that, after listening 20 minutes to a particular voice, speak in the voice everything that the user types.
According to the INCD, for an organization that falls prey to such fraud, economic damage may be high.
In its announcement, the INCD also issued suggestions for taking precautions and raising awareness among organizations -- such as training employees, paying attention to deviations in organizational processes, verifying instructions and using technological means to prevent misuse of email.

Sat, 13 Jul 2019 17:05:37 +0530
Google contractors listen

San Francisco/New Delhi: Third-party contractors working for Google are recording and secretly listening to your bedroom conversations via Google Assistant on smartphones, home speakers and security cameras, a new report has claimed, stressing that such recordings raise serious questions about privacy of users.
According to Belgian broadcaster VRT NWS, users' conversations with Google Home speakers are being recorded and audio clips are being sent to sub-contractors who are "transcribing the audio files for subsequent use in improving Google's speech recognition".
VRT NWS, with the help of a whistleblower, was able to listen to more than 1,000 excerpts recorded via Google Assistant.
"In these recordings, we could clearly hear addresses and other sensitive information. This made it easy for us to find the people involved and confront them with the audio recordings," said the report on Wednesday.
The transcribers heard just everything: personal information, bedroom talks, domestic violence and what not about Google Assistant users in Belgium and the Netherlands.
VRT "overheard countless men searching for porn, arguments between spouses, and even one case in which a woman seemed to be in an emergency situation".
What is more worrisome is that the platform that the whistleblower showed to VRT had recordings from all over the world.
In India, Amazon Echo led the Indian smart speakers market with 59 per cent share in 2018, followed by Google Home with 39 per cent unit share, according to International Data Corporation (IDC).
A total of 753,000 units were shipped in 2018 in the country. Google Home Mini outsold all other smart speaker models, emerging as a top seller.
The Belgian broadcaster said the recordings were done despite the fact that some of Google Home users did not even say the wake word, "Ok Google".
In a statement, Google said it only transcribes and uses "about 0.2 per cent of all audio clips", to improve their voice recognition technology.
"The company has launched an investigation because the contractor breached data security policies," said the Google spokesperson.
The news comes at a time when Amazon Alexa is already facing scrutiny for allegedly recording conversations at home.
Amazon has been sued by a Massachusetts woman on behalf of her 10-year-old daughter and children from eight other US states.
Filed in a federal court in Seattle, the lawsuit alleges Amazon of saving "voice prints" of millions of children by unlawfully recording their conversations around Alexa-enabled smart devices, reports Vox news.
Earlier in May, US Senators and a group of 19 consumer and public health advocates accused Amazon for recording and saving conversations that take place around its smart speakers, urging the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate into the case.
Amazon has time and again denied the charge that Alexa records private conversations.
The company, however, admitted it does not always delete the stored data that it obtains through its voice assistant Alexa and Echo line-up of smart devices.
As reported by the CNET, Brian Huseman, Amazon's Vice President of Public Policy, responded to Delaware Senator Chris Coons on June 28, informing that Amazon keeps the transcripts until users "manually delete the information".


Sat, 13 Jul 2019 17:04:48 +0530
Researchers develop remot

Jerusalem: Researchers have developed an innovative dog vest which allow users to transmit communications and command their dog via haptic technology. According to the study, dogs can be trained to respond to haptic vibration commands while wearing a modified canine vest developed at the Ben-Gurion University in Israel.
Haptics technology simulates the senses of touch and motion, which is especially helpful in a remote operation or computer simulation where the user is not able to interact with and feel physical objects.
The technology might be useful for delivering remote commands to dogs for use in search and rescue, assisting disabled handlers and other service animal applications.
"Our research results showed that dogs responded to these vibrotactile cues as well or even better than vocal commands," Amir Shapiro, Professor at Ben-Gurion University said in a paper to be presented at World Haptics Conference on Friday in Tokyo.
"Our current proof-of-concept study shows promising results that open the way toward the use of haptics for human-canine communication," he said.
According to the researchers, the modified, commercially available mesh canine vest contains four small vibrating motors positioned over a dog's back and sides that can be used to train or direct dogs to respond to different vibrations sent via wireless remote control.
The handler can elicit different commands by controlling the site and duration of vibrations. In this demonstration video, Tai, a six-year-old Labrador retriever/German shepherd crossbreed, responds to several distinct commands, such as "spin", "down", "to me" or "backpedal".
The haptic vest may also be used with existing dog training devices that detect posture and automate reward systems.
"Integrating devices will allow us to further advance the potential of fully or partially autonomic dog training to assess general behaviour, responsiveness to commands and the effectiveness of rewarding dogs for desired behaviour," Shapiro said.


Sat, 13 Jul 2019 17:03:49 +0530
Apple temporarily halts i

New Delhi: In what could be bad news for the tech industry, Apple has reportedly shelved plans to develop its Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) headsets. According to Taiwan-based portal DigiTimes that cited people familiar with the situation, the Apple team working on the AR/VR project has been temporarily disbanded and "reassigned to other product lines".
"Supply chain-related companies said that Apple is adjusting R&D resources, and the development team for AR/VR headsets has been disbanded and transferred to other product lines," claimed the report.
It suggests that the discontinuation of the AR project happened after Microsoft HoloLens co-creator Avi Bar-Zeev left as Apple's AR headset development team in January.
Several reports in the past have claimed that the iPhone maker is serious about launching AR glasses as early as 2020, including the Apple famed analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
Apple's launch of ARkit for iOS developers has been seen as a big step for the company to enter the AR industry.
"Apple's temporary termination of hardware development of AR/VR headsets does not mean that it is not optimistic about the prospects of AR/VR," said the report, adding that the timing may not be ripe at this stage.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has always been bullish on AR. "AR and ML will be key to delivering the right information to the right person at the right time," Cook said recently as he announced expanded partnership with SAP.
In the new update, Apple ARKit, the company's AR development platform which could only recognise horizontal surfaces while placing virtual objects, gets support to identify vertical objects.
"ARKit can now recognise and place virtual objects on vertical surfaces. Using advanced computer vision techniques to find and recognise the position of 2D images ARKit can integrate these real world images into AR experiences," the Cupertino-based giant said.
ARKit 3, RealityKit and the Reality Composer are other advanced tools designed by Apple to make it even easier for developers to create compelling AR experiences for consumer and business apps.


Sat, 13 Jul 2019 17:01:24 +0530
Microsoft may rid Windows

San Francisco: Microsoft is planning to make computers running Windows 10 operating system password-less and replace it with Windows Hello face authentication, fingerprints, or a PIN code.
While the company has been working on removing passwords from Windows 10 and its Microsoft Accounts for a several months now, the next major update to Windows 10 in 2020 would go one step further, The Verge reported on Thursday.
The software giant believes that a PIN code is far more secure than a password, even if it seems more simple to use a four-digit code with far less risks of it being leaked online.
For an individual user, Windows 10 stores a private key on a device with a Trusted Platform Module (TPM), which is a secure chip that keeps a PIN local to the user's device only and while servers can be compromised and passwords stolen, a Windows Hello PIN would not be affected, the report said.
In addition, Microsoft's decision of making Windows 10 powerless would also extend to business users through Azure Active Directory, allowing businesses to go fully password-less with security keys, the authenticator app, or Windows Hello.
If the feature is finally rolled-out next year and it works as intended, the password option would simply disappear from the login screen, if users decide to opt in to this new "make your device password-less" option.


Sat, 13 Jul 2019 17:00:28 +0530
IIT Madras scientists lau

Chennai: In a bid to accelerate innovation in Artificial Intelligence (AI) in India, scientists from IIT-Madras on Wednesday launched a platform called 'AI4Bharat' that would help build AI solutions to address local problems in agriculture, health care and other sectors.
Founded by Dr Mitesh M Khapra and Dr Pratyush Kumar, assistant professors in the department of computer science and engineering, the platform is open to students who would be mentored to solve real-world problems and accelerate AI innovation.
"AI is one of the defining technologies of this age. However, much of the research in AI today is driven by the problems of the West. For instance, building autonomous cars takes priority over building systems that can monitor the condition of rural roads," said Kumar.
"We need to change this by shifting the focus to India. This is where domain experts and the government would play an important role -- identify problems that are unique to India and can benefit from AI," he added.
Khapra and Kumar have also co-founded "One Fourth Labs" (incubated at the IIT Madras Research Park) with a mission to design and deliver affordable hands-on courses on AI and related topics.
"To solve such problems, it is important to move AI research and development out of silos and create a platform where AI professionals can come together to design and build impactful solutions. With this in mind, our immediate goal is to create a community of 100 selected AI experts and 50 domain experts," Khapra noted.
The "One Fourth Labs" start-up would work closely with AI4Bharat and offer basic and advanced courses in AI at affordable prices - as low as Rs 1,000 for a five-month online course.

Sat, 13 Jul 2019 16:58:56 +0530
New technology may help I

Hyderabad: The National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRDPR) is working on a new technology in aquaculture to help double the income of Indian farmers, an official said on Monday.
The institute has recently established a ‘Backyard Re-circulatory Aquaculture System' developed by Cochin University of Science and Technology.
The system, an intensive fish culture pond, enables high density stocking of fish in cages. This would allow off-setting of the load by stocking different varieties and sizes of fish in smaller cages in a pond, the institute said in a statement.
Since the water requirement for this system is quite low, the high-density stocking of fish in different cages enables flexibility in managing a fishpond.
"We can only double the income of farmers by promoting integrated farming practices. Such technology-backed smart farming solutions will encourage youth to undertake farming as an occupation," said W.R. Reddy, Director General at NIRDPR.
This system, inaugurated at the Institute's Rural Technology Park, was established with funding support of the National Fisheries Development Board, a government organisation.
Fish varieties that can be grown in the system include Tilapia, Pangasius, Murrel and Pearlspot. The economics of growing Genetically Improved Farm Tilapia (GIFT) in the pond, for a stocking period of 120 days over three cycles per year, demonstrates that an average monthly return of Rs 25,750 can be expected from fish culture.
The aquaculture system can act as a source of additional income for farmers located even in low water availability areas, helping them double their income, the statement said. In addition, the sludge periodically pumped out of the pond can be utilised to grow agriculture crops without the addition of chemical fertilizers, it said.
Given that the intensive fish culture does not require to be limited in geography to coastal areas, it can also be used in inland areas, further confirming the flexibility of the system.
The Rural Technology Park at NIRDPR will demonstrate the functioning of the system and provide necessary training to farmers, self-help groups (SHGs) and youth who are keen on undertaking fish culture for enhancing their income.


Sat, 13 Jul 2019 16:57:05 +0530
Sugar production in India

New Delhi: Sugar output in India may drop to a three-year low next season from a record as dry weather shrivels cane plants in some major growing areas of the country that vies with Brazil as the world’s top grower.
Production may slide to 28 million to 29 million tons in the year that begins 1 October from 33 million tons this year, said Prakash Naiknavare, managing director of the National Federation of Cooperative Sugar Factories Ltd.
Droughts are withering cane fields in parts of Maharashtra and Karnataka, and the monsoon is delayed, reducing prospects for the coming crop. A lower harvest would trim a record domestic surplus, potentially curtailing exports and supporting global prices. India swings between being a sugar importer and exporter, depending on the size of local output.
“Parts of Maharashtra and Karnataka are reeling under drought, which is adversely affecting cane productivity and sugar recovery," Naiknavare said in a phone interview on Wednesday. “Production will also depend on this year’s monsoon rains."


Sat, 13 Jul 2019 16:55:39 +0530
Crop planting delayed in

NEW DELHI: Indian farmers have planted 14.7 million hectares with summer-sown crops, down almost 10% from the previous year, the farm ministry's data showed on Friday, as weak monsoon rains delayed sowing in most parts of the country.
The area planted with cotton was at 2.7 million hectares versus 3.2 million hectares the prior year.
Planting of rice, the key summer crop, was little changed at 2.7 million hectares. Corn planting was 1.1 million hectares against 1.2 million hectares.
Other crop plantings such as pulses, sugar cane and oilseeds like soybean were also down versus last year.
Farmers start planting their summer-sown crops from June 1, when monsoon rains are expected to reach India, where nearly half of farmlands lack irrigation.
The figures are provisional and subject to revision as updates arrive with the progress of the June-September monsoon season.
Monsoon rains were below average for the fourth straight week, with rainfall scanty over central and western parts of the country, raising concerns about major crop production and the impact on the nation's economy.


Sat, 13 Jul 2019 16:53:49 +0530
Hero MotoCorp raises pric

Mumbai: Two-wheeler major Hero MotoCorp has made an upward revision in the ex-showroom prices of its motorcycles and scooters, effective Monday.
According to the company, the price hike has been effected across the entire range of its two-wheelers.
"The price increase across its range of two-wheelers has been 1 per cent (of the ex-showroom price), although the exact quantum of the increase will vary on the basis of the model and the specific market," Hero MotoCorp said in a statement.


Sat, 13 Jul 2019 16:51:39 +0530
Tata Motors to supply ove

Mumbai/Dhaka: Automobile major Tata Motors on Monday said it will supply over 200 units of the Tata Hexa four-wheel drive SUV to the Bangladesh Army.
According to the company, it has won this order against other competitive brand SUVs and "this has been the first key order from the Bangladesh Army".
Tata Hexa is being made available exclusively for the use of the Armed Forces and is currently not available for purchase by private customers.
The company has been selling passenger vehicles in Bangladesh since 2012.


Sat, 13 Jul 2019 16:50:50 +0530
Hyundai launches SUV Kona

New Delhi: Automobile major Hyundai Motor India on Tuesday launched KONA Electric, India's 'First Fully Electric SUV', with an introductory price of Rs 25.30 lakh. Kona has an estimated range of 452 kms per charge and comes with differentiated driving modes like Eco+, Eco, Comfort and Sport.
The new electric SUV's powertrain employs a 136 ps permanent-magnet synchronous electric motor powered by a high-voltage 39.2 kWh advanced lithium-ion polymer battery.
Consequently, the motor is able to develop a 40.27 kgm of torque distributed to the front wheels giving an acceleration of 0 to 100 km per hour in just 9.7 seconds.
Besides, the battery system features 'liquid-cooling technology', while the battery pack has high energy density.
According to the company, customers will be provided with two chargers including a portable charger and an AC wall box charger.
"The Portable charger can be plugged into any normal '3 Pin 15 Amp socket'... This charger can top up daily running of 50 kms in less than three hours," the company said.
The 'AC Wall Box charger' (7.2 kW) can top-up charge the vehicle within 1 hour for running 50 kms, it added.
In addition, the company said that it is working along with IOCL to develop infrastructure at "select fuel stations in select cities" to provide fast charging facilities.
"HMIL will invest on the equipment and installation of these 'Fast Chargers' (CCS Type - Single Port). These chargers can charge 80 per cent of the battery capacity in less than an hour," the company added.
"Moreover, all Hyundai Electric Selling dealerships are equipped with 7.2 kW AC charger to support customers for KONA Electric charging. Additionally, in select cities a special Kona Electric fleet fitted with power converter will provide emergency charging support to the customers."


Sat, 13 Jul 2019 16:50:02 +0530
Domestic passenger car sa

New Delhi: Domestic passenger car sales continued to slump with the segment's off-take falling 24.07 per cent in June. According to industry observers, high cost due to GST, low demand, and lack of adequate liquidity continued to dent purchases.
According to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), passenger car sales in the domestic market dropped to 139,628 units from 183,885 units sold during June 2018.
Among the other sub-segments of passenger vehicles, the number of utility vehicles sold in India went down by 0.99 per cent to 72,917 units in June 2019, while 13,187 vans were sold last month, down 18.7 per cent from the corresponding month of 2018.
Overall, passenger vehicle sales declined 17.54 per cent in June to 225,732 units from 273,748 units.


Sat, 13 Jul 2019 16:49:11 +0530
8 Wright Sites Added to U

Newyork: Eight buildings designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and built in the United States between 1909 and 1959 have been added to UNESCO's World Heritage List, which considers inscribed sites "to be of outstanding value to humanity."
The inscription happened on Sunday, July 7, at the 43rd session of the World Heritage Committee, which took place in Baku. The announcement comes just over four years after ten buildings designed by Wright were submitted to UNESCO, though according to the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy, which coordinated the effort, the nomination has been in development for more than 15 years.
The oldest of the eight buildings is Unity Temple, completed in 1909 in Wright's then-hometown of Oak Park, Illinois, while the youngest is the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City, which was completed in 1959, the year Wright died at the age of 91 (he did not live long enough to see its opening).
The eight Wright sites:
    Unity Temple, Oak Park, Illinois, 1909
    Frederick C. Robie House, Chicago, Illinois, 1910
    Taliesin, Spring Green, Wisconsin, 1911
    Hollyhock House, Los Angeles, California, 1921
    Herbert and Katherine Jacobs House, Madison, Wisconsin, 1937
    Taliesin West, Scottsdale, Arizona, 1938
    Fallingwater, Mill Run, Pennsylvania, 1939
    Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY, 1959

The two buildings missing from the ten submitted in 2015 are Price Tower in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, and Marin County Civic Center in San Rafael, California.

Sat, 13 Jul 2019 16:47:28 +0530
Former Residence of Mahar

New Delhi: The magnificent Jaipur House, once the residence of Maharaja of Jaipur in Delhi and now the house of National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), has been restored to its former glory following year-long renovations. It could soon open to the public with a grand retrospective exhibition of Upendra Maharathi, a Buddhist and Gandhian artist.
Exhibiting close to 1,000 artworks spanning his entire lifetime, the yet-to-be-opened show is spread throughout the Jaipur House interiors and showcases the diverse art forms -- architecture, textile, painting, crafts, bamboo, sculpture, ceramics -- Maharathi (1908-1981) dabbled in.
Most of the works have been donated to NGMA by Maharathi's daughter Mahashweta. Other artworks came from Upendra Maharathi Shilp Anusandhan Sansthan, Patna Museum and the gallery's own reserve collections, NGMA Director-General and sculptor Adwaita Gadanayak told IANS here.
As one enters the freshly-restored corridors and halls of Jaipur House, the exhibition curated by Gadanayak and his team exposes a set of unique chairs that Maharathi designed for Buddhist monasteries.
The NGMA has also created a meditation room, owing to the regular meditating habit of the late artist, that plays soothing music and features recreated spiritual panels from the Nalanda railway station, designed by Maharathi.
Maharathi, a 1976 Padma Shri recipient, was trained in the 'Bengal School of Art' and did much of his practice in Bihar.
A visit also reveals a larger-than-life bamboo structure with the artist's diary pages featured on its glass panels. It covers an entire hall of the Jaipur House and is a testimony to the traditional crafts practised by him.
In another hall stands a hollow, braided wooden structure, assembled without hammer and nail. Inside, it pays tribute to Jagannath temple in Odisha -- Maharathi's birthplace. The exhibition, which takes at least an hour for a brief walkthrough, is a laborious curation of his sketches, bamboo, wood objects, paintings and other arts.
"We've also tried to reconstruct his studio, which shows his paintings of Gandhi in his signature style, his art tools, his personal belongings like clothes and eyeglasses, and his last unfinished canvas, on which we see just the first 2-3 layers of paint. Since he loved to paint in intricate layers, we can only assume that there could have been many more," the NGMA head said.
Along with Maharathi's exhibition, visitors will also get a glimpse of how the restored Jaipur House looks like. Apart from the facade, many aspects of interiors have been redone, including woodwork, ceilings, the dome and the flooring, that were 'clogged with the artificial partitions and closures'.
The Queen's Room with its ethereal appeal and curtains cast in plaster has been restored with utmost precision. The fireplaces that were once closed and sealed with wooden partitions have been given a breather in restoring the iconic palace," the NGMA said.
The national art gallery also called the restoration of the Jaipur house another iconic chapter in its history.


Sat, 13 Jul 2019 16:37:24 +0530
Housing Sales Up 22 In J

New Delhi:  Sale of residential apartments increased by 22 per cent on a year-on-year (YoY) basis during the first half of 2019, to 78,247 units across seven major cities in the country, said a JLL report.
During the January-June period of 2018, sales were recorded at 72,438 units. Compared to the previous six months of July-August 2018, the sales in the first half of 2019 rose by 8 per cent, according to the JLL's half yearly report.
However, launches during the first six months of the current year declined by 11 per cent to 73,049 units, in comparison to the corresponding period of last year.
"With Hyderabad being on top among the seven cities, residential real estate market witnessed an increase of 22 per cent in sales at a pan-India level during the period, it said.
"Interestingly, the share of affordable and mid-income housing (ticket size of up to Rs. 10 million in Mumbai and Rs. 7.5 million across other cities), has seen an increase up to 58 per cent at the country level," the report said.
It added that with gradual revival in home-buyers' confidence and improved affordability, markets witnessed a resurgence in sales in 2018.
During the first half of 2019, Hyderabad recorded the highest growth in sales at 65 per cent, followed by Delhi-NCR (42 per cent) on a Y-o-Y basis. In Chennai, sales grew by 24 per cent over the second half of 2018.


Sat, 13 Jul 2019 16:34:52 +0530
Working On Uniform Propo

New Delhi: The Centre told the Supreme Court on Thursday that it is working on a "uniform proposal" to address the grievances of homebuyers who are left in the lurch by erring realtors after having paid their hard earned money. The top court observed that it may use its plenary power under Article 142 of the Constitution to protect the interest of over 21,000 home buyers in the Jaypee Infratech case, if their grievances are not addressed.
It asked the contesting parties before the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) to try to reach a common ground for arriving at a decision.
A bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari deferred the hearing for July 18, after the Centre told the court that NCLAT will hear the matter on July 17.
Additional Solicitor General Madhvi Diwan, appearing for the Centre, informed the court that hearing before the NCLAT is scheduled for July 17 and it would be better to await its outcome.
She said that the Centre is working on a uniform proposal to address various grievances of aggrieved home buyers and it will be submitted in the pending Unitech home buyers case by July 23, as per the direction of the top court in that matter.
Ms Diwan said that ministry officials have informed her that they are working on a uniform proposal which would take care of various issues of the home buyers. The counsel appearing for the home buyers said they have an apprehension that Jaypee Infratech Ltd (JIL) may be sent for liquidation which could hamper their interest.
To this, the bench said that even if NCLAT sends the company for liquidation, the top court has enough plenary powers under Article 142 of the Constitution to protect the interest of home buyers.
The counsel then referred to the Unitech homebuyers case where the government recently indicated that it may take over the stalled projects and said that similar relief can be granted to the home buyers in Jaypee case.
To this, the bench said that any new revised or fresh proposal if made by the parties can come up before the NCLAT.
The top court had on July 9 asked the Centre to come out with a "uniform" proposal for all cases to resolve the difficulties being faced by lakhs of home buyers who have not yet got possession of flats despite paying huge amounts of money to real estate builders.
The top court, which was hearing a homebuyers matter related to JIL, said the issue concerns lakhs of flat buyers and the Centre should give a concrete proposal to resolve it.
"This issue will be bothering lakhs of home buyers. Within the IBC (Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code), we cannot do anything. But outside it, you (Centre) can suggest something. We can consider that," the court had said.
The court's observation had come during the hearing of a plea which has sought that JIL be not sent into liquidation, although the deadline for the corporate insolvency resolution process is over, as it would cause "irreparable loss" to thousands of homebuyers.


Sat, 13 Jul 2019 16:32:08 +0530
RBI to regulate housing f

Mumbai/New Delhi: India will soon give Reserve Bank of India (RBI) power to regulate housing finance companies (HFCs), which will almost certainly lead to the lenders facing stringent asset quality reviews, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter said.
That could have major repercussions for about 80 HFCs, the largest of which include Indiabulls Housing Finance Ltd, Housing Development Finance Corporation and Dewan Housing Finance Corporation, leading to them facing unprecedented scrutiny and the potential for major financial penalties and restriction on their activities if improper practices are discovered.
In late 2015, the RBI started a similar review of bank assets amid allegations that lenders were hiding the extent of the bad debts on their books.
During multiple asset quality reviews of banks, the RBI revealed a plethora of areas where lenders were under reporting their bad loans. It initially led to financial penalties for some lenders and eventually fed into decisions to impose tougher restrictions on their loan books while their bad debts remained high.
The housing finance companies, which are part of the broader shadow banking sector known as non-banking finance companies (NBFCs), are currently regulated by the National Housing Board, and the central bank has no direct authority over them.
The other NBFCs are very loosely regulated, with various regulators including the RBI having some role but no one being fully accountable.


Sat, 13 Jul 2019 16:30:35 +0530
SC asks Centre to examine

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the central government to come up with a solution to protect the interests of homebuyers. A bench of Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari made the recommendation while hearing a plea filed by Chitra Sharma, an aggrieved homebuyer of Jaypee Infratech Ltd (JIL).
Sharma sought a direction to the government not to allow the liquidation of the company as it would be against the interests of thousands of homebuyers. The bench observed that the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) was inadequate to protect homebuyers' interests.
It observed that the court had in similar matters asked the government to step in and come up with a proposal. The court has listed the matter for further hearing on July 11.
Earlier, in a separate matter, the Supreme Court asked the government to examine a proposal to resume construction on stalled housing projects of real estate major Unitech Ltd within 10 days to protect the interests of homebuyers.
In the Jaypee Infratech matter, Chitra Sharma's advocate Ashwarya Sinha also urged the top court to order a complete forensic audit of JIL since its incorporation to ascertain how the company has spent funds meant for the housing projects.
The petition has been moved at a time when the JIL is facing insolvency proceedings because of the huge debts owed to banks.


Sat, 13 Jul 2019 16:29:09 +0530
Hong Kong retains world s

Hong Kong is the most expensive prime residential city market in the world, with an average prime property price of $4,251 per sq ft in 2018. Mumbai occupies the top slot in India with prime property price at $931 per sq ft followed by Delhi at $482.53 per sq ft.
Globally, Hong Kong was followed by London and New York ultra-prime markets with average prime prices at $3,022 and $2,989 per sq ft, respectively, according to Knight Frank’s The Wealth Report- Insight Series 2019 that focuses on the evolution of pricing in the prime market segment across a range of global cities.
Mumbai remained the most expensive prime residential city market in India, with prime property price seen at $931 per sq ft (Rs 64,649 per sq ft) in the first quarter of 2019; this has seen a price increment of 0.3 percent when compared to average prime property price of the year 2018 approximately $926.14 per sq ft (Rs 64,432 per sq ft).
Delhi saw the highest price increment of 4.4 percent in the first quarter of 2019 in comparison with average prime property price of the year 2018. According to the first quarter of 2019, prime property price of Delhi was seen at $482.53 per sq ft (Rs 33,507 per sq ft). Delhi saw a drop in average prime property price by 4.9 percent in 2016 and by another 2.3 percent in 2017; witnessing a surge in 2018 by 1.4 percent, it said.


Sat, 13 Jul 2019 16:27:35 +0530
Citing Maha Dosh in Sta

New Delhi: Astrology has come in the way of preventing closure on a missing person's case in the capital. In a bizarre turn of events, a probe into the disappearance of Air India official Sulakshana Narula, missing since September 2018, cannot be completed because of what is called 'Maha Dosh' in astrological terms.
The Delhi Crime Branch was handed over the investigation last year, but it cannot find the woman “until her bad phase or 'maha dosh' ends”. The personal astrologer of Delhi CB officer Vijay Samaria has said that the 'maha dosh' in his case, too, ends on April 19. Until then, Samaria has refused to probe the case.
What makes the case even more intriguing is that Samaria has conveyed to Narula's family that her "bad phase" too "ends" the same day - April 19.
Samaria reportedly convinced Narula's son, Anubhav, to provide him his mother's horoscope, which he then showed to his astrologer along with his own. The conclusion was that the woman's horoscope had 'maha dosh' written all over it.
The police officer is confident that he will find Narula anytime after April 20 when the stars bear good tidings. The family is flabbergasted at the way things have been handled. Anubhav was even told to visit a Chattarpur temple, where Goddess Baglamukhi rests, to perform an 'upaya' (a way out).
"Sulakshna's family members consulted their astrologer and believed that she would be found in Haridwar, Mathura or Vrindavan. The investigating officer of the case, Vijay Samaria, visited these places more than twice, without any result," said ACP Jasbir Singh.
Family members say despite an FIR being registered three days after 58-year-old Narula went missing, nothing has happened. In October, the case was handed over to the Crime Branch.
"We believe in scientific investigation, but if an inspector supports victim's family members with a personal touch, it affects the ongoing probe. I don't know about any horoscope and bad phase theories," said Jasbir Singh. "We have searched all shelter homes in adjoining states and also coordinated with interstate police. We continuous our efforts to find her."

Sat, 13 Jul 2019 16:22:33 +0530
Cochin Shipyard Recruitme

Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL), a premier 'Miniratna' company under Government of India, has invited online applications from eligible Indian nationals for filling 30 vacancies to the post of Assistant (Human Resource) Apprentice through direct recruitment. The application process towards the same starts from July 10, 2019 and closes on July 25, 2019.
candidates interested in applying for the post of Assistant (HR) Apprentice through Cochin Shipyard Recruitment 2019 must not have exceeded 25 years of age as on July 25, 2019 with relaxation (upper age limit) up to 28 years for OBC (NCL) categories and 30 years for SC/ST candidates as detailed in the advertisement. Candidates must remit a specified amount of Rs. 200 as application processing fee through online (net-banking/credit/debit etc. payment gateways) mode only. However, SC/ST and PWD candidates exempted from paying application fees.
Desirous candidates applying for the post of Assistant (HR) Apprentice through Cochin Shipyard Recruitment 2019 must possess a Degree in Arts (other than fine arts/ performing arts)/Science/Mathematics/Commerce/Computer Applications/Business Administration with minimum of 75% marks (aggregate) from a recognized University/Institution. Candidates must have working knowledge of computers and its applications. Proficiency in Shorthand will be an added advantage.


Sat, 13 Jul 2019 16:16:30 +0530
Indian Army Recruitment R

Indian Army’s recruitment rally in Jammu and Kashmir’s Baramulla district on Wednesday witnessed a huge number of enthusiastic participants with over 5,000 candidates registering for it. The recruitment drive will conclude on July 16.
“The posts are open for four categories this year, which are - Soldier General Duty (All arms), Soldier Technical AAE, Soldier Nursing Assistant, and Soldier Clerk SKT,” said Jagdeep Dahiya, Deputy Director General, Recruiting HQ Zone, Jammu and Kashmir.
The recruitment process is divided into several categories and rounds which include physical fitness test, medical test, and written test. “I always wanted to be a part of the Indian Army, and today I feel really happy after clearing the first round of the recruitment process. I decided to join the Indian Army because of the prevailing unemployment issue in my state,” a candidate, Azeez, told ANI.
“Army recruitment rounds are not easy. We have to work really hard in order to crack all the test rounds. I was trying to register my name for this rally, since last one month. I am a well-educated man, but due to the poor employment rate in Jammu and Kashmir, I decided to join the Indian Army,” another participant, Adil Hussain, told ANI.
Almost 5,366 candidates have registered for the Indian Army rally.


Sat, 13 Jul 2019 16:12:29 +0530
BECIL Recruitment 2978 v

New Delhi: The Broadcast Engineering Consultants India Limited (BECIL) has invited applications for 2978 vacancies for the post of junior engineers (civil), date entry operator and skilled, unskilled manpower.
The application process will close on July 25 for skilled and unskilled manpower posts while for junior engineers and date entry operator it will close on August 10. Aspirants are invited to apply online for the posts. The candidates can apply for the posts online at


Sat, 13 Jul 2019 16:10:39 +0530
Post graduates applying

Chennai: It’s unfortunate that post-graduates were applying for government jobs in Group-4 category due to unemployment, the Madras High Court observed Thursday, and said appointment of “over-qualified” people to these posts will affect efficiency in public administration. It cited that degree holders were recently appointed as sweepers in the high court services and the court was unable to extract work efficiently for better administration.
If over-qualified candidates are appointed to perform Group-4 services, undoubtedly the efficiency level in public administration would be hit, Justice S M Subramaniam said. Similarly, under-qualified candidates cannot be allowed to handle a bigger responsibility, the judge said.
He was hearing a plea seeking to quash the Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission notification that professional degree holders would not be considered for posts of combined subordinate services (Group 3 and Group 4). He refused to allow the prayer. Group 4 services include typists, junior assistants and village administrative officers.
Justice Subramaniam asked the state government to review the rules and accordingly prescribe the minimum and maximum educational qualification for such posts within 12 weeks in consonance with the concept of level-playing field.
All these aspects should be considered by competent government authorities during the process of issuing recruitment notification to a particular post or cadre, he said. Currently, the minimum educational qualification and other related criteria are prescribed by employers.
However, no maximum educational qualification is prescribed due to which over-qualified persons participate in the recruitment process for Group 4 posts and basic services. Similar issues were brought to the notice of the court during the appointment of Grade-II police constables, the judge said.
Petitioner M Sakkaraichamy had submitted to the court that he had appeared for combined service examination and attended interview. But he was not considered for the posts because he was a professional degree holder, while the notification had stipulated Arts and Science bachelor as the education qualification.


Sat, 13 Jul 2019 16:07:36 +0530
Karnataka parties resort

Bengaluru,  Resort politics is back in Karnataka as the ruling Congress-JD(S) and the Opposition BJP attempt to guard against their legislators being poached ahead of a possible vote of confidence in the state Assembly.

The Congress, whose 13 of the 79 MLAs have already submitted their resignations from the Assembly, has moved about 50 MLAs to the Clarks Exotica Convention Resorts on the outskirts of the city.

While senior leaders like Siddaramaiah, Deputy Chief Minister G. Parameshwara and the ministers are staying at their official bungalows in the city, other legislators whose assembly segments are outside Bengaluru and across the state have been shifted to the resort though many of them have rooms in the Legislature Home behind the Vidhan Soudha in the city centre. 

"As the BJP has already poached about a dozen legislators to destabilise our coalition government for its 'operation kamala', we have moved about 50 of our party members to Clarks Exotica Convention Resorts on the outskirts of the city," Congress spokesman Ravi Gowda told IANS here.

"We have shifted them to the resort from the Legislature Home to prevent the BJP leaders or their friends from meeting them and whisking them away as it happened in the case of a couple of our and JD-S members," asserted Gowda.

The Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) has also been keeping about 30 of its legislators at the Golfshire Resort near Nandi Hills on the city's northern outskirts since July 7 after three of its MLAs resigned and flew to Mumbai on July 6. 

The JD-S had 37 MLAs before three of them submitted their resignations.

"Our legislators have been staying at a private resort outside the city to ensure the BJP does not poach them as it did with three of them. As most of their constituencies are far from Bengaluru, they will be put up there till the 10-day session ends on February 26. They will be brought to the Vidhan Souda to attend the session," JD(S) leader Ramesh Babu told IANS.

Not to be left out in the resort politics and wary of �reverse poaching' by the ruling allies, the BJP too has shifted about 80 of its 105 lawmakers to the Ramada resort at Yelahanka in the city's northwest suburb.

"We have been forced to shift our legislators to a resort to ensure that they stay put at one place for consultations or discussions and to prevent them from meeting or speaking to any of the Congress-JD-S leaders who have been trying to wean away some of our members to make up the numbers after 16 of their MLAs resigned and their shaky year-old government got reduced to minority," BJP spokesman G. Madhusudana told IANS.

The shifting of MLAs to resorts to prevent 'poaching' comes as the Assembly convened on Friday for a 10-day session amidst the political crisis.

On the opening day, Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy said that he was ready to face a floor test as is being demanded by the BJP, which says the ruling coalition has lost majority in the 225-member House after it lost support of 18 legislators since July 6.

Sat, 13 Jul 2019 09:51:14 +0530
Supreme Court refuses sta

New Delhi, The Supreme Court refused to stay the Maratha quota on Friday and sought a response from the Maharashtra government on a plea challenging the reservation to the community in jobs and education.

The Martha quota was introduced in November 2018. The Bombay High Court upheld it and ordered its implementation.

Maharashtra standing counsel Nishant Katneshwarkar told IANS: "It is a big relief for the government as the apex court did not stay the Maratha quota. And the quota will be applicable from November 2018."

The court refused to give any retrospective effect of the quota before November.

The quota will be applicable in connection with reservation in jobs and educational institutions.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi also issued notice returnable in two weeks wherein the parties will file more documents.

This observation came as the court agreed to hear an appeal for quashing the reservation for Marathas for admission in educational institutions and government jobs and then issued notice to the Maharashtra government.

The court order came on pleas by two individuals, Jaishri Laxmanrao Patil and Sanjeet Shukla.

They argued that the Maratha reservation breached the 50 per cent ceiling set by the apex court for quotas in each state and the High Court had overlooked certain fundamental and legal clauses. 

The pleas claimed that the state does not have the authority or law to create a class like Maratha as a separate socially and educationally backward class. 

The counsels for the petitioners contended that expanding the ambit of reservation was under the authority of the Centre and not the state government. Therefore, the reservation will require a constitutional amendment.

Earlier, the top court had agreed to hear a petition challenging s Bombay High Court judgment, allowing reservations for Marathas in jobs and educational institutions. The matter was scheduled for hearing on Friday.

The Bombay High Court in June upheld the validity of the reservations granted to the Maratha community under the Socially and Educationally Backward Class (SEBC) category but reduced the quantum from 16 per cent.

Bringing down the quota to 12 per cent in education and 13 per cent in jobs, it observed that the higher quota was "not justifiable".

A Division Bench of Justices Ranjit More and Bharati Dangre also said that the government was entitled to create a separate category for SEBCs and grant them reservations.

The verdict came on a bunch of petitions challenging the state government's November decision granting 16 per cent reservation to the Maratha community under the SEBC category.

In his initial reaction, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis welcomed the court verdict and indicated that the new quota percentages recommended were acceptable to the government.

Vijayalaxmi Khopade, the lawyer for one of the petitioners, said the court also endorsed the report of the nine-member M.G. Gaikwad Commission classifying the Marathas as a "Socially and Educationally Backward Class".



Fri, 12 Jul 2019 18:31:30 +0530
Lalu Prasad gets bail in Fri, 12 Jul 2019 18:25:52 +0530Congress is BJP s supply

Thiruvananthapuram,  Commenting on the sudden flow of Congress leaders into the BJP, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday said this was evidence of what the CPI-M had always said that the Congress could not be trusted.

"The Congress party now acts as the supply agency for the BJP. This is what we have been saying for long that Congress men just cannot be trusted. But no one believed us. Now see what's happening," said Vijayan at a meeting of the Left-backed PSC union here.

"It is happening all over and things have reached a stage where Congress members are running after the BJP just as a goat goes after green leaves," said Vijayan.

The Kerala Chief Minister also did not forget to remind that the Congress won 15 seats in the state in the recent Lok Sabha elections. "But people were ruing their decision after seeing what was happening. The Congress does not have a leadership and it's a sorry state of affairs," added Vijayan.

The Congress led United Democratic Front (UDF) won 19 out of the 20 seats in Kerala in the Lok Sabha polls. The tally of the CPI-M led Left Democratic Front (LDF) went down from eight to one seat.

Fri, 12 Jul 2019 18:14:59 +0530
Congress MLA likens Goa c

Panaji,  Congress MLA Aleixo Reginaldo on Friday likened the current political upheaval in Goa, with 10 party legislators rebelling and later joining the BJP, as "political prostitution".

"There is no sorrow or joy in politics. Politics, what has happened this time is only political prostitution. We cannot talk about it," Reginaldo told the media after a brief meeting with Goa Forward President Vijay Sardesai at the latter's residence.

The Congress has alleged that the 10 MLAs were lured by money and promises of ministerial positions in return for switching over.

Sardesai, a Deputy Chief Minister and two other Ministers are likely to be dropped from the Pramod Sawant-led government, after the Bharatiya Janata Party inducted the 10 Congress MLAs on Wednesday, following which the PARTY now has a healthy majority of 27 in the 40-member Goa Legislative Assembly.

Reginaldo said that his visit to Sardesai's residence "was casual".

"It was a casual visit. I thought I should meet him now. When you are in power everybody visits you. When you are not in power, there lies the real charm, when you visit somebody when you are not in power," he added.

Fri, 12 Jul 2019 14:28:20 +0530
Karnataka crisis SC to h

New Delhi, On Friday, the Supreme Court ordered the status quo of Karnataka's rebel Congress and JD-S MLAs on July 10 plea alleging that Assembly Speaker K.R. Ramesh delayed the acceptance of their resignations.

A bench led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said that the  case needed a thorough hearing and plan it for further hearing on Tuesday.

Fri, 12 Jul 2019 14:20:46 +0530
Education institutions de

New Delhi: Networks representing over 7,000 higher education institutions from across the world on Thursday declared a climate emergency and agreed to undertake steps to address the crisis.
In a joint letter, they talked about a three-point plan that includes going carbon neutral by 2030 or 2050 at the latest, mobilising more resources for action-oriented climate change research and skills creation, and increasing the delivery of environmental and sustainability education across curricula, campus and community outreach programmes.
The letter -- coordinated by the UN Environment's Youth and Education Alliance, The Alliance for Sustainability Leadership in Education, and Second Nature - a US-based higher education climate action organization -- marks the first time education institutions made a collective commitment to address climate emergency.
Signed by universities including Strathmore University (Kenya), Tongji University (China) and KEDGE Business School (France), the call is also backed by major global education networks such as the Global Alliance and the Globally Responsible Leadership Initiative, which have made commitments to meeting the suggested carbon neutrality targets.
"What we teach shapes the future. We welcome this commitment from universities to go climate neutral by 2030 and to scale-up efforts on campus," UN Environment Executive Director Inger Andersen said.
"Young people are increasingly at the forefront of calls for more action on climate and environmental challenges. Initiatives which directly involve the youth in this critical work are a valuable contribution to achieving environmental sustainability."
Examples of best practices for sustainability on campus include Kenya's Strathmore University, which runs on clean energy and has set up its own 600KW photovoltaic grid tie system, as well as Tongji University in China, which has significantly invested in delivering a sustainability education curriculum and is encouraging other education institutions to do the same.
In the US, the University of California has committed to a system-wide goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2025, while others, such as the American University and Colgate University, have already achieved carbon neutrality.

Fri, 12 Jul 2019 12:32:53 +0530
Sudha Murthy s children s

New Delhi:  Literary publisher HarperCollins India on Friday announced the acquisition of a three-book series titled, "The Gopi Diaries" penned by noted English and Kannada author Sudha Murthy.
In a statement, the publisher said that the series is told from a dog's perspective. They are Murthy's first books with HarperCollins, and draw inspiration from her own dog, Gopi.
"Told in Gopi's voice, the first book begins with Gopi coming home, and tells the story of how he settles down with his loving, human family. How Gopi sees the world around him and what he thinks of the people in his life give the story a truly unique flavour," it revealed.
The books will be in told in Murty's inimitable style, and are simple stories that talk of basic values even when told from a dog's perspective.
"It is my first book for youngsters, particularly those kids who love animals. It is about my dog Gopi who is the joy of my life," Murthy, 69, who also chairs the Infosys Foundation, said.
Childrens' publisher Tina Narang said that the 2006 Padma Shri recipient writes from her heart, and when the subject is as close to her heart as Gopi is, the "stories are bound to be as charming as it gets".
Murthy, who married Indian industrialist N.R. Narayana Murthy in 1978, is the recipient of the R.K. Narayan Award for Literature (2006), the Attimabbe Award from the Karnataka government (2011) and the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2018 Crossword Book Awards.
The first book of the trilogy is expected to towards the end of this year.

Fri, 12 Jul 2019 12:21:29 +0530
Six fold increase in UP B

Lucknow,  The Uttar Pradesh Secondary Education Board has increased six-fold the examination fees for high school and intermediate board examinations in 2020.

The fee for high school examinations has been raised from Rs 80 to Rs 500, while for intermediate examinations it has gone up from Rs 90 to Rs 600. 

Private students appearing in UP Board high school examinations will now pay Rs 700 instead of Rs 200, while those appearing in intermediate examinations will be charged Rs 800 instead of Rs 220. 

Candidates will have to submit the fees to their school principal by August 15. 

In April, the UP Board had increased the fee for re-evaluation of examinations by five times. 

Board officials said that the reason behind the steep hike was to bring it at par with CBSE and CISCE to some extent. 

UP Board secretary Neena Srivastava said: "We are still not charging as much fee as CBSE or CISCE since majority of our students come from rural background."

In CBSE, high school and intermediate students are required to pay Rs 750 for five subjects. A fee of Rs 100 is charged if they opt for an additional subject. The examination fee for ICSE and ISC students is Rs 1,500.

Meanwhile, the state president of Madhyamik Vittavihin Shikshak Mahasabha (Secondary Self-finance Teachers' Association), Umesh Dwiwedi said: "At a time when the government talks about providing free food and uniforms to all, the fee hike is too steep for students."


Fri, 12 Jul 2019 11:42:45 +0530
Restrictions imposed in S

On Friday, authorities enforced constraints on the death anniversary of a local militant in a Srinagar region to avoid separatist demonstrations.

Police sources said constraints were imposed on militant Sajad Ahmad Gilkar's second anniversary of death in the Nowhatta region of Old City Srinagar.

Policing and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) deployments were heavy in the region.


Fri, 12 Jul 2019 11:36:01 +0530
Schools can not withhold

New Delhi:The Delhi High Court held that colleges would not be able to withhold a student's Transfer Certificate (TC) if charges were not paid.

On Thursday, a bench led by Justice D.N. Patel issued the order acknowledging a letter narrating the plight of Kartik and Priyansh, who were unable to seek admission to another college because their present college in the domestic capital refused to issue them.

Converting the letter into a PIL, the tribunal ordered the private school to issue certificates of transfer within one week to parents of Kartik (Class III) nine year old  and Priyansh (pre-primary)5 yer old.

Lawyer Ashok Agarwal, who was designated as amicus curiae to help the tribunal, stated that under Rule 167 of the 1973 Delhi School Education Act, a school could strike off a student's name.

Following the conclusion of the arguments, the tribunal ruled that a private school had no power under the Delhi School Education Act to withhold the issuance of a Transfer Certificate to a student for non-payment of exceptional fees.

Fri, 12 Jul 2019 11:13:12 +0530
Six from TN elected unopp

Chennai, Six candidates belonging to the ruling AIADMK, DMK, PMK and MDMK were elected to the Rajya Sabha unopposed, said K. Srinivasan, the Returning Officer and Secretary of Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly Secretariat.

In a statement issued here on Thursday, Srinivasan said N. Chandrasegharan, Muhammath John (both from AIADMK), M. Shanmugam, P. Wilson (both from DMK), Anbumani Ramadoss (PMK) and Vaiko (MDMK) have been duly elected to fill the vacancies of six members of Council of States retiring on July 24, 2019.

The AIADMK has 123 MLAs in the 234-member Tamil Nadu Assembly, while the DMK has a strength of 101. DMK ally Congress has seven MLAs, there is one Independent member, while two seats are vacant.

The elections were held to fill up the vacancies created by the retirement of five Rajya Sabha members -- T. Rathinavel, V. Maitreyan, K.B. Arjunan, R. Lakshmanan (all AIADMK) and D. Raja (CPI) -- and the resignation of DMK's Kanimozhi following her victory in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.


Thu, 11 Jul 2019 21:47:06 +0530
Congress old guard wants

New Delhi,  The old guard in the Congress is looking up to Sonia Gandhi to become the interim President once again and resurrect the party despite the growing chorus in favour of handing over the reins to a young face.

The coming week may well decide what the final outcome will be as Congress leaders will gather in Delhi to deliberate on this issue. Rapidly unfolding developments in Karnataka, Goa and even Madhya Pradesh have convinced the party leaders that this vacuum continue be allowed to continue.

Jyotiraditya Scindia, who is seen as one of the strong claimants for the post among the younger lot, said on Thursday that the party needs to "reinvent" itself and the decision on the new President should come at the earliest.

However, the old guard vanguard Ahmed Patel, who is said to be firmly in command, is holding all the cards close to the chest and sees Sonia Gandhi as the only leader who can revive the rapidly disintegrating party. The deeply entrenched old leaders have been rallying behind Sonia Gandhi even as her health is such that she can not assume the charge even temporarily, said sources. 

Some of the senior leaders like Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and veteran leader Karan Singh have also come out openly in favour of "old making way for the new".

Scindia said that this is a serious time for the Congress. In these desperate times, when the party is at the crossroads, a status quo or returning to the dynasty would be extremely detrimental to the party's future, cutting the umbilical cord with the past and the family is the only way out.

Another young leader echoed the same sentiment while speaking to IANS. The leader, who did not wish to be named, said that these are desperate times and any attempt to go back in time will have adverse ramification for the party. 

Sources said that Rahul Gandhit is in no mood to listen and has distanced himself from the decision-making process. He is tilted heavily in favour of the young brigade.

Scindia said that "Rahul Ji" remains firm on not taking back his resignation and a leader who can infuse new energy should be given a chance. The leaders want to halt the drift and save the ship from sinking.



Thu, 11 Jul 2019 21:38:36 +0530
Sensex ends 266 points hi

Mumbai,  Indian equity markets edged higher on Thursday as US Federal Reserve's dovish comments helped ease the negative sentiments owing to disappointment over the Union Budget.

Sensex closed 266.07 points higher at 38,823.11, while the Nifty advanced by 84 point to 11,582.90.

"US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's dovish comments on Wednesday cemented hopes of an interest rate cut this month in the US and soft interest rate policies across the globe," said Deepak Jasani of HDFC Securities. 

"This boosted global stocks, pulled down bond yields and weakened the US dollar. Fears of FPI selling due to the adverse provisions in the Union Budget has abated for the time being," Jasani added.

InterGlobe Aviation, the parent company of Indigo, the largest private airline in India slipped 3.07 per cent lower as investors continued to fret over the likely hood of operations getting affected by the conflict among its promoters.

Meanwhile, Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) have sold Rs 1,768 crore, in 5 sessions, since the Budget proposal on July 5.

Thu, 11 Jul 2019 17:47:42 +0530
Indian players stranded


Birmingham,  It wasnt meant to pan out the way it did. At least that is the general feeling in the Indian camp after the loss to New Zealand at Old Trafford on Wednesday. And the sudden exit has in fact left the Indian players "stranded" as the players are set to be mere spectators till Sunday.

Speaking to IANS, sources in the know of developments said that while tickets were being arranged for, most of the players were expected to be in Manchester till Sunday.

"Most of the boys will be in Manchester till July 14 and leave from there. Tickets are being booked after the campaign came to an end yesterday," the source said.

The West Indies series will be India's next challenge after the World Cup and some of the senior players like Virat Kohli and pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah is expected to be rested for the limited-overs leg of the series. But they will be back for the two-match Test series as that will be the start of the Test Championship.

Speaking after the loss on Wednesday, skipper Kohli said that it was definitely disappointing to exit the showpiece event after just one poor outing from the batsmen.

"I think we are sad but we are not devastated because of the kind of cricket that we played in this tournament. We know where we stood as a team and today we were not good enough and that is the nature of this tournament. One bad day in the knockout stage you are out of the tournament.

"But having said that we have qualified for the semis and we have played some really good cricket, so we should be also proud of the way we have played and look at the positives also because there were a lot throughout this tournament, especially Rohit's performance, Jasprit (Bumrah) with the ball and Jadeja given the opportunity.

"So there are many things that we can take back as positives. But yeah not having played that bad a cricket and then just 40-45 minutes of bad cricket puts you out. As a sportsman you have to accept it, this is part and parcel of this game," he said.

(Baidurjo Bhose can be contacted at

Thu, 11 Jul 2019 17:40:07 +0530
SBI found flouting rules

New Delhi: The country's largest bank, the State Bank of India, has been found flouting several rules in its attempt to cover up non-performing assets (NPAs), according to the RBI's annual inspection report.
The Reserve Bank of India's report said that the SBI, among several banks from 2012 to 2015, was found to be flouting anti-money laundering rules, engaging in 'evergreening' of loans, suppression of data and sidestepping know your customer (KYC) norms, as reported by Moneylife.
Access to the RBI report was finally granted to Right to Information (RTI) activist Girish Mittal on the direction of the Supreme Court. The central bank had denied access to the reports on multiple occasions, citing its fiduciary relationship with the banks.
Under Section 35 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, the RBI is empowered to undertake annual inspection of all commercial banks.
The RBI report found that several flaws in SBI's operation like improper credit need assessment, lack of credit surveillance, shortfall in loan security as advised, and non-enforcement of security given.
Deficiencies in the management quality and overall functioning of the bank were highlighted by the Risk Assessment Reports year after year.

Thu, 11 Jul 2019 17:03:05 +0530
Budget extends tax on NRI

New Delhi: The expensive gift that you kept for your overseas cousin or friend may attract tax from this year with the Budget 2019-20 proposing to impose withholding tax all such transfers, plugging an earlier loophole that allowed its tax- free treatment.
The Finance Bill 2019 has imposed tax on any sum of money paid or any property situated in India, transferred by a person resident in India to a person outside India, as it would be deemed to accrue or arise in India. The changes will be applied for all such transfers made on or after July 5, 2019.
Currently gifts given by Indian residents to non-resident Indians - apart from the specified list of relatives - would be claimed as non-taxable. This is because the earlier tax put the onus on the recipient of the gift to make the disclosure and pay tax. As a gift to NRIs means that income is accrued abroad, it remained outside the tax net.
But now, all gifts to NRIs will be income accruing in India and would be taxed as per the normal slab rates applicable to resident Indians. This means that the origin of the gift becomes important for tax purpose, instead of the destination of the gift abroad.
The onus will be on the recipient (the NRI in this case) of the gift to disclose such gifts received if they originate in India and then pay a tax on it.
So, if the value of the gift is above Rs 10 lakh, the recipient will have to pay 30 per cent tax. The tax rate would get higher if the value of the gift, be it payment for studies or a house abroad, is more than Rs 2 crore or Rs 5 crore. In such cases, the highest tax rate for super rich, i.e. 35.7 and 42.7 per cent respectively would apply.
For the purpose, gift will constitute shares, property, vouchers, cash etc exceeding Rs 50,000 made to anyone, apart from the specified relatives or blood relations.
While making gifts to NRIs taxable, the Budget has proposed that in a treaty situation, the relevant article of applicable DTAA (double taxation avoidance treaty) shall continue to apply for such gifts as well.
This amendment will take effect from April 1, 2020 and will, apply in relation to the assessment year 2020-21 and subsequent assessment years.
The specified relatives list in terms of Section 56 of the Income Tax Act is fairly wide. It includes brothers and sisters, and their spouses. Gifts to this category will not attract any tax. But acquaintances, friends, and other close family relations would come under the purview of the tax.


Thu, 11 Jul 2019 17:02:16 +0530
After banks govt may rec

New Delhi: After banks, the government may capitalise public sector general insurers this year to improve their finances and get them ready for the next wave of restructuring.
Sources in the Finance Ministry said that management consultancy firm Ernst & Young (EY) has been shortlisted to advise on restructuring of three general insurers and based on its report, the government may also consider providing capital support to the companies.
The quantum of capital support would be worked out post EY gives its report, though DIPAM sources said that anywhere between Rs 9,000 crore and Rs 10,000 crore capital support would be required for the insurers to bring them in pink of health.
In a presentation to the Finance Ministry last year, the three companies had stated a collective recapitalisation need of between Rs 9,000 crore and Rs 15,000 crore, with each requiring about Rs 3,000-5,000 crore.
The government is looking at restructuring three relatively weaker public general insurers -- National Insurance Company, United India Insurance Company and Oriental India Insurance Company.
The original plan was to merge the three entities to create an insurance behemoth having a valuation exceeding Rs 1.2 lakh crore. But the process has faced several hurdles, pushing the government to also look at de-merging the three into smaller units and then look at strategic sale of few operations to the private sector.
"The aim is to strengthen the insurance entities and push for consolidation by bringing more focus into their operations. The next step would be decided soon with action being taken in the current fiscal year itself. Capital support would be the initial target," said a government source privy to the development.
Capital support from the Budget would be a first for general insurers. Over the last few years, public sector banks (PSBs) are being provided capital support in numerous tranches to strengthen their operations which have been affected by rising cases of non-performing assets (NPAs). In the Budget 2019-20, another sum of Rs 70,000 crore has been provided for bank recapitalisation.
The three PSU insurers have more than 200 insurance products with a total premium of Rs 41,461 crore and a market share of around 35 per cent as on March 31, 2017. Their combined net worth is Rs 9,243 crore with total employee strength of around 44,000 spread over 6,000 offices.
The profitability of many general insurance companies, including the state-owned ones, has been under pressure owing to rising underwriting losses and higher claims. In fact, all the three PSU insurers reported losses at the end of the third quarter of FY19 with United India Insurance Company logging a loss of Rs 2,070 crore, followed by National Insurance and Oriental Insurance reporting losses of Rs 1,177 crore and Rs 634 crore, respectively.
The three insurers also have lower solvency ratio meaning cash flow issues to meet short and long-term obligations. Insurance regulator IRDAI has mandated a minimum solvency ratio 1.50 for general insurers at the need of Q3 but the ratio has fallen to 1.01 in case of National Insurance and 1.21 in case of Oriental Insurance. United India Insurance Company has barely managed to meet the regulatory requirement for insolvency ratio. The companies have also lost market share to private players.
In 2017, state-owned New India Assurance Company and General Insurance Corporation of India were listed on bourses. The government had plan to list the other three companies as well, but their poor financial health prevented any decision.


Thu, 11 Jul 2019 17:01:25 +0530
Early home learning impro

London: The positive effects of a rich home learning environment during a child's early years continue into adolescence and help improve test scores later in life, says a study.
Published in School Effectiveness and School Improvement, the research shows pre-schoolers whose parents regularly read and talked about books with them scored better on math tests at age 12.
"Our results underline the great importance of exposing children to books for development not just in literacy but numeracy too: early language skills not only improve a child's reading but also boost mathematical ability," said the study lead author Simone Lehrl from University of Bamberg.
For the findings, researchers studied 229 German children from age three until secondary school and participants' literacy and numeracy skills were tested annually in their three years of preschool (ages 3-5) and again when they were 12 or 13 years old.
They found that children gained from home stimulation in their preschool years in literacy, language and arithmetic skills which, in turn, led to higher outcomes in reading and mathematical skills in secondary school, regardless of the home learning environment then.
"Encouraging caregivers to engage with their children in direct literacy activities, shared book reading and advanced verbal interactions during reading and to include language and mathematical content during these activities, should promote children's reading and mathematical abilities in secondary school. Such experiences lay a strong foundation for later school success," Lehrl said.
According to the researchers, the effect also worked the other way with the quality of parent-child interaction regarding mathematics also improving children's language skills.

Thu, 11 Jul 2019 17:00:04 +0530
Home nutrition care keeps

New York: Researchers have found that implementing a nutrition care plan at home for patients at risk for malnutrition had a dramatic impact on helping keep them out of the hospital.
"Our goal as a home healthcare provider is to help patients get back on their feet as quickly as possible and to keep them out of the hospital," said study lead author Katie Riley from Advocate Aurora Health in the US.
Paying attention to nutrition care helps promote patients' strength and prevents them from going back to the hospital, which ultimately reduces healthcare costs, she said.
For the study, published in the Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, more than 1,500 home health patients were followed for 90 days.
The research found that when patients at risk for malnutrition received a comprehensive nutrition care program to aid in their recovery, risk of being hospitalised was significantly reduced by 24 per cent in the first 30 days, nearly 23 per cent after 60 days and 18 per cent after 90 days.
It was also found that healthcare costs were reduced by more than $2.3 million or about $1,500 per patient at risk for malnutrition.
"Healthcare systems are driven to improve patient care while reducing costs. Our research shows that prioritising nutrition across different settings of care - from hospital to home - can significantly cut costs while improving patients' health," said study co-author Suela Sulo.

Thu, 11 Jul 2019 16:58:38 +0530
Statins may double diabet

New York: People who take cholesterol-lowering statins may be at twice the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, says a new study.
Statins are a class of drugs that can lower cholesterol and blood pressure, reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke. More than a quarter of middle-aged adults use a cholesterol-lowering drug, according to estimates.
The study, published in the Diabetes Metabolism Research and Reviews journal, found that statin users had more than double the risk of a diabetes diagnosis compared to those who didn't take the drugs. Those who took the cholesterol-lowering drugs for more than two years had more than three times the risk of diabetes.
"The fact that increased duration of statin use was associated with an increased risk of diabetes - something we call a dose-dependent relationship - makes us think that this is likely a causal relationship," said the study's lead author Victoria Zigmont, a graduate student at the Ohio State University.
"Statins are very effective in preventing heart attacks and strokes. I would never recommend that people stop taking the statin they've been prescribed based on this study, but it should open up further discussions about diabetes prevention," Zigmont added.
For the study, the researchers included over 4,000 men and women who did not have diabetes, were candidates for statins based on heart disease risk and had not yet taken the drugs at the start of the study. About 16 per cent of the group - 755 patients - were eventually prescribed statins during the study period.
Researchers also found that statin users were 6.5 percent more likely to have a troublingly high HbA1c value - a routine blood test for diabetes that estimates average blood sugar over several months.
"Although statins have clear benefits in appropriate patients, scientists and clinicians should further explore the impact of statins on human metabolism, in particular the interaction between lipid and carbohydrate metabolism," said co-author Steven Clinton, a Professor at the varsity.


Thu, 11 Jul 2019 16:56:02 +0530
Poor sleep linked to redu

New York: Senior citizens, please take note. Lower sleep quality and variability in night sleep time may adversely affect your ability to recall past events, says a study.
The study, published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience journal, underscores the importance of sleep in maintaining good cognitive functioning.
The study divided participants in two categories: younger adults (18-37 years) and older adults (56-76 years). The participants were given wearable accelerometers to measure sleep duration and quality over seven nights.
"The night-to-night variability in older adults had a major impact on their performance in tests aimed at evaluating episodic memory," said Audrey Duarte, Associate Professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology, the US.
Stating that the association between sleep and memory has been known, Duarte said this study underlined the connection particularly among older adults and black participants.
"We wanted to know how sleep affected memory, how well they remembered things and how well their brains functioned depending on how well they slept," said Emily Hokett, a Ph.D student at the institute.
The researchers said regular sleep was important for best cognitive performance at any age.


Thu, 11 Jul 2019 16:55:12 +0530
Air pollution ups hyperte

Madrid: Ladies, take note. Women who are exposed to high pollution levels in India are at significantly higher risk of suffering from hypertension, warn researchers.
The research, published in the journal Epidemiology, studied 5,531 adults from 28 peri-urban villages near Hyderabad city.
"Women spend most of their time near their households in this study area - 83 per cent of their daily time as compared to 57 per cent for men -- which could explain why we observe a stronger association in women than in men", said study author Ariadna Curto from Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), Spain.
For the study, the research team measured systolic and diastolic blood pressure of participants and estimated their annual residential exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and black carbon.
The participants also answered a survey to determine socio-economic status, lifestyle and household characteristics, including the type of cooking fuel which they generally used (biomass or clean).
Notably, all participants were exposed to fine particulate matter levels above the 10 µg/m³ limit recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). Average exposure to PM2.5 in this study was 33 µg/m3.
Based on the blood pressure measurements, almost half of participants (46 per cent) were identified as hypertensive, with high proportions of participants with undiagnosed and untreated hypertension.
The results show that an increase of 1µg/m3 in PM2.5 exposure was associated with a 4 per cent increase in hypertension prevalence in women as well as a higher systolic and diastolic blood pressure - an increase of 1.4 mmHg and 0.87 mmHg respectively. In men, the association observed was weaker.
The research indicates that long-term exposure to particulate matter is associated with a higher prevalence of hypertension, regardless of the type of fuel used for cooking.
"In the light of our lack of association with black carbon, it is important to keep in mind that this is a peri-urban area, where the sources and chemical makeup of air pollution differ to urban areas mostly dominated by traffic sources", Curto said.
The mechanisms by which air pollution could contribute to high blood pressure "include inflammation and oxidative stress, which may lead to changes in arterial function", said study coordinator Cathryn Tonne.


Thu, 11 Jul 2019 16:54:20 +0530
HIV infection ups risk of

New York: People living with HIV are at an increased risk of developing cardiovascular diseases (CVD), particularly heart failure and stroke, warn researchers.
"Our findings reinforce the importance of primary prevention of cardiovascular disease through control of risk factors such as high blood pressure or smoking in persons living with HIV," said study lead author Alvaro Alonso from Emory University in the US.
Published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, the study analysed information from a large health insurance database.
For the study, researchers analysed information on 19,798 people living with HIV and 59,302 age- and sex-matched non-infected individuals who were followed for an average of 20 months.
According to the researchers, people living with HIV had 3.2 times and 2.7 times higher risks of heart failure and stroke, respectively, when compared to non-infected persons.
The association of HIV infection with cardiovascular disease was especially strong for persons younger than 50 years of age and those without a prior history of CVD, said the study.
However, people living with HIV did not have an increased risk of peripheral artery disease and only moderately increased risk of heart attack or atrial fibrillation.


Thu, 11 Jul 2019 16:53:27 +0530
Physical expression now

New Delhi: Croatia-born Bharatanatyam danseuse Nikolina Nikoleski, who was encouraged to pursue dance forms and sports from childhood, finds to her delight that more and more Indian youngsters are taking to physical expression.
"India has recently changed and is still going through changes in last 6-8 years where more youngsters are also being exposed and encouraged in physical expression," Nikoleski, 43, told IANS in an interview.
"I see that as a very positive change and good sign. Being healthy and free in one's body is the foundation of a good and complete life," she said.
Speaking about her own early practice, Nikoleski recalled: "I was born and brought up in Croatia where children from a very tender age are exposed and encouraged to pursue various dance forms and sports. Almost every child then takes this hobby very seriously."
The hobbies later translate to professional spaces, and make Croatia -- with a population of close to 42 lakh people -- a country with "world, Olympic and European champions in every sport", she said.
She is trained in classical ballet, contemporary dance, folk dances, flamenco, physical theatre, and yoga, apart from Bharatanatyam.
Nikoleski's quest to learn multiple dance forms took her from the small European country, where she started with gymnastics at the age of four, to the land of multiple cultures and dance forms -- India.
Settled in Delhi since 2005, the professional dancer-teacher has learnt Bharatanatyam in India under the tutelage of gurus Saroja Vaidyanathan, Malavika Sarukkai, as well as Shanta and V.P. Dhananjayan.
Coming from the light-footed ballet tradition, it took dedicated practice for Nikoleski to master this age-old dance form, that requires the performer to do heavy footwork along with gestures and body movements.
"I fell in love with Bharatanatyam because of its amazing holistic art, beautiful expression, use of all body, including facial expressions, 'mudras', intricate footwork, state-of-art costume and jewellery, music and ragas.
"They transform and elevate one's feelings. Most importantly, it's storytelling of ancient spiritual scripts, devotional poetry and brilliantly expresses all human yearnings, longings, emotions, and inner battles," she explained.
Heading her own dance academy now, she said that learning the Indian classical dance has completed her as a human and as an artist.
Nikoleski's students - 73 of them, with ages ranging from four to 70 - performed classical ballet, contemporary and jazz dances at an event here last week.

Thu, 11 Jul 2019 16:52:19 +0530
Digangana starts shooting

Chennai:  After making her debut in the south film industry with the Telugu movie "Hippi", actress Digangana Suryavanshi is now excited about her first Tamil film, "Dhanusu Raasi Neyargalae". She began shooting for the film here on Monday.
"It is my Tamil debut. I am excited. It was my first day today. It's been good. It is a different language. As an actor, you like to explore. It's a love story, something I like to do on the screen," Digangana told IANS.
Without sharing much about her character, the "Ek Veer Ki Ardaas...Veera" actress said: "My role is that of a strong woman. It's not really one of those roles where you come and go. It is important and I am satisfied as an actor."
The film, helmed by Sanjay Bharathi, was earlier offered to her "Jalebi" co-star Rhea Chakraborty.
Asked about replacing Rhea, Digangana said: "I didn't know who was considered in the past. I was narrated the script on phone while I was busy shooting for 'Hippi'. They (the filmmakers) finalised me a couple of months ago, when they were yet to go on the floors."
Digangana will shoot here for about a month before moving on to the film's next schedule

Thu, 11 Jul 2019 16:51:11 +0530
Parineeti dying of nerve

Mumbai:  Parineeti Chopra has a busy work schedule coming up and the actress says she is "dying of nerves" because of it. Parineeti on Tuesday took to Instagram to share details of her erratic three week schedule.
In her Instagram stories, she wrote: "Three weeks left for 'Jabariya Jodi' to release. Three weeks to start shooting for 'Girl On The Train'. Saina Nehwal training going on simultaneously because I finish 'Girl On The Train' and start shoot immediately! Shifting my house this week.
"'Jabariya Jodi' promotions, 'Girl On The Train' prep, 'Saina' prep, house shift-all in three weeks! Guys I'm dying of nerves."
Parineeti will be seen in the official remake of Hollywood thriller "The Girl on the Train" starring Emily Blunt.
She currently awaits the release of "Jabariya Jodi" along with actor Sidharth Malhotra. The film is scheduled for release on August 2. Directed by Prashant Singh, "Jabariya Jodi" is based on 'Pakadwa Vivah' (forced marriage), which was once rampant in Bihar.


Thu, 11 Jul 2019 16:50:09 +0530
Deepika shares glimpse of

Mumbai:  Actress Deepika Padukone has posted a picture of the beautiful rainbow cake she treated her husband and Bollywood livewire Ranveer Singh to on his birthday on July 6.
Posting a snapshot of the cake on Instagram on Monday evening, Deepika wrote: "Sometimes, you can have your cake and eat it too! Birthday boy's birthday cake."
Recently Ranveer treated his fans to a candid photograph on Instagram, of Deepika relaxing on an easy chair.
"High on cake. Happy birthday to me," he had captioned the image.
On the work front, Rabveer will next be seen in Kabir Khan's "'83".
The movie traces India's historic victory at the 1983 cricket World Cup. Ranveer plays the team's captain Kapil Dev while Deepika essays his wife Romi.
This is Ranveer and Deepika's first film together after their wedding last year. The couple has previously co-starred in "Padmaavat", "Bajirao Mastani" and "Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela".
"83" also features Saqib Saleem, Adinath Kothare, Chirag Patil, Harddy Sandhu, Ammy Virk, Jatin Sarna, Pankaj Tripathi, Tahir Raj Bhasin, Dinker Sharma, Jiiva, Sahil Khattar, Dhairya Karwa, Nishant Dahhiya and R Badree.
The film is presented by Reliance Entertainment, and is scheduled to release on April 10 next year in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.


Thu, 11 Jul 2019 16:49:13 +0530
Pooja relied on inspiring

Mumbai:  "Mohenjo Daro" actress Pooja Hedge says there was a time when she had no projects in her kitty. She found it very hard and would go online to find inspiring videos.
"There was a year when I didn't have any work. It was very hard. I built myself and worked on my skills during that time. I would go on YouTube and find inspiring videos and something that I could connect to," Pooja said during an appearance on MX Player's web show "11 Mantras of Being Unstoppable with Ananya Birla".
"When the opportunity came, I just grabbed it and I was prepared for that opportunity," she added.
The former beauty queen made her acting debut with the Tamil film "Mugamoodi" in 2012. Two years later, she featured in Telugu movies before venturing into Bollywood with Hrithik Roshan-starrer "Mohenjo Daro" in 2016.


Thu, 11 Jul 2019 16:48:25 +0530
Janhvi shoots for horror

Agra:  Bollywood star Janhvi Kapoor is shooting near the Taj city for romantic horror flick "Rooh-Afza", and there is a huge hullabaloo among the people to catch a glimpse of their beloved Sridevi's daughter.
With all the action currently on in Bateshwar, 70 km from here, large crowds turned up on Tuesday to see the actors in action at the main entrance gate of the Bateshwar temple.
The spot is famous for its 101 Shiva temples in a row along Yamuna bank. Besides, it is also has the ancestral home of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and the Shauripur Jain shrine.
Produced by Maddock Films, "Rooh-Afza" is being shot in Bateshwar and the havelis of Holipura. Raj Kumar Rao stars opposite Jahnvi and the film is directed by Haardik Mehta.


Thu, 11 Jul 2019 16:47:17 +0530
Amitav Ghosh s passion fo

By Vishnu Makhijani
New Delhi: Three years after making a forceful plea against the effects of environmental degradation, globally acclaimed author Amitav Ghosh returns to the subject by once again focusing on the Sundarbans, which he terms critical for the well being of West Bengal and neighbouring Bangladesh and lamenting that nations around the world are not responding adequately to the global scourge.
"The Sundarbans are very important for the ecology of the Delta region of Bengal and the Delta region of Bengal is very heavily populated, it includes about well over 200 million people. Here we have to also say that the Sundarbans extend from West Bengal into Bangladesh and the Sundarbans are absolutely crucial to the well-being of these two regions," Ghosh, who received the prestigious Jnanpith Award for 2018 here on Wednesday, and whose latest work "Gun Island" was released the next day, told IANS in an interview.
"For one thing they absorb the fury of cyclones so they are an essential line of defence against the cyclones and the Bay of Bengal historically has been what you could call a 'storm breeder'. The single greatest natural disaster of the 20th century was actually the Bhola cyclone which hit Bangladesh in 1970 and possibly killed somewhere between 500,000 and a million people and it directly precipitated the break-up of Pakistan. It was the precursor to the Bangladesh War of Independence (of 1971).
"So we should not forget that these kinds of climate events actually have very significant repercussions at many different levels, including the politics and civic and social life. So, the Sundarbans are very essential to preserving and protecting Bengal from the furies of the Bay of Bengal but the Sundarbans are also important because the mangroves are a very important breeding ground for fish and fish forms a very large part of the diet of people in the Bengal Delta and if the Sundarbans were to go away there would be a dramatic decline in fish catches across Bengal. Thus in so many different ways the Sundarbans are absolutely vital to the ecology of the Indian subcontinent," Ghosh explained.
His sixth novel, "The Hungry Tide" (2004), focused exclusively on the Sunderbans through issues like humanism and environmentalism, especially when they come into a conflict of interest. It had won the 2004 Hutch Crossword Book Award for Fiction, among a string of honours bestowed on Ghosh, notably the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1990 for "The Shadow Lines". A recipient of the Padma Shri, Ghosh's "River of Smoke" (2012) was shortlisted for the Man Booker Asian Prize.
"Gun Island", in fact, takes off from "The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable" (2016). What makes it globally relevant is its theme of migration and the global refugee crisis.
In an interview to IANS two years ago, Ghosh had contended governments were only playing lip service to climate change. He said the same in his acceptance speech on Thursday. Obviously nothing seems to have changed.
"I think this is absolutely the case. All around the world, you can see, even with someone who is not a climate denier like a Justin Trudeau. He accepts the reality of climate change, he accepts the need for action on climate change but in fact he ends up sanctioning new oil fields, new oil exploration programmes etc. You know the factor behind this of course is the fossil fuel industries - they are so vast and they have so much money that they can push through almost anything. It is very hard to resist their power," Ghosh maintained.
In a way, "Gun Island" has come full circle - with a twist - from his first novel, "The Circle of Reason" (1986) that deals with the personal crisis of a weaver who is falsely implicated as a terrorist and is a commentary on communalism in the region.
How would Allu the weaver feel in the India of 2019?
"The thing about Allu is that in some ways he anticipates the India of 2019 because he is after all someone who crosses the sea as a migrant, who journeys to the Middle East and starts living in a Gulf country and that phenomenon, of course, has accelerated across India. Today India is, I think, the largest remittance receiving economy in the world with some 50-60 billion dollars in revenue for India comes from the Gulf region and Allu was a harbinger of that trend."
How important is it for authors to include the theme of climate change in their writing?
"I would say, first of all, it is not that I am telling writers what they should write about, that's not my business, writers are free to write about whatever they want. In my book 'The Great Derangement' I was really questioning myself and saying to myself, for me, writing is a way of engaging with the world I see around me, the reality I see around me.
"Why is it that climate change, this extraordinary reality that exists around us, why is that reality so hard to write about, what is it in that reality that resists us? And of course I would be asking this question even if I wrote in some other language. I don't think language has much to do with it because this region that speaks Hindi is very badly affected by heat wave so you would imagine that the writers here would want to confront this reality. Similarly writers in Bengal are being affected in different ways, writers in Orissa are being affected in different ways, so for all of us this is an unfolding reality that we need to confront," Ghosh maintained.

