MediaEye RSS Feedhttps://www.mediaeyenews.comMediaEye news RSS Feeden-usCopyright (C) 2016 mediaeyenews.comEating blueberries can lower BP cut heart disease risk

New York, May 20

Consuming blueberries can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease in post-menopausal women with high blood pressure, according to new research.

Consumption of 22 grams of freeze dried highbush blueberry powder (equivalent to about 1 cup of fresh blueberries), mixed with water, taken daily for 12 weeks improved the function of the inner lining of blood vessels (called the endothelium), according to preliminary findings of a study. The finding was presented at the International Conference on Polyphenols and Health in London.

"We found an improvement in endothelial function which is important for human health, as endothelial dysfunction is linked to atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease development," said Sarah Ardanuy Johnson, from Colorado State University in the US.

"We also found evidence that blueberries improved endothelial function through reductions in oxidative stress in the body," she said.

Oxidative stress is the imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants in the body and can damage cells and tissues, which promotes endothelial dysfunction and cardiovascular disease development.

Previous research has demonstrated that polyphenols and polyphenol-rich foods like blueberries can reduce oxidative stress.

"To observe a direct link between reductions in oxidative stress and improvements in endothelial function in humans is exciting and provides insight into how blueberries promote cardiovascular health," Johnson said.

They performed a randomised clinical trial in 43 oestrogen-deficient postmenopausal women aged 45-65 years with elevated blood pressure or stage 1-hypertension.

"We don't fully understand the health benefits and how they interact in the human body," Johnson said of blueberries, "but we know that they're really important to human health."

The team is exploring the role of the gut microbiome in determining the cardiovascular-protective effects of blueberries and their polyphenols.

Johnson said the team observed increases in blood metabolites that are products of metabolism of anthocyanins (polyphenols found in blueberries that give them their blue colour) and metabolism of polyphenols by the gut microbiome.

The key takeaway is that there are benefits to consuming blueberries on a regular basis to help improve cardiovascular health, she said, adding that foods rich in phytochemicals may also include many fruits and vegetables, cocoa, chocolate, tea, nuts, legumes, whole grains, and spices.

Fri, 20 May 2022 20:50:06 +0530
China proposes search for nearby habitable planets via space telescope

Beijing, May 20

Chinese scientists have proposed a space project to survey the sky through a space-borne telescope to hunt for habitable Earth-like planets outside our solar system, about 32 light-years from Earth.

If the project, named Closeby Habitable Exoplanet Survey (CHES), could be carried out, it will be the first space mission specially designed to search for habitable terrestrial planets around the nearby Sun-like stars, Xinhua news agency reported.

According to the project, a 1.2-metre-aperture optical telescope with high image quality, high stability, and low distortion will be placed into a Halo orbit at the second Lagrangian (L2) point of the Sun-Earth system and maintain a stable operation period of at least five years in that orbit.

The telescope will explore approximately 100 Sun-like stars, with each of them being observed at least 50 times.

The Halo orbit at the Sun-Earth L2 point is less affected by Earth's gravity, and the thermal radiation environment is relatively stable. The satellite can work for a long time with little fuel consumption, which is very suitable for astronomical satellites to conduct continuous observation, the report said.

The exploration of habitable planets outside the solar system is one of the key frontiers of fundamental research in astronomy. It will offer crucial clues to the issues such as "Are we alone in the universe?" and "How can planets become the cradle of life?" according to Ji Jianghui, a research professor from the Purple Mountain Observatory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, who is the principal investigator of the CHES mission.

He said more than 5,000 exoplanets have been discovered and confirmed so far, including about 50 Earth-like planets in the habitable zone, but most of them are hundreds of light-years away from Earth.

"The discovery of the nearby habitable worlds will be a great breakthrough for humankind, and will also help humans visit those Earth twins and expand our living space in the future," Ji said.

The CHES will observe about 100 Sun-like stars 32 light-years away on a long-term survey, and will hopefully discover roughly 50 Earth-like planets or super-Earths, planets that are up to about 10 times the mass of Earth, in habitable zones around nearby Sun-like stars, especially planets that have similarities in size, orbit and habitability to Earth.

The CHES will conduct an extensive survey on the number, true planetary masses and three-dimensional orbits of those habitable planets, Ji added.

Based on the space-borne ultra-high-precision relative astrometry, the CHES will precisely measure the micro-arcsecond-level angular separation of a target star relative to six to eight standard reference stars.

This subtle change can be used to calculate the very tiny wobble of the target star caused by its revolving planet's gravitational perturbations and detect those terrestrial planets in the habitable zone with real masses, the report said.

Fri, 20 May 2022 20:46:20 +0530
Shyam Benegal shares video message as Mujib trailer unveiled at Cannes

Mumbai, May 20

Veteran filmmaker Shyam Benegal's film 'Mujib: The Making Of A Nation' has received special attention at the ongoing 75th Cannes Film Festival.

The movie revolves around the founder of Bangladesh, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

The 90-second trailer was launched at the Indian Pavilion at Cannes in the presence of Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur and Bangladesh's Information and Broadcasting Minister Hasan Mahmud.

As per the media reports, Shyam Benegal couldn't attend the Cannes Film Festival so he shared a video message expressing his gratitude.

He shared: "This is an Indo-Bangladesh co-production, the first of its kind actually. This is a very important film because I personally think that I got the opportunity to work with some of the best actors of the subcontinent. Sheikh Mujibir was an extraordinary person."

"He was a person who had a very middle-class background and lived a very simple life, but he had a burning ambition that helped him create Bangladesh. It was absolutely marvellous working on the film," he added.

Fri, 20 May 2022 20:42:58 +0530
Vande Bharat Express to connect all regions Railway Minister

Chennai, May 20

Indian Railways will connect the country's different regions with Vande Bharat Express trains, said Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw here on Friday.

He also ruled out privatisation of the Indian Railways.

Congratulating the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) team for designing and rolling out the modern train Vande Bharat Express Vaishnaw said it is a proud project for Indian Railways.

"All regions of India will be connected through Vande Bharat Express trains as envisaged by the Honourable Prime Minister which is a dream coming true for all of us," Vaishnaw said.

He visited ICF and inspected the Vande Bharat express coaches under production.

First two prototype rakes are planned to be turned out by August this year.

Indian Railways is committed to roll out 75 Vande Bharat rakes by August 2023.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presenting the Union Budget for 2022-23 had said 400 new energy efficient Vande Bharat trains will be introduced in three years.

According to Vaishnaw, the focus is totally on adaptation of new technologies for the betterment of Indian Railways, such as Kavach Anti-collision safety devices, that will be fitted on Vande Bharat Express coaches as well.

He said all the railway stations are being re-developed and 50 stations have already been undergoing the process.

In Tamil Nadu, five stations including Chennai Egmore, Madurai, Kanniyakumari, Rameswaram and Katpadi have been shortlisted under the project, he remarked.

As regards funds allocation, he said Rs 3,685 crore have been allotted for railway projects in Tamil Nadu in the current budget.

Vaishnaw also recommended that the railway staff working in Tamil Nadu should learn Tamil for better interaction with rail users in addition to smooth and safe operation of trains.

"India is a country with many beautiful languages and we need to enjoy the beauty of each and every language," he said.

Vaishnaw flagged off the 12,000th ALHB (Linke Hofmann Busch) AC-II Tier Coach at ICF in the presence of A.K. Agarwal, General Manager, ICF, B.G. Mallya, General Manager, Southern Railway and other senior officials.

This is a great milestone in the history of Indian Railways and a bench mark in modernisation of passenger train services.

The ICF is the first production unit of Indian Railways to achieve such a benchmark in the production of LHB coaches.

Fri, 20 May 2022 20:37:30 +0530
Russia won t export food to the detriment of its own market

Moscow, May 20

Russia will not export food to the detriment of its own market, Deputy Chairman of Russias Security Council and former President Dmitry Medvedev said.

In a lengthy Telegram post, Medvedev commented on the recent statements by Western leaders about food security.

As Russia and Ukraine are major wheat suppliers, accounting for some 30 per cent of global exports, the prices have significantly grown since the launch of the Russian military offensive in Ukraine and the subsequent sanctions imposed on Moscow by the US, the EU, the UK and some other Western nations, RT reported.

On Wednesday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that fertilisers and food products from Russia should be available to the world markets without obstacles.

Medvedev agreed that without wheat and other food supplies from Russia, the importing countries would "have a very difficult time", especially, he noted, because without Russian fertilisers, "only juicy weeds [would] grow" on their fields, RT reported.

In Medvedev's opinion, the West is now "backing up" because "all these hellish sanctions are worthless when it comes to vital things", such as food or energy.

Sanctions interfere with everyone's desire to live a normal, prosperous life, the former Russian President argued.

The expansion of NATO and the "mess with the calculations of debts, payments and other things" have aggravated the situation, he said.

According to Medvedev, Russia is ready to fulfil all of its obligations, but it has the right to expect some assistance from its trading partners. Otherwise, he emphasised, there would be no logic to it.

"On the one hand, insane sanctions are being imposed on us, and on the other hand, [the West] is demanding food supplies," he said.

"It will not happen, we're not idiots," he said, adding that there would be no export deliveries to the detriment of the Russian market, RT reported.

Fri, 20 May 2022 20:34:28 +0530
Kerala Tourism in aggressive marketing mode in Oman Bahrain

Thiruvananthapuram, May 20

With Kerala coffers in bad shape and tourism being the only industry expected to bring in revenue, top Kerala Tourism officials are going forward with aggressive marketing and reached Oman and Bahrain to sell Kerala's time-tested tourism products.

Detailed presentations on Kerala's pitch to the Middle East were made as a 'Paradise Four Hours Away'. New products and events such as Keravan Kerala (Caravan Tourism) and Champions Boat League were showcased.

Tourism-related activities in Kerala in 2019 of Rs 10,271 crore brought in precious foreign exchange. After the pandemic, the industry is slowly getting back on its feet.

The business meets were held in Muscat on Tuesday, and in Manama on Wednesday.

The Kerala delegation at these two road shows was led by AKS Srinivas, Principal Secretary, Kerala Tourism, and VR Krishna Teja Mylavarapu, Director, Kerala Tourism.

Amit Narang, Indian Ambassador to Oman, and Piyush Srivastava, Indian Ambassador to Bahrain, attended the road shows in Muscat and Manama, respectively, as Chief Guests.

Srinivas said that the Middle East is a strategic market for Kerala Tourism in terms of tourist arrivals from June to August, which is the period of summer holiday there and the residents travel to cooler climes to escape the blistering summer heat.

Kerala's monsoon is an ideal time for tourists from Gulf countries and many of them also opt for the state's Ayurvedic and holistic wellness treatments during this time," said Srinivas.

The business meetings in both the Middle Eastern countries saw successful interactions between Kerala Tourism trade partners in the private sector and buyers from Muscat and Manama.

Fri, 20 May 2022 20:29:46 +0530
Interim order to continue Gyanvapi mosque suit transferred to district judge SC Lead

New Delhi, May 20

The Supreme Court on Friday transferred proceedings of the suit by Hindu parties seeking worshipping rights at Varanasi's Gyanvapi mosque to the district judge, while ordering its May 17 interim order to protect the 'Shivling', purportedly discovered during the survey, and free access to Muslims for 'namaz' should continue.

A bench, headed by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and comprising Justices Surya Kant and P.S. Narasimha, said the District Judge will decide the matter on priority.

The bench said taking in view of complexity of the issues involved in the suit and the sensitivity, the suit before Civil Judge, Senior Division, Varanasi should be tried before a senior and experienced judicial officer of the Uttar Pradesh Higher Judicial Service.

It said the May 17 interim order will remain operational for eight weeks, after the District Judge's decision in the matter, so as allow the aggrieved party to appeal against the decision.

The bench noted that the District Judge has an experience close to 30 years and would be able to handle the matter.

Senior advocate Huzefa Ahmadi, representing the Committee of Management, Anjuman Intezamia Masajid Varanasi, contended that the status quo of 500 years had already changed by sealing the premises and added that the status quo, which existed before, must continue.

The top court said its interim order on May 17 would balance the interests of contesting parties.

Ahmadi said there is a narrative being created and commission reports are being leaked selectively. "This is disturbing communal harmony. Don't look at this from the point of one suit alone. Look at the ramifications across the country," he added.

The top court also took a serious view on the leak of a report on the video survey of the mosque. "Only the trial court can open the report... there is a need to maintain calm on the ground and not allow nerves to be frayed with selective leaks."

As Ahmadi questioned the appointment of Commissioner, as it was barred under the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991, the bench said that there are various nuances of the Act which will fall for consideration.

"The ascertainment of religious character is not barred under the Act. The ascertainment of religious character of a place may not fall foul of Section 3 or 4 of the Act. These are matters where we will not hazard an opinion. We are in a dialogue."

The top court also directed the District Magistrate, Varanasi to make arrangements for 'wuzu' (ritual ablutions), for Muslims before offering namaz.

The top court has scheduled the matter for further hearing in July.

The trial court's order for survey of the area by appointing court commissioners was questioned by the masjid committee, which moved the apex court challenging the Allahabad High Court's April 21 order. The high court had declined to intervene into the matter. The survey was conducted on May 14, 15 and 16.

The masjid committee contended that the suit is all about changing the character of a shrine which is a mosque, and this is not maintainable. However, the top court had cited that the suit filed before the Varanasi court was not title suit but one for injunction against worship at 'Shringar Gauri'.

Fri, 20 May 2022 20:26:36 +0530
Doctor seeks memorial for youngest organ donor who saved 5 lives

New Delhi, May 20

A six-year-old child who donated organs and saved the lives of five persons has become the youngest organ donor in the history of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) here, senior AIIMS neurosurgeon Dr. Deepak Gupta said, adding there must be some memorial and monument in her name to raise awareness about organ donation.

The child, Roli Prajapati, was shot in her head after which she was rushed to the hospital. Soon, she went into coma, and then was referred to the AIIMS, Delhi. After some attempts to save the little girl, the doctors declared her brain dead.

Gupta and his team counselled her parents for organ donation that could save other lives. Her parents become ready to donate their daughter's organs which eventually saved five lives.

"Roli arrived at the hospital on April 27. She had a gunshot wound and a bullet was lodged in her brain. She arrived at the hospital in an almost brain dead condition. So, we talked to the family members," said Gupta. She was operated on April 30.

Lauding Roli's parents for donating her organs, Gupta said this is the finest example of saving lives.

"Her name must be made memorable by constructing some memorial, monument, park or anything to raise awareness on this serious issue of organ donation," he said.

Fri, 20 May 2022 20:23:17 +0530
After 80 months jail murder accused Indrani Mukerjea walks out on bail

Mumbai, May 20

Nearly 80 months after she was arrested on murder charges - that too of her daughter, former media bigwig Indrani Mukerjea on Friday walked out of jail on bail granted by the Supreme Court.

On stepping out of Byculla Womens Jail, Indrani - appearing relaxed, smart in a white salwar-suit, make-up and her gray locks well-coiffed - got into a waiting dark car along with a woman lawyer to be driven home.

Facing a volley of questions from the battery of media assembled there, she merely smiled and said: "Khula aasman dekha bahut khushi hui (I saw the open skies and felt very happy)" as the car sped off.

Indrani - the prime accused in the murder of her daughter Sheena Bora - added she was feeling better but had not made any future plans after getting enlarged on bail.

The Supreme Court granted her bail of Rs 200,000 on Wednesday - 80 months after Mumbai Police arrested her on August 25, 2015 - after the judges observed that (6.5 years) is a long time.


Fri, 20 May 2022 20:18:56 +0530
What is Human Life Value or HLV

Anupama Nair


What is Human Life Value or HLV? It is a number that tells the present value of future income expenses, liabilities and investments. The HLV number is taken usually to understand how much money would be required to secure the lives of your dependents with term insurance, in case you are no longer around.

Dr. Solomon S. Huebner had discovered the concept of human life value. Thus, he is credited with making HLV the standard method of calculating insurance value and need.

HLV = Retirement Age—Current age X annual CTC.

There are 7 points that are taken into account to assess your HLV. These are:


Your age
Your gender
Your occupation
Your target retirement age
Your annual income
Your employment benefits
Your financial information on spouse and children

HLV puts a number to an important question -- what is the price of your life. In life insurance, it is important to measure your economic worth. This worth can be expressed in the form of human life value. Thus, HLV is the rupee value of your economic worth in terms of what you create for the people who depend on you. So, if your life is cut short then an amount equivalent to the HLV should be available so that the people dependent on you can lead their life properly.

Fri, 20 May 2022 20:11:27 +0530
realme targets young Indians high performance seekers with narzo 50 5G series Madhav Sheth

New Delhi, May 20

Global technology brand realme, which recently crossed 10 million of Narzo series cumulative shipments in January 2022 in India, has introduced most affordable smartphones under the narzo series to meet the needs of young players and those looking for high-performance smartphones, the company's top executive said on Friday.

The company first introduced the narzo series in 2020 with the launch of narzo 10 series.

"What we have observed in the last two years is that the way consumers shop has evolved, as have their needs. Smartphones now serve specific purposes in each of our lives. With the gaming community growing, the narzo series has seen huge adoption and recognition -- thanks to its powerful processors and unparalleled performance," Madhav Sheth, CEO realme India, VP, realme and President, realme International Business Group, told IANS.

The company has introduced narzo 50 5G series with two smartphones -- narzo 50 5G and narzo 50 Pro 5G.

"The narzo 50 Pro 5G is powered by MediaTek Dimensity 920 5G processor; fastest in its segment and is the most affordable smartphone to come with MediaTek Dimensity 920. Paired with the other segment first features, I believe it will be a huge success among the users, just like our other products have been," Sheth added.

The narzo 50 Pro 5G is the most powerful 5G Gaming mid-ranger and features the fastest 5G processor in the segment, MediaTek Dimensity 920 5G, and comes with a 6.4 inches screen and 90Hz Amoled Display.

It features an in-display fingerprint scanner with heart rate detection and is powered by a massive 5000mAh battery supported by a 33W Dart Charge, allowing users to charge the smartphone up to 50 per cent in just 31 minutes.

"Combined with the 48MP triple camera and an industry-leading Vapor Chamber Cooling System, the narzo 50 Pro 5G becomes a promising product in its segment," Sheth noted.

realme narzo devices are performance-driven, featuring the most powerful processors and performance at each price segment, which has been treated as �Power for young people.'

"Moreover, our narzo series takes our �Power Meets Style' advantage to the next level, with best-in-segment gaming processors, fast charging, and a massive battery and ensures a better experience for the young players," Sheth told IANS.

Talking about the narzo 50 5G, it is a sleek 5G gaming Ninja that comes with the new-gen MediaTek Dimensity 810 5G processor, allowing users to experience outstanding performance with 5G.

It comes with a massive 5000mAh battery and a powerful 33W Dart Charge, coupled with a Smart 5G Power saving mode that intelligently senses the surrounding signal environment according to the user's usage scenario and switches between 4G and 5G, reducing the power consumption for the phone by 30 per cent.

"What makes this phone stand out is the fact that despite being packed with such features, the phone comes in a sleek, 8.1mm thin body and adopts a Kevlar Speed Texture Design," said the realme executive.

Fri, 20 May 2022 11:22:00 +0530
India to introduce indigenous TB infection skin test c TB

New Delhi, May 20

Starting later this year, the Union government will introduce a newly approved 'Made in India' tuberculosis (TB) infection skin test called 'c-TB', Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya announced on Thursday in the national capital.

Mandaviya said this cost-effective tool will be of immense benefit to other high burden countries as well.

He was addressing the 35th board meeting of the "Stop TB Partnership" through video-conferencing in Delhi.

Highlighting the severe impact of Covid-19 pandemic on TB programmes in high burden countries, the Union Health Minister said several new initiatives have been taken in the country to turn the crisis into an opportunity under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Several health initiatives have been taken such as 'abidirectional testing' of TB with Covid, house-to-house TB detection campaigns, scaling up of rapid molecular diagnostics at sub-district levels, use of artificial intelligence and digital tools, Jan Andolan and most importantly, decentralisation of TB services to Ayushman Bharat Health and Wellness Centres as part of comprehensive primary healthcare.

Mandaviya also informed that a new initiative "Adopt people with TB" will be launched this year based on Indian values of collectivism which will urge corporates, industries, organisations, political parties and individuals to come forward and adopt TB infected people and families, and provide them with nutritional and social support.

"We are also actively involving elected representatives in India like the Members of Parliament, Members of Legislative Assemblies in the states, members of urban local bodies and panchayat representatives at the grassroots level in raising awareness and advocating for TB across the country," the Union Minister said.

Underlining that 2022 is a target year for many of the commitments made in the UN High-Level Meeting (UNHLM) of 2018, Mandaviya stressed on discussing bold and ambitious commitments in this board meeting for the upcoming UNHLM of TB in 2023.

Fri, 20 May 2022 11:19:12 +0530
Equity benchmarks up in opening deals

New Delhi, May 20

Equity benchmark indices rose in opening deals on Friday led by gains in auto, oil & gas, metals stocks. Also, value buying post recent slump too buoyed the indices.

At 10.07 a.m., Sensex was 1,105 points up at 53,897, whereas Nifty 345 points up at 16,154.

"The excessive volatility in the market is broadly due to two reasons. One, the market has discounted severe monetary tightening by the Fed which is likely to take the Fed funds rate to around 3 per cent in 2023. Two, the market has not fully discounted the probability of the US economy slipping into recession in 2023. Till there is clarity on the second issue, the 'risk-off, risk-on mode' in the market is likely to continue in the near-term. It may take a few weeks for the markets to stabilise," said VK Vijayakumar, Chief Investment Strategist at Geojit Financial Services.

FIIs are likely to continue selling since India is the only emerging market where they are sitting on good profits and the market provides the liquidity to sell.

Stocks in Asia and US futures pushed higher Friday amid a bout of relative calm in markets, though worries about a darkening economic outlook and China's Covid struggles could yet stoke more volatility, said Deepak Jasani, Head of Retail Research, HDFC Securities.

Fri, 20 May 2022 11:14:36 +0530
Andhra Pradesh s pavilion at Davos to highlight investment opportunities

Amaravati, May 20

Andhra Pradesh's pavilion at the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting at Davos will highlight the investment opportunities.

The pavilion with the slogan 'People - Progress - Possibilities' will reiterate the state's commitment for decarbonised economy and would focus on investment opportunities

A high-level delegation, led by Chief Minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy will be participating in the meeting scheduled from May 22-26.

The chief minister will be holding discussions towards a decarbonised economy focusing on Industrialisation 4.0, officials said.

The state will showcase the strategy followed to curb Covid pandemic using Testing - Tracing- Treatment method and also the revolutionary measures taken by the government in education, health and development sectors, they said.

Andhra Pradesh will also focus on conventional energy resources and industrial waste treatment. The government intends to make room for the industrialisation of interconnectivity, real-time data, mechanisation and automation as part of the goal of sustainable economic progress and the chief minister and the state delegation will take part in the extensive discussions in Davos in this regard.

The resources and opportunities available to the state to become the right platform for industrialisation 4.0 will also be explained at the event.

The conference will also showcase opportunities in the Bangalore-Hyderabad, Chennai-Bangalore and Visakhapatnam-Chennai corridors to various industry bodies and entrepreneurs. It also describes how well-trained human resources are being developed. The state will also showcase how ports will contribute to Industrialization 4.0.

The state will also focus on changes that need to be made in industrial strategies. The state will focus on the best companies for partnership in areas of strengthening the process of delivering products directly to the doorstep, integrating it with digitalisation, further enhancing the manufacturing sector in the state, and developing the best resources.


Fri, 20 May 2022 11:12:35 +0530
Pakistan bans import of non essential luxury items to stabilise economy

Islamabad, May 20

The Pakistani government has imposed a complete ban on the import of more than three dozen non-essential luxury items as part of an emergency economic plan to stabilise the national economy.

On Thursday, Information and Broadcasting Minister, Maryam Aurangzeb said, "There is an emergency situation and Pakistanis will have to make sacrifices under the economic plan. This will have a quick impact on the country's foreign reserves."

Pakistan will have to reduce its dependency on imports to put the country on the path of economic stability and progress, she said, adding that the government has been working to introduce an export-oriented policy, which will benefit local industry and producers, and generate employment, Xinhua news agency reported.

The development came after the Pakistani rupee continued to sink over the past few weeks, hitting a historic low value of 200 against the US dollar in the inter-bank market on Thursday, depreciating 0.81 per cent as compared to that on Wednesday.

The decline of the Pakistani rupee is attributed to the rising import bill, growing current account deficit and depleting foreign exchange reserves, according to economic experts.

Fri, 20 May 2022 11:08:58 +0530
Goa Four MBBS students rusticated from hostel for assaulting fellow student

Panaji, May 20

Playing loud music in the hostel room led to the rustication of four MBBS students of Goa Medical College and Hospital (GMC), who allegedly assaulted a fellow student from an adjacent room after the latter complained of sound pollution.

GMC Dean, S.M. Bandekar, confirmed that the four students have been rusticated for a period of three months.

"They are rusticated from the boy's hostel, not from academics," Bandekar said.

Among the four students, three are third-year MBBS students and the fourth is a second-year student. All of them were found guilty of assaulting the complainant and causing him grievous injuries.

The complainant is a third-year MBBS student.

After the incident was reported, a four-member committee was constituted by the Dean to conduct an inquiry into the matter.

"The inquiry is still going on," Bandekar said.

Primary inquiry by the committee had recommended rustication, which was implemented by the college authorities.

Police sources informed that on the day of the incident (in April), the four students were allegedly playing loud music in their hostel room.

This disturbed the complainant staying in an adjacent room, following which the four students assaulted the former when he raised an objection.

However, the four students have also lodged a counter-complaint, claiming that they were engaged in group study in the room.

Fri, 20 May 2022 11:03:47 +0530
Daughter lived with mother s body for 10 days

Lucknow, May 20

Her daughter lived with her body for almost ten days in an adjoining room but did not inform anyone of her mother's death.

The old body of a retired HAL engineer, Sunita Dixit, was finally recovered from a room of her house in Indira Nagar when neighbours reported foul smell.

Her daughter Ankita Dixit, 26, was found inside another room of the house. The police suspect her to be either in a traumatic state or mentally unsound.

Additional DCP, North Zone, Prachi Singh said, "When the cops entered the open space in the house, they heard a woman's voice and knocked on the doors, but the woman did not agree to open it. Following this, a carpenter was summoned to break open the door. The cops were stunned to find a girl who looked frazzled inside one room. The girl could not talk much about what was inside or the source of the bad smell emanating from a closed room. That room's doors were broken, and Sunita was found dead."

The ADCP said that the body seemed ten days old.

"We have sent the body for a post-mortem, on the basis of which, further action will be taken. The cause of death is still not known," she said.

Police also said that Sunita had got divorced from her husband Rajnish Dixit who worked at the secretariat in 1999.

Fri, 20 May 2022 10:59:06 +0530
Lalu daughter Misa raided by CBI in land for job scam

New Delhi, May 20

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday was conducting raids at 16 different locations in Bihar and Delhi linked to Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad and his daughter, Misa Bharti, in connection with a land for job scam.

The scam involved taking land from unemployed youths on the pretext of providing them government jobs.

A CBI source said that a fresh case was recently lodged against Lalu and others for accepting bribes from unemployed youths and cheating them on the pretext of providing them jobs in the government sector.

"Yadav, when he was the Union minister, through his aide or directly told the innocent persons that he would help them get government jobs. And they took land from the job seekers. However, the jobs were not provided to all," the source said.

When asked how many such land pieces were acquired by Lalu and others through this, the source said they were making a list.

The CBI officials are also recording the statements of those who are present at the locations.

This comes weeks after the RJD leader was granted bail in the Rs 950-crore fodder scam case. He has already been convicted in five cases of the fodder scam.

Fri, 20 May 2022 10:54:42 +0530
Hoax bomb call triggers panic in Bengaluru Intn l airport

Bengaluru, May 20

Tension gripped Kempegowda International Airport (KIAL) here on Friday following a bomb threat call, which later turned out to be a hoax.

Airport authorities, Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel and Dog squad as well as Bomb disposal squads swung into action creating panic among the passengers.

According to police, the call was received around 3.50 a.m. The police control room recorded the call and intimated the airport authorities.

The authorities conducted security checks and combed the airport premises and terminal building for more than hour for abandoned bags and suspicious articles.

After conducting a thorough check it was ascertained that the threat was a hoax bomb call.

Security has been tightened on the airport premises after the incident.

Further investigations are underway.

Fri, 20 May 2022 10:51:49 +0530
Sidhu to surrender in Patiala court

Chandigarh, May 20

Former Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu will surrender before a court in his hometown Patiala in Punjab on Friday in a 1988 road rage case in which the Supreme Court convicted him and sentenced him to a one-year rigorous imprisonment.

A few party leaders reached his residence before his surrender to extend moral support to Sidhu, 58, a former legislator from Amritsar (East) and a three-time Amritsar MP from the BJP.

Sidhu was nominated to the Rajya Sabha by the Narendra Modi government in April 2016. He joined the Congress party just days ahead of the Assembly elections in February 2017.

Earlier, Patiala District Congress Committee chief Narinder Pal Lali said Sidhu would reach the court at 10.30 a.m. for surrender and asked the supporters to reach the court complex around 9.30 a.m. It is now learnt that he will surrender post-lunch in the court.

Sidhu's wife, Navjot Kaur Sidhu, who represented Amritsar (East) as the SAD-BJP combine candidate from 2012-17, reached Patiala from Amritsar on Thursday night.

With the apex court imposing the imprisonment, Sidhu said he "will submit to the majesty of law".

"Will submit to the majesty of law...," Sidhu, who is not averse to even sharp criticism of his own party and its policies and leaders, said in a tweet on Thursday.

The judgment came when Sidhu, riding on an elephant, was staging a protest, along with party workers, against price rise in Patiala where the incident of road rage was reported in 1988.

The apex court, which reserved the judgment in March, overturned its 2018 judgment, which had reduced the punishment for Sidhu in the case, after a review petition was filed by the family of Gurnam Singh, who had died in the incident.

On December 27, 1988, the cricketer-turned-politician and one of his friends, Rupinder Singh Sandhu, had on December 27, 1988, hit Gurnam Singh, 65, on his head near the Sheranwala Gate crossing in Patiala.

Police said Sidhu fled from the scene after committing the crime. Gurnam Singh was taken to a hospital where he was declared dead.

Sidhu said Gurnam Singh died of a cardiac arrest and not because he was punched in the head.

Sidhu was acquitted of the murder charges by a trial court in September 1999. However, the Punjab High Court reversed the verdict and held Sidhu and his co-accused guilty of culpable homicide not amounting to murder in December 2006. It sentenced them to three years in jail and imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh each.

Both Sidhu and Sandhu filed an appeal in the Supreme Court, which stayed their conviction in 2007.

In 2018, the Supreme Court acquitted him of culpable homicide and convicted him of causing hurt in a road rage case in which one person died.

In February 2022, the apex court agreed to hear a plea seeking review of its May 15, 2018 verdict, where it let off Sidhu with a mere Rs 1,000 fine.

Fri, 20 May 2022 10:48:43 +0530
India logs 2 259 new Covid cases 20 deaths

New Delhi, May 20

India reported a marginal decline at 2,259 fresh Covid cases in a span of 24 hours against 2,364 infections reported the previous day, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Friday morning.

In the same period, the country reported 20 Covid deaths, taking the nationwide death toll to 5,24,323.

The active caseload of the country has marginally declined to 15,044 cases, accounting for 0.03 per cent of the country's total positive cases.

The recovery of 2,614 patients in the last 24 hours took the cumulative tally to 4,25,92,455. Consequently, India's recovery rate stands at 98.75 per cent.

Meanwhile, India's daily positivity rate continues at 0.50 per cent, while the weekly positivity rate in the country currently stands at 0.53 per cent.

Also in the same period, a total of 4,51,179 tests were conducted across the country, increasing the overall to 84.58 crore.

As of Friday morning, India's Covid-19 vaccination coverage exceeded 191.96 crore, achieved via 2,41,17,166 sessions.

Over 3.24 crore adolescents have been administered with a first dose of Covid-19 jab since the beginning of vaccination drive for this age bracket.

Fri, 20 May 2022 10:45:18 +0530
UP Man held for killing son daughter in law

Kanpur, May 20

A 70-year-old man has been arrested for brutally killing his son and daughter-in-law at their house in Ram Bagh area of Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh.

The newly married couple were found dead in their house under the Bajaria police circle, with their throats allegedly slit open on Thursday.

The Joint Commissioner of Police, Anand Prakash Tiwari said one Shivam Tiwari, 27, lived with his wife Julie, 25, and his family in the building where the murders took place.

The couple had got married at a mass marriage event organised a few months ago.

The police on Friday arrested Shivam's father in connection with his son as well as his daughter-in-law's murders.

The knife used in the double murder has been recovered.

The accused Deep Kumar Tiwari, 70, runs a tea stall outside a hospital in Swaroop Nagar.

The eldest son in the family, Monu Tiwari, is mentally ill. The younger son Shivam used to run a 'chaat' cart.

During police interrogation, Deep said while killing his son, his daughter-in-law, who was sleeping, woke up and shouted for help.

However, Deep slit her neck with the same knife as his son. As a result, she fell on the ground and died shortly after.

The accused told during the interrogation that he was so fed up with his financial condition and domestic problems that he decided to kill his entire family.

After killing his younger son and daughter-in-law, the accused said, he had also planned to kill his elder son and then was planning to commit suicide.

Fri, 20 May 2022 10:42:59 +0530
3 rescued 10 missing in J K highway tunnel collapse Ld

Jammu, May 20

Ten labourers were still missing while three were rescued on Friday in the tunnel collapse accident on the Jammu-Srinagar highway in J&K's Ramban district.

Police sources said around ten labourers were still missing, mostly non-locals after an under construction tunnel on the Jammu-Srinagar highway in Ramban district collapsed Thursday night.

"Chances of survival of the trapped persons remain slim as the debris is all around.

"A joint rescue operation was launched immediately after a portion of the tunnel at Khooni Nallah collapsed on Thursday night.

"At around 10.15 p.m. on May 19, the Ajit tunnel of T3 caved-in near Khooni Nallah Ramban, trapping more than a dozen labourers of Sarla Company working at the site," sources said.

Three persons were rescued and shifted to the district hospital Ramban from where one of them, Vishnu Gola, 33, of Jharkhand has been referred to GMC Jammu for advanced treatment.

"Rescue operation is still going on.

"It is likely to take more time as rock breakers are being used to create space for reaching the trapped persons," sources added.

Deputy Commissioner Ramban, alongwith Deputy Inspector General (DIG), Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Ramban, Project Director NHAI and the representatives of Construction Company are at the spot.

Deputy Commissioner Ramban Masrat-ul-Islam said the construction company officials have informed that ten persons were missing.

Asked about the wellbeing of the missing persons, he said that "nothing can be said as of now.

"The length of the tunnel is around three meters only and whether they are inside it or outside the tunnel area is not specifically known also.

"Debris is all-around. There are chances of suffocation also. The rescue operation has been going on since 12 a.m.

"It is a delicate operation as far as vulnerability is concerned. Shooting stones are continuously happening and even heavy machinery cannot be employed given the fact that shooting stones fall continuously."

The missing persons have been identified as Jadav Roy (23), Gautam Roy (22), Sudhir Roy(31), Dipak Roy (33) and Parimal Roy (38), all from West Bengal; Shiva Chowhan (26) from Assam; Nawaraj Chowdhury (26) Aand Kushi Ram (25), both from Nepal; Muzaffar (38) and Israt (30), both locals.

Fri, 20 May 2022 10:35:37 +0530
Raj Thackeray postpones Ayodhya trip

Mumbai, May 20

In a huge climbdown, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena President President Raj Thackeray announced that he has temporarily postponed his forthcoming visit to Ayodhya on June 5.

The decision comes amid protests by certain Bharatiya Janata Party leaders and activists in Uttar Pradesh and even other northern states.

They were demanding Raj's unconditional apology for the treatment meted out to North Indians during the MNS agitation in 2008.

The anti-Raj protests were spearheaded by Uttar Pradesh BJP MP Brijbhushan Singh who warned that unless he apologises, lakhs of his supporters would block his entry to Ayodhya on June 5.

Fri, 20 May 2022 10:31:35 +0530
Aurangzeb didn t order creation of waqf Gyanvapi not a mosque Hindu party in SC

New Delhi, May 20

The Hindu parties have told the Supreme Court that Gynavapi mosque in Varanasi is not a mosque, as Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb "did not pass any order to create a waqf over the land in question or for handing over land to any Muslim or body of Muslims".

The respondents' response, filed through advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain, said: "The historians have confirmed that Islamic ruler Aurangzeb had issued an order on April 9, 1669 directing his administration to demolish the temple of Lord Adi Visheshwar at Varanasi. There is nothing on record to establish that the then ruler or any subsequent ruler has passed any order to create a waqf over the land in question or for handing over the land to any Muslim or body of Muslims. The copy of farmaan/order issued by Aurangzeb is reported to be maintained by Asiatic Library Kolkata."

The response argued that a mosque can be constructed over the property dedicated by waqif, who should be the owner of the property and a construction raised under the orders of any Muslim ruler or by any Muslim over the land of a temple cannot be construed as mosque.

"A waqf can be created only on the land dedicated to waqf by wakif who is owner of the land. In the instant case, it is clear that from the time immemorial the land and property belong to the deity and therefore there can be no mosque thereat," it added.

The respondents claimed that Kashi has faced a number of attacks and the temple of Adi Visheshwar was attacked, looted, and demolished right from 1193 till 1669.

"Adi Visheshwar Jyotirling' at Kashi is Swyambhu Deity and it is the most ancient out of 12 Jyotirlings established in different parts of 'Tapo Bhoomi' Bharatvarsh. The Jyotirlings have great position under Hindu mythology and its importance have been described in Vedas, Purans, Upnishads and Shastras followed by devotees and worshippers of Santan Vedic Hindu Dharma," it claimed.

The respondents also alleged that the property in question does not belong to any waqf and it had already vested in deity Adi Visheshwara much before the start of the British calendar year and is continuing to be the property of the deity.

Terming Aurangzeb a "champion in destruction of Hindu temples", it said he issued 'Farmaans' in 1669 to destroy many temples including Kashi and Mathura, which were prominently worshipped by Hindus.

"The administration complied with the order and demolished a portion of temple of the Adi Visheshwar at Varanasi and later on a construction was raised which they alleged 'Gyanvapi Mosque' but they could not change the religious charter of Hindu temple as the idol of Goddess Shringar Gauri, Lord Ganesh and other associate deities continued in the same building complex," they claimed.

In connection with the Places of Worship Act, 1991, the Hindu parties contended the court should consider what is the religious character of the place in question was on August 15, 1947, whether it was a place of Hindu or Muslim worship, and whether erecting a super structure can convert a temple into a mosque or vice versa.

The plaintiffs contended that on August 15, 1947 the character of the property in question was of Hindu temple as the images of plaintiff deities and along with other associate deities was there and they were being worshiped.

The plaintiffs' response has come on a plea Committee of Management Anjuman Intezamia Masajid Varanasi challenging the survey at Gyanvapi mosque. The apex court will consider the matter on Friday at 3 p.m.

On May 17, the top court directed the Varanasi administration to protect and seal the area where a 'Shivling' was found during a video survey inside the Gyanvapi mosque complex. However, the apex court also directed the concerned authorities to not restrict Muslims from entering the mosque to offer 'namaz'.

Fri, 20 May 2022 10:27:11 +0530
Food to eat for a healthy body

Anupama Nair


We humans need a wide range of nutrients to lead a healthy and active life. The question is how to provide these nutrients? Good nutrition or proper intake of food in relation to the body’s dietary needs is required. An adequate, well-balanced diet combined with regular exercise is a sure sign of good health. Poor nutrition can lead to reduced immunity, increased susceptibility to disease, impaired physical and mental development, and reduced productivity.

A healthy and natural diet consumed throughout our life helps in preventing malnutrition in all its forms as well as wide range of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and conditions. But rapid urbanization and globalization, increased consumption of processed foods and changing lifestyles has led to a shift in dietary patterns.

People are consuming more foods high in energy, fats, free sugars or salt, and many do not eat enough fruits, vegetables and dietary fibers such as whole grains. So, these factors contribute to an imbalanced eating habit. A balanced and healthy diet will vary depending on the individual needs like age, gender, lifestyle, degree of physical activity, cultural context, locally available foods and dietary customs but the basic principles of what constitute a healthy diet remain the same.

It is easy to talk about a balanced diet. What is balanced diet? A balanced diet is one which contains variety of foods in such quantities and proportion that the need of all nutrients is adequately met for maintaining health, vitality and general wellbeing and makes a small provision for extra nutrients to withstand short duration of leanness.

The major food issues of concern are insufficient or imbalanced intake of foods or nutrients.  One of the most common nutritional problems of public health importance in India are low birth weight, protein energy malnutrition in children, chronic energy deficiency in adults, micronutrient malnutrition and diet related non-communicable diseases. Health and nutrition are the most important contributory factors for human resource development in the country.

Healthy dietary practices begin very early in life. Recent evidences indicate that under nutrition in uterus  may set the pace for diet-related chronic diseases in later life. Breast-feeding promotes healthy growth and improves cognitive development, and may have longer-term health benefits, like reducing the risk of becoming overweight or obese and developing NCDs later in life. Since a healthy diet consists of different kinds of foods, the emphasis has been shifted from nutrient orientation to the food-based approach.

Foods can be categorized according to the function as:

  • Energy rich foods (Carbohydrates and fats)-whole grain cereals, millets, vegetable oils, ghee, nuts and oilseeds and sugars.
  • Body building foods (Proteins)- Pulses, nuts and oilseeds, milk and milk products, meat, fish, poultry.
  • Protective foods (Vitamins and minerals) - Green leafy vegetables, other vegetables, fruits, eggs, milk and milk products and flesh foods.

Let us now talk about nutrition in various stages of life. However, the requirement is different for every individual from an  infant, growing child, grown man or pregnant or lactating women and elderly people. The diet varies from person to person depending upon various factors like age, gender, physical activity, nutritional requirement during different physiological stages of the body and other various factors. Body weights and heights of children reflect their state of physical growth and development, while weights and heights of adults represent steps taken towards good health.

Diet for an Infant:

If you have an infant or toddler, make sure that they get enough nutrition in their growing years of age. Babies should be exclusively breast-fed for the first six months of life. Breast feeding should be started within an hour after delivery and do not discard first milk called colostrum, as it boosts the immunity of the baby and protects the baby from several infections. Exclusive breast-feeding ensures safe nutrition to the infant thereby reducing the risk of infections and also helps in the overall development of the baby   Breast-milk is the most natural and wholesome food for growth and healthy development of infants.  Breast–fed infants do not need additional water.  After six months, you can feed your baby with complementary foods while continuing to breast-feed. Complementary food should be rich in nutrients. These complementary foods can be prepared at home from commonly used food materials such as cereals, pulses, nuts and oilseeds, oils, sugar and jaggery. You can feed your baby to variety of soft foods like potatoes, porridge, cereals, or even eggs. 

Infants cannot eat large quantities of food at a single time so they should be fed small quantities at frequent intervals (3-4 times a day). Also, the food should be of semi-solid consistency so that the infants can swallow it easily.  A balanced diet is the key to protect your child against nutritional deficiencies. Protein Energy Malnutrition more commonly affects young children till the age of 5. Malnutrition is defined as "a state of poor nutrition caused by insufficient or unbalanced diet".

Diet for a Growing Child:

Children who eat a balanced diet lay the foundation for a healthy and active lifestyle and this further lowers the risk of long-term health issues. Childhood is the most critical time for growth as well as for development of the mind and to fight infections. So, it is very essential that the children get a good dose of energy, proteins, vitamins and minerals. It is very important to see that hygienic practices are followed while preparing and feeding the complementary food to the child, otherwise, it might lead to diarrhea. A well formulated balanced diet is necessary for children and adolescents to achieve optimum growth and boost their immunity. Balanced Diet, playing outdoors, physical activities of the child are essential for optimum body composition and to reduce the risk of diet related chronic conditions later in life and to prevent any sort of vitamin deficiency.  Adolescence has various other factors attached to it: rapid increase in height and weight, hormonal changes and mood swings.

Development of bone mass is going on during this period so inclusion of dairy products milk, cheese, yoghurt and vegetables like spinach, broccoli and celery which are rich in calcium is a must. Children require good amount of carbohydrates and fats for energy. Therefore, it is very essential to give them a daily intake of energy rich foods as whole grains (wheat, brown rice), nuts, vegetable oils, vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, fruits like banana.

In case of children, proteins are essentials for muscle building, repair and growth and building antibodies. So, a diet which has meat, eggs, fish and dairy products are needed. A child needs vitamins for the body to function properly and to boost the immune system. A variety of fruits and vegetables of different colors should be added in the child’s food. Vitamin A is essential for vision and a deficiency of the same can lead to night blindness (difficulty in seeing in night). Dark green leafy vegetables, yellow, orange-colored vegetables and fruits such as carrots, papaya, mangoes are good sources of Vitamin A.

Vitamin D helps in bone growth and development and it is essential for absorption of calcium. Children get most of their Vitamin D from sunlight and a small amount from some food items like fish oils, fatty fish, mushrooms, cheese and egg yolks.

Teenage girls experience more physiological changes and psychological stress than boys because of onset of menarche or onset of menstruation .Therefore, teenage girls should eat diet which is rich in both vitamins as well as minerals to prevent anemia.

Now a days, children are more inclined towards junk food but it is very important to motivate your kids in teenage to eat nutrition rich foods. Many children have poor eating habits, which can lead to various long-term health complications, such as obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis. As a parent, keep making frequent changes in their menu to avoid boredom of eating the same food every day.  Adolescence is the most vulnerable stage for developing bad food habits as well as bad habits like smoking, chewing tobacco or drinking alcohol should be avoided. In addition to consumption of a nutritious well-balanced diet, appropriate lifestyle practices and involvement in outdoor activities such as games or sports should be encouraged among children as well as adolescents. Regular physical exercises increase strength and stamina, and are necessary for good health and well-being of the teenager.


Thu, 19 May 2022 22:30:33 +0530
Balanced food for adults

Anupama Nair


I had written about balanced food needed for new born, children and teenagers, now as an adult male and female, you must take care of your diet. Adults generally complain of time crunch and with inactive lifestyle, it becomes even more difficult to follow a strict diet. Adults need to use salt in moderation as high intake of salt might lead to high blood pressure and should avoid preserved foods such as pickles or papads and also canned foods as it contributes to higher intake of salt. An adult female should take a diet which is rich in calcium  like milk and dairy products, as well as iron  like green leafy vegetables like spinach, broccoli etc. Limit use of saturated fats and trans fats such as ghee, butter, cheese, vanaspati ghee and add more fibrous food in diet in the form of whole grains, vegetables and fruits.

A healthy adult needs:

  • Fruits, vegetables, legumes like lentils, beans, nuts and whole grains like unprocessed maize, millet, oats, wheat, brown rice.
  • At least 400 grams (5 portions) of fruits and vegetables a day. Potatoes, sweet potatoes, cassava and other starchy roots are not classified as fruits or vegetables.
  • Unsaturated fats found in fish, avocado, nuts, sunflower, canola and olive oils are preferable to saturated fats found in fatty meat, butter, palm and coconut oil, cream, cheese, ghee and lard. Industrial trans fats found in processed food, fast food, snack food, fried food, frozen pizza, pies, cookies, margarines and spreads are not a part of a healthy diet.
  • Less than 5 g of salt equivalent to approximately 1 teaspoon per day and use iodized salt.

Diet for Elderly People:

An Individual above the age  of 60 years and above are the elderly .The diet for elderly people should include nutrient rich foods to enable them to be fit and active. Senior citizens need more of vitamins and minerals to be healthy and active. The changes in the body composition changes with the advancing age and all these changes affect nutritional needs of the elderly.  Elderly or aged people require lower amount of calories as their lean muscle mass and physical activity decreases with ageing.  Elderly need more calcium, iron, zinc, vitamin A and anti-oxidants to prevent age-related degenerative diseases and for healthy ageing. It is very essential to maintain your health as ageing process starts and it increases the life expectancy. It is very important for elderly people to exercise as it helps to regulate body weight and flexibility in the joints. The risk of degenerative diseases also considerably decreases with regular exercise session.  

Elders generally complain of loss of appetite or sometimes difficulty in chewing. A soft diet should be given to elders, with inclusion of fruits and vegetables in their diet. Calcium rich foods like dairy products and green leafy vegetables should be included in the daily diet to maintain bone health, so as to prevent osteoporosis and bone fractures. Eat pulses, toned milk, egg-white etc. in good quantities as they are rich in proteins. Elderly people should cut down on their saturated fats, sweets, oily food, salt and sugar level. Use of ghee, oil, butter should be completely avoided. Avoid eating spicy food.

The diet for elderly people needs to be well cooked, soft and should be less salty and spicy. Ensure to eat small quantities of food at more frequent intervals and drink water at frequent intervals to avoid dehydration and constipation. Consult a doctor for an individualized diet depending upon the medical condition in the case of persons suffering from chronic diseases and bed ridden patients.

You need to remember:

  • Eat a variety of nutrient-rich foods.
  • Match food intake with physical activity.
  • Avoid fried, salty and spicy foods.
  • Consume adequate water to avoid dehydration.
  • Exercise regularly or go for a walk.
  • Avoid smoking, chewing of tobacco and tobacco products and consumption of alcohol.
  • Go for regular checkups. Check regularly for blood sugar, lipids and blood pressure.
  • Avoid self-medication at all costs.
  • Adopt stress management techniques like Yoga and Meditation.

Always remember to have a healthy mind, you need to have healthy food.

Thu, 19 May 2022 22:25:54 +0530
Women s World Boxing Nikhat strikes gold becomes 5th Indian woman to bag yellow metal at Worlds

New Delhi, May 19

Star Indian boxer Nikhat Zareen clinched the gold medal at the 12th edition of the IBA Women's World Boxing Championships after registering a dominating 5-0 victory in Istanbul on Thursday.

Living up to the expectations, Nikhat thrashed Thailand's Jitpong Jutamas without breaking a sweat in the 52kg final with judges scoring the bout 30-27, 29-28, 29-28, 30-27, 29-28 in the Indian's favour.

The Nizamabad (Telangana)-born boxer became the only fifth Indian woman to secure a gold medal at the World Boxing Championships after record six-time champion Mary Kom (2002, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2018), Sarita Devi (2006), Jenny RL (2006) and Lekha KC (2006).

It was also India's first gold medal since boxing great Mary Kom won it in 2018.

Nikhat got off to a lively start and hit some sharp punches to quickly take the upper hand in the opening three minutes against confident Jutamas, who came into the match defeating the three-time World Championships medallist Kazakhstan's Zhaina Shekerbekova.

The 25-year-old Indian took full advantage of her long reach and maintained her dominance against the Thai boxer, whom she had beaten in the 2019 Thailand Open semi-final-the only meeting between the two, en route to her silver medal finish.

However, Jutamas tried to fight back in the second round with a counter-attacking display but hardly managed to only cause any trouble for the swift-moving Nikhat, who looked in complete control.

Hitting straight and clear punches, strength proved to be a key factor as Nikhat threw caution to the wind in the final round and kept attacking relentlessly before securing the gold quite comfortably.

With Manisha (57kg) and Parveen (63kg) signing off with bronze medals after their semi-finals finish, the Indian contingent concluded its campaign with three medals at the world's biggest boxing event, which witnessed exciting competition in presence of record 310 boxers from 73 countries and also marked the 20th anniversary of the Women's World Championships.

Out of 12 participating Indian boxers, eight made it to the quarter-finals in this year's tournament-the joint highest alongside Turkey.

With the addition of three medals in Istanbul, India's overall medal tally has gone up to 39, including 10 gold, eight silver and 21 bronze, in the 12 editions of the prestigious event-the third highest after Russia (60) and China (50).


Thu, 19 May 2022 22:21:19 +0530
Europe UK markets fall as growth fears rattle investors

London, May 19

Fears about rising prices and slowing economies have spread to the UK and European stock markets following sharp falls in the US and Asia, BBC reported.

The FTSE 100 index of leading companies sank 2.5 per cent on Thursday while the main stock markets in France and Germany saw similar declines.

On Wednesday, US shares recorded their biggest one-day drop since the early days of the Covid pandemic in 2020.

Markets were spooked by gloomy forecasts from major US retailers.

Countries are also grappling with steep rise in inflation -- the UK's reached a 40-year high of 9 per cent in April -- and there are concerns that some economies are heading for a slowdown as interest rates are increased in an attempt to counter price rise.

"A red wall of worry has built up across financial markets with investors increasingly nervous that economies are set to career into recession," said Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, BBC reported.

The FTSE 100 fell steadily through Thursday morning to stand 185.81 points lower at 7252.28, while France's Cac-40 index and Germany's Dax dropped by 2.2 per cent and 2.1 per cent, respectively.

In Asia, Japan's benchmark Nikkei index closed down 1.9 per cent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng dropped 2.5 per cent.

That came after the S&P 500 index in the US, which tracks shares of a wide swath of America's biggest companies, plunged more than 4 per cent on Wednesday and the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 3.5 per cent.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq fell 4.7 per cent. The falls added to weeks of declines on US financial markets.


Thu, 19 May 2022 22:01:06 +0530
Sheshnag Shringar Gauri like structures inside Gyanvapi mosque says Ajay Mishra s report

Varanasi, May 19

Ajay Mishra, the Advocate Commissioner who conducted the survey in the Gyanvapi complex on May 6-7, has submitted his report, which claims he found Hindu religious symbols and temple debris inside the Gyanvapi mosque, to the local court here.

Mishra was later removed from the panel for leaking the survey report.

In the report submitted to the court, Ajay Mishra said: "On May 6, 2022 after the survey started, on the northwest wall, the debris of temples with symbols of gods and goddesses were found. Some lotus symbols carved on stones were also found. On the north west corner of the mosque, a new platform can be seen to have been built using cement, iron rods. Videography of the whole area has been done."

"While moving from north to west, images resembling Hindu deity Sheshnag were seen, which were videographed. Some stones with 'sinduri' colour carvings were also found."

He further said in his report that a triangular shaped structure was also found which was used to keep diya (earthen lamp).

Mishra in the report said, in the direction to the east inside the barricading and to the west of the mosque wall, some debris of the temple were found.

The next day on May 7, Mishra said, he resumed the work of survey in presence of petitioners, and claimed he found the threshold of the Shringar Gauri temple in the mosque premises, which was videographed.

The report also claimed that some broken structures had been found inside the mosque.

He said he submitted the video in the chip format to the court.


Thu, 19 May 2022 21:54:53 +0530
Medical team jumps from moving Rajdhani Express at Bihar station

Patna, May 19

It was a narrow escape for a medical team as they jumped from the moving Dibrugarh-New Delhi Rajdhani Express at Samastipur railway station before completing the treatment of a passenger who took ill on Wednesday evening.

Alok Agrawal, Divisional Railway Manager of Samastipur, has initiated an inquiry into the matter. The medical team, which included a doctor, were unhurt.

"The 40-year-old passenger, on seat number 65 in B-5 coach, complained about illness at Barauni Junction. Accordingly, a medical team was waiting at Samastipur railway station. When the train arrived, the team went inside the coach to provide treatment," Agrawal said.

The train departed from Barauni Junction at 7.15 p.m. and reached Samastipur railway station at 8.30 p.m. While the medical team was still treating the ailing passenger, the train started moving. It created panic among the medics and they jumped from the train one by one.

"We have initiated an inquiry about how the train started," Agrawal said.

He said it happened due to lack of coordination between the station master, cabin man, driver and the guard of the train.

Thu, 19 May 2022 14:57:58 +0530
US cyber security firm Trellix opens new data centre in India

Mumbai, May 19

California-based Cyber security company Trellix on Thursday announced the opening of a new data centre in Mumbai to help customers meet their data residency and compliance requirements.

The launch of the new data center will provide access to a scalable cloud-native architecture, the company said in a statement.

"The new data centre will help us to cater to the stringent compliance needs of our customers, especially in the banking, finance, and government sectors," said Rahul Arora, Managing Director, India, and South Asia, Trellix.

The company said that the telemetry used for threat detection and response in Trellix threat analytics solutions can now be logged and stored in the new data centre for customers who have a mandate to store their sensitive data within the country.

"We already have a significant presence in India, with one of our largest research and development centers in Bengaluru powering our global solutions and we will continue to invest in our presence," Arora added.

The new data center will provide direct, high-performance access to Trellix's EDR, EPP, and local management allowing direct and faster access to the Trellix platform.

Trellix said its data centre will augment the ability to detect emerging threats faster.

The company has more than 40,000 business and government customers globally.

Thu, 19 May 2022 14:53:26 +0530
A R Rahman We must not limit ourselves to only Indian stories

Mumbai, May 19

During the inauguration of the India pavilion at Cannes 2022 on Wednesday, Academy Award winner A.R. Rahman explained why we should tell stories about West and try to break the boundaries.

"I can't say much because I've been in the industry for almost 40 years - ten years of playing outside as a musician and 30 years as a composer. I was a director for the sensory cinematic experience," he said.

Rahman further shared that despite the fact we have our stories to tell, we must not restrict ourselves.

"Even though we have so many stories, we should tell stories about the West because we have a narrative about the West. We should be doing that."

"The West does Gandhi, he (Shekhar Kapur) is the man who has done 'Elizabeth: The Virgin Queen'. I am super inspired by him," he added while hinting towards filmmaker Shekhar Kapur.

On the reason for choosing English language for his film, he elaborated: "The reason why I did this in the English language and for an international audience was to see if it is possible to break those boundaries and set a new path. Even if we fail it's fine. I am talking about Le Musk, the sensory cinematic experience in Cannes XR. I want to thank my whole team, and please do check it out and see how we can improve and celebrate it. God bless you all. Thank you so much."

The Indian delegation led by I&B Minister Anurag Thakur was present for the inauguration of the Indian pavilion at the ongoing Cannes Film Festival in France.

Deepika Padukone is attending the festival as a jury member, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Kamal Haasan, R Madhavan, Shekhar Kapur and Tamannaah Bhatia are among the Indian celebrities attending the 75th edition of the film festival.

Thu, 19 May 2022 14:51:00 +0530
Global stock markets fall amid concern over rising prices

London, May 19

Stock markets in Asia and the US have fallen over concerns that rising prices could send the global economy into a slowdown, BBC reported.

The US shares saw their biggest one-day drop since 2020 after downbeat earnings reports from some of America's biggest retailers.

Target said unexpectedly high fuel and freight costs had cut into profits, which halved compared with a year ago.

That followed a similarly downbeat update from rival Walmart earlier, BBC reported.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei index was 1.8 per cent lower in Asia afternoon trade, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng was down 2.3 per cent.

That came after the S&P 500 index, which tracks shares of a wide swathe of America's biggest companies, plunged more than 4 per cent and the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 3.5 per cent.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq fell 4.7 per cent. The falls added to weeks of declines on the US financial markets, BBC reported.

"What people are worried about after seeing Target is, will more earnings (estimates) have to be taken down?" said Thomas Hayes, chairman of Great Hill Capital in New York.

"Consumer sentiment is at multi-year lows and tied at the hip with inflation. So people are looking for signs of inflation moderating, and Target did not give them any today."

Target's update sent its shares plunging 25 per cent - the biggest decline in more than three decades, BBC reported.

The announcements from Target and Walmart were closely watched for signs of how consumer spending is holding up in the world's largest economy, as inflation reaches 40-year highs.

Thu, 19 May 2022 14:46:14 +0530
Ukraine war could soon cause global food crisis that may last for years

New York, May 19

Russia's invasion of Ukraine could soon cause a global food crisis that may last for years, the UN has warned, BBC reported.

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the war had worsened food insecurity in poorer nations due to rising prices.

Some countries could face long-term famines if Ukraine's exports are not restored to pre-war levels, he added, BBC reported.

The conflict has cut-off supplies from Ukraine's ports, which once exported vast amounts of cooking oil as well as cereals such as maize and wheat.

This has reduced the global supply and caused the price of alternatives to soar. Global food prices are almost 30 per cent higher than the same time last year, according to the UN.

Guterres said the conflict -- combined with the effects of climate change and the pandemic -- "threatens to tip tens of millions of people over the edge into food insecurity followed by malnutrition, mass hunger and famine".

"There is enough food in our world now if we act together. But unless we solve this problem today, we face the spectre of global food shortage in the coming months," he added, BBC reported.

He warned that the only effective solution to the crisis was reintegrating Ukraine's food production, as well as fertiliser produced by both Russia and Belarus, back into the global market.

Russia and Ukraine produce 30 per cent of the world's wheat supply and -- prior to the war -- Ukraine was seen as the world's bread basket, exporting 4.5 million tonnes of agricultural produce per month through its ports.

But since Russia launched its invasion in February, exports have collapsed and prices have skyrocketed. They climbed even further after India banned wheat exports on Saturday.

The UN says around 20 million tonnes of grain are currently stuck in Ukraine from the previous harvest which, if released, could ease pressure on global markets, BBC reported.

Thu, 19 May 2022 14:43:46 +0530
Natural immunity from Omicron is weak and limited Study

New York, May 19

Without vaccination, an infection with Omicron fails to confer robust immunity against other Covid-19 variants, finds a study.

In experiments using mice and blood samples from donors who were infected with Omicron, researchers at Gladstone Institutes and UC San Francisco (UCSF) in the US, found that the Omicron variant induces only a weak immune response.AIn vaccinated individuals, this response - while weak - helped strengthen overall protection against a variety of Covid strains. In those without prior vaccination, however, the immune response failed to confer broad, robust protection against other strains, revealed the study published in the journal Nature."

In the unvaccinated population, an infection with Omicron might be roughly equivalent to getting one shot of a vaccine," said Melanie Ott, director of the Gladstone Institute of Virology.

"It confers a little bit of protection against Covid-19, but it's not very broad," Ott added.

The team of researchers found that despite the milder symptoms, the immune system in mice infected with Omicron still generated the T cells and antibodies typically seen in response to other viruses.

Further, to gauge how the immune response against Omicron fared over time, the researchers collected blood samples from mice infected with the ancestral, Delta, or Omicron variants of SARS-CoV-2 and measured the ability of their immune cells and antibodies to recognise five different viral variants - ancestral (WA1), Alpha, Beta, Delta, and Omicron.

Blood from uninfected animals was unable to neutralise any of the viruses - in other words, block the ability of any of the viruses to copy themselves. Samples from WA1-infected animals could neutralise Alpha and, to a lesser degree, the Beta and Delta virus - but not Omicron. Samples from Delta-infected mice could neutralise Delta, Alpha and, to a lesser degree, the Omicron and Beta virus.

However, blood from Omicron-infected mice could only neutralise the Omicron variant. The team confirmed these results using blood from ten unvaccinated people who had been infected with Omicron - their blood was not able to neutralise other variants. When they tested blood from 11 unvaccinated people who had been infected with Delta, the samples could neutralise Delta and, as had been seen in mice, the other variants to a lesser extent.

When they repeated the experiments with blood from vaccinated people, the results were different: vaccinated individuals with confirmed Omicron or Delta breakthrough infections all showed the ability to neutralise all the tested variants, conferring higher protection.

"When it comes to other variants that might evolve in the future, we can't predict exactly what would happen, but based on these results, I'd suspect that unvaccinated people who were infected with Omicron will have very little protection," Ott said.

"But on the contrary, vaccinated individuals are likely to be more broadly protected against future variants, especially if they had a breakthrough infection."

Thu, 19 May 2022 14:36:45 +0530
Bhagat Singh lesson deletion row After backlash Bommai govt takes u turn

Bengaluru, May 19

The ruling BJP in Karnataka has taken a U-turn in connection with deletion of the lesson on freedom fighter and martyr Sardar Bhagat Singh from the syllabus.

According to sources, the government after sensing the opposition from all corners has decided to retain the lesson of Bhagat Singh in the textbook. The state government has also halted the distribution of books to the SSLC class students in this background.

The Text Book Revision Committee formed by the ruling BJP in the state to review the syllabus had decided to drop the lesson on Bhagat Singh from SSLC (Class 10) Kannada textbook.

The committee had decided to replace Bhagat Singh's text with writer Shivananda Kalave's "Swadeshi Sutrada Sarala Habba" lesson. This was criticised heavily and the state government then had come into a damage control mode.

The Opposition parties slammed BJP for disrespecting the freedom fighter. Congress leaders Siddaramaiah and state chief D.K. Shivakumar, former Chief Minister H.D.Kumaraswamy and the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) had attacked the BJP over the issue.

They chided that the BJP was turning textbooks as party brochures. They also objected to the decision on the deletion of Bhagat Singh's lesson and inclusion of speech of RSS founder Keshav Baliram Hedgewar in the textbook.

The TextBook Review Committee President, writer Rohit Chakratheertha while defending the decision to include RSS founder's speech, stated that the committee had no intention of promoting right wing ideology. If they had such a motive they would not have deleted the lesson on Bhagat Singh. "The lesson was included in the supplement textbook. It was not in the main part. There was no sufficient information about Bhagat Singh in the lesson. Hence, it was decided to remove the lesson," he had stated.

The decision of the revision committee to drop glorification of erstwhile King of Mysuru Tipu Sultan has also stirred controversy. Sources said that the committee has taken off his title 'Lion of Mysuru'' while mentioning him. The title was accorded to Tipu Sultan for fighting valiantly against the British.

The TextBook Revision Committee has reviewed social science textbooks of Class 6 and 10 and Kannada textbooks of Class 1 - 10.

Thu, 19 May 2022 14:34:17 +0530
Accused in Andhra woman volunteer s murder commits suicide

Amaravati, May 19

A man who brutally murdered a woman village volunteer in Andhra Pradesh's Bapatla district four days ago committed suicide on Thursday.

Padma Rao (35), who was on the run after stabbing the woman to death on May 15, jumped under a train in Ponnur town in the early hours of Thursday. According to police, he killed himself under the Tirupati-Visakhapatnam double-decker train at Nidubrolu railway station.

Based on the identity card found in the deceased's pocket, police informed the family and they reached the spot to identify the body as that of Padma Rao.

Rao had stabbed to death D. Sharada (27), with whom he had an extramarital relation in the past.

He attacked her when she was engaged in some work in front of her house in Chavali village in Vemuru mandal of the district on Sunday evening.

When she tried to run and save herself, he chased her and stabbed her on the neck and escaped on his two-wheeler. The victim died on the spot.

The woman's mother lodged a complaint with the police against Padma Rao. Police had registered a case and began a hunt for the accused.

According to local residents, Sharada was married to a man of the same village in 2008 and they have two sons and a daughter. Four years ago, she developed a friendship with Padma Rao and soon this led to intimate relations between them.

The deceased's mother said when Sharada's husband came to know about her relations with Padma Rao, she had stopped meeting him. Angered over change in her behaviour, Padma Rao had slapped her near the village secretariat about six months ago, following which a complaint was lodged with the police, which let off the accused with a warning.

However, Padma Rao wanted to take revenge on the woman for not continuing the relationship and accordingly he killed her.

Village volunteer system was introduced by the state government in 2019 to ensure better delivery of various benefits to the public under welfare schemes.


Thu, 19 May 2022 14:31:35 +0530
Parliamentary panel to consider Mediation Bill 2021

New Delhi, May 19

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice is slated to hold a meeting for consideration of 'The Mediation Bill, 2021' on Thursday.

According to officials, the House panel will discuss clause-by-clause consideration of the bill in the Parliament complex.

The Bill requires persons to try to settle civil or commercial disputes through mediation before approaching any court or tribunal.

A party may withdraw from mediation after two mediation sessions. The mediation process must be completed within 180 days, which may be extended by another 180 days by the parties.

The Mediation Council of India will be set up. Its functions include registering mediators, and recognising mediation service providers and mediation institutes (which train and certify mediators).

The Bill also sought resolution of disputes, commercial or otherwise; enforce mediated settlement agreements, provided for a body for registration of mediators and also to encourage community mediation and to make online mediation an acceptable and cost effective process.

It was introduced by the government in the winter session last year in the Rajya Sabha for its consideration and passing but was sent to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Law and Justice following the demand of the Opposition parties for wider consultations on the draft Bill.

The 31-member House panel is headed by the BJP Rajya Sabha MP Sushil Modi and consists of 21 MPs from Lok Sabha and 10 from the Rajya Sabha.

In November last year, the Ministry of Law and Justice released a draft of this Bill for public comments and consultation.

Thu, 19 May 2022 14:28:11 +0530
NIA court convicts Yasin Malik in terror funding case

New Delhi, May 19

The NIA court here on Thursday convicted Kashmiri separatist leader Yasin Malik in a terror funding case in which he has previously pleaded guilty.

Now, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) authorities will have to assess his financial situation and arguments on the quantum of the sentence, which will be heard on May 25.

Notably, Yasin had withdrawn his lawyer. As he pleaded guilty earlier, nothing was left to be heard during the course of the hearing.

The area was cordoned off by security and the mediapersons were asked to wait outside the court during the hearing.

Yasin Malik has been charged with hatching a criminal conspiracy, waging war against the country, other unlawful activities, and disturbing peace in Kashmir.

He had pleaded guilty in the matter. On the last date of the hearing, he told the court that he was not contesting the charges levelled against him, including section 16 (terrorist act), 17 (raising funds for the terrorist act), 18 (conspiracy to commit terrorist act), and 20 (being member of a terrorist gang or organisation) of the UAPA and sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 124-A (sedition) of the Indian Penal Code.

Special Judge Praveen Singh had then fixed the matter for May 19 to hear the arguments regarding the quantum of sentence for the offences levelled against Malik in which the maximum punishment is life imprisonment.

Kashmiri separatist leaders, including Yasin Malik, Shabbir Shah, Masarat Alam, former MLA Rashid Engineer, businessman Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali, Bitta Karate, Aftab Ahmad Shah, Avatar Ahmad Shah, Naeem Khan, Bashir Ahmed Bhat, alias Peer Saifullah and several others have also been framed under the charges for criminal conspiracy, waging war against the country and other unlawful activities.

In the order dated March 16, the NIA special Judge Praveen Singh had said: "The above analysis reflects that the statements of witnesses and documentary evidence have connected almost all the accused with each other and to a common object of secession, to the commonality of means they were to use, their close association to terrorist/terrorist organisations under the guiding hand and funding of Pakistani establishment."

Notably, the court has discharged three, namely Kamran Yusuf, Javed Ahmad Bhatt and Syedah Aasiya Firdous Andrabi.

The case is related to the various terrorist outfits Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Hizbul-Mujahideen (HM), Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) backed by Islamic State perpetrating the terrorist and secessionist activities to disturb Jammu and Kashmir.

Thu, 19 May 2022 14:25:37 +0530
Two missing Kerala policemen found dead in paddy field

Thiruvananthapuram, May 19

Bodies of two Kerala policemen, who were missing from their police camp in Palakkad, were found in a paddy field of the same district on Thursday.

Both of the havildars were reported missing from their police camp on Wednesday evening.

A case of unnatural death has been registered.

The bodies were found floating in a paddy field near the Police Camp at Muttikulangara.

Preliminary findings of the probe team indicate that they were electrocuted as burn injuries were found on their bodies.

The dead were identified as Mohandas and Ashokan.

Thu, 19 May 2022 14:23:04 +0530
TN police launch hunt for those who hacked to death a financier

Chennai, May 19

The Greater Chennai Police has launched a hunt for four killers of a city-based financier.

Arumugham, 36, who was a small-time financier in Chennai was riding pillion with his staff Ramesh, when a four-member gang waylaid them on two motorbikes and assaulted them. Ramesh managed to ride away, but Arumugham could not. He tried to run away when the four men chased and hacked him to death. The incident occurred on Wednesday afternoon at the busy Aminjikarai area of Chennai.

Arumugham, according to police, had some cases against him and used to pester people who were not properly paying him interest. He had also misbehaved with some women in the past and police is probing whether these are connected with his murder.

The police have formed four squads and are probing the movement of history-sheeters and gangs operating in the area and surrounding locations to shed light on the case.

The state police team investigating the crime studied CCTV visuals in the surrounding areas and short listed a few people with known criminal records.

The Greater Chennai Police is also probing whether these four were employed by someone else to execute the crime or whether they had done this on their own.

A high-level meeting was held at the insistence of the police commissioner. The team has rounded up a few people and is questioning those close to the financier. The police is meticulously studying his financial dealings. They are also suspecting some employees of Arumagham's firm and few others who had left the firm after falling out with him.

A senior officer with Chennai police said "We are zeroing in on the culprits and will inform you as soon as we nab them."

Thu, 19 May 2022 14:20:43 +0530
Cabs autos trucks go off roads in Hyderabad

Hyderabad, May 19

Auto-rickshaws, cabs and trucks went off the roads in Hyderabad and other parts of Telangana on Thursday in response to a day-long bandh call given by various unions in support of their demands.

Owners and drivers of auto trolleys, DCM vans and private buses are also participating in the 24-hour long bandh, which began at midnight.

The Joint Action Committees (JACs) of owners and drivers of cabs, auto-rickshaw and trucks have called for the protest against the arbitrary hike in taxes and penalties and also to press for their demands.

They demanded that the government immediately withdraw the daily fine of Rs 50 for not renewing fitness certificates.

The unions have also given a call for laying siege to the office of Road Transport Authority (RTA) at Khairatabad. Police have beefed up security around the RTA office as a precautionary measure.

The vehicle owners and drivers say increasing prices of diesel, petrol and gas had already imposed a heavy burden on them and the steep hike in green, life and road taxes and fitness penalties has come as another blow.

The transport authorities had last month revised the taxes and penalties, as per the Motor Vehicles Act 2019.

Leaders of the unions say owners are not taking the vehicles out for the fear of being seized by authorities for not renewing the fitness certificates. They say the certificates could not be renewed during Covid-19 pandemic and now they are not in a position to pay a heavy penalty.

Cabbies are demanding the implementation of the motor vehicle aggregator guidelines 2020. Auto drivers and cabs are also seeking revision of meter fare in view of the hike in fuel prices.

Meanwhile, state-owned Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) is operating special services in view of the strike by cabs and autos. The TSRTC Greater Hyderabad Zone officials said they will operate special buses to meet the demand wherever required.

Thu, 19 May 2022 14:16:55 +0530
Assault of women suspect Inquiry commences against suspended TN women cops

Chennai, May 19

The Thoothukudi police have commenced an investigation against four women constables over the alleged assault of a woman suspect.

The four women cops are kept under suspension and Thoothukudi district superintendent of Police Balaji Saravanan said that investigation against them is underway.

Three women constables and a woman Sub-Inspector of Muthiahpuram police station were placed under suspension on Wednesday after a woman, Sumathi (40), complained that she was taken into custody and brutally assaulted. The woman is undergoing treatment in Thoothukudi medical college after doctors found that she had internal injuries. The women constables who are placed under suspension are -- Mercina, Kalpana and Uma Maheswari -- while Muthumalai is a Sub-Inspector. Earlier, there were reports that the station has turned notorious for assaulting suspects who are under custody.

According to police, a person, Prabakaran lodged a complaint on May 7 that his neighbour's 10 sovereigns of gold was missing from from his house on May 4 and that he suspected Sumathi on this.

Based on the complaint, Muthaipauram police took the woman into custody. The woman alleged that the cops assaulted her brutally and that she lost her consciousness in the torture.

Tamil Nadu police is on backfoot following two recent back-to-back lockup deaths. A Dalit called Vignesh had died in police custody at the Secretariat Colony police station on April 19 after he was taken into custody on April 18 night along with a friend Suresh. Autopsy report revealed that Vignesh had 13 injury marks, including a broken bone.

In another incident, police at Tiruvannamalai arrested Thangamani (42) on charges of illicit brewing of liquor on April 25 and he died in Sub Jail on April 27 due to seizures. The lockup deaths had caused major embarrassment to the Stalin government and the suspension of the four women cops immediately after the women suspect had complained that she was tortured in police custody is to prevent further embarrassment to the force.

Thu, 19 May 2022 14:13:41 +0530
3 killed in Haryana as truck runs over sleeping migrants

Chandigarh, May 19

At least three migrant labourers were killed and 11 injured on Thursday in Haryana when a truck loaded with coal ran over them on the Kundli-Manesar-Palwal (KMP) expressway near the Aasoda toll plaza in Jhajjar district, the police said.

The migrants were sleeping on the roadside.

Most of the injured have been referred to the PGIMS in Rohtak with critical injuries.

At the time of the accident, 18 labourers were sleeping. Four of them escaped unhurt, while three died on the spot.

Deputy Commissioner Shakti Singh told the media that the labourers, who were employed with a contractor and deployed in the road repair work, were sleeping on the roadside despite being warned by the police to move to a safer place.

They placed a barrier on one side of the highway to make space for sleeping. "The truck ran over them after hitting the barrier," he said.

Thu, 19 May 2022 14:10:36 +0530
The British East India Company the beginning

Anupama Nair

I had written about the advent of the Europeans in India and how they lost their prominence after time. It was the only the British who could establish their supremacy and became the “empire where the sun never sets”. Most of the world was in their grasp. The East India Company was founded during the rule of Queen Elizabeth I and grew into a dominating global player with its own army, with huge influence and power. In 1600, a group of London merchants whose leader was Sir Thomas Smythe made an appeal to Queen Elizabeth I to grant them a Royal Charter to trade with the countries of the eastern hemisphere. The ‘Honorable Company of Merchants of London called East India Company started their colonial journey with America. Nobody could have predicted the seismic shifts in the dynamics of global trade that would follow, nor 258 years later that the company would hand over the control of the Subcontinent to the British crown. The question is how did this company gain and consolidate its power and profit?

At the same time as Elizabeth, I was signing the East India Company (EIC) into existence in 1600, her counterpart in India was  the Mughal  Akbar and ruling over an empire of 750,000 square miles, stretching from northern Afghanistan in the northwest, to central India’s Deccan plateau in in the south and the Assamese highlands in the northeast. By 1600, the Mughal Empire was ruled by Akbar which was founded by his grandfather Babar in 1526 embarking on a century of strong centralized power, military dominance and cultural productiveness. India from ancient times had wealth and magnificence to overshadow anything that Europe could produce at the time, while India’s natural produce like Dacca Muslin and that of its artisans was coveted all over the world. It was no wonder the British wanted to covet the “sone ki chidiya”

When the East India Company first visited the Mughal court in the early 17th Century, they pretended to be supplicants attempting to negotiate favorable trading relations with Akbar’s successor, Jehangir. The company had initially planned to try and force their way into the lucrative spice markets of south-east Asia, but found this trade was already dominated by the Dutch. After EIC merchants were massacred at Amboyna (in present day Indonesia) in 1623, the company increasingly turned their attention to India.

With Jehangir’s permission, they began to build small bases, or factories, on India's eastern and western coasts. From these coastal toeholds, they orchestrated the profitable trade in spices, textiles and luxury goods on which their commercial success was predicated, dealing with Indian artisans and producers primarily through Indian middlemen. Meanwhile, the ‘joint stock’ organization of the company in which ownership was shared between shareholders spread the cost and risk of individual voyages between investors. The company grew in both size and influence across the 17th and 18th centuries.

They were initially a junior partner in the Mughal Empire’s sophisticated commercial networks. However, in the 18th century, the EIC became increasingly involved in politics of the Indian Subcontinent. They maintained their trading privileges in the face of declining Mughal authority after Aurangzeb and became successful.

European competitors also began to have an increased presence on the Subcontinent, with France emerging as a major national and imperial rival during the War of Austrian Succession and the Seven Years War. This particularly increased the strategic importance of the EIC's Indian footholds, and the country’s coastline became crucial to further imperial expansion in Asia and Africa, as  well as maintaining a large standing army consisting primarily of sepoys who were Indian mercenary soldiers trained in European Military techniques and EIC garrisoned Crown’s troops in India.

Such military advantages made the EIC a powerful player in local conflicts and disputes, as did the financial support offered by some local Indian merchants and bankers, who saw in the EIC's increasing influence an unmissable commercial opportunity.




Thu, 19 May 2022 09:51:46 +0530
British Conquest of Bombay Calcutta and Madras

Anupama Nair


I had written about the British came to do trade in India and gradually their imperialistic dream was established. Gradually the three cities – Mumbai, Calcutta and Madras came under their rule.

Bombay (1661—1947):

Bombay, also called Bombaim in Portuguese, is now the financial and commercial capital of India and one of the most populous cities in the world.  It was once an archipelago of seven islands, obtained by the Portuguese through the Treaty of Bassein (1534), from the Sultan Bahadur Shah of Gujarat, the island group would later form part of the dowry of Catherine of Braganza, daughter of King John IV of Portugal. Her ‘Marriage Treaty’ gifted the islands to Charles II of England, along with the port of Tangier, trading privileges in Brazil and the Portuguese East Indies, religious and commercial freedom for English residents in Portugal, and two million Portuguese crowns (about £300,000), on completion of the marriage. The Islands of Bombay were regarded as a political and financial liability and were leased by Charles, to the English East India Company, on 27 March 1668, for a nominal amount of £10.

On 18 January 1665, King Charles II granted Humphrey Cooke the possession of Bombay. However, Salsette, Mazagaon, Parel, Worli, Sion, Dharavi, and Wadala still remained under the possession of the Portuguese. Much later Cooke managed to acquire Mahim, Sion, Dharavi, and Wadala for the English. Sir Gervase Lucas, 1st Baronet, who was appointed Governor of Bombay on 5th November 1666, reported that Bombay included all the islands except Colaba and Old Woman's Island. Sir George Oxenden became the first Governor of Bombay under the regime of the English East India Company. Gerald Aungier, became Governor of Bombay in July 1669, established the mint and printing press in Bombay and developed the islands into a center of commerce. He also offered various business incentives, which attracted various communities like Gujuratis, Parsis, Dawoodi Bohras, and Jews. On 20th  February 1673, Rickloffe van Goen, the Governor-General of the Dutch East India Company attacked Bombay, but the attack was resisted by Aungier. The Treaty of Westminster (1674), concluded between England and the Netherlands, relieved the English settlements in Bombay of further apprehension from the Dutch.

In 1682, the Company fortified the Middle Ground Coastal Battery isle in the archipelago to curb the sea piracy in the area. Yakut Khan, the Siddi admiral of the Mughal Empire, landed at Sewri and burn down Mahim. By 15th  February 1689, Khan conquered almost the whole island, and razed the Mazagon Fort in June 1690. The East India Company was forced to pay Aurangzeb, the ruler of the Mughal Empire, Yakut evacuated Bombay on 8th  June 1690. In 1715, the construction of Bombay Castle was finished, which fortified the island of Bombay from sea attacks by the Portuguese and Mughals. Charles Boone became the Governor of Bombay, in 1715 and constructed the St. Thomas Cathedral in 1718, which was the first Anglican Church in Bombay. In 1737, Salsette was captured by the Maratha Empire and most of the Portuguese provinces in Bombay was surrendered to the Marathas in 1739. In 1753, the Naval Dockyard was opened which remains the oldest docks in the city. The first land-use laws were also enacted in Bombay during this period. The British occupied Salsette in 1774, which was formally ceded to the British East India Company by the Treaty of Salbai signed in 1782. In 1803, Bombay was hit by a severe famine, which led to a large-scale emigration. On 5th  November 1817, the British East India Company defeated Bajirao II, the Peshwa of the Maratha Empire, in the Battle of Kirkee which took place in the Deccan Plateau.

Later on, Bombay became the center of Nationalist Movements with great leaders like Tilak, Veer Savarkar and Gokhale. Finally in 1947 Bombay also became free.


Calcutta (1644—1947)

There is a long story behind the arrival of the East India Company in Bengal, These incidents are documented in numerous records of the East India Company and by several authors These documents tell the story of how the English were severely beaten and wiped out from Bengal several times by the forces of the Mughal Emperor and how each time they came back to Bengal to continue their trade. The agents of the East India Company first visited the provinces of Bengal and Bihar for trade during the period of Ibrahim Khan, the Governor of Bengal at the time of Mughal Emperor Jahangir. The first factory was established in Surat in 1620 and later in Agra, and agents were further sent from these places to the eastern provinces to examine the possibility of opening factories there. However, the transportation costs and logistics were unfavorable and the plan was abandoned. In January 1644, the daughter of the Emperor was severely burnt and a doctor named Gabriel Boughton, formerly the surgeon of the East Indiaman Hopewell, was sent from Surat for her treatment.

He was able to successfully treat her burns and in reward the Emperor allowed the company to establish factory at Pipili, Odisha, and for the first time English ships arrived at an eastern port. During 1638, Shah Jahan appointed his son Shah Shuja as the Subahdar of Bengal and Boughton visited the capital at Rajmahal where his services were again used to treat one of the ladies in the palace, and in return, the company was allowed to establish factories in Balasore, Odisha and Hooghly. Shaista Khan was appointed as the governor of Bengal in around 1664 by Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb and was relieved upon his request in around 1682. While he was returning to Delhi, Englishmen sent with him a request to the Emperor to obtain a special request to do business forever in Bengal and  the Emperor was pleased to provide them the request, and the occasion was celebrated with a 300-gun salute at Hooghly. The investment in Bengal soared, the Bengal presidency was separated from Madras and Mr. Hedges was appointed as the chief officer to oversee trade in Bengal. His residence in Hooghly was secured with soldiers obtained from Madras. This is the first time English soldiers came on the soil of Bengal.

In 1690, Job Charnok, an agent of the East India Company chose this place for a British trade settlement. The site was carefully selected, being protected by the Hooghly River on the west, a creek to the north, and by salt lakes about two and a half miles to the east. There were three large villages along the east bank of the river Ganges, named, Sutanuti, Gobindapur and Kalikata. These three villages were bought by the British from the local land lords. The Mughal emperor granted East India Company freedom of trade in return for a yearly payment of 3,000 rupees.

Madras (1639—1947)

On 22 August 1639, English official Francis Day obtained a grant of a 3-mile-long strip of land for the East India Company from the local ruler, Damarla Venkatadri Nayaka, the Nayaka of Wandiwash. This land was a fishing village called Madraspatnam. This grant, given for 2 years, authorized the company to build a fort and a castle there. This would later grow into the modern-day metropolitan city of Chennai. After securing the grant from the Nayaka, Francis Day and his superior in the company Andrew Cogan reached Madraspatnam on 20th February 1640 when the first actual settlement of the British started. In 1642, the grant was renewed. A new grant was signed in 1645 between the English and the new Raja which empowered the English to enact English Common Law among the settlers and to administer civil law among the settlers and also the local population in the settlement. This third grant further added land to Madraspatnam. The British built a fort in the settlement and was called Fort St. George. Residences were built within the fort and this soon attracted other traders, both Indians and Europeans to it. The fort and some areas around it which were acquired by the company came to be called the Fort St. George settlement.

As per the rules of the Nayaka, the Europeans in the area were not allowed to decorate their houses with any color other than white. Hence, this area came to be called the ‘White Town’. The surrounding areas were populated by Indians who came in large numbers to partake in the commercial activities. Because of frequent riots between the local population and the Europeans, their respective areas were demarcated as ‘White Town’ and the ‘Black Town’. Fort St. George, White Town and Black Town were together called Madras. Andrew Cogan and Francis Day can be considered the founders of Madras.

Various areas which are now part of the city of Madras like Triplicane, Nungambakkam, Purasawalkam, Mylapore, Chennapatnam, etc. were later on added by the British in the 18th and early 19th centuries. Chennai was attacked by General Mir Jumla in 1646. In 1687, the region fell under the direct rule of the Mughal Emperor in Delhi. The Mughal Emperor issued Firmans which restored rights to the East India Company. The town was then ruled by British governors. The first president of Fort St. George was Elihu Yale. During his time as president from 1687 to 1692, many European settlers came to the region. This led to the establishment of a corporation and the institution of Mayor for Madras. Yale amassed a lot of wealth during his stint here. He later became a benefactor of the Collegiate School in the Colony of Connecticut (British America). This was later renamed Yale University

Madras was briefly controlled by the French from 1746 to 1748 after the Battle of Madras. which happened during the War of the Austrian Succession in Europe when French-English rivalry was going on. British captured it back as per the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle. Madras was an important place for the colonialists because of the port there. The city became an important trading center between India and Europe after the development of the harbor.


Thu, 19 May 2022 09:41:25 +0530
Skyroot Aerospace successfully test fires its rocket engine

Chennai, May 19

Private sector rocket maker Skyroot Aerospace Private Ltd successfully tested its Vikram-1 rocket's third stage/engine.

The company on Thursday announced the completion of the milestone of full duration test-firing of its Vikram-1 rocket stage.

Named 'Kalam-100' after renowned Indian rocket scientist Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, the third stage of Vikram-1 produces a peak vacuum thrust of 100 kN (about10 tons) and has a burn time of 108 seconds.

The rocket stage is built with high-strength carbon fiber structure, solid fuel, Ethylene-Propylene-Diene terpolymers (EPDM) thermal protection system, and carbon ablative nozzle.

The rocket stage/engine has no moving parts and a high level of automation in manufacturing.

"Full duration stage level testing is a major milestone for the development of our flagship orbital vehicle Vikram-1. The stage has delivered excellent performance and this success gives great confidence for our other rocket stages planned to be tested soon," Pawan Kumar Chandana, Co-Founder and CEO.

"This is best in class rocket stage of this size, with record propellant loading and firing duration, and using all carbon composite structure for delivering best performance," added Naga Bharath Daka, Co-Founder and COO.

The rocket's stage was tested at the facilities of Solar Industries India Ltd, one of the investors in Skyroot.

"This is the largest rocket stage ever designed, manufactured, and tested completely in the Indian private sector. We are proud to be a part of this achievement by supporting the propellant processing and static testing at our world class facilities in Nagpur," said Manish Nuwal, MD and CEO of Solar Industries.

"State-of-the-art technology like carbon composite case, high propellant volumetric loading up to 94 per cent, lighter EPDM based thermal protection system, and submerged nozzle have been validated through the successful static test," said Eswaran V.G., a veteran Indian rocket scientist and Vice President of Propulsion at Skyroot Aerospace.


Thu, 19 May 2022 09:31:52 +0530
Docudrama Hasina A Daughter s Tale is strong inspiration for daughters

Dhaka, May 18

Among the only two survivors in the family of Bangladesh's Father of the Nation that was mercilessly wiped out, a fate they escaped by being abroad, and unable to return home for another six years, Sheikh Hasina faced plenty of vicissitudes in her life, including terrorist attacks, but never faltered in her dream of rebuilding and developing her motherland.

How Sheikh Hasina, the elder daughter of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, established herself as a saviour, turning her torrent of grief at losing her parents and almost all other family members into strength, has now been revealed on celluloid through untold stories, including like her first journey to Dhaka by boat or the first cooking lesson.

"Hasina: A Daughter's Tale", screened again on Tuesday to mark the anniversary of her homecoming in 1981, leaves a lasting impression on all its viewers as it portrays all the highs and lows of her life.

The 70-minute movie, based on the first-person narrative of Sheikh Hasina and her sister Sheikh Rehana, directed by Piplu Khan and produced by Bangabandhu's grandson Radwan Mujib Siddiq and state Minister Nasrul Hamid, both trustees of policy-based thinktank CRI, required five years of research, story building, shooting, and post-production, setting an example in the visual industry of Bangladesh.

Indian background scorer Debojyoti Mishra composed music for the docudrama that created the perfect melancholic background for the tragic events unfolding in her life.

The film has been screened across the world, including India's Goa film festival and Kolkata's Nandan-I, earning accolades for its thorough research, minute detailing, and fiction-like presentation. One has to just see how a young woman, pushed to the pit of pain and bereavement, fights back to reclaim her space and leads a nation back to its course of progress and prosperity.

Sheikh Hasina didn't just stop grieving but fought back to return to power and punish the war criminals who committed genocide, as the auxiliary force of the brutal Pakistan army, unleashing death and humiliation on millions of Bengalis in 1971 - not only those who massacred her family!

"Imagine you, on a brief tour of an unknown territory, on another part of the planet from your hometown, wake up to a phone call, ominously ringing early in the morning, and come to know that your entire family has been gunned down by a group of disgruntled army officers.....! "

This exactly happened to Sheikh Hasina in 1975 when she was in Belgium. As she turned on the television, all the global news channels were broadcasting the same news, the assassination of the Bangladesh Prime Minister, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the very man who had led all the struggles of a nation towards its freedom. That's where the daughter's tale begins.

Through this movie, that the luxury and comfort that she had been allowed as a daughter of a Prime Minister, was snatched away outright the moment her father was assassinated.

The foreign diplomat, who had so ornately welcomed Hasina and her younger sister Sheikh Rehana in his house, changed his mind in a moment, even refusing to offer his car to take them to the airport. "Her story of moving on to relentlessly pursue her goal even outshines Hollywood movie plots or Charles Dickens storylines. It's an inspiration for women unwilling to give up," said Rafa, an undergraduate student of political science after watching the docudrama.

Sheikh Hasina had to undergo six agonising years before she could set her foot back in the country, whose voice for freedom is now celebrated by the world. As the country was virtually terrorised by military dictators, she was not even allowed to enter the Dhanmondi 32 residence of her father, the historic site from where Bangabandhu had declared independence from the repressive regime of Pakistan.

The military dictators, capitalising on the void created by the death of the father of the nation, left no stone unturned to wipe out the name of Bangabandhu and obliterate the spirit of the Liberation War. They even passed an indemnity ordinance to legally protect his killers. War criminals were celebrated while war heroes were persecuted.

As Sheikh Hasina flew back to the country in 1981, a glimmer of hope flashed through the nation with more than a million people gathering near the airport to receive their leader.

Hoever, it took nine long years of leading a mass protest against a military dictator before things changed.

Overwhelmed by the stranger-than-fiction struggle in real-life Sheikh Hasina's story, journalism student Hritika said: "Today, we shudder at the thought of the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan, which is plugging all avenues of freedom for women. But, the same could happen in Bangladesh if Sheikh Hasina didn't show zero tolerance against religious radicals and brought war criminals to book.

"As a woman, I take pride in the fact that a lady set the precedence of guiding a nation fighting religious fanatics who had spread their roots so deep in post-1975 Bangladesh. Watching '..The Daughter's Tale, I was stupified to observe that extremists tried to kill Hasina the same way their predecessors murdered her father.

