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Sword-wielding youth attacks 22 people before being shot


Following an altercation with his parents, Balvinder Singh attacked his parents and 22 other people, including passer-bys, fatally injuring a few.

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In a frenzied sword attack, a 28-year-old software engineer, on Tuesday, left 22 people including his parents and three constables injured before being fatally shot by police.The attacker’s parents and an auto driver are in a critical condition. The policemen, who suffered serious injuries as they tried to stop him, and the other wounded were also undergoing treatment at a local hospital.According to Karimnagar Deputy Superintendent of Police, J Rama Rao, the trouble began at 7 AM after Balvinder Singh alias Babloo (28), of Laxmi Nagar locality in Karimnagar town, entered into an altercation with his parents – Amruth Singh and Baby Kaur- and allegedly attacked them with a sword.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Leaving his parents lying unconscious in a pool of blood, Balvinder ran out of his house wielding the sword and began randomly attacking passers-by and people on the road, police alleged.It was a scary scene as an auto-driver and a dozen other victims were bleeding profusely, eyewitnesses said.As the police patrol team reached the spot, Balvinder attacked three constables and wounded them seriously.Subsequently, police opened fire.Balvinder was then taken into custody and shifted to Government District Head Quarters hospital in Karimnagar, where he died within three hours of being admitted, hospital sources said.Balvinder was working in a company in Bangalore.His parents and the injured auto driver Narayana, also admitted in the same hospital, are said to be in a critical condition.Further investigations are underway, the DSP said.

ACB unearths assets worth several crores amassed by 2 Andhra Pradesh babus


In a statement issued in Hyderabad, the anti-graft agency said that searches were conducted at the office and residential premises of G Suseela, Tahsildar, Sangam Mandal in Nellore district today.
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The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) of Andhra Pradesh government on Saturday claimed to have unearthed assets worth crores of rupees amassed by two government officials through illegal means, in two separate cases. One of the officials has been arrested, the ACB said.In a statement issued in Hyderabad, the anti-graft agency said that searches were conducted at the office and residential premises of G Suseela, Tahsildar, Sangam Mandal in Nellore district today.”The searches resulted in unearthing of immovable assets of two houses at Bangalore, four houses in Nellore, 25 acres of land at Chegerla Nellore district and five plots at various places worth about Rs 2 crore,” it said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The officer has been arrested and will be produced before the ACB court, Nellore, the release added.In another case, the ACB conducted searches at the houses of D Ravikumar, Assistant Executive Engineer, Quality and Control, Panchayat Raj Department in Visakhapatnam, and his relatives. The searches were conducted on the tip-off that Ravikumar allegedly possessed disproportionate assets to his known sources of income, an official release said. Total assets, whose market value is about Rs 6 crore have been found, it added.

President Pranab Mukherjee on southern sojourn from tomorrow

During the sojourn, the President will attend the convocation of Military College of Electronics and Mechanical Engineering (MCEME), Secunderabad on December 19, an official release said on Thursday.
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President Pranab Mukherjee would be on a southern sojourn for 14 days starting from December 18 to 31 at the Rashtrapati Nilayam in Hyderabad.During the sojourn, the President will attend the convocation of Military College of Electronics and Mechanical Engineering (MCEME), Secunderabad on December 19, an official release said on Thursday.The President would attend the second convocation of the Central University of Karnataka on December 22 at Gulbarga in Karntaka. On the same day, he will inaugurate the Magneto Encephalography Equipment and renovated heritage building of the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences (NIMHANS), Bangalore. He will also dedicate NIMHANS to the nation as an institute of national importance.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On December 23, the President will attend the 150th Anniversary of Bishop Cotton Boys’ School and lay the foundation stone of the State Cancer Institute at the Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology, Bangalore. On December 25, the President will inaugurate the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam’s Veda-Patasala at Ai Bhimavaram in Andhra Pradesh. On December 27, Mukherjee would deliver the inaugural address at the Indian Economic Association s Annual Conference at Prof Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University, Hyderabad.On the same day, he will also attend the ‘Purnahuthi’ of ‘Ayutha Chandi Maha Yagam’ being organised by the Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao at Erravelli village in Medak in Telangana for ‘Lok Kalyanam’ (universal prosperity) and ‘Vishwa Shanthi’ (universal peace).ESL Narasimhan, Governor of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh will host a dinner in honour of the President on December 29. The President will host a reception for senior dignitaries of the State, Ministers, officials and others at the Rashtrapati Nalayam, Secunderabad on December 30, 2015.The Nilayam at Secunderabad in Hyderabad is one of the Presidential Retreats. It is customary for the President to visit the Nilayam at least once a year and conduct official business from there.

Sheena Bora wanted to stop pretending as Indrani’s sister: Rahul Mukerjea

In a statement recorded last month, Rahul, the son of former media baron and Sheena’s step-father Peter Mukerjea who is also an accused in the case, said that Indrani constantly kept changing her story about Sheena’s “disappearance” after her murder.
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Sheena Bora wanted to stop pretending as sister of the key accused and her mother, Indrani Mukerjea before her murder in 2012, her fiance Rahul Mukerjea has said in his statement before magistrate. Indrani had introduced Sheena, her daughter from an earlier marriage, in Mumbai social circles as her younger sister.In a statement recorded last month, Rahul, the son of former media baron and Sheena’s step-father Peter Mukerjea who is also an accused in the case, said that Indrani constantly kept changing her story about Sheena’s “disappearance” after her murder. The copy of the statement was made available to defence advocates on Thursday.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Sheena said she felt that Vidhie (daughter of Indrani and her former husband Sanjeev Khanna) was being treated as her daughter, which she found very unfair,” Rahul said.Rahul, who used to stay with Sheena in a rented flat, also stated that in March 2009, just before Indrani and her colleague visited his flat at Khar in Mumbai, Peter had told him that Indrani was coming to his place and that she wanted to separate them. “Later Indrani came and took Sheena away,” he said.Two months later, Sheena contacted him and said that she was in Bangalore, he said.”Sheena communicated to me that she was in Bangalore and was not willing to stay with her former boyfriend Kaustubh Saikia, as he was trying to re-establish his relationship with her, to which she was not agreeing to,” Rahul said.”One day Kaustubh even hit a beer bottle on Sheena’s leg,” he said.According to Rahul, Sheena had told him that from the joint bank account (of Indrani and Sheena) Rs 15,000 had been withdrawn (which Sheena had not) and her mobile had also been disconnected.”In 2012, Sheena wanted to complete her further studies and was in need of funds and hence she resumed communications with Indrani,” he said.On April 24, 2012, (the day of her murder) Sheena had met Indrani, after he dropped her in suburban Bandra. However, when he tried to contact her again, Indrani sent text messages from Sheena’s mobile saying that she (Sheena) had met somebody else and also sought two months time to contact him (Rahul) again.Rahul said that after he went to Peter’s residence in Worli in south Mumbai and did not find Sheena there, he approached the police.”Police told me that if Sheena had gone with her mother, she would soon return. They also asked me not to worry and also that we were not yet married,” Rahul said. He also said that Indrani kept changing her story (about Sheena) constantly.Rahul said that he also met former Inspector General of Police Paramvir Singh and Sheena’s superior in Mumbai metro Shubhodoy Mukherjee, who advised him to file a missing person’s report. He said that police were unwilling to take the missing person’s complaint.Sheena (24) was allegedly strangled in a car and then her body burnt and dumped in a forest in Raigad, about 84 kms from Mumbai. Indrani (43), her former husband Sanjeev Khanna and her ex-driver Shyamvar Rai have been charge sheeted in the case. Peter, 59 was arrested on November 19 for his alleged role in the murder case.

Nigerian national arrested for kidnapping Rwandan woman from Kolkata

According to police,a complaint was received from Emile Mwepesi, the Second Counselor of Rwanda High Commission alleging that a Rwandan national has been kidnapped by three Nigerians in New Delhi, who are demanding ransom of US$3000 from his fiancé

A Nigerian national was arrested by the Delhi police for allegedly kidnapping and assaulting a Rwandan woman. The accused was allegedly demanding a ransom of of US$3000 from her fiancé who is located in USA..”After, thorough investigation, the victim was recovered from district Jadavpur, Hugli in West Bengal and her statement was recorded, in which she disclosed that she came to Kolkata on 4th Dec 2015 from Bangalore Airport and she was received at the airport by the accuse,” said a police official.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> According to police,a complaint was received from Emile Mwepesi, the Second Counselor of Rwanda High Commission alleging that a Rwandan national has been kidnapped by three Nigerians in New Delhi, who are demanding ransom of US$3000 from his fiancé Based on the complaint, a case was registered and investigation was taken up. Based on technical and human intelligence, various teams were sent to Kolkata, Bangalore and Chennai to locate the whereabouts of the girl and the accused persons. During investigation, one accused namely Ifeanyi tke samuel who is a Nigeria Citizen, on Employment Visa, has been arrested and produced before the Hon’ble Court in Kolkata. He is being brought to New Delhi on transit remand for further investigation. According to investigators the woman was kept at an unknown location and she was not allowed to call or to speak. She further leveled allegations of physical assault against all the alleged persons.

Watch: Bangalore kid directs traffic like a boss

The forty second video shows the kid managing the traffic and there’s no traffic police in sight!

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Recently, a video went viral on YouTube which shows a small kid in Bengaluru managing traffic. The kid is apparently handling traffic at the south end of Jayanagar area in Bangalore. The forty second video shows the kid managing like a boss and it’s even more remarkable when you consider how bad the traffic situation is in Bangalore. Watch the full video below:

Chennai floods: Passenger flights to operate from Chennai airport today

“Air India has informed us that it will operate a chartered flight to Port Blair and one flight to and fro Chennai today,” sources told PTI this morning.

Chennai airport inundated after floods

The airport authorities here have received requests from national carrier Air India to operate flights today after the AAI announced day-time operations of passenger flights from the airport.”Air India has informed us that it will operate a chartered flight to Port Blair and one flight to and fro Chennai today,” sources told PTI this morning.The Air India chartered flight AI-549 is scheduled to take off at 10 am while the airlines’ flight AI 429 is scheduled for arrival at Chennai Airport at 1.40 pm, they said. The same flight AI 430 (AI 429 on return) will depart for New Delhi at 2.45 pm, they added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A total 34 aircraft of various airlines were stranded at the airport when the Airports Authority of India (AAI) had decided to shut the airport till December 6 in the wake of battering rains that left the facility unusable.The AAI had yesterday declared the runway fit for operating technical ferry and relief flights after an inspection by its staff. A decision regarding full-fledged operations will soon be taken by the aviation regulator DGCA.Four ferry flights that were parked at Chennai Airport departed for Delhi, Mumbai and Port Blair yesterday while one Cargo flight Singcargo B747 departed for Singapore via Bangalore.On an average, Chennai airport handles 320 landings and departures. As many as 20 international airlines operates from the airport apart from most of the domestic carriers.

Chennai rains: Private carriers run rescue flights to Delhi, Bangalore

The Delhi-bound IndiGo flight (No 8002) landed at the Indira Gandhi International Airport at its domestic terminal early tonight.

Private airlines have also joined the rescue operations in rain-battered Chennai, with some of the carriers on Friday flying out hundreds of people from here to Delhi, Hyderabad and Bangalore. “Some of the private airlines have started running a few relief flights from here to Delhi, Hyderabad and Bangalore. One such flight flew about 130 rescued civilians to Delhi this afternoon,” a defence official here said. “While two flights flew in the morning to Hyderabad and Bangalore routes, one came in the afternoon and another at night,” he added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi-bound IndiGo flight (No 8002) landed at the Indira Gandhi International Airport at its domestic terminal early tonight. Arakkonam Naval Base or INS Rajali is about 70 kms west of Chennai, and is currently being used as a makeshift airport due to closure of the Chennai Airport. Private airlines today made their makeshift counters here, near the tarmac, to facilitate ferrying of people. As per the schedule of civil flights from here, a copy of which is available with PTI, seven such sorties have been listed in it, including the Delhi-bound IndiGo flight.”A TrueJet flight and a SpiceJet flight left for Hyderabad and Bangalore respectively this morning, before the Delhi-bound IndiGo one, which left at in the afternoon. Two Air India, another IndiGo and SpiceJet flights are also scheduled,” he added. The Delhi-bound IndiGo left Arrakonam at about 2:20 PM and flew to Delhi via Bangalore, where it stopped over for refueling and also picked up a few commercial passengers as the seats were left empty. “An 180-seater aircraft took the rescued people and a few defence officials from Arrakonam. At Bangalore about 30 passengers boarded the flight,” a member of the air crew onboard the IndiGo’s Flight No 8002 said.”While another IndiGo flight is on the schedule, the last update I had was that they are not able to get adequate number of passengers for it. However, some of our staff are there, so they have to get back, so I believe it will fly anyway, but no confirmation as such on it,” she added.About 130 rescued citizens and an old French couple flew in this aircraft which reached Delhi at about 7 PM, with passengers letting out a loud cheer as the plane touched down in the national capital. The rescued people, which included about 70 university students were said to be flown in a C-17 Globemaster, but sources said, it couldn’t do it for lack of adequate passengers. However, defence officials did not conform if that was the original plan. A C-17 had carried over 100 people to Hyderabad yesterday.21-year-old Dehradun-native Kopal Gupta, who was onboard the Delhi-bound flight said, “I was so excited at the prospect of travelling in a C-17, but it came as a surprise, this civil flight. Though, I thank the private airlines for carrying us out of here in times of distress.” The C-17 was seen parked at the Base here, and a source said that it was being used to ferry teams of NDRF for the rescue operations.

