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Odd-Even Rule: Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal asks his ministers to lead by example

Kumar will commute by bus and will leave his Raj Niwas Road residence for Secretariat at 11 AM. Tourism Minister Kapil Mishra will ride a bike to Secretariat from his Yamuna Vihar residence. Thousands of civil defence volunteers will be deployed to assist the Traffic Police, enforcement teams of Delhi government’s transport department and authorised sub- divisional magistrates, to implement the scheme which will kick in at 8 AM on Friday. Under the scheme, private cars with odd registration numbers will be allowed to ply on odd dates and those with even numbers on even dates.

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Bigg Boss 9: Gossiping, fighting and New Year celebrations! All that happened on Day 81! <!– /.block –>
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After Modi’s barbs, Congress accuses him of ‘confrontational mindset’

“Modi believes in only branding,” he said while demanding that the NDA government should come out with a white paper on the amount of money earned through cess and whether it has been used for the purpose for which it was collected

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Uttar Pradesh: Beat rape accused with shoes, panchayat tells victim <!– /.block –>
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Uttar Pradesh: Beat rape accused with shoes, panchayat tells victim

“On behalf of the government, we just wish to state that action will be taken against the accused persons as per law and no diktat of the panchayat will prevail. Anyone who tries to illegally give directions to the family members of the complainant or the complainant herself, action will be also taken against them,” he said.

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Naqvi cites National Commission for Minorities data, says talk about intolerance ‘politically manufactured’ <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaSaradha scam: Madan Mitra’s bail plea rejected, custody extended till January 14IndiaSnag forces RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat to travel in non-bullet proof car in KochiIndiaPM Modi wants bureaucrats to give ideas for ‘transformative change’IndiaOdd-even scheme will fail, AAP looking for escape route, says BJPIndiaCPI(M) plenum ends, party bats for ‘flexible tactics’ to deal with emerging political situationsIndiaFrom Dadri to Yakub Memon’s death: 16 things India outraged about in 2015 <!– /.block –>

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Odd-even formula: Car pooling for senior officers in Home Ministry

Five Additional Secretary level officers and about 22 Joint Secretaries in the Home Ministry will also have to abide by the odd-even formula.

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IPL 2016: From Yuvraj Singh to Kevin Pietersen — complete list of players released by the clubs <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaSaradha scam: Madan Mitra’s bail plea rejected, custody extended till January 14IndiaSnag forces RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat to travel in non-bullet proof car in KochiIndiaPM Modi wants bureaucrats to give ideas for ‘transformative change’IndiaOdd-even scheme will fail, AAP looking for escape route, says BJPIndiaCPI(M) plenum ends, party bats for ‘flexible tactics’ to deal with emerging political situationsIndiaFrom Dadri to Yakub Memon’s death: 16 things India outraged about in 2015 <!– /.block –>

<!– /#sidebar-second –>Naqvi cites National Commission for Minorities data, says talk about intolerance ‘politically manufactured'<!– /.block –>IPL 2016: From Yuvraj Singh to Kevin Pietersen — complete list of players released by the clubs<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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Saradha scam: Madan Mitra’s bail plea rejected, custody extended till January 14

Mitra’s frail health condition was another reason why he be granted bail, his counsel said. The counsel for CBI argued that there “is not such change of circumstance” and opposed Mitra’s bail plea.

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Delhiites flock to malls, hotels to ring in the New Year <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaSaradha scam: Madan Mitra’s bail plea rejected, custody extended till January 14IndiaSnag forces RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat to travel in non-bullet proof car in KochiIndiaPM Modi wants bureaucrats to give ideas for ‘transformative change’IndiaOdd-even scheme will fail, AAP looking for escape route, says BJPIndiaCPI(M) plenum ends, party bats for ‘flexible tactics’ to deal with emerging political situationsIndiaFrom Dadri to Yakub Memon’s death: 16 things India outraged about in 2015 <!– /.block –>

<!– /#sidebar-second –>Odd-even formula: Car pooling for senior officers in Home Ministry<!– /.block –>Delhiites flock to malls, hotels to ring in the New Year<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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PM Modi wants bureaucrats to give ideas for ‘transformative change’

The Secretaries will now interact among each other, in sub-groups over the next two weeks, after which they will present their ideas and suggestions to the Prime Minister, the statement said.
Ministers Arun Jaitley, Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj and Nitin Gadkari were also present at the interaction.

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Odd-even scheme will fail, AAP looking for escape route, says BJP <!– /.block –>
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Engineers’ murder: Pappu Yadav alleges JDU leader’s patronage to ganglord

Close on the heels of the Darbhanga murder, another engineer was found dead with injury marks on his body in Vaishali district on Monday.

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DDCA scam: BJP issues show cause notice to suspended MP Kirti Azad <!– /.block –>
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China, India dealt with border differences properly: PLA

Both sides this year have focussed their dialogue on frequent “incursions” by the Chinese troops specially in the Ladakh sector, which caused tensions at the borders. Two of such incursions happened during the visit of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang to India in 2013 and President Xi Jinping in 2014. On both the occasions, the prolonged standoffs were resolved through hectic parlays at high levels.

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Australia, New Zealand welcome New Year 2016 with spectacular fireworks <!– /.block –>
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<!– /#sidebar-second –>No New Year’s party, Vijender Singh gets prepared for next bout <!– /.block –>Australia, New Zealand welcome New Year 2016 with spectacular fireworks<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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Separatist leader Masarat Alam re-arrested after release

Pakistani flags were allegedly waved in the rally, following which a case was registered against him. He had been released only a month back after detention of over four years under multiple PSA orders.
Bhat ran the 2010 agitation when the other top separatist leaders were caged.

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Tax department asks officers to conclude scrutiny cases quickly <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaDMK chief slams Centre’s decision on LPG subsidyIndiaCensus 2011: Sikhs, Jains have the worst sex ratioIndiaCentre sanctions 4227 additional posts for Delhi PoliceIndiaStarting 2016, devotees can’t wear jeans, leggings, bermudas to Tamil Nadu templesIndiaWill finalise electoral strategy for Tamil Nadu assembly polls at appropriate time: JayalalithaaIndiaNepal’s KP Oli calls up PM Modi; discusses political situation in Nepal <!– /.block –>

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DMK chief slams Centre’s decision on LPG subsidy

The DMK President sought immediate withdrawal of the decision and also urged the Centre to drop any plans to cut urea and kerosene subsidy.

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Census 2011: Sikhs, Jains have the worst sex ratio

Work participation rate for total population stands at 39.8 per cent and, by religious communities it is 41.0 per cent (Hindus), 32.6 per cent (Muslims), 41.9 per cent (Christians), 36.3 per cent (Sikhs), 43.1 per cent (Buddhists) and 35.5 per cent (Jains).