Thu, 11 Jul 2019 16:46:05 +0530
I m learning how to adjus

By Sugandha Rawal

New Delhi: "Always Be My Maybe" star Ali Wong is appreciative about her rise to fame in showbiz, but feels it has been too fast. The American actress says it took her some time to adjust, and it is only now that she feels a bit settled.
"I am grateful that a lot of people know who I am now and happen to appreciate what I do. And I'm learning how to adjust to it better," Wong told IANS in an email interview when asked whether she has learnt to handle fame.
"It all just happened kind of fast at first. But now I feel like it has settled into a place where me and my family are more used to it," she added.
The Vietnamese-Chinese-American comedian, writer and actress was a part of the comedy scene for years, but it was only in 2016 that she shot to fame with her stand-up special "Baby Cobra", which was filmed when she was seven months pregnant. In the special, she delved into her own sexual adventures, rocky road to pregnancy and why feminism is terrible.
She followed up her act by narrating truths about marriage and motherhood with her stand-up "Hard Knock Wife" in 2018, which was filmed while she was pregnant with her second child.
At the moment, she features in two Netflix projects -- an animated series called "Tuca & Bertie" and a romantic comedy "Always Be My Maybe". She co-wrote the film with her co-star Randall Park.
The film portrays rich diversity within the bounds of a modern-day rom-com. Along with diversity, the film also highlights gender equality and how men can support women as they work towards making their dream a reality.
Reflecting on the thoughts behind the film, she said: "When writing our movie, we always referenced 'When Harry Met Sally...' and 'Boomerang'. Those were our two favourites. Randall and I have known each other for a long time, so we wanted our characters to be friends long before they ever actually hook up, like in 'When Harry Met Sally...'.
"And then we did want to populate the movie with a lot of Asian-Americans, much like how the entire world of 'Boomerang" is unapologetically black."
The 37-year-old is elated about people of colour enjoying their moment in Hollywood.
"There's so much to be excited about: 'Black Panther', 'Jane The Virgin', 'Pen15', 'Tuca & Bertie', and 'The Big Sick'...and it makes me never want to go back in time."
Action star Keanu Reeves is a surprise package in the film.
Wong said it was a "long shot", which ultimately fell into place.
"I reached out to his people with a long-shot ask. He said that he watched both my specials and launched into this impromptu martial arts interpretation of my specials," she added.
What's next?
"I'm currently performing my new hour of stand-up on the Milk and Money Tour. And I have a book called 'Dear Girls' coming out in October," she added.


Thu, 11 Jul 2019 16:45:10 +0530
Stardom is imposed on you

By Sugandha Rawal
Kochi: Mammootty neither takes the tag of "superstar" seriously, nor does he take it for granted. The megastar, who at 67 is set to feature in a mega-budget Malayalam period drama, feels stardom is imposed, and not acquired by anyone.
After a brief appearance in 1971 film "Anubhavangal Paalichakal" and 1973 "Kalachakram", Mammootty's career in showbiz officially started with "Vilkkanundu Swapnangal" in 1980. Since then, he has showed his calibre and versatility with a repertoire of over 400 films. He will next be seen in "Mamangam".
Before his 'light, camera and action' moment, Mammootty had embarked on the way to become a lawyer. He calls himself an "accidental" lawyer.
"I wanted to become an actor, and accidentally I became a lawyer for a while," Mammootty told IANS in a candid chat here.
"But I was still trying to get into films and act. I tried and got my first chance. I was struggling only for my first chance. And then everything came my way," the superstar said zestfully, without showing any sign of fatigue from his night shoot for his upcoming period drama "Mamangam" here.
The actor, born as Muhammad Kutty Paniparambil Ismail, enjoys a wide fan base in India, especially southern India. But he doesn't let it go to his head.
"Stardom is not a position. You are not acquiring it. It is imposed on you that ‘you are a star'. You should not take it to your mind," said the actor, who considers his first film as the most challenging of his career.
Reflecting on his journey, he said: "As an actor, you have to reinvent yourself...You can correct yourself only when you find your mistakes."
At this point of conversation, the actor mentions that though he isn't afraid of failure, it does affect him in some way.
"I am not scared, but that affects me. You can only win when you fail. You can be successful when you lose it."
Over all these years, he has donned several avatars and moulded his on-screen image as per the demand of his films. But drawing a line between his reel and real self is not easy.
"Being yourself is different from being an actor. It is actually a struggle between yourself, your persona and the character's persona. Sometimes you will fail to be successful to overcome your persona to be the character. When you overcome your persona to be the character, then you are a successful actor.
"It happens with every actor and it happens to me as well. Sometimes I am successful and sometimes I am not."
And that's the reason he describes himself as a "growing actor".
Have all the years spent in the industry changed him as a person?
"My personal life is entirely different. I play different characters. My personality is the same. I don't change it."
That gives a sense that he keeps himself detached from a lot of things that come with fame?
But he said, "I am not detached. I am carrying all this with me."
At the moment, Mammootty is excited about M. Padmakumar's "Mamangam" which will narrate a true story around the medieval festival called Mamangam. He will be seen playing a mysterious character with multiple looks in the film.
Said to be the biggest Malayalam film in terms of the budget and expanse, the project showcases a wide action sequence of Kalaripayattu.
The film will tell a story of one great real hero and one glorious unknown hero. The action sequences are choreographed by Sham Kaushal.
The project, slated to release later this year, will release in Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu and Hindi. It is produced by Venu Kunnappilly of Kavya Films.
On the film, Mammootty said: "What excited me was the role offered to me and the historical importance of the story.
"It happens in the 15th and 16th century in north Kerala... There were braver and bolder people and their sacrifice must be known to the new generation. And my role is also interesting."


Thu, 11 Jul 2019 16:44:08 +0530
We were told it was over

By Sugandha Rawal  
New Delhi: There was a time when actresses were told their career would be over at 40 in Hollywood, but not anymore. "The Loudest Voice" star Naomi Watts feels a lot has changed for women in the industry.
The Oscar-nominated actress says women want to look good and want to be taken seriously -- and there is no reason that the two can't co-exist.
Actors are often under pressure to look a certain way which is deemed important to sell their image. But has the pressure changed for women over all these years?
"I think that has always been there, definitely. And you know, there was a time when we were told that come the age of 40, it was all over...and that has changed," Watts said during "The Loudest Voice" press conference call in which IANS represented India exclusively.
"In terms of being told that we have to look good, I think we want to look good, but we want to be taken seriously and there's no reason that the two things can't co-exist.
"For the red carpet, yes, I want to look my absolute best and I use professional help to create something that looks good, but it has not been so because I've been instructed to. I make that choice myself. I'm in charge of the decision making as to how I present myself," added the 50-year-old.
Her resume is a testament to her versatility, her chameleon-like quality to get into the skin of any character and how to avoid being typecast.
With two Oscar nominations, her work profile shines with box-office hits like 'King Kong', 'The Ring', 'The Divergent' series, and roles in critically acclaimed films like 'Birdman', 'Mulholland Drive' and '21 Grams'.
Now, she will be seen living the life of journalist Gretchen Carlson in Showtime limited series "The Loudest Voice", which dramatises the rise and fall of Carlson's former boss, Fox News creator Roger Ailes (essayed by Russell Crowe).
The show spotlights Ailes' history of sexual abuse, and Carlson's landmark sexual harassment lawsuit against Ailes that led to his ouster.
"The Loudest Voice" will stream in India on Hotstar Premium. The show will go on the platform at the same time as the US. It will launch on July 1.
Watts says the #MeToo movement has ushered in a "really powerful change".
"I would say there has been a significant change and not necessarily one that I thought I would witness in such a dramatic way... I hoped it would happen over time, but I've seen a really powerful change happening in front of the camera, and behind the camera in the last couple of years. And that's the heartening side of this story," she said.
The mother of two continued: "Out of the MeToo movement, has come the Time's Up movement and voices are being heard, and that's just very encouraging. It was time. It was absolute... I've seen female-driven stories now getting financed which they weren't before.
"I've seen female directors - more female directors being hired and the same goes for writers and other technicians in our industry. That's the good part of this story that's come to light."
But there is a heartbreaking side to it as well.
"We're sitting here listening to these awful stories that took place over such a long time, but now the space has been made to listen and for change to take place."
The actress, who will soon enter the 'Game Of Thrones' universe with its prequel, hopes 'The Loudest Voice' to be a story of female empowerment.
"I hope that this is a story of female empowerment, that women can feel encouraged by the fact that it's good to stand up for yourself, and that voices are now being heard and room is being made as a result to change things in all industries."


Thu, 11 Jul 2019 16:43:10 +0530
New technology may help I

Hyderabad: The National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRDPR) is working on a new technology in aquaculture to help double the income of Indian farmers, an official said on Monday.
The institute has recently established a ‘Backyard Re-circulatory Aquaculture System' developed by Cochin University of Science and Technology.
The system, an intensive fish culture pond, enables high density stocking of fish in cages. This would allow off-setting of the load by stocking different varieties and sizes of fish in smaller cages in a pond, the institute said in a statement.
Since the water requirement for this system is quite low, the high-density stocking of fish in different cages enables flexibility in managing a fishpond.
"We can only double the income of farmers by promoting integrated farming practices. Such technology-backed smart farming solutions will encourage youth to undertake farming as an occupation," said W.R. Reddy, Director General at NIRDPR.
This system, inaugurated at the Institute's Rural Technology Park, was established with funding support of the National Fisheries Development Board, a government organisation.
Fish varieties that can be grown in the system include Tilapia, Pangasius, Murrel and Pearlspot. The economics of growing Genetically Improved Farm Tilapia (GIFT) in the pond, for a stocking period of 120 days over three cycles per year, demonstrates that an average monthly return of Rs 25,750 can be expected from fish culture.
The aquaculture system can act as a source of additional income for farmers located even in low water availability areas, helping them double their income, the statement said. In addition, the sludge periodically pumped out of the pond can be utilised to grow agriculture crops without the addition of chemical fertilizers, it said.
Given that the intensive fish culture does not require to be limited in geography to coastal areas, it can also be used in inland areas, further confirming the flexibility of the system.
The Rural Technology Park at NIRDPR will demonstrate the functioning of the system and provide necessary training to farmers, self-help groups (SHGs) and youth who are keen on undertaking fish culture for enhancing their income.

Thu, 11 Jul 2019 16:20:55 +0530
SpaceX wins NASA contract

Washington: NASA has selected Elon Musk's SpaceX to provide launch services for the agencys Imaging X-Ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE) mission, which will help astronomers better understand cosmic phenomena such as black holes and neutron stars.
The total cost for NASA to launch IXPE is approximately $50.3 million, which includes the launch service and other mission-related costs, the US space agency said on Tuesday.
IXPE measures polarized X-rays from objects, such as black holes and neutron stars to better understand these types of cosmic phenomena and extreme environments.
The mission currently is targeted to launch in April 2021 on a Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A in Florida, NASA said.
IXPE will fly three space telescopes with sensitive detectors capable of measuring the polarisation of cosmic X-rays, allowing scientists to answer fundamental questions about these turbulent environments where gravitational, electric and magnetic fields are at their limits.


Thu, 11 Jul 2019 16:20:01 +0530
Face recognition technolo

New Delhi: As the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) under Home Ministry aims to install Automated Facial Recognition System (AFRS) to track and nab criminals, the debate on the misuse of the face recognition technology has sparked fresh debate in India.
Facing the scrutiny across the globe, the face recognition technology has proved beneficial in some cases, like detecting and disrupting the distribution of child sexual abuse materials online.
In April last year, Delhi Police could identify almost 3,000 missing children in just four days during a trial of a facial recognition system.
While the benefits of the technology for law enforcement agencies in fighting crime and identifying missing people and also for the industry for business purposes cannot be denied, it is the misuse of the technology that can put the citizens of the country in trouble.
According to Pavan Duggal, one of the nation's top cyber law experts, the Information Technology Act, 2000 does not specially deal with misuse of this technology.
"The first casualty of the absence of regulatory framework for facial recognition technology is people's right to privacy," Duggal told IANS.
"In India, there is not even any framework to regulate the storage of facial recognition data," he added.
Some of the major technology giants including Microsoft and Amazon also agree that there is a need for governments to regulate this technology.
Microsoft President Brad Smith has shot down calls to stop selling facial recognition software to government agencies, saying the move would be "cruel" as it could hamper good work such as diagnosing rare diseases.
Over 85 human rights groups wrote to Microsoft, Amazon, and Google, demanding the companies should stop selling facial recognition software to the governments as it would lead to surveillance.
In a blog post in December, Smith had said that given the potential for abuse of the fast advancing facial recognition technology, governments across the world need to start adopting laws to regulate this technology.
Historians in the US have used the technology to identify the portraits of unknown soldiers in Civil War photographs taken in the 1860s.
"Researchers successfully used facial recognition software to diagnose a rare, genetic disease in Africans, Asians and Latin Americans," he added. However, he did warn that widespread use of this technology can lead to new intrusions into people's privacy.
At a time when pressure is mounting on tech companies to utilise facial recognition technology with care to avoid its misuse, Google has also said it will not offer the controversial technology for now.


Thu, 11 Jul 2019 16:18:40 +0530
IIT Madras scientists lau

Chennai: In a bid to accelerate innovation in Artificial Intelligence (AI) in India, scientists from IIT-Madras on Wednesday launched a platform called 'AI4Bharat' that would help build AI solutions to address local problems in agriculture, health care and other sectors.
Founded by Dr Mitesh M Khapra and Dr Pratyush Kumar, assistant professors in the department of computer science and engineering, the platform is open to students who would be mentored to solve real-world problems and accelerate AI innovation.
"AI is one of the defining technologies of this age. However, much of the research in AI today is driven by the problems of the West. For instance, building autonomous cars takes priority over building systems that can monitor the condition of rural roads," said Kumar.
"We need to change this by shifting the focus to India. This is where domain experts and the government would play an important role -- identify problems that are unique to India and can benefit from AI," he added.
Khapra and Kumar have also co-founded "One Fourth Labs" (incubated at the IIT Madras Research Park) with a mission to design and deliver affordable hands-on courses on AI and related topics.
"To solve such problems, it is important to move AI research and development out of silos and create a platform where AI professionals can come together to design and build impactful solutions. With this in mind, our immediate goal is to create a community of 100 selected AI experts and 50 domain experts," Khapra noted.
The "One Fourth Labs" start-up would work closely with AI4Bharat and offer basic and advanced courses in AI at affordable prices - as low as Rs 1,000 for a five-month online course.


Thu, 11 Jul 2019 16:17:37 +0530
In evolving world of fash

New Delhi: Off screen, Janhvi Kapoor and Sara Ali Khan slay the salwar kameez look, setting a fashion statement that the new generation may otherwise consider 'bygone'. Patialas and Palazzos may come and go, but there's something evergreen about salwars, say style experts.
Mansi Gupta, Co-founder, Tjori, says the salwar has been tweaked over generations to suit the needs of women.
"The simple salwar was first made into the Patiala salwar, later they were made as dhoti salwar and then harem salwar or palazzo salwar...all these modifications to stay in the latest fashion trend. But it is a dynamically structured garment that shall never go out of fashion.
"Ask the average Indian women what would be their go to outfit when they have to go out or stay home, I can assure most of them will say a simple salwar kameez. The salwar is one of the very few Indian garments that hasn't lost its ethnic value, and are forever," Gupta told IANS.
In a latest on-screen stint, Sayani Gupta has been seen sporting salwars in "Article 15". As Bollywood celebrities have quite an influence on driving the mass fashion narrative in the country, who knows the classic salwar may begin to be seen more frequently.
Sreyashee Halder, Design Head, W, said: "The comeback of salwars are inevitable - we can already see it becoming a hot favourite with designers and in the new age, the salwar will take a renewed form. We will see variations and innovations in that silhouette.
"Like in every fashion cycle - silhouettes and trends come back - this trend has also begun its journey back as it is going to be a refreshing change to the tight-fitted churidar. It also has its pros and cons and an extremely comfortable silhouette."
She, however, feels that unlike a churidar which makes one look slim and tall, this silhouette is not as flattering. And so, "salwars will be back but may not stay for eternity", she said.
Natascha Tate, In-house Stylist, LimeRoad, says it is the ease to carry the attire that makes it an ideal choice in summer and autumn.
"It can be worn to office as well as makes for a cool brunch outing or a casual catch up with friends."


Thu, 11 Jul 2019 16:14:53 +0530
Evening exercise as good

London: Contrary to popular perception, researchers have found that evening exercise is as good as a morning workout.
The study published in the journal Cell Metabolism shows that the effect of exercise may differ depending on the time of day it is performed.
"There appear to be rather significant differences between the effect of exercise performed in the morning and evening and these differences are probably controlled by the body's circadian clock," said Jonas Thue Treebak, Associate Professor at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.
"Morning exercise initiates gene programmes in the muscle cells, making them more effective and better capable of metabolising sugar and fat. Evening exercise, on the other hand, increases whole-body energy expenditure for an extended period of time," Treebak said.
For the study, the research team examined mice and found that exercise in the morning results in an increased metabolic response in skeletal muscle, while exercise later in the day increases energy expenditure for an extended period of time.
The researchers have measured a number of effects in the muscle cells, including the transcriptional response and effects on the metabolites.
The results show that responses are far stronger in both areas following exercise in the morning and it is likely to be controlled by a central mechanism involving the protein HIF 1-alpha, which directly regulates the body's circadian clock.
Morning exercise appears to increase the ability of muscle cells to metabolise sugar and fat and this type of effect interests the researchers in relation to people with severe overweight and type 2 diabetes.

Thu, 11 Jul 2019 16:12:22 +0530
5 ways to care for jewell

New Delhi: The pitter-patter of rain may bring immense joy, but it certainly is not a good sign for jewellery, say experts.
Sumeet Dhanraj, Director and Creative Head of Dhanraj Jewellers, and Saumya Ghai, Designer and Merchandiser at Shaya by CaratLane, have suggested some self-care tips to help protect your ornaments in this damp weather:
* Gold jewellery is prone to catching dust and dirt quickly when kept in a humid environment. Hence, during monsoon one must use warm soapy water to clean gold ornaments.
* When it comes to jewellery such as pearls, coral or amber, it would be advisable to keep them in separate boxes. Do not mix them with other gemstones as scratches are inevitable.
Furthermore, gemstones need to be given proper care and attention. Pearls are delicate and direct contact with perfumes and sprays might damage them. If adequate precautions are not taken while storing them, it is likely to develop scratches.
* Moisture can affect metal alloy used to make ornaments and cause it to lose its original lustre. To prevent this from happening, store your jewellery in a box with a sturdy exterior and a soft interior, which would do half the job for you by keeping the humidity and moisture out.
Meanwhile, the soft interior would save the articles from probable friction and help retain their natural sheen.
* Over-exposure to air and humidity can damage your delicate silver. It's advisable to store silver jewellery in individual, air-tight bags with an anti-tarnish properties paper. These types of bags minimise air exposure and keep the jewellery new for a longer period of time.
* Keep the jewellery away from water as much as possible, since the contaminants in water can result in tarnished and dull looking silver. If your jewellery gets wet, take a soft cloth, dab the water out and blow dry the jewellery before storing it.


Thu, 11 Jul 2019 16:11:17 +0530
Trolley bags better than

Madrid: Parents, please take a note. Researchers have found that trolley bags are better than backpacks for schoolkids for their movement and body posture.
They also suggest that children should not carry over 20 per cent of their body weight in their backpack trolleys as it hampers their movement.
For the study published in the journal Applied Ergonomics, researchers from the University of Granada and Liverpool John Moores University assessed 49 primary school pupils from Spain.
In Spain, more than 40 per cent of the children use trolley backpacks, and until now there have been no studies making weight recommendations for this type of backpack, said researchers.
For the study, a kinematic analysis of the children (posture of the trunk and lower limbs) was conducted while they walked freely; carrying no weight; carrying a traditional backpack; and while pulling a backpack trolley with different loads (10 per cent, 15 per cent and 20 per cent of their respective body weights).
It was found that pulling the backpack trolley produces fewer changes in the child's kinematics and, therefore, resembles more closely their movement when walking free of any load, compared to carrying backpacks, even when it weighs very little.
Findings also indicate that the greatest alterations were produced in the hip and trunk when using trolleys or backpacks while there was little difference in the kinematics of the knee and ankle.
The study also confirmed that schoolchildren who use backpacks should avoid carrying loads greater than 10 per cent of their body weight.


Thu, 11 Jul 2019 16:09:32 +0530
Heavy red meat eaters at

New York: Increasing red meat consumption, particularly processed red meat, is associated with a higher risk of death, researchers warned.
A study published in the journal BMJ shows that replacing red meat with other protein sources, such as eggs and fish, whole grains and vegetables, over time may help you live longer.
For the study, a team of researchers from Harvard University looked at the link between changes in red meat consumption over an eight-year period with mortality rate during the next eight years, starting from 1986 to the end of follow-up in 2010.
They used data for 53,553 US registered female nurses, aged between 30 and 55, and 27,916 male health professionals in the US, aged between 40 and 75, who were free of cardiovascular disease and cancer at the start of the study.
Every four years the participants were given a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) where they were asked how often, on an average, they ate each food of standard portion size in the past year. They were then divided into five categories based on their changes in red meat intake.
During the study period, the total number of deaths from any cause reached 14,019 (8,426 women and 5,593 men) and the leading causes were cardiovascular disease, cancer, respiratory disease and neurodegenerative disease.
After adjusting for age and other potentially influential factors, increasing total red meat intake by 3.5 servings a week or more over an eight-year period was associated with 10 per cent higher risk of death in the next eight years.
Overall, reducing red meat intake while eating more whole grains, vegetables or other protein foods such as poultry without skin, eggs and fish, was associated with a lower risk of death among both men and women.

Thu, 11 Jul 2019 16:02:23 +0530
Adding vanilla makes milk

New York:  If you want to cut down on added sugar, add vanilla to milk beverages as researchers have found that this flavour in sweetened milk tricks the brain into thinking that the beverage is sweeter.
With the addition of vanilla, the added sugar content in flavoured milk could potentially be reduced by 20 to 50 per cent, suggested lead researcher Gloria Wang who conducted the research at Pennsylvania State University in the US.
"Reducing added sugar in products, just like reducing fat and salt, is the holy grail of food science," said Helene Hopfer, Assistant Professor of Food Science at Pennsylvania State University in the US.
The idea that congruent or harmonious odours enhance certain tastes is not new, explained Hopfer.
In a blind taste test that provided new insights into taste enhancement by an aroma, participants -- who did not know vanilla had been added to the milk -- consistently indicated that samples with vanilla were significantly sweeter than their added sugar concentrations could explain.
"We maintain the sweetness perception by having this congruent odour -- this learned, associated odour -- basically trick the brain into thinking that there is still enough sweetness there," said Wang, now an associate scientist in product development with Leprino Foods Co. in Colorado, US.
The researchers believe that the study, published in the journal Food Quality and Preference, offers people a workable option to reduce added sugar in their products and retain the sweetness consumers demand.


Thu, 11 Jul 2019 16:01:30 +0530
Explore India Beat the s

New Delhi: The scorching heat is driving travel enthusiasts to explore India's northern belt for some respite, but it is leading to over-tourism. Be different and stay away from the rush by visiting destinations which may be less frequented, but offer panoramic views and exciting experiences.
A slew of affordable international destinations are wooing Indian travellers, but within India, there are myriad options of summer havens that are perfect for a vacation.
Rashmi Chadha, Founder, Wovoyage, told IANS: "Over-tourism is currently happening in north India because most destinations have frequent visits by travellers and new destinations get left out due to their infrastructure which is not much developed for mass tourism."
Chadha, whose travel startup is aimed at women travellers, said people must explore offbeat locations, and the rise of homestays and small guesthouses which can be easily booked online, is only giving the option a push.
"I"ll suggest Karnataka can be a good option to travel in June. There are places like Karwar and Agumbe, which is even called as Cherrapunji of South. As an alternative to overcrowded destinations in India, I would suggest to explore Khajjiar in Himachal Pradesh, Siliguri in West Bengal, Palani Hills on the border of Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
"Instead of beaches in Goa, try to visit the region of Daman and Diu, and instead of Alleppey in Kerala, go to Munroe Island. Enjoy nature and peace in holidays," she suggested.
According to Rajeev Kale, President and Country Head - Holiday, MICE, Visa, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd, there is quite a demand for beach destinations.
"While hill stations continue to remain popular, this year we have also seen a 15 to 18 per cent demand over the last year for beach destinations and amusement parks as well. Beaches such as Kovalam in Kerala, Goa, coastal Maharashtra, Mahabalipuram and Pondicherry in Tamil Nadu have seen an increase in demand," Kale told IANS.
As for a quick getaway, families are also looking at adventure and amusement parks like Imagica in Maharashtra and VGP Universal Kingdom and Wonderla parks in southern India across cities like Kochi, Chennai and Bengaluru.
"Apart from these, pilgrim and high altitude destinations like Char Dham, coupled with adventure activities in Haridwar and Rishikesh have seen a strong uptake," he added.
But the pressure of tourist rush in the Uttarakhand hills this season is already taking a toll as it is leading to crammed up roads and highways.
Beyond that, India has an abundance of green and exquisite locations, says Daniel D'souza, President and Country Head, Leisure, SOTC Travel.
"Some of the unexplored destinations of Meghalaya, Kerala, Arunachal Pradesh, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and Leh-Ladakh, which offer scenic vistas and pleasant weather," he said.

Thu, 11 Jul 2019 16:00:06 +0530
Odisha seeks inclusion of

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday requested Union tourism minister Prahalad Singh Patel to include at least two tourist places of importance from the state in the list of iconic tourist sites to be developed by the Centre.
In a letter to the tourism minister, Patnaik requested to include at least two tourist places after omission of Odisha from list of 17 iconic tourism sites to be developed by the Centre.
"Tourism sector contributes about 13% to the state's GDP and needs a strategic boost. Keeping in view the importance of the tourism sector for the state of Odisha, it is requested that the Government of India may consider inclusion of at least two tourist places of importance in the list of Iconic Tourism Sites," said the Chief Minister.
Naveen proposed two of these sites - Konark Sun Temple, Chilika Lake, Bhitarkanika National Park, Simlipal National Park and Diamond Triangle Buddhist Circuit - to be included in the list.
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, in her Budget speech, had announced that 17 Iconic Tourism Sites will be developed into world class tourist destinations and to serve as a model for other tourism sites.
These sites would enhance the visitor experience, which would lead to increase in visits of both domestic and international tourists at these destinations.
He also welcomed the inclusion of Mahendragiri peak in Gajapati district as one among 15 thematic destinations to be developed under the Swadesh Darshan scheme for the Ramayana Circuit.


Thu, 11 Jul 2019 15:55:23 +0530
Heartfulness meditation f

Hyderabad: Tucked away from the hustle bustle of city life is a sprawling 1,400 acre campus with people craving for internal peace flocking to the global headquarters of Heartfulness system of meditation.
Located in Chegur village of Ranga Reddy district, about 50 km from Hyderabad, a drought-prone landscape for several decades is now transforming into a lush green eco-system with environmentally self-sustained world-class facility.
Home to variety of trees, many of which are almost extinct, Kanha Shativanam, as the area is called, offers a perfect setting for those practicing Heartfulness, an approach to the Raja Yoga system of meditation called Sahaj Marg.
Heartfulness meditation is a set of practices for self-development that helps a person find inner calm and stillness. Offered at no cost and without any dogma, it is the ancient art of yogic transmission or 'pranahuti'.
"The effect of Heartfulness meditation with pranahuti on brainwave patterns, heart rate and blood pressure, vagus nerve activity and telomere length on chromosomes, amongst other things, are being supported by research. Many feel the effects of transmission in their first few Heartfulness meditation sessions and are often surprised at their own ability to plunge into an absorbed meditative state," says the Heartfulness Institute.
Heading the institute is Kamlesh D. Patel, the fourth global guide of Heartfulness. Daaji, as he affectionately known, has touched the lives of millions at home and abroad.
"Heartfulness is all about living by the heart. Mind, body and the heart form beautiful rhythmic triangle. The voice of heart always dominates over the mind. Though feeble but it always dominate in the end. Mind may tell you something but heart will always guide you in right direction. I don't say mind always misguides. It can also be in sync with the heart. This is a rarity," Daaji told IANS as people from various walks of life sat in pin-drop silence waiting for a meditation session with the guru.
According to him, people who are egoists and obsessed with desires can't listen to the heart.
"Through meditation we sensitise the awareness. We sensitise in a conscience that little voice. It is one part of Heartfulness method. Most of us listen to heart but very few follow it. It needs little bit of commitment, wisdom and some courage.
"Most people come here is to find peace. Some sort of calmness. That is also very small goal. If we approach god with peace of mind, of course he is benevolent and generous he will grant you peace. But if you ask Himself, then peace will automatically come. One has to be wiser in asking. We narrow down our vision and say I want only peace. The ultimate goal should be to one with Him," he added.
According to Daaji, even to have a minimum thing like peace of mind one needs to meditate.
Heartfulness is offering 'Dhyanotsav' a free of cost three-day master class wellness fest focusing on teaching techniques of Heartfulness relaxation, meditation and cleaning. It will be held in cities all over India.
For students and teachers of yoga, he recently launched Heartfulness Yoga that integrates body, mind and soul in the true spirit of Ashtanga Yoga. It not only teaches classical yoga asanas but also the ultimate goal of Yoga, which is oneness through meditation.
Heartfulness Institute, which had its headquarters in Chennai, shifted to Hyderabad because of its central location. Daaji laid special emphasis on developing green cover as he believes plants have a much greater capacity to retain the subtle vibrations of yogic transmission compared to human beings.
In less than four years, the barren area has undergone transformation with the plantation of two lakh tress. A six lakh sapling nursery is acting as a supply for the plantation in the region, while 1,000 trees saved and translocated from faraway places resurrected here. Buoyed by the success, Heartfulness Institute is now working to develop rain forest.
Daaji said that every year they want to plant one lakh trees and once this space runs out they will take up plantation in villages, ponds and forests.
People voluntarily contribute in terms of work, time and funds. People working at Amazon, Google, Apple, Cisco and other corporate giants voluntarily participate in plantation.
The facility will unveil its meditation hall next year. It promises to be one of the largest in the world by accommodating one lakh 'Abhyasis '(practitioners of Heartfulness) at one go.
The entire facility is completely self-sustaining with solar energy systems meeting the power needs.
The facility is equipped with temporary and permanent living spaces to support housing of large gathering often in excess of 35,000 practitioners who travel from across the globe to take part in mass meditation sessions while staying over three to five days.

Thu, 11 Jul 2019 15:53:53 +0530
Give your home a twist wi

New Delhi: Lifting the look of your house can be easy with a change or two in soft furnishings. Play around with a rug or throw in cushions to style it well, suggest experts.
Rashi, Founder, Carpet Couture, has the following tips to share:
* Style the windows: The windows are the eyes of the home, letting in light and confining the world outside. Try and pick trendy curtains for your windows -- for example, strong textures or wild examples, Venetian blinds or manor screens.
* Make a statement with a rug: Your eyes will normally be attracted to walls and furniture, but did you realise that a carpet/rug can truly integrate the room? Pick something that you can manage the cost of. Only buy if you adore it. A rug encompasses the furniture arrangement and makes the decor look complete. Important points to note while selecting a rug are size, colours, texture and most importantly, its maintenance.
* Scatter cushions: In case you are becoming weary of a plain, uninviting room, a simple method to add positivity is by introducing some cushions or throws.
* Revive a favourite sofa or chair: We all have that one most loved household item that we just couldn't stand to dispose off. Regardless of whether it's a legacy wingback seat or a comfortable Chesterfield couch, there's no requirement for a substitution. Pick squashed velvet, an extravagant print or much calfskin - maybe pick something swanky to make the thing emerge significantly more to give a special style to your living room.

Sameer A.M, Founder and CEO, Bonito Designs, suggests:
* One of the easiest things to look for while decorating is curtains, things you might have already stashed away in your cupboards. There are plenty of things already in your home you may not have considered wall-worthy. Take another look at curtains, scarves and fabrics you've collected and use one large, or several smaller pieces by hanging them on a rod or directly onto the wall with small hooks sewn onto the back.
* Complementary bed linens accentuate the decor. A printed bedspread really uplifts a space when it comes to décor.
* Pile on the pillows, and don't shy away from mixing patterns. This is one of the easiest ways to accessorize and brighten a room, whether you buy them or make your own. Combine large prints with small ones, geometrics and florals. Bright, fuller pillows in varying colours and textures, blend different groupings. However, one should be careful not to go overboard.
* Another quick hack to make a throw pillow seem so much more luxurious is to replace the original insides with a feather insert. They will look and feel so much better than foam.
* Using objects such as musical instruments and album covers makes a fitting display in your living room - particularly when hung together in a grouping or salon arrangement. Choose matching frames to bring it all together for a cohesive look.


Thu, 11 Jul 2019 15:48:00 +0530
Mute victims of heatwave

Satna (Madhya Pradesh): Shripal Mawasi, a resident of Putrichuwa village in Madhya Pradeshs Satna district, has to help his cow stand up. The cow is not sick, shes famished; a bit too weak to even stand on its own. Putrichuwa has been facing a massive water crisis and thus Shripal couldnt arrange enough water for his cow.
"I had bought this cow four years ago for Rs 1,000. She gave birth to two calves during this period but this year proved to be bad for her. Due to the water and food crisis, I failed to feed her. When water is not available for humans itself, how can we provide it to animals?" asked Shripal.
This is the situation in almost every household in this village. Abandoned cows at roadsides and in deserted fields are a common sight in the region. Rameshwar Mawasi, a resident of Barha Mawan village of Satna, said the residents of the village had predicted a drought in March and sold off their big cattle. He informed that now villagers have only goats for cattle as people have abandoned their cows and buffaloes owing to the shortage of food and water.
Even during monsoons, there is no end to this problem. According to the statistics released by the Indian Meteorological Department, the state has received 56 per cent less rainfall between June 1 and June 26 compared with the same period last year. The average rainfall should have been 91.4 mm during this period but the state received only 45.1 mm rainfall.
The condition of Satna district is particularly bad. The district received 58 per cent less rain than last year between June 1 and June 26. From June 20 to June 26, the district received only 6 mm rainfall while the average precipitation is 46.3 mm.
This district has been receiving unfavourable spells of rainfall for the last two years. In 2018, the rainfall in this region was 784 mm, while it was 743.2 mm in 2017. The average rainfall in this region is 1039 mm.
Bhurelal Mawasj, a resident of Putrichuwa village, said he regrets buying a cow. He highlighted that if the rains are delayed by another two weeks, everyone will lose their cattle.
Struggle for water
Not only animals, even humans are facing great difficulty because of scarcity of food and water. Women walk nearly four km to fetch drinking water. Forty-year-old Phool Bai, a resident of Putrichuwa, said that seven hand pumps in the village have dried up and the women go to a nearby pond and a well to fetch water.
The severity of the water crisis is similar in the nearby villages of Majhgawan block.
"There is a lone functional hand pump in the village and that too gives dirty water. One has to keep pumping for 15 minutes to fill a 20-litre bucket," said Rajaram Mawasi, a 55-year-old resident of Kiraipukhari village.
He added that while the villagers use water from the hand-pump only for drinking purposes, water for animals and other household work is obtained from a pond three km away from the village. An average resident of the village walks 15 to 16 km to fetch water twice or thrice every day, he said.
Satendra Singh, the district collector of Panna, was not available to comment on the scarcity of water and the steps the government has taken to address this shortage.

Thu, 11 Jul 2019 15:45:27 +0530
Art of commuting Delhi m

New Delhi: Most Indians may still need a push to visit art galleries and museums, but when the national capital's favourite commuting mode Metro Rail doubles up as a contemporary art gallery itself, it is not uncommon to see Delhiwallahs stop, look and even click an occasional selfie.
Whether it is abstract or realistic art, colourful ceramic tiles or informative panels, the wide station network of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) seems to have it all covered, as the modern transport service that began in 2002 and continues to expand, zooms in on art and culture.
The artworks at Pink Line's Johri Enclave station is a tribute to the eminent classical artists of India. Creative portraits of great artists like shehnai maestro Bismillah Khan, noted flautist Hariprasad Chaurasia, popular vocalist Shubha Mudgal and sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar dot the station premises.
The Pink Line and Indian cultural symbols seem to coalesce in more stations, especially Gokulpuri and Shiv Vihar, which exhibit different dance cultures of our country: Dhunuchi, Bhangram, Dandiya Raas, Bharatanatyam, for the former and Chhau, Cham and Kathputli for the latter.
On the Hauz Khas station, an intersection of the Yellow and Magenta Lines, historical monuments galore. Lodhi Tombs, the Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, Jama Masjid, and Humayun's Tomb reflect the diverse cultural fabric of India.
Many other metro stations are ready takers of art on history and heritage. Mandi House comes first to mind.
The works here chronicles the journey of the area from brick kilns to a culture hub. Its panels display digital prints of original maps and vintage photographs, like a rare aerial view of the Modern School at Barakhamba, an old photograph of India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru opening the Sapru House, and actor Naseeruddin Shah in a 1973 theatre production by theatre doyen Ebrahim Alkazi.
Rare images of Dadi Pudumjee, under whom the Sri Ram Centre established the first modern puppet theatre are also on display.
At the INA metro station, the DMRC, in collaboration with the Ministry of Textiles, has also installed 58 panels of handicrafts and handlooms created by craftsmen from across India - from Mithila paintings from Bihar to terracotta tiles from Rajasthan.
Two stations on the long and busy Blue Line, Karol Bagh and Karkardooma, use ceramic artworks and painted wall works to show signs of a modern, progressive society.
While the Karol Bagh murals feature development aspects like education and technology, the Karkardooma station, which opens near the Karkardooma District Court, has references to the judiciary: a set of scales and hands, handcuffs, police and a colossal Ashok Chakra.
Nature enthusiasts who commute by metro are not disappointed as well, as Mandawali-West Vinod Nagar has its focus on flora and fauna, and the walls of this station feature vibrant paintings of leaves, flowers, toucans and koi fish. Serene!
Regular metro commuters would also know of the Metro Museum at the Patel Chowk Metro Station, which traces the genesis of the Delhi Metro which took 32 years to reach the operational stage from the drawing boards.
As per DMRC, Delhi Metro stations that cover almost every corner of the NCR today are perfect spaces for the promotion of India's art and culture
"Such projects have also contributed towards the beautification of the city in general. We have also tried to portray the heritage and history of the areas around the stations. For example, the stations passing through old Delhi has artworks related to that area," a DMRC spokesperson told IANS.
For now, Delhi Metro's present span of over 370 km and 271 stations (including the Noida-Greater Noida Aqua Line) has a lot to offer to its average daily ridership of about 30 lakh people.


Thu, 11 Jul 2019 15:44:29 +0530
A retired civil servant s

New Delhi: Even after giving almost 40 years of his life to government service, retired civil servant S.K. Misra felt his work was still not complete. The former bureaucrat felt that the experience he had gained and the reputation he had built could be better used for public service. Thus began his second innings.
After he retired as the Principal Secretary to former Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar in the early 1990s, Misra continued his work in the fields of conservation and restoration of heritage, rural development, women empowerment and community engagement. Standing strong at 87, the Padma Bhushan recipient heads the Indian Trust for Rural Heritage and Development (ITRHD), a non-governmental organisation set up in 2011 that works in villages with strong, often endangered, heritage traditions with projects spread across eight states.
"I could never think of total retirement or sitting idle. I felt that the experience that I had gained, I should put that experience to social purpose. I am 87-years-old now and I still can't think of just relaxing," Misra, who also served as tourism, civil aviation and agriculture secretary in the union government and was also principal secretary to three Haryana chief ministers, told IANS in an interview.
He added that other officers who gain experience should not just hang up their boots after retirement, but should continue to work "as there are so many areas where work needs to be done and where their experience could be utilised".
After retirement, Misra served as the chairman of Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), the biggest NGO in the country concerned with restoration of heritage, for almost 10 years. But, the need for an organisation focusing solely on rural heritage, birthed ITRHD.
"INTACH was primarily urban oriented and was concerned only with conservation. The new NGO, formed in collaboration with a number of distinguished persons from different walks of life, was concerned with conservation of rural heritage and also rural development along with community involvement," he said.
Founded with the aim of helping create sustainable viability for heritage while also focusing on its potential as a resource for overall development, his NGO concentrates on infrastructure development, primary education, skill development, employment generation, and development of rural tourism.
"In all our projects, the goal is not only to preserve important heritage assets for their own meaning and value, but to help the impoverished rural communities that own them to learn how to successfully manage previously unrecognized heritage resources, in the process achieving self-sufficiency, improved living conditions, and a new sense of pride as owners of these special and most precious parts of our culture," Misra said.
While in Jharkhand, ITRHD is working on restoration of 17th century terracotta temples and restoration of a historic jail, in Haryana's Mewat district, it has undertaken a project to restore an extraordinary 700-year-old monument, the Dargah of Sheikh Musa -- a medieval Sufi saint.
"In the Maluti village in Jharkhand, there is a unique heritage site with 62 terra-cotta temples. There were 108 temples and now only 62 remain - all in one village,"
While Misra took the initiative to conserve and protect these unique monuments in 2011, the Jharkhand government in 2015 agreed to fund the entire project with a budget of Rs 7 crore.
"The work is going on and we hope to complete it by end of this year," the former bureaucrat said.
"In addition, the state government has also entrusted a project of conserving a historical jail in Ranchi which housed freedom fighters of the tribe called Munda. After restoration, it is to be converted into a tribal museum," he added. Started late last year, the project is expected to be completed by 2019 end.
In Uttar Pradesh's Azamgarh district, Misra's NGO is working on an initiative to preserve the heritage of an "unusual cluster of historical creativity" of three villages - Nizamabad, Mubarakpur and Hariharpur.
Holding India's rich cultural heritage and soft power, Hariharpur has a long classical music tradition, Nizamabad a unique tradition of black pottery, and Mubarakpur thousands of fine silk weavers.
"We now organize Azamgarh Festivals annually in both Delhi and Lucknow, at which the artists and musicians from all three villages not only attract new patronage and new support, but also are creating new appreciation for the cultural riches of Azamgarh," Misra said.
He realised during his stint as Tourism Secretary that craftsmen need patronage which tourism could provide, he added. "Earlier, they had patronage of Maharajas but that had disappeared. So I felt that tourism can fill that vacuum."
This was when he started Surajkund Crafts Mela in 1986 which has now become a global event with about 14 lakh people attending this year, including 60,000 foreigners.
Misra says that this benefited craftsmen and its success inspired him to continue similar work even after his retirement.
In the musicians' village of Hariharpur, Misra's NGO is also running a primary school offering free education especially focusing on the girl child. The school has recruited local married girls settled in the village, and who had done their graduation, as teachers. The school originally started in a rented building is now functioning from a four-room structure made possible through donations.
"We have also achieved social integration through schoolchildren of all communities - Dalit, Brahmin and Yadav, among others have their meals together. Brahmin families initially resisted but we asked them to take their children out. But they came around and now there is no problem. Now there is no feeling of any kind of discrimination," Misra said.
The civil-servant-turned-social-worker feels that women empowerment is crucial for India's development. "It is one of the biggest untapped sources in socio-economic development where, apart from some success stories, there hasn't been as much impact as there could have been. The potential is tremendous," he said, adding this was where NGOs supported by the government can play a dynamic role.


Thu, 11 Jul 2019 15:43:31 +0530
Switzerland s beloved Lio

Lucerne: It's a giant dying lion carved into the cliff face of a former sandstone quarry, above a pond and set in a landscaped garden in this medieval town. It is often referred to as the "saddest stone" as it commemorates the sacrifice of 800 Swiss guardsman in the pay of King Louis XVI during the French Revolution - but is now threatened with decay, chiefly from melting snow.
Not surprisingly, the Lion Monument, one of Switzerland's most loved icons and described by American author Mark Twain as "the most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world", is visited by some 1.4 million tourists who come to gaze at the regal beast, dying from a spear wound marked by a shield bearing the mark of the French monarchy. Above it is the inscription: HELVETIORUM FIDEI AC VIRTUTI (To the loyalty and bravery of the Swiss).
The monument, ten metres in length and six metres in height, has a very emotional history. When the angry masses stormed the royal palace on August 10 1792, the 800 Swiss guardsmen stood as the defenders of the the monarchy - but in vain. Their defeat was devastating.
Surrounded by popular tourist attractions like the Glacier Garden, the Alpineum and the Bourbaki Panorama, the monument was initiated by Karl Pfyffer von Altishofen, a junior lieutenant with the Swiss guardsmen who was on leave at the time and thus escaped the massacre.
In 1793 he felt obliged to erect a monument in honour of his fallen officers, comrades and soldiers and it took almost 30 years to complete amidst of several design and architectural changes. The monument was designed by Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen and hewed by Lukas Ahorn. Completed in 1821, it will mark its 200th anniversary in 2021.
"Before the Lion Monument was erected, the area had not yet been built on. However, intensive construction began in 1870. Due to the constant building activity, with numerous new buildings and conversions up to the present time, the situation of the garden with the lion monument has steadily deteriorated," Damian Suess of Lucerne Tourism told this visiting IANS correspondent.
"The Lucerne administration took over the monument in 1882 and in 1891, a report on its condition was drawn up. On the basis of that report, it was decided that the conservation of the monument, renewal of the weathered areas, preservation of the rock around the monument and the laying of a protective stiffener above the rock face would be done," Suess explained.
In 1902 construction of a new framework to protect the monument from snow in winter was planned and executed - but tragedy struck in 1950.
"That autumn, a piece of the lion's thigh, at least a meter long, detached and fell into the pond. That was a major blow for the authorities, who were struggling hard to protect the monument and restoration work immediately began," Suess said.
Rock protection measures were undertaken in 1978 and minor repair work was carried out on the lion in 1982. On the upper right side, a larger rock section of approximately 15 tonnes was stabilised and in 1990, the monument was thoroughly washed with water.
Drainage has been a perpetual problem.
The area behind the quarry is heavily forested with the temperature plunging to zero degrees Celsius in winter accompanied by snow. A series of pipes were laid to prevent the melting snow in spring from seeping into the rockface and to drain the water into the pond.
"Despite all efforts, the condition of the monument deteriorated rapidly. Taking this seriously, all copper pipes for draining the water were replaced in 2004. Further measures were taken in 2008 to improve the water flow and thus protect the monument," Suess pointed out.
So, in order to save its most beloved monument from adverse climatic conditions and erosion, the Lucerne administration has spent millions of Swiss Francs and is expected to do so for many more years because it attracts great testimonials from people around the world.


Thu, 11 Jul 2019 15:41:57 +0530
Satta Bazaar bids cross R

By Sanjeev Pal
New Delhi: On the eve of the World Cup semi-final clash between India and New Zealand, the betting bazaars in Delhi have gone crazy: the police estimates that the bids in the illegal satta (betting) market could have crossed the Rs 150-crore mark in the National Capital Region (NCR).
Punters, mostly from the trading class, and bookies linked to underworld syndicates are known to have wider network in Delhi's adjoining towns of Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Noida and Gurugram.
Delhi Police have put their electronic surveillance in top gear.
"We are taking all measures to monitor the satta operators in the wake of the crucial India-New Zealand semi-final match on Tuesday," Deputy Commissioner of Police Madhur Verma told IANS.
"We are keeping a tab on five star hotels and guest houses, particularly in Karol Bagh and Old Delhi area that are hired by big-time punters. These operators have strong networks, which are often difficult to crack, but we are on the job.
"On previous occasions, the police arrested top bookies from north Delhi, who had a sophisticated internet software of betting linked with mobile phones."
Police sources said odds were placed on New Zealand as India seem the favourites in Tuesday's tie. The bids are not only placed on who wins, but also over-to-over and ball-to-ball.
Individual bids are placed on who will take maximum wickets or who will hit the most sixes. The betting starts right at the toss.
"Most punters place their bids on which team will win the toss. Besides, after winning the toss, bids are placed on the decision of the captain, whether he would decide to bat or field. This time the base betting rate on Team India is Rs 4.35 and Rs 49 on New Zealand," a punter from West Delhi told IANS.
The punters in the capital's satta market -- in Khari Baoli, Karol Bagh, Old Delhi and South Delhi's guest houses and big hotels -- are siding with Team India. But they have not handed them a clean sweep, like in the 2011 World Cup as New Zealand is also a strong competitor this time.
"Like every year during IPL matches, in this World Cup, most college-going youth, businessmen, hoteliers, cricket lovers, traders, corporate women and hawala operators are betting with us. Over 60 per cent bidders are in favour of India's victory. That means thumbs-up for skipper Virat Kohli and his team," a punter told IANS.
Bets are also being placed on the margin of victory in terms of runs and wickets and also on whether runs scored by India and New Zealand could be 400-plus or below 400.
An interesting bet is on who will take more than three wickets from both sides -- whether it would be spinners or pace bowlers. Also, will it be India's Jaspirt Bumrah and Yuzvendra Chahal or New Zealand's Trent Boult or Lockie Ferguson?
The base betting rate of Indian players, for example, in case of Bumrah, it is Rs 20, while for Boult, it is Rs 7, said a source.
The other bets are on star batsmen -- Indian skipper Virat Kohli, his deputy Rohit Sharma, New Zealand captain Kane Williamson and Martin Guptill -- whether they would score half-century or century.
Gurugram Police PRO, Subhash Bokan said: "We are already keeping tight vigil to crack the betting racket on the ongoing World Cup. We have arrested over a dozen of gamblers in the city in the last few weeks. A circular was issued to guest houses and hotel owners to avoid bidding in their premises,"
The satta bazaar operators are closely monitoring the tweets of the players, captains and coaches to know the status of the players who will be in or out. They are also keeping a tab on weather reports and newspaper clippings.
Police sources said that this time, punters have sent some of their middlemen to the UK to keep tabs on all updates, the weather included.

Thu, 11 Jul 2019 15:40:24 +0530
BJP s ideological parent

New Delhi: If one is wondering why the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi has chosen water as its new hobby horse, then there is a valid reason for it. Ostensibly, there is an all-pervasive water crisis in the country with reservoirs and water bodies parched due to a delayed monsoon owing to the alarming presence of El Nino once again.
However, long before the advent of the monsoon, as early as April this year when the BJP manifesto for the Lok Sabha polls 2019 was unveiled, the underlying credo was water.
In fact, after the promise of 24x7 electricity to all, BJP zeroed in on providing water to all. It emphasised on 'Sujal' (drinking water) for every citizen of the country. It even went on to add that a new ministry would be created to address water management issues.
With the idea of water management at its core, Modi through the 'Sankalp Patra' argued about the challenges of the past as well as the party's collective vision for the future.
Since then we have seen the Prime Minister reiterate his position on water during his recent 'Mann Ki Baat' conversation with the people of India and the Union Budget also mirroring this new agenda.
The impetus comes from its ideological arm -- Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) -- which as early as March 10 gave the clarion call in Gwalior. Sarkaryavah Bhaiyaji Joshi understanding the import of what could degenerate into an acute water crisis in the impending summer months addressing a presser on the third and final day of the powerful Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha outlined the Sangh's vision.
The RSS was obviously prescient and provided the directional inputs to its political platform the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Bhaiyaji Joshi clearly articulated that the RSS had taken up a spanking new initiative in the field of environmental protection with a focus on Samajik Samrasta. Among the key drivers, he said, would be water conservation, water management, planting trees among others.
Moreover, the newly christened Jal Shakti Ministry was allocated Rs 28,261 crore in the Union Budget, and while it was trimmed due to financial constraints by 9.4 per cent, the "har ghar jal" call was in earnest.
The government has identified 1,592 blocks, which are critical and overexploited, spread across 256 districts for Jal Shakti Abhiyan. On key metrics within the budget outlay, there are hikes for National Rural Drinking Water mission.
Pertinently, the Centre has stated that it wishes to complete 10 lakh projects linked to water conservation through MGNREGA in the first 100 days, with the budget outlay for MGNREGA going up by nine per cent to Rs 60,000 crore. This means that instrumentality of MGNREGA, a flagship scheme with a huge budget will be optimally utilised, to push water projects -- a sensible move, given that capital for public spending is deficient.
Subsequently, the BJP manifesto zeroed in on drinking water as part of Gram Swaraj (rural empowerment). The BJP said it will ensure that people residing in villages will have access to resources. The saffron party said this would be the perfect tribute to mark the 75th year of India's Independence in 2022 and 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
To materialise Sujal (Drinking water) project, the BJP had said that it would launch ‘Jal Jivan Mission' under which the new government, if elected after Lok Sabha elections 2019, would introduce a special program, ‘Nal se Jal' to ensure piped water connection to every household by 2024.
Saying that Jal Shakti is an integral part of ‘Foundation for New India', the BJP government also said that if elected, it would focus on water supply through conservation of rural water bodies and ground water recharge. BJP said water was a critical resource and the new Ministry will take forward the ambitious programme of linking rivers to ensure a solution to the issues of drinking water and irrigation.
This was conceptualised by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Apart from this, BJP had said if it formed the new government, it would ensure sustainability of water supply through special focus on conservation of rural water bodies and ground water recharge.


Thu, 11 Jul 2019 15:39:22 +0530
With rain gods love god

By Aarteeshymal Joshi
Aurangabad (Maharashtra): As if fear of erratic rains and crop failure wasn't bad enough for farmers, their profession has made it that much harder for them to find a life-partner. With low income and debt trap becoming synonymous with farming, no family wants to marry off their daughter to a farmer.
Ghatnandra village in Marathwada region's Aurangabad district is dotted with houses of unwed young men. Almost every second home has a young bachelor. Be it Ghatnandra or Amthana village in Aurangabad, parents of most unmarried men refuse to speak on the subject of their marriage altogether.
In Ghatnandra, Revannath Wagh reminisces how the situation was completely different when his eldest son got married 22 years ago. Wagh is a priest and owns some land. He has three sons and two daughters. He says even in 2007, he didn't face any difficulty finding a bride for his second son.
He began feeling a shift in the scenario when they started finding a bride for Ram, the youngest of the three brothers. They spent almost five years, searching until 2018, when Ram married a girl from Chalisgaon village in Dhulia district, who incidentally is physically challenged.
Deepak Jadhav, founder-director of matrimonial firm, says delayed weddings of men are looked down upon. He reveals that out of 4,000-odd women looking for a life partner, barely three-four choose farming as the profession of their prospective partner.
"Even the girls who belong to farmer families are not willing to marry a farmer," he notes.
Until 2016, he used to match 75 couples a year. Now, he's able to fix barely 20-25 weddings a year. "Everything was fine till a decade ago. But the trend tremendously changed. If the girls are not ready to marry rural boys, what will the boys do! Parents need to change their mindset. Like farming, there is no guarantee of jobs in cities," he opines.
Bhaskar Gawande, a farmer from Chitte Pimpalgaon village in Paithan tehsil, says when it comes to marriage, it doesn't matter how many acres of land a farmer owns. He says it's common knowledge that if a farmer has to raise money for a health emergency or children's education, he has no option but to sell his land. That is why, he says parents of young women prefer a groom with a fixed salary.
"Even owners of grocery shops or wheat mills can find a girl for marriage but farmers can't," he underlines.
According to him, this situation became particularly acute after the 2016 drought. In 2016, he expected a yield of 200 quintals of soyabean but got only 65 quintals. As he didn't want his son to face such hardships, he sent him to Aurangabad to pursue engineering and asked him to stay away from farming.
Dr Smita Awchar, a professor in the Department of Sociology at Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University in Aurangabad, contends that imbalance in gender ratio is another reason there are too few prospective brides for one too many prospective grooms. Thus, she says, young women in the region have a choice to select their life partner.
She says other reasons women are reluctant to marry a village-dweller are poor roads and patchy availability of water, electricity, cooking gas, mobile connectivity etc. She says neither women nor their parents want them getting married to a farmer.
Kishore Shitole, founder-director of NGO Jaldoot (dedicated to water conservation projects in rural areas) and a governor-nominated member in Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University Senate, frequently visits the villages in the region. He seconds Dr Awchar's statement that women prefer a partner with a job over a farmer.
"Cities are land of opportunities. Even if it comes to the education of their kids, there is no good facility in villages. Villages lag behind at every front," he says.


Thu, 11 Jul 2019 15:38:11 +0530
Muslim village that grows

By K.A. Shaji
Guruvayur (Kerala): During early mornings and late evenings, Edakkulam village of Thirunavaya Grama panchayat in Malappuram district of Kerala is as busy as a bee. Urgency is in the air and youngsters can be seen plucking lotus flowers, which are just beginning to bloom, by balancing on canoes. Vehicles would carry the flowers to different temples across the state and outside.
Being the lone traditional lotus-growing community in the state, Chakkalaprambil Musthafa and his neighbours supplied 112 kg of lotus flowers to Kerala's famous Guruvayur Sri Krishna Temple on June 8. Ninety-one kg of it was used to perform Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Thulabharam recently.
As per the custom of the ancient temple, Thulabharam is an important offering to Lord Krishna wherein a person is weighed against a commodity such as flowers, grains, fruits and similar articles and the equal value or quantity is offered as donation. In the case of Modi, the preference was the party symbol of blooming lotuses.
It was at short notice; the temple-managing committee was entrusted with the task of sourcing more than a quintal of fresh and quality lotuses for the Prime Minister's Thulabharam. Like previous occasions, the temple managing committee had contacted Musthafa and his neighbours - Karakkadan Abdu, Salam Kodakkal, Kalluvalappil Moidu, CP Kunhali and P Moideen Kutty - to supply the required amount flowers in time.
Like the rest of Malappuram district, Edakkulam is predominantly a Muslim village with more than 85 per cent of residents following the Islamic faith. Looking at the vast stretches of wetlands, you can notice bloomed lotuses in abundance. Lotuses from these wetlands meet the ritual related needs of almost all the major temples of Kerala including Sabarimala, Guruvayur, Kadampuzha, Paramekkavu, Vadakkumnathan, Parassinikadavu and Kottiyur. For the last two decades, even temples in Coimbatore and Bangalore are buying flowers from here.
"As per belief, the devotee is submitting himself to the deity through this ritual. Conducting the ritual without making any wish to the deity is considered ideal,'' explained KB Mohandas, chairman of Guruvayur Devaswom Board-which manages the temple.
According to temple priests, a Thulabharam with lotus flowers signifies long life, high performance in work, advancements related to employment and significant improvement in mental strength.
For other rituals, Guruvayur temple requires 400 flowers every day. Musthafa said the temple authorities are highly appreciative of their work while adding that they have never faced any discrimination from members of any other religion. "Hindus are very much appreciative of our sincerity and respect to their customs," Musthafa added. So far, none of the hardline Muslim outfits has objected to them supplying flowers to Hindu temples.
Kunjali, a lotus trader for 25 years, said they supply growing high-quality lotus varieties at affordable rates to different temples. "We feel proud of our job as it is a visible example of communal harmony existing in the Muslim-majority Malappuram district, which is often misunderstood and misrepresented,'' he said.
Salam, a lotus trader, said some temples in southern Kerala buy flowers from Thevala in Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu at higher prices. In the open market, the average price of a flower is between Rs 7 and Rs 10. Salam claimed the prominent temples prefer to acquire high-quality flowers through them as they charge a mere Rs 2 per piece.
While six rich families in the village own the wetlands, young members of 50 other Muslim families in the locality work as labourers to pluck and transport the flowers to the temples. Musthafa informed the community supplies an average of 20,000 flowers every day to various temples. Due to rising demand, they have started extending their network to places like Bengaluru, he added.
Monetary returns in this line of work are moderate but regular, say the villagers. As the demand is steady, there is no market fluctuation like in the case of other farm products. The involved families get a steady income regularly. "It's God's own business, and we are proud of that," said P.K. Hamza, a driver delivering flowers to Guruvayur temple every day.
He added that while the returns are low, the goodwill it has created between the two communities is enormous.
No one knows when this Muslim village started supplying flowers to Hindu temples. According to popular belief, priests of the ancient Navamukunda Temple told Muslims living around to start cultivating lotus plants.
Gopinath Parayil, a Kochi-based tourism specialist, said only a few devotees know that the lotus used in all major temples across the state for centuries are farmed by families belonging to the Islamic faith. "In this age of extreme mistrust and hate-mongering, the villages remains a powerful icon of harmony. You can learn many lessons of peaceful co-existence here," he said.


Thu, 11 Jul 2019 15:36:31 +0530
Baba Ramdev announces fir

New Delhi: On the occasion of International Yoga Day on Friday, yoga guru Baba Ramdev announced his first official autobiography, titled "My Life, My Mission". It will release in August, the publisher Penguin said.
Sharing the news on Twitter, Ramdev said that although a lot has been written on him by other people, he will now share his life's story in his words.
The volume, co-authored by senior journalist Uday Mahurkar, is touted as an one of a kind personal narrative of the life and times of the globally renowned yoga teacher.
"This autobiographical account uncovers the trials, tribulations and triumphs of his life and provides insights into his childhood, his passion for yoga and good health, his friends and foes and the Swadeshi campaign he spearheaded," the leading publishing house said in a Friday statement.
The upcoming book will also show the journey of Ramdev's venture, Patanjali Group of Institutions and how it became a multi-billion corporation and is considered one of the fastest growing companies in Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) in India with a turnover of about Rs 12,000 crore.
"I hope readers, fans and followers from across the world will read it and be a part of my journey," the 53-year-old Ramdev said about the gripping 'tell-all'.
Ramdev's first autobiography, that spells his journey from a small village in Haryana to the international stage, is available for pre-order on e-commerce sites.

Thu, 11 Jul 2019 15:35:05 +0530
Chetan Bhagat wants to us

New Delhi: Best-selling author Chetan Bhagat says he likes to use his writing not just to tell stories but also to bring attention to some of the issues within the country.
Bhagat's latest non-fiction book "India Positive" comprises essays examining a gamut of subjects such as education, employment, Goods and Services Tax (GST), corruption and casteism. It also consists of tweets that highlight and touch upon the current issues that need focus today.
"These are important issues for our country. I like to use my writing not just to tell stories but also to bring attention to some of the issues within the country," Bhagat told IANS via a recorded response.
"There is a space for something positive. People on social media are so negative these days.. So I think, there is a space to have a positive view on what needs to be done," he said, adding that he has no intention of joining politics.
"But I think people need to be aware of issues," added the author, who had curated a special line-up of movies based on his favourite books for Sony PIX and AXN.
Talking about the importance of books, the author said: "Books will always have a place. Books are a basic building block of a story. Reading is the best way to widen your imagination… Reading is still the best way of learning and imagining things."
The "2 States" author also expressed his desire to work on a "a big epic film".
"Something I have never done, like ‘Baahubali'... A grand thing."


Thu, 11 Jul 2019 15:34:10 +0530
Nepal book sellers stude

New Delhi/Kathmandu: Even as Indian publishers are grappling with a budget proposal of 5 per cent customs duty on imported books, in close neighbour Nepal, a 10 per cent duty on imported titles has left publishers and booksellers reeling, with students hit badly as Kathmandu imports over 80 per cent of its books from India.
A few days after the Nepal government on May 29 announced a 10 per cent duty on imported books, publishers stopped picking up books at the Nepal customs point in protest and have demanded roll back of the move. With no text books coming in to Nepal, the student community has been affected the most, say publishers.
"Around 80-90 per cent of books in Nepal are imported, and most of it from India. Now the students, including those in Classes 10 and 11, are not getting text books on time. The National Booksellers' and Publishers' Association of Nepal (NBPAN) has decided not to import any books in protest. We import 90-95 per cent of academic and text books from India," a noted book seller in Kathmandu told IANS on phone, declining to be named.
According to Madhab Maharjan, Advisor NBPAN and owner of Mandala Book Point in Kathmandu, the 10 per cent customs duty will attract other taxes, like the cost, insurance and freight tax and other charges, further pushing up the price of imported books.
"Books all over the world are sold at the printed price. With the customs duty and the added charges, it is going to be difficult to sell imported books to academic institutions, libraries and students," Maharjan told IANS over phone from Kathmandu.
He said they have requested the KP Sharma Oli government to remove the tax. "We have a long tradition of importing books from India. Religious books were imported from Benaras in the 20th century. Now the import of books is restricted to New Delhi," said Maharjan, adding that scholars, academics and experts are raising their voices in protest against the move through the print and social media.
The 10 per cent tax will hamper the free flow of books and also affect the reading habit of students, says Maharjan. According to him, a Nepali journalist in an article in a local daily asked Finance Minister Yuba Raj Khatiwada, who is a PhD in economics, whether it was a theory of economics to impose the customs duty on books when the need was to improve the reading habits and culture of the people.
The reason for stopping the books at the customs point was because "as soon as we import we will have to increase the price, and secondly the old stocks have to be sold at the old price".
"Thus there will be two prices of the book in one book store. This will create misunderstanding with students, readers, scholars, researchers and academics at large with whom we have to deal with everyday," Maharjan said.
He added: "We do not want any one taking undue advantage of the situation, including politically motivating the students. Thus we have opted for this move not to import books till we come to a final decision."
According to him, the onset of the digital era has hit book sellers and publishers. "There are not many book shops left, and with moves like this book sellers may not survive for long."
Many Nepali publishers print their books in India and earlier would have to pay 15 per cent tax. "Now they are asked to pay 10 per cent duty on total imports. The earlier system was better to protect the local industry," Maharjan said.
The number of students pursuing higher education in Nepal under Management, Humanities, Science and Education stands at around 400,000, and they would be directly hit by the duty on books imported from India.
According to Maharjan if India revokes the 5% duty on imported books the move "may help to revoke 10 per cent duty in Nepal too".
K.P.R. Nair, Managing Director Konark Publishers in Delhi, said Indian publishers are aware of the situation in Nepal and are trying to help. "They have asked for our help, and we are going to help them," Nair, a veteran in the publishing industry, told IANS.


Thu, 11 Jul 2019 15:33:05 +0530
Upcoming Gurgaon Litfest

Gurugram: The second edition of Gurgaon Literature Festival (GLF), to be held on November 16-17 at the DLF Cyber Hub, will be themed around mental health and fitness. It will feature around 80 speakers, including authors, politicians and psychiatrists.
"The festival will also donate 10 per cent of its proceeds to the Sanjay Chugh Clinic to be used for the treatment of the mentally ill," festival director Ajay Setia said in a statement on Monday.
"Mental health expert and author Shabri Prasad Singh is one of the directors of the festival, which aims to glorify and celebrate culture," said the organisers.
"These health issues are often brushed under the carpet. Sitting at a desk and working for hours in front of a computer is a norm for Gurugram millennials. But we want them to escape to a world where there is a cohesive culture for reading which helps to release stress and fight any mental disorder one may not be aware of," Singh added.


Thu, 11 Jul 2019 15:31:51 +0530
British Library acquires

London: The British library has acquired the archives of the prestigious Granta magazine, covering 40 years since the literary journal was relaunched, and spanning the work of Nobel Laureates to debut novelists.
Now permanently housed in the British Library, the archives are hailed as a significant source for understanding the landscape of contemporary British writing and publishing. It comprises around 300 boxes of material.
The archives includes marked-up proofs, back issues, original correspondence to authors, agents and literary organisations and documents on readership, marketing, design, financials and other administrative concerns, the Library said.
It features letters and papers from well-known authors such as Kazuo Ishiguro (2017 Nobel Prize winner), Margaret Atwood, J.G. Ballard, Angela Carter, Iris Murdoch, Ben Okri, Fay Weldon, Martin Amis, John Berger, Raymond Carver, Doris Lessing and Martha Gellhorn.
Granta magazine was founded by Cambridge university students in 1889 before being re-launched in 1979 by editor Bill Buford, who transformed it into one of the world's most important literary periodicals.
"The material generated from 40 years of publishing Granta does so much more than simply showcase the history of our beloved literary quarterly: it also reveals how a plucky American, determined to shake things up by bringing new, edgy American writing to British readers, accidently ended up championing some of Britain's - and indeed the world's - most exciting writers," Sigrid Rausing, Editor of Granta, said.
Granta initially relaunched in 1979 to promote American writing in Britain. It has launched the careers of some of Britain's most significant contemporary writers, the British Library said.


Thu, 11 Jul 2019 15:25:22 +0530
I won t use botox Mini M

Mumbai: Actress Mini Mathur gave a befitting reply to a social media troll, who asked her to consider getting botox done. The troll commented on Mini's web show "Mind The Malhotras", which is out on Amazon Prime Video.
"Story of every couple! 'Mind The Malhotras' in Prime Video knocks it out of the park. Great series, total humour. Kudos to Mini Mathur, Cyrus Sahukar, Denzil Smith... PS: Ms. Mathur, it's botox time."
Mini replied: "Thank you...and no. I will not use botox. It's time the world got comfortable with the fact that women age, their talent does not. Be happy that feisty lead roles are being written for women in their 40s. Would you have rather a 20-year-old playing a 40-year-old Shefali."
Based on Israeli comedy "La Famiglia", "Mind The Malhotras" follows the lives of a perfectly normal suburban family with many reasons to be happy, and even more reasons to go for therapy.

Thu, 11 Jul 2019 15:23:51 +0530
Social media comments may

Toronto: For health professionals, posting a single negative comment on their Facebook profiles may hinder their credibility with current or potential clients, according to a study.
The findings, published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, show that Facebook posts that may affect people's perceptions of professionalism.
Researchers found that only one subtle comment posted expressing workplace frustration was enough for people to view one as a less credible health professional.
"This study provides the first evidence of the impact a health professionals' personal online disclosures can have on his/her credibility," said Serge Desmarais, Professor at the University of Guelph in Canada.
"This finding is significant not only because health professionals use social media in their personal lives, but are also encouraged to use it to promote themselves and engage with the public," Desmarais said.
For the study, the research team involved more than 350 participants who viewed a mock Facebook profile and rated the profile owner's credibility and then rated their own willingness to become his client.
The researchers tested factors, including the identified gender of the Facebook profile owner, whether they listed their profession as a veterinarian or medical physician and whether their profile included a posting of an ambiguous work day comment or a comment expressing frustration.
The only factor that influenced viewers' perception of the profile owner's professionalism was a single work day frustration comment.
On a scale from 0 to 100, the profile with the negative workday comment was rated 11 points lower (56.7) than the one with an ambiguous work day comment (67.9).
"That's a meaningful drop. This shows that it takes just one simple comment for people to view you as less professional and to decide they don't want to become a client of yours," said Desmarais.
"Depending on who sees your posts, you may really hurt your reputation just by being up late one night, feeling frustrated and posting your thoughts online," Desmarais added.


Thu, 11 Jul 2019 15:22:47 +0530
Priyanka Chopra s khaki s

New Delhi: It was a fashionable outing for Priyanka Chopra, but she became a target of trolls who took a dig at her decision to wear khaki shorts.
In photographs which are viral on social media, Priyanka was spotted leaving a hotel in New York with her husband Nick Jonas.
She opted for a black top along with high waisted khaki shorts for the outing. She upped the glamour quotient by adding a blazer and a pair of boots to complete her look. She also added a brace to her left knee.
She was seen with a large black bag in hand and accessorised her look with a pair of rectangular shades. The actress kept her wavy hair open.
The look was an instant hit on the social media -- wherein people appreciated her stylish appearance and some ridiculed it by comparing it with the uniform of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
One user wrote: "Priyanka Chopra finally joined RSS", while another said: "International Brand Ambassador for #RSS."
Another user wrote: "Priyanka Chopra leaves after attending a very important RSS meeting".
For some, it was all about "RSS swag". Some even questioned "She joined RSS or what".
One user said: "Pic 1: June 4 -- I would love to run for Prime Minister of India. Pic 2: June 17 -- in RSS inspired shorts...Great start PC."
In an interview with IANS earlier this year, Priyanka had spoken about the trolling culture.
"First of all, the pressure comes from people's opinion and how in today's age everyone's opinion becomes news," Priyanka had told IANS when asked about the pressures that come with the 'global star' tag.
"Most of the time, I see media writing about trolling that someone got trolled for this and that. I have never understood how somebody's opinion becomes news. How the media gives such credence to maybe 500, 600 or 1000 people writing behind the anonymity of the computer," she added.


Thu, 11 Jul 2019 15:21:46 +0530
Nita Ambani s multi milli

New Delhi: Pictures of Reliance Foundation Chairperson Nita Ambani's over 200-diamond encrusted Hermès Himalaya Birkin bag, worth over Rs 2.6 crore, has gone viral on the social media.
In the images posted on the social media, Nita Ambani is seen wearing a white ensemble and carrying the Hermès Himalaya Birkin Bag. Bollywood divas Karisma Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor Khan are also seen in the photograph.
According to, Hermès Himalaya Birkin Bag is considered the 'Holy Grail in a Handbag' collection. It has more than 240 diamonds on its 18-karat-gold hardware.
Back in 2017, the white Himalaya crocodile diamond style bag fetched $379,261 at auction with Christie's. With the deal, it became the most expensive bag ever sold, it was claimed.
The auction house had described the bag as "an exceptional, matte white Himalaya Niloticus crocodile diamond Birkin".
According to, the Himalaya Birkin is crafted from Nile crocodile hide. The mention of Himalaya does not apply to the origin of the bag, but to the gradation of the colour.
Named after the actor and singer Jane Birkin, Birkin bags are famous for their price tags and celebrity owners.


Thu, 11 Jul 2019 15:20:19 +0530
Sabyasachi trolled over

New Delhi: Ace fashion designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee on Sunday offered an apology after netizens trolled him over an "overdressed women" post on Instagram.
Earlier this week, he shared a post on the photo sharing platform. Some of its lines like -- "If you see a woman overdressed, caked with make-up, armoured with jewellery, it is most likely that she is wounded" -- did not go down well with netizens. Some called it "ridiculous" and others questioned who was handling his social media accounts. Sabyasachi used the same platform to issue an apology.
He began by saying: "I thought a lot about whether to post this, but sometimes it is important to set the record straight and get the right message across. Having been in the fashion industry for over 20 years, I have encountered it firsthand and commented about it in many of my interviews - how, while many women use fashion and beauty for joy and self-expression, others use it as 'retail therapy' to fill in the gaps and voids in their lives."
He also pointed out that we, as a society, often get extremely judgemental about peoples' clothing choices, calling them 'overdressed' or 'tacky' or 'inappropriate'.
"We fail to understand that maybe some are using these as coping mechanisms to put on a brave front to make up for the lack of a support system," he wrote.
The true essence of the post, he said, was to ask people to be aware, empathetic and not judgemental of peoples' personal clothing choices, which could be a manifestation of their internal anguish.
"One of the bigger issues in society today, that very few people address, is mental health, and a little bit of awareness, empathy and kindness go a long way in acknowledging it," wrote Sabyasachi.
Talking about his personal life, he shared: "I have coped with crippling depression as a teenager for seven years. I found my coping mechanism through radical clothing choices. I was sneered at and bullied, but it helped me find my way again."
"When I was creating this jewellery collection, I referred to (Rabindranath) Tagore's 'Monihara' because it talks about these issues, which are sadly more relevant today. And I, for one, have never shied away from speaking about uncomfortable truths, no matter how disruptive it might be for my personal gain.
"Because when power is given, social responsibility should not be shunned. The mistake, however, was to use the reference as a blanket statement, as sometimes when we are passionate about an issue, we end up becoming overzealous and hence, tone deaf.
"My sincere apologies for that."
"The original post (however flawed) was put up to invite introspection and debate about how love, sensitivity and compassion, alongside expressions of art, beauty and fashion can create a net positive in the world. I invite everyone to democratically join this debate," he concluded.


Thu, 11 Jul 2019 15:18:42 +0530
Rajendra Chawla Naveen P

Mumbai: Actors Rajendra Chawla and Naveen Pandita will play father and son in the show "Ek Bhram - Sarvagun Sampanna".
They will be seen essaying negative leads who plot against Shrenu Parikh's character.
"I have seen Rajendraji multiple times on screen and I was in awe of his act on the very first day on the set. Sharing screen space with him as his son is going to be very helpful for me and I feel privileged," Naveen said, on playing Rajendra Chawla's son.
Talking of his character, Rajendra Chawla said: "My character Anupam Chopra is the manager of a business empire who never got credit for his work. The biggest reason for me to take up this role was Anupam Chopra is an unabashedly bad guy and has no qualms about it." The show airs on StarPlus.

