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Tag: anupam

NHRC must comment on rights of rape victims: Nirbhaya’s parents

Paving the way for a new juvenile system in which the age of criminal culpability will now be 16 years, subject to some conditions, the Rajya Sabha earlier this week passed the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill, 2015.

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<!– /.block –>Afghanistan break into top 10 of ICC ODI rankings, India retain 2nd spot <!– /.block –>
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Radhe Maa to Anupam Kher: 8 stars who ‘broke out’ in 2015

When a host of awards were being returned to protest ‘intolerance’, Anupam Kher and his band of angry men took out a ‘March for India’ where Kher claimed that he wouldn’t tolerate any talk of intolerance under his watch. He also directed some outrage at his colleague Dibakar Banerjee for returning an award that frankly he had no right to return (since it was the award for Best Film and belonged to the producers). All in all, Anupam Kher was the breakout ‘unexpected star’ of the year.

Arghya Roy Chowdhury
Nirmalya Dutta

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<!– /.block –>Government committed to electrification of villages: PM Modi <!– /.block –>
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Government committed to electrification of villages: PM Modi <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaModi’s surprise visit to Pak: What happened behind the scenes to make it possibleIndiaOver 120 artists to perform at Sunburn Goa beginning tomorrowIndiaParliamentary panel asks MHA to increase women in Delhi Police to 33%IndiaKashmir problem will be solved once Art 370 is removed: Anupam KherIndiaForeign hand trying to stall India’s atomic programme: AEC chiefIndiaLinking two most popular pilgrim centres, Railways starts weekly train between Tirupati and Shirdi <!– /.block –>

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Government committed to electrification of villages: PM Modi

“Against a target of 1,900, we have electrified over 3,000 villages in around 100 days,” Modi had said at the inaugural function of Hindustan Times Leadership Summit 2015.

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<!– /.block –>Salman @ 50: I will always be 27 <!– /.block –>
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<!– /#sidebar-second –>Radhe Maa to Anupam Kher: 8 stars who ‘broke out’ in 2015<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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Govt’s plan to repeal over 1000 obsolete laws remains stuck in Rajya Sabha

The Bill, introduced in May this year, aimed at scrapping 187 old laws. Since 30 of them had already been repealed through the Repealing and Amending (Second) Bill, 2014, the rest 157 will now be deleted from the statute books through the Repealing and Amending (Fourth) Bill, 2015, cleared by the Union Cabinet on July 16.

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<!– /.block –>Trai aims to resolve some neutrality issues by early 2016 <!– /.block –>
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Modi’s surprise visit to Pak: What happened behind the scenes to make it possible

“It is a positive step that he came … definitely … but we still have to move with caution,” he said. “It’s a new Modi in an old bottle; Nawaz Sharif should take it one sip at a time.”

reuters

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<!– /.block –>5 Reasons why we wait for Baahubali – The Conclusion? <!– /.block –>
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Parliamentary panel asks MHA to increase women in Delhi Police to 33%

The Standing Committee, meanwhile, also said that Delhi Police must ensure, through the education department of Delhi government, that all schools designate one teacher as road safety coordinator so that regular road safety programmes are organised for raising awareness among children in this regard.

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<!– /.block –>MF investment in equity markets at Rs 70,000 crore in 2015 <!– /.block –>
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MF investment in equity markets at Rs 70,000 crore in 2015 <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaModi’s surprise visit to Pak: What happened behind the scenes to make it possibleIndiaOver 120 artists to perform at Sunburn Goa beginning tomorrowIndiaParliamentary panel asks MHA to increase women in Delhi Police to 33%IndiaKashmir problem will be solved once Art 370 is removed: Anupam KherIndiaForeign hand trying to stall India’s atomic programme: AEC chiefIndiaLinking two most popular pilgrim centres, Railways starts weekly train between Tirupati and Shirdi <!– /.block –>

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Kashmir problem will be solved once Art 370 is removed: Anupam Kher

“It is not possible (to return to the old houses)..Memories remain, the way they were thrown out, how can they live in that house”, Kher said.

