MediaEye RSS Feedhttps://www.mediaeyenews.comMediaEye news RSS Feeden-usCopyright (C) 2016 mediaeyenews.comFarmers income won t double before 2028 Derek tells RS

New Delhi, Taking a dig at the Centre's claim to double the income of farmers by 2020, Trinamool Congress MP Derek O'Brien on Sunday said that it cannot be doubled before 2028.

Discussing the contentious farm Bills introduced in the Rajya Sabha, the TMC member said: "The Prime Minister said that the opposition is trying to mislead the farmers. You promised to double the farmers' income by 2020. At the current rate, it won't happen before 2028."

He was referring to the Prime Minister's remarks on Saturday that some persons were trying to mislead and even lie to the farmers.

Referring to the land acquisition Bill and TMC's stance, O'Brien said: "How qualified is the TMC to speak on the Bills? Seven years ago... during the land acquisition bill... we spoke in favour of the farmers. Later, the Supreme Court said that the rights of the farmers cannot be overlooked."

The TMC leader also claimed that West Bengal farmers' income has doubled.

"Don't bring the debate down to MSPs; we are opposing everything in the Bills. The Centre doesn't have the right to implement these in the states. The states will not be able to ensure farmers' interests. Who are you going to fool here? For the consumers too, what's the protection? These Bills will have to be discussed and debated," he said.

The TMC MP also moved amendments to send the farm Bills to the Select Committee of the Rajya Sabha. He said that the parliamentary committees are not to break but contribute to law-making.

Sun, 20 Sep 2020 12:51:02 +0530
Maharashtra Governor calls upon universities to work for the success of Bamboo Mission

Mumbai Sep 19,

Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari today urged state universities to work for the success of the Bamboo Mission to realize the goal of Atma Nirbhar Bharat.

Stating that Bamboo is not merely a grass or tree, but an important commodity for the empowerment of rural and tribal communities through self employment, the Governor asked universities to make Bamboo Mission their own mission and work for its success.  He asked univertiy teachers to go beyond classroom teaching and give their contribution to society. 

The Governor was addressing a 2 – Day International Webinar on Mass Plantation Drive for Bamboo Mission through videoconferencing from Raj Bhavan, Panaji, Goa on Saturday (19th Sept). The webinar was organized by the Kavayitri Bahinabai Chaudhari North Maharashtra University, Jalgaon

Stating that Bamboo requires minimum cost of cultivation, grows rapidly, provides fodder and stops soil erosion, the Governor said the baskets, furniture, jewellery, rakhis and other utility articles made from bamboo have become fashionable all over the world. He appealed to the volunteers of National Service Schemes to reach out to villagers and encourage them to undertake the cultivation of bamboo and also help them in the marketing of bamboo products.

*Bamboo Furniture in Raj Bhavan*

Governor Koshyari said that the 450- year old Raj Bhavan at Panaji, Goa has made extensive use of bamboo. He further said he has instructed his office to purchase bamboo furniture for the new building being constructed at Raj Bhavan in Mumbai.

Vice Chancellor of the University Prof P P Patil, Pro Vice Chancellor P P Mahulikar, Members of various boards of authorities of the University, eminent speakers, members of faculty, staff and students were present.

Sat, 19 Sep 2020 17:51:38 +0530
Clean up exercise 34 polluting thermal power units to be shut

New Delhi, Sep 19

In a big cleaning up exercise, the government proposes to shutdown 34 units of 12 polluting power plants with a total capacity of over 500 MW that have not submitted any emission control compliance plan.

As per the new emissions standards for thermal plants proposed by the environment ministry, they have currently, coal-based power plants across instal and upgrade equipment including putting up flue gas desulphurisation (FGD) units and electrostatic precipitators (ESP) in power plants. This requires an estimated Rs 27 lakh-45 lakh per MW for FGD installation, necessitating a rise of Rs 0.62-0.93/unit in power tariffs.

Power ministry officials said while a large number of thermal plants (over 300) are going ahead with the emission reduction projects, around 34 units have not submitted any plan to adhere to the prescribed emission control norms. These units are more than 20 years old, and the bulk of them are run by state governments, while some are operated by the Central government-owned Damodar Valley Corporation (Bokaro and Durgapur) and private company CESC (Titagarh).

"These plants would be shut down or retired as per phasing out plan and timelines are given by the Central Pollution Control Board and Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change," power minister RK Singh has said.

Power companies have retired almost 14000 MW of coal-based generation capacities over the last 18 years. According to data compiled by the government's power advisory arm, Central Electricity Authority (CEA), 164 thermal power generating units were retired during the period.






Sat, 19 Sep 2020 17:14:49 +0530
Destinations for road trips from Delhi

New Delhi, Sep 19

As several countries announced nationwide lockdowns in an effort to flatten the curve and break the chain, the coronavirus jolted the entire world into confinement overnight. However, slowly yet steadily countries are opening up with precautions. Local markets are thriving once again, professionals are returning back to their offices, people are excited to step out for morning walks and exercise, amongst a lot of other movements.

Most of all, with air travel taking a backseat, travel-seekers are itching to explore new and exciting domestic destinations, spend time outdoors with their families and friends, or even just kickback and relax into the woods, away from the city and indeed close to nature. After spending months in lockdown, travel aspirations are at an all-time high.

People are opening up to the idea of stepping out of their homes and travel again, however, owing to safety concerns, people are looking for destinations closer to home, a drive away from the city. As per OYO's recent consumer survey highlights that 56 percent of Indians are inclined towards taking roadtrips as lockdowns ease, with a majority of them opting to travel within a motorable distance of 200 kms to neighbouring towns/states.

Given the realities of this ever-evolving normal, states like Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand are opening up for inter-state and inter-district tourists. Here are five must-visit destinations which are a road trip away from Delhi.

Jaipur, Rajasthan

For those who need a much-needed break from city life and never-ending WFH duties, Jaipur is the most ideal destination, just a 4-5 hour drive away. It's scenic atmosphere and old-world charm makes it a perfect location to step out and soak in the sunset, or just stay indoors and obviously, shop for antiques and traditional trinkets. The city's delectable, authentic Marwari food is the cherry on the cake. In Jaipur, you can opt for quality and safe accommodation at 5 by OYO - Metropolitan.

Trip essentials:

COVID-19 Negative Certificate

Pre-booked Hotel


Downloaded Aarogya Setu App

For more information, visit -

Dehradun, Uttarakhand

Turn up your engine and hit the hills. At a distance of 245 Kms, driving away from Delhi to Doon is a blissful experience. The roughly six-hour journey is full of scenic mountain views. Plan your trip in advance and hit the roads early, this way you can enjoy a humble cup of chai and some piping hot pakoras at a roadside hotel along the way. For an outdoorsy experience, opt for a unique stay at Riverstone Cottages, perched in the lap of the Dehradun valley at the foothills of Mussoorie.

Trip essentials:

COVID-19 Negative Certificate

Pre-booked Hotel


Downloaded Aarogya Setu App

Sat, 19 Sep 2020 17:10:58 +0530
Stopped speaking on phone due to spam calls Samantha Akkineni

New Delhi, Sep 19

 For a celebrity, it's not uncommon to receive fan calls and messages, which can be quick to spam. Indian actress Samantha Akkineni says that over the years, she has stopped speaking over phone due to unwanted calls, and even her friends and family have to message her. "Im not comfortable with picking up calls because every second or third call is somebody I dont know, who has my number, who shouldnt," she told IANSlife.

"Even for the food delivery agents, if you want your food delivered and if you don't want to go hungry that night, you have to give your phone number. And I got so many calls, after my food was delivered, I got follow-up calls like 'are you really Samantha? Is this Samantha's number?' Then the next day seven others call because he would have shared the number with his friends, because its fun to talk about. So it spreads and I can't even count the number of times I had to change my phone number because of this. But, then again what option do you have?" the Telugu and Tamil star shared in a video interview.

Samantha reveals that she recently activated her Doosra number, which is a 10-digit, SIM-free mobile number, which users can share at any place where they are compelled to share their personal mobile number including on digital platforms. All incoming calls to the Doosra number are either automatically blocked or sent to voicemail or let through depending on the User's settings and preferences on Doosra app. All the incoming messages are silently placed in the Messages folder on the app and can be reviewed at leisure. This helps users protect their number from endless spam calls and messages, continuous attempts of scam, phishing, fraud, non-stop harassment by strangers, and constant violation of privacy by brands.

"This is something that is need of the hour. With our numbers going everywhere, our personal information goes everywhere, it thankfully now one feels that you are protected and whoever you want to give your number to i.e. your friends and your family, are the only ones to have access to you."

She ties it to feeling safer and secure as a woman. "Suddenly, you feel a lot more protected as a woman."

Samantha added, "sometimes I get messages on my phone saying someone is trying to type your password. It's all because my number is out there, it's exposed. My number is connected to all my social media accounts. And I remember this time where I got this message just before I was taking off in a flight and the flight was like three hours and for those three hours I was petrified because I didn't have the time to go and change the password or tell my agent or do anything. I was there and I had to switch off the phone and I was thinking what photos are going to go out, what are they going to do with my account? That's all I was thinking about for three hours and that's nerve wrecking."

The actress also crosses 12 million followers on Instagram this week. This is what she has to say about online trolling: "There are gods and then there are demons. It's a part and parcel of social media. They need somebody to love and they need someone to hate."

Doosra Founder and CEO, Aditya Vuchi, shared what prompted the idea to came into being. "I went to a sporting goods store, bought my products, went to the billing counter and said that I'd like to pay with my credit card or cash. They said we need your mobile number. I was like, why do you need my mobile number? I am buying a product and I am giving you the money. The transaction has ended. But no, they said unless we have your mobile number, we cannot generate a bill. I thought, this not the way it needs to be."

Doosra is a virtual mobile number that can be shared anywhere and with anyone, instead of a personal mobile number to avoid spam, unknown callers, circulation, and theft of personal information.






Sat, 19 Sep 2020 16:59:18 +0530
Refrain from farm protests amid corona Punjab govt

Chandigarh, Sep 19

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Saturday ordered an inquiry into a letter issued by a BDPO regarding the protests by farmers allegedly organised by the state government and his transfer to the headquarters.

The government has not organised any such protest, as claimed by the Block Development and Panchayat Officer (BDPO), said a government spokesperson.

Far from organising any protests by farmers, the government was in fact appealing to all political organisations to refrain from holding public gatherings in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic, he said.

The overzealous BDPO had, on his own, announced a protest dharna on September 21 and issued a letter to ask all Panchayat Secretaries in his block to intimate all sarpanches about it.

He had also wrongly claimed that Ministers and MLAs will join in these protests, said the spokesperson, rejecting any such plans by the state government.

The state had neither planned such protests against the farm ordinances nor asked the BDPO to issue the letter in question, said the spokesperson, adding that the Chief Minister had asked officials to inquire and pin the responsibility on officials for this incorrect communication.



Sat, 19 Sep 2020 16:50:16 +0530
TN announces policies for cybersecurity blockchain AI

Chennai, Sep 19

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami on Saturday announced new government policies related to cybersecurity, blockchain technology and artificial intelligence.

Palaniswami made the announcement while participating in a CII 'Connect 2020' conference organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) through videoconference.

The state government has been offering many online services and protecting the network from hacker attacks, for which the government formulated the Tamil Nadu Cybersecurity Policy 2020.

The Tamil Nadu Blockchain Policy 2020 has been launched on the use of blockchain technology in the state, an official statement said.

Similarly, the Tamil Nadu Safe and Ethical Artificial Intelligence Policy 2020 has been launched vis-a-vis online services offered to the people.






Sat, 19 Sep 2020 16:46:38 +0530
Vidyut Jammwal People should talk of kalaripayattu the Indian martial art

New Delhi, Sep 19

Bollywood action star Vidyut Jammwal says his vision is to popularise the indigenous martial art kalaripayattu through Indian cinema.

Vidyut is a trained martial artiste and has learnt kalaripayattu since the age of three.

"I don't have a vision yet about how it should be presented, but my vision for Indian cinema is that people should talk about kalaripayattu, the martial art. It is an original Indian martial art," Vidyut told IANS.

"When I go and pursue an award from Jackie Chan, and when they talk of kalaripayattu, the Indian martial art, I feel proud. My vision for Indian action cinema worldwide is that we need to present this," he said about popularising kalaripayattu on screen.

Vidyut, who rose to fame with the "Commando" franchise of films, notes many things that are popular globally today actually originated in India.

"When I lie down on spears, they say, 'Shaolin monks bhi karte hain (Shaolin monks also do this)'. Shaolin monks isliye karte hain (Shaolin Monks do it) because they learnt it from an Indian guy called Bodhidharma. I just want everybody to be aware. People should know that martial arts is an Indian skill, and that's my vision," he said.

The actor was recently seen in the digitally released film, "Khuda Haafiz". He will next be seen in the film's second chapter.






Sat, 19 Sep 2020 16:44:39 +0530
Vidyut Jammwal People should talk of kalaripayattu the Indian martial art

New Delhi, Sep 19

Bollywood action star Vidyut Jammwal says his vision is to popularise the indigenous martial art kalaripayattu through Indian cinema.

Vidyut is a trained martial artiste and has learnt kalaripayattu since the age of three.

"I don't have a vision yet about how it should be presented, but my vision for Indian cinema is that people should talk about kalaripayattu, the martial art. It is an original Indian martial art," Vidyut told IANS.

"When I go and pursue an award from Jackie Chan, and when they talk of kalaripayattu, the Indian martial art, I feel proud. My vision for Indian action cinema worldwide is that we need to present this," he said about popularising kalaripayattu on screen.

Vidyut, who rose to fame with the "Commando" franchise of films, notes many things that are popular globally today actually originated in India.

"When I lie down on spears, they say, 'Shaolin monks bhi karte hain (Shaolin monks also do this)'. Shaolin monks isliye karte hain (Shaolin Monks do it) because they learnt it from an Indian guy called Bodhidharma. I just want everybody to be aware. People should know that martial arts is an Indian skill, and that's my vision," he said.

The actor was recently seen in the digitally released film, "Khuda Haafiz". He will next be seen in the film's second chapter.


Sat, 19 Sep 2020 16:42:39 +0530
BCCI Emirates Cricket Board sign MoU to boost cricketing ties

Dubai, Sep 19

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the Emirates Cricket Board have signed an MoU and hosting agreement to boost cricketing ties between the two countries.

"I along with Vice Chairman of Emirates Cricket Board Khalid Al Zarooni signed an MoU & hosting agreement between BCCI and Emirates Cricket to boost the cricketing ties between our countries," BCCI Secretary Jay Shah said in a tweet on Saturday.

BCCI President Sourav Ganguly and Treasurer Arun Dhumal were present on the occasion, he added.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is hosting the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) which begins on Saturday evening with a blockbuster clash between defending champions Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings.

The tournament, slated to be held till November 10, will be played across three venues in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah behind closed doors due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

While Dubai will host 24 games, 20 matches will be played in Abu Dhabi and 12 in Sharjah during the league stage. The dates and venues for the playoffs are yet to be announced.








Sat, 19 Sep 2020 16:37:55 +0530
Google makes it easier to access Search Chrome and Gmail in iOS 14

San Francisco, Sep 19

Google has given its users easier access to Search, Chrome and Gmail on the new Apple iOS 14.

The users can now add a Google Search Widget to their Home Screen to let them find information even faster.

"You can also set Chrome as your default browser app on your iPhone or iPad, and in the coming days, you'll be able to set Gmail as your default email app," Luke Wroblewski, Director, iOS at Google, said in a statement on Friday.

In iOS 14, Google users can add Widgets to their Home Screen to access apps more quickly or get information at a glance.

The tech giant said it is giving users lightning-fast access to Search with a Widget in two sizes: one with just Search, and one with shortcuts to three additional ways to search, depending on their preference.

"With the Quick Search Widget, you can search for anything, right from your Home Screen. The Shortcuts Widget includes a quick Search bar and additional search modes: Lens, which lets you search what you see through your camera; Voice Search if you don't feel like typing; and Incognito mode for an extra layer of privacy," Google explained.

If you set Chrome as your default browser in iOS 14, when you open a link from another app, it will open in Chrome.

Similarly, if you set Gmail as your default email app, any time you tap on an email icon on the web, it will open the Gmail app.

Apple users can sync Chrome on their computers or tablets to automatically access their bookmarks, saved passwords and payment methods, settings, and recently opened tabs.






Sat, 19 Sep 2020 16:34:22 +0530
Drug with potential to fight Covid 19 identified

London, Sep 19

Scientists have identified a new drug that could prevent or mitigate the consequences derived from infection by SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for Covid-19.

Preliminary results of the study conducted on animal models showed that the drug 4-Phenylbutiric acid (4-PBA) fully curbs mortality caused by respiratory failure derived from cellular stress, showed the research published in the journal Cytokine and Growth Factors Review.

The inflammatory process identified in severe cases of coronavirus causes an uncontrolled and excessive release of cytokines -- molecules in charge of organising the body's defences- which could even trigger vascular hyperpermeability and multi-organ failure.

Controlling such cytokine "storm", through those controlling them, that is, the infected cells, is precisely what these researchers proposed.

"When cells are stressed by infection, they call the cytokines, and the more stressed they are, the more persistent they become, provoking this uncontrolled inflammation. Hence, one possible treatment for Covid-19 is to reduce cellular stress," explained one of the lead researchers Ivan Duran, Professor at University of Malaga in Spain.

According to the researcher, repurposing the 4-PBA anti-stress drug could modulate such cellular stress, which is also present in pathologies like diabetes, ageing or carcinogenesis, which, in turn, are classified as risk factors for Covid-19.

The drug has already been approved for clinical use against other diseases and, hence, easy to apply clinically.

The study also identified the endoplasmic reticulum resident protein "BiP" (Binding Immunoglobulin Protein) - a stress blood marker -- as indicator of cellular stress situations, likely to be explored and measured in affected patients.

This way, BiP levels, apart from determining the efficacy of 4-PBA treatment, could serve as early indicators of Covid-19 risk groups, establishing a correlation between high levels and the inflammatory severity after the viral infection, Duran pointed out.






Sat, 19 Sep 2020 16:23:22 +0530
Barun Sobti Divide between TV and film industry needs to vanish

New Delhi, Sep 19

Actor Barun Sobti, who recently wowed the audience with his acting skills in the thriller web series, "Asur: Welcome To Your Dark Side", says a lot changed after the success of the show.

In an interview to IANS, Barun opened up on how people changed their perception towards him and spoke about the need to raze the divide between television and the film industry.

"A lot has been changed after 'Asur'. Firstly, more work has started coming my way. People now recognise me as a different actor. Generally, many have this notion that ‘TV se hai, pataa nahi kar paayega yeh role ya nahi (he is from TV, who knows if he can carry off the role)'. With 'Asur', I feel I have been able to tweak their mentality a bit," he said.

Barun, who rose to fame with his role in the TV show "Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon?", also emphasised on how talented people work in the small screen industry.

"I don't know why we differentiate between TV actors and film actors. We are all the same. TV is no different. In fact, many geniuses and mature actors come from television. This divide needs to vanish. 'Asur' did it for me," he said.

The actor is now gearing up for the release of his digital film, "Halahal". It is a crime story inspired by true events, about a father in search of the truth behind his daughter's death.

Barun plays a cop in the crime drama.

Asked how he prepared for the role, he explained: "I never watch anything to get trained. If someone suggests, 'yeh movie dekh isme isne kitna achha cop ka role kiya hai (watch this film, he has played the cop's role so well)', then I make sure I don't entertain that. I always try to be myself on the set."

"I read the script thoroughly, understand the director's vision and then try to bring in my own thing with my own understanding," he explained.

"Halahal" will stream on Eros Now from September 21.






Sat, 19 Sep 2020 16:17:14 +0530
Barun Sobti Divide between TV and film industry needs to vanish

New Delhi, Sep 19

Actor Barun Sobti, who recently wowed the audience with his acting skills in the thriller web series, "Asur: Welcome To Your Dark Side", says a lot changed after the success of the show.

In an interview to IANS, Barun opened up on how people changed their perception towards him and spoke about the need to raze the divide between television and the film industry.

"A lot has been changed after 'Asur'. Firstly, more work has started coming my way. People now recognise me as a different actor. Generally, many have this notion that ‘TV se hai, pataa nahi kar paayega yeh role ya nahi (he is from TV, who knows if he can carry off the role)'. With 'Asur', I feel I have been able to tweak their mentality a bit," he said.

Barun, who rose to fame with his role in the TV show "Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon?", also emphasised on how talented people work in the small screen industry.

"I don't know why we differentiate between TV actors and film actors. We are all the same. TV is no different. In fact, many geniuses and mature actors come from television. This divide needs to vanish. 'Asur' did it for me," he said.

The actor is now gearing up for the release of his digital film, "Halahal". It is a crime story inspired by true events, about a father in search of the truth behind his daughter's death.

Barun plays a cop in the crime drama.

Asked how he prepared for the role, he explained: "I never watch anything to get trained. If someone suggests, 'yeh movie dekh isme isne kitna achha cop ka role kiya hai (watch this film, he has played the cop's role so well)', then I make sure I don't entertain that. I always try to be myself on the set."

"I read the script thoroughly, understand the director's vision and then try to bring in my own thing with my own understanding," he explained.

"Halahal" will stream on Eros Now from September 21.




Sat, 19 Sep 2020 16:13:50 +0530
Global effort begins again to stabilise oil prices OPEC meet may be called in Oct

New Delhi, Sep 19

A bigger global effort to stabilise oil prices involving all major oil producers including Russia is again on the cards to see that the current crisis does not escalate further putting several oil producers closer to bankruptcies.

Sources said that an emergency meeting of OPEC+ including Russia could be scheduled next month if oil markets weaken further and crude prices crash below $40 a barrel again.

Been at crude extended their gains to trade up 3% on the news, above $43 per barrel.

Reportedly, Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman spoke of better compliance with oil output cuts by OPEC and its allies as oil markets remained uncertain and the COVID-19 spread continued to dampen any prospect of an economic recovery.

The 22nd Meeting of the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) of OPEC that took place on Thursday via videoconference under the Chairmanship of Prince Abdul Aziz Bin Salman, also reiterated the critical importance of adhering to full conformity (on production cuts) and compensating overproduced volumes as soon as possible.

The JMMC supported, and recommended, to the OPEC and Non-OPEC Ministerial Meeting, the request of several underperforming participating countries
such as Iraq, Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates to extend the compensation period till the end of December 2020 from present September, 2020 after pledging that they will fully compensate for their overproduction by strictly adhering to production cuts over the next three months.

This is vital for the ongoing rebalancing efforts and helping deliver long-term oil market stability.

What this means is that the Covid-19 pandemic has pushed oil producers to extend production cuts beyond September till December to see that suppressed demand did not create a glut situation where oil goes for a free fall again.

The expected OPEC meeting next month could take a call whether OPEC + also need to further extend product cuts beyond 7.7 million barrels per day (bpd), or around 8% of global demand, till December.

Though the OPEC+ has not so far recommended any changes to their current output reduction target of 7.7 million barrels per day (bpd), it could be a possibility if an oil price crash starts again.

OPEC+ has been reducing production since January 2017 to help to support prices and reduce global oil stockpiles. They increased their cuts to a record 9.7 million bpd from May to July after demand plunged due to the coronavirus crisis.

Both Brent and WTI crude are hovering over $41 a barrel but the expectation is that prices may come under pressure again as global economic recovery still looks distant with continuing coronavirus infections. So, extending production cuts and enhancing the levels may be on the agenda again to stabilise the market.





Sat, 19 Sep 2020 16:07:59 +0530
Kangana We need to save film industry from various terrorists

Mumbai, Sep 19

Actress Kangana Ranaut says she wants film industries of different states to have a collective identity, and claims she wants to save the industry from from terrorists such as the nepotism brigade and the drug mafia.

"People's perception that top film industry in India is Hindi film Industry is wrong. Telugu film industry has ascended itself to the top position and now catering films to pan India in multiple languages, many hindi films being shot in Ramoji Hyderabad," she tweeted on Saturday.

This comes after Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath reportedly said he plans to build the "biggest film city" in Uttar Pradesh.

"I applaud this announcement by @myogiadityanath ji. We need many reforms in the film industry, first of all we need one big film industry called Indian film industry.. we are divided based on many factors, Hollywood films get advantage of this. One industry but many Film Cities," she wrote.

She went on to say that best of dubbed regional films don't get pan-India release but dubbed Hollywood films get mainstream release, adding that the trend was "alarming".

"Reason is the atrocious quality of most Hindi films and their monopoly over theatre screens, also media created aspirational imagine for Hollywood films," said the Bollywood actress.

Kangana added: "We need to save the industry from various terrorists -- Nepotism terrorism, Drug Mafia terrorism, Sexism terrorism, religious and regional terrorism, Foreign films terrorism, Piracy terrorism, Labourer's exploitation terrorism and Talent exploitation terrorism".

Tagging the Office of the Prime Minister of India, she tweeted: "Films have an ability to bring the entire nation together but
@PMOIndia let's first please bring these many industries together who have individual identities but not a collective identity please join them together like Akhand Bharat and we will make it number one in the world."






Sat, 19 Sep 2020 16:05:52 +0530
Woman accompanying nephew gang raped in Alwar 3 held

Jaipur, Sep 19

In a shocking incident, a 45-year-old woman was gang-raped in Tijara in Alwar district by six persons while she was returning to her village along with her nephew on a bike, police officials said on Saturday. Police has since arrested three persons.

Police said that her nephew was also forced to act as if he was participating in the crime on September 14 to ensure that the woman did not lodge a police against the accused.

The victim, however, lodged a complaint on September 17 after a video clip of the crime went viral, Tijara DSP Kushal Singh said, adding that three accused who filmed the video have been arrested while the hunt is on to arrest the other accused. One of the accused is a minor.

Police officials said that the woman had gone to her brother's place in a village in Haryana to hand him some money. While returning, they were stopped by a group of unidentified youths equipped with sharp-edged weapons, who held her nephew hostage while one of the youths raped her. Other youths filmed the act and also sexually assaulted her.

The youths then put the video clip on the social media.

The DSP said that a police team had been formed to investigate the case.

Sources said that the woman initially did not lodge a police complaint but told her husband about the crime.

Around a year ago, a similar crime was reported in Thanagaazi in Alwar district, wherein a woman accompanying her husband was gang-raped and filmed. Later her video was put on the social media.







Sat, 19 Sep 2020 15:57:51 +0530
Over 93K Covid cases take India tally across 53L

New Delhi, Sep 19

Continuing with its massive daily spike, India recorded 93,337 coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, taking its overall tally across the 53-lakh mark, data from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare showed on Saturday.

There were 1,247 deaths in a day as 53,08,014 cases were registered with India remaining just behind the US, which it has overtaken in terms of recoveries.

Out of the total, 10,13,964 are active, 42,08,431 have been discharged, while 85,619 lost the battle against the viral disease. The recovery rate stands at 79.28 per cent and the fatality rate is 1.61 per cent.

Maharashtra continues to be the worst-hit with a total of 11,67,496 cases including 31,791 deaths; followed by Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh.

According to the data from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), India conducted 8,81,911 sample tests in a single day on Friday, taking the total number of samples tested so far to 6,24,54,254.

On the global front, India rallied behind the United States, which has recorded 67,22,699 cases and 1,98,509 deaths. The total number of cases in the world stood at 3,03,95,579 and the fatalities rose to 9,50,344.





Sat, 19 Sep 2020 12:00:29 +0530
Over 93K Covid cases take India tally across 53L

New Delhi, Sep 19

Continuing with its massive daily spike, India recorded 93,337 coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, taking its overall tally across the 53-lakh mark, data from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare showed on Saturday.

There were 1,247 deaths in a day as 53,08,014 cases were registered with India remaining just behind the US, which it has overtaken in terms of recoveries.

Out of the total, 10,13,964 are active, 42,08,431 have been discharged, while 85,619 lost the battle against the viral disease. The recovery rate stands at 79.28 per cent and the fatality rate is 1.61 per cent.

Maharashtra continues to be the worst-hit with a total of 11,67,496 cases including 31,791 deaths; followed by Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh.

According to the data from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), India conducted 8,81,911 sample tests in a single day on Friday, taking the total number of samples tested so far to 6,24,54,254.

On the global front, India rallied behind the United States, which has recorded 67,22,699 cases and 1,98,509 deaths. The total number of cases in the world stood at 3,03,95,579 and the fatalities rose to 9,50,344.







Sat, 19 Sep 2020 11:58:13 +0530
FIFA Prez defends meetings with Lauber

Zurich,  FIFA President Gianni Infantino has defended his meeting with Swiss Attorney General Michael Lauber, who is the subject of criminal proceedings launched against the former in Switzerland in July. The case is about undocumented meetings between Lauber and Infantino in 2016 and 2017.

"In Switzerland, as you know, an investigation has been opened with regard of a few meetings between myself and the Swiss Attorney General, three or four years ago," Infantino said at the annual FIFA Congress which was held virtually.

"Meetings include the Attorney General of Switzerland, meetings that were meant to define and make clear the new FIFA was miles, worlds away, from the old FIFA. Don't forget FIFA became victim to corrupt officials, that is what courts say all over the world. FIFA is still suffering from that," he said.

Infantino said that it was his "duty" to meet Lauber as he wanted to "liberate FIFA from those old, toxic values".

"In 2015 FIFA was considered toxic and pronounced dead, an organisation that served itself from football rather than serving football," he said. "It was my duty to meet with the Swiss Attorney General, I had to do my due diligence because I wanted to liberate FIFA from those old, toxic values.

"No organisation can be led into the future if you do not resolve the past. I thought I could do it, but it was not possible, you have to deal with your past. That is why two days ago I was meeting the US Attorney General to prove we don't want to go back to our past, to prove FIFA has been reformed and to express our gratitude that at the time the DOJ saved FIFA from itself while others were standing there watching.

Infantino said that allegations against him are part of "conspiracy theries" made to damage FIFA.

"We will continue to fight against corruption in football and will cooperate with authorities all over the world that will help us save and reform football. Today I am more convinced that ever to fight for these values. Eventually those who have made up conspiracy theories to damage us will be victims to their own schemes, they will reveal themselves," he said.


Sat, 19 Sep 2020 09:22:04 +0530
Paytm back on Play store few hours after Google removed app

New Delhi,  In a dramatic turn of events, Paytm app was back on Google Play store on Friday within a few hours of being pulled down due to alleged policy violations.

Earlier in the day, Google had pulled down India's homegrown financial services company Paytm from its app store for running its promotional UPI cashback campaign and scratch cards by claiming that this amounts to gambling.

However, Paytm said that giving cashbacks is a standard industry practice followed by all major players, including Google Pay.

The Noida-headquartered Paytm is the country's largest payments app and competes with Google Pay.

Paytm recently launched the "Paytm Cricket League" for users to engage in their passion for cricket and get cashback.

The game allows users to get player stickers after each transaction, collect them, and receive Paytm cashback.

On Friday afternoon, Google intimated Paytm that they are suspending its app because they believe this to be a violation of their Play Store policies on gambling.

Subsequently, Paytm app was unlisted from Google's Play Store and was temporarily unavailable to users for new downloads or updates.

"Thanks everyone for your support! Paytm App is back, live in Play Store. We launched a UPI CashBack campaign this morning. Our app got suspended by Google for this. India, you decide if giving cash back is gambling," Paytm Founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma tweeted after the app reappeared on Play store.

In an interview with ET Now, Sharma said that this one-sided action by Google challenges the whole concept of "Aatma Nirbhar" Bharat for the app ecosystem in the country.

He further added that this is a way to arm-twist companies that are innovating for India. It also thwarts the government push to promote digital payments with UPI as the cashback which is given on Paytm is directly credited as UPI.

"The same campaign is running on several apps, including GPay, they all give stickers & scratch cards. We need to see whether we allow foreign companies to own and rule our ecosystem like this," he said in an interview with the media.

"It is not a question of policy, but its implementation - extremely unfair implementation Google itself plays similar promos. It looks like a well-thought-out plan," he said.


Sat, 19 Sep 2020 09:07:29 +0530
Trump expects Covid vaccine to be available for every American by April

Washington, US President Donald Trump has said that the United States would produce enough coronavirus vaccine doses for "every American" by April 2021.

The president told a White House news conference on Friday that the country will have at least 100 million doses of vaccine by the end of the year, or "likely much more than that", Xinhua reported.

"Hundreds of millions of doses will be available every month and we expect to have enough vaccines for every American by April and again I'll say even at that later stage, the delivery will go as fast as it comes," Trump said.

The president's comment came days after he claimed that the US could start distributing a coronavirus vaccine as early as October.

"We're very close to that vaccine as you know and I think closer than most people want to say," Trump said during a White House press briefing on Wednesday. "We think we can start sometime in October. So as soon as it's announced we'll be able to start. That will be from mid-October on. It may be a little bit later than that."

Earlier on Wednesday, however, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield told lawmakers during a Senate hearing that he expected vaccinations to begin in November or December, but in limited quantities to ensure that those most in need, such as healthcare workers, will get the first doses.

Redfield said it will be the late second quarter or third quarter of 2021 before a Covid-19 vaccine is generally available to the American public.


Sat, 19 Sep 2020 09:02:32 +0530
SSR tribute song talks of justice for late actor

Mumbai,  A song dedicated to Sushant Singh Rajput collages video clips featuring the late actor, to let fans re-live memories of their favourite star.

Titled "Mujhe insaaf de do", the song is composed and sung by Mayank Pant and penned by Lali Mishra.

Talking about the inspiration behind the song, producer Kumar Raj told IANS: "For an entire month after Sushant's death, we had so many questions in our minds that no one could answer. His wellwishers, friends, and people who knew him were putting out their memories about him, and how they could not accept that he would take such a step."

He continued: "Things began to get clearer when his family came forward and filed an FIR. There was no turning back from there and everyone had only one motto in their mind -- we want justice for Sushant and want to know the truth. This gave me the inspiration to support this movement."

How did he think of featuring Sushant in the tribute video for the actor? "Once the song was ready, it was very difficult for us to decide on the screenplay and what to add, as we did not want to show anyone in wrong light because the investigation was still on. We finally decided to keep the video around Sushant and show his journey, as he had such a beautiful and accomplished career, which we all should remember him by," the producer said.

Since the song talks about ‘insaaf' or justice, does he suspect foul play in the actor's death? The producer replied: "It is very difficult to say if it was a murder or suicide, but I can say one thing -- the fact will not be hidden for long. The CBI will surely reach to the bottom of this, the truth will be out soon and the guilty will be punished."

Sat, 19 Sep 2020 08:44:21 +0530
Bank of Baroda launches initiatives to improve tractor financing

New Delhi, The Bank of Baroda on Friday announced three new initiatives towards improving credit penetration in farm mechanisation.

The initiatives are focused on providing better financial service to farmers and empowering them towards farm mechanisation, the bank said in a statement.

Executive Director Vikramaditya Singh Khichi said: "Agriculture sector is the only resilient sector with least impact by the Covid pandemic. With more than normal monsoon, the economy is expected to revive through contribution from the agriculture sector."

"At Bank of Baroda, we strive to make our products competitive and improve our processes keeping the customers at the centre. The new cluster model will help in maintaining TAT for customers and improvise the credit quality," he added.

The bank has replicated 'Cluster Model for Tractor Financing' presently operational in its Lucknow Zone in its Ahmedabad, Baroda, Rajkot, Jaipur, Bhopal, Pune, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Mangaluru, Meerut and Chandigarh zones too.

The 'Cluster Model for Tractor Financing' will ensure a focused approach at all levels with dedicated officers being assigned specific roles to ensure a qualitative and compliance-oriented growth of the segment, apart from reducing the turnaround time, it said.

Secondly, the Bank of Baroda entered into an MoU with Baroda-based Tractor OEM Gromax Agri Equipment Ltd (GAEL), the erstwhile Mahindra Gujarat Tractor Ltd, and an entity of Mahindra Group. The Gujarat government also has a 40 per cent stake in GAEL, which has its registered office and high-tech manufacturing plant in Vadodara.

This MOU will help Bank of Baroda customers to get discounts up to Rs 1 lakh on purchase of tractors directly from the company outlets. Further, on purchase in other states, except Gujarat, a discount up to Rs 15,000 will be given by GAEL in the form of payment of first EMI for its '45 HP' and '50 HP' models.

Thirdly, Bank of Baroda celebrated 'Maha-Disbursement Day' for tractor finance and sanctioned over 600 loans in a single day through the Cluster Model wherein few loans have been sanctioned using the Central Processing Centre (CPC). Sanction letters were handed over to eligible farmers at various locations across the country, the statement said.

Sat, 19 Sep 2020 08:36:37 +0530
Second wave of coronavirus coming to UK Boris Johnson

London, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday warned that a second wave of Covid-19 in Britain is "coming in", and his government may need to "intensify things to help bring the rate of infections down".

"We're now seeing a second wave coming in... clearly we are going to keep everything under review." Johnson said, adding that it was "inevitable" that coronavirus would hit the country again, Xinhua reported.

During a visit to the Vaccines Manufacturing Innovation Centre construction site near Oxford, Johnson told reporters: "Obviously, we're looking very carefully at the spread of the pandemic as it evolves over the last few days and there's no question, as I've said for several weeks now, that we could expect (and) are now seeing a second wave coming in."

Asked about the possibility of a two-week October half-term in order to bring in a short lockdown, Johnson said, "What I can certainly say about parents and schools is we want to keep the schools open, that is going to happen."

The prime minister said he does not want to put the country in another national lockdown, but "as the disease progresses of course we're going to have to take further measures," Xinhua reported citing a leading media outlet.

The number of coronavirus cases in Britain rose by 4,322 on Friday with 27 more deaths as the country is struggling to cope with test shortages.

The total number of coronavirus cases hit 385,936 while the total number of coronavirus-related deaths reached 41,732, official statistics showed Friday.

Earlier reports suggested that the British government is considering the introduction of new national restrictions as the country is struggling to get a handle on the spread of coronavirus.

England's Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty and the government's Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Vallance have reportedly warned that Britain is in danger of seeing a substantial increase in the number of cases by mid-October if the virus is left unchecked.

The British goverment announced on Friday that more restrictions will be put in place from Tuesday for more areas, including north west, West Yorkshire and midlands to tackle rising infection rates.

The restrictions include that residents must not socialize with other people outside of their own households or support bubble in private homes and gardens, and leisure and entertainment venues including restaurants, pubs, and cinemas, are required to close between 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., according to a statement by the government.

These changes are in addition to the "rule of six" which was introduced nationwide on Monday, limiting the number of people who can gather indoors or outdoors to six.

The latest move came at a time when countries such as Britain, China, Russia and the United States are racing against time to develop coronavirus vaccines.

Sat, 19 Sep 2020 08:32:59 +0530
Kerala s new Covid cases cross 4 000 for second successive day

Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala's new Covid cases crossed 4,000 for the second consecutive day on Friday, officials said.

On Friday, the state recorded 4,167, while the number of infections on Thursday was 4,351.

In a statement issued here on Friday by the State Health Minister K.K.Shailaja, "2744 people were cured of the disease."

"At present there are 35,724 active Covid cases, while 90,089 people have so far been cured. In the past 24 hours 47,723 samples was tested," said Shailaja.

Thiruvananthapuram district continue to record the maximum number of cases with 926 new cases.

In the state there are 2,16,262 people under observation at various places which includes 24,634 people in hospitals.

The state presently has 614 hotspots.

With Covid cases spiking, the Kerala High Court on Friday came down heavily on the numerous protests going on across the state, with no Covid protocols being followed, despite the court giving strict orders to the police to see that there should be no violation of Covid guidelines.

The court directed the police to see that violators to their orders should be strictly dealt with according to the provisions of the Disaster Management Act.

Kerala has been witnessing massive protests all across the state with the leading opposition parties demanding the resignation of State Higher Education Minister K.T Jaleel after he was questioned in the controversial gold smuggling case by the Enforcement Directorate and the NIA.

Sat, 19 Sep 2020 08:24:35 +0530
Most of additional budget spending for people centric schemes FM

New Delhi, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharman on Friday said that the majority of the additional resources in the first batch of the Supplementary Demands for Grants would be spent on people-centric schemes amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In her reply to the debate on the Supplementary Demands for Grants for 2020-21 and the Demands for Excess Grants for 2016-17 in the Lok Sabha, she said it is probably for the first time that the government has sought such a huge amount in the first batch of the Supplementary Demands for Grants.

Late on Friday evening, the Lok Sabha approved the supplementary demands for additional spending of Rs 2.35 lakh crore, including a cash outgo of Rs 1.66 lakh crore.

The Centre has sought Rs 40,000 crore for providing grants for the creation of capital assets under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and for the transfer of funds to the National Employment Guarantee Fund.

It has sought an additional expenditure of Rs 30,956.98 crore for providing Grants-in-Aid General for Direct Benefit Transfer to Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana's women bank account holders.

Further, to meet the expenditure towards recapitalisation of the Public Sector Banks through the issue of government securities, it has sought an approval for the expenditure of Rs 20,000 crore.

Approval for expenditure of Rs 4,000 crore has been sought for meeting an additional expenditure towards Grants-in-Aid General to National Credit Guarantee Trustee Company Ltd (NCGTC) for the Guarantee Emergency Credit Line (GECL) facility to eligible MSME borrowers.

The first batch of Supplementary Demands for Grants for financial year 2020-21, among other things, included a sum of Rs 46,602.43 crore required for providing additional allocations under the Post-Devolution Revenue Deficit Grant (Rs 44,340 crore) and Grants-in-Aid General for States Disaster Response Fund (Rs 2,262.43 crore) as per the accepted recommendations for the 15th Finance Commission.

The government expenses have increased of late and are likely to increase further due to the coronavirus pandemic and the eventual economic slowdown.

Sat, 19 Sep 2020 08:18:22 +0530
Michael Madsen s India debut in Anushka Shetty Madhavan s Nishabdham on Oct 2

Mumbai, Sep 18

The Anushka Shetty-R. Madhavan horror thriller Nishabdham has been confirmed for a Gandhi Jayanti release on OTT. A highlight of the film is the fact that it features Hollywood star Michael Madsen in a very special role.

Madsen, the stylish 62-year-old actor whose career is highlighted by "Reservoir Dogs", "The Hateful Eight", "Thelma And Louise", "Sin City" and the "Kill Bill" films, plays a Seattle cop in "Nishabdam". Details about his role have mostly been kept under wraps in the publicity campaign as well as trailer.

Directed by Hemanth Madhukar, "Nishabdham" casts Anushka as Sakshi, deaf and mute artist. She gets entangled in a criminal investigation when she unexpectedly witnesses a tragic incident that occurs in a villa known to be haunted. Madhavan plays Anthony, a celebrity musician.

Anushka described Sakshi as "a character that pushed me out of my comfort zone, a character I'm glad it came my way". Madhavan shared that he enjoys watching and being a part of thrillers.

"'Nishabdham' is definitely one of the most intriguing movies that I have been associated with. Set in the US and shot extensively in Seattle and other parts of the US, the story is relatable to global audiences," he added.

The film was scheduled to release on January 31, 2020 and postponed to April 2. However, it could not keep its date with the box office owing to the Covid-19 pandemic that saw complete shutdown of cinema halls. "Nishabdham" will now stream on Amazon Prime Video in Telugu, Tamil and Malayalam languages on October 2.






Fri, 18 Sep 2020 18:29:10 +0530
Michael Madsen s India debut in Anushka Shetty Madhavan s Nishabdham on Oct 2

Mumbai, Sep 18

The Anushka Shetty-R. Madhavan horror thriller Nishabdham has been confirmed for a Gandhi Jayanti release on OTT. A highlight of the film is the fact that it features Hollywood star Michael Madsen in a very special role.

Madsen, the stylish 62-year-old actor whose career is highlighted by "Reservoir Dogs", "The Hateful Eight", "Thelma And Louise", "Sin City" and the "Kill Bill" films, plays a Seattle cop in "Nishabdam". Details about his role have mostly been kept under wraps in the publicity campaign as well as trailer.

Directed by Hemanth Madhukar, "Nishabdham" casts Anushka as Sakshi, deaf and mute artist. She gets entangled in a criminal investigation when she unexpectedly witnesses a tragic incident that occurs in a villa known to be haunted. Madhavan plays Anthony, a celebrity musician.

Anushka described Sakshi as "a character that pushed me out of my comfort zone, a character I'm glad it came my way". Madhavan shared that he enjoys watching and being a part of thrillers.

"'Nishabdham' is definitely one of the most intriguing movies that I have been associated with. Set in the US and shot extensively in Seattle and other parts of the US, the story is relatable to global audiences," he added.

The film was scheduled to release on January 31, 2020 and postponed to April 2. However, it could not keep its date with the box office owing to the Covid-19 pandemic that saw complete shutdown of cinema halls. "Nishabdham" will now stream on Amazon Prime Video in Telugu, Tamil and Malayalam languages on October 2.

Fri, 18 Sep 2020 18:26:17 +0530
The Indian cricket pantomime ready to explode

The entertainment that every Indian cricket lover is so anxiously waiting -- the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 -- is about to start. The first match between the two top teams of the tournament will take place on Saturday at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. Reigning champions Mumbai Indians (MI), led by Rohit Sharma, will lock horns with last year's runners-up Chennai Super Kings (CSK), captained by the man who recently announced retirement from international cricket, Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
The aura and mystery that Dhoni emanates is like a halo around his head. He has been away from cricket for a year but just his presence is enough to create an element of worry in the opponents' mind.
The CSK may be referred to as 'Dad's Army', but it is a very experienced unit and can never be taken lightly. A recent fun competition between their two hard-hitting batsmen -- Shane Watson and Dhoni - in the nets as to who can hit the ball farthest in the UAE just shows what power play is in store for all of us.
Both these international legends have nothing to prove or fear. And along with Faf du Plessis, Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja and Ambati Rayudu, to mention a few, they will be a force to reckon with for all the teams in the competition.
The IPL has become the heart and soul of Indian cricket. The T20 format may not be the epitome of what conventional cricket is all about but it replicates the characteristics, values, attitude of the people and the vibrant surroundings of the modern world that we live in.
The 'work from home' (WFH) syndrome has led to what could be called 'watch from home' -- cricket and other sports as well. Cricket, one feels, will be played in stadiums without spectators for quite a while and the sooner cricketers accept this reality, the better it will be for them. A sportsman's adrenaline does make his heart beat faster in an atmosphere filled with loud cheering and crowds egging them on. However, cricketers will now need to find their own path, mentally, and ways to excel in the silence that they will face.
The heat and humidity in the UAE will play a major role in the performances of individuals and teams. This is where fitness trainers, more than coaches, will play an important part. The modern technology has given them the tools to monitor each individual thoroughly. The wear and tear of the muscles, the fatigue factor, the loss of body fluids, and many other such important details are being thoroughly checked. Getting players ready and fit and mentally fresh to play in intense heat will be a task of immense importance and the fortune of the teams will depend on it.
Cricketers being athletes should be able to handle the initial period of the tournament, but the second half will be crucial. This is when boredom sets in and the eagerness and enthusiasm will be on gradual ebb.
T20 cricket is very much a batsman's game and hence the IPL 2020 will have plenty of runs with a plethora of fours and sixes. The wickets will be ideal for batting, as the ball will come slow and low because of the hot weather. The fast bowlers will only get movement initially when the ball is new but later on they will need to outsmart the batsmen through variations in length, speed and other such deception.
Spin will play an important part as the wickets should assist some turn but the sweaty fingers will make it difficult for spinners to get a firm grip on the ball. It will be interesting to see how bowlers who sweat profusely manage to keep their fingers dry.
The beauty of the T20 format is such that one cannot predict a winner. The shorter version tends to make teams more equally balanced, as one does not have enough overs to make it a one-sided affair. The element of luck also plays a major part in a team's fortune as the game has so many uncertainties that on a given day, the 'hand of god, could play an important part.
All eight teams have some extraordinary international and Indian players and young Indian cricketers as well. The teams comprise support staff and coaches of international standard and analysts who can produce data for every given situation. Professionalism brought in by franchise-owned teams has been the most progressive aspect so far Indian cricket is concerned. This has been the foremost advantage that young Indian cricketers have experienced and the processes and systems learnt by them have gradually filtered into every corner of Indian cricket. The IPL has been a boon not only in bringing financial benefits to the BCCI. It has also been the Indian cricket pantomime to not just millions of Indian cricket followers but also for thousands of young cricketers playing the game in India.
Delhi Capitals, Kings XI Punjab and Royal Challengers Bangalore are still to win the trophy. Each one of them has players who can make this year a memorable one for themselves. For me, however, Rajasthan Royals have that 'Royal Rajput' touch to them. A team comprising the best all-rounder in the world in Ben Stokes and one of the most lethal fast bowlers in Jofra Archer, along with one of the world's leading batsmen, Steven Smith, and the most destructive wicket-keeper-batsman in Jos Buttler seems an ideal combination to get RR the trophy they have been striving for since they won the inaugural tournament in 2008.







Fri, 18 Sep 2020 17:26:37 +0530
Charlotte von Schedvin PK loves story Part IV

Swami Madhava Chaitanya,

There was no logic but Von Schedvin followed her heart, she went with PK to meet his father in Odisha where the couple received tribal blessings. She said later "I didn't think, I just followed my heart 100%" "There was no logic," she said. I met his father, brothers, and sister. I liked them and they liked me. It was like coming home. I believe in reincarnation, I felt very strongly—and still do—that I had lived in India before. We had a tribal ceremony. His elder brother went into his puja room and sat there meditating for some time. Then he came out with a broad smile and said, “Yes, this is the woman you’re going to get married to. Follow her footsteps.”

Von Schedvin, whose family came from Swedish nobility got doubt what to do? She knew it is quite unnatural for her to marry a poor man from the tribal scheduled cast. At the same time, she had realized the innocence of PK, she knew PK was not manipulating anything. He just followed his horoscope predictions and she too believed in the theory of incarnations. But she was still confused. PK understood her confusion, he invited her to visit the famous Konark Sun temple. Konark Sun Temple is a 13th-century CE Sun Temple at Konark about 35 kilometers northeast from Puri on the coastline of Odisha, India.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Konark Sun temple is a striking model of ancient artistry, the fluidity of ideas, and a pedagogic treasury. It is dedicated to the sun god, Surya. The first rays of the sun fall on the entrance of the temple. Much of the temple has fallen into rack and ruin but what remains still holds enough charm to captivate. An interpretation of a greater imagination, it has seen empires rise and fall, identities washed away, yet appealing to our sensorium even today.

Believed to have been built in the 13th century CE the temple was built by the King Narasimhadeva(I) hailing from the Eastern Ganga dynasty between 1238-1250 CE. The temple was commissioned by the king while Samantaraya Mahapatra was the one in charge of its construction. "Konark" means the sun and the four corners. The temple was called Black Pagoda attributing to its dark facade by the Europeans who used it for navigation for their ships. It is said that the temple could draw ships to the shore due to its magnetic powers.

The temple is known for its impressive Kalinga architecture that includes a depiction of a 100 ft. high chariot being pulled by horses and wheels carved out of a single stone. The monument portrays the imposing chariot of the sun god. Built of Khondalite rocks, the original temple had 230 ft. high sanctum which no longer exists, 128 ft. high audience hall, dance hall, dining hall which survives still. There are 24 intricately designed wheels, 12 ft. in diameter which are seen drawn by horses. These seven horses represent the week, the wheels stand for 12 months while the day-cycle is symbolized by the eight spokes in the wheels. And this whole depiction tells how the time is controlled by the sun – is the very illustration of the Surya in the Hindu mythology traveling from the east in his chariot escorted by his charioteer, Aruna. A few years back I got a golden opportunity to visit the marvelous Konark Sun temple; Words cannot describe the joy I felt when I saw the beautiful Konark Sun temple.

Charlotte Von Schedvin later said, "I became emotional when PK showed me the Konark sun temple. I had this image of the temple stone wheel framed in my student room back in London, but I had no idea where this place actually was. And here I was standing in front of it." Charlotte's mind calmed down, maybe the self-illuminated God sun gave her the right direction, she realized her Destiny. Charlotte's heart answered to her "this is your life partner". She lost all kinds of confusion and gave the green signal for their wedding. The two fell in love and returned to PK village. Later PK said "She wore a sari when she met my father for the first time. I still don't know how she managed. With blessings from my father and family, we got married according to tribal tradition". They both returned to Delhi after spending a few days in PK village.

Charlotte took the Indian name "Charulata" and their married life began in a one-room house in Lodhi Colony Barsati in New Delhi. After just below one month together, circumstances forced Charlotte to travel away from him. She had to return to her home Sweden. She asked PK to come along. However, PK was still a student and wanted to finish his studies. She said goodbye to him and started her return journey. PK promised that he would follow her to her home in the Swedish textile town of Boras. More than a year passed and the two kept in touch through letters. But the separation was painful, PK decided to go to Swedish town Boras to meet his wife.

The interesting journey of PK's Swedish textile town Boras will reveal in the next part of this story.

The next part of the story will upload very soon.

Fri, 18 Sep 2020 13:29:08 +0530
Charlotte von Schedvin PK loves story Part IX

Swami Madhava Chaitanya,

The following section describes an experience I had in Kashmir as an example of discrimination in God's way.

Kashmir is a state in India's worst hit by Islamic terrorism. Eight years back I had an opportunity to visit there, I got a chance to stay in a famous Kashmiri Shaiva tradition ashram. We lived there with military security. It was the time of the construction of the wall around the ashram. The construction work was carried out by local Muslim youths.

I have never seen a place as beautiful as Kashmir. I wondered how the people of such a beautiful area became terrorists. I doubt that if the Muslim youth's workers would be willing to talk to me. My suspicion was what emotion the Hindu monastic dress I was wearing would make of them. But they surprised me. They spoke to me very friendly. Every evening the chief administrator of the ashram would pay them work wages. They had no access to the ashram. But one thing I noticed was that the chief administrator of the Ashram covered his hand with a cloth when he paid them. after seeing that, I asked him: "Why are you covering your hand when are you paying them?" He told me: "We are Kashmiri Pundits, we can't touch them". I asked him: "Is it advised in Kashmir Shaiva's theory to do so?" He said: "I don't know. This is a tradition that is followed in the past time". I kept quiet. But I felt bad about that. What really surprised me was an incident that happened two days after I asked this.

Retired Indian Army Chief Major General V.K. Singh visited the ashram. Mr. Sing was serving as the Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways in the present Indian government. Mr. Sing arrived at the ashram accompanied by two local Kashmiri Muslim traders. We all joined and welcomed him to the ashram. With Mr. Singh, two local Muslim traders also entered the ashram. A small tea party was organized for Singh at the ashram. The local Muslim traders also joined with us in that tea party. After a few hours of spending in the ashram, they all returned. I asked the ashram main administrator: "You gave permission to local Muslim traders to enter the ashram, you sat down with them and attended the tea party. How did you do this thing that goes against your tradition?" He said with a laugh that those two traders were very influential in Kashmir. The ashram always needed their help. I didn't feel any surprise in the action. I know all kinds of discrimination affect only the poor and helpless.

Even after eight years, I can't forget the young Muslim laborer's faces. I know that even those rich Muslim traders will not raise their voices for them. Having been studying Kashmir Shaiva’s theories for the last few years, I can say with confidence that there is no such distinction in Shaiva theory. Saiva's theory has principles that are wider than the sky. But the impure human mind will defile any pure science.

One day I informed the Ashram chief of my desire to see the Kashmir Valley. He told me about the dangers of traveling outside. He introduced me to a forest ranger named Hafizullah Mir. The next day we set out to see the Kashmir Valley in Mr. Mir's official vehicle. Mr. Mir was a local resident in Kashmir valley. He was very young, handsome, and kind. My good friend Pawan Kaul, whom I met in Kashmir, was also with us. Mr. Mir showed a lot of beautiful places in Kashmir valley. We visited the famous kheer Bhavani temple also.

For security reasons he denied only my wish to visit the rock on which the Great Acharya Vasugupta meditated who had given to the world the Vijnana Bhairava Tantra, one of the greatest holy books in the Kashmir Saiva system. Mr.Mir introduced me to a lot of Kashmiri people. They all seemed to be very calm. Kashmir is one of the worst affected places in the world for religious extremism. But the Muslim people I met were very friendly to me. Mr.Mir introduced me to a very influential Muslim political leader in Kashmir valley. I asked him why about 60,000 Hindus had fled the Kashmir Valley. There are less than 2,000 Hindus left in the Kashmir Valley. That too is life-threatening. They are experiencing a kind of imprisonment. The political leader told me that Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) insurgents during late 1989 and early 1990 is the reason for the Hindus exodus. JKLF is a political organization active in both Pakistan-administered and Indian-administered Kashmir.

I laughed and told him, The silence of the majority of Muslims in the Kashmir Valley, which has more than 600,000 members, has helped a militant group with less than 1,000 members succeed in the exodus of more than 60,000 Hindus from their homeland. He remained silent on my question as to whether this was true. I told him, the ideological difference is the real cause. The ideology discrimination against one human society by another. A condition in which one religious belief does not accept another religious belief. The most interesting of these is that there is more unity between Kashmir Shaiva and the idea of Islam than any other Hindu sect. Both are beliefs in one God. The Saiva doctrine is very deep and the concept of Islam is very simple. But while there is unity in ideology, differences in rituals are the cause of religious conflict.

I read in Adolf Hitler's autobiography book "Mein Kampf", he defined the Jews as a race and not a religious community, characterized the effect of a Jewish presence as a “race-tuberculosis of the peoples,” and identified the initial goal of the German government to be discriminatory legislation against Jews. The “ultimate goal must definitely be the removal of the Jews altogether.”The main accusation made by Hitler against the Jews was that they did not accept the German people and did not participate in the rituals of the German people. Jews did not cooperate with the German people in all matters, including marriage. Even in disputes between Jews, the Jews ruled in their own religious courts, without going to a German court.

We feel the issue raised by Hitler looks very simple. No intelligent person would give much importance to such matters. But ordinary human minds do not understand great philosophies. Such subjects are of interest to the common human mind. Hitler's silly complaints grew to a very big conflict. leadeth to the Holocaust, also known as the Shoah, which was the World War II genocide of the European Jews. Between 1941 and 1945, across German-occupied Europe, Nazi Germany and its collaborators systematically murdered some six million Jews, around two-thirds of Europe's Jewish population. Can we imagine? Can we imagine a man's dissatisfaction with a religious community leading to the massacre of six million people? In the Indian epic the great Mahabharata, in the mind of King Duryodhana, the enmity was towards his own paternal nephews which resulted in the death of billions of warriors in the ensuing war.

Such a mindset is behind all the great wars, riots, and violence that have taken place in the world. Human societies also play a major role in pushing human minds into such a state. Neither politics, nor the system of government, nor physics has the capacity to lead the human mind to its pure state, but it has the potential to lead it to its impure state. The rituals of God's religions make people more divided. The truth is bitter at first but then sweet. The only thing which has no selfishness can lead human minds to the truth. That is scientifically accepted spiritual wisdom. What is pure and true spiritual wisdom?

The next part of the story will upload very soon

Fri, 18 Sep 2020 13:20:13 +0530
Charlotte von Schedvin PK loves story Part VIIl

Swami Madhava Chaitanya,

A few years back I was in God's own country Kerala. There I had a friend. His skin color was very black. He used to joke that all the beautiful women he approached to get married saw his body color and frowned. I often jokingly asked him, why don't you black man marry a black girl? He would laugh. And he would have avoided answering that question.

One day we went to a handloom clothing store together. In Kerala, handloom fabrics are very popular. There was only one girl under the age of 25 in that handloom clothing store. From the necklace with a cross around her neck, I guessed she was a Christian. But what surprised me was that her color was so dark. She told us that her father was the real owner of the shop and he went out for some essential work. She told us to wait until her father came. From our conversation, I felt that she could speak beautifully. Pointing to my friend, I laughed and told her: "Why haven't you met each other before?" She understood what I meant. She laughed and told me: "I am not interested in a wedding". I felt that her smile was full of sadness. I just asked her: "You have a lot of pain in your inner. is it because of your color?" I had some guesses about her reaction.

I thought she would react emotionally. I asked her such a question thinking that she would get relief if she responded. But her response was beyond all my assumptions. It was an explosion. My friend went out to smoke, so it was easy for me to control the situation. Knowing that there was no other answer to such expressions than silence, I stared into her eyes and remained silent.

Her first question was "Do you know why I'm alive now?" I was silent. "I now live only by remembering about my parents. Do you know how long I thought of committing suicide? Do you know how much humiliation I have suffered since childhood? Do you know how much I hate people?" She asked me a bunch of questions like this. I do not know if it was the peace she achieved for herself or my silence. Within a few moments, she calmed down. When I realized she was calm, I asked: "If you do not want to get married then what is the purpose of your life?" She replied with great determination: "I want to be a nun". She wants to be the bride of Christ. "But my parents do not allow me to do that. For them, I have to marry and live with my husband and children. They force me to do it. What should I do?" She asked me for a counter-question. I laughed and said: "You must obey your parents". She looked me sharp and asked: "Is it because I am not a man, I can't be? You are a monk, why can't I tried to explain to her: "It's not because you are a woman. But if you go to the monastery with a restless mind, life will go to hell".

She was not ready to accept my arguments easily. By then her father had returned. This incident made me think deeply about my student days. Calling other students by their nicknames was our hobby. Create names according to shape and color, such as black, fat, bone, fool, and deaf. Call it a joke. All of this was the entertainment of the students, including me. It amazed me that such entertainment can only hurt the mind so much. The wounds inflicted on the human mind by the actions of ignorance are profound. The truth of the great saying that ignorance is the root cause of human evil always remains. What we do unknowingly, we do for fun and pride, plunges many human lives into hell.

Another issue to consider in this regard is that apartheid is not limited to white countries. Kerala is not a white people area. I have seen such race discrimination in many countries including China. I also met a young French woman of white descent in Shanghai who was married to an African man named Frank who was my friend and a singer. As we can see from this, racial discrimination is not limited to any one population or country. It is spread across all countries and communities. It's just that the color of the skin is also used to compete between humans. Most of the people who insulted her did not do it knowingly. But she hates human beings. Thinking from her side, she has never received anything in her life that makes to love people. From her words, it seemed to me that she loved God because she hated people. She chose the path of God to hide her hatred and enmity.

This is one of the most dangerous things lurking in the path of God. Many people with mental and physical disabilities choose the path of God to cover it up. A group of sex addicts and hypocrites see the path of God as a means to secure their passions. It is easy to find many such hypocrites in the path of God.

A young man I met in the middle of a train journey asked me if I could help him. I replied to him: "How can I give you my word without knowing the subject? You tell me the subject first". I replied that young man: "I will try if you tell me things that are true". At my insistence, he introduced the subject with the assurance that I would not tell anyone else. I agreed to him. He told me that he was a regular visitor to a famous spiritual ashram in the Southern part of India. He was very close to the ashram founder chief. He took his fiancé to the ashram and introduced it to the chief. She was a Malaysian citizen. She too became very close to the chief of the ashram. He raped her. Then a young man asked me: "How can I take an act of revenge?" I told you, in the first step you have to do a police complaint. He said he can't do that. I asked for the reason. He said: "My mother and sister are living in that ashram". I asked: "What about your fiancé?" He said: "She doesn't want to do a police complaint". She takes the Ashram chief as her teacher. How can give a police complaint against her teacher?" I said to him: "It is a very complicated issue. It is not so easy for a human being to handle such issues. Please pray to God".

The path of God is considered the purest path in all human societies. Why the same God’s path becomes one of the filthiest? For the world to be peaceful, God's way must be cleansed first.

The next part of the story will upload very soon

Fri, 18 Sep 2020 13:17:19 +0530
Charlotte von Schedvin PK loves story Part VII

Swami Madhava Chaitanya,

PK's life story is in the world is changing so fast. But discrimination among human beings alone does not change. The silk route used by PK to travel to Sweden was so dangerous that it could no longer be used in the present time. The Hippies who helped PK in so many ways for his traveling could not be found today.

The hippie subculture began its development as a youth movement in the United States during the early 1960s and then developed around the world. From around 1967, its fundamental ethos — including harmony with nature, communal living, artistic experimentation particularly in music, and the widespread use of the recreational drug— spread around the world. This movement was one of the most promising. It greatly contributed to the spread of Osho in the West.

Enjoy nature without boundaries, without discrimination, and pass it on to others, Get rid of the sorrows of universal life through soul wisdom. Awaken and experience the infinite powers hidden in the human body. Break the bonds of conservatism, The movements that started with so many beautiful dreams disappeared. Instead, over the last forty-three years, the whole human society has received climate change and destruction of natural resources, large scale conflict and wars, religious conflicts, and so many others.

Today we live in a world run by technology-based corporate companies. It is also doubtful how long the internet freedom we enjoy now will last. India and USA Prohibition without any warning on Chinese Tik Tok proves that Internet freedom does not last long. In the last three months, the Indian government banned more than 150 Chinese apps that have billions of users including the famous pubg game. Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms are criticized by many for their partiality to political parties. Many complaints are being raised that these social media platforms are violating rules and influencing elections results. George Floyd shooting and so many other incidents proved that discrimination against of black race is growing rather than ending. Growing violent protests in the USA and other countries show human anger is growing day by day. Violence against women and children is on the rise in many countries, including India. Human cruelty to wildlife, including elephants, is on the rise.

The vast majority condemn human atrocities. It also calls for harsher punishments for crimes. But deep thought does not seem to explain why human beings choose the path of violence. Despite the fact that there is a large human society that is born with a violent nature, the actions of other human beings are responsible for pushing another large human community into a path of violence. The response is a natural process of the human mind.

There will be a reaction of the mind to any subject that passes through the senses. There is a great deal of reduction in the power of human response. But the reaction happens in everyone. Conflicts in the mind are caused by the combination of the senses, the mind justifies itself in it, and blames the outside world - this is also a major cause of human life conflict. In the turmoil of the mind, it is not possible for anyone to discern right from wrong. It is impossible to have soul enlightenment in a restless mind. It is impossible to have happiness in the mind without soul enlightenment.

It is also impossible to live without happiness. All human beings also realize that all sensory pleasures are fleeting. Therefore, natural recurrence occurs. This is the reason why people are all addicted to alcohol and drugs. It is natural to be dependent on anything repetitive. Repetition and dependency make the mind tired. This makes life tiring.

Therefore, the main task of human life is to calm one's own mind and give peace to the minds of others. It is the words and deeds of fellow human beings that plunge human minds into the greatest sorrow and conflict. The most important of these is racism and the ups and downs that exist in human society.

In the next part of this story, I would like to describe two events that happened in my life.both of these incidents demonstrate the personal and social conflicts that result from human discrimination against other human beings. Some human actions push other human beings into a sense of inferiority. Some social actions lead other human societies to violence. Without knowing the disease, treatment is not possible. Once the disease is really known, there is no need for part of the story will upload very soon.

Fri, 18 Sep 2020 13:15:40 +0530
Charlotte von Schedvin PK loves story Part VI

Swami Madhava Chaitanya,

It took PK five months to cycle to Sweden and reunite with his wife. He arrived in Boras on 28 May 1977. After getting information from the immigration department about his wife Charlotte Von Schedvin's noble family background PK got to doubt whether she would come to receive him or not. But his fears were ill-founded.

When Charlotte learned about the man from India who cycled all the way, she came and received her husband with unbridled happiness. Her parents accepted PK as a part of their family. Then they got married in 1979 according to customary Swedish rites.

Though some friends and relatives thought their “holiday romance" wouldn't last, the couple has been together in Sweden for 43 years. They have two children, Sid and Emelie. After 43 years of marriage, PK serves as the Odisha Cultural Ambassador of India in Sweden and lives with his wife Charlotte, and 2 children in Sweden.

PK’s interest in art and culture has taken him to most of the countries in the world. His paintings have been exhibited in major cities of the world and have found places in the prestigious UNICEF greeting cards.

Recently some news reporters asked PK. "Today, there is a wave of migration from poorer nations to Europe. Do you think your journey would be possible now?"

He said: "Yes. If there is a will there is a way. Everything is possible! It depends on how you think. It’s harder today, for sure. But it’s still possible. Fear and doubt are our two worst enemies. That’s what makes life difficult".

And the reporters asked him, You've been happily married to Charlotte for more than 40 years. Please share with us your secret of a happy marriage.

PK replied: "I have one secret. There is no secret! [Laughs] Marriage is a union not only physically but also spiritually. Recognizing that allows love to grow like ripples on water.

When I enter the house, I park my ego outside. The ego is connected to the mind. I call my human mind a mad monkey".

As fate had turned PK to look West for his future, it had also pushed Von Schedvin to look East. Alongside Von Schedvin's music-teaching career and PK’s art, the pair has dedicated themselves to promoting indigenous arts and offering cultural scholarships to the Indian Dalits community.

Two years ago PK was awarded an honorary doctorate from his state university, and in 2005 nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

PK said in the interview “I landed on my old school's football field." He said, smiling: “Love has given me the power to forgive the people throwing stones at me. They need education. I'm glad that our story is giving people hope".

PK and Charlotte Von Schedvin's love life traveled in the right direction and they gained world recognition as a result. I heard that a famous Bollywood movie director approached them to create a movie based on their life.

In my view, PK didn’t do enough for his own society. He maintained a kind of silence about what he could do for his own community that was suffering. An incident that took place a few days ago in Odisha, the PK's home state, proves that even after forty-three years, there has been no significant change in society. August 25th Indian news channels report will prove my view. "Around 40 Dalit families were subjected to social boycott for over a fortnight after a 15-year-old girl plucked flowers from the garden of an upper-caste man in Odisha's Dhenkanal district", officials said on Sunday.

"Their ordeal ended following the intervention of police and administration", a police officer said. The incident took place in Kantio Kateni village in the Tumusinga police station area.

This incident is not the first or last, it is a continuity. Which changes have happened in human society from 1977 to 2020 within forty-three years? I think it is very necessary to know in which direction our living world is moving, what is our future.

The final part of this story I will use to do that. It will be uploaded very soon.

Fri, 18 Sep 2020 13:12:03 +0530
Charlotte von Schedvin PK loves story Part V

Swami Madhava Chaitanya,

Love gave a new pain to PK's life. In the past untouchability, discrimination and poverty were the cause of pain. Now love became the cause of pain. PK realized that separation can cause great pain. The only relief was the letters written by Charlotte which he received occasionally. PK's friends or relatives did not take his marriage very seriously. They thought it was just a joke of a foreign woman. They decided she would not return to India. But for PK the marriage was not like a joke. It was his life. PK wrote to Charlotte that the pain of separation is unbearable. PK wrote that he wanted to travel to the Swedish textile town Boras to meet her.

She offered a flight ticket to PK. Charlotte wrote to him to use the flight journey to Sweden. but PK refused to accept her offered flight ticket. PK informed her that he would be traveling to Sweden at his own expense. After nearly one and a half years of their separation finally, PK decided to travel to Sweden. Later PK said: "We were together 2-3 weeks and then she left. For one and a half years we didn’t meet. We kept in touch by letter but eventually, I thought it was time to take the first step". But the time apart only strengthened PK resolve to see his love again, and in January 1977 he wrote to Von Schedvin telling her of his plan to cycle to Sweden and make her his wife.

One day, PK felt like he had enough of the long-distance relationship and decided to go to Sweden to meet Charlotte. He sold everything he owned and bought a second-hand bicycle. He didn't look back and set off on a journey to Sweden, with an eighty dollar cash in hand and a second-hand bicycle he decided to travel - a mammoth 3,600 km journey spanning eight countries and taking over four months to complete.

New Delhi to Sweden by road! Pk used the same route used by Alexander the Great for the invasion of India. PK the love bird used the same route in quest of his lady love sans any sword or lethal weapons, but his canvass and painting brush. He was also not on horseback rather on his second-hand bicycle.

PK passed Amritsar- Punjab from New Delhi. He entered Pakistan and arrived in Afghanistan. From that, his route led through Iran, Turkey, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Germany, and Austria until he arrived at the border of Denmark. PK was not alone in that route at that time. At that time this route was famous for the Hippie Trail. It was a trek that saw tens of thousands of young people in an attempt to find enlightenment, inner peace, or just a rollicking good time.

These were the hippies, the overlanders; young men, and women who wanted to understand the world and their place in it. Popular from the mid-1960s to the late-1970s, the "Hippie Trail" stretched from India through Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey, and former Yugoslavia to Europe. At that time travelers didn't need a visa, and the region was safe and stable. Colorful tour buses departed regularly from London to Goa. The 1979 Iranian Islamic Revolution and December 24th, 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan would shortly terminate this popular route for nearly all travelers. This path is unimaginably dangerous in the present day in which we live. Pk's 1977 excursion was fortunately free of strife.

Though some days PK cycled up to 70km, PK admitted later he got lifts wherever possible – "Sometimes you'd get two or three hitchhiking offers and you'd have to choose!" Even being gifted a train ticket from Istanbul to Vienna. PK said later. "I bicycled for love, but I never loved biking". PK said later: "I didn’t just travel by bicycle. I got rides with trucks. I had a sleeping bag and slept under the stars. Sometimes people invited me into their homes and gave me food in exchange for sketches. I hid that $80 in my belt and never touched it. Along the way, I got letters from Charlotte: in Kandahar, Kabul, and Istanbul, which encouraged me."

PK said later, I also got lots of hippie friends, who fed me, instructed me, and guided me. I was not alone. I never met any person whom I disliked. It was a different time, a different world of love and peace and, of course, freedom. The biggest obstacle was my own thoughts, my doubts. After 4 months and 3 weeks of the back-breaking journey, PK finally reached Gothenburg, Sweden.

Upon reaching, PK was questioned by Swedish immigration officers who were amazed to see a man who had come from India riding a bicycle. But the authorities were not prepared at all to believe the words of PK even though he produced photographs of his marriage with Charlotte.

the authorities believed that Charlotte who belonged to the Swedish noble family could never have stopped down to marry a poor Indian

Fluttered, PK telephoned his wife. Until that very moment, PK had no knowledge about Charlotte’s family. This was totally unbelievable for PK. Fears of all kind gripped him. The sudden revelation made even PK skeptical whether his lady love would accept him or not.

Even may PK felt, there was no logic in their love story. but Charlotte proved through her actions that her love was not a joke, she was very serious about her love for PK.

The next part of the story will be uploaded very soon.

Fri, 18 Sep 2020 13:08:59 +0530
Charlotte von Schedvin PK loves story Part IV

Swami Madhava Chaitanya

There was no logic but Von Schedvin followed her heart, she went with PK to meet his father in Odisha where the couple received tribal blessings. She said later "I didn't think, I just followed my heart 100%" "There was no logic," she said. I met his father, brothers, and sister. I liked them and they liked me. It was like coming home. I believe in reincarnation, I felt very strongly—and still do—that I had lived in India before. We had a tribal ceremony. His elder brother went into his puja room and sat there meditating for some time. Then he came out with a broad smile and said, “Yes, this is the woman you’re going to get married to. Follow her footsteps.”

Von Schedvin, whose family came from Swedish nobility got doubt what to do? She knew it is quite unnatural for her to marry a poor man from the tribal scheduled cast. At the same time, she had realized the innocence of PK, she knew PK was not manipulating anything. He just followed his horoscope predictions and she too believed in the theory of incarnations. But she was still confused. PK understood her confusion, he invited her to visit the famous Konark Sun temple. Konark Sun Temple is a 13th-century CE Sun Temple at Konark about 35 kilometers northeast from Puri on the coastline of Odisha, India.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Konark Sun temple is a striking model of ancient artistry, the fluidity of ideas, and a pedagogic treasury. It is dedicated to the sun god, Surya. The first rays of the sun fall on the entrance of the temple. Much of the temple has fallen into rack and ruin but what remains still holds enough charm to captivate. An interpretation of a greater imagination, it has seen empires rise and fall, identities washed away, yet appealing to our sensorium even today.

Believed to have been built in the 13th century CE the temple was built by the King Narasimhadeva(I) hailing from the Eastern Ganga dynasty between 1238-1250 CE. The temple was commissioned by the king while Samantaraya Mahapatra was the one in charge of its construction. "Konark" means the sun and the four corners. The temple was called Black Pagoda attributing to its dark facade by the Europeans who used it for navigation for their ships. It is said that the temple could draw ships to the shore due to its magnetic powers.

The temple is known for its impressive Kalinga architecture that includes a depiction of a 100 ft. high chariot being pulled by horses and wheels carved out of a single stone. The monument portrays the imposing chariot of the sun god. Built of Khondalite rocks, the original temple had 230 ft. high sanctum which no longer exists, 128 ft. high audience hall, dance hall, dining hall which survives still. There are 24 intricately designed wheels, 12 ft. in diameter which are seen drawn by horses. These seven horses represent the week, the wheels stand for 12 months while the day-cycle is symbolized by the eight spokes in the wheels. And this whole depiction tells how the time is controlled by the sun – is the very illustration of the Surya in the Hindu mythology traveling from the east in his chariot escorted by his charioteer, Aruna. A few years back I got a golden opportunity to visit the marvelous Konark Sun temple; Words cannot describe the joy I felt when I saw the beautiful Konark Sun temple.

Charlotte Von Schedvin later said, "I became emotional when PK showed me the Konark sun temple. I had this image of the temple stone wheel framed in my student room back in London, but I had no idea where this place actually was. And here I was standing in front of it." Charlotte's mind calmed down, maybe the self-illuminated God sun gave her the right direction, she realized her Destiny. Charlotte's heart answered to her "this is your life partner". She lost all kinds of confusion and gave the green signal for their wedding. The two fell in love and returned to PK village. Later PK said "She wore a sari when she met my father for the first time. I still don't know how she managed. With blessings from my father and family, we got married according to tribal tradition". They both returned to Delhi after spending a few days in PK village.

Charlotte took the Indian name "Charulata" and their married life began in a one-room house in Lodhi Colony Barsati in New Delhi. After just below one month together, circumstances forced Charlotte to travel away from him. She had to return to her home Sweden. She asked PK to come along. However, PK was still a student and wanted to finish his studies. She said goodbye to him and started her return journey. PK promised that he would follow her to her home in the Swedish textile town of Boras. More than a year passed and the two kept in touch through letters. But the separation was painful, PK decided to go to Swedish town Boras to meet his wife.

The interesting journey of PK's Swedish textile town Boras will reveal in the next part of this story.

The next part of the story will upload very soon.

Fri, 18 Sep 2020 13:05:53 +0530
Charlotte von Schedvin PK loves story Part III

Swami Madhava Chaitanya,

Charlotte von Schedvin a 20-year-old traveler with "a longing for India." She had driven with friends from Sweden to India. 22 days in a minibus along the famous "Hippie Trail," a cultural highway that followed much of the Silk Road which the great Greek Emperor used to his invasion to India. Von Schedvin had a deep connection to India from her childhood, later Charlotte Von Schedvin said: "I had a longing since I was a child to go to India. When I was about 11, I had a teacher who showed us black and white films about India, like Elephant Boy. Later, I went to work in London, where I got in touch with many Indian people and with Indian culture. I went to a concert at Albert Hall with George Harrison and Great Indian Musician Ravi Shankar. I also went to see a tribal dance performance from Odisha, PK’s state".

Charlotte said: "We traveled all the way from Sweden to India and parked close to Connaught Place, where PK was making his portraits. It was dark and I saw a curly-haired little boy sitting there making portraits. I was immediately drawn to that spot. I walked up and said, “Can I have my portrait made?” It was a close, very warm feeling from the start, seeing him there with his curly hair, smiling face, and white teeth".

PK later remembered that incident like this: "I remember clearly: It was December 17, 1975. A woman with long beautiful blonde hair and blue eyes approached me. It was evening. When she appeared before my easel, I felt as though I didn’t have any weight. Words are not accurate enough to express such a feeling. Her eyes were so blue and big and round. I felt as if she was not looking at me, she was looking inside me, like an X-ray machine! I thought I must do justice to her beauty. But I couldn’t do it the first time. I was nervous, my hand was shaking. So I said, “Is it possible for you to come back tomorrow?" She agreed and went back. As a child, he remembered the horoscope his mother had given him, and the astrologer had predicted that he would marry a Taurean girl from a very far away land. For the first time that night, PK says he prayed to the elephant god Ganesh. He wanted Charlotte Von Schedvin to come back so he could ask if she was a Taurus. The next day PK eyes were on the street only, he was waiting for her arrival, and PK said later "When I saw her at the traffic lights, I got nervous in the stomach. I put on my easel "artist is sick".

He said he wasn’t able to complete her sketch on that day, he requested her to come again the next day. He said: "I need more time to copy your beauty. She admitted it. She ended up coming back three times and I did three portraits. Each time I asked her for 10 rupees, but she gave me 20. I said, “No! You are not supposed to give more because you are so beautiful and I never take double payment from a beautiful woman like you. Only from men with bald heads.”

PK said later: "Yes! After the second time, I felt she’s the one! She was from a faraway land. I asked her if she was born under the sign of Taurus. “Yes,” she said. Then I asked, “Are you an owner of a jungle?” She said, “Yes, I’m the owner of a forest.” “Do you play the flute?” “Yes, I love playing the flute and piano.” Yes! PK opened his heart before her. He said: “You’re going to be my wife.” “This is decided in the heavens,” PK said in broken English. “We were destined to meet.”

Charlotte said later: "I got so nervous. I didn’t understand at first. I was looking to the sky, holding PK hand and I said, “What is decided in the heavens?” PK said, “We are destined to meet and there are more things decided.” “How do you know that?” she asked. “If you don’t believe me,” PK said. “I can give you my horoscope. You will be my wife.” And said her to follow your heart 100%.

Charlotte said later: "I calmed him down a little bit. I didn’t say we’d get married. I said we’d go to his home village. I followed my heart.

Next part of the story will upload very soon

Fri, 18 Sep 2020 13:01:04 +0530
Charlotte Von Schedvin PK Love story Part II

Swami Madhava Chaitanya,

PK childhood was full of difficulties, untouchability was one of the serious troubles he faced in his childhood. He was forced to sit outside the classroom during the school period, would watch classmates wash if they came into contact with him, and had stones thrown at him when he approached the village temple. According to the priests, PK dirtied everything that was pure and holy.

Latter PK said: "The caste system in India is organized racism. At home, as a child, I didn’t feel it, but when I came to school I came into contact with my classmates. They all belonged to the Hindu religion which I belong to. There I felt I’m not the same as them. It’s like a skyscraper without a lift. You’re born on one floor and you die on the same floor. Bullying was accepted by the society under the Maharajas. But when I was born in independent India, I was supposed to be protected by the constitution law. But it didn’t work. British ruled India. My grandmother was allowed to sit inside the classroom whereas I had to sit outside in Independent India. I thought, “My God, it was better under the British!” Today, people are going back to the caste attitude, the old racism". And he said: "I don’t blame Indians. They are warm-hearted people. It’s the system that makes them behave like this".

One day PK was allowed to sit at the back of the classroom, but he has put a condition not to touch anyone, as they'd be "polluted." A British school inspector and his wife were coming to visit the school. After a royal welcome inspector gave his garland of flowers to a girl at the front. His wife walked all the way to the back and gave hers to PK."She touched his head and said: 'Your lovely curly hair!'" PK said later "I was happy, but at the same time I was crying. It was like a little light for me in the dark cave."

PK took the garland proudly home to his mother and said: "Mum, I'm in love with the school inspector's wife." His mother made him calm and also told him that his wife would be from a faraway land and born under the zodiac sign of Taurus, that she would be the owner of a jungle or forest, and that she would be a musician, playing the flute.

In India, it is common for the parents to call an astrologer when a newborn child comes to the planet. PK parents gave an assurance to him they would not force him in his marriage, they gave him full freedom to choose his partner. That was not very common in India at that time. Child marriage was a custom in most of the Indian villages. But PK parents were poor in the eyes of the upper-class society, but they were big in their hearts. After that incident, PK started to believe strongly in the prophecy, and later he got to know that everything is planned on this planet. His life experience proved that.

PK attended Mahendra High School, Athmallik Village, and later joined Visva-Bharati University to study art. Despite his admittance to the art school, it became impossible for him to pay for tuition, so he had to return home. He later joined the Government College of Art and Crafts, Khallikote to study art. To satisfy his quest for the arts he joined the College of Art, Delhi to study Fine Arts in 1971.

Dr. PK was a born gifted artist. Later he shared: "I was told when I was born that I would be working with colors and art. I was quick in drawing things. I eventually got a scholarship from the Odisha Government to start to attend the College of Art which was started by the British in 1942.

PK started studying fine arts on a scholarship. It was difficult because most of the time the scholarship amount didn't reach him and finding a job was difficult due to discrimination he'd face as a Dalit. To get an extra amount for living Dr. PK became a street artist. PK found a place to sit in the street of Connaught place, New Delhi. It was a hot tourist spot in the capital city of India. He had made a name for himself as a sketch artist and enjoyed a good reputation in the local area. But things were not so easy for PK. He was not supposed to draw pictures in the street, so police used to take him down to the station. It was actually quite nice for him. PK used to sleep there and they used to give him food. He said later he was like a vagabond living between hope and despair. But during three years PK learned the lessons of life and started to think in a different way. PK started to take life in a positive way. And very soon PK got another turning point in life.

But that all changed when PK was at a procession one day. It was for Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman cosmonaut from the USSR. Valentina Tereshkova was invited to India by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. PK saw her one day in the road, she was in her security coverage, a huge crowd gathered to see her, but somehow, PK managed to sneak through the crowd and came face to face with her. He asked her permission to make a sketch of her. Valentina Tereshkova gave permission with a smile, PK quickly made a sketch of her and presented it to her. She liked that sketch very much and she smiled at PK, He was invited to the Parliamentary Club by Valentina Tereshkova and the Indo-Soviet Society. PK ended up doing 10 portraits of Valentina and appeared on TV. Overnight PK became famous in Delhi. The next day all newspapers went ablaze with headlines like "Woman from Space meets a Jungle man.” PK added: "This game gave me the opportunity to make a portrait of Indira Gandhi. After that authorities changed the attitude and gave permission to PK to sit under the fountain of Connaught Place. He was given the opportunity to draw tourists visiting the place. After that PK was established as a sketch artist and started to earn a livelihood from that.

What had happened so far was just the beginning of that big event that would change the whole life of PK. Once again another turning point came to PK's life. On 17th December 1975, he met a girl from Sweden called Charlotte von

Next part of this story will upload very soon

Fri, 18 Sep 2020 12:58:28 +0530
Charlotte Von Schedvin PK Love story Part I

Swami Madhava Chaitanya,

An “Untouchable” From India Fell in Love with an Aristocrat and Proved to the Entire World That Love Has No Boundaries.

True love knows no bounds and this is exactly the story of a poor man from India, Dr. Pradyumna Kumar Mahanandia (fondly known as PK), and Charlotte Von Schedvin, a royal from Sweden.

It is not a movie love story, it is a real love story that happened recently. This is a remarkable true story of how love and courage led PK to overcome extreme poverty, caste prejudice, and adversity – as well as a 7,000-mile, adventure-filled journey across continents and cultures – to be with the woman he loved.

The life story of Dr. PK. Mahanandia and how he came over the hardships in life with determination will inspire us. Pradyumna Kumar Mahanandia, usually referred to as Dr. P. K. Mahanandia or PK was born in 1949 in an Odia-speaking Dalit weaver family in the village of Kandhapada of the Athmallik sub-division in the district of Angul, India's northeastern state Odisha. His village was in the bank of one of the largest Rivers In India the Mahanadi river. PK was born in a place between the river and the mountains. Dalit is a very lower cast in the Hindu religion. The meaning of Dalit id "broken/scattered" in Sanskrit and Hindi. It is a term used for people belonging to castes in India who have been subjected to untouchability.

PK did not get justice in his own country and did not get justice from his own religion. He was born in a poor family, the poverty gave him a lot of pain in his life. It was not only poverty that PK faced, but it was also the racial untouchability of his religion that put him to the most severe test. PK faced both of those with dignity; it was three foreign women who helped PK win the battle of life, one of whom became PK’s life partner. Equality in human beings still exists as a mere concept. Poor and rich, black and white, upper cast and lower cast, east, and west, discrimination in human society can be found in every section. In my personal experience, this discrimination has deep roots in Indian society. Independent Indian constitution is promising equality for all Indians, but the reality is different. I think PK life story will make us think about the cruel discrimination.

Indian north east State Odisha also formerly known as Orissa, has a great heritage in ancient Indian history. Puri Jagannath Temple and Konark Sun temple are world-famous. Odisha was a very great cultural economic and military power in ancient times. Odisha has a great influence on Buddhist religion history too. The ancient name of this state is Kalinga, The ancient kingdom of Kalinga was invaded by the Mauryan emperor Ashoka (which was again won back from him by king Kharavela in 261 BCE ) resulting in the Kalinga War(ended c. 265 BCE). The empire was the largest political entity that had existed in the Indian subcontinent, extending for over 5 million square kilometers (1.9 million square miles) at its zenith under Ashoka. Kalinga war changed Emperor Asoka's life forever. The bloodshed of this war is said to have prompted Ashoka to adopt Buddhism. Ashoka had seen the bloodshed and felt that he was the cause of the destruction. The whole area of Kalinga was plundered and destroyed, hundreds of thousands of people dead on both sides. Asoka’s response to the Kalinga War is recorded in the Edicts of Ashoka. The Kalinga War prompted Ashoka, already a non-engaged Buddhist, to devote the rest of his life to ahimsa (non-violence) and to dharma-Vijaya (victory through dharma). Following the conquest of Kalinga, Ashoka ended the military expansion of the empire and began an era of more than 40 years of relative peace, harmony, and prosperity, Emperor Asoka was the main reason why Buddhism spread over the whole Indian continent and other parts of the world.

Emperor Ashoka's great grandfather and founder of Maurya emperor Chandragupta Maurya was one of the Great emperors in modern Indian history. Chandra Gupta Maurya's life was influenced by a western beautiful princess Helen. Chandragupta Maurya defeated Seleukos Nikator the commander in chief of Alexander the great and the ruling Emperor of Persia in 305 B.C. It was a political alliance in which Helena the daughter of Seleukos Nikator and Macedonian Princess married Chandragupta Maurya, the Emperor of India and the Mauryan Empire. It is believed that Chandragupta waged a war against Seleukos Nikator so that he could marry Helena. The story goes that one day Chandragupta was going with his guards on a horse when he saw Helena and her friends playing near a river. Chandragupta was attracted to this young lady and fell in love with her.

Though the father of Helena was against the marriage as Chandragupta was not a Greek yet Helena was attracted to Chandragupta and advised her father to arrange her wedding to him. Helena must have been in her 15-17 years when she was married off to Chandragupta Maurya who was 40 years then. Helena was the daughter of Seleukos and his Persian wife.

Helena became a quiet Indian after marriage to Chandragupta Maurya. She learned Sanskrit and Classical Indian music. She became his chief consort and Empress of the Mauryan Empire. I hope to write the love story of great Greek beauty princess Helen and the great Indian Emperor Chandragupta Maurya very soon,

There is another beautiful love story between east and west, an Indian very common man PK loved a very rich Swedish girl Von Schedvin and they got married in an unimaginable way.

I will reveal the beautiful love story in upcoming articles.

Next part of this life inspirational story will upload soon

Fri, 18 Sep 2020 12:31:53 +0530
Charlotte Von Schedvin PK Love story Part I

By Swami Madhava Chaitanya,

An “Untouchable” From India Fell in Love with an Aristocrat and Proved to the Entire World That Love Has No Boundaries.

True love knows no bounds and this is exactly the story of a poor man from India, Dr. Pradyumna Kumar Mahanandia (fondly known as PK), and Charlotte Von Schedvin, a royal from Sweden.

It is not a movie love story, it is a real love story that happened recently. This is a remarkable true story of how love and courage led PK to overcome extreme poverty, caste prejudice, and adversity – as well as a 7,000-mile, adventure-filled journey across continents and cultures – to be with the woman he loved.