"Fortunately, this time Sheikh Hasina narrowly escaped a massive grenade attack. So many tragedies can hardly happen in one life. But, still, she is carrying on the legacy of her father, gifting Bangladesh with a war criminal-free territory, an inclusive and cultural society, a sustainable infrastructure, and a middle-income status. What more inspiring can be a woman's story?"


Thu, 19 May 2022 09:27:05 +0530
Temple sold off by Pak national in UP s Kanpur

Kanpur (Uttar Pradesh), May 19

In a shocking revelation, the Kanpur administration has found that a Pakistani national sold off the Ram Janki temple and some other properties.

The office of the custodian of enemy property has now begun the process to enlist the temple and two other properties as 'enemy' property.

Notices have also been issued to those who bought the temple, dismantled it to make a restaurant.

Col Sanjay Saha, chief supervisor and consultant, office of custodian of enemy property, said, "We have given two weeks' time to these people to respond. We are waiting for them to reply to five specific questions. No response has yet been received."

The property in Beconganj was sold by a Pakistan national Abid Rehman in 1982 to one Mukhtar Baba who had a cycle repair shop in the temple complex.

Abid Rehman had migrated to Pakistan in 1962 where his family was already living.

He returned briefly to sell the property to Mukhtar Baba who then evicted 18 Hindu families from the premises and later built a hotel.

According to Kanpur Municipal Corporation records, the property is still listed as a temple.

A probe began after Shatru Sampati Sanrakshan Sangarsh Samiti filed a complaint last year.

The then district magistrate asked the joint magistrate to probe the matter.

The report was later sent to the office of the custodian of enemy property.

Meanwhile, Mukhtar Baba's son Mehmood Umar said that he had all the necessary papers and would soon respond to the query posted to him.


Thu, 19 May 2022 09:19:04 +0530
New blood test can detect early stage bowel cancer

London, May 18

UK researchers have developed a novel blood test that can detect early-stage bowel cancer in 80 per cent cases.

Bowel cancer is a general term for cancer that begins in the large bowel. Depending on where the cancer starts, bowel cancer is sometimes called colon or rectal cancer. It takes one of the longest waiting times for diagnosis and treatments.

Researchers at Swansea University developed the blood test using Raman spectrometry and a recent trial showed the test picked up about 80 percent of early-stage cancers, BBC reported.

Once a patient gives a small sample of blood, lasers are fired through it. It gives a pattern and using Artificial Intelligence, the pattern can be checked to see if the cancer has leaked into the blood. Doctors can then fast-track patients for early treatment.

"It's like a cancer fingerprint," Ann Tate, CEO of Cancer Research Wales, was quoted as saying.

The trial involved 595 patients across west Wales and 79 per cent of early-stage bowel cancers and 100 per cent of advanced bowel cancers were picked up by the test.

The blood test also means people will be able to avoid more invasive tests, like a colonoscopy, the report said. Tate said the blood test can also be used for screening as well to replace the stool sample people over 60 are currently asked to produce.

The samples are not always accurate, meaning people are sometimes called in unnecessarily for a colonoscopy.

"It has potential to be a real life changer for all of us. That's the really exciting thing about this," Tate said.

"The team are beginning to look to see whether this can identify other cancers. That's quite a long way down the line but if it does - it really will change things."


Wed, 18 May 2022 22:52:11 +0530
How exhaust pollution from SpaceX Blue origin rockets heat atmosphere

Washington, May 18

Rockets' propulsion emissions create significant heating and compositional changes in the atmosphere, finds a study.

Popularised by commercial space flights of companies like SpaceX and Virgin Galactic, reusable space technology has led to a rise in space transportation at a lower cost. But its effects on the atmosphere is poorly understood.

To explore, researchers at the University of Nicosia in Cyprus assessed the potential impact of a rocket launch on atmospheric pollution by investigating the heat and mass transfer and rapid mixing of the combustion byproducts for altitudes up to 67 km into the atmosphere.

They modelled the exhaust gases and developing plume at several altitudes along a typical trajectory of a standard present-day rocket, using a prototypical example of a two-stage rocket to transport people and payloads into Earth's orbit and beyond.

The findings, published in the journal Physics of Fluids, showed the production of thermal nitrogen oxides (NOx), components of the combustion exhaust, can remain high up to altitudes with an ambient atmospheric pressure above or even slightly below the nozzles' exit pressure, that is, below an altitude of approximately 10 km.

At the same time, the emitted mass of carbon dioxide as the rocket climbs 1 kilometre in altitude in the mesosphere is equivalent to that contained in 26 cubic kilometres of atmospheric air at the same altitude.

The team found the impact on the atmosphere locally and momentarily in the mesosphere can be significant. While air currents will gradually transport and mix the exhaust CO2 throughout the atmosphere, eventually bringing the CO2 back down to its naturally occurring levels, the time scale over which this happens is not clear.

"We show that pollution from rockets should not be underestimated as frequent future rocket launches could have a significant cumulative effect on the Earth's climate," said co-author Ioannis Kokkinakis from the varsity.

The scientists believe a certain number of rocket launches might still exist above which mesospheric carbon dioxide could accumulate over time, thus increasing the naturally occurring levels and affecting our climate.

Their results suggest that in the worst-case scenario, sufficient NOx could be produced over the time it takes the rocket to reach an altitude of 10 kilometres to pollute over 2 cubic kilometres of atmospheric air with a NOx concentration that, according to the World Health Organization, would be at a level hazardous to human health.

"We hope that commercial flight companies, such as SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, and the New Shepard, and their associated engine manufacturers, will consider these effects in future designs," said Drikakis.

Wed, 18 May 2022 22:47:02 +0530
IPL 2022 De Kock s sensational ton Rahul s fifty power Lucknow to 210 0 against Kolkata

Mumbai, May 18

An sensational hundred by Quinton de Kock (140 not out off 70) and a solid fifty by KL Rahul (68 not out off 51) powered Lucknow Super Giants to 210/0 against Kolkata Knight Riders in the 66th match of the IPL 2022 at the Dr DY Patil Stadium, here on Wednesday.

De Kock, who was given a life early in his innings, made KKR pay for it and he even overshadowed his opening partner KL Rahul with his knock. Both LSG batters remained not out till the last ball of the innings, didn't show any mercy on KKK bowlers and broke many records during the process.

Notably, it was for the first time a team batted the entire 20 overs in IPL without losing a wicket. It was also the highest opening stand ever in IPL history and the third highest partnership for any wicket in the cash-rich league.

After winning the toss and opting to bat first, openers Quinton de Kock and KL Rahul gave Lucknow a steady start by scoring 44/0 in the powerplay. De Cock, who was dropped at third man by debutant Abhishek Tomar off Umesh Yadav in the 3rd over of the innings, was the aggressor while KL Rahul was playing the second fiddle.

After the end of powerplay, KKR openers Sunil Narine and Varun Chakaravarthy bowled with discipline and didn't allow LSG batters to open their arms, conceding just 13 runs in next two overs.

Thereafter, KKR skipper Shreyas Iyer introduced Andre Russell into the attack and the batter dealt him by rotating the strike before De Kock launched the bowler for a six towards the long-on fence. On the other hand, Rahul also shifted gears and smashed Tim Southee for back to back sixers, taking Lucknow to 83/0 after 10 overs.

During the process, Rahul also crossed his 500 runs for the season. He became the second player to do so in five successive editions after Warner who did so in six.

With both Rahul and De Kock going strong against fast bowlers, Shreyas was forced to rely on his spinners as Nitish Rana, Chakravarthy and Narine bowled the next three overs. However, the move didn't reap any dividends as De Kock KL Rahul continued the attacking approach and brought up the 100-run partnership in the 13th over of the innings.

Heading into the final five overs, De Kock turned on the screws and smashed Chakravarthy for two sixes and a four in an 18-run over while racing into the 80s while Rahul hit Southee as LSG were racing towards a big total. Soon, De Kock, who was dictating the proceedings in the middle, slammed Andre Russell for a six and four to bring up his century off just 59 balls.

With only two overs to go, both LSG batters dealt in sixes. The Lucknow skipper welcomed Southee with a six and then passed the strike to De Kock, who hit the pacer for three consecutive sixes as Kiwi bowler conceded 27 runs in the 19th over. The Quinton de Kock show also continued in the final over as he hit Andre Russell for four consecutive boundaries, took 19 runs off the over and helped Lucknow Super Giants post 210/0 on the board.

Tim Southee (0/57) was the most expensive bowler for KKR while the likes of Andre Russell (0/45) and Varun Chakaravarthy (0/38) were also not far behind in conceding runs.

Brief scores: Lucknow Super Giants 210/0 in 20 Overs (Quinton de Kock 140 not out, KL Rahul 68 not out)


Wed, 18 May 2022 22:21:32 +0530
Anurag Thakur offers big boost to foreign film shoots in India

Paris, May 18

Information and Broadcasting, and Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Anurag Thakur announced a slew of initiatives to promote India as an international film shooting destination.

The minister, who's big on making India a major global content hub, unveiled an incentive scheme for the audio-visual co-production and shooting of foreign films in India with a cash incentive of up to 30 per cent, capped at $260,000.

An additional 5 per cent, or up to a maximum of Rs 50 lakh ($65,000), will be granted to film units that employ 15 per cent or more manpower from India, the minister added in his speech at the inauguration of the star-studded Indian Pavilion at the Marche du Cannes on a sun-dappled Wednesday in the French Riviera.

"Hamare paas sirf film industry nahi, hamare paas cine-maa hai!" the minister said, harking to the famous Shashi Kapoor line in the blockbuster 'Deewar'. "This year India intends to give the global audience a flavour of India's cinematic excellence, technological prowess, rich culture and illustrious heritage of storytelling," he added.

The high point of the inauguration, which began with a performance by the Rajasthani folk artiste Mame Khan, was the release of the first-look poster of the 53rd International Film Festival of India (IFFI), which carries the tagline 'Celebrate the Joy of Cinema'. The festival will be held in Goa from November 20 to 28, 2022.

The minister said: "While preserving our age old stories, Indian filmmakers are innovating in the art of storytelling through the use of technology. The Indian film industry, which produces almost 2,000 films every year, is the world's largest."

And to make sure that this creative powerhouse is not lost, the minister made another major announcement. "We have started the world's largest film restoration project under the National Film Heritage Mission. As part of this drive, 2,200 movies across languages will be restored to their former glory."


Wed, 18 May 2022 22:16:35 +0530
Security tightened as MNS BJP call for uprooting Aurangzeb s grave

Mumbai, May 18

The security in and around the grave of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb in Khuldabad was tightened following calls by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) to 'uproot' it, here on Wednesday.

While MNS activist Gajanan Kale on Tuesday questioned the need for preserving Aurangzeb's grave, BJP MLC Prasad Lad threatened to remove the small monument which is one of the major tourist attractions in and around Aurangabad.

In the wake of the potential threats to the grave, the Maharashtra Police and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) have deployed additional guards and a van at the site, though it is still open for public.

Demanding that the extra security must be immediately removed, Lad asked whether this is the 'Hindutva brand' of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, when chanting Hanuman Chalisa is considered sedition.

"This is the same Aurangzeb who executed Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj (the son of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj), demolished Hindu temples to construct mosques. Now, the CM is providing security to Aurangzeb's grave. Is this Sonia Gandhi-Sharad Pawar style of Hindutva or the Hindutva of the late Balasaheb Thackeray," Lad asked.

He called upon the state government to immediately yank off the new security measures and vowed to uproot the Mughal Emperor's grave.

Earlier, MNS's Kale wondered what was the need to retain Aurangzeb's grave and said it must be removed, just as the Shiv Sena founder (Balasaheb Thackeray) also wanted.

If the grave is demolished, then nobody would go and visit it, Kale justified, in an oblique reference to the recent trip there by AIMIM leader and Telangana MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi.

As a huge political row erupted, Congress General Secretary Sachin Sawant said since the ASI belongs to the Centre, why the BJP-MNS are not asking the Narendra Modi government to restrict or ban entry to Aurangzeb's tomb.

He also presented pictures and videos of several BJP leaders who have gone and prayed at the tomb in the past, but now the party is keeping quiet on them.

Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar has asked whether the BJP-MNS were attempting to create a new row in Maharashtra over Aurangzeb's tomb.

Some BJP-MNS leaders have also threatened to bury Akbaruddin Owaisi in a grave right beside Aurangzeb's tomb.


Wed, 18 May 2022 22:04:44 +0530
TNUAC plans to equip state villages with drone units in next 3 years

Chennai, May 18

The Tamil Nadu Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Corporation (TNUAVC) will train drone pilots in the state to equip all villages in the state with drone units in the next three years.

This plan, according to the TNUAVC will equip all the villages in the state with agricultural purposes including spraying of pesticide, land survey, mining, disaster management, monitoring of works and revenue among others.

TNUAVC which was constituted in 2021, January has trained 200 drone pilots and is in the process of training 600 drone pilots in the coming days.

The agency that is situated within the Anna University campus expects the project to equip all the 15,000 villages of the state with drone units.

The TNUVAC is also in the process of empaneling with companies Athat are into drone manufacturing that will help the trained drone pilots easy access to drones at subsidized rates.

Sources in the TNUVAC said that with drones being utilised for agriculture purposes, the possibility of more subsidies from the Union Government is high.

It is to be noted that the Central government is aggressively focusing on the drone industry and the usage of drones in agriculture and has brought in several schemes for promoting drones in Indian villages.

The TNUVAC is also in the process of creating awareness among the farmers of Tamil Nadu on the advantages of using drones for spraying pesticides and other agriculture purposes.

The state is also planning to introduce new courses in drone technology to train professionals in the maintenance and repair of drones.

According to DGCA norms, a license is required to fly remotely piloted aircraft systems in the country and the Anna University has a centre to train drone pilots.

The state government is expecting that in due course of time, the use of drone technology will help do away with several issues pertaining to agriculture including pest attacks and lack of spraying of fertilisers and the state expects to equip all the villages in the state with drone technology.

Wed, 18 May 2022 17:58:09 +0530
Climate Change Greenhouse gas sea level rise set new records in 2021

Geneva, May 18

Greenhouse gas concentrations, sea level rise, ocean heat and ocean acidification -- the four key climate change indicators -- set new records in 2021 with extreme weather -- the day-to-day 'face' of climate change -- led to hundreds of billions of dollars in economic losses, the WMO State of the Global Climate in 2021 report said on Wednesday.

"It wreaked a heavy toll on human lives and well-being and triggered shocks for food and water security and displacement that have accentuated in 2022. This is yet another clear sign that human activities are causing planetary scale changes on land, in the ocean, and in the atmosphere, with harmful and long-lasting ramifications for sustainable development and ecosystems," the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) said.

Global annual mean temperature difference is considered from pre-industrial conditions (1850-1900) for six global temperature data sets (1850-2021).

The WMO State of the Global Climate in 2021 report confirmed that the past seven years have been the warmest seven years on record and that year 2021 was "only" one of the seven warmest because of a La Nina event (ocean phenomenon in the Pacifics) at the start and end of the year. "This had a temporary cooling effect, but did not reverse the overall trend of rising temperatures. The average global temperature in 2021 was about 1.11 (plus/minus 0.13) degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial level.

"It is just a matter of time before we see another warmest year on record," said WMO Secretary-General Professor Petteri Taalas. "The heat trapped by human-induced greenhouse gases will warm the planet for many generations to come. Sea level rise, ocean heat and acidification will continue for hundreds of years unless means to remove carbon from the atmosphere are invented. Some glaciers have reached the point of no-return, and this will have long-term repercussions in a world, in which more than 2 billion people already experience water stress."

The report's key findings include record high ocean heat -- much of the ocean experienced at least one 'strong' marine heatwave at some point in 2021; ocean acidification findings reiterated the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) conclusions that open ocean surface pH is now the lowest it has been for at least 26,000 years and current rates of pH change are unprecedented; global mean sea level reached a new record high in 2021, after increasing at an average 4.5 mm per year over the period 2013 -2021, which is more than double the rate between 1993 and 2002 and is mainly due to the accelerated loss of ice mass from the ice sheets and in case of cryosphere, the glaciological year 2020-2021 saw less melting than in recent years, but there is a clear trend towards an acceleration of mass loss on multi-decadal timescales.

The report also speaks of exceptional heat waves droughts, ozone hole over the Antarctic, famine, and internal displacement.

"Extreme weather has the most immediate impact on our daily lives. Years of investment in disaster preparedness means that we are better at saving lives, though economic losses are soaring. But much more needs to be done, as we are seeing with the drought emergency unfolding in the Horn of Africa, the recent deadly flooding in South Africa and the extreme heat in India and Pakistan," Taalas said.

"Early Warning Systems are critically required for climate adaptation, and yet these are only available in less than half of WMO's members. We are committed to making early warnings reach everyone in the next five years, as requested by the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres," he said.

The WMO State of the Global Climate report complements the IPCC Sixth Assessment report, which includes data up to 2019. The new WMO report provides information and practical examples for policy-makers on how the climate change indicators outlined in the IPCC reports played out during the recent years globally and how the associated implications on extremes have been felt at national and regional level in 2021.

Wed, 18 May 2022 17:55:01 +0530
Gaganyaan Bharat Ki Antariksh Udaan unravels India s ambitious space odyssey

Film: 'Gaganyaan: Bharat Ki Antariksh Udaan' (streaming on discovery+)

Duration: 47 minutes

Director: Pria Somiah

Cast: Rakesh Sharma, Air Cmdr (Rtd) Ravish Malhotra, Chethan Kumar, Dr K. Radhakrishnan, Dr S. Somanath, Dimitry Loskutor, Sunita Williams, Raj Chengappa, Dr Bridgette Godard

This 47-minute documentary, streaming on discovery+, showcases India's ambitious odyssey of sending Indian astronauts into space in an Indian spacecraft by 2023.

The film begins with narrator Rahul Mulani telling us who was the first person who went into space in 1961 and ever since then over 500 astronauts from 41 countries have gone into space and that today, only USA, Russia, and China can launch crewed spacecraft.

He further tells us that now India is set to join this very exclusive club, thereby ushering in a new era in history, making India a major space superpower.

The documentary dissects the extremely complex and dangerous mission through the viewpoints of three astronauts - Rakesh Sharma, the first Indian in space, Sunita Williams, a NASA astronaut, and Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kotov.

With a vast range of talking heads, the narrative elaborates about the qualities required to be an astronaut, the number of astronauts that will be finally selected for the mission, and about Vyommitra, the female-looking spacefaring humanoid robot developed by ISRO who would accompany the human astronauts in space.

It also educates us on the importance of a spacesuit, the making of the indigenous launch vehicle, and the technologies that the makers have to master in case it needs to succeed in the dangerous or complex mission as Gaganyaan.

Narrated in a non-linear manner, the film charts the one-and-a-half-decade-long audacious and challenging journey of India's human flight programme from developing its state-of-the-art cryogenic engine, testing of flights, and rigorous astronaut training to the final preparations and anticipation before its launch.

The telling is supported with archival footage, modern graphical representations of the complex processes, and bytes from eminent personalities from the space fields, who include Dr K Radhakrishnan - Former Chairman of ISRO, Dr S. Somanath - Former Director of VSSO and current Chairman of ISRO, Retired Air Commodore Ravish Malhotra who was the former Test Pilot of the Indian Air Force, Dimitry Loskutor, Director General of Glavkosmos, and Dr Bridgette Godard, Flight Surgeon from European Astronaut Center.

The film's emotional power does not come from the visuals that document the subject but from the spoken words of Raj Chengappa, the Group Editorial Director of a publishing house, and Chethan Kumar, Assistant Editor - Space, Science & Defence of another publication. Glowing with grandiose pronouncements and uplifting sentiments, they speak with so much conviction and authority that you feel proud and motivated with patriotic fervour.

Overall, the film achieves its goal of edutainment.

Wed, 18 May 2022 17:51:39 +0530
TN MPs to meet Sitharaman over cotton prices issue textile industry awaits outcome

Chennai, May 18

A delegation of Tamil Nadu parliamentarians will meet Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in New Delhi on Wednesday over the rising cotton and yarn prices.

The delegation, mostly MPs from Western Tamil Nadu, is led by Kanimozhi.

The textile industry of Tamil Nadu, which is reeling under the rise in cotton and yarn prices, is waiting anxiously at the outcome of the meeting.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the rising prices of Cotton and yarn have severely affected the textile industry of the state. The Tiruppur Exporters Association (TEA) has already met the Union Finance Minister on the issue.

Raja Shanmugham, President of Tirupur Exporters Association (TEA) while speaking said, "The exporters and textile industry of Tamil Nadu as a whole are anxiously waiting for the outcome of the meeting of MPs from Western Tamil Nadu with the Union Finance Minister. We are expecting a solace from the rising cotton prices that is affecting the production and sale of textile products from the state and has adversely affected the export market."

He said that the Tamil Nadu textile exports have an annual turnover of around Rs 36,000 crore and the industry is employing lakhs of people. The exporters' association leader said that the rising prices of cotton has totally affected the production and if immediate action is not taken it will lead to the industry getting closed down.

It may be noted that the rising cotton prices has already affected many units and several MSMEs have already shut shop. The garment industry in the state has suffered huge losses and many major industries are also on the verge of closure.

The textile and garment units in Tirupur and Karur had protested and shut shops against the rising prices of cotton and yarn from Monday onwards. It is to be noted that the price of cotton has been hovering around Rs 1 lakh for a candy (356 kg) which was Rs 57,000 in September 2021.

Robo D. Ravichandran, Secretary, Tirupur Domestic Garment Manufacturers Association while speaking said, "Cotton and Yarn prices have spiralled out of control and there is no other option left rather than shutting the units down. Garment production is becoming unviable and the livelihood of lakhs of people is uncertain."

Wed, 18 May 2022 17:43:57 +0530
US military shares videos of UFOs at rare Congressional hearing

Washington, May 18

In a first public Congressional hearing in over 50 years on UFOs sightings in the US, the country's military officials unveiled new footage of what they call as unidentified aerial phenomena, or UAP, but nothing suggests the presence of aliens, media reports said.

The hearing comes after the release of a brief report in June 2021 from the director of national intelligence on UAP that led to the creation of a task force to investigate the issue, CNET reported.

According to Deputy Director of Navy Intelligence Scott Bray who shared the clips recorded by military personnel at a 90-minute committee hearing in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, the task force now has a database of over 400 UAP reports but nothing is conclusive.

One of the videos taken in 2019 from a US Navy ship through night vision goggles shows an unidentified triangular object. Another clip of the same phenomenon was also observed at a later date from a different location.

Bray explained that analysts suspect the object was actually an optical effect "correlated with unmanned aerial systems in the area". That's likely a drone appearing as a triangle because of the effect of light from the object passing through the goggles and then through the lenses of the SLR camera that recorded the clip, the report said.

Bray also shared another short video, taken in 2021, from the cockpit of a military jet appearing to show a spherical object for a fraction of a second.

"In many other cases we have far less than this," Bray was quoted as saying. He later added that there is currently no explanation for the object.

"There are a small handful (of sightings) in which there are flight characteristics or signature management we can't explain with the data that we have," he said.

Bray also said that the military has never communicated with, fired upon or collided with a UAP, although there have been 11 documented near misses, as mentioned in last year's unclassified report from the director of national intelligence.

"UAPs are unexplained; it's true," Democratic Representative Andre Carson, chair of the House Intelligence Counterterrorism, Counterintelligence and Counterproliferation Subcommittee, was quoted as saying in his opening remarks.

"But they are real. They need to be investigated, and many threats they pose need to be mitigated."

The June 2021 report by Pentagon on UAP sightings had listed five possible explanations for UAPs, which included things like airborne clutter, natural phenomena in the atmosphere, top-secret US technology, or technology from foreign adversaries like Russia and China, the Verge reported.

The report also included a fifth explanation, "other", which encompasses everything they can't explain. Those are the ones that continue to capture the imagination of the public.

And while Bray emphasised that the UAP Task Force hasn't seen any wreckage that "isn't consistent with being of terrestrial origin", they are focused on explaining the unexplainable.

Wed, 18 May 2022 17:39:34 +0530
Former PM Deve Gowda turns 89 PM Modi greets

Bengaluru, May 18

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other dignitaries greeted former Prime Minister and JD(S) supremo Deve Gowda, who turned 89 on Wednesday.

"Birthday greetings to our former PM and respected statesman Shri H.D. Deve Gowda Ji. May almighty bless him with a long and healthy life," PM Modi wrote on his social media.

Festive mood prevailed among JD (S) workers across the state and various programmes were organised to mark the occasion. Deve Gowda, at this age is highly active in politics and recently pledged that he would bring JD (S) to power in the state by defeating national parties.

In the recently held massive rally by the JD(S) in the outskirts of Bengaluru, he declared that the development of the state is only possible with the regional party and he will ensure it.

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai also extended birthday greetings to him and wished for his health and long life.

The Chief Minister called Deve Gowda over phone in the morning and wished for his health, wealth and long life. "May God bless you with health, wealth and long life to serve the State for a long time," Bommai wished the veteran leader on his birthday.

H.D. Kumaraswamy, his son and former CM, stated that his father has always been a guiding force for him. His guidance is required for the state and the nation. Though he served as the PM for a short time he had given immense contribution for the state and the nation, he said.

Deve Gowda, an unquestionable leader of the dominant Vokkaliga community, is known as the son of the soil in Karnataka. He was the 11th Prime Minister of the country in 1996,
four-time member of Lok Sabha between 1988 and 2019. He is presently a Member of Parliament in the Rajya Sabha.

Born in 1993 in Haradanahalli village in Holesanarasipura taluk, Deve Gowda holds a diploma in civil engineering. He entered the state legislature as an independent MLA in 1962.

He was imprisoned in Bengaluru Central Jail during emergency in 1975.

Deve Gowda has six children - four sons and two daughters.

Wed, 18 May 2022 17:33:05 +0530
B luru girl students indulge in street fight video goes viral

Bengaluru, May 18

An incident of girl students' of a reputed school in Bengaluru indulging in street fighting in full public view went viral on Wednesday.

The shocking unverified video of the students in uniform, holding baseball bats and fighting, kicking, pulling each other by the hair have gone viral on social media.

In the video, the two groups are seen arguing among themselves for a long time and then suddenly, one of them comes forward to snatch the baseball bat and then a fight starts between them.

The video shows the girls rolling over steps and falling. One gets hit against the iron grill and later with her bleeding nose is escorted away by her friends.

However, the exact reason was yet to be ascertained and there was no police complaint registered regarding the incident. Even the date and the timing of the incident is also not clear. The jurisdictional Ashoknagar police in Bengaluru maintained that they do not have any information on the issue.

The management of the reputed school has also so far not reacted to the incident. According to information available from sources, the two groups fought over the issue of boyfriend.

The boy had taken one of the girls out, without the knowledge of his girlfriend who studied in the same school. The girlfriend who came to know about it had questioned the girl and it took a violent turn, sources said.

Wed, 18 May 2022 17:28:49 +0530
Yogi govt to develop integrated temple information system

Lucknow, May 18

The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh is set to develop an Integrated Temple Information System online consisting of description, details and history of all the temples of the state as well as their route maps for tourists' convenience.

The Department of Religious Affairs has already asked the managing director of the UP Electronics Corporation for developing the software and upload above mentioned details about the temples in the next six months.

A sum of Rs one crore would be released soon by the finance department.

According to the government spokesman, the Department of Religious Affairs has proposed a whopping Rs 1000 crore budget for the departmental works in the financial year 2022-23, against Rs 32.52 crore spent in 2017-18 and Rs 614.88 crore in 2021-22.

In the next 100 days, the government proposes to work on the Kashi Vishwanath Corridor Supplementary Project. The department also plans to operate the Kailash Mansarovar Bhawan in Ghaziabad and work on construction of the second phase of Vedic Science Centre at the cost of Rs 934.46 lakh.

Furthermore, the government plans to form a board in the next couple of years for implementation of welfare schemes for elderly saints and priests.

The Yogi Adityanath government also has an elaborate infrastructural plan for Ayodhya in the next five years.

The Government will be building main roads of Ayodhya including Bhakti Path at the cost of Rs 63.46 crore and Ram Janambhoomi Path (a four-lane 7-kilometre road from Sahadat Ganj to Sugreev Fort Road) at the cost of Rs 35.07 crore.

It will also be carrying out widening and strengthening of Ram Path at the cost of Rs 1,080 crore.

Furthermore, the government has plans worth crores of rupees for the beautification of Machharhatta locality and Tedhi Bazar localities as well as Ram Gulela Temple in Ayodhya and construction of two-storey parking at Aminaganj.

It is noteworthy that the state government granted Rs one lakh per pilgrim to Mansarovar in 2017 and Rs 20,000 per pilgrim to Sindhu Darshan.

The Government also built Kailash Mansarovar Bhawan in Ghaziabad at the cost of Rs 118 crore and set up Vedic Science Centre in Varanasi.

Wed, 18 May 2022 17:25:17 +0530
Minor girl allegedly kidnapped raped in J K s Anantnag

Srinagar, May 18

A minor girl was allegedly kidnapped and raped in J&K's Anantnag district, the police said on Wednesday.

The girl was recovered by the police and two accused persons were arrested.

"A minor girl was allegedly kidnapped and raped in Anantnag district. While conducting routine track clearance, a team of railway police spotted a girl along with two youths in a railway hut.

"The girl alleged that she was kidnapped by the two youths when she was on way to her home on Tuesday.

"The minor alleged that two youths, namely Danish Ahmad Rather and Mukhtar Ahmad Rather, both residents of Hassanpora Tavela, had kidnapped her. A case in this regard has been registered and further investigations have been taken up.

The girl was handed over to her family after a medico legal examination.

Wed, 18 May 2022 17:22:45 +0530
National Emergency Life Support courses launched for doctors nurses paramedics

New Delhi, May 18

Union Minister of State for Health Bharati Pravin Pawar on Wednesday launched the National Emergency Life Support (NELS) courses for doctors, nurses and paramedics.

Apart from the training modules, the programme also includes developing training infrastructure in all States and Union Territories to implement the NELS course and creating a cadre of trainers to train doctors, nurses and paramedics working in emergency departments of the hospitals and ambulance services.

"Till now, healthcare professionals in the country had to rely on foreign modules and paid courses which were not only expensive but were also limited in scope to a handful of emergencies without considering needs and priorities of our population landscape", said Pawar while launching the course.

She added further, "Therefore, realising the Prime Minister's policy of 'Make in India' and 'Atmanirbhar Bharat', the NELS provides standardised curriculum which is based on Indian context and developed in India".

Talking about the National Health Policy of 2017, she said that it envisaged the creation of a unified emergency response system, linked to a dedicated universal access number, with a network of emergency care, provision of life support ambulances and trauma management centres.

"It is the need of the hour that India embarks on creating a world-class, efficient, professional and integrated system, enabled by technology, for the care of any victim of an accident, emergency or trauma in any part of the country", she added.

The health ministry has also requested the States to send proposals for establishing NELS Skill Centres at their medical colleges and urged all Skill Centres to ensure that trainings are not only operationalised but also utilised to the maximum extent to improve the quality of emergency care services in the State.

The activities under the NELS entail developing emergency life support training modules for doctors, nurses and paramedics after experts' consultations and based on the Indian context, setting up and equipping skill centres in medical colleges under the Centre and States to impart skill-based training on emergency life support for all categories of health functionaries.

Wed, 18 May 2022 17:20:05 +0530
12 dead in salt factory wall collapse in Gujarat s Morbi

Morbi (Gujarat), May 18

At least twelve workers were killed and 15 feared trapped in the wall collapse of a salt factory in the Halvad GIDC of the Morbi district in Saurashtra region of Gujarat. The Morbi district administration has claimed that 90 per cent of the rescue operation has been completed.

Sharing information about the tragic incident, Minister of State for Labour and Employment Brijesh Merja said that around 12 p.m., a wall collapsed in the Sagar Salt factory situated in Halvad GIDC. Till the time he briefed the media in Gandhinagar, 12 dead bodies of the workers were found from the debris.

He added that 90 per cent of the rescue operation has been completed, but it is not yet clear what caused the wall collapse. It is a matter of investigation, which will be done by the police. Soon the state government will announce compensation for the family members of the victims, he said.

The Minister said that the factory processed and packaged salt.

Sources from the factory said, workers died after bags of salt stacked along the wall fell on them, and they got trapped.

Morbi District Collector J.B. Patel and District Superintendent of Police Rahul Tripathi along with their team rushed to the accident site and closely supervised the rescue operations.

The district administration pressed in JCB machines to remove salt bags, hard rock salt and wall debris.

SP Tripathi said once the rescue operation is concluded and the area is completely cleared, FSL team with local police will investigate the incident. If factory management is found guilty for any negligence, a case can be registered against them too.

Wed, 18 May 2022 17:17:21 +0530
K taka CM visits rain affected areas families of dead labourers to get Rs 5L each

Bengaluru, May 18

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Wednesday visited the rain-affected localities of the city and announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh each to the families of two migrant workers, who were killed at a pipeline work site following a heavy downpour.

Devbrath from Bihar and Ankit Kumar from Uttar Pradesh drowned while working in the pipeline project in Bengaluru. Their bodies were recovered on Wednesday. They were working inside when the rain intensified by 5 p.m. By 7 p.m., the water level had become very high making it impossible for them to come out.

Bommai also announced Rs 25,000 compensation for those whose houses were inundated with rain water. It is estimated that the water has inundated thousands of houses in the city.

He stated that arrangements for food are being made in localities where it is necessary. Asked about the repeated flow of water into residential areas, Bommai said that it is due to the geographical terrain of the city.

The work on 800 kms of storm water drains has to be completed, while that on 400 kms is yet to be taken up. "This year, we will take up the work and complete it," he said.

Besides, the storm water drains are encroached upon. Whenever there is heavy rain, the drains overflow causing problems. The drainage system overhaul has been pending for many years and a permanent solution will be found. "I have allotted Rs 1600 crore for the purpose", Bommai said.

Incessant rains have caused havoc in the coastal districts of Dakshina Kannada, Uttara Kannada and Udupi. Mysuru district is also affected by the rains.

The India Meteorological Department has warned that the rains would continue for three more days.

It has sounded a red alert in the coastal districts and hilly regions of the state for Wednesday. Experts say that due to the cyclone in the south-west Arabian Sea, heavy rains with thunderstorms and lightning are expected in the next 24 hours.

Bengaluru woke up to drizzles on Wednesday. However, the heavy rain that lashed the city late Tuesday disrupted normal life.

Traffic on the Bengaluru KempeGowda International Airport highway was thrown out of gear. The vehicles were stranded on the road for more than two hours.

Wed, 18 May 2022 17:14:38 +0530
Already undergone almost 4 years SC issues notice to CBI on Christian Michel s bail plea

New Delhi, May 18

The Supreme Court on Wednesday sought response from the CBI and ED on a bail plea filed by Christian Michel, the alleged middleman in the Rs 3,600 crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam.

A bench headed by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud noted that Michel has already undergone close to four years in prison. "We will have to look (at Michel's bail plea) from that perspective as well", said the bench, also comprising Justices Surya Kant and P.S. Narasimha.

The top court issued notice to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED), and scheduled the matter for further hearing in the second week of July.

Michel's counsel contended that their client's case is covered under Section 436A of the CrPC (maximum period for which an under-trial prisoner can be detained).

Additional Solicitor General (ASG) S.V. Raju, representing the ED, submitted that Michel has not been exonerated anywhere, and Section 436A is not applicable to offences, which are under investigation by the ED. The Delhi High Court had earlier dismissed Michel's bail plea, after the court deemed him to be a flight-risk.

Michel's counsel contended that the investigation has not been completed so far and pointed out that his client was also in custody in Dubai. "I have undergone the maximum sentence as per the provisions...I have undergone 3 years and 6 months as of now and before extradition," said the counsel, adding that his client has never absconded.

It was submitted before the top court that Michel's presence was required in Italy since charges have been framed against him there. Raju replied that he is not even a party.

Michel, a British citizen, was extradited to India on December 5, 2018 from the UAE. On his arrival in India, he was arrested by the CBI and days later, arrested by the financial probe agency, the ED. Since then, he has been lodged in judicial custody at Tihar Jail. Various courts have rejected the bail petition of Michel on a number of occasions.

On January 1, 2014, India cancelled the contract with Finmeccanica's British subsidiary AgustaWestland for supplying 12 AW-101 VVIP choppers to the IAF over alleged breach of contractual obligations and on charges of paying kickbacks amounting to Rs 423 crore.

Wed, 18 May 2022 17:11:06 +0530
Woman s eyelid gnawed by rats in Raj hospital ICU BJP seeks action

Jaipur, May 18

The Rajasthan BJP on Wednesday demanded strict action against the Kota government hospital after rats gnawed at an eyelid of a paralysed woman undergoing treatment in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

Kota railway colony resident Devender Singh Bhati had filed a complaint saying that the doctors treating his wife's eyelid injury had admitted that the injuries were caused by rat bites.

BJP State Chief Spokesperson and MLA Ramlal Sharma accused the hospital of negligence.

Sharma said that this incident showed that the government and the state health department have been negligent.

"The need of the hour is that the government should take concrete action against those who have been negligent.

"If any mishap happens, it is expected that it will not be repeated. But the case of the death of newborn babies inside the Kota hospital and now the eyes of a paralyzed woman being gnawed by a rat, proves the gross negligence of the hospital administration," said Sharma.

Meanwhile, the hospital authority has set up a three-member panel of doctors to probe the incident.

Wed, 18 May 2022 17:08:30 +0530
Guj AIMIM leader arrested for derogatory remarks on Hindu God

Ahmedabad, May 18

All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen's (AIMIM) leader in Gujarat, Danish Qureshi has been arrested by the Ahmedabad cyber crime team for posting derogatory remarks on Hindu Gods and Goddesses. His tweet has hurt the sentiments of Hindus, the police said.

Cyber Crime's Assistant Police Commissioner J.M. Yadav told the media that its team has traced a tweet posted by the handler @danishqureshi. The content of the tweet hurt the sentiments of the majority community and so the team started technical search of the Twitter handler.

Danish in his tweet had questioned the Shivling found in the Gyanvapi Mosque in Varanasi of Uttar Pradesh. He posted distasteful remarks on it.

Technical team of the police tracked Danish Qureshi from Shahpur, who was later arrested. He has been booked under various sections for breaching communal harmony and hurting religious sentiments, said the official and added that separate complaints have been lodged against him with Naroda and Paldi police stations.

Condemning the post, Hindu monk Dr Jyotir Nath Swami has demanded stern action against the AIMIM leader and has also demanded that Danish should publicly demand apology from Hindu community.


Wed, 18 May 2022 17:04:56 +0530
Bharti Airtel s revenues up 22 YoY net profit 165 in Q4FY22

New Delhi, May 17 (IANS) Telecom service provider Bharti Airtel posted quarterly revenues of Rs 31,500 crore in Q4FY22, up 22.3 per cent year on year.

The sharp rise in revenues was backed by strong and consistent performance delivery across portfolios.

The company's India business posted quarterly revenues of Rs 22,500 crore, up 22.7 per cent on year.

Mobile services revenues in India were up 25.1 per cent on year, led by increase in average revenue per user (ARPU), largely on account of flow through of tariff increase done in late 2021. Mobile ARPU increased to Rs 178 in Q4FY22 as against Rs 145 in the same period the previous fiscal.

It reported a 165 percent growth in its consolidated net profit of Rs 2,008 crore in the said quarter, as against Rs 759 crore in the year ago period.

Besides, digital TV continued to amass its strong market position.

Further, 4G customers rose by 21.5 million on year and 5.2 million on quarterly basis, thereby crossing 200+ million milestone which is 62 per cent of the overall customer base, Bharti Airtel said in filing to the exchanges.

It rolled out additional 7,000 towers in the quarter to provide ubiquitous connectivity and differentiated network experience.

"Airtel continues to have the highest ARPU at Rs 178. Our Homes and enterprise business continue to exhibit very strong growth momentum, reflecting the resilience of our overall portfolio. Our strong balance sheet and cash flows have enabled us to further repay some of our spectrum liabilities ahead of schedule and improve our leverage," said Gopal Vittal, MD and CEO, India & South Asia.

"We continue to remain optimistic about the opportunities in the coming years and believe we are well poised as a company for three reasons."

This, he said, were firstly, its ability to execute consistently to a simple strategy of winning with quality customers and delivering the best experience to them.

Secondly, its future proofed business model with massive investments in both infrastructure and digital capabilities, and lastly, the financial prudence backed by the strong focus on governance.


Wed, 18 May 2022 09:25:13 +0530
IPL Turning Point David s run out and Bhuvi s wicket maiden seal victory for SRH

Mumbai, May 18

As Tim David set off for a single on the last delivery of the 18th over to retain strike, Mumbai Indians were 175/5, chasing 194 for victory against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Match 65 of IPL 2022 at the Wankhede Stadium on Tuesday night.

David had just then hammered T. Natarajan for 26 runs in the 18th over on the back of four glorious sixes, three of them off successive deliveries. In that fateful last delivery of the 18th over, David went for a non-existent single, even as non-striker Ramandeep Singh was reluctant to run.

David was caught short of his crease, leaving Mumbai Indians requiring 19 runs from 12 deliveries. Still quite gettable.

But their troubles compounded when Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who sent Sanjay Yadav packing on the second ball of the 19th over, bowled a wicket-maiden, sending down yorkers and fullish-length balls. Mumbai Indians now needed 19 runs off the final six deliveries to win the match.

Fazalhaq Farooqi was asked to bowl the last over instead of Umran Malik, the most successful of SRH bowlers with 3/23 off three overs.

The move paid off as Farooqi, despite starting with a wide, bowled a yorker and a fullish one wide outside off stump to deny Ramandeep Singh any opportunities to free his arms. He took a couple and followed it up with a four.

Mumbai Indians now needed 10 runs off the last four deliveries. Ramandeep took a mighty swing at a wide yorker and Mumbai Indians now needed 10 runs off two balls. Ramandeep was foxed by another wide one followed by a dot ball.

Thus Mumbai Indians needed 10 off the last delivery, and though Ramandeeep struck the ball for a six, it was too late and too little as SRH won the match by three runs. Till that fateful 18th over, Mumbai Indians looked on their way to victory as they fought back well in the slog overs.

Sunrisers Hyderabad rode on a brilliant half-century by Rahul Tripathi (76) and his 70-plus runs partnerships with Priyam Garg (42) for the second wicket and with Nicholas Pooran (38) to post a challenging total of 193/6 in 20 overs.

Mumbai Indians were boosted by a superb start by openers Rohit Sharma (49) and Ishan Kishan (42) and Tim David's 18-ball 46 to remain on course for victory.

They scored 51/0 in the powerplay as compared to 57/1 by SRH. They added 76/4 between overs 7-15 as compared to 91/1 by SRH, In the slog overs, MI were far better, scoring 63/3 in the final five overs as compared to 45/3 by SRH. Mumbai Indians eventually ended their innings on 190/7 in 20 overs.

Considering how close the match was, the run-out of David and the wicket-maiden bowled by Bhuvneshwar Kumar were the turning points of the match.


Wed, 18 May 2022 09:19:31 +0530
Deepika walks Cannes red carpet in Sabyasachi sari inspired by Royal Bengal tiger

New Delhi, May 18

It was Kolkata-based acclaimed fashion designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee's Bengal Tiger sari that Deepika Padukone dazzled in as she walked the red carpet on the opening night of the Cannes Film Festival on Tuesday.

The sari, which the actress and Cannes jury member paired with a black strapless blouse, stood out because of its golden and black stripes, inspired by the big cat after which the collection is named. Earlier during the day, she had appeared for the jury photocall also in a Sabyasachi ensemble of lime green pants and jaunty shirt.

As was to be expected, the ecstatic designer took to his Instagram handle to announce this fact to the world and say that the sari was a part of his Akash Tara collection, which celebrates heritage Indian crafts and techniques seen through a modern lens.

"The blocks have been block printed and hand embroidered by some of India's finest craftspeople at the Sabyasachi atelier," the designer announced.

Deepika paired the sari with a bejewelled headband from Sabyasachi Jewellery's Royal Bengal collection. "The headband," the designer explained, "pays homage to the traditional Indian 'matha patti' headpiece with Art Noveau detailing, while the chandelier earrings updates a classic with an Art Noveau gaze."

The actress rounded off her retro look with bold and black eyeliner, black manicure, nude lips and a hair bun.

The post begins with a telling quote from Sabyasachi: "The sari is a story I will never stop telling. No matter where we are in the world, it has its place."


Wed, 18 May 2022 09:14:32 +0530
Lebanon s Hezbollah allies lose majority in parliamentary elections

Beirut, May 18

Lebanon's Interior Ministry has announced the final results of the 2022 parliamentary elections, which showed the loss of majority in the parliament by Hezbollah and its allies.

The Interior Ministry declared the parliamentary elections on Tuesday, Xinhua news agency reported.

Hezbollah and its allies secured 59 seats, down from 71 in the previous elections in 2018, which are fewer than the 65 seats needed to secure a majority in the 128-seat parliament.

The Free Patriotic Movement, a major Hezbollah ally, is no longer the largest Christian parliamentary bloc in the country as it won 18 seats compared to its rival the Lebanese Forces, which won 20 seats.

Moreover, Hezbollah lost key allies, including Druze leader Talal Arslan and Sunni leader Faysal Karame in Tripoli.

The results published by the Interior Ministry also highlighted the unprecedented gains achieved by 15 reformist candidates, in a breakthrough reflecting the public anger at the financial collapse.

This year's elections are characterised by the absence of Saad Hariri, the most prominent Lebanese Sunni figure, former Prime Minister and leader of the Future Movement.

Hariri announced on January 24 his withdrawal from Lebanon's political life, attributing his decision "to the absence of any positive opportunity for Lebanon in light of Iranian influence, national division and sectarianism".

The Ministry noted that the voter turnout in the 2022 parliamentary elections reached 42 per cent, down from 49 per cent in the 2018 elections.

This year's parliamentary elections were the first held since the financial and economic collapse and the 2019 protests against the ruling political class, blamed for the deteriorating situation in the country.

A total of 718 candidates, including 118 female candidates, who were distributed among 103 lists, competed for this year's parliamentary elections in Lebanon.


Wed, 18 May 2022 09:10:41 +0530
Gyanvapi mosque row AIMPLB legal team to extend assistance to Muslim side

New Delhi, May 18

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) on Tuesday held an emergency meeting amid the ongoing row surrounding the Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi where claims of a Shivling being found inside the mosque during a survey was made on Monday.

A source said that since the matter is being heard by the court, the Board's legal team would extend all the necessary assistance to the Muslim side.

The meeting lasted around two hours during which 45 members of the AIMPLB interacted virtually.

A source in the know of the things told IANS: "We will go through the matters discussed and presented in the court on Tuesday, and our legal team will provide help to the Muslim side. At the same time, we will try to reach out to the people with facts through pamphlets, books etc. so that people don't get misguided."

"Also, we would like to know the stand of the Central government as well as other political parties on the Places of Worship Act, 1991," the source added.

Then Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao had in 1991 brought a law pertaining to the places of worship.

The law prohibits conversion or changing the religious outlook of any place of worship that existed before August 15, 1947. Anyone attempting to do that can face fine and imprisonment between one year and three years.

The AIMPLB would hold another meeting on Wednesday to present its views in details.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Supreme Court directed the Varanasi administration to protect and seal the area where a 'Shivling' was found during a video survey inside the Gyanvapi mosque complex, while also directing the authorities concerned not to restrict Muslims from entering the mosque to offer namaz.

A bench of Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and P.S. Narasimha said: "The area where the Shivling is found should be protected."

The bench added that no manner of restriction should be imposed on Muslims entering the mosque to offer namaz or religious observances.

The top court has listed the matter for further hearing on May 19.


Wed, 18 May 2022 09:07:08 +0530
British govt monitoring Yasin Malik s trial UK Minister

London, May 17

The British government of the Conservative party told the House of Lords on Tuesday that it is monitoring the trial of Indian Kashmiri leader Yasin Malik.

Responding to a question, Minister of State in the Foreign Office, Lord Tariq Ahmed, said: "On the specific issue of the trial of Mr Yasin Malik... we are monitoring it very closely. We do note he has been charged under the Indian law... and therefore we cannot intervene in the independent judicial process of India directly. However, in all our engagements we urge all countries to always respect their own international obligations regarding the treatment of any detainees."

The matter put to him by Lord Qurban Hussain, a Liberal Democrat peer, was that Malik is on trial this week. Lord Hussain claimed the charges against him are "fake". He alleged Kashmiris suspect the Indian government wants to "get rid of him".

"His life is in real danger," Lord Hussain asserted, as he asked: "Will the government use its good offices to protect Mr Yasin Malik's life?"

Replying to an earlier query, Lord Ahmed had said: "The United Kingdom government encourages all states to ensure their domestic laws are in line with international standards. Indeed, any allegation of human rights is deeply concerning and must be investigated thoroughly, properly and transparently... We raise concerns with the governments of both India and Pakistan."

Lord Hussain had asked what assessment the British government had made "of the human rights situation" in Jammu and Kashmir.

Subsequently, Lord Rami Ranger made a powerful intervention against Pakistan.

He said Hussain knows that "two Sikh traders in Peshawar were murdered last week because of their religion".

"People in Pakistan like Ahmediyas, Sikhs, Christians and Hindus are persecuted, forcibly converted, Shia mosques are attacked... I would like to ask who is supplying arms to terrorists in Kashmir, who is training them, who is encouraging them to create disruption in paradise," Lord Ranger asked.

Lord Ahmed tackled this by saying: "I am acutely aware of the challenges minority communities face in Pakistan and we again raise these in a constructive way... It's important for both countries to move forward mutually together and agree that there is a bright future for both countries..."

Regarding the United Nations' role on the Kashmir dispute, Lord Ahmed stated: "The best way to find a solution is to do so together."


Tue, 17 May 2022 23:12:21 +0530
LIC s fall on exchange debut Here s what analysts have to say

New Delhi, May 17

Shares of much-anticipated Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) made a weak listing on the stock exchanges on Tuesday.

The Indian insurance major listed on the stock exchanges at a discount of over 8 per cent at Rs 867, as against its issue price of Rs 949.

Here's what some of the analysts have to say about post the listing:

Shivam Bajaj, Founder and CEO at Avener Capital

"Despite the reduction in the pre-IPO valuation of LIC, the scrip has still listed at a discount on the bourses which is in tandem with the diminution in insurance companies' valuation and softness in the markets due to macro-economic constraints."

However, he feels given the attractive fundamentals, stability in operating metrics and expected recovery in the markets, the scrip can potentially see some buying interest from investors.

Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services

"The subdued listing of LIC is in-line with expectations in context to the drop in market dynamics from the opening of the IPO to the listing date. The listing price has fallen in tandem with the fall of insurance sector valuations, maintaining the discount of about 70 per cent to the industry's average."

Positively, the stock was bought at the dip.

Nair believes that LIC is a decent investment opportunity in the short to medium-term considering its strong market presence, improvement in future profitability due to the changes in surplus distribution norms, and strong sector growth outlook.

"LIC can perform well when we have a bounce in the market and positive performance in the insurance sector," he added.

Mohit Nigam, Head - PMS at Hem Securities

"As observed, the majority of big IPOs have not given strong listing debut gains. Considering previous trends, LIC has continued to take the same path with listing at a discount."

"We believe that personal savings and awareness regarding insurance will increase enabling the sector to outperform in the long run and will indirectly benefit LIC as it is the market leader in this sector."

Nigam recommended long term investors to hold the scrip, while short-term investors can wait to enter at a lower price.

Parth Nyati, Founder of Tradingo

The company's weak listing can be attributed to high volatility in the markets and negative market sentiments.

"The company is synonymous with insurance in India and enjoys a phenomenal brand recall. We believe India's highly underpenetrated life insurance space is still at a nascent stage and is attractively positioned to capture the huge growth opportunity."

"Those who applied for listing gains can maintain a stop loss of Rs. 800. New investors can take advantage of the dips to accumulate this share for the long term. We would like to add that the company's further downside will be limited due to low float post listing," Nyati said.

To put things in perspective, the initial public offering of the company, however, received robust response from investors as the insurance major's offer has been subscribed 2.89 times.

It received bids for 46.77 crore equity shares against IPO size of 16.2 crore equity shares.

The portion set aside for policyholders has been subscribed 5.97 times, employees bid 4.31 times the allotted quota and retail investors 1.94 times, while the reserved portion of qualified institutional buyers has booked 2.83 times and that of non-institutional investors 2.8 times.

The long-awaited Initial Public Offering (IPO) for the LIC was open for subscription till May 9.

Though the government had brought down the issue size from 5 per cent to 3.5 per cent, to Rs 21,000 crore, it was a landmark public issue in the history of the Indian capital market and India's biggest IPO till date.

The IPO valued LIC at Rs 6 lakh crore.

The issue offer of the LIC was in the price band of Rs 902 to Rs 949. Also, the policyholders were offered a Rs 60 discount, while for retail investors, the discount was at Rs 45.


Tue, 17 May 2022 23:07:21 +0530
IPL 2022 Tripathi fifty helps Sunrisers Hyderabad post 193 6 against Mumbai Indians

Mumbai, May 17

Rahul Tripathi struck a fine half-century and shared two vital partnerships with Priyam Garg and Nicholas Pooran as Sunrisers Hyderabad posted 193/6 in their 20 overs against Mumbai Indians in Match 65 of IPL 2022 at the Wankhede Stadium here on Tuesday.

Tripathi struck 76 off 44 balls (4x9, 6x3) and shared a 78-run partnership with Garg (42, 26 balls, 4x4, 6x2) for the second wicket and a 76-run stand with Pooran (38, 22 balls, 4x3, 6x3) to recover after losing opener Abhishek Sharma (9) with 18 runs on the board after Sunrisers Hyderabad were asked to bat first.

Sunrisers need to win to remain in contention for a place in the playoffs and Tripathi helped put them in a good position to go for victory, scoring his runs at a good pace and his partners failed the right foil to his aggression as Sunrisers reached a strong position at 172/2 in the 17th over.

Tripathi, the 31-year-old batter who represents Maharashtra at the domestic level, completed his half-century in 32 balls, hitting seven fours and one six.

However, Mumbai Indians reeled them in by claiming three wickets -- starting with Nicholas -- in seven deliveries as they slumped to 176/5 in the 18th over. Rahul Tripathi and Aiden Markram (2) were out in this period as Sunrisers lost steam a bit. Ramandeep Singh gave away only two runs and claimed two wickets in that over as Sunrisers Hyderabad lost momentum.

They eventually finished at least 10-15 runs short as skipper Kane Williamson (8 not out) and Washington Sundar could manage only 13 runs in the last two overs.

Ramandeep Singh was the best of the Mumbai Indians bowlers as he claimed 3/30 in three overs.

The two partnerships that Tripathi figured in were the center-piece of Sunrisers' innings as that provided their batting the momentum it needed after Abhishek Sharma was out early, trying to loft a fullish ball from Daniel Sams, that was pitched slightly wide, but it went off the bottom edge to mid-off where Mayank Markande pocketed an easy catch.

Tripathi and Garg then took charge as they gave the Sunrisers innings momentum, scoring at a fast clip. Garg was particularly aggressive, hitting Daniel Sams for two boundaries in the third over. He got a life when a top edge off Sams was spilled as both Jasprit Bumrah and Sanjay Yadav both went for it.

Garg added insult to injury a delivery later as he pulled a waist-high short ball over fine-leg. He handed Sanjay Yadav similar treatment and hammered Markande for two boundaries in the ninth over before getting out eight runs short of a half-century, spooning a push to bowler Ramandeep Singh.

Tripathi then took charge as he blasted left-arm spinner, Sanjay Yadav, for two fours in the fourth over and took Bumrah to the cleaners off the next over, hitting the senior India pacer for a six followed by two boundaries as SRH raced to fifty.

He survived a stumping appeal thanks to DRS and after going slow a bit in the middle overs, hammered Sams for a six and two fours in the 16th over. He struck Riley Meredith for a six in the 17th over but the bowler had the last laugh as Tripathi holed out to long-on, the cross-batted shot was caught by Tilak Varma. To the naked eye, it looked like the ball had touched the grass but the third umpire ruled that the fielder had his fingers under it as he took the catch.

SRH lost the momentum a bit as Aiden Markram too was out cheaply as they could not capitalise on the solid platform provided by Tripathi, Garg and Pooran and fell short by 10-15 runs.

Brief scores: Sunrisers Hyderabad 193/5 in 20 overs (Rahul Tripathi 76, Priyam Garg 42, Nicholas Pooran 38; Ramandeep Singh 3/20, Jasprit Bumrah 1/32) against Mumbai Indians.


Tue, 17 May 2022 23:00:30 +0530
Beauty queens Harnaaz Sandhu Andrea Meza groove on Badhshah s Voodoo

Mumbai, May 17

Miss Universe 2021 Harnaaz Sandhu and Miss Universe 2020 Andrea Meza set Instagram on fire as they grooved on popular rapper Badshah, Tainy and J Balvin's latest song 'Voodoo'.

Andrea shared the video on Instagram. In the clip, the two beauty queens are seen twinning in a black bodycon dress. Andrea and Harnaaz even sported the same smokey eye-make up and nude lips for the video clip.

The 2020 Miss Universe captioned the video: Latin + Asian = Fire emoji.

The video currently has over 143,000 likes and over 1 million views on the platform.

The trilingual anthemic track 'Voodoo' marks the first collaboration between Indian rapper Badshah and Latinx icon, J Balvin.

It has been produced by Tainy, who has earlier churned out hits with Bad Bunny, Shawn Mendes, Camila Cabello, Anuel, and Daddy Yankee.

'Voodoo' follows Badshah's latest EP 'Retropanda - Part 1', that released last month. In 2021, Badshah inked an exclusive agreement with Universal Music Group to be led by Capitol Records.


Tue, 17 May 2022 22:48:17 +0530
Gujarat ATS arrests four men wanted in 1993 Bombay serial blasts case

Ahmedabad, May 17

The Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) has arrested four persons for their alleged involvement in the Bombay serial bomb blasts, which killed 257 persons and injured over 700 others on March 12, 1993.

Based on a specific information about the presence of four suspicious persons in Ahmedabad, a team was formed under Deputy Superintendent of Police, Kanubhai Patel, which detained the four persons from the Sardarnagar area on the evening of May 12.

Initially, the four accused were booked for carrying forged Indian passports.

The arrested persons had Indian passports with the following names -- Javed Basha alias Qasim Saab, Syed Abbas Sharif alias Syed Abbas, Syed Yasin alias Abdul Rahman, and Mohammad Yusuf Ismail alias Sheikh Ismail Noor Mohammad. They had obtained these persons using fake address documents.

As per the ATS, after their real identities were revealed, the police found that the four accused were allegedly involved in the 1993 serial bomb blasts.

The real identities of the accused persons were found to be Abu Bakar alias Abdul Gafoor (Javed Basha); Syed Qureshi alias Rahat Jan Qureshi (Syed Abbas Sharif); Mohammad Shoaib Qureshi alias Shoaib Bawa (Syed Yasin); and Mohammad Yusuf Ismail alias Yusuf Bhatka (Mohammad Yusuf Ismail).

Sources said that all the four persons were wanted for their alleged involvement in the 1993 serial blasts, and were on the run to this day.

They were all members of a smuggling gang run by Mohammad Ahmed Dosa alias Mohammad Dosa, and were involved in the smuggling of gold and silver in India in the 1980s and 1990s.

The accused had gone to the Middle East in February 1993, a month before the blasts, and attended a meeting organised by Dawood Ibrahim, in which the latter instructed them to go to Pakistan for arms training.

Abu Bakr, Syed Qureshi, Mohammad Shoaib and Mohammad Yusuf had then gone to Pakistan, where they were trained in manufacturing of improvised explosive devices (IEDs), after which they returned to India.

Abu Bakr also played a role in disposing of another consignment of weapons that had arrived in Maharashtra by sea, just days after the serial blasts.

In the aftermath of the blasts, these individuals used fake address documents to fraudulently obtain Indian passports with different names and identities and fled India.

All four of them were declared guilty by the special TADA court in Mumbai, while the Interpol issued a Red Corner Notice in their name.

As per sources, ATS officials will hand over the four accused to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which is investigating the Mumbai serial blasts case, after their remand period is over.


Tue, 17 May 2022 22:27:19 +0530
Rare bleeding disorder patients in India to get preventive treatment Lead

New Delhi, May 17

A US FDA-approved treatment that may prevent haemophilia, a rare bleeding disorder, has been launched in India, global biopharmaceutical company Takeda Pharmaceutical said on Monday.

A genetic condition that prevents blood from clotting, haemophilia causes bleeding for a long time after injury or surgery and painful swelling of the joints either after injury or even without injury.

In India, more than 1,36,000 people have been diagnosed with the disorder that causes lifelong bleeding, and has so far no known cure.

The prophylaxis treatment is named Adynovate and is an innovative extended half-life recombinant Factor VIII (rFVIII) treatment, using established technology (controlled PEGylation), for haemophilia A patients.

Adynovate, in combination with MYPKFIT, is an FDA approved application that offers personalised and interactive prophylaxis treatment option that enables both healthcare professionals (HCPs) and patients in real-time monitoring, the company said in a statement.

Alerts are sent to patients on prophylaxis when their estimated factor VIII levels are low, and reminds them when their infusions are due, thereby providing excellent prophylactic coverage.

The drug is available in India post all necessary clinical trials, the company said, adding it has also taken requisite approvals including from Indian regulatory bodies such as the DCGI, and the CDSCO.

"Individuals with severe haemophilia have recurrent hemarthrosis - fragmentation of joint cartilage, bone destruction, and crippling, which can be effectively reduced through prophylaxis as opposed to on-demand therapy," Dr. Sandeep Arora, Head of Medical Affairs and Patient Services, Takeda India, in a statement.

Adynovate has demonstrated "favourable safety and efficacy results that offer effective bleed resolution, better joint health, and almost zero spontaneous bleeds in majority", he added.

Tue, 17 May 2022 13:47:20 +0530
Cloud based digital solutions to empower Indian ITeS sector Experts

New Delhi, May 17

Cloud-based digital solutions will enhance agility, empower hybrid workspaces and facilitate intellectual property (IP)-led innovation for the information technology-enabled services (ITeS) sector in India that has been at the forefront of digital transformation and enterprises, industry experts said on Tuesday.

The Indian IT industry has grown by 13-14 per cent and the consumption of technology has nearly grown by 7-8 per cent.

According to CP Gurnani, CEO and Managing Director, Tech Mahindra, the pandemic increased the rate of technology adoption since we had to go virtual.

"As a business, you need to anticipate the technology evolution and ways to improve the process. The easiest way to do it is to evolve faster into business transformation, software-as-a-service (SaaS), metaverse, or employee experience management," he told Anant Maheswari, President of Microsoft India, in a fireside chat during the company's 'Future Ready Industry' event.

Sanjeev Singh, Chief Operations Officer Wipro said that cloud is the biggest opportunity and has the biggest momentum where it has evolved from an infrastructure or service solution to become a platform as a service or software as a service.

"The flexibility it provides around scalability, security, speed to market, is immense and Azure plays a significant role in this space," he added.

Janardhan Santhanam, Global Head-Talent Development, TCS said that the pandemic and the secure borderless workspace model have "helped the industry and us move from just doing physical or virtual or 'phygital' to optimising the blend of physical and virtual in a very contextual way based on what purpose we want to solve".

In the case of revenue acceleration, "digital has helped modernise inside sales, provided better strategies for pursuit enablement as well as a unified customer view while enabling the convergence of customer insights, which helps the sales team", added Nitin Bhatt, Technology Sector leader at EY.

Tue, 17 May 2022 13:44:14 +0530
KTR leaves for UK Davos visit

Hyderabad, May 17

Telangana's Industry and Information Technology Minister K. T. Rama Rao on Tuesday left for a three-day visit to the United Kingdom.

He will attend a series of meetings organised by the UK India Business Council.

After this visit, the minister will reach Davos to attend the World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting scheduled from May 22 to 26.

"Off to the United Kingdom for three days to attend meetings organised by @UKIBC and from there on to Davos to attend the world economic forum from 22-26th May Lots of meetings lined up and hectic activity ahead," tweeted KTR, as the state minister is popularly known.

Accompanied by senior officials, KTR will call on top leadership of various companies in the UK and also on the sidelines of WEF in Davos to attract investment to Telangana.

The annual meeting of WEF was originally scheduled from January 17-21 but was postponed due to Covid-19 situation.

While inviting the minister for the event, WEF President Borge Brende had appreciated KTR's work.

"Your leadership and commitment to transforming Telangana into a leading technology powerhouse is noteworthy. As India emerges from the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, its ability to quickly adapt to innovation and emerging technologies will be vital for a sustainable economic recovery. Your insights on harnessing emerging technologies for common good will be key to the discussions at the Annual Meeting, WEF President had said.

Minister KTR has responded by saying he sees this invitation as a recognition of Telangana government's initiatives in the fields of information technology, industry, and innovation.

KTR stated that this is another opportunity for Telangana to showcase its friendly industrial policies and immense scope for global firms to invest in the state.

Tue, 17 May 2022 13:41:43 +0530
6 0 magnitude quake strikes Indonesia no tsunami

Jakarta, May 17

A massive 6.0-magnitude earthquake jolted Indonesia's western province of Bengkulu on Tuesday, but no tsunami is expected, weather authorities said.

The quake struck at 1.58 a.m., with the epicentre at 51 km southwest of Enggano Island and the shallow of 10 km under seabed, reports Xinhua news agency.

There was also no initial report of damages or casualty, the authorities noted.

The local disaster management and mitigation agency will keep conducting risk assessment of the affected areas, they added.


Tue, 17 May 2022 13:39:09 +0530
Connectivity speed will determine growth of country PM Modi

New Delhi, May 17

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said that the connectivity speed will now determine the growth and development of the country.

At an event organised by the Ministry of Communication to mark the silver jubilee of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), he launched the 5G test bed. TRAI is celebrating its foundation day when the country is also planning the growth for the next 25 years under the 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav', he said.

Expressing his happiness over the launch of 5Gi, he said that it will set its own standard of 5G in India.

Noting that the 5G technology will facilitate governance and make a positive change in ease of doing business in many fields, Prime Minister Modi said that it will create more jobs in many sectors.

The 6G service, he said, will be launched by the end of this decade, adding that a taskforce has already started working on the project.

Referring to the 2G period, he said: "It was full of frustration, corruption and policy paralysis but after that we came to 3G, 4G and now we are testing the 5G technology, developed by the Communication Ministry, Indian Institute of Technology at Chennai and Delhi".

Noting that the Telecom sector is one of the finest examples of self-reliance, PM Modi also said that one-and-a-half times more foreign investments has come in the last eight years in comparison to total investment till 2014.

"Today, we are the fastest growing country using mobile and internet and mobile phone manufacturing. We had only two companies producing mobile phones but now there are over 200 mobile companies who are manufacturing mobile sets for our domestic needs but we are also exporting to other countries," Modi said.

He also said that in 2014, the government initiated 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas' and wanted to get the people connected with the government sponsored programme at the minimum cost and "we initiate the connecting the Jan Dhan account, Aadhar card" with mobile to get the direct benefit schemes.

"To keep the call and internet data rate cheaper, we initiated policies in the telecom sector and made it competitive and healthy and this is why the calls and internet data both are quite cheap in India," PM Modi said.

He also informed that over 1,75 lakh Gram Panchayats are connected with the broadband facility and gave approval of the 4G network by BSNL in Naxal-affected areas.

PM Modi also urged all the regulators of this sector to make a common platform to find out best solutions for the telecom industry in days to come.

Tue, 17 May 2022 13:35:01 +0530
Bulldozer rolls near Delhi s Rithala metro station

New Delhi, May 17

After three days of halt, the Municipal Corporation continued with the ongoing demolition drive against illegal encroachment in the national capital on Tuesday.

As per latest reports, the drive is underway in the area of ward No 28 (from Rithala metro station to sector 24 traffic light) where encroachments are being razed to the ground.

The demolished structures were illegally constructed on the pavement of the main road, i.e., on government land.

As the officials of the civic body arrived there, the people, rather than resisting the drive, were seen removing the temporarily constructed structures by themselves.

The Administrative Officer of Rohini Zone of the North Delhi Municipal Corporation, in a letter to SHO Budh Vihar police station, Sector 5 Rohini, requested to provide 50 police personnel, including female cops, so that law and order may be maintained in the area during the joint encroachment removal programme.

Earlier, the civic agency had asked for 400 police personnel, but they said that the field staff of the concerned area has already removed the maximum encroachment so now only 50 personnel are required for the anti-encroachment drive.

Tue, 17 May 2022 13:24:52 +0530
Attempt to install Lord Hanuman s idol near Dargah sparks violence in MP s Neemuch

Bhopal, May 17

A person suffered injuries as communal violence broke out after a group of people attempted to install Lord Hanuman's idol near a Muslim shrine in Madhya Pradesh's Neemuch district, police said on Tuesday.

Private properties were also damaged in the incident, it said.

Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure had to be clamped to stem the violence after a mob pelted stones and resorted to arson near Purani Kachehri area of Neemuch. Additional forces have been deployed and people's movement is being monitored to ensure that the situation returns to normal, a police official said.

Neemuch Superintendent of Police (SP) Suraj Kumar Verma said the violence occurred after a group of people reached Dargah 9 (Muslim shrine) and tried to install Lord Hanuman's idol. This attempt incited heated arguments between the group which later turned into violence.

Stones were pelted which prompted police to use teargas to disperse the stone-pelting mob. People have been asked to stay at their homes till the situation gets back to normal.

"A group of people tried to install the idol on a government land near the dargah which was opposed by the other group. A heated argument preceded the stone pelting," said the district police superintendent.

As per the police, a person identified as Yousuf was injured in the violence and has been admitted in a government hospital. "Additional cops have been deployed in the area and we are monitoring the situation. No complaint was registered so far, but the police have started investigation into the matter," Verma added.

District Collector Mayank Agrawal said: "Section 144 was imposed and the situation is now under control."

Violence in Neemuch was the fourth such incident in Madhya Pradesh in the last two months and the state's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government has drawn flak over it.

Tue, 17 May 2022 13:22:12 +0530
Partly cloudy light rain likely in J K during next 24 hrs MeT

Srinagar, May 17

Weather remained partly cloudy in Jammu and Kashmir in the past 24 hours even as the MeT department forecast the same to continue on Tuesday.

"Partly cloudy weather with rain at isolated places is likely in J&K during the next 24 hours", an official of the MeT department said.

Srinagar registered 12.5 degrees Celcius, Pahalgam 5.8 and Gulmarg 7.6 as the minimum temperature on Tuesday, while Drass in Ladakh clocked 2.6, Leh 4.6 and Kargil 6.2 degrees.

Meanwhile, Jammu recorded 24.1 degrees, Katra 22.6, Batote 17.3, Banihal 14 and Bhaderwah 11.7 as the minimum temperature.


Tue, 17 May 2022 13:19:35 +0530
Lost count it must be record Karti Chidambaram on CBI raids

New Delhi, May 17

As CBI raids began on his premises across the country on Tuesday morning, Congress MP Karti Chidambaram slammed the agency saying that he has lost count of the number of searches, adding "must be record".

"I have lost count, how many times has it been? Must be a record." he tweeted.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is conducting raids at nine locations belonging to Congress leader Karti Chidambaram and his father and former union minister P. Chidambaram in connection with a fresh case of Chinese visa issued for illegal gratification.

According to information, the federal probe agency is conducting raids at Odisha, Mumbai, Karnataka, Delhi and Chennai in a fresh case of Chinese visa issued for illegal gratification.

"The new case in which raids are being conducted is related to foreign remittance and companies, was registered registered a few days back. The dealing took place in 2010-2014. During this period funds were received and sent abroad by or at the instruction of Chidambaram," said a source.

It has been alleged that senior Chidambaram allegedly helped some Chinese get visas by flouting rules. A project was going on in Punjab for which the veteran leader helped them in getting visas.

Tue, 17 May 2022 13:17:11 +0530
Air gun training Complaint lodged against Bajrang Dal in K taka

Bengaluru, May 17

Popular Front of India (PFI) has lodged a complaint against air gun training to more than 100 participants during a week-long training camp held recently in Karnataka's Madikeri district, police said on Tuesday.

Ibrahim, a member of PFI, has lodged a complaint and demanded a probe into the matter. The complaint mentioned that air guns were used in the camp held in the school grounds in Ponnampet town.

The police have initiated a probe into the matter and sought a report from the Education department on whether the school grounds could be used for such an event.

The issue has stirred a controversy in the state and resulted in a political slugfest between ruling BJP and opposition parties. Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai has stated that his government will not allow anything which happens illegally.

Responding to the allegations, National General Secretary and BJP MLA C.T Ravi claimed that the camp was a part of a self-defence course. They were not trained in using AK-47's and bombs. Every year, the Bajrang Dal trains its activists for self-defence.

Sri Ram Sena Founder Pramod Muthalik also defended the camp saying there is nothing wrong in giving training for self-defense.

The training camp was organised from May 5 to 11. The participants took part in a procession in the Ponnampet town on May 10. Bajrang Dal maintained that it had not violated law and the Arms Act. Air guns and tridents do not come under the act. However, police stated that they are looking into the issue of use of air guns in the open.

Karnataka Congress has demanded the arrest of Bajrang Dal leaders for giving arms training to young students in the school premises in Madikeri district.

Opposition party leader Siddaramaiah had stated that "by giving arms training in Madikeri to young members, Bajrang Dal has challenged the law of our land. Do we have a Home minister or Education minister in Karnataka? Is the government still alive?" Siddaramaiah questioned.

"MLAs M.P. Appachu, K.G. Bopaiah and Suja Kushalappa participated in the Shaurya Prashikshana Varga event of Bajrang Dal. Do they have any commitment towards our Constitution?" he asked.

Arms training is against the law and the Home Minister should file a case against the leaders of Bajrang Dal and arrest them, he demanded.

Education minister B.C Nagesh should take action against the school authorities for allowing Bajrang Dal to organise illegal activities, he demanded.

Tue, 17 May 2022 13:13:08 +0530
Disability court recommends filling up vacancies reserved for PwDs in Delhi educational institute

New Delhi, May 17

The Court of Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) has in a recent order recommended the School of Planning and Architecture (SPA), New Delhi, to fill up vacancies reserved for PWDs, which were kept pending for more than 14 years now.

The order has been passed in a complaint filed by one Vijay Garg and represented by Advocate Abhishek Prasad.

As per the complainant, he had preferred this complaint due to the deliberate inaction and lackadaisical approach of SPA in making appointments against the vacancies, despite continuously advertising for the same.

The court taking note of the failure of the SPA to fill the vacancies held that "to keep posts vacant is a retrograde step" and that the SPA "must make all efforts to fill the advertised vacancies".

The court further recommended that the backlog will be filled by a special recruitment drive providing reasonable accommodations and relaxing the criteria.

SPA is a university established under the School of Planning and Architecture Act, 2014, and is considered to be an "institution of national importance".

SPA is governed by a General Council which is chaired by the State Education Minister, who was also made a party to the complaint.

Tue, 17 May 2022 13:10:16 +0530
Two killed as bus overturns on Expressway in UP

Lucknow, May 17

Two persons were killed when a bus, carrying at least 50 people, overturned on the Lucknow-Agra Expressway in Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday.

Five persons were critically injured and several others suffered minor injuries, police said.

The bus was on its way to Bihar from Rajasthan.

A huge crowd gathered at the spot and an ambulance waited to carry the injured to hospital.

The bodies have been sent for post-mortem.

The reason behind overturning of the bus is not yet known.


Tue, 17 May 2022 13:07:37 +0530
UP on alert over rising dengue cases

Lucknow, May 17

The increase in number of dengue cases, ahead of the monsoon season, has put health officials in Uttar Pradesh on alert.

The state's Director General, Health, Vedvrata Singh said that Uttar Pradesh has the required medical infrastructure to counter the outbreak of dengue but the key to prevention was in the hands of the people.

"There are 70 labs in the state with the facility of dengue testing at the moment and another 88 labs are being developed. Rapid Response (RR) teams have been formed at the block level who will take immediate action. Earlier such teams existed at the district level. At the same time, fever health desks have been established in every hospital," he said.

Director, Communicable Diseases, A.K. Singh said that there is neither any medicine nor any vaccine for dengue and therefore, efforts should be made to prevent the mosquito bite.

Even if the disease affects a person, recovery under medical supervision is possible, he noted.

Vikas Singhal, Joint Director, Vector Borne Diseases (VBD), said that people usually take fever lightly which costs them dearly.

"If the fever persists, the patient should get tested for dengue. Upon diagnosis, high fluid diet should be taken along with medicines," he said, adding that patients should be saved from dehydration.

Additional Director, Malaria Control, R.C. Pandey said that dengue can be stopped by united efforts by government, civic agencies and people.

Tue, 17 May 2022 13:04:38 +0530
Fear of black haunts Cong during Rahul s Rajasthan visit

Jaipur, May 17

The fear of black colour haunted the Congress in Rajasthan as people, who had come wearing black dresses, were not allowed to attend the public gathering of Rahul Gandhi at Beneshwar Dham in Rajasthan's tribal-dominated Banswara district.

The public meeting was held on Monday.

Those who came to attend the public meeting wearing black T-shirts, shirts and scarves were asked to replace them. Eventually, a pile of black coloured clothes was seen on the wall outside the meeting place. Even the handkerchiefs were checked for the colour. Females wearing black scarves/dupattas were also asked to take them off.

A day after the Congress's three-day 'Nav Sankalp Shivir' held in Udaipur ended on Sunday, Rahul Gandhi on Monday went to Beneshwar Dham.

Here, Rahul Gandhi laid the foundation stone of a bridge, which will be built at a cost of Rs 132 crore. Rahul also visited three temples there and offered prayers.

The police-administration was very cautious about the black colour during his visit.

Earlier, during the BJP regime under former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, black flags were shown at one of her gatherings after which precaution was taken to stop people wearing black colour clothes from attending her rallies. The Congress then mocked at the BJP on this.

Tue, 17 May 2022 13:01:30 +0530
Kannada actress dies during fat removal surgery parents allege negligence

Bengaluru, May 17

In a shocking development, a 21-year-old Kannada small screen actress died while undergoing fat removal surgery in Bengaluru on Tuesday.

According to police, she was undergoing surgery without knowledge of her parents.

Chetana Raj is the young actress who succumbed during surgery. The parents are now alleging negligence on part of the surgeons. They are also saying that the surgery was conducted without proper equipment.

Chetana Raj is a resident of Abbigere in Bengaluru. The hospital authorities are maintaining that the death occurred due to water getting deposited in her lungs during surgery.

Chethana Raj had acted in popular serials 'Geetha', 'Doresaani', 'Olavina Nildana'. She had also acted in 'Havayaami', a Kannada movie.

Govinda Raj, father of Chetana Raj explained that his daughter was admitted to the hospital at 8.30 am on Monday. By the time they got to know about it, the surgery had already started.

By the evening, the lungs were filled with water or fat content and she had faced breathing problems. There were no proper facilities in the ICU, he said.

Chetana Raj had asked them for permission to undergo fat surgery but the family had told her not to undergo the surgery. She had undergone surgery without family members' knowledge, he explained.

"My daughter died due to the negligence of the hospital. The doctors have conducted surgery without parental consent and without proper equipment," he stated.

"My daughter was hale and hearty. She was absolutely fine. She had gone to hospital with her friends. Someone has suggested to her that she had more fat in the waist and without consulting any family member she had come for the surgery. "I will initiate legal action against hospital authorities," he said.

Tue, 17 May 2022 12:58:09 +0530
Spotify tests NFT galleries on artist pages

San Francisco, May 17

Music streaming giant Spotify has likely started testing non-fungible token (NFT) galleries on artist pages.

According to The Verge, the music streaming platform has rolled out the test for some users on Android in the US and currently includes NFT previews for artists like Steve Aoki and The Wombats.

"Spotify is running a test in which it will help a small group of artists promote their existing third-party NFT offerings via their artist profiles," a company spokesperson said in a statement to Music Ally.

"We routinely conduct a number of tests in an effort to improve artist and fan experiences. Some of those tests end up paving the way for a broader experience and others serve only as an important learning."

Spotify did not immediately respond to The Verge's request for comment.

The report mentioned that Spotify will also give users the option to "See More", which directs them to the NFT's page on OpenSea where they can purchase it. But Spotify does not seem to support NFTs that are videos or GIFs.

It only shows a static image of the NFT in the app, not the full video.

It also does not include sound, which is kind of strange for a music streaming platform. Users can only listen to the NFT or see if it is a video or GIF by clicking through its page on OpenSea.

According to Music Ally, Spotify will not collect a commission for any NFT sales made through the app and is just testing the integration.


Tue, 17 May 2022 10:14:44 +0530
IPL Turning Point Shardul Axar Kuldeep trigger Punjab meltdown

New Delhi, May 17

For all the bravado and aggressiveness Punjab Kings batting line-up possesses, their game against spin has been a flip-flop in their last seven matches of IPL 2022. But when it comes to Delhi Capitals, there is just one way: Downwards.

In the earlier clash between these two teams at Brabourne Stadium, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav and Lalit Yadav combined to leave Punjab in a spin, picking 6/45 overall in 10 overs at a run rate of 4.50 to be out for a paltry score of 115, which unsurprisingly was chased down by Delhi in 10.3 overs.

Now, on a slow pitch which gave some assistance to spinners at the DY Patil Stadium, Liam Livingstone had rocked Delhi with his away-going deliveries and variations to pick 3/27. While chasing 160, one would have expected Livingstone to lead the chase due to having bowled previously on the pitch. But it just didn't happen.

Before the strangulation by spin came from Axar and Kuldeep, Shardul Thakur had opened the floodgates with a double-wicket strike of Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Shikhar Dhawan in the final over of powerplay. While Rajapaksa's cross-bat swipe went to backward point, Dhawan was cramped for room, giving a healthy edge behind to Pant.

"I think the sixth over was the big over where I got two wickets. They were cruising and we saw in both innings, the powerplay was a big one. Fast bowlers were going for runs. And as soon as the powerplay ended, suddenly the runs stopped. So, getting two wickets in the sixth over was very crucial, and after that the spinners came on for us and did the job pretty well," were Thakur's words after the match.

Post Thakur's double strike, Axar took over and got Mayank Agarwal out with a length ball around off-stump skidding in to bowl him through the gate. Livingstone kept quiet before dancing down the pitch to dispatch Kuldeep over long-on. But he completely missed the googly and was easily stumped by Pant. Co-incidentally, both of his dismissals against Delhi have been via stumpings.

Kuldeep's wrong'un beat Harpreet Brar's inside edge on defence to bowl him through the gate while Rishi Dhawan missed his sweep on an arm-ball from Axar and the ball straightened after pitching to hit top of off-stump, leaving Punjab at 82/7 in 13 overs.

Though Jitesh Sharma fought hard with his 44 and Rahul Chahar brought out the long handle, it was inadequate for Punjab to cover over the insipid show against the Delhi spinners, who had overall figures of 4/34 in eight overs at a run rate of 4.25.

"We didn't bat well. Between overs 5 and 10, we lost too many wickets and that's where we lost the game. I thought it was definitely chaseable for the batting we have and the wicket wasn't as bad as it seemed. We just lost too many wickets between the fifth and 10th over and lost the game there," was Agarwal's realistic assessment of where Punjab went wrong.

Clearly, losing five wickets within 14 runs in the five-ten over phase proved to be back breaking for Punjab while bringing immense joy to the Delhi camp.


Tue, 17 May 2022 10:10:43 +0530
Indices positive in opening deals with all eyes on LIC listing

New Delhi, May 17

Indian equity benchmark indices started Tuesday's trade in green ahead of listing of insurance major LIC's exchange debut.

It is expected that the listing will take place in a while.

The initial public offering of Life Insurance Corporation of India has received robust response from investors as the insurance major's offer has been subscribed 2.89 times.

It will be a landmark public issue in the history of the Indian capital market and is poised to be India's biggest IPO till date. The IPO values LIC at Rs 6 lakh crore.

At 9.33 a.m., Sensex was 0.8 per cent up at 53,371 points, whereas Nifty was 0.7 per cent at 15,596 points.

Asian stocks advanced on Tuesday as investors evaluated the economic outlook amid elevated food and fuel costs, tightening monetary settings and China's push to stamp out Covid, Deepak Jasani, Head of Retail Research, HDFC Securities.

"Benchmark indices can rally upwards today amid positive Asian market cues. LIC which is India's biggest IPO will be making its debut today and can influence the further direction of the market. Investors will closely be eyeing the WPI data which is expected to be released later in the day," said Mohit Nigam, Head - PMS, Hem Securities.


Tue, 17 May 2022 10:08:00 +0530
Clashes erupt between Palestinians Israeli police during funeral in Jerusalem

Jerusalem, May 17

Clashes erupted between Palestinians and Israeli police in East Jerusalem as thousands gathered for the funeral of a young Palestinian, who died after being injured in clashes with police in April.

The clashes took place on Monday evening, Xinhua news agency reported.

Israel's state-owned Kan TV news reported that Israeli police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse Palestinian demonstrators, who hurled stones at them, and dozens of people have been injured.

The police said in a statement that five Palestinians were arrested amid "riots during a funeral of a suspect who was shot by the police in April after he hurled rocks and rioted".

No injuries have been reported among the Israeli forces.

Hundreds of mourners attended the funeral of Waleed Shareef, who died on Saturday of wounds. He was injured on April 22 when Israeli police fired rubber bullets at Palestinian protestors at Al-Aqsa mosque compound.

The incident came amid heightened tensions over a string of clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police in the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in recent weeks.


Tue, 17 May 2022 09:58:37 +0530
All eyes on SC hearing in Gyanvapi mosque case

New Delhi, May 17

Ahead of the Supreme Court hearing on the Gyanvapi row on Tuesday, all eyes are on the court as to what decision it will take.

The Supreme Court will hear an appeal against the Allahabad High Court order which dismissed a petition challenging a Varanasi court's order to appoint an advocate as a court commissioner to inspect the Gyanvapi mosque complex.

A bench comprising Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and P.S. Narasimha will hear the plea filed by Committee of Management Anjuman Intezamia Masajid Varanasi.

After the claim from the Hindu side that it has discovered a 'Shivling', which the Muslim side has countered by saying that it is a fountain head. But, the political debate has started with the BJP leaders at an overdrive. The petitioner's lawyer has said that it is a legal battle and will be taken legally while alleging that the other side wants to "sensationalise the issue which is incorrect as the matter is in courts".

Fuzail Ahmed Ayyubi, who is a lawyer for the petitioner in the plea against the UP court order, said,"I don't want to comment on it as the matter is now in the court."

While AIMIM's Asadudin Owaisi termed it a repeat of 1949, senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid said the 1991 Law should be respected. Owaisi has slammed the court order that directed to seal the place where the 'Shivling' was discovered during the survey.

"This is a textbook repeat of December 1949 in Babri Masjid. This order itself changes the religious nature of the Masjid. This is a violation of 1991 Act. This was my apprehension and it has come true. Gyanvapi Masjid was, and will remain a Masjid till judgement day, Inshallah,," Owaisi tweeted.

It was alleged that in 1949, idols were kept inside the disputed Babri Mosque. However, the court in its judgement gave the land to the Ram temple, and the construction is in full swing.

On Monday, the Hindu side advocates claimed that a 'Shivling' had been found inside the well. Lawyer Vishnu Jain said he would go to the civil court to seek its protection.

An advocate from the Hindu side, Madan Mohan Yadav, claimed that the 'Shivling' is Nandi faced.

Heavy security was deployed as the court-appointed committee reached the spot to conduct the survey on Monday.

Nearly 65 per cent of the exercise was completed on Sunday. Another report would be submitted to the court on Tuesday.

Former Home Minister and senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram on Saturday said that status quo on all places of worship should be maintained else it would lead to a conflict.

"Places of Worship Act was passed by the Narasimha Rao government with the lone exception of Ram Janmabhoomi. All other places should have th status quo as any kind of change could lead to a huge conflict," he had said.


Tue, 17 May 2022 09:51:36 +0530
India slams OIC for remark on delimitation exercise in J K

New Delhi, May 16

India has slammed the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) over its remark on the delimitation exercise in Jammu and Kashmir, and strictly warned it to refrain from carrying out its 'communal' agenda against India at the behest of one country (Pakistan).

In response to media queries on this issue, the spokesman of the Ministry of the External Affairs, Arindam Bagchi, said, "We are dismayed that the OIC Secretariat has once again made unwarranted comments on the internal affairs of India."

On numerous occasions, India had categorically rejected the assertions made by the OIC Secretariat on the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, which is an integral and inalienable part of India, Bagchi said.

Expressing the 'deep concerns' over the development in J&K, the OIC said that the delimitation exercise conducted recently was in direct contravention of the relevant United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions and international law.

A statement shared by the OIC on Twitter read, "Referring to the long-standing and principled position on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute and relevant decisions of the Islamic Summit and OIC Council of Foreign Ministers, the General Secretariat reiterates its solidarity with the people of Jammu and Kashmir in their just quest for the right of self-determination, in accordance with relevant UNSC resolutions."

Following the abrogation of Article 370 in August 2019 dividing the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir in two union territories, the Delimitation Commission was appointed to redraw the Assembly constituencies of J&K. The Commission submitted its report on May 5, recommending 90 Assembly constituencies in the Union Territory.

Out of the 90, 43 seats are in Jammu and 47 in Kashmir region, which was earlier 37 for Jammu and 46 for the Kashmir Valley.


Mon, 16 May 2022 22:43:23 +0530
Jubin Nautiyal s latest track Mann Uda Uda Jaye from Dear Dia hits the speakers

Mumbai, May 16

Popular singer Jubin Nautiyal's latest track 'Mann Uda Uda Jaye' from the movie 'Dear Dia' is out now.

Producer Kamlesh Singh Kushwaha shares that it is a Kannada language film with no songs being released in Hindi with five tracks sung by well-known singers.

Directed by K.S. Ashoka, the movie is produced by Kamlesh Singh Kushwaha under the name of Netrix Entertainment. It stars Mihika Kushwaha, Pruthvi Ambaar, and Ujjwal Sharma in the prominent roles.

Kamlesh, who is the producer of the film, shares how he believes that the film 'Dear Dia' will propel it to the top on the super hit movie list. "It was a super hit movie in the Kannada language with no songs and we have added five beautiful songs, sung by iconic singers like Jubin Nautiyal, Shankar Mahadevan, Palak Muchhal and Jyotica Tangri. And the movie is going to blast," he says.

The movie is a love tale. Songs are sung by Palak Muchhal, Jubin Nautiyal, Shankar Mahadevan, and Jyotica Tangri, 'Dear Dia' will be released on June 10 in theatres.


Mon, 16 May 2022 22:28:44 +0530
IPL 2022 Livingstone Arshdeep pick three wickets each as Punjab restrict Delhi to 159 7

Navi Mumbai, May 16

Liam Livingstone and Arshdeep Singh picked three wickets each as Punjab Kings restricted Delhi Capitals to 159/7 in their 20 overs at the D.Y Patil Stadium here on Monday. For Delhi, Mitchell Marsh hung around to top-score with a 48-ball 63, laced with four boundaries and three sixes on a pitch which is slow and offering turn to spinners.

David Warner took a strike at the last moment on seeing Livingstone take the ball. But the move backfired spectacularly as Warner slashed hard at a length ball outside the off-stump, which bounced and held a little, taking a thick edge to backward point.

Marsh began from where he left off in his 89 against Rajasthan Royals, lofting down the ground and flicking over deep mid-wicket for taking consecutive sixes off Kagiso Rabada. Sarfaraz Khan stepped up to play a sizzling cameo of 32 off 16 balls, taking the attack to Harpreet Brar and Rishi Dhawan, hitting five fours and a six, with the scoop being the standout.

But Arshdeep ended Sarfaraz's entertaining stay with a slower ball which the batter completely mistimed to mid-on. The left-arm pacer could have got Lalit Yadav out for a first-ball duck if he had not overstepped at the crease.

From there, Marsh and Lalit shared a 47-run stand off 38 balls for the third wicket. Arshdeep finally made amends by taking out Lalit with a slower bouncer which he ramped straight to backward point.

Livingstone came back in the 12th over to fox Rishabh Pant with a wide delivery, which the left-hander responded with a swing down the ground, only to be stumped for just seven, immediately after hitting a one-handed six over long-on.

The wide outside off-stump fetched another wicket for Livingstone when Rovman Powell tried to clear long-on but the thick outer edge went to long-off. With Livingstone ending his spell, Marsh brought out his counter-attacking self, raising his fifty with a slap through the covers off Brar, followed by another four between long-on and deep mid-wicket.

Marsh slammed three boundaries off Arshdeep in the 18th over -- two through leg-side and one bouncing past long-off. But his knock ended at 63 when his attempted pick-up shot was pouched by deep mid-wicket running in. Punjab gave away just ten runs in the last two overs to get the momentum in their favour at the innings break.

Brief scores: Delhi Capitals 159/7 (Mitchell Marsh 63, Sarfaraz Khan 32; Liam Livingstone 3/27, Arshdeep Singh 3/37) against Punjab Kings


Mon, 16 May 2022 22:21:04 +0530
Modi Deuba hold bilateral talks in Lumbini

Kathmandu, May 16

Nepal Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and his Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi held bilateral talks in Lumbini, where the latter is on a day-long visit to mark the occasion of Buddha Purnima.

During the meeting, the two Prime Ministers recalled their fruitful discussions during the Deuba's official visit to India on April 1-3, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kathmandu.

The two Prime Ministers also discussed a broad overview of Nepal-India cooperation and matters of mutual interests with a view to further enhancing the close and cordial ties between the two countries.

The two sides also agreed in principle to establish the sister city relations between Lumbini and Kushinagar and the necessary process will be taken in due course through appropriate local authorities, the Ministry added.

After the talks, six Memorandum of Understandings were signed between the two sides.

Earlier in the day, Modi and Deuba jointly laid the foundation of the India International Centre for Buddhist Culture and Heritage in Lumbini, the birthplace of Gautam Buddha.