Chennai Floods: Seven flights to operate from Arakkonam on December 4, 5

Train services from Chennai Beach station to Arakkonam will be at intervals of 45 minutes.

In view of incessant rains and flooding in Chennai, seven flights have been approved by the Indian Navy for December 4 and 5 to operate from Arakkonam. With Chennai airport inundated following heavy rains, the Navy’s base at Arakkonam is serving as the makeshift airport for supplying relief material as well as for bringing in National Disaster Response Force teams.The following are the flights approved from Arakkonam :-1. Truejet (Hyderabad – Arakkonam – Hyderabad) 0830/0855 (only on 4 December)2. Spicejet (Cochin – Arakkonam – Bangalore) 0945/11153. Spicejet (Cochin – Arakkonam – Bangalore) 1500/16304. Indigo (Hyderabad- Arakkonam-Bangalore) 1130/13005. Indigo (Bangalore- Arakkonam-Delhi) 1645/1815,6. Air India (Hyderabad- Arakkonam-Hyderabad) 1315/14457. Air India (Hyderabad- Arakkonam-Bangalore) 1830/1945<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Train services from Chennai Beach station to Arakkonam will be at intervals of 45 minutes. The state government is making arrangements to move people from the station to Rajali Naval Base. Signs of easing of situation in flood-battered Chennai emerged on Friday with no fresh rains and a sharp fall in water levels of Adyar and Kumbh rivers that were in spate following torrential rains as rescue and relief operations continued in full swing and Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a Rs 1,000 crore more aid to Tamil Nadu.However, thousands of citizens continue to be marooned with several areas inundated and many people have been stuck in their homes without any food, water or electricity.

Over 1000 stranded passengers rescued from Chennai airport

The Minister also informed that it has been decided to start limited commercial flight operations from Rajali Naval Air base from tomorrow.

Evacuation operations are on at the Chennai airport, with over a thousand stranded passengers rescued on Thursday. “The remaining 150 passengers will be rescued by Friday morning. Some of the evacuated passengers have been sent by road to Bangalore while some others have been flown out from the nearby Rajali Naval Air base at Arakkonam,” Minister of State for Civil Aviation and Tourism and Culture Mahesh Sharma said in a press conference in New Delhi this evening.The Minister also informed that it has been decided to start limited commercial flight operations from Rajali Naval Air base from tomorrow. “Air India and some private airlines have agreed to operate 6 flights from Arakkonam tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. Rs. 1000/ as fare will be charged for travelling to southern states and Rs. 2000/ will be charged for northern states,” Sharma added. “Manual ticketing for the flights will be done at the Rajali Naval Air base. Passengers can carry only hand baggage in these flights, check-in baggage will not be allowed. Railways will operate shuttle services from Chennai Beach station to Arakkonam,” he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The minister also said that the flight details of these limited sorties will be available on DGCA website.

Tolerance, ha! Vikram Sampath can express his opinion anywhere, except at the Bangalore LitFest he founded

The Bangalore Literature Festival, now in its third year, is under a cloud even before it has started. Its director, historian and author Vikram Sampath, has resigned from the festival’s organising committee. This is because a small number of “tolerant” writers said they would boycott the festival as they disagreed with Sampath’s opinion of the “award-wapsi” campaign and of Tipu Sultan. Leading the charge against Sampath are Dayanand TK and Arif Raja.

The latter referred to Sampath’s views against the award-wapsi brigade as “politically motivated and childish.” OL Nagabhushana Swamy and Malayalam poet and critic Satchidanandan also said they would boycott the festival.

Faced with a situation where the issue threatened to snowball, Sampath stepped down, but not without expressing anguish. He is one of the festival’s co-founders and, as such, is responsible for its continuing success. Last year, the event recorded an attendance of 20,000. He said, in a release, “In the interest of the organisation that I founded and nurtured, which is now being linked to my personal views and targeted, I have taken the painful decision of stepping away from all responsibility of organising the festival. The festival and the ideals it has stood for are far greater than me or any individual. It would be a shame if because of me, differing views go unheard.”

Vikram Sampath. Image courtesy: @vikramsampath/TwitterVikram Sampath. Image courtesy: @vikramsampath/Twitter

Vikram Sampath. Image courtesy: @vikramsampath/Twitter

So what transgression did Sampath commit that earned the wrath of the tolerant brigade? Sampath says there are two articles he had written. In one, he explained why he would not give up his own Sahitya Akademi award.

In another, he questioned if we need history and the characters of the past to create social harmony among communities today, and whether this harmony can be founded on falsehood. Sampath also signed a petition, along with a group of very eminent historians and archeologists, urging for recognition of multiple viewpoints and narratives in Indian historiography.

Speaking to Firstpost, Sampath defended his position on award-wapsi. He said, “The Sahitya Akademi is an independent body. The jury consists of writers like me. They decide and give these awards. Sahitya Akademi awards are not given by the government, like the Padma awards. My award was handed to me by eminent Bengali historical novelist Sunil Gangopadhyay. It will be insulting to him and the eminent people on the jury if I returned the award.”

In an article titled Why I Won’t Return My Akademi Award in The Mint, he criticised the award-wapsi brigade for their selective outrage: “It is intriguing that the writer community was largely silent when books were banned, authors attacked, and rationalists killed. Why the selective outrage, as though apocalypse has descended on us as far as freedom of expression is concerned? Intolerance and violence against a contrary opinion is not a sudden phenomenon in India.”

He explained to Firstpost: “The emergency was the most intolerant time in this country. That situation has not come now. Riots are part of the country’s fabric. The Shiva Sena has been running amuck even during Congress-NCP rule. The people who make outlandish statements have always been making it. The media is sensitive and highlights everything. But are these statements influencing legislation? To attribute all this to rising intolerance is incorrect.”

He continued, “Writers like me who disagree with this mode of protest and expressed our opinion on social media were at the receiving end of reverse “liberal trolls”, branded as communal, fascist, and bootlickers of the “despotic, intolerant and authoritarian” Modi regime. These epithets were hurled at us, ironically, in support of freedom of expression.”

Sampath’s stand on Tipu Sultan also seems to have angered the writers who withdrew from the Bangalore Literature Festival. Unlike the writers who base their admiration for Tipu on a fictional account by Bhagawan Gidwani titled The Sword of Tipu Sultan, Sampath is a PhD in history and has studied the history of Mysore in detail. His book Splendours of Royal Mysore is described as the definitive account of Mysore’s Wodeyar dynasty, the longest-running dynasty in India.

In an article titled Why We Love to Hate Tipu Sultan for The Mint, he pointed out, “Tipu is still hated in many parts of Kerala, Coorg, and Mangalore, where many remember his bigotry. (Girish) Karnad dismisses this as merely an 18th century reaction to an uprising. But these are facts of history that cannot be wished away, just as some of Tipu’s progressive measures are praiseworthy. The moot question is whether we need history and the characters of the past to create social harmony among communities today, and whether this harmony can be founded on falsehood.”

He said, “As someone who has researched the history of Mysore for over 15 years, I believe I am entitled to have an intellectual standpoint on a matter of historical debate. I stand by my article(s) written in the past. I am not apologetic about them in any manner and will continue to cherish the freedom that my country gives me to air my opinion fearlessly.” With his departure from the Bangalore Literary Festival, the irony is that Vikram Sampath can fearlessly express his opinion anywhere he likes, except at the Festival, which he helped create, thanks to the intolerance of the “tolerant.”

Opposition against intolerance: Four writers back out of Bangalore Literature Festival

Four writers have backed out from the Bangalore Literature Festival (BLF) after its director, Vikram Sampath, revealed that he is against writers returning their awards, reports Bangalore Mirror.

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

Sampath had written an article titled ‘Why I won’t return my Akademi award’ in The Mint in October, in which he claimed that he didn’t understand why writers were protesting against the government by returning their Sahitya Akademi awards when Sahitya Akademi is an autonomous organisation and not related to the government in any way. He described the situation as being “selective outrage”, as writers had been silent about previous atrocities such as books being banned and attacks on authors. Sampath’s comments did not go down well with writers Dayanand TK and Arif Raja, reports The Hindustan Times.

The two of them wrote to the festival’s organisers separately about their decision to withdraw from the BLF. The Hindustan Times reports that in his letter, Raja called Sampath’s comments “politically motivated and childish” and refuted his claims that writers had not previously spoken out against injustice.

The Times Of India reports that OL Nagabhushana Swamy has also backed out from the festival as he did not want to be a part of an event whose organisers “are not willing to even pause and examine the anguish of writers”.

Malayalam poet and critic Satchidanandan has also withdrawn his participation from the event, reports The Bangalore Mirror.

The Times Of India reports that Sampath and the organisers issued a statement saying that the festival is neutral and impartial. It is a democratic forum where everyone can discuss varied opinions. “To ascribe motives to us is simply mischievous and unwarranted,” said the statement, adding that they urge the writers who have backed out to reconsider their stand participate in the event instead of depriving their vast audience a chance to listen to their viewpoint.

Intolerance row: Kannada writers withdraw from Bangalore Literature Festival, question political leanings of director

Writers Dayanand TK and Arif Raja have now shot off angry letters to the festival organisers, questioning the political leanings of Sampat.

Logo of Bangalore Literature Festival

Two Kannada writers have withdrawn from the from the Bangalore Literature Festival (BLF) 2015 scheduled for December 5 and 6 at Bengaluru in protest against the director Vikram Sampat.According to Hindustan Times, BLF director Vikram Sampat had criticised the flood of writers returning awards in the wake of ‘growing intolerance’ in the country. In particular, he had questioned why no awards were returned when rationalists were killed and books were banned.Sampat had written an article in a prominent newspaper calling the writers ‘sheep’.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Sampat said in the article, “It is intriguing that the writer community was largely silent when books were banned, authors attacked, and rationalists killed. Why the selective outrage, as though apocalypse has descended on us as far as freedom of expression is concerned? Intolerance and violence against a contrary opinion is not a sudden phenomenon in India.” Writers Dayanand TK and Arif Raja have now shot off angry letters to the festival organisers, questioning the political leanings of Sampat.Arif Raja rubbished Sampat’s claims, saying that writers had been protesting for a long time and that they had protested the Emergency as well. He called Sampat’s comments ‘politically motivated and childish’.Shivaram Karanth had returned his Padma award and Chandrashekar Patil (Champa) had lost his job because he opposed Indira Gandhi, said Arif Raja.Dayanand TK, said in his letter that he had misgivings about some of the sponsors of the festival.He also said he did not want to be part of a literature fest whose principal organisers ‘don’t understand the sentiment and the feeling of terror’ that forced the country’s intellectuals to speak out.Famous Malayalam writer K Sachidanandan, said he too refused to be part of BLF this year, coming out in support of Raja and Dayanand.

Sold dreams of jihadi brides, Indian youths end up as cannon fodder in Islamic State

South Asian youth who take enormous risks to join the Islamic State (IS) as fighters often discover the futility of their mission when they are treated as second-class citizens by their Arab counterparts.Probing the working of IS to unmask it, central security agencies in collaboration with foreign intelligence agencies have come out with startling facts that throw light on highly skewed racial discrimination that Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi youth have to go through.The first shock they get is on the marriage count. Instead of getting beautiful jihadi brides that the IS propagandists and inciters use as a bait to lure them, they often end up being used as cannon fodder by their ‘superior’ Arab commanders for suicide attacks and first line of defence during an attack.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The gender ratio in IS-held territory is highly skewed in favour of men, and when it comes to choosing women it’s the senior commanders and ethnic Arab fighters who get the priority, claim reports collated by central security agencies.“The foreign fighters from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, China, Nigeria and Sudan are the lowest in the priority list for jihadi brides since they are considered ethnically inferior to breed next generation of Jihadi IS fighters,” the report claims.The findings of the report, sources said, were corroborated by youths who managed to come back home after serving the IS.They also conceded that there is a clear hierarchy and the Arabs are preferred as officer cadre and provided better arms and ammunition, equipment, accommodation and salaries. The foreign fighters from South Asia are considered ‘non-martial’ and usually housed in groups in small barracks and paid less than Arab fighters, said sources.As the South Asians are considered apostate and incapable of fighting by the IS, they are brainwashed by the group’s maulvis who invoke the fear of ‘jinn’, a supernatural creature in Islamic mythology. The fear of jinn is invoked to ensure so the recruits do not return to their countries of origin on the premise that the jinn will continue to haunt them for the rest of their life if they do so.The South Asian and African fighters are also monitored closely by the IS police that always consists of Tunisians, Palestinians, Saudi Arabians, Iraqis and Syrian ‘superior Arabs’. The fighters from other nationalities are barred from joining the IS police, showing a clear trust deficit.Many a time, South Asian fighters are tricked into suicide attacks without being aware of their mission. They are provided a vehicle laden with explosives and asked to go near a targeted destination and call a person on a certain number, who would purportedly come and explain the mission. But as soon as driver dials the number, it works as a timer and explodes the vehicle near the targeted location.This is the reason for the disproportionately high casualties among South Asian and African foreign IS fighters than their Arab counterparts. So far, six Indian nationals have reportedly been killed in IS territory. They include Athif Vaseem Mohammad, 25, resident of Adilabad, Telangana, Mohammad Umar Subhan and Faiz Masood, 28, of Bangalore, Saheem Farooque Tanki from Kalyan (Thane) in Maharashtra and two Indian Mujahideen (IM) terrorists Maulana Abdul Qadir Sultan Armar, 29, from Bhatkal in Karnataka and Mohammad Sajid, 30, from Azamgarh, UP.

