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Holiday season’s here but where’s the cheer?

That time of the year is here again but the cheer missing. According to the Entertainment Tax department officials, the number of parties being organised in the city has dropped by 30 per cent, mainly due to the big organisers backing out.”Worried about the overall shortfall in revenue, we called a meeting of all the organisers who had registered their events and parties with us last year on December 5. Almost all of them said they were not organising anything this year,” said a senior official, who added, “If the world stops partying like this, how will we meet our target? We get nearly 60-65 per cent of our yearly revenue in this season.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Brand manager of Bright Outdoors, a leading hoarding brand, Ravi Ranjan, agreed and said the scenario looked bleak. “The market is very sluggish. Everybody’s unsure of what lies ahead and holding on to whatever money they have,” he said and added, “By November, we have huge New Year party ad bookings. This year, it’s almost the third week of December and only three parties have approached us.” he added, “It is said that the market follows a seven year cycle of highs and lows. This low cycle began in 2008. I hope its over now with 2015.”Even those who are organising any party are trying to play it safe by keeping with the times. Milesahead Multimedia are hosting Mumbai’s first fully vegetarian New Year party, Limbo Neon Nights, at Byke Suraj Plaza. Director of Milesahead Multimedia, Hira Bulani, brushed off the suggestion that he was taking the beef ban too seriously. “I am a businessman. I will only plan something that is feasible and works for the guests,” he said.According to him, this year, the Hindu holy month of Margashirsha has already begun. “Even families where non-vegetarian food is otherwise consumed, abstain during this month, when fasts are observed on all Thursdays for Goddess Lakshmi. Why should I lose out on customers who want to observe the month and still party?” he asked.Bulani felt the customers would be willing to come out and party if the organisers thought out-of-the-box, despite the tough market conditions. “We are taking the neon theme to another level – with glasses that light up, glow-in-the-dark ice, and so on. When you inject novelty into the theme, it draws people in. The moment the hoardings went up, inquiries for group bookings began pouring in,” he said.No surprise that most bookings are coming from vigilante vegetarian communities, known for their deep pockets. Bulani doesn’t see a problem with this. “People who think vegetarian and Jain food is limited don’t know how to cook,” he said.

Don’t allow EDM fests in Goa till organisers pay tax dues: NCP

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“The state government should have recovered the money because we are a cash-starved state,” D’Mello said.

The Goa unit of NCP on Wednesday demanded that the government should not allow two electronic dance music (EDM) festivals to take place in the state till the organisers pay “tax dues” pending for the last two years. “The EDM festivals should not be allowed to take place this year by the state government as organisers of both the festival are yet to pay the tax money for last two events,” NCP Goa spokesperson Trojano D’Mello told reporters here. Two EDM festivals — Sunburn Goa and Supersonic — are scheduled to be held in the coastal state from December 27 to 30. “How can the government allow the organisers to stay without paying taxes for last two events? This is money of tax payers. The state government should have recovered the money because we are a cash-starved state,” D’Mello said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Both the event organisers together owe Rs 3 crore to the government,” he claimed. “There’s a state police report which says you cannot have both the festivals on the same day due to traffic and law order issues. But the government-appointed committee has given a go ahead for the festivals,” he said. Meanwhile, Goa Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar said that the state government is determined to recover tax money from EDM organisers. “The tax would be assessed by authorities and it would be collected. We are not lacking at any recovery,” he said. Parulekar said it would be wrong to blame the government for non-recovery of the taxes. “We are following proper procedure,” he added. Shailendra Singh, Joint Managing Director, Percept which hosts Sunburn Goa, said they are following process of law. “We are following process of law… We are law-abiding citizens and we are going by rules and regulations,” he said.

Crashed plane was airworthy, was flying well: BSF

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Only two days back this aircraft did a good duty and a day back it had carried back officers from Bhuj (from the DG/IG meeting),” BSF Director General D K Pathak said.

The BSF on Wednesday said its crashed Superking aircraft that killed ten of its highly experienced personnel was completely “airworthy” and was flying “very well” as it refuted allegations about any possible defect in the ill-fated plane. “This aircraft was 20-years-old and in the aviation (domain) an aircraft has life till 40-45 years. In the aviation (domain) such a plane is not considered old as required parts are changed from time to time…like engines are overhauled. “A major overhauling of this aircraft’s engines was done at the Beachcraft factory in Canada about six months back.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Only two days back this aircraft did a good duty and a day back it had carried back officers from Bhuj (from the DG/IG meeting),” BSF Director General D K Pathak told reporters here. “There was no problem in the aircraft and it was completely airworthy. I would like to add that till the time an aircraft is airworthy, there is no problem in flying it,” he said. He was speaking after paying the ceremonial last tributes and placing of wreaths on the mortal remains of the ten personnel who were killed in the crash yesterday, at the Safdarjung airport here. The event was also attended by Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Ministers of State for Home Kiren Rijiju and Haribhai Parthibhai Chaudhary. He said the main probe into the crash is being done by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and that it would be “premature” to speculate on the possible reasons for the air mishap. The Border Security Force Chief said the plane B-200, registered as VT-BSA, was flying about 3-4 days in a week. “As I said, this aircraft has been flying very well…it had been flying three to four days in a week and there was absolutely no problem. Whenever any kind of a snag is reported it is promptly attended to and aircraft is not made airborne until it is certified by the technicians that it is worthy to fly,” he said. The plane, he said, was carrying the stipulated load yesterday and refuted reports that the crash had something to do with excess weight as a few personnel were asked to board it at the last moment. The plane had a capacity to carry 11 passengers, he said. “Even if there is a last moment change in the manifest (travelling passenger’s list) it doesn’t matter because it was carrying the prescribed and authorised load. So, there was no excess load. There was nothing of that sort…even if numbers were increased, it is immaterial. It (B-200) was carrying its required capacity,” he said.

Enforcement Directorate attaches Rs 100 crores properties of Chhagan Bhujbal

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The buildings in Bandra and Santacruz, owned by Pervesh Constructions where Bhujbal and his relatives are directors, were seized by the ED.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) continues to give nightmares to Chhagan Bhujbal and his family.In a fresh action against former PWD minister Chhagan Bhujbal, the Enforcement Directorate has seized two assets allegedly owned by a Bhujbal firm.Initial information suggests the seized properties are worth around Rs 100 crores.The buildings in Bandra and Santacruz, owned by Pervesh Constructions where Bhujbal and his relatives are directors, were seized by the ED.Last week, the Lok Sabha was informed that the money laundering investigations against Bhujbal have revealed that entities which have subscribed to companies controlled by the politician’s family were “dubious” and their transactions were done only on paper.Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha, in a written reply, said a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) has been registered by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) against Bhujbal, ex-PWD minister of the state, his family members including MLA son Pankaj, ex-MP nephew Samir, a firm called Ms K S Chamankar Enterprises and others.The Bombay High Court, on December 18 last year, has constituted a Special Investigation Team comprising the ED Director and the Director General of state Anti- Corruption Bureau (ACB) to conduct the inquiry and submit a report to it.

Indian kids sets Guinness record with largest practical science lesson

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In the way forward the two organisations will now come together to reach out to school children by providing virtual platform for conducting new innovations.

Prime minister Narendra Modi’s initiative of developing inter-ministerial coordination has yielded results, as Vijnana Bharti (VIBHA) attached to the ministry of science and technology and IIT Delhi under the aegis of the human resource development ministry have together entered the Guinness Book of World Record for largest practical science lesson, involving 2,000 school children. This is also the first time a scientific body in India has made to the world record.In the way forward the two organisations will now come together to reach out to school children by providing virtual platform for conducting new innovations.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Breaking Ireland’s record where 1,339 students had together performed an experiment as a part of their chemistry lesson that focused on catalysts, in Delhi on December 7, 2,000 students participated in a 65- minutes experiment breaking this Irish record.The experiment was a part of a five day India International Science Festival (IISF) organized by VIBHA. VIBHA has been organizing science meetings but for the first time it had held this festival at the IIT.”We chose IIT because we wanted to give the young scientists a feeling of being at country’s one of the premium institutions. IIT Delhi graciously lent us the support,” said science and technology minister Dr Harshvardan. After the world record, science and technology ministry now hopes to scale up the festival to the next level. The minister said, “We will sit and review the positives and the lapses and will try to make plans to scale up the event.” Human resource development ministry pitched in the festival with its school children. “NCERT helped us in selecting forty schools that participated. Eighty teachers were trained and three rounds of mock tests were conducted by the students before the final day,” said Professor Kshitij Gupta, Director IIT, Delhi. The idea was conceptualized by Professor K Girish Kumar of Cochin University.Students from class nine to 12 participated in the exercise. A Jayakumar, Secretary General of VIBHA gave credit to the affinity and the smooth coordination between the ministries for the success of the program. While the festival was hosted by the science and technology ministry, HRD ministry gave the required co-operated. VIBHA is now looking at creating the first of its kind portal to bring the talented students together. “We will call upon all students interested in scientific innovations. These students can discuss their ideas on the portal. VIBHA will identify PhD scholars who will mentor these young students,” explained Jayakumar. Science and technology ministry plans to tie up with various technical institutions for the project. IIT Delhi is already on board with VIHBA on the project. “When the HRD minister visited the campus on the day we were to make the world record, she had expressed her desire that more such experiments involving students. We are keen to work on the project,” said Gupta, Director IIT.

ISRO’s experiment to re-start PSLV stage-IV a success, says official

Veteran nuclear scientist Anil Kakodkar, who inaugurated the conference, hailed ISRO for the successful PSLV-C29 mission.

Indian Space Research Organisation has successfully reignited the fourth stage of its workhorse Polar rocket during the PSLV-C29 mission after putting in orbit six Singapore satellites, agency officials said on Thursday.The engine in the upper stage of the PSLV was shut off and re-started after placing the satellites in orbit yesterday, ISRO’s Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC) Director S Somanath said. “We tried it for the first time and it was a success,” Somnath said, adding that the technique would be useful when launching multiple satellites in different orbits. The LSPC director was was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the inauguration of the 23rd national and first international Heat and Mass Transfer Conference (IHMTC 2015), organised by (LPSC). The PS4 is the uppermost stage of PSLV, comprising two ‘Earth storable’ liquid engines.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Veteran nuclear scientist Anil Kakodkar, who inaugurated the conference, hailed ISRO for the successful PSLV-C29 mission. “It’s a fantastic technological achievement that so many foreign clients are vying for taking their satellites on board PSLV. It is a great recognition,” he said. The PSLV-C29 injected the six Singapore satellites in orbit completing the exercise in about 21 minutes after it blasted off from the spaceport of Sriharikota, about 110 km from Chennai last evening.Speaking soon after the launch, an ISRO official had said in Sriharikota that the agency was carrying out the experiment to re-ignite stage four of the rocket for four seconds from 67.25 minutes (after the lift-off). “After injecting all the satellites we are carrying out a major experiment to ignite once again PS4. This aspect is going to be a major mission flexibility to plan different orbital missions in a single launch,” he had said.

PIL on suspending operations of liquor outlets in Tamil Nadu’s flooded areas

Change India’s Director A Narayanan submitted that when milk and water had become scarce and thousands of people were struggling in the flash floods, TASMAC outlets continued sales Stating that even though he was aware of the High Court’s position of non interference in government policy decisions, Narayanan said “extraordinary measures and situations warrant interference”.