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Centre sanctions 4227 additional posts for Delhi Police

He said that the augmentation of manpower in Delhi Police will improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the force. “It will in turn improve the quality of investigation, expedite filing of charge sheets in a professional manner and also accelerate the rate of disposal of the cases,” Singh said. “The newly sanctioned posts will comprise of SI/ASI — 1409, Head Constable — 1409 and Constable — 1409. The sanction of the additional posts will be operationalised in two phases — 50 per cent posts in 2016-17 and remaining 50 per cent posts in 2017-18,” a statement from the Home Ministry said. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

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Investment in electronics manufacturing at Rs 1.14 lakh crore: Telecom Minister <!– /.block –>
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Will finalise electoral strategy for Tamil Nadu assembly polls at appropriate time: Jayalalithaa

“People will not forgive them,” she said, adding her government had an “impeccable record.”

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How will Delhi’s ‘odd-even’ car rationing work?

The BBC’s Geeta Pandey in Delhi explains how the “odd-even” car rationing experiment will work in the Indian capital.

President Pranab Mukherjee leaves for Delhi after southern sojourn

The Rashtrapati Nilayam is one of the Presidential Retreats in the country. Located at Bolarum, Secunderabad here, the Nilayam was built during the Nizam era and it was handed over to the Government of India after Independence. The single-storey building is located in a 90-acre estate.

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IAS officer from SC community converts to Islam, takes VRS claiming ‘victimization’ <!– /.block –>
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Actress-turned-politician Rupa Ganguly West Bengal BJP’s women’s wing chief

While Ganguly has been appointed the new Mohila Morcha President, Tushar Kanti Ghosh has been made the new youth-wing chief of BJP state unit in place of Amitava Roy, the sources said. The new appointments come just days after 20 presidents of BJP’s district organisations were replaced with new faces who are considered close to RSS. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

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29 Tamil Nadu fishermen detained by Sri Lankan navy

Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi voicing concern at recurring instances of such arrests

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<!– /#sidebar-second –>Oil, Asia shares see subdued end to year dominated by Fed, China<!– /.block –>New study reveals why eating without hunger can harm your health<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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RSS pracharaks as BJP’s state unit chiefs – exceptions or new trend?

A party leader said earlier RSS pracharaks came to the BJP generally as organisational secretaries. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was one of the first pracharaks to hold a government post as chief minister and Kushabhau Thakre, also a pracharak, was party president. From 2004, more pracharaks entered the party fold. Once a pracharak joins the party, he has to give up the “veya patra” or statement of expenditure, as advance money is given to pracharaks for monthly expenditures.

Amita Shah

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Coastal road clears major hurdle, Fadnavis thanks PM Modi <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaAmritsar: Nine killed, 15 injured in accident as bus hits motorised cartIndiaNarrow escape for 171 passengers of AI flight as dog strays on runwayIndiaNoida jinx will keep Akhilesh Yadav away from meeting PMIndiaMaharashtra: Sales tax on kidney-related medicines waived offIndiaDelhi govt suspends two officers; 200 colleagues threaten to go on mass leaveIndiaUP girl students barred from hockey, cricket, football <!– /.block –>

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PM Modi to visit Noida on Thursday, UP CM Akhilesh Yadav to give it a miss

Interestingly Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav will not be attending the programme, owing to the so-called “Noida jinx”. Noida jinx, as per political circles, has in the past caught up with several chief ministers of Uttar Pradesh, including Veer Bahadur Singh, Narayan Dutt Tiwari, Kalyan Singh and Mayawati, who lost their chairs soon after visiting Noida.

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Lalu Prasad Yadav ‘Super CM’ of Bihar: Sushil Modi

“Prasad used to settle issues like kidnapping and extortion at his level during Rabri Devi’s rule, an intervention he wants to make during the Nitish Kumar government too,” Modi alleged. Modi said Prasad was sending a “terse” message to Kumar that there was a scope of more ministers from his party to join the Cabinet.

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DMDK Chief Vijayakanth hits back at Jayalalithaa for criticising his party workers <!– /.block –>
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Separatist leader Asiya Andrabi dismisses allegations of any IS link

“We do not have any connections with any other group outside the state,” she claimed. Three Hyderabad-based cousins, who allegedly planned to join “jihadi terror groups”, were picked up from Nagpur international airport while on their way to Srinagar, months after they were put under watch for being influenced by online ISIS propaganda. The trio allegedly aspired to meet Andrabi using the name of their late uncle, former chief of Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), Syed Salahuddin. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

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AAP govt suspends 2 Home Dept officers; colleagues threaten to go on mass leave <!– /.block –>
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At Sivagiri mutt, Sonia Gandhi makes veiled attack on BJP

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, who was denied an invitation to Modi’s function on December 15 kicking up a controversy, said attempts to create division in the society in the name of religion, caste and creed should be challenged by upholding the ideologies of Narayana Guru.

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<!– /#sidebar-second –>Marathi literature loses its most loved poet Mangesh Padgaonkar<!– /.block –>Syrian troops seize main square in rebel-held southern town: Army<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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J&K CM Mufti Mohammad Sayeed ill, on oxygen therapy, say AIIMS doctors

Home Minister Rajnath Singh had yesterday visited him to enquire about his health and wished him speedy recovery. He had taken over as Chief Minister of a PDP-BJP alliance government in March this year.

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Also ReadIndia2 crore people in flood-affected Tamil Nadu get a call from CM JayalalithaaIndiaOdd-even scheme: Why are women and two-wheelers exempt, asks High CourtIndiaNo vehicle would be challaned during ‘dry run’: Delhi governmentIndiaGovt to introduce two years’ ‘work from home’ option for women under Maternity Benefits ActIndiaDDCA row: Now, Kirti Azad targets BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur, Scindia, Praful PatelIndiaJ&K CM Mufti Mohammad Sayeed ill, on oxygen therapy, say AIIMS doctors <!– /.block –>

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Jammu and Kashmir HC order to hoist state flag kicks up a row

“We are already respecting the state flag. If you see the house, vehicle or office of a cabinet minister, the state flag is already hoisted. The way it is being projected, that some different country has emerged, is wrong. This is something which has been given by the Constitution,” said Waheed-ur-Rehman Para, political analyst to chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and PDP spokesman.

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Also ReadIndiaNCR developers default on Rs 10,000 crore land paymentsIndiaCPCB, a look at the science behind the air quality indexIndiaGovernment to revamp Censor Board on global linesIndiaMaharashtra: Government launches artificial coral reef project in MalvanIndiaNarendra Modi asks ministers to connect with people in two LS constituencies a monthIndiaDoes separatist Syedah Asiya Andrabi have Islamic State links? <!– /.block –>

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Engineers’ murder – Those who challenged law & order during my rule doing it again: Lalu Prasad Yadav

Presiding over a review meeting of the home department yesterday, the Chief Minister too had chided the police brass for spurt in crimes and directed them to ensure rule of law in Bihar

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Also ReadIndiaIT dept conducts nationwide searches on pulses traders, othersIndiaMumbai Police Twitter handle gets over 10,0000 followers after 24 hrs of its launchIndiaMinor raped on train: Accused remanded to 4 days police custody, 2 armymen still at largeIndiaNo regrets: Arvind Kejriwal defends his ‘Modi is a coward and a psycopath’ comment IndiaGoof up in mouthpiece: Congress suspects handiwork of insiders IndiaEngineers’ murder – Those who challenged law & order during my rule doing it again: Lalu Prasad Yadav <!– /.block –>

<!– /#sidebar-second –>Forget six packs, will Aditya Roy Kapur’s Fitoor make ‘body sculpting’ the new fitness trend?<!– /.block –>Essel and Zee group Chairman Dr. Subhash Chandra gets threatening call, complaint lodged<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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BJP has a ball over Congress blooper

He wondered if Nirupam had done a copy-and-paste work by lifting some articles he might have written for Saamna earlier.