CBI chargesheet claims money was the main motive behind Sheena Bora’s murder

Read the detailed chargesheet filed by CBI here.
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Picture courtesy: Facebook
Fear of Sheena Bora inheriting the entire property of her and her husband in the event of the victim’s marriage to Peter Mukerjea’s son Rahul is said to be the prime motive for Indrani Mukerjea to do away with her daughter, according to the CBI chargesheet in the sensational case.Indrani, who has a soft corner for Vidhie, her daughter with former husband Sanjeev Khanna, feared that the entire property might go to Sheena and Rahul if they were married, the chargesheet said, adding, “In this context, she planned a conspiracy with Khanna and her driver Shyam Rai to kill Sheena Bora.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The CBI, which arrested Peter Mukerjea on Thursday, told the court of Metropolitan Magistrate in Mumbai on Friday that he was allegedly involved in the conspiracy with his wife Indrani and had played an active role in the commission of the offence and also misled his son Rahul to hide the fact that Sheena was murdered. The central probe agency, represented by Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, also told the court that Peter was in continuous conversation with Indrani prior, during and after the gruesome murder of Sheena, who was Indrani’s daughter from her first marriage. There was a dispute between Sheena and Indrani, and Peter had acted as a mediator, Singh told the court.Singh said that Rahul and Sheena were about to get married and “After that she (Sheena) could have got a share of property. And they (CBI) are looking into this (angle).” The probe agency also said that (when) Peter and Indrani returned separately (from the US) they were constantly in touch with each other, which was not normal at other times.”Though Peter was abroad, telephone conversation during 2/3 days around the crime lasted 20 to 25 minutes each time,” Singh told the court. Also, Sheena’s mobile and ATM cards are missing, he told the court.The agency told the court that Rahul had recorded his conversation with Peter in which his father told him that he has spoken to Sheena and she was in the US. The CBI also sought 14 days of custody of Peter arguing he has “multiple bases” like Mumbai, Kolkata, Guwahati, Shillong and abroad. The court, however, granted the agency the custody of Peter till November 23.”Peter made no effort to trace Sheena’s whereabouts and misled Rahul”, Singh told the court.According to the chargesheet, Indrani had told Sheena and Mikhail that nobody should learn that they were her own children as it would affect her business and her reputation. She promised to take care of their educational and other expenses and bring them to Mumbai for education on the condition that they address her as sister in public. Sheena and Mikhail agreed as they had no other alternative, it said.Rahul met Sheena at Peter’s house and the friendship grew into love. In 2008, Sheena told Rahul that she was in fact Indrani’s daughter, the chargesheet says. Indrani was not happy with the love affair and quarrelled with Sheena. She also sent Sheena to Guwahati and later, Delhi.When Sheena fell ill in Delhi, Indrani called Sheena’s former boyfriend, Kaustubh Saikia, and asked him to take her to Bangalore. Rahul came to know of this; he visited her in Bangalore and found that the medicines given by Indrani to Sheena were sedatives meant for mental illness, it says. Sheena wrote to Peter that her problem was Indrani.”You could make Indrani Mukerjea understand that bad-mouthing me or Rahul won’t solve anything,” she wrote.Indrani made every effort to end Sheena’s relationship with Rahul and threatened Sheena that she would disinherit her of their ancestral property in Guwahati, the chargesheet says.After Rahul and Sheena’s engagement in October 2011, Indrani sent an email to Mikhail (which he forwarded to Sheena).”…We have changed the will (in which Indrani had bequeathed flat in Delhi to Sheena) and disinherited you… As a sign of our disapproval of your relationship with Rahul… don’t contact us till relationship with Rahul (continues),” the email said.Sheena, in her reply, said she was happy and safe with Rahul. “Shouldn’t that be the most important things for parents… You did whatever gave you happiness in life. Even I deserve the same why are you upset because of it? I am your daughter. I have some of you in me I will find my way through and be just fine,” she wrote. Khanna entered into the conspiracy with Indrani as, after Sheena’s death, his daughter Vidhie would have got all the property of Indrani and Peter, the chargesheet says.”A will had also been executed by Peter and Indrani in favour of Vidhie in which she had been made legal heir of some properties,” it says.Shyamwar Rai received Rs 1.25 lakh from Indrani’s secretary, and he (Rai) participated in “planning and killing… Disposal of her body to destroy evidence”, it states.During the conspiracy, Indrani and Khanna spoke through Skype, an online video chat service. She also asked her secretary to open a Skype account for Rai and train him in using it. Then Indrani told Rai about the plan to kill Sheena and Mikhail. Rai visited forests in Khopoli and Lonavala to find a spot for disposing of the bodies. Later, he took Indrani with him to finalise the place, and also purchased an empty 20-l can and two big-sized bags.On April 24, 2012, Indrani invited Sheena to meet her for an ‘engagement gift’ and dinner. The chargesheet says that Indrani also visited a chemist’s shop and a wine shop that day, while Rai added a sedative in some water bottles. In the evening, Indrani and Rai went to Bandra where Khanna had arrived.Meanwhile, Rahul visited Sheena at her office and took her to his house. From there they went to Bandra.”Sheena Bora met Indrani at around 6.40 PM while Rahul went away. Indrani offered the spiked water bottle to Sheena,” the chargesheet says.Rai drove the car, Khanna was sitting beside him, while Indrani and Sheena were in the rear seat.”When Sheena became drowsy, Rai stopped the car and Khanna came to the rear seat, Rai covered Sheena’s mouth while Khanna pulled her hair and Indrani strangled her,” says the chargesheet. Sheena, putting up some resistance, had bit Rai’s right thumb, the chargesheet says. The car then moved towards Taj Land’s End hotel in Bandra. Indrani said to Rai and Khanna that ‘Sheena has got her three bedroom flat’. The three then reached Indrani’s flat in Worli. Indrani drank liquor with Mikhail, who was there.”She was concerned that even after consuming a lot of liquor, Mikhail was not getting unconscious. Khanna suggested they would see him later as it would be difficult to carry two bodies at two different places,” says the chargesheet.The next day, they disposed of Sheena’s body in a Raigad forest. When Rahul tried to contact Sheena on her mobile phone, he received a message (which Indrani had sent) that she was with Indrani and would return in the morning.Later, Rahul received another message from Sheena’s mobile phone saying that she wished to discontinue their relationship.”Rahul grew suspicious of the responses when he tried to ascertain Sheena’s whereabouts from her (Indrani). Indrani and Peter both were evasive and gave contradictory versions. Rahul was persistent in his enquiries and raised questions over their inconsistent responses and he started recording conversations with Peter and Indrani,” the chargesheet says.

Chennai: Tomatoes sell at Rs 80 and drumstick Rs 150 a kg due to rains

Prices are likely to increase by another Rs 5 to Rs 10 the coming as more rain is forecast in the state.

Representational Image

With the rains in Chennai the last week, trucks have not been able to make regular deliveries of essential commodities to the state. The Deccan Chronicle quotes the Koyambedu Market Management Committee as stating that deliveries have reduced by 55% the past week and thus vegetable prices have increased tremendously. Crops have also been affected in the state because of the rains which means more vegetables need to be brought in from other states. Small onions, which come from Salem, are now selling at Rs 40 per kg while Bangalore onions are selling at Rs 60 per kg. Onions and tomatoes are essential vegetables but now tomatoes are selling at Rs 80 per kg. Ladies fingers (okra) is retailing at Rs 80 per kg while drumsticks are selling at Rs 150 per kg. Brinjal and carrot are selling at about Rs 60 per kg.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prices are likely to increase by another Rs 5 to Rs 10 the coming as more rain is forecast in the state.

Karnataka govt’s obsession with Tipu Sultan: Was 10 Nov his birthday or the day he hanged 700 Melkote Iyengars?

The tragic death of a Coorg man during a clash between pro and anti-Tipu Jayanti protesters was needless and avoidable. But, the question most people are asking is why, after 300 years, does a government insist on spending tax-payer money to celebrate the memory of a person who is disliked by entire communities within the state?

Tipu Sultan. GettyImages

Tipu Sultan. GettyImages

While Tipu’s legacy can be debated by historians, it all becomes clouded when politicians enter the picture. Nobody was demanding that Tipu be celebrated, so why did the government see it fit to thrust another “jayanti” on the state? The BJP regime did something similar when it introduced Valmiki and Kanakadasa jayantis as public holidays. Tipu Jayanti is probably the Congress reply; but there’s a difference. Valmiki and Kanakadasa were not known to have killed people. Nobody protested, very few even cared.

That Tipu Jayanti is a hurried and ill-informed decision is apparent from the fact that the government did not even get its dates right. Former Bangalore University Vice Chancellor Thimappa Manchale Suryanarayanarao called out the government’s ignorance on social media, “I just learnt from a historian that the tyrant Tipu’s birthday falls on November 20. November 10 is the day on which he hanged 700 Iyengars in Melkote.” As a result, the Melkote Iyengars do not celebrate Diwali even today. By cruel irony, that is the day the Karnataka government decided to celebrate its supposedly secular hero. How embarrassing can this get?

It’s difficult to imagine that the state government was unaware that entire communities within and outside the state bore a deep resentment towards Tipu Sultan. It’s not just the Melkote Iyengars, it’s the Coorgs, who he killed and converted, it’s the Mangalorean Catholics, whose churches he destroyed, and the Nairs of Wyanad and Malabar, who he tried to exterminate. Evidence for this comes from Tipu’s own letters and diaries. Instead, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah casually dismisses history by saying that the protests were by “communal forces”.

That’s not true, according to Coorgs. Says Coorg-born Gautham Machaiah, former executive vice-president, Zee Networks, “Coorgs are not opposed to Tipu Jayanti because he was a Muslim. He was a tyrant. He butchered thousands of Coorgs, mainly women and children, and forcibly converted innumerable people. We would have equally opposed Tipu Jayanti had he been a Hindu or a Christian.” The seething anger among Coorgs is ripe for exploitation, and that’s where the BJP has stepped in.

The call for a bandh on Thursday came from the BJP and its associated organisations. While the bandh call was political, what the district authorities seem to have failed to grasp is that the bandh was supported by the entire community. Being government-sponsored, there was never a question that the Tipu Jayanti celebrations would take place, but why did the police allow the celebrants to take out a procession? That was when the trouble started; stones were thrown, the crowd was caned, and a person died.

Coorg is a verdant paradise. The people are mostly peaceful; their biggest worries revolve around the rains, which are vital for the district’s coffee crops, and the shortage of labour. They work hard and are known for their hospitality. An unusually high number of homestays welcome visitors from all over the world. Coorgs are outgoing, cheerful, and it takes a lot to upset them. But, there is a tipping point for everyone, and the government should know what that is. While the Coorgs dislike Tipu Sultan, they also reserve equal hatred for the last Hindu king of Coorg, Chikkaveeraraja, who casually killed and raped Coorgs and their women. This is not about religion, as the state government or the likes of Girish Karnad would have us believe when they say Tipu would’ve been revered like Shivaji if he was a Hindu.

There’s little doubt that the BJP and its sister organizations are exploiting hurt sentiments. Tuesday’s violence occurred because some people, from both sides, came prepared for a fight. It should have been anticipated and prevented. Two ministers in the Siddaramaiah cabinet have their roots in Coorg, they did not see this coming?

The situation was further muddied by Girish Karnad, who, while addressing the Tipu Jayanti celebrations in front of the chief minister in Bangalore, made the bizarre suggestion that the Kempegowda International Airport should be named after Tipu Sultan. It was a suggestion that was applauded by the audience, but nobody else was amused. The chief minister, doing the right thing, quickly dissociated himself from Karnad, “We have nothing to do with Mr Karnad’s statement and there is no proposal before us to change the airport’s name.” That’s missing the point. It is the state’s decision to celebrate Tipu Jayanti that gives intellectuals like Karnad the courage to air such ridiculous thoughts.

Former Director-General of Police Shankar Bidari was one of the first to react to Karnad. He said on social media that Karnad’s statement was totally unwarranted and irresponsible in the context of prevailing situation. Predictably, the BJP took out processions on Wednesday to protest Karnad’s statement. Kannada associations, who see Kempegowda, the founder of Bangalore, as a hero, and Vokkaligas, to whose community Kempegowda belongs, were upset too. Karnad has since apologized.

Girish Karnad’s statement..It is a matter of deep regret that a Jnanapeetha Award winner Shri Girish Karnad has stated…

Posted by Shankar Bidari on Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Meanwhile, the BJP called for a second day of bandh in Coorg and there is talk of further protests. Congress spokesmen have been appearing on TV and putting out weak defenses, they seem either to lack any sense of history or they are in denial. That’s not surprising; they are representing a government that did not even get the date of Tipu’s birthday right. It’s a strong argument for governments to stick to the work they are elected to do. Leave history to the historians. Meanwhile, the people of Coorg need to move on. Is it worth losing lives over a tyrant who lived and died three centuries ago?

Medal Wapsi: Ex-servicemen protesting for OROP to set their medals on fire at Jantar Mantar

Over 2,000 ex-servicemen protesting against the government’s “diluted” one-pension-one rank scheme on Tuesday had returned their medals in Delhi, Haryana and Punjab.

