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Shah Slams Politics of Appeasement
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ( KERALA ): Coming down heavily on both the LDF and UDF for what he called their minority appeasement and pursuing votebank politics, BJP national president Amit Shah said it was time Kerala realised the double standards followed by ... [...]
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Political stands shift after Narendra Modi storm, bitter enemies eye alliances
What might be new is the beginning of BJP's evolution from the alternative pole of Indian politics to its principal pole. Congress is in a shambles and regional parties suddenly look unsure. As they scramble for life-saving partnerships, they will be ... [...]
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Stronger India is beneficial for world peace: US
There is a "sense that there is a natural convergence, a natural convergence of views between India and the US both in terms of wider Asia Pacific region, Indian Ocean region as well as a broader view globally," US Assistant Secretary of State for ... [...]
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Modi Govt Promoting Divisive Politics with 'Full Blast': Congress
NEW DELHI: As Narendra Modi government completed 100 days in power, Congress today accused it of promoting divisive politics with "full blast" and "communalisation" of electorate without any check. Alleging that the NDA government has failed on three ... [...]
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100 days of boring news – Media needs Modi
For political commentators, Indian politics is entering a phase which is devoid of any masala. No sound bytes, no “unconfirmed reports”, no gossip. All the chutzpah of the political circle has vanished. BJP leaders have been issued strict warnings to ... [...]
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Nigerian students in Mumbai colony told to move out
Twenty-five Nigerian students studying in suburban colleges have been asked by real estate agents and their landlords to vacate their flats at Royal Palms in Aarey Colony of Goregaon within 15 days. While the agents and flat-owners claim they did so on instructions from the police, senior police officers denied having issued any such orders. In a notice dated September 1, a real estate agency in Goregaon informed a client-tenant that due to the restrictions imposed by the Aarey police station, they could not rent the flat to them anymore and that they would have to vacate it within 15 days failing which the agency would not be responsible for any consequences. Ritu Borle, owner of one such agency called Goregaon Real Estate, said, “We were called by the police on August 27 for a meeting and told that we must ask all the Nigerians to vacate the flats. We have to follow their instructions…Hence, we issued them a notice.” Aarey police officers said that although a meeting of real estate agents operating in Royal Palms was called on August 27, they had not instructed them to get the Nigerian students vacate their flats within 15 days. “Many of these students continue their stay here even after their visas have expired…Hence, we have to keep a watch,” said an officer at Aarey police station. ACP Kishor Jadhav said no eviction notices had been sent by the police. “We do not have the power to evict people from their houses,” he said. [...]
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Government forms 4-member panel to review green laws
The government has constituted a four-member committee under former cabinet secretary T S R Subramanian to review the laws related to protection of environment and forests and suggest amendments that could make them more effective. The committee, formed on August 29, has been given two months to submit its report, an order of the Ministry of Environment and Forests said. The constitution of the committee comes at a time when the government is making attempts to ensure that environmental regulations do not become roadblocks in attracting industrial investment. The environment ministry has already eased some regulatory norms in a bid to push industrial growth and make the processes more transparent and efficient. The committee will review the implementation of five major green laws — Environment (Protection) Act 1986, Forest (Conservation) Act 1980, Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972, Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1974, and Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1981 — and recommend measures to bring these in line with “current requirements”, the ministry order said. All these laws have been amended several times after their enactment, and there have been many judicial pronouncements on them as well. The committee has been asked to examine all these and draft its recommended amendments to each of these laws. Other committee members are Viswanath Anand, former environment secretary, Justice (retd) A K Srivastav, a retired judge of the Delhi High Court, and K N Bhat, former additional solicitor general of India. [...]