The life story of Dr. PK. Mahanandia and how he came over the hardships in life with determination will inspire us. Pradyumna Kumar Mahanandia, usually referred to as Dr. P. K. Mahanandia or PK was born in 1949 in an Odia-speaking Dalit weaver family in the village of Kandhapada of the Athmallik sub-division in the district of Angul, India's northeastern state Odisha. His village was in the bank of one of the largest Rivers In India the Mahanadi river. PK was born in a place between the river and the mountains. Dalit is a very lower cast in the Hindu religion. The meaning of Dalit id "broken/scattered" in Sanskrit and Hindi. It is a term used for people belonging to castes in India who have been subjected to untouchability.

PK did not get justice in his own country and did not get justice from his own religion. He was born in a poor family, the poverty gave him a lot of pain in his life. It was not only poverty that PK faced, but it was also the racial untouchability of his religion that put him to the most severe test. PK faced both of those with dignity; it was three foreign women who helped PK win the battle of life, one of whom became PK’s life partner. Equality in human beings still exists as a mere concept. Poor and rich, black and white, upper cast and lower cast, east, and west, discrimination in human society can be found in every section. In my personal experience, this discrimination has deep roots in Indian society. Independent Indian constitution is promising equality for all Indians, but the reality is different. I think PK life story will make us think about the cruel discrimination.

Indian north east State Odisha also formerly known as Orissa, has a great heritage in ancient Indian history. Puri Jagannath Temple and Konark Sun temple are world-famous. Odisha was a very great cultural economic and military power in ancient times. Odisha has a great influence on Buddhist religion history too. The ancient name of this state is Kalinga, The ancient kingdom of Kalinga was invaded by the Mauryan emperor Ashoka (which was again won back from him by king Kharavela in 261 BCE ) resulting in the Kalinga War(ended c. 265 BCE). The empire was the largest political entity that had existed in the Indian subcontinent, extending for over 5 million square kilometers (1.9 million square miles) at its zenith under Ashoka. Kalinga war changed Emperor Asoka's life forever. The bloodshed of this war is said to have prompted Ashoka to adopt Buddhism. Ashoka had seen the bloodshed and felt that he was the cause of the destruction. The whole area of Kalinga was plundered and destroyed, hundreds of thousands of people dead on both sides. Asoka’s response to the Kalinga War is recorded in the Edicts of Ashoka. The Kalinga War prompted Ashoka, already a non-engaged Buddhist, to devote the rest of his life to ahimsa (non-violence) and to dharma-Vijaya (victory through dharma). Following the conquest of Kalinga, Ashoka ended the military expansion of the empire and began an era of more than 40 years of relative peace, harmony, and prosperity, Emperor Asoka was the main reason why Buddhism spread over the whole Indian continent and other parts of the world.

Emperor Ashoka's great grandfather and founder of Maurya emperor Chandragupta Maurya was one of the Great emperors in modern Indian history. Chandra Gupta Maurya's life was influenced by a western beautiful princess Helen. Chandragupta Maurya defeated Seleukos Nikator the commander in chief of Alexander the great and the ruling Emperor of Persia in 305 B.C. It was a political alliance in which Helena the daughter of Seleukos Nikator and Macedonian Princess married Chandragupta Maurya, the Emperor of India and the Mauryan Empire. It is believed that Chandragupta waged a war against Seleukos Nikator so that he could marry Helena. The story goes that one day Chandragupta was going with his guards on a horse when he saw Helena and her friends playing near a river. Chandragupta was attracted to this young lady and fell in love with her.

Though the father of Helena was against the marriage as Chandragupta was not a Greek yet Helena was attracted to Chandragupta and advised her father to arrange her wedding to him. Helena must have been in her 15-17 years when she was married off to Chandragupta Maurya who was 40 years then. Helena was the daughter of Seleukos and his Persian wife.

Helena became a quiet Indian after marriage to Chandragupta Maurya. She learned Sanskrit and Classical Indian music. She became his chief consort and Empress of the Mauryan Empire. I hope to write the love story of great Greek beauty princess Helen and the great Indian Emperor Chandragupta Maurya very soon,

There is another beautiful love story between east and west, an Indian very common man PK loved a very rich Swedish girl Von Schedvin and they got married in an unimaginable way.

I will reveal the beautiful love story in upcoming articles.

Next part of this life inspirational story will upload soon

Fri, 18 Sep 2020 12:29:14 +0530
BSP to contest Assembly bypolls for first time in UP

Lucknow, Sep 18

The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has decided to put up candidates in all eight Assembly seats where bypolls are to be held.

The BSP, earlier, had never contested by-elections, leaving the field clear for other remaining parties.

"The decision was taken in view of the 2022 Assembly elections. The party wants to mobilise its cadres through the by-elections and also reach out to its voters. Party leaders are shortlisting candidates for each of the eight Assembly segments and will announce them after getting approval of the party president," said a party functionary.

The BSP, two days ago, had announced the name of Kuldeep Sankhwar as the party candidate for the Ghatampur (Kanpur) Assembly seat.

"Behenji (Mayawati) is continuously monitoring the situation in each constituency and is taking feedback from party workers. She may be in Delhi but she is clued in to what is happening at the ground level," the functionary said.

Of the eight Assembly seats going to bypoll, six seats -- Naugawan, Deoria, Ghatampur, Bulandshahar, Tundla and Bangaramu -- were won by the BJP in the 2017 Assembly polls while two constituencies -- Malahani and Suar (Rampur) -- were won by the Samajwadi Party.


Fri, 18 Sep 2020 11:39:59 +0530
Punjab farmer tries to commit suicide over Farm Bills

Chandigarh, Sep 18

A day after the Lok Sabha passed two contentious agriculture Bills, despite the opposition by BJP's oldest ally Shiromani Akali Dal terming it as an "anti-farmer" move, a protesting farmer in Punjab on Friday tried to commit suicide by consuming poisonous substance.

The farmer tried to commit suicide at a protest site in Badal village, the hometown of the Badals, in Muktsar district.

Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan) state secretary Shingara Singh Mann said farmer Pritam Singh, 60, was disturbed over the passing of the agriculture Bills in the Lok Sabha.

The farmer feared that the Bills would be against the farmers.

The condition of the farmer is stated to be serious.

The farmers have been staging a protest at the Badal village just outside the residence of former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal against the Bills brought by the Central government.

Akali Dal's lone minister in the Narendra Modi government, Harsimrat Kaur Badal, resigned from the Union Cabinet on Thursday to protest the Farm bills.

While announcing the decision to withdraw the minister from the Union Cabinet, SAD President Sukhbir Badal said the party would continue to support the government and the BJP, but will oppose the anti-farmer policies.

He said the three agriculture related Bills in the Lok Sabha would sound the death knell for 20 lakh farmers, three lakh 'mandi' labourers, 30 lakh farm labourers and 30,000 'arhatiyas', besides destroying the food grain procurement system established over a period of 50 years.

Earlier, warning that enacting laws on the ordinances issued by the Centre vis-a-vis farmers would lead to unrest in Punjab, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had led a Congress delegation to Governor V.P. Singh Badnore, seeking his intervention for non-pursuance of the three agriculture-related Bills in Parliament.

The Chief Minister submitted a memorandum to the Governor and told him that the Congress felt that any move to "tinker with the present procurement system, and that too in the times of a nationwide crisis, may deepen social unrest among Punjab farmers".





Fri, 18 Sep 2020 11:02:31 +0530
Make in India Centre enhances approval free limits for FDI in defence

New Delhi, Sep 18

The Centre has enhanced the FDI limit for defence sector by allowing up to 74 per cent capital via automatic route.

Government approval will be required for in-take of foreign capital beyond 74 per cent with a stipulation that the foreign capital "is likely to result in access to modern technology or for other reasons to be recorded".

According to the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), the decision will take effect from the date of FEMA (Foreign Exchange Management Act) notification.

"FDI up to 74 per cent under automatic route shall be permitted for companies seeking new industrial licenses," DPIIT said in a press note.

"Infusion of fresh foreign investment up to 49 per cent, in a company not seeking industrial license or which already has government approval for FDI in Defence, shall require mandatory submission of a declaration with the Ministry of Defence in case change in equity or shareholding pattern or transfer of stake by existing investor to new foreign investor for FDI up to 49 per cent within 30 days of such change."

"Proposals for raising FDI beyond 49 per cent from such companies will require government approval."

The development assumes significance as the Centre is trying to boost domestic defence sector manufacturing.

At present, India is considered to be one of the largest weapons importers in the world.






Fri, 18 Sep 2020 10:58:31 +0530
Google adds Search trends symptoms data to Covid 19 repository

San Francisco, In an effort to help researchers find useful health data to fight new coronavirus, Google has added its Search Trends symptoms dataset, which aggregates anonymised search trends for over 400 symptoms, to its Covid-19 Open Data repository.

This will help researchers better understand the spread of Covid-19 and its potential secondary health impacts.

Lack of access to useful high-quality data has posed a significant challenge, and much of the publicly available data is scattered, incomplete, or compiled in many different formats.

"To help researchers spend more of their time understanding the disease instead of wrangling data, we've developed a set of tools and processes to make it simpler for researchers to discover and work with normalized high-quality public datasets," Katherine Chou, Director of Product Management, Google Health said on Thursday.

The Covid-19 Open Data repository is a comprehensive, open-source resource of epidemiological data and related variables like economic indicators or population statistics from over 50 countries.

Each data source contains information on its origin, and how it's processed so that researchers can confirm its validity and reliability.

The Covid-19 models need to account for uncertainty in order for their predictions to be reliable and useful.

"To help address this challenge, we're providing researchers examples of how to implement bespoke epidemiological models using TensorFlow Probability (TFP), a library for building probabilistic models that can measure confidence in their own predictions," Google informed.

With TFP, researchers can use a range of data sources with different granularities, properties, or confidence levels, and factor that uncertainty into the overall prediction models.

This could be particularly useful in fine-tuning the increasingly complex models that epidemiologists are using to understand the spread of Covid-19, particularly in gaining city or county-level insights when only state or national-level datasets exist.

Google researchers have also developed an open-source agent-based simulator that utilises real-world data to simulate populations to help public health organisations fine tune their exposure notification parameters.

The Covid-19 Open Data repository also includes two Google datasets developed to help researchers study the impact of the disease in a privacy-preserving manner.

Fri, 18 Sep 2020 09:50:27 +0530
Ranveer Singh s efforts to make Indian Sign Language an official language is on

Mumbai,  India's deaf community has lauded the efforts of actor Ranveer Singh to make Indian Sign Language an official language.

Ranveer has been urging authorities to consider and declare Indian Sign Language (ISL) as the 23rd official language of India. He recently signed a petition aimed at furthering awareness for the cause.

His independent record label, IncInk, which he has formed with Navzar Eranee, also released sign language music videos. Twenty-five members from the deaf community in India appreciated him by putting out a thank-you video for him.

"We were very happy to hear the good news about Ranveer Singh, who is a famous Bollywood actor, to support ISL to be recognised as the 23rd official language of India. We are so glad that he supports this," the members stated.

"Indian sign language is a beautiful language. We want to thank Ranveer for showing support to the deaf community," they added.

An overwhelmed Ranveer said that his independent music label was created to encourage inclusivity.

Ranveer said: "IncInk was created as a platform to encourage inclusivity through art and we are deeply committed towards making Indian Sign Language (ISL) become the 23rd official language of India."

He added: "This progressive step will create a ripple effect in providing equal access across all areas, from education to employment to entertainment to more than 10 million deaf people in India."

Fri, 18 Sep 2020 09:19:52 +0530
IIM Udaipur Incubation Centre starts accelerator programme

Jaipur, IIM Udaipur's Incubation Center started 'Launch-n-Zoom 3.0, programme' a 3-month accelerator cohort programme, to provide startups with the resources and support they need to grow quickly, test the market, and become viable.

Startups who have their prototype/MVP ready and are in the process of scaling/marketing their products in the Education, Healthcare, and Fintech Sector stands eligible for this programme.

A small number of high potential startups will be selected to take part in the 12-week program beginning from November 1. Through three-months of interactive and intensive learning, mentoring, and networking, startups will undergo a lot of DIY exercises to develop and refine the product/service offerings. At the end of these three months, selected startups shall be very well prepared and be ready to pitch their validated growth story to investors and industry participants as part of demo day.

The programme shall also provide up to Rs 1 lakh Rapid Prototyping Support to selected startups, and $10,000 Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud credits to all participating startups for free.

Kannan Soundararajan, CEO, IIM Udaipur Incubation Centre said, "The third edition of Launch-n-Zoom will deep dive into Education, Healthcare and Fintech Sector, building a strong and effective network with other leaders and entrepreneurs in the industry to enable meaningful partnerships with startups. I offer my heartiest congratulations and warmly invite young leaders to this cohort."

Earlier this year, IIM Udaipur's Incubation Center hosted its second successful cohort with 27 startups, and its first cohort in 2019 where 18 startups were selected out of 275 applicants following a thorough process of selection.

"Through Launch-n-Zoom 2.0, we have gained a great network of both industry experts and other fantastic startups. The programme enabled a collaborative environment and contributed to our future wins," said Vignesh MS, Director at Statlogic.

The accelerator programme is going to take place in a virtual mode due to the current COVID-19 situation.

Fri, 18 Sep 2020 09:16:33 +0530
Farm bills govt s conspiracy to defeat Green Revolution Congress

New Delhi,  Even as the Lok Sabha passed two of the contentious agriculture reforms bill, the Congress on Thursday upped its ante against the Narendra Modi government over the issue, terming it a conspiracy to defeat the Green Revolution.

Slamming the government, Congress leader Gaurav Gogoi said: "This government has been eyeing, how they can take the farmers' land to benefit their capitalist friends, whether is the Land Acquisition Act, whether in the industrial system through weakening the labour courts and now this three-pronged attack on the Indian agricultural system through the two bills on farming - one related to APMC, the other one is related to contract farming and the third bill which is on essential commodities... a three-pronged attack on the Indian farmers."

Noting the government says that this is a boon for farmers, he said: "Are farmers of India foolish that they don't understand the bill. If this bill was in the benefit of Indian farmers, why are the farmers are out on the streets? Why are the farmers in Haryana being beaten by the police?"

Targeting the government, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said the Modi government is akin to Covid-19 pandemic as it is attacking lives and livelihoods of farmers.

"It is attacking farmers and farm labourers and was bartering agriculture at the doorsteps of crony capitalists," he said.

"The draconian laws on agriculture will be a death knell for the future of farming in India," he said, alleging that the BJP-led government is hell-bent upon destroying the farmer and was bartering the agriculture at the altar of a handful of crony capitalists.

Surjewala also claimed that 62 crore farmers and farm labourers have been agitating across India and over 250 farmers organisations are sitting on protest, on hunger strikes and are demonstrating across the length and breadth of India.

He accused the government of dictatorially subverting the "voice of farmers" representatives inside the Parliament and has unleashed a draconian "lathi-danda regime" on protesting farming community.

"The farmers and labourers will never forget the conspiracy of the Modi government to convert the disaster confronting the farmers into an opportunity for the capitalists under the garb of pandemic. The next generations of BJP will have to face the consequences of these anti-farmer misdeeds of the government," Surjewala said.

Meanwhile, Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said that the interest of farmers and farm labourers cannot be subjugated and be subservient to the "draconian majority" of the BJP in Parliament.

"The Congress shall continue to take on the dark design of a draconian, dictatorial and anti-farmer Modi government, both inside and outside the Parliament... We shall continue to voice the pain and suffering of teeming millions," he said.

The Congress, along with many other opposition parties as well as NDA constituent Akali Dal, had been opposing the three farm Bills which were earlier brought in as Ordinances. All three - the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 and Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 - have been passed by the Lok Sabha.


Fri, 18 Sep 2020 09:08:53 +0530
Election poll shows Biden leads Trump 45 40 in Arizona

Washington,  An influential election projection agency shifted the US presidential race in the state of Arizona toward Democratic nominee Joe Biden, as its latest poll found the former vice president led President Donald Trump by 5 percentage points in the state.

A poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) and Cook Political Report released on Thursday showed Biden led Trump 45-40 per cent, larger than the Democrat's lead over the Republican incumbent in other battleground states like Florida and North Carolina, in both of which the edges were within the margins of error, Xinhua news agency reported.

Another troubling sign for Trump in Arizona, which he won by a narrow 3.5-point advantage over Hillary Clinton in 2016, is that only about 73 per cent of Republicans said they will definitely vote for the president in November, with another 9 per cent saying they are probably or definitely casting their ballot for Biden, the KFF-Cook poll showed.

Furthermore, support for Trump from Arizona's Latino community was also lagging - 17 per cent compared to Biden's 55 per cent among the group.

"The new data in this poll, combined with other recent polling in the state, all find Arizona slipping away from Trump," Cook's elections analyst Amy Walter said. "We are moving it from Toss Up to Lean Democrat."

The KFF-Cook poll surveyed 1,298 registered voters in Arizona between August 29 and September 13. It has a margin of sampling error of 3 percentage points.

US media projected an easier path for Biden toward winning the 270 Electoral College votes needed to claim victory in the election if he carries Arizona. Vice President Mike Pence told The Hill earlier this week that Arizona is "of great importance" for the Trump-Pence team, and that they will continue to campaign there.

Fri, 18 Sep 2020 09:04:38 +0530
Governor Koshyari greets Prime Minister Modi on birthday

MUMBAI: The Governor of Maharashtra and Goa Bhagat Singh Koshyari has greeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the latter’s 70th birthday today.


Wishing Prime Minister Modi a long and healthy life, the Governor has expressed the hope that India will scale newer heights under his able leadership. 

Thu, 17 Sep 2020 14:37:27 +0530
New 4 5mn Walmart Foundation grants to empower farmers in India

New Delhi, Sep 17

The Walmart Foundation on Thursday announced two new grants worth $4.5 million to help smallholder farmers earn more from improved output and fair market access.

The grants are part of a commitment made in September 2018 to invest $25 million (nearly Rs 180 crore) over five years in improving farmer livelihoods in India.

With these grants, the Walmart Foundation has invested $15 million with eight non-government organisations (NGOs) in the country, supporting programmes designed to impact more than 140,000 farmers, including nearly 80,000 women farmers, to date.

"The global Covid-19 pandemic has increased pressure on India's farmers, especially women farmers shouldering extra responsibilities in the household while seeing their incomes diminish overnight," said Kathleen McLaughlin, president of Walmart Foundation and executive vice president and chief sustainability officer of Walmart.

"We at the Walmart Foundation and our grantee partners are focused on supporting farmers to increase their resilience and sustainability for a better future".

The new funding would allow non-profits Tanager and PRADAN to further scale their efforts to help farmers. Both grantees will focus on increasing opportunities for women farmers via farmer producer organisations (FPOs).

"There is huge potential for innovative technology solutions to help farmers in India improve productivity and yield, access valuable market information and succeed as part of a more efficient and transparent supply chain,:" said Kalyan Krishnamurthy, Flipkart Group chief executive officer and a member of the Walmart Foundation Board of Directors.

In the latest round, non-profit organisation Tanager will receive more than $2.6 million to extend its successful 'Farmer Market Readiness' (FMP) programme and help farmers in Andhra Pradesh further expand their knowledge, resources and reach.

The phase 2 of the programme will focus on strengthening the sustainability of 13 FPOs, in order to help more than 15,000 farmers, including more than 5,600 women farmers, increase their productivity and profitability.

Delhi-based non-profit Professional Assistance for Development Action (PRADAN) will use its Walmart Foundation grant of $1.9 million to launch its Livelihood Enhancement through Market Access and Women Empowerment (LEAP) programme in West Bengal, Odisha and Jharkhand.

The LEAP programme is expected to reach out to 45,000 women farmers directly, benefiting a population of about 225,000 people.






Thu, 17 Sep 2020 12:18:15 +0530
India past 51L with over 97K new cases above 1 000 Covid deaths

New Delhi, Sep 17

With a massive single day spike of 97,894 new cases and 1,132 deaths in the last 24 hours, India's Covid-19 tally on Thursday crossed the 51-lakh mark with total number of cases reaching to 51,18,253.

Of the total cases so far, 10,09,976 are active, while around 40,25,080 have recovered from the deadly virus and 83,198 have died due to the pandemic, the data released by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said.

Maharashtra remained the worst hit state with 2,97,506 active cases of coronavirus followed by Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Delhi cases.

According to the data released by the MoHFW, the fatality rate has reached to 1.63 per cent while the recovery rate has jumped to 78.64 per cent.

As per the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), 6,05,65,728 samples were tested up to September 16 for Covid-19. Of these, 11,36,613 samples were tested in the last 24 hours.

India remains the second worst hit nation after the US.






Thu, 17 Sep 2020 12:15:21 +0530
TPCI forms food sectoral committees to tap new markets attract investment

New Delhi, Sep 17

Exporters' industry body Trade Promotion Council of India (TPCI) has constituted three committees focusing on ‘Food & Beverages, Food Processing Technology and Chemical and Allied Products.

The exporters' body said the committees will give handholding to the industry which will act as a ‘think tank', submitting its suggestions and recommendations to the government for policies to boost exports.

In terms of objectives, these committees will work towards enabling the industry to tap new markets and attract investments.

"The genesis for constituting this F&B Committee was primarily based on making our trade promotion activity more robust, so as to include the industry players in the process of promoting bilateral or multilateral trade," said Laxman Singh Rathore, President, International Business, Ramdev Food Products.

He was elected the Chairman of the sector specific committee on food and beverages.

"The purpose was to ensure exporters' inputs are made integral to the policies and processes for growing export as one of the key stakeholders - in drawing up the action plans and trade agreements," he said.









Thu, 17 Sep 2020 12:13:38 +0530
KL Rahul announces new clothing collection KLR edit

New Delhi, Sep 17

Indian cricketer KL Rahul, who is currently in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), recently announced his latest collection 'KLR edit' under his brand Gully Live Fest, which is a Mumbai-based street wear clothing brand.

Sharing a series of posts on social media, Rahul wrote, "The past few months have been different in so many ways for us all. Life without cricket was hard, but time away from the sport I love had me exploring my interests outside of it."

"I've always been interested in fashion, and the luxury of time has allowed me to create something I've wanted to do for a really long time. Gully Gang, you guys have been growing with me for the past few years, and I can't wait to share this with you. Presenting, the KL edit, by Gully Live Fest. Designed by me, specifically for you (and me). Stay tuned for more in the coming days".

Talking about his new collection, the 28-year-old said, "Fashion is an important part of my life. Clothes define our personality but I also believe that comfort should be our first priority. So for the KLR edit, I have designed clothes that are comfortable, sporty and stylish. It is a collection that is very close to my heart."

Rahul will be leading Kings XI Punjab in their aim for the first IPL title. The Punjab-based franchise will begin their tournament campaign against Delhi Capitals on Sunday in Dubai.







Thu, 17 Sep 2020 12:11:24 +0530
Villagers build bridge for SSB troops near UP Nepal border

Pilibhit, Sep 17

 A group of villagers in Pilibhit have built a bamboo bridge for the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) troopers, about 200 metres from the Uttar Pradesh-Nepal border.

The 25-metre-long and 1.2-metre-wide bamboo bridge on a deep-water channel has been built by the Bamanpur Bhagirath village head, Gurdev Singh, with assistance from the locals.

Ajay Kumar, Commandant, SSB's 49th Battalion, said: "A bridge was urgently needed for the frequent, prompt and unhindered movement of SSB patrolling pickets, especially during the night.

"The bridge will assist us in keeping an eye on any encroachment from the Nepalese side into the Indian territory as was reported in June this year."

He added that his Nepalese counterpart from the Armed Police Force (APF) had given consent for the construction before the work started.

The construction of the bridge was initiated on September 10 and it was completed in just five days at a cost of merely Rs 50,000 on the water channel known as Sutia drain.

As the village panchayat had no provision for the construction, the locals were encouraged to contribute.

The money was contributed by villagers. The bridge holds importance as it provides a vantage point to the troopers patrolling the border, and particularly after a row over the construction of a road between pillars 38 and 39 by the Nepalese side.

The road construction work was, however, halted after Indian authorities took up the matter with their Nepalese counterparts, but the SSB is keeping a tight vigil to ensure the construction work does not resume in any manner.

"The road construction work was suspended till the time joint survey teams of the two countries demarcate the territories. Till then, we have to ensure that no violation of the status quo takes place. Thus, the bamboo bridge will prove advantageous to us in serving our objective," said Kumar.

Puranpur block development officer Neeraj Dube said: "The bridge was built by village head Gurdev Singh for the SSB's 49th Battalion, but it would also facilitate village farmers to have easy access to their farms - around 75 to 80 acres - situated close to the porous border on the other side of the drain."








Thu, 17 Sep 2020 12:08:50 +0530
UP Police arrests 3 seize over 30 kg charas

Muzaffarnagar (Uttar Pradesh), Sep 17

The Muzaffarnagar Police have busted an international drug trafficking racket with the arrest of three men from Muzaffarnagar's Budhana town.

The accused have been identified as Zahir, Sajan Sharma, both natives of Bihar, and Islam, a resident of Budhana. They were arrested on the intervening night of Tuesday/Wednesday and 30.5 kg of charas, worth Rs seven lakh, was seized from their possession, police said.

Superintendent of Police (rural) Nepal Singh told reporters that the three men were intercepted by a police team during a checking and drugs were seized from them.

During interrogation, it was found that the accused used to supply drugs, which were smuggled in from Nepal, in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Delhi.

A case under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act has been registered against the accused, the police said.






Thu, 17 Sep 2020 12:05:27 +0530
Queues grow longer at corona testing centres in Agra

Agra, Sep 17

Lack of adequate Covid-19 testing facilities is causing an avoidable delay in the treatment of patients even as queues continue to lengthen at the district hospital and the S. N.Medical College for sample collection centres.

"People have to wait for hours for their turn, fill up forms and then keep returning for reports which also is a time-consuming exercise," family members of patients said at the sample collection centre in the district hospital.

Many want the private hospitals to be allowed to do the testing. "If the government centres cannot cope with the sudden surge, they should allow private intervention," say the sufferers.

The testing facilities in the private laboratories have been suspended. Treatment of patients for the non-Covid problems cannot begin without a report from the government testing centres. This is causing a lot of resentment among the locals.

In the past 24 hours, Agra reported 110 fresh cases. The total now is 4,377 Covid-19 cases. So far 3,448 have recovered, says District Magistrate P. N.Singh. The number of active cases is 813.

With several staffers testing positive, the Agra Municipal Corporation office is being thoroughly sanitised. This has affected attendance. The Civil Court will remain closed for three days for sanitation.

The spurt in critical cases in the past few days has necessitated an increase in the number of beds in the Covid ward. The S. N.Medical College has added 34 beds in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

More than 225 medical teams of the health department have been put on the job to provide counselling and treatment in various localities.






Thu, 17 Sep 2020 12:03:14 +0530
A new frontier in chemical recycling

New Delhi, Sep 17

As much as 73 percent of the clothing we produce is sent to landfill or is incinerated; and in of all new clothing made, less than 1 percent of material used comes from recycled sources.

Fashion for Good recently launched the Full Circle Textiles Project: Scaling Innovations in Cellulosic Recycling, to address this issue.

Focusing on cellulosic fibres, the Project aims to validate and eventually scale promising technologies in chemical recycling from a select group of innovators. Global organisations Laudes Foundation, Birla Cellulose, Kering, PVH Corp. and Target have joined the project, to explore the disruptive solutions, with the goal of creating new fibres and garments from used clothing and ultimately drive industry-wide adoption.

The project aims to investigate economically viable and scalable solutions for cellulosic chemical recycling to enable a closed loop system converting textile waste - of cotton and cotton-blend materials, to produce new man-made cellulosic fibres.

"A bold approach is needed to identify and scale innovations that drive sustainable change in the fashion industry. The unique, first-of-its-kind structure of this committed, multi-stakeholder consortium, addresses some of the key barriers to scaling innovation, setting the precedent for all industry players with ambitions for disruptive innovation to follow," Katrin Ley, Managing Director, Fashion for Good said in a statement.

Over an 18-month period, project partners will collaborate with innovators, Evrnu, Infinited Fiber Company, Phoenxt, Renewcell and Tyton BioSciences, to validate the potential of their technologies in this still nascent market. The recycled content produced by four of these innovators will be converted at Birla Cellulose's state of the art pilot plants to produce high quality cellulosic fibres. From there, fibres will move through the project partners supply chains to be manufactured into garments. Given that Infinited Fiber Company produces industry-ready fibre through their process, their fibre will be delivered directly to the project partner's supply chains for garment production. The Project will provide an assessment of the innovator's environmental impact, technologies, recycled output and subsequent garments. These results along with the Project key learnings should determine how best to support and scale these promising solutions.

"The need of the hour is to co-create sustainable solutions for the fashion industry that can be scaled rapidly and economically," said Dilip Gaur, Business Director, Birla Cellulose, Aditya Birla Group.








Thu, 17 Sep 2020 12:01:02 +0530
Politics by blackmail Eulalie syndrome in Indian public life

Sep 17,

If the Gandhi trio stirred themselves into action as a serious opposition, is there a possibility that they would end up in jail? If they were spared despite this affront, it would imply that the Modi outfit has come to the conclusion that the Gandhis are now totally harmless.

Requirements of the media in this regard are helpful to the Narendra Modi establishment in a peculiar way. It keeps the Gandhis in frequent focus with the express purpose of sustaining the delusion that they are still the rallying point for a national opposition. This salience given to the Gandhis keeps them in the public eye and thereby a massive roadblock in the way of any opposition unity, particularly since the Gandhis and their limping cohorts constantly "emote" an urge to "revive". They know that such a revival is impossible but the belief serves a purpose indicated above: it obstructs opposition unity. The media is content with the simplicity of the tweedledum versus tweedledee narrative. After all, coalitions and regional diversities are complexities impossible to contain in soundbytes.

In recent times, a story that has wafted out of the Gandhi enclosure is one of differences between them. Sonia Gandhi, with reliable retainers like Ahmad Patel is averse to rocking any boat. Status quo, uncomfortable though it be, is about the best she sees for the brood in the given circumstances. Her listless politics is also a function of her indifferent health.

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's status quoism derives from her personal anxieties, family problems and an inability to cope with responsibilities. Ask Kishori Lal Sharma, appointed years ago to nurse the 'family burroughs' of Rae Bareli and Amethi and he will guardedly spill the beans. The poor fellow's Stan Hardy (as in Laurel and Hardy) moustache greyed waiting for Priyanka to address the 'Congress volunteers'. But Priyanka, like Godot, never showed up.

Rahul Gandhi, meanwhile, is being more assertive about beliefs he has long held and which approximate to the line Rajiv Gandhi enunciated at the 1985 Congress Centenary in Mumbai chastising the 'power brokers'. Is Rahul Gandhi looking for that kind of a platform?

In 1969, when his grandmother, Indira Gandhi, split the Congress away from the 'power brokers', the regional satraps, the capitalists, eventually joined up with the Socialists and the RSS in the Bihar movement of 1974 under the leadership of arch Gandhian, Jayaprakash Narayan.

The 1969 split had a Left-Right dimension to it because it was in the context of the Cold War. In the post Cold War world 'Inequality' has emerged as the principal affliction of democracies where people's demands are dismissed as 'populism'. Crony capitalism thrives but no political party is allowed to find its feet if it intends to harness the discontent of the people who have borne the brunt of, say, the extended lockdown in India. There is a huge Left-of-Centre space for the opposition to occupy. It does not have to be terribly ideological. All it has to do is to make available to the people social benefits such as health, education, housing etcetera. Surely Rahul is aware of this opening, even though Sonia Gandhi is averse to any politics that would incur the wrath of the state.

Politics these days is at a standstill because of the lockdown, of course, but also because of what I call the 'Eulalie' syndrome. This light hearted diversion comes from Wodehouse. The resourceful Jeeves has come to the assistance of his master, Bertie Wooster, at a particularly challenging moment. Spode, the Earl of Sidwik, has become a permanent social menace in a country house which is Bertie's favourite haunt. How to cut down Spode's bombast? That is Bertie's challenge. Jeeves provides the panacea. Bertie has to sneak upto Spode and whisper, "I know all about Eulalie." Bertie follows Jeeves' advice. The result is electric. Spode becomes white as a sheet and collapses in the chair like a deflated balloon. It turns out that before Spode began to float in London's high society, he owned a store called Eulalie which sold lingerie known for its bras with bold designs. Eulalie, then is harmless blackmail. But the blackmail which has become the staple in contemporary politics is brutal.

A whisper on the National Herald case or Robert Vadra's land deals and Sonia Gandhi will begin to resemble Spode after the latter heard the threat made to him, "I know all about Eulalie."

After the BJP's stunning victory in UP in 2017, the opposition, armed with data on electoral fraud, sought Sonia Gandhi's permission to hold a press conference. She refused to get involved in "controversies".

Take a look at Lucknow. Jockeying has begun for the 10 Rajya Sabha seats from UP. Conventional wisdom concedes eight to the BJP and one to the SP. One would have expected the opposition to jointly keep the BJP out of the solitary remaining seat. But individual party leaders are in an almighty state of funk just in case the Enforcement Directorate comes knocking at their door.

Even though the opposition has a comfortable majority in the Upper House, the BJP rammed through nearly a hundred Bills without any vote. A petrified Akhilesh Yadav is hiding behind columns to avoid political leaders who are pressing him to approach the Supreme Court. What if Yogi Adityanath sets the dogs on him?

In uniformed cities like New Delhi these examples of the ruling party's impunity, away from the media's critical glare, enhance an impression of the BJP's invincibility. Forgotten are dismal economic figures and the simple catalogue that the party is not in power in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Odisha, West Bengal, Punjab, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Delhi. Just as your eye settles on these facts, India Today thrusts before you its poll results: Modi's approval ratings are 78 per cent. Like the Priest in Kurosawa's Rashomon, you walk away nodding your head, "What is the truth?"








Thu, 17 Sep 2020 11:58:11 +0530
ECOSOC win would help India establish itself as lighthouse of the South

New Delhi, Sep 17

Nishtha Satyam, the youngest Deputy Country Representative for UN Women, while commenting on India's win against China and securing a seat at the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) has said that "it's a huge win" and would help the country establish itself as the "lighthouse of the South".

India and Afghanistan on Tuesday thrashed China in the elections to the UN Commission on Status of Women Economic (UNCSW), a body of the ECOSOC.

Of the two members to be elected from the Asia-Pacific states, India secured 38 of the 54 ballots. Afghanistan, on the other hand, secured 39 ballots.

China garnered 27, failing to even cross the halfway mark.

Here are the extracts of the interview:

Q: How big is this win for India where we have won a seat at the ECOSOC?

A: I think it's a very big win for India at this global stage because I think there is a newer world order emerging and India has cemented its position. It's the first time we have spoken 'Women led Development' because so far we have spoken about 'Women in Development' and this is the global stage really for having that conversation.

So for me it is a huge win for India as to draw the attention of the rest of the world and also to establish itself as the lighthouse of the South.

Q: Since we have defeated China, so from that aspect, how do you see it is?

A: Yes, it's a win over China but I feel what we really need to understand is the power of being the largest democracy in the world and the power that we have in the global stage for these negotiations and the allies that we have built and have spent years of friendship with. I am not sure how much this would mean o the layman but in terms of global commitment and global accountability and global centre staging of women's development, this really takes the leap that we wanted to see India to take.

When anything becomes a conversation between India and China, it does matter to a large extent to the sense that it helps you build a profile of a global leader that India has wanted to be for years, the super emerging power that India has showcased itself to be.

I think I am really happy that when we are talking of being the next superpower, we are not just talking of becoming a 5 trillion dollar economy, we aren't just measuring ourselves in GDP terms but we are also measuring about what it matters and what it means to one and a half of the population because you cannot be a five trillion economy and leave the women of the country out.

So, for me, it is a total sustainable and equitable development where we are talking about the issues that matter to the lives of women, men and the governments too.

Q: Since, we have secured a seat the ECOSOC, what are the probabilities for the Security Council this time?

A: One thing I can say for sure that India was a founding member at the UN Women itself and India has been a very active member of the UN Women and I had the privilege of leading UN Women in the country and have seen India's close participation over the years on issues concerning women. The partnership has always existed and has become stronger but this has given us a profile that we need.

Honestly, it is not a better chance at the UNSC but it profiles us better and also at par with some of the countries that we must also learn from. It allows India to the lighthouse of the South and also the face of the emerging South.

Negotiations happen really better when equals sit at the table and I think it is a long standing game for India, for the UN Women, given the participation of the world's largest democracy and I am super thrilled to see what comes forward.

Q: What's the way forward as we now have a say at ECOSOC?

A: It would be a renewed interest and renewed commitment. I think we see great interest in centre staging women both at the highest levels of administration and also within the states. We see just the top of women led development, I think it's a leapfrog in thinking itself in ensuring whose development are we talking about.

The commitment from India is to work on issues that matter like in terms of nutrition, safety, food security and also about women's participation in labour force, economic livelihood and also in women's participation in decision making.

When we talk about India, we miss out the star stories of the country. India is the country which has the largest number of women in grass-root politics across the globe and I think it's a data that is less talked about but is something to be proud of. Now, it's time to create that linearity for women in decision making and in the Parliament.

The big change we lead is in terms of development planning is to look at the participation of women, hearing their voice, giving them their choice and in a way reflecting the concerns of the women. Today, with the Finance Minister having prioritized gender responsive planning and budgeting, we are looking at say of the women at every stage.

Q: As India is one of the largest South Asian nation, what difference would it make on the table?

A: Being a member of the ECOSOC brings the power of negotiation, your are at the table when you are negotiating. Like, in diplomacy we say, If you're not on the table, you're probably on the men. Hence, I think it's very important to have that voice as an emerging superpower because our story is unique, our story needs to be told by us, our story needs to be heard by others as much as we want to hear others'.

So, the big difference like I said is that global dialogue and friendship within that framework of enhanced accountability and responsibility that India has signed up to which I think in itself is a great show of commitment.

The UN is an intergovernmental body where 193 countries convene, collate and we need to discuss the world's biggest problem and at a seat at the table absolutely matters to us. Today, the world is at a stage, where no global conversation can be had if you miss India out.

We must also remind ourselves that when we are talking about 'Aatmnirbhar Bharat', we are not talking about the inward looking India, we are talking about an India that is positioned well to participate in the outer world and that is the positioning of the 'Aatmnirbhar Bharat'.






Thu, 17 Sep 2020 11:51:38 +0530
We have firepower to break into top 5 in next 2 years says Savita

New Delhi, Sep 17

Indian women's hockey team goalkeeper Savita has stated that the team is aiming to enter the top five of the FIH Rankings in the next two years.

The Indian eves recorded excellent victories at the FIH Series Finals and the FIH Olympic Qualifiers last year and their efforts during the course of 2019 resulted in better places in the FIH rankings as well, with the side moving to the ninth position.

"We have certainly grown as a team in the last three-four years and we have all our bases covered. We have worked with some of the best coaches from around the world and therefore we have been able to compete against the top sides in the recent past," said Savita.

"With continued support from Hockey India and SAI, we certainly have the firepower to break into the top five of the FIH Rankings in the next two years," she added.

The veteran goalkeeper, who hails from Sirsa, Haryana, also expressed that a defined structure in Indian hockey has been one of the main reasons behind India's success in the recent past.

"Good performances don't come overnight. In order to attain good results, meticulous planning and ensuring that our team is evolving day by day are the key factors," said the goalkeeper.

"We have certainly worked hard for our performances; however, I would credit Hockey India for implementing a good structure, wherein we are working with good coaches, our physical fitness schedules are being monitored and we are following a strict diet as well.

"Hockey India has planned the national coaching camps and tournaments very well in the last few years which has helped the players to get better at their game," she added.

The last few months have been very difficult for everyone around the world because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The team has pressed the reset button and is currently on its way back to the form they were in March this year.

"It was definitely tough to be away from the game for a long time. But now that we have resumed sports activities and gradually moving forward, I have no doubt that we will reach our peak form in good time," said Savita.

"Hockey India and SAI have devised all the processes for the resumption of sports activities at the Sports Authority of India campus in Bengaluru. We just have to follow all the guidelines properly and carry out our activities with dedication for the best results."







Thu, 17 Sep 2020 11:49:34 +0530
Apple watchOS 7 arrives with new Faces handwashing help

New Delhi, Sep 17

After several months of beta testing, Apple has released watchOS 7, the newest version of the watchOS operating system designed to run on modern Apple Watch models.

The watchOS 7 update is compatible with the Apple Watch Series 4, Series 4 as well as Series 5 models but cannot be installed on the first-generation Apple Watch, Series 1 or Series 2 Apple Watch models.

"watchOS 7 makes Apple Watch more powerful and more personal than ever before - with new ways to discover and share watch faces, sleep tracking, automatic handwashing detection, and new workout types," the company said in a statement.

There is a new handwashing detection that lets the Apple Watch listen for sounds of water and then starts a 20-second timer to remind the user to wash their hands for the appropriate amount of time.

The update brings a new Face Sharing feature which is designed to let users share their watch faces and install watch faces shared by other people.

Apple has also added support for multiple complications for a single app so one can better customise watch faces to suit your needs.

A new sleep Sleep app has been added that lets users track their sleep by wearing a watch at night, providing sleep analysis in an easy-to-interpret format.

watchOS 7 brings a Family Setup option that lets iPhone owners manage and set up Apple Watches for children or older family members who don't own iPhones.

With Family Setup, kids can call and text their parents, talk to Siri, stream music, download apps, use the new Memoji app to create Memoji.






Thu, 17 Sep 2020 11:47:40 +0530
AI reveals India successfully used nudge campaign to fight Covid

London, Sep 17

Using machine learning and AI-based algorithms to analyse almost 400 press releases issued by the Indian government, two Indian-origin researchers from University of Cambridge have revealed how the country effectively used the nudge theory in disseminating the Covid-19 related messaging across 14 key policy areas to over 1.3 billion people.

The nudges from Prime Minister Narendra Modi were particularly important in creating herd effect on lockdown and social distancing norms across the nation, argued the researchers.

"An even greater tragedy may have unfolded had India's government not used nudge theory to maintain one of the world's strictest and longest lockdowns in the first quarter of the year," said the study by Ramit Debnath and Ronita Bardhan from Cambridge's Behaviour and Building Performance Group, Department of Architecture.

Nudging, a concept in behavioural economics, political theory and behavioural sciences, is a design-based public policy approach which uses positive and negative reinforcements to modify the behaviour of a population.

India nudged across 14 key policy areas to influence the behaviour of 1.3 billion people, including government employees, scientists, health professionals, manufacturers, food suppliers and students to help fight Covid-19.

The government of India's use of nudge theory in the first three months of the pandemic helped to tackle the virus on numerous fronts, said the study published in the journal PLoS ONE.

"Nudge-based policy approaches are crucial in a democratic country like India which has a vast population and geo-spatial divide, high levels of illiteracy and an extremely vulnerable health system," said Debnath, a Gates Cambridge Scholar.

India has reported nearly five million Covid-19 cases and well over 80,000 deaths (as of September 16), making the country one of the worst hit in the world. But the implementation of the nudge theory earlier is "still saving lives".

In January and February, policy nudges were focused on evaluating the risk of incoming travellers from China and extending surveillance at international airports.

However, the narrative soon shifted to addressing other pressing concerns.

By March, nudges sought to impose new restrictions on travel, discouraging people from visiting crowded and public spaces, and strict social distancing.

On March 24, Modi told the nation that "21 days is critical to breaking the infection cycle... or else the country and your family could be set back 21 years".

The next day, the country entered phase 1 of lockdown.

The government nudged to tackle fake news about the virus and to convince the population to strictly adhere to the rules, use masks and wash hands frequently.

At the same time, it conducted surveillance in urban areas using smart technologies that included drones, spatial analysis, low-power Bluetooth mobile phone applications and humanoid robots.

"The government urgently needed to buy time and it had to bring a deeply divided population together to fight a common struggle. Our findings show that the government needed much more than scientific data to convince people, they appealed to powerful values including patriotism, family, religion and community," Bardhan stressed.

The study also highlighted the role played by the 'Prime Minister's Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund' (PM CARES Fund) which was created to nudge the public to make micro-donations and encourage public participation to help tackle the crisis.

The ministries nudged India's manufacturing firms to produce PPE, hand sanitiser and masks to meet the national demand, while also seeking to protect the country's food security and supply chains at a critical time -- India's farmers harvest their winter crops from February to April.

Meanwhile, the government spurred on India's scientific community to fight the pandemic, releasing funding through the Department of Science and Technology.

Research institutions were encouraged to submit proposals to focus on the development of affordable diagnostics, vaccines, antivirals, disease models, and other R&D to study Covid-19.

The Ministry of Human Resource Development also nudged the start-up and innovation community in India to participate in the fight for Covid-19 by launching programmes like 'Fight Corona IDEAthon'.

Emphasising that the study does not attempt to assess the success or failure of the government of India's policy interventions, the researchers said it rather aims to understand how context-specific latent nudges were created through policy interventions as the crisis unfolded.

The researchers used topic modelling, a computational social science method that has its basis in text mining and natural language processing. It automatically analyses text data to determine cluster words for a set of documents.

"Behaviour changes encouraged by nudges earlier in the year, including the wearing of masks and social distancing, are still widely maintained across India. These nudges are still helping to save lives," Bardhan said.








Thu, 17 Sep 2020 11:45:39 +0530
Priyadarshan has been on my checklist forever Aditya Seal

Mumbai, Sep 17

Actor Aditya Seal recently got a chance to work with director Priyadarshan, and says that it was his wish to work with the veteran filmmaker for a long time.

Aditya features in the story titled "Anamika" in the film "Forbidden Love", which is directed by Priyadarshan.

"He has been one director who has been on my checklist forever and finally I had a chance to work with him. Let me tell you it was beyond what I had expected my experience to be," Aditya, who has featured in films like "Student Of The Year 2" and "Tum Bin 2", told IANS.

"Forbidden Love" comprises four stpories -- "Diagnosis Of Love", "Rules Of The Game", "Anamika" and "Arranged Marriage".

Ali Fazal, Aahana Kumra, Patralekhaa, Omkar Kapoor, Anindita Bose, Pooja Kumar, Harsh Chhaya, Raima Sen, Mahesh Manjrekar, Rannvijaya Singh, and Vaibhav Tatwawadi, also feature in the cast, across the four films.




Thu, 17 Sep 2020 11:42:45 +0530
How Bhumi plans to celebrate sisterhood with her new film

Mumbai, Sep 17

Actress Bhumi Pednekar plans to watch her new film, Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitaare, with her sister Samiksha Pednekar, and calls it a special sister screening.

"Samiksha and I will watch 'Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitaare' together once it releases this week. We watched the film together at Busan the first time and for me the film's journey literally started with my sister by my side. We had the best time together in Busan. We've now made a plan to watch the movie again and it will be our special sister screening!" she said.

The film is directed by Alankrita Srivastava and also stars Konkona Sen Sharma. The two actresses play sisters in the film.

"The film celebrates womanhood and sisterhood and I couldn't think of a better way to watch the movie. Samiksha and I are similar yet poles apart just like Dolly and Kitty and it would be amazing to get her feedback for this special gem of a film of ours. It will be a true-blue sister screening and I'm really excited to have this moment with her," said Bhumi.







Thu, 17 Sep 2020 11:39:53 +0530
US stocks end mixed as tech shares lag

New York, Sep 17

US stocks closed mixed as tech shares struggled, weighing on the market.

On Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 36.78 points, or 0.13 per cent, to 28,032.38. The S&P 500 fell 15.71 points, or 0.46 per cent, to 3,385.49. The Nasdaq Composite Index decreased 139.85 points, or 1.25 per cent, to 11,050.47, Xinhua news agency reported.

Six of the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors fell, with technology and communication services closing down 1.56 per cent and 1.2 per cent, respectively, leading the laggards. Energy rallied 4.04 per cent, the best-performing group.

US-listed Chinese companies traded mostly lower, with six of the top 10 stocks by weight in the S&P US Listed China 50 index ending the day on a downbeat note.

The moves came after the US Federal Reserve held its benchmark interest rate steady at the record-low level of near zero and promised to maintain this target range until labour market conditions have improved to reach maximum employment and inflation has picked up to its desirable level.

"Economic activity and employment have picked up in recent months but remain well below their levels at the beginning of the year," the Fed said in a statement after concluding a two-day policy meeting on Wednesday.

"Weaker demand and significantly lower oil prices are holding down consumer price inflation," the Fed said, adding "the ongoing public health crisis will continue to weigh on economic activity, employment, and inflation in the near term, and poses considerable risks to the economic outlook over the medium term."

The Fed slashed interest rates to near zero earlier this year in an effort to support the economy amid the pandemic shock.

On the data front, US retail sales registered US $537.5 billion in August, an increase of 0.6 per cent from the previous month, the Department of Commerce reported on Wednesday. The reading fell short of market consensus.






Thu, 17 Sep 2020 11:37:49 +0530
TN CM greets Modi on his 70th birthday

Chennai, Sep 17

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K.Palaniswami on Thursday greeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his 70th birthday.

In his letter to Modi sent along with a flower bouquet, Palaniswami said: "On the joyous occasion of your birthday, I would like to convey my warm wishes to you for a wonderful year ahead.

"I pray that the Almighty may grant you many more years of good health and strength to serve our nation," Palaniswami added.

Thu, 17 Sep 2020 11:35:16 +0530
Von der Leyen urges EU members to address migration

Brussels, Sep 17

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has urged European Union (EU) member states to step up efforts and take responsibility to address the issue of migration, which is a challenge for all and not just for those which are most exposed to it.

"I expect all member states to step up too. Migration is a European challenge and all of Europe must do its part," von der Leyen said in her maiden State of the Union speech at the European Parliament on Wednesday.

Underlining that a solution needs compromise, she said the Commission will present next week its New Pact on Migration, which will take a human and humane approach, reports Xinhua news agency.

"Saving lives at sea is not optional. And those countries who fulfil their legal and moral duties or are more exposed than others, must be able to rely on the solidarity of our whole EU."

Von der Leyen added that Europe must make a clear distinction between those who have the right to stay and those who do not, stressing that those who could stay in the continent should be integrated and be made to feel welcome.

"We will take action to fight smugglers, strengthen external borders, deepen external partnerships and create legal pathways," she said.

Regarding the thousands of refugees left homeless after the Greek refugee camp that had sheltered them was damaged in fire, von der Leyen said the Commission is working with the Greek authorities on building a new camp on the island.

Countries on the EU's southern border, including Italy and Malta, have long been complaining about the excessive burden of migration, claiming that they were left alone to deal with the thousands of migrants fleeing Libya and other African countries.




Thu, 17 Sep 2020 11:32:34 +0530
It is digital media which needs regulations Centre to SC

New Delhi, Sep 17

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has informed the Supreme Court that if it is keen to begin an exercise to regulate media, then it should be the digital media instead of mainstream media, as it has wider viewership and also has the potential to turn viral.

The Ministry in an affidavit in the Supreme Court said while in a mainstream media (whether electronic or print), the publication or telecast is a one-time act, the digital media has faster reach to a wider range of readership and has the potential to become viral because of several electronic applications like WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook.

"Considering the serious impact and the potential, it is desirable that if this Court decides to undertake the exercise, it should first be undertaken with regard to digital media as there already exist sufficient framework and judicial pronouncements with regard to electronic media and print media," said the affidavit filed in connection with the Sudarshan TV case.

"The media includes mainstream electronic media, mainstream print media as well as a parallel media namely digital print media and digital web-based news portal and YouTube channels as well as 'Over The Top' platforms (OTTs)," said the Ministry in an affidavit.

A bench comprising Justices D.Y. Chandrachud, K.M. Joseph and Indu Malhotra has stayed the broadcast of Sudarshan TV programme UPSC Jihad, until further orders.

The apex court has also indicated the setting up of a five-member committee, including people of commendable stature without having any politically divisive orientation, to provide standards for electronic media.

On this aspect, the Ministry in the affidavit said the present petition is concerned with balancing between the journalist's freedom and responsible journalism, which is a field already occupied either by the statutory provisions made by Parliament or by the judgments of the Supreme Court.

"...In view of the issue having already received attention of the Parliament, as well as, of this Court, the present petition be confined to only one channel namely Sudarshan T.V. and this Court may not undertake the exercise of laying down any further guidelines with or without appointment of an Amicus or a Committee of persons as Amicus," said the affidavit.

The top court will continue hearing the matter on Thursday.






Thu, 17 Sep 2020 11:29:31 +0530
It is digital media which needs regulations Centre to SC

New Delhi, Sep 17

 The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has informed the Supreme Court that if it is keen to begin an exercise to regulate media, then it should be the digital media instead of mainstream media, as it has wider viewership and also has the potential to turn viral.

The Ministry in an affidavit in the Supreme Court said while in a mainstream media (whether electronic or print), the publication or telecast is a one-time act, the digital media has faster reach to a wider range of readership and has the potential to become viral because of several electronic applications like WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook.

"Considering the serious impact and the potential, it is desirable that if this Court decides to undertake the exercise, it should first be undertaken with regard to digital media as there already exist sufficient framework and judicial pronouncements with regard to electronic media and print media," said the affidavit filed in connection with the Sudarshan TV case.

"The media includes mainstream electronic media, mainstream print media as well as a parallel media namely digital print media and digital web-based news portal and YouTube channels as well as 'Over The Top' platforms (OTTs)," said the Ministry in an affidavit.

A bench comprising Justices D.Y. Chandrachud, K.M. Joseph and Indu Malhotra has stayed the broadcast of Sudarshan TV programme UPSC Jihad, until further orders.

The apex court has also indicated the setting up of a five-member committee, including people of commendable stature without having any politically divisive orientation, to provide standards for electronic media.

On this aspect, the Ministry in the affidavit said the present petition is concerned with balancing between the journalist's freedom and responsible journalism, which is a field already occupied either by the statutory provisions made by Parliament or by the judgments of the Supreme Court.

"...In view of the issue having already received attention of the Parliament, as well as, of this Court, the present petition be confined to only one channel namely Sudarshan T.V. and this Court may not undertake the exercise of laying down any further guidelines with or without appointment of an Amicus or a Committee of persons as Amicus," said the affidavit.

The top court will continue hearing the matter on Thursday.






Thu, 17 Sep 2020 11:25:52 +0530
Single stock rallying markets unnerving Time to be cautious

Sep 17,

The week gone by saw markets jump sharply on Thursday and the gains registered on that day were enough to keep indices in positive territory. BSESENSEX gained 497.37 points or 1.30 per cent to close at 38.854.55 points while NIFTY gained 130.60 points or 1.15 per cent to close at 11,464.45 points. The broader markets saw BSE100, BSE200 and BSE500 gain 1.07 per cent, 0.91 per cent and 0.77 per cent respectively. BSEMIDCAP lost 1.06 per cent while BSESMALLCAP was down 0.31 per cent.

The Indian rupee lost 40 paisa or 0.55 per cent to close at Rs 73.54 to the US Dollar. Dow Jones was under pressure and lost 467.67 points or 1.66 per cent to close at 27,665.64 points.

Markets last week were a mixed bag and the final weekly outcome is certainly not reflected in the numbers. While indices were up between 1.15 per cent and 1.30 per cent the benchmark indices components were largely down. Reliance Industries was the notable exception, gaining a massive Rs 242 or 11.65 per cent. This translates to roughly 1.4-1.5 times the weekly gains on the SENSEX and NIFTY. Bulk of the gains in Reliance came on Thursday when the stock gained Rs 154 and SENSEX was up by 647 points. The important news for Reliance was the investment by Silver Lake of Rs 7,500 crore to buy 1.75 per cent in RRVL (Reliance Retail Ventures Limited) valuing the company at Rs 4.21 lakh crore. This also made the market cap of Reliance Industries to cross 200 billion dollars, making it the first Indian company to do so.

The two primary market offerings which opened and closed during the week had a fantastic response and showed that retail investors are more than willing to invest in the primary market. The first issue from Happiest Mind Technologies Limited saw the issue overall getting subscribed 150.98 times. The QIB portion was subscribed 77.43 times, HNI portion 351.46 times and Retail portion 70.94 times. The price band was Rs 165-166. The issue consisted of a fresh offer of Rs 110 crore and an offer for sale of 3.55 crore shares. There were over 22 lakh applications in the issue.

The second issue during the week was from Route Mobile Limited and was subscribed 74.36 times. The QIB portion was subscribed 91.06 times, HNI portion 195.61 times, Retail portion was subscribed 12.85 times. The price band was Rs 345-350. The issue comprised of a fresh issue of Rs 240 crore and an offer for sale of Rs 360 crore.

SEBI has come out with a fresh set of guidelines for mutual funds who run multi-cap funds. These guidelines are to be effective January 2021 and would change the way these funds/schemes are run. These guidelines are quite contrary to what was specified when they came out with guidelines for funds some two years ago. The new guidelines state that any Multicap fund would have to invest a minimum of 25 per cent in each of the three categories of stocks namely large cap, mid cap and small cap. At present the corpus of all the Multicap funds run by various mutual funds is Rs 1.47 lakh or say Rs 1.50 lakh for discussion purposes. This implies that they would have to invest Rs 37,500 in midcap and Smallcap each. The largest fund in Multicap is Kotak at 29,714 crore. The present break up is 28 per cent or Rs 8,300 in midcap and a mere 0.3 or Rs 90 crore in Smallcap. This implies that a sum of Rs 6,200 crore would have to be invested in Smallcap stocks. This is easier said than done as the definition of Smallcap begins at serial number 251 of market capitalisation which based on six months average ending June 2020, shows the stock market capitalisation at Rs 6,955 crore. The 500th stock has a market cap of Rs 1,695 crore while the 1000th stock is at Rs 313 crore. The 3000th stock comes in at Rs 10 crore. This implies that there is virtually no depth in the small cap category.

The first thing that comes to mind is that Smallcap stocks would have a field day at the bourses. This would be incorrect as schemes of mutual funds would have to write to unit holders and ask for consent to change the system of fund allocation. They would also have to offer a no-load exit to those not willing to continue. With there being hardly any liquidity in the Smallcap segment, it would be impractical to expect this scheme from SEBI to become successful. Fund managers would ask for the scheme to be fine-tuned at least as far as small cap is concerned.

On the Covid-19 front, the number of patients globally has increased to 289,46,628 people with 924,610 deaths and 208,13,150 people recovering. In India, the number of affected people has risen to 47,54,356 people with 78,614 deaths and 37,02,595 people having recovered. Compared to the previous week globally there were 18,76,644 new patients, 40,830 deaths and 16,42,264 people having recovered. In India, there were 6,39,583 new patients, 7,910 deaths, and 5,21,596 people recovering.

Coming to the week ahead in markets expect volatility to increase. While there could be some movement in small and midcap stocks on account of SEBI changes for mutual funds, they would be unsustainable as there is still time for their implementation. Mutual funds would ask for more time to implement and the bifurcation may see more changes as the 25 per cent for Smallcap looks impractical. Secondly, that the rally last week was more based on a singular stock Reliance, is certainly not comforting. If the rally is to sustain the same has to become broad-based, it cannot be so narrow. The strategy for the week would be to sell on rallies and wait for markets to correct before initiating fresh purchases.






Thu, 17 Sep 2020 11:21:56 +0530
Art scholar Kapila Vatsyayan passes away at 92

New Delhi, Kapila Vatsyayan, Member of Parliament, a major scholar of art, architecture, Indian classical dance and Founding Director of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, passed away at the age of 92 at her home in New Delhi on Wednesday.

Recipient of the Padma Vibhushan honour (2011), the scholar, who authored around 20 books on various art forms and their histories including 'The Square and the Circle of Indian Arts' (1997), 'Bharata: The Natya Sastra' (1996) and 'Traditions in India Folk Dance' (1987)was also the Chairperson of the Asian Arts Project at the India International Centre.

Trained in Kathak and Manipuri, she earned her PhD from the Banaras Hindu University after completing her MA English from Delhi University and MA in Education from the University of Michigan in the US.

The younger sister of poet and art critic Keshav Malik, Vatsyayan, being one of the country's earliest arts administrators, was instrumental in taking the best of Indian artists across the world under the aegis of Indian Council For Cultural relations.

She was also awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship in 1970.

Writer and politician Pavan K. Varma tweeted, "Deeply grieved at her passing away this morning. She was a true scholar of the deep refinements of ancient Indian culture and civilisation. Her book 'The Square and The Circle of Indian Arts' is a classic. Om Shanti."

Thu, 17 Sep 2020 10:57:07 +0530
Rahul greets Modi on 70th birthday

New Delhi,  Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Thursday extended his wishes to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his 70th birthday.

"Wishing PM Narendra Modiji a happy birthday," he tweeted.

However, the Congress leader did not relent from attacking the Prime Minister on the issue of unemployment. "Massive unemployment has forced the youth to call today #NationalUnemploymentDay. Employment is dignity... For how long will the govt deny it?" he said.

The Bharatiya Janata Party is celebrating service week, from September 14.

Thu, 17 Sep 2020 10:53:16 +0530
Reguilon on the way to Tottenham Bale could follow

Madrid,  Real Madrid and Tottenham have reached agreement for the sale of Madrid's Spain international left back Sergio Reguilon to the north-London based club.

Reguilon will cost the Spurs 30 million euros, and according to Spanish sports paper Diario AS, has agreed a deal until the end of June 2025 with Real Madrid reserving the right to buy him back for 40 million euros before the summer of 2022, Xinhua news agency reported.

Reguilon broke into the Real Madrid first team in the 2018-19 season, making 22 appearances and moving ahead of the Brazilian left back Marcelo in the pecking order.

However, the return of Zinedine Zidane saw Marcelo return to favor and the signing of Ferland Mendy in 2019 saw Reguilon loaned to Sevilla (who are now coached by former Madrid boss Julen Lopetegui), where he played 38 times and scored three goals as Sevilla finished fourth in La Liga and won the Europa League for the sixth time in the club's history.

The 23-year-old's displays last season earned him his first cap for Spain on September 6th as he started in his country's 4-0 UEFA Nations League win against the Ukraine.

The Spanish press also report on Wednesday that Real Madrid and Tottenham are also talking about a loan deal to see Gareth Bale go back to White Hart Lane, seven years after leaving the club to join Real Madrid.

The 31-year-old recently commented that he would like to return to the Premier League and said Madrid had blocked previous attempts to leave.

Any deal would almost certainly see Real Madrid continue to pay part of the wages of a player whose relationship with coach Zinedine Zidane has broken down completely in recent months.

Thu, 17 Sep 2020 09:17:39 +0530
Sandalwood drugs case Sanjjanaa remanded to judicial custody Aindrita Diganth interrogated

Bengaluru, A Bengaluru court on Wednesday remanded Kannada actress Sanjjanaa Galrani to judicial custody till September 19 in an alleged drugs case.

Along with her, the court also remanded to judicial custody high-profile event organiser Viren Khanna, Ravi Shankar and others till September 19.

The Central Crime Branch police concluded its investigations involving Galrani and others, as a result of this, the CCB did not seek any extension of her custody with them.

While in the case of another Kannada actress Ragini Dwivedi whose bail application came up for hearing, but the court postponed the hearing till September 19, which means she may have to remain in Parapappana Agrahara central prisons till then.

Earlier in the day, actor-couple, Aindrita Ray and Diganth Manchale who were summoned for questioning by the Central Crime Bureau of the Bengaluru Police in the alleged drugs case involving Sandalwood stars have been let off after the first day's interrogations.

Confirming this to the media, Joint Commissioner of Bengaluru Police (Crime), Sandeep Patil said that the preliminary interrogations of Ray and Diganth have concluded but the police have instructed them to be present whenever they are required for further investigations.

Addressing the media, the actor-couple who were returning from the CCB office stated that they were ready to cooperate whenever the police summoned them in this connection. "We cooperated in today's investigations, we will do it in future as well, whenever they call us, we will present ourselves in front of them," they said while getting into their vehicle and leaving.

According to a senior police officer, neither Aindrita nor Diganth showed any sign of resistance during the entire course of interrogations. "They cooperated fully. When we asked them to hand over their mobile phones, without resisting they handed them over. We will have to probe into these mobile phones based on inputs we may gather from these devices, we might summon them for second round of investigations," the officer added.

The officer pointed out that in both cases involving Ragini Dwivedi and Sanjjana Galrani, both actresses resisted besides name dropping when the police summoned them or raided their premises, and this was one of the main reasons why the police acted tough. "Their behaviour was very crude when we met them for the first time. Therefore, it becomes more important for us to remain tough in those cases," he explained.

Meanwhile, the CCB police have arrested an African drug peddler, who allegedly supplied drugs to be used at high-end parties and was also allegedly involved in the drugs case.

The accused drug peddler has been identified as Benald Uddena, an African national and the police have also recovered 12 gms of cocaine from him.

Confirming his arrest, Joint Commissioner (Crime) Bengaluru Police, Sandeep Patil described that he is a very important link in this (Sandalwood drugs) case. "We were looking for three African drug peddlers based on our investigations. After digging deep into Benald's antecedents, it emerged that he is the same person who used to impersonate using three names - John, Coke, and Blackie - while selling drugs to his clients."

Patil asserted that he would be taken into custody for further investigation.

Benald is the second African national, while the first one was Senegal national Loum Pepper Samba who was nabbed in this case and who was remanded to judicial custody by the court last week.


Thu, 17 Sep 2020 09:10:07 +0530
Global Covid 19 cases top 29 7mn Johns Hopkins

Washington,  The overall number of global coronavirus cases has topped 29.7 million, while the deaths have increased to over 939,000, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

As of Thursday morning, the total number of cases stood at 29,760,579 and the fatalities rose to 939,427, the University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed in its latest update.

The US accounted for the world's highest number of cases and deaths at 6,629,702 and 196,752 respectively, according to the CSSE.

India is currently in the second place in terms of cases at 5,020,359, while the country's death toll stood at 82,066.

In terms of cases, Brazil ranks third (4,419,083), and is followed by Russia (1,075,485), Peru (738,020), Colombia (736,377), Mexico (680,931), South Africa (653,444), Spain (614,360), Argentina (589,012), Chile (439,287), France (443,869), Iran (410,334), the UK (380,668), Bangladesh (342,671), Saudi Arabia (327,551), Pakistan (303,634), Iraq (303,059), Turkey (296,391), Italy (291,442), Philippines (272,934), Germany (266,869), Indonesia (228,993), Israel (170,465), Ukraine (166,694), Canada (141,852), Bolivia (128,872), Qatar (122,449), Ecuador (121,525), Romania (107,011), Kazakhstan (106,984), Dominican Republic (105,521), Panama (103,466) and Egypt (101,500), the CSSE figures showed.

The other countries with over 10,000 deaths are the Brazil (134,106), Mexico (71,978), the UK (41,773), Italy (35,645), France (31,056), Peru (30,927), Spain (30,243), Iran (23,632), Colombia (23,478), Russia (18,853), South Africa (15,705), Chile (12,058), Argentina (12,116) and Ecuador (10,996).


Thu, 17 Sep 2020 09:07:48 +0530
Plea in SC seeks installation of EMAS in at risk Mangaluru Kozhikode airports

New Delhi, The Supreme Court on Wednesday sought response from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and the Ministry of Civil Aviation on a plea claiming there was a deliberate omission for years to install Engineered Materials Arrestor System (EMAS) at airports, which prevent aircraft from overshooting runways at vulnerable airports such as Mangaluru and Kozhikode.

A bench headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde has issued a notice to the ministry and DGCA on a plea filed by a Delhi resident Rajen Mehta, an 85-year-old retired engineer.

The plea has been filed through advocate Shohit Chaudhry. It seeks installation of EMAS at the airports considered vulnerable.

The plea also cited the accidents of August 7 at Calicut International Airport and May 22, 2010 at Mangalore.

Both these airports have table-top runways. The petitioner contended that if EMAS were to be installed, it could have helped in averting the plane crash.

"The existence of EMAS was brought to the knowledge of the Airport Authority of India (AAI) and the respondents (DGCA and Civil Aviation Ministry) in 2008. However, for no plausible reason, it has not been installed till date," said the plea.

The petitioner argued that the aviation industry has seen two horrific incidents in Mangalore and Calicut causing loss of hundreds of lives, which could have been saved by the timely action of the authorities concerned.

The plea pointed out that EMAS has been installed at 125 airports across the globe. The petitioner also sought an inquiry into delay in installation of EMAS, despite prior knowledge on the airports which are vulnerable, and insisted that criminal action should be taken against those responsible.

"On May 22, 2010, a Boeing 737-800 passenger jet operating Air India Express Flight 812 from Dubai to Mangalore crashed on landing at Mangalore Airport, resulting in the death of 158 persons," said the plea.

The petitioner said the EMAS system is an arrestor bed of crushable material, like concrete blocks, placed at the end of a runway to stop an aircraft from overshooting.

"In 2008, due to the extreme economic crisis, the Calicut (Kozhikode) EMAS project was put in abeyance," the petition said.

"The Court of Inquiry, probing the Mangaluru crash, had specifically recommended that EMAS like systems should be installed on the runway overshoot areas, especially for table-top airports. Yet, no action has been taken," it added.

Thu, 17 Sep 2020 09:03:46 +0530
Free vaccine for Americans but won t be widely available till 21 summer

New York,  A 57 page "playbook" just in from the US government outlines a comprehensive plan to make the COVID-19 vaccine available free to all Americans once it is proven safe and effective.

The shot wouldn't be broadly available to most of the US population until the summer or fall of 2021, the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Dr. Robert Redfield told the Congress on Wednesday.

At this time, public polling is showing that less than 50 per cent of all Americans are willing to get a shot even when the vaccine is widely available.

Any version available this year would be in "very limited supply", Redfield said, while appealing to Americans to mask up because "they really work".

"The goal of the US government is to have enough COVID-19 vaccine for all people in the United States who wish to be vaccinated," read the first page of the report from the CDC.

In an optimistic scenario, US health agencies are hoping for a vaccination campaign to begin in January 2021 or even as early as December 2020 and reach population scale by next summer. The Pentagon would be involved in vaccine distribution while civilian health workers will be pushing needles into bare arms.

The CDC assesses that for most vaccines, people will need two doses about 21 to 28 days apart. These double-dose vaccines will have to come from the same drugmaker.

CDC's existing centralised distributor contract with McKesson, which distributed the H1N1 vaccine in 2009–2010, includes an option for the distribution of vaccines during a pandemic. The McKesson contract can cover rapid distribution of doses of refrigerated (2–8 degrees Celsius) and frozen (-20 degrees Celsius) vaccines.

Thu, 17 Sep 2020 09:01:06 +0530


Wed, 16 Sep 2020 17:05:40 +0530
HP patents clamshell foldable phone like Galaxy Z Flip

New York, Sep 16

PC and printer major HP which once experimented with phablets is reportedly working on a clamshell foldable smartphone similar to the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip.

The company patented a design for such a smartphone with the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) and the patent was approved last month, reports LetsGoDigital.

The HP patent describes a technology for applying flexible screens to mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets or computers.

Although similar to the folding method of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip, the HP patent describes it as 'using a movable hinge that can be folded in different positions' and is not limited to folding in half.

However, it is not necessary that HP would launch such a product in the market.

In 2016, HP Inc unveiled Elite x3, a 5.96-inch touchscreen device that ran Windows 10 Mobile and supported Continuum, a feature that allowed the device to be attached seamlessly to a separate screen, mouse and keyboard.

Earlier, Huawei also filed a new patent for a new clamshell design foldable phone.

The patents reveal a foldable flip phone designed handset with a vertically-stacked camera module on the rear, GizmoChina reported recently.






Wed, 16 Sep 2020 16:54:28 +0530
Govt committed to two language formula TN CM

Chennai, Sep 16

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E. K.Palaniswami on Wednesday said the government has constituted two expert committees to study the New Education Policy 2020.

Speaking in the Assembly, Palaniswami said the government was committed to the two-language formula.

He said the government will consider the recommendations of the two committees -- one comprising school education experts and the other with experts in higher education -- as well as the views expressed by the leaders of the opposition parties.

Palaniswami took a dig at the Congress party saying that it is funny the party is talking about as it was the party that brought the three-language formula.

The Chief Minister said the DMK and the AIADMK will follow the two-language formula.

Palaniswami also criticised the Congress party for bringing in the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) in 2010. It was the Congress government that filed the review petition in the apex court.





Wed, 16 Sep 2020 16:52:10 +0530
Karnataka Home Minister Bommai tests Covid positive

Bengaluru, Sep 16

Karnataka Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai tested positive for Covid-19 and is in home isolation as he is asymptomatic, an official said on Wednesday.

"Bommai tested positive for the virus. As it is asymptomatic, he is under home quarantine in the city," one of his staff told IANS here.

In a tweet in Kannada earlier, Bommai said the infection was confirmed in the Covid test conducted yesterday (Tuesday) for a working boy in his house.

"In this backdrop, I have also been tested and I have been infected. I am isolated at home though no symptoms and am healthy," said Bommai in Kannada.

Bommai, 60, is the latest among the state ministers to be infected by the coronavirus though all of them have been asymptomatic and most of them have recovered.

Ahead of the monsoon session of the state legislature from September 21, Urban Development Minister Byrathi Basavaraj tested Covid positive and was admitted to a private hospital in the city on Tuesday.

Basavaraj, 56, is the ruling BJP's legislator from the K.R. Puram Assembly segment in the city's eastern suburb.

State Animal Husbandry Minister Prabhu Chauhan also tested positive for the corona virus on September 9 at Bidar in the state's northern region.

Early this month, state Labour Minister Shivaram Hebbar tested positive on September 5 and has been in home quarantine for treatment at Yellapur in Uttara Kannada district in the state's northwest coastal region.

Besides state Chief Minister B.S. Yeddiyurappa, half-a-dozen ministers, including B.R. Sriramulu (Health), C.T. Ravi (Tourism), Shashikala Jolle (Women and Child Development), K.S. Eshwarappa (Rural Development), Anand Singh (Forests & Environment) and S.T. Somashekar (Cooperation) tested for the virus and were discharged after they recovered over the last one month.

Opposition Congress leader Siddaramaiah, his party's state unit president D.K. Shivakumar and scores of lawmakers of the BJP, Congress and Janata Dal-Secular were affected by the virus and recovered after treatment since July.

With so many ministers and legislators getting infected, Assembly Speaker Vishweshwar Kageri Hegde on September 8 directed all the MLAs to undergo RT-PCR test in their respective constituencies on September 18 before the 8-day monsoon session from September 21 at Vidhana Soudha in the city centre.

"Only those who test negative will be allowed to attend the session. The legislators should carry a certificate from a state-run hospital showing they tested negative for the virus when they enter the Assembly," said Kageri.

The state legislature has made elaborate arrangements for the session in compliance with the standard operating procedure of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs and the Covid-induced guidelines of the Union Health Ministry to prevent the pandemic spread.

Wearing of a mask, washing hands with sanitizers and maintaining social distancing will be mandatory for all the legislative members.






Wed, 16 Sep 2020 16:50:28 +0530
Anangsha Biswas Realised rules of this industry were unfair

Mumbai, Sep 16

Actress Anangsha Biswas says she has realised that the rules in the Hindi film industry are unfair and proudly calls herself an outsider.

Actor Sushant Singh Rajput's untimely death on June 14 has sparked a heated debate about "insiders and outsiders" and nepotism in Bollywood.

"I am a theatre actor, I'm trained in acting from Sydney. In my initial years I thought I would learn and prove my talent, and get ahead in my career. Soon I realised that the rules of this industry were unfair," Anangsha said.

She added: "No matter how much I worked hard, it boiled down to who I knew in the industry, and unfortunately I knew no one."

Anangsha says she wants the industry to be fair.

"I'm an outsider and I'm proud to be one, I never wanted things to be easy but, yes, I did wish for it to be fair. I am after all as good as the opportunities I get to showcase," she said.

"I'm okay to lose a part to a better actor but it hurts to lose a part because of lineage or connections. Except a few good ones, our country's casting directors don't even call us for auditions. One either has to suck up to them or be seen in influential parties, which in my humble opinion is derogatory for an actor's talent," she added.

Anangsha feels a talented person cannot be stopped. "I have over the years taken a lot of brickbats but I'm not a person who gives up. I don't crib, I feel you cannot stop a talent, though you sure can delay them. I am hopeful that things will change and I humbly hope I can be an active part of that change," she said.








Wed, 16 Sep 2020 16:48:18 +0530
Randeep Hooda returns to work dubs for Radhe

Mumbai, Sep 16

Actor Randeep Hooda feels grateful to resume work for the much-awaited film Radhe, starring Salman Khan.

"Grateful to be back at work #Radhe," Randeep tweeted on Wednesday along with his photo in which he is seen standing behind a microphone. It seems like he is at a dubbing session.

Fans are thrilled about the idea of Randeep sharing screen space with Salman again after "Kick" and "Sultan".

A fan tweeted: "Really excited for this movie whole Haryana is waiting for your movie with megastar Salman khan."

"Can't wait to witness #SalmanKhan & You On BIG SCREEN! Damn eagely waiting for #Radhe," another user tweeted.

"Salman Khan and randeep hooda most successful combination," opined a user.

Earlier in an interview with IANS, Randeep had said: "In this ('Radhe'), we are going to have some confrontation."

"Salman's films are a genre in themselves and I think it's a different kind of an atmosphere. I, as an actor, definitely believe that one should be able to adapt to all atmospheres and styles of working and I am excited about it. "He (Salman) has been a very good friend and somebody I have looked up to in more ways than one, so it's always exciting to be in a movie with him. Through him, my work reaches a lot more people," Randeep had said.







Wed, 16 Sep 2020 16:45:02 +0530
Markets maintain gains auto stocks rise

Mumbai, Sep 16

After opening in the positive territory, the Indian stock market maintained its gains during the mid-afternoon trade session on Wednesday.

Buying activity was witnessed across sectors especially in automobile and realty stocks.

At 2.20 p.m. the BSE Sensex traded at 39,293.58, higher by 249.23 points or 0.64 per cent from its previous close.

The Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange traded at 11,585.40, higher by 63.60 points, or 0.55 per cent, from the previous close.

"Indian markets opened marginally higher and remained rangebound till about noon. Post this they gradually began to rise," said Deepak Jasani, Head of Retail Research, HDFC Securities.

"Smallcap and Midcap index seem to have run out of steam after a strong two day rally. Among sectoral indices, Auto and Realty remain the main gainers while Power was the sole loser. Reliance rose with volumes."

In addition, Jasani pointed out that while addressing the Ficci National Executive Committee Meeting, Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das assured that the Central Bank is closely monitoring economic situation and is prepared to take further measures to prepare the economy and banking system to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

"These reassuring statements helped the Nifty to rise towards the re cent highs," he said.

"The Nifty has moved above the recent resistance of 11,584. Sustaining above this level could mean more upsides in the near term."









Wed, 16 Sep 2020 16:42:37 +0530
New Hyundai Tucson makes debut

Sep 16,

Hyundai Tucson in its fourth-generation has a completely revamped exterior. It features ambient mood lighting that is adjustable to 64 colours. It also has several powertrains including IC, hybrid and plug-in hybrid.

Tucson is the most popular brand among the Hyundai family with the manufacturer selling over 7 million units of the SUV globally since its initial launch in 2004.

With a completely revamped exterior the vehicle showcases parametric dynamics with kinetic jewel surface details. The all-new half-mirror type DRLs are assimilated within the parametric grille and are only revealed when illuminated. The side profile is characterized by level roofline coupled with a long wheelbase and short overhangs. The wedge lines impart a masculine look. The chrome line beginning from the side mirrors follows the arc of the roofline and gradually thickens as it reaches the C-pillar.

The Tucson is also well advanced in safety features, it is equipped with highway driving assist, forward collision-avoidance assist with pedestrian detection, lane-keeping assist, lane following assist, blind-spot view monitor, blind-spot collision warning, surround-view monitor, reverse parking collision-avoidance assist, remote smart parking assist, high beam assist, and driver attention warning.

Wed, 16 Sep 2020 16:37:00 +0530
Anvi Doshi Makes Cut for Man Booker Prize for Literature

Sep 16,

Indian origin author Anvi Doshi has made the cut for 2020 Man Booker Prize for Literature. Doshi’s book ‘Burnt Sugar’ was shortlisted alongside five other books including The New Wilderness by Diane Cook (Oneworld Publications), This Mournable Body by Taitsi Dangarembga (Faber & Faber), The Shadow King by Maaza Mengiste (Canongate Books), Shuggie Bain By Douglas Stuart (Pan Macmillan) and Real Life By Brandon Taylor (Daunt Books Publishing).

The winner of the Booker Prize will be announced in November later this year.

Wed, 16 Sep 2020 16:28:32 +0530
Anvi Doshi Makes Cut for Man Booker Prize for Literature

Sep 16,

Indian origin author Anvi Doshi has made the cut for 2020 Man Booker Prize for Literature. Doshi’s book ‘Burnt Sugar’ was shortlisted alongside five other books including The New Wilderness by Diane Cook (Oneworld Publications), This Mournable Body by Taitsi Dangarembga (Faber & Faber), The Shadow King by Maaza Mengiste (Canongate Books), Shuggie Bain By Douglas Stuart (Pan Macmillan) and Real Life By Brandon Taylor (Daunt Books Publishing).

The winner of the Booker Prize will be announced in November later this year.

Wed, 16 Sep 2020 16:28:30 +0530
PM Insurance Scheme for Covid 19 Health Workers Extended

Sep 16,

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare along with the New India Assurance Company Limited was providing a health insurance scheme for Covid-19 workers. The Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package Insurance Scheme announced in March this year has been extended for three more months.

The scheme provides insurance cover of Rs.50 lakhs to healthcare providers including community health workers who come in direct contact with Covid-19 patients and run the risk of being infected. The insurance also covers accidental loss of life on account of Covid-19.

The entire premium amount for the insurance is borne by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. Thus far, 61 claims were processed and paid under the scheme. A further 156 claims are under examination by New India Assurance and in 67 cases claim forms are to be submitted by states.

The scheme covers private hospital staff, retired personnel, volunteers, local urban bodies, contract and daily wage workers, etc. The insurance under this scheme is over and above any other insurance cover availed of by the beneficiary.

Wed, 16 Sep 2020 16:24:51 +0530
Chinese Covid vax could be ready by Nov Top scientist

Beijing, The general population in China may start getting access to locally manufactured Covid-19 vaccines from November or December, according to a top scientist from the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

During a programme telecast by state broadcaster CCTV this week, Wu Guizhen, the CDC's chief biosafety expert said that preparations are underway for some vaccines to go into mass production.

The top scientists also talked about the smooth progress of several vaccine candidates that are in clinical trials, the South China Morning Post reported on Tuesday.

"I joined the experimental group and had a coronavirus shot in April," Wu said in the programme.

"I've felt quite good in the past few months, nothing abnormal. The process of inoculation did not cause any localised pain."

At least five vaccine candidates developed by China have reached the crucial phase-3 stage, while Russia last month approved a Covid-19 vaccine before the completion of Phase-3 trials.

Wu said that she was hopeful about the efficacy and safety of the vaccine candidates developed by China.

"We expect them to remain effective for one to three years a (but) the results will need to be observed for a longer time," she said.

China's military received approval for using a Covid-19 vaccine jointly developed by its research unit and CanSino Biologics Inc. in June itself.

The approval for the Recombinant Novel Coronavirus Vaccine (Ad5-nCoV) was granted by the Health Bureau of the Logistics Support Department of China's Central Military Commission on June 25, for one year.

Wed, 16 Sep 2020 15:01:45 +0530
Army soldier injured in Pak ceasefire violation succumbs

Jammu, Sep 16

An army soldier injured in Pakistan ceasefire violation on the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir's Rajouri district succumbed in the hospital on Wednesday.

The soldier was injured on Tuesday.

Defence spokesman, Colonel Devender Anand said, "Naik Aneesh Thomas, who was injured in Pakistan ceasefire violation along the LoC in Sunderbani sector, succumbed in the hospital today.

"Naik Aneesh Thomas was a brave, highly motivated and sincere soldier. The nation will always remain indebted to him for the supreme sacrifice and devotion to duty", the spokesman said.





Wed, 16 Sep 2020 11:15:01 +0530
She walked away with her dreams and fulfilled them

Meerut (Uttar Pradesh), Sep 16

Sanju Rani Verma, now in her early thirties, had walked out of her home in 2013 because she did not wish to get married and 'settle down' like other girls.

Seven-year later, she cracked the prestigious state Public Service Commission (PSC) examinations, results of which were announced last week, and is all set to become a government officer.

"I am still not content because I want to crack the civil services examinations and become an IAS officer," she said.

Recalling the days when she left home, Sanju said that after her mother's demise, there was mounting pressure on her to get married. Her family wanted her to leave college-something that she was not ready to do.

As clashes on the issue began in the family, Sanju chose her own path and left home.

She had completed graduation from RG Degree College in Meerut and was pursuing post-graduation from Delhi University.

"That year (in 2013) I not only left home, but also the PG course which I was pursuing from DU. There was no money. So, I took a room on rent and started teaching children. I also got part-time teaching jobs at private schools. Somehow, I continued my studies for civil services exams," Sanju said.

Sanju is happy that she chose to pursue her dreams. She will soon be joining the service as a commercial tax officer.

"My final aim is to crack the civil services exam and become a District Magistrate," she said.

Sanju is less bitter about her family. "They had their reasons and I had mine. I want to support my family in every way possible now," is all she said.

Sanju took coaching from Meerut and her teacher Abhishek Sharma has been instrumental in her success.

"I remember how the mains got postponed just 18 days before the scheduled day. And I was extremely happy about it because I was suffering from chicken pox. The examination went well and I was sure that I would clear it this time," she added.







Wed, 16 Sep 2020 11:12:41 +0530
India s Covid 19 cases cross 50 lakh mark

New Delhi, Sep 16

 With a massive spike of 90,123 cases, including 1,290 deaths in 24 hours, India's tally on Wednesday crossed the grim mark of 50 lakh, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

The total corona tally stands at 50,20,359 cases.

On July 17, India had logged 10 lakh cases, which then doubled to 20 lakh in 20 days on August 7. The country added another 10 lakh on August 23 and went past 40 lakh on September 5. In 11 days, it added another 10 lakh cases, mounting to 50 lakh cases on Wednesday.

Out of the total cases, 9,95,933 are active, 39,42,360 have been discharged, while 82,066 lost the battle against the viral disease. In the last 24 hours, 82,961 patients were discharged.

While the recovery rate stands at a whooping high of 78.53 per cent, the fatality rate has come down to 1.63 per cent, the data from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said.

Maharashtra continues to be the worst-hit with a total of 10,97,856 cases, including 30,409 deaths; followed by Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh.

On Monday, the ministry asked Delhi, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu to ramp up their testing. These are the states whose positivity rates are faring above the national average. Meanwhile, four of these states account for more than half (53.5 per cent) of the active cases.

According to the data from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), India conducted 11,16,842 sample tests in a single day on Tuesday, taking the total number of samples tested so far to 5,94,29,115.







Wed, 16 Sep 2020 11:01:51 +0530
Lakshmi Vilas Bank Clix completing due diligence on proposed deal

New Delhi, Sep 16 (IANS) Lakshmi Vilas Bank and Clix Group have substantially completed the due diligence on a proposed amalgamation of the financial services company with the bank.

In June, Lakshmi Vilas bank had signed a preliminary, non-binding letter of intent (LoI) with Clix Capital Services Private Limited and Clix Finance India Private Limited, collectively the Clix Group, in relation to the proposed amalgamation of Clix Group with the Bank.

Under the non-binding LoI, the proposed amalgamation is subject to completion of mutual due-diligence, regulatory and other customary approvals.

The bank had informed the exchanges in July that, as per the mutual understanding between parties, the exclusivity period was extended till September 15 due to the prevailing pandemic situation.

"We wish to inform that the mutual due diligence is substantially complete, and the parties are in discussions on the next steps. The Bank will continue to share any further information as and when they materialise," LVB informed the exchanges.

Clix Capital had acquired GE Capital's commercial lending and leasing business in 2016. Pramod Bhasin, formerly of Genpact and GE Capital, is Founder and Chairman of Clix.

Chennai-based Lakshmi Vilas Bnak continues to have significant presence in the state of Tamil Nadu. The bank has presence in 16 states and 3 Union Territories across the country.

The bank was founded in 1926 by a group of seven progressive businessmen in Karur under the leadership of V.S.N. Ramalinga Chettiar.

Wed, 16 Sep 2020 09:47:52 +0530
Russian FM asks Germany to stop politicisation of Navalny case

Moscow,  Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov urged his German counterpart Heiko Maas to abandon further politicisation of the suspected poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, the Russian Foreign Ministry said after a phone conversation between the ministers.

The focus of the phone conversation on Tuesday was on the state and prospects of Russian-German relations, as well as building bilateral and international cooperation amid the situation around Navalny, the ministry said in a statement, Xinhua news agency reported.

"Lavrov called on his colleague to refrain from further politicisation of the situation with Navalny," it said.

The Russian side confirmed its readiness for cooperation on the Navalny case, it added.

Lavrov and Maas also agreed to continue the dialogue on issues of the Russian-German and international agenda, according to the statement.

Wed, 16 Sep 2020 09:17:49 +0530
Team of doctors saves life of man with 15 active heart

New Delhi, Timely and prompt treatment by a multidisciplinary team of doctors at Max Hospital, Saket, provided a new lease of life to a man whose heart functioned merely at 15 per cent of its capacity. In addition to his complications, he had also developed acute renal failure post his heart operation. However, his life was saved after a set of complex surgeries.

The hospital said that the man was suffering from end-stage heart failure at Max Hospital and soon after the heart transplant, he developed acute renal failure raising the risk of organ rejection. The hospital told that the doctors managed the patient efficiently, who is now fully recovered three months after his surgery.

29-year-old Raj Kumar Rawat was brought to the emergency of Max, Saket in June in a critical condition and was diagnosed with Class IV dyspnea (shortness of breath) and only 15 per cent of heart function, is also a known case of severe LV dysfunction.

The hospital said that medical investigations during hospitalization revealed that Rawat's chest had an enlarged heart with fluid accumulation in the pleural cavity which could be an after-effect of a series of heart surgeries. "Earlier in 2012 he had undergone a major heart surgery at the age of 21 years, for treating the abnormal thickening of his heart muscles that caused severe disruption in the pumping efficiency of the heart. Later in 2015, the patient had a dual chamber pacemaker implantation," the hospital informed.

"He underwent the procedure where his heart was replaced with a donor heart, and upon being hemodynamically stable he was extubated after 1st postoperative day," said Kewal Krishan, Director - Heart Transplant & Ventricular Assist Devices, Principal Consultant - Cardiac Surgeon, Max.

"Since two of his heart valves were not functioning effectively causing backward flow of the blood leading to the mixing of oxygenated blood with the de-oxygenated blood. ECHO also revealed a uniform decrease in the motion of his ventricles causing the pumping pressure to reduce to 55 mm Hg. With his deteriorating condition and looking at the history of the patient, he was advised for an immediate orthotopic cardiac transplant procedure," he explained.

The hospital said that even though the blood flow in the patient's heart was hemodynamically stable, he had intermittent Atrial Fibrillations, a condition when irregular heartbeats occur. The situation may elevate to clot formation or even heart failure. Doctors told that he was instituted with antiarrhythmic medications and immune-suppression strategy as per the protocols.

However, the post-operative investigations revealed that the patient had developed mild RV dysfunction with increasing TLC count. "He had to be electively re-intubated when the team observed oliguria (low Urine output) and immediately consulted the nephrology team," Krishan said.

Rawat was administered with Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy (dialysis for acute renal failure) to revive his kidney functioning. "After three days the patient showed improvement in urine output and his last Sustained Low Efficiency Dialysis (SLED) was done. As his haemodynamics improved and R.V. dysfunction resolved he was extubated and gradually started on a regular diet," Krishan informed.

Rawat was later transferred to the general ward where his pacing wires were removed and review was done, which showed good biventricular functions. "The rest of his recovery was satisfactory and he got discharged in stable condition to remain on close follow up," the hospital stated.