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Tamil Nadu elections: DMK chief Karunanidhi extends hand of friendship to Congress for alliance

To another question, he said his party’s manifesto for the elections next year was being prepared to protect the interests of all the sections of society. On the demand for the lifting of the ban on bull taming sport Jallikattu, the former chief minister said, “I am confident that a formal announcement will be made very soon by a central minister.”

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Sarfaraz, Jaffer excited to learn the tricks of the trade from ‘Rahul’ sir <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaNew Indo-Nepal bus service beginsIndiaManeka Gandhi launches ‘e-Office’IndiaMangaluru: Bajrang Dal leader arrested for posting hate comments against social worker on FacebookIndiaFour prisoners escape from Kadapa Central jail in Andhra PradeshIndiaWhy is Western media so biased against India? IndiaArun Jaitley turns 63; PM Modi wishes him long life <!– /.block –>

<!– /#sidebar-second –>BJP gleeful over articles in Congress mouthpiece slamming Nehru, Sonia; says truth hidden has come out <!– /.block –>Sarfaraz, Jaffer excited to learn the tricks of the trade from ‘Rahul’ sir<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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Arun Jaitley turns 63; PM Modi wishes him long life

BJP President Amit Shah also tweeted, “Wishing Shri @arunjaitley ji a very happy birthday. My prayers and wishes for your long and healthy life.” Those wishing him on his birthday also included union ministers Piyush Goyal, Ram Vilas Paswan and Jeetendra Singh, as also Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu.

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Easier funding, separate law needed to boost PPP: Kelkar panel <!– /.block –>
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NDA defeat in Lohardaga bypoll reflects Raghubar Das govt’s performance: JMM

Earlier during his press conference in the day, Chief Minister Raghubar Das said it was not an issue when a reporter asked him to comment on the vacant ministerial berth.

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Bigg Boss 9: Nora and Rishabh gang up against Priya while Mandana’s behaviour irritates everyone! <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaOdd-even formula: CNG cars to be given exemption stickers starting tomorrowIndiaAAP leader murdered in New Delhi, body dumped near swampIndiaAfter Congress mouthpiece says Sonia’s father had fascist link, party calls magazine ‘defunct’IndiaTreat citizens as your ‘boss’, Fadnavis tells policeIndiaDDCA row: No clean chit to Arun Jaitley, BJP begging for apology, says Arvind KejriwalIndiaCountry passing through crisis under NDA rule: Sachin Pilot <!– /.block –>

<!– /#sidebar-second –>South Africa v/s England: Joe Root surpasses Alastair Cook as visitors take control of 1st Test<!– /.block –>Bigg Boss 9: Nora and Rishabh gang up against Priya while Mandana’s behaviour irritates everyone!<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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Gujarat: 50 booked for rioting during funeral procession of Patel youth

Mayur Patel (22), who was allegedly shot at by security forces during the Patel quota agitation here on August 26, died at a private hospital on December 25. He had suffered a bullet injury in the neck at Modhera cross-roads.
A large number of Patel community members had turned up for his funeral, local Patel leaders said.

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<!– /.block –>Pakistan’s Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif and Afghan leaders meet, agree to revive peace talks <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaTrinamool Congress claims CPI(M)’s rally was a flop showIndiaHurriyat cautions against possible attempts to vitiate Indo-Pak peace processIndiaFormer Assam Congress minister makes comments against Smriti Irani; BJP to sueIndiaGujarat: 50 booked for rioting during funeral procession of Patel youthIndiaOdd-even formula: Delhi govt conducts trial run with 750 private busesIndiaHyerabad Police questions youths who allegedly wanted to join jihadi groups <!– /.block –>

<!– /#sidebar-second –>Former Assam Congress minister makes comments against Smriti Irani; BJP to sue<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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SP leader Ramgopal Yadav hails PM Modi’s Pak visit

He further said that Samajwadi party’s government has fulfilled all the promises made in its election manifesto.

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What’s use of talks, if Pak artists not allowed to perform, asks Sitaram Yechury

Salim alleged that the bonhomie between the TMC and BJP can be found from the fact that BJP ministers who visit Bengal always praise Bengal government.

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Also ReadIndiaJammu and Kashmir to be biggest benefactor of Indio-Pak talks: Jitendra Singh​IndiaDid Sonia Gandhi ask Kirti Azad not to raise DDCA issue in Lok Sabha? Rebel BJP MP clarifiesIndiaTwitter 2015: Tweets that rolled controversies IndiaUP CM Akhilesh Yadav’s absence from ‘Saifai Mahotasava’ sparks speculationIndiaWill ensure safe disposal of Union Carbide waste: Prakash JavadekarIndiaSunburn festival will no longer be an year ending event from next year: Goa govt <!– /.block –>

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Looking back at 2015: Is CBI free of political pressure?

Former Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala, his son ex-MP Ajay Singh Chautala, and some senior IAS officers of the state received a relaxation from the Delhi High Court which reduced his sentence from 10 years to two years.

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Also ReadIndiaIndian-origin wannabe MP sets up own political party in UKIndiaAfter bonhomie in Lahore, PM Modi and Nawaz Sharif to meet in Washington?IndiaWest Bengal Elections 2016: Alliance with Congress on cards, hint Left leadersIndiaRam Madhav’s ‘Akhand Bharat’ remark personal, govt’s position needs no clarification: BJPIndiaIndian Muslims don’t let their children get radicalised by ISIS: Rajnath SinghIndiaLok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan pitches for new Parliament building <!– /.block –>

<!– /#sidebar-second –>Rajasthan ATS arrest ex-armyman suspected for spying for Pakistan’s ISI: reports<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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Narendra Modi-Nawaz Sharif bonhomie takes dialogue process to higher levels