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Congress young turks defend Rahul from old guard
Battlelines were drawn in the Congress Tuesday with several young leaders — considered close to Rahul Gandhi — coming together and deciding to raise their voice against the “public attack” on the Congress vice-president by a section of the senior leadership. They feel there is an orchestrated attempt by a section of the old guard to stymie Rahul’s organisational reform process after the crushing electoral defeat. The young guns have been upset with the public criticism of the Congress president Sonia Gandhi by some leaders and silence of seniors when Congress vice-president comes under attack from within and outside. Sources said several AICC secretaries and some former MPs met Tuesday night and decided to make a “move” and tell the seniors to put an end to the blame game. It is learnt that the group would write to general secretaries and fellow secretaries urging them to air their views within the party forum, end the blame game and focus their energies on charting out the party’s revival. The young leaders, sources said, were of the view that the statements by some of the leaders criticising Rahul had only damaged the party. “The A K Antony committee, which was set up to find out the reasons for the defeat, gave everyone a chance to give their views. Hundreds of leaders met the committee and conveyed to it what they felt. The panel has submitted its report. Now what is the need for giving public statements,” a young leader told The Indian Express. [...]
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ATS on Kalyan youths’ trail, grills 12 persons in 2 days
Following a complaint by the family of the four missing youths from Kalyan, the Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) has so far questioned 12 people in connection with their disappearance. Areeb Ejaz Majeed, Fahad Tanvir Sheikh, Saheem Farooq Tanki and Aman Naim Tandel left for a trip to Iraq in May and went missing. They were later reported to have joined the ISIS and on Tuesday last week, Saheem called his family and informed them that Areeb had died in Iraq. Sources said, the families submitted a complaint last month to the ATS. “The families said in their complaint that if someone had indeed misled their children to the point of indoctrinating them into Jihad, strict action should be taken against them. Then we initiated inquiries,” said an ATS source. Over the next couple of weeks, the ATS shortlisted several people from Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Thane for questioning and have been interrogating them since Monday. “Some of these people were in touch with the boys before they left for Iraq. All those questioned are part of a group that meets and interacts regularly. We also had independent information about some others who needed to be questioned and called them in as well,” an officer said. [...]
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Land acquisition act: Ministry may make Act less stringent
Even as it waits for feedback from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) on its list of suggested amendments to the new Land Acquisition Act, the Rural Development Ministry has started working on a plan B that would make the Act less stringent. It would also ease the process of acquiring land by expanding the category of projects ‘exempted’ from key requirements under the Act. According to ministry officials, there is a concern that the government may find it difficult to push through all amendments suggested in the report to the PMO, given their “far-reaching and sweeping nature”. Hence, the ministry is preparing a proposal as a plan B to take the “easier route” and add more projects to the exempted list, officials said. The areas being considered are defence, important infrastructure projects and key road projects. This is in line with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s statement at The Indian Express Adda, where he said that there was a need to expand the set of exemptions. The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill was enacted by the UPA government last year and touted as a landmark legislation. Currently, the exemption under the Act applies to linear projects, including railways, highways and irrigation canals, among others. In July this year, the ministry had sent a report to the PMO based on inputs received from states suggesting changes to the Act, which would make it more industry-friendly removing the requirement for mandatory social impact assessment study. [...]
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PM Narendra Modi breaks security cordon to shake hands, mingle with Indian crowd
Prime Minister Narendra Modi signing autographs for children during inauguration of the Vivekananda Cultural Centre at the Indian embassy in Tokyo, Japan on Tuesday. (PTI Photo) Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday broke the security cordon and mingled with a crowd of Indian admirers, shaking hands and giving autographs. Modi was coming out of the Indian Embassy after inaugurating the Vivekanand Centre when he saw a crowd of admirers shouting slogans for him outside the complex. Instead of sitting in his car, he decided to walk out of the complex and meet the people. He shook hands with them and gave autographs to some, giving a personal touch to the event. The Prime Minister also had a chat with two young siblings. He enquired from them about whether they fight with each other and also who wins in that. Earlier in the day, when Modi visited Sacred Heart University, a few Indians were waiting outside to see him. He obliged them by posing for a selfie with them. [...]