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<!– /.block –>Adani’s 600-MW Chhattisgarh plant delayed on public opposition <!– /.block –>
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Adani’s 600-MW Chhattisgarh plant delayed on public opposition <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaModi’s surprise visit to Pak: What happened behind the scenes to make it possibleIndiaOver 120 artists to perform at Sunburn Goa beginning tomorrowIndiaParliamentary panel asks MHA to increase women in Delhi Police to 33%IndiaKashmir problem will be solved once Art 370 is removed: Anupam KherIndiaForeign hand trying to stall India’s atomic programme: AEC chiefIndiaLinking two most popular pilgrim centres, Railways starts weekly train between Tirupati and Shirdi <!– /.block –>

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No cricket with Pakistan till border situation becomes normal, says Anupam Kher

Citing the recent killing of Santosh Mahadik in a shootout with militants in Kashmir, Anupam Kher said that not playing cricket will be a way to show sensitivity towards the bereaved family.
File Photo

India should not resume its cricketing ties with Pakistan until the situation at the border becomes “normal”, feels veteran actor Anupam Kher. Kher, 60, is in Jharkhand to shoot for an upcoming biopic on Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni. He plays Dhoni’s father Pan Singh in the movie.”According to me, till the time our people are being killed on the front, matches should not be held. If diplomacy says that we should give a chance to enemy or neighbours, sports has its own status, people have their own status and music has its own status, that diplomacy has to be sorted out by the government,” he said. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Citing the recent killing of Santosh Mahadik in a shootout with militants in Kashmir, he said that not playing cricket will be a way to show sensitivity towards the bereaved family.”Some things are above other things. What I feel is we should show sensitivity and cricket matches can be postponed for the time being, till situation becomes normal. When people stop killing innocents… then we will think. There is no urgency to play,” he added.There is a proposal for resumption of cricket matches between India and Pakistan. Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is awaiting the government’s response on the fate of the series. The Pakistan Cricket Board has already got clearance from its government. Both countries have not played Test cricket since 2007 but Pakistan toured India in the winter of 2012-13 for a short limited-over series.

Open letter to Aamir Khan: Your work is what defines you, let it speak for itself

Dear Aamir Khan,

Now that you have had your say on intolerance, can you please get back to work? Of course, we knew you are not leaving the country, neither is Kiran; you didn’t even have to say it. If you are wounded by all the nastiness thrown at you, remember work is a wonderful healer.

You are an icon, and in India, icons transcend narrow identities. They are not judged as Hindu, Muslim, this or that. No one, I know of, thinks of Amitabh Bachchan or Sachin Tendulkar as Hindus or Shah Rukh, Salman and you as Muslims. That is the beauty of India. Small people cannot change that, try howsoever hard they may.

You are right when you say that over the last few months there’s a sense of disquiet in the country. If that was not the case, the topic of intolerance would not be occupying the national mindspace in the first place. The fear could be all imagination and no substance, still, take the politics out of it and it’s a good issue to be raised. I don’t think you were being political when you said what you said. No rational mind would support thugs of different shades threatening people, asking them what to eat, and how to live. If people are bent on linking this lot to an ideology and a political party, it cannot be your fault.

Aamir Khan. Image courtesy: AgenciesAamir Khan. Image courtesy: Agencies

Aamir Khan. Image courtesy: Agencies

I know you are being asked a lot of questions challenging your integrity these days. Intolerance is in India’s DNA; why are you making a big deal out of it? They ask. Why were you silent when this or that was happening? Which country does not have intolerance? It goes on. It’s like saying rapes have been happening in India for ages, there’s no need for someone to take umbrage if it happens now. There can be no answer to such silly questions. Don’t dignify these people with an answer. The most appropriate response would be silence. Stay silent on these.

We live in highly politicised times. Everything you say or do is likely to be interpreted in terms of political leaning. If you have bothered to notice, your movie PK had more combustible content for controversy than what you said a couple of days ago. Still your remark on intolerance generated more controversy than your movie. The difference between the two is a bit convoluted. Both were talking about religion, one directly and the other in a covert manner. If you feel like the confused-by-the-ways- of-humans alien you portrayed in PK now, blame it on the political temper of our times. Speak on issues if you must, but be mindful of the connotations it might assume.

You maintained silence over the subject for so long. You expressed yourself only when the media asked you to talk about it. Now that you have been honest about it, the hate crowd is out to lynch you. You had the option not to open your mouth. But that could have been interpreted in another way. People say you revived a dead topic unnecessarily. Rest assured, you didn’t. The media did it. A month later they will ask the same question to someone else and if he replies he will accused of taking sides. Keep off the media; they love controversies. But if you want to speak up, that’s entirely your choice.