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s birthday diplomacy in Lahore on Friday, that took even the well-glued senior government mandarins by surprise and provoked the opposition to slam it as “adventurism”, seems to be auguring well for the country in deriving some tangible results in the key problem area of cross-border terrorism.The quickened pace of developments that started with Modi-Sharif meeting on the sidelines of Paris climate summit on November 30, leading to secretive talks between national security advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval and his Pakistan counterpart Lt. Gen (Retd.) Nasir Khan Janjua in Bangkok on December 6, followed by external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj’s Pakistan visit and a tete-a-tete with Sartaj Aziz, is now leading to foreign secretary-level talks on January 15 under the new nomenclature of Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue.The foreign secretary-level talks, for which S Jaishankar is expected to head to Islamabad, will work out the modalities and schedule of the meetings under the dialogue including peace and security, CBMs, Jammu & Kashmir, Siachen, Sir Creek, Wullar Barrage/Tulbul Navigation Project, economic and commercial cooperation, counter-terrorism, narcotics control and humanitarian issues, people-to-people exchanges and religious tourism.The firming up of modalities are expected to lead to structured NSA-level talks later next year.While union home ministry remains clueless about the status of its role in the talks, the comprehensive bilateral dialogue seems to have taken the scope of cross-border terrorism out of its purview as it will now be discussed at the level of NSAs, instead of home secretary-level talks that existed well within its domain during composite dialogue.While, some see it as diminishing role of the union home ministry in issues related to Pakistan that directly impact country’s internal security situation for which it is solely accountable. It seems that the ministry’s role now would be limited to hold talks on narcotics smuggling and ceasefire violations at the borders, said sources.However, according to sources in the intelligence agencies, stepping up the level of cross-border terrorism to NSA is expected to put more pressure on Pakistan to speed up the trial of perpetrators of 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, dismantling of terror camps in the Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) and reining in banned Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed.”The government has done well by letting NSA Ajit Doval handle the cross-border terrorism in its entirety. Doval is an old and expert hand and knows Pakistan too well. Given the international pressure, he is capable of extracting more from Pakistan than any other person in the government. We now expect to see gradual building up of pressure on Pakistan to deliver in matters related to Mumbai trial, Dawood’s deportation and squeezing terror groups by acting on their finances and training camps,” said sources.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

AAP, BJP hit out at Vadra for remarks on even-odd scheme

Defending Vadra’s remarks, Congress spokesperson Tom Vaddakan said he is expressing the view of the citizens of Delhi and “rightly so, when there is no operational facility available in terms of transport, in terms of metro and the last mile factor and the connectivity is not there.” He said while the disabled and patients are exempted by AAP government, the doctors are not. Judges are permitted but lawyers are not.”If democracy is to be throttled in this way and the provisions of aadm aadmi is all about ‘khas aadmi’ by these VIP exemptions, questions will be asked by people of Delhi,” Vaddakan said. Vadra in his facebook post has said, “Odd and Even ways !! Creating parallel lists of exemption, is complete hypocrisy. If a law is implemented in the interest of the people, we all must adhere, and not be VIPs.”The Delhi government has announced a scheme of allowing vehicles of even and odd numbers alternatively on Delhi roads in its bid to control pollution in the national capital, but has come out with exemptions for VIPs. The scheme is to be enforced from January 1.

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Kolkata: One dead, 150 shanties gutted in Dum Dum Park fire

Bidhannagar Corporation Mayor Sabyasachi Dutta, said three medical teams have already reached the spot to extend medical assistance. “The teams will there for the night. We have arranged for an alternate shelter in a marriage hall in the area for the affected people. Blankets and food have also been sent. A detailed assessment of the damage will be done tomorrow and all assistance will be provided to rebuild the dwellings,” Dutta said.

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Reality Check: Don’t expect much from Indo-Pak talks in January, says Sartaj Aziz

Modi also attended a marriage function of Sharif’s grand-daughter Mehrun Nisa (who is the daughter of Mariam Nawaz Sharif) at the latter’s Raiwind home on the outskirts of Lahore.

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Delhi govt’s odd-even formula to be a failure: Sheila Dikshit

Dikshit who saw a crushing defeat to Kejriwal in 2013 Assembly elections said, “Congress is the one that takes along ‘aam’ (commoners) and ‘khas’ (elite). The party also believes in the power of women. We believe that given the right and equal opportunities, women can build a better world.” Also present on the occasion, Shivraj Patil, former Punjab Governor said, “Our efforts to build a better society should go beyond our homes, country. Environment protection is not an individual pursuit, it should be a united effort.”

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Shiv Sena Punjab asks PM Narendra Modi to apologise for going to Pakistan

“By keeping everyone in dark about the visit, your gaffe merited an apology from the country,” the party leaders added.

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Except Left, Opposition parties decry PM’s move BJP says it’s pleasant surprise

In Jammu and Kashmir, while both chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and former CM and opposition National Conference working president Omar Abdullah welcomed talks. But Omar called for sustainability in the talks, which should address skewed issues like Kashmir and other disputes once for all. In a statement here, Mufti who is recuperating after a health issue, , Mufti said he was delighted by Modi’s visit. “This is an evolutionary process and step in the right direction. It indicates Prime Minister’s resolve to enter into a long-term strategic partnership with Pakistan,” he stated. His aides recall October 15, meeting with the PM, where Mufti had conveyed that a peace with Pakistan was linked to development and progress in his state. “This initiative, besides being a great step towards improvement of bilateral relations, will also give impetus to the concept of SAARC,” he added.Congress, however, attacked the PM, alleging his endavour was not for promoting India’s national interest or to take forward the roadmap to engage with it on tackling terror but to promote private business interests. In a hurriedly convened press conference, Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma asked what assurances he got on bringing back or punishing perpetrators of 26/11 Mumbai attacks, especially Zakiu Rehman Lakhvi, and on dismantling terror syndicates in Pakistan acting against India.”Questioning the intent behind his visit, Congress rejected claims of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj that the Prime Minister’s move was ‘statesman-like’ and said it was “pre-arranged” by a businessman.”We are very clear that the Prime Minister is there to promote only private business interests and not India’s national interest which should be supreme.”Diplomacy is serious, it must have gravitas and predictability. It cannot be frivolous, otherwise it will implode on Shri Narendra Modi’s face,” he told reporters. “This unannounced visit cannot be termed ‘statesman-like. Diplomacy must have seriousness and gravitas,” he said.The Congress leader questioned how many Prime Ministers or heads of states make such detours to wish birthdays, asking if any Indian Prime Minister has landed in another country in this manner in the last 67 years. He also slammed Modi and BJP for adopting a “hawkish approach” during the UPA government and termed any meeting by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with his Pakistani counterpart as “anti-national”. The JD (U) leader K C Tiyagi said the “friendship and betrayal cannot go hand in hand” “I am stunned and shocked. At this moment, I can think of beheaded Hemraj,” said Tyagi.Describing it a “pleasant surprise”, BJP leader Tarun Vijay called it a best Christmas gift. “PM’s move will help isolate anti-India and anti-peace forces in Pakistan. It will work like a miracle. It has clearly shown, who wants peace in the region and has put onus on other side to reciprocate, ” he said. Another spokesperson Sidharath Nag Singh said the PM’s move was one of out of box diplomatic venture, as he had invited the leaders of South Asia nations to his oath taking ceremony.

dna Correspondent

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Christmas festivities grip nation