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Army cautions units, personnel against using smart phone app
The Army has issued a circular to its units and personnel cautioning them against using the caller identification smart phone application ‘Truecaller’ in the backdrop of cases where suspected Pakistani spies have allegedly used it to establish the identity of its officers. The application is owned by a European company and helps the user to establish the identity of an unknown caller using its global database of mobile and telephone numbers. There have been cases where suspected Pakistani spies have used the application to establish the identity of Army officers and made phone calls to them or their families trying to gather information from them, Army sources said. If someone gets hold of one number in a closed user group subscribers, it can be used to establish the identity of other members of the group as the numbers are similar, they said. The circular was issued to warn the officers and personnel of the ways the application can be misused and the precautions to be taken while having it on their smart phones, they said. In the recent past, the Army had also asked its personnel not to use social media applications such as WeChat which may have servers abroad. The army is worried that activity on the social media could lead to identification of the army officers and others and their location. In the past, there have been cases where army officers have been honey-trapped by suspected agents working for Pakistan’s ISI and they have faced strict action from the force. [...]
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SC to examine if 2G accused visited CBI Director’s residence
Sinha’s counsel Vikas Singh countered the accusations, saying attempts were being made to see CBI is “destroyed as an institution” by baseless allegations against its chief. (PTI Photo) The Supreme Court is set to examine the veracity of the allegations that the people who made house calls to CBI director Ranjit Sinha included those being investigated by the agency for the 2G scam and other corruption cases. Sinha found himself at the centre of a controversy with Prashant Bhushan, representing the petitioner NGO ‘CPIL’ in the 2G cases, urging a bench led by Justice H L Dattu to review the records of visitors at the CBI chief’s official residence in Delhi. Bhushan claimed that the entry register of Sinha’s residence posed a “very disturbing picture” as it is replete with “explosive materials” that is bound to hinder the administration of justice in 2G spectrum allocation scam cases. Bhushan also referred to a media report, which by citing the visitors’ register at Sinha’s official residence, had claimed that officials of the Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG) met the CBI chief at least 50 times in 15 months. The CPIL counsel also proceeded to read out a few names of the visitors but the bench asked Bhushan to stop reading from his note to make the content public and rather furnish all the materials available with him in a sealed cover. “If you can give the copy of the material to us, CBI and Director’s counsel, we can take up the matter day after tomorrow,” said the bench. Senior advocate K K Venugopal, appearing for the CBI, also intervened and asked the bench to pass an order that all materials be placed before the court confidentially. Sinha’s counsel Vikas Singh countered the accusations, saying attempts were being made to see CBI is “destroyed as an institution” by baseless allegations against its chief. Sinha’s defence also came from an unexpected side as senior advocate Ram Jethmalani, who was appearing in a 2G-related matter for DMK MP and an accused in the case, Kanimozhi, defended him. Jethmalani said “he is performing his duty well but all kinds of allegations are being levelled”. Jethmalani told the court that Bhushan must be asked to submit his contentions by way of filing an affidavit and by not just reading out from his notes. At this, the bench asked CPIL to make its submission by way of affidavit and posted the hearing on Thursday when it will also hear the NGO’s application seeking recusal of Sinha from all 2G matters allegedly for trying to protect some influential accused in the scam. The NGO alleged that the “Director has made serious attempts to derail the investigation and prosecution being carried out by the CBI”. It has also sought to implead Sinha as a party separately from the CBI. [...]
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CBSE circular on students’ mobile nos stokes controversy
A circular by CBSE asking schools affiliated to it to provide mobile numbers and email address of students from class IX to XII has stoked a controversy. While some organisations have objected to the circular, CBSE said the move is aimed at making use of information communication technology tools to improve communication among its various stakeholders. Schools were asked to submit the information by August 25. A few schools in Rajasthan objected to the order, fearing that personal information of students could be used for non-academic activities. In its circular, CBSE has said, “Having mobile number and email details will not only facilitate the candidate to have timely and latest updates but will help the board also in advance planning and estimation relating to examinations.” Officials in the HRD Ministry said the information would be kept strictly confidential. The controversy comes in the run up to the Prime Minister’s live address to students on Teacher’s Day. The HRD Ministry has embarked on an unprecedented exercise to make the programme a success. CBSE has requested schools to make arrangements to “assemble” the children so that they may view the Prime Minister’s address. It said suitable arrangements will need to be made to enable children stay from 2:30 pm to 5:00 pm in the school on September 5. A report on the arrangements made by your school and the number of students who are likely to be covered may be sent to the CBSE, it requested the schools. [...]