Wed, 16 Sep 2020 09:12:07 +0530
Surendran will be dealt with appropriately Kerala CM

Thiruvananthapuram, Lashing out at state BJP President K. Surendran, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Tuesday that he will deal with him appropriately.

Vijayan said this while responding to a question on Surendran's statement that Vijayan's daughter Veena Vijayan also had a role in the gold smuggling case.

"Surendran is not Pinarayi Vijayan. Surendran cannot be dealt at a press conference. He will be dealt with appropriately. What's the mental state of Surendran, who is the state president of the BJP? It's for them (the BJP) who appointed him as the president to take a stock of it. His mental state is not right, as he is one who blabbers anything and levels baseless allegations," said Vijayan.

"Surendran is one who levels allegations without any shred of evidence and you (the media) also fall for it. A slander should be seen in that respect only," added the CM.

Vijayan went on to add that it's only natural that the opposition is upset with the image of a corruption free government in the state.

"Hence baseless stories are being circulated against me and my family. It's only because we have always taken a strong position against corruption that we are able to speak boldly and loudly," added Vijayan.

Wed, 16 Sep 2020 09:10:13 +0530
Bihar polls RJD has maximum number of tainted legislators

Patna,  With elections round the corner in Bihar, a report by Association of Democratic Reforms revealed that the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) has the maximum number of tainted leaders followed by Congress while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has the least.

The report revealed that 41 per cent of RJD leaders face criminal charges while the Congress has 40 per cent such leaders and the Janata Dal United (JDU) and the BJP has 37 and 35 per cent leaders with criminal charges.

The findings of the report are based on the affidavits filed by the candidates during 2015 Assembly elections.

The report said that 11 MLAs are facing murder charges while 30 face attempt to murder charges, five are booked under relevant sections of cruelty against women and one MLA is facing rape charges.

According to the report, 67 per cent of 240 MLAs are millionaires. JDU MLA from Khagaria Poonam Devi is the wealthiest legislator in Bihar assembly with Rs 41 crore of total assets while Congress MLA from Bhagalpur Ajit Sharma has assets worth Rs 40 crore and JDU MLA from Raniganj Achmit Rishidev has assests of worth Rs 9.6 lakh.

The report also revealed that out of 240 MLAs, 134 are above graduate while 96 are undergraduate and nine MLAs are just literate.

Wed, 16 Sep 2020 09:08:23 +0530
Toyota halts India expansion blaming we don t want you taxes

Sep 15,

Toyota Motor Corporation in a statement said that it won’t go for any further expansion in India lending a blow to the Government of India’s hopes of luring global companies to offset the economic losses caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The government has been offering incentives to the tune of $23 billion to attract firms to shift their manufacturing base to India. Shekhar Viswanathan, vice chairman, Toyota said that taxes on cars and motorbikes in India are very high that companies find it difficult to build scale. The high levies also lure off customers from purchasing cars leading to situations where factories are idle and there are no new jobs.

Viswanathan added that the message the company was getting is after we have come here and invested money, is that we don’t want you. Toyota, one of the world’s largest automobile manufacturers began their India operations in 1997. The company manufactures cars, two-wheelers and sports utility vehicles in India.

The tax on a four-meter long SUV with an engine capacity of more than 1500 cc works out to be as high as 50%. Additional levies are also imposed under “luxury” goods. Automobile sales in India were having a general slowdown before coronavirus outbreak and the demand for Toyota cars is lesser compared to Maruti Suzuki for example. Auto industry is slowly picking up as industries have restarted their operations in a calibrated way.

Tue, 15 Sep 2020 18:02:54 +0530
Toyota halts India expansion blaming we don t want you taxes

Toyota Motor Corporation in a statement said that it won’t go for any further expansion in India lending a blow to the Government of India’s hopes of luring global companies to offset the economic losses caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sep 11,

The government has been offering incentives to the tune of $23 billion to attract firms to shift their manufacturing base to India. Shekhar Viswanathan, vice chairman, Toyota said that taxes on cars and motorbikes in India are very high that companies find it difficult to build scale. The high levies also lure off customers from purchasing cars leading to situations where factories are idle and there are no new jobs.

Viswanathan added that the message the company was getting is after we have come here and invested money, is that we don’t want you. Toyota, one of the world’s largest automobile manufacturers began their India operations in 1997. The company manufactures cars, two-wheelers and sports utility vehicles in India.

The tax on a four-meter long SUV with an engine capacity of more than 1500 cc works out to be as high as 50%. Additional levies are also imposed under “luxury” goods. Automobile sales in India were having a general slowdown before coronavirus outbreak and the demand for Toyota cars is lesser compared to Maruti Suzuki for example. Auto industry is slowly picking up as industries have restarted their operations in a calibrated way.

Tue, 15 Sep 2020 17:29:45 +0530
YouTube releasing its own version of TikTok in India

Sep 15,

YouTube is coming up with its new product that will compete with Reels and TikTok. It will let users record short mobile-friendly vertical videos and add special effects and soundtracks taken from a music library.

Since the time TikTok was banned in India many tech companies had invented their own short video platforms. Speculations were rife that YouTube was also developing one and now it is official news. YouTube’s Shorts will let users create a 15-second or less short video and upload it on the platform. Users also have the option of shooting different videos, stitch them using the tools provided, monitor the speed of the video, add music, etc.

“We’re excited to announce that we are building YouTube Shorts, a new short-form video experience right on YouTube for creators and artists who want to shoot short, catchy videos using nothing but their mobile phones. Over the next few days in India, we’re launching an early beta of Shorts with a handful of new creation tools to test out. This is an early version of the product, but we're releasing it now to bring you — our global community of users, creators and artists — on our journey with us as we build and improve Shorts. We’ll continue to add more features and expand to more countries in the coming months as we learn from you and listen to your feedback,” YouTube published in their official blog.

Tue, 15 Sep 2020 17:24:57 +0530
Bank reverses stolen money of Ram Mandir Trust

Sep, 15

State Bank of India (SBI) has successfully reversed the amount which was taken out from Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust through fraudulent cheque. Using fake signatures and cheque an amount of Rs. 6 lakhs was transferred out of the account of Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust.

Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra expressed happiness at the swiftness of action by tweeting: The amount of 6 lakh rupees which was fraudulently transferred from the bank account of Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra using fake cheques & signatures, has been duly returned to Trust's account by SBI.

Our gratitude to SBI management for their swift action.

Jai Shri Ram!                                           

Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra is in charge of the construction of the Ram Temple at Ayodhya. Two fake cheques of Rs 3.5 lakh and Rs 2.5 lakh were used to withdraw the amount from the bank account of trust.

Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust had written a letter to SBI seeking a reversal of the amount pointing that it was SBI’s mistake in not looking through the cloned cheque. The Ram Mandir Trust has announced that it will now not take any payment in the form of cheques. The Trust also said that it is deciding on an alternate method of payment in a secure manner.

Tue, 15 Sep 2020 17:16:54 +0530
4 crore scholarships given to minority EWS 54 to girls

New Delhi, Sep 15

The Union Ministry of Minority affairs has told the Rajya Sabha in a written reply that since 2014-15 till date, over four crore scholarships have been distributed to the students belonging to the economically weaker sections (EWS) of the minority communities. Of this, 54 per cent scholarship has been given to the girl students.

The information was given by Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi in the Upper House on Monday.

The Ministry implements various welfare schemes for the socioeconomic and educational empowerment of six Centrally notified minority communities, namely the Buddhists, Christians, Jains, Muslims, Parsis and Sikhs.

During the period from 2015-16 to 2019-20, total fund allocated to the Ministry of Minority Affairs was Rs 21,160.84 crore and actual expenditure was Rs 19,201.45 crore, which is approx 90.75 per cent of total fund allocated.

Since 2014-15 to date, a total number of 4,00,06,080 scholarships have been distributed to the students belonging to the economically weaker sections of the minority communities, by incurring a total expenditure of Rs 11,690.81 crore.

An amount of Rs 9,223.68 crore has been spent for providing scholarships to 3,06,19,546 beneficiaries under various scholarship schemes of the Ministry during the period from 2015-16 to 2019-20, out of which about 54 per cent scholarships have been awarded to the minority girl students.





Tue, 15 Sep 2020 14:41:08 +0530
Social media abuzz over Kerala police version of George Floyd attack

Kochi, Sep 15

Social media has been abuzz with activity ever since picture of a police official squatting over a young Congress worker pinning him to the ground to allow Kerala Higher Education Minister K.T. Jaleel's convoy to pass through, surfaced.

It was Sunday evening, when the picture became public. The social media users immediately equated it with the unfortunate incident of George Floyd, a black American, who was killed in Minneapolis, US, when Derek Chauvin, a white policeman, knelt on 46-year-old's neck for several minutes leading to his death eventually.

Floyd was handcuffed as he was pinned face down, calling for his mother and repeatedly saying "please" and "I can't breathe".

State Congress vice-president and two time former legislator P.C. Vishnunadh said it was indeed shameful for the Kerala Police, for what happened.

"Just see the cruelty that was shown to one of our young activist Antony, who turned into victim of police high-handedness, as literally a replay of what happened in the US was played out," said Vishnunadh .

Antony and Youth Congress workers took to the streets on Sunday evening and protested against Jaleel demanding his resignation after he was questioned by the Enforcement Directorate.

While some protesters were chased away by the police manning the roads, Antony fell down and when he was trying to get up, a police official saw to it, he was pinned to the ground, till Jaleel's convoy passed.

After that Antony's colleagues came rushing seeing the incident and he was rescued.

Young Congress legislator V.T. Balram also took to his Facebook page and posted the picture with the caption, 'Citizen and Pinarayi government'.





Tue, 15 Sep 2020 14:37:49 +0530
World s first CNG terminal to come up in Gujarat s Bhavnagar

Gandhinagar Sep 15

The Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Tuesday said Bhavnagar will become the first Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) terminal in the world, as the government has given its sanction to the Rs 1,900 crore brownfield project.

The terminal will have a capacity of 15 lakh tons annually.

He said the state government has given the sanction and the Rs 1,900 crore project and will be developed by a Consortium of developers, including the Padmanabh Mafatlal Group and one from the Netherlands.

According to the information given by the government, Rs 1,300 will be invested in the first phase of the brownfield port project. The project is a part of an ambitious mega project of developing Bhavnagar, where a liquid cargo terminal having a capacity of 45 lakh Container and White cargo terminal and RO RO ferry services terminal, would be developed.

To develop this terminal, dredging and construction of two lock gates will be carried out in the channel and port basin. Infrastructural facilities will be set up on the shore for CNG transportation. Due to the project, Bhavnagar port's annual cargo capacity will be raised to nine million metric tons (MMT).

The Chief Minister informed that Gujarat will be the only state in the country, which will have terminals for both CNG and LNG (with LNG terminals at Dahej and Hazira).

According to the state government, the project will create vast employment opportunities for Bhavnagar and adjoining area youth in logistics, transportation and warehousing.








Tue, 15 Sep 2020 12:52:55 +0530
Flipkart to create 70 000 direct jobs this festive season

Bengaluru, Sep 15

Flipkart on Tuesday said it will help generate over 70,000 direct and lakhs of indirect seasonal jobs this festive season.

The direct jobs will be across supply chain -- delivery executives, pickers, packers and sorters -- while there will be additional indirect jobs at Flipkart's seller partner locations and kiranas, the company said in a statement.

"We are focused on creating impactful partnerships that offer great consumer experience while creating additional opportunities for progress of the entire ecosystem as it scales for the Big Billion Days (BBD)," said Amitesh Jha, Senior Vice-President, Ekart and Marketplace, Flipkart.

Filpkart said that onboarding of more than 50,000 kiranas for the last-mile delivery will also create thousands of seasonal jobs to deliver millions of packages.

"By generating employment and enabling our sellers to scale their businesses during this time, we're doing our part to drive growth in the industry and the economy," Jha said.

Flipkart is undertaking training programmes for its direct hires in various aspects of the supply chain through a mix of classroom and digital training, enhancing their understanding of supply chain management.

The company said it is now enabling customers to get their GSTIN on their invoices, thereby allowing them to claim input tax credit on their purchases.

"The capability to allow GSTIN on their invoices will help millions of business entities - to claim input tax credit on their business related purchases, saving up to 28 per cent on their purchases," the ecommerce leader said.







Tue, 15 Sep 2020 12:46:37 +0530
No More Tracksuits Please

New Delhi, Sep 15

On Sunday, the New York Fashion Week kicked off with Jason Wu's presentation- who has dressed former US First Lady, Michelle Obama more than once.

The Taiwanese born designer often infuses "Old World" femininity in many of his designs and chose to have a physical show with a very limited audience. The collection was filled with contemporary and easygoing silhouettes inspired by the Caribbean coastline town of Tulum, Wu's home away from home. They had a feeling of escapism yet could be worn at home or easily transition into eveningwear. They are clothes that work for the times we are living in--- and there was not one tracksuit!

Work from Home, seems to have become an excuse for dressing like a ragamuffin. Of course we do want to wear starched shirts and confining tailored jackets (and nor do we live in a place where the weather "suits" such attire); but does that mean we need to live in clothes that were meant to be worn in the gym or on a sports field?

The term athleisure was first used back in the late 1970s, a time when the American inspired sports look was becoming global but it still had a feel of elegance-- think Polo Ralph Lauren. High fashion borrowing ideas from sports is not a new concept, and you could say Coco Chanel was probably the first athleisure designer- she used jersey to make day suits for women back in the 1920s. I have a feeling if she were alive today she would be horrified to see how women are dressing right now.

"We have become trapped in a cycle of fashion lethargy," says celebrity stylist Mohit Rai. "What most people do not realise is that a growing routine is not about how you look but how you feel. A system that puts life into an overall perspective and retains sanity."

As someone who has been a freelancer for the last couple of years, work from home is a way of life for me. And it's my dressing routine that has kept me in check--- I wake up, gym, shower, finish my morning prayers and then change into something easy but still elegant- it could be a kaftan dress, jeans and a shirt or shorts and boxy top, add on some accessories and finish with some undereye concealer a wand of mascara and lip gloss. It makes me ready for the day.

As a fashion writer--- it would be strange not to enjoy and understand the value of dressing-up. I wonder if when we look back to the current tracksuit trend, it will be with the same disdain we have for the Juicy Couture (remember those velour tracksuits) phase of fashion of the early 2000s. (I am happy to say I never participated in this trend).

You don't need a reason or an occasion to dress--- and sometimes we just do it well because you feel like it because it acts as that "pick me up". Anjali Patel Mehta, founder of the Studio Verandah, a resort brand says, "Athleisure is here to stay, but even if that's your choice, choose the clothes that make you feel good. I haven't been to a salon in over 6 months, nor cut my hair but what I've done is to make the most from my surroundings and dressing can help you lift your spirits."

Which is why as we try and learn to co-exist with the virus, we need to get out of our tracksuits and embrace our own personal style--- yes, that could be sporty but it does need to have a feel of being dressed. And tracksuit bottoms don't cut it. Even with 'Vogue' supremo, Anna Wintour wearing them in April.

Hopefully Jason Wu's show proves that we are moving away from tracksuits to a chicer yet comfortable style of dressing. The whole point of fashion is to bring joy and a feeling of escapism to our lives don't we need that more now than ever. In fact there is no surprise that many of the recent collections we are seeing seem to have taken inspiration from resort fashion instead of athleisure--- so let's get out of those tracksuits, please!






Tue, 15 Sep 2020 12:44:31 +0530
India s GDP expected to contract 9 in FY21 ADB

New Delhi, Sep 15

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Tuesday projected a 9 per cent contraction of the Indian economy in the financial year 2020-21, revising its outlook within three months as the Covid situation continues.

In June, ADB had predicted a 4 per cent contraction in the country's GDP in the current fiscal.

The forecast comes just over a fortnight after the country reported a 23.9 per cent contraction in its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the April-June quarter.

The ADB report noted that the Indian economy having weakened even before the pandemic struck, the government enjoyed little fiscal space to respond.

"Indian GDP is expected to fall by 9 per cent in the whole of this fiscal year and then grow by 8.0 per cent in the next," it said.

On South Asia, ADB says that the sub-region is now expected to shrink by a steep 6.8 per cent in 2020 and rebound by 7.1 per cent in 2021.

It noted that as the Coronavirus (Covid-19) continued to expand regionally and globally, containment measures to counter the pandemic stifled economic activity. Domestic demand and production plummeted, plunging global economic activity and slashed external demand, it added.

Governments in the region responded with diverse policy measures, it said, citing the 'Developing' Asian countries.

It noted that after nosediving at first, capital flows, financial markets, and currencies have recovered.

Citing recent data, the ADB report said that the crisis may have bottomed out, but the picture across the region is mixed.

It noted the different economic trajectory in China and India, as the former has moved towards a nascent recovery (as it has reported a total of 85,202 cases) while India continues to struggle (as the second worst-hit by the pandemic with over 49 lakh cases so far).

"In particular, the two largest economies in the region are diverging as nascent recovery in the People's Republic of China (PRC) contrasts with continued fragility in India," it said.

The report said that after containing its domestic outbreak relatively rapidly, China saw growth recover from 6.8 per cent contraction in the first quarter to 3.2 per cent growth in the second. By contrast, the outbreak in India has intensified since April, spreading fast from cities to rural areas.

The hard and prolonged lockdown caused output to contract by 23.9 per cent in the April-June quarter, and various high-frequency indicators, while improving somewhat, show continued economic weakness, it added.






Tue, 15 Sep 2020 12:12:27 +0530
SIT to probe multiple cases of love jihad in Kanpur

Kanpur, Sep 15

The Kanpur police has set up an eight-member Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe allegations into several cases of forced conversion on the pretext of marriage.

The decision was taken after about 11 cases of 'love jihad' were reported in the past one month from the same district and Hindu organisations met IG Kanpur Mohit Agarwal demanding probe into the matter.

The issue surfaced after a Kanpur woman, Shalini Yadav, married a Muslim man, Faisal, in July.

The girl's family alleged was of love jihad though the couple approached a Delhi court, denying allegations of forced conversion. Shalini even uploaded a video on the social media, claiming that she had married and converted out of her own free will.

The SIT led by Deepak Bhuker, superintendent of police, Kanpur (South), has been told to look into any fixed pattern or modus operandi behind the alleged incidents, the official said.

The special investigation team (SIT) will also investigate the alleged role of Islamic organisations in such cases.

Interestingly, most of the cases of alleged love jihad are being reported from Juhi area. The SIT will investigate if any Islamic organisation has a role in funding the 'love jihad' racket in Kanpur, an official said.

"There is a strong possibility that some Islamic outfits may be providing financial assistance to a handful of organisations involved in such anti-national acts," the official claimed. Police are looking into the conspiracy angle to ascertain if youths involved in this are being funded from abroad.

SP Deepak Bhuker said the help of a special SWAT team has been sought for surveillance.

The SIT has contacted local police stations and sought details of all alleged "love jihad" cases reported in the past two years, he said.

Bhuker said the probe team has been extracting records related to a dozen phone numbers to establish links.

They have been gathering information about such couples, their bank accounts and recording statements of their family members, Bhuker said. Phone numbers of their aides have also been extracted.

Bhuker, however, said in the case involving Shalini Yadav, the couple had approached the Delhi high court and later appeared before a magistrate at the Tees Hazari court in the national capital, denying the allegations.

He said the woman had said that she was a major and married a man of her choice.

Since the woman is a major and there is nothing for police to do, a closure report will be sent to the court soon, the SP said.

Police are also trying to zero in on cases where the youth hid their true identity to marry women.

The Kanpur police has also arrested two men -- Mohsin Khan and Aamir -- in an alleged 'love jihad' case. Mohsin Khan allegedly befriended a girl, posing as Sameer and then married her, the official added.








Tue, 15 Sep 2020 12:08:23 +0530
Autumn Kashmir s golden yellow season of plenty is here

Srinagar, Sep 15

The chirp of the Cicada bug, the grain laden golden yellow rice fields, the dance of the rainbow trout in the crystal-clear waters of the Lidder and the Sindh mountain streams, the nip in the morning and evening air -- all these are standout signals that Kashmir's season of plenty, the autumn is here.

Look at the countryside, farmers are busy harvesting the Paddy crop. Luckily for them, the migrant labourers, those had left the Valley with the outbreak of the pandemic, have returned, though in small numbers yet, to work in the Paddy fields and help the locals harvest the grain.

Autumn is undoubtedly the season of plenty in Kashmir. Fruit laden apple trees of myriad varieties, grapes and vegetables flooding the local markets give Kashmiris the choice to choose.

Since centuries, Kashmiris have been drying vegetables like tomatoes, brinjal, pumpkins and even apple scaling to be used during the harsh winter months.

The practice owes itself to the landlocked nature of the Valley that remained disconnected from the outside World for days without end in the past. Although vegetables grown outside the Valley are available round the year now, yet the tradition of storing dried vegetables and even dried fish are part of Kashmir's tradition and heritage.

To keep body and soul together during the harsh winter months, Kashmiris wear a warm tweet over-garment called the 'Pheran' under which they hold an earthen fire-pot woven with willow wicker called the 'Kangri'.

Special cuisine is part of the winter menu to give extra calories needed when the outside temperature drops to minus 7 degrees Celsius during the night and the day temperatures also hover around zero during the 40-day long bitter winter period called the 'Chillai Kalan'.

'Harisa' is one such special mutton dishes the locals eat to get enough calories needed to fight the outside cold. Special 'Harisa' shops come up through Srinagar city and all other towns of the Valley during the winter months where people go to relish this choice winter dish.

The taste of the Harisa is described in the local folklore. It is said that an Afghan governor, who came to Kashmir, was carried away so much by the taste of this special preparation that he did not know where to stop, he over-ate himself to death!

As autumn progresses towards winter, its march is reflected in the changing colours of the Chinar leaves, from green through crimson to yellow.

It is this riot of the changing colours that was described by Urdu Philosopher poet Iqbal when he said, "Jis Khaak Ke Zameer Main Ho Aatish-e-Chinar/Mumkin Nahin Ke Sard Ho Wo Khaak-e-Arjimand (The dust that carries in its conscience the fires of the Chinar/It is not possible for that celestial dust to cool down).


Tue, 15 Sep 2020 12:04:49 +0530
Immuno suppressing drugs do not increase Covid 19 risk Study

New York, Sep 15

Patients on immunosuppressive therapy for common skin and rheumatic diseases like psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis are not at increased risk for contracting Covid-19 and should continue taking their medicine as prescribed, say researchers.

According to the study, published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, most of these patients are not at any greater risk for Covid-19 than the general population, despite their weakened immune system.

"If you require an immune suppressant medication for your condition to be well controlled, you should not be afraid to continue that medication during the pandemic," said study author Jesse Veenstra from Henry Ford Health System in the US.

For the findings, the research team analysed the association between immunosuppressive medications for skin diseases and the risk of Covid-19 infection and outcomes.

Until recently, little was known about managing patients on these medications in the pandemic and whether they may be at increased risk for infection with Covid-19 or related complications because of their weakened immune system.

The team conducted a retrospective analysis of 213 patients who were taking immunosuppressive medication for immune-mediated inflammatory disease.

The patients were tested for Covid-19 between February 1 and April 18 and had been receiving immunosuppressive medication for at least one month prior to being tested for Covid-19.

The findings showed that, of the 213 patients, 36 per cent tested Covid-19 positive and had no greater odds of being hospitalised or placed on a ventilator than the general population.

There was no evidence that any single immunosuppressive medication increased a patient's odds for testing positive or developing serious disease.

Patients prescribed a TNF alpha inhibitor had significantly lower odds for hospitalisation. TNF alpha inhibitors are part of a class of immunosuppressive biologics used to stop inflammation.

"More research is needed to fully explain this finding, but it may suggest that multiple medications further suppress a patient's immune system, thus rendering them more susceptible to Covid-19," Veenstra noted.





Tue, 15 Sep 2020 12:02:45 +0530
Goa drug peddler brought to Mumbai

Mumbai, Sep 15

A drug peddler arrested in Goa has been brought to Mumbai on a transit remand by the Narcotics Control Bureau, an official said here on Tuesday.

Chris Costa will be examined further in the drug case related to the death of Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput.

He was nabbed last Sunday and was likely to be produced before a Mumbai court later in the day, said NCB Deputy Director K.P.S. Malhotra.

He was among the latest lot of drug peddlers, narcotics dealers and contraband suppliers nabbed in the past 2-3 days in Mumbai.

The others arrested have been sent to NCB or judicial custody for varying periods on Monday.

With the NCB making headway, so far a total of 18, including actress Rhea Chakraborty, her brother Showik and others have been arrested in the drugs angle pertaining to the Sushant case.

Besides, the NCB's needle of suspicion is pointing at some others in the glamour industry which is facing a turbulence since Sushant's death.





Tue, 15 Sep 2020 12:00:43 +0530
Call me I will come play cricket anywhere Sreesanth

Kochi, Sep 15

The desperation was written large on his face when fast bowler S. Sreesanth said, "call me and I will come and play cricket anywhere". Sreesanth, who was part of the 2007 World T20 and 2011 World Cup-winning Indian teams, made this statement after his seven-year ban ended recently.

"I am speaking to agents in Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka as I want to play cricket at the club levels in these countries. My aim is to represent my country in the 2023 World Cup. Another wish is I want to play in a match at the Lords when the MCC plays the Rest of the World," he added.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had banned Sreesanth for life in August 2013 for his alleged involvement in the spot-fixing scandal that rocked the 2013 Indian Premier League (IPL). In 2015, however, a special court in Delhi acquitted him of all charges.

In 2018, the Kerala High Court had struck down the life ban imposed on the cricketer by the BCCI and also quashed all proceedings against him. However, a division bench of the High Court restored the ban.

Sreesanth then moved the Supreme Court against the order. And last year in March, the apex court upheld his guilt but asked the BCCI to reduce his quantum of punishment. The cricket board then reduced his life ban to seven years which came to an end on September 12 this month.

The 37-year-old has so far played 27 Tests, 53 ODIs and 10 T20Is in which he taken 87, 75 and 7 wickets respectively.



Tue, 15 Sep 2020 11:57:30 +0530
Ayodhya temple trust gets back fraudulently withdrawn Rs 6L

Ayodhya, Sep 15

The State Bank of India (SBI) has refunded Rs six lakh which was fraudulently withdrawn from the account of the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust last week.

This was the second cyber-attack on the Ayodhya temple trust in four months.

Secretary of Ram Mandir Trust, Champat Rai, said he had written to the bank demanding refund of money, fraudulently withdrawn from the account.

Manager of SBI Ayodhya branch, Priyanshu Sharma, said, "The fraudsters had produced cloned cheques at the Punjab National Bank (PNB). We have refunded the amount to the temple trust's bank account and will recover the money from the PNB."

The trust has confirmed the refund.

The amount was withdrawn through two cloned cheques with forged signatures of trustees over a 10-day span before the scam was busted during verification of a third fake cheque at the SBI clearing house in Lucknow last week.





Tue, 15 Sep 2020 11:55:17 +0530
One held for gang rape of minor in UP

Sitapur (Uttar Pradesh), Sep 15

A man has been arrested in connection with gang rape of a minor girl a week back in Sitapur district. Four of the other accused are still absconding.

The Imalia Sultanpur village rape came to light on Monday when a video of the incident went viral on the social media. The girl told police that the accused made the video of the act on their mobile phones and threatened to kill her if she told anyone about the incident.

The police said that the incident took place on September 7 when the girl was returning home from the market.

Two youths, Sheebu and Nazim of a nearby village, dragged the girl to a nearby cane field where three others were waiting and all five gang raped her, the police said.

A case has been registered and Sheebu was arrested on Monday.

Sitapur Superintendent of Police R.P. Singh and Additional SP (South) Rajiv Dixit, visited the village amid the tension over the gang rape and deployed police force in the village as a precautionary measure.

"We will arrest the remaining accused soon and ensure strict punishment for them. The girl has been sent for medical examination," the SP said.







Tue, 15 Sep 2020 11:53:19 +0530
Left party MPs protest for withdrawal of anti farmer policies

New Delhi, Sep 15

Members of the Left parties on Tuesday staged a protest inside the Parliament premises over their demand for the withdrawal of 'anti-farmer policies'.

The Left MPs staged the protest near the Mahatma Gandhi statue. They were demanding the withdrawal of 'anti-farmers policies' brought by the Centre through ordinances.

The protest comes a day after Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar introduced the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 for the creation of an ecosystem where the farmers and traders enjoy the freedom of choice relating to the sale and purchase of farmers' produce.

The Agriculture Minister also introduced the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 to provide for a national framework on farming agreements. It protects and empowers farmers to engage with agribusiness firms, processors, wholesalers, exporters or large retailers for farm services and sale of future farm produce at a mutually agreed remunerative price framework in a fair and transparent manner.






Tue, 15 Sep 2020 11:49:54 +0530
Telangana s Covid 19 tally breaches 1 60 lakh mark

Hyderabad, Sep 15

Telangana's Covid-19 tally crossed 1.60 lakh with the state adding 2,058 new cases in the last 24 hours, health officials said on Tuesday.

With 1,60,571 cases, Telangana overtook Bihar to have the eighth highest numbers in the country.

10 more people succumbed to the disease, taking the death toll in the state to 984. The case fatality rate in the state stands at 0.61 per cent against the national average of 1.64 per cent.

The state saw more recoveries than new cases during the last 24 hours ending 8 p.m. Monday. With 2,180 more patients recovering from the virus, the total number of recoveries mounted to 1,29,187.

The recovery rate has also further improved to 80.45 per cent against the national average of 78.26 per cent.

The number of active cases in the state stands at 30,400 including 23,534 in home isolation.

The daily count of Covid-19 cases, which had dropped to 1,417 the previous day with the weekly dip in testing level, crossed 2,000 again as authorities conducted over 51,000 tests. With this the number of samples tested so far mounted to 21,69,339.

A total of 17 government and 38 private laboratories and 1076 rapid antigen tests centres across the state conducted 51,247 tests. These include 22,548 primary and 6,149 secondary contacts. However, no break-up of RT-PCR and rapid antigen tests was available.

The state health authorities said samples tested per million population improved further to 59,811. This is much higher than the daily testing target of 5,600 per day as per the World Health Organisation (WHO) benchmark of 140 per million per day.

During the last 24 hours, Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) reported 277 new cases. Neighbouring districts Rangareddy and Medchal Malkajgiri reported 143 and 97 cases respectively. Sangareddy, another district bordering the state capital, recorded 24 cases.

Outside Hyderabad and surrounding districts, Karimnagar recorded the highest single-day jump of 135. Warangal Urban district saw 108 new cases. Siddipet added 106 cases, Khammam 103, Nizamabad 84.

According to the director of public health, 70 per cent of 1,60,571 cases reported so far in the state were asymptomatic.

Age wise Covid positive details show that 65.23 per cent of those tested positive were in the age group of 21-50 years.AOfficials said that the ratio of those above 51 years dropped to 21.82 against 24.71 per cent earlier. Those below 20 years are now 12.95 per cent against 10 per cent earlier.

Officials said 64.83 per cent of those tested positive were male while the remaining 38.17 per cent were female.

Out of 20,396 beds under government, 17,730 beds are vacant including 1,586 ICU beds.

The number of private hospitals treating COVID patients rose to 204 with the government adding one more hospital to the list. They have 10,773 beds, out of which 6,533 are vacant.







Tue, 15 Sep 2020 11:47:40 +0530
Fantasy sports stakeholders pledge to adhere to tenets of AIGF skill games charter

New Delhi, Sep 15 

With just days to go for the commencement of the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), fantasy sports business is expected to bounce back with millions of people all set to get to play on fantasy sports platforms.

As per the FICCI Frames report on M&E compiled by EY, there are 360 million online gamers in India. In view of this trend, the importance for self-regulation for online skill gaming cannot be emphasised enough.

Thus, the All India Gaming Federation (AIGF) has reinforced its resolve towards responsible gaming with the AIGF skill games charter. It emphasises on responsible gaming to build a robust self-regulatory community and facilitative ecosystem for the offer of online games of skill in a transparent and fair manner, with due regard for consumer and stakeholder interests.

Roland Landers, CEO, AIGF stated: "Since its inception, one of the aims of AIGF has been centered around bringing recognition to the sunrise sector of online skill gaming. Having a robust self-regulation mechanism that would serve the needs of the sector by means of good governance is extremely vital."

With the surge in the online skill gaming ecosystem, AIGF earlier this year strengthened its Advisory Board and onboarded eminent experts from diverse backgrounds like Justice Vikramajit Sen, Fatema Agarkar, Jhulan Goswami and Ishita Pateria.

The AIGF Charter was released in 2018 and is based on the foundations of integrity, legality, global best practices and good governance. The charter focusses entirely on player protection, responsible gaming including guidelines for advertising in this space, as per the release.

Landers further said, "Through the adoption of principles and the disciplinary process AIGF stakeholders in fantasy sports namely Paytm First Games, Mobile Premier League(MPL), Nostragamus & Livepools have pledged to adhere to and uphold the tenets of the AIGF Skill Game Charter which will benefit the millions of fantasy sports gamers that play on these platforms."

Dibyojyoti Mainak, VP Policy & Legal, MPL said, "As India's leading mobile esports brand, it gives us immense pleasure to be deeply associated with cricket in India. We will abide by the AIGF Skill Game Charter and best principles set by various industry bodies in this regard. MPL is committed to the pledge of responsible innovation, among others, in the esports and fantasy space."

Sudhanshu Gupta, COO, Paytm First Games said, "Our platform has emerged as India's go-to gaming app and has a growing user base of over 90 million. It is our responsibility to safeguard the interest of online gamers while providing them with an ethical and transparent ecosystem. We have joined hands with the AIGF and will ensure the adherence of fair self-regulation practices. Also, we will work together to promote online gaming in the country by engaging with new gaming-enthusiasts."







Tue, 15 Sep 2020 11:45:27 +0530
Tesla Huami join hands to launch new smartwatch

Beijing, Sep 15

Elon Musk-run Tesla and Xiaomi-backed wearable brand Huami have reportedly partnered to launch a smartwatch that will have support for controlling certain aspects of Tesla cars.

Huami CEO Huang Wang teased about a launch event on Weibo and it appears that the company could unveil an upgraded variant of the ‘Amazift GTR' smartwatch, reports GizmoChina.

Interestingly, the Amazfit GTR and Amazfit GTS smartwatches from the company recently received an update, enabling them to be used as car keys for Xiaopeng P7/Xpeng P7, touted as the Chinese rival to the Tesla Model 3.

The upcoming product could have the same feature, with support for cars from Tesla.

Earlier, it was reported that Tesla is working with the Norway-based wearable company Xplora Technologies to develop smartwatches for kids.

While there is no official word from Tesla on the same, Tesla's involvement in the Xplora smartwatch was revealed in a US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) filing.








Tue, 15 Sep 2020 11:43:40 +0530
Anubhav Sinha Nepotism is an overrated debate

Mumbai, Sep 15

Filmmaker Anubhav Sinha feels the raging debate over nepotism, which has found fresh steam after the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput, is overrated.

"Nepotism is an overrated debate. It exists everywhere and I have been telling this from the day one. Too much has been made out of the word 'nepotism'," Sinha told IANS.

He opened up on the issue of favouritism, too, and he admitted not being too aware of the newly-popular term 'movie mafia' before.

"Speaking of 'mafias', I haven't heard this term too many times in regards to the industry. Yes, favouritism and bullying exist in the business and it exists in every business. But we all should be very careful about our fellow workers. We all should think about each other and work in a friendly manner," said the "Thappad" director.








Tue, 15 Sep 2020 11:40:55 +0530
Equity indices in green healthcare stocks surge

Mumbai, Sep 15

The key Indian equity indices traded in the positive territory on Tuesday backed by healthy buying in healthcare, consumer durables and banking stocks.

Around 10.25 a.m., Sensex was trading at 38,896.08, higher by 139.45 points or 0.36 per cent from the previous close of 38,756.63.

It opened at 38,904.67 and has so far touched an intra-day high of 39,013.06 and a low of 38,847.70 points.

The Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange was trading at 11,481.15, higher by 41.10 points or 0.36 per cent from the previous close.

Manish Hathiramani, technical analyst with Deen Dayal Investments said: "We are trading above the 11,500 levels but I would still look out for the Nifty to trade in the 11,550-11,575 trading zone as that would signal that we are entering into a bullish zone. The support continues to be around the 11,300 levels."




Tue, 15 Sep 2020 11:38:33 +0530
80K lost Covid battle in India as tally breached 49L

New Delhi, Sep 15

India has lost 80,776 people to the Coronavirus till date, Health Ministry data revealed on Tuesday that also showed a spike of 83,809 new cases in the past 24 hours.

With 1,054 deaths India now has a toll that is barely 5,000 short of total Covid-19 cases reported in China, the ground zero of the virus that turned into a pandemic since the first case was reported in Wuhan in December 2019.

China has so far recorded only 85,202 cases while India that reported its first Covid-19 case on January 30, now has 49,30,236 cases, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare data.

Out of the total cases, 9,90,061 are the active, 38,59,399 have been discharged, while 79,292 were cured in the past one day.

While the recovery rate is 78 per cent, the fatality rate is 1.64 per cent.

On July 17, India had logged 10 lakh cases, which then doubled to 20 lakh in 20 days, on August 7. The country added another 10 lakh on August 23 and went past 40 lakh on September 5.

Maharashtra continues to be the worst-hit state with a total of 10,60,308 cases, including 29,531 deaths; followed by Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh.

According to the data from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), India conducted 10,72,845 sample tests in a single day on Monday, taking the total number of samples tested so far to 5,83,12,273.

The US is the only nation worse hit than India with 65,53,303 cases and 1,94,489 deaths so far.


Tue, 15 Sep 2020 11:34:13 +0530
80K lost Covid battle in India as tally breached 49L

New Delhi, Sep 15

India has lost 80,776 people to the Coronavirus till date, Health Ministry data revealed on Tuesday that also showed a spike of 83,809 new cases in the past 24 hours.

With 1,054 deaths India now has a toll that is barely 5,000 short of total Covid-19 cases reported in China, the ground zero of the virus that turned into a pandemic since the first case was reported in Wuhan in December 2019.

China has so far recorded only 85,202 cases while India that reported its first Covid-19 case on January 30, now has 49,30,236 cases, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare data.

Out of the total cases, 9,90,061 are the active, 38,59,399 have been discharged, while 79,292 were cured in the past one day.

While the recovery rate is 78 per cent, the fatality rate is 1.64 per cent.

On July 17, India had logged 10 lakh cases, which then doubled to 20 lakh in 20 days, on August 7. The country added another 10 lakh on August 23 and went past 40 lakh on September 5.

Maharashtra continues to be the worst-hit state with a total of 10,60,308 cases, including 29,531 deaths; followed by Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh.

According to the data from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), India conducted 10,72,845 sample tests in a single day on Monday, taking the total number of samples tested so far to 5,83,12,273.

The US is the only nation worse hit than India with 65,53,303 cases and and 1,94,489 deaths so far.






Tue, 15 Sep 2020 11:32:22 +0530
Weed common on sets cocaine is B wood s party drug SSR s friend Yuvraj S Singh

New Delhi, Actor-producer Yuvraj S. Singh, a close friend of late star Sushant Singh Rajput, says not only does the drug culture prevail in Bollywood, it is also a way to move around in the industry. He claimed that most A-list actors are addicted to cocaine.

"There's been a lot of drugs happening for a long time, maybe since the 1970s. At that time things were different. There wasn't so much exposure or social media. Now, it is getting exposed," Yuvraj told IANS.

"There are many people in the industry who take cocaine. There are many actors and filmmakers who on drugs and are roaming around, and that is why this madness is really happening," he added.

Talking about the drugs that are popular in the industry, the "Beiimaan Love" actor said: "Weed is like cigarette. From cameraperson to technicians, people on the set normally take weed. Bollywood parties are mostly about cocaine. Cocaine is the main drug of Bollywood. Then there is MDMA, also called ecstasy, LSD, which is also called acid. There is also ketamine, which is a horse tranquiliser. They are doing these things and these are very hard drugs. They are under its influence for almost 15 to 20 hours. Cocaine is also a very hard drug, and I would say that fuive to eight actors of the industry need to get off it, nahi toh marr jayenge yeh log (they will end up dying)."

The actor himself has been offered drugs on many occasions.

"Yes, I have been offered (drugs) many times. It is very normal. Many people operate like this. They take drugs and then go to parties. This is the way of moving around. In fact, people are getting work because of it. If you do drugs with the right people, the right hero, actress and director, you form a lobby and a connection, and that is the kind of mindset Bollywood works on. They make an environment, company and prefer to work in that circle," he said.

Asked if he can reveal the names, the actor said: "Most of them do it. I have literally seen everyone do it. Over the years, I have realised that these people move around in a circle, and they operate in that circle and work with each other."

"In fact, one of the videos also went viral -- that was a drug party," he added, with a seeming reference to the video from Karan Johar's house party last year.

The video in question featured Deepika Padukone, Ranbir Kapoor, Malaika Arora, Vicky Kaushal, Varun Dhawan, Shahid Kapoor, Arjun Kapoor. It went viral on social media with many alleging that drugs were used at the house party.

Yuvraj asserted: "So, the drug culture is very prevalent in the industry. You can say that the top 10 or 15 A-listers are pretty much addicted to cocaine."

So, why not take names? Yuvraj says he would rather avoid because he needs to protect himself from the wrath of "vendetta" that drives the industry.

"I know these people consume (drugs), but I don't have evidence or photographs to prove it. They might file a counter case on me. I don't want my name in that. Also, I am working in this industry and they will try to sabotage my films. They will ask my distributors not to release my film. It is a very vendetta-based industry," said the co-producer of the hit film, "Qismat".

Giving hint, Yuvraj continued: "I would give it off by saying that they are top A-list actors, say 10 to 15 of them barring Akshay Kumar, who is very clean and honest to his work. This A-list gang has made a lobby. You have to operate within that with no way out."

The actor continued: "Shakun Batra is my very close friend. He directed 'Kapoor & Sons' and is currently shooting with Deepika Padukone for his next in Goa. He told me that these people are creating this kind of vibe, where they want to create their own star and their own people with growing support to nepotism.

"In fact, the drug involvement has also become very normal, which is not good for the industry. The new generation will be discouraged from entering the industry amid all these practices. Things have to be corrected," he added.

Tue, 15 Sep 2020 09:15:38 +0530
Lionel Messi becomes ambassador of OrCam Technologies

New Delhi,  OrCam Technologies, a leader in personal AI-driven innovations, announced on Monday that Argentine football icon Lionel Messi will be its new ambassador.

Messi will be leading the charge to improve accessibility through OrCam's breakthrough AI technologies for people who are visually impaired.

The Israel-based company is launching the partnership collaboration with the Barcelona superstar to increase awareness about the challenges faced by visually impaired community globally.

As a component of the project, OrCam will arrange meetings between dozens of visually impaired people from around the world with Messi.

It will be an opportunity to get to know the soccer icon in a face-to-face meeting, as well as receiving from Messi an assistive technology solution that will increase their independence in their daily lives with the OrCam MyEye.

Every year, Messi will gift OrCam MyEye to visually impaired people with inspiring stories, some of whom he will personally meet in Barcelona. These individuals will each become members of the 'OrCam Dream Team' led by Messi.

The first of these meetings took place just before the coronavirus pandemic shook the world. The meeting was particularly striking for Messi, who said, "The emotion was incredible. Meeting with this amazing group of people from around the world was truly a magical and inspiring moment.

"Witnessing each of the members of the 'Dream Team' trying out the OrCam MyEye features, it was clear that this would be a life-changing device for each of them. I am proud to be an OrCam Ambassador to truly make a difference for so many."

Tue, 15 Sep 2020 09:11:28 +0530
UK lawmakers vote to give Internal Market Bill 2nd reading

London,  UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson cleared a major hurdle in the House of Commons when lawmakers rejected a challenge to his controversial Internal Market Bill.

MPs voted to give the UK Internal Market Bill a second reading by 340 to 263, Xinhua news agency reported on Monday.

Johnson said the legislation was necessary to prevent the EU taking an "extreme and unreasonable" interpretation of the provisions in the Withdrawal Agreement relating to Northern Ireland.

The prime minister opened a debate in the House of Commons at the start of the bill's legislative journey where it faces a rough ride over the coming days.

During the debate, Johnson claimed the EU's current approach could lead to excessive checks and even tariffs on goods moving from Northern Ireland to Britain's mainland. He said the bill would ensure the UK's "economic and political integrity."

Summing up the reading before MPs went to vote, Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove said that the UK is committed to making a success of its negotiations with the EU.

"What this bill is not doing is not walking away from negotiation with the European Union. Those negotiations go on," Gove said.

MPs who opposed to the bill claimed it would breach international law by overriding some parts of the Brexit deal signed by Britain and the EU.

Six former prime ministers of Britain had also expressed opposition to the bill. They feared it would harm Britain's global reputation if it passed a bill breaking international law. But Johnson defended it, saying it was meant as a safety net to protect Britain's internal market spanning Britain's mainland and Northern Ireland.

Britain is currently following EU rules until the end of this year when a transition period comes to an end.

Both Johnson and Gove said they wanted to reach a future trade deal with Brussels by January 1.

Tue, 15 Sep 2020 09:08:00 +0530
Encounter starts in South Kashmir s Pulwama district

Srinagar,  An encounter has started between terrorists and security forces at Marwal in South Kashmir's Pulwama district on Tuesday, officials said.

The firefight between terrorists and security forces took place after a joint team of the police and the army cordoned off the area and launched a search operation on the basis of specific information about presence of terrorists.

As the security forces zeroed in on the spot where terrorists were hiding they came under a heavy volume of fire that triggered the encounter.

"Encounter has started at Marwal area of Pulwama. Police and security forces are on the job," police said.

Tue, 15 Sep 2020 09:04:00 +0530
Closure of zoo due to Corona brings relief for animals

New Delhi, Amid restrictions for visitors to the Zoo in Delhi due to coronavirus pandemic spread, the animals are spending their life in peace but there is no respite for the employees as they have to take more care of the animals and their health.

As the entry of visitors in the zoo is banned, the animals are allowed to more time out of the cage in the natural environment. This has brought a positive change in their behaviour too.

Delhi Zoo director Ramesh K. Pandey told IANS, "As there are no visitors allowed in the zoo as of now, there is no noise here, animals are not been disturbed and because of this the animals are living in peace which is bringing a positive change in their behaviour."

"However, it is bit difficult to find that what change has been in the behaviour of the animals due to the absence of the audience. We can only guess about it," he said.

"The zoo is being sanitized at regular interval. The staff is taking care of the animals in every possible way and we are paying more attention to their health at this time," he added.

The zoo has been closed for the public since March 18, even before the lockdown. In order to contain the virus spread, employees inside the zoo have been asked to wear masks and gloves.

All the cages of the animals have been kept open except their enclosures so that they can move freely.

As the slaughterhouses have been closed due to Covid, an alternative slaughterhouse was built inside the zoo from where meat was supplied to the animals. However, the meat is been bought from outside shops from last 15 days.

There are about 200 employees in the zoo for whom the corona period has been quite challenging.

Pandey said, "We have been able to work on animal welfare in a much easier way as there are no visitors as of now. Animals like elephants, tiger, leopard and jaguar are screened on regular basis as it is important to keep the animals safe too. Apart from Covid, we also need to take precautions for the other diseases too."

He said the zoo staff works from 6 a.m. to 12 p.m. and everything inside the zoo is been monitored.

"We will open the zoo as per the orders and guidelines of the government and try to go digital as much as possible. At the same time, we will follow the social distancing norms," he added.


Tue, 15 Sep 2020 09:02:04 +0530
Sensex rallies over 264 points Nifty tops 11 500

Sep, 14

Markets recorded positive movement early on Monday morning with gains in index majors amid positive global cues and fresh foreign fund inflow.

The 30-share BSE index was trading 265.15 points or 0.68 per cent higher at 39,119.70 while the NSE Nifty rose 68.60 points or 0.60 per cent to 11,533.05.

HCL Tech, Tech Mahindra, Infosys, TCS, ONGC, M&M, Axis Bank, SBI, IndusInd Bank, RIL, HDFC and Titan were among companies that were doing well. On the other hand Asian Paints, Sun Pharma, HUL, Bajaj Finance, Bharti Airtel, Nestle, Powergrid, Maruti, Kotak Bank, Bajaj Finserve, Bajaj Auto and ITC were faring badly.

Exchange data showed that foreign institutional investors bought equities worth Rs 1,175.81 crore on a net basis on Friday.

Mon, 14 Sep 2020 16:13:41 +0530
HSCAP Allotment List 2020 DHSE Kerala plus one admission list released

Sep, 14

Kerala Department of Higher Secondary Education (DHSE) has announced HSCAP Allotment List 2020 on its website. Candidates by logging in to can check the details by entering the required details. Kerala Plus One allotment list was scheduled to be released on September 14 but got released a day earlier.

The trial allotment list was released on September 5, 2020. The main allotment list, as per the revised schedule would release on October 6, 2020. Allotment list contains the names of candidates who were selected for class 11 admissions in the state. In total, 476046 candidates applied for the admission round and a total of 280212 seats will be filled through the allotment list as per first allotment statistics.

Out of the total 280212 seats, 222522 seats have been allotted till now. A total of 57878 seats are vacant to be filled. Admission will begin from today and continue till September 19, 2020.

Mon, 14 Sep 2020 16:09:02 +0530
Supermodel sentenced 9 months community service for tax evasion

Sep 14,

Bar Refaeli is sentenced to 9 months of community service by a court in Israel for evading tax. Her mother Zipi Refaeli received 16 months’ prison term. The supermodel and her mother were convicted on charges of tax evasion on income worth $10 million.

Bar and Zippi had negotiated a plea that required them to pay a $1.5 million fine, plus the taxes they owe. The mother and daughter were pictured in the courthouse sporting masks accompanied with their lawyer.

Mon, 14 Sep 2020 16:05:47 +0530
Celebrating Hindi Diwas on September 14

Sep, 14

September 14 is recognized as Hindi diwas day and is celebrated to commemorate the adoption of Hindi in Devanagari script as one of the official language of India. Hindi is one of the most widely spoken languages in India and the first language of more than 520 million people.

It was on September 14, 1949 that Hindi was declared as the official language in the Constituent Assembly by one vote. After this decision, from 1953 on September 14, India was celebrated as Hindi Day every year at the request of Rashtrabhasha Prachar Samiti, Wardha, to spread Hindi in every region. Hindi is widely spoken in the northern states of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, etc.

Many programmes are organized on Hindi Day for the promotion of Hindi. On this day, many cultural programmes are also organized in schools and colleges. Interestingly even English language has borrowed many words from Hindi, some of which being avatar, bungalow, jungle, khaki, karma, loot, mantra, nirvana, shampoo, thugs, yoga, guru, etc.

Mon, 14 Sep 2020 16:01:07 +0530
Here s your protein report card

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi recommended introducing nutrition cards to increase awareness in India. Celebrating this initiative of National Nutrition Month, Right to Protein, a nation-wide public health awareness initiative launched the protein report card for citizens to self-assess themselves and improve their nutritional intake.

This will help people gain an understanding on whether their protein consumption is adequate or requires urgent attention. People looking to receive their protein report card should log in to the freely available Protein-O-Meter (protein calculator tool) and access their customized report card.

The programme is a direct result of the Prime Minister’s recommendations of introducing nutrition cards to raise awareness among public. Shri Modi had shared the recommendations recently last month and called to focus on quality and nutritious food intake and increase awareness among the younger generation.

The Report Card can be generated by visiting

Mon, 14 Sep 2020 13:50:20 +0530
Covid 19 NRL players could face 100M AUD pay cut over next 2 years

Sydney,  The National Rugby League (NRL) of Australia could cut players' salaries by more than 100 million Australian dollars (about $72.8 million) over the next two years due to the financial blow caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, The Australian has revealed.

The NRL had informed the players union that Covid-19 would cost them at least 400 million Australian dollars ($291.1 million) in 2021 and 2022, writes Xinhua news agency.

NRL players are entitled to 29.5 per cent of the game's total revenue pool, according to the collective bargaining agreement. However, as the league suffers from Covid-19, players could be forced to share the financial pain.

The NRL had offered the players a 10 per cent pay cut for each season. But after enduring a 20 per cent pay cut to restart the competition this year, players insisted the reduction should be no more than five percent.

With the grand final only weeks away, Australian Rugby League Commission chair Peter V'landys remained confident that an agreement will be reached in time despite the haggling.

"It is not just the revenues of the NRL (that have dropped), it is the revenues of the clubs. They are doing it a bit tougher than we first thought," V'landys said.

"There is a collective bargaining agreement there anyway. It says they get a certain percentage of revenue. If we did that, they would be getting a lot less than what the offer is."

Not only relying on players, the NRL is also doing its own part to cut costs, with details set to be announced at the end of the month.

Mon, 14 Sep 2020 13:32:35 +0530
Ecom Express to provide 30 000 jobs over the next few weeks


Logistics company, Ecom Express is planning to employ 30,000 people for the festive season in the next few weeks. These jobs will be temporary and new hiring will be done to meet the increased demand from e-commerce companies during festivals. A spokesperson from Ecom Express said that last year the company had hired 20,000 people before the festival season. Though these jobs were temporary, around one-third of them have become permanent as there was a rise in orders even after the festival season.

E-commerce companies anticipate business to increase during festivals and have gone for capacity increase to manage orders. Walmart-owned Flipkart recently added more than 50,000 grocery stores to strengthen the supply chain and increase delivery capacity. Amazon India announced the addition of five centers (Vishakhapatnam, Farukhnagar, Mumbai, Bangalore and Ahmedabad). It has also announced the expansion of its existing eight centers.

Saurabh Deep Singla, Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resource Officer of Ecom Express told media, “The epidemic has taken the e-commerce industry to a different stage. During the festivals our e-commerce customers are making a lot of aggressive plans and we want to make sure that they can meet the demand. We have started appointments. This process will continue till October 10 and we expect to create 30,000 temporary jobs during the festivals.”






Mon, 14 Sep 2020 13:31:54 +0530
Dining in restaurants may increase Covid 19 spread risk Study

New York, In a study related to novel coronavirus, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found that people who are dining at a restaurant at a higher risk of Covid-19 transmission than some other community activities.

Fro the findings, the research team examined data from adults at 11 facilities across the nation who tested positive for COvid-19 and compared that with a control group of adults without virus infection.

"We found that close contact with persons with known Covid-19 or going to locations that offer on-site eating and drinking options were associated with Covid-19 positivity," said the study researchers from the CDC.

"Adults with positive SARS-CoV-2 test results were approximately twice as likely to have reported dining at a restaurant than were those with negative SARS-CoV-2 test results," they added.

In this investigation, participants with and without Covid-19 reported generally similar community exposures, with the exception of going to locations with on-site eating and drinking options.

The researchers took a close look at how those patients responded to questions about wearing masks and various activities in the community, including whether they recently dined at a restaurant, hung out a bar or went to a gym.

The data showed that 42 per cent of the adults who tested positive reported having close contact with at least one person known to have Covid-19, compared with 14 per cent of those who tested negative.

The researchers also found that 71 per cent of the adults with Covid-19 and 74 per cent of those who tested negative reported always using a face covering while in public.

The findings showed that eating and drinking on-site at locations that offer such options might be important risk factors associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection.

"Efforts to reduce possible exposures where mask use and social distancing are difficult to maintain, such as when eating and drinking, should be considered to protect customers, employees and communities," the study authors noted.

Mon, 14 Sep 2020 13:23:36 +0530
OnePlus 8T gets BIS certification expected to arrive next month

Beijing/New Delhi, Smartphone brand OnePlus is planning to unveil OnePlus 8T in the first week of October with OxygenOS 11 based on Android 11 and now the upcoming flagship has been certified by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).

According to Gizmochina, the BIS page revealed the OnePlus 8T has model number KB2001. The device is codenamed ‘Kebab' and will feature a 6.55-inch AMOLED display just like the regular OnePlus 8 but with a 120Hz refresh rate.

The smartphone is expected to come with four cameras at the back, with a 48MP primary lens joined by a 16MP wide-angle module, 5MP macro, and 2MP portrait lens, according to the report.

In terms of processor, the smartphone is likely to feature a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus chip with 8GB RAM, 128GB internal storage.

In addition, OnePlus is also planning to unveil another device with Snapdragon 662 or 665 chip for a price tag between Rs 16,000-Rs 18,000.

While OPPO is expected to launch a phone with Snapdragon 662 chipset this month under Rs 20,000, OnePlus is expected to follow suit at the end of September with its own phone in similar range and specifications.

The Snapdragon 662 is an octa-core chipset that sits barely below the Snapdragon 665 processor.

Mon, 14 Sep 2020 13:19:13 +0530
TN Assembly DMK MLAs wear masks with slogan against NEET

Chennai, Sep 14

The masks against coronavirus infection on Monday turned into a political protest instrument in Tamil Nadu's state Assembly.

The DMK Legislators, including party President M. K.Stalin wore a white mask with slogan against the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) on it and attended the session.

The three-day Assembly session is being held at Kalaivanar Arangam instead of the Assembly hall at Fort St.George.

The session on the opening day was adjourned for Tuesday after adopting condolence resolutions mourning the death of former President Pranab Mukherjee, Congress Lok Sabha Member from Tamil Nadu H. Vasanthakumar, DMK lawmaker J.Anbazhagan, former Legislators and others who died due to Covid-19.

Speaking to reporters later Stalin said the Speaker did not accede to our request to pass a condolence resolution for the students who committed suicide fearing NEET.

He also said the party had earlier said two days of the Assembly session is insufficient to deliberate on various issues.





Mon, 14 Sep 2020 13:18:59 +0530
Infosys to acquire European consultancy firm GuideVision

Bengaluru, Sep 14

IT major Infosys has signed a definitive agreement to acquire European consultancy firm GuideVision for up to 30 million euros including earn-out and bonuses.

In a regulatory filing on Monday, Infosys said that GuideVision's end-to-end offerings, including SnowMirror -- a proprietary smart data replication tool for ServiceNow instances -- enables over 100 enterprise clients to simplify complex business and IT processes.

GuideVision's training academy and nearshore capabilities in Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and presence in Germany and Finland will strengthen Infosys' ServiceNow capabilities for its clients in Europe.

Ravi Kumar, President, Infosys, said: "This acquisition is an important milestone in our journey to build capabilities relevant to the digital priorities of our clients. This move reaffirms our commitment to the growing ServiceNow ecosystem."

Norbert Nagy, Co-Founder, GuideVision, said: "GuideVision's exceptionally high customer ratings are the result of our continuous effort to deliver superior consulting and implementation services. Joining Infosys brings an extended portfolio of services we can offer to our customers on their digital transformation journey."

The acquisition is expected to close during the third quarter of fiscal 2021, subject to customary closing conditions.






Mon, 14 Sep 2020 13:16:19 +0530
Kolkata Metro resumes services after 176 day hiatus

Kolkata, Sep 14

The Kolkata Metro Rail resumed its operations on Monday after a hiatus of 176 days due to the Covid-19 pandemic, officials said.

The services on the Noapara to Kavi Subhas and Salt Lake Sector-V to Salt Lake Stadium routes will be available between 8 am and 8 pm daily, expect on Sunday's, while observing strict Covid-19 guidelines.

The last train will start at 7 pm sharp from both terminus on the route. If any Metro station falls in the containment zone, it will remain closed to public, officials said.

All passengers were checked by officials of the Railway Protection Force and the Kolkata Police before they were allowed to enter the Metro premises this morning. Each passenger underwent thermal screening.

The services were resumed only after thorough sanitation of every bogey. The Metro authorities are issuing only smart cards at the booking counters and no tokens.

Face masks have been made mandatory for commuting on the Metro rail. Only three persons will be allowed to use an elevator at a time at Metro stations. No passenger will be allowed to commute by Metro if he or she has cough or fever, Metro sources said.

Only Metro officials showing their identity cards were allowed to enter the stations, though they had to collect the necessary passes from the counters. Special passes were issued to employees of contract agencies who work for Kolkata Metro, officials said.

As per the new guidelines, Metro trains will now stop for 30 seconds at each station, instead of 20 seconds earlier. Passengers are not allowed to sit on seats with cross marks so as to ensure physical distance between two passengers.






Mon, 14 Sep 2020 13:14:16 +0530
Salon style hair at home

New Delhi, Sep 14

With home sheltering for months on end during the lockdown, many of us have quite simply got sick of the sloppy dressing and carefree hair and makeup routine. If you can afford to, continue to stay at home despite the Unlock, because the pandemic ain't going away in a rush, but step up to the plate and take care of your locks.

We spoke to expert is Shilpa Joshi Halder, Hair Color & Care Development Manager South Asia for L'Oreal Paris for some do it yourself hair care tips with the newly launched L'Oreal Paris Extraordinary Oil Serum so you can have shiny hair in an instant.

Effortless Styled Hair at Home

With staying indoors, we all are on a lookout for chic updos for our zoom calls. You can try a sleek wrapped ponytail which is perfect for your office calls as well as your zoom parties. To accomplish this look, untangle your hair with the help of the Serum, take a couple of drops and apply it the whole way across the length of your hair. Put your hair in a tight pony; take a strand from the ponytail and fold it around the hair and then tie it with a rubber band. Set up those strands of the baby hair with a tiny bit of the hair serum, and voila you're ready!

As a finishing touch

If you have dry hair troubles and leave-in conditioners aren't doing the job, an instant shine and smoothing serum is your BFF. Smoothing serums are also one of the most effective ways to manage your hair in humid climates. My recommendation for a go-to serum is the new as it helps give an instant nourish to dry and frizzy hair. Take 3-4 drops of serum on the palm of your hand and rub it well to make it warm. Now, start applying serum to the back of your hair first and then come to the front and midsection of the hair so your hairstyle stays intact.

Before a blow dry

Before attempting a blow dry at home, it's a good idea to pre-treat your hair with heat-protecting serum. Depending on your hair length take two to five drops of the serum in your palm and rub it well. If you have fine hair and wonder why it always struggles to hold a blow dry, I recommend using the the serum which is enriched with a luxurious blend of 6 precious floral oils. This serum is specially curated for hair of all textures and is the perfect choice for a styling aid. The lightweight and non-greasy formula transforms the hair texture from the very first use, delivering extraordinary nourishment and protects the hair from heat as well.





Mon, 14 Sep 2020 13:10:34 +0530
India records 92K new cases Covid tally crosses 48L

New Delhi, Sep 14

With a massive spike of 92,071 cases, including 1,136 deaths in 24 hours, India's total tally of Covid-19 cases reached 48,46,427, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare data on Monday.

Out of the total cases, 9,86,598 are the active ones, 37,80,107 have been discharged, while 79,722 lost the battle against the viral disease. In the last 24 hours, 77,512 patients were discharged.

While the recovery rate is 77.88 per cent, the fatality rate is 1.65 per cent, the data from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said.

On July 17, India had logged 10 lakh cases, which then doubled to 20 lakh in 20 days, on August 7. The country added another 10 lakh on August 23 and went past 40 lakh on September 5.

Maharashtra continues to be the worst-hit state with a total of 10,37,765 cases, including 29,115 deaths; followed by Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh.

According to the data from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), India conducted 9,78,500 sample tests in a single day on Sunday, taking the total number of samples tested so far to 5,72,39,428.

On the global front, India remains the second worst-hit nation with the Covid-19 pandemic while the US leads the board with 65,19,121 total cases and 1,94,041 deaths. The maximum number of deaths occurred in the US followed by Brazil and India.

Meanwhile, on Sunday, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare asked Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Telangana, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh to make adequate oxygen availability while ensuring unrestricted intra as well as interstate movement of the oxygen.

To allay fears regarding the safety aspect of the coronavirus vaccines, the Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said that he will be happy to take the first dose. He assured the vaccine will be first made available to those who need it the most, irrespective of their paying capacity.





Mon, 14 Sep 2020 12:54:54 +0530
Bring the festive spirit into your homes

New Delhi, Sep 14

It's that time of the year when we used to open our doors to friends, festivities and celebrations. With the pandemic creating constraints on all the partying, there's no reason we can't keep the festive cheer with a little re-decorating and intimate gatherings.

Vocal for local is not only trending in the fashion department, but with interior decor and soft furnishings as well. IKEA launched its newest collection titled LJUV, designed in South India, by Nada Debs, a prominent Lebanese designer along with IKEA designers. It is a gorgeous example of her signature style of mixing material and patterns, such as wood and metals or ceramic and brass.

This decorative and functional range is a blend of Middle eastern design with Scandinavian modernity that can liven up any home. In India, festivals are all about celebrations. In these unprecedented times, festivals also become a means to express gratitude and celebrate togetherness in the most joyful way with friends and loved ones. LJUV's patterns, colours, etc. aim to keep the festival mood upbeat.

Nada Debs wanted to make this collection affordable, light and flat packed, while incorporating traditional design techniques and attractive patterns. The serve bowls in golden color, floor cushions, tablecloth, napkins, trays, etc. can blend well with existing items in home to add a colorful and vibrant feeling to festivals.

"The festive season in India is approaching and to celebrate positivity, renewal and hope, IKEA is happy to introduce LJUV, our festive collection that will help create that perfect spot at home and light up your spaces for any celebration. LJUV is a beautiful and affordable collection that revives traditional patterns by incorporating simple elements and it is a testimony of the rich cultural heritage we have in India. The colourful patterns and textiles, with the accessories creates a festive modern look to blend well with any festive occasions across the year," says Kavitha Rao, Country Commercial Head, IKEA India.

Shop for this limited collection online at or visit IKEA Hyderabad store, you can also try IKEA's Click & Collect service in Hyderabad





Mon, 14 Sep 2020 12:50:23 +0530
9 girls rescued after sex racket busted in Kanpur

Kanpur, Sep 14

A inter-state online sex racket running for past few years was busted when police raided a house in a Kanpur locality and rescued nine girls , including one each from Assam and Delhi.

The rescue were made from Naubasta area. The victims were mostly from Kanpur besides Assam, Delhi and Faizabad.

Eleven people including pimps and customers were arrested after the Uttar Pradesh police tracked down the gang as the cyber cell found a link posted on Twitter recently.

"The gang had posted mobile phone numbers in the link to take calls from customers," SSP Preetinder Singh said on Sunday evening.

"We have arrested one Ashish Kumar, a resident of Naubasta. On the basis of inputs provided by him, we then arrested one Raju a.k.a Iran. They informed investigators that the girls hailing from outside the state are being supplied to customers by a broker Kalpana Gupta," the SSP said.

A decoy customer then contacted the number displayed on the link. He was asked to come to a spot in the city, after which the crack team, led by Naubasta police officials, raided the place.

Twenty-one mobile phones, two motorcycles and two scooty were seized from brokers and customers. A case was registered at Naubasta police station under Prevention of Immoral Trafficking Act and efforts are on to nab others involved.

Investigating officers said the racket has been operating for the past few years and during this time, the accused were believed to have forced scores of girls into the flesh trade.

"The racket was being run across India. There were one girl each from Delhi, Faizabad and Assam. We are obtaining details so that their information can be shared with the authorities in other cities," a senior police official said.




Mon, 14 Sep 2020 12:06:45 +0530
Explosives detected defused in J K s Baramulla

Srinagar, Sep 14

Security forces on Monday detected explosive device planted by militants in Jammu and Kashmir's Baramulla district which was later defused, police sources said.

The explosives were found by the road opening party (ROP) of the army on the Srinagar-Baramulla highway in Pattan area.

"It was later defused by the bomb disposal squad which was immediately called in to avert what could have been a major tragedy," the police sources said.

Explosive devices are planted by militants on roads and highways to target the convoys of the security forces and also the cavalcades of VIPs.

ROPs of security forces, including the army and the paramilitary forces are moved out each day with the first light to secure the passage of security forces and the VIPs across Kashmir.

The ROPs are equipped with electronic equipment and accompanied by sniffer dogs, who immediately spot any explosives planted.






Mon, 14 Sep 2020 12:04:59 +0530
Fans to be allowed inside stadium for cricket series between Aus NZ women

Melbourne, Sep 14

In a first since the outbreak of novel coronavirus, the upcoming limited-overs series between Australia Women and New Zealand Women will be played in the presence of fans inside the stadium, Cricket Australia confirmed on Monday.

Australia and New Zealand will play three ODIs and three T20Is beginning September 26 at the Allan Border Field in Brisbane.

"A limited number of fans will be admitted to Allan Border Field, with the maximum attendance determined by current Queensland health and government guidelines which caps the attendance at 50 per cent of the venue's capacity," said a report in

"The ground will be split into six zones with fans only allowed to sit in the section specified on their ticket," it added.

The report further said that there would be a limit of six tickets per customer, and there will be no box office sales at the match. Only mobile tickets will be available, and when a person buys a ticket, Cricket Australia will keep the details of the person for Covid-19 contact-tracing purposes.

The last international cricket fixture that saw the presence of crowd was the women's T20 World Cup final between Australia and India at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) which registered a record presence of over 80,000 spectators.


Australia: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes (vc), Maitlan Brown, Erin Burns, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Tahlia McGrath, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry*, Megan Schutt, Molly Strano, Annabel Sutherland, Georgia Wareham, Belinda Vakarewa *subject to fitness

New Zealand: Sophie Devine (c), Suzie Bates, Natalie Dodd, Deanna Doughty, Lauren Down, Maddy Green, Holly Huddleston, Hayley Jenson, Amelia Kerr, Jess Kerr, Rosemary Mair, Katey Martin, Hannah Rowe, Amy Satterthwaite, Lea Tahuhu, Jess Watkin






Mon, 14 Sep 2020 12:02:44 +0530
Instagram may charge a fee for tagging links in captions

San Francisco, Sep 14

A newly-discovered patent filing suggests that Facebook-owned photo sharing platform Instagram may be considering charging a fee to add links to photo captions.

The patent application shows a pop-up appearing when the user adds a URL to a caption, asking if the user wants to pay $2 to make the link live, reports The Verge.

"If the online system detects the text content of the caption includes a string of link text identifying an address, the online system prompts the posting user to pay a fee in exchange for generating a link," the patent application read.

However, if Instagram were to implement this feature, it would raise the question of whether people would want to pay $2 per link.

Meanwhile, Instagram head Adam Mosseri said in a blog post last week that they have been reviewing the way the photo-sharing platform verifies accounts for the past two months and as a result of which, they have made changes to the verification process.

Mosseri said that follower count was never a requirement to get a verification badge.

"While follower count was never a requirement to get verified through the in-app form (which anyone can apply for), we did have certain systems in place that prioritised accounts with high followings to help get through the tens of thousands of requests received every day. We've since removed this from the automated part of the process," he wrote.




Mon, 14 Sep 2020 12:00:28 +0530
Kangana Ranaut returns to hometown Manali

Mumbai, Sep 14

Actress Kangana Ranaut returned to hometown Manali on Monday, amid rising tension in her relationship with the Shiv Sena-led Maharashtra government.

"With a heavy heart leaving Mumbai, the way I was terrorised all these days constant attacks and abuses hurled at me attempts to break my house after my work place, alert security with lethal weapons around me, must say my analogy about POK was bang on," the actress tweeted from her verified account on Monday morning.

On Sunday afternoon, Kangana and her sister Rangoli met Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari at Raj Bhavan.

Following her meeting, Kangana had expressed in a tweet: "A short while ago I met His Excellency the Governor of Maharashtra Shri Bhagat Singh Koshyari Ji. I explained my point of view to him and also requested that justice be given to me, it will restore faith of common citizen and particularly daughters in the system."

Mon, 14 Sep 2020 11:57:06 +0530
UP BJP launches Seva Saptah to mark PM Modi s birthday

Lucknow, Sep 14

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) kicked off its week-long 'Seva Saptah' on Monday to mark the 70th birthday of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 17.

For the week-long celebrations that will culminate on September 20, the party has sent a circular to all its state unit chiefs, suggesting activities that could be taken up as part of the week-long campaign.

The circular sent by BJP General Secretary Arun Singh, contains a list of programmes, including social initiatives, with the theme '70' that states have been asked to organise.

The unit of the BJP is all geared up for the programmes suggested by the central office of the party.

"We will be distributing artificial limbs to 70 differently-abled persons in every district. Spectacles will also be distributed to 70 people in every district. The BJP leaders will distribute fruits in 70 hospitals and poor colonies while complying with the Covid-19 guidelines. The party has asked its leaders and members to make arrangements for the donation of plasma to 70 Covid-19 patients in accordance with local hospitals' needs," said Swatantra Dev Singh, state BJP president.

The Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), will be organising 70 blood donation camps with, at least, one camp in every district.

The BJP workers will be planting 70 saplings in every booth and a cleanliness drive will be organised in 70 villages of every district with a pledge to get rid of single-use plastic.

Seventy virtual conferences on the life and mission of Prime Minister Narendra Modi will also be organised through webinars since holding an exhibition highlighting the exemplary work done by Modi would not be possible in the pandemic.

The BJP Members of Parliament (MPs), members of Legislative Assemblies (MLAs) and public representatives have been asked to participate in all these programmes while adhering to Covid-19 norms.

Swatantra Dev Singh said, "The idea behind the 'Sewa Saptah' is to re-dedicate ourselves to the people with an unflinching commitment towards the poor and the downtrodden. This has been the focus area of the Prime Minister and his government."






Mon, 14 Sep 2020 11:54:35 +0530
Kerala Minister s son under ED scanner

Thiruvananthapuram, Sep 14

The woes of the ruling Pinarayi Vijayan government, currently caught in various scams and allegations, continue unabated as the son of the second in command -- Industries Minister E. P. Jayarajan is the latest to face the heat.

This came just days after the Enforcement Directorate questioned son of another powerful CPI-M leader -- state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan for over 11 hours.

The common link between the two is their link with the now arrested and prime accused in the controversial gold smuggling case -- Swapna Suresh.

While Jayarajan and his wife P.K. Indira are presently convalescing at a hospital in Kannur -- their home town after turning Covid positive, there has been no word from them so far.

It was Kerala BJP president K. Surendran who first broke the news of the involvement of Jayarajan's son, who is alleged to have got a huge sum as commission, after Swapna managed to get a project cleared for building homes for the poor under Vijayan's pet project 'Life Mission'.

Soon after Surendran broke the news, Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala also attacked the CPI(M) leader.

Swapna using her influence was able to get a UAE based charity organisation 'Red Crescent' to participate as the construction was handed to a private player.

The state government provided the land for this project.

The news of Jayarajan's son surfaced two days after the ED questioned Bineesh Kodiyeri.

The ED is all set to question senior bureaucrat U.V.Jose -- the CEO of 'Life Mission'.

The ED may also look into the details of a party, which was held in the state capital in which Swapna, son of Jayarajan and a few others took part.

The ED is also trying to establish whether a picture of Jayarajan's son, which has now surfaced with Swapna, was morphed or not one. According to sources in the know of things, the senior CPI-M leader's son will be called in for questioning shortly.

Adding to more trouble for Jayarajan is that his wife, who is a retired banker last week, while she was in isolation after giving her sample for Covid test, arrived at the bank and had operated her bank locker.







Mon, 14 Sep 2020 11:51:44 +0530
GST compensation cess 13 states decide 12 opt for 1st option

New Delhi, A total of 13 states have so far decided on their borrowing options to meet their GST compensation shortfall and almost all have decided to go for the first option proposed by the Centre, source said.

Out of the 13, 12 states have opted for the first option, under which the Union government has offered states that they could borrow the shortfall arising out of GST implementation, estimated at Rs 97,000 crore approximately. The amount would be borrowed through issue of debt under a special window coordinated by the Finance Ministry.

The first option is to ensure steady flow of resources similar to the flow under GST compensation on a bi-monthly basis. Under this option, the Centre will endeavour to keep the cost at or close to the G-secs yield, and in the event of the cost being higher, will bear the margin between G-secs and average of State Development Loan yields up to 0.5 per cent through a subsidy.

The states which have preferred to opt for this option are Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya, Sikkim, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Odisha.

Only Manipur has so far opted for the second borrowing option under which states can borrow the entire compensation shortfall of Rs 2.35 lakh crore, including the Covid-impact portion, through issue of market debt.

Six more states -- Goa, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram and Himachal Pradesh -- will be giving their choice in a day or two, said people in the know.

A few states have submitted their views to the Chairperson of the GST Council but are yet to decide on the options, according to sources.

In the 41st GST Council meeting last month, the Centre had proposed both options, so that a mechanism could be put in place as an exception this year, as Covid-19 disruptions and lower revenue collections have made it difficult for the Centre to meet its obligation on Goods and Services Tax (GST) compensation to states.

Mon, 14 Sep 2020 09:17:08 +0530
10 people killed in US Oregon wildfires

San Francisco,  Authorities confirmed that 10 people were killed, at least a dozen unaccounted for and hundreds reeling from lost homes due to the record-breaking wildfires across the US state of Oregon.

The fires have covered more than 1 million acres across Oregon, spanning from the southern border to the coast and Clackamas County. That figure is about twice the yearly average over the past 10 years, Xinhua news agency reported on Sunday.

The blazes have caused widespread evacuations, forcing more than 40,000 people to flee their homes.

The Jackson County Sheriff's Office said detectives had found all but one of the 50 people previously reported missing after the fire.

Oregon's fire marshal, Jim Walker, has resigned after being placed on leave, according to a Sunday report by the OregonLive.

The air quality of the state's largest city Portland worsened on Sunday morning, reaching 516 in parts of the city on the air quality index, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency.

The city was still ranked No. 1 in the worst air quality among major cities in the world by air quality monitoring website

Mon, 14 Sep 2020 09:14:30 +0530
B desh summons Myanmar envoy over military movement

Dhaka, Bangladesh has summoned the Myanmar Ambassador amid military build-up on the other side of the border in Rakhine state, the media reported on Monday.

The Foreign Ministry expressed concern over the development when Ambassador U Aung Kyaw Moe appeared before it on Sunday, bdnews24 quoted Delwar Hossain, the Director General of the Ministry's Myanmar Desk, as saying.

"We've asked him to convey the message to the proper authorities," Delwar said.

According to media reports, there have been suspicious movement of the Myanmar troops on fishing trawlers since September 11.

Foreign Ministry officials said the movement of troops may be part of Myanmar military's ongoing conflict with the Arakan Army, who seek greater autonomy for the region.

One of the officials said the government fears any further conflict at the border may trigger another exodus of Rohingya Muslims who live in Rakhine.

Bangladesh hosts more than 1 million Rohingya refugees, most of whom fled Myanmar in 2017 during a military operation dubbed ethnic cleansing, said the bdnews24 report.

Bangladesh has tried to repatriate the refugees but they have refused to return until their security and rights were guaranteed in Myanmar.

Officials said the Foreign Ministry also asked the ambassador to take steps for the repatriation of the Rohingya.

Amid the refugee crisis, the Arakan Army, which recruits mostly from the Buddhist majority, bolstered the fight for greater autonomy for the western region.

Recently, two Myanmar soldiers in statements made under the Arakan Army's custody confessed to Rohingya killings.

The two soldiers were also reportedly transported to The Hague in the Netherlands, where they could appear as witnesses or face trial at the International Criminal Court.


Mon, 14 Sep 2020 09:09:57 +0530
Umar Khalid arrested in connection with NE Delhi riots

New Delhi,  Delhi Police arrested former Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student Umar Khalid under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in connection with northeast Delhi riots that broke out in February this year.

Khalid has already been booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) along with Jamia student and RJD youth wing president Meeran Haider, JCC media coordinator Safoora Zargar, and Danish, a resident of northeast Delhi's Bhajanpura.

"My son Umar Khalid has been arrested tonight at 11 p.m. by Special Cell, Delhi Police under UAPA. Police was questioning him since 1 p.m. He has been implicated in Delhi riots," said Syed Qasim Rasool Ilyas, father of Umar Khalid.

Khalid was summoned on Saturday and Sunday. He was arrested after being questioned for around 10 hours and will be produced before a Delhi court on Monday.

Earlier on September 2, Khalid was called by the Crime Branch for questioning in the northeast Delhi riots case. He was let off after the questioning.

The arrest comes hours after Delhi police issued a statement on Sunday in which it has asked those who have doubts and questions about the northeast Delhi riots probe to take legal course at the appropriate time.

The Delhi police said that various interest groups are using social media platforms and other online portals to raise questions about the fairness of investigation of the northeast Delhi riot cases.

Earlier, retired IPS officer Julio Ribeiro, who was former Mumbai police commissioner, DGP Gujarat and Punjab, and former Indian Ambassador to Romania, has written to Delhi Police Commissioner S N Shrivastava, questioning the probe into the northeast Delhi riots cases.

Since December, Delhi was brimming with tensions after the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) was passed. A sit-in protest against it started at various parts of the national capital. An agitation also started near Jafrabad metro station in northeast Delhi.

The protests in northeast Delhi turned violent and around 53 people were killed.


Mon, 14 Sep 2020 09:07:07 +0530
Kangana Ranaut meets Governor Koshyari

Mumbai: Film actress Kangana Ranaut met Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari at Raj Bhavan, Mumbai. Kangana’s sister Rangoli was also present.

Sun, 13 Sep 2020 19:29:33 +0530
Leipzig Frankfurt book place in next round of German Cup

Berlin,  Leipzig eased 3-0 past second division outfit Nuremberg thanks to the goals from Amadou Haidara, Yussuf Poulsen and Hwang Hee-chan, whereas Eintracht Frankfurt needed two second-half goals to overpower resilient third division side 1860 Munich 2-1 in the opening round of the German Cup.

The "Bulls" caught a perfect start on the road on Saturday as they marked the opener with fortunate assistance from goalkeeper Christian Mathenia, whose misplaced pass allowed Haidara to make it 1-0 with just three minutes played, according to Xinhua news agency.

Nuremberg were unable to gain a foothold in the clash while the visitors from Leipzig dominated possession and kept Mathenia busy. However, neither Dani Olmo nor Christopher Nkunku extended the lead despite promising chances.

After the restart, Leipzig retreated with the narrow lead while Nuremberg showed absolutely no danger in front of the target.

As the match progressed Leipzig increased the pressure and came close through Hwang and Lukas Klostermann.

The visitors' efforts eventually paid off with 67 minutes gone as Hwang had sufficient space on the wing and squared to Poulsen, who made no mistake to double the lead with a well-placed shot into the top left corner.

Nuremberg remained harmless and had to swallow a third goal as Hwang rounded off his powerful performance by scoring his maiden goal for Leipzig in the dying minutes of the game.

The progression into the next round was a stiff piece of work for Eintracht Frankfurt, who sewed up a hard earned 2-1 victory over third division club 1860 Munich.

The hosts assumed control from the kick off and surprised top flight Frankfurt with an offensively-minded strategy.

Hence, 1860 came by chances in the early stages as veteran Sascha Molders pulled wide from inside the box in the sixth minute before defender Martin Hinteregger had to tackle Molders to deny another chance eight minutes later.

The "Eagles" got their first effort on target 18 minutes into the clash when Dominik Kohr rattled the woodwork with a long-range hammer.

However, Molders remained in the thick of things and headed onto the crossbar moments later.

Even after the half time, Molders continued to keep Frankfurt's defence busy but still Nuremberg failed to turn their chances into a tangible reward.

Frankfurt were more clinical with their chances and punished courageous Nuremberg as Bas Dost's volley assist allowed Andre Silva to nod home the opener six minutes into the second half.

Adi Hutter's men gained momentum and sealed the deal five minutes later after Silva set up for Dost, who netted the 2-0 lead with a header from close range.

Nuremberg responded well but Eintracht's defence neutralized all attacks within the midfield. However, the visitors should have tripled the lead but Daichi Kamada wasted a golden chance in the 71st minute.

Meanwhile, Nuremberg were able to reduce the arrears in the closing stages when Phillipp Steinhart converted a penalty in the 79th minute.

Nuremberg threw every man up front but Eintracht Frankfurt protected their lead to the end to secure their berth in the second round.

Elsewhere, relentless Borussia Monchengladbach whitewashed lower league side FC Oberneuland 8-0. Cologne crushed VSG Altglienicke 6-0 while Augsburg showed no mercy following a 7-0 victory over Eintracht Celle, and Wolfsburg moved past Union Furstenwalde 4-1.


Sun, 13 Sep 2020 11:57:46 +0530
Fearing backlash Akali Dal wants to defer farm ordinances

Chandigarh,  Fearing backlash, the Akali Dal, an alliance partner with the Central government, has appealed to it not to present the three Central agricultural ordinances for approval in Parliament until all reservations expressed by farmer organisations as well as farmers and farm labourers are duly addressed.

A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) core committee, which was presided over by its President Sukhbir Badal here.

A party statement here on Saturday evening said the core committee felt that it was its responsibility to get the reservations of the "annadata" addressed, and asserted that it was committed to take up all the issues raised by farmers with the Union government.

The committee noted that the SAD leadership led by its President had met farmer organisations, farmer representatives and representatives of "khet mazdoor (farm labourers)" during the last few days. It also held discussions with farm experts to take their views besides taking the view of grassroots party workers as well as the senior party leadership.

The release said a considered view had emerged that the Union government should not rush through with passing the three Central ordinances till the apprehensions conveyed to the SAD were not addressed.

Sukhbir Badal conveyed to the core committee that he had also been approached by farmers as well as farm organisations from adjoining states and that all of them had expressed apprehensions about the ordinances and urged the SAD to take up their issues and grievances with the Central leadership.

"Taking this into account, the SAD is also of the view that the concerns should be taken up for consideration by the Centre."

Meanwhile, the core committee felt it was appropriate that the SAD President lead a delegation to discuss the concerns of the farmers with the Central government.

"Sardar Parkash Singh Badal remains the undisputed leader of the farmers of India. Farmers are the life and blood of our party. We have always fought to protect the interests of the farming community, including farmers and 'khet mazdoor'. We will continue to do so. No sacrifice is too big to ensure the future of our farmers is safeguarded," the SAD President said.

The northern states of Punjab and Haryana, known as the 'granaries of India', have been currently witnessing protests against the farm Ordinances promulgated by the Union government.

The ordinances are the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Ordinance and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Ordinance.

The Punjab Assembly on August 28 passed a resolution, moved by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, rejecting the farm ordinances and proposed electricity bill promulgated by the Union government.

The resolution was passed with a voice vote in the absence of SAD members. However, both members of the BJP were present in the House.

While tabling the resolution, the Chief Minister said the Assembly was seriously concerned about the apprehensions and anguish caused by the three ordinances that were not only against the interest of the farmers and the time-tested agriculture marketing system established in the state, but are also against the Constitution of India.

Showcasing Punjab's image as the food bowl of the country, the Chief Minister said that during the 60s, farmers of Punjab ensured food security for the country despite being a miniscule two per cent of the country's population.


Sun, 13 Sep 2020 11:50:16 +0530
Hackers exploit Adobe Flash IE browser to target porn surfers

San Francisco,  A hacker group is targeting porn surfers running vulnerable and older versions of Adobe Flash Player and Internet Explorer (IE) on their computers as the attackers have infected "practically all adult networks" with malware on the web.

The hacking group dubbed Malsmoke has infected popular porn sites with malicious ads, using them to attack victims with malware, according to researchers from the cyber security firm Malwarebytes.

Most exploit kits are built around vulnerabilities in Adobe Flash and Internet Explorer as most internet users have now either uninstalled Flash or moved to Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.

"Despite recommendations from Microsoft and security professionals, we can only witness that there are still a number of users (consumer and enterprise) worldwide that have yet to migrate to a modern and fully supported browser," Malwarebytes said in its report.

Once a victim clicks a malicious ad, they are redirected to a page that attempts to start downloading malware if it can exploit vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer or Adobe Flash.

Microsoft has announced to end support for Adobe Flash Player on Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer 11 at the end of 2020.

There are no security updates available for Adobe's Flash Player. The last time Adobe Flash got a security update was in June this year.

Microsoft 365 apps and services will no longer support Internet Explorer 11 (IE 11) by August 17 next year, the company has announced as it pushes people to install revamped Chromium-based Edge browser.

According to ZDNet, the role of the hacker group's malicious ads was to use "JavaScript trickery and redirect users from the adult portal to a malicious site that was hosting an exploit kit".

The exploit kits would then use vulnerabilities in Adobe Flash Player or Internet Explorer to install malware on the user's computers, with the most common payloads being "Smoke Loader, Raccoon Stealer, and ZLoader".

Sun, 13 Sep 2020 11:38:12 +0530
With over 94K fresh cases Covid 19 tally crosses 4 7mn mark

New Delhi,  With a massive spike of 94,372 cases including 1,112 fresh deaths, India on Sunday crossed the 4.7 million-mark on the Covid-19 tally with a total of 47,54,356 cases.

Out of the total 47,54,356 cases, 9,73,175 are active cases, 37,02,595 have been cured and discharged so far while 78,586 lost the battle against the deadly virus. In the last 24 hours, 78,399 patients were discharged while 14,859 fresh cases came up.

While the recovery rate was at a whooping high of 77.77 per cent, the fatality rate has come down to 1.66 per cent, the data from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said.

Maharashtra continues to be the worst-hit with a total of 10,15,681 cases including 28,726 deaths; followed by Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, West Bengal, and Bihar come next.

According to the data from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), India conducted 10,71,702 sample tests in a single day on Saturday, taking the total number of samples tested so far to 5,62,60,928.

On the global front, India remains the second worst hit nation with the Covid-19 pandemic while the US lead the board with 64,83,064 total cases.

So far, a total of 2,86,61,777 have been infected with the deadly Covid-19 virus while a total of 9,19,094 persons have died due to it. The maximum number of deaths occurred in US followed by Brazil and India.


Sun, 13 Sep 2020 11:30:44 +0530
Kangana to meet Maharashtra Governor Koshyari on Sunday

Mumbai,  Amid rising tension between Kangana Ranaut and the Shiv Sena-led Maharashtra government, the Bollywood actress plans to meet Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on Sunday.

It is believed that the actress wants to inform the governor about her ongoing tension with the state government before leaving Mumbai. She is scheduled to meet the governor at 4.30 pm on Sunday and expected to leave the city on September 14.

Asked where she was headed, Kangana's team told IANS: "Owing to security protocol we cannot disclose details of her travel."

The tension between Kangana and the state government began after she made derogatory remarks about Mumbai, comparing the city with POK and calling the city's police force a "sham".

Following this, Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh reportedly said that the actress has "no right to stay" Mumbai. Just a few days after Kangana's sarcastic exchange with Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation initiated a demolition drive at her office building.

Meanwhile, Kangana arrived in Mumbai on September 9 with the Y-plus security provided to her by the Central government.

Sun, 13 Sep 2020 10:53:59 +0530
Civil aviation recovery would be faster due to market size Airbus India Prez

New Delhi,  India's civil aviation recovery would be much faster on the back of large market size, Airbus India President Remi Mail lard said on Saturday.

Speaking at Assocham's webinar on 'Covid-19 Impact and Opportunities' for the civil aviation sector, he said: "The revival will at least take a year and the domestic market should be the focus right now. Regional connectivity is of utmost importance right now."

According to Maillard, opening up of the domestic sector in a phased manner would help in reviving the industry.

"While the Indian airline companies are suffering losses, the situation is not different in other countries. Passengers have to be told that travel by airlines is the safest form of travel today. Once they get the confidence, recovery is possible," he said.

The aviation sector is one of the worst impacted industries by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Other panelists at the webinar pointed out that the sector is limping back to recovery due to the opening up of the domestic flights and cargo services.

"I believe there is a silver lining in cargo segment which is just a percentage lower than what it was in the pre-Covid times," IndiGo's Chief Strategy and Revenue Officer Sanjay Kumar said at the webinar.

"The revenue from cargo has not been much affected despite the lockdown. Domestic travel is allowed on a 60 per cent capacity. But I think it is slowly and steadily changing," he added.

Besides, Kumar cited that the current situation is not the same as it was in the initial days of the lockdown.

"We haven't reached the pre-Covid situation yet but we are improving. There are several segments that are offering good opportunities. Chartered flights too are offering great support," he said.

International Air Transport Association's Country Director Amitabh Khosla explained that 2020 has been the worst year for the aviation industry with losses mounting to billions of dollars.