Thu, 11 Jul 2019 15:17:36 +0530
Nach Baliye contestant

Mumbai: Actress Shraddha Arya of "Kundali Bhagya" fame is set to participate in season nine of the celebrity dance reality show, "Nach Baliye", which is being produced by superstar Salman Khan. Shraddha says she is paying more attention to fitness now.
"It feels wonderful to be a part of 'Nach Baliye 9'. I am more conscious about my health and fitness regime now. I work out and eat healthy, so that helps me to stretch better as well. Overall, I am paying more attention to fitness," Shraddha said.
Shraddha, however, refused to reveal details about her performance on Nach Baliye 9. "I can't reveal details about my dance performance, but it is going to be an amazing one on a really beautiful song, which I am sure the audience will love," she said.
The new season of "Nach Baliye" has a twist. It will have five former couples participating along with five couples who are still together.


Thu, 11 Jul 2019 15:16:41 +0530
American series Ray Dono

Mumbai: American series "Ray Donovan" is set to be remade in India after international production company Locomotive Global Inc., acquired the rights from CBS Studios International.
Created by Ann Biderman, "Ray Donovan", a crime series which premiered on Showtime in 2013, is currently in the production of its seventh season, read a statement.
Talking about the Indian version of the series, Sunder Aaron, co-founder of Locomotive Global Inc., said: "India is one of the biggest entertainment markets in the world. There is a voracious appetite for high-quality drama series throughout the region.
"We think 'Ray Donovan', with its complex and gritty storylines and strong anti-hero central character, is in sync with the themes and genres that are resonating with Indian viewers right now."
The series is based on the character Ray Donovan, who works as a mediator for a law firm that handles celebrities and wealthy clients.
The original show stars actors Liev Schreiber, Eddie Marsan, Dash Mihok, Katherine Moennig, Pooch Hall, Kerris Dorsey, Devon Bagby and Graham Rogers.


Thu, 11 Jul 2019 15:15:33 +0530
Sacred Games Season 2 s

Mumbai:"Sacred Games Season 2" -- the second part of the much awaited show -- will be back on Netflix on August 15.
Actor Saif Ali Khan, who plays Sartaj Singh in the web series, will be seen embarking on a journey of self-discovery, struggling to solve the mystery of Gaitonde's third father, and attempting to salvage his failed marriage, all while trying to save Mumbai from a massacre, read a statement.
In turn, actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui will come back as Ganesh Gaitonde, who, in his quest to re-establish his power and position as the king, sets up a new cartel far away from his land.
Batya Abelman (Kalki Koechlin) and Shahid Khan (Ranvir Shorey), the new characters joining the world of "Sacred Games", will surprise the audience by adding numerous twists to the tale.
And who can forget the all-knowing and intriguing Guruji (Pankaj Tripathi)? The viewers can find out more about the story of this self-proclaimed renaissance man who plays a crucial role in shaping and building the crescendo in the new season.
Vikramaditya Motwane, who turns showrunner with the second season, said: "We're extremely excited to finally be able to share with the fans of 'Sacred Games' what they've all been waiting for with bated breath - the date of its release on Netflix.
"This season is bigger, more compelling, and totally unexpected. Be prepared to discover a different side to each character as we take the audience on a tremendous journey, and address questions left unanswered last season."
The series is directed by Anurag Kashyap and Neeraj Ghaywan, and has been adapted by Vikram Chandra's book with the same name. Writers Varun Grover, Smita Singh and Vasant Nath have adapted the book for the series.


Thu, 11 Jul 2019 15:13:29 +0530
Debina flaunts bikini bod

Mumbai : Small screen star Debina Bonnerjee wears a bikini on the television show, "Vish: A Poisonous Story" for the first time in her career.
Although many Bollywood actresses have flaunted bikini bodies on the big screen, the idea is not commonplace on TV shows.
"Actors need to be flexible when it comes to stories. I was nervous initially but I knew that the plot line of the show demanded this," Debina said.
"My character in Vish Kanya is of someone who doesn't care about anyone and that has to reflect in my acting. I think times are changing and people are more accepting, irrespective of the medium of storytelling. My fans have always supported me," she added.
The show was recently launched on Colors TV and it also features Sana Makbul, Vishal Vashishtha, Krip Suri and Ayush Anand.


Thu, 11 Jul 2019 15:12:22 +0530
How porn ruins women s in

New York: Consuming porn instigates body-related insecurities in women that might not only reduce their interest in engaging in intimate activities with their partners but also negatively affect their arousal, a study suggests.
Researchers have explored the association between pornography and intimate partner experiences among heterosexual women and revealed that there was a complex relationship between the two.
Published in the Journal of Women's Health, the study reveals that thinking of pornographic material during intimate experiences with a heterosexual partner among women minght give rise to insecurities about appearances and thus reduces the enjoyment of the intimate acts.
For the findings, the research team surveyed 706 heterosexual women aged 18-29 in the US, associating the consumption of pornography with sexual preferences, experiences and concerns.
The researchers reported that while most women in the study sample had seen pornography, fewer than half used it for masturbation.
Those women who used it at higher rates for masturbation tended to rely more on pornographic scripts during sex to achieve and maintain arousal and were more likely to prefer pornography to sex with a partner.
"The researchers demonstrate a clear difference between the role of pornography in sexual experiences of women compared to men," said Susan G Kornstein from Virginia Commonwealth University in the US.
"Whereas the relationship tends to be more direct in young heterosexual men and just viewing pornographic material is associated with reduced sexual intimacy and satisfaction, women make the material part of their personal sexual experience and carry the pornographic script into their intimate partner experiences," Kornstein said.

Thu, 11 Jul 2019 15:10:50 +0530
Want super performance in

New Delhi: More and more people are uncovering the benefits of practicing yoga, but little do they know that yoga can bring energy to the bedroom as well. Experts say that yoga can improve your sex life if it is done under proper guidance.
Stress plays a major role in your sex life. Increase in stress levels can have negative effects on the body, in turn, reducing sexual desire.
Practicing yoga makes ones mind tranquil that makes the process of cerebral tissue oxygenation occur in deepest of human tissues that send micro-nutrients and blood supply to the tiniest parts of our brain and the genitalia.
"Daily stress, smoking, alcohol and excess sugar intake - all hamper sexual performance in both men and women to a great extent. Yoga calms the mind and helps increase blood flow to the private parts," one of the nation's top sexologist, Prakash Kothari, told IANS.
Kothari advises two yoga postures to his patients -- Shavasana (corpse) and Vajrasana (kneeling).
While Shavasana leaves you in a state of rejuvenation, reducing blood pressure, anxiety and insomnia, Vajrasana makes the body exceptionally strong and healthy.
"Vajrasana also helps in digestion which is key to good health and increases the flow of blood to the whole body," said Kothari, founder-adviser of the World Association of Sexual Health (WAS).
According to New Delhi-based yoga expert Anjali Sharma, yoga can improve sexual functions and your interpersonal relations as a whole.
"Yogic practices help in reducing stress and anxiety, which are wearing you down mentally. It helps to reduce fatigue and improving muscle strength. Yogasanas help in increasing the pelvic and back muscle strength as well," Sharma told IANS.
"Yoga teaches you to have a sound body and mind, which has a positive effect on all your functions including sexual functions," she added.
Yoga poses which are helpful includes Urdhva Mukha Svanasana, Setu Bandhasana, Kandharasna, Balasana, Padmasana, Badha Konasana, Marjaryasana, Titali Asana, Kapalabhatti Kriya (in a controlled way), Nadi Shodhana Pranayama.
"Yoga boosts your stamina, increases your flexibility. So we can say that the connection between yoga and better sex life is promising," Sharma said.
"As it calms the mind, yoga improves the dialogue between the two individuals that leads to intimacy in the bedroom, and beyond," Jyoti Kapoor Madan, senior consultant (Psychiatry) at Gurgaon's Paras Hospitals, told IANS.
So, when you count various health benefits of practicing yoga, remember that doing yoga could be your ticket to a super performance in bed.


Thu, 11 Jul 2019 15:07:55 +0530
IBM completes landmark 3

San Francisco: The 108-year old IBM on Tuesday announced it has closed the acquisition of Red Hat, the world's leading provider of enterprise open source software solutions -- a landmark move that positions IBM as the leading Hybrid Cloud provider and extend Red Hat's open source innovation to a broader range of clients.
IBM has acquired all of the issued and outstanding common shares of Red Hat for $190 per share in cash, representing a total equity value of approximately $34 billion.
The acquisition redefines the cloud market for business were Red Hat's open hybrid cloud technologies are paired with IBM's innovation and industry expertise, and sales leadership in more than 175 countries.
"Businesses are starting the next chapter of their digital reinventions, modernizing infrastructure and moving mission-critical workloads across private clouds and multiple clouds from multiple vendors," said Ginni Rometty, IBM Chairman, President and CEO.
"They need partners they can trust to manage and secure these systems. IBM and Red Hat are uniquely suited to meet these needs. As the leading hybrid cloud provider, we will help clients forge the technology foundations of their business for decades to come," said Rometty.
IBM and Red Hat will accelerate innovation by offering a next-generation hybrid multicloud platform.
Based on open source technologies, such as Linux and Kubernetes, the platform will allow businesses to securely deploy, run and manage data and applications on-premises and on private and multiple public clouds.
"We think open source has become the de facto standard in technology because it enables these solutions. Joining forces with IBM gives Red Hat the opportunity to bring more open source innovation to an even broader range of organizations," added Jim Whitehurst, president and CEO, Red Hat.
Red Hat will continue to be led by Whitehurst and its current management team. Whitehurst would report to Rometty.
IBM will maintain Red Hat's headquarters in Raleigh, North Carolina, its facilities, brands and practices.
Red Hat will operate as a distinct unit within IBM and will be reported as part of IBM's Cloud and Cognitive Software segment.
IBM's cloud revenue has grown from four per cent of total revenue in 2013 to 25 per cent today.
IBM cloud revenue for the 12-month period through the first quarter of this year grew to over $19 billion.
"The Red Hat acquisition is expected to contribute approximately two points of compound annual revenue growth to IBM over a five-year period," said the company.
Red Hat's fiscal year 2019 revenue was $3.4 billion, up 15 percent year-over-year.
"As a long-standing partner of Red Hat and IBM, we look forward to capabilities that these two companies will bring together," said Michael Poser, Managing Director and CIO, Enterprise Technology & Services, Morgan Stanley.


Thu, 11 Jul 2019 15:05:58 +0530
Curious case of Raghav Ba

New Delhi: Shares of Gaurav Mercantiles have been heating up ever since media baron Raghav Bahl, along with wife Ritu Kapur, acquired a majority stake in it but they reached all-time high on Tuesday after a disclosure that the ship-breaking firm would now consider buying Bahl's news website "The Quint."
The share of Gaurav Mercantiles soared to a 52-week high of Rs 151 a piece on the BSE on Tuesday, a nearly seven time jump since March 2019.
In a recent communication, Gaurav Mercantiles said that the Board of Directors of the company in its scheduled meeting on July 17 would consider "the preliminary proposal in relation to acquisition of digital content business of Quintillion Media Private Limited -- operated under the name and style of The Quint".
Gaurav Mercantiles had earlier this year come under the scanner of bourses for unusual rise in its share price after Bahl acquired it but the firm had said it cannot comment on the price movement.
"As you are aware, an open offer for shares of the company has been made by a highly reputed acquirer and the processing of the open offer by SEBI is set out in the status document on the SEBI website. Perhaps there is interest in the shares on this basis. We are unable to think of anything else for comment," Gaurav Mercantiles Ltd had written on March 13, 2019 in response to a letter from the BSE on the issue.
Bahl and wife Ritu Kapur hold 66.4 per cent stake in Gaurav Mercantiles.
Bahl, who earlier sold his TV ventures to Reliance Industries, has been in news in recent months for wrong reasons. The tax department and some of the central investigation agencies have sought responses from him in the alleged case of tax evasion and alleged financial bungling.
The Income Tax department (I-T) had last year raided his residence and office in an alleged case of tax evasion.
Following this, Bahl had issued an official statement, saying that he was astonished to see that a blatant attempt had been made by the "government's spin-masters" to say that the action was part of a year-long investigation into some Long-Term Capital Gains (LTCG) scam, whereby he and his wife had made "bogus" income of Rs 118 crore.


Thu, 11 Jul 2019 15:01:54 +0530
IndiGo stocks crash 17 o

Mumbai: Shares of IndiGo fell 17 per cent during early trade on Wednesday after the dispute between its promoters came out in the open.
At 9.47 a.m., the budget passenger carrier was trading at Rs 1,379.65 apiece, down by Rs 186.10 before hitting an intra-day low of Rs 1,291.
Airline co-promoter and former US Airways Chief Executive and Chairman Rakesh Gangwal came on record to lodge his grievances against various issues pertaining to IndiGo.
In his letter to Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) Chairman Ajay Tyagi and other top officials, Gangwal lamented that IndiGo has started veering off from the core principles and values of governance that made IndiGo what it is today.
He raised serious objections to related party transactions in the company, stating that various fundamental governance norms and laws were not being adhered to. He warned that this will lead to unfortunate outcomes if effective measures are not taken.
Gangwal has sought regulatory intervention from market regulator Sebi to resolve the issues. He, along with his affiliates, hold 37 per cent stake in IndiGo while the other co-promoter, Rahul Bhatia, has 38 per cent equity stake.
Sebi has sought a response from IndiGo on the alleged grievances raised by Gangwal.
IndiGo in its BSE regulatory filing said: "... We inform you that the Board of Directors of lnterGlobe Aviation Limited has received a letter dated July 8, 2019 from Rakesh Gangwal, the copy of which is already with the Stock Exchanges, informing the company that he has written a letter to Sebi seeking regulatory intervention on his alleged grievances".
"Sebi has in the meantime asked the company to give its response to this letter by July 19, 2019, with which the company will comply."


Thu, 11 Jul 2019 15:00:18 +0530
Markets open on positive

Mumbai: The 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) on Wednesday after opening on a negative note turned positive soon after.
The Sensex of the BSE opened at 38,701.99 points and touched a high of 38,854.85 points. The Sensex touched a low of 38,610.29 points. On Tuesday the Sensex closed at 38,730.82 points.
The Sensex is trading at 38,753.39 points up by 22.57 points or 0.06 per cent. On the other hand, the broader 50-scrip Nifty at National Stock Exchange (NSE) opened at 11,536.15 points after closing at 11,555.90 points. The Nifty is trading at 11,560.05 points in the morning.


Thu, 11 Jul 2019 14:59:19 +0530
Dollar weakens amid Powel

New York: The US dollar weakened against its major rivals in late trading on Wednesday after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's gloomy comments on US economy.
Powell said on Wednesday that crosscurrents such as trade tensions and concerns about global growth have been weighing on the US economic activity and outlook, the Xinhua news agency reported.
In his prepared remarks to lawmakers at the House Committee on Financial Services, where he testified on the Semiannual Monetary Policy Report, the Fed chief said many participants of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) "saw that the case for a somewhat more accommodative monetary policy had strengthened."
Powell said Fed officials were mindful of ongoing crosscurrents from global growth and trade at the May FOMC meeting, adding that since then "these crosscurrents have re-emerged, creating greater uncertainty."
The remarks bolstered market expectations for imminent rate cuts from the US central bank.
The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six major peers, fell 0.41 per cent at 97.0992 in late trading.
In late New York trading, the euro rose to 1.1253 dollars from 1.1207 dollars in the previous session, and the British pound rose to 1.2507 dollars from 1.2466 dollars in the previous session. The Australian dollar increased to 0.6961 dollar from 0.6927 dollar.
The dollar bought 108.42 Japanese yen, lower than 108.87 Japanese yen of the previous session. The dollar decreased to 0.9893 Swiss franc from 0.9935 Swiss franc, and it decreased to 1.3070 Canadian dollars from 1.3126 Canadian dollars.

Thu, 11 Jul 2019 14:57:44 +0530
Now do shopping at Dubai

Dubai: In a relief for thousands of passengers, Dubai Duty Free has begun accepting the Indian currency for financial transactions.
The Indian rupee, that become the 16th foreign currency to be accepted at Dubai Duty Free, will be accepted at all point of sales (POS) in Terminal 3, Terminal 1, Terminal 2 of Dubai International Airport and in Al Maktoum International Airport, reports Khaleej Times.
The change, however, will be handed over in UAE dirhams.
"At present, the following denominations are being accepted: 100s, 200s, 500s (only the new one as earlier one is out of circulation) and 2000's," Duty Free officials said in a statement.
When paying Indian rupee, the change will be in UAE dirham.
"Only US Dollar, Euro and Sterling Pound are being exchanged in the same currency," the statement added.
The decision has already been implemented from July 1.
The Indian passengers accounted for 18 per cent of the sales at Dubai Duty Free in 2019 that recorded $2.015 billion in total sales.


Thu, 11 Jul 2019 14:56:49 +0530
Rupee ends higher after U

New Delhi: Contrary to the equity markets, the Indian rupee gained against the US dollar on Friday after the presentation of the Union Budget as fiscal deficit and gross borrowings were in line with pre-budget expectations.
The rupee ended with gains at Rs 68.42 per dollar from its previous close of Rs 68.50.
"The Indian rupee closed on a firm note against the dollar as it strengthened sharply from the day's lows after the Finance Minister's budget presentation. Bond yields had also fallen, as the government signalled that it is seeking external borrowings, especially as global interest rates remain relatively low," said Anand James, Chief Market Strategist, Geojit Financial Services.
"US Fed Chairman Jerome Powell's upcoming semi annual testimony should keep the rupee tentative against the US dollar next week," James added.
R.K. Gurumurthy, Head of Treasury, Lakshmi Vilas Bank, said that a positive for the Indian rupee is that fiscal deficit and gross borrowings are in line with pre-budget expectations.


Thu, 11 Jul 2019 14:55:39 +0530
US dollar rises against m

New York: The US dollar rose against most major currencies as the economic data came out better than expected.
In late New York trading on Friday, the euro fell to $1.1221 from $1.1285 in the previous session, and the British pound fell to $1.2526 from $1.2575 in the previous session, Xinhua news agency reported.
The Australian dollar fell to $0.6979 from $0.7020.
The US dollar bought 108.57 Japanese yen, higher than 107.77 Japanese yen of the previous session. The US dollar increased to 0.9919 Swiss franc from 0.9849 Swiss franc, and it was up to 1.3083 Canadian dollars from 1.3058 Canadian dollars.
US employers added 224,000 jobs in June, and the unemployment rate edged up to 3.7 per cent, the US Labor Department said in a report on Friday.
Job gains mainly occurred in professional and business services, health care, transportation and warehousing, the report said.
The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six major peers, rose 0.56 per cent at 97.2804 in late trading.


Thu, 11 Jul 2019 14:54:39 +0530
Housing sales in major ci

New Delhi: Sale of housing units across seven major cities in the country declined by 13 per cent on quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) basis during the April-June quarter of 2019, an Anarock report said on Tuesday.
Sales declined to 68,600 units from 78,520 units in the January-March quarter, the report said.
"As anticipated, residential real estate activity remained largely tepid during the second quarter of 2019 in the backdrop of the general elections during the period but the recent Union Budget sops for the affordable sector may give the much-needed push to the segment henceforth," it said.
Among the cities, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Pune witnessed the maximum drop in housing sales at 18 per cent, 16 per cent and 15 per cent respectively, while in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) and the National Capital Region (NCR) sales declined by 11 per cent and 8 per cent respectively.
In Chennai and Kolkata, sales fell by 13 and 12 per cent from the previous quarter.
The real estate consultancy firm in its report said that launches also declined by 2 per cent across the seven cities during the period under review to 69,000 units as opposed to 70,480 units in the first quarter of 2019.
"Key cities contributing to Q2 2019 new unit launches were NCR, MMR, Bangalore and Pune, together accounting for 85 per cent of this quarter's addition," it said.
Further, as sales remained tepid, unsold housing stock remained largely stagnant during Q2 2019 as against Q1 2019 at 6.65 lakh units, it added.
Affordable housing saw a quarterly decline of total new supply by 20 per cent from 32,060 units in Q1 2019 to 25,580 units in Q2 2019.
"Despite high demand for budget homes in the major cities, builders find it challenging to build housing in the incentivized Rs 45 lakh budget range. The hope that the government would revise the price definition of affordable housing in the top cities has remained unfulfilled. For a city like MMR, a budget of Rs 45 lakh is far too low," it said.
On the outlook for the sector, Anuj Puri, Chairman, Anarock Property Consultants said: "The government's Budget ‘bonanza' for affordable housing an additional Rs 1.5 lakh income tax deduction on interest paid on home loans availed till March 2020 - will incite builders to increase their supply in this category so as to attract first-time home buyers. Thus, we may see an increase in supply in this category in the coming quarters."

Thu, 11 Jul 2019 14:52:52 +0530
Congress walks out of Lok

New Delhi,  Congress members on Thursday walked out of the Lok Sabha over the political situation in Karnataka and Goa where many of its MLAs have either quit the House or joined the BJP.

The House was plunged into uproar when Congress request to raise the issue during Zero Hour was not allowed by Speaker Om Birla.

The agitated Congress MPs then trooped out of the House. This was the party's third walkout in as many days.

The Congress on Thursday raised the Goa issue where 10 of the 15 MLAs have defected to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), reducing the Congress strength to just five members.

The Congress has accused the BJP of destabilizing the coalition government of Congress and JD-S in Karnataka where as many as 17 MLAs of the two parties have quit the Assembly.


Thu, 11 Jul 2019 13:28:04 +0530
SBI reduces MCLR but that

New Delhi: India’s largest bank State Bank of India (SBI) has reduced its marginal cost of funds-based lending rate (MCLR) by 5 basis points (bps) across all tenors with one-year MCLR coming down from 8.45% to 8.40%, effective 10 July. One bps is one-hundredth of a percentage point. This is the third, though minor, reduction in MCLR by SBI in the current financial year.
This will benefit borrowers from SBI having MCLR-linked floating rate loans, like home loans. However, this might not reflect in savings for all home loan borrowers.


Thu, 11 Jul 2019 12:07:10 +0530
For monetary considerati


New Delhi, July 11 (IANS) After a series of raids in Jammu and adjoining districts on Tuesday, the sleuths of Central Bureau of Investigation are close to laying their hands on the biggest gun-running racket emerging from India's terror-stricken state. The racket unravels a deep-rooted nexus between bureaucrats and arms dealers in Jammu and Kashmir, and further connects with the organised crime syndicates.

Trunks full of incriminating documents, ledgers, hard disks and files recovered from gun dealers and various government premises in Jammu and Udhampur reveal that norms were thrown to the wind by district magistrates while granting licences in bulk. The receipts and sale records found from over four gun dealers also point out that arm licences were issued in a very large quantity. 

A confidential report of Jammu and Kashmir Home Department (AR/151/2017) dated July 2018 reveals: "Dy Commissioners of various districts particularly DC Kupwara and DC Udhampur have issued gun licences which run in thousands. It is also reflected in the report that authorities of districts are involved in malpractices in issuance of arms licences in lieu of monetary consideration." 

CBI sources said the role of various senior officials, including that of IAS officers, is being probed in connection with serious irregularities committed while granting bulk gun licences.

The nexus between bureaucrats and gun-runners was unravelled when Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) of Rajasthan police informed the J&K government in 2017 that arm licences were issued to criminals by authorities in districts such as Jammu, Kupwara and Kathua. During the interrogation of the accused persons, the ATS discovered that government officials and licensed arms dealers in J&K were involved. 

"We are of the view that persons of criminal background, who by law cannot get arms licences, procured these gun licences or got them renewed. We are gathering evidence on end users," said a CBI source.

Meanwhile, in Delhi, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) also swung into action. The MHA accessed details from National Database for Arms Licences (NDAL) for the period 01.01.2017-23.08.2018 and found indiscriminate issuance of licence in various districts of J&K. Obviously, concerned from a security point of view (as the matter relates to J&K), an enquiry was also initiated in New Delhi. Later on the instructions of MHA, the state government ordered Divisional Commissioner (Jammu/Kashmir) to conduct a probe in various districts relating to arms licence racket.

The report of the Divisional Commissioner finally corroborated the ATS findings. 

The J&K government then decided to order a CBI probe into the gun scandal. Sources in the CBI said that various documents are being scrutinized to identify persons who were issued gun licences. According to an official, once the criminal syndicates, which procured the gun licences are identified, the agency will also probe their links with inter-state gangs or terror outfits. 


Thu, 11 Jul 2019 10:35:01 +0530
For monetary considerati


New Delhi, July 11 (IANS) After a series of raids in Jammu and adjoining districts on Tuesday, the sleuths of Central Bureau of Investigation are close to laying their hands on the biggest gun-running racket emerging from India's terror-stricken state. The racket unravels a deep-rooted nexus between bureaucrats and arms dealers in Jammu and Kashmir, and further connects with the organised crime syndicates.

Trunks full of incriminating documents, ledgers, hard disks and files recovered from gun dealers and various government premises in Jammu and Udhampur reveal that norms were thrown to the wind by district magistrates while granting licences in bulk. The receipts and sale records found from over four gun dealers also point out that arm licences were issued in a very large quantity. 

A confidential report of Jammu and Kashmir Home Department (AR/151/2017) dated July 2018 reveals: "Dy Commissioners of various districts particularly DC Kupwara and DC Udhampur have issued gun licences which run in thousands. It is also reflected in the report that authorities of districts are involved in malpractices in issuance of arms licences in lieu of monetary consideration." 

CBI sources said the role of various senior officials, including that of IAS officers, is being probed in connection with serious irregularities committed while granting bulk gun licences.

The nexus between bureaucrats and gun-runners was unravelled when Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) of Rajasthan police informed the J&K government in 2017 that arm licences were issued to criminals by authorities in districts such as Jammu, Kupwara and Kathua. During the interrogation of the accused persons, the ATS discovered that government officials and licensed arms dealers in J&K were involved. 

"We are of the view that persons of criminal background, who by law cannot get arms licences, procured these gun licences or got them renewed. We are gathering evidence on end users," said a CBI source.

Meanwhile, in Delhi, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) also swung into action. The MHA accessed details from National Database for Arms Licences (NDAL) for the period 01.01.2017-23.08.2018 and found indiscriminate issuance of licence in various districts of J&K. Obviously, concerned from a security point of view (as the matter relates to J&K), an enquiry was also initiated in New Delhi. Later on the instructions of MHA, the state government ordered Divisional Commissioner (Jammu/Kashmir) to conduct a probe in various districts relating to arms licence racket.

The report of the Divisional Commissioner finally corroborated the ATS findings. 

The J&K government then decided to order a CBI probe into the gun scandal. Sources in the CBI said that various documents are being scrutinized to identify persons who were issued gun licences. According to an official, once the criminal syndicates, which procured the gun licences are identified, the agency will also probe their links with inter-state gangs or terror outfits. 


Thu, 11 Jul 2019 10:34:54 +0530
Arms found in UP madrasa

Bijnor,  Six persons have been arrested after the police raided a madrasa in Uttar Pradesh's Bijnor district and recovered weapons.

According to sources, the police had received a tip-off after which the raid was carried out at the Darul Quran Hamidia madarsa on Kandhla road in Sherkot area on Wednesday.

Circle Officer (CO) Kripa Shankar Kannaujia said that three country made pistols, a 32 bore pistol and bullets in large numbers were recovered from the madrasa. The weapons and the ammunition had been stored in medicine boxes.

Those taken into custody were being questioned, the police said. One of the accused belongs to Bihar and claims that he was a teacher at the madrasa.

The madrasa has about 25 students, 14 of which belong to Bihar. Further investigations are underway.


Thu, 11 Jul 2019 10:26:41 +0530
Over 5K pilgrims leave Ja

Jammu,  Another batch of 5,486 pilgrims on Thursday left winter capital Jammu to perform the ongoing Amarnath Yatra.

Since it started on July 1, over 1.30 lakh pilgrims had 'Darshan' inside the Cave shrine situated 3,888 metres above the sea-level in Kashmir Himalayas.

The Cave shrine houses an ice stalagmite structure that symbolises mythical powers of Lord Shiva according to the devotees.

The ice stalagmite structure waxes and wanes with the phases of the moon.

Police said here on Thursday another batch of 5,486 Yatris left Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas in two escorted convoys for the Valley today. 

"Of these, 2,129 Yatris are going to Baltal base camp while 3,357 are going to Pahalgam base camp," police said.

Pilgrims approach the Cave shrine either from the shorter 14-Kms long Baltal trek or through the longer 45-Kms long Pahalgam trek.

Helicopter services are also available for pilgrims at both the base camps.

Local Muslims have always lent a helping hand to ensure that their Hindu brethren are able to perform the Yatra with ease and convenience.

Acknowledging this, state governor, Satya Pal Malik said the smooth and peaceful conduct of the Amarnath Yatra has been possible because of the support and active engagement of the local Muslims.

The Cave shrine was discovered in 1,850 by a Muslim Shepherd, Buta Malik. 

Legend says a Sufi saint rewarded the shepherd with a bag of charcoal that turned out to be gold.

Descendants of the shepherd have received a portion of the offerings at the Cave shrine for over 150 years.

This year's Amarnath Yatra will end on August 15 coinciding with the Shravan Purnima festival.


Thu, 11 Jul 2019 09:40:24 +0530
Inducted into BJP 10 Goa

Panaji, Hours after 10 Goa Congress MLAs split from the party and joined the BJP, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant late on Wednesday headed for the national capital, to introduce the newly inducted lawmakers to Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah on Thursday.

"The new MLAs will be meeting Amit Shah in Delhi at 10 a.m.," Sawant told reporters at Goa's Dabolim international airport, before heading for New Delhi. 

When asked if a cabinet reshuffle was likely in view of the development, Sawant said that the decision would be taken by the party High Command on Thursday. 

Earlier today, the BJP engineered a split in the 15-member Congress legislative party, with 10 MLAs breaking away from the Congress party to later merge with the saffron party.

Thu, 11 Jul 2019 09:34:25 +0530
Jharkhand opposition part

Ranchi,  The opposition parties in Jharkhand have agreed to contest the Assembly elections together, a senior Congress leader said on Wednesday.

A meeting of the opposition parties took place at the house of the Executive President of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) and former Chief Minister Hemant Soren, which was attended by leaders of the Congress, RJD and others.

State Congress President Ajay Kumar and Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik (JVMP) President Babulal Marandi did not attend the meeting. 

"We have agreed to fight together in the upcoming Assembly polls. We have agreed to root out the BJP government in the state 'unitedly'," Hemant Soren said at a press conference held after the meeting.

On the absence of the Congress and the JVM-P's Presidents, he said: "They might have other engagements." 

Congress legislative party leader Aalamgir Aalam said: "We have agreed that the parties will get the sitting seats. This way 32 seats have already been decided. We will decide on the rest of the seats based on the performance of the parties in the 2014 polls."

The Congress, JMM, RJD and JVM-P had fought the Lok Sabha poll together where the JMM and the Congress had won one seat each. 

Wed, 10 Jul 2019 16:54:00 +0530
Jharkhand opposition part

Ranchi,  The opposition parties in Jharkhand have agreed to contest the Assembly elections together, a senior Congress leader said on Wednesday.

A meeting of the opposition parties took place at the house of the Executive President of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) and former Chief Minister Hemant Soren, which was attended by leaders of the Congress, RJD and others.

State Congress President Ajay Kumar and Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik (JVMP) President Babulal Marandi did not attend the meeting. 

"We have agreed to fight together in the upcoming Assembly polls. We have agreed to root out the BJP government in the state 'unitedly'," Hemant Soren said at a press conference held after the meeting.

On the absence of the Congress and the JVM-P's Presidents, he said: "They might have other engagements." 

Congress legislative party leader Aalamgir Aalam said: "We have agreed that the parties will get the sitting seats. This way 32 seats have already been decided. We will decide on the rest of the seats based on the performance of the parties in the 2014 polls."

The Congress, JMM, RJD and JVM-P had fought the Lok Sabha poll together where the JMM and the Congress had won one seat each. 

Wed, 10 Jul 2019 16:53:55 +0530
Jaishankar in London Pak

New Delhi,  External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar is in London to attend the 19th Commonwealth Foreign Affairs Ministers' Meeting, which is also being attended by his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi.

Jaishankar, who is likely to meet his British counterpart Jeremey Hunt among other foreign Ministers during the day-long conference, tweeted a photograph of him addressing the gathering with the message: "In London for the Commonwealth Foreign Affairs Ministers Meeting. Working together to build upon a secure, sustainable and prosperous future."

There are chances of Jaishankar and Qureshi exchanging pleasantries though no talks have been planned.

External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar had said no "bilateral" meeting had been planned between the two on the sidelines of the Commonwealth meeting.

"Our Foreign Minister will be going to the Commonwealth Foreign Affairs Ministers' Meeting in London. But no meeting has been planned between him and Pakistan's Foreign Minister," he had said earlier.

Jaishankar would meet many of his counterparts from the 53-member Commonwealth.


Wed, 10 Jul 2019 16:46:50 +0530
I have a private connecti

Amethi :Congressman Rahul Gandhi made an impassioned statement to the individuals on Wednesday that he would never break his connections with Amethi, the consitucy he lost in the latest Lok Sabha elections to BJP's Smriti Irani.

"My connection with Amethi is private, not political. Victory and defeat are part of political life, but I'm never going to leave Amethi," Gandhi said at a conference.

Gandhi told party employees to stay ready for a lengthy fight to resurrect Congress and said he'd be standing by all of them.

The meeting was attended by more than 15,000 individuals, for which only 1,200 were invited. The conference took place at the Institute of Nirmala Devi. 

Gandhi had previously attended Congressman Ganga Prasad Gupta's home, who had lately died and given condolences.

Wed, 10 Jul 2019 14:46:06 +0530
NIA attaches property of

Srinagar,The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Wednesday attached a property of Asiya Andrabi, chief of women's separatist group, 'Dukhtaran-e-Milat' (Daughters of Faith).

Vikas Katharia, Superintendent of Police, in his capacity as the chief investigator of the terror funding case, has obtained the approval of the Director General of Police (DGP), Jammu and Kashmir to attach the house of Andrabi in Srinagar city.

The order of attachment said the property represents proceeds of terrorism and has been used for furtherance of terrorist activities.

Andrabi and two of her close associates are in NIA custody in connection with the terror funding case being investigated by the agency.

Wed, 10 Jul 2019 13:34:46 +0530
Karnataka rebel MLAs move

New Delhi, Karnataka rebel Congress and JD-S leaders who have resigned from the Assembly moved the Supreme Court on Wednesday, accusing the Speaker of not performing his constitutional duty and deliberately not accepting their resignations.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi mentioned the matter before a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and sought urgent hearing. The court assured that their plea would be heard but not on Wednesday.

The court is most likely to hear the matter on Thursday.

The petition filed by MLAs claim that the actions of the Speaker "are vitiated by mala fide as evident in his actions".

According to simple arithmetic, the strength of the House being 224, the government headed by H.D. Kumaraswamy has lost its majority (112 seats) seats as the resignations have brought down its strength to 103 seats.

"Notwithstanding the same and fearing that the Chief Minister may have to tender resignation for want of confidence of the House, the Speaker is acting in a partisan manner to frustrate the will of the House," the petitioners contended.

The 10 MLAs in the petition have made two specific prayers before the court -- direct the Speaker to accept the resignations and restrain the Speaker from proceeding with application on disqualification of the MLAs. 

The petitioners have also requested the court to pass an order which it may deem fit in connection with the facts and circumstances of the present case.

They contended that the Chief Minister, despite being reduced to minority, was refusing to seek a vote of confidence. 

"And as a result of the concerted acts between the Speaker and the government, a minority government which does not enjoy the confidence of the House continues in power illegally," said the petition.

Referring to the current political situation as extraordinary, the petitioners sought "the court to invoke its extraordinary jurisdiction for upholding the democratic principles as enshrined in the Constitution".

The petitioners pleaded that there should be no fraud on the Constitution.

Attacking the deliberate delay caused by the Speaker, they said his actions were not in compliance with Constitutional democracy.

"Any elected Member of the Legislature is entitled, in consultation with his conscience or other attendant circumstances, to resign his membership of the Legislature. It is stated that the MLAs disenchanted with the mal-administration under the present dispensation wish to resign," said the petitioner.

Equating the resignation as their fundamental right, the MLAs said these were in public interest. But the Speaker was acting in an arbitrary and illegal manner.


Wed, 10 Jul 2019 13:25:56 +0530
Qatari leader ready to me

Washington,  The ruler of Qatar, one of the handful of Arab nations on good terms with Tehran, met with President Donald Trump for talks expected to touch on Doha's offer to help ease tensions between the US and Iran.

Two years after siding with Saudi Arabia in a diplomatic and economic offensive against Qatar, Trump welcomed here on Tuesday Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani to the White House as if nothing had ever happened.

"It's a great honour to be with the amir of Qatar - a highly respected man, a real leader in a large part of the world and a very important part of the world. And we've known each other a long time. We've been friends for a long time," the President said as he sat alongside Al-Thani in the Oval Office, reported Efe news.

"And we're doing a lot of work now. They're investing very heavily in our country. They're creating a lot of jobs," Trump said.

The public portion of the encounter focused on economic ties between the US and Qatar and the President's only mention of Iran came when a reporter asked about Tehran's decision to increase their stockpile of enriched uranium in the face of Trump administration sanctions preventing the Islamic Republic from exporting surplus uranium.

"Iran is doing a lot of bad things right now and they better be very careful," the President said.

The amir planned to offer the good offices of Doha in seeking to arrange negotiations between the US and Iran, an official at Qatar's embassy in Washington told The Daily Beast ahead of the White House meeting.

"We have offered to act as an independent and impartial mediator should Iran and the US decide to come to the table for discussions," Qatari media attache Jassim Bin Mansour Al-Thani said.

The White House views Qatar's initiative with caution, skeptical about the near-term prospects for negotiations with Iran.

While Washington has called for negotiations, Iranian leaders say they have no interest in talking until the US rejoins the 2015 nuclear accord - renounced by Trump last year - and lifts sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

"It's well known that Qatar has a relationship with Iran," a US official told The Washington Post on condition of anonymity. "I don't think it would be any sort of formal mediation role. But we might look to them to pass messages and convey the seriousness of the administration's attempt to de-escalate and build some sort of path to dialogue."

Tensions in the Persian Gulf have increased recently amid attacks on oil tankers that Washington blamed on Iran and the shootdown of a US surveillance drone that Tehran says violated its airspace.

Yet Trump, despite expanding the US military presence in the region, insists that he does not want war with Iran, pushing instead for a dialogue along the lines of the one has pursued with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Iran and Qatar have long had close relations, due in large part to their joint ownership of the world's largest natural-gas field, which spans the Persian Gulf.

Trump's decision two years ago to support Saudi Arabia in its feud with Doha alarmed members of his own administration concerned about the future of the US military base in Qatar, Washington's largest outpost in the region.

On Tuesday, all of that seemed to be forgotten.

"So, we just appreciate everything. We have a great operation - military operation - right now in Qatar. They built one of the great military bases, I would say, anywhere in the world. And it's just been expanded, with runways and everything else. It's been really a great honor to work with my friend. Thank you very much for being here," Trump told Al-Thani in the Oval Office.

"Yes, we host at Al Udeid Base, and it's - we're working very closely together. You're invited to come and see Qatar and also to visit the base at any time, Mr. President," the amir replied.

The two heads of state then witnessed a Qatari official sign contracts worth tens of millions of dollars with US corporate giants Boeing, General Electric, Raytheon, Gulfstream and Chevron.


Wed, 10 Jul 2019 10:37:35 +0530
Rebel Karnataka MLAs hoot

Mumbai,   About 10 Karnataka Congress-Janata Dal(Secular) MLAs shouted at Senior  Congress  Leader D.K. Shivakumar , who was trying to meet the rebels here on Wednesday at a five-star hotel in suburban Mumbai.

Shivakumar, who came here early on Wednesday, was welcomed by lawmakers who refused to meet him with "Go Back" slogans.  He was not permitted to enter Powai's Hotel Renaissance where tight security was deployed. 

Wed, 10 Jul 2019 10:28:15 +0530
No parking fee hike MC d

Chandigarh: In a relief to city residents, the General House of the Municipal Corporation has deferred the proposal for a hike in the parking charges. It has decided to continue charging the existing rates — Rs 5 for two-wheelers and Rs 10 for four-wheelers — till the final decision is taken at the next meeting of the House. The decision was taken at a special meeting of the House held to discuss the terms and conditions of the parking lots in the city.
A panel, headed by Arun Sood, presented its recommendations in the House. While the panel suggested three options for the rates to be charged in the new tender, a majority of the members opposed it, saying that there was no need to hike the rates.
Deputy Mayor Kanwar Rana and Devinder Singh Babla, Congress councillor, boycotted the House. While Rana opposed the “attitude of offices” in pressuring councillors to take a decision, Babla alleged that the BJP leadership backtracked on its promise of not enhancing the parking rates. Babla said BJP leaders, including the MP, had promised not to enhance the rates before the elections, but they were now dilly-dallying on the decision.
When Davesh Moudgil, BJP councillor, opposed any proposal for a hike in the rates, a majority of the BJP councillors supported his suggestion for keeping the existing rates in the new tender.


Tue, 09 Jul 2019 19:39:58 +0530
Administration failed to

Chandigarh: The Punjab and Haryana High Court has ruled that the Chandigarh Administration failed to safeguard the interests of its students seeking admission to the medical college in the city as it was controlled by officers on deputation from Punjab and Haryana, concerned more about the welfare of their children.
The admonition by the Bench of Justice Daya Chaudhary and Justice Sudhir Mittal came after it observed that a window had been kept open for students from the neighbouring states to seek admission in the UT only after passing Class XII examination from a school situated in Chandigarh even though such a criteria had already been held arbitrary.
The Bench asserted that this violated the rights of students domiciled in Chandigarh as they were subjected to an unfair competition from others belonging to the neighbouring states. On the other hand, students domiciled in the neighbouring states were not subjected to any such competition from the UT students.


Tue, 09 Jul 2019 19:37:31 +0530
Woman Allegedly Drives R

Chandigarh: A woman pulls out an iron rod from her car and attacks a man on Chandigarh road. Sheetal Sharma was reversing her car, reportedly recklessly, when Nitish's car smashed her vehicle from behind near Tribune Chowk.
A furious Sheetal got out of the car, abused Nitish and then attacked him with the rod. Nitish, 26, alleged that Ms Sharma was driving rashly. The police control vans reached the spot and arrested the woman. Her statement was later recorded and she will soon be produced before the court. A case has been registered against her for culpable homicide, voluntarily causing hurt, wrongful restraint and criminal intimidation.


Tue, 09 Jul 2019 19:36:15 +0530
FIR Against Subramanian S

Raipur: Chhattisgarh police have lodged an FIR against BJP's Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy following a complaint that he allegedly made a false statement against Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, police said on Sunday. Based on a complaint of Jashpur district Congress president Pawan Agrawal, the First Information Report (FIR) was registered at Patthalgaon police station on Saturday night, Jashpur Superintendent of Police Shankar Lal Baghel told PTI.
In his written complaint, Agrawal said Swamy alleged that Rahul Gandhi takes cocaine, and added that the BJP leader has no right and facts to make such a statement. "Swamy himself knows that his statement was false and intentional to insult Rahul Gandhiji. Swamy knows that his statement can encourage enmity between political parties and provoke people. Such a statement can disturb peace among people," he said in the complaint
The case has been registered under Indian Penal Code Sections 504 (intentional insult with an intent to provoke breach of peace), 505(2) (intent to incite any class or community of a person) and 511 (attempting to commit offences punishable with imprisonment for life or other imprisonment), the SP said.
Chhattisgarh Congress spokesperson Shailesh Nitin Trivedi said, "Swamy's statement is unacceptable and highly condemnable. It has disrespected Rahul Gandhi and the Congress party in the state and all over the country. He has no moral and legal right to make such a false statement."


Tue, 09 Jul 2019 19:30:56 +0530
4 Naxals killed in encou

Raipur:  At least four Naxals were killed in Dhamtari district of Chhattisgarh when an encounter broke out between Naxals and the police. A total of seven weapons were also recovered from the site of the encounter that took place in the forest area of Mechka village, confirmed the Chhattisgarh police.
The Inspector General (IG) of the Raipur range, Anand Chabra, also stated that the encounter has ended. A joint team of the Special Task Force (STF) and Border Security Force (BSF) had launched a search operation after getting inputs about the presence of Naxals in the area.


Tue, 09 Jul 2019 19:29:59 +0530
CM tears up while handin

Raipur: Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel`s eyes were filled with tears while speaking at the event organised for passing the post of President of Chhattisgarh Pradesh Congress Committee (CPCC) to Mohan Markam. Congress leader PL Punia and newly appointed CPCC president Markam were also present at the event.
In his speech, Baghel thanked all party leaders who worked with him over the past five years and remembered their contribution to the party in Chhattisgarh. "I was appointed to the post by Rahul Gandhiji after we lost the elections in 2013. 2014 Lok Sabha elections were near. We were worried about the party`s prospects in the state after the 2014 elections. The fight we party leaders started after June 2014 continued till the time we came to power in Chhattisgarh," Baghel said.


Tue, 09 Jul 2019 19:29:04 +0530
BEST Bus Fare Reduced

The Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) has announced Tuesday's implementation of the reduced tariffs for its buses. The state issued the necessary government resolution (GR) to lower the tariffs for various distance slabs late on Monday evening.

Instead of Rs 8 for a 5-km trip, commuters will now have to pay a minimum fare of Rs 5. After the fare revision, Rs 5, Rs 10, Rs 15 and Rs 20 will be charged on BEST buses for 5 km, 10 km, 15 km and 20 km respectively.

Passengers will have to pay a minimum fare of Rs 6 instead of the prior Rs 20 for traveling on air-conditioned (AC) buses. The price on the AC buses would be Rs 25 for a 20-km trip.

Tue, 09 Jul 2019 19:26:16 +0530
AAPSU demands NIA probe i

Tirap: The All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) has demanded a time-bound probe by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) into the killing of National People’s Party (NPP) MLA Tirong Aboh and 10 others in May. The apex students’ body of the state submitted a memorandum in this regard to Chief Minister Pema Khandu during a meeting here.
Suspected NSCN militants killed Aboh, his son and nine others at 12 mile area in Tirap district on May 21 when they were going to Khonsa from Dibrugarh.In a statement , the AAPSU asked the BJP-led governments at the Centre and the state to exhibit ‘strong political will’ to bring peace in insurgency-hit eastern districts of Tirap, Changlang and Longding by acting against the belligerents.
It demanded immediate deletion of Chakma and Hajong refugees from the electoral rolls and criticised the government’s move to provide temporary settlement to the refugees from Bangladesh in the state.
“With the issue of granting citizenship rights (to Chakmas and Hajongs) pending in the Supreme Court, enroling them in the electoral roll is a clear violation of the Constitution of India,” the AAPSU said.


Tue, 09 Jul 2019 19:24:50 +0530
CBI Charges Ex Arunachal

New Delhi:  The CBI has charged Nabam Hari, brother of former Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Nabam Tuki, his wife and PWD officers with alleged corruption in government contracts, officials said Friday. The case pertains to contracts handed by Mr Tuki as the PWD minister in the state to his relatives and friends for "selfish gains without inviting tenders", the CBI has alleged.
The Central Bureau of Investigation had carried out a preliminary enquiry, on the orders of the Gauhati High Court, into one such work related to construction of a Kendriya Vidyalaya building in Umroi cantonment, Shillong, the officials said.
It is alleged that several contracts were given to Mary Associate, a firm owned by Mr Tuki's sister-in-law, Nabam Mary, which was maintaining a current account in the United Bank of India in which her husband Nabam Hari is one of the nominee. The contracts were given between 2005-07, the officials said.


Tue, 09 Jul 2019 19:23:55 +0530
Air Force Retrieves Rescu

New Delhi: The Indian Air Force (IAF) retrieved all the members of a rescue team from the site where one of its AN 32 aircraft had crashed in Arunachal Pradesh earlier this month. The AN-32 transporter aircraft had crashed on June 3 and the IAF was able to trace the wreckage in Arunachal Pradesh on June 11. A day later, the rescue team had reached the site to retrieve the bodies of 13 IAF personnel who were on board the aircraft.
The task of retrieving the bodies and remains of the 13 air force personnel as well as the black box of the aircraft was completed on June 20. The effort to retrieve the rescue team members was delayed due to inclement weather and rain. The weather improved slightly in the evening, allowing the "risky" helicopter operations to be undertaken, the IAF said.
All the 15 members of the rescue team -- eight IAF personnel, four from the Army and three civilians -- were retrieved with the help of Advanced Light Helicopters and Mi-17V5 helicopters. All the members of the rescue team were in good health, the IAF said.
The members of the rescue team were stranded in the border area of Siang and Shi-Yomi districts for 17 days at a height of 12,000 feet, where they were airdropped.
The Russian AN-32 aircraft went missing 33 minutes after taking off from Assam''s Jorhat on June 3. It was headed to Mechuka in Shi-Yomi district of Arunachal Pradesh.


Tue, 09 Jul 2019 19:23:03 +0530
More than 2 kgs of ganja

Port Blair: A & N Police recovered 2 Kilo of Ganja from Aberdeen Bazaar, Port Blair from the possession of Paras Ram, a resident of Phoenix Bay. The seizure was made under overall supervision of Dy.S.P (CID) Mr. George Lalu. The accused was booked under relevant section of NDPS Act, 1985 and A & N Excise Regulation, 1876.

Tue, 09 Jul 2019 19:17:11 +0530
Free Breakfast Scheme Lau

Port Blair: The Port Blair Municipal Council started free Breakfast Scheme for sanitary workers of PBMC. This scheme was launched at Khaitan Kalyan Mandap, Junglighat. PBMC Chairperson, Mrs. Ansuya Devi, Secretary PBMC Sunil Anchipaka, Senior Vice Chairperson, Mrs. Protima Banerjee and others Councilors were present on this occasion.
As per reports, one thousand four hundred sanitary workers will be benefited from Free Breakfast Scheme. Addressing the gathering Senior Vice Chairperson, Protima Banerjee expressed her gratitude towards Secretary PBMC for thinking about the sanitary workers and keeping this proposal infront of the Lt. Governor of A & N Islands and Chief Secretary of A & N Administration, from where this was immediately sanctioned.
PBMC Secretary Sunil Anchipaka said that the sanitary workers leave home in the early morning and most of the time they work in field, that’s why they do not get time to have their breakfast in the morning, which leaves bad impact on their health.


Tue, 09 Jul 2019 19:16:21 +0530
Centre asks Gangtok Smart

GANGTOK: Gangtok Smart City Development Limited (GSCDL) has been directed by the Smart City Mission (SCM), Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs to make at least three modules of Integrated Command Control Centre (ICCC) at Gangtok ‘Go Live’ by October 31.
A video conference on implementation of the ICCC at Gangtok chaired by Smart Cities Mission direction of the Union Housing and Urban Affairs ministry with all the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of Smart Cities was held on July 3. The GSCDL was represented by its CEO Tarzan Subba and his team. The meeting was also attended by Master System Integrator (MSI) Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) who expressed their commitment to comply to the directive of the mission director.
One of the important aspects of this project is that the State government has to provide space measuring minimum of 3000 sq ft for housing Integrated Command Control Centre (ICCC) and Data Centre (DC).
However, the space which had been identified earlier at Old Children Park shopping complex for the said purpose has not yet been made free from encumbrances. This was reported to the ministry on which the GSCDL was directed to provide a suitable space for ICCC and DC immediately to ensure that the work is completed within the given deadline of October 31. In this regard the Gangtok Smart City CEO informed that a proposal for allotment of space for housing ICCC and DC on the top floor of the under construction Kisan Bazzar has been already submitted to the State government for consideration.

Tue, 09 Jul 2019 19:09:34 +0530
Action to be taken if off

NAMCHI: Chief Secretary A.K. Shrivastava had a coordination meeting with heads of departments at DAC South, Namchi. Present amongst others were ADC (South) Satyen K. Pradhan along with senior officials.
Speaking during the meeting, the chief secretary spoke about the importance of punctuality, hard work and assiduousness that the government employees should imbibe in their day to day affairs. He also strictly directed that files under concerned departments should be maintained and if certain files is found misplaced than action will be taken against the respective government officials as he underlined that these files contains important documents pertaining to projects, schemes, plans, employees track records and many more. He also informed that government employees should adhere to the new notification regarding the office timing which is from 10 am to 4: 30 pm, five days a week apart from every Saturday of the month being a holiday. He also urged the government employees to be efficient in providing their services to the general public and quoted ‘we are public servants and not masters of public’.
He also informed that the State government will soon launch ‘Jal Shakti Abhiyaan’ which will focus on water conservation, rain water harvesting and rejuvenation of natural water bodies with an aim to reverse water crises in the country. With regards to water harvesting unit he emphasised that all the State government building and departments have to install this unit in order to save water for future use and said that the south district administration head should look upon this on a priority basis.


Tue, 09 Jul 2019 19:07:38 +0530
Rajnath Singh appealed to

New Delhi:  Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday appealed to the opposition, particularly the DMK, to put to rest the controversy over a tweet by Puducherry LG Kiran Bedi, saying she has deleted it and expressed deep regret.
Rajnath Singh's comments came after DMK leader TR Baalu raised the issue for the second consecutive day in Lok Sabha and said the matter has triggered outrage in Tamil Nadu as it was insulting to Tamil society and state politicians. The defence minister said Ms Bedi has already deleted the tweet and issued a statement expressing deep regret.
Rajnath Singh said when the matter was raised in parliament by Mr Baalu, the Ministry of Home Affairs took notice of it and took necessary action in this regard. Rajnath Singh said she has expressed deep regret by saying, "What was written was a people perspective shared in my personal capacity, as it came at a time when people were hugely suffering for water in Chennai. However, I admit it was avoidable. And I should not have shared it in public in this manner and I too realised it." "I have therefore deleted my sharing. I have the highest regards and warmth for the people of Tamil Nadu, like I have for the people of Puducherry," Rajnath Singh quoted Ms Bedi's statement.

Tue, 09 Jul 2019 19:03:27 +0530
CM Ministers walk out of

Puducherry: The State Planning Board (SPB) meeting convened on Saturday to finalise the draft annual plan for the current fiscal abruptly ended after the Cabinet, led by Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy, staged a walkout over the “reluctance” of Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi to allow floor leaders of Opposition parties to participate in the deliberations.
As soon as the meeting began under the chairmanship of the Lt. Governor at the Chief Secretariat, Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha) N. Gokulakrishnan expressed his unhappiness over the way it had been convened without inviting the Opposition leaders. “I am attending the meeting though there was no invite. The Opposition leaders should have been allowed to participate in the deliberations,” he reportedly said at the meeting. Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha) V. Vaithilingam too spoke in support for the demand to invite Opposition leaders.
The Chief Minister told reporters that on Friday he wrote to the Lt. Governor about the government’s intention to invite floor leaders of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and the Bharatiya Janata Party for the State Planning Board meeting. But the Lt. Governor did not give her consent. The members of Opposition parties had attended the 2017-18 plan meeting, he recalled.
“We walked out of the meeting asking the Lt Governor to re-convene the SPB. We hope the Opposition party leaders will also be invited,” he said.


Tue, 09 Jul 2019 19:02:21 +0530
NRC like exercise MHA se

New Delhi: The Ministry of Home Affairs has sought clarification from the government of Nagaland about its recent decision to extend Inner Line Permit system to Dimapur and to implement an NRC-like exercise named Register of Indigenous Inhabitants Certificates of Nagaland, said high level sources in the state government.
Sources in the government of Nagaland also confirmed that clarification has also been sought on implementation of RIIN. MHA seeks clarification from Nagaland government on its decision to implement NRC-like exercise in state
On 29 June, the government of Nagaland issued a notification announcing its decision to set up a Register of Indigenous Inhabitants Certificates of Nagaland and launch an extensive survey of the indigenous inhabitants in the state.


Tue, 09 Jul 2019 18:58:32 +0530
Two Assam Rifles personne

New Delhi: Two Assam Rifles personnel were killed and four others injured during a gunfight with suspected NSCN(K) militants in Mon area along the Indo-Myanmar border in Nagaland on Saturday, a spokesperson said.
Lt Col Vincent Patton, the PRO of Inspector General of Assam Rifles, said that suspected militants of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khaplang) triggered an IED explosion at around 1.30 pm when a column of Assam Rifles jawans were travelling in two vehicles. This was followed by an exchange of fire between the paramilitary personnel and the ultras in which two soldiers were killed.
Four other personnel were injured in the gunfight and they were evacuated to the Army Hospital in Jorhat in Assam, Patton said.They are stable now. Casualties on militants' side are yet to be ascertained, the PRO said, adding that a hunt is on to nab them. The deceased personnel have been identified as Naib Subedar Dina Nath Ram, a junior commissioned officer (JCO), and rifleman Kalidas Sharma. The incident took place near border pillars 147 and 148 along the Indo-Myanmar border, sources said.


Tue, 09 Jul 2019 18:57:38 +0530
Entire Nagaland Declared

New Delhi: The entire state of Nagaland has been declared a "disturbed area" for six more months, till December-end, under the controversial AFSPA, which empowers security forces to conduct operations anywhere and arrest anyone without prior notice. The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act has been in force in Nagaland for several decades.
In a notification, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said the central government is of the opinion that the area comprising the whole state of Nagaland is in such a "disturbed and dangerous condition" that the use of armed forces in aid of the civil power is necessary.
The decision to continue the declaration of Nagaland as "disturbed area" has been taken as killings, loot and extortion have been going on in various parts of the state which necessitated the action for the convenience of the security forces operating there, an MHA official said.
The AFSPA has been in force in Nagaland for several decades. It has not been withdrawn even after a framework agreement was signed on August 3, 2015 by Naga insurgent group NSCN-IM general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah and government interlocutor RN Ravi in presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The framework agreement came after over 80 rounds of negotiations spanning 18 years with the first breakthrough in 1997 when the ceasefire agreement was sealed after decades of insurgency in Nagaland.


Tue, 09 Jul 2019 18:56:13 +0530
8 held with drugs worth

Aizawl: At least 8 people, including 3 women, have been arrested for possessing heroin and ganja (cannabis) worth over Rs 13.3 lakh, Mizoram police said.
The police said that Special Narcotics Squad and CID (Special Branch) of state police seized 369.56 grams of heroin during a joint operation at Hringlangtlang village in Champhai district of Mizoram bordering Myanmar and arrested three persons, including a woman on Saturday. The contraband worth Rs 13 lakh in the local market was concealed in soap cases, they said.
Three persons identified as Lalrinmuani, 23, and Vanlalpeka, 19, both from Aizawl and Emanuela, 39, a resident of Champhai’s Zotlang were arrested in connection with the seizure. They were booked under the relevant section of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985.
In another seizure, volunteers of Supply Reduction Service (SRS), a drug squad constituted by Central Young Mizo Association(CYMA), seized substantial grams of heroin and apprehended two persons identified as Tlangrosiama,38, and Roluahkunga,39, both from Tuirial village near Aizawl on Saturday night, CYMA president Vanlalruata said.
The SRS volunteers also held three people including two women for possessing 12 kg of ganja (cannabis) at Sesawng village, about 40 km from here on Saturday night. The accused identified as Ralrelvung, Ramthazo and Lalrohluna were handed over to excise and narcotics department officials, along with Tlangrosiama and Roluahkunga on the same night, Vanlalruata said.

Tue, 09 Jul 2019 18:46:44 +0530
Mizoram Assembly Passes B

Aizawl: Mizoram Assembly passed the state annual budget for 2019-20 amounting to Rs 10,692.30 crore. The budget was presented by Chief Minister Zoramthanga, who also holds the Finance portfolio.
The budget comprised of revenue expenditure amounting to Rs 8,403.52 crore to be utilised mainly for salaries of the government employees, pension expenses and government establishment costs. The capital expenditure allocation of Rs 2,288.78 crore was mainly for developmental works, creation of infrastructure and assets.
Zoramthanga attributed the inflated figure of the revenue expenditure to the proposed payment of enhanced salaries to the state government employees and pension expenses as per the recommendations of the seventh Central pay commission as well as expenses incurred on the general elections and proposed implementation of the creation of three new districts.


Tue, 09 Jul 2019 18:45:45 +0530
Three Killed Many Feared

Aizawl: At least three people were murdered and nine others harmed when a structure fallen in Mizoram's Durtlang region, police said.
The incident happened on late Tuesday evening when the building constructed under the Basic Services for Urban Poor (BSUP) under JNNURM collapsed at Durtlang, about five kms from Aizawl.
"Three people have died in the incident. With an unspecified number of people trapped under the debris, there is a possibility of rise in the death toll," police said. The building was constructed by the National Project Construction Company (NPCC) with an estimate of over Rs 26 crore. Rescue works continued as further details were being awaited.


Tue, 09 Jul 2019 18:44:46 +0530
Opposition walks out of L

New Delhi,  Major opposition parties, including the Congress and the DMK, on Tuesday stormed out of the Lok Sabha over the political crisis in Karnataka where several Congress and JD-S MLAs have quit, putting the coalition government in a crisis.

The House was plunged into an uproar when a Congress request to raise the issue during Zero Hour was not allowed by Speaker Om Birla.

Congress and DMK MPs immediately trooped near the Speaker's podium raising slogans like "we want justice" and "stop dictatorship". Congress leaders, who persisted with their demand, first protested from their seats.

The Speaker pointed out that he had allowed the Congress on Monday to speak on the issue. "But don't give out an impression outside Parliament that it is a place for sloganeering and showing placards."

"Don't make the House look like a municipal corporation hall," Birla said.

The Speaker, who had earlier warned the members amid protests, urged them to take their seats, adding that he had been giving opportunities to members to speak out of turn.

Birla said the House belonged to all members and there should not be any sloganeering. "Debate with each other but there is a need to put an end to sloganeering and raising of placards if everyone agrees."

He said the proceedings of the House were widely watched and the members should not resort to sloganeering.

Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury hit out at the government and asked it to stop "poaching politics".

The Congress has accused the BJP of destabilizing the Congress-JD-S coalition government in Karnataka by luring its MLAs to cross over to the BJP.

"The opposition has a major role in taking forward the country... We will raise the issue. It is the government's prerogative to take the decision. We are doing our job. Poaching politics should be stopped," Chowdhury said.

He also alleged that after Karnataka, the ruling party could next target the Congress government in Madhya Pradesh.

The MP justified the Congress resorting to sloganeering by referring to the remarks of BJP leader Arun Jaitley that disruption was also a legitimate strategy of the opposition.

"We are fulfilling our role, they should fulfil theirs. Senior leader Arun Jaitley has said disruption is also a tactic, we have taken a lesson from him," he said.

Chowdhury said "democracy was in danger" due to the actions of the BJP-led government and reiterated that "poaching politics should be stopped."

Rejecting the BJP's claims of non-interference in the Karnataka developments, he asked how vehicles and planes were ready for rebel legislators.

Amid Congress protests, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said the members cannot give notice on a matter that had already been raised in the House.

He said the BJP does not have a hand in the Karnataka developments and the Congress was facing problems due to the resignation of Rahul Gandhi as the party president.

Joshi said Congress members had raised the issue of the political crisis faced by their coalition government on Monday and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had responded to it.

He urged the Congress members not to disturb the proceedings.

Before the government could respond on the issue, Congress, DMK, NCP and National Conference members trooped out of the House.

But other opposition parties like the Trinamool Congress and the BSP did not join the walk out, displaying disunity among non-BJP ranks. 

It was the first time in the 17th Lok Sabha that the Congress staged a walkout.

Responding to the allegations, Rajnath Singh said that the Congress failed to handle the political crisis in Karnataka and termed the issue an "internal matter" of the grand old party for which he said Parliament was being disturbed.

"What is happening in Karnataka is Congress' internal matter. But they have failed to handle the problem of their own house and are trying to disturb the proceedings of the Lower House of Parliament," he said.

Singh, who is Deputy Leader of the House, said that the Congress was raising the issue again after it had raised it on Monday and was misusing the opportunity given to it.

The crisis in the H.D. Kumaraswamy-led government in Karnataka deepened further on Tuesday with one more Congress MLA resigning, taking to 17 the number of legislators of the ruling Congress-JD-S combine who have quit over the last few days.

Tue, 09 Jul 2019 18:39:41 +0530
Contract given to kill me

Mumbai,  Social crusader Kisan Baburao Hazare, popularly known as Anna Hazare, told a Special CBI court here on Tuesday that a contract has been handed out to eliminate him for speaking out against the corruption in the Terna Sugar Factory in Osmanabad.

Deposing as a prosecution witness in the ongoing murder trial of Congress leader Pawan Raje Nimbalkar before Special Judge Anand Yavalkar, Hazare said that after he learnt about the death threats through the media, he had lodged a complaint with the Parner police station in Ahmednagar.

Former Minister and NCP leader Padamsinh Patil, a prime accused in the sensational 2006 killing of his cousin Nimbalkar, is linked to the Osmanabad-based sugar factory and is currently the President of the Terna Public Charitable Trust.

Hazare said that before lodging the complaint, he had also informed the Prime Minister and the Maharashtra Chief Minister about the risk to his life, but no action was initiated since Patil was a relative of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) President Sharad Pawar.

Hazare said that in protest against the threats, he had returned his Padma Shri and Vriksha Mitra honours, which he followed by sitting on a hunger strike after which the government appointed a commission of enquiry headed by a retired Supreme Court judge.

Later, one of the accused in the case had given a statement in which he had given details about the conspiracy to eliminate the social worker.

Hazare, 82, had exposed alleged corrupt goings-on in the Terna Sugar Factory, which allegedly had angered Patil.

"Patil threatened me with dire consequences and pressurised me to withdraw my complaints in the matter. Once his men came to my office, offered me a blank cheque and asked me to write any figure, for which I lodged a separate complaint," Hazare told the Special Court.

After objections by the defence lawyers that these issues were not related to the murder case, Hazare said in the cross-examination that he had no knowledge about the Nimbalkar killing case except what he had learnt through media reports.

A prominent Congress leader, Nimbalkar and his driver Samad Qazi were gunned down by two motorcycle-borne assailants near Kalamboli in Navi Mumbai on June 3, 2006.

Initially, the case was investigated by the Maharashtra Police but later the Bombay High Court transferred it to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Patil, 80, a former state minister who had to quit after he was indicted by the Justice P.B. Samant Commission, was named among the prime accused in the case and was present in the court on Tuesday.

The other accused include Satish Mandade, Mohan Shukla, Parasmal Jain, former state government employee Shashikant Kulkarni, political worker Kailash Yadav and shooters Dinesh Tiwari, Pintu Singh and Chhote Pandey.

Hazare appeared before the Special Court on Tuesday after a Supreme Court order in May 2019, which overruled an earlier order of the Bombay High Court exempting him (Hazare) from recording his statement in the trial court.

The trial in the case had commenced in July 2011 before the Alibaug Court in Raigad. In 2012, the Supreme Court transferred it to Mumbai after many witnesses turned hostile.


Tue, 09 Jul 2019 18:25:54 +0530
Karnataka government cris

Bengaluru/New Delhi, July 9 (IANS) The crisis in the H.D. Kumaraswamy-led government in Karnataka deepened further on Tuesday with one more Congress MLA resigning, taking to 17 the number of legislators of the ruling Congress-JD-S combine who have quit over the last few days.

Meanwhile, the 11 rebel Congress MLAs, who resigned from their Assembly seats three days back, on Tuesday skipped the party's legislature meeting in Bengaluru, which was attended only by 60 of the 78 party MLAs.

The political crisis in Karnataka resonated in Parliament as well on Tuesday, with the Congress accusing the BJP of destabilizing its government in the southern state. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh rejected the charge, saying the Congress was unable to handle its internal problems.

If the resignations of all the 12 MLAs of the Congress, three of the JD-S, one of regional party KPJP and an Independent are accepted by Assembly Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar, the ruling coalition's number in the 225-member House will drop from 118 to 101, 12 short of the majority mark.

The Speaker on Tuesday asked all the MLAs who have resigned to meet him personally to clarify on their resignation letters, saying some of those were not in proper format.

The Speaker's directive came hours after suspended Congress legislator R. Roshan Baig resigned from the Shivajinagar Assembly seat, submitting his resignation letter to the Speaker in his office.

Later, the Speaker declined to accept the resignations of the 13 Congress-JD-S rebel legislators, as 8 were not in the prescribed format and 5 needed explanations to ensure they were in accordance with the law.

"I have summoned all the legislators of both the parties to meet me on July 12, July 15 and July 21, as their resignations are faulty and explanations are not in accordance with the law under section 202 of the Anti-Defection Act," said Kumar.

With Baig quitting, the number of Congress lawmakers who have resigned from their respective Assembly seats has gone up to 12. Three JD-S MLAs also resigned.

Besides them, one legislator of KPJP and an Independent, have also quit as ministers and withdrawn their support to the Kumaraswamy government.

Baig, 67, an eight-time lawmaker from Shivajinagar, was suspended from the party on June 19 for his attack on the party's state in-charge K.C. Venugopal, Congress Legislative Party (CLP) leader Siddaramaiah and state unit President Dinesh Gundu Rao for the party's rout in the recent Lok Sabha elections.

The Congress, which contested the Lok Sabha polls in pre-poll alliance with its coalition partner JD-S, won only one of the 21 seats it contested. The JD-S also managed to win only one seat.

The opposition BJP swept the polls, bagging 25 of the 27 seats in the state.

Commenting the day after on the May 19 exit polls that projected Congress performing poorly in the general elections, Baig lashed out at Venugopal, Siddaramaiah and Rao.

"Venugopal is a buffoon. What does he know about the party in our state, as he is from Kerala? Due to Siddaramaiah's arrogance, the party lost in the May 2018 Assembly elections and Rao's immaturity is responsible for the dismal state of affairs currently," Baig had told reporters here.

He has been sulking against the party leadership since last year for being denied a cabinet post, despite being the Muslim face of the party after the passing away of veteran party leader Jaffer Shariff in November.

Earlier, 10 of the Congress MLAs flew to Mumbai on July 6 after submitting their resignations to the secretary of the Speaker in his absence and meeting Governor Vajubhai Vala at the Raj Bhavan.

The Congress, which is making desperate attempts to save the government, had convened a meeting of the legislators on Tuesday in Bengaluru but none of the rebel MLAs turned up for it, despite being given a notice on July 7 to be present, party spokesman Ravi Gowda told IANS.

Of the party's 78 legislators, Gowda said about 60 attended the meeting while five to six had informed CLP leader Siddaramaiah in advance of their inability to attend.

In Delhi, the Congress members created uproar in both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, accusing the BJP of being behind the rebellion in the ruling coalition in Karnataka to topple it. 

The Congress members disrupted the proceedings in the Rajya Sabha, preventing it from functioning and forcing its adjournment for the day.

In the Lok Sabha, the Congress members, joined by the members of the DMK, NCP and National Conference, staged a walkout.

Prior to that, Congress leader in the House Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said the BJP was indulging in "poaching politics".

"The Opposition has a major role in taking forward the country... We will raise the issue. It is the government's prerogative to take the decision. We are doing our job. Poaching politics should be stopped," Chowdhury said.

Tue, 09 Jul 2019 17:49:58 +0530
Autorickshaw strike calle

After the threat of an indefinite, state-wide strike by autorickshaw drivers loomed over the city through the better part of Monday, autorickshaw unions called off the strike late on Monday evening following the intervention of chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.


Tue, 09 Jul 2019 15:40:17 +0530
Taking into account the f

The Goa government is considering a five-year ban on the registration of fresh cash-credit  societies, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said on Tuesday.

Sawant also said that he had directed the State Co-operative Registrar not to allow non-Goans to se tup co-operatives in the coastal state due to a spate of fraud perpetrated by such companies in the past.

"Since there are too many cash credit cooperative societies, we are looking at legally shutting them down. To become chairpersons, some individuals begin tiny collectives with friends, accumulate a pool of money, offer some loans and that's it. Such a society typically shuts down in two years," Sawant said at  a function  organized here by the State Ministry of Cooperatives.

"Should such societies be prohibited for five years? There are already more than enough. If someone wishes to begin a new society, they might even consider taking over those who are prepared to sell off. I requested the department to review the law and, if possible, to shut down the registration of such societies for five years," Sawant said.

"We're looking to not allow non-Goans to start cooperatives in Goa. We're not going to tolerate those who come here to loot Goans with such fraudulent schemes," Sawant said, adding that there was a tendency among state citizens to fall for fraudulent schemes such as doubling cash, which had caused investors to bankrupt.

Tue, 09 Jul 2019 15:20:26 +0530
Delhi HC dismisses plea s

New Delhi, The Delhi High Court has dismissed a plea seeking lifting of a blanket ban on condom advertisements between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.

A division bench of the High Court, comprising Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice C Harishankar, disposed off the petition on Monday, saying it cannot intervene into the same as it is a policy decision of the government.

The petition sought quashing the Centre's notification which put a blanket ban on condom advertisements between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.

The petitioner contended that the ban should be lifted as usage of condoms in the county is abysmally low and efforts need to be taken to ensure the spreading of awareness about the use of condoms, and knowledge about condoms to the common public.

"...the non-usage of condoms is a direct reason for the spread of various sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV-AIDS, Syphilis, etc," the plea said.

The plea was filed by Sarita Barpanda moved through her counsels Deepak Kumar Singh and Sneha Mukherjee.

The petitioner also sought the court's direction to the Centre to form a board or committee to review advertisements such as the aforementioned condom advertisements, and to submit reports, wherein the advertisement can be proven to be 'indecent' rather than arbitrary assertions of vulgarity or indecency.


Tue, 09 Jul 2019 14:57:30 +0530
Dalit youth killed state

Ahmedabad, Dalit youth was on Monday night allegedly hacked to death by higher caste members in a town near Ahmedabad when he went to pick up his newlywed wife from her parents' home along with a team of the Gujarat Government's Abhyam Helpline.

The Ahmedabad Rural police have lodged an FIR for murder invoking various sections of the Atrocities Act and arrested one person in connection with the case, while seven others are absconding. Police said a search was on for the others, who all belong to the same village.

According to the FIR lodged by Bavika Bhagora, a counselor of the Abhyam Helpline, who was accompanying the deceased Haresh Solanki, 25, they had gone to pick up his wife Urmila Jhala belonging to the high-caste Darbar community when the incident occurred in Varmor village in Ahmedabad district's Mandal tehsil.

A group of around 10 people attacked them and damaged the official SUV of Abhyam Helpline of the Gujarat government before killing Solanki with sharp weapons. Abhyam team members also sustained injuries. The window panes of the vehicle were destroyed by the assailants. Solanki died on the spot.

Tue, 09 Jul 2019 14:51:31 +0530
CBI searches 110 places i

New Delhi,  In a nationwide crackdown, the CBI on Tuesday searched some 110 places across 19 states and Union Territories in what is being viewed as the Modi government's biggest ever action against corruption.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered around 30 separate cases relating to corruption, criminal misconduct and arms smuggling among others.

According to a senior agency official, the raids started early morning in various cities including Delhi, Bharatpur, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Jammu, Srinagar, Pune, Jaipur, Goa, Raipur, Hyderabad, Madurai, Kolkata, Rourkela, Ranchi, Bokaro, Lucknow besides in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Odisha, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Bihar.

The CBI last week carried out raids at over 50 places in 14 states and Union Territories. Premises of 13 companies and bank officials across the country were searched for alleged bank frauds amounting to Rs 1,139 crore.

The search and seizure was one of the biggest simultaneous, synchronised actions against bank loan defaulters in recent times.



Tue, 09 Jul 2019 14:45:58 +0530
Use ballot papers in Maha

New Delhi/Mumbai,  Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) President Raj Thackeray on Monday demanded that the upcoming state assembly elections must be held with ballot papers and not Electronic Voting Machines.

He has made the demand to the Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora and other top EC officials whom he met in New Delhi, a party aide said in Mumbai.

Addressing the media after the meeting, Thackeray said: "However, from the reactions of the EC officials, they seemed disinterested on such a serious issue. I have zero expectations from them." 

He said there are many questions raised on the reliability of the EVMs which have US-manufactured chips that are susceptible to hacking.

"In the last Lok Sabha (2019) elections, in 370 constituencies there are discrepancies in the figures of votes cast and the votes counted, and the number of votes counted was higher than the votes cast," Thackeray alleged.

He said the people have a right to know that the vote has gone to the intended candidate and ballot papers can provide that transparency.

The MNS chief observed that "if the match is already fixed, then what is the need for preparations", adding he had submitted a letter with the demand for reverting to ballot papers in the Maharashtra Assembly elections.