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Is ex-CJI being rewarded for pleasing Modi, Shah: Congress
Protesting against the appointment of former Chief Justice of India P Sathasivam as the Kerala Governor, the Congress on Tuesday questioned the reason behind the decision, asking if he was being “honoured” because he had done “some work” which had “pleased” Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah and “gladdened their hearts”. Asking the NDA government to explain what prompted it to choose the “most recently retired” CJI over many of his predecessors, Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma said, “This raises a question. Had he (Sathasivam) done some work which has pleased them? Prime Minister Modi is pleased, Amit Shah is pleased… for which he (Sathasivam) is being honoured?” He was responding to a question on whether Sathasivam was being given the gubernatorial assignment for granting relief to Shah in a fake encounter case last year. A bench led by Sathasivam had quashed the CBI’s FIR against Shah in the Tulsiram Prajapati fake encounter case. “Arun Jaitley, as Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, had repeatedly said that retired judges of Supreme Court, let alone the Chief Justice, should not be given any office or position. So the BJP should now clarify why have they made a departure from their stated position… why only an exception (was made) here,” said Sharma. “Because an exception is being made, the question is why this is being done, that too for a Chief Justice who just retired. Is there anything in his persona, his functioning, or his decisions which have really attracted, very warmly, very positively, the acceptance of the Prime Minister and the BJP president? It is but natural that this question will be asked,” Sharma said. “I am sure that there is something which has gladdened the hearts of the Prime Minister and the BJP leadership. Otherwise there were other equally qualified respected former CJIs who are living in this country,” he said. “The CJI and the judges of the highest court should not be open to political patronage. It sends a wrong message and raises doubts. The independence of the judiciary is sacrosanct… Are we now moving to a system where we expect the judiciary to be committed to the government for political patronage post-retirement,” he said. [...]
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Steven Sotloff: Islamic State ‘beheaded US hostage’ (video)
ISIS has released a video that shows the beheading of U.S. journalist Steven Sotloff and says the murder is retaliation for the Obama administration’s continued airstrikes in Iraq. Sotloff is the second American journalist to be killed by ISIS, and his death comes two weeks after James Foley was executed in a similar video. In the video entitled 'A Second Message to America,' Sotloff appears in a orange jumpsuit before he is beheaded by an Islamic State fighter. The executioner appears to be the same man who killed Foley – known as ‘Jihadi John’ - and tells the camera: 'I’m back, Obama, and I’m back because of your arrogant foreign policy towards the Islamic State.” He also threatens to kill a Briton held hostage by the group next. The executioner points his knife menacingly at the camera as he speaks. Clad in the same black garb he wore during Foley’s execution, the killer has a pistol strapped under his arm in a shoulder holster. The black flag of the Islamic State can be seen waving in the background. Sotloff calmly read a statement moments before his murder: ‘I’m sure you know exactly who I am by now and why I am appearing.; He tells the camera: ‘Obama, your foreign policy of intervention in Iraq was supposed to be for preservation of American lives and interests, so why is it that I am paying the price of your interference with my life?’ While he speaks, a militant calmly holds a knife at his side and stands next to Sotloff. The man believed to be Jihadi John also says: ‘As your missiles continue to strike our people, our knife will continue to strike necks of your people.’ The chilling threat to execute a UK hostage is a direct challenge to Prime Minister David Cameron and will send shockwaves through the British government. Tonight Mr Cameron condemned the video and said: ‘It is an absolutely disgusting and despicable act.” He added he will be making a statement on the video later. Only last week  Mr Cameron warned that ISIS was now a ‘greater threat to our security than we have seen before’. After the beheading of journalist James Foley, Mr Cameron rushed back from his holiday in Cornwall to condemn ‘the barbaric and brutal act’. On Friday the Prime Minster warned that the killers were likely to be British. Foley’s family released a statement after Sotloff’s execution, calling it ‘just horrific,’ according to WHDH-TV. On Thursday, Sotloff’s mother Shirley Sotloff went on television to make a direct appeal for her son’s life. She addressed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the self-claimed caliph of ISIS http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SskoXCbfoZI&width=620&height=350&centervid=1&rel=0&showinfo=0&controls=0 'My son is in your hands,' Ms Sotloff said. 