"The revenue for the aviation sector in 2019 was almost around $838 billion which has come down to $419 billion this year. Revenue for the industry has been cut by almost 50 per cent. Many airline companies globally have also filed for bankruptcy protection," he said.

In addition, Khosla explained that the impact on the aviation sector has a cascading impact on other sectors as well.

"The negative impact on the civil aviation sector has an impact on sectors like hotels, hospitality and tourism. It also has an impact on the job opportunities. We believe that the recovery in the sector would happen only around the year 2024," he said.

Sun, 13 Sep 2020 09:39:49 +0530
Seven people dead in Oregon wildfires

Portland, Seven people have been confirmed dead, while dozens remain unaccounted for as historic wildfires continue to rage throughout the US state of Oregon, officials said.

The fires have scorched more than 1 million acres throughout the state, reports Xinhua news agency.

The figure is about twice the yearly average over the past 10 years, according to a report by OregonLive.

The blazes have caused widespread evacuations, forcing more than 40,000 to flee their homes.

Many evacuations remain in effect Saturday, while some have been downgraded.

Air quality of Oregon's largest city of Portland was the worst across the world on Saturday morning because of the fires.

The National Weather Service's Portland office said air quality will likely remain poor through the weekend.

Health experts have advised all residents to stay indoors unless absolutely necessary.

Oregon fire officials are also dealing with the 130,000-acre Riverside Fire at 0 per cent containment and Lionshead Fire at 138,000 acres and just 5 per cent containment.

Meanwhile, the Oregon State Police on Saturday announced Fire Marshal Jim Walker had been put on paid leave.

Mariana Ruiz-Temple, Chief Deputy State Fire Marshal, has been appointed the acting fire marshal.

"Mariana is assuming this position as Oregon is in an unprecedented crisis which demands an urgent response," Travis Hampton, the state police superintendent, said in a statement.

"This response and the circumstances necessitated a leadership change," he added.

Besides Oregon, massive wildfires were also raging in California, Washington, Colorado, Idaho and Utah.

Sun, 13 Sep 2020 09:34:29 +0530
Weeks after discharge Amit Shah re admitted to AIIMS

New Delhi, Two weeks after his discharge, Home Minister Amit Shah has been re-admitted to All India Institute for Medical Sciences (AIIMS) after complaining breathing issue on Saturday, multiple sources told IANS.

However, the hospital did not come on record to confirm this.

The sources told that Shah was admitted around 11 p.m. on Saturday night. As per the sources, he is being kept in CN tower, a facility reserved for VVIPs. Shah is getting treatment under Dr Randeep Guleria, director of AIIMS. His condition is said to be stable now.

Shah has been suffering from post-COVID ailments for a month now. He was previously admitted to AIIMS on August 18 after he suffered post-COVID ailments days after his recovery from COVID-19 disease which he contracted in early August.

He had tested positive for COVID-19 on August 2 and received treatment at Medanta Hospital in Gurugram.

He was discharged after testing negative on August 14 only to re-admitted in AIIMS days after to treat his post-COVID syndromes on August 18. He had complained of breathing issues then.

Sun, 13 Sep 2020 09:20:31 +0530
Deepika Padukone AR Rahman Ratan Tata share life experiences on TV

Mumbai,  From actress Deepika Padukone to music maestro AR Rahman and industrialist Ratan Tata, a slew of renowned celebrities will be seen sharing their life experiences on the second season of Mega Icons.

The upcoming National Geographic series will bring viewers closer to these personalities through exclusive and intimate interviews featuring them as well as their close ones.

In the episode featuring Deepika, fans will also get to see Ranveer Singh talking about his wife.

"She was going through some kind of emotional turmoil that she was not even aware of and it kept evolving the performer in her. It started coming out in her performances," Ranveer says in the teaser of "Mega Icons".

The liofe story of late Indian American astronaut Kalpana Chawla will feature in the show.

"The series seeks to inspire and motivate the youth by diving deep into the lives of these successful personalities, to find the answer to an elusive question: What made them who they are today?" said Anuradha Aggarwal, Head (Infotainment and Kids), Star and Disney India, about "Mega Icons Season 2", to be premiereed on September 20.


Sat, 12 Sep 2020 19:25:10 +0530
Global vehicle emission safety standards to be implement soon

New Delhi,  Centre plans to implement several new international standards of vehicle emissions and safety, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways said on Saturday .

According to the ministry, the Centre has embarked upon a "transformational programme of implementing international standard emission and safety measures in transport vehicles".

"The government is moving on the path of a long-term regulatory road map for the automobile industry to grow and increase its contribution to the GDP. There are plans to bring the Indian automotive industry at par with the developed nations in such regulations," the ministry said in a statement.

"The Indian automotive industry has kept pace with these changes and in recent years has undergone a number of changes in the domain of passenger safety, emission control and connected technology," it added.

In terms of introducing new standards, the ministry cited the recent introduction of BS-VI emission norms.

"These changes have also brought this industry at par with Europe, Japan and the US. Further, the much-needed amendments to the Motor Vehicle Act (MVA) have been well received as a positive step by the government," the ministry said.

"The ministry is in the process of finalisation of implementation of standards for electronic stability control systems (ESC) and brake assist systems for relevant categories by the next two years," it added.

The notification of ESC for buses was issued last year. The draft notification has also been issued for electronic stability control systems for buses, which is likely to be brought into force by April 2023.

"We are contemplating higher level of safety for all categories of vehicles," the ministry disclosed.

The ministry has also identified certain priority areas for international standardisation in this field.

"These include the tyre pressure monitoring system, which is likely to come into force by October this year," the ministry said.

"The standards for vehicle dimensions and safety of construction equipment vehicles have been notified. Similarly, notifications have already been issued for side stands, foot rests and external projections of two-wheelers. These will come into force soon," it added.

Sat, 12 Sep 2020 19:19:17 +0530
Over 150 arrested as Yellow Vests renew actions in Paris

Paris,  More than 150 people were arrested on Saturday after hundreds of "Yellow Vest" protesters took to streets in the centre of Paris to oppose President Emmanuel Macron's fiscal, economic and social policies.

Paris police department said 154 individuals had been detained by 13:00 p.m. (local time) in the capital for holding screwdriver, ice ax, cutting pliers and knives, Xinhua news agency reported.

According to local reports, up to 5,000 protesters are expected to gather in the capital, including 1,000 members of the far-left anarchist group known as the "black blocs."

On February 29, the French government decided to ban all public gatherings with more than 5,000 people due to the Covid-19 outbreak. The ban has been extended to October 30.

In a bid to avoid the chaos in the capital, which had turned into battle field in previous "Yellow Vest" action, police prefect Didier Lallemant banned two demonstrations in the capital's main avenue, and ordered demonstrators not to gather near the Elysee Palace, the National Assembly and the Prime Minister's office.

"Demonstrations are possible provided that they take place peacefully, that there is no destruction," said Lallement, calling for respect for barrier gestures.

Other protests are also planned in Marseille, Toulouse, Lyon, Lille, Nantes, Nice, Bordeaux and Strasbourg.

The "Yellow Vest" movement, a nationwide protest against weak economic performance and stagnant income increase, started as a campaign against surge in fuel prices in November 2018.

Sat, 12 Sep 2020 19:16:58 +0530
Could your child have learning disabilities

New Delhi, Sep 12

Late identification of learning disabilities could leave some children behind in their academic and mental development - something early screening can solve.

Indigenous research studies have estimated the incidence of Specific Learning Disabilities (SLDs) in India to be between 10-12 percent of school-going children. In remote populations and Tier-II cities where there is negligible awareness or service available for identification, these kids slip through the cracks in the system, says Dr Geet Oberoi, who has developed a nine-domain screening app for timely detection of learning disabilities in children.

As academic success has become highly competitive in present days, anything less than peak performance in schools could lead to mislabeling of a child, without sparing a thought to the reasons behind it. Oberoi, is the President of Orkids Foundation, the organisation behind 'First Screen' app, launched last month, that aims at early identification of children who may be at the risk of developing SLD (Specific learning disabilities). It also allows for early intervention well before the formal age of diagnosis at 8 years. It is a free android app, available in Hindi and English.

According to her, in India, SLD was recognised as a disability only in 2016, and unfortunately before that most children with SLD had an extremely challenging school experience with many of them dropping out and opting for open schooling. Many parents also opted for home schooling for their children looking at the stress and anxiety the schools were causing the children.

"In a considerable number of cases instances of other mental health issues like depression, bullying, defiance, eating disorders were seen emerging along with SLD and its effects in adolescence," she told IANSlife in an email interview.

How does timely identification and screening help? "It ensures the learning gaps of children are curtailed early and with intervention, before the gaps become too large to be worked with. As the children grow up, the academic pressure on the child increases and this may lead to children dropping out of schools and/or becoming susceptible to other mental health issues like depression, defiance, bullying and so on. Early intervention helps the children to be mainstreamed as fast as possible with a greater chance of finding less or no difference in performance as compared to the classmates."

The pioneering app covers nine major domains, namely- reading and spelling, written expression, oral language, motor skills, attention, social skills, mathematics, executive functions and memory. The app includes a test of 90 scoring items with 3-point answers (yes, maybe, no/NA).

It takes 20-25 minutes to complete the test after which a visual feedback (as opposed to text) is given with possible recommendations for the future. Sub-skills of each of the nine domains covered are also given. For accuracy purposes, the test must be filled by a parent, or a teacher who has known the child for at least 6 months.

The free-of-cost app comes as a screening tool which is not diagnostic and thus does not label, but only screens to identify kids that may be 'at risk' is the need of the hour. First Screen would ensure that the valuable five years - between ages three and eight - can be utilised by providing extra support in terms of training and providing resources to the kids to help their learning curve.

Orkids shared that it has reached out to all different education boards like CBSE, ISCE, the State Boards as well as NCERT have been made aware of the app and its efficacy. "An ideal way forward would be to make screening a must for children in all schools at the age of four-five, so as to catch them young and ensure no child is left behind."







Sat, 12 Sep 2020 17:30:06 +0530
Punjab to provide subsidized rations to nine lakh people

Chandigarh, Sep 12

Even as he launched the Smart Ration Card scheme to cover 1.41 crore beneficiaries across the state, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Saturday announced a separate State-funded scheme to provide subsidized rations to nine lakh beneficiaries not covered under the National Food Security Act (NFSA).

With this, the total number of beneficiaries in the state will go up to 1.50 crore, the Chief Minister announced, while rolling out the Smart Card Scheme under which 37.5 lakh cards will be distributed to the eligible beneficiaries this month.

Amarinder Singh said the Centre had capped the maximum number of beneficiaries to 1.41 crore and, despite repeated requests, had not agreed to provide subsidized rations to the deserving nine lakh people not covered under NFSA.

His government had, therefore, decided to cover all such left-out eligible under a state-funded scheme, details of which will be announced shortly, he said.

Launching the Smart Ration Card scheme virtually, with connection to 100 places across the state, the Chief Minister said the scheme would help curb corruption and give freedom to the beneficiaries to buy from any depot.

Describing it as a major step towards empowering the beneficiary, he said it would end the exploitation of beneficiaries by unscrupulous ration depot holders.

The Smart Ration Card empowers the beneficiary to get his entitled quota of foodgrains from any ration depot in the state.






Sat, 12 Sep 2020 17:25:09 +0530
Sara Ali Khan and Rakul Preet Singh memes go viral as Rhea Chakraborty reveals names to NCB

Sep 12,

Following the rejection of bail applications of Rhea Chakraborty, her brother Showik Chakraborty and others in the drugs related murder of Sushant Singh Rajput, a new revelation has found its way on internet.

As per sources Rhea Chakraborty during her interrogation with the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) revealed that Sara Ali Khan, Rakul Preet Singh, designer Simone Khambatta, Sushant's friend and former manager Rohini Iyer and filmmaker Mukesh Chhabra consumed drugs.

Sara Ali Khan and Rakul Preet Singh in particular are being trolled incessantly on social media ever since the news broke out. Sources told media that during her interrogation with NCB, Rhea disclosed names of Bollywood stars that consume and peddle drugs and many of these stars are now on NCB radar and will be called for questioning. 

Rhea and her brother along with others accused in the Sushant Singh Rajput case have now moved Bombay High Court for bail. Actor Sushant Singh Rajput was found dead in June earlier this year at his residence, his death initially stated to be suicide has now taken an entirely different turn. Agencies including NCB, CBI and Enforcement Directorate are investigating the case.

Sat, 12 Sep 2020 16:01:41 +0530
I am not dead tweets TV actor Kushal Tandon

Sep 12,

Television actor made a major faux pas on Twitter after he accidentally addressed a tweet to Kushal Tandon thinking him to be late actor Kushal Punjabi. Kushal Tandon was quick to respond and clear the air in saying that he was very much alive. He took the liberty to take a witty jibe at Karanvir and asked him to not drink more as he may welcome his third baby soon.

Kushal tweeted: “main zinda hoon I am not dead. Don’t drink more u have a baby coming on ur way.”

Left red-faced with his monumental mistake Karanvir tendered his apology: “Sorry sorry bro, it was a typo. I love you too and you know that.”

For those of you who didn’t know the story Kushal Punjabi had died of suicide last year and had left behind a suicide note that read: There is no one responsible for my suicide. Karanvir was among the first one to condole Kushal’s demise and wrote, “Ur demise has shocked the hell out of me.I’m still in denial @itsme_kushalpunjabi I know you are in a happier place, but this is unfathomable.

Sat, 12 Sep 2020 15:52:47 +0530
JEE Main Results 24 Candidates Score 100

Sep, 12

As many as 24 candidates scored 100% in Paper 1 of JEE (Main) this year for admission to engineering colleges as per the final merit list announced by National Testing Agency (NTA). Eight of these candidates are from Telangana, five from Delhi, four from Rajasthan, three from Andhra Pradesh, two from Haryana and one each from Gujarat and Maharashtra.

The JEE (Main) exams were conducted in January and September this year with the second cycle being postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Paper 1 is for admission to B.Tech / BE programmes in IITs, NITs and centrally funded technical institutions. Results for B. Arch courses haven’t been announced yet.

The second cycle of examinations had witnessed calls for postponement due to the coronavirus pandemic but Supreme Court of India rejected the petition and ruled that students will lose one year and hence exams were held as scheduled.

Sat, 12 Sep 2020 15:37:37 +0530
WhatsApp Beta update fixes bug behind Storage Usage crash

New Delhi, WhatsApp has fixed a bug that was responsible for crashing its 'Storage Usage section in the previous update.

The new WhatsApp Beta for Android update takes care of the vulnerability in the 'Storage Usage' section that crashed when the users tried to open the section.

However, "the bug that reset your Recently Used Emojis might not be fixed yet," reports WABetaInfo, a website that tracks WhatsApp in Beta.

The new Beta version '' also has features related to new chat wallpapers that are under development.

WhatsApp is currently working to implement these features and they will be available in a future update.

"WhatsApp is now releasing a new Sticker Pack called Usagyuuun. iOS users have received the same sticker pack now", the report said on Friday.

The company is also working on Wallpaper Dimming feature that will try to smartly adjust the wallpaper in a way that simulates the light transitions during the day cycle.

Sat, 12 Sep 2020 13:55:44 +0530
WhatsApp Beta update fixes bug behind Storage Usage crash

New Delhi, WhatsApp has fixed a bug that was responsible for crashing its 'Storage Usage section in the previous update.

The new WhatsApp Beta for Android update takes care of the vulnerability in the 'Storage Usage' section that crashed when the users tried to open the section.

However, "the bug that reset your Recently Used Emojis might not be fixed yet," reports WABetaInfo, a website that tracks WhatsApp in Beta.

The new Beta version '' also has features related to new chat wallpapers that are under development.

WhatsApp is currently working to implement these features and they will be available in a future update.

"WhatsApp is now releasing a new Sticker Pack called Usagyuuun. iOS users have received the same sticker pack now", the report said on Friday.

The company is also working on Wallpaper Dimming feature that will try to smartly adjust the wallpaper in a way that simulates the light transitions during the day cycle.

Sat, 12 Sep 2020 13:55:37 +0530
TV star Vishal Vashishtha s first negative role is smart impulsive and restless

Mumbai, Sep 12

Television star Vishal Vashishtha plays a negative character for the first time in his seven-year career, and he loves the traits his character displays.

Vishal's antagonist Kabir in "Ishq Mein Marjawan 2" is different because of the conflicting traits in his personality, the actor observes.

"All the previous roles I did on TV have been one of the good guys, but Kabir is different. He is not really a psychotic guy but he touches the line and comes back, which is quite exciting. So it's kind of challenging also that sometimes you don't want to push yourself beyond the line where he will be called a 'psycho'. He is a very smart guy, and he plans everything, he is very impulsive, he is agitated at times, there is a restlessness about him," Vishal explained.

The cast never felt the burden of living up to the success of season one of the show, he averred.

"I will be lying if I said that I did not think about the success of the first show but, honestly, I think it comes down to the producers. The first meeting, the first discussion -- nowhere was it mentioned that the first show was a hit so we have a lot riding on our shoulders. That's why the actors were relaxed, comfortable. Each of us was only concentrating on what the character is and how the story is going to go," he said.

"We had a very important Goa schedule in front of us, which we were starting and all our concentration was there. We had a great time in Goa, but never had the feeling of nervousness or a heavy burden on the shoulder to carry on the success of the first show. The perspective is very fresh, the characters are new, so I guess that changed everything," he added.

Vishal started his career with "Crazy Stupid Ishq", but became a household name with "Ek Veer Ki Ardaas: Veera" where he played the role of Baldev.







Sat, 12 Sep 2020 13:21:38 +0530
IPL 13 Ali Khan of US joins KKR as replacement for Harry Gurney says report

Dubai, Sep 12

US fast bowler Ali Khan has been roped in as replacement for Harry Gurney by Kolkata Knight Riders for the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) slated to start from September 19 in the United Arab Emirates.

Gurney, who is scheduled to have surgery related to a shoulder injury, had last month pulled out of both the IPL and T20 Blast competition.

Khan's signing will make him the first American player to feature in the IPL, reports ESPNcricinfo.

The right-arm fast bowler will come into the IPL on the back of a successful campaign at the recently-concluded Caribbean Premier League (CPL) with the Trinbago Knight Riders -- the CPL franchise with the same parent company as KKR -- in which they won all 12 matches to seal the title. In this season, Khan took eight wickets in eight matches that he played.

The report further said that Khan was seen in an Instagram story posted by the TKR and Chennai Super Kings all-rounder Dwayne Bravo, shot inside a plane, with the caption "next stop Dubai".

The 29-year-old rose to prominence during the 2018 Global T20 Canada, where he caught the attention of Bravo, who brought the youngster to the CPL. That year, he picked up 16 wickets from 12 matches for Guyana Amazon Warriors.

Dinesh Karthik-led Knight Riders will begin their tournament campaign against Mumbai Indians on September 23.

Sat, 12 Sep 2020 13:19:29 +0530
WhatsApp Beta update fixes bug behind Storage Usage crash

New Delhi, Sep 12

WhatsApp has fixed a bug that was responsible for crashing its 'Storage Usage section in the previous update.

The new WhatsApp Beta for Android update takes care of the vulnerability in the 'Storage Usage' section that crashed when the users tried to open the section.

However, "the bug that reset your Recently Used Emojis might not be fixed yet," reports WABetaInfo, a website that tracks WhatsApp in Beta.

The new Beta version '' also has features related to new chat wallpapers that are under development.

WhatsApp is currently working to implement these features and they will be available in a future update.

"WhatsApp is now releasing a new Sticker Pack called Usagyuuun. iOS users have received the same sticker pack now", the report said on Friday.

The company is also working on Wallpaper Dimming feature that will try to smartly adjust the wallpaper in a way that simulates the light transitions during the day cycle.







Sat, 12 Sep 2020 13:17:22 +0530
Canada sees record fall of household debt to income ratio

Ottawa, Sep 12

Canada's household debt-to-income ratio fell to 158.2 per cent in the second quarter this year from the previous quarter's 175.4 per cent, the lowest since 2010, official figures revealed.

Statistics Canada said the figures published on Friday meant that Canadian households owed C$1.58 for every dollar they spent as of the end of June, reports Xinhua news agency.

Canadians owed C$2.3 trillion at the end of June, which consisted of C$1.5 trillion worth of mortgages, and C$779.4 billion worth of consumer debt such as that from credit cards.

The fall of household debt-to-income ratio came after expenditures decreased and Canadian government income transfers during Covid-19 and mortgage deferrals alongside record low-interest rates have provided financial relief to many during the pandemic, particularly those who lost work during nationwide business shutdowns and stay-at-home orders.

Government transfers and reduced spending pushed household savings to an unprecedented level, enabling households to shore up their deposit accounts while simultaneously reducing their debt, said Statistics Canada.

Government aid pushed household disposable income up by 10.8 per cent while spending dropped by 13.7 per cent.







Sat, 12 Sep 2020 13:10:54 +0530
MEPs back tougher EU 2030 climate target

Brussels, Sep 12

Members of the European Parliament's (MEP) environment committee on have voted for tougher emissions reductions, calling for an ambitious 60 per cent reduction by 2030.

The MEPs supported the European Commission's overall aim to enshrine the climate neutrality goal by 2050 in European Union (EU) legislation but at the same time demanded a more ambitious 2030 target, Xinhua news agency quoted the committee as saying in a statement on Friday.

They called for emissions to be reduced by 60 per cent by 2030 compared to 1990, instead of "at least 50 per cent towards 55 per cent" proposed by the Commission.

The Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety adopted the report on the EU climate law with 46 votes for, 18 against and 17 abstentions on Friday.

The MEPs also demanded that an interim target for 2040 is to be proposed by the Commission following an impact assessment, to ensure the EU is on track to reach carbon neutrality in 2050.

Contrary to the Commission's proposal, the committee also wanted both the EU and all member states individually to become climate neutral by 2050 and they called for sufficient EU and member state financing.

Fossil fuel subsidies should be phased out by December 31, 2025 at the latest, they underlined.

The European Parliament will vote on its first reading during the October plenary session, after which it will be ready to start negotiations with member states.





Sat, 12 Sep 2020 13:08:49 +0530
Fire in Delhi warehouse no casualties

New Delhi,  A fire broke out here in a plastic toys factory godown on Saturday morning, the officials said. No casualty was reported.

A total of nine fire tenders were rushed immediately to Inderlok Phase-1 in Sarai Rohilla in north Delhi. The cause of the fire, however, could not be ascertained yet.

"We received a call at 9.20 a.m. and immediately the fire tenders were pressed into action. The building comprised the ground floor plus three storey. No casualties were reported and the fire was brought under control timely," said Atul Garg, Director, Delhi Fire Service.

Officials from Sarai Rohilla police station too reached the spot and helped in the rescue work.

"A floor in the building was used for storing plastic toys," said a senior police officer.

Sat, 12 Sep 2020 11:50:12 +0530
Governor Koshyari releases the book Jan Rajyapal on completion of 1 year in Maharashtra


Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari today released his first annual report ‘Jan Rajyapal: Bhagat Singh Koshyari’ in presence of members of the media at Raj Bhavan, Mumbai.  

The Coffee Table Book documents the visits, tours and programmes attended by the Governor since taking charge as State Governor last year.

Principal Secretary to the Governor Santosh Kumar and Director General of Information and Public Relations Dilip Pandharpatte were present.

Describing himself as ‘Rajya Sevak’, Governor Koshyari said it was a great experience for him visiting villages and districts in Maharashtra and interacting with people. He said that he had visited 20 out of 35 districts and hoped to visit the remaining districts in the coming months.

Referring to the natural calamities faced by Maharashtra last year, the Governor said he was happy that during the brief period of the President’s rule, he could do justice to farmers by announcing a relief package of Rs.8000 per hectare for farmers affected by unseasonal rains.

Mentioning about his engagements with universities, he said he had made it a practice to attend convocations in all universities. The Governor said he was surprised when he learnt that no Governor had visited the Shivaji University for16 years. These visits, he said, provided him an opportunity to interact with teachers and students.

Describing himself as wandering person (Ghumantu), he said one cannot understand the problems on the ground unless one visits the place onself.   He appealed to people ‘Not to be Fearful, Be Fearless’ and ‘Not to be Careless, Be Careful’ while facing the challenge of Corona Virus pandemic.

The Governor replied to the questions posed by journalists after his remarks.

Sat, 12 Sep 2020 10:38:21 +0530
Kangana flight chaos IndiGo told to act against unruly fliers

New Delhi,  The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has directed IndiGo to take action against the passengers responsible for unruly behaviour and protocol violations on a flight with Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut onboard.

The incident took place on a Chandigarh-Mumbai flight on September 9.

A DGCA official said: "There are multiple issues. The prominent ones include photography onboard in violation of Aircraft Rules 13, violation of Covid protocols and certain actions falling within the purview of unruly behaviour onboard."

"We have asked the airline to take appropriate action against those responsible," the official said.

The airline said that it has given its statement to the aviation regulator on the matter pertaining to flight 6E 264 from Chandigarh to Mumbai on September 9.

"We would like to reiterate that our cabin crew, as well as the captain, followed all the requisite protocols, including announcements to restrict photography, follow social distancing and maintain overall safety. IndiGo also followed the requisite protocol of documenting this matter in its post-flight report," the airline said in a statement.

IndiGo added: "We are in receipt of certain directions from the DGCA in relation to flight 6E 264. We will follow the prescribed guidelines."

Sat, 12 Sep 2020 08:30:03 +0530
Israel Bahrain agree to establish diplomatic ties

Washington,  Israel and Bahrain have agreed to establish diplomatic ties, according to a joint statement of the US, Israel and Bahrain issued on Friday.

The statement, which was presented by US President Donald Trump on Twitter, said that leaders of the US, Israel and Bahrain held a phone conversation earlier in the day and agreed to the "establishment of full diplomatic relations between Israel and the Kingdom of Bahrain", Xinhua reported.

"Opening direct dialogue and ties between these two dynamic societies and advanced economies will continue the positive transformation of the Middle East and increase stability, security, and prosperity in the region," the statement said.

The relationship normalisation agreement between Israel and Bahrain came about one month after a similar deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced on August 13.

It also makes Bahrain the fourth Arab nation, after Egypt, Jordan and the UAE, to establish diplomatic ties with Israel.

"Our two GREAT friends Israel and the Kingdom of Bahrain agree to a Peace Deal - the second Arab country to make peace with Israel in 30 days!" Trump tweeted.

The UAE and Bahrain, however, have never fought a war against Israel in history.

The statement also said that Bahrain would join the normalisation agreement signing ceremony between Israel and the UAE scheduled on September 15 at the White House.

According to the Israel-UAE deal, Israel agrees to suspend its plan to annex parts of the occupied Palestinian territories in the West Bank.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that the deal between the UAE and Israel "is a stab in the Palestinians' back".

Abbas called on all Arab countries to abide by the Arab Peace Initiative, launched in 2002, which stipulates that the Arabs can only normalize relations with Israel after the Palestinian issue is resolved.


Sat, 12 Sep 2020 08:27:07 +0530
NDA seat sharing formula in Bihar still unclear

Patna,  Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai on Friday said that the BJP-led NDA has set a target of winning 220 out of 243 seats in the 2020 Bihar Assembly election.

The BJP leader was, however, unable to clarify the seat-sharing formula between the NDA constituents - chiefly the BJP, the Janata Dal-United and the Lok Janshakti Party - even after BJP President J.P. Nadda met Chief Minister and JD-U chief Nitish Kumar here.

"We have a vision to achieve 220 seats for the NDA in the upcoming Bihar election and form the government under the leadership of Nitish Kumar," Rai said.

Citing achievements of the Narendra Modi-led Central government including abolishing Article 370, construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya and many other policies, he said that the Centre has a similar progressive vision for Bihar.

Rai also said that Centre has arranged thousands of trains and brought back 25 lakh migrant labourers back to Bihar.

"The Centre has also given two Covid hospitals, apart from the state's own facilities. The recovery rate of corona patients in Bihar has reached up 88 per cent with over 1.5 lakh tests every day," Rai said.

At the meeting with Nitish Kumar, Nadda was accompanied by BJP's Bihar election in-charge and former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, state Health Minister Mangal Pandey and other leaders.

Reacting on the LJP's tough stand, Fadnavis said that a dialogue with its chief is currently underway and expressed confidence that the party will fight the polls as part of the NDA.

Sat, 12 Sep 2020 08:24:31 +0530
























Sat, 12 Sep 2020 00:15:29 +0530








Sat, 12 Sep 2020 00:09:42 +0530
Paresh Rawal as NSD Chairman Chance to share knowledge experience with future generations

Mumbai, Sep 10

The National School Of Drama (NSD) appointed actor Paresh Rawal as Chairman on Thursday, and the veteran film and theatre actor says he is looking forward to sharing his knowledge and experience with the future generations.

"Yes, it is confirmed that I have been appointed Chairman of NSD. I am very happy! I have been doing theatre for the past 48 years. I started doing plays and stage performances since 1972. So, I know the performance part as well as the structural part of it, the training, what it requires to prepare everyone in every aspect of theatre -- the performing arts," Rawal told IANS.

"It will be a great opportunity for me to share my knowledge and experience with the future generations. I am really looking forward to it. I am ready to take responsibility and face the challenges along with it. It is a happy day for me and I want to look forward to my new role. Thank you," he added.

Rawal, also a politician affiliated with the Bharatiya Janata Party, takes a pragmatic line when asked if art has the power to unite and establish harmony in society given the current socio-cultural and political realities.

"I will tell you something. Whether it is our mythology -- our epics like �Ramayana' and �Mahabharata' -- or our holy books like the �Bhagavad Geeta', the �Bible', the �Quran Sharif', we are told that truth wins and human beings should live in harmony and refrain from violence. But we all know what is happening in reality, right? People still get into violence. So, why are you putting the onus on art? I am slightly skeptical about this. On one hand, we hold peace talks and on the other hand we can all see what is going on in the world!" he replied.

However, he does believe that good art is powerful enough to offer a new perspective. "A good piece of art can provoke your thought, can offer you a new perspective. Whether you want take it home and apply it in life is still your choice."

Widely respected for his versatility, Rawal was honoured with the Padma Shri in 2014, and he won the National Film Award in 1994 as Best Supporting Actor for "Woh Chokri" and "Sir". He is also widely known for his outstanding performance in the biopic "Sardar" (1993), where he essayed the titular role of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.

Among his many popular roles are "Naam" (1986), "Shiva" (1990), "Tamanna" (1996), "Aitraaz" (2004), "Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!" (2008), "OMG: Oh My God!" (2012), and "Table No. 21" (2013).

He is particularly loved for his comic roles in commercial entertainers including "Andaz Apna Apna" (1994), "Chachi 420" (1997), "Hera Pheri" (2000), "Aankhen" (2002), "Awara Paagal Deewana" (2002), "Hungama" (2003), "Hulchul" (2004), "Garam Masala" (2005), "Phir Hera Pheri" (2006), "Bhagam Bhag" (2006), "Malamaal Weekly" (2006), "Welcome" (2007), and "Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge?" (2010).











Fri, 11 Sep 2020 18:22:40 +0530
Not in my control how people react to translation of PM s book Bhawana Somayya

New Delhi, Sep 11

It all started when a writer friend familiar with her translation work suggested that she consider Prime Minister Narendra Modi's book in Gujarati for translation into English.

"So I looked for a copy, and it took me a while to read and work on it. I sent across some sample chapters and one thing led to another," says translator, author and film critic Bhawna Somayya about "Letters to Mother" published by HarperCollins India.

Adding that it is an unusual book, considering that the letters are diary pages of Narendra Modi's conversations with the 'Mother Goddess', Somayya says, "Written in 1986 and compiled as a coffee table book by Image Publisher in 2014, it is destiny that I decide to translate the writings in 2020. What is appealing about the content is his intensity, transparency of emotions, his commitment to his conviction and need for self-expression."

In fact, Modi had earlier said about the book: "This is not an attempt at literary writing; the passages featured in this book are reflections of my observations and sometimes unprocessed thoughts, expressed without filter...

"I am not a writer, most of us are not; but everybody seeks expression, and when the urge to unload becomes overpowering, there is no option but to take pen and paper, not necessarily to write but to introspect and unravel what is happening within the heart and the head and why."

Despite the fact that it does not take long for the troll armies to 'label' a writer in present times, it does not really worry Somayya.

"My identity is that of a film critic, columnist and author. I am also associated with books on Lord Krishna and with translation work, and 'Letters to Mother' is one more in that list," the author says, adding that she did her job to the best of her ability and how people react to it is really not in her control.

Recipient of the Padma Shri in 2017, Somayya has written over 13 books on the history of Hindi cinema and biographies of Bollywood stars, including 'Salaam Bollywood', 'The Story So Far' and her trilogy, 'Amitabh Bachchan - The Legend', 'Bachchanalia - The Films And Memorabilia of Amitabh Bachchan' and 'Amitabh Lexicon'.

She is now working on a nostalgic idea of movies in the 90s, besides penning her parents' love story when they migrated with six children from Karachi in 1947.

"It is going to be a difficult write because I have to rely on my older siblings to tell me the story and most of them are no more. Still I have faith that I'll be able to do it... that some magic will happen," she says.






Fri, 11 Sep 2020 18:19:50 +0530
Nora Fatehi s Instagram follower count grows to 16 million

Mumbai, Sep 11

Actress Nora Fatehi now has 16 million followers on Instagram. The Bollywood dance sensation took to the social media site to confirm the news to fans.

In a celebratory video that Nora posted, she is seen pulling funny faces at the camera. The actress is seen dressed in a stunning sparkly dress with a thigh high slit.

"16 MILLION," she captioned the video.

In a short time, Nora has established herself as one of the best dancers in Bollywood, with hits such as "Manohari" ("Baahubali: The Beginning"), "Dilbar" ("Satyamev Jayate"), "O saki saki" ("Batla House"), "Kamariya" ("Stree") and "Garmi" in "Street Dancer 3D".

Coming up for Nora is the Ajay Devgn-starrer "Bhuj: The Pride Of India". It tells the tale of Indian Air Force pilot Vijay Karnik.

The period drama looks back into the journey of 300 women of Madhapar village in Gujarat's Kutch district, who played a pivotal role in helping India win the 1971 Indo-Pak war. The women came together to rebuild and repair the only runway in Bhuj, which was crucial for the war.







Fri, 11 Sep 2020 18:14:10 +0530
ED attaches properties worth Rs 1 8 cr in 2013 gold smuggling case

New Delhi, Sep 11

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday said it has attached movable and immovable properties worth Rs 1.84 crore in a gold smuggling case under Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

The attached immovable properties are in the form of a residential house, an apartment and land in Kerala's Kozhikode in the name of P C Sabana wife of Faiz T K, Subair Y M and Abdul Rahim.

The attached movable properties are in the form of Fixed Deposit in the name of Ashraf Kallunkal in Federal Bank Ltd, Kozhikode Branch.

The ED registered a case on the basis of an FIR filed by CBI and chargesheet filed against C. Madhavan, former Deputy Commissioner Customs, P.P. Sunil Kumar, Faiz T K, Kallunkal, Subair Y M and Abdul Rahim and others.

According to ED, on March 19, 2013, two lady carriers namely Arifa Haris and Asifa Veera were apprehended by Customs authorities and 20 kg gold was recovered from them.

The two ladies had illegally carried 56 kg of gold from Dubai to Cochin during August-September, 2013.

The ED said that these gold consignments were sent by Faiz T K using his contacts with Customs Officers for one Kallunkal who is a prominent businessman of Kerala.

According to CBI charge sheet, by smuggling of gold worth Rs 17.86 crore, there was a wrongful loss on account of non-payment of Customs duty which was Rs 1.83 crore (10 per cent Customs duty and 3 per cent cess).

"The money trail investigation carried out by ED revealed that Faiz and Kallunkal were the masterminds behind the gold smuggling. Faiz picked the lady carriers staying in Dubai with their family, who were in need of money and executed the smuggling," the official said.

The official further said that Kallunkal was the main investor in the gold purchase and smuggled the same to India with the help of Faiz, who has good relationship with many prominent persons in Kerala.

"Kallunkal and Faiz had accumulated the profit in Dubai and later transferred the same to their accounts in India. The proceeds of crime were placed in the form of immovable and movable properties," the official said.

Money trail has also revealed the role of Rahim, a resident of Calicut and Subair Y M, brother of Kallunkal.

"Subair was the recipient of gold on behalf of his brother Kallunkal and also benefitted," the official said.








Fri, 11 Sep 2020 18:11:38 +0530
LGBTQ community allies Driving change in society

New Delhi, Sep 11

Ever since the Supreme Court struck down Article 377, we as a culture, as a country, and as citizens do not view it as a "Western" phenomenon.

While more and more people open up about their sexuality, allies have played an important role in creating a safe environment for them to do so. With a more equal society built to whatever extent it has till today.

Ramkrishna Sinha, who identifies himself as a gay person, says, "A lot of LGBTQ people grow up thinking that they are the only ones like that. It's a very isolated feeling and also you have to constantly hide. And you struggle to find someone who understands you and gets you."

He adds: "But when I know that there's that one person that gets me it makes a very big difference. It has saved life too. It is very important to be an ally and that too a visible one."

LGBTQ allies: Driving change in society

To make a difference in the society towards the community, the community has to speak for itself. But beyond that, it is very important that when we are in a position and have the privilege of being in the majority, we should use that voice to support each other.

Anjali Gopalan, who is a renowned LGBTQ+ ally in India, who initiated and won the battle against Section 377 in 2009, says: "They (allies) speak about what we need to do to bring about a change in the attitude of people towards the community."

She adds: "We need people to accept the community and that's a very slow process. We also need strong laws that will protect people. Whatever you do a strong law is helpful. For example, if you look at something like dowry, it has not stopped because they have anti-dowry law, but it has improved because of the way its implemented."

Gopalan recalls: "I remember when I was in university in the 70s, one would constantly hear of women being burned to death. The media would tell me stories about women being burned to death. We don't hear so much of that happening now. So the fact that we have a strong dowry law has helped in some way even though it doesn't completely change the situation. And allies have a huge role to play."

It's only exposure that changes our way of thinking and that is what an ally can do, says Gopalan, founder and Executive Director of The Naz Foundation (India) Trust.

"They can always engage in the discussion and make people understand why or how it is possible to see an issue through a different lens. No one can force you but they can definitely convince you and make you understand why we're taking the stand that they're taking. And often when that happens, we do understand and we do change our attitudes and our way of thinking. And that is the role that an ally can play."

Sinha, co-founder of Pride Circle that ideated the #21DaysAllyChallenge initiative and mobilized more than 14,000 people to become ally, feels that people still have misinformation regarding the community which needs to be cleared off. And an ally may be instrumental in driving this change.

He believes: "Visibility leads to familiarity, familiarity leads to conversation, conversation leads to understanding and understanding leads to acceptance. When you are able to have a conversation that's when changes takes place."

However, now we have to start looking at the rights for the community, says Gopalan, "It's something that we need to talk more and more about and that is where the most pushback is going to happen here. Example, if we start talking about the right to marry. If you do believe in rights, you will believe that everyone in this country should have the same rights."







Fri, 11 Sep 2020 18:08:17 +0530
Ten tips for young art collectors

New Delhi, Sep 11

In an art ecosystem full of different forms of art, being a young collector can get challenging. Heres some useful advice from gallerists and art experts before you get down to buying your first work.

According to Mandira Lamba, Former Chairperson FICCI YFLO, Delhi, and Founder and Director of two art ventures, Blueprint12 and Tribal Art Form, "it's been most exhilarating to see the surge of young budding collectors in the art world over the last few years."

"My advice to these young collectors has always been - follow your own taste! Do not go by 'what's selling'. And in order to develop your own aesthetics, please visit, watch and read. Of course in this current scenario, it's all about online and which is fine as people all over the world are now getting connected through online shows and conversations. This gives one ample opportunity to research and look out for various virtual displays, webinars etc to expand one's own horizon and finally develop the 'Art of seeing Art'. Once you have that going trust me you will know which is the work of art that you need to collect," Lamba told IANSlife.

Sunaina Anand, Director Art Alive Gallery shares a similar view. "Collecting art might seem like a daunting task considering the multitude of artworks that surround us." She lists her top ten tips to young art collectors.

1. The first step before venturing into collecting art is research. Due to ease of use, the digital medium is the best platform for conducting any art based research. Following trends in the art world, following art news, referring to blogs etc. might be a good start for any young collector to help in establishing their own taste in art with genuine interest.

2. As one delves deeper into the art world, it is essential for any young collector to refer to websites of established art galleries. Reliable galleries mostly have a standing of at least 10 years and their websites are the best sources.

3. It is also suggested that young collectors build ongoing relationships with galleries who have a history of doing important shows and publications for better understanding of art. Not only does this help young collectors to understand art better but also provides them access to works and publications helping them build their own collection.

4. To build a collection over time, it is always a good idea to begin with a wish list. Creating a wish list will help a young collector to gradually build his or her own collection over time.

5. As young collectors, people often have budgetary constraints pertaining to the amount of art they can buy at one go. It is advisable that young collectors begin with investing a smaller amount at first before they move on to bigger investments. The best way to go about this is following updates on the websites of trusted art galleries and have access to a variety of art before they decide to take the plunge.

6. Since young art collectors are very recently venturing into the realm of collecting art, it is always a safer bet to buy art of an established artist who fascinates you. It also helps to consult an art gallery to see works from various artists so that one is guided towards a more wholesome collection.

7. It is always better to research the artist, either on the digital medium or via catalogues or publications produced by art galleries. It is advisable that documentation is in place with regard to any artwork. That is why it is suggested that artworks should only be bought from trusted art galleries.

8. Even though being updated with art trends is important, it is also equally necessary for anyone to trust their instincts. Everyone has a very distinct taste of art which makes every collection unique. In order to develop your own aesthetic, it is important for any collector to trust their instincts and not just blindly follow trends.

9. One mistake a lot of young collectors tend to make is not engaging enough with their art. Knowing the artwork you just purchased is an important part of building the collection. Knowing the artist and their body of work helps a young collector to understand their collection and ways in which they can expand the same.

10. Lastly, even though a distant dream in the times of a pandemic, it is always advisable that young collectors see an artwork they have been willing to purchase, physically. It is preferable that the work is viewed at a gallery so as to place an artwork in a physical space and get a better insight.

Fri, 11 Sep 2020 18:01:50 +0530
Binge drinkers brains have to work harder to feel empathy for others

London, Sep 11

Are you a binge drinker? Read this carefully. Researchers now claim that binge-drinkers' brains have to put more effort into trying to feel empathy for other people in pain.

The study, published in the journal NeuroImage: Clinical, revealed that People who binge-drink show more extensive dysfunction across their brains than previously realised.

"Our data show that binge-drinkers need to work harder to feel empathy for other people in pain. They need to use more resources in terms of higher brain activity than non-binge drinkers," said study author Charlotte Rae from the University of Sussex in the UK.

"What this means in everyday life is that people who binge-drink might struggle to perceive the pain of others as easily as non-binge drinkers do," Rae added.

The study involved 71 participants (from France and the UK) whose brain activity was observed in fMRI scanners while undertaking a pain perception task.

Half of these people were classified as binge-drinkers and half were not. The binge-drinkers were sober while they were being observed.

In the task, participants were shown an image of a limb being injured, and asked to imagine either that the body part was theirs, or that of another person, and to state how much pain was associated with the image.

The binge-drinking participants struggled more than their non-binge-drinking counterparts when trying to adopt the perspective of another person experiencing the pain.

They took more time to respond and the scans revealed that their brains had to work harder - to use more neural resources - to appreciate how intensely another person would feel pain.

The study also revealed a more widespread dysfunction than previously realised; a visual area of the brain, which is involved in recognising body parts, showed unusually high levels of activation in the binge-drinkers.

This was not true in the non-binge drinkers who looked at the same images.

When the binge-drinkers were asked to imagine the injured body part in the picture as their own, their pain estimate was not different from that of their non-binge drinking counterparts.

"We have shown with this study that dysfunction associated with binge drinking is even more extensive than previously known," said study author Theodora Duka from University of Sussex.

"Reduced empathy in binge drinkers may facilitate drinking as it can blunt the perception of suffering of self or others during a drinking session," Duka noted.




Fri, 11 Sep 2020 17:53:22 +0530
Liverpool to kick off Premier League title defence against Leeds United

New Delhi, Sep 11

Football fans around the world will be putting their game face on as the much-awaited Premier League returns for a new season. The stakes are high for defending champions Liverpool who are primed to scale the summit again as the Reds square off with newly-promoted Leeds United in the season opener on Saturday.

It would be interesting to see if Jurgen Klopp's men can maintain their stride and keep the Cup at Anfield for another season. Meanwhile, Leeds United's entry into the Premier League will be an extremely elating experience as the club returns to the league after a long gap of 16-years. Marcelo Bielsa's men took the football world by storm in the 2019-2020 season and will be looking to dish out a similar performance this season too.

Frank Lampard's first full-fledged season as the manager ended with Chelsea finishing at the fourth spot in Premier League's 2019-20 season. With the transfer ban lifted, the Blues have put all their faith in the young guns. The entry of two new midfielders Kai Havertz and Hakim Ziyech have raised the bar for Chelsea and fans are eager to see what's up next for their favourite team. They are ably supported by new additions to the time in the likes of Timo Werner, Thiago Silva and Ben Chilwell. Previous season's star Christian Pulisic was among the only few players that were retained, but his return to the field is still uncertain owing to injury concerns.

After a consecutive two-season win, Manchester City finished at second position in the 2019-20 season with an 18-point gap with Liverpool. A fresh campaign for Pep Guardiola will be a chance to introspect and work on Manchester City's weakness from last season, their defence. With newly-signed defenders, Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly and Bournemouth's Nathan Ake making their position in the team, the world will be eager to see if Guardiola manages to sail the team to the crown.

Manchester United has been reinvigorated with Bruno Fernandes' entry from Sporting Lisbon keeping the adrenaline pumping in all matches. With the new signing of Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek, the team's midfield looks strengthened. To bridge the gap between Liverpool and Manchester City, United will have to retain their post-pandemic form and go on a winning spree.

Meanwhile, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, Leicester City, Everton and Wolves will also pose serious challenges and fight for the top four spots. Arsenal's previous season comprised of a lot of hits and misses as the team finished at the eighth spot on the points table.

With Mikel Arteta's new plan and with the expectation of Mesut Ozil, the playmaker's return, Arsenal will get an equal ground to prove themselves. Under the leadership of Jose Mourinho, the Spurs will look at moving forward on the points table. Brendan Rodgers' phenomenal management has brought Leicester City at such a comfortable position in Premier League and they have certainly attracted all the eyeballs for next campaign. Carlo Ancelotti should continue to improve Everton as he looks to be in charge for the full season.

The Premier League season will be aired on Star Sports Network & Disney+ Hotstar VIP.






Fri, 11 Sep 2020 17:50:51 +0530
Adani Ports and SEZ raises Rs 900 cr through NCDs

Mumbai, Sep 11

Adani Ports & Special Economic Zone Ltd. has raised Rs 900 crore through allotment of non-convertible debentures (NCD) on private placement basis.

In a regulatory filing issued on Friday, the company said that the NCDs will be listed on the Wholesale Debt Market segment of BSE Ltd.

"The company has raised Rs 900 crore today by allotment of 9,000 Rated, Listed, Secured, Redeemable, Non-Convertible Debentures (NCDs) of the face value of Rs 10,00,000 each on private placement basis," the filing said.

Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd. (APSEZ) has presence across 10 domestic ports in six maritime states of Gujarat, Goa, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Odisha.












Fri, 11 Sep 2020 17:34:01 +0530
TS POLYCET Result 2020 Declared polycetts nic in Direct Link to Check Scores Here

Sep, 11

Telangana State Board of Technical Education and Training declared the TS POLYCET result for entrance examination. Candidates can now check their results by logging on to the official website Entrance examinations were conducted earlier this month on September 2 for admission to various polytechnic courses in colleges across Telangana.

The State Board of Education and Training, Hyderabad conducts the POLYCET test for students opting for diploma courses in various fields including engineering and non-engineering courses as well as technology courses. Diploma in agriculture, agriculture engineering, seed technology and organic agriculture courses are also offered.

Fri, 11 Sep 2020 17:20:43 +0530
To retire or not Ours not to reason why ours but to do die

Every profession, except that of lawyers and doctors, has a retirement age and there comes a time when you need to bow out. World is getting younger and so should the elders if they want to survive the progressive world before them.  Technology is changing fast and generations whether young or the old needs to keep pace and adapt to the changes brought forth by technology. Many are trying to keep themselves fitter and mentally sharper and though their bodies are aging but minds are sharp and they can access information at the click of a finger.

In corporate world retirement age forces one to end one’s career even if one is fit mentally and physically to continue further. This is to give youngsters a chance and bring fresh ideas to the table. Passion plus interest is the new modus operandi and people are making their living by following their dreams.

In sports as one used to age the opportunities were limited and he used to be alone in his retirement but today things are changing. There are fitness regimes, diet control to prolong careers and even look for alternative careers. In cricket for example, there is good money, it is a big business.

Yuvraj Singh has been a very successful Indian cricketer and when he announced retirement a year ago, one felt he deserved to finally rest and relax. A year in oblivion was enough to draw him back to his favorite sport. He has requested the BCCI to grant him permission to play domestic cricket again as he wants to represent his home state Punjab.

Players such as Yuvraj, Dhoni, Raina and so many of the other senior lot of cricketers who have retired, or are on the verge of retirement, need to be encouraged to continue doing service to cricket for their state associations. The BCCI should allow them to play T20 league cricket tournaments around the world, if they so desire, once they have officially retired from representing the country.

Fri, 11 Sep 2020 17:09:42 +0530
Mumbai Hotelier Jaffer Bhai 80 passes away

Sep, 11

Jaffer Mansuri, popularly known as Jaffer Bhai, founder of Delhi Darbar restaurant and Mumbai hotelier, “The King of Bombay Biryani” passed away at the age of 80. Jaffer wasn’t keeping well for some time and was being treated at Beach Candy Hospital.

Journalist Rajdeep Sardesai tweeting about his death said, “He was known as the ‘biryani king’ of Mumbai.. he served the best dabba gosht in Mumbai.. Jaffarbhai of Mumbai’s Delhi durbar has passed away: thank you for many fine meals from college days till now.”

Many famous personalities expressed condolences as soon as the news spread. Jaffer who wasn’t keeping well was also tested Covid-19 positive although no official statement was released for this.

Fri, 11 Sep 2020 17:05:17 +0530
Shweta Tripathi In worst of situations you often have reason to celebrate

Mumbai, Sep 11

 Actress Shweta Tripathi has found reason to celebrate in the worst of situations amid the ongoing pandemic.

Despite 2020 being the year of Covid, Shweta has a steady line-up of releases, all on OTT platforms. After winning accolades for the digitally-released film "Raat Akeli Hai" and the web series "The Gone Game", she is gearing up for the release of "Mirzapur" season two, and the OTT film, "Cargo".

"Sometimes in the worst of situations, you have something to celebrate. It has been a gloomy year, but thankfully the universe was exceedingly kind to me that some projects that I had worked on earlier got released," Shweta said.

About her upcoming projects, she said: "It is a passion project. It is a sci-fi we have taken to multiple festivals across the world. It's so satisfying to see Netflix pick it up and give it a worldwide release. And there is 'Mirzapur', the one project that fans can never stop asking us about."

Shweta promises her fans that second season of the crime drama "Mirzapur" will be "masterful" and "suspenseful", adding: "Hardcore fans of the series are up for a ride. We have worked incredibly hard on the show. It's a fine ensemble and (her character) Golu Gupta is the one of the carry-forward characters. It will be fun to watch the ladies having a ball of a time on screen this season."





Fri, 11 Sep 2020 16:54:07 +0530
Amol Palekar Delight to hear today s generation talk profoundly about Gol Maal

Mumbai, Sep 11

Veteran actor Amol Palekar feels happy when he hears the young generation talk about his 1979 comedy classic, Gol Maal.

The Hrishikesh Mukherjee film was about how a man lies to get a job but things get complicated when his orthodox boss gets suspicious.

"Shooting for 'Gol Maal' was like a picnic" recalled Palekar. "We used to have a lot of fun while shooting for this film. My friendship with Utpal (Dutt) da was a very different and a priceless one since we knew each other right from our theatre days."

He added: "Often, while shooting scenes he used to tell me ways to improvise my performance to which he would accordingly improvise his own performance. Ours was a give-and-take relation! (Director) Hrishi da would also let us improvise most of the scenes in our own way before sharing his feedback."

"The fun and priceless moments we had while shooting for 'Gol Maal' is what is seen in this film and that is alive even today. It's such a delight to hear even today's generation talk profoundly about this film, despite the number of years that have gone by since the release of the film," said Palekar, walking down memory lane while shooting for an episode of "Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Li'l Champs".

Fri, 11 Sep 2020 16:51:19 +0530
HCL announces AI Lab collaborates with graphics giant Nvidia

Noida, Sep 11

IT major HCL Technologies on Friday announced the launch of, its Artificial Intelligence (AI) lab focused on upskilling engineers and architects using AI solutions across hardware and software.

The lab will focus on emerging technologies to develop industry-specific AI solutions for customers pursuing digital transformation.

The areas of focus include computer vision, predictive modeling, failure analysis, optimisation, product intelligence, data engineering, data management and more.

Customers and partners can co-create proofs of concept and full-fledged, scalable and production-ready solutions in the lab, the company said in a statement.

"HCL's lab serves as a learning center for next-generation technologies and as an incubation zone for transformational business solutions," said GH Rao, President, Engineering and R&D Services, HCL Technologies.

HCL also announced it has joined graphics giant Nvidia's Partner Network (NPN), the US-based technology company's partner programme, with plans to pursue expanded opportunities in the AI space.

"Collaborating with Nvidia will enable us to engineer high-performance and scalable solutions that deliver real business benefits to our customers," Rao added. lab is powered by two Nvidia 'DGX-1' systems, which enables accelerated delivery of AI solutions.

"We are excited by the work HCL is doing to empower organizations in India with rich AI solutions to meet their business and technology requirements," said Vishal Dhupar, Managing Director for Nvidia South Asia.

Fri, 11 Sep 2020 16:47:03 +0530
ISRO expected to launch its satellites in Nov 2020 Kleos Space

Chennai, Sep 11

The Luxembourg-based Kleos Space, a space-powered Radio Frequency Reconnaissance data-as-a-service (DaaS) company on Friday said its Kleos Scouting Mission satellites are expected to be launched during the first half of November 2020 by Indian rocket PSLV.

"The Company has been informed (by NSIL via Spaceflight Inc.) that the launch of the four Kleos satellites planned on-board PSLV-C49 mission is being targeted during the 1st half of November 2020, based on the current status of planning of activities. This schedule is subject to change due to operational circumstances beyond NSIL control," Kleos Space said.

"The rocket launch is done by ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation). We are facilitating commercial launches," G. Narayanan, Chairman and Managing Director, NewSpace India Limited (NSIL) told IANS.

The NSIL is a commercial space company under Department of Space (DOS).

According to Narayanan, the actual launch date of the rocket Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV C49) will be finalised ISRO.

Kleos said it is launching the scouting satellites under a rideshare contract with Spaceflight Inc, with the launch managed by NSIL.

The Kleos Scouting Mission's four satellites have been mission-ready since the middle of 2019, and were shipped to the launch site (Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh) during February, anticipating the launch during March.

Delay to the launch from March has been due to the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic situation, Kleos said.

"In due course, NSIL via Spaceflight Inc. will confirm the exact launch date once the activities at the launch base progress successfully," Kleos said.





Fri, 11 Sep 2020 16:39:34 +0530
India must play active role in Baloch freedom struggle

New Delhi, Sep 11

 I am often confronted with a question about how to create global awareness about the Balochistan movement. Common answers would be that India, Afghanistan, United States and friendly countries should initiate a debate and chalk out a long-term policy to work with Balochistan in order to maintain durable peace and prosperity of the region. Recognizing Balochistan as an occupied territory will pave the way for it to become a sovereign state.

India should make a concrete policy for assisting the Baloch people. The Indian government should give asylum/citizenship to us so that the Baloch diaspora can carry their movement for independence without being intimidated by anyone. If Baloch pro-independence parties can have their offices in the UK, US and other European countries, then why can't they have a political office in India?

Delhi should take a leading role in exposing the gross human rights violation being perpetrated by the Pakistan Army in occupied Balochistan. India should train the Baloch patriots and help them raise an army of about 50,000 soldiers who should be sent to defend the borders of Balochistan. It would play a vital role in thwarting the Pakistani and Chinese exploitation and also dismantle Chinese military projects including naval bases in Jiwani, Ormara and Pasni.

A strong Baloch army will prevent the loot and plunder of Balochistan's rich resources like gold, copper, natural gas, coal and other rare minerals. China and Pakistan are trying hard to exploit the region, especially like Kohistan Marri.

New roads are being constructed and there are reports of heavy troop deployment forcing the locals from Bambor, Kahan, Rakni and the adjoining areas of district Kohlu to migrate. Levies (a paramilitary force) has been deployed to guard the logistics but the drilling sites are secured by the Pakistani army and Frontier Corps, controlled directly from Islamabad.

Last week, the ISI and Military Intelligence (MI) organized a rally in Kohlu city where former senator Mohbat Khan Zindozai Marri, Bahar Khan Bijarani (a local collaborator of Pakistan Army) and Inayaullah Zarkoon (head, Zarkoon tribe) gave speeches and offered full support to the government to start drilling for oil, gas, coal and other minerals.

The drilling of oil wells was started by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in 1973 but due to fierce resistance put up by some Balochs, it was not possible to install the machinery in mountainous areas of Kahan and Jhandaran region of Kohlu. Leaders like Hyrbyair Marri and his father, late Nawab Khair Bakhsh Marri, led the fight against the exploitation of region's resources.

The Baloch armed group, Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), had also been targeting Pakistan Army cantonments, outposts and state-run exploration companies for a long time. BLA's spokesperson Azad Baloch had issued a stern warning to the Army asking them to stay away from the mineral-rich region.

A huge economic crisis in the country has made the Pakistani leaders in Islamabad to accelerate usurpation of Balochistan's minerals. Meanwhile, China is building underground naval bases and military installations in Jewani and Sonmiani region of Gawadar. A strong Baloch army can dismantle the Chinese military installations. These projects will be used against India and the US in future. India should approach EU, USA, Africa and the gulf countries to build a collective approach against the economic and military terrorism initiated by China in Balochistan, Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and other areas.

India enjoys an overwhelming support of the global powers and can offer its expertise to build a global consensus for the Baloch cause. America and Islamic countries should invite Balochistan as a regional stakeholder. It is obvious that a weak Balochistan will only strengthen Pakistan and China.

We are also witnessing turmoil and proxy war against Afghanistan which has been orchestrated and supervised by the ISI. Baloch leader Hyrbyair Marri, president of Free Balochistan Movement, had in an interview last year, also revealed how Pakistan is creating riots, disturbing internal security, law and order in India.

China, Pakistan, Iran and Turkey have joined hands against India. Balochistan will however stand with its reliable and true friends. Balochs, just like the Kurds, deserve global attention and recognition and will always remain a trustworthy allay and friend of India, US, Afghanistan and Israel.

Fri, 11 Sep 2020 16:35:20 +0530
Job losses weighing heavy on expats minds Official

Panaji, Sep 11

The thought of returning home from abroad after losing jobs amid the Covid-19 pandemic continues to be a key concern for Indian expatriates, said Shubham Singh, Protector of Emigrants for Karnataka and Goa region.

"The major issues faced by emigrants during the pandemic relate to job losses, often because their employers have shut down businesses, and safe return to India. These are primary concerns of a large number of emigrants," Singh told IANS.

"In most cases, their employers and recruitment agencies aid and assist affected individuals to return to India. In some cases, if the recruitment agency refuses to do so, we can step in and ensure that the agencies do the needful. We work along with the Embassies concerned to facilitate their safe return to India, if they so wish," he said.

The POE functions under the Emigration Act, 1983, with an objective to protect the interest of and aid and advice Indian emigrants going abroad or presently working abroad, and is also responsible for granting emigration clearance to prospective emigrants as per the procedure.

Singh said that one of the mandates of his agency was to track down and probe illegal overseas recruitment agencies, which dupe aspiring emigrants seeking green pastures abroad.

And Goa, the top official said, also had its share of unregistered agents, many of whom are under investigation.

"There are eight registered recruitment agencies in Goa. We are presently investigating complaints received against 32 unregistered agencies and individuals in Goa," Singh said.

"In my experience working as Protector of Emigrants, the common cases of fraud are related to payments made by candidates to overseas recruitment agencies, but failed to receive any job offers. Or instances wherein a specific job position or salary was promised by the recruitment agency, but a candidate learns on arrival at his or her overseas destination that the job profile or salary is not as promised," he said.

Goa Director General of Police Mukesh Kumar Meena, Singh said, had assured to work closely with the POE to track down fraud agents in the state.

Goa has a large expat population working mainly in the oil-rich Middle East as well as on board cruise liners, he said while adding that there has been a line of outreach for emigrants headed for or residing in that region.

"We advise people that they should be aware of local laws of the land where they are looking to seek employment. They should also acquaint themselves and be aware of their rights as Indian citizens and that they can approach the offices of the POE for any grievances they may have which will be taken up with the offices concerned," he said.







Fri, 11 Sep 2020 16:31:26 +0530
Zomato plans IPO former staff to get 30 million cash out

Sep 11,

Zomato will be going for an initial public offering in 2021. The company which is more than a decade old is planning its listing in India, sources familiar with the development told media. The company is also in process of closing a $30 million share sale for its former employees which will be one of the most significant ESOP liquidity events in India.

“Our financial and legal teams are working towards offering the IPO sometime in the first half of next year. The value of our business is going up significantly thanks to the hard work and commitment of our team,” said Deepinder Goyal, co-founder of the company in an email to employees.

While lockdown did hurt its business in initial days Zomato said that food delivery business is back in track and has recovered by almost 75% to pre-pandemic days. Although many companies took a short-term hit, many have bounced back and with improved economics.

Fri, 11 Sep 2020 16:12:59 +0530
Triumph Motorcycles all new Rocket 3 GT India launch at Rs 18 40 lakh

Sep 11,

British premium motorcycle brand Triumph Motorcycles all-new Rocket 3 GT power cruiser will be sold in India at Rs 18.40 lakh (ex-showroom), Rs. 40,000 higher than the regular Rocket 3 motorcycle which that is priced at Rs 18 lakh.

Auto market is gradually recovering from the coronavirus pandemic and the launch comes at the right time when demand for two-wheelers is picking up among public. The Rocket 3 GT is powered by an all-new 2,500 cc engine, which according to Triumph is 'the world's biggest production motorcycle engine'.

"We are focusing greatly on how to continue to create excitement in this industry. We all know we are stressed in the industry right now. The focus from our side is to continuously give reason for customers to come to our showroom and buy our products," said Triumph Motorcycles India Business Head Shoeb Farooq speaking to the media.

The bike is equipped with safety features such as optimized cornering anti-lock braking system as standard on Rocket 3 GT to maintain optimum braking performance and hill hold control that prevents the bike rolling backwards.

Fri, 11 Sep 2020 16:03:14 +0530
Sleep apnea linked to higher spine fracture risk in women

New York,  Researchers have found that women with a history of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) may face a higher risk of spine or vertebral fractures.

OSA is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts. Risk factors include age and obesity. It's more common in men. Symptoms include snoring loudly and feeling tired even after a full night's sleep.

Emerging evidence suggests that OSA may negatively affect bone health. No prospective study to date has investigated the association between OSA and fracture risk in women.

"We conducted a prospective study examining the relation between OSA and the risk of incident vertebral fracture (VF) and hip fracture (HF) in the Nurses' Health Study," said study authors from Brigham and Women's Hospital in the US.

For the findings, published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, the investigators examined data pertaining to 55,264 women without a prior history of bone fractures.

According to the researchers, OSA was self-reported in 1.3 per cent of participants in 2002 and increased to 3.3 per cent by 2012.

The study revealed that between 2002 and 2014, 461 vertebral fractures and 921 hip fractures occurred.

Women with a history of OSA had a 2-fold higher risk of vertebral fracture relative to those with no OSA history, with the strongest association observed for OSA associated with daytime sleepiness.

However, the study also revealed that no association was observed between OSA history and risk of hip fracture.

"Our study provides important evidence at the population level that obstructive sleep apnea may have an adverse impact on bone health that is particularly relevant to the development of vertebral fracture," said study lead author Tianyi Huang of Brigham and Women's Hospital.

"Given that we used self-reported clinical diagnoses of sleep apnea and fracture in our study, future studies could use more deeply characterized data to further the understanding of the mechanisms linking sleep apnea to bone health and fracture risk," Huang noted.

Fri, 11 Sep 2020 13:22:03 +0530
Mumbai court rejects bail pleas of Rhea Showik 4 others

Mumbai, A Mumbai Special Court on Friday rejected the bail applications of actress Rhea Chakraborty, her brother Showik and four others accused in the drugs case filed by Narcotics Control Bureau, advocate Satish Maneshinde said.

All the six accused are likely to move the Bombay High Court shortly for bail.

Until further relief, Rhea -- who was arrested on Tuesday and sent to judicial custody till September 22 -- will remain in the Byculla Jail.


Fri, 11 Sep 2020 13:02:28 +0530
Zoom introduces two factor authentication to boost users security

New Delhi, Video meet app Zoom has introduced Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) for additional security, making it easier for admins and organisations to protect their users' data and prevent security breaches.

To enable Zoom's 2FA at the account-level for password-based authentication, account admins sign-in to the Zoom Dashboard.

"In the navigation menu, click Advanced, then Security. Make sure the Sign in with Two-Factor Authentication option is enabled. Select one of these options to enable 2FA for: All users in your account: Enable 2FA for all users in the account," the company said in a statement on Friday.

One can choose users with specific roles and users belonging to specific groups too.

With 2FA, organizations can reduce the risk of identity theft and security breaches by adding an extra layer of security that prevents bad actors from accessing accounts by guessing passwords or gaining access to employees' or students' devices.

"Implementing 2FA helps organizations meet compliance obligations for sensitive data and customer information," Zoom said.

For small businesses and schools, it can be expensive to pay for an SSO (single sign-on) service.

According to the company, Zoom's 2FA provides a free and effective way to validate users and protect against security breaches.

With Zoom's 2FA, users have the option to use authentication apps that support Time-Based One-Time Password (TOTP) protocol (such as Google Authenticator, Microsoft Authenticator, and FreeOTP), or have Zoom send a code via SMS or phone call, as the second factor of the account authentication process.


Fri, 11 Sep 2020 12:58:24 +0530
IATA team completes safety audit of PIA

Karachi, A four-member team of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Operational Safety Audit has completed its week-long audit inspection of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and are slated to leave on Friday night.

The foreign experts carried out an operational safety audit of different departments of the flag carrier, including its flight operation, ground handling, flight safety and security and engineering, Dawn news reported.

The operational safety audit is carried out every two years with the last exercise conducted in 2018.

On Monday, the team held a meeting and then visited the cargo area of the airport in Karachi.

They also sought the record of the engineering section of the PIA and other relevant documents for audit.

On Wednesday, the team inspected ground handling and technical ramp.

In addition, the experts inspected the engineering department on Thursday which will continue on Friday.

The experts will conclude their visit on Friday with a meeting with PIA Chief Executive Officer retired Air Marshal Arshad Malik.

Fri, 11 Sep 2020 12:44:03 +0530
US India resolve to take concerted action against Pak backed terror groups

New Delhi/Washington,  The US and India have resolved to take concerted action against pan-Islamist terror groups Al Qaeda and Islamic State (IS0 and also the Kashmir-centric Pakistan sponsored outfits, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and Hizb-ul Mujahideen (HuM).

In a joint statement on Thursday, the US-India counter-terrorism joint working group and designations dialogue, both sides denounced use of terrorist proxies and strongly condemned cross-border terrorism in all its forms.

While discussing the threats posed by the UN-sanctioned terrorist entities, the two sides emphasized the need for concerted action against all terrorist networks, including the Al Qaeda, IS, LeT, JeM, and HuM.

The statement followed the 17th meeting of the US-India Counter Terrorism Joint Working Group and the third session of the US-India Designations Dialogue held virtually on Wednesday and Thursday.

Mahaveer Singhvi, joint secretary for counter terrorism in the Ministry of External Affairs, and Ambassador Nathan A. Sales at the US State Department coordinator for counterterrorism, led the respective inter-Agency/inter-Departmental delegations in a far-reaching conversation on counter-terrorism cooperation.

Both sides resolved to continue close coordination on counter-terrorism, an important element of the comprehensive global strategic partnership that exists between the two countries.

They also shared information about their priorities and procedures for pursuing sanctions and designations against terrorist groups and individuals, particularly in light of recent legislative changes in India.

Both the countries underlined the urgent need for Pakistan to take immediate, sustained, and irreversible action to ensure that no territory under its control is used for terrorist attacks, and to expeditiously bring to justice the perpetrators of such attacks, including the 26/11 Mumbai and Pathankot.

The US reiterated its support for the people and government of India in the fight against terrorism.

The two sides committed to strengthen cooperation on information sharing and other steps to disrupt the ability of international terrorists to travel, consistent with the important provisions and obligations outlined in UN Security Council Resolution 2396.

Participants also highlighted their efforts to address some of the world's most pressing counter terrorism challenges, including countering the financing and operations of terrorist organizations, countering radicalization and terrorist use of the internet, cross-border movement of terrorists and prosecuting, rehabilitating, and reintegrating returning terrorist fighters and family members.

The two sides discussed mutual legal and extradition assistance, bilateral law enforcement training and cooperation.

Fri, 11 Sep 2020 12:36:44 +0530
Spike in Telangana Covid cases continues

Hyderabad, Sep 11 (IANS) The spike in Covid-19 cases in Telangana continued as the state reported 2,426 new cases during the last 24 hours, officials said on Friday.

With this the state's tally mounted to 1,52,602 while 13 more deaths pushed the toll to 940.

The fatality rate in the state marginally declined to 0.61 per cent against the national average of 1.67 per cent. Out of the total fatalities, 53.87 per cent had comorbidities.

While Hyderabad and surrounding districts continued to report a maximum number of cases, other parts of the state are also witnessing the surge.

During the last 24 hours till 8 p.m. Thursday, Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) saw 338 new cases. Neighbouring districts Rangareddy and Medchal Malkajgiri reported 216 and 172 cases respectively. Sangareddy, another district bordering the state capital, recorded 97 cases.

Outside Hyderabad and surrounding districts, Nalgonda recorded the highest single-day jump of 164. Karimnagar saw 129 new cases, Warangal Urban 108, Khammam 98, Nizamabad 89 and Siddipet 87.

According to the director of public health, 69 per cent of 1,52,602 cases reported so far in the state were asymptomatic.

The last 24 hours also saw 2,324 people recovering from the virus, taking the total number of recoveries to 1,19,467.

Telangana's recovery rate at 78.2 per cent is slightly higher than the national average of 77.63 per cent.

The number of active cases in the state stands at 32,195 including 25,240 in home and institutional isolation.

A total of 17 government and 38 private laboratories and 1,076 rapid antigen test centres across the state conducted 62,890 tests. These include 28,300 primary and 8,804 secondary contacts. With this the state has conducted over 20 lakh tests. However, there was no information available as to how many of these are rapid antigen tests.

The state health authorities said samples tested per million population improved further to 54,313. This is much higher than the daily testing target of 5,600 per day as per the World Health Organisation (WHO) benchmark of 140 per million per day.

Age wise Covid positive details show that 65.3 per cent of those tested positive were in the age group of 21-50 years. Officials said that 24.71 per cent are above 51 years of age and about 10 per cent were aged below 20 years.

Officials said 64.41 per cent of those tested positive were male while the remaining 35.59 per cent were female.

Out of 20,396 beds under government, 17,728 beds are vacant, including 1,627 ICU beds.

A total of 199 private hospitals treating Covid patients have 10,388 beds, out of which 6,101 are vacant.









Fri, 11 Sep 2020 11:58:13 +0530
Himachal BJP leader earns wrath over Priyanka s bungalow remark

Shimla, Sep 11

In what is being seen as a veiled threat following attack on Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut's office in Mumbai, the BJP women's wing chief in Himachal Pradesh "it can happen here too" hinting at an attack on Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's house near here.

Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur was quick to condemn this.

State BJP Mahila Morcha chief Rashim Dhar Sood 'courted' controversy following her threat to bulldoze Priyanka's bungalow.

In her video message, she spoke about launching a campaign against the Shiv Sena for 'demolishing' Ranaut's office. "If need be, we will not even spare Congress's daughter Priyanka Gandhi who has also built a house in Shimla. We will promise to demolish her house too," she said.

Activists of the Mahila Morcha on Thursday staged a protest here against the demolition of Kangana's office.

Rising above party lines, Thakur clarified that it was wrong to demand demolition of Priyanka Gandhi's house.

"I condemn action against Kangana and the manner in which Himachal's daughter is being targeted by the Maharashtra government. But I do not endorse the remarks (of the Mahila Morcha chief)," the BJP CM told the media here.

"Neither the government nor the party shares the views that Priyanka Gandhi's house should be demolished," he said, clarifying it was the government's duty to ensure her safety.

At the same time, state Congress President Kuldeep Rathore clarified that Priyanka's house was made as per the laws.

Priyanka's five-room cottage -- with wooden frames and shingled exteriors and a sloping tiled roof -- was completed recently. It is located at a height of more than 8,000 feet amid thick forests of pine and cedar in Chharabra, some 15 km uphill from Shimla.

Ahead of the Covid-19 pandemic, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, along with her children and mother Sonia Gandhi, had been regularly visiting to inspect the construction work of the two-storey house on a four-bigha plus agricultural plot that was purchased in 2007.

Congress leader and former Cabinet Minister Vidya Stokes had played an important role in helping Priyanka Gandhi buy a three-and-a-half bigha (one bigha is 0.4 hectare) agricultural plot for around Rs 47 lakh in 2007.

The then Congress government in the state had relaxed norms to let the Vadras buy the land.

The plot is close to The Retreat, the summer holiday resort of the Indian President.

Oberoi Group's luxury spa Wildflower Hall also lies close to Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's cottage. The Congress leader is one of the most high-profile people to build a house in Himachal Pradesh, years after former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee chose Kullu Valley for a cottage.

The then Himachal Pradesh government had relaxed land rules under Section 118 of the Land Reforms and Tenancy Act to facilitate the sale for the Gandhi family.

The law prohibits outsiders from buying land in the hilly state and those who wish to buy land for non-agricultural purposes have to seek a relaxation from the government.





Fri, 11 Sep 2020 11:50:35 +0530
India to China Massive PLA deployment along LAC flash points

New Delhi, Sep 11

India has told China that it failed to provide a credible explanation for the deployment of massive troops of People's Liberation Army (PLA) along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh.

Sources told IANS that there was a two and a half hours parley on Thursday between External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and State Councilor and Foreign Minister of China Wang Yi in Moscow on the side-lines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meeting.

India underlined its strong concern at the amassing of Chinese troops with arms and equipment along the LAC.

Arguing that the deployments had created "flash points" along the LAC, Jaishankar told his counterpart that the presence of such large concentration of troops was not in accordance with the 1993 and 1996 agreements.

"The Chinese side has not provided a credible explanation for this deployment. The provocative behaviour of Chinese frontline troops at numerous incidents of friction along the LAC also showed disregard for bilateral agreements and protocols," Jaishankar told Wang.

Sources said India clearly conveyed that it expected full adherence to all agreements on management of border areas and would not countenance any attempt to change the status quo unilaterally. Jaishankar also emphasized that the Indian troops had scrupulously followed all agreements and protocols pertaining to the management of the border areas.

"The immediate task," Jaishankar told Wang Yi, "is to ensure a comprehensive disengagement of troops in all the friction areas."

Sources said India conveyed to China that it is necessary to prevent any untoward incident in the future and the final disposition of the troop deployment to their permanent posts and the phasing of the process is to be worked out by the military commanders.

Sources said while the Indian side recognized that a solution to the boundary question required time and effort, it was also clear that the maintenance of peace and tranquility on the border areas was essential to the forward development of ties.

The recent incidents in eastern Ladakh, however, inevitably impacted the development of the bilateral relationship. Therefore, an urgent resolution of the current situation was in the interest of both nations, Jaishankar said in the meeting.

Jaishankar also underlined that since the resumption of Ambassadorial-level relations in 1976 and holding of boundary talks since 1981, India-China relations have developed on a largely positive trajectory.

While there have been incidents from time to time, peace and tranquility has largely prevailed in the border areas. As a result, India-China cooperation also developed in a broad range of domains, giving the relationship a more substantive character.

At the end of their discussions, the ministers reached an agreement on five points that will guide their approach to the current situation.

As per the joint statement, the two ministers agreed that both sides should take guidance from the series of consensus of the leaders on developing India-China relations, including not allowing differences to become disputes.

They agreed that the current situation in the border areas is not in the interest of either side and therefore that the border troops of both sides should continue their dialogue, quickly disengage, maintain proper distance and ease tensions.

Both sides, they agreed, shall abide by all the existing agreements and protocol on China-India boundary affairs, maintain peace and tranquillity in the border areas and avoid any action that could escalate matters.

The two sides also agreed to continue to have dialogue and communication through the Special Representative mechanism on the India-China boundary question. They also agreed in this context that the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China border affairs (WMCC), should also continue its meetings.

The Ministers agreed that as the situation eases, the two sides should expedite work to conclude new Confidence Building Measures to maintain and enhance peace and tranquillity in the border areas.






Fri, 11 Sep 2020 11:45:31 +0530
Governor tells youth to be courageous and serve India with dedication

Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari today appealed to the youths to be courageous, confident and work with dedication, determination and discipline to make India a great nation.  He asked them to draw inspiration from the life and work of Mahatma Phule, Savitribai Phule and Lokmanya Tilak to serve society with a spirit of sacrifice and humanism.

The Governor was addressing the graduating students at the 117th Convocation of the Savitribai Phule Pune University through video conferencing on Thursday (10th Sept). Industry leader Dr Naushad Forbes was the Chief Guest.

Stating that the new National Education Policy 2020 lays thrust on Inter disciplinary and multi disicliplinary studies, the Governor appealed to the Universities to encourage students to go for multidisciplinary studies.

Degrees were awarded to 7035 graduates and post graduates, 13 M.Phils and 104 Ph.Ds at the Convocation.

Dr Nitin Karmalkar, Vice Chancellor, Savitribai Phule Pune University, Members of Various Boards of authorities of the University and students were present.

Fri, 11 Sep 2020 10:06:33 +0530
Messi cleared by CONMEBOL to play in Argentina s opening WC qualifier

Buenos Aires,  Lionel Messi will be free to play in Argentina's opening 2022 World Cup qualifier against Ecuador next month after the forward's suspension was deemed to be no longer valid, the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) has said.

Messi had received a one-match ban for an altercation with Chile's Gary Medel in the Copa America third-place playoff in July last year, which Argentina won 2-1.

On Thursday, CONMEBOL said the statute of limitations had elapsed after one year, meaning the 33-year-old would be available for the clash at La Bombonera in Buenos Aires on October 8. Argentina will visit Bolivia for another qualifier five days later, reports Xinhua news agency.

"The president of the AFA (Argentinian Football Association), Claudio Tapia, sent a query to CONMEBOL about the suspension of Argentina captain, Lionel Messi," the region's governing body for football said on Twitter.

"After the completion of one year, (CONMEBOL president) Alejandro Domingo confirmed that (the suspension) has now expired and he is available for the double header."

The next edition of the FIFA World Cup is scheduled to be played in Qatar from November 21 to December 18, 2022.

Fri, 11 Sep 2020 09:26:23 +0530
Unique all in one kiosk to prevent Covid 19

Hyderabad, Hyderabad-based Brihaspathi Technologies has developed a unique kiosk-based solution to prevent coronavirus, and it is being used at the Telangana Assembly at its ongoing session.

COVIPRO is an all-in-one kiosk providing face recognition, realtime temperature recording, automatic hand sanitiser and UV disinfection of various articles.

The company has installed 18 COVIPRO devices at the Telangana Assembly for use by the legislators during the ongoing session.

Health Minister E. Rajender, Industry Minister K. T. Rama Rao and other ministers and legislators were seen using the kiosk. They were all praise for the unique features of the device.

COVIPRO has designed and developed the in Hyderabad as part of Make in India project. The firm's unit at Cherlapally can produce 400 kiosks per day.

COVIPRO has a micro SD slot for storage and one can even install their operating system too. It uses regular 230 volt AC power. The LED monitor will help display important information or even advertisements. COVIPRO can be used as an information kiosk in the post-corona scenario.

"Corona has brought so many changes in our daily lives. Going to a public place has become a major challenge. Places like metro stations, bus stations, railway stations, offices, etc. needs to be monitored and disinfect every person, along with the articles carried. It's a herculean challenge as one needs to install so many machines for each function. COVIPRO is the answer for all these problems," said Rajashekar Papolu, Managing Director, Brihaspathi Technologies.

The company has priced COVIPRO at Rs 45,000 and will be making it available across India in 30 days. It has a target of selling 10,000 devices in the next 100 days.


Fri, 11 Sep 2020 09:24:12 +0530
SpiceJet operates maiden repatriation flight from Philippines under VBM

New Delhi, Budget passenger airline SpiceJet on Thursday operated its maiden repatriation flight from Philippines under the 'Vande Bharat Mission'.

The airline repatriated 160 stranded Indian nationals from Cebu to Chennai in its Boeing 737 aircraft.

Earlier, the airline had operated four charter flights between Manila and Delhi thereby repatriating around 700 Indians and 170 passengers holding permanent residency of Philippines on one flight from Delhi to Manila.

Fri, 11 Sep 2020 09:21:54 +0530
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Fri, 11 Sep 2020 09:19:22 +0530
If Joe Biden Kamala Harris don t get 90 of Black vote it s trouble

New York, Despite Democratic nominee Joe Biden's nearly 8 point lead against Donald Trump in national polls, US pollsters are red flagging the cracks in the Joe Biden - Kamala Harris ticket's lead among key voting blocs, saying the gap is still not wide enough to put the Democrats safely on the winning side against Trump.

If the 2020 race is tight, Trump's Black support is being seen as a game changer. Biden's lead among Blacks is pegged in the range of 80 per cent to Trump's over 10 per cent according to a clutch of recent polls. That, according to US pollster John Zogby, is not good enough to make it across the finish line.

Researchers who analysed the 2016 election have argued that Clinton could have won the Michigan and Pennsylvania battlegrounds if only Black voters there backed her the way they did Barack Obama. Obama got about 95 per cent of Black voters in those states, Clinton got close to 90 per cent.

"It means that - first of all, that Joe Biden should not be polling 81 percent among Blacks. He should be polling about 90 per cent. We saw that even Hillary Clinton's 89 per cent in 2016 was not enough to overcome Donald Trump, particularly in states like Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, North Carolina, where there are larger black turnouts. If Donald Trump ends up with 14 per cent of the black vote, that could be real trouble for the Democrats," Zogby told IANS.

Trump would get 14 per cent of the Black vote if the election were held today, according to the latest Newsmax-John Zogby Strategies Poll. The online poll among 600 Black likely voters nationwide was conducted on September 4-7.

Zogby makes the point that Barack Obama got 96 per cent of the Black vote in 2008, 93 per cent in 2012, and off a much larger turnout. "So there were even more black voters. Hillary Clinton had substantially less turnout."

Asked how the Black Lives Matter protests have shifted the equation for the Democrats, Zogby pointed to the demographics of those who took to the streets. "If you look at the demonstrations, large majorities of those demonstrating for Black Lives Matter look to be white and look to be young people. So that could end up being a blessing in disguise for Biden and Harris."

A poll of polls average by Real Clear Politics puts Biden ahead by 7.5 points. Within that cluster, another poll is the most promising for Biden, putting him 12 points ahead of Trump. Across six battleground states - Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Arizona, North Carolina and Wisconsin, Biden's overall lead averages 3.9 points.

Stories like "How Trump could Pennsylvania again" have begun to dominate political news coverage in US broadsheets, speaking to the mathematical end game of the 2020 election.

The Biden - Harris ticket has its work cut out, says Zogby. Large numbers of people on both sides are showing clear signs that they are unwilling to accept the results of a democratically held election, he says.

Zogby describes the 2020 contest as 'The Armageddon Election', a term that came into US political vocabulary around the time of the George Bush-Al Gore 2000 battle which ended in a tie and was settled by a Supreme Court decision of five to four.

Undecided voters among Blacks are unlikely to go the Trump way, says Zogby. "If I see 10 percent of Blacks undecided, I don't think they're going to vote for Donald Trump.A That tells me if they haven't made up their mind about Biden-Harris, maybe they're not going to vote. That's one of the things that happened in 2016."

"If I see a high percentage of evangelical Christians saying "I don't know who I'm going to vote for," well, most of those votes should be going to Donald Trump. They're not going to go to Joe Biden pretty much under any circumstances."

According to Pew Research Center data, more than a third of Trump's support in 2016 came from non-Hispanic white Americans with college degrees and Asian, Black and Hispanic voters.

Overall, if a Democrat is polling less than 90 per cent among Blacks, "that's trouble", according to Zogby.

"If at this point in time and then heading into the election, if there are 10 per cent or more who are undecided among blacks, that's troubling for a Democrat. Same can be held for women and for young voters."

"Among Republicans, it's all about getting 60-65 per cent of evangelicals, 80 per cent of conservatives, and 60 per cent of white women.If for some reason Republicans are not not polling at that level, that could be trouble for them."


Fri, 11 Sep 2020 09:18:01 +0530
India had 64L Covid infections by May ICMR sero survey

New Delhi,  The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Thursday published the results of part two of the first national population-based sero survey to check the transmission of Covid-19 in the country.

The findings of the survey, conducted between May 11 and June 4 in 21 states, indicated that 0.73 per cent of adults in India were exposed to Covid-19 infection, amounting to 6.4 million infections in total by early May.

"The findings of the sero survey indicated a low prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the general population in India in early May 2020. As most of the population remains susceptible to infection, our public health strategy needs to plan for an inevitable increase in transmission," the sero-survey revealed.A

A total of 30,283 households were visited and 28,000 individuals were enrolled in the survey, who were tested for IgG antibodies.

The seroprevalence ranged between 0.62 per cent and 1.03 per cent across the four strata of districts.

Population-based estimates of seroprevalence provide information about the state of the epidemic in the country.

"The findings of our survey indicated that the overall seroprevalence in India was low, with less than 1 per cent of the adult population exposed to SARS-CoV-2 by mid May 2020," ICMR stated.

The low prevalence observed in most districts indicates that India is in early phase of the epidemic and the majority of the Indian population is still susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection, it added.

"It is therefore necessary to continue to implement the context-specific containment measures including testing of all symptomaties, isolating positive cases and tracing high-risk contacts to slow transmission and to prevent the overburdening of the health system," ICMR said.

The survey also found out that for every RT-PCR confirmed case of Covid-19, there were 82-130 infections in India. The high infection to case ratio in India could be on account of the prioritisation of testing among symptomatics or the variability in testing rates across the states.

It further stated that the seropositivity was highest in the age-group of 18-45 years at 43.3 per cent, followed by those between 46 and 60 years (39.5 per cent) and the lowest seropositivity was detected in those aged above 60 years (17.2 per cent).

The findings pointed out that the seropositivity was highest at 69.4 per cent in the rural areas, while in the urban slums it was 15.9 per cent and in urban non-slums, it was 14.6 per cent.


Fri, 11 Sep 2020 09:14:18 +0530
No more excuses for domestic sexual violence Shabana Azmi

New Delhi, Sep 10

The Commonwealth Secretariat has launched a new campaign to tackle the alarming rise in domestic and sexual violence during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Bollywood actress Shabana Azmi, who is supporting the campaign, said in a video message: "Violence against women and girls is a pandemic that destroys families, communities, and economies.

"For far too long, society has not done nearly enough. For far too long, people have said it is a private matter of blame the victim or said she must have done something to deserve it.

"My name is Shabana Azmi, I'm a film and theatre actress from India. And I say no more. No more shame. No more blame. No more excuses. Join me in taking the pledge 'Commonwealth Says NO MORE'."

The Commonwealth Secretariat and the NO MORE Foundation launched the campaign.

The launch was held at a special virtual event on Wednesday, which was attended by representatives and advocates from across the Commonwealth nations, representing nearly one-third of the world's population.

The 'Commonwealth Says NO MORE' campaign came at a time when organisations across the globe have seen calls to hotlines for victims of abuse and demand for support services rise by 25 per cent to 300 per cent during the Covid-19 lockdowns.

Even before the pandemic, one in three women across the world were beaten or sexually abused within their lifetime, making it a leading cause of death in women and girls.

Besides Shabana Azmi, other celebrities who joined the campaign included Kiribati President Taneti Maamau, Antigua and Barbuda's Governor-General Rodney Williams, New Zealand's former Prime Minister Helen Clark, British singer and Royal Commonwealth Society's Ambassador Geri Horner, UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed, Pakistani actress Mahira Khan, Ghanaian actress Joselyn Dumas, British actor Colin Salmon and Australia actor Ryan Johnson.

Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland, speaking at the launch of the portal, said: "It is indisputable that while the virus will pass one day, for many women, the ever-present threat of violence will remain. Covid has emphatically exposed just how urgently we need a cure to flatten the rising curve of domestic and sexual violence. Business-as-usual is not an option."

The digital portal provides easy-to-use tools and resources to help governments and community-based organisations strengthen their efforts to support victims of domestic and sexual violence and those at risk.






Thu, 10 Sep 2020 18:44:39 +0530
Maharashtra Governor felicitates Covid Warriors for exemplary work

Sep 10,

The Governor of Maharashtra Bhagat Singh Koshyari felicitated Covid Warriors for their exemplary services at Raj Bhavan, Mumbai on Thursday (10th Sept).

Eminent doctors Dr Shashank Joshi, Dr Jalil Parkar, DCP Pranay Ashok, Post Master Mumbai Region Swati Pande, Senior Police Inspector Gajanan Kabdule, Yoga teacher Sunaina Rekhi were prominent among those felicitated by the Governor. The felicitation programme of Covid warriors was organized by Spandan Arts.

Postman Mohammed Rafiq Kazi, Adv Amit Mehta, Dr Pragji Vaja, Dr Saumya Bulusu, Kabrastan employee Sabir Salim Khan, sanitation workers, vegetable vendors and hearse van driver who rendered dedicated service during the pandemic period were also honoued by the Governor.

MLA Ashish Shelar delivered the welcome speech while Ajit Manyal of Bandra Hindu Association proposed vote of thanks.


Thu, 10 Sep 2020 18:21:37 +0530
Anantapur New Delhi Kisan Rail Flagged off

Sep 10,

Shri Narendra Singh Tomar, Minister of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare, Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Government of India and Shri Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh flagged off the inaugural run of Anantapur – New Delhi Kisan Rail through Video Link on September 9, 2020. Shri Suresh C. Angadi, Minister of State for Railways, Government of India presided over the programme.

Speaking on the occasion, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar said that, it is the first Kisan Rail from South India connecting to National capital for the benefit of the farmers. It was the guidance and inspiration by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi ji that Indian Railways have started Kisan Rail with a motive to encourage the villages and farmers. “It is a great day for farmers. Kisan Rail was announced in the budget. Agriculture produce needs best possible distribution and returns. Indian farmers have proved that they would never be deterred by any calamity or challenge. Kisan Rail will ensure that agro products reach from one corner to another corner of the country”.

Shri Suresh C. Angadi stated that Hon’ble Prime Minister’s vision and the pronouncement made in the budget materialized in introduction of Kisan Rail with the aim of doubling the income of farmers. As “lifeline of the nation Indian Railways is committed to the facilitation of marketing the farmer’s produce”. He also said that electrification of railway lines has been taken up in a big way in the state of Andhra Pradesh and its benefits will be enjoyed by the people of Andhra Pradesh.