A spirit of festivity pervaded across the country as midnight masses, resonance of carols and merriment ushered in Christmas on Friday. As bells tolled, worshipers thronged churches and cathedrals decorated with twinkling lights for the midnight service to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Sparkling Christmas trees and gift items adorned marketplaces that wore a festive look as community feasts, exchange of greetings and colourful processions marked the occasion.Traditional Christmas carols rendered the air festive with gospel bands enthralling the merry-makers with songs like ‘Jingle Bells’, ‘Oh Holy Night’ and ‘Santa Claus Is Coming to Town’. It was a busy day for Santa Claus, the man in red with a flowing white beard, who went from place to place cheering the revellers.Delhi tuned to a celebratory note with the yuletide spirit reflecting in tastefully decked up churches and santa caps dotting busy marketplaces across the national capital. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal took part in the festivities by visiting the Sacred Heart Cathedral and wishing the people.The festivity imbibed by non-Christians was expressed through greetings on social media as well participating in X-Mas parties thrown on the day. People used WhatsApp, Facebook and other online means of communication to send Christmas greetings to their families and loved ones.Redemption, rejoicing, feasting and singing marked the occasion in the North-East which has sizeable Christians. Christmas was celebrated throughout Meghalaya with midnight services in churches and tourists and locals exchanging greetings and gifts with friends and relatives.Meghalaya’s capital Shillong was decked up with government and private buildings as well as streets being illuminated and decorated with Christmas trees, banners and festoons. A special programme for the hearing-impaired believers was organised in one of the oldest churches in Shillong at Police Bazaar.While in the Garo Hills region Christmas celebration and preparation for the New Year were going on, Tura town was illuminated with different coloured lights. In Nagaland, believers offered prayers for peace and unity in the Naga society. The rural areas too were illuminated with decorations for the festive season to culminate on the New Year.Midnight masses across all churches in Goa marked the commencement of Christmas celebrations in the state, where one-third of the population is from Catholic faith. Streets leading to the coastal villages were jammed with the vehicles as tourist inflow is also on rise for Christmas and New Year.While tourists were busy partying on the beaches, the local people were seen attending midnight masses, followed by Christmas celebrations in their parish. Traditional dance parties were also organised at various places.Cribs indicating the life of Lord Jesus were set up all across the state in front of the houses. “The biggest crib you will find at Velsao (a beach village 45 kms away from Panaji). Youths are busy getting crib sets of every size. A few of them have a touch of innovation,” said John Rodrigues, a parishioner with Mary Immaculate Conception Church, Panaji.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Modi in Pakistan – PM Modi visit to take Indo-Pak relations to new height: Ram Madhav

Prime Minister Modi landed at Lahore’s Allama Iqbal International Airport today on a surprise visit, where he was received by his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif. This is the first time an Indian Prime Minister has visited Pakistan in more than a decade.

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Modi in Pakistan: Congress rejects claims that PM Modi’s Pakistan visit was spontaneous

Prime Minister Modi landed at Lahore’s Allama Iqbal International Airport today on a surprise visit, where he was received by his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif. This is the first time an Indian Prime Minister has visited Pakistan in more than a decade.

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7th Pay Commission: Five states ask Modi government to ‘go slow’ on salary hikes

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“Punjab’s finances are under stress and the burden of the Pay Commission’s recommendations will certainly have an impact… Our officials have informally taken up the matter with the Centre,” confirmed Punjab Finance Minister PS Dhindsa.

Arun Jaitley and AK Mathur

Five states have asked the Narendra Modi government to go slow on the implementation of the Seventh Pay Commission’s recommendations, says a report in Indian Express.The five states are West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Odisha. These states have asked for more time before being able to absorb pay hikes as recommended by the Commission, due to their financially delicate situation.”There are several states who have approached the Prime Minister’s Office, Cabinet Secretary and Niti Aayog, seeking more time in implementation of the Seventh Pay Commission’s report,” said a government official to Indian Express.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Seventh Pay Commission, headed by Justice AK Mathur, submitted its report to the government last month, recommending 23.55% overall hike in pay, allowances and pensions of government employees with effect from January 1, 2016. This means the Centre’s salary bill will increase by Rs 1,02,100 crore in 2016-17.”Punjab’s finances are under stress and the burden of the Pay Commission’s recommendations will certainly have an impact… Our officials have informally taken up the matter with the Centre,” confirmed Punjab Finance Minister PS Dhindsa.”Normally they (states) adopt the Centre’s recommendations. This is the normal procedure, but it certainly depends upon their (states’) financial health. Some of the states have not even implemented the Sixth Pay Commission’s recommendation,” Justice Mathur told The Indian Express.”Some of the states may have suggested (delayed implementation) to the government, but I don’t think the Government of India is in a bad position,” he said.When contacted, Odisha’s Additional Chief Secretary (Finance Department), R Balakrishnan said: “At this stage, we don’t want to comment on it.”The West Bengal government has set up its own Pay Commission to determine the hike. It is expected to be on the same lines as enumerated by the Centre.Meanwhile, the Union finance ministry has set up an implementation cell for processing and implementing accepted recommendations of the Seventh Pay Commission.

How will he get the care he needs if he’s sent back to jail: GN Saibaba’s wife

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The 90% disabled, wheelchair-bound professor’s wife said that before his arrest Saibaba’s both hands were working properly.

Dr GN Saibaba
File Photo

A day after the Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court cancelled the temporary bail of Delhi University professor Dr GN Saibaba, his wife on Thursday expressed her apprehension about the further deterioration of her husband’s health. The visibly bold-looking Vasantha could not control her emotions at a press conference in Delhi. She said her husband is in a better position today because of her sincere effort to provide him adequate treatment. The 90% disabled, wheelchair-bound professor’s wife said that before his arrest Saibaba’s both hands were working properly, but due to his over-14-month incarceration in the high security anda cell in Nagpur Central jail, his left hand is now barely functioning.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> “I would like to sue the people responsible for his worsening health… He needs absolute care and attention. How will that be possible if he goes back to jail?” she asked. She expressed her anguish over the high court order which ignored the English professor’s health and said that besides physiotherapy for his physical disability, Saibaba has been getting treatment for high blood pressure, heart ailment and also for the stones in both of his kidneys and the gall bladder. The family had to shift to Vasant Kunj near the Spinal Injury Centre for Saibaba’s frequent treatment for his spinal problem. Recounting the Maharashtra police raid at their house earlier, Vasantha said, “Raids were conducted at our house without any search warrant. My husband was fighting for the rights of poor tribals in Chhattisgarh, which has resulted him to be linked with Maoists.” On Wednesday, the high court rejected Saibaba’s plea for regular bail and directed him to surrender within 48 hours before the court concerned. Meanwhile, civil rights activists and eminent academicians from the Delhi University have criticised the court order terming it as “prejudice” and saying “the judiciary needs accountability for such type of orders”. Regarding the court’s notice to writer Arundhati Roy’s article over Saibaba’s arrest, they said, “It is an attack on the civil liberties.” Last June, the Mumbai police had arrested him for his alleged links with Maoists after questioning him more than four times at his residence. A division bench headed by Bombay High Court chief justice had granted him interim bail which was again extended in September till December.

Arvind Kejriwal exploits simplicity for publicity: Manohar Parrikar

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Manohar Parrikar

Describing Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal as someone who tries to gain publicity out of his simple ways, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Thursday said success can go to a person’s head if he or she doesn’t have the capability to deal with failure.”When Arvind Kejriwal started making publicity of his simple ways, people started talking about my own simplicity. But I feel that simplicity should not be for publicity… “If a person wants to become successful, he should have the power to absorb failure. Else success tends to go to the head,” Parrikar said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He was speaking at the inaugural session of golden jubilee conference of the state unit of Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), BJP’s student wing, here. In the last 15-20 years, barons who have turned education into business have mushroomed in Maharashtra, he noted.”This is the reason why students get only printed degrees (not real education)… People are studying further and further for jobs. I have seen students studying upto PhD level. The question then arises how do you find a groom for a PhD-holder bride,” he said in jest. He also said that India needs to become strong not to pick flaws of other countries, but to ensure that no country dares to cast “evil eye” at India.