'As a mother I ask Your Justice to be merciful and not punish my son for matters he has no control over. I ask you to use your authority to spare his life.' The SITE Intelligence Group, a U.S. terrorism watchdog, first reported about the video's existence. Unlike Foley's beheading, which was widely shared on Twitter accounts affiliated with the Islamic State group, the video purporting to show Sotloff's killing was not immediately posted online, though several jihadi websites told users to expect it Tuesday. The fighter who beheads Sotloff in the video called it retribution for Obama's continued airstrikes against the group in Iraq. Sotloff's mother had pleaded for his release last week in a video directed at the Islamic State group. Addressing the leader of the Islamic State group by name, Shirley Sotloff said in a video her son was 'an innocent journalist' who shouldn't pay for U.S. government actions in the Middle East over which he has no control. The White House didn't immediately comment on how and when Obama heard about Sotloff's reported death. MOMENTS BEFORE HIS DEATH STEVEN SOTLOFF'S FINAL BRAVE WORDS:  A Second Message to America: 'I am Steven Joel Sotloff. I’m sure you know exactly who I am by now and why I am appearing before you. And now this is the time for my message: 'Obama, your foreign policy of intervention in Iraq was supposed to be the preservation of American lives and interests, so why is that I am paying the price of your interference with my life? Am I not an American citizen? We’ve spent billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars and we’ve lost thousands of our troops in our previous fighting against the Islamic State, so what are the people’s interests in reigniting war? 'From what little I know about foreign policy, I remember a time when you could not win an election without promising to bring our troops back from Iraq and Afghanistan and to close down Guantanamo. Here you are now, Obama, nearing the end of your term, and having achieved none of the above and deceivingly marching us the American people in the blazing fire.' The president was in the White House when news erupted, [...]
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Omar bats for talks to resolve border issues
Omar Abdullah addresses villagers affected by Pakistani shelling in Jeora village at India-Pakistan international border of RS Pura Sector about 38km from Jammu on Tuesday. (PTI Photo) Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Tuesday said that talks are the only way forward to resolve issues and stop skirmishes along the border that have always made lives of people miserable. “Talks are the only way forward to resolve issues. Border skirmishes have always made the lives of people living there miserable and difficult,” Omar said, during his visit to forward areas in Jammu where he met people affected by firing and shelling from across the border. The Chief Minister said residents of LoC and border areas have to bear the brunt of the violence and their lives and property are endangered by such incidents and stressed that people wanted peace to carry on their lives smoothly. “We do not subscribe to war, but are in favour of resolving issues through talks and in a peaceful manner,” he said, and called on authorities across the border to understand this need and help in creating calm. Speaking to the people, Omar said the state has taken all measures to provide them relief and safeguard their lives. “We are with you at this hour of need,” he told them, and stated that he has given directions to all concerned agencies to help the border resdients. [...]
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Allegation of NDA ministers having no freedom has no base: BJP
BJP on Tuesday dismissed the allegations that ministers in the NDA government do not have freedom to function saying such charges do not have any foundation. “The Prime Minister is welcoming people to come with ideas. So, when the people are welcomed to come with ideas, how can one say that Ministers should not function with their ideas. It is a contradiction. I do not think this has any foundation,” BJP general secretary P Muralidhar Rao told reporters here. Asked about the NDA alliance in Tamil Nadu, which appears to be in doldrums, he stressed that the ‘Rainbow Alliance’, formed ahead of the Lok Sabha elections was intact. “The alliance is intact… BJP and the BJP-led initiative in Tamil Nadu will have a great future. There may be some differences on certain aspects related to Tamil Nadu and it is natural among the friendly parties,” he added. Rao’s statement comes in the wake of BJP’s alliance partners in Tamil Nadu criticising the Centre on various issues including the Government’s approach towards the Lankan Tamils crisis. [...]