Thu, 10 Sep 2020 17:20:26 +0530
Ministry organizes webinar on water use and micro irrigation in agriculture

Sep 10,

Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare organized a webinar on enhancing water use efficiency and coverage of micro irrigation in Indian agriculture. The union government has set a target of covering 100 lakh ha in five years under micro irrigation. Projects worth Rs.3805.67 crores covering 12.53 lakh ha have been sanctioned under micro irrigation fund.

Addressing the webinar, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar said that the Government has set the target of covering 100 lakh ha in five years under micro-irrigation. In the year 2019-20, about 11 lakh farmers have benefitted by the adoption of drip and sprinkler irrigation system. During the last five years, an area of 47.92 lakh ha has been covered under micro irrigation in the country which includes 11.72 lakh ha for the year 2019-20 which is a significant achievement. Further, he informed that the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare (DAC &FW) is implementing Per Drop More Crop component of Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayi Yojana (PMKSY-PDMC) since 2015-16 for enhancing water use efficiency in agriculture sector and more importantly the overall benefits towards increasing returns to farmers.

The Union Agriculture Minister said that Government has created a dedicated Micro Irrigation Fund (MIF) of Rs. 5000 crores with National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) with the objective to facilitate States in mobilizing resources for expanding coverage of Micro Irrigation. The Steering Committee of MIF and NABARD has sanctioned projects of Rs. 3805.67 crore for covering 12.53 lakh ha under MIF. He advised all the States to access MIF for incentivizing micro irrigation through an additional (top up) subsidy over and above the one available under PMKSY- PDMC for achieving the target. He also asked the States to access the fund for innovative integrated projects including projects in the Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode depending on State specific requirements to bring additional area under micro irrigation PDMC.

Stressing that micro irrigation not only increases water use efficiency but also the productivity of the crops, Shri Tomar said that there is a need for adopting a holistic approach for more production from unit area by improving soil health, reduction in input costs, enhancing crop productivity and increasing farmers’ awareness for benefiting the farming community and helping the vision of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi for doubling of farmers’ income.

The Minister called upon the states to come forward to achieve the target coverage of Micro Irrigation for enhancing water use efficiency in Agriculture which would contribute to the call of Hon’ble Prime Minister of an Atma Nirbhar Bharat through an Atma Nirbhar Krishi. The integrated and concerted efforts of various stakeholders - Departments/Ministries, State implementing agencies, Micro irrigation system manufactures in a Mission Mode would help in achieving the targets and bringing more coverage under micro irrigation for the benefit of farming community.

Panel discussions were held on technical aspects of the subject. The Panel on Enhancing water use efficiency in Indian Agriculture was chaired by Prof Ramesh Chand, Member NITI Aayog. The panel on Enhancing Coverage of Micro Irrigation was chaired by Shri Parshottam Rupala, MoS, Agriculture and Farmers Welfare and the Panel on Precision Irrigation Systems and role of private sector was chaired by Dr. Alka Bhargava, Additional Secretary, DAC&FW.

Union Minister of State for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Shri Kailash Chaudhary was also present. The experts from State Governments, NABARD, Irrigation Association, Water technologists, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), International Water Management Institute deliberated on coverage of Micro Irrigation for enhancing water use efficiency in agriculture sector in the country. More than 100 participants from various Departments of Government of India, State Governments, implementing agencies, NCPAH including a few progressive farmers took part in the webinar.

Thu, 10 Sep 2020 17:11:34 +0530
Danish family s unseen Indian art collection heads to auction

New Delhi, Sep 10

A long-forgotten collection of never-before-seen modern Indian art, including unpublished artworks by master artists V.S. Gaitonde and Ram Kumar, will go under the hammer for the first time at Sotheby's in London on September 29, the auction house announced on Wednesday.

Assembled by Gunnar Hansen and his wife Inger almost half a century ago, the history of this collection is closely tied to that of one of India's most influential businesses of the 20th century, Larsen & Toubro, for whom Gunnar worked for over 20 years.

While helping to make L&T the company it is today, Hansen also made a life for himself and his family in India. Hansen and his wife, Inger, moved from Denmark to India in 1953, and it was in Bombay they acquired their passion for modern Indian painting. As per Sotheby's, the family were regular visitors to Gallery Chemould and Pundole Art Gallery, where they met the great Indian modernists and amassed their superb collection.

According to Ishrat Kanga, Head of Sotheby's London Modern & Contemporary South Asian Art Sale, the collection is a "true hidden gem".

"All of the paintings offered here have rarely been seen in public, if ever, before. The pieces were acquired by the Hansens in India in the 1960s and 1970s, soon after leaving the artist's studios and have been treasured by the family for some 40 to 50 years. Enthused by the radical art they discovered in post-independence India, the Hansens assembled a visionary collection that today is a perfect time capsule, demonstrating the depth and quality of abstract and non-objective art which was being created in India at this extraordinary moment in time."

One of their first purchases was an exquisite red, orange, black and ochre Untitled canvas by V.S. Gaitonde, estimated at �1.5 - 2 million (roughly Rs 14 crore- Rs 19 crore), which Hansen bought after "test driving" it for a few days in his house as a loan in 1969 before making the purchase. Another is a Ram Kumar painting from the same year, hung in their dining room. The painting is accompanied by a personal letter from the artist in which he asks for copies of a greeting card Hansen had produced with the image of the work.

Other important artists represented in the Hansen collection include Krishen Khanna, Mohan Samant and Piraji Sagara, and are offered alongside long-overlooked artists that will be offered in a Sotheby's sale for the first time: Nareen Nath, Triloke Kaul, Homi B. Patel, S.R. Bhusan and Sanat Thaker. The collection includes 18 works in total by 15 different artists and is estimated at �1,799,000 - 2,401,000, where the upper estimate translates to almost Rs 23 crore. The sale also offers a selection of works from the estates of Bhupen Khakhar and Patwant Singh.

The sale will be on public exhibition from September 25-29 at Sotheby's London.








Thu, 10 Sep 2020 12:59:25 +0530
ISS bound spacecraft named after late astronaut Kalpana Chawla

Washington, Sep 10

American aerospace and defence technology company Northrop Grumman has named a spacecraft after late astronaut Kalpana Chawla who became the first Indian-born woman to go to space.

The spacecraft that will be named "S.S. Kalpana Chawla" will carry cargo to the International Space Station (ISS).

"Northrop Grumman is proud to name the NG-14 Cygnus spacecraft after former astronaut Kalpana Chawla," the company said.

"Chawla was selected in honour of her prominent place in history as the first woman of Indian descent to go to space," it added.

The launch of the Antares rocket carrying the Cygnus spacecraft "S.S. Kalpana Chawla" is scheduled for September 29 from Wallops Island, Virginia.

Northrop Grumman said it is the company's tradition to name each Cygnus after an individual who has played a pivotal role in human spaceflight.

Born in Karnal, Haryana on July 1, 1961, Chawla first went into space in 1997 and become the second Indian person to fly in space after astronaut Rakesh Sharma.

She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautical engineering from Punjab Engineering College in 1982 and Master of Science degree in aerospace engineering from University of Texas-Arlington in 1984. She was awarded PhD in aerospace engineering from University of Colorado in 1988.

Chawla flew on STS-87 (1997) and STS-107 (2003) and has logged 30 days, 14 hours and 54 minutes in space, according to NASA.

She died in 2003 in the Columbia space shuttle disaster. The shuttle disintegrated over Texas during re-entry into Earth's atmosphere. The mishap happened 16 minutes prior to scheduled landing.








Thu, 10 Sep 2020 12:56:47 +0530
Next few months will be critical to hit old form again says Chinglensana

Bengaluru, Sep 10

It's been a little over three weeks since the Indian men's hockey team resumed sports activities at the ongoing national coaching camp at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) facility after a forced five-month break due to Covid-19 pandemic.

Easing into activities has been the mantra for the team which ensured their fitness levels were maintained during the lockdown period where players were restricted to their rooms. "It's been a tough phase for me personally because I had only just returned to competitive hockey earlier this year after a long injury-break that had kept me out of action almost all through 2019," expressed midfielder Chinglensana Singh Kangujam.

The Manipur-born Arjuna Awardee emphasised that he has been taking things slow and not putting pressure on himself to hit top form immediately. "It will take some time (at least two-three months) for all of us to hit the same form we were in earlier this year. This period will be critical for us. The good thing is that we don't have any major competition till end of this year which gives us enough and more time to return to the form we were in during the FIH Hockey Pro League earlier this year."

"Chief coach Graham Reid is also not in any rush and he has mentioned to us that the team management will be looking at starting intensive training only later this year," stated Singh.

Singh further said that this 'slow and steady' approach ensures players are not under any pressure.

"It is very reassuring for the players that coach Reid is constantly talking to the players and giving us enough time, it does not put pressure on us. We will know where we stand when we play internal matches which we have been told will happen only later this year so the next few months we can purely focus on individual well-being both physically and mentally, and work on improving our fitness and speed," he added.

This time-off from competitive hockey, Singh believes, has given players an opportunity to retrospect about their own game and understand the areas that they need to work on.

"Time off competitive hockey always gives players a chance to be retrospective and figure out what aspects of their individual game requires improvement. I am sure we will bounce back as more matured and stronger, formidable team," he concluded.

Thu, 10 Sep 2020 12:54:52 +0530
Cats may be catching Covid at far higher rates than thought

Beijing, Sep 10

Chinese researchers have found that cats may be catching the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) at far higher rates than thought before, which could mean they have unique ways of fighting off the virus.

Researchers from Huazhong Agricultural University, in the Chinese city, took blood samples from 102 cats. Nasal and anal swabs were also collected.

The study, published in the journal Emerging Microbes & Infections, shows Covid-19 antibodies present in 15 of the blood samples taken from the cats.

Of these, 11 cats had neutralizing antibodies - proteins that bind so successfully to a virus they block the infection.

None of the cats actually tested positive for Covid-19 or displayed obvious symptoms and, according to the results of return visits, none of these felines have died, the study said.

The sample of cats looked at included 46 abandoned from three animal shelters, 41 from five pet hospitals, and 15 cats were from Covid-19 patient families.

The three cats with the highest levels of antibodies were all owned by patients who had been diagnosed with Covid-19, whilst there were also signs of cats being infected with the virus by other cats from those that were abandoned or based in the pet hospitals.

The research team stated that whilst there is currently no evidence for cat-to-human transmission, precautions should be considered.

"Although the infection in stray cats could not be fully understood, it is reasonable to speculate that these infections are probably due to the contact with SARS-CoV-2 polluted environment, or Covid-19 patients who fed the cats," said study lead author Meilin Jin.

The team assessed the type of antibody reactions in thorough detail and were able to describe the dynamic characteristics of the antibodies found.

Amongst many discoveries within the antibodies, they saw that the type of reaction produced by the cats resembles those observed in seasonal coronavirus infections, implying that the cats who have had SARS-CoV-2 infection "remain at risk of re-infection".

The authors stated that this is a similar transient antibody response to also be observed in humans and that their study should be used going forwards as a "reference for the clinical treatment and prevention of Covid-19".

"We suggest that cats have great potential as an animal model for assessing the characteristic of antibody against SARS-CoV-2 in humans," they added.

Recently, a study published in the journal Nature Communications, revealed that antiviral drug for cats may help fight Covid-19 in humans.






Thu, 10 Sep 2020 12:51:26 +0530
1 in 2 working women in India suffering from pandemic stress

New Delhi, Sep 10

The Covid-19 pandemic is taking a heavy toll on the emotional well-being of working women in India as nearly one in two of them (47 per cent) are experiencing more stress or anxiety, a new survey said on Thursday.

Worryingly, more than two in five working mothers are working outside their business hours to provide childcare, nearly twice as many men (25 per cent), according to the 'Workforce Confidence Index' survey by Microsoft-owned LinkedIn that was based on the responses of 2,254 professionals in the country.

For working men, the number stood at 38 per cent, pointing towards a disproportionate impact on women in these testing times.

Around 1 in 3 (31 per cent) working mothers are currently providing childcare full-time, when compared to nearly 1 in 5 (17 per cent) working fathers.

"One factor is balancing office and domestic work, the bulk of the latter being shouldered by women. Studies reveal increased participation of men during the pandemic, but women still spend most time caring for children," said Neha Bagaria, CEO of online portal JobsForHer.

The data suggested that working mothers are more likely to bear the brunt of distractions from childcare while men seek support from friends and family.

Only one in five (20 per cent) working mothers rely on a family member or friend to take care of their children, when compared to 32 per cent men.

The findings showed that more than 46 per cent working mothers report working till late to make up for work, and 42 per cent are unable to focus on work with their children at home.

About one in four freelancers anticipate an increase in their earned income (25 per cent) and personal savings (27 per cent), while close to one in three (31 per cent) expect their number of investments to increase in the next six months, the survey said.







Thu, 10 Sep 2020 12:49:16 +0530
Sensex gains over 300 points RIL at record high

Mumbai, Sep 10

The key Indian equity indices traded on a positive note on Thursday morning with the BSE Sensex gaining over 300 points.

Around 10.25 a.m., Sensex was trading at 38,522.73, higher by 328.81, or 0.86 per cent from the previous close of 38,193.92.

It opened at 38,516.88 and has so far touched an intra-day high of 38,522.73 and a low of 38,367.07 points.

The Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange was trading at 11,364.65, higher by 86.65 points or 0.77 per cent from the previous close.

Shares of Reliance Industries (RIL) surged on Thursday as they touched a fresh record level of Rs 2,221.95 per share.

Currently, its trading at Rs 2,220.20 on the BSE, higher by Rs 58.95 or 2.73 per cent from the previous close.

The surge in share prices comes on the back of the announcement of Rs 7,500 crore investment by Silver Lake into Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd, an RIL subsidiary.

On Wednesday, RIL had announced that the investment values RRVL at a pre-money equity value of Rs 4.21 lakh crore. Silver Lake's investment will translate into a 1.75 per cent equity stake in RRVL on a fully diluted basis.

Thu, 10 Sep 2020 12:19:08 +0530
Say and slay it with fashion

New Delhi, Sep 10

Right now a T-shirt is trending across India. As Rhea Chakraborty arrived for the 3rd day of questioning at the Narcotics Control Bureau she wore a T-shirt that said, "Roses are red, Violets are blue, Let's smash Patriarchy, Me and you."

For many weeks the actress who refrained from speaking on the case finally broke her silence and spoke to the media. But more than the interviews, it is her T-shirt that said it all; it made clear her take on the current situation, without her saying a word.

What makes fashion stand out apart from being a garment, is that it has a voice. This T-shirt is reportedly by Mumbai based, The Soul Store-- its website says, "The Souled Store was born out of the idea of loving what you do - "following your soul".

The trend of slogan T-shirts made its comeback at Dior's Spring/Summer Collection 2017; it marked Maria Grazia Chiuri's debut for the label and was the first time the legendary French Couture house had appointed a female creative director. The T-shirt read, "We Should All Be Feminists." With this you knew it was a new era at Dior.

There is nothing new about sending a message out through what you wear, the suffragettes did it, our own freedom fighters did it and Michelle Obama just did it with that V-O-T-E necklace she wore at the 2020 Democratic National Convention. Fashion is about reflecting the times we live in and is also our own personal book cover. Like it or not we are judged by what we weareso why not use that to our advantage.

The T-shirt, being an affordable piece of clothing is a garment that represents democracy; it was first used as a statement in the 1960sea time when fashion spoke about the need for a more egalitarian society. And again in the 1980s, the slogan T-shirt came to the forefront of fashion-(and politics) when Katharine Hamnett (her eponymous label was one the first to address issues of ethical fashion) made T-shirts that read "Choose Life" and "Vote Tactically". When the designer met British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, she wore a black and white T-shirt with "58% Don't Want Pershing" written in black and white. Her message was simpleethat T-shirt is now part of collections in museums. It is now part of fashion history.

As we opened our Instagram the morning after Rhea's arrest, our feeds were flooded with pictures of that T-shirte from her own fraternity Sonam Kapoor and Farhan Akhtar, fashion stylists Tanya Ghavri and Shaleena Nathani, all with the hashtag #justiceforRhea.

She may have been arrested but the court of public opinion is with here fighting for her.

Using fashion as a secret weapon is something women of style and substance have been doing for centuries. In recent times fashion has been using its voice more and more to talk about political and social issues. Consumers are happy to see fashion do this, they are happy to be able to express their own feelings with their material consumption. It makes for a good change from the conspicuous consumption which dominated the last decade.

Rhea's T-shirt speaks of so many things it makes both a fashion and political statement and its Instagram friendly font ensures that her words are heard without the need of a press conference.

Get ready for a new round of slogan T-shirts to start making statements that need to be heard. We are living in very turbulent timese how better for fashion to have its say then through a slogan T-shirt?

Thu, 10 Sep 2020 11:59:06 +0530
Four member panel set up to probe Vadodara hospital fire

Gandhinagar, Sep 10

A four-member panel has been set up to investigate the fire incident in the ICU for Covid-19 patients at a government-run hospital in Gujarat's Vadodara, it was announced on Wednesday.

Vadodara District Magistrate, Shalini Agrawal, set up the probe panel under provisions of the Disaster Management Act.

According to the order, the four-member team will visit the hospital, inspect all the details and thereafter submit a detailed report, at the earliest, to the District Magistrate.

Headed by Vadodara's Deputy Municipal Commissioner Sudhir Patel, the team comprises Gujarat Medical Education and Research Society Medical College's Dean Varsha Godbole, the college's Associate Professor (Anaesthetic) Neeta Bose and Madhya Gujarat Vij Company Ltd's (MGVCL) Superintending Engineer, Vadodara, B.J. Desai.

A fire broke out in the ICU ward 2 on the first floor of the SSG hospital on Tuesday evening, but no one was injured as the 15 patients there, as well as 20 other patients from the adjoining ward, were safely evacuated to the GMERS hospital, Gotri.

The fire, which was swiftly doused, is believed to have been caused by a short circuit.





Thu, 10 Sep 2020 11:55:43 +0530
Octogenarian duped of Rs 6 crore by juvenile accused held

New Delhi, Sep 10

Cracking a unique case of fraud, the Delhi Police's Economic Offence Wing has apprehended a juvenile for duping an octogenarian of Rs 6 crore, police said on Wednesday.

The juvenile, part of a gang of cheats, posed as major and opened a bank account RBL Bank in the name of M/s FUTURE INDIA with a fake name. This bank account was utilised for getting money transferred from gullible victims, including the 86-year-old complainant, who were made to believe that they were receiving phone calls from insurance company officials. The money, so credited, was withdrawn from ATMs, leaving no money trail to follow.

The matter came to light when a woman approached EOW to report the fraud.

She said that her father was maintaining five bank accounts where her siblings were joint account holders, and around Rs 4-5 crore were lying in these. The bank accounts were operated by her father only since all her siblings are residing in foreign countries.

The complainant noticed that a huge amount had been transferred to the accounts of the unknown persons. On enquiry, her father said that certain individuals, who claim to be officials of insurance company, are helping him to retrieve his money from the companies.

"The money was transferred at the instance of said insurance company officials. From the said five accounts, Rs 85 lakh were transferred to insurance companies and Rs 5.16 crore transferred to other bank accounts, which were also part of the syndicate. Due to old age, her father lost his logic and reasoning and did not realise that he had been victimised," Joint Commissioner of Police, EOW, O.P. Mishra said.

A case under relevant sections was registered in August 2019. During investigation, eight members of the gang were arrested and a charge sheet has already been filed against them.

The detailed investigation revealed that Rs 2,35,000 was transferred on February 5, 2019 to the bank account of M/s FUTURE INDIA having office at A-66, Sector-65, Noida, UP. As per the bank records, the juvenile was proprietor of firm under a fake name.

On verification of KYC documents submitted to the banks, it was discovered that all were fake and forged. The only clue for identifying the juvenile was his photo affixed on the Account Opening Form, and on the basis of this, the EOW established his correct identity, traced his residence and apprehended him.

During investigation, gang members were found to be running call centres which did promotional calls for insurance companies. In this manner, the criminals got access to the data of the complainant. The juvenile's bank account was utilised for getting the money transferred from the victims.






Thu, 10 Sep 2020 11:53:46 +0530
Physically abled man in UP caught selling liquour

Lakhimpur Kheri, Sep 10

A physically challenged man was caught in Uttar Pradesh's Lakhimpur Kheri district for allegedly selling illicit liquor.

The accused Amit Kumar, who is the sole breadwinner for a family of five, wa, however, released by the police after they learned that he had not received his disability pension for the past three months and had been selling liquor, pan masala, balloons and candies on his tricycle to make ends meet.

Kumar is a resident of Baslipur village and his father had died eight years ago due to prolonged illness.

He contracted poliomyelitis when he was just three, and one of his legs was paralysed.

Kumar said he used to earn between Rs 50 and Rs 100 a day by selling articles on his tricycle, but his savings dried up during the Covid-19 lockdown.

A police spokesman said: "We decided to release Amit after learning about his financial background. We even provided him with some money after he promised that he will not sell liquor again."

Gola police station SHO Anil Kumar said: "Amit was held with a few pouches of illicit liquor and booked under the Excise Act. He was, however, released after a warning that he would stay away from such activities."







Thu, 10 Sep 2020 11:49:46 +0530
Ram Temple Trust a c Rs 6L fraudulently withdrawn

Ayodhya, Sep 10

An amount of Rs 6 lakh has been fraudulently withdrawn from the bank account of the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust in Ayodhya.

An FIR has been lodged in this regard at the Ayodhya Kotwali police station. A team of cyber experts has also been asked to investigate the case.

According to the report, money was withdrawn from two banks in Lucknow by cheque cloning.

The matter came to light when the fraudster made a third attempt to withdraw Rs 9.86 lakh from the Bank of Baroda branch.

The bank manager made a verification call to Trust Secretary Champat Rai, who denied having issued any such cheque.

"On further inquiry, it was found that money had bene withdrawn earlier, too," said a police official.

A sum of Rs 2.5 lakhs was withdrawn from the bank on September 1 and then a sum of Rs 3.5 lakh, two days later.

Ayodhya circle officer Rajesh Kumar Rai said that a case had been registered and investigations were underway.

It may be recalled that a fake website that was seeking donations for the Ram temple had come to light a few days ago and the matter was being investigated.






Thu, 10 Sep 2020 11:45:54 +0530
World s first floating Apple store opens in Singapore

Singapore, The Cupertino-based iPhone maker on Thursday opened Apple Marina Bay Sands, its first floating retail store with a glass dome that appears as a floating sphere and sits directly on the water.

The store introduces a new retail experience at one of the most iconic locations in the country.

"Our retail stores bring the best of Apple together and we're so proud to welcome you to our newest home in Singapore -- the breathtaking Apple Marina Bay Sands. Enjoy the view!" Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a tweet.

The all-glass dome structure is fully self-supported, comprising 114 pieces of glass with only 10 narrow vertical mullions for structural connection.

Inspired by the Pantheon in Rome, an oculus located at the apex of the dome provides a flooding ray of light that travels through the space, according to Apple.

The interior of the glass is lined with custom baffles, each uniquely shaped to counter sun angles and provide a nighttime lighting effect.

With trees lining the interior of the dome, the green garden city of Singapore flows into the store, providing additional shading and soft shadows through the foliage.

Visitors can explore curated Apple products and accessories, receive personal technical support or simply take in the stunning view of Marina Bay.

"The Forum is centered around a Video Wall, which will serve as the stage for 'Today at Apple' sessions featuring Singapore's artists, musicians and creators," Apple said.

Apple opened its first store in Singapore at the Knightsbridge building along Orchard Road in 2017.

Its second store, located at Jewel Changi Airport, opened in July last year.

Thu, 10 Sep 2020 10:32:47 +0530
India now inching closer to 1L cases day

New Delhi,  India on Thursday witnessed a record spike of 95,735 new Covid-19 cases, the highest single-day increase till date, taking the total tally to 44,65,863, the Union Health Ministry data revealed.

There were 1,172 deaths reported in the past 24 hours, which is also the highest fatality in a single day so far. India on Tuesday recorded 1,133 deaths and on July 29 there were 1,129. India's deaths per day are now crossing US' which is the worst-hit by the pandemic.

India is currently the second-worst hit country after the US since the first case was reported on January 30.

Out of the total 44,65,863 cases, 9,19,018 are active, 34,71,783 have recovered so far, while 75,062 have died.

The recovery rate stands at 77.77 per cent, the fatality rate at 1.69 per cent, the Ministry data showed.

Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Uttar Pradesh are the worst-hit states. They account for over 62 per cent of the active cases, according to the Ministry.

According to the data from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), India conducted a record 11,29,756 tests in a single day on Wednesday, taking the total number of samples tested so far to 5,29,34,433.

Thu, 10 Sep 2020 10:29:39 +0530
EESL deploys 1 514 EVs under National E Mobility Programme

New Delhi, Power PSUs' joint venture EESL on Wednesday said that it has, till date, deployed 1,514 electric vehicles on roads under the National E-Mobility Programme.

The move has made an impact on the environment by enabling reduction of 5,604 tonnes of CO2 emissions so far.

The company, in a statement, said the fleet of 1,514 electric vehicles has travelled 3 crore green kilometers.

"Despite restrictions such as ban on firecrackers during Diwali, and guidelines on the real estate industry, air pollution in India remains to be a major concern.

"Emissions from vehicles that run on fossil fuels are one of the biggest contributors to air quality deterioration," it said, adding that electric vehicles provide a solution to air pollution and contribute to sustainable development.

"Electric vehicles deployed by EESL have already helped save 2.09 million liters of fuel and led to energy savings of approximately Rs 1,359.4 lakh," the statement said.

In 2018, the Centre, with the aim to provide an impetus to the entire e-mobility ecosystem, launched the National E-Mobility Programme.

The objective of this programme is to create a sustainable demand for e-vehicles, promote domestic manufacturing for both EVs and lithium-ion batteries, reduce oil imports and GHG emissions from the transport sector.

"There are no two ways about the fact that the future of mobility, not only in India but globally, is electric and it is time we equipped ourselves for it. With a supportive policy framework, India's journey towards electric mobility has commenced," Saurabh Kumar, EVC, EESL, was quoted as saying in the statement.

Besides, the company is aggressively working towards building a robust EV charging ecosystem in the country.

"As on date, 534 captive chargers (342 AC & 192 DC) have also been commissioned in states or UT...," the statement said.

"Till date, 156 Public Charging Stations (PCS) have been installed in NDMC Delhi, SDMC Delhi, CMRL Chennai, Maha Metro Nagpur, Noida Authority, Naya Raipur Development Authority and NKDA Kolkata."


Thu, 10 Sep 2020 09:30:48 +0530
Trump defends remarks about downplaying Covid 19 threat

Washington, US President Donald Trump has defended his earlier remarks that he wanted to downplay the coronavirus threat to the American public, arguing that he is a cheerleader for the country and did not want to create panic.

Speaking to Bob Woodward, author and associate editor of The Washington Post, on March 19, Trump had said: "I wanted to always play it down, I still like playing it down, because I don't want to create a panic," Xinhua news agency reported.

The remark was revealed in Woodward's new book "Rage", slated to release this month. It is based on 18 interviews that Trump gave Woodward between December 2019 and July 2020, as well as background conversations with officials and other sources.

Facing criticisms following the revelations, Trump insisted he was right to keep his concerns about the pandemic private.

"We don't want to instil panic, we don't want to jump up and down and start shouting that we have a problem that is a tremendous problem, scare everybody," Trump told reporters at the White House on Wednesday, adding: "We had to show calm."

"The fact is I'm a cheerleader for this country, I love our country.

"And I don't want people to be frightened, I don't want to create panic, as you say. Certainly, I'm not going to drive this country or the world into a frenzy," he added.

Trump said he downplayed the threat of the virus also because he didn't "want pricing to go up to a level that becomes almost unaffordable".

The President also dismissed the reports of his earlier remarks as "another political hit job".

According to the revelations, Trump told Woodward in another interview on February 7, when the US had reported just a few Covid-19 cases, that the virus was more dangerous than the flu.

"This is deadly stuff," Trump said, adding that the virus was airborne and more deadly "than even your strenuous flus".

"It goes through air, Bob, that's always tougher than the touch," Trump said. "The air, you just breathe the air and that's how it's passed."

But in public during the same period, Trump said there were at the time many more flu deaths in the US, claiming that the virus would disappear "like a miracle".

On February 26, he said that coronavirus cases in the country would fall to "close to zero".

Three days later, he assured the public that "everything is under control".

Seizing on the book's revelations, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden slammed Trump in his tour to key swing state Michigan on Wednesday, saying the President "knowingly and willingly lied about the threat it posed for months".

"He knew and purposely played it down," said the former Vice President. "Worse, he lied to the American people."

"He's failed our economy and our country," Biden added.

Woodward's book reportedly also revealed National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien warned Trump on January 28 that the coronavirus "will be the biggest national security threat you face in your presidency".

Trump told Woodward in May that he didn't remember being told that.

The US continues to be the worst-hit country in the world by the coronavirus pandemic.

As of Thursday, the number of cases increased to 6,359,313, while the death toll stood at 190,796, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

Thu, 10 Sep 2020 09:18:06 +0530
Norway MP nominates Trump for Nobel Prize citing Kashmir

New York, A Norwegian parliamentarian has nominated US President Donald Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize citing what he claimed was Trump's role in facilitating contacts between India and Pakistan to resolve the Kashmir dispute.

Although the primary focus of his nomination was the Israel-United Arab Emirates (UAE) deal, Christian Tybring-Gjedde asserted in his letter to the Nobel Committee that Trump played a "key role in facilitating contact between conflicting parties and a creating new dynamics in other protracted conflicts, such as the Kashmir border dispute between India and Pakistan," Fox News reported on Tuesday.

The claim has no basis in fact because India has turned down Trump's repeated offers to mediate or "arbitrate" the Kashmir dispute and there have been no high-level bilateral contacts between the two countries since 2015.

Rejecting Trump's offers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told reporters in front of him in August last year, "All the issues between India and Pakistan are of bilateral in nature, and we don't want to trouble any third country. We can discuss and resolve these issues bilaterally".

India maintains that under the Simla Agreement signed in 1971 by then-Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, who held the office of president of Pakistan at that time, both nations agreed to resolve all disputes bilaterally and, therefore, there should be no third party involvement.

Trump had even made a strange claim that Modi had asked him to mediate between India and Pakistan. New Delhi has denied making any such request.

Trump's Spokesperson Kayleigh McEnnany made no mention of Kashmir when she told reporters in Washington on Wednesday that Trump was nominated for "bringing about the full normalisation of relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and marking a major step toward a more peaceful Middle East."

"This peace deal is a testament to the bold diplomacy and vision of President Trump, and he is honoured to be considered by the Nobel Committee," she added.

The news of the nomination of Trump for the prize during the final phase of the US presidential election that is 53 days away.

The Israel-UAE deal to set up normal relations is probably the only solid diplomatic victory for Trump, but substantially less than a breakthrough between Israel and the Palestinians that he had been touting.

Tybring-Gjedde, a member of the right-wing Progress Party, had unsuccessfully nominated Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2018 for what he asserted were efforts to bring North and South Korea's together.

He again cited in the latest nomination Trump's efforts in the Koreas.

The nomination letter quoted by Fox News gave Trump credit for a key role in "the conflict between North and South Korea, as well as dealing with the nuclear capabilities of North Korea."

However, Trump's high profile diplomatic efforts with North Korea that included meetings with that country's leader Kim Jong-un have ended in failure.

Trump's predecessor Barack Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009, his first year in office, for "extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between people" before there was any concrete achievement.

Another Democratic Party president, Jimmy Carter, received the prize in 2002 after he had left office for his advocacy of democracy and human rights and his efforts for finding solutions to international conflicts.

The Nobel Committee elected by Norway's parliament awards the prize that comes with a medal and $1.1 million.

Thu, 10 Sep 2020 09:04:04 +0530
BMC condemned for razing Kangana s office in Mumbai

New Delhi,  Hours after the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) demolished the office of Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut in Mumbai, many organisations came out in her support and the Himachali Mitr Mandal approached the National Commission of Women and the Centre to intervene in the matter.

The Himachal Mitr Mandal (HMM), the apex organisation of the people of Himachal Pradesh settled in Delhi-NCR areas requested the NCW and the Centre to "intervene and stop atrocities being done by Mahahrastra government and the ruling Shiv Sena on Ranaut", who belongs to the hill state of Himachal Pradesh .

The reactions came after the BMC on Wednesday started demolishing the actress' Bandra property for alleged unauthorised modifications and extensions. The actress had tweeted photographs of the BMC demolishing and had also reacted to it.

The Bombay High Court later passed a stay order on the demolition.

Perturbed by the uproar over the BMC move, the Shiv Sena leadership on Wednesday barred its members from protesting against Ranaut to avoid a sympathy wave for her, even as the actress fired a fresh salvo at the government, this time targeting Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray personally.

Chanderkanta, President of HMM Delhi in a statement condemned the "goondaism" done by ruling Shiv Sena workers at Mumbai airport threatening security of Ranaut and intimidating her on her arrival in the city while the state government law enforcing agencies remain mute spectators before the unsocial elements of Shiv Sena.

Chanderkanta asked the Mumbai-based migrant Himachali workers and associations to stand united for the actress, and "support the issues and causes which are very relevant in today's scenario".

She also thanked Union Home Minister Amit Shah for providing adequate security to Ranaut and hoped that fringe and anti-social elements in the Shiv Sena will be tamed by the Mumbai Police and she will be allowed to resume her activities without any fear or intimidation.

Similarly, the Reconciliation, Relief, and Rehabilitation of Migrant Kashmiri Pandits also condemned the BMC action against Ranaut. Satish Mahaldar, chairman of the organisation, a statement said: "We extend our support to Ranaut in this hour of concern when her office in Mumbai has been bulldozed in her absence."

Mahaldar said that it was disheartening that the administration in the Maharashtra government acted in such haste.

"This action, no doubt stems from political vendetta and highhandedness given the fact that every year so many houses or buildings collapse and people die in Mumbai alone and the government is caught sleeping," Mahaldar said, adding that bulldozing her house when she was away and without adequate notice period is unbecoming of a government.

"The action is a demonstration of political might and harassment," he said.

He also said that since the Maharashtra government has ill-treated her, "we the Kashmiri Pandits request her to live with our community as our daughter".

Taking note of Ranaut's statement on making a film on the plight of Kashmiri Pandits, he said: "She has said that she can empathise with the Kashmiri Pandit refugees who also lost their homes and hearth in Kashmir 30 years ago. She has said she can understand the pain of being uprooted."

"Ranaut is the first Bollywood actor who has spoken about our plight for the first time in 30 years. We are thankful to her for feeling and speaking about the plight of Kashmiri Pandits, who have been suffering for the past three decades," Mahaldar added.

Thu, 10 Sep 2020 08:56:44 +0530
RJD protests against Nitish Kumar govt by lighting lamps

Patna, The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) in Bihar on Wednesday staged a protest against the Nitish Kumar government in the state by lighting lanterns.

Top RJD top leaders including former Bihar Chief Minister Rabri Devi, her sons Tej Pratap Yadav and Tejashwi Yadav have lit lanterns for 9 minutes at 9 p.m. on Wednesday as a symbolic protest against "the failure of JD-U-BJP government on employment, law and order, agriculture, migration of labourers, flood and Covid-19".

Meanwhile, Janata Dal-United (JD-U) leader Ajay Alok reacting to protest said "copying an idea of others needs skill and mind".

He was referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's appeal to the people in April to light 'diyas' to show collect resolve and solidarity to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tejashwi had appealed to the people of Bihar to switch off lights at their houses and light candles, 'diya', lanterns, etc for 9 minutes at 9 p.m. on September 9.

He claimed the symbolic way of protesting is "a ray of hope against the darkness currently spread across Bihar".

He also slammed the state government on job crisis and other issues which were affecting the common people of the state.

Following his appeal, many RJD supporters in different districts like Begusarai, Banka, Bhagalpur, Supaul, Madhepura, Araria, Vaishali, Muzaffarpur, Darbhanga have posted their photographs on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, holding lamps.

Thu, 10 Sep 2020 08:51:48 +0530


Wed, 09 Sep 2020 19:41:04 +0530
Governor felicitates social organisations serving poor during Corona Pandemic

Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari felicitated 18 social, cultural and service organisations doing commendable social work for the poor in the aftermath of the outbreak of Corona pandemic at a function held at Raj Bhavan, Mumbai on Wednesday (9th Sept).

Stating that service to the poor is service to God, Governor Koshyari called upon service organisations to sustain their social service, even after the pandemic is over. He appealed to the organisations to be compassionate towards the poor and the needy.

Representatives of Shrimad Rajchandra Mission, Dharampur, JITO Walkeshwar, JIO, ARAJ, DIvyaj Foundation, Lodha Group, Aarju Foundation, Dosti – Kamathipura, Panchmmukhi Seva Sanstha, Rajasthani Mahila Mandal, Shri Hari Satsang, Quest Foundation, Vitthal Rukmini Mandir Trust, Metal and Stainless Steel Merchants’ Association, BAPS Swami Narayan Mandir, Attari Welfare Association, Lodha Foundation and Bharatiya Jain Sanghatana were presented a Certificate of Honour by the Governor on this occasion.

The felicitation function was organized by the Lodha Foundation. Mangal Prabhat Lodha, MLA, Parag Shah, MLA, Manju Lodha, Chairperson Lodha Foundation and Dr Bijal Mehta, Trustee of Shrimad Rajchandra Mission were prominent among those present.

Wed, 09 Sep 2020 18:09:34 +0530
4 442 cases pending against sitting former MPs MLAs SC told

New Delhi, Sep 9

Data provided by all the High Courts to the Supreme Court has revealed that 4,442 cases are pending against sitting and former MPs and MLAs in different courts, including special courts designated to try these cases.

A report compiled by amicus curiae and senior advocate Vijay Hansaria said: "In 2,556 cases sitting legislators are accused persons. The number of legislators involved are more than total number of cases since there are more than one accused in one case, and the same legislator is an accused in more than one case."

The report was filed on an order passed by the top court on a PIL by BJP leader and advocate Ashwini Upadhyay, who urged the court to give directions for speedy trial of criminal cases against sitting and former lawmakers. The top court had directed the Registrar Generals of all High Courts to bring on record the information in connection with pending cases against lawmakers. "There are 413 cases in respect of offences which are punishable with imprisonment for life, out of which in 174 cases sitting MPs/MLAs are accused," the affidavit said.

Hansaria also provided the state-wise list of cases where trials are pending due to stay orders from superior courts. "Trial of 352 cases have been stayed by the High Courts and this Court," said the affidavit.

According to the report, in Uttar Pradesh, there are 1,217 pending cases, out of which in 446 cases sitting legislators are accused. In Bihar, there are 531 cases, out of which in 256 cases sitting legislators are accused, in Tamil Nadu (324 pending cases), in Maharashtra (330 pending cases), and in Orissa (331 pending cases), among others.

Hansaria has suggested special courts should be set up in every district for MPs/MLAs. "Each High Court may be directed to assign/allocate criminal cases involving former and sitting legislators to as many Sessions Courts and Magisterial Courts as the respective High Courts may consider proper, fit and expedient having regard to the number and nature of pending cases. Such decisions may be taken by the High Courts within four weeks of the order," said the affidavit.

The affidavit said that many cases are registered under the Prevention of Corruption Act, Prevention of Money Laundering Act, Arms Act, Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act and defamation under section 500 IPC. Hansaria suggested that the special courts should prioritise cases involving offences punishable with death or life imprisonment.

"Each High Court shall register a suo motu case with the title 'In Re: Special Courts for MPs/MLAs' to monitor the progress of cases pending in the state and ensure compliance of directions of this Court," said the affidavit.

Hansaria suggested that forensic laboratories should give priority in furnishing the report in respect of cases being tried by the Special Courts and will submit all pending reports within one month. "Each Special Court will send a monthly status report to the High Court and the High Court, on examination of the same, will issue necessary directions to ensure speedy disposal of cases. The case shall be heard by the High Court at such interval as may be necessary, however, at least once in three months," said the affidavit.







Wed, 09 Sep 2020 18:06:06 +0530
Bihar election twist Lalu s daughter in law to contest elections

Tej Pratap Yadav’s estranged wife and Lalu Prasad Yadav’s daughter-in-law Aishwarya Rai may contest against Tej Pratap in the upcoming elections in Bihar. Aishwarya’s father Chandrika Rai in an interview said that his daughter can contest the assembly election. He said his daughter is free to take her decision and he will support it.

Aishwarya married Tej Pratap in 2018 but the latter filed for divorce and since then there have been bitter relations between the two families. Chandrika Rai quit Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and joined Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal United (JDU).

Speculations are rife that Tej Pratap Yadav who won from Mahua in 2015 is contesting from a different place. He recently addressed a rally in Hasanpur in Samastipur district leading to speculations that he may contest from this place.

Wed, 09 Sep 2020 14:34:16 +0530
Maharashtra Home Minister receives threat calls over Kangana Ranaut row

Shri Anil Deshmukh, Home Minister of Maharashtra again received threat calls over his stance against Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut. Deshmukh received calls from Himachal Pradesh and from other locations from different numbers.

Sources told media that anonymous callers threatened the minister to not get involved in any action against the actress. Ranaut has been in the eye of a storm ever since she exposed the drug syndicate in Mumbai and likened the situation in the city to that of Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK).

Kangana recently said that she feared Mumbai Police more than the movie mafia and requested for security from the union government, which was granted.

Deshmukh had said that those who think that Maharashtra or Mumbai is not safe need not live in the state. He expressed surprise over the Y-plus security provided by the centre to Kangana. He said that the government will probe Ranaut’s involvement in consumption of drugs as alleged by actor Adhyayan Suman.

Wed, 09 Sep 2020 13:53:48 +0530
Christiano Ronaldo scores 100 international goals

Christiano Ronaldo became the first European footballer to score 100 international goals for his country. He joins Ali Daei who scored 109 for Iran. Ronaldo who last scored for Portugal, last year in November 2019, ended the long wait with a free kick from outside the box.

Out of Ronaldo’s 100 goals, only 17 have come in international friendlies. Playing for Portugal he has scored seven goals versus Lithuania, six against Sweden, five against Andorra, Armenia, Latvia and Luxembourg.

Ronaldo has six international hattricks and has scored seven goals in FIFA World Cup stage and another nine at UEFA Euros in his career. Ronaldo scored the first goal for his country way back at UEFA Euro 200. 

Wed, 09 Sep 2020 13:41:26 +0530
Google to authenticate unknown numbers rolls out Verified Calls in India

Google has come up with the verified calls feature on its phone app. The app will show caller’s name, logo, reason for calling and a verification symbol indicating that the call has been authenticated by Google.

Verified Calls is a feature on Google’s Phone app, which comes pre-loaded on many Android phones and will be available for download starting later this week on even more Android devices, Google said in a blog.

Currently, this is available in US, Mexico, Brazil, Spain and India, with more countries to come. Speaking to media a Google spokesperson said that verified calls is done in a secure way while the company doesn’t collect or store any personally identifiable information after verification.

Wed, 09 Sep 2020 13:35:22 +0530
How Google Android 11 aims to protect your work personal data

New Delhi,  With Android 11, Google is offering new work profile improvements that make Android even more private and productive for employees using both personal and company-owned devices.

To better support company-owned devices, the work profile now offers device controls like asset management tools and personal usage policies that give IT the ability to keep devices compliant with corporate policy without compromising employee privacy.

Regardless of who owns the device, industry-leading data separation and security controls help ensure work data is secure in the work profile.

"To give employees more information about their location privacy, we've added a new notification whenever their IT admin grants location access to work apps," Google said in a blog post on Tuesday.

"We've also enhanced our agreements with device manufacturers to help ensure all work profile privacy protections are reliably enforced".

A new Omdia research survey of 700 IT decision makers found that 80 per cent of respondents believed personal data should be kept private from IT on a company-owned device.

The work profile makes the separation of work and personal data visible and usable for employees.

"We're taking that even further in Android 11 by expanding work and personal separation to more places throughout Android," Google said.

Employees will now see separate tabs for work and personal when they share files, open content or go into their settings menu.

Android 11 will remove unwanted distractions when the work profile is paused and enable employees to automatically pause work apps according to their own schedule.

"For those times when it's helpful to view work and personal data at the same time, we've built a new secure mechanism for merged experiences, allowing trusted apps to connect between work and personal profiles," Google said.

"Both employees and IT must approve the way an app will handle security and user privacy before allowing an app to connect".

Google Calendar will soon allow people to see personal events in their work calendar, helping to better schedule around commitments across their day.

Personal calendar events will remain privately stored on device in the personal profile, invisible to both colleagues and IT.

In Android 11, Google is investing more in security and management features that provide organisations with more protection for their data.

It includes more IT controls for always-on VPN configurations and the ability to pre-grant certificate access for work apps, among others.

Wed, 09 Sep 2020 13:28:11 +0530
IL FS Group sells education arm to FTPL reduces debt by Rs 650 cr

New Delhi,  The IL&FS Group on Wednesday completed sale of its 73.69 per cent stake in Education business, held under the Schoolnet India Limited (SIL), to Falafal Technologies Private Limited (FTPL).

The sale was completed pursuant to the approval granted by the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), Principal Bench through an order dated August 31, 2020. The transaction provides positive equity value to IL&FS and resolves nearly Rs 650 crore of consolidated fund based and non-fund based financial debt, without any haircut to lenders.

FTPL has paid Rs 7.37 crore as equity value for shares of Schoolnet India Limited (SIL) held by IL&FS Limited and IL&FS Employee Welfare Trust, in addition to taking over SIL's fund based and non-fund based financial debt of nearly Rs 650 crores.

Further, FTPL has also agreed to a deferred consideration of Rs 6.29 crore payable within 18 months from closure.

FTPL is a subsidiary of Lexington Equity Holdings Ltd (LEHL). LEHL already holds a 26.13 per cent stake in Schoolnet India.

Sale of SIL will reduce operating cost for the IL&FS Group by nearly 19 per cent. IL&FS Group holds 73.69 per cent stake in SIL. SIL holds 80 per cent stake in IL&FS Skill Development Corporation (ISDC) and also has two wholly owned subsidiaries, IL&FS Cluster Development Initiative Limited (ICDI) and Skill Training Assessment Management Partners Limited (STAMP).

As part of the sale transaction, the businesses of ICDI and STAMP have also been transferred to SIL through a slump sale for a consideration of Re 1 for each company. Transfer of debt of nearly Rs 27 crore in ICDI and STAMP forms part of the slump sale.

Further, the shares of ICDI and STAMP have been transferred to IL&FS Limited. SIL will continue to retain 80.01 per cent in ISDC which will become a step down subsidiary of FTPL. This development represents another key milestone in the overall resolution for the IL&FS Group under the New Board.

As part of the overall resolution plan to address a significant portion of the Group's debt, the sale of a number of other Group assets has been initiated which is currently in various stages of progress.

SIL provides Ed-tech services to K-12 schools and students through proprietary digital content, devices, platforms and solutions. ISDC offers job linked vocational programmes for the youth. ICDI provides advisory and management services to the Central government, state governments and Industries for development of common infrastructure and facilities in Brownfield and Greenfield industrial clusters.

STAMP provides assessment solutions on a lifecycle approach to students, youth (job seekers) and working professionals.


Wed, 09 Sep 2020 13:14:45 +0530
US sanctions on Huawei to hit Samsung other chipmakers

Seoul,  Memory chipmakers, including Samsung Electronics, will feel the pinch of additional US sanctions on Chinese telecom giant Huawei Technologies that take effect next week, industry sources said on Wednesday.

The new sanctions, which ban the supply of semiconductors made with US equipment, software and design to Huawei without prior approval from Washington, are set to become effective from next Tuesday, Yonhap news agency reported.

It will hit the shipments of Samsung Electronics, the world's top memory chip maker, SK hynix Inc. and most other global players will virtually stop shipments to the Chinese company next week, they said.

"I understand that Samsung Electronics will stop shipping chips to Huawei from next Tuesday, though there is a possibility of selling products after winning US approval," an industry observer said.

That is because US technologies are used in almost all sectors of chip production from design software to production equipment, according to the sources.

Huawei is known as one of Samsung's top five customers. SK hynix reportedly depends on Huawei for some 10 per cent of its sales.

The envisioned American sanctions are widely expected to have a negative impact on Samsung Electronics and other industry players over the short term, but they would unlikely have a great impact in the long haul, industry watchers said.

They further said Samsung Electronics could benefit from the US move, as it may come as an opportunity to widen its gap with Huawei in the smartphone market and play catch-up with the Chinese firm in the 5G sector.

The US sanctions come as Washington has increasingly sought to ban the use of Chinese technology, citing national security concerns.

Wed, 09 Sep 2020 13:05:24 +0530
Shweta Tripathi rediscovers love for space astronomy during Cargo shoot

Mumbai, Sep 9 (IANS) Actress Shweta Tripathi Sharma stars in the upcoming sci-fi film Cargo, and she says working in the film nudged her to discover more about space and astronomy.

Helmed by Arati Kadav, the film tells the story about a spaceship that comes close to earth everyday to pick up cargoes that are essentially dead bodies. The craft also doubles up as an immigration office for the dead.

"Once I started working on the film, I was fascinated by some of the ideas. Arati is one of the few directors who discuss science with such passion and love. She has a unique vision of the world," said Shweta.

"Everything from costumes to the bulb, everything was planned in advance. Every department had immense clarity and it all trickles down from her unwavering faith in her vision. Be it a small or big, I want to be a part of her storytelling for many films to come. I was intrigued by a few concepts she had in mind. She and I have been discussing some ideas as well," she added.

Usually once a film is done, she feels that people move on.

"But 'Cargo' is that one film, I won't ever move on from. It prompted me to go study about space and astronomy. I am a fashion graduate and this was never on my radar in my growing up years. But now I have been reading about the mysteries of the space," Shweta said.

"The film world has a lot of stories to tap into in the genre. As a kid my reference for the genre was 'Jurassic Park', 'Back to the Future' and 'Mr India'. As an actor, I never thought the genre is an option for us in India. Now that I have Arati, I am never letting go off her. Some films are deep learnings and 'Cargo' was that one project for me which I will always cherish. I am lucky to be one of the first actresses from the country to be taking a step towards sci-fi movies," she added.

Wed, 09 Sep 2020 12:56:26 +0530
Kerala CPI M state secretary s son Bineesh appears before ED

Kochi, In what could be a long drawn struggle for the ruling CPI-M in Kerala, Bineesh Kodiyeri, son of its powerful state Secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan on Wednesday morning presented himself before the Enforcement Directorate (ED), here, after he was served a notice to appear before them.

The younger of the two sons of Balakrishnan, Bineesh has been in the news for the past one decade, for his business dealings. His business includes hotels, financial companies and a few others where he has business interests with numerous partners.

Balakrishnan's elder son Binoy Kodiyeri has been in the media limelight too; first for an alleged fraud which took place in Dubai, after an Arab national raised a complaint. Another case happened when a woman from Bihar went to a court in Mumbai, claiming that she was cheated by him and they have a son. The result of a DNA test is awaited in the case.

Though Bineesh sought more time for his appearance, the ED officials put their foot down and said he will have to appear on Wednesday itself.

Bineesh was asked to report at 11 a.m., but sensing that the media would be after him, he came with his driver around 9.15 a.m. to the ED office, but was greeted by a huge number of media personnel, who followed him in the ED office.

Despite a volley of questions put to him, Bineesh kept mum and went inside the office.

When the now controversial gold smuggling case surfaced in July after the Customs first arrested a former public relations officer -- P. S.Sarith -- of the UAE Consulate and the NIA picked up Swapna Suresh, who has links with top police and bureaucrats, the speculation in the media was -- would Bineesh be also involved.

But it was not until the end of the last month, his name first surfaced when a Kerala youth Anoop Mohammed was picked up by the Narcotics Control Bureau in Bengaluru.

Soon came the statement of Bineesh that he and Anoop were friends and he had extended a loan of Rs six lakh to him and also gave Rs 15,000 very recently as he had no money to return home from Bengaluru.

And after that, came more reports about Bineesh's business dealings with his friends and close associates.

By now the ED has taken statements from his close friends and business associates.

Balakrishnan recently broke his silence after the Congress and the BJP were breathing fire. He said that the law enforcing agencies were free to do their job and no one can finish off him (Balakrishnan) emotionally, as he is a strong Communist and Bineesh will give all the answers.

For Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, this is a big blow and he has been brushing aside all questions related to the matter. The coming days will reveal, if the going for them would be easy, as the local body polls and two Assembly by-elections are expected soon, and the Assembly polls in the next year.


Wed, 09 Sep 2020 12:36:19 +0530
UN chief calls for efforts to address air pollution

United Nations, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday called for global efforts to address air pollution.

Around the world, nine out of every 10 people breathe unclean air. Air pollution contributes to various diseases and causes an estimated 7 million premature deaths every year, predominantly in low- and middle-income countries, he said in a video message that was played at a virtual UN event to mark the first International Day of Clean Air for blue skies, Xinhua reported.

Air pollution also threatens the economy, food security and the environment. The world needs to pay far greater attention to air pollution as it recovers from the coronavirus pandemic, he said.

Guterres asked for urgent action to address the deeper threat of climate change. Limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees from pre-industrial levels will help reduce air pollution, death and disease, he said.

This year's lockdowns in response to Covid-19 have caused emissions to fall dramatically, providing a glimpse of cleaner air in many cities. But emissions are already rising again, in some places surpassing pre-Covid levels, he warned. "We need dramatic and systemic change. Reinforced environmental standards, policies and laws that prevent emissions of air pollutants are needed more than ever."

Countries need to end subsidies for fossil fuels and to cooperate at the international level to help each other transition to clean technologies, he said.

"I call on governments still providing finance for fossil fuel-related projects in developing countries to shift that support toward clean energy and sustainable transport. And I urge all countries to use post-Covid recovery packages to support the transition to healthy and sustainable jobs."

The International Day of Clean Air for blue skies falls on September 7, which is a public holiday in the US. The UN commemoration was held on Tuesday instead.


Wed, 09 Sep 2020 09:10:00 +0530
Blue Pink lines of Delhi Metro resume services after 171 days

New Delhi, After Monday's success, the Delhi Metro on Wednesday also started operations on its two more additional lines -- Blue and Pink, providing relief to hundreds of commuters.

The resumption of service comes two days after the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) started the services on the Yellow line and Gurugram's Rapid Metro as part of Stage 1 of "graded resumption of Metro services".

According to DMRC, the Blue line resumed operations after 171 days which runs from Dwarka Sector-21 to Electronic City (Noida), and Vaishali. The Pink line runs between Majlis Park and Shiv Vihar.

The services will be available on both of these Lines from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. and from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. along with Yellow/Rapid Lines which are already operational.

The re-opening of these two Lines ensures availability of nine of the existing 28 interchange Metro stations -- Rajouri Garden, INA Delhi Haat, Mayur Vihar Phase - I, Karkardooma, Rajiv Chowk, Yamuna Bank, Anand Vihar ISBT, Azadpur and Sikandarpur.

In addition to these, three more routes -- Red Line, Green Line and Violet Line -- will also resume services on Thursday.

Also, the rest of the remaining lines will also be re-opened under Stage-2 and Stage-3 of Graded resumption plan on September 11 and 12, respectively.


Wed, 09 Sep 2020 08:54:04 +0530
80 National Police Academy staff members found Covid positive

Hyderabad, Thirty staff members of the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy (SVPNPA) here have tested positive for Covid-19 during last 3-4 days, taking the total number of employees affected to 80 over the last few weeks, an official said on Tuesday.

The latest cases were reported four days after the passing out parade of 131 probationary Indian Police Service officers of the 2018 batch.

Dikshant Parade, an annual event at the premier training academy for police officers, was held on September 4 and the probationers were addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, through video conference, from New Delhi.

"These 80 people have not been affected at one go. This was over a period. It is not as if it suddenly erupted. 30-32 of them tested positive during the last 3-4 days," an academy official told IANS.

Those found infected by the virus were from administrative and maintenance departments and were living on another campus called Site-A, opposite the main campus.

"They all are asymptomatic and under home isolation. They are doing fine," said the official.

The virus is suspected to have spread among the staff after a few employees came back from leave.

Currently, there are no trainees on the campus. The official said none of the faculty members or training staff was affected by Covid-19.

Following the fresh cases reported among the staff, NPA authorities strengthened access control to the main campus.

"We have strict access control. We have been following conservative measures for the last six months. We have now further strengthened access control," he said.

The NPA officials are using the services of only essential staff. "Since there are no trainees, the academy needs limited staff on the main campus," explained the official.

Tue, 08 Sep 2020 23:51:15 +0530
Mamata slams fake news on Durga Puja

Kolkata,  West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday slammed the fake news doing the rounds on social media with a claim that there would be restrictions on the most celebrated festival of Bengalis in the state, Durga Puja, this year.

Banerjee spoke about a certain post on social media which said that curfew would be imposed at night from Panchami during Durga Puja owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. It means no one would be allowed to go pandal-hopping at night during the five-day extravaganza.

The post was publicly marked as a fake post by West Bengal Police on social media.

"A rumour regarding Durga Puja is being spread through WhatsApp. No such decision has been taken. Please do not forward this message. It's fake. Action is being taken," WB Police posted on Twitter with the hashtag #FakeNewsAlert.

The CM said that some people are spreading fake news that the government has banned Durga Puja. "If you can prove it, I will hold my ears and do 101 sit-ups in public," she said.

Slamming the rumour-mongers, she also asked the police to find out people who purposely spread the fake news and make them hold their ears and do sit-ups.

"Fake news is being circulated on social media to disturb communal harmony. Those who have never worshipped Durga, Kali or Hanuman are now talking about puja," Banerjee said.

She further said that no meeting on Durga Puja has been held so far by the state government.

Tue, 08 Sep 2020 23:44:57 +0530
Solar Energy Society of India stresses on academia industry collaborations in solar energy

Government of India aims to achieve a target of 175GW of renewable energy by 2022 and 100 GW of the target through solar energy projects across the country. However, when it comes to awareness level in the country about this hugely potential alternative energy source, it is far from satisfactory.

Solar Energy Society of India (SESI) has been promoting solar energy in India. As part of the series of webinars on Solar Energy: The Agent of Change, on 6th September 2020, ‘Renewable Energy in Indian Universities’ was organised where Chief Guest Dr. Anil Sahasrabudhe, Chairman, AICTE delivered keynote address. The virtual programme dwelt on how to prioritize research and application of renewable sources in the curriculum and how academia and industry can work together to develop an ecosystem for solar energy in India.

In his introductory speech, Dr. S M Ali, Vice President of SESI and Director of the Indian Institute of Engineers, said that promotion and implementation of renewable energy through research and academia will drive major change in the institutions as well as the industry. Prafulla Pathak, President of SESI, threw light on how solar energy sector can push youth towards entrepreneurship. “There is a lot of scope in the solar energy sector. Today interaction and sharing of ideas will help in better development of industry and encourage the students to become entrepreneurs,” he said.

Dr. Sahasrabudhe showed his optimism about the growth of the solar industry in the country. He said that converting India into a solar rich country will help realize the Prime Minister’s drives of establishing 175 GW worth of renewable energy by 2022. “It is a hard vision but not impossible. Many innovations like rooftop installations, creating water heaters, and channelizing multi-purpose ideas will make this drive feasible and possible.” He also expressed his displeasure about the fact that solar energy was known as non-conventional energy until the innovation of solar cells and was used to generate electricity.

Dr. Sahasrabudhe inspired the attendees by informing them about the various awards that AICTE gives and a payback plan that many companies follow to enforce the establishment of solar panels. He appealed to the attendees to create models and smart campuses that will significantly use waste as well as renewable energy efficiently and effectively. He suggested installing sensors that will analyze the use of energy and help layout better plans for adopting the right kind of resources. 

Agreeing to Dr. Sahasrabudhe, Dr. Sunil Rai, Vice-Chancellor, University of Petroleum and Energy Studies (UPES) highlighted how usage of renewable energy resources has been introduced in many institutions. He has been ensuring to make new courses in UPES that are solar energy-oriented. Now, UPES, runs short term courses, diplomas, online course, and distance learning. They have 12 programmes running that focus on renewable energy and its implementation. He is also trying to get these courses NSDC certified.


Tue, 08 Sep 2020 23:17:37 +0530
Sanskrit is a classical and perpetual language make it a national language Governor

The Governor of Maharashtra and Goa Bhagat Singh Koshyari today said unlike Roman or Latin languages, Sanskrit is lively, perpetual and classical language which has the potential to revive, rejuvenate and resurrect itself time and again. He called for collective efforts to establish Sanskrit as a national language. The Governor was speaking at the 9th Convocation of the Kavikulaguru Kalidas Sanskrit University through video conferencing on Tuesday (8th Sept). 


Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev who was special guest at the Convocation, said Sanskrit is not just a language but it's a culture. He called for imparting the knowledge of Engineering, Medicine, Law, Management and other streams through Sanskrit language.


Mentioning that the New Education Policy has laid renewed thrust on promoting Sanskrit language, he appealed to the Sanskrit University to produce good teachers to meet the requirement of Sanskrit teachers in the country.


Founder Vice Chancellor of the Kavikulaguru Kalidas Sanskrit University Dr Pankaj Chande and Secretary of Kaivalyadhan Yoga Institute Om Prakash Tiwari were awarded honorary D.Litt. on the occasion. Vice Chancellor Dr Srinnivas Varakhedi, Sanskrit scholars and students were present.


Tue, 08 Sep 2020 22:23:36 +0530
Governor Koshyari pats staff donors for blood donation

Staff and officers of Raj Bhavan who overcame Corona Virus Disease in recent weeks turned Covid warriors by lining up for blood and plasma donation at a Blood Donation Camp held at Raj Bhavan on Tuesday (8 Sept).  

Inaugurating the Blood Donation Camp, Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari patted the blood and plasma donors and appealed to the people to come forward for blood and plasma donation.

As many as 140 members of Raj Bhavan staff, officers, family members and residents of Walkeshwar registered themselves for blood and plasma donation camp organised by Raj Bhavan in association with Sir J J Group of Hospitals.

Principal Secretary to the Governor Santosh Kumar was the first to donate his blood at the camp (picture enclosed).

Referring to the fear and apprehension developed by people in the wake of Covid – 19 pandemic, Governor Koshyari urged people ‘Not to be Fearful, but Be Careful’ while facing the challenge.  

Chief Blood Transfusion Officer of Sir J J Hospital Dr Kalyani Kulkarni, Raj Bhavan Medical Officer Dr Prasad Jathar, doctors and paramedical staff of JJ Hospital and the medical team of Raj Bhavan were present.


Tue, 08 Sep 2020 22:18:43 +0530
Kerala organisation demands immediate opening of tourism sector

Thiruvananthapuram,  Kerala's premier tourism body -- the Confederation of Kerala Tourism Industry (CKTI) -- on Tuesday demanded that the state government take immediate steps to reopen the tourism sector that has been closed for the past six months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The money spinning tourism industry in the state employs 15 lakh people directly and 20 lakh people indirectly.

The tourism sector brings in more than Rs 45,000 crore and contributed nearly 12 per cent to the state's GDP in 2019.

CKTI President E M Najeeb said the Central and state governments should take long-term measures to rescue the sector and intervene to restart businesses with adequate safety and health control measures.

"States like Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Goa and Maharashtra have opened the tourism sector with and without Covid protocols. The positive response from the Kerala government with financial packages and reopening of bars to support and restart the tourism businesses are a welcome sign and we are confident of a strong comeback of tourism in the state by December end," Najeeb added.

Sajeev Kurup, CKTI General Secretary, said the situation was that more than 4,000 closed hotels, resorts, 1,000 houseboats, ayurvedic centres, tour operators and home stay owners, apart from water-theme parks, taxi drivers, tourist guides and units in the adventure tourism sector were in dire financial straits due to the continuous lockdown of the tourist attractions in the state.

"If things do not change, then the sector might have to close down permanently. We are ready to adhere to state government protocols and directions, including regular Covid testing," Kurup added.


Tue, 08 Sep 2020 18:01:51 +0530
PNB SO Recruitment 2020 535 posts vacant

Punjab National Bank has released an official notification for the recruitment of specialist officers (managerial and senior managerial cadres) on its official website. The online registration process is open from today. Interested applicants need to long on to on or before September 29, 2020.

Recruitment will be conducted to fulfill 535 vacancies of specialist officers of which 200 are for manager (credit), 160 for manager (risk), 50 for senior manager (credit), 40 for senior manager (risk), 30 for manager (treasury), 25 for manager (architect), 10 each for manager (economic and HR) and 2 for manager (civil).

The upper age limit for manager post is 35 years and for senior manager it is 37 years. General category candidates need to pay an online application fee of Rs. 850. For SC/ST/PWBD category candidates, the registration fee is Rs 175.

Tue, 08 Sep 2020 17:44:47 +0530
India received 7 excess rainfall Ministry of Earth Sciences

India has had a healthy monsoon this year and received 7% excess rainfall overall, said the Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India. Monsoons are likely to continue with more rain predicted from the third week of September. IMD’s accuracy in forecasting heavy rainfall has improved to over 80%.

Dr. M. Rajeevan, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences said, plentiful and spread of southwest monsoon this year should help farmers and the output must be very good. It will also help the Indian economy, though exact quantification cannot be made at this moment.”

Dr. M. Mohapatra, Director General of the IMD, said that the country is likely to see normal to above normal rainfall in September, though in the second week of September, monsoon rain is likely to be deficient in most parts of the country, including northwest and central India. But it is likely to resume after September 17, he added. The usual date for monsoon to begin withdrawing is September 17.

Dr. M. Mohapatra pointed out that the IMD in its weekly weather update mentioned that withdrawal of monsoon may begin from western parts of Rajasthan in the week ending September 18. But we are also expecting a low-pressure area to develop over west central Bay of Bengal around that time. He said, adding that while the withdrawal of monsoon may begin, but we are still studying as to when it’s likely to completely withdraw. We are expecting normal to above normal rain in Kerala, Karnataka and coastal areas of Maharashtra around and after September 17, he said. In other words, though the rainfall activity has declined in September as compared to August and is now below normal, rains will revive in the next few days as fresh weather systems are developing, he said.

Tue, 08 Sep 2020 16:48:33 +0530
India s Covid 19 recoveries arise cross 32 5 lakhs today

As per the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, the country is recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic substantially. India’s total recovered cases crossed 32.5 lakhs today with 69,564 patients being discharged in the last 24 hours. Recovery rate as per the ministry has touched 77.31%.

Various calibrated and focused actions undertaken within the umbrella strategy of test, track and treat have enabled early identification of cases through aggressive and wide-scale testing. Better ambulance services and seamless point-to-point management of patients to facilitate their timely hospitalization before their health deteriorates has led to a high number of Covid-19 patients recovering and being discharged from the hospitals. This has also resulted in the declining Case Fatality Rate, which stands at a new low of 1.70% today. Supervised isolation in homes and facility settings, following effective Standard of Care protocol, has hugely aided recovery of mild and moderate cases.

The ministry has stated that five states are contributing 60% of total cases with Maharashtra at the top with 21.6%, followed by Andhra Pradesh (11.8%), Tamil Nadu (11.0%), Karnataka (9.5%) and Uttar Pradesh at 6.3%. Maharashtra also contributed 26.76% of the active cases in the country, followed by Andhra Pradesh (11.30%), Karnataka (11.25%), Uttar Pradesh (6.98%) and Tamil Nadu (5.83%).

In the last 24 hours, Andhra Pradesh recorded the highest recoveries with 11,915 newly recovered cases. Karnataka and Maharashtra saw 9575 and 7826 recoveries while Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh witnesses 5820 and 4779 new recoveries, respectively. These 5 States together contributed 57% of the recoveries in the last 24 hours.

Tue, 08 Sep 2020 16:30:15 +0530
India signs 82 million loan deal with World Bank for infrastructure

The Government of India, the Government of Himachal Pradesh and the World Bank have entered into a $82 million pact for the Himachal Pradesh State Roads Transformation Project which will strengthen transport and safety institutions in Himachal Pradesh road network.

The Himachal Pradesh State Roads Transformation Project will finance initiatives to build climate and disaster-resilient roads; improve road safety along tourism corridors in Himachal; enhance logistics along fruit belts; and support the government’s initiative to create a corporate entity responsible for ensuring well-performing roads. A third of the maintenance contracts under the project will be awarded to women-led Self-Help Groups (SHGs).

Shri Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Government of India said that the economic growth of any region is closely linked to its road infrastructure. The mountainous state of Himachal Pradesh with its rich horticulture and tourism potential requires well-constructed, well connected, climate resilient and safe roads. This project will help the state develop reliable, resilient and safe roads which is crucial for the economic development of the state.

A mountainous state in north India, Himachal Pradesh is richly endowed with natural resources but prone to landslides and flash floods that affect road connectivity. Cloud bursts, river flows and flooding causing landslides and erosion of embankments, etc. are commonplace. The project aims to extend protection against these natural disasters. The project will implement engineering solutions that are plant and natural based as well as control vehicular emission to address climate risks.

Tesfamichael Mitiku, Senior Transport Engineer and World Bank’s Task Team Leader for the project, said that a well-performing road infrastructure that helps in creating an efficient logistics system will go a long way in supporting smallholder farmers, small and medium enterprises and manufacturing industries deliver products just-in-time to wholesale and terminal markets at a lower cost. Reorganizing Himachal Pradesh Road & Other Infrastructure Development Corporation (HPRIDC) and HP Motor Vehicle Administration as corporate entities will also support greater transparency and accountability in promoting innovative development solutions.

Tue, 08 Sep 2020 16:23:55 +0530
Celebrating International Literacy Day 2020

September 8 is celebrated across the world as the International Literacy Day to promote importance of literacy and to further the cause of a literate and sustainable society. The first-ever international literacy day was declared in the year 1966 on occasion of the 14th session of UNESCO’s general conference. Importance of literacy for individuals, communities and societies and the creation of more literate societies was set as the primary goal.

As per UNESCO, literacy challenges persist in over 770 million adults all over the world even today. More than 600 million children and adolescents do not have minimum proficiency levels in reading and writing.

This year, International Literacy Day 2020 focuses on literacy teaching and learning amidst the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond. Focus is on the role of educators and pedagogies. International Literacy Day 2020 focuses on youth and adults highlight the importance of learning as a lifelong mission. The gap between policy discourse and reality was brought to notice among educators during the pandemic.

International Literacy Day 2020 organized by UNESCO digitally aims to reflect on innovative and effective pedagogies and teaching methodologies for youth and adult programmes.

Speaking about the importance of literacy and the International Literacy Day 2020, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu, Vice President of India said, “Literacy plays an important role in empowering and transforming the lives of individuals and society. On International Literacy Day, let's resolve to create a self-reliant, self-confident and competent Bharat that is literate, educated and empowered.”

Minister of Education, Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal tweeted: “There can be no joy greater than reading and no friend greater than knowledge" Hon'ble PM Shri @narendramodi On this #InternationalLiteracyDay, we promise to work towards achieving 100% literacy by complying with the reforms within the National Education Policy 2020.”

Tue, 08 Sep 2020 15:19:58 +0530
Dubai exhibition features Asian art exploring earth s memory

New Delhi, Sep 8

'We, as society remember, but the earth too remembers. Its each fragment remembers, the trees and soil remember.' Building on this premise, and presenting art as a site to unravel a planet's memory, a group exhibition featuring South Asian artists is all set to open in the Gulf.

The exhibition's title 'Every Soiled Page' draws inspiration from Faiz Ahmed Faiz's poem 'Memory' that was written in 1953 while he was imprisoned in the Montgomery Central Jail in Pakistan. Taking cue from the poem, the exhibition proposes art as a site for reverse archaeology, where materials, voices, inscriptions and testimonies produce a field of resonance for bearing witness and remembering as an act of resistance.

Faiz's verses powerfully invoke that to remember we must apprehend every soiled page, listen to the reverberations collectively, even sing with them the songs that rise with each day.

"What if there are other ways of bearing witness and reading what's inscribed on every soiled page?" asks the exhibition.

It opens at the Dubai-based Ishara Art Foundation, the first permanent space in the Gulf dedicated to South Asian art, later this month.

The exhibition is curated by Sabih Ahmed and features works from the Prabhakar Collection by artists Anju Dodiya, Astha Butail, Neha Choksi, Praneet Soi and Sunil Padwal, and a newly commissioned performance installation by Inder Salim that will expand the exhibition into aspace of readings, recitals, inscriptions and annotations. Works in the exhibition focus on different surfaces and materials on which memories, traces, imprints and songs reside.

'Every Soiled Page' is the Foundation's fourth exhibition dedicated to exploring ways in which art expands our sensitivities to witnessing and forming collective memories. Taking an etching of an olive tree by artist Praneet Soi as a point of departure, the exhibition ventures into the the planetary dimensions of remembering, beyond the human.






Tue, 08 Sep 2020 13:24:34 +0530
HC dismisses Punjab ex DGP s bail plea in 29 year old murder case

Chandigarh,  In a major setback to former Punjab Director General of Police (DGP) Sumedh Singh Saini in a 29-year-old kidnapping and murder case, the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday dismissed his anticipatory bail petition.

Justice Fateh Deep Singh, who reserved his orders a day earlier, also dismissed his another petition for declaring the probe "non-est" and in violation of a Supreme Court judgment.

It now seems that Saini, who as per the state police is absconding after leaving his security personnel behind, has no protection from the court in the case registered against him in May for illegal abduction, detention and custodial death of Balwant Singh Multani in December 1991.

Now, Saini has the option to either pursue legal remedy by moving the Supreme Court or to surrender in the court or before the police.

Last week, the SAS Nagar Additional District and Sessions Judge had dismissed the anticipatory bail plea of Saini.

The former Director General of Police then approached the High Court for the anticipatory bail.

The Punjab Police had denied withdrawal of security detail of Saini who, it said, had absconded after leaving his security personnel behind.

A spokesperson for the Special Investigation Team (SIT), probing the extra-judicial killing case that was converted into a case of murder, denied the allegation of Saini's wife that the ex-DGP's security had been withdrawn, thus endangering his life.

Contrary to what had been claimed by Saini's wife in a letter to DGP Dinkar Gupta, there had been no change whatsoever in the security detail and all the necessary equipment, including the security box and jammer vehicle, were provided to the former police chief, who is a 'Z' plus category protectee of the state government, the spokesperson said.

The fact of the matter was that Saini seemed to have left his Chandigarh residence without Punjab Police security personnel and security vehicles, including the jammer vehicle, on his own, thus jeopardising his own security, the spokesperson added.

The kidnapping case was related to a bomb attack on Saini by the Khalistan Liberation Force militants in 1991. At that time, he was the Senior Superintendent of Police in Chandigarh. He survived with injuries, but his three security personnel were killed.

A Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into Multani's disappearance began in 2007 against Saini but he got relief from the Supreme Court and the probe was stopped.

Based on a fresh complaint, a case was registered under Sections 364 (kidnapping or abduction in order to murder), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence), 344 (wrongful confinement), 330 (voluntarily causing hurt to exhort confession) and 120 (B) (criminal conspiracy) in S.A.S. Nagar adjoining Chandigarh on May 7 against Saini.

Tue, 08 Sep 2020 13:21:23 +0530
oraimo launches Tempo 1S smartwatch TWS FreePods 2 in India

New Delhi, Sep 8

Smartphone giant Transsion India's smart accessories brand oraimo on Tuesday launched a smartwatch with HD screen, Tempo 1S, and True Wireless earbuds, FreePods 2.

The oraimo Tempo 1S smartwatch with 1.3-inch HD display is available at Rs 2,299, while the oraimo FreePods 2 is priced at Rs 1,799, the company said.

"As the world adjusts to a new normal during this pandemic, health and entertainment have taken a centre stage," Arijeet Talapatra, CEO, Transsion India, said in a statement.

"Both the products ( Tempo 1S and FreePods 2) will serve multiple needs of today's consumers, making them an excellent value for money buys," Talapatra said.

"At oraimo, we have always endeavoured in delivering products that are at par with the ever-changing consumer-technology trends and with these offerings, oraimo reinforces its focus towards enabling users with high-end accessories that offer premium quality and unforgettable buying experience," Talapatra added.

In addition to the HD full touchscreen, Tempo 1S comes equipped with all-rounded fitness tracking features that continuously monitors your heart rate, gives you a count of the steps taken, distance covered, calories burnt in different training modules and tracks sleeping pattern in a bid to let you stay on top of your health goals.

It also comes equipped with six different training modes -- running, jump rope, pingpong, riding, badminton and tennis that makes it your partner for sports and health monitoring.

Tempo 1S is splash, water and dust resistant and tested under controlled laboratory conditions with a rating of IP67, oraimo said, adding that the device features a smooth-flush alloy case and a soft, skin-friendly strap.

On the power back up front, Tempo 1S supports advanced power-saving technology which helps the device to stay active up to 20 days, the company claimed.

The strap of the Smartwatch comes with an in-built USB port, ensuring ease of plugging and charging.

Coming to the earbuds, the oraimo FreePods 2 comes with 13mm sound drivers, suitably blending deep bass, natural mids and detailed treble.

oraimo said the FreePods 2, backed by a 37mAh battery, is engineered to provide uninterrupted listening experience to the listener.

Its portable charging case boasts of a 500mAh battery that gives up to six full charges to the Wireless FreePods 2.

In total these power packed Feedpods 2 delivers 24.5 hours of extended playtime, up to 82 hours of standby time and three hours of talk time in a go, the company said.

The FreePods 2 is equipped with the latest Bluetooth version V5.0 that helps them pair instantly with the nearby devices.

It also features low audio latency designed to eliminate risk of signal loss and "intuitive" touch control feature that comes without any physical buttons, oraimo said, adding that it packs advanced concealed sensors in both the earbuds, which allow the user to effortlessly answer the calls, and adjust the music.

The one-stop pairing function ensures that after the initial set-up, the oraimo FreePods 2 will automatically connect with your device once removed from the charging case.






Tue, 08 Sep 2020 13:19:18 +0530
IPL Indian players might take time getting used to empty stands says Styris

New Delhi, Sep 8

India pacer Ajit Agarkar believes cricketers will be 'grateful' to play in the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) which is set to begin from September 19 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Speaking on Star Star Sports show Cricket Connected, Agarkar said Indian players will be excited to play the IPL considering there has been a long gap because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

"It might be a bit odd for the first couple of games, but at the end of the day, you are grateful enough that the tournament is taking place. You are getting to play some cricket.

"A lot of these guys are at the peak of their careers, not having cricket for six months, that's a huge loss when you are doing so well in your career. So, they will be very excited to actually play the tournament," he added.

Meanwhile, former New Zealand all-rounder Scott Styris feels Indian players might take time getting used to playing in empty stadium in the upcoming tournament.

"I don't think there will be too much of an adjustment for the overseas players. A lot of the overseas players play in front of small crowds or even empty grounds on a regular basis, so they will be used to that," said Styris.

"But you are right, Indian players, I can't remember. I mean (Virat) Kohli, 10 years ago, most of those players have been around long enough now. They won't struggle, but they will just wonder where they are and look for that energy in other ways," he added.

Agreeing with Styris, Agarkar said: "It might be little odd at the start, but like Scotty (Scot Styris) said, that energy sometimes you get from crowds, particularly in India, the IPL has moved to the UAE, but in India, it can sometimes act like a 12th man for the home team."

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) will take on defending champions Mumbai Indians in the tournament opener at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.







Tue, 08 Sep 2020 13:15:35 +0530
Dhvani Bhanushali reveals what she missed most during pandemic

New Delhi, Sep 8

Singer Dhvani Bhanushali missed performing live during lockdown, and is eagerly waiting to get back on stage.

"The thing I have missed the most during this pandemic is performing in front of an audience and I cannot wait to get back on stage. I would love to do something like a drive-in concert," Dhvani told IANS.

She has show offers but her team is yet to finalise anything, she revealed.

"I think as long as there are proper precautions and safety measures taken into consideration, I wouldn't mind performing for a huge audience. I wouldn't want to rush into anything and endanger the safety of the people who are coming to watch the concert. Social distancing and safety for everyone attending the concert is a must now," said the "Vaaste" singer, who recently celebrated 70 million views of her 2019 song "Main teri hoon".





Tue, 08 Sep 2020 13:05:53 +0530
Sharman Joshi recalls re living college life during 3 Idiots shoot

Mumbai, Sep 8

Actor Sharman Joshi says 3 Idiots is undoubtedly his favourite among the many films he has done.

"I have done many films, but '3 Idiots' is my favourite. My character, Raju Rastogi, had so many colours. That role taught me how to find a way and take a chance after losing yourself in chaos. I had a lot of fun shooting for the film," Sharman told IANS.

He also recalled how he and R. Madhavan used to gel with hostel students at IIM Bangalore, where a large part of the film was shot.

"When Aamir or Raju sir (director Rajkumar Hirani) was busy, Maddy and I used to go for a walk post dinner and interact with the hostel students. We made so many friends. I remember we used to have coffee with them and even played tennis and badminton. I re-lived my college life during the shoot of '3 Idiots'," he added.

Based on author Chetan Bhagat's bestseller "Five Point Someone", the 2009 blockbuster stars Aamir Khan and features Boman Irani, Kareena Kapoor, Omi Vaidya, Madhavan and Sharman in pivotal roles. Through the story of three students in an Indian engineering college, the comedy drama highlights the pressures of the Indian education system on students.

Tue, 08 Sep 2020 13:02:20 +0530
Harun Robert s new show goads kids to explore creativity through repurposing

New Delhi, Sep 8

Television personality Harun Robert, popularly known as Rob on the tube, is ready with a new show, which is all about inculcating a good habit among children but in a fun and interesting way.

Titled "Imagine That", the show will encourage children to explore creativity through the concept of repurposing.

"I am really passionate about art, and I encourage people to be more creative. The show is designed towards entertaining people, but also aims to inspire kids and families to be more creative. The show has an overall theme of upcycling, and I truly believe in that," Rob told IANS.

Talking about the theme of the show, he continued: "There are a lot of interesting and unique ideas that we are doing in the show. The whole idea is to encourage kids to explore their creative side while introducing them to the concept of repurposing, which is upcycling.

"So, we are making them understand how they can convert the old waste material into new materials, which has a new purpose. The basic idea is to make them understand that you can turn waste into something more valuable and meaningful… We are (trying to) inculcate a good habit in a non preachy, fun and interesting way," added the craft artiste about the show, which airs on Disney Channel.






Tue, 08 Sep 2020 13:00:24 +0530
Agra tourism sector gears up even as covid 19 numbers surge

Agra, Sep 8

Even as the city administration is gearing up to upgrade infrastructural facilities at the Taj Mahal and the Agra Fort to welcome tourists from September 21, the surge in Covid-19 numbers continues to remain an area of worry and concern.

Tourism industry leaders have welcomed the decision to reopen monuments as the tourist season is about to start, usually from September 27, which is observed as the Tourism Day. Agra, the city with three world heritage monuments, annually receives more than seven million tourists.

Meanwhile, the surge in fresh cases of Covid-19 continues.

In the past 24 hours, 83 fresh cases were reported with one more death.

The Income Tax building at the Sanjay Place commercial complex will remain closed for sanitization after two persons tested positive. A branch of the Yes Bank will also remain closed along with the Lady Loyal Hospital for women.

The increase in the number of daily tests has resulted in identifying more new cases. So far 2,699 patients have been discharged. The recovery rate now is 78.03 per cent. The number of deaths has gone up to 110.

The Sero Survey being conducted in the city will conclude Tuesday evening, health department officials indicated.

The district administration officials have been inspecting different parts of the city to ensure that the guidelines relating to mask-wearing and social distancing are sincerely followed.

The District Magistrate P. N.Singh and Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Bablu Kumar visited several markets and warned shopkeepers not to violate the guidelines. A few shops were also fined.

In the neighbouring districts, Mathura reported 65 fresh cases, Firozabad 44, Mainpuri 60, Etah 42 and Kasganj 10. Mathura has reported 56 deaths so far while Firozabad has recorded 49 deaths.







Tue, 08 Sep 2020 12:57:03 +0530
Rajasthan HC asks schools to charge 70 fees in Covid time

Jaipur, Sep 8

The Rajasthan High Court on Monday asked schools in the state to charge only 70 per cent of their total fees during the Covid period when they are closed and are running classes online.

The ruling by a single-judge bench of Justice S.P. Sharma came on three pleas filed by around 200 schools challenging the state government's decision directing schools to defer collection of fees till the time they re-open.

The court also ruled that the parents need to pay the school fees in three instalments till January 31, and also fixed the dates for this. While the first instalment needs to be paid by September 30, the second should be paid by November 30 and the third by January 31.

Tue, 08 Sep 2020 12:52:52 +0530
Seeds sown for physical art exhibition

New Delhi, Sep 7

 'Seeds are Being Sown', an exhibition curated by Prameya Art Foundation's Art Scribes awardee Shaunak Mahbubani, featuring artists Aqui Thami, Tehmeena Firdos, Baaraan Ijlal, Arshi Ahmadzai, Anna Ehrenstein, Amitesh Grover and six others, will open on September 11 at Shrine Empire Gallery in the national capital.

This will be one of the first art exhibitions to open physically after the Covid-19 outbreak.

The exhibition is Part 3 in curator Shaunak Mahbubani's series 'Allies for the Uncertain Futures' and continues the overarching curatorial focus of co-visioning futures through the Buddhist philosophy of non-duality.

The dialogue between works in this current exhibition develops this collective action by foregrounding practices of reflection, collectivism, hybridity, infiltration and multiplicity, together offering an incipient antidote to rigidities being cemented by the powers of our times.

Tue, 08 Sep 2020 12:49:07 +0530
Despite all odds this Mumbai boy makes it to IIM Lucknow

Lucknow, Sep 8

He fought competition, cerebral palsy, dyslexia and dysarthria to crack CAT-2019 with 92.5 per cent marks.

Yash Avadesh Gandhi, 21, is now a student of IIM-Lucknow and has been attending online classes from his home in Mumbai for the past one month.

"I face problems with numbers. So, I had to put in extra effort, particularly in the quantitative ability section. It was tough, but not impossible," he said in an interview to a local daily.

Yash needed a writer to take the written examinations. He has difficulty in walking, but still travels on local trains in Mumbai. He speaks with a slur, but conveys his thoughts and emotions with clarity.

His story is inspirational, to put it rather mildly.

Yash had started preparing for CAT in July 2018, when he was still in the second year of his graduation.

His hard work paid off and after clearing the CAT, he got interview calls from several IIMs, including Kozhikode and Indore, but he chose Lucknow because it is ranked higher.

He was admitted to IIM-Lucknow under the persons with disabilities quota for the academic session 2020-22.

Yash has cerebral palsy, dyslexia and dysarthria, a condition that weakens the muscles needed to speak.

Yash's parents have expectedly been his main support system.

"When he joined the school, he faced difficulty in learning and was not able to compete with his peers. But he picked up gradually. He has always had to work harder than normal children," Avadhesh Gandhi, his father, who works in a private firm.

He said that while studying for CAT, there came a point when Yash was so depressed that he almost decided to give up.

"I told him that he has the capability to do anything and should not stop making an effort. After this, Yash started all over again," said his mother Jignasha, who works as a supervisor in a kitchen where midday meals are cooked.

The young man has a special place in his heart for his mentor and "spiritual brother", Harshit Hindocha.

"Yash's success is a perfect story of grit and commitment. He remains calm and composed even in the most trying circumstances, he never gives up. Even when I exempted him from taking notes due to his writing issues, he would always jot down points," Harshit said.

Yash did his graduation from Mithibai College in Mumbai with accounting and finance and ranked among the top five.






Tue, 08 Sep 2020 12:42:29 +0530
Action being taken against those involved in PM Kisan scheme scam TN CM

Chennai, Sep 8

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K.Palaniswami has said that action is being taken against those who are involved in irregularities in the PM-Kisan scheme (Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi).

Speaking to reporters at Tiruvallur on Monday, Palaniswami said some have misused the benefits under the PM-Kisan Scheme. Action is being taken against those people and recoveries of the amount have been made from their possession.

Under the PM-Kisan Scheme small farmers with two hectare or less land are given Rs 6,000 per year as assistance.

In some Tamil Nadu districts ineligible persons have availed the cash assistance with false information.

The case is being probed by the Crime Branch-Crime Investigation Department (CB-CID) and 16 persons have been arrested.

The scam first came to light at Cuddalore district and a probe was ordered by the District Collector there.

Alleging the scam runs into several crore of rupees, DMK President M.K.Stalin said in Palaniswami's home district Salem alone about 10,700 fake farmers have taken about Rs 4 crore under the scheme and their bank accounts have been freezed.

Stalin said Rs 4.20 crore has been recovered from fake farmers in Cuddalore district and Rs 4.50 crore in Villupuram district and complaints of scam has arisen in Tiruvannamalai, Perambalur and other districts.

The Leader of the Opposition in the Tamil Nadu assembly has also alleged scam in the Prime Minister's housing scheme wherein huge sums have been swindled providing fake accounts.

Questioning BJP for supporting the ruling AIADMK in the state, Stalin demanded a CBI probe into these scams.

Tue, 08 Sep 2020 12:39:43 +0530
Helper slashes Kerala woman s throat leaves notes of plan all over house

Thiruvananthapuram, Sep 8

 A 92-year-old woman in Kerala's Pathanamthitta district was found dead at her home, where she was staying with two helpers. One of the helpers have been taken into custody, police said on Tuesday morning, on the basis of several notes about his murder plans all over the crime location.

District SP of Police, K.G. Simon visited the crime scene in Kumbazha, where the senior resident was found with her throat slit. Her helpers were from Tamil Nadu.

Simon told the media that prima facie it appears to be a planned murder.

"We have in custody one person called Mayil Swamy, who was one of the two helpers, staying with the victim. A note has been recovered, written by this person, which says, that he is going to kill and then go to jail. The second helper is a woman and the two are related," said Simon.

The victim's children are working and stay away.

The woman helper was apparently not present in the house, at the time of the murder. The police have recovered photocopies of Swamy's letter from a few other spots in the house as well.






Tue, 08 Sep 2020 12:35:23 +0530
With 1 133 deaths India witnesses highest single day toll

New Delhi, After breaching single day records of highest Covid cases in the world going past 90,000, India on Tuesday said it has registered 75,809 fresh cases in 24 hours, when it marked the largest spike in deaths in a day with 1,133 new fatalities.

India now is the second worst hit country after the US, with 42,80,442 coronavirus cases since the first was reported on January 30. The US has recorded 63,00,431 cases and 1,89,206 deaths so far, since the virus was first detected in China's Wuhan in December 2019.

Out of the total 42,04,613 cases, 8,836,97 are active cases; 33,23,950 have recovered so far while 72,775 lost the battle against the deadly virus.

While the recovery rate was at a whopping high of 77.65 per cent, the fatality rate stands at 1.70 per cent, the data from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare shows. The last highest deaths recorded due to the virus on a single day was on July 23, when 1,129 died in 24 hours.

Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Uttar Pradesh are the worst-hit states. These five states account for over 62 per cent of the active cases, according to the Health Ministry.

According to the data from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), India conducted a record 10,98,621 tests in a single day on Monday, taking the total number of samples tested so far to 5,06,50,128.

Tue, 08 Sep 2020 12:25:19 +0530
Review committee to start work on Covid 19 response WHO

Geneva,  The Review Committee of the International Health Regulations (IHR) will begin its work on Tuesday to evaluate the functioning of the IHR during the Covid-19 pandemic so far, chief of the World Health Organization (WHO) said.

"The International Health Regulations is the most important legal instrument in global health security," Xinhua news agency quoted WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus as saying a virtual press conference on Monday.

"As a reminder, the review committee will evaluate the functioning of the IHR during the pandemic so far, and recommend any changes it believes are necessary.

"It will review the convening of the Emergency Committee, the declaration of a public health emergency of international concern, the role and functioning of national IHR focal points, and will examine progress made in implementing the recommendations of previous International Health Regulations review committees," Tedros added.