Shortly after his arrival, the Indian leader offered prayers at the famous Maya Devi temple.

Modi is also scheduled to address a Buddha Jayanti event organised by the Lumbini Development Trust.


Mon, 16 May 2022 21:54:01 +0530
Sextortion gang impersonating as cops busted one held

New Delhi, May 16

A Mewat-based gang, impersonating as Crime Branch sleuths and legal officials of YouTube, has been busted by Delhi Police for extorting money from gullible people by honey-trapping them.

The police have arrested one person in connection with the case, who has been identified as Asib Khan (26), a resident of Bharatpur district in Rajasthan, the police said.

Furnishing details, Deputy Commissioner of Police (north), Sagar Singh Kalsi, said some complaints were received on the MHA's Cyber Crime Portal regarding extortion by fake Crime Branch and YouTube officials on the pretext of lodging police complaints over obscene videos of victims and uploading of the same on YouTube.

Accordingly, the police registered an FIR under Section 384 (Punishment for extortion) of the Indian Penal Code at the cyber police station in the north district.

After lodging a case, a police team was constituted which conducted money trails and mounted technical surveillance/analysis of the mobile phone numbers linked to various mobile wallets.

The investigation revealed that the accused were operating from Mudiya village in Bharatpur district.

Subsequently, the police conducted a raid and detained Asib Khan.

"His mobile phone was checked. It was revealed that he was operating a fake bank account using internet banking," the DCP said.

Further analysis of bank statements disclosed that Rs 26 lakh were credited and then instantly debited from this account within one month.

Thereafter, it was found that one person, a resident of Sarai Rohilla, Delhi, was being extorted. The police then registered another case of extortion and arrested the accused Asib Khan.

During interrogation, it was revealed that several youth from Asib Khan's village would create fake Facebook profiles of girls and contact victims on WhatsApp after exchanging mobile numbers via Facebook Messenger.

The victims would receive WhatsApp video calls in which a pre-recorded video of a lady doing an obscene act would be played and this video would appear on the mobile screen of the victims. The accused caller then screen-recorded the video of the victim indulging in obscene acts.

They used to then blackmail the victims posing as officials from the Crime Branch and YouTube's legal team.


Mon, 16 May 2022 21:46:50 +0530
Prediabetes may raise higher heart attack risk in young adults

New York, May 16

Young adults with higher than normal blood sugar levels that signal prediabetes were more likely to be hospitalised for heart attack compared to their peers with normal blood sugar levels, according to a research.

Having prediabetes means that one's blood sugar levels are higher than normal, with fasting blood sugar between 100 to 125 mg/dL, although not high enough to be diagnosed as Type 2 diabetes.

Prediabetes is common and increases the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

The study found that young adults with prediabetes had 1.7 times higher chances of being hospitalised for a heart attack compared to their peers without prediabetes.

"Prediabetes, if left untreated, can significantly impact health and can progress to Type 2 diabetes, which is known to increase a person's risk for cardiovascular disease," said Akhil Jain, a resident physician at Mercy Catholic Medical Center in the US.

"With heart attacks happening increasingly in young adults, our study was focused on defining the risk factors pertinent to this young population, so that future scientific guidelines and health policies may be better able to address cardiovascular disease risks in relation to prediabetes," he added.

The findings were presented at the American Heart Association's Quality of Care and Outcomes Research Scientific Sessions 2022.

Researchers reviewed patient health records from the year 2018 for heart attack-related hospitalisations among young adults, ages 18 to 44 years old.

The analysis found that of the more than 7.8 million young adults hospitalised for heart attack, more than 31,000 had blood sugar levels correlating to prediabetes.

Among those with prediabetes, the incidence of heart attack was 2.15 per cent compared to 0.3 per cent in young adults with normal blood sugar levels.

Adults with prediabetes were also more likely than their peers without prediabetes to have high cholesterol and obesity.

However, "despite having higher chances of having a heart attack, the young adults with prediabetes did not have higher incidences of other major adverse cardiovascular events, such as cardiac arrest or stroke," Jain said.

While prediabetes is a precursor to Type 2 diabetes and other serious health complications, it can be reversed. Many of the steps taken to prevent prediabetes are the same steps to prevent heart disease.

Eating a healthy diet, quitting smoking, cutting down on stress, being physically active and losing weight, if needed, are all meaningful ways to reverse a prediabetes diagnosis.

Mon, 16 May 2022 13:42:02 +0530
India tablet market set to grow up to 12 this year

New Delhi, May 16

Driven by resurgent demand, the India tablet market grew 68 per cent year-on-year (YoY), while 4G tablets recorded a sequential growth of 74 per cent YoY in the first quarter (Q1), a new report showed on Monday.

The tablet PC shipments are set to record a healthy 10-12 per cent growth for the entire year, the report noted.

Lenovo led the tablet market with a 36 per cent market share, followed by Apple (22 per cent) and Samsung (22 per cent) in Q1, according to CyberMedia Research (CMR).

"Driven by the pandemic and the continuous rise and ebb of the Covid-19 cases, many of the sectors are persisting with hybrid or remote work. This is continuing to fuel the adoption of tablets for work, e-learning and content consumption use cases," said Menka Kumari, Analyst-Industry Intelligence Group (IIG), CMR.

The education and healthcare sector have contributed to the uptick in the overall tablet market in the country, she added.

The shipment of tablets with 8-inch display constituted 26 per cent of the overall shipments in the domestic market.

On the other hand, tablets with 10-inch and above displays contributed to 61 per cent of the shipments, said the report.

The value for the affordable tablet segment (Rs 10,000-Rs 20,000) clocked a 155 per cent sequential growth in the first quarter.

On the back of the new Apple iPad Air 2022, Apple registered strong growth in Q1 2022 in the premium segment (Rs 30,000 and above).

Samsung shipments recorded a remarkable 81 per cent YoY growth in Q1 2022.

"Driven by the increasing availability of 5G-capable tablets, the market in India is going to gain strength. On the enterprise side, the commercial and government sector will continue to gain strength owing to the traction in digital economy and e-governance," Kumari said.

Mon, 16 May 2022 13:39:48 +0530
Big B brutally trolled over morning social media post actor clarifies he was working late at night

Mumbai, May 16

Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan recently had an unpleasant experience on social media as he was trolled for one of his posts where he wished everyone a very good morning at 11:26 a.m.

The 'Shahenshah' actor after putting up the post at 11:26 am, was mercilessly trolled by social media users in the comments section as they thought that Big B lost track of time in an inebriated state.

As the trolls took digs at him for waking up late. He replied personally to many of such comments and revealed that he had been working all night. One user asked in Hindi, "Aaj bahot der mein utri. Lagta hai desi pi aa gaye hain. Aajkal 11:30 baje pratahkaal (it looks like he had local liquor that he had a morning at 11:30 am)."

Amitabh replied that he doesn't drink himself, though he entertains others with it as he made a wordplay of the title of his late father, Harivansh Rai Bachchan's hugely popular poem, 'Madhushala'. The senior actor replied that he doesn't drink himself, though he entertains others with it, "Swayam nahi peete, auron ko pila dete hain madhushala."

Another one wrote, "Don't you think you have wished a good morning very early? (sic)" to which the actor replied, "I am grateful for the taunt. But I was working late night, shooting wrapped up this morning. I got late in waking up, so sent wishes as soon as I did. If it hurt you then I apologise (sic)."

The veteran actor seemed in no mood to spare the ones making disrespectful comments. One such comment by a user read, "Abe buddhe dopahar ho gayi (It's noon old man)." Amitabh responded as he wrote, "I pray that you have a long age but no one insults you by calling you a 'buddha' then."

Another social media user trolled him by calling him "Mahanalayak", which is a derivative word made from the fusion of Hindi words 'mahanayak' (superstar) and 'nalayak' (worthless). The user wrote, "Yeh kaun si pratahkaal hai mahanalayak Ji (What morning is this Mahanalayak Ji)". Amitabh replied calmly, "I was working all night, so woke up late, Layak ji (worthy man)."

On the work front, Amitabh will be next seen in the Ayan Mukerji directorial 'Brahmastra', which also stars newly-wed couple Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt, Mouni Roy and Telugu superstar Nagarjuna Akkineni.

Mon, 16 May 2022 13:37:27 +0530
Adani Group to buy 49 in Quint media company s shares up over 9

New Delhi, May 16

Adani Group's unit AMG Media Networks will buy a 49 per cent stake in Raghav Bahl-run digital business news platform Quintillion Business Media for an undisclosed sum, a regulatory filing to the exchanges said.

The Adani Group company Adani Enterprises forayed into the media business by acquiring an unspecified minority stake in Quintillion Business Media earlier this year.

It has signed a Shareholders' Agreement with Quintillion Media Ltd (QML) and QBML and a share purchase agreement with QML, QBML and Quint Digital Media Ltd (QDML) in connection with its proposed acquisition of a 49 per cent stake in the media company.

The transaction is reportedly subject to customary closing conditions and requisite approvals from relevant authorities.

On Monday, shares of the Quint Digital Media rose sharply, rallying over 9 per cent at 12.13 p.m. The current share price is at Rs 325.


Mon, 16 May 2022 13:33:09 +0530
Modi Deuba lay foundation stone of India Int l Centre for Buddhist Culture Heritage

Kathmandu, May 16

Visiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Nepali counterpart Sher Bahadur Deuba on Monday jointly laid the foundation stone of the India International Centre for Buddhist Culture and Heritage in Lumbini.

Modi arrived in Lumbini, the birthplace of Gautam Buddha and a Unesco World Heritage Site, earlier in the day and offered prayers at famous Maya Devi temple to mark the occasion of Buddha Purnima.

Along with Deuba, Modi also participated in the "Shilanyas" ceremony for the construction of the unique centre within the Lumbini Monastic Zone.

The centre is being built at the initiative of the International Buddhist Confederation, New Delhi.

The construction will be undertaken by the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC), India, under the auspices of the Lumbini Development Trust with the financial support of the Union Ministry of Culture.

The IBC is a Grantee Body under the Ministry. The centre will be the first eNet Zero Emission' building in Nepal.

Later, Prime Minister Modi will also deliver an address at a Buddha Jayanti event organised by the Lumbini Development Trust.


Mon, 16 May 2022 13:30:51 +0530
Ex Andhra minister s daughters son in law get anticipatory bail

Amaravati, May 16

The Andhra Pradesh High Court has granted anticipatory bail to two daughters and son-in-law of former minister P. Narayana and some others in the Class 10 question paper leak case.

Narayana's daughter P. Sharani, P. Sindhura, son-in-law K. Punith and 10 others of the Narayana group of educational institutions got anticipatory bail.

On a house motion petition filed by them, Justice K. Manmadha Rao passed the interim orders, directing the government not to take any hasty action against them. The court adjourned the hearing to May 18.

Narayana, a leader of opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and founder of Narayana Group of institutions, was last week arrested in the case.

A team of Chittoor police had taken him into custody in Hyderabad on May 10. He was produced before a magistrate in Chittoor in the wee hours of May 11. However, the magistrate granted bail to Narayana after agreeing with the contention of his counsel that he resigned from the post of the chairman of Narayana Group in 2014.

Narayana and seven others were arrested in a case registered in Chittoor town in connection with leakage of a question paper of SSC exams on April 27. The police had booked a case after the Telugu question paper was leaked from an examination centre and circulated in a WhatsApp group.

The case was registered on a complaint by the District Educational Officer (DEO) about the circulation of a Telugu language question paper on April 27.

In the wake of Narayana's arrest, his daughters, son-in-law and others associated with the Narayana group moved the high court, seeking anticipatory bail.

The opposition TDP has condemned Narayana's arrest and termed it as political vendetta by YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) government, but the latter defended its action and alleged that the group was involved in several irregularities.

Mon, 16 May 2022 13:28:20 +0530
SC to hear challenge to survey Gyanvapi mosque on Tuesday

New Delhi, May 16

The Supreme Court will on Tuesday hear a plea against the Allahabad High Court order which dismissed a petition challenging a Varanasi court's order to appoint an advocate as a court commissioner to inspect the Gyanvapi mosque complex.

A bench comprising Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and P.S. Narasimha will hear the plea filed by Committee of Management Anjuman Intezamia Masajid Varanasi.

On May 13, the apex court had declined to immediately stop the survey of the Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi, and agreed to list the matter.

Senior advocate Huzefa Ahmadi, representing the petitioner, mentioned a plea before the top court filed by the Committee seeking a stay on survey of complex.

The plea challenged the validity of Allahabad High Court's April 21 order, which dismissed the plea against the civil court's order for the survey.

Ahmadi mentioned the plea before a bench headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana.

The bench said: "We don't know anything about the matter... We have no details. How can we pass the order?"

Ahmadi said "please grant status quo", and added that the mosque has been covered under Places of Worship Act.

The bench said: "Let me look at the papers, let me see..."

A Varanasi court on a suit filed jointly by five Hindu women, last month ordered an inspection of the premises through advocate commissioner Ajai Kumar Mishra.

The Allahabad High Court affirmed the civil court order.

The petitioners urged the court for year-long access to pray at a shrine behind the western wall of the mosque complex.

The women petitioners also want permission to pray to other "visible and invisible deities within the old temple complex".

On May 12, a Varanasi court ordered resumption of the video survey of the Gyanvapi mosque complex, including the basement and closed rooms.

The Muslim parties had objected to the survey. The court said the survey report should be submitted on May 17.

The Varanasi court also declined to entertain the demand of Muslim parties to remove advocate commissioner Ajai Kumar Mishra, instead appointed two additional commissioners -- lawyers Vishal Singh and Ajay Pratap Singh -- to assist him.

Mon, 16 May 2022 13:25:20 +0530
13 yr old arrested for toddler s murder in Lucknow

Lucknow, May 16

A 13-year-old boy has been arrested for killing a toddler in Lucknow after he confessed to his crime.

On Sunday, the boy confessed that four days ago, he was allegedly slapped by the victim's father who used to also abuse his family members, humiliating them in full public view.

Syed Ali Abbas, ACP, Aliganj, said that the revelation came two days after the naked body of the victim was recovered from a water tank of a school in Sairpur police station area.

The boy was sent to the Para Shelter home and will be produced before the Juvenile Justice Board on Monday.

The ACP said that the minor boy confessed to his crime during interrogation before his parents.

"I found the girl child outside her house, I picked her up and brought her to my school and threw her body in the water tank. I also tied a brick to both her legs and threw away her clothes," he reportedly told the police.

The crime of a minor was exposed after he was taken to the spot in presence of FSL members and police team on Saturday.

The minor efficiently climbed the wall of the school to reach the tank with ease, also traced the girl's frock, and string he used to tie her body with.

To verify and rule out the possibility of the involvement of any other culprit in the case police also conducted a thorough investigation and questioned neighbours but did not get any evidence, the police said.

The minor was booked under the charges of murder, kidnapping and causing disappearance of evidence, the ACP said.

Police said a child psychiatrist will be called in to testify the mental status of the boy and ascertain whether he faced any trauma.

Mon, 16 May 2022 13:22:51 +0530
SCO anti terror meet begins in Delhi

New Delhi, May 16

The meeting of the Regional Anti-Terror structure (RATS) began here on Monday with an eye on curbing terror activities.

Delegations from the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) countries are participating in the meeting.

The RATS is a permanent anti-terror unit under the ambit of the SCO-based in Uzbekistan. The main aim is to promote cooperation among the member countries against terrorism.

SCO chairmanship is by rotation for a year between the member states. India is currently heading the executive council as the chairman.

It is expected that discussion will be on the security situation in Afghanistan as the Taliban has used violence and it is feared that it could become a terror launch pad and drug smuggling hub, sources indicated.

Anti-terror teams from China, Pakistan, Russia and other Asian countries are participating in the meet from May 16 to 19.


Mon, 16 May 2022 13:18:43 +0530
Cop commits suicide in Andhra

Amaravati, May 16

A police constable allegedly committed suicide in Andhra Pradesh's Prakasam district on Monday.

The incident occurred at the Armed Reserve (AR) police quarters at Etcherla in Srikakulam district. AR constable Subba Rao was found hanging in his room, police said.

The constable is suspected to have committed suicide after attending the roll call. Police shifted the body for autopsy.

The reasons for the policeman's extreme step are not known. A police officer said they registered a case and have taken up the investigation.

This is the second case of suicide by a policeman in Andhra Pradesh in three days. A sub-inspector had shot himself with his service revolver in Kakinada district on May 14.

M. Gopal Krishna was working at Sarpavaram police station in the district. In a suicide note, he wrote that he was not satisfied with his job.

Mon, 16 May 2022 13:16:13 +0530
Cop stabbed in Delhi

New Delhi, May 16

A Delhi Police personnel, who went to nab an accused involved in a stabbing incident, was attacked and knifed by the same accused, an official said on Monday.

The accused was identified as Virender alias Kala Badal of Jharera Village, a bad character of Delhi Cantt. police station.

The incident took place late Sunday when Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) Sanjeev and Head Constable Praveen raided the premises of the accused.

"It is at that time accused Virender attacked HC Praveen with a knife and stabbed him," Deputy Commissioner of Police (north) Sagar Singh Kalsi said.

The ASI, who was along with the constable, fired a shot in self-defence that hit the accused on his right leg.

Both the constable and the accused were shifted to a nearby hospital where their condition is said to be stable.

The accused Kala Badal had on Sunday stabbed a 22-year-old man named Sunil, working as a Delhi Jal Board driver.

"When Sunil was loading malba (waste), two boys later identified as Brijesh and Kala Badal, assisted possibly by a third, entered into an argument over road blockage," Kalsi said, adding that Kala Badal then stabbed Sunil on the upper right chest and fled from the spot.

Now the police have registered a case against accused Badal under sections 186, 353, 332, 307 and 34 of the IPC.

The second person, who was involved in the stabbing incident, is still at large.

Mon, 16 May 2022 13:13:24 +0530
Mundka fire 2 motivational speakers from Australia among casualties

New Delhi, May 16

The father-son duo, who had come to deliver a sales motivation lecture at the ill-fated building that was gutted in fire on May 13, were also killed in the massive inferno.

The father-son duo, identified as Kailash Jyani (62) and his son Amit Jyani (37), had specially come to India from Australia to deliver the lecture at the Cofe Impax Pvt. Ltd.

"Both of them had come from Australia to deliver the lecture on May 13. They have also died in the incident," Deputy Commissioner of Police (outer district) Sameer Sharma said.

The said company had around 100 employees, including about 50 women, who worked in a 9-hour work shift from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The senior officer informed that the bodies of the father and son were identified with the help of a gold chain and jewellery he was wearing, however, it can be confirmed only after the DNA sampling.

"One of their relatives, the brother of the deceased, is today arriving from Australia to give the DNA sample and further identify the body," Sharma said.

On May 13, Friday, in one of the deadliest tragedies that the national capital has seen in the recent years when a massive fire gutted a multi-storey building located near a metro station, charring to death 27 and wounding 12 people in west Delhi's Mundka area.

Even three days later, the medics are able to only identify eight of the 27 bodies that were recovered from the gutted building. The reason being most of the bodies were burnt to such an extent that, even it was difficult to establish whether the charred remains were of a man or a woman.


Mon, 16 May 2022 13:11:13 +0530
Kiran Majumdar Shaw expresses shock over attack on female lawyer man held

Bengaluru, May 16

The Karnataka Police have arrested an accused in connection with a brutal attack on a woman lawyer in Bagalkot district, the police said on Monday.

The video clip of the attack containing disturbing images of the culprit kicking, slapping, and assaulting the lawyer in full public view went viral on social media.

Biocon Chief Kiran Majumdar-Shaw has also reacted to the incident through social media, saying that the man must be arrested for such abhorrent behaviour. "He is an animal not a civilised human," she said, sharing the video.

Social media describes this incident as shameful for Karnataka. The police have arrested the accused, 40-year-old Mahantesh Cholachagudda.

After the video went viral, the police arrested the accused. According to police, Mahantesh, a trader and a photographer at Bagalkot University assaulted the woman with respect to a property dispute. The victim, Sangeetha Sikkeri, was admitted to a hospital after the attack.

Advocate Sangeetha explained that her uncle, without informing her or her family, had sold the house they are residing in. The matter was in the court and the buyer of the property was forcing them to vacate the house. The person was influential and she suspected his role behind the attack.

Meanwhile, advocates in Bagalkot decided to not appear for the accused and were planning a dharna on Monday. Further investigation is on.

Mon, 16 May 2022 13:08:09 +0530
Amid Maoist resurgence threat Mamata to visit Junglemahal

Kolkata, May 16

In the backdrop of frequent recovery of Maoist posters and intelligence alerts about the resurgence of the Left-wing extremist (LWE) activities in pockets of West Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will be in Junglemahal for two days from Tuesday.

Although the Junglemahal area is scattered over three districts of West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia, this time the chief minister will restrict her activities in West Midnapore district only. In the coming days, the chief minister will make similar visits to Purulia and Bankura as well, confirmed sources from the state secretariat of Nabanna.

Sources said that on May 17, the chief minister will first reach the Circuit House in Midnapore town. On the same day, around 3 p.m. she will chair an administrative review meeting, which will be attended by district magistrates and district police superintendents and other senior bureaucrats and police officers from the district.

Next day, she will address a rally of the party workers and leaders in the district at the Midnapore College Grounds.

A member of the state cabinet, who did not wish to be named, said that the chief minister is concerned about the reports of possible resurgence of the Maoist activities in the state.

"She has got reports that a section of the people in the three districts scattered over the Junglemahal area are dissatisfied with the slow progress of the developmental projects. Complaints about rampant corruption have gripped a section of the political and administrative sections in the state. Even there are reports that the BJP is taking that advantage and trying to fuel the grievances of the people on this count. So, the chief minister will review the situation at the administrative review meeting and suggest corrective measures," the member of the state cabinet said.

On April 26, at a meeting of the Standing Committee of the Eastern Zonal Council that took place at the West Bengal state secretariat of Nabanna, the Union home ministry officials cautioned about the resurgence of Maoist activities in the four eastern Indian states of the West Bengal, Odisha, Jharkhand and Bihar.

During the two-day West Midnapore visit, the chief minister is also expected to review the deployment of the Central Armed Forces there.

Mon, 16 May 2022 13:03:21 +0530
Shivling found in Gyanvapi well claim Hindu lawyers

Varanasi, May 16

As the videography survey of the Gyanvapi Masjid complex was completed on Monday, the Hindu side advocates claimed that a 'shivling' had been found inside the well.

Lawyer Vishnu Jain said he would go to the civil court to seek its protection.

An advocate from the Hindu side, Madan Mohan Yadav, claimed that the shivling is Nandi faced.

"The shivling is 12 feet by 8 inches in diameter," he added.

Heavy security was deployed as the court-appointed committee reached the spot to conduct the survey on Monday. Nearly 65 per cent of the exercise was completed on Sunday.

The advocate commissioners will submit their report to the court on Tuesday.

On Sunday, the survey of the areas of the mosque which, according to lawyers Hari Shankar Jain and Vishnu Jain, used to be a part of the temple was done.

On the western wall of the Gyanvapi complex, the remains of Hindu temple demolition are visible and the pictures which are the biggest proof, will be surveyed. For this, the fourth lock was opened on Monday, while the first three rooms were opened during the survey on Saturday.

Gyanvapi Mosque, adjacent to the Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi, is currently facing a legal battle. A court in Varanasi has directed the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to probe the structure of the Gyanvapi Masjid.

The survey is to find out the truth behind the claims of the presence of Hindu symbols of worship in the mosque complex.

Five Delhi-based women -- Rakhi Singh, Laxmi Devi, Sita Sahu and others moved the court with their plea on April 18, 2021, seeking permission for daily prayers before the idols of Hindu deities on its outer walls. They also sought to stop the opponents from causing any damage to the idols.

Mon, 16 May 2022 13:00:31 +0530
Colonial Rule Portuguese Dutch and French an overview

Anupama Nair


Long after the decline of the Roman Empire's maritime trade with India, nearly after a thousand years, the Portuguese were the next Europeans to arrive for the purpose of trade. Vasco da Gama requested permission to leave a person in charge of the merchandise he could not sell however, his request was refused, and the king Zamorin insisted that he should pay customs duty like any other trader, which strained their relations. The ruler of the Kingdom of Tanur, who was a vassal to the Zamorin of Calicut, helped  the Portuguese, against his overlord at Calicut As a result, the Kingdom of Tanur became one of the earliest Portuguese Colonies in India.  However, the Tanur forces under the king fought for the Zamorin of Calicut in the Battle of Cochin in 1504. However, the allegiance of the Muslims in Tanur was still with the Zamorin of Calicut. The Portuguese took advantage of the rivalry between the Zamorin and the Raja of Kochi and hence allied with Kochi.

When Francisco de Almeida was appointed as Viceroy of Portuguese India in 1505, his headquarters was established at  Fort Emmanuel rather than in Calicut. During his reign, the Portuguese managed to dominate relations with Kochi and established a few fortresses on the Malabar Coast. The Portuguese suffered setbacks from attacks by Zamorin forces in South Malabar; especially from naval attacks under the leadership of Kunjali Marakkar, which compelled them to seek a treaty. Kunjali Marakkar was credited with organizing the first naval defense of the Indian coast. In 1571, the Portuguese were defeated by the Zamorin forces in the Battle at Chaliyam Fort.

Even though their presence in India initially started in 1498, their colonial rule lasted only from 1505 until 1961. The Portuguese Empire established the first European trading center at Quilon in 1502. It is believed that the colonial era in India started with the establishment of this Portuguese trading center at Quilon. In 1505, King Manuel I of Portugal appointed Dom Francisco de Almeida as the first Portuguese viceroy in India, followed in 1509 by Dom Afonso de Albuquerque.

Almeida becomes the first Portuguese viceroy to reach Bombay. He defeated a joint fleet of the Sultanate of Egypt, the Ottoman Empire, the Zamorin of Calicut and the Sultan of Gujarat, with the naval support he received from the Republic of Venice and the Republic of Ragusa. Francisco de Almeida's called Bombay as  ‘Bombia’ which meant good bay. However, the Portuguese paid their first visit to the islands on 21 January 1509, when they landed at Mahim after capturing a Gujarat barge in the Mahim creek. After a series of attacks by the Gujarat Sultanate, the islands were recaptured by Sultan Bahadur Shah. The Portuguese acquired the seven islands from the Sultan of Gujarat in 1534 in exchange for military support.

Bahadur Shah had grown anxious of the power of the Mughal emperor Humayun and he was forced to sign the Treaty of Bassein with the Portuguese on 23 December 1534. According to the treaty, the islands of Mumbai and Bassein were offered to the Portuguese. Bassein and the seven islands were surrendered later by a Treaty of Peace and Commerce between Bahadur Shah and the Viceroy of the Portuguese India, Nuno da Cunha, on 25th October 1535, ending the Islamic rule in Mumbai.

There was then a twist in the story. In 1580, Spain conquered Portugal and it opened the doors of the country to other European powers like the Dutch and the British. The Dutch arrived first, and later the British. The merchants of the East India Company arrived in Bombay in November 1583, and toured through Bassein, Thane, and Chaul. The Battle of Swally was fought between the British and the Portuguese for an ambitious scheme for the construction of a seawall in Surat in 1612 for the possession of Bombay.  Castella de Aguada or the Fort of the Waterpoint was built by the Portuguese at Bandra in 1640, as a watchtower dominating the Mahim Bay, the Arabian Sea and the southern island of Mahim. 

Then Portuguese King John IV gave Bombay as a dowry for the marriage treaty of Charles II of England and Catherine of Portugal on 8 May 1661. The British Crown sold Bombay to the East India Company in 1668 for a mere sum of ten pounds or Rs. 1,48,000 today. So, Portuguese had to turn their attention to Goa or Gomantak. In 1510, Albuquerque conquered the city of Goa, and used the policy of marrying Portuguese soldiers and sailors with local Indian girls, and the consequence of which was a great miscegenation in Goa and other parts of Asia, Portuguese were infamous for  the brutal Goa Inquisition. When India became Independent in 1947, Portuguese refused to leave Goa and were forced by India Army to leave Goa in 1961.

The Dutch East India Company established trading posts along different parts of the Indian coast. For some time, they controlled the Malabar, Cochin, Quilon, Cannanore, Kundapura,  Surat, Golconda,  and Ceylon. They conquered Ceylon from the Portuguese. The Dutch also established trading stations in the kingdom of Travancore and coastal Tamil Nadu as well as at Rajshahi and Murshidabad. However, their expansion into India was halted, after their defeat in the Battle of Colachel by the Kingdom of Travancore, during the Travancore-Dutch War. The Dutch never recovered from the defeat and no longer posed a large colonial threat to India. They had the Dutch East Indies or Indonesia.

Following the Portuguese and the Dutch, the French also established trading bases in India. Their first establishment was in Pondicherry on the Coromandel Coast in southeastern India in 1674. Many French settlements were made in Chandernagore in Bengal, in 1688, Yanam in Andhra Pradesh in 1723, Mahe in 1725, and Karaikal in 1739. The French were constantly in conflict with the Dutch and later on mainly with the British East India Company in India. At the zenith of French power in the mid-18th century, the French occupied large areas of southern India. In the years  between 1744 and 1761, the British and the French repeatedly attacked and conquered each other's forts and towns in southeastern India and in Bengal in the northeast. After some initial successes of the French, the British decisively defeated the French in Bengal in the Battle of Plassey in 1757 and in the southeast in 1761 in the Battle of Wandiwash, after which the British East India Company was the supreme military and political power in southern India as well as in Bengal. In the following decades, it gradually increased the size of the territories under its control. The colonies of Pondicherry, Karaikal, Yanam, Mahe, and Chandernagore were returned to France in 1816 and were integrated with the Republic of India in 1954.

Next I will be writing about the Supremacy of the British in India as well as other parts of the world as they were called “empire where the sun never sets”. It pains me to see my great country degraded like this.




Mon, 16 May 2022 10:10:45 +0530
My country under Colonial rule 1498 1947

Anupama Nair


Bharat, Aryavarta, or India whatever name you call her, has always been known as “cradle of civilization”. India is a country in the continent of Asia whose name comes from Sindhu or Indus River. The name 'Bharat' is also a name used for the country after the Emperor Bharat, whose story is told, in the epic Mahabharata.

The Puranas stated Bharat conquered the whole of Indian Subcontinent and he was said to have ruled his country in peace and harmony. The country, hence came to be known as ‘Bharatavarsha’. Nearly lakhs of years ago, Hominid activity was excavated in the Indian subcontinent and goes back to over 250,000 years, and we can proudly say, “one of the oldest inhabited regions on the planet”.

I spoke about ancient India and the pride I felt in my matrubhoomi and her greatness. Unfortunately, when Bharat Ma’s great son Prithvi Raj was martyred, it was an epoch-making event that heralded Islamic reign till 17th Century, when the Mughal rule thankfully lost its importance after the death of Aurangzeb.

Every one in Europe had a craze for Indian goods like Dacca Muslin and spices. The Royal families in Europe were addicted to them. The trade was done by Arabs who bought them from India and sold it to Europe. The trade route was through Constantinople, but the Turks conquered Constantinople in 1456 and put an end to the trade route. The Europeans were forced to look for an alternate route to India. It was Christopher Columbus who setout on a journey to India, He landed in an unknown land in 1492, which he thought was India. The New Land was called America after his death.

‘Colonial Rule’ was the part of the Indian subcontinent that was under the rule of European countries during the ‘Age of Discovery’. European power was exerted both by conquest and trade, especially in spices. A few years later, after Columbus Portuguese sailor Vasco da Gama became the first European to re-establish direct trade links with India since Roman times by being the first to arrive by circling Africa. He arrived in Calicut, that was one of the major trading ports of the world. He obtained permission to trade in the city from the Zamorin who were the ruler of Malabar. The next to arrive were the Dutch, with their main base in Ceylon. Their expansion into India was halted after their defeat in the ‘Battle of Colachel’ by the Kingdom of Travancore, during the Travancore–Dutch War.

Trading rivalries among the seafaring European powers brought other European powers to India. The Dutch Republic, England, France, and Portugal all established trading posts in India in the early 17th  century. As the Mughal Empire disintegrated in the early 18th century, and then as the Maratha Empire became weakened after the Third Battle of Panipat with Ahmed Shah Abdali, and many relatively weak and unstable Indian states which emerged were increasingly open to manipulation by the Europeans, through dependent on Indian rulers.

In the later 18th  century, Great Britain and France struggled for dominance, by direct military intervention. The defeat of the formidable Indian ruler Tipu Sultan in 1799 reduced the French influence. This was followed by a rapid expansion of British power through the greater part of the Indian Subcontinent in the early 19th  century. Soon the British became the masters of the most of the Sub Continent excluding some territories like Gos, Pondicheri and Mahe.


Mon, 16 May 2022 10:05:32 +0530
After Brahmos Philippines looking to buy LCAs and LCHs

Kolkata, May 16

After a deal with India for the induction of anti-ship Brahmos missiles, the Philippines government seems interested in upgrading its fleet of military aircraft with help from Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL).

According to sources, HAL has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Philippine Aerospace Development Corporation (PADC) in April that may lead to export of India's Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), Light Combat Helicopter (LCH), Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) and Light Utility Helicopter (LUH).

However, a lot will depend on Ferdinand Marcos Jr, who will be taking over as president of the Philippines in June.

The greatest threat to Philippines is China that refuses to acknowledge the arbitration order granting Philippines sovereignty over the West Philippines Sea.

Philippines considers the West Philippines Sea as its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) but China wants it to remain as part of the South China Sea over which it claims full control.

Marcos Jr has his task cut out for him. He has to either oppose China's stance to claim its rights over the West Philippines Sea or face reprisal in his own country.

Most of the population in the Philippines are against China's bullying in the South China Sea region. No wonder, Brahmos missile batteries have been inducted.

If there is one weapon that China fears the most, its the Brahmos supersonic cruise missile, considered the most lethal in its class in the world.

China had even raised objections (even diplomatically) when Brahmos carrying Su-30 MKI fighters of the Indian Air Force (IAF) landed at upgraded Advanced Landing Grounds (ALGs) in Arunachal Pradesh, close to the Line of Actual Control (LAC) between India and China.

During his election campaign, Marcos Jr had indicated that he plans to resolve issues with China through bilateral dialogue.

Unfortunately, China does not think that way. It is on an expansionist mode and would give little thought to countries like the Philippines that have not aligned with it against the US or the Quad (an agreement between the US, India, Australia and Japan).

The Quad nations have been regularly sending warships into the South China Sea to establish rights of passage.

Unlike Pakistan, which continues to receive Chinese military hardware, if not for anything else but to keep India on the tenterhooks, the armed forces in the Philippines have relied so long on antiquated equipment supplied by US allies like South Korea.

The fighter aircraft operated by the Philippine Air Force are the FA-50PH that are little more than a supersonic trainer aircraft built by South Korea. Its assault helicopters are from Turkey and are no longer a potent threat.

"Given the size of the country, Philippines does not require heavy or even medium fighters. The Philippine Air Force is on the lookout for light combat aircraft. It has been established that the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) developed by HAL and being inducted by the IAF are the best in its class in the world.


Mon, 16 May 2022 09:53:46 +0530
Entries for J K s 1st National Film Fest to close on May 16

Srinagar, May 16

Jammu and Kashmir (J&K)'s first ever national film festival, which is set to begin on June 15, will give a golden opportunity to the Indian filmmakers, music producers and artists to win numerous awards under different categories.

The entries for participation in the mega event will close on May 16.

Indian filmmakers and music producers, besides artists have been invited to submit their original films -- fiction, documentary, OTT or short films and music videos -- for J&K's first national film festival for an opportunity to win awards under three broad categories, including feature films, non-feature films and music videos.

There are more than 40 awards to be given during the film festival award ceremony and the winners will receive mentioned cash components as well a certificate and a medal.

The list of awards and prizes, rules and terms have been mentioned in the website while the entries can be submitted at --

The Union Territory will witness jamming of ideas, creativity, lights and music during this mega film festival, which is a grand event to be organised by J&K Film Development Council in collaboration with the National Film Development Corporation in Srinagar from June 15-20.

The competition is being organised to recognise Indian talent in music, feature, short films, documentary and filmmaking, besides providing opportunities to connect to the sparsely located film-making community of J&K through networking and collaborative projects.

Mon, 16 May 2022 09:50:17 +0530
Indian thought and philosophy believes in inclusiveness RSS leader

New Delhi, May 16

Sah Sarkaryawah, Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), Krishna Gopal on Sunday said that Indian thought and philosophy believes in inclusiveness.

Gopal was speaking while releasing a book "Hindutva arthath Bharatiya ekatmakta-Muslim vidvesh nahi" written by former vice chancellor of Nagpur University S.N. Pathan at India Islamic Cultural Centre here.

"Hindutva is not only about Indian inclusiveness but is a symbol of global inclusiveness. Not a single Hindu intellectual or scholar has ever talked about only welfare of India, they always talked about global welfare. Hindu means a tradition, thought and philosophy of the country for 1,000 years which is not divisive. We do not divide between India and others and those divide are not Hindu. It did not divide between 'mera' and 'tera' (me and ours). Friends and enemies, it talks about welfare for everyone. Global welfare is our final destination," Gopal said.

He noted that India does not have exclusive thought but our behaviour is inclusive.

Talking about Covid lockdown, he said that guided by the values and philosophy of this country during the pandemic in Delhi about 15 lakh food packets were distributed by people or different religious groups to the poor.

Talking about Indian inclusiveness, he said: "Pakistan was not able to accept two languages (Urdu and Bengali) but the Indian constitution accepted 22 languages including Sindhi when Sindh is not part of our country. It is called inclusiveness."

Referring to the Ukraine and Russia war, Gopal said: "...fight of inclusiveness and exclusiveness. Russians are about 18-19 per cent of Ukraine's population. Ukrainians are not able to accept Russian and their literature, practice or representation."

"Indian thought and philosophy try to bring the whole world together and it is Hindutva," Gopal added.

Mon, 16 May 2022 09:44:54 +0530
Anorexia how to prevent it

Anupama Nair


Everybody dreams of a lean and fit body. However, all do not have the fortune to have such a body. Instead of working hard to achieve, many especially fall prey to a medical condition Anorexia nervosa, an eating disorder characterized by an abnormally low body weight, an intense fear of gaining weight and a distorted perception of weight. People with anorexia have a high value on controlling their weight and shape, using extreme efforts that tend to significantly interfere with their lives.

To prevent weight gain or to continue losing weight, people with anorexia usually severely restrict the amount of food they eat. They control calorie intake by vomiting after eating or by misusing laxatives, diet aids, diuretics or enemas. They may also try to lose weight by exercising excessively, even after losing much weight, the person continues to fear a gain in weight. Anorexia is never really about food, but extremely unhealthy and sometimes life-threatening way to try to cope with emotional problems. When you have anorexia, thinness is treated as self-worth. Anorexia, like other eating disorders, can take over your life and can be very difficult to overcome. However, with treatment, you can gain a better sense of who you are, return to healthier eating habits and reverse some of anorexia's serious complications.

The physical signs and symptoms of anorexia nervosa are related to starvation. Anorexia also shows emotional and behavioral issues involving an unrealistic perception of body weight and an extremely strong fear of gaining weight or becoming fat. It may be difficult to notice signs and symptoms because what is considered a low body weight is different for each person, and some individuals may not appear extremely thin and  people with anorexia often disguise their thinness, eating habits or physical problems.


  • Extreme weight loss or not making expected developmental weight gains
  • Thin appearance
  • Abnormal blood counts
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Bluish discoloration of the fingers
  • Hair that thins, breaks or falls out
  • Soft, downy hair covering the body
  • Absence of menstruation
  • Constipation and abdominal pain
  • Dry or yellowish skin
  • Intolerance of cold
  • Irregular heart rhythms
  • Low blood pressure
  • Dehydration
  • Swelling of arms or legs
  • Eroded teeth and calluses on the knuckles from induced vomiting


Emotional and behavioral symptoms


  • Severely restricting food intake through dieting or fasting
  • Exercising excessively
  • Bingeing and self-induced vomiting to get rid of food, which may include the use of laxatives, enemas, diet aids or herbal products
  • Emotional and behavioral signs and symptoms may include:
  • Preoccupation with food, which sometimes includes cooking elaborate meals for others but not eating them
  • Frequently skipping meals or refusing to eat
  • Denial of hunger or making excuses for not eating
  • Eating only a few certain "safe" foods, usually those low in fat and calories
  • Adopting rigid meal or eating rituals, such as spitting food out after chewing
  • Not wanting to eat in public
  • Lying about how much food has been eaten
  • Fear of gaining weight that may include repeated weighing or measuring the body
  • Frequent checking in the mirror for perceived flaws
  • Complaining about being fat or having parts of the body that are fat
  • Covering up in layers of clothing
  • Flat mood (lack of emotion)
  • Social withdrawal
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Reduced interest in sex

If you have any of these symptoms see a doctor immediately. Unfortunately, many people with anorexia don't want treatment, at least initially. Their desire to remain thin overrides concerns about their health. If you're experiencing any of the problems listed above, or if you think you may have an eating disorder, get help. If you're hiding your anorexia from loved ones, try to find a person you trust to talk to about what's going on.

The real cause of anorexia is unknown. As with many diseases, it's probably a combination of biological, psychological and environmental factors. Even though it's not yet clear which genes are involved, there may be genetic changes that make some people at higher risk of developing anorexia. Some people may have a genetic tendency toward perfectionism, sensitivity and perseverance, all traits associated with anorexia. Some people with anorexia may have obsessive-compulsive personality traits that make it easier to stick to strict diets and forgo food despite being hungry. They may have an extreme drive for perfectionism, which causes them to think they're never thin enough. And they may have high levels of anxiety and engage in restrictive eating to reduce it. Modern culture emphasizes thinness. Success and worth are often equated with being thin. Peer pressure may help fuel the desire to be thin, particularly among teen-age girls. When I look at thin models, I used to feel a desire to be thin like them. As I grew up, I expected who I am .

Anorexia is more common in girls and women. However, boys and men have increasingly developed eating disorders, possibly related to growing social pressures.

Anorexia is also more common among teenagers. Still, people of any age can develop this eating disorder, though it's rare in people over 40. Teens may be more at risk because of all the changes their bodies go through during puberty. They may also face increased peer pressure and be more sensitive to criticism or even casual comments about weight or body shape.

Certain factors increase the risk of anorexia, like:

  • Genetics.
  • Dieting and starvation.
  • Life changes

Anorexia can have numerous complications, and can be fatal. Death may occur suddenly even when someone is not severely underweight. This may result from abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias) or an imbalance of electrolytes that are minerals such as sodium, potassium and calcium that maintain the balance of fluids in your body.

Other complications of anorexia are:


Heart problems,

Bone loss (osteoporosis),

Loss of muscle

In women, absence of a menstrual cycle

In males, decreased testosterone

Gastrointestinal problems, such as constipation, bloating or nausea

Electrolyte abnormalities, such as low blood potassium, sodium and chloride

Kidney problems

Depression, anxiety and other mood disorders

Personality disorders

Obsessive-compulsive disorders

Alcohol and substance misuse

Self-injury, suicidal thoughts or suicide attempts

There's no guaranteed way to prevent anorexia nervosa. Family doctors may be in a good position to identify early indicators of anorexia and prevent the development of full-blown illness. They can ask questions about eating habits and satisfaction with appearance during routine medical appointments. If you notice that a family member or friend has low self-esteem, severe dieting habits and dissatisfaction with appearance, you need to help them and talk about these issues. Although you may not be able to prevent an eating disorder from developing, you can talk about healthier behavior or treatment options.


Sun, 15 May 2022 23:40:09 +0530
MotoGP 2022 Flawless Bastianini pounces to take French glory

Le Mans (France), May 15 (IANS) Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing) put in a flawless performance in front of over 110,000 spectators to come out on top of a pulsating Grand Prix de France, claiming his third win of the MotoGP 2022 season.

Known as The Beast, Bastianini capitalised on a mistake from long-time race leader Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) to take the maximum 25 points, while Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team) celebrated his second podium of the season, with Aprilia's Aleix Espargaro making it three premier class rostrums on the spin.

Local heroes Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoG) and Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) were unable to mark their home GP with a podium, as they had to settle for fourth and fifth.

As the lights went out, the atmosphere in the circuit hit fever pitch as riders revved up for the start of Round 7 of 2022. Miller got the perfect launch from the line to take the holeshot ahead of Bastianini, who had fought his way through from the second row. Bagnaia was in third with Suzukis Alex Rins and Joan Mir split by Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) in P5. A poor start from Espargaro saw him drop to seventh, while Quartararo also had a difficult time getting off the line, the Frenchman being swallowed up by a number of riders before he worked his way back up the field.

A wild first lap came to a close with Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) aggressively lunging up the inside of both Quartararo and Nakagami, to move into P7, with the Honda rider rubbing elbows with his Japanese counterpart.

As the second lap began, Zarco was having an equally difficult start to the GP. The number 5 started ninth after being slapped with a three place grid penalty for a Q2 infraction, and he was locked in a battle mid-pack with Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), with the two making contact at Turn 6 and the RC16 losing a front wing as a result.

The manic start to proceedings continued back at the front. Bagania and Rins had both picked off Bastianini to drop him out of the podium places, though for the GSX-RR, his race ambitions would come crashing to a halt at the beginning of the third lap. In a scary moment, Rins went off track at Turn 2 and travelled at speed through the gravel before coming back on track at Turn 4, but unfortunately, he couldn't keep his machine upright as it returned to the tarmac. He temporarily rejoined but retired soon after.

A Desmosedici showdown

As a result, it was a Ducati one-two-three with the factory riders building up a gap out front. A Miller mistake out front allowed his teammate Bagnaia through on Lap 4, and the race began to settle as riders found their groove. Just outside the podium places, Mir led Espargaro, Quartararo and Marquez.

Further back, Tech3 rookie Remy Gardner crashed out of the race, while three laps later, he would be joined back in the box by teammate Raul Fernandez, compounding a difficult day out for Herve Poncharal's side.

Bastinaini's tyre conservation is renowned within the paddock, and coming up to the midway point, it was a matter of when rather than if he would overtake Miller, who was using a soft-soft combination. Eventually, it came on Lap 12, with the Gresini rider going through on the Aussie at Garage Vert.

Soon after, there was some change just behind them, with Mir hitting the deck and tumbling through the gravel at Turn 14 and allowing Espargaro and Quartararo to gain a position each. However, the Aprilia rider still had work to do as he was still 1.1s away from Miller in third. There was also disappointment for Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) as he recorded a fourth DNF of the year after a Turn 9 fall.

After a settled number of laps, the victory fight sparked into life as Bastianini began to swarm all over the rear end of Bagnaia out front.

The pressure began on the 17th lap and continued for five more before The Beast made his first move at the Dunlop Chicane. The two went wheel-to-wheel up until Turn 6, with Bagnaia posting a classy response. The fight wasn't over though, with Bastianini forcing an error from his Ducati counterpart at Garage Vert, with Pecco running it wide and dropping to P2. That blunder left a second between them and in an effort to reel in the satellite rider, Bagnaia pushed it too hard around the final corner and slid into the gravel and out of the race.

From there, Bastianini just had to keep it steady to bring home his third victory of the year, while Miller was comfortable in second. Attentions switched the remaining podium place, with home fans willing on World Champion Quartararo in the closing laps, but he could never quite get close enough to Espargaro, who put in a calm and composed performance to secure third.


Sun, 15 May 2022 23:29:36 +0530
Bezos Blue origin targets May 20 for next space tourist flight

San Francisco, May 15

Jeff Bezos' space venture Blue Origin is targeting May 20, to launch its fifth tourist flight to space.

NS-21 is expected to lift off from Launch Site One in West Texas at 8:30 a.m. CDT, the company said in a statement.

NS-21 will fly six customer astronauts. The crew includes investor and NS-19 Astronaut Evan Dick; electrical engineer and former NASA test lead Katya Echazarreta; business jet pilot and Action Aviation Chairman Hamish Harding; civil production engineer Victor Correa Hespanha; adventurer and Dream Variation Ventures co-founder Jaison Robinson; and explorer and co-founder of private equity firm Insight Equity Victor Vescovo, Commander, USN (Ret.).

Echazarreta will become the first Mexican-born woman and youngest American woman to fly to space, while Hespanha will be the second Brazilian to fly to space.Blue Origin also released the NS-21 mission patch.

The patch concept came from Dick, who said reaching space in the crew capsule on NS-19 felt like climbing above the surface of the ocean after a lifetime of living below the surface.

Additionally, several of the NS-21 astronauts have journeyed to the depths of the oceans and are passionate about the Earth's waters. The five stars around the crew capsule represent Blue Origin's fifth human flight.

The arrow symbolises Blue Origin's astronaut pin to celebrate Dick's second flight on New Shepard, and the lighting bolt represents Echazarreta's passion for electricity and her mission to increase representation of women and minorities in STEM.

The circle on Harding represents the accomplishment of setting the global circumnavigation record by plane. In 2021, he dived the Challenger Deep, the deepest point in the world, with Vescovo in a two-person submarine.

The diamond with the circle represents Brazil's flag in honour of Hespanha's heritage. The water drop honours Robinson's passion for diving, water polo, and climbing the tallest waterfall in the world.

The triangle represents a mountain, paying homage to Vescovo's feat of climbing the world's seven summits. In 2020, he became the first person to repeatedly dive Challenger Deep (now 12 times) and is the first person to visit the deepest point in the world's five oceans.

The typical 11-minute flight will carry the crew members far above the Karman line -- an internationally recognised boundary of space that lies 62 miles (100 km) above the Earth's surface.

The company conducted its fourth human flight to the edge of space with six people in March.

Sun, 15 May 2022 23:21:57 +0530
Protests in Pakistan after two Sikh shopkeepers gunned down

Peshawar, May 15

The Peshawar-Islamabad road in front of Qila Bala Hissar was blocked by the members of the Sikh community to register their protest against the killing of two Sikhs in Peshawar in Pakistan.

"Amidst the slogans of "Bole-So-Nihal, the members of the Sikh community while holding placards in their hands Staging protests on the roads of Peshawar against the brutal killings of two #Sikhs near #Peshawar in #Pakistan," Ravinder Singh Robin tweeted.

"My heart and prayers go out to two Sikhs who were shot dead by local extortionists in #Peshawar on Sunday. The members of the Sikh community taking the dead bodies of Ranjit Singh & Kuljit Singh, on their shoulders. Sikhs leaders around the World condemn the cold blooded murder," Robin tweeted.

Two members of the Sikh community were killed after unidentified assailants opened fire on them near the outskirts of Peshawar, police said on Sunday, Dawn reported.

In a statement, Peshawar Capital City Police Office Ijaz Khan said that the incident occurred within the jurisdiction of the Sarband police station.

He also identified the victims as 42-year-old Suljeet Singh and 38-year-old Ranjeet Singh, adding that they owned spice shops in Batatal locality, Dawn reported.

Police reached the scene soon after receiving information about the incident and shifted the bodies to the hospital for an autopsy, Khan said, adding that officials were also collecting evidence from the scene of the crime.

"CCTV cameras from surrounding areas are also being checked," he said, adding that a search operation had been launched in the area to nab the suspects who managed to escape.

"Those involved in the incident will soon be unmasked," the officer said.

Sun, 15 May 2022 23:08:20 +0530
Heat wave over NW central India highest max temperature at 49 degrees C

New Delhi, May 15

Heat wave conditions prevailed over most parts of Haryana, and Delhi, in many parts over south Uttar Pradesh, in some parts over Jammu division, Himachal Pradesh, west Rajasthan, and Punjab and at isolated parts over east Rajasthan and over north Madhya Pradesh on Sunday with Uttar Pradesh's Banda registering highest maximum temperature at 49 degrees Celsius.

Heat wave conditions were observed in many parts over Vidarbha and at isolated pockets over southwest Bihar and Jharkhand, the India Meteorology Department (IMD) said and predicted no significant change in maximum temperatures over many parts of NW India and central India on Monday but fall by 2-4 degrees Celsius during subsequent two days.

The IMD bulletin said there would be reduction in intensity and spatial distribution after Monday as heat wave to severe heat wave conditions would prevail in many parts very likely over isolated pockets over south Uttar Pradesh on Monday.

Similarly, heat wave conditions in some parts are very likely over Vidarbha on Monday and in isolated pockets over Vidarbha and north Madhya Pradesh are likely on Monday and Tuesday. The forecast also said that heat wave conditions in isolated/some pockets are very likely over Vidarbha and Jharkhand till May 17.


Sun, 15 May 2022 22:54:39 +0530
Global acute hepatitis in kids rises to 450 cases 12 deaths

New Delhi, May 15

Worldwide about 450 children have been infected with the mysterious acute hepatitis condition, while 12 have lost their lives, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDPC).

The liver disease that was first reported in the UK in April, has seen 12 deaths reported from Indonesia (5), Palestine (1), the US (5) and Ireland (1). The highest number of cases have been reported from the UK (176) and the US (110), another 100 are jointly from European countries including Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 21 countries have now detected 'severe hepatitis of unknown origin' among children mostly under the age of 10 since early April. At least 26 youngsters have required liver transplants.

While so far there is no reason identified, adenovirus -- a common family of infections responsible for illnesses from colds to eye infections -- is suspected to be causing the condition. Amongst 176 UK cases, about 126 have been tested for adenovirus of which 91 had adenovirus detected (72 per cent). Amongst cases the adenovirus has primarily been detected in blood.

But the ECDPC in a statement said: "Other hypotheses and possible co-factors are under investigation. Most cases continue to be reported as sporadic un-linked cases."

However, adenovirus has only been detected in blood or plasma samples for many of the cases, and also in low viral loads.

Thus, even the WHO noted that since "adenovirus has not yet been identified in the liver tissue samples analysed and therefore, could be a coincidental rather than a causal factor".

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) also detected SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing Covid-19, in 24 cases out of 132 with available results (18 per cent).

The agency noted that "SARS-CoV-2 serological testing is in process".

In a bizarre twist last week, the health chiefs in the UK also investigated whether 'dog exposures' are to blame, the Guardian reported.

The UKHSA said last week that a 'high' number of the British children with hepatitis were from families which own dogs.

However, the officials did not explain how dogs could potentially be to blame, but they are known carriers of adenovirus strains, the report said.

Sun, 15 May 2022 15:16:32 +0530
Indian cruise market can grow tenfold in a decade Sonowal

Mumbai, May 14

Union Shipping Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Saturday said here that the Indian cruise market has a potential to grow 10-fold in the next 10 years, driven by rising demands and increased disposable incomes.

"The government realises this potential and is determined to position India as a global crise hub with top-class infrastructure for both ocean and river cruises," he said after inaugurating the 1st Incredible India International Cruise Conference-2022.

Describing India as a "magnificent cruise destination", the minister said many attractions on the 7,500-km long coastline and vast river systems are yet to be unveiled to the world.

"Global players have evinced a keen interest in promoting cruise tourism in India, and with the development of right infrastructure coupled with adoption of modern technology, India will certainly become one of the top tourism destinations in the world," he said

Sonowal said a Task Force comprising national and international experts has been set up to enable an eco-system conducive to the development of cruise tourism in the country.

Citing Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said transformation is possible through transportation for which technology needs to be leveraged and a port-led development can help develop a comprehensive ecosystem for both transport, tourism and cruise tourism.

Minister of State for Shipping Shripad Naik said that four theme-based coastal destinations circuits have been developed to activate the demand for cruises - Gujarat Pilgrimage Tours, West Coast-Cultural and Scenic Tours, South Coast-Ayurvedic Wellness Tours, and East Coast-Heritage Tours.

Besides, Naik said lighthouse and island tourism development is also underway to attract the coastal tourists and inland or river cruises are being explored.

Shipping Secretary Sanjiv Ranjan said that post-pandemic, the country's tourism sector is growing with resurgence and cruise tourism alone has notched a 35 percent y-o-y growth, and now a Maritime Vision Document-2030 is ready and focussing on various aspects of cruise tours.

India aims at increasing cruise passenger traffic from 400,000 to 40,00,000 and its economic potential is slated to shoot up from $110 million to $5.5 billion in the coming years.

The government has taken several initiatives including infrastructure upgradation, rationalisation of port fees, removing ousting charges, granting priority berthing to cruise ships, providing e-visa facilities etc, to boost cruise tourism.

Upgradation and modernisation is going on at 7 major ports like Goa, New Mangalore, Kochi, Chennai, Visakhapatnam, and Kolkata besides the flagship New International Cruise Terminal coming up in Mumbai at a cost of Rs 495 crore, which is likely to be ready in next 25 months (July 2024), with a capacity to handle 200 ships and 10-lakh passengers annually.

Over 300 delegates comprising Indian and international stakeholders, investors, government officials and experts are attending the two-day conference.

Sun, 15 May 2022 15:13:38 +0530
Security to be tightened in SL after reports of possible attacks on May 18

Colombo, May 15

Sri Lanka's Defence Ministry announced the tightening of security across the island nation after reports emerged in the Indian media that the former cadres of the now-defunct Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) militant group are planning to carry out attacks during the Tamil Genocide Remembrance Day on May 18.

The Tamil Genocide Remembrance Day, also known as Mullivaikkal Remembrance Day, is marked annually by the Sri Lankan Tamils on May 18, the date on which the over 25-year-old Civil War in the island nation ended in 2009 after the killing of LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran.

Responding to a report carried by India's 'The Hindu' newspaper on May 13, the Defence Ministry said: "After inquiring about the information, Indian intelligence agencies told Sri Lanka that the information was given out as general information, adding that investigations will be carried out in this regard and action will be taken to inform Sri Lanka about it."

The said information received by the intelligence and security forces in connection with national security will be duly investigated and all further steps are taken to strengthen the security while informing the respective security forces on the same, the Ministry added.

As Sri Lanka is undergoing its worst economic crisis since it gained independence in 1948, intelligence agencies warned that the LTTE cadres were grouping to launch attacks in the island nation taking advantage of the situation.

As the island nation has declared emergency twice amid violent protests, some sections of the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora, with multinational links, were trying to make their presence "felt" in the clashes that took place between protesters and security forces later, police sources said on May 13.

Initially, Sri Lanka's Defence Ministry was quick to deny the The Hindu newspaper's report saying: "The article is completely baseless. We have received no intelligence warning of such a security threat," .

In the political circle too, the news was criticised.

Marxist National People's Power politician Bimal Ratnayake questioned the authenticity of the news and asked is this a true news or planted one to protect the Rajapaksas by distracting the attention and to justify President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's draconian emergency laws and military mania or to ignite ethnic tension.

After toppling the government lead by Mahinda Rajapaksa with a spate of violent street fights lead by non-political youth protesters, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa replaced his elder brother with Ranil Wickremesinghe, a six-time Prime Minister, who is now struggling to form a fresh government with just him as the only MP in his party.

Sun, 15 May 2022 15:11:19 +0530
PM congratulates Manik Saha on taking oath as CM of Tripura

New Delhi, May 15

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday congratulated Manik Saha on taking oath as the new Chief Minister of Tripura.

In a tweet, Prime Minister Modi said, "Congratulations to Shri @DrManikSaha2 on taking oath as Tripura's CM. Best wishes to him for a fruitful tenure. I am confident he will add vigour to the development journey of Tripura which began in 2018."

BJP chief J.P. Nadda also congratulated Saha. "Best wishes to @DrManikSaha2 ji on being sworn-in as the Chief Minister of Tripura. I have utmost faith that under the guidance of Hon. Prime Minister Shri @narendramodi Ji and by following his vision, Tripura will be forever transformed and shall rise to new heights," Nadda tweeted.

Dental surgeon-turned-politician and Tripura BJP President Manik Saha took oath as 12th Chief Minister of the state on Sunday, after a sudden political development saw incumbent Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb resign from his post on Saturday.

Sun, 15 May 2022 15:09:02 +0530
Markets to rally in the short term


Markets were under severe pressure and lost sharply during the last week. They lost on all the five days of the week gone by. At the end of it all, BSESENSEX was down 2,041.96 points or 3.72 per cent to close at 52,793.62 points. NIFTY was down 629.10 points or 3.83 per cent to close at 15,782.15 points.

The broader markets saw BSE100, BSE200 and BSE500 lose 4.44 per cent 4.62 per cent and 4.81 per cent. BSEMIDCAP lost 5.68 per cent while BSESMALLCAP lost 6.56 per cent. Very clearly there was pain across the board and stocks of all kinds were under pressure. The lows made in the market a fortnight after the Russia-Ukraine war began on February 24, were made on 7-8th March. These lows were almost tested during trading over the last couple of days. Though they have held ground this time around, there is no guarantee that they would hold ground on the next such retest.

The Indian Rupee was under pressure against the US Dollar and lost 53 paisa or 0.69 per cent to close at Rs 77.45. Dow Jones lost on four of the five trading sessions and managed to recover some ground during trading on Friday. Incidentally, Dow made a new 52-week low during the course of trading on Thursday at 31,228 points. Dow Jones lost 702.71 points or 2.14 per cent to close at 32,196.66 points. It now trades with losses of 11.40 per cent on a year-to date-basis.

The week gone by saw the issues from LIC, Delhivery, Venus Pipes and Prudent Corporate Advisory tap the markets and close. Life Insurance Corporation of India Limited was oversubscribed 2.95 times and received 73.37 lakh applications which is a record by itself. The shares of LIC would list on Tuesday, the 17th of May.

The issue from Delhi very Limited was subscribed 1.71 times with QIB portion subscribed 2.80 times, HNI portion undersubscribed at 0.32 times, Retail portion undersubscribed at 0.60 times and even employee portion received subscription of just 0.29 times. The issue which included a fresh issue of Rs 4,000 crore and an offer for sale of Rs 1,235 crore garnered subscription of Rs 7,300 crore or 1.39 per cent of the issue size, including anchor portion. What was revealing is the fact that except for the QIB portion, all other buckets of HNI's, Retail and Employee were undersubscribed. It clearly explains the apathy shown by non-institutional investors to anything labelled as related to technology.

The nest issue was from Prudent Corporate Advisory Services Limited which was subscribed 1.22 times. Here the QIB portion was subscribed 1.26 times, HNI portion 0.99 times, Retail portion subscribed 1.29 times and Employee portion subscribed 1.23 times. The issue was an OFS for Rs 538 crore.

The next issue was from Venus Pipes and Tubes limited. This issue was subscribed 16.30 times overall with QIB portion subscribed 12.02 times, HNI portion 15.69 times and Retail portion was subscribed 19 times. In an issue where the retail portion was about Rs 50 crore, there were 6.28 lakh forms while the retail portion of Delhivery which was for Rs 520 crore received a mere 1.73 lakh forms. Very clearly Retail knows what to do.

The week ahead sees the IPO from Paradeep Phosphates Limited tap the markets with its fresh issue of Rs 1,004 crore and an offer for sale of 12 crore shares in a price band of Rs 39-42. The issue opens on Tuesday the 17th of May and closes on Thursday the 19th of May. The issue size is about Rs 1,508 crore. The government of India would be exiting its stake entirely in Paradeep Phosphates post this issue. The company completed its allocation to anchor investors on Friday which consists of 68 per cent to domestic mutual funds and the balance to FII's.

The company is a manufacturer and trader of complex fertilisers which are non-urea in nature. Its main products include DAP and NPK. As part of its backward integration, it makes its own phosphoric acid and is adding capacity of the same so that it becomes an even more effective cost producer. The company reported an EPS of Rs 6.30 for the nine months ended December 2022. At this EPS, the PE multiple of the share is more than attractive with the PE band based on nine months non annualised being 6.20-6.67. This is very attractive when compared to peer group like Coromandel, Chambal and Deepak Fertilisers who trade between 11.57-18.72 times. The main object of the issue is to acquire on a slump basis the plant of Zuari Agro in Goa. This issue is more than attractively priced.

The second issue is from Ethos Limited which is a luxury and premium watch retailer in India. The issue consists of a fresh issue of Rs 375 crore and an offer for sale of 11.08 lakh shares in a price band of Rs 836-878. The issue opens on Wednesday the 18th of May and would close on Friday the 20th of May. It is India's largest retailer and currently has 50 stores through which it sells its products. It has now also tied up with a jewellery brand Messika and an international luggage brand, Rimowa to further grow its business. The company runs an omni-channel distribution model and has a loyalty program as well. The company reported an EPS of Rs 8.74 for the nine-month period ending December 2021. The PE band at the above 9-month non-annualised EPS would be 95.65-100.45. Valuations are not cheap and investment is meant for the classy investor.

Coming to the week ahead, expect markets to rebound sharply in the coming week. There has been a sell-off and positions in small and midcap stocks have been ruthlessly hammered. Notwithstanding that FII's continue to remain sellers, expect some sanity in the short term at the bare minimum. Markets should attempt to recover to a bare minimum of 16,350-16,550 before deciding the next course of action. This part of the rally could be volatile and vicious like the fall that was witnessed. Remember that the correction is not over but could happen again after the rally. Trade cautiously and keep light positions at the end of day.

(Arun Kejriwal is the founder of Kejriwal Research and Investment Services. The views expressed are personal)

Sun, 15 May 2022 15:04:33 +0530
Our ties with Nepal are unparalleled based on people to people contact Modi

New Delhi, May 15

A day before his trip to Lumbini, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said the ties between India and Nepal are unparalleled and based on the civilisational and people-to-people contacts that form an enduring edifice of a close relationship.

On Monday, Modi is slated to leave for Lumbini, the birthplace of Gautam Buddha, where he will participate in festivisites marking Buddha Purnima and also hold a bilateral meeting with Nepal Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba.

In a departure statement issued by his office, Modi was quoted as saying: "I look forward to offering prayers at the Mayadevi Temple on the auspicious occasion of Buddha Jayanti. I am honoured to follow in the footsteps of millions of Indians to pay reverence at the sacred site of Lord Buddha's birth.

"I also look forward to meeting Prime Minister Deuba again after our productive discussions during his visit to India last month. We will continue to build on our shared understanding to expand cooperation in multiple areas, including in hydropower, development and connectivity.

"Apart from visiting the holy Mayadevi Temple, I will be participating in 'Shilanyas' ceremony of the India International Centre for Buddhist Culture & Heritage in the Lumbini Monastic Zone. I will also be attending celebrations to mark the occasion of Buddha Jayanti organised by the government of Nepal."

This is Modi's fifth visit to Nepal since assuming office in 2014, but the first after he was re-elected in 2019.

In conclusion, Modi said that his "visit is intended to celebrate and further deepen these time-honoured linkages that have been fostered through centuries and recorded in our long history of inter-mingling".

Sun, 15 May 2022 14:59:20 +0530
Age old Indian family system preserved social cultural values V P

New Delhi, May 15

Vice President M.Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday greeted the people on the 'International Day of Families'.

He tweeted, "My warm greetings on International Day of Families. Families are the essential building blocks of a healthy and value-based society. Our age old Indian family system has preserved our social and cultural values over millennia."

"On this day let us resolve to strengthen our family system for the benefit of our future generations," the Vice President added.

On this occasion, Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri tweeted, "A source of love, strength & support at all times, families complete our lives in many ways - inspire us to go on against all odds. Greetings on #InternationalDayofFamilies. I stand with my family of 130 crore Indians."

Sun, 15 May 2022 14:56:16 +0530
Centre to set up board for promotion of Vedic education

New Delhi, May 15

A new initiative can be taken soon to promote Vedic education in the country.

The Union Education Ministry is going to recognise the Veda-based education board, which would work like any other education board. Experts of Sanskrit language and mathematics will also be involved in the process.

Though there is no degree level course on Vedic education so far, the ministry is in favour of providing Vedic education and Veda-based knowledge to the students. In view of this, the government is mulling to link the Veda system with the modern education system and the process of establishing a dedicated education board has started.

Under the National Education Policy (NEP), a special Vedic education board will come into existence to maintain the relevance of the text of Vedas in modern society.

Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said that a special Vedic Education Board will come into existence to maintain the relevance of recitation of Vedas in modern society. The Education Ministry is of the view that the Vedas are the basis of Indian culture.

According to the ministry, in order to make the Vedas a subject of public practice with scholarship, the government has decided to establish five Veda Vidyapeeths led by Maharishi Sandipani Pratishthan at the 'Char Dhams' and Kamakhya Devi's place.

Ved Shankar Lal Chaturvedi, who has been associated with Veda Vidya, said that under the NEP, Veda education can play a crucial role in taking forward the Indian traditional knowledge. Veda education is not a subject of any religious system, but it contains the knowledge and science of living a better life.

According to Chaturvedi, the knowledge of Vedas can prove beneficial for all sections of the society. Vedic Mathematics is a living example of this. Almost all the students of the society are getting the benefits of Vedic Mathematics, he asserted.

At the same time, a few reputed institutes are providing Veda education to students. Maharishi Sandipani Rashtriya Vedavidya Pratishthan is imparting education to more than 6,000 students across the country to maintain the relevance of recitation of Vedas in modern society and to preserve and promote the Vedas.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also discussed Vedic Mathematics recently during the 'Mann Ki Baat' programme. It is worth mentioning that during the programme, the Prime Minister said, "For the people of India, who made the world aware of the most important laws of mathematics, mathematics should not be a problem but an easy subject. If we teach Vedic maths to our children, then their fear about maths will also end."

The ministry wants the country's youth be guided by India's rich mathematical traditions nurtured by mathematicians like Acharya Pingala, Acharya Aryabhatta, Ramanujan and former Shankaracharya of Puri Jagadguru Swami Bharatikrishna Tirtha Maharaj.

During the 'Mann Ki Baat' programme, the Prime Minister said, "With Vedic Maths, you can even solve big scientific problems. I would like all parents to teach Vedic Maths to their children."

Hemnagar Koti, a famous educationist of Sanskrit Vedic education, agreed with the statement of the Prime Minister. He said that by learning Vedic Maths, the confidence of the students will increase as well as the analytical power of their brain will also improve.

Sun, 15 May 2022 14:53:15 +0530
Following UP model Hindu bodies start campaign for national anthem in K taka madrassas

Bengaluru, May 15

After campaigning and agitations against 'azaan', hijab and ban on Muslim merchants in temples, the Hindu organisations have started campaigning for national anthem in madrassas.

The Hindu organisations have come together to demand the implementation of the rule of making singing of national anthem compulsory in madrassas before commencing classes. The campaign has been taken up on social media.

The model has been implemented in Uttar Pradesh and now, the Hindu organisations want it to be implemented in Karnataka.

A total of 968 madrassas are taking grants from the government. Among them 394 are going to be included in the Wakf Board.

Presently, the national anthem is not sung in madrassas. 'Hamd' and 'Salam' prayers are sung everyday. The madrassas maintain that they will sing the national anthem on the occasion of the Independence Day and the Republic Day.

However, the Hindu organisations maintain that the national anthem is not sung at all in madrassas.

In another development, Imam Moulana Maksood Imran Rashadi has stated that it has been decided not to perform 'azaan at 5 a.m. through loudspeakers. He had also appealed to the mosque managements not to use loudspeakers at 5.15 a.m. and 5.30 a.m 'azaan'. He had asked the mosque managements to procure permission from the police department and perform 'azaan' through loudspeakers.

Sun, 15 May 2022 14:50:15 +0530
J K Police ascertaining veracity of terrorist claim for Mata Vaishno Devi pilgrims bus fire

Jammu, May 15

After a lesser known terror group claimed the responsibility for the attack on a bus carrying Mata Vaishno Devi shrine pilgrims on May 13 in which four persons were killed and 20 injured, police and the NIA are investigating the incident to ascertain the veracity of the terrorists' claim.

A bus carrying pilgrims of Mata Vaishno Devi shrine had caught fire in Katra area on Friday resulting in the death of four and burn injuries to 20 pilgrims.

A lesser known terror outfit, Jammu and Kashmir freedom fighters (JKFF) later claimed responsibility for the attack saying that the bus had been targeted with an improvised explosive device (IED).

It is not unusual for known terror groups like the LeT and the JeM to carry out attacks and then claim responsibility through outfits which do not exist on ground. A senior police officer said when asked about the veracity of the terrorists' claim.

"We have collected forensic and other evidence. Every possible angle is being looked into. It would be premature to comment on the claim made by this lesser known terrorist group unless we get corroborative evidence."

Sun, 15 May 2022 14:46:58 +0530
4 workers trapped in TN stone quarry

Chennai, May 15

Police in Tamil Nadu's Tirunelveli district on Sunday said four workers were trapped 300 feet deep in a stone quarry located in the Muneerpallam area.

Police said that six workers were trapped initially, but two were rescued. The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) team is scheduled to reach the spot soon.

The incident occurred when boulders from atop fell into the quarry and blocked the truck's movement, trapping the workers.

Asra Garg, Inspector General of Police, Southern range, said that heavy cranes are being deployed for rescue operations and a helicopter has also been deployed.

Garg added that they cannot immediately ascertain whether more people are trapped in the quarry other than the four.

He said that the rescue operation was becoming difficult due to the structure of the quarry.

Sun, 15 May 2022 14:43:24 +0530
Rajiv Kumar to assume charge of CEC today

New Delhi, May 15

Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar will be assuming the charge of 25th Chief Election Commissioner on Sunday afternoon, officials said.

On Saturday, Sushil Chandra relinquished the charge after completing his tenure as the CEC.

The government on May 12 appointed the senior most Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar as the new Chief Election Commissioner of India with effect from May 15.

Rajiv Kumar is the senior most Election Commissioner in the three-member poll panel after Sushil Chandra.

"The President is pleased to appoint Shri Rajiv Kumar, the senior most Election Commissioner, as the Chief Election Commissioner in the Election Commission of India. Shri Rajiv Kumar will assume the charge of the office of the Chief Election Commissioner of India with effect from the May 15, 2022 vice Shri Sushil Chandra consequent upon his demitting Office of the Chief Election Commissioner on May 14, 2022," the official communication of the Law Ministry said.

Rajiv Kumar, a 1984 batch IAS officer was appointed as an Election Commissioner in September, 2020.

He retired as Finance Secretary in February. During his over three-decade tenure in the government, he worked with various Ministries at the Centre and in his State cadre of Bihar and Jharkhand.

Kumar joined as Election Commissioner in place of the then Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa.

Sun, 15 May 2022 14:40:32 +0530
Heavy rain in Kerala Orange alert in 6 districts

Thiruvananthapuram, May 15

Heavy rains continue to lash the state on Sunday also with the state government declaring an Orange alert for six districts.

The orange alert is for the districts of Kollam, Kottayam, Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Idukki and Ernakulam.

A yellow alert is issued for 11 districts of the state following rains.

The state revenue department has opened a 24-hour control room at Thiruvananthapuram.

Instructions have been given to fishermen not to venture into the sea following heavy rain and weather forecast of more rain in the coming days in the state. It is to be noted that the IMD has forecast heavy rainfall in Kerala till May 17.

Relief camps have already been opened in many districts and the state. Chief secretary, V.P. Joy has directed all the district collectors to be on high alert. The district collectors and the district superintendents of police have been put on alert to take all necessary precautions given the possibility of more rains in the state in the coming days.

The state disaster management authority has also sounded all the district disaster management units to be on alert and to prepare themselves with all the necessary materials to be on toes keeping in mind the possibility of any eventuality.

Trained volunteers in disaster management have also been sounded to be ready.

Health department has also issued an advisory on the possibility of spreading rain-related diseases, including contagious diseases.

Meanwhile, three fishermen -- Mohammed Haneefa, Mira Saheb, and Anwar -- who was missing from Thiruvananthapuram have been spotted at Thengapattinam in Tamil Nadu. Relatives of the three fishermen, who went to sea on Friday, told the mediapersons that they are safe and in Thengapattinam.


Sun, 15 May 2022 14:37:38 +0530
Culpable homicide case Ex TN Minister s daughter on the run

Chennai, May 15

AIADMK leader and former Tamil Nadu Minister D. Jayakumar's daughter, Jayapriya is on the run after being charged in a case related to the death of a Class 11 student.

The student was killed in a lift crash at a marriage hall owned by Jayapriya. She was charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder. Police said that the culprit would be apprehended soon.

The tragedy occurred on Friday at the marriage hall in Gummidipoondi in Tiruvallur district when the lift in the three-storey building crashed killing the girl, Sheethal, who had reached the hall to attend a marriage function.

The hall supervisor, D.Thirunavakarasu, lift operations in-charge S. Kakkan from Pulianthope and manager B.Venkitesan have been arrested in the case while Jayapriya is absconding.

Police said that the lift was not built under the prescribed guidelines and sthe upervisor claimed that it was only to ferry food and not for carrying people. The police said that the building was constructed in 2015 and the lift was made of wooden planks and surrounded by plastic sheets.

The lift's carrying capacity is 300 kg and on Friday, Sheethal and three others boarded the lift to reach the second floor of the marriage hall. The lift snapped in between leading to grievous head injuries to the girl who died immediately. Two others Vignesh and Jayaraman are undergoing treatment at the hospital.

It is to be noted that D. Jayakumar was a powerful minister in the AIADMK government of late J. Jayalalithaa as well as in O. Panneerselvam cabinet and later in the K. Palaniswami cabinet.


Sun, 15 May 2022 14:35:29 +0530
Shadow of bulldozers looms on Karnataka s polarised politics

Bengaluru, May 15

Bulldozer politics of initiating punitive action against rioters and violence-mongers in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and New Delhi has triggered debates all over the country.

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, however, has declared that there is no place for bulldozer politics in Karnataka.

Though for the time being, bulldozer politics doesn't seem to be an issue in Karnataka, experts say that it is going to be a reality soon in the southern state.

Talking to political analyst Basavaraj Sulibhavi said that the developments such as bulldozer politics could be prevented only if all the forces together put up a cultural fight against it.

"But we are seeing no such unity in the opposition. If the BJP retains power in the upcoming Assembly elections in 2023, we could very well see bulldozer politics in the state," he said.

However, it is not so easy for the BJP to implement hardcore Hindutva in Karnataka as it has to face opposition from within the party first. The social fabric of the state is harmonious living. Hindus and Muslims live in harmony despite the state witnessing communal rifts in the recent past.

Former Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa gave a stern warning during the Covid pandemic not to target minorities, especially Muslims, at the height of the controversy surrounding the Tablighi Jamaat. Yediyurappa had even stated that he would not spare those who indulge in creating hatred and initiate legal action, much to the chagrin of the Hindutva forces.

Yediyurappa also made a statement that it won't be possible to win elections in Karnataka only by taking the name of the Prime Minister.

Presently, Bommai is stating that there wouldn't be an Uttar Pradesh or Gujarat model in Karnataka.

The state government had reined in large-scale communal violence which erupted after the murder of Bajrang Dal activist Harsha in Shivamogga and the violence that followed after the posting of objectionable social media posts hurting religious sentiments in Hubballi.

Though invoking of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) on the accused was questioned, the ruling BJP government ensured return of normalcy without giving room for further violence.

Talking to senior BJP leader G. Madhusudhan said that bulldozer politics was practised by the Congress itself in 1975.

Late Sanjay Gandhi, the son of late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, carried out bulldozer politics in Turkman Gate, he said.

Actually, the model of bulldozer politics was started by the Congress, Madhusudhan said.

"The rioters and violence-mongers, who destroy public property, need to be taught a lesson. Once their property is seized, the people who indulge in violence will realise their mistake," he said.

"It is not possible to move in the old way of dealing with them, by lodging FIR, gathering evidence, filing of charge-sheet and then get them convicted, Madhusudhan added.

Sulibhavi, however, feels that bulldozer politics is the result of right-wing ideology.

"Attaining power through oppression and creating hatred is the basic principle of right-wing philosophy. The BJP is trying to control the public by organised oppression. They will create one common enemy. Earlier it was Dalits, now it is Muslims," he said.

"The state government is indirectly supporting the hatred environment which has come true in terms of the hijab and the Azan controversies," he said.

Opposition Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Karnataka are on their guard in connection with the bulldozer politics with the fear of losing out majority Hindu votes.

Hailed as one of the most progressive states in the country, housing major scientific research centres, with Bengaluru being the Silicon Valley of India, Karnataka is passing through testing times.

It is to be seen how things shape up in the southern state in the coming days.

Sun, 15 May 2022 14:32:41 +0530
4th phase of Mission Shakti to empower women

Lucknow, May 15

The fourth phase of 'Mission Shakti' in Uttar Pradesh will focus on strengthening the various aspects of women security, improving their lives and helping them become self-reliant financially.

Under the fourth phase, the government will check whether the Protection of Sexual Harassment at Workplace committees have been set up in all offices and they are effective or not.

Women will be informed about acceptable and unacceptable behaviour and what legal provisions are available to them in case they face such a situation. The women helpline numbers would also be publicised in all educational institutes.

State Chief Secretary Durga Shankar Mishra has directed all departments to ensure that the activities being carried out by them are publicised on social media and other platforms.

He said that a portal should be set up with information about the various government schemes being run for the benefit of women.

A special campaign should be launched for girls under School Chalo Abhiyan. A list of those girls, who are absent from school on a regular basis, should be prepared and their parents and guardians be contacted to find out why they are missing school.

Art competitions should be held in schools to spread awareness about women security and empowerment while women achievers should be asked to address students to inspire them by their stories.

He added that there should be separate toilets for women in all schools and colleges.

If the facility is missing in any institution, the Panchayati Raj department should ensure construction of toilets at the earliest.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will launch the fourth phase next month.


Sun, 15 May 2022 09:54:09 +0530
Netflix is likely exploring live streaming feature

San Francisco, May 15

Video streaming platform Netflix is reportedly planning to live stream its upcoming slate of unscripted shows and comedy specials.

According to Deadline, Netflix plans to roll out the capability, which it confirmed was in the early stages of development, for its swathe of unscripted shows and stand-up specials.

It would mean that Netflix would be able to use it for live voting for competition series and talent contests such as its upcoming dance competition series Dance 100 from The Circle producer Studio Lambert, the report said.

There is no timeline and sources caution that it's early days for the live roll out, but a small group within Netflix is in the preliminary stages of developing the product.

A recent report said that due to slow growth and a diminishing global user base, Netflix has fast-forwarded its plans to bring ads right into its TV shows and movies.

The streaming platform has shifted its plans to infuse advertisements into its content by the end of this year.


Sun, 15 May 2022 09:49:20 +0530
Former Australian all rounder Andrew Symonds dies in car crash

Sydney, May 15

Andrew Symonds, the two-time World Cup winner and one of the most recognisable faces in international cricket, was killed in what police said was a single-car crash on Saturday night outside Townsville, on the north-eastern coast of Queensland, Australia.

Police confirmed that the 46-year-old died at the scene of the mishap.

"Early information indicates, shortly after 11 p.m. (Australian time) the car was being driven on Hervey Range Road, near Alice River Bridge when it left the roadway and rolled," the police statement said.

"Emergency services attempted to revive the 46-year-old driver and sole occupant. However, he died of his injuries. The Forensic Crash Unit is investigating."

Symonds averaged 40.61 with the bat from 26 Tests for his country, but was perhaps best known for his exploits in white-ball cricket.

He featured in 198 ODIs -- scoring six centuries and 30 half-centuries -- while also contributing 133 wickets with his handy off-spin and gentle medium pace.

It was at the 2003 World Cup where Symonds burst on to the stage with perhaps his greatest innings, as he smashed Pakistan with an unbeaten 143 in Johannesburg early in the event and helped Australia remain unbeaten and defeat India in a one-sided final.

The stocky right-hander was also part of the victorious World Cup side at the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies as Australia claimed their fourth 50-over World Cup title.

Symonds also played 14 T20I for Australia, managing 337 runs and eight wickets.

His death is the second famous Australia cricketer to tragically pass away in 2022, after champion leg-spinner Shane Warne died from a heart-attack in Thailand in March.

Former wicketkeeper Rod Marsh also passed away from a heart attack earlier this year.

Cricket Australia chair, Lachlan Henderson, was quoted as saying by that, "Australian cricket has lost another of its very best. Andrew was a generational talent who was instrumental in Australia's success at World Cups and as part of Queensland's rich cricket history. He was a cult figure to many who was treasured by his fans and friends.

"On behalf of Australian cricket our deepest sympathies are with Andrew's family, team-mates, and friends."

In the 26 Tests he played for Australia, Symonds scored 1,462 runs at 40.61 and picked up 24 wickets.

He scored a superb unbeaten 162 against India in the 2008 Sydney Test, which helped the hosts to a 122-run victory. However, the match ended in controversy over the 'Monkeygate scandal'.

The all-rounder accused India spinner Harbhajan Singh of calling him a "monkey", which triggering a verbal confrontation between the two teams and India threatened to cancel the tour after Harbhajan was initially suspended for three matches.

But, it was white-ball cricket that was Symond's forte. Affectionately called 'Roy', the hard-hitter played 198 ODIs, scoring 5,088 runs and taking 133 wickets.

Symonds was born in Birmingham but shifted base to Australia with his adoptive parents, according to He became an integral part of Australia's Word Cup-winning campaigns in 2003 and 2007, with both bat and ball.

His 143 against the Wasim Akram-led Pakistan in Australia's opening match of the 2003 edition in Johannesburg was where Symonds announced his arrival on the international scene.

The right-handed batter's match-winning knock came off just 125 deliveries and was embellished with 18 fours and two maximums.

In the last-four clash against Sri Lanka, Symonds came at a time when Australia were struggling on 3/53. The champion all-rounder went on to score an unbeaten 91 to help the defending champions finally manage 212/7, which turned out to be the winning total in a rain-affected match.

During the 2007 World Cup, Australia cruised through the pool games, easily defeating Sri Lanka in the decider in Barbados. He finished his twin World Cup campaigns averaging 103, and a strike rate of 93.29.

"I think it's the fear factor he puts into the opposition because he can clear the boundary on a regular basis," former Australian captain Ian Chappell had said of Symonds.

"He is going to create some run outs for you. He'll take a blinding catch and he has been very, very tidy with the ball now for a long time," Chappell had said.

Queensland Cricket Chair Chris Simpson said the cricket community was devastated by Symonds' death.

"On behalf of Queensland Cricket, we express our deepest sympathies to his family and will do whatever we can to assist them," he said to the website. "It is a shattering loss to those nearest to him, and his wide circle of friends which extend to all corners of the cricketing world.

"His untimely passing will also resonate deeply with the many fans who thrilled to his efforts with bat, ball and in the field. He stood out for his skill, courage and determination, and the fans who saw him at his best will never forget his impact on a game.

"We are all hurting and will miss him greatly. His former teammates will remember his loyalty to the playing group and recall the fun times with great fondness, and sorrow that he is gone.

"He loved Queensland and its outdoor lifestyle and valued and respected the opportunities he had as a youngster growing up in North Queensland that enabled him to go onto represent his state and country."

In recent years, Symonds did commentary in the Big Bash League.


Sun, 15 May 2022 09:37:44 +0530
10 killed in US supermarket shooting

New York, May 15

At least ten people were killed by a gunman in a supermarket in Buffalo, New York state, local media reported.

The gunman opened fire after entering the supermarket located at a neighborhood dominated by black people, Xinhua news agency reported.

The shooter has been taken in custody, tweeted Buffalo Police Department.

US President Joe Biden has been briefed on "the horrific shooting" in Buffalo, according to the White House.

Biden "will continue to receive updates throughout the evening and tomorrow as further information develops," White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement.

The gunman is a white man in late teens or early 20s wearing a black helmet, according to a report by the New York Post citing two witnesses of the carnage.

An investigation is under way to check if the gunman posted a manifesto online and the shooting was believed to be live-streamed, said the report, citing a local enforcement official.

Investigators are also working to know if the shooting was racially motivated, the report added.

Named Tops Friendly Market, the supermarket is located around 2 miles northeast of downtown Buffalo.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul, who was born in Buffalo, said she is on the way to Buffalo to assist with the response to the shooting.

More than 28,000 people have died or been injured due to gun-related incidents in the US this year, according to a database run by the nonprofit research group Gun Violence Archive.


Sun, 15 May 2022 09:34:40 +0530
Chintan Shivir Margdarshak mandal Kamraj plan in Cong on cards

Udaipur, May 15

Congress organisational reforms committee is debating on the age limit for the party leaders for organisational positions and idea has been floated that those who have crossed 70 years of age should step aside for new leadership to hold the fort and should keep themselves for advisory role, sources revealed.

However a final call on the recommendation will be taken by the Congress Working Committee (CWC).

The BJP already has "Margdarshak Mandal" (advisory committee) since after the 2014 parliamentary polls, wherein veterans with age above 75, including stalwarts like L.K Advani and M.M. Joshi, were asked to quit active politics and guide the party. The move which was criticised by the Congress by claiming that the BJP is ill treating senior leaders of the party.

According to the sources, the "Kamraj" plan was also floated during the party's "Chintan Shivir", under which it is being advised that the senior leaders quit government post and work for the party.

Meanwhile another proposal which is being discussed is that half the office bearers will be less than 50 years and any office-bearer cannot hold a post for more than five years and the person has to step down on completion of the tenure. There will be a cooling of three years before a new assignment is given.

Congress General Secretary Ajay Maken said, "Our opponents have been faster in adopting new things, so now onwards our party will see the change after the shivir."

The Congress is likely to make an assessment wing comprising leaders which will reward or remove anyone as per the performance. This was one of demands of the dissident group which had been saying that nobody has been made responsible for the poll losses.

The party's interim President Sonia Gandhi had said on Friday that the "Chintan Shivir" will give an opportunity to discuss the numerous challenges that the country is facing as a result of the policies of the BJP and of the RSS and its affiliates.

"So it is both a chintan about national issues and a meaningful atma-chintan about our party organisation," she had said in her inaugural speech.

With the party witnessing organisational crisis, it would be upto the CWC that how it take these suggestions. The party is of view that the organisational reforms are required in a time bound manner. The CWC will meet on Sunday evening to decide on the recommendation made by the sub-groups.


Sun, 15 May 2022 09:23:51 +0530
How to lose your belly fat

Anupama Nair


Every one dreams of having a thin and fit body and belly fat makes our body look out of shape. It is more than a nuisance that makes your clothes feel tight and it’s seriously harmful too. One type of belly fat called as visceral fat is a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other serious conditions. Body mass index (BMI) is used to classify weight and predict the risk of metabolic disease. However, this is misleading, as people with excess belly fat are at an increased risk even if they look thin. The sad part is losing fat from this area can be difficult, there are several things you can do to reduce excess abdominal fat:

Eat plenty of soluble fiber

Soluble fiber absorbs water and forms a gel that helps slow down food as it passes through your digestive system. Research indicate that this type of fiber promotes weight loss by helping you feel full, so you naturally eat less. It may also decrease the number of calories your body absorbs from food. Soluble fiber may help fight belly fat. A study in over many adults found that for every 10-gram increase in soluble fiber intake, belly fat gain decreased by 3.7% over a 5-year period  Make an effort to consume high fiber foods every day. Good sources of soluble fiber are:

  • flax seeds
  • shirataki noodles
  • Brussels sprouts
  • avocados
  • legumes
  • blackberries

Avoid foods that contain trans fats

What are trans fats and how are they formed? Trans fats also called trans-fatty acids increase bad cholesterol and also lowers good cholesterol. A diet full of trans fats increases the risk of heart disease, which is the leading killer of adults. Trans fats are created by pumping hydrogen into unsaturated fats, such as soybean oil. They’re found in some margarines and spreads and also often added to packaged foods, but many food producers have stopped using them. These fats have been linked to inflammation, heart disease, insulin resistance, and abdominal fat gain in observational and animal studies. To help reduce belly fat and protect your health, you must read ingredient labels carefully and stay away from products that contain trans fats. These are often listed as partially hydrogenated fats.

Avoid too much alcohol

Alcohol can have health benefits in small amounts, but it’s seriously harmful if you drink too much. Studies suggests that too much alcohol can also make you gain belly fat.

Sat, 14 May 2022 23:59:01 +0530
The brave children of Bharat Ma who fought the Mughals

Anupama Nair


I had written about Rana Sanga, who gave up his life against Babur. However, his ancestor Pratap Singh I, popularly known as Maharana Pratap never lost to Akbar and remained victorious till the end. He was given the title “Mewari Rana” and was notable for his military resistance against the expansionism of the Mughals and is well known for his participation in the Battle of Haldighati. Pratap Singh was unhappy he had not been to his beloved city Chittor since 1556, as Akbar had control of Chittor but not the kingdom of Mewar. His home now beckoned to him. The pain of his father's death, and the fact that his father also had not been able to see Chittor again, troubled the young Maharana deeply. But he was not the only one troubled at this time. Akbar realized that his ambition of being the “Shehanshah-e-Hindustan” was doomed to failure, so long as the people of Mewar supported their Maharana.

Akbar sent several emissaries to Mewar to get Rana Pratap to agree to sign a treaty, but Pratap was only willing to sign a peace treaty whereby the sovereignty of Mewar would be intact. In 1573, Akbar sent six diplomatic missions to Mewar to get Rana Pratap to agree to his orders, but Rana Pratap turned down each one of them. The last of these missions was headed by Raja Man Singh, the brother-in-law of Akbar. Maharana Pratap, was infuriated that his fellow Rajput was with someone who had forced the submission of all Rajputs. The lines were completely drawn now -- Akbar understood that Maharana Pratap would never submit and he would have to use his troops against Mewar. Akbar’s course of action like any tyrant was first try with false promises of peace, if it did not work attack by treason.

In preparation for the inevitable war with the Mughals, Maharana Pratap decided to change the city of his administration. He moved his capital to Kumbhalgarh, where he was born. He commanded his subjects to leave for the Aravali mountains and leave behind nothing for the approaching enemy – and the war would be fought in a mountain terrain which the Mewar army was used to but not the Mughals. It is a testament to the respect the young king had amongst his subjects that they obeyed him and left for the mountains. The Bhils of the Aravalis also supported him. The army of Mewar now raided all the Mughal trade caravans going from Delhi to Surat. A section of his army guarded the all-important Haldighati Pass, the only way to get into Udaipur from the North. Maharana Pratap himself undertook several penances, not because his finances forced him to do so, but because he wished to remind himself, and all his subjects, why they were undertaking this pain -- to win back their freedom, their right to exist as they wished. He made a promise to eat from leaf-plates, would sleep on the floor and would not shave. In his self-inflicted state of penury, the Maharana lived in mud-huts made from mud and bamboo.