Madras High Court on Wednesday disposed of a PIL seeking to suspend operations of state-run TASMAC liquor outlets for two to three months in flood affected districts, but asked the Tamil Nadu government to consider the suggestion made by an NGO to release the flood relief amount among women in those areas instead of men.The first bench, comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Pushpa Sathyanarayana, before which the PIL by NGO Change India came up, suggested the government to go through a research study by the petitioner in 2006 titled ‘Alcoholism before and after tsunami’ and to examine its representation on suspending operation of liquor shops in flood affected areas.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Change India’s Director A Narayanan submitted that when milk and water had become scarce and thousands of people were struggling in the flash floods, TASMAC outlets continued sales Stating that even though he was aware of the High Court’s position of non interference in government policy decisions, Narayanan said “extraordinary measures and situations warrant interference”.Narayanan, who appeared in person, expressed fears that the succour to be provided to affected people may get dissipated in consumption of liquor rather than rehabilitation.The bench then raised a query on what could be the methodology to ensure that such a thing does not happen, to which the petitioner suggested that the relief amount be released to the woman in the house rather than to the man.Narayanan submitted that he made a representation with relevant research material to the government on December 8, 2015 and prayed that his representation be considered.The bench after hearing the petitioner said, “This representation can thus be examined in terms of the research study or any other material.”

My daughter’s name was Jyoti Singh, declares Nirbhaya’s mother

“We stand for child rights, but it is our right to know whether he has reformed or not,”said Dr Ranjana Kumari, activist and Director, CSR, to dna. She added, “we are against capital punishment and their should be a debate on it. However, one has to go by the law of the land, and according to that, we want the highest punishment for all accused.”

Nirbhaya’s parents Badrinath Singh and Asha Devi

PTI
At a highly charged remembrance meeting for ‘Nirbhaya’ on the third anniversary of the December 16 gangrape, the mother of the victim asked that justice be done for her daughter, and that all accused, including the former juvenile be hanged. Asha Devi also publicly declared Nirbhaya’s name –Jyoti Singh –saying she was “not ashamed to name her”.Organised by a group of citizens calling themselves Justice Seekers, with the involvement of gender rights group Centre for Social Research (CSR), the demonstration brought together many public and political figures to commemorate Jyoti. In a palpably angry atmosphere, most of these big names repeated that justice had not been done, not to Nirbhaya nor to other women attacked and assaulted. The feeling seemed exacerbated by the fact the juvenile accused, now a 21 year old man is set to walk free after three years in a juvenile home.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We stand for child rights, but it is our right to know whether he has reformed or not,”said Dr Ranjana Kumari, activist and Director, CSR, to dna. She added, “we are against capital punishment and their should be a debate on it. However, one has to go by the law of the land, and according to that, we want the highest punishment for all accused.”Former police officer Kiran Bedi, Congresswomen Kiran Walia and Sharmishta Mukherjee, Delhi Commission for Women Swati Maliwal, among others spoke out against the rates of crimes against women and the fact that nothing seemed to have changed in Delhi all these years. Mukherjee called for gender sensitisation at all levels, at home, in schools and offices, Walia pushed for closer monitoring of trials so that delays can be countered.Maliwal brought up cases of minor girls being gangraped as examples of the increasing crime rates, and her own investigations into delhi police data –only 9 accused were convicted in sexual assault cases in 2014 out of 11000 FIRs registered, and in Delhi’s only forensic lab, 1500 samples had gone bad potentially damaging many cases that could be on crimes against women.However, Maliwal was interrupted in her speech by Kumari; it seemed the latter, and other organisers, feared that Maliwal was being too confrontational against other parties.Jyoti’s mother too asked that rape not be politicised, instead her demands be met. All accused be hanged, all cases of sexual assault be fast tracked from the apex court to the lower court and the Nirbhaya fund be used to build more forensic laboratories in Delhi and other states. Kumari added another demand, that Jyoti’s parents be given protection. In the ongoing Parliament session, in Lok sabha, BJP Member of Parliament Hema Malini pronounced her sentence on the juvenile, saying his mind was “devilish”. She asked that he be treated as an adult for his crime as, according to her, he did more harm to Nirbhaya. This fact, though previously reported in the media, has been disputed by women’s groups and child rights’ activists based on the Juvenile Justice Boards’ observations.

If India goes for nuclear test, we will review cooperation: Japan

However, Japan asserted that it does not see India moving in that direction.

Modi-Abe

PTI
As both countries “in principle” agreed for cooperation in civil nuclear energy, Japan on Saturday cautioned India that it will be “quite natural” for it to review its cooperation if New Delhi goes for a nuclear test.However, Japan asserted that it does not see India moving in that direction. If sealed, the nuclear pact with India will be Japan’s first with a country which has not joined the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. “What do you think will happen,” asked Yasuhisa Kawamura, Press Secretary, Director General for Press and Public Diplomacy of the Japanese government when asked how Japan will react if India goes in for a nuclear test.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He said that Japan does not see India moving away from its self imposed moratorium on nuclear tests and international commitments. “If India does a test and recedes from its commitment, it will be quite natural for Japan to review its cooperation with India. But again, as I said, we do not expect or see such a movement,” he said. Japan is a major player in the nuclear energy market and an atomic deal with it will also make it easier for US-based nuclear plant makers Westinghouse Electric Corporation and GE Energy Inc to set up atomic plants in India as both these conglomerates have Japanese investments.The agreement, featuring broad contours of cooperation in the nuclear field, was signed after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe held the ninth annual Indo-Japan summit talks here.”The significance of today’s agreement is that the two countries have reached an agreement that will provide the basis for a cooperation in nuclear technology for peaceful purpose,” he said adding both the sides have “in principle” agreed to cooperate on nuclear technology.Kawamura said this agreement will guarantee India will take responsible actions for the peaceful use of nuclear energy. The fundamental structure of the this agreement is solid, he asserted. Briefing the reporters here on Abe’s visit, Kawamura said that the the meeting between the two leaders was “historic”.He said the bilateral meeting lasted for nearly an hour and today was the beginning of the new year for both countries. Both countries were entering in a new era of bilateral ties. Kawamura asserted that the “in principle’ nuclear agreement could not have been achieved by any other leader from both countries.

CBI is not a political tool, says agency director Anil Sinha

Anil Sinha, who took over as CBI chief December last year, tried to distance himself from the scathing criticism the agency faced from the Supreme Court during the tenure of his predecessor, saying “that was then, not now”.
File Photo
AFP photo
CBI Director Anil Sinha on Friday sought to dismiss claims that the agency was acting as a “political tool” and asserted that during his tenure no political leader had called him seeking any favour. The CBI Director also sounded optimistic as he claimed that efforts were on to bring back Dawood Ibrahim and all the agencies of the government are working towards it.”I cannot give any time-frame (on bringing back Dawood) but no one should have any doubt… In this case (on Chhota Rajan), we got cooperation from many international agencies. It was not a surrender,” he said at Agenda Aaj Tak.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The CBI chief said it was a six-month-long operation during which Rajan was located and brought back to face the law in the country. Sinha said if similar cooperation is received from other countries, efforts to bring Dawood will also be successful. He refused to share further details, saying divulging such operational details can jeopardise the efforts.Sinha, who took over as CBI chief December last year, tried to distance himself from the scathing criticism the agency faced from the Supreme Court during the tenure of his predecessor, saying “that was then, not now”.”Do you ask Virat why we lost during Dhoni’s captaincy or ask Dhoni why we lost during Sunil Gavaskar’s captaincy,” he said, adding that he can take onus of decisions taken during his tenure, and not his predecessors.The Supreme Court had termed the agency as “caged parrot” in the hands of his masters during the tenure of former Director Ranjit Sinha. Even during the tenure of Anil Sinha, the agency took some controversial decisions like not appealing against a court order discharging the president of a political party from serious charges levelled by the CBI, and conducting searches at the residence of Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister on the day of marriage of his daughter.”There were no elaborate arrangements for the marriage and even people of Shimla did not know about any such function. How can CBI know about it,” he said, answering a query of the searches carried out by the agency at Singh’s residence.He said during his tenure not a single political leader has called him to influence any probe. “CBI was never a political tool and will never be,” Sinha said. Sinha reiterated the demand to have a law that empowers the agency to take over probe in crimes at national level.”We should be concerned about tackling organised crimes more than anything else,” he said.

Allahabad HC order on remaining probe into DA case against Amitabh Thakur

The court passed the order on a petition filed by an officer seeking directions to get investigation of the disproportionate assets case against him at Gomtinagar police station here done by any agency other than the Vigilance Establishment.
File Photo
PTI
The Allahabad High Court has directed that the remaining investigation into a case of alleged disproportionate assets against suspended IPS officer Amitabh Thakur be conducted by an officer of SP rank of the Economic Offences Wing( EOW) and verified by its DGP expeditiously.The court passed the order on a petition filed by an officer seeking directions to get investigation of the disproportionate assets case against him at Gomtinagar police station here done by any agency other than the Vigilance Establishment.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A division bench of Justice Ajai Lamba and Justice Akhtar Hussain Khan here gave the order on Monday after hearing the petitioner and government advocate Rishad Murtaza.According to the government advocate, the court said that the investigation done till now by the Vigilance was correct but in the interest of justice the remaining investigation shall be conducted by an officer not below the rank of SP and verified by the DGP, EOW.The petitioner s contention was that the FIR against him was registered on an Open Enquiry report presented by Vigilance Director Bhanu Pratap Singh and is now being investigated by Daddan Chaube who is directly subordinate to the Director and hence he will not go against the conclusions made in the previous enquiries, which will make the investigation prima-facie biased.In reply to it, Murtaza submitted that the investigation was being fairly conducted by an inspector of the Vigilance in accordance with legal provisions along with its vedeography and no harassment was being meted out to the petitioner.

Government to replace ‘lost, damaged’ passports of Chennai flood victims for free

This news comes as a major relief for the Chennaites, who are facing a massive lose of property among other valuables due to the deluge and the resulting floods.

Chennai floods
File Photo
AFP
The government on Monday announced that those who have lost their passports or got them damaged due to the floods in Chennai can have them replaced free of charge. “If your passport is lost or damaged in floods, pl go to any of three Passport Seva Kendra’s in Chennai. They will issue u fresh passport free of charge,” External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted.This news comes as a major relief for the Chennaites, who are facing a massive lose of property among other valuables due to the deluge and the resulting floods.Meanwhile, the Chennai Airport has become fully operational from Monday morning, as airliners are resuming their domestic and international flights from there. The Civil Aviation authorities said the airport that was shut down last Wednesday due to heavy inundation is now ready for operation day and night.”We are happy to announce that it has been decided to resume the round the clock services, all weather operations from 6 a.m. December 7. In other words, from 7th December, 2015, normal operations of Chennai Airport i.e. both domestic and international flight operations will start operating,” said a statement released by Chennai Airport Director Deepak Shastri.

It is omnipresent: ‘Fandry’ director Manjule talks about caste discrimination

Aren’t things gradually changing though? “Definitely,” he answers, adding, “The change is very slow. But yes, it is coming.”

Image credit: Nagraj Manjule’s Facebook page

“Let’s not talk about caste— I have nothing to do with it,” says Nagraj Manjule, the name which has become synonymous with award-winning film Fandry. A poet, director and also an actor, Manjule said that Fandry—meaning pig in the nomadic Kaibadi language—was always his first choice and a conscious decision for the title. Manjule won the Best Director award for the film at the first edition of Ajeenkya DY Patil University Filmfare Awards 2014 (Marathi) held on November 20, 2015, at Thane.Born in a small village in Solapur district of Maharashtra, Manjule says that he experienced caste discrimination right from childhood. “It was always there. It is omnipresent. I have experienced it all my life,” he says.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After his first short film Pistulya won a national award a few years ago, Manjule wanted to do some more work on caste-based discrimination. “I was never very serious about studies. I was always an average student, having fun with friends. It was only after I failed my Class X exams that I began reading. I used to read novels, poems and a lot more since we didn’t have a television in those days. So the only pastime was reading,” he explains as he draws parallels between his school life and that of the lead character in Fandry. He went on to complete Masters in Marathi Literature from Pune University.Manjule doesn’t agree that caste system is prevalent only in the villages of India. “It is very much present in the cities too. Only the format is different in the cities,” he says. He, however, is quick to tell us that he doesn’t like the ‘Dalit’ tag that goes with literature produced by the Dalit authors. “Why do you need it? Humanity is the largest truth of life. Then why do you need to use these tags? They are discriminating by themselves,” he opines.Aren’t things gradually changing though? “Definitely,” he answers, adding, “The change is very slow. But yes, it is coming.”When asked about casting non-actors in Fandry, he says that it wasn’t at all difficult to make them act. “It is a director’s job and that is what I did. They are rather more realistic than the professional actors,” he explains.When asked about his upcoming movie Sairat, he only says that it is a love story and that he wouldn’t want to give away further details right now.Given his interest in the subject of caste and his recent success, Manjule has become a role model. He, however, immediately rejects the label, saying, “I don’t think this helps. No one can learn anything from reading my message. Everyone has independent ideas. I don’t believe in these things about giving anyone any message.”
This article was first published on iamin.in. For more such hyperlocal stories, visit their website.