He pointed out that since the past 20 years, fingers are pointed at EVMs, and till 2014, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was against EVMs, their leaders event went to the courts, "but after 2014, they suddenly stopped talking about it".

Referring to concerns that ballot paper counting would delay the results, Thackeray shot back that in India, elections are held over a two-month period so what difference will it make if the result is delayed by a couple of days.

He added in August 2018, he had written to leaders of all political parties in the country to unitedly protest against EVMs and insist on ballot paper voting.

Thackeray rued how at that time, nobody took note of it, but expressed hope that now they would reconsider the issue.


Mon, 08 Jul 2019 19:21:17 +0530
BJP denies any role in re

Bengaluru: Karnataka's opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) denied playing any role in the resignation of 11 legislators of the ruling Congress-Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) coalition in Karnataka.
"As we have said earlier, our party has nothing to do with the resignation of Congress and JD-S legislators from their assembly seats. You have to ask them," BJP's state unit President and former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa told reporters here.
In a day of dramatic developments, 8 Congress and 3 JD-S lawmakers submitted resignation letters to Assembly Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar and apprised Governor Vajubhai Vala of the reasons for their collective decision.
Reiterating his party's stand, Yeddyurappa said the resignations were expected in view of the disgruntlement in many legislators of the ruling alliance with the way their year-old coalition government was functioning.
"As we said all along, the allies had no mandate to form a coalition government after the Congress lost in the assembly elections last year. They contested against each other, but formed a post-poll alliance only to keep our party out of power," he said.
Though Yeddyurappa formed the government on May 17, 2018, he resigned on May 19, 2018 as the BJP, which won 104 seats then, fell 8 short off the halfway mark (113) for a simple majority in the assembly.
The BJP's state unit has decided to wait for the Speaker's decision on the dozen resignations, including one by Congress lawmaker Anand Singh who gave his letter to Ramesh Kumar on July 1.
"We will see what happens next week in the run-up to the 10-day monsoon session of the legislature from July 12. Though we decided to not to press for a trust vote, a floor test will become inevitable for the trail of strength if the Speaker accepts the resignations," Yeddyurappa said.
Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Siddaramaiah, however, claimed the coalition government was safe and would survive the crisis brought up by the rebels resigning from their seats.
"There is no threat to our coalition government. It will continue. I have called for a CLP meeting on Sunday to discuss the situation arising out of the rebels resigning from the party," Siddaramaiah told reporters after meeting Deputy Chief Minister G. Parameshwara and party's state working President Eshwar Kandre.
Party's state unit president Dinesh Gundu Rao, who has been on a week-long holiday in Europe with family, is returning to Bengaluru on Sunday to resolve the crisis gripping the party.
State Chief Minister of the JD-S H.D. Kumaraswamy is also returning on Sunday from a week-long private visit to the US along with two JD-S cabinet ministers to chair the party's meeting.

Mon, 08 Jul 2019 18:38:03 +0530
Haryana To Set Up Anti Te

Chandigarh: Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar Monday announced that the Haryana government will set up an anti-terrorism force (ATF) comprising specially trained recruits from the state police, to deal with present day security challenges.
"We have decided to set up an anti-terrorist force. This force will be named 'Kavach'. Select Haryana police recruits will be trained by the National Security Guard (NSG). I have already spoken to the NSG in this regard," Mr Khattar told reporters in Gurgaon, adding that some states have already set up such a unit.
When asked on the need for such a force, Mr Khattar said the ATF will deal with "security challenges in general which we face in the present day".
Clarifying that the decision to form this force had nothing to do with any specific threat being faced by the state, the CM said, "Prevention is better than cure."
"When Pathankot and Mumbai were attacked, no one knew them from before, the idea is to be better prepared (in the future)," he explained.


Mon, 08 Jul 2019 18:35:05 +0530
Dera Chief Gurmeet Ram Ra

CHANDIGARH: Incarcerated  Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh on Monday withdrew his parole application which he had applied in order to carry out some agricultural activities at his fields in Sirsa, Haryana.
Ram Rahim is currently jailed at Sunaria jail in Haryana's Rohtak and he had applied for a parole of 42 days to look after his fields in Sirsa. It may be recalled that Ram Rahim was sent behind bars after being convicted in two rape cases and murder case of a journalist. Haryana government had asked the district administration to take a final decision over Ram Rahim's parole plea.
Few days ago, Haryana Jail Minister Krishan Lal Panwar had said that in its report the jail superintendent had said that Ram Rahim's conduct in prison is good. Pawar, however, had said that the final decision to grant parole to the Dera chief lies with Police commissioner. After receiving the application, Sirsa Police had asked the Revenue Department to ascertain how much land the Ram Rahim owns in his name.


Mon, 08 Jul 2019 18:32:55 +0530
Man Lynched in Tripura on

Agartala: A suspected cattle lifter was lynched in a remote tribal hamlet near the Indo-Bangla border in Tripura's Dhalai district, a senior police officer said on Wednesday.
Deputy Inspector General of Police, Arindam Nath said a man was lynched by a group of villagers on suspicion of being a cattle lifter at Noarampara, under the jurisdiction of Raishyabari police station on Tuesday night.
Officer-in-charge of Raisyabari Police Station, Suleman Reang said, "Villagers spotted one person trying to lift cattle from a house. They caught the suspected cattle lifter and beat him severely. We reached to the spot and rescued the person, who later succumbed to his injuries in a hospital," Reang said.
The deceased was identified as Budhi Kumar Tripura (36), a resident of Manyakumarpara village, police said.

Mon, 08 Jul 2019 18:30:05 +0530
Tripura Govt Plants 6 500

Kolkata: The Tripura government on Saturday said it had planted 6,500 trees in just a minute around National Highway-8 at Gomti district.
The record plantation was done with the help of administrative officials, forest department, school and college students and locals on the occasion of ‘Van Mahotsava’ at Udaipur in Gomti district.
While expressing his gratitude, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb said, “I would like to thank all for taking part in this great initiative. This step under ‘Green Tripura’ initiative will not only preserve our environment, but also add to the state's beauty. I would like to request all to make Tripura clean and green.”
He said, “To conserve environment and nature, the state forest department is taking all necessary steps. Therefore, on Saturday, we planted 4 to 5 feet long saplings so that they don't die. During the current year, till date, plantation has taken place in 5,500 hectares of land of which 71 per cent of saplings has survived.”
“Since 2016, there was a decreasing trend of new plantation, but since the new BJP-IPFT government came to power, the number of saplings plantated has gone up and also their survival rate,” the chief minister said.
He announced that those who are living or having land near main roads will be getting a monthly amount of Rs 200 for planting trees and or its maintenance. “Nearly 2 lakh families will become beneficiaries of the scheme,” Deb said.


Mon, 08 Jul 2019 17:09:08 +0530
Security Guard Killed Rs

Gwalior: Three unidentified men shot dead a guard and looted Rs eight lakh from a cash van headed for ATM in broad daylight here Saturday, police said.
The robbers intercepted the van when it was en route to deposit cash in the ATM of a private bank in City Centre area, Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) Satyendra Singh Tomar said.
They forced the driver to stop at gun point. Security guard Ramesh Tomar, who was traveling in the van with a cashier, tried to raise his gun but the robbers shot him dead, the ASP said.
They then looted the cash and fled from the spot. Van driver Ranjit was injured as he was hit by gun pellets, and admitted to a local hospital the officer said.
Police were scanning CCTV footage from the area to identify and nab the accused, he added.


Mon, 08 Jul 2019 17:06:14 +0530
12 Congress MLAs in Manip

Imphal: Twelve Congress MLAs in Manipur have resigned from state party posts, triggering speculation about the possibility of their crossing over to the ruling BJP, but a senior legislator among them on Thursday said they had no intention of joining any other party.
The resignation of the MLAs from the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) came on Wednesday after the grand old party lost both the Lok Sabha seats in the north-eastern state.
While the Inner Manipur seat was won by Rajkumar Ranjan Singh of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Lorho S Pfoze of the Naga People's Front (NPF) got elected from the Outer Manipur constituency.
The resignations triggered speculation if the Congress MLAs were planning to join the BJP, but some of them dismissed it, saying their action was aimed at strengthening the party at the grassroot level.
The BJP heads a coalition government in the state led by Chief Minister N Biren Singh.
The 12 Congress MLAs submitted their resignations to PCC president Gaikhangam, who is also a member of the Congress Working Committee (CWC).
The Congress had 29 MLAs in the state after the 2017 Assembly polls, but eight of its legislators had defected to the BJP last year, taking the saffron party's tally from 21 to 29 in the 60-member House.
At present, the BJP also enjoys the support of one MLA each of the LJP and the AITC, besides that of an Independent member and four National People's Party (NPP) legislators.
In 2017, the saffron party was able to form the government in the state with the support of the NPF, the NPP and others.
Kh Joykishan Singh, who submitted his resignation from the post of MPCC vice-president, told PTI on Thursday that all the 12 MLAs were in solidarity with the Congress.
"Our resignation from the party posts is to enable us to work at the grassroots level in our Assembly constituencies to restore the confidence of the people in the Congress," he said.
Echoing similar views, Gaikhangam said the legislators would now focus on strengthening the party organisation in the state.
Asked whether the party would accept their resignation, the MPCC president said, "It is up to AICC president Rahul Gandhi to take the final decision."
Though the NPF decided to withdraw support to the BJP-led government in Manipur this month, its state president Awangbou Newmai had said on May 19 that it would be implemented after the Lok Sabha poll process was completed on May 23.

Mon, 08 Jul 2019 17:02:50 +0530
22 Year Old Engineer From

Imphal: Facebook has honoured a 22-year-old engineer from Manipur for detecting a bug on the instant messaging platform WhatsApp.
The social networking giant awarded Zonel Sougaijam $5000 (roughly about Rs. 3.4 lakh) for the discovery and also included him in the "Facebook Hall of Fame 2019" that has so far included 96 people for "making a responsible disclosure" to Facebook.
Sougaijam discovered that during a voice call on the instant messaging platform, the bug allowed the receiver to upgrade it to a video call without the knowledge of the individual making the voice call.
The bug therefore allowed people to infringe on the privacy of users. Sougaijam's discovery helped Facebook fix a big security lapse.
"In fact during a WhatsApp's video call say the other person turns his or her camera off for a reason and the video call gets paused, you can resume it without the other person even touching his or her smartphone," Sougaijam wrote in a blog post.
"I came to know it was a serious bug and I reported right away to Facebook through the Facebook's bug bounty programme where you can report bugs which poses security threat to Facebook related products.
"After few days of chatting about the bug and I also made a short video in which I explained to them how the bug is behaving. They told me that the bug was confirmed and they are working for a fix," Sougaijam, who is a Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech.) in Civil Engineering, added.
And about two weeks later, Facebook informed Sougaijam that the bug has been fixed.
"So, I checked myself and the bug got fixed," he added.
"The bounty amount is decided by the degree of severeness the bug possess, quality of the report and many other factors. The minimum amount which a person can get if his or her bug is identified as security threat is $500 which is roughly Rs 34,000," Sougaijam informed.
Sougaijam is, however, not the only Indian who has made in to the Facebook Hall of Fame 2019.
Rony K Roy and K.S. Ananthakrishna from Kerala are some of the other young Indians who have made it to the list.
Ananthakrishna detected the bug that enabled other people to completely remove files on WhatsApp without knowledge of the user.


Mon, 08 Jul 2019 17:01:16 +0530
University Of Berkeley To

Shillong: The US-based University of Berkeley will adopt 100 villages in Meghalaya to start a concept of smart villages and address the issue of urban migration due to environmental issues, Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma said today.
The Chief Minister told this to a gathering at Montreux (Switzerland), who converged for the Caux Forum, which aims to inspire, equip and connect people, groups and organizations to build a just, sustainable and peaceful world.
The state government will sign the Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Berkeley in September to adopt 100 villages to start the concept of smart villages in Meghalaya, Mr Conrad said, according to an official release issued.
Our cities are already choking and having smart villages will prevent urban migration and related environmental issues, he said.
The chief minister spoke highly of the states uniqueness in terms of land ownership, forest conservation techniques as he deliberated at the Forum. He said: "We as a government are proud of our society and the idea of our sacred groves and living root bridges should be known to the rest of the world."
"My government has given importance to these indigenous knowledge and have stressed on community participation in the implementation of government programmes," he said.
With a population of about 3.3 million people, the chief minister said the state is known worldwide for receiving the heaviest rainfall in the world. Another great aspect of the state is the discovery by geologists in 2018 about the Meghalayan Age which put the state in the global spotlight, he said.
Informing that about 6500 villages are there in Meghalaya, he said the government will ensure that the National Resource Management Plans are made through full community participation. He also informed that there is also a special emphasis on restoration of land in more than 400 villages of the state and added that the government has linked all livelihood programmes to natural resources and are encouraging people to protect these natural resources.

Mon, 08 Jul 2019 16:52:28 +0530
Auto drivers to go on str

Mumbai: Autorickshaws in Mumbai and other parts of the state have threatened to go off roads from Tuesday,unless the state goverment doesn’t meet their demands. The unions want fare hike,  action against illegal use of private vehicles for public transportation etc.

Mon, 08 Jul 2019 16:01:02 +0530
Court dismisses plea seek

New Delhi, The Delhi High Court on Monday disposed off a plea seeking its direction pertaining to the appointment of the Leader of Opposition (LoP) in the Lok Sabha.

A Division Bench presided by Chief Justice D.N. Patel and comprising Justice C. Harishankar turned down the plea, saying there was no law which mandates the appointment of LoP.

"We do not see a reason to formulate a policy for the appointment as the same is the responsibility of the respondents," the bench observed.

During the hearing, the petitioner argued that the delay in appointing the LoP was delaying designating various important posts like the head of CBI, NHRC and other government bodies and statutory committees.

The court was hearing a plea filed by two advocates who also sought direction to the Lok Sabha Speaker to frame a policy for appointment of LoP.


Mon, 08 Jul 2019 13:31:27 +0530
Karnataka minister Nagesh

Bengaluru, H Nagesh, Minister for Small Scale Industries and Independent legislator, Govt. of Karnataka, resigned from the post and withdrew support to the state's JD-S-Congress coalition government on Monday.


Mon, 08 Jul 2019 13:27:11 +0530
Imran Khan to visit Russi

Islamabad, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan will visit Moscow in September on the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin, sources told Geo News.

Khan has accepted the Russian President's invitation, which was extended last month during a conversation between the two leaders on the sidelines of the 19th Meeting of the Council of the Heads of State (CHS) of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Bishkek.

According to the sources, Putin invited Khan to attend as a special guest the Eastern Economic Forum, which is scheduled to be held from September 4 to 6 in the Russian city of Vladivostok.

During the SCO Summit, Khan and Putin held several informal discussions as they attended the SCO summit last month.

The two world leaders engaged in conversation on several occasions, the sources told Geo News on Sunday. 

Observers said that, of the world leaders present at the SCO meeting, Khan interacted with Putin the most.

This will be Khan's first visit to Russia since assuming power following the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf's victory in the 2018 general elections.

The news of the Russia visit comes over a week ahead of his maiden trip to the US on July 21 where he will meet President Donald Trump.

Mon, 08 Jul 2019 10:33:33 +0530
Sensex down 420 points a

Mumbai, The Sensex and Nifty lost over 1 per cent during the early trade on Monday following the tabling of the Union Budget on Friday.

Nifty PSU Bank index and Nifty auto index fell the most among the 11 sectors.

At 9.47 a.m., the Sensex was trading 421.89 points down at 39,091.50.

It opened at 39,476.38 from its Friday's close of 39,513.39 when the markets fell after the Budget failed to cheer the investors.

The Nifty was down by 116.65 points at 11,694.50.



Mon, 08 Jul 2019 10:28:29 +0530
29 passengers killed in Y

Agra,  At least 29 people were killed on Monday when a passenger bus fell into a gorge on the Agra-Lucknow Expressway.

The bus, after hitting the divider, fell into the 40-feet-deep gap between two flyovers on the Yamuna Expressway near Milestone 161 (Jharna nallah) under Etmadpur police jurisdiction of Agra district at around 4.15 a.m.

The double-decker bus with about 50 passengers on board was heading to Delhi from Lucknow. 

Police reports said that 20 passengers have been rescued so far and efforts were on to rescue the rest.

Initial reports suggest that the accident occurred after the bus driver of the UPSRTC Jan Rath dozed off at the wheel.

Expressing grief over the tragedy, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh each for the victims' kin. 

He also instructed officials to expedite rescue and relief work at the spot, adding that proper treatment should be provided to the injured. 

Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police O.P. Singh has directed the officials to carry out relief and rescue work. All senior officials have reached the accident site.

Mon, 08 Jul 2019 10:22:00 +0530
Amid leadership crisis S

New Delhi, Congress General Secretary Jyotiraditya Scindia and the party's Mumbai President Milind M. Deora tendered their resignations on Sunday, days after Rahul Gandhi stepped down as Congress President taking responsibility for the party's drubbing in the Lok Sabha polls.

The two leaders' departure comes at a time when the Congress is struggling to keep its house in order to save the 13-month-old Congress-Janata Dal-Secular government in Karnataka following the resignation of 11 MLAs on Saturday. 

Rahul Gandhi's stepping down has already triggered a wave of protests and resignations by party functionaries from across the country. The Congress on June 19 dissolved the Karnataka Congress Committee sparing state President Dinesh Gundurao and Working President Eshwar Khandare. 

The party has also dissolved all the district Congress committees in Uttar Pradesh and in June formed a three-member Disciplinary Committee to look into the complaints of gross indiscipline and anti-party activities. 

On Sunday, Scindia, who was made the western Uttar Pradesh in-charge ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, tweeted: "Accepting the people's verdict and taking accountability, I have submitted my resignation as General Secretary of AICC (All India Congress Committee) to Rahul Gandhi. I thank him for entrusting me with this responsibility and for giving me the opportunity to serve our party."

He was in-charge of 39 out of 80 parliamentary seats in Uttar Pradesh, while Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was made in-charge of 41 seats in eastern Uttar Pradesh. 

However, the party could manage to win only one seat -- Rae Bareli represented by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi -- in the state. 

In a major embarrassment, outgoing party President Rahul Gandhi lost his family turf of Amethi to Union Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Smriti Irani by a margin of 55,000 votes. 

Earlier in the day, Deora quit as the Congress' Mumbai chief, barely three months before the crucial Maharashtra Assembly elections.

He has recommended a provisional set up of a collective leadership of three senior leaders to oversee the city unit until the upcoming polls.

Deora is likely to move to New Delhi for a national role in the Congress, party sources said.

According to an aide, Deora had expressed his desire to quit shortly after meeting Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi on June 26.

His move is seen as "an expression of solidarity and collective responsibility with outgoing Congress President Gandhi's resignation".

Deora, a former Union Minister, was appointed President of Mumbai Congress on the eve of 2019 Lok Sabha elections, replacing Sanjay Nirupam.

The time that he was given to prepare for the elections was too little and too late, said the aide.

Nevertheless, during his brief tenure, he united the rank and file of the party and put an end to identity politicsin Mumbai Congress in the hope that the party once again returns to its multilingual, multicultural and socio-economically inclusive ideals.

The party, under his leadership, gave a decisive fight to the BJP-Shiv Sena combine in Mumbai, the statement said.

"In spite of many constraints, including his own election campaign, Deora was able to support Lok Sabha candidates to put up a strong fight."

Deora reiterated that he was "always available to serve the party as a trusted and resourceful lieutenant and looks forward to playing a more important role nationally".

He added that political realities have changed since 2019 results and all have to get ready for roles that these times demand.


Sun, 07 Jul 2019 20:23:24 +0530
Meghalaya HC Directs Addi

Shillong: The Meghalaya High Court has directed that the state additional chief secretary in charge of the political department will head a panel formed to examine a CBI report on the 2009 education job scam as the incumbent chief secretary PS Thangkhiew has been named an accused in it.
The court has also granted six months' extension to the committee for taking a final decision on the CBI report.
The high court order was passed on Friday by the division bench of Chief Justice Ajay Kumar Mittal and Justice H S Thangkhiew while disposing of an application filed by the state government for the extension of time by six months.
"It is directed that the committee to examine the CBI report shall be under the chairmanship of Additional Chief Secretary in charge Political Department instead of Chief Secretary, Government of Meghalaya as nominated earlier," the bench said in its judgment.
The extension of six months' time sought for compliance with directions of the court is granted with the specific stipulation that it is the last opportunity and the order be strictly complied with before the expiry of the extended period, it said.
The high court had in a 2017 order handed over the investigation into the education job scam to the CBI and directed it to submit its report within six months to bring to book the persons responsible for the scam.
The CBI report had pointed out that the majority of candidates were appointed in an irregular manner by changing their original marks on account of experience, education, qualification in the score-sheets by applying a white fluid (correction ink).
While the education department had selected 350 candidates, 255 other names were included in the list on the recommendation of politicians.
The CBI report had also named five cabinet ministers, the then speaker and six legislators in the Congress-led coalition government besides other politicians for tampering with the score-sheets of the candidates applying for the post of assistant teachers in 2010.
Chief Secretary P S Thangkhiew was named as an accused in the report.


Sun, 07 Jul 2019 12:31:56 +0530
Political crisis in Karna

Bengaluru,  Karnataka plunged into a major political crisis on Saturday as 11 MLAs from the ruling Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) combine quit, reducing the 13-month-old government to a minority in the 225-member state Assembly.

The Congress hit out at the BJP for "orchestrating the defections" in a bid to pull down the government, but asserted that it would survive. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), however, blamed the resignations on the "disgruntlement" among the ruling alliance lawmakers. 

Of the 11 legislators who submitted their resignations in the Assembly Speaker's office, 8 are from the Congress and 3 from the JD-S. 

The major political development came at a time when Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy and his two cabinet colleagues are away in the US and are scheduled to return on Sunday. State Congress President Dinesh Gundu Rao, who has been on a week-long holiday in Europe with his family, is also returning here on Sunday.

Before the resignations, the ruling coalition had 118 MLAs, five more than the required majority mark of 113.

They included 78 MLAs of the Congress (excluding the Speaker), 37 of the JD-S, one each from the Bahujan Samaj Party and regional outfit Karnataka Pragnyavantha Janata Party and an Independent.

The BJP has 105 legislators.

The 11 MLAs went to the Assembly Secretariat to submit their resignations to the Speaker but he was not there and therefore they handed over their letters to his personal assistant. They then went to meet Governor Vajubhai Vala.

"I came to know from my personal secretary that 11 legislators gave resignation letters in my office. They were acknowledged with receipts. I will go through them on Tuesday (July 9) as I am on leave on Monday," Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar told reporters at his residence here.

In a communique later, the Governor's office said the legislators had given a copy of their resignations to Vala as they could not give them to the Speaker personally.

A.H. Vishwanath, who resigned as JD-S MLA, told reporters after meeting the Governor that three more legislators would be resigning soon. He appeared before the media along with the other legislators who resigned.

Congress sources in New Delhi said the party's state in-charge K.C. Venugopal, who is in Kerala presently, had rushed to Bengaluru to meet the rebel MLAs.

The eight Congress MLAs who resigned are Pratapgauda Patil (Maski), B.C. Patil (Hirekerur), Ramesh Jarkiholi (Gokak), Shivram Hebbar (Yellapur) Mahesh Kumatahalli (Athani), Ramalinga Reddy (BTM Layout), S.T Somashekar (Yeshvantpur) and S.N. Subba Reddy (KGF in Kolar).

The three JD-S MLAs who quit are Vishwanath (Hunsur), N. Narayana Gowda (K.R. Pete) and Gopalaiah (Mahalakshmim).

Though Jarkiholi had sent his resignation on July 1, it was not accepted by the Speaker, as it was faxed to his office, which was against the procedure.

Congress legislator Anand Singh from Vijayanagara segment had also resigned on July 1. As he personally handed over his resignation letter to the Speaker, his office acknowledged receiving it.

Of the Congress legislators, Reddy, a seven-time lawmaker, was a Cabinet minister in the previous Siddaramaiah-led government.

Three more Congress legislators, including Reddy's daughter Soumya (Jayanagar), Byarti Basavaraj (K.R. Puram) and Munirathna (R.R. Nagar) are also reportedly mulling to resign.

Vishwanath resigned as JD-S state unit President last month, owning responsibility for the party's debacle in the recent Lok Sabha elections, in which it won only one seat, retaining Hassan.

Claiming that the year-old coalition government had failed to meet the people's aspirations, Vishwanath alleged that there was no coordination between the ruling allies and legislators were not taken into confidence by their leaders in the functioning of the government.

"The absence of coordination between the allies in governance is evident from the serious differences they have in power-sharing and day-to-day administration," he claimed.

Denying BJP's role in their resignations, he said: "We have nothing to do with the BJP. There is no poaching of MLAs or horse trading. We are all seniors in politics. We can't be traded," added Vishwanath.

BJP's state unit President and former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa also told reporters: "As we have said earlier, our party has nothing to do with the resignation of Congress and JD-S legislators from their assembly seats. You have to ask them," .

He claimed that the resignations were expected in view of the disgruntlement in many legislators of the ruling alliance with the way their year-old coalition government was functioning.

"We will see what happens next week in the run-up to the 10-day monsoon session of the legislature from July 12. Though we decided to not to press for a trust vote, a floor test will become inevitable for the trail of strength if the Speaker accepts the resignations," Yeddyurappa said.

The 10-day monsoon session of the state legislature is set to begin on July 12 to approve the state budget for 2019-20 and take up pending bills besides discussing various issues, including farm loan waiver, drought relief works and water crisis across the southern state.

Meanwhile, senior Congress leaders went into a huddle in New Delhi 

Congress leaders Anand Sharma, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Motilal Vora, Ahmed Patel, Mallikarjuna Kharge, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Jitendra Singh, party communications in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala and Deepender Hooda arrived at the party office in the national capital in the evening.

After the meeting, Surjewala burst out against the BJP for encouraging defections across the country.

"Aaya Ram, Gaya Ram have attained a new definition in India. The new word for Aaya Ram, Gaya Ram is MODI -- michiveously orchestrating defections in India," he said.

Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Siddaramaiah, however, claimed the coalition government was safe and would survive the crisists.

"There is no threat to our coalition government. It will continue. I have called for a CLP meeting on Sunday to discuss the situation arising out of the rebels resigning from the party," Siddaramaiah told reporters after meeting Deputy Chief Minister G. Parameshwara and party's state working President Eshwar Kandre.


Sun, 07 Jul 2019 11:10:30 +0530
Green environment behind

New Delhi, July 7 (IANS) Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said that the tax proposals in the Union Budget for FY20 on fossil fuels and electric cars must push people to avoid polluting fuels and adopt either electric vehicles or public transport.

Sitharaman in an interaction with the media said the increase in the duty on petrol and diesel announced in the budget was not meant to hurt the middle class, but address environmental concerns. 

"If I am investing in better metro connectivity, public transport and better future transport, I would expect a behavioural shift towards using public transport rather than using one's own car with a single passenger," the Minister added. 

In her budget speech, Sitharaman had announced that the softening of crude oil prices had given her the scope to increase the special additional excise duty and road and infrastructure cess by Re 1/litre each on petrol and diesel. 

"If I had given people deduction for buying affoprdable house, is that for the super rich? Not at all, it is for the middle class. If I have also promoted the use of electric cars in place of fossil fuel vehicles, again, it is keeping in mind the commitments we have made for environment's sake. I am also helping the middle class to shift from a fossil fuel run vehicle to one that runs on electricity," she said. 

The union government has proposed to impose additional 2 per cent excise duty on petrol and diesel in the budget for 2019-20. 

With the budget the government has announced an outlay of Rs 10,000 crore for Phase 2 of the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles, or FAME 2 scheme, to boost electric mobility and increase the number of electric vehicles in commercial fleets. 


Sun, 07 Jul 2019 11:05:52 +0530
Christian priest arrested

Kochi, A Christian priest was arrested on Sunday for sodimising young boys, who were inmates in a Boy's Home here, that was headed by the Father himself.

Father George, alias Jerry, 40, the director of the Perumpadom Boys Home, was arrested based on complaints of parents of the young boys, an officer with the Palluruthy Police station told IANS on condition of anonymity.

"Based on the complaints from the boy's parents, the priest was picked up and his arrest was recorded on Sunday morning," he said.

According to the complaints from the parents of seven boys, the priest had been abusing them for quite sometime.


Sun, 07 Jul 2019 11:00:25 +0530
Delayed monsoon leads to

Hyderabad/Vijayawada: With about 40 percent rainfall deficit in June due to the late and sluggish southwest monsoon, parts of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana continue to reel under drought-like conditions.
According to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), the rainfall deficit in Andhra Pradesh for the month of June is 43.6 per cent and the same in Telangana is 35 per cent.
Farmers in both the states were a worried lot as sowing operations were yet to start even a month after the beginning of crop season. The water levels in major reservoirs, which hit dead storage due to a severe and long summer, were yet to receive significant inflows.
The southwest monsoon set in both the Telugu states on June 21 as against its normal arrival in the first week of June.
The monsoon arrived at Kerala coast on June 8, a delay of a week. Subsequently its progress was sluggish. Cyclone Vayu, which developed in the Arabian Sea, further delayed the monsoon.
The farmers, who usually take up sowing operations in the first week of June, were yet to start farm activity in more than 90 per cent of the cultivable land in both the states. There were hardly any rains in most parts of the states during last 10 days.
There is drought-like situation in 385 out of 589 'mandals' or blocks in Telangana, which received 86.2 mm rainfall against normal of 132 mm during June.
Officials say this is the worst situation in five years. The deficit was 54.2 per cent for June 2014.
There was excess rainfall during June last year, when the state had received 150.3 mm rainfall.
The rainfall deficit is more than 35 per cent in 16 out of 33 districts in Telangana. With 73 per cent shortfall, Khammam received the lowest rainfall in both the states.
As many as 20 districts had rainfall deficit of more than 20 percent. There were 155 'mandals' with a deficit between 60 to 99 per cent.
The situation in Andhra Pradesh is worse. It has been a month since the kharif crop season season started but sowing of seeds could be taken up in only four per cent of the cultivable land.
The long dry spell has already led to drinking water scarcity in many towns in Andhra Pradesh. Towns like Vizianagaram, Ongole, Giddaluru and Kadapa are getting piped drinking water once in four to five days.
There is a shortfall of 453 million litres of drinking water in urban areas every day.
The underground water table has also depleted by an average of 2.8 metres. In Rayalaseema, known for recurrent droughts, the underground water had depleted by 7.26 metres. Borewells dug up to even 150 feet have dried up.
The groundwater table in Telangana has witnessed sharp fall. The average water level during May dropped to 14.56 Metres Below Ground Level (MBGL) from 12.73 MBGL during the same period last year.
The officials are pinning their hopes on forecast of good rainfall in coming days. Telangana's Principal Secretary, Agriculture, C. Parthasarthi, hopes that kharif operations would pick up in next one or two weeks as he expects adequate rainfall in coming days.
The IMD has forecast heavy rain in parts of both the Telugu states over next two days.
It said rain occurred at many places since Sunday with the rainfall amount being between one to five cm.
Y.K. Reddy, director, IMD Hyderabad, said it was already predicted that the rainfall during June will remain below normal. He, however, said the overall seasonal rainfall was expected to be close to normal.
The IMD expects the rainfall for the entire season to be 97 per cent of Long Period Average (LPA) during southwest monsoon season, which continues till September. The LPA for Telangana is 755 mm and for Andhra Pradesh 912 mm.
"The delay in monsoon may not have impact on overall rainfall for the season as the shortfall in June is likely to be made up in July and August," said Reddy.

Sun, 07 Jul 2019 10:31:15 +0530
2 forest officials injure

Hyderabad: Two forest officers were injured in yet another attack on forest department personnel in Telangana early on Tuesday, police said.
The incident occurred near Gundalapadu in Bhadradri Kothagudem district when the forest officials tried to stop a group of villagers from illegally cultivating forest land.
Forest Section Officer Neelamaiah and Beat Officer Bhaskar Rao were thrashed with sticks by the group of people who were tilling the forest land with tractors.
The forest officials suffered multiple injuries and were admitted to Paloncha Hospital. They lodged a complaint with the police, which registered a case against unidentified persons and took up investigations.
The incident came close on the heel of a brutal attack on a woman forest officer by a leader of ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and his followers in Komaram Bheem Asifabad district.
Forest Range Officer Chole Anitha suffered bleeding when she was attacked with sticks by TRS MLA Koneru Konappa's brother Krishna Rao and his followers in Sarsala village on Sunday.
The incident occurred when a group of farmers tried to stop forest officials from taking up plantation on forest land.
Rao resigned as zilla parishad vice-chairman after the incident and 16 others were arrested and sent to judicial custody.
In another incident in Kothagudem district, police on Monday booked a case against MLA V. Venkateswara Rao and his son on a complaint by forest officials for allegedly obstructing their work.
The MLA, his son and their supporters allegedly tried to stop the forest officials from construction of a wall to protect forest land in Laxmidevipalli mandal (block).


Sun, 07 Jul 2019 10:29:18 +0530
TRS leader arrested for a

Hyderabad: Telangana Police arrested a leader of the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) after a woman forest officer was injured in an attack by him and his followers in Komaram Bheem Asifabad district on Sunday.
Zilla Parishad Vice Chairman K. Krishna Rao and his followers were booked for attempt to murder, damaging vehicle and for preventing a government official from discharging her duty.
The TRS leader and his followers, including farmers rained blows with sticks on Forest Range Officer (FRO) C. Anita standing on a tractor.
The incident occurred in Sarsala village in Kagaznagar 'mandal' (block) when a group of Forest Department personnel reached there to make preparations for 'Haritaharam', a plantation programme of the state government.
When the Forest officials reached the village in a tractor to begin their work to level the ground, Rao and his followers tried to stop them. Rao also had an argument with the officials.
Even as Anita was explaining that they were following the instructions of the government, she was attacked with sticks.
The Forest Range Officer suffered bleeding injuries before other officers and police could intervene. She was admitted to a hospital.
Meanwhile, Krishna Rao, who is the brother of local TRS MLA K. Konappa, resigned as ZP Vice-chairman.
Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao took serious note of the incident and directed officials to take action against those involved.
District Superintendent of Police Malla Reddy visited Kagaznagar and called on the injured official at the hospital.


Sun, 07 Jul 2019 10:28:05 +0530
Bengal entertainment indu

Kolkata: Bringing to the fore the failure of production houses in clearing payments in West Bengal's entertainment industry, an association of suppliers on Monday threatened to go on a cease work agitation if their dues were not cleared in the next four days.
"The suppliers are facing huge problems as certain producers haven't cleared payments (in crores) for a very long time... Till Thursday if we don't see any initiation of payment, the suppliers will not take the responsibility to support the industry," Neet Paul, General Secretary, Cine Video and Stage Supplier Welfare Association (CVSSWA), told the media here.
It is a body of members who supply camera, generator, lights, costume, vehicles and other props required for shootings.
There are 60-70 members in the welfare body and more than 600 people who work under them. Many suppliers have become bankrupt and one of them even thought about committing suicide.
"We are no one to stop work but the vendors are helpless and will not be able to provide the supplies without payments. We could have taken a legal step but wanted the channels, producers and suppliers to sit together and solve the issue," Argha Mitra, Assistant Secretary, CVSSWA, said.
Pal named one producer Rana Sarkar who owes the suppliers more than Rs 2 crore and is absconding.
The said producer has allegedly not cleared payments of 14 suppliers for some of his television serials.
"We still hope that the industry will support us. We do believe in the judicial system but we cannot wait for months and years involved in a legal process and want the matter to be solved within ourselves," Paul said.
The West Bengal Motion Picture Artists' Forum is supporting the suppliers.
"We are approaching the channels as the serials are their products and they can easily solve the issue by making the payments. If the artists and technicians can get their dues, the suppliers should not be left behind," Mitra added.
Costume supplier Zakir Hossen Mollick, a member of the body, said the producers thought that the suppliers lacked a collective voice and no one will stand up against them.


Sun, 07 Jul 2019 10:23:54 +0530
July 12 to be Save Water

Kolkata: In order to raise water conservation awareness, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday announced that July 12 will be observed as 'Save water Day'.
"Today we have decided that July 12 will be observed as Save Water Day every year," Banerjee said during the inauguration of a trauma care centre at Seth Sukhlal Karnani Memorial (SSKM) Hospital.
The state government will hold a rally from Jorasanko Thakurbari (ancestral home of Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore) at 3 p.m. on July 12. This will be led by Banerjee herself.
"I invite people from various walks of life including students. Save water save life. Saving water will help in safeguarding the environment," Banerjee added.
As per NITI Aayog's 2018 report, nearly 600 million Indians faced high to extreme water stress. Also, twenty-one cities, including Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad will run out of groundwater by 2020, affecting 100 million people.


Sun, 07 Jul 2019 10:15:13 +0530
Rain gods kind on Bengal

Kolkata: Considering the ongoing water crisis across the country, West Bengal has been fortunate enough in receiving rainfall but there should be stress on avoiding water-intensive crops and the state must carry on the water conservation work, an expert said.
"During the ongoing crisis of ground water in the entire country, I think West Bengal has been fortunate in receiving rainfall. This is the season of Kharif cultivation, if monsoon is delayed farmers rely more on the ground water table," West Bengal Pollution Control Board chairman Kalyan Rudra told IANS.
He said the reservoirs like DVC, Kangshabati, Massanjore Dam all are at their lowest level and cannot support irrigation. Ground water has limited resource and over exploitation means depletion.
Rudra, who has extensively researched on the state's water resources, said its agricultural activities consume most of the ground water, which is nearly 75-80 per cent in Bengal.
The dry variety paddy which is generally planted in December and harvested in April (during the lean period) is dependent on ground water as the period gets very less amount of rains.
"I believe we should not go for water-intensive crops and go for alternatives like wheat, pulses, etc. Maybe people will have to adjust their food habits as nature will not allow this luxury," he said.
He explained that one cannot 'go without ground water but it should be restricted within replenishable limit (meaning the amount of exploitation should be replenishable by next monsoon)'.
Asked about the fast-depleting water level in Kolkata he said: "Kolkata is fortunately a hydrologically subsidised city as we have the Hooghly river. It has not dried as it is a tidal river.
"But the 300-year-old city with 4.5 million population living in an area of about 200 square kilometre lacks green space except for Maidan, thereby disallowing infiltration of rain water."
"There is no doubt that the ground water level has gone down and it is only being recharged from adjoining areas like North 24 Parganas and Nadia. But it is not enough. If we restrict ourselves right now even, then too the replenishing will take a long time".
Rudra appreciated the steps taken by the state government but vouched for an extensive approach to safeguard the future of the next generations.
"West Bengal government's project 'Jol Dhoro Jol Bhoro' is a very good project and close to my heart. They have extensively re-excavated many ponds. This programme should be replicated in all villages," he said.
During a session in Parliament last week, the Jal Shakti Ministry shared the information that Bengal was among those states where there was no over-exploitation of groundwater.
"We should protect our wetland, all channels that contains some water so that ground water is replenished. Kolkata till date has 4,000 ponds, that should be protected and rejuvenated," Rudra added.


Sun, 07 Jul 2019 10:14:12 +0530
Fine for speeding on UP e

Lucknow: With accidents becoming the order of the day on the Lucknow Agra Expressway, the Yogi Adityanath government has hit upon a new idea to check speeding on the expressway.
The state government has announced that those covering the 302 km-stretch from Lucknow toll plaza to Agra in less than three hours will have to pay a fine for speeding.
Avanish Kumar Awasthi, chief executive officer, Uttar Pradesh Expressways Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA) said that a total of 25 e-challlans have already been issued to vehicles that were found to be over speeding on the expressway over the past two days.
"If any vehicle is found to have covered the distance between Agra and Lucknow or vice versa in less than three hours, it will be fined and an e-challan will be sent to the registered address of the vehicle owner," he explained.
He said that high-tech equipments have been installed at the toll plazas in order to capture images of vehicles for data analysis reports. The details are then sent to Superintendent of Poilce (Traffic), of Agra and Lucknow districts for issuance of e-challans.
Accidents on the expressway have risen alarmingly.
On June 28, seven people were killed when a bus rammed into a truck near Fatehabad. On June 21, three more lives were lost when a car rammed into a stationary truck near Mainpuri. Another life was claimed when a Lucknow-based businessman was killed on June 27 in an accident near Ferozabad on the Agra-Lucknow Expressway.
Surprisingly there is no trauma centre or medical facility along the 302 km long expressway which makes it even more difficult for accident victims to get medical aid.
Avanish Awasthi said: "We are building utilities along the Expressway and very soon medical facilities will be available along the route."
Meanwhile, a transport official said that apart from speeding, the increase in heat wave conditions was causing tyre bursts which leads to accidents.
"Majority of the accidents on the expressway -- Lucknow-Agra -- as well as the Yamuna Expressway (or the Taj Expressway) -- have been caused with SUVs ramming into stationary trucks. This is caused by tyre bursts as the cement laying on the Yamuna Expressway causes heating up of tyres. The Agra Expressway is laid with tarmac and is comparatively safer," the official explained.

Sun, 07 Jul 2019 10:12:28 +0530
Ghaziabad councillor want

Ghaziabad: A BJP municipal councillor in Ghaziabad has sought to make water wastage through overflowing overhead water tanks in the country a penal offence.
Rajendra Tyagi, a social activist and politician, has urged the Modi government to issue directions under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, to all states and Union Territories to make such water wastage an offence punishable with fine or even imprisonment.
In a letter to the Ministry of Jal Shakti (previously Ministry of Water Resources), Tyagi has urged the Centre to frame regulations, constitute multi-tier implementation and enforcement mechanisms to curb the wastage of "precious, fresh water".
He has also asked the government set up task forces, monitoring committees and other effective measures for curbing the "incessantly overflowing water from rooftop overhead tanks".
"The states and UTs ought to be directed to issue appropriate directions and orders, in sync with those issued by the Centre, to all concerned local bodies, development authorities and other agencies to check wastage of fresh ground water from overflowing overhead tanks or even otherwise," Tyagi said in the letter.
Tyagi has urged that he would be "compelled to seek directions in this regard from the National Green Tribunal" if no action was taken on his complaint within 15 days.


Sun, 07 Jul 2019 10:11:26 +0530
Dead man wakes up just

Lucknow: His grave was dug and his body was about to be buried -- just when some of the family members noticed movement. Mourning stopped and a bewildered family rushed Mohammad Furqan to hospital where he has been put on ventilator.
The 20-year-old was admitted to a private hospital on June 21 after an accident. He was declared dead on Monday and his body arrived at his home in an ambulance.
His elder brother Mohammad Irfan said: "Devastated, we were preparing for the burial when some of us saw movement in his limbs. We immediately took Furqan to the Ram Manohar Lohia hospital where the doctors said he was alive and have put him on ventilator support."
"We had paid Rs 7 lakh to the private hospital earlier and when we told them that we had run out of money, they had declared Furqan dead on Monday," Irfan said.
Lucknow Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Narendra Agarwal said, "We have taken cognizance of the incident and the matter will be thoroughly probed."
"The patient is in critical condition but definitely not brain dead. He has pulse, blood pressure and his reflexes are working. He has been put on ventilator support," the doctor treating Furqan said.


Sun, 07 Jul 2019 10:09:57 +0530
Rahul granted bail in def


A Patna Court on Saturday granted bail to  Rahul Gandhi in a  defamation case filed by Sushil Kumar Modi, deputy chief minister of Bihar..

Modi had lodged a case in April  with the Patna CJM court  against Rahul for calling all people with Modi surname as thieves at an election rally. He pleaded not guilty before the court and said that all allegations against him were false.

He has been released on two sureties of Rs.10,000 each for regular bail.

Sat, 06 Jul 2019 16:27:00 +0530
Modi launches plantation

Varanasi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday planted a sapling at a primary school in Anand Kanan forest in  Uttar Pradesh as part of  planation  drive across the state.  Modi  also unveiled a tall bronze statue of late Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri outside the Varanasi airport when he reached at the airport. The Prime Minisiter was welcomed by BJP working President J.P. Nadda, Yogi Adityanath, state BJP President Mahendra Nath Pandey and other ministers.



Sat, 06 Jul 2019 14:12:35 +0530
Uttarakhand CM under pres

Dehradun: Nearly a month after the death of Finance Minister Prakash Pant, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat is under pressure to fill three cabinet berths which are lying vacant.
The cabinet expansion is also necessitated by the fact that the Chief Minister is keeping 42 portfolios including Finance, Excise, PWD, Home, Rural Development with himself, making it hard-pressed.
In March 2017 when Rawat took oath as Chief Minister, only nine ministers were inducted into his council of ministers leaving two berths vacant. But after the death of Pant last month, one more berth fell vacant.
"It is a prerogative of the Chief Minister to expand his cabinet. But I think he would soon take a decision in this regard," said a source close to the Rawat.
Munna Singh Chauhan, an MLA from Vikasnagar constituency in Dehradun, is a top contender for Finance and Parliamentary Affairs -- the two key portfolios held by Pant.
"Chauhan is a learned politician and a very senior MLA. I think he should be considered for the ministerial berth," said a top BJP leader.
Former state BJP President Bishan Singh Chufal, an MLA from Didihat in Pithoragarh district and Harbans Kapoor, former Speaker and MLA from Dehradun Cantt, are also very senior BJP leaders who are in contention, the party sources said.
However, the Chief Minister has been maintaining hius guard on the entire issue.
During the three-day brief session of the Vidhan Sabha last week, the Chief Minister in an interim arrangement had given the portfolio of Parliamentary Affairs to state Rural Development Minister Madan Kaushik.
When contacted, state BJP President Ajay Bhatt said he feels the expansion will take place soon. Majority of the state party leaders agree that the expansion should happen.

Sat, 06 Jul 2019 12:24:19 +0530
Uttarakhand announces one

Dehradun: The Uttarakhand government on Monday announced a one-time settlement scheme to bring down the burgeoning non-performing assets (NPAs) of the state and district cooperative banks.
The scheme would continue till October 7 for a period of 100 days starting July 1, state Cooperative Minister Dhan singh Rawat said.
A total of Rs 371.50 crore NPAs have been accumulated in these banks over a period of many decades. This is the first such scheme being launched in the hill state in the past 25 years, Rawat said.
The scheme will be meant for loans of up to Rs 60 lakh only. In this category, a total of 17,464 people have not paid their loans in these banks so far. Ninety eight per cent of the total NPAs will be covered through this scheme, the minister said.
Under the scheme, the guarantors or the family members of a person who is dead will not have to pay the interest of the loan in case the principal amount has been returned.
In case the principal amount has been doubled or increased more than the double due to various reasons, the interest will not be charged by the banks.
For the 'suspected' loans, the banks will give a discount of 30 per cent on interests of the loans.
"After October 7, we will decide our next strategy to tackle NPAs," Rawat said.


Sat, 06 Jul 2019 12:23:05 +0530
Uttarakhand s Doiwala set

Dehradun: Despite being represented by Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat twice in the past from 2002 to 2012, Uttarakhand's Doiwala legislative constituency remained an area devoid of development in the state.
After losing from the Raipur seat in the 2012 Assembly election, Rawat shifted back to Doiwala in 2017 and won with a comfortable margin and also became the Chief Minister. And all of a sudden, Doiwala became a VIP constituency after Rawat got elected to the top job.
And now, a host of new projects are being set up in Doiwala that has opened new areas of development in the region. From a National Law University in Ranipokhari, to a state-of-the-art cancer hospital in Harrawala, nearly half a dozen key projects are being set up in Doiwala.
The Chief Minister on Friday laid the foundation stone for a coast guard recruitment centre at Kuanwala. It will be the country's fifth coast guard recruitment centre after Noida, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata. The building will be construct at a a cost of Rs 42 crore.
Last year, the then Union Chemical and Fertilizer Minister Ananth Kumar had inaugurated the Central Institute of Plastics Engineering and Technology (CIPET) at Doiwala. Kumar also laid the foundation stone for a separate Skill Development and Technical Support Centre (CSTS) in the constituency.
The Chief Minister is also developing a Suryadhar irrigation reservoir in Doiwala which he said would also be turned into a tourist destination.
"A Chief Minister always tries to bring most of the top projects to his constituency only. So Doiwala is being rewarded for being a VIP constituency," said a top government official.


Sat, 06 Jul 2019 12:21:25 +0530
Insincere employees will

Agartala: State government employees in Tripura found to be insincere, incompetent and remiss would be forced to retire, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb has announced.
"The state government employees are getting higher pay-scale from the BJP government in Tripura. But if they are found to be insincere, incompetent and remiss, they would be forced to go on retirement. However, these employees would be provided their due financial benefit," the Chief Minister said while addressing the 2nd Triennial Conference of the Tripura Rajya Karmachari Sangh, a pro-BJP organisation of government employees, on Sunday here.
"The state government would provide all the financial benefit to the employees and the government would also extract full works from the employees. For the interest of the government and the people, all the employees have to complete their task with full responsibility.
"After every three months the performances of the officials and employees from the Chief Secretary to peon, would be reviewed and accordingly the government would take action."
The Tripura government last July issued a notification on the compulsory retirement of the government employees and formed four committees to review the performances of the officials and employees of all ranks.
The Chief Minister said that the Centre had provided Rs 1,500 crore to provide the higher salaries to the government as per the recommendations of the 7th Central Pay Commission.
Detailing the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government's steps for the interest of the employees during the past 15 months, Deb said that those employees died before retirement, their families would get the full salaries of the deceased employees' remaining service period until 60 years.
"Home Guards had been getting Rs 6,000 per month, the BJP government increased their wages to Rs 18,000 per month. The gratuity amount has been increased to Rs 10 lakhs from Rs 4 lakhs. Insurance limit of the linemen of the power departments increased to Rs 10 lakh from Rs 2 lakhs."

Sat, 06 Jul 2019 12:18:21 +0530
DMK nominates Shanmugam

Chennai: DMK President M.K.Stalin has nominated M. Shanmugam, General Secretary, Labour Progressive Front (LPF), DMK's labour wing, and advocate B. Wilson for the ensuing Rajya Sabha polls, a statement said on Monday.
Stalin said as per the earlier agreement, one seat will be allocated to Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK).
The Rajya Sabha polls in Tamil Nadu will be held on July 18.
The tenure of ruling AIADMK's V. Maitreyan, K.R. Arjunan, T. Rathinavel, R. Lakshmanan, DMK's Kanimozhi and CPI's D. Raja ends this month.
Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) leader Kanimozhi has been elected to Lok Sabha from Thoothukudi in the recently concluded elections.
In the 234-member Assembly, the AIADMK has 123 members (including the Speaker), DMK 100, Congress 7, IUML and Independent one each with two seats vacant.

Sat, 06 Jul 2019 12:16:48 +0530
Commuters in Chennai hit

Chennai: Thousands of bus commuters suffered on Monday as employees of the Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) struck work over not get getting their full salary.
The management had said only about 62 per cent salary will be paid and the balance at the end of the month, said a union leader.
Bus drivers and conductors members of opposition-affiliated unions struck work, putting the people to a great difficulty.
Only skeletal bus services were operated for major part of the day and as a result, there was heavy rush in the suburban trains.
"The MTC management could have taken the unions into confidence... explained the situation. Had that been done, the situation would have arisen. But the management treated the workers like slaves saying that only 62 per cent of the take home pay will be paid first," M.Shanmugam, General Secretary, Labour Progressive Front (LPF) - the DMK's labour wing - told IANS.
He said that with the workers going on strike, the management has credited the full salary and buses have started operating.


Sat, 06 Jul 2019 12:15:25 +0530
Kiran Bedi earns AIADMK

Chennai: Tamil Nadu's ruling AIADMK and the main opposition DMK on Monday condemned Puducherry Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi allegedly terming the state's people as "selfish and cowards".
Condemning Bedi's statement about the people of Tamil Nadu, AIADMK spokesperson P. Valarmathi said Bedi does not know the decency to say what and when.
Without realising the dignity of the office she is holding, Bedi has made some shocking and painful comments, the former minister added.
"Bedi should fight to get the share of Cauvery water from Karnataka to Tamil Nadu and Puducherry and confine herself to her allotted duty," she said.
DMK President M.K. Stalin demanded Bedi's immediate recall for her remarks about the people of Tamil Nadu. He also asked Bedi to withdraw her statement and tender a public apology.
According to Stalin, in a WhatsApp conversation with journalists, Bedi referred to the people of Tamil Nadu as "selfish and cowards".
Bedi had on Sunday tweeted: "Question with Possible Answers: India's 6th largest city #Chennai has become the first city in the country to run dry. The same city was in floods due to copious rains just 4 years back. Where lies the problem? Ans: Poor Govenance, Corrupt Politics, Indifferent Bureaucracy."
Taking offence to her WhatsApp group comment, Stalin issued a statement saying that she was crossing her limits in making comments on matters that did not concern her.
"Just because the people of Tamil Nadu defeated the BJP in the Lok Sabha polls, Bedi described them as cowards and selfish. This shows not only her arrogance but also her dominating attitude," he said.
"Could Bedi have remained in her post had she made such demeaning comments against the people of Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar?" Stalin asked. Earlier in the day, Stalin also raised the issue in the Assembly.


Sat, 06 Jul 2019 12:13:25 +0530
Tension in Jaipur after r

Jaipur: Tension prevailed here after a group of people surrounded a police station and vandalized several cars to protest the rape of a seven-year-old girl, officials said on Tuesday.
Police said the girl was taken to an isolated place on Monday by a man who identified himself as her father's friend. After raping her, he left the profusely bleeding girl on the road.
Later on Monday night, her family members took her to Kanwatiya Hospital from where she was referred to JK Lon Hospital.
The girl was admitted in the surgical ICU. The medical report stated that she has abrasions on her chest and injuries on the forehead.
It added that she was, however, stable with minor abrasions on her private parts.
Following the incident, tension gripped the Shastri Nagar area of Jaipur on Tuesday morning as protesters surrounded the local police station after smashing the panes of several cars on Monday night.
Divisional Commissioner K.C. Verma has suspended Internet services in 13 areas of the city from July 2 till July 3, 10 a.m.
A case has been registered under the POCSO Act and the police are looking for the accused.
A huge crowd had gathered near the Kanwatiya Hospital, demanding the immediate arrest of the accused.
Police Commissioner Anand Shrivastava said: "The girl is out of danger. Senior doctors are treating her. We shall try for the harshest punishment for the accused once he is arrested," he said, urging the people not to believe rumours.
Transport Minister Pratap Singh Khachariyawas reached the hospital to meet the girl on Tuesday.
"We all are trying to arrest the accused soon. There is just no space for people committing such crimes in our society," he said.
He also requested the people not to play politics on this issue. Health Minister Raghu Sharma has ordered free treatment of the girl.

Sat, 06 Jul 2019 12:11:23 +0530
Man beaten up in Rajastha

Jaipur: A man was beaten up in a village in Rajasthan's Nagaur district after he tried to enquire about the well-being of his friend's lover.
Baldev Tanvar was mercilessly beaten up by villagers Hariyajun village after being tied to a tree and had his clothes ripped apart.
According to Kuchaman SHO Ramveer Singh Jakhar, "One Baldev Tanwar was tied to a tree, his clothes were torn apart and he was bashed up badly when he went to the village to know about the well-being of his friend's girlfriend."
The locals suspected he had come to the village to elope with the girl, however, he had only come to speak to her on his friend's behalf, said Jakhar.
"We have filed an FIR against five accused on the basis of a complaint lodged by Tanwar. However, a complaint has been filed against 30 people. We will first identify the accused and then take action," he said.
The incident was reported on June 29, said Jakhar. He said all the accused are absconding and further investigation is on.


Sat, 06 Jul 2019 12:07:46 +0530
Rajasthan received normal

Jaipur: At a time when many states in the country are reeling under drought-like situation with the monsoon shying away from opening up the clouds, Rajasthan has received normal rainfall in June, officials said.
Shiv Ganesh, Director at the India Meteorological Department's (IMD) Jaipur chapter, said, "The state has overall received 45.7 mm rainfall in June, which is a deficit of -9 per cent which falls under the normal limit (-9 to +19 per cent come under normal rainfall limits)."
Eastern Rajasthan -- where 66.8 mm rainfall is considered normal -- recorded 73.3 mm rainfall in June which was in excess. However, western Rajasthan witnessed a deficit of -33 per cent. While 36.9 mm rainfall is considered normal in western Rajasthan, the area received 24.6 mm rainfall in June, Ganesh said.
"Rajasthan has been lucky to receive normal rainfall in the last few years," he added.
Prince Purohit, principal consultant at Arpan Seva Sansthan, said, "Rainfall trend in Rajasthan has changed over the last few years. The state has received excess rainfall in the last two-three years. In fact, the cycle has changed a lot in western Rajasthan where rainfall share, which was once quite low, has substantially increased now."
He attributed these changes in trend to the frequent tornadoes. In fact, El Nino impact can also be seen in the state, he added.
Purohit said that Rajasthan was not witnessing Maharashtra like situation because farmers here sow crops which don't need a lot of water. "The main crop sown here is bajra (millet), which doesn't require whole lot of water like sugar cane grown in Maharashtra. Hence things stand balanced here," he informed.
Also, farmers here have equal dependency on agriculture and livestock unlike in Maharashtra and other southern states where livestock dependency is quite less.
"We have been working on watershed management over the last many years. Implementing water management practices to protect and improve the quality of water within a watershed by managing the use of water resources in a comprehensive manner has yielded tangible results in state," Purohit said, adding that Arpan Seva Sansthan has 23 offices in Rajasthan which are working on over 12,000 hectares of land covering 50 villages on watershed management.
Looking at the severe water crisis gripping the country, the state government has also announced to start a Jal Shakti campaign in Rajasthan.
According to Rajeshwar Singh, Additional Chief Secretary at the Department of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj, "Sapling plantation, reuse of borewell recharge structures, water catchment area development, rainwater conservation and renovation of ponds and lakes will be done at a large scale."
Singh said that water conservation schemes at the block and district levels will be launched under the campaign, which will be merged with the District Irrigation Scheme. Simultaneously, the selection of appropriate crop will be encouraged in accordance with its water consumption quality and water availability for irrigation. Also, recycling of urban wastewater will be ensured for agriculture and horticulture purposes.
He said that according to the Government of India's decision, Additional Secretary and Joint Secretary-level officers will be appointed as Central Nodal Officers at each district for the launch and successful implementation of the campaign. The Central Nodal Officer will also be the nodal officer of the Jal Shakti Abhiyan.


Sat, 06 Jul 2019 12:01:01 +0530
Modi to attend Guru Nanak

Chandigarh: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the function to mark the 550th Parkash Purab of Guru Nanak Dev on November 12 at Sultanpur Lodhi in Punjab, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) said on Monday.
A SAD delegation led by its President Sukhbir Singh Badal met the Prime Minister in New Delhi and invited him to attend the function. The delegation also included Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) President Gobind Singh Longowal and Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal.
The delegation apprised the Prime Minister about the various programmes to be held to mark the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev.
Sukhbir Badal said that Modi has agreed to attend the function and even instructed the Ministry of External Affairs to facilitate the 'nagar kirtan' commencing from Sri Nankana Sahib, the birth place of Guru Nanak Dev in Pakistan, on July 25.
The SAD delegation also told Modi that Sikh devotes from across the world wanted to mark the celebrations by holding appropriate commemorative functions at all places visited by Guru Nanak Dev.
The Prime Minister assured to facilitate these functions through Indian missions abroad and also assured to provide all the needed support to the organisers.
The SGPC is preparing a list of venues where functions will be held and the same will be released to the Sikh devotees soon.

Sat, 06 Jul 2019 11:52:43 +0530
Employees of state run bu

Chandigarh: Commuters across Punjab faced inconvenience as employees of the state-owned Punjab Roadways went on a three-day strike on Tuesday, demanding regularisation of their services and raise in salaries.
Protestors did not allow buses of Punjab Roadways and Punbus to ply in several towns and cities.
The worst affected places were Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Patiala, Amritsar, Bathinda, Ferozepur and Moga.
Nearly 3,000 employees of both Punjab Roadways and Punbus were on strike.
Bus services on inter-state routes and within the state were affected, officials said.


Sat, 06 Jul 2019 11:51:39 +0530
Deol appoints aide to r

Chandigarh: Sunny Deol, actor and first-time Member of Parliament from Gurdaspur in Punjab, has triggered a 'row' by appointing screenwriter Gurpreet Singh Palheri as his 'aide' to co-ordinate with government functionaries on his behalf. The decision has not gone well with the BJP.
Deol announced that Palheri will look after the affairs of his constituency on his behalf. Party insiders said Palheri had also been authorised to take up issues related to Gurdaspur with Deputy Commissioner Vipul Ujwal.
"Palheri's appointment is a clear-cut indication that he has been authorised to chair meetings, including review meetings of the Central government-sponsored schemes, on behalf of Deol," a senior state BJP leader told IANS.
"This is unfair of Deol as he is accountable to the people who voted for him," he added.
Deol was not available for comments.
Palhari has acted in Deol's movies, including 'Yamla, Pagla, Deewana', 'Ghayal, Once Again', 'Son of Sardar' and 'Manje Bistre' among others.


Sat, 06 Jul 2019 11:49:47 +0530
Odisha Congress set for m

New Delhi: After dissolving all the district committees in Uttar Pradesh, the Congress is set for a major reshuffle of its Odisha unit.
Odisha in-charge and former MP Jitendra Singh told IANS: "We will soon have a major reshuffle in the state unit."
He said he had asked for a report from grassroot party workers after the party's dismal electoral performance in Odisha.
"On the basis of the report, in the coming days we will reshuffle the entire state unit," he said.
The Congress won only one of the 21 Lok Sabha seats and 9 out of 146 Assembly seats.
Odisha Congress chief Niranjan Patnaik offered to give up his post following the elections. But Singh said: "His resignation has not been accepted by the leadership."
The Congress last week dissolved all the district committees in Uttar Pradesh and formed a three member disciplinary committee to examine the indiscipline and anti-party activities during the Lok Sabha elections.
The party also dissolved the Karnataka Congress Committee, sparing only state unit chief Dinesh Gundu Rao and Working President Eshwara Khandare.
Following the Lok Sabha rout, Rahul Gandhi has offered to step down as party President.

Sat, 06 Jul 2019 11:46:30 +0530
Pregnancy of tribal girls

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Assembly on Tuesday witnessed unruly scenes as Congress members created an uproar over the pregnancy of tribal girls in a government-run SC/ST residential school in Bhubaneswar. The House also saw a 10-minute adjournment.
Raising the issue, Congress Legislature Party leader Narasingha Mishra asked Speaker Surya Narayan Patro to direct Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to ensure a fair probe into the incident. Mishra demanded the probe report to be tabled in the House by July 12.
"Had the incident happened in cities like Delhi or Mumbai, it would have shocked the entire nation," said the Congress leader.
"The girls have been sent back to their respective homes and the officials are trying to suppress the matter. Initial medical reports claimed that four girls have tested positive. Surprisingly, three of them tested negative in another check-up. An impartial and fair probe should be initiated," he said.
Deputy Leader of the BJP Legislature Party Bishnu Charan Sethi also demanded a reply from the Chief Minister on the issue. He alleged that 117 cases of exploitation of tribal girls in state hostels had already been registered.
Speaker Patro asked the minister concerned to make a statement on the issue in the House.


Sat, 06 Jul 2019 11:44:09 +0530
Odisha CM requests PM to

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday sought the intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to give appropriate directions to immediately stop the construction work of the Polavaram Project until all the pending issues are resolved.
"If the project is allowed to be completed before the resolution of all the pending issues, it will cause permanent injury to the interest of the state of Odisha and its people," Patnaik said in a letter to Modi.
The Chief Minister's letter came after the Union Environment, Forest and Climate Change Ministry kept the "stop work order" in abeyance for a further period of two years, disregarding the concerns of Odisha.
"I would like to reiterate that if the construction work on the Polavaram Project is not stopped forthwith, it will have immense adverse impact on the people living in the tribal district of Malkangiri in Odisha," said the Chief Minister.
He said the submergence of tribal villages resulting in mass displacement of primitive tribals, flooding of fertile agricultural lands and submergence of large extent of forest area would be irreversible consequences.
A final resolution of the dispute is pending before the Supreme Court.
The Polavaram Project can be reformulated as per the Godavari Water Disputes Tribunal (GWDT) order without causing large scale submergence in Odisha, Telangana and Chhattisgarh, Patnaik added.


Sat, 06 Jul 2019 11:42:27 +0530
BJP issues show cause not

Bhopal:The BJP Disciplinary Committee has issued a show-cause notice to MLA Akash Vijayavargiya for beating an officer of the Indore Municipal Corporation. Akash, who is presently out of jail on bail, is the son of the BJP's National General Secretary Kailash Vijayavargiya.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday had expressed his anger over the incident during the meeting of the BJP's parliamentary board.
According to BJP sources, the Bharatiya Janata Party's Disciplinary Committee has asked Akash to file his reply to the show-cause notice.
On June 26, Akash had beaten up a municipal corporation officer with a cricket bat and a video of the incident went viral on social media. The officer was on-duty and had gone to demolish an unsafe building.
Akash had been booked and sent to jail after this incident. But, when he was in prison, some posters hailing him appeared in the city. And after his release on bail supporters welcomed him.
After the incident, Akash had said: "The BJP has taught us 'pahle avedan, fir nivedan aur fir de danadan' (first apply, then request and then thrash them). We had requested multiple times with folded hands, it is only a beginning." His statement also contains a threat.
During the parliamentary committee board's meeting in Delhi, the Prime Minister had said: "We don't want such leaders who spoil the party's image. No matter whose son he is, we should expel him from the party".
Speaking about the show-cause notice, state BJP chief Rakesh Singh told reporters: "We have not taken any decision right now. The BJP has a modus operandi. You will be informed about the decision taken according to the procedure."

Sat, 06 Jul 2019 11:40:04 +0530
Monsoon sets in MP but dr

Bhopal: There has been a turnaround since the last week's grim projections about dry weather conditions in Madhya Pradesh. Relief on the drinking water front, however, remains a far cry and the state continues to be in the grip of serious crisis.
There is still panic in cities and villages. More than 300 urban bodies are unable to provide water daily. In some places, water is being supplied twice or thrice a week.
Villages are worse off as people have to walk miles to get potable water.
The Kamal Nath government is blaming the previous BJP government for the crisis and has offered to make a legal provision to give citizens right to drinking water.
With the onset of monsoon in most parts of the state, there is a change in the "meteorological mood" and outlook for coming weeks. This year, with the monsoon pausing due to a weak cross-equatorial flow, the onset in the state has been delayed.
Subsequent progress has been the slowest in the state during at least 12 years.
The Met department has now warned of heavy rains in 13 districts in the state during the next two days due to the low pressure area in the Bay of Bengal. Moderate to heavy showers have been forecast for 16 other districts, including Bhopal.
The region witnessed driest June over many years. The 30 mm rainfall is almost 30 mm short of the normal rain for the season so far.
Sunday's first monsoon shower at many places, including Bhopal, caused light rain and strong winds in the vicinity on Monday. The delay led to rescheduling of sowing plans.
In the areas where kharif sowing has been delayed by over a week, the farmers are opting for early sprouting variety of soybean and other crops. The soil moisture should sustain for the next week or so to enable germination. But the subsequent progress would depend on periodic showers. The rabi crop was good in many parts of the state due to even spread of non-monsoon showers.
Continuous rain in Burhanpur district caused floods in the river basins. Many areas of west Madhya Pradesh, including Raisen, Ratlam, Sehore, Neemuch, Khargone and Barwani, have received sharp rains in many parts of the region and in many areas.
Forecast for the next couple of days suggests rain covering another 16 districts of Bhopal, Hoshangabad, Harda, Betul, Raisen, Rajgarh, Vidisha, Sehore, Indore, Dhar, Khandwa, Khargone, Alirajpur, Jhabua, Badwani and Burhanpur.
As of now, kharif sowing in the state is down 25 per cent. Progress of monsoon, however, promises a timely recovery.
Two successive lean monsoon seasons had left nearly 4,000 villages staring at an acute drought in 36 out of 52 districts in the state while the new Congress-led government was cramped by Model Code of Conduct for the Lok Sabha elections.
A report by the Panchayat and Rural Development Department had said 40 rivers that provide water to these villages had gone dry and the micro-watershed management was in complete disarray. Most parts of the state have experienced 20-50 per cent deficient rainfall in two years.
More than 21,293,000 hectares of the rivers' catchment area is parched on the nearly 2,19,0000 km length of these rivers. The department says efforts are continuing to recharge the micro watersheds through the course of these rivers and it has drawn up a plan to raise the groundwater level by recharging the rivers through community participation.
The objective is to raise rural jobs and provide drinking water through works under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS).
The current monsoon rainfall deficiency varies from 20 to 65 per cent. Guna district in northwest has had a shortfall of 65 per cent normal, while western MP districts like Hoshangabad had 63, Harda 62, Khargone 61, Dewas 44, Ashoknagar 53 and Betul received 44 per cent less rain.


Sat, 06 Jul 2019 11:36:19 +0530
Brown sugar worth Rs 100

Imphal: A clandestine drugs production unit was busted in Manipur's Thoubal district and 111.2 kgs of brown sugar, valued over Rs 100 crore in the international market, was seized as three persons were arrested, police said on Sunday.
"The illegal drugs manufacturing plant was joint busted by the officials of Narcotics and Affairs of Border (NAB) and Manipur Police at Lilong Dam village (50 kms south of capital Imphal) on late Saturday," a police official said.
He said that 111.2 kgs of brown sugar, worth over Rs 100 crore in the international market, was seized from the illicit factory and three persons, including a woman, were arrested.
The police official said that a local voluntary organisation 'Ajuman' helped the police and NAB to unearth the drugs and bust the drug-making unit, set up in the residence of one Mohammad Matalip.
Matalip is one of the three detainees. Huge drug-making materials, utensils, cooking gas cylinders and other materials were also recovered from the spot.

Sat, 06 Jul 2019 11:34:07 +0530
Maharashtra minister blam

Mumbai: Advancing a bizarre theory, Shiv Sena Minister in Maharashtra, Tanaji Sawant, has held crabs responsible for the Tuesday dam burst incident in Ratnagiri that has claimed 18 lives so far.
Speaking to mediapersons on Thursday, the Water Conservation Minister claimed that there were no breaches in the ill-fated Tiware Dam earlier with the reservoir storing water for the past 15 years.
"The dam was built in 2004 and there were no breaches ever... However, there is huge problem of crabs in that dam and because of that the recent leakages took place," Sawant explained.
Terming the tragedy as a "huge calamity" the minister said that 2 days before, there was a massive downpour in that region, with a rainfall of 192 mm which raised dam water level by 8 metres in just eight hours.
He said the government was informed by the residents of Bhendewadi hamlet of the problems of breaches and the officials had taken action on it.
Attacking Sawant, Nationalist Congress Party national spokesperson Nawab Malik termed it as "a shameful defence of his party (Shiv Sena) legislator who is the contractor for the dam".
"You want to save a big, corrupt shark and blaming poor crabs? This cannot be tolerated. There must be an enquiry and he must be punished," demanded Malik.
Suhas Khandagale, chief of the Village Development Committee of Ratnagiri said that time has come to throw crabs at the minister's home now.
"When the crabs were gnawing away at the dam, did he (Minister) go there for an underwater shooting? This is the limit of playing around with the peoples' sentiments..." Khandagale said.
Meanwhile, the minister's crustacean justification for the dam burst got the social media in splits.

Sat, 06 Jul 2019 11:30:17 +0530
Congress MLA nabbed for

Sindhudurg (Maharashtra): Irked over the poor condition of the Mumbai-Goa highway, Congress legislator Nitesh Rane and his supporters vented their ire on a road sub-engineer by bathing him with wet mud and slime, and even attempted to tie him to a bridge here on Thursday.
Following a complaint lodged by the victim, Prakash Shedekar, a sub-engineer with the PWD, the police have arrested Rane and five other activists of the Maharashtra Swabhiman Party (MSP).
The police have charged Rane and others with sections pertaining to obstructing a government servant, abuse, assault. Further investigations are on.
PWD staff all over the state have launched an agitation to protest against the treatment meted out to Shedekar.
MSP President and former Chief Minister Narayan Rane, the father of Nitesh Rane, admitted that what happened was wrong and said that he would apologise to the concerned engineer on behalf of his son.
Earlier this afternoon, Nitesh Rane, accompanied by Kankavli Municipal Council President and activists of the NDA-affiliated MSP, went to inspect road repairing work being carried out on a stretch of a bridge on the Gad River near Kankavli.
They accosted sub-engineer Shedekar, questioning him on the bad condition of the roads besides lecturing him on how people had to battle slime and mud on the potholed roads routinely.
"People are bearing it daily... Now, you also experience it," some of the activists said as they emptied a couple of buckets full of slime on Shedekar, abused him, roughed him up and pushed him around.
Some wet mud even fell on Nitesh Rane, who sought an explanation from the sub-engineer on the bad condition of roads and why a service road was not yet constructed as assured by the authorities. He also gave Shedekar a "15-day ultimatum" to build the service road for the benefit of pedestrians.
The activists demanded to know "who has given you the right to sink Kankavli under slime" and some activists took him around in the wet mud to show him the ground reality.
At one point, Rane and other activists were seen attempting to tie Shedekar to a pole on the under-construction bridge, ostensibly to teach him a lesson.
Videos of the incident went viral on social media, evoking mixed reactions with many condemning the incident.
Though Narayan Rane did not defend his son, he pointed out that people have been suffering since long with the miserable road conditions but the local authorities were ignoring their plight.


Sat, 06 Jul 2019 11:23:32 +0530
Mumbai s new BKC EEH elev

Mumbai: Mumbai's much-awaited Bandra Kurla Complex-Eastern Express Highway (BKC-EEH) elevated road via Chunabhatti is slated to be operational by November, an RTI reply has revealed.
Mumbai-based Right to Information activist Anil Galgali had sought replies from the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) on the status of the crucial project which would entail huge time-savings for commuters.
"With the new elevated road getting ready, motorists will not have to take diversions from the congested Sion-Kurla areas and reduce traffic congestion all over," Galgali said.
MMRDA Executive Engineer A. R. Bhisikar said in the RTI reply to Galgali that the project was approved in August 2014 at a cost of Rs 155.70 crore, and so far around Rs 136 crore has been spent on it.
J. Kumar Infrastructure Ltd is constructing the project which was due to be completed in October 2018, but the deadline was extended by one year till October 2019, and it is likely to be operational by then.
The MMRDA said the reasons for the delay included construction of stormwater drains on both sides as recommended by the public works department and Mumbai Police, amalgamation of the main highway with the service roads and throwing them open, and delays in acquisition of reserved land for building roads adjoining the highway in the Somaiya Ground.
Besides, there was delay due to rehabilitation of project-affected people from Prem Nagar, shifting ot two 110 KV high tension power lines, and construction of the road and foot overbridges by the Central Railway, the MMRDA said.