The famous battle of Haldighati was fought in 1576, with 20,000 Rajputs against a Mughal army of 80,000 men commanded by Raja Man Singh. The battle was fiercely fought, and there was no decisive result which was a matter of great astonishment to the Mughals. Maharana Pratap's army was not defeated even though his army was surrounded by the Mughal soldiers. It is said that at this point, his estranged brother, Shakti Singh, appeared and saved the Rana's life. The greatest casualty of this war was the loyal, horse Chetak, who gave up his life trying to save his master. After the Battle of Haldighati, Akbar tried several times to take over the kingdom of Mewar but failed each time.

Rattled by Pratap’s strength and valor, Akbar relinquished his obsessive pursuit of Maharana Pratap and took his battles into Punjab and India's Northwest Frontier. For the last ten years of his life, Maharana Pratap ruled in relative peace and eventually freed most of Mewar, including Udaipur and Kumbhalgarh, but not Chittor. “Maharana Pratap Singh called the light and life of the Hindu community. There were times when he and his family and children ate bread made of grass”.

Next I am going to talk about the greatest sons of Bharat Ma – Chattrapati Shivaji, who fought against the tyranny. Shivaji Bhonsle, also known as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, was a great warrior king and a member of the Bhonsle clan. Shivaji carved out an “enclave from the declining Adilshahi Sultanate of Bijapur that formed the genesis of the Maratha Empire”.

It was his brave mother Jija Bai, who made her great son Chhatrapati. Right from his childhood, Jija mata would tell him about the lives of Shri Ram, Maruti, Shri Krishna and also stories from Mahabharata and Ramayana to make him pious and patriotic. Thus, she molded him into an ideal ruler by sowing seeds of devotion to the idea of Swaraj and Swadharma. She was not only a mother to Shivaji, but also a source of inspiration to her son.

Shivaji's army marched towards Konkan and Kolhapur. They seized the Panhala Fort, and defeated again the army of Bijapur under Rustam Zaman and Fazl Khan in 1659. In 1660, Adilshah sent his general Siddi Jauhar to attack Shivaji's southern border, in alliance with the Mughals who planned to attack from the north. At that time, Shivaji was living in Panhala Fort with his forces. Siddi Jauhar's army attacked Panhala, cutting off all supply routes to the fort. For the bombardment of the Panhala Fort, Siddi Jauhar had earlier, purchased grenades from the English East India Company at Rajapur to increase his efficiency, and also hired some English artillerymen to assist him in his war with Shivaji. The betrayal angered Shivaji, who retaliated by plundering the English factory at Rajapur and captured four men, who were released after some months. When Shivaji Maharaj was trapped for four months when Siddi Jauhar had besieged Panhala fort, Jija had shouldered the responsibility of Swaraj till Shivaji escaped from the besieged fort. Jija Bai led the Marathas who were fighting Shaista Khan thus protecting the idea of Swaraj.

Shivaji’s greatness and love for Swaraj reached the ears of the cruelest Mughal emperor Aurangzeb who wanted to add the parts of Maratha Empire to his own. For expansion of  his idea of  Swaraj, conflict with the Mughals was inevitable. Aurangzeb chose Shaista khan, to be the Viceroy of the Deccan, ordering him to invade and annex Shivaji dominions. Shaista khan left Ahmednagar in 1660 and arrived in Pune. He decided to capture the fort of Chakan to obtain supplies. Though the killedar of the fort of Chakan, Firangoji Narsala offered a strong resistance to Shaista khan’s army, the Mughals captured the fort of Chakan. Shaista khan captured Swaraj's territories Pune and Supe and set up a camp at Lal Mahal in Pune.

The Mughal army began to destroy the regions around Pune. Shaista Khan adopted the strategy to occupy as much of Shivaji Maharaj’s territories as possible. Forces were dispatched to invade the Konkan region below the Ghats, Kalyan and Bhiwandi were captured by the Mughal army. Shaista Khan appointed Kartalab Khan on an expedition to the North Konkan. Shivaji defeated Kartalab Khan in Umbarkhind. He left Netoji Palkar to defend the North Konkan and he himself marched southwards and captured Dabhol, Chiplun, Sangameshwar, Rajapur, Palavani and Shringarpur.

Even after two years, Shaista Khan still would not think of leaving Pune. Shivaji Maharaj devised a bold plan, to drive away Shaista Khan. He raided Lal Mahal and in this raid, Shaista Khan lost his fingers. He was forced to leave Pune and shifted his camp to Aurangabad. The successful attack on Shaista khan resulted in the people believing the capabilities of Shivaji. He then devised a plan of attack on Surat. The Subedar of Surat could not put up any resistance to the Maratha army. Shivaji Maharaj obtained enormous wealth from Surat. The Surat campaign was a stunning blow to emperor Aurangzeb’s prestige. Shivaji then built  forts Suvarnadurg,  Sindhudurg and Vijaydurg. He also built a fort named Padmadurg on a small island near Rajpuri in order to counter the power of the Mughals.

The greatest achievement of Shivaji was to inculcate the spirit of independence in his people. Shivaji Maharaj’s personality and message are as relevant today as they were in the past. “Shivaji breathed new life into a moribund race that for centuries had resigned itself to abject serfdom and led them against Aurangzeb, a powerful Mughal ruler. Above all, in a place and age stained by religious savagery, he was one of the few rulers who practiced true religious tolerance.

Budelkhand Kesri, Maharaja Chhatrasal  was a warrior who chose to turn against the “cruelest and a man who killed millions for his sport”, Aurangzeb and seek to establish his  own kingdom in Bundelkhand. His father had raised “the banner for freedom” a generation earlier but was killed in battle with the Mughals but only after killing the favorite of the emperor, Abu Fazal. Chhatrasal also raised the banner of revolt against the Mughals in Bundelkhand at a young age of 22, with only an army of 5 horsemen and 25 swordsmen. During the first ten years of his revolt, he conquered a large tract of land between Chitrakoot and Panna on the east and Gwalior on the west. His domains stretched from Kalpi in the north to Sagar, Garah Kota and Damoh in the south.

Chhatrasal was a disciple of Pran Nathji and accepted him as his guru and accepted Pranami Dharma.  It was Swami Pran Nathji who told Raja Chhatrasal Bundela, regarding Diamond mines of  Panna  and  thus  strengthen  his  financial position.  He also persuaded Chhatrasal to make Panna his capital and arranged his coronation there. When Aurangzeb introduced Jaziya, the freedom loving people of Bundelkhand refused to pay and fight for freedom. As a result, deadly struggle which eventually spread over nearly fifty years, ensued with wave after wave of Mughal and Pathan attacks over the land. The atrocities of the Mughals against the innocent people of my country, only deepened the intensity of the people of Bundelkhand, to fight for freedom and vengeance of the killing of their own.

People who came to collect Jaziya were killed to send a message that they will not pay the tax. Aurangzeb himself led a huge expedition to Bundelkhand to capture them, but was forced to retreat without achieving any lasting success, leaving behind trails of horror and destruction, but still failing to subdue Chhatrasal and the Bundelas. With great happiness I would like to tell you, from then onwards the Maratha attacks began to shake and almost caused the disintegration of the Mughals and, after the death of Aurangzeb, the Bundelas steadily began to gain ground over their adversaries. The cream of the Mughal generals were sent one after the other to subdue the Bundelas but all their campaigns ended up in failure.

Chhatrasal, who was always inspired by the Hindu Hriday Samrat Shivaji’s call of Swaraj and Swadharm wanted to meet him. Shivaji was already the most celebrated and heroic Hindu figure of his times, who had faced the Mughals on equal terms and whose exploits and achievements, courage and idealism had won for him respect throughout India. Chhatrasal offered to serve Shivaji in latter’s war against Aurangzeb. But Shivaji suggested to him to start hostilities against Aurangzeb in Bundelkhand where he would gain many adherents. “Illustrious Chief! Conquer and subdue your foes. Recover and rule your native land …”.

These great sons of Bharat Ma did not bow to the tyrannical Mughals and fought hard to free Bharat Ma from their clutches.









Sat, 14 May 2022 23:50:29 +0530
A cheaper Apple TV may be coming this year

San Francisco, May 14

Apple is likely planning to launch a new Apple TV that will be affordable in comparison to its rivals.

The new Apple TV is expected to be launched later this year.

According to famed analyst Ming Chi Kuo, Apple's aggressive strategy of integrating hardware, content and service amid the recession will help close the gap with its competitors.

Currently, the company sells three Apple TV models.

Its 4K Apple TV comes in 32GB and 64GB capacities and retails for $179 and $199, respectively, according to a report in The Verge.

Apart from Nvidia's Shield lineup, no set-top box has the same support for a wide range of home theatre standards and formats like the Apple TV 4K.

It's the gold standard for professional home theatre installers and is popular for its Extended Display Identification Data (EDID) capabilities.

EDID alerts your set-top box, or Blu-Ray player, or other device, what kind of display users plugged it into.

While the more budget-friendly Apple TV HD shares the same EDID handling, it lacks all the other features that make Apple 4K a must-buy for home theater lovers, the report said.


Sat, 14 May 2022 23:23:05 +0530
Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed named new President of UAE

bu Dhabi, May 14

The Federal Supreme Council on Saturday unanimously elected Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan as the President of the United Arab Emirates.

The move came after President Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan passed away at the age of 73 on Friday.

The Council held a meeting in Abu Dhabi, which was chaired by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai. The meeting was attended by the rulers of all the other Emirates of the UAE.

A statement issued by the Ministry of Presidential Affairs said that according to Article 51 of the Constitution, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed has been unanimously elected as the President of the UAE to succeed the late Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

The Supreme Council members and the rulers of the Emirates have reaffirmed their keenness to continue implementing the authentic values and principles laid down by the late Sheikh Khalifa, following on from the founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. These have consolidated the UAE's status at both regional and global levels.

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed expressed his appreciation for the precious trust placed in him by his brothers, the Supreme Council members and the rulers of the Emirates, praying to the Almighty to guide and help him bear the responsibility of this great trust and to fulfil its tasks of serving his country and the people.

Born on March 11, 1961, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed is the third President of the UAE, Ruler of Abu Dhabi and Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates armed forces.

The New York Times had named him as the most powerful Arab ruler. He was also named among the 100 most influential people of 2019 by the TIME magazine.

He is the third son of Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the first President of the UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi. He was educated at The Royal Academy in Rabat until the age of 10. His father Sheikh Zayed then sent him to Morocco intending for it to be a discipline experience.

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed was further educated at schools in Al Ain, Abu Dhabi and spent a summer at Gordonstoun until the age of 18.

He graduated from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in April 1979. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed then returned home to the UAE to join the Officers' Training Course in Sharjah. He has held a number of roles in the UAE military, from that of an officer in the Amiri Guard to a pilot in the UAE Air Force.

He has gifted 55 million AED to the UN global initiative to fight human trafficking, committed to raise $100 million for the Reaching the Last Mile Fund, pledged $50 million for children's vaccine efforts in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and contributed $30 million to the Roll Back Malaria partnership.

The University of Texas chair for scientific and medical knowledge in cancer research is named after Al-Nahyan as a result of a funding grant to the MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed has also been involved in the setting up of art museums, such as Louvre Abu Dhabi and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, as well as cultural heritage sites such as Qasr Al Hosn.


Sat, 14 May 2022 23:18:06 +0530
Mountains to climb Air India CEO designate Wilson on new role

New Delhi, May 14

Campbell Wilson has said that his appointment as Air India CEO and MD is a fantastic opportunity to lead a historic airline, adding that there are "mountains to climb" in his new role.

Wilson is currently the CEO of Singapore Airlines' subsidiary Scoot Air.

Singapore Airlines (SIA) is a joint venture partner of Tata Group in full-service carrier Vistara.

"This afternoon I informed the executive team and your union leaders of my resignation from Scoot and the SIA Group," he said to the employees to Scoot through a communique, which reportedly was his farewell letter.

He said it was by not an easy decision to leave his current role as it was his first professional job and has been on it for the last 26 years.

Wilson, who has 26 years long experience in the aviation industry, was appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Air India earlier this week.

Air India would benefit from Wilson's added experience of having built an airline brand in Asia, Air India Chairman N. Chandrasekaran had said.

Earlier, Turkish Airlines head Ilker Ayci had been appointed the Air India CEO by the Tatas, but he subsequently declined the offer on March 1.

Air India is at the cusp of an exciting journey to become one of the best airlines in the world, offering world-class products and services with a distinct customer experience that reflects Indian warmth and hospitality, said Wilson after announcement about his new role.

In January 2022, the Centre handed over the management control of national carrier Air India to a subsidiary of Tata Sons.

With this Air India's strategic disinvestment was complete after the Centre received a consideration of Rs 2,700 crore from the 'Strategic Partner' -- Talace -- which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tata Sons.

Besides the upfront payment, Talace will retain a debt of Rs 15,300 crore.


Sat, 14 May 2022 23:12:26 +0530
Smartphone use can hamper mental well being in young adults

San Francisco, May 14

If you are a young adult and spend a lot of time on your smartphone that it may cause a rapid decline in your mental health, says new research.

According to a report by Sapien Labs, the growth of smartphone use and an increase in social isolation point to a decline in the mental health of young adults aged 18-24.

"Data shows that people now spend 7-10 hours online," Tara Thiagarajan, Chief Scientist at Sapien Labs, said in a statement.

"This leaves little time for in-person social engagement. Prior to the Internet, by the time someone turned 18, we estimate that they would likely have spent anywhere from 15,000 to 25,000 hours interacting with peers and family in person."

And now, Thiagarajan said, the research showed the internet age has likely cut that range down to 1,500 to 5,000 hours.

She mentioned that social interaction teaches people how to read facial expressions, body language, physical touch, appropriate emotional responses, and conflict resolution, life skills that are crucial for socio-emotional development. Without these skills, people can feel detached from society and possibly harbour suicidal thoughts.

The report also revealed that over the pandemic, the mental well-being of each younger age group of adults fell much more dramatically.

Across 34 countries where data was acquired, the decline, particularly for young adults (ages 18-24), exacerbates a trend that existed prior to the pandemic but began after 2010, alongside the growth of smartphone use.

Prior to 2010, studies showed that young adults had the highest levels of psychological well-being, but since then, the trend has been in the opposite direction.

The study outlined the key symptoms that impact the majority of young adults 18-24 or are most significantly amplified or deteriorated compared to older adults.

These include obsessive, strange or unwanted thoughts, self-image, self-worth and confidence, feelings of being detached from reality, relationships with others, suicidal thoughts, fear and anxiety, and feelings of sadness, distress or hopelessness.

Sat, 14 May 2022 15:17:22 +0530
New measure of sperm age may predict pregnancy success

New York, May 14

A new study suggests that a novel technique to measure the age of male sperm has the potential to predict the success and time it takes to become pregnant.

According to a newly published study by researchers at the Wayne State University, sperm epigenetic aging is the biological, rather than the chronological, aging of sperm.

The study found a 17 per cent lower cumulative probability of pregnancy after 12 months for couples with male partners in older compared to younger sperm epigenetic aging categories.

"Chronological age is a significant determinant of reproductive capacity and success among couples attempting pregnancy, but chronological age does not encapsulate the cumulative genetic and external, environmental conditions, factors, and thus it serves as a proxy measure of the 'true' biological age of cells," said researcher J. Richard Pilsner from the varsity.

"Semen quality outcomes utilising World Health Organisation guidelines have been used to assess male infertility for decades, but they remain poor predictors of reproductive outcomes. Thus, the ability to capture the biological age of sperm may provide a novel platform to better assess the male contribution to reproductive success, especially among infertile couples," Pilsner added.

For the study, published in the journal Human Reproduction, the team involved 379 male partners of couples who discontinued the use of contraception to become pregnant.

The results indicated that higher sperm epigenetic aging is associated with a longer time to become pregnant in couples not assisted by fertility treatment, and among couples that achieved pregnancy, with shorter gestation.

Sat, 14 May 2022 15:14:40 +0530
Alka Yagnik reveals Madhubala insisted on contracts that only Lata would sing her songs

Mumbai, May 14

The TV series 'Naam Reh Jaayega' has been regularly giving interesting tidbits about legendary playback singer Lata Mangeshkar who passed away recently.

Composers, film-makerd and actors alike considered it a blessing if her voice featured in their films.

On a recent episode of the show telecast on Star Plus, renowned playback singer Alka Yagnik shared little known fascinating stories about the legendary singer.

"Madhubalaji was the first actress who started making contracts which stated that only Lata Mangeshkar will sing her songs in films. Everyone wanted only Lataji to sing their songs, that's why there was always a date crunch for her, and people used to go to another extent to convince her to sing songs in their films.

"Also, when Waheeda Rehman got to know that Lataji loves chocolates she started sending chocolates to her so that Lataji agrees to do stage shows with her. Every new actress wanted that someday Lataji should sing for them, and once Lataji sang for them, they used to feel that they too are loved by Lataji."

In Star Plus' series 'Naam Reh Jaayega', eighteen of the biggest Indian singers including Sonu Nigam, Arijit Singh, Shankar Mahadevan, Nitin Mukesh, Neeti Mohan, Alka Yagnik, Sadhana Sargam, Udit Narayan, Shaan, Kumar Sanu, Amit Kumar, Jatin Pandit, Javed Ali, Aishwarya Majumdar, Sneha Pant, Pyarelal Ji, Palak Muchhal and Anwesha join hands to pay tribute to the legendary Lata Mangeshkar.

Sat, 14 May 2022 15:04:32 +0530
State of economy a cause of extreme concern Congress

Udaipur, May 14

The Congress on Saturday said that state of the Indian economy is a cause of extreme concern as the foreign exchange has depleted by $36 billion, calling for a re-set of the economic policies.

Stating that in the ongoing 'Chintan Shivir' the state of the economy featured prominently in the deliberations, the convenor of the committee on economy P. Chidbambaram told a press conference: "There are 60 members in our group. Yesterday, 37 members expressed their views over four hours. The discussions will continue today and tomorrow."

The party has concluded that the state of the Indian economy is a cause of extreme concern. A slower rate of growth has been the hallmark of the present government in the last eight years. The post-pandemic recovery has been indifferent and halting. The growth estimates of 2022-23 have been lowered from time to time in the last five months."

It said that the inflation has risen to unacceptable levels, and threatens to rise further. WPI inflation is at 14.55 per cent and CPI inflation is at 7.79 per cent.

"The government is actually fueling the rise of inflation by its wrong policies, especially through high taxes on petrol and diesel, high administered prices and high GST tax rates," Chidambaram said.

The party, in its deliberations, said that the job situation has never worse. The Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR) is at a historic low of 40.38 per cent and the unemployment rate stands at 7.83 per cent.

"We reiterate our charge that social services expenditure as a proportion of total expenditure has fallen to an average of 5 per cent (in 8 years) from an average of 9 per cent in the 10 years between 2004 and 2014," he added.

Chidambaram asserted that the external situation has added to the pressures on the economy and the government appears clueless on the ways to deal with these development as: "$22 billion has flowed out of the country in the last seven months. The foreign exchange reserves have depleted by $36 billion. The exchange rate stands at Rs 77.48 to a dollar, the highest ever."

He said that the Congress-led government ushered in a new era of liberalisation in 1991. The country has reaped enormous benefits in terms of wealth creation, new businesses and new entrepreneurs, a huge middle class, millions of jobs, exports and lifting 27 crore people out of poverty during a 10-year period. After 30 years, it is felt that taking into account global and domestic developments, it may be necessary to contemplate a re-set of the economic policies.

The party said that re-set of economic policies must also address the questions of rising inequalities, extreme poverty among the bottom 10 per cent of the population, India's rank in the Global Hunger Index 2021 (101 out of 116 countries) and evidence of widespread nutritional deficiency among women and children and a comprehensive review would also be justified by the health and education outcomes as revealed by the Annual State of Education Report 2021 (ASER 2021) and the National Family Health Survey-5 (NFHS-5).

Over 400 Congressmen and women have assembled in Udaipur to reflect on the state of the country, the political situation, the state of the economy, the role of political parties, the organisational strengths and weaknesses of the Congress party among other issues.

Sat, 14 May 2022 14:46:36 +0530
Rs 8 crore ITC fraud busted in Mumbai one held

Thane, May 13

The Thane Central GST Commissionerate has exposed a fake GST Input Tax Credit (ITC) scam and nabbed the proprietor of a firm based in Mumbai, a top official said here on Friday.

Following a reliable tipoff from the CGST Central Intelligence Unit, the anti-evasion wing of Thane launched a probe into the finances of J.J. Lime Depot, Dahisar, which was engaged in a business of construction materials, said CGST Commissioner Rajan Chaudhary.

"The investigations revealed that this firm had fraudulently claimed ITC of Rs 8.05 crore in its financial records. It had issued bogus bills of over Rs 40 crore for passing on of this tax credit without any supply of goods, violating the provisions of the CGST Act, 2017," he said.

The proprietor of the firm admitted in his statement, recorded during the investigation, that he had issued fake invoices to many Mumbai-based infrastructure companies, for a commission.

He was placed under arrest on Thursday under various sections of the laws and a Mumbai court sent him to 14 days judicial custody.

Chaudhary said that the CGST officers now use data analysis and network analysis tools to identify potential fraudsters.

"During the financial year 2021-22, the CGST Thane Commissionerate detected GST evasion of Rs 1,354 crore, recovered Rs 34 crore and arrested 7 tax evaders. CGST Commissionerate Thane will continue its drive against tax evaders in this financial year too," he said.

He added that the Thane CGST Commissionerate has performed exceedingly well not only on the anti-evasion front but also on the revenue front.

In the last fiscal (2021-2022), it notched a revenue of Rs 5,121.16 crore as compared to Rs 3,236.77 crore the previous financial year (2020-2021) - an increase of Rs 1,884.39 crore in absolute terms and a 58.22 per cent increase in comparison to the previous year.

Sat, 14 May 2022 14:44:40 +0530
62 salmonella infections linked to Belgian chocolate factory

Brussels, May 14

An investigation has concluded that 62 people were infected with salmonella after consuming Kinder chocolate products made at a Ferrero factory in Arlon, Belgium, in April, the country's Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain (FASFC) said in a statement.

The investigation was carried out jointly by the FASFC, the National Reference Laboratory (NRL) for Salmonella, and Belgium's Agency for a Quality Life (AViQ) and the Common Community Commission (GGC) Brussels, Xinhua news agency quote the FASFC as saying.

No significant increase in the number of infections is expected, the statement added.

The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control had previously reported confirmed cases of salmonella in Europe and the UK linked to the Ferrero factory in Arlon.

The FASFC decided in April to withdraw the factory's authorization to continue operations and to remind consumers to return all Kinder products manufactured at that plant.

At the end of last week, Ferrero officially submitted a new authorization request to the FASFC.

If the conclusions of the FASFC's assessment are favourable, a provisional authorisation will be granted.

Sat, 14 May 2022 14:40:17 +0530
Kerala Health Minister complains against Deputy Speaker

Thiruvananthapuram, May 14

The rift between the two Communist parties in Kerala widened on Saturday after Health Minister Veena George approached the ruling Left Democratic Front with a complaint against Deputy Speaker of State Assembly Chittayam Gopakumar, who had earlier slammed the minister for "ignoring" his constituency.

Denying all the allegations, the journalist-turned-politician George sent a detailed letter to the top brass of the front.

In her letter, the minister alleged that instead of raising his concerns at appropriate forums, the Deputy Speaker had gone public with an intention of "tarnishing" her image.

Gopakumar appears to have ulterior motives, she said, adding that the call records will reveal that she had answered his calls, contrary to him claims.

She also alleged that the Deputy Speaker did not show "political decency", as such "baseless and needless" incidents dent the morale of the political workers in the Left front.

Several in the Left are upset over the spat at this juncture as the Thrikkakara by-election is just round the corner and it would give the Congress-led opposition a chance to use the issue against the Left during campigning.

Meanwhile, it's reliably learnt that Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has expressed his ire over the issue and strictly stated that no more washing of dirty linen in public will be accepted.

Incidentally, it was Gopakumar who accused George of not inviting him on the completion of one year in power by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan-led government in the district after winning the 2021 Assembly elections.

The Health Minister is entrusted with reviewing the development in the Pathanamthitta district.

Gopakumar is a veteran CPI legislator who recently won from the Adoor constituency in the district. He had gone on record to state that he had called George several times to speak about various issues concerning the health sector in his constituency, but she has not picked his calls and neither did she call back.

He also alleged that in the ongoing first anniversary celebrations of their government, even though his name was printed in the leaflets, he was not invited.

George, in her letter, has mentioned that it was the district authorities who were responsible for inviting dignitaries and she had no role in it.

This is not the first time Gopakumar has gone public expressing his displeasure with the CPI-M government.

In April, the veteran CPI leader went public when he slammed the CPI-M after his photo was removed from a political event held in the Kerala Assembly on the birth anniversary of B.R. Ambedkar.

Gopakumar, 56, completed three terms from the reserved Adoor constituency in Pathanamthitta district during the April 2021 Assembly polls and was appointed the Deputy Speaker.

The CPI is the second major ally of the ruling CPI-M government led by Chief Minister Vijayan.

Adoor seat has of late witnessed issues between the various wings of the CPI-M and CPI, and the latest incident shows the fissures between the two Left parties in Pathanamthitta district and a section in the Left wants the present impasse has to be settled quickly.


Sat, 14 May 2022 14:36:26 +0530
How it all started and Bulldozer Baba became BJP s ticket to victory

Lucknow, May 14

The bulldozer politics that originated in Uttar Pradesh nearly two years ago has now become a mascot of the Yogi Adityanath government.

The bulldozer - usually seen as a tool of destruction and upheaval - has become a symbol of good governance. Most governments in the country, mainly BJP-led governments, are now betting on the bulldozer that is apparently bringing in more bouquets than brickbats.

The bulldozer first gained prominence in the Yogi Adityanath government in July 2020 when this mean machine was used to pull down the house of gangster Vikas Dubey in Bikru village in Kanpur. Dubey was the main accused in the massacre of eight police personnel and bulldozing his palatial house ensured speedy justice in the terror-stricken area.

Thereafter, the bulldozer was used to demolish the ill-gotten properties of mafia dons like Mukhtar Ansari and Atiq Ahmad, both of whom were behind bars.

The state government happily released photographs and videos of the houses, shopping complexes, hotels and buildings of the mafia crumbling under the power of the bulldozer.

The bulldozer gradually emerged as a symbol of justice against wrong-doers and Yogi supporters, mainly Hindus, cheered the initiative.

In the midst of the assembly election, a local daily named Yogi Adityanath as �Bulldozer Baba' and this took the BJP campaign to the next level.

Leader after leader spoke about the might of the bulldozer in the elections and how Yogi Adityanath had brought criminals down to their knees with his bulldozer.

The results of the UP assembly elections where the BJP staged a return to power, put the seal of approval on bulldozer politics and the opposition that had tried to project the bulldozer as a symbol of tyranny, was put on the backfoot.

While the results made other states like Madhya Pradesh and Delhi adopt the bulldozer formula with open arms, it also gave Yogi Adityanath the opportunity to pursue this brand of politics even more aggressively in his second term.

The UP police are now targeting those linked to mafia dons on an almost daily basis and people are lapping it up.

Bulldozer Baba's politics is getting increasingly popular and so is his image as a stern administrator who will spare no wrong doer.

Though there are allegations of the bulldozer politics being �selective' but the voices of approval are far louder.
The popularity of the bulldozer can be gauged from the fact that a whole range of bulldozer toys are now being sold on e-commerce sites like Amazon and Flipkart.

Yogi Adityanath is being felicitated with miniature bulldozers at various functions and the chief minister is not complaining.

The bulldozer politics, meanwhile, has hurt the Samajwadi Party the most.

The Samajwadi Party had used the bulldozer to hit back at the BJP in its election campaign and Akhilesh Yadav, in his every speech, projected the bulldozer as an example of dictatorship (�tanashahi') of the BJP leadership.

SP leaders drew a parallel between the bulldozer and the excesses of the Emergency but the ploy did not work. In fact, it boomeranged.

The results dampened the Samajwadi spirit because the voters, apparently, approved of the bulldozer politics.

Post-election, the Samajwadi leaders have almost stopped talking about the bulldozer and have reverted to the incidents of crime and the poor law and order situation to hit out at the Yogi Adityanath government.

Sat, 14 May 2022 14:33:10 +0530
Hyderabad man spends three days with mother s body in flat

Hyderabad, May 14

A 22-year-old man, who is said to be mentally unsound, spent three days with the body of his mother at their flat in an apartment building in Hyderabad.

Police found the body of the woman in a decomposed state after neighbours alerted them about the foul smell emanating from the flat.

Police shifted the body of Vijaya (50) for autopsy and detained her son for questioning.

The incident came to light on Saturday under the limits of Malkajgiri police station in Telangana's Medchal Malkajgiri district.

Locals suspect that the youth murdered her mother. According to them, there used to be frequent quarrels between them.

Police registered a case of death under suspicious circumstances and took up further investigation.

Sat, 14 May 2022 14:28:35 +0530
140 displaced fishermen families in TN waiting for promised permanent jobs

Chennai, May 14

At least 140 families from Kattupalli Kuppam in Tamil Nadu's Tiruvallur district, who were displaced in 2009 due to a project to build a shipyard and a port, are still awaiting for the permanent jobs they were promised.

To bring an end to their problem, members of the affected families and a group of senior citizens have petitioned Chief Minister M.K. Stalin.

Following their displacement, the families, who earned their livelihood by fishing in the deep sea, were provided housing at a place that was some 2 km away from the nearest beach.

Even though the company, which was incharge of the project, had assured in writing that one member of the family would be provided a permanent job, but to no avail.

They were given appointments on a temporary basis and were trained and given jobs in welding, fitting and crane operation.

One such displaced person, Sajith Lal said: "We were promised permanent jobs by the company and the district administration had endorsed it. Presently each of us is getting a meager salary of Rs 16,000, while those doing the same job and who are permanently employed are getting thrice of our salary along with other benefits."

Sajith said that the workers, including him, are on strike since February but the company and the district administration are not listening to them.

Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation (TIDCO) also did not hear them properly and has not brought out a solution to their woes, the affected family members said.

Social activists, who have taken up the cause, said that a cooperative society of the workers was formed in 2014 at the insistence of the company and the government and the workers are employed through this society.

C. Rajeev, Director, Centre for Policy and Development Studies who is closely monitoring the development, said: "The government should not shy away from this and take up the matter with the concerned company and the rights of the ports are now with another company.

"Whoever is the owner of the company, the government, and the Tiruvallur district administration have a commitment to the fishermen and must provide all necessary support for at least one member of the fishermen's family at Kattupalli Kuppam to be given permanent employment.

"We are taking up the matter with the state government and the Union Shipping Ministry regarding this issue."

Sat, 14 May 2022 14:25:37 +0530
Telangana can deposit 6 05 LMT of fortified parboiled rice with FCI

New Delhi, May 14

The Centre has allowed the Telangana government to deposit a total of 6.05 lakh metric tonnes (LMT) of fortified parboiled rice with the Food Corporation of India (FCI).

This would be done out of the remaining paddy of KMS 2020-21(Rabi crop) & paddy of KMS 2021-22. A letter in this regard was issued on May 11 keeping view the request of the state government.

The original milling/delivery of Customed Milled Rice (CMR) period of KMS 2020-21 (Rabi) in Telangana was up to September 2021. On the request of the state government in Telangana, this has been extended seventh time up to May 2022.

Earlier last month, Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao had staged a 'Maha Dharna' in Delhi demanding paddy procurement from his state.

The Centre had approved procurement estimate of 40.20 LMT of rice in Telangana during KMS 2021-22 (Rabi Crop) with procurement period upto June 2022 and milling period upto September 2022. As requested by the Telangana state government via a letter in April second week, which the Department of Food & Public Distribution, had approved the procurement estimate a week after that.

"Government of India has always supported procurement operations in all states, including Telangana. As compared to 15.79 LMT of rice procured during KMS 2015-16 benefitting 5,35,007 farmers with MSP value of Rs 3,417.15 crores, 94.53 LMT of rice was procured in Telangana during KMS 2020-21 benefitting 21,64,354 farmers with MSP value of Rs 26,637.39 crores," the Ministry said in a statement.

As on May 11, in the ongoing KMS 2021-22, as much as 72.71 LMT of paddy (48.72 LMT of equivalent rice) has been procured benefitting 11,14,833 farmers with MSP value Rs 14,251.59 crores, the government said.

Sat, 14 May 2022 14:21:48 +0530
NGT seeks action against industries polluting Ganga in UP

New Delhi, May 14

The National Green Tribunal has directed Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary to look into the river polluting industrial activities and take action against the discharge of untreated sewage in River Bhella, which ultimately meets the river Ganga.

NGT chairperson Adarsh Kumar Goel-led bench was dealing with the execution of a tribunal order passed last year, in which directions were issued for remedial action against the pollution in the river Bhella which meets Kosi river in Rampur, a tributary of Ramganga that reaches Ganga.

The tribunal noted that there is a high level of faecal coliform and other waste in the river and it is not meeting the bathing criteria and water quality had deteriorated.

"Imbalance, as is being caused today, needs to be remedied to prevent threatening reduction of flow in the rivers. This may be done by a joint Committees in the atates of UP and Uttarakhand, headed by Additional Chief Secretary, Agriculture with nominees of Departments of Soil Conservation, Forest, Water Resources and Panchayati Raj and Rural Development," it directed.

"Since the tributaries in question ultimately meet the river Ganga, stern steps for rejuvenation of Ramganga and East Kali carrying the waste of the catchment, having agro-based industries are required to be taken. Discharge of untreated sewage has to be stopped. Let Chief Secretary UP look into the matter and take remedial action," the order dated May 12 said.

The green court said there are three issues for consideration --preventing pollution, checking illegal extraction of groundwater, and recovering compensation for past violations.

"Let the monitoring norms be reviewed accordingly and for the past violations, further remedial action taken in terms of recovery of compensation for the violations for being used for the restoration of environment and augmentation of groundwater levels," it said.

The Tribunal earlier found that pollution of river Bhella in Moradabad was taking place due to untreated discharge of pollutants by industries, apart from other sources. One of the major polluting industries was Radico Khaitan Limited.

In the plea, it was alleged that the State authorities concerned have failed to take necessary steps for enforcement of the order of this Tribunal.

Sat, 14 May 2022 14:19:54 +0530
Scindia to examine matter of passengers being charged for boarding passes

New Delhi, May 14

Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia assured that he will examine the matter of passengers being charged extra for generating boarding passes at the airport.

Scindia's comments came after a passenger took to Twitter to allege that domestic carrier SpiceJet had introduced a new rule where the airline is charging extra for issuing boarding cards at the check-in counter.

"new rule of SpiceJet. If you wish to get a boarding card at the check in counter, you need to pay extra. This is like telling a customer In a restaurant that if you want eat in a plate, you will be charged. Wonder what's consumer forum doing!@flyspicejet." a passenger Dr Neeti Shikha tweeted.

Shikha added how can an airline charge a consumer extra for a ticket that one has already paid for.

Recently, Scindia had taken cognisance of another airport incident where he had said that he will investigate the alleged mistreatment by an IndiGo staff on a specially-abled child at the Ranchi airport.

On May 7, an IndiGo manager reportedly did not allow a specially-abled child to board a flight.

Meanwhile, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) sought a report from IndiGo over the incident.

Sat, 14 May 2022 14:17:39 +0530
K taka acid attacker injured in police shootout

Bengaluru, May 14

The Karnataka police have allegedly shot an acid attacker on the leg while he was attempting to escape on Saturday.

According to police sources, the acid attacker Nagesh, who was absconding, had managed to escape from the police since April 28.

The shootout took place when the police were bringing him back to Karnataka from Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu.

The police allegedly shot Nagesh on the right leg while he attempted to escape from them on the pretext of attending nature's call.

He has been admitted in a hospital.

The police said the accused had attacked police constable Mahadevaiah while the latter caught him while trying to escape.

The Karnataka police had arrested Nagesh on Friday in Tiruvannamalai. He had disguised himself as a religious seer.

The policehad formed 10 special teams to nab him as they came under criticism for the delaying the arrest.

After 16 days, Kamakshipalya police finally nabbed the accused.

The police were working on clues that the accused was a devotee and visited pilgrimage centres.

After searching all religious places, the police could not find any clue as the accused had managed to hide in an 'ashram' as a religious sage, police sources said.

The accused allegedly wore a saffron robe and pretended to be a spiritual man.

The police also entered the ashram as devotees and managed to find clues about Nagesh and finally nabbed him.

The incident had taken place on April 28.

The attacker Nagesh, who was waiting in an autorickshaw near the workplace of a girl at Sunkadakatte in Bengaluru, chased and poured acid on her.

The girl sustained 35 per cent burn injuries.

The police said the accused studied in the same school with the victim.

After facing rejection from the girl, the accused attacked her.

Karnataka Health Minister, K. Sudhakar had visited the victim in the hospital and assured her free treatment.

He also announced that the state government would provide her a job once she recovers.

Sat, 14 May 2022 14:15:29 +0530
24 women missing in Mundka inferno

New Delhi, May 14

At least 24 women and five men are still reportedly missing in the massive building fire in New Delhi's Mundka that has claimed the lives of 27 people, a latest report revealed on Saturday.

The report was provided by the civil defence team at the Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Hospital where the bodies from Friday's inferno were shifted, while relatives of the missing persons kept arriving to locate their loved ones.

According to the report, only one injured person is currently being treated in the hospital.

A total 14 injured persons were brought to the hospital following the incident.

The rest 13 have been discharged, the report added.

Manoj Thakur, who hails from Saharsa in Bihar, said that he is trying to locate his wife Soni who was at the building at when the fire erupted.

He said Soni had called him telling him about the fire, but her phone was switched off after that.

"We are moving from pillar to post to find her," Manoj said.

Relatives of the missing persons have also complained that not a single political representative from the area have come to the hospital for inquiry.

"We are still waiting that our MLA or MP will come to console us at the hospital as we have lost our family members in this unfortunate incident," one of the relatives said.

Meanwhile, Delhi Police have started the process to identify the bodies in the hospital.

A Delhi Police official said: "We are allowing two people per missing person to go inside the hospital to help in the process."


Sat, 14 May 2022 14:10:00 +0530
The great children of Bharat Ma who stopped Islamic Terror

Anupama Nair


I had written about the degradation of Indian culture, tradition, religion after the mlechas set up their rule. Now I am writing about the brave sons and daughters of Bhatrat Ma who fought against these tyrants. Let me start with Naiki Devi

In the year 1173, the young Ghurid prince, Muhammad Shahabuddin Ghori had just managed to conquer the Ghaznavids in Afghanistan, and he did something which no other king could do, -- the troops of Alexander the Great, the Persians, the Arabs and even Mahmud of Ghazni could not — conduct successful invasion deep into the heart of the Indian Subcontinent. Muhammad Ghori first invaded Multan and the fortress of Uch. After achieving victories in Multan and Uch, he eyed the Rajputana and Gujarat. Can you guess his target? -- the prosperous and well-fortified town of Anhilwara Patan (Gujarat). It was established by Vanraj of the Chapotkata dynasty in the 8th century, and Anhilwara Patan was the capital of the Chalukya (also known as the Solankis) who ousted the Chapotkatas.

Ghori was confident he would defeat the kingdom as he assumed a mere woman and her child would not provide much resistance. But unfortunately for him , he learnt a lesson-- never to underestimate the great valor of a young Indian queen. Unconcerned about the prospect of Ghori’s impending attack, she took command of the Chalukyan army and threw herself into organizing a well-planned opposition to the invading army. Nayaki Devi now was thinking of a strategy to defeat the enemy. She even cleverly chose the site of the battle -- the hilly passes of Gadaraghatta at the foot of Mount Abu near the village of Kasahrada, (Kyara in Sirohi district which is 65 km away from Anahilavada). The narrow passes gained were a huge advantage and surprisingly, the invading army was at great disadvantage. The Chaulukyan army was headed by Nayaki Devi with the boy-king sitting on her lap. Her army and the troop of elephants crushed the massive army, which were famous for defeating the mighty Sultans of Multan. Nayaki Devi killed several enemy soldiers, and Ghori the coward he was, fled with a handful of bodyguards. The battle was known as Battle of Kasahrada.

Kurma Devi was the brave daughter of a braver mother. She was a witness to her mother defeating the cruel invader Ghori. She was married to Samar Singh, the Rawal of Chittorgarh, who had two wives. His first wife was Prithabai who was the sister of one of  India’s greatest sons – Prithvi Raj Chauhan and the other wife was Kurma Devi. Prithvi Raj Chauhan fought Muhammad Ghori, and was martyred, but killed Ghori too.

Unfortunately, Samar Singh and his eldest son were killed in the Second  Battle Of Tarain (1191-92 AD) that was fought between Prithvi Raj Chauhan and Muhammad Ghori. After the war Ghori returned to Multan and left Qutub-ud-din Aibak in charge of Delhi. Now let us talk about Quṭub-ud-Dīn Aibak who was the founder of the Mamluk dynasty and the first sultan of the Delhi Sultanate. He was born in Turkistan and was a slave. When his master died, he was sold by his master’s son to Muhammad of Gori, who made him the Amir-i-Akhur (Master of Slaves). Over the years, he joined Gori’s military and rose to become the general of Muhammad of Gori.

Kurma Devi had to look after her young son Karan Singh. After a couple of years, Kurma Devi led her army with nine other kings and eleven Rawats, in her march towards Delhi to seek revenge against the man who had killed her husband, and kill him -- Qutub-ud-Din Aibak. Kurma Devi and her army encountered Qutub-ud-Din Aibak and his army near the old Amber Fort. She herself confronted Aibak and challenged him in a duel. What a brave woman to challenge a sultan! In the duel, this brave queen managed to bury her sword deep into Qutub-ud-Din’s flesh, and he was so severely wounded that he tumbled from his horse. Aibak’s army believed he was dead, and the cowards that they were, instead of fighting back they fled from the battlefield. Kurma Devi thought that she had avenged the death of her dead husband with the death of Qutub-ud-din and she returned to Chittorgarh.

Now I am going to write about the brave Ratan Singh who was the Rana of Mewar. According to Jayasi, she was the daughter of the king of Singhal or Sri Lanka. She was famous for her beauty and her archery skills. She had a talking parrot Hiraman, and the king hated their friendship, So, the parrot was ordered to be executed. However, it somehow escaped and managed to reach the palace of the king of Mewar Rana Ratan Singh. The parrot praised the beauty of Rani Padmavati and Rana Ratan Singh who was enchanted by her beauty was determined to marry her. He reached Singhal and he married her after he fulfilled her vow of defeating her in a duel. However, his first wife Nagmati refused to accept her.

There was a Brahmin courtier in the court of Ratan Singh called Raghav Chetan. He was banished from the kingdom by Ratan Singh for fraud. Raghav reached Delhi to the court of the cruel and lusty Sultan Allaudin Khilji. He praised the beauty of Rani Padmavati and the womanizer that he was, Allaudin decided to obtain her and hence, attacked Chittor. However, he failed to conquer Chittor and offered a fake peace treaty to Ratan Singh and deceitfully captured him. However, a sequence of events followed and the brave Rana was released from his captivity by his loyal men, Gora and Badal who entered the fort by disguising as Rani Padmavati while they sat inside the palanquin. In a battle Rana Ratan Singh was martyred and Allaudin then attacked Chittor. The brave women of Chittor led by Padmavati committed Jauhar to save their honor from the lusty Islamic invaders.

Many centuries later Bharat was invaded by the Mughals who has the distinction of the most tyrannical rulers in mankind. It was Rana Sanga who managed to save his country was martyred. Rana Sanga was born to the Sisodia king Rana Raimal and his queen Ratan Kunwar. After he became the king, Sanga reunited the warring Rajput clans through diplomacy and marital alliances. According to folklores, Sanga had fought one hundred battles and lost only once. In various struggle he lost his wrist and was crippled.  He also removed the Jaziya tax which was earlier imposed by the Sultans who ruled India. He was the last independent Hindu king of Northern India to control a significant territory and contemporary texts described him as the “Hindu Emperor”.

After conquering Malwa, Sanga turned his attention towards North Eastern Rajasthan which was then under the control of an ally of  the Khillji’s Ibrahim Lodi of Delhi. This battle between Lodi and Sanga is called the Battle of Khanwa. It was the second major battle fought in modern-day India, after the Battle of Panipat. After hearing the news of Sanga attacking his territory, Lodi prepared an army and marched against Mewar in 1517. There was a fierce battle and the army of Lodi suffered serious injury and the cowards they were, they fled. One Lodi prince was captured and imprisoned. The brave Rana Sanga lost an arm by a sword cut, and an arrow made him lame for life.

On 21 April 1526, the Babur invaded India for the fifth time and defeated Ibrahim Lodhi in the First Battle of Panipat and executed him. After the battle, Sanga unified several Rajput clans for the first time since Prithvi Raj Chauhan, and built an army of 100,000 Rajput soldiers and proceeded to Agra. The Mughals managed to capture the Bayana Fort and a major clash took place in Bayana in 1527 in which Mughal forces led by Chin Timur Khan were defeated by Rajput forces led by Prithvi Raj Kachwaha and later by Rana Sanga  himself. The defeat was the last of Rana Sanga success.

The Mughals were terrified by Rajput valor and asked Babur to leave for Kabul. This is the main difference between Indian warriors and the foreigners from Muhammad Ghori as we fight till the last breath, while these cowards flee at the time of danger. In the battle fought at Khanwa, the Mughal were victorious due to their cannons, matchlocks and other firearms. Following his victory, Babur ordered a tower of enemy skulls to be erected, a practice followed by his ancestor Taimur the Lame, against his adversaries, irrespective of their religious beliefs. While he was preparing to wage another war against Babur, he was poisoned by his own nobles who did not want another battle. He died in Kalpi in 1528,  and was succeeded by his son Ratan Singh II.

We should appreciate such great souls who gave up their lives for their motherland.

Sat, 14 May 2022 10:31:55 +0530
My country Dark Ages tears of shame and despair

Anupama Nair


Bharat, Aryavarta, or India whatever name you call her, has always been known as “cradle of civilization”. India is a country in the continent of Asia whose name comes from Sindhu or Indus River. The name 'Bharat' is also  a name used for the country after the Emperor Bharat, whose story is told, in the epic Mahabharata.

The Puranas stated Bharat conquered the whole of Indian Subcontinent and he was said to have ruled his country in peace and harmony. The country, hence came to be known as ‘Bharatavarsha’. Nearly  lakhs of years ago, Hominid activity was excavated in the Indian subcontinent and goes back to over 250,000 years, and we can proudly say, “one of the oldest inhabited regions on the planet”.

I spoke about ancient India and the pride I felt in my matrubhoomi and her greatness. Unfortunately, when Bharat Ma’s great son Prithvi Raj was martyred, it was an epoch-making event that heralded Islamic terrorism till 17th Century, when the Mughal rule thankfully lost its importance after the death of the most tyrannical and butcher of humans Aurangzeb. The history books written by the ultra-left who were haters of anything Hindu, glorified these looters. As a young child I refused to learn such glorification and got low marks in history for the first time in my life.

In 1191, Ghori the Gurid prince was defeated by Prithvi Raj, the ruler of Ajmer and Delhi, in the First Battle of Tarain. In 1192 however Prithvi Raj was defeated by Mohammad Ghori at Tarain. Prithvi Raj killed the tyrant before he was killed. This marked the commencement of permanent Muslim rule in India. He then took Ajmer, Delhi, Kanauj, Banaras, Gwalior etc.

Qutub-ud-din set up the Slave Dynasty. The Vishnu Dwaj was destroyed and Qutab Minar was built instead. The cruel dynasty continued till 13th Century. Then came the even crueler Allaudin Khilji who was famous for his treachery and his lustful nature. The attack of Chittor is famous because of his lust the brave Rajputs sacrificed their lives  After the Khiljis came the Tughlaqs who were known for their foolishness. Muhammad Tughlaq might be the most foolish ruler in the history of India.

Later on, after him the cruel assassin who butchered humans, Taimur also took the same route taken by Gori in his conquest of North West India in 1383

Ibrahim Lodi was the son of Sikandar Lodhi. He was very tyrannical by nature. His people and nobles were disgusted with him. In 1526, Babar defeated him at Panipat which resulted in the end of Lodhi dynasty. Babar then laid the foundation of Mughal rule in India. It was an unfortunate event as Babar laid the foundation of the cruelest empire in history. All the Mughal emperors destroyed temples, killed innocent Hindus and forced people to convert. They were responsible for the death of many Sikh Gurus like Guru Arjan and Guru Teg Bahadur. Babar, Akbar, Shah Jehan and Aurangzeb were known for destroying temples for their pleasure. Ram Temple was destroyed by Babur, Kashi and Mathura was destroyed by Aurangzeb. Even the Taj Mahal was once a Hindu temple! There was a reign of terror and bloodbath. How much Bharat Ma must have cried to see her children suffer, but she could do little as she was in chains? It was truly Dark Ages, as Bharat known for her inventions in the Ancient times had nothing but backwardness to show. The West meanwhile caught up.

In the beginning of the Mughal period, they met resistance from Sher Shah Suri. He  humbled the Mughal ruler Humayun, and forced him into exile. During the brief period of his rule, he attempted to set up a national state and introduced some reforms which brought him the title of the forerunner of Akbar. His tomb at Sasaram (Bihar) is considered to be a noble specimen of art.

Aurangzeb’s intolerance, policy of over-centralization, suspicious nature and his lack of the qualities of a statesman were are responsible for the downfall of the Mughal Empire in 1707. If you compare, the British were less tyrannical than the Muslim rulers as they bought many modern reforms which in turn helped us.

These invaders are glorified by the historians in India as if they came to my great country for the benefit of Indians and not to loot the great wealth which India was always famous for. They have streets named after them; their portraits are hung in the party office of a political party I do not want to name here. An actor couple named their son after one such invader, as if there was shortage of names.

I am going to write about those brave children of Bharat Ma who tried to defeat these tyrants and free her from their clutches, and finally Islamic rule ended.




Sat, 14 May 2022 10:22:33 +0530
Austrian glaciers likely to disappear by end of century WMO

Vienna, May 14

Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), warned that Austrian glaciers are likely to disappear entirely by the end of this century due to global warming.

Speaking to Austrian media on Friday, Taalas said that the melting of glaciers and polar ice will "continue for centuries" in spite of the fight against climate change, and he "has no more hope for the Austrian glaciers", reports Xinhua news agency

Glaciers in Switzerland, another Alpine country, are also expected to shrink to only 5 per cent of their current size by the end of the century, he said.

The melting of glaciers will impact the supply of drinking water and electricity production and raise the sea level, threatening a number of megacities, the WMO chief warned.

However, the WMO Secretary-General said he remains cautiously optimistic about the global efforts to mitigate climate change, with politicians' strong climate pledges at the Glasgow climate conference held in UK in 2021 and private companies' technological advances.


Sat, 14 May 2022 10:04:14 +0530
IPL 2022 Bairstow set it up for us says Punjab Kings Livingstone after 54 run win over RCB

Mumbai, May 14

Punjab Kings all-rounder Liam Livingstone of England credited his compatriot Jonny Bairstow with setting the tone for his team's comprehensive 54-run over Royal Challengers Bangalore with a blazing knock in Match 60 of IPL at the Brabourne Stadium here on Friday.

Bairstow hammered 66 off 29 deliveries, hitting four boundaries and seven huge sixes in a brilliant display of power-hitting that set the stage for Livingstone's 42-ball 70 that took Punjab Kings to 209/9 in 20 overs.

In reply, Royal Challengers Bangalore were restricted to 155/9 in 20 overs, the team from the south losing its momentum after former skipper Virat Kohli and his successor Faf du Plessis were out in the powerplay with the score 34/2 in the fifth over. Rajat Patidar (26) and Glenn Maxwell (35) raised 51 runs for the fourth wicket but once they were out, RCB lost steam and went on with the motion.

"Jonny set it up perfectly for the rest of the batters and I think the way we bowled was pretty exceptional on a very good pitch. If we get our chance to put the opposition under pressure, then make sure we do that and I thought Jonny did that perfectly today to one of their best bowlers throughout the tournament. The intent that he showed in his first over put us way ahead of the game, not just in the game but mentally as well. The way Jonny went out there and played today, we know how good he is at the top of the order and he showed that," Livingstone said at the post-match presentation on Friday.

About his and Bairstow's innings, Livingstone said, "It's how we want to play our cricket. I thought Jonny was outstanding and really set the tone and from then on, I thought we were ahead of the game and it gave us a chance, especially myself, to get in and assess the conditions a little bit longer than usual. So it was nice to be able to knock it around for a little bit before setting a platform to go at the end. Jonny set it up perfectly for the rest of the batters and I think the way we bowled was pretty exceptional on a very good pitch. I still thought we were 10-15 short with the size of the boundary and how good the pitch was so I think all credit goes to our bowlers."

Livingstone, who was troubled by a tight calf/Achilles and had to ice it as a precaution, said he has a difficult role in the team, going up and down the batting order.

"It's been a different role. I've been up and down the order and just trying to make a contribution in every game wherever I am. Sometimes I come in with three overs left, sometimes I've come in the Powerplay. The proudest thing for me is being able to contribute in all areas of the game is pretty pleasing for me. I feel like I'm seeing the ball well at the moment and it's nice to be able to put in performances that go a long way to winning your team the game. So it's been nice to get a few runs and long may it continue," Livingstone said.

He said having the skillset to be able to bat anywhere in the order sets him up really well.

"Having the sort of knowledge to bat in the Powerplay but also having the skills to come in and hit from ball one at the death is something I work really hard on and I pride myself on. So wherever the team and the coach and the captain want me to bat, I'll try to do the best of my ability to affect the game in that situation," said the 28-year-old Livingstone.


Sat, 14 May 2022 09:55:32 +0530
More charred remains found from Mundka inferno death toll likely to go up

New Delhi, May 14

The death toll in the Mundka inferno may further increase as search operation teams have found more charred remains from the second floor of the ill-fated four-storey building. Fatalities currently stand at 27

"The death toll may likely go up," Delhi Fire Service chief Atul Garg told IANS on Saturday.

The top fire department official also shared a picture of the remains that were found just minutes ago by the NDRF team present at the scene of the blaze that erupted on Friday.

As many as 27 people were killed in the major fire incident on Friday afternoon while 12 sustained injuries.

The bodies that were recovered fare yet to be identified and the help of forensic teams will be utilised for the purpose.

The reason being most of the bodies were burnt to such an extent that, even it was difficult to establish whether charred remains were of a man or a woman.

Scenes of chaos prevailed for the whole night at the Sanjay Gandhi hospital where the bodies from the incident were shifted and the relatives of the missing persons kept arriving to locate their loved ones.

As per the latest reports, the NDRF teams are still conducting the search operation.


Sat, 14 May 2022 09:49:13 +0530
The evolution of Plants

Anupama Nair


The evolution of plants in itself resulted in a wide range of complexity i.e., from the earliest algal mats, through multicellular marine and freshwater green algae, like terrestrial bryophytes, lycopods and ferns, to the complex gymnosperms and angiosperms which in layman terms are flowering plants we see today. You can still find some of the earliest groups thriving, as exemplified by red and green algae in marine environments. The more recent derived groups have displaced previously ecologically dominant ones -- for example, the ascendance of flowering plants over gymnosperms in terrestrial environments. There is evidence that cyanobacteria and multi-cellular photosynthetic eukaryotes lived in freshwater communities on land as early as 1 billion years ago, and that communities of complex, multicellular photo-synthesizing organisms existed on land in the late Precambrian, Period that was around 850 million years ago.

Evidence of the emergence of embryophyte land plants first occurred in the mid-Ordovician Period which was nearly 470 million years ago, and by the middle of the Devonian Period nearly 390 million years ago, and has many of the features now found in land plants today including roots and leaves. By late Devonian period some plants such as Archaeopteris had secondary vascular tissue that produced wood and had formed forests of tall trees. Evolutionary innovation continued throughout the rest of the Phanerozoic eon and still continues today. Most plant groups were relatively unharmed by the ‘Permo-Triassic extinction event’. This may have set the scene for the appearance of the flowering plants in the Triassic nearly 200 million years ago, and their later diversification in the Cretaceous and Paleogene. The latest major group of plants to evolve were the grasses, which became important in the mid-Paleogene nearly 40  million years ago. The grasses, as well as many other groups, evolved new mechanisms of metabolism to survive the low CO2 and warm, dry conditions of the places near the equator called tropics around 10 million years ago.

Land plants evolved from a group of green algae, perhaps as early as 850 million years ago, but algae-like plants might have evolved as early as 1 billion years ago. The closest living relatives of land plants are called the charophytes, specifically Charales and we can assume that the habit of the Charales has changed not much since the divergence of lineages. We can safely say that the land plants evolved from a branched, filamentous alga dwelling in shallow fresh water, perhaps at the edge of seasonally desiccating pools. However, some recent evidence suggests that land plants might have originated from unicellular terrestrial charophytes resembling the  extant Klebsormidiophyceae. The algae would have had a haplontic life cycle. It would only very briefly have had paired chromosomes  i.e., when the egg and sperm first fused to form a zygote that would have immediately separated by meiosis to produce cells with half the number of unpaired chromosomes

Plants were not the first living organisms that photosynthesizes on land. Weathering rates suggest that organisms capable of photosynthesis were already living on the land 1,200 million years ago, and microbial fossils have been found in freshwater lake deposits from 1,000 million years ago. What are fossils? “Fossils are the preserved remains, or traces of remains, of ancient organisms. Fossils are not the remains of the organism itself! They are rocks. A fossil can preserve an entire organism or just part of one. Bones, shells, feathers, and leaves can all become fossils”. 

However, the carbon isotope record suggested that they were too less to impact the atmospheric composition until around 850 million years ago. Evidence of the earliest land plants occurred much later at about 470 million years ago, in lower middle Ordovician rocks from Saudi Arabia, and Gondwana in the form of spores with decay-resistant walls. These spores, called as crypto spores, were produced either singly or in pairs or groups of four, and their microstructure resembles that of modern liverwort spores,

A ‘snowball earth’, from around 720-635 million years ago in the Cryogenian period, is believed to have been caused by early photosynthetic organisms, which reduced the concentration of carbon dioxide and increased the amount of oxygen in the atmosphere.

The evolutionary history of plants is recorded in fossils were preserved in lowland or marine sediments. Some fossils preserve the external form of plant parts, while others show cellular features and still many others consist of micro-fossils such as pollen and spores. In rare instances, fossils may even display the ultrastructural or chemical features of the plants they represent.

In fact, plants and trees today are a necessity as they purify the air.


Fri, 13 May 2022 23:46:43 +0530
IPL 2022 Blazing fifties by Bairstow Livingstone help Punjab Kings post 209 9 against Royal Challe

Mumbai, May 13  

Attacking half-centuries by English batters Jonny Bairstow (66 off 29 balls) and Liam Livingstone (70 off 42 balls) overshadowed superb bowling by Harshal Patel (4/34) as Punjab Kings posted a massive 209/9 in 20 overs against Royal Challengers Bangalore in Match 60 of IPL 2022 at the Brabourne Stadium here on Friday.

Bairstow started the early carnage on the freaky Friday against Royal Challengers Bangalore, completing his half-century in 21 deliveries, helping Punjab Kings reach 83/1 in the power-play. Bairstow was eventually out for 66 off 29 deliveries after one of the most astounding assaults in IPL history, tonking the pacers without mercy, hitting them across the line on a pitch that had and offered a bit of swing. But Bairstow negated that and did not give the RCB bowlers much time to settle down and

After RCB had reeled in the free-scoring Punjab Kings in the middle overs by claiming some quick wickets, Livingstone got into the act and took them past the 200-run mark.

Livingstone took over the mantle of scoring runs from his colleague from England, got himself set, and then blasted some superb shots late in the innings to complete his half0-century off 35 balls as Punjab Kings set Royal Challengers Bangalore a stiff target to chase. He was eventually out, caught behind by Dinesh Karthik off Harshal Patel on the second ball of the 20th over for a 42-ball 70. Punjab Kings lost Rishi Dhawan (7) and Rahul Chahar (2) in the final over as they finished with 209/9 in 20 overs, setting RCB a stiff target to chase.

Harshal Patel was the most successful bowler for Royal Challengers Bangalore, claiming 4/34 while Wanindu Hasaranga applied the brakes in the middle overs with superb figures of 2/15 in his four overs.

Earlier, Bairstow started in fourth gear as he launched an astonishing attack in the powerplay, blasting seven sixes as Punjab Kings piled up 83/1in the first six overs -- the highest this season. It was the sixth-highest power-play score in IPL history -- the list led by Kolkata Knight Riders, who had blasted 105/0 against Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2017.

And they had Bairstow to thank for that brilliant start as the England batter launched an early assault, feasting on some innocuous bowling as he was fed short balls on middle and leg stump initially, and later he started picking those on the off and pulling them across the line to the square-leg region.

He made his intentions clear with a six off Glenn Maxwell in the first over and then waded into Josh Hazlewood in the second, hammering him for two sixes and two fours for 20 runs.

With Shikhar Dhawan taking a single and a wide, the over cost RCB 22 runs. He jumped out and swung Hazlewood from around his front pad and deposited him high over cow corner. After the Aussie pacer send down a wide, Bairstow blasted the next legal delivery for a huge six over square-leg, hitting across the line once again.

Faf du Plessis responded by taking off Hazlewood and bringing in Mohammad Siraj but Bairstow pulled him flat over square-leg for a six off the third delivery. An over later, he hammered Siraj for three sixes, swatting his back of the length delivery well over long-on, flicking off his toes for another effortless six that brought his half-century in 21 deliveries and smashing the last ball of the over flat over the mid-wicket boundary.

With Bairstow dispatching the first ball of the over from a boundary, the over cost 23 runs in all as Siraj had bowled a beamer too.

He shared a 60-run partnership with Dhawan (21, 15 balls, 4 x 2, 6 x1), the India opener enjoying the carnage from the best seat available in the stadium before attempting a slog-sweep off Maxwell, missing it completely and the ball hit the stumps.

Led by Wanindu Hasranga, who gave away three runs while claiming the wicket of Rajapaksa in the seventh over, Royal Challengers applied the brakes on the free-scoring Punjab Kings as the middle overs from seven to 15 cost them only 40/3.

Punjab Kings lost Bhanuka Rajapaksa (1), Bairstow (66), and skipper Mayank Agarwal (19) in this period. But then Livingstone ensured that PBKS crossed the 200-run mark, sharing a 51-run partnership with skipper Mayank Agarwal (19) and blasting 24 runs off the 19th over bowled by Hazlewood, who finished with disappointing figures of 0/64 off his four overs.

Brief scores: Punjab Kings 209/9 in 20 overs (Jonny Bairstow 66, Shikhar Dhawan 21, Liam Livingstone 70; Harshal Patel 4/34, Wanindu Hasaranga 2/15) against Royal Challengers Bangalore. 


Fri, 13 May 2022 23:40:08 +0530
IPL 2022 Blazing fifties by Bairstow Livingstone help Punjab Kings post 209 9 against Royal ChalleFri, 13 May 2022 23:34:06 +0530Stem cell therapy repairs damaged heart spurs hope for heart attack patients

London, May 13

A team of German, Swedish, and British scientists has developed a new stem cell therapy which can repair a damaged heart, following a heart attack.

Although a human heart has the ability to make new muscle and possibly repair itself, the rate of regeneration is so slow that it can't fix the kind of damage caused by a heart attack. A heart attack also creates scar tissue in place of working muscle tissue, which is less elastic.

But, the team, including scientists at AstraZeneca in collaboration with the Technical University of Munich (TUM), Karolinska Institutet, and Procella Therapeutics, a Swedish biotech, created a new stem cell therapy using human ventricular progenitor (HVP) cells to help pig hearts to repair itself.

HVP cells are known to play a crucial role in formation of the heart during embryonic development.

In the study, published in Nature Cell Biology, the team used pig models with acute injury and chronic ischemic heart failure. They demonstrated that HVP cells helped regenerate a healthy cardiac tissue following a heart attack. The therapy also showed to improve cardiac function and reduce scar tissue.

"Our research team was able to demonstrate in a laboratory setting how HVP cells can migrate to damaged regions of the heart, mature into healthy working heart cells, while preventing the formation of scar tissue," said Karl-Ludwig Laugwitz, Professor of Cardiology at TUM.

"These findings highlight a significant milestone in the potential therapeutic use of HVP cells in the treatment of patients with serious heart failure, especially amongst older populations for whom heart surgery may represent an excessive strain in recovery," Laugwitz said.

The team hopes to start clinical studies in humans within the next two years.

The researchers said their results show that damage to the heart can be reliably repaired even in large animals with no serious side effects observed.

The team used pigs to study the effectiveness of treating a damaged heart because of their physiological similarity to humans.

The study "provides new hope for the millions of patients worldwide with end-stage heart failure waiting for a heart transplant", said Kenneth R. Chien, Professor of Cardiovascular Research at Karolinska Institutet.


Fri, 13 May 2022 23:27:09 +0530
Delhi building fire claims 16 lives more casualties feared

New Delhi, May 13

As many as 16 people have been killed in a major fire that broke out in a three-storey building at the Mundka area of the national capital on Friday afternoon, a Fire Department official said.

"So far we have recovered 16 bodies and the number of casualties is likely to go up," Delhi Fire Service chief Atul Garg told IANS.

However, Delhi Police officials said that as of now, 14 people have been killed in the inferno while 12 people have sustained injuries. According to the police, around 60-70 persons have been rescued from the building.

The top Fire Department official informed that they received a call about the incident at 4.40 p.m. from a building located near Pillar No. 544 in Mundka in west Delhi, after which 10 fire engines were immediately pressed into service.

As per visuals released from the spot, thick fumes of black smoke along with a massive blaze could be seen billowing out of the ill-fated three-storey building. The firemen used the fire truck ladder to reach out to the maximum possible height to spray water over the blaze.

The inferno is yet to be brought under control at the time of filing of this report.

Meanwhile, a senior police officer said that they also received a call about the incident at 4.45 p.m. following which the local police rushed to the spot.

"Police officers broke the windows of the building and rescued many inmates who were rushed to the hospital," the officer said.

Based on preliminary inquiry, the police said it was a three-storey commercial building used for providing office space to companies. The fire first broke out on the first floor of the building which houses a CCTV and router manufacturing company.

The police have detained the owner of the company and his antecedents are being examined. The rescue operation is still going on.


Fri, 13 May 2022 22:50:15 +0530
65 yr man suffers injuries as Ola Electric scooter s reverse mode fails

New Delhi, May 13

In yet another tragic incident involving Ola Electric's controversial 'reverse mode', a 65-year-old man in Jodhpur suffered serious injuries after the Ola e-scooter unexpectedly went into a reverse mode at full speed.

Pallav Maheshwari, who is the son of the victim and returned to India last year and was 'ecstatic' about the country's EV revolution, posted on LinkedIn that his father suffered serious injuries in the incident.

"The software bug in the #olaelectric scooter of going in the reverse mode at full speed has severely injured my father. He was the one who even at the age of 65 is very active and was enthusiastic to use #ola #electricvehicle Please look at what your #poorlytested scooter has done to him," Maheshwari posted, along with some pictures of his father.

"He has banged his head on a wall with almost the skull open (with 10 stiches now) and broken his left arm which would have to be operated with 2 plates inserted," he claimed.

Ola Electric was yet to address the new incident.

Several Ola Electric customers have complained about the reverse mode accelerator glitch in the past.

Balwant Singh from Guwahati had tweeted last month that his son met with an accident "due to fault in regenerative braking where on a speed breaker instead of slowing, the scooter accelerated, sending so much torque that he had an accident".

Ola Electric had said it did a thorough investigation of the accident and the "data clearly shows that the rider was over-speeding throughout the night and that he braked in panic, thereby losing control of the vehicle. There was nothing wrong with the vehicle".

The accident happened on March 26 when Singh's son was driving an Ola S1 Pro.

"The scooter went airborne before crashing and skidding. My son was hospitalized on March 26 and had a fracture in left hand and 16 stitches in right hand due to fault in Ola S1 Pro," tweeted Balwant Singh who is still fighting with the company on social media.

Fri, 13 May 2022 15:14:50 +0530
Two top heroines being considered for upcoming Prabhas starrer Spirit

Hyderabad, May 13

Prabhas, who recently appeared in 'Radhe Shyam' alongside Pooja Hegde, is now busily shooting for his next movie 'Project K' under Nag Ashwin's direction.

Prabhas will next star in a movie titled 'Spirit', which will be directed by 'Arjun Reddy' fame Sandeep Reddy Vanga.

Apparently, either Rashmika Mandanna or Kiara Advani will be paired with Prabhas in his upcoming thriller drama, 'Spirit'.

It is reported that Sandeep feels either Rashmika or Kiara will best suit Prabhas in the film and he will be locking one of them for the film soon.

Notably, Sandeep is already collaborating with Rashmika for Ranbir Kapoor's 'Animal'.

Kiara, on the other hand, is to star opposite Ram Charan under Shankar Shanmugam's direction.

'Spirit' will hit the floors once Prabhas wraps up his current commitments- 'Project K' and 'Salaar'.

Fri, 13 May 2022 15:11:31 +0530
Stalin likely to head TN delegation to World Economic Forum meet

Chennai, May 13

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin is likely to lead a delegation from the state to attend the four-day World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting to be held in Davos, Switzerland from May 22.

Sources in the Tamil Nadu government said that the delegation is likely to include state Industries Minister Thangam Thenarasu and officials from departments of industries, finance, and health.

The Tamil Nadu side is focusing on wooing investments for the state citing its vibrant industrial culture and the several investments the state has received ever since the DMK government assumed office even amid the tough days of Covid -19 pandemic.

It is to be noted that Tamil Nadu guidance, the nodal investment promotion and felicitation agency of the state has partnered with the World Economic Forum (WEF) to establish India's first manufacturing hub (AMHUB).

Tamil Nadu is chairing the AMHUB that has around ten members including the United States, Denmark, Spain, and Brazil and it is the only state from South Asia that has signed an MoU with the WEF.

Sources said that the state would have a dedicated lounge at the Davos summit and a pavilion as well. The delegation will showcase the industrial climate of the state and will interact with investors and other business and industrial groups who participate in the WEF.

The dedicated lounge, according to officials, will have interactive screens and posters.

Tamil Nadu delegation will focus on wooing investment to the state by showing its industrial-friendly climate as well as project the renewable energy initiatives in the state.

The title of WEF Davos for 2022 is 'Industrial revolution 4.0' , but the focus of the Tamil Nadu delegation is to woo investments and will have round table discussions with CEOs on the sidelines of the events to bring investments to the state.

Fri, 13 May 2022 15:08:49 +0530
Multiple wildfires in Colorado burn homes force evacuations

Washington, May 13

Smoke from several major wildfires choked Colorado Springs, the US state's second-largest city, torching eight homes, closing the airport and causing thousands of evacuations, as dry conditions and heavy winds spread the blazes quickly throughout the area.

As night fell on Colorado Springs, located 112.6 km south of the state capital Denver, dozens of fire crews from across the region responded to the grass fires and were "gaining the upper hand", Xinhua news agency quoted Denver CBS4 News as saying on Friday.

According to Colorado Public Radio, one fire engulfed eight homes in the Skylark Mobile Home Park, where 500 homes were emptied and 1,000 residents were evacuated to a nearby fitness centre.

Fifty firefighters responded to the blaze that saw several propane tanks venting flames 15 metres in the air.

Meanwhile, a fire east of town consumed another 0.4 square km, forcing 50 residents to evacuate and prompting Colorado Springs Airport to issue a shelter-in-place order for about an hour, according to the Colorado Springs Fire Department.

About 100 firefighters, 28 deputies and 63 police officers assisted with battling the fires and evacuations.

The Department added that no structures were lost or damaged, and no injuries were reported.

According to First Alert 5 Weather Forecast, strong to dangerous winds and extremely low daytime relative humidity helped create extreme fire conditions in southern Colorado.

Also, a fourth wildfire was reported west of the city in Teller County, south of the popular tourist attraction Pikes Peak, resulting in forced evacuations.

Fri, 13 May 2022 15:05:05 +0530
Action against illegal encroachments continues in Delhi

New Delhi, May 13

The Municipal Corporation's (MC) demolition drive against the illegally constructed structures continued unabated on Friday at different places in the city.

As per the latest reports, the demolition drive is currently underway at Khyala Road in the Vishnu Garden area of the city. The JCB bulldozers were seen demolishing the extended area of the shops, which was encroaching the pavements or footpaths along the road.

Two JCB bulldozers were simultaneously working on both sides of the road, clearing the illegal encroachments like a shed and stairs that were covering the drains along the road.

There was adequate police force on the spot even as the residents did not protest against the MC's action. However, some of the locals expressed their anger against the civic agency.

"We were not served any notice. Had MCD intimated us, we would have ourselves removed the said encroachment," a local said.

Apart from Vishnu Garden area, the MC's bulldozer also rolled in the Chawla area of Najafgarh in west Delhi.

As per the latest reports, an extended part of the animal shelter was seen being demolished. The owner of the shelter expressed his strong resentment over the MC's stern move.

"This road, on which animal shelter is present, is not going anywhere. It closes after some distance. How is this little extension hampering any government activity in the area," he asked.

Meanwhile, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia has written to Union Home Minister Amit Shah urging the latter to stop the ongoing demolition drive in Delhi. Sisodia claimed that the civic agency's proposed drive will render over 60 lakh people homeless in Delhi.

Notably, the Municipal Corporation's hardline approach, vis-a-vis, demolishing illegal-encroachments in the national capital faced alleged encroachers' outrage on Thursday in the south east part of the city.

The civic agency had planned to demolish illegally constructed structures in various parts of the city, but when they reached Madanpur Khadar area on Thursday, the people started protesting against the demolition drive. Amidst agitation and sloganeering, the civic agency continued its action against the illegal-encroachments.

Aam Aadmi Party MLA Amanatullah Khan, who reached the spot where people were protesting against the Municipal Corporation officials, was first detained and then later arrested for rioting and obstructing officials to carry out the proposed anti-encroachment drive. He is currently in judicial custody.

Fri, 13 May 2022 15:02:07 +0530
ISRO carries out static test of Gaganyaan rocket s booster

Chennai, May 13

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Friday went a step ahead in its human space mission programme 'Gaganyaan' by successfully completing the static test firing of the solid fuel powered rocket booster engine.

The booster engine is part of the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle MkIII (GSLV Mk III) rocket that would carry Indian astronauts to space.

The test was conducted at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh, it is learnt.

The 135 seconds test firing of the booster 'HS200' happened in the morning and is part of the human rating process of the rocket GSLV Mk III.

The GSLV Mk III rocket is a three staged vehicle.

The first stage is powered by solid fuel, the second by liquid fuel and the third is cryogenic stage powered by liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen.


Fri, 13 May 2022 14:54:35 +0530
Yoga camp begins for cops in Prayagraj

Prayagraj, May 13

A yoga camp started on Friday for police personnel of all ranks in Prayagraj.

The session, under trained yoga expert Ashish Pandey, has been designed to help the personnel overcome stress and fatigue and reduce extra kilos by doing yoga and meditation in order to improve their well-being and boost efficiency.

IG (Prayagraj Range) Rakesh Singh told reporters: "We have decided to organise yoga and meditation sessions from 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. every day. By practising yoga, there will be improvement in physical and mental fitness of policemen."

He said officers of all ranks have joined the session.

The IG said that he had earlier introduced yoga and meditation sessions for the cops, which improved the well-being of the participants.

"It was observed that none of the policeman fell sick during Covid first and second waves. Policemen work for long hours and often suffer from fatigue and stress that also reflected in their behaviour. Thus, yoga will help in de-stressing themselves," he said.

Symptoms of stress and fatigue include behavioural change, headache, drowsiness during duty, inability to stand upright, irritation and misbehaviour.

Senior cops believe that about 20 to 30 per cent policemen are obese and yoga along with routine exercises and parade will help them to shed the extra weight and be physically and mentally fit.

Those who attended the session on the first day said yoga has undoubtedly eased tension in different ways.

"Keeping our mobile phones away for at least an hour was itself a much-needed relief. Most of us suffer from insomnia and other issues like kidney problems, indigestion, breathing and weight concerns. Policemen stand for long hours, spend sleepless nights, eat unhealthy food from outside and have anxiety issues given the nature of our work. So, yoga and meditation will work wonders for us," said a police inspector.


Fri, 13 May 2022 14:51:54 +0530
Will create chaos SC declines to entertain plea to postpone NEET PG 2022 exam

New Delhi, May 13

The Supreme Court on Friday declined to entertain pleas seeking the postponement of NEET-PG 2022 scheduled for May 21, saying it will create "chaos and uncertainty".

A bench headed by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud noted that postponing the exam will impact the patient care and also prejudice to over two lakh students who have registered for the exam.

The bench, also comprising Justice Surya Kant, said as the country gets back on the rails after which was caused due to the pandemic, the time schedule must be adhered to, and any delay in conducting the exam will result in fewer number of resident doctors.

The top court's order came on petitions by the doctors seeking to postpone the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test for Postgraduate (NEET-PG) 2022 exam, citing a clash with ongoing counselling for NEET PG 2021. Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati represented the Centre in the top court.

Dismissing the plea to postpone the exam, the bench noted that the request cannot be entertained, as it would affect the patient care and the career of the doctors, and emphasised that these are matters belonging to the policy domain.

The bench pointed out that over two lakh doctors have registered, and it will cause prejudice to them if the exam is further postponed.

The Centre contended that the academic session was supposed to commence from May 1 in a given year. However, it will begin on September 1 for this academic year, therefore, it is not in the best academic interest of the students to further delay the examination.

Fri, 13 May 2022 14:48:34 +0530
Extramarital affair blackmail leads to man s murder in Hyderabad

Hyderabad, May 13

Extramarital relations after friendship over Facebook and an attempt to blackmail the woman with her obscene video clip led to the murder of a 32-year-old man in Hyderabad.

CCTV footage of the attack on the victim by another Facebook friend of the woman and his aide surfaced on Friday, more than a week after the assault.

Police have already arrested M. Swetha Reddy (32) for killing her paramour M. Yashma Kumar.

K. Ashok (28) and his aide K. Karthik (30), both residents of Andhra Pradesh, have also been arrested.

CCTV footage shows how the victim, who was on his two-wheeler, was attacked with a hammer near Swetha Reddy's house in Prashanti Hills under Meerpet police station of Rachakonda police commissionerate on the night of May 4.

Kumar collapsed on the ground and some passersby shifted him to a hospital, where he succumbed two days later.

Police initially treated it as a case of road accident. However, following the autopsy report and some detailed investigations, shocking details came to light.

Swetha Reddy, wife of a software engineer, had developed friendship with Kumar, a photographer and resident of Bagh Amberpet area in the city, in 2018. Soon, their relationship became intimate.

The police investigation revealed that during a video call, Kumar asked her to get undressed and when she complied he recorded it. He then started threatening to share the video clip with her family members if she didn't marry him.

Kumar was also roaming around the woman's house on his bike to blackmail her. Panicked over his threats, Shweta Reddy contacted her another Facebook friend Ashok, a resident of Vijayawada. Ashoka with his aide Kartik came to Hyderabad and the trio hatched a plot to eliminate Kumar.

As per the plan, the woman called Kumar to her house on May 4. When he reached near the house, Ashok and Kartik, who were waiting in ambush, attacked him. They hit on his head with a hammer. He fell unconscious and slipped into coma.

Police solved the murder mystery after analysing Kumar's call data. Since the last call on her mobile was made by Shweta Reddy, they questioned her and she finally confessed to the crime.

She also told the police that after calling Kumar, she had changed her mind and had sent a message to Ashok and Kartik to leave him. but by then they had executed the plot.


Fri, 13 May 2022 14:45:58 +0530
Three definitive trends to nurture the philosophy of diamond jewellery in 2022

New Delhi, May 13

"The memory that a piece of jewellery holds is potent. In the past, we bought jewellery for an occasion, a birthday or anniversary, but now when I buy jewellery I'm constantly thinking about my daughter--what she would like, and what she would want to wear. I think that's one of the differences between the old heirlooms and the new. In fact, new heirlooms are made to be personal, more wearable, and set with a purpose," says Roohi Oomerbhoy Jaikishan, Entrepreneur and Fashion Icon.

Jewellery is a form of self-expression for the younger generation, and they want to tell their own stories with a dash of whimsy and glitz -- truly representative of what natural diamonds stand for. Keeping in mind the impact of the cultural transformation over the last year on consumer behaviour, jewellery purchase has seen a shift towards exploring classical timeless designs intertwined with an edgy appeal that can seamlessly fit into everyone's new routine.

The second edition of the jewellery trend report by the Natural Diamond Council in India and the United Arab Emirates offers insight and predictions on the natural diamond jewellery that is set to make statements in 2022.

Richa Singh, Managing Director, Natural Diamond Council India & The Middle East, said, "Natural diamonds continue to be the epitome of luxury and celebration of personal milestones. The past two years have redefined the way we express ourselves through fashion and jewellery and our trend report conveys the invaluable experiences that have set the tone for the year. It reflects a whimsical spirit that is grounded in vintage choices, to create means of self-expression, adding a sense of playfulness and glamour to your personal style; a true definition of the charisma that younger millennials and GenZ audiences demonstrate. Curated by the best minds in the field of fashion and style this is an exceptional compilation of invaluable insights into the preferences of the wearer as well as the times we live in."

Encapsulating the sensibilities that define the aesthetics of today, Bibhu Mohapatra, Global Fashion Designer, said, "Fine jewellery has the ability to tell stories -- that's what makes them heirlooms. They can be passed through generations, each time telling the stories of those who once owned and wore the pieces. It's like the story of a natural diamond, which is formed over billions of years and lives eternally."

According to the Natural Diamond Council (NDC) and Style Collective, three definitive trends will nurture the philosophy of diamond jewellery in 2022.

"Hoops with a Twist", is the first trend to define this year's jewellery, the hero earring silhouette when studded with natural diamonds seamlessly transforms the classic, flirtatious accessory into a riveting pair that lights up the red carpet. The current renditions of the classic hoops represent innovation and whimsy, clustered diamonds, interlinked details, and a variety of shapes that, quite literally, reinvent the wheel.

Rhea Kapoor, Film Producer and Stylist, said, "A hoop is not an earring that takes itself seriously -- and I love that! One of the first pieces of diamond jewellery I bought myself was a pair of diamond hoops. Even as a child, I would steal my mom's gold hoops from the 1980s and wear them. I like classics but there is always a slight irreverence, so I gravitate towards irregular hoops, that have some personality and character, that is not perfect."

Another trend to mark this year's fashion expressions is "Mismatched Diamonds", allowing the wearers to make a statement with subtlety. Combining a variety of differently cut diamonds in one piece of jewellery defines their personal style and presents an opportunity to get creative with their own pieces and add to their collections.

Lastly, "Vintage Cuts", are to be making a resurgence this year with a special focus on "Briolettes" and "Rose Cuts". When live red-carpet events resumed, after the mandated break during the pandemic, Briolettes remained a mainstay on some of the most glamorous looks. The lending movement to a piece, the drop-shaped diamond mirrors the new era of audiences who express their personality with style and independence. Rose-Cut diamonds, one of the oldest cuts in the world, exuberate an understated elegance and a vintage aesthetic. Unique, delicate, radiant and one of the most coveted diamond cuts, the rose cut is starting to become a cut of choice for engagement rings.

Nonita Kalra, Editor-in-Chief, Tata CliQ Luxury; and Editor, NDC Jewellery Trend Report 2022, said, "Vintage-cut diamonds make me think of the strong women in my family, who would wear day diamonds to afternoon parties. They take me back to those times of uncomplicated happiness and hope, of a lightness of being."

"Rose-cut diamonds are so delicate, almost as if they are floating on the skin. There's something romantic and feminine about them. Similarly, briolette diamonds have a softer look; the way they catch the light is really unusual. With these vintage cuts, it's more about subtleness, the aesthetic and beauty rather than the bling," added Sarah Royce, Greensill, Jewellery and Watches Editor, Telegraph, UK.

Fri, 13 May 2022 14:42:36 +0530
J K Police use tear gas batons to disperse protesting Kashmir Pandit employees

Srinagar, May 13

The J&K Police on Friday used tear gas and mild lathi-charge to disperse the protest carried out by the Kashmiri Pandit employees against the killing of their colleague by terrorists in Budgam district.

The protesting Pandit employees were marching towards the Srinagar International Airport when police intercepted their march and used a few tear smoke shells and mild lathi-charge to disperse them.

The protesting Pandit employees were from Sheikhpora-Budgam migrant colony They were shouting slogans seeking the arrest and punishment to the killers of Rahul Bhat, who was killed in the tehsil office Chadoora during duty hours.

The protesters said that they were waiting for Lt. Governor, Manoj Sinha till 11 a.m. and as he didn't turn up, they decided to march towards the airport to lodge their protest.

The protesters said that they had informed the administration and police that the Lt. Governor should visit the spot and give them an assurance about their protection and ensure that the culprits involved in the killing of Rahul Bhat would not be spared.

Fri, 13 May 2022 14:39:46 +0530
Prez pays homage to Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed

New Delhi, May 13

President Ram Nath Kovind on Friday paid homage to former President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed on his birth anniversary.

Kovind paid floral tributes in front of a portrait of Ahmed at the Rashtrapati Bhavan itself, a communique from the Rashtrapati Bhavan said.

Ahmed, the fifth President of the country, had occupied office from August 24, 1974, till February 11, 1977. He was born on May 13, 1905, and passed away on February 11, 1977, while in office.


Fri, 13 May 2022 14:37:16 +0530
How this Telangana woman broke glass ceiling

Hyderabad, May 13

Climbing 18-feet electricity poles is now a child's play for this woman from Telangana who has conquered a male bastion to become the first female lineman in the public sector power distribution company.

Babburi Sirisha's appointment in Telangana State Southern Power Distribution Company Limited (TSSPDCL) may now force the authorities to change the gender-specific nomenclature of the post as she is keen to be called linewoman.

After a long struggle, including the legal battle, the 21-year-old has been appointed as junior lineman in Medchal circle of TSSPDCL.

By clearing written and pole tests, this daughter of daily wage workers not only proved her mettle but scripted history by making electricity authorities remove the condition that only men are eligible to apply for the posts.

Sirisha is elated over breaking the glass ceiling and realising her long-cherished dream. She is now eagerly looking to get on to the work.

Hailing from Chebarthi villahe in Siddipet district, Shirisha grew up with a dream different from girls of her age. She chose an uncharted course for herself. People laughed at her with the remark "this is not the job of a woman" but she wanted to break the stereotype.

Her uncle B. Shekar, who was an employee in the electricity department, encouraged her to do ITI (electrical) course. "He used to tell me that nothing is impossible and that there will be a lot of opportunities in the department," she said.

Confident of becoming eligible for the post of junior lineman, she got the training in pole climbing from her uncle.

Sirisha, who completed ITI in 2017, was excited when TSSPDCL issued a notification in 2019 to fill the posts of 534 junior linemen. However, she was told that only men can apply.

Refusing to give up, Sirisha along with six other women applicants approached court and won the legal battle. She appeared in the written examination and cleared it.

The authorities started conducting a pole test only for men candidates who had passed the written test. Sirisha and another woman applicant V. Bharati who had passed the written test approached the court. TSSPDCL argued that women will find it difficult to discharge duties as line women since they need to climb the 18-feet electricity poles quite frequently. The court, however, ruled in favour of the women and directed the officials to conduct a pole test and appoint them if found eligible.

It was on December 23, 2020 that the pole test was conducted for Sirisha and Bharati. Both the women successfully climbed the eight-meter pole during the test held at Central Power Training Institute in Hyderabad.

Bharati, a native of Mahabubabad district, was appointed as junior linewoman in Telangana Transmission Corporation. Now Sirisha has become the first ever linewoman in TSSPDCL.

Sirisha recalled during training for pole climbing people used to give her strange looks. Unfazed by all this, she continued her hard work with determination. "Initially climbing a pole was tough but after continuous training I learnt the skills and now it has become very easy," she said.

Sirisha, who is currently doing graduation from an open university, has also married recently. As she has been posted in Hyderabad, she is looking to shift her family. "My parents worked hard to give me a good education. Now, it's time for me to give them back," said Sirisha, who wants them to now take rest.


Fri, 13 May 2022 14:34:53 +0530
Prayagraj gearing up for Kumbh Mela 2025

Prayagraj, May 13

Prayagraj, which is gearing up for the Kumbh Mela in 2025, will have newer facilities for pilgrims.

The Prayagraj Mela authority have decided that an online booking system would be developed so that pilgrims can make bookings for puja and also hire boats for a ride to Sangam, the confluence point of Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati.

They will be able to perform puja at the given date and time at the temple of their choice.

A meeting between the Divisional Commissioner Sanjay Goyal, District Magistrate Sanjay Khatri and vice chairman of Prayagraj Development Authority (PDA), Arvind Chauhan, that work for 'darshan' around Akshayavat at Akbar Fort should also be expedited.

Recently, the PDA had prepared a proposal under which the path for the circumambulation of Akshayavat has been prepared. Instructions were given to start the work for the same at the earliest.

PDA'S Arvind Chauhan said: "It was proposed in the meeting that tourists coming from far off places neither know the timing of aarti nor have any information about worship, boating etc. It would be better if there is an online system for this. Even common tourists visiting Sangam would be able to use motorized boats on fair rent."

Chief minister Yogi Adityanath has already directed officials to improve facilities and infrastructure for the mega even in 2025 which should be "grander than ever".

The Divisional Commissioner has instructed to prepare a comprehensive plan in this direction and issue a rate list for hiring the boats, both for ordinary and motorized boats, he added.

Presently, common devotees used to travel by ordinary boats.

Although, motorized boats can be hired from the boat club, but because of the distance from Sangam, their rates are very high.

The issue of cleanliness in the Sangam area was also discussed.

The Divisional Commissioner has instructed that footage of the CCTV should be watched to take the location of sanitation workers.

The district officials also plan to revamp the three temples of Prayagraj before the Kumbh Mela.

These temples will recreate the ashram mentioned in Ram Charit Manas or other religious texts. There will also be a 'yagyashala' near the temples and a cowshed. A place will be made for worshiping and yatri niwas will also be built nearby.

The three temples of the city include Nagvasuki temple of Daraganj, the Takshak Tirth temple of Dariyabad and the Bharadwaj Ashram.

Fri, 13 May 2022 14:29:25 +0530
PM invites citizens to share inputs for Mann ki Baat

New Delhi, May 13

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has invited inputs from all the citizens for his monthly radio programme 'Mann ki Baat' to be broadcast on May 29.

In a tweet, the Prime Minister said: "I invite you all to share your inputs for this month's #MannKiBaat, which will take place on the 29th. I look forward to your comments on the NaMo App and MyGov. You can also record your message on 1800-11-7800."

The Prime Minister also shared a link of MyGov, inviting ideas for 'Mann Ki Baat' on May 29. "Prime Minister Modi looks forward to sharing his thoughts on themes and issues that matter to you. The Prime Minister invites you to share your ideas on topics he should address on the 89th Episode of 'Mann Ki Baat'. Send us your suggestions on the themes or issues you want the Prime Minister to speak about in the upcoming Mann Ki Baat episode," it said.

It also asked people to share their views in this 'Open Forum' or alternatively dial the toll-free number 1800-11-7800 and record their message for the Prime Minister in either Hindi or English.

"Some of the recorded messages may become part of the broadcast. You can also give a missed call on 1922 and follow the link received in SMS to directly give your suggestions to the Prime Minister," it added.


Fri, 13 May 2022 14:22:24 +0530
Equity indices up in opening deals

New Delhi, May 13

Indian equity benchmark indices climbed in opening deals on Friday led by gains across all sectoral indices after a steep fall in the previous session and a consistent decline in the past five straight sessions.

Sensex was up 481 points or 0.9 per cent to 53,411 points in early trade, whereas Nifty up 147 points or 0.9 per cent at 15,955 points.

However, equity investors remain worried amid the persistently high inflation and tight monetary policy stance by several central banks.

India's retail inflation accelerated to 7.79 per cent in April due to high fuel and food costs.

The inflation print remained above the tolerance limit of the central bank RBI for a fourth month in a row, data released on Thursday showed.

"The positive side is that all this bad news is already known and factored-in by the market. Since the market is oversold, a bounce back can be expected but the texture of the market remains weak for long-term investors, high quality financials and IT provide investment opportunities," said V K Vijayakumar, Chief Investment Strategist at Geojit Financial Services.


Fri, 13 May 2022 10:42:07 +0530
Explosion in Karachi leaves 13 injured

Islamabad, May 13

Thirteen people were injured when a blast went off inside a market area in the capital city Karachi of Pakistan's southern Sindh province, hospital authorities said.

Many among the injured were in critical condition and most of them got wounded after being hit by ball bearings from explosive materials, Shahid Rasool, medical superintendent of Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Center (JPMC) where all the injured were shifted, told the media.

Talking to the media, Information Minister of Sindh province Sharjeel Inam Memon said that an investigation had been kicked off to determine the cause of the explosion that took place on late Thursday night and a state of emergency had been imposed in all hospitals in the city, Xinhua news agency reported.

Meanwhile, in a conversation with Xinhua, Salman Qureshi, a rescue worker with the nongovernment rescue organization Saylani Welfare Trust, said that rescue teams had shifted 16 injured people to the JPMC where one of them succumbed to the injuries.

"The incident happened in a densely populated area and there were many pedestrians along with the incident site when the explosion happened," he said.

Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif condemned the blast and directed the chief minister of Sindh to provide the best possible medical treatment to the injured people, the Prime Minister's office said in a statement early Friday.

Local TV channel ARY News quoted police sources as saying that explosive materials hidden in a garbage bin were detonated by unknown militants when a vehicle of Pakistan Coast Guards was passing by.

In a conversation with Xinhua, a spokesperson for the coast guards confirmed their vehicle was destroyed with five other vehicles in the blast but refused to comment on the official vehicle being the main target in the incident.