Invite the venerable Anupam Kher for tea. Help him out of bitterness towards people he seems to have developed of late. Convince him that it’s fine to have a political view and opinion on issues, but it’s not necessary to engage in verbal duel every time someone says something that appears to be hurting the interest of a political party or a political person. Convince him that the creative community is special. Political leaning does not define it nor does it give it success; talent does. It is bad when talented people become political enemies. If he is anywhere close to the amiable screen characters he plays often, then he will be attentive.

Coming back to you being an icon, your place will always special. Focus on what made you one.

A fan.

Intolerance row: Hope Aamir won’t be referred to as ‘Congress man’ now: Singhvi

The Congress on Tuesday backed Bollywood actor Aamir Khan for his views on rising intolerance in the nation and he hoped Aamir won’t be referred to as a ‘Congress man’ after his remark.

RNA
The Congress on Tuesday backed Bollywood actor Aamir Khan for his views on rising intolerance in the nation and he hoped Aamir won’t be referred to as a ‘Congress man’ after his remark.”What Aamir Khan, one of the most respected actor has said, and in the presence of senior BJP people, is what the whole world is saying, all of India is saying, all right-minded people are saying. I only hope and trust that he will not be referred to as a ‘Congress man’, not to be told as a biased person, he will not be referred to in derogatory terms,” Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Singhvi further said that instead of criticising people like Aamir, heed must be paid to the message given by him.Echoing similar sentiments, another Congress leader PL Punia said what Aamir Khan has said is also being felt by people at international level.”It’s a big thing to think to go out of the country for the children’s future,” he said.Punia slammed veteran Bollywood actor Anupam Kher for saying that Aamir should ‘spread hope instead of fear’.”Anupam Kher is trying to please the present government and his wife herself is a BJP MP. It is not expected of Anupam Kher to make this matter light. This is really bad,” he added.In a series of tweets expressing disappointment over Khan’s remarks, Kher asked if Khan would suggest millions of Indians to leave the country or to wait till the regime changes.”Dear @aamir_khan. #SatyamevaJayate u talked about evil practices but gave Hope. So even in ‘Intolerant’ times u need 2 spread Hope not Fear,” Kher tweeted.Speaking at the eighth edition of the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards, Khan had yesterday expressed ‘alarm’ and despondency over the rise in such cases ‘in the last six to eight months’.He had said that a sense a sense of ‘insecurity’ and ‘fear’ had seeped deep within society.”When I go home and talk to Kiran (Aamir’s wife), for the first time she says,’Should we move out of India’,” Khan said.”She (Kiran Rao) fears for her child and what the atmosphere around us will be,” he added.

‘Deposit awards at my residence’, BJP MP Vijay Goel puts up a hoarding

Goel launched the sarcastic attack on intellectuals even as Bollywood actor Anupam Kher led a march to Rashtrapati Bhavan charging the “award-wapsi” campaign was to defame the country by projecting a “wrong” picture of the situation.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Hitting out at writers, scientists and artistes returning awards protesting “growing intolerance” in the country, a BJP MP on Saturday erected a hoarding asking them to deposit their awards at his residence.”Deposit your awards here for vitiating atmosphere in the country,” said the hoarding BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP Vijay Goel hoisted in the premise of his official residence at 10 Ashoka Road in the national capital.The Delhi MP also tweeted a picture of the hoarding, saying, “We have tried to send out a message through the hoarding erected at my residence on the advice of friends.” Goel launched the sarcastic attack on intellectuals even as Bollywood actor Anupam Kher led a march to Rashtrapati Bhavan charging the “award-wapsi” campaign was to defame the country by projecting a “wrong” picture of the situation. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Growing intolerance row: Anupam Kher asks PM Modi to meet him during ‘tolerance march’, slams Arundhati Roy

Kher, who will lead a ‘March For India’ to protest the voices being raised over “intolerance” in the country, made the request on Twitter.