Sat, 06 Jul 2019 11:22:17 +0530
Meghalaya to pay Rs 100 c

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Meghalaya government to deposit Rs 100 crore as directed by the NGT for failing to curb illegal coal mining, saying that natural resources should be conserved so that it may be used in the best interest for coming generations.
"Natural resources of the country are not meant to be consumed only by the present generation of men or women of the region where natural resources are deposited. These treasures of nature are for all generations to come and for intelligent use of the entire country," the bench said in its 203-page-order.
"The present generation owes a duty to preserve and conserve the natural resources of the nation so that it may be used in the best interest of coming generations as well and for the country as a whole."
The court said that Meghalaya government will transfer the amount of Rs 100 crore to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) from the Meghalaya Environment Protection and Restoration Fund and this will be used by CPCB for restoration of environment.
It also said that the amount, which the National Green Tribunal has directed Meghalaya to deposit, is not a penalty.
A bench of Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice K.M. Joseph also directed the state to hand over the illegally-extracted coal to Coal India Ltd, which will auction it and deposit the money earned with the state government.
The Katakey Committee, after discussion with Coal India and Meghalaya, shall formulate a mechanism for transport, weighment of all assessed coal, the court said while accepting suggestion of amicus curiae Colin Gonsalves.
Gonsalves said that entire extracted coal lying at various places be directed to be taken over by Coal India and may dispose of as per its normal method of disposal.
The NGT had fined the Meghalaya government after taking note of a three-member committee's report which stated that there were around 24,000 mines in Meghalaya and a majority of them were illegal.
Earlier the top court banned the transportation of coal in the wake of a coal mine tragedy in the state in December last year.
The bench on Wednesday observed that the NGT's direction came as measures to to check and combat the unregulated coal mining in tribal areas of Meghalaya which has caused loss of lives and damaged the environment of the area.
It also noted that the Gauhati High Court has taken suo moto cognisance on the news report related to death of 15 miners out of 30 labourers who were trapping inside a coal mine at Nongalbibra in the South Garo Hill in 2012.
The Gauhati High Court later transferred the matter to the NGT.
The top court observed that there were clear allegations in the application that in spite of various remedial measures set out in the report, no proper and effective remedial measures have been taken by authorities concerned.
Senior counsel Shekhar Naphade, appearing for Meghalaya, has said that the NGT committed an error in holding that the coal mining in Meghalaya is unregulated, while senior advocate Nidhesh Gupta said that the the coal which is now claimed to be assessed is nothing but illegally-extracted coal and Meghalaya administration is hand in glove with illegal miners.
The court, while turning down the plea of Meghalaya, said that while implementing statutory regime for carrying mining operations in the hills district of the state, Meghalaya has to ensure compliance of not only Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, (MMDR Act), 1957 but the Mines Act, 1952 as well as Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.
The court also directed that all coal seized by the state for which cases have already been registered shall be dealt by the state in accordance with the MMDR Act.
The court noted that in the course of rat-hole coal mining, several employees and workers have died due to water flooding. It also held that transportation of coal in an illegal, unregulated, indiscriminate and unscientific manner has resulted in serious diseases to the people.

Sat, 06 Jul 2019 11:17:56 +0530
Sitharaman goes all out t

New Delhi,  The first Budget of Modi 2.0 government has laid huge emphasis on investment and consumption to realise the dream of 'New India' making it a $ 5 trillion economy in the next few years, but mobilising funds remains a challenge for it in the wake of global headwinds and domestic slowdown.

"Our economy was at approximately $ 1.85 trillion when we formed the government in 2014. Within 5 years it has reached $ 2.7 trillion. It is well within our capacity to reach the $ 5 trillion target in the next few years", Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in her maiden Budget speech.

The Budget relies heavily on private investment to build infrastructure that would cost Rs 100 lakh crore over the next five years, rev up manufacturing, boost exports and create more jobs. It has proposed to further open various sectors for FDI and relax rules for other foreign and NRI investments into the country.

"There are several commendable measures on the capital market front to attract the FPIs and also further easing of the FDI norms in insurance intermediation and relaxing the local sourcing requirements in single brand retail to cheer the private sector. The outcome will, however, depend on how the private sector reacts to the proposals and realisation of the investments," said Ranen Banerjee, Leader (Public Finance and Economics), PwC India.

The Budget has proposed to mobilise funds by offering to divest stake in more public sector companies and issuing sovereign bonds overseas. For finding ways to provide long-term financing to infrastructure sector, the Finance Minister has proposed an expert panel that will give suggestions.

Given the commitment to stick to fiscal deficit (as a percentage of GDP) target, 10 basis point lower than 3.4 per cent announced in the Interim Budget, the task to arrange funds seems even more challenging.

The government hopes a massive fund influx from the Reserve Bank of India as dividend in 2019-20. Senior government official have said that around Rs 90,000 crore is expected to come from the central bank in this fiscal. But given the massive fund needs, this may not be enough. Lower than expected GST collection has already been a big disappointment in FY19.

The Budget has, however, sought to fire all engines to revive private investment and boost consumption offering a slew of tax concessions to companies, raise public spending for infrastructure and ensure credit flow for business expansion.

In line with prescriptions given in the Economic Survey, the Minister stressed private sector-led investment, jobs, exports and consumption.

Besides proposing to relax various rules for foreign and NRI investment into the country, Sitharaman came out with out-of-box idea to create a 'Social Stock Exchange' for listing social enterprises and voluntary organisations. The move is expected to help social firms raise funds and promote governance.

The Budget has proposed opening FDI floodgates in aviation, insurance intermediary, animation and media. India's FDI inflows in 2018-19 remained strong at $ 64.375 billion marking a 6% growth over the previous year.

Sitharaman said that FDI inflows into India have remained robust despite global headwinds.

Further, the Union Budget has attempted to keep consumption level robust by taking much-needed step to tackle crisis in the shadow banking sector. The Budget 2019-20 proposed that government will give one-time six-month credit guarantee for the purchase of assets of high rated NBFCs up to 1 lakh crore. The move is set to ensure flow of capital for well-performing NBFCs.

In order to boost credit, the Finance Minister proposed to provide Rs 70,000 crore to public sector banks.

In a major tax relief for companies with annual turnover of up to Rs 400 crore, Sitharaman proposed to lower corporate tax for them to 25 per cent from 30 per cent now. Currently, the lower corporate tax is paid by companies with annual revenue of Rs 250 crore.

Further, the start-ups and their investors who file requisite declarations and provide information in their returns will not be subjected to any kind of scrutiny in respect of valuations of share premiums.

The housing sector, one of the key job creators, also stands to gain from the Budget. Joint development and concession mechanisms would be used for public infrastructure and affordable housing on land parcels held by the Central Government and CPSEs.

Additional deduction up to Rs 1.5 lakhs for interest paid on loans borrowed up to March 31, 2020 for purchase of house valued up to Rs 45 lakh. This will result in overall benefit of around Rs 7 lakh over loan period of 15 years," the Minister said.

The Budget has proposed to upgrade 125,000 km of rural roads and 'Housing for All' under PMGSY-III in 5 years with an outlay of more than 80,000 crore providing impetus to the rural economy.

"The focus in the Budget on the rural economy is important because more than 65% of Indians reside in the countryside," said Ajay S. Shriram, Chairman & Senior Managing Director, DCM Shriram and formerly CII President.

Sat, 06 Jul 2019 10:36:52 +0530
Budget will meet aspirati

New Delhi,  Union Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' on Friday expressed his gratitude to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for giving priority to education sector. He said that the aspirations of all stakeholders in education sector would be met by this budget.

He expressed his happiness over the increased allocation of Rs 9,843.64 crore to the education sector from last year. Total allocation for the education sector has been increased from Rs 85,010 crore in 2018-19 to 94,853.64 crore in 2019-20.

Apart from this, the government has made available Rs 15,000 crore through extra-budgetary resources using the Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA) mechanism. It has provided an additional equity of Rs 2,100 crore to the HEFA to enable it to mobilise the required funds for building high quality infrastructure in higher educational institutions.

The Minister also lauded the creation of the National Research Foundation (NRF), which, he said, would play a key role in coordinating the research of all the ministries. 

At Rs 38,317 crore, the allocation for higher education has witnessed an increase of 9.4 per cent compared to the last financial year. Apart from this, there has been an overall increase of Rs 6422.88 crore (12.81 per cent) in the budget allocation of Department of School Education and Literacy this year.

An amount of Rs 400 crore has been provided to create �world class institutions'in the field of education which is more than three times the revised estimates for the previous year.


Sat, 06 Jul 2019 10:28:55 +0530
Affordable housing gets a

New Delhi, Affordable housing sector got a shot in the arm in the Union Budget presented on Friday with Central government paving the way for an enhanced interest deduction of up to Rs 3.5 lakh.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presenting the Budget in the Parliament proposed to allow for an additional deduction of up to Rs 1.5 lakh for interest paid on loans borrowed up to 31 March 2020. This will be applicable for purchasing an affordable house valued up to Rs 45 lakh.

Till now, interest paid on housing loans is allowed as a deduction to the extent of Rs 2 lakh in respect of self-occupied property. The hike of Rs 1.5 lakh is over and above the already existing limit of Rs 2 lakh.

The union government has already provided a tax holiday on profits earned by developers of affordable housing in order to achieve the goal of 'Housing for All'.

In addition, the Budget also announced a proposal to bring about a model tenancy law that will do away with several prevalent archaic tenancy laws in order to redefine the relationship between the lesser and the lessee.

The Confederation of Real Estate Developers of India (CREDAI) termed the impetus given to the real estate sector in the budget as 'heartening'.

"The Budget has addressed our long-standing proposal to reform archaic rental laws and promote public housing on government land figure have been among the immediate policy agenda outlined. With regulation of Housing Finance Companies returned from the National Housing Board to the Reserve Bank of India, we hope that the latter would bring about much needed reforms for financing of real estate sector such as land, giving priority sector status to housing finance and lower cost of funding," said Manoj Gaur, Chairman, Affordable Housing Committee, CREDAI.

Further, in order to align the definition of affordable housing in the Income Tax Act with the Goods and Services Tax Act, the budget has proposed to increase the limit of carpet area from 30 sqm to 60 sqm in metropolitan regions. This limit will be increased from 60 sqm to 90 sqm in non-metropolitan regions.

"The budget reinforces affordable housing as one of the key priority areas of the government. We identify ourselves as a key partner in such initiatives along with other important schemes such as clean India which addresses the crucial issue of open defecation, especially in rural areas, as it will lay a strong foundation for a cleaner and healthier India," said Rajesh Mehra, Director & Promoter, Jaquar Group.

The ASSOCHAM termed the budget as consistent in its approach towards affordable housing with more focus on increasing the carpet area, re-defining income criteria and giving infrastructure status under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana. 

"With its commitment towards affordable housing, the government aims to increase the number of beneficiaries in terms of the credit-linked subsidy scheme," said Pradeep Aggarwal, Chairman, ASSOCHAM National Council on Real Estate, Housing and Urban Development.



Sat, 06 Jul 2019 10:24:14 +0530
Delhi wholesale hub shut

New Delhi: The wholesale hub of Hauz Qazi in old Delhi remained shuttered on Tuesday even as an uneasy peace returned to the area after communal clashes that erupted two days ago.
The entire area looked like a fortress with police and paramilitary forces deployed in large numbers. Police said three people had been arrested for rioting.
Trouble erupted on Sunday night over the parking of a scooty and quickly took a communal turn.
Delhi Police and residents appealed for calm on Tuesday even as small groups of protesters continued to raise derogatory slogans.
Hauz Qazi is a wholesale hub for hardware products.
Union Minister and area MP Harsh Vardhan who visited the area tweeted: "I visited the old Durga Temple in Lal Kuan area. The vandalising of idols inside the temple was disheartening."
He said he had been assured that none of the culprits would be spared.
Police officials were scanning CCTV footage to identify others who were involved in the violence.
There was minor stone pelting earlier on Tuesday but the trouble was quickly put down by the authorities.
Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala urged people not to be taken in by rumours and said Home Minister Amit Shah and the Modi government were responsible for the violence as Delhi Police reported to the Centre.
"Despite police presence, the situation is not normal. People get agitated at the drop of a hat. The slogans raised by both sides are demeaning," a resident told IANS.

Fri, 05 Jul 2019 17:24:41 +0530
Delhi records highest eve

New Delhi: With the heat still holding its grip, the peak power demand of the national capital crossed all the previous records to reach 7,241 MW on Monday, the State Load Dispatch Centre (SLDC) reported.
Last year, the peak demand was recorded at 7,016 MW -- the highest till now.
"On July 1, the all-time peak power demand reached 7,241 MW at 3.29 p.m., crossing last previous high of 7,016 MW by 225 MW met on July 9, 2018," an SLDC official said.
Before Monday, the highest peak power demand was recorded on June 2, when it reached 6,560MW. That was higher than the peak load of 2017 -- 6,526 MW on June 6, 2017.


Fri, 05 Jul 2019 17:23:32 +0530
Clash over parking turns

New Delhi: A minor scuffle over parking of a scooty took a communal turn as violent clashes broke out late on Sunday night in Central Delhi's Hauz Qazi area, police said on Monday.
The situation in the area remained tense as minor clashes continued even on Monday afternoon. A photographer of a Hindi daily was injured in the violence.
Mobile footage went viral on social media which showed a temple being vandalised, aggravating the situation. Delhi Police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel have been deployed to ensure peace in the area.
Senior police officials stated that three separate cases have been registered.
Late on Sunday night, two people belonging to different religious communities got into a fight after one of them insisted on parking his scooty outside an eatery near a temple which was opposed by the other.
Soon the argument turned communal with both sides hurling abuses and assaulting each other.
Police officials have registered one case based on the statement of the person who had come to park his bike, the other case based on the statement of the person who did not let the other man park his bike and a third case against unknown persons for rioting and damaging public property.
Mandeep Randhawa, Deputy Commissioner of Police, (Central) said "After some altercation and scuffle over a parking issue in Hauz Qazi, tension arose between two groups of people from different communities. We have taken legal action and all efforts are being made to pacify feelings and bring about amity. People are requested to help in restoring normalcy."
Some locals claimed that the incident occurred due to the vandalisation of the temple wall.
One of the locals stated that the incident took place at around 10 p.m., when a man identified as Aas Mohammad parked his scooty next to an eatery run by Sanjeev Gupta.
When Gupta objected and asked Mohammad to remove the vehicle, Mohammad allegedly went to a nearby street and called some people who started assaulting Gupta.
Some others stated that Gupta, along with others, thrashed Mohammad and even threatened to set his vehicle on fire.
According to a complainant named Saqib, he along with his family informed the police about the scuffle.
"Both of them were taken to the police station while during that time some unidentified people gathered outside the temple and vandalised it resulting in tension in the area," said Saqib.
Nikhil Sharma, a temple worker, claimed that a group of people came to the temple and vandalised it and fled.
Police are probing the matter further.


Fri, 05 Jul 2019 17:22:37 +0530
No threat to coalition go

New Delhi/Bengaluru: Unfazed by the resignation of its two legislators, Congress leaders on Tuesday claimed that there was no threat to its year-old coalition government in Karnataka.
"Our government in Karnataka will complete its five-year term, though the BJP has been trying to topple it since day one," Congress general secretary K.C. Venugopal said in New Delhi.
Venugopal, who is in-charge of the party's state unit affairs, however, said stern action would be taken against rebels if they indulge in anti-party activities and try to weaken the coalition government.
Venugopal's assertion on the continuity of the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S)-Congress government came a day after party lawmakers Anand Singh and Ramesh Jarkiholi submitted their resignations from their respective assembly segments in the state to Assembly Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar on Monday.
"The party members should not violate the party discipline by going public against their leaders or comment on the functioning of the government. They can express their concerns or grievances in the party forum but not in the media," said Venugopal after discussing the fresh crisis in the party with senior party leader Mallikarjun Kharge from Karnataka in the national capital.
Venugopal also claimed that Singh and Jarkiholi would withdraw their resignations and remain with the party.
"I spoke to both of them on phone. They assured me they would remain in the party if their demands were met, The party's state leaders and the chief minister (H.D. Kumaraswamy) will discuss their issues with them," added Venugopal.
Echoing Venugopal, state's Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader and former chief minister Siddaramaiah also claimed that the coalition government was safe and would remain in office.
"None of our legislators will quit the party or resign from their assembly seat. The government is 100 per cent safe," Siddaramaiah told reporters in Bengaluru earlier in the day.
Accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah of being involved in toppling the coalition government in the state, Siddaramaiah said the opposition party (BJP) would not succeed in its attempt as in the past.
"The BJP's central and state leaders have been trying to oust our government by luring our legislators with money and power since May 2018. They won't succeed even this time," said Siddaramaiah.
Party's senior leader and state Water Resources Minister D.K. Shivakumar said there was no cause to panic over the survival of the government, as the BJP dare not poach the party's rebels to reduce the combined majority of the ruling allies.
"As no legislator of any party is ready to face mid-term polls a year after the May 2018 assembly elections, our government will continue and complete its term. The party will address the concerns of the rebels if they bring to our notice," Shivakumar told reporters.
Deputy Chief Minister G. Parameshwara, who belongs to the Congress, also claimed that the coalition government would survive as it had a majority in the assembly.

Fri, 05 Jul 2019 17:17:52 +0530
Deficit pre monsoon dela

Bengaluru: For the first time in many years, Karnataka is facing water shortage due to deficit pre-monsoon, delay in the onset of southwest monsoon and uneven spread of rainfall across the state, a senior official said on Tuesday.
"Around 37 per cent overall deficit in pre-monsoon showers from March to May, 10-day delay in the arrival of the southwest monsoon and Vayu cyclone disrupting rains have dried up water sources in lakes, tanks, ponds and wells across the state for drinking, irrigation and livestock," senior metrological scientist C.N. Prabhu told IANS here.
Unlike last year, when the southern state had an overall 6 per cent deficit monsoon from June to September, Prabhu said the prospects of making up for the 23 per cent rain deficit in June depended on cloud formations, moisture content and wind movement over the next three months.
"Failure of pre-monsoon showers, delay in the arrival of monsoon and extended summer over the last four weeks have affected the water bodies, reducing water levels in rivers, reservoirs and their catchment areas. Water supply in towns and cities has also been affected," lamented Prabhu.
As per the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) data, the state received 167mm of rainfall against 216 mm normal, resulting in a 23 per cent deficit.
The coastal area, where the monsoon enters the state from Kerala and the Arabia Sea, recorded 32 per cent deficit with 645 mm rain against 946 mm normal.
In contrast, the north interior region had 3 per cent more (118mm) rain than 114 mm normal.
In south interior region, including Malnad, the deficit was 28 per cent (113 mm) from 157 mm normal.
"Pre-monsoon failure resulted in a record 75 per cent deficit (45 mm) against 179 mm normal in the coastal region, 50 per cent deficit (44 mm) from 85 mm normal in north interior area and 21 per cent deficit (115mm) from 145 mm normal in south interior and Malnad areas," said Prabhu, a weather scientist in the Karnataka State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA).
As a monsoon dependent state, Karnataka heavily relies on southwest and northeast monsoons for rains to fill its rivers, reservoirs in the catchment areas and dams built across the Cauvery, Tungabhadra and Krishna rivers in its southern, central and northern regions for drinking, hydel power generation, irrigation and livestock across cities, towns and villages.
"A deficit rainfall spells trouble for the 11-million people in Bengaluru, which is mainly dependent on rainfed Cauvery, about 120km southwest from the city," said Prabhu.
With hundreds of lakes and tanks drying up across the city, there is no piped water supply by the state-run water board to one-third of the city, especially in the south east and north east, forcing people to depend on tankers and borewells for water supply.


Fri, 05 Jul 2019 17:16:23 +0530
Banks prepone farm loans

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Agriculture Minister V.S.Sunilkumar will lead a delegation of top state officials to meet Reserve Bank (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das on July 10.
Sunilkumar told IANS that the meeting will be a follow-up on an advertisement given by the State Level Banker's Committee (SLBC) in leading dailies last month that announced recovery of loans from farmers from August 1.
"In view of last year's floods, the Centre had announced a moratorium on recovery of farm loans in Kerala till December 31, 2019. Now the SLBC says that the moratorium will end by July 31, which is not acceptable to us. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and I met with the SLBC to express our disagreement with the change in the deadline. On July 10, we will present our case before the RBI Governor," said Sunilkumar.
"In 2019 alone, about two dozen farmers in Kerala committed suicide after banks went ahead with loan recoveries. From August 1 onwards, most farm loans will turn into non-performing assets if the RBI does not keep its word and maintain a moratorium on loan recoveries till December 31. Hence the RBI Governor must act," said the Minister.
Sunilkumar added that the state government would also recommend to the RBI Governor to prevent misuse of low-interest agriculture gold loans.
"Commercial banks misuse the 4 per cent interest on agriculture gold loans scheme to pass on its benefit to non-farmers for non-agricultural purposes. We propose AGL only to farmers with Kisan Credit Cards (KCC)," added the Minister.
"Also at present, farm loans are provided only for paddy cultivation. We will demand agricultural loans for anyone involved in farming," he said.

Fri, 05 Jul 2019 17:14:30 +0530
Kerala partners with Cisc

Thiruvananthapuram: Software major Cisco on Monday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Kerala State IT Mission (KSITM) to bring the benefits of digital technology and data science to farming communities in Kerala, as part of its Country Digitization Acceleration (CDA) programme.
The first phase of this initiative will be rolled out in 15 panchayats across Kannur, the home district of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
Cisco will build an Agri-Digital Infrastructure (ADI) Platform and set up Village Knowledge Centres (VKCs) for knowledge delivery and provide access to e-learning and advisory services to the farming and fishing communities in Kannur.
The comprehensive ADI Platform will provide access to a datastore with complete farming data of paddy and prawns farms in the region along with land and farmer profile databases.
This datastore will run Cisco's robust analytics and computer engines to extract insights on crop yields, weather patterns, plant disease patterns, soil quality, moisture content, forecasting and other data, and make it available to farmers and government officials through the VKCs.
This Cisco ADI Platform will be supplemented by a custom-built Smart Agricultural Platform that uses IoT sensors, Non-IoT databases, and satellite/UAV images to gather and relay real-time intelligence on soil content, moisture, weather conditions and other parameters.
This platform will become a centralised knowledge hub which will provide data-based recommendations and insights to improve agriculture planning, reduce the risk of crop mortality and overall operational costs.
Through VKCs, farmers can also access essential information on government policy updates, crop advisory services, market trends, rates and best practice videos. Farmers will also gain accessibility to government-provisioned financing on a Content Management System through a mobile application and web portal.
Cisco's Harish Krishnan said the impact of technology can be transformational for those who need it most, elevating standards of living and foster economic development.
M. Sivasankar, IT Principal Secretary, said the government's vision is to turn the state into a knowledge society with sustainable economic growth, technological advancements and better quality of life for all.


Fri, 05 Jul 2019 17:11:41 +0530
Kerala diaspora likely to

Thiruvananthapuram: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday informed the Kerala Assembly that his government will initiate discussions on how best the Kerala diaspora could participate in the upcoming local bodies elections.
Vijayan said this after the Deputy Leader of Opposition M.K. Muneer asserted that it's high time that the Kerala diaspora, who has been the backbone of the Kerala economy for several decades, should get their right to exercise their franchise.
Munner said: "The situation today on diaspora voting rights has been cleared by the Lok Sabha and even the judiciary. Today in Canada and the US, their diaspora have the privilege of taking part in elections, even while they are out of the country.
"So I request the Kerala government to see how best we can allow our diaspora to take part in elections, when the local bodies polls take place next year. We can look into options like proxy or even postal votes for them," said Muneer.
According to the latest figures, there are 2.1 million migrants from Kerala across the world, of which a good majority will be able to exercise their franchise if given opportunity.
Vijayan said: "For this to become a reality, several things have to fall in place, as it requires coordination with various departments... With favourable responses from appropriate bodies, we will definitely begin discussions on this with the various stake holders on how to go about it."


Fri, 05 Jul 2019 17:10:40 +0530
Gold industry groans unde

Mumbai,  The gold industry on Friday slammed the hike in import duty of gold from 10 per cent to 12.50 per cent, saying it will be counter-productive and hit the Indian retail market.

World Gold Council India Managing Director P.R. Somasundaram said the hiked gold duty will impede efforts to make gold as an asset class particularly when gold prices are already rising globally, and the grey market will thrive which will dilute efforts to reduce cash transactions.

"Millions of Indians invest in gold as part of their household savings, not simply as discretionary spending for consumption. People buy gold as a long-term investment to protect their wealth and gold also has huge significance socially, emotionally and economically in India," he pointed out.

According to Somasundaram, the duty will be counter-productive to the objectives state in the last year's budget and encapsulated in NITI Aayog's recommendations to transform the gold market.

"We believe that gold can play a positive role in the Indian economy, but to enable this, there needs to be a reduction in overall taxes, a stable policy environment and a transparent trading market," Somasundaram said.

Malabar Gold & Diamonds Chairman Ahammed M.P. termed the decision as "a double whammy for the gold retail industry, which is critical for creating the much-needed jobs" in the economy.

"On one hand it will lead to a substantial increase in input costs of the industry shooting up the retail prices up and hitting sales. On the other hand, it will provide a stimulus for illegal shipment of gold into the country which will further hurt taxpaying players in the segment," Ahammed said.

In view of the critical role played by gold industry in supporting economic growth and jobs creation besides exports, he urged the government to reconsider the move.

"It is our long pending demand that the Government should lower the import duty on gold to 5% level to make illegal trade in gold unattractive," Ahammed said.


Fri, 05 Jul 2019 17:05:49 +0530
Budget shows people s exp

New Delhi,  Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday described the Union Budget as one of hope and expressed confidence that it will boost the country's development in the 21st century, giving strength to the poor and providing a better tomorrow for the youth.

Commenting on the first Budget of the NDA government's second term, the Prime Minister said it showed that the expectations of the people can be met. 

"I congratulate the first woman Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for presenting a citizen friendly and a future friendly Budget. This is a Budget aimed at making the citizens of the country prosperous," Modi said. 

He termed it as a "historic step" towards making India a country which would meet people's expectations and fulfill their dreams. 

"This budget has economic reforms and provides for ease of living," he said, adding that "the direction is right and so is the speed". 

,He said the Budget reflected concerns not only for the present generation, but also for the future. The mission to ensure the availability of water in every home has been taken care of in the Budget. It strengthed the foundation for a good future in this century. 

"Development will be at a faster pace, infrastructure will be modernised. This Budget will simplify the taxation system. It will increase the participation of women in development," said the Prime Minster. 

The Budget will also help in the progress of the middle class. 

"Over the last five years, the country has left behind an environment of despair and it is now full of hope and confidence. We made continuous efforts to reduce the difficulties that citizens faced earlier and got success as well," Modi said. 


Fri, 05 Jul 2019 15:41:23 +0530
Foreign investors to be a

New Delhi, In a move to attract more foreign funds into the Indian market, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday proposed to allow foreign institutional investors (FIIs) and foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) to invest in debt securities issued by non-banking finance companies (NBFCs).

Proposing a series of reforms of the capital market while presenting her maiden Union Budget, Sitharaman also proposed merging the Non-resident Indian (NRI) portfolio route with the FPI route to increase more NRI fund flows into the country.

The government proposes to allow FII and FPI investment in debt securities issued by NBFCs, she said, adding that it will work with exchanges to allow 'AA' rated bonds to be used as collateral.

Allowing FIIs and FPIs to invest in debt securities issued by the NBFCs will permit availability of funds for cash-strapped NBFCs who have been facing a crisis following defaults by IL&FS last year, which made banks wary of lending to these shadow bankers.

The 2019-20 Budget states that the NRI portfolio route will now merged with FPI for se amless investment in stock markets to increase more NRI portfolio flows into India. 

Budget 2019-20 also says that the Credit Guarantee Enhancement Corporation will be set up in the current fiscal and action plan will be put in place to deepen markets for long-term bonds with specific focus on infrastructure sector. 

Besides, the Finance Minister said that measures will be taken to make the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) depositories inter-operable, which is necessary for the seamless transfer of treasury bills. 

To attract more funds into the real estate and infrastructure sectors, the Budget proposes to allow FPIs and NRIs to subscribe to listed debt papers of real estate investment trusts (REITs) and infrastructure investment trusts (InvITs)

The Minister also said that trading in corporate bonds would be made user-friendly. 


Fri, 05 Jul 2019 15:35:36 +0530
Sensex slumps 460 points

Mumbai, The Union Budget 2019-20 failed to cheer the equity market as the BSE Sensex slumped over 460 points minutes after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman concluded her speech.

At 1.28 p.m., the Sensex fell 466 points to the day's low of 39,441.38, from the previous close of 39,908.06 points.

Although the market opened on a positive note, the downtrend began within half an hour of Sitharaman's speech as she presented her first budget and trade remained largely choppy throughout the two hours 15 minutes speech.

Sensex has, however, trimmed some losses and at 1.44 p.m. was trading at 39,632.85, lower by 275.21 points or 0.69 per cent from its previous close.

The Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange traded at 11,849.40, lower by 97.35 points or 0.81 per cent from the previous close.

Fri, 05 Jul 2019 15:29:23 +0530
Kerala announces judicial

Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday announced a one-man Judicial Commission to probe the alleged custodial death of a financial agent at Idukki district's Nedumkandam police station last month. The Commission will be led by retired Justice K.Narayana Kurup and will submit its report in six months.

Rajkumar, 49, a small-time financial agent, allegedly died in custody on June 21 after being subjected to brutal third degree torture at the Nedumkandam police station.

The Monsoon Session of the Kerala Assembly that ended on Thursday witnessed several days of protests and unruly scenes over the custodial death with the Congress-led Opposition demanding a judicial probe into it. On Thursday, Rajkumar's mother joined the protest demanding a CBI probe.

This is the fifth allegation of custodial death against the Kerala Police since 2016, when the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government came to power.

While the Congress welcomed the government's decision for setting up the probe panel, the BJP said that a CBI probe would have been more appropriate.

According to reports, Rajkumar was rounded up on June 12 by a group of people who he owed money to, and handed over to the Nedumkandam police. 

The police however, recorded his arrest on June 16 and later shifted him to the state-run Peerumedu Taluk Hospital, where he died on June 21.

Though the post-mortem mentioned pneumonia as the cause of death, the autopsy report revealed 22 injury marks on Rajkumar's body, most below the thighs, indicating that he was subjected to third degree torture while in custody.

While four police officials from Nedumkandam police station have been suspended for the custodial death, two among them have been arrested and are presently in judicial custody. Eight others have been transferred.

Idukki District Police Superintendent K.B.Venugopal and his junior official are also likely to face disciplinary action.

According to sources in the Crime Branch, which is probing the case, more arrests of police officials cannot be ruled out.


Fri, 05 Jul 2019 12:34:58 +0530
Cows at Raj Bhavan Jhark

Ranchi: Cows at the Jharkhand Raj Bhavan and the Chief Minister's House might be staring at a food crisis as no funds have been allocated for their fodder, due to which the supplier has expressed inability to provide it any longer due to lack of payment, officials said.
The milch animals at the Raj Bhavan and at the CM's House are managed by the Gavya Nideshalay, which had received no allocation for the current fiscal.
An official said that there are three 'Gaushalas' (cow shelters) under the body - the Kamdhenu Gaushala in the Governor's residence with eight milk-providing animals, the CM's House Gaushala with four, while there are 50 animals at its training centre.
These animals needed to be given their proper diet everyday, he said, also adding that an animal had fallen ill at Raj Bhavan and has been brought to the training centre for treatment.
Director, Dairy, Krishna Murari said that the directorate was working to get the funds sanctioned and hoped that the issue would be sorted out soon.

Fri, 05 Jul 2019 11:24:49 +0530
Jharkhand cop suspended a

Ranchi: A Jharkhand police officer was suspended for dancing with a bar girl in Dhanbad district, police said on Tuesday.
The action was taken late on Monday after a video of Nand Kishore Singh, officer in-charge of Mahuda Police Station, went viral. Kishore was seen dancing with a bar girl, while not being appropriately dressed.
After the video was spotted, Dhanbad Superintendent of Police Kishore Kaushal asked his deputy to probe the incident.
Singh was posted as officer in-charge of Mahuda Police Station in 2018.

Fri, 05 Jul 2019 11:23:42 +0530
Sitharaman dumps Budget b

New Delhi, July 5 (IANS) Setting a new precedent Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday was seen hugging the budget documents wrapped in a red cloth, the traditional 'bahi khaata' way, instead of the leather briefcase that until now her predecessors marched out with.

Chief Economic Advisor K. Subramanian said that it was a departure from "slavery of western tradition". The red cloth symbolises the 'bahi khaata' traditionally used in every Indian business set-up to maintain accounts.

Sitharaman was seen carrying the red cloth wrapped budget papers that was neatly bound with the auspicious yellow and red ribbon. The Lion Capital shone brightly on top of the bahi khaata, as the first-time Finance Minister walked out of the North Block.

Until now all former Finance Ministers have carried their Budget Document in a hardbound leather briefcase that takes after the parallel British custom -- much like many of India's laws and Parliamentary practices. 


Fri, 05 Jul 2019 11:20:46 +0530
Re 1 stamp duty scheme mi

Ranchi: The Jharkhand government has suffered a loss of Rs 1.07 crore due to widespread misuse of a scheme that allows registration of property worth Rs 50 lakh by women at only Re 1 stamp duty.
Launched by the state's Raghubar Das government in June 2017, the scheme made registration of immovable property worth Rs 50 lakh in the name of women free of stamp duty save for a token amount of Re 1. For property above Rs 50 lakh, women had to pay Rs 50 lakh as registry charges.
The stamp fee was waived only if the property was registered in the name of women.
"So far, 1,52,521 women have benefitted from the Re 1 registry scheme," Jharkhand Land and Revenue Minister Amar Bawari told reporters on Tuesday.
"But the scheme, which aimed to empower the women in the state, has also been misused. Till now 238 cases have come to our notice where women have benefitted from the scheme more than once. The state government has suffered a loss of Rs 1.07 crore. We have recovered Rs 27.90 lakh from the violators and process is on to recover more," Bawari added.

Fri, 05 Jul 2019 11:20:37 +0530
Ladakh Buddhist group chi

Srinagar: Ladakh Buddhist Association (LBA) on Tuesday sacked its President Tsewang Thinles who has been charged with sexual assault.
A case was filed against Thinles under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act after a teenaged girl alleged that she had been sexually assaulted by him.
At an emergency meeting of the LBA's central working committee in Leh town, the LBA removed him and replaced him with its Senior Vice President P.T. Kunzang.
"The news of the FIR lodged against Tsewang Thinles in an alleged criminal molestation has come as an extreme shock to the Buddhist community of Ladakh.
"The LBA dissociates itself from Tsewang Thinles henceforth and his membership of the general council of the LBA is also declared void," the LBA said in a statement.

Fri, 05 Jul 2019 11:15:56 +0530
J K border residents get

Jammu: Union Minister of State in PMO Jitendra Singh on Sunday distributed free DD dish TV set top boxes among people residing near the International Border in Jammu and Kashmir's Kathua district.
Singh distributed a total of 90 set top boxes at a function in Hiranagar area, a statement said. The beneficiaries were from Kathua, Samba and Jammu districts.
The function commenced with the telecast of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's radio programme "Man Ki Baat" at 11 a.m.
"Singh said through these set top boxes, authentic information will be disseminated to the border residents, where connectivity has always remained an issue. The step will also go a long way in expanding Doordarshan's terrestrial TV coverage," the statement said.
Singh said other important border issues have also been discussed in the Parliament, adding that 3 per cent reservation for residents living near the International Border at par with residents living at the Line of Control (LoC) was a historic step taken by the Central government.
Singh also handed an appointment letter to the widow of martyred Rifleman Jaggi.

Fri, 05 Jul 2019 11:12:04 +0530
J K Governor attends Pra

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik on Monday attended the 'Pratham Puja' at the Amarnath Cave shrine on the first day of this year's 45-day long Amarnath Yatra.
Malik heads the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) that manages the affairs of the Yatra with the assistance of the state and central governments.
SASB sources said Malik paid obeisance at the shrine and prayed for sustained peace, harmony, progress and prosperity of the state.
Umang Narula, CEO of the shrine board, accompanied the Governor.
"The Governor reviewed the arrangements made for the Yatris at the base camps and conveyed the Board's thanks to the state government, Army, state police, central armed police forces and other agencies for their support and cooperation.
"He stressed the need for effective supervision and round the clock monitoring by the camp directors and other functionaries involved in the management of the Yatra for ensuring smooth conduct of the pilgrimage," he said.
The Governor lauded the people of Kashmir for making this annual pilgrimage a successful event ever since it is being observed, said Narula.
He appreciated the support of locals in the conduct of this Yatra and described their role in this Yatra as a 'true essence of Kashmiriyat which is exemplary for its communal harmony".
The CEO of the Shrine Board has appealed to intending Yatris to embark on the pilgrimage only after getting medically checked and obtaining a valid Yatra Permit, he said.
He urged the pilgrims to come prepared as the temperature may fall to 2- 5 degree Celsius, sources said.

Fri, 05 Jul 2019 11:10:58 +0530
Haryana to construct silo

Chandigarh: Haryana on Thursday announced construction of silos having a capacity of six lakh metric tonnes under the Warehouse Infrastructure Fund of the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) for providing sufficient storage facilities for food grains.
For this, a Rs 200-crore proposal would be sent to NABARD, a government statement said.
A decision in this regard was taken at a meeting presided over by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar here to review the progress of the projects being undertaken with the assistance of NABARD.
Khattar said the state has purchased several crops under the minimum support price. These included wheat, rice, bajra, sarson (mustard) and sunflower.
The Chief Minister directed officials that priority for funding under NABARD should be given to those projects that are related to water conservation and irrigation.
The government recently launched the "Jal Hi Jeevan Hai" scheme to encourage the farmers to shift from the water guzzling crops like paddy and adopt alternative crops such as maize which require comparatively less water.
The scheme has got a good response from the farmers as the area under maize sowing has reached 50,000 acres in the state.
The Chief Minister directed the Irrigation and Water Resources Department to explore the possibilities of taking up the project for the rejuvenation and remodelling of 14,000 rural ponds under a NABARD scheme.

Fri, 05 Jul 2019 11:07:56 +0530
People of Shekhawati regi

Jaipur,Renowned industrialist Basant Kumar Birla who breathed his last on Wednesday is being mourned in the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan where he hailed from by people who remember him as a man of words and values.

"B.K. Birla was a man of his words who left a strong business legacy and stories of inspiration. We have learnt a lot from his success stories of doing business which are still being shared by people of Pilani, Jhunjhunu, Sikar and Churu," says Mahesh Choudhary, Chairman, Saraswatii Global Private Limited.

He recalled a phrase which is famous in the Shekhawati region and continues to echo among the walled 'havelis' of the region - "Durgo, Murlo and Taro, Baki Sab Garo" (where Durgo stands for renowned businessman Durgaprasad Roongta, Murlo stands for another industrialist Murlidhar Dalmia and Taro stands for business tycoon Tarachand Sahu).

All three of them were the ones whom 98-year-old Birla trusted the most when they were working with him and hence came the phrase in a local dialect which means these three are the best while the rest are just ordinary, recalls Choudhary, adding that he has grown up hearing this phrase in the Shekhawati region.

"This is one of the most famous phrases in our region which also symbolises the far-reaching vision of Birla. He announced three of them were the best and later all three grew by leaps and bounds in their respective business entities which they formed," he added.

"My father, Sant Kumar Gadia had worked under B.K. Birla in Manju Shree Textiles in Ahmedabad (now closed) where he used to tell his employees that Shekhawati once had nothing but vast spread of sand all around," says Naresh Gadia, a resident of Shekhawati region who heads a division in a private entity in Jaipur.

"Hence people there had to struggle hard to make gold out of sand ("Matti se sona banaya hai Shekhawati ne"). Had they not done it, there was nothing they could have done there, with only sand all around. Hard work can make one convert sand into gold, he often used to say." 

Major industrialists namely G.D. Birla, L.N. Mittal, Goenkas, Singhanias, Bajajs and several others belong to the Shekhawati region who later migrated to different parts of the world.

The Birla family hailed from Pilani in Jhunjhunu district. The son of renowned industrialist G.D. Birla, B.K. Birla established technical institutes like Birla Technical Training Institute (BTTI) and B.K. Birla Institute of Engineering and Technology, Pilani (BKBIET) in Pilani to ensure that students from rural backgrounds get connected to the technical world.



Fri, 05 Jul 2019 10:59:46 +0530
7 school kids injured in

Shimla: At least seven school children were injured when an overcrowded private school bus rolled down a hill in the Himachal Pradesh capital on Monday, police said.
The injured were admitted to the Indira Gandhi Medical College and Hospital here.
The students, belonging to Convent of Jesus and Mary Chelsea, were travelling in Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) bus. The accident occurred in Lower Khalini.
Witnesses told the police that lack of steel barrier and narrow road were mainly responsible for the accident.
Local legislator and Education Minister Suresh Bhardwaj who reached the accident spot, faced protest from locals, who were blaming the government's callousness towards safety of the passengers.
Less than a fortnight ago, 44 passengers lost their lives when a mechanically unfit mini overcrowded bus met with an accident in Kullu district. Thirty-five other passengers received grievous injuries.

Fri, 05 Jul 2019 10:57:04 +0530
Water levels in Bhakra P

Chandigarh: Water levels in the Bhakra and Pong dams in Himachal Pradesh on Monday were found to be sufficiently high compared to last year despite deficient rainfall in the region in June, officials said.
Both the dams cater to the irrigation requirements of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan.
"The water levels in the Bhakra dam's Gobind Sagar reservoir and the Pong dam reservoir stood at 1,604.76 feet and 1,327.63 feet, respectively, as on today," an official of the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB), which manages both the dams built on the Punjab-Himachal border, told IANS.
In the corresponding period of last year, the water level in Bhakra dam stood at 1,493.37 feet while in Pong dam it was 1,283.48 feet, the official added.
This means that the water levels in Bhakra dam was 98 feet below the maximum capacity, while it was 66 feet less than the upper limit in the Pong dam reservoir.
Official data said the maximum storage capacity is 1,702 feet for the Bhakra dam, and 1,393 feet for the Pong dam reservoir.
Officials have cited sufficient snowfall and rainfall in Himachal Pradesh during the winter as the main reasons for high water levels in both the dams.
The weather office in Shimla said that there was a deficit of 46 per cent in pre-monsoon rainfall in June in Himachal Pradesh.
"Pre-monsoon rains in all the 12 districts of the state remained deficit," the state's Met office Director Manmohan Singh told IANS.
The monsoon is likely to hit the region on July 4-5, a delay of almost 10 days, he added.
While the Bhakra dam is built on the Sutlej river, the Pong dam is on the Beas river.

Fri, 05 Jul 2019 10:55:41 +0530
Himachal launches anti dr

Shimla: In a bid to crack down on the drug menace in Himachal Pradesh, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on Sunday launched a mobile app called 'Drug-Free Himachal' and a toll-free helpline number 1908 for rehabilitation of drug addicts.
"Anyone can register a complaint against a drug peddler through the 'Drug-Free Himachal' app," a government spokesperson told IANS.
The Chief Minister said his government was committed to making Himachal Pradesh a drug-free state by ensuring effective law enforcement.
Thakur said a major part of the state's anti-drug strategy focused on certain drugs originally derived from plant sources such as cannabis and opium and added that his government had taken stringent steps against cultivation of these plants in the state.

Fri, 05 Jul 2019 10:53:20 +0530
Shah performs aarti at Ja

Ahmedabad: Union Home Minister Amit Shah, along with his wife Sonal Shah, performed the 'Mangala Aarti' on Thursday morning at the historic Jagannath Temple here, to kick-start the annual Gujarat Jagannath Rath Yatra that coincides with the Puri festival.
Shah, who continues as the national Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President, was on his first visit to home state Gujarat after being inducted in the Union Council of Ministers. He inaugurated several projects on Wednesday.
Coinciding with the historic rath yatra in Puri, the 142nd Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra began in the wee hours of Thursday.
The nine-day annual chariot festival began amid heavy security in various localities of the walled city in old Ahmedabad. Beginning from the historic 450-year-old Lord Jagannath Temple in Jamalpur area, the procession would pass through the city.
The Jagannath Rath Yatra in Ahmedabad is among the three largest similar rath yatras which include the ratha yatra in Puri, Odisha.

Fri, 05 Jul 2019 10:45:53 +0530
Gujarat FM presents highe

Gandhinagar: Gujarat Finance Minister Nitin Patel on Tuesday presented Rs 2,04,815 crore budget - the state's highest-ever - for 2019-20, with an overall surplus of Rs 572 crore and additional taxes to the tune of Rs 287 crore.
Presenting his seventh budget, Patel called it a "historical moment as the first time since the formation of the state, a budget size of over Rs two lakh crore is being presented in this house".
The state government had adopted a vote-on-account earlier in February ahead of the Lok Sabha elections with gross surplus estimates of Rs 12,241 crore without any new tax proposals.
In the modified budget on Tuesday, the Finance Minister estimated revenue receipts of Rs 1,54,732 crore as against the revenue expenditure of Rs 1,51,858 crore for 2019-20. Capital receipts are estimated at Rs 43,215 crore and capital expenditure, including loan and advances, is estimated at Rs 51,004 crore.
In his speech, Patel said that the Budget had laid stress on five sectors - water management, green and clean energy, environment, agriculture and farmer welfare, and employment.
He said the government was committed to spend about Rs 20,000 crore over the next three years to ensure that no household in Gujarat was left without tapped drinking water. In the renewable energy sector, there are plans to increase the installed capacity to 30,000 megawatt (MW) by 2022 from 8,885 MW at present.
With a view to encouraging roof-top solar power generation, subsidy has been announced at 40 per cent for up to 3 KW systems and 20 per cent for capacity in the range of 3-10 KW. He said the aim was to cover 2 lakh families under roof-top solar projects, while currently about 50,000 families use this facility.
The Finance Minister gave an undertaking that all 1.25 lakh pending requests for agricultural power connections would be met during the next one year.
He stated that subsidies worth Rs 1,131 crore had already been disbursed as first two installments to 28 lakh farmers under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Yojana.
Patel told the House that the state's economy had clocked "an impressive growth of 10 per cent (at constant rates) during the last six years, which is the highest among the major states of the country. Keeping the pace of high growth rate, the economy of the state has achieved 11.2 per cent growth rate in the year 2017-18".
He also proposed to increase the electricity duty on industrial units consuming captive power as well as hike the stamp duty, which was charged at fixed rates on the instruments. Those with ad-valorem charges were left unchanged.

Fri, 05 Jul 2019 10:44:28 +0530
Court rejects Congress pl

Ahmedabad: The Gujarat High Court on Tuesday dismissed a writ petition filed by the Congress seeking a directive to disqualify rebel legislator Alpesh Thakor, who had quit in the run-up to the April-May Lok Sabha elections, and ruled that the decision was better left to the Assembly Speaker.
The Congress, through its chief whip in the Assembly Ashwin Kotwal, had filed the petition seeking a directive from the court to Speaker Rajendra Trivedi to decide on its April 25 submission to disqualify the maverick MLA, who had resigned from all posts of the party on April 10.
Setting aside the petition, a division bench of Justice S.R. Brahmbhatt and Justice A.P. Thaker ruled that since the Speaker was seized of the matter and aware of the situation, there was no need for any interference from the court.
To the Congress' submission that the High Court direct the Speaker to take a decision on the party's representation to disqualify Thakor in a certain time frame, the division bench observed that it could not give such instructions to the Speaker.
The Opposition party had also sought a direction that Thakor, an MLA from Radhanpur from North Gujarat, be restrained from functioning as a legislator till the Speaker decided on his disqualification. The court rejected this also.
Besides the monsoon session of the State Assembly which began on Tuesday, the Congress had in mind the July 5 Rajya Sabha elections to two seats, vacated by Union ministers Amit Shah and Smriti Irani after they were elected to the Lok Sabha. The party was aiming to prevent Thakor from possibly cross-voting against its candidates.
Thakor had earlier filed an affidavit in the case that he had only resigned from all posts of the Congress and not as its primary member, and so could not be disqualified as an MLA. He had also challenged the party to produce his letter quitting from the party.
In the meantime, the Congress has issued a whip to all its legislators, including Alpesh Thakor, to vote in favour of the party's two candidates in the Rajya Sabha elections slated to take place on July 5.
Since polling for both the seats would be held separately as decided by the Election Commission, the Congress would in any case lose both the seats as all MLAs would exercise their first preference votes twice.
The BJP, with its numerical strength of 100, as against 71 of the Congress, would thus win both seats. If the polls were held together, as the Congress had demanded before the Election Commission and later the Supreme Court, it would have won one seat and the ruling party one.

Fri, 05 Jul 2019 10:43:04 +0530
Goa taxi war No breakthr

Panaji:  Chief Minister Pramod Sawant's efforts to bring together Goa's warring private taxi operators and the promoters of Goamiles, a government-endorsed app-based cab aggregator service, proved inconclusive after the private taxi owners' associations demanded that Goamiles should completely stop operations in the coastal state.
Private taxi operators, some of whom have been accused of heckling and in some cases assaulting Goamiles taxi drivers in the recent past, have demanded that the Chief Minister should immediately ban the cab aggregator service from picking up passengers at key entry points in the state like airports, railway and bus stations.
"We had a discussions between the two groups of taxi operators. The private taxi operators insist that Goamiles services should stop. However, I have conveyed to them that the service is of benefit to the state and will not be halted," Sawant told reporters after the meeting at the state Secretariat.
Goa's private taxi associations have been at loggerheads with Goamiles, an aggregator service outsourced by the tourism corporation to a Pune-based company, accusing the latter of encroaching on their livelihood.
In the last one year, more than a dozen FIRs have been filed by Goamiles taxi drivers, accusing private taxi operators of assault and giving threats. Goa's travel and tourism industry stakeholders have warned that if the dispute is not resolved before the state's tourism season begins in October, it would have an impact on tourism arrival figures this year.
There are around 30,000 privately-owned taxis operating in Goa, whose promoters have now subtly hinted at protests when the monsoon session of the Goa legislative Assembly gets underway on July 15.
"There was no assurance from the Chief Minister about the demands to scrap Goamiles. We are completely opposed to this app-based cab aggregator service as it infringes on our livelihood.
"We have demanded that the service be stopped before the Assembly sessions begin or we will have to resort to other options," Chetan Kamat, President of the All Goa Taxi Owners Association told reporters after his meeting with Sawant, along with other members of the delegation.

Fri, 05 Jul 2019 10:40:35 +0530
Online petition demands f

Panaji: Friends of a former Goa AAP leader who was sexually harassed on social media on Monday started an online campaign urging Chief Minister Pramod Sawant to fast-track investigations and judicial proceedings against the accused Estonio Almeida.
While Almeida was not available for comment, the online campaign argues that fast justice in the case would result in a safe environment for women in Goa.
"This petition is directed towards the Chief Minister and Home Minister of Goa, and the Inspector General. Our demand is for fast tracking the proceeding against Estonio Almeida, so that justice is delivered," the petition reads.
The petition which has been shared by the victim, Cecille Rodrigues, a single mother and celebrity dancer based in Goa, also said that more than 100 women have come forward to share stories about online harassment by Almeida.
"As of now, there are at least a 100 women who have come forward, sharing their stories of how they were allegedly stalked and harassed by Estonio with lewd messages and or incessant calls. We know there are many more," the petition said.
Last week, Rodrigues' video sharing her tale of alleged harassment went viral and her complaint was subsequently filed as a First Information Report at the Panaji women's police station under sections 354 A (sexual harassment) and 509 (outraging modesty) of the Indian Penal Code.
Almeida did not respond to calls or messages when contacted for a response.

Fri, 05 Jul 2019 10:39:25 +0530
Goa Congress helpless a

Panaji: A senior Goa Congress MLA on Tuesday said they were helpless in the face of the recent resignation of state President Girish Chodankar.
Chodankar last week joined the spate of Congress officials who resigned from their posts, taking a cue from the party's national President Rahul Gandhi after a poor performance in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections.
Speaking to reporters here, former Chief Minister and Congress MLA Pratapsingh Rane said that he was unaware whether Chodankar's resignation on June 28 had been accepted by the Congress high command.
"He has resigned. But whether it is accepted or not I am not aware," Rane told reporters after a meeting of the Congress legislative party.
When asked when a new state President would be appointed in place of Chodankar, Rane said: "Our (national) President has also resigned, so who is going to appoint whom."

Fri, 05 Jul 2019 10:36:49 +0530
Tejashwi will not resign

Patna: The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) on Thursday made it clear that party leader Tejashwi Yadav will not give in to demands for his resignation and will continue as the Leader of Opposition in the Bihar Assembly.
The RJD's assertion came as Yadav finally made an appearance in the state Assembly after failing to attend the ongoing Monsoon Session for four consecutive days till Wednesday. On Saturday, the cricketer-turned-politician had clarified on Twitter that he had been undergoing treatment.
Following the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) Lok Sabha elections debacle and Yadav's long absence from the state thereafter demands have been growing for his resignation.
Leaders of other parties as well as ally Congress in the Assembly want Yadav to follow in the footsteps of their party chief Rahul Gandhi who stepped down from his post taking responsibility for his party's defeat in the Lok Sabha polls.
RJD spokesperson Bhai Virendra said: "Tejashwi is not a leader who will leave the responsibility of leading the opposition midway."
He was replying to Congress legislator Rajesh Kumar who said Yadav should learn from Gandhi and make way for a change in the leadership in order to strengthen the Grand Alliance in Bihar. "If Tejashwi resigns, all party legislators will resign along with him," Virendra said.
On Wednesday, Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) MP Chirag Paswan had demanded Yadav's resignation as the Leader of Opposition alleging the younger son of RJD chief Lalu Prasad was not performing his duties.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Sanjay Maunkh also demanded Yadav's resignation on moral grounds taking responsibility for the defeat of RJD-led Grand Alliance in the Lok Sabha polls. 

Fri, 05 Jul 2019 10:33:07 +0530
Bihar to SC Despite staf

New Delhi: The Bihar government on Tuesday informed the Supreme Court it is grappling with 43% shortage of doctors and nearly 70% shortage of nurses and ANMs together, yet it has waged a battle against acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) to protect and save human lives.
The government in an affidavit, filed in response to the apex court notice on state of health system to address AES deaths, accepted that overall human resources available in health system is not as per standard norms, and that the health department is taking steps to recruit medical officer, para-medicals and other technical support.
The government admitted 43% shortage of doctors and 70% together for nurses and ANMs in the state.
The government told the apex court that treatment of AES is free under Ayushman Bharat PMJAY scheme. The government has also issued detailed guidelines on AES especially in the litchi growing and established seven pediatric ICUs, having 10 beds, at six major hospitals in the affected districts.
Last week the top court sought reply from the Bihar government about the steps taken to prevent the recent deaths of children due to AES. The government said it has taken all possible steps to prevent and cure the diseases and also initiated measures to contain its spread.
Additional Director, Health Department, in an affidavit submitted in the apex court, said "He is fully aware of and quite conscious of recurrent resurfacing of the AES cases in Bihar", and that the government has been continuously taking steps and waging a battle against the dreaded AES disease in order to protect and save precious human lives.
The government in cooperation with AIIMS and other agencies has provided all medical facilities to treat the affected children, and the fatality arising out of the disease has been reduced.
Elaborating on the steps taken, the officer said the government has provided additional medical facilities in the affected region, and increased public awareness at the village level.
The officer informed the court that due to change in weather conditions, there is substantial reduction in reported cases of AES in the state.
According to the status report of the government 824 cases have been reported and 157 lives have been lost to the disease. The government claims that 604 cases of AES have been reported to date.
In 2012, the government had formulated a Standard Operating Procedure for treatment of AES, and it has been revised in 2018 according to the feedback and suggestions of the physicians involved in the treatment of the disease.
The government also submitted an AES Gap Assessment Monitoring format with reports. "The government has ensured availability of essential equipment and drugs at 222 primary health centres of 12 endemic for AES district", said the affidavit.
The court's response came on a PIL filed over the outbreak of AES, which claimed the lives of more than 140 children in Bihar's Muzaffarpur district. A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and B.R. Gavai had said: "This PIL raises a matter of grave concern about nutrition, sanitisation and hygiene."
The court observed that the deaths due to the outbreak raise questions on the availability of medicines along with the public policy in place to counter the current scenario.
The court noted that all the victims were children therefore. Issuing the notice, the court asked the parties to file an affidavit within seven days.
The plea filed by two advocates, Manohar Pratap and Sanpreet Singh Ajmani, contended that the state and Central governments should work in tandem to immediately arrange 500 ICUs (intensive care units) with required medical professionals to deal with the situation.

Fri, 05 Jul 2019 10:30:59 +0530
Bihar opposition protests

Patna: Members of the opposition staged a protest over the death of 154 children in Bihar due to AES on the second day of the monsoon session of the state Assembly on Monday, and demanded the resignation of state Health Minister Mangal Pandey.
Opposition RJD, Congress and CPI (ML) members protested over the children's deaths due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) and demanded a discussion on the issue which was allowed by House Speaker Vijay Kumar Choudhary.
They also demanded compensation to the families of the labourers from Katihar district who were killed in Pune after a wall collapsed.
With placards in their hands, the opposition members shouted slogans. Former Chief Minister and Leader of Opposition in the Bihar Legislative Council Rabri Devi also demanded the resignation of Pandey.
Rabri said that a murder case should be lodged and an investigation should be conducted into poverty and malnourishment that caused the deaths of the children from AES in Muzaffarpur district and other areas.
Meanwhile, Bihar opposition leader Tejashwi Yadav, who was missing for a month from public life, arrived in Patna on Monday and is likely to attend the ongoing session of the state Assembly. 

Fri, 05 Jul 2019 10:30:02 +0530
Two move SC against Assam

New Delhi:  As the July 31 deadline for publication of the final Assam National Register of Citizens (NRC) draws closer, two people from the state have moved the Supreme Court challenging the ex-parte order handed out by foreigners' tribunals.
Assam, which has seen widespread migration since the early 20th century including from areas which now form Bangladesh, is also the only state to have an NRC, first prepared in 1951.
In the first case, Azizul Hoque, through advocate Anas Tanwir, moved the apex court against the tribunal order, which declared him a foreigner. Hoque, who is paralysed below the waist, contended that he has been languishing in detention since March 2017, on the basis of an ex-parte order declaring him to be a foreigner.
"It is submitted that the (Gauhati) High Court dismissed the petition by the petitioner (Hoque) despite accepting the medical certificate, certifying him to be suffering from lower limb paralysis, and his name, along with his other family members, appears in the draft NRC," said Hoque's petition.
The citizenship has been revoked, as he could not appear in person and also could not arrange a representation before the tribunal, he contended.
"Due to lower limb paralysis, he could not appear before the tribunal. As a consequence, it passed an ex-parte order declaring him a foreigner," said Tanwir.
The Supreme Court issued notice to the Centre and the state authorities concerned in the matter.
In the second case, Aleha Khatoon, through advocate Adil Ahmed, moved the apex court on Tuesday challenging the Gauhati High Court order which upheld the foreigners' tribunal order declaring her a foreigner.
Her counsel contended that being illiterate, she had developed some misunderstanding with the lawyer in connection with the listing of her matter at the tribunal, and could not appear on the scheduled date. "Her name appears in the draft NRC. A family tree showing her lineage with her parents, and siblings and her marriage with an Indian citizens was produced before the authorities concerned. Still, she was declared a foreigner," Adil argued.
In February 2018, the foreigners' tribunal held that Aleha is a foreigner of the stream post March 25, 1971, as she neither appeared nor filed any written statement. Thus, she failed to discharge the mandatory burden of proving her identify, and later, she was termed as a foreigner.
"In May 2018, she filed a petition in the tribunal in support of her claim, but her plea was turned down. In September 2018, she moved the Gauhati High Court, but could not get any relief," added Adil.
The apex court, after hearing the arguments, stayed the High Court order, and issued notice to the Centre and authorities concerned.
The draft Assam NRC was published on July 30, 2018 in which the names of 2.89 crore of the 3.29 crore people were included. The names of 40,70,707 people were not on the list. Of these, 37,59,630 names have been rejected and the remaining 2,48,077 are on hold.

Fri, 05 Jul 2019 10:25:52 +0530
Central team rushed to As

Guwahati: The Union Health Ministry has sent a team to Assam after 21 people died across the state due to Japanese Encephalitis, an official said on Monday
The Central team, headed by Additional Secretary Sanjeeva Kumar and senior officers from the National Vector Borne Diseases Control Programme, is reviewing the situation.
"A total of 69 cases of JE are reported out of which 21 deaths have taken place in past three months.
"Most of the JE cases have taken places in Upper Assam districts. The overall situation is under control but we are monitoring the situation for two crucial months, July and August, which are still left," Sanjeeva Kumar said.
Noting that the child vaccine programme has gone up by 18 per cent, he said that there is a need to boost the adult vaccine programme too.

Fri, 05 Jul 2019 10:24:05 +0530
Sonowal flags off histor

Guwahati: The first-ever flight under the International UDAN programme, between Guwahati and Dhaka, was flagged off from the Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport here on Monday by Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal
Termed the day "historic", Sonowal also said that after this, the government is now looking to connect all the capitals of ASEAN, as well as Nepal and Bhutan with Guwahati.
"Under the guidance of Prime Minster Narendra Modi, we are transforming Assam in all spheres where he has emphasised on 'Act East' Policy," he said adding that direct flight connectivity between Guwahati-Dhaka will not only connect them by air, but also pave way for cultural, social, economic, educational bonding between India and Bangladesh.
Bangladesh's Assistant High Commissioner in Guwahati, Shah Mohammad Tanvir Monsur, said this new flight would be a decisive step in the history of connectivity between India's northeast and his country.
"Before Partition in 1947, Bangladesh and Assam were part of the same region. Every day, 4,000 (Bangladeshi) patients come to India for treatment, but they go to Kolkata, Mumbai and Delhi. Now, the traders, students and patients can come to Guwahati and other northeastern states easily," he said.
The Guwahati-Dhaka daily direct flight is being operated by private carrier SpiceJet.
The Bombardier Q400 aircraft will depart Guwahati at 11.55 p.m. while it will leave Dhaka at 2 p.m. every day, an Airport Authority of India (AAI) official said.
"We are transforming this region through transportation and aviation is one big sector which has immense potential to grow and benefit the society. The state government will fund the airline about Rs 100 crore as viability gap for operating flights under International Air Connectivity Scheme (IACS)," he added.
State Commerce and Industry Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary said that under the Act East policy, the government is trying to connect all Southeast Asian countries in all possible ways, and after Dhaka, Guwahati will be connected to Bangkok and five more international destinations.
He also said that the AAI should built a new airport at Silchar as the state's second international airport.
SpiceJet's Chief Marketing Officer Debojo Maharshi said: "With the introduction of the flight between Guwahati and Dhaka, international air travel would be much more affordable and convenient for Indians from the northeastern region.
He also said that with the launch of the new flight between Guwahati and Dhaka, SpiceJet will operate two flights under IACS - the Guwahati-Bangkok service is expected to begin soon - besides operating a total of 43 flights connecting 24 cities under UDAN. "This is the highest number of flights being operated by any Indian airline under UDAN or the regional connectivity scheme."
Meanwhile, Tripura's Bharatiya Janata Party-led government has also been demanding flights between Agartala and Dhaka and other cities in Bangladesh.
"Flights between the northeastern states and important cities of Bangladesh will promote trade and tourism," Tripura Transport and Tourism Minister Pranjit Singha Roy told IANS in Agartala. 

Fri, 05 Jul 2019 10:20:24 +0530
Rahul appears before Mumb

Mumbai:  Rahul Gandhi  and Sitaram Yechury appeared before a Mumbai Court today and pleaded that he is not guilty in a defamation case filed in September 2017 by Dhrutiman Joshi for linking with Gauri Lankesh's murder with BJP-RSS ideology. He has been released  on Rs.15,000  amount of surety.



Thu, 04 Jul 2019 13:18:07 +0530
Few have courage like you

New Delhi, A day after Congress President Rahul Gandhi stepped down from the party post issuing his resignation on a public platform owning responsibility for the party's national election debacle, his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra tweeted: "Few have the courage that you do".

Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday posted a long letter on Twitter conveying his decision and asserting that he had resigned as "accountability is critical" for the future growth of the party.

"Few have the courage that you do @rahulgandhi. Deepest respect for your decision," tweeted Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi, and re-tweeted her brother's post.

In his letter on Wednesday, Rahul Gandhi had said: "It is a habit in India that the powerful cling to power, no one sacrifices power. But we will not defeat our opponents without sacrificing the desire for power and fighting a deeper ideological battle."

Rahul Gandhi had first told the Congress Working Committee about his decision to quit on May 25, just days after the national election verdict that delivered a straight rout for the party a second time against Prime Minister Narendra Modi's BJP.

As party chief his defeat in Amethi in Uttar Pradesh, that reduced the party to just one out of the 80 seats in the state, also hit hard.


Thu, 04 Jul 2019 10:35:55 +0530
Same sex marriage in Vara

Varanasi, July 4 (IANS) In a bold step, two cousin sisters here in Uttar Pradesh married each other against the wishes of their families. The girls then posted a photograph of their ‘marriage on the social media which sent shock waves in the holy city.

This is probably the first same sex marriage in Varanasi.

The girls, residents of Rohaniya, reached a Shiva temple on Wednesday and asked the priest to perform their marriage. The priest refused but the girls kept sitting inside the temple till he relented.

The girls, clad in jeans and t-shirts, wore a ‘red chunni' and got married. By the time the marriage was solemnized, a huge crowd had gathered at the temple. The girls left before any untoward incident could take place.

Some people criticized the priest for solemnizing the marriage. The priest later told reporters that one of the girls belongs to Kanpur and was staying with her cousin here to pursue studies.


Thu, 04 Jul 2019 10:30:01 +0530
Ashok Chvan quits

Mumbai: Ashok Chavan resigned as Chief of Maharashtra Congress Committee. Balasheb Thorat and Prithviraj Chavan are front- runners for the post.

Wed, 03 Jul 2019 17:03:08 +0530
I m no longer President

New Delhi, Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday declared that he was no longer the party chief and asked party leaders to pick his successor without delay.

Speaking to reporters in Parliament, Gandhi said: "I have already submitted my resignation and I am no longer the party chief."

He said: "The Congress Working Committee should convene a meeting at the earliest and decide on a new party chief."

Gandhi offered to resign after the Congress won just 52 of the 542 Lok Sabha seats.

Although party leaders have been telling him to continue in the post, Gandhi is determined to step down, throwing the party into a major crisis.



Wed, 03 Jul 2019 16:08:59 +0530
State government personal

Amaravati: Andhra Pradesh's leader of opposition N. Chandrababu Naidu on Tuesday alleged that YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) government is personally targeting him.
The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) president said from the manner in which the government was functioning, it appears that he is the only the problem for the government.
The former chief minister was interacting with party workers in his Kuppam constituency in Chittoor district. This was his first visit to his constituency since losing power to YSRCP in May. He thanked people for electing him to the Assembly for another term.
Naidu said the government's entire focus appeared to be on his house and on scaling down his security instead of solving people's problems. He was referring to the notice served for demolition of the house he was living in Amaravati on the banks of the Krishna river.
"The government itself does not know why it demolished Praja Vedika," Naidu said referring to demolition of the meeting hall built during his rule close to his house in Amaravati.
The structure was dismantled last week on the direction of Chief Minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, who alleged that it was built in violation of all laws. He also claimed that Naidu was living in an illegal house.
The TDP chief said Jagan Reddy had got 30 internal probes involving him, and that when nothing was found the chief minister vent his anger at the ministers. Naidu voiced concern over continuing attacks on TDP cadres by the ruling party. Stating that six TDP workers had lost their lives in the attacks so far, he assured the cadres that he would stand by them.


Wed, 03 Jul 2019 14:43:01 +0530
Youth held for objectiona

Amaravati: The Andhra Pradesh Police arrested a youth for posting objectionable content about state Home Minister M. Sucharita on Facebook. The youth, identified as Ramu, was arrested by the Guntur town police after a citizen lodged a complaint against him.
According to the police, one Ashok Kumar had lodged a complaint over a disrespectful and obscene post on Facebook about the Home Minister. The post about her was made from the account of one Ram Maharaj.
The police registered a case and identified the accused from his IP address. The youth, a native of Visakhapatnam district, has been arrested.


Wed, 03 Jul 2019 14:41:48 +0530
Naidu moves HC against sc

Amaravati:  Former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu has moved the state high court against the state government scaling down his security.
The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) President filed a petition, challenging the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) government's move to reduce his security cover in phases over the last one month and sought orders to the government to restore it, considering the threat perception.
The government last week reduced the security cover of Naidu, now the Leader of Opposition, by withdrawing the team comprising an Additional Superintendent of Police, a Deputy Superintendent of Police and three reserve Inspectors. He was instead provided two constables in three shifts.
Earlier, the government withdrew the escort and police vehicle from Naidu's convoy. It also withdrew security of Naidu's family members.
The TDP, which lost power to the YSRCP in May, has termed the government's action as vindictive. The ruling party, however, denied the allegation.
Naidu, who had survived an assassination attempt by Maoists in 2003, enjoys Z plus category security, comprising commandos of the elite National Security Guards (NSG).


Wed, 03 Jul 2019 14:39:13 +0530
2 killed 25 missing in Ma

Ratnagiri (Maharashtra),At least two persons were killed and another 25 missing after a small dam burst near Alore-Shirgaon village late on Tuesday, officials said here on Wednesday.

According to police, the Tivare Dam which had started overflowing around 8 p.m. following heavy rain, reportedly breached soon after.

As the water gushed out in a flood-like situation, at least seven villages downstream were inundated, a dozen homes washed away and around two dozen people have been reported missing.

So far, the police have recovered two bodies from the water and a search is on for the remaining still untraced.

Teams of the fire brigade and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) from Pune and Sindhudurg, besides volunteers from nearby areas, have launched rescue operations on war footing. Top civic and police officials have rushed to the disaster spot.

The dam was built in 2000 and people in the area claim they had informed the district authorities of its leakage two years back but no repairs were carried out.

Large parts of Maharashtra have been battered with heavy rain in the past five days, and on Tuesday at least 40 people were killed in rain-related incidents across the state.


Wed, 03 Jul 2019 09:30:50 +0530
RSS to set up shakhas i

 In order to consolidate its footprints on a pan-India basis, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has decided to set up more ‘shakhas in the southern states and, most importantly, in Jammu and Kashmir.

The ongoing meeting of the RSS in Jhansi has decided to penetrate into the territories where it does not have a strong presence.

Apparently preparing for the upcoming Assembly elections as well as the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, the RSS will increase its activities in southern states such as Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and even Kerala.

"We will be holding ‘shakhas' in these states to enlist popular support. We want to reach out to the non-Hindi speaking population and clear misconceptions, if any, about the RSS. We are determined to break the language barrier and use our volunteers in these states to increase the number of ‘shakhas'," said a senior RSS functionary.

The Sangh wants to prepare the ground for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in states where it has not yet been able to form government and establish its political presence. 

Interestingly, Kashmir figures prominently on the RSS wish list even though the Valley has minimal Hindu population.

"It is not about Hindus, it is about nationalism. We want to reach out to the local Kashmiri population and tell them that they belong to us. Nationalism is bigger than any religion and we will use this concept to connect with the youth in particular," the functionary said.

He said that the RSS was hopeful that it would succeed in building bridges in Kashmir and "clear the cobwebs that have grown in the past decades".

In the five-day meeting in Jhansi, which is being held at the S.R. Engineering College amidst tight security, Sangh leaders have also decided to lay greater focus on nationalism and cultural unity than on religious issues which could prove to be contentious in the prevailing situation.

The RSS has recently seen that the Narendra Modi-led government made a successful comeback by putting nationalism above religion in the recently concluded general elections. 

Tue, 02 Jul 2019 19:51:22 +0530
Order on bail plea of Ker

Mumbai/Thiruvananthapuram,  A court in Mumbai on Tuesday deferred - for the fourth time - its order on the anticipatory bail plea filed by Kerala CPI-M leader Kodiyeri Balakrishnan's son Binoy Kodiyeri in a rape case against him and posted the case for Wednesday.

A 33-year-old Mumbai-based woman, who hails from Bihar, has alleged that Kodiyeri sexually exploited her for several years on the promise of marriage, according to the FIR filed at the Oshiwara police station in Mumbai's Andheri. She also claims they also have a child

On Tuesday, the Dindoshi court gave a patient hearing to both sides, with each defending their stand and terming each other's evidences as false and bogus. Kodiyeri's counsel also argued that there was no need for a DNA test to be conducted.

After the arguments in the case got over, the court posted the case for final orders for Wednesday.

The victim registered the complaint on June 13 after she came to know that Kodiyeri was already married and this issue was again highlighted by her counsel on Tuesday.

According to her complaint, she entered into a relationship with Kodiyeri while working at a dance bar in Dubai in 2008 and now has an eight-year-old child with him. She said that till 2015, he even used to send her money every month, for which she has already produced documentary evidence.

A team of Mumbai Police officials, after visiting Kannur and Thiruvananthapuram in search of Kodiyeri, had to return empty-handed and for a week now, there has been no trace of him.

The national and state leadership of the CPI-M including the accused's father have washed their hands off the matter saying since Kodiyeri is not a party member, the party has nothing to do with this and he alone should handle it.


Tue, 02 Jul 2019 19:42:31 +0530
33 killed in Maharashtra

Mumbai, July 2 (IANS) At least 33 people have been killed in various rain-related incidents including wall crashes in Mumbai, Thane and Pune, and over 75 injured, on Tuesday as rains mayhem continued in large parts of Maharashtra.

As a precautionary measure, the state government declared a public holiday for Mumbai.

According to officials, the compound wall of a school in Pimpripada in Malad suburb collapsed on some adjoining hutments around 1 a.m. in which the toll went up to 19 from the previous 13.

National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Mumbai Fire Brigade and other agencies were engaged in massive rescue operations to rescue those trapped in the rubble.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis told the state assembly that at least 75 people were injured in the incident as Mumbai received the highest 24-hour rainfall in July since 1974.

Earlier on Tuesday, the compound wall of the Sinhagad College in Pune crashed on some hutments beside, killing at least seven persons, and NDRF teams were at the site to retrieve those still feared trapped in the debris.

Source: IANS

Two persons who were trapped inside a SUV in the flooded Malad subway since last night were found dead on Tuesday.

In the adjoining Thane district, three persons were killed when the boundary wall of National Urdu School crashed in Kalyan town and several more were injured. Besides, two persons were washed away in flood waters in an overflowing river in Jawahar.

The Indian Navy's team of divers from INS Tanaji deployed rubber boats, life-jackets, lifebouys and rescued over 1,000 people stranded in Krantinagar slums in Kurla, north-east Mumbai.

Many parts of Mumbai and suburbs, as well as towns in Raigad, Thane and Palghar districts saw people struggling to safety in waist-deep waters, vehicles submerged, several tempos, trucks and heavy stranded on roads adding to traffic snarls.

At least 150 BEST buses in Mumbai were also submerged and stranded at various locations in the city since Tuesday morning.

The IMD has predicted extremely heavy to very heavy rains in parts of coastal Konkan. The Maharashtra government declared a public holiday for Mumbai city and BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Commissioner Pravin Pardeshi ordered all schools and colleges shut for the day.

When parts of Mumbai experienced a lull in rains since noon, thousands of harried people rushed out of their homes to buy stocks of vegetables, fruits, groceries, milk in markets which were charging higher rates.

Tue, 02 Jul 2019 15:47:11 +0530
Nusrat Jahan to attend IS

Kolkata,  Bengali actress-turned Member of Parliament Nusrat Jahan has been invited by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) to its Rath Yatra in Kolkata on July 4. The event coincides with Jahan's wedding reception day.

Accepting the invite on Tuesday, Jahan tweeted: "Thank You @iskconkolkata for the invite. It would be my pleasure to be associated with this inclusive event." The ISKCON said Jahan was showing the way forward to achieving "social harmony".

The actress also retweeted a message by Radharamn Das, the spokesperson of ISKCON Kolkata. "ISKCON Kolkata Rath Yatra is an example of that social harmony where the Lord's chariots are also built by our Muslim brothers. Some of the most beautiful Lords dresses are also made by our Muslim brothers & they are doing it for decades in some of our temples," said the message.

She also shared a video message inviting everyone to be a part of the auspicious event. Thanking the young MP for the gesture, Das wrote: "You are really showing the way forward. Respecting and caring for the belies of others and participating in their festivities and celebrations is a sure way to achieve that elusive social harmony."



Tue, 02 Jul 2019 15:40:45 +0530
CBI raids 50 places acros

New Delhi,  In a major crackdown against bank loan defaulters, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Tuesday searched more than 50 locations in 12 states and Union Territories, officials said.

A CBI official said several teams carried out the raids in 18 cities including the residence and business premises of companies, promoters, directors and bank officials.

The searches started on Tuesday morning.

Source: IANS

Tue, 02 Jul 2019 13:29:55 +0530
Congress workers protest

New Delhi, Hundreds of Congress activists staged a protest at the party headquarters here on Tuesday demanding that Rahul Gandhi should not give up the presidency of the Congress.

The protesters included many who have resigned from their party posts in a show of solidarity with Gandhi.

Joining the protest were Delhi party leaders Rajesh Lilothia, Shobha Oza and Jagdish Tytler.

Lilothia told IANS: "We demand that Rahulji should continue as party chief."

He said the responsibility for the party's defeat in the Lok Sabha elections lay with all party leaders and Gandhi alone could not be blamed.

The protest came a day after Chief Ministers of five Congress-ruled states met Gandhi and requested him to continue as the party President.