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Pranab Mukherjee visits Vaishno Devi
President Pranab Mukherjee during a visit to Mata Vaishno Devi shrine on Tuesday. J & K Governor NN Vohra is also seen. (PTI Photo) President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday concluded his maiden two-day visit to Jammu by paying obeisance at the Mata Vaishno Devi cave shrine where he inaugurated two new facilities for pilgrims. Accompanied by Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra, the President performed ‘darshan’ at the cave shrine this afternoon after inaugurating Shridhar Bhawan Elevator and the Panchi Helipad. The new Panchi helipad has reduced the distance for pilgrims visiting the cave shrine by air. It is located at distance of 2.8 km from the Bhawan. The previous one was at Sanjichat, five KMs from the shrine. The elevator can be used by the aged and infirm devotees to reach the shrine without having to climb the 127 steps up the mountainous trek. The President was driven to the shrine in a battery car and after performing the ‘puja’ he interacted with pilgrims who were happy to have the First citizen of the country amongst them. Like with most old Shrines, it has not been possible to ascertain when exactly the pilgrimage to this shrine, visited by lakhs of people from across the country every year, started. Vedic literature gives no reference to the worship of any female deity, although the mountain Trikuta does find its mention in Rigveda, the oldest of the four Vedas. The practice of worshipping Shakti, largely started in the Puranic period. It is also generally believed that the Pandavas were the first to build the temples at Kol Kandoli and Bhawan in reverence and gratitude for the Mother Goddess. On a mountain, just adjacent to the Trikuta Mountain and overlooking the Holy Cave are five stone structures, which are believed to be the  rock symbols of the five Pandavas. The President had arrived in Jammu, the winter capital of the state, yesterday afternoon. He was the Chief Guest at the 14th convocation of the Jammu University yesterday, where 67 degrees and 68 medals were awarded to meritorious students. The Governor had hosted a ‘At Home’ function in honour of the President and briefed him about the situation in the state. [...]
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JD(U) took donations from state govt agencies for LS polls: BJP
“The JD(U) took donations from state government agencies to meet the party’s expenditure in the general elections,” Modi claimed. (Source: PTI) Former deputy chief minister and BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi on Tuesday alleged that the JD(U) had taken donations from state government agencies for the general elections held earlier this year. “The JD(U) misused the Bihar Medical Services Infrastructure Corporation (BMSIC) and other state government agencies and took donations from such agencies to meet the party’s expenditure in the general elections,” Sushil Modi claimed at a press conference in Patna on the alleged multi-crore scam in purchase of medicines by BMSIC. Asked to corroborate his charge, Modi refused to furnish evidence in this regard and took refuge in the plea that neither JD(U) nor the state government had denied the charge so far. The former deputy chief minister also harped on the state government’s reluctance to order a high-level inquiry or recommend a CBI probe in the medicine purchase scam to press his charge that blacklisted companies from which medicines were procured had paid money to the JD(U) through BMSIC to fund the ruling party’s election expenses. Modi further demanded that the Dr K K Singh-headed committee’s report in the medicine purchase scam must be made public as it has questioned the procurement process and indicted some senior officials for approving purchase of certain medicines at exorbitantly higher rates than the price fixed by the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA). Stating that the medicine purchase scam took place when then chief minister Nitish Kumar held the health portfolio, the senior BJP leader said the state government should thoroughly probe the matter. [...]
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Modi entertains Japanese people with his drumming skills
Prime Minister Narendra Modi beats a traditional Taiko drum during inauguration of the Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) Japan Technology and Culture Academy in Tokyo on Tuesday. TCS CEO N Chandrasekaran is also seen. (PTI Photo) Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s skills as a drummer were Tuesday on full display here as he joined the Japanese percussionists to perform a ‘jugalbandi’ with them. The 63-year-old leader gave tough competition to the professional drummers as he tried his hand on the drum at an event to launch TCS Japan Technology and Cultural Academy here. He first watched the male and female drummers perform and seemingly was enjoying. Then he moved forward and started beating the drums quite well, much to the amusement of the gathering. On the occasion, he invited Japanese people to visit and explore India and spread the word about their experience. “Don’t confine yourself to hotels, go out and spend and become our ambassadors,” he told the gathering. Pitching for upgradation of knowledge skills, he said having knowledge will be more powerful than those having weapons in the 21st century. “In the 21st century, those having knowledge will be more powerful than those having weapons,” he said. [...]