Anupam Kher

dna Research & Archives
Veteran actor Anupam Kher on Friday requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to be an audience to share with him the thoughts of “millions of Indians”.Kher, who will lead a ‘March For India’ to protest the voices being raised over “intolerance” in the country, made the request on Twitter.Anupam Kher will be joined by a string of artistes, writers and painters for the march.
Earlier on Friday, coming down heavily on Booker Prize-winning novelist Arundhati Roy for joining the chorus of protest against ‘growing intolerance’ and ‘shaming’ India on a global level, veteran actor Anupam Kher on Friday said that he often wondered, taking note of her ‘anti-national’ speeches, if she was even an Indian.”Arundhati Roy has always insulted India whenever she has gone abroad. Whenever I listen to her speeches, I wonder if she even is an Indian in the first place. There is a video of her giving a speech in Australia and when you listen to it, the way she has described a state of horror in India is ridiculous. Mudslinging your own country when you want to obtain a grant or an honour from another nation is despicable,” Kher told ANI in an exclusive interview.Talking about his ‘counter-march’ against the ‘intolerance’ protest, the Bollywood icon said that the so called ?atmosphere of fear? that was being portrayed by protesters was not something that was recent, but something that the nation had been facing and dealing with since ages.”No Indian can tolerate when the nation is being insulted on a global level and there are those who are doing that right now. They feel that ever since the new government has come into power, the nation has plunged into a state of intolerance. This is not a fresh atmosphere. What about the Emergency, the Kashmiri pandits’ exodus and the riots? What is today’s level of intolerance being compared to?” Kher asked.Rubbishing rumours that he was a sympathiser of the BJP, Kher said that he was not political, but just an Indian who loved his nation.”My intentions are not political. I am just proud and thankful of the fact that this nation has given me so much. I was just a small guy from a small town, but look where I am right now. Sometimes you have to give back,” Kher said. He also admitted that he was concerned about his acting career as he has waded into murky waters with his stand.”I have no problem with the protest and if someone is expressing their views. As a matter of fact, I have friends and colleagues who are part of the protest on the other side. However, I wonder now that the people would think twice before casting me as I have got in myself in this state of affairs. But sometimes, the nation comes before profession. I have done 491 movies in my life and I have seen what has been happening in the nation, but you need to remember that this is not an actor speaking but a person who loves his country,” Kher said.Questioning the ‘Award Wapsi’ trend, the actor said how could the protesters say that their freedom was being suppressed when they were openly being allowed to demonstrate and agitate.”What can be a bigger example of freedom when on a daily basis you are saying things against the nation? There are those who have come out and openly expressed their dislike for the Prime Minister. The press has been given unmatched freedom to say whatever they want. I respect everyone’s views, but when someone slams my nation and insults it on an international level, it angers and saddens me,” Kher said.He expressed his confidence that if the agitating literary icons and artists made an attempt to convey their message to Prime Minister Narendra Modi then their pleas would not go unheard.”I have written to the Prime Minister and also tweeted to him so that he gives me the time to speak to him. I also want to convey to him the message from the other side,” he added.Expressing his anger on the fact that India was being projected as a model of intolerance in the global arena, Kher said that the protesters should not resort to taking the issue on an international level as it besmirches the nation’s image.”When there is a fight in your family and you have issues with your father, you don’t go to the rooftop and shout it out for the whole world to hear, you keep it within the family and try to resolve it. The same thing applies here. How will your father know there is a problem until you tell him? If the Prime Minister had said it outright that he does not want to meet anyone, then returning the awards could be justified but they have not even approached him,” Kher said.Talking about his march where Kher has invited all Indians to head to the Rashtrapati Bhawan to protest the voices being raised over “intolerance” in the country, the actor said that even if five people turned up tomorrow it would be significant enough for him.Kher’s march comes in the wake of several filmmakers, writers and historians raising their voices against the rising intolerance and threatening the government with ‘Award Wapsi’ to vent their ire.

Congress slams Anupam Kher for planning counter tolerance march

The Congress party on Thursday lashed out at Anupam Kher for planning to lead a tolerance debate march to the Rashtrapati Bhawan, saying the veteran actor should introspect if he has right to speak for the artists when he is wearing the ?spectacles of a particular political party.

The Congress party on Thursday lashed out at Anupam Kher for planning to lead a tolerance debate march to the Rashtrapati Bhawan, saying the veteran actor should introspect if he has right to speak for the artists when he is wearing the ?spectacles of a particular political party.”If you wear spectacles of a particular political party then you should introspect whether you have the right to speak for the artists and people associated with culture,” Congress leader Manish Tewari told ANI.”Unfortunately if you have completely subscribed yourself in a world view and cannot see the obvious, then you should introspect if you can speak for a community. Well, you can always speak for yourself,” he added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Kher, who had criticised the filmmakers returning their awards to protest “rising intolerance” in the country, is set to lead a tolerance debate march to the President’s house on November 7 to counter it.The announcement came two days after Congress president Sonia Gandhi led a protest march against the ‘rising intolerance in the country? to the Rashtrapati Bhawan and submitted a memorandum to President Pranab Mukherjee.Meanwhile, Tewari also expressed his disappointment over Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev’s remark that Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan should return the money earned after receiving the prestigious Padma Shri award.”What have we come down to, even Ramdev speaks about artists of India who have won acclaim and honour across the world. Whether it is Mehdi Hassan, Ghulam Ali or Jagjit Singh, Pankaj Udhas, Shivkumar Batalvi, all of them are a part of the common heritage and traditions. If we try and divide them then we do so at our own peril,” he said.