TMC ministers get engaged in ugly verbal spat; cautioned by party

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Trouble for Mamata Banerjee ?

Two Trinamool Congress ministers were on Thursday allegedly locked in a verbal duel at a programme in Malda to distribute land rights, prompting party leadership to caution them.Minister of Refugee Rehabilitation Department Sabitri Mitra arranged the programme to distribute land rights (patta) to the refugees living at Old Malda and English Bazar sub-divisions. While the pattas were being distributed among the beneficiaries, Krishnendu Narayan Chowdhury, Minister for Food Processing, allegedly stormed on to the stage and asked the sub-divisional officers present there as to why the programme was convened without informing him.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chowdhury said neither he nor the local councillor was informed about the programme and claimed pattas could not be distributed in this manner. Mitra however defended the move to distribute pattas and said Chowdhury was “apprised” of it. “He (Krishnendu Chowdhury) threatened the officers. Why did he have to do it? I had informed him”, she said.Later the programme resumed without distribution of land rights to the beneficiaries of the English Bazar municipality. As visuals of the verbal spat between the two ministers went viral on television and the Internet, the party top leadership took exception and asked MP Subhendu Adhikari, who is the observer for the district to talk to the two ministers and caution them.The recurring incidents of internal bickering in the Trinamool Congress had forced party chief Mamata Banerjee to caution leaders on December 12, asking them to focus instead on development programme.

Nitish Kumar to do a Kejriwal? Bihar CM seeks ban on 15 year-old diesel vehicles in state

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Among the other measures, the Chief Minister said a ban should be imposed on burning plastic and other solid waste materials within the confines of Patna Municipal Corporation.

Expressing concern over the alarming level of air pollution in Bihar, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has directed concerned officials for banning 15-year-old diesel vehicles in the state capital among other measures to improve the situation. Presiding over a review meeting of the Environment and Forest Department last evening, he also directed officials to launch an awareness campaign among vehicle owners and drivers about the growing air pollution in order to elicit their cooperation against unnecessary blaring of hooters, sirens and horns.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Among the other measures, the Chief Minister said a ban should be imposed on burning plastic and other solid waste materials within the confines of Patna Municipal Corporation. With building materials being the prime cause of air pollution, he said that construction works must be carried out by covering the structure. Trucks and tractors supplying building materials, sand in particular, must have the same covered during transportation so that its particles do not pollute the air. Identifying brick kiln units located around embankment of the river Ganga in the state capital as another source of air pollution, the Chief Minister said that the Bihar Pollution Control Board (BPCB) should be delegated with powers to initiate against the brick kiln units that violate environment laws. The Chief Minister stressed on plantation of trees, poplar in particular, to check the rising air pollution and directed the Environment and Forest department officials to set up a market at Hajipur Bazar Samiti for marketing poplar plants. To encourage farmers to be a partner in tree plantation drive to improve forest coverage in Bihar, he issued directions to give them an incentive of Rs 10 each for first two years and Rs 15 in the third year for protection and care of saplings being planted on largescale in Bihar.

CBI may expand ambit of probe against Kejriwal’s principal secretary Rajendra Kumar

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Agency sources said they had recovered four files pertaining to recruitment in the Delhi government. In one of the files pertaining to data entry operators’ recruitment, several pages were found to be missing

CBI claimed to have got materials that indicate irregularities in the recruitment process done in Delhi government through ICSIL, and said it is contemplating to expand the ambit of probe against Rajendra Kumar, principal secretary to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.Agency sources said they had recovered four files pertaining to recruitment in the Delhi government. In one of the files pertaining to data entry operators’ recruitment, several pages were found to be missing. This prompted the agency to dig deep into the recruitment process. CBI is currently probing five instances of alleged corruption against Kumar spanning over a period of five years from 2009 to 2014 when he served in the Delhi government in various capacities.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The sources said probe may be expanded further and may involve much more officers and recruitment processes as well. They said nothing has been finalised and any further action will depend on details which might emerge during further questioning of Kumar. Kumar will again be called for questioning in connection with the case as the agency has found five audio clippings in which he is purportedly giving oral instructions to the official concerned to allegedly manipulate contract terms, they said.The sources claimed the purported clippings recovered from email account of Kumar indicate his influence over officers which have not been named in the FIR and they may be included in the charge-sheet.The CBI said it has registered a case against Kumar and others on allegations against the officer that he abused his official position by “favouring a particular firm in the last few years in getting tenders from Delhi government departments”.Kumar has been booked under 120-B of IPC (criminal conspiracy), and 13(2), 13(1)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act (Criminal conspiracy, criminal misconduct etc) for allegedly favouring a private company in five contracts worth Rs 9.5 crore during 2007-14.”The accused allegedly facilitated award of contracts worth Rs 9.50 crore (approx) to the said company through ICSIL (Intelligent Communication Systems India Limited) and misused his official position as public servant.”The accused were instrumental in award of projects to the said private company in Delhi Transco Ltd; Health and Family Welfare Department, GNCTD; Delhi Jal Board and Department of Trade and Taxes, GNCTD,” CBI had said in the statement after the registration of the case.

Odd-even formula: Delhi ministers to carpool to work starting January 1

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Announcing the blueprint of road-rationing experiment, Kejriwal said that carpooling was the only solution to cope with the odd-and-even number scheme. “I will share the cars and I will do carpooling. It is the most practical thing,” the Chief Minister said.

Sending out a message to people, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his cabinet minister will carpool to work during the 15 days of odd-even scheme starting January 1.Announcing the blueprint of road-rationing experiment, Kejriwal said that carpooling was the only solution to cope with the odd-and-even number scheme. “I will share the cars and I will do carpooling. It is the most practical thing,” the Chief Minister said.Delhi Transport Minister Gopal Rai said that all the Delhi government ministers and officers will follow the scheme from January 1 to January 15. “During 15 days of odd-even scheme, I will carpool with my cabinet colleagues to reach Delhi Secretariat,” Rai said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi Home Minister Satyendar Jain, who is also nodal officer for fighting pollution in the national capital, said that he will carpool to his work to encourage people to share their cars. In next two-three days, Delhi government will launch a carpooling app so that people can use share their cars during the scheme.

Car rationing to curb Delhi pollution

The local government in the Indian capital announces major restrictions on private cars to curb “alarming levels” of pollution.

From January 1, you can file online FIR at Maharashtra police stations: CM Devendra Fadnavis

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The government has planned to make every smart city should be safe. All cities will be covered with CCTV surveillance in phase manner.

Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis

From January 1, all police stations in the state will register first information report (FIR) online and complainant will receive a SMS and a copy of complaint on the Whatsapp, announced Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on the last day of the winter session.The government has planned to make every smart city should be safe. All cities will be covered with CCTV surveillance in phase manner. “Every police station will be online, paperless and every police station should register FIR electronically, as per the guidelines of the central government. Not a single state has done it. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP government has initiated the process and completed the project. Every police station has the provision of registering online FIR, though they first registered manually and later put online because of lack of experience. The complainant will receive a SMS and a copy of FIR through Whatsapp, from January 1, There will be surprise check and the government will take a note of police station who will not go for online,” said Fadnavis.The CM also announced that all police stations be part of citizen’s portal and all permissions will be issued through portal including Ganesh pandal permissions.