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Hyderabad ranks fourth globally for sending students to US
Hyderabad is ranked number four globally and topped among all Indian cities for sending students for higher education to the US. According to a recent study by the Brookings Institution, an American think tank, since 2008-2012, Hyderabad sent more students to the US than New Delhi and Mumbai combined. Brookings’ list of the top cities around the world for sending students to US colleges and universities ranks Hyderabad number one in India and number four in the world. Ninety-four (94) foreign cities together accounted for more than half of all students on an F-1 visa between 2008 and 2012. Seoul, Beijing, Shanghai, Hyderabad and Riyadh are the five foreign cities that sent the most higher education students to the US during that time. Hyderabad sent 26,220 students to the US. Next was Mumbai, with 17,294, followed by Chennai with 9,141; Bangalore with 8,835 and Delhi with 8,728. Hyderabad’s home state, at the time, Andhra Pradesh held some other surprises. Three other cities from the region that made it to the Brookings list are Secunderabad, Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam. However, the report also said that, some of the educational institutions that accepted Hyderabad’s students were little-known and often from unaccredited schools, some of which have since been shut down by US authorities for allegedly engaging in visa fraud. While students from Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore tended to go to well-known universities, including Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Southern California, the students of Hyderabad were more likely to end up at smaller schools. “Some of these schools have been closed down because they were abusing the (student) visa system and the Curricular Practical Training program to bring students to work for employers, rather than primarily to study for a degree programme,” the report said. [...]
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Alagiri surrenders before court, granted bail
Alagiri said he had to fight for three years to get affiliation for his college, for which state authorities had placed several hurdles. (IE Photo) Former Union Minister and expelled DMK leader M K Alagiri on Tuesday surrendered before the Judicial Magistrate Court I here in a case relating to alleged grabbing of land and was granted bail till on Wednesday. Magistrate Triveni granted him bail till tomorrow on personal sureties given by two persons. On August 28, the High Court had granted him bail till September 3 in the case and posted the hearing to that date. The district crime branch and anti-land grabbing special cell had filed a case against Alagiri, son of DMK chief M Karunanidhi, alleging he had created false documents for the purpose of cheating and had grabbed 44 cents of land belonging to a Vinayagar temple for Dhya Engineering college at nearby Sivarakottai, run by a trust headed by him. The complaint about the alleged land-grabbing had been lodged by the Assistant Commissioner of Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR and CE) Board, Karunanidhi. Justice K Kalyanasundaram had granted bail to Alagiri till Sept 3 and posted the case for hearing on that date. Alagiri, founder-president of MK Alagiri Educational Trust, had submitted that the Trust, set up to provide education for poor students, had constructed the engineering college and had purchased several tracts of land. The land was outside the college and purchased from one Sampath through proper means by payment of cheque and sale deed. He said the land originally belonged to another man who had given it to a woman in exchange for the land he had given to her. Sampath had purchased it from the woman and the Trust had bought it from him. While this was the fact, the HR&CE Department had ‘suddenly’ put up a fence on land bought by the Trust, he had submitted and pointed out that two civil suits regarding the case are pending in civil courts. Alagiri said he had to fight for three years to get affiliation for his college, for which state authorities had placed several hurdles. The charges levelled against him in were made with malafide intention and averments were without material facts, he had said and pleaded innocence. He had also submitted that he and his family members are law abiding citizens and would not abscond and abide by the condition of the court and had sought anticipatory bail. [...]