Shah Rukh Khan row: Yogi Adityanath is BJP’s Digvijaya Singh, says Anupam Kher

He further added, “Shahrukh Khan is a true Indian who loves his country and the country loves him. Yogi Adityanath’s remark is unfortunate & cheap.”

Anupam Kher has come out in support of his “Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge” co-star Shah Rukh Khan after Yogi Adityanath compared the Bollywood superstar with Pakistani terrorist Hafiz Saeed for his comments over intolerance in India.Speaking to ANI, Anupam Kher said, “Yogi Adityanath is BJP’s Digvijaya Singh.”He further added, “Shahrukh Khan is a true Indian who loves his country and the country loves him. Yogi Adityanath’s remark is unfortunate & cheap.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day ago, Kher, 60, took to Twitter to blast the controversial statements made by some of the BJP leaders against Shah Rukh.Also read: Shah Rukh Khan row: Minority Affairs Minister Heptulla defends BJP party members’ comments”Some members of the BJP really need to control their tongue & stop talking rubbish about @iamsrk. He is a national icon & We r PROUD of him,” he had tweeted.Hitting out at Shah Rukh two days after the actor added his voice to the protest by the intelligentsia against the ‘climate of intolerance’, Adityanath also suggested that the actor should go to Pakistan.In another controversial remark, the Gorakhpur MP said Shah Rukh should remember that if a “huge mass” of people in the country would boycott his films then he would also have to wander on streets like a “normal Muslim”.Also read: Manufactured protest? BJP’s Meenakshi Lekhi says Shah Rukh Khan started noticing intolerance after ED noticeThe controversy started with senior BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya’s series of tweets yesterday where he painted Shah Rukh as an “anti-nationalist” and said that the actor’s “soul” is in Pakistan though he lives in India.Hindutva leader Sadhvi Prachi yesterday termed the 50-year-old actor a “Pakistani agent”.However, even as he came under attack from sections in BJP, Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan received support from ruling ally Shiv Sena which said the superstar should not be targeted only because he is a Muslim and that the minority community in India is “tolerant”.”This country is tolerant and the Muslims are tolerant as well. Shah Rukh Khan should not be targeted only because he is a Muslim,” Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut.

BSNL to allow landline users avail free call benefit on mobile

BSNL mobile subscribers will soon be able to avail free calling benefits offered on their landline phone as the state-run firm is going to roll out a convergence platform that will sync subscribers’ mobile and fixed line connections.

BSNL mobile subscribers will soon be able to avail free calling benefits offered on their landline phone as the state-run firm is going to roll out a convergence platform that will sync subscribers’ mobile and fixed line connections.”We are in the process of rolling out fix mobile convergence platform by Diwali. This will enable consumers avail value added service in mobile phones, make free night calls from mobile phones if they have subscribed to landline and host of other modern facilities,” BSNL Chairman and MD Anupam Shrivastava said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He said that with this roll out, consumers will be able to link their mobile and landline accounts.”The sync between the two accounts will be such that it will enable our subscribers receive their landline calls on mobile phones,” Shrivastava said.BSNL has invested over Rs 400 crore to modernise its landlines.The company slipped to sixth position in terms of overall subscriber base in April. At the end of August, BSNL’s total subscriber base was around 7.8 crore. After a long period, BSNL in July and August 2015 ranked among top five mobile players in terms of net addition of monthly subscribers.BSNL, however, has been losing customers in landline space despite offering free night calls from landline to any phone in India.”We have been able to arrest decline rate in landline connections. In a few months and with launch of fix mobile convergence, our landline should turn positive. We have already turned gainer for mobile subscribers under mobile number portability scheme,” Shrivastava said.The company has launched free roaming scheme which enables its subscribers to attend free incoming calls while travelling anywhere in the country at no extra cost.”Free roaming scheme has become one of the major growth drivers for uptake in mobile subscriber number,” Shrivastava added.The company is also in the process to tie up with Hitachi’s ATM business unit which will allow its landline customers, who pay bill offline, to make payment anytime during the day.”Many landline users still pay bill at our counter. The counters are open for limited time and between peak office hours i.e. 10am – 2pm. We are partnering with Hitachi. It will install ATM at our premise which will also accept cash.BSNL customers will be able to pay their bills at this ATM as per their convenience,” Shrivastava said.He said that Hitachi ATM machines will be rolled out initially in small cities around March 2016.BSNL will also get revenue share from each transaction made on ATMs installed in its premise.