Gandhi has offered to step down as the party chief after the Congress won just 52 Lok Sabha seats.

With Gandhi adamant that he won't helm the party any more, names of several leaders are doing the rounds for the party's top post. These include Mallikarjuna Kharge and A.K. Antony.


Tue, 02 Jul 2019 13:21:34 +0530
Amit Shah to visit Gujara

Gandhinagar,  Union Home Minister Amit Shah will be here on a two-day trip from Wednesday, in his first visit to his home state after assuming a cabinet berth in the Narendra Modi government.

Shah, who continues as the BJP President, is expected to land at 2 p.m. at the Ahmedabad airport and is scheduled to inaugurate a slew of government programmes as well as address a convention of party workers from all seven assembly segments coming under his Gandhinagar Lok Sabha seat to thank them for his victory. 

At 4 p.m. he will lead the public dedication of a flyover at the Income Tax Circle in Ahmedabad and subsequently inaugurate various public works like a Talati (land revenue official) office, an auditorium and other developmental schemes of the state government at the Dinesh Hall near the Income Tax Circle.

At 5.30 p.m., Shah has arranged a special felicitation programme at the Gujarat Mineral Development Corporation auditorium to felicitate his party workers of the seven assembly segments of the Gandhinagar Lok Sabha seat. He won by a huge margin of more than 5.5 lakh votes in the April-May Lok Sabha elections.

Giving details of Amit Shah's itinerary, State BJP President Jitu Vaghani said: "This is probably the first of its kind programme, an initiative by the national President, where he has wished to felicitate all the party workers through whom he achieved a huge victory."

Thursday marks the Ashadhi Bij, the day of the Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra in Ahmedabad. As he has been doing for several years, Shah will carry out the ritualistic 'Mangla Aarti' at the Lord Jagannath Temple early Thursday morning, before leaving for New Delhi.

He would leave a day before elections to two Rajya Sabha seats from Gujarat that have fallen vacant after he and Union Minister Smriti Irani won the Lok Sabha polls. The ruling BJP is expected to bag both the seats, for which polling would be held separately.


Tue, 02 Jul 2019 12:43:21 +0530
Sonowal flags off histor

Guwahati,  The first-ever flight under the International UDAN programme, between Guwahati and Dhaka, was flagged off from the Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport here on Monday by Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal

Termed the day "historic", Sonowal also said that after this, the government is now looking to connect all the capitals of ASEAN, as well as Nepal and Bhutan with Guwahati.

"Under the guidance of Prime Minster Narendra Modi, we are transforming Assam in all spheres where he has emphasised on 'Act East' Policy," he said adding that direct flight connectivity between Guwahati-Dhaka will not only connect them by air, but also pave way for cultural, social, economic, educational bonding between India and Bangladesh.

Bangladesh's Assistant High Commissioner in Guwahati, Shah Mohammad Tanvir Monsur, said this new flight would be a decisive step in the history of connectivity between India's northeast and his country.

"Before Partition in 1947, Bangladesh and Assam were part of the same region. Every day, 4,000 (Bangladeshi) patients come to India for treatment, but they go to Kolkata, Mumbai and Delhi. Now, the traders, students and patients can come to Guwahati and other northeastern states easily," he said.

The Guwahati-Dhaka daily direct flight is being operated by private carrier SpiceJet. 

The Bombardier Q400 aircraft will depart Guwahati at 11.55 p.m. while it will leave Dhaka at 2 p.m. every day, an Airport Authority of India (AAI) official said.

"We are transforming this region through transportation and aviation is one big sector which has immense potential to grow and benefit the society. The state government will fund the airline about Rs 100 crore as viability gap for operating flights under International Air Connectivity Scheme (IACS)," he added.

State Commerce and Industry Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary said that under the Act East policy, the government is trying to connect all Southeast Asian countries in all possible ways, and after Dhaka, Guwahati will be connected to Bangkok and five more international destinations. 

He also said that the AAI should built a new airport at Silchar as the state's second international airport.

SpiceJet's Chief Marketing Officer Debojo Maharshi said: "With the introduction of the flight between Guwahati and Dhaka, international air travel would be much more affordable and convenient for Indians from the northeastern region.

He also said that with the launch of the new flight between Guwahati and Dhaka, SpiceJet will operate two flights under IACS - the Guwahati-Bangkok service is expected to begin soon - besides operating a total of 43 flights connecting 24 cities under UDAN. "This is the highest number of flights being operated by any Indian airline under UDAN or the regional connectivity scheme." 

Meanwhile, Tripura's Bharatiya Janata Party-led government has also been demanding flights between Agartala and Dhaka and other cities in Bangladesh. 

"Flights between the northeastern states and important cities of Bangladesh will promote trade and tourism," Tripura Transport and Tourism Minister Pranjit Singha Roy told IANS in Agartala. 



Tue, 02 Jul 2019 12:15:38 +0530
Extradition treaty must

New Delhi,July 2, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu on Monday said that in order to achieve orderly growth, every civilized nation should sign the extradition treaty.

"If you are not signing the treaty, it means you have something to hide," Naidu said while speaking at the platinum jubilee celebrations of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) here on Monday.

Naidu further added that "some times I wonder how the countries are allowing people to park money in their respective countries and take shelter in the pretext that they are governed by secrecy and banking regulation".

At the international level, Naidu said that all countries must speak at one voice in eliminating terror and economic frauds and all nations must come forward to automatically exchange information on black money parked in various countries and also for the speedy extradition of economic fugitives.

Injeti Srinivas, Secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs, who also addressed the gathering, flagged several concerns in the profession. "If you (CAs) don't have strong professional ethics, our dream of becoming a $10 trillion economy cannot be realised," he said.

"Few companies account for the bulk of the auditing in the country... How do you deal with excessive dominance," Srinivas asked.

"There is a question of the independence of an auditor too... How can we make the CAs independent? What sort of audit and non-audit service should you perform? There are several issues," Srinivas added.

Source: IANS

Tue, 02 Jul 2019 11:55:53 +0530
Government launches Jal

New Delhi,  On the lines of the 'Swachh Bharat Abhiyan', the Central government on Monday launched 'Jal Shakti Abhiyan' - a campaign for water conservation and water security, in the wake of an acute water crisis in the country.

Teams of officers from the Central government will visit and work with district administration in 1,592 water-stressed blocks in 256 districts to ensure five important water conservation interventions.

These interventions are water conservation and rainwater harvesting, renovation of traditional and other water bodies, reuse of water and recharging of structures, watershed development, and intensive afforestation.

Scientists, students, NGOs, Panchayati Raj members, and youth groups among others will be mobilised.

After launching the scheme, Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat said the government aims at providing drinking water to every household on priority and in a sustainable manner.

"It will help people to work for rain water harvesting, maintenance and upkeep of ponds and village tanks and conservation of water," he told reporters. 

Shekhawat asked people, NGOs, and youth organisations to actively participate in the scheme.

The campaign will run through citizen participation during the monsoon season from July 1 to September 15. 

An additional phase-two will be run from October 1 to November 30 for states receiving the North East retreating monsoon. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his first 'Mann Ki Baat' of his second term on Sunday had stressed on the need of the hour to conserve water as drought looms large in vast regions of the country.

"There is no one way to conserve water. In different parts, different methods are adopted but the aim is to conserve every drop," Modi had said.

Source: IANS

Tue, 02 Jul 2019 11:50:37 +0530
Man kills wife 2 childre

Gurugram, July 2, A former director of a reputed pharmaceutical company allegedly killed his wife and two children before hanging himself to death at their Sector 49 residence here on Monday, police said.

Prakash Singh (55) killed Sonu Singh (49), daughter Aditi (21) and son Aditya (14) at their residence in Uppal Southend residential colony in Gurugram on Monday morning.

A suicide note recovered from Singh's pocket stated that Singh was "unable to handle his family".

Police said the note had been sent to experts to find out if it was written by Singh, who had been living in Gurgaon for the past eight years. 

Singh's wife ran a private school. Aditi was studying in a college and Aditya in Class 10, the police said.

Police said the neighbours alerted them.

"When we broke open the house, we found Sonu, Aditi and Aditya had injuries caused by a sharp object and a hammer. Singh was found hanging from the ceiling," said a senior police officer.

The two weapons have been recovered.

Prima facie, it appears that Singh killed his family while they were asleep.

Police sources said a family member revealed that Singh was disturbed for the past one year.


Tue, 02 Jul 2019 11:36:47 +0530
Sensex down 85 points Ni

Mumbai, July 2 , Ahead of the Union Budget, the Sensex and Nifty on Tuesday were trading marginally in the red.

Union Budget is scheduled to be tabled on July 5. Analysts said that the Budget will be a key trigger for the markets, ahead of which some caution was being witnessed.

The Sensex was trading 84.57 points or 0.21 per cent down at 39,601.93, while Nifty traded 28.30 points lower at 11,837.30.

The Sensex opened higher at 39,811.68 from its previous close of 39,686.50.

Oil and power companies like Coal India, BPCL, ONGC, NTPC and Power Grid were the top gainers among the Nifty 50 stocks.

Yes Bank, Tata Motors and Sun Pharma were trading lower.

Source: IANS

Tue, 02 Jul 2019 11:22:57 +0530
20 killed in Mumbai Pune

Mumbai: (IANS) At least 13 persons were killed in a wall crash in Malad, north-west Mumbai and another seven perished in a wall collapse in Pune, early on Tuesday as rains continued to wreak havoc in large parts of Maharashtra.

In the wake of the incessant rainfall, the state government has declared July 2 as a public holiday for Mumbai.

According to officials, the compound wall of a school in Pimpripada in Malad suburb, collapsed on some adjoining hutments in which more than 13 people were killed, around 1 am on Tuesday.

Early today, the compound wall of the Sinhagad College in Pune crashed on some hutments beside, killing at least seven persons.

In both the incidents, many more victims are still feared under the rubble and teams of NDRF are at the site for rescue and relief operations.

As the IMD predicted extremely heavy to very heavy rains in parts of coastal Konkan, the Maharashtra government declared a public holiday for Mumbai city.

Early today, Brihanmumbai Municipal Commissioner Pravin Pardeshi declared all schools and colleges shut for the day as a precautionary measure.

Air, road and rail traffic was also hit for the second consecutive day on Tuesday and rains have so far claimed around 50 lives in the past five days in the state so far.

Tue, 02 Jul 2019 09:52:54 +0530
Rains paralyse Mumbai Ma

Mumbai, July 2, The Central Railway (CR) early on Tuesday suspended suburban train services after incessant heavy rain flooded tracks at several spots between Mumbai-Thane, and services on Western Railway were also hit as Maharashtra government declared a precautionery public holiday for the city, officials said.

The CR train services, which were earlier suspended between Thane-Kurla, were suspended from Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus to Thane due to tracks getting submerged at various locations on the route and delays were reported on WR suburban network.

Long-distance trains from different parts of India, expected to reach Mumbai, have also been stranded at various locations en route, details of which are awaited.

There were delays in arrivals and departures, 54 flights diverted to and from Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, with operations getting hit after a Spicejet aircraft overshot the runway shortly before midnight.

Road traffic also continued to be for the second consecutive day in the city and suburbs as many areas were waterlogged, the subways in Andheri, Jogeshwari, Vile Parle and Dahisar flooded.

The two highways, main and arterials roads remained virtually deserted as people chose to remain indoors, autorickshaws, taxis and aggregator cabs were also largely missing.

With the main lifelines of the millions of Mumbai commuters, the roads and trains remaining practically off-bounds, the state government early today declared a precautionary holiday for Mumbai.

Prior to that the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had declared a holiday for all schools and colleges, and the state government expanded it to include other parts of coastal Konkan region.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has appealed to people not to step out unless absolutely necessary in view of the continued downpour.


Tue, 02 Jul 2019 09:45:57 +0530
Digital India empowered

Mumbai, July 2 ,The Central Railway (CR) early on Tuesday suspended suburban train services after incessant heavy rain flooded tracks at several spots between Mumbai-Thane, and services on Western Railway were also hit as Maharashtra government declared a precautionery public holiday for the city, officials said.

The CR train services, which were earlier suspended between Thane-Kurla, were suspended from Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus to Thane due to tracks getting submerged at various locations on the route and delays were reported on WR suburban network.

Long-distance trains from different parts of India, expected to reach Mumbai, have also been stranded at various locations en route, details of which are awaited.

There were delays in arrivals and departures, 54 flights diverted to and from Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, with operations getting hit after a Spicejet aircraft overshot the runway shortly before midnight.

Road traffic also continued to be for the second consecutive day in the city and suburbs as many areas were waterlogged, the subways in Andheri, Jogeshwari, Vile Parle and Dahisar flooded.

The two highways, main and arterials roads remained virtually deserted as people chose to remain indoors, autorickshaws, taxis and aggregator cabs were also largely missing.

With the main lifelines of the millions of Mumbai commuters, the roads and trains remaining practically off-bounds, the state government early today declared a precautionary holiday for Mumbai.

Prior to that the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had declared a holiday for all schools and colleges, and the state government expanded it to include other parts of coastal Konkan region.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has appealed to people not to step out unless absolutely necessary in view of the continued downpour.

Source: IANS

Tue, 02 Jul 2019 09:40:04 +0530
Kalinga lit fest to recal

Bhubaneswar: (IANS) With "Gandhis Idea of India: Truth, Harmony, Non-Violence" as its central theme, the three-day Kalinga Literary Festival (KLF) here later this month will pay tribute to the Father of the Nation through contemporary reflections on his ideas and is set to trigger global and national discussions on his work and ideas through literature; lived experience, politics, art, film, business, media and sports.

Around 250 speakers, poets, musicians, artists and performers will feature in the fourth edition of the festival during innovative sessions on radio, poetry recitation, short story, lyrics and cinema. Concurrently, the Kalinga Art Festival will showcase works of 60 artists from Odisha and India. Four prestigious awards will be conferred and more than 30 national and international books/publications will be released during the July 19-21 event.

"KLF is well-known for its socially relevant themes and in a way compels all creative people to think and articulate 'the contemporary'. The festival will cover several dimensions of the interconnection between literature, Gandhian ideology, truth, harmony and non-violence," the organisers said in a statement. 

KLF founder director Rashmi Ranjan Parida said that as Gandhi's 150th birth anniversary is being celebrated this year, "it is only fitting to pay tribute to him, his ideas and reflect upon them in contemporary times". 

The key sessions will be on topics such cultural nationalism, Gandhigiri, Generation Y, Odisha, Media Children, Women, Transgenders, Kamasutra, Citizen's Engagement, Cinema, Sports, Ethics, Discrimination, Revolutions, Peace-building, Conflict Resolution and Harmony. 

"The delegates will have a unique opportunity to participate in the Ekamra Heritage Walk and participate in plantation and seed ball making. To expand the opportunity for the delegates, KLF team has partnered with local cycle clubs to provide cycles for speakers to roam around the temple town and experience the blend of ancient heritage and modern urban planning," the statement said.

The writers, poets, speakers and performers at the Festival will include Bhawana Somaaya, Bhavani B Iyer, Christopher C. Doyle, Namita Gokhale, Nalini Mehta, Nambi Narayanan, Pavan K. Verma, Priya Somaiya, Pushpesh Pant, Rakhshanda Jalil, Sathya Saran, Saira Shah Halim, Tamal Bandopadhya and Yashwant Sinha, among others.

There will be cultural programmes to showcase Odisha's art, culture and literature on each day of the event. Among other highlights will be the story-telling session "Dastan-E-Mantoiyat" by Syed Shadab Hussain and Meera Rizvi and the screening of Oscar-nominated director Ashvin Kumar's "No Fathers In Kashmir".

The Kalinga Literary Award (for a distinguished writer in Odia), the Kalinga International Literary Award (for a writer in any global language), the Kalinga Karubaki Literary Award (for women writers) and the Kalinga Literary Youth Award (for a young writer in any global language) will be conferred on the occassion.

Tue, 02 Jul 2019 07:09:34 +0530
Man kills wife 2 childre

Gurugram: (IANS) A former director of a reputed pharmaceutical company allegedly killed his wife and two children before hanging himself to death at their Sector 49 residence here on Monday, police said.

Prakash Singh (55) killed Sonu Singh (49), daughter Aditi (21) and son Aditya (14) at their residence in Uppal Southend residential colony in Gurugram on Monday morning.

A suicide note recovered from Singh's pocket stated that Singh was "unable to handle his family".

Police said the note had been sent to experts to find out if it was written by Singh, who had been living in Gurgaon for the past eight years. 

Singh's wife ran a private school. Aditi was studying in a college and Aditya in Class 10, the police said.

Police said the neighbours alerted them.

"When we broke open the house, we found Sonu, Aditi and Aditya had injuries caused by a sharp object and a hammer. Singh was found hanging from the ceiling," said a senior police officer.

The two weapons have been recovered.

Prima facie, it appears that Singh killed his family while they were asleep.

Police sources said a family member revealed that Singh was disturbed for the past one year.

Tue, 02 Jul 2019 07:05:38 +0530
24 states received defici

New Delhi: (IANS) As many as 24 states in the country, including food baskets Punjab and Haryana, have received deficient rainfall in June as the sluggish pace of monsoon raises worries with 250 districts across India reeling under severe water crisis.

Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat told IANS on the sidelines of an event here that "there is deficit rainfall till now. Let's hope for the best."

While all eyes are now on the weather god, reports have not been encouraging with private forecaster Skymet predicting a below normal monsoon this year. 

Mahesh Palawat, Director at Skymet, said the precipitation in July and August may remain below average. However, Palawat claimed that it will not impact the agriculture sector.

June ended with a rain deficit of 33 per cent. For states like Punjab, it was the first dry June since 2014. The monsoon has missed its scheduled arrival at almost all the places in north India. There are five states, including Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Delhi, where rainfall has been about 60-99 per cent below the normal.

India Meteorological Department (IMD) scientist Mrutyanjay Mohapatra, who will take over as the next chief of the weather agency in August, said that there will be 95 per cent of average rainfall in July and the overall monsoon forecast will be revised by July-end. It means that July may also witness below average rainfall.

Poor rains in July will worsen the prevailing drought-like situation in the country.

Meanwhile, the Jal Shakti Ministry on Monday launched a campaign that will run till November 30 to accelerate progress on water conservation in 1,592 water stressed blocks spread across 256 districts.

The campaign talks about rain water harvesting, renovation of water bodies, recharging groundwater and afforestation, among others issues. However, the Union Ministry has gone into a 'wait and watch' mode as far as the current monsoon season and droughts are concerned.

Scarcity of water has become a major issue in Maharashtra's Vidarbha and Marathwada regions, Bundelkhand that spreads across Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, and in parts of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Rajasthan.

The Maharashtra government's much-touted Jalyukt Shivar scheme, in which deepening of streams and ponds is carried out, too has failed to provide water to the people.

Water conservationist Vijay Borade called the scheme "unscientific", saying that digging activities were carried out without studying geological and topographical aspects.

"Just digging deeper does not help you conserve water. There should have been different studies in different areas. At many places in Marathwada, the scheme has caused wells to go dry as digging nullah deeper has led to water flow going away from the wells," Borade said.

Tue, 02 Jul 2019 07:01:15 +0530
Pakistan tries to thwart

London: (IANS) Pakistani diplomats in London are making all-out efforts to prevent the extradition of D-Company's top lieutenant Jabir Motiwala to the United States.

Hearing the extradition plea of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on Monday at the Westminster Magistrates' Court, the D-Company's defence lawyer, backed by Pakistani diplomats, said that Motiwala was suffering from acute depression and cannot be flown to the US to face money laundering, drug trafficking and underworld crime charges.

Motiwala, one of the trusted aides of Dawood Ibrahim, was arrested in London in August 2018 on money laundering and drug trafficking charges, following a tip-off from the FBI.

Sources close to Indian agencies informed IANS that the Pakistan High Commission in London had earlier tried to thwart the extradition move by submitting a letter on behalf of the accused's lawyer in the court, saying Motiwala was a "well-known and respected businessman in Pakistan". 

In fact, Pakistan fears that once Motiwala is extradited to the US, the close aide of D-Company can reveal the entire nexus between Dawood Ibrahim's underworld network (being operated from Karachi) and the don's connection with Pakistan's spy agency, the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI). 

The US has already declared Dawood Ibrahim a global terrorist running an international drug syndicate and sharing the gang's routes with Pakistan-based terror outfits.

Sources said that Dawood's key finance aide Motiwala appeared in the magistrate's courts in London after his arrest by Scotland Yard's Extradition Unit on charges of money laundering and sharing the proceeds of narcotics money earned on behalf of the D-Company. 

Sources said that Barrister John Hardy, appearing on behalf of the US government, revealed to the court that Motiwala, travels extensively and conducts (underworld crimes related) meetings for his boss Dawood Ibrahim, an Indian who along with his brother Anis, are wanted for terror crimes in India. 

Sources said that the defence lawyer told the court that Motiwala was suffering from depression and had made several suicide attempts in the past few years. The lawyer argued that in such a situation, he cannot be extradited to the US to face trial. 

Sources said that contrary to the defence lawyer's claim, Motiwala has been investing D-Company's black money into various projects abroad. He is said to be involved in drug trafficking and also travels to collect money on behalf of the D-Company in Europe.

Motiwala's extradition to the US, if executed would be a setback for Dawood as well as his patrons in the Pakistan establishment, the sources said.

Tue, 02 Jul 2019 06:56:44 +0530
Digital India empowered

Digital India empowered people, reduced corruption: Modi

Mon, 01 Jul 2019 19:29:17 +0530
Amarnath Yatra begins

Jammu, July 1, Over 7,500 pilgrims are headed to the Himalayan cave shrine to perform the annual Amarnath Yatra as it began on Monday amid hightended security, police said.

A second batch of 4,417 pilgrims left Jammu for the cave after a first batch of over 2,000 pilgrims had left for the Kashmir Valley on Sunday. 

No traffic will be allowed from Srinagar to Jammu till the convoy of yatris cross the Jawahar Tunnel, an officer said. No vehicle carrying Amarnath pilgrims will be allowed to move on the Mughal Road that connects Poonch and Rajouri districts.

From the Baltal base camp in north Kashmir's Ganderbal district 7,500 yatris left to perform the Yatra on Monday. The remaining have already travelled with the Chhari Mubarak via the Pahalgam route and reached the shrine. 

The 45-day long annual Yatra to the Himalayan Cave Shrine situated 3,888 metres above the sea-level will end on August 15 coinciding with the Shravan Purnima festival. 

According to the devotees, the shrine houses an ice stalagmite structure that symbolises the mythical powers of Lord Shiva. 

Using the uphill trek of 14-km from Baltal allows the pilgrims 'darshan' inside the cave and return to the base camp the same day. Helicopter services have also been made available for the pilgrims from Baltal.

"On Monday, the yatris comprising 3,543 men, 843 women besides 31 children left the Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas in an escorted convoy of 142 vehicles.

"Of these, 1,617 pilgrims will reach the Baltal base camp and 2,800 the Pahalgam one. Authorities have decided not to allow any traffic in the opposite direction on the Jammu-Srinagar highway till 3.30 p.m. in order to ensure smooth passage to the yatris towards the valley," an officer added.

Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik, who is also the chairman of the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) will attend the special puja at the shrine that traditionally begins with the arrival of the 'Chhari Mubarak' (the Holy Mace of Lord Shiva) at Amarnath on the morning of the first day.

The SASB manages all affairs of the annual Hindu pilgrimage with the assistance of the state and the central governments.

Extraordinary security arrangements have been made to ensure a smooth and violence-free yatra this year. During his visit to Kashmir last week, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had reviewed the arrangements.
Source: IANS

Mon, 01 Jul 2019 18:02:40 +0530
Shah moves resolution to

New Delhi, July 1 (IANS) Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday moved in the Rajya Sabha a resolution for extending President's rule in Jammu and Kashmir and the amendment bill of the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Act, 2004.

Both were passed by the Lok Sabha on Friday.

Source: IANS

Mon, 01 Jul 2019 17:48:52 +0530
Mumbai rain 4 killed tr

Mumbai, July 1 (IANS) A person was electrocuted and three were killed after being struck by lightning as rain pounded Mumbai and many parts of Maharashtra for the fourth consecutive day, disrupting normal life and hitting air, road and rail traffic, officials said on Monday.

A 30-year-old man, Mohammed Ayub Kazi, was electrocuted inside his home in Shivajinagar, Govandi suburb in north-east Mumbai. He was rushed to the Rajawadi Hospital where he was declared dead.

Three others, including a woman, were killed and two injured after being struck by ligtning as they took shelter from heavy rain in a shed in Solapur on Monday afternoon.

"The five victims were waiting for the rains to subside in a shed near the Mandrup village when suddenly lighting struck them. The three killed are Parvati M. Kore, 55, Chatursingh J. Rajpu, 41 and Sanket D. Chormule, 17. The other two have been rushed to the district hospital," Mandrup police official Baburao Rathod told IANS.

Overnight heavy spells of rain inundated at least 137 spots all over Mumbai, including Dadar, Sion, Matunga, Parel, Wadala, Mahim, Santacruz, Andheri, Jogeshwari, Malad, Dahisar and virtually halted all traffic movement, leading to huge traffic snarls since daybreak.

Flights to and from Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport were delayed by 35 minutes owing to heavy rain and low visibility, said an official.

Long-distance services on the Central Railway's Mumbai-Pune sector were hit following the derailment of at least four wagons of a goods train between Jambrung and Thakurwadi in the Monkey Hill section of the Western Ghats early on Monday.

Several Mumbai-Pune trains were cancelled, some diverted and other long-distance trains hit at various locations en route as the CR made frantic efforts to restore normalcy.

Railway tracks were flooded at locations like Sion, Matunga and Kurla, impacting the CR's suburban sector with trains running behind schedule, delaying lakhs of office-goers and students.

On the Western Railway (WR), some material from ongoing construction work fell and broke the overhead electric wires at Marine Line, hitting services on the slow line between Churchgate-Mumbai Central around 8 a.m.

Restoration was taken up on a war-footing and services were restored at 11 a.m., said a WR official, while heavy rains led to cancellation of several outstation services today.

Road traffic took the brunt of the heavy rain with water-logging in several areas of the city, eastern and western suburbs, though a majority of the subways escaped flooding as the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation activated pumps to throw out the gushing rain water.

As students were stranded in the rain in different areas, some schools in and around central Mumbai declared a precautionary holiday.

In Palghar district, the Surya River was hovering near the danger mark, posing a risk to at least 26 villages on its banks even as relief agencies were kept on standby.

Thane city and district were also lashed by heavy flooding several parts of the city, including housing complexes, stranding people and halting vehicular traffic.

The IMD has forecast heavy to very heavy spells in and around Mumbai on Monday, with rainy conditions likely to continue for the next four days, and temperatures at a maximum of 28 degrees and 23 degrees.

Mon, 01 Jul 2019 17:32:55 +0530
Miffed Karnataka Congress

Bengaluru, July 1 (IANS) Miffed with the state government's decision to sell 3,667 acres of land to JSW Steel Ltd, Karnataka Congress legislator Anand Singh on Monday resigned from the Vijayanagar Assembly segment in the state's northwest Ballari district.

"I have submitted my resignation letter to state legislative assembly Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar at his residence, as I am unhappy with the coalition government's decision to sell the land to Jindal steel firm," Singh told reporters here.

Source: IANS

Mon, 01 Jul 2019 17:03:58 +0530
33 killed 22 injured in

Jammu: (IANS) Thirty three people were killed and 22 injured on Monday in a road accident in Jammu and Kashmir's Kishtwar district, an official said.

The accident took place at 8.40 a.m. when a mini bus travelling from Keshwan area to Kishtwar town went out of the driver's control and plunged into a gorge near Sirgwari village, said Angrez Singh Rana, Kishtwar District Magistrate .

The injured were being airlifted to government medical college hospital in Jammu city for specialized treatment, Rana said.

Locals also joined the relief and rescue operations.

Former Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad expressed grief and shock over the accident.

"I am deeply pained to learn about this accident. I urge upon the state administration for immediate medical aid to the injured," Azad said.

Jammu Divisional Commissioner Sanjeev Verma also described the accident as "unfortunate".

Overloading, over-speeding and dilapidated road conditions have caused tragic accidents in the hills of Doda, Kishtwar, Rajouri and Poonch districts in the past as well.

On June 27, 11 students of a private computer training institute were killed in a tragic accident in Pir Ki Gali area of the Mughal Road that connects the Rajouri-Poonch districts in the Jammu division.

Following this accident, authorities in Poonch district have banned all excursions by educational institutions unless specifically allowed by the district administration.

Mon, 01 Jul 2019 13:03:57 +0530
Inclusion of 17 OBCs in S

Lucknow: (IANS) Bahujan Samaj Party President Mayawati on Monday slammed the Uttar Pradesh government's decision to include 17 Other Backward Castes (OBC) in the Scheduled Caste (SC) list as "unconstitutional and politically motivated".

Mayawati said the move will not bring any benefits for OBC groups and Yogi Adityanath had deceived them.

"No government can include or remove any caste from the Scheduled Caste list. Article 341 prevents a government from doing so. Only the President and Parliament have the powers to do so," she stated.

The BSP President further explained: "Part 1 of Article 341 clearly states that the President can specify any group to the SC list through a public notification on the Governor's advice. Part 2 says that if a notification is released under part 1 of Article 341, it can only be changed by Parliament. Part 2 also states that Parliament can specify, include or exclude any group from the SC list." 

She pointed out that the notification cannot be undone by any other notification. "These castes will no longer get the benefits of quota under the OBC category. They will be treated as general castes. It is clear that Yogi government has issued this order to deceive these castes," she stated.

Mayawati also alleged that the order had been issued keeping in view the upcoming bypolls in the state and appealed to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to immediately withdraw it.

She urged the Centre to initiate the constitutional procedure to include these groups in the SC list and demanded an increase in the quota limit for them. 

"I appeal to the Centre to include these castes in the category and increase SC quota proportionately as per constitutional procedure," she said.

In a decision taken on Friday, the Yogi Adityanath government had moved 17 OBCs in the SC list, thus fulfilling a long pending demand of these castes. 

The OBCs added to the SC list are -- Nishad, Bind, Mallah, Kewat, Kashyap, Bhar, Dhivar, Batham, Machua, Prajapati, Rajbhar, Kahar, Potter, Dhimar, Manjhi, Tuhaha and Gaur.

The Chief Minister also directed all district officers to issue caste certificate to the families of those belonging to these castes.

Mon, 01 Jul 2019 13:00:22 +0530
Trump briefly steps into

Seoul: (IANS) US President Donald Trump on Sunday became the first sitting American leader to step foot into North Korea after he briefly entered the country before holding a bilateral meeting with Pyongyang's Kim Jong-un at the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), that divides the two Koreas.

Trump, who is on a two-day visit to South Korea, first walked toward the Military Demarcation Line (MDL), which divides the truce village of Panmunjom, also called the Joint Security Area. Then Kim showed up and approached Trump, reports Yonhap News Agency. 

They shook hands and crossed the line together into the northern side. They posed for photos before walking across it into South Korea.

Trump told the media that it was a "great honour to cross that line (DMZ)". 

This was the first time for leaders of the two nations to hold a meeting at Panmunjom since the Korean War ended with the Armistice Agreement in 1953.

Kim, meanwhile, deemed the meeting "as a "historic moment", adding that the crossing reflected his decision to open a new future in Pyongyang-Washington relations.

They were later joined by South Korean President Moon Jae-in. The three leaders walked into the Freedom House, a building on the southern side. 

Kim and Trump were seated together for joint press availability and apparently held closed-door bilateral talks.

Following the bilateral talks, Trump told the media that he agreed with Kim to restart talks after nuclear negotiations stalled earlier this year after the two leaders met for a second time in Hanoi, Vietnam. Kim and Trump first came face-to-face during their historic summit last June in Singapore.

"We just had a very, very good meeting with Chairman Kim," Trump said after parting with the North Korean leader at the DMZ.

Trump added that the teams would begin working and meeting over the next two to three weeks. The American side will be represented by US special representative for North Korea, Stephen Biegun.

Trump has also invited Kim to Washington, but it was not immediately clear if the latter has accepted the invitation.

If Kim accepts the invitation, it would be the first time a North Korean leader will visit the US.

The Trump-Kim meeting was confirmed earlier in the day by South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the Presidential Palace here during a joint press conference with his American counterpart, Yonhap reported.

Trump arrived at the Presidential Palace after attending a "business leaders' event" on Sunday morning with the heads of some South Korean conglomerates.

During his previous visit to South Korea in November 2017, Trump pushed for a DMZ trip with Moon by chopper. But it was cancelled due to bad weather.

The US President will return to Washington from Seoul later in the day.

Sun, 30 Jun 2019 14:33:37 +0530
G20 summit ends with decl

Osaka: (IANS) The members of the G20 bloc on Saturday concluded their two-day Summit here by declaring support for the principles of free trade and economic growth amid global trade-related tensions.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in a press conference after the end of the two-day summit that the G20 leaders agreed on the need to boost economic growth and expressed concerns about globalization and the world trade system, reports Efe news. 

Abe said the 20-member group reaffirmed its support for "the fundamental principles backing a free trade system" and placed special emphasis on achieving open, free and non-discriminatory markets and a level-playing field. 

Japanese Prime Minister said even though it was difficult to find one solution to so many global challenges at once, the group had managed to show a common will in many areas. 

The leaders also recognized the clear "downside risks" to the global economy according to Abe, who said the member-countries had agreed to spearhead economic growth and stressed the need to reform the World Trade Organization. 

The final statement signed by the leaders flags the intensification of geopolitical and trade tensions, but does not include any mention of growing protectionism, in the context of the growing trade tensions between the US, China and other countries. 

The joint declaration said global growth was stabilizing and was expected to register a small rise later this year and in 2020, adding that the bloc was committed to confronting the risks associated with the tensions and launch more actions if needed. 

Established in 1999, the G20 is a central forum for international cooperation on financial and economic issues. It comprises 19 countries plus the European Union (EU).

The member nations are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, Britain and the US. 

Sat, 29 Jun 2019 16:03:50 +0530
Nearly 2 years after lync

Jaipur: (IANS) Under fire for the posthumous charge sheet filed against Pehlu Khan, who was beaten to death for alleged cow smuggling in Rajasthan's Alwar in 2017, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Saturday said the investigation in the case was done by the former BJP government.

"Only the charge sheet has been filed under our government. We will probe if there were any discrepencies in the investigation under the Vasundhara Raje government. A fresh investigation will be ordered if anything wrong is revealed," Gehlot said.

Khan was beaten to death on the Jaipur-Delhi Highway in Alwar in April 2017 while he and his sons were bringing cattle bought from a fair in Jaipur to their home in Haryana's Nuh.

However, in its charge sheet filed on Saturday, the Rajasthan Police posthumously declares Pehlu Khan a "cow smuggler" and accuses him under different sections of the Rajasthan Bovine Animal Act 1995. His sons Irshaad, 25, and Aareef, 22, have also been booked for cow smuggling and slaughter. The charge sheet also names a pick-up driver.

Police sources said that two FIRs were filed in the case. While one was against eight people for mob lynching, the other was against Khan and his sons for transporting cattle without due permission from the administration. The eight accused of mob lynching are out on bail.

"Seven cases were registered against Khan and seven chalans were presented in court. Trial is on in these cases in court," Behror Station House Officer Sugandh Singh said. 

"This charge sheet against him was filed on December 30, 2018, days after the formation of the Congress government in Rajasthan," Singh added. 

Criticising the Congress over the charge sheet, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi tweeted: "Congress in 'power' is a replica of the BJP, Muslims of Rajasthan must realise this, reject such individuals/organisations who are brokers of the Congress party and start developing their own independent political platform.70 years is a long time. Please CHANGE."

However, former BJP MLA Gyandev Ahuja said that Khan was a repeat offender. "Even his brothers, sons and other relatives were involved in the crime. In fact all allegations made against cow vigilantes and the Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad leaders were wrong," he added.

"Villagers caught Khan while he was smuggling cows. He died in police custody. Now the Congress should not take credit for his arrest as the Congress at that time helped the family get financial help," Ahuja said.

Sat, 29 Jun 2019 15:58:59 +0530
Huawei can continue purch

Osaka: (IANS) In a big respite to Huawei, US President Donald Trump on Saturday said US firms could start selling technology to the Chinese telecommunications equipment giant as long as the sales did not involve equipment that threaten US national security.

"However, Trump said the decision on whether to take Huawei off the Commerce Department's entities list would be left to a later date, adding he will have a meeting on Tuesday on the same subject. 

"We are leaving Huawei towards the end. We are seeing what goes with the trade agreement," suggesting that fully lifting of the ban on Huawei would rest on a deal to end the trade war," the South China Morning Post reported.

Speaking at a press conference in Osaka following the Group of 20 summit, Trump reportedly said China and the US can be "strategic partners". 

Trump said China had agreed to buy a "tremendous" amount of US goods to reduce the trade imbalance. The US will give China a list of the goods it wants them to buy, according to the South China Morning Post report.

On May 15, Trump had blacklisted Huawei with a national security order; the US had publicly asked its allies to steer clear of using Huawei products over concerns that the equipment could be used by the Chinese government to obtain private information.

Huawei responded by filing a motion in a US court challenging the constitutionality of the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, 2019.

The Chinese tech giant also asked for an end to US' state-sanctioned campaign against it, arguing that it would "not deliver cybersecurity".

Sat, 29 Jun 2019 15:49:32 +0530
PM Modi Meets Trump

OSAKA: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump on Friday declared that their countries were "central to global peace and stability" and pledged to "provide strong leadership to address global challenges and build prosperity for their citizens in the decades to come", according to the White House.

The two leaders exchanged "perspectives on progress in the strategic partnership and develop new ideas to bring it to the next level", at their bilateral meeting here on the sidelines of the G20 Summit, the White House said in a readout of their meeting.

They "acknowledged the unprecedented breadth and depth of bilateral ties, including economic, trade, energy, defence and security, counter-terrorism, and space", the statement said.

"The leaders affirmed that, as responsible democracies, a close partnership between the US and India is central to global peace and stability. They reiterated their commitment to provide strong leadership to address global challenges and build prosperity for their citizens in the decades to come," it added.


Fri, 28 Jun 2019 16:33:24 +0530
G 20 PM Modi Looks Forwa

Below is the full transcript of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's statement prior to his departure for G 20 Summit in Osaka, Japan:

I am visiting Osaka, Japan to attend G 20 Summit. I look forward to discussing the major challenges and opportunities faced by our world today with other global leaders. Women Empowerment, issues related to digitalization and artificial intelligence, and progress in achieving SDGs and in our common efforts to address major global challenges such as terrorism and climate change form the rich agenda of the Summit.

The Summit will provide an important opportunity to reiterate and reinforce our strong support to reformed multilateralism, which is crucial for preserving rule-based international order in today’s fast-changing world. The Summit will also be a platform for sharing India’s strong developmental experience of the last five years, which provided the basis for a resounding mandate by the people of India to the Government to continue on the path to progress and stability.

The Osaka Summit will also be an important stepping stone for India towards hosting the G-20 Summit in 2022 when we usher in a New India in the 75th Anniversary year of our Independence.

On the sidelines, I also look forward to engaging with leaders of our major partner countries on important issues of bilateral and global importance.

I also look forward to host the next Russia, India and China (RIC) Informal Summit on the sidelines, and also to participate in the next informal meetings of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and JAI (Japan, America and India) leaders.

Thu, 27 Jun 2019 11:49:33 +0530
Centre Adopts Multi prong

NEW DELHI: Minister of State for Home Affairs, G. Kishan Reddy has stated that a multi-pronged strategy has been adopted to check the Islamic State (IS) and to bring back the misguided youth on the right path. The measures include socio-economic development of vulnerable communities and focus on educational empowerment. 

As IS uses various internet-based social media platforms to propagate its ideology, the agencies concerned closely watch Cyberspace and take action as per law. Counselling of radicalised individuals has been undertaken with the involvement of families.

NIA has the mandate of investigation of terrorism-related cases which are entrusted by Central Government.  In connection with 3 IS related cases, NIA had conducted raids in Kerala (April 2019) and in Tamil Nadu (June 2019) and arrested 4 accused.

Pro-jihadi books, publications besides pamphlets, magazines and posters published by the proscribed organization SIMI and various incriminating documents/literature related to IS have been recovered from arrested persons.

Besides, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the States Police have registered cases against IS members/sympathizers. The Islamic State (IS)/ Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL)/ Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)/ Daesh has been notified as a Terrorist Organization and included in the First Schedule to the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 by the Central Government. 

Wed, 26 Jun 2019 17:37:08 +0530
US Secretary Pompeo Calls

NEW DELHI: U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi this morning. Secretary Pompeo conveyed greetings of President Trump to the Prime Minister and congratulated the Prime Minister on his electoral victory.

The Prime Minister thanked Secretary Pompeo for his warm greetings and requested him to convey his thanks also to President Trump for his good wishes.

The Prime Minister reiterated the priority that he attaches to relations with the U.S. and outlined his vision for the Strategic Partnership in the new tenure of the Government and beyond, building on a strong foundation of trust and shared interest.

Pompeo expressed the U.S. Government’s continued interest in building stronger relations with India and working together to realize the shared vision and goals.

The Prime Minister expressed his strong commitment to achieve the full potential of bilateral relations in trade and economy, energy, defence, counter-terrorism and people-to-people contacts.

Wed, 26 Jun 2019 17:13:17 +0530
Water scarcity in Chennai

The Tamil Nadu Government all set to transport 10 million litres per day by goods train from various districts to Chennai every day for the next six months. The government has requested a special package of Rs.1000 crore from the Centre to tackle the water shortage in the state.  Chennai has been suffering a severe shortage of water since the main reservoirs that supply to the city have gone dry.


A meeting chaired by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaiwamy on Friday decided to tranport water by trains from Jolarpet to Chennai. Water from various districts will be collected at Jolarpet and being  transported Chennai. The Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Drainage Board has been allotted Rs.158.42 crore for distribution of water in the capital.  The Tamil Nadu Water Supply and Drainage Board, have been provided Rs.108.32 crore for water supply in various parts of the state, the CM said. Water from Veeranam lake in Cuddalore district is also being brought to Chennai.


The other districts such as Ramanathapuram, Pudukkotai, Thiruvallur, Nagapattinam, Vellore, Thiruvannamalai and Dindigal are also facing water scarcity.  The government already allotted Rs.710 crore earlier, also released Rs.200 crore to solve water scarcity. The Kerala government also offered to send 2 million litres of drinking water by train.



Wed, 26 Jun 2019 14:25:59 +0530
PM Urges MPs To Move Forw

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is addressing the Parliament today during the ongoing Budget Session. The PM said the dream of a secure nation has been seen by many leaders. To fulfil this with resolve, we all have to move forward. This is the aspiration of India. To fulfil the nation's needs, we can cross all challenges. A lot of lawmakers who are making their debut promised to put their points forward well, reports NDTV.

The Prime Minister is delivering a note of thanks to President Ram Nath Kovind's joint address last week, reports NDTV.

The President's Address echoes the hope and aspirations that the citizens of the country have sent us to this House. The President in his speech highlighted the vision of new India. In his speech, the President drew a blueprint on where do we want to take India, how we want to take and how we are going to fulfil the aspirations of the common human being of the country, PM added, NDTV reported.

Tue, 25 Jun 2019 17:49:10 +0530
Fire breaks out on under

Fire breaks out on under construction warship , 1 dead, one injured


A  major fire broke out on an under-construction Navy warship at  Mazagon Dock, on Friday evening, one worker killed and another suffered minor injury.  The fire was reported inside warship `Visakhapatnam' at 5.44 pm. The fire was confined on the second and third decks of the warship.

Rajendra Kumar (23) died since he was trapped inside the ship when the fire broke out. He died due to asphyxiation after the fire started in the lower second deck where grinding operations were progressing.  The fire was brought under control by 7 pm, and an inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause of fire, according to Mazagon Dock spokesperson.

Eight fire engines, six water tankers and quick response vehicles were sent to the spot to douse the flames. Two teams of firemen each worked in shift as the space was very confined with tremendous heat.  The Visakhapatnam class comprises four ships-Visakhaptanam, Mormugao, Imphal and Porbandar, all of them are being built at Mazagon Dock. INS Visakhaptanam was launched in 2015 and is expected to be commissioned in 2021.  The Project-15B warships span 163m in length and 17.4 m at beam. This will be propelled by four gas turbines to achieve speeds over 30 knots.

Mon, 24 Jun 2019 17:02:37 +0530
Fire Breaks Out on Under

Fire breaks out on under construction warship , 1 dead, one injured


A  major fire broke out on an under-construction Navy warship at  Mazagon Dock, on Friday evening, one worker killed and another suffered minor injury.  The fire was reported inside warship `Visakhapatnam' at 5.44 pm. The fire was confined on the second and third decks of the warship.

Rajendra Kumar (23) died since he was trapped inside the ship when the fire broke out. He died due to asphyxiation after the fire started in the lower second deck where grinding operations were progressing.  The fire was brought under control by 7 pm, and an inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause of fire, according to Mazagon Dock spokesperson.

Eight fire engines, six water tankers and quick response vehicles were sent to the spot to douse the flames. Two teams of firemen each worked in shift as the space was very confined with tremendous heat.  The Visakhapatnam class comprises four ships-Visakhaptanam, Mormugao, Imphal and Porbandar, all of them are being built at Mazagon Dock. INS Visakhaptanam was launched in 2015 and is expected to be commissioned in 2021.  The Project-15B warships span 163m in length and 17.4 m at beam. This will be propelled by four gas turbines to achieve speeds over 30 knots.


Mon, 24 Jun 2019 15:44:29 +0530
Fire breaks out on under

Fire breaks out on under construction warship under construction, 1 dead, one injured


A  major fire broke out on an under-construction Navy warship at  Mazagon Dock, on Friday evening, one worker killed and another suffered minor injury.  The fire was reported inside warship `Visakhapatnam' at 5.44 pm. The fire was confined on the second and third decks of the warship.

Rajendra Kumar (23) died since he was trapped inside the ship when the fire broke out. He died due to asphyxiation after the fire started in the lower second deck where grinding operations were progressing.  The fire was brought under control by 7 pm, and an inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause of fire, according to Mazagon Dock spokesperson.

Eight fire engines, six water tankers and quick response vehicles were sent to the spot to douse the flames. Two teams of firemen each worked in shift as the space was very confined with tremendous heat.  The Visakhapatnam class comprises four ships-Visakhaptanam, Mormugao, Imphal and Porbandar, all of them are being built at Mazagon Dock. INS Visakhaptanam was launched in 2015 and is expected to be commissioned in 2021.  The Project-15B warships span 163m in length and 17.4 m at beam. This will be propelled by four gas turbines to achieve speeds over 30 knots.


Mon, 24 Jun 2019 15:25:19 +0530
Mayawati Formally Ends Ti

NEW DELHI: Mayawati today formally called an end to the alliance with Akhilesh Yadav's Samajwadi Party, tweeting that going forward, her party will contest all elections, big and small, on its own. In a series of tweets, the Bahujan Samaj Party also aired her grouse against Akhilesh Yadav, with whom she promised to keep cordial relations barely three weeks ago. A string of assembly seats will be up for by-election later this year, reports NDTV.

"It is known that all our old grievances with the SP were kept aside, along with the anti-Dalit and ant-BSP decisions taken by the SP government between 2012-17, works carried out that was against reservation in promotion and deteriorating law and order situation - were all kept aside and an alliance was formed in public interest which was honoured completely," one of her tweets read.

Mon, 24 Jun 2019 15:24:32 +0530
Varuna japam at Matunga


MUMBAI: Sri Shankara Mattham Matunga conducted Varuna Japam to appease rain God to get enough rain to save people and farmers from water shortage. Five Vedic pandits conducted this prayer by standing in chest deep water in drums and recited Varuna Japam for nearly two hours. Before this, they performed Varuna pooja in the Matt premises.




Mon, 24 Jun 2019 15:06:00 +0530
Etihad Airways Suspends O

ABU DHABI: Etihad Airways has announced its suspending operations through Iranian airspace over the Strait of Hormuz and the Gulf of Oman.

In a statement, the national airline of the UAE said, "Following the decision yesterday of the US Federal Aviation Administration to restrict US airline operations in Iranian-controlled airspace, Etihad Airways consulted closely with the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority and other UAE airlines to evaluate the US action."

"Etihad Airways has subsequently suspended operations through Iranian airspace over the Straits of Hormuz and the Gulf of Oman, and will use alternative flight paths on a number of routes to and from Abu Dhabi until further notice," it added.

The airline said that these changes will cause delays on some departures from Abu Dhabi, "due to increased congestion in available airspace, and will increase journey times on some routes."

The safety of our passengers and staff is the highest priority for Etihad Airways assured, adding that it is "continually engaging with regulatory authorities and conducting our own risk assessments to ensure that our standards are not compromised."

Updates on affected flights will be provided on the Etihad Airways website, the statement concluded.

Sat, 22 Jun 2019 17:47:30 +0530
PM Holds Meeting With Top

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will today hold a meeting with top economists to review the macroeconomic situation of the country. The meeting comes amid growing concern over the slowdown in the economy.

The constraints on growth acceleration and employment generation are expected to be discussed in the meeting, sources said, adding that the main focus would revolve around on how to bring back the growth sentiment in the economy and take it towards a higher growth level. reports NDTV.

The high-level meeting comes days ahead of the General Budget that will be presented in parliament by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on July 5.

Sat, 22 Jun 2019 12:56:37 +0530
SIES College Conducts Ch

MUMBAI: On the occasion of the International Yoga day, the students and staff and alumni of the SIES College of Arts, Science & Commerce, Sion participated in the new concept yoga called "Chair  Yoga - Yogasthaha" conducted by Yoga teacher Sandeep Solanki at the college premises, Sion.



This type of Yoga is meant mainly for the office goers and also for those who cannot sit on the ground and stress their legs. For the first time, this type of Yoga is conducted at the college premises said the principal Dr Uma Shankar who said: "We are planning to conduct this for the benefit of teachers regularly during their free time".



Fri, 21 Jun 2019 19:21:29 +0530
Opportunity For Innovativ

DUBAI: Innovative start-ups from India will have the opportunity to pitch and compete for business set-up support in Dubai at the first-ever roadshow to be organised by the Dubai Startup Hub in Delhi and Bangalore from 24th to 26th June 2019.

The Dubai Startup Hub is an initiative of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Campus, Dtec, a wholly-owned tech-start-up hub by the Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority.

The initiative is aimed at supporting the city’s strategic plans to become a global innovation hub and knowledge-based economy. The roadshow will host a pitch competition organised by Dtec, where shortlisted applicants will present in person in front of a panel of judges. The winner will be given office space at Dtec with company set-up support and a complimentary business licence. The runner-up will be awarded a flexi-desk space at Dtec and UAE company set-up support with a complimentary business licence.

The three-day roadshow, supported by Startup India and NASSCOM 10000 Startups, will also feature site visits; informative presentations from leading UAE public and private players that support start-ups in Dubai, namely Dubai Startup Hub, Dtec, STEP Group and Startup Bootcamp; roundtable and panel discussions; and success stories from Indian start-ups that have benefited from the Dubai Startup Hub platform and built successful businesses in Dubai.

Omar Khan, Director of International Offices at the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said, "India is not only a market of strategic importance to Dubai and the Dubai Chamber, it has also, become a key source market for Dubai’s growing start-up eco-system. The country has become a testbed for Blockchain, artificial intelligence and smart city solutions and we have seen many Indian start-ups enter the Dubai market in recent years that have brought with them innovative business concepts."

Khan noted that Indian businesses are well represented within Dubai’s business community, and revealed that 30 percent of start-ups registered with the hub are Indian-owned, while more than 38,000 Indian companies are Dubai Chamber members.

Hans Henrik Christensen, Vice President of Dtec, said, "We look forward to welcoming the qualifying start-ups of the pitch competition to Dubai’s largest entrepreneur hub in the Middle East where they can benefit not only from the complimentary set-up, but also from the integrated entrepreneurial ecosystem that offers value-added support such as free mentorship, legal advice, training, and workshops, aiding them to succeed and materialise."

Fri, 21 Jun 2019 18:01:33 +0530
Make Yoga Part Of School

NEW DELHI: The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has called for popularizing Yoga and making it part of the school curriculum to promote healthy lifestyles and combat growing incidence of non-communicable diseases in the country.

Participating in the International Yoga Day celebrations organized by Prajapita Brahma Kumaris Vishwa Vidyalaya at the historic Red Fort grounds, here today, the Vice President said the ancient Indian practice not only ensures physical fitness and mental equilibrium but also inculcates discipline. He urged the Centre and various State Governments to make yoga part of the school curriculum.

Observing that improper food habits were causing harm to health, Naidu cautioned the people, particularly the youngsters against eating junk food. “Instant food means constant disease”, he said the indigenous food practices handed down by our forefathers suited each season and region and need to be adopted.

Pointing out that people are encountering tremendous pressures in daily lives, the Vice President said there is a great need to introduce to the subtle science of Yoga, which everyone can use not just to achieve physical well-being, but also to lead a better life by making enlightened choices.

Fri, 21 Jun 2019 16:41:05 +0530
Yoga for peace harmony

RANCHI: The Prime Minister Narendra Modi, today participated in a Mass Yoga Demonstration at Ranchi, on the occasion of International Day of Yoga.

"Let our motto be Yoga for peace, harmony and progress", exhorted the Prime Minister as he commenced his address, shortly before the Yoga session.

Greeting everyone on the occasion, he complimented media personnel, and those associated with social media, for the key role they have played in spreading the message of Yoga.

The Prime Minister said that he now wants to take the message of modern Yoga, from the cities to the villages, and to the homes of the poor and tribal communities. He emphasized that Yoga must become part of the lives of the poor and the tribals because they suffer the most on account of illness.



The Prime Minister said that today, with changing times, our focus should be on wellness too, besides preventing illness. He said Yoga can give us this strength. He said this is the spirit of Yoga, and of ancient Indian philosophy.

The Prime Minister said Yoga is not accomplished merely by the activities that we perform for a while on the ground or the mat. He said Yoga implies discipline and dedication, and this must be practised throughout our lives.

The Prime Minister said Yoga transcends the barriers of age, colour, caste, community, thought, sect, rich or poor, State, and border. He said Yoga belongs to everyone.

The Prime Minister said that today, from drawing rooms to board rooms, parks to sports complexes, and streets to wellness centres, Yoga has caught the imagination of people.

Narendra Modi said that Yoga is both ancient and modern. It is constant and evolving, he added.

For centuries, the essence of Yoga has remained the same: healthy body, stable mind, the spirit of oneness, the Prime Minister said. Yoga provides a perfect blend of knowledge, work and devotion, he said.

The Prime Minister said that as the world adopts Yoga, we should lay stress on research related to the subject. He said Yoga should connect with disciplines such as medicine, physiotherapy, and artificial intelligence.

Fri, 21 Jun 2019 15:44:22 +0530
Saudi Rejects Reports On

JEDDAH: The Information Office of the Saudi embassy in the United States of America conveyed the response of the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir to the report of the Human Rights Council on the killing of Saudi citizen Jamal Khashoggi.

A statement by the embassy quoted Minister Al-Jubeir as saying, "There is nothing new in the report of the Human Rights Council's Rapporteur." The minister added that the Rapporteur in his non-binding report, repeats what was published and circulated in the media.

He added that the report also contains clear contradictions and baseless allegations, which challenges its credibility, according to the Saudi Press Agency.

He said: "The trials in the case of the death of Jamal Khashoggi are attended by representatives of the embassies of the five permanent members of the Security Council in addition to Turkey, and Saudi human rights organisations."

Al-Jubeir confirmed that the leadership of Saudi Arabia "initiated the necessary investigations, which led to the arrest of a number of individuals accused in the case, investigations are ongoing and trials are underway."

In conclusion, Al-Jubeir stressed that the judiciary in the kingdom is the only authority competent to deal with this issue, adding that the judiciary exercises its powers in complete independent.

"We strongly reject any attempt to undermine the leadership of the Kingdom or to turn the issue away from the course of justice in the kingdom, or influence it in any way," he said, stressing that the Kingdom's sovereignty and the powers of its judicial institutions, in this case, are not negotiable.

Thu, 20 Jun 2019 17:28:33 +0530


Thu, 20 Jun 2019 11:45:04 +0530
BJP s Om Birla Set To Be

NEW DELHI: BJP lawmaker Om Birla is set to be the next Speaker in the Lok Sabha, the opposition has accepted his candidature, sources said. The two-time lawmaker from Rajasthan's Kota is considered close to party chief and home minister Amit Shah.

Though there has been no formal announcement yet, the party's choice was confirmed by Amita Birla, the wife of Om Birla, reports NDTV.

"It is a very proud and a happy moment for us. We are very thankful to the cabinet for choosing him," she was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

Mr Birla, however, was cautious. "I have no information, I had just went to meet the Working President as a 'karyakarta'," he told ANI while leaving the house of JP Nadda, who was named the party's Working President last night.

The 56-year-old has been associated with the BJP youth wing and has also been in charge of the organisational revamp in Rajasthan in 2018. NDTV reported.

Tue, 18 Jun 2019 12:20:52 +0530
Time for everyone to work

NEW DELHI: The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi today delivered the opening remarks at the fifth meeting of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog, in Rashtrapati Bhawan Cultural Centre in New Delhi.

The Prime Minister reiterated that NITI Aayog has a key role to play in fulfilling the mantra of SabkaSaath, SabkaVikas, SabkaVishwas. 

Recalling the recent General Elections as the world's largest democratic exercise, the Prime Minister said that it is now time for everyone to work for the development of India. He spoke of a collective fight against poverty, unemployment, drought, flood, pollution, corruption and violence etc.

The Prime Minister said that everyone on this platform has a common goal of achieving a New India by 2022. He described Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and PM AwaasYojana as illustrations of what the Centre and the States can accomplish together.

The Prime Minister said that empowerment, and ease of living, have to be provided to each and every Indian. He said the goals that have been set for the 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, should be accomplished by October 2nd, and work should begin in earnest towards the goals for 2022, the 75th anniversary of independence.

The Prime Minister stressed that the focus should be on collective responsibility for achieving short term and long term goals. +-89

Noting that the export sector is an important element in the progress of developing countries, he said both the Centre and the States should work towards growth in exports, in order to raise per capita incomes. He said there is immense untapped export potential in several States, including the North Eastern States. He said a thrust on export promotion at the State level will provide a boost to both income and employment.


Sat, 15 Jun 2019 19:28:18 +0530
SCO Summit PM Talks Toug

BISHKEK: In a stern message directed at Pakistan at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Kyrgyzstan's capital Bishkek on Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that countries sponsoring, aiding and supporting terrorism must be held accountable. India stands for a terrorism-free society, he said.

Underscoring the aim of the SCO to strengthen cooperation in the fight against terrorism, PM Modi called for a global conference to combat it, reports NDTV.

Countries will have to come out of their narrow purview to unite against terrorism to fight it, PM Modi said in the presence of his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan, NDTV reported.

"During my visit to Sri Lanka last Sunday, I visited the St Anthony's church, where I witnessed the ugly face of terrorism which claims the lives of innocents anywhere," he said.

PM Modi arrived in the Kyrgyz capital on Thursday for the two-day SCO summit. The SCO is a China-led 8-member economic and security bloc to which India and Pakistan were admitted in 2017, reports NDTV.

Fri, 14 Jun 2019 17:04:34 +0530
ISRO Chairman Dr K Sivan

BENGALURU: A Press Meet was organized, at ISRO Headquarters, Bengaluru on the occasion of the forthcoming launch of India’s Chandrayaan-2 mission to Moon. Dr K Sivan, Chairman, ISRO addressed and interacted with regional, national and international media persons during the meet.

Dr Sivan outlined ISRO’s vision on space science and interplanetary missions.

Understanding the secrets of the inner solar system is an aspiration of both national and international scientific community. Specifically talking about Chandrayaan-2, he announced: “The launch of Chandrayaan-2 onboard GSLV MkIII-M1 is planned on July 15, 2019, at 02.51 Hrs from Sriharikota”. Further, he said the soft landing of the Vikram lander of Chandrayaan-2 on the Moon’s surface is likely to be on September 06, 2019. The briefing included the scientific objectives, challenges and benefits of the mission.

The Chairman also provided details on the orbiter, lander and rover as well as the challenging tasks of navigating to the Moon and inserting the spacecraft into lunar orbit. Dr Sivan then specially mentioned about the highly demanding task of soft landing on the lunar surface and termed it as “15 terrifying minutes”

Earlier during the day, the media persons had an opportunity to view Chandrayaan-2 orbiter and lander at ISRO Satellite Integration and Test Establishment (ISITE), Bengaluru.

The briefing by Chairman, ISRO was followed by an extensive interactive session with the media.

Thu, 13 Jun 2019 12:35:21 +0530
Centre Aims At Making Aad

NEW DELHI: In a major move aimed at making Aadhaar people friendly, the Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved “The Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019” to replace the Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019. The amendments proposed are the same as those contained in the Ordinance promulgated by President on 2nd March 2019.  The Bill will be introduced in the ensuing session of Parliament.

The decision is expected to go a long way in meeting the people friendly and citizen-centric nature of Aadhaar.


  • The decision would enable UIDAI to have a more robust mechanism to serve the public interest and restrain the misuse of Aadhar. 
  • Subsequent to this amendment, no individual shall be compelled to provide proof of possession of Aadhaar number or undergo authentication for the purpose of establishing his identity unless it is so provided by a law made by Parliament. 
  • For the convenience of the general public in the opening of bank accounts, the proposed amendments would allow the use of Aadhaar number for authentication on a voluntary basis as acceptable KYC document under the Telegraph Act, 1885 and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.


The salient features of the amendments are as follows—

  • Provides for voluntary use of Aadhaar number in physical or electronic form by authentication or offline verification with the consent of Aadhaar  number holder;
  • Provides for use of twelve-digit Aadhaar number and its alternative virtual identity to conceal the actual Aadhaar number of an individual;
  • Gives an option to children who are Aadhaar number holders to cancel their Aadhaar number on attaining the age of eighteen years;
  • Permits the entities to perform authentication only when they are compliant with the standards of privacy and security specified by the Authority, and the authentication is permitted under any law made by Parliament or is prescribed to be in the interest of State by the Central Government;
  • Allows the use of Aadhaar number for authentication on a voluntary basis as an acceptable KYC document under the Telegraph Act, 1885 and the Prevention of Money-laundering Act, 2002;
  • Proposes deletion of section 57 of the Aadhaar Act relating to the use of Aadhaar by private entities;
  • Prevents denial of services for refusing to, or being unable to, undergo authentication;
  • Provides for the establishment of Unique Identification Authority of India Fund;
  • Provides for civil penalties, its adjudication, appeal thereof in regard to violations of Aadhaar Act and provisions by entities in the Aadhaar ecosystem.



The Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019 was considered by the Cabinet in its meeting held on 28th February 2019 and the Ordinance was promulgated by the President on 2nd March 2019.

The Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019 amongst other things envisaged strengthening of the Aadhaar Act as per the directions of the Supreme Court and recommendations of Justice B.N.Srikrishna(Retd)  Committee.

Thu, 13 Jun 2019 12:22:25 +0530
Cabinet Approves New Bill

Fulfilling one of the promises to the people, the Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019 by replacing the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Second Ordinance, 2019.


The Bill would ensure gender equality and gender justice to Muslim women. The Bill would also help in protecting the rights of married Muslim women and prevent divorce by the practice of ‘talaq-e-biddat’ by their husbands. The Bill will be introduced in the forthcoming session of the Parliament.


  • The Bill propose to declare the practice of triple talaq as void and illegal.
  • It also makes an offence punishable with imprisonment up to three years and fine.
  • It also provides for payment of subsistence allowance to married Muslim women and dependent children.
  • The Bill also proposes to make the offence cognizable, if information relating to the commission of an offence is given to an officer in charge of a police station by the married Muslim woman upon whom talaq is pronounced or by any person related to her by blood or marriage. 
  • The offence is made compoundable with the permission of the Magistrate at the instance of the married Muslim woman upon whom talaq is pronounced. 
  • The Bill further provides for hearing the married Muslim woman upon whom talaq is pronounced before the accused is released on bail by the Magistrate.

The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019 is on similar lines of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Second Ordinance, 2019.

Thu, 13 Jun 2019 11:59:36 +0530
Cabinet Approves Extensio

NEW DELHI: Based on the prevailing situation in the state as stated in the report of Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, the Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the extension of President's Rule in Jammu and Kashmir for a further period of six months with effect from 3rdJuly, 2019, under article 356(4) of the Constitution of India.




The decision implies that the President’s rule in Jammu and Kashmir will be extended for a further period of six months with effect from 3rd July 2019.


The present term of President's Rule is expiring on 2nd July, 2019and the Governor has recommended that President Rule in the State may be extended for a further period of six months with effect from 3rd July 2019.




A resolution seeking approval of parliament for the same will be moved in both the houses of parliament during the forthcoming session.




The Governor of Jammu & Kashmir issued a proclamation on 20.6.2018 under Section 92 of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir with the concurrence of the President of India, thereby assuming to himself the functions of the Government and Legislature of the State and making some incidental and consequential provisions. The State Assembly, initially kept in suspended animation was dissolved by the Governor on 21.11.2018.

The proclamation issued by the Governor on 20.6.2018 ceased on 19.12.2018 after six months. Under Section 92 of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir, there is no provision for further continuation of such Proclamation after six months. Hence, on the recommendation of Governor and having regard to the prevailing situation in the State, President issued a proclamation promulgating President's Rule in J&K under article 356 of the Constitution of India. Subsequently, a Resolution approving the subject Proclamation by President was passed in the Lok Sabha on 28.12.2018 and in the RajyaSabha on 3.1.2019.

The present term of President's Rule is expiring on 2nd July, 2019and the Governor has recommended that President Rule in the State may be extended for a further period of six months with effect from 3rd July 2019.

Thu, 13 Jun 2019 11:50:35 +0530
Cyclone Vayu Won t Hit Gu

PORBANDAR:  Cyclone Vayu will not hit Gujarat as it has changed its trajectory overnight and moved further into the sea, the weather department has said. However, the western coast continues to be on high alert as strong winds and rough seas are expected for the next 24 to 48 hours, reports NDTV.

Over three lakh people were evacuated from coastal Gujarat and the Union Territory of Diu on Wednesday. As many as 52 teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been deployed for rescue and relief operations. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also tweeted to say that the centre was constantly monitoring the situation, NDTV reported.

Thu, 13 Jun 2019 11:41:19 +0530
Centre Clears Air Over Ar

Reports have appeared in a section of media citing Dr Arvind Subramanian as regards overestimation of India’s GDP growth, primarily based on an analysis of indicators, like electricity consumption, two-wheeler sales, commercial vehicle sales etc using an econometric model and associated assumptions. 

The  Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation has released details from time to time to explain the complexities involved in GDP compilation. The estimation of GDP in any economy is a complex exercise where several measures and metrics are evolved to better measure the performance of the economy. For the purpose of global standardization and comparability, countries follow the System of National Accounts evolved in the UN after elaborate consultation. The System of National Accounts 2008 (2008 SNA) is the latest version of the international statistical standard for the national accounts, adopted by the United Nations Statistical Commission (UNSC) in 2009 and is an update of the earlier 1993 SNA. The Inter-Secretariat Working Group on National Accounts (ISWGNA) was mandated to develop the 2008 SNA through intense discussions and consultation with member countries. India also participated in the deliberations of the Advisory Expert Group. In its adoption of the 2008 SNA, the UNSC encouraged Member States, regional and sub-regional organizations to implement its recommendations and use it for the national and international reporting of national accounts statistics based on the available data sources.  

As with any international standard, the data requirements are immense and diverse economies like India take time to evolve the relevant data sources before they can be fully aligned with the SNA requirements. In the absence of data, alternate proxy sources or statistical surveys are used to estimate the contribution of various sectors to the GDP/GVA. The SNA also prescribes that the base year of the estimates may be revised at periodic intervals so that changes in the economic environment, advances in methodological research and the needs of users are appropriately captured. 

With structural changes taking place in the economy, it is necessary to revise the base year of macroeconomic indicators like Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Index of Industrial Production (IIP), Consumer Price Index (CPI) etc, periodically to ensure that indicators remain relevant and reflect the structural changes more realistically. Such revisions not only use the latest data from censuses and surveys, but they also incorporate information from administrative data that have become more robust over time.  In India, the Base Year of the GDP Series was revised from 2004-05 to 2011-12 and released on 30 January 2015 after adaptation of the sources and methods in line with the SNA 2008. The methodology of compilation of macroaggregates has been discussed in detail by the Advisory Committee on National Accounts Statistics (ACNAS) comprising experts from academia, National Statistical Commission, Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Ministries of Finance, Corporate Affairs, Agriculture, NITI Aayog and selected State Governments. It may be noted that decisions taken by these Committees are unanimous and collective after taking into consideration the data availability and methodological aspects before recommending the most appropriate approach. 

In addition, India has subscribed to the Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS) of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and an Advance Release Calendar is decided for release of estimates. The IMF had raised certain issues on the usage of double deflation in the Indian GDP series and India had informed IMF that the existing data availability does not permit its application in India at present.  In fact, some media reports, while citing the changes in GDP growth likely to result from adopting the double deflation, acknowledges the varying outcomes obtained by different authors under their own distinct assumptions. In view of these divergent views, the Advisory Committee on National Accounts Statistics (ACNAS) had not agreed to the adoption of double deflation at this stage. Moreover, double deflation is used in only a few countries that have a Producers Price Index (PPI) to deflate the inputs. 


According to the World Bank, the accuracy of national accounts estimates and their comparability across countries depend on timely revisions to data on GDP and its components. The frequency of revisions to GDP data across countries varies between monthly, quarterly, annually or even less frequently. The International Monetary Fund (IMF), through its technical missions also reviews the implementation of recommendations of SNA and provides necessary technical support. Further, under Article IV of IMF, a Mission, interacts annually with officials of Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation, Reserve Bank of India and Ministry of Finance on issues relating to economic development and policies. The detailed methodology for compilation of the GDP, including the Back Series is available on the website of the Ministry. It may also be noted that the National Accounts Division, which compiles these macro aggregates and other National Accounts Statistics is also ISO (International Organisation for Standards) 9001:2015 certified for its quality management of procedures and processes.

With any Base Revision, as new and more regular data sources become available, it is important to note that a comparison of the old and new series are not amenable to simplistic macro-econometric modelling. It may also be seen that the GDP growth projections brought out by various national and international agencies are broadly in line with the estimates released by MOSPI. The GDP estimates released by the Ministry are based on accepted procedures, methodologies and available data and objectively measure the contribution of various sectors in the economy.

Wed, 12 Jun 2019 14:29:36 +0530
IT Dept Conducts Search O

SRINAGAR: The Income Tax Department conducted search and seizure operations on a prominent business group based in Srinagar, covering 8 premises in Srinagar and 1 each at Bangalore and Delhi. The assessee group is engaged in the business of transportation, manufacturing of silk yarn, hospitality, retail trading of Kashmir Arts & Crafts etc.

None of the members of the group is regular in filing their Income Tax Returns. As a one time settlement, the group has got their loans of Rs 170 crores with J&K Bank restructured for a sum of Rs 77 crores, out of which, payment of only Rs 50.34 crores to the J&K Bank has been made so far and balance of Rs 27.66 crores is yet to be paid.

During the search, evidence has been detected indicating that the one-time settlement of the loan from J&K Bank has been done through the active connivance of a senior J&K Bank officer who was receiving several out of turn promotions. Furthermore, evidence has also been unearthed indicating that the repayment of Rs 50.34 crores pertaining to the said loan has been greenfield by the J&K Bank by granting a loan of a similar amount to an associate who has confessed to his role in layering the entire transaction.

Wed, 12 Jun 2019 14:10:01 +0530
Wreckage Of Missing An 32

JORHAT/ASSAM: The wreckage of an aircraft An-32 of the Indian Air Force which went missing on 03 Jun 2019 after getting airborne from Air Force Station, Jorhat Assam, was spotted 16 Kms North of Lipo, North East of Tato at an approximate elevation of 12000 ft by the IAF Mi-17 Helicopter undertaking search in the expanded search zone.

Efforts are now continuing to establish the status of occupants and establish survivors. Further details will be communicated as the recovery actions progress.

Wed, 12 Jun 2019 13:27:05 +0530
Cyclone Vayu Moves Toward

AHMEDABAD: The Very Severe Cyclonic Storm ‘VAYU’ (pronounced as VAA’YU) over East-central Arabian Sea moved nearly northwards with a speed of about 13 kmph in last six hours and lay centred at 0530 hrs IST of 12th June, 2019 near latitude 17.8°N and longitude 70.5°E over East-central Arabian Sea, about 470 km west-northwest of Goa, 280 km south-southwest of Mumbai (Maharashtra) and 340 km nearly south of Veraval (Gujarat).

It is very likely to move nearly northwards and cross Gujarat coast between Porbandar and Mahuva around Veraval & Diu region as a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm with wind speed 145-155 kmph gusting to 170 kmph around the morning of 13th June 2019.

Wed, 12 Jun 2019 12:53:27 +0530
DU Admissions 2019

The university kicked off its online registration for admission in its 65 colleges offering undergraduate courses on May 30. The registrations will continue till June 14 and the first cutoff list is slated to be announced by the colleges tentatively on June 20.

With three days left for the registration process to come to a close, data provided by Delhi University suggest that the highest number of applicant(till Tuesday) were from Delhi. Repeating last year’s trend, the second and third highest number of applications were received from neighbouring states of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana.

Of the 1,82,891 applicants who had made their payments till Tuesday afternoon, 82,772 (45%)were from Delhi. According to the data, while 32,985 (18%) candidates had applied from Uttar Pradesh, 24,697 (13%) students had applied from Haryana.

The other states to feature in the top ten include Bihar (8,614), Rajasthan (6,786), Uttarakhand (3,831), Madhya Pradesh (3,304), Jharkhand (2,536), West Bengal (2,258), and Kerala (2,009).

“The reason why the university receives so many applications from across the country is that students consider Delhi to be a good place to study and see better opportunities here,” a senior DU official said. Talking about the top three states, the official added that the numbers were reflective of how candidates in National Capital Region aspire to study in the varsity.

The sentiment was echoed among several students who had come for the Open Day sessions to get more information on the admissions process. “I want to pursue economics (Hons) in Delhi University because there is a lot of scope in the capital,” said Kanpur-resident Rohini Jha(18) who was attended the second open day session held inside the conference centre in north campus.

Experts also noted that since a majority of schools in Delhi, public and private, are affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), the number of applicants from Delhi were bound to be high.

Talking about this year’s trend, another DU official from the admissions committee said, “Generally, these are the states from where more number of students come into the university. However, we should wait for final registration numbers since some state boards results might not have been declared yet.” The official added that number of applications received from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh may also go up in the next few days.

The high influx of students from Uttar Pradesh and Haryana can also be gauged from the fact that the university has, in the past, approached both state governments to help with the construction of hostels. DU Students’ Union president Shakti Singh on Monday had also met Uttar Pradesh chief minister, Yogi Adityanath to discuss the shortage of hostels. Singh said he was assured that the UP government would provide the required assistance.

Following government orders, the university facilitated a 10% increase in seats this year to accommodate economically weaker section (EWS) candidates, adding approximately 6,000 seats to the existing 56,000.

Wed, 12 Jun 2019 08:25:35 +0530
SC Orders Release Of Arre

LUCKNOW: The Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered the immediate release of journalist Prashant Kanojia who was arrested for sharing a post against UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath.

Kanojia’s wife moved the Supreme Court on Monday. He shared a video of a Kanpur-based woman making allegations against Adityanath. He was picked up from his Delhi home on Saturday morning and sent to jail in the evening. The woman has also been arrested, reports Hindustan Times.

The Supreme Court said that a case for arrest of the journalist not made out. “The police can proceed against him, but arrest? No,” the court said, Hindustan Times reported.

Tue, 11 Jun 2019 13:44:36 +0530
Cyclone Vayu To Intensify

MUMBAI: A low-pressure area formed over the southeast Arabian Sea (AS) and adjoining Lakshadweep and east-central AS in the morning and became well-marked low-pressure area over the same region in the evening of 9th June 2019. Under favourable environmental conditions, it intensified into a depression over the same region in the morning of 10th June 2019 near latitude 11.7°N and longitude 71.0°E.