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Arun Jaitley undergoes diabetes management surgery
Arun Jaitley’s condition is stated to be fine. (Source: PTI Photo) Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday underwent a planned diabetes management surgery at a private hospital here and was recovering well. 61-year-old Jaitley was admitted to the hospital in Saket last evening and today an elective laparoscopic procedure was carried out on him. “Arun Jaitley underwent a planned elective laparoscopic procedure for diabetes management on Tuesday. The procedure has been performed successfully,” a statement issued by the hospital said. Jaitley has been a diabetic for last few years. “It was a planned surgery. He was admitted at around 6 PM yesterday. The surgery is done in an uncontrolled diabetic situation,” Dr Pradeep K Chowbey at the hospital said. “In this procedure we staple the stomach and make a small pouch of stomach and connect it to the intestine. Thus the food from the small pouch goes to the intestine directly. All this is done endoscopically and laparoscopically,” he said. Chowbey said Jaitley was doing fine and will be discharged in a day or two. Jaitley had underwent a series of routine blood and cardiac investigations before the surgery.       [...]
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BJP ensures support of MDMK for local body polls
A day after BJP announced its decision to face the September 18 bypolls to various local bodies, the party on Tuesday ensured the support of its ally, the Vaiko-led MDMK. MDMK, along with DMK, had announced its decision to boycott the bypolls, even as BJP had set in motion its preparatory works to contest the elections by forming two panels to elicit views on aspiring candidates. MDMK’s decision to support its lead partner came after a two-member BJP delegation led by its state unit president Tamizhisai Sounderrajan held discussions with Vaiko, the party said in a release. Vaiko assured his party’s support on the basis of being a member of the BJP-led NDA alliance, which was forged for the April 24 Lok Sabha polls, it added. On Monday BJP had announced that it was holding talks with its allies with regard to facing the by-polls, which is being boycotted by the M Karunanidhi-led DMK even as two other NDA constituents, DMDK and PMK, are yet to make their stands official. [...]
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There’s no red tape but only red carpet, promises Modi as he attracts Japanese investment
Modi said there cannot be a better place to make investments than India. Making a strong pitch for bringing Japanese investments into India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said there was no “red tape” but only “red carpet” for investors as the government has eased a lot of regulations. Asserting that his government is working on development and increasing manufacturing activities, Modi said there cannot be a better place to make investments than India. “I have come to assure you that there is no Red Tape but Red Carpet in India. We have eased off lot of regulations,” Modi said. Calling for a new history between the two countries on the economic front, the Prime Minister said India is the only place where one can find “democracy, demography and demand”. Modi, who was addressing Japanese investors at a seminar organised by the Japan External Trade Organisation (Jetro) and Nikkei here, also said that India guarantees democracy, safety, security and justice. He told Japanese investors that India is a “god gifted location” for reaching out to global markets. Referring to his government’s 100 days in power, Modi said it has achieved what could not be achieved in the last two-and-a-half years. The country’s GDP grew 5.7 per cent in the April-June quarter, the highest in more than two years. Modi said his government is ready to offer whatever is required to promote foreign investment into India. “Without Japan, India is incomplete and without India, Japan is incomplete”, he said. According to him, the coming together of Japan’s hardware skills and India’s software expertise can create miracle. [...]
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Google Sends Invites for September 15 India Event; Android One Launch Likely
Sundar Pichai, Senior Vice President, Android, Chrome and Apps at Google told NDTV Gadgets that the Mountain View-based company will not subsidise Android One hardware. Instead, Pichai hoped that the by sharing resources between Google and the ... [...]
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Apple's Shadow Looms Large Over Rivals at IFA 2014
Berlin's gigantic IFA consumer electronics fair opens this week, with the shadow of Apple looming large even if the iconic US brand traditionally snubs the event. IFA, one of Europe's biggest showcases of the latest electronic gadgets, is scheduled to ... [...]
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Obi Mobiles Launches 5 Dual-SIM Smartphones in India
Obi Mobiles, the brand backed by ex-Apple CEO John Sculley, on Monday announced the availability of five new dual-SIM smartphones, all of which were introduced in the market in the month of August. The smartphones namely S400, S450, S500, Python ... [...]
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