Chennai airport to resume operations tomorrow: AAI

AAI spokesperson said the situation at the airport was being constantly monitored and a decision on extending the closure period has not been taken yet.

Air India also claimed that it has kept fares at the lowest level besides waving off cancellations ( People from Chennai airport ) (PTI)

File Photo
The domestic passenger flights will resume from Chennai airport from 6.00 am from tomorrow, AAI Executive Director JP Alex said on Saturday. Decision on night operations will be taken tomorrow.Airports Authority of India (AAI) has been monitoring the situation to take a decision on resuming normal operations. In the wake of heavy rains and flooding of the runway and nearby operational areas, AAI had closed the airport for normal operations on December 2 till December 6.Limited operations of ferry flights from the airport began today and Air India operated as many as four such flights. Air India said special operations to Hyderabad and Port Blair were carried out yesterday and today. “Four aircraft that were held up at Chennai airport have left. Two aircraft have gone to Mumbai, one each to Hyderabad Port Blair,” Air India the statement said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Air India also claimed that it has kept fares at the lowest level besides waving off cancellations and refund charges for all passengers travelling to or from any station and Chennai till December 15. “The airlines has not increased any fares during this period,” it added.

Blockade ‘risk’ to Nepalese children

Shortages of fuel, food, medicines and vaccines put more than three million infants at risk as winter begins in Nepal, the UN warns.

No flight operations at Srinagar airport for fourth day

“There is no clearance yet from the ATC, hence all morning flights have been delayed,” he said.

For the fourth straight day on Thursday, air traffic to and fro Srinagar international airport remained affected as no flight could either land or take-off due to bad weather. “The air traffic has not resumed yet. No flight has either landed or taken-off from the airport this morning as well,” Director, Airport Authority of India here, R K Shinde said. Shinde said bad weather was hampering the air traffic and all morning flights were delayed. “The sun is playing hide and seek. The visibility is low. There is no clearance yet from the ATC, hence all morning flights have been delayed,” he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The director, however, said no flight had been “declared cancelled” for the day. “We will wait till afternoon to see if there is any improvement in the visibility. As of now, no flight has been declared as cancelled,” he said. The continuous disruptions have left many passengers, including tourists, stranded and caused inconvenience to many more who intended to fly out of the Valley. “My uncle is ill and we had to take him to a hospital in Delhi. But we have been returning from the airport everyday for the last four days. Even as there is an improvement in the weather, no flight is taking off from the airport. We do not understand what is happening,” Shabir Ahmad, who lives in the outskirts of the city here, said.The foggy conditions persisted for the fourth day today. The Meteorological Department here has predicted rains over the plains and snowfall over the higher reaches which could provide respite from foggy conditions.The minimum temperature recorded in the summer capital Srinagar was 5.6 degrees Celsius over a degree up from the previous night – an official of the Meteorological Department said. He said Gulmarg ski-resort in north Kashmir recorded a low of minus 2.4 degrees Celsius and was the only place in the Valley where mercury stayed below the freezing point.

Indian Navy gets 2nd indigenous anti-submarine warship

The basic design for these ships was developed by Indian Navy’s Directorate of Naval Design while the detailed design was made by the in-house design department of GRSE, Kolkata.

Representational Image

File Photo
The second Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Corvette, ‘Kadmatt’, built indigenously by GRSE shipyard here, was on Thursday formally handed over to Indian Navy. The super-sophisticated frontline warship was handed over by Rear Admiral (Retd) AK Verma, Chairman and Managing Director of Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited (GRSE), to the Commanding Officer of the ship, Cdr Mahesh C Moudgil, at a ceremony here. At 109m long and with a displacement of 3,200 tonnes, the vessel can reach a maximum speed of 25 knots with an endurance of over 3,400 NM at 18 knots speed. The warship is designed to accommodate 17 officers and 106 sailors.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The basic design for these ships was developed by Indian Navy’s Directorate of Naval Design while the detailed design was made by the in-house design department of GRSE, Kolkata. GRSE is building four ASW Corvette class ships under the P-28 Project. INS Kamorta, the first in the class, was handed over to the navy last year. The ship’s main role is to protect the nation’s maritime interests against possible submarine attacks and she is a potent platform for neutralising enemy submarines with an array of weapons like torpedoes, rocket launchers and helicopter, officials said.The ship has got excellent stealth features for both above and below the sea surface and is equipped with total atmospheric control ventilation system, making her fully capable to fight in nuclear, biological and chemical warfare environments.

AAP government orders probe into missing words in advertisements

“Delhi government apologizes for an error of missing words in its advertisement published in the English newspapers on the Constitution Day celebrations on Wednesday.

Taking a stern view of the omission of words “socialist” and “secular” from the Preamble in its print advertisements on Constitution Day, Delhi government today tendered an apology for the error and ordered a probe to ascertain if any “mischief” was involved.Published by the Arvind Kerjriwal-led Delhi government to commemorate the adoption of Constitution, the English advertisements which appeared in newspapers today carried the text of Preamble, however, the two words were missing from the content.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Delhi government apologises for an error of missing words in its advertisement published in the English newspapers on the Constitution Day celebrations on Wednesday.”The words, socialist and secular, are erroneously missing from the text published in the English advertisement.
The Chief Minister has taken a stern view of the matter and directed the Director of Information and Publicity to conduct an inquiry and submit a report within four days,” the government said in a statement.The Director has been asked to ascertain how such important components of the Preamble of the Constitution went missing from the text.”The inquiry will focus on whether some mischief was involved in this matter,” it added.

Texas Instruments’ 12th edition of pan-India science and technology quiz announced

The Mumbai chapter of the quiz will take place at Rangsharda Auditorium on November 30.

Texas Instruments (TI) India 12th edition of Science and Technology Quiz 2015

To encourage the spirit of inquiry and innovation among students, Texas Instruments (TI) India has announced the 12th edition of Science and Technology Quiz 2015.The quiz will be held at a pan-India level, and students from class eighth, ninth and tenth can participate. This year, Texas instruments has also added two new cities to its list. The quiz will now be held in Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai, New Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Lucknow, leading to a finale in Bangalore.The Mumbai chapter of the quiz will take place at Rangsharda Auditorium on November 30. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The company believes that this quiz will help the students to make academic choices especially in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).“With the objective of encouraging adoption of a multi-dimensional approach to learning, the students through this quiz are challenged on their knowledge related to the various dimensions of science and technology. This quiz marks TI’s commitment towards cultivating a spirit of curiosity and innovation amongst school children, whom we look at as future technology pioneers and who will contribute to the development of the country as a knowledge economy,” said Santhosh Kumar, President and Managing Director, Texas Instruments India.

‘Socialist’, ‘secular’ words missing from Preamble in AAP government ads on Constitution Day

The Preamble provided in the advertisements seems to be an older version. In 1976, the words ‘socialist’ and ‘secular’ were added to the document through the 42nd Amendment.

Arvind Kejriwal

The AAP-ruled Delhi government’s advertisements in major newspapers on Thursday had the words ‘socialist’ and ‘secular’ missing from the Preamble, triggering a controversy on Constitution Day, according to a report in Hindustan Times.The Preamble provided in the advertisements seems to be an older version. In 1976, the words ‘socialist’ and ‘secular’ were added to the document through the 42nd Amendment. Following the controversy, the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government ordered an inquiry into the goof up. “The chief minister has taken a stern view of the matter and has directed the Director of Information and Publicity to conduct an inquiry and submit a report within four days,” a government statement said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>
Officials said the DIP director has been asked to ascertain how such important components of the Preamble went missing from the text. Both the Narendra Modi government at the Centre and the states have gone all out to celebrate Constitution Day, the day in 1949 on which the Indian Constitution was adopted.This episode comes as a major embarrassment for the AAP. The party had criticised the NDA government at the Centre when a similar mistake was spotted in official advertisements on Republic Day this year.

Chennai schools to remain shut on Monday; Anna University cancels exams

Tamil Nadu witnessed heavy rains in the past ten days and consequential flooding in several regions killed over 100 in related incidents.

College of Engineering in Anna University’s Guindy Campus, Chennai.

Wikimedia Commons
Following incessant rains, schools in Chennai will remain closed on Monday, ANI reports. Examinations and classes for students of Anna University in Chennai have been cancelled due to heavy rain. The university will remain shut from November 23-28. The revised date for examinations will be announced later.Pondicherry University postponed examinations in the medical, engineering and MCA streams, scheduled for Monday, due to the rains. University Assistant Registrar, K Mahesh said in a release today that with the rain continuing unabated, the university examinations slated for Monday for students of medical, engineering and MCA courses have been postponed. Fresh date would be announced later, it said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Meanwhile, PTI reports that schools and colleges are set to reopen in the districts of Kancheepuram and Thiruvallur on Monday after remaining closed for nearly ten days in view of the monsoon fury.Several parts of Tamil Nadu and neighbouring Puducherry continued to receive rains on Sunday and the Met office warned that more rains are expected in the next 24 hours as the trough of low pressure in the Bay of Bengal moved near Kanyakumari sea.”The trough of low pressure has moved westwards near Kanyakumari and coastal districts will receive heavy to very heavy rainfall over the next 24 hours”, Director of Regional Meteorological Centre here SR Ramanan said. For the city and its neighbourhood, the forecast would be cloudy while there may be moderate rainfall in one or two places, he said.Tamil Nadu witnessed heavy rains in the past ten days and consequential flooding in several regions killed over 100 in related incidents.With agency inputs.

Chennai’s Anna University cancels exams and classes due to heavy rains

Tamil Nadu witnessed heavy rains in the past ten days and consequential flooding in several regions killed over 100 in related incidents.

College of Engineering in Anna University’s Guindy Campus, Chennai.

Wikimedia Commons
Examinations and classes for students of Anna University in Chennai have been cancelled due to heavy rain, reports ANI. The university will remain shut from November 23-28.Meanwhile, schools and colleges are set to reopen in three adjoining districts of Chennai, Kancheepuram and Thiruvallur on Monday after remaining closed for nearly ten days in view of the monsoon fury.Several parts of Tamil Nadu and neighbouring Puducherry continued to receive rains on Sunday and the Met office warned that more rains are expected in the next 24 hours as the trough of low pressure in the Bay of Bengal moved near Kanyakumari sea.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The trough of low pressure has moved westwards near Kanyakumari and coastal districts will receive heavy to very heavy rainfall over the next 24 hours”, Director of Regional Meteorological Centre here SR Ramanan said. For the city and its neighbourhood, the forecast would be cloudy while there may be moderate rainfall in one or two places, he said.Tamil Nadu witnessed heavy rains in the past ten days and consequential flooding in several regions killed over 100 in related incidents.With inputs from PTI.