Moving north- northwestwards, it intensified into a deep depression at 1130 hrs IST and lay centered near latitude 12.5°N and longitude 70.9°E over east central and adjoining southeast AS & Lakshadweep area, about 250 km northwest of Aminidivi (Lakshadweep), 760 km south-southwest of Mumbai (Maharashtra) and 930 km south-southeast of Veraval (Gujarat).

It is very likely to intensify further into a Cyclonic Storm during the next 24 hours and into a Severe Cyclonic Storm in subsequent 24 hours. It is likely to move north-northwestwards during the next 72 hours.

It is very likely to cause an adverse impact in terms of wind & rainfall over Saurashtra & Kutch mainly on 13th & 14th June 2019.

Tue, 11 Jun 2019 12:45:14 +0530
Shahid Kapoor says he nev

Shahid Kapoor says he never gets angry at house helps like Kabir Singh

In an appearance on The Kapil Sharma Show, where Shahid and his co-actor Kiara Advani promoted the upcoming film, Shahid was asked if he’s ever lost his cool on domestic helps in real life.

According to Mumbai Mirror, Shahid said that his wife, Mira Rajput, brought along several house helps to their home after their wedding, and were he to break a glass, he would apologise to them and offer to clean up.

The actor has spoken about channelling a dark side of his psyche for the film, in which he plays a self-destructive alcoholic. In the past, Shahid has said that he would take long showers before returning home, to wash away the smell of the 20-odd cigarettes he was smoking on set. Shahid, on Kapil’s show, said that another reason for those long showers was to metaphorically ‘cleanse himself of all the anger and angst’ he was carrying on set.

“However he added (Shahid) I don’t endorse smoking at all. However, the role required it, as the protagonist uses it to channel his angst and rage. It wasn’t easy, and it came to a point where I smoked almost 20 cigarettes a day. It would take me close to two hours to shower and get rid of the smells before I could return home to my children,” he had said in an earlier interview to Mumbai Mirror.

Kabir Singh is the Hindi remake of hit Telugu film Arjun Reddy, which starred Vijay Deverakonda in the lead role. Also directed by Sandeep Vanga, Kabir Singh is slated for release on June 21.

Tue, 11 Jun 2019 09:17:02 +0530
Kathua rape bloodshed cas


Kathua rape-bloodshed case: J&K IG Ahfadul Mujtaba says shielding the evidence was the biggest challenge

 The inspector general of Jammu and Kashmir’s police crime branch, Ahfadul Mujtaba commanded the investigation into rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua in January 2018. He spoke to Mir Ehsan about the challenges they faced while investigating the case that was handed over to them amid protests in Kathua against the arrest of the accused.


It was a complicated case said the IG because evidence relating to the case were destroyed and other obstacles were also prevailing like people started taking to the streets... but as though we did not react to the protestors. Our entire focus was on the collection of evidence... we had to go to the high court and then the Supreme Court as there were various issues and petitions regarding this case we felt absolved. Six persons have been convicted, and one has been discharged in the case...we will examine that [acquittal], and if the need arises, then we will also go for an appeal.

 In such a case, the collection of evidence is always a challenging job said the IG.

The IG said the credit for cracking the case would go to the crime branch team members, who investigated the case meticulously. It has been proved how good they are. In this case, we had four prosecutors — Santok Singh Basra, Mr Chopra, Bhupinder Singh and Harminder Singh. We did our job without any fear and favour. Every member of our team deserves appreciation.

Tue, 11 Jun 2019 09:04:25 +0530
Four arrested for fake do

Pune: police arrested four for fake dollars

Pune police of Faraskhana arrested four persons for fake dollars in an exchange deal, police sub-inspector PY Suryavanshi of Faraskhana police station who is investigating the case said that they found Rs 4,000 and one $20 note from one of the accused. And are investigating their hideouts and possible accomplices. The accused are currently in police custody till June 12. According to the police, the men were arrested based on a complaint registered by a 39-year-old resident of Dattanagar. The complainant chose to remain anonymous. He owns a cloth store in Pune where two people had approached him with an offer of selling 500 $20 notes for Rs 1,50,000.

“The accused gained the victim’s confidence by purchasing something from him. The complainant was first given a single bill of $20 as an offer by two of the accused who approached him. They told him that it would generally cost Rs 1,400, but he could get it for Rs 700 instead,” said Suryavanshi.


According to officials, the complainant showed the note to his friend who said that the note was genuine. The clothing store owner decided to go ahead with the deal and paid Rs 1,50,000 in cash on Saturday. In exchange, the accused persons gave him stacks of notes. However, when the complainant opened the package, it was filled with papers and not the notes. The men are suspected of having committed similar crimes earlier as well.

A case under Sections 406 (punishment for criminal breach of trust) and 420 (punishment for cheating) of Indian Penal Code was registered at Faraskhana police station.

Mon, 10 Jun 2019 17:17:40 +0530
Stabbing goes live

Stabbing goes live on Facebook.

In West Bengal’s Hooghly district a 27-year-old youth stabbed his family members, killing his grandmother, and then reportedly went live on Facebook

“Indranil Roy, a resident of Keota Shibtala, attacked his family members on Sunday night. His grandmother Arati Roy, 80, succumbed to the injuries. We heard he did a Facebook live after the incident, but we are yet to verify it,” a police officer said.

Roy’s parents received minor injuries, but they are now fine. “The accused has been arrested, and the matter is under investigation,” he added.

The officer said, “the boy has a history of addiction and had been behaving violently for some days”.

Talking about the incident, a city-based psychologist said the investigators should verify if the accused were high on drugs or if he has some psychotic illness.

Mon, 10 Jun 2019 17:00:49 +0530
New Mr Bajaj for oldBajaj

Kasauti Zindagii Kay: Karan Singh Grover to step into the shoes of Ronit Roy as Mr Bajaj in Kasautii Zindagii Kay.

 Kasauti zindagi kay will now see a new Mr.Bajaj (karan singh) stepping into the shoes of old Mr.Bajaj.

 Karan had also starred in the original show as Mr Bajaj’s daughter’s love interest. His ex-wife Jennifer Winget had played his girlfriend on the show. The actor told Spotboye in an interview, “While we were doing Kasautii Zindagii Kay Part 1, we had a scene together where I go to him asking for his daughter Sneha’s (Jennifer Winget) hand. I had many lines to say, and he just had to listen. But I can’t tell you how many retakes I took for that shot; I don’t know why but I fumbled so much that a long delay became just imminent.”

“Ronit stood patiently and lied to me that I can take it easy and not hurry, but the fact was that he had to reach somewhere and was getting late!” he added.

For the first time, Karan will be seen with grey hair and is excited to play the part. The makers have teased his entry on the reboot version of the show by showing his unexpected arrival during lead actors Parth Samthaan and Erica Fernandes’ wedding scene.

The actor was last seen in Bollywood film Hate Story 3 and had starred alongside Bipasha Basu in Alone in the same year.

Mon, 10 Jun 2019 16:34:31 +0530
ACT 60 1986

Kerala HC: Mere possession of sexually absolute photos not punishable.

Bare possession of sexually categorical photos will not amount to a crime under the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, the Kerala High Court has ruled.

The court, while quashing criminal proceedings against a man and a woman, however, made it clear that publication or distribution of such photos is punishable under the law.

 Justice Raja Vijayaraghavan said in a recent order. “If an adult person has a photograph of himself or herself in his or her possession which is sexually explicit, the provisions of Act 60 of 1986 will not apply, unless the prosecution has a case that those photographs were distributed or published for advertisement or any other incidental purpose.

The high court gave its verdict on a petition seeking to quash the proceedings against the man and the woman, pending before a magistrate court in Kollam. The Kollam East Police had registered the case in 2008.

Police during a search operation at the transport bus stand in Kollam had checked the bags of the two persons, who were together, and found two cameras inside. On inspection, it was found that they contained explicit pictures and videos of one of the persons. They were arrested, and the cameras were seized.

A case was registered, and after investigation, a final report was put before a judicial magistrate in Kollam.

 The high court said. In the case on hand, there is no case for the prosecution that the petitioners have advertised or circulated their private pictures found in the cameras which were in their possession.

“The high court said. When the factual scenario is examined in the background of the legal principles as laid down by the apex court in the state of Haryana vs Bhajan Lal, the inevitable conclusion is that the criminal proceedings against the petitioners are nothing, but an abuse of the process of law.


Mon, 10 Jun 2019 15:51:41 +0530

PM Modi to meet secretaries of all ministries today

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called secretaries of all ministries today, meeting of where he is likely to outline priorities of his government, sources said. Besides about 100 top bureaucrats, a few key ministers are expected to attend the meeting which the sources said will be a freewheeling discussion.

 Prime Ministers Principal Secretary and the Additional Principal Secretary to PM including the Cabinet Secretary will be in attendance alongside the secretaries of all ministries. The meeting is scheduled to be held at 6:30 pm at the Prime Minister’s residence at 7 Lok Kalyan Marg.

PM Modi is expected to outline the agenda of his government while at the same time he will also take feedback from the top officials, sources said. A similar meeting was held in 2014 after Modi assumed charge as prime minister in his first term. He has been meeting secretaries of various ministries at regular intervals.

In Modi’s previous tenure, the PMO had formed eight groups of secretaries on various subjects to suggest reforms in governance.

He has also been interacting with various state chief secretaries on a monthly basis.


Mon, 10 Jun 2019 15:24:01 +0530
Silver Containers seized

Hyderabad: Containers containing silver seized.

Preliminary investigation revealed that the consignment had reached Chennai from London through sea route and was then transported to Hyderabad in the containers.

Police said the drivers had no relevant documents and transport permits etc., but had some papers connected with the consignment.

A huge consignment of silver weighing 10.8 tonnes worth nearly Rs 40 crore which was being transported from Chennai. The Hyderabad police on Monday confiscated that

According to the police in the north zone, two large containers carrying the consignment were intercepted at Bowenpally in the early hours of Monday. The drivers of both the containers and four security guards were detained for questioning.

"Not aware of what was inside the containers and the security guards said that they were only assigned the duty of escorting the vehicles.

Preliminary investigation revealed that the consignment had reached Chennai from London through sea route and was then transported to Hyderabad in the containers. The shipment contained 9,000 silver bars weighing 10.8 tonnes.

Police said the drivers had no relevant documents and transport permits etc. but had some papers connected with the consignment.

 Preliminary investigation revealed that the consignment had reached Chennai from London through sea route and was then transported to Hyderabad in the containers.

The police are investigating if the silver being supplied to various jewellery shops in Hyderabad without payment of Goods and Services Tax. They have alerted the GST officials for verification of the documents.“We have shifted the containers to the police station promises and taken the driver and security guards into custody for further questioning,” Bowenpally police inspector D Rajesh said.



Mon, 10 Jun 2019 15:06:03 +0530
Sentencement for rapist

On Monday, six out of the seven accused guilty in the Kathua rape, and murder case was sentenced from January 2018. By the special court. One of the accused has been acquitted. According to the 15-page charge sheet, the eight-year-old girl, who was kidnapped on January 10 last year, was raped in captivity in a small village temple in Kathua district after having been kept sedated for four days before she was bludgeoned to death.

Mon, 10 Jun 2019 14:44:39 +0530
Retirement announcement

Retirement announcement from all forms of International cricket

Yuvraj Singh the left-handed batsman, who made his international debut in an ODI match against Kenya in October 2000, went on to play 304 ODIs, 40 Tests and 58 T20Is for the side. On Sunday announced his retirement from all formats of international cricket. Yuvraj Singh was part of India’s 2007 T20I World Cup-winning campaign and 2011 ODI World Cup-winning campaign.

The 37-year-old struck 14 ODI tons and 3 Test hundreds Throughout his career. He also scored 52 ODI fifties and 11 half-centuries in the most extended format. In T20Is, he scored eight fifties. The middle-order batsman amassed 8,701 ODI runs, 1,900 Test runs and 1,177 T20I runs in his career.

He also contributed with the ball for India, as he picked up 111 wickets in the format, holding a career average of 38.68.

Singh was part of India’s 2007 T20I World Cup-winning campaign in which he hammered England’s Stuart Broad for six sixes in an over, becoming the first player to do so in the shortest format in international cricket.

The batsman was also part of India’s 2011 World Cup-winning campaign in which he was named man of the tournament for scoring 362 runs in 8 innings at an average of 90.50 and picking up 15 wickets.

Mon, 10 Jun 2019 14:08:18 +0530
PM Condoles Demise Of Gir

The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has condoled the demise of Girish Karnad.

“Girish Karnad will be remembered for his versatile acting across all mediums. He also spoke passionately on causes dear to him. His works will continue being popular in the years to come. Saddened by his demise. May his soul rest in peace”, the Prime Minister said.

Mon, 10 Jun 2019 12:50:46 +0530
Girish Karnad passes away


Girish Karnad passes away, a loss to  cinema and theatre:


Jnanpith Award winner and recipient of the Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan,  passed away in Bengaluru on Monday. at 81. 

He wrote his first play, the critically acclaimed Yayati (1961), while still at Oxford. which is centred on the story of a mythological king, the play established Karnad’s use of the themes of history and mythology. Karnad’s next play, Tughlaq (1964), tells the story of the 14th-century sultan Muḥammad bin Tughluq and remains among the best known of his works.

Karnad has written numerous plays in Kannada and is considered one of Kannada literature's foremost playwrights. His most famous include Yayati in 1961, Hayavadana in 1972 and Nagamandala in 1988. Tughlaq, a play he wrote in 1964, made Karnad a name to reckon with among playwrights in the country. The thirteen-scene play is set during the reign of Muhammad bin Tughlaq.

He was conferred Padma Shri in 1974 and in 1992, the Indian government awarded Karnad the Padma Bhushan, in recognition of his contributions to the arts. He was the recipient of the Jnanpith Award, India’s highest literary prize, in 1999 for his contributions to literature and theatre.

Karnad's acting and screenwriting debut came in 1970 in the Kannada film Samskara (1970), which is based on a novel by UR Ananthamurthy. The film won the first President's Golden Lotus Award for Kannada cinema. Karnad followed with Vamsha Vriksha (1971), co-directed by BV Karanth. During this period Karnad continued to produce work as a playwright, including Hayavadana (1971), widely acclaimed as among the most critical plays of post-independence India. For his contributions to theatre, he was awarded the Padma Shri, one of India’s top civilian honours, in 1974. Karnad’s other well-known films in Kannada include Tabbaliyu Neenade Magane (1977) and Ondanondu Kaaladalli (1978). He also worked in Hindi, directing the critically acclaimed Utsav (1984), an adaptation of Shūdraka’s 4th-century Sanskrit play Mrichchakatika.

The multifaceted author and playwright also hosted a weekly science program on the Doordarshan titled Turning Point. Featuring Indian scientist Yash Pal, the award-winning show explained complex, modern scientific discoveries in simple language.

Even as he aged, he continued to make public appearances at panel discussions and literature festivals to discuss his work.

Outside of his work on stage and on screen, he was an active voice against violence against writers and journalists in India. On the first anniversary of the murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh, he attended an event with a placard around his neck that read, “#MeTooUrbanNaxal.” He also took part in protests in Bengaluru after Lankesh’s death as well as protests against the murder of academic MM Kalburgi.

During the Karnataka police's investigation into Gauri Lankesh's murder, they found that Karnad's name was first on a hit list of a far-right conspiracy, by members associated with groups that were targeting several litterateurs and rationalists.

He was born in Maharashtra on May 19, 1938. He got his Bachelor's degree from the Karnataka University in 1958 and then proceeded on a fellowship to study at Oxford where he secured his M.A. degree in 1963. At Oxford, Karnad studied philosophy, politics, and economics.

He is survived by his wife Saraswathi, son Raghu Karnad, a journalist and writer and daughter Radha, a doctor based in Kenya. 



Mon, 10 Jun 2019 12:25:00 +0530
VP Calls For Revamping of

BENGALURU: The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has called for the revamping of our entire education system to equip our youth with the knowledge, skills and attitudes required for the 21st century. He was inaugurating the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of Sri Satya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, in Bengaluru.

Terming the completion of 50 years, as a ‘crucial milestone’ in the journey of the institution, Naidu said that the achievement was an eloquent testimony to the enduring vision of Sri Satya Sai Baba, an extraordinary guru and a transformational leader, who inspired millions of people across the globe to actively participate in the service of humanity.

The Vice President asserted that education is one of the major catalysts of growth and added that nations prosper only when its citizens become educated. Quoting the Kothari Commission’s report of 1964-68 which laid down the country’s education policy, Naidu said that the destiny of our country shaped in our classrooms.

Referring to the draft National Education policy 2019 that covers a whole range of issues in great detail, the Vice President spoke about the need to aim for excellence and equity and strikes a balance between the national needs and ethos and the need to prepare our students to be among the best in the global context.

Naidu called for a pragmatic language policy in which mother tongue and other languages are given due importance in order to help our youth excel in a multilingual world.

Highlighting India’s improving literacy rate, the Vice President said that in the next few years, we must ensure that our population can read, write, compute, articulate and participate with greater self-confidence in the developmental processes.

Mon, 10 Jun 2019 12:12:56 +0530

ICC World Cup 2019
India vs Australia: ball-tampering claims banished by Aaron Finch on Adam Zampa says leggie used hand-warmer
During the match between India and Australia, cameras caught Adam Zampa getting his hands in his pocket and then subsequently rubbing the ball. There were speculations that the leg-spinner was trying to alter the conditions of the ball, but Australian captain Aaron Finch rubbished all such claims and said that Zampa was only using a hand-warmer. (Complete coverage of ICC Cricket World Cup 2019)

Mon, 10 Jun 2019 12:06:21 +0530
No new cases of Nipah Vir

Union Minister of Health and Family, Dr Harsh Vardhan stated that "There have been no new cases of Nipah virus disease". He also stated that the clinical condition of Nipah positive patient is improving further.

As on today, 8 patients are there in the isolation ward and 7 of them were found negative for Nipah virus. The sample from the 8th patient is being tested in the point of Care (POC) lab. Yesterday, four other patients from the isolation were discharged as their clinical condition improved.

National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune collected three blood samples from pigs and about 30 samples from bats from Thodupuzha (Idukki district).

The Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan is personally regularly reviewing and monitoring the Nipah Virus Disease status and has directed the senior officers of the Ministry to review the status with the Kerala state government. The Union Health Ministry is supporting the Kerala state government in management and containment of the situation.

Mon, 10 Jun 2019 10:50:20 +0530
VP Calls For Out of box I

HYDERABAD: Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has called for out-of-box ideas and innovations to protect data as new advancements in science and technology would pose a big challenge to cybersecurity.

Inaugurating a two-day Seminar on “New Paradigms in Artificial Intelligence and Cyber Security” organized by C. R. Rao Advanced Institute of Mathematics Statistics and Computer Science, in Hyderabad, the Vice President expressed concern over the rise in cybercrimes and said that cyber security must be an essential part of our technology culture.

With around 8.4 billion connected devices currently in use across the globe, Naidu observed that traditional cyber security systems were becoming obsolete and stressed the need to constantly update technology, improve software and computing prowess to meet myriad challenges confronting the world.

Observing that the 21st century has witnessed the creation of disruptive technologies that have caused paradigm shifts in our way of life, the Vice President said that Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) were the most exciting of these technologies with potentially endless applications. “These technologies are capable of solving many complex problems of our times”, he added.

Fri, 07 Jun 2019 13:21:17 +0530
PM Modi Reconstitutes NIT

NEW DELHI: Government has reconstituted NITI Aayog. Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the reconstitution of National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog as follows:


  1. Chairperson                             Prime Minister
  2. Vice-Chairperson                    Dr. Rajiv Kumar
  3. Full-Time Members                 (i) Shri V.K. Saraswat

(ii) Prof. Ramesh Chand

(iii) Dr. V.K. Paul


  1. Ex-officio Members                (i)  Raj Nath Singh, Minister of Defence

(ii)  Amit Shah, Minister of Home Affairs

(iii)  Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of Finance and

Minister of Corporate Affairs

(iv) Narendra Singh Tomar, Minister of Agriculture

and Farmers Welfare; Minister of Rural Development;

Minister of Panchayati Raj.


  1. Special Invitees                       (i) Nitin Jairam Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport

                                                                and Highways; Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises

(ii) Thaawar Chand Gehlot, Minister of Social

      Justice and Empowerment.

(iii) Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways; and

       Minister of Commerce and Industry

(iv)  Rao Inderjit Singh, Minister of State

       (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Statistics

       and Programme Implementation and Minister of State

      (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Planning. 

Fri, 07 Jun 2019 13:10:39 +0530
Centre Reconstitutes Cabi

NEW DELHI: Under the Transaction of Business Rules, the Government has reconstituted Cabinet Committees. These include - Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, Cabinet Committee on Accommodation, Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs, Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs, Cabinet Committee on Security, Cabinet Committee on Investment and Growth and Cabinet Committee on Employment and Skill Development. The members are as follows:-

  1. Appointments Committee of the Cabinet.


Prime Minister.

Shri Amit Shah, Minister of Home Affairs

  1. Cabinet Committee on Accommodation.


Shri Amit Shah, Minister of Home Affairs

Shri Nitin Jairam Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport and Highways; Minister of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises.

Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of Finance; Minister of Corporate Affairs

Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways, Minister of Commerce & Industry.

Special Invitees

Shri Jitendra Singh,Minister of State(I/C) of the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region; Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, Minister of State in the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Minister of State in the Department of Atomic Energy; and Minister of State in the Department of Space

Shri Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State(I/C) of the Ministry of Housing &Urban Affairs; Minister of State(I/C) of the Ministry of Civil Aviation; and Minister of State in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry


  1. Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs.


Prime Minister

Shri Rajnath Singh, Minister of Defence

Shri Amit Shah, Minister of Home Affairs

Shri Nitin Jairam Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport and Highways; Minister of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises

Shri D.V.Sadananda Gowda, Minister of Chemicals & Fertilizers

Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of Finance; Minister of Corporate Affairs

Shri Narendra Singh Tomar, Minister of Agriculture &Farmer Welfare, Minister of Rural Development: and Minister of Panchayati Raj.

Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Communications and Information Technology; and Minister of Law and Justice.

           Smt. Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Minister of Food Processing Industries.

Dr. Subrahamanayam Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs

Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways, Minister of Commerce &Industry

Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Minister of Steel.

  1. Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs.



Shri Raj Nath Singh, Minister of Defence.

Shri Amit Shah, Minister of Home Affairs.

Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of Finance; Minister of Corporate Affairs

Shri Ramvilas Paswan, Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution.

Shri Narendra Singh Tomar, Minister of Agriculture &Farmer Welfare, Minister of Rural Development: and Minister of Panchayati Raj.

Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Communications and Information Technology; and Minister of Law and   Justice

Shri Thawar Chand Gehlot, Minister of Social Justice & Empowerment

Shri Prakash Javadekar, Minister of Environment, Forest & Climate Change; Minister of Information and Broadcasting

Shri Prahlad Joshi, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs; Minister of Coal and Mines.

Special Invitees

Shri Arjun Ram Meghwal, Minister of State Parliamentary Affairs; Minister of State in the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises.

Shri V Muraleedharan, Minister of State Parliamentary Affairs;

Minister of State in the Ministry of External Affairs

  1. Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs.


Prime Minister.

    Shri Raj Nath Singh, Minister of Defence.

Shri Amit Shah, Minister of Home Affairs.

Shri Nitin Jairam Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport and Highways; Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.

Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of Finance; Minister of Corporate Affairs

Shri Ramvilas Paswan, Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution.

Shri Narendra Singh Tomar, Minister of Agriculture &Farmer Welfare, Minister of Rural Development: and Minister of Panchayati Raj.

Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Communications and Minister of Electronics and Information Technology; and Minister of Law and Justice 

Smt. Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Minister of Food Processing Industries.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Minister of Health & Family Welfare; Minister of Science & Technology; and Minister of Earth Sciences.

Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways, Minister of Commerce & Industry

Shri Prahlad Joshi, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs; Minister of Coal; and Minister of Mines.

Shri Arvind Ganpat Sawant, Minister of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises


  1. Cabinet Committee on Security.


 Prime Minister.

 Shri Rajnath Singh, Minister of Defence

 Shri Amit Shah, Minister of Home Affairs

   Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of Finance & Corporate Affairs.

   Dr. Subrahamanayam Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs.


7. Cabinet Committee on Investment and Growth.


Prime Minister.

Shri Rajnath Singh, Minister of Defence

Shri Amit Shah, Minister of Home Affairs.

 Shri Nitin Jairam Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport & Highways, Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises

Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of Finance & Corporate Affairs.

Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways & Minister of Commerce & Industry.


8. Cabinet Committee on Employment & Skill Development.


Prime Minister.

Shri Rajnath Singh, Minister of Defence

Shri Amit Shah, Minister of Home Affairs.

Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of Finance & Corporate Affairs

Shri Narendra Singh Tomar, Minister of Agriculture &Farmer Welfare, Minister of Rural Development: and Minister of Panchayati Raj.

Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways & Minister of Commerce & Industry

Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, Minister of Human Resource Development

Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of Petroleum &Natural Gas: and Minister of Steel

Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey, Minister of Skill development & Entrepreneurship

Shri Santosh Kumar Gangwar, MOS(I/C)Labour & Employment

Shri Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State(I/C) of the Ministry of Housing &Urban Affairs; Minister of State(I/C) of the Ministry of Civil Aviation; and Minister of State in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

Special Invitees

Shri Nitin Jairam Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport and Highways; Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.

Smt. Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Minister of Food Processing  Industries.

Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani, Minister of Women & Child Development and Textiles

Shri Prahlad Singh Patel, Minister of State (I/C) Culture, MOS (I/C) Tourism.

Fri, 07 Jun 2019 13:03:52 +0530
Navjot Sidhu Skips Cabine

CHANDIGARH: Punjab Cabinet Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, who is locked in a raging feud with Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, skipped a cabinet meeting on Thursday and instead addressed a press meet beamed on Facebook Live. This is the first meeting after last month's national election, during which the two top leaders sparred openly and exposed the divide within the Congress in Punjab, reports NDTV.

Navjot Sidhu, a former cricketer and television personality, had also missed the previous meeting called by his boss. Their intense rivalry has marked the first two years of the Amarinder Singh-led Congress government, NDTV reported.

Thu, 06 Jun 2019 15:24:16 +0530
Navjot Sidhu Skips Cabine

CHANDIGARH: Punjab Cabinet Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, who is locked in a raging feud with Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, skipped a cabinet meeting on Thursday and instead addressed a press meet beamed on Facebook Live. This is the first meeting after last month's national election, during which the two top leaders sparred openly and exposed the divide within the Congress in Punjab, reports NDTV.

Navjot Sidhu, a former cricketer and television personality, had also missed the previous meeting called by his boss. Their intense rivalry has marked the first two years of the Amarinder Singh-led Congress government, NDTV reported.

Thu, 06 Jun 2019 15:10:55 +0530
ICC CWC 2019 Rohit Chah

SOUTHAMPTON: Rohit Sharma's gritty century (122 not out off 144 balls) helped India beat South Africa by six wickets at The Rose Bowl, Southampton, reports NDTV.

Chasing a modest total of 228 to win, both Indian openers started cautiously. Shikhar Dhawan fell cheaply in the sixth over. Virat Kohli and Rohit also ensured that India does not lose another wicket inside the powerplay. Kohli fell after Quinton de Kock took a sensational one-handed catch. Rohit and KL Rahul (26 off 42 balls) stitched a good partnership and got India back in the game. MS Dhoni also contributed with the bat, scoring 34 runs. Hardik Pandya's quickfire 15 off 7 balls helped India get across the line with 15 balls to spare.

Earlier, Yuzvendra Chahal picked up four wickets while Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar took two wickets each as India restricted South Africa to 227 for nine in their 50 overs, NDTV reported.

Thu, 06 Jun 2019 11:39:16 +0530
Delhi Metro Becomes India

NEW DELHI: The metro rail in India's capital has achieved a milestone in its efforts to establish an environment-friendly network. Delhi Metro has become the first ever metro project in India to receive power generated from a waste-to-energy plant, ANI reported.

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, DMRC, the metro operator, said it has started receiving 2 megawatts (MW) power from a 12 MW capacity waste-to-energy plant set up in Ghazipur in East Delhi.

DMRC will take approximately 17.5 million units per annum from this plant, according to a DMRC press statement issued on Tuesday.

"The state-of-the-art facility is set up to process above 1,500 tonnes per day (TPD) of waste and generate 12 MW of green power. The plant is India's first Euro norms compliant waste-to-energy facility," the DMRC said.

The plant will mitigate over 8 million tonnes of Greenhouse Gases (GHG) over the life of the project, thus combating global warming.

The Delhi Metro has also achieved the distinction of being the first ever rail-based organisation in the world to claim carbon credits.

The DMRC has also commissioned a facility at Rohini in Delhi for recycling of Construction and Demolition (C&D) waste with a capacity of 150 tonnes per day.

Currently, DMRC is producing 28 MW of solar power from the various rooftop solar power plants, which have been set up in its stations, depots and residential premises.

The mass transit operator has also started to receive solar power from the off-site solar power plant at Rewa in Madhya Pradesh, said the ANI report.

Thu, 06 Jun 2019 11:21:46 +0530
Swachh Bharat has led to

NEW DELHI: Union Minister for Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat has said that Swachhata affects all aspects of the environment – be it groundwater, surface water, soil or air – as well as health and well-being of the communities in ODF regions. Praising the Swachh Bharat Mission for bringing a reduction in groundwater contamination, he said, the WHO 2018 study had estimated that the Swachh Bharat Mission will save over 3 lakh lives by the time India is Open Defecation Free. Releasing two independent third-party studies conducted on the Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen), the Minister said, the Mission will continue to positively impact people’s lives for a long time to come.

These studies, commissioned by UNICEF and the Bill and Melinda Gates, were aimed at assessing the environmental impact and communication footprint of the Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) respectively. The full reports, as well as the summary reports of both the studies, can be downloaded from and

Union Minister for Environment and Forests Prakash Javadekar highlighted the significance of launching these studies on World Environment Day. He said that the United Nations, aware that the protection and improvement of the human environment is a major issue which affects the well-being of peoples and economic development throughout the world, designated 5th June as World Environment Day. He added that it is only fitting that UNICEF has chosen this day to release its findings on the positive impact the Swachh Bharat Mission has had on the environment of rural India.

Thu, 06 Jun 2019 11:14:25 +0530
PM Modi Reiterates Commit

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reiterated the commitment for a cleaner planet on World Environment Day, today.

“Our Planet and Environment is something we all cherish greatly. Today on World Environment Day, we reiterate our commitment to ensure a cleaner planet. Living in harmony with nature will lead to a better future”, the Prime Minister said.

Wed, 05 Jun 2019 18:06:34 +0530
Centre Flags Off New HD D

NEW DELHI: Adding a new chapter in public broadcasting, seventeen new digital service news gathering (DSNG) vans for DD News were flagged off by Union Minister for Information & Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar. These vans are equipped to telecast live using the video stream from multiple cameras. All of them are equipped to support the telecast of content in High Definition through which viewers across the country will be able to access high-quality content.

Speaking on the occasion, Prakash Javadekar highlighted the significance of the autonomy of the public broadcaster Prasar Bharati, stating that press freedom is sacrosanct.  He also talked about the enhanced viewer experience through the deployment of these DSNG vans with HD compatibility. He also appreciated the expansion of Prasar Bharati on social media platforms viz. YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.

I&B Secretary Amit Khare talked about the significance of the initiative in ensuring live coverage of events throughout the length and breadth of the country.

Wed, 05 Jun 2019 12:48:34 +0530
Prakash Javadekar Launche

Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar launched a people’s campaign #SelfiewithSapling urging all to join and plant a sapling and post the selfie with the sapling on social media. Javadekar stressed that ‘Jan Bhagidari’ is integral towards tackling the environmental issues and environment protection has to be a people’s movement.

Union Minister informed that on World Environment Day he along with renowned cricketer Kapil Dev and Bollywood actor Jackie Shroff will plant a sapling in the premises of Paryavaran Bhawan in New Delhi.

World Environment Day 2019 urges governments, industries, communities and individuals to come together to explore renewable energy, green technologies and improve air quality in cities and regions across the world. The celebration of this day provides us with an opportunity to broaden the basis for an enlightened opinion and responsible conduct by individuals, enterprises and communities in preserving and enhancing the environment. World Environment Day is the biggest annual event for positive environmental action and takes place every 5 June.

Wed, 05 Jun 2019 12:23:49 +0530
Air Force Makes Extensive

Extensive efforts are on to locate the Indian Air Force AN-32, which went missing on 03 Jun 19. The aircraft got airborne from Jorhat Airfield for Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground. Once the aircraft did not report at the destination, overdue actions were initiated.

 Indian Air Force commenced extensive search and rescue operations and launched C-130, AN-32, Mi-17 and ALH (Indian Army) helicopters. The aircraft is equipped with advanced sensors. Indian Navy P-8 I aircraft joined the search operations today. CARTOSAT AND RISAT satellites of ISRO are also taking images of the area.

Post sunset, search by helicopters have ceased for the day. However, search by all sensors with night capability and the ground party will continue throughout the night. All possible assistance is being provided by Indian Army, Indian Navy, Police and State administration. The families of all air-warriors on board the aircraft have been informed and are being regularly updated on the progress of the search for the missing aircraft.

Wed, 05 Jun 2019 12:15:47 +0530
PM Modi Receives Congratu

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today received telephone calls from Mr. Moon Jae-in, President of the Republic of Korea; Mr. E.D. Mnangagwa, President of Zimbabwe; and Mr. Filipe Jacinto Nyusi, President of Mozambique, congratulating him on his victory in the recent General Elections in India.

The Prime Minister thanked the President of the Republic of Korea for his telephone call and greetings. Prime Minister warmly recalled his recent visit to the Republic of Korea in February 2019. The Prime Minister also recalled the visit of First Lady Kim to India in 2018 to attend the ‘Deepotsav’ festival and said that the visit had added a new chapter to India-ROK ties. The Prime Minister reiterated his firm commitment to further strengthen the Special Strategic Partnership between the two countries. 

President Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe warmly congratulated the Prime Minister on his victory in the recent General Elections. The Prime Minister thanked President Mnangagwa for his wishes and appreciated the fact that two media-persons from Zimbabwe had visited India to cover the elections. The Prime Minister also recalled the successful visit of the Vice President of India to Zimbabwe last year and expressed his desire to take India-Zimbabwe relations to new heights.

The Prime Minister conveyed his condolences to President Nyusi of Mozambique on the loss of life and property in the aftermath of a cyclone earlier this year. President Nyusi thanked the Prime Minister for the timely assistance extended by Indian Navy at the time. The Prime Minister said that India will always stand with Mozambique in solidarity and partnership.

Wed, 05 Jun 2019 12:03:04 +0530
President PM Greet Citiz

The President 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 to our Muslim brothers and sisters in India and abroad.

Marking the culmination of the holy month of Ramzan, this festival strengthens our belief in charity, fraternity and compassion. On this day, let us re-dedicate ourselves to these eternal values that characterise our civilization”.

The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has conveyed his greetings on the festival of Eid.

“May this special day ignite the spirit of harmony, compassion and peace in our society. May everyone be blessed with happiness”, the Prime Minister said.

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has greeted the people on the eve of Id-ul-Fitr. In a message, he said that Id-ul-Fitr marks the culmination of the holy month of Ramzan and it is a celebration of sincere devotion, charity, brotherhood and gratitude to the Almighty. The essence of the festival lies in the sharing of love and joy with each other, he added.

Wed, 05 Jun 2019 11:46:10 +0530
India Dominates Outward P

ABU DHABI: India was the leading destination for outward personal remittances from the UAE during 2018, according to figures included in the annual report of the UAE Central Bank, released this week.

An analysis of the Central Bank report carried in the Abu Dhabi daily newspaper, The National, showed that 38.1 percent of the total outflow of AED169.2 billion had gone to India. The paper quoted the Central Bank report as noting that this was "in accordance with the significant share of expats from India working in the UAE and the depreciation of the Indian rupee against the dirham."

India was followed as a destination by Pakistan (9.5 percent), the Philippines (7.2 percent), Egypt (5.3 percent), the US (3.9 percent) and the UK (3.7 percent), The National reported.

Total remittances in 2018 were AED4.8 billion, or 3 percent, higher than the 2017 figure of AED164.4 billion. Remittances in 2016 were AED160.8 billion.

Money remitted through exchange houses increased by 6 percent from AED121.6bn in 2017 to AED128.9bn last year, while the amount sent through banks decreased by 5.6 percent from AED42.7bn to AED40.3bn.


Tue, 04 Jun 2019 12:50:51 +0530
Harsh Vardhan Cycles To T

NEW DELHI: Dr. Harsh Vardhan took charge as the Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare at Nirman Bhawan. He cycled to Nirman Bhawan to take charge and ascribed the act to his ‘green good deed’ for the day.

Thanking the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Dr Harsh Vardhan stated that the health of the people of this country is the top priority of the Modi government. He said that the Government will focus on strengthening promotive and preventive strategies so that people adopt positive and healthy lifestyles and remain healthy.

Speaking on Ayushman Bharat, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said that “we will consider expanding eligibility criteria to include those poor and vulnerable people who have been left out from the current list of PMJAY”. He stated that concerted efforts will be made for empanelling more private hospitals. Also, the Government will resolve the bottlenecks in the implementation of Ayushman Bharat and make it more handy and easily accessible for the common man. “We will make Ayushman Bharat-PMJAY and Health and Wellness Centres (HWCs) into a people’s movement. More than 18,000 HWCs have become functional. The Government will take up the programme to the next level with an expanded package of services, availability of drugs and point of care diagnostics and telemedicine facility. The focus will be on consolidating both the streams of Ayushman Bharat, he added.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan emphasised to make health a ‘Jan Andolan’ through people’s involvement. He said that we can provide maximum possible help through this Ministry as there is an instant benefit to the people. He further added that India has the potential and capacity for fulfilling the goal of ‘Health for All’.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan also laid emphasis on the elimination of TB from India by 2025 and said that the government will also take concerted and time-bound actions to eliminate Leprosy and Kala-Azar. He added that the government will create a roadmap for essential devices list and a separate policy for medical devices focusing on their accessibility and affordability to masses. “We are committed to leveraging all resources efficiently to ensure that the out-of-pocket expenditure on health is reduced and all citizens can avail of necessary medical services,” Dr. Harsh Vardhan elaborated.

Tue, 04 Jun 2019 12:40:45 +0530
Defence Minister Visits S

In an epic event in the glorious history of Siachen Glacier, Defence minister Rajnath Singh made his maiden visit to the world’s highest battlefield. The defence minister, accompanied by General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Army Staff arrived at the Thoise airfield and was received by Lt Gen Ranbir Singh, GOC-in-C, Northern Command.

After an exchange of greetings and a quick orientation of the general area, he made an aerial reconnaissance of the Siachen Glacier to get acquainted with the expanse of this formidable frozen frontier and landed at one of the forward posts of the Siachen Glacier.

The minister interacted with troops at the world’s highest battlefield and during his address to the troops at Siachen Base Camp, he said “I am proud of all Army personnel serving in Siachen who are leaving no stone unturned to defend our motherland. I am also proud of their parents who have sent their children to serve the Nation by joining the Armed Forces. I will personally send a Thank You note to them.”

He further eulogized the tenacious resolve and unstinting commitment of the ‘Siachen Warriors’ to prevail with aplomb in extreme harsh weather and highly treacherous terrain for maintaining the sanctity of our borders and ensuring the utmost safety of fellow countrymen. He expressed his heartfelt gratitude on behalf of the nation for placing the call of duty above everything while serving in one of the world’s most inhospitable location.

The minister assured the troops that the government is fully aware of all operational and administrative requirements for optimal functioning at Siachen Glacier and assured Government’s full support to fulfil the requirements on priority for our brave ‘Siachen Warriors’.

As a mark of solemn tribute to the gallant martyrs, he laid a wreath at the ‘Siachen War Memorial’ in the memory of the brave soldiers who have made supreme sacrifice in service of the Motherland.

Tue, 04 Jun 2019 12:27:58 +0530
Vice President Offers Pra

TIRUMALA: The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu had darshan of Lord Sri Venkateswara along with his wife, Ushamma and other family members, in Tirumala, Andhra Pradesh.

After the darshan, the Vice President said that he wished to see India as a developed nation and attain its rightful place in the comity of nations. He prayed for realizing the same wish.

The Vice President said that he prayed for the Lord’s blessings for universal peace and a world free of conflicts, inequalities, corruption, hunger and poverty.

Naidu said that he had been visiting various countries and participated in several international fora aimed at promoting world peace. He prayed to the Lord to give strength to the society for eliminating all forms of discrimination and inequalities.

The Vice President said the country was moving in the right direction towards economic prosperity and wanted the fruits of development to reach to every section.

The Vice President also invoked the Lord’s blessings for good rainfall and farmers’ well-being.

Tue, 04 Jun 2019 12:12:56 +0530
Nipah Virus Centre Assur

KOCHI: Following confirmation of a suspect case of Nipah Virus Disease by National Institute of Virology (NIV) Pune, an urgent meeting was convened by the Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhan at his residence today.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan spoke to the Health Minister of Kerala, K. K. Shailaja, and discussed the current situation and assured all support from the Centre. He had also spoken to her yesterday.

The following actions have been taken:

    • A Central Team with six officers have been deployed and have reached for epidemiological investigation protocol, contact tracing for early detection of suspects, testing protocols for suspects and review of isolation facilities
    • A Control room established and NCDC Strategic Health Operations Center (SHOC) activated. The phone number of the control room is number 011-23978046.
    • A team from National Institute of Virology, Pune (ICMR) with Monoclonal Antibodies is being sent to Ernakulam.
    • A team from NIV for conducting/testing bats for Nipah virus is being dispatched today. The Union Health has spoken to DG Forest to extend all cooperation in this regard.

The State has already initiated the following actions:

    • Contact tracing and surveillance
    • Standard capacity building for health functionaries, ambulance fleet drivers and others
    • Infection control activities in hospitals. Dedicated trained teams to handle cases
    • Rapid Response Teams at institutions
    • A help desk at Medical College Ernakulam established.
    • Dedicated trained doctors, nurses, paramedics at hospitals. Vigil activated in all districts.
    • Awareness generation.
Tue, 04 Jun 2019 12:01:47 +0530
Amit Shah Pays Homage At

The Union Home Minister Amit Shah paid homage to the martyrs at the National Police Memorial (NPM).  It was significant that the visit to NPM was Amit Shah's first public engagement after assuming charge of the Ministry of Home Affairs.

He was received at the Memorial by the Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba, Director IB,  Rajiv Jain, Directors General of Central Armed Police Forces and other senior officers.

Amit Shah laid a wreath at the 30 feet tall central sculpture as a mark of respect to the sacrifices made by police personnel in the service of the Nation since Independence. Earlier, the guards presented a salute to the Home Minister.

Mon, 03 Jun 2019 19:13:46 +0530
Air Chief Marshal BS Dhan

NEW DELHI: Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa, Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee and Chief of the Air Staff Indian Air Force is embarking on a four day official visit to Sweden from 03 to 06 Jun 2019. The bilateral goodwill visit is on invitation by the Chief of the Swedish Air Force.

The CAS is scheduled to visit various operational and training units as well as interact with senior functionaries of the Swedish Air Force amongst others.

The visit would provide an impetus towards defence cooperation and pave the way for greater interaction and cooperation between the Air Forces. This would also strengthen relationships and enable engagement in productive exchanges between the two Air Forces.

Mon, 03 Jun 2019 19:09:50 +0530
Vice President Calls Upon

TIRUPATI: The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has called upon scientists and researchers to address pressing issues such as climate change, global warming and extreme weather events so that the world was better prepared to tackle adverse situations.

Interacting with scientists and young researchers of the National Atmospheric Research Laboratory (NARL) near Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh, he said that weather and climate were posing new challenges with each passing day.

Naidu said: “We are experiencing global warming and its effects in the form of extreme weather, cyclonic storms, intense thunderstorms, torrential rain, and droughts. Changing weather and climate patterns also affect our agriculture and economy”.

Referring to challenges like an increase in high impact weather systems, water scarcity, drying up of rivers, growing pollution and survival threat to several animal and plant species due to climate change, he said that it was highly imperative for scientists and researchers to address these issues.

Exhorting the scientists to work on state-of-the-art observational instruments to generate high-quality data on climate models suitable for India’s tropical climate, the Vice President cautioned them to guard against erroneous results generated by data from elsewhere and called for accurate assessment and prediction.

The Indian subcontinent has distinct climatic zones and their interaction with global climate patterns needs to be studied on a priority basis for our long term well-being, he added.

Mon, 03 Jun 2019 18:54:47 +0530
India Calls GSP Withdrawa

NEW DELHI: The United States of America (USA) has withdrawn India’s Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) benefits. These are unilateral, non-reciprocal and non-discriminatory benefits extended by some developed countries to developing countries. India as part of bilateral trade discussions, had offered resolution on significant US requests in an effort to find a mutually acceptable way forward. Unfortunately, this did not find acceptance by the US. 

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry later said that India will continue to build strong ties with the US, both economic and people-to-people. We are confident that the two Nations will continue to work together intensively for further growing these ties in a mutually beneficial manner.

Sun, 02 Jun 2019 16:19:20 +0530
PM Modi Meets Heads Of Fo

In a bilateral meeting, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena congratulated the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the re-assumption of Office following the resounding victory of his Party in the recently-held General Elections and reiterated his desire to work together to strengthen relations between the two countries for peace, prosperity and security in our region.

Prime Minister Modi warmly thanked President Sirisena for his gesture of attending the Ceremony and also for his good wishes. He conveyed his government’s continued commitment to further foster friendly bilateral ties with Sri Lanka.

The leaders noted that terrorism and extremism continue to pose a threat to humanity and committed to closer bilateral cooperation for peace and security in South Asia and the Indian Ocean region.

Prime Minister of Nepal, K.P. Sharma Oli congratulated Prime Minister Modi on the electoral victory of his Party in the General Elections. Prime Minister Modi thanked him for the good wishes and reiterated his commitment to work with Nepal to further strengthen the traditionally close and multifaceted partnership between India and Nepal.

The two leaders expressed satisfaction at the progress that has been achieved in the implementation of bilateral projects and initiatives.

Sat, 01 Jun 2019 13:44:10 +0530
Cabinet Makes Major Chang

In line with the Prime Minister’s vision for India’s safety, security and the well-being of those who protect the nation, the very first decision of the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on assuming his office is approval to a major change in the ‘Prime Minister’s Scholarship Scheme’ under the National Defence Fund.

The Prime Minister has approved the following changes:

  1. The rates of scholarship have been increased from Rs. 2000 per month to Rs. 2500 per month for boys and from Rs. 2250 per month to Rs. 3000 per month for girls.
  2. The ambit of the Scholarship Scheme is extended to the wards of State Police officials who are/were martyred during terror/naxal attacks. The quota of new scholarships for wards of state police officials will be 500 in a year. The Ministry of Home Affairs will be the nodal Ministry in this regard.


The National Defence Fund (NDF) was set up in 1962 to take charge of the voluntary donations in cash and kind received for promotion of the national

defence effort, and to decide on their utilisation.

Currently, the fund is being used for the welfare of the members of the Armed Forces, Para Military forces and Railway Protection Force, and their dependents. The fund is administered by an Executive Committee with the Prime Minister as the Chairperson and the Defence, Finance and Home Ministers as Members.

Under National Defence Fund major scheme of ‘Prime Minister’s Scholarship Scheme (PMSS)’ is being implemented to encourage technical and post-graduate education for the widows and wards of the deceased/ex-service personnel of Armed Forces and Para Military Forces and Railway Protection Force. Scholarships are available for education at technical institutions (medical, dental, veterinary, engineering, MBA, MCA and other equivalent technical professions with suitable AICTE/UGC approval).

Under the PMSS, every year new scholarships are given for 5500 wards of armed forces controlled by Ministry of Defence, for 2000 wards of paramilitary forces controlled by Ministry of Home Affairs and for 150 wards of forces controlled by Ministry of Railways.

Sat, 01 Jun 2019 13:17:17 +0530
President Kovind Hosts Ba

NEW DELHI: The President Ram Nath Kovind hosted a banquet in honour of the Heads/Representatives of State/Government attending the swearing-in-ceremony of the Prime Minister of India at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Dignitaries attended the banquet include Mohammad Abdul Hamid, the President of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh; Mr Maithripala Sirisena, the President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka; Mr Sooronbai Zheenbekov, the President of Kyrgyz Republic; U Win Myint, the President of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar; Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Mauritius; Mr K.P. Sharma Oli, the Prime Minister of Nepal; DrLotayTshering, the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bhutan and Mr Grisada Boonrach, Special Envoy of the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand.

Speaking on the occasion, the President said that India’s dreams are not for India alone. As we work for our progress, we remain deeply conscious of the support we draw from our close friends and our close neighbours. From the warm waters of the Indian Ocean to the earnest embrace of the Bay of Bengal and further to the shared cultural affinities and economic opportunities of Central Asia, our people embody similar hopes and aspirations. Over the centuries, India has been the centre-piece of a great trading system that has run from the heartland of Central Asia right to the Indian Ocean. This is our legacy, and this is also our future. For all our people and for the global community, we must work together to foster peace and prosperity in our region and beyond. Our countries remain stakeholders in each other’s progress and wellbeing.

Sat, 01 Jun 2019 12:53:06 +0530
Cabinet Approves New Sche

NEW DELHI: The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved a new Central Sector Scheme, that will empower farmers across India. It is also for the first time since independence that such a pension coverage has been envisioned for farmers.

It is estimated that 5 crore small and marginal farmers will benefit in the first three years itself.  The Central Government would spend Rs. 10774.50 crore for a period of 3 years towards its contribution (matching share) for providing social security cover as envisaged under the scheme.

The salient features of this scheme are:

A voluntary and contributory pension scheme for all Small and Marginal Farmers (SMF) across the country.

Entry age of 18 to 40 years with a provision of minimum fixed pension of Rs.3,000/- on attaining the age of 60 years.

For example, a beneficiary farmer is required to contribute Rs 100/ - per month at a median entry age of 29 years.  The Central Government shall also contribute to the Pension Fund an equal amount as contributed by the eligible farmer. 

After the subscriber’s death, while receiving a pension, the spouse of the SMF beneficiary shall be entitled to receive 50% of the pension received by the beneficiary as a family pension, provided he/she is not already an SMF beneficiary of the Scheme.  If the death of the subscriber happens during the period of contribution, the spouse shall have the option of continuing the Scheme by paying a regular contribution.

The synergy between schemes, prosperity for farmers:

An interesting feature of the Scheme is that the farmers can opt to allow his/her monthly contribution to the Scheme to be made from the benefits drawn from the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) Scheme directly. Alternatively, a farmer can pay his monthly contribution by registering through Common Service Centres (CSCs) under MeitY. 

Fulfilling core promises, empowering the agriculture sector:

For seventy years after Independence, such coverage for farmers was never thought. It was in the run-up to the 2019 Parliamentary elections that PM Narendra Modi first mooted such an idea, which gradually found resonance across the length and breadth of India. Such a plan was mentioned in the BJP manifesto and in the first Cabinet meeting after the formation of a new Government, it has become a reality.

Sat, 01 Jun 2019 12:37:15 +0530
Modi 2 0 Some New Faces

NEW DELHI: Narendra Modi has taken oath as the new Prime Minister of India at a grand oath-taking ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Senior leaders Rajnath Singh, Amit Shah, Nitin Gadkari and DV Sadananda Gowda also took oath along with the Prime Minister.

The news of Amit Shah's introduction emerged in a congratulatory tweet from a BJP leader to Amit Shah hours before PM Modi's swearing-in ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan for a second straight term after the BJP's incredible election victory.

Further, as advised by the Prime Minister, the President has appointed the following as Members of the Union Council of Ministers:-


         Cabinet Ministers

1.       Raj Nath Singh

2.       Amit Shah

3.       Nitin Jairam Gadkari

4.       D. V. Sadananda Gowda

5.       Nirmala Sitharaman

6.       Ramvilas Paswan

7.       Narendra Singh Tomar

8.       Ravi Shankar Prasad

9.       Harsimrat Kaur Badal

10.    Thaawar Chand Gehlot

11.    Subrahmanyam Jaishankar

12.    Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’

13.    Arjun Munda

14.    Smriti Zubin Irani

15.    Dr. Harsh Vardhan

16.    Prakash Javadekar

17.    Piyush Goyal

18.    Dharmendra Pradhan

19.    Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi

20.    Pralhad Joshi

21.    Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey

22.    Arvind Ganpat Sawant

23.    Giriraj Singh

24.    Gajendra Singh Shekhawat


Ministers of State (Independent Charge)

1.       Santosh Kumar Gangwar

2.       Rao Inderjit Singh

3.       Shripad Yesso Naik

4.       Dr. Jitendra Singh

5.       Kiren Rijiju

6.       Prahalad Singh Patel

7.       Raj Kumar Singh

8.       Hardeep Singh Puri

9.       Mansukh L. Mandaviya


Ministers of State

1.       Faggansingh Kulaste

2.       Ashwini Kumar Choubey

3.       Arjun Ram Meghwal

4.       General (Retd.) V. K. Singh

5.       Krishan Pal

6.       Danve Raosaheb Dadarao

7.       G. Kishan Reddy

8.       Parshottam Rupala

9.       Ramdas Athawale

10.    Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti

11.    Babul Supriyo

12.    Sanjeev Kumar Balyan

13.    Dhotre Sanjay Shamrao

14.    Anurag Singh Thakur

15.    Angadi Suresh Channabasappa

16.    Nityanand Rai

17.    Rattan Lal Kataria

18.    V. Muraleedharan

19.    Renuka Singh Saruta

20.    Som Parkash

21.    Rameswar Teli

22.    Pratap Chandra Sarangi

23.    Kailash Choudhary

24.    Debasree Chaudhuri

Fri, 31 May 2019 13:31:13 +0530
Modi Takes Oath As PM Se

NEW DELHI: Narendra Modi has taken oath as the new Prime Minister of India at a grand oath-taking ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Senior leaders Rajnath Singh, Amit Shah, Nitin Gadkari and DV Sadananda Gowda also took oath along with the Prime Minister.

The news of Amit Shah's introduction emerged in a congratulatory tweet from a BJP leader to Amit Shah hours before PM Modi's swearing-in ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan for a second straight term after the BJP's incredible election victory.

Amit Shah's phone-calls went to all new ministers in the government, reported NDTV.

Besides Amit Shah, PM Modi's government will include Nirmala Sitharaman, Smriti Irani, Sadananda Gowda, Arjun Meghwal, Kiren Rijiju, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Piyush Goyal, Prakash Javadekar, Jitender Singh, Suresh Angadi, Babul Supriyo, Kailash Chowdhury, Prahlad Joshi and G Kishan Reddy.

Several first-timers have also made it to the government. Rita Bahuguna Joshi, Subrat Pathak, Rattan Lal Kataria, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, RCP Singh, G Kishan Reddy, Som Parkash, Deboshree Chaudhary are among them, NDTV reported.

Thu, 30 May 2019 19:18:52 +0530
Modi Takes Oath As PM

NEW DELHI: Narendra Modi has taken oath as the new Prime Minister of India at a grand oath-taking ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Amit Shah, BJP president, will be part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's new government, say sources. The 54-year-old is likely to handle one of the top four ministries in the cabinet, reports NDTV.

The news emerged in a congratulatory tweet from a BJP leader to Amit Shah hours before PM Modi's swearing-in ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan for a second straight term after the BJP's incredible election victory.

Amit Shah's phone-calls went to all new ministers in the government, reported NDTV.

Besides Amit Shah, PM Modi's government will include Nirmala Sitharaman, Smriti Irani, Sadananda Gowda, Arjun Meghwal, Kiren Rijiju, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Piyush Goyal, Prakash Javadekar, Jitender Singh, Suresh Angadi, Babul Supriyo, Kailash Chowdhury, Prahlad Joshi and G Kishan Reddy.

Several first-timers have also made it to the government. Rita Bahuguna Joshi, Subrat Pathak, Rattan Lal Kataria, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, RCP Singh, G Kishan Reddy, Som Parkash, Deboshree Chaudhary are among them, NDTV reported.

Thu, 30 May 2019 19:11:42 +0530
Team Modi To Take Oath Sh

NEW DELHI: Amit Shah, BJP president, will be part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's new government, say sources. The 54-year-old is likely to handle one of the top four ministries in the cabinet, reports NDTV.

The news emerged in a congratulatory tweet from a BJP leader to Amit Shah hours before PM Modi's swearing-in ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan for a second straight term after the BJP's incredible election victory.

Amit Shah's phone-calls went to all new ministers in the government, reported NDTV.

Besides Amit Shah, PM Modi's government will include Nirmala Sitharaman, Smriti Irani, Sadananda Gowda, Arjun Meghwal, Kiren Rijiju, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Piyush Goyal, Prakash Javadekar, Jitender Singh, Suresh Angadi, Babul Supriyo, Kailash Chowdhury, Prahlad Joshi and G Kishan Reddy.

Several first-timers have also made it to the government. Rita Bahuguna Joshi, Subrat Pathak, Rattan Lal Kataria, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, RCP Singh, G Kishan Reddy, Som Parkash, Deboshree Chaudhary are among them, NDTV reported.

Thu, 30 May 2019 18:53:11 +0530
Admiral Sunil Lanba Retir

NEW DELHI: Admiral Sunil Lanba, PVSM, AVSM, ADC, Chief of the Naval Staff will relinquish command of the Indian Navy as the 23rd CNS on completion of his tenure and retirement from service on 31 May 2019, after over four decades of distinguished service.

An alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla, Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, College of Defence Management, Secunderabad and Royal College of Defence Studies, London, the Admiral’s career has been enriched with vast experience at sea as well as in operational, training and tri-services appointments. Prior to being elevated to the Flag rank, Admiral Lanba was deeply engaged with professional training, shaping future leadership and skilling of the officers of the Indian Armed Forces.

On elevation to the Flag rank, Admiral Lanba held several significant assignments in the Navy including Chief of Staff, Southern Naval Command, Flag Officer Sea Training and Flag Officer Commanding Maharashtra and Gujarat Naval Area. On promotion to the rank of Vice Admiral, he was the Chief of Staff, Eastern Naval Command, Commandant, National Defence College and the Vice Chief of the Naval Staff. Prior to taking over as Chief of the Naval Staff on 31 May 2016, Admiral Lanba was the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Southern and Western Naval Commands. He took over as the Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee on 01 January 2017.

During his tenure as the CNS, Admiral Lanba set the tone for several transitions in operational, training and organisational philosophy of the Indian Navy. The Mission-Based Deployments introduced in June 2017 transformed the operational philosophy to deploying mission-ready ships and aircraft along critical sea lanes of communications and choke points. These deployed ships are always ready to meet any eventuality across the spectrum of operations ranging from acts of maritime terrorism and piracy to HADR. The Mission-Based Deployments enabled Indian Naval units to be the first responder in crisis situations and showcased Indian Navy as the main instrument in India becoming a Net Security Provider in the Indian Ocean Region.

Thu, 30 May 2019 13:29:34 +0530
Congress Decides Not To P

The Congress has announced that it will not participate in television debates for a month, in the middle of a huge internal crisis following Rahul Gandhi's refusal to continue as its chief over the party's election rout, reports NDTV.

"The Congress has decided to not send spokespersons on television debates for a month," the party's spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said in a tweet on Thursday.

"All media channels/editors are requested to not place Congress representatives on their shows," he added.

Thu, 30 May 2019 13:10:02 +0530
Talks Go On As Amit Shah

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be sworn in this evening for a second straight term after his BJP's incredible victory in the national election. Amid intense speculation hours before the oath ceremony at the presidential palace Rashtrapati Bhavan, calls have started going out to those who will be in the cabinet, reports NDTV.

Sources say the calls are being made by BJP president Amit Shah from the Prime Minister's home.

In the past 24 hours, several meetings have been held at the homes of PM Modi and Amit Shah, who is also being talked about as one of the key inclusions in the new cabinet.

Amit Shah, who has led the party since 2014 and is credited with its spectacular run in elections, has been the PM Modi's confidant for over two decades. He is credited with managing the party's successful poll campaign.

Those likely to stay on as ministers are Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari, Piyush Goyal, Nirmala Sitharaman, Suresh Prabhu, Smriti Irani, Ravi Shanka Prasad, VK Singh and Ram Vilas Paswan. Smriti Irani, the "kingslayer" after she defeated Congress president Rahul Gandhi in his family borough Amethi, is expected to be rewarded with a big ministry, reported NDTV.

Thu, 30 May 2019 11:40:44 +0530
India UAE Discuss Prepar

Saeed Hareb, Secretary-General of the Dubai Sports Council, met Vipul, the Consul-General of India in Dubai, in the presence of Nasser Aman Al Rahma, Assistant Secretary-General of DSC, to discuss the preparations for celebrating the International Day of Yoga on 21st June 2019.

During the meeting, it was agreed that the main event would be organised on the evening of 21st June, at Zabeel Park and all government entities and private institutions would be invited to participate.

"We have seen big, enthusiastic crowds attending the International Day of Yoga celebrations across the city over the past four years and we are expecting the same turnout this year as well," Hareb said.

Since the United Nations proclaimed 21st June as International Day of Yoga in 2014, the following year, Dubai became the first city in the world to organise events to commemorate the day.

"We have organised some very big events in Dubai to mark the International Day of Yoga over the past four years," said Vipul, adding, "Dubai was the first city to support us and we have worked in partnership with the Dubai Sports Council to make the celebrations a grand affair every year. This year, we are looking forward to organising another big celebration. We have lots of exciting plans."

In 2015, more than 13,000 people turned up at the Al Wasl Sports Club to take part in the activities that marked the first International Day of Yoga. Twelve months later, the main event was held inside the air-conditioned halls of the Dubai World Trade Centre and more than 20,000 people participated, led by Baba Ramdev. In 2017 and 2018, the International Day of Yoga celebrations were held across Dubai and dozens of private schools in Dubai also took part in the celebrations.

Wed, 29 May 2019 16:14:35 +0530
John Bailey Talks About N

NEW DELHI: With a vision to explore possibilities of collaboration, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting organized a Special Interactive Session with Mr. John Bailey, President of Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences at Siri Fort, New Delhi. The session was followed by an interaction of Mr. Bailey with the press.

In the Session, Mr. John Bailey talked about the need to increase the membership of Indians in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He highlighted the initiative of the Academy to double the diversity of membership in the Academy and added that India truly represents the opportunities, challenges and the unifying power of diversity.



Through the interaction, budding filmmakers and students from several Mass Media Institutes got the opportunity to not only interact with Mr. John Bailey - the Academy President, but also with Mr. John Bailey - the master cinematographer. The interaction threw light not only on the nuances behind the craft of cutting edge filming techniques but also helped develop an understanding about creating world-class content. Mr. Bailey also talked about the influence of women cinematographers on him. Hailing India as a land of story-tellers, he highlighted the need for filmmakers to tell intensely personal stories. He also appreciated the enthusiasm and willingness shown by India towards deeper collaborations with the Academy.

Amit Khare, Secretary, I&B ministry, talked about the abundance of talent across India and the spurt in films being made in regional languages. He highlighted the incentives offered to budding filmmakers by different states and expressed hope that the association with Mr. Bailey and the Academy will help showcase the craft of Indian filmmakers all over the world.

Wed, 29 May 2019 15:51:39 +0530
Health Ministry Requests

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has requested Medical Council of India (MCI) to consider an extension of the last date for PG medical admission in States from 18th May to 31 May 2019 to fill up the remaining vacant seats in the academic session 2019-20.

As per the time schedule notified by Medical Council of India, the last date for filling up of Post Graduate Medical seats by the States is 18th May 2019. The Ministry is in receipt of representations from Institutions / State Governments for extending the last date for filling up of vacant PG medical seats beyond 18th May 2019 and upto 31st May 2019.

The Health Ministry has thus requested the Board of Governors (BoG), MCI to examine the matter and make suitable recommendations. The BoG is meeting today to consider the matter.

Wed, 29 May 2019 15:41:41 +0530
Air Chief Marshal BS Dhan

Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa received the baton of Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee from outgoing Chairman COSC and Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba. Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa will be the Chairman COSC with effect from May 31, 2019, consequent to the relinquishment of charge by Admiral Sunil Lanba upon superannuation.

Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa, an alumnus of Rashtriya Indian Military College and the National Defence Academy, was commissioned in the Flying Branch of Indian Air Force in June 1978.  He is an experienced fighter pilot and a qualified CAT ‘A’ Flying Instructor with over 3000 hours of flying experience to his credit. The Air Chief Marshal has mainly flown the MiG-21 aircraft with flying experience across the entire spectrum of fighter aircraft of the Indian Air Force.

During the Kargil war (1999), he was the Commanding Officer of a frontline ground attack fighter squadron.  He has held many coveted operational and staff assignments that include command of a frontline fighter Base, Director Fighter Operations and War planning at Western Air Command, Chief Instructor (Air) at DSSC, Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Intelligence) at Air HQ and Senior Air Staff officer of two operational Commands. He was the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of South Western Air Command and has also been the Vice Chief of the Air Staff.

Admiral Sunil Lanba is proceeding on retirement on May 31, 2019, after a distinguished career spanning over four decades. An ardent supporter of Tri-Services Jointmanship, he was instrumental in harmonising the efforts of the three Services in a number of Tri-Services issues.

Wed, 29 May 2019 15:34:43 +0530
Vice President Calls For

NEW DELHI: The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has called for renewed efforts by India to gain permanent membership of the UN Security Council.

Interacting with the Officer Trainees of the 2018 Batch of the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) and Bhutanese Diplomats, the Vice President referred to the growing prominence of India on the world stage and underscored the need for enhancing support from world nations and building a sustained dialogue in favor of UNSC reforms.

The Vice President also stressed the need to build a consensus for expansion and democratization of a number of multilateral fora to ensure representation to a number of other emerging nations.

Congratulating the young officers for choosing IFS as a profession, Naidu said that the Service offered a challenging and exciting career and a unique opportunity to take India’s great civilizational and cultural ethos with its developmental aspirations to the rest of the world.

Terming the young diplomats as ‘future spokespersons, interpreters, and narrators of India’s story to the world’, the Vice President said that they would soon work on constructing new bridges of understanding between India and the rest of the world. ‘You can play an important role in shaping the geopolitics of the future and in determining the new world order’, he told them.

Wed, 29 May 2019 15:18:47 +0530
May Resigns As UK On Cour

LONDON: A no-deal Brexit will hit Britain hard, causing ripples across the EU and the global economy, predicted the English language daily 'Gulf News'.

After three weeks of relative quiet on the UK political parliamentary front, a full-blown war of attrition among members of the ruling minority Conservative party is now underway. And whatever temporary patches that may have covered the deep wounds of the Brexit debate in Britain before, those are well and truly ripped away, exposing ugly and festering divisions within the ranks of that party.

Talks with the opposition Labour party over the past three weeks tried to reach some sort of a compromise over a customs union or protecting the rights of workers once the United Kingdom does eventually leave the European Union. At times it seemed a way forward would be found, and that the Withdrawal Agreement Bill, which has been voted down three times previously by Members of Parliament in the House of Commons, might indeed pass on Theresa May’s fourth time of asking.

The breakdown of those talks, combined with May putting together a list of 10 guarantees that would be included in that Withdrawal Agreement Bill, has not gone down well with the senior Cabinet ministers who are once again venting their opposition to her leadership. It has pushed the UK to the brink of what will be a disastrous no-deal Brexit sooner rather than later.

The past three years of May’s leadership have been overshadowed by deep divisions within the ranks of her Conservative party. Those divisions made it impossible for her to find an acceptable way forward in reaching a consensus deal on ending Britain’s 46-year marriage with the institutions, legislation and politics of Brussels. That was never going to be an easy task, and the chasms now within the Conservative reflect that just as those same deep divisions are evident across British society and in Northern Ireland.

May has now announced her resignation date (June 7). Her departure may be welcomed by many in her party and many up and down the communities and cities of her nation. But this Brexit crisis will not end with her going.

The reality is that whoever succeeds her, Britain is broken and divided. There is a crisis of leadership and a crisis of confidence. The worst possible outcome is that the UK blindly moves towards a no-deal Brexit, one where it’s economy will take a sharp hit, causing ripples across the EU and the global economy. Now, more than ever, Britain needs somehow to find the courage to do the right thing: Leave with a deal.


Tue, 28 May 2019 13:42:05 +0530
DRDO Successfully Test Fi

CHANDIPUR/ODISHA: Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has successfully test fired AKASH-MK-1S missile from ITR , Chandipur. Akash Mk1S is an upgrade of existing AKASH missile with indigenous Seeker. AKASH Mk1S is a surface to air missile which can neutralize advanced aerial targets. The Akash weapon system has a combination of both command guidance and active terminal seeker guidance. Seeker and guidance performance have been consistently established in both the missions. All the mission objectives have been met.

Tue, 28 May 2019 13:33:31 +0530
PM Modi Visits Varanasi T

VARANASI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is visiting his parliamentary constituency of Varanasi in eastern Uttar Pradesh today after his landslide win in the national election. This is PM Modi's first visit to Varanasi which he secured for the second time.

He will visit the famous Kashi Vishwanath temple in the temple town on the banks of River Ganga and later address BJP workers to celebrate his massive victory. He will travel to the temple by road. BJP chief Amit Shah will accompany PM Modi to Varanasi.

The Varanasi visit comes three days before he takes oath after being re-elected as Prime Minister for a second term.

Mon, 27 May 2019 11:35:10 +0530
Goyals Grounded By Immi

MUMBAI: Crisis-hit carrier Jet Airways' founder-Chairman Naresh Goyal and his wife Anitha were stopped from travelling abroad, at Mumbai airport. Both, Goyal and his wife, had boarded an Emirates flight from Mumbai to fly to Dubai, were offloaded on Saturday evening by immigration authorities.

The Emirates flight was forced to return to the bay by the immigration officials after it had already started taxiing.

Jet Airways, the largest carrier in India for a long time, had temporarily suspended operations on April 17, owing to huge financial crisis and debts. Since then, according to government officials, a lookout circular (LOC) has been issued against the Goyal by the Serious Frauds Investigation Office (SFIO), permitting public sector banks to prevent defaulters and fraudsters from fleeing the country.

The Boeing 777 aircraft, including Goyals and other 369 passengers on board, was all set for a departure from Mumbai airport at 4.14 pm. The air traffic control officials got a call from immigration authorities soon after it started taxiing, to come back to the bay area, around 4.19 pm

At 4.35 pm the plane docked into parking bay and told Goyals, who were seated in the second row of the first class cabin, to disembark.  The aircraft finally departed at 5.04 pm without Goyals and their check-in bags offloaded.

Sources said that the Goyals left the airport a few hours after the incident.

Jet Airways owes Rs 1,600 crore to State Bank of India whereas it owes over Rs 7,000 crore to other Indian banks. 22,000 employees have turned jobless, many pilots, engineers and other management staffs haven't been paid since December 2018.

Sun, 26 May 2019 13:18:30 +0530
Modi Trump Agree To Meet

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi continued to receive congratulatory messages from leaders across the world. These included telephone calls from Maithripala Sirisena, President of Sri Lanka; H.M. Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the King of Saudi Arabia; Donald Trump, President of the United States; and Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’, former Prime Minister of Nepal.

President Trump congratulated the Prime Minister on the unprecedented electoral victory. The two leaders agreed to meet at the forthcoming G-20 Summit in Osaka, Japan, to discuss bilateral relations and global matters. They also agreed to work together for further enhancing the close and strategic partnership between the two countries. 

Warmly felicitating the Prime Minister, Sri Lankan President Sirisena noted the enhanced engagements between the two neighbours and expressed his desire to further deepen the ties between the two countries.  The Prime Minister thanked the President of Sri Lanka and expressed his readiness to work even more closely for the benefit of the people of the two countries and the region. 

Sincerely thanking the King of Saudi Arabia for his warm felicitations and good wishes for the progress and prosperity of the people of India under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi, the Prime Minister conveyed his appreciation for the guidance of His Majesty to the bilateral relations between India and Saudi Arabia. 

Sat, 25 May 2019 14:49:38 +0530
SAIL s Bhilai Steel Plant

A fire was reported at Tar Distillation Unit of SAIL’s Bhilai Steel Plant in its Coke Ovens and Coal Chemicals (CO&CC) Department this morning. Immediately, the fire tenders were rushed to the site and the fire was controlled promptly.

There has been no loss of life or any injury to any of the persons working in or around the site. The reason for the fire is being probed into.

Meanwhile, there has not been any disruption in the Plant’s normal operation.

Sat, 25 May 2019 13:15:48 +0530
SCO Mass Media Forum Urge

The Second Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Mass Media Forum is being held at Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan from 23-26 May 2019. A Delegation from I&B Ministry comprising of TVK Reddy, Addl. Director General and Ankur Lahoty, Asst. Director is representing India at the Forum. The Forum was inaugurated by the President of Kyrgyz Republic Mr. S. Jeenbeko.

The President in his inaugural address highlighted the importance of Mass Media organizations of SCO countries in accomplishing the SCO objectives of mutual trust, friendly relations with neighbours and regional security in line with the “Shanghai Spirit”.

The Forum aims to strengthen the exchange and cooperation in the field of mass media amongst SCO countries. It offers a unique platform for active work through mass media to create an objective vision of the organization and strengthen its positive image in the global information space. The representative of state bodies supervising mass media of the SCO countries (Member States, Observer Countries, Dialogue Partners); representatives of leading mass media of the SCO countries and representatives of the SCO Secretariat are participating in the Forum.

Speaking at the Forum, the Indian Delegation highlighted the vital role of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in the development of the mass media landscape within the country. The Delegation emphasized the need for media collaborations and exchange of best practices amongst the various mass media agencies, organizations and associations across the SCO partner states. The Delegation suggested that media personnel exchange programmes may be undertaken along with joint international press conferences. The idea of working together to counter the problem of fake news was also highlighted. The Delegation invited all the SCO member delegates to the Golden Jubilee edition of International Film Festival of India to be held in Goa in November 2019.

Sat, 25 May 2019 12:43:27 +0530
Central Govt Bans Jamaat

The Central Government banned the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh or Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen India or Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Hindustan and all its manifestations under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, with immediate effect.

The notification states that the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh and its formations like Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen India or Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Hindustan and their manifestations have committed acts of terrorism, promoted acts of terrorism and have been engaged in radicalisation and recruitment of youth(s) for terrorist activities in India.

Sat, 25 May 2019 12:27:59 +0530
Sahara A Hostel for the

NEW DELHI: Lt Governor of Delhi Anil Baijal inaugurated the Sahara Naval Hostel for the ‘Veer Naris’ at Vasant Kunj, New Delhi. Admiral Sunil Lanba, Chief of the Naval Staff and Mrs Reena Lanba, President Naval Wives Welfare Association (NWWA) were also present in addition to several senior naval and civilian officials.

The unique project steered by the Indian Navy for ‘Naval Veer Naris’ has been built in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) partnership with National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC).

The hostel addresses a long term need felt towards the rehabilitation of Naval ‘Veer Naris’ and provide them with a safe and secure environment which will help them rebuild their lives.

The Sahara Hostel comprises compact suites equipped with all necessary amenities for dignified living, along with a common Dining Hall and a Community Hall.

The office of the Naval Regimental System has also been co-located at the hostel for easy onsite assistance to the occupants of the Sahara Hostel.

Sat, 25 May 2019 12:22:57 +0530
DRDO Successfully Flight

Defence Research and Defence Organisation (DRDO) successfully flight tested a 500 kg class Inertial Guided Bomb from Su-30 MKI Aircraft from the Pokhran test range in Rajasthan. The guided bomb achieved the desired range and hit the target with high precision.

All the mission objectives have been met. The weapon system is capable of carrying different warheads.


Sat, 25 May 2019 12:18:43 +0530
Army s Eastern Command Su

A  BrahMos Supersonic Cruise Missile was successfully test-fired by a Unit of Eastern Command, Indian Army from Car Nicobar Islands as part of joint training by Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force. The Combat missile was test fired on a specially designed target chosen at a range of 270 Km, thus validating deep penetration capability by the supersonic cruise missile and accurate engagement of targets in depth.

The launch of the BrahMos missile involved coordination with a large number of agencies for successful and smooth conduct of firing. It was a cohesive effort of all three services demonstrating high standards of Inter-Service Synergy.