Depending on the progress made, he said, the committee may present an interim progress report to the resumed World Health Assembly in November, and a final report to the Assembly in May 2021.

According to the WHO's website, the review committee is expected to hold its first meeting soon.

It will be co-chaired by former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark and former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

The announcement comes as the number of global coronavirus cases has topped 27.2 million, while the deaths have increased to over 891,000.

As of Tuesday morning, the total number of cases stood at 27,002,224 and the fatalities rose to 882,053, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

Tue, 08 Sep 2020 10:41:13 +0530
Afghanistan coach handed 5 year ban for approaching player to fix in SCL

Kabul,  The Afghanistan Cricket Board has banned coach Noor Mohammad 'Lalai' for a period of five years for approaching a national cricketer to fix matches in the last edition of the Shpageeza Cricket League (SCL).

In a media release, the board said: "The charges relate to the Shpageeza Cricket League (SCL 2019), a national team player X was approached by Noor Mohammad Lalai with the reference to "work" being a request to assist with the spot-fixing in a few matches in the mentioned tournament."

ACB's Senior Anti-Corruption manager, Sayed Anwar Shah Quraishi said: "This is a very disappointing and serious offence where a domestic level junior coach is involved in the corruption of a high-profile domestic game in SCL 2019."

"The coach, as an agent, tried to get one of the national team player to engage in corruption of spot fixing of few matches in SCL 2019. Luckily, he failed to do so as he was reported.

"I would like to place on record my grateful appreciation and thanks to national player Mr X who displayed true bravery and professionalism from the moment he reported this approach. He recognised it for what it was, rejected it and reported it. He then supported our investigation and subsequent tribunal."

The board further said that under the provisions of the ACB Anti-Corruption Code, Noor Mohammad chose to admit the charges levied against him and agreed to the sanctions by ACB in lieu of an Anti-Corruption Tribunal hearing.

Quraishi also pointed out that without Noor Mohammad's admission of guilt and full cooperation with ACU throughout the investigation, the ban could have been significantly longer.

Noor Mohammad's position in the ACB was that of a domestic assistant coach- someone who represents or is affiliated to an Afghanistan domestic team affiliated to ACB - namely Kapisa in 2019 two-day provincial tournament. He was also a full-time coach with Hampalana Private Cricket Academy.

Tue, 08 Sep 2020 09:33:02 +0530
6 2 magnitude quake hits Indonesia no casualties

Jakarta, An earthquake measuring 6.2 on the Richter scale jolted Indonesia on Tuesday, officials said, adding that there were no reports of any casualties or damages.

The tremors were felt in the provinces of Maluku and West Papua, Xinhua news agency quoted the Agency of Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics as saying in a report.

The quake struck at 7.45 a.m. with the epicentre at 198 km southeast Central Maluku district and the depth was recorded 93 km under seabed.

The authorities have not issued a tsumani warning yet.

Disaster management agency officials in both provinces confirmed that there were no preliminary reports of damages or casualties.

"The jolts were felt here, but did not cause panic. So far, there are no building damaged or people injured. But we still check the risks further," Secretary of Disaster Agency of Maluku province told Xinhu.

Head of the Disaster Management Agency of West Papua province also told Xinhua that the tremors did not trigger damages in Manokwari city and Sorong town.

Tuesday's temblor comes just two days after a 6.7-magnitude earthquake jolted North Sulawesi province.

The intensity of the quake was felt in Tahuna district and Siau island.

Indonesia is frequently hit by earthquakes as it lies on a vulnerable quake-impacted zone called "the Pacific Ring of Fire".

Tue, 08 Sep 2020 09:30:18 +0530
Dhvani Bhanushali reveals what she missed most during pandemic

New Delhi,  Singer Dhvani Bhanushali missed performing live during lockdown, and is eagerly waiting to get back on stage.

"The thing I have missed the most during this pandemic is performing in front of an audience and I cannot wait to get back on stage. I would love to do something like a drive-in concert," Dhvani told IANS.

She has show offers but her team is yet to finalise anything, she revealed.

"I think as long as there are proper precautions and safety measures taken into consideration, I wouldn't mind performing for a huge audience. I wouldn't want to rush into anything and endanger the safety of the people who are coming to watch the concert. Social distancing and safety for everyone attending the concert is a must now," said the "Vaaste" singer, who recently celebrated 70 million views of her 2019 song "Main teri hoon".


Tue, 08 Sep 2020 09:25:30 +0530
Italian watchdog launches probe into Google Apple cloud services

London,  Italys competition watchdog on Monday said it has opened an inquiry into Google, Apple and Dropbox over alleged anti-market practices in their cloud computing services.

The Competition and Market Authority said it has launched six investigations into Google Drive, Apple's iCloud and DropBox.

The investigation follows a number of complaints alleging unfair commercial practices by the tech giants.

"The parties involved are Google (for the Google Drive service), Apple (for the iCloud service) and Dropbox, each concerned both by a proceeding for alleged unfair commercial practices and / or violations of the Consumer Rights Directive and by one for alleged clauses vexatious included in the contractual conditions," the Italian watchdog said in a statement.

In particular, the investigations for unfair practices against Google and Apple concern the failure or inadequate indication, when presenting the service, of the collection and "use for commercial purposes of the data provided by the user and the possible undue influence in towards consumers".

The same complaints were also raised against Dropbox.

The companies were yet to issue a statement.

The investigation comes in the wake of a big action by the European Union against the tech companies to clarify their terms and conditions and provide greater privacy protections for the end users.

Facebook agreed to change its terms and conditions under pressure from EU officials last year.

Tue, 08 Sep 2020 09:10:41 +0530
Fresh skirmish between Indian Chinese troops warning shots fired

New Delhi,  India and China indulged in a fresh skirmish at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh where the militaries of both countries fired warning shots in the air to scare and push back each other.

The incident took place near Shenpao mountain close to the south bank of Pangong Tso (Lake) on Monday.

China issued a statement that the Indian Army "blatantly fired threats" to the patrol personnel of the Chinese border guards who had made representations, and the Chinese border guards were forced to take "counter-measures to stabilise the situation on the ground".

"India's actions seriously violated the relevant agreements and agreements between China and India, pushing up regional tensions and easily causing misunderstandings and misjudgments," China stated.

The statement said it is serious military provocation and is of very bad nature.

"We request the Indian side to immediately stop dangerous actions, immediately withdraw cross-line personnel, strictly restrain front-line troops, and strictly investigate and punish personnel who fired shots to ensure that similar incidents do not occur again," said Chinese People's Liberation Army's Western Theater Command, Colonel Zhang Shuili in a statement.

Sources in the Indian Army stated that China resorted to firing in air to scare their patrol.

The Indian Army's official statement is yet to come.

India and China are engaged in a four-month-long standoff at the LAC in Eastern Ladakh. Despite several levels of dialogue, there has not been any breakthrough and the deadlock continues.

On June 15, at least 20 Indian soldiers and an unknown number of Chinese troops were killed in a violent clash in the Galwan Valley.

Tue, 08 Sep 2020 09:07:38 +0530
RBI accepts Kamath led panel s suggestions on resolving Covid linked stress

Mumbai, The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Monday said that it has broadly accepted the recommendations of the K.V. Kamath-led Expert Committee on Resolution Framework for Covid-19-related stress.

The expert committee has recommended financial parameters including aspects related to leverage, liquidity and debt serviceability. It has suggested financial ratios for 26 sectors, which can be factored by lenders while finalising a resolution plan for a certain borrower.

The sectors identified by the panel include auto components, auto manufacturing, aviation, cement, construction, pharma manufacturing, power, real estate, consumer durables, hotels, restaurants and tourism among others.

The committee selected five parameters based on their relevance while considering the resolution plan. These include ratios such as "Total Outside Liability/Adjusted Tangible Net Worth (TOL/Adjusted TNW), Total Debt/EBIDTA, Current Ratio, Debt Service Coverage Ratio (DSCR) and Average Debt Service Coverage Ratio (ADSCR)".

The lenders can also consider other financial parameters in addition to five mandatory parameters and may, at their discretion, adopt a graded approach depending on the severity of the impact on the borrowers, as per the report.

In respect of sectors where ratios have not been specified, lenders can make their own assessment towards the resolution plan.

The panel has recommended that the resolution framework should be invoked by December 31, 2020.

As per the recommendations, the resolution process should be treated as invoked once lenders representing 75 per cent by value and 60 per cent of lenders agree to do so.

The residual tenor of the loan may be extended by maximum two years, with or without payment moratorium. The moratorium period, if granted, shall come into force immediately upon implementation of the resolution plan.

The asset classification may be maintained as standard or upgraded to standard subject to the resolution panel being implemented as per the framework, said the report of the panel.


Tue, 08 Sep 2020 09:05:13 +0530
Trump rejects allegations over belittling slain soldiers

Washington,  US President Donald Trump has rejected media allegations that he belittled slain American service members by referring to them as "losers" and "suckers".

An article published in The Atlantic on September 3, quoting anonymous sources, claimed Trump made the remarks when he visited France in 2018, Xinhua news agency reported.

During the visit, the President had cancelled a trip to a French cemetery where American soldiers killed in the World War I were buried.

"Only an animal would say that," Trump said at a press conference in the White House on Monday.

He added that the article's author, The Atlantic's Editor-in-Chief Jeffrey Goldberg, is pro-Democrat and has a "tremendously bad history".

"He (Goldberg) made up the story, it's a totally made-up story," Trump said.

On Sunday, Goldberg said the article was just the tip of the iceberg.

"I would fully expect more reporting to come out about this and more confirmation and new pieces of information in the coming days and weeks," Goldberg told CNN on Sunday.

CNN has confirmed several aspects of The Atlantic's reporting, also with sources who chose to remain anonymous.

Trump has previously described Goldberg as a "slimeball" and called for the firing of a Fox News reporter who also confirmed some details of the article.

The latest Military Times poll, conducted before the Democratic and Republican conventions as well as The Atlantic's reporting, showed a steady decline in troops' opinion of Trump since his election four years ago.

Among active-duty service members surveyed in the poll, 41 per cent said they would vote for Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee, while 37 per cent said they plan to vote to re-elect Trump.

In a poll conducted at the start of Trump's presidency, 46 per cent of troops had a favourable view of him, versus 37 per cent who had an unfavourable opinion, according to a Military Times report.


Tue, 08 Sep 2020 08:59:27 +0530
Fresh skirmish between Indian Chinese troops on LAC

New Delhi,  India and China indulged in a fresh skirmish on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh where the militaries of both countries fired in the air to scare and push back each other.

The incident happened near Shenpao mountain near the south bank of Pangong Tso (Lake) on Monday.

China issued a statement that the Indian army "blatantly fired threats" to the patrol personnel of the Chinese border guards who had made representations, and the Chinese border guards were forced to take "countermeasures to stabilise the situation on the ground".

"India's actions seriously violated the relevant agreements and agreements between China and India, pushing up regional tensions and easily causing misunderstandings and misjudgments," China stated.

The statement said it is serious military provocations and are of very bad nature.

"We request the Indian side to immediately stop dangerous actions, immediately withdraw cross-line personnel, strictly restrain front-line troops, and strictly investigate and punish personnel who fired shots to ensure that similar incidents do not occur again," said Chinese People's Liberation Army's Western Theater Command, Colonel Zhang Shuili in a statement.

Sources in Indian Army to stated that China resorted to firing in air to scare their patrol. The Indian Army's official statement is yet to come.

India and China are engaged in around four-month-long standoff at the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh. Despite several levels of dialogue, there has not been any breakthrough and the deadlock continues.

On June 15, as many as 20 Indian soldiers and an unknown number of Chinese troops were killed in a violent clash in the Galwan Valley.

Tue, 08 Sep 2020 08:55:05 +0530
Aishwarya Rai shares Aaradhya s handmade Teachers Day Poster

Film actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan shared a handmade poster made by Aaradhya, her daughter and the granddaughter of Amitabh Bachchan on the occasion of Teacher’s Day which was celebrated on September 5. Aaradhya made the colourful poster as a token of gratitude to her teachers.

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border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div></div></div><div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display:block; height:50px; margin:0 auto 12px; width:50px;"><svg width="50px" height="50px" viewBox="0 0 60 60" version="1.1" xmlns="" xmlns:xlink=""><g stroke="none" stroke-width="1" fill="none" fill-rule="evenodd"><g transform="translate(-511.000000, -20.000000)" fill="#000000"><g><path d="M556.869,30.41 C554.814,30.41 553.148,32.076 553.148,34.131 C553.148,36.186 554.814,37.852 556.869,37.852 C558.924,37.852 560.59,36.186 560.59,34.131 C560.59,32.076 558.924,30.41 556.869,30.41 M541,60.657 C535.114,60.657 530.342,55.887 530.342,50 C530.342,44.114 535.114,39.342 541,39.342 C546.887,39.342 551.658,44.114 551.658,50 C551.658,55.887 546.887,60.657 541,60.657 M541,33.886 C532.1,33.886 524.886,41.1 524.886,50 C524.886,58.899 532.1,66.113 541,66.113 C549.9,66.113 557.115,58.899 557.115,50 C557.115,41.1 549.9,33.886 541,33.886 M565.378,62.101 C565.244,65.022 564.756,66.606 564.346,67.663 C563.803,69.06 563.154,70.057 562.106,71.106 C561.058,72.155 560.06,72.803 558.662,73.347 C557.607,73.757 556.021,74.244 553.102,74.378 C549.944,74.521 548.997,74.552 541,74.552 C533.003,74.552 532.056,74.521 528.898,74.378 C525.979,74.244 524.393,73.757 523.338,73.347 C521.94,72.803 520.942,72.155 519.894,71.106 C518.846,70.057 518.197,69.06 517.654,67.663 C517.244,66.606 516.755,65.022 516.623,62.101 C516.479,58.943 516.448,57.996 516.448,50 C516.448,42.003 516.479,41.056 516.623,37.899 C516.755,34.978 517.244,33.391 517.654,32.338 C518.197,30.938 518.846,29.942 519.894,28.894 C520.942,27.846 521.94,27.196 523.338,26.654 C524.393,26.244 525.979,25.756 528.898,25.623 C532.057,25.479 533.004,25.448 541,25.448 C548.997,25.448 549.943,25.479 553.102,25.623 C556.021,25.756 557.607,26.244 558.662,26.654 C560.06,27.196 561.058,27.846 562.106,28.894 C563.154,29.942 563.803,30.938 564.346,32.338 C564.756,33.391 565.244,34.978 565.378,37.899 C565.522,41.056 565.552,42.003 565.552,50 C565.552,57.996 565.522,58.943 565.378,62.101 M570.82,37.631 C570.674,34.438 570.167,32.258 569.425,30.349 C568.659,28.377 567.633,26.702 565.965,25.035 C564.297,23.368 562.623,22.342 560.652,21.575 C558.743,20.834 556.562,20.326 553.369,20.18 C550.169,20.033 549.148,20 541,20 C532.853,20 531.831,20.033 528.631,20.18 C525.438,20.326 523.257,20.834 521.349,21.575 C519.376,22.342 517.703,23.368 516.035,25.035 C514.368,26.702 513.342,28.377 512.574,30.349 C511.834,32.258 511.326,34.438 511.181,37.631 C511.035,40.831 511,41.851 511,50 C511,58.147 511.035,59.17 511.181,62.369 C511.326,65.562 511.834,67.743 512.574,69.651 C513.342,71.625 514.368,73.296 516.035,74.965 C517.703,76.634 519.376,77.658 521.349,78.425 C523.257,79.167 525.438,79.673 528.631,79.82 C531.831,79.965 532.853,80.001 541,80.001 C549.148,80.001 550.169,79.965 553.369,79.82 C556.562,79.673 558.743,79.167 560.652,78.425 C562.623,77.658 564.297,76.634 565.965,74.965 C567.633,73.296 568.659,71.625 569.425,69.651 C570.167,67.743 570.674,65.562 570.82,62.369 C570.966,59.17 571,58.147 571,50 C571,41.851 570.966,40.831 570.82,37.631"></path></g></g></g></svg></div><div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style=" color:#3897f0; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:550; line-height:18px;"> View this post on Instagram</div></div><div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"><div> <div style="background-color: #F4F4F4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"></div> <div style="background-color: #F4F4F4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #F4F4F4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"></div></div><div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style=" background-color: #F4F4F4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"></div> <div style=" width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg)"></div></div><div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style=" width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"></div> <div style=" background-color: #F4F4F4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"></div> <div style=" width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"></div></div></div></a> <p style=" margin:8px 0 0 0; padding:0 4px;"> <a href=";utm_campaign=loading" style=" color:#000; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; line-height:17px; text-decoration:none; word-wrap:break-word;" target="_blank">Mon, 07 Sep 2020 19:46:05 +0530Governor Koshyari calls for making education Student Centric

Governor of Maharashtra and Goa Bhagat Singh Koshyari today called for making education ‘student – centric’ while giving practical shape to the National Education Policy. “Education should be ‘student centric’ and not ‘teacher centric’”, he said.


The Governor said while it is important to make education ‘employment – oriented’, it is all the more necessary to make it ‘man making’ to shape the character of students.


The Governor stressed that macro management through small committees needs to be done to translate the benefits of National Education Policy at the ground level.


He called for laying emphasis on morals and values while implementing the National Education Policy 2020.


Governor Koshyari made these observations during his intervention in the Interactive Session of Governors at the Conference of Governors hosted by the President of India Ram Nath Kovind through video conference on Monday (7 Sept).


The President and Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the inaugural session of the day-long Conference on ‘Role of National Education Policy 2020 in Transforming Higher Education’.


The interactive session was attended by Union Minister of HRD Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, Minister of State Sanjay Dhotre, Chairman of the Committee on National Education Policy Dr K Kasturirangan and others.

Mon, 07 Sep 2020 19:38:25 +0530
Governor Koshyari calls for making education Student Centric

Sep, 7

Governor of Maharashtra and Goa Bhagat Singh Koshyari today called for making education ‘student – centric’ while giving practical shape to the National Education Policy. “Education should be ‘student centric’ and not ‘teacher centric’”, he said.

The Governor said while it is important to make education ‘employment – oriented’, it is all the more necessary to make it ‘man making’ to shape the character of students.

The Governor stressed that macro management through small committees needs to be done to translate the benefits of National Education Policy at the ground level.

He called for laying emphasis on morals and values while implementing the National Education Policy 2020.

Governor Koshyari made these observations during his intervention in the Interactive Session of Governors at the Conference of Governors hosted by the President of India Ram Nath Kovind through video conference on Monday (7 Sept).

The President and Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the inaugural session of the day-long Conference on ‘Role of National Education Policy 2020 in Transforming Higher Education’.

The interactive session was attended by Union Minister of HRD Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, Minister of State Sanjay Dhotre, Chairman of the Committee on National Education Policy Dr K Kasturirangan and others.

Mon, 07 Sep 2020 19:36:52 +0530


Mon, 07 Sep 2020 19:34:07 +0530
Governor Koshyari calls for making education Student Centric

Sep, 7

Governor of Maharashtra and Goa Bhagat Singh Koshyari today called for making education ‘student – centric’ while giving practical shape to the National Education Policy. “Education should be ‘student centric’ and not ‘teacher centric’”, he said.

The Governor said while it is important to make education ‘employment – oriented’, it is all the more necessary to make it ‘man making’ to shape the character of students.

The Governor stressed that macro management through small committees needs to be done to translate the benefits of National Education Policy at the ground level.

He called for laying emphasis on morals and values while implementing the National Education Policy 2020.

Governor Koshyari made these observations during his intervention in the Interactive Session of Governors at the Conference of Governors hosted by the President of India Ram Nath Kovind through video conference on Monday (7 Sept).

The President and Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the inaugural session of the day-long Conference on ‘Role of National Education Policy 2020 in Transforming Higher Education’.

The interactive session was attended by Union Minister of HRD Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, Minister of State Sanjay Dhotre, Chairman of the Committee on National Education Policy Dr K Kasturirangan and others.

Mon, 07 Sep 2020 19:27:07 +0530
633 arrested in Belarus mass protests

Minsk, At least 633 people were arrested in Belarus following a fourth consecutive weekend of protests against President Alexander Lukashenko, the Interior Ministry said on Monday.

In a statement, the Ministry also said that some 363 people had been sent to detention centres pending court hearings, reports the BBC.

In the protests held on Sunday, thousands more defied heavy security and rallied in the capital Minsk, where troops and water cannon were deployed.

Witnessed have told the media that the police began to make arrests in Minsk after the unsanctioned rally ended and people were going home.

Video footage on Sunday shows men in plain clothes beating peaceful protesters with batons.

But Internal Affairs Minister Yuri Karayev defended the actions of the security forces.

"They talk about the brutality of the Belarusian police, and I want to say this: there are no more humane, restrained and cool-headed police anywhere in the world," the BBC quoted the Minister as saying to the official Belta news agency.

Sunday has become the key day for street demonstrations since the rallies began after Lukashenko, who has been in power since 1994, won a sixth term in the August 9 elections.

According to official results, he won more than 80 per cent of the votes and opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya garnered only 10 per cent.

Mass unrest since then has seen at least four people killed and hundreds injured.

A number of opposition figures have fled the country.

On September 5, activist Olga Kovalkova became the latest to say she had taken refuge in neighbouring Poland amid threats of imprisonment.

A day earlier, Tikhanovskaya, who has sought refuge in Lithuania, urged the UN to help halt the authorities' crackdown on protesters.

Mon, 07 Sep 2020 18:46:25 +0530
India enters elite hypersonic missile club

New Delhi, India has successfully flight tested hypersonic technology that will pave the way towards development of missiles travelling at six times the speed of sound.

With this successful demonstration, the country enters an elite club to become a member of the hypersonic regime. This is a step towards manufacture of advanced Hypersonic Vehicles. India became the fourth country after the United States, Russia and China to get this technology.

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully demonstrated the Hypersonic air-breathing scramjet technology with the flight test of Hypersonic Technology Demonstration Vehicle (HSTDV) at 11:03 am on Monday from the APJ Abdul Kalam Launch Complex at Wheeler Island, off the coast of Odisha.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has appreciated the DRDO for achieving this milestone.

"The Hypersonic cruise vehicle was launched using a proven solid rocket motor, which took it to an altitude of 30 km, where the aerodynamic heat shields were separated at hypersonic Mach number," said the DRDO in a statement.

The cruise vehicle separated from the launch vehicle and the air intake opened as planned. The hypersonic combustion sustained and the cruise vehicle continued on its desired flight path at a velocity of six times the speed of sound.

Critical functions such as fuel injection and auto ignition of scramjet have demonstrated technological maturity. The scramjet engine performed in a textbook manner.

The parameters of launch and cruise vehicle, including scramjet engine, were monitored by multiple tracking radars, electro-optical systems and Telemetry Stations.

The scramjet engine worked at high dynamic pressure and at very high temperature.

A ship was also deployed in the Bay of Bengal to monitor the performance during the cruise phase of hypersonic vehicle.

All the performance parameters have indicated a resounding success of the mission. With this successful demonstration, many critical technologies such as aerodynamic configuration for Hypersonic manoeuvers, use of scramjet propulsion for ignition and sustained combustion at hypersonic flow, thermo-structural characterisation of high temperature materials and separation mechanism at hypersonic velocities can be achieved.

Mon, 07 Sep 2020 18:33:15 +0530
TN opposes NEP proposal on entrance exam by NTA

Chennai, The Tamil Nadu government has told the Centre that it is not in favour of an entrance exam by the National Testing Agency and institutional restructuring as given in the new National Education Policy 2020.

State Higher Education Minister KP Anbalagan said in a letter dated September 4 to Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank that such a move would impact rural students by adding to their academic burden.

He said that the state government may be allowed to continue with the present model of having autonomous colleges and colleges affiliated to a university.

Anbalagan said that the strategy of categorising colleges only as autonomous or constituent colleges will deprive affiliated colleges the capacity or capability of becoming autonomous degree-granting colleges.

He said the affiliated colleges will not get suitable guidance from the affiliated universities.

Anbalagan also pointed out that of the 587 colleges in Tamil Nadu, only 53 are autonomous while the remaining need to be nurtured to improve their standard.

The Tamil Nadu Minister also said that the gross enrolment ratio (GER) in the state is 49 per cent and would touch 50 per cent this academic year.

The teacher-student ratio in Tamil Nadu is 1:17 as against the national average of 1:26.

However, Anbalagan welcomed the NEP proposal to convert B.Ed course into a four-year Integrated Degree Course with two major subjects.

He said this would enable students to complete their course early and enter the teaching profession quickly.


Mon, 07 Sep 2020 18:30:40 +0530
WB BJP woman leader shot seriously injured by assailants

Kolkata, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) women's cell leader Radharani Naskar was shot and seriously injured by unidentified assailants on Monday in West Bengal's South 24-Parganas district.

The incident occurred in broad daylight at Raghudebpur village in Bishnupur police station jurisdiction when Radharani was shot in the back of her head. She was admitted to the SSKM Hospital in Kolkata in a critical condition.

Naskar was the booth committee Vice-President and the BJP's Mahila Morcha cashier. Her husband Arun Naskar is President of the BJP's local booth committee at Bishnupur.

According to sources, a group of armed miscreants, allegedly backed by the Trinamool Congress, barged into her house while looking for Arun, who was not present. They beat up Radharani and fired at her, before fleeing.

The local people rushed Radharani to a primary healthcare centre, but she was shifted to Kolkata hospital in the afternoon after her condition deteriorated.

BJP Mahila Morcha leader Agnimitra Paul visited Radharani at the hospital. "She was shot by Trinamool Congress-backed goons. Complete lawlessness is prevailing all across Bengal as the criminals know they will never be punished in Mamata Banerjee's rule as long as they are Trinamool supporters," Paul alleged, adding that Radharani is fighting for her life.

Meanwhile, angry villagers staged a sit-in at the village to demand the immediate arrest of the culprits.

Mainak Bandopadhyay of Bishnupur police station said that a special team has already started investigating the case though no arrest has been made.

A team of police officials, led by DSP Jibanesh Roy, also visited the spot.

West Bengal Education Minister and TMC Secretary General Partha Chatterjee condemned the attack. "Whoever has done this will be punished. The police will take strict action against them," he told media persons here.


Mon, 07 Sep 2020 18:26:09 +0530
Feed India Campaign celebrates 30 million meals in 5 months

New Delhi, Sep 7

The Feed India Campaign which started five months ago, aimed at providing meals and essential goods to daily wagers and those struggling for livelihood across various parts of the country. Hundreds of food trucks were sent out on roads carrying dry goods, covering thousands of kilometres to provide help.

The campaign initiated by Chef Vikas Khanna left no stone unturned to ensure that one recognises their responsibility and out of sheer humanity provides help to those in need. The endless hard work paid off as it celebrates 30 million meals that have gone. Be it the Bihar & Assam flood victims, dabbawallas, cine artists or NGOs, the campaign has covered extensive areas and touched livelihood of millions around the country.

Talking about this, Chef Vikas Khanna, who has been spearheading the campaign from the US, says, "I am very happy that our purpose and dream of supporting people by providing food has reached a landmark of 30 million. It required a lot of planning and correct execution, but the results have been beyond satisfactory. I am also very grateful to Mukul Madhav Foundation, for helping Feed India Initiative reach far and wide. It is the support of each other that we can touch lives and make difficult times less challenging for those in need."

With the help of many NGOs and NDRF and other organisations, the initiative has been a successful endeavour. Besides the meals 4 million slippers, 3 million sanitary pads and 2 million face masks have also been distributed.

Ritu Prakash Chhabria, Trustee, Mukul Madhav Foundation says, "Through Feed India campaign, we were fortunate enough to address different segments of the society like transgenders, boatsmen etc and also helped make festivals like Eid and Ganpathi more meaningful for communities in these difficult times. We could reach out to so many people and understand their situation and their needs. We have been supporting our society, hospitals, institutions, various people by providing with life saving medical equipments, medical essentials, grocery kits and much more PAN India. Associating with Vikas Khanna and the Feed India Campaign has further enhanced our initiative. It has been a wonderful journey for us and together we have been stronger in solidarity."

More recently, as part of the Feed India Campaign is also distributed 2 million meals during the Ganpati and Shraad times , endorsing the thought that true essence of festivals is in caring for others and giving with a pure intent. The meal bags were first offered as Prasadam to Lord Ganesha in Siddhivinayak Temple, Andheri Ka Raja and Lal Bagh Ka Raja, before the trucks will be on their route to distribute food from 7th September with NDRF.

Mon, 07 Sep 2020 15:29:47 +0530
NEP 2020 will lay foundation for New India Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Recently the Union Cabinet had given clearance to a New Educational Policy which aims to implement several changes in education system from school to college level.  Delivering the inaugural address at the Conclave on Transformational Reforms in Higher Education under National Educational Policy, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi said that the New Educational Policy 2020 (NEP 2020) will lay the foundation for a new India and will prepare students for the future with the knowledge that will be needed in 21st century.

The Prime Minister assured his full support for the implementation of NEP 2020. Speaking about the policy, he said, “Under this policy, when today’s students will join tomorrow’s workplaces, it will help India grow and take the lead in many areas.” He added, “The focus will be on understanding the subject, its practical implementation, critical thinking and innovative thinking. When a student is equipped with this, then it helps a great deal in a growing India.”

The policy aims to build international standard institutions across India and prevent brain drain. It also aims to reduce pressure on students for specific streams and allow them to learn according to their interests.

Mon, 07 Sep 2020 15:28:49 +0530
Mild earthquake hits Mumbai

MUMBAI: An earthquake of 3.5 magnitude on the Richter scale occurred around 100 kilometres north of Mumbai at 8 a.m. today, according to National Centre for Seismology. Fortunately no damage to life or property was reported. This was the fourth light intensity earthquake in the last 72 hours in Mumbai.

An earthquake of 2.7 magnitude had occurred on Saturday morning and another of 2.8 magnitude a day before on Friday. Tremors were also felt in Nasik, Maharashtra.

Mon, 07 Sep 2020 15:21:02 +0530
The ogres in the mind

Mumbai, Sep 7

A priceless gift from a friend in Kerala, a Namboodiri to boot, is a film to augment my collection which has sustained my personal film festival to beat the unintelligible lockdown.

The film, Agraharathil Kazhutai, or Donkey in a Brahmin Village, was a pleasant shock not because of the title, but its authorship. The film is listed as one of the masterly satires by the late John Abraham. A baby donkey, whose mother has been beaten to death for reasons unknown, strays onto the doorstep of a tall, lanky professor of Philosophy in a local college. The donkey in the bachelor professor's house leads to amusement, gossip, graffiti until the principal, a stern looking pastor, informs the professor that his hospitality towards the donkey was affecting the college's reputation.

The professor carts the donkey by bus and bullock cart to the Agraharam or the Brahmin village where his parents live. A deaf and mute maidservant looks after the donkey.

The maid has an affair with the village washerman, delivers a still-born male child which is left outside the temple. The Chief Priest declares it the most dreadful omen, unanimously attributed by the elders to the donkey's presence in the village. The animal is beaten to death, followed by a series of unfortunate events which the Agraharam, on second thoughts, blame on the fact that the donkey was killed in haste. A monument to the beast is planned. A wild fire dance burns much of the village leaving the professor and the maid contemplating the scene for its deeper significance.

The reason for my focus on the film is not 'cinema', but the fact that someone with a name like John Abraham could satirize the Agraharam with such outrageous audacity. In my limited experience -- a day's visit -- the Agraharam was quite stately in its austerity. I saw no car on the street nor, in the middle of the day, was there any movement outside, dogs, cats, cattle, nothing. There is a lovely view of river Kalpathy below, like the Agraharam's private pond for a holy dip.

Away from the road, on the stone seat were occasional bare bodied men, sporting the fattest janeyus I have seen. The visitor's room has a mural size painting of Palghat Mani Iyer, the great mridangam player and a local icon. The centre of the main hall is dominated by a swing; every square inch of the wall space is covered with Gods and Goddesses. At the end of the passage is a 'tulsi' plant in a decorated pot on a pedestal. The master of the house, a man of wit and music, had worn a shirt to appear hospitable. With amusement in his eyes, he showed us where he slept: on a narrow bed in the passage. And his wife? "On the floor right below me." He puts his head back and guffaws. But it is not quite so unequal. "She qualifies for the bed when she is unwell."

I found it quaint, as an uncritical bird of passage would. But the Agraharam, like Peyton Place, would expose its darker side to a son of the soil, a few mohallas removed, like Abraham.

It is all so refreshing this informality across faiths, this ability to tolerate irreverence without ill will. The most popular political prisoner in Adoor Gopalakrishnan's The Wall is Basheer, pining for Narayani on the other side of the wall and whom he has not seen. Adoor is quite unselfconscious about the fact that the protagonists belong to different faiths. My romance with 'God's own country' goes back to the 70s when I was editor of The Indian Express in the south. But a change has come upon me: earlier I admired Kerala, indeed much of the South; now I have begun to envy it.

India was always ones country, but the basic affiliation was with Awadh of which Lucknow was the markaz or centre. Mir Taqi Mir talked of Delhi's destruction:

"Dill jo ek shaher tha alam mein intekhab

rehte thay muntakhib hi jahan rozgar ke

Usko falak ne loot ke barbaad kar diya

Hum rehne waley haen usi ujre dayar ke."

(Delhi which was once the world's pride, where only those with good manners lived,

Fortune turned upon the city, destroyed and looted it.

In that desolate city did I once live)

Replace Delhi with Awadh/Lucknow and you are somewhere near the root of those ogres in the mind.

Lucknow, indeed Awadh, was generosity personified. Ram Advani from Sindh was embraced as Lucknow's very own. His bookshop was an incomparable cultural landmark. Among the Lucknavi's several quaint beliefs: to be a lawyer or a doctor, you had to be a Bengali first. For obvious reasons, Western enlightenment had come to Bengal first. Riding this belief, Bengali lawyers and doctors had easy passage in Lucknow. The intellectual life of Lucknow University was dominated for long stretches by Radha Kumud and Radha Kamal Mukherjee. Little wonder, when Satyajit Ray, soaked in Bengaliness, ventured out of Bengal, it was towards Lucknow he deviated with his superb Shatranj ke Khiladi.

The ogres of the mind have been gestating for at least 30 years when the BJP and the Congress began to compete for the Hindu vote. The Congress chose to play both sides of the street. Once, V.P. Singh tossed the Mandal Commission into the simmering cauldron, the Hindutva brigade ran away with the platform of brazen anti Muslim Hindu consolidation, leaving the Congress sleeping by the lamp post with its soft saffron.

There is a certain demoralization in the anti Hindutva ranks at the presumed invincibility of Narendra Modi, despite the country crashing on every count. This may well be a function of shrewd tactics: keep the media focus away from regions where the country still breathes easy. It may not be such a good thing, though, for national cohesion if different parts of the country do not fit into the same frame.

Mon, 07 Sep 2020 15:19:07 +0530
In pictures Balraj Syal with wife Deepti Tuli

Former Khatron Ke Khiladi contestant Balraj Syal had wed Deepti Tuli in a private ceremony recently. Balraj posted pictures of his wedding on his Instagram page. Balraj wore a white kurta-pyjama while his wife Deepti wore a bright red lehenga with gold jewellery. The couple posted pictures from the wedding on their respective Instagram timelines with a heart emoticon.

Balraj and Deepti met last year at a shooting in Chandigarh and love blossomed over a course of time. Their families met each other and the wedding was finalized. They had to wait for the lockdown period to get over as they wanted to do the traditional wedding with all the rituals.

Mon, 07 Sep 2020 15:15:59 +0530
Aishwarya Rai shares Aaradhya s handmade Teachers Day Poster

Film actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan shared a handmade poster made by Aaradhya, her daughter and the granddaughter of Amitabh Bachchan on the occasion of Teacher’s Day which was celebrated on September 5. Aaradhya made the colourful poster as a token of gratitude to her teachers.

Aishwarya shared the poster with just emojis as the caption. The picture shows the little girl holding the poster with the message: “Thank you and love you my dearest. T - thanking you feels complete and true, E - encouraging us all, always, that’s you, A - awesome, amazing and always our guide, C - caring and nurturing, another mother by our side, H - happy and healthy we blossom and grow, E - expertly educating us while making it fun, R - reassuringly sowing all there is to know, S - shining light on values that truly matter in life under our sun. Happy Teachers Day! love you, Aaradhya Rai Bachchan.”

Overjoyed fans responded positively, Aishwarya expressed gratitude to their wishes.

Mon, 07 Sep 2020 15:08:29 +0530
Covid 19 woman patient abused in Kerala

Thiruvananthapuram, A day after the shocking news of an ambulance driver raping a young Covid-19 female patient inside an ambulance on Saturday night in Pathanamthitta district, another case of abuse surfaced on Monday. A junior Health Inspector in the state capital was arrested after he abused a female Covid patient who went to him for a Covid negative certificate.

The incident occurred when a 40-year-old woman working in Malappuram district returned to her hometown near Thiruvananthapuram.

She was asked to go into quarantine for a 14-day period and after it got over, she approached the Health Inspector for a Covid negative certificate.

The official asked her to come to his house near here where she was abused by him. The incident occurred on September 3.

The woman approached the Vellarada police station in the capital district and registered a complaint, but later it was found that the incident occurred under a different police station's jurisdiction.

Following this, the Pangode police arrested the official.

The case has been transferred from Vellarada to Pangode as the crime took place in their jurisdiction. The Health Inspector has been charged under IPC 373, said a police official.

Mon, 07 Sep 2020 14:59:37 +0530
Russia shares Covid 19 vaccine data with India Phase 3 trials possible in India

Russia has shared comprehensive data on Sputnik V vaccine with Indian authorities. India had sought information from Moscow based Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology. The vaccine’s trials in Phase 1 and 2 on 76 people gave encouraging results.

India and Russia are working jointly on the vaccine front with Renu Swarup, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology in India and D B Venkatesh Varma, Indian ambassador in Russia coordinating for the same.

As this comprehensive data is being analysed by experts in India, one option could be a separate Phase 3 clinical trial after necessary approvals from regulators here. Russia is planning to conduct Phase 3 trials in many countries including Saudi Arabia, UAE, Brazil, and the Philippines.

Scientists from the west have however, expressed reservations about the vaccine due to the speed and secrecy with which Gamaleya Institute got the regulatory approval. Russian researchers have meanwhile published their preliminary findings of Phase 1 and 2 of their vaccine candidate.


Mon, 07 Sep 2020 14:50:54 +0530
The Mammootty saga rolls on as actor enters his golden jubilee year

Thiruvananthapuram,  The never ending journey of an actor, billed as one of the best in the country, continues, with Mammootty -- the upcoming 'legend' in the Malayalam cinema -- enters the golden jubilee as he turns 69 on Monday.

By now, he has donned the grease paint in close to 500 films and that too not just in Malayalam and other South Indian languages, but also in English and Hindi.

Incidentally, it was in 1971, the present-day Mammootty and 'Mammooka' to all, whose official name is Mohammed Kutty, donned the grease paint for the first time in the film of one of yesteryear's hugely popular actor Sathyan, "Anubhavangal Paalichakal".

Though limited to just a single scene, without a dialogue, sharing the screen space with Sathyan, the then Mohammed Kutty has by now walked into the hearts of all in the Malayalam film industry and even sidestepped his contemporary Mohanlal to become the first superstar in the Malayalam film industry.

And since then the saga of Mammootty has had a glorious and uninterrupted run as no one has been able to push him down to the second spot, even as his film career is entering the golden jubilee.

Even though the now two superstars -- Mammootty and Mohanlal -- are poles apart in all what they do, contrary to what is seen in the film industry in other languages, the two are able to co-exist with mutual respect.

The single biggest difference between the two is while Mammootty acts, Mohanlal is a naturally gifted actor, and yet, the former scores because in the make-believe world of films, to give life to a character by acting is a bit more tough and complicated, as the film experts say.

And it's that which has put him in an unassailable position, as his records say.

Mammootty's record in the film world is awesome as he has been decorated with three national film, seven Kerala state film, and 13 Filmfare awards in his career, which has completed five decades.

Now settled in Kochi, Mammootty is also seeing his son Dulqar Salman upgrade his acting skills, which has won him accolades not just in Malayalam, but in other south Indian languages too, which too, this great actor can be certainly proud.

With the coronavirus pandemic striking hard, Mammootty though confined to his home, far away from the hustle and bustle of the shooting sets, ensured his fitness.

And now with the corona protocol getting eased, his fans can now look forward, as a few of his films are expected to hit the screens soon, while a few will begin to roll forward in the shooting locations.

Mon, 07 Sep 2020 14:26:51 +0530
Vodafone Idea to offer services under new brand name Vi

New Delhi,  Telecom operator Vodafone Idea will offer its services under a new brand name Vi, as merger and integration of Vodafone and Idea has been successfully completed.

In a statement, the company said that the coming together of the two brands has culminated into the largest telecom integration in the world.

Launching the new brand 'Vi', Ravinder Takkar, MD & CEO, Vodafone Idea Limited, said: "Vodafone Idea came together as a merged entity two years ago. We have, since then, focussed on integrating two large networks, our people and processes. And today, I am delighted to present 'Vi', a brand that will bring important meaning to the lives of our customers. Indians are optimistic and want to get ahead in life."

VIL is now leaner and agile, and the deployment of many principles of 5G architecture has helped the company transform into a future-fit, digital network for the changing customer needs, Takkar added.

Kumar Mangalam Birla, Chairman of Aditya Birla Group and Vodafone Idea Ltd, said that with the new brand 'Vi', the company stands committed to partner the government to accelerate India's progression towards a digital economy, enabling millions of citizens to connect to the digital revolution and build a better tomorrow.

"As the integration of the two businesses is now complete, it's time for a fresh start. That's why we believe that now is the perfect time to launch 'Vi', one company which combines the strengths of Vodafone India and Idea. Vi's focus will be to deliver to the citizens and businesses in India a superior network experience, better customer service and leading products and services," said Nick Read, CEO of Vodafone Group Plc.

Shares of Vodafone Idea surged after the announcement. At 12.34 pm, its share price was Rs 12.54, higher by 4.41 per cent from the previous close.

The rebranding comes at a crucial time when the company is fighting for its survival, amid financial stress and huge AGR dues.

On Friday, the Board of Directors of Vodafone Idea had approved a proposal to raise up to Rs 25,000 crore through Global Depository Receipts(GDR), American Depository Receipts (ADR), non-convertible debentures, and other routes.

The development comes after the Supreme Court's September 1 verdict on the Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) issue, wherein the top court gave a 10-year timeline to the telecom companies to repay their dues, with an upfront payment of 10 per cent by March 31, 2021.

Market analysts have time and again said that Vodafone Idea would require raising of funds and may also need government support for its survival as it is already under financial stress. The AGR dues have further burdened the company.

According to an assessment by the Department of Telecommunications, Vodafone Idea owed a total of Rs 58,254 crore. As per the government, the operator now owes balance AGR dues of around Rs 50,399 crore.


Mon, 07 Sep 2020 13:59:41 +0530
Winning Olympic medal our ultimate goal says Neha Goyal

Bengaluru,  Midfielder Neha Goyal has stated that the ultimate goal of the Indian women's hockey team is to win a medal at the Tokyo Olympics slated to be held next year.

The Olympics were initially scheduled to be held in July-August this year but because of the Covid-19 pandemic, they have been postponed till next year's summer.

"Our sole focus is on the Tokyo Olympics at the moment. We have been working hard on our fitness in the last few months and we will do everything we can to keep getting better at our game in the next few months," said the 23-year-old.

"We had a fabulous 2019 after winning the FIH Women's Series Finals and booking a place in the Olympics through the FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers. We have competed well against top teams in the recent past and therefore we have the belief that we can make history in Tokyo next year. It's our ultimate goal to win a medal at the Olympics," she added.

Goyal, who has played 75 matches for the Indian team, had to battle numerous difficult challenges to make it to the top level. She faced financial concerns when she took up hockey as her family found it hard to procure sport equipment for her and later, she also went through a series of injuries. The midfielder expressed that her never give in attitude helped her to tackle all the difficulties in her career so far.

"It was really tough for me when I started playing hockey in the fifth standard. My mother would work day and night to make sure that we had enough food and therefore it was very difficult for her to save some money for my equipment.

"And once I made it to the top level, I faced numerous injuries and was out of the Indian team for a long time. However, the most important thing for me was that I never gave up and kept persisting to beat any obstacle in my career and I am very glad that I have featured in many games for India since 2017 after coming back," said the midfielder.

When asked about her biggest inspiration in her career, Goyal had no hesitation in saying that former India captain Pritam Rani Siwach has had a huge influence on her career.

"When I was in the fifth standard, I used to see Pritam didi's photographs in the local newspaper and I used to go and watch her play in a local ground. One day she asked me why I go to the ground everyday and it was then I told her that I want to play the game," said the hockey player from Sonipat.

"Since my parents couldn't afford hockey equipment for me, Pritam didi provided the equipment to me and encouraged me to work hard on my game. I wouldn't have reached where I am today without her support," she added.

Mon, 07 Sep 2020 13:56:34 +0530
2 500 year old intact coffins discovered in Egypt

Cairo, Sep 7

Egyptian authorities announced the discovery of a collection of more than 13 intact sealed coffins dating back to 2,500 years ago.

The coffins were found at an archaeological site in Saqqara necropolis in Giza, Xinhua news agency quoted the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities as saying in a statement on Sunday.

The coffins, along with three sealed niches, were unearthed inside an 11-meter-deep shaft, according to the statement.

Tourism and Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Anany and Mostafa Waziri, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), visited the site on Sunday and inspected the excavation work in the shaft.

"The discovery marks the largest number of coffins found in one burial place since the discovery of the Asasif Cachette," the Minister said, referring to the discovery of 30 ancient coffins in October 2019 at Asasif cemetery in Upper Egypt's Luxor Province.

"The discovery in Saqqara includes a wonderful collection of colored wooden coffins whose colours and inscriptions are still in a good condition despite the passage of 2,500 years," Waziri, who leads the Egyptian archeological mission in Saqqara, told Xinhua.

Waziri said the exact number of the unearthed coffins as well as the identity and titles of their owners have not yet been determined, but they will be found out in the coming few days as the excavation work still continues.

"The mission continues excavation work on the site and it is expected to result in many other new discoveries of shafts, colored wooden coffins and statues," the SCA chief added.

Initial studies revealed that the coffins are completely sealed and have not been opened since they were buried inside the shaft, according to the Ministry.

Mon, 07 Sep 2020 13:42:23 +0530
Fitness is supposed to be a healthy journey of the mind Katrina Kaif

New Delhi, Sep 7

Bollywood actress Katrina Kaif says being healthy is the key and not of a particular body type. She encourages everyone to get with the idea of being fit.

"According to me, being healthy is key and not a body type. Everyone has a unique body type and we should empower each other to embrace it," she tells IANSlife.

She advises that people should not be too hard on themselves to achieve a particular frame and physique. "Fitness is supposed to be a healthy journey of your mind and body so enjoy it but remember, balance is important," she says.

Adding: "Whether it's jogging or running, but I highly encourage the idea of being fit to everyone. Forms of fitness vary among people; we should follow a regime we enjoy the most and what works best for us."

Sharing her lockdown fitness regime, Katrina says the period has been a new experience for her just like for everyone else.

"I try to get in an hour of workout at home as often as I can, yet try not to be too hard on myself. I prefer a mix of activities like calisthenics and cardio to keep me entertained while I work-out, whether in the gym or at home. My all-time trainer and friend Yasmin Karachiwala helped me achieve this even during the lockdown," said Katrina, who is also the brand ambassador of Reebok.

More than a diet, Katrina sees it as "a healthy way of life... I prefer a low carb meal unless and until its cheat day."

She recently launched the brand's new collection, Reebok Zig Horizon, which the actress says is most likely going to be her favourite sneaker for the season. "What makes the Zig Kinetica Horizon collection unique is the exciting new colours it comes in. It's been close to six months of staying in and working out at home, but to keep the momentum going I make sure I dress well while working out, and the new pop of colours Zig helps energise me instantly. I feel it can boost any athleisure look, coupled with the technological and modern aesthetics of the shoe make it an unbeatable match for my favourite season."

Mon, 07 Sep 2020 13:36:42 +0530
Yogi govt initiates action in ex MLA s death

Lucknow, Sep 7

he Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh has set up a three-member committee to probe the death of former legislator Nirvendra Kumar Munna in Lakhimpur Kheri district.

Munna was allegedly beaten to death on Sunday in a land dispute.

The committee comprises ASP Kheri, Circle Officer Sidhauli and inspector crime branch.

The committee will probe the role of Circle Officer Kuldeep Kukreti and other policemen and will submit its report within three days.

Kukreti has been attached to the police headquarters while a chowki in charge and two beat constables have been suspended.

The action was taken late Sunday night after the opposition mounted a blistering attack on the state government over the incident.

Earlier, dismissing the deceased legislator's family's allegations, Lakhimpur Kheri SSP Satendar Kumar had said that the former MLA "accidentally fell on the ground during the argument with the other party".

The post-mortem report states cardiac arrest as the cause of death and has no mention of injuries.

The three-term MLA was taken to the hospital but succumbed to injuries on the way.

Mishra and his son, Sanjeev, were earlier charged under sections 107/116 of CrPC in the same case for "disruption of peace'".

Addressing the media, Sanjeev said: "A case is pending over our ancestral land and the members of other party came along with a group of 50-60 people despite lockdown and police presence. They were ploughing the land and when we stopped them, they started thrashing me.

"When my father tried to intervene, they also thrashed him. He had died on the spot. We took him to a hospital in Palia with the support of locals. Few members of the opposite party were caught by the villagers but later Circle Officer Kuldeep Kukreti arrived in the village with police force and he thrashed my wife and mother and rescued all of them."

The incident soon took a political turn with Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav tweeting that "under BJP's rule, the public is not just tense about law and order, but scared too".

The state's Congress unit tweeted: "Another Brahmin killed. The jungle raj in UP is getting frightening."

Mon, 07 Sep 2020 13:32:29 +0530
Most expat women employed in Oman govt sector are Indians

Muscat, Sep 7

Indian women accounted for the most number of expat female employees in Oman's government sector, according to a report by the Middle Eastern country's National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI).

The NCSI's 2020 Statistical Yearbook revealed that Indian females topped the list at 4,604, Gulf News reported.

The data also said that Indian women comprised 37 per cent of the total Indian workforce employed in the government sector in 2019.

Egyptian female employees came second on the list at 3,090, followed by Sudanese women.

Non-Omani GCC women were the fewest, with only 36 employed in the country's public sector.

As per the data, majority of the expatriate women workers are employed in the education sector, closely followed by human health and social activities, and other service activities.

The skill levels of expatriate women were highest among technical and limited skills labourers, the report revealed.

However the August bulletin of NCSI for 2020 showed that there has been an 18.8 per cent decline in the expatriate workforce in Oman's government sector and 12 per cent in the private sector compared to last year, Gulf News reported.

The expatriate population has also reduced this year as compared to previous year by 10.2 per cent among Bangladeshis, 14.5 per cent among Indians, 11.9 per cent among Pakistanis and 1.1 per cent among Egyptians.

Mon, 07 Sep 2020 13:23:39 +0530
An artist s adjustment to the new creative

New Delhi, Sep 7

Creating art from found posters on the city streets, whether they were "temporary newsprint of training courses and services or the ubiquitous film posters that seemed to morph before one's eyes", artist-designer Viraag Desai is currently exhibiting his solo show online.

Titled 'A Mechanical Eye', his exhibition is viewable on the website of Art Exposure Gallery from September 11. The Kolkata- and Mumbai-based artist Viraag Desai employs his multidisciplinary experience of working as a sound and set designer, to create mix-media collages and an immersive installation that reveal our historical engrossment in supplementing our vision with a view to 'capture' the world.

"My current art practice deals with the perceptual nature of information... information that passes by the 'outfield' of our view, but nevertheless has a powerful effect on our thinking. In my long walks through cities and towns in various countries, it struck me that the paper posters on public walls always caught my attention even over large advertising billboards. They quietly captured my attention, not just through strength of numbers, but through their melding into the architecture of the neighbourhood. I became a scavenger-collector, tearing and peeling old signs, thin-paper posters, advertisements for unbelievable college degrees, everything - ethically leaving ones where the 'dates' had not yet expired!

"I collage these in my studio, often layering scraps that barely have a life. Taking a cue from the 'katah' tradition of Bengal and Bangladesh, I glue these scraps into a strong sheet, sanding them to get a forced smoothness and an unforced colour palette. Once they are layered with resin, they become my pictorial space for mark making/illustration. At this stage I investigate and submerge myself into the symbols, unfamiliar narratives, heritage and stories that occupy the current space. Just as the 'white noise' of common posters spoke to me earlier, now the stories of the place and the people become my muse. Old houses, old people, forgotten histories are reborn in a contemporary form," he explains his process.

Explaining his two other processes, he tells IANSlife: "Using the relatively new technologies of 3D scanning and photogrammetry, I've created a series of works that is a reamigining of the natural world, with a nod to botanical illustrations and diagrams."

In trichotomy, he has used the additive and subtractive properties of light and colour, to create a multi layered dynamic image. He honed this process over the years, in theatre productions and jazz concerts.

Desai repurposes technology to bring a connection between the times we lived in, recently, and the times we live in, now. He uses the new technology of photogrammetry and 3-D scanning to blur lines between digital and analog.

According to Somak Mitra, Director, Gallery Art Exposure, a gallery too, like art, must be in constant evolution. In the past decade, and particularly in the past few months, art has found its own space in the digital world with artists using cutting-edge technology to bring new media immersive art to the forefront of the art world. Viraag Desai's solo exhibition 'A Mechanical Eye' recalls exactly these technologies of different ways of seeing."

"Social distancing has come at a great price to the art world. One way to stay connected is to embrace technology...which in turn will helps you to perceive the world differently. In the end, it's all about how you see," the artist concludes.

Mon, 07 Sep 2020 13:18:27 +0530
Jindal Global Law School signs MoU with 10 top institutions in 8 countries

New Delhi, Sep 7

Jindal Global Law School (JGLS) of O.P. Jindal Global University (JGU) has entered into 10 new Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) with leading institutions from different parts of the world.

These international partnerships have been established as part of the Law School's Covid-19 Academic Action Plan.

C. Raj Kumar, Founding Vice Chancellor of O.P. Jindal Global University and Dean of Jindal Global Law School explained that: "The motivation behind establishing these partnerships is to provide outstanding opportunities for the students of JGLS to pursue international legal education with our partner institutions. The vision of JGU and JGLS since our founding has been to constantly raise the bar when it comes to providing global legal education to our students".

He added, "The institutional opportunities created by JGU and JGLS have resulted in exchange programmes, immersion programmes, dual degree programmes and short-term study abroad programmes for our students. We are committed to making sure that the Covid-19 global pandemic does not undermine our efforts to build international collaborations for the benefit of our students. Rather the school has exploited the potentialities of blended learning and hybrid education to help the students of JGLS to continue to yield the benefits of international collaborations through technological interface."

JGLS has established international collaborations with 10 leading institutions in eight countries: Australia, Bangladesh, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Nepal and the US. These international collaborations range from shared blended learning and hybrid teaching (including module-sharing in courses), technology-enabled-resource sharing through library-to-library collaborations, joint webinars and conferences, joint research, LLB-JD and LLB-LLM pathways, and student and faculty exchange and mobility.

The list of JGLS' new partner institutions includes University of Sydney Law School, University of Sydney, Australia, London College of Legal Studies (South) (Affiliate Centre of the University of London), Bangladesh, School of Law, Universidad del Rosario, Colombia, Facultad de Ciencias Jurídicas y Políticas, Universidad Iberoamericana (UNIBE), Dominican Republic, School of Law and Public Administration, Narxoz University, Kazakhstan, Faculty of Law and Social Sciences, Suleyman Demirel University, Kazakhstan, Department of International Law, Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Ala-Too International University, Kyrgyzstan, Kathmandu School of Law (Affiliate of Purbanchal University), Nepal, Elisabeth Haub School of Law, Pace University, USA and Beasley School of Law, Temple University, USA.

Many of these new collaborations provide university wide opportunities for students and faculty members at JGU and the partner institutions.

Sreejith S.G., Executive Dean, JGLS, pointed out, "The pandemic prompted us to reimagine our existing collaborations. Our partner institutions have responded very positively and constructively to our proposals, showing remarkable resilience. We are glad that the pandemic will not deprive our students of the opportunities internationalisation has been providing them."

Malvika Seth, Assistant Professor and Assistant Dean (International Collaborations), JGLS, added, "The need for internationalising legal education has become more significant now than ever, to help prepare future lawyers for the construction of a just and equitable post Covid-19 world. We hope that new modes of collaboration, including digital learning models, will allow global engagement to flourish and contribute to our students' expertise."

Mon, 07 Sep 2020 12:17:02 +0530
Economic distress due to Covid 19 causes rise in smuggling in NE FICCI

Guwahati/Kohima, Industry body FICCI on Sunday said the recent rise in smuggling in the northeastern region can be attributed to economic distress insinuated by Covid-19 pandemic.

The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) said loss of jobs and lack of income due to recurrent lockdowns have left citizens without a means of livelihood.

"Reports suggest that smugglers and insurgents are using people from the local tribal areas to transport smuggled goods by taking advantage of their financial vulnerability caused due to Covid-19," a FICCI report said.

The FICCI's Committee Against Smuggling and Counterfeiting Activities Destroying the Economy (CASCADE) highly appreciated the efforts of central para-military force Assam Rifles and praised its Director General along with other officers for their anti-smuggling operations.

The FICCI report said : "The Assam Rifles during its recent successful interception, seized illicit cigarettes, smuggled from neighbouring country, worth Rs 14 crore. Enforcement agencies impounded illicit cartons of cigarettes in 26 operations along the Indo-Myanmar border during months of July and August alone."

"Various battalions of the forces intercepted smugglers transporting the illicit consignments using bikes, cars and trucks while hiding them inside rice sacks, jungle tracks, vegetation and others."FICCI CASCADE Chairman Anil Rajput said that illicit cigarette smuggling is a formidable challenge before our nation that has been draining our government exchequer by creating opportunities from tax arbitrage.

"It also threatens local industries and their capacity to create livelihoods. Assam Rifles' proactive vigilance in intercepting the movement of smuggled goods is a definitive step towards putting fear in the hearts of those who deal in such trading. Their commendable effort sets forth an example to be keenly studied and followed by other enforcement agencies of the country," Rajput said in its report.

FICCI has also requested the Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla to intervene into the vital issue and to sensitize other paramilitary forces on the gravity of the issue and amplify the need for a greater focus on combating smuggling and smuggling-related crimes at the borders.In order to create large-scale awareness of this menace, FICCI CASCADE has been conducting interactions with government and enforcement agencies across several states in India on the ways to mitigate this challenge.

FICCI also appealed to the central government to declare smuggling as a national threat and that should be addressed with stricter vigilance and reforms.Meanwhile, security forces in Nagaland arrested four people for smuggling opium seeds worth Rs 1.44 crore on Saturday.

Officials in Kohima said that acting on secret information, Assam Rifles troopers impounded two trucks carrying 120 bags of Vietnamese Poppy near Piphema on National Highway-29.

The arrested persons and the seized contraband were handed over to custom preventive division officials.

Four Indian northeastern states --Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh share a 1,640-km unfenced border with Myanmar and the India-Myanmar border turned into the vital corridor for smuggling of drugs, arms and ammunition and other contraband.

Mon, 07 Sep 2020 09:38:09 +0530
Johnson sets Oct 15 deadline for EU trade deal

London, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to say that if no agreement on trade between the EU and UK can be reached by October 15 both sides should "accept that and move on".

Johnson will say completing the UK's exit from the EU without a trade deal would still be a "good outcome", the BBC reported.

It comes after UK chief negotiator David Frost said the UK is not "scared" of walking away.

Another round of talks - the eighth - is due to begin on Tuesday.

But on the eve of the negotiations, the Financial Times reported that the UK is planning new legislation that will override key parts of the Brexit withdrawal agreement made last year.

The new bill would eliminate the legal force of arrangements over customs in Northern Ireland which had been designed to avoid a hard border with the Irish Republic.

It would also override provisions on state aid - the financial assistance sometimes given by the government to companies.

Government sources told the BBC that the legislation would be introduced this week, describing it as a "sensible fall-back option" in case negoiations break down.

They said it was "not intended to derail the talks", but a key EU diplomat told the BBC it was "a self-defeating strategy" that could lead to the trade talks unravelling altogether.

On Sunday, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told the BBC that there were two outstanding issues to be resolved in the negotiations, fishing rights and rules over state aid.

The prime minister is due to say that time is running out to find a solution before 31 December, when the UK's transition period ends. Although the UK left the EU on 31 January, it continues to follow some EU rules while the trade agreement is being negotiated.

"We are now entering the final phase of our negotiations with the EU," Johnson is expected to say.

He will say there needs to be an agreement by the European Council on October 15 if it is to be in force by the end of the year, so "there is no sense in thinking about timelines that go beyond that point".

"If we can't agree by then, then I do not see that there will be a free trade agreement between us, and we should both accept that and move on," Johnson will say.

The UK has said it wants to strike a deal with the EU which resembles Canada's. But Johnson will say no-deal means having a "trading arrangement with the EU like Australia's", using trade protocols set by the World Trade Organisation.

"I want to be absolutely clear that, as we have said right from the start, that would be a good outcome for the UK," the prime minister will say.

He is due to say that "we are preparing, at our borders and at our ports, to be ready for it", although groups representing road hauliers have warned the UK is "sleepwalking into disaster".

"We will have full control over our laws, our rules, and our fishing waters," Johnson will say.

"We will have the freedom to do trade deals with every country in the world. And we will prosper mightily as a result."

The prime minister is expected to say the UK "will always be ready to talk to our EU friends" even if no agreement is struck, finding "sensible accommodations on practical issues" including flights, lorry transport and scientific co-operation.

He will say there is "still an agreement to be had" if the EU is ready to rethink its positions "even at this late stage".

"But we cannot and will not compromise on the fundamentals of what it means to be an independent country to get it."

The EU's chief negotiator, Michael Barnier, has previously suggested the end of October is a "strict deadline" to finalise an agreement for next year.

He said he has shown "openness to find compromise" but the UK will "have to move" if it wants to avoid the consequences of having no deal.

Mon, 07 Sep 2020 09:25:05 +0530
Delhi Metro resumes operations after five months

New Delhi,  Delhi Metro, the lifeline of the national capital region, on Monday finally rolled on the tracks after coming to a screeching halt of over five months ago due to coronavirus pandemic.

For two days the yellow line, covering 49 kilometre with 37 stations consisting of 20 underground and 17 elevated stations, will remain operational for a period of four hours each in the morning, from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m., and evening, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

According to Anuj Dayal, DMRC's Executive Director of Corporate Communication, over a period of next five days, rest of the lines will also be made operational with all safety measures in place to check the spread of Covid-19 in the metro premises which requires everyone to follow a new normal of social distancing, face mask and hand sanitisation.

At a time when the capital city is reportedly witnessing a second wave of the viral infection, the government has allowed for the metro rail service to resume in a bid to restart the economy, while also keeping in mind the huge loss incurred by the corporation in the last few months.

Even though the government has, time and again, asserted that both lives and livelihood are important, several epidemiologists believe that resumption of the metro will further increase the infection in the city.

Use of 'Aarogya Setu App' for updating health status by passengers is advisable. All passengers will be required to undergo thermal screening at the entrance.

Passengers having temperature will not be allowed to travel. They will be directed to report to the nearest medical centre. Only 2-3 persons are allowed on the lift at a time.

Tokens are not available at the stations for the time being as they need frequent human interface for travel transactions and pose a risk of coronavirus infection so a "smart card is a must for travel".

Since Delhi Metro operates in Delhi-NCR, it will not be providing services to such stations which fall under the containment zones for any given day in any of the states. State governments of Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh notify such zones on a regular basis on their websites.

If any of the stations happen to fall in such a zone, the same will also be made public through announcements at stations and trains and through social media updates. Since most of the Metro stations lie on the median of the roads, there is a slim chance for stations to fall in the containment zone as a regular practice.

In a bid to wade off people's fear of catching coronavirus infection in closed and cramped metro compartments, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation has modified the air conditioning system of the trains to allow 100 per cent inflow of fresh air.

Trains will be sanitized at terminal stations. Similarly, once they are back to Depots after the end of the day, they will again be thoroughly sanitized. The train doors will be kept open at terminal stations to jet fresh air infuse in the train.

Mon, 07 Sep 2020 09:15:05 +0530
BJP disowns Kannada film actress caught for drugs

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has distanced itself from Kannada film actress Ragini Dwivedi who has been arrested by the Central Crime Branch (CCB) for possession of drugs. BJP spokesperson Ganesh Karnik said that the party disowned Ragini Dwivedi and clarified that she was one of the several celebrities who campaigned for the party during elections voluntarily.

Karnik further said that Ragini wasn’t a BJP member nor was assigned any role in the party. The BJP will not be accountable for her misdeeds done in her personal capacity. He said that the BJP has always been against any sort of anti-social activity and will continue to be so. State BJP media joint convenor B.N. Raghavendra and convenor A. H. Anand endorsed Karnik's statement.

Earlier this year Ragini was on the same platform with Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa at a programme aimed at fighting coronavirus. She took part in a rally with Yediyurappa along with other celebrities and senior officials. Wearing a blue sportswear she was seen right behind the Chief Minister.

Ragini also shared stage with politicians from different parties during the launch of packaged drinking water at Rs.9.90 litre on July 31. She has also campaigned for plasma donation to treat coronavirus.

CCB had last week raided her residence in Bangalore and cigarettes with ganja were recovered during the raid. The CCB filed an FIR against Ragini in the city police station and she was booked under the Narcotic Drug and Psychotropic Services Act.

Ragini has acted in acclaimed films such as Veera Madakari, Kempe Gowda, Ragini IPS, Bangari and Shiva.

Mon, 07 Sep 2020 09:10:01 +0530
US Open Williams overcome Stephens in clash of champions

Washington, Serena Williams rallied to defeat the 2017 winner Sloane Stephens in the third round of the US Open and move into the women's singles last 16 on Saturday.

Third seed Williams essayed a signature comeback and served 12 aces to edge past her American compatriot Stephens 2-6, 6-2, 6-2 in one hour and 43 minutes.

"It was intense I have to say. We always have some really incredible matches and it brings out the best of my fitness when I play Sloane. I tried to stay calm and be more serene after the loss of the first set. I knew it was important for me just to keep trying, just to keep going," Xinhua news agency quoted Williams as saying.

"Right now I'm really focused on the US Open, and nothing else I can think about right now," said Williams, who has won six of her 23 Grand Slam singles' titles at the US Open.

Stephens went up a double break to carve out a 5-2 lead and served out the opening set in just 38 minutes. But Williams began to raise her game and served much better in the second set, lifting her first-serve percentage from 50 to 76 per cent. By breaking twice, Williams won the second set to level the match.

Then in the third set, Williams was rarely troubled by her rival enroute to victory.

She will take on the 15th-seeded Maria Sakkari of Greece in the last 16, who stunned Williams at the Western and Southern Open last month.

"Serena is Serena," Sakkari said after advancing earlier on Saturday by beating 19-year-old American Amanda Anisimova 6-3, 6-1. "You have to come up with some great tennis. Otherwise there is no chance against her."

Sun, 06 Sep 2020 10:57:19 +0530
Common cold may help prevent influenza Lancet

New York, Rhinovirus, the most frequent cause of common cold is capable of preventing the flu virus from infecting airways by jump-starting the body's immune defences, say researchers.

The findings, published in the journal The Lancet Microbe, help answer a mystery surrounding the 2009 H1N1 swine flu pandemic.

For the study, the research team studied three years of clinical data from more than 13,000 patients at Yale-New Haven Hospital in the US with symptoms of respiratory infection.

The researchers found that even during months when both viruses were active if the common cold virus was present, the flu virus was not.

"When we looked at the data, it became clear that very few people had both viruses at the same time," said study senior author Ellen Foxman from the Yale University in the US.

Foxman stressed that scientists do not know whether the annual seasonal spread of the common cold virus will have a similar impact on infection rates of those exposed to the coronavirus that causes Covid-19.

"It is impossible to predict how two viruses will interact without doing the research," she said.

To test how the rhinovirus and the influenza virus interact, Foxman's lab-created human airway tissue from stem cells that give rise to epithelial cells, which line the airways of the lung and are a chief target of respiratory viruses.

They found that after the tissue had been exposed to rhinovirus, the influenza virus was unable to infect the tissue."The antiviral defences were already turned on before the flu virus arrived," she said.

The presence of rhinovirus triggered production of the antiviral agent interferon, which is part of the early immune system response to the invasion of pathogens.

"The effect lasted for at least five days," Foxman said.

The researchers said that their lab has begun to study whether the introduction of the cold virus before infection by the Covid-19 virus offers a similar type of protection.

Sun, 06 Sep 2020 10:44:07 +0530
Disney Hotstar VIP partners with Jio Airtel ahead of IPL

New Delhi,  As cricket fans around the world prepare to watch the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), streaming service Disney+ Hotstar VIP on Saturday said it has partnered with India's leading telecom companies Reliance Jio and Airtel.

The partnerships are aimed at making it easier for people to subscribe to the streaming service.

Both Jio and Airtel will offer "exciting" prepaid recharge plans bundled with a 12-months subscription to Disney+ Hotstar VIP, the company said.

The two partners will provide the convenience of buying these plans across either millions of Jio and Airtel retail stores using cash in or digital payments.

"Over the past few years, IPL has become the most loved sporting tournament in the country," Uday Shankar, President, The Walt Disney Company APAC and Chairman, Star & Disney India said in a statement.

After several months of the lockdown, we believe that this tournament can be a catalyst in ushering in new optimism and smiles in India, with millions of fans cheering together from all parts of the country."

Starting September 19, all Live matches will be exclusively available to new and existing subscribers of Disney+ Hotstar VIP and Disney+ Hotstar Premium.

This year Disney+ Hotstar VIP has added new features to the interactive Watch'N Play social feed that allows a virtual community of cricket lovers to share excitement and support while watching the matches Live on the platform.

Cricket lovers will be able to join in the action by expressing themselves using "Hotshots" selfies or a new video feature "Duets" that lets fans create customised videos showcasing their rendition of famous shots.

"Our use of technology in presenting this immersive experience will not only set a global benchmark but also redefine the way we watch and enjoy sports in the coming years," Shankar said.


Sun, 06 Sep 2020 10:38:14 +0530
Stage is set for phase II trials of Bharat Biotech s COVID vaccine

Hyderabad, The stage is set for phase II clinical trials of Bharat Biotech's coronavirus vaccine from Monday.

The Hyderabad-based vaccine maker received the approval from Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation under the Directorate General of Health Services to conduct the phase II trials of indigenous vaccine candidate Covaxin.

Joint Drugs Controller Dr S. Eswara Reddy wrote a letter to Bharat Biotech International, conveying the organisation's nod for conducting the phase II trials.

These trials of the BBV152 coronavirus vaccine or Covaxin will be conducted on 380 participants, who will have to be screened for four days after they receive the vaccine shots.

Through the letter, which IANS has seen, the Joint Drugs Controller said that the directorate had no objection to conducting the trial titled 'An adaptive, seamless Phase I, followed by Phase II randomized, double-blind, multicentre study to evaluate the safety, reactogenicity, tolerability and immunogenicity of the whole-virion inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine (BBV152) in healthy volunteers'.

The letter mentions that Bharat Biotech's request for approval to initiate phase II clinical trials was examined in consultation with Subject Expert Committee (COVID-19) experts held through virtual meeting on September 3.

"This is to inform you that the subject proposal was examined in consultation with SEC (COVID-19) experts held through virtual meeting on 03-09-2020, wherein the committee recommended for the conduct of Phase II part of clinical trials with 380 participants subject to the condition that time for screening the participants should be revised to 4 days," reads the letter dated September 3.

Phase I clinical trials of the vaccine began on July 15 at 12 centres across the country where healthy volunteers were administered two doses of vaccination shots with a gap of 14 days. These trials on 375 volunteers are still continuing.

The subjects were monitored at the respective centres for two days after they were administered the vaccine shots. In the phase II clinical trials, this period has been revised to four days.

Bharat Biotech had announced on June 29 that it had successfully developed Covaxin in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the National Institute of Virology (NIV).

The SARS-CoV-2 strain was isolated in NIV, Pune and transferred to Bharat Biotech. The 'indigenous, inactivated vaccine candidate' has been developed and manufactured in Bharat Biotech's high containment facility located in Genome Valley, Hyderabad.

Last month, SEC also approved Bharat Biotech's proposal to conduct trials using the intradermal (ID) vaccine delivery route.

Under this route, the vaccine shot is given in the dermis, one of the layers of the skin. Experts say the shot is less invasive, requires lesser dosage and sometimes, helps the vaccine show better immune response.

At the SEC meeting held on August 13, Bharat Biotech presented its proposal for the conduct of Phase I and II clinical trials of Covaxin by ID route.

The SEC, while recommending approval, laid down the conditions that the trial sites should be different from the sites where the present clinical trials are going on for the vaccine through the intramuscular route and that the subject should be followed up for six months for clinical and antibody assessments.

Sun, 06 Sep 2020 10:32:21 +0530
NCB summons Rhea for questioning in drug case

Mumbai, The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on Sunday summoned late Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput's girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty for questioning in connection with the drug case.

The NCB officials arrived at the Primrose apartment here to summon Rhea for questioning.

Rhea will join the investigation at around 11 a.m.

The summon to Rhea comes a day after a court on Saturday sent her brother Showik and Sushant's house manager Samuel Miranda to four days NCB custody till September 9.

The NCB arrested Showik and Miranda on Friday night after 10-hour long questioning.

During questioning the NCB got the evidence against the duo and later they were arrested.

On Friday, the NCB also carried out searches at the residences of Showik and Miranda.

The NCB on Saturday also arrested Dipesh Sawant, the personal staff of Sushant.

The NCB had registered a case on August 26 under various sections of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, naming Rhea, her brother, talent manager Jaya Saha, Sushant's co-manager Shruti Modi, and Goa-based hotelier Gaurav Arya, after the Enforcement Directorate wrote to it about the drugs angle.

This followed the discovery of WhatsApp messages between Rhea and Shruti Modi, Miranada and Sushant's flatmate Siddharth Pithani.

The NCB is the third Central agency to join the probe into the death case of Sushant after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the ED.

Sun, 06 Sep 2020 10:29:22 +0530
Aftermarket biz can boost auto component manufacturers Minister

New Delhi, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal said on Saturday that properly developed 'Aftermarket' business can open up opportunities for auto component manufacturers.

Goyal was speaking at the 60th ACMA annual session which was held virtually.

According to the minister, this can happen if the industry starts looking at more affordability and attractive ways.

He urged the auto component sector to improve productivity, reduce cost and offer smart solutions so as to become preferred global suppliers.

Besides, Goyal pointed out that with perseverance towards quality, the industry will certainly become more export competitive.

He said that the entire country is adopting Prime Minister Narendra Modi's clarion call of 'Atmanirbhar Bharat' to engage with the rest of the world from a position of strength.

He said that there is a huge demand for trusted partners in resilient global supply chains.

"We will expand our global engagement. We see huge opportunities to expand businesses and provide truly high-quality products at competitive prices and become that trusted partner," the minister said.

On the positive trends in the Indian economy, the minister said: "In the railways, last month we have been able to grow our freight traffic by 4 per cent over the corresponding period of last year. In the current month, the trend is even better than that."

"Tractor sales have already been revived, two-wheelers and three-wheelers are also showing very good traction. It is a day to bring in positivity into our crystal gazing of the future, move out of pessimism and look forward with hope and faith."

Sun, 06 Sep 2020 10:22:31 +0530
Iran Russia to jointly produce COVID 19 vaccine

Cairo,  Iran and Russia will cooperate to produce a COVID-19 vaccine in the Islamic republic as COVID-19 cases in Iran surged to 384,666 on Saturday. Meanwhile, an Iraqi health official warned that the citizens should not play down the seriousness of the coronavirus as 4,644 daily new infections were reported.

Iran, the hardest-hit country in the Middle East region, reported 1,894 new cases, bringing the total number of infections to 384,666, Xinhua news agency reported on Saturday.

The pandemic has so far claimed 22,154 lives in Iran, up by 110 in the past 24 hours. A total of 332,131 coronavirus patients have recovered, with 3,708 still in critical condition.

The announcement of Iran-Russia cooperation on producing a coronavirus vaccine was made on Friday at the online meeting between Kazem Jalali, Iran's ambassador to Moscow and Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of Russian Direct Investment Fund, Iranian semi-official FARS news agency reported on Saturday.

Jalali called for further health and medical cooperation between the two countries.

In Iraq, 4,644 COVID-19 cases were reported during the day, bringing the total nationwide infections to 256,719.

The death toll rose to 7,422 with the addition of 63 new fatalities, while 3,891 more patients recovered in the day, bringing the total number of recoveries to 195,259.

"The lack of compliance of the citizens will increase the number of infections and make the ministry to stop at a certain stage because our health institutions have a limited capacity and this will also lead to an increase in deaths," Ryadh Abdul-Amir, head of Iraqi Public Health Department in the Health Ministry, said in a press release.

Saudi Arabia announced 791 new cases and 34 more deaths, raising the tally of confirmed infections to 319,932 and the death toll to 4,049.

The kingdom also reported 779 more recovered patients, taking the total recoveries to 295,842.

The total number of COVID-19 cases in Turkey climbed by 1,673 to 278,228, Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca tweeted.

The death toll from the coronavirus in the country rose to 6,620 after 56 new fatalities were added in the past 24 hours, Koca said, adding that the total recoveries increased to 250,092.

In Qatar, 227 new cases of coronavirus infections were detected, increasing the total number to 119,864, including 202 deaths and 116,780 recoveries.

In Israel, 2,517 new COVID-19 cases were recorded, taking the tally of coronavirus infections to 128,936.

The death toll of the virus in Israel increased to 1,007 while the recoveries rose to 101,481.

The country will soon impose a full nationwide closure because of the recent jump in coronavirus morbidity, Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Deri told Channel 12 TV news on Saturday.

Kuwait reported 720 new cases, taking the country's total number of infections to 88,963, of whom 540 have died and 79,903 recovered.

In Morocco, the tally of COVID-19 cases rose to 70,160 after 1,555 new cases were added, which included 1,329 fatalities and 53,929 recoveries.

Algeria reported 298 new COVID-19 cases and 10 more deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing the total infection cases to 46,071 and the death toll to 1,549, while 222 more patients were newly discharged from hospitals, increasing the total recoveries to 32,481.

Palestine reported 433 new coronavirus cases, raising the tally of infections in the Palestinian territories to 33,250, including 199 deaths.

In the mean time, Hamas-run Health Ministry in the Gaza Strip warned of the increase in the infections "because the residents do not abide by the precautionary instructions."

In Lebanon, the number of COVID-19 infections increased by 531 to 20,011, while the death toll went up by four to 187.

Sudan's nationwide coronavirus infections surged to 13,407 with 218 new ones, including 6,725 recoveries and 832 deaths.


Sun, 06 Sep 2020 10:18:35 +0530
Cop among two injured in clash in Bihar

Patna, Two persons including a sub inspector were injured after an encounter between police and liquor mafia in R-block railway crossing here, police said.

The liquor mafias have smuggled liquor consignment from Jharkhand in a special train bound to Patna via Gaya.

Liquor sale in Bihar is completely banned by the government.

The local police has information about the liquor consignment, subsequently Patna police deployed a team at railway crossing, police said on Sunday.

"When train was stopped at outer signal of Patna railway station near R-block crossing, the liquor traffickers deboarded there with consignment. When police chased them, they pelted stones on cops in a bid to flee from the spot," said SHO of concerned Jakkanpur police station.

Despite stone pelting, police team managed to nab one of the traffickers named Subodh Paswan. By then local residents and relatives of Paswan assembled at the place and manhandled with police in a bid to release him," The official said.

In retaliation, senior officials have sent reinforcement at the place. Till the time, they started firing on police party leading on our one Sub inspector Ashutosh Kr Rai sustained gun shot injuries in leg. Police team also fired in retaliation to disperse them. Paswan also sustained gun shot injury, " he said.

Both the injured were admitted to private hospital. Further investigation is on.

Sun, 06 Sep 2020 10:13:37 +0530
South Western Railway to run additional trains from Sept 12

Bengaluru, Sep 5 (IANS) The South Western Railway (SWR) railway zone will operate seven additional special pairs of trains from September 12, an official said on Saturday.

"Services of seven pairs of trains of SWR shall also start with effect from September 12,a said an official of the railway zone.

The trains are from Bengaluru Cantonment to Guwahati, Yeshwanthpur to Bikaner, Mysuru to Jaipur, Mysuru to Solapur, Yeshwanthpur to Gorakhpur and KSR Bengaluru to New Delhi.

According to the official, Indian Railways will start running 40 pairs of special trains on specific routes from September 12.

"These services shall be in addition to the Shramik specials and the special trains which are already in operation," she said.

The SWR was created combining the reorganised Hubli division from South Central Railway (SCR) zone with Bengaluru and Mysuru divisions of Southern Railway.

In operation since April 1, 2003, SWR zone is headquartered in Hubli.

Sun, 06 Sep 2020 08:39:22 +0530
Mumbai Ahmedabad bullet train project progressing well Railways

New Delhi,  The Indian Railways on Saturday said that the 508-km Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail project, popularly known as the 'Bullet Train' project, was progressing well, but the real timeframe for the completion of the project can be gauged within the next three to six months when the status of land acquisition will be ascertained.

Addressing a virtual press conference, Railways CEO V.K. Yadav said, "While 82 per cent of the land has been acquired in Gujarat, in Maharashtra land acquisition is only at 23 per cent." He said that in a linear project like the bullet train, work can only begin when a certain amount of land is available.

"We are hoping that within the next three to six months, we will be able to get to that point. Our designs are ready and we are set to go. It is true that the tenders and land acquisition was delayed a bit due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but I can say that the project is progressing well," Yadav said.

He asserted that as the Covid-19 situation improves, the Railways will be able to start the bidding process within the next three to six months.

He said, "We will be able to get the status of land acquired and then we will be able to provide a real timeframe for the completion of the project."

Sat, 05 Sep 2020 19:23:38 +0530
IUML youth leader demands probe into firms of CPI M leader s son

Thiruvananthapuram,  A day after CPI-M's State Secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan asked the opposition to produce documents regarding his businessman son Bineesh Kodiyeri's alleged links to a drugs case exposed by the NCB, the IUML's youth wing on Saturday hurled more accusations and demanded probe against Bineesh's companies.

Early this week, Indian Union Muslim League youth leader PK Firoz had pointed to the alleged links of Bineesh with the Bengaluru drug mafia unearthed by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) last month.

On Saturday, Firoz claimed that Bineesh owns a money exchange company in Bengaluru which began operations in 2015.

"The appropriate authorities which regulate such business in the country should launch a probe into the functioning of this money exchange firm. What's even more baffling is how can the son of a Communist leader open such a business. Also, a probe has to be initiated into two business units in the state capital which are alleged to be 'benami' holdings of Bineesh. There is also a link with the UAE Consulate here," the Youth League leader alleged.

In a related development, lawyer Koshy Jacob on Saturday filed a complaint with various departments under the Finance Ministry to seek a probe into the working of financial companies where Bineesh is a director.

Meanwhile, state BJP President K Surendran demanded that the Kerala Police register a case in the Bengaluru drug mafia case since it had links with persons in Kerala.

"It appears that the Kerala government has something to hide and is keeping mum, when ideally it should have registered a case and begun a probe by now. Bineesh himself has said that he was good friends with Anoop Mohammed who was arrested in Bengaluru by the NCB. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is trying to shield someone. It has also now come out that the drug mafia has roots in the Malayalam film industry too. Hence, the Kerala Police should undertake an investigation," said Surendran.

Sat, 05 Sep 2020 19:19:37 +0530
Sushant sent funds for his dogs Amar Akbar Anthony a day before death Farmhouse caretaker

Mumbai,  A day before he died, actor Sushant Singh Rajput had transferred funds to Raees, the caretaker of his Lonavala farmhouse, for regular expenses of Amar, Akbar and Anthony, the three pet Rottweilers he kept at the place.

"On June 14 afternoon, I saw the news that Sushant sir has committed suicide on TV news channels and at first I could not believe what I was seeing. Just a day before, he had transferred money to my account to take care of his pet dogs, Amar, Akbar and Anthony," Raees recalled, speaking to IANS.

Raees added that the late actor "was planning to shift to the farmhouse and practice organic farming".

"Sushant sir frequently visited the farmhouse. He was unwell after his Europe trip in October 2019, so he did not come to the farmhouse for almost two months. He had initially rented the farmhouse in 2018. After a year, when the time came for renewal of the contract, he wanted to buy it. He was planning to shift to the farmhouse permanently and the place was being prepared accordingly. Even though the agreement had expired in May 2020, Sushant sir had made advance payment for the months of June and July," recalled Raees.

Quizzed when Sushant had last visited the farmhouse, the caretaker revealed that the late actor was planning to stay for two to three months at the place March onwards, but that eventually didn't happen.

"Special occasions like Rhea's birthday and her father's birthday were celebrated in the farmhouse. His last two trips were in January and February this year. In January, Sushant sir came with Rhea to celebrate his birthday. They were accompanied by Samuel Miranda, Shruti Modi and some friends. Then, Sushant sir came here in the last week of February. At that time he was accompanied by Dipesh Sawant, Siddharth Pithani, Neeraj and a cook named Keshav. His March trip got cancelled," Raees recalled.

"During the January trip, they went to an island in Pavana, where Shruti's leg got fractured. Initially, we took her to a hospital in Lonavala. The following day she was shifted to Mumbai," he further said.

The caretaker revealed that Amar, Akbar and Anthony are still at the farmhouse, and are up for adoption.


Sat, 05 Sep 2020 19:13:17 +0530
Amid talks Chinese mouthpiece tells India it has no chance of winning war

New Delhi, Terming Friday's meeting between Indian and Chinese Defence Ministers as a positive step, the Chinese media said on Saturday that in case of a border war, India will have no chance of winning.

In an editorial on Saturday, Global Times, which is closely aligned with the ruling Chinese Communist Party, said, "We must remind the Indian side that China's national strength, including its military strength, is much stronger than India's. Although China and India are both great powers, when it comes to the ultimate competition of combat capability, the Indian side will lose. If a border war starts, India will have no chance of winning."

The editorial said, "We hope that the defence ministers' meeting will be a turning point for the two countries to come back to the consensus of the leaders' meeting. Each side will make its due effort to reduce tensions on the border."

It has supported the meeting of the Defence Ministers in Moscow on Friday.

However, it seemed to point to the fact that Indian policies on the border are being dictated by nationalism and public opinion.

"Indian public opinion is too deeply and widely involved in border issues. The Indian troop has been obviously kidnapped by domestic nationalism. Therefore, in addition to the joint control of the border dispute between China and India, India should also manage public opinion and nationalism, and make the best choice for its country and its people," the Global Times said.

"The problem now is that India has drawn an aggressive line on the border issue, misinterpreting China's desire to maintain peace and stability on the border as a weakness that can be exploited by threatening to wage a border war 'at any cost'.

"Some in New Delhi also believe that the US' suppression of China and support for India has increased India's strategic strength and provided it with additional capital for risky adventure along the China-India border. This miscalculation has led it to a series arrogant and reckless moves on the China-India border issue," it added.

Chinese State Councilor and Defence Minister Wei Fenghe and Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh met on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) meeting in Moscow on Friday.

This was the highest-level military meeting between the two countries since tensions flared along the borders in recent months. The two armies are currently confronting each other on the south bank of Pangong Tso Lake and Reqin mountain pass in eastern Ladakh. The situation on the ground is quite tense.

"The fact that the two defence ministers are sitting face-to-face is in itself a positive signal and provides the necessary atmosphere for the two countries to manage their border disputes and cool down the situation on the ground," Global Times said.

"Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Indian Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar will also plan to meet on September 10. The meeting between Wei and Singh laid an important foundation for the meeting between the two foreign ministers. The complex border issue between China and India cannot be resolved in one meeting, but the role of the two defence ministers will be crucial in cooling border frictions," the editorial said.

"China and India are both big powers that have the capacity to mobilise national forces to support a military conflict in the border areas, but at this moment both sides need to calm down and clarify two major issues," it added.

Flagging the first issue, it said that China and India have not yet demarcated their borders and the Line of Actual Control (LAC) shouldn't be subject to constant change and different interpretations.

"The LAC of November 7, 1959 should be the base for both sides," it said.

"If both sides want to create a new LAC on their own, and the will of the two major powers were to collide, the result would be disastrous. If both countries use their national power to support this collision indefinitely, it will lead to war, and the scale of the war may not be controlled near the LAC, resulting in a tragic loss of both countries' power, including the lives of their soldiers.

"And given the size of both countries' national power and the current international climate, it is almost impossible to change the status quo on their borders to a large degree. In the end, the two countries will have to return to the general state of the existing LAC. So what are the two sides fighting for?" Global Times said.

The China-India boundary issue, which had been dormant for decades, has become "an active volcano" again in recent years, and it should not be. Before delimiting the border, it should be a common goal for both the countries to manage the border issue by letting the disputes become "dormant" between the two sides again, Global Times said.

Sat, 05 Sep 2020 19:09:42 +0530
Enhance creativity for your hobbies with travel

With Unlock 4.0 announcement and easing of travel restrictions travellers can look to add creativity to their hobbies. For most part of this year since the outbreak of coronavirus almost all of us have stayed home. Many had time to experiment things that they wanted to, some acquired new skills and others immersed themselves in their hobbies. Now with travel restrictions being lifted people can look to add more feathers to their creative instincts.

Leading travel platform researched into its data on travellers’ recommendations for food, yoga, art, and photography. The destinations were based on popular activities to curate the top local destinations to visit, bring the hobbies that you recently perfected to life, etc.

Some top endorsed destinations by travellers within India:

Glorious food in Bengaluru, Karnataka: Cooking and baking gained popularity during social distancing in times of corona, learning new recipes on YouTube, and enjoying food from the comforts of your home, made people satisfied. Bengaluru is famous for a range of delicacies such as Mysore Pak, Bisibele Bath, etc. Other popular destinations for food in India include New Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Amritsar.

Puducherry and Tamil Nadu: The coastal town of Puducherry was seen as an ideal landscape. Home to pristine beaches the city is exemplary and worth to explore. Puducherry entails the French legacy preserved in its French Quarter, with tree-lined streets, mustard-colored colonial villas and chic boutiques. Shimla, Rishikesh, Kodaikanal and Varanasi were also endorsed by travellers for walking in India. Munnar, Madikeri, Ooty, Kodaikanal and Manali were endorsed by travellers for nature walks in India.

Jaipur: The Pink City was a top destination for many and a recommended destination in Hawa Mahal, Amer Fort, Albert Hall Museum and Amber Fort were the major attractions. After Jaipur, Udaipur, Kochi, Kolkata and New Delhi are the top most endorsed destinations in India for art by travellers from India.

Rishikesh, Uttarakhand: The lockdown provided an opportunity for many to look inwards to their own self. Meditation and Yoga gained popularity. Rishikesh, home to many ashrams attract tourists for being a place of detoxification. It is home of Hatha Yoga, Shivananda Yoga, and Vinyasa Yoga and rich with Vedic spiritual history and yogic ashram culture. Varkala, Goa, Varanasi and Kovalam are some of the other top destinations endorsed by Indian travellers to experience and practice yoga.

Himachal Pradesh: The state with its panoramic view is popular among travellers. Kasol was a top destination in for hiking. Kasol is the base point for popular treks like the Kheerganga Trek, the Sar Pass Trek, Malana, Tosh and Rasol. Kasol, followed by Manali, Munnar, Rishikesh and McLeod Ganj are some of the other top destinations endorsed by travellers for hiking Ooty, Rishikesh, Lonanavala, Munnar and Leh were endorsed by travellers for mountaineering.