Delhi court allows RK Pachauri to enter TERI office

The court had earlier allowed Pachauri to enter his office premises, barring the Gurgaon branch where the victim was working and head office in New Delhi.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
TERI Director General R K Pachauri, facing allegations of sexual harassment, was on Saturday allowed to enter TERI headquarters and its Gurgaon office by a Delhi court, which noted that the victim had resigned and was not associated with the institute any longer.The court had earlier allowed Pachauri to enter his office premises, barring the Gurgaon branch where the victim was working and head office here. This order was a modification of the previous order granting him anticipatory bail but barring his entry into all TERI offices.”As victim herself is not entering in the premises of TERI and no more associated with the institution, therefore, no prejudice would be caused either to the investigation agency or the prosecution if the application of the accused is allowed,” Additional Sessions Judge Raj Kumar Tripathi said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The judge, while allowing the application filed by advocate Ashish Dixit today, said “Order dated March 21 is modified to the extent that accused is permitted to enter and visit all the premises of TERI including the head office as well as Gurgaon office. Application is disposed off.”The court also said there was nothing on record to suggest that Pachauri had ever misused the liberty given to him or violated any bail condition.Seeking permission for Pachauri to enter the premises, senior advocate Ramesh Gupta said his client has cooperated in the investigation and not violated any term or condition imposed on him. He said the complainant has already resigned from the institute and was no more concerned or connected with TERI.Investigating Officer of the case did not oppose the plea of Pachauri and said the investigation in the case was almost complete and final report, on conclusion of the probe, was likely to be filed in the court very soon. The complainant had on November 2 resigned from her post in TERI alleging she was being treated in the “worst possible manner” by the institute, a charge denied by the organisation as “completely false and baseless”.The application said Pachauri was facing “tremendous hardship” in effectively fulfilling his duties as the Director General of TERI as majority of the employees were posted in the head office in South Delhi.”All research facilities, laboratories etc are situated in the Head Office complex. Therefore, Pachauri’s presence in those premises is extremely crucial for proper functioning and supervision by CEO/Director General of TERI,” the plea said.It said the investigation has been pending for last nine months and there was no progress in the matter as the police has not questioned him since July 17.On February 13, an FIR was registered against Pachauri on charges of sexual harassment under IPC sections 354, 354(a), 354(d) (molestation) and 506 (criminal intimidation). TERI governing council had on July 23 appointed Dr Ajay Mathur, currently the director general of Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), as its Director General. Pachauri had also stepped down from United Nations’ IPCC and Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change.

Tamil Nadu rains: Death toll increases to 120; more rains forecast for Saturday

The Regional Weather office forecast rain in coastal and interior districts for the next 24 hours

AFP
The toll from rain-related incidents in Tamil Nadu increased to 120 today, as overnight rains lashed many parts of the city, raising fears of more inundation. However, a bright morning brought relief to the residents of the rain-drenched city, even as the weather office has forecast rains for November 21.In a statement, Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa said nine persons had been killed in the last four days, with the victims mainly hailing from Chennai and Kancheepuram districts, and expressed sympathies with their families. She announced a relief of Rs four lakh each to the families of the victims.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Meanwhile, the Regional Weather office forecast rain in coastal and interior districts for the next 24 hours.Rains were particularly expected in the districts along Western Ghats, such as Theni and Nilgiris, S R Ramanan, Director, Regional Meterological Department, told reporters.In the 24 hours ending at 8.30 AM today, various places in Nilgiris registered good spells of rain with Ketti and Coonoor in the district registering 12 cm and 11 cm respectively.Heavy vehicles factory in Avadi (Tiruvallore) received 12 cm while Poondi and Ponnamanalle in the same district registered 10 cm each.

Tamil Nadu rains: False Whatsapp message of NASA cyclone prediction causes panic

A Whatsapp message stated that the NASA has predicted a cyclone to hit Tamil Nadu on November 21 and 22.

An aerial photo of flood relief operation by Indian Coast Guard at flood affected areas of Kanchipuram District on the outskirt of Chennai on Tuesday.

PTI
A message predicting a cyclone in flood-hit Tamil Nadu was doing the rounds on WhatsApp causing panic in Chennai. The message stated that the NASA had predicted a cyclone and heavy rains on November 21 & 22. The message was even being shared by those living abroad with their family and friends in the city. Related read- Chennai: Rains stop, but residents continue to be in distress<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The text of the viral message read: Guys CHENNAI IS ON HIGH ALERT NOW!!!NASA has warned INDIA tat CHENNAI will suffer ah very very high rainfall with a hurricane !!!NASA has given 2 dates 21,22 …on these 2 days unpredictable rainfall in the history of INDIA will lash tamilnadu …the rainfall will be about 250 cm in CHENNAI!!!So indian central gov has now deployed 3000 NDRF to tamilnadu and border security force and airforce and army on the toes….!!NASA’s prediction never miss….! Watch CNN IBN they r telecasting the live show….!** 2 cyclones has formed near sumatra islands**Has a chance of changing as a big stormPeople already affected by the rains and waterlogging, started sending it to others, fearing the situation would get worse. Regional Meteorological Centre Director SR Ramanan has been giving daily weather reports and asked the public to not believe rumours. The media finally put an end to the viral message by stating that the message was false.

Rajasthan govt removes Anish Kapoor’s name from cultural panel two days after nomination

Rajasthan Tourism minister Krishnendra Kaur, however, canceled the nominations of all 12 members, including Kapoor, last night saying that she was unaware of the nominations and the Principal Secretary of the department had issued the order without consultation.

Getty
Noted British sculptor Anish Kapoor, who had made scathing remarks against Narendra Modi government in a UK daily during the Prime Minister’s visit there, has been removed from Rajasthan’s cultural panel, two days after he was nominated by the BJP-ruled state government.The Vasundhara Raje government nominated the controversial sculptor and 11 others as the members of the Governing Board of Jaipur’s Jawahar Kala Kendra on November 16.Kapoor’s article critical of Modi appeared in the Guardian on November 12, where he had raised the issue of alleged ‘intolerance’.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rajasthan Tourism minister Krishnendra Kaur, however, canceled the nominations of all 12 members, including Kapoor, last night saying that she was unaware of the nominations and the Principal Secretary of the department had issued the order without consultation.”Nomination of all the 12 members has been canceled last night. I had no idea of the nomination earlier,” Kaur said.Kaur’s decision to cancel the nomination came after she was queried by reporters yesterday about Kapoor’s nomination to the panel, especially after he remarks against the Modi government during the PM’s visit to the UK.Pooja Sood, the Director General of JKK, said that the list was issued by the government on November 16.Interestingly, there was no artist from Rajasthan to get nomination in the list that carried names of educationists Homi K Bhabha, novelist Jeet Thayil, among others.

Tamil Nadu rains: Death toll reaches 59; more rains forecast as depression looms large

Anaikaracharthiram (Nagapattinam) received the maximum rainfall of 18 cm recorded till 8.30 am, RMC Director S R Ramanan said, adding, Sirkali from the same district registered 17 cm.

Chief Minister Jayalalithaa condoled the death of the four persons. (Representational Image)

Tamil Nadu continued to experience monsoon fury, with heavy rains pounding various parts of the state under the influence of a well marked low pressure area over Bay of Bengal, as the death toll from rain-related incidents climbed to 59. There seemed to be no respite from the downpour with many parts of the city coming under water even as the weatherman forecast more rains for the next 24 hours, beginning 0830 hrs. The India Meteorological Department said in a bulletin today that the well-marked low pressure area over southwest Bay of Bengal adjoining Sri Lanka persisted and “it is likely to move west-northwestwards towards Tamil Nadu coast and would concentrate into a Depression during next 24 hours.” Under its influence, more rains were expected in the next 24 hours, the Regional Meteorological Department said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Anaikaracharthiram (Nagapattinam) received the maximum rainfall of 18 cm recorded till 8.30 am, RMC Director S R Ramanan said, adding, Sirkali from the same district registered 17 cm. Chennai received three cm rainfall between 8.30 am and 11.30 am today. He said heavy to very heavy rains could be expected in the northern coastal districts of the state in the next 24 hours while there could be rain in the rest of the districts. Rains were also expected in Puducherry on Monday. The seas would be rough, he said, warning fishermen against venturing for fishing. Meanwhile, four persons died due to various rain-related incidents on November 13 and 14, the government said.Chief Minister Jayalalithaa condoled the death of the four persons, three of whom died due to drowning in Kancheepuram district while one person in Vellore was killed in wall collapse. She announced a sum of Rs four lakh each to the families of the victims from the Disaster Relief Fund. The incessant rains severely crippled normal life in the state capital Chennai, where most roads, residential areas and low-lying parts were inundated.Subways at suburban Chennai connecting the residential areas were inundated, rendering them useless for commutation.The sparse Sunday crowd of motorists were seen discussing alternative routes to reach their respective destinations. Water-clogged roads resulted in slow movement of vehicles even as pedestrians were seen wading through waist-deep to knee-deep water in many places. Many residents were forced to stay put inside their homes following the inclement weather. Trains on the suburban Chennai Egmore-Tambaram were running slow.

Paris attacks: Security stepped up at railway stations, airports in Maharashtra

Mumbai: In the wake of deadly terror strike in Paris, security was on Saturday stepped around major establishments across various cities of Maharashtra, including Mumbai which has been often targeted by terrorists.

“All police units have been asked to review and access control measures at places with heavy footfall,” Director General of Police, Maharashtra, Praveen Dixit said.

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

“Owners and managers of such places have also been asked to do mock drills to avoid any possible untoward incidents,” Dixit told PTI.

Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Deven Bharti has said in view of terror attacks in the French capital on Friday night, security has been beefed up in Mumbai as well.

The country’s financial capital has earlier witnessed deadly terror attacks that claimed scores of lives and injured hundreds.

“Though we always remain alert, in wake of the attacks in Paris, security has been beefed across the city. Officials concerned have been asked to remain more vigilant,” he said.

Security at major railway stations, airports, commercial establishments like shopping malls, theatres has been stepped up, another senior officer of Mumbai Police said.

The official apprised that all agencies involved in monitoring of security measures have been asked to share vital inputs more precisely.

A series of attacks targeting young concert-goers, soccer fans and Parisians at popular nightspots killed at least 120 people in the deadliest violence to strike France since World War II.

PTI

Security beefed up across Maharashtra in wake of Paris attacks

“All police units have been asked to review and access control measures at places with heavy footfall,” Director General of Police, Maharashtra, Praveen Dixit said.

A general view of the scene that shows rescue services near the covered bodies outside a restaurant following a shooting incident in Paris, France, November 13, 2015.

Reuters
In the wake of deadly terror strike in Paris, security was today stepped around major establishments across various cities of Maharashtra, including Mumbai which has been often targeted by terrorists.”All police units have been asked to review and access control measures at places with heavy footfall,” Director General of Police, Maharashtra, Praveen Dixit said.”Owners and managers of such places have also been asked to do mock drills to avoid any possible untoward incidents,” Dixit told PTI.Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Deven Bharti has said in view of terror attacks in the French capital last night, security has been beefed up in Mumbai as well.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The country’s financial capital has earlier witnessed deadly terror attacks that claimed scores of lives and injured hundreds.”Though we always remain alert, in wake of the attacks in Paris, security has been beefed across the city. Officials concerned have been asked to remain more vigilant,” he said.Security at major railway stations, airports, commercial establishments like shopping malls, theatres has been stepped up, another senior officer of Mumbai Police said.The official apprised that all agencies involved in monitoring of security measures have been asked to share vital inputs more precisely.A series of attacks targeting young concert-goers, soccer fans and Parisians at popular nightspots killed at least 120 people in the deadliest violence to strike France since World War II.