Fri, 13 May 2022 10:37:32 +0530
Sr Oppn leader asked me what else was left there to achieve after becoming PM twice Modi

New Delhi, May 13

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that a senior leader of the opposition party had asked him 'what else was left there to achieve after becoming PM twice'.

"The leader does not know that this Modi is made of different metals, the soil of Gujarat that has shaped me," the Prime Minister said.

The Prime Minister was virtually addressing 'Utkarsh Samaroh' in Bharuch, Gujarat on Thursday to mark the celebration of 100 per cent saturation of four key schemes of the state government in the district, which will help provide timely financial assistance to those in need.

"One day a very senior leader, a political opponent but I do respect him, came to meet me, to discuss and sort out some issues. He said, 'Modiji, now what else do you want to do? The country has made you prime minister twice'. He thought that becoming prime minister twice was a huge achievement. He does not know that this Modi is made of different metals, the soil of Gujarat that has shaped me," he said.

The Prime Minister further stated that, "It is not enough that I should rest now that everything that has happened is good. No, My dream is saturation. We should move towards 100 per cent coverage. Government machinery should get used to this and a belief should be generated among the citizens," he said.

The Prime Minister noted that in 2014 almost half of the country's population was deprived of facilities like toilets, vaccination, electricity connection and bank accounts.

"Over the years, with everyone's efforts, we have been able to bring many schemes closer to 100 per cent saturation. The Prime Minister said 100 per cent coverage of beneficiaries means delivering to every creed and every section equally with Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas. No one should be left behind from every scheme for the welfare of the poor. This also finishes the politics of appeasement. Saturation means that the benefit reaches the last person in society," he added.


Fri, 13 May 2022 10:33:50 +0530
IPL 2022 A change in approach helps Daniel Sams get into the groove

Mumbai, May 13

As the Australian media kept an eye on their cricketers playing overseas in the last month or so, the talk has all been about David Warner, Mitchell Marsh, Pat Cummins, Marcus Stoinis, Josh Hazlewood, Peter Handscomb, Michael Neser, and Marnus Labuschagne.

Some of them are playing in the Indian Premier League while others were plying their trade in county cricket in England.

Those conversations did not involve Daniel Sams initially as the Aussie allrounder struggled to find his rhythm. He went wicketless in his first two matches, making an inauspicious start with 0/57 in four overs.

However, the 29-year-old Australian from New South Wales has now found his form and come up with some superb efforts -- like defending eight runs in the last over against Gujarat Titans at Brabourne and claiming 4/30 against Chennai Super Kings at the DY Patil Stadium on April 21.

Thursday's haul of 3/16 is his most economical performance, which helped Mumbai Indians bowl out CSK for 97, eventually going on to win by five wickets. Sams' performance earned him the Player-of-the-Match award.

Sams on Thursday admitted that he had a poor start but said a change in his approach -- from focusing on the batters to bowling to his strengths -- did the trick for him.

"The first few games didn't go to plan and I had a little bit of time to reflect on those performances and the performances in the past when I've played really well. I just figured out that I was focusing on the batter too much and not focusing on my strengths. That was something to work on at training and it was more about the reflection of when I come out here, I'm going to do what I do really well," Sams said at the post-match presentation.

The Aussie allrounder picked the wicket of Moeen Ali as more satisfactory as it was a well-planned dismissal.

"We always talk about each batter and have different plans for each batter. Some batters have more specific plans than others. But with Moeen, he's obviously a really nice player. The short ball is something that he can either hit for six or he can get out to. That's one of the things we also spoke about a lot, using the bouncer more to all batters really so that the batter feels a little bit more uncomfortable and they can't just get on the front foot and smack us for sixes as we see in T20 a lot," Sams said.


Fri, 13 May 2022 10:12:48 +0530
Protests held against killing of Kashmiri Pandit govt employee

Srinagar, May 13

Kashmiri Pandits working in the Valley, majority of them under the Prime Minister's rehabilitation package, on Thursday staged protests at different places against the killing of their colleague, Rahul Bhat, by militants in Budgam district.

The protesting Kashmiri Pandit government employees blocked the Srinagar-Jammu highway outside Vessu migrant colony in Anantnag district. They lit candles to register their protest.

Visibly disturbed by the broad daylight killing of Rahul Bhat in a government office during working hours, one of the protesters said: "If rehabilitation costs life, we will prefer to resign and leave Kashmir forever.

"We are being made soft targets by militants. They (militants) should also clarify their policy. If they are out to kill all of us, they should tell us clearly. But the fact remains that the government has failed to protect us despite making tall claims".

During the protests on the Srinagar-Jammu highway, hundreds of vehicles remained stranded for hours.

Protests were also held at Sheikhpora, Budgam outside the migrant KP colony where women and male members of the Pandit community sat in the middle of the road in protest.

Vijay Kumar, IGP (Kashmir) visited Sheikhpora Budgam to express sympathy with the fellow colleagues of the slain employee. However, the protesters insisted that he should bring Divisional Commissioner Kashmir to the spot.

Many protesters alleged that the killing of Rahul Bhat at Tehsil office Chadoora was a major security lapse.

Another protest was held along the Pulwama-Shopian highway outside KP migrant colony. Protesters shouted: "Fail Hai, Fail Hai, administration fail Hai."

Protests were also held in Baramulla district where the Pandit members assembled at Pandit Colony Veerwan demanding justice and protection to Kashmiri Pandits working in the Valley.


Fri, 13 May 2022 09:59:16 +0530
IPL 2022 Sams claims 3 16 as CSK bowled out for 97 against Mumbai Indians

Mumbai, May 12

Abject poor batting by Chennai Super Kings batters against a superlative bowling effort by the out-of-contention Mumbai Indians saw CSK being bowled out for 97 in 16 overs in Match 59 of the IPL 2022 at the Wankhede Stadium here on Thursday.

Choosing to bowl first, the Mumbai Indians pacers started well, bowled good line and length and used the conditions well. The ball was swinging even in the 8th over but there were no demons in the pitch. CSK were unlucky as they could not use the DRS in the first few overs due to some technical issues -- during which Devon Conway was hard done by a dodgy decision that he could not review, but their batters too made things easy for Mumbai Indians by playing some unnecessary shots.

Opening the bowling, Daniel Sams claimed 3/16 while Riley Meredith (2/27) and Kumar Kartikeya (2/22) kept up the pressure as CSK struggled to recover from the early blows and ended with a paltry score.

CSK skipper M.S Dhoni waged a lone battle as he remained not out with 36 runs, hitting four boundaries and two sixes. He and Dwayne Bravo raised 39 runs for the seventh wicket before the West Indies allrounder was caught brilliantly by Tilak Varma at short cover. But that was too little and too late as Chennai's slim hopes of making it to the play hang by a wafer-thin thread.

Chennai Super Kings got off to a horrible start as they ended the powerplay at 32/5.

Devon Conway was the first to go, given out lbw off Daniel Sams to the second delivery of the first over that looked going down the leg-side to naked eye. With DRS unavailable due to "technical reasons", Conway had to trudge back to the stadium without reviewing the decision.

Two deliveries later, Moeen Ali (0) joined him in the dugout, caught in double mind on whether to play a pull short or pull his bat away to a short one by Sams. By the time he decided and tried to withdraw, the ball had already taken the top edge which flew to Hrithik Shokeen for a simple catch, CSK were 2/2 after the first over.

Robin Uthappa (1) did not last long, trying to flick across the line to a length ball by Jasprit Bumrah and rapped on the front pad. No DRS for him too. Ruturaj Gaikwad (7), who had watched the carnage from the other end, edged one down the leg-side and was caught by the keeper.

Ambati Rayudu (10) survived for 14 deliveries, struck two fours -- one off Bumrah, gliding a length ball on off past the short third-man, and the second off Riley Meredith with a superb backfoot square drive. He was out off the next delivery, caught behind as he tried to defend against a superb delivery but could manage only an inside edge to Ishan Kishan and CSK were reeling at 29/5 in the sixth over.

Shivam Dube, who has rescued CSK with some good batting down the order in couple of matches, struck Meredith for a four with a fine pull shot but the bowler had the last laugh as Dube edged the next ball, a short one on the middle stump to Ishan Kishan and the keeper took a superb catch to add to CSK's woes. CSK were 39/6 and staring down the barrel.

The CSK batters had themselves to blame as their shot-selection was not up to the mark. Mumbai Indians did bowl some good lengths and lines and used the short ball well, it was not the only reason.

Skipper M.S Dhoni and Dwayne Bravo added 39 runs for the seventh wicket partnership but could not pull CSK out the trouble totally as Bravo fell to a well planned strategy by Mumbai Indians. Tilak Varma was at short cover and he plucked a brilliant one-handed catch as Bravo drove a low full toss by Kumar Kartikeya Singh. CSK were down to 78/7 and clearly out of depth. It was a lucky break for Mumbai Indians as such catches just stick to raised hand but Varma was quite brave to put his hand out to a ball that was flying like a bullet.

The rest of the batters did not last long -- Simranjeet Singh (2) and Maheesh Theekshana (0) was out tamely and Mukesh Chaudhary struck a four before getting run out, going for a premeditated run off the last delivery of the 16th over.

Brief scores: Chennai Super Kings 97 all out in 16 overs (MS Dhoni 36 not out; Daniel Sams 3/16, Riley Meredith 2/27, Kumar Karthikeya 2/22) against Mumbai Indians.


Thu, 12 May 2022 23:10:29 +0530
First image of supermassive black hole in centre of Milky Way revealed

New Delhi, May 12

A global team of radio astronomers have on Thursday unveiled the first image of the supermassive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way galaxy.

Scientists had previously seen stars orbiting around something invisible, compact, and very massive at the centre of the Milky Way.

But the image of Sagittarius A (Sgr A) which is about 27,000 light-years away from Earth, produced by a global research team called the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) Collaboration, provides the first direct visual evidence of it.

"We finally have the first look at our Milky Way black hole, Sagittarius A. It's the dawn of a new era of black hole physics," the EHT said on Twitter.

While the black hole is not visible, because it is completely dark, glowing gas around it reveals a telltale signature: a dark central region (called a "shadow") surrounded by a bright ring-like structure.

The new view captures light bent by the powerful gravity of the black hole, which is four million times more massive than our Sun.

"We were stunned by how well the size of the ring agreed with predictions from Einstein's Theory of General Relativity," said EHT Project Scientist Geoffrey Bower from the Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Academia Sinica, Taipei, in a statement.

"These unprecedented observations have greatly improved our understanding of what happens at the very centre of our galaxy, and offer new insights on how these giant black holes interact with their surroundings," he added.

The results are being published in a special issue of The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

To image Sgr A, the team created the powerful EHT, which linked together eight existing radio observatories across the planet to form a single "Earth-sized" virtual telescope. The EHT observed Sgr A on multiple nights, collecting data for many hours in a row, similar to using a long exposure time on a camera.

The team had in 2019 released the first image of a black hole, called M87, at the centre of the more distant Messier 87 galaxy.

They noted that the two black holes look remarkably similar, even though our galaxy's black hole is more than a thousand times smaller and less massive than M87.

Scientists are particularly excited to finally have images of two black holes of very different sizes, which offers the opportunity to understand how they compare and contrast.

They have also begun to use the new data to test theories and models of how gas behaves around supermassive black holes. This process is not yet fully understood but is thought to play a key role in shaping the formation and evolution of galaxies.


Thu, 12 May 2022 23:04:41 +0530
K taka Cong leader accused of taking bribe for Mayor s post

Ballari, (Karnataka), May 12

A corporator in Karnataka's Ballari on Thursday lodged a complaint against a Congress leader for allegedly cheating him of Rs 3.5 crore after promising the Mayor's post.

Congress corporator of ward 30, Asif Basha lodged a complaint with the Kaul Bazar police station against Congress leader T.G.A Erriswamy.

This comes as allegations of heavy money transactions had swirled around the recently concluded elections for Mayor and Deputy Mayor in the Ballari City Corporation.

Basha, in his complaint, alleged that the promise was not kept but Erriswamy refused to repay the money and threatened him whenever he had asked for it.

The corporator said that he had given money to the accused in two installments, Rs 2.5 crore in 2021 and Rs 1 crore in 2022. Kaul Bazar police are investigating the case.

Sources say that Erriswamy is a relative of MLA Nagendra and he looked after his work in the region. The police has issued notices to both Erriswamy and Basha over the issue.

Erriswamy was unavailable for comment, but the local Congress unit came out in his defence, saying that he has not indulged in any such activity and will come out clean.


Thu, 12 May 2022 22:39:38 +0530
The 165th Anniversary of Revolt of 1857 a trip down memory lane

Anupama Nair


May is an important month in our history. I don’t know how many of us remember our freedom struggle and the millions of people who sacrificed their lives for Bharat Maa starting from Prithvi Raj Chauhan to Netaji Subash Bose. It is noteworthy to remember, that we were slaves for nearly 900 years and now we are a free nation

Did the sacrifice of the millions go in vain and we have forgotten them and only give credit to two or three people for our independence and the rest are forgotten in the annals of history never to be remembered. Was it for this day, they selflessly sacrificed their life for you and me, children of Independent India? But is it fair to forget them and their sacrifice?

Our great PM Mr. Modi who forgets any day in history tweeted “On this day in 1857 began the historic First War of Independence, which ignited a spirit of patriotism among our fellow citizens and contributed to the weakening of colonial rule. I pay homage to all those who were a part of the events of 1857 for their outstanding courage”. In the month of May i.e., 10th, the Revolt of 1857 or First War of Independence started and succeeded in ending the rule of the East India Company within a year. This revolution has the record for the greatest number of lives lost. The great people who revolted against the Company Raj was Mangal Pandey, Tatya Tope, Nana Saheb, Rani Laksmibai and many others. To understand the revolt, I need to take you back many centuries before.

It is a credit to the British, how the merchants who came to do trade with India, within 300 years became the masters of the entire land from Khyber to Chittagong and from Kashmir to Comorin (now Kanya Kumari), i.e., entire sub-continent. The English East India Company was formed by merchants of England to trade with Asia and India the “golden bird” in particular and America. It was formed by Royal Charter on New Year’s Eve on 1600. They landed in the Indian subcontinent on August 24, 1608, at the port of Surat (Gujarat). The Mughal Emperor Jehangir gave them permission to trade in India.

While India has a rich and recorded history going back 7000 years to the great Indus Valley Civilization in Harappa and Mohenjodaro, but England had no indigenous written language until the beginning of 9th century almost 3000 years after India. Then, how was it possible for the British East India Company to start capturing a huge country like India and control it from 1757 to 1857. Other than India, they ruled over one-sixth of the world, including America (US), Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Malayan Federation and the list goes on… In fact, the empire was called as the “empire where the sun never sets”. It is a credit to India that with our Independence in 1947, the empire crashed and all countries became free one-by-one.

The last Governor General Lord Canning never imagined a rifle would bring the end of East India Company. Let us see how that happened. Soldiers throughout India were issued a new rifle, the Enfield Rifle— a more powerful and accurate weapon than the previous one used for decades. To load both the old musket and the new rifle, soldiers had to bite the cartridge open and pour the gunpowder. Then, the rumor spread the cartridge was greased with the fat of pigs and cows. The news spread like wild fire and the soldiers refused to use the rifle, however, British officers dismissed these claims as rumors and ordered them to use the rifle. Moreover, there was a prophecy that Company Raj would end in a hundred years, which was proved true.

The rebellion started when Mangal Pandey, who was the leader of the Bengal Regiment started the revolt.  By March 1857, he was a private soldier (sepoy) in the 5th Company of the 34th Bengal Native Infantry. On the afternoon of 29th March 1857, Lieutenant Baugh, of the 34th Bengal Native Infantry, then stationed at Barrackpore (West Bengal) was informed that several men of his regiment were in an excited state and planned to rebel against the British under the leadership of Mangal Pandey. The British tried to suppress the rebellion and executed Mangal Pandey. “The attack by and punishment of Pandey is widely seen as the opening scene of what came to be known as the Indian Rebellion of 1857”, stated many historians. Mangal Pandey’s rebellion was widespread amongst his fellow soldiers and is assumed to have been one of the factors leading to the general series of rebellion that broke out during the following months. Mangal Pandey inspired many others to follow in the Indian Nationalist Movement like Veer Savarkar, who stated his “motive as one of the earliest manifestations of Indian Nationalism”. Modern Indian nationalists portray Pandey as the mastermind behind a conspiracy to revolt against the British.

Then the rebellion spread to Meerut (Uttar Pradesh), where 85 out of the 90 Indian soldiers at Meerut refused to bite the greased cartridges with their teeth. The soldiers were court-martialed and imprisoned for 10 years. They were stripped off their uniforms in the presence of the entire Indian crowd. It was too much of a disgrace and this incident sent a wave of indignation among the Indians. The Indian soldiers decided to defy the order and broke into open revolt. They released their companions and murdered a few European officers. On the night of 10th  May the mutineers marched to Delhi

The revolutionaries reached Delhi on 11th May, 1857 and the small British garrison at Delhi was not able to resist and consequently Delhi was conquered by the Indians. The Mughal Emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar, was proclaimed Emperor of India. The British could not forget the humiliation and in order to regain Delhi, Sir John Lawrence sent a strong British force commanded by John Nicholson. After a long siege of four months, the British recovered Delhi in September 1857. The Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar was captured, and he was sent to Rangoon where he died in the year 1862.

The struggle for Independence in Cawnpore (Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh) was led by Nana Sahib (the adopted son of Peshwa Baji Rao II). He imprisoned many Britishers and he showed great kindness to them. But when he heard about the inhuman attitude of Gen. O’Neil towards Indians, he became very furious and killed all the British. General Havelock captured Cawnpore after defeating Nana Sahib after a fierce struggle on June 17, 1857. Later Nana Sahib, with the help of Tatya Tope, recaptured Cawnpore in November, 1857, but the British defeated them once again in a fierce war in December 1857. Nana Sahib fled towards Nepal, where he probably died, while Tatya Tope migrated to Kalpi (Uttar Pradesh).

The struggle for independence at Lucknow was led by Nawab, Wajid Ali Shah. The Chief Commissioner, Sir Henry Lawrence, sought refuge with 1000 English and 700 Indian soldiers inside the Residency. The Indians did not make any concession and killed most of the Englishmen, including Sir Henry Lawrence and the notorious English General O’Neil. Later, Commander-in-Chief General Collin Campbell, marched towards Lucknow and captured it after a fierce battle in March 1858.

What is Indian history without Manikarnika or Lakshmibai, the brave queen of Jhansi? With immense pride I am writing about her. Even today, for every Indian she is the icon for the freedom struggle against the British Raj for Indian Independence. Manikarnika was born in Benares (Manikarnika Ghat), in 1828 as Manikarnika Tambe and was nicknamed Manu. Her father was Moropant Tambe, and her mother Bhagirathi Sapre. Her mother died when she was four-year old. Her father was working with Peshwa Baji Rao II in Bithoor (near Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh). She was married to Gangadhar Rao, the King of Jhansi. She was forced to leave Jhansi by the British.

She returned to Jhansi, when the First War of Independence started in May 1857. From August 1857 to January 1858 Jhansi under the Rani's rule was at peace. The British who was fighting the rebellion could do nothing. They summoned their greatest war hero, General Hugh Rose to fight against the queen. Sir Hugh Rose commanding the British forces, demanded the surrender of the city , and threatened if this was refused it would be destroyed. Rani refused and said that after due deliberation she issued a proclamation, "We fight for independence”. She defended Jhansi against British troops when Sir Hugh Rose besieged Jhansi on 23 March 1858.

The company’s forces surrounded the fort of Jhansi, and a fierce battle raged. Offering stiff resistance to the invading forces, Lakshmi Bai did not surrender even after her troops were overwhelmed and the rescuing army of Tatya Tope, was defeated at the Battle of Betwa. Lakshmi Bai managed to escape from the fort with Damodar Rao, on her back on her favorite horse Badal, and is still in our memory. A small force of palace guards left with her and headed eastward, where other leaders joined her.

Tatya Tope and Lakshmi Bai then mounted a successful assault on the city-fortress of Gwalior, and Scindia the ruler ran away to London. The treasury and the arsenal were seized, and Nana Sahib, a prominent leader, was proclaimed as the Peshwa. After taking Gwalior, Lakshmi Bai marched east to Morar to confront a British counterattack led by Sir Rose. Dressed as a man, she fought a fierce battle and was martyred in combat on 17 June 1858, in Kotah-ki-Serai near the Phool Bagh in Gwalior.

Most of the European historians pointed out that “it was a mere mutiny of the soldiers who were offended at the use of greased cartridges. In their opinion, the discontented soldiers were incited by the landlords and the deposed native princes and the people of India were not directly involved in this rebellion”. Indian historians however, claim it was a glorious landmark in our history to win back the lost independence. “One cannot but admire the patriotic spirit of boatmen of Lucknow who refused to carry British soldiers across the river. The soldiers and the people fought valiantly up to the very end. Though the revolt was unsuccessful, the spirit of the people remained unshaken. The revolt left an impression on the minds of the Indian people and thus paved the way for the rise of a strong National Movement”.

It was Veer Savarkar who gave the name 'First War of Independence' to the 1857 'kranti'. On the 165th year of the Great War of Independence, let us remember all the heroes of the rebellion and others like Bhagat Singh, Khudiram Bose, Netaji Subhash Bose, Veer Savarkar, and Sardar Patel, who sacrificed their lives so that we could be a free nation. But are we forgetting them in our busy lives?



Thu, 12 May 2022 22:19:01 +0530
The evolution of Homo sapiens aka Man

Anupama Nair


Is our evolutionary history written into our ‘genome’? What is a genome? “The genome is an organism’s complete set of genetic instructions. Each genome contains all of the information needed to build that organism and allow it to grow and develop”. The human genome looks the way it does because of all the genetic changes that had affected our ancestors. The exact origin of the modern humans has long been a matter of research.

Homo sapiens, is the species that we are, and it in Latin it means ‘wise man’. Our species is the only surviving species of the genus Homo, however, where we came from has been a topic of much debate. Historically, two key models have been put forward by scientists to explain the evolution of humans -- the ‘out of Africa’ model and the ‘multi-regional’ model. The ‘out of Africa’ model is now the most widely accepted model and it believes that Homo sapiens evolved in Africa before migrating across the other regions of the world.


On the other hand, the ‘multi-regional’ model stated that the evolution of Homo sapiens took place in a number of places over a period of time. The inter-mingling of the various populations eventually led to the single human species that we see today. Although, studies of the genomes of the extinct Hominids discovered in the Subcontinent, Neanderthals and Denisovans suggested that there was some mixing of genomes with humans in Europe and Asia.  This inter-breeding between two previously separated populations is called ‘admixture’ and results in a mixing of  genes between the populations of different continents. Genetic studies tend to support the ‘out of Africa’ model. The highest levels of genetic variation in humans are found in Africa. There is more genetic diversity in Africa compared with the rest of the world put together. In addition, the origin of modern DNA in the mitochondria which is the ‘powerhouses’ of our cells has been tracked back to just one African woman who lived between 50,000 and 500,000 years ago and was called the ‘Mitochondrial Eve'.


Our genomes are a combination of DNA from both our parents. However, mitochondrial DNA or mtDNA comes solely from our mother. This is because the female egg contains large amounts of mitochondrial DNA, whereas the male sperm contains just a tiny amount. The sperm use their small amount of mitochondria to power their race to their egg before fertilization. Once a sperm merges with an egg, all the sperm mitochondria are destroyed. As a result, mitochondrial DNA is described as being matrilineal i.e., only the mother’s side survives from generation to generation. Hence, mitochondrial DNA is almost exactly the same as your mother’s and her mother’s. Mitochondrial DNA has been extensively used by evolutionary biologists, as it is easier to extract than DNA found in the nucleus and there are many copies to work with. However, Mitochondrial Eve wasn’t the first or only woman on Earth at that time. She was simply the theme from which all modern generations of humans appear to have grown. Evolutionary biologists think the most likely reason for this is that an evolutionary ‘bottleneck’ occurred during the time Eve was alive. This is when the majority of a species suddenly died out, perhaps due to a sudden catastrophe, bringing it to the brink of extinction. If Mitochondrial Eve was one of the few women to survive then this could explain why her ‘matrilineal’ mitochondrial DNA ended up being passed along so many generations.

Similarly, DNA from the Y chromosome is only passed on from fathers to sons and a evolutionary tree relating all present day male individuals also supports the ‘out of Africa’ model. Further evidence for the ‘out of Africa’ model can be found in the size of human skulls. After studying the genetics and skull measurements of 53 human s across the world, scientists found that as you move further away from Africa, populations are less varied in their genetic makeup. This may be due to human population becoming smaller as they spread out from their original settlements in Africa and so genetic diversity within these populations was less. As a result, the scientists stated that modern humans could not have emerged in different places, but instead had to have come from one region, Africa.


The oldest known remains of anatomically modern humans are the Omo I and Omo II skulls. These were found in 1967 in Omo National Park in south-western Ethiopia. The skulls have been dated to 195,000 years ago, highlighting how humans have evolved relatively recently. Evidence shows that the first wave of humans to move out of Africa did not have too much success while traveling. The eruption of a super volcano, Mount Toba, in Sumatra 70,000 years ago may have led to a 'nuclear winter', followed by a 1,000-year ice age. This sort of event would have put immense pressure on humans. It may be that humans were only able to survive these extreme conditions helping each other. This may have led to the formation of close family groups or tribes and the development of some of the modern human behaviours we are familiar with today, such as co-operation.

Neanderthals are an extinct species of human that was widely distributed in ice-age Europe and Western Asia between 250,000 and 28,000 years ago. They were characterized as having a receding forehead and prominent brow ridges. In 1856 the first Neanderthal fossil was discovered in the Neander Valley near Düsseldorf in Germany. Since then, researchers have been working hard to uncover the position of Neanderthals in modern human evolution. They appeared in Europe about 250,000 years ago and spread into the Near East and Central Asia. They disappeared from the fossil record about 28,000 years ago. Initial studies of DNA from the mitochondria of Neanderthals showed that their mitochondrial DNA looks quite different to that of modern humans, suggesting that they did not inter-breed.


In 2010, scientists from Germany and the USA sequenced the DNA of an entire Neanderthal genome. They also identified another archaic human group called 'Denisovan', named after the Siberian cave in which the fossil finger, from which the DNA was obtained, was discovered. In 2013 they obtained a more refined Neanderthal genome sequence from a 50,000-year-old Neanderthal toe bone, found in the same cave in southern Siberia. DNA can survive in bone long after an animal dies. Over time the DNA from various microbes that encounter the skeleton will also invade the bone. As a result, the DNA can be contaminated with microbe DNA. Scientists therefore have to ensure that they sequence only the Neanderthal genome and get rid of any DNA material left behind by these microbes or resulting from contamination by modern humans who handle these bones. As with the human genome sequence, the Denisovan and Neanderthal genome sequences were made available online for free. Some Neanderthal DNA resembles DNA from people of European and Asian origin but these similarities are not seen in African DNA. This suggests that modern humans evolved in Africa and then expanded out into Asia and Europe, where Neanderthals lived.


Even today many of us carry a small fraction of DNA from our archaic Neanderthal and Denisovan ancestors. This shared DNA could have shaped our individual susceptibility to modern-day diseases or adaptation to new environments and climates. Scientists have found nine Neanderthal genes in living humans known to be associated with susceptibility to conditions such as type 2 diabetes, lupus and Crohn’s disease. It has also been shown that high-altitude adaptation in Tibetans may be a consequence of archaic Denisovan DNA sequence in a region of DNA associated with hemoglobin concentration at high altitudes. Additional research is being carried out to investigate these links further. 


Hope things are made clearer about our origins.




Thu, 12 May 2022 22:08:30 +0530
Bulldozers roll over illegal shanties in Delhi

New Delhi, May 12

The people residing alongside the KN Katju road in Delhi's Rohini area were left agonised as their illegally constructed huts were demolished by the Municipal Corporation on Thursday.

The shanties that were razed to the ground were constructed on the pavement of the main road, i.e., on the government land. As the officials of the civic body arrived there, the people, rather than resisting the drive, were seen removing the temporarily constructed structures.

The special encroachment removal drive was fixed by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation along with other departments to remove temporary and permanent encroachment from the government land, footpaths, and pedestrian pathways in the areas that come under their jurisdiction.

"We have been residing here for the past 25 years and there was no problem. We are not Bangladeshis or Rohingyas. Decades ago we came from Rajasthan," Ram Lal Solanki, whose dwelling was demolished, told IANS.

When asked where they will go now, the dolorous Solanki said they have no place to go and will reside on the same pavement, sans a roof over head.

Another woman named Bimla said, expressed similar sentiments. "I have four sons and as many daughter-in-laws. My grandchildren are studying in school. We won't go anywhere and stay here only," she said.

After removing over 300 shanties, the demolition process for Thursday was almost completed in the area and the JCB bulldozers were now removing the debris on the footpath.


Thu, 12 May 2022 14:32:55 +0530
Naimisharanya in UP set for a major revamp

Lucknow, May 12

The Yogi Adityanath government, in an attempt to boost religious tourism, is all set to revamp and renovate Naimisharanya in Sitapur and bring back its ancient glory.

Naimisharanya is a prominent centre of pilgrimage for Hindus with multiple mythological connections.

Lok Bharti, a civil society organisation, on Thursday started the fourth round of efforts for the revamp of Naimisharanya. The organisation will seek assistance from government organisations as it has been doing since 2011.

Eleven teams of volunteers have been formed to work on the plan.

The district administration of Sitapur and Hardoi and forest department have aligned with Lok Bharti in the effort to plant trees and restore ponds.

"We will take up 20 villages that lie on the 84-kosi distance and work for the revival of ponds and ancient sources of groundwater there," said Brijendra Pal Singh from Lok Bharti.

"The organisations will dig ponds and seek assistance from the government under the Centre's Amrit Sarovar scheme. The other initiative will be to revive the Chitwa river which has dried up," said Singh, adding that it covers a distance of 29 km and flows through 20 villages.

It has a slope of 21 metres which will be rectified to conserve rainwater. Farmers in the villages will be encouraged for cow-based organic farming, which will lead to water conservation.

Naimisharanya has sage's blessings. Legend has it that after Sage Dadhichi gave away all his bones, he invoked the pilgrimage sites and that's how Naimisharanya got them. The place has 10 teerths (pilgrimages).

Thu, 12 May 2022 14:29:22 +0530
PM to virtually launch Madhya Pradesh Startup Policy

New Delhi, May 12

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will virtually launch the 'Madhya Pradesh Startup Policy' on Friday, May 13.

He will address the startup community during the Madhya Pradesh Startup Conclave being held in Indore on Friday.

The Prime Minister will also launch the Madhya Pradesh Startup portal, which will facilitate and help promote the startup ecosystem.

In a statement, the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said that the conclave will witness participation of various pillars of the startup ecosystem including policy makers from government and private sector, innovators, entrepreneurs, academicians, investors, mentors and other stakeholders.

The conclave will witness a variety of sessions, including speed mentoring session, where startups will have dialogue with leaders of educational institutions and startup space; how to start startup session, where startups will be guided by policymakers; funding session, where entrepreneurs will learn about various funding methods; pitching session, where startups will get opportunity to collaborate with investors and put forth their ideas for funding; and ecosystem support session, where participants will learn about brand value and about promoting startup ecosystem in the state.

A Startup Expo displaying new trends and innovations will also be displayed at the venue.


Thu, 12 May 2022 14:26:22 +0530
How did dinosaurs become extinct

Anupama Nair


What is a dinosaur? It is the common name given to a group of reptiles, often very large, that first appeared nearly 250 million years ago i.e., the beginning of the Middle Triassic Epoch and flourished across the world  for nearly 180 million years. Unfortunately, majority of them died by the end of the Cretaceous Period, about 66 million years ago, but researches on the topic revel that one lineage evolved into birds about 155 million years ago. The Triassic is a geologic period which began 50.6 million years ago, while the Cretaceous Period began 145.0 million years ago and ended 66 million years ago.

The name dinosaur was derived from the Greek words deinos which meant “terrible” or “fearfully great” and sauros which meant reptile” or “lizard”. The great English scientist Richard Owen used  the formal term ‘Dinosauria’ in 1842 to include three giant extinct animals  i.e., MegalosaurusIguanodon, and Hylaeosaurus and were represented by the large fossilized bones that had been unearthed at several locations in southern England during the early part of the 19th century. Owen was of the belief that these reptiles were far different from other known reptiles found in the present and the past as they were large but terrestrial, unlike the quatic ichthyosaurs and plesiosaurs that were already known. They had five vertebrae in their hips, whereas most known reptiles had  only two; and, rather than holding their limbs sprawled out to the side similar to lizards, dinosaurs held their limbs under the body in columnar fashion, like other large mammals. The question is where they reptiles or mammals?

They were originally used for just a handful of incomplete specimens, the clade Dinosauria now includes more than 800 generic names and at least 1,000 species, with new names being added to the roster every year as the result of scientific discoveries around the world. However, not all of these names are valid. A great many of them have been based on fragmentary or incomplete material that may actually have come from two or more different dinosaurs. In addition, their bones have sometimes been mistaken as dinosaurs when they are not.

There is a misunderstanding commonly described in popular books and media that all the dinosaurs became extinct at the same time and apparently quite suddenly at the end of the Cretaceous Period. This is not true, because birds are a living branch of dinosaurian lineage. The best records, which are mostly from North America show that dinosaurs were already in decline during the latest portion of the Cretaceous. The causes of this decline are complex and difficult to attribute to a single source. In order to understand extinction, it is necessary to understand the basic fossil record of dinosaurs.

Around 160 million years or so of the Mesozoic Era i.e., 252.2 million to 66 million years ago, from which dinosaurs are known. There were constant changes in dinosaur communities. Different species evolved quickly and were quickly replaced by others throughout the Mesozoic age. It is not possible that any particular type of dinosaur survived from one geologic formation into the next.

It is important to note that extinction is a normal, universal occurrence. Mass extinctions often come to mind when the term extinction is mentioned but the normal background extinctions that occur throughout geologic time probably account for most losses of biodiversity. Just as new species constantly split from existing ones, existing species are constantly becoming extinct. The speciation rate of a group must, on balance, exceed the extinction rate in the long run, or that group will become extinct. The history of animal and plant life is full with successions as early forms were replaced by the new and often more advanced forms. In most instances the layered nature of the fossil record gives too little information to show whether the old forms were actually displaced by the new successors from the effects of competition, predation, or other ecological processes or if the new kinds simply expanded into the declining population’s ecological positions.

However, due to the knowledge of the various dinosaur groups is somewhat incomplete, the duration of any particular dinosaur can be gauged only approximately by stratigraphic boundaries and presumed “first” and “last” occurrences. The “moments” of apparently high extinction levels among dinosaurs occurred at two points in the Triassic i.e., about 221 million and 210 million years ago, or perhaps at the end of the Jurassic around 145 million years ago, and, of course, at the end of the Cretaceous period.

The next question is whether the extinctions were simultaneous and instantaneous or whether they were non-synchronous and spread over a long time. The precision with which geologic time can be measured leaves much to be desired no matter what means are used. Only rarely does an “instantaneous” event leave a worldwide or even regional signature in the geologic record in the way that a volcanic eruption does locally.

It is believed that dinosaurs left no descendants. However, it is not true as Archaeopteryx, discovered in 1861, and Xiaotingia, which was discovered in 2011, give compelling evidence those birds of the class Aves evolved from the small theropod dinosaurs. Following the principles of genealogy that are applied to humans as much as to other organisms, and they are classified at a higher level within the groups from which they evolved. Archaeopteryx and Xiaotingia which are the oldest birds known are therefore classified as both dinosaurs and birds, just as humans are both primates and mammals.

It is still unclear how dinosaurs were extinct? Hope we will solve this mystery soon!

Thu, 12 May 2022 14:23:45 +0530
Harappan jewelry discovered in Rakhigarhi

Anupama Nair


The year 2014 was a very memorable year for me personally as I had the chance to visit Gujarat for the very first time. I visited Dwarka, Somnath and then visited many Indus Valley sites in Gujarat. I surely enjoyed visiting those sites and hope one day I get to see Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro. The major ancient civilizations of the world were Indus Valley Civilization (3300 BC–1900 BC), Greek (2700 BC–479 BC), Roman (550 BC–465 AD), Egyptian (3150 BC 332 BC), Mesopotamian (3500 BC–500 BC), Mayan (2600 BC–900 AD) among a few.

The Indus Valley Civilization (IVC) was a Bronze Age Civilization in the northwestern regions of Indian Subcontinent from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Western, Northwestern Bharat. It existed from 3300 BC to 1300 BC, and in its mature form from 2600 BC to 1900 BC. Along with Egyptian and Mesopotamian, it was one of three early civilizations of the Asian continent. It flourished in the basins of the Sindhu River (Indus), which flows through Pakistan, and is perennial, mostly monsoon-fed, rivers that once coursed in the vicinity of the seasonal  Ghagar-Hakra river northwestern Bharat and eastern Pakistan.

It is to be noted that this is the only urban civilization while the rest of the above-mentioned civilizations were rural. The civilization's cities were noted for their urban planning, baked bricks houses, elaborate drainage systems, water supply systems, clusters of large non-residential buildings, and new techniques in handicraft (seal carving) and metallurgy (copper, bronze, lead, and tin).  The large cities of Mohenjo-Daro (Sind) and Harappa (Punjab) likely had a population of between 30,000 and 60,000 and the civilization itself during its florescence may have contained between one and five million people.

The Indus civilization is also known as the Harappan Civilization, after one of the sites, Harappa which was the first of the sites to be excavated in the 1920s while trying to lay a railway line.  The discovery of Harappa and soon afterwards Mohenjo-Daro was the culmination of work beginning in 1861 with the founding of the Archaeological Survey of India during the colonial rule. There were however earlier and later cultures often called Early Harappan and Late Harappan in the same area. By 2002, over 1000 Mature Harappan cities and settlements had been reported, of which just under a hundred had been excavated. There were seven known biggest townships -- Harappa, Mohenjo-Daro and Ganeri Wala in Pakistan and Dholavira, Rakhigarhi, Lothal and Kalibangan in India.

Rangpur in Limdi Taluka of Ahmedabad district was the first site to be re-excavated after our Independence as the historians suspected to have a Harappan connection. It is believed that the Harappans probably migrated to Kutch around 2500 BC, and decided to settle down there. It is believed that there are 60 Indus settlements have been found in Kutch, of which 40 belong to the ‘early’ phase while the others belong to the mature phase.  The discoveries done by historians reveal that the Harappans brought their culture and way of life to Gujarat much before the civilization declined, causing large-scale migration from Kutch to the hinterland of Gujarat and even modern-day Saurashtra. 

If you are a historophile or a lover of history and ancient civilizations, like me a trip to all the Indus Valley sites in a particular state would be perfect for your next holiday. I started with Gujarat as it is near to Mumbai and took Shatabdi to Ahmedabad and thus started a journey of a lifetime! I visited Lothal and Dholavira. Then I got a chance to see Rakhigarhi in Haryana. Rakhigarhi came into the news after many recent discoveries by the Archaeological Survey of India which was conducting research for over 32 years. Let me tell you more about Rakhigarhi.

Rakhigarhi in Haryana was excavated by Shri Amarendra Nath of the Archeological Survey of India. Five inter-connected mounds spread in a huge area form Rakhigarhi's unique site. Two mounds, out of five, were believed to be thickly populated. It was found that mature Harappan phase represented by a planned township having mud-brick as well as burnt-brick houses with proper drainage system existed here. Animal sacrificial pit lined with mud brick and triangular and circular fire alters on the mud floor have also been excavated that signified the ritual system of Harappans. “A cylindrical seal with five Harappan characters on one side and a symbol of an alligator on the other is an important find from this site”.

Other finds included “blades (terracotta and shell bangles), beads of semiprecious stones, terracotta, shell and copper objects, animal figurines, toy cart frame and wheel of terracotta, bone points. The excavations also discovered a few burial sites”. It made one of its biggest discoveries yet with the excavation of a 5000-year-old jewelry-making factory.

The structure of some houses, a kitchen complex and a 5000-year-old jewelry making factory was discovered, which proved that the site must have been a very important trade center. Jewelry made of gold and copper were also found which had been hidden from the future civilization for thousands of years. Similar to Sinauli in Uttar Pradesh that  gained attention for its Bronze Age solid-disk wheel carts discovered in 2018, which were interpreted by some as horse-pulled "chariots", graveyards also have been found in the excavation sites which archaeologists said that “civilization believed in life after death”. ASI has made a lot of discoveries in the last two months in Rakhigarhi which points to the civilization progressing steadily towards development. Thousands of earthen pots, royal seals, and children's toys have also been excavated.

Archaeologists were also researching on the decline of the Harappan Civilization and ruled out external attacks as the reason for abandonment of the Harappan-age settlement discovered at Rakhigarhi. Climatic changes and shortage of water could be the major reasons for the mass exodus of the people. Satellite imagery as well as literary sources suggest the presence of a river channel in the area which could be the Drishadvati river which was associated with Vedic river Saraswati. Drying up of the river might have also affected the livelihood of the people as they could not carry out trade prompting them to gradually migrate to other locations. Several layers of settlements starting from the early Harappan phase (3300 to 2600 BC) to mature Harappan phase (2600 to 1900 BC) have been found at the site.

The Mound number 7 of Rakhigarhi has been declared as a necropolis. A total of 62 burials have been found there so far. These include two female skeletons found in the current round of excavation commencing from February that will go on till September-end.“Necropolis dates back to the mature Harappan phase. “We have dug deeper and found that residential settlement existed in Mound 7 in the early Harappan phase,” said an officer who is involved in the digging of Mound 7. He added that there was nothing found on the skeletons to suggest that the deaths took place during warfare. The pottery found with the bodies is suspected to have contained ghee, milk, curd etc., which are used in final rites in India even today, which shows “cultural continuity”.

The latest excavation has also exposed layouts of roads of 3-m width and drains with soak pits placed at corners where the drains have taken a turn at 90-degree angle.

I dream of the day when I can visit all other sites in India and Pakistan and dream of Akhund Bharat.

Thu, 12 May 2022 14:18:21 +0530
Indices extend losses Sensex declines nearly 1K pts

New Delhi, May 12

Indian equity benchmarks extended their losses from the previous session and tanked sharply due to weak global cues amidst high volatility.

Asian stocks fell as the US inflation for April stood persistently high, which dented investors' confidence.

The US April inflation print came at 8.3 per cent from a year ago, slower than March's peak of 8.5 per cent. But it is the highest in over 40 years.

At 11.03 a.m., Sensex was down 975 points or 1.8 per cent at 53,114, whereas Nifty was down 302 points or 1.9 per cent at 15,865.

"Even though DII buying is more than FII selling now, that is not enough to lift sentiments in the market since the macro headwinds are strong," said V.K. Vijayakumar, Chief Investment Strategist at Geojit Financial Services.

"Market's preference for value over growth is reflected in the strength of high quality banking stocks which are even now at buyable valuations."

Nifty continues to look weak and some more downside is expected before stability and a short term reversal, said Deepak Jasani, Head of Retail Research, HDFC Securities.

"16,000-16,197 could be the band for the Nifty in the near term," said Dasani.

Thu, 12 May 2022 14:02:12 +0530
Myanmar to resume issuing tourist e visas starting on May 15

Yangon, May 12

Myanmar will resume accepting tourist e-visa applications starting on Sunday, more than two years after the country suspended all new e-visa applications due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

"Our online e-visa service will resume with effect from May 15, 2022 for tourist visa applications," the Immigration and Population Ministry said on Thursday.

The move came after the country's resumption of international commercial flight operations on April 17 and the reopening of its borders to international travellers, Xinhua news agency reported.

The official data released by the Health Ministry also showed the country's Covid-19 daily positivity rate has been below one per cent for more than a month since April 4.

The Southeast Asian country resumed accepting applications for business e-visas on April 1.

Myanmar launched the online visa application platform in September 2014 and is accepting e-visa applications from this website.

Thu, 12 May 2022 13:59:50 +0530
Odisha Most wanted criminal injured in encounter held

Bhubaneswar, May 12

A hardcore and most-wanted criminal was grievously injured in an encounter with Bhubaneswar-Cuttack Commissionorate Police in Bhubaneswar city and was arrested.

The encounter took place at Baramunda ground under Khandagiri police station on Wednesday midnight. Two cops were also injured in the encounter, police said on Thursday.

Soon after receiving information that Chakara Barik and his associates were planning to conduct an armed robbery in Baramunda Housing Board Colony last midnight, Khanadagiri police along with a special squad reached the ground to catch the notorious criminal.

Seeing the police party approaching them, the criminals threw hand bomb on the police team and also simultaneously opened fire, said Bhubaneswar DCP Prateek Singh.

"In retaliation, the police also opened controlled fire at them. In the exchange of fire, one of the criminals identified as Chakara Barik has been injured," he said.

Barik was first admitted in the Capital Hospital and later shifted to SCB Medical College, Cuttack.

Two policemen have also suffered minor injuries in the encounter. The health condition of the criminal along with the policemen is stable, the DCP said.

Singh further informed that Barik is a notorious criminal and more than 20 criminal cases have been pending against him in different police stations.

The police seized bombs, gun and a car from the encounter spot. However, the associates of Barik managed to escape from the spot.

Thu, 12 May 2022 13:57:46 +0530
Honey trapped IAF jawan held for espionage

New Delhi, May 12

The Crime Branch of Delhi Police has arrested an Indian Air Force jawan for allegedly leaking sensitive information to a woman, officials said on Thursday.

The Jawan, identified as Devendra Sharma, was working as an Airman with the Indian Air Force in Delhi.

Crime Branch sources said the accused Sharma was first honey-trapped by a woman and later asked to share secret information of the IAF. "He was caught in a honey-trap through social media," sources said.

They further said that accused Sharma was first detained on May 6 and the police have since then been probing the matter and have now unearthed the conspiracy.

During the investigation, it was also revealed that some suspicious transactions were made in his wife's bank account.

Meanwhile, according to sources, the role of Pakistan's intelligence agency ISI is being currently probed in the whole matter.

Notably, it is not the first time that a defence personnel has been honey-trapped by the ISI handlers. Pakistani intelligence agencies are always working to corner India and fetch sensitive information about India's security apparatus by honey-trapping young personnel.


Thu, 12 May 2022 13:54:22 +0530
Five killed 2 injured in accident on Yamuna Expressway

Agra, May 12

Five people were killed and two seriously injured when an SUV collided head on with a dumper on Uttar Pradesh's Yamuna Expressway on Thursday.

The SUV was en route to Noida when the accident took place.

The injured have been admitted to a hospital in Noida for treatment while the bodies sent for post-mortem. All of them are natives of Maharashtra.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has expressed grief over the incident and has directed officials to ensure proper treatment of the injured.


Thu, 12 May 2022 13:51:58 +0530
Udaipur will be new milestone of hope aspiration Change Cong

New Delhi, May 12

A day ahead of the 'Chintan Shivir' in Udaipur, the Congress has said that Udaipur will be a new milestone of "hope, aspiration and change as India is enduring a painful and vicious assault on its democracy, economy and societal harmony".

Addressing a press conference the party general secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala said, "Congress was born out of a determined struggle to liberate India and its people from the shackles of oppression, discrimination, bigotry and the policy of divide and rule. In these trying times, when "Divide and Rule" has become the state policy, we resolve to re-dedicate ourselves to "nav sankalp", that is, to once again propel India onto the path of progress, prosperity and societal harmony."

"The road map shall provide a way forward not only to the Congress Party to meet up with the current set of reverses and challenges, but will also pave the way for a resilient, strong and inclusive Nation," he added.

The Congress said that insurmountable "wealth inequality" in India means that the wealth of the 142 richest Indians has gone up by Rs 30 lakh crore in one year whereas the income of 84 per cent of the Indian Households dropped drastically. "Instead of receiving Rs 15 lakh in every account, the existing savings of common people have been lost," he said.

"The freefall of the Indian economy has resulted in the Indian Rupee falling to an abysmal level of US $1 Rs 77.50. On the other hand, India's debt has shockingly risen from Rs 55 lakh crore in the year 2014 to Rs 135 lakh crore in the year 2022. The Modi government takes a debt of Rs 4,000 crore daily. Every Indian has a debt of Rs 1,00,000 on his/her head," he said.

Thu, 12 May 2022 13:49:24 +0530
Appalling state of Kerala s finances as loans mount

Thiruvananthapuram, May 12

With a total public debt of over Rs three lakh crore-mark, Kerala's state Finance department got a rude jolt when the Centre raised a series of questions on its proposal seeking clearance to take a loan of Rs 2,000 crore.

Sources said that borrowing was needed to disburse the salaries and pension of the state government employees for the month of May in the first week of June.

With dwindling revenues and the state having drawn a staggering Rs 28,000 crore from various sources with the clearance of the Centre to tide over the Covid pandemic stress and strain in the previous years, the fresh demand for another Rs 2,000 crore has not been sanctioned and instead numerous questions have been posed.

Only time will reveal whether the state government employees can get their pay cheque as usual in the first week of the next month. The biggest public sector -- Kerala State Road Transport Corporation's 35,000 employees are yet to get their salaries for the month of April and none, including its Minister, Antony Raju has any clue of when the employees will be paid.

Raju was hopeful that once Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan returns from the US, the matter will be resolved. But a meeting between the two on Wednesday failed to resolve the issue as it has always been the state government which was pumping funds to the cash strapped Corporation and this time. However, this time the state government itself is facing financial constraints

Sources said that the KSRTC is trying to pledge a few of its bus depots. So far 52 depots have been pledged for over Rs 3,000 crore, and the sooner more are done, the faster its employees will get their salaries.

Incidentally, in the first week of the new fiscal year, the state's piquant financial position became very evident when the director of Treasuries was told that the ways and means limits have been reduced from Rs 1 crore to Rs 25 lakh with immediate effect. And if there needs to be any payments to be made above Rs 25 lakh, then special sanctions will have to come to effect the payment.

Incidentally, till April 25, the treasuries were allowed to pay bills up to Rs one crore.

Thu, 12 May 2022 13:46:21 +0530
Clashes in MP s Rajgarh over land dispute cop among 3 injured

Bhopal, May 12

Three people, including a police officer, were injured when two groups clashed over a land in Madhya Pradesh's Rajgarh district, police said on Thursday.

An angry mob went on a vandalism spree, torching shops and houses. The violence occurred on Wednesday evening, it said.

District Superintendent of Police Pradeep Sharma said an angry mob damaged public and private properties. A van and two motorbikes were also set ablaze. When police reached the spot, miscreants pelted stones and shattered the glass of a police vehicle and the Khilchipur SDM's car.

Police had to fire tear gas shells to disperse the mob and called for back-up. In the wake of the violence, heavy police deployment was seen in Karedi on Thursday. The situation is tense but under control, District Collector Harsh Vikas told media.

DSP Pradeep Sharma said the entire incident was triggered when a man attacked another from a different community with an iron rod after the two had a verbal spat over a land dispute. The injured were rushed to Rajgarh District Hospital, where they are currently undergoing treatment.

"Fire tenders put out the blaze and police brought the situation under control. There was no loss of life. At least three people -- two brothers and one policeman - were injured in the stone pelting," police said.

An FIR has been lodged against both the groups. Four people -- the accused, his two sons and daughter-in-law -- have been named, while the rest are unidentified.

Thu, 12 May 2022 13:42:55 +0530
PM appreciates nurses for their vital role in keeping planet healthy

New Delhi, May 12

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday appreciated the nurses for their vital role in keeping our planet healthy.

Taking to twitter on the occasion of International Nurses Day, the Prime Minister posted, "Nurses play a vital role in keeping our planet healthy. Their dedication and compassion is exemplary.

"International Nurses Day is a day to reiterate our appreciation to all nursing staff for their exceptional work even in the most challenging of situations."

Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju tweeted, "On #InternationalNursesDay, I express my deep gratitude to all the Nurses for their inspiring services and spirited fight against COVID-19."


Thu, 12 May 2022 13:40:01 +0530
Shiv Sena Mumbai MLA Ramesh Latke dies in Dubai

Mumbai, May 12

Shiv Sena MLA from Mumbai Ramesh Latke died of a massive heart attack in Dubai, late on Wednesday.

Sena MP and Chief Spokesperson Sanjay Raut said he was 52 and the end came around midnight.

"I spoke with him just last evening... He was absolutely fine... And then around midnight the sad news came...," a visibly emotional Raut said.

Latke had gone to Dubai with his family and he passed away when they (family) had gone out for shopping.

"We are now making efforts to bring his mortal remains to Mumbai for the last rites maybe tomorrow or so," said Raut.

Starting life as an ordinary Shiv Sainik over three decades ago, he was always at the forefront of all agitations, campaigns and programmes.

He soon became a Shiv Sena Shakha Pramukh, then elected BMC's Municipal Corporator.

He grew further and subsequently was elected MLA from Andheri East in 2014, emerging a giant-killer when he defeated a strongman and Congress Minister Suresh Shetty, and in 2019 re-elected.

Many top Sena leaders and others expressed their condolences at the passing of Latke.

Thu, 12 May 2022 13:36:56 +0530
Google announces 1st Pixel Watch showcases Android tablet

New Delhi, May 12

Google has finally announced a Pixel Watch that will arrive along with Pixel 7 smartphone later this fall. The company also showcased its first Android tablet.

The Pixel Watch will come with a circular, domed design and features a "tactile" crown and side button.

Made of recycled stainless steel, the watch will run Wear OS 3 that features a "refreshed UI" with better navigation and smart notifications, the company announced late on Wednesday.

"It has customizable bands that easily attach. With this watch, you'll get the new Wear OS by Google experience and Fitbit's industry-leading health and fitness tools � right on your wrist," said Rick Osterloh, Senior Vice President, Devices and Services .

Google had bought Fitbit for $2.1 billion. The Fitbit integration will go beyond customising watch faces and be "imbued throughout" the Pixel Watch experience.

Google also introduced the new Pixel 6a, which has the same Tensor processor and industry-leading security from our Titan M2 chip.

"Our Pixel Buds are designed to perfectly complement your Pixel phone, and we're excited to expand the earbuds offerings with Pixel Buds Pro," said the company.

These premium earbuds include a new, custom 6-core audio chip that runs Google-developed algorithms.

The company also shared an early look at its Android tablet, powered by Google Tensor.

"Built to be the perfect companion for your Pixel phone, our tablet will blend into your day-to-day routine and help connect the moments you're on the go with the moments you're at home. We hope to have more to share in 2023," said Osterloh.


Thu, 12 May 2022 09:43:41 +0530
World Cup qualifier FIFA to investigate possible ineligibility of Ecuador player

Zurich (Switzerland), May 12

FIFA on Wednesday said that it has opened an investigation into allegations that Ecuador fielded an ineligible player in its World Cup qualifying campaign.

The Chilean Football Federation last week filed a complaint with world football's governing body claiming that Ecuador's Byron Castillo is in fact Colombian, and has falsified his age. Chile claimed that the 23-year-old defender used a false birth certificate and nationality to register as Ecuadorian.

"FIFA has decided to open disciplinary proceedings in relation to the potential ineligibility of Byron David Castillo Segura with regard to the above-mentioned matches," FIFA said in a statement.

"In this context, the FEF (Ecuadoran Football Association) and the Peruvian Football Association have been invited to submit their positions to the FIFA Disciplinary Committee," it added.

If allegations found true, under Fifa rules Ecuador could have to forfeit their World Cup place.

Ecuador finished fourth in Conmebol qualifying and claimed an automatic place at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar ahead of Peru, who must play Australia or the United Arab Emirates in a play-off in June. Chile finished seventh.

Castillo played in eight of Ecuador's 18 qualifiers, matches in which they picked up 14 of their 26 points. But Chile say that Ecuador should forfeit the eight games Castillo played in, and their opponents be awarded three points for each of them. That would see Chile leapfrog Colombia and Peru into the fourth automatic spot.


Thu, 12 May 2022 09:35:58 +0530
Singer Udit Narayan finds Kashmir more beautiful than his imagination

Srinagar, May 12

Bollywood singer, Udit Narayan is currently shooting his latest music album at different scenic locations in the Valley and he says this is his first visit to the 'Heaven on Earth'.

Udit Narayan is accompanied by his son, Aditya Narayan, Bollywood actress, Sonali Sachdeva and director Gaurav Chandrakant Bhat.

He has so far shot his music album at picturesque places like Naranag ancient ruins in Ganderbal district, the Dal Lake, Royal Spring Golf course in Srinagar and other places.

Sharing his first time Kashmir experience, he said, "Every spot is a scenic shooting location in Kashmir."

Bollywood legend, Raj Kapoor was the last to shot at Naranag ancient ruins. Kapoor shot 'Ram Teri Ganga Maili' at Naranag.

"I have come here for the first time although my son, Aditya has visited the places many times and shot many songs in Kashmir. I had heard that this place is 'Heaven on Earth' and I have found it more beautiful than I had ever imagined."

He wants Bollywood to come to Kashmir in a big way.

He and his crew are deeply impressed by the hospitality of the local people, Udit Narayan asserted.

Director, Gaurav Chandrakant Bhat said that he does not know about the situation in the Valley, but given the hospitality of the local people, he is sure that Bollywood has no reason to stay away.

Udit Narayan was all praise for late Bollywood film director, Yash Chopra, who he said was the master of directing love stories because he had fallen in love with Kashmir.

Yash Chopra shot his famous movies, 'Silsila', 'Kabhi Kabhai' and his last movie, 'Jab Tak Hai Jaan' in Kashmir.


Thu, 12 May 2022 09:32:04 +0530
Egyptian army kills 14 terrorists in Sinai

Cairo, May 12

The Egyptian army has killed 14 terrorists during armed clashes and military operations in North Sinai Governorate.

The Egyptian armed forces confirmed in a statement that seven terrorists were killed in clashes with law enforcement forces when they attempted to attack a security outpost in North Sinai, Xinhua news agency reported.

The terrorists' automatic rifles, hand grenades and wireless communication devices were seized, according to the statement.

Another seven terrorists were killed in an air raid in North Sinai on the same day, according to the statement.

The anti-terror operations came after 11 Egyptian troops were killed and five others wounded on May 7 in clashes with terrorists in western Sinai.

Through a decade of fighting terrorism in the northern part of the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt has managed to minimize terrorist activities in the peninsula.

The terrorists in Sinai are mostly loyal to the Islamic State group.


Thu, 12 May 2022 09:23:16 +0530
Cong Tukde Tukde gang have no right to give sermons to others Rijiju

New Delhi, May 12

Hitting out at Rahul Gandhi, Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju on Wednesday said that Congress Party and "its ecosystem of the 'Tukde Tukde' gang have no right to give sermons to others".

In a series of tweets, Rijiju said, "Empty words by @RahulGandhi If there is one party that is the antithesis of freedom, democracy and respect for institutions, it is the Indian National Congress. This Party has always stood with Breaking India forces and left no opportunity to divide India."

"And... Who brought in the First Amendment? None other than Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru! It was SP Mookerjee and the Jana Sangh which stood in opposition to this measure aimed at curtailing freedom of expression. Nehru ji also dismissed the democratically elected Government in Kerala," he added.

Rijiju said that when it comes to trampling over free speech, "Mrs Indira Gandhi Ji is a Gold Medal Winner".

"We all know about the Emergency but do you also know she imposed Article 356 over 50 times! She came up with the idea of a 'Committed Judiciary' to weaken the Judiciary, our thrid pillar," he said.

He further wrote, "It was the Indira Gandhi Government which made Section 124A a cognisable offence for the first time in India's history. This happened in the new Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 which came into force in 1974. Has Congress checked its own past actions?"

"UPA Government has the worst track record of filing sedition cases. In 2012, thousands of people had sedition cases filed against them under the watchful eyes of 'Recounting Minister' P. Chidambaram," he said.

The minister claimed that during the Anna Movement and the other anti-corruption movements too, those who were not toeing the UPA line were "subjected to bullying, harassment, intimidation and arrests. All this under the watchful eyes of the UPA".

"The NDA Government under PM @narendramodi Ji will always protect the unity, integrity and sovereignty of India. It will also protect the values enshrined in our Constitution. Congress Party and it's eco-system of the Tukde Tukde gang have no right to give sermons to others," he added.

Rijiju made these comments quoting a tweet by Rahul Gandhi, which reads: "Telling the truth is patriotism, not treason. Listening to the truth is the Rajdharma, To crush the truth is arrogance. do not fear."

Gandhi was referring to Supreme Court order putting hold on sedition law.


Thu, 12 May 2022 09:16:55 +0530
Get drenched in these ambrosial cocktails

New Delhi, May 11

 Is the hot sun getting to you? Don't worry, we've got your back. This summer, create a spirit storm with these rich aperitifs. With World Cocktail Day approaching, Pernod Ricard India and Jimmy's Cocktails present a feast of the finest Madeira.

Here are seven mouth watering mixes you can get tipsy on this World Cocktail Day:

Jimmy's Summer Mojito


* Tequila 60ml

* Jimmy's Mango Chilli Mojito mix 60ml

* Tobasco 1 drop

* Tonic Water 60ml

How to mix:

* In a tall glass filled with ice, measure the above ingredients and stir to mix well

* Garnish with a Mango candy and fresh mint sprigs and serve.

Cosmopolitan Summer


* Gin 60ml

* Jimmy's Cosmopolitan mix 90ml

* Black Salt powder 1 pinch

* Chat masala 1 pinch

* Orange Wedge 1 number

How to mix:

* In a shaker glass filled with ice, pour the above ingredients and shake well

* Strain into a tall glass filled with ice

* Squeeze a fresh orange wedge and drop

Jameson, Ginger and Lime


* Jameson Original 30 ml

* Ginger Ale 60 ml

* Sparkling Apple Juice 90 ml

* A fresh slice of apple or lemon wedge

How to mix:

* Fill highball with ice, pour Jameson, fill rest with Ginger ale, squeeze Nimbu wedge and drop into glass.



* Oaken Glow 30ml

* Espresso 30ml

* A spoonful (120-150ml) of vanilla ice cream

How to Mix:

* This cocktail is curated by mixing all ingredients well with some ice cubes (in a cocktail shaker)

* Pour out into a whiskey glass and serve with a chocolate stick/roll.

Absolut Cosmopolitan


* Absolut Citron 40 ml

* Triple Sec 20 ml

* Lime Juice 20 ml

* Cranberry Juice 20 ml

* 1 Twist Orange Zest

* Ice Cubes

How to mix:

* Fill a shaker with ice cubes

* Add all ingredients

* Shake and strain into a cocktail glass

* Garnish with an orange zest twist

Matcha Pina Colada


* Beefeater Dry or 24 50ml

* Bar spoon matcha tea

* Fresh pineapple juice 30ml

* Fresh lemon juice 10ml

* Coconut milk 50ml

* Soda water 40ml

* Garnish: Matcha dusting

How to mix:

* Blend all ingredients together except for soda water until smooth

* Pour soda water into a glass then add the blended mixture and dust the top with matcha

* This is not a frozen drink, so take care not to add too much ice

Tom Collins


* Monkey 47 Schwarzwald Dry Gin 45ml

* Lemon Juice 20ml

* Simple Syrup 20ml

How to Mix:

* Build with ice into a collins glass

* Stir well and top with Soda Water

* Garnish with lemon and orange wheel

Wed, 11 May 2022 17:47:22 +0530
Maruti Hyundai led domestic export sales in April

Chennai, May 11

Car makers Maruti Suzuki India Ltd and Hyundai Motor India Ltd led the industry in terms of passenger vehicle exports last month, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers Association (SIAM) said on Wednesday.

As per the export data released by SIAM, Maruti Suzuki had shipped out 18,216 units (17,131 units in April 2021) while Hyundai Motors exported 12,200 units last month (10,201 units).

The other passenger vehicle exporters last month were: Honda Cars India Ltd 2,034 units, FCA India Automobiles 366 units, Kia Motors India 8,077 units, Mahindra & Mahindra 693 units, Nissan Motor India 1,229 units, Renault India 917 units, Toyota Kirloskar Motor 14 units and Volkswagen India 2,802 units.

According to SIAM data, last month the manufacturers rolled out 307,506 units (305,952 units) and sold - domestic 251,581 units (261,633 units), and exports 46,548 units (42,017 units).

"Sales of passenger vehicles is still below the April 2017 figures, while two-wheelers are even below the April 2012 figures. Three-wheelers are yet to reach normal levels, as sales are still less than 50 per cent of April 2016 figures. Manufacturers are working hard to manage the supplier ecosystem with agility and flexibility, as supply side challenges continues for the industry," SIAM Director General Rajesh Menon said.

Further, manufacturers are also monitoring the likely impact on demand, due to the recent hike in repo-rates, as it would increase the lending rates to the customers, he added.

According to SIAM, three-wheeler sales last month stood at 20,938 units and that of two-wheelers, it was 1,148,696 units.

Wed, 11 May 2022 17:41:12 +0530
Deepika Padukone is Louis Vuitton s first Indian House Ambassador

New Delhi, May 11

In its latest, French luxury brand Louis Vuitton announced Deepika Padukone as the new House Ambassador. Following a strong collaborative relationship with the Maison, including an appearance in Nicolas Ghesquiere's novel-inspired Pre-Fall 2020 campaign, the award-winning actress begins an exciting new chapter of her journey with Louis Vuitton as the first Indian to be signed with the brand as the House Ambassador.

Emma Stone, an Oscar winner and longtime House Ambassador, and Zhou Dongyu, a fellow Ambassador and pillar of contemporary Chinese cinema, star alongside Deepika Padukone in the campaign.

With over 30 feature films to her credit including 'Piku', 'Padmavaat' and most recently 'Gehraiyaan', the actress has notably been named a member of the jury of the 75th Cannes Film Festival.

Wed, 11 May 2022 17:38:11 +0530
Yogi govt to tackle malnutrition with fortified rice

Lucknow, May 11

The Uttar Pradesh government has decided to start distribution of fortified rice all over the state in the next one year through Public Distribution System (PDS), to address anaemia and deficiency of micro-nutrients in women and children.

Commissioner, Food and Civil Supplies, Sorabh Babu, said: "Fortified rice is being distributed in Chandauli district and Sewapuri block of Varanasi district. In other districts of the state, fortified rice is being distributed in mid-day meals and ICDS (Integrated Child Development Scheme).

"Taking it to a larger population and to tackle malnutrition, the state government will start the distribution through Targeted PDS (TPDS) in 60 high burden and aspirational districts of the state," he added.

The state government is preparing an action plan in this regard. By April 2023, it plans to cover the entire TPDS scheme and start distribution to 15 crore beneficiaries of the state.

The Centre's scheme of distribution of rice fortified with three nutrients (iron, folate, and vitamin B12) has started in Chandauli district on a pilot basis and was launched by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on January 9, 2021.

Malnutrition and lack of essential nutrients in poor women and poor children pose major obstacles in their development.

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) defines fortification as "deliberately increasing the content of essential micronutrients in a food so as to improve the nutritional quality of food and to provide public health benefits with minimal risk to health".

Rice fortification is a process of adding micronutrients to regular rice using extrusion technology. This involves the production of fortified rice kernels (FRK) from a mixture using an extruder machine. The fortified rice kernels are then blended with regular rice or non-fortified rice, typically at a ratio of 1:100 to produce fortified rice.

The benefits of fortified rice include reduction in anaemia, increased levels of haemoglobin, vitamin B12, zinc, and multiple micronutrients.

Wed, 11 May 2022 17:35:37 +0530
Delhi Teen intervenes to stop fight stabbed to death

New Delhi, May 11

A 19-year-old man was stabbed to death when he intervened in an ongoing brawl between three people in the national capital, an official said on Wednesday.

According to the official, the deceased was identified as Md. Sameer, a class 12 student, while the accused - Noor Hasan alias Arzu (22) and his mother Rihana - have been arrested.

During the fight, a woman identified as Praveen also sustained stab wounds.

Sharing details of the case, Deputy Commissioner of Police (north district) Sagar Singh Kalsi said the incident took place around 9 p.m. on Tuesday at Rakhi market Jakhira in north Delhi.

"There was an ongoing altercation between Noor Hasan and Praveen's family over some work-related issue and on Tuesday, a quarrel took place between Arzu's mother Rihana and Praveen," the DCP said, adding that Noor Hasan also came and the argument turned violent with Noor Hasan stabbing Praveen with a knife.

Md. Sameer, who was passing by the street along with his friends at the same time, intervened to stop the fight but Noor Hassan, who was reportedly under the influence of liquor, stabbed him as well.

Md. Sameer was then rushed to a hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

The senior official informed that they have registered an FIR under section 302 (punishment for murder) and 34 A (Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Indian Penal Code at the Sarai Rohilla police station.

"The probe is still underway and some accused are still at large," Kalsi said.

Wed, 11 May 2022 17:32:38 +0530
Diabetes almost doubles risk of death from Covid Study

London, May 11

People with diabetes were almost twice as likely to die with Covid and almost three times as likely to be critically or severely ill compared to those without diabetes, finds a study.

The study conducted by researchers from the University of Aberdeen, UK found patients with diabetes had a significantly higher risk of requiring an intensive care admission and supplementary oxygen or being admitted in a critical condition in comparison to patients without diabetes.

However, good control of blood sugar in these patients can significantly reduce this risk.

"We found that following a Covid-19 infection, the risk of death for patients with diabetes was significantly increased in comparison to patients without diabetes," said Stavroula Kastora from the varsity.

"We also show that good glycaemic control may be a protective factor in view of Covid-19 related deaths," she added, in the paper published in the journal Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism.

The team reviewed findings from 158 studies that included more than 270,000 participants from all over the world to determine how Covid affects people living with diabetes.

The pooled results showed that people with diabetes were 1.87 times more likely to die with Covid, 1.59 times more likely to be admitted to ICU, 1.44 times more likely to require ventilation, and 2.88 times more likely to be classed as severe or critical, when compared to patients without diabetes.AA

Further, the researchers found that patients in China, Korea and the Middle East were at higher risk of death than those from EU countries or the US. They suggest this may be due to differences in healthcare systems and affordability of healthcare.

Diabetes is a serious medical condition where blood sugar levels are too high.

In 2021, approximately 537 million adults between the 20-79 years were living with diabetes, according to the International Diabetes Federation.

The total number of people living with diabetes is projected to rise to 643 million by 2030 and 783 million by 2045.

While diabetes increased severity of Covid, a recent study published in the journal Diabetologia, also showed people who have had Covid-19 infection are at increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

"In light of the ongoing pandemic, strengthening outpatient diabetes clinics, ensuring consistent follow up of patients with diabetes and optimising their glycaemic control could significantly increase the chances of survival following a Covid infection," Kastora noted.


Wed, 11 May 2022 17:28:41 +0530
Numbers in STEM streams on the rise yet few women in top roles

New Delhi, May 11

India is among the few countries which produce the highest number of engineers and scientists in the world, but while nearly 43 per cent of all Indian graduates in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) are women, their participation in STEM roles is merely 14 per cent.

While continuous efforts are needed to encourage women on the occasion of National Technology Day that annually falls on May 11, there is a need to renew focus on the lack of women participation in STEM roles, say stake holders.

There are very few women leaders in tech companies, which needs deeper attention and corrective measures to ensure they don't drop out mid-career.

Today, as organisations work towards strengthening their diversity and inclusion narrative, it is important to facilitate an ecosystem for easier participation and growth of women in STEM roles.

Jagriti Kumar, Chief Financial Officer, NLB Services, believes that companies need to offer a transparent pathway for women to climb up the ladder without the fear of ambiguity, bias, pay gap and discrimination.

"Studies have highlighted the direct positive effects of gender diversity in the workplace on innovation, enhanced collaboration and unique work culture. Access to training, projects and other resources can help bridge the gender gap by a great measure. With the help of structured guidance and flexibility, women can accelerate their growth and professional development," Kumar said.

The rapid ongoing shift to digitalisation is aligning the stars for women in technology, who aspire to portray their technology skills and wear the technology leader hat!

According to Bengaluru-based market intelligence firm 'UnearthInsight', India employs more than 1.8 million women in tech sectors, largely in IT services companies, Global Captive Centres (GCCs), software products and technology start-ups.

But gender diversity for senior roles in core product or tech services remains low both globally and in India.

"Industry players must showcase women leaders as role models and also create defined career paths for women from coding to quality to managerial to service line head roles as that will encourage more women in STEM to aspire to grow to leadership roles. Marketing and HR function has done well and has more than 5000 women leaders but tech services, GCC and tech start-ups have a lot of work to improve this," Gaurav Vasu, CEO, UnearthInsight, said.

As per a recent NASSCOM study, women were 23-24 per cent of the employees in the Indian IT sector a decade ago, which has now increased to 34 per cent of the 4.5 million employee base.

Rituparna Mandal, General Manager at MediaTek, believes that the change needs to start with us, and organisations need to focus on empowering women to break the glass ceiling, one day and one position at a time.

"Considering the variety of skills and personality sets that women bring to senior leadership positions, including resilience, creativity, adaptability, innovation, empathy, unique perspectives and team spirit, it is imperative that there be a higher representation in the upper echelons of STEM companies," she added.

In order to increase the participation of women in science, the government has also initiated several schemes such as Knowledge Involvement Research Advancement through Nurturing.

The scheme, launched in 2014-15, provides opportunities for women scientists in moving up the academic and administrative ladder, and the future is bright with the participation of women in STEM, say officials

Hence, the time is right to fix the lop-sided and leaky talent pipeline and build a gender-equal top tech force today, they add.

Wed, 11 May 2022 17:26:04 +0530
UAE s first woman filmmaker Nayla Al Khaja AR Rahman team up for Baab

Mumbai, May 11

The first woman filmmaker in the United Arab Emirates, Nayla Al Khaja is teaming with Oscar-winning Indian composer A.R. Rahman for her upcoming feature film 'Baab'.

Rahman added: "I'm delighted to be working with Nayla on her feature film 'Baab,' she's a passionate and promising filmmaker and an important creative voice within the Gulf region. The script is enigmatic, thought-provoking and promises to be both visually and emotionally engaging for universal audiences. I'm looking forward to the journey."

Written by Al Khaja and Masoud Amralla Al Ali, the film follows Wahida, who is unable to make sense of her twin sister's mysterious death and is plagued by a haunting rhythm in her ears.

She discovers hidden cassette tapes and her relentless pursuit of the truth begins to untangle unresolved grief taking her deep into the mountains to delve into the complexities of the human soul, reports 'Variety'.

The film will begin shooting in March 2023 in the northern Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, which will provide the film's backdrop of dramatic vistas of the Jais mountains and will cast indigenous people from the region for authenticity.

Al Khaja said: "My grandmother came from the mountains, they have never been captured in a feature before, the sheer access to the indigenous people of Ras Al Khaimah and the soulful script is an untold story that I am eager to tell. With A.R. Rahman on board, we will live a very immersive journey that is authentic, haunting and real."

Al Khaja is known for her shorts including 'Malal' and 'The Road to Fulfilment'.

She is making her feature debut with 'Three', which is scheduled to go into production during later this year. She is also attached to executive produce and potentially direct episodes of 'The Alexandria Killings'.

Rahman recently set up the Firdaus Studio as part of Expo 2020 Dubai and mentored the Firdaus Orchestra, an all-woman ensemble of 50 musicians from 23 Arab countries, reports 'Variety'.

Wed, 11 May 2022 17:22:05 +0530
Indices fall for fourth straight session amid high volatility Lead

New Delhi, May 11

Indian equity benchmarks on Wednesday extended their slump for the fourth straight session amid volatility in global financial markets.

The indices opened higher to later give up all of their gains as investors awaited the US inflation data, which is expected later in the day.

For fresh cues, investors would keep an eye on India's inflation for April, which is expected to be released on Thursday.

Sensex dropped 276 points, or 0.5 per cent, to settle at 54,088 points, whereas the Nifty dipped 73 points, or 0.5 per cent, and settled at 16,167 points.

Nifty auto and IT indices were some of the major losers on Wednesday, NSE data showed.

"While we did see a sharp recovery in indices during afternoon trade, the market breadth was very weak with several stocks in the broader market taking a big knock-on selling pressure as the Small-Cap Index lost 3 per cent today," said S. Ranganathan, Head of Research at LKP Securities.

Inflation will continue to be elevated but the chance of major reactions is low because it has been factored in by the markets, said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.

Wed, 11 May 2022 17:19:20 +0530
Bommai invites global business leaders to invest in K taka

New Delhi, May 11

In a major international outreach to garner investments for the state, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Wednesday met with envoys of several countries and invited them to attend the three-day Global Investors Meet (GIM) in Bengaluru in November.

The three-day Global Investor Meet - 'Invest Karnataka 2022' - a flagship investor event for the state of Karnataka would be held in Bengaluru from November 2-4.

Addressing the audience, Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Coal and Mines, Pralhad Joshi said, "India's ranking on the EODB index has jumped to 79th in 2020 from 142 in 2014, which is a testimony of the efforts of the Union Government to promote trade and investment in the country.

Karnataka has now become one of the most preferred business destinations due to its investor-friendly business policies, excellent infrastructure, and road connectivity, which will further boost investment and other commercial activities in the state.

Talking about the business attractiveness of the state of Karnataka, Basavaraj Bommai said, "As the world is recovering from the pandemic, Karnataka has created the right kind of policies, atmosphere and infrastructure for the global companies to invest and prosper in the state. Karnataka has got a very rich heritage along with rare rich natural resources and 10 agro-climatic zones making it a land of opportunity and dreams."

"I take this wonderful opportunity to invite all diplomats as well as the businessmen of all countries to come and do business in Karnataka," Bommai added.

Murugesh R. Nirani, Minister for Large and Medium Scale Industries, said "We are delighted to have so many diplomats and industry leaders at this platform today. Karnataka has taken many initiatives in the recent past to attract global investment to the state. I would like to urge everyone here to participate in the global investor meet with full force to make Karnataka a vibrant economic powerhouse of India."

Karnataka has emerged as a top investment destination in the country for the last two years in a row. The state has attracted Rs 62,085 crore investments and is a top recipient with a 48 per cent share of total FDIs in India, he said.

The State has emerged as a frontrunner in global manufacturing, and we are focusing on human resources, production of rich raw materials, manufacturing expertise, product design capabilities, and R and D to meet the demands of the global manufacturing segment, he explained.

This edition of the GIM will be under the theme "Build for the World" reflecting on the role Karnataka aims to play in the global supply chain, he said.

The event was attended by ambassadors, trade commissioners, and other officials from several countries including Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy, Romania, Finland, South Korea, Sweden and the UK, among others.


Wed, 11 May 2022 17:17:16 +0530
Al Jazeera journalist killed in West Bank

Ramallah, May 11

Shireen Abu Akleh, a journalist with the Qatar-based Al Jazeera broadcaster, was killed in the West Bank on Wednesday amid an Israeli raid.

Taking to Twitter, the broadcaster said: "Israeli forces have shot and killed veteran Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh in the occupied West Bank."

The Palestinian Health Ministry said in a statement that the reporter was shot while covering the Israeli military raid and died shortly after, reports Xinhua news agency.

The Ministry also claimed that another Palestinian reporter was shot.

In a statement, the Israeli Army said it has launched an investigation into the incident and was looking into the possibility that the journalists were hit by "armed Palestinians".

The raid triggered clashes with armed residents, and "massive fire was shot toward Israeli forces by tens of armed Palestinian gunmen", said the statement, adding that the soldiers "responded with fire toward the sources of the fire and explosive devices. Hits were identified".

Meanwhile, Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid tweeted that the Jewish state offered to carry out with the Palestinians "a joint pathological investigation into the sad death" of the journalist.

"Journalists must be protected in conflict zones and we all have a responsibility to get to the truth," Lapid said.

Wed, 11 May 2022 17:14:32 +0530
Mahinda Rajapaksa to remain in naval base until normalcy returns

Colombo, May 11

Former Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and his family will remain at the Trincomalee naval base until normalcy returns to the island nation following widespread violence that caused him to flee Colombo, Defence Secretary Kamal Gunaratne announced on Wednesday.

Addressing the media, Gunaratne said that Rajapaksa will be moved to a location he wishes, once the situation in the country returns to normalcy, reports Xinhua news agency.

The Defence Secretary said that the military will provide security to Rajapaksa as long as it takes because as a former Prime Minister he is entitled to security for life.

Rajapaksa, his wife Shiranthi, and their youngest son Rohitha and his family, left the Prime Minister's official residence, Temple Trees, early Tuesday morning on board an Air Force helicopter.

Violence erupted in the country after he resigned on Monday.

A number of violent incidents have taken place in the country after pro-government groups clashed with anti-government protesters on Monday, leaving eight people, including an MP, dead and over 200 others injured.

A nationwide curfew has been extended until Thursday morning.

The island nation, hit by the most severe economic crisis since gaining independence in 1948, is currently without a government.

With a severe financial crisis due to dollar crunch and inflation, protests that started on March 31 have been continuing throughout the country demanding the Rajapaksas to resign.

In the wake of the protests, the cabinet resigned but Mahinda Rajapaksa formed a new cabinet under his leadership.

With the lack of fuel and gas and hours-long power cuts, people took to the streets and demanded that the immediate resignation of the government.

Meanwhile, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has has urged the opposition to form an all-party government, but the latter has refused to do so until he steps down.

The state-owned Ceylon Petroleum Corporation on Wednesday announced that fuel distribution has been temporarily suspended due to the current security situation.

Wed, 11 May 2022 17:10:45 +0530
Goa cops raid pharmacy seize cannabis based products Lead

Panaji, May 11

Cannabis-based gummies, digestive power and 'churan', valued at Rs 2.23 lakh, was seized from an allegedly illegal pharmacy in Goa's North Goa district, police said.

According to North Goa Superintendent of Police Shobhit Saxena, the owner of the pharmacy, 'Cannadoc clinic', Arjun Khanna from Delhi has been booked under the relevant sections of the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.

"Police visited the said store and found various products containing cannabis being displayed for sale. Upon enquiring about the permissions or licences required for selling cannabis-based products in a store in Goa, the staff was unable to provide any documents," he said.

Saxena also said that the outlet was functioning as a fake Ayurvedic store, adding that the supply chain of the cannabis products was also being traced by the police.

"Accordingly, as no permission was found for selling the cannabis-based medicines and products in Goa from any authority, the police seized all the products weighing approximately 7 kg. Total worth Rs 2.23 lakh," he added.

This is the first such police raid on a pharmacy selling cannabis-based products in the state, which is also infamous as a narco-tourism destination.


Wed, 11 May 2022 17:07:48 +0530
Delhi HC passes split verdict on marital rape criminalisation case

New Delhi, May 11

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday delivered a split verdict in the marital rape criminalisation case, which challenged the exception to Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code.

A bench of Justice Rajiv Shakdher and Justice C. Hari Shankar expressed different opinions in the judgement on the exception to Section 375 of the IPC, which exempts forceful sexual intercourse by a man with his own wife from the offence of rape.

Justice Shakdher stated that the exemption of the husband from the offence of marital rape is unconstitutional while Justice Hari Shankar said he does not agree with Shakdher.

"The impugned provisions in so far as they concern a husband having intercourse with his wife without consent are violative of Article 14 and are therefore struckdown," said Justice Shakder. A detailed judgement on the matter will be made available later in the day.

On February 21, the same bench had reserved its judgment on a batch of petitions seeking criminilisation 'marital rape' and challenging the exception to Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who appeared on behalf of the Centre, submitted that considering the far-reaching consequences, it has sent a communication to all states and union territories asking their comments on the issue and urged the court that the proceedings be adjourned till the time the inputs are received. However, the bench refused to grant further time to the Centre to make its stand clear on the issue.

"We have indicated during the course of hearing to Mehta that it is not possible to adjourn an ongoing matter as there is no terminal date by when the Centre's consultations will be over on the issue. Since counsel for the parties have addressed arguments, judgment is reserved," the court said.

On February 7, the High Court had sought the Centre's stand on the issue following the submission of the Solicitor General, who has said that a "holistic view" has to be taken on criminalising marital rape, which is a sensitive "socio-legal" issue, and requested for deferring further hearing was not unjustifiable.

Recently, the Centre in a fresh affidavit in the High Court, in response to the clutch of petitions to criminalise marital rape, maintained that it was examining the issue of broad changes in criminal law of the country and that the petitioner could also give their suggestions to the competent authorities.

Wed, 11 May 2022 17:04:51 +0530
TN Police to develop app to prevent cybercrimes find missing vehicles track history sheeters

Chennai, May 11

The Tamil Nadu police are developing three mobile apps to track missing and stolen vehicles, prevent cyber crimes, and monitor history-sheeters.

State police in a statement on Wednesday said that an app is being developed to track stolen and missing vehicles. This app, "Integrated vehicle monitoring system" will receive information on the vehicle from the Automated Number Plate Reader (ANPR) camera of the police and when the camera captures the number of a stolen vehicle, the app would alert the vehicle and flag it.

Police said that it is also developing a Cyber Security Interface to prevent cyber fraud. The cyber app will upload the social media profile, bank account details, e-mail address, and phone numbers of the cybercriminal which would help the public from falling into the trap of the cybercriminal groups and phishers.

The department is also developing another app, 'Paranthu' meaning Eagle to swoop on history-sheeters and upload the full details of those who have been regularly involved in criminal activities.

Police in the statement said that the app 'Paranthu' will track the history-sheeters, present location, possibility of revenge murders, involvement in kangaroo courts, and the warrants issued. The app will also show a non-bailable arrest warrant against the history-sheeter.

Police said that the 'Integrated Vehicle Monitoring System' app will cost Rs 2 crore, the Cybercrime tracking app Rs 30 lakh while the app that tracks history sheeters, 'Paranthu' Rs 33 lakh for the department.

Wed, 11 May 2022 17:00:00 +0530
ED chargesheets pvt firms businessman in multi crore loan fraud

New Delhi, May 11

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday said that it has filed a charge sheet against Polepalli Venkat Prasad, PBR Poultry Tech and others in connection with a Prevention of Money Laundering (PMLA) case related to multi-crore bank fraud.

The charge sheet was filed before special PMLA Court, Visakhapatnam which has taken cognisance of the matter.

Others who have been chargesheeted are PBR Poultry Tech, PBR Agri Tech Private Limited, Bhupathiraju Krishna Mohan Raju the then Branch Manager, Indian Overseas Bank, Veerabadrapuram Branch, Penmetsa Venkata Krishna Srinivasa Raju, the then panel valuer for IOB.

The ED initiated money-laundering investigation on the basis of the FIR registered by the CBI under various sections of Indian Penal Code read with Section 13(2) r/w 13(d) of Prevention of Corruption Act.

The ED investigation inter-alia revealed that PBR Poultry Tech availed term loan for construction of shed, purchase of plant and machineries and working capital in connivance with Bhupathiraju Krishna Mohan Raju but did not utilise the loan proceeds for the intended purpose.

It also learnt during the investigation that PBR Agri Tech Private Limited, a sister concern of PBR Poutry Tech Limited also availed term loan and cash credit loan from Andhra Bank, Venkatraipuram, Tanuku for construction of sheds and purchase of Plant and Machineries but did not repay the loan to the bank.

"Prasad, in connivance with B. K. Mohan Raju also availed Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE) Loans in the names of his five relatives by submitting the fake documents and cheated the bank. Certain portion of the above loans were diverted for purchasing the immovable properties in the name of partners of PBR Poultry Tech. All the above loans were declared NPA by the banks and thereby caused total loss of Rs. 17.27 crore to the Public Sector Bank," the ED said.

The ED had earlier attached the properties of Prasad and others to the tune of Rs 7.57 core.

Further investigation in the matter is on.

Wed, 11 May 2022 16:55:30 +0530
ED sleuths raid premises of reputed builder in Kolkata

Kolkata, May 11

The sleuths of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday raided the offices and residences of Abhijit Sen, a reputed builder in Kolkata.

ED sources said that the raids were conducted in connection with Sen's company, Abhijita Constructions. Besides Kolkata, the said company also has offices in Ranchi.

Simultaneous raids were conducted at five places, including the offices and residences of Sen in Jodhupur Park, South City Mall and Deshapriyo Park in south Kolkata and Salt Lake on the northern outskirts of the city since Wednesday morning.

ED officials alleged that initially they were denied entry and they even had to climb the boundary walls to get entry. Sen also got engaged in a heated conversation with the ED officials.

It has been learnt that the raids were conducted in connection with a financial embezzlement in Jharkhand amounting to few crores of rupees involving a bureaucrat of that state.

Initially, Sen started his business in Jharkhand, but later he expanded his real estate construction business in Kolkata. ED sources said that he is believed to be well-connected with political personalities in both West Bengal and Jharkhand.

Wed, 11 May 2022 16:53:05 +0530
UP to get its first tribal museum soon

Lucknow, May 11

Boosting the tourism potential of the state, Uttar Pradesh is all set to get its first tribal museum - the 'Tharu Janjati Museum' - at Imilia Koder village, a Tharu-populated area in the Balrampur district soon.

The museum is centred around the vibrant and varied culture and lifestyle of the Tharu tribe.

Spread over an expanse of 5.5 acres, the museum has almost neared completion.

On the lines of the tribal museum in Balrampur, the state government has also chalked out an action plan to establish similar tribal museums in Lucknow, Sonbhadra and Lakhimpur Kheri.

In addition, a museum for children will also come up in the district of Kannauj.

According to the government spokesman, the culture department has also proposed to construct a gallery - 'Azaadi ki Gauravgaatha' - based on the saga of independence at the Government Archives, Lucknow.

Along with this, a Natural Science Museum will also come up in Meerut and Gorakhpur, while a Sant Ravidas Museum will be established in Varanasi.

To preserve, promote and popularise the cultural identity of Uttar Pradesh, the state government will also start a community radio - 'Jai Ghosh' at Sangeet Natak Akademi.

The Culture department will publish 75 books depicting the rich history of as many districts of the state on the occasion of Amrit Mahotsav. Moreover, the department will also produce and screen 75 short films based on patriotism.

In its six-month action plan, the government will also organise 'One District-One Special Cultural Event' in every district.

To eulogise the efforts of martyrs and freedom fighters, the department will establish their statues and pride plaques in selected government boys/girls schools in every district.

Wed, 11 May 2022 16:50:35 +0530
Punjab govt working to generate jobs be patient says Mann

Chandigarh, May 11

Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Wednesday asked the protesting youths to bear with the state government as it was sincerely working to complete the modalities so as to ensure that the entire recruitment process may not be stalled due to legal technicalities.

Addressing a gathering here to hand over appointment letters to 2,373 youths after launching a massive recruitment drive to fill 26,754 posts, he wished that such functions - to give appointment letters to the youths - should be held regularly, adding the protesters should at least have patience and wait for some time to enable the government to complete the requisite formalities for issuing appointment letters.

Any action taken in haste for handing over appointment letters to the job aspirants protesting now could be in tight spot in case somebody challenges it in the court, he noted.

Taking a dig at the previous governments, Mann said: "What these governments had been doing in the last two months of their tenure is being done by our government in the initial two months, which amply clears our intentions to provide jobs to the eligible candidates, purely on the basis of merit and their educational qualifications."

Congratulating all those for getting job letters, he asked the ministers concerned to post them near their place of residence so that they could conveniently focus on the new assignment with utmost dedication and sincerity.

On the contrary, the previous governments deliberately posted government employees to far-flung places just to harass them, he claimed.

He, however, asked the youth not to hesitate from joining even at far-off places of posting as the great personalities like former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and top film stars Amitabh Bachchan and Shahrukh Khan had left their homes to realise their dreams of excelling in their career.

Conveying a message to the youth, Mann said widespread unemployment in any society leads to anti-social activities and it is the firm commitment to provide enormous job opportunities to the youth so that they should not go astray as an "Idle man's brain is devil's workshop".

Expressing satisfaction over girls outshining boys in getting appointment letters at Wednesday's function, Mann said this reflects the empowerment of women which would further go a long way in enhancing their dignity in society besides eradicating social evils like dowry, gender discrimination, female foeticide etc.

Notably, 2,373 youth were given appointment letters for the posts of SDEs and pump operators in the Water Resources Department, besides as community health officers, staff nurses, ward attendants, etc., in the Health and Family Welfare and the Medical Education and Research Departments.

Wed, 11 May 2022 16:47:41 +0530
Jacqueline Fernandez moves Delhi court seeking nod to fly abroad

New Delhi, May 11

Actress Jacqueline Fernandez, who is under the radar of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with her alleged links with conman Sukesh Chandrashekhar, approached a court here seeking permission to travel abroad.

Jacqueline, who wants to attend the International Indian Film Academy Awards in Abu Dhabi, has approached the Patiala House Court seeking its nod for her visit to the UAE, France and Nepal. The court will hear the matter on May 18.

The ED has interrogated Jacqueline multiple times and recorded her statement after her alleged friendship with multi-millionaire conman Sukesh Chandrashekhar came to light.

In the Rs 200 crore money laundering case involving Chandrashekhar, the ED had last month attached gifts and properties worth Rs 7 crore given to Jacqueline. The ED termed these gifts and properties as proceeds of crime received by the Sri Lankan actress.

In February this year, the agency had filed a supplementary charge-sheet against Pinky Irani, an alleged aide of Chandrashekhar who had introduced him to Fernandez.

It has been alleged that Irani used to choose costly gifts for Jacqueline and later drop them at her house after the payments were made by Chandrashekhar. Chandrashekhar spent around Rs 20 crore on different models and Bollywood celebrities.

Wed, 11 May 2022 16:44:54 +0530
PM Modi changed size scale of policy planning in India Amit Shah

New Delhi, May 11

Union Home Minister Amit Shah said on Wednesday that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has changed the size and scale of government schemes while drafting policies, so that the schemes reach everyone in the country.

Speaking at the launch of the book 'Modi@20: Dreams Meet Delivery' at the Vigyan Bhawan on Wednesday, Shah said, "Earlier the policies were designed with a certain number of beneficiaries in mind, but he (Modi) made schemes for everyone in the country, including toilets, providing power connection, drinking water, houses or gas connection."

Noting that Modi was not experienced in running a panchayat, Shah said that when he was made the Chief Minister of an earthquake-shattered Gujarat, he ran the state quite efficiently.

"His understanding to reach out to the last person of the society and how to deliver the schemes efficiently is a fine example of his approach towards governance, and this reflects in the many initiatives taken by the government under PM Modi's leadership," Shah said.