Sat, 05 Sep 2020 19:06:38 +0530
Virgin Atlantic to lay off 1 150 staffers despite rescue deal

British airline Virgin Atlantic is planning to shed 1,150 jobs and put around 600 cabin crew on extended furlough beyond October. The news comes in wake of a £1.2bn rescue plan signed off by a US court.

A Virgin Atlantic spokesperson told media that the development was heartbreaking but essential for the survival of the airline which is facing tough situation since the outbreak of coronavirus and international travel restrictions that saw its customer base dwindling. The airline had cut 3,150 jobs earlier this year in March.

Earlier this week the airline obtained court approval for its refinancing package with which it could run its operations for the next one-and-a-half year. The package includes a pledge of £200m from Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, the airline’s biggest shareholder, and creditors agreeing to reduce and defer Virgin Atlantic’s debts.

The airline is gearing up for business; it will restart flights to Pakistan in a hope to make up for the losses in the US route which is largely blocked for international travellers.

Shai Weiss, Virgin Atlantic’s chief executive said that it was a mixed day as the company achieved what many thought impossible. The completion of the private-only, solvent recapitalization of Virgin Atlantic removes much of the uncertainty it faced and represented a major step forward in the fight for survival.

Virgin Atlantic will fund its own furlough scheme for the 600 crew members from October if the government’s job retention scheme is not extended.

Sat, 05 Sep 2020 18:55:20 +0530
Tune into an educational podcast on Teachers Day

New Delhi, Sep 5

Whether in learning a new language, brushing up on some science, really understanding politics, or even delving into philosophy - this Teachers' Day, be a mentor to someone who needs it by listening to and sharing podcasts from around the world.

From all of life's treasure, the gift of learning is something truly special, and worth a share. The opportunity to enrich someone's life with knowledge is its own reward and something millions among us are a part of, everyday. Teacher's Day marks a special occasion in recognising our mentors, and celebrating the spirit to learn and enrich our minds.

Here's a round-up of some really interesting educational podcasts available on Spotify that are sure to help the listeners grow and help others grow.

Maha Bharat with Dhruv Rathee

A Spotify Original that delves deep into how things in India actually work and answers questions like how to file a police case? What is a republic? What does the RBI do and why should one care? And so much more!

English Speeches I Learn English

To all the aspiring Shakespeares, this one's for you. If you're looking to practice listening and reading English, this podcast is not only an excellent resource for students to learn but also teachers who'd like to access reliable, good quality content.

Think Fast, Talk Smart: Communication Techniques

For those who'd like to get to know some best practices to communicate effectively, listen to Matt Abrahams host conversations with experts on real-world challenges including 'How to send messages clearly when put on the spot?', 'How to write emails to get the point across?', 'How to easily convey complex information?', 'How to manage reputation?', and more.

Science Vs

If you're a curious mind, find out what's fact, what's not, and what's somewhere in between on this Gimlet podcast. It sifts through all the science to bring fact based information and educates listeners on topics like football concussions, heartbreak, 5G networks, sleep, free healthcare, police use of force, asteroids, you name it!

7 Good Minutes Daily Self-Improvement Podcast with Clyde Lee Dennis

From self-improvement tips to life skills training, this podcast is all the inspiration you'll ever need as you work towards achieving your goals. Tune in to Clyde Lee Dennis and some of the world's best teachers and speakers - the likes of Brendon Burchard, Joel Osteen, Mel Robbins, Simon Sinek, Eddie Pinero, Lisa Nichols, Robin Sharma, and Jay Shetty. Need we say more?

5 Minutes Business Book Summaries

These are busy times but in between your daily routine, if five minutes is all you have, invest it in this podcast to imbibe knowledge from some of the world's best business and self-help books from authors like Seth Godin, Tim Ferris, and more.

Philosophize This!

This podcast is dedicated to sharing the ideas that shaped our world. It is beginner friendly and is for anyone and everyone interested in philosophy In chronological order - the thinkers and ideas that forged the world we live in are broken down and explained.


If you're wondering, what about a podcast for the creative mind? Wireframe is the ultimate podcast to explore and understand user experience design.

Talk To Me In Korean - Core Korean Grammar

ARMY or not, if a new language is something you'd like to learn, these bite-sized Korean lessons are enough to get you going. What's more, it caters to beginners, intermediate and advanced listeners!






Sat, 05 Sep 2020 15:35:41 +0530
Is astrology important for a matrimonial relationship

New Delhi, Sep 5

Matrimony, the holiest of all alliances, in all cultures but especially in the Indian context. India's customs and traditions lay a great emphasis on whether the stars align for your upcoming nuptials.

While it is widely believed that marriages are made in heaven, they idea is that they need to go through a number of processes on earth. Astrology plays a major role when finalising a matrimonial alliance. In fact it is believed that astrology is very important for the success of any relationship. It is a very normal practice in our country for parents/families to match horoscopes of prospective brides and grooms before going ahead with any step or process related to marriage.

Whenever a matrimonial alliance is being fixed, it is imperative to have a thorough study of horoscopes and stars. There are other ways to do the same, such as face reading and reading body vibrations. All these aim at determining accurately the different 'doshas' or planetary defects that might exist in a prospective relationship. Some of the most common 'doshas' are 'Khuja dosha' - popularly referred to as 'Mangal dosha', 'Rahu dosha' and 'Sarpa dosha'. Apart from these, there are a few other doshas related to the yog of two individuals and other aspects related to horoscope.

The remedies of each of these planetary defects are determined on the basis of 'Gochara Phala', following which different pujas and rituals are conducted to ensure that a couple goes into the institution of marriage peacefully and amicably. Apart from this, a study is also conducted of the different 'Guna' (virtues) of prospective bride and groom. Out of 36 'Gunas', at least 18 must match for a healthy and happy marriage. However, this too can be taken care of through a few pujas and rituals.

Besides, astrology or horoscope matching also plays a crucial role in giving a heads up and preparing a couple for the challenges that they might come across in their married life.

Sat, 05 Sep 2020 15:31:55 +0530
Vivo working on a phone with colour changing rear glass

Beijing, Sep 5

Chinese smartphone maker Vivo is working on a new phone which can change its rear case's colour on the press of a button.

The company has posted a video on Weibo where one can see a phone that can change the colour of its rear case with the press of a button. The smartphone does not have a name or a release date yet, reports Android Authority.

Vivo claims to be using electrochromic glass to achieve this dazzling effect, the same tech that OnePlus used on its 'Concept One' phone to obscure its rear camera from view when not in use.

As per the report, the concept on display wears a sapphire blue sheen when its user's thumb is touching its flank but changes to silvery-white when the thumb is removed.

In addition, Vivo recently patented a new smartphone with a periscope lens and dual-tone back.

The patent was filed by Vivo Mobile Communications to the CNIPA (China National Intellectual Property Administration) and got published on August 28.

According to the patent images, the smartphone features a full-screen flat display with minimum bezels, a punch-hole camera at the top left corner with a boxy structure and curved corners.

The phone houses three keys on its right side -- volume rockers, power button and a slider switch.

Sat, 05 Sep 2020 15:28:48 +0530
Appointments to over 20K govt jobs in next 5 months Gujarat CM

Gandhinagar, Sep 5

Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Saturday announced that all candidates selected for government posts will be immediately given appointment letters while new recruitments for vacant positions will be announced soon. He said that in the next 5 months, appointments will be made to more than 20,000 government jobs in the state.

Rupani has asked government recruitment agencies to resume the recruitment process that had been stalled so far due to a case pending in the Gujarat High Court regarding a General Administration Department (GAD) order dated August 1, 2018. The High Court had overturned that order on Tuesday.

The Chief Minister had convened a meeting with the Gujarat Public Service Commission (GPSC), Gaun Seva Pasandgi Mandal (subordinate class services selection federation), Panchayat Seva Pasandgi Mandal, and officials for police recruitment, GAD and the Education Department on Tuesday.

The meeting decided that appointment letters will be immediately issued for the 8,000 government vacancies for which the recruitment process was completed but the appointment process stalled due to the pandemic.

Rupani said that recruitment exams for vacant posts, which had been announced earlier, will be conducted once the pandemic situation normalises.

"The announcement on recruitment for 9,650 government positions was made before the pandemic; the recruitment process for that will also be started from January 2021," Rupani said on Saturday.

The development comes after the High Court verdict setting aside the GAD order dated August 1, 2018, which disallowed meritorious women in reserved categories to be considered in the general category.

The GAD had passed the order wherein it was said that female candidates in reserved categories applying for government jobs shall be considered only under the SC, ST, and OBC quota and not under the General Category despite their higher position in the merit list. The High Court on Tuesday had overturned that order.

Sat, 05 Sep 2020 15:20:41 +0530
With spike of 86K cases India s corona tally crosses 4mn

New Delhi, Sep 5

India on Saturday recorded the highest spike of 86,432 cases taking the total tally to 40,23,179 cases, Union Health Ministry data revealed.

A total of 1,089 deaths were registered in the last 24 hours taking the toll to 69,561.

Out of the total confirmed cases, 8,46,395 are the active cases, while a total of 31,07,223 have recovered from the virus so far. With 77,072 recoveries in a day, the recovery rate has increased to 77.23 per cent.

The number of patients recovering is on a steady rise over the past several months. As the daily recoveries increase, India has registered more than 60,000 recoveries each day.

Maharashtra continues to be the worst-hit with a total of 8,63,069 cases and 25,969 deaths; followed by Andhra Pradesh with 4,76,506 cases and 4,276 deaths. Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, West Bengal, and Bihar come next.

According to the data from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), India conducted a record 10,59,346 tests in a single day on Friday, taking the total number of samples tested so far to 47,738,491.

On the global front, India still remains the third worst hit nation with the Covid-19 pandemic while the US and Brazil lead the board with 62,00,518 and 40,91,801 total cases, respectively. India is a few thousand cases short of crossing Brazil.

Sat, 05 Sep 2020 11:45:14 +0530
Covid 19 surge continues in Taj city

Agra, Sep 5

A record 88 fresh cases in a day have alarmed the Agra authorities, who are battling the Covid-19 infection through a multi-pronged strategy.

The district authorities have streamlined the medical infrastructure, adding beds and manpower at the S.N. Medical College, district hospital and the lone quarantine centre at the campus of the Hindustan College.

Health officials said the daily testing numbers were on the rise and testing on-demand would soon be introduced at dozens of new centres in the city.

Half a dozen private nursing homes in the city have been permitted to admit Covid-19 patients. The local S.N. Medical College has only 24 beds in the ICU. The target is to increase the number of beds to 85.

District Magistrate P.N. Singh visited the facilities on Friday. Doctors asked him to arrange for more ventilators.

More than 300 samples were collected during the three-day Sero Survey that began on Friday. A health department official said the target was to collect around 1,400 samples from different age groups.

The total number of samples collected in Agra is now 1,27,881. The number of active cases has gone up to 565. The number of recovered patients is 2,531. The tally now is 3,204 with 108 deaths. Almost 65 per cent of patients are from the urban areas.

In neighbouring districts, the surge in fresh cases continues to remain alarming, particularly in Mathura and Aligarh.

Sat, 05 Sep 2020 11:40:12 +0530
Bollywood not completely black Chetan Bhagat

New Delhi, Sep 5

Bestselling author Chetan Bhagat insists that Bollywood's portrayal in the media post the Sushant Singh Rajput tragedy has been disappointing and far-fetched. Stressing that the industry may have its problems, but to paint everybody as evil and a drug addict is "absolute nonsense".

Himself an 'outsider', on whose books, several films including '3 Idiots', 'Hello', 'Kai Po Che', '2 States' and 'Half Girlfriend' have been made, the writer said, "There is no Star Trek like control room in the film industry where everybody is sitting, doping and and conspiring against people. Yes, it's a highly competitive place where only a few films can be made, and a lot of people want to be part of it. And that is bound to bring a certain stress. Of course, it's not perfect, but it's not all black."

Lashing out at the media circus surrounding the young actor's death, the author, whose latest book 'One Arranged Murder' (Westland Publications) recently hit the stands told IANS, "Sushant's death came as a shock and there was bound to be confusion. But I still don't get it -- what was Mumbai Police doing so wrong that there was such a media outrage over their investigations? And now that the CBI has taken over, considering it was tough to ask for FBI or Scotland Yard, still, each night on prime time, everyone is trying to solve the case. Are you smarter than those 15 sleuths? Strange conspiracy theories with not even a shred of evidence that will hold strong in court are discussed night after night.. With such stories, one should go to a publisher. At least I am honest -- I say I write stories and they are fiction."

Adding that at a time when the economy is in a free-fall and tensions with China are at its peak, television channels are too busy 'solving' the Sushant Singh Rajput case, the writer goes on to added, "We just want to focus on conspiracy theories and become Sherlock Holmes."

For someone, who has mostly been known for writing love stories, the latest one, a murder mystery, his second after 'The Girl in Room 105', was the need of the times considering people's tastes are changing and thrillers are ruling the roost. "Look at the most popular web series. Now it's no longer about whether the boy gets the girl in the end or not -- point is, does he kill her in the end?"

Adding that it is important for a writer to reinvent constantly, Bhagat assures that despite being a murder mystery, the latest one is a "Chetan Bhagat book". "So, it is bound to boast of liberal doses of comedy, romance and Indian reality. The setting of the book is a Punjabi arranged marriage. Frankly, it's the Indian touch that I bring on the table -- even if you're not a murder mystery person, you'll still enjoy it," he said.

Ask him if it is the entertainment value or excellent marketing success that makes his books such a success, and he is quick to asserted, "There is never one reason. I have tried to analyze. What if it is fluke? But then I have written nine books now. And this meme called Chetan Bhagat has been going around for 16-17 years now -- there has to be a method to the madness, no? I always try to keep things simple, fun and bring forth the essence of Indian through interesting stories.

"When I started writing, I knew I wanted a career out of this --- that requires a lot of ear to the ground, travelling, being active on social media, to gauge what the youngsters in the country are thinking. There is a little more effort behind it than people often think -- for 'One Arranged Murder', we had almost 50 people read the book and give feedback -- then we improved the book.Three or four different editors worked on the book and improved it. Everybody knows, it's not easy to keep readers hooked for 300 pages."

For Bhagat, the key to producing so much work lies in making writing life's rhythm. As he says -- you write, release a book and write another one. Adding that one needs to know when to let go as any piece of writing can be improved any number of times, he said, "A painter knows when to move on to another canvas. He wouldn't necessarily dwell over a single one for 10 years to make it a masterpiece."

For someone who has worked in the banking sector, the corporate discipline has come in handy. "I know what it is to get up in the morning, take a shower and sit down. Whether inspiration comes or not-- if you are writing, you have to write. It takes me a year to write a book, next year I don't. I give motivational talks, see India, travel and absorb ideas for the next book."

As the conversation veers towards his political columns and allegations from some quarters of being right-wing, the writer says that the columns started as an experiment and have managed to have a reader base of its own, independent of his books.

"As far as being a right winger is concerned, well, it's a world-wide problem with the Left. They want people to be Left and liberal in a certain way, say a certain thing. If you say anything that's slightly off-the-script, you are a sell-out. I am in the centre. The left club seems to be clear on one thing -- you must hate Modi -- only then will you get a leftist's badge. I don't want that and I don't hate. I am not in a relationship with the Prime Minister to love or hate him. Also, when you're constantly criticising, objectivity takes a hit -- and that's happening. See the many subscriber driven websites and platforms. People say advertisers bias the media but the truth is subscribers bias the media a lot more. If your subscriber base is not mixed, they will bully you into cancelling subscriptions --- you have no choice but to lean a certain way then. My job is to be credible, along with being interesting."

The lockdown for Bhagat meant no book launches, film projects or motivational talks. "All there was left to do was write another book, a crime thriller. It's almost ready," he concluded.

Sat, 05 Sep 2020 11:36:13 +0530
Gujarat Covid 19 tally at 1 01 695 toll reaches 3 078

Gandhinagar, Sep 5

Gujarat's corona cases rose to 1,01,695 with the addition of 1,320 cases on Friday while the toll reached 3,078 as 14 more succumbed.

During August, the state had seen 35,002 positive cases with a daily average of 1,129 cases, while in September so far, 5,260 cases have been detected with an average of 1,315 cases daily.

A total of 1,218 patients were discharged on Friday, taking the total to 82,398, while the state has 16,219 active cases, of which 92 critical patients were still on ventilator.

Of the new cases, hotspot Surat continued to lead with 271 cases, followed by Ahmedabad with 171 and Rajkot with 163.

Vadodara saw 125 cases, Jamnagar 111, Bhavnagar 53, Gandhinagar 36, Patan 30, Panchmahals and Junagadh 29 each, Amreli and Mehsana 26 each, Kutch and Morbi 25 each, Banaskantha 24, Narmada 20, Bharuch 19, Gir-Somnath 15, Sabarkantha and Surendranagar 14 each, Navsari and Tapi 13 each, Anand and Dahod 12 each, Devbhumi Dwarka 10, Kheda and Mahisagar seven each, Botad, Chhota Udepur and Valsad six each and Aravalli with three.

Of the new deaths, four were reported from Ahmedabad, three from Surat, two from Rajkot and one each from Gir-Somnath, Junagadh, Patan, Vadodara and Gandhinagar.

Gujarat's mortality rate is currently 3.02 per cent.

Health authorities have so far conducted 26,35,369 RT-PCR tests, while the state has 5,53,061 people under quarantine - 5,51,582 at home and 1,479 in government facilities.

Sat, 05 Sep 2020 11:19:11 +0530
Area under kharif crops reaches new record of 1 095 lakh hectare

New Delhi, Sep 5

Area under kharif crops in the ongoing sowing season rose to new record of 1,095.38 lakh hectare as India received 9 per cent above normal rains this monsoon season.

As per the sowing coverage data released on Friday by Union Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers' Welfare, the acreage of paddy, the chief kharif crop reported at 396.18 lakh hectare in the current season so far as compared to 365.92 lakh hectare in the corresponding period of last year i.e. increase in area coverage by 8.27 per cent.

The acreage of all kharif crops reported at 1,095.38 lakh hectare, 6.32 percent higher than last year's figure of 1,030.32 lakh hectare.

Area under pulses rose to 136.79 lakh hectare against 130.68 lakh hectare of last year i.e. increase in area coverage by 4.67 per cent.

The acreage of coarse cereals reported at 179.36 lakh hectare area against 176.25 lakh hactre area of last year i.e. increase in area coverage by 1.77 per cent.

Area under oilseed crops rose to 194.75 lakh hectare, 11.93 per cent higher than the acreage in the corresponding period last year.

Sugarcane area is at 52.38 lakh hectare area against 51.71 lakh hectare in the same period last year.

The acreage of cotton reported at 128.95 lakh hectare area against 124.90 lakh hectare area of last year i.e. increase in area coverage by 3.24 per cent.

Area under jute & mesta reported at 6.97 lakh hectare area against 6.86 lakh hectare in the corresponding period last year.

Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers' Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar said in a statement that credit goes to farmers for timely action and adoption of technologies and taking benefit of government schemes.

Timely prepositioning of inputs by the government like seeds, pesticides, fertilizers, machinery and credit has made it possible for large coverage even during pandemic lockdown conditions, he added.

The final sowing figures for kharif season will be closed on October 2, 2020, said Union Ministry of Agriculture in the statement.

Sat, 05 Sep 2020 11:16:53 +0530
I League Gokulam Kerala FC sign Mizoram left back Zodingliana Tochhawng

Kozhikode, Sep 5

 I-League club Gokulam Kerala FC have signed Mizoram left-back Zodingliana Tochhawng for the upcoming season.

Zodingliana, who is also known as Adlinga, started his professional career with Shillong Lajong FC in 2013 I-League season and before that he was part of India under-14, under-16, and under-19 teams.

Later he was loaned to North East United FC and played 10 matches for the highlanders. The next year, he represented Delhi Dynamos and played 12 matches. His last stint in ISL was with Pune City before moving to FC Goa reserve team.

Last season, the 25-year-old played a major role for NEROCA FC in the I-League, starting 11 matches.

"Representing Gokulam Kerala FC is a privilege for me. I thank everyone who helped me to get here. I am very happy and motivate to play for Malabarians. It is a new beginning for me and I aim at landing the league title for the club and its fan," said Tochhawng.

"We welcome Zodingliana Tochhawng a versatile Mizo-midfielder to our GKFC family. He is a seasoned player having vast experience in both I-League & ISL. The lightning left-footed player will be a great competitor to our first choice left full-back Naocha Singh" said Gokulam Kerala FC CEO, B. Ashok Kumar.

"He is a player we have been tracking for a while. He is a player of high quality and our technical team will be looking forward to integrating him into the club. We have a competitive squad now and will be aiming at I-League title," said Gokulam Kerala FC chairman Gokulam Gopalan.

Sat, 05 Sep 2020 11:13:54 +0530
Google to launch Pixel 5 Pixel 4a 5G on September 25 Report

San Francisco, Sep 5

Google is reportedly gearing up to launch Pixel 5 as well as Pixel 4a 5G smartphones on September 25 in Germany.

An internal document from the German branch of Vodafone suggests the Google Pixel 4a 5G and Google Pixel 5 may land in Germany on September 25. If that's true, the general launch of the Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a 5G could be very soon, and likely on the same date, reports Android Authority.

According to Jon Prosser, a reliable Apple insider and serial leakster, the Pixel 5G will be announced in colours like black and green. The Pixel 4a 5G variant will be announced alongside in black colour only.

The Google Pixel 5 recently appeared on AI Benchmark and the listing confirms that it is powered by the SD765G SoC.

The presence of the SD765G inside the device reveals that it will debut as the first 5G-ready Pixel phone.

The device will be the first Pixel phone to come with 8GB RAM. However, the AI Benchmark has no information on the other specs of the device.

The upcoming Pixel 5 smartphone is also expected to feature a larger 6.67-inch, 120Hz OLED panel.

Display analyst Ross Young claimed earlier this month that the next Pixel device will be sporting a 6.67-inch display supplied by Samsung and BOE and the screen would support a 120Hz refresh rate.

It will be the first Pixel phone to come with 8GB RAM.

The smartphone is likely to feature a modern punch-hole display, similar to the Pixel 4a.

It is expected to arrive with more premium features, IP water rating and wireless charging support.

The recently announced Google Pixel 4a features a 5.81-inch OLED display and it is powered by Snapdragon 730 mobile platform. The phone comes with 6GB RAM and 128GB native storage.

Sat, 05 Sep 2020 11:12:06 +0530
ICMR recommends test on demand for Covid 19

New Delhi, Sep 5

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has issued an advisory on the strategy for Covid-19 testing in which it has recommended "testing on demand".

According to the advisory, testing on demand should be done for individuals undertaking travel to countries or Indian states mandating a negative Covid-19 test report at the point of entry and those who wish to get themselves tested.

"State governments to decide the simplified modalities," the advisory stated.

ICMR'S advisory, also recommended by the National Task Force on Covid-19, stated that no emergency procedure, including deliveries, should be delayed for lack of test and allowed for testing on demand.

"Pregnant women should not be referred for a lack of testing facility and all arrangements should be made to collect and transfer their samples to the testing facilities," it said.

Besides this, the apex research body said that mothers who test positive for Covid-19 should be advised to wear a mask and undertake frequent handwashing while handling their baby for 14 days.

"They should also be advised on breast cleaning before feeding the neonate. These measures are likely to reduce transmission to their babies," the advisory said.

As per the advisory, a single RT-PCR, TrueNat, CBNAAT and rapid antigen positive test is to be considered confirmatory without any repeat testing. If symptoms develop following a negative RAT test, a repeat RAT or RT-PCR should be done.

Ideally, it is suggested that 100 per cent people living in containment zones should be tested by RAT, particularly in cities where there has been widespread transmission of the infection, the ICMR advisory stated.

"No re-testing is recommended prior to discharge from a Covid-19 facility after clinical recovery, including for transfer from a Covid area and facility to a non-Covid area," it added.

The ICMR further recommended home quarantine for 14 days for all individuals before undergoing elective surgery to minimise chances of infection before the procedure.

Sat, 05 Sep 2020 11:09:10 +0530
Teacher s Day Manushi Chhillar recalls the teacher who ingrained love for stage in her

Mumbai, Sep 5

When it comes to imbibing self-discipline, Manushi Chhillar remembers her junior school dance teacher.

The beauty queen-turned actress opened up on the subject on the occasion of Teacher's Day on Saturday, and recalled one of her "most special" teachers in school.

"One of my most special teachers from school was Ms Bose. She used to teach us Indian dance and music in junior school. I moved to Delhi when I was seven and in second class, and it was she who ingrained the love for the stage in me. From a very young age she would take me in her programs," Manushi said.

Manushi, who is all set to step into Bollywood with the Akshay Kumar-starrer "Prithviraj", recalled that even though her teacher was strict, she loved her dearly.

"She was among the strictest teachers I had but I loved her dearly because through her strictness I learnt about performance discipline, and I understood that when you enjoy performing and like the stage, there is a lot of practice and self-discipline to go with it," she said.

Remembering the special bond she shared with her teacher, Manushi said: "As I grew older and left for senior school, I remember I used to meet her once a year during our annual day and she would come with her squad of girls from the junior school to senior school. I would always touch her feet (till date whenever I get a chance to meet her I do so), but she would never let me finish my namaskar and would hug me."

"I share a special bond with Ms Bose and she is one of one of my most special teachers. I remember that when we were finishing class XII, we had our candle light ceremony and everyone was quite emotional. The only teacher I kept thinking about was her because she had seen me grow and always encouraged and pushed me to give my best. I hugged her and I think both of us ended up crying and both of us knew we would miss working with each other," Manushi recalled, adding that she met her teacher again when she won the Miss India title.

Sat, 05 Sep 2020 11:07:28 +0530
Sushant Divgikar lends voice to India s first gender atypical album

Mumbai, Sep 5

Model-actor Sushant Divgikar is excited to lend his voice to the first gender atypical love album in India.

Titled "MTV Beats Love Duet", the album is created by artistes from the LGBTQIA+ community.

"The landmark judgement on Section 377 has been pioneering for all of us and led to significant changes in driving our acceptance. While it has been welcoming so far, the larger social battle is yet to be won and that will only happen if we, as a community strive together for a positive impact," said Sushant, who was crowned Mr Gay India 2014.

" 'MTV Beats Love Duet' is a groundbreaking effort in that direction. As India's first love album by the LGBTQIA+ community, it beautifully defines and normalises love beyond gender. Together with some exceptionally talented people, it has been a pure delight to work on this album and echo our thoughts through the power of music. This one is by us for everyone who believes in love in its purest form," he added.

The album aims to normalise conversations on love that goes beyond the stereotypes of gender. The album also brings together musicians including Shubhangi, Rushik Thakkar and Prachi, and Ma Faiza with music production by Rtunjya.

Acclaimed singer Nikhita Gandhi lent her voice to a special track, "Khud ko hi paake". The album will also have songs titled, "Teri meri baatein", "Jashn-e-bahaar" and "Ishq karle tu". The first track "Jashn-e-bahaar" will launch on September 10.








Sat, 05 Sep 2020 11:05:52 +0530
Tax Devolution Finance Commission advised to treat FY21 FY22 differently

New Delhi, Sep 5

 At a time when the Centre is facing difficulties to disburse GST compensation to states on the low revenue collection, the Economic Advisory Council of the 15th Finance Commission has advised the latter to treat the financial year 2020-21 and 2021-22 differently in comparison to the next four years.

The commission is to give recommendations for devolution of taxes and other fiscal matters over the next five years starting April 1, 2020.

An official statement said that during an online meeting of the advisory council with the commission, the council was of the view that the Finance Commission is faced with an "unprecedented situation of uncertainties".

The council suggested that the 15th Finance Commission under the chairmanship of N. K. Singh will have to take a nuanced approach towards tax devolution to the states, other transfers, financing of expenditures in the midst of revenue strains including through borrowings and the path of fiscal consolidation.

"The Members of the Council also felt that the Commission will have to think unconventionally, especially in treating the five years at hand from 2021-22 to 2025-26. They advised that the base year 2020-21 and the first year of 2021-22 may need to be viewed differently from the remaining four years when the revenue situation is likely to improve gradually," it said.

The meeting, chaired by N. K.Singh, was attended by all members of the Finance Commission and senior officials of the commission. From the Economic Advisory Council and the special invitees Arvind Virmani, Indira Rajaraman, D. K.Srivastava, M. Govinda Rao, Sudipto Mundle among others gave their views.

The commission will have a meeting with another set of distinguished scholars on Saturday to get their views.

The meeting on Friday discussed a wide gamut of issues around GDP growth, the tax buoyancy of the Centre and the states, GST compensation and fiscal consolidation.

Specific issues relating to public expenditure on health, investment revival, recapitalization of the financial system and its impact on public finances, focus on strengthening of defence capabilities, emerging trends in GST collections and its connection with improvements in its technology platform were also discussed.

The statement said that different views were expressed on the GDP growth in the current year in terms of the quarterly built-up, and the growth revival that is likely in the subsequent years.

The advisory council felt that the government debt relative to GDP is likely to increase steeply in the initial years, however, the purpose should be to endeavour to bring it down in the subsequent years.

In the initial years, this ratio will be affected by the increased revenue-expenditure imbalance on the numerator and the downward pressure on GDP on the numerator.

Sat, 05 Sep 2020 11:03:34 +0530
US stocks fall as tech sell off continues

New York, Sep 5 

US stocks finished lower after choppy trading as investors continued to rotate out of tech-related shares.

On Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 159.42 points, or 0.56 per cent, to end at 28,133.31, after trading more than 600 points lower earlier in the session. The S&P 500 decreased 28.10 points, or 0.81 per cent, to 3,426.96. The Nasdaq Composite Index slid 144.97 points, or 1.27 per cent, to 11,313.13, Xinhua news agency reported.

Major tech stocks struggled. Shares of Facebook, Amazon and Google-parent Alphabet all lost more than 2 per cent. Netflix and Microsoft slipped 1.8 per cent and 1.4 per cent, respectively.

The S&P 500 tech sector sank 1.34 per cent, following a 5.83-per cent drop in the previous session.

US-listed Chinese companies traded mostly lower, with six of the top 10 stocks by weight in the S&P US Listed China 50 index ending the day on a downbeat note.

Investors pored through the newly-released US jobs data.

US employers added 1.4 million jobs in August, and the unemployment rate dropped to 8.4 per cent, as the nation's pandemic-ravaged labor market continues to slowly recover, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.

Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been expecting growth of 1.32 million and the jobless rate to decline to 9.8 per cent from 10.2 per cent in July.

The US unemployment rate previously soared to a record 14.7 per cent in April. Payrolls are still about 11 million below pre-pandemic levels.

Wall Street wrapped up its worst session in months on Thursday that saw the Dow shed more than 800 points amid tech rout.

Sat, 05 Sep 2020 11:01:29 +0530
Chhatisgarh CM writes to Shah for deployment of 7 CRPF Battalion

Raipur, Sep 5

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has written a letter to Union Home Minister Amit Shah seeking the Centres cooperation in better implementation of the state government's action plan regarding eradication of Naxals from the region and demanded deployment of 7 CRPF Battalions to combat naxals.

He said that it has been learnt that 10 CRPF battalion have been removed from Jammu and Kashmir. "In this case, providing the 7 allocated battalions to Chhattisgarh immediately will help in effective implementation of anti-naxal movement," wrote Baghel.

The Chief Minister in the letter said that the Union Home Ministry had allocated 7 additional CRPF battalions for Chhattisgarh in 2018. It was decided to deploy these forces in worst affected Naxal-hit south Bastar district of Sukma and Bijapur for effective implementation of anti-naxal activities and developmental projects. In the selected locations, the amount has been disbursed for setting up of battalion headquarters and work has also been completed at most of the locations.

The state government has sanctioned 1,028 mobile towers for increasing the telecom facility in Naxal-affected districts, for which locations have been selected and sent to the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Baghel in his letter said that the towers should be established soon, which could benefit the common people as well as the security forces. Along with this, he has also requested to organise a special recruitment rally by the army for the youth of Bastar.

The Chief Minister also suggested formation of an additional "Bastaria" battalion of the Central Armed Police Forces so that the local youth can get employment as well as get better results on the Naxalite front.

The Chief Minister has urged to consider the construction of roads with pre-fabricated technology, bridge culvert and advanced technology in Bastar division, so that construction work can be done with high quality in a short time.

The state government has adopted a three dimensional programme -- Trust-Development-Security -- making all possible efforts to win the trust of the people of Naxal affected regions and taking forward the development work to create a safe environment and the efforts have shown positive results, said the Chief Minister.

Sat, 05 Sep 2020 10:57:14 +0530
Alert after carjacking at gunpoint in Punjab

Chandigarh, Sep 5

Punjab Police and security agencies in neighbouring states have launched a manhunt after a carjacking incident at gunpoint by three men in Punjab's Gurdaspur district, police said on Saturday.

Three motorcycle-borne miscreants stopped a white-coloured Verna car near the Bariar bypass, fired shots into the air and snatched the vehicle on Friday evening, a senior police official told IANS.

He, however, ruled out the possibility of a terror angle to the incident even though the whole district has been put on high alert.

The Director General of Police in Punjab in a letter to his counterparts in Jammu and Himachal Pradesh asked them to step up the security.

Security agencies were taking the incident seriously in view of two major terrorist strikes in the area in recent years.

Terrorists from Pakistan had attacked the Indian Air Force (IAF) base in Punjab's Pathankot in 2016 and Dinanagar town in neighbouring Gurdaspur district in 2015.

Sat, 05 Sep 2020 10:52:20 +0530
Trump declares Modi support drags India into US electoral minefield

New York, Sep 5

President Donald Trump has dragged India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi into a possible minefield of US politics by asserting that India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi give him "great support" in the context of the US elections where foreign involvement is a sore point.

"We have great support from India, we have great support from Prime Minister Modi, and I would think that the people, the Indian people would be voting for Trump," he said on Friday when asked about the Indian American vote.

A reporter referred to a video "Four More Years" targeting Indian Americans that was released during the Republican National Convention and was retweeted by his eldest son, Donald Trump, Jr., and asked if the community would vote for him.

"I do," Trump said. "We had an event in Houston, as you know, and it was a fantastic event. I was invited by Prime Minister Modi, this was massive, this was where they play football, Houston football team, It was incredible. It was actually incredible. The prime minister could not have been more generous."

He then made the assertion about support from India and Modi, which could be controversial given the allegations of foreign interference in the November presidential elections.

Democrats have said that Russia was backing Trump and the Republicans have said that China was backing the Democratic Party's candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden.

The concept for the video, "Four More Years," credited to Al Mason, the co-chair of the Trump Victory Indian American Finance Committee is subtle by using clips of Modi praising Trump at the "Howdy Modi" rally of about 50,000 Indian Americans in Houston last year and Trump praising Indian Americans and India, and saying the US will always be a "loyal and faithful friend to the Indian people" at the "Namaste Trump" rally in Ahmedabad in February.

However, Trump's assertion at the Friday news conference of backing from Modi and India was more forthright and implies direct support from them for Trump in the elections which could complicate relations with the Democrats.

Indian Americans have traditionally been a bastion of the Democratic Party.

The Pew Research Centre has found that 65 per cent of Indian Americans are Democrats or lean towards the party.

According to Karthick Ramakrishnan, the director of the Asian American Pacific Islander Data which produces political research about those communities, 77 per cent of Indian Americans voted for the Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton and only 16 per cent for Trump in the 2016 election.

But Ramakrishnan told a National Public Radio interviewer in February, "My hunch is that there's probably some movement towards President Trump but still overwhelming support for the Democratic Party and Democratic candidates as opposed to President Trump."

Indian American voters could play a role in the battleground states -- the swing states where neither party has an overwhelming majority and could go either way.

The reporter asked Trump if his eldest son and daughter Ivanka Trump would campaign for him among Indian Americans in the battleground states this year.

Trump replied, "They're very good young people. And I know their relationship to India is very good and so is mine. And Prime Minister Modi is a friend of mine and he has done a very good job. Nothing easy, nothing easy, but he is doing a very good job."

He added, "They think a lot of India and so do I, and I think a lot of your prime minister."

He said, "What we saw (during the February India visit), the people are so incredible. It is really an incredible place and incredible country. And it is definitely big, it is definitely big. But you have got a great leader and he is a great person."

While defending his response to the Covid-19 pandemic, he said that India has "done a good job" of testing for the disease, carrying out the second-highest number of tests in the world, ranking behind the US.

In 2016, the Trump campaign made special efforts to reach out to Hindu voters. Communal and religious appeals are legal in the US and both parties resort to them, although it was the first time a presidential candidate campaigned for Hindu votes.

Trump addressed a rally organised by the Republican Hindu Coalition and his son Eric visited a Hindu temple in Florida.

A video of Trump welcoming a sari-clad Indian software developer to the "great American family of citizens" during a citizenship ceremony at the White House was shown at last month's Republican Convention to show his support for legal immigrants.

However, in his address to the convention he highlighted action against employing H1-B workers at a government-owned energy conglomerate. Indians get the majority H1-B visas, given to professionals and specialised workers and efforts to curtail them are met with criticism from India.

The convention also showed a video in which Trump presented as a "hostage" an American missionary caught by his own admission in India committing currency violations. Even though he was given due process with the Indian judiciary and released, Trump had him presented alongside victims of countries like Iran and Syria.

Sat, 05 Sep 2020 10:48:48 +0530
US faces potential WADA sanctions over funding withdrawal

Montreal, The United States could face sanctions if they cut off funding from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

WADA said in a statement on Friday that several government representatives have expressed concerns "relative to threats from the United States Government to withdraw funding from the Agency if WADA did not fulfill a number of conditions," Xinhua news agency reported.

"These Governments have identified what they consider to be a weakness in the rules whereby a Government can unilaterally refuse to meet its agreed funding commitments without facing any significant consequences," the statement read.

"They feel that what is happening with the US Government could create a negative precedent internationally that could be replicated and would jeopardize the entire global anti-doping system."

The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) released a report in June concluding that the US was not fairly represented in WADA proportionate to its contribution - US $2.7 million per year to the core budget of WADA - and that WADA had not made enough efforts in reform.

According to WADA, government representatives have asked the Agency to consider the possibility of amending its rules so that such a move could face potential sanctions.

WADA president Witold Banka said the Agency would follow the representatives' suggestions.

"We will examine the rules to see if they need to be strengthened in light of the current situation. As always, due process will be followed and this will be a matter for discussion and consultation," said Banka, who assumed his role at the beginning of this year.

Banka said his focus is "absolutely" on the welfare of athletes, and that the anti-doping system that "has served clean athletes" must be protected.

"Fairness for athletes all over the world remains my number one priority. I will never let clean athletes become hostages of political games. Under the International Standard for Code Compliance by Signatories there are many possible consequences that do not impact the athletes," he continued.

Finally, Banka said he was ready to "work with the US Government on this" and called for unity from all stakeholders.

WADA will hold their Executive Committee meeting on 14-15 September.


Sat, 05 Sep 2020 09:15:25 +0530
India China Defence Ministers agree to resolve border tensions through talks

Moscow/New Delhi,  Indian Defence Minister Rajanth Singh and his Chinese counterpart Wei Fenghe met in the Russian capital on Friday to discuss their border dispute and agreed to de-escalate the situation through talks.

The two-hour meeting between the Indian and Chinese delegations, which started at 9.30 p.m. Indian Standard Time,saw the border disputes discussed at length.

This is the first political dialogue after the tension on the borders started.

Both the ministers are in Moscow to participate in a joint meeting of Defence Ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries.

Rajnath Singh, who is accompanied by a high-level delegation including the Defence Secretary and other senior officials, had, earlier in the day, addressed the joint meeting where he stated that India is committed to the evolution of a global security architecture which will be open, transparent, inclusive, rules-based and anchored in international laws.

India and China are engaged in four-month-long standoff at the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh. Despite several levels of dialogue, there has not been any breakthrough to the resolve the deadlock, while Chinese's People Liberation Army (PLA) troops had made fresh attempts at incursion attempts into Indian territory late last month.

China had made provocative military movements to change the status quo at Pangong Tso lake after Indian soldiers had earlier occupied the heights there to thwart the PLA's land-grabbing bid.

On June 15, as many as 20 Indian soldiers and an unknown number of Chinese troops were killed in a violent clash in the Galwan Valley.

Chinese aggression started increasing along the Line of Actual Control and more particularly in Galwan Valley since May 5. The Chinese side transgressed in the areas of Kugrang Nala, Gogra and north bank of Pangong lake on May 17 and May 18.


Sat, 05 Sep 2020 09:08:55 +0530
General Motors and Honda to work on vehicles together

Leading motor manufacturers, General Motors and Honda have inked an agreement to explore sharing vehicle underpinnings and propulsion systems in North America. Both the vehicle manufacturers are holding discussions on jointly designing vehicles and it would include vehicles powered by both electricity and internal combustion engines. Engineering work will start early next year.

Honda and General Motors in their media statement said that they’ll cooperate on purchasing research and connected devices. The development is a sign of market consolidation in the automotive business as companies are facing huge capital outlays to develop products including new electric and autonomous vehicles.

Fri, 04 Sep 2020 17:03:14 +0530
Google Maps using DeepMind AI to predict your arrival time

San Francisco, Sep 4

 As people traverse over 1 billion kms with help from Google Maps in more than 220 countries, the company is using artificial intelligence (AI) machine learning (ML) models to predict whether the traffic along your route is heavy or light, an estimated travel time, and an estimated time of arrival (ETA).

Google has partnered with DeepMind, an Alphabet AI research lab, to improve the accuracy of its traffic prediction capabilities.

"Our ETA predictions already have a very high accuracy bar – in fact, we see that our predictions have been consistently accurate for over 97 per cent of trips," said Johann Lau, Product Manager, Google Maps.

By partnering with DeepMind, Google has been able to cut the percentage of inaccurate ETAs even further by using an ML architecture known as Graph Neural Networks.

"This technique is what enables Google Maps to better predict whether or not you'll be affected by a slowdown that may not have even started yet," Lau said in a statement on Thursday.

To predict what traffic will look like in the near future, Google Maps analyzes historical traffic patterns for roads over time.

"We then combine this database of historical traffic patterns with live traffic conditions, using machine learning to generate predictions based on both sets of data," Lau said.

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, traffic patterns around the globe have shifted dramatically.

"We saw up to a 50 per cent decrease in worldwide traffic when lockdowns started in early 2020," Lau informed.

To account for this sudden change, Google has updated its models to become more agile — automatically prioritising historical traffic patterns from the last two to four weeks and deprioritising patterns from any time before that.

The predictive traffic models are also a key part of how Google Maps determines driving routes.

"If we predict that traffic is likely to become heavy in one direction, we'll automatically find you a lower-traffic alternative. We also look at a number of other factors, like road quality," Google said.

Two other sources of information are important to making sure Google recommends the best routes -- authoritative data from local governments and real-time feedback from users.

Authoritative data lets Google Maps know about speed limits, tolls, or if certain roads are restricted due to things like construction or Covid-19.

"And incident reports from drivers let Google Maps quickly show if a road or lane is closed, if there's construction nearby, or if there's a disabled vehicle or an object on the road," Google added.

Fri, 04 Sep 2020 11:19:01 +0530
Cong seeks restoration of Question Hour

New Delhi, Sep 4

The newly constituted parliamentary strategy group of the Congress has decided to raise the issue of dropping the Question Hour with the presiding officers of both the Houses. Leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad and Floor leader in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhry will write to the Speaker, said party sources.

The leaders met on Thursday virtually and deliberated on the issues to be raised by the Congress in the upcoming session, while the five member committee constituted by Sonia Gandhi has given its recommendation on ordinance, said sources.

Ahead of the Parliament session, which begins on September 14, another meeting is expected to finalise the issues to be raised by the party.

The meeting gained significance after the letter bomb and the stormy Congress Working Committee (CWC) meet, where the loyalists and dissenters came face to face. However, sources said only issues related to the Parliament session were discussed, and Azad, who was the prime mover of the letter presided over the meeting.

Randeep Surjewala, party chief spokesperson, said: "The central idea is to hold the government accountable, to expose its lies, to ensure that public welfare steps are taken and to fix accountability of the government to Parliament of India and through it to 130 crore people of India. By abolishing the Question Hour, this government is running scared of answering the relevant questions to the people of India through their elected representatives."

The Congress has alleged that the Modi government 'does not want to answer on the brazen transgressions by China in the Indian Territory. It does not want to answer about the plunder of the Indian economy and the free fall of GDP. The Centre also does not want to answer as to why, for the first time in 73 years, GDP has fallen by minus 24 per cent.

Sources in the government called it a "masterclass in hypocrisy", while taking a dig at the opposition.

"The uproar over the Question Hour suspension is nothing but a masterclass in hypocrisy by members of the opposition. It is amusing to see opposition MPs who don't have the power to question even their party president create a fake narrative on this issue," said the government source.

The idea of dropping the Question Hour in the mini Parliament session has the opposition up in arms. They are accusing the Centre of stifling its voice.

Both the Houses of Parliament will be meeting for the first time since the nationwide lockdown in March.

Parliamentary Affairs minister Pralhad Joshi said, "The government has spoken in advance to all the opposition parties for not holding Question Hour and everyone, except West Bengal MP Derek O'Brien, has agreed to the arrangement.

Fri, 04 Sep 2020 11:15:38 +0530
TV star Nishant Malkani Immoral to seek publicity through Sushant s death

Mumbai, Sep 4

Telly star Nishant Malkani worked closely with late actor Sushant Singh Rajput in their early days as actors on the small screen. Nishant says he has refrained from commenting on Sushant Singh Rajput or his death so far because many people have looked at it as a way of getting publicity.

"I did not like to comment in the beginning, because initially people were speaking about his death just for publicity, and I don't think that's good. It is immoral in my eyes to seek publicity through someone's death. But now that the initial fever is over, only the real genuine people can come out and share their thoughts about Sushant," claimed Nishant.

Nishant played the lead role of Anukalp Gandhi in "Preet Se Bandhi Ye Dori Ram Milaayi Jodi" around the same time as Sushant was becoming a household name playing Manav Deshmukh in "Pavitra Rishta". Both the shows were aired on the same channel.

"Sushant and I were a part of Zee TV in 2010 and 2011. My show used to air at 9 pm while his was at 9.30 pm. We did a lot of 'maha' episodes and events together, and thus interacted during shoots. I knew him during that period. Later, I quit Zee TV and he also quit television for films, so we lost touch. But what I remember is that he was a humble, hardworking and talented guy. He was somebody who would take charge of a scene and deliver it the way the writers wanted," Nishant recalled.

The CBI is currently investigating Sushant's case now and Nishant asserts that the guilty should be punished.

"Forget about being an industry colleague, I think as a human being I feel that if someone took his life then the culprit needs to come out and should be punished," he said.

Nishant also spoke about actress Kangana Ranaut and her gutsy attitude while taking a stand in Sushant's case. "I think most of the time, Kangana says the right thing in a blunt manner, because of which many people do not like her. But I respect her and I think she is saying all the right things, and is also throwing light on the problems in the industry. I admire her for that and look up to her," said Nishant.

Fri, 04 Sep 2020 11:13:02 +0530
With 83 341 new corona cases India s tally reaches 39L

New Delhi, With 83,341 fresh coronavirus infections in 24 hours, India's tally mounted to 39,36,747 on Friday, while the death toll climbed to 68,472 with 1,096 more fatalities, said the Health Ministry.

Out of total confirmed cases, 8,31,124 are the active cases, while a total of 30,37,151 have recovered from the virus so far. With 66,659 recoveries in a day, the recovery rate has increased to 77.15 per cent.

The number of patients recovering is on a steady rise over the past several months. As the daily recoveries increase, India has registered more than 60,000 recoveries each day, eighth day in a row.

"Less than two per cent of the active cases are on ventilators; two per cent is in ICUs; and less than 3.5 per cent are on oxygen support. This is due to early detection, early hospitalisation and effective clinical management based on the Standard Treatment Protocol," the Health Ministry said.

Maharashtra continues to be the worst-hit with a total of 8,43,844 cases and 25,586 deaths; followed by Andhra Pradesh with 4,65,730 cases and 4,200 deaths. Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, West Bengal, and Bihar come next.

According to the data from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), India conducted a record 11,69,765 tests in a single day on Thursday, taking the total number of samples tested so far to 4,66,79,145.

On the global front, India still remains the third worst hit nation with the Covid-19 pandemic while the US and Brazil lead the board with 6,149,265 and 4,041,638 total cases, respectively. India is a lakh cases short of crossing Brazil.

Fri, 04 Sep 2020 10:58:59 +0530
US unemployment claims fell to 881 000 last week

Washington, Sep 4

The number of initial unemployment claims in the US fell to 881,000 last week, after staying above the 1 million mark for two consecutive weeks, indicating improvement in a labour market ravaged by the Covid-19 crisis.

In the week ending August 29, the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits decreased by 130,000 from a revised level of 1 million, Xinhua news agency quoted the Labour Department as saying in a report released on Thursday, making it the second time in the past 24 weeks that the figure fell below 1 million.

The four-week moving average, a method to iron out data volatility, decreased by 77,500 to reach 991,750.

As Covid-19 shutdowns rippled through the workforce, initial jobless claims spiked by 3 million to reach a record 3.3 million in the week ending March 21, and then doubled to reach a record 6.87 million in the week ending March 28.

After that, the number had been declining for 15 weeks consecutively -- though it was still at historically high levels -- before the trend was reversed in the week ending July 18 amid a resurgence in the number of positive cases.

The number then fell to 963,000 in the week ending August 8, the first time it dipped below 1 million since mid-March, but the trend was reversed again in the week ending August 15, when the figure increased to above the 1 million mark.

The Labour Departmen report also showed the number of people continuing to collect state unemployment benefits declined by 1.24 million to 13.25 million in the week ending August 22.

The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending August 15, however, increased 2.2 million to 29.2 million.

There has been an alarming increase of claims for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program, which covers independent contractors and the self-employed, who are not eligible for regular state programs.

The Department report showed that the number of people claiming benefits under the PUA program totaled 13.6 million in the week ending August 15, an increase of 2.6 million from the previous week.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 9.1 per cent for the week ending August 22, a decrease of 0.8 percentage point from the previous week's unrevised rate, according to the report.

The uemployment claims data came a day ahead of the crucial monthly employment report by the Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS).

The unemployment rate dropped to 10.2 per cent in July amid reopening efforts, and is expected to plunge further in August.


Fri, 04 Sep 2020 10:57:11 +0530
Sensex plunges nearly 700 points amid global sell off

Mumbai, Sep 4

The key Indian equity indices slumped on Friday morning with the BSE Sensex falling nearly 700 points during the initial trade.

The fall was in line with the global indices.

Minutes into trade on Friday, Sensex plunged 691.82 points to touch an intra-day low of 38,299.12 points.

It has, however, somewhat recovered from the lows and around 9.55 a.m., it was trading at 38,542.60, lower by 448.34 points or 1.15 per cent from the previous close of 38,990.94.

It opened at 38,325 and has recorded an intra-day high of 38,575.40

The Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange was trading at 11,374.25, lower by -153.20 points or 1.33 per cent from its previous close.

Fri, 04 Sep 2020 10:55:16 +0530
Infosys buys US product design firm for 42 million

Bengaluru/Cincinnati, Global software major Infosys on Thursday announced it has acquired US-based product design firm Kaleidoscope Innovation for $42 million (Rs 309 crore) to expand its engineering service offerings in medical devices, consumer and industrial markets across America.

"Our subsidiary Infosys Nova Holdings has signed an agreement to acquire 100 per cent equity capital of Kaleidoscope for $42 million," said the city-based $13-billion IT major in a statement from Ohio's Cincinnati in the US midwest.

The deal is expected to be completed by the month-end after regulatory approvals.

The Ohio-based firm provides design and development across medical, consumer and industrial markets for making smart products.

"The acquisition demonstrates our commitment to innovate for Kaleidoscope clients and make an impact on human lives by combining smart technologies and experiences to revolutionise patient care, treatment, diagnostics and consumer health the world over," the company said in the statement.

Kaleidoscope designs microsurgical instruments, used in invasive surgery, drug delivery devices for ophthalmic therapies and user-centric wearables.

"The acquisition strengthens our digital offerings at the intersection of new software technologies and medical devices, a sector that is expected to witness investments and consumerisation in the post-Covid-19 era," said Infosys President Ravi Kumar.

Global clients of the outsourcing firm will also benefit from the combination of Kaleidoscope's offerings of product innovation and design and its stack of product engineering, validation and commercialisation services at a global scale.

"Device engineering for consumer and medical industries has been a key parameter for our clients. The addition of concept design and human factors engineering, through the acquisition provides us capability and creates an engagement engine," said Infosys' global head of engineering Nitesh Bansal.

Kaleidoscope co-founder and Chief Executive Matt Kornau said becoming a part of Infosys allows it to scale up fast and bring expanded offerings in AI (artificial intelligence), analytics and digital infrastructure to its clients.

"Infosys provides a platform for us to extend our relationship with our business partners to address the productisation of solutions they have been asking us to deliver. We can offer them the scale needed for front-end innovation and back- end implementation and sustainability," Kaleidoscope's other co-founder Bill Taylor said in the statement.

Fri, 04 Sep 2020 10:54:09 +0530
Israeli flag carrier announces cargo flight to Dubai

Tel Aviv, Sep 4

Israeli flag carrier El Al announced that it will launch the first cargo flight to Dubai, days after its historic commercial passenger flight to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The cargo flight is scheduled to depart from the Ben Gurion International Airport outside Tel Aviv, on September 16, Xinhua news agency quoted the airline as saying in a statement on Thursday.

The Boeing 747 plane will have a stop in Liege, Belgium, before continuing to Dubai.

Its first cargo will include "agricultural and high-tech equipment", according to the statement.

El Al said the new route is expected to operate on a weekly basis, with a regular flight departing from Tel Aviv to Dubai on Wednesdays and returning on Fridays.

The new flight will enable Israeli companies' "connectivity in import and export from and to Dubai, as well as to destinations in Asia via Dubai", El Al said.

The announcement came a day after Riyadh declared it had opened its airspace to "all countries" flying to and from the UAE, a move hailed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a "tremendous breakthrough" that pave the way for direct flights between the two nations.

On Monday, El Al carried out the first-ever commercial flight between Israel and Abu Dhabi.

Aboard the plane, Israeli and American delegations flew to Abu Dhabi for a two-day discussion in the wake of a US-brokered agreement between the UAE and Israel on August 13 to normalise relarions.

Fri, 04 Sep 2020 10:53:31 +0530
Outgoing Lebanese PM questioned over Beirut blasts

Beirut, Sep 4

Outgoing Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab became the country's highest ranking official to be questioned over the August 4 Port of Beirut blasts that claimed the lives of 191 people and caused widespread destruction in the capital city.

Diab was questioned by judicial investigator Fadi Sawan on Thursday, reports Xinhua news agency.

Sources has previously said that the Lebanese judicial system will also question current and former public works ministers over the explosions.

The system has so far arrested several employees at Beirut's port and investigations are still ongoing into the biggest disaster witnessed in Lebanon since the assassination of late Prime Minister Rafic Hariri in 2005.

Reports revealed that a number of Lebanese officials were aware about the existence of chemicals at the port.

Besides the victims, the blasts also injured about 6,500 people.

It also destroyed a big part of the city and the damage was estimated to be over $15 billion.

On Thursday, the new director of Beirut's port revealed the existence of around 4.35 tonnes of ammonium nNitrate near the entrance of the port, urging authorities to re-export the materials to prevent another disaster.

On August 11, Diab, who was appointed Prime Minister in January after months of deadlock, announced his cabinet's resignation after many people accused the country's leaders of culpability through their alleged negligence and corruption.

On Monday, Mustapha Adib, the country's former Ambassador to Germany, was named the new Prime Minister.

Fri, 04 Sep 2020 10:51:36 +0530
Army officer injured in encounter in Kashmir

Srinagar, Sep 4

One army officer was injured in an ongoing encounter in North Kashmir's Baramulla district on Friday, army sources said.

The encounter started in Yedipora after a joint team of the police and the army cordoned off the area on the basis of a specific information about terrorists in that area.

As the security forces zeroed in on the spot where the terrorists were hiding they came under a heavy volume of fire that triggered the encounter.

"Encounter has started in the Yedipora Pattan area of Baramulla. Police and security forces are on the job," police said.

Fri, 04 Sep 2020 10:48:28 +0530
Governor holds meeting with Minister Vice Chancellors Complete examination process by 31st October

The Governor of Maharashtra Bhagat Singh Koshyari in his capacity as Chancellor of Universities today asked the vice chancellors of non agricultural universities to complete the entire process of conducting the final year examinations including declaration of results by 31st October 2020.

The Governor asked all universities to start the practical examinations from 15th September.

The Governor gave these instrctions to the vice chancellors at the end of the video conference meeting he conducted with them from Raj Bhavan, in view of the guidelines issued by the Supreme Court, on Thursday afternoon (3 Sept).

Minister of Higher and Technical Education Uday Samant, Minister of State Prajakt Tanpure, Chairman of the Committee of Vice Chancellors on Examination Dr Suhas Pednekar and Additional Chief Secretary, Higher and Technical Education Rajiv Jalota were present at Raj Bhavan .

The Vice Chancellors were asked to consider conducting examinations using the best possible mechanism including MCQ (Multiple Choice Questions) / OMR Optical Mark Recognition method and to think of conducting Offline examinations only in exceptional cases.

The meeting decided that the vice chancellors should hold the meeting of the Board of Examinations and Academic Council within the next 2 or 3 days and prepare their time tables at the earliest.  

It was also decided that after the discussion of the Academic Council, the Disaster Management Committee may be approached to clear the matter at the earliest.  

Considering the shortage of time available for setting Question Papers, the Governor asked universities to coordinate with Savitribai Phule Pune University and University of Mumbai and other universities for preparing Question Banks.

Earlier, on the instructions of the Governor, vice chancellors of all non agricultural universities apprised the Governor of the preparedness made by their universities to conduct examinations and declare results within the stipulated time.

The Governor congratulated the vice chancellors of Maharashtra University of Health Sciences, Agricultural Universities and MAFSU for conducting their examinations as per schedule.

Fri, 04 Sep 2020 10:46:54 +0530
Sportswoman assaulted by neighbour in Agra

Agra, Sep 4

A state-level badminton player was allegedly assaulted by her neighbour with intent to outrage her modesty in Agra's Ghosi locality.

The 21-year-old woman, who has also represented Uttar Pradesh at the national level in 2016 and 2019, told reporters that she was sleeping in her house post her workout, when her neighbour Vinod entered her house around 9.30 a.m. and allegedly touched her inappropriately and when she opposed, he assaulted her.

The incident took place two days ago, but the FIR was registered only after the intervention of Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Agra Babloo Kumar.

The victim said, "No one was in the house at that time when the incident took place. Her younger brother, who was at some distance from the house heard her screams and came to her rescue.

However, soon after this, Vinod's family members also gathered there and beat up her brother and his friend, who supported the victim.

"When I approached the Sadar Bazar police station to lodge a complaint, I was told that a cross-FIR would also be lodged by the other party present there. I was advised to reach a compromise as my career will be jeopardised if I was named in an FIR. So, I dropped the idea of lodging an FIR and returned home," she said.

The victim further said, "The family of the accused again attacked us and ridiculed us for not being able to take any action against them. Then I approached the SSP demanding registration of an FIR as the neighbouring family was threatening to ruin my career and kill my family members if I raised my voice against them."

The SSP said an FIR was registered against eight people under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), including 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 452 (house-trespass after preparation for hurt, assault or wrongful restraint) and 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation), at the Sadar Bazar police station.

"Two accused have been arrested and the matter is under investigation," the SSP said.

Fri, 04 Sep 2020 10:45:42 +0530
Policeman found hanging in his room in Meerut

Meerut, Sep 4

A head constable posted in the Brahmapuri police station in Uttar Pradesh's Meerut district was found hanging at his quarters within the premises.

The victim Mange Ram was in-charge of the station malkhana (storeroom for arms and ammunition).

Police said that the reason for the suicide is not clear, but a prescription for anti-depressants was recovered from his pocket.

Sources said that Mange Ram last spoke to his family over the phone around 5 p.m. on Wednesday and then left for his quarters.

Constable Ajay Kumar, his roommate, said, "I reached the quarters around 8 p.m., but found the room locked from inside. Even after banging on the door repeatedly, there was no response. I even tried calling him on his phone, but to no avail. Then I realised that something was amiss and broke open the door with the help of others. We found him hanging from the ceiling."

Superintendent of Police (city) Akhilesh Narain said, "The motive behind the suicide is not clear, but we are looking at all angles. An inquiry is on."

Keeping in mind the rising number of suicides among the police personnel due to stress and other reasons, the Uttar Pradesh Police had, last year, chalked out a plan to deal with the crisis in a professional manner by engaging experts.

The plan also included providing remedial measures on a regular basis for all personnel, especially constables and sub-inspectors, considering their job profiles.

Fri, 04 Sep 2020 10:43:09 +0530
30 migrant labourers injured in bus accident in UP

Kanpur,  Thirty migrant workers were injured in an accident in the Taalgram area in Uttar Pradesh's Kannauj on the Lucknow-Agra Expressway.

The accident took place on Thursday after a private bus overturned and caught fire.

Police and the Uttar Pradesh Expressways Industrial Development Authority (UPIEDA)personnel swung into action and doused the fire. They suspect overheating of the engine triggered the fire.

According to reports, the private bus was heading from Bihar to Delhi when the incident occurred. The injured passengers of the bus were admitted to the Tirwa Medical College and a nearby Community Health Centre.

According to police, the incident took place when a private bus carrying migrant labourers from Bettiah in Bihar to Delhi turned turtle after climbing up a road divider at milestone 149 in Taalgram area. The workers were returning to their workplace in Delhi.

Circle officer Chhibramau, Shiv Kumar Thapa, said the bus, was carrying nearly 125 migrant workers to Delhi.

The officer added that the passengers who escaped unhurt or had sustained minor wounds were sent to their destination in another vehicle.

The migrants had booked the private bus from Bettiah district and the accident took place when the driver apparently dozed off and lost control of the bus.

Fri, 04 Sep 2020 10:37:38 +0530
Andhra s 400 yr old Etikoppaka toys craft seeks to regain past glory

Visakhapatnam, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his monthly 'Mann Ki Baat' broadcast on Sunday, mentioned Etikoppaka toys, bringing into focus Andhra Pradesh's famous craft and the efforts of local artisan C.V. Raju to bring innovations and restore the past glory of this 400-year-old art.

Etikoppaka, a village 80 km from this coastal city, is famous for the trademark wooden toys. As Modi mentioned in his speech, these toys have no sharp edges. They are rounded on all sides and hence present little chances of an injury to children.

Etikoppaka toys are known for their softness, rounded contours, polished colours and the overall craftsmanship. The artisans make wooden bowls, toy trains, idols of gods and goddesses, wooden cannons, bullock carts, spinning tops and many other toys.

The mention of Etikoppaka by the Prime Minister is significant in the wake of growing demands for a ban on import of Chinese toys and the government's thrust on promoting local toys.

Despite several challenges including the drop in demand due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the artisans in Etikoppaka are hoping that a ban on Chinese toys would revive the demand for their unique craft in the market.

The pandemic has hit hard the traditional and eco-friendly wooden lacquer-ware and toy craft industry of Etikoppaka. About 300 families from the village, located near the banks of the Varaha river, have been dependent on the profession for over four centuries. Already facing numerous challenges, including competition from plastic toys and flooding of Chinese products in the market, they were hit hard by the pandemic with no fresh orders from traders and online retailers for the last five months.

The artisans in the village used to produce toys worth Rs 20 to Rs 30 lakh every month but production came to a complete halt with the outbreak of Covid and resultant lockdown.

The artisans are now looking for support from the government, and want it to extend financial assistance on the lines of 'Nethanna Nestham', a scheme for handloom weavers.

The tensions with China and the demands from various quarters for ban on Chinese imports have given fresh hopes of revival to Etikoppaka artisans. With the Prime Minister stressing on local manufacturing of toys, they feel that Etikoppaka can regain its past glory by again emerging as a key hub of toy-making as they expect renewed demand for their products.

The dumping of identical cheap Chinese wooden toys was a big challenge for the traditional artisans of this Andhra village as they could neither compete with their pricing, nor their marketing.

The wooden lacquer craft toys or 'Etikoppaka Bommalu' has a long history said to be dating back to Bahamani times. The craft was originally started in Nakkapalli village but was later moved to Etikoppaka after the area's landlords resettled the artisans there.

The artisans mainly use the wood from trees locally known as 'ankudu' (Wrightia Tinctoria) and lacquer, a colourless resinous secretion of a certain species of insects, collected by tribals from surrounding forests. Clarified lac is blended and oxidised with natural dyes and is applied to lathe turned wooden articles.

However, the mushrooming of plastic toys, fierce competition from China and scarcity of raw materials such as wood due to shrinking forests threatened the very survival of this craft.

Raju is one of the artisans who came forward to save the craft with their efforts to procure raw materials from the Forest Department.

A local landlord himself, Raju negotiated with the forest authorities to make the wood more accessible. He encouraged the artisan families to participate in the government sponsored community forest management programme to grow more ankudu trees and other dye bearing species. He went to greater lengths to find organic dyes suitable for blending with lac and succeeded in obtaining a new range of attractive blends.

Raju's innovations which also helped in product diversification, have been documented by the National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad.

According to the document, Raju initiated the process of creating a separate co-operative association of the artisans called "Padmavati Associates". His key strategy has been to strengthen local knowledge traditions of making vegetative dyes, develop new tools, techniques and methods for increasing shelf life of the dyes and generate new uses.

In addition, he has also received the vegetative dying traditions for local textiles. He has developed many new toys for which market is slowly emerging in India and abroad.

In 2002, Raju received the President's Award. He also won the National Innovation Foundation Award from the Union Department of Science and Technology, the Centenary Awards, the UNESCO Seal of Excellence and Lifetime Achievement Award from INTACH for reviving the Etikoppaka craft of making toys.

Raju mentored and trained several artisans and continues to do this. He is now training tribal youths from Araku as the area has natural resources such as black berry and jackfruit trees for the wood and natural colours.

Raju, who is the director of Padmavathi Associate of Artisans, has set a target of training 100 skilled artisans to produce Araku crafts using local material and native talent. One of them will be selected as master craftsman who will train more locals.


Thu, 03 Sep 2020 17:53:57 +0530
CBI questions Cornerstone s Bunty Sajdeh

In a serious twist to late actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death investigation, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is questioning Bunty Sajdeh, CEO of Cornerstone firm where Disha Salian was working. Sajdeh who is the brother-in-law of Indian cricketer Rohit Sharma and Bollywood superstar Salman Khan arrived at the DRDO guesthouse to record his statement.

CBI sources revealed that the agency is probing how long Shruti Modi and Disha Salian handled Sushant Singh Rajput’s account. They also revealed that CBI may question Sajdeh on whether Sushant spoke to anyone in Cornerstone regarding the sudden death of Salian. CBI is also examining whether Shruti also handled Rhea Chakraborty’s profile. Disha Salian died on June 9 and five days later on June 14 Sushant Singh Rajput was found dead under mysterious circumstances.

The Chakraborty family including Rhea’s father Indrajit Chakraborty and her brother Showik Chakraborty are continuing to be questioned by CBI officers. The federal agency had registered a case on the orders of the central government on August 6 following a recommendation from the Bihar government. The complaint was filed in Patna by Sushant's father K. K. Singh named Rhea, her mother Sandhya, Indrajit, Showik, Shruti Modi, house manager Samuel Miranda, Pithani and unknown others as accused in the case.

Thu, 03 Sep 2020 16:03:59 +0530
Before you buy art for your home

New Delhi, Sep 3

 Works of art can be inspiring, there is no wonder why beautiful art makes it to home interiors and personal spaces. Striking and meaningful art like sculptures, paintings, figurines and wall art liven things up and facilitate in creating a home's soul, reflecting one's personality in their surrounding space.

"Let's admit it, stark white spaces or plain walls can be quite uninteresting! A pretty artwork visually aids in creating a feeling of movement linked to everything else in the room that is motionless, thus adding a prompt colour and pizazz to the space. Once you have selected on an artwork, you can complement it by adding in fixtures and accessories like upholstery, cushions, rugs and lamps, thus creating a truly finished look", Hemil Parikh, Founder, Elysium Abodes LLP told IANSlife.

The gamut of options on offer definitely leave one spoilt-for-choice, hence it makes sense to dedicate some time in considering which pieces you would want to display, and which really bring forth your interests as an art collector.

Parikh shares useful tips to consider when choosing art for your home:

Ensure you set the tone of your dwelling

Prior to selecting your preferred art, you must first decide whether you want your home to feature a casual or formal vibe. While light and bright hues lend off a casual feel, predominantly on unframed canvas; a framed piece with imageries that feature diverse lines and structure in darker shades will lend the space a formal tone.

Selecting the artwork style

There is no doubt on the fact that whatever you pick to embellish your home or walls, it's an individual choice, nevertheless, you must never rush into it. Always take into consideration what actually appeals to you about a particular piece, whether it is the shade, the subject or anything else about the artwork that charms you. An immediate impulse buy can be a mistake since it may ruin the look by going against your d�cor. Most importantly the art needs to strike a connection with your interiors to make it feel true to you.

Colour selection

The colour of an art creation has an ability to inspire the look and feel of the entire space. If you desire the art to show off a chief colour, then everything around it must support it. For instance, if the artwork has a warm tone, ensure the pieces placed around it are in cool hues since it will make the art work stand out more.

Size of art as opposed to the room size

By and large, if you have a small room, placing one big piece of art like a sculpture or a wall-hanging can make a room feel more spacious. Incorporating multiple smaller pieces can make a small room feel muddled. Hence, considering the rooms dimension prior to selecting an art is of prime significance. Give yourself the chance to fall in love with art and to truly appreciate the pieces you bring into your personal space.

Thu, 03 Sep 2020 15:36:56 +0530
Tata Motors August sales increase 22

India’s leading heavy vehicle manufacturer Tata Motors has reported that its sales for the month of August increased by around 22% selling 35,420 units as against 29,140 units during the same month last year in 2019. The company recorded an uptick of over 150% in its passenger vehicle segment by selling 18,583 units in the last month as against 7,316 in August 2019.

However, the company witnessed a decline of 28% in the commercial vehicle segment. It sold 17,889 units including domestic and exports during the month as against 24,850 units in the same period, a year ago. Domestic commercial vehicle sales registered a decline of 22.9% with the company selling 16,837 units in August 2020 as against 21,824 units in August 2019. Exports in the commercial vehicle segment witnessed a decline of 65.2% with 1,052 units being sold last month as against 3,026 units in August 2019.

The good news was that overall Tata Motors total sales including domestic and exports in August this year increased 13.3% at 36472 units as against 32,166 units in August 2019.

Thu, 03 Sep 2020 14:16:11 +0530
SC Finish construction of smog towers in 10 months

New Delhi,  The Supreme Court on Thursday in a stern message made it clear that there has been "huge unjustified delay" in the construction of smog towers in the national capital and the project should be positively completed within 10 months, failing which contempt orders can be passed.

A bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra, B.R. Gavai and Krishna Murari said: "Let the project be positively completed within 10 months."

The top court during the hearing earlier this week noted undertakings have been furnished by the Secretary of Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, as well as the Principal Secretary of the Department of Environment and Forests, Delhi government.

The concerned authorities have informed the top court that the work relating to smog towers will be complete within 10 months and the requisite money has been transferred to the Tata Consultancy.

"It is stated in the affidavit filed on behalf of the MoEF that a sum of Rs 52 lakh has also been transferred to Clean air- CARE LLC, which is the licensee of University of Minnesota. Similar is the stand of Govt. of NCT of Delhi. Undertakings are taken on record," the bench observed.

The bench said that if there is any violation on any ground, then it will be treated as contempt of the order passed by the top court.

The bench noted there is already huge unjustified delay in making the compliance of the order. "However, since steps are being taken and undertakings have been furnished, we have not proceeded for violation of the order passed by this Court, only on the basis of the action taken and undertakings furnished to complete the project," said the bench.

On August 4, the apex court had asked the Centre to "start at the earliest" the work for the installation of smog towers in the national capital. The Centre had informed the top court that the process will take 10 months.

Thu, 03 Sep 2020 14:10:48 +0530
Tour de France Van Aert wins Stage 5 Alaphilippe loses yellow

Privas (France), Wout van Aert made it two-from-two for his purring Jumbo-Visma team with victory in Stage 5 of the Tour de France at Privas as Julian Alaphilippe lost the yellow jersey in controversial circumstances to Adam Yates after incurring a time penalty for an illegal feed.

No sooner had the in-form Belgian van Aert finished celebrating his team's second win in as many days as the race jury announced that a 20-second penalty had been imposed on Frenchman Alaphilippe for taking on an illegal water bottle from his Deceuninck-QuickStep team car with 17km remaining, contrary to the regulations.

With Alaphilippe dropping to sixteenth place in the standings, Britain's Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) takes control of the Tour for the first time in his career. Trailing the Frenchman by four seconds in the overnight standings, Yates now leads the race by three seconds on van Aert's Jumbo-Visma teammate Primoz Roglic of Slovenia, the Stage 4 winner.

Van Aert, the in-form Belgian, powered past Dutchman Cees Bol of Team Sunweb to win by half a wheel one day after helping to guide Roglic to victory in Tuesday's first summit finish.

"It was a hectic finish," van Aert said. "It was maybe the most easy stage I've done in a cycling race because there was no breakaway and the pace was not high. I was happy to be given the chance to go for it. And if you have one shot and you can finish it off then it's even more sweet. I have my stage win now so from now on I will support my team even more than before."

Ireland's Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-QuickStep) edged Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) for third place to wrest the green jersey off the Slovakian's back - becoming the first Irishman since Sean Kelly 31 years ago to don the Tour's maillot vert.

Bennett had won the intermediate sprint earlier in the stage, with Sagan only able to come fourth. He now leads Sagan by nine points as the former triple world champion faces serious opposition in his quest to win an eighth green jersey in nine years.

The Tour continues on Thursday with the 191km Stage 6 from Le Teil to Mont Aigoual. The live action can be caught on Eurosport and Eurosport HD from 03.30pm IST.


Thu, 03 Sep 2020 14:01:01 +0530
An Indian firm to deploy at least 10 Cloud platforms by 2023 IBM

Bengaluru,  Business executives in India are increasingly planning to invest in Hybrid multi-Cloud platforms and by 2023, an Indian firm will deploy at least 10 Clouds particularly in the growing insurance, telecommunications and retail industries, an IBM survey said on Thursday.

The value derived from Hybrid, multi-Cloud platform technology and operating model at scale is 2.5 times the value derived from a single platform, single Cloud vendor.

"Public Cloud spend will reduce from 50 per cent today to 43 per cent by 2023," said the IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) survey.

According to the findings, organisations in the country will spend nearly half of their Cloud budget on Hybrid over the next three years.

Currently, they allocate 17 per cent of their IT spend to Cloud and plan to increase the share of spend on Hybrid from 42 per cent to 49 per cent by 2023.

"Hybrid Cloud enables improved business performance and greater ROI (return on investment). This is proven in the instance of leading businesses that have successfully achieved demonstrable competitive advantage through robust hybrid cloud management and governance platforms," said Viswanath Ramaswamy, Vice President, IBM Cloud and Cognitive Software and Services, IBM India/South Asia.

In India, leading businesses such as Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea are achieving business transformation by leveraging Hybrid multi-Cloud platform technology and embedding AI.

"We are betting big on Hybrid Cloud which is secure, interoperable, open and free from vendor lock-in," he said.

The survey was conducted by IBM in collaboration with Oxford Economics and covered 6,000 executives globally including 412 executives from India.

Globally, 64 per cent of advanced cloud companies recognise the need for enterprise transformation and application modernization to go hand-in-hand, 2.6 times higher than the respondents from India.

"Globally, 68 per cent of businesses on advanced cloud journeys are building an open-source cloud platform, compared to 46 per cent of India respondents," the findings showed.

Nearly 31 per cent of IT executives in India say they are seeking Cloud Management Platforms for improved visibility and to control their cloud costs.

"Enterprises in India are seeking an application development platform that can run on any cloud, workloads that can execute seamlessly across multiple clouds," it said


Thu, 03 Sep 2020 13:52:46 +0530
Glacial lakes worldwide expanding fast since 1990 Study

New Delhi, Sep 3

The volume of glacial lakes worldwide has increased by about 50 per cent since 1990 as glaciers melt and retreat due to climate change, show 30 years of NASA satellite data.

Lake Imja, a glacier lake near Mount Everest in the Himalaya has grown to three times its length since 1990, the research showed.

The findings, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, can aid researchers assessing the potential hazards to communities downstream of these often unstable lakes and help improve the accuracy of sea level rise estimates.

"We have known that not all meltwater is making it into the oceans immediately," said lead author Dan Shugar of the University of Calgary in Canada.

"But until now there were no data to estimate how much was being stored in lakes or groundwater."

The study estimates current glacial lake volumes total about 156 cubic kilometres of water.

The international team of researchers initially planned to use satellite imaging and other remote-sensing data to study two dozen glacial lakes in High Mountain Asia, the geographic region that includes the Tibetan Plateau and surrounding mountain ranges, including the Himalaya.

The team ultimately analysed more than 250,000 scenes from the Landsat satellite missions, a joint NASA/US Geological Survey programme.

The team looked at the data in five time-steps beginning with 1990 to examine all the glaciated regions of the world except Antarctica and analyse how glacial lakes changed over that period.

Glacial lakes are not stable like the lakes in which most people are used to swimming or boating because they are often dammed by ice or glacial sediment called a moraine, which is composed of loose rock and debris that is pushed to the front and sides of glaciers.

Rather, they can be quite unstable and can burst their banks or dams, causing massive floods downstream.

These kinds of floods from glacial lakes, known as glacial lake outburst floods, have been responsible for thousands of deaths over the past century, as well as the destruction of villages, infrastructure, and livestock.

A glacial lake outburst flood affected the Hunza Valley in Pakistan in May 2020.

"This is an issue for many parts of the world where people live downstream from these hazardous lakes, mostly in the Andes and in places like Bhutan and Nepal, where these floods can be devastating," Shugar said.

Thu, 03 Sep 2020 13:51:43 +0530
Dhoni asked me to keep it at the stumps for hat trick delivery Kuldeep

New Delhi, Sep 3

Kuldeep Yadav in September 2017 became the first Indian since Kapil Dev in 1991 to take a hat-trick in an ODI match. In the second ODI against Australia, Kuldeep dismissed Matthew Wade, Ashton Agar and Pat Cummins off consecutive deliveries to all but confirm India's victory in the match.

He said that former India captain M.S. Dhoni, who was keeping wickets for India at the time, had asked him to bowl at the stumps for the hat-trick delivery.

"I spoke to Virat bhai and asked him if I could bowl from the other end. He said once Chahal's spell was over, I could bowl from that end. I struck a very good rhythm and started bowling in the spot," Kuldeep said in a recent interaction on his Indian Premier League (IPL) side Kolkata Knight Riders' website.

"I got my first wicket of Matthew Wade and then in the next ball, I plucked Ashton Agar. For the third ball, I asked Mahi bhai (M.S. Dhoni) what to bowl. When you have so many variations, you get confused. He just let me do whatever I felt was right but suggested that I kept it to the stumps.

"I kept a slip and gully in place. Luckily I bowled a good ball and got the edge. Getting a hat-trick at Eden Garden, that too in the first year of international cricket, is a big thing and this was one of the biggest moments of my life," Kuldeep recalled.

Kuldeep would go on to pick a hat-trick again, this time in December 2019 against the West Indies. He thus became the first Indian bowler to have two ODI hat-tricks to his name.

Thu, 03 Sep 2020 13:48:46 +0530
An Indian firm to deploy at least 10 Cloud platforms by 2023 IBM

Bengaluru, Sep 3

Business executives in India are increasingly planning to invest in Hybrid multi-Cloud platforms and by 2023, an Indian firm will deploy at least 10 Clouds particularly in the growing insurance, telecommunications and retail industries, an IBM survey said on Thursday.

The value derived from Hybrid, multi-Cloud platform technology and operating model at scale is 2.5 times the value derived from a single platform, single Cloud vendor.

"Public Cloud spend will reduce from 50 per cent today to 43 per cent by 2023," said the IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) survey.

According to the findings, organisations in the country will spend nearly half of their Cloud budget on Hybrid over the next three years.

Currently, they allocate 17 per cent of their IT spend to Cloud and plan to increase the share of spend on Hybrid from 42 per cent to 49 per cent by 2023.

"Hybrid Cloud enables improved business performance and greater ROI (return on investment). This is proven in the instance of leading businesses that have successfully achieved demonstrable competitive advantage through robust hybrid cloud management and governance platforms," said Viswanath Ramaswamy, Vice President, IBM Cloud and Cognitive Software and Services, IBM India/South Asia.

In India, leading businesses such as Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea are achieving business transformation by leveraging Hybrid multi-Cloud platform technology and embedding AI.

"We are betting big on Hybrid Cloud which is secure, interoperable, open and free from vendor lock-in," he said.

The survey was conducted by IBM in collaboration with Oxford Economics and covered 6,000 executives globally including 412 executives from India.

Globally, 64 per cent of advanced cloud companies recognise the need for enterprise transformation and application modernization to go hand-in-hand, 2.6 times higher than the respondents from India.

"Globally, 68 per cent of businesses on advanced cloud journeys are building an open-source cloud platform, compared to 46 per cent of India respondents," the findings showed.

Nearly 31 per cent of IT executives in India say they are seeking Cloud Management Platforms for improved visibility and to control their cloud costs.

"Enterprises in India are seeking an application development platform that can run on any cloud, workloads that can execute seamlessly across multiple clouds," it said.

Thu, 03 Sep 2020 13:46:44 +0530
NASA test fires SLS rocket booster for future lunar missions

Washington, Sep 3

In preparation of the future Artemis missions to the Moon, NASA has completed a full-scale booster test for the agency's Space Launch System (SLS) rocket.

NASA and Northrop Grumman, the SLS booster lead contractor, will use data from the test, successfully conducted on Wednesday, to evaluate the motor's performance using potential new materials and processes that can be incorporated into future boosters, the US space agency said.

"Landing the first woman and the next man on the Moon is just the beginning of NASA's Artemis Programme," NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, said in a statement.

"The SLS flight support booster firing is a crucial part of sustaining missions to the Moon. NASA's goal is to take what we learn living and working on the Moon and use it to send humans on the first missions to Mars."

The SLS boosters are the largest, most powerful boosters ever built for flight, according to NASA.

The two boosters on the rocket provide more than 75 per cent of the thrust needed to launch NASA's future deep space missions through Artemis lunar programme.

NASA and Northrop Grumman have previously completed three development motor tests and two qualification motor tests.

"NASA is simultaneously making progress on assembling and manufacturing the solid rocket boosters for the first three Artemis missions and looking ahead toward missions beyond the initial Moon landing," said John Honeycutt, the SLS Program Manager at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

"Today marks the first flight support booster test to confirm the rocket motor's performance using potential new materials for Artemis IV and beyond."

NASA is working to land the first woman and next man on the Moon by 2024.

The SLS rocket, Orion spacecraft, Gateway, and human landing system are part of NASA's backbone for deep space exploration.

SLS is the only rocket that can send Orion, astronauts and supplies to the Moon in a single mission, NASA said.

Thu, 03 Sep 2020 13:43:56 +0530
Markets to continue uptrend till blow off happens

The week gone by began with a bang and markets gained on all five trading days. The BSESENSEX gained 1,032.59 points or 2.69 per cent to close at 39,467.31 points. NIFTY gained 276.00 points or 2.43 per cent to close at 11,647.60 points. The broader market saw BSE100, BSE200 and BSE500 gain 2.27 per cent, 2.30 per cent and 2.30 per cent, respectively. BSEMIDCAP was up 1.90 per cent while BSESMALLCAP was up 2.30 per cent. It appeared as if the markets were tiring out on Thursday and then the banking pack kicked in and took the markets up quite sharply. The top weekly gainers in the banking pack were Indus Ind up 27.93 per cent, AXIS Bank 15.82 per cent, SBI 13.36 per cent, ICICI Bank 10.40 per cent, Kotak Bank 9.55 per cent and Bandhan Bank 9.52 per cent. The BSEBANKEX itself was up 10.34 per cent.

The Indian rupee registered sharp gains against the US dDollar and was up Rs 1.46 or 1.95 per cent at Rs 73.38 to the dollar. The week and month have seen strong inflows from FPI's into the capital markets and they have in August 2020, invested over Rs 46,000 crore so far. Dow Jones gained 723.54 points or 2.59 per cent to close at 28,653.87 points. Dow is now trading with gains of 0.40 per cent compared to the opening level of the calendar year and is back to the pre-Covid-19 levels of March 2020.

August futures expired on Thursday on a quiet note. While the month or the series saw gains of 457.10 points or 4.12 per cent, Thursday itself was a quiet day and NIFTY gained under 10 points. This is the third consecutive month of gains for the indices.

The FUTURE group has signed a massive deal with Reliance Industries which involves a complex merger and demerger of group companies The deal envisages all the group companies merging into FEL or Future Enterprises Limited in which Reliance would acquire 67.98 crore shares (Rs 2 face value) at a price of Rs 17.65. They would also be allotted 90.65 crore warrants of the same company at the same price. This would give them a minority stake of 13.14 per cent in the combined entity. This would comprise of 6.09 per cent by way of equity and 7.05 per cent by way of warrants to be exercised within 18 months.

Reliance would acquire all the businesses of the group other than the manufacturing and distribution of FMCG goods and integrated fashion sourcing and manufacturing business. The insurance JV with Generali and the JV with NTC mills will be the business which would also remain with the holding company FEL. All other companies like Future Consumer, Future Lifestyle Fashions, Future Market Networks, Future Supply Chain Solutions and Future Retail would see their present shareholders get shares in exchange for shares of FEL or Future Enterprises Limited. They will not get anything in Reliance Retail Limited.

The share swap ratio as given in the composite scheme based on closing prices of Friday entails profits of between 36.43 per cent for shareholders of Future Market Networks to 75.18 per cent for Future Supply Chain Solutions. There would be plenty of action in the above group of shares but one wonders how markets would react a couple of days later when it is realised that the holding company or de-facto resultant or residual company is left with insignificant business should be valued on what parameters. All the brands currently owned by the future group would be sold on a slump sale basis to Reliance.

SEBI is having a meeting with members of the broking community to sort out the last mile connectivity issue for pledge creation of shares and would probably allow a small extension of say a fortnight to get things going before the new margin rules kick in. What this would do to the market in terms of trading volumes in the cash segment is to be observed in the coming days once the same is introduced. One thing though is certain that a popular product known as 'BTST', buy today and sell tomorrow would see the end of its existence. This product which entails buying shares on day one and then selling on day two is very popular with retail investors/punters. There are programs on the electronic channels as well who make calls directly or through guests promoting such trading. All of this would become a thing of the past. Why? This would now entail paying the full value of shares purchased at end of day one and then entail payment of margin on the sale component on day two. Further the credit of sales made on day two would be available only when pay-out is declared of the same on day four. Till then the value is blocked.

Let's explain by an example. Shares worth Rs 10,000 are bought on Monday. Margin of 30 per cent approximately is required when the purchase is made and balance required before trading begins on day 2 or Tuesday. On Tuesday the goods are sold, hence margin on sales of Rs 10,000 at Rs 3,000 is required. The pay-out of the same would be available only on Thursday when the sale value of Rs 10,000 and the margin of Rs 3,000 paid is released. Theoretically the margin of Rs 3,000 on sales could be released a day earlier on Wednesday when the delivery of shares bought on Monday is received. The point being made here is that brokers earlier would adjust the purchase with the sales and allow further trading. Hereon the cycle would become effectively four days against one and a half day earlier and involve much more money to be available upfront.

In the case of derivatives whether it be futures or options, once the trade is squared off, the margin is available immediately as trades normally do not result in delivery. In the cash market the same would happen in case of intra-day trades but would be different in case of deliveries. This would ensure lower deliveries, lower volumes and the possibility that some percentage of trading community shifts from cash market to the riskier derivative or futures segment.

The Covid-19 front saw the number of people affected globally increasing to 251,74,926 persons with 8,46,831 deaths and 175,11,862 people recovering. In India, the number of affected people is 35,46,705 persons, with 63,690 deaths and 27,14,995 people having recovered. Compared to the previous week the world saw 17,91,504 new patients, 38,116 deaths and 19,01,491 people recovering. In India we saw 5,01,765 new patients, 6,844 deaths and 4,34,429 people recovering.

Coming to the markets, they appear set to reach or see a blow-off before the current rally ends. The blow off could be a couple of days away or longer, say 8-10 trading days away. What would precede that is huge volatility, spurt in volumes and wild intra-day gyrations. The strategy would be to continue to ride the rally but be careful in pre-empting the imminent fall and avoiding any shorts till the event actually begins. The correction while it would be swift would take some time to happen and not get over in a jiffy. Enjoy the rally till the blowoff actually happens.

Thu, 03 Sep 2020 13:41:54 +0530
5 Min Egg Boiling Hack without Peeling Shell Goes Viral

Heard of it, boiling eggs without peeling the shells, yes you get hard-boiled eggs in just five minutes, minus the shells. This is going down very well with netizens. Those of you who are egg eaters would like to enjoy a sumptuous breakfast with boiled eggs, isn’t it. While boiling is relatively easy as you need to put this in water and boil it, the peeling of the shells afterwards is not something enjoyable for your hands.

A viral hack of boiling eggs without straining to peel the shells is winning the internet. A woman named Peggy shared an unusual trick on her Facebook page, ‘Instant Pot Community’ and uploaded a video of boiling a large batch of eggs together in just five minutes without breaking any shells. In this video Peggy demonstrated how to crack eight eggs in a heatproof bowl greased with oil. She placed the bowl in a big pot filled with water, covered it and put in on stove with medium heat to boil. Within five minutes the eggs got boiled and the shells were removed.

Peggy wrote on her post: “I'm making potato salad and needed eight boiled eggs, chopped. Did you know you can just crack them in a bowl and put the whole bowl in the pot? No ice bath or peeling required. The resulting bowl-shaped egg loaf is initially horrifying, but once you chop it up, it's wonderful!”

With this innovative method you can get a large egg loaf in the shape of the bowl which can then be chopped according to your requirements and used for salads or for preparing sandwiches. Many netizens applauded Peggy’s video hailing the hack as genius and game changer.

Thu, 03 Sep 2020 13:17:31 +0530
5 Min Egg Boiling Hack without Peeling Shell Goes Viral

Heard of it, boiling eggs without peeling the shells, yes you get hard-boiled eggs in just five minutes, minus the shells. This is going down very well with netizens. Those of you who are egg eaters would like to enjoy a sumptuous breakfast with boiled eggs, isn’t it. While boiling is relatively easy as you need to put this in water and boil it, the peeling of the shells afterwards is not something enjoyable for your hands.

A viral hack of boiling eggs without straining to peel the shells is winning the internet. A woman named Peggy shared an unusual trick on her Facebook page, ‘Instant Pot Community’ and uploaded a video of boiling a large batch of eggs together in just five minutes without breaking any shells. In this video Peggy demonstrated how to crack eight eggs in a heatproof bowl greased with oil. She placed the bowl in a big pot filled with water, covered it and put in on stove with medium heat to boil. Within five minutes the eggs got boiled and the shells were removed.

Peggy wrote on her post: “I'm making potato salad and needed eight boiled eggs, chopped. Did you know you can just crack them in a bowl and put the whole bowl in the pot? No ice bath or peeling required. The resulting bowl-shaped egg loaf is initially horrifying, but once you chop it up, it's wonderful!”

With this innovative method you can get a large egg loaf in the shape of the bowl which can then be chopped according to your requirements and used for salads or for preparing sandwiches. Many netizens applauded Peggy’s video hailing the hack as genius and game changer.