Bihar-like alliance for UP poll on the anvil

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Nitish and Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) president Ajit Singh are reported to have already joined hands after preliminary discussions in this regard in Delhi on Monday. Sources say that the Congress would also readily be part of this alliance, though the ruling Samajwadi Party (SP) in UP could be kept out of this anti-BJP alignment.

Buoyed by the landslide victory of the anti-BJP ‘maha gathbandhan’ (grand alliance) in the Bihar Assembly election, Bihar Chief Minister and Janata Dal (United) leader Nitish Kumar has already started sewing up a similar coalition in Uttar Pradesh in preparation for the 2017 UP Assembly election.Nitish and Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) president Ajit Singh are reported to have already joined hands after preliminary discussions in this regard in Delhi on Monday. Sources say that the Congress would also readily be part of this alliance, though the ruling Samajwadi Party (SP) in UP could be kept out of this anti-BJP alignment.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Yes Nitish ji and Chaudhry sahib (Ajit Singh) have met. We have been together in the (erstwhile) Janata Dal and have no reservations about forging an alliance for UP,” JD (U) general secretary KC Tyagi told India 24×7 TV channel of Zee Media in Delhi on Wednesday while fielding questions about the prospective alliance.Sources said Tyagi had already been entrusted the task of organizing a joint rally of the RLD and JD (U) in west UP after the Parliament session ends. Nitish is expected to announce the formation of the ‘maha gathbandhan’ at this rally. “The assent of the Congress would be obtained in the meantime,” a senior RLD leader told dna.UP RLD chief Suresh Niranjan told reporters in Allahabad that his party was indeed exploring a tie-up with the JD (U) and the Congress. “We want to repeat the success of the Bihar experiment in UP, too,” he said.The RLD and Congress had contested the 2012 UP Assembly election in alliance. But, the alignment did not continue in the 2014 Lok Sabha election. However, political watchers feel that after the BJP sweeping the parliamentary poll, it would be a matter of political expediency for parties like the JD (U) and RLD to align with the Congress to put up a joint front against the saffron brigade.One queer development in this entire scheme of things is the underlying resistance to including the SP in the proposed grand alliance. The reason for this is obviously the manner in which the SP deserted the ‘maha gathbandhan’ in Bihar, allegedly to help the BJP.For its part, the SP says it doesn’t need any alliance for a repeat victory in UP. “Our party is preparing to contest the election alone and we are confident that we will return with an even bigger victory this time,” SP MP and Mulayam’s nephew Dharmendra Yadav told reporters.The Congress is also being cautious for the time being. “As of now, we are preparing to contest the UP election alone. But let Nitish ji come up with his proposal. The Congress leadership will consider it and take a decision,” said Congress Rajya Sabha MP Pramod Tiwari.

Delhi records its most polluted day of the year on December 23

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Although a definite conclusion could not be reached immediately, the experts attribute the spike to “open biomass burning”, mainly burning of dry leaves to fight cold, across the region for the “extraordinary rise” in the levels of the particulate matters.

Commuters travel on a polluted road near a bus terminus in the Anand Vihar District of New Delhi.

AFP photo
It was the most polluted day of the year in Delhi on Wednesday with the authorities recording the highest levels of suspended particulate matters PM 2.5 and PM 10, taking the air quality into the ‘severe’ category across the city.Although a definite conclusion could not be reached immediately, the experts attribute the spike to “open biomass burning”, mainly burning of dry leaves to fight cold, across the region for the “extraordinary rise” in the levels of the particulate matters.The air quality across Delhi had plunged into ‘severe’ level post Diwali, but pollutants had shown a steady fall earlier this month. The average of PM 2.5 (the tiniest and most damaging of all the particulate matters) and PM 10 were 295 and 470 micrograms per cubic metre respectively, which was multiple times above the corresponding safe limits of 60 and 100, centre’s System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Severe category air quality affects healthy persons and seriously impacts those with existing diseases. China’s capital Beijing has a system in place to alert citizens when pollution takes such hazardous turn, according to the National Air Quality Index.SAFAR’s Chief Project scientist Gufran Beig said the possible reasons for such a “huge jump”, include a rise in the quantity of pollutants from the Indo-Gangetic plains that ranges from Eastern part of the country to the West, and a substantial rise in open biomass in Delhi and its surrounding areas.”Medium range transport of pollutants from Indo-Gangetic Plains (rich in pollution) is highest at this time that brings pollution-rich air, which after reaching Delhi, gets downward and pollute Delhi surface. The IGP regions (Kanpur, Varanasi, Lucknow, Patna, etc.) has shown a huge increase in particulate matters,” Beig said.According to SAFAR’s forecast, there is no respite in sight as PM 2.5 is expected to remain in the same category over the next few days with a possible marginal fall on December 25 to 248 micrograms per cubic metre.”Now, if there is a huge open biomass burning in IGP region, the transported air will be even more dirty and make Delhi more polluted,” Beig said, adding that the kind of jump seen between December 21 and 23 “is unusual and meteorology cannot explain this jump.”World Health Organisation considers 25 to be the maximum safe level for PM 2.5 and as the best indicator of the level of health risks from air pollution. Real time readings of Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) stations in Anand Vihar, Mandir Marg, Punjabi Bagh and RK Puram put PM 2.5 readings at 408, 336, 389 and 366 around 7.30 PM.CPCB website, functional after almost two weeks, also displayed the ‘severe’ warning across its stations. ‘Very poor’ quality air signifies when PM 10 level is between 351 and 420, and PM 2.5 level is between 211 to 252 microgram per cubic metre. The ‘severe’ air quality is declared when PM 2.5 and PM 10 cross 253 and 421 microgram per cubic metres respectively.

Bombay HC cancels DU professor Saibaba’s bail, issues contempt notice to writer Arundhati Roy

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Saibaba was arrested in May 2014 by Gadchiroli police of Maharashtra for alleged active links with Maoists.
File Photo
PTI
The Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court on Wednesday rejected the regular bail application filed by the Delhi University professor G N Saibaba, arrested for alleged links with the Naxals, and directed him to surrender within 48 hours.Taking a serious view of criticism of the judiciary by Booker prize-winner writer Arundhati Roy in her article about the professor, Justice Arun Choudhary also issued a criminal contempt notice to her which is returnable by January 25. Justice Chaudhary, while dismissing the bail application, declined the request to grant more time to Saibaba to surrender and directed the police to arrest him if he failed to turn up within two days.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The High Court cited a medical report which clearly stated that proper medical aid was extended to Saibaba by the doctors when he was lodged in the Nagpur prison. The lawyers of wheelchair-bound Saibaba had pleaded for extension of bail on the ground of his health.The judge also rejected the argument that the evidence against him was very weak, and stated noted that earlier a single bench had rejected the bail application on merit, and that he will not take a divergent view. Saibaba was arrested in May 2014 by Gadchiroli police of Maharashtra for alleged active links with Maoists.Pournima Upadhyay, an activist, had written a letter to the Chief Justice of Bombay High Court which was treated as PIL and thereafter temporary bail was granted to Saibaba for three months on health grounds by the Principal Bench of High Court in Mumbai.