Describing the initiatives in the healthcare sector, the Home Minister said that Modi has introduced many new policies in the sector for all.

Mission Indradhanush, nutrition programme for mother and children, health insurance cover of Rs 5 lakh to over seven crore people are some of the schemes that the PM initiated, he said.

Praising the New Education Policy (NEP), Shah said that earlier, education policies were made keeping job provisions in mind, but NEP is focused on enhancing the capability of students.

"PM Modi has changed the state of education in Gujarat, where the dropout ratio has come down drastically. Whatever one may say, Gujarat's primary education is a model for the whole country," he asserted.

Referring to India's space policy, Shah said, "There was no space policy in the country before 2014, but the PM initiated a new policy for space science and has opened a new market for the country."

"Startups, production-based incentives for industries are the new measures taken by the Modi government which have boosted the economy," the Home Minister said, adding that "for the first time, India's defence policy came out of the shadow of its foreign policy".

Earlier, speaking on the occasion, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar said that eight years of Modi government has led to a global debate on terrorism.

"Prime Minister Modi practised development-focused diplomacy, focused on border infrastructure development to meet security challenges, took interest in trade and addressed all our Embassies to reach $400 billion in exports," Jaishankar said.

Wed, 11 May 2022 16:42:06 +0530
Delhi property dealer succumbs to glass shard injury

New Delhi, May 11

In a bizarre incident in North West Delhi's Mukherjee Nagar, a man bled to death after a piece of broken glass, reportedly thrown by his neighbours, struck his leg, the police said on Wednesday, adding that two persons have been arrested in connection.

The incident in Parmanand Colony took place when the victim, Praveen Lamba, a property dealer, was attending to nature's call in the open which led to an argument with his neighbour Rahul Malhotra and his father Ravi Malhotra.

The argument heated up and Lamba and his neighbours started pelting stones at each other. Meanwhile, a glass shard struck Lamba's leg and injured him.

A CCTV footage of the incident accessed by IANS shows that even after sustaining injuries, Lamba did not move and stood at the incident site for a long time.

"In the video, it can be seen that Lamba along with one of his associates was pelting stones at his neighbour with whom he had an argument over urinating in the open. The shard that fell from the building caused a sharp cut on his leg. His leg was bleeding but he didn't go to the hospital and remained there hurling abuses and pelting stones. In the CCTV (footage) we can see that he was also looking at his wound," a police official said.

The police said that for a long time, Lamba had been roaming in the area in injured condition.

Later, his family took him to the hospital for dressing his wound. During the course of treatment, he succumbed to his injuries.

The cause of death is said to be excessive bleeding.

The accused neighbours had fled the area but were later arrested.

Wed, 11 May 2022 16:39:46 +0530
Research pact between IIT BHU and Australian University

Varanasi, May 11

The Indian Institute of Technology (Banaras Hindu University), Varanasi, will collaborate with Australian National University (ANU) for research.

According to the IIT (BHU) spokesperson, a high-level delegation led by Prof. Jagadish Chennupati, who is currently a professor of physics at Australian National University (ANU) Research School of Physics and Engineering, visited IIT-BHU. He was accompanied by Prof. Alexander Mikheyev and Jay Poria.

In a meeting chaired by IIT-BHU director Prof. Pramod Kumar Jain, various avenues of joint collaborations, student and faculty exchange between IIT(BHU) and ANU were discussed.

A long-term goal in terms of joint Ph.D degree was also discussed between both the institutes.

Prof. Jagadish spoke about the 'Chennupati and Vidya Jagadish Endowment Fund', a scheme through which researchers from IIT-BHU can visit and access the research facilities through internships and project fellowships.

A range of topics like the frontier areas of research in physics, including nanotechnology, photonics, healthcare and sustainable energy were discussed in great detail.

Prof. Alexander Mikheyev talked about the co-evolution of parasites/diseases with their hosts using honeybees as model organisms. He stressed that such an investigation would be helpful in predicting the severity of any future pandemic and India has a great role to play in this regard as a plethora of genetically diverse honeybee species are found in India as compared to Australia where only few such species are found.

Prof. Jain said that the long-term relationship and research collaboration between IIT-BHU and ANU can be achieved through this programme. He also added that it would give students and researchers the opportunity to study at ANU and pursue collaborative research for up to 12 weeks at first stage.

Prof. Jain also stressed that this is high time to engage in a bilateral academic relationship between India and Australia. He also showed interest in inviting researchers and students to visit IIT-BHU for their academic activities and research.

Wed, 11 May 2022 16:37:18 +0530
Boys in UP school complain of girls bullying them

Aurraiya, May 11

Male students in a Navodaya school in Uttar Pradesh's Aurraiya district have written a letter to their principal complaining about girls in their class bullying them.

In the letter, the boys studying in class 7 wrote that they would like the girls to apologise to them for calling them names.

They girl students use words like 'lalla', stupid and even have nicknames for some of the boys 'rasgulla' and 'daamar' (black asphalt).

According to the letter which has one viral on social media, the girls also make noise and sing in the class preventing the boys from studying.

The letter also contains the names of the girls who seem to be bullying the boys.

School authorities have said that the issue has been taken care of with the intervention of the parents of all the individuals in the class and the girls, boys, and their parents have also been briefed about this situation.

A teacher from the school said that after the letter, the girls were also counselled in their respective hostels.

She also said that since then the matter was resolved and there have been no more complaints from either the girls' or the boys' side.

Wed, 11 May 2022 16:33:06 +0530
PM to virtually address Utkarsh Samaroh in Gujarat on 4 govt schemes achieving 100 coverage

New Delhi, May 11

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will virtually address 'Utkarsh Samaroh' in Bharuch, Gujarat on Thursday (May 12) to celebrate the feat of the four state government schemes in the district achieving 100 per cent coverage.

In a statement the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said that the district administration of Bharuch carried out 'Utkarsh Initiative' drive from January 1 to March 31 this year, with the aim to ensure complete coverage of schemes providing assistance to widows, elderly and destitute citizens.

"A total of 12,854 beneficiaries were identified across the four schemes viz. Ganga Swaroopa Aarthik Sahay Yojana, Indira Gandhi Vrudh Sahay Yojana, Niradhar Vrudh Aarthik Sahay Yojana and Rashtriy Kutumb Sahay Yojana," the PMO said.

During the drive, taluka-wise Whatsapp helpline numbers were announced to collect information about those who were not receiving benefits of the scheme.

"Utkarsh camps were organised in all villages and wards of municipality areas of the district, wherein applicants who provided necessary documents were given on the spot approval. Incentives were also given to Utkarsh assistants to further facilitate the drive," the PMO added.

Wed, 11 May 2022 16:28:42 +0530
Ingenuity helicopter survives communications snag on Mars

Washington, May 11

NASA's Ingenuity Mars Helicopter has reestablished communications with the Perseverance rover, after facing snag last week due to cold and dust on the Red Planet.

For the first time in over a year of operations on the Mars surface, the rotorcraft missed a planned communications session with the rover, mission teams said in a blog post.

Ingenuity relies on Perseverance as the base station that enables it to send data to and receive commands from Earth.

The team determined that the cause of the communications dropout on May 3 was a result of the solar-powered helicopter entering a low-power state, potentially due to the seasonal increase in the amount of dust in the Martian atmosphere and lower temperatures as winter approaches.

"The dust diminishes the amount of sunlight hitting the solar array, reducing Ingenuity's ability to recharge its six lithium-ion batteries," David Agle, from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, wrote in the blogpost.

"When the battery pack's state of charge dropped below a lower limit, the helicopter's field-programmable gate array (FPGA) was powered down," he noted.

The FPGA manages Ingenuity's operational state, switching the other avionics elements to maximise power conservation.

It also operates the heaters that enable the helicopter to survive frigid Martian nights, maintains precise spacecraft time, and controls when the helicopter is scheduled to wake up for communications sessions with Perseverance.

However, when the FPGA lost power during the Martian night, the helicopter's onboard clock - which designates the time that communications with Perseverance occur - went into a reset mode; and Ingenuity's heaters were turned off.

When finally the helicopter sent a signal on Mars 5, the data transmitted was limited to deliberately preserve battery charge, but the helicopter's critical health and safety data were nominal.

"We have always known that Martian winter and dust storm season would present new challenges for Ingenuity, specifically colder sols, an increase in atmospheric dust, and more frequent dust storms," said Ingenuity Team Lead Teddy Tzanetos of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California.

"Our top priority is to maintain communications with Ingenuity in the next few sols, but even then, we know that there will be significant challenges ahead," said Tzanetos.

Ingenuity became the first powered aircraft to operate on another world on April 19, 2021.

Designed to perform up to five experimental test flights over a span of 30 Martian days (sols), or close to 31 Earth days, the rotorcraft has flown over 6.9 kilometres across 28 sorties and operated from the surface of the Red Planet for over a year.


Wed, 11 May 2022 09:30:42 +0530
IPL 2022 Proud of the boys says skipper Hardik Pandya after Gujarat qualify for playoffs

Pune, May 11

Gujarat Titans skipper Hardik Pandya praised his players for making it to the IPL 2022 playoffs in their debut year and said he was really proud of his boys.

Gujarat Titans came up with a brilliant bowling performance after Shubman Gill had struck a fighting unbeaten 63 to help them post a below-par 144/4 in 20 overs. Leg-spinner Rashid Khan then claimed 4/24 to lead a clinical effort by the bowling unit that dismissed Lucknow Super Giants for 82 in 13.5 overs to help Gujarat Titans win by 62 runs and become the first team to qualify for the playoffs.

"Really proud of the boys. When we started this journey together, we obviously believed in ourselves, but before the 14th game to have qualified, it's a great effort and really proud of us," he said at the post-match presentation on Tuesday.

Pandya said his boys learned a lot from their narrow 5-run loss to bottom team Mumbai Indians.

"Last game, I spoke to the boys before going, I think, that, that game was already over before it was over. That was a learning which we took. I think in all the games that we've won, we were always under pressure. The last game was the only game that we were ahead of the game and we knew the kind of batters we have and we'll finish it off. But it did not happen. That was the talk of the group.

"Even in this game when they were eight down, I said, 'Let's be ruthless. This game is beautiful. If it's not over, it's not over. So let's make sure that we finish it. If they're down, let's keep them down, get this done and relax post-game," Pandya said.

He praised his batters especially Shubman Gill for helping them reach a total that they could defend.

"The way everyone batted, especially Shubman, I felt with 145 we were in the game. Their bowling, I think they were a little too short. A little fuller length was working. So that was the chat in the group as well. The only two shots they can score runs are cover drive, if you bowl really full, or if you give width. The bowlers did everything they're supposed to do and we ticked all the boxes," he said.


Wed, 11 May 2022 09:07:24 +0530
Indian cinema celebrities to walk Red Carpet with Anurag Thakur at Cannes

New Delhi, May 11

Cinema celebrities from across India will walk the 'Red Carpet' along with Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Anurag Thakur at this year's Cannes Film Festival.

The ministry in a statement said that the 'Red Carpet' event at the 75th Cannes Film Festival is going to be a gala event for Indian audience as celebrities from the cine world across India are set to walk as part of Indian delegation on the opening day of Cannes Film Festival on May 17.

Thakur will lead the delegation from India to Cannes and the list of celebrities comprises actor Akshay Kumar, music composers A. R. Rahman and Ricky Kej, folk singer and music composer Mame Khan, actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui, actresses Nayanthara, Pooja Hegde, Tamannaah Bhatia and Vani Tripathi, chairman CBFC Prasoon Joshi, actor R. Madhavan, filmmaker Shekhar Kapur.

The ministry said that the intent is to showcase the rich flavour and diversity of India - culture, heritage, legacy, and developments through its cinema.

The delegation has been hand-picked from across the length and breadth of the country to represent different strengths and aspects of the country.

"Several new initiatives were undertaken at the recently concluded 52nd International Film Festival of India like collaboration with OTT platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime amongst others; recognition to 75 Creative Minds of Tomorrow and the BRICS film festival. In the same spirit, several new and exciting initiatives are lined-up this year for Cannes," the ministry said.

India is the 'Official Country of Honour' at the Cannes Film Market (Marche' Du Film) in this edition of the festival. This is the first time this honour has been bestowed on any country and comes at a time when India celebrates its Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav.

India and France are also celebrating 75 years of diplomatic relations this year.

The minister had earlier announced that India is also the 'Country of Honour at the Cannes Next', under which five new startups would be given an opportunity to pitch to the Audio-Visual Industry.


Wed, 11 May 2022 09:03:56 +0530
Seven year old boy raped in Quetta madrassah

Quetta, May 11

A seven-year child has been raped inside a madrassah located in Pakistan's Quetta, Samaa TV reported.

An FIR was registered by the victim's father, who said that his son went to a shop near their house on Monday afternoon at 1 p.m., where a boy identified as Abdul Hafeez, son of a seminary teacher Muhammad Ilyas Lehri, forcibly took him inside the madrassah's room and raped him.

The father said his son returned home after two hours and narrated what had happened with teary eyes, the report said.

He said after knowing about the incident he went back to the madrassah along with his son and asked Abdul Hafeez who accepted that he had committed the rape and, later, he sought forgiveness.

After the father's complaint, the police sent the child to the hospital for a medical examination.

Doctors confirmed the rape after a medical examination and an FIR was lodged under Section 377 (Unnatural offences) of the Pakistan Penal Code.

PPC's Section 377 says,"whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which shall not be less than two years nor more than ten years, and shall also be liable to fine."

The police have begun investigations into the case.


Wed, 11 May 2022 09:01:40 +0530
Terror case Yasin Malik pleads guilty before NIA court

New Delhi, May 11

Kashmiri separatist leader Yasin Malik pleaded guilty before a special NIA court on all charges including UAPA in connection with a terror case, for hatching a criminal conspiracy, waging war against the country, and other unlawful activities disturbing the peace in the Valley.

As per the sources, he told the court on Tuesday that he was not contesting the charges levelled against him including section 16 (terrorist act), 17 (raising funds for the terrorist act), 18 (conspiracy to commit terrorist act), and 20 (being member of terrorist gang or organisation) of the UAPA and sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 124-A (sedition) of the Indian Penal Code.

Special Judge Praveen Singh would hear the arguments on May 19 regarding the quantum of sentence for the offences levelled against Malik in which the maximum punishment is life imprisonment.

Kashmiri separatist leaders, including Yasin Malik, Shabbir Shah, Masarat Alam, former MLA Rashid Engineer, businessman Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali, Bitta Karate, Aftab Ahmad Shah, Avatar Ahmad Shah, Naeem Khan, Bashir Ahmed Bhat, alias Peer Saifullah and several others have also been framed under charges for criminal conspiracy, waging war against the country and other unlawful activities.

In the order dated March 16, the NIA special Judge Praveen Singh had said: "The analysis reflects that the statements of witnesses and documentary evidence have connected almost all the accused with each other and to a common object of secession, to the commonality of means they were to use, their close association to terrorist/ terrorist organizations under the guiding hand and funding of Pakistani establishment."

Notably, the court has discharged three, namely Kamran Yusuf, Javed Ahmad Bhatt and Syedah Aasiya Firdous Andrabi.

The case related to the various terrorist outfits Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Hizbul-Mujahideen (HM), Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) backed by Islamic State were perpetrating terrorist and secessionist activities to disturb Jammu and Kashmir.


Wed, 11 May 2022 08:58:28 +0530
ESA astronaut makes history with 1st TikTok from space station

Washington, May 10

The European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti has become the first-ever TikToker to post a video from the International Space Station.

Cristoforetti is part of SpaceX's Crew-4 mission, which arrived at the orbiting lab on April 27 for a six-month stay.

"Follow me to boldly go where no TikToker has gone before," the astronaut said in the 88-second TikTok video posted on May 5.

In the video Cristoforetti took her viewers through Crew-4's launch as well as introduced them to the mission's two zero-g indicators, a plush turtle named Zippy and a stuffed monkey called Etta, reported.

"Etta is short for 'scimmietta', which is Italian for 'little monkey,' of course," Cristoforetti says in the video.

(Etta was the first plush toy that Cristoforetti bought for her daughter, Kelsey.)

"What questions do you have about life on the space station?" she asked her audience toward the end of the video, even as she floated in front of one of the orbiting lab's windows.

"Tell me in the comments. And remember: Follow me to boldly go where no TikToker has gone before."

Before Crew-4's launch, ESA officials noted that Cristoforetti is the first professional astronaut ever on the platform, "bringing space content and European research to a wider audience."

Cristoforetti had already posted a number of space-explainer videos on TikTok, but Thursday's was the first one she actually filmed in the final frontier, the report said.

Crew-4 is Cristoforetti's second spaceflight. She previously lived aboard the space station from November 2014 to June 2015.

Tue, 10 May 2022 13:23:00 +0530
Deepika Padukone jets off to Cannes on jury duty representing India

Mumbai, May 10

Actress Deepika Padukone, who recently made headlines as the only Indian on the 75th Cannes Film Festival jury, left Mumbai on Monday night heading towards the French Riviera.

Deepika, who represents India at the prestigious film gathering, has a busy two weeks ahead from May 16 to 28. She will be there throughout the festival.

Deepika, who was chosen to be part of the exclusive and very illustrious jury for the 75th Festival De Cannes, is part of an eight-member jury presided by French actor Vincent Lindon.

She is joined by Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi, Swedish actress Noomi Rapace, actress screenwriter producer Rebecca Hall, Italian actress Jasmine Trinca, French director Ladj Ly, American director Jeff Nichols and director Joachim Trier.


Tue, 10 May 2022 13:19:17 +0530
With Rs 1 050 cr PE funding eyecare group Dr Agarwals looks for acquisitions

Chennai, May 10

In a largest private equity funding of an eyecare provider, city based Dr. Agarwal's Health Care Ltd (AHCL) has raised Rs 1,050 crore from TPG Growth and Temasek, said a top group official.

"This is the largest private equity funding of an Indian eyecare provider. We will be using this equity infusion in expanding our presence within India and also in Africa," Amar Agarwal, Chairman, said.

The Dr. Agarwal's Group has a chain of 105 hospitals in India and with the fresh funding, the number will be doubled by 2023-24.

The AHCL has 82 hospitals under its fold and 18 new ones are in the pipeline.

Speaking about the expansion, he said the company will look at greenfield and brownfield routes and the focus states will be Maharashtra, Gujarat, Punjab, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

"The ratio of brownfield and greenfield expansion will be 65:35. The fresh funding will attract people to do business with us," Adil Agarwal, Group CEO said.

Agreeing that there are strong eye care brands at regional levels, the market is huge when one looks at the number of cataract surgeries being done in the country and plus there are other eye ailments, the two officials said.

Apart from hospitals, the company will also open 500 smaller format eyecare centres under the brand 2020 Eye Centres.

"In toto, our eyecare network will be about 700. Alongside the expansion of our eyecare network, we will also expand the number of optical outlets," Amar added.

According to Amar, the group currently performs about 25,000 surgeries per day and post expansion the number would double.

He said the AHCL was valued at about Rs 3,000 crore by the two private equity investors.

Amar said TPG Growth and Temasek will have one board seat each.

The AHCL had raised Rs 270 crore from Temasek earlier. Meanwhile, ADV Partners has exited the company.

According to Amar, the AHCL may look at going public later or go for a reverse merger with the group's listed company Dr.Agarwal's Eye Hospital Ltd (AEHL).

Tue, 10 May 2022 13:16:27 +0530
Woman suspected of sending Israeli PM death threats bullets arrested

Tel Aviv, May 10

Israeli police said they have arrested a 65-old-woman on suspicion of sending death threat letters and bullets to Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's family.

The police issued a statement on Monday identifying the woman as a resident of southern Israel, without giving more details, reports Xinhua news agency.

A court-issued gag order has been imposed on most of the details in the case.

Bennett's family received two death threat letters with live bullets in the mail in April.

Following the threats, the security guard for Bennett and his family was reinforced and the Lahav 433 special police unit and Shin Bet internal security agency launched an investigation.

Bennett leads a narrow eight-party coalition government, which includes Hawkish and liberals partners.

Also the leader of Yamina, a small pro-settler nationalist party, Bennett has been under intense criticism by his predecessor, Benjamin Netanyahu, and his associates, who accuse him of abandoning his ideology.

Security forces in Israel have been more cautious over death threats against senior officials ever since former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated in 1995 by a far-right religious extremist amid a peace rally in Tel Aviv.

Tue, 10 May 2022 13:11:42 +0530
Chinese power plants in Pak to shut down within days unless payments made

Islamabad, May 10

With more than 300 billion PKR in stuck up dues, more than two dozen Chinese firms operating in Pakistan said that they will be forced to shut down their power plants this month unless payments are made upfront, the media reported.

This revelation came at a meeting presided over by Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal with more than 30 Chinese companies operating under the flagship multi-billion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in various areas including energy, communication, railways and others, reports Dawn news.

There were a plethora of complaints, including those relating to complex visa procedures for Chinese executives, taxation and so on, but there were also counter complaints from the Pakistani side as well, on delayed responses to their communications, informed sources told Dawn.

About 25 representatives from Chinese independent power producers (IPPs) spoke one after the other and complained about the build up of their dues and warned that without upfront payments they would shut down within days.

They said the authorities were pressuring them to maximise generation to meet peak summer needs, but "this is impossible for us in view of serious liquidity issues", the report said.

They complained that fuel prices, particularly that of coal, had gone up by three to four times, which meant they should at least be given three to four times greater liquidity to make fuel arrangements.

One of the coal producers reported that it was operating at half capacity due to low coal stocks, but the authorities' push to increase output could exhaust fuel stocks in a couple of days, Dawn reported.

Some of them said that while payments against power already supplied were not forthcoming and they had been financially handicapped due to Covid-19 pandemic, the tax authorities had started taxing them at higher rates.

Also, the contractual requirement of a revolving fund for automatic payment of IPPs' dues and subsequent promises by the previous government during former Prime Minister Imran Khan's visit to China also remained unfulfilled, they said.

Tue, 10 May 2022 13:08:20 +0530
Kashmiri freelance photojournalist Sanna Irshad Mattoo wins Pulitzer award

Srinagar, May 10

Sanna Irshad Mattoo, a local freelance photojournalist has won the prestigious Pulitzer Prize award in feature photography category for 2022.

Sanna has shared the award with the Reuters team, including late Danish Siddiqui, Amit Dave and Adnan Abidi for the coverage of Covid-19 crisis in India.

"Congratulations to @adnanabidi, @mattoosanna, @AmitDav46549614, the family and friends of the late, @dansiddiqui, and @Reuters. #Pulitzer," Pulitzer announced on Twitter.

For "images of COVID's toll in India that balanced intimacy and devastation, while offering viewers a heightened sense of place", Pulitzer Prizes website said while announcing the award. Their work was moved from the breaking news photography category by the judges", Pulitzer website said.

Sanna, who holds Master's in Convergent Journalism from the Central University of Kashmir, has her work published in international media outlets, including Al Jazeera, TIME and TRT World. She has also done a fellowship with the prestigious Magnum Foundation in 2021.

This is what Sanna's Pulitzer introduction says, "Sanna Irshad Mattoo is a photojournalist and documentary photographer based in Kashmir. Ranging from groundbreaking news to in-depth storytelling, her work concentrates on depicting the tension between the seeming ordinariness of life and the stark symbols of a menacing militarised milieu of Kashmir. Her work has been published in newspapers and magazines around the world and has been screened and exhibited in various exhibitions and festivals. She presently contributes to Reuters as a Multimedia Journalist.

It must be recalled that Danish Siddiqui was killed while covering the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.

In 2020, three Kashmiri photojournalists Dar Yasin, Mukhtar Khan, and Channi Anand had won the prestigious Pulitzer award.

The Pulitzer Prize is an award for achievements in newspaper, magazine, online journalism, literature and musical composition within the US.

It was established in 1917 by provisions in the will of Joseph Pulitzer, who had made his fortune as a newspaper publisher, and is administered by Columbia University.

Tue, 10 May 2022 13:02:25 +0530
Sharad Pawar on 2 day Belagavi visit lang row likely to resurface

Belagavi, (Karnataka) May 10

NCP president and former Maharashtra Chief Minister Sharad Pawar is scheduled to participate in various programmes organised in this border district of the state on Tuesday and Wednesday.

His visit assumes significance against the backdrop of recent exchange of barbs by Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, brother of Sharad Pawar, and Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai.

Ajit Pawar has claimed Belagavi as part of Maharashtra which evoked a sharp response from CM Bommai. The language row is likely to crop up during Pawar's visit.

Pawar will begin his two-day trip by inaugurating the statue of freedom fighter Kittur Rani Chennamma, who fought against Britishers and martyred at Ankali village near Chikkodi town.

He is also expected to participate in various programmes organised in Chikkodi taluk throughout the day.

On Wednesday, the leader will attend programmes at Maratha Bank in Belagavi and Shikshana Samithi Jyothi College.

Pawar shares good bondage with local politician and businessman Prabhakar Kore since three decades. He often visits Belagavi to take part in programmes organised by the Karnataka Lingayat Education Society (KLE) run by Kore.

Sharad Pawar has maintained a silence on the border dispute or language row between Karnataka and Maharashtra.

Tue, 10 May 2022 12:58:20 +0530
Cyclone Asani NDRF teams on standby in coastal Andhra

Visakhapatnam, May 10

Teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) were on standby for rescue and relief operations in coastal Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday as severe cyclonic storm Asani' in the Bay of Bengal was heading closer to the coast.

The cyclonic storm lay centered at about 300 km southeast of Kakinada and 330 km south-southeast of Visakhapatnam on Tuesday.

According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), it is very likely to move nearly northwestwards till Tuesday night and reach westcentral Bay of Bengal off North Andhra Pradesh coast and adjoining Odisha coast.

Thereafter, it is very likely to recurve north-northeast wards and move towards Northwest Bay of Bengal off North Andhra Pradesh and Odisha coasts. It is likely to weaken gradually into a cyclonic storm during the next 24 hours.

The Andhra Pradesh State Disaster Management Authority (APSDMA) has asked people to remain alert in view of the forecast of heavy rains in the coastal regions from Tuesday evening. Gusty winds with speed of 40-60 kmph are likely.

It has also advised people of north coastal Andhra to be on high alert. Fishermen have been advised not to venture into the sea till Thursday.

The APSDMA Director said SDRF and NDRF were on alert as a precautionary measure.

The IMD has forecast Light to moderate rainfall at a few places with heavy to very heavy rainfall at isolated places is likely over coastal Andhra Pradesh and heavy rainfall at isolated places is likely over coastal Odisha from Tuesday evening.

Light to moderate rainfall at a few places with heavy to very heavy rainfall at isolated places is likely over coastal areas of north Andhra Pradesh and heavy rainfall at isolated places is likely over coastal Odisha and adjoining coastal West Bengal on Wednesday.

Squally wind speed reaching 40-50 kmph gusting to 60 kmph is likely along and off north Andhra Pradesh coast on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Tue, 10 May 2022 12:55:55 +0530
Cyclone impact All flights cancelled at Vizag airport

Visakhapatnam, May 10

All the flights in and out of this coastal city in Andhra Pradesh were cancelled on Tuesday in view of the severe cyclonic storm 'Asani' in Bay of Bengal.

With the cyclonic storm moving closer to Andhra Pradesh coast and likely to trigger heavy rains and gusty winds, authorities suspended air services to and from Visakhapatnam Airport as a precautionary measure.

IndiGo has announced cancellation of all its flights in and out of Visakhapatnam. AirAsia has cancelled Delhi-Visakhapatnam and Bangalore-Visakhapatnam flights.

Air India has also cancelled Mumbai-Raipur-Visakhapatnam and Delhi-Visakhapatnam flights.

Bad weather at Visakhapatnam under the impact of a severe cyclonic storm had Monday hit the flight operations at the airport.

Flights from Kurnool, Bengaluru and Hyderabad could not land at Visakhapatnam Airport due to bad weather and had to be sent back.

Flights of various airlines from Hyderabad, Mumbai, Chennai and Vijayawada were also cancelled.

With 'Asani' moving closer to the Andhra Pradesh coast, parts of the coastal region are experiencing gusty winds and rains.

Tue, 10 May 2022 12:52:59 +0530
Taking different stands doesn t help SC to Centre on plea seeking minority status to Hindus in so

New Delhi, May 10

The Supreme Court on Tuesday observed that the Centre is uncertain and has not taken a clear stand on a plea seeking a direction to it to lay down guidelines for the identification of minorities at the state level, saying the Hindus are in minority in 10 states.

The top court told the Centre that if it wants to hold consultation with the state governments in connection with granting minority status to Hindus, where they are outnumbered by other communities, then it should do so.

A bench headed by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul said the Union of India has not decided what it wants to do, and there is uncertainty. "Solution cannot be complex...if you want to consult, then consult (state governments)", Justice Kaul told the counsel representing the Centre.

Senior advocate C.S. Vaidyanathan, representing the petitioner, pointed out that the Centre has filed an affidavit in supersession of its earlier affidavit, saying it wants to hold wider consultation with states and other stakeholders. The Centre's counsel requested the bench to pass over the matter, as Solicitor General Tushar Mehta was busy with some other matter.

Justice Kaul said, "There are matters, which require resolution...taking different stands does not help.." The bench agreed to take up the matter later. "Let the Solicitor General come...", noted the bench.

In a recent affidavit, the Ministry of Minority Affairs told the Supreme Court that though the power is vested with the Centre to notify minorities, but emphasized on having a wider consultation with the states and other stakeholder in the view of contentions raised in the petition.

The ministry said that wider consultation will ensure that the Central government is able to place a considered view before the top court taking into consideration several sociological and other aspects obviating any unintended complications in future with regard to such a vital issue. It also emphasized that the questions involved in the petitions have far-reaching ramifications throughout the country, therefore any stand taken without detailed deliberations with the stakeholders may result in an unintended complication for the country.

However, in a previous affidavit, the ministry had said: "State governments can also declare a religious or linguistic community as a minority community within the said state. For instance, the government of Maharashtra has notified Jews as a minority community within the state of Maharashtra."

The ministry said that certain states, where Hindus or other communities are less in number, can declare them a minority community within its territory, to enable them set up and administer their own institutions.

The ministry's response came on a plea filed by the BJP leader and advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay seeking a direction to the Centre to lay down guidelines for identification of minority at the state level saying that the Hindus are in minority in 10 states and they are not able to avail the benefits of schemes meant for minorities.


Tue, 10 May 2022 12:50:40 +0530
UP Board exams to be held on new pattern

Lucknow, May 10

Examination for the students of Classes 9 and 10 will be conducted on a new pattern, as recommended in the National Education Policy (NEP).

The question paper will be divided into two parts.

In the first section, 30 per cent marks will be earmarked for multiple-choice questions (MCQs) that will be answered on an OMR sheet. The second section will consist of 70 per cent marks and will be descriptive in nature.

Secondary education minister Gulab Devi said, "The academic calendar will be uploaded on the websites of schools. Students will express their opinion on moral and relevant issues like human values, character building, patriotism, social service, life of great personalities, environment and water conservation, health and traffic rules."

The minister said all schools should complete the syllabus by January 20 next year. The department also proposes to hold career counselling sessions in schools.

For continuous and comprehensive assessment of students, the Board will conduct five monthly tests. While three will be based on multiple-choice questions (MCQs), two will be descriptive.

The 'School Chalo Abhiyan' will also be held for secondary schools to reduce dropout rate.


Tue, 10 May 2022 12:48:11 +0530
UP 2 held for making public announcents against Dalits

Muzaffarnagar (Uttar Pradesh), May 10

In a shocking incident, the village head of Pavti Khurd village under Charthawal police circle, made a public announcement -- known as 'munadi' in local parlance -- warning people 'not to venture near the houses of Dalits'.

The announcement further warned of 'offenders' getting slapped by slippers 100 times and a fine of Rs 5,000.

Two persons have been arrested after the video of the incident went viral on Tuesday.

The Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Muzaffarnagar, Abhishek Yadav said that the accused have been identified as Rajvir and Amarpal.

"Both are being booked under the Gangsters Act," he said.


Tue, 10 May 2022 12:46:08 +0530
UK study shows 2nd Covid booster gives higher immunity than 1st

London, May 10

A second Covid-19 booster dose, or the fourth jab against the virus, boosts immunity more than the initial or the third dose, according to a UK trial.

The UK rolled out fourth doses to over-75s and those over the age of 12 who are immunosuppressed in April. It is also offered in Israel and Germany.

"Fourth-dose Covid-19 mRNA booster vaccines are well tolerated and boost cellular and humoral immunity," scientists wrote in the Lancet Infectious Diseases.

Even as short-term protection against infection is likely to fall away quickly, the trial showed that "peak responses after the fourth dose were similar to, and possibly better than, peak responses after the third dose".

Prof Saul N. Faust, from the University Hospital Southampton and the team explained that third-dose boosters increase humoral and cellular immunity. And they provide more short-term protection against symptomatic infection with variants of concern, including Omicron, compared with a two-dose schedule.

However, protection against symptomatic infection wanes rapidly following the second and third doses of Covid-19 vaccines.

The new trial showed that the fourth dose can rescue immune responses that have waned since a third jab.

"We've demonstrated that a fourth dose of Covid-19 vaccines can produce a substantial boost to both the antibody and cellular immunity when you give them more than six months after the third dose," Faust, who led the trial, was quoted as saying to the Guardian.

In the trial, the team analysed data from 133 participants, finding that 14 days after receiving the fourth jab, there was a 1.6-fold increase in antibodies among those who received the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

More than two-fold increase was observed among those who received the half-dose Moderna jab, compared with 28 days after the third dose, when antibody levels were still at their peak.

The increase in immunity levels were seen for those over and below 70 years of age.

In addition, levels of antibodies and T-cells increased substantially between the day before the fourth vaccination and 14 days after for both types of fourth jab, the report said.

"Our results for immunogenicity are also consistent with the little observational evidence on vaccine effectiveness available from Israel, which indicates increased protection against symptomatic infection and severe illness from a fourth-dose booster," the team wrote in the paper.

Faust added that those who had little waning of their immune responses before their fourth dose gained only a limited increase in their immune responses as a result of the booster - with similar findings for others who had a recent history of a Covid infection.

"That indicates there may be a ceiling, a maximum antibody level with the T-cell response effects," he said.

Tue, 10 May 2022 12:43:41 +0530
Probe explosion at intelligence headquarters swiftly Punjab CM

Chandigarh, May 10

Taking swift cognizance of an explosion that occurred at the headquarters of Punjab Police Intelligence wing in Mohali, Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Tuesday directed the Director General of Police (DGP) to immediately probe the entire incident thoroughly so as to get to the bottom of the case.

Chairing a high-level meeting of senior police officers, Mann categorically said that nobody would be allowed to disturb the peaceful atmosphere of the state, adding a few inimical forces are constantly trying to foment trouble across the state, which will never succeed in their nefarious designs.

Meanwhile, the DGP apprised the Chief Minister that a few suspects have been taken into custody for further interrogation so as to enable the police to strike at the roots of this unsavoury incident.

The Chief Minister said the culprits behind this incident would be soon brought to book and handed down an exemplary punishment as a deterrent for other such anti-social elements to not commit such heinous incidents in future.

Tue, 10 May 2022 12:40:55 +0530
Delhi One more held in Subhash Nagar firing incident

New Delhi, May 10

Delhi Police have arrested one accused shooter in connection with the sensational attack on two businessmen in the national capital's Subhash Nagar area, official sources said on Tuesday.

On May 7 evening, a group of assailants surrounded a car on a busy road in west Delhi's Subhash Nagar and fired at least 10 rounds. Two brothers -- Ajay Chaudhary and Jassa Chaudhary -- who were sitting in the car suffered bullet injuries and are undergoing treatment.

According to the sources, the latest arrestee, identified as Paras alias Sahil's identity was revealed after the examination of CCTV footage. It is being said the accused Paras was part of some Delhi-based gang.

A day after the incident, on Sunday, the police arrested a 47-year-old man who allegedly gave a scooty to his accomplices to commit the crime. The accused was identified as Raju Khan alias Googa.

The accused Raju Khan had provided the two-wheeler to the assailants which they used in the commission of crime.

The police had registered a case under sections 307 (attempt to murder) and 34 (Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Indian Penal Code. Probe is still underway.

Tue, 10 May 2022 12:38:44 +0530
IPL Turning Point Fast powerplay Cummins triple strike in an over turn tide in Kolkata s favour

New Delhi, May 10

When Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Shreyas Iyer said at the toss that five changes were made to the playing eleven, it seemed like that the two-time champions were getting back to the playing eleven which served them evenly on the basis of skills and abilities in the start of IPL 2022.

The yo-yoing of Venkatesh Iyer's batting position before he was dropped for a few games ended with him slotting back to being the opener which Kolkata needed: Someone who could get them the quick runs in powerplay and make the most out of two men standing outside the 30-yard circle.

Back as an opener, a role which got him into limelight and white-ball debuts for India in 2021/22, Venkatesh helped Kolkata get a fast start after being pushed into batting first. He had begun the innings by dispatching Murugan Ashwin over deep backward square leg for six, followed by drilling a drive on googly through cover.

Venkatesh made good use of his feet and crease in the fifth over while facing the pace of Riley Meredith, coming down the pitch and slicing over point. It was followed by him shuffling across and scooping a six over fine leg.

He then brought up Kolkata's fifty by getting an outer edge running through third man off Kumar Kartikeya Singh and then brought out slow-sweep to hit a clean six over deep mid-wicket. Though Kartikeya had the last laugh as a top-edge on slog went to cover-point, Venkatesh had done his job of getting a fast start in powerplay, which yielded 64 runs, making it the best powerplay score of Kolkata and the first time their opening stand went beyond fifty runs, with Ajinkya Rahane getting just nine runs in the first six overs.

"I think it's my job to go out there and give the team a good start. I'm happy I did that. My intent is always positive and aggressive. Sometimes it comes off, sometimes it doesn't. But T20 cricket, you always have to maximize those first six overs. With the middle order we have, it's very important for us to get a good start so they can contribute," were Venkatesh's words after being one of the main factors for Kolkata's 52-run win.

Kolkata were also well served by the fact that the batters coming after Venkatesh and eventually Rahane's fall didn't let go of the attacking mantle. Nitish Rana hit back-to-back sixes down the ground off Kartikeya to bring up Kolkata's hundred in 11 overs. He took a liking to Pollard's medium-pace, welcoming him with an inside-out loft over extra cover for six. The left-hander took a four and another six, through extra cover and over deep mid-wicket respectively to take 17 runs off the over.

Though Mumbai pulled back brilliantly, thanks to Jasprit Bumrah's riveting spell of 5/10 and him using short balls to good effect in keeping Kolkata to 165/9, even the most ardent fan of the five-time champions must have felt nervous about their batting in the absence of an injured Suryakumar Yadav.

Taking cues from what Bumrah did to his side's batters, Cummins implemented the same and was rewarded instantly when Ishan Kishan, who had got his fifty in 41 balls, couldn'' get on to top of a bouncer, top-edging a pull to deep backward square leg. That started Mumbai's slide as Cummins bounced out Daniel Sams in same fashion, with top-edge safely pouched by keeper and ended the over with Murugan Ashwin ramping straight on his short ball to third man.

From there, the result was a foregone conclusion, leaving Bumrah's splendid five-wicket haul on the losing side as Kolkata marked a successful return to their initial combination.


Tue, 10 May 2022 09:19:29 +0530
Amazon fires 2 warehouse workers who helped organise its 1st union

San Francisco, May 10

Amazon has fired two Staten Island warehouse workers who helped organise a union at JFK8, the company's largest warehouse in New York City.

According to Motherboard, the victory at JFK8 in April marked the first time in the US labour history that workers have successfully unionised at the fiercely anti-union company.

The tech giant has so far refused to recognise the union and has asked the National Labour Relations Board to throw out the results of the election, the report said.

While it is unclear whether recent terminations are retaliatory, they mark the first instance since Amazon Labour Union won a union election on April 1 that Amazon has terminated organisers in Staten Island.

Amazon did not respond to a request for comment by Motherboard.

On May 3, Amazon human resources notified Mat Cusick, the comms lead for Amazon Labour Union and an Amazon warehouse worker, that he had been terminated for "voluntary resignation due to job abandonment", according to an email obtained by Motherboard.

Cusick had been on Covid-related leave.

Amazon notified another warehouse employee, Tristan Dutchin, an ALU organiser, whose photo has been prominently featured across major media outlets in recent weeks, in a meeting on May 7 said that he had been terminated for falling behind on productivity targets.

Dutchin sent screenshots confirming that he had been locked out of Amazon's AtoZ app, which handles payroll and scheduling, the report said.

Meanwhile, on May 5, Amazon fired six senior managers who oversaw Amazon's anti-union campaign at JFK8.


Tue, 10 May 2022 09:12:54 +0530
NIA in touch with Punjab Police in Mohali attack case

New Delhi, May 10

The National Investigation Agency (NIA), which is in touch with the Punjab Police, may start probing the Mohali attack case, sources said.

A team of NIA's terror unit is in contact with the Punjab Police. The NIA believes that Khalistani groups are thriving in Punjab who have carried out the attack after conducting reconnaissance of the area.

A rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) was fired from outside the street, which landed on the third floor of the Punjab Police's Intelligence Headquarters in sector 77 of Mohali. The grenade, however, did not explode and only the glass doors and windowpanes were shattered. It is said that RPG-22 might have been used in the attack.

Four days ago four Khalistani terrorists were arrested by the Haryana Police.

The preliminary probe has indicated that two car-borne persons might have been involved in the attack. A swift dzire car is said to be seen outside the Intelligence wing before the attack took place.

As the building doesn't have any CCTV camera, the police are trying to gather footage from the nearby area. A number of persons living in the neighbourhood have been questioned.

The NIA is also gathering information about the incident. A team from the Delhi's office might be sent to Mohali after the instructions from the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.

"A terror unit of NIA is in touch with the Punjab Police. A few Intelligence reports were issued which said the Khalistani outfits were active and they were planning to disturb peace in the area," said a source.


Tue, 10 May 2022 09:05:56 +0530
5 dead 200 injured in SL violence houses of politicians torched

Colombo, May 10

At least five people, including an MP, were killed in Sri Lanka, with over 200 others injured in the wake of the violence in the island nation, which also led to a number of houses belonging to resigned Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and other politicians, being torched.

On Monday night, anti-government protesters surrounded the Prime Minister's official residence in Colombo, Temple Trees, and tried to enter it. Later, they burnt vehicles parked outside the house.

Additional military personnel were called in to protect Mahinda Rajapaksa and police fired tear gas and water cannons on the agitating protesters. At midnight, the military had to fire shots in the air to disperse the violent mob.

An island-wide curfew has been extended to Wednesday morning as authorities seek to quell the violence.

Earlier on Monday, the months-long peaceful protest against the rising cost of living, shortages of essentials including food, fuel, medicine, cooking gas, turned violent when Mahinda Rajapaksa called his supporters from outstations to Colombo, who attacked two peaceful demostration sites near his house, as well as President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's residence in Galle Face Green.

The pro-government protesters attacked the anti-government demonstrators with sticks and stones, which led to the injuries of the over 200 people. They also burnt the tents that were occupied by the anti-government protesters.

Police hardly took any actions to prevent the violence.

Angered by the attacks on peaceful protest sites, violence quickly spread across the crisis-hit island nation.

Ruling party MP Amarakeerthi Athukorala's bodyguard shot at the protesters in Nittambuwa city, located in the outskirts of Colombo, injuring three people. But the protesters attacked the MP and bodyguard.

Later, the bodies of Athukorala and his bodyguard were found in a building.

The US and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres urged Sri Lanka to end the political crisis soon and find a solution through dialogue.

Even after the resignation of the Prime Minister and several other Cabinet Ministers, the island nation is facing a political deadlock in the wake of its worst economic crisis since gaining independence from Britain in 1948,

The President has urged the opposition to form an all-party government, but the latter has refused to do so until Gotabaya Rajapaksa steps down.

On Monday, trade unions launched an indefinite nationwide strike demanding the President to resign.


Tue, 10 May 2022 09:00:55 +0530
Maha Education Society s ex President held for money laundering

New Delhi, May 10

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday said that they have arrested Mahadev Ramachandra Deshmukh, the ex-President of Shri Chhatrapati Shivaji Education Society (SCSES) of Maharashtra, in a money-laundering case pertaining to fraud with MBBS students to the tune of Rs 29 crore.

The ED initiated its money-laundering investigation on the basis of an FIR registered by Vaduj police station in Maharashtra's Satara against Deshmukh and others.

It has been alleged that the management had collected funds in cash from the students for admission in an MBBS course into a college, namely the Institute of Medical Science and Research whereas it was not eligible for the course.

The ED learnt in the investigation that Kolhapur-based Society, a charitable trust engaged in educational activities, had received permission to run a medical college for academic years 2012-13 and 2013-14 for 100 seats per annum (85 seats government quota and 15 seats management quota).

However, in 2014, the Admission Regulatory Authority rejected the permission for admission in MBBS for the academic year 2014-15.

Though admission permission was granted only for 200 students, from 2012-13 to 2015-16, but Deshmukh fraudulently and illegally collected Rs 29 crore in cash from more than 550 students in the guise of donations for admission in MBBS but 350 of these students were left in the lurch.

"Various agents were appointed on commission basis by Deshmukh for luring prospective candidates for admission on payment of donations," the official said.

The ED produced Deshmukh before a court which sent him to the agency's custody till May 18.


Tue, 10 May 2022 08:57:14 +0530
IPL 2022 Jasprit Bumrah s five wicket haul restricts Kolkata Knight Riders to 165 9

Navi Mumbai, May 9

Jasprit Bumrah's sensational 5/10, including 18 dot balls, was instrumental in Mumbai Indians restricting Kolkata Knight Riders to 165/9 in 20 overs at the DY Patil Stadium on Monday.

For Kolkata, Venkatesh Iyer perished early but not before getting the side to their first fifty-plus stand in power-play with a 24-ball 43 while Nitish Rana made the same score in 26 balls.

But Bumrah halted Kolkata's fast and furious run, starting by taking out Andre Russell with a short ball, which he could send only to long-on. Three balls later, Bumrah bounced out a well-set Nitish Rana with a bouncer which took glove edge to keeper. The right-arm pacer returned in the 18th over, claiming Sheldon Jackson with a short ball pulled to deep square leg.

Bumrah then welcomed Pat Cummins with a bouncer and got him out on the very next ball with an uncomfortable short ball pouched safely by square leg. Sunil Narine tried to fend a short ball from Bumrah, only for the bowler to run in and take the catch on follow-through. Bumrah ended the innings by conceding just one run in the final over to pull Mumbai back in the match.

Earlier, Back to opening in the playing eleven, Venkatesh began by dispatching Murugan Ashwin over deep backward square leg for six, followed by drilling a drive on googly through cover. His partner, Ajinkya Rahane, was sedate while taking a four off Bumrah with a cut through point.

Venkatesh made his intentions clear of maximising power-play, by coming down the pitch and slicing Riley Meredith over point. It was followed by him shuffling across and scooping a six over fine leg. Venkatesh then brought up Kolkata's fifty by getting an outer edge running through third man off Kumar Kartikeya Singh and then brought out slow-sweep to hit a clean six over deep mid-wicket.

But Kartikeya had the last laugh as Venkatesh went for another slog, only to top-edge to cover-point. Rana hit the ground running with a creamy drive over cover to end the power-play on a high.

Rahane got a move on with some boundaries but an uncharacteristic reverse sweep off Kartikeya saw him lose his leg-stump. Rana ensured that Rahane's fall doesn't hurt Kolkata, hitting back-to-back sixes down the ground to bring up Kolkata's hundred in 11 overs.

Rana took a liking to Kieron Pollard's medium-pace, welcoming him with an inside-out loft over extra cover for six. The left-hander took a four and another six, through extra cover and over deep mid-wicket respectively to take 17 runs off the over.

Though Ashwin took out Shreyas Iyer with a leg-break taking a thin edge to keeper, Rana and Andre Russell took a four and six respectively off the leg-spinner to finish with 13 runs off the over. But Bumrah arrived and broke the back of Kolkata's batting, restricting them to a total far lesser than what the men in purple anticipated.

Brief Scores: Kolkata Knight Riders 165/9 in 20 overs (Venkatesh Iyer 43, Nitish Rana 43, Jasprit Bumrah 5/10, Kumar Kartikeya Singh 2/32) against Mumbai Indians


Mon, 09 May 2022 23:07:13 +0530
AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan booked for blocking Shaheen Bagh demolition drive

New Delhi, May 9

Delhi Police have registered an FIR against Aam Aadmi Party MLA Amanatullah Khan and his supporters for 'not allowing' South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) officials to carry out the proposed anti-encroachment drive in the Shaheen Bagh area on Monday.

"The FIR has been registered on the complaint of SDMC under Section 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Indian Penal Code," DCP (southeast), Esha Pandey, said.

Earlier, SDMC licensing inspector, central zone, had lodged a complaint with the Delhi Police against Khan, alleging that the legislator and his supporters did not allow the field staff to remove the encroachments.

Notably, the police detained several people, including party workers, who were not allowing the SDMC to carry out the demolition drive at Shaheen Bagh.

After the agitation was quelled, the bulldozer moved forward to demolish the illegal encroachment, an iron structure in front of a building. It is at this juncture that Khan reached the spot and was seen speaking to the officials.

The 'illegal encroachment', i.e., an iron structure in front of the building, was then manually removed by the local people even as a bulldozer stood by.

The locals said that the iron structure installed in front of the building was not an 'illegal encroachment' but a shuttering.

"It has been installed for the renovation of the building," a local told IANS.

While speaking to mediapersons, Khan expressed strong resentment against SDMC's demolition drive and said he had himself inspected the whole area and spoken to every official, including the traffic police, and all the illegal encroachments were removed 3-4 days back.

"I had myself with my own JCB removed a toilet that was illegally constructed outside a mosque. This is nothing but vendetta politics. Just tell me where the encroachment is, and I will remove it myself. I am the local MLA," said the AAP leader.


Mon, 09 May 2022 23:01:44 +0530
Rupee hits all time low against US dollar more depreciation likely

New Delhi, May 9

The Indian rupee extended its losses and touched an all-time low of 77.42 against the US dollar in early trade on Monday.

The Indian currency is weighed by the strength of the American currency in the overseas market and continued foreign fund outflows. Further, rupee slipped on surge in crude oil prices

Foreign institutional investors were net sellers in the capital market on Friday, as they offloaded shares worth Rs 5,517.08 crore, as per stock exchange data. They have been selling equities constantly in the recent months.

Rupee has been under-pressure after global central banks started normalising policy and last week RBI too started raising key interest rates.

On Friday, the rupee had slumped 55 paise to close at 76.90 against the US dollar.

"Local units are also hit by haven dollar flows, higher global rates due to rising inflation and risk-off sentiments. Weakness in Chinese yuan, which fell to its weakest level since November 2020, also weighing on regional currencies," said Dilip Parmar, Retail Research Analyst at HDFC Securities.

So far this year, foreign institutions have withdrawn a total of nearly $19 billion from domestic equities and debt markets, Parmar said.

Parmar sees near term depreciation in rupee could continue for a few more days with lower side limited in the range of 77.70 to 78. In the event of unwinding, the rupee could see levels of 77 to 76.70.

According to Sugandha Sachdeva, VP-Commodity and Currency Research at Religare Broking, the Indian rupee has plummeted to record lows amid the deteriorating risk sentiments and the unrelenting spree of overseas outflows from the domestic equities.

Besides, an unabated rise in the dollar index towards a two-decade high, soaring US treasury yields and crude prices, all of them have worked their way to push the domestic currency on a downward trajectory, Sachdeva told IANS.

"Markets are concerned about the spiralling inflation and prospects of an aggressive tightening path that continues to threaten the growth outlook, leading to safe-haven flows in the greenback."

Also, hardening crude oil prices as the EU is moving ahead to impose an embargo on Russian oil are roiling the sentiments, leading to worries about the widening current account deficit and exacerbating the pressure on the domestic currency.

Going ahead, as the Indian rupee has breached the previous all-time lows of the 77.14-mark, it seems poised to witness further depreciation towards the 78-mark in the near term.

Sachdeva, however, anticipates that RBI will intervene around the 78-mark to curb excessive depreciation in the Indian currency.


Mon, 09 May 2022 22:57:31 +0530
Pak National Assembly passes resolution condemning Imran s anti army statements

Islamabad, May 9

The National Assembly of Pakistan has passed a resolution condemning Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairperson Imran Khans "anti-army" statements during his public gathering in Abbottabad on Sunday, media reports said.

The resolution was tabled by Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Murtaza Javed Abbasi, Samaa TV reported.

Addressing the National Assembly on Monday, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif lambasted the PTI chairperson for his "aggressive speeches" against the state institutions and said Khan's statements could cause anarchy in Pakistan.

The Prime Minister termed Khan's Abbottabad speech as an "anti-state" narrative and "conspiracy against Pakistan", urging the Lower House to control the PTI chairperson's tone.

"You're [Imran Khan] not in power today... You were a favourite of this institution and fed like a baby for three-and-a-half years," Sharif said, adding: "This core institution has never supported any of the previous prime ministers the way it did Imran Khan Niazi."

"It is unfortunate of him that despite [the support] he didn't learn, perform or deliver to the nation," he added.

The premier further said the "kind of support this institution" has given to Imran Khan has no example in the history of Pakistan.

"If we would have got even 20 per cent or 30 per cent of the support that Imran Khan got, we would have elevated Pakistan like an aircraft," he said, Samaa TV reported.

Sharif added that despite being supported, Khan failed miserably.

"And today your 'nobody-will-play-if-I-am-not-in-the-game' approach is not good," he said.

"If the kind of language he [Khan] used yesterday is not controlled in the constitutional way, it will spark devastation," Sharif added.


Mon, 09 May 2022 22:53:08 +0530
Life from sea animals to mammals

Anupama Nair


Over the next few billion years, single-celled organisms fused and became multicellular; body plans diversified and radiated, exploding into an array of invertebrates. Yet all this abundance and life was restricted only to the seas, and a large and bountiful land was unused. Somewhere around 530 million years ago, there is evidence that centipede-like animals began to explore the world above water, and around 430 million years ago, plants and were found on the bare earth, creating a land rich in food and resources, while fish evolved from ancestral vertebrates in the sea. It was another 30 million years before those prehistoric fish crawled out the sea and began the evolutionary lineage we sit atop today. To understand life as we know it, we have to look back at where we came from, and understand how our ancestors braved a brand- new world above the waves.

It was a small step for a fish, but a giant leap for animal kind. Though, looking at modern fish species, it's not so hard to envisage the slow adaptation to life out of the sea. A number of fish exhibit traits which are not unlike those of the first tetra pods, the four-limbed vertebrates that first tried to live on land, and were the direct descendants of ancient fish. The gurnards, are known for their ‘walking’ behaviors. Similarly, mudskippers have adapted anatomically and behaviorally to survive on land. Not only can they use their fins to skip from place to place, they can breathe through their skin like amphibians, allowing them to survive when they leave water habitat. Walking catfishes have modified their respiratory system so much that they can survive days out of water. But all of these are only glimpses at how the first tetra pods began, as none of these animals has fully adapted to life on land. To understand how tetra pods achieved such a feat, we must first understand the barriers that lay between their life under the sea and the land above that awaited them.

Living in air instead of water has its own difficulties. Locomotion is only one problem, though as evolution in a number of lineages has shown, not as big a problem as you might think. Still, while mud skippers and catfish seem to walk with ease, the same cannot be said of our ancestors. Some of the earliest tetra pods, like ‘Ichthyostega’ were quite cumbersome on land, and likely spent most of their time in the comfort of water. These first tetra pods came from an ancient lineages of fishes called the Sarcopterygii or Lobe-Finned Fish, of which only a few survive today. As the name implies, these animals have meaty, paddle-like fins instead of the flimsy rays of most modern-day fish species. However, these early tetra pods had to develop more than a new way to walk as their entire skeletons had to change to support more weight, as water supports mass in a way that air cannot. Each vertebrae had to become stronger for support. Ribs and vertebrae changed shape and evolved for extra support and to better distribute weight. Skulls disconnected, and necks evolved to allow better mobility of the head and to absorb the shock of walking. Bones were lost and shifted, streamlining the limbs and creating the five-digit pattern that is still reflected in our own hands and feet. Joints articulated for movement, and rotated forward to allow four-legged crawling. Overall, it took a long 30 million years or so to develop a body plan fit for walking on land.

At the same time, these cumbersome land dwellers faced another obstacle, the air itself. With gills adept at drawing oxygen from water, early tetra pods were ill-equipped to breathing air. While many think that early tetra pods transformed their gills into lungs, this actually isn't true, however, it was the fish's digestive system that adapted to form lungs. The first tetra pods to leave the water breathed by swallowing air and absorbing oxygen in their gut. Over time, a special pocket formed, allowing for better gas exchange. In many fish, a similar structure called a swim bladder exists which allows them to adjust buoyancy in the water, and thus many have hypothesized that tetra pod lungs are co-opted swim bladders. We do not know when tetra pods developed lungs  like other land-living animals. While the only surviving relatives to early tetra pods the lungfishes also possess lungs many fossil tetra pods don't seem to have them, suggesting that lungfish independently evolved their ability to breathe air. However, what we know is that it wasn't until around 360 million years ago that tetra pods truly breathed like their modern descendants.

The solution to land's dry nature was to encase eggs in a number of membrane layers, in what is now known as an amniote egg. Even our own children reflect this, as human babies still grow in an amniotic sac that surrounds the fetus, even though we no longer lay eggs. This crucial adaptation allowed animals to cut ties with watery habitats, and distinguishes the major lineage of tetra pods, including reptiles, birds and mammals, from amphibians. These crucial adaptations to tetra pod skeletons and anatomy allowed them to conquer the world above the waves. Without their evolutionary ingenuity, a diverse set of animals, including all mammals, would not be where they are today. Even today we still do not understand the ecological settings that drove these early animals out of the sea. Did dry land offer an endless bounty of food not to be overlooked? Perhaps, but there is evidence that our ancestors braved the dry world very early on, even before most terrestrial plants or insects, so it's possible earth was barren once.  Was land important for some yet undetermined reason? The answer is we may never know. But as we reflect upon our beginnings, we have to give credit to the daring animals that began the diverse evolutionary lineage which we are a part of. While we may never understand why they left water, we ought to be thankful they were brave enough to do so!.


Mon, 09 May 2022 22:34:37 +0530
New e com players not showing country of origin for all products in India

New Delhi, May 9

Only four in 10 consumers in India say that e-commerce platforms are displaying the country of origin information for all products, a new report revealed on Monday.

While most older, established e-commerce platforms now have the Country of Origin information for the majority of products, the same is not the case with newly-established platforms like LensKart, CityMall and Shop101, according to the survey report by community-based social media platform LocalCircles.

Post the China conflict in June 2020, the Central government gave a push to create additional awareness about 'Make in India' products and started enforcement of 'Country of Origin' information to be displayed on e-commerce sites.

The enforcement was done under the Packaged Commodity Rules Amendment, 2017 under The Department of Consumer Affairs.

However, only 42 per cent consumers found that e-commerce apps platforms to be compliant in making country of origin information available, said the report.

Nearly 28 per cent of consumers said e-commerce apps and platforms remain non-compliant while 30 per cent did not have an opinion or did not look for this information.

The percentage of consumers that looked for country of origin information when shopping online in 2020 was 37 per cent which rose to 43 per cent in 2021 and is now at 51 per cent.

Recently, the Delhi High Court asked the Centre to implement a proper mechanism for conducting periodical checks of eCommerce platforms to ensure compliance with rules relating to the display and packaging of products sold on their websites.

On the seller front, a lot more work needs to be done, according to the report, as only 29 per cent of consumers said that most sellers were displaying this information for all products.

"The need of the hour is for e-commerce platforms to ensure that sellers are complying, and those that don't face action beyond the government action," said the report.



Mon, 09 May 2022 15:28:10 +0530
Retail sector surpasses pre pandemic levels with 47 y o y growth Report

Bengaluru, May 9

As economic activities continue to surge, the job market is witnessing recovery across several sectors that were impacted by the pandemic, showcasing the highest growth in the month of April, according to a new report on Monday.

The report by the Monster Employment Index (MEI) showed that BFSI continues to remain the fastest job recovering sector with a 54 per cent annual growth rate followed by retail that grew 47 per cent annually and then production and manufacturing industry at 35 per cent.

The re-opening of brick-and-mortar stores have resulted in a sharp rise in the retail job market. Easing of Covid-19 curbs have resulted in consumers frequenting recreational centres such as malls, creating a demand for retail talent following improvement in supply chain disruptions and global mobility resuming, growth has been witnessed in import and export (up 29 per cent) and travel and tourism (up 15 per cent) sectors as well.

"The aggressive comeback of the retail sector testifies to its resilience and potential as a strong contributor to our GDP. Tech led innovation across sectors will also ensure continued demand for tech roles across sectors as we consumers increasingly embrace a digital-native lifestyle," said Sekhar Garisa, CEO -, a Quess company, in a statement.

India registered an overall growth of 15 per cent year-on-year and 4 per cent month-on-month in hiring demand as a result of increased positive business sentiment in the month of April.

While leadership roles with experience of 16+ years exhibited steepest growth of 29 per cent amongst all experience levels, intermediate and mid senior level roles showed growth of 24 per cent and 22 per cent respectively. Fresher roles or entry level roles too showed stable high teenage growth.

However, media and entertainment (down 17 per cent) still observed fewer job opportunities since last year. Although a marginal dip has been registered in engineering, cement, construction, and iron/ steel (down 1 per cent), the industry has seen a revival in job activity this month, according to MEI data.

Further, Mumbai (up 29 per cent) again led all the monitored cities on a yearly basis on hiring, followed by Coimbatore (up 25 per cent), Chennai (up 21 per cent), Bangalore and Hyderabad (up 20 per cent each). Rest all metro cities Delhi-NCR, Kolkata and Pune continued to reflect a positive year-on-year growth trend in the range of 6 to 18 per cent.

"The future of the job market is looking healthier by the day. With India achieving a new milestone of touching 100 unicorns, it is only a matter of time before these disruptive companies create further employment across sectors. The emergence of fintech, edtech, and D2C brands have definitely helped stimulate economic recovery at a much faster rate than traditional companies," Garisa added.

Mon, 09 May 2022 15:25:34 +0530
Hansal Mehta Baai captures and honours unconditional love

Mumbai, May 9

Director Hansal Mehta has shared his perception of love that he portrayed in his story of 'Modern Love Mumbai' segment called 'Baai'.

The anthology consists of six beautiful love stories of different kinds. Mehta, who has shown the brilliance of his storytelling in an anthology before with 'Das Kahaniyaan', this time he is back with a story of love called 'Baai'.

He says "If the connection of two souls had to take a tangible form, it would embody itself through love. To me, that's really what love is when one is unconditionally accepted for who they are, without any barriers or prejudices.

"'Baai' captures and honours that unconditional love, one that we inherently seek irrespective of the nature of the relationship. It's an ode to love that's free from the burden of labels and the pressures of conforming," the filmmaker added.

Prime Video's 'Modern Love Mumbai' is an amalgamation of prominent filmmakers of Indian cinema - Hansal Mehta, Vishal Bharadwaj, Nupoor Asthana, Shonali Bose, Dhruv Sehgal, and Alankrita Shrivastava, who have created the magic of their visionary storytelling in this anthology that will explore the different shades of love in the city of dreams, Mumbai.

'Modern Love Mumbai' starts streaming from May 13 on Prime Video.


Mon, 09 May 2022 15:22:44 +0530
Peerless Group managing director S K Roy dead at 78

Kolkata, May 9

Kolkata-based Peerless Group managing director Sunil Kanti Roy, popularly known as S.K Roy, passed away at a city hospital here on Monday morning. He was 78.

Peerless Group is engaged in diversified business activities including finance, hospitality, healthcare, insurance and securities. Roy is survived by his wife, son, daughter and two grandchildren.

Family sources said that Roy was suffering from age-related ailments for quite some time and was admitted to a city-based hospital recently. On May 7, his condition deteriorated suddenly and he had to be put on life support.

A Padma Shri recipient, Roy has also held important positions in a number of industry bodies like a board member in West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation (WBIDC).

He was born on January 8, 1944 to Radhashyam Roy, who was the founder of Peerless Group as a residuary non-banking company (RNBC). An alumnus of City College in Kolkata, Roy took over the responsibilities of the Peerless Group in 1985 after the death of his elder brother B.K. Roy.

Mon, 09 May 2022 15:19:19 +0530
Pakistan blames India for delay in water talks

Islamabad, May 9

New Delhis "stubbornness" over Pakistan-India water disputes persists as it is yet to respond to a letter sent from Islamabad even after the passage of a month, the media reported.

A meeting of water experts from both sides is scheduled to be held in New Delhi this month, but now it seems that the talks would be delayed, The Express Tribune said in a report.

A three-day meeting of water experts from both countries was held on March 1 in Islamabad. According to sources, it was agreed in that meeting to hold talks in New Delhi in May.

The Indus Water Commission will soon write a second letter to its Indian counterpart to convene a meeting.

Islamabad has objections over New Delhi's plans to build projects on Chenab River, sources said.

They said that India had also approved the launch of illegal water projects on the Indus River, The Express Tribune report said.

The construction of water projects by India will reduce the flow of water in Pakistan's rivers.

In March, Islamabad and New Delhi reiterated their desire to implement the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) following the 117th meeting of the India-Pakistan Permanent Indus Commission.

Under the relevant provisions of the IWT 1960, the meeting takes place alternatively in Pakistan and India annually.

New Delhi's delegation comprising 10 members was headed by Indian Commissioner for Indus Waters P.K. Saxena, while Islamabad's delegation was led by Pakistani Commissioner for Indus Waters Syed Muhammad Mehar Ali Shah.

Mon, 09 May 2022 15:15:44 +0530
Delhi BJP urges AAP Congress against linking encroachment with religion

New Delhi, May 9

Delhi BJP president Adesh Gupta said on Monday that the Congress and AAP's opposition to anti-encroachment drive in Shaheen Bagh proves that they are supporters of Rohingyas and Bangladeshis.

The BJP-ruled South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) carried out anti-encroachment drive at Shaheen Bagh here amid protest from local people this morning.

Addressing a press conference at the party headquarters here, Gupta said: "The way Congress and AAP tried to stop the anti-encroachment drive shows their support for Rohingyas and Bangladeshis. Those who were lying in front of bulldozers will be given a befitting reply by the people."

"It's unfortunate that AAP and Congress are opposing removal of encroachment in Shaheen Bagh. I urge them not to link encroachment with religion," Gupta said.

Talking about his letter to people of Delhi, Gupta said that whatever concern he raised in it, has came true. "In the letter, I said that AAP MLAs are felicitating Bangladeshi and Rohingyas to get voter Id and Aadhar, and today it came true," Gupta said.

The BJP-ruled North Delhi Municipal Corporation had also carried out an anti-encroachment drive in Jahangirpuri after a riot broke out in the area during Hanuman Jayanti procession last month. The drive was discontinued after the Supreme Court directed the civic body to maintain status quo.

Mon, 09 May 2022 15:10:29 +0530
Lt Gen DP Pandey hands over command of GoC Chinar corps to Lt Gen Amardeep Singh Aujla

Srinagar, May 9

Lt. General Devendra Pratap Pandey handed over the command of the strategic Kashmir-based 15 Corps to Lt. Gen. Amardeep Singh Aujla at the headquarters of 15 Corps on Monday.

Lt. Gen. Devendra Pratap Pandey commanded the Corps in a critical phase of 2021, when Kashmir was confronted with the twin challenges of terrorism and the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic.

"The tenure has been defined by an improved security environment prevailing at the Line of Control, as well as in hinterland. With the Civil Administration and Security Forces synergizing their efforts to bring normalcy back to Kashmir, terrorism is on decline with assessed residual terrorist numbers reduced to an all-time low," the Army said.

"A dynamic deployment along the Line of Control integrated by technical intelligence and robust anti-infiltration grid ensured drastically reduced infiltration. The opportunity afforded by the Ceasefire Violation agreement resulted in renewed attempts to bring succour to the local population residing along the Line of Control."

"In the hinterland, all elements of Security Forces were synergized to break the cycle of violence. Relentless operations, in tandem with Jammu & Kashmir Police and other CAPFs, based on hard intelligence were carried out to neutralise terrorists, with minimum collateral damage and zero civilian fatalities. The approach also included outreach to families, including those of active terrorists to minimise recruitment and induce surrenders amongst local terrorists.

"Various programmes were incorporated to stymie the radicalisation and incitement being carried out by White Collar Terrorists to misguide and force the youth of Kashmir onto the path of violence. The conflict entrepreneurs were targeted, while simultaneously engaging youth through various initiatives, extending myriad platforms to showcase their talent, ranging from sports to cultural arenas. The efforts have borne fruits, with the terrorists number dwindling to an all-time low of 150."

Lt. Gen. Pandey ensured an improved soldier-citizen connect. His impromptu visits to Sopore, Shopian, Dardpora, Trehgam and remote areas of Kashmir enhanced his rapport with the populace.

This effort also included many successful events all over the Kashmir Valley, co-opting the citizens in various sports, culture, arts, education, skilling and health initiatives. The General Officer strongly propounded for a second chance to the misguided youth to bring them back from the brink, as he believes this to be critical in achieving lasting peace in J&K. The 'Sahi Raasta' programme impacted the cognitive mindspace of the youth, aligning them to the mainstream.

"His easy rapport with the youth, ignited minds to think beyond 'Problems in Kashmir', and gave voice to popular sentiment -- through Seminars, Josh Talks and Debates," the Army said.

"In creating awareness about the role of Women in the Kashmiri society, he emphasized on Kota Rani, Lal Ded and Habba Khatoon during Women Equality Day celebrations. The General exhorted the citizens of Kashmir to think of their glorious history much beyond the last few centuries."

Lt. Gen. Devendra Pratap Pandey's contribution to peace and stability in Kashmir were recognised by the award of the prestigious 'Uttam Yudh Seva Medal' (UYSM) by President of India Ram Nath Kovind on January 26, 2022.

Mon, 09 May 2022 15:07:01 +0530
36 days after marriage T gana woman kills husband for lover

Hyderabad, May 9

Barely 36 days after the marriage, a woman killed her husband along with her lover and his four friends and relatives.

The shocking incident occurred in Siddipet town of Telangana district on April 28 but came to light 10 days later during police investigation.

The woman claimed that her husband died due to cardiac arrest but the investigation by the police on a complaint by the victima's mother revealed that it was a murder.

According to police, 19-year-old Shyamala strangled K. Chandrasekhar (24) with the help of her lover Shiva Kumar (20). After failing in her attempt to poison her husband to death, she hatched the murder plot with Shiva and executed the same with the help of Shiva's four friends and relatives.

Circle Inspector Ravi Kumar of Siddipet II Town police station said their investigations revealed that Shyamala was in love with Shiva for the last three years. However, with pressure from elders she married Chandrasekhar on March 23.

Even after the marriage, she continued the affair with Shiva and they hatched a plan to eliminate Chandrasekhar. During the interrogation by the police, the woman confessed that she mixed rat killing poison in her husband's food on April 19. He, however, survived after undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Hyderabad for suspected food poisoning.

After failing in the first attempt, Shyamala with her lover hatched a new plot. Accordingly, on April 19 she asked Chandrasekhar to take her to a temple. When they reached a deserted place on the outskirts of Anantsagar village, Shiva along with his friends Rakesh, Ranjith and two relatives Saikrishna and Bhargav, all aged under 25, forced stopped the two-wheeler by blocking the road with a car.

They overpowered Chandrasekhar, and Shyamala with the help of Shiva strangulated him to death. She then informed the relatives that Chandrasekhar collapsed and died after complaining of chest pain. The victim's mother Menavva was not convinced. She lodged a complaint with the police raising doubts over Shyamala's version. The investigation by police revealed the truth.

Police arrested all the six accused and produced them before a magistrate, which sent them to judicial custody.

Mon, 09 May 2022 15:03:46 +0530
Blackbuck hunting K taka police arrest 5 poachers

Haveri, (Karnataka) May 9

Karnataka police have arrested a gang of five persons in connection with hunting of blackbucks in this district of the state, police said on Monday.

The accused were chased down and arrested by police when they were transporting the carcass of two female blackbucks.

They were nabbed near Bhagat Singh Circle near Rattihalli town. The accused are identified as Sadiq Naveed (45), Mohammad Ali (32), Syed Muqueeb (21), Syed Nasarulla (52) and Sultan Khan (21).

The accused poachers hailed from Shiralakoppa near Shikaripura town in Shivamogga district. The police have seized a Bolero vehicle, single barrel gun, two knives and other items.

According to police, the accused would sell the horn and meat of blackbucks after hunting them. The accused were also involved in robberies. Rattihalli police are investigating the case.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) lists blackbuck as Near Threatened. In India, hunting of blackbuck is prohibited under Schedule 1 of the Wild Life Protection Act of 1972.

Blackbucks have significance in Hinduism and they are not troubled by the villagers. Haveri district has a sizable population of blackbucks. Herds of antelope could be seen roaming freely at a protected area near Ranebennur town. The police said that the accused did not stop the vehicle and tried to escape at the checkpost, later, they were chased and arrested with the support of the Emergency Response Support System (ERSS) staff.

Mon, 09 May 2022 14:57:24 +0530
Black Panther spotted in Goa s Mollem sanctuary

Panaji, May 9

A black panther has been spotted in the Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary and Mollem National Park, South Goa.

Giving the information, Goa Forest Minister Vishwajit Rane on Sunday said that a picture of the panther was captured by camera traps on April 25.

He said that more camera traps would be put up to record the movements of the panther.

"An amazing sighting of the #BlackPanther captured at Mollem through the camera trap. I have asked the Forest Department to keep track and monitor movements of the Black Panther. We shall be putting up more camera traps for his thorough movement."

He also tweeted a picture of the panther.

In May 2020, a black panther was spotted in Netravali wildlife sanctuary in South Goa.


Mon, 09 May 2022 14:55:09 +0530
12 member team to probe BPSC question paper leak case

Patna, May 9

The police on Monday constituted a 12-member team to investigate the Bihar Public Service Commission (BPSC) preliminary paper leak case.

The team will be headed by Sushil Kumar, Superintendent of Police of the Economic Offence Wing (EOW). The primary objective of the team is to reach out to the originating place where the paper was leaked.

The investigating team first reached the BPSC office in Patna and quizzed some of the officials. The team has not registered any FIR in this matter so far.

The BPSC preliminary examination was held on Sunday and the students of Arrah town complained about the paper leak. The candidates claimed that the paper was available 15 minutes before the start of the examination.

Sources said the question papers were given to some students 15 minutes before the examination., who were sitting in separate rooms in Veer Kunwar Singh university. Following that other students protested against it.

The investigating team is currently trying to find where the question paper was leaked which later went viral on whatsApp groups. The BPSC preliminary examination has 150 questions to solve in 120 minutes. BPSC has cancelled the examination after all 150 questions were matched with the papers leaked on social media.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was also angry over the way the question paper was leaked in Bihar. He has directed the state police to probe the matter.

Bihar Director General of Police (DGP) S.K. Singhal on Sunday chaired a high-level meeting of the officials and directed them to bring quick results.

Mon, 09 May 2022 14:52:22 +0530
Couple found dead in Bhopal

Bhopal, May 9

The police on Monday recovered the bodies of a married couple from a rented room here.

As per the police, Jitendra and his wife Ranjeeta from Khandwa were staying at their relative, Kaluram's rented accomodation in Shahpura area.

Ranjeeta had filed for divorce in Khandwa. A senior police official in the Shahpura police station said that a team has been sent to Khandwa.

While the woman's body was found on the bed, Jitendra was found hanging. Prima facie, it appeared that the man must have committed suicide after killing his wife, but the doctors ruled out any strangulation marks on the neck of the deceased, police said.

Kaluram was also present in the house when the incident took place, police said.

The police said the couple had come to Kaluram's place on Saturday and both seemed normal. After Jitendra and Ranjeeta did not come out of their room for a long time, Kaluram left for his work but his son waited for the couple to come out.

When there was no response even after several hours, Kaluram's son became suspicious and called the police. The police later broke the door open and found the bodies. Police said the post-mortem report was awaited.

Mon, 09 May 2022 14:49:41 +0530
Why demolition takes place when matter is listed SC to hear plea on Shaheen Bagh case

New Delhi, May 9

A plea challenging the demolition drive in Shaheen Bagh by South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) was mentioned before the Supreme Court on Monday.

Senior advocate P.V. Surendranath mentioned the Shaheen Bagh demolition matter before a bench headed by Justice L. Nageswara Rao and comprising Justice B.R. Gavai. The bench orally observed, "Why demolition takes place when matter is listed..." In the morning, the Chief Justice had asked the counsel to mention the matter before the bench considering the Jahangirpuri demolition.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted that the demolition carried out by the municipal corporation in Jahangirpuri, was in pursuance to the direction of the Delhi High Court direction.

Mehta said that he is not aware of the Shaheen Bagh matter and added that he can't be there at 2 p.m. due to personal difficulty. Justice Rao said ask someone else to be there. The bench orally observed, "Let us protect people, if something happens..."

After a brief hearing, the bench asked the counsel to serve the papers to the respondent and agreed to take up the case at 2 p.m.

"It is most respectfully submitted that the political executive of Respondent No. 1 Municipal Corporation (SDMC) is maliciously indulging in a political game plan. The entire action of the Respondent is absolutely and manifestly arbitrary and without following any due process of law," said the plea filed by Delhi Pradesh Rehri Patri Khomcha Hawkers Union through its General Secretary.

The plea contended that without giving a proper show cause notice and giving breathing time to people residing / working in different areas of south Delhi, the respondents proposed to start demolition of buildings denying their precious constitutional rights and right to life. "The authorities have not issued statutory notice to owners / occupants of the buildings to show cause why the buildings should not be demolished. No notice is issued to them as to how encroachment is made by the occupants / owners of the buildings", it added.


Mon, 09 May 2022 14:46:37 +0530
Families of bride and groom clash over sherwani in MP

Bhopal, May 9

A squabble over a groom wearing 'sherwani' instead of the traditional attire, took a violent turn with the families of the bride and groom clashing and pelting stones at each other in a Madhya Pradesh village, police officials said on Monday.

As per locals, the incident in a village of Dhar district took place on Saturday night after a tribal groom reached the bride's home in a 'sherwani' instead of the traditional 'dhoti-kurta'. The bride's family took an objection to it which led to a heated arguments which turned violent.

"The groom (Sundarlal) was wearing a 'sherwani', while the bride's relatives insisted that the marriage rituals be performed in 'dhoti-kurta', which led to a heated argument between the two sides and then a violent clash," the officials said.

Members from both the sides later lodged police complaints, based on which a case was registered against some persons under Indian Penal Code Sections 294 (obscene act), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 506 (criminal intimidation).

Groom Sundarlal later told reporters that there was no issue with the bride's family, but claimed some of her relatives were involved in assaulting people. "The dispute started over the attire. I only want action against those who were involved in assault and stone-pelting," groom Sunderlal was heard saying to the press on Sunday.

After the incident, a large number of people, including women, reached Dhamnod police station and staged a protest. Some women at the police station alleged that stones were hurled at them by the bride's relatives, causing injuries to some.

However, later both families agreed and the marriage function was completed.

Mon, 09 May 2022 14:44:06 +0530
Scindia orders probe in boarding row at Ranchi involving child with special needs

New Delhi, May 9

The Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia has ordered a probe in a boarding row at the Ranchi Airport wherein the IndiGo Airlines debarred a child with special needs and his family citing inconvenience to the other passengers on Saturday.

Taking a serious view on the incident, the Minister assured a probe into the matter.

Stating that 'there is zero tolerance towards such behaviour', Scindia said in a Twitter message on Monday, "No human being should have to go through this! Investigating the matter by myself, post which appropriate action will be taken."

The incident happened at the Ranchi's Birsa Munda Airport and a video clip of the showdown went viral.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) chief has sought a report from IndiGo on the matter. "The DGCA is probing this incident and it will take appropriate action," the officials aware of this development said.

Explaining the situation, the IndiGo airlines said that the child was in a 'state of panic' and they could not fly him and his parents until he calmed down. Reports also suggest that IndiGo's ground staff implied that the child with special needs was 'unfit to fly' and made inappropriate comparisons to the child as similar to the drunk passengers unfit to travel.

"The airline made the family comfortable by providing them with a hotel stay, the family flew on Sunday morning to their destination. IndiGo prides itself on being an inclusive organisation, be it for employees or customers; and over 75K specially-abled passengers fly with IndiGo every month," IndiGo said in a statement.

The incident took place on May 7 and this came into light after a video clip of the arguments between the family and airline staff went viral and later it came to the notice of the Civil Aviation Ministry.

Mon, 09 May 2022 14:39:58 +0530
IPL Turning Point Hyderabad s steep slide continues with Bangalore outclassing them

Mumbai, May 9

Almost a week and a half ago, Sunrisers Hyderabad were flying high. With five straight wins in their IPL 2022 campaign, it seemed like that everything had started to fall in place for the Kane Williamson-led side in the race to the playoffs.

On Sunday, the slide continued as Royal Challengers Bangalore outclassed them in all departments, handing Hyderabad a crushing 67-run loss at the Wankhede Stadium. It was a match where Williamson lost the toss and eventually ended up on the losing side; unable to get the match-changing momentum in their favour.

"We will have to get a bit more creative and come up with ways to change the momentum. We were outplayed, RCB are a really strong side, in fact all teams are strong. For us it's about looking to stay calm. We do need to improve, but don't need to overthink. The margin are always fine, but we need to show signs of improvement," were Williamson's words after the match.

There was a slight glimmer of hope when Virat Kohli was out for a golden duck, on the very first ball of the match, picking his third duck of the season. But from there, Faf du Plessis and Dinesh Karthik, with Rajat Patidar and Glenn Maxwell chipping in, didn't allow Hyderabad's bowlers to dominate them.

The middle and last five overs were all about Bangalore's batting as a Hyderabad bowling attack, missing T Natarajan and Washington Sundar due to injuries, was left wondering who to bowl as young pacers Kartik Tyagi and Umran Malik conceded 17 and 20 runs respectively in their opening overs.

It forced Kane Williamson into bowling two overs of Abhishek Sharma's left-arm spin, which didn't provide much relief as Bangalore's batters continued to score big against extra pace offered by Malik and Tyagi apart from thrashing debutant Afghanistan pacer Fazalhaq Farooqui.

In their last three matches, Hyderabad conceded 199, 202 and 207. The trend continued on Sunday as Bangalore, who were bowled out for 68 when these two teams met last time, made 192 against them on Sunday.

In the field, Hyderabad dropped catches at crucial time, which went for boundaries.

The scoreboard pressure of a daunting total worsened when Williamson was run out on the opening ball of the chase and Sharma was castled in the opening over. Rahul Tripathi waged a lone battle with a 37-ball 58.

But with Bangalore making regular strikes and asking rate steeping high, they were soon bowled out for 125, ending their misery on a hot Sunday afternoon and extending their losing run to four.


Mon, 09 May 2022 09:42:40 +0530
Global warming causing world s oceans to lose memory

New York, May 9

Most of the world's oceans are steadily losing their year-to-year 'memory' under global warming, researchers have warned.

Ocean memory decline is found as a collective response across the climate models to human-induced warming. As greenhouse-gas concentrations continue to rise, such memory decline will become increasingly evident.

The study published in the journal Science Advances compared the fast weather fluctuations of the atmosphere to find that the slowly varying ocean exhibits strong persistence, or "memory," meaning the ocean temperature tomorrow is likely to look a lot like it does today, with only slight changes.

"We discovered this phenomenon by examining the similarity in ocean surface temperature from one year to the next as a simple metric for ocean memory," said Hui Shi, lead author and researcher at the Farallon Institute in Petaluma, California. "It's almost as if the ocean is developing amnesia."

Ocean memory is found to be related to the thickness of the uppermost layer of the ocean, known as the mixed layer. Deeper mixed layers have greater heat content, which confers more thermal inertia that translates into memory.

However, the mixed layer over most oceans will become shallower in response to continued anthropogenic warming, resulting in a decline in ocean memory.

Along with ocean memory decline, the thinning mixed layer is also found to increase the random fluctuations of the sea surface temperature.

As a result, although the ocean will not become much more variable from one year to the next in the future, the fraction of helpful signals for prediction largely reduces.

"Reduced ocean memory together with increased random fluctuations suggest intrinsic changes in the system and new challenges in prediction under warming," said Fei-Fei Jin, an atmospheric sciences professor at the University of Hawaii.

Ocean memory loss doesn't just impact the prediction of physical variables, but could also influence the way we manage sensitive marine ecosystems.

Besides ocean prediction, forecasting land-based impacts on temperature, precipitation as well as extreme events might also be affected by ocean memory decline due to their dependence on the persistence of sea surface temperature as a predictability source, the team said.


Mon, 09 May 2022 09:32:07 +0530
Russia will destroy NATO countries in half an hour in case of nuclear war Roscosmos chief

Moscow, May 9

The chief of Russia's space agency, Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, said that Russia would destroy NATO countries in the event of a nuclear war in half an hour, so he urged them not to allow such a scenario.

"In a nuclear war, NATO countries will be destroyed by us in half an hour. But we must not allow it," Rogozin wrote on Telegram, RT reported.

According to him, the consequences of the exchange of nuclear strikes will certainly affect the state of the Earth.

Rogozin also noted that the NATO countries are waging a war against Russia, although not declared.

Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned outside forces against interfering in the Ukrainian conflict, promising a "lightning-speed" response to such actions, with the use of Moscow's most advanced weaponry.

"If someone decides to intervene in the ongoing events from the outside and create unacceptable strategic threats to us, they should know that our response to those oncoming blows will be swift, lightning-fast," Putin said in an address to lawmakers in April end, RT reported.

"We have all the tools to do this. Tools that no one except us can brag about. But we're not going to brag. We'll use them if such a need arises," the president said, without specifying which tools could be deployed.

The Russian authorities have already made all the necessary decisions to prepare for such a response, he added.

Russia successfully tested its state-of-the-art RS-28 Sarmat inter-continental ballistic missile. The new nuclear-capable missile can carry several Avangard hypersonic gliders, which are said to be able to bypass any existing air defences due to their extreme speed and ability to make constant maneuvers during their flight, RT reported.


Mon, 09 May 2022 09:27:46 +0530
Hanuman Chalisa vs Azaan K taka police on high alert

Bengaluru, May 9

Karnataka Police is on high alert after Hindu activists launched chanting of the Hanuman Chalisa against Azaan across the state on Monday.

Sri Ram Sena founder Pramod Muthalik inaugurated the programme at a temple in Mysuru district at 5 a.m. He claimed that the chanting of the Hanuman Chalisa and 'Suprabhata' (morning) prayers were performed at more than 1,000 temples against Azaan in mosques.

The police have taken activists into custody who were all set to launch the Hanuman Chalisa chanting at a temple in Bengaluru.

It has beefed up the security throughout the state as the issue could trigger communal clashes.

Muthalik has announced that activists will intensify their prayer campaign at temples in coming days.

He had questioned the "government's helplessness to take action against Azaan, which is against the constitution and law".

"Patients, students are troubled by the Azaan offered early in the morning. Congress has made Muslims to feel that they are above the law. Congress has also created fear of Muslims. Law must be upheld and no one is above law," he claimed.

Activists started devotional prayers and raised slogans of 'Jai Sri Ram', 'Jai Hanuman' and 'Bharat Mata ki Jai'. They started their prayers at 5 a.m. across the state and completed at 6 a.m.

Situation in Karnataka, which was slowly coming out of the social unrest after a series of incidents following the hijab crisis, Bajrang Dal activists' murder and Hubballi communal violence, is again getting tensed.


Mon, 09 May 2022 09:19:08 +0530
Gokul Sri Krishna idol comes to City after five years


Sion based Gokul temple’s Sri Krishna idol was  brought to the City today( Sunday May 8) from Nerul in a grand  procession for consecration inside the Sanctum Sanctorum of the newly built 60 year old  temple complex on May 13 morning at 7.25 a.m. The complex was constructed by  Bombay South Kanara Brahmin association (BSKB) . On the same day evening Tirupati Venkateswara and Goddess Padmavathi Srinivasa  Kalyana Utsavam will be held in the premises. The idols will be  brought from Tirupati for this purpose. 

Sri Krishna’s idol which was temporarily shifted to  the BSKB Senior’s home complex at Nerul, since the renovation started five years ago. The idol was  accompanied by  various musical bands like Nadaswaram, Saxophone Nashik band and Lazim. in procession  and was received at the Gokul temple premises by the trustees with Poornakumbam and recitation of Vedic chants. Various religious rituals that are an integral part of  the festival will be performed from May 9 to 12 .  On May 15 there  will be 1008 silver pots with holy water will be offered to the Lord for abhisheka (bathing).

The president of BSKB Dr. Suresh Rao said the seven storied temple complex costing nearly Rs.55 crores  have intricately carved wooden murals which adorn the ceiling and walls and carved wooden Mahadwara, with a Gopura at the entrance of the building”. The wooden carvings depicting the various avatars of Sri Krishna in the foyer of the main entrance. The main sanctum Sanctorum is surrounded with 44 stone carved idols of various Devatas made of ash stones. This temple  will be a hub for devotion, art, culture and meditation. Rao said.

Sun, 08 May 2022 21:18:24 +0530
Is having a light dinner a good idea

New Delhi, May 8

Dinner as a concept dates back to the late 1200s. Back then it was considered to be the main meal of the day. But as things evolved over time, and as the importance of being healthy came to be realised, that myth was busted. It is the breakfast that has since assumed that title, so to speak.

In the modern world, most of our activity gets concentrated as the day progresses and so our meals have come to begin heavy and end light.

Dr. Siddhant Bhargava, Fitness and Nutritional Scientist, Co-Founder, Food Darzee said, "A good night's sleep, which is the time the body rests, is followed by breakfast. That's the first meal of the day and is the most important one. After a night of rest, the body is ready to break its fast with a healthy breakfast. It is a meal that gives us glucose replenishing our energy levels and alertness. Breakfast also provides the body with other essential nutrients that promote good health.

The lunch that follows is an important meal for everyone as it's a source of energy and nutrients to ensure that the body and brain keep working efficiently through the afternoon before it's time for dinner."

Before we come to dinner, where we look at the idea of eating light, let us look at spacing out our meals. As activity tends to pick up during the day, it does not mean that one should skip meals. However small or light, meals should be spaced between and consumed without fail. Most follow a three-to-five-hour gap between their meals which is good for a healthy lifestyle. Most experts will also suggest a breakfast that is heavy and extensive so that we can make a good start to our day.

But to keep our batteries charged, lunch is advisable.

"Lunch raises the blood sugar levels in the middle of the day ensuring the body of all the energy it needs till dinner. It also helps us focus on the various jobs that need to be done during the day. But skipping dinner will lead to a massive spacing between the two meals. A regular gap between the first and the last meal of the day as a result of skipping dinner will cause a negative impact on health and is an invitation to nutritional deficiencies", says Dr. Bhargava.

"Making sure that the dinner intake is in the time between 7 to 8 pm or even a little earlier can reduce the overall calorie intake greatly. Since we are very active during the day and burn away all the calories that we consume by evening, our digestion slows down. Processing lighter foods become easier for the body. One must remember that foods the body does not burn within 2-3 hours of eating will be stored as fat. And then a light dinner also helps in clearing the bowels," he said.

"Dinner is not to be had for the sake of eating, but because the body needs to fuel up after a day full of activity and exertion. Entirely skipping the dinner or eating way too much for dinner are both not beneficial. It is a myth that skipping dinner is a boon because it actually risks overeating during the day. There are many ways of eating light, yet making sure that you don't wake up hungry. For one, skipping the grains and only eating proteins, vegetables, and fruits would help. Also, eating in moderation, having the meal slowly, and sipping some tea before bedtime might be beneficial."

While making light eating at dinner a practice, do listen to what your body is saying. Some of us usually feel less hungry at night after a day beginning with a heavy breakfast and including a scrumptious lunch. And so, while eating light is good, what you eat is also important. Even if a light dinner with starchy vegetables, fish, eggs, quinoa, or millets is a good idea, one other thing to do could be to halve the amount of protein consumed for lunch and see how your light dinner experience goes.

Sun, 08 May 2022 19:53:40 +0530
Some BMWs shipping without Android Auto CarPlay amid chip shortage

San Francisco, May 8

Due to the current chip shortage, luxury automobile manufacturer BMW is reportedly shipping some of its cars without Android Auto and CarPlay.

Starting in 2019 and expanding in 2020, nearly every model of BMW has included full support for Android Auto.

However, some customers have found that their newly purchased BMW does not support Android Auto or Carla, citing media reports, 9To5Google reported.

According to a statement from BMW, the missing functionality is due to the ongoing chip shortage that has affected nearly every industry that uses electronics.

In order to get the cars to their destinations on schedule, BMW changed suppliers and began using a chip that does not yet have an appropriate software for Android Auto or CarPlay use, the report said.

Luckily, this is only a temporary issue for the affected car owners, as BMW has said to Automotive News Europe that these vehicles will receive an over-the-air (OTA) update "by the end of June at the latest" bringing full Android Auto and CarPlay capabilities.

Sun, 08 May 2022 19:48:45 +0530
Cut calories eat meals on time to live long and healthy

New York, May 8

Want to live longer? Restrict your intake of calories and eat food at the right time to live a longer and healthier life, finds a study.

The study led by researchers at the Hughes Medical Institute in the US suggests that the body's daily rhythms play a big part in this longevity effect.

Eating only during their most active time of day substantially extended the lifespan of mice on a reduced-calorie diet, said Joseph Takahashi, an investigator at the Institute.

In the study, reported in the journal Science, the team examined hundreds of mice over four years and found that a reduced-calorie diet alone extended the animals' lives by 10 per cent. And feeding mice only at nighttime, when mice are most active, extended their life by 35 per cent.

That combo - a reduced-calorie diet plus a nighttime eating schedule - tacked on an extra nine months to the animals' typical two-year median lifespan.

For humans, an analogous plan would restrict eating to daytime hours, the team said.