Ex-servicemen protest for OROP implementation at Jantar Mantar in September

Ex-servicemen agitating for OROP have decided to set their medals on fire at Jantar Mantar on Wednesday in protest over OROP notification issued by the government, reports ANI.Over 2,000 ex-servicemen protesting against the government’s “diluted” one-pension-one rank scheme on Tuesday had returned their medals in Delhi, Haryana and Punjab, the organisations spearheading the movement claimed on Tuesday as they hit back at Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar for his “unlike soldiers behaviour” remark aimed at them.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Colonel (retd) Anil Kaul, spokesman of the protesters in Delhi, said 2,000 ex-servicemen’s medals were deposited at the district collector’s office.Related Read: Govt clears OROP scheme implementation for veterans”The veterans had threatened to leave the medals on the road if we didn’t accept it. Hence, we accepted those,” District Collector Sanjay Kumar told reporters.In Chandigarh, Brigadier Kiran Krishan (retd), Convener for North Haryana of Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement (IESM), a constituent of United Front of Ex-Servicemen that had led the nation-wide protest for OROP at Jantar Mantar in Delhi, said that more than 150 war veterans returned over 150 medals which were handed over to the Additional Deputy Commissioner, Panchkula. Kaul said ex-servicemen from Ambala, Chandigarh, Moga, Jalandhar and Gurdaspur returned their medals today while those from Mumbai, Pune, Vadodara and Bangalore will follow the suit.”Our people from Mumbai, Pune, Vadodara and Bangalore will return their medals next. By the way, this is just the trailer,” he added.The veterans claimed over 20,000 of them have returned medals since their protest began in 2008 to press for OROP. Kaul reacted sharply to Parrikar’s statement that the war veterans’ protest against OROP notification is “unlike that of a soldier” and said the Parrikar’s behaviour “too doesn’t behove that of a Defence Minister.Dismissing Parrikar’s remarks that the protesters were being “misguided” and that the OROP notification issued on Saturday has been his “achievement”, the agitators shot back at the BJP leader asking him to learn English to know meanings of the two words and asked him not to “lie” to his soldiers seeking their due rights.”He says our behaviour is unlike that of a soldier. But we feel Parrikar’s behaviour is unlike that of a Defence Minister. We have been seeking our due to rights for past 149 days. But government has found no time to listen to us. Hence, we have been impelled to agitate Mr Parrikar. Your notification is not what we have been talking about. Therefore, we are returning medals,” Kaul said.

Why is Kerala upset over beef raid: Beef fry is an iconic 2000-year-old dish to die for

By MA Deviah

I guess I’m one of those lucky ones; I get to visit Kerala at least once a year. There’s lots of greenery, friendly folk who don’t laugh at my terrible Malayalam, and there’s great food. The food is especially good, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian. Kerala cuisine offers a range of appams (rice pancakes) and puttus (rice cakes), which is supposed to be eaten with a variety of curries and fries. When it’s time to leave, I get four or five plates of Kerala beef fry back with me. Kept in the refrigerator, I can binge on them for up to a month.

To put it simply, beef on the table is as indigenous to Kerala as tapioca and boiled rice. The meat is served in a variety of curries, roasts, and fries, but the Kerala beef fry is the standout dish. Others may prefer their T-bones and Chateaubriands, but when it comes to the crunch, the spicy taste of Kerala beef fry is easily the winner. In Kerala, it’s available everywhere, from five-star hotels to thattu kadas (roadside stalls), the rich aroma of the meat slowly cooking in urulis (bell metal saucepans) fills your nostrils, excites your senses, and gets your mouth watering.

Image courtesy: YouTube screengrabImage courtesy: YouTube screengrab

Image courtesy: YouTube screengrab

The Malayalis call the dish nadan (country) beef fry. Kerala beef fry is what the rest of the world calls it. That name, in fact, suggests that this could almost be a state dish. You do get other dishes, like Goan fish curry, named after states, but when you look more closely you realize they are actually named after communities living in the state rather than the state itself. Most Malayalis, whichever community they belong to, whether they eat beef or not, are quite proud of how famous it is.

While Kerala’s large Christian and Muslim populations eat beef, quite a few from other religions do that too. But, originally, Kerala beef fry is a Nasrani or a Syrian Christian invention. There is a saying in parts of Kerala, which when roughly translated into English, means, “A Nasrani meal is not complete without beef fry.” Nasranis are proud of their origins. Their ancestors were converted by St. Thomas, one of the 12 original disciples of Jesus Christ, who arrived in Kerala soon after the crucifixion 2000 years ago. The Nasranis are justifiably proud that they were Christians before most of Europe even knew the name of Christ. And, for them, eating beef is probably a 2000-year-old custom.

The best way to eat Kerala beef fry is with the Kerala parota says Praveen Paul, who hails from Kerala, and runs a Kerala-themed restaurant in Bangalore. His restaurant specializes in Nasrani cuisine, and beef fry is one of the menu’s highlights. The Kerala parota, KP as it is fondly called by aficionados (to distinguish it from CP or the Ceylon parota), is a layered, flaky flat bread made from maida or all-purpose flour. Made correctly, the KP comes out fat and a wee bit crispy, ideal to eat with coconut-thickened meat curries. It has to be eaten hot.

However, says Paul, Kerala beef fry will go equally well with rice and curry, or it can even be eaten by itself. In fact, that’s how most tipplers prefer it with their favourite sundowners. Traditionally, in Kerala, liquor stores and beef fry stalls went hand in hand until the state government shut down liquor bars earlier this year.

So what makes Kerala beef fry so special?

As a meat dish, its taste and aroma is difficult to beat. And that probably comes from the way it is made. Kerala is the land of spices, if a spice isn’t grown there, and most are, then it is traded there. Pepper, green chilli, and red chilli powder are all part of the Kerala beef fry, with lime juice or vinegar as the souring agent, and a few other spices including coriander. Onions, ginger, garlic, and curry leaves make up the rest of the ingredients, all of which is fried in generous amounts of coconut oil along with chopped coconut pieces. The beef is stirred continuously as it cooks till the moisture reduces and the meat starts turning black. When the beef is served, the smell of spices cooked in coconut oil and the crunchiness that goes with the coconut pieces elevates the experience. “It is the quintessential comfort food,” says Paul.

The meat that is used is normally from the buffalo, which is tougher than bullock meat, but most kitchens pre-cook or pressure cook (if the quantities are lesser) before frying. Over the past few years, Kerala beef fry has found its way into restaurants and specialty Kerala messes in other cities. I no longer have to bring the dish from Kerala, it is available right here in Bangalore. Not surprisingly, many of these restaurants and messes are owned by communities that traditionally do not eat beef. The clientele is mostly Malayalis working for tech companies in Koramangala and the Electronic City area, and they belong to all communities.

In Kerala, we all sit together and drink, and it doesn’t matter which religion you belong to, beef fry is a favourite with most people, says Paul. Which is why the events that occurred in Delhi has upset everybody and Malayalis, cutting across political and religious barriers, have expressed so much disappointment. An attack on Kerala beef is an attack on the state. That’s how many Malayalis see it.

Karnataka: Spurned youth chops off girl’s fingers

Ravikumar apparently misbehaved with her six months back and the girl’s father warned him and then sacked him.

Representational Image

dna Research & Archives
In Halenaganadoddi village, a youth attacked a 16-year-old girl as she allegedly spurned his love. A report in Deccan Herald states that Ravikumar, 21, attacked the victim with a sickle and ended up cutting off four of her fingers on her left hand. She has been admitted to a private hospital in Bangalore for treatment.The report states that Ravikumar was working in the victim’s house for the last three years as a tractor driver. He is said to have been in love with her, but she kept turning his down. Ravikumar apparently misbehaved with her six months back and the girl’s father warned him and then sacked him. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a fit of revenge on Saturday, the youth attacked the victim when she was coming home from college around 4 pm after she rejected him again. On hearing her screams people rushed to help her and caught Ravikumar who is now in police custody.

Aarushi Talwar murder case: Was CBI provided edited footage of Krishna’s narco test?

A new video purportedly of the test conducted on Krishna has surfaced on social networking site YouTube which is 58.55- minute long.
File Photo

In a new twist to Aarushi-Hemraj murder case, it has emerged that CBI does not have complete raw footage of narco-analysis conducted on Krishna, assistant of Rajesh Talwar, in its records.A new video purportedly of the test conducted on Krishna has surfaced on social networking site YouTube which is 58.55- minute long. CBI sources claimed the agency, in its records, has only about 45 minutes of video of the test conducted on Krishna at Forensic Science Laboratory, Bangalore. A source, who had been privy to the probe, said the new footage on social media appeared to be genuine.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The narco tests were conducted on servants, including Krishna, by the first team of CBI under the then Joint Director Arun Kumar which suspected their involvement but could not produce any legally admissible evidence against them. The new video which has been posted on the YouTube on October 22 has a length of 58.55 minutes with the person, who posted the video, claiming that another part will be made public soon.The sources said a Forensic Science Laboratory is supposed to provide whatever information it could gather to the investigation agency. The agency is clueless who edited the video, whether it was the doctors who did the tests, the person who created the CDs or officers of their own investigation team. The video which has been posted on CBI record is much smaller in length than the video on YouTube, said a source requesting anonymity. Narco analysis is not an admissible evidence in court. Dr S Malini, who did the test on Krishna, was removed from FSL Bangalore following allegations of irregularities in 2009. However, in 2013, the Karnataka High Court had struck down her discharge from service.The apparently raw footage of the tests which has emerged now shows Krishna claiming that Arun Kumar had asked him to own the crime on the promise of a reduced sentence. Kumar had said the “original” footage did not have that portion.When asked what was the length of the video footage on the narco-test conducted on Krishna, which is part of CBI record, Kumar told PTI he cannot recollect the duration of the video.”I do not recall. It was sent from the FSL to CBI, the CD. I do not remember the minutes…. Any authorisation can come either from the organisation or the lab. Custodian of the video is FSL Bangalore. If there is a requirement they can come out with it,” Kumar told PTI over phone.Kumar, now an Inspector General of Police in CRPF, said that if CBI has made public all the court orders they should bring the video and narco analysis too in the public domain even if they do not have evidence value.When asked whether the agency has only “edited” version of the narco analysis test done on Krishna, CBI spokesperson refused to comment saying the matter is sub-judice.A 1985-batch IPS officer, Kumar was present in Bangalore when the narco test was conducted on Krishna. Kumar was only supposed to monitor the probe as investigation is domain of Investigation Officer who was the then Superintendent of Police Vijay Kumar, the sources said.Dentist couple Rajesh and Nupur Talwar have been convicted of murdering their 14-year old daughter Aarushi and their domestic servant Hemraj on the intervening night of May 15-16, 2008 and have been sentenced to serve life term.The first team led of CBI led by Kumar had suspected that servants would have committed the crime but the then Director CBI Ashwani Kumar did not agree with the findings because of lack of evidence. The second team filed a closure report citing possible chain of events which might have taken place on the crime scene indicating role of Talwars but could not produce any forensic evidence suggesting involvement of the dentist couple.The report was rejected by Magistrate Preeti Singh who said there was ample circumstantial evidence for Rajesh and Nupur Talwar to face murder charges in the case. The decision was upheld by the Allahabad High Court and Supreme Court.After the trial, Additional Sessions Judge Shyam Lal found the parents guilty of murder and sentenced them to life imprisonment. During the trial, Rajesh and Nupur Talwars wanted that narco tests should be placed on record but Allahabad High Court as well as Supreme Court rejected their demand.The Supreme Court had said they were “adopting dilatory tactics on every moment”. Watch the video in question here:

NJAC Composition and law ministry reacts

Union Law Minister, who is in Bangalore today, will hold the meeting with senior officials from the department of Justice. Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi and other law officers will also attend the meeting for deliberating the consequences of the judgment and formulating the government’s response.

Composition of the NJAC 1. A six member panel was to be headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) and two senior judges are also members of it. 2. Union law minister was also a member. 3. Other members-two eminent persons were to be nominated by a committee consisting of the CJI, Prime Minister, and Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha or where there is no such LoP, the leader of single largest Opposition Party in the House. 4. It envisaged that of the two eminent persons, one would be from the Scheduled Castes or Scheduled Tribes or OBCs, minority communities or a woman.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> 5. The eminent persons shall be nominated for a period of three years and shall not be eligible for re-nomination. 6. The veto power is given to two members. If two out of six oppose the recommendation of one candidate the selection would be cancelled. After the Supreme Court judgment which struck down the Centre’s 99 amendment Act as well as NJAC Act, the law minister has convened an emergency meeting tomorrow to deliberate the court verdict and the future course of action. The court has also restored the two decade-old collegium system for the appointment of judges for the Supreme Court and high courts. A law ministry source told dna, “although the Parliament has to take a call on the verdict but the immediate task before the government is to consider the recommendations which were last sent by the collegium before the NJAC Act came into force.” “Till mid-April, the collegium had recommended more than 100 names for appointments in various high courts and Supreme Court. The government will examine them and then consider,” the official, on the condition of anonymity, said. “The recommendation included the promotion of judges to high courts from trial courts, confirmation of the additional judges in various high courts and also the names of advocates for fresh appointments,” the source said. Union Law Minister, who is in Bangalore today, will hold the meeting with senior officials from the department of Justice. Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi and other law officers will also attend the meeting for deliberating the consequences of the judgment and formulating the government’s response. On April 14, the NJAC Act came into force repealing the collegium system for the appointment of the judges in higher judiciary.