Rajasthan govt targetting Congress leaders, alleges Sachin Pilot

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Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee president Sachin Pilot made the accusation while addressing a public meeting in Jhalawar, about 330 kms from Jaipur.

Rajasthan Congress on hit out at the Raje-led dispensation, alleging that the BJP government was “targetting” Congress leaders and workers and “implicating” them in false cases by “misusing government machinery”.Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee president Sachin Pilot made the accusation while addressing a public meeting in Jhalawar, about 330 kms from Jaipur. The RPCC chief also alleged that the Vasundhara Raje government had “insulted the mandate given by the people by not working in their interest”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The BJP government was “targetting Congress leaders and workers” and “implicating them in false cases” by misusing government machinery, Pilot alleged. “Congress party will strongly oppose the wrong policies of the government and will expose it. The government weakened public welfare scheme initiated by the former government and ignored the interests of people and farmers,” he said.Pilot said that nearly 60 farmers committed suicide in the state due to “negligence” of the state government while other farmers whose crops were damaged due to bad monsoon were still looking for compensation. “People of the state gave a strong mandate to BJP but unfortunately the government is not working in the interest of people. This is the insult of the mandate. Corruption has become rampant, inflation is skyrocketing,” he further alleged.

One arrested for sending TMC MP Sudip Bandyapadhyay death threat SMS

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Bandyopadhyay had registered a complaint with the Taltala Police Station on Tuesday after he received the threat SMS while the Parliament session was on.

Sudip Bandyopadhyay. Image Courtesy: www.pib.nic.in
File Photo

One person was arrested by Kolkata Police on Wednesday for sending a threat SMS to Trinamool Congress MP Sudip Bandyopadhyay​. The arrested, identified as Dipanjan Mitra is a web designer and freelance photographer by profession and is a resident of Kasba.Police have slapped charges of 506 and 120 B of the IPC against the accused. However, the motive of sending the threat sms is yet to be known. The police have also seized his phone and is likely to be produced in the local court on Thursday.Bandyopadhyay had registered a complaint with the Taltala Police Station on Tuesday after he received the threat SMS while the Parliament session was on.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”I received a message at 1:25 PM from an unknown number yesterday. It said that I will be killed and my body will taken to Kalighat in Kolkata. The nature of the language was also derogatory. I responded to the message and I again received two messages at 2:15 PM and 2:24 PM today. I raised this issue with our Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee following which she addressed a press conference. She has also advised me to put this on the record of the House,” Bandopadhyay said on Tuesday.

Arvind Kejriwal scoffs at BJP for suspending Kirti Azad

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“There is no democracy in BJP. Honest voices are muzzled to protect corruption,” he said in another tweet.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday ridiculed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for suspending its MP, Kirti Azad for raising voices against corruption. “Kirti Azad’s fault was that he raised his voice against corruption. This has left the BJP utterly exposed. BJP is neck deep in corruption,” Kejriwal said in a tweet.”There is no democracy in BJP. Honest voices are muzzled to protect corruption,” he said in another tweet. The BJP today suspended MP Kirti Azad, who was in the line of fire for his tirade against Finance Minister Arun Jaitley over the alleged scams in Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA). “Kirti Azad, Darbhanga MP, is suspended from party with immediate effect for his anti-party activities,” Arun Singh, BJP, National Secretary, said in a statement.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Azad had defied the party chief and went ahead with a press conference on Sunday highlighting corruption allegations linked to the DDCA of which Jaitley was the president for 13 years till 2013.

Maharashtra govt is not in favour of reopening dance bars: CM Fadnavis

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Fadnavis also told the House that the crime rate has dropped to some extent.

Stating that the state government is not in favour of reopening of dance bars, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadanvis on Wednesday told the Legislative Assembly that his government is framing new set of rules for these establishments. The 18 new rules for dance bars include disallowance of showering of currency notes on bar dancers and also a CCTV cover for every dance bar with the feed available at the police control room would be compulsory. Fadnavis also told the Assembly that there was a drastic drop in the crime rate in the state. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>All the members of the Opposition Congress and NCP staged a walkout earlier today protesting against the government’s failure of waiving farm loan and Fadnavis addressed the Assembly facing virtually empty benches. Replying to the ‘last week resolution’, Fadanvis said the government was seeking state Advocate General’s opinion in the issue of dance bars to appeal in the apex court. In October this year, the Supreme Court had stayed the operation of 2014 amendment in the Maharashtra Police Act that had banned dance performances at bars and some other places, paving the way for reopening of dance bars across the state. “A new set of 18 rules and regulations are being framed by the state to curb dance shows and also to keep a tight vigil on activities during the dance shows,” he said. “The entire show will be filmed on CCTV and the nearest police station will be given live feed to check any irregularities. Safe distance has to be maintained by the audience and no showering of currency notes on dancers,” he said.Fadnavis also told the House that the crime rate has dropped to some extent. “There has been a drop in one year period of BJP-Shiv Sena government as compared to what it was during the erstwhile Congress-NCP rule. There has been a significant rise in rate of conviction, which is 48 per cent now, whereas the previously it was just nine per cent,” he said. The Chief Minister admitted that due to enactment of new law after the gangrape and murder case in the national capital, awareness among women on the issue has grown and they are fearlessly coming forward to lodge complaints about sexual abuses. All police stations were working online and from January 1 and surprise checks would be carried out to ascertain whether it was working as per this decision or not.

DDCA scam: Arvind Kejriwal, Digivijay Singh attack BJP over Kirti Azad suspension

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Congress leader Digvijay Singh on Wednesday took a dig at the BJP in the wake Kirti Azad’s suspension from the party and asked whether Shatrughan Sinha would be next on the firing line.

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal has slammed the move saying honest voices were being muzzled by the party. “There is no democracy in BJP. Honest voices are muzzled to protect corruption.”Congress leader Digvijay Singh on Wednesday took a dig at the BJP in the wake Kirti Azad’s suspension from the party and asked whether Shatrughan Sinha would be next on the firing line. “Kirti Azad suspended by BJP. His crime? Raised issue of corruption in DDCA with facts. “Is this going to be the fate of all those in the BJP who raise issue of corruption? First Ram Jethmalani and now Kirti. Next Shatrughan Sinha?” Singh said on Twitter.The Congress’ reaction came after BJP MP and former cricketer Kirti Azad was today suspended by party chief Amit Shah for publicly targeting Finance Minister Arun Jaitley with allegations of irregularities in Delhi’s cricket body DDCA. Congress spokesman Gaurav Gogoi also tweeted: “Where is zero tolerance against corruption? PM Modi protecting the accused – first Vyapam, then Lalit Modi, then PDS scam. Now DDCA scam #KirtiAzad”. Randeep Suhrewal also said, “My Way or Highway- “Being Anti Corruption is Being Anti-BJP!” Is this now the PM’s New Slogan?”

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