BSNL to offer free national roaming from June 15

BSNL has a mobile subscriber base of 7.72 crore at the end of March.

State-owned BSNL will offer its subscribers free incoming calls on roaming from June 15, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said today, even as it looks to compete more aggressively with private telecom operators. “BSNL will start offering free national roaming from June 15. It’s already on the recovery path,” Prasad said at a press meet marking one year of the Modi government.The announcement comes ahead of full mobile number portability (MNP), which will be effective July this year. BSNL has a mobile subscriber base of 7.72 crore at the end of March.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Although there could be slight reduction in revenue on account of free incoming calls during roaming, we expect to gain first mover advantage and anticipate offsetting this amount by arresting churnout/porting out and acquiring new customers,” BSNL CMD Anupam Shrivastava said at the press meet.However, free incoming calls will be offered for one year.The Minister added that in 2004, BSNL made profits of Rs 10,000 crore, and its loss stood at Rs 7,500 crore in 2014 when the Modi government took over. MTNL, he said, was in profit zone till 2008, but is now facing losses.MTNL offers services in Delhi and Mumbai while BSNL takes care of the rest of the country. To a specific query on where the buck stops, Prasad said those at Sanchar Bhawan should take the blame for the current state of affairs. He was quick to add that the government is taking all possible steps to revive these two state-owned entities.The efforts are bearing fruit, he said, adding BSNL’s revenue went up 2.1% in 2014-15 and active subscribers rose 47 lakhs, thus reversing the negative trend of previous years.Under phase VII of BSNL, 15,000 new base tower stations were commissioned in one year, which have reduced call drops and eased congestion. “MTNL added 2.11 lakh subscribers in 2014-15, arresting the negative trend of previous years, and will add 1,680 tower sites in Delhi and Mumbai each,” he said.Asked about the merger of the two, the minister said, “Let them go on the revival path. We will see.”

Anupam Kher backs Centre’s composite township plan for Kashmiri Pandits in Jammu & Kashmir

Actor Anupam Kher is a prominent member of the Kashmiri Pandit community.
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Coming out strongly in favour of the Centre’s proposal for composite townships for Kashmiri Pandits (KPs), noted actor Anupam Kher on Sunday urged the government to build the “first smart city” in Kashmir Valley for settlement of the displaced community. He asserted that a “homeland” for itself was a right of the migrant community who, he said, have been reduced to the status of “minority” in the country and slammed the separatists for opposing the plan.Kher said the project could be initiated with an area of “10 square km” and by building world class infrastructure in the selected area which he said could be a “model” for the country.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Let the first smart city happen in Kashmir for the Kashmiri Hindus. Because the people who will be settling there may in the initial stages be Kashmiri Hindus but anybody is allowed to stay there. Most of the Pandits are educated professionals who will settle there. I don’t know who coined the word ‘ghetto’, some sick mind must have coined that. There is a difference between ‘ghetto’ and being asked to come and settle down in the same place,” he said.On being asked whether he would want the smart city to be marked exclusively for Pandits, he said, “To start off Kashmiri Pandits should settle there. Later other people can come in. We are not against the Muslims of the Valley.” Kher, a prominent member of the community, said Pandits could not return to their native places because they would not feel “secure” there and most of their properties have been occupied, usurped or sold in distress sale.”It would not be possible for the 3 % to mingle with the 97 % who drove us out and you can go back to an area where you have scarred memories. It’s not a Hindu-Muslim issue,” he said.”This is not a mere demand. This is our right and it is a very right time that the Prime Minister and Home Minister have come up with the proposal. They should go ahead with the plan. Five-six people should not hold it in ransom,” he said at a press conference here.

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