SpiceJet announces launch of red-eye flight services

The Gurgaon-based budget carrier also said it plans to add as many as six more similar services on the domestic network as part of its winter schedule.

dna Research & Archives
SpiceJet on Thursday announced the launch of red-eye flight services on its network, which the budget carrier would operate on the Delhi-Bangalore and Delhi- Nanded routes from November 2, making it only the third domestic carrier to offer such flights.The Gurgaon-based budget carrier also said it plans to add as many as six more similar services on the domestic network as part of its winter schedule. Only Jet Airways and IndiGo so far offered red-eye flight services in the country. The airline has offered a starting fare of Rs 3,899 for the Delhi-Bangalore flight.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A red-eye flight departs late at night and arrives early morning. Because of their low fares, these flights are quite popular abroad, especially in the US and Europe.On the Delhi-Bangalore sector, flight SG-149 will take off at 1.00 AM from Delhi and land at 3.40 AM and would operate four times per week, it said, adding that SpiceJet currently operates three flights on this route. Similarly, flight SG-671 on the Delhi-Nanded sector will take off at 11.30 PM from Delhi and land in Nanded at 1.25 AM. This service would be operated twice a week, it added.Red-eye is a popular concept in the west as they generally tend to be more economical than day-time flights. Moreover, night flights are a smart option for business and other frequent travellers as they can conveniently attend their business meetings and take a late-night flight back, thus avoiding road traffic during peak hours,” SpiceJet said.”We are in a process of adding close to half-a-dozen red- eye flights in the coming winter schedule as they serve our objective of boosting connectivity 24×7,” SpiceJet general manager for corporate affairs, Ajay Jasra, said in the release.

Government holds talks with IIM directors over contentious bill

The meeting was chaired by Higher Education Secretary V S Oberoi.

Picture for representational purpose only

Seeking to allay concerns about the contentious IIM bill, government on Friday engaged in lengthy deliberations with the institute directors who have raised fears about the legislation undermining their autonomy.The meeting could follow another round of consultation with the IIM directors as the HRD Ministry has earlier hinted at “reviewing” and “correcting any inconsistencies” in the controversial draft Bill. “We are working hard to arrive at a consensus,” said one of the IIM directors emerging out of the meeting while a second director of a new IIM was hopeful of the revised draft being approved soon before it is taken up in the Winter Session of Parliament. Ministry officials on the other hand maintained that the meeting was called to understand the views of the directors on the contentious clauses and suggestions.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The meeting was chaired by Higher Education Secretary V S Oberoi. HRD Minister Smriti Irani had in August held an hour-long discussion with the chairperson of IIM-Bangalore’s board of governors, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw and described as a “fallacy” the criticism surrounding the Bill. The government has been accused of having intentions of gaining some kind of control through the Bill in almost every decision that the institutes take.The IIMs have also pointed to provisions that allegedly infringe on the autonomy of the business schools. “Government is trying to ensure that we have an accountable structure without affecting autonomy,” Shaw had said. She had also hinted that “some kind of rephrasing” could address their concerns.The Bill seeks to give the IIMs degree-granting powers and convert them into institutes of national importance. In a written reply in Parliament earlier, Irani had said the Bill “intends to ensure greater synergy and financial autonomy along with commensurate accountability in academic and financial matters of the IIMs”.

Bengaluru gangrape: Police arrest two accused, seize vehicle

A 22-year-old woman was gangraped in Bengaluru on Saturday night.

Vehicle seized by Bengaluru Police in the case.
Y Maheswara Reddy

Bengaluru Police has arrested two accused in the 22-year-old gangprape incident that happened on Saturday night. The police had also seized an abandoned tempo traveller at HSR layout in the city. In a chilling reminder of Nirbhaya incident​, a woman working at a BPO in Bengaluru, was gangraped in a tempo traveller. The victim, hailing from Madhya Pradesh, stays at a PG in Madiwala in Bengaluru. The woman was reportedly waiting for transport to go back to her PG after attending a party. The sources said that two men in a tempo traveler offered her a ride. When the woman boarded the vehicle, the two men allegedly threatened her with a knife and took her in the vehicle to an isolated place on Old Airport Road and allegedly raped her.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The men also allegedly dropped her at the same spot where she boarded the vehicle from. Later, she contacted her friends for help and her friends admitted her St John’s Medical College Hospital for treatment.Meanwhile, Manjula Manasa, chairperson, Karnataka State Commission for Women, said the women must take all precautions while commuting in the city during the night. “There is no use of blaming police or state government for this type of unfortunate incidents. We have been telling women during awareness programmes on the precautions to be taken while commuting alone during the night. Though the incident took place on Saturday night, there was a considerable delay in police registering the case. We have taken suo moto case and are investigating. We have asked the authorities concerned to provide information on this case,’’ said Manjula Manasa. Also read: BPO employee gangraped in Bangalore in a moving vanBangaloreans expressed anguish and anger over the unfortunate incident that brought shame to the city. Many have expressed concern over the lack of security for women employees in the city. “I think castration is a suitable punishment for people who involve in gang-rape incidents. If the authorities castrated one or two culprits, men will have the guts to indulge in such heinous activities in future. I think castration is the best punishment than mere imprisonment for such culprits,’’ says Tara Bhanu, a graphic designer.“I want the court to award rigorous imprisonment for such people. I am of the opinion that no advocate should support such culprits who indulge in gangrape. There should be no facility for such people to avail bail. They deserve stringent punishment,’’ says Navya C D, an advocate of High Court.“There has to be deterrent punishment for people who indulge in such heinous crimes. It is worst than a murder. Despite stringent law enforced after Nirbhaya incident, some people still continue to indulge in gang-rape incidents. I hope no advocate will support such culprits to avail bail or argue on their behalf in the court,’’ said Madhuri Gaikwad, an advocate of High Court.“I am worried about the safety of women in Bengaluru. I have come from Chattisgarh to undergo training at Karnataka Chitrakala Parishat. Parents, especially those from other states, will hesitate to send their daughters to pursue higher studies in Bengaluru. These incidents will certainly bring bad name to Bengaluru. I want the authorities to ensure safety of women in the city,’’ says Alka Chandwani, a KCP student.Read more here: Bangalore residents express shock over gangrape of a BPO employee “I am of the opinion that girls should carry pepper spray with them. It is better for girls to undergo karate training. I want all the schools and colleges to introduce karate for the benefit of girls. It will empower girls to protect themselves during emergencies,” opines Sirisha KS, a KCP student from Vijayanagar.“It is very unfortunate to know about the mass gangrape incident that took place on Saturday night. No sane person will indulge in such heinous activities. Meanwhile, it is not fair to treat all drivers of tempo travelers on par with those who committed the crime. I have been working for the last five years and want to continue in this profession for survival. I will neither encourage such incidents nor participate in such shameful acts,’’ said Harish K, a driver of a Tempo Traveller.

Renowned Tirupati laddus now use ghee from Maharashtra

Apparently, the Maharashtra dairy quoted a lower price than the Karnataka Milk Federation.

Representational Image

The Karnataka Milk Federation has been supplying ghee for the Tirupati laddus for years. However, this has changed now. A report in Bangalore Mirror states that the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) has now given the contract for ghee to a private dairy in Maharashtra. Apparently, the Maharashtra dairy quoted a lower price than the Karnataka Milk Federation.The TTD floats the tender for ghee twice a year and the last tender was in June for 1700 tonnes of ghee. Govind Milk and Milk Products Pvt Ltd in Maharashtra bagged the tender, says the report.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Now, the Karnataka Milk Federation has reportedly taken up the issue with the TTD. The co-operative milk union is said to be the second largest in India after Amul. The KMF has supplied ghee to TTD for more than 10 years now.Also Read: Queuing up for the famed and patented Sri Vari Laddu at TirupatiFacts about the Tirupati laddu:Around 200 cooks work on preparing the laddus daily
Nearly 1.5 lakh laddus are made each day
Ingredients used every day: 10 tonnes of besan flour, 10 tonnes of sugar, 700 kg of cashewnuts, 150 kg of cardamom, 300 to 500 litres of ghee, 500 kg of sugar candy, 540 kgs of raisins
Cost per laddu: Rs 15-20
This laddu got the GI tag in 2009
Only TTD can make this laddu

IIM-Visakhapatnam to start sessions from today

IIM-Bangalore will be the mentor institute

File Photo
IIM-Visakhapatnam opened the institute for sessions on Monday. The institute is currently operating from the Andhra Bank-sponsored building at the AU Management Block.The orientation classes for the new session were held in the building on Monday, however, regular classes are expected to begin from September 28. Around 60 students have enrolled in the first batch of the institute. Recruitment of the teaching faculty and the administrative department will begin after six months, till the time being teaching faculty from IIM- Bengaluru will fly in every week to conduct classes for the students of IIM-V. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As for accommodation facilities, apartments have been provided at a complex for students. The foundation for building the IIM at Visakhapatnam was laid on January 17, 2015 at Gambheeram village, about 25 km from Visakhapatnam. IIM- Visakhapatnam is listed as the 14th IIM in the country.

Maharashtra government plans on introducing policy to promote start-ups

“We will soon declare a policy. These units have been closed for economic and technical reasons. But, they have experience. Maharashtra has around 1 lakh engineering graduates who pass out from around 1,000 engineering colleges and try their luck in the job market. This is a huge number…we will try to establish linkages between the industry and these engineers,” said Maharashtra industries minister Subhash Desai.

Representational Image of start-ups

dna Research & Archives
In a bid to revive closed and sick micro, small and medium enterprises in Maharashtra, the state government is planning to ensure linkage between fresh engineering graduates and the industry and promote start-ups and incubation units.”We will soon declare a policy. These units have been closed for economic and technical reasons. But, they have experience. Maharashtra has around 1 lakh engineering graduates who pass out from around 1,000 engineering colleges and try their luck in the job market. This is a huge number…we will try to establish linkages between the industry and these engineers,” said Maharashtra industries minister Subhash Desai.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”One (industry) has experience while the other (engineers) has the energy. It is necessary to link the two,” he explained, adding that industries had also offered to place orders with these units to promote them while some educational institutions had also offered to chip in with training.Desai added that some of these fresh engineers were full of innovative ideas and were planning to get into entrepreneurship. He also stressed on the need to promote start up units like in the United States. The state industries department is planning a “start-up policy” to promote a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation in the manufacturing and information technology and IT enabled services sector. This is aimed at attracting these incubation units to Maharashtra by making the state an attractive destination compared to current start-up magnets like Gurgaon, Bangalore and Hyderabad.Desai said that the Maharashtra government and SIDBI have set up a Rs 200 crore venture capital fund, which includes Rs 75 crore from the state government. “We are planning to start small industries and revive ones which have been closed,” he added.According to the Economic Survey of Maharashtra 2014-15, up to December 2014, around 2.12 lakh MSMEs were functioning in Maharashtra with an investment of Rs 50,637 crore and 26.9 lakh employment. This is a rise from the 19,814 units in 2013-14 which involved investments of Rs 6,358 crore and employment of 24.8 lakh people.

Prices of fruits and flowers go up ahead of Ganesh Chathurthi in Bangalore

Prices of fruits and flowers will burn a hole in your pocket this Ganesh Chaturthi.

Image courtesy: Team iamin
The prices of fruits and flowers have doubled ahead of Ganesha Chaturthi forcing the residents of Bangalore to shell out more for their items that are an important part of rituals.One kg of apple is being sold between Rs 120 to Rs 150 depending on the quality and its variety. The prices of pomegranate, custard apple and sweet lime have also increased considerably from Rs 150 to Rs 180 per kg, Rs 160 to Rs 170 and Rs 50 to Rs 60 respectively. Sapota and banana prices too have risen. While Sapota costs Rs 40, banana is available at Rs 30 to Rs 35 per kg.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Speaking to iamin, Shanmugam K, a fruit vendor at New Thippasandra Market, said that the prices of fruits have seen a 20 to 40% rise as against the prices of last week. “We also paid extra to the wholesaler at KR Market to procure fruits. There was a lot of demand for fruits,’’ said Shanmugam.With the cost of flowers shooting through the roof, people, especially home-makers, are finding it difficult to buy flowers for the celebrations. Jasmine costs Rs 500 to Rs 600 per kg while crossandra (kanakambara) has crossed Rs 1,000-mark per kg. The other flowers such as Sugandharaja, rose, lily and chrysanthemum have also become dearer.“Now we have to sell one metre of chrysanthemum garland for Rs 40 as against Rs 20 last week,’’ says Palaniamma, a flower vendor.Security tightenedTo ensure Ganesha festival celebrations take place smoothly, more than 10,000 policemen, including 25 platoons of Karnataka State Reserve Police, City Armed Reserve and Home Guards would be deployed in sensitive areas such as Tannery Road, KG Halli, Chamarajpet, Shivajinagar, Munireddy Palya, Jayanagar and Tilak Nagar.To read the full story, please visit- Bangalore: Prices of fruits and flowers will burn a hole in your pocket this Ganesh Chaturthi​

President Pranab Mukherjee congratulates IISc, IIT-Delhi on global ranking

In the message, Mukherjee said India has outstanding and inherent talent and its institutions have the potential to be the best.

Please accept my heartiest congratulations on this remarkable achievement, says Pranab Mukherjee

President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday congratulated the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi for figuring in the top 200 in a global university ranking, and said high rank boosts the morale of the academic community. According to the QS World University Rankings of 2015-16 released today, IISc and IIT-D have been placed at 147 and 179 respectively.”In individual messages sent to Anurag Kumar, Director, IISc, Bangalore and Kshitij Gupta, Officiating Director, IIT, Delhi, the President has said ‘I am delighted that IISc, Bangalore and IIT, Delhi have been ranked at No.147 and 179 respectively in the QS World University Rankings of 2015-16. Please accept my heartiest congratulations on this remarkable achievement,” Deputy Press Secretary to President, Shamima Siddiqui said here today.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the message, Mukherjee said India has outstanding and inherent talent and its institutions have the potential to be the best, provided they can apply themselves to the task of improving quality. “A high rank not only boosts the morale of the academic community but also opens greater avenues of growth and placement for students.”It provides a benchmark for continuous quality enhancement. I am confident that you along with the faculty members and staff of your Institution will continue to strive for developing our academic institutions into global leaders,” he said.