Thu, 03 Sep 2020 13:17:29 +0530
5 Min Egg Boiling Hack without Peeling Shell Goes Viral

Heard of it, boiling eggs without peeling the shells, yes you get hard-boiled eggs in just five minutes, minus the shells. This is going down very well with netizens. Those of you who are egg eaters would like to enjoy a sumptuous breakfast with boiled eggs, isn’t it. While boiling is relatively easy as you need to put this in water and boil it, the peeling of the shells afterwards is not something enjoyable for your hands.

A viral hack of boiling eggs without straining to peel the shells is winning the internet. A woman named Peggy shared an unusual trick on her Facebook page, ‘Instant Pot Community’ and uploaded a video of boiling a large batch of eggs together in just five minutes without breaking any shells. In this video Peggy demonstrated how to crack eight eggs in a heatproof bowl greased with oil. She placed the bowl in a big pot filled with water, covered it and put in on stove with medium heat to boil. Within five minutes the eggs got boiled and the shells were removed.

Peggy wrote on her post: “I'm making potato salad and needed eight boiled eggs, chopped. Did you know you can just crack them in a bowl and put the whole bowl in the pot? No ice bath or peeling required. The resulting bowl-shaped egg loaf is initially horrifying, but once you chop it up, it's wonderful!”

With this innovative method you can get a large egg loaf in the shape of the bowl which can then be chopped according to your requirements and used for salads or for preparing sandwiches. Many netizens applauded Peggy’s video hailing the hack as genius and game changer.

Thu, 03 Sep 2020 13:17:28 +0530
RBI s nod for Murali Ramakrishnan s appointment as South Indian Bank MD

Mumbai, Sep 3

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has approved the appointment of Murali Ramakrishnan as the MD and CEO of South Indian Bank with effect from October 1.

In a regulatory filing on Thursday, the bank said that the RBI approved the appointment for a period of three years through a letter dated September 2.

Ramakrislman, 58, retired from the ICICI Bank as Senior General Manager at Strategic Project Group on May 30 and joined the South Indian Bank as an Advisor on July 1.

During his tenure at ICICI Bank, in the last assignment he was heading a business transformation project of SME business, the filing said, adding that he was also the Chief Executive Hong Kong and Regional Head-North Asia, Sri Lanka, Middle East and Africa during his tenure at ICICI Bank.

Thu, 03 Sep 2020 13:09:45 +0530
Dollar spirals downward US and European Economic Data Awaited

Dollar was trending downwards in Asia on Thursday morning, reversing some earlier gains. The U.S. Dollar Index that tracks the greenback against a basket of other currencies inched down 0.07% to 92.773 by 10:12 PM ET (3:12 GMT).

Dollar witnessed its first back-to-back daily gains since June earlier this year. Euro had rallied ever since European Union agreed for a rescue package for its members to fight the coronavirus pandemic. European Central Bank’s chief economist told media that the euro-dollar rate matters for monetary policy.

Investors had a different take with Ray Attrill, head of FX strategy telling media that Lane’s comments were an excuse for some traders to book profits.

Meanwhile China and Japan released their purchasing managers index (PMI) figures earlier in the day with both the Asian nations recording marginal dips in their PMIs. August PMI for Japan stood at 45, marginally below its July figure of 45.4 and China having a PMI of 54 in August as against 54.1 it had in July.

Investors are awaiting more PMI figures from Europe and Asia alongside US payroll figures later in the day.

Thu, 03 Sep 2020 13:07:29 +0530
Demonetisation was attack on India s unorganised economy Rahul

New Delhi, Sep 3

In his persistent attack on the union government over the economy, former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi released his second video on Thursday and alleged that demonetisation was an attack on India's poor -- farmers, labourers, small shopkeepers -- the unorganised sector.

Gandhi said "demonetisation did not erase the black money as it was claimed by the Prime Minister and it did not benefit the poor. The advantage was given to India's biggest billionaires".

In a video, Rahul sought to explain his contention, and said: "The money that you had in your pockets, that you had in your homes was taken and used by the government to waive off the debts of these people.

"Demonetisation was to wipe out cash from the system and due to this informal sector has suffered because the unorganised economy runs on cash. Whether it is a small shopkeeper, farmer or labourer, he or she works with cash.

"The second goal of demonetisation aimed to wipe out cash from the system, including from the informal or unorganised sectors. The Prime Minister himself said that he wanted a cashless India, a cashless Hindustan," said Rahul.

"In cashless India, the informal sector will be destroyed. And the farmers, labourers, small shopkeepers, small and medium businesses, who were dependent on cash, cannot live without cash," the congress leader added.

The Congress on Monday had attacked the Centre soon after the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) plunged to (-) 23.9 per cent during the first quarter of the financial year 2020-21 saying the "fake narrative" had exploded.

"The CSO has released the provisional estimates of GDP for the quarter April-June 2020. And the GDP in the first quarter has declined by a whopping 23.9 per cent," said former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram addressing a virtual press conference.

"It means, about one quarter of the gross domestic output as on June 30 has been wiped out in the last 12 months. Another way of looking at it is, since the end of 2019-20, the gross domestic output has fallen by about 20 per cent," he added.

Taking a swipe at the government, Chidambaram added: "The Finance Minister who blamed an 'Act of God' for the economic decline should be grateful to the farmers and the gods who blessed the farmers. As the only sectors that have grown at 3.4 per cent are Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery."

Thu, 03 Sep 2020 13:07:03 +0530
Dwayne Johnson family had tested Covid positive have recovered

Los Angeles, Sep 3

Hollywood action superstar Dwayne Johnson has revealed that he along with his wife and their two children tested positive for Covid-19 a few weeks ago, and have recovered now.

Johnson took to Instagram on Thursday and posted a long video, giving health updates and urging people to take necessary safety precautions amid the ongoing pandemic, reports

"I wanted to give you guys a little helpful update on things that have been going on on my end for the past two-and-a-half to three weeks now. So the update is this: my wife Lauren as well as my two baby girls and myself, we have all tested positive for Covid-19," he said in the video.

"I can tell you that this has been one of the most challenging and difficult things we have ever had to endure as a family, and for me, personally, as well. And I've gone through some doozies in the past.

"Testing positive for Covid-19 is much different than overcoming nasty injuries, or being evicted or even being broke, which I have been more than a few times," he said, adding that he is now relieved because he has recovered from the disease.

"I wish it was only me who tested positive, but it wasn't. It was my entire family, so this one was a real kick in the gut. But I am happy to tell you guys that we as a family are good. We're on the other end of it, we're on the other side. We're no longer contagious and we are, thank God, we are healthy," he happily expressed.

Not only this, he also shared the do's and don'ts of Covid-19.

"The other thing is wear your mask, we have been in quarantine for months, we wear our masks every day.

"This baffles me that some people out there, including some politicians, will take this idea of wearing masks and make it part of a political agenda, politicising it.

"It has nothing to do with politics. Wear your mask. It is a fact, and it is the right thing to do and it's the responsible thing to do. Not only for yourself and your family, but also for your fellow human beings," he urged.

Thu, 03 Sep 2020 13:04:10 +0530
Army chief in Ladakh to review ops amid tension with China

New Delhi,  Indian Army chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane is on a two-day visit to Ladakh to review operational preparedness of the force amid border tension with China.

General Naravane reached Leh early Thursday and interacted with senior officers present. His visit to forward location was expected, said source in the forces. The Army chief would be discussing strategy over how to thwart Chinese incursion attempts.

Chinese's People Liberation Army (PLA) troops have made fresh incursion attempts into India territories. Both the countries military representatives are now engaged in dialogue to de-escalate the tension. China made provocative military movements to change the status quo at Pangong Tso.

On August 31, Chinese troops indulged in provocative actions despite Indian soldiers earlier occupying the heights to thwart the PLA's land-grabbing bid over the weekend. On the intervening night of August 29 and August 30, PLA troops violated previous consensus agreed in military and diplomatic engagements during the ongoing standoff in eastern Ladakh and tried change the status quo.

Naravane would also be reviewing the formidable logistical challenges posed by harsh climate at heights exceeding 12,000 feet and temperature as extreme as minus 50 degrees Celsius as winter approaches. The force requires special clothing, diet and shelter for around 35,000 extra troops deployed in Eastern Ladakh. Most of the friction points in Ladakh like Pangong Lake and Galwan Valley where the face-offs have happened are 14,000 feet above the sea level.

Both countries have been engaged in the current four-month-long standoff at the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh. Despite several levels of dialogue, there has not been any breakthrough and the deadlock continues.

On June 15, as many as 20 Indian soldiers and an unknown number of Chinese troops were killed in a violent clash in the Galwan Valley.

Chinese aggression started increasing along the LAC and more particularly in Galwan Valley since May 5. The Chinese side transgressed in the areas of Kugrang Nala, Gogra and north bank of Pangong lake on May 17 and 18.

Thu, 03 Sep 2020 12:41:34 +0530
Masaba Gupta I try to maintain balance between commercial and artistic life

Mumbai, Sep 3

Fashion designer Masaba Gupta says she has two personalities, one where she is a social butterfly and the other when she is at ease with her mother, actress Neena Gupta.

"Masaba Gupta has two different personalities -- one in front of people, where I socialise, come across as hobnobbing, and am a social butterfly, and the other when I am at ease in my house or with my mom," Masaba said.

"I always try to maintain balance between my commercial and artistic life where I do absolutely nothing, and then I have a life full of drama, events, celebrating people and many other things. I have this Yogi life on the side. The title of the series 'Masaba Masaba' is because of my dual personality," she added.

The designer has opened up parts of her life for a fictionalised series "Masaba Masaba". In the Netflix show, Masaba and her mother Neena play their fictionalised versions. The show takes one inside the truth behind the picture-perfect smiles, while exploring her divorce, her bond with her mother, the fickle nature of showbiz and the after-effects of blind items.

The show, also starring Neil Bhoopalam, Rytasha Rathore, Smaran Sahu and Satyadeep Mishra, released on August 28.

Thu, 03 Sep 2020 10:51:37 +0530
Minor abducted gang raped by four youths 2 held

Bareilly, Sep 3

A minor girl, who was on her way to a photo studio, was allegedly abducted and gang raped by four boys on Wednesday in Sarvodaya Nagar under CB Ganj police circle.

Two of the accused have been arrested and the police is searching for the remaining two.

According to reports, the girl was going to a photo studio to get her photograph clicked for school form when she was picked up by four boys and taken to a secluded place where they raped her by turns.

The girl, a student of class 11, has identified the four accused as her neighbours.

The girl was also beaten with an iron rod as the boys filmed the act on their mobile phones.

She was threatened with dire consequences if she informed anyone of the incident.

However, when the girl returned home, she informed her father and he took her to the police station to lodge a complaint.

SP (City) said that a case has been registered under relevant sections of IPC and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and the two remaining accused would be arrested at the earliest.

The girl will be sent for medical examination, he said.

Thu, 03 Sep 2020 10:48:36 +0530
BJP sweeps cooperative land development bank polls in UP

Lucknow, Sep 3

It is a moment of celebration for the ruling BJP in Uttar Pradesh. The party as well as the BJP-supported candidates have won 281 seats out of 311 in the elections of the Uttar Pradesh Cooperative Land Development Banks.

The polls were held on Tuesday.

The opposition, mainly the Samajwadi Party, also won some seats.

Election Commissioner for the polls, P. K. Mohanty, said that the elections were countermanded due to certain complaints at 11 places.

While the BJP leaders claimed that the party's popularity was behind its 'historic win' as opposition candidates dared not to contest, the opposition claimed that the state machinery had hijacked the elections.

The Congress could manage a single victory in Jagdishpur which is part of Amethi, the pocket borough of the Gandhi family, where Rahul Gandhi lost to Smriti Irani in 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Among other prestigious seats won by opposition parties were in Varanasi, Ballia, Ghazipur and Etawah.

Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party Lohia (PSPL) president Shivpal Yadav, who has been the chairman of the bank for three terms since 2005, said that the BJP government brought about changes in the rules which disqualified him from contesting.

"Contesting for the chairman's post for over two times is now barred. The new rule is designed to keep the opposition at bay and is undemocratic," he said.

Thu, 03 Sep 2020 10:43:44 +0530
India records highest 1 day spike of 83 883 Covid 19 cases

New Delhi, Sep 3

With 83,883 fresh coronavirus infections in 24 hours, India's tally mounted to 3,853,406 on Thursday, while the death toll climbed to 67,376 with 1,043 more fatalities, said the Health Ministry.

Out of total confirmed cases, 8,15,538 are the active cases, while a total of 2,970,492 have recovered from the virus so far. With 68,584 recoveries in a day, the recovery rate has increased to 77.09 per cent.

The number of patients recovering is on a steady rise over the past several months. As the daily recoveries increase, India has registered more than 60,000 recoveries each day, seventh day in a row.

The ministry said that 12 states and union territories like Andaman and Dui, Delhi, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Andaman and Nicobar, West Bengal, etc., have reported a recovery rate more than the national average.

Two states -- Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, alone account for around 30 per cent of the total recoveries.

Maharashtra continues to be the worst-hit with a total of 8,08,306 cases and 24,903 deaths; followed by Andhra Pradesh with 4,45,139 cases and 4,053 deaths. Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, West Bengal, and Bihar come next.

According to the fresh data from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), India conducted a record 11,72,179 tests in a single day on Wednesday, taking the total number of samples tested so far to 4,55,09,380.

On the global front, India still remains the third worst hit nation with the Covid-19 pandemic while the US and Brazil lead the board with 6,113,160 and 3,997,865 total cases, respectively.

Thu, 03 Sep 2020 10:38:32 +0530
India records highest 1 day spike of 83 883 Covid 19 cases

New Delhi,  With 83,883 fresh coronavirus infections in 24 hours, India's tally mounted to 3,853,406 on Thursday, while the death toll climbed to 67,376 with 1,043 more fatalities, said the Health Ministry.

Out of total confirmed cases, 8,15,538 are the active cases, while a total of 2,970,492 have recovered from the virus so far. With 68,584 recoveries in a day, the recovery rate has increased to 77.09 per cent.

The number of patients recovering is on a steady rise over the past several months. As the daily recoveries increase, India has registered more than 60,000 recoveries each day, seventh day in a row.

The ministry said that 12 states and union territories like Andaman and Dui, Delhi, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Andaman and Nicobar, West Bengal, etc., have reported a recovery rate more than the national average.

Two states -- Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, alone account for around 30 per cent of the total recoveries.

Maharashtra continues to be the worst-hit with a total of 8,08,306 cases and 24,903 deaths; followed by Andhra Pradesh with 4,45,139 cases and 4,053 deaths. Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, West Bengal, and Bihar come next.

According to the fresh data from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), India conducted a record 11,72,179 tests in a single day on Wednesday, taking the total number of samples tested so far to 4,55,09,380.

On the global front, India still remains the third worst hit nation with the Covid-19 pandemic while the US and Brazil lead the board with 6,113,160 and 3,997,865 total cases, respectively.

Thu, 03 Sep 2020 10:30:48 +0530
Bengaluru metro to run again from September 7

Bengaluru,  Metro rail services in Bengaluru would resume, in phases, from September 7, adhering to the guidelines to contain coronavirus, a top official said on Wednesday.

"The metro service will resume in phases on the east-west and north-south corridors, as per the guidelines of the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs," said Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd Managing Director Ajay Seth.

In the first phase from September 7, the 6-coach trains will operate from 8-11 a.m. and 4.30-7.30 p.m. on the east-west route (purple line).

"In the second phase from September 9, the service will also resume on the north-south route (green line) for 3 hours at the same timings," Seth said.

In the third phase from September 11, the service on both the lines will operate for 14 hours - from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

"Only 20 per cent of the each coach capacity will be used to maintain physical distancing between commuters, who have to wear mask all through," said Seth.

Commuters can use only smart cards with online re-charge to avoid physical contact.

"Though the 6-coach train has capacity to carry 1,800 commuters, only 400 will be allowed in each ride till further orders," noted Seth.

Similarly, about 50 commuters will be allowed on the platform for the next train at a time to avoid crowding and maintain social distancing.

"The commuters will be advised to download 'Arogya Setu' app on their smart-phone although it will not be mandatory," Seth said.

Senior citizens and children below 10 years are advised to avoid travel by metro for their safe health and till further notice.

"The trains will run at a frequency of 5 minutes during peak hours and 10 minutes during non-peak hours from September 11," added Seth.

Every commuter will have thermal screening at the entrance, with face mask or shield mandatory. Sanitisers will be kept at the entrance of the stations.

Spaces have been earmarked on platforms and inside coaches to maintain social distancing.

Like other state-run transport firms, 'Namma' Metro too suspended its service since March 25 when the lockdown was imposed, forcing thousands of commuters to switch over to an alternate transport mode.

As the most popular transport mode for its punctual, efficient and cleaner service in air-conditioned coaches, the metro has been ferrying over 4 lakh commuters on the twin routes, covering 42.3 km across 40 stations.

The operator has incurred Rs 300 crore loss over the last 5 months due to the suspension of service.

Thu, 03 Sep 2020 09:06:59 +0530
AIIMS suspends in patient admissions via OPD for next 14 days

New Delhi,  Barring emergency cases, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences has suspended regular admissions in the general and private wards of the hospital and all centres through the Out Patient Department (OPD) with immediate effect. The admissions will remain suspended for the next two weeks.

The premier hospital has taken the decision after considering seriously ill emergency patients or semi-emergency patients who require beds in the hospital.

However, the emergency patients who require hospitalization in the general wards or such patients who have been advised admission in private wards will continue to be admitted, the hospital said.

Also, the routine consultations in OPDs would run as usual, said D.K. Sharma, medical superintendent of the hospital.

"In view of the need to optimize usage of available inpatient beds for hospitalization of seriously ill emergency/semi-emergency patients, it has been decided to temporarily stop routine OPD admissions to general wards as well as private wards in AIIMS Hospital and all Centres with immediate effect for a period of two weeks which will be reviewed after that," the statement by the hospital read.

Sharma said that beneficiaries of the Employee Health Scheme (EHS) would continue to be admitted as clinically warranted.

He added that the suspension period of the in-patient admissions via OPDs is a subject of review and further extension would depend upon the prevailing situation.

Wed, 02 Sep 2020 17:04:56 +0530
Google removes 6 malicious apps with 2 lakh downloads

New Delhi,  Cybersecurity researchers on Wednesday said they discovered six apps on Google Play store with over 2 lakh downloads in total that were infected with the infamous Joker malware.

The apps are: Convenient Scanner 2, Safety AppLock, Push Message-Texting & SMS, Emoji Wallpaper, Separate Doc Scanner and Fingertip GameBox, reports cybersecurity firm Pradeo.

"The infected applications have now been deleted from Google Play, but are still installed on the devices of their users," Pradeo said.

Joker is a malicious bot (categorised as Fleeceware) whose main activity is to simulate clicks and intercept SMS to subscribe to unwanted paid premium services unbeknownst to users.

By using as little code as possible and thoroughly hiding it, Joker generates a very discreet footprint that can be tricky to detect.

In the last year, the malware was found hiding in hundreds of apps.

"Users are advised to immediately delete them from their device to avoid fraudulent activities," the cyber security firm advised.

Google has removed over 1,700 apps containing Joker malware from the Play Store since 2017.

In July this year, researchers at cybersecurity firm Check Point discovered a new variant of the Joker Dropper and Premium Dialer spyware in Google Play.

Hiding in seemingly legitimate applications, this updated version of Joker was able to download additional malware to the device, which subscribes the user to premium services without their knowledge or consent.

Joker, one of the most prominent types of malware for Android, keeps finding its way into Google's official application market as a result of small changes to its code, which enables it to get past the Play store's security and vetting barriers.


Wed, 02 Sep 2020 16:53:43 +0530
Subramanian Swamy takes a dig at Mahesh Bhatt

Mumbai, Sep 2 (IANS) BJP Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy took a jibe at filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt, questioning if he has converted to Islam.

"Has Cinema Dada Mahesh Bhatt converted to Islam and taken name of Ashraf Butt? If not please ask him to correct the police records," Swamy tweeted on Wednesday.

Swamy has been leading a campaign to get justice for actor Sushant Singh Rajput, who was found dead on June 14. Mahesh Bhatt has been questioned by Mumbai Police during investigation pertaining to the case.

In another tweet, Swamy stressed on the importance of fighting the narcotic menace in society.

"Fighting narcotics in society including Bollywood is a national security matter which when brought to the knowledge of PM, he must make take a call. Of course after the Boston experience of Fmr President of Congress, Congi hacks should be nervous," he tweeted.

Earlier, Swamy pointed a finger at the role of Mumbai Police and Bollywood in the death of Sushant Singh Rajput.

"For day 1 (July 9) I had said Sushant was murdered, that CBI inquiry should be instituted because Mumbai Police was complicit, and that Dubai is involved. I have been vindicated Now the Bollywood Cartel remains to be identified and made as 'accessory before the murder'," Swamy tweeted last month.

Wed, 02 Sep 2020 16:48:23 +0530
Cabinet nod to Mission Karmayogi for civil services capacity building

New Delhi, The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved 'Mission Karmayogi' -- a National Programme for Civil Services Capacity Building.

The government hopes it will help civil servants remain entrenched in Indian culture while they learn from best practices across the globe. The Centre expects the programme to completely change the way civil servants or their roles are perceived.

Listing the qualities that the government envisions in future civil servants, Mission Karmayogi will aim to prepare them to be more creative, constructive, imaginative, innovative, proactive, professional, progressive, energetic, enabling, transparent as well as technology-enabled.

Through a powerpoint presentation, the government showcased its "vision" of the civil servants and end the culture of them "working in silos". This is in sync with Prime Minister Narendra modi's vision of 'New India'.

The aim of the National Programme for Civil Services Capacity Building is to shift it from rule-based to role-based human resource management, said Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar.

Other missions include emphasising the role of on-site learning in complementing off- site learning; linking training and development of competencies of civil servants; transforming training institutes into centres of excellence; ministries to directly invest and co-create a common learning ecosystem and focus on large scale training on e-learning.

C Chandramouli, Secretary, Department of Personnel & Training, said that at the top, there will be a PM's HR Council under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister. It will also have experts in it.

A Capacity Building Commission will also be set up whose role will be to harmonise training standards, create shared faculty and resources and supervising the training institutions, Chandramouli added.

Wed, 02 Sep 2020 16:40:47 +0530
Amazon to invest 18 billion this year to help SMBs grow

Seattle, Amazon has announced to invest $18 billion this year to help small and medium businesses (SMBs) scale their operations and grow.

In the next 12 months, the e-commerce behemoth will provide more than 500,000 SMBs in the US currently selling on Amazon, with online selling guidance, education, and support and the company plans to onboard an additional 100,000 US businesses as new sellers in its store.

"At Amazon, our mission is to be Earth's most customer-centric company, and part of fulfilling that mission is connecting small businesses with customers," Jeff Wilke, CEO Worldwide Consumer at Amazon, said during Amazon Accelerate, a three-day virtual summit for SMBs in the US that was kicked-off on Tuesday,

"Amazon's success is directly tied to the success of independent businesses across the US. We are passionate about supporting small businesses, investing and inventing on their behalf to help them be resilient through Covid-19 and beyond," Wilke said.

Amazon has launched more than 135 new tools and services this year to help sellers manage and grow their businesses, including new ways to connect brands with customers

The company said it will spend an additional $100 million this year to promote small businesses during Prime Day and through the holiday season. Last year during Prime Day, third-party sellers – mostly SMBs – exceeded $2 billion in global sales.

Despite the impact Covid-19 has had on small businesses, many American SMBs selling through Amazon have experienced continued growth.

Third-party sellers continue to account for more than half of all units sold in Amazon's store, and even during the pandemic, third-party sales continued to grow faster than Amazon's first-party sales.

In the 12-month period ending in May, American SMB sellers sold more than 3.4 billion products, up from 2.7 billion year-over-year, and averaged $160,000 in sales, up from approximately $100,000 a year prior.

Wed, 02 Sep 2020 16:34:01 +0530
Flipkart Wholesale launches B2B marketplace for kiranas MSMEs

Bengaluru, Sep 2

E-commerce platform Flipkart on Wednesday launched operations of its digital business-to-business marketplace, Flipkart Wholesale, with an aim to connect local manufacturers with retailers and bring the entire wholesale marketplace at their fingertips.

The platform is currently available for fashion retailers, especially footwear and apparel, in Gurugram, Delhi and Bengaluru, with plans to expand to Mumbai as well, the company said in a statement.

Flipkart Wholesale also plans to expand to 20 more cities and in categories such as home and kitchen and grocery by the end of this year.

"With the strong capability within the group in B2B, we will focus on meeting the needs of kiranas and MSMEs by providing these small businesses a wide selection at significant value, powered by technology to make their lives easier," said Adarsh Menon, Senior Vice President and Head, Flipkart Wholesale.

"Whether in grocery, general merchandise or fashion, these businesses will have one-stop access to an extensive selection of products with attractive schemes and incentives."

Accessible to retailers via the app on Google Play Store, the B2B digital platform aims to rope in over 300 strategic partners and have over two lakh listings in two months.

Additionally, the platform will enable the onboarding of 50 brands and over 250 local manufacturers in the coming days, Flipkart said.

Kiranas, resellers and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises will have access to easy credit facility, wide range of assured quality products, micro-market level B2B and B2C insights from the Flipkart ecosystem and an easy order tracking facility, the company said.

Wed, 02 Sep 2020 14:51:42 +0530
Prisoner swap will end soon Afghan peace council

Kabul, Sep 2

An official of Afghanistan's High Council for National Reconciliation has said that the prisoner swap process with the Taliban will end soon, paving the way for the much-awaited talks between the militant group and the Kabul government.

"All obstacles ahead of the intra-Afghan talks have been removed. The prisoner swap process will end soon and intra-Afghan talks will begin," TOLO News reported on Wednesday citing Council spokesman Fraidoon Khwazoon as saying.

He added that Afghanistan's negotiation team is fully prepared for the trip to Doha where the talks are likely to take place.

Meanwhile, eight of the 320 controversial Taliban prisoners, which were still being held by the Afghan government, have been released from the Kandahar prison in an effort to help start the talks.

Reports have suggested that more than 200 of the 320 have been released in the past three days, and that the remaining prisoners will be released soon.

On Tuesday, US National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien on Tuesday in a phone call with President Ashraf Ghani called for a swift start to the intra-Afghan talks, reports TOLO News.

"The US stands with the Afghan security forces who have made tremendous sacrifices for the Afghan people," said O'Brien.

Meanwhile, Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai, the Taliban's chief negotiator, has called on Australia and France not to interfere in Afghanistan's internal affairs.

Both countries have asked the Afghan government not to release prisoners who are accused of killing their citizens.

The Afghan government has also demanded the release of 22 security personnel held by the Taliban.

The intra-Afghan talks were expected to begin 10 days after the February 29 peace deal between the US and the Taliban.

Wed, 02 Sep 2020 14:49:47 +0530
Nepal closely monitoring Indian Army activities at Lipulekh

New Delhi, Sep 2

Nepal government has directed its forces to "closely monitor" Indian Army's activities at Lipulekh area amid escalating Indo-China border tension.

Lipulekh is the tri-junction between India, Nepal and China situated atop the Kalapani Valley in Uttarakhand. Last week, the K.P. Sharma Oli government's Ministry of Home Affairs issued the directions to the Nepalese Armed Police Force (NAPF) to start the monitoring at the tri-juntion.

The 44 battalion of NAPF was deployed in Lipulekh. It has requested for long range patrols in the forward areas fearing possibilities of escalation between India and China.

China too, has increased its troop build-up at Lipulekh. There 150 Light Combined Arms Brigade is deployed at the tri-junction. The brigade was moved in last month. They have also reinforced troops in Pala, around 10 km from the border.

In July, around 1,000 troops were deployed near Pala and a permanent post was built there by China. "A fortnight back, 2,000 more additional troops were deployed at the post," sources said.

It was India's road construction to Lipulekh area at 17,000 feet that had sparked a diplomatic row between India and Nepal with Kathmandu claiming the area as its own. The road was aimed at shortening the travel time for Kailash Mansarovar pilgrims.

Things so escalated that Nepal brought out a new political map showing the contested area as its own.

India and China, on the otherhand, have been locked in a standoff since May at multiple points along the border. China had changed the status quo on the Line of Actual Control at various places, moving inside Indian territories. India has objected to it and is taking up the matter with China at all levels.

Last week itself India thwarted China's provocative military movements to change the status quo at Pangong Tso in Eastern Ladakh. This happened even when China and India were already engaged in diplomatic and military talks to resolve the disputed border issues with several skirmishes reported between the Asian giants.

In a statement the Indian Army said that on the night of August 29 and August 30, 2020, People's Liberation Army (PLA) troops violated the previous consensus arrived at during military and diplomatic engagements during the ongoing standoff in Eastern Ladakh and carried out provocative military movements to change the status quo.

"Indian troops pre-empted this PLA activity on the southern Bank of Pangong Lake, and undertook measures to strengthen our positions and thwart Chinese intentions to unilaterally change facts on ground," the force said.

Again China attempted to enter into Indian premises on August 31 which was stopped by the Indian forces.

China has build up troops, artillery and armour in three sectors of the Line of Actual Control -- western (Ladakh), middle (Uttarakhand, Himachal) and eastern (Sikkim, Arunachal).

India too, has increased deployment across the LAC to match China's military advances. In June, India lost 20 soldiers in Galwan Valley, as its troops were involved in a violent clash with Chinese soldiers, who too lost an unknown number of men.

Wed, 02 Sep 2020 14:46:29 +0530
50 patients at UP Covid hospital have diabetes

Lucknow, Sep 2

Nearly 50 per cent patients at Rajdhani Covid-19 Hospital (RCH) in Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGIMS) have been found to have diabetes as the co-morbid condition.

According to Prof R.K. Singh, medical superintendent (RCH), "Diabetes is the commonest comorbidity seen in patients at our centre, followed by hypertension. Patients with organ dysfunction, particularly lungs and kidneys, form the next big chunk."

The pattern speaks for a national trend observed by the Union ministry of health and family welfare, which has come up with specific guidelines for management of Covid-19 patients having a history of diabetes.

"Diabetes affects each part of the body in different degrees and ways. Therefore, when the body is under attack by any infection, Covid-19 in this case, the management is as challenging as filling water in a bucket with several holes," he said.

About the visibly high death rate, Singh said, "We keep track of every case at our centre at two levels -- physically by attending doctors and virtually by a team of experts comprising the director. But the fact that we are a tertiary care centre and attend to the most serious cases not only from Lucknow but also other districts cannot be denied. Over 75 per cent of the deaths can be attributed to comorbid conditions."

SGPGIMS director Prof R.K. Dhiman said, "We have had nearly 850 positive persons till now, of whom 71 per cent are male. Of the total patients, about 70 per cent have recovered. An eight-month-old baby was our youngest case, while a 90-year-old woman was our oldest patient to beat the pandemic virus."

Wed, 02 Sep 2020 14:43:25 +0530
India s August Manufacturing PMI improves

Manufacturing activities which took a backseat following the economic slowdown, coronavirus outbreak and lockdowns, is finally showing some promise. Industries have restarted their operations in a calibrated way to ensure lives and livelihoods go hand-in-hand.

India’s Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for August was recorded at 52 as against 46 for July, a month ago. For the first time since March when the nation-wide lockdown was imposed, output expanded in the manufacturing sector in August.

Production growth was driven by customer demand for Indian origin goods following the resumption of business operations. There was a good increase of new orders and outputs this season, after a very long time.

However, job loss remains a matter of concern since the last five months although the pace of contraction in workforce softened slightly in August as against July, it still remained very strong. Supply chains continue to be disrupted for the sixth consecutive month due to transport restrictions and select locking, especially in containment zones. We are seeing longer delivery cycle than usual.

Higher raw material costs due to supply shortages and transportation delays led to rising input prices during August. This is likely to continue until the Covid-19 pandemic gets eradicated completely. On the whole, manufacturers are optimistic that once the vaccine hits the market and conditions gets back to normal then the business will bounce back.

Wed, 02 Sep 2020 14:43:12 +0530
Ayodhya temple map passed by ADA

Ayodhya, Sep 2

The Ayodhya Development Authority (ADA) has unanimously passed the map for the proposed Ram temple in Ayodhya.

A meeting of the ADA was held on Wednesday which passed the map. This clears the way for the construction of the temple in the holy city.

According to official sources, the covered area of the temple land is around 13,000 square metres.

Anil Mishra, member of the Shri Ram Janambhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust, had submitted the map for approval on August 29 along with other necessary documents.

ADA sources said that there was complete unanimity among ADA officials on passing the map.

With the completion of this formality, temple construction can now begin any time.

Wed, 02 Sep 2020 14:38:58 +0530
Andhra CM family pay homage to YSR

Amaravati, Sep 2

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy with family members paid tributes to his father and late Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy on the latter's 11th death anniversary on Wednesday.

Jagan Mohan Reddy, his mother Y. S. Vijayalakshmi, wife Y. S. Bharati and other family members paid floral tributes at the late leader's 'samadhi' in Idupulapaya, Kadapa district.

Deputy Chief Minister Amjad Basha, Chief Minister's uncle and Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) chairman Y. V. Subba Reddy and leaders of the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) also paid homage.

YSR, as Rajasekhara Reddy was popularly known, was killed in a helicopter crash with four others in Kurnool district on this day in 2009.

Jagan Reddy tweeted on the occasion that the great leader may have gone physically but his memories and schemes will always live on. "In every step I take, my father continues to guide me," said the Chief Minister.

State ministers, MPs, legislators and YSRCP leaders also paid homage to YSR at various programmes. They garlanded his statue and recalled the services rendered by him during his term in office from 2004-2009 in undivided Andhra Pradesh.

Addressing an event in Visakhapatnam, YSRCP Parliamentary Party leader Vijaya Sai Reddy said YSR continued to live in the hearts of the people of both the Telugu states because of several welfare schemes launched by him.

He told the party cadre that YSRCP's victory in the ensuing municipal elections would be the best tribute to the late leader.

Paying his tributes to YSR, Telangana Congress Chief Uttam Kumar Reddy described him as a mass leader, a great friend, an esteemed colleague and an orator par excellence and said his exemplary administration will be remembered for years to come.

Wed, 02 Sep 2020 14:33:20 +0530
Pune scientists discover a far away galaxy

In perhaps one of the biggest landmark achievements in space missions, scientists from Pune’s Inter-University Centre for Astronomy & Astrophysics (IUCAA) discovered one of the farthest galaxies in the universe. Union Minister of State Department of Space Shri Jitendra Singh made the announcement that the galaxy named AUDFs01 was discovered by a team of astronomers led by IUCAA's Kanak Saha.

The galaxy was discovered by India’s first multi-wavelength space observatory, ‘AstroSat’ which detected extreme-UV light from a galaxy which is 9.30 billion light years from earth. The achievement comes close on the heels of two IIT-Bombay students discovering a SUV-sized asteroid that zoomed past earth’s surface at around 2,900 kilometres last month.

Leading British journal, “Nature Astronomy” reported about this discovery.  India's AstroSat/UVIT was able to decipher this as the background noise in the UVIT detector is lesser than one on the Hubble Space Telescope of US-based NASA.

Union minister Jitendra Singh lauded the efforts of the scientists of IUCAA and said that India’s capability in space technology has risen to a new level and our scientists are offering leads to space scientists from other parts of the world.

Speaking to media IUCAA Director Somak Ray Chaudhury said: "This discovery is a very important clue to how the dark ages of the Universe ended and there was light in the Universe. We need to know when this started, but it has been very hard to find the earliest sources of light."

AstroSat, which made this discovery, was launched by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) in the year 2015. It was developed by a team led by Shyam Tandon, Ex Emeritus Professor, IUCAA with the full support of ISRO.

Wed, 02 Sep 2020 14:07:10 +0530
Australia in recession for 1st time in nearly 30 years

Canberra, Australia has officially entered its first recession after nearly 30 years, with the June quarter GDP numbers showing the economy went backwards by 7 per cent, the worst fall on record, official figures revealed on Wednesday.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the latest figure follows a fall of 0.3 per cent in the March quarter this year, reports Xinhua news agency.

The record fall was driven by the private sector, much of which was shut down or restricted due to efforts to contain the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Michael Smedes, Head of National Accounts at the ABS, attributed the quarterly fall to the "global pandemic and associated containment policies".

"This is, by a wide margin, the largest fall in quarterly GDP since records began in 1959," he said.

The 7 per cent quarterly GDP slump was also more than three times worse than the previous biggest fall of 2 per cent in June 1974.

Report from the ABS also showed that due to increased number of recipients and additional support payments, social assistance benefits in cash rose to a record 41.6 per cent.

Spending on services dropped 17.6 per cent after decrease in transport services, operation of vehicles and hotels, cafes and restaurants.

"The June quarter saw a significant contraction in household spending on services as households altered their behaviour and restrictions were put in place to contain the spread of the coronavirus," said Smedes.

The impact of the Covid-19 recession was also felt differently across the states, a report by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation said.

"New South Wales and Victoria saw the sharpest declines, with State Final Demand falling 8.6 per cent and 8.5 per cent respectively," the report quoted Sarah Hunter from BIS Oxford Economics as saying.

"Tasmania was also relatively hard hit, as the loss of international tourists and, to a lesser extent, students weighed on spending."

Wed, 02 Sep 2020 09:25:21 +0530
Youth s death over alleged hidden treasure sparks tension

Hyderabad,  Tension gripped Telangana's Khammam town on Tuesday after a mob angry over the death of a youth under suspicious circumstances set afire a car of a corporator. The deceased was working at the corporator's house.

Alleging that corporator Ramamurthy Naik sacrificed the youth in the hunt for a hidden treasure, a mob chased his car. They damaged the vehicle while he ran into the local school and hid there. Police reached there to rescue the corporator.

When the police were shifting the car to the police station, the mob again attacked it and set it afire. The vehicle was completely gutted.

Anand, who joined as housekeeping assistant at Naik's residence last month, died under suspicious circumstances on August 18. His relatives alleged that the corporator sacrificed him for treasure.

The police registered a case of death under suspicious circumstances and were investigating.

On Tuesday, the relatives of the deceased youth stopped Naik at Koikondai village, when he was going in his car. They questioned him about the youth's death.

The corporator allegedly manhandled the victim's father which angered the villagers. They started attacking the vehicle, forcing the corporator to hide himself in a school.

The corporator later denied the allegations. He said Anand died after getting epileptic attack while erecting a tent. He said they shifted him to a hospital, where he was declared brought dead.

Wed, 02 Sep 2020 09:11:42 +0530
Pranab Mukherjee The Prime Minister aspirant who become the President of India

Shri Pranab Mukherjee, veteran Congressman and former President of India expired on August 31, 2020, at the age of 84. In an illustrious career spanning five decades Pranab Da, as he was fondly called by friends and well-wishers, served as the minister for defence, external affairs, commerce and industry, and finance. Mukherjee was one of the last Congress leaders to have closely worked with former Prime Minister of India, Smt. Indira Gandhi.

As one of the most respected politicians in India, Pranab Mukherjee made friends cutting across political thoughts and had close friends in Congress, BJP, RSS, Communists, etc. Pranab Da first came to prominence in early 1970s when he became a minister in Indira Gandhi’s cabinet. He made headlines with a crackdown on Bombay’s underworld don Haji Mastan. In 1982, Indira Gandhi appointed Pranab Mukherjee as the Finance Minister, replacing R. Venkataraman.

Mukherjee was one of the famous finance ministers that India ever produced and had a stellar innings in that role. He surprised the world when he rejected a $1.1 billion instalment of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan. Mukherjee was a cautious reformer who would stoke up expenditure while controlling inflation simultaneously. He was instrumental in opening the NRI investment window which elevated India’s image as a destination for foreign funds. Pranab also played a key role in framing the India-US civil nuclear agreement despite opposition from several quarters.

Mukherjee was instrumental in spearheading administrative decisions on right to information, right to employment, food security, energy security, information technology, telecommunications, etc. He set up the UIDAI and metro rail through chairmanship of over 95 groups of ministers constituted for the same. Setting up rural banks in 1975 and EXIM Bank of India and the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (1981 - 1982) were among his crucial decisions which would shape the future of India.

Recognizing his services the Government of India honoured him with Padma Vibhushan, India’s second highest civilian award in 2008 and Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award in 2019. He was recognized as the best finance minister in the world in 1984 as per Euromoney magazine survey, Finance Minister of Year for Asia in 2010 by Emerging Markets, the daily newspaper of record for World Bank and IMF. Indeed Mukherjee missed some opportunities of becoming Prime Minister of India. At a book launch former Prime Minister of India Shri Manmohan Singh confessed that Mukherjee was more qualified to become the Prime Minister than he. Nevertheless, Pranab Mukherjee was awarded when he was elected as the President of India in 2012.

Shri Mukherjee was afflicted with Covid-19 before a surgery to remove a blood clot in his brain. He was in critical condition and on ventilator support at Indian army’s Research and Referral Hospital in Delhi. Mukherjee who expired on August 31 following a period of prolonged illness is survived by his sons Abhijit Mukherjee, a Congress MP from West Bengal, another son Indrajit Mukherjee, and a daughter Sharmistha Mukherjee, a Kathak dancer and Congress politician. Pranab’s wife Suvra Mukherjee whom he married in 1957 had expired in 2015 when Mukherjee was the President of India.

Several political analysts believe that had Mukherjee been elevated as the Prime Minister during the period when Congress was in power at the centre then his political adroitness would perhaps have prevented the eventual walkover that Shri Narendra Modi secured in 2014. History however had different plans to unfold.

Tue, 01 Sep 2020 17:10:53 +0530
Pranab Mukherjee The Prime Minister aspirant who become the President of India


Sasi Nair

Shri Pranab Mukherjee, veteran Congressman and former President of India expired on August 31, 2020, at the age of 84. In an illustrious career spanning five decades Pranab Da, as he was fondly called by friends and well-wishers, served as the minister for defence, external affairs, commerce and industry, and finance. Mukherjee was one of the last Congress leaders to have closely worked with former Prime Minister of India, Smt. Indira Gandhi.

As one of the most respected politicians in India, Pranab Mukherjee made friends cutting across political thoughts and had close friends in Congress, BJP, RSS, Communists, etc. Pranab Da first came to prominence in early 1970s when he became a minister in Indira Gandhi’s cabinet. He made headlines with a crackdown on Bombay’s underworld don Haji Mastan. In 1982, Indira Gandhi appointed Pranab Mukherjee as the Finance Minister, replacing R. Venkataraman.

Mukherjee was one of the famous finance ministers that India ever produced and had a stellar innings in that role. He surprised the world when he rejected a $1.1 billion instalment of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan. Mukherjee was a cautious reformer who would stoke up expenditure while controlling inflation simultaneously. He was instrumental in opening the NRI investment window which elevated India’s image as a destination for foreign funds. Pranab also played a key role in framing the India-US civil nuclear agreement despite opposition from several quarters.

Mukherjee was instrumental in spearheading administrative decisions on right to information, right to employment, food security, energy security, information technology, telecommunications, etc. He set up the UIDAI and metro rail through chairmanship of over 95 groups of ministers constituted for the same. Setting up rural banks in 1975 and EXIM Bank of India and the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (1981 - 1982) were among his crucial decisions which would shape the future of India.

Recognizing his services the Government of India honoured him with Padma Vibhushan, India’s second highest civilian award in 2008 and Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award in 2019. He was recognized as the best finance minister in the world in 1984 as per Euromoney magazine survey, Finance Minister of Year for Asia in 2010 by Emerging Markets, the daily newspaper of record for World Bank and IMF. Indeed Mukherjee missed some opportunities of becoming Prime Minister of India. At a book launch former Prime Minister of India Shri Manmohan Singh confessed that Mukherjee was more qualified to become the Prime Minister than he. Nevertheless Pranab Mukherjee was awarded when he was elected as the President of India in 2012.

Shri Mukherjee was afflicted with Covid-19 before a surgery to remove a blood clot in his brain. He was in critical condition and on ventilator support at Indian army’s Research and Referral Hospital in Delhi. Mukherjee who expired on August 31 following a period of prolonged illness is survived by his sons Abhijit Mukherjee, a Congress MP from West Bengal, another son Indrajit Mukherjee, and a daughter Sharmistha Mukherjee, a Kathak dancer and Congress politician. Pranab’s wife Suvra Mukherjee whom he married in 1957 had expired in 2015 when Mukherjee was the President of India.

Several political analysts believe that had Mukherjee been elevated as the Prime Minister during the period when Congress was in power at the centre then his political adroitness would perhaps have prevented the eventual walkover that Shri Narendra Modi secured in 2014. History however had different plans to unfold.

Tue, 01 Sep 2020 17:07:42 +0530
SC notice on Vedanta plea against Madras HC order on plant opening

New Delhi,  The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice on a plea by mining company Vedanta challenging the Madras High Court order, declining permission to reopen its Sterlite copper unit in Tamil Nadu's Tuticorin, closed since May 2018 over pollution issues.

A bench comprising Justices Rohinton Fali Nariman, Navin Sinha and Indira Banerjee said: "Permission to file special leave petition is granted. Issue notice, returnable in four weeks, in the special leave petitions as also on the prayer for interim relief. Counter affidavit may be filed within four weeks. Rejoinder, if any, may be filed within two weeks thereafter."

The Tamil Nadu government has already filed a caveat in the matter in the apex court, seeking to be heard before the court passes any order on the issue.

The Madras High Court on August 18 had declined the plea of the mining company, which urged the court to allow it to reopen the copper plant. Upholding the May 2018 order of the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB), which directed the closure of the plant, the court had accepted its contention that the company's operation was behind the pollution. It noted that protecting the environment is the primary concern and the economic considerations have no role to play in these matters.

In February 2019, the mining company had moved the high court, seeking its permission to reopen the Sterlite plant. According to the orders issued by the TNPCB, the plant was closed in May 2018, in view of protests, which turned violent, against the plant, and left 13 people dead in police firing.

The high court had also declined to order status quo until Vedanta went on appeal to the Supreme Court, which had allowed the mining company to move the high court.

Tue, 01 Sep 2020 10:06:41 +0530
Pranab Mukherjee was a devout public servant Biden

Washington,  In a message condoling the demise of former Indian President Pranab Mukherjee, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden called the veteran statesman a "devout public servant".

Taking to Twitter on Tuesday, the former US Vice President said: "President Shri Pranab Mukherjee was a devout public servant who believed deeply in the importance of our two nations tackling global challenges together.

"Jill and I are saddened to hear of his passing — our prayers go out to his loved ones and the Indian people."

Biden also attached a photo of him and Mukherjee along with his post.

Mukherjee, one of the India's most respected politicians, died at the age of 84 on Monday evening.

The former President, who tested positive for the novel coronavirus, had been in coma after a brain surgery earlier this month.

Mukherjee was the President of India from 2012 to 2017.

He was conferred the Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award, in 2019, and the Padma Vibhushan in 2008.

Tue, 01 Sep 2020 10:04:42 +0530
Special Frontier Force officer on recce at LAC killed in mine blast

New Delhi,  A Special Frontier Force officer was killed and another personnel of the force seriously injured in a landmine blast, while they were on a reconnaissance mission at the Line of Actual Control, sources said.

A special unit of the Special Frontier Force from Uttarakhand has been deployed in eastern Ladakh to gather reports about movements about Chinese People's Liberation Army troops and subsequently enable them to be thwarted. The incident took place between Black Top and Thakung Heights at Pangong Tso's south bank where India has thwarted a Chinese incursion.

The Special Frontier Force, which comes under Indian intelligence agencies, was deployed after the government found that China is trying to advance further against India.

The Indian Army, as well the government, however, refuse to comment over the issue.

Two days ago, Indian and Chinese troops were engaged in skirmish at the southern bank of the Pangong lake where the Chinese brought in close to 450 troops but the Indian Army said that their attempt to change the status quo was thwarted.

Sources said Chinese People's Liberation Army troops, with help of ropes and other climbing equipment, started ascending on to a table-top area between Black Top and Thakung Heights at Pangong Tso's south bank.

Hearing the commotion, the Indian Army was alerted and swung into action.

Earlier, Indian intelligence agencies had alerted the Indian Army about the PLA plans to change the status quo in other areas along the LAC. Thereafter, skirmishes erupted between both sides but things did not escalate. When Chinese troops saw the strength of Indian troops, the skirmishes stopped.

"Both the countries' troops are still standing in front of each other," said a source.

To further de-escalate, a brigade commander-level flag meeting started at Chushul and it is still underway.

The Indian Army, however, has officially denied any skirmish.

In a statement issued here, it said that on the intervening night of August 29 and August 30, 2020, PLA troops violated the previous consensus agreed in military and diplomatic engagements during the ongoing standoff in eastern Ladakh and carried out provocative military movements to change the status quo.

"Indian troops pre-empted this PLA activity on the southern bank of Pangong lake, and undertook measures to strengthen our positions and thwart Chinese intentions to unilaterally change facts on the ground," it said.

The Indian Army also stated that they are committed to maintaining peace and tranquillity through dialogue, but are also equally determined to protect India's territorial integrity.

However, China on Monday said its troops never crossed the LAC.

At Pangong Tso, China had already strengthened its positions between Fingers 5 and 8. The PLA had refused to pull back eastwards from the 8-km stretch it occupied from Finger 4 to Finger 8 by building scores of new fortifications there since early May.

India has asked China to completely withdraw its troops from Pangong Tso. But, China has refused to budge.

The mountain spurs jutting into the lake are referred to as 'Fingers' in military parlance.

Both countries are engaged in the current four-month-long standoff at the LAC in eastern Ladakh. Despite several levels of dialogue, there has not been any breakthrough and the deadlock continues.

On June 15, as many as 20 Indian soldiers and an unknown number of Chinese troops were killed in a violent clash in the Galwan Valley.

Tue, 01 Sep 2020 09:04:57 +0530
Pranab s demise passing of an era Prez Kovind leads nation in mourning

New Delhi, Former President Pranab Mukherjee's death on Monday plunged his friends and opponents across party lines into mourning.

President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday expressed grief over the death of former President Mukherjee, saying his death is the "passing of an era".

"Sad to hear that former President Pranab Mukherjee is no more. His demise is the passing of an era. A colossus in public life, he served Mother India with the spirit of a sage. The nation mourns losing one of its worthiest sons. Condolences to his family, friends and all citizens," President Kovind said in a series of tweets.

Endowed with perspicacity and wisdom, Kovind said Bharat Ratna Mukherjee combined tradition and modernity. In his five-decade-long illustrious public life, the President said that Mukherjee remained grounded irrespective of the exalted offices he held.

"He endeared himself to people across the political spectrum."

"As the First Citizen, he (Pranab Mukherjee) continued to connect with everyone, bringing Rashtrapati Bhavan closer to the people. He opened its gates to the common man. His decision to discontinue the use of the honorific 'His Excellency' was historic.

"Calling Mukherjee a 'statesman' and an 'illustrious son of India', Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu said he rose from humble beginnings to occupy the country's highest constitutional position through hard work, discipline and dedication.

"Learnt with profound grief the passing away of former President Pranab Mukherjee. He brought dignity and decorum to every post held by him during his long and distinguished public service," Naidu said.

Known for his administrative acumen and deep understanding of India's parliamentary system, Naidu said Mukherjee held several important positions including Finance Minister, Defence Minister, External Affairs Minister and Deputy Chairman and Planning Commission. As President, Naidu said Mukherjee encouraged people to participate in innovative programmes at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

"He was an encyclopaedia on parliamentary processes, contemporary, political and other matters and was known for his scholarly knowledge. He was an excellent parliamentarian and known for his oratorical skills.

"His phenomenal memory and quick grasp of the issues are legendary. He took an abiding interest in deepening democracy and strengthening various institutions. He was one of the great consensus figures and used to reach out to everybody across the political spectrum," Naidu said.

In his death, the Vice President said India has lost one of the outstanding leaders. "I convey my deepest condolences to bereaved family members and pray to God to give them strength and fortitude to bear this huge loss.

Mukherjee, elder statesman and one of the country's most respected politicians, died at 84. The former President of India, who tested positive for coronavirus, had been in coma after a brain surgery earlier this month.

Condoling the death of Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India is grieving at his demise, adding that he left an "indelible mark on the development trajectory of our nation".

Calling Mukherjee a scholar par excellence, the Prime Minister said he was admired across the political spectrum.

"India grieves the passing away of Bharat Ratna Shri Pranab Mukherjee. He has left an indelible mark on the development trajectory of our nation. A scholar par excellence, a towering statesman, he was admired across the political spectrum and by all sections of society," the Prime Minister tweeted.

"During his political career that spanned decades, Pranab Mukherjee made long-lasting contributions in key economic and strategic ministries. He was an outstanding Parliamentarian, always well-prepared, extremely articulate as well as witty," Modi said.

Union Home Minister and former BJP President Amit Shah as well as BJP's present chief J.P. Nadda also condoled the death of Mukherjee.

Shah said he is "deeply anguished" on the passing away of Mukherjee.

Saying that Mukherjee served the nation with "utmost devotion", Shah tweeted, "Pranab Da's life will always be cherished for his impeccable service and indelible contribution to our motherland. His demise has left a huge void in Indian polity. My sincerest condolences are with his family and followers on this irreparable loss. Om Shanti Shanti Shanti."

Nadda remarked, "Saddened by the demise of former President and statesman Shri Pranab Mukherjee. He has served the country in many roles with diligence and determination. He is widely admired across the parties for his intellect and perseverance."

Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and Mukherjee's former party colleagues also paid rich tributes to the late leader.

"With great sadness, the nation receives the news of the unfortunate demise of our former President Pranab Mukherjee. I join the country in paying homage to him. My deepest condolences to the bereaved family and friends," Rahul Gandhi tweeted.

The Congress, too, condoled the death of the former President. The party, on its official Twitter handle, said: "We are deeply pained by the passing of Pranab Mukherjee. Former President of India and one of the tallest leaders of the Congress party, Pranab Mukherjee will always be remembered for his integrity and compassion. Our prayers are with his family, followers and the nation."

Congress national media in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala, condoling the death of the veteran Congress leader, said "an era has come to an end".

"An era has come to an end. Your thoughts, memories and sense of commitment to the party, the people and the nation lives on... Rest in Peace Pranab Da," Surjewala tweeted.

"Deeply saddened at the demise of former President of India, Pranab Mukherjee. The nation has lost a great leader, thinker and statesman. His entire life was dedicated to the service of the nation. My heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and supporters. May his soul rest in peace," another veteran Congress leader and Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot tweeted.

The former President's daughter Sharmistha Mukherjee said that her father led a full and meaningful life in service of the nation and people.

In a tweet, an emotional Sharmistha said, "I bow to all. Baba, taking the liberty to quote from your favourite poet to say your final goodbye to all. You have led a full, meaningful life in service of the nation, in service of our people. I feel blessed to have been born as your daughter."

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday expressed his "profound sorrow" at the passing away of former President and his former ministerial colleague Pranab Mukherjee.

"In his death, our country has lost one of its greatest leaders of independent India. He and I worked very closely in the Government of India and I depended on him a great deal for his wisdom, vast knowledge and experience of public affairs," Manmohan Singh said in his message.

Interim Congress chief Sonia Gandhi also condoled the death of the former President and veteran Congress leader.

In a message to the late leader's daughter and Congress leader Sharmistha Mukherjee, Sonia Gandhi said, "Pranab da had been such an integral and prominent part of national life, the Congress party and the central government for over five decades, it is hard to imagine how we can do without his wisdom, experience, sage advice and deep understanding of so many subjects."

"He brought distinction to every post he held, he established a genuine rapport with colleagues across the political spectrum, and he served the country with the utmost dedication. His life over the past 50 years mirrored 50 years of the history of India, for he played a crucial role both in shaping the course of events as well as actively participating in them, whether as a Cabinet minister, parliamentarian or President of India," Sonia said.

She said, "I personally have so many warm memories of working with him, and I learnt so much from him. The Congress party deeply mourns his loss and will always honour his memory."

Expressing grief at the passing away of Mukherjee, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Monday said national interest was supreme for "Pranab da" who served it with dedication and distinction.

Birla said he was deeply saddened by the passing away of Mukherjee and that his demise is an irreparable loss for the nation. In more than five decades in public life, Birla recalled that Mukherjee served the nation with exemplary dedication.

"His experience in parliamentary and administrative matters was unmatched, a quality which manifested itself in his extraordinary work ethic.

"Pranab Mukherjee never let politics overshadow his personal relations," said the Lok Sabha Speaker, adding it was an attribute that allowed him to easily build consensus on some of the most important and complex political matters.

"His expert leadership on many important policies continues to guide our way and illuminate our paths. May his soul rest in peace. My condolences to the bereaved family."

"India lost one of its great sons", is how Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar remembered Mukherjee.

"He was not only intellectual; but at work a decision maker, a strategist and also he was one of the backbones in Parliament," Javadekar remarked.

The Union Minister said Mukherjee has left a mark in governance. "As the President of India, he has performed with clear understanding and with dignity," Javadekar added.

He recounted, "As a President, he delivered many convocation addresses in many universities, throughout the country. I asked his permission to publish them as a book and he was kind enough to give that permission. When we published that book on his university addresses, he was very happy."

Mukherjee breathed his last on Monday evening, at the age of 84, marking the end of an era. He was not only detected with Covid-19 but was on a ventilator following a brain surgery to remove a blood clot.

The former President was admitted to Army's R&R Hospital in Delhi Cantt on August 10 in what the hospital described as "critical condition".

In the last available statement by the hospital, it said, "There is a decline in the medical condition of Pranab Mukherjee since yesterday."

He is survived by his two sons, Abhijit and Indrajit Mukherjee, and daughter Sharmishta.

In the morning, the Army hospital had reported a decline in his condition. He had gone into septic shock due to his lung infection.

Mukherjee, who was President of India from 2012 to 2017, was hospitalized on August 10 in a critical condition.

Tue, 01 Sep 2020 00:32:06 +0530
Former President Pranab Mukherjee passes away

New Delhi, Former President Pranab Mukherjee, who was admitted at the Army Research and Referral Hospital died on Monday evening, his son Abhijit Mukherjee said in a tweet.

Abhijit Mukherjee tweeted: "With a Heavy Heart, this is to inform you that my father Pranab Mukherjee has just passed away in spite of the best efforts of Doctors of RR Hospital and prayers ,duas and prarthanas from people throughout India! I thank all of You."

Pranab Mukherjee was hospitalised for the past 21 days and been critical following brain surgery.

The veteran Congress leader was admitted to the hospital at 12.07 p.m. on August 10 in a critical condition.


Tue, 01 Sep 2020 00:29:29 +0530
Charge D Affaires of UAE in Mumbai meets Governor

Saud Abdelaziz Alzarooni, Charge D’Affaires of the Consulate General of the United Arab Emirates in Mumbai called on Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari at Raj Bhavan, Mumbai on Monday (31st Aug).

Stating that the relations between India and the United Arab Emirates date back to several years, Mr Saud Abdelaziz called for further strengthening the relations between the two great countries.

Recalling that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had opened a big temple in Abu Dhabi, he said UAE is the most peaceful and progressive nation in the Gulf region which respects the religion and culture of all people.

Mentioning that a large number of people from UAE visit India for medical treatment, tourism, business and family relations, he said these visits will resume once all restrictions on the movement of people placed due to the Coronavirus pandemic are eased.  He expressed the confidence that India will overcome the Covid -19 challenge on its own because of its superior doctors and healthcare infrastructure.

Governor Koshyari said the relations between India and the UAE have historic contexts. He said the people of the two countries are bound by the common elements of culture, food and traditions. The Governor called for further strengthening the relations between India and the UAE.

Mon, 31 Aug 2020 17:47:01 +0530
Maha lynchings Cop sacked 2 more compulsorily retired

Palghar (Maharashtra),  In a stringent punishment, the Maharashtra government has dismissed one suspended cop and slapped compulsory retirement on two others in a fallout of the April 16 Palghar lynching case which claimed the lives of two sadhus and their driver, an official said here on Monday.

"Following a departmental enquiry, Assistant Sub-Inspector Anandrao Kale has been served with dismissal orders while his colleagues, API Ravi Salunkhe and Constable Naresh Dhodi, have been compulsorily retired, all with immediate effect," Palghar Police Spokesperson Sachin Navadkar told IANS.

The dismissal and retirement orders were issued late on Saturday by Konkan Range Inspector-General of Police Niket Kaushik in the matter.

In a major reshuffle after the incident, in April-May, two policemen Sudhir Katare and Santosh Mukne were suspended by the then Palghar Superintendent of Police Gaurav Singh while another 35 police personnel of Kasa Police Station were transferred to other parts of the district.

Later, during his visit to the Gadchinchale village in Kasa - where the lynchings took place -- Home Minister Anil Deshmukh had sent SP Singh on compulsory leave and he awaits a posting till now.

On April 16 night, the victims -- Kalpavrikshagiri Maharaj, 70, his assistant Sushilgiri Maharaj, 35, of the Juna Akhada, and their driver Nilesh Telgade, 30, were waylaid when they were en route from Mumbai to Surat for a funeral during the lockdown.

Mistaking them to be robbers or kidnappers, a huge mob of over 800 tribals and villagers pounced on them with stones, sticks and sickles, and the trio later succumbed to grievous injuries -- sparking a nationwide political furore.

The case which was subsequently handed over to the state CID resulted in three chargesheets filed against a total of 126 accused before the Dahanu Magistrate Court, besides 11 juveniles and 28 others against whom the investigations are still underway.

The accused have been booked under various sections of Indian Penal Code, Disaster Management Act, Epidemic Diseases Act, Maharashtra Police Act, Maharashtra Damage to Public Property (Amendment) Act with charges pertaining to murder, attempt to murder, armed rioting, using criminal force to prevent a public servant from discharging his duties, etc.

Mon, 31 Aug 2020 12:29:11 +0530
RJD to distribute tickets on basis of candidate s popularity

Patna, Aug 31

Ahead of the upcoming Assembly elections in Bihar, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leaders have said that the ticket distribution for each constituency would be done on the basis of the popularity of candidates.

Tej Pratap Yadav, the state's former Health Minister and elder son of RJD chief Lalu Prasad, said that an internal survey is currently underway in Bihar and the agency involved in the exercise is interacting with voters and taking their feedback.

"Based on the reports, the party's core committee will decide the eligibility of candidates. It is a democratic process to choose winning candidates for the party. It will also minimise chances of less eligible candidates to bag ticket on the basis of good contacts with top leadership," he said.

Tej Pratap also said that "ticket distribution is extremely secret operation within the party".

"Even, I did not know from which constituency I would be fielded," he added.

In the 2015 Assembly election, he won from the Mahua constituency in Vaishali.

However, there was speculation that this time, he wants to contest from Hasanpur seat in Samastipur district as his former wife Aishwarya could be a possible candidate of the Janta Dal-United (JD-U) from Mahua.

Slamming the BJP-JD-U government in the state, he said the youths of Bihar are jobless and labourers who returned during the coronavirus-triggered lockdown are re-migrating to other states.

"The Nitish Kumar government has completely failed," he added.

Mon, 31 Aug 2020 09:46:18 +0530
Taiwanese pop star Eric Chou on performing amid 10 000 fans in pandemic era

New Delhi, Mandopop star Eric Chou recently put up a concert with an over-10,000 audience in the midst of the pandemic in Taiwan, the first artiste to do so. He is set to hit the stage again next month as the world gradually adjusts to the new normal in the pandemic era.

"Being the first is very exciting for us. Of course, it's not easy to do. To be the first, a lot of preparation was necessary. It's a must for everyone to wear a mask to enter the concert, for hands to be sanitised. To purchase a ticket, you have to use your own name, your ID number and phone number," Eric, who had performed on August 8 and 9 at the Taipei Arena, told IANS.

He continued: "We prepared masks for over 10,000 people so they had one in hand -- even if they forget to bring it -- to wear during the concert, ensuring that it was a safe environment to be in. We hold (our audience) accountable for the concert. It's actually one of the most difficult concerts to pull off, but we did it, thankfully."

The concert was an amazing experience for him. "It was one of the most special concerts I think I will ever experience, just 10,000 people wearing masks. Not seeing their faces, but hearing them screaming and singing your songs. That's pretty special," he shared.

He will be back on the stage on September 5 and 6, this time at the Kaohsiung Arena, Taiwan.

"Doing a concert is something I look forward to the most, being a singer. It's something that I share with the audience. Nothing else in the world can compare. The direct response of people enjoying your singing comes in a split second - you can hear, you can feel, and just know if they're enjoying it or not. For me, of course I'm nervous. But I feel more excitement than nervousness. I'm very happy," said the young singer, who primarily performs in Mandarin.

Eric has built an impressive fanbase in India, too. The nation ranks at number 13 worldwide in terms of his Instagram following.

Asked if he has any plans of holding concerts in other cities or countries, Eric said: "As of now, we do not have any plans to do any other cities. Taipei and Kaohsiung are two of the biggest in Taiwan, so we're very lucky to be able to do these concerts."

Eric has released several music videos, including one for the English track "In the works", as well as a collaboration with Mandopop star G.E.M. titled "Don't force it".

Earlier this year, he had released his album "When We Were Young".

He has continued to write more new music. However, he intends to take a break from releasing new songs for now.

"We're letting my fans digest this new album, because there's 20 songs to listen to. We also shot 13-14 music videos, so there's been plenty, I think. At the same time, I've had more time to think about what music I want to put out in my next album, and the kind of message I want to tell my fans," said Eric.


Mon, 31 Aug 2020 09:08:40 +0530
Chinese mainland reports no new locally transmitted Covid 19 cases

Beijing,  No new locally-transmitted Covid-19 case was reported on Sunday across the Chinese mainland, the National Health Commission said on Monday.
Seventeen confirmed cases arriving from outside the mainland were reported on Sunday, the commission said in its daily report, Xinhua reported.
No new suspected cases or deaths related to the disease were reported on Sunday, the commission said.
Of the imported cases, six were reported in Shanghai, five in Tianjin, two in Fujian and one each in Shanxi, Zhejiang, Guangdong and Shaanxi, the commission said.
On Sunday, a total of 24 Covid-19 patients were discharged from hospitals after recovery, the commission said.
By the end of Sunday, a total of 2,499 imported cases had been reported on the mainland. Of them, 2,311 had been discharged from hospitals after recovery, and 188 remained hospitalised, with four in severe condition. No deaths from the imported cases had been reported.
As of Sunday, the total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases on the mainland had reached 85,048, including 237 patients who were still being treated, with four in severe condition.
Altogether 80,177 people had been discharged after recovery, and 4,634 had died of the disease on the mainland, the commission said.
There were no suspected Covid-19 cases on the mainland, it added.
According to the commission, 7,190 close contacts were still under medical observation after 814 were discharged on Sunday.
Also on Sunday, 19 new asymptomatic cases, all from outside the mainland, were reported, and no asymptomatic cases were re-categorised as confirmed ones.
The commission said 340 asymptomatic cases, including 312 from outside the mainland, were still under medical observation.
By Sunday, 4,801 confirmed cases including 88 deaths had been reported in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR), together with 46 confirmed cases in the Macao SAR and 488 cases including seven deaths in Taiwan.
A total of 4,320 Covid-19 patients in the Hong Kong SAR, 46 in the Macao SAR, and 462 in Taiwan had been discharged from hospitals after recovery.

Mon, 31 Aug 2020 08:57:25 +0530
Delhi Asha Anganwadi workers to accelerate immunisation drive

New Delhi,  Amid the rising coronavirus cases, Delhi Women and Child Development Minister Rajendra Pal Gautam on Sunday chaired a review meeting for vaccination and facilitation of medical services through Accredited Social Health Activists (Asha) and Anganwadi workers (AWW) in the community.

The meeting was attended by the senior officials of the Department of Women and Child Development (DWCD) and the Department of Health (DOH).

After the meeting, Gautam said: "In view of Covid-19, it is essential to protect yourself and others around you, as the care and precaution is the utmost priority but child immunization program is a necessity to keep the future of children healthy and safe."

Gautam said that DWCD has been directed to start the process of vaccination and immunisation with all necessary precautions with the help of Asha and Anganwadi workers.

The Minister further said that the ongoing activity of immunisation was disrupted due to Covid-19 lockdown but after the partial Unlock, the immunisation has been considered an essential aspect for which a decision has been taken to restore the facilities to children in the best possible manner.

He informed that the Department of Health and Family Welfare has a vital role as it supports organising immunisation camps every month.

Gautam said that the DWCD through its 10,000 Anganwadi centres in the national capital plays an important role in getting the children enrolled in the centres immunised.

"This is done by holding immunisation camp in each Anganwadi centre every month in coordination with the Health Department," he said.

In September, the DWCD and the Department of Health will start the immunisation programme.

"Under this, the Anganwadi workers will facilitate the medical functionaries for the outreach program for immunisation. The AWW and Anganwadi Helpers (AWH) will help Auxiliary Nurse Midwives (ANM) and Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) to organise and co-ordinate immunization camps in the capital," Gautam said.

He said the immunisation camp will be organised once a month at each Anganwadi centre.

"During the immunisation camp, the AWW and AWH will mobilise the children due to immunisation. One attendant with each child must be ensured by the AWW at the time of immunisation. For the immunisation programme, proper social distancing with all the safety measures will be ensured," Gautam added.

Mon, 31 Aug 2020 08:46:15 +0530
Reliance Retail buys Kishore Biyani s Future Group businesses for Rs 24 713 cr

New Delhi, Reliance Retail Ventures Limited (RRVL), a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited, on Saturday announced that it is acquiring the retail, wholesale, logistics and warehousing business from the Future Group as going concerns on a slump sale basis for lump sum aggregate consideration of Rs 24,713 crore, subject to adjustments as set out in the composite scheme of arrangement (Scheme).

The above acquisition is being done as part of the scheme in which the Future Group is merging certain companies carrying on the aforesaid businesses into Future Enterprises Limited (FEL).

As a part of the same scheme, the retail and wholesale undertaking is being transferred to Reliance Retail and Fashion Lifestyle Limited (RRFLL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of RRVL, the logistics and warehousing undertaking is being transferred to RRVL and RRFLL also proposes to invest Rs 1,200 crore in the preferential issue of equity shares of FEL to acquire 6.09 per cent of post-merger equity and Rs 400 crore in a preferential issue of equity warrants which, upon conversion and payment of balance 75 per cent of the issue price, will result in RRFLL acquiring further 7.05 per cent of FEL.

Isha Ambani, Director, Reliance Retail Ventures Limited, said, "With this transaction, we are pleased to provide a home to the renowned formats and brands of Future Group as well as preserve its business ecosystem, which have played an important role in the evolution of modern retail in India.

"We hope to continue the growth momentum of the retail industry with our unique model of active collaboration with small merchants and kiranas as well as large consumer brands. We are committed to continue providing value to our consumers across the country."

The acquisition of the retail, wholesale and supply chain business of the Future Group complements and makes a strong strategic fit into Reliance's retail business. This will help Reliance retail to accelerate providing support to millions of small merchants in increasing their competitiveness and enhance their income during these challenging times.

Future Group's portfolio composition in apparel, general merchandise and own FMCG brands will allow for a wider offering to its customers.

This acquisition is subject to SEBI, CCI, NCLT, shareholders, creditors and other requisite approvals. Reliance Retail Ventures Limited (RRVL) is a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited, carrying on the Consumer Supply Chain Business and Consumer Retail Business through its subsidiaries.

RRVL reported a consolidated turnover of INR Rs 1.62 lakh crore and net profit of Rs 5,448 crore for the year ended March 31, 2020.

Sun, 30 Aug 2020 10:18:49 +0530
Influence of dictatorship on country s democracy rising Sonia

New Delhi, Taking a swipe at the Central government, interim Congress president Sonia Gandhi said on Saturday that anti-national and anti-poor forces were spreading hatred and "venom of violence" in the country, and the "influence of dictatorship" on democracy was rising.

While addressing the party leaders on the occasion of the foundation stone laying ceremony of the new Chhattisgarh Assembly building in Nava Raipur, the upcoming new capital of the state, through a recorded video message, Sonia Gandhi said, "For some time now, an attempt is being made to derail our country. New challenges have come up before our democracy. Today, the country stands at crossroads."

Attacking the Centre, she said, "Anti-poor and anti-national forces and those who rule by making people fight against each other have been spreading hatred and venom of violence. Bad thinking is dominating good thinking, freedom of expression is in danger and democratic institutions are being ruined. The influence of dictatorship has been increasing on democracy."

Without naming anyone, Sonia Gandhi alleged that these elements want to suppress the voice of the people.

"What do they want? They want people of the country, our youth, our tribal people, our women, our farmers, shopkeepers and small traders, and jawans to keep their mouths shut," she said.

"Father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi, former Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, G.V. Mavalankar, B.R. Ambedkar and our other forefathers would have never imagined that after 75 years of Independence, the country will face such a difficult situation and our Constitution and democracy will be in danger," she said.

Sonia also asked the party leaders to take a pledge to protect the foundation of democracy.

"We should also take a pledge that as long as we are in power, we will take decisions keeping in mind the interests of people standing at the end of queue," she said.

"The legislature is the biggest pillar of our democracy. The Parliament and the legislative assembly are sacred temples of our democracy which ensure protection to our Constitution. But it must be remembered that the Constitution will not be saved by buildings, rather it will be protected by emotions," she said.

"We have come a long distance in the last seven decades and successfully faced several challenges and got rid of them. However, we are still far away from realising the dreams of our forefathers," she added.

Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi hailed the Bhupesh Baghel government for launching schemes for the farmers and the tribal people in his message read out by state Agriculture Minister Ravindra Choubey.

Chief Minister Baghel, through the Rajiv Gandhi Kisan Nyay Yojana and other schemes, has ensured that money reaches the hands of the farmers, labourers and the poor, Rahul Gandhi said.

The new assembly building will come up over 51 acres of land behind the new Mantralaya (secretariat) at a cost of around Rs 270 crore.


Sun, 30 Aug 2020 09:47:07 +0530
Astro Zindagi Weekly Horoscope

Here is a guide to the week ahead for you. This is your forecast for August 31 to September 6:

The start of the week will bring an improvement in your status and financial condition. You could get an offer for a job that you have been eagerly waiting for. Businesspeople will see a rise in profits and income. You could also receive benefits from the government. This will be a rewarding month for those in the field of sports as they are likely to emerge victorious. Students preparing for competitive exams relating to the medical field are likely to be successful. Your personal life will continue to test you and you are advised to maintain cordial relations with your spouse. Unmarried couples may also experience misunderstandings which is likely to affect their relationship. Apart from that, your family life will remain harmonious and you could celebrate a family function during the second half of the week. Health will remain good, barring some minor infections relating to stomach and legs.
Tip of the week: Grab the opportunity
Lucky days: Wednesday, Thursday

This week the divine grace will help you resolve all obstacles that were coming in your path earlier. You will enjoy good reputation at your workplace and will achieve pending targets. An outstanding promotion can happen unexpectedly which will uplift your finances. Businesspeople can strike overseas deals which will help you expand your footprint. You shall remain protective towards your family. However, you are advised to be on the listening mode in family matters to avoid conflicts at home. Married life will remain positive, but your spouse could face health issues. Health and wellbeing of your children is likely to improve. Towards the end of the week, you would be inclined to spend some quality time with your friends and relive past memories. Infections relating to ear, nose and throat can bother you.
Tip of the week: Look for miracles
Lucky days: Monday, Tuesday

During the first few days of the week, you could face some uncertainty in your life as unexpected things may crop up at the last minute which will seek your attention. Professionally, do not depend on others and stay rational and grounded in your approach. From the middle of the week, you will get relief and your confidence and self-esteem will increase. This will help you initiate new projects that you have not been able to do for a long time. Students pursuing higher education will receive favourable results. The last phase of the week will see you getting rewards for actions initiated earlier. You will also get good support from your seniors which is likely to provide the necessary impetus to you professionally. In personal life, your warm and caring attitude towards your loved ones will help you bring harmony in existing relationships. Ailments relating to your left ear and eyes may need attention.
Tip of the week: Be rational and grounded
Lucky days: Wednesday, Thursday

During the beginning of the week, you could remain focused on new projects and partnerships. Businesspeople may be required to take critical business decisions relating to new revenue streams and investment opportunities which are likely to bring substantial gains in future. Relationship with your spouse will remain favourable and a cooperative approach will ensure a cordial domestic environment. Towards the middle of the week, there could be unwanted stress owing to some family dispute. However, professionally, you will witness an increase in opportunities. You may receive sudden gains. Your relations with your in-laws are likely to get better, which will have a positive impact on your relations with your spouse. Towards the end of the week, your siblings might face some problems and may need your support. Issues relating to liver and lower abdomen can affect you.
Tip of the week: Stay invested in your career
Lucky days: Friday, Saturday

You will have a lively start to the week as you could receive fresh opportunities to further your career and finances. You may be able to find various avenues of earning money. During the beginning of the week, you are likely to spend more time on office work due to increased work load which will not go unnoticed by your seniors. You would need to stay competitive in your business, else you may lag behind. On the personal front, your relationship with your spouse will need attention. Towards the end of the week, there could be a sudden monetary gain which could help you get rid of your outgoing debts and liabilities. You are advised to exercise control over your expenses as every penny will count. Towards the end of the week, you are required to be vigilant regarding your health as your immunity is likely to remain weak. Avoid eating outside food and stay away from pollution and dust.
Tip of the week: Stay competitive
Lucky days: Wednesday, Thursday

Trust your intelligence and creative side to help you overcome any issues that you may face this week. You could gain through prudent investments in the stock market. Professionally, do not overly trust any person to avoid any uncomfortable situation later. On the personal front, your relationship with your children will improve and strengthen. During the middle of the week, you will have to work extra hard to achieve your targets. However, towards the later part of the week, you will experience stability and growth in your ventures. You will feel more secure and confident which will help you take bold decisions in your profession. Your spouse will remain cooperative due to which there will be harmony at home. You will be able to recover from any illness that may have been bothering you for a long time. However, any medicine taken without proper medical advice can harm your health.
Tip of the week: Trust your intelligence
Lucky days: Saturday, Sunday

You will have a good start to the week as you are likely to finalise a deal to buy or sell property. There could be a positive development on the work front and you could be shortlisted to execute a new project. Take the blessings of your mother before initiating any new venture. If you are married, the beginning of the week will bring positive news for your children. They are likely to progress in their studies which will make you happy and proud. Towards the middle of the week, you are likely to feel more settled as your thought process will become clearer which will result in improved performance in your professional undertakings. Towards the end of the week, you may be able to settle pending legal disputes, if any. Your spouse could witness a change of job. However, health-wise, you may face some gastric or acidic issues relating to stomach.
Tip of the week: Look out for new projects
Lucky days: Wednesday, Thursday

A bold and proactive approach this week will work well to accomplish your goals. During the beginning of the week, you could receive appreciation from your seniors for your consistent performance in the past. It may not be a bad idea to engage in recreational activities to unwind yourself. Those who are single are likely to meet someone with whom they might be able to develop an instant connection. On the personal front, this is a favourable time to revive contacts with friends. During the middle of the week, your spouse is likely to make some financial gain. A favourable planetary position will help you to establish a connection with your inner self, that will help bring out your creativity and unexplored potential. During the end of the week, you will gain strength and stability in your endeavours. Issues relating to lower back could bother you.
Tip of the week: Be bold and proactive
Lucky days: Saturday, Sunday

Despite a slow start, you will be able to fulfil your desires this week. During the start of the week, you could face unwanted expenditure which can lead to financial difficulty. Avoid investing in any quick income-generating offers or schemes as it may turn out to be counter-productive. You may become a bit harsh in your speech which may disrupt family atmosphere. During the middle of the week, your efforts are likely to yield good results which will lead to professional growth. Your siblings will do well in their respective fields and relationship with them will remain cordial. During the later part of the week, you could meet influential people and develop new contacts that will help you professionally. You could gain through ancestral property or land-related matters. Be watchful on the health front as there could be trouble involving the chest and kidney.
Tip of the week: Stay away from unscrupulous offers
Lucky days: Wednesday, Thursday

The week will commence on a positive note as you are likely to receive good news on the professional front. Your self-confidence will be high which will rub off on your colleagues and team members at your workplace. During the middle of the week, you are likely to be vested with a bigger role and position. You are also likely to receive moral and financial support from your mentors which will keep you going. Overall, you will remain satisfied with your work and performance. Peace and tranquility will prevail in your home environment. You will receive support from your maternal side of the family. Eligible people are likely to tie the knot. Towards the end of the week, you could undertake a short travel relating to work. You are likely to buy a new electronic gadget. You are likely to recover from an old illness that may have been bothering you.
Tip of the week: Stay confident
Lucky days: Monday, Tuesday

The onset of the week will require you to attend to matters relating to health and expenditure. You may face unforeseen situations and unplanned expenditure which can lead to unnecessary stress and anxiety. You are also advised to be cautious in your dealings involving documents else you may invite the wrath of the authorities. There is a possibility of an injury especially relating to the head region. By the middle of the week, you will experience much relief and will stay optimistic. You will be inclined towards spirituality or higher learning. This is a good time to plan your investments and monitor savings. Prudent investment in the stock market can be profitable. During the later part of the week, you will be inclined to spend more time with your family. Involvement in household chores will give you peace and happiness. On the health front, abdomen and eyes need extra care.
Tip of the week: Stay away from injuries
Lucky days: Wednesday, Thursday

The start of the week will see you high on energy and motivation. You will able to accomplish most of your assignments that were pending for a long time. Income will continue to flow from multiple sources. You should remain grateful to your family and friends who supported you in your difficult time and should make extra efforts to keep them happy. A small get-together will strengthen your bond with your well-wishers. During the middle of the week, your health is likely to remain fragile as you may face persistent problems relating to cold and cough. Avoid undertaking journeys as they are likely to result in unnecessary fatigue. Towards the later part of the week, you will remain more organized, that will help you increase your productivity. However, in your personal life, you need to guard against any rifts with your spouse due to prevailing misunderstandings.
Tip of the week: Be grateful
Lucky days: Monday, Tuesday

Sun, 30 Aug 2020 09:41:14 +0530
Governor Koshyari presents Justice Nagendra Singh International Peace Award to Water Man Rajendr

Mumbai: The Governor of Maharashtra Bhagat Singh Koshyari today presented the Justice Nagendra Singh International Peace Award to ‘Water Man of India’ Rajendra Singh.


The Award was presented to Rajendra Singh through the virtual platform in recognition of his lifetime work for water conservation at the 31st National Convention on Water Conservation in India organized by the International Goodwill Society of India.


Speaking on the occasion, Governor Koshyari said India has made significant progress in important indicators of development such as accessibility of water, sanitation, health, provision of toilets during the last 6 years. He said the dream of Atma Nirbhar Bharat can be fulfilled by making India self sufficient in terms of availability of water. Commending the efforts of the government to provide tap water to all households in the country by 2024, he appealed to NGOs and citizens to join hands with the government in conserving water.


Central President of the International Goodwill Society of India, retired IAS officer Dr Yogendra Narain, Secretary General Dr R K Bhatnagar, Chairman of Indian Water Resources Society (Meerut Chapter) S K Kumar, Director of Indian Institute of Public Administration S M Tripathi and experts in water conservation were present.

Sun, 30 Aug 2020 09:37:13 +0530
Governor releases Corona Special Issue of Arogya Deep

Mumbai: Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari released the ‘Corona Battle’ issue of the Annual health publication ‘Arogya Deep’ at Raj Bhavan, Mumbai on Saturday (29th Aug).  


The special issue, conceptualized by former Minister of Public Health Dr Deepak Sawant contains articles by doctors and specialists on various aspects of management of the Corona Virus Disease Covid -19.


Stating that Corona has caused undue fears among the people, Governor Koshyari urged doctors to allay the fears of patients and to give them confidence and hope to fight off the Corona Virus Disease. He appeled to the doctors to earn love and blessings of patients while serving them.


Well known doctors Deepak Patkar, Joy Chakraborty, Pinak Dande, Deepak Namjoshi, Paresh Navalkar, Swapnesh Sawant and Publisher Anand Limaye were present.


The Special issue contains expert articles such as ‘Management of COVID patients in ICU’, Role of Imaging in COVID pandemic, Managing Pregnancy during COVID -19, Mental Health and COVID Pandemic,  Impact of COVID on Diabetes and Thyroid, ‘COVID and Homeopathy’ and others.

Sun, 30 Aug 2020 09:31:53 +0530
UN stresses need to return to political process in Libya

Tripoli, The UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) has stressed the need for an inclusive return to the political process in the country.

"Libya is witnessing a dramatic turn of events that underlines the urgent need to return to a full and inclusive political process that will meet the aspirations of the Libyan people for representative government, dignity, and peace," Xinhua news agency quoted the UN body as saying in a statement on Saturday.

It urged calm, the application of the rule of law and the preservation of the rights of all citizens to peacefully express their views.

"Across Libya, UNSMIL is registering an increase in reports of human rights violations, including arbitrary arrests and detention, restrictions placed on freedom of movement and expression, as well as on the right of peaceful assembly and protest," the mission said.

The UNSMIL expressed concern about the excessive use of force in the capital Tripoli against demonstrators, as well as the arbitrary arrest of a number of civilians.

The mission also voiced concern about reports of ongoing human rights violations and abuses in the city of Sirte, some 450 km east of Tripoli, which include killing of a civilian, the arbitrary arrest of several others, and the illegal forced entry into private properties.

"The prolific use of hate speech and incitement to violence appears designed to further divide Libyans, increase polarization and tear at the country's social fabric at the expense of a Libyan-Libyan solution," the mission warned.

The UNSMIL statement came hours after the UN-backed government of Libya appointed a new Defence Minister and a new Chief of Staff.

Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj had said last week that he would reshuffle the cabinet or appoint a crisis government, following protests in several cities in western Libya against the political, economic and security instability as well as lack of basic services.

Serraj also pledged to work on providing the basic services for the people, mainly electricity and water.

The UN-backed government had been engaged in a deadly armed conflict against the eastern-based army for more than a year over control of the capital Tripoli, before the former recently took over all of western Libya.

Despite signing the UN-sponsored political agreement and appointment of the UN-backed government of national accord in 2015, Libya remains politically divided amid insecurity and escalating violence.

Sun, 30 Aug 2020 09:28:30 +0530
India to play leading role in future global political framework MoS Home

New Delhi, India will play a leading role in the future global political framework in terms of economy and Disaster Risk Management (DRM), Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai said on Saturday.

Expressing faith in the Science and Technology talent in India, Rai said that the motive of Science and Technology should be to provide last mile connectivity and reach every needy person in the country. He corroborated the enthusiasm and vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi through his famous 10 point agenda for DRM and stressed on item five of the agenda like leveraging Science and Technology, and item six -- develop a network of universities to work on disaster-related issues to cater to the climate risk management.

The Minister was presiding over the valedictory programme of the three-day International Science and Technology Conference organised by the National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM) and Department of Science and Technology (DST) through video conferencing.

Rai said that the outcomes and recommendations of the conference should be given the shape of reality in times to come. Member NDMA, Kamal Kishore, in his remarks focused on the need for coordination of various dimensions of research domains for effective outcomes.

The programme was attended by experts, government officers, Science and Technology luminaries, policy planners, implementers and practitioners from across India and also from more than 10 countries.

Sat, 29 Aug 2020 14:26:31 +0530
Delhi to London in 70 days by Bus

Want to experience a road trip from Delhi to London; well the first-ever hop-on/hop-off bus service between the two distant cities in two different continents is now a reality. The bus will ferry 20 passengers on a modified luxury bus, inspired in part by the Hippie Trail buses that crisscrossed the world in the 1950s and 1960s.

The bus will drive through the roads of 18 countries in 70 days with passengers hopping off to marvel at the pagodas of Myanmar, hike the Great Wall of China and wander historic cities including Moscow and Prague. Adventures Overland, an expedition company, has introduced this bus trip. This idea sprouted 10 years ago when Tushar Agarwal did a solo drive from London to Delhi. He along with Sanjay Madan co-founded Adventures Overland.

The bus service from is expected to be operational from mid-2021 at an estimated cost of USD 20,000. To fit it into your budget, you may opt for just a part of the journey that is divided into four legs. You can also choose to start the journey from Delhi or London. Tushar Agarwal said that they have got good response with around 40,000 people booking tickets.

Sat, 29 Aug 2020 13:30:29 +0530
Soldier 3 militants killed in South Kashmir s Pulwama

Srinagar,  An Indian Army soldier was killed in South Kashmir's Pulwama district on Saturday during an operation with militants, in which three unidentified terrorists were also neutralised by the security forces.

A joint team of the police and the army cordoned off the Zadoora area following specific information about terrorists in the area. As the security forces zeroed in on the terrorist hideout, they came under a heavy volume of fire triggering the encounter.

"Three unidentified terrorists were killed in an encounter at Zadoora area of Pulwama. Incriminating materials, including arms and ammunition was recovered. Search going on," police said.

The cache of arms and ammunition include one AK-47 rifle and two pistols. "One soldier was critically injured and succumbed to his injuries. Joint operation in progress," army said.

The encounter took place just a day after four terrorists were gunned down in South Kashmir's Shopian district, which included two militants who were involved in the abduction and killing of a Kashmiri panch.


Sat, 29 Aug 2020 12:30:27 +0530
Shabana Azmi Why is masculinity about flexing muscles and not tenderness

Mumbai,  Actress Shabana Azmi feels if we want to establish gender equality, then along with empowering women, men need to change the definition of masculinity.

Shabana recently presented the film "Mee Raqsam", directed by her brother Baba Azmi. The film is about a Muslim father who goes out of his way to help his young daughter achieve her dream of becoming a bharatnatyam dancer.

"A very special element of the father Salim's character in the film was that he was both a father and a mother to the 15-year-old girl, ever since his wife died. It is certainly not easy for a father to nurture a teenage girl like a mother. I think women are better equipped to be both father and mother to their children. When it comes to men, perhaps they are not. That is why the character of Salim was so special, it was like redefining masculinity," Shabana told IANS.

She elaborated: "At present, there is toxicity around the whole idea of masculinity. Masculinity means flexing muscles, wielding power over the powerless. That is a toxic thing. It is true that we want women to change, and become independent. But to establish gender equality we also need men to change. Why is masculinity not about tenderness, empathy, and being supportive? All the qualities we look for in the new progressive man, we get to see in the character of Salim in 'Mee Raqsam'."

The film featuring Danish Husain and Aditi Subedi is streaming on Zee5.

Sat, 29 Aug 2020 11:31:36 +0530
US stocks rise amid economic data

New York,  US stocks finished higher on Friday as investors pored through newly-released economic data.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 161.60 points, or 0.57 per cent, to 28,653.87. The S&P 500 increased 23.46 points, or 0.67 per cent, to 3,508.01. The Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 70.30 points, or 0.60 per cent, to 11,695.63, Xinhua reported.

All the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors advanced, with energy and materials up 1.85 per cent and 1.1 per cent, respectively, leading the gains.

Meanwhile, US-listed Chinese companies traded mostly higher, with nine of the top 10 stocks by weight in the S&P US Listed China 50 index ending the day on an upbeat note.

US personal consumption expenditures rose 1.9 per cent in July and personal income increased 0.4 per cent, the US Bureau of Economic Analysis reported on Friday.

"The consumer recovery continued in July, with solid growth in both income and spending," Chris Low, chief economist at FHN Financial, said in a note, adding "compensation was significantly higher than the February low, but still has about 5 per cent to go before it fully recovers."

Wall Street continued to digest the US Federal Reserve's new policy strategy on inflation.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell announced on Thursday that the central bank will seek to achieve inflation that averages 2 per cent over time, a new strategy for carrying out monetary policy to help fight the Covid-19 pandemic and boost economic recovery.

Sat, 29 Aug 2020 11:23:28 +0530
Trump s acceptance speech drew fewer viewers than Biden s

Washington, US President Donald Trump's acceptance speech drew fewer viewers than that of his Democratic rival Joe Biden, according to new data.

The data released by Nielsen Media Research on Friday revealed that an estimated