Lt Gen MM Naravane, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief  Eastern Command witnessed the launch along with other officers and congratulated the Unit and all agencies involved in the process, resulting in the successful launch of the Combat missile.

BrahMos missile has by now established itself as a major 'Force Multiplier' in modern day battlefield with the impeccable multi-role and multi-platform launch capabilities furthering the confidence amongst our troops.

Sat, 25 May 2019 12:14:08 +0530
PM Modi Greets Officers o

The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, met and greeted the officers and staff of the Prime Minister's Office, at South Block. 

Senior officers of the PMO, including Principal Secretary to PM, Nripendra Misra, NSA Ajit Doval, Additional Principal Secretary PK Mishra, and Secretary Bhaskar Khulbe, felicitated the Prime Minister on his resounding victory in the recently concluded General Elections. 

The Prime Minister appreciated the efforts and dedication of the entire PMO, over the last five years and urged everyone to rededicate themselves to work even harder to play a key role in fulfilling the hopes and aspirations of the people of India. 

He said that the people have great expectations from the Government, and these expectations provide Team PMO with the energy to work to the utmost. 

Acknowledging the contribution of each and every member of his team, the Prime Minister said that the last five years have been a learning experience, even for him. 

He also conveyed his greetings and best wishes to the family members of the PMO officials.

Sat, 25 May 2019 12:09:21 +0530
PM Modi Expresses Anguish

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed anguish over fire tragedy in Surat. He has also asked Gujarat Government and local authorities to provide all possible assistance to those affected.

“Extremely anguished by the fire tragedy in Surat. My thoughts are with bereaved families. May the injured recover quickly. Have asked the Gujarat Government and local authorities to provide all possible assistance to those affected”, the Prime Minister said.

Sat, 25 May 2019 12:05:41 +0530
PM Tenders Resignation N

The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, gave its approval to the Resolution advising the President to dissolve the Sixteenth Lok Sabha, which was constituted on 18.05.2014.

Narendra Modi met the President and tendered his resignation along with the Council of Ministers. The President has accepted the resignation and requested Narendra Modi and the Council of Ministers to continue till the new Government assumes office. 

Article 83(2) of the Constitution stipulates that the House of the People, unless sooner dissolved, shall continue for five years from the date appointed for its first meeting and no longer and the expiration of the said period of five years shall operate as a dissolution of the House.  The first meeting of the Sixteenth Lok Sabha was held on June 4, 2014, when members were administered oath and affirmation.  The life of the present Lok Sabha is, therefore, to expire on June 3, 2019, unless the President dissolves it earlier.

Sat, 25 May 2019 12:00:38 +0530
Modi s second victory fli



In the end Modi 2.0 proved more potent than Rahul Gandhi 3.0. In his 2019 victory Modi also deflated a key argument many so-called liberal commentators had raised to take the sheen off his 2014 win -- that it was an anti-incumbency wave and discontent against then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that helped Modi win that massive electoral upset.

But the same anti-incumbency should have worked against Modi this time too. Also, to think of it, there was no singular event that could have vaulted his popularity overnight so he could come back with a bigger scorecard than last time. And if you go by what the liberal media and the opposition was saying, everyone whose back was “broken” by the less-than-perfect implementation of the goods and services tax and demonetization was waiting to banish Modi to the Himalayas.


In 2014, the pundits said it was because of the Muslim voters who were unhappy with Singh's governance and widespread corruption that Modi could win across India, and that if he did not keep them in good humor they will send him and the BJP packing. It was an argument based on the calculus of minority vote-bank politics that the Congress had perfected but which Modi had broken up in 2014.

And the same commentators tried hard to show, in the run up to the 2019 race, why the minorities were angry with Modi and how that would spell his doom – using their same dated calculus. The lined up an array of reasons -- conveniently ignoring the very valid issue of cattle smuggling in rural India and the logical local punitive actions – and took local events out of context and systematically blew them up to create a national narrative of cow lynchings and attacks on minority. They tried to paint even progressive legislations like the one banning Triple Talaq as cutting into the religious freedom of the minorities. In short, the pundits had crossed the line and were playing politics themselves. It was not done because of ideology, but was driven by the unholy nexus that was forged over decades between India's vote-bank politicians and these pundits.



Still Modi came back. The Muslims should have deserted him but it looks like they did not. A more plausible explanation is such vote-bank politics did not matter when Modi shined a light on some of the basic issues that underpin the existence and growth of a civilization -- things like religion, culture, heritage and community. Those were issues the pundits told us did not matter -- or mattered only for the minorities. That by virtue of being a majority, the Hindu had become a “terrorist.”

The narrative worked well with the minority vote-bank, and even the majority Hindu voter who -- and here is the irony -- because of his thousands of years of heritage did not want to be seen as trying to dominate or change another person's faith and belief system. It was the same things that the pundits and the "secular" politicians said that the Hindu should be ashamed of, which actually helped create and maintain minority vote-bank politics.



And it was the space provided by this politics that helped create and shelter extremist elements with ties to international terror organizations. But to deflect attention from that fundamental flaw of minority politics, the terms Hindu terror was coined.

What Modi did was to bring in fresh thinking and demolish the whole underpinning of vote-bank politics, in a way it can never come back again. The majority has sensed its power, and it has also realized why it is important to protect its culture, faith and heritage. Equally, if not more, than the things that the liberal commentators said mattered, like jobs and development.

It is another irony that the pre-Modi governments failed to provide even those vital things. And what Modi did provide, the pundits said he had failed to deliver.

The pundits were still very much behind the curve in 2014 in understanding that the political paradigm they nurtured and protected no longer stood -- and they still are! It is a reflection of how even India's so-called election analyst community is still beholden to Nehru-Gandhi family election paradigms and why we need a new breed of analysts like the new breed of politicians at the helm of the BJP.

By the way Modi did go to the Himalayas, but that was before the results, on his own, and he came back to reclaim the throne -- against all that the naysayers had forecast would happen. And what a victory it is!

Fri, 24 May 2019 21:22:27 +0530
Massive Fire Killed 19 St

SURAT: Nineteen students were reportedly killed after a massive fire broke out at a coaching centre in Gujarat's Surat on Friday afternoon. The fire engulfed the third and fourth floors of the coaching centre in the Thakshasila complex in the Sarthana area of Surat.

There were many students there at the time of the fire and most of the students who were killed when they were trying to jump out of the building to avoid the blaze.

Most of the students are said to be between the ages of 14 and 15.

Attempts have been going on to control the fire by 19 units of fire and rescue and two hydraulic units.

Fri, 24 May 2019 19:27:33 +0530
Massive Fire Killed 19 St

Nineteen students were reportedly killed after a massive fire broke out at a coaching centre in Gujarat's Surat on Friday afternoon. The fire engulfed the third and fourth floors of the coaching centre in the Thakshasila complex in the Sarthana area of Surat.

There were many students there at the time of the fire and most of the students who were killed when they were trying to jump out of the building to avoid the blaze.

Most of the students are said to be between the ages of 14 and 15.

Attempts have been going on to control the fire by 19 units of fire and rescue and two hydraulic units.

Fri, 24 May 2019 19:22:01 +0530
HIPL Announces Acquisitio

Hindustan Infralog Private Limited, HIPL, a joint venture between DP World and the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund in India, has announced the acquisition of a 76 percent stake in Kribhco Infrastructure Limited, an integrated multi-modal logistics operator in India. The acquisition was made through its 90 percent owned subsidiary, Continental Warehousing Corporation (Nhava Seva) Limited.

Kribhco will continue to retain the remaining 24 percent shareholding. The purchase consideration is below one percent of DP World’s net asset value as of Financial Year 2018.

Founded in 2009, Kribhco operates three major Inland Container Depots/Private Freight Terminals in three Indian states and has container train operations with a pan India outreach. It has a strong presence in the National Capital Region, which is India’s largest import/export market with a population of over 46 million, including a terminal located on a notified double-stack route.

With the acquisition of Kribhco, HIPL will emerge as one of the leading integrated rail terminal and Container Train Operators in India with an enhanced network to provide door-to-door connectivity to cargo owners. It will also augment DP World’s existing business in terms of the business model and geographic footprint, offering an integrated portfolio to the entire logistics value chain.

Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO of DP World, said, "We are delighted to announce the acquisition of 76 percent stake in Kribhco Infrastructure Limited, a rail logistics solutions provider, which is highly complementary to our earlier acquisition of Continental Warehousing Corporation. It enables the DP World Group to become a significant operator in the fast-growing inland logistics market.

"In India, we have made strong progress in building an integrated logistics platform, which can deliver a competitive solution to cargo owners and we aim to continue adding scale to our offering to deliver greater efficiencies and value to the trade," he added.

Dr. Chandra Pal Singh, Chairman of Kribhco, said, "Kribhco continues to remain excited about the significant growth potential of logistics infrastructure in India. We believe the strategic partnership with Continental Warehousing Corporation will enable the company's assets to improve efficiencies, offer a compelling value-add solution to customers and deliver long-term value for all stakeholders."

Fri, 24 May 2019 16:40:25 +0530
UAE Leaders Congratulate

UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has sent a cable to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, congratulating him on his party general elections victory.

Similar greetings were dispatched to the Indian prime minister by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

Fri, 24 May 2019 16:33:28 +0530
Theresa May To Resign As

British Prime Minister Theresa May has said she will quit as Conservative leader on 7 June, paving the way for a contest to decide a new prime minister, the BBC reported on Friday.

In an emotional statement in Downing St, she said she had "done my best" to honour the 2016 EU referendum result. It would remain a matter of "deep regret" that she had been unable to deliver Brexit, she added.

Mrs May said she will continue to serve as prime minister while a Conservative leadership contest takes place. She will step down as Tory leader on 7 June and a leadership contest is due to begin the following week.

The prime minister has faced a backlash from her MPs against her latest Brexit plan, which included concessions aimed at attracting cross-party support.

Andrea Leadsom quit as Commons leader on Wednesday saying she no longer believed it would "deliver on the referendum result". In her statement on Friday, she said that in order to deliver Brexit, her successor would have to build agreement in Parliament.

"Such a consensus can only be reached if those on all sides of the debate are willing to compromise," she said.

Fri, 24 May 2019 16:19:25 +0530
Vice President Lauds Vote

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has congratulated the people of India for making their choice so clear and giving a clear mandate. In a message, he said that all of us irrespective of party affiliations will continue to deepen the roots of our rich democratic tradition.

"I congratulate the people of India for making their choice so clear with resounding clarity and voting for stability. I congratulate the Election Commission for the smooth and efficient conduct of elections", he said.

Fri, 24 May 2019 16:04:38 +0530
World Leaders Congratulat

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi received congratulatory telephone calls from leaders across the world including from Ms. Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh; Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk, King of Bhutan; Dr. Lotay Tshering, Prime Minister of Bhutan; Mr. K.P. Sharma Oli, Prime Minister of Nepal; Mr. Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, President of Maldives; Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka; Mr. Vladimir Putin, President of Russia;  Mr Emmanuel Macron, President of France;  Mr. Abe Shinzo, Prime Minister of Japan; Mr. Scott Morrison, Prime Minister of Australia; Mr. Pravind Jugnauth; Prime Minister of Mauritius; Mr. Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of UAE; and Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel on the victory in the General Elections 2019. 

Warmly felicitating the Prime Minister, the leaders expressed the view that the historic mandate reflected the abiding faith of the people of India in the leadership of the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.

Expressing his gratitude for their compliments and good wishes, the Prime Minister said that the general elections embodied the strength of Indian democracy, which is the world’s largest.  He thanked the global leaders for their cooperation in developing mutually beneficial bilateral relations and multilateral cooperation and expressed his desire to continue to work further with them in fostering even stronger ties.

The Prime Minister has also expressed his gratitude to several other leaders who have extended their felicitations to him over social media and other means.

Fri, 24 May 2019 15:51:06 +0530
Modi magic encore sees Co

NEW DELHI: The Modi magic that first cascaded across the country in 2014, has performed a repeat during the 17th Lok Sabha polls, gifting the BJP 304 seats, 22 more than it had pocketed last time.

BJP leads the charts with 304 seats, enabling it to single-handedly form the government at the Centre.

The impact of the Modi wave, which took the BJP past all the predictions by the exit polls, became more and more clear as the day progressed. At least 10 agencies had predicted a huge NDA victory while one predicted victory for BJP with a lower margin.

On the other hand, the main opposition Congress is almost on the wires, struggling to reach a figure of 54, which is the minimum number of seats required to get the opposition party tag in the Lok Sabha.

BJP’s magnificent triumph is a victory of its main showman Narendra Modi, whose set the narrative all through his campaign, with rhetoric and pronouncements that tread the fine line between what is allowed by election rules and what is not. In the process, his skill with words, even managed to split the election commission. The victory equally belongs to Amit Shah, who was the mastermind behind BJP’s campaign agenda.

The BJP managed to set the agenda in a majority of stats while the Congress could make gains only in a few states like Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Punjab. Congress-led UDF leads in 19 of the 20 seats in Kerala, while the DMK-Congress alliance lead in Tamil Nadu.

BJP made a clean sweep of the north Indian Hindi heartland, taking 7 out of 7 seats in Delhi, 24 of 25 in Rajasthan, 28 of 29 in Madhya Pradesh, while more or less repeating the same story in neighbouring states. In the crucial state of Uttar Pradesh, the BJP defied all odds to demolish the SP-BSP alliance, partly riding on the administrative and law & order record of state chief minister Yogi Adithyanath. The BSP and SP end the counting day with a mere 11 and 6 seats, respectively. The result in UP makes the BJP’s victory sweeter as at least some in the party were bracing for a setback there.

As only the administrative formality of the confirmation of the final tally of each party remains, the BJP and NDA have begun preparations for government formation.

For the regional parties that have been mauled by the BJP, the defeat stings more because it happened in their own backyards. Trinamool Congress will be the most disappointed as the BJP has made major inroads in West Bengal, claiming 19 seats.

Thu, 23 May 2019 18:02:59 +0530
Together we grow togeth

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that together we grow, together we prosper and together we build a strong and inclusive India. He tweeted his first response to BJP's landslide victory and added that he will address the nation today evening




सबका साथ + सबका विकास + सबका विश्वास = विजयी भारत

Together we grow.

Together we prosper.

Together we will build a strong and inclusive India.  

India wins yet again! 

Chowkidar Narendra Modi (@narendramodi)
Thu, 23 May 2019 17:17:27 +0530
Rahul Trials Behind In Am

New Delhi: Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s decision to contest from two seats, one from Uttar Pradesh’s Amethi and another one from Kerala’s hilly constituency Wayanad, is turning out to be a blessing in disguise for him as BJP’s Smriti Irani leads for more than 30000 seats in Amethi. Smriti had given a tough challenge since the beginning of the poll campaign and took the lead from the beginning of the counting.

Meanwhile, Rahul leads for more than one lakh votes in the Wayanad parliament constituency. The current trend shows that Rahul Gandhi will come out with a record majority from Wayanad.

As the counting of the 17th Lok Sabha election passes the first two hours, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) running way ahead as they lead in 329 seats. UPA leads in 100 seats while others lead in 93 seats.

NDA’s overall lead stays close to the exit poll predictions as the exit polls had predicted more than 300 seats for the ruling alliance. Now it remains to be seen whether the BJP will retain the power with a  single largest majority. It will be the first time after three decades where a party retains power with a single largest majority.

BJP rules the show in the majority of the seats while the Congress makes gains only in a few states like Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Congress-led UDF leads in 19 seats out of the 20 seats in Kerala while the DMK-Congress alliance lead in Tamil Nadu.

The results in Sonia Gandhi’s Raebarely shows ups and downs for the UPA chairperson as she is struggling to make a major hold on the lead.

Thu, 23 May 2019 11:17:32 +0530
Election Commission Rejec

A delegation of 22 Political Parties met the Full Election Commission on 21st May. Amongst other issues which they raised was the request to count VVPATs slips before the commencement of counting of votes polled in the EVMs.

Immediately after the departure of the delegation, the Commission deliberated on the issue with senior officials dealing with this issue in ECI. After two rounds of in-depth discussions yesterday and today, it has neither been found possible nor feasible to accede to this demand in the overall context and especially in view of the judgment of the Supreme Court in Writ Petition (C) No.273 of 2019 delivered on 8th April. The said judgement directs that the random selection of VVPATs shall be subjected to the process of slip verification as per the guidelines 16.6 of the EVM Manual in force. 

There were some other procedural issues like allowing counting agents of candidates along with all Returning Officers and Assistant Returning Officers on which necessary instructions have already been reiterated and wherever required made more candidate-friendly.

The Commission, while thanking all the esteemed Members of the delegation assures them and all the electors of the country that the entire counting especially guarding the strong rooms and counting centres are already being done in an absolutely fair and transparent manner.

Thu, 23 May 2019 10:44:49 +0530
Modi Magic Repeats Across

New Delhi: As the counting of the 17th Lok Sabha election passes the first two hours, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) running way ahead as they lead in 319 seats. Congress-led UPA leads in 114 seats while others lead in 104 seats.

NDA’s overall lead stays close to the exit poll predictions as the exit polls had predicted more than 300 seats for the ruling alliance. Now it remains to be seen whether the BJP will retain the power with a  single largest majority. It will be the first time after three decades where a party retains power with a single largest majority.

BJP rules the show in the majority of the seats while the Congress makes gains only in a few states like Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Congress-led UDF leads in 19 seats out of the 20 seats in Kerala while the DMK-Congress alliance lead in Tamil Nadu.

As far as the current updates are concerned, the biggest shocker is coming from Uttar Pradesh’s Amethi as Congress President Rahul Gandhi trials behind BJP candidate Smriti Irani. As Contrary, Rahul Gandhi surges way ahead in Kerala’s Wayanad constituency as he leads by more than 40,000 votes. The early trend shows Rahul Gandhi will win with a record majority from Wayanad.

The results in Sonia Gandhi’s Raebarely shows ups and downs for the UPA chairperson as she is struggling to make a major hold on the lead.

Thu, 23 May 2019 10:17:26 +0530
NDA Makes Early Gains Le

New Delhi: As the counting of the 17th Lok Sabha election passes the first one and a half hours, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) running way ahead as they lead in 300 seats. UPA leads in 118 seats while others lead in 96 seats.

As far as the current updates are concerned, the biggest shocker is coming from Uttar Pradesh’s Amethi as Congress President Rahul Gandhi trials behind BJP candidate Smriti Irani. As Contrary, Rahul Gandhi surges way ahead in Kerala’s Wayanad constituency as he leads by more than 40,000 votes. The early trend shows Rahul Gandhi will win with a record majority from Wayanad.

The results in Sonia Gandhi’s Raebarely shows ups and downs for the UPA chairperson as she is struggling to make a major hold on the lead.

Thu, 23 May 2019 09:54:21 +0530
NDA Upbeat Ahead Of Count

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah on Tuesday signed off on a resolution meant to serve as a blueprint for an NDA-2 government, reports NDTV.

The resolution is built around the three themes that are expected to get it the overwhelming mandate predicted by the exit polls - national security, nationalism and development.  All key NDA allies were present at the meeting -- held after a dinner at Delhi's Ashoka Hotel - two days before the counting of votes in the national election.

"Thirty-six NDA allies were present at the NDA leaders' dinner on Tuesday. Three NDA allies who were not present, have given their support in writing," Union minister Rajnath Singh said after the meeting, NDTV reported.

The resolution not only talks about the successful schemes of the government but also points to the future. "Over the last five years, the government has taken steps to meet the basic requirements of the people. Over the next five years, we will increase the speed of progress and meet the other needs of the people".

The key points, Mr Singh said, includes a blueprint to double the income of farmers by 2022. "It also mentions the how India influenced the global discourse especially in the areas of counter-terrorism, money laundering and global warming," Mr Singh said, reports NDTV.

Wed, 22 May 2019 11:05:29 +0530
Cost Guard Apprehends Pak

On 19 May, intelligence was received of a suspicious vessel likely to be engaged in drug trafficking in the area off Indo-Pak International Maritime Border Line (IMBL) off the Gujarat Coast. Similar inputs were also received from Directorate of Revenue Intelligence on 20 May 2019.

Indian Coast Guard immediately swung into action and Indian Coast Guard (ICG) Ship Arinjay on patrol off Indo-Pak IMBL was alerted about the suspect vessel. Two additional Interceptor Boats C-437 and C-408 were also tasked from Jakhau and Okha to augment the search for the suspect vessel. ICG Dornier aircraft was also launched from Porbandar on 20 and 21 May 2019 for aerial recce in the area.

Coast Guard Ships and aircraft maintained extensive search in the area for intercepting the suspect vessel.  ICG ships classified various contacts in the area and kept them under constant surveillance. During the search, one fishing boat was observed to be suspicious and Coast Guard ships in area shadowed the suspect vessel during the dark hours of 20 May 2019 night.

The suspect vessel with first light on 21 May 19 crossed the IMBL towards Indian side and started moving towards the Jakhau coast. The suspect vessel Al Madina was kept under surveillance and intercepted at about 0915hrs on 21 May 2019 about 08 NM inside Indian waters off IMBL by ICG ship Arinjay.

During boarding the vessel was found to be a Pakistani Fishing Boat Al Madina registered at Karachi with 06 Pakistani crew. An initial search of the fishing boat by Indian Coast Guard boarding party revealed 194 packets of suspected narcotics substance. The vessel is being escorted to Jakhau harbour for detailed investigation and rummaging.

Recently during a similar operation on 24 March 2019, ICG ship Rajratan in a joint operation with ATS, Gujarat seized about 100 Kgs of heroin from a suspected Pakistani Dhow off the coast of Gujarat apprehending 09 Iranian crew of the vessel.  

Indian Coast Guard Director General Rajendra Singh said that the Coast Guard has been at the forefront in anti-narcotics and anti-smuggling operations and since inception has seized contraband worth of more than Rs. 5000 crores.

Wed, 22 May 2019 10:52:45 +0530
Election Commission Opens

NEW DELHI: A 24 hour EVM Control Room has been made functional at Nirvachan Sadan to monitor complaints relating to polled EVMs. The complaints related to storage issues at strongrooms, the security of strongrooms,  permissions to candidates to post their agents at strongrooms, CCTV monitoring, movement of any EVMs, and any complaints during counting related to EVMs can be informed at control room number is 011-23052123 (with 5 hunting lines).  

Wed, 22 May 2019 10:39:34 +0530
PSLV Successfully launche

India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C46) successfully launched the RISAT-2B satellite from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. This was the 72nd launch vehicle mission from SDSC SHAR, Sriharikota and 36th launch from the First Launchpad.

PSLV-C46 lifted-off at 05:30 Hrs (IST) from the First Launch Pad and injected RISAT-2B into an orbit of 556 km, about 15 minutes and 25 seconds after lift-off. After separation, solar arrays of RISAT-2B were deployed automatically and ISRO Telemetry Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) at Bengaluru assumed control of the satellite. In the coming days, the satellite will be brought to its final operational configuration.

RISAT-2B is a radar imaging earth observation satellite weighing about 615 kg. The satellite is intended to provide services in the field of Agriculture, Forestry and Disaster Management.

ISRO Chairman Dr K Sivan congratulated the launch vehicle and satellite teams involved in the mission. “With this launch, PSLV lofts 50 tonnes to space by launching 354 satellites, including national, student and foreign satellites.”

Dr. K Sivan also commended the efforts of the team involved in the realization of the piggyback payload carried onboard this mission namely, Vikram processor and low-cost MEMS-based Inertial Navigation System (INS) developed by Semi-Conductor Laboratory (SCL), Chandigarh and ISRO Inertial Systems Unit, Thiruvananthapuram respectively. “RISAT-2B is an advanced Earth Observation satellite with the advanced technology of 3.6m radial rib antenna”, he added.

A total number of 5,000 visitors witnessed the launch live from the Viewer’s Gallery, which is opened to the public.

ISRO is now gearing up for the launch of Chandrayaan-2 onboard GSLV MkIII during the window of July 09, to July 16, 2019, with an expected Moon landing on September 06, 2019.

Wed, 22 May 2019 10:32:05 +0530
UAE Distributes Ramadan R

ABU DHABI: The UAE Embassies and Consulates General have supervised the distribution of food baskets and Ramadan Ration in Kosovo and India.

The UAE Embassy in Montenegro has overseen the distribution of Ramadan food baskets presented by the Emirates Red Crescent, ERC, across Kosovo for the benefit of 600 families.

Meanwhile, Minister in charge of Haj affairs in Kerela K.T. Jaleel; Jamal Hussein Al Zaabi, Consul-General of UAE in Kerala, and members of the mission distributed Ramadan Ration provided by ERC in Southern India for the benefit of about 3,000 needy people.

Jaleel extended thanks for the UAE government and people, Consul General and mission for their effort to provide humanitarian aid to the population in South of India.

Tue, 21 May 2019 15:41:38 +0530
India has emerged as an a

Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that India has emerged as an attractive destination for global investors and asked educational institutions to maintain high standards and foster academic excellence. He was addressing the Convocation of Great Lakes Institute of Management, in Chennai.

Observing that India was poised to become a US $ 5 trillion economy in the next few years, Naidu said there was a need to remove economic imbalances, urban-rural divide, end gender and social discrimination and enhance the prestige of all the institutions, including the Supreme Court, CAG, CVC, EC, Parliament and State Legislatures. He said that nobody should say or do anything to undermine the sanctity of these institutions. There are appropriate forums to redress grievances if any, he added.

The Vice President said that India is the largest Parliamentary democracy in the world and has a track record of the effective electoral system and conducting elections on a regular basis. Describing elections as ‘Festival of Democracy”, he complimented the Election Commission for conducting the stupendous exercise in a peaceful and orderly manner.

Asking the graduating students to respect their alma mater and always act to enhance its reputation, Naidu advised them to focus on achieving academic excellence and become socially conscientious citizens. He said that the atmosphere on university campuses should not be vitiated by extraneous issues and added that he was happy that barring a few, most of the 900 Universities were free from any disturbance.

The Vice President also told them not to neglect their parents, mother tongue, native place, motherland and Guru (teacher). He further said that they should also strive to promote and protect the safety and security of the motherland. “Taking care of fellow human beings is nationalism and not merely saying Vande Mataram or Jai Hind”, he added. He also emphasized

Tue, 21 May 2019 15:22:57 +0530
Election Commission Rejec

NEW DELHI: Election Commission of India clarified that all such reports and allegations related to the alleged movement of EVMs, doing the rounds in sections of media,  are absolutely false, and factually incorrect. The visuals seen viral on media do not pertain to any EVMs used during the polls.

After the close of polls, all polled EVMs and VVPATs are brought under security cover to the designated strongrooms, which is sealed with double locks, in the presence of the candidates and in the presence of Observers of the Election Commission. The entire process of storage and sealing of the strongroom is covered under videography. Continuous CCTV coverage is done until the completion of counting. Each strongroom is guarded with round-the-clock security by the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF). Further, the candidates or their designated agents remain present at the strongroom for a 24X7 vigil at all times.

On the counting day, the strongrooms are opened in the presence of the candidates/agents and Observer under videography. Before the counting of EVMs commences, the counting agents are shown the address tags, seals and the serial number of the EVMs to satisfy themselves to the genuineness and authenticity of the machines used in the actual polls.

The provisions and protocols have been explained to the political parties on multiple occasions including in several of the 93 meetings held with them at the Commission since the announcement of elections. All Chief Electoral Officers and District Election Officers have again been advised to brief the candidates on the elaborate counting arrangements.

Tue, 21 May 2019 15:14:03 +0530
Maharashtra Governor Sign

The Governor of Maharashtra CH. Vidyasagar Rao signed the Maharashtra State Reservation (of seats for admission in educational institutions in the State and for appointments in the public services and posts under the State) for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) (Amendment and Validation) Ordinance, 2019.

The Ordinance was issued by the Governor on the basis of the advice given by the State Government to provide the benefit of reservations in admissions to SEBC classes in Medical and Dental under-graduate and postgraduate courses.

There shall now be reservations in favour of the candidates belonging to SEBC classes from the educational year 2019 – 20 and also for admissions to other educational courses including under-graduate courses requiring the passing of the NEET or any other National Entrance Test.

Tue, 21 May 2019 12:34:49 +0530
Chief Secretary Ajoy Meht

The newly appointed Maharashtra Chief Secretary Ajoy Mehta called on the Governor CH. Vidyasagar Rao at Raj Bhavan, Mumbai. This was a courtesy call.

Mon, 20 May 2019 17:56:45 +0530
Adi Sankara Jayanthi cele



Mumbai: The 11 day Sri Sankara Jayanthi celebration of  Adi Sankaracharya who was instrumental in the revival of Hinduism celebrated with pomp and festivity at the Sri Sankara Mattham, Matunga with Rudraikadasi, Navavarana puja and Rudra Homam along with with the chanting of all 4 Vedas by Vedic scholars.

Besides this, there was also Pada Pooja, Suvasini pooja, Purushasooktha homams on other days.



Adi Sankaracharya, who was believed to be an incarnation of Lord Shiva was a great philosopher, saint and the exponent of Advaita Vedanta, was born around 1231 years ago in a place called Kaladi in Kerala. His name was a national phenomenon beyond the realms of narrow religious definitions by virtue of his recorded travails across the entire country from the Himalayas to the tip of the sub-continent. As an infant prodigy, he mastered the scriptural lore within a short time. When he was only sixteen, he became a master of all the philosophies and theologies and began to write commentaries on the Gita, the Upanishads and the Brahma Sutras. During his travel, he established five Peetas- at Sringeri, Dwaraka, Badrinath and Kanchi to spread his teachings.



At the age of 32, he retired to the Himalayas and disappeared inside a cave near Kedarnath. This cave is traditionally pointed out as the site of his samadhi. Sankara mattams all over the country celebrate the Sankara Jayanthi in a befitting manner.

Mon, 20 May 2019 17:47:38 +0530
Manchester City Wins Hist

LONDON: Manchester City beat Watford to win the FA Cup, becoming the first men's team to win a domestic treble.

Pep Guardiola's men equalled the highest number of goals scored in an FA Cup final beating Watford 6-0 at Wembley.

It was yet another a glorious night for Manchester City Football Club, owned by H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs after the team retained the English Premier League title last Sunday.

Mon, 20 May 2019 17:31:21 +0530
Venezuela Panama Ambassa

Ambassadors of Venezuela and Panama, as well as the High Commissioner of Papua New Guinea, presented credentials to the President Ram Nath Kovind, at a ceremony held at Rashtrapati Bhavan

The envoys who presented their credentials were: -  

1.   Ms Coromoto Godoy Calderon, Ambassador of Venezuela

2.   Mr Paulias Korni, High Commissioner of Papua New Guinea

3.   Mr Muhamad Talha Hajee Hajee, Ambassador of Panama

Mon, 20 May 2019 16:21:34 +0530
Vice President Expresses

Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has expressed his anguish over the low quality of political debates during the just-concluded election campaign with politicians resorting to personalized attacks instead of focusing on larger issues of public concern.

Speaking at a function organized to felicitate the Vice President by his friends and well-wishers following the recent conferment of Honorary Doctorate by the University for Peace at Costa Rica, he said that politicians should remember that they are only rivals and not enemies and said that the language should not be abusive. All political parties, people and the press too should seriously ponder over this issue, he added.

Naidu recalled that during his younger days as a legislator, he used to be highly critical and harsh of the policies of the government but never indulged in personal attacks. He underlined the importance of respecting the institutions of the Prime Minister, Chief Minister, Leader of Opposition and other public representatives.

The Vice President expressed his anguish over the falling standards in every walk of life. He appealed to all, including legislators, political parties, institutions and people in public life, to uphold high standards and values. He also urged the people to select and elect their representatives on the basis of Character, Calibre, Conduct and Capacity to strengthen democracy, although four other Cs—caste, cash, community and criminality are trying to be predominant.

Naidu also took dig at the growing trend of defections and freebies offered by political parties. He also advised the media not to mix views with news and said that there should be an audit of the performance of the public representatives every five years. The country and the states need able leaders and a stable government, he added.

Referring to his interactions with foreign dignitaries in India and during his visits abroad, he said the world was impressed with India’s economic momentum. “India is being recognized and respected the world over”, he asserted and pointed out that the Indian economy was moving forward while the global economy was slowing down.

Naidu said that India was respected by the rest of the world for its age-old ethos and civilizational values and for always upholding the principles of peace and non-violence.

Mon, 20 May 2019 16:13:41 +0530
Seventh Phase Of Polling

KOLKATA: Crude bombs were flung in Bengal's Bhatpara as two groups clashed and elsewhere, three BJP candidates claimed they came under attack on the last day of polling in the state. Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has called for the presence of Central forces in the state till the counting of votes gets over. Two of the claims came from state capital Kolkata, which is voting today along with the remaining eight seats in the state, which sends the second highest number of members to the Lok Sabha after Uttar Pradesh, reports NDTV.

Bengal voted in all seven rounds of the Lok Sabha elections and violence was reported in every round, NDTV reported.

Sun, 19 May 2019 16:13:40 +0530
Nation Votes In Seventh P

NEW DELHI: Over 41.6 per cent of the 10.17 crore voters have exercised their franchise till 1 pm in the final phase of the Lok Sabha elections. Jharkhand witnessed an impressive turnout with 52.9 percent of the voters casting their votes so far. Nearly 49.8 percent of the electorate in West Bengal also marked their presence at the polling booth despite incidents of violence across the state. Fifty-nine seats, including PM Modi's constituency Varanasi, are voting today in the seventh and final phase of the, reports NDTV.

Over 10.17 crore voters across seven states and one Union Territory will decide the fate of 918 candidates. The Bharatiya Janata Party or the BJP had won 30 of the 59 seats in the 2014 elections.

Voting will be held for 13 parliamentary constituencies each in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, nine seats in West Bengal, Bihar (8), Madhya Pradesh (8), Himachal Pradesh (4), Jharkhand (3) and Chandigarh (1) today. In Uttar Pradesh, the BJP is contesting in 11 seats, while its ally Apna Dal (Sonelal) is contesting Mirzapur, currently held by Union minister Anupriya Patel, and Robertsganj. The party has fielded Bhojpuri actor Ravi Kishan from Gorakhpur against Congress's Madhusudan Tripathi and Rambhual Nishad of the Samajwadi Party, NDTV reported.

Sun, 19 May 2019 15:20:10 +0530
Election Commissioner Ash

NEW DELHI: Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa has stopped attending meetings to decide on violations of the Model Code of Conduct over his "minority decisions going unrecorded", correspondence reviewed by NDTV finds. Some of his objections involve the Election Commission's clean chit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in six instances.

The three-member Election Commission consists of the Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora and two election commissioners - Ashok Lavasa and Sushil Chandra. The poll panel's rules express preference for a unanimous view, but also allow a majority decision, reports NDTV.

Sat, 18 May 2019 17:42:53 +0530
Chandrababu Naidu Meets R

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu met Congress chief Rahul Gandhi in Delhi today and discussed firming up a non-BJP front to keep the ruling party out of power after results of the national election are declared next week. He also met Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar in the capital, reports NDTV.

The Telugu Desam Chief's efforts come ahead of a mega meet of opposition leaders on May 23, hosted by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, to prepare for the possibility of a less than a decisive verdict.

Mr Naidu, 69, is also likely to meet Uttar Pradesh alliance partners Mayawati and Akhilesh this evening in Lucknow, NDTV reported.

He met CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal on Friday and discussed with them the possibility of a tie-up in the post-results scenario.

Sat, 18 May 2019 17:33:38 +0530
UN Secretary General Cond

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has condemned the recent attacks on commercial vessels off the coast of the United Arab Emirates and stressed the need for further investigation to determine the facts and hold accountable the perpetrators, according to his spokesperson.

Stephane Dujarric told a briefing in New York, that the Secretary-General has also condemned the drone attacks on oil facilities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, for which the Houthis have claimed responsibility.

The spokesperson said that he has been asked in recent days about the different developments in the Gulf and that he can say that the "Secretary-General is following with growing concern recent incidents and hardening rhetoric in the Gulf region, which threaten to further destabilise an already volatile situation."

The UN Secretary-General has recalled that attacks targeting civilian infrastructure violate international humanitarian law, and also called upon all actors to exercise maximum restraint and prevent any escalation amid heightened tensions, the spokesperson added.

Fri, 17 May 2019 12:09:22 +0530
Nuclear Electricity Can R

Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that nuclear electricity could significantly reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions and has the potential to meet increasing energy demand in the country.

Addressing Scientists and the Staff of Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research (AMD), in Hyderabad, on the occasion of 70 years of exploration and research by the organization, he pointed out that climate change was one of the foremost environmental concerns today.

Stating that the need of the hour was to ensure that modern technologies were safer and reliable, the Vice President observed that nuclear power was one of the reliable and safe energy options and commended India’s record of operating our nuclear fleet for over 40 years without any serious incident.

Naidu said India’s abiding interest in nuclear energy grew out of a deep conviction that the power of atom could be harnessed to help the country to achieve human and societal development. He said that India has consciously made a strategic choice to pursue a low-carbon growth model in the coming decades and added that reducing pollution was a major challenge.

President also unveiled a plaque on ‘Cuddapah Monolith’ to commemorate 70 years of exploration and research by AMD.

Fri, 17 May 2019 12:06:35 +0530
Water Level Goes Down Se

The water storage available in 91 major reservoirs of the country for the week ending on May 16, 2019, was 35.99 BCM, which is 22% of the total storage capacity of these reservoirs. This percentage was at 24 for the week ending on May 09, 2019. The level of water storage in the week ending on May 16, 2019, was 115% of the storage of the corresponding period of last year and 105% of storage of average of the last ten years.

The total storage capacity of these 91 reservoirs is 161.993 BCM which is about 63% of the total storage capacity of 257.812 BCM which is estimated to have been created in the country. 37 Reservoirs out of these 91 have hydropower benefit with an installed capacity of more than 60 MW. 





The northern region includes States of Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Rajasthan. There are six reservoirs under CWC monitoring having a total live storage capacity of 18.01 BCM. The total live storage available in these reservoirs is 8.54 BCM which is 47% of the total live storage capacity of these reservoirs. The storage during the corresponding period of last year was 16% and the average storage of the last ten years during the corresponding period was 26% of the live storage capacity of these reservoirs. Thus, storage during the current year is better than the corresponding period of last year and is also better than the average storage of the last ten years during the corresponding period.



The Eastern region includes States of Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal and Tripura. There are 15 reservoirs under CWC monitoring having a total live storage capacity of 18.83 BCM. The total live storage available in these reservoirs is 5.04 BCM which is 27% of the total live storage capacity of these reservoirs. The storage during the corresponding period of last year was 30% and the average storage of the last ten years during the corresponding period was 25% of the live storage capacity of these reservoirs. Thus, storage during the current year is less than the corresponding period of last year but is better than the average storage of the last ten years during the corresponding period.



The Western region includes the States of Gujarat and Maharashtra. There are 27 reservoirs under CWC monitoring having a total live storage capacity of 31.26 BCM. The total live storage available in these reservoirs is 4.10 BCM which is 13% of the total live storage capacity of these reservoirs. The storage during the corresponding period of last year was 18% and the average storage of the last ten years during the corresponding period was 22% of the live storage capacity of these reservoirs. Thus, storage during the current year is less than the storage of last year and is also less than the average storage of the last ten years during the corresponding period.



The Central region includes States of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. There are 12 reservoirs under CWC monitoring having a total live storage capacity of 42.30 BCM. The total live storage available in these reservoirs is 11.44 BCM which is 27% of the total live storage capacity of these reservoirs. The storage during the corresponding period of last year was 25% and the average storage of the last ten years during the corresponding period was 23% of the live storage capacity of these reservoirs. Thus, storage during the current year is better than the storage of last year and is also better than the average storage of the last ten years during the corresponding period.



The Southern region includes States of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, AP&TG (Two combined projects in both states), Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. There are 31 reservoirs under CWC monitoring having a total live storage capacity of 51.59 BCM. The total live storage available in these reservoirs is 6.86 BCM which is 13% of the total live storage capacity of these reservoirs. The storage during the corresponding period of last year was 13% and the average storage of the last ten years during the corresponding period was 16% of the live storage capacity of these reservoirs. Thus, storage during the current year is equal to the corresponding period of last year but is less than the average storage of the last ten years during the corresponding period.

States having better storage than last year for corresponding period are Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Gujarat, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. States having equal storage than last year for corresponding period are Uttar Pradesh, Telangana and AP&TG (Two combined projects in both states) Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. States having lesser storage than last year for corresponding period are Rajasthan, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Tripura, Odisha, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala.

Fri, 17 May 2019 11:42:07 +0530
Israel proposes India to

The Indian Delegation led by I&B Secretary Amit Khare today met Film Commissioners of participating countries at Cannes Film Festival. During the meeting, India was positioned as an attractive filming destination by highlighting the steps taken to ease the process of obtaining permissions for filming in India through the Film Facilitation Office which facilitates Single Window Clearance for film-makers. The steps taken by the India Government to combat film piracy were also discussed.

The Indian Delegation highlighted the opportunity of utilizing the abundant talent pool of skilled professionals and technicians and projected the possibility of India emerging as a major post-production hub. The focus of the discussion was the exploration of co-production opportunities with the participating countries and forage opportunities of collaborations for films with international production houses. The rebates and incentives being explored by the government to incentivize foreign filmmakers further to shoot in India were also highlighted.

During the discussions, Amit Khare talked about the possibility of filmmakers of different countries coming together under bilateral co-production agreements which would also forge new markets and wider audiences by making India a hub for shooting world-class international movies. He also talked about the opportunity of creative collaborations in terms of content exchange and explored the idea of cultural exchange through co-creation of content.

The Delegation further Ms.Eti Cohen, Director of Film Department and Council, Ministry of Culture and Sports, Israel. During the meeting, Israel proposed India to be the focus country in Jerusalem Film Festival, 2020. The buzz created by the Hindi movie Newton in Israel was also highlighted by the Israeli Delegation. Israel also proposed the idea of making concept-based films in India, with a focus on regional and small budget films.

Thu, 16 May 2019 23:49:10 +0530
Godse was a deshbhakt i

Nathuram Godse, the man who assassinated Mahatma Gandhi, "was a deshbhakt (patriot), is a deshbhakt and will remain one," the BJP's Pragya Singh Thakur said today, adding to her growing list of controversial statements. Amid wide condemnation, even from the BJP, she later claimed that she would "follow the party's line" and the party's line was her line, reports NDTV.

But she stopped short of an apology, despite BJP leaders calling for one. 

"It was my personal opinion. My intention was not to hurt anyone's sentiments. If I've hurt anyone I do apologise. What Gandhi Ji has done for the country cannot be forgotten. My statement has been twisted by the media," she told news agency ANI.

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi attacked the BJP, saying just disowning the egregious comment of Pragya Thakur was not enough, NDTV reported.

Thu, 16 May 2019 23:38:08 +0530
Suspicious Object Found A

PUNE: A staff member of Air Force School, Vimannagar, located at Air Force Station Lohegaon Pune, found a suspicious looking object in the school ground, which is adjacent to a civil residential area. On receiving the information IAF Security team reached the Air Force School and the school area was cordoned off. T

The object was identified by a bomb disposal team from civil police as a pyrotechnic object. The suspicious device was safely disposed of by the civil bomb disposal squad. There has been no damage to personnel and property.

An investigation by the Indian Air Force is under progress.

Wed, 15 May 2019 18:46:32 +0530
China Hit Back In Trade W

BEIJING: China has hit back in its trade war with the US, announcing plans to impose tariffs on US$60bn of American imports. Tariffs will be imposed on 5,140 US products with an annual value of about $60bn from 1 June, the Chinese finance ministry said.

"China’s adjustment on additional tariffs is a response to US unilateralism and protectionism," the Ministry said.

"China hopes the US will get back to the right track of bilateral trade and economic consultations and meet with China halfway."

Wed, 15 May 2019 18:38:53 +0530
Intl Community Condemn A

ABU DHABI: The Republic of Tunisia, Al-Azhar Al Sharif, the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies have condemned drone attack against two oil pumping stations in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

They said in statements that such acts of terrorism, which seek to undermine the security and stability of the Kingdom, are abhorrent, criminal acts rejected by all divine religions and humanitarian norms and laws.

They also called on the international community to join efforts to confront terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. The statements stressed the need for international solidarity to confront these criminal acts.

Wed, 15 May 2019 18:34:39 +0530
Centre Extends Ban On LTT

NEW DELHI: The Central Government has extended the ban on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) for another five years under sub-sections (1) and (3) of section 3 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (37 of 1967) with immediate effect.

The notification states that the LTTE’s continued violent and disruptive activities are prejudicial to the integrity and sovereignty of India, and it continues to adopt a strong anti-India posture as also continues to pose a grave threat to the security of Indian nationals.

Wed, 15 May 2019 18:24:41 +0530
Mamata Banerjee has taken

KOLKATA: Amid the huge political row over yesterday's violence during a rally of BJP chief Amit Shah in Kolkata, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today declared that Mamata Banerjee has taken "revenge".  The Bengal Chief Minister, he said, is afraid of the outcome of the election and is "scared of her own shadow". The BJP and the Trinamool Congress have been at loggerheads since yesterday over the violence, during which a statue of Iswarchandra Vidyasagar -- a 19th Century reformer and an iconic figure in the state -- was smashed. The parties have blamed each other for the vandalism, reports NDTV.

"Mamata didi had declared publicly two days ago that she will take revenge (inch inch ka badla). She fulfilled her agenda within 24 hours, BJP President Amit Shah's roadshow was attacked," PM Modi said at a rally in Bengal.

This, he said, was "intimidatory tactics" from the Bengal Chief Minister, who swept to power in the state in 2011, ending the 35-year Left rule.  "Mamata didi got scared after seeing the BJP wave in the state. And everyone now knows what she is capable of when scared", NDTV reported.

Wed, 15 May 2019 18:17:21 +0530
Armed Drones Attack Saudi

Saudi Arabia has confirmed that two pump stations on its East-West pipeline were attacked by armed drones, however, asserted that its supplies and exports of crude oil and products are operating normally without interruption. In a statement, Khalid A. Al Falih, Minister of Energy, Industry, and Mineral Resources of Saudi Arabia, said that on Tuesday, 14th May 2019, between 06:00 and 06:30, Pump Stations Nos. 8 and 9 on the East-West pipeline, which carries Saudi oil from the Eastern Province to Yanbu port, were attacked by armed drones, igniting a fire that caused minor damage to Pump Station No. 8, but it was eventually brought under control.

Saudi Aramco took precautionary measures and temporarily stopped the operation of the pipeline, as it is evaluating the situation and working on restoring the operations of the affected pump station and the pipeline, according to the Saudi state news agency, SPA.

Al Falih asserted that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia condemns this attack, emphasising that the latest acts of terrorism and sabotage in the Arabian Gulf targeting vital facilities do not only target the Kingdom but also the security of oil supplies to the world and the global economy.

"These attacks prove again that it is important for us to face terrorist entities, including the Houthi militias in Yemen that are backed by Iran," the minister added.

Tue, 14 May 2019 20:00:10 +0530
India Pavilion is set to

India Pavilion is set to be inaugurated at Cannes Film Festival, which will be held from 14th to 25th May 2019. The Pavilion will showcase Indian cinema across linguistic, cultural and regional diversity, with the aim of forging international partnerships in distribution, production, filming in India, script development, technology, promoting film sales and syndication. It will be set up by Ministry of Information & Broadcasting in association with Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry. The Pavilion serves as a platform for the Indian Delegates to meet International Delegates attending the Festival to promote networking with other countries and organizations. The Pavilion also serves as an information dissemination point about India and Indian Cinema for the Global Film Community.

The Indian Delegation this year will be led by Amit Khare, Secretary, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting. The Film Delegation would consist of Prasoon Joshi, Chairman, CBFC and acclaimed filmmakers Rahul Rawail, Shaji N. Karun and Madhur Bhandarkar.

During the Festival, the Indian Delegation will be interacting with key stakeholders of Cannes as well as other members of the film fraternity. A key focus area of the Indian Delegation this year will be to promote the Golden Jubilee Edition of International Film Festival of India to be held in Goa later this year. A specially designed IFFI poster for the Golden Jubilee Edition will also be released during the Festival.

The Delegation will also popularise steps taken to ease shooting films in India through Film Facilitation Office that facilitates Single Window Clearance for film-makers and steps by the Government to combat film piracy. To take advantage of the availability of technicians and skilled professionals, India will be showcased as a post-production hub to promote collaborations for films with international production houses. A comprehensive Film Guide will also be distributed at the India Pavilion to showcase the importance of the film ecosystem and Government incentives to shoot in India. 

Tue, 14 May 2019 19:55:33 +0530
US Naval Operations Chief

Admiral John Michael Richardson, Chief of Naval Operations, US Navy, is on an official tour to India from 12 to 14 May 2019. His visit is intended to consolidate bilateral naval relations between India and the USA and also to explore new avenues for naval cooperation.

Admiral John M Richardson had discussions with Admiral Sunil Lanba, Chief of the Naval Staff. He also interacted with Defence Secretary, Vice Chief of the Army Staff, Chief of the Air Staff, Chief of the Integrated Defence Staff to the Chairman COSC and the National Security Council Secretariat.

Indian Navy and US Navy interact regularly at bilateral and multilateral forums and participate in maritime exercises such as MALABAR and RIMPAC. Regular Subject Matter Expert exchange also takes place between both the navies to institutionalise interoperability in various fields. After being accorded Major Defence Partner status by the USA in 2016, India – US ties have grown significantly in recent years. The inaugural Ministerial 2+2 Dialogue conducted in September 2018 also facilitated new avenues for defence cooperation between the two countries.

Major issues discussed during the visit included operations and exercises, training interactions, information exchange, capacity building and capability enhancement.

Tue, 14 May 2019 19:50:51 +0530
VP Calls Upon Social Scie

Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has called upon social science researchers to come up with innovative and out-of-box solutions to address various problems confronting the world from eradicating poverty to achieving sustainable development.

Speaking at the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), the Vice President said the objective of every research outcome should be to better the lives of the people. The upliftment of the poor should be the goal of social science research. As such, any research would be incomplete if the researcher failed to spend time in the field and with the people.

Urging social science researchers to find solutions to societal problems, he stressed the need for inclusive development, reaching the unreached and funding the unfunded. Achieving sustainable developmental goals, taking care of the health of the population, alleviating poverty, mitigating the urban-rural divide and the challenges faced by the agriculture require a fresh and practical approach, he added.

Stating that tight boundaries between various disciplines have almost disappeared, the Vice President said that today’s researchers cannot confine themselves to compartmentalized silos and must have a basic understanding of other related disciplines. For example, health, education and environment cannot be confined to particular disciplines, he added.

Tue, 14 May 2019 19:46:54 +0530
WTO Pitches For Multilate

The WTO Ministerial Meeting of Developing Countries concluded in New Delhi today. The Ministerial Meeting began last evening with a dinner hosted by the Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu. The Director-General of WTO, Roberto Azevedo, was also present during the dinner.

In his address at the dinner, Suresh Prabhu said that the New Delhi Meeting is taking place at a time when trade tensions show no signs of abating and protectionist tendencies are on the rise which makes it very essential to collectively debate and discuss the way forward in a multilateral framework.

Commerce Minister added that the New Delhi Ministerial Meeting is an initiative by India to facilitate a free and frank exchange of views on all issues of common interest, particularly of the Developing Countries and will explore how to collectively address the challenges emerging from suggestions on WTO reform.  

In his address at the dinner last night, DG, WTO, Roberto Azevedo, said that the reform process will mitigate the current crisis at WTO and talk about destroying the existing system is not the correct way and may not have the desired outcome. DG, WTO suggested for working in the existing system.

He further said that the Dispute Settlement crisis is a deep crisis and all countries have to look for a resolution. Business as usual approach is not an option anymore and all members should work for a solution.

Roberto Azevedo said that plurilateral should not be seen as a division between Developed and Developing Countries as they contain members from both sides. He further said that the Special and Differential Treatment Mechanism must be innovative in order to address the impasse. If left unaddressed it may go either way, he said. The ideal way is to have a benchmark because the differentiation is already happening and is essential for Small Developing Countries. DG, WTO further added that the best way forward is to have a trade-facilitation-agreement-type model where countries may set their own benchmarks.

In the inaugural session of the Ministerial Meeting, today morning, Suresh Prabhu said that there are 7.3 billion people living in Developing Countries and they cannot and should not be deprived of the benefits of growth and WTO is an institution which addresses these concerns of development and growth of countries through trade and not aid. The Commerce Minister added that he is certain that the efforts of the New Delhi Ministerial Meeting will definitely lead to a WTO which is better than what it is today.

The Multilateral Trading System is the collective responsibility of all countries who have a stake in it.  It is the duty of countries to successfully address conflicting interests, motives and ideologies, in order to preserve and strengthen this valuable institution, the Minister added. The principles of non-discrimination, predictability, transparency, the tradition of decision-making by consensus and, most importantly, the commitment to development, underlying the multilateral trading system, are too valuable to lose, he said.

The approach of the New Delhi Ministerial Meeting is to re-energise and strengthen multilateralism and put in place a more inclusive decision - making process. Towards this end, it is essential that the collective view of as many Developing Countries as possible is formally articulated in submissions on WTO reforms.

Tue, 14 May 2019 19:41:44 +0530
Himalaya To Expand Presen

Dubai Science Park, DSP, has announced that it is leveraging its new built-to-suit model to construct a new Global Research Centre for Himalaya Drug Company, a producer of over 300 cosmetics, nutritional supplements, herbal medicines and pharmaceutical-grade Ayurvedic products in over 90 countries. The centre is due to open in 2021.

The Himalaya Global Research Centre has been part of DSP’s Laboratory Complex since 2013, with product development, quality control and standardisation serving as priority areas of focus for the new facility.

Marwan Abdulaziz Janahi, Managing Director of DSP and Chairing Member of the Pharmaceuticals and Medical Equipment Taskforce of the Dubai Industrial Strategy 2030, said, "Over the last decade, the UAE and India have continued to strengthen their long-standing ties, evidenced by the significant number of Indian firms based in Dubai. Our robust infrastructure and business-friendly environment are among the key factors that encourage these companies to establish their Middle East head offices in the UAE."

The move will result in the creation of over 100 specialised jobs.

In turn, Meraj Manal, Chairman of Himalaya Global Holdings, stated, "We aim to establish Himalaya as a science-based, problem-solving, head to heel brand, not only within Dubai but within the wider GCC region and surrounding international markets. Himalaya invests in markets with an in-depth and long-term approach, maintaining high ethical standards at each step of the way. The UAE is positioned as a perfect place for us to initiate this expansion."

Mon, 13 May 2019 20:54:48 +0530
Sharjah Container Termina

Gulftainer has announced that it welcomed M.V. MAG Pearl from MAG Container Lines (MCL) on a maiden call at its flagship gateway, Sharjah Container Terminal (SCT), marking the port operator’s third new service within the first quarter of 2019.

The M.V. MAG Pearl offers a direct service between Sharjah’s Port Khalid and the Port of Abu Al Fulus in Iraq, contributing to the strengthening of business links between the two regional trade hubs.

Peter Richards, Group CEO of Gulftainer, said, "We are delighted to welcome the M.V. MAG Pearl at SCT. Gulftainer has worked closely with MCL for over 15 years and our strong partnership reinforces our commitment to enhancing our capabilities and meeting the evolving needs and expectations of our customers."

To mark the occasion in traditional fashion, Stephen Barron, SCT Terminal Manager, presented a commemorative shield to the Vessel Master of the M.V. MAG Pearl in the presence of senior management from Gulftainer.

With recent terminal upgrades, Gulftainer has continued to solidify SCT’s position as a prominent gateway port for the region. SCT’s recent upgrades include expansions of its full container storage yard by over 17 per cent to ensure fast and efficient service delivery to all the terminal’s customers.

Within the first quarter of 2019, Gulftainer welcomed two additional new services to its ports in Sharjah. In March, M.V. Port Klang commenced its maiden call, offering the fastest direct express service between Sharjah’s Port Khalid and the Kandla, Hazira and Nhava Sheva ports in India with only three days’ transit time from the last port in India to Sharjah.

In February, Gulftainer launched a new service offering, Sharjah Port of Trade (S.P.O.T.) services, that guarantees unparalleled connectivity between Sharjah and Dubai. Within a month of its launch, the GALEX service became the first to call at the Khorfakkan Container Terminal and benefit from S.P.O.T services. This service links North/South East Asia, India and the Middle East with a weekly sailing schedule and competitive transit times.

Mon, 13 May 2019 20:45:27 +0530
Commercial Ships Subjecte

Four commercial ships were subjected to sabotage operations near UAE territorial waters in the Gulf of Oman, east of Fujairah, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, MOFAIC, has announced.

The Ministry said that the concerned authorities have taken all necessary measures, and are investigating the incident in cooperation with local and international bodies.

It said that there had been no injuries or fatalities on board the vessels and that there had been no spillage of harmful chemicals or fuel.

The MOFAIC statement said that the carrying out acts of sabotage on commercial and civilian vessels and threatening the safety and lives of those on board is a serious development. It called on the international community to assume its responsibilities to prevent such actions by parties attempting to undermine maritime traffic safety and security.

The Ministry also described as ‘baseless and unfounded’ rumours earlier of incidents taking place within the Port of Fujairah, saying that operations within the port were under way as normal, without any interruption.

Mon, 13 May 2019 20:39:39 +0530
President Pays Homage To

The President 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.

Mon, 13 May 2019 20:30:01 +0530
DRDO Successfully Conduct

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) conducted a successful flight test of ABHYAS - High-speed Expendable Aerial Target (HEAT) from Interim Test Range, Chandipur in Odisha today. The flight test was tracked by various RADARS & Electro Optic Systems and proved its performance in a fully autonomous waypoint navigation mode.

The configuration of ABHYAS is designed on an in-line small gas turbine engine and uses indigenously developed MEMS-based navigation system for its navigation and guidance. The performance of the system was as per simulations carried out and demonstrated the capability of ABHYAS to meet the mission requirement for a cost-effective HEAT.

Mon, 13 May 2019 20:23:48 +0530
Election Bodies Across Wo

Heads and Representatives of 20 Election Management Bodies (EMBs) from across the World, namely Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Fiji, Georgia, Kenya, Republic of Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Mexico, Myanmar, Romania, Russia, Srilanka,  Suriname, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan and Zimbabwe and International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) have arrived in New Delhi to witness the ongoing General Elections to 17th Lok Sabha. More than 65 such delegates have been invited by the Election Commission of India to join the Election Visitors Program.

Addressing the participants, the Chief Election Commissioner, Sunil Arora lauded the foresight and vision of forefathers of Indian Constitution in establishing the Election Commission of India a day before the promulgation of the Republic. While quoting from Article 324 of the Constitution of India, Arora reiterated that Election Commission of India is firmly committed to ensure free, fair and robust elections in the country. He added that Election Commission of India had never been deterred by the sceptics & critics and as always, is committed to function as per the principles and ideals enshrined in the Constitution of India by our visionary forefathers. "The objective and intention of the Commission is to always keep learning from the experiences of the past for necessary course corrections for the future" Arora emphasised.

The delegates visited various polling stations in North West Delhi, East Delhi, Chandni Chowk. South Delhi and Gurgaon through the day to see the polling-in –action and the festive air that surrounds polling. They visited some polling stations which are managed entirely by women polling staff as also some model polling stations with the best of facilities for the voters. The delegates also interacted with the Chief electoral officer of Delhi to get the perspective on elections from the state level. They also visited the Election Museum at CEO office Delhi . The close of polling and the protocols that accompany the sealing of the machines was another aspect that the delegates will be exposed to during the day.

Sun, 12 May 2019 18:09:04 +0530
Naidu calls for an enligh

Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has called for an enlightened global leadership to ensure a conflict-free world order based on peace and sustainable development and asserted that Buddhism promotes such transformation. He asserted that adhering to the core principles of Buddhism can liberate individual minds and provide the much desired positive leadership that can rescue the troubled humanity besides addressing a just and responsive world order.

Naidu elaborated on the virtues of Buddhism and its relevance to the present times while delivering the keynote address at the 16th United Nations Day of Vesak, at Tam Chuc Pagoda in Ha Nam province of Vietnam today, on the invitation of his Vietnamese counterpart. He spoke on the theme “Buddhist Approach to Global Leadership and Shared Responsibilities for Sustainable Societies”. The Prime Minister of Vietnam, Mr. Nguven Xuan Phuc, the President of National Vietnam Buddhist Sangha and the President of UN Day of Vesak Celebration 2019, Dr. Thic Thien Nhon and over 1600 leading Buddhist from several countries were among the participants.

‘Vesak’ marks the birth, enlightenment and the Parinirvana of Lord Buddha whose teaching has caught the imagination of people across the world over the last 2,500 years.

Naidu said “Buddhist approach of righteous behavior, wisdom, compassion and camaraderie and reduction of Trishna (greed) offers a set of building blocks for the architecture of a new world order where violence and conflict are minimized and development takes place without degrading the natural resources. He referred to the transformation from Ashoka-the-Fierce to Ashoka-the-Righteous after the Kalinga War inspired by the Buddha’s teachings.

Sun, 12 May 2019 18:02:47 +0530
Super bureaucrat Pravee

MUMBAI: Senior bureaucrat Praveen Pardeshi, who is currently additional chief secretary to Chief Minister Devendra Fadvanis, has been appointed the new commissioner of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). Pardeshi, a 1985-batch IAS Officer, will take charge as the BMC chief Monday.

Known as 'super bureaucrat,’ Pardeshi has been a key member of Fadnavis' A team. He was initially appointed as the principal secretary when Fadnavis took office in 2014, and later made additional chief secretary. Pardeshi has extensive administrative experience, having served in various departments, including Revenue and Forest.

A post-graduate in economics, Pardeshi brings to the table deep experience in urban planning from his time as the municipal commissioner of Pimpri-Chinchwad as well as Pune. Pardeshi first rose to prominence during his tenure as the district collector of Latur, where he successfully rehabilitated victims of the hugely destructive earthquake that had struck the district.

A soft-spoken IAS officer, Pardeshi is Fadnavi’s most trusted aide. He is entrusted with the supervision of the chief minister’s pet initiative ‘The War Room’ along with Kaustubh Dhavse, an officer on special duty in the chief minister's office.

The War Room was set up in the Mantralaya to fast-track the state government’s infrastructure and development projects by bringing together the various government agencies involved in their execution. Pardeshi and Dhavse were assigned to monitor the projects and follow through on the decisions made.

Pardeshi's administrative acumen and efficiency was on full display during the devastating floods in Kerala last year. CM Fadnavis had entrusted him with the mission to deliver Rs 20 crore of aid to the flood victims. He had his task cut out -- to coordinate with government departments, non-government organisations, businesses, businessmen and members of the public to deliver the state's flood relief on time. Under Pardeshi's leadership, the state administration worked like a well-oiled machine and ensured that the Maharashtra government's aid reached the flood victims without any delays.

Sat, 11 May 2019 20:13:08 +0530
Centenary celebration of

The centenary of the Malayalam’s famous poem Chinthavistayaya Seetha by Kerala's greatest poet of all time, Kumaran Asan, will be celebrated under the auspices of the cultural division of the Sri Narayana Mandira Samithi on May 12.

As part of the celebrations, a literary meet and debate will be held on the topic 'Chinthavistayaya Seetha -- A Feminist Reading' at the seminar hall in the Samithi's Chembur complex from 10 a.m to 4 p.m. Popular speaker and thinker Sunil P. Ilayidam will deliver the main address, Sri Narayana Mandira Samithi zonal secretary Sriratnam Nanu and general secretary Salim Kumar N.S. said. Writers and literary aficionados from Mumbai will also take part and speak on the subject. 

The debate on the topic will be inaugurated by Mansi. The discussion will be attended by C.P. Krishnakumar, T.N. Hariharan, Priya Varghese, N. Sreejith, Suresh Varma, Dr. Vivekanandan, Surendra Babu, Santhosh Pallasana, Manoj John, Suresh Kanakkoor, Sibi Sathyan, Anil Prakash, Rajan Dhathanepa, Rajalaskhmi teacher and Adv. Premlal Krishnan.

The condition of women and their social status has always been a subject of Asan's poetic creations. The conditions that women face are no different whether they live in a palace or a hut. In Chinthavistayaya Seetha, Asan brings before the reader the distress of a woman living in a palace through her own thoughts. The Samithi aims to draw together in the debate people of different viewpoints and thoughts.

The Samithi, an independent, spiritual organization, is also the largest Sri Narayana organization outside of Kerala. It boasts of membership of more than 16,000 people from different social and religious backgrounds, and functions through 41 units and 24 Guru centres. About 7,000 students study at the Samithi's seven-acre education complex at Chembur. Among the Samithi's new projects are an international study centre in Nerul, an international school, and an education complex at Tarapur.

Sat, 11 May 2019 19:57:01 +0530
US Hands Over Apache Heli

First AH-64E (I) - Apache Guardian helicopter was formally handed over to the Indian Air Force at Boeing production facility in Mesa, Arizona, USA. Air Marshal AS Butola, represented the Indian Air Force and accepted the first Apache in a ceremony at Boeing production facility, representatives from US Government were also present.

IAF had signed a contract with US Government and M/s Boeing Ltd in Sep 2015 for 22 Apache helicopters. The first batch of these helicopters is scheduled to be shipped to India by Jul this year. Selected aircrew and ground crew have undergone training at the training facilities at US Army base Fort Rucker, Alabama. This personnel will lead the operationalisation of the Apache fleet in the IAF.

The addition of AH-64 E (I) helicopter is a significant step towards modernisation of Indian Air Force’s helicopter fleet. The helicopter has been customized to suit IAF’s future requirements and would have significant capability in mountainous terrain. The helicopter has the capability to carry out precision attacks at standoff ranges and operate in hostile airspace with threats from the ground. The ability of these helicopters, to transmit and receive the battlefield picture, to and from the weapon systems through data networking makes it a lethal acquisition. These attack helicopters will provide a significant edge in any future joint operations in support of land forces.

Sat, 11 May 2019 13:35:57 +0530
Ajoy Mehta Appointed As N

MUMBAI: In a day of a major bureaucratic reshuffle in Maharashtra, senior bureaucrat and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Commissioner Ajoy Mehta has been appointed as the new chief secretary of the state. Chief Minister Devendra Fadvanis' Additional Chief Secretary Praveen Pardeshi will replace Ajoy Mehta as the BMC chief.

Mehta, a 1984-batch IAS officer, was appointed after U P S Madan has opted for voluntary retirement after serving the post for a mere 44 days, the shortest period for any CS.

Mehta has been holding the position of civic chief since 2015. He leaves the post after having the reputation as the Mumbai Municipality's longest-serving commissioner. Ajoy Mehta has four months remaining in his service as he will retire in September.

Praveen Pardeshi, a 1985-batch IAS Officer, will take charge as the BMC Commissioner on Monday. Pardeshi has been an integral part of CM Fadnavis' bureaucratic team since 2014. Pardeshi was initially appointed as the principal secretary when Fadnavis took office in 2014. Later, he became the additional chief secretary. He has served earlier in various posts, including the Revenue and Forest departments.

Sat, 11 May 2019 13:00:29 +0530
Sam Pitroda was out of l

Congress leader Sam Pitroda's remarks on the 1984 anti-Sikh riots were "absolutely and completely out of line" and he should apologise for them, party chief Rahul Gandhi said in a Facebook post on Friday.

"What Mr Sam Pitroda has said is absolutely and completely out of line and is not appreciated. I will be communicating this to him directly. He must apologise for his comment," he said, describing the riots -- which claimed nearly 3,000 lives -- as a "terrible tragedy", reports NDTV.

Sat, 11 May 2019 12:13:48 +0530
INS Kolkata Shakti Carr

 IN Ships Kolkata and Shakti carried out Group Sail with naval ships of Japan, Philippines and the United States of America in the South China Sea.  The six-day long Group Sail had participation of six combatants from the four participating countries and included the Guided Missile Destroyer INS Kolkata and Fleet Support Ship INS Shakti of India, Helicopter Carrier JMSDF Izumo and Guided Missile Destroyer JMSDF Murasame of Japan; Frigate BRP Andres Bonifacio of Philippines and Arleigh Burke Class Destroyer USS Williams P Lawrence of USA. 

The Group Sail was aimed to deepen the existing partnership and foster mutual understanding among participating navies.

The ships undertook various exercises en route which included formation manoeuvering, underway replenishment runs, cross-deck flying and exchange of Sea Riders.  The Group Sail exercise with naval ships of Japan, Philippines and United States showcased India’s commitment to operating with like-minded nations to ensure safe maritime environment through enhanced interoperability. 

Fri, 10 May 2019 17:07:49 +0530
15th Finance Commission C

The 15th Finance Commission addressed the media in Mumbai today, briefing them about the discussions that took place in the Commission’s meetings with RBI, banks and eminent economists during the Commission’s two-day visit to the city during May 8 – 9, 2019.

Stating that the visit of the Commission was very productive, the Chairman said:

The meetings have sharpened the Commission’s understanding on some of the key things that need to be kept in mind for continued macroeconomic stability. A careful examination was made into the issues of debt, particularly as stated in the RBI’s Annual Report on State Debt Figures. The overall debt picture of the states and the way they have complied with the ingredients of the Macroeconomic Management Bill is being looked into closely. This is an area we have had a very useful discussion.

Fri, 10 May 2019 16:55:46 +0530
Vice President Presses Fo

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu emphasized the importance of building a peaceful and prosperous Indo-Pacific region on the basis of respect for national sovereignty and international law and expressed the hope that the concerned countries would be able to reach a consensus on Code of Conduct in the South China Sea.

On the second day of his four-day official visit to Vietnam, Naidu held wide-ranging high-level talks with top Vietnamese leadership, including the Vice President, Ms. Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh and Chairperson of the National Assembly of Vietnam, Ms. Nguyen Kim Thi Ngan and attended a Banquet Lunch hosted in his honour.

Naidu said that his talks with Vice President, Ms. Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh, this morning, were extensive and productive. “Our discussions covered the whole range of bilateral and multilateral cooperation”, he added.

In a joint press statement issued along with Vietnam’s Vice President, Ms. Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh, Naidu said that both India and Vietnam were fully committed to an open, transparent, inclusive and rules-based regional architecture based on freedom of navigation and overflight, unimpeded economic activities and peaceful settlement of disputes in accordance with the international law.

During his talks with the Vietnamese leadership, the Vice President expressed confidence that the interactions would provide a new direction, momentum and substance to the bilateral cooperation between the two countries. He told them that the exchange of high-level visits from both sides was a clear indication of the commitment of both countries to further strengthen the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. India’s commitment to be a reliable development partner was stronger than before, he added.

Describing Vietnam as a “strategic pillar of India’s Act East Policy and our key interlocutor in ASEAN”, the Vice President said India’s commitment to be a reliable development partner was stronger than before. He said that both the countries agreed to further strengthen bilateral cooperation in defence and security, outer space, science and technology, oil and gas, renewable energy, infrastructure development, agriculture and innovation-based sectors.

Fri, 10 May 2019 16:23:40 +0530
Trump Goes Tough Against

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump has announced new sanctions against Iran after Tehran threatened to enrich its stockpile of uranium.

The US president has issued an executive order imposing new restrictions on Iranian steel, aluminium, copper and iron, which account for 10 percent of Tehran's total exports.

Trump said Tehran could expect "further actions unless it fundamentally alters its conduct."

"Today's action targets Iran's revenue from the export of industrial metals - 10% of its export economy - and puts other nations on notice that allowing Iranian steel and other metals into your ports will no longer be tolerated," he said in a statement.

Fri, 10 May 2019 15:51:44 +0530
Odisha Goes Back To Norma

The National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC), under the Cabinet Secretary P. K. Sinha today again reviewed the rescue and relief measures in the cyclone “FANI” affected areas of Odisha with the senior officials of State Government and Central Ministries/Agencies concerned.

Odisha Government informed that situation in 8 out of total 9 affected districts has improved and Power and Telecom services are gradually picking up in the worst affected areas of Puri and Bhubaneswar. About 3500 gang men are engaged in the restoration of power transmission lines, sub-stations etc. and more workers would also be arriving from West Bengal and Telangana. Landline telephone services in Puri have started functioning and BSNL and other Telecom Service Providers have also somewhat improved their mobile services. The State Government, in coordination with Centre, has prepared a detailed plan identifying priority areas for restoration of power and telecom facilities in Puri and Bhubaneswar. Water supply in urban and rural areas has been restored to a large extent with the help of Diesel Generator sets.

Odisha Government also informed that additional financial assistance of Rs 1,000 Crores released by the Centre, had been received by them.

Department of Telecommunications is coordinating with the State Government and all telecom service providers to implement the priority plan for quick restoration of mobile and internet services in the affected areas of Odisha.

While banking services have also resumed in Puri, non-availability of Power and Telecom connectivity was hampering the functioning of some ATMs.

Railways have commenced partial operations between Khurda Road and Puri by running three Express/Mail trains on the route. A full restoration would be done by 12th May. Railways is also providing free transportation to workmen deployed for the restoration of Power infrastructure.

Reviewing the relief measures, Cabinet Secretary asked concerned officials of the State and Centre to focus on the implementation of the priority plans prepared for restoration of Power and Telecommunications in Puri and Bhubaneswar and monitor progress on a day-to-day basis. On the request of Odisha, he further directed that a central team may visit Odisha soon to assess the extent of damage caused by Cyclone “FANI”.

Thu, 09 May 2019 23:20:10 +0530
Vice President Begins Vie

The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu kicked off his four-day official visit to Vietnam by addressing the Indian community soon after his arrival at Hanoi today.

 Describing the ties between India and Vietnam as civilizational and historic, the Vice President said “our partnership has stood the test of time. More than 2000 years ago, Indian monks and traders brought with them the message of peace and compassion of Lord Buddha to Vietnam”.

 Naidu said that successive generations of leaders from Ho Chi Minh and Mahatma Gandhi to the current leaders have built upon this trust and goodwill.

Referring to the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between the two countries, Naidu stated that India is committed to building its cooperative relationship with Vietnam in diverse fields.

Pointing out that agricultural growth has been a key driver in the remarkable progress achieved by Vietnam, he said India was privileged as a development partner to have contributed to Vietnam’s agricultural revolution and food security.

The Vice President said the Indian community in Vietnam, though small in number, has numerous achievements to its credit and was well respected. Indians and Indian business and industry in Vietnam have been instrumental in promoting bilateral understanding and creating opportunities for the local economy and society.

Expressing his satisfaction over the doubling of the trade between the two nations from US Dollars 7.8 billion in 2016 to nearly US Dollars14 billion last year, he said both the nations must come together with pride and purpose and help each other grow and prosper.

The Vice President said that he was looking forward to his official engagements with the Vice President, Mr. Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh, the Prime Minister, Mr. Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Chairperson, National Assembly of Vietnam, Ms. Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan during his visit.

On May 12, the Vice President will participate in the 16th United Nations Day of Vesak at Tam Chuc Pagoda in Vietnam's northern Ha Nam province and deliver the keynote address at the inaugural of the event.

Thu, 09 May 2019 22:59:30 +0530
Centre Releases Rs 1 000

Continuing the coordination efforts and restoration measures in the areas of Odisha affected by cyclone FANI, the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) under the Cabinet Secretary P. K. Sinha met again for the seventh time in succession.

As announced by Prime Minister after his aerial survey and review of relief efforts with the Odisha Government, Ministry of Home Affairs has announced a further release of Rs 1,000 Crore for assistance to the State. Earlier Rs 341 crores had been provided to Odisha as an advance to its State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF).

Odisha informed that restoration of Power and Telecommunication infrastructure continue to remain the major priority in the Cyclone affected areas of the State. Around 50% of power restoration has been reported while more works need to be done in Bhubaneswar and Puri. The NEET examination, which was postponed, will now be held on 20th May. Medicines dispatched by the Centre have been received and all measures were being taken to prevent any outbreak of diseases.

Reviewing the relief measures, the Cabinet Secretary stressed that power connectivity needs to be restored on a priority basis as drinking water supply, telephone connectivity and banking operations need electricity. The option of deploying vehicle-mounted mobile towers, as requested by Odisha, is being explored to provide connectivity in Puri and Khurda.

More than 2,500 gang men are working in Odisha to restore power lines, substations and Steel Ministry has dispatched about 5,500 steel electric poles and another 15,000 will be supplied by 14th May. Cabinet Secretary directed that more manpower should be mobilized to restore power. He also suggested that mobil