Bangalore University’s Molecular Biology course sees no takers

This year the course has seen just a 20% admission rate.

Wikimedia Commons
Admission season was in full swing at Bangalore University and counselling is seven over. However, there have not been many takers for some of its post-graduate courses and the university has invited applications again.Despite this, some post-graduate courses like the Molecular Biology are hardly seeing any takers. This year the course has seen just a 20% admission rate. The university has now extended the application deadline to August 31.Other science courses have fared better with a 70-80 % admission rate.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Ashley Madison Hack: From Chhapra to Delhi around 1,50,000 Indians were registered!

Digital India: Even far-fung places in the county had users logged on to the the adultery website!

The data from the Ashley Madison leak tells us two very fascinating things – the internet has penetrated all corners of India and no amount of superficial purity is going to make people change their sexual behaviours. According to, around 1,50,000 Indians were registered on the adultery website, though it must be mentioned that the site also helps single people hook up. It’s hilarious to think that the government tried to ban porn, when it’s obvious that it’s not going to work. We love to hide our sexuality, but the data suggests otherwise. How else do you explain the fact that Sunny Leone, a former porn star, is the most searched celebrity on Google for the last three years, trumping the likes of Narendra Modi, Salman Khan and others. A map put out by Malifedelco on Tecnilogical showed that users of the adultery website were spread all across the country! <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>What we learned from the map?While we can’t verify how the users were being tracked and here are some of our basic findings. It’s important to note that Ashley Madison is also a dating site, so it’s quite feasible that not person using the app or website is looking to commit adultery.The data showed that Delhi leads the pack with 38,652 users followed by Mumbai (33,036), Chennai (16,434), Bangalore (16267), Hyderabad (12,825) and Kolkata (11,751). Even the Tier II cities like Ranchi, Nagpur, Varnasi had at least a thousand users or more. It doesn’t end there, here is some random data from cities we could think of: PANVEL – 20 usersPATNA – 2512 usersCHHAPRA – 55 USERSNAGPUR – 2305 USERSHaora (Howrah) – 65 usersAHMEDABAD – 6979 usersLUCKNOW – 3808 usersPUNE – 9738 usersTHIRUVANANTHAPURAM – 1155 usersVARNASI – 1154 usersCOCHIN – 53 usersBOISAR – 121 usersBADLAPUR – 80 usersUDUPI – 105 USERSMANIPAL – 108 USERSNAGERCOIL – 184 USERSDHANBAD – 327 USERSPONDICHERRY – 11 USERSMIRZAPUR-CUM-VINDHYACHAL – 58 USERSMUZAFFARNAGAR – 249 USERSALLAHABAD – 1135 USERSUDHAMPUR – 72 USERSIt’s an interactive map and if you want to know if you city, town, village, district is on the map, all you have to do is search.

Ex-gratia will be given to injured and kin of dead, says Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu

The Bangalore-Nanded Express train collided with a lorry that was crossing the railway track in Anantpur, Andhra Pradesh.

Image courtesy: ANI
Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Monday said that the government will announce an ex gratia payment for those injured and to the relatives of the five persons killed in this Bangalore-Nanded Express-lorry accident in Anantpur, Andhra Pradesh.Prabhu’s announcement came soon after Anil Saxena, PRO of the Railways informed that some trains on the South Central and South Western Railway lines have been diverted because of the railway accident.The Bangalore-Nanded Express train collided with a lorry that was crossing the railway track in Anantpur, Andhra Pradesh.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The collision resulted in the derailment of four coaches and claimed the lives of at least five persons and injured another 25, Saxena said.Preliminary reports confirmed that Karnataka MLA Venkatesh Nayak was among the five people killed.Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu is monitoring the situation closely, Saxena said.

Film festival on cancer survivors, their struggle and conquest over the disease

Self V Film Festival, a one-of-a-kind celebration for cancer survivors was started by HCG- the Specialist in Cancer Care along with Pink Hope – a cancer support group. All cancer survivors need to shoot a 60 second video showcasing the story of their struggle and conquest over cancer.

As part of the campaign, a ride with Harley Owners Group of Bangalore was also organized.

Pic Courtesy: Facebook
The story of 17-year old Priti who overcame all odds and ploughed ahead with life after losing an eye in her battle with cancer is now included in a film festival on cancer survivors.”This year we would be creating a film festival with the videos of the cancer survivor that we receive. These videos will be judged by a jury from the film fraternity and the best ones will be selected for the festival,” says Dinesh Madhavan, Director – Healthcare Services, HealthCare Global Enterprises Ltd (HCG). <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Self V Film Festival, a one-of-a-kind celebration for cancer survivors was started by HCG- the Specialist in Cancer Care along with Pink Hope – a cancer support group. All cancer survivors need to shoot a 60 second video showcasing the story of their struggle and conquest over cancer. “The stories will be aired across India as a part of the ‘Self-V Film Festival’ in PVR theatres across Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Hubli, in 92 auditoriums,” says Madhavan.The campaign has already received about 100 videos from India and 50 videos from across the world like Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, Nigeria and Zimbabwe. “We not only need to fight for ourselves but for the loved ones as well. One of the purposes of sharing my story is that I find lots of cancer patients in the hospital who require help in terms of counseling. Such a disease takes a lot from you not only physically and mentally but emotionally as well,” says Sidharth Ghosh, a cancer survivor and last year’s winner. Ghosh was detected a rare type of cancer in the right kidney.As a part of this campaign, a ride with the Harley Owners Group of Bangalore was also organized. 70 Harley Davidson bike riders participated to support the cause. The ride was flagged off at HCG in July in Bangalore and the bikers rode to Chikballapur.

Coveted Presidents Cup spot looks likely for in-form Lahiri | Reuters

KOHLER, Wisconsin A strong showing by Anirban Lahiri at the PGA Championship has put the Indian golfer in a prime position to achieve one of his biggest goals for this year — a spot on the International team at the Presidents Cup.

An opening two-under 70 at Whistling Straits followed by a six-birdie 67 to conclude the storm-delayed second round on Saturday also strengthened Lahiri’s burgeoning belief that he is good enough to compete with the game’s very best.

“Playing at the Presidents Cup would mean the world to me,” Lahiri, 28, told Reuters after rocketing up the PGA Championship leaderboard into a tie for fourth at seven-under 137, four strokes off the lead.

“Growing up you watch events like the Presidents Cup and the Ryder Cup, and last year I was fortunate enough to be a part of the inaugural EurAsia Cup, and part of a team that came from a whitewash on day one to level it at 10-10 against Europe.

“It’s feeling that does not compare. I’ve won several times now in Asia and Europe and it’s a different kind of thrill when you don’t play for yourself.”

As things stand, Lahiri would be an automatic selection for the Internationals team to take on holders the United States in Incheon, South Korea from Oct 8-11.

The leading 10 players in the points standings on Sept. 7 will qualify for the Presidents Cup, and captain Nick Price will then add his two wildcard picks the following day.


Lahiri, 28, a two-time winner on the European Tour this year who has set his sights on securing a U.S. PGA Tour card, is ninth in the standings and would all but lock up his spot with a good finish on Sunday.

“I am hitting it good and I feel I’m playing well enough to be playing on the Presidents Cup team,” said the Bangalore resident, who birdied four of his last seven holes at Whistling Straits to soar up the second-round leaderboard.

“I just need to keep playing well. When I played for Asia last year, it was massive. At the Presidents Cup, you’re playing for the Internationals which is pretty much the rest of the world if you take Europe out of it, so that would be huge.”

Lahiri, who won his first European Tour title at the Malaysian Open in February before adding a second later that month on home soil at the Indian Open, initially struggled for form when he switched his focus to the PGA Tour.

However, the world number 53 has played in all of golf’s elite events this season — the four majors and the World Golf Championships events – and he now believes he belongs in that company.

“I came over here to the U.S. and I initially tried to do things differently, I didn’t stick with what I’d done when I’ve played my best in the past,” said Lahiri, a seven-times winner on the Asian Tour where he leads the order of merit this season.

“But I’ve learned from that and I’ve gone back to my old routine, just sticking to my own strengths and working with those. I think it’s enough to win out here, and that’s where the belief comes from.

“I feel like I can compete and it’s good to have evidence of that this week at Whistling Straits.”

(Editing by Andrew Both)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

DLF’s quarterly profit down 5 percent | Reuters

MUMBAI DLF Ltd, India’s biggest listed property developer, reported on Thursday a 5 percent fall in quarterly profit amid a market slump due to weak economic growth.

Developers in India have been left with thousands of unsold flats and stalled projects as the absence of a sustained economic recovery, expected after Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s government was elected last year, has kept home buyers away.

Years of high interest rates have also deterred home buyers and elevated borrowing costs for companies.

New Delhi-based DLF said net profit for the April to June quarter was 1.22 billion rupees, compared with 1.28 billion rupees a year ago.

Income from operations rose nearly 30 percent from a year earlier to 22.31 billion rupees. But the cost of land, plots, development rights and constructed properties also jumped an annual 30 percent in the quarter, weighing on profit.

Home sales in India’s eight major cities, including Mumbai, New Delhi and Bangalore, fell 4 percent to 72.3 million square feet in the quarter ended June 30 from with a year earlier, according to real estate research firm Liases Foras.

Sales in New Delhi and the surrounding region, DLF’s home market, fell 14 percent from a year earlier to 15.4 million square feet — the steepest fall among the major cities.

(Reporting by Zeba Siddiqui in Mumbai and Aditi Shah in New Delhi; Editing by David Goodman and Mark Potter)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

IndiGo plane returns to Mumbai airport due to technical problem

A Delhi-bound IndiGo airlines plane with around 160 passengers on board on Saturday returned to the airport here due to a techinal problem barely 20 minutes after take-off. Flight 6E-178 took off at 9:45 AM from the Chhtrapati Shivaji International Airport here. It was on its way to Delhi from where it would have proceeded to Patna, sources said.

A Delhi-bound IndiGo airlines plane with around 160 passengers on board on Saturday returned to the airport here due to a techinal problem barely 20 minutes after take-off. Flight 6E-178 took off at 9:45 AM from the Chhtrapati Shivaji International Airport here. It was on its way to Delhi from where it would have proceeded to Patna, sources said.”The flight was scheduled to depart at 9.30 AM but left only at 9.45 AM. But after being airborne for nearly 20 minutes, the first officer announced that the flight was returning to Mumbai due to some technical issue,” the sources said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>IndiGo spokesperson was not available for comments. Leakage in the fuel system of the aircraft forced the pilot to take back the flight to the city, the sources claimed.The Gurgaon-based budget airline’s on-time performance from the four key airports- Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bangalore- has taken a beating in the recent times compared to some of its rivals.The airline’s on-time performance from these airports stood at 82.6 per cent in June with the lowest recorded from Mumbai where only 69.2 per cent of its total flights took off on time.

HRD Ministry softens stand on draft IIM Bill; says ‘correcting inconsistencies’ in bill

In a written reply in Parliament last week, Irani had said the bill “intends to ensure greater synergy and financial autonomy along with commensurate accountability in academic and financial matters of the IIMs”.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Faced with criticism over the draft IIM Bill, government on Friday indicated “reviewing” and “correcting any inconsistencies” as it sought to reach out to the prestigious B-schools, making its first reaction to the controversy surrounding the legislation. The HRD Ministry’s apparent softening of stand came on a day when HRD Minister Smriti Irani held an hour long discussion with chairperson of IIM Bangalore’s board of governors Kiran Mazumdar Shaw.Accused of diluting IIMs autonomy through the draft legislation, Irani said the “fallacy” surrounding the bill needed to be “dispelled” and that they have put it in public domain for views. The government has also been accused of having some kind of control in almost every decision that the institutes take.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We will review the bill. If there is any inconsistency, typographical error, we will correct it,” Higher Education secretary V S Oberoi said, in an apparent indication that autonomy of the IIMs will not be compromised, flanked by both Irani and Shaw.Holding that a lot of concerns concerning the bill was “clarified” and that she was “satisfied” following her hour long meeting with the Minister, Shaw said she would be talking to other IIM directors and “explaining” the provisions. She said some of the concerns were “baseless” which needs to be “dispelled”.”We certainly want autonomy and hand in hand accountability. I think the bill has that considered. Government is trying to ensure we have an accountable structure without affecting autonomy,” she said, adding “some kind of rephrasing” could address their concerns. The bill seeks to give the IIMs the degree granting powers and convert them into institute of national importance.In a written reply in Parliament last week, Irani had said the bill “intends to ensure greater synergy and financial autonomy along with commensurate accountability in academic and financial matters of the IIMs”. Oberoi said the aim is to follow the other institutes of national importance like the IITs which are “tried and tested” models.

Muslim boy forced to recite Hindu prayer in ‘secular’ school

If you think we’re living in a secular India, think again. A 15-year old Muslim boy in Bengaluru was forced to recite a Sanskrit prayer on stage during the daily school assembly.

Why? As punishment for not reciting the Sanskrit shlokas during the daily school prayer. To make matters worse, he was then pulled up by the prinicipal for his diction. The school has recently adopted a few Sanskrit shlokas as its official prayers

Representational image. AFPRepresentational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

“I was humiliated in front of 1,200 students and my Constitutional right was violated. She made us go on stage and forced us to sing the prayer in front of everybody. She scolded me in front of everyone on the mic when I mispronounced a few Sanskrit words,” said the student to The Hindustan Times.