The research helps disentangle the controversy around diet plans that emphasise eating only at certain times of day, said Takahashi, who is also a molecular biologist at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

Such plans may not speed weight loss in humans, but they could prompt health benefits that add up to a longer lifespan.

Recent years have seen the rise of many popular diet plans that focus on what's known as intermittent fasting, such as fasting on alternate days or eating only during a period of six to eight hours per day.

To unravel the effects of calories, fasting, and daily, or circadian, rhythms on longevity, Takahashi's team undertook an extensive four-year experiment. The team housed hundreds of mice with automated feeders to control when and how much each mouse ate for its entire lifespan.

Some of the mice could eat as much as they wanted, while others had their calories restricted by 30 to 40 per cent. And those on calorie-restricted diets ate on different schedules. Mice fed the low-calorie diet at night, over either a two-hour or 12-hour period, lived the longest, the team discovered.

Rafael de Cabo, a gerontology researcher at the National Institute on Aging in Baltimore says that the finding "is a very elegant demonstration that even if you are restricting your calories but you are not [eating at the right times], you do not get the full benefits of caloric restriction."

Takahashi hopes that learning how calorie restriction affects the body's internal clocks as we age will help scientists find new ways to extend the healthy lifespan of humans. That could come through calorie-restricted diets, or through drugs that mimic those diets' effects, he added.

Sun, 08 May 2022 19:46:05 +0530
Giant groundwater system discovered below Antarctic ice

New York, May 8

A team of scientists has mapped a huge, actively circulating groundwater system in deep sediments in West Antarctica.

The team at Columbia University estimated that if all of it were extracted, it would form a water column from 220 to 820 metres high -- at least 10 times more than in the shallow hydrologic systems within and at the base of the ice -- maybe much more even than that.

However, they noted that said such systems, probably common in Antarctica, may have as-yet unknown implications for how the frozen continent reacts to, or possibly even contributes to, climate change.

"People have hypothesised that there could be deep groundwater in these sediments, but up to now, no one has done any detailed imaging," said lead author Chloe Gustafson, who did the research as a graduate student at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.

Scientists have, for decades, flown radars and other instruments over the Antarctic ice sheet to image subsurface features. Among many other things, these missions have revealed sedimentary basins sandwiched between ice and bedrock. But airborne geophysics can generally reveal only the rough outlines of such features, not water content or other characteristics.

In the research appearing in the journal Science, the team concentrated on the 60-mile-wide Whillans Ice Stream, one of a half-dozen fast-moving streams feeding the Ross Ice Shelf, the world's largest.

To better map the sediments and their properties, they used geophysical instruments placed directly on the surface.

Their analysis showed that, depending on location, the sediments extend below the base of the ice from a half kilometre to nearly two kilometres before hitting bedrock. And they confirmed that the sediments are loaded with liquid water all the way down.

They were also able to show that the groundwater becomes more saline with depth.

However, the researchers said, if the ice surface were to thin -- a distinct possibility as climate warms -- the direction of water flow could be reversed. Overlying pressures would decrease, and deeper groundwater could begin welling up toward the ice base. This could further lubricate the base of the ice and increase its forward motion.

Furthermore, if deep groundwater flows upward, it could carry up geothermal heat naturally generated in the bedrock; this could further thaw the base of the ice and propel it forward. But if that will happen, and to what extent, is not clear, the team said.

Sun, 08 May 2022 19:42:10 +0530
Chiranjeevi s beautiful video for mom on Mother s Day

Hyderabad, May 8

On Mother's Day, megastar Chiranjeevi, who recently appeared in 'Acharya', has uploaded a beautiful video of his mother Anjana Devi.

The 'Daddy' actor posted an emotional video to his social media accounts earlier on Sunday.

In it, he and his brothers Pawan Kalyan and Naga Babu greet their mother on the set of one of their movies and share a nice lunch.

The video has now gone viral on social media, as the 'mega' bond touches the hearts of their fans.

Chiranjeevi is now working on a number of films, including 'Godfather', 'Bholaa Shankar', 'Chiru 154', and others.


Sun, 08 May 2022 19:37:02 +0530
Energy experts fear India s turn to dirty coal commercially unviable

New Delhi, May 8

Amidst the coal crisis where the Centre has invoked an emergency law to operate idle coal import-based utilities, energy transition experts believe the electricity generation for 1.35 billion people based on expensive imported coal for blending is commercially unviable -- both high and inflationary.

They say combined with the global pandemic and the Ukraine-Russia war, which has increased coal prices internationally, it should be a death knell for coal.

The time to ramp up wind and solar is now so that India is prepared to deal with a warming world.

Heatwaves are sweeping across India, with March recording the hottest in 122 years, resulting in high energy demand touching 207GW in April-end, the worst crisis in over six years. Demand is far exceeding supply resulting in power outages by state DISCOMs.

With imported coal prices at an all-time high, DISCOMs are wary of buying expensive power.

The experts told IANS on Sunday that it is counter-intuitive that the government is actually looking to auction new mines, re-open old mines and old thermal power plants, which will not only create stranded assets but exacerbate climate change.

Rather it should be looking at better energy planning, and diversifying the energy mix keeping in mind emissions, global disruptions and the inflationary nature of fossil fuels.

Power Ministry officials say the installed capacity of electric grid is close to 340 GW. Seventy per cent of this is coal powered. There isn't enough supply is what is being said. The reality is there isn't adequate planning due to which coal transport is delayed and power generators can't transmit power in time.

No more coal mines are needed in reality although Union Coal and Mines Minister Pralhad Joshi last week proposed to sell 20 abandoned mines with extractable reserves at 380 million tonne, with an intention to extract 30-40 million tonne.

The reason for opting the dirtiest fossil fuel is that India, world's third largest energy consumer with electricity demand growing by 4.7 per cent each year, is going to be tough to put new money into renewable energy.

But experts believe this is exactly what needs to be done with the pathway that the coal sector is facing investor challenges on funding, challenges on logistics and planning, as well as volatility in prices.

"Frequent climate extremes and power shocks only indicate how much climate action and energy transition needs are intertwined and affected by not just domestic events but also regional and international tremors," Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) India Policy Director Martand Shardul said.

"Stocking coal through increased domestic production and imports might yield relief, however, these exigencies demand a rapid shift to clean energy and enhanced renewable energy investments to boost social good, planetary health, and economic resilience."

Sounding a cautionary note, International Institute for Sustainable Development Policy Advisor Balasubramanian Viswanathan said: "In the midst of the power shortage crisis, we need to take whatever short-term measures are available to keep the fans on. But some interventions have medium- and long-term implications, and here we must be very careful.

"We absolutely must not make new investments in our coal-dependent power system, which will just contribute to worse crises in the future. From a purely financial perspective, there is also a big risk of stranded assets. The government should instead drive investments at scale in renewable power and further incentivise grid-balancing technology, including battery storage."

Believing India needs to aggressively invest in renewables -- from 10-12 GW per year to 35-36 GW per year, WRI India, Energy Program, Director Bharath Jairaj said: "If we are to meet the 2030 target of 500 GW of non-fossil fuel capacity, we have to aggressively support investments in energy storage and re-introduce favourable regulatory conditions for rooftop and behind-the-metre investments in renewable energy."

It is not a shortage of coal, says Aarti Khosla, Director with New Delhi-based Climate Trends.

"Neither is it a shortage of power capacity. Combined with the global pandemic, and the Ukraine-Russia war, which has increased coal prices internationally, it should be a death knell for coal but ironically it is our only option to bring more power on immediately. The time to ramp up wind and solar is now so that we are prepared to deal with a warming world," Khosla told IANS.

Sunil Dahiya, analyst with the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA), said it is time to ditch the dirty and embark on an accelerated energy transition journey for true energy security.

"Generation based on expensive imported coal or gas or buying expensive power at exchange is commercially unviable. DISCOMs should buy cheaper renewable energy and supplement it with flexible generation sources," added Vibhuti Garg, an Energy Economist (Lead India) with the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA).

Sun, 08 May 2022 19:31:31 +0530
RBI rate hike a surprise as it came between 2 review meetings Sitharaman

New Delhi, May 8

The Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) move to raise the policy rate is part of a synchronised action by the central banks, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said, adding that it came as a surprise only because it was done between two monetary policy reviews.

"It is the timing which came as a surprise to many, but the act people thought should have been done anyway - to what extent could have varied," she said at The Economic Times Awards for Corporate Excellence in Mumbai on Sunday.

"It came as a surprise because it came between two monetary policy reviews."

Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das on Wednesday said that the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the central bank, in an off-cycle meeting, hiked the repo rate by 40 basis points (bps) to 4.40 per cent with immediate effect.

Repo rate is the rate at which the central bank lends short-term funds to banks. The RBI has cut the repo rate by 250 basis points since February 2019 to help revive the growth momentum. The Monetary Policy Committee has been on a prolonged accommodative stance to support growth.

Also, case reserve ratio has been hiked by 50 basis points to 4.5 per cent.

The move was taken in order to contain inflation.

Sun, 08 May 2022 19:28:50 +0530
Only 3 Chinese projects in Gwadar completed

Islamabad, May 8

Of the 12 China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) schemes, including water supply and electricity provision, worth $2 billion underway in Gwadar, only three projects having a value of over $300 million have been completed.

According to the CPEC Authority, the progress review of the projects revealed that all the schemes having socio-economic benefits for Gwadar, considered as the crown jewel of project, were falling behind their original completion schedules, The Express Tribune reported.

The CPEC Authority, which Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal wants to wrap up, gave the status update report to the new government last month.

So far, only three schemes have been declared completed by the CPEC Authority, including $4 million Gwadar Smart Port City Master Plan, which cannot be called a project, The Express Tribune reported.

The other two schemes are the Physical Infrastructure of Gwadar Port and the Free Zone Phase-1 costing $300 million and Pakistan-China Technical and Vocational Institute that has been built with a $10 million Chinese grant.

Even there is no indigenous electricity for the port, as the country imports power from Iran to meet the city's energy needs.

CPEC remained dormant during most of the time of the previous PTI government but lately there had been some progress after the last political regime brought in Khalid Mansoor as special assistant to the PM on CPEC affairs.

Yet, he could not take these schemes across the finishing line.

The $179 million Eastbay Expressway, a road link connecting the port with free zone and the city, that should have been completed a few years ago, is still shown as an under-implementation scheme, although on documents the project is 99 per cent completed.

China has provided interest-free loan for the scheme.

The CPEC Authority expects that the project will be completed by June.

Sun, 08 May 2022 19:25:18 +0530
TN government revokes ban on carrying seer in palanquin

Chennai, May 8

The Tamil Nadu government, amid stiff opposition from various Hindu groups and 'mutts', has revoked the ban on 'Pattina Pravesam' of the Dharmapuram Adheenam, or the practice of carrying the seer in a palanquin by his disciples, to be held on May 22.

Seers of various mutts across Tamil Nadu including the Dharmapuram Adheenam had held a meeting with Chief Minister M.K. Stalin at the Secretariat on Saturday night and asked him to revoke the ban on 'Pattina Pravesam.

Myladuthurai RDO, L. Balaji, citing human rights violations in carrying the pontiff of the mutt on a palanquin, banned the practice leading to a major outcry from across the state and outside.

The Dharmapuram Adheenam had taken a position that the disciples were not engaged in any human rights violation, saying that the disciples carry the seer on their own and after the necessary penance.

BJP state President K. Annamalai has said that he would personally be part of the team to carry the seer in the palanquin if the Tamil Nadu government goes ahead with the ban.

Sun, 08 May 2022 19:21:03 +0530
First Indian woman to climb five 8000 peaks Priyanka Mohite wants to go on and on

Mumbai, May 8

It was a challenge that Priyanka Mohite took up in 2013. It finally got fulfilled in May 2022 -- nine difficult years in which the 30-year-old mountaineer from Maharashtra constantly worked, planned and dreamt of completing a challenge no Indian woman has ever achieved -- climbing five mountains of 8000 metre and above height.

In 1975 when Junko Tabei of Japan became the first woman in the world to climb Mount Everest, she conquered what was till then a male bastion -- a challenge considered too tough for the weaker of the sexes.

Since then, many women have climbed Mount Everest and many similar peaks, conquering male bastions in mountaineering -- and other fields too.

This week Priyanka, the woman climber from Satara district in Maharashtra, fulfilled her dream of becoming the first Indian woman to climb five mountains of 8000m and above height.

Priyanka, who works for a pharmaceutical research company in Bengaluru, climbed Mount Kanchenjunga, at 8,586 metres above sea level, the third highest mountain on earth, on Thursday (May 5) at around 4.52 PM.

Many hurdles along the way

Priyanka, a recipient of the prestigious Tenzing Norgay Adventure Award in 2020, set the record by climbing Mount Everest in 2013, Mount Lhotse in 2018, and Mount Makalu in 2019, Annapurna 1 in 2021, and completed the monumental challenge by summitting Mount Kanchenjunga on May 5, 2022. She is the first Indian woman to climb Annapurna 1 and Makalu.

For most people not well-versed with the world of mountaineering, these were only five mountains. But for those really in the know, Priyanka had to cross many more mountains on the way -- hurdles that may not be as high but not insignificant either.

She was thwarted by the natural disaster in Nepal in 2014-15, the Covid-19 pandemic in 2022, financial hardship due to lack of sponsors and societal pressures that women face every day. But she was determined enough to conquer all and also the five 8000ers.

Start of the dream

The dream to summit the five 8000 metres and above mountains started one fine day in 2013, soon after Priyanka Mohite had climbed Mount Everest. She took up the challenge because there were very few from India that have attempted the feat.

"There are 14 8000m-plus height mountains in the world -- seven in Nepal, two in China and five in Pakistan. As Indians, we can't climb in Pakistan. In 2013, I climbed Mount Everest, at that time I decided that I would go for these tough 8000 metres mountains because there are very few mountaineers from India who have done this. Nowadays women are also climbing but very few of them are taking this challenge," Priyanka told IANS in an exclusive interview after returning to Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal from Kanchenjunga.

Although she started the project in 2013, she could not take the next step till 2018 because of the snowstorm that devastated Nepal in 2014. The next year, it was the earthquake that devastated the country, pushing Priyanka's plans further.

"In 2014-15, I can say I was unlucky because of the natural disasters in Nepal. I was at the base camp to climb the fourth tallest mountain, exactly near Everest, called Mount Lhotse. But I was not able to climb," she said.

Natural disasters delay her

For the next two years, Priyanka took a break from mountaineering, pursuing her career and raising funds for her next expedition.

"In 2018 I summitted Mt Lhotse, the fourth tallest and I was like 'yeah, that's one more for me'." in 2018, she also climbed Mount Makalu, which is the fifth highest mountain on the planet.

Three down and two more to go for Priyanka.

"In 2019, I saw Kanchenjunga and I wanted to do it in 2020 but could not because of the Covid-19 pandemic. We all know that happened, everything got cancelled," says Priyanka.

According to Priyanka, Kanchenjunga was the toughest of the five peaks and needed a lot of teamwork and preparation. She wanted to do that soon after things opened up in 2021 but could not as not many mountaineers were ready to team up for the challenge.

"It's huge teamwork actually, we need a big team because the routes are very long, we need to fix the route and everything. So, in 2021 there were very few climbers who wanted to climb Kanchenjunga, so we dropped the plan," says Priyanka.

Instead, she summitted Mount Annapurna 1, the 10th tallest peak in the world and considered the toughest among the peaks.

"In 2021, I climbed Annapurna 1, which is one of the trickiest among the top mountains and I became the first Indian woman to climb that. Even Makalu, I am the only Indian woman to climb it," says Priyanka of her proud achievements.

Dedicated to frontline workers

She decided that 2022 was the year that she had to finally do Mount Kanchenjunga and complete another dream of her -- dedicate something to the frontline workers of the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

"In 2020, I wanted to climb this and dedicate it to our frontline workers because I also belong to the pharmaceutical industry. I work for a research firm called Aurigene Discovery Technologies in Bengaluru."

Priyanka finally surmounted the challenge of India's highest mountain and the world's third tallest peak to honour the frontline workers, who had worked tirelessly during the pandemic to save numerous lives.

The final challenge

Priyanka's preparations to climb Mount Kanchenjunga lasted nearly a year as she would wake up at 5 a.m. daily to work on her physicals, build her strength and stamina, and gear up for the rigours of climbing the highest mountain of the country.

"I practiced a lot. It was really a big struggle for me to get the sponsorship for that. I remember that I got it on April 1 that one sponsor, who was not related to (mountaineering) said they were ready to sponsor it. So, I was really lucky to get it," says Priyanka.

With the mountain climbing season towards the end, she had to take a lot of tough decisions -- like flying directly to the base camp.

"I started around April 15 -- from Mumbai to Kathmandu. It is not a good idea to directly fly to the base camp but as I had a very short time, I really flew from Kathmandu to the base camp, which is at around 5,500 metres. It is really huge and next time I will definitely not do it."

The big challenge was to get acclimatised to the conditions because Priyanka was coming from Mumbai, where the temperatures in April were around 40 degrees, whereas Kanchenjunga was experiencing snowfall and the temperatures were in the minus.

"Within two days, I went to 6000m and came back to acclimatise. We did another rotation -- camp to 6200m and then to 6500 for acclimatisation work, and then we found out that May 5th was really good weather, we were checking the weather constantly."

So, they climbed from base camp to Camp 2 on May 2 and then Camp 2 to 3 on the 3rd and from Camp 3 to 4 on May 4. Camp 4 is the final stop before they made a push for the summit. It is also the most difficult part of the climb on Kanchenjunga because of the rocks, big and small, that make climbing very, very tough.

"On the night of May 4 around 8.00-8.30, we started for the summit. There was bad weather, there was around 15-16 cm snowfall, so we had to fix the rope very hard. It takes around 30 hours to go to the top and come back to the camp.

"We fixed the rope till the top, it was a huge challenge for us to fix the rope till the top, it was the very difficult part, very difficult to fix the rope on the rocks, small rocks, big rocks and it's very hard to climb on those rocks, with the clamp on, the shoes, which have spikes to be stable on ice but not on the rocks,"

Priyanka eventually managed to reach the summit at around 4.52 p.m. on May 5.

"It was a really very technical mountain and it was very tough. But it was a very beautiful one -- you can see Nepal and India because you are at the top," says Priyanka.

Now that her dream is fulfilled, Priyanka does not want to stop and continue adding more than 8000 metres and above peaks to her mountaineering resume.

There are many more challenges and Priyanka says she will continue to pursue them as long as she can.

"Fortunately, I have a family that has supported me wholeheartedly. Never stopped me from pursuing things I wanted to. Marriage and family will come when it is time for that but I want to continue mountaineering even after that. I want to marry someone who would support my dreams," says Priyanka.

She knows that mountaineering is a dangerous, risky and deadly pursuit and she has seen it from close quarters as an Indian climber, who was part of the Kanchenjunga expedition died this week, just a few hundred metres from the peak.

But Priyanka wants to dream on, adding more 8000ers to her record tally. A mountain is no limit for her.


Sun, 08 May 2022 19:17:00 +0530
No religious event on roads warns Yogi

Jhansi (Uttar Pradesh), May 8

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has warned that no religious programme should be permitted on the roads.

He said that all such events should take place inside the premises of religious places.

The chief minister, who was on a visit to the Bundelkhand region on Sunday, also took a strong note of the recent rape case of a girl in a police station in Lalitpur.

He directed the district magistrate and the superintendent of police to take strict action against the culprits.

"Our government is committed to serving people through development and public welfare works. Any slackness will not be tolerated," he said, adding that strict measures should be taken to curb the activities of the mafia.

Yogi Adityanath also directed the officials and employees at every level to reach their offices on time and hold 'jan sunwai' between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. every day.

"A dialogue should be held with traders, Udyog Bandhu and banks at least once a month to look into the possibilities of generating employment opportunities in the region. All pending works related to pharma park in Lalitpur should be completed at the earliest," he said.

He further said that Aarogya Melas should be held regularly while organic and natural farming be promoted in Bundelkhand.

The chief minister also inspected a 500-bed under construction hospital block in the Jhansi Medical College.

In Babina, he inspected an under-construction water treatment plant, where Jhansi Mayor Ramteerath Singhal informed him that there was a delay in the completion of the project.

Sun, 08 May 2022 19:10:27 +0530
Manipur entrepreneurs give cash awards to 8 documentary filmmakers

Imphal, May 8

To promote indigenous documentary film productions, four Manipur entrepreneurs provided cash awards of Rs eight lakh to eight documentary filmmakers, state officials said on Sunday.

Manipur State Film Development Society (MSFDS), Manipur's Television and Cine Foundation Foundation as well as Win Foundation and Kolkata-based Documentary Resource Initiative took the first-of-its-kind initiative to encourage local filmmakers to make documentary films on contemporary issues and subjects.

MSFDS Secretary, Sunzu Bachaspatimayum, said 'Beyond the Trials', a documentary film on extreme sport as an expression of freedom by Khaba Maimon, was conferred the best film bagging the highest cash award of Rs 2.5 lakh.

He added that the film 'On the Crossroad' is based on the issues confronting Manipur regarding the transition from the Bengali script to 'Meitei Mayek' by James Khangenbam and the film 'Battlefield Imphal' on the continuing impact of second world war in Manipur were conferred the promisingly culturally engaged film and promisingly socially engaged film, respectively, with cash awards of Rs 1.5 lakh each.

Five other documentary films -- 'Andro Dreams' (Meena Longjam), 'Anonymous Dance' (Tushar Nongthombam), 'Eche Sharmila' (Manoj Kshetrimayum), 'Bidyapati -- The Lady Everest Summiter' (Paonam Birjeet) and 'We are the Water' (Grace Rephung L) were also conferred project development cash awards carrying Rs 50,000 each.

The cash award distribution ceremony was held at the Preview Theatre, MSFDS, in Imphal on Saturday evening.

Bachaspatimayum, a national award-winning filmmaker, said at a time when documentary filmmakers are struggling to raise funds to make their socially relevant documentaries that arouse the consciousness of society by imprinting time in existence, the support of cash awards is a watershed initiative by the entrepreneurs.

In April 2022, the first edition of the 'Eikhoigi Imphal International Film Festival' was organised in Imphal to mark the completion of 50 years of Manipuri cinema.

The five-day non-competitive festival supported by the Union Information and Broadcasting Ministry was organised as part of the year-long golden jubilee celebration of Manipuri cinema, MSFDS Secretary added.


Sun, 08 May 2022 19:08:01 +0530
K taka sets up Commission to study political representation of Backward Classes in local bodies

Bengaluru, May 8

The Karnataka government has constituted a Commission to conduct a study on suitable political representation for Backward Classes in local bodies.

The Commission is headed by retired Justice Bhaktavatsala while retired IAS officer CR Chikmath has been appointed as the member.

The Commission has been constituted following a Supreme Court direction in a case related to ensuring suitable representation for backward classes in Panchayat Raj Institutions and Urban Local Bodies.

The issue was discussed at the all party meetings held on March 23 and 31 after which it was decided to hold the elections to these democratic institutions only after making provision for reservation for these communities.

The Commission would make suitable recommendations after studying the political backwardness of backward classes in these democratic institutions.


Sun, 08 May 2022 19:01:59 +0530
K taka to conduct fire safety audit in 166 govt hospitals

Bengaluru, May 8

Officials of 166 district and taluka government hospitals across Karnataka, have been instructed to conduct a fire safety audit of their premises and receive an NOC from the State Fire and Emergency Service, an official statement said on Sunday.

The circular by Health Commissioner also said that the hospitals will be granted Rs 50,000 each under Rashtriya Aarogya Abhiyan.

The development comes in the wake of Karnataka Health Minister K. Sudhakar's instruction to his department on Sunday.

The move was quickly initiated by Sudhakar after Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a video conference recently with Chief Ministers, suggested conduct of a fire safety audit as incidents of fire accidents had increased due to summer heat.

Out of the 166 hospitals that have been instructed to conduct the audit, there are 16 district hospitals and 150 taluk hospitals. The hospital officials have been given a deadline of May 21 to submit an action taken report, an official said.


Sun, 08 May 2022 18:56:04 +0530
BJP stands for Becho Janata ki Property KTR

Hyderabad, May 8

Lashing out at the BJP over disinvestment, Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) Working President K. T Rama Rao on Sunday said that the party's name stands for "Becho Janata ki Property".

He slammed the BJP-led government at the Centre for selling a public sector undertakings (PSUs). KTR, as Rama Rao is popularly known, spoke about politics, governance, and various other topics during his 90-minute long AskKTR session on Twitter.

"This Union Govt is only good at selling PSUs under the 'Becho India' scheme. They will not respond to our requests to reopen CCI," he wrote in reply to a question on the delay in reopening Cement Corporation of India (CCI) plant in Adilabad.

KTR, who is Minister for Industries, Information Technology, Municipal Administration and Urban Development, made other sarcastic remarks about Modi government too.

Asked about the price rise of LPG cylinders in the country, he said: "Modi Hain Tho Mumkin Hain. Welcome to #AchheDin."

"Modi Ji is unstoppable. He is going to make sure we are the No 1 in the world," he wrote when a netizen asked him about his comments on the petrol, diesel, and cooking gas prices hike.

Responding to a question on what the states have to do to deal with the fact that the powers of the states are being usurped by the Union government, KTR said: "Continue to raise their voice democratically and collectively."

To a tweet that read - 'BJP MP Rohtak Sharma directly attacks Haryana BJP Government for swindling 300 cr Amrit Yojana money. BJP National President JP Nadda preached ignoring their Corruption like this, Karnataka and many more", he said: "What more can we say when their MPs and MLAs are opening up. Am sure Satya Harischandra's cousin Nadda Ji will look the other way."

About the reasons for the delay in the Information Technology and Investment Region (ITIR) project for Telangana, KTR said: "This NPA Govt will not give Telangana anything. Gave upon them."

Asked if the Union Govt can allocate IIMs and IITs for Telangana by end of 2022, KTR said: "Not a single national educational institution such as IIM, IISER, NID or IIIT sanctioned by this Union Govt to Telangana. It's hopeless to expect anything from them as we've been requesting for 8 years in vain."

Talking about tackling major problems in cities during the rainy season, he said: "It's a continuous effort to improve our urban infrastructure. We've done good work in certain areas like Power, drinking water, SRDP, and maintenance of roads through CRMP. Now the focus is on improving our drainage and floodwater management through SNDP."

Asked what his views were on Work From Home and Work From Office and if he backed the 'Hybrid models', KTR said: "I am all for the hybrid model and more importantly believe that tier 2 and 3 towns also can play a big role in the future growth of the IT sector."

On what is his motivation to develop Telangana? And who was his favorite leader in India other than KCR Garu, KTR replied: "Former president Abdul Kalam."

When a person asked why he blocked the Congress state official handle, KTR said, "Because they have been abusive at a personal level of our Hon'ble CM."

Replying to a tweet on YouTubers exploiting political leaders and misleading people, KTR said, "We believe in upholding democratic values and freedom of speech. But when freedom of expression becomes downright abusive, action needs to be taken."

Sun, 08 May 2022 18:53:20 +0530
World Thalassemia Day Early intervention key for this genetic disorders say experts

New Delhi, May 8

With over 10,000-15,000 children are born in India with thalassemia every year, experts say that the key in battling this genetic disorder is identifying it at early stages.

Thalassemia is an inherited blood disorder that causes the body to have less haemoglobin than normal. According to World Health Organisation, four million Indians are thalassemia carriers, while more than 100,000 are the actual patients battling the disease.

"This disorder is not as rare in the world as it seems because it has around 1.5 per cent prevalence across the globe, while in India, it has 1.5 to 3.7 per cent prevalence depending upon the region," Dr Prerna Chadda, consultant at Rajeev Gandhi Cancer and Research Institute, said.

Early intervention of this disorder is the key and it depends on clinical presentation whether it should be called thalassemia minor, major, or intermediary, she added.

She said those with thalassemia major are easy to be detected but after a certain life span, they couldn't survive. But, problem in identification comes with those having thalassemia minor, and it goes undetected many times, added Dr Chadda.

She said that basic CVC and PS are two important measures for this disorder. In those having thalassemia major, the level of haemoglobin remains at lowest range while in minor it stands at lower range. "Thalassemia carriers are offered protection against severe malaria because the parasite is unable to survive in the defective red blood cells," she added.

"Minor thalassemia means the person infected are the carrier and they don't have active manifestation of this disorder," said Dr Archna Dhawan Bajaj, Delhi-based gynaecologist. She added that in the case of major thalassemia, it is inherited from both genes - mother and father results into multiple blood transfusion and lowest level of haemoglobin.

"Knowing thalassemia status at the time of pregnancy is must. If mother is normal, there is no need to follow up further. But, if mother is diagnosed with thalassemia minor, then father's status must be diagnosed. If father is also diagnosed with thalassemia, there is a possibility that child could inherit this disorder. If child takes from one gene, it would be thalassemia minor or carry from both side, it will be thalassemia major," she said.

Talking about the more prevalence of this disorder in north India, she attributes the reason of large scale of migration into the region from Central Asia where also it has the higher level of prevalence.

Sun, 08 May 2022 18:50:26 +0530
Another minor raped by cop in UP

Aligarh (Uttar Pradesh), May 8

Yet another case of a police constable raping a minor girl has come to light.

According to reports, a 16-year-old girl was allegedly raped by a policeman who is related to her family in the village near Atrauli in Aligarh.

The accused policeman, who was posted in the Bulandshahr district, was suspended on Sunday after a report from the Aligarh Senior Superintendent of Police was sent about the incident that took place on Friday. He has now been arrested.

According to the police, the girl was visiting a relative when the accused policeman, who is related to the family, took the girl to a neighbouring village on his motorcycle and allegedly raped her.

Later, he also allegedly threatened her with dire consequences if she disclosed it to anyone, and fled the spot.

However. the minor informed her relatives about the incident, following which a case was registered at the Atrauli police station.

The girl has been admitted to a hospital for a medical examination.

A senior police officer said a case under the relevant sections of the IPC and the POCSO Act was filed against the policeman after the medical report confirmed the rape charge.

The incident comes days after a 13-year-old rape survivor was allegedly raped again by the in-charge of a police station in Lalitpur when she had gone there to register a complaint.

Sun, 08 May 2022 18:47:05 +0530
IMD predicts hotter days for TN due to cyclonic storm

Chennai, May 8

Tamil Nadu seems to be poised for hotter days after the cyclonic storm as the weather system will induce north-westerly winds blocking the sea breeze, said Indian Meteorological Department (IMD).

The IMD added that this will depend on the path of the cyclonic storm brewing in the Bay of Bengal.

According to the Department, Chennai and adjoining districts will have temperature above 40 degrees Celsius in the next couple of days.

The IMD in a statement on Saturday said the well-marked low-pressure area over the south-east Bay of Bengal and adjoining the Andaman sea has concentrated into a depression.

This depression, according to the IMD will intensify into a cyclonic storm over the east-central Bay of Bengal on Sunday and move towards Andhra Pradesh and Odisha coast by Monday morning bringing in heavy rains.

While Tamil Nadu may not benefit from the rains, the temperature is likely to shoot up by 2 to 3 degrees Celsius for the next few days.

A senior IMD official said on Sunday, said: "The wind system may not benefit Tamil Nadu as rains but the temperature is likely to shoot up by 2-3 degrees Celsius and dry heat will accumulate. There is likely to be a spike in temperature for the next few days."

Sun, 08 May 2022 18:43:34 +0530
Farmers dump turmeric in front of Nizamabad MP s house

Hyderabad, May 8

Some turmeric farmers in Telangana's Nizamabad district on Sunday dumped turmeric produce in front of the residence of BJP MP Dharmapuri Arvind as a mark of protest over his failure to fulfill the promise of turmeric board.

Arvind had promised the farming community in the Nizamabad Lok Sabha constituency in the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections that if elected as MP, he would get the turmeric board sanctioned to the district and that he would get proper minimum support prices fixed for both turmeric and red jowar.

He had even signed a non-judicial (bond) stamp paper stating that if elected to the Parliament, he would get a turmeric board in five days.

Farmers alleged that even after three years, the Nizamabad MP failed to fulfill his promise.

They said in the last three years, the BJP MP could only get an allocation of Rs 1.92 crore for close to one lakh turmeric producing farmers. If divided among all farmers, it boils down to less than Rs 200.

Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) leader and former MP from Nizamabad, K. Kavitha had last week claimed that a reply under RTI exposed Arvind's false claims on Turmeric Board.

Kavitha, who is a member of Telangana Legislative Council and daughter of Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, alleged that over 90,000 turmeric farmers spread over one lakh acres of land were cheated by the BJP.

The RTI revealed that mere Rs 190 were allocated per farmer in 2020-2021, Rs 124 in 2021 and nothing in 2022-2023.

Sun, 08 May 2022 18:40:31 +0530
Mumbai Police crackdown on 2 mosques for pre dawn azan on loudspeakers

Mumbai, May 8

Cracking down, the Mumbai Police have lodged first information reports against two mosques for allegedly flouting noise pollution rules and many more are under a scanner, officials said.

The Noorani Masjid, Bandra west and Muslim Kabrastan Masjid in Santacruz west will face action under the Maharashtra Police Act and Indian Penal Code Section 188, and other laws for playing loudspeakers to blare out the morning 'azan' and prayers on Saturday.

The police have also booked the Imams of the two mosques -- Anwar A. M. Shabbir Shah and Arif M Siddiqui, respectively, and the Managing Trustee of the Santacruz mosque M. Shoaib A. Sattar Shaikh -- for allegedly permitting the relay of the 'azan' before the Supreme Court's stipulated deadline of 6 a.m.

Of the estimated 1,140 mosques in Mumbai, more than 90 per cent have either removed or muted their loudspeakers to use them within the permissible 45 decibel levels, but switching off between 10 p.m.-6 a.m.

An official from the Additional Commissioner of Police said that certain other mosques are on the police scanner and all others are being closely monitored to ensure they strictly adhere to the guidelines, with one case from Kandivali being probed for reported violations.

Besides, the local police are also in regular touch with various mosques managements in their jurisdiction and counsel them to follow the SC guidelines and noise pollution laws for public good with a vast majority already complying and others in the process of compliance.

The development came a week after the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena President Raj Thackeray launched a state-wide anti-loudspeakers campaign and threatened to play Hanuman Chalisa at double volumes outside mosques which don't remove their public address systems.

However, the agitation has also affected the religious operations at other places of worship like temples, churches, gurudwaras, Buddhist Chaityas, Jain Derasars, etc., with protests from some quarters in different parts of the state.

Sun, 08 May 2022 18:37:12 +0530
Jitesh Sharma fast emerging as a dependable middle order batter

Mumbai, May 8

It's not always that one is able to outshine England's hard-hitter Liam Livingstone in a match. On Saturday, at the Wankhede Stadium, Punjab Kings' wicketkeeper-batter Jitesh Sharma was in smashing form as he clobbered the Rajasthan Royals bowlers for his unbeaten 38 off just 18 balls.

Though Punjab Kings still ended up losing the match despite scoring a competitive 189/5 batting first, effort-wise Jitesh Sharma's hurricane knock, embellished with four boundaries and two huge sixes at a strike rate in excess of 210, put to shade the efforts of his senior compatriot from England.

Sharma has emerged as a dependable middle-order batter for Punjab Kings, having scored 162 runs in nine matches at an average of 32-plus and a healthy strike-rate of 167, which puts him in the category of hard-hitters in the death overs, provided not many wickets have crumbled.

The 28-year-old Sharma credited his good batting performance this season to the backing of the PBKS team management and his Vidarbha coach.

"I think I am very lucky to have the full backing of the association (Vidarbha) I play for. My coach there, Pritam Gandhe, has supported me a lot. This is the first time I am playing in the middle order," Sharma, who was primarily an opener until less than a year ago, said.

"I am very lucky that I got picked to play at Punjab Kings too. The first day when I was here, Anil (Kumble) sir had given me my role. He backed me 100 per cent for my preparation and practice to ensure my responsibility is fulfilled," Sharma added.

"So, I was very confident about my preparation and the conversations with the captain Mayank Agarwal and the coach have given me a lot of faith in my abilities," added Sharma.

On what went wrong in the game against Rajasthan on Saturday, Sharma said that the bowling could have been more incisive.

"It is a little about momentum. We batted well and the momentum we built early on in the innings, we carried it through as we batted, and ticked all the boxes in this department. In bowling, however, we could not hold onto the breakthroughs. The runs kept flowing even when a couple of wickets fell. We probably took a hit here."

He felt that Punjab put enough runs on the board, adding that chasing 190 even while batting second is a difficult task.
Rajasthan Royals managed to reach the target with two balls to spare after openers Yashasvi Jaiswal (68) and Jos Buttler (30) had given the early push.

"How much ever you put up on the scoreboard, you're bound to feel it is less. Even if you score 200, you would wish to have 210 on board. I think this (189) is not too bad a score on this wicket. While chasing, 190 is always difficult to get. I'd say it was a good score," Sharma added.

Punjab Kings now have three more matches to play in the IPL group stage that will decide their fate for the playoffs.


Sun, 08 May 2022 12:26:59 +0530
Microsoft open sources code for 3D Movie Maker

San Francisco, May 8

Tech giant Microsoft has open-sourced the code for the 27-year-old programme, 3D Movie Maker, after a user asked for it on the micro-blogging site Twitter.

Foone, whose Twitter profile said they are a "hardware and software necromancer", asked the tech giant for the source code to the programme so they could expand and extend it, reports Engadget.

Microsoft does not own the BRender engine it runs on, which potentially posed a problem, but the one who does own it told Foone that he would be happy to open-source it if he can find a copy.

As per the report, someone kept a copy of the engine and Microsoft was able to release the programme's code in its entirety.

3D Movie Maker, which was released in 1995, gives users an easy way to create films by placing cartoony characters and props into pre-rendered environments.

According to PCGamer, Foone plans to update the programme so it can run on modern PCs, as well as add features to make it easier to share the resulting videos.


Sun, 08 May 2022 12:21:17 +0530
Toyota Group signs MoU with K taka for Rs 4 800 crore investment

Bengaluru, May 7

The Toyota Group of Companies, comprising Toyota Kirloskar Motor and Toyota Kirloskar Auto Parts, on Saturday announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed with the Karnataka government to invest Rs 4,100 crore of a total Rs 4,800 crore towards 'Make in India' and to enable a faster reduction in carbon emissions.

The announcement coincides with Toyota Kirloskar Motor's 25 years of journey in India.

The MoU was exchanged between Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and Vikram S. Kirloskar, Vice-Chairman, Toyota Kirloskar Motor.

Speaking on the occasion, Bommai said, "As a state committed to sustainable development and contributing to the nation's progress, we want to make Karnataka a global supply-chain and manufacturing hub under our 'Build for the World' mission. This MoU with Toyota Group of Companies is a huge stride in this regard, and the Karnataka government is confident of Toyota's commitment towards sustainable growth and local manufacturing quality for Karnataka's development."

The investments are aimed at promoting greener technologies that will help lower dependence on fossil fuels and mitigate carbon emissions. This investment will also enable local production facilities to build electric powertrain parts and components, and cater to the electrified vehicle manufacturing in India.

Vikram S. Kirloskar, Vice-Chairman, Toyota Kirloskar Motor, said, "Toyota is committed to enhance the pace of electrification strengthen domestic production with 'Make in India'."

In-addition to boosting the local manufacturing eco-system, the new development will provide an impetus to employment generation and local community development.


Sun, 08 May 2022 12:13:18 +0530
11 Egyptian troops killed in clashes with terrorists in Sinai

Cairo, May 8

At least 11 Egyptian troops were killed and five others wounded in clashes with terrorists in western Sinai, the Egyptian army said in a statement.

The clashes took place on Saturday as the Egyptian troops foiled an attack by a group of terrorists on a water pumping station in western Sinai, Egyptian military spokesman Gharib Abdel-Hafez was quoted as saying by Xinhua news agency.

The 11 troops who died in the clashes included 10 soldiers and an officer, while the armed forces are currently chasing the terrorists besieged in an isolated area, according to the spokesman.

Although the exact location was not specified in the statement, state-run Al-Ahram news website reported that the clashes took place at the checkpoint of "the East Canal Water Lifting Station."

Egypt has been combating terrorism in the northern part of the Sinai Peninsula over the past decade and the country managed to greatly limit terrorist activities in the peninsula.

The terrorists in Sinai are mostly loyal to the Islamic State group.


Sun, 08 May 2022 12:08:12 +0530
Pakistani LeT terrorist killed in Kashmir encounter

Srinagar, May 8

A Pakistani terrorist from the proscribed Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militant group was killed in an encounter in Kashmir's Kulgam district, police said on Sunday.

"One Pakistani terrorist (Haider) of LeT terror outfit and a local terrorist trapped in on-going encounter. Haider was active in North Kashmir for more than two years and involved in several terror crimes," the Jammu and Kashmir Police said in a tweet citing Inspector General, Kashmir zone, Vijay Kumar.

A joint team of the police and the security forces cordoned off the Cheyan Devsar area and launched a search operation on the basis of specific information about presence of terrorists.

As the security forces zeroed in on the spot where the terrorists were hiding they came under a heavy volume of fire that triggered the encounter.


Sun, 08 May 2022 11:59:03 +0530
Amazon stops selling e books on Android app amid new Google Play policy

San Francisco, May 7

As Google prepares to require all app developers on Play Store to comply with its new billing policy, Amazon is turning off digital book purchases via its Android app.

According to a report by ArsTechnica, users planning to buy ebooks on the Amazon app on Android are directed to a new screen that says 'Why can't I buy on the app?'

If you update the Amazon app, you'll get a notification that says purchasing digital products on the Android app is unavailable.

Amazon removed digital book buying support from iOS devices back in 2011 as per Apple App Store billing policies.

The Amazon app on Google Play Store now shows a pop-up that says, "To remain in compliance with the Google Play Store policies, you will no longer be able to buy new content from the app. You can build a reading list on the app and buy on the Amazon website from your browser."

All app developers selling digital goods and services in Google Play are now required to use Google's billing system and to remove external payment links.

Non-complying apps will not be able to offer updates, and will ultimately be removed from the Google Play store starting June 1, according to Google.

Many app developers around the world have used an alternative in-app billing system or directed users to an external link for payment to circumvent Google's billing policy that takes a hefty 15-30 per cent cut of in-app purchases.


Sun, 08 May 2022 00:02:29 +0530
Pak Health Minister happy to be called Munna Bhai MBBS

Karachi, May 7

Pakistan Health Minister Abdul Qadir Patel has indicated that he is happy to be called 'Munna Bhai MBBS' -- a famous character played by Sanjay Dutt in the 2003 Bollywood film by the same title, media reports said.

The Health Minister was responding to questions from reporters who reminded him of the criticism he has faced for not being a physician himself, Samaa TV reported.

Speaking at the Karachi Press Club, Patel said that he never said that he would perform surgeries or write prescriptions.

Patel said that when someone calls him 'Munna Bhai MBBS', he enjoys it.

"It is a wonderful film. He [the protagonist] heals everyone with his 'jadoo ki jhappi' (magical embrass)," he said.

"When did I say that I would perform surgeries or prescribe medicine to people? My job is to provide administrative supervision, to get things done in the right way," Patel added, Samaa TV reported.

The Health Minister also said that he never objected to Pervez Khattak's appointment as Defence Minister under the former PTI government -- taking a dig at Khattak's lean body shape.

Patel described himself as a political worker who has spent 30 years on the streets of Karachi.

He also rubbished reports that the current government is going to discontinue the health card project launched by the PTI government.

Patel is one of the most outspoken politicians in Pakistan. However, he came under criticism after replacing Faisal Sultan as the health chief in April.

Sultan, who was not an elected member of the National Assembly, served as special assistant to former Prime Minister Imran Khan and played a key role in Covid control efforts.


Sat, 07 May 2022 23:58:43 +0530
2 terrorists arrested in Kashmir arms ammunition recovered

Srinagar, May 7

The J&K Police along with security forces have arrested two hybrid terrorists linked with proscribed terror outfit Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) in Bandipore district, officials said on Saturday.

The police said that based on a specific input regarding the movement of terrorists from Bandipora to Srinagar, a joint checkpoint was set up by the police, army and CRPF near the Wullar Vantage Aragam.

"While conducting search of pedestrians and vehicles, two individuals were observed moving suspiciously in an Alto car, who tried to conceal their identity on seeing the naka party. On being challenged, the duo tried to break the checkpoint but were apprehended," the police said.

The arrested duo has been identified as Abid Ali and Faisal Hassan Parray, both residents of Herpora Achan Pulwama.

During search of the duo and the vehicle, incriminating materials, arms and ammunition, including one AK-47 rifle, two magazines with 30 live rounds, one pistol, and one magazine with four live rounds were recovered.


Sat, 07 May 2022 23:53:28 +0530
IPL 2022 Lucknow Super Giants hammer Kolkata Knight Riders by 75 runs

Pune, May 7

A clinical all-round performance helped Lucknow Super Giants thrash Kolkata Knight Riders by 75 runs in the 53rd match of the IPL 2022 at Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, here on Saturday.

A quickfire fifty from Quinton de Kock (50 off 29) and a vital knock by Deepak Hooda (41 off 27) guided Lucknow Super Giants to 176-7 in 20 overs, after being invited to bat first.

Both De Kock and Hooda steadied Lucknow with a 71-run stand for the second wicket. Apart from them, the likes of Krunal Pandya (25 off 27), and Marcus Stoinis (28 off 14) also made some valuable contributions with the bat for LSG.

On the other hand, Andre Russell (2/22) was the most successful bowler for KKR, while Sunil Narine (1/20), Tim Southee and Shivam Mavi (1/50) also chipped in with one wicket each.

In reply, Andre Russell played an attacking knock (45 off 19) but he didn't get the required support from the other KKR batters. After Russell, Sunil Narine (22 off 12) was the second-highest scorer for KKR. In the end, Kolkata were bowled out for 101-10 in 14.3 overs, losing by a huge margin of 75 runs.

Avesh Khan (3/19) and Jason Holder (3/31) were the star-performer for LSG with the ball. The likes of Ravi Bishnoi (1/31), Dushmantha Chameera (1/14), and Mohsin Khan (1/6) also picked one wicket each.

Brief scores; Lucknow Super Giants: 176-7 in 20 overs (Quinton de Kock 50, Deepak Hood 41; Andre Russell 2/22) beat Kolkata Knight Riders (Andre Russell 45, Sunil Narine 22; Avesh Khan 3/19, Jason Holder 3/31) by 75 runs


Sat, 07 May 2022 23:49:55 +0530
Looming economic slowdown set to stall telecom services sector growth

New Delhi, May 7

Multiple factors like inflation, raising of benchmark interest rates, China lockdowns and the Russia-Ukraine war are set to hamper the growth of telecom and Pay TV services globally in the first half of the year, according to an IDC report.

The telecom services industry has remained very stable throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, allowing people to communicate, entertain and do their jobs while being confined to their homes.

"The economic recovery in 2021 has boosted the growth of the market and resulted in higher-than-expected growth rates, but the same forces that pulled the market up can also push it down," said Kresimir Alic, research director, Worldwide Telecom Services at IDC.

Much like other markets, this market is not immune to changes in economic trends and "forces such as inflation and recession might quickly change the shape of the curve".

"The inflation is already happening, and the economies have started to slow down - for that reason our view of the market remains cautiously optimistic," Alic added.

In 2021, the worldwide spending on telecom services and Pay TV services reached $1.56 billion, an increase of 1.6 per cent year over year.

IDC expects worldwide spending on telecom and pay TV services to increase by 1.4 per cent in 2022 and reach a total of $1.58 billion, although with a caveat.

"Because of new circumstances that include accelerated inflation and the raising of benchmark interest rates by the central banks that will consequently lead to a slower economic growth in the years to come, the forecast has been changed," the report mentioned.

The new forecast is still optimistic, but the growth rates in its first half will be lower than what was recorded last year, it noted.

The impact of inflation in the telco services market will be stretched over the next several years.

"This is because a high proportion of users have two-year contracts with operators that guarantee stable fees until their contracts expire. That also means that the effects of inflation will initially be higher in the markets with a higher proportion of prepaid customers," the report suggested.

The current lockdowns in China and a possible emergence of new variants of the virus in the rest of the world might bring additional impacts to the market, primarily in the business fixed data services section.


Sat, 07 May 2022 23:47:44 +0530
18 years Of Arya Allu Arjun Sukumar remain hit jodi to date

Hyderabad, May 7

'Arya', which is one of the major hits of Allu Arjun's career has completed 18 years since its release in 2004. The blockbuster romantic comedy that made Allu Arjun the star that he is today is still said to be one of the greatest miracles of his life.

Not only Allu Arjun, but Sukumar too benefited from the major break that 'Arya' gave to his career. Sukumar, who is also a director of Allu Arjun's other big hit film 'Pushpa: The Rise' shares a very close bond with the Indian superstar. Working together, the Allu Arjun- Sukumar team hit the bullseye at the box office.

After working on 'Arya' in 2004, the hit jodi went on to make its sequel in 2009 starring Kajal Aggarwal and Shraddha Das along with Allu Arjun in the key roles. Adding more to their legacy, Sukumar and Allu went on to give 'Pushpa Part 1' in 2021 and are all set to take 'Pushpa 2' on floors in 2022.

'Pushpa' which rocked the box office during the pandemic is considered to be India's biggest film in 2021.

Meanwhile, fans are waiting eagerly for the sequel to Pushpa which is slated to go on floors in 2022.


Sat, 07 May 2022 23:43:48 +0530
LIC IPO Day 4 NII segment fully subscribed overall issue oversubscribed

New Delhi, May 7

The Life Insurance Corporation of India's initial public offering (IPO) on Saturday saw full subscription of its non-institutional investor segment on Day 4 of bidding.

The issue opened for subscription on May 4 and continues to see strong interest from all investor categories.

The portion reserved for eligible policy holders was subscribed 4.67 times, reservation for eligible employees was subscribed 3.54 times, retail category was subscribed 1.46 times, the non-institutional category witnessed subscription of 1.08 times and the qualified institutional buyers category saw subscription of 0.67 times.

The long-awaited IPO of LIC will remain open for subscription till May 9.

The government has brought down the issue size from 5 per cent to 3.5 per cent.

It will be a landmark public issue in the history of the Indian capital market and is poised to be the country's biggest IPO till date.

The IPO values LIC at Rs 6 lakh crore. The issue offer of the LIC will be in the price band of Rs 902 to Rs 949.

Also, the policyholders will be offered a Rs 60 discount, while for retail investors, the discount will be Rs 45.


Sat, 07 May 2022 23:39:22 +0530
Taliban supreme leader orders women to wear burqa in public

Kabul, May 7

Taliban supreme leader Hibatullah Akhundzada has issued an order in Afghanistan which says if a woman doesn't cover her face outside home, her father or closest male relative would be summoned and eventually incarcerated or fired from government jobs, media reports said.

At a press conference in Kabul, a spokesman for the Ministry for Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice read out a statement issued by the Afghan supreme leader, Khaama News reported.

This statement detailed the procedures laid down by the ministry authorities to supervise the process of mandatory hijab.

The initial stage in this procedure is to locate the residences of unveiled ladies and to counsel and warn their parents.

Next, the woman's father or guardian is summoned to the relevant department, and in the following step, a case is lodged against the woman's father or parents, and the person's trial begins, Khaama News reported.

The all-encompassing blue burqa, 'Chadari', which became a global symbol of the Taliban's previous extremist rule from 1996 to 2001, was proposed as a suitable covering, according to the statement.

The statement also noted that if there is no important work outside, women "better stay at home", the report said.

This measure, according to social media users, is an aggravation of escalating restrictions on women in public, and has sparked outrage from the international community as well as many Afghans.


Sat, 07 May 2022 23:35:19 +0530
Drone movement detected near International Border in Jammu

Jammu, May 7

A drone movement was detected and effectively repulsed by the BSF in the Arnia sector in Jammu, officials said on Saturday.

"A drone from Pakistan side was observed coming towards the Indian side in the Arnia area at 19:25 hours with blinking light. Hardly had it crossed the International Border (IB), alert BSF troops fired six rounds at the drone due to which it returned back immediately," the BSF said.

The BSF said the area is being searched.

There have been several instances of weapon dropping by drones from Pakistan near the IB in Jammu for terrorists operating in J&K. The BSF has recovered several weapon caches and foiled the designs of terrorists and their handlers sitting across the border.


Sat, 07 May 2022 23:31:26 +0530
Owaisi condemns honour killing in Hyderabad

Hyderabad, May 7

AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi has condemned the alleged honour killing of a Hindu man by the relatives of his Muslim wife in Hyderabad.

Stating that that the murder of Nagraju is against Islam, the Hyderabad MP said the girl had married the man of her choice and the law of the land permits it.

Billapuram Nagaraju (25) was hacked to death in Saroornagar area on the night of May 4 in front of his wife and in full public view by her brother and his friend.

The next day, police arrested both the accused.

Nagaraju had married Ashrin Sultana, his classmate in school and college, on January 31 this year at the Arya Samaj temple in Hyderabad.

Owaisi said there was no rationale for the two men to kill her husband.

"Murder is the worst crime in Islam," he told an Eid Milap programme at Darussalam, the headquarters of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), on Friday.

Stating that Majlis condemns the murder, the MP welcomed the action taken by Telangana government with the immediate arrest of the accused, adding that they should be punished.

Owaisi made it clear that his party will not stand by murderers. "You have no right to go and kill somebody. Have fear of Allah. Holy Quran says if one innocent human being is killed it amounts to killing the entire humanity and if one human being is saved it is like saving the entire humanity."

He alleged that a section of media is trying to give the incident a communal colour and pointing fingers at him.

"Did I take out procession in support of killers, did I garland them or did I announce that I will arrange a lawyer for them?" he asked.

Owaisi pointed out that when a Muslim youth married a Hindu girl in Madhhya Pradesh, the authorities there went and demolished his father's house and shop. He said similarly the killer of Ikhlaq and other were felicitated.

The MP also made it clear that he will decide what to speak and where and when to speak on any issue and this can't be decided by media or others.


Sat, 07 May 2022 14:39:36 +0530
22 killed in Havana hotel blast

Havana, May 7

A powerful explosion at a luxury hotel in central Havana has killed at least 22 people, with 64 people injured, the Cuban Presidential Office said in an update on Saturday.

President Miguel Diaz-Canel, who visited the site of the blast and a local hospital, said: "The explosion was not a bomb nor an attack, but a regrettable accident," reports Xinhua news agency

A gas leak is thought to be the cause of the massive explosion at Hotel Saratoga, according to the Presidential Office.

Located opposite the island's National Capitol building, the five-star hotel was preparing to reopen on May 10 as part of reviving the island nation's tourism industry which was badly hit in the wake of of the Covid-19 pandemic.

At present, rescue operations are still underway as traffic has been diverted from the surroundings of the hotel.

"Patients are currently treated in eight health facilities in Havana, including two paediatric hospitals," said Julio Guerra, head of the Health Ministry's hospital services.

Havana Governor Reinaldo Garcia stressed the importance of solidarity of the population after the tragic event.

The blast also caused damage to buildings near the hotel, he said, adding that "thousands of people continue volunteering to donate blood".

An investigation into the explosion is underway, local media reported.


Sat, 07 May 2022 14:27:16 +0530
Meta brings Venues app to main social VR platform Horizon Worlds

San Francisco, May 7

Meta has announced to integrate Horizon Venues -- an app dedicated to attending live events in virtual reality -- with its main social VR platform Horizon Worlds.

People over 18 in the US and Canada who have access to Horizon Worlds on Quest 2 will be able to access Venues programming in the Horizon Worlds app on June 6.

"If you're not in the US or Canada, are 13�17 years of age, and/or are on Quest 1, you'll lose access to Venues programming when the standalone Venues app goes away on June 6, though you'll still be able to catch highlights and replays of Venues events in Oculus TV," Meta said in a statement.

Horizon Worlds is a social VR experience where you can discover new places with friends, build unique worlds of your own, and form teams to compete in action-packed games.

From June 6, people will be able to catch their favourite marquee shows -- from live sporting events to concerts from today's hit artists and beyond -- from within Horizon Worlds.

"We plan to expand access to Horizon Worlds in more countries this summer, so even more people will be able to build their own worlds, make new friends in VR, and enjoy our slate of Venues in Horizon Worlds programming," said the company.

The Horizon Worlds social metaverse platform is currently available only on the company's Quest VR headsets.

Meta (formerly Facebook) is working on four new virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality (MR) headsets that the company will release by 2024.


Sat, 07 May 2022 14:17:18 +0530
Airtel broadband back after suffering major outage in India

New Delhi, May 7

 Airtel broadband services that suffered a major nationwide outage which left millions of users without internet on both mobile and desktop for more than two hours were later fixed.

According to website outage monitoring platform, the outage which affected millions of users across the country started around 10.30 p.m. on Friday night and was resolved around 1 a.m. on Saturday.

Airtel broadband went down for users in Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Jaipur, and other cities.

"Airtel Broadband not working in Delhi-NCR. Anyone else facing the issue?" tweeted one affected user.

A Pune user posted on Twitter in the middle of the night: "I am fed up with Airtel in Pune. Feels like I am in some village with no proper internet services".

"@airtelindia for the past 1 hr, I do not have internet access in my Airtel extreme, no connectivity in my call. God forbid if I face any emergency then what to do?" posted another Twitter user.

While 33 per cent of Airtel broadband users had no signal, 30 per cent had issues with mobile internet and 37 per cent faced total black out, according to Down Detector.

"@airtelindia Broadband and Mobile data is not working in Noida, Airtel services are Down," tweeted another user.


Sat, 07 May 2022 14:09:55 +0530
Malayali vlogger s body exhumed for autopsy

Thiruvananthapuram, May 7

After receiving permission from the Kozhikode Revenue Divisional Officer, a team of forensic experts led by the local police on Saturday exhumed the body of Malayali vlogger Rifa Mehnu from a cemetery in a mosque to conduct an autopsy.

The vlogger was found dead on March 1 in Dubai, where she lived with her husband Mehnaz and their two-year-old son.

The 21-year-old Rifa, a social media activist with lakhs of followers on Instagram, appeared regularly on the photo-sharing app along with her husband.

In Rifa's last video posted a day before her body was found, she along with her husband were at a restaurant in Dubai.

On March 1, Mehnaz and a friend found the body.

Later the body was brought from there and was buried in the cemetery at the mosque at Kozhikode.

However, Rifa's parents registered a complaint over their daughter's mysterious death after which the local police in Kasargod booked her husband.

"We now expect to get justice and hope that the autopsy will reveal the cause of her death," said Rifa's mother.

Meanwhile, the Dubai Police are also conducting a probe on the circumstances leading to Rifa's death.

Rifa and Mehnaz met on social media and were married for the past three years.


Sat, 07 May 2022 13:37:29 +0530
IPL Turning Point Two run outs seal Gujarat Titans fate against Mumbai Indians

Mumbai, May 7

Two run-outs after a hit-wicket changed the course of Match 51 of IPL 2022 between Gujarat Titans and Mumbai Indians at the Brabourne Stadium on Friday.

After restricting Mumbai Indians to 177/6 in 20 overs, built on vital knocks from Rohit Sharma (43), Ishan Kishan (45) and Tim David (44 not out), Gujarat Titans got off to a superb start with openers Shubman Gill and Wriddhiman Saha raising 100 runs for the opening wicket in 66 balls.

Though Gill was out for 52 runs and Saha for 55, both of them fell to leg-spinner Murugan Ashwin as Gujarat Titans reached 111/2 in the 13th over. They had laid a solid foundation from which they could cruise to victory. Gujarat Titans needed 67 off 42 deliveries with eight wickets in hand.

With skipper Hardik Pandya at the crease along with Sai Sudarshan, Gujarat were in a good position to go for victory. But the match took its first turn when Sai Sudarshan was out -- getting hit-wicket off Kieran Pollard, losing his balance trying to pull a short delivery and falling on the stumps -- and back in the dugout with the score 138/3 in the 16th over.

Pandya was then run out, the first of two such incidents that sealed Gujarat Titans' fate. Pandya went for a quick single as David Miller tried to chop a ball and under-edged it behind the stumps. Keeper Ishan Kishan was off in a flash and removed the stumps with an underarm throw and Pandya was out, his bat on the crease when the ball struck the stumps.

Pandya called for the run and slid his bat in an attempt to reach safety but did not dive, which could have helped his cause. The score at this juncture was 156/4 with Gujarat needing 22 runs from 14 balls -- the target still achievable with Miller and Rahul Tewatia at the crease.

But Mumbai kept up the pressure with some clinical bowling as Gujarat progressed to the last over needing nine runs from six deliveries.

However, there was one more twist in the tale and that occurred through another run-out, Tewatia getting out in the third ball of the 20th over as he was out going for a tight second run, after pulling a length-ball to deep midwicket. Tilak Varma ran in from the deep and threw it to Kishan who whipped off the bails in a flash, catching Tewatia on the line.

Gujarat needed seven runs off the last three deliveries and Rashid Khan scored one off the fourth delivery of the over, Miller failed to connect on the last two deliveries and Gujarat Titans fell short by five runs, with Mumbai Indians turning things around with good bowling and some good work in the field. And a bit of luck too.

Sat, 07 May 2022 09:39:36 +0530
Raids underway at multiple locations in Kashmir

Srinagar, May 7

Jammu and Kashmir's State Investigation Agency (SIA) were carrying out raids on Saturday at multiple locations focused on sellers of mobile phones and SIM cards, according to police sources.

The sources said SIA sleuths assisted by the local police and the CRPF raided shops and residences at Pulwama district's Lassipora, Chandgam, Braw Bandina areas, as well as Chawalgam in Kulgam district.

"These raids are carried out on shops and residences of the mobile phone and SIM card sellers," the sources said.

The SIA was carved out of the local CID to deal with terror and other anti-national activities.


Sat, 07 May 2022 09:33:11 +0530
Airtel broadband suffers major outage in India

New Delhi, May 7

Airtel broadband services on Friday night suffered a major outage as users were unable to access internet on both mobile and desktop.

According to website outage monitoring platform, the outage affected millions of users across the country.

Airtel broadband went down for users in Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Jaipur, and other cities.

"Airtel Broadband not working in Delhi-NCR. Anyone else facing the issue?" tweeted one affected user.

The company was yet to issue a statement on the outage.

While 39 per cent of Airtel broadband users had no signal, 32 per cent had issues with mobile internet and 29 per cent faced total black out.

"@airtelindia Broadband and Mobile data is not working in Noida, Airtel services are Down," tweeted another user.

Sat, 07 May 2022 09:30:14 +0530
Reliance FY22 revenue up 47 net profit up 26 announces Rs 8 dividend

New Delhi, May 6

Reliance Industries' annual consolidated revenue for FY22 stood at Rs 792,756 crore ($104.6 billion), up 47 per cent year on year.

The company's annual profit after tax neared the $10 billion mark, as it stood at Rs 67,845 crore ($9 billion) increasing by 26.2 per cent.

Annual consolidated EBITDA stood at Rs 125,687 crore ($16.6 billion) up by 28.8 per cent

"Despite the ongoing challenges of the pandemic and heightened geo-political uncertainties, Reliance has delivered a robust performance in FY2021-22. I am pleased to report strong growth in our Digital Services and Retail segments," said Mukesh D. Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director, Reliance Industries.

"Our O2C business has proven its resilience and has demonstrated strong recovery despite volatility in the energy markets," he added.

Further, the Board of Directors of the company recommended dividend of Rs 8 per share for the financial year ended in March.

"This payment of dividend is subject to approval of members of the Company at ensuing Annual General Meeting of the Company," it said in the statement.

Sat, 07 May 2022 09:25:50 +0530
US unemployment rate unchanged at 3 6 in April

Washington, May 7

US employers added 428,000 jobs in April amid a tight labour market, with the unemployment rate unchanged at 3.6 per cent, the Labour Department said in a report.

Job growth was widespread, led by gains in leisure and hospitality, in manufacturing, and in transportation and warehousing, according to the report released on Friday by the Department's Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS).

The growth in total non-farm payroll employment for February was revised down by 36,000 to 714,000, and the gain for March was revised down by 3,000 to 428,000, Xinhua news agency quoted the report as saying.

Companies were struggling to hire as labour market supply could not meet demand. The number of job openings was little changed at 11.5 million by end of March, the highest level in the history of the series which began in December 2000, the BLS had said on Tuesday.

Friday's report revealed that the number of unemployed persons, however, dropped slightly from 6 million in March to 5.9 million in April, indicating that there were 1.9 job positions for every unemployed.

The April employment report showed that the labour force participation rate dropped slightly to 62.2 per cent, still about one percentage point below the pre-pandemic level of 63.4 per cent.

Average hourly earnings for all employees on private non-farm payrolls rose by 10 cents, or 0.3 per cent, to $31.85 in April.

Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 5.5 per cent.

The BLS report also showed that the unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.6 per cent in April, which was slightly above the pre-pandemic level of 3.5 per cent.

Sat, 07 May 2022 09:23:34 +0530
Indicators show decreasing Covid transmission in many areas of Canada

Ottawa, May 7

Canada's Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam has said that indicators showed decreasing transmission of Covid-19 in many areas in the country.

"While Covid-19 is still circulating across the country, current disease activity indicators, from daily reported cases to laboratory test positivity, indicated decreasing transmission in many areas," Tam said in a press conference, adding that wastewater data are showing signs of a potential plateau or post-peak decline in several areas.

Currently, lagging severity trends such as hospitalisations are still elevated, but beginning to decline in some jurisdictions. Nevertheless, weeks of Covid-19 resurgence including widespread illness and healthcare worker absenteeism has contributed to prolonged impacts on the health system, she was quoted as saying by Xinhua news agency.

With the BA.2 sub-lineage of Omicron predominating and the SARS-CoV-2 virus continuing to evolve, the path ahead may not be smooth, Tam said, hoping that the Canadians can enjoy a period of lower activity and some time for recovery with the warmer weather beginning and continued caution.

The top doctor said the pandemic has impacted the lives in many ways, with some research suggesting that up to 50 per cent of Canadians have experienced declines in mental health during the pandemic.

"We know that as the pandemic has evolved we have faced different challenges, including now," she said, adding that while many people are happy to have measures easing, this can also bring about anxiety and stress as communities adapt to the changes.

Sat, 07 May 2022 09:21:19 +0530
US judge dismisses Trump s Twitter ban lawsuit

San Francisco, May 7

A judge has reportedly dismissed a lawsuit by former US President Donald Trump seeking to lift his ban from Twitter.

But, San Francisco federal district court Judge James Donato left the door open for Trump and other plaintiffs to file an amended complaint against Twitter that is consistent with his written decision to toss the lawsuit in its entirety, reports CNBC.

The micro-blogging platform had banned Trump on January 8, 2021, citing the risk of the incitement of further violence on the heels of the Capitol riot by a mob of supporters of the then-President two days earlier.

Trump, the American Conservative Union and five individuals had sued Twitter and its co-founder Jack Dorsey last year on behalf of themselves and a class of other platform users who had been booted from the app.

The ruling comes nearly two weeks after Trump told CNBC he had no interest in returning to Twitter even if his ban were to be lifted by Elon Musk, the Tesla CEO whose $44 billion offer to buy the site has been accepted by the company's board.

Before the ban, Trump was an avid Twitter user, tweeting an average of more than 30 posts per day toward the end of his presidency, the CNBC report said.

At the time of the ban, Trump had nearly 90 million followers on Twitter.

Sat, 07 May 2022 09:18:59 +0530
Thundery development cools down Delhi NCR a bit mercury set to rise from Saturday

New Delhi, May 7

Light rains and thundery development cooled down large parts of Delhi, especially central Delhi, on Friday afternoon even as the day ended with 38.4 degrees Celsius maximum temperature that is set to rise from Saturday.

Preceded by strong winds and thundery conditions, the rainfall, however, lasted barely for less than 15 minutes.

Across Delhi NCR, maximum temperature remained below 39 degrees Celsius as Safdarjung and Ridge stations recorded trace rainfall and Lodhi Road recorded 1 mm rainfall between 11.30 to 2.30 p.m., the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.

Before that, the wind speed was 18 kmph gusting to 30 during 12 noon to 1 p.m. at Palam.

Delhi NCR - along with northwest Indian plains - have witnessed three heatwaves during March and April and after this week's brief break from torturing heat, the temperatures are set to rise again from Saturday.

IMD has predicted partly cloudy sky with possibility of thundery development. The maximum and minimum temperatures are likely to be 41 and 25 degrees Celsius respectively.

Sat, 07 May 2022 09:14:30 +0530
Bagga s mother accuses Kejriwal of conspiring against her son

Patna, May 7

Kamaljeet Kaur, following the arrest of her son and BJP leader Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga in New Delhi, has alleged that the Punjab police acted on the direction of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

"Punjab police came to my son's residence in Delhi and dragged him in the police van. The cops did not even gave him a chance to wear turban. When my husband tried to make videos on his phone, they snatched the phone and took it away with themselves," said Kaur, who is staying in Muzaffarpur, Bihar.

"The entire conspiracy was done by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal," she asserted.

"My son has not used any wrong words for Kejriwal. He was involved in a protest after Kejriwal declared 'The Kashmir Files' a 'fake' movie in the Delhi Vidhan Sabha and the AAP MLAs were laughing at it."

"My son argued that whatever happened with Kashmiri Pandits in the valley was the second biggest massacre in the country after 1947 and you (Kejriwal) are terming the movie, which highlighted brutality against Kashmiri Pandits in the valley, fake. He (Bagga) had sought Kejriwal's apology over the issue, which is not derogatory by any means. If you (Kejriwal) do not apologise for your statement, BJP members would protest against you and not allow you to live with peace," Kaur said.

"Is this an objectionable or derogatory statement that Kejriwal has used police power to harass my son and created ruckus," she asked.

"My husband somehow contacted me using a phone of a passerby and I informed my family friends and neighbours to go to my house and help my husband. Delhi police informed us that Punjab police did not contact them for the raid. I learnt from the media that the Punjab police convoy was stopped somewhere in Haryana," Kaur said.

"My son was exposing the wrongdoings of the AAP government. There is no development in Delhi. The condition of Mohalla clinic is pathetic. No new hospital was opened in Delhi. Even, AAP government has renovated only 2 to 4 rooms of schools and are using them as a show-off to fool the people. The AAP government did not help patients during Covid," she claimed.

"As he (Kejriwal) has gained power in Punjab, he is threatening his political opponents who are involved in exposing the AAP government. He is trying to suppress the voice of opposition leaders," she said.

Sat, 07 May 2022 09:12:27 +0530
BSF ramps up patrolling at borders in Jammu after detection of tunnel in Samba

New Delhi, May 7

Days after the Border Security Force (BSF) detected a cross-border tunnel in Jammu's Samba sector on May 4, the security force has ramped up patrolling on the border and keep eye on the fencing and nearby areas.

According to the sources, the BSF has been tasked to initiate anti-tunnel drive every alternate day and to closely monitor the ground along the fencing, especially during the night patrol.

Any "abnormality" at the fencing site must be reported, the sources further said.

On May 4 evening, the BSF patrolling team found the opening of a cross-border tunnel in the area of Chak Faquira opposite the Samba sector.

The search operation was stopped due to bad light and when they started to investigate the spot on Thursday, the BSF personnel found 150-metre-long freshly dug tunnel originating from Pakistan in which the oxygen was supplied through the 265-foot-long pipes found in the tunnel.

This was the first such structure unearthed by the BSF beneath the International Border (IB) in the past 16 months, taking the overall number to 11 in the past decade. Last year the force had detected two tunnels in Hiranagar sector of Kathua district.

The officials in the security grid said that the patrolling has been intensified to prevent the infiltration and there has been a possible "threat" on the Amarnath Yatra this year.

The annual Amarnath pilgrimage will be commencing from June 30 and the terror outfits like Hijbul Mujahidin, Al Badr and The Resistance Front (TRF) have planned to destabilise the pilgrimage.

The security forces have been asked to intensify patrolling along the IB and line of control in Jammu and Kashmir to prevent the infiltration.

The sources said that tunnel might have used by the two terrorists who attacked on the CISF bus in Jammu on April 22 in which one Assistant Sub-Inspector was killed and several security personnel were injured.

Later the two terrorists were also neutralised by the security forces.


Sat, 07 May 2022 09:08:45 +0530
Chittorgarh explosives recovery case NIA conducts searches at 11 locations in MP

New Delhi, May 7

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) conducted raids at 11 locations in Ratlam district of Madhya Pradesh in the case related to the recovery of explosives at Chittorgarh, Rajasthan, officials said.

The case pertains to arrest of three accused Zubair, Saifulla alias Saifu Khan and Altamash Khan along with explosives and other IED making material on March 30 at Wonder Chauraha in Chittorgarh's Nimbahera.

Intially, an FIR in this respect was lodged at police station Nimbahera Sadar, Chittorgarh in Rajasthan and later NIA took over the probe on April 20.

During the course of investigation three accused persons Imran Khan, Aamin Khan alias Amin Pawada, Mohammed Aamin Patel alias Abid were arrested on April 3 and accused Mazhar Khan was arrested on April 7 in the case.

Incriminating materials including electronic devices and documents were seized during the searches conducted at the premises of the suspects.

Further investigation in the matter is on.


Sat, 07 May 2022 09:06:43 +0530
Can low dose lithium help improve kidney health

New Delhi, May 6

Long known as a valuable treatment for bipolar disorder, lithium may also be useful in treating kidney disease, a silent killer which affects about an estimated 10 crore people in India, health experts contended here on Friday.

Though inexpensive and widely available, lithium's potential toxicity has given it a bad reputation to date.

But, in a recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, US researchers claimed that lithium in low doses may help slow kidney ageing and promote its proper functioning.

"Lithium has been a valuable treatment for bipolar disorders for decades. Clinical use of lithium, however, has been problematic due to its narrow therapeutic index and concerns for its toxicity in various organ systems," Dr Amit K. Devra, Director of Urology and Kidney Transplantation at Jaypee Hospital, said.

He said that histologically, chronic lithium nephrotoxicity is characterised by interstitial nephritis and it has strongest risk factors of high serum levels of lithium and longer time on lithium therapy.

"Lithium is nephrotoxic, meaning patients who take chronic lithium for a long period of time can have an effect on their kidney and increase the chances of kidney failure," Dr Rajesh Aggarwal, Senior Consultant and Chief of Kidney Transplant and Dialysis Department at Sri Balaji Action Medical Institute, said.

However, Devra noted that "in experimental models of acute kidney injury and glomerular disease, lithium has antiproteinuric, kidney protective, and reparative effects. This paradox may be partially explained by lower lithium doses and short duration of therapy".

Researchers at the University of Toledo in Ohio observed a similar benefit of lithium. They found that low-dose lithium can act as a powerful anti-aging agent in the kidneys. It could block GSK3-beta - an enzyme associated with cellular ageing in the kidney and a decline in kidney function.

The team stated that lithium may only be bad when used in high doses, while low doses of the element may prove to be an effective treatment for kidney disease.

Again, besides its toxicity on kidneys, lithium also has other risk factors for the human body, the experts said.

"Short-term side-effects can include shaking, metallic taste, feeling very tired, acne, fatigue, diarrhoea, thirst, frequent urination, nausea, vomiting, headache, etc," Aggarwal said.

Taking lithium from long periods can also affect your weight and thyroid. It can also cause drowsiness, he added.

But on the flip side, other than treating bipolar diseases, the element has been shown in lab experiments to extend the lifespan of fruit flies and roundworms.

Observational studies suggested that tap water naturally laced with trace amounts of lithium might improve human longevity.

"Recent incidents suggest that lithium can also have severe anti-ageing effects. A study revealed that low doses of lithium helped about 16-18 per cent people live longer than a controlled group," Dr Sandeep Mandal, Consultant in Nephrology at Manipal Hospital in Gurugram, said.

According to the US study, Mandal said lithium blocks the activity of the GSK-3, which has previously been linked to the development of age-related diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.

Lithium has also been found to promote the activity of a molecule called related nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2) related factor (NRF - 2), which is involved in protecting cells against oxidative stress - a key player in the ageing process.

"Lithium may also confer its anti-ageing effects by influencing the expression of genes responsible for telomere length regulation. Lithium use in bipolar disorder patients have been found to be associated with longer telomere length," Devra noted.

Before jumping into any conclusion, further studies are imperative "to understand the exact kidney-protective dose of lithium in humans", he added.

Fri, 06 May 2022 21:16:09 +0530
IIT Kanpur develops cheap device for inorganic contaminant free wate

Kanpur, May 6

In a bid to revolutionise the water purification process, a novel device that is able to produce inorganic contaminant-free water at a cost as low as 2 Rs per litre and with zero maintenance cost has been developed, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur said on Thursday.

The device developed by IIT Kanpur researchers in collaboration with those at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), will help overcome the challenges in both water availability and water quality monitoring.

The institutes have also been granted a joint Indian patent for the novel water purification device, IIT Kanpur said in a statement.

The purification vessel contains a regenerable sorbent material capable of binding the impurities and preserving it in a moist or dry format, thus producing inorganic contaminant-free water at a cost as low as Rs 2/litre.

It can be procured without power and it does not leave any residual wastewater leading to zero maintenance expenses.

The novelty of the device lies in its capability for both purification and measurement by a single channel, which no other system provides.

Beyond purification of drinking water, the device can also be used in the food and beverage industry, wastewater reuse, batch generation of deionised water and agricultural water monitoring.

Further, the vessel could be used in monitoring and purification of other liquids for human consumption, such as dairy products, soft drinks, or other ingestible liquids.

"At a time when the whole world is in the grip of several ongoing as well as potential environmental hazards, it is upon us all to contribute our bit. This is a very timely and quintessential device to curb the issues plaguing clean water resources," said Prof. Abhay Karandikar, Director, IIT Kanpur, in a statement.

The availability of clean drinking water is one of the major problems that the world is facing. An estimated 844 million people lack access to an improved source of water, and it is projected that in 2025, half of the global population will live in high water stress regions.

All the sources of water systems worldwide have been found to contain trace contaminants (microorganisms that can enter the food system) that are associated with a range of chronic, often incurable health conditions, including cancers, liver and kidney damage, as well as environmental damage, thus making the increasing presence of these contaminants, a critical concern.

Fri, 06 May 2022 21:09:33 +0530
Jealous Johnny Depp kicked me over Franco affair says Amber Heard

Los Angeles, May 6

Actress Amber Heard says a perceived affair with fellow actor James Franco led to ex-husband Johnny Depp assaulting her on a cross-country flight in 2014.

Taking the stand for a second day as part of a multi-million dollar defamation trial, Heard cast Depp as deeply troubled by jealousy and drugs, reports

Depp is suing Heard for $50 million over an article in which she said she was a victim of abuse, reports

She is countersuing for $100 million.

On Thursday, Heard reportedly said that much of her ex-husband's anger was caused by his belief that she was seeing James Franco, whom she said Depp "hated". Franco starred alongside Heard in 'Pineapple Express' and 'The Adderall Diaries'.

That jealousy, she claimed, led an angry Depp to repeatedly question her on a flight from Boston to Los Angeles, in which he allegedly kicked her.

"He just kicked me in the back. I fell on the floor," she said.

"No one said anything. No one did anything. It's like you could hear a pin drop on that plane."

The court also heard a recording allegedly of Depp on the flight, which Heard said showed him "howling" while suffering from the effects of drug use.

Following the incident, Heard said he met her in New York to apologise and to prove he was sober and committed to change.

Jurors have repeatedly heard about the incident on the flight. In his own testimony, Depp said that he took Oxycodone pills and fell asleep to avoid her.

During her testimony, Depp could sometimes be seen closing his eyes or donning his sunglasses. At one point, he shook his head quietly.

Heard alleged she had the fight with Depp after an argument about his daughter Lily-Rose, who was about 14 at the time.

"She was so young," Heard said. "I felt protective."

Fri, 06 May 2022 21:05:50 +0530
567 projects identified worth Rs 58 700 cr Shipping Minister Sonowal

New Delhi, May 6

Minister for Ports, Shipping Sarbananda Sonowal on Friday said that the Ministry has identified a total of 567 projects under convergence mode with an estimated cost of Rs 58,700 crore.

Addressing the media after the meeting of the National Sagarmala Apex Committee (NSAC), he said Holistic Development of Coastal districts aims to bridge the gaps in infrastructure at the coastal areas and improve economic opportunity.

The minister said with addition of projects identified in Holistic Development of Coastal Districts and new project proposals received under Sagarmala, total number of projects stands at 1537 worth Rs 6.5 lakh crore.

The committee reviewed the progress of the Sagarmala programme and deliberated on various agendas. He said there are 802 projects worth Rs 5.5 lakh crore under the Sagarmala programme targetted to be executed by 2035. Out of which, 202 projects worth Rs 99,281 crore have been completed.

He said a total of 29 projects worth Rs 45,000 crore have been successfully implemented under PPP model, thus, reducing the financial burden on the exchequer. Additional 32 PPP projects worth Rs 51,000 crore are currently being implemented. Further, there are more than 200 projects worth Rs 2.12 lakh crore under construction and expected to be completed in 2 years' time, he added.

The Ministry has till date funded 140 projects to the tune of Rs 8748 crore and is reviewing additional proposals sent by various state governments. More than 200 locations have been identified for development of floating jetties and 50 locations form part of the phase 1 implementation. It also was noted that there are 33 fishing harbour projects taken up of which part funding of 22 fishing harbour projects to the tune of Rs 2,400 crore has been sanctioned.

The ministry is also developing two mega cruise terminal projects through Sagarmala Scheme at Mumbai and Mormugao Port. Upgrading and modernisation of International Cruise Terminal at Mumbai worth Rs 303 crore is under construction, project has registered progress more than 70 per cent. Ministry is also supporting development of international and domestic cruise terminal and allied facilities at Mormugao Port.

Fri, 06 May 2022 20:59:23 +0530
Pakistan gives thumbs down to J K delimitation report

Islamabad, May 6

Pakistan has reacted aggressively after the Delimitation Commission for Jammu and Kashmir submitted its much-awaited report to the Indian government on Thursday, calling it a "blatant attempt to disenfranchising and disempowering the Muslim majority population of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK)".

The Delimitation Commission in its report recommended 43 Assembly seats for Jammu division and 47 seats for the Kashmir region. The Commission also recommended giving representation to Kashmiri migrants and displaced persons from 'Pakistan Occupied J&K' in the Assembly.

Pakistan on Friday summoned the Indian Charge d'Affaires to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Islamabad and handed over a demarche, sharing what it called "categorical rejection of the report of the so-called Delimitation Commission".

"The Indian side was conveyed that this entire exercise is farcical and has already been rejected by the cross-section of political parties in IIOJK. Through this effort, India only wants to lend legitimacy to its 'illegal' actions of August 5, 2019 (when Article 370 of the Indian Constitution was abrogated, removing the special status of the erstwhile state of J&K)," read a statement issued by the Pakistan Foreign Office.

"The ulterior motives of the Indian government is evident from the fact that under the garb of the so-called delimitation, the representation of Muslims in the re-designed constituencies has been reduced to their disadvantage," the statement added.

Pakistan maintained that the 'dented' motives of India "shattered the rationale pushed by the Indian government that the delimitation effort was aimed to empower the local population".

"However, in reality, the new electoral boundaries would further disempower, marginalise and divide the people of the 'occupied' territory. It would only pave the way for installing yet another puppet regime backed by the BJP-RSS combine," the statement read.

Pakistan also reiterated its demand to the Indian Charged D'Affairs that India should recognise and understand that the Jammu and Kashmir dispute is an internationally recognised dispute and a long-standing item on the agenda of the UN Security Council.

"Any illegal, unilateral and mischievous attempt by India to allow disproportionately higher electoral representation to the Hindu population to the detriment of the Muslim population is a mockery of all norms of democracy, morality and India's obligation under the UN Security Council resolutions and international law," the statement added.

Pakistan also emphasised that the Indian government should refrain from bringing about what it called 'illegal' demographic changes in Jammu and Kashmir and called for an immediate halt of what it termed as 'oppression' of Jammu and Kashmir.

"Let the Kashmiri people determine their own future through a free and fair plebiscite under the UN auspices as enshrined in the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions," the Foreign Office statement maintained.

Fri, 06 May 2022 20:56:03 +0530
Hyd airport a heroin transit point with multiple seizures in 10 days

Hyderabad, May 6

Heroin, valued at Rs 125 crore, was seized at the Hyderabad International Airport in the last 10 days. However, the four accused, including three Tanzanian nationals, who have been caught with the contraband, had no information about the receivers.

According to central agencies, the 14 kg heroin seized in four different cases were meant to be transported to cities like Delhi and Mumbai.

The three Tanzanians and a fourth person of another nationality, were carrying the contraband from Johannesburg and Durban airports.

Hyderabad is only seen as a transit point. Since drugs were recently seized in huge quantities at Mumbai and Delhi airports, investigators believed that the gangs were looking at airports in Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and Chennai. However, with the recent seizures at Hyderabad airport, they may now move to other airports in the south.

Police Commissioner C.V. Anand told the media on Friday that they are coordinating with the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) and Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) to join the missing links in the investigations to identify the receivers.

Those arrested at the airport don't know who are the receivers. The agencies could not gather any information during their interrogation. "Somebody calls and takes the drugs from them. They have no clue or contact numbers of the receivers," Anand said.

The agencies feel that since there is demand for drugs in the country, it is being brought in huge quantity.

As per NCB figures, around 8-10 crore drugs addicts are there and their consumption of contraband has increased in last 10 years.

He called for coordination among central agencies like the NCB, DRI, ED, IB, Customs, CISF, state police and drugs department to control the international drug racket.

"We have started coordination from our side. Few days ago we spoke to DRI and NCB officials. We will call a meeting soon to join the missing links," he said.

Revealing details about the arrest of a four-member inter-state drugs gang, the Police Commissioner said that they are looking for Mahesh alias Rayees, a resident of Nalasopara in Mumbai, who is considered kingpin in the supply of heroin/brown sugar from Mumbai to the rest of his gang.

He suspects that Mahesh may be having links with international supply gangs. "Cases like these may help in joining the missing links (in international drug rackets)," he said.

The arrested include a man from Mumbai while the remaining are residents of Hyderabad. Around 225 gram heroin and 28 kg ganja valued at Rs 23.61 lakh have been recovered from them.


Fri, 06 May 2022 20:53:00 +0530
Two Lawrence Bishnoi gang members held in Gurugram

Gurugram, May 6

The Crime Branch unit of Gurugram Police has arrested two henchmen of the Lawrence Bishnoi and Goldi Brar gang, the police said on Friday.

The accused have been identified as Rajat alias Raka, a resident of Khera Khurampur, and Sagar, a resident of Shikohpur.

The duo was apprehended from Farrukhnagar in Gurugram on Thursday after a tip-off. The police have recovered two pistols and 20 live cartridges from their possession.

"The accused were present in Gurugram to commit a crime but were arrested before that by the police. The duo revealed that they are members of the Lawrence Bishnoi and Goldi Brar gang," said Preet Pal Sangwan, Assistant Commissioner of Police (Crime).

In another breakthrough, the Crime Branch arrested a sharpshooter of the Lawrence Bishnoi gang carrying a bounty of Rs 5,000. The police have recovered three pistols, nine magazines and 20 live cartridges from his possession.

The police said the accused was involved in half-a-dozen heinous crimes.

The accused, who has been identified as Sanjeev Bishnoi aka Sanju, a resident of Rajasthan, was apprehended from the Mubarikpur junction along the Jhajjar-Farrukhnagar bypass on Thursday.

Bishnoi revealed that he was in constant contact with Anmol Bishnoi, the younger brother of Lawrence Bishnoi, and was present in Gurugram to commit a crime, the police said.


Fri, 06 May 2022 20:49:45 +0530
Qatar commits to protecting rights of Indian labourers

New Delhi, May 6

In wake of deaths and allegations of human right violations of labourers in the country since it won the bid to host FIFA World Cup 2022, Qatar on Friday assured to protect and promote rights of thousands of Indian labourers working there.

Every year, hundreds of complaints, ranging from pending salaries and contract problems to imprisonment and repatriation, are registered in the Indian embassy.

There have been 6,750 deaths of south Asian migrants nearly in a decade (from 2011 to 2020) after Qatar was, in 2010, awarded the right to host the FIFA World Cup in 2022.A

As per the available figures from 2011 to 2020, a total of 2,711 Indian labourers died in Qatar. Further, as per the data available from the embassy, as many as 10,535 labourers filed complaints with the Indian Embassy in Doha between 2016 and 2019, ranging from pending salaries and contract problems to imprisonment and repatriation.

Qatar made the commitment during the seventh Joint working committee meeting between India and Qatar on Labour and Manpower Development, held from May 4 to May 5 at New Delhi.

The Indian delegation was led by Anurag Bhushan, Joint Secretary (OIA-I), Ministry of External Affairs and the Qatari delegation was led by Mohammed Hassan Al Obaidly, Assistant Undersecretary for Labour Affairs, Ministry of Labour.

Both sides held fruitful and productive discussions on a wide range of issues related to labour and manpower mobility. The Indian side welcomed the progressive labour reform measures adopted by Qatar over the past years.

The Qatari side appreciated the contribution of the Indian migrant workforce in the socio-economic development and infrastructure building in their country.

"Qatari side reiterated their commitment towards the protection and promotion of labour rights. Both sides agreed to adopt an integrated approach to promote the welfare and well-being of workers, including streamlining recruitment and to enhance co-operation for time-bound resolution of issues of mutual concern. In this context both agreed to work towards integrating the recruitment portals," the Ministry of External Affairs said.

The Qatari delegation also visited the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), Delhi. Both sides had useful exchanges of views on furthering co-operation in skills training and certification. The visiting delegation also held discussions with the representatives of Non-Resident Keralites Affairs (NORKA).

It was agreed to hold the next round of Joint Working Group meeting in Qatar at mutually convenient dates.

Fri, 06 May 2022 20:47:28 +0530
Vivek Lal new Director of PGIMER Chandigarh

Chandigarh, May 6

The Union Health Ministry has approved appointment of Vivek Lal, Head, Department of Neurology to the post of Director of the PGIMER, Chandigarh, for five years from the date of assumption of charge, or until he attains the age of 65 years.

The appointment came after retirement of Jagat Ram on October 31, 2021. Since then, the charge was held by Surjit Singh, Head, Department of Paediatrics.

After taking over the charge, Vivek Lal, who is also heading the Department of Neurology at PGIMER, said he will try his level best to make the PGI more patient-friendly and will try to improve the working environment inside the institute.

The PGI stands for the patients, by the patients and with the patients, he said.


Fri, 06 May 2022 20:44:40 +0530
India Italy call for closer industrial and defence ties

New Delhi, May 6

India and Italy's Foreign Ministers met on Friday and deliberated upon closer industrial collaboration, including in the field of defence, and made commitment to closely work in countering common challenges related to terrorism, violent extremism, and cyber crime.

On his first official visit to India, from May to 6, Italian Foreign Minister, Luigi Di Maio, held bilateral talks with his Indian counterpart S. Jaishankar where they reviewed the full spectrum of bilateral relations, including the progress in implementation of the 2020-2024 action plan adopted at the virtual summit in November 2020.

Both the Ministers welcomed the growing bilateral trade and investment linkages and agreed to expand them in new areas of common interest.

They also discussed the implementation of the India-Italy strategic partnership on energy transition announced in 2021 during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Italy and agreed to explore partnerships in areas such as gas transportation, green hydrogen, bio-fuel and energy storage.

In addition, they agreed to jointly organise an India-Italy tech summit on energy transition and circular economy in New Delhi on November 17 this year.

The two leaders noted the potential for a closer industrial collaboration, including in the field of defence.

They reiterated their commitment to closely work in countering common challenges related to terrorism, violent extremism and cyber crime.

In the context of recent geopolitical developments, they also exchanged views on regional and global issues of mutual interests including Ukraine, Afghanistan and Indo-Pacific and cooperation in multilateral fora, including G20.

On Ukraine, the two Ministers expressed their concern on the ongoing humanitarian crisis and called for an immediate cessation of hostilities. They also underlined the importance to safeguard the international order based on the UN Charter, with special regard to the respect of sovereignty and territorial integrity.

During the visit, Di Maio also had a meeting with Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and co-chaired a business round-table which saw participation of top business leaders particularly in the energy, defence, sustainable mobility, and infrastructure sectors.

He had visited Bengaluru on Thursday, where he met Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and inaugurated the premises of the new Consulate General.

Di Maio also visited the Indian Space Research Organisation and the Indian Institute of Science along with representatives of their Italian counterparts, the Italian Space Agency and Elettra Sinctrotrone Trieste, with which scientific partnerships and joint projects are being developed.

Fri, 06 May 2022 20:40:56 +0530
Ensure continuous power supply during exam time OPS to Stalin

Chennai, May 6

Former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and AIADMK Coordinator O.Panneerselvam on Friday urged the state government to ensure continuous power supply during the exam months of May and June.

Paneerselvam told Chief Minister M.K.Stalin that the focus of the students - school and college- during the exam time will be on their studies and disruption in power supply will make them tense and distraught.

Further, the government has the duty to ensure that students do not score lower marks due to power cuts, he added.

According to Panneerselvam, students of class 10 and 12 are appearing for the annual exams which will be held till the end of this month.


Fri, 06 May 2022 13:53:38 +0530
Celebratory firing in Gwalior injures 2 kids

Bhopal, May 6

Two children were injured during celebratory firing at a birthday party in Gwalior, police said on Friday.

According to the police, Shyam Soni, who opened fire at his son's birthday party on Thursday night, has been arrested.

As per information, Soni fired the shots at about 8.30 p.m. after the cake was cut. Pallets from the third fire ricocheted and hit the two children who were near him.

The injured children were taken to nearby hospitals where doctors said that they were out of danger

The Gwalior-Chambal region has witnessed several similar incidents, some fatal, in recent years despite a ban on celebratory firing was imposed in 2011.

Addressing the media, Gwalior collector Kaushlendra Vikram Singh said he is going to issue a special advisory to take stringent action against such incidents.

While imposing the ban, the Madhya Pradesh government warned that offenders will be exiled, charged under National Security Act (NSA) and lose their gun licence.

Since most of the shootings happen at weddings and family events, the victims and shooters are related and they come to a compromise.