"Pls ask PM", says Rajnath Singh on ouster of former Home Secretary

Rajnath Singh

Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday appeared to be distancing himself from the sudden curtailment of the tenure of former Home Secretary LC Goyal, saying “please ask the Prime Minister”.Goyal, a 1979-batch IAS officer, had taken over as Home Secretary in February this year after the government decided to sack Anil Goswami for his alleged interference in CBI probe against former Union minister Mantang Sinh in Saradha scam. However, Goyal was surprisingly removed on August 31. The official word on it was that his application for voluntary retirement had been accepted. Soon thereafter he was appointed Chairman and Managing Director of International Trade Promotion Organisation.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>At the ‘Diwali Milan’ today, the Union Home Minster was asked about the reason behind his removal. “I don’t know why. Please ask the Prime Minister,” he said but was quick to add that the post of Home Secretary was not permanent. “Bureaucrats come and go,” he said.

Sashastra Seema Bal cancels Diwali leave of officers along Indo-Nepal border

New Delhi: Border guarding force SSB has cancelled Diwali leave of its officers commanding battalions deployed along the Indo-Nepal border in view of the prevailing situation in the neighbouring country and the declaration of poll results in Bihar.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

The paramilitary’s headquarters in New Delhi has asked its field formations to implement the latest directive, also for Bhutan border, with an immediate effect and not allow any Casual Leave (CL) or Earned Leave (EL) for unit commanders in and around Diwali except on “extreme emergent grounds”.

While an official order issued in this regard said the step has been taken keeping in view the morale of thousands of jawans who could not not go home on the festival of Diwali, Sashastra Seema Bal chief BD Sharma said the directions have been issued keeping in mind the prevailing security situation especially along the Nepal border and the declaration of Assembly poll results in Bihar.

“It has been observed that many officers are proceeding on leave to celebrate Deepawali festival with their families.

“DG (Director General) has taken a serious view in the matter and instructed that officers must set an example and be present in the companies and border posts as well as in all field units and celebrate this festival with jawans who get relatively less opportunities to go on leave,” the order said.

When contacted, Sharma told PTI that the order was issued keeping in mind the morale and well being of the troops deployed all along the Nepal and Bhutan borders and the present security situation also warranted officers and other junior commanders to be on ground.

“We understand Deepawali is an important festival for everyone but the situation across the border in Nepal and the announcement of Bihar polls result are some developments that we are looking at.

“Not only the decision was taken to build up bonding between jawans and officers in the force, it was also aimed at ensuring that we have the maximum presence and dominance in border areas along both Nepal and Bhutan,” he said.

The SSB guards the 1,751 km long Indo-Nepal frontier and 800 kilometres is along Bihar.

Poll results were declared on Sunday for the 243 seat Bihar Assembly and the next few days will see a new government taking charge of the state.

The other border that SSB guards is the 699km Indo-Bhutan frontier.

Political crisis and protests by Madhesis in border areas between India and Nepal has been continuing for many days now and recently an Indian was killed in the firing by Nepalese security forces who were quelling the protestors.

While there have been differing opinions in the about 70,000 personnel strong force about the latest order, a number of officials and jawans PTI spoke to said the new directive will surely bring in larger camaraderie and esprit de corps in the force.

“It is a good decision. It has never happened in the force that officers stay back in full numbers to celebrate a big festival like Deepawali with jawans who are the bulk of the strength of the border guarding units.

“This will send a good message that their seniors are with them and care for them,” a senior official said.

The SSB headquarters is expected to chart out a new plan for giving leaves to its officers and jawans during major festivals from the next time, an official said.

PTI

Petroleum Ministry hunting for a younger bureaucrat for Directorate General of Hydrocarbons

The Ministry issued an advertisement seeking applications for the post of Director General, Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) within 30 days from officers of central or state government, recognised research institutions, PSUs, semi-government and autonomous statutory organisations.

Four months after giving charge of oil and gas field regulator DGH to a senior bureaucrat, the Petroleum Ministry has begun a search for the full-time upstream regulator, seeking a technocrat of no more than 56 years old.The Ministry issued an advertisement seeking applications for the post of Director General, Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) within 30 days from officers of central or state government, recognised research institutions, PSUs, semi-government and autonomous statutory organisations. The appointment, the advertisement said, would be on “deputation” basis for a maximum period of five years or completion of 60 years, whichever is earlier.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The applicant must hold a Master’s degree in geology or geophysics or petroleum geology with 16 years of experience in upstream oil and gas sector or a Bachelor’s degree in the same subjects.”The maximum age limit for appointment by deputation shall be not exceeding 56 years as on the last date of receipt of applications,” the advertisement said.In June, Ajay Prakash Sawhney, Additional Secretary in Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas was given additional charge of DGH upon superannuation of Director General, B N Talukdar. Talukdar superannuated on June 30 after completing an extended tenure.Talukdar, who took over as the head of the DGH on February 6, 2014, was to superannuate on December 31, 2014 after turning 60. He, however, was given a six-month extension till June 30.DGH, which traditionally was headed by a technocrat, for the first time in its history saw a bureaucrat being appointed as Director General when in June 2012 Rajiv Nayan Choubey, a 1981 batch IAS officer of Tamil Nadu cadre, was handpicked for the job.

Editor of Haryana govt magazine praising beef-eating removed

The online edition of the 52-page magazine has been removed from the official website of the Primary Education Department.

The editor of the magazine clarified that the article was carried as it was based on a scientific report.

File Photo
The editor of a Haryana government magazine, which carries an article mentioning positive effects of beef-eating, has been removed. The magazine “Shiksha Bharati” has included “beef” besides “veal” (meat of young cows) among four “enhancers” which “directly affect absorption of iron in human body.” The article details the importance of iron as “one of the important micro-nutrient which is required for human body on a daily basis and elaborates on the ill-effects of iron deficiency, its impact on health and various sources of iron.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Education Minister Ram Bilas Sharma told reporters that the article “Iron-Vital for strength” was carried in the bi-lingual magazine which contains articles in Hindi and English and is published and printed by “President, Shiksha Lok Society-cum-Director, Secondary Education” from the office of Director, Secondary Education, Haryana, Panchkula. He said that the editor of the magazine clarified that the article was carried as it was based on a scientific report. Beef was mentioned along with lamb, veal and pork as enhancers with other animal food in the article. “We said that it should not have been published in the Haryana magazine. We have removed the editor of the magazine,” Sharma said adding further action in the matter will follow later.The online edition of the 52-page magazine has been removed from the official website of the Primary Education Department. However, the online edition of the magazine is still available on the official website of the Secondary Education Department. Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, who had sparked a controversy saying that Muslims should give up eating beef if they want to live in India, is the chief patron of the body publishing the magazine with Education Minister Ram Bilas Sharma as the patron. The magazine in its initial pages carries a disclaimer saying the views mentioned are of the contributors and it was not necessary that the department agrees with the views.Jawahar Yadav, Officer on Special Duty (OSD) to the Chief Minister, declined to comment on the issue. The Haryana Assembly had recently passed the Gau Sanrakshan Avm Gau Samwardhan Bill 2015′ Bill which favours complete ban on cow slaughter in the state and rigorous imprisonment ranging from three years to ten years for killing the animal.

RK Pachauri case: Delhi HC allows woman’s plea to remove her name from petition

The court, however, declined her plea for early hearing of the matter, saying there was no urgency and it will be heard on the date already fixed, December 3.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
The Delhi High Court on Wednesday allowed a plea by a woman, who has accused TERI Director General R K Pachauri of sexual harassment, seeking removal of her name from a petition seeking cancellation of the anticipatory bail granted to him. Justice S P Garg said the woman be now referred to as ‘Ms X’ in the proceedings pending before him.The court, however, declined her plea for early hearing of the matter, saying there was no urgency and it will be heard on the date already fixed, December 3.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The application of the woman was filed before the court which was hearing her plea for cancelling the anticipatory bail granted to Pachauri by a lower court on March 21. The 29-year-old female research analyst has alleged in her plea that “free and fair investigation” cannot be carried out if he was “allowed to roam around freely”.Countering this contention, the TERI chief had said there was “nothing on record to suggest that free and fair probe is not possible in the present case”. On March 21, Pachauri was granted anticipatory bail by the trial court which had rejected the police request for his custody in the case. On February 13, an FIR was registered against Pachauri on charges of sexual harassment under IPC sections 354, 354(a), 354(d) (molestation) and 506 (criminal intimidation).Pachauri, who is currently on leave from TERI, has requested a modification of an earlier court order and permission to resume work from the office premises. After the sexual harassment complaint, Pachauri had stepped down as chairperson of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in February and proceeded on leave from TERI.

Indo-Tibetan border police to create 50 new posts along border with China

New Delhi:  Aiming to bolster its presence along the India-China border, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police has said it will create over 50 new posts and deploy about 8,000 fresh troops along the sensitive frontier even as it disapproved of becoming “warmongers” in the wake of several incursions taking place.

Indo China border. AFPIndo China border. AFP

Indo China border. AFP

ITBP Director General Krishna Chaudhary, during the annual press conference on the eve of the forces’ 54th Raising Day on Tuesday, said while he does not deny that incidents of transgression have taken place due to difference of perception of the border between ITBP-Army and the Chinese PLA, his agenda for the deployment of his force at this border was to guard it and not to wage war.

“We must not become warmongers. The objective is peace. The objective is not to fight a war but to guard (this border). All our neighbours are our friends and we want to enhance friendship with them. The perception that we are going to war (due to recent standoffs between the two sides) is not correct. There is no call for a major concern,” the ITBP chief told reporters in New Delhi.

He said making “provocative statements” is not something that they want to do and India wants to have friendly relations with all its neighbours.

While refusing to share the number of border transgressions that took place in the last year, Director General Chaudhary revealed that the force was building up its strengths by creating more border posts and inducting smart weather-proof facilities in these areas prone to snow blizzards and blinding storms.

“We have established six new border posts in Himachal Pradesh and Arunachal Pradesh this year. In eight posts in Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Arunachal Pradesh we have augmented facilities and troops strength during the same period,” he said.

Director General Chaudhary said the force has also got a defence approval for setting up of a total of 52 new border posts in Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim and ITBP was “on the verge” of getting the final government sanction for the creation of these fortified locations.

The force will deploy eight battalions (about 8,000 personnel) to man these new posts.

“We have also requested the government to sanction us 10 new battalions so that we can have more units for rest and recuperation as most of our border guarding troops serve in extremely hard areas and icy conditions,” the Director General said.

PTI

Texas Instruments announces 12th edition of science and technology quiz

The company believes that this quiz will help the students to make academic choices especially in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

To encourage the spirit of inquiry and innovation among students, Texas Instruments (TI) India has announced the 12th edition of Science and Technology Quiz 2015.The quiz will be held at a pan-India level, and students from class eighth, ninth and tenth can participate. This year, Texas instruments has also added two new cities to its list. The quiz will now be held in Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai, New Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Lucknow, leading to a finale in Bangalore.The Mumbai chapter of the quiz will take place at Rangsharda Auditorium on November 30. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The company believes that this quiz will help the students to make academic choices especially in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).“With the objective of encouraging adoption of a multi-dimensional approach to learning, the students through this quiz are challenged on their knowledge related to the various dimensions of science and technology. This quiz marks TI’s commitment towards cultivating a spirit of curiosity and innovation amongst school children, whom we look at as future technology pioneers and who will contribute to the development of the country as a knowledge economy,” said Santhosh Kumar, President and Managing Director, Texas Instruments India. The regional and national winning team will get laptops, tablets, kindles and other attractive prizes. Schools in Mumbai can participate in this quiz by registering at http://www.ti.com/ww/in/ti_quiz/register.html.

CIA chief’s hacked e-mail: Pak uses militant proxies to counter India’s growing influence in Afghanistan

“Pakistan’s desire to counter India’s growing influence in Afghanistan and concerns about US long-term commitments to Afghanistan increase Pakistan’s interest in hedging its bets by ensuring that it will be able to have a working relationship with the Taliban to balance Indian and Iranian interests if the US withdraws,” Brennan wrote on November 7 in 2008.

CIA chief’s hacked email: Pakistan uses militant proxies to counter India’s growing influence in AfghanistanPakistan uses militants as proxies to counter India’s growing influence in Afghanistan, according to a set of documents released by WikiLeaks from the hacked personal email account of CIA Director John Brennan.The documents, released by the whistle-blower website and deemed classified by the CIA, contained reports on Afghanistan and Pakistan, and also ideas for US policy towards Iran.Brennan, three days after Barack Obama was elected US President in November 2008, wrote to him in a position-cum- strategy paper that Pakistan uses the Taliban to counter India in Afghanistan.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Pakistan’s desire to counter India’s growing influence in Afghanistan and concerns about US long-term commitments to Afghanistan increase Pakistan’s interest in hedging its bets by ensuring that it will be able to have a working relationship with the Taliban to balance Indian and Iranian interests if the US withdraws,” Brennan wrote on November 7 in 2008.Brennan, then a top foreign policy and counter-terrorism adviser to Obama, then a president-elect, was in the running to be CIA Director. The post, however, went to Leon Panetta.Obama initially made Brennan his top counter-terrorism adviser, and in January 2013 he nominated him as CIA Director.Brennan’s views on Pakistan was disclosed in a 13-page executive summary of key findings and recommendations on Afghanistan and Pakistan.Brennan, in the summary, said efforts in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) have been challenged by Pakistan’s ambivalence towards, and perhaps outright support for, the Taliban.”While the US Intelligence Community differs on the extent of the relationships, at least some elements of Pakistan’s military and intelligence services appear to be ambivalent about the anti-Taliban and anti-militant mission in the FATA, in part due to their history of close ties to the Taliban in Afghanistan’s conflict with the Soviet Union and Pakistan’s use of militant proxies in its conflict with India,” he wrote.Coalition forces have won every major battle with Afghan insurgents, but these tactical successes have not resulted in a strategic victory, largely because insurgents are free to regroup in sanctuaries across the Af-Pak border, he wrote.On Wednesday, WikiLeaks began publishing documents from “Brennan’s non-government email accounts”. They appear to date back to 2007-09, when Brennan worked in the private sector.

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:

Aarushi murder case: CBI allegedly doesn’t have complete footage of compounder Krishna’s narco test

New Delhi: 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.

Aarushi Talwar in a file photo. IbnliveAarushi Talwar in a file photo. Ibnlive

Aarushi Talwar in a file photo. Ibnlive

A source, who had been privy to the probe, said the new footage on social media appeared to be genuine.

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.

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”.

PTI

Desecration of holy book: Punjab DGP Sumedh Saini shunted out by Badal government

Punjab government on Sunday shunted out its police chief Sumedh Singh Saini, replacing him with Suresh Arora, who had played a key role in fighting terrorism in the state in late 80s.

Saini was believed to be close to Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal.

Facing flak over law and order situation in the wake of protests over sacrilege incidents, Punjab government on Sunday shunted out its police chief Sumedh Singh Saini, replacing him with Suresh Arora, who had played a key role in fighting terrorism in the state in late 80s. “Saini has been transferred,” Punjab home secretary Jagpal Sandhu said, adding that he was given the new charge as Chairman of Police Housing Corporation. Arora, a 1982-batch IPS officer, was serving as the Director General of Police-cum-Chief Director, Vigilance Bureau. He had played a crucial role in fighting terrorism and was posted as the SP (Headquarters), Amritsar, during Operation Black Thunder I, and as SSP Amritsar at the time of Operation Black Thunder II.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He has served as the SSP in almost all districts, besides serving as the DIG, CM Security, after the assassination of then CM Beant Singh. A postgraduate in law from the University of London, Arora has won various gallantry medals and awards, including the President’s Meritorious Medal, the Distinguished Service Medal and the Prakram Medal. The Election Commission of India had appointed Suresh Arora as the Director General of Police of Punjab ahead of last Lok Sabha polls. He was selected from among three officers, whose names were forwarded to the ECI by the state government for the post, after DGP Saini had proceeded on a long leave ahead of polls, following which Congress sought his removal from the post.Saini was believed to be close to Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal. Congress and most of the Sikh organisations were against Saini for holding the post of the DGP. Punjab was rocked by protests over alleged desecration of holy book. The state police had come under attack after two persons were killed in firing at Behbal Kalan village in Faridkot while they were protesting.The Congress and AAP had demanded imposition of President’s rule in Punjab contending that the state government had failed to tackle the law and order situation, which was deteriorating fast and spiralling out of control, in the wake of recent incident of desecration of the holy book of the Sikhs.

J&K: Pakistan violates ceasefire, targets 14 border posts in Samba sector; two civilians Injured

Pakistan on Sunday once again violated the ceasefire by targeting 14 border posts in Samba Sector of Jammu and Kashmir.

Pakistan on Sunday once again violated the ceasefire by targeting 14 border posts in Samba Sector of Jammu and Kashmir.The unprovoked firing by Pakistan started at 9:00 pm on Saturday and was on till 5:00 am. The Border Security Forces also retaliated to the Pakistani firing.Two civilians have also been injured in the attacks.After over a month-long lull, Pakistani troops on Friday night resumed the ceasefire violations along the international border.The ceasefire violations, which became a routine, had stopped after the Director General (DG)-level talks between BSF and Pakistan Rangers on September 12.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistani troops have violated the ceasefire 17 times in September this year.On August 28, three civilians, including two women, were killed and 17 were injured as Pakistani troops pounded border areas of Jammu with heavy shelling and firing.On September 5, an army jawan was injured as Pakistani troops violated the ceasefire by firing on forward posts along the LoC in Poonch district.

Pakistan Rangers target 9 BSF posts in overnight firing, 1 civilian injured

Jammu: Pakistan Rangers violated the ceasefire again with heavy firing and mortar shelling overnight that targeted nine Border Outposts (BoPs) of BSF and civilian areas in Samba district along the IB, leaving a labourer injured.

After over a month-long lull, Pakistani troops on Friday resumed the ceasefire violations along the international border, killing one civilian and injuring three so far.

Representational image. PTIRepresentational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

“Pak Rangers resorted to unprovoked firing on BSF posts along IB in Samba sector from 2025 hours last night”, a BSF officer said in Jammu on Saturday, adding BSF troops carried out effective retaliation.

The Rangers fired on nine BoPs of BSF along IB in areas between River Basantar and River Treva in Samba sector, he said, adding that they used 82, 82 and 51 mm mortar bombs at few places along IB.

BSF troops guarding the borderline retaliated resulting in exchanges which continued till 0220 hours today, he said, adding that there was no loss of life on Indian side but a civilian, who was working as a labourer in maintenance work near fence, was injured.

A civilian was killed and two others were injured last evening when Pakistani troops indulged in heavy firing along IB in Mangu Chak border outpost.

The ceasefire violations, which became a routine, had stopped after the Director General (DG)-level talks between BSF and Pakistan Rangers on 12 September.

PTI

Aarushi Talwar murder case: Discharged accused Krishna says CBI pressured him to confess

An hour-long video that had surfaced on Thursday on social media website YouTube shows Krishna, Aarushi’s father Rajesh Talwar’s assistant, purportedly saying that the then CBI Joint Director Arun Kumar asked him to own up the crime on the promise of getting his sentence reduced.

Aarushi Talwar
File Photo

The controversy over the investigation in the Aarushi Talwar double murder case took a new turn with the surfacing of a video of a purported narco test being conducted on a discharged accused who claimed that a top CBI official had put pressure on him to own up the crime.An hour-long video that had surfaced on Thursday on social media website YouTube shows Krishna, Aarushi’s father Rajesh Talwar’s assistant, purportedly saying that the then CBI Joint Director Arun Kumar asked him to own up the crime on the promise of getting his sentence reduced.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The plea of the now-convicted dentist couple Rajesh and Nupur Talwar, parents of Aarushi, demanding videos of narco tests, conducted on servants, was struck down by the Supreme Court on the grounds that they were not an admissible piece of evidence.”I will never run from here. Why will I run? I have not committed any crime. I had told them first time when they had asked me to take allegations on myself,” Krishna, who used to assist Rajesh in his clinic, is seen telling the doctor.When the doctor asks him who had asked him to take allegations on himself, Krishna says IG saab. When further probed as to who asked him to take allegations on himself, Krishna says,”IG Kumar” and also pleads that please don’t say in front of him.Joint Director Arun Kumar, a 1985-batch IPS officer, led the probe of the first team of CBI but its findings allegedly implicating servants-Krishna, Rajkumar and Vijay Mondal– in the murders were dismissed by Director CBI Ashwani Kumar.When contacted, Arun Kumar, now Inspector General of CRPF, Patna said the video concerned was not from an authentic source. Asked whether he feels it could have been doctored, Kumar said he cannot comment on that.”It was shown on TV channels. I need not see that. Original narco is not there. What you are seeing is not original. It is not original. It is not from authentic source. Please get the CD from the lab or the CBI or from the accused persons whom it is authentically given. It’s (these allegations) not there in original CD,” Kumar told PTI over phone. To a question whether he meant that the video was doctored, Kumar said, “that I do not want to say. That I do not want to comment. This is not the authentic one. This is not from the authentic source”.After the trial, Ghaziabad court found Rajesh and Nupur Talwar guilty of killing their 14-year old daughter Aarushi and domestic servant Hemraj on the intervening night of May 15-16, 2008 and sentenced them to life imprisonment.

Geeta wants to meet Salman Khan before meeting parents when she returns to India

Geeta’s story gained attention after the Bollywood film Bajrangi Bhaijaan was released in July with a plot similar to her case.

Geeta with adopted family

Geeta, a deaf and mute Indian woman, who had accidently crossed over to Pakistan as a child 15 years ago, on Saturday said that she wanted to meet Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Salman Khan, before meeting her parents when she lands in India.Gyanendra Purohit, Director, Mukh Badhir Organisation, Indore, said during a video conferencing, Geeta conveyed through sign language that she would be coming to India on October 26.Meanwhile, hearing and speech impaired girls of the organisation communicated with Geeta via video conferencing.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Geeta’s story gained attention after the Bollywood film Bajrangi Bhaijaan was released in July with a plot similar to her case. In the movie, actor Salman Khan’s character attempts to reunite a mute Pakistani girl with her family after she was separated from them during a trip to India.Related read: Bajrangi Bhaijaan’s Geeta identifies family in Bihar, to return to India soon

Tamil Nadu: 17,095 get job offers at recruitment camp in CM Jayalalithaa’s constituency RK Nagar

As a token of giving letters of appointment to aspirants, Jayalalithaa handed over them to five of the job-seekers in a function in Nilgiris district, where she is staying now.
File Photo
PTI
As many as 17,095 job seekers on Saturday got appointment letters during a recruitment camp held in Dr Radhakrishnan Nagar, the constituency of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa. A total of 58,835 job aspirants and 358 companies participated in the recruitment camp, held on the directions of the Chief Minister, an official release said on Saturday.”A total of 17,095 letters of appointment have been given in an employment camp held today in Dr Radhakrishnan Nagar,” Director, Department of Employment and Training, C Samayamoorthy said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Out of the participants, as many as 6,453 persons got appointment letters and 10,642 provisional letters of appointment, totalling 17,095, the release added. Also, 14,392 persons have enrolled in skill development programmes of Tamil Nadu Skill Development Corporation. As many as 1,057 aspirants have registered with the state-run Overseas Manpower Corporation expressing their interest to take up employment abroad, the release said.As a token of giving letters of appointment to aspirants, Jayalalithaa handed over them to five of the job-seekers in a function in Nilgiris district, where she is staying now.Although such job camps have been held across Tamil Nadu periodically, the camp in RK Nagar has attracted attention as the constituency is represented in the Assembly by Jayalalithaa. She won the seat by a huge margin and became Chief Minister for the fifth time in May this year after she was acquitted in an assets case by the Karnataka High Court.

Pakistan court adjourns 26/11 Mumbai terror attack trial till October 21

A court official told PTI that an official witness recorded his statement in the anti-terrorism court Islamabad which held the hearing at the Adiala Jail Rawalpindi.

A Pakistani anti-terrorism court holding the trial of seven accused in the Mumbai terror attack case today adjourned the hearing till October 21.A court official told PTI that an official witness recorded his statement in the anti-terrorism court Islamabad which held the hearing at the Adiala Jail Rawalpindi. He said the court issued summons to two more witnesses for October 21 hearing. In the hearing today, a Federal Investigation Agency senior officer told the court about the articles he recovered from two camps of banned Lashkar-i-Taiba in Sindh.FIA Deputy Director (Karachi) Fakir Hussain, a prosecution witness, told the court about the information he gathered about two to three accused who were monitoring the operation in Mumbai from here (Sindh).He also provided the detail of the articles he collected from two camps of LeT in Mirpurkhas and Thatha.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Mumbai attack mastermind Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi and six other accused are facing the trial for planning and executing the attack on November 26, 2008 that left 166 people dead. Lakhvi, 55, secured bail last December and was subsequently released from the Adiala Jail on April 10 after the Lahore High Court set aside the government’s order to detain him under a public security act. He is currently out on bail and living at an undisclosed location.

Suspended IPS officer Amitabh Thakur moves court against Vigilance raid

In his complaint, Thakur alleged while the Vigilance officers falsely framed him in the disproportionate assets case after SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav’s complaint, yesterday’s search was conducted after his complaint against Vigilance Director Bhanu Pratap Singh.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Suspended IPS officer Amitabh Thakur on Wednesday filed a complaint in a local court alleging gross irregularities in the Vigilance establishment’s search carried out at his residence in Gomti Nagar area in Lucknow on Tuesday.Special Judge Anand Prakash sought from investigating officer Daddan Chaube to file a written reply on the complaint by October 16, Thakur said.In his complaint, Thakur alleged while the Vigilance officers falsely framed him in the disproportionate assets case after SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav’s complaint, yesterday’s search was conducted after his complaint against Vigilance Director Bhanu Pratap Singh. He charged the raid was conducted in “a most arbitrary manner” where despite requests by him and social activist wife Nutan Thakur, their house was searched half-heartedly and his wife’s locker was not searched despite having taken a search warrant from the court.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The most serious thing was that the Vigilance team did not even provide him a copy of the search list which is legally mandatory, he alleged. Thakur prayed for providing him the original search list. He also prayed for the case to be investigated under the direct monitoring of the court.Thakur has last week given a complaint at Vibhuti Khand police station, seeking registration of FIR against the Vigilance Director and others for alleged misrepresentation of facts in their inquiry report against him.The Vigilance Department had lodged an FIR against Thakur last month charging him with possessing assets disproportionate to known sources of his income. He was suspended in July after he lodged a police complaint against Mulayam, accusing him of threatening him over phone and attached to the Director General of Police (Headquarters).

Sri Lankan Navy arrests 19 Tamil Nadu fishermen

Nineteen fishermen from the Nagapattinam district were arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy on charges of violating the International Maritime Boundary Line on Saturday morning, Fisheries Department officials said here.

Representational image

Nineteen fishermen from the Nagapattinam district were arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy on charges of violating the International Maritime Boundary Line on Saturday morning, Fisheries Department officials said here.Their two boats were also seized by the navy personnel, Joint Director of Fisheries Department Subburaj said.Ten of the fishermen belonged to Akkaraipettai and the rest were from Keechankuppam, he said.The fishermen were arrested when they were fishing in Palk Straits.The navy had on September 22 arrested 15 fishermen from this district for allegedly fishing in Lankan waters. In another incident on the same day, the navy personnel also chased a group of fishermen at gun point near Katchatheevu in Palk Staits besides damaging nets of more than 60 boats. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

BARC Director Shekhar Basu appointed as Atomic Energy Secy

He is one of the architects of India’s 80 mega watt compact Pressurised Water Reactor (PWR),

He is a recipient of awards from Indian Nuclear Society and Department of Atomic Energy for his significant contributions to the Indian Atomic Energy Programme.

Renowned scientist Shekhar Basu was on Friday appointed as Atomic Energy Secretary and Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission. He will have tenure till he attains the age of 64 years, i.e. September 19, 2016, an order issued by Department of Personnel and Training said. Basu, who is presently Director of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) and chief executive of the Nuclear Recycle Board (NRB), will replace RK Sinha who superannuates on October 23.Basu, who was instrumental in setting up reprocessing and waste management facilities at Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research in Kalpakkam, is a recipient of Padma Shri. He has been credited for commissioning land-based Nuclear Submarine Propulsion Plant at Kalpakkam. He is one of the architects of India’s 80 mega watt compact Pressurised Water Reactor (PWR), which will power Arihant, the country’s nuclear-powered submarine.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After taking over as Director of BARC in 2012, Basu has been associated with research in engineering sciences covering physics, chemistry, biomedical, materials and others to develop and apply technology for energy, health, food and agriculture sectors.He was assigned the responsibility of nuclear recycle programme and constructed reprocessing and waste management plants at Tarapur and Kalpakkam. The Power Reactor Fuel Reprocessing Plant at Tarapur was built under his guidance. He is a recipient of awards from Indian Nuclear Society and Department of Atomic Energy for his significant contributions to the Indian Atomic Energy Programme. Basu is an engineering graduate from Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute in Mumbai.

Pakistan summons Indian diplomat over Samjhauta Express cancellation

About 200 Indian and Pakistani passengers of Samjhauta Express were yesterday stranded at the Wagah railway station for over five hours.

The cancellation caused inconvenience to more than 200 passengers from Pakistan and India.

Pakistan on Friday summoned India’s Acting Deputy High Commissioner and expressed concern over the cancellation of operation of Samjhauta Express due to farmer protest on the Indian side, leaving over 200 passengers from both countries stranded. “The Acting Deputy High Commissioner of India, Mr (S) Raghuram was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by Dr Mohammad Faisal, the Director General (South Asia), to express concern over the cancellation of operation of Samjhauta Express on October 8, 2015,” a Pakistan Foreign Office statement said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The cancellation caused inconvenience to more than 200 passengers from Pakistan and India. The Government of Pakistan has taken all necessary steps to accommodate the stranded Indian passengers, who were not permitted to cross the border yesterday,” it said.About 200 Indian and Pakistani passengers of Samjhauta Express were yesterday stranded at the Wagah railway station for over five hours after Indian authorities apparently did not allow it to leave for Attari because of the farmers’ protest on rail tracks in Punjab. A Pakistan Railways spokesman said the Samjhauta Express, which ferries passengers from Pakistan on Mondays and Thursdays, would now leave for Attari on Monday.”We expect the Indian side to make utmost efforts to avoid recurrence of such incidents in future and facilitate the travellers from Pakistan and India,” the Foreign Office said.

Abdul Kalam’s birth anniversary will be ‘no-schoolbag day’ for Maharashtra schools

Students won’t be carrying their school bags on October 15 as per the government order.

Thinkstock
Maharashtra’s Education Minister Vinod Tawde had made the announcement that APJ Abdul Kalam’s birth anniversary, October 15, will be celebrated as Vaachan Prerna Diwas or Reading Day in all schools of Maharashtra. The announcement has been made by Tawde on July 27 after the former President passed away. Students can leave their schoolbags at home on the day. The state government passed a resolution on Wednesday mandating all students from class 3-8 to read non-academic books on the day. Schools have also been directed to conduct events that inspire students to read such books.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>According to a report in a leading daily, state government has a budget of about Rs 6 lakh for the day to aid schools in organising book exhibitions, conducting programmes like gift-a-book and inviting notable authors etc. Students won’t be carrying their school bags on October 15 as per the government order and the day will be kept completely reserved for non-academic books including novels and poetry.As per the circular issued to all schools by the Deputy Director of school education BB Chavan, “There should be no kind of pressures in class this day and a positive environment should be created. This way, students can read what they like and have fun doing it. Only then will the programme be a success.”

Zero tolerance for those harming country’s secular fabric: Union Home Secretary Mehrishi

Mehrishi, who is on his maiden two days visit to the state of Jammu and Kashmir, reviewed the security situation along the IB in the R S Pura sector where he interacted with the jawans and the officials of the BSF.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi on Wednesday said that the country would not tolerate any attempt aimed at harming the secular fabric of the country.”Even as the law and order is a state subject but the central government has asked for zero tolerance for the issues which harm the secular fabric of the country,” Mehrishi said while replying to a question regarding the lynching of a man in Dadri village of Uttar Pradesh.He said that central government has already said what needs to be said on this and it is all over the news papers and they have issued an advisory which has been widely circulated. He was talking to reporters at R S Pura sector along the International Border (IB) in Jammu where he arrived on Wednesday to review the security situation along the IB.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Mehrishi, who is on his maiden two days visit to the state of Jammu and Kashmir, reviewed the security situation along the IB in the R S Pura sector where he interacted with the jawans and the officials of the BSF. He said that there was peace on the IB in the past one month and would want the peace to continue.”There has been peace on the IB for the past one month and we pray that the enemy will use their wisdom to keep peace in future as well”, he saidWhen asked to comment on the the purpose of his visit, Mehrishi said that he had come to meet the brave people who are guarding our borders.”I have come here to meet the brave people who are guarding our borders,” he told reporters.He also visited Abdullian border outpost and spent some time to get the first hand feel of the situation on the IB. He was accompanied by senior officers of various security agencies, including the Director General of BSF D K Pathak besides other senior officers.Mehrishi is visiting the Jammu and Kashmir for the first time after taking over as Home Secretary on September one this year. His visit comes on the backdrop of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s three day visit to the state where he reviewed the security situation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China.Replying on a question of Pakistani flags being raised in Kashmir valley, he said that these issues are not meant to be discussed in the public. On a question about the demand of border residents in Jammu region who want a plot of land at a safer place, he said that it was a state subject and he would take up the issue with the government of Jammu and Kashmir.The Union Home Secretary is expected to hold a high level security meeting with the senior officers of all the security agencies in the state. He is also expected to meet the Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra and the Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed.

FTII deadlock: Talks fail to lead to breakthrough

We had fairly elaborate discussions with the Secretary of I&B Ministry and briefed them on the issues, said Vikas Urs, spokesperson of FTII students

Discussed unfair appointments in the FTII society, says Vikas Urs. (File Photo)

Image courtesy: ANI’s Twitter handle
A fresh round of talks on Wednesday between I&B officials and striking FTII students failed to resolve the over 100-day deadlock with the students insisting on their demand for removal of actor and BJP member Gajendra Chauhan as the Pune-based institute’s chairman. Both sides, however, agreed to take forward the talks and agreed to meet again on October 10. “The main demand of removal Chauhan as FTII chairman and the dissolution of its society are still not resolved and these would be discussed during the next round of talks on October 10, Vikas Urs, spokesperson of FTII students, told reporters after the meeting.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Information and Broadcasting Secretary Sunil Arora led the parleys held at the Films Division office here,also attended by Joint Secretary (Films) K Sanjay Murthy, Director General of Films Division Mukesh Sharma, FTII Director Prashant Pathrabe and registrar UC Bodke. Apart from seven students, the Film and Television Institute of India’s (FTII) alumni association representative Aruna Raje was also invited for the talks. Urs said, “We had fairly elaborate discussions with the Secretary of I&B Ministry and briefed them on the issues, including the unfair appointments in the FTII society and its nature of functioning that have led to the current crisis on the campus. We also discussed the urgent need of transforming the FTII society into an internationally acclaimed institution. But, the meeting was inconclusive. However, we are very much hopeful that something would come out extremely positive on October 10 when we will be meeting the same delegation here, he said.””When we would have the next round of talks, these demands would be on top of the agenda,” he said.

Ex-CBI chief Ranjit Sinha can object to demand of visitors’ diary copy: SC

Ranjit Singh said the objection will be raised before another bench which is hearing the coal block allocation scam matters.

Ranjit Sinha

dna Research & Archives
The Supreme Court on Monday left it open for Ranjit Sinha to raise objection to the demand for a copy of original visitors’ diary of his official residence during his tenure as CBI Director, by former Special Director of the agency, M L Sharma, to inquire into the allegation against him for scuttling the coalgate probe.When the matter came up for hearing before a bench comprising Chief Justice H L Dattu and Amitava Roy, the objection was raised by Sinha’s senior advocate Vikas Singh, who said the original diary was taken into the safe custody of the apex court in connection with the 2G spectrum scam matter.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Singh said the objection will be raised before another bench which is hearing the coal block allocation scam matters.A bench comprising Justices M B Lokur, Kurian Joseph and A K Sikri, which is hearing coal block cases, had referred the plea of the special probe team to the bench headed by Chief Justice H L Dattu on the ground that the visitors’ diary, submitted by advocate Prashant Bhushan, has been kept in a sealed cover in pursuance of the order of CJI bench.Taking note of the submissions, the CJI said Sinha’s counsel can raise the objection before another bench on the issue.”You can say that the diary was for the 2G case and not for the coal scam cases,” the bench said while posting the matter for Thursday.The bench, while hearing the coal matter on September 30, had observed “we realise that this document is important.” The diary allegedly contains names of persons, including those facing court cases in the 2G and coalgate scams who had visited Sinha’s official residence during his tenure as the CBI Director.The apex court had on September 14, entrusted M L Sharma with the power to summon any person in his inquiry against Sinha, accused of scuttling probe in the coal block scam as the agency’s chief.It had also ordered that Sharma will have access to all documents required by him for his probe and asked him to submit the report of inquiry in three months.Sharma, who had emerged as the first choice of the apex court, had given his consent to assist the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) in its probe against Sinha.The court had on September 7 said the scope of inquiry was limited to recording the statements of persons accused in the coal allocation scam to draw an inference whether the probe into the cases were in any way influenced or interfered with, as suggested by the CVC.

India not constructing wall along LoC, it’s a story created by Pakistan: BSF

Jammu: Rubbishing Pakistan’s claim, BSF on Tuesday asserted that India is not constructing any wall along the border in Jammu and Kashmir and that a “story” is being cooked up by the neighbouring country to create confusion.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

Days after Pakistan claimed in a complaint to the UN that India is building a wall along the Working Boundary (LoC), BSF Inspector General Rakesh Sharma said it was not possible to do so keeping in view the topography of the area.

“This is a story created by Pakistan. There is no wall being constructed…,” he told reporters in Jammu.

“It is a confusion that is being created by the Pakistani side as there is no such wall being constructed on the IB in Jammu and Kashmir,” Sharma said.

Referring to the difficult terrain, he said, “How can it be constructed and the wall as you know the topographic conditions of the border? It is just not possible to construct a wall.”

Last week, Pakistan’s Ambassador to UN Maleeha Lodhi had in a letter to UNSC President Vitaly Churkin, alleged that India was planning to construct a 10-meter high and 135-feet wide embankment (wall) along the 197-km Working Boundary (LoC) between Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan.

The wall, according to Pakistan, was to convert the LoC “into a quasi international border”.

Asked as to why Pakistan was making up the story of a wall being constructed, Sharma said, “I am also surprised about the wall theory – there is nothing on the ground and it seems to be a story only.”

The BSF IG said the fortification of the already existing fence on the IB was an ongoing process because the fence is subjected to the vagaries of nature.

“The repair and upgradation of the border fence is an ongoing process. At several places the fence gets washed away when there is a flood so we have to repair it,” he said.

When asked to comment on the recently-held Director General (DG)-level talks with Pakistan, Sharma said, “It (situation along IB) appears to be peaceful as of now and both the sides are maintaining peace on the border and let us see how things move ahead”.

PTI

Govt to roll out India-specific ranking system for educational institutions

The ranking framework will be across disciplines which takes into account the perception of an institute, outreach, research activity and inclusivity through reservations.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
The government will roll out on Monday an India-specific ranking framework covering higher educational institutes, in an answer to global ranking agencies where Indian universities and institutes including the IITs have never been able to make the cut.The ranking framework will be across disciplines which takes into account the perception of an institute, outreach, research activity and inclusivity through reservations. It will be released by HRD Minister Smriti Irani following marathon meetings of a core committee headed by the HRD Ministry higher education Secretary.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The parameters which would be used for ranking are “teaching learning and resources, research, consulting and collaborative performance, graduation outcome, outreach and inclusivity (through reservations) and perception” said an official note. Each of these has been further subdivided into nearly 20 sub criteria to comprehensively assess an institute.The rankings will cover all institutes offering courses on engineering, law, management and humanities and the first ranking list is expected by January-February 2016.A core committee comprised National Board of Accreditation Chairman (NBA) Surendra Prasad, IIT-Kharagapur Director PP Chakraborty, IIT-Madras Director Bhaskar Ramamurthi, besides the higher education secretary and HRD ministry officials.”The methodology outlined would start a new era of accountability in higher education in the country,” Prasad said.With the underlining theme that the ranking be designed that enable an apple-to-apple comparison, it has been decided that institutes in different sectoral field such as engineering, management etc would be compared separately. Comprehensive universities comprising several academic programmes in Arts, Humanities, Science etc should similarly be compared separately.

Bihar polls: EC chief on two day visit to check preparations

Election Commission (EC) chief Nasim Zaidi, along with his team, is going on a two-day visit to Bihar to review the preparations for the first, second and third phase of assembly elections in the state.The team includes Election Commissioners Achal Kumar Jyoti and O.P Rawat. Zaidi will hold meeting with the representatives of different political parties today afternoon.EC would also review meetings with Commissioner, Inspector General and SSP of those districts where 1st, 2nd and 3rd phase of elections are scheduled to be held. Zaidi will also meet the Chief Secretary, Home Secretary and Director General of Police, Bihar before returning to Delhi. The first phase of elections will be held on October 12, while the second and third phase will take place on October 16 and October 28. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

ARAI starts probe to find if Volkswagen manipulated emission tests in India too

New Delhi: Asked by the government to probe whether Volkswagen has manipulated emission tests in India as it did in the US, automotive testing agency ARAI on Friday said it has started the process and has sought details from the company on the issue.

“We have sought details from Volkswagen and are awaiting their response,” ARAI (Automotive Research Association of India) Director Rashmi Urdhwareshe told PTI.

Volkswagen. Reuters

Volkswagen. Reuters

When asked if ARAI would pick up random samples to test, she said: “We are yet to decide on that.”

Urdhwareshe said the testing agency will work as per the guidelines of the Ministry of Heavy Industries.

When contacted, a Volkswagen India spokesperson declined to comment stating “the investigations are still running”.

on Thursday, Heavy Industries Secretary Rajan Katoch had said that the ministry has asked ARAI to inquire if VW manipulated emissions tests in India as it did in the US where it faces fine to the tune of $18 billion.

VW has admitted that 11 million cars worldwide were fitted with the software that helped in manipulating emission tests. It is now facing investigations in the US, South Korea, France, Italy, Canada, Germany and the UK. Australia has said it is monitoring the situation.

In the wake of the scandal in the US, the embattled CEO of Volkswagen, Martin Winterkorn, stepped down earlier this week.

The allegations against Germany’s largest car maker were initially raised by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which last week ordered it to recall nearly half a million diesel cars fitted with a device that allowed cars to pass emission control tests by showing much lower levels of pollution than in ordinary use.

A special software enabled the cars to detect when they were on emission control test and lower their pollution levels.

It could hide the fact that the emission levels of diesel cars were 40 times higher than the level of pollutants allowed in the US.

PTI

After November dengue cases will decline: AIIMS Director

AIIMS Director M C Mishra urged people not to panic citing the mortality in dengue is very low and that people should start taking enough fluids if they contract the disease.

Dengue till now has affected close to 4000 people and claimed 28 lives unofficially as the official figure of death toll which is 17.
File Photo
AFP photo
With dengue menace refusing to relent and hospitals in the city having a huge rush of patients, AIIMS Director said the disease will persist till November and then till will decline.”Until October 15, we will get more cases. After that the temperature will cool down and November onwards we will see the decline and naturally in December, January, it would disappear. There is humidity, temperature and the total environment that the mosquito gets to breed and which starts with the monsoon setting in. So the cases have started coming in from mid-June onwards and after that there has been a surge. September has been bad from that perspective,” AIIMS Director M C Mishra said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He, however, urged people not to panic citing the mortality in dengue is very low and that people should start taking enough fluids if they contract the disease.”If you look at the hospitalised patients, who are selected patients, sick patients, even in those, the mortality has been really low and it is in the range of 7-10 per cent (in case of sick patients). The mortality in dengue is is less than half per cent and even less than that. So people must have the confidence that most dengue fever is a common fever which is mild in nature and majority of people will recover from it. But, in occasional cases it does turn into a dengue shock syndrome or Hemorrhagic fever which is far more tragic and that takes the toll,” he said.Meanwhile, experts at AIIMS have advised people not to fall for “herbal cures” citing there is no scientific proof that they help fight the disease even as the demand for giloy and papaya leaves, aloe vera and goat milk shot up in Delhi with dengue patients opting for these to increase platelet count.”We don’t recommend these ‘herbal cures’ like aloe vera, papaya leaf and goat milk. We would also advise people not to scramble for these as there is no scientific evidence or research based on which it can be conclusively said that these herbs and fruits can be effective in the treatment of dengue,” said S K Sharma, Head of Medicine Department at AIIMS.Dengue till now has affected close to 4000 people and claimed 28 lives unofficially as the official figure of death toll which is 17.

CBI registers bribery case against ED Joint Director in IPL betting case

New Delhi: The CBI on Wednesday carried out searches at the Enforcement Directorate’s Ahmedabad branch after registering a case of alleged bribery against its Joint Director investigating the IPL betting probe.

CBI sources said the agency has registered a case of alleged corruption against Joint Director J P Singh, a 2000 batch Indian Revenue Service officer of Customs and Excise wing, on the basis of a complaint received from the Directorate.

They said the case has been registered under provisions of criminal conspiracy under IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act against Singh and unknown officials of ED.

Representational image. IBNLive

Representational image. IBNLive

It is alleged that Rs 15 crore was handed over as bribe to Singh’s father-in-law, SKS Somvanshi, a retired IRS officer of 1978 batch, by hawala dealers and tax consultants for giving relief and extending favours to suspects in two cases probed by ED.

The ED’s Ahmedabad unit was probing two important cases–Rs 2,000 crore IPL betting scandal and Rs 5,000 crore money laundering case against alleged hawala operator Afroz Fatta in which the suspects allegedly sought favours, sources said.

After registering the cases, CBI carried out searches the ED office in Ahmedabad and residences of Singh and Additional Directors Sanjay Kumar and P S Srinivas, both ED cadre officers in Ahmedabad, and Somvanshi here in Delhi, they said.

The operation, which started in the evening, is still continuing with a team of the agency reaching Surat to search the residence of Srinivas there as well.

Sources said the ED Director received multiple complaints from various quarters about the alleged demand for bribe by the senior officials of its Ahmedabad unit after which it was forwarded to CBI.

The agency had kept these suspects under surveillance after receiving complaint from ED during which prima facie information about the alleged bribery was collected. were conducted.

“It has been alleged that certain officers of Enforcement Directorate while investigating the cases of money laundering in betting and other such activities have allegedly demanded and accepted huge illegal gratification from the accused and suspect persons in the said cases.

“Huge bribe amount was allegedly taken by these officers as quid pro quo for various acts of omission and commission,” CBI spokesperson said in a statement.

PTI

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