After he complained to his mother, she along with activists of the Association for Protection of Civil Rights (APCR) approached the school and tried to register a complaint with the principal. However, the principal did not understand their reason for outrage. According to her the prayer was important to “instil values and discipline in students”.

“What disturbed us most is that the principal suggested that the boy was turning into a fundamentalist Muslim. She also made snide remarks about the fact he was from Bhatkal (a Muslim dominated town in coastal Karnataka),” said R Khaleemullah of the APCR in a statement.

“In my son’s class, at least a third of all students are (from another religion). So, how can they enforce a Hindu prayer on everyone?” the father asked The Telegraph. He now plans to take up the issue with the state education department.

Speaking to HT, principal Padmaja Menon said that the prayers that invoke the names of Hindu gods Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh, has a universal message as Brahma is the creator of the universe.

The parents however are disappointed as they believed they had sent him to a “secular” school and not a madrassa, because they wanted him to receive a secular education.

Apparently not.

CBI officers go back to school to get lessons in finance from IIM-B

“It’s like how one invariably learns how to swim while learning to scuba dive.”

This was how a professor at IIM-Bangalore described the experience of teaching finance to CBI officers, while explaining how it would not just help them in investigations, but would increase their knowledge in general about finance. The Times of India reported on this initiative on Thursday.

Image courtesy: CNN-IBN screenshotImage courtesy: CNN-IBN screenshot

Image courtesy: CNN-IBN screenshot

According to the report, 30 CBI investigators took classes on Monday at IIM-B on financial intelligence and analytics. They were given an overview of issues like financial markets, tax havens, accounting analysis and cyber crime.

“Our endeavour is that officers should equip themselves with the latest that is happening in the financial world so that they can understand its implications and nuances,” said CBI director Anil Kumar Sinha in an interview to CNN-IBN.

The course is said to include real-life case studies as well as pointers on what to expect in financial frauds.

The CBI’s desire to sharpen its understanding of money matters appears to be linked to the fact that it has recently sought to become the default investigating agency in large-scale financial frauds.

In April, CNN-IBN reported on a representation made by the agency to the Prime Minister’s office. The CBI is said to have asked for an amendment to the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946, from which it draws its powers.

Interestingly, not long ago, the CBI was in teaching mode on financial matters, when its academy imparted training to officials of Gujarat’s Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB). Officers from the rank of Inspector to Deputy Superintendent of Police were said to have been trained to investigate such matters, according to The Indian Express.

Some prominent cases of financial fraud which the country’s premier investigating agency has handled recently include the Satyam case involving Ramalinga Raju, the 2G spectrum scandal and the coal block allocation case among others.

Bengaluru ‘live heart’ transport: Parents of 22-year-old donor want to save another life

Chetan’s father, Ramanna M, was inspired to donate his son’s heart by the Chennai live heart transport he saw on TV last year.

The Bengaluru Traffic Police (BTP) is creating a green corridor in the city to transport a live heart. The heart will be transported from the Sagar Hospital at Banneraghatta road to Narayana Hrudayalaya E-city at Hosuru Road.The heart is being transported by 39 year old, P Gopalan, a driver with the Narayana Hrudayalaya. Gopalan says he will be accompanied by a team of 8 techinicians and doctors, on a journey that is estimated to take 20 minutes.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Also read: Bengaluru Traffic Police to create signal free corridor for ‘live heart’ transport todayThe donor of the heart is Chetan R, a man who was pronounced brain dead last week after he met with an accident at his workplace. 22-year-old Chetan hailed from Adalwadi village in Mandya district, near Mysore. Chetan was working a garment factory called KSS Technology on the outskirts of Bangalore.On July 15, he met with an accident at the factory, getting stuck in one of the machines. The accident injured his spinal cord. Within two days he was declared brain dead due to blood clotting.Chetan’s father, Ramanna M was heartbroken over the loss of his son. However, he remembered the seeing news of a heart transplant that took place in Chennai in 2014 and was inspired by it to do the same.”We have lost our son, but if his heart can be of use to someone else that would be a good thing, ” he said.

Meet the voice behind ‘the third best morning radio show in the world’

Disha was awarded for hosting the third best morning radio show in the world through her programme ‘Morning No. 1’, on June 22 in Manhattan.

Red FM’s RJ Disha receiving the award for the third best morning radio show in the world.

Pic courtesy: New York Festivals:Radio Programming and Promotions Awards
26-year-old enthusiastic Disha Oberoi, a Radio Jockey from 93.5 Red FM in Bangalore has made the entire country proud by bagging the bronze award in the prestigious New York Festivals: Radio Programming and Promotions Awards. The event considered to be the biggest in the radio fraternity had more than 30 countries competing in the category of radio broadcast. Disha was awarded for hosting the third best morning radio show in the world through her programme ‘Morning No. 1’, on June 22 in Manhattan. The multi-talented youngster holds a Bachelors Degree in Journalism as well as Psychology and is also a professional license holder in Scuba Diving and Para-gliding. She also worked as a flight attendant for a private airline for three years before she decided to become a RJ with Red FM.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Iamin caught up with the most-sought-after RJ of Bangalore for a quick chat.How did you decide to switch from being a flight attendant to a radio jockey?During my stint as a flight attendant, many people actually came up to me saying that I had a very unique voice, which they heard during my announcements and advised me to experiment by putting it to good use. This is how I stumbled into the world of radio and started off in Chennai. I moved to Bangalore two-and-a-half years back and I have been in love with my profession ever since. What was your parents’ reaction when you made a career switch?To be honest my parents are quite wacky and cool. I started working quite early when I was 19. My mom herself was a flight attendant with an airline and she always encouraged me to do whatever I wanted to do, but with integrity. I can actually recall my father’s words to me, when I told him about my aspirations. He said that it didn’t matter to him even if I wanted to become a carpenter or a plumber, but if I am to be one, I should ensure that I am the best carpenter or plumber in the world. They didn’t want me to get stuck in mediocrity. For them it was not about what I was doing, but how I was doing it. Can you tell us about the New York Festivals:Radio Programming and Promotions Award?It is the biggest award function for the radio fraternity that involves competitors from 32 countries all around the world. In the past India has won awards for the best narration, best sound and best special features. But this is the first time a full-fledged main stream radio show has won an award at New York Festivals. Who would you like to dedicate this award to?With all honesty this award belongs to what I love the most—my country and radio broadcasting. That’s why I went personally to collect the award in New York to represent India on such a huge platform. It is a matter of great pride for me to see India being represented amid so many other countries.Tell us about the response you have received once you returned to your homeland?My family is ecstatic, needless to say and the Red FM Bangalore team has been extremely supportive throughout my tenure in the company. This is a mad-house full of very talented people and I feel privileged and lucky to be working with people who are so happy for my success. Even radio professionals from other radio stations have made it a point to pick up the phone and congratulate me.Tell us about your show, Morning No.1, that brought you under the limelight?The show is broadcast on Red FM and the tagline of the company itself says Bajaate Raho. The essence of the programme is to bring out the impact of different things on the life of an average citizen. The biggest advantage of radio as a medium is that it is immediate. If you call a radio station, you are suddenly reaching out to thousands of people who are listening to you all over the city. Moreover, there are no filters, as the show doesn’t go through editors or checks. It is as spontaneous as it can get. It’s a platform where anyone speak their mind and talk about the city, music, report traffic jams or just share their opinions regarding any topic. Tell us about the kind of callers you get?One of the highlights of my job is getting to talk to so many people from varied backgrounds and professions. Some of my callers are general managers of big companies while some of them are cab drivers who are equally enthusiastic about speaking their mind on air. What is most interesting is when I get calls from old people or senior citizens, who love to take a walk down the path of nostalgia. I have realised that this city is full of fun-loving people, irrespective of their age. What do you want to tell youngsters who want to follow your footsteps and achieve their dreams?All I would tell anyone is that if you have a dream and you are sure it is worth the effort, then go ahead fearlessly and keep trying to achieve your goal till you succeed. Just never give up easily.For the longer version of the report, click here

IIM Bill: Smriti Irani should get off backs of IIMs, not hem them in

The HRD Ministry’s draft bill on the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) has raised a storm of protest from the boards of most of the premier institutes.

The ostensible purpose of the Indian Institutes of Management Bill, 2015, is to declare them as “institutions of national importance”, and “empower them” to “attain standards of global excellence in management, management research” (etc, etc). The problem is the government has quietly tried to give itself a say in crucial decisions. From the appointment of the board and its chairman to deciding the fee structure to the creation of new academic departments, a government nod is required.

In other words, the bill will enable some form of government intervention in the functioning of the IIMs rather than giving them greater autonomy. If there is one thing HRD Minister Smriti Irani wants to be remembered for beyond her wayward declaration of her own academic qualifications in election affidavits, she should set our IIMs free.

IIM Ahmedabad. Agencies

IIM Ahmedabad. Agencies

If she doesn’t, she is going to find more criticism headed her way – and not from her usual political detractors. A Mint report quotes JJ Irani, Chairman of IIM, Lucknow, as warning of a “revolt in the IIM system” if the current version of Irani’s bill is passed.

The top IIMs are clearly be in a mood to fight for their independence. Among others, the chairmen of the big four – IIM, Ahmedabad, IIM, Calcutta, IIM, Bangalore, and IIM, Lucknow – are likely to fight to retain their autonomy, with The Economic Times quoting IIMA Chairman AM Naik (boss of Larsen & Toubro) as saying “the new bill gives sweeping powers to the government, which makes the institution only an operational centre while all the major directions and approvals are allowed only from the Centre.”

Naik indirectly hinted that the fight might well be elevated to the level of Narendra Modi if Smriti Irani does not relent. ET quotes him thus: “Currently, the matter is too small to raise with the PM. We will discuss at a certain level and we expect that finally sense would prevail.”

To be sure, the IIMs are not the last word in management education or pedagogy. None of them is at the cutting-edge of management knowledge creation in the global context, but they have two major achievements to their credit.

First, they have created a brand that is now acknowledged globally as the prime hunting ground for talent.

Second, the entry filter – the common admission test – is so robust that it is difficult for anybody barring the best to get in. It is easier to get into a Harvard or Wharton than one of the Big Four IIMs.

The IIM bill wants to enhance the acceptability of the institutes’ passouts by awarding degrees instead of diplomas, but no one seems to have found this a handicap in the flagship course so far. This fact is acknowledged in the government’s Mygov portal itself: “The Post-graduate Diploma in Management Programme was relatively unaffected by (the) absence of a formal degree, both in terms of recruitment of students as well as suitable placements in (the) job market, but the Fellow Programme in Management did not get the same status as that of a PhD in the job market, especially in faculty appointments. As a result, the Fellow Programme in Management (equivalent to PhD), without the formal degree stamp, has not, been able to attract talented students, required to develop a strong research base in the country in the field of management education, and also address the faculty shortages affecting management institutions in the country. The proposed Bill will address this gap.”

One wonders how circumscribing the autonomy of the IIMs is going to attract more high-quality students for the fellowship programmes and cutting-edge faculty.

Rapid expansion over the last decade has ensured that the IIM franchise is slowly being diluted, creating fissures in the system that politicians can exploit. There are now 13 IIMs, and six more are in the works, but beyond the top five or six IIMs, brand equity has probably taken a dent.

Governments feel emboldened to intervene because the newer IIMs need both public money and governmental support to grow, while the top IIMs don’t need any nannying by politicians. In fact, they resent it, as AM Naik’s and JJ Irani’s comments above show.

The top four IIMs – Ahmedabad, Calcutta, Bangalore and Lucknow – can probably find enough private sector funding to retain their autonomy and grow into real world class institutions, but that is precisely what the ministry does not want. The power of the HRD ministry stems from controlling the top IIMs, and not the latter-day entrants like Kashipur or Rohtak.

The ministry thus tends to use the weaker IIMs to claim that it has the support of many boards while interfering with the IIMs’ autonomy.

The draft bill that has got the IIM boards’ goat makes some right moves, like the corporatisation of the IIMs, but the troublesome provisos are many, including the right to determine board appointments, set policies, and create a coordination forum of IIMs, where the weight of the top four IIMs will be diluted.

Para 21(1) in the draft bill says that the IIMs “will be bound by such directions on questions of policy as the central government may give in writing from time to time” – which, given that it was the taxpayer who funded the IIMs in the first place – is not unreasonable. However, the ambit of policy is ill-defined, and para 21(2) makes it clear that “whether a question is one of policy or not” will be decided by the government, and its decision “will be final.”

If areas of policy are not clearly defined, the ministry can clearly intervene in many areas by calling them policy. The creation of new departments or payment of higher fees to foreign faculty could be called policy issues.

Nowhere is autonomy more compromised than in the selection of directors (effectively CEOs of each IIM). The board chairperson, already a government-appointed functionary, is supposed to head a search-cum-selection committee which will have other government nominees, but if the government does not like the selection made, it can overturn it. A crucial para says that where the visitor (the president) “is not satisfied with the recommendations of the search-cum-selection committee, he may ask the…committee to make fresh recommendations.”

Another clause that could create scope for intervention is the creation of a Coordination Forum of IIMs headed by the HRD Minister. Para 30(1) says the centre can, by notification, create a coordination forum. In theory, an inter-IIM forum is not a bad idea, but when so many states and central netas and babus are involved in the forum, and when the weaker IIMs are larger in number, what is the chance that the big four IIMs will have their way in key issues?

As noted earlier in Firstpost, not all IIMs are equal. The first three (Ahmedabad, Calcutta and Bangalore), and possibly the next two (Lucknow and Kozhikode) have developed significant brand equity of their own, which the remaining eight IIMs may not have.

The logical thing to do – assuming you want the IIMs to create more value – is to set the top-notchers free, with the government concentrating its investments on the newer ones.