Fri, 06 May 2022 13:43:50 +0530
3 from Punjab killed in Jammu road accident

Jammu, May 6

Three persons were killed on Friday in a road accident in J&K's Jammu district.

Police sources said, "Three persons including the driver of the vehicle were killed in an accident near Jambhu Zoo in Nagrota area of Jammu district.

"The vehicle was on its way from Udhampur to Jammu when it went out of the driver's control and rolled down into a deep gorge near Jambhu Zoo.

"In the incident, three persons identified as Gurdeep Singh, Sham Lal and Vikas Kumar, all residents of Punjab, died on the spot.

"Dead bodies were shifted to the government medical college hospital in Jammu for the medico-legal formalities," sources said.


Fri, 06 May 2022 13:39:38 +0530
Jewellery worth Rs 1 45 lakh recovered from TN man s stomach

Chennai, May 6

Chennai police has recovered jewellery worth Rs 1.45 lakh from the stomach of a 32-year-old man who swallowed it with biryani during the Eid celebrations at a friend's residence on May 3.

Police said that doctors gave him enema to recover the jewellery from his stomach. The man along with his girlfriend was invited by a friend for Eid celebrations at her home.

The host noticed that jewellery including a diamond necklace, a gold chain, and a diamond pendant worth Rs 1.45 lakh was missing from her home.

She told police that she suspected this 32-year-old man to be behind the crime.

The woman lodged a complaint at the Virugambakkam police station and the man was questioned, who confessed to the crime.

On scanning at a private medical centre, doctors identified the jewels in his stomach and he was given enema to retrieve the swallowed jewels.

Virugambakkam police said that the jewels were recovered on Thursday.

After the jewels were recovered, the woman withdrew her complaint and said that she didn't want to proceed with the case.

Police said that the man was drunk during the Eid party.

A senior officer with the Virugambakkam police station said that as the woman had withdrawn the complaint, the identity of the persons involved in the crime and the complainant could not be revealed.

Fri, 06 May 2022 13:37:12 +0530
Religious conversion in TN schools controversy revives after Madras HC intervention

Chennai, May 6

The religious conversion controversy in Tamil Nadu schools has sprung up again after the Madras High Court observed 'what harm will be there in directing the state to come out with guidelines to prevent religious conversion in the government and government-aided minority schools'.

The Madras High Court vacation bench of Justice R. Mahadevan and Justice S. Ananthi on Thursday observed this while hearing the public interest litigation filed by Advocate B. Jagannathan.

In the PIL, the advocate sought a direction from the state government to frame effective guidelines and take all the necessary steps, including corrective measures. The petitioner also requested the court to direct the state government to take strict measures and ban forced religious conversion in all the government and government-aided schools.

However, the government countered the argument stating that the petitioner was creating a major issue based on two stray incidents. Additional Advocate General J. Ravindran while arguing in the court said, "The government will take stringent action if religious conversions are reported in the government schools or government-aided schools. The petitioner has cited only two stray incidents and that stringent action was taken against these incidents and perpetrators were arrested."

A Class 11 girl student of a Thanjavur minority school had committed suicide alleging that she was forced into religious conversion by a warden of her school, who is a nun. The girl in her suicide note had said that the warden forced her to menial work when she refused to convert and that this has affected her studies as well.

Students in Kanniyakumari district had recently lodged a complaint against a teacher that she was forcing them to read the Bible and had belittled the Hindu Gods, including Lord Shiva.

The BJP Tamil Nadu unit said that the government must take stringent measures against forced religious conversions in the government schools and government-aided schools.

Dr. R. Padmanabhan, Director, Socio-Economic Development Foundation, a think tank based out of Madurai  said, "The Madras High Court has opened a discussion and this will have to be discussed on public platforms. One has the right to practice any religion in our country but that does not give the right to convert or force to convert a person to another religion that too a school student."


Fri, 06 May 2022 13:32:54 +0530
Celebrities can t run away from responsibilities

Panaji, May 6

Celebrities shouldn't recklessly endorse the products, they should take the decisions responsibly, Secretary (CA) for the Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs & Food Distribution Rohit Kumar Singh said.

Singh was addressing a gathering in 15th edition of 'Goa Fest 2022' on Thursday at Bambolim, Goa. He said that the new guidelines for advertising will be out soon.

"Celebrities should take the responsibility. They just can't run away from it," Singh said while citing the examples of tobacco product advertisements.

"Don't take consumers for a ride. If someone does it then they will have to face penalties. We love creativity. But this creativity shouldn't mislead consumers," he said.

He said that the ministry would quickly intervene in such matters, if anyone found cheating consumers.

"We keep a watch on misleading advertisements. If someone says that their toothpaste is No. 1, or wearing specs (of their brand) will improve eyesight, we ask them. We question them as it is not acceptable," Singh said.

"Don't fool the consumers and compromise their interest. Manufacturing units need to make the consumer grievance system more robust," he said.


Fri, 06 May 2022 13:29:02 +0530
Centre vs Delhi SC refers the issue of control over services to constitution bench

New Delhi, May 6

The Supreme Court on Friday referred to a constitution bench the power tussle between the Centre and the Delhi government in connection with control over the administrative services.

A bench headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana clarified that the issue is only related to services, and it will be adjudicated by the constitution bench. The top court listed the matter for hearing before a 5-judge bench on May 11 for arguments who should control the services.

In 2018, a constitution bench had ruled that police, land and public order are the domain of the Centre, and the rest is under the Delhi government.

The Centre had moved an application seeking to refer the matter to a constitution bench for a holistic interpretation of Article 239AA of the Constitution.

"The applicant submits issues involve a substantial question of law requiring interpretation of a provision of the Constitution and the key issues involved in the present matter cannot be determined unless the same is decided by a constitution bench in terms of Article 145 (3) of the Constitution," said the Centre's application.

Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, representing the Delhi government, had submitted that once a constitution bench decides the matter, there is no point in referring back to it.

Singhvi insisted that every slightest thing pointed out cannot be referred to the larger bench. The top court said the issue is there were two parts of constitution provision, the problem arises when they refer to a provision but there's no conclusion, in that scenario it becomes a necessity to refer the matter to a larger bench.

Singhvi replied that it is not necessary to refer the issue to a larger bench and the present three-judge bench can also decide it.

The bench queried, "what prejudice will be caused...if referred?" Singhvi said the "question is why should it be referred?"

He added that a constitution bench reference arising from another constitution bench is rare. He said, "I am not disputing your lordships' power to refer it..."

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted that there was a finding that there's been no consideration and judges asked the matter to be referred. Mehta pressed that this matter needs to be referred to a larger bench.

During the hearing, the bench noted that if a constitution bench is constituted, it would want the hearing to conclude by May 15. Both sides agreed that hearing in the matter can be concluded before the summer vacation commences.

The top court noted that it appears that the 5-judge bench had decided all issues of dispute between the Centre and the Delhi government, except the services. The top court noted this while pronouncing the order on Friday.

On April 28, after a detailed hearing in the matter, the top court reserved its order on the Centre's plea to refer its dispute with the Delhi government -- on the transfer and posting of officers in the national capital -- to a five-judge constitution bench.

Fri, 06 May 2022 13:25:51 +0530
TN govt to promote folk classical arts at parks beaches

Chennai, May 6

The Tamil Nadu Official language, Tamil culture, and Archeology ministry have decided to conduct Tamil folk and classical arts at parks, beaches, and museums across the state.

In a statement on Friday, the department said that it has earmarked an amount of Rs 1 crore for the project.

Besides, a major folk art festival will be organised at Coimbatore, Tiruchy, Madurai, and Tirunelveli at a cost of Rs 6 crore. While this will be in the line with the grand folk festival that was held in Chennai recently, the date and time is yet to be finalised.

Also, Rs 50 lakh has been granted for Pongal Vizha, a cultural festival on heritage folk arts to be held in Chennai and ten other districts of the state.

An amount of Rs 6 crore is earmarked for modernising teaching and improving pedagogy at music schools in the state-run by the government. Ten cave temples of the Pandya period will be protected and maintained by the state government.

The Danish fort at Tharanganmadi will also be restored at a cost of Rs 65 lakh. The fort was damaged during recent rains, the statement said. The iconic heritage building of the Government Music College, Chennai, 'Brodie Castle' will be renovated at Rs 2.80 crore.

Fri, 06 May 2022 13:23:17 +0530
Man held after 113 complaints of women harassment in UP

Lucknow, May 6

A man has been arrested on the charges of teasing, blackmailing and even stalking girls and women from Uttar Pradesh's Kaushambhi.

The accused identified as Raghavendra Maurya was arrested after 113 complaints were received against him by the 1090 Women Power Line.

The complaints were received from 36 districts over a period of time.

"He had been warned several times but he continued with his activities. We had set up a team to arrest Maurya," said a senior official.

Details are awaited.


Fri, 06 May 2022 13:20:34 +0530
Terrorist killed in Kashmir encounter

Srinagar, May 6

A terrorist was killed in an ongoing encounter in Kashmir's Anantnag district, officials said on Friday.

The police said the encounter is underway in Pahalgam area.

The encounter took place after a joint team of the police and the security forces cordoned off the area and launched a search operation on the basis of specific information about the presence of terrorists.

As the security forces zeroed in on the spot where terrorists were hiding they came under a heavy volume of fire.

Fri, 06 May 2022 13:18:33 +0530
Adani Transmission reports cash profit of Rs 763 crore in Q4 up 19 4 YoY

Ahmedabad, May 6

Adani Transmission Limited (ATL), the largest private transmission company in India and part of the globally diversified Adani portfolio, on Thursday announced its financial and operational performance for the financial year and quarter ended March 31.

The financial highlights of Q4FY22 on a year-on-year basis show that the company's consolidated revenue increased by 13.5 per cent at Rs 2,582 crore, consolidated EBITDA grew 17.5 per cent at Rs 1,382 crore, while consolidated cash profit was up 19.4 per cent at Rs 763 crore.

The operational highlights for FY22 show that ATL operationalised 1,104 ckm; total transmission network at 18,795 ckm, while GTL, BKTL, and FBTL projects consisting of 1,670 ckm were fully commissioned.

On the distribution side, the company added MPSEZ Utilities Limited (MUL), facilitating the distribution of electricity in Mundra SEZ area (8,481 hectares) as a distribution licensee.

Its consolidated PAT (profit after tax) at Rs 1,236 crore in FY22 ended 4.2 per cent lower due to deferred tax recognition in distribution business in FY21, whereas its Q4 PAT of Rs 237 crore was lower by 7.6 per cent on account of net forex movement of Rs 82 crore in distribution business.

Its consolidated revenue witnessed double-digit growth of 15.2 per cent in FY22 and 13.5 per cent in Q4. Its Consolidated EBITDA of Rs 5,493 crore in FY22 grew 8.4 per cent YoY, and Rs 1,382 crore in Q4FY22 was up 17.5 per cent yoy on account of higher revenue in both transmission and distribution segments.

Strong revenue and EBITDA performance translated into higher PBT at Rs 1,700 crore in FY22, up 5 per cent. Its Consolidated cash profit at Rs 3,039 crore, up 3.8 per cent in FY22. Its Q4 cash profit of Rs 763 crore was higher by 19.4 per cent yoy.

Anil Sardana, MD & CEO, Adani Transmission Ltd, said, "Adani Transmission is constantly evolving and becoming a significant player in the T&D sector. ATL's robust growth pipeline and recently operationalised projects will further strengthen its pan-India presence and consolidate its position as the largest private sector transmission & distribution company in India.

"ATL is consistently benchmarking to be the best-in-class and is pursuing disciplined growth with strategic and operational de-risking, capital conservation, ensuring high credit quality and business excellence with high governance standards. The journey towards a robust ESG framework and practicing a culture of safety is integral to its pursuit of enhanced long-term value creation for all stakeholders."


Fri, 06 May 2022 09:27:50 +0530
IPL 2022 Warner Powell half centuries

Mumbai, May 6

David Warner (92 not out) and Rovman Powell (67 not out) set the tone with an unbeaten 122-run partnership and Khaleel Ahmed followed it up with a 3/30 haul as Delhi Capitals defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad by 21 runs in Match 50 of the IPL 2022 at the Brabourne Stadium here on Thursday.

Warner and Powell propelled Delhi Capitals from 95/3 to 207/3 in 20 overs, batting in contrasting styles. Warner showed sublime touch and superb placement as he found gaps with the precision of a neurosurgeon to score 92 not out off 58 deliveries, hitting 12 fours and three sixes. Powell was all power as he hammered 67 not out off 35 deliveries, hitting three fours six sixes. They added 122 runs for the fourth wicket partnership off 66 balls as Delhi Capitals posted a huge score.

In reply, Nicholas Pooran struck a half-century and Aiden Markram blazed to a 25-ball 42 but their efforts went in vain against a big score as they ended with 186/8 in 20 overs.

Chasing a huge target of 208, Pooran struck 62 off 34 balls, 4x2, 6x6, while Markram scored a brisk cameo but in the end, their efforts were not enough as Sunrisers Hyderabad could manage only 188/8 in 20 overs.

Sunrisers Hyderabad got off to a poor start as they lost Abhishek Sharma (7) in the second over with the score of 8 runs as he struck a half-volley on his pads down the throat of the fielder at short fine-leg.

They were soon down to 37/3 with skipper Kane Williamson (4), who edged behind off Anrich Nortje, and Rahul Tripathy (22) wasted his start by picking out deep backward square with a short-arm jab off Mitchell Marsh.

Pooran and Markram came together to raise 60 runs for the fourth wicket, both hitting some aggressive shots as they resurrected the innings. But Markram was out while trying to hit another big one and was caught by Kuldeep Yadav off Khaleel Ahmed as SRH fell to 97/4 in the 13th over.

Pooran tried to take the battle to Delhi Capitals as he completed his half-century off 29 balls. SRH continued to lose wickets at the other end as Shashank Singh (10) and Sean Abbott (7) departed, leading Pooran to continue waging the lone battle.

He was the seventh batsman to get out, caught by Powell off Shardul Thakur. miscuing a waist-high full toss and sending it straight to long-on, as the run rate continued to mount.

Khaleel Ahmed was the most successful Delhi Capitals bowler with 3/30 off four overs while Shardul Thakur ended with 2/44.

The win took Delhi Capitals to 10 points from 10 matches and maintained their hopes of making it to the playoffs as they trail Rajasthan Royals and Royal Challengers Bangalore (both with 12 points) at fifth spot. SRH are at sixth spot with 10 points but an inferior net run rate.

Warner played like he had a few scores to settle against his former team that had unceremoniously dumped him after removing him as captain midway through the 2021 season. He played some brilliant shots and blasted 12 fours and three sixes in his 58-ball unbeaten 92.

He shared a 48-run partnership with skipper Rishabh Pant, who scored a 16-ball 26 -- majority of those runs coming one over of Kartik Tyagi in which he scored three fours and one six before dragging the ball onto his stumps off the last delivery of that over.

Warner, however, continued to torment Sunrisers as he completed his half-century off 34 balls, with a four off Kartik Tyagi. He thrived on the bowling, chose the balls well, and found the gaps to score 12 boundaries. It was a superb display of controlled aggression.

He hammered Umran Malik for two successive fours and a superb six in the fourth over, the over costing Sunrisers 21 runs as the J&K bowler did not help his cause by bowling a couple of wides, one of which beat the keeper to the boundary. He smashed Aiden Markram for a six -- the 400th for Warner in all T20 matches, planting his front foot down and launching the ball over long-on. He also struck Tyagi for fours off successive deliveries in the sixth over -- the second one a brilliant off-drive on a delivery bowled full and outside off.

He also struck Tyagi for fours off successive deliveries in the sixth over -- the second one a brilliant off-drive on a delivery bowled full and outside off.

While Warner was looking for gaps and placing his shots well, Powell was not bothered about such niceties. He dealt with power and power alone as he blazed to 67 off just 35 deliveries.

He struck Shreyas Gopal for a six in his second over and then hammered Abbott for sixes off successive balls in the 17th over. He blasted Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Kartik Tyagi for a six each and then struck Umran Malik for three fours in a row after a six off the first delivery of the 20th over.

Malik was carted around by both Warner and Powell as he conceded 52 runs in his four overs while Shreyas Gopal was blasted for 37 off three. Bhuvneshwar Kumar was the best Sunrisers bowler on Thursday as he finished with 1/25 off four overs.

Brief scores: Delhi Capitals 207/3 in 20 overs (David Warner 92 not out, Rishabh Pant 26, Rovman Powell 67 not out; Bhuvneshwar Kumar 1/25) beat Sunrisers Hyderabad 186/8 in 20 overs (Nicholas Pooran 62, Aiden Markram 42, Rahul Tripathi 22; Khaleel Ahmed 3/30, Shardul Thakur 2/44).


Fri, 06 May 2022 09:13:48 +0530
India embarking on world s largest film restoration project Anurag Thakur

New Delhi/Pune, May 6

Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur announced on Thursday that India is embarking on the world's largest film restoration project under the National Film Heritage Mission (NFHM) with a budget of Rs 363 crore.

The restoration project, awarded on May 4, is set to begin in full swing at the National Film Archive of India (NFAI).

Under the NFHM, approximately 2,200 films will undergo restoration. The titles have been shortlisted by language wise committees consisting of filmmakers, documentary filmmakers, film historians and producers, with members comprising eminent film personalities such as Aparna Sen, Shriram Raghavan, Anjali Menon and Vetrimaaran.

"The NFHM in addition to restoration also involves the on-going preservation processes of film condition assessment, preventive conservation and digitisation, with the total allocated budget of Rs 597 crore, which is one of the world's largest film preservation missions," Thakur said.

Indian cinema, which has been in existence for more than a century now, holds a very unique place in the pantheon of world cinema. The restoration of Indian films will once again give a chance to the current and future generations to relive the glory of these films which have enamored audiences for decades, he added.

In the interim, the NFAI undertook restoration of 10 prestigious Satyajit Ray films which will be subsequently showcased at various International Film Festivals. Of this, "Pratidwandi" has been selected to premiere in the Cannes Classics Section in its 2022 edition.

The restored version of G. Aravindan's 1978 Malayalam film "Thampi", which will be showcased at Restoration World Premieres in Cannes by Film Heritage foundation, is also being collaborated for preservation with the NFAI.

Beyond Satyajit Ray films, feature films as diverse as "Neelakuyil" (Malayalam) and "Do Aakhein Barah Haath" (Hindi) will also be covered. Extremely important shorts and documentaries from the collection of the NFAI, Films Division and other rare materials, including pre independence, will also be restored as they capture the growth of India like no other.

The process involves frame-to-frame digital and semi-automated manual picture and sound restoration from the best surviving source material. The source negative/print will be scanned at 4K to dpx files, which will be then digitally restored.

The damages including scratches, dirt and abrasions in every frame of the picture negative will be cleaned during the restoration process. The sound was also restored in a process similar to the picture restoration procedure. The numerous pops, hisses, crackles and distortions on the sound negative will be digitally removed. After restoration, the digital picture files will be colour graded (DI process) and balanced to achieve the look of the film at the time of the original release.


Fri, 06 May 2022 09:05:29 +0530
India calls for international cooperation on energy crisis from Ukraine war

United Nations, May 6

While welcoming a high-level UN panel's recommendation to exempt the food purchases by the World Food Programme (WFP) from export restrictions, India has called for international cooperation to face the looming energy crisis sparked by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Warning at the Security Council's meeting on Ukraine on Thursday that "the conflict is having destabilising effect with broader regional and global implications", India's Permanent Representative T. S. Tirumurti pointed out that "oil prices are skyrocketing and there is shortage of food grains and fertilisers" disproportionately impacting the developing countries.

"Energy security is equally a serious concern and needs to be addressed through cooperative efforts", he said.

He acknowledged the recommendation of the Global Crisis Response Group (GCRG) headed by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to exempt from export restrictions the humanitarian purchases of food by the World Food Programme.

But he said that it was important to extend similar exemptions to all member states and stakeholders, "who are contributing to this global humanitarian effort", he said.

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) limits how much countries like India where the government purchases food at support prices can export.

The GCRG recommended last month exempting WFP food purchases from WTO restrictions and making it formal at the WTO ministerial meeting in June.

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said, "We need quick and decisive action to ensure a steady flow of food and energy in open markets, by lifting export restrictions, allocating surpluses and reserves to those who need them, and addressing food price increases to calm market volatility".

While many countries are facing a food crisis because the conflict in Ukraine has disrupted the supplies from that country and Russia, which together account for an estimated 30 per cent of global wheat exports.

Tirumurti said India "has strongly condemned the killing of civilians in Bucha and supported the call for an independent investigation".

But that and reaffirming the commitment to the "UN Charter, international law and respect for sovereignty and the territorial integrity of states" were the limits of implied criticisms of Moscow that did not name Russia.

Reiterating New Delhi's neutrality, Tirumurti said, "India remains on the side of peace and therefore believes that there will be no winning sides in this conflict and while those impacted by this conflict will continue to suffer, diplomacy will be a lasting casualty."

He said that India welcomed Guterres's visit to Moscow and Kiev for meetings with the leaders of the two countries.

Guterres briefed the Council on his meetings with Presidents Vladimir Putin of Russia and Voldomyr Zelensky of Ukraine.

He said that he did not "mince words" in his meetings with them: "Russia's invasion of Ukraine is a violation of its territorial integrity and of the Charter of the United Nations (and) it must end for the sake of the people of Ukraine, Russia, and the entire world".

Of the one notable success of the world organisation in the Ukraine conflict, he said that he had emphasised to Putin the need for humanitarian evacuations and Russia agreed to it.

In two evacuations that have been completed 480 people have been brought out of Mariupol and another evacuation is underway, he said.

"It is good to know that even in these times of hyper-communications, silent diplomacy is still possible and is sometimes the only effective way to produce results," he said.

Tirumurti praised the UN evacuation of civilians from Mariupol and said, "We hope these efforts will extend to other areas as well."

The GCRG was set up by Guterres to deal with the international fallout of the conflict.

The steering committee of the GCRG includes Under-Secretary-General Atul Khare and heads of several international organisations including the World Bank, WTO and the International Monetary Fund.

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is designated as one of the six "Champions of Global Crisis Response Group."


Fri, 06 May 2022 08:57:53 +0530
Panel recommends 2 nominated members from Kashmiri migrant community for J K Assembly

Jammu, May 6

A day before the expiry of its term, the delimitation commission finalised its report recommending 90 Assembly constituencies and two nominated members of the Kashmiri migrant community for Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly.

In a significant development, the commission has recommended two nominated members (one of them a female) from the Kashmiri migrant community who will be given power at par with nominated members of the Legislative Assembly of Puducherry where the nominated members have the right to vote.

The delimitation commission was headed by Justice (Retired) Ranjana Prakash Desai and comprised Chief Election Commissioner (CEC), Sushil Chandra and State Election Commissioner (SEC), K.K. Sharma.

The commission has finally recommended 90 Assembly constituencies, changed names of some constituencies and shifted a few Tehsils and Patwar Halqas from one segment to another, and made a significant recommendation for nomination of two Kashmiri migrants including a woman to the Legislative Assembly.

For the refugees of Pakistan occupied Jammu and Kashmir (PoJK), the commission has recommended that the central government may consider giving these displaced persons some representation in the Assembly by way of nomination of their representatives.

Nine constituencies have been reserved for Scheduled Tribes (STs) and seven for Scheduled Castes (SC). All seven SC reserved seats fall in the Jammu division while out of nine constituencies reserved for STs, six are in Jammu region and three in Kashmir division.

Gulabgarh (Reasi district), Rajouri, Budhal and Thanna Mandi (Rajouri district), Surankote and Mendhar (Poonch district) in Jammu region while AGurez (Bandipora), Kangan (Ganderbal) and Kokernag (Anantnag) district in Kashmir division have been reserved for ST candidates.

Ramnagar (Udhampur district), Kathua (Kathua district), Ramgarh (Samba), Bishnah, Suchetgarh, Marh and Akhnoor (Jammu district), all in Jammu region have been reserved for SC candidates.

The commission has given 47 Assembly seats to Kashmir division, increase of one seat and 43 constituencies to Jammu region, increase of six seats as compared to the last assembly which was dissolved in 2018.

After draft proposals, the commission conducted final round of internal meetings to examine suggestions and changed names of some constituencies including Padder as Padder-Nagseni (Kishtwar district), Kathua North as Jasrota, Kathua South as Kathua (Kathua district), Khour as Chhamb (Jammu district), Mahore as Gulabgarh (Reasi district) and Darhal as Budhal (Rajouri district) in Jammu region.

In Kashmir division, Tangmarg constituency has been renamed as Gulmarg, Zoonimar as Zadibal and Sonwar as Lal Chowk.

The commission accepted representations pertaining to shifting of tehsils from one constituency to another.

In Jammu division, Darhal tehsil has been shifted from Budhal Assembly segment to Thanna Mandi while in Kashmir Srigufwara tehsil has been shifted from Pahalgam to Bijbehara, Kwarhama and Kunzar tehsils to Gulmarg and redrawing Wagoora-Kreeri Assembly seat having Kareeri and Khole tehsils and part of Wagoora and Tangmarg tehsils.

For the first time, nine seats have been reserved for ST candidates, six in Jammu and three in the Valley. Seven seats have been reserved for SC candidates as was the case in the previous Assembly as well.

The commission has redrawn the Anantnag Parliamentary constituency in Kashmir by adding Rajouri and Poonch Assembly seats to it those fall in Jammu region. There are five Parliamentary constituencies in the Union Territory with each having 18 Assembly seats.

Five Parliamentary seats include Baramulla, Srinagar, Anantnag-Rajouri, Udhampur and Jammu. None of them is reserved either for SCs or for STs.

"The commission has seen the Jammu and Kashmir region as one single Union Territory. Therefore, one of the Parliamentary constituencies has been carved out combining Anantnag region in the Valley and Rajouri and Poonch of Jammu region. By this reorganisation, each Parliamentary constituency will have an equal number of 18 Assembly constituencies," the statement issued by the commission said.

The commission visited the Union Territory twice during which it interacted with delegations as well as officials.

"The peculiar geo-cultural landscape of the Union Territory presented unique issues arising due to factors like competing political aspirations of the geographically and culturally distinctive regions," it added.

The Commission associated in its work, five members of Lok Sabha elected from the UT of Jammu and Kashmir. These Associate Members were nominated by the Speaker of the Lok Sabha.

The number of seats to be reserved for the SCs and STs in the Assembly was worked out on the basis of 2011 Census.

Earlier, the Constitution of erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir state did not provide for reservation of seats for the Scheduled Tribes in the Assembly.


Fri, 06 May 2022 08:45:09 +0530
Aromas of Andhra

New Delhi, May 5

Aromatic and diverse cuisine from Andhra Pradesh will take centre stage at Seasonal Tastes, the award-winning international cuisine all-day diner at The Westin Gurgaon, New Delhi, from May 4-14, 2022. Guests are invited to be immersed in a culinary adventure of authentic Andhra cuisine at the 10-day long festival "Aromas of Andhra" which promises to bring alive the complexity of flavours inspired by the land of Kohinoor.

Savour an array of exquisite flavours expertly created by the team of culinarians at the hotel along with guest chef Raghavender Sirisala, who has flown in from Andhra Pradesh, for the festival. Rich in diverse gastronomic history, Andhra cuisine is as diverse as its people, spread in varied topological regions; known for tangy, hot flavours with a spicy edge. The food is known for the use of strong spices like Guntur, which is a fiery red chilli used in most preparations of this cuisine.

Chef Anurudh Khanna, Multi-Property Executive Chef for The Westin Gurgaon, New Delhi, and The Westin Sohna Resort and Spa, said, "Every cuisine has something unique to offer, and when it comes to carving out the culinary heritage of Andhra cuisine, it is no less than a treasure trove of an amazing amalgamation of simple spices, rice, jaggery and herbs."

The traditional non-vegetarian signature dishes at the festival will include Gongura Mamsam (Gongura Mutton), Kodi Vepudu (Chicken Fry), and Royyala Vepudu (Prawn Fry), Nelloru Chapala Pulusu (Tangy Fish Curry) and much more. Vegetarians can feast on delicacies such as Mokkajonna Gaarelu (Corn Fritters), Guttu Vankaya (Stuffed Brinjal), Berakaya Jedi Pappu Kura (Ridgegourd and Cashewnut Curry) accompanied by Bangala Dumpa Vepudu (Potato Stir fry), Tamata Pappu (Tomato Dal) and Nimmakaya Annam (Lemon Rice). End the meal on a sweet note with traditional desserts like Boorelu (Lentil Jaggery Stuffed Dumplings) and Semiya Payasam (Vermicelli Kheer)

The Andhra food festival offerings can be enjoyed as part of the buffet at Seasonal Tastes daily for lunch from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. and dinner from 7 to 11:30 p.m.

* When: Every day, May 4-14, 2022

* Where: Seasonal tastes at The Westin Gurgaon, New Delhi

* Available for lunch and dinner buffet

* For reservations and queries please call us at +91 72900 13905

Thu, 05 May 2022 19:52:25 +0530
Rezangla Anthem celebrates valour of 1962 war heroes

Mumbai, May 5

The Rezangla Anthem was launched at the Rezangla War Memorial to pay a special tribute to the braveheart war veterans of the Indian Army at Rezang La as it marked the close of the first Ladakh International Music Festival that began on April 30.

Conceptualised by Sushil Chaudhary and composed by music composer Joi Barua and his band, the anthem was sung by Joi Barua. The anthem presents a heartfelt tribute signifying the courage of the Param Vir Chakra decorated officer Major Shaitan Singh and his men, who faced the Chinese army at the Rezang La Pass during the 1962 India-China war.

The anthem, shot in metaverse/VR format, was launched by Corps Commander Lt Gen Anindya Sengupta. Major Gen Akash Kaushik, Chief of Staff, Fire & Fury Corps, Major General Abhinay Rai, General Officer Commanding, Uniform Force and Bollywood actor Darshan Kumaar and other dignitaries graced the event.

Addressing the crowd, Lt Gen Sengupta said "On behalf of Uniform force, 114 Brigade, 22 JAK RIF, the other units here, the brave jawans of the Fire and Fury Corps, JCO, respected officers and on behalf of the officers in and around Chusul and all those present here with us. I congratulate Joi Barua and his band for performing such a revered song on this precious land, based on the 60-year-old war."

He further mentioned, "This song is an honest composition that comes out straight from the heart. We dedicate this entire festival to the 114 bravehearts who gave their lives 60 years ago. In their memory we conducted a programme in November last year as well, at the memorial which was inaugurated by the Hon'ble Defence Minister."

He shared that he is hopeful that the anthem will add to the spirit of the men in uniform who work tirelessly and with utmost diligence, "Today, 6 months later, here we are yet again on this sacred land, this time launching the anthem dedicated to the soldiers of the 1962 war who sacrificed their lives to protect the borders of the country. We are immensely proud and happy that even today we are protecting this region with the same spirit of bravery and vigour like our ancestors did. And I am very hopeful that this anthem composed by Joi Barua and his band will add to this zealous spirit."

The first Ladakh International Music Festival registered a humongous response as it brought together the Indian Army, rock bands such as Indian Ocean, Parashara and others and local music talent.

Bollywood actors Richa Chadha and Darshan Kumaar were also the special guests during the festival held at Sonam Wangchuk Stadium, Leh.

Lt Gen Sengupta further added, "To perform and sing at such a high altitude, above 15,000 feet is not an easy task. Something like this has happened for the very first time in such a region. And I have to thank Picturetime, Sky2ocean and the whole team who made the entire festival (Ladakh International Music Festival) held in Leh and Rezang La a huge success. I have full faith that through such entertainment events and programmes, the story of our bravehearts will travel all the more and reach people's hearts.

Thu, 05 May 2022 19:45:45 +0530
Indian consumer brands set to hike prices by 5 7 amid shipments delays

New Delhi, May 5

Consumer electronics manufacturers on Thursday said that owing to hike in raw material costs and shipment delays amid lockdowns in China, they have no option but to increase prices of consumer goods by 5-7 per cent soon for the Indian consumers.

The electronics industry worldwide continues to face raw material shortage given the ongoing Covid situation in China.

"In the near future, we do see a grim scenario in India if the current, 4-5 weeks delay in shipments continues," Avneet Singh Marwah, CEO of Super Plastronics Pvt. Ltd (SPPL), said.

"The shortage of raw materials has caused major instability in prices and as a company, we will also have to hike our prices by 5-7 per cent," he added.

Smartphones, laptops, TVs, ACs as well as imported watches are set to get costlier. Industry experts said prices of these consumer goods could even go up to 10 per cent.

According to Anand Dubey, CEO, Indkal Technologies Pvt Ltd, since the pandemic started, the industry has been experiencing issues in the supply chain.

"The Russia-Ukraine war has only aggravated the problem as these countries are two of the largest producers of key minerals used in the manufacturing of chips," Dubey said.

"In fact, a prolonged period of war could result in further distress and complexities. While we have been taking many tactical measures to keep a check on the price impact of all these issues, it remains a challenge to sustain current prices," Dubey added.

The electronics sector has already been raising prices by 2-3 per cent every quarter owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.

With supply chain disruptions, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies have also been forced to increase the prices of daily-use products.

Lockdowns in China have delayed shipments across industries and consumer electronics has taken the maximum hit.

In June and July, India will see major annual sales being held by e-commerce platforms.

Experts are worried that the ongoing crisis can even spill over to the festive sales season.

"This will definitely hit the overall demand for the sector as India is a price-sensitive market. Until stability is brought about, the end consumer will continue to see a rise in price of most products," said Marwah of SPPL, an exclusive brand licensee of THOMSON in the country.

Thu, 05 May 2022 19:40:57 +0530
India own semiconductor consumption to cross 80 bn by 2026

New Delhi May 5

In this technologically connected world, semiconductors play a pivotal role. To give a boost to this particular sector, India recently hosted a big conference. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India's own consumption of semiconductors is expected to cross $80 billion by 2026 and $110 billion by 2030.

"We are investing heavily in skilling and training young Indians for the needs of the 21st century. We have an exceptional semiconductor design talent pool which makes up to 20 per cent of the world's semiconductor design engineers. Almost all of the top 25 semiconductor design companies have their design or R&D centres in our country," he said at the Semicon India Conference.

"Our 'Production Linked Incentives' schemes offer incentives of over $26 billion in 14 key sectors. Over the next 5 years, the electronics manufacturing sector is expected to see record growth. We recently announced Semi-con India Programme with a total outlay of over $10 billion. This programme aims to provide financial support to companies investing in semiconductors, display manufacturing and design ecosystem. We are aware that in order for a semiconductor ecosystem to flourish, it is necessary to ensure adequate support from the Government. Allow me to put our approach in the language of semiconductors itself."

"While the industry works hard, the government must work even harder. I would like to assure you that we will continue to support the industry in future as well. We have taken care to see that the Semi-con India programme addresses various parts of the ecosystem such as semiconductor fab, display fab, design, assembly, test, marking and packaging of semiconductors," he added.

The purpose of the three-day Semicon India conference is to kickstart India's ambition in becoming the global electronics and semiconductor design and manufacturing hub.

Minister of State for Electronics & Information Technology and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship Rajeev Chandrasekhar, in his concluding remarks, said: "These past 3 days have been supercharged, full of energy and brought many promises. Our mission is to bring Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of making India a major player in global semiconductor supply chain. The technology ecosystem leading India into the next wave digital innovation will only be possible with all stakeholders coming together and working relentlessly so that soon we will be able to proudly announce 'India Inside' in every ubiquitous technology product."

IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said the government has received many applications under the Semiconductor India Programme (PLI scheme) and expected the process to take about 15-18 months to complete.

The minister, while addressing the Semicon India 2022 conference in Bengaluru, said by April or May next year, there will be good news for the nation.

"We understand that many countries are offering incentives. But what we offer, along with substantial incentives, is a commitment to create and augment our talent pool by 85,000 semiconductor professionals over the next ten years. These will be industry-ready professionals and we have already tied up with global institutions," he said.

So far India has received investment proposals from five global Semicon majors to set up semiconductor fab and display fab locally in India. The proposals received so far are to the tune of $20.5 billion in the greenfield segment of display and semiconductor chip manufacturing.

Largest semiconductor display equipment manufacturer in the world, Applied Materials, announced to invest Rs 1,800 crore in India. The company has acquired a large land parcel in Bengaluru, to set up the proposed manufacturing facility.

"Today, semiconductors are an essential part of the DNA of new age gadgets spanning smartphones, laptops, and cars. The post-covid demand growth across sectors has created a sudden splurge in demand for semiconductors which is another supply chain constraint that automotive manufacturers need to prioritize and address," said Vinay Raghunath, EY India Consulting AMI Leader in an earlier report.

Semiconductor manufacturing is a complex global intertwined ecosystem, which has led to a supply chain that is vulnerable to macroeconomics, geopolitics and natural disasters. Semiconductor companies operate in many different countries and jurisdictions, and each of them have country-specific as well as international laws relating to health and environment regulations.

As the manufacturing process is complex and the ecosystem of players so diverse, there is a flurry of business models with companies targeting scale through market leadership or specialization, the EY stated.

The semiconductor manufacturing process requires very unique, and sometimes scarce raw materials and chemical substances. Due to their unique and specialized character, these tend not to be widely available and can sometimes only be mined in conflict areas. Any disturbance in the supply of these materials has immediate effects on production.

Thu, 05 May 2022 19:37:33 +0530
Acute food crisis affected 193 mn people in 2021 Report

New Delhi, May 5

A record 193 million people in 53 countries faced acute food crises in 2021, which is 40 million more than the number of people who went without enough food in 2020, finds a new report.

The report by the Global Network Against Food Crises (GNAFC) classified about 570,000 people in Ethiopia, southern Madagascar, South Sudan, and Yemen in the most severe phase of acute food insecurity, "catastrophe" phase 5.

These required urgent action to avert widespread collapse of livelihoods, starvation and death.

The GNAFC is an international alliance of the UN, the European Union, governmental and non-governmental agencies working to tackle food crises together.

"Acute hunger is soaring to unprecedented levels and the global situation just keeps on getting worse," said David Beasley, Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP), in a statement.

The report identified conflict as the main driver behind rising acute food insecurity in 2021. This pushed 139 million people in 24 countries/territories into acute food insecurity, up from around 99 million in 23 countries/territories in 2020.

Other key drivers include weather extremes - over 23 million people in 8 countries/territories, up from 15.7 million in 15 countries/territories; and economic shocks - over 30 million people in 21 countries/territories, down from over 40 million people in 17 countries/territories in 2020 mainly due to the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic.

"We are facing hunger on an unprecedented scale, food prices have never been higher, and millions of lives and livelihoods are hanging in the balance," UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres wrote in the Foreword of the GNAFC report.

"The war in Ukraine is supercharging a three-dimensional crisis - food, energy and finance - with devastating impacts on the world's most vulnerable people, countries and economies," he added.

He noted this comes at a time when developing countries are already struggling with cascading challenges such as "the Covid-19 pandemic, the climate crisis, and inadequate resources".

The report's findings demonstrate the need for a greater prioritisation of smallholder agriculture as a frontline humanitarian response.

Furthermore, it advocates for promoting structural changes to current external financing, to reduce humanitarian assistance over time through longer-term development investments, which can help tackle the root causes of hunger. In parallel, humanitarian assistance must be provided more efficiently and sustainably.

Thu, 05 May 2022 19:33:05 +0530
4 Punjab based terror suspects arrested from toll plaza near Karnal

Chandigarh, May 5

Haryana Police on Thursday claimed to have foiled a major terror attack bid with the arrest of four �highly radicalised Punjab-based terrorists, who were in touch with Pakistans Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), from the Bastara toll plaza in Karnal in a joint operation with their Punjab counterparts and Central security agencies.

A large cache of arms, ammunition and explosives were seized from their possession. The accused persons were going to deliver the explosives at Adilabad in Telangana, the police said.

Besides key accused Gurpreet Singh, who had met Rajbir Singh, an associate of Pakistan-based handler Harjinder Singh Rinda, in jail, the other suspects have been identified as Bhupinder Singh, Amandeep Singh and Parminder Singh, all from Punjab.

They were arrested from the toll plaza when they were on their way to Delhi in a white Toyota Innova.

As per the police, the four suspects were in touch with Rinda. Earlier, the terrorists supplied IEDs twice at Nanded in Maharashtra.

Additional Director General of Police (law and order), Sandeep Khirwar, said the police have recovered three IEDs, one Pakistan-made pistol, 31 cartridges and Rs 1.30 lakh in cash from the arrested persons.

Officials said the weapons were air-dropped using a drone at the behest of Rinda in Ferozepur, Punjab. During interrogation, Gurpreet confessed that they received the explosives from across the border.

Superintendent of Police, Ganga Ram Punia, told the media that the terrorists were in regular touch with their handlers in Pakistan who sent locations to them to deliver explosives and weapons.

According to forensic experts, each box carried a timer, a detonator and a battery. The detonator and timer were connected to the IEDs but they were not power connected yet.

While Gurpreet Singh, Amandeep Singh and Parminder Singh are residents of Ferozepur, Bhupinder Singh is from Ludhiana.

Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij said the explosives were supplied to the accused by Rinda using drones and they had to deliver them at Adilabad in Telangana.

He said the case is being investigated and more information will be revealed after the inquiry is completed.

A case under the relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and Arms Act has been registered against the accused at the Madhuban police station in Karnal.

Thu, 05 May 2022 19:28:16 +0530
Surat Grishma murder accused sentenced to death

Ahmedabad, May 5

A sessions court in Surat on Thursday awarded the death sentence to Fenil Pankajbhai Goyani, who was held guilty and convicted in April this year for the murder of Grishma Nandlal Vekaria. The court described the crime as the 'rarest of rare'.

The trial in the case started on February 28 this year. A total of 105 witnesses were examined and the trial ended on April 5.

The government appointed Nayan Sukhadwala as the public prosecutor. The court proceedings were conducted by District Judge, Vimal K. Vyas, Principal District and Sessions Judge, Sessions Court, Surat. And the accused was declared guilty on April 21 this year as per section 302, 307, 354 (d) (1) (I), 342, 506 (2) of IPC.

The 21-year-old girl Grishma Nandlal Vekaria, living in Laxmidham Society, was stabbed to death by accused Fenil Pankajbhai Goyani, in public at Pasodra in Surat village on February 12 this year. The girl's brother Dhruv Nandlal Vekaria and uncle Subhashbhai were also seriously injured by the accused. As soon as the incident was reported to the police, the police immediately rushed to the spot and arrested the accused. A video of the incident also went viral on social and news media. This incident was condemned by citizens from all over the state.

After the murder, the Home Department immediately constituted a SIT consisting of a DYSP level officer and 7 other officers to investigate the crime. The SIT collected oral, documentary, scientific, co-operative and electronic evidence and released a total of 2500 pages of charge sheet in just five days after detaining the accused. In this charge sheet, 27 eyewitnesses were listed and a total of 190 witnesses were examined. 62 articles were recovered.

Home Minister Harsh Sanghavi appreciated the police and court proceedings and said that the state government will never spare the perpetrators of such heinous crimes in Gujarat. "My promise to Grishma's parents to get speedy justice has been fulfilled now. The state government will take this fight forward as a result of the justice received in this incident. If any crime is committed in Gujarat, the state government will always strive to give strict punishment to the perpetrators and justice to the victims. The state government will work hard to work out a new strategy to prevent such incidents in the near future," he said.


Thu, 05 May 2022 19:24:32 +0530
Cardiologist is CPI M s pick for Thrikkakara bypoll

Kochi, May 5

Kerala's ruling CPI-M on Thursday cleared the air over its May 31 Thrikkakara Assembly bypoll candidate but sprung a suprise by selecting interventional cardiologist Joe Joseph.

The 41-year-old popular cardiologist, presently working at a premier private hospital, here, is extremely popular in the district.

Announcing the decision, top CPI-M leader and Left Democratic Front convenor E.P.Jayarajan said: "He will be contesting on our symbol and victory is just a formality. We are surely going to win hands down. The people are with us and that's how we were able to increase our tally from 91 seats in 2016 to 99 seats in the 2021 Assembly polls."

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, people were taken aback in the Thrikkakara constituency when the name of young CPI-M leader K.S.Arunkumar which was being written on the walls as the CPI-M candidate was suddenly stopped.

State Industries Minister P.Rajeev slammed the media for naming Arunkumar as their candidate when there no was no discussion on it.

The bypoll was necessitated after 71-year-old P.T. Thomas passed away on December 22 last year.

On Monday, the Congress announced his widow Uma Thomas as the candidate who has already hit the campaign trail.

Thomas had won a second straight win in the April 2021 and increased his margin as compared to what he got in 2016.

Meanwhile, the BJP is yet to announce their candidate, likewise APP and Twenty 20 are also finalising theirs and will be announced soon.

Thu, 05 May 2022 19:19:36 +0530
World lost nearly 1 5 crore excess lives due to Covid WHO

Geneva, May 5

Worldwide about 1.49 crore excess lives were lost due to Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021, new estimates from the World Health Organization (WHO) revealed on Thursday.

Excess deaths -the difference between the number of recorded deaths from all causes and the number expected based on past trends - are a key measure of the true full death toll of the pandemic.

While just 10 countries had 68 per cent of excess deaths, South-East Asia, Europe, and the Americas together accounted for most of the excess deaths (84 per cent).

Of the total deaths, middle-income countries accounted for 81 per cent, lower-middle-income countries for 53 per cent and upper-middle-income countries 28 per cent over the 24-month period. High-income and low-income countries each accounted for 15 per cent and 4 per cent, respectively.

"These sobering data not only points to the impact of the pandemic but also to the need for all countries to invest in more resilient health systems that can sustain essential health services during crises, including stronger health information systems," said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, in a statement.

The estimates also confirm that the global death toll was higher for men (57 per cent) than for women (43 per cent) and higher among older adults.

In March, an analysis published in The Lancet showed that the global Covid-19 death toll may be more than three times higher than what the official pandemic death records suggest.

According to official Covid death records, 0.59 crore people died between January 1, 2020, and December 31, 2021. But the new study estimated 1.82 crore excess deaths occurred over the same period, and India alone accounted for an estimated 22 per cent of the global total deaths.

"Measurement of excess mortality is an essential component to understand the impact of the pandemic. Shifts in mortality trends provide decision-makers information to guide policies to reduce mortality and effectively prevent future crises. Because of limited investments in data systems in many countries, the true extent of excess mortality often remains hidden," said Dr Samira Asma, Assistant Director-General for Data, Analytics and Delivery at WHO, in the statement.

"These new estimates use the best available data and have been produced using a robust methodology and a completely transparent approach," she added.

Thu, 05 May 2022 19:15:50 +0530
Assam woman cop arrests own fiance on fraud charges

Guwahati, May 5

An Assam Police official in Nagaon district on Thursday arrested her own fiance on fraud charges, police said.

Police said that Junmoni Rabha, who is serving as a Sub-Inspector in Nagaon, came to know about alleged crimes committed by Rana Pogag, filed an FIR herself, and arrested him, a police official said, adding that the accused had reportedly falsely claimed to be a Public Relations Officer of the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation and allegedly duped many people of lakhs of rupees by promising them to provide jobs in the ONGC.

The police official said that they seized 11 fake seals of ONGC and many incriminating documents including fake identity cards from Pogag's home.

Rabha, while talking to the media, said that she and Pogag had ceremonially got engaged in October last year and planned to hold the marriage ceremony in November this year.

Rabha had hit the headlines in January after a telephonic conversation of her with Bihpuria MLA Amiya Kumar Bhuyan got leaked on social media.


Thu, 05 May 2022 19:13:26 +0530
Another shocker from Andhra dead body carried on bike

Amaravati, May 5

In another shocking incident in Andhra Pradesh, the body of an eight-year-old boy was carried on a motorcycle by his relatives after an ambulance driver refused to carry the same.

The incident occurred in Nellore district on Wednesday and came to light on Thursday after a video went viral on social media.

A person is seen sitting pillion on the bike with the boy's body in his lap. They alleged that the driver of 108 ambulance refused to carry the body citing rules while 'Mahaprasthanam' vehicle meant to carry bodies to crematorium was not available.

Sriram and Ishwar (10) accidentally drowned in the main canal of Kanigiri reservoir on Wednesday. While Ishwar's body was taken home by his relatives from the canal, Sriram was shifted to a primary health centre, where the doctors declared him dead.

When Sriram's relatives approached 108 ambulance, which is operated free of cost by the government, the driver refused, saying rules do not permit him.

As 'Mahaprasthanam' vehicle was also not available and no other vehicle came forward, the boy's relatives took the body home on bike.

This is the second such incident in the state in 10 days.

On April 25, a man carried the body of his 10-year-old son on a motorbike after the driver of an ambulance at a government-run hospital in Tirupati demanded huge money.

Unable to pay the hefty charges, the man took the body on the two-wheeler to Chitvel in Annamayya district, about 90 km from Tirupati.

The boy had died of ill-health while undergoing treatment at RUIA Government General Hospital.

Ambulance driver at the hospital had demanded Rs 10,000 to transport the body and when the deceased's relatives arranged another ambulance, he did not allow the vehicle at the hospital.

Thu, 05 May 2022 19:06:17 +0530
Two groups clash in Delhi 20 detained

New Delhi, May 5

At least 20 people were detained following a clash between two communities in North East Delhi's Welcome area, police said on Thursday.

A senior police official said that extra force had to be deployed in the area to avoid any additional untoward incidents.

The police received a PCR call about the clash late Wednesday night and reached the spot immediately, according to the official.

"The two groups were playing in park where they had an argument. This soon turned into a scuffle. A lot of people gathered but they were only trying to pacify both the groups. People called the PCR many times thinking it was a riot, but it was nothing like that," the official said, adding the situation was soon brought under control and 20 persons were detained.

A case has been lodged and senior police officials had also patrolled the area.


Thu, 05 May 2022 13:44:25 +0530
Lack of enthusiasm affects BJP preparation for Delhi bypoll

New Delhi, May 5

The lack of enthusiasm among the workers is turning out to be a major challenge for the BJP in the Rajender Nagar Assembly bypoll in the national capital.

The BJP has launched its campaign for the bypoll with a roadshow of party chief J.P. Nadda on April 6 on its foundation day.

The Bypoll for the constituency was necessitated after AAP's Raghav Chadha resigned from Delhi Assembly after he got elected to the Rajya Sabha from Punjab.

Last month the BJP appointed its MLA Ajay Mahawar as the Assembly in-charge for the bypolls and also in-charge of the municipal wards falling in the constituency.

Sources said that not a single meeting called by the BJP to discuss preparation has witnessed hundred per cent attendance.

"In the first proper preparatory meeting of booth level workers of the Assembly constituency more than one third workers did turn up. Similarly, in every meeting minimum 20 to 30 per cent workers did not turn up. In the recent seven wings of the party only 80 per cent workers turned up," a party insider said.

Another party leader said that there are several reasons for this and lack of candidates is one of the main reasons. "As soon as the candidate is announced everything will be in place. In the absence of candidates, workers are showing less interest but will leave no stone unturned after the announcement of a candidate," he said.

The Delhi BJP leadership claimed that the preparation for the bypoll was in full swing and workers were reaching each and every voter. "We have started a door to door campaign under the leadership of our Assembly in-charge Ajay Mahawar. We are holding a small meeting of five to seven people over tea and explaining to them about our development agenda and vision for Delhi and Rajendra Nagar. We have planned to reach out to each voter thrice before the announcement of the candidate," Harish Khurana, Delhi BJP spokesperson said.

Khurana also said that the party has prepared a leaflet to highlight the failure of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Delhi with facts.


Thu, 05 May 2022 13:41:42 +0530
Mentally challanged septuageneraian raped in UP

Shahjahanpur, May 5

In a shocking incident, a 70-year-old mentally challenged woman was allegedly abducted and raped in a village in the Mirzapur area in Uttar Pradesh's Shahjahanpur district.

The woman was found lying unconscious and bleeding in a field by her family members on Wednesday night.

The accused has been arrested.

Additional Superintendent of Police (rural) Sanjiv Bajpai said that when the villagers saw blood stains on the accused's clothes, they caught him and he confessed to his crime.

The woman has been hospitalised and is in a stable condition, the police officer said.


Thu, 05 May 2022 13:37:28 +0530
Two fire incidents in Delhi 5 rescued from factory

New Delhi, May 5

Five labourers were rescued from a factory in Delhi's Narela Industrial area where fire was reported on Thursday, police said.

The national capital witnessed two fire incidents in separate places in the early hours.

According to the fire department the first incident was reported from the Badli area of North-West Delhi where a fire broke out in a factory.

"Fire was in melamine crockery materials in the basement of the factory comprising ground and first floor. We got the call of the incident around 1 a.m. and six fire tenders were rushed to the spot. The fire was brought under control by 2 a.m.," said the fire official. No one was hurt in the incident.

The second case was reported from Outer Delhi's Narela Industrial area where also the fire broke out in a factory. The fire department got a call around 5 a.m. Five fire tenders were rushed to the spot.

'Five labourers were trapped inside the factory. We rescued them safely, the fire was brought under control by 7 a.m.," the official said.

The cause of fire was not yet known in both cases. The police were duly informed and two separate cases were being lodged.


Thu, 05 May 2022 13:34:32 +0530
Internet services suspended in Bhilwara after miscreants attack 2 persons

Jaipur, May 5

Internet services in Rajasthan's Bhilwara district were suspended on Thursday for 24 hours after two persons were attacked by unidentified miscreants and their bike was set ablaze.

The incident was reported in the Sanganer area of Bhilwara on Wednesday night.

Bhilwara district collector Ashish Modi told mediapersons, "Two persons were attacked by unknown miscreants when they were having food and later their bike was set ablaze. We are investigating the matter."

Officials confirmed that the injured are in a stable condition.

Soon after the attack, people demanded quick arrest of attackers. However, after the persuasion of police-administration, the injured were admitted to the district hospital.

Investigations have started and CCTV footage is being checked.

The Bhilwara District Collector further appealed to people not to pay heed to rumours and maintain peace in the area.

To avoid any untoward incident, over 150 personnel of 33 police stations have been deployed in Sanganer area.

Internet services have also been shut down in Jodhpur district in the wake of violence which erupted on the eve of Eid and Parshuram Jayanti.

Thu, 05 May 2022 13:31:49 +0530
Goa s mankurado mango tastes better than Maha s Alphonso CM Sawant

Panaji, May 5

Chief Minister Pramod Sawant figuratively took a dig at the summer pride of Maharashtra, the Alphonso mango, by insisting that the mankurado mango, a native Goan variety, tastes better than its counterpart.

Speaking at an agriculture conference near Panaji, Sawant also said that the Goa government is making efforts to get a GI (Geographical Indication) tagging for the variety of mango, which is unique to Goa.

"GI tagging is important when it comes to farming. We are taking efforts in that direction in Goa. The mankurado mango is a speciality of Goa," Sawant said.

"We all say that the Alphonso mango is popular, but I can say for sure that the mankurado mango is tastier. I can say it with a lot of pride," Sawant said.

The mankurado is one of the most sought after mango varieties in Goa during summer and having a mankurado tree in the yard is regarded as a matter of pride for the homeowner. While the mango itself is fleshy, it contains a lot of fibre, unlike the Alphonso.

But its more local fan following is no match for the global craze which the Alphonso mango has triggered over the years, especially the Devgad and the Ratnagiri variety, whose smooth, creamy flesh forms the base for a variety of mango pulp-based products.

Sawant also said that the state government was also trying to obtain GI tagging for other indigenous produce like chillies originally grown in the Arambol village and brinjals from Taleigao, near Panaji.


Thu, 05 May 2022 13:29:22 +0530
80 temples in TN that are 1 000 years old to be renovated

Chennai, May 5

The Tamil Nadu Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment (HR&CE) department will be renovating 80 temples that are 1,000 years old.

The department Minister P.K. Sekar Babu in a statement on Thursday said that the 'state government was not against the Hindus as was being made out from certain corners for political mileage'.

The minister said that six temples in the state will get Rajagopurams (tower gateways) at a cost of Rs 27.70 crore and added that 'Annadhanams' (donating food) will be introduced in 10 more temples.

The statement said that new Annadhanam halls will be constructed in 14 temples at a cost of Rs 11 crore, and also added that the scheme for providing 'prasadam' to all devotees will be extended to five more temples.

The idols retrieved by the Idol theft wing of the Tamil Nadu Police will be displayed at a mega icon display and cultural centre that is coming up at the land of Kapaleeshwar temple, Chennai. The centre, according to the department, will also have a spiritual library, a mini auditorium, a bookstall and a publication centre.

The department in the statement also said that a mega 'goshala' (cow shelter) would be established at Sundararaja Perumal temple in Kovil Pathagai and an amount of Rs 20 crore was earmarked for this project.

In addition to this, the department would also upgrade 121 existing goshalas at a cost of Rs 20 crore.

Thu, 05 May 2022 13:26:19 +0530
Cross border tunnel found in Jammu plan to disrupt Amarnath Yatra foiled BSF

Jammu, May 5

The Border security force (BSF) said on Thursday that its troops have detected a trans-border tunnel on the International Border in J&K's Samba district, thus foiling designs of Pakistan-based terrorists to disrupt the upcoming Amarnath Yatra.

A BSF spokesman, Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) S.P.S. Sandhu said in a statement, "Denting the nefarious designs of Pakistan, the BSF Jammu detected a cross border tunnel on May 4, 2022 in the area of BOP Chak Faquira opposite samba area."

This is the fifth tunnel detected in less than one and half year, said the BSF.

Sandhu said, "This tunnel detection was the result of rigorous and consistent efforts of BSF troops during a fortnight long anti-tunnelling exercise carried out in this area. This tunnel is freshly dug out and is suspected to be about 150 metres long originating from the Pakistan side.

"With the detection of this tunnel, BSF Jammu has foiled the nefarious designs of Pakistan-based terrorists to disrupt upcoming Amarnath Ji Yatra."

While giving details about the tunnel size, the DIG said, "The tunnel opening is about 2 feet and so far 21 sand bags have been recovered which were used to strengthen the exit of tunnel. Detailed search of the tunnel will be carried out during the day.

"D.K. Boora IG BSF Jammu lauded the devotion and dedication of the BSF troops in detecting this tunnel. This is the fifth tunnel detected in less than one and half years. This showed the evil strategy of the Pakistan establishment to create trouble in India.

"BSF has been always in forefront to safeguard the borders and create sense of security among border population."

He added that the efforts of the BSF will continue further to detect any further possible tunnels".


Thu, 05 May 2022 13:23:48 +0530
Modi meets Macron discusses situation in Ukraine Afghanistan

New Delhi, May 5

Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid visit to France on Wednesday on his way back from the second India-Nordic Summit in Copenhagen.

In Paris, Prime Minister Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron held meeting in one-on-one and delegation level formats where they discussed wide range of issues including situation in Ukraine and Afghanistan.

The two leaders held discussions on the entire range of bilateral issues, including cooperation in defence, space, blue economy, civil nuclear and people-to-people ties.

The two leaders also took stock of the regional and global security outlook and discussed ways to work together in making the India- France Strategic Partnership a force for global good.

The Prime Minister's visit to France "displayed the strong friendship and goodwill not only between the two countries but also between the two leaders".

Prime Minister Modi invited President Macron to visit India at the earliest opportunity.

During meeting, France reiterates its strong condemnation of the unlawful and unprovoked aggression against Ukraine by Russian Forces.

India and France expressed serious concern at the ongoing conflict and humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.

They "unequivocally" condemned civilian deaths in Ukraine and called for an immediate cessation of hostilities to bring parties together to promote dialogue and diplomacy to find an immediate end to the suffering of the people.

Both countries underlined the need to respect UN Charter, international law and the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states.

The two leaders discussed the regional and global implications of the conflict in Ukraine and agreed to intensify coordination on the issue.

Further, India and France express deep concern about the current aggravation of global food security and nutrition, already impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, and especially in developing countries.

"The two countries are committed to enabling a coordinated, multilateral response to address the risk of aggravated food crisis because of the conflict in Ukraine, including through initiatives such as the Food and Agriculture Resilience Mission (FARM), which aims at ensuring well-functioning markets, solidarity and long-term resilience," reads a statement.

On Afghanistan, India and France expressed serious concern on the humanitarian situation and violation of human rights and reiterated strong support for a peaceful, secure and stable Afghanistan, emphasizing respect for its sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity and non-interference in its internal affairs.

They called for an inclusive and representative government, and respect for the rights of women, children and minorities.

Both the countries also reaffirmed the UNSC Resolution 2593 (2021) and emphasised on zero tolerance for the use of Afghan territory for spreading terrorism in other parts of the world, and agreed to work together in this regard, including at the UN Security Council.

They welcomed the ongoing intense cooperation across all defence domains. Joint exercises (Shakti, Varuna, Pegase, Desert Knight, Garuda) illustrate efforts towards better integration and interoperability wherever possible.

Meanwhile, maritime cooperation between India and France has "reached new levels of trust and will continue through exercises, exchanges and joint endeavours throughout the Indian Ocean".


Thu, 05 May 2022 13:19:25 +0530
US Fed raises interest rates by half point sharpest hike in 22 yrs

Washington, May 5

The US Federal Reserve has raised its benchmark interest rate by a half percentage point, marking the sharpest rate hike since 2000, as it takes more aggressive steps to rein in the highest inflation in four decades.

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), the Fed's policy-making body, decided to raise the target range for the federal funds rate to 0.75 to 1 per cent, the Fed said in a statement issued on Wednesday after a two-day policy meeting.

According to the statement, the committee also decided to begin reducing its holdings of Treasury securities and agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities on June 1, reports Xinhua news agency.

"Although overall economic activity edged down in the first quarter, household spending and business fixed investment remained strong," the Fed said. "Job gains have been robust in recent months, and the unemployment rate has declined substantially."

"Inflation remains elevated, reflecting supply and demand imbalances related to the pandemic, higher energy prices, and broader price pressures," the Fed noted, adding that the Russia-Ukraine war and related events are creating "additional upward pressure" on inflation and are likely to weigh on economic activity.

In addition, Covid-19 related lockdowns in China are likely to exacerbate supply chain disruptions, the statement read.

"The Committee is highly attentive to inflation risks," the Fed said.

The Fed usually lifts interest rates by a quarter percentage point, and the newly announced half-percentage-point rate hike, along with imminent move to shrink its $9 trillion balance sheet, would mark a shift to a more aggressive tightening mode.

The Fed's decision was aimed at fighting the surging inflation, as concerns are growing that high inflation would become entrenched.

The Labour Department reported that the US consumer price index (CPI) in March continued to rise at the fastest annual pace in four decades, surging 8.5 per cent from a year earlier. That followed a 7.9 per cent year-on-year gain in February.

US personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index, the Fed's preferred inflation measure, soared by 6.6 per cent in March over the past year, well above the Fed's 2 per cent inflation target, the Commerce Department reported last week.

"The labour market is extremely tight, and inflation is much too high," Fed Chair Jerome Powell said on Wednesday afternoon at a virtual press conference, noting that the Fed is moving "expeditiously" to bring inflation back down.

"There is a broad sense on the committee that additional 50 basis point (interest rate) increases should be on the table at the next couple of meetings," Powell told reporters.

When asked about recession risks, the Fed chair said that "we have a good chance to have a soft or softish landing or outcome", as households and businesses are in strong financial shape, and the labour market is very strong.

Noting that there is imbalance between supply and demand in the labour market, he said its policies would moderate demand, which would help lower job vacancies. With more people coming back to the labour market, supply and demand will come back into balance.

"That would give us a chance to get wages down, and get inflation down, without having to slow the economy and have a recession, and have unemployment rise materially. There is a path to that," he said.

Powell, however, noted that a soft landing is not guaranteed. "But I'll say I do expect that this will be very challenging, it is not going to be easy," he said.


Thu, 05 May 2022 09:42:29 +0530
Review petition in SC against every sinner has a future verdict

New Delhi, May 5

A review petition has been filed in the Supreme Court against its April 19 judgment commuting the death penalty of a man convicted for rape and murder if of a 4-year-old girl.

The top court had commuted the death sentence, saying it is essential to give an opportunity to the offender to repair the damage caused, and to become a socially useful individual, when he is released from the jail.

The review petition has been filed by the mother of the victim through advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava. The plea said: "It is most respectfully submitted that the Petitioner's 3-years and 8-months old innocent daughter also had a future, however, she was deceitfully kidnapped, brutally raped and viciously murdered by the Respondent No.2/Accused in the most brutal, diabolic, cruel, depraved and gruesome manner."

The plea contended that the petitioner and her deceased daughter will only get justice when the death penalty awarded to the accused Mohd Firoz will be restored. "Petitioner is most respectfully praying for the kind review and reconsideration by this court in the interest of justice," added the plea.

The top court commuted the capital punishment of the convict to life imprisonment and in the rape case, reduced his punishment to imprisonment for a period of twenty years instead of life imprisonment.

On April 19, a bench comprising Justices U.U. Lalit, S. Ravindra Bhat, and Bela M. Trivedi said: "Since, Section 376A IPC is also applicable to the facts of the case, considering the gravity and seriousness of the offence, the sentence of imprisonment for the remainder of appellant's natural life would have been an appropriate sentence, however, we are reminded of what Oscar Wilde has said - The only difference between the saint and the sinner is that every saint has a past and every sinner has a future."

The bench added, "One of the basic principles of restorative justice as developed by this Court over the years, also is to give an opportunity to the offender to repair the damage caused, and to become a socially useful individual, when he is released from the jail."

The review petition urged the top court to restore the death penalty originally imposed upon the accused. "The Impugned Judgment further seems to have overlooked that the Sentencing Policy also needs to consider the deterrent effect and that the punishments before all things, must be befitting the nature of crime and deterrent with an explicit aim to make an example out of the evil-doer and a warning to those who are still innocent. There is no gainsaying that the punishment is a reflection of societal morals," added the plea.


Thu, 05 May 2022 09:37:58 +0530
Samsung unveils new microSD card for surveillance dashboard cameras

Seoul, May 5

Samsung Electronics has unveiled its new microSD card, PRO Endurance, which is designed to meet the demands of surveillance cameras, dashboard cameras, doorbell cameras, body cameras and more.

The company has claimed that the 256GB model can deliver up to 16 years (140,160 hours) of continuous recording time to ensure every critical moment is captured.

"From CCTV to doorbell cameras, the need for long-lasting and high-performing video surveillance solutions is continuing to increase, and the PRO Endurance has been designed to support that demand," KyuYoung Lee, Vice President of the Memory Brand Product Biz Team at Samsung Electronics, said in a statement.

"Both consumers and enterprise users can rest assured that our new memory card will ensure continuous recording at high resolution even under extreme conditions," Lee added.

The company said that the card offers improved endurance and outstanding performance for smooth and reliable continuous capture and playback.

Samsung's new memory card also offers read and write speeds of up to 100 megabytes per second (MB/s) and 40 MB/s, respectively, and is rated Class 10 with video speed ratings of up to U3 (UHS Speed Class 3) and V30 (Video Speed Class 30).

The microSD card is available in four different storage capacities of 32GB, 64GB, 128GB and 256GB with the manufacturer's suggested retail prices (MSRP) ranging from $10.99 for the 32GB to $54.99 for the 256GB.


Thu, 05 May 2022 09:31:07 +0530
IPL 2022 What really let Chennai Super Kings down was the batsmanship says MS Dhoni

Pune, May 5

Chennai Super Kings skipper MS Dhoni felt that his side suffered a let down in the batting efforts, causing a 13-run defeat to Royal Challengers Bangalore at MCA Stadium on Wednesday.

In a chase of 174, Chennai began well with 51/0 in power-play and Devon Conway getting 56. But the rest of the batters couldn't do much, falling to slower balls as Chennai were restricted to 160/8.

"We did well to restrict them to 170 runs. What really let us down was the batsmanship. I feel especially when we are chasing, you know what's required on the board and what the bowlers are doing," said Dhoni after the match.

In the last 30 balls, Chennai needed 56 runs but with batters unable to stay at the crease for long, the defending champions fell short of the target. "At times you have to curb your instinct and try to see what the situation is demanding rather than just play your shot. If the batsmanship had been slightly better, maybe in the last few overs we wouldn't have needed many runs," observed Dhoni.

Dhoni admitted that Chennai losing wickets in a heap wasn't ideal at all. "We got off to a good start, we had wickets in hand and the wicket kept getting better. It's just that we kept losing wickets at regular intervals. If you take care of those things, chasing is more about calculation and batting first is more about instinct."

Dhoni signed off by saying that once the processes are right for Chennai, the results will be better reflected on the points table.

"As a batter in the middle, you have to decide on those things. We need to keep looking at what went wrong. It's easy to get distracted by how many points you have. It's the process that matters more than where you are positioned in the points table. If you take care of those things, then the points table will take care of itself."


Thu, 05 May 2022 09:24:14 +0530
Lord Swraj Paul s wife Aruna Paul passes away in London

London, May 5

Lady Aruna Paul, the wife of Lord Swraj Paul of Marylebone, passed away peacefully at her London house on May 3 night. She was 86. The couple was married for 65 years.

Apart from her husband, she is survived by two sons, Akash and Ambar, and daughter Anjli.

Aruna Paul was born in Kolkata and taught at the Loreto House school in the city before she came to London with her husband for their daughter Ambika's medical treatment in the late 1960s.

After the child died, the Pauls settled in the British capital and Lord Paul launched several successful business ventures, including Caparo Steel.

Aruna Paul was a popular figure in the social circles of London, for being an articulate and engaging conversationist. She was a friend of late Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.


Thu, 05 May 2022 09:14:56 +0530
Study confirms airborne transmission of coronavirus

Hyderabad, May 4

A collaborative study by a group of scientists from the CSIR-CCMB, Hyderabad and the CSIR-IMTech, Chandigarh, with hospitals in Hyderabad and Mohali has confirmed the airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2.

The study has been published in the Journal of Aerosol Science.

The exact mechanism of spread of coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 has remained elusive. Earlier thought to spread by surfaces, epidemiologists found that countries where people wore masks in the pandemic were affected less severely. However, quantitative evidence that shows the infectious coronavirus particles in air was lacking.

The scientists analysed the coronavirus' genome content from air samples collected from different areas occupied by Covid-19 patients. These included hospitals, closed rooms in which only Covid-19 patients spent a short period of time, and houses of home-quarantined Covid-19 patients.

They found that the virus could be frequently detected in air around Covid-19 patients and that the positivity rate increased with the number of patients present in the premises. They found the virus in ICU as well as non-ICU sections of hospitals, suggesting that patients shed the virus in air irrespective of the severity of infection. The study also found viable coronavirus in air that could infect living cells, and these viruses could spread over a long range of distance. Scientists still suggest wearing face masks to avoid the spread of coronavirus.

"Our results show that coronavirus can stay in the air for some time in absence of ventilation in closed spaces. We find that the positivity rateof finding the virus in air was 75 per cent when two or more Covid-19 patients were present in a room, in contrast to 15.8 per cent when one or no Covid-19 patients occupied the room in these studies," said Dr Shivranjani Moharir, a scientist involved in the study.

"Our observations are concurrent with previous studies that suggest that the concentration of SARS-CoV-2 RNA is higher in indoor air as compared to outdoor air; and in indoor, it is higher in hospital and healthcare settings that host a larger number of Covid-19 patients, as compared to that in community indoor settings," he added.

"As we are back to conducting in-person activities, air surveillance is a useful means to predict infection potential of spaces like classrooms, meeting halls. This can help refine strategies to control the spread of infections," said Dr Rakesh Mishra, the lead scientist of the work, CSIR Distinguished Emeritus Professor at the CCMB, and Director, Tata Institute for Genetics and Society.

He also added that the air surveillance technique is not just limited to coronavirus but can also be optimised to monitor other air-born infections.


Wed, 04 May 2022 23:09:18 +0530
Indian plastic exports to grow to 25 billion by 2025

New Delhi, May 4

Indian exports of plastics in 2019-20 were at $10 billion, and are expected to reach $25 billion by 2025, Plastindia Foundation President, Jigish Doshi said on Wednesday.

"The current business environment, bolstered by the launch of the government of India's 'Atmanirbhar' movement and 'Vocal for Local' initiative gives an impetus to the plastics industry to grow and provides excellent export opportunities. We are expecting that the exports would reach $25 billion by 2025," he said at an event for unveiling the logo, brochure and the goals of PLASTINDIA 2023 to be held in February 2023 here.

Union Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister, Mansukh L Mandaviya, who unveiled the logo, assured the plastic industry of full support and an enabling environment to further boost its performance and potential.

"The industry is contributing significantly to the economic development of India. We are committed to making the sector Atmanirbhar."

Stating that India is poised to become the plastics processing hub of the world, Doshi said: "The industry that employs about four million people and comprises more than 50,000 processing units, is expected to reach Rs 9.1 lakh crore ($102 billion) by 2025."

Plastindia Foundation said they are committed to work closely with the government and the industry to facilitate growth and to work towards innovative and modern manufacturing techniques that "will be sustainable for the environment and the economy". It claimed that "over the years, the plastics industry has reinvented itself with advanced innovations and developed environment-friendly processing and utilisation techniques that do not affect the environment".

The 10 goals shared by the Plastindia Foundation include, among others, making India the number one destination for manufacturing plastics, creating employment opportunities to empower the economy of the country, to encourage new innovative techniques and to increase the processing capacity of the plastic industry.


Wed, 04 May 2022 23:00:32 +0530
Seeing Satyajit Ray through the lense of Aparajito director Anik Dutta

Mumbai, May

Filmmaker Anik Dutta, who has helmed 'Aparajito', which narrates the story of the struggles of Satyajit Ray during the making of his iconic film 'Pather Panchali', says that the process of revisiting the film and Ray's oeuvre was like his personal route to self-discovery.

Most of Ray's films, because of their socio-political undertones, continue to be relevant in the present time, Dutta added.

'Aparajito' was premiered on Monday evening during the launch of a film festival to mark Ray's birth centenary by the National Museum of Indian Cinema in Mumbai.

'Pather Panchali', completed by Ray in 1955, was one of the milestones for Indian cinema globally. After getting the National Award for Best Feature Film, 'Pather Panchali' went on to bag international honours, including the prize for Best Human Document at Cannes in 1956. Making a film on such an acclaimed film, naturally, was a challenge for Dutta.

In conversation with IANS, Dutta said: "People's expectations started rising from the time they got to know that I was making a film on Manikda (Ray was fondly addressed by this name across Bengal). This is the first time an actor has played Manikda on-screen.

"A lot has been written about and extensive conversations have taken place on 'Pather Panchali', so I have not tried to do anything based on these notes. I have only captured the struggle before the creation of 'Pather Panchali'. Revisiting that struggle was like a path of self-discovery for me."

Dutta, however, hastened to mention that logistically the challenge was nothing compared to what Ray went through to make the film based on Bibhuti Bhushan Bandyopadhyay's novel that captures the grittiness of rural life and a family's attempts to escape from it by migrating to the city.

"I mean it was unthinkable back then to make a film like that because not only was there no financial support, but also technologically we were not that advanced," Dutta said. "Everyone in the film crew was new, so one can find flaws there, but that did not stop us from getting mesmerised by the magic it created on-screen. The frames that captured the beauty of Bengal are pure magic."

On a personal note, the director, who is best known for his critically acclaimed film 'Bhooter Bhabishyat', said: "I hope I have justified being the given the opportunity and the audience will like it because, I repeat, I know the expectations people have from it."

In the film, award-winning popular actor Jeetu Kamal portrays Satyajit Ray. The director says that finding the actor was the most important part of the film.

"Look, I do not believe in God that much, or you could say I am not a religious person," Dutta said. "But if miracles do happen, finding Jeetu was certainly one! Manikda was 6 ft tall and he was quite a handsome man with a unique personality. So, when we first saw Jeetu, my makeup artist Somnath Kundu and I thought of sitting him down for a look test and photoshoot. Jeetu has a physical similarity with Ray."

Dutta continued: "By the time Somnath completed the hair, makeup, dress, everything, and looked at the mirror, he got scared for a moment and called me to the makeup room to point to the uncanny similarity! It was as if Manikda was sitting in front of us!"

This year the world celebrate the 101th birth anniversary of Ray (his birth centenary could not be celebrated with live events because of the Covid-19 pandemic), and most of his films, even after all these years, continue to be relevant.

Commenting on this observation, Dutta said: "Well, he captured the time he was living in, even though all his films are not so-called political dramas, we sense the political undertones in them. Some of them are allegorically political, but those were some of the bolder statements from him.

"A film such as 'Ashani Sanket' was one such film. But you see that even though 'Hirak Rajar Deshe' is a children's film, we know how relevant its message is even now. Ray is evergreen!"


Wed, 04 May 2022 22:49:44 +0530
Ukraine road accident death toll rises to 26

Kiev, May 4

The death toll from a road accident in Ukraine's western Rivne region has risen to 26, the Interior Ministry said on Wednesday.

In a Telegram post, the Ministry added that 12 other people were injured on Tuesday in a collision on the Kiev-Chop highway near the village of Sytne, where a passenger bus with 34 people on board, a minibus and a fuel truck collided and caught fire.

One vehicle attempting to overtake another caused the accident, according to a preliminary investigation, Xinhua news agency reported.

Wed, 04 May 2022 22:35:44 +0530
Pak tunnel detected near International Border in Jammu

Jammu, May 4

A Pakistani tunnel has been detected near the International Border (IB) near the Chak Faquira border outpost in the Samba sector of Jammu, officials said on Wednesday.

"On Tuesday, a special tunnel checking exercise was carried out in the AOR (Area of Responsibility) of Chak Faquira boredr outpost by the BSF. During the exercise, a freshly dug-up tunnel was detected," sources said.

"Based on our inputs obtained through interrogation of terrorist associates involved in the Sunjwan encounter two days before Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Jammu last month, we could identify the pick-up point of terrorists after crossing over from Pakistan in Samba district. This tunnel has been detected today after a long search of two weeks. Possibility of another such tunnel can't be ruled out," the sources in the security set-up added


Wed, 04 May 2022 22:31:10 +0530
3 lakh mothers in Kerala to get trained in cyber safety

Thiruvananthapuram, May 4

Around 3 lakh mothers in Kerala would be provided training in cyber safety from Saturday onwards.

The state government has entrusted the training task to Little KITEs IT Clubs set-up by Kerala Infrastructure and Technology for Education (KITE).

K.Anvar Sadath, CEO, KITE said the cyber safety training would be imparted on a first come-first serve basis, who register in the High Schools which have Little KITE IT Clubs.

"The training programme would be completed within three hours, including five sessions of 30 minutes each. The first session would be an introductory session on new technologies comprising smart phones, internet and its safe usage. The second session would focus on the usage of mobile phones and the safety of passwords such as OTPs and PINs.

The unseen side of news which focuses on identifying fake news, FACTS Checking, and preventing Fake News forms the third session. The fourth session which is titled athe Traps in Internet' will highlight on Cyber attacks and precautions to be taken while undertaking online transactions. The final session takes the participants through Internet-the World with infinite scope," said Sadath.

The training would be conducted in batches of 30 participants which would be led by 4 Little KITES members of that school along with teachers who are KITE Masters.

Training for the state and district level trainers has been completed for 4,000 teachers and 8,000 students and all arrangements have been made for the massive training to be held from May 7 to 20", added Sadath.

It is an attempt to create awareness about the importance of cyber-safety and its secured usage among teachers, students and parents in the present scenario where online systems are expanded to almost all areas.

Wed, 04 May 2022 14:29:42 +0530
How high intensity exercise can benefit fatty liver disease patients

London, May 4

Regular high-intensity interval training (HIIT) exercises such as squats, sprints, and pedalling can improve the treatment of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease by impacting on several metabolic pathways in the body, finds a new study.

A team from the University of Eastern Finland found that regular HIIT exercise over a period of 12 weeks significantly decreased the study participants' fasting glucose and waist circumference, and improved their maximum oxygen consumption rate and maximum achieved workload.

These positive effects were associated with alterations in the abundance of a number of metabolites. In particular, exercise altered amino acid metabolism in adipose tissue, according to the study published in Scientific Reports.

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common liver disease, affecting approximately 25 per cent of the world's population. Being largely asymptomatic, the disease may progress from the accumulation of fat in liver cells to liver inflammation and liver cirrhosis.

NAFLD is associated with obesity and other characteristics of the metabolic syndrome, such as Type 2 diabetes and abnormal blood lipid concentrations. The accumulation of fat in the liver can be reduced by weight loss and a health-promoting diet.

Exercise is an integral part of the treatment of NAFLD. The benefits of exercise may relate not only to weight management, but also to alterations in the metabolites produced by the body and gut microbes, whose role in fatty liver disease remains poorly understood.

The study involved 46 subjects diagnosed with NAFLD, who were divided into an exercise intervention group that had a HIIT session twice a week, plus an independent training session once a week for 12 weeks, and into a control group that did not increase exercise during the study.

The most significant alterations were observed in amino acids and their derivatives, lipids, and bile acids.

The levels of various gut microbial metabolites were also altered as a result of exercise, which is suggestive of changes in the composition of gut microbes, or in their function.

Among these metabolites, an increased amount of indolelactic acid, for example, can strengthen the intestinal mucosa, immune defence, and glucose balance.

Based on the findings, exercise can have a beneficial effect on many factors contributing to disease in patients with NAFLD, even without weight loss and dietary changes, the researchers said. Adipose tissue seems to play a key role in these effects.

Wed, 04 May 2022 14:26:29 +0530
Akshay completes 30 years in cinema YRF celebrates with special Prithviraj poster

Mumbai, May 4

Actor Akshay Kumar has completed 30 years in the Hindi film industry and Yash Raj Films celebrated his special milestone by creating a new 'Prithviraj' poster, which features every single film that the actor has been a part of.

Akshay in a video shared by the production house is heard saying: "It didn't even cross my mind that this activity is happening to celebrate my 30 years in cinema! It's fascinating that 30 years have passed since my first film Saugandh!

"The first shot of my film career was at Ooty and it was an action shot! Thank you very much for this gesture. This is really special."

Akshay's next 'Prithviraj' is based on the life and valour of the fearless and mighty Samrat Prithviraj Chauhan. He is essaying the role of the legendary warrior who fought valiantly against the merciless invader Muhammad of Ghor.

The film has been directed by Dr. Chandraprakash Dwivedi, who is best known for directing the television epic 'Chanakya' and the critically acclaimed film 'Pinjar'. Manushi Chhillar plays the role of King Prithviraj's beloved Sanyogita.

The film is set to release on June 3 in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.

Wed, 04 May 2022 14:23:59 +0530
Tata Technologies offers to set up EV production unit in Punjab

Chandigarh, May 4

In a major initiative aimed at giving fillip to industrial development of the state on one hand and opening new vistas of employment for youth on the other, Tata Technologies on Wednesday offered to set up its ambitious electric vehicle (EV) production centre in Punjab.

A delegation of the Tata technologies called on Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann here at his official residence.

During the deliberations, the delegation comprising Global CEO of Tata Technologies Warren Harris, President Global HR and IT Pawan Bhageria and others evinced keen interest to set up this unit in the state with a current investment of Rs 250 crore and future investment of Rs 1,600 crore.

The delegation said that it would lay thrust on development of MSME in EV segment with a focus on cleaner mobility and creating jobs for the youth in Punjab. The visiting delegation opined that the company will also ensure skill development of youth in the state.

Welcoming the initiative, the Chief Minister assured fulsome support and cooperation to the Tata Technologies for this project.

He said the government is committed to accelerating industrial growth in the state and no stone will be left unturned for this noble cause.

Mann said the government is duty bound to reverse the trend of Punjabi youth going abroad in search of green pastures for their careers by ensuring that best employment opportunities could be created here through such projects.

Pointing out further, the Chief Minister categorically said the state government is already roping in more industrial tycoons from across the country to set up their ventures in the state.

He said Punjab has emerged as the most investment friendly destinations in the country. Mann said that investment friendly policies of state government coupled with hard working, dedicated and skilled Human Resource are a boon for any industrial development.

Meanwhile, it was also decided in the meeting that Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar-based Lamrin Tech Skill University will collaborate with IBM, an anchor partner and with Tata Technologies and Ansys Corporation for a setting up a highend technology labs through Innovation Centre for Education with the investment of Rs 602 crore.

This will help in producing a pool of skilled labour required for industrial houses in the state.


Wed, 04 May 2022 14:20:20 +0530
S Korea s new infections fall below 50k amid lifting of mask mandate

Seoul, May 4

South Korea's new Covid-19 cases fell below 50,000 on Wednesday as the government has lifted the outdoor mask mandate in the latest effort to return to pre-pandemic normalcy amid a downward trend in Covid-19 cases.

The country reported 49,064 new Covid-19 infections, including 29 from overseas, bringing the total caseload to 17,395,791, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

Daily coronavirus infections have been on the downward trend in recent weeks after peaking at 621,171 on March 17, Yonhap news agency reported.

The country added 72 Covid-19 deaths on Wednesday, bringing the total to 23,079, the KDCA said. The fatality rate stood at 0.13 per cent.

The number of critically-ill patients came to 432, slightly up from 417 on Tuesday.

On Monday, the government lifted the outdoor mask mandate after more than 18 months of enforcement, except for large gatherings of 50 or more.

In April, the government also fully lifted private gathering limits and business hour curfews.

But mask wearing is still recommended when it is difficult for people to keep a 1-metre distance from each other at gatherings and in circumstances where lots of droplets of saliva could be expelled such as shouting and singing.

The government also made it clear that indoor mask wearing needs to be in place for the time being.

Of the locally transmitted infections, Seoul reported 7,436 cases and its surrounding Gyeonggi province added 11,670 cases, the KDCA said.

As of midnight Tuesday, 44.55 million people or 86.8 per cent of the population, had been vaccinated with the first two Covid-19 vaccine jabs, and 33.14 million people had received the first booster shots, representing 64.6 per cent.

The number of those that got the second booster shots came to 2.4 million, which accounted for 4.8 per cent of the country's total population, the KDCA added.

Wed, 04 May 2022 14:17:39 +0530
SC denies bail to Dawood s nephew asks trial court to frame charges within 6 months

New Delhi, May 4

The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to grant bail to Mohammad Ibrahim Kaskar, nephew of gangster Dawood Ibrahim, in a 2019 case for allegedly issuing threats to a builder.

A bench comprising Justices M.R. Shah and B.V. Nagarathna said: "We see no reason to enlarge the applicant on bail at this stage."

The bench noted that if the investigation has been completed and the charge sheet is filed against all accused, trial court is directed to frame charges within a period of six months. "After that it is open for the applicant to once again approach the court for bail," added the bench.

A case was registered against Kaskar in 2019, under MCOCA for allegedly issuing threats to a builder. Kaskar moved the top court after the Bombay High Court dismissed his bail plea in December 2021. The high court noted that bail can't be granted in view of Kaskar's involvement in the offence.

Today, the top court observed that charges have not been framed in the matter, as it refused to entertain Kaskar's bail plea. The top court asked the trial court to frame charges within six months and also told Kaskar to apply for bail afresh after charges are framed.

Kaskar was arrested in July 2019. In October 2019, the police filed its charge sheet under MCOCA. Rejecting the bail, the high court had said that the prima facie involvement of the applicant can be inferred in an offence which is punishable with more than 10 years.

The builder had claimed that his business partner owed him Rs 15 lakh. In June 2019, he received an international call directing him not to insist on the payment. It was alleged that the international call was made on behalf of wanted gangster Chhota Shakeel. A case was registered against Kaskar, Shakeel and others.


Wed, 04 May 2022 14:13:28 +0530
The Kashmir Files Vivek Agnihotri accuses PCI of suppressing free voice

New Delhi, May 4

The Press Club India (PCI) has landed in a controversy after 'The Kashmir Files' director Vivek Agnohotri accused it of denying booking to him for a press conference.

Agnihotri said his booking was first cancelled by the Foreign Correspondent Club (FCC) allegedly over objections raised by some of the members and later, the Press Club of India followed suit.

Now, the event is being held in a hotel on Thursday.

Taking to Twitter, Agnihotri said: "Wow! @PCITweets also cancelled me. The watchdogs of democracy and messiah of free speech not only banned me undemocratically but are also lying through their teeth. 1. Encl are the facts.

2. They have booked earlier through our agency without any member's recco. Receipt encl."

In a series of Tweets, Agnihotri said: "When my video on FCC cancellation went viral, @PCITweets conspired with them and cancelled our presser.

These anti- free speech, anti-Truth, agenda driven elite clubs flourish on Govt's sprawling properties in Lutyen's Delhi. It's time for us to expose these arrogant cheats."

Agnihotri insisted that the club has been booking for him through an agency and did not require any member's endorsement on the receipt. He tagged the earlier receipts issued by the PCI.

On Tuesday, the PCI said in a tweet: "The Press Club of India is not facilitating any event on May 5 by any individual or organisation. The Club allows press conferences only with advanced booking. There is a due process, and bookings have to be done through a member of the Club."

Controversy broke after the FCC cancelled the event organised by the film director. He then said that he will organise the same in PCI but Agnihotri alleged that he was not booked for May 5 programme despite his agency pursuing it with the PCI staff.

The letter alleged that when Agnihotri's agency called the PCI staff for booking, he was told that it can be booked as slot is vacant in May 5 and asked for making payments but when the agency employee reached there, the PCI did not book the premises and did not respond to calls.

Now, the event has been shifted to a hotel near to the Press Club of India. "Inviting all democratic and free speech, pro-TRUTH believers, media people, correspondents, reporters media activists and those with empathy for Kashmir Genocide victims tomm at 3.30 PM at Le MERIDIEN, New Delhi. ITS AN OPEN HOUSE PRESS CONFERENCE. ASK ME TOUGHEST QUESTIONS," the filmmaker tweeted.

Wed, 04 May 2022 14:11:08 +0530
BJP women wing to launch training programme for its cadre

New Delhi, May 4

BJP's women wing is starting a nationwide training programme for its cadre with a three days session in Bhopal, beginning from May 13.

BJP Mahila Morcha national vice president Rekha Verma said: "Being world's largest party, it is necessary that everyone connected with us must understand and be aware about our history and ideology. We have planned to train all our workers through a training programme. This training programme of Maihila Morcha will start from Bhopal."

Through these training programmes, the saffron party is trying to establish a long relationship with the cadre who joined recently.

"If a person is not ideologically connected with the party, then the way he joined, he may leave also. By explaining our ideological commitment, we will try to ensure that the person stays in the party forever by inculcating BJP's values and culture," Verma said.

National office bearers of BJP Mahila Morcha, state president, state in-charge, among others are likely to attend the event.

Further, the state presidents along with the head of training of programmes of state units will draw plans to conduct training sessions further at state level and district levels.

A similar training programme for all the morchas (wings) and main organisation will also be held to prepare the organisation for upcoming assembly polls and 2024 general elections.

A senior BJP leader said that trained workers help in growth of the party in new areas and sections of society.

Wed, 04 May 2022 14:06:39 +0530
Heavy rains lash Hyderabad boats out for rescue in old city

Hyderabad, May 4

Boats were out in parts of old Hyderabad to rescue people as heavy rains accompanied by gusty winds lashed the city early Wednesday morning.

Authorities said there was cloudburst leading to heavy rains in a short duration, inundating low-lying areas, disrupting vehicular traffic and electricity supply in many parts of the city.

The residents of Hyderabad and suburbs woke up to thunderstorms on Wednesday as high intensity rains in a couple of hours left low-lying residential areas and roads inundated.

The gusty winds also uprooted trees and led to blackouts in several areas.

Water-logging on key roads in several areas in Hyderabad, including Basheerbagh, Khairatabad, Lakdi Ka Pul, Secunderabad, Kukatpally, Malakpet, Alwal and Uppal disrupted vehicular traffic.

Disaster Response Force (DRF) teams of Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) were out with boats in the worst-affected areas in the old city to rescue people from marooned localities. Boats were pressed into service in Madina Nagar and Dhobhi Ghat in Yakutpura constituency. Some areas in Bahadurpura constituency were also badly hit with flood water entering the houses.

"DRF teams clearing water stagnation, tree falls and providing citizens assistance in wake of inundation caused by sudden cloud burst," tweeted director, enforcement, vigilance, disaster management, GHMC.

The state-run Telangana State Development Planning Society (TSDPS) recorded 6.8 cm to 11.1 cm rainfall in parts of Hyderabad and surrounding districts.

Maredpally and Musheerabad in Hyderabad recorded rainfall of 8.68 and 7.73 cm.

Nalgonda, Medchal Malkangiri, Yadadri Bhuvanagiri, Siddipet, Peddapalli, Jagtiyal and other districts also received heavy rainfall with gusty winds and lightning.

Unseasonal rains provided relief to people reeling under sweltering heat but caused massive losses to farmers.

Paddy stored by farmers near procurement centres in various districts was damaged due to overnight and early morning rains. Farmers said they were waiting for their produce to be procured by authorities and appealed to the government to compensate for their losses.

Wed, 04 May 2022 14:02:45 +0530
World Food Program to study Punjab wheat storage facility

Chandigarh, May 4

A team of the World Food Program (WFP) on Wednesday started a visit to Punjab to understand the process of procurement, testing and transportation of wheat to Afghanistan so that a similar procedure can be adopted by it.

State Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Minister Lal Chand Kataruchak said the five-member team of Sandro Banal, Filippo Zunino, Stephanie Heard, Amit Wadhera and Shruti will be visiting Amritsar to take a first-hand assessment of how long term storage of wheat is undertaken in Punjab, without deterioration in its quality.

Terming the recognition by the WFP for preserving the foodgrain by the state a matter of pride, the minister said Punjab, the food bowl of the nation, has been feeding the nation and now the grain produced in Punjab is feeding people abroad also.

It was also creditable that the western nations are now looking towards India to study preservation techniques for foodgrains and it speaks volumes of the progress made by the government of Punjab in this regard, he added. Senior officials of the state government and the FCI will be accompanying the team, he said, while assuring full cooperation to the team.

In a separate communication by the Ministry of External Affairs to the Department of Food and Public Distribution of the government of India on April 27 it had been conveyed that "WFP is highly satisfied with the quality of 10,000 metric tons of wheat provided by India to Afghanistan as humanitarian assistance".

This quantity of wheat had been moved from P