The way forward should run something like this.

One, each IIM should be free to set its own curriculum and teaching standards, faculty salaries, and student fees, subject only to the normal reservations for SC/ST, etc. Autonomy should not only be retained, but extended.

Two, expansion in the aggregate student intake should be determined by each institute itself – not the government. If the government wants say, and IIMA, to share its equity with a new one at Rajkot, the parameters for performance should be set by IIMA and not the government. Else, the IIMA brand will be whittled down steadily. Put another way, IIM Rajkot should be a subsidiary of IIMA. It should thus be IIMA-Rajkot campus, rather than IIM Rajkot.

Three, each IIM should be free to generate its own funding, from alumni or corporates, and should ultimately be free to break out of government control altogether. The government’s role should be to incubate new B-schools, not reduce them to eternal dependence.

Four, the brand of each IIM – despite the common name – is unique and the top three or four surely can fend for themselves. They have a vested interest in excellence, and any government interference can only take them towards greater mediocrity. The top three or four should be encouraged to become truly autonomous private institutions.

Five, there is no issue with the common entrance test, where the best and brightest go to the top IIMs, and the lower scorers to the remaining institutes. But an IIMA or IIMC (or any IIM, for that matter) should be free to add layers to the selection process that will allow them to chase diversity beyond CAT scores.

If the ultimate objective is excellence and not mediocrity, the government has to set the IIMs and IITs free, not try and put a noose around their necks by creating pointless councils and coordinating committees.

Smriti Irani will earn kudos by setting the IIMs free, and not by trying to restricting their autonomy. This is her chance to redeem herself.

IIM Ahmedabad takes strong objection to draft bill, says it will curtail autonomy

“There will be no autonomy left with us if this bill will be implemented,” Chairman of IIM-A Board of Governors, A M Naik told reporters in Ahmedabad, adding, “it is like operating here but the control is somewhere else”.

Image courtesy Wikipedia

The row over the controversial IIM draft bill escalated on Thursday with IIM Ahmedabad strongly opposing the measure, saying it will not only curtail autonomy but will reduce the premier B-school to a mere “operating centre” while arming the government with sweeping powers.”There will be no autonomy left with us if this bill will be implemented,” Chairman of IIM-A Board of Governors, A M Naik told reporters in Ahmedabad, adding, “it is like operating here but the control is somewhere else”. The institute has shot off a letter to the HRD Ministry registering its protest on the bill. The Centre had sought their suggestions from IIMs on the proposed bill by June 24. Naik said the Bill is having provisions which gives majority of powers to the government leaving almost nothing for the institute to decide.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”As per the provisions of the Bill, we need to take prior permission of government in matters related to admissions, courses, fee structure, establishment or maintenance of new building and regulating powers of academic council,” he said. “Further, we will be required to take government’s permission if we want to form a new department in the interest of institution, as if expertise for this is available elsewhere rather than with the institute.Thus, nothing much is left for us. It is like operating here but the control is somewhere else,” Naik who is also the Executive Chairman of engineering and construction giant Larsen and Tubro said.Letter written by IIM A Chairperson to HRD Ministry Smriti Irani (Picture courtesy Facebook) “The Bill gives sweeping powers with the government, making the institution only an operation centre, with all the major directions, diktats and approvals happening from Delhi. There will be no autonomy left with us if this bill will be implemented,” opined Naik. His views were also endorsed by IIM-A Director Prof.Ashish Nanda. According to him, the government has proposed some kind of control in almost every decision that the institute takes. “The draft bill proposes control of government in almost every matter, such as selection of chairman of board of Governors, fee structure, expenses, etc. They have covered almost everything from strategic to operational decisions,” said Nanda.Besides IIM-A, directors of Kolkata, Lucknow, Bangalore, Kozhikode and Indore have opposed the bill while chiefs of some of the new IIMs have supported it. The draft says the IIMs will be “bound” by government’s directions in policy matters.”If the bill turns out to be that a lot of decisions by the boards are subject to government approval, and the government has uniform norms, then that may or may not be best thing for certain IIMs,” said IIM Bangalore Director Sushil Vachani. Vachani said the perception was that the government was trying to “interfere” with IIMs when it is proposing a coordination forum, single tenure for a director and that HRD ministry’s decision will be final on policy directions.Naik, who attended a meeting of IIM-A Board, lashed out at the Centre for keeping them in the dark about the new draft of the bill, which according to him, is not the one which was agreed upon two years back after so many discussions between all the IIMs and Ministry of Human Resource and Development “After nine months of silence, government suddenly floated this new draft, which we saw just few weeks back. It really caught us by suprise. The original bill, which was approved by IIMs and Ministry of HRD, has been completely changed, and rather made even worse than the original draft,” said Naik.He also raised questions about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of setting up at least 25 world class institutions in the wake of such adverse regulations proposed in the Bill.”PM wishes to have at least 25 world class institutions. But, this kind of regulation will only take us in an opposite direction. We expected more freedom. But, the bill, in its current form, will take away lots of freedom of the institutions and they won’t be autonomous,” he said.”Our main contention is autonomy and over-regulation. We told the Ministry that such regulations will affect our efforts in building a world class institution. If this Bill is implemented, none of the IIMs will be in the top-500 list of world’s best institutions, forget about getting space into top-100,” added Naik.He hoped that some amicable solution will arrive in near future on this issue. Nanda, who had criticised the bill, fearing it could be used as a tool to “micro-manage” the IIMs, warned that there could be an adverse fallout on IIM standards if certain freedom was not granted.The bill said, “Without prejudice to the foregoing provisions of this Act, the Institute (IIMs) shall, for efficient administration of this Act, be bound by such directions on questions of policy, as the Central Government may give in writing to it from time to time.” It also states that the IIMs will need the approval of the Ministry before notifying any changes in fee structure, salary and remuneration and admission criteria.”To be globally excellent, you need to have a certain amount of autonomy—you need to have certain resources, support of the government and leadership. The bill also provides for constitution of a coordination forum chaired by the HRD minister.

Private sector finds cause on International Yoga Day

Several companies are running workshops for employees today, stressing yoga’s health benefits.

Axis Bank logo
File Photo

It isn’t just the government and its organisations that are leaving no stone unturned in its efforts to make International Yoga Day a success – the private sector in India too has taken up the cause with an enthusiasm that is quite unprecedented. Several companies such as Tata Power, Orange, Vodafone, HDFC Bank, Deutsche Bank, Barclays, KPMG, Tech Mahindra, Reliance Fresh, Ashok Leyland, Axis Bank, IndusInd Bank and SEBI Financial Regulators are running workshops for employees today, stressing yoga’s health benefits.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Several have announced promotional activities and are offering freebies to consumers – in the beauty Lakme Salon is offering a 20% off on organic services, while VLCC conducting a free hour-long yoga session at its centres across India.Even Ola, the mobile-based taxi service, has jumped on to the bandwagon – it has a competition whose winner can win a free ride to a yoga centre. Says Anand Subramanian, director of marketing communications, Ola, “We have partnered with some of the best studios in ten cities to help introduce Yoga among users of the Ola app.” Many have chosen to launch new, yoga-centric products – sports wear brand Reebok is out with a range of clothes and accessories for enthusiasts, and so has e-tailer Snapdeal, throwing in week-long discounts to mark the day.In an innovative gesture, airline operator Spice Jet has got Jaggi Vasudev’s Isha Foundation to teach simple yogic practices to passengers on board its flights. Clearly, yoga is a huge trend that the corporates are just waking up to. A study conducted by industry body ASSOCHAM (Associated Chambers of Commerce of India) earlier this year, found that that around 14.3 million people in the India practised yoga in 2013, whereas the numbers in 2001 was just 6.3 million. Globally, there are anywhere between 200 to 250 million practitioners of yoga, who constitute a large market. According to statistics compiled in the US, the revenues from yoga in the country were $6.85 billion and would grow to $8.74 in 2017. Indian entrepreneurs have largely failed to take advantage of the global yoga boom – most, cheap PVC mats are made in China, and specialised yoga apparel are Western. But now Bangalore startup, Proyog, is launching a global “Make in India” yoga wear brand. Co-founder and Product Head, Malika Baruah asserts, “Yoga wear across the globe has been largely sportswear in disguise. We have taken extensive research with yoga teachers and textile engineers and over two years to develop the fabrics and twelve styles of garments.” India might reap other benefits, too. The ASSOCHAM study estimated that the demand for yoga trainers would grow by 30-35 per cent in the next couple of years, and that yoga tourism would become a growing source of income. Yoga’s popularity among celebrities makes teaching yoga a lucrative profession, with earnings between Rs 400 to Rs 1,500 per hour, the study said.

Two coaches of Bangalore-Chennai mail derail; no casualties

Two coaches of the city-bound Bangalore-Chennai Mail derailed here today, but there were no casualties.

File photo.

Two coaches of the city-bound Bangalore-Chennai Mail derailed here today, but there were no casualties.The incident occurred at Basin Bridge near Central Railway Station this morning, a Southern Railway official said.There were no casualties. Some trains were delayed as a result but operations were restored later, they added.

FIR lodged against Rajinikanth’s wife Latha for alleged fraud

Bengaluru: An FIR has been lodged against Tamil superstar Rajinikanth’s wife Latha for allegedly forging documents to obtain a court order, restraining media from publishing news about her dispute with a commissioned producer over selling of rights of Tamil film ‘Kochadaiiyan.’

“We have lodged an FIR against Latha Rajinikanth for submitting fake documents in the court to get gag order on the media with an intention of defrauding Ad Bureau Advertising Private Limited, a commissioned producer and double-selling the rights of Kochadaiiyan,” police told PTI in Bengaluru.

Latha Rajinikanth. IBNLiveLatha Rajinikanth. IBNLive

Latha Rajinikanth. IBNLive

The FIR was lodged after Ad Bureau had filed a complaint on 9 June, alleging that Latha had produced fake documents in the court to defraud and illegally sell the rights of the film to an entertainment company, police said.

They said Latha had signed as a guarantor for Mediaone Global Entertainment Limited for availing a loan of Rs 14.9 crore from Ad Bureau to help the makers of ‘Kochadaiiyan’ complete the film and release it, police said.

Since Mediaone failed to repay the amount and made a double selling of the movie, which had been earlier claimed to have been sold to Ad Bureau, the latter filed a case in the court seeking justice, police said.

The issue was then lapped up by the media which reported about the money dispute between Mediaone and Ad Bureau, which prompted Latha to avail an injunction order from Bengaluru court, restraining the media from publishing any news about her and her family members, police said.

In a follow up step, Ad Bureau filed a complaint with the city police commissioner, alleging that the documents produced by Latha in court to restrain media from publishing anything about the money dispute were fake, police said.

The affidavit filed by Latha’s counsel had mentioned that she had received a letter from the Publishers and Broadcasters Welfare Association of India, Press Club, Bangalore, which was proved fake by Ad Bureau after getting a confirmation letter from Press Club of Bangalore, police said.

The Press Club in their letter had said that the Publishers and Broadcasters Welfare Association of India was in no way connected with them and the association is fake, police said.

Consequently, Ad Bureau approached the sixth Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court and submitted a petition about the fake association named The Publishers and Broadcasters Welfare Association of India, police said.

The magistrate then ordered the police to submit a report about the association, police said.

After investigation, Halasurgate Police Station found out that the association was fake and registered an FIR against Latha for submitting fake documents as documentary evidence in the court, police said.


Friend murders noted Indian-American cardiologist Suresh Gadasalli, then kills self

Houston: Renowned Indian-American cardiologist Suresh Gadasalli, who performed the world’s first simultaneous hybrid revascularisation, was shot dead by his friend and business associate who then committed suicide in Odesaa in the US state of Texas, according to the police.

Dr Gadasalli, 53, was shot dead by 60-year-old patient and business associate Ayyasamy Thangam at the ‘Healthy Heart Centre’ on Thursday, according to a release issued by the Odessa Police Department.

Dr. Suresh Gadasalli. Image  Courtesy: LinkedInDr. Suresh Gadasalli. Image  Courtesy: LinkedIn

Dr. Suresh Gadasalli. Image Courtesy: LinkedIn

Thangam then closed the door of the room the two men were in and witnesses heard another, single gunshot, it added.

According to Corporal Steve LeSueur, the two men were close friends and business associates.

Dr Gadasalli’s brother-in-law said that the two families knew each other for a decade, and that the last rites will be held in Odessa likely on Wednesday.

The incident shocked the city, popular for Laura and George Bush’s home city of 2.5 lakh people.

LeSueur on Friday declined to release a possible motive for the killings and the police had no information on why Thangam was being treated.

Dr. Gadasalli hailed from Bangalore and was educated at the Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College in Belgaum, Karnataka, before studying at the Internal Medicine and Cardiology at the University of Wisconsin Medical School and the Sinai Samaritan Centre in Milwaukee.

He was recruited by Medical Centre Hospital in Odessa, Texas in 1994.

The Healthy Heart Centre profile mentions that Dr Gadasalli was recognised as a leading physician of the world by the International Association of Cardiologists. He was named “super doctor” by Texas Monthly in 2008.

In 2005, he performed the world’s first simultaneous hybrid revascularisation, which involved two major procedures – coronary artery bypass and stent replacement, using a robotic system known as the Da Vinci Surgical System.

Gadasalli was previously investigated in a federal court case on a currency structuring charge. The FBI began their investigation into the Healthy Heart Center in June of 2012.

He was accused of violating federal law in structuring transactions to avoid reporting requirements, according to previous reports. According to court records, Gadasalli’s case was closed on